Tuesday, May 31, 2011

So You Want To Gain Weight?

A lot of my posts are on how to stay lean and toned. This post is no different, but for some the lean part is the problem. Being too lean, and not feeding your muscles properly may keep you feeling a little skinny and almost fragile. That is OK, some of us simply have quicker metabolisms than others (but the good thing is this can be altered with diet and exercise). We want our metabolism on our side, but some people with extra-speedy metabolisms have to work really hard to put on size.If you need to gain mass I would suggest adding at least one extra meal a day increase your caloric intake by 300 calories per day. If after 1-2 weeks there is no noticeable weight gain, increase by another 300 calorie per day increments. Continue this process until you start to gain at least 1 pound every 1-2 weeks.

What you need to do to gain weight is not just eat more, but eat the right things. SO MANY GUYS I know who lift regularly have fast metabolisms because they work out; their misconception is they can eat whatever they want to get bigger. WRONG! You have to eat the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, etc.(from the right sources) Consume a higher ratio of protein, and carbohydrates. You need to consume 1.5-2g of protein per lb of body weight (if you weigh 130 you should consume 195-260 g of protein). If it is hard for you to get this protein in your diet you should supplement it with protein powder. You can drink a protein drink upon waking, between meals, before the gym, after the gym, and before bed if you aren't necessarily hungry for a full meal. You should also consume 2.5 lb of carbohydrate per lb of body weight ( if you weight 130 you should consume about 325g). You may be thinking wow this is a lot of food, but if you are consuming healthy balanced meals (carbohydrates, protein, fat) and making sure you eat every 2 hours I know you will gain the weight you want and be happy.

Healthy weight gain and working out is also extremely important. If you are consuming more calories you will gain weight. Since the food you are going to be eating is healthy, you won't get fat. You will be a new sexy lean and toned version of yourself. The thing is you MUST workout. You should be lifting weights about 5 times a week. Cardio is not as important, because you don't want to burn too many of those calories you are eating to put on size. If you love cardio, I would suggest making your weight routine a circuit with jump rope, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, etc. If you like running, keep it to HIIT on the treadmill (sprints) for no longer than 20 minutes. Cardio shouldn't exceed 20 minutes if you want to put on muscle.

I hope this helps those who struggle with keeping up weight and muscle. It can be hard for some but a balanced diet and regular strength training program can keep you toned and happy with your physique.

Thea's Clean Eating Banana Pear Baked Oatmeal

Thea's Clean Eating Banana Pear Baked Oatmeal

2 C. Oats
2 C. Almond Milk
2 Tbsp. Sugar-free Vanilla (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
3 Tbsp. Sugar-free syrup (or maple syrup)
1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of allspice
1 sliced pear
1 sliced banana

And a handful of some crunch (I used almonds, walnuts, pepitas, and sunflower seeds)
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. I just added all the ingredients (minus the pear and banana) in a big bowl and stirred.
3. Coat pyrex with non-stick spray.
4. Layer pears on bottom of pyrex.

5. Add mixture to pyrex.

6. Add sliced banana.

7. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

8. Serve and enjoy.

I personally like to store the oatmeal in plastic containers in the fridge, so when I wake up in the A.M. my breakfast is ready to go!

This makes about 4 servings estimated about 250 calories/ serving.
You can enjoy as is or as I like to top with a little fat free greek yogurt:)
This recipe is so delicious I think everyone who tries it will enojoy! Hearty, comforting, sweet, light, and healthy all in one (who knew it was possible?)!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yoga- Mind and Body

Yoga is a discipline I have been practicing for quite a while now. I have been going on and off for about 6 years or so and feel it is important for me to address my reasoning behind going, and why you should think about trying out a class. Yoga involves exercise, breathing, and meditation. Yoga helps with flexibility, with posture, it also stresses your muscles/tissues/ligaments to build strength. One misconception I believe many people have when starting yoga, is that they can do yoga a couple times a week and that's it for exercise. Cardiovascular exercise as well as resistance training should also be incorporated. I find yoga helps me stay "one" with my body, and helps me more with my mental health. Yoga continues to keep challenging my mind, no matter how often I have gone. I realize when I am going to yoga more often, that I am way less stressed and tense. I look at life more optimistically, and feel more confident in myself to achieve my goals. I can make this post incredibly long and go on for days expressing why you should do yoga, but I'm not going to. I challenge you to go to a yoga class this week. Try a simple Hatha or beginner yoga class, and keep your mind open to new things and try to really calm your thoughts. It will be a challenge, and almost frustrating at times but remember this is different than being good at sports or other recreational activities. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Fit tip:
Make a date out of it:
-I usually go Wednesday mornings with my friend Maggie, we get coffee after and we feel it starts off our mornings right!
-My parents go together Friday nights. After yoga they go out and pick up their favorite treat meal (Chinese food).

Monday, May 23, 2011

What Are YOU Going To Make of Your Summer?

AHHHHHH, school's out and we are are going to have a little more free time on our hands. Today I went to work, came home and realized wow I have no studying or homework (this is an amazing feeling). Then the list of things I should do came in to my head starting with thank you cards, laundry, dishes, cleaning my room/the apt, getting gas, washing my car, going to the gym, the grocery store, the mall to return something, and the list goes on. At this point I noticed that no matter how busy we are or aren't, there are always things to fill up our time. This is one reason it is hard for me to listen to people say they don't have time for the gym. It is probably because on that list of things we need to do, it isn't one of their top priorities. For me it is high up on that list, because knowing myself I truly wouldn't be motivated to do any of the other things without it. Going to the gym gets me going and keeps my days on a little schedule which I love. Now, this brings up the topic of summer and what YOU are going to make of yours.
Take time to yourself, alone. It may be uncomfortable at first, but take time to just chill and ponder. Go on a walk or grab a coffee and really decide what you want your summer to be like and more importantly why. You can make it whatever you want it to be, if you want to feel healthier and change your life. YOU CAN. If you want to let loose because you haven't had a true break, YOU SHOULD. Everyone needs different things at different times to feel the best about themselves. This summer take time for yourself, and get done the things that make you feel amazing!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thea's Tips on Getting and Staying Motivated

I think everyone I have ever spoken to has wanted to start something, and they go in to it full force. They are so motivated to succeed, that they don't look back. Day by day things begin to get a little harder, and you have to jump over some unpredicted obstacles. This is where many lose sight of their goal and lack motivation to keep pushing forward. Sometimes this can set us back, and for some this can REALLY set us back and we give up.
I see fitness/eating clean as a lifestyle. Of course it sounds amazing to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks, but is that always realistic? Beginning to feel amazing about yourself starts with simply being in touch with your body. Having a mind/body connection is EXTREMELY important. If you are in touch with yourself, which DOESN'T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT (takes lots of time alone with yourself and exploring your fears, doubts, insecurities, wants, needs, desires) you should be able to know when you need to turn your motivation up a notch or two.
I personally go up and down on a regular basis with motivation. I will be extremely motivated to reach a specific goal, say eating clean and not having a treat for two weeks (just to see if I can). I have done this before and failed, but what I have learned is to CHANGE the goal I had. Don't get rid of a goal, because you are disappointed you didn't reach it. Simply change it and continue trekking. In that specific situation I had my treat (wasn't listening to my mind body connection, as it was probably an emotional or stress treat) and I decided to go until the end of the week without another.
My treats are now planned, and I don't like setting myself up for failure with goals like these. NOW I simply try to stay on track with my goals, but if I slip up it's not a big deal because this is a life journey. One treat won't kill me. Numerous treats on a regular basis will.
Getting to the gym is another thing tough for many. Some people literally need to wake up and get it out of the way or else they will find other things to do, be too tired, or just get lazy. This is great to get it done in the am. I personally go after class or work. I have my gym bag packed so I can't go home and be comfortable. It works for me.
Some other tips for motivation is reading motivational articles. I like Oxygen magazine, M&F magazine, and Clean Eating Magazine. These keep me excited and eager to keep doing the things that make me feel good.
At the end of the day I am motivated to simply be happy. I am most happy when I am in touch with my emotions, body, my food, and always working to be better.
I hope this helps<3 Now, go do the things that make you feel great, I promise you will NEVER regret it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thea's Roasted Pepper and Artichoke Hummus

Thea's Roasted Pepper and Artichoke Hummus

1 Can unsalted garbonzo beans (rinsed and drained)
2 Tbsp. Tahini
1/2 Can artichoke hearts in water (rinsed and drained)
1/2 Jar roasted red pepper in water (rinsed and drained)
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Educate Yourself

I was in the car talking with my great friend Maggie today, and we started talking about clean eating. We both enjoy being active whether it be going to yoga, hiking, the gym, running, or even something as simple as walk. Both of us really enjoy cooking at the same time and send each other picture messages of our creations(she takes some BOMB pics). As we were hanging out and talking today, we began talking about how so many girls we know are on fad diets. I know I have ranted and blogged about this before, but the topic keeps coming up. Paleo, low-carb, no-carb, liquid, quick-trim, slim-fast, low-calorie, protein only, juice only.... etc. These are all portrayed by the media to the MASSES so we fall for their tricks and give them our $$$. The thing is they don't deserve it, and they are the people I blame for our society having body issues and disordered eating. It is time to stop asking around, wondering, and stop thinking you are making a healthier choice when ordering a salad at a fast food restaurant. IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP. I lost weight ALL ON MY OWN. I am not going to sugar coat it (no pun intended), but it was FRIGGIN HARD! People gave me a hard time for not wanting to drink as often as they (oh wait they still do give me a hard time), people want you to eat what they are eating so they don't feel as guilty about eating it, people don't want you to be interested in different things, because they don't want you to stop hanging out with them. NEWSFLASH you will be a better person and more fun person to be around if you are happy and confident.
Take the time to go online and seriously RESEARCH the sh** out of living a healthier lifestyle. KNOW WHERE YOUR FOOD IS COMING FROM. Shop locally, food tastes AMAZING fresh! Realize that a bean and cheese burrito is still bad for you even if its low in calories. (UNLESS YOU MADE IT AT HOME WITH A CORN OR WHOLE WHEAT TORTILLA, UNSALTED WHOLE BLACK OR PINTO BEANS, AND LOW FAT CHEESE). Also realize 100 calorie packs, are BAD for you the only difference is you are only eating 100 empty calories with no nutritional value rather than what would be in a bigger package. Some more things to educate yourself on is INGREDIENTS. If you can't pronounce what's in your food, do you think your body will recognize it and use it as fuel; doubt it! Time to stop making excuses for ourselves to eat bad and be unhappy.

Take your life in to your own hands, there aren't quick fixes. Time to educate yourself, and change your lifestyle.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Thea's Tips to Switch Up Your Salad

I love salad! I just realized I haven't been eating it lately, because I got bored with my regular old salad. Today I changed it up.
Instead of romaine lettuce (delicious) I decided to try kale, and spinach leaves. I chopped them up finely so they would be easier to nom on! I threw in some grilled chicken breast, some carrots, avocado, red onion, tomato, and last but not least today I added.....DRUMROLLLLLLLLLLL........... a broken up unsalted RICE CAKE!!! Mmmmm top that with some balsamic vinegar and I was in heaven. The rice cake made it sort of like croutons on my salad (without the guilt and excess empty calories).

Some other tips to change up your salad.
-Add sliced fruit
-Add some unsalted nuts or seeds ( I like pepitas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, or walnuts)
-Add salsa or lemon juice instead of dressing
-Add chickpeas, or black beans for some added energy
-I love the mixture of chopped dates and avocado (no dressing needed)
-Fat free feta cheese (if you must add cheese, but not necessary at all)

Hope these tips help:) Now feast away on a BIG healthy salad!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thea's Cinco De Mayo Mexican Style Hummus Dip

I am someone who loves salsa! BUT usually I don't want to fill myself up on chips before I eat a meal (because when it comes to chips I won't stop eating them, so I try to ignore them all together). I usually find veggies to dip in salsa, but the salsa doesn't stick to the veggies:( I decided to make a hummus, with the mexican inspired flavors.

Thea's Cinco De Mayo Mexican Style Hummus Dip
1 Can garbonzo beans (rinsed and drained)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Organic Tahini
Juice of one lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. cumin
1/5 Red onion
1 Jalapeno
1 Tbsp. Olive oil

1. In a food processor or blender add garbonzo beans, chopped and diced onion, chopped and diced jalapeno, juice of lime and lemon, olive oil, tahini, and cumin.
2. I blended it on puree. It took about 4 minutes.
3. Put in dipping bowl and serve with fresh veggies.

You can even spread this on toast, sandwiches, tortillas, rice cakes, on your chicken, egg whites; whatever your little heart desires!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thea's Clean Eating Cinco De Mayo Shrimp Ceviche

AIIIAIIIAIIIAIIII! Time to celebrate! Cinco de mayo is here, and I think we should all enjoy some yummy nom nom's! I made a SUPER healthy ceviche that took literally less than 4 minutes. Time to let loose a little, have a skinny margarita and enjoy your friends!

Thea's Clean Eating Cinco De Mayo Shrimp Ceviche

1 lb cooked shrimp
1 avocado
1/4 large red onion
1 jalapeno
bunch of cilantro
Fresh cut lime(use juice)

Chop up all the ingredients and mix in a bowl! BINGO!

I eat this just as is with a fork, but you can eat it with some baked unsalted blue corn tortilla chips. You can even throw it on a whole wheat low carb tortilla (la tortilla factory), or or fresh corn tortillas.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Weight loss should be the result of a goal, not the goal itself"

"Weight loss should be the result of a goal, not the goal itself"

I read this quote today, and it really hit a spot for me. After I lost weight, people began coming up to me all the time and asked what kind of diet I was on or what fad helped me lose the weight. I intended to lose weight, but my ultimate goal was to live a healthier lifestyle and to be happy. When I was carrying extra weight, I wasn't happy with myself, or the way my life was headed. I made it a goal to get my life back on track and "do me". Not worry about what other people think, and put myself first for once. I lost weight as a result of changing my habits. Less drinking, more working out, and clean eating. I started reading more, doing yoga from time to time, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, and doing other things that make me feel good about myself.
On a regular basis I hear both men and women throw out the word diet. Diet with weight loss in mind. The thing about the word diet is there are so many, and people throw the word around too lightly.
I am a server at a restaurant, and I can't tell you how many people say "well i shouldn't I am on a diet" or " I can't have that I'm on a diet". These choices shouldn't be because you are on some diet. These should just be the healthy choices you like making. Who needs tons of cheese and tortilla chips on your salad anyways?
Going on a diet to lose weight won't make you happy. What is your goal? Weight loss.. Why? AND what will you do once you hit that goal. If you are on a diet to lose 5 lbs and you lose it, most likely you will go back to your old habits and gain it back.
Instead set goals that are for the long run ie. being more active, living a healthier lifestyle, or building muscle. These goals never have an end point. They are constantly there throughout your life. If you continue to work towards them, you will probably be at a comfortable weight and feel AMAZING.
I have found that people who constantly diet, or try different fads don't last. These should be lifestyle changes and I promise you if you switch to a healthier lifestyle you will feel amazing in your skin!