Tag Archives: diet

Healthy “Accidentally Paleo” Meatballs

Hungry had a long day at work on a Saturday (yuck!) and I had a hankering for cooking, so I wanted to make him a nice dinner. I am a vegetarian while he is not, so I don’t cook a lot of meat dishes. However, tonight I would! We had some nice lean beef in the house, so I wanted to make scrumptious meatballs! However, we didn’t have any breadcrumbs…hmm… Luckily, I was able to find a recipe to base mine off of that lacked breadcrumbs. This actually turned it accidentally into a “paleo” recipe. Hungry and I are far from being paleo, but I know it’s popular right now, so maybe this will help you out!

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Q&A: Can I Drink Milk and Have a 6-Pack?

In this video, Hungry answers a question about whether you can drink milk and get a nice six-pack. Everyone is different when it comes to dieting, exercise, and body changes, of course, but he explains what he has done his whole life, and what you could do. He supports milk, but he also offers up other options for those who are really struggling with getting that highly-desirable six-pack.

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How to Avoid Dairy Products

This post is brought to you by Catherine Lavinia.

Surely, for most of us milk is associated with childhood. Our mother or beloved grandmother was adamant that drinking milk is the pledge of child’s health and happiness. Milk contains a series of crucial nutrients: protein, calcium, Vitamin D, B-6 and B-12, magnesium, potassium and others. Besides these elements, sugar named ‘lactose’ is present in milk and other dairy products. Normally, our body produces the enzyme ‘lactase’ to digest this sugar. When there is a deficiency of lactase, however, lactose becomes very difficult to digest which leads to intolerance. And since lactose is present in dairy products, a lactose intolerance means a dairy free diet. Otherwise, uncomfortable side effects will make their presence felt at once, which can range from bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
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If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)

For the past few weeks or so, I’ve been trying this fitness philosophy called “If It Fits Your Macros” (IIFYM). It’s a slightly controversial idea. People in the fitness industry love to argue and contest each other’s philosophies. I’m fairly open-minded and like to try new things. I did the whole strict clean-eating thing, did protein-shake only, fruit-only cleanses, and so forth. Strict bodybuilder clean-eaters don’t care for IIFYM. However, plenty of people adhere to IIFYM.

So, what is IIFYM? In this philosophy, you have a set number of calories you can intake based on if you want to cut (lose fat), maintain, or bulk (gain mass). From those total calories, your macros are split up. Macros (aka macronutrients) are your proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. You get a certain number of each (this site has a great calculator for it). For example, I have around 1930 calories per day, my designated protein intake is around 130g, fat is like 55g, and carbs hover around 230g.

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In many fitness regimens, you are supposed to eat clean (no crap). However, in IIFYM, you can eat dirty IF it fits your macros. So if I eat cleanly and focus on high protein and medium fat/carbs, I can have a big ol’ bowl of ice cream later. Your diet revolves around “hitting your macros” in any way YOU choose. For some people, it’s great because it allows them to be flexible. For others, they can’t handle all the temptation. Some people don’t even believe it works because there’s “dirty” eating involved.

 

You can treat yourself every day if you budget for it!

You can treat yourself every day if you budget for it!

For me, it has gone fairly well. I don’t always hit my macros, sometimes because I don’t get all my suggested calories and sometimes because I go over a few. So far, I’m kind of liking it. It allows me treats but also sets a limit. Gives me some moderation. I’m not sure how long I will keep doing this, but I will stick with it for a bit longer. Tracking your nutrients is vital, I use MyFitnessPal (add me! “nanathetiger). We may go back to strict clean-eating soon. Who knows!

Gotta love brussel sprouts :)

Gotta love brussel sprouts :)

It’s good to know all the fitness philosophies out there. Some (MANY) are fads, but it’s worth investigating to find out what works for YOU. There is no one-fits-all fitness regimen. Something could work perfectly for you, but completely fail for me. It’s important to try stuff out and see what your body and mind likes best. As always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS PUPPY PIC

I wonder if it's tough being so cute all the time

I wonder if it’s tough being so cute all the time

Love Yourself: 30-Minute Total Body Blast [NO EQUIPMENT NECESSARY]

Hey, lovers and self-lovers out there! Today may be a day to splurge on chocolate, pastas, and fine wines (we are personally ordering pizza and kicking back since I work late), but it is also a day to show your body some love! You can’t be unfair and only treat your taste buds, treat your body too. Find 30 minutes out of your busy day to kick your own butt! In a kind and loving happy way. This is a home workout, you don’t need any weights–just keep moving! So no excuses! Keep a water bottle nearby.

30-Minute Circuit Total Body Blast

We are going to be doing a circuit of 10 stations for 1 minute each. Think you’re ready? Let’s do it!

1. Jump rope. Whether you have an actual jump rope or not, do this at a fast pace.

English: into the groove double dutch jump rope

English: into the groove double dutch jump rope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Plie squatsMore information on these if you click the link, these should be done slowly.

Here's me with weights, but they are unnecessary for all

Here’s me with weights, but they are unnecessary for all

3. Push-upsMore information at the link, you can do them regular or knee-style, whatever your strength level is at.

Push-ups

4. Mountain climbers. These are quick. The faster you go, the more you burn!

5. PlankClick the link for more information. Make sure you’re doing this right or I’ll sit on you.

6. Supermans. For these, you are on your belly and you lift your arms and your legs, with your torso still on the ground. You go up for about a second and then down, and then up and down, etc.

7. High knees. Hold your hands/arms parallel to the floor at a high level and kick your knees up to try to get them to your hands. These are FAST.

8. Lunges. Hands on the hips in starting position, lunge out forward with one leg, then back, lunge out with the other leg and back. Make sure that back leg is getting low to the ground.

9. Dips. Using a bench, a chair, a couch, anything really, hold onto the object, facing away from it and dip down, using your triceps.

10. Russian twists. Sit up with your legs off the ground and twist your shoulders back and forth (your whole torso), hitting either side with your hands. Make sure you are doing a full twist.

X3. To do this full workout, you must do this circuit three times. And 1 minute at each station (use an iPhone, a timer, stopwatch, something to keep track of time). You may need rest in between, but get a sip of water and try to keep going. Keep that heart rate up and the sweat flowing. And if you only have 20 minutes, then you can just make it two circuits instead of one. I know you have 20 minutes to spare today before you spend it with your love or your friends or your pets. If you’d rather have a shorter, more repetitive 15-min workout, click here. And click here for more circuit training ideas.

Let us know if you have any questions, and as always, stay hungry and fit! Cheers!

9 Great Sources of Protein for Vegetarians

So you’re a vegetarian. So am I (kinda)! Which means you don’t eat meat (where are you going with this, Alana…). Which means you are missing out on a major source of protein. Protein is an extremely important part of the diet, healing and building muscles and keeping us nutrient-full. The more protein in the diet, the more full you remain. Here are some great ways for vegetarians to get protein:

1. Beans. Beans, beans, the more you eat them, the more you…gain a great source of protein and fiber! That’s how the song goes, right? My personal favorite is black beans. There are many types available: black, refried, kidney, white, chick peas, red, pinto, and many many more! Always get the beans with no salt added for a lesser sodium intake and a healthier meal over all. Soy beans (edamame) and white beans have the highest protein content, but all are still good choices. Great meal options with beans are: rice and beans, bean, cheese, and cheese burrito, bean soup, and bean salad. There are so many ways to put this into your diet, so do it today!

2. Soy. Soy is an excellent source of protein for the vegetarian (or for anyone). It is indeed a bean (or legume), but it has its separate category because it has such a big part in the vegetarian diets. You can find this in all kinds of forms now: Morningstar products, protein bar products, protein shake powder, and more! It is easy to find in such products, just search it up. Morningstar products are just as good as meat products, most taste absolutely delicious!

3. Tofu. Tofu is made from soy, called ‘bean curd’ because it is used from soybean juices and curded. Tofu is huge in the Asian cultures. There are soft and firm types of tofu, depending on how you want to cook or eat it. You can eat it raw, of course, too. But it’s great to either bake or lightly stir fry with some seasoning such as soy sauce, yeast, or garlic. And easy way to get a great source of protein.

4. Mushrooms. Mushrooms, in the plant world, are a live source of protein. So instead of dead proteins that you would find from soy or other processed protein sources, mushrooms are live fungi from the ground. This source of protein is very healthy and nutritious for you, having a high protein count, depending on which type of mushroom you get. Some variations are oyster mushrooms, portabella mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, white mushrooms, and many more. I used to hate mushrooms until I became a vegetarian. I then started eating them more and now I love them. Get them a part of your diet!

5. Eggs. Eggs are definitely a great source of protein (if you’re not a vegan). You can hard boil them, scramble them, omelette them, fry them–the list is endless. There are so many great ways of adding this into your diet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. One egg can range from 6-9 grams of protein.

6. Nuts. Another great, natural source of protein. It is also a place to get your good, natural healthy fats as well (that you NEED). Nuts come in all forms and sizes from peanuts to cashews to almonds to pistachios, if you want good protein, you better get nuts about nuts. They are an excellent snack, but can also be used in main dishes such as in your greek yogurt for breakfast, salad for lunch, and stir fry for dinner. Almonds rule the nut world for healthiest and most protein.

7. Greek Yogurt. Now, I’m not talking about the sugar-filled Yoplait yogurts that you’ll find for a good price. I’m talking Chobani, Fayeh, and Oikos. Preferably, get plain. The best of the best have a high protein count of 22 grams, the lowest you can find at around 7 grams. Greek yogurt may take some getting used to, but you can sweeten it with fruit or honey, or add granola to it as well. You can also add it to cooking dishes, such as curries and sauces. Make sure you get greek yogurt in for one meal of the day! Delicious.

8. Protein powder. Now these are made up (usually) of whey, soy protein isolate, and other milk products to create a densely packed protein addition to your diet. Goes very well after a workout too (when you need the most protein to start repairing those muscles). See this post for more information of what protein powder we like the most. You can make shakes, milkshakes, smoothies, and even your own protein bars! Great snack or meal replacement, and usually low in calories.

9. Cheese and other dairy products. Dairy is, of course, a good source of protein as it comes from an animal. You just need to be wary of how much you are consuming due to fats and calories (if you’re counting them). Cheese is delicious and comes in many forms from different animals (cheddar cheese and goat cheese are my personal favorites). Milk is good too, as is cottage cheese.

So there you have it, vegetarians, nine sources of protein ranging from fungi in the earth to processed curd. Now you have no excuses of not getting you daily protein intake–look how many options you have! Never skimp out on the protein, always get to your limit, it will keep you full longer, and keep your muscles happy.

Cheers!

11 Ways to Maintain or Lose Weight Throughout the Holidays

The holidays are never easy for those trying to maintain or lose weight. Never ever. You’re typically surrounded by family shoving food in your face like ham and cookies. We’ve created a guide that you should follow to weather this tumultuous season. Let’s stay on track!

  1. Exercise or MOVE 30 minutes a day. Minimum. That sounds like a lot. It’s not. Walk the dog, take a brisk walk round the neighborhood, scrub the floors, hop on the treadmill or elliptical. It is worth it. 
  2. Limit yourself to 2-3 treats a week. This plays a big part in maintaining all of your progress. Don’t binge on treats all the time, it’s about moderation.
  3. Strength train 2-3 times a week. Whether that means getting on the floor and doing core work, picking up weights, or using machines in a gym facility, get your muscles working. Keep up the toning and strength work. We want to keep burning calories after our workout! Chris pumping some good weight
  4. Resist temptation most of the time. Say that pack of oreos or that ice cream sundae is looking fabulous. Try to resist as much as possible, but again, have a treat now and then. When you resist the cookies, supplement it with something else like banana and peanut butter, greek yogurt, crackers and peanut butter, or fruit. Still tasty, but tremendously better for maintaining your progress.
  5. Get your friends and family in on the exercise. Think of how funny a plank or push up contest would be with all the folks. Get people to go for walks or jogs with you. Do a 15-minute timed abs routine with your cousins or siblings. Create family time around something other than food–and make it fun. Think how hilarious it would be to see your dad playing Just Dance.  
  6. Look at ingredient labels. If it has anything like “high fructose corn syrup” on it, STAY AWAY.
  7. Eat breakfastA simple simple way to control your metabolism and eating for the entire rest of the day. Not very hungry? Just have some greek yogurt and nuts, eggs on whole wheat toast, or a smoothie. Just to get the metabolism started and preventing a binge-fest later. Alana's typical house breakfast
  8. Control your portion size.We eat with our eyes and then we feel bad if we leave food on our plate. Break that habit and get small servings to start. You can always get more if you’re still hungry, right? Be smart about these choices. Use a smaller plate or bowl. 
  9. Eat often and well. When our glucose levels drop, we usually scrounge for something to satiate it: cookies, chips, ice cream, etc. However, when we eat often throughout the day (every 2-3 hours), that doesn’t happen. Have carrots, fruit, and nuts around the house—easy fix.
  10. When you eat, just eat. Sounds weird, but if you eat while distracted, say, while watching television, you don’t pay attention to your food or how your body is responding to it. Take the time to eat and really enjoy the food. It’s a good meditation and you won’t overeat.
  11. Is it worth it? Look at that piece of unhealthy food. Is it worth it? Is the satisfaction going to last more than ten minutes? What about that feeling of progress with weight or lean muscle? Weigh your decisions (no pun intended). Then reward yourself with a smile and know you did the right thing. 

So there you have it. Not too difficult to follow because you do get some cheats and treats every once in a while. It’s all about moderation. Be realistic,  but don’t overdo it. Good cheer and good luck this holiday season!