smoothies


The Stuff You Have to Add to Your Smoothie! (and I don’t mean tequila)

It’s mid-way through September, and the 28 Day Blitz rages on! Hmmm, maybe rages is the wrong word in my case. Let’s say that the 28 Day Blitz nagged at me as I tried to navigate a social life with long-lost friends this past Sunday. I was all set to tuck into my cheat meal–the best veggie burger in NYC, located at La Flaca down on the lower East Side. (Go there ASAP) I had good intentions and ordered a salad with said veggie burger. Unfortunately, the *200 margaritas I drank after  dinner definitely negated my best intentions.

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*estimate of margaritas, 5 is probably more accurate. 

Just a reminder: the 28 Day Blitz is a challenge to eat only the best, cleanest food during the month of September. No fried foods, nothing overly processed, no ice cream, candy, or chips…and for goodness sake, moderate your alcohol intake please.

So yeah, things happen, even to health-conscious personal trainers who create 28 Day challenges. I don’t let these things set me back, I just shake it off and start over the next day.

Pump Up Your Protein Shake

Thanks to the wisdom of rock star client Kerry, I started adding psyllium seed husk powder to my breakfast smoothie.  Sounds delicious, right? Well, this stuff  almost tasteless and is high in soluble fiber which swells in your stomach, making you feel fuller, longer. The gel that is formed once the powder is mixed with liquid helps move metabolic waste through your intestines.

Uh-huh,that’s right,  it fills you up, then makes you poop. These are good things.

Adding psyllium seed husk powder can also help slow down the breakdown of sugar and fats, which keeps your glucose levels in check. Don’t use the powder if you are already taking medication for constipation.You certainly don’t want to go overboard and have an unfortunate mishap on your commute to work.

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A public transportation bathroom, or Hell on Earth. You be the judge. 

I add only 1/2 to 1 tsp in my smoothies, which is enough to thicken and add volume to my breakfast. It really does keep me feeling full, therefore I eat less. Win, win!

Does anyone else use an almost empty nut butter jar as a vessel for their smoothie? I actually can’t wait to get down to the end of a jar so I can enjoy the nutty goodness with whatever concoction I’ve come up with.

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Yay! An empty almond butter jar! Obviously, I need to get out more.

Remember, if you have committed to a having a healthy fall, one slip-up is not  justification to let the entire month go.Your next meal is your opportunity to set yourself right and get back on track.

Facebook.com/blitzyourbody Twitter @AmyBlitz1

Banish the Post-Workout Munchies

Don’t forget the 28 Day Blitz is ON!!! No junk for the rest of the month! Yes, I am aware that football, aka, buffalo wing season has begun. My advice is to have a taste and then move along to something healthier. Here’s the link I posted a few months ago to a delicious paleo-friendly buffalo chicken that is grain-free and baked.

http://stupideasypaleo.com/2014/03/30/crispy-buffalo-chicken-fingers/

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This is the pic I posted a while back when they were made for me. Turkey bacon  wrapped asparagus is optional.

 Your body will thank you!

And now a question for Blitz Your Body …

Amy, I have a question for you. When I do a lot of exercising (mostly walking and biking each for 30 min to an hour), I end up so very, very hungry the entire next day. Is there something that should be eaten before or after exercise to help curb this spike in appetite?–Linda

Before we get to the best foods to fuel and nourish your workout, let’s make sure that what you are experiencing isn’t really thirst. Many times, we are dehydrated and not truly hungry, so you must drink a lot of water, especially on your active days. How much does that mean? Well, there isn’t too much evidence that proves the “8-8 oz of water” per day rule is actually true.  But, the Mayo Clinic suggests that women take in 2.2 liters (9 cups) and that men take in 3 liters (13 cups) a day, adding an extra 1.5 to  2.5 cups when you exercise, which is pretty close the the conventional wisdom of 8/8 glasses of water. 

Here’s an accurate portrayal of what I look like drinking my water, post-workout:

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Yes, I wear pearl earrings when I workout. You don’t???

Now for fuel. We need to pick foods that will satisfy your hunger and be in line with your fitness goals. Pre-workout, you want to make sure you eat healthy carbohydrates that will give you energy without weighing you down. The closer you are to your exercise session, the simpler the food should be.

What I eat BEFORE a workout

A handful of grapes (15-30 min prior)

Banana with peanut butter (30-60 min prior)

Coffee Smoothie (60 min prior-recipe below!)

Half Ezekial English muffin with almond butter (60-90 min prior)

Fruit smoothie with half scoop protein powder (90-120 min prior)

Nothing.

That’s right. Sometimes I don’t eat before I go to the gym. My body is used to a fasted workout and sometimes I just grab a coffee and go. 

What I eat AFTER a workout

Carbs + Protein = a satisfying post-work out meal or snack that will keep you feeling full. Stay away from heavy fats, since they inhibit your body’s ability to quickly process all the good stuff.

Fruit Smoothie with whole or half scoop of protein powder (cardio or weight training)

Eggs with 1/2 cup of rice or half a potato and green veggies (cardio or weights)

Plain 2% Greek yogurt (cardio or weights)

A veggie wrap (cardio)

Roast or grilled chicken (usually left-overs) with veggies (weights)

Coffee Talk

I recently discovered that freezing coffee in ice cube trays is an easy and tasty way to add a little zip to my protein shakes.

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My moose mug is my best friend.

Moderate amounts of caffeine can naturally enhance your exercise performance. The better your performance, the more your calories you burn, and you can have greater strength gains. Just brew a strong cup of coffee, then freeze.  Side note: coffee cubes are also great for homemade iced coffee!

Coffee Protein Shake

Blend the following:

8 oz unsweetened almond milk

half or whole scoop of vanilla protein powder

1/2 frozen banana

1/2 TB of peanut butter (if you want to bulk it up a bit. It’s good without too)

1 TB raw cocoa nibs or cocoa powder

1 Tsp of psyllium seed husk powder

3-4 frozen coffee ice cubes

A drizzle of maple syrup (or any natural sweetener) to taste.

Sometimes I throw a TB or 2 of raw oat bran to increase the amount of fiber. 

Try it as a pre-workout fuel source, or a perky mid-day snack. Let me know what you think!

Facebook.com/blitzyourbody and Twitter @AmyBlitz1

Mother Funkin’ Pumpkin

pumpkins

Now is the time when everyone goes pumpkin crazy. Pumpkin lattes, muffins, cookies and of course, pies are all over the place. Unfortunately, most of these foods are loaded with sugar. The good news is that with a can of pure pumpkin puree and a little effort in the kitchen, you can create yummy pumpkin treats that are tasty and good for you. Since after Thanksgiving they’ll be practically giving the stuff away, it will also save you a few dollars that you can spend on gifts for your favorite personal trainer…or your child, whichever you prefer.

Pumpkin is a high fiber, low calorie food. This means that adding it to your recipes will help keep you fuller for longer.  Once opened, your can of pumpkin will last in Tupperware for up to a week, which is why I’m sharing three pumpk-tastic recipes.

Pumpkin Smoothie

Pumpkins are loaded with iron, magnesium, and potassium, minerals that promote muscle recovery. A smart addition to a post workout smoothie!

8 oz Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 scoop French Vanilla protein powder. Designer Whey is my favorite brand since it tastes great and mixes well.

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 banana

1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Or just use pumpkin pie spice, if you happen to have that.

Ice

Honey to taste

Blend it all up. Boom. Done. Serves 1.

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

One of these days I'll learn how to make a perfectly round pancake

One of these days I’ll learn how to make a perfectly round pancake

These are so good, I may never make protein pancakes without pumpkin again. The combination of pumpkin, eggs and oats makes this an incredibly filling meal. Additional bonus: they will make your kitchen smell good.

1 whole egg, plus 2 egg whites, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extra

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup or 1 package of Instant Oats. I like Arrowhead’s organic blend of oats and flax.

Mix ingredients in the order listed. Heat up a pan with 1 Tb. of coconut oil. Divide batter so that you are making two pancakes. Resist the urge to just make one mega pancake. It will be nearly impossible to flip and will cause you unnecessary stress. Let one side cook on moderate heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip, press it down a little and give the second side another 3 minutes or so. Serves 1.

I like to top mine with all natural peanut butter and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

Eleven grams of fiber from the chia seeds plus the three grams from the pumpkin, pretty much means that you’ll never be hungry again after eating this snack.

1/4 cup chia seeds

2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or water), Plus a few extra splashes as you go.

1/4 cup of pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla extract.

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves (pumpkin pie spice)

1 tsp or to taste of honey, agave or any sweetener you like

Gently blend mixture, adding the extra liquid as needed. The pumpkin will thicken up really fast. Transfer mixture to a mason jar, then refrigerate. Give it a shake after ten minutes, and again ten minutes after that. Let it chill for at least a few hours. To document the making of this pudding, I made an awesome slideshow with music. You check out my masterpiece here: Pumpkin Chia Pudding: REMIX!

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