Tag: healthy eating

Slapping Motivation Upside the Head with a Wet Noodle

Recently a friend of mine posted in a social media site something about how food is the fuel that runs your body and you don’t want to be starving your body of the nutrition it needs. I thought this was pretty good motivational commentary, so I added the following paraphrase of a Brian Tracy classic:

“Imagine you’ve just spent $500,000 on a race horse. What would you feed it? Would you cut corners? The cheapest stuff you can find? Your body is even more valuable.”

Almost immediately there were a few demotivational comments. Something along the lines of crippled old horses needing good food, something along the lines of can’t afford good food, something along the lines of a calorie is just a calorie. etc….

So I came up with the following:

If we break down the analogy into the smallest simple parts with the intent to destroy it and excuse our lack of progress, then yes, if you were to use aviation fuel in a Lamborghini, it would fly down the road. If you were to pour that into your 1978 Ford Pinto, it would explode when you turn the key.

 

Eggs, brown rice and salsa. Inexpensive healthy meal choice.

Sometimes motivation is hard. So is eating good simple healthy food. That doesn’t make it untrue. It also doesn’t excuse you from some simple facts. Yes, donuts and diet coke are the nutrition of choice for the Pintos out there. But you do have a choice. You can choose to spend your money more wisely and eat good healthy foods. Even Walmart has good inexpensive organic and natural foods, made by the same companies as those trendy very expensive stores that hold their employees under the guillotine of profit. Not that that is bad or anything …

Protein Oatmeal Recipe DIY

I’ve been eating this for quite some time, and have shared my protein oatmeal recipe with several of my friends and those I consult as a trainer. In fact, this recipe is one of the primary reasons that I use the protein that I do – BSN SYNTHA-6 Protein Powder. When you mix most protein powders into something hot, like this protein oatmeal recipe they tend to coagulate. The protein gels up like cooking an egg white and the taste is usually awful. The BSN proteins seem to tolerate the heat better. Just be sure not to actually boil it. I’ll explain the sequence I use below.

Protein Oatmeal Recipe Ingredients:

  • 100 Calories Oats (rolled, cut, crushed, instant, whatever)
  • 100 Calories BSN Protein (vanilla, strawberry, ?)
  • 50 Calories raisins (craisins, dried fruit bits)
  • Dash of Cinnamon
Protein Oatmeal Recipe Ingredients on the counter
Protein Oatmeal Recipe Ingredients on the counter

I’m using an electric kettle for the relative speed and efficiency in boiling a cup of water. You’ll see in the photo I also have a ceramic bowl and hidden is a small round plastic plate that I’ll use as a cover. Off to the side is my battery powered gram scale.

To weigh out my portions I need to know how much 100 calories is for each of the ingredients. I’m going to suggest my Online 100 Calorie Portion Food Calculator [HERE]. I read the backs of each of the packages to get the information on a serving size in grams, and how many calories that is. Plug that into the calculator and you get the grams in a 100 calorie portion. That’s a lot of raisins so I cut that in half for a 50 calorie portion.

The above gallery shows the results of calculating a 100 calorie portion for each of the ingredients in my protein oatmeal recipe. Note that as I stipulate in my manual “The 100 Calorie Diet Plan” always round down if fat loss is your goal. Check it out [HERE] if you’re curious.

After turning on the kettle to boil, I weighed out the raisins and oatmeal into the ceramic bowl and then the BSN protein into a small plastic cup. Be sure to zero your scale between items if you’re weighing more than one and don’t make mistakes. It’s hard to separate out some ingredients if you’re weighing them all together. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of the uncooked oats. I like to have the flavor cooked in but some people might prefer to add it in on top afterward.

The gallery above shows this portion of the process up to when I pour the boiling water on top. Add in about a cup of water, to taste, allowing for the oats and raisins to absorb some and swell up. Make sure there is enough water to stir in the protein. Put a plastic plate on top to allow the hot water to steam the oats and raisins and “cook” them through.

Let it steam through for a few minutes. Three to five minutes should do it. Take the improvised lid off and stir in the 100 calories of BSN protein. I prefer vanilla in this protein oatmeal recipe, but I have tried and liked strawberry too. In my opinion chocolate doesn’t taste all that good in oatmeal, but you might like it. When it’s all creamy and smooth start eating.

Results of the protein oatmeal recipe - great tasting 250 calorie meal
Results of the protein oatmeal recipe – great tasting 250 calorie meal

Experiment if you like to create your own protein oatmeal recipe. Post pics and instructions on my Facebook Page and let’s share these great tasting, low sugar, balanced meals that totally fit in with a food portion control system.

How to Weigh Out a Food Portion

In my most recent book The 100 Calorie Diet Plan (available in Print on Amazon and Createspace, and for Kindle and for Nook ebooks) I explain a food portioning scheme based in part on accurately weighing out specific food portions of 100 calories each. I’ve had a few people ask about the details on how to do this, so as a supplement to the book, here is a brief article showing an example.

Nutrition Facts Label for Salted Almonds
Nutrition Facts Label for Salted Almonds

A food portion of almonds

In this example food item, Salted Almonds, the Nutrition Facts Label tells us that 28 grams of almonds is 170 calories. Since we’re looking to have a 100 calorie portion of this food item, we’ll do some simple math to give us the weight of a 100 calorie portion. To find a per-calorie weight, we divide 170 by 28, and then divide that into 100 to find the weight of our food portion.

Divide 100 calories by the  calories per weight of your food item
Divide 100 calories by the calories per weight of your food item

For simplicity in our calculations, that’s 100 / ( 170 / 28 ) which gives us a little over 16 grams, which we round down to 16. Next we set the scale to zero with a little food container on it. Because this is a snack in the middle of the day for me, I’m going to just use a little plastic bowl. For many people this works good because then they can just dump it from the little bowl to their storage container or baggie and just keep weighing with the same bowl. For my scale, I set the bowl on it then turn it on and it automatically zeroes the scale.

Set the scale to zero with your weighing container on it
Set the scale to zero with your weighing container on it

Next carefully dump the almonds or other food item into the bowl until you get the weight you calculated from the Nutrition Facts Label, in this case 16 grams. I prefer grams because it’s fairly precise and most labels or charts will give a food portion in grams.

100 calories of salted almonds is not a lot of almonds
100 calories of salted almonds is not a lot of almonds

Surprisingly, that’s not a lot of almonds. Nuts are a fairly calorie dense food item, with only a few almonds equaling 100 calories. In my opinion, it’s one of those things that are best used in the form of thinly sliced almonds as part of a 300 calorie salad, with a 100 calorie portion of lettuce and a 100 calorie portion of dried grated Parmesan and a spritz of a low calorie soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos

body composition improvement evident in fat loss
Upper back development at 12% bodyfat after losing 60 pounds

I hope that helps you to understand a little better how to calculate and weigh out a 100 calorie portion of a food item. For my Accountability Partner clients we go into much greater detail for selecting a comprehensive plan with goals and achievements built in.

80 calories of frozen veggies

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This is what 80 calories of frozen mixed veggies looks like. Add in 8 oz. of chicken breast for a 300 calorie meal that’s pretty good and good for you. I like Fajita Seasoning on it in the steamer.

Scrambled eggs and salmon with salsa

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I used about 1/4 cup of salsa and it was pretty well absorbed by the salmon. I scrambled the eggs, then added the salmon and salsa to the pan and stirred it all up till heated through.

Steamed Salmon and Green Beans

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I’m back to my hard training diet, so a couple times a week I’ll be eating steamed fish or poultry with veggies. I’m trying to see if I can get my bodyfat into the single digits as I train for Elbrus Race 2012. I need to make sure I burn fat an keep or increase my muscle mass. I am normally a near-vegetarian, but have found that in this phase I do better with a bit of meat tossed in. I do however generally not eat mammalian meat.