Tip of the Week # 18: Quality vs. Quanitity

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When it comes to the food you put into your body, its more than just “calories in and calories out”… The food you consume is either going to benefit you nutritionally or its not, its either going to give you energy, vitamins, minerals, fiber and everything else or it may make you feel lethargic, worn out or give you a sugar rush that will most likely die within a few hours. So when picking out your food according to price vs. nutrition is a huge thing that a lot of people have a hard time doing.

All the time I hear “eating healthy is expensive” Yeah sure, some of it can be, not gonna deny that. But… I dare you to go to your produce isle and look at how much a bag of 10 potatoes is, or how much a bunch of spinach or romaine is…. a bag of potatoes is about $4 (and there usually are like 10 potatoes in there!) Then go over to the lettuce options you have (not he pre-packaged pre-made salads the actual bunch of leafs… they usually are about $1 $1.50 each bunch ) If your buy 2 or 3 of those, make your own salad mix A. you usually get more than the pre-packaged salads and B. its usually half the price. Key to buying healthy foods is to know where you can save money.

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Now that I got that rant off my chest with a little example were gonna discuss how quality is so much more important to quality. Sure have a few cookies or a pop tart here and there but not every day. Your goal is to get healthy right? Well here are some things to consider when you reach for that junk food.

  • Fake sugar and sugar in general – Now I’m not saying a little sugar is bad. Sometimes you need a little to keep your sanity hahaha.. and sugar from things like fruit aren’t as bad as your actual table sugar…. When you eat sugar or too much sugar is spikes your insulin levels .. which can result in diseases like diabetes and whatnot. When  you insulin levels are spiked you body is constantly trying to “burn that sugar off” first. And with that insulin being spiked your body is going to have a  harder time getting to that fat burning zone. Needless to say sugar any kind, fake or not, your body isn’t used to the amount we normally put into it  now-a-days. Do you really think our systems as humans were meant to eat potato chips, Oreos and sugary cereal all day? or at all for that matter? Limit your sugar intake and you’ll see a change, guarantee it. (I’ll do a post on how to curn sugar cravings and other options you can use that are better than sugar soon if ya’ll would like.)

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  • Ok so as we talked about Oreos and Cereal …. lets take a look at that. So  yeah its yummy don’t get me wrong and like I said, enjoy a fricken oreo here and there (you need to find a balance) but do NOT eat the whole pack in 2 days haha. So when looking at cereal, have you actually looked at the ingredients in Captain Crunch? (I’m picking Captain because its one or was, one of my favs =)) Besides looking at how many calories are in the food and calling it done, I want you to grab a box of a sugary (usually Kellogg’s) cereal and go over to Kashi cereal. Look at the ingredients on the bottom of the nutrition panel. Do you recognize everything in the Captain Crunch? Do you in the Kashi? I bet there is less in Kashi as well. Now…… here is where people don’t realize. . . . yeah Kashi is $4 and Captain is probably $1 .. $2 I don’t know.. So with that and looking at the ingredents, I bet one of the first few ingredients in Captain is “Enriched Bleached Flour” .. Yup! Its exactly what it sounds like, I might as well go grab my flour, bring it down to the laundry room and make my own. sad to say but yes, its true… they bleach it. and I bet the ingredient sugar isn’t far behind it on the list. On the flipside, Kashi probably says something like “Whole Wheat rolled Oats” or something. Now that should like something healthy right ? … and it definitely doesn’t sound like a chemical shit storm… Pay attention to ingredients and look for as minimal as possible.

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  • Lets talk about nutrition (the main point). So which do you think will fill you up faster? A burger from a fast food place? Or a salad? Well the thing is, they both “fill you up” just depends on how long your going to stay full for, which is going to provide your body with the nutrients, vitamins and fiber your body needs to run at top notch and which one is healthier (because being healthy is the main goal here). If your keeping track of your calories (which you should be because you’d be surprised how much you actually eat sometimes). You will notice how easy it is to get up to 1800 calories by eating crap foods. I mean good grief, 2 chips ahoy cookies is 150 calories alone, and between you and me… I cant just eat two at a time, its usually like 4 or 5 ( which equals 300+ cal) haha. Whereas, if you were to cook up 4oz of chicken and some fresh broccoli or whatever veggie you’d like .. the calories is going to be around 180-200 in that. So now that you see you would get to consume more food by eating healthier foods, you have to stop and think about which one is going to “fuel” your body. 4 cookies or a piece of chicken and veggies. The choice is yours but I think I made my point… plus I don’t know about you… but id rather eat a lot, then only have a small amount of food and feel groggy all day.

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  • One more point, sure at first eating healthy sucks (been there, I used to live on ramen, Tostitos pizza and all kinds of horrible things that I usually don’t eat now .. only for a treat do I do that)  But once you start getting used to it, its really not that bad. You start to get creative in the kitchen, you get a fun cookbook, you start to have fun looking for different spices and herbs. Learn to make it fun, get the whole family in on it and don’t look at it as a chore, your taking care of yourself. I personally like to think that my body is the only one I get, I either spend the money on fresh food or I will spend that money at the dr. later on in life. You’ll also notice a significant change in things like energy, sleep patterns and much more.

Plus I saw brown rice, dry beans and frozen veggies at the dollar store … so don’t tell me its expensive, you’re making excuses.

And don’t feel like you have to do everything at once, I didn’t, take baby steps.. this way you don’t quit or get overwhelmed.

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Baked Garlic Fiesta Lime Tilapia

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You’ll Need:

  • Tilapia , I used about 8 pieces .. enough to fill the baking dish.
  • 3 limes
  • 1/2 purple onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fiesta lime Mrs. Dash seasoning
  • Fresh cilantro

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How to:

  • Preheat oven to 370
  • Cut up onion into pieces, mince your garlic and slice 2 of the limes into rounds.
  • Place tilapia into glass baking dish and season with Mrs. Dash.
  • Sprinkle garlic, and onions and the 2 cut up limes over top
  • Cut the last lime and only squeeze the juice over the fish.
  • Add about 1/4 cup water into pan to keep it from sticking to the pan (you also can use olive oil if you’d like)
  • Bake for about 40 min or until done.
  •  Garnish with cilantro and ………………. Enjoy!

Side note: I did add a little bit of garlic salt to it once it was all finished, but you don’t have to… I’m just a garlic freak.

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Baked Garlic & Herb French Fries (no oil)

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Story time first! … (recipe is below if you don’t want to hear my story lol… but I think it was kinda funny personally)  Ok so my boyfriend actually has been doing pretty good through this whole “I want to do a competition” thing. Hes been helping with food prep, supporting me when I lose my shit and dealing with my low-carb mood swings haha. I’m very blessed, that’s all I have to say! … so anyways…..We were driving around and it was becoming dinner time soon for him anyways ( I still had like 2 more meals to eat) But for the most part he’s been eating what Ive been eating give or take some extra carbs or something for him… So the other day he was like “I’m gonna get Good Times” and kind of gave me a look of “please don’t hate me … and is that ok?” lol and I understand … I’m not going to deprive him from things just because I have a goal… its not his goal he can eat/do what he wants… So we order it and he gets the bag and puts it in-between himself and the driver-side door so its not staring at me in the face (aww so considerate)…. So I’m all “you can put it on the center console so it doesn’t fall and spill everywhere” so he does…

I literally looked out the window because all I can smell is those fries… (and if you know me, I’ve never really been a fry fan anyways … but ohhhh Good Times fries just sounded good.. ) .. so I looked down and there is seriously a little fry sticking out of the bag, I swore it was like mocking me. hahha.

So I looked at him and was like .. ” yeah put this back over to your side and we need to go home NOW, so I can make my chicken and asparagus” lol… he just laughed at me and headed  home…. So that’s my story.. I think it was funnier in person, oh well… but anyways I made these and they weren’t “Good Times” fries, but they definitely curbed that craving!!!  ENJOY!

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Recipe:

You’ll need:

As many potatoes as you want ( I used Red Gold for this and I only used 2 potatoes total… but then again I can only have so many carbs right now … so keep that in mine, One potato this size measures out to be about 1 cup)

and Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasonings …

THATS IT! BOOM!  ( p.s. I love minimal ingredient recipes!!! )

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How to:

  • Put potatoes into desired shapes or slices
  • Pre- Heat Oven to 345
  • Lay a piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet and spread out the potato chunks evenly on the baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle Ms. Dash seasoning onto the pieces – jut enough to lightly cover them (it helps if you flip them too so the seasoning gets everywhere)
  • Bake for about 20-25 min depending on how fast your potato cooks. … (I did turn on the broiler for out 5 min just so they came out a little more golden and crisp! )
  • Let cool and Enjoy!

nom nom nom

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Side note: You can basically do this with any potato and any seasoning, no need for oil which helps save on calories!! =) – I might try a southwest Chipotle seasoning next time!

Also, I found a lower sugar Ketchup that’s not too bad either!  But different flavored mustards are delish too!

kats5 cal per tablespoon – 1g sugar! BOOM

Breakfast Oats

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You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup dry instant oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup red Raspberries
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • Chia and/or hemp seeds to sprinkle

Annnnnnd any other goodies you’d like to add would be juuuust fine!

Prepare oats to package, add goodies and milk and enjoy – cool thing about oats it you can pretty much put anything on it …

Other goodie ideas:

  • any fruit (blackberries, apple slices, banana, pear slices, pineapple, peaches, strawberries, ect)
  • Spices (pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, vanilla extract. )
  • Milks (cows, hemp, almond, rice, soy)
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, chia, hemp, flax, pecans)
  • chocolate chips – yep! you just read that right hahaha

 

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I survived Week 1 ! ( 15 Weeks Out)

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HAHA, I like the title of this blog post …. Ok so you may be asking, How did it go? OMG.. talk about some up’s and down’s haha.

  • Diet – I’ve never ate so much food in my life. Its funny when people think you don’t eat and you’re starving yourself to get to this competition weight .. ( even my parents kind of gave me the look of “are you eating?” a few times since I’ve started this goal). When you actually eat whole complete foods and start eating what your body needs to survive instead of things you “want” or “think you need” that’s when you start so see some huge changes. When you actually start focusing on the nutrition side and meeting macronutrients, you’d be surprised how much food you can actually consume and how little or filling an appropriate amount of calories can be and feel. I’m currently carb cycling and hoping to learn more about this ( wanting to do a blog post on it too, but not till I fully understand it since I don’t want to put out information that isn’t correct to you guys) so my calories kind of go up and down. One day it will be around 1700 cal with higher carb down to 1350 cal with higher fat …. its seriously a science and I’m lucky I have a coach through this because I don’t really know what to look for or know what’s working and what isn’t yet.

What kinda of food am I eating? ? TONS of protein haha.

  • Protein – chicken, turkey, beef, shakes
  • Carbs – Oats, Banana, Brown and white rice, Quinoa, Potatoes and Sweet potato
  • Veggies – Kale, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, romaine and spinach.
  • Fats- mostly almond butter and a little bit coming from my dressing for salads , some avocado, some raw nuts like almonds or cashews.
  • Other Items – Low sugar ketchup (so happy I can have this haha, I’m a ketchup freak and I found one that has only 1 g sugar and 5 calories …and he said go for it!) … he’ll probably take it away closer to comp though, mustard, salsa, any spices (Ms. dash is a staple since its salt free), stevia, tea, every once in a while I will drink a cup of black coffee with stevia but its just not that same as a Starbucks haha , BCAA, lemon juice.
  • water water water- a gallon a day I try to shoot for.

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Pretty simple, yet can be boring at times. I understand sugar addiction even more now and never realized how much I crave bread. Everyday its something random that I’m craving too, one day its fruit, anther I seriously just want a cookie lol.

Things I have been using to bust the cravings…

  • Gum, Deserts gum is amazing haha.. but I have everything from minty, fruity, to cinnamon roll flavor.
  • Tea- you should see how many tea boxes I have right now, ridiculous.
  • I have a few different flavors of BCAA (branch chain amino acids) that help me when I want something sweet
  • Using different seasonings and spices, like I stated before, I have about every Ms. Dash made, and I have tried some weird concoctions on some things you wouldn’t think taste good but do… like tomato, basil, garlic flavor on a cut of steak… waaa?? … I’ve also accepted my “desert time” is in the morning with my oats and banana hahha.
  •  I have gummy multi-vitamins too, I usually try not to take them too often or I rotate them between my days since your body has a harder time digesting a gummy rather than a softgell (plus they have a little more sugar too) but on my lower carb day … it definitely keeps me on track and from losing my shi*.
  • When all else fails… Win and doubt, add more veggies…

So now this next part I thought wasn’t going to be the hard part… HA! I was wrong!! O so wrong!!! Workouts. HOLY SHIT. pardon my language … but Holy…

These workouts are probably the most taxing and difficult workouts I’ve ever done! I figured since I usually spent 2 hours in the gym every day I would have had this part down, I was more nervous about how the diet was going to change. . . . Ha! Rude awakening let me tell you!!

So when I met with my coach to go over everything … he kinda looked at me and was like “lets see how hard you work!” … oh sweet baby Jesus please save me came through my mind…. haha

Its amazing  how a few little tweaks and upping the number or sets and reps and lowering the weights can make THAT much of a difference in not only the difficulty and intensity along with the changes I saw within just the first week!

What do the workouts look like? Its a rotation of 6 days a week, weights and HITT cardio. with 1 rest day (which is low carb day and you’d think I would look forward to rest day, but since I don’t get my endorphins pumping and then with low carbs – which I can see why its low carb since your body mainly needs that “fuel” for your workouts … its just a rough day in general.) … and I may have snapped at Evan ( my boyfriend) a few times and its only week 2…ops! He’s a keeper if he lasts till October.. =)

 

last week :

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This week:

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What I’m noticing with my mentality and overall mindset….

So as I’ve wanted to give into my cravings or wimp put on a few sets of a certain exercise. …. you almost have to pep talk yourself back up. Its so much of a mind game than it is a “prep” its crazy that I’m actually having a struggle with this because this is like the NUMBER ONE thing I honestly believe has a major impact on your life in general. I’ve written a few blogs on the power of positive thinking, and always try to see the positive side to everything. I love motivational speakers, quotes and if you ask me what the big “secret” is … I will always say “You have to believe in yourself and that you can do it.. no doubts” But omg, I almost feel like I wasn’t ready for this next level of belief I guess. I have so much coming towards me all at once that everything I do or don’t do is going to affect my future. And that realization is a bit scary, not going to lie. But a quote I absolutely LOVE and I keep telling myself … “How bad do you want it?” The rest of the quote is below but when I feel like things are too hard, or I just want to be done or quit (Yes, I’m admitting I’ve wanted to quit a few times… Hell I’ve been at this for a year now and I’m only human)… I always ask myself this. And along with that I remind myself … “if it excites you scares the crap out of you at the same time, its probably something you should do”….

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With that being said I’m still going strong and I will do my best to keep you guys updated on everything.

I feel like I’m on the right path, I feel like everyday more and more people come to me and either share their success with me and tell me that I’ve helped them or inspired them and that is like the #1 reason I love what I’m doing. This makes me want to push myself harder than before and its weird because I get that drive from not only making myself better but from you guys. So keep sending me your crazy gym and food prep snap chats because I love them. =)

Some opportunities that have came my way… not sure where they will lead, but anxious to find out!

  • I moved jobs into a supplement store, leading me to meet tons of new people with experience doing what I’m on track to do. Whether they have competed, helped people get to compete or even just meeting people who are just starting out on their weight loss. I always get the “you probably don’t understand” look for the more overweight crowd and when I show them a picture or tell them my story, I can tell it has an effect when I mention to them if I can do it so can they, they just have to believe they can… This is also how I meet my coach. =)
  • I have been offered and audition for a supplement company to be a model and rep their products when I finally get down to that weight and “look” – they even might come to my show and support/watch me!
  • I’ve been asked numerous times if I’m a trainer at my gym, and then the manager asked me if I would like to be one and even offered to pay for the schooling to get a personal training certificate.
  • Tons of people have commented on how much progress I’ve made just in the last few months … ad to keep going.
  • This blog was nominated for an award that sadly didn’t get, but still being nominated is something huge in my mind.

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So what do I want o do? HA I have no clue, just following life where it leads me …

  • personal trainer
  • coach for competitions
  • personal and competition chef
  • fitness model and/or rep
  • competitor ( pro card? )
  • registered dietitian
  • weight loss and health coach

some of those ideas seem so far fetched in my mind right now (but looking back, being 210lbs.. I would have said standing on stage in a bikini was far fetched ha.. ) , but I know if I keep pushing myself towards this, it may become a possibility …. I just have to believe it is .

 

 

Garlic and Herb Tuna Salad

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Had this the other day and it was delish!!! … after eating though, I could have gone without the dressing … but its all about a learning experience and seeing what works for you too. But anyways! Here is the recipe!

 

1 cup spinach and baby greens mix

50g (5 slices) cucumber

1 oz avocado

1 packet of tuna ( for this is used Tuna Creations Garlic and Herb flavor but lemon pepper is yummy too! ) =74g

1 oz chopped orange bell pepper

2tbs Walden Farms Chipotle Ranch dressing <— this is what I felt like I could have done without because the avocado acted as a dressing… but its all up to ya’ll.

 

Nutrition Breakdown:

Calories- 250

Protein- 17.5

Carbohydrate: 13.4

Fat: 14.5

 

ps. follow my instagram! I post all kinds of motivational stuff, quotes, recipes, and other stuff!! @amanda_fit_

 

How much should I eat? (portion control)

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So measuring up portions can be tricky when people are constantly telling you to eat this and eat that. Or their telling you to have 4oz chicken…. Well that’s all fine and dandy if you have a food scale but lets get honest, most of ya’ll don’t have one. So how do you know how much if right for you personally? The average 4oz is fine but say a bodybuilder at 210lbs is going to need more than a young 20 year old girl at 130lbs…. so here are some basics when it comes to portions and knowing how much to eat for you.

Keep in mind portion and serving sizes are different too. Serving size is just a standard way they measure food. Portion is how much you actually pile on your place. Both are a part of weight loss and very important.

1. Close your hand into a fist. This usually amounts to anywhere around 1 cup depending on your hand. If you look at your spouses fist it may be bigger than yours, that’s because his/her body may require more calories and thus bigger portions.

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  • Veggies (portion is 2 fists worth (2 cups) ..but in reality you can eat as MUCH veggies as you want!!!)
  • Carbs – brown rice, sweet potato, cereals, quinoa, beans, oats, fruit.

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2. Open up your hand and just look at the palm. Depending on how big your hand is its usually around 3-5 oz size. This is your protein sizing. Turn your hand to the side, this is how thick your meat should be and or make up for the size if your piece of meat is thicker than your hand.. (you know… use common sense haha) ** ONLY the palm, no fingers included lol**

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  • Meats (chicken, turkey, game, tofu, steak, fish, eggs etc.)

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3. Now give yourself a thumbs up! =) (hee hee) this is your fats and dressings. Usually keep it at about a tablespoon.

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  • Almond/peanut butters
  • Salad dressings
  • Seasonings (I like Mrs. Dash – no salt! )
  • Sour Cream and Cream Cheese – if your trying to lose weight .. limit these.

4. Tip of your thumb is about a teaspoon.

  • oils
  • butters

Hope this helps for those of you without a scale or for when your out to eat and the restaurant gives you a HUGE serving …. just eat “your portion size” and take the rest home. You can have the rest at another time =)

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** Count your calories and macronutrients , don’t go over or under but get them as close to your goal as you can. Workout and be patient.. the rest will fall into place! YOU GOT THIS! =)