Day 2 of Detox

Wrapping up day 2 so much better than day 1! As predicted, this day started out smoother & as a result I was a lot less hungry. I have to work on my meal timing so I can get more protein in earlier but otherwise a good day. My carbs look a little high but, if I subtract the fiber from veggies I’m actually good! No exercise; just some yoga stretches and my weekly ART treatment. Here’s what my meals for the day looked like:

Breakfast – 1/4 cup of oats with 1 tsp peanut butter. Coffee with approx. 1 tbsp caramel macchiato creamer.

Lunch – 4 oz. ground turkey, 1 oz brown rice, 2 oz string beans, 1 mushroom quartered

Dinner – 2 whole eggs, 2 mushrooms quartered, sprinkle of shredded cheese, 2 oz sliced turkey, 1 oz Brussels

Snacks – quest bar, protein cookie, protein chips, rice cake. I also had a second coffee made with unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 packet of Splenda.

Water – 64 oz – much less than yesterday and I’m feeling it

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Winter Detox

I don’t know about you but I’m in serious need of a detox. I practice flexible dieting – mostly clean eating with some treats thrown in the mix. However, lately I’ve been WAY too flexible. So, I’ve decided enough is enough. Let’s get 2018 started off right! Beginning this Monday, January 15, I will be doing a 30-day winter detox. That word “detox” often scares people. Hell…it scares me too. I don’t believe in juicing or following any type of extreme diet. History has taught me that you will do much more harm than good by following any type of prolonged elimination. This detox is just a way to get our bodies and minds back on track. For 30-days we will be following a strictly clean, protein-heavy diet. No cheat/treat days/meals. Now, I do realize Superbowl Sunday falls in the midst of this. I will likely be participating so I will personally be extending my own detox a few days. Anyone following along can bring their own food to the party or do as I will. I’ve compiled a list to take shopping this weekend. We will be eating 3 meals and two snacks per day (a total of 5 “meals”). I will post everything I eat on here and on MyFitnessPal for you guys to see. If there is something you enjoy and you don’t see it on this list, please feel free to reach out! Also important to note, you do not have to purchase everything you see. This is just a list of compliant foods for the 30-day detox program. You can find these foods at any local supermarket.

  • Oats (quick, old fashioned, or steel cut – none of that pre-made, packaged garbage)
  • Plain, greek yogurt
  • Eggs/egg whites
  • Tuna (solid white, preferred. Always packed in water, not oil!)
  • Brown Rice
  • Low carb wraps (Trader Joe’s)
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers (English or regular)
  • Tomatoes
  • Chickpeas, black beans, or any beans you’d like (make sure they aren’t packed in oil or soaked in some sauce)
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet potato
  • Quinoa
  • Chicken or turkey breast
  • Ground Turkey or chicken
  • Steak or ground beef – whichever cut you like…just make sure it’s very lean!
  • Peppers
  • Butternut squash
  • Veggies (kale, asparagus, string beans, zucchini, brussels, broccoli, cauliflower, etc)
  • Tilapia, salmon, or whatever fish you prefer
  • Almonds, cashews
  • Shredded cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Peanut butter or almond butter
  • Seltzer (plain or flavored)
  • Brown rice cakes (Trader Joe’s sells a good one!)
  • Edamame
  • Protein pasta (Banza is a really good one and easy to find)
  • Unsweetened cashew, coconut, or almond milk (for shakes and soups)

**Not listed here are my kitchen staples (balsamic vinegar, cooking spray/oil, hot sauce, mustard, spices, etc.) as well as my protein powder /BCAAs.**

Water – make sure you are drinking 8-10 glasses (or 80-100oz) of water per day!

Protein Bars – You want to look for bars high in protein and low in sugar. You also want to be careful with carbs. Here’s a tip – look at the fiber then subtract from your carbs. That produces net carbs, which you should aim to always be under 10. Quest bars are excellent for this. RX bars have a higher carb count but have minimal and very clean ingredients. Depending on what you are eating throughout the day, this can be another good option. Other good options include No Cow & Paleo bars. If there is a brand that you prefer and you think will fit the criteria, send to me & I will let you know if it can be added

Fruit – this is tricky. A lot of fruits are extremely high in sugar and while it is always better than eating a cookie or candy, you still need to be mindful. They do contain a lot of vitamins and minerals so we will keep them on. For the next 30-days, stick with berries such as blueberries and raspberries. You can also use lemons or limes for your water. I would steer clear of grapes, apples, and melons for now. Bananas are loaded with sugar and carbs but are excellent before or after a workout. For that reason, I will allow bananas on the plan if you eat them sparingly…and only around an intense workout.

Coffee – If you know me, you know I rarely am seen without a cup of coffee in hand. I’ve done diets where it’s forbidden…and I have yet to figure out why. Of course, like most things, too much caffeine is not good. However, in moderation it’s fine. Now…what you put into your coffee may be another story. I always put almond milk in mine. Sometimes I get fancy and buy coffee creamer- which is eyeballed to the serving size. I don’t like super sweet coffee so that’s good enough for me. I recommend the same for all of you. NO SUGAR ADDED for the next 30 days. If you’re usual order is light & sweet you will have to adjust. Use skim milk and stevia (or Splenda if, like me, you hate stevia). Be careful to not use too much of those sweeteners! If you’re going to use creamers, measure it out. We often put way more than we think! You can also buy the creamers pre-portioned in small cups, also making them portable!

I will be posting some recipes and some of the foods I like on here tomorrow. Check out my Instagram for even more info – @thefight2befit

Let’s work!!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

Gina

Spicy Chickpeas & Hummus Recipe

What you’ll need:

  • One 14 oz. can chickpeas (preferably not in oil), rinsed and drained
  • Paprika
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

For the hummus:

  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt

Directions: 

  1. Add chickpeas to a pan and toast on medium heat until liquid dissolves. Do not add oil or anything besides chickpeas to the pan!
  2. Sprinkle paprika to cover the chickpeas. Add crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  3. Once liquid dissolves, remove chickpeas from heat and let cool.


To make the hummus:

  1. In a blender (or magic bullet) add a tablespoon each of lemon juice and olive oil. 
  2. Add half of the chickpeas (or all if using a blender not bullet), a pinch of salt, and a 3-count of water. 
  3. Blend completely.
  4. If using a bullet, add the remaining chickpeas and another 2-count of water. Blend. *NoteYou may want to add a little more salt and red pepper flakes at this point, according to individual taste.*
  5. Sprinkle paprika on top and cover. Refrigerate for 3 hours or more and enjoy!


Happy snacking!!

-Gina

Summertime Shred Recipes

The first week of my Summertime Shred is in the books!! While I may be loosely following a workout plan from Bodybuilding.com, I decided to create my own meal plan for this 6-week shred. After the last shred I did in 2014, I couldn’t deal with the crazy restrictions. No more poverty macros and minimal calories for this girl! I created a flexible diet plan which is high in protein and doesn’t leave me hungry every night. I’ve also come up with a few amazing recipes that are sure to jazz up even the strictest diet. Whether you are following along with my shred or just looking for some healthy recipes, these will satisfy even your toughest critic. Best of all? You can make them all in 30 minutes or less! Check them out and let me know what you think!

 

Chili-Lime Chicken Burgers

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*This recipe can be used for tilapia as well. Just coat the fish with lime juice first then add seasonings before placing in a grill pan.*

  • 1 pound/package of ground chicken (I use Perdue)
  • 1 tsp chili powder (or more if you prefer things spicier)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • olive oil
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • parsley, optional
  1. Combine spices and ground chicken together. Divide meat into 4 parts  and create burger patties.
  2. Lightly coat the bottom of a grill pan with olive oil and heat to medium high. Place burgers in pan.
  3. Cook each side until brown (approx 5-8 min per side), then lower heat to medium and cover.
  4. Continue to cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
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Chili-Lime Tilapia

Butternut Squash Soup

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*This recipe is for 1 serving…and is absolutely perfect for a quick meal! I roast the squash ahead of time using a little cinnamon and black pepper. I place in a container and portion it out for the week. However, if you used the entire batch, it would serve at least 4. You will have to add more liquid, accordingly.*

  • 1 cup of cut butternut squash (I use Trader Joe’s pre-cut variety)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened cashew or coconut milk
  1. In a blender (or magic bullet), combine squash and 1/2 cup of milk. Blend until creamy.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine blended squash with remaining milk. Heat on medium and stir. Continue to cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until heated through.
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Roasted Butternut Squash

 

Turkey Chili

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*I’ve posted this before, but it’s so good that it’s worth posting again 🙂 I serve mine over brown rice but you can enjoy a nice, hearty bowl of this chili without the rice and it will taste just as good!*

  • 1 pound/package of ground turkey
  • 1/2 can of diced tomatoes (approx. 7 oz)
  • 1/4 cup of frozen bell pepper strips
  • chili powder
  • parsley
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  1. In a large saucepan with a little olive oil (to coat the bottom of pan), combine turkey and spices. Cook on medium high heat and brown evenly.
  2. Add diced tomatoes & peppers as well as hot sauce, if you choose. Add a 1/4 cup of water and lower heat to simmer.
  3. Cover & continue to cook for approximately 20 minutes. Serve over brown rice (optional) and top with your favorite cheese.

 

Baked Sweet Potato “Fries”

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*Serves 1 – to serve more, use additional potatoes.*

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled
  • cinnamon/black pepper, to taste
  1. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut sweet potato length-wise into strips. Place strips on cookie sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on top.
  3. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

 

Have suggestions for what I should cook up next? Email me at TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com and let me know!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

Gina

Game Day Essentials

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One of the hardest things about being on a weight loss journey is learning to make healthy choices with food. Whether it’s a simple dinner at a restaurant or a celebration it can be really hard to make smart choices with so many temptations in front of you. It can be especially hard while watching sporting events. I was reminded of just this with the Superbowl this weekend. I read somewhere that the average person consumes 5,000 calories during the big game. 5,000. That’s insane! We are all working way too hard on our fitness and/or health goals for that nonsense. I have come up with several healthy alternatives to typical Superbowl snacks. Try them out and let me know what you think!

Buffalo Chicken:  You can’t really have a Superbowl party or watch any sports without buffalo chicken. The normal version is deep fried chicken wings/tenders. Well…not mine. I have two different ways to give the same feel…with a fraction of the calories.

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For the wings, I marinate the wings in the sauce early in the day. Then about 1-2 hours before kickoff I get them going in an oven on 375. I take care to flip often so they are evenly cooked. Then about 30 minutes before I take them out I turn the oven up to 450 and let them crisp up. The wings pictured are BBQ and Buffalo flavored. I also make boneless version of this. I marinate the chicken in buffalo sauce then using a regular grill pan, I cook the chicken breast on the stove. Once it’s cooked, I pour a little more sauce on top before serving. The key is also to making your own buffalo sauce. Hot sauce contains a lot of sodium so the key is to marinate the chicken and let the excess drip off. I also don’t put a lot of butter in my sauce. This weekend, I used a butter alternative but if that is not available to you, use one pat of the real deal and that’s it. Butter is only used to make the sauce coat the chicken better anyway. Add pepper, parsley, and other seasonings to your taste thereafter.

Mac N Cheese: I LOVE mac n cheese but let’s be honest – it’s not the best for the waistline. Now, all pasta will contain the carbs but I have found a way to make the cheese sauce a lot less fattening.

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I use whole wheat pasta to start then in a separate pot I combine fat free american cheese and a 1/4 cup of unsweetened cashew milk. Yes, cashew milk. I have become a HUGE fan of that stuff…it is super creamy and I swear it makes everything taste better. I also mixed in a sprinkle of shredded cheese to thicken it up a bit, rather than using flour, and I added a little black pepper and parsley. The result was incredible!

Dips: This may be one of the biggest killers at a party. You just mindlessly dip the assortment of snacks as you watch the game…ignoring the crazy amount of calories consumed. You can make your own dip by subbing out the sour cream for Greek yogurt…or you can avoid it altogether, as I did. I made hummus and guacamole. Both contain the essential good fat and taste great.

Next time you host a party or attend a sporting event, do your best to make healthy choices. While it’s okay to indulge from time to time, it’s important to not go so far overboard that you ruin all of your hard work. There are always better alternatives available so it’s up to you to be strong and actually take them. Remember your goals and keep your eye on the prize – it will make the decision to be healthy that much easier.

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

Gina
TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

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I’m not usually into meatless alternatives. I may not eat red meat…but I DO like my poultry and fish. However, this made me a believer!

I was given Textured Soy Protein. I had no idea what that was or what to make with it so I went to Google. When I saw this pop up from AllRecipes.com, I knew I had to give it a try! As per usual with me, I put my own spin on it to adapt to my own liking and health needs. Feel free to do the same – and let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did ❤

Vegan Stuffed Peppers
Serves 1

Ingredients:
2 tbsp brown rice (uncooked)
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup soy or vegetable protein
1 bell pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt & pepper, to taste
**I also topped mine with a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese. To make this totally vegan, use a soy or vegan cheese alternative.

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, add rice and water on medium heat. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
2. While the rice cooks, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep cookie sheet or baking dish with foil. Seed and cut bell pepper (length-wise.) Place pepper on covered dish/sheet and set aside.
3. In a medium pot add oil, protein, and parsley on medium heat. Stir in tomato sauce. Let simmer.
4. Add semi-cooked rice to protein mixture along with salt & pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
5. Spoon protein/rice mixture into each pepper half. Cover with foil and place in oven for 40 minutes.
6. Remove foil and sprinkle cheese on top. Cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
7. Remove from oven. Serve and enjoy!

#Whole30 Restaurant Tips & Snack Suggestions

Just a few more days and this diet will be a distant memory. It’s been pretty rough on me. The first week I was hungry all the time…so I upped my portion sizes and added more meat to my diet. Then my stomach started to retaliate. Now I’m back to being hungry all the time. Sugar cravings haven’t stopped at all…in fact they’ve only gotten worse with time. To be honest, that’s exactly why I don’t believe in elimination-type diets like this. When you completely eliminate something you love, it will only make you binge on it later. I did this diet as an experiment but it’s failed pretty miserably.

Despite my misery and all of the issues that I’ve experienced, I continued to stick it out. I came up with some snacking suggestions to beat hunger, while staying #whole30 compliant. I also figured out what to eat at certain restaurants…should you be going stir-crazy and want a break from the kitchen.

Now the rules for #Whole30 state you aren’t supposed to snack…but that’s impossible. There is no way you can survive eating just the 3 measily meals..especially if you workout. So, I’ve come up with some suggestions to conquer your hunger and keep you fueled all day long.
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  • Larabars – these bad boys have saved me. They say to not eat them except for emergencies however if you get the fully compliant ones (cashew cookie is a perfect example) you should have no issues.
  • Monkey salad (comprised of nuts, sliced banana, and coconut chips.) I found that this is perfect to fuel a workout.
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  • Frozen blueberries with coconut chips
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  • Apple slices with cinnamon
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  • Apple slices and frozen blueberries
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Now, just because you are on this crazy diet doesn’t mean you can’t go out and enjoy life with friends and loved ones. I’ve found that going out breaks up the monotony of what I normally cook and eat…and someone else does the dishes! Below you will find some suggestions I have for eating at restaurants on this diet.

  • Look at the salad options first. More often than not, these are gigantic portions and contain mostly compliant foods. Carefully view the ingredients and after you make your selection, order the salad with oil and vinegar on the side.
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  • Turkey burgers (or regular if you can eat them) – order them off the bun (obviously) with a side salad or baked potato. Sweet potato fries may also be okay if you know the restaurant to not deep fry them. If you don’t know, ask!image

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  • Look for grilled meats and fishes then order a vegetable or sweet potato on the side. Virtually every restaurant under the sun will offer this option. While it may not be the most exciting…it is definitely compliant. Just make sure no butter is used and you should be good to go.
  • Omelettes – This is one of the best options I feel. You can order egg white omelettes and often get just about any vegetable in it. AND they almost always come with home fries. win-win. Just make sure that they don’t use butter or milk in the eggs and you’re in the clear 🙂
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  • Diners seem to offer the easiest solution. They have huge menus with endless possibilities. Be cautious and ask questions
  • Ladies and gentlemen…CHIPOTLE! They offer a glorious salad option – stay away from the cheese and you’re set! Also, you can ask them to add a little extra chicken and they usually will for no extra charge…especially when they see how little is in the bowl.
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    •Last (and most important): No matter which restaurant you choose…always ask your server questions! Their job is to provide a service. You are on a special diet and most times the restaurant will do whatever it takes to accommodate you. You could even call ahead and ask the questions prior to your visit if that makes things easier.

    Whether you’re doing this diet or just trying to eat healthy, give it your all. This diet has been really hard on me physically but I’m not giving up. I promise to write a full review (warning-it won’t be pretty) once it ends later this week. Work hard, lift heavy, and NEVER QUIT! After all, nothing worth having comes easy.

    Stay strong & stay in the fight!

    -Gina
    TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com