SEPTEMBER 2014

  • QUICK AND DELICIOUS CHICKEN SALAD

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: The Eat Clean Diet

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    I wanted to share with you guys an awesome and easy-to-make chicken salad recipe I found on Skinny Ms.  I am too busy right now to cook so I’m constantly looking for easy recipes that I can have my husband prepare. Yesterday I found this one and passed it on so that he could make it for lunch.  We eat clean in our home so we already had all but one ingredient. My husband jumped on his moped for a quick trip to the store and within minutes was back at the house cooking away.

    We decided not to use the pita bread, but instead use the romaine leaves as a shell in order to avoid the grain.  It was slightly too “peppery” for our preference, so next time we will cut the amount of pepper in half.  Also, I personally liked the grapes so I requested that Ben add more next time.  Grilling the chicken on the bbq kept it nice and moist.

    The recipe is listed below for your convenience or click on the link to go directly to the Skinny Ms. website:

    Clean Eating Chicken Salad

    Servings: 4 | Calories: 240 | Previous Points: 4 | Points Plus: 6 | Total Fat: 2 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 43 mg | Sodium: 683 mg | Carbohydrates: 32 g | Dietary Fiber: 4 g | Sugars: 8 g | Protein: 24 g

    Ingredients

    • 2 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts – cut into cubes
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped
    • 1/4 red onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup red seedless grapes, quartered
    • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, non-fat
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • Sea salt to taste
    • 2 whole-wheat pita pockets, halved
    • 4 romaine lettuce leaves

    Directions

    In a large bowl, mix all of the salad ingredients. Chicken salad can be eaten as is or eat as a pita sandwich. Recipe serves 4.

    XO,

    Tessa

  • CARDIO CONFUSION

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

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    I can only tell you about cardio as I have witnessed with myself and my clients. There seems to be much confusion about cardio, and honestly, it’s completely understandable. Why? Because everyone reacts so differently to cardio. I’ve spent my life confused by it!

    If you had asked me in high school when I was at my heaviest, how much cardio I would need to do to lose weight, I would have told you I would have to run…FOREVER!

    Then I was introduced to Circuit Training and the combination of weights with cardio seemed to be the answer to everything. I mean everyone was saying that this would burn body fat like a banshee. Which, is true…to an extent.

    With all of these things, I was only able to get to a certain point.

    Heres a reminder of my timeline:

    1. Dropped weight by cutting portions and lost 20 pounds.

    2. Started eating “Healthier” (not clean, but low fat, low calories) and lost more weight.

    ****At this point I’m smaller but still a high amount of body fat

    3. Started doing yoga and Pilates, was able to get a little bit more toned, but not low body fat.

    4. Got pregnant, dropped sugar, dropped a bit more body fat.

    5. Started Tracey Anderson, got really small, but still felt soft!

    6. Started Circuit Training and started to see muscle definition.

    ****At this point I was still higher in body fat.

     

    This leaves me to where I am at now and what I have found!

    For certain people, it doesn’t matter what you do…if you have a high amount of muscle then anything will work! For all of you, just keep doing what you are doing.

    BUT…

    If you are like me…

    When I lose weight, the first thing that I lose is my muscle! Especially if I lose the weight through cardio or low calories!!! I can build a butt and in one month lose everything I have built if I do too much cardio or eat too little! So I get little, but never lean…

    Let me repeat that…

    With the timeline I gave you before, I couldn’t cardio my way to lean! I could be smaller, but take off the clothes and WHOA NELLIE–everything is soft! Circuit training made me fit, gave me a bigger amount of muscle, made my endurance fantastic, but I was still holding on to the last bit of body fat.

    Yet there was ONE thing that I was never willing to try!

    ONE THING that I kept ignoring all these years.

    To SLOW it down, separate the cardio from the weights, and really push weight. If felt wrong to lower cardio because of our false illusions of cardio.

    Instead of integrating 100 burps, 75 squat jumps, and 200 sprints in each Circuit Training Workout, I tried to stop moving and start focusing. I started doing a five day split with only weights, and three days of cardio (NEVER AT THE SAME TIME AS MY WEIGHT TRAINING).

    Suddenly my body fat dropped dramatically.

    So here’s the point of this post…

    If you are always feeling as though you are working SO hard and nothing is helping you get LEAN like you want to be, then I suggest that you slow it down and lift.

    Here’s a trick to know whether you are in the right place to try this…

    1. Are you connected to every single muscle? Can you stretch out your arms and feel your triceps behind your arm? Can you squeeze every muscle on your body and feel it contract? If not, you need to slow it down and come back to an understanding of each muscle. Feel it move. Feel it contract. If you can’t feel it when you start lifting slow and steady, just go through the motions and give it a couple of days. The feeling will begin to connect with your brain.

    Eventually after slow and steady lifting, you should be connected to every muscle. This gives our movements more focus!!

    2. If you have so much cardio in between all of your weight lifting that your ability to lift heavy is dramatically decreased, then you might need to slow it down. We can waste a lot of muscle energy on cardio and never get connected to our muscles.

    3. If you have a tendency to lose any definition the smaller you get, then you might need to work on building before you can ever think about more cardio.

    4. If you are working out and working out, and eating clean and you still don’t ever drop weight or body fat (in fact, you feel bigger the more you workout) you might want to try and slow it down!

    5. Try and follow these suggested guidelines:

    ***If you have never worked out and need to lose 30+ pounds-add cardio in for 3-5 days a week, 30-45 minutes. Any exercise and eating healthy will help you lose.

    ***If you are healthy, fit, and you have tried everything, but you can’t lose the last few pounds…and your circuit trainings are mixed with weights and cardio and it’s STILL not working, you may be overdoing the cardio. Slow it down. Do more back to back sets, and extend your energy on higher weights.

    ***If you seem to be able to change your body into what you desire regardless of what you try, then congratulations, you are blessed!

    Overall, people should aim for 2-3 sessions of 30 minute cardio or 2 sessions of HIIT for 10-20 minutes, and 4-5 sessions of strength training for forty-five minutes.

    I hope that helps!

    XO,

    Tessa