Archive | October, 2012

The Pain of Wisdom

30 Oct

Exams are looming.. my first exam is in less than 1 week!! I’m excited… for the holidays haha so sick of studying!! But to be honest, I don’t what I’ll do with all of my spare time – probably research nutrition, supplements and exercises!! 😛

I’ve had some crappy luck… I got a terrible toothache last week and my mum INSISTED I go to a dentist to get it checked (I thought it was just pain from my wisdom teeth coming through) but turns out I had a whopping big abscess full of pus around my wisdom tooth (aka periodontitis). The dentist was wonderful; drained a heap of pus out of it, took a mini x-ray, gave me antibiotics, and then gave me the consultation free of charge :). Unfortunately it means that I’ve been trying to struggle with a whoozy head and dizzines from the pain meds and antibiotics.. not exactly what I need right now. Ah well, soldier on. I’ll have to get that tooth yanked out soon, but according to the x-ray it looks like it’ll at least be quite a simple procedure (very left tooth in the image).

 

Motivation: Anna Virmajoki

 

Here’s a couple of yummy recipes 🙂

Choc Berry Slice from Australian Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge Facebook page – these are really yum!! I was worried they’d be too dry/rubbery because there are no ‘softening’ products to counteract the whey protein powder (i.e. greek yoghurt, apple sauce etc) but they’re great. The berries are awesome in them 🙂

Serves 12

1 cup ground oats

3 tbsp raw cocoa

2 scoops chocolate protein powder

12 serves of Stevia (or to taste)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup shredded coconut

4 egg whites

1 cup frozen berries (I used raspberries)

1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Mix all of the ingredients together (except berries)

Gently fold berries in

Bake in a brownie tray for 20-25 mins

Nutritional info: per 1/12 serves

Calories: 92.8

Total fat: 3.6g

Total carbs: 6.3g

Sugar: 1g

Protein: 7.3g

 

Lime and Blueberry Creamy Icy-poles – yumm these are so perfect for the hot weather that we’re having at the moment!

Serves 6

500g Chobani no fat Greek yoghurt (I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to try Chobani!! So so creamy…)

1 tbsp lime juice

12 serves Stevia

1 cup blueberries (I used frozen)

Blend yoghurt, Stevia and lime juice

Fold in blueberries

Pour into icy-pole moulds

Leave to set for 6-8 hours

Nutritional info: per 1/6 icy-poles

Calories: 58.2

Total fat: 0.1g

Total carbs: 6.1g

Sugar: 4.2g

Protein: 7.9g

 

One Pot Chinese Chicken, based on the recipe from moneysavingmeals.com.au. This is actually really nice!!

Serves 8

1kg chicken breast

1 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos (or reduced salt soy sauce)

1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder

 

1 cup reduced salt chicken stock

1 onion – chopped

2 cloves garlic – crushed

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

1 carrot – cut into matchsticks

1 tsp cornflour

3 baby bok choy – sliced (keep stems and leaves separate)

120g snow peas – top and tailed, then cut into 3

Marinate the chicken in 1 tbsp bragg’s aminos and chinese spices for overnight (I only allowed about 30 mins)

Brown chicken in a frying pan 1 minute each side, then put aside

Cook onion until soft, then add garlic, ginger and carrots

Return chicken to the pan, add chicken stock, bring to the boil, then lower heat

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes

Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp of water then add to the pot and boil

Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute

Add bok choy stems and snow peas, cover and cook for a further minute

Add bok choy leaves and stir until leaves are wiltered

Serve!! You can have it with noodles/rice/plain!

Nutritional info: per 1/8 serves (without noodles/rice)

Calories: 162.7

Total fat: 1.7g

Total carbs: 5.4g

Sugar: 2.7g

Protein: 30.2g

 

I decided that I could treat myself to purchasing some protein bars so I didn’t have to cook so much this week and these two are my favourite of all those that I’ve tried ever: Oh Yeah (Choc/Caramel), and Recover (Choc/Coconut)

I don’t like to have purchased protein bars too often because a) they’re very processed and tend to contain ‘bad’ sweeteners b) they’re expensive

 

Face challenges head on… I’m a big believer in facing your fears. People constantly underestimate themselves and can be surprised by how much they are capable of 🙂 x

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To Supplement or Not To Supplement

26 Oct

When I first started getting into fitness I was all about getting as many supplements as I could because it was all so exciting and I felt really professional. I was hooked on pre-workouts – first JACK3D, (which is no longer available in Australia..), then Phenadrine (which is also no longer sold here)… they made me feel jittery, anxious, and JACK3D gave me pins and needles in my hands. But they felt good whilst I was exercising, which is all I cared about.

I stopped taking pre-workouts at the start of this year, when I was clinically diagnosed with depression-anxiety. I don’t know if these supplements caused it but I think they may have had some contribution. Nowadays if I feel like I  need an extra boost before heading to the gym I’ll have a coffee, green tea, or an apple, and I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals that I’m putting into my body, or the affect that it’s having on my mental health.

 

 

 

However, I do take other supplements. Here’s my daily supplement menu:

Morning:

1 women’s multivitamin

1 tsp flaxseed oil (on my pancakes)

1 ferritin (iron) + vitamin C

1 fish oil

1 magnesium

During Workout:

1 tsp ON Micronized Creatine Powder

1 scoop Scivation Xtend BCAA

Post Workout:

1 scoop ON Gold Standard 100% Whey Powder

 

I’m a big believer in getting your vitamins and nutrients naturally, through food sources, however those that are involved in body building and fitness may require those extra vitamins in order to keep up with their body’s demands.

There are so many crazy scientific-sounding supplements available, so I thought I’d break some of them down and explain why you should, or should not, take them.

 

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) – leucine, isoleucine, valine

These are compounds that are essential to the human body – in other words we do not produce them in our body and therefore they need to be ingested. Intake (especially leucine) increases protein synthesis (muscle growth) and may even decrease protein catabolism (muscle breakdown) as your body uses the BCAAs for energy rather than breaking down muscle.

Any loss of amino acids is detrimental if it could have been used to maintain or increase skeletal muscle mass

Natural sources: meat

Alanine

Unlike the BCAAs, beta alanine is a non-essential amino acid (i.e. your body makes it). Studies have found that intake before or during prolonged exercise conserved carbohydrates energy stores and enhanced protein synthesis.

Deficiency in any amino acids (essential or non-essential) will cause the body to break down body proteins = breakdown muscle

Natural sources: beef, lamb, milk products, corn meal, peas, potatoes

Glutamine

Another non-essential amino acid, glutamine has many roles in the body. The most significant to bodybuilding/exercise is that it stimulates protein synthesis and regulates muscle protein levels.

Decreasing intramuscular glutamine concentrations has been shown to increase muscle catabolism (breakdown)

Natural sources (from highest content to lowest): chicken breast, pork chops, beef T-bone, wheat germ, tuna, salmon, turkey breast

Creatine

Creatine is natural stored primarily in muscle and every individual has some level of creatine. Depending on their level, creatine supplementation could give varied benefit… there is such thing as a creatine non-responder!!  But hundreds of studies that that maximising creatine stores can improve exercise and training adaptation. If you cease taking creatine, it takes 4-6 weeks to return to normal levels. Once maximum is reached, only 3-5g per day is required for maintenance.

Studies have found that ingestion of creatine with carbohydrate helps maximise creatine stores

Natural sources: salmon, herring, raw beef, pork, tuna, cod

Glucosamine

Produced naturally in the body, glucosamine is generally used in the treatment of osteoarthritis as it a component of cartilage and is believe to have some anti-inflammatory effects. Many athletes take supplemental glucosamine regularly to protect joints and ligaments from damage. There is no actual evidence that this helps for sports injuries.

There is widespread use among athletes even though there is no evidence for efficacy

Natural sources: none

Omega-3 – eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), docosahexanoic acid (DHA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

ALA must be converted to either EPA or DHA to be used by the body. Fish oils contain high levels of EPA and DHA, whilst flaxseed oil contains ALA.  However, omega-3 has many other health benefits, such as reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, anti-inflammatory effects, treat depression etc.

Omega 3 is believed to have significant metabolic effects which would influence exercise capacity, but this has not yet been proven

Natural sources: fish (especially sardines, salmon, fresh tuna), eggs, lean red meat, turkey, linseed/flaxseed, walnuts

 

They are the only ones I’m going to cover today, but if you have any questions or would like me to look into a certain product/supplement just let me know!!

Hope this was helpful x

Smooth(ie) moves

19 Oct

The weather has been absolutely beautiful this week – sun sun and more sun!! I love the warmer weather, I’m definitely not a winter girl. All this weather has put me in the mood for yummy refreshing drinks after my workouts so I’ve come up with a couple of protein-filled smoothies for post-workout!

Weekly motivation: Aussie Nina Silic – so envious of her tiny waist!

 

Ok so this first smoothie I’m calling a Mango Avocado Protein Smoothie (no prizes for guessing what’s in it ;P)

Serves 1

1/2 cup mango

1/4 avocado

1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

1&1/2 cups cold water

Splash of almond milk

Blend!!

Nutritional info:

Calories: 264

Total fat: 9.7g

Total carbs: 22.2

Sugar: 14.3g

Protein: 26.2g

 

Next one is the Flaxseed Mango Protein Smoothie (mangoes had been on sale at Woolies..)

Serves 1

1 tbsp flax seed oil

1/2 cup mango

1/2 cup no fat Greek yoghurt

1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

1&1/2 cups cold water

Throw it all in the blender!

Nutritional info:

Calories: 396

Total fat: 19.3g

Total carbs: 28.3

Sugar: 19.9g

Protein: 30.7g

 

You might notice that these have (much) higher sugar content that all of my other recipes, but I’m allowing myself this extra sugar because a) it is natural sugar from fruit and b) sugar post-workout with protein helps rapid absorption of protein and recovery.

 

Another snack that I have whipped up for this week are Cinnamon and Peanut Butter Protein Cookies from the wonderful www.proteinpow.com. Here’s my slightly modified version:

Serves 12

80g vanilla whey protein powder (2&2/3 scoop)

1/3 cup ground almond

1 tbsp cinnamon

4 serves Stevia

1 tbsp peanut butter (natural, no added salt/sugar)

220 mL lite coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

Mix the whole lot together and roll/dollop into a baking tray lined with baking paper

I then flattened these because otherwise mine were little balls

Bake for 15 minutes

Yum! These are pretty nice, but not the best protein cookies I’ve made

Nutritional info: per 1/12 cookies

Calories: 96.4

Total fat: 4.5g

Total carbs: 5.6g

Sugar: 1.2g

Protein: 8.6g

 

This week has been much better than last week (thank goodness) but we have had assessments due and of course exams are looming. At the start of this year when I was unwell and trying to decide whether to continue studying or not a few people (professors and tutors) admitted that I didn’t seem like the kind of person who could bring myself back up and pass this year. I’m going to prove them wrong 😉

Don’t let other people determine what you’re capable of. Show them you can do whatever you set your mind on x

Banana for Bananas

17 Oct

Motivation for the week: Jamie Eason!!

Jamie is such an inspirational woman – she has been through so much and she shows so much determination, enthusiasm and passion for everything she does. I became really passionate about weight training when I first found her program – Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer (www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-easons-livefit-introduction.html). I’ve learnt so much from her and my training nowadays stems from the basics that I learnt from doing her program last year. I strongly advise doing it – plus it’s free!!

 

 

 

I’ve got a really yummy recipe for you to try – Protein Banana Bread from www.proteinpow.com. I altered it slightly to fit me (I subbed 3 eggs in the original recipe for 1 egg + egg whites) but here’s my version! My boyfriend liked this too.

 

Serves 10

2 medium bananas (mine weighed about 300g)

1/8 cup coconut flour

1 egg

1/2 cup egg whites

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup banana whey protein powder (as I don’t have banana whey, I substituted vanilla whey + banana flavouring (sugar free banana drink mix))

1/2 cup almond milk

8 brazil nuts (I think I’ll leave these out next time..)

1 tsp baking powder

Handful of walnuts

Throw all of the above ingredients in a blender (except walnuts)

Stir in a handful of walnuts

Bake at 160 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Nutritional info: per 1/10 slices

Calories: 109

Total fat: 3.3g

Total carbs: 7.6g

Sugar: 3.0g

Protein: 8.6g

 

I’m trying not to stress out about these exams – I had a chat with a lady who understands my situation a bit and she explained that if I fail, worst case scenario is that I will spend one more year becoming a better doctor. So, trying to think positive, keep my head on, and power on :).

 

Love this – I’m all about prevention, rather than just cure. Be healthy 🙂 xx

Down in the Dumps

11 Oct

What a week. My boyfriend’s wonderful Pa passed away last week and I have been feeling lower than low.. definitely need some time to get my head straight and pull myself back together.

RIP Pa, your charm and cheeky smile live on in your beautiful grandson, whom I love with all my heart.

My eating has been shocking but this stops tomorrow. I have decided. Right now. I’m going to have put a marble in this jar for each day that I eat well and when there are 20 marbles in there I’m going to treat myself to a massage 🙂 fingers crossed this works!

 

 

Motivation: Courtney Prather

 

 

I only have one new recipe to share this week – Slow Cooked Thai Green Chicken Curry from moneysavingmeals.com.au/

Serves 8 (I decided to divide it into 8 but the actual recipe was 12 serves)

1kg chicken breast – chopped

1 large carrot – washed and sliced

1 red capsicum – sliced

1 large zucchini – sliced

1 cup button mushroom – sliced

2-3 chilies – seeded and thinly sliced

1/3 cup Thai green curry paste

2x 400mL lite coconut milk

1&1/2 cup snow peas – top and tailed

1 cup frozen baby peas

1/3 cup raw cashews

Throw everything in the slow cooker except the snow peas, peas and cashews.

Cook on low for 7 hours (or on medium for 4 hours)

Add the remaining ingredients in the final half hour OR once finished, add just before dividing into 8 serves to put in the freezer (which is what I did)

Nutritional info: per 1/8 serves

Calories: 244

Total fat: 10.6g

Total carbs: 6.1g

Sugar: 2.4g

Protein: 27.5g

 

An easy last minute meal that I decided to have the other night (because I hadn’t defrosted anything…) consisted of bought roast chicken, Greek yoghurt, walnuts, mixed lettuce rolled up in a rye+oat+linseed wrap – YUM!

 

 

Oh and look what I found in the frozen section at the supermarket the other day!! At Woolies!! I was so excited haha.

 

 

I’m trying to keep these points in mind… there’s nothing more beautiful that a girl with self-confidence and I’m determined to be that kind of beautiful. Love yourself xx

Countdown to Exams

1 Oct

Start of October and exams are a month away!! ARGH!!! I don’t handle the stress of exams very well, but eating clean and exercising helps makes me feel better 🙂 so my routine shall continue. I did take last week off from gym though, I’ve been very tired lately so I thought it’d be beneficial to take some time off. I got back to gym today though and it feels soooo good to be back!! Burning calories, sweating up a storm, pumping muscles, music thumping… love it.

Over the weekend the 2012 Olympia was held over in the states and my boyfriend and I watched it, oohing and ahhing over the contestants. It was mostly interested in the bikini section – winner, and motivation for the week – Nathalia Melo.

 

Again, I only have a couple of recipes to share, as I’m relying on leftovers to fill in the gaps.

 

Cinnamon Crumb Streusel Protein Bars from spoonfuloffit.com

Serves 12

1 cup oat flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder

7 serves of Stevia

5 egg whites

1&1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp almond essence

For crumb streusel topping:

2 tbsp almond meal

1 tbsp coconut flour

2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce

1 serve Stevia

1/4 tsp cinnamon

First, mix together the ingredients for the crumb streusel topping and put aside

Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Combine all of the other ingredients separately

Pour into a brownie pan

Add crumb streusel topping on top

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Nutritional info: per 1/12 bars

Calories: 95

Total fat: 2.8g

Total carbs: 9.7g

Sugar: 2.7g

Protein: 7.4g

 

Creamy Chicken Casserole from paleomg.com

This dish is reeeeally yum!! Definitely a new favourite.

Serves 6

750g chicken breast – diced

1 head of broccoli – chopped

1 head of cauliflower – chopped

6 mushrooms – sliced

1 brown onion – diced

1/2 cup reduced salt chicken stock

2x 400mL cans lite coconut milk

2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 200 degrees

Throw cauliflower and broccoli into a big baking dish and toss through olive oil, salt and pepper

Bake for 15-18 minutes

Meanwhile, cook chicken in frying pan. When ALMOST cooked through, removed from pan and either place aside or throw into the baking dish with the cauliflower and broccoli if they’re finished

Cook onions in the frying pan until translucent

Add coconut milk, stock, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper

Once combined, pour directly into the chicken, broccoli and cauliflower dish

Add mushrooms, then stir it all together

Bake for 20-22 minutes

Allow to cool to help the sauce thicken

Enjoy!!

Nutritional info: per 1/6 serves

Calories: 230

Total fat: 7.8g

Total carbs: 9.7g

Sugar: 4.1g

Protein: 32.9g

 

‘The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the car of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease’ Thomas Edison

 

Now to get back to study 😦 x