December 12, 2019

500 Calorie Breakfast

1 medium apple, 1 container flavored Light & Fit greek yogurt, 1 cup Cheerios cinnamon oat crunch, 1 cup 2 % milk

Some mornings you just have to get up and go. Cooking breakfast or finding different things to throw in the blender may not go as quickly as you need them to. Well this 500 calorie meal is a quick up and out the door meal that doesn’t require much of anything.

More importantly than this being a quick meal, it is light and filled with fiber and protein to help get you through the morning. Many times when trying to lose weight we forget that we can eat smaller portions during meals that contain foods that are exactly what we need to sustain our appetite. Losing weight does not have to leave us feeling hungry throughout the day.

One of the keys to success when losing weight is picking the right TYPES of foods to sustain your appetite. You want to chose things that include fiber and protein to help you get to that next meal or snack. While both can help keep you fuller longer they each can also play a different role in providing your body more. Check out my future blogs and I will explain more on fiber and protein and how they can help in your weight loss journey.

-Author Barbara Benman

Oh yes you read that right! BROCOLLI PASTA is what I like to call it. Are you looking for something light and flavorful for dinner? Well this meal is quick & easy and may just end up on your list of favorite and regular meals!

Have your dinner dishes lost the family at the dinner table? Have you felt like you needed something new? Do you have an upcoming dinner party and you want to make something affordable, delicious and fancy? Well this is just the dish for you!

No matter what your reasoning just know the best part of this meal is that it is still filling and allows you to cut back on those night time carbs you find in traaditional pasta dishes.

Course: Main Dish

 Keyword: Creamy garlic shrimp, Shrimp dinner, Low carb, Tuscan Shrimp

 Prep Time: 10 min

 Cook Time: 15 min          

 Total Time: About 25 min

 Servings: 4

 Author: Barbara Benman

Ingredients:

1 lb Shrimp (tails removed)

2 cups Baby spinach (not packed)

2 cups Fresh broccoli

¼ sliced Lemon

1 ½ cups Heavy whipping cream

2/3 cup Fresh parmesan cheese

4 Garlic cloves

½ White onion

1 Tbsp basil

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

¼ cup sun dried tomato

¼ cup Vegetable broth

Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot add broccoli and vegetable broth. Cook over medium heat until broccoli is slightly soft and set to the side.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat melt 1 tbsp butter and add shrimp. Cook about 3 min on each side until shrimp is cooked through. (set shrimp to the side)
  3.  In the same pan melt 2 tbsp butter with garlic cloves and onion for 2 min and add shrimp back to the pan.
  4. Slightly reduce heat, add heavy whipping cream and sun dried tomato and cook until warm.
  5. Add spinach leaves and simmer until leaves wilt then add parmesan cheese, basil and additional seasoning.
  6. Stir until cheese is thoroughly melted and squeeze lemon over top.
  7. Serve over broccoli (drain if too much liquid).

With Thanksgiving right around the corner what better way to celebrate with you than to give you a recipe idea for a side dish?! Every year every household pretty much knows 2 things, who’s coming and what meat is going to be served. Outside of that we are stuck on what side dishes and desserts along with which family member will be responsible for what?

Well this year if you’re one of the people responsible for bringing a side dish don’t let this recipe pass you by! It’s not only guaranteed to catch the eye but to touch the taste buds in such a way it will leave your family wanting more.

Course: Side Dish

 Keyword: Thanksgiving Ideas, Side Dish, Healthy Side Dish, Green Beans, Green Bean Recipes

 Prep Time: 40 min

 Cook Time: 15-20 min   

 Total Time: About 1 hour

 Servings: 7-8

 Author: Barbara Benman

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb green beans

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 pkg bacon

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

1. Cut vine ends off green beans
2. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add green beans and cook 6 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking process and set aside.

3. Put brown sugar and soy sauce in a small pan and melt together on the stove.

4. Take the green beans lay them on a flat pan and rub the sauce over top of them. The more sauce you add the more flavor. I save some on the side for after cooking (dipping, added rub after etc). Wrap the top with plastic wrap and sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (I marinate over night).

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

6. Cook bacon to bring to a brown (do not over cook, it will cook more in the oven). Make sure you are still able to fold them and then slice them in half.
7. Take 7-8 pieces of green beans and wrap in bacon.

8. Bake in oven for 15-20 min and remove once bacon is fully cooked.

9. Sprinkle cheese on top and put back in oven for 1-2 min (until cheese has melted.

10. Remove from oven and serve!!

There are a lot of ways to do this and get the results that you want. I’m just going to share one of the most basic ways that I know to get you where you’d like to be.

There are some advanced things that you can do as far as burning fat and getting your body where you want it to be, but the basics work, and they work well for most people.

Diet:

Don’t overlook the diet portion of this. It’s nearly impossible to outwork a bad diet!

There are plenty of popular diet plans for you to follow to get the weight off. But you may just need to clean their diet up. You want to make sure you’re getting well-balanced meals with plenty of vegetables and lean protein. It might really be this simple if you know what foods to pick.

Your obvious enemies are simple sugar (sodas, candy, cake snacks, etc…) and most fast food. You can lose fat and consume these things every so often, but you really want to keep it to a bare minimum, especially for fat loss.

If you don’t know how to build a balanced meal the MyPlate Teens Page has some really good info about what a balanced meal looks like and other info to help you along the way.

Potion control is also important. If overeating is an issue it’s might be a bit of an uphill battle to get the fat off. If you’d like to know an estimate as far as where your calories should come from, check out TDEE Calculator: Learn Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Based on height, weight, activity level, and body fat percentage, they can give you a good estimate as to where your calories should be coming from. You can then use this info to track in myfitnesspal or another calories counting app until you get the hang of it.

Exercise:

The best results obviously come with exercise. It helps to put your body in a better position to burn the fat and maintain a healthy bodyweight once you get where you want to be.

Strength Training should be done over the span of 2 -4 days making sure work all of your major muscle groups throughout the week. If you’re just starting out you may want to use exercises like squats, push-ups, inverted rows, glute bridges etc… And the more you advanced the more you can work with weight and other advanced exercises.

To development more endurance you’ll want to work with a weight that you’ll fail between 15–25 reps using. To focus more on strength choose a weight that you fail using between 8–15 reps using.

You’ll want to work each group 2–5 sets on non-consecutive days. Recovery is important, allow at least 2 days for a muscle group to rest before hitting that muscle group again.

Your cardio can be as simple as 20–45 mins of moderate intensity, steady state cardio. Do this 2–5 four days a week. It a light jog will do.

The hardest part of it all is really is the mental aspect though. There may be certain habits that need to be broken or lifestyle changes that need to take place, but for reasons beyond burying the fat, its worth it to develop a process and stick with it till you see the results you’d like to see. The basics are a great starting point that you can use to make adjustments to so that you develop your own healthy process.

You get the results of what you do on a consistent basis though. So get a game plan together, stick with it for a month or so, reevaluate your results, and make adjustments until you get it right.

Mix up Your Routine

Mixing up your routine allows you to work on different things on different days. It adds variety to your workouts so that you can work on different parts of your body and different skills without getting bored doing the same thing over and over.

It also helps keep your body in balance so that you don’t over train or injure yourself while trying to keep your body healthy. It’s pretty discouring injuring yourself trying to do the right thing…

Hire a Personal Trainer

If you have trouble getting to the gym and making your workout a priority this will be an excellent way to overcome that. They are the ultimate accountability partner. They’re going to help take a lot of the thinking out of the process for you so that you can just to show up and perform.

They’re gonna help you with the planning so that you’re working towards the goals you’re looking for. They’re going to help keep you safe by balancing your routine and making sure you’re doing your exercises properly. They’re also a really good support system. They just really want to see you win…

Find What Works for You

Everything isn’t for everyone, and it’s no secret.

Some people love getting outside and running a few miles. Some people like working towards new PRs in the gym. Some people think yoga looks that the coolest thing ever until they go to a class and find out it’s not for them. Some of us just want to dance…

The list could go on but you have to find out what works for you, and what you can be consistent with. Even then, you run into times where you may not want to workout, but you have to make it a priority and push through it.

Take Care of Yourself Beyond You’re Workout

Unless your a professional athlete, working out for most people is a small part of their day. How you spend the rest of your time outside of the gym can have an effect on your consistency in the gym.

You want to make sure your nutrition is where it needs to be to support your activity and maintain your energy levels for your workout and throughout the day. Get plenty of rest at night so that you don’t have to fight yourself trying to find extra motivation to get your workout in.

A lot of what you do outside of the gym can be just as important as the workout itself.

Keep Records

Keeping track of your progress over time can be really motivating. It can also give you clues on what you need to work on or change up if you’re not getting where you want to be.

There are all sorts of things you can measure for mile times, reps at a certain weight, reps within a certain time limit, different heart rate zones. Even looking back at some older pictures and seeing how your body has changed can be really revealing of some progress you may not have noticed.


Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Maintaining or improving your heart health can be hard, especially if you don’t know where to start. For many of us, it all depends on the lifestyle choices that we make throughout the day.

Its definitely better to be as proactive as possible so here are 5 simple lifestyle changes that you can make to help maintain a healthy heart.

1- Take a Daily Walk

Daily walking has been shown to make improvements to many cardiac risk factors. It helps with things like controlling cholesterol, vascular stiffness, stress management, maintaining healthy blood pressure and the list goes on. Some of these benefits can be seen by walking as little as 30 – 45 minutes daily.

2 – Eat Your veggies

A lot of us don’t get nearly the amount of vegetables that our bodies need throughout the day, but eating plenty of vegetables can have a big impact on your heart healthy. Adding more vegetables to your meals can help improve your cholesterol, help control blood pressure, and helps control the portion of “unhealthy” foods you eat with each meal and throughout the day.

3 – Get Quality Sleep

Constant sleep deprevation has been shown to put people a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and other heart-related events. Not getting a good 7 hours of sleep may be ok for a couple of nights, but after a while, it really starts to take a toll on our heart health. Start with the things you can control like putting away bright tech devices a few hours before bedtime, or sticking to a set sleeping routine at a certain time to help you consistently get quality sleep.

4 – Don’t Drink Your Calories

Soda and other Sugary drink add a lot of calories to your diet with little to no nutritional value. You definitely want to keep your soda intake to a minimum and make sure you’re hydrating yourself with water throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water improves heart health by making it easier for your heart to pump blood throughout your body.

5- Get Your Workout in

Resistance training or strength training can also help maintain a healthy heart. Along with cardio, strength training at least 2 times a week can help control weight and maintain a healthy body. Its all about making it a priority and sticking to your game plan.

This is just a starting point for helping you keep up with your heart health. There a plenty of other hacks out there that may help you keep your heart healthy throughout your life. Along with some of the lifestyle influences on heart health, it’s also important to get regular check-ups even if you maintain healthy habits.

February 18, 2019

Cardio and Heart Health

An important part of exercise as is it pertains to overall health is the cardio work that we do. Aerobic exercise has been proven to have tons of benefits on our heart health and is something that we should definitely make an effort to include in our exercise programs. While there are some of us who are more orientated towards strength training as our main form of exercise, we can still see the benefit of aerobic exercise, and support our progress in strength training with even a little bit of aerobic exercise.

Cardio or aerobic exercise is for the most part is a type of exercise done for the purpose of increasing endurance. With consistent cardio the body makes adaptations that makes your heart more efficient at pumping blood. The heart becomes stronger, which helps reduce the resting heart rate. The muscles involved in respiration strengthen as well, which allows you to breathe and get air in and out of your lungs better. Along with improving heart health, cardio helps lower blood pressure, manage diabetes, improves bone health, mental health, and the list goes on. While there are some risks associated with cardio, the benefits out way the risk pretty significantly.

When doing cardio such as walking, jogging, biking, or anything else there are a few things to keep in mind. One being that its recommended that you stay within the aerobic training zone based on heart rate for the period of time you are exercising. That aerobic training zone will be 60 – 85% of your max heart. Your max heart rate will decrease with age and can be calculated by taking 220 and subtracting your age. It’s also important to keep in mind it’s recommended that you do of a minimum of 150 minutes of this moderate intensity exercise per week, which can be spread out throughout the week to fit your schedule.

Although staying within the aerobic training zone is optimal you can still see benefits outside of that target heart rate zone. Other ways performing heart health include interval training, which may include an anaerobic portion followed by a less intense portion of exercise, as with sprint interval training. This is more of a vigorous form of exercise and although it may take you out of the aerobic training zone, there are studies showing that interval training can be used a way to improve your VO2max which is the amount of oxygen the body can take in and use over a given time period.

As a whole cardio is great for the body. And even if you cant reach the target recommendations, any exercise is better than nothing, and you can always work up to those points. When doing your cardio, always start with a light warm up, use proper footwear, stay hydrated, and remember to pay attention to your breath.

When getting your body fat down, one of the last places to get rid of the fat is the lower stomach. It’s really hard to spot reduce fat in your lower belly but you can do exercises to help tone that area.

If you’re looking to get your abs to show, it’s gonna take more than doing sit-ups every day. At some point, you’ll have to get your body fat down. But you still want to make sure your developing all parts of your abs as you train throughout the week.

Target your lower abs!4 moves to help target your lower abs and help tone your lower belly. There’s more to abs than sit ups, mix these in to your help completely work your abs! #GetaPlusFit #TrainingDoneRight #ProperFormisEverything #ExpectaHigherstandard #Fitness #okc #Weightloss

Posted by A+ Fitness, LLC on Friday, January 11, 2019

These lower ab exercise will help you to tone your stomach as you get your fat down so that part of your abs are developed when your abs start to show.


QUICK TIPS

When working your lower abs you want to keep your lower back flat on the the ground. This will keep you from doing the movement with the wrong muscles

Doing your leg raising with your lower back arched, you work muscle in your lower back more than your abs that you’re trying to target.

You’ll want to keep your back flat throughout the whole set even if that means not letting your feet touch the ground each rep.

If you’re having trouble doing your leg raises you can modify the exercise by putting your hands under your butt to help keep your back straight. You may also want to try starting out with bent knees until you develop more strength to do the exercises correctly.

October 31, 2018

Low Carb Meatball Pizza

Pizza night is a downfall for many but it doesn’t have to be! There are many low carb ways that
allow you to still enjoy pizza. The key is to cut out the grains, gluten and simple carbs by
eliminating the traditional crust. In this recipe, the crust is made from protein-rich eggs.
Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com
What You Need
Serves 4
Olive oil spray
6 eggs
¼ cup milk
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup pizza sauce
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 tomato, sliced
12 chicken meatballs, sliced in half
¼ cup fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
Instructions
1. Place a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly grease with olive oil spray.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, sea salt and black pepper until fully combined and frothy. Pour the egg mixture into the preheated skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low.
3. Do not disturb the eggs as the set. Occasionally lift the edges of the egg and tilt the pan to
allow any runny eggs on top to pour under the firmer egg. The idea is to maintain a nice round
shape like a pizza crust. Once the egg is set, remove from the heat.
4. Spread the pizza sauce over the top of the egg, as you would on a pizza. Top with the goat
cheese, tomato, meatballs and fresh basil. Place the skillet in the oven under high broil for 2-4
minutes, until the meatballs are warmed and the cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition
One serving equals: 187 calories, 13g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 17g protein

Dehydration is the result of an extreme negative water balance. Basically, your body is getting rid of a lot more water than you’re taking in.

There are different things that can cause dehydration including vomiting and other sicknesses. But one of the most controllable reasons for dehydration is simply not drinking enough water.

Some of the first symptoms of dehydration are dry mouth and thirst. If this is your feeling thirsty throughout the day, it’s an early sign that its time to get some fluids in you.

Some of the more extreme symptoms include nausea, lightheadedness, and fatigue.

But hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to find a game plan for yourself that keeps you well hydrated so that you never have to deal with any of these symptoms again.

Try using a larger water bottle

If you have more water around, chances are you’ll drink more water. One of the biggest things this helps you do is to drink before you get thirsty.

The best way to stay hydrated is to drink throughout the day.

Markdown your water bottle

Set goals for yourself throughout the day. Sometimes gamifying your water intake is super effective.

Try marking your bottle down with different drinking goals for you to reach throughout the day.

Use alarms and apps

This is another easy way to gamify for water intake using your phone and/or other devices.

You can set alarms for the hours that you’re awake and active,  as a reminder for you to take a sip throughout the day.

It’s a great way to get used to drinking throughout the day before you even get thirsty. And eventually, you may able to develop a habit of drinking water regularly so that you’re not dependent on the app to remind you to drink.