Breakfast Shake and Calorie Count

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IMG_20150413_073148_949       I didn’t feel like cooking breakfast this morning and thought I would throw together a shake. A good mix of carbohydrate, fat and protein to get me through till lunch or mid-morning snack.

This past weekend, I hit a high speed of 31 MPH on my bike, twice, on flat ground and was rather proud of myself. Shakes are a good fuel before and after riding or exercise, since they rehydrate and refuel the body.

I made my shake in the Ninja blender since I use oatmeal, to break it down a little.

Into the blender; 2 Cups unsweetened almond milk, 1 medium banana, 1/2 Cup instant oats, 1 scoop protein powder, (Now Sports Pea Protein), 2 Tbsp. PB2, (powdered peanut butter).

IMG_20150413_071958_828      This was not overly sweet, and you could add a sweetener of your choice. I would have chosen Stevia to keep from adding to the carbs.

This came out to be a ratio of 50% carb, 30% protein, and 20% fat. A total of 495 calories, with 11g fat, 64g carb, and 37g of protein. The other vitals were 785mg sodium, 802mg potassium, 11g fiber, 17g sugar, 22% RDA Vit A, 17% Vit C, 93% Calcium, and 54% Iron.

Meal replacement shakes can be a great addition to your diet, provided they give you a healthy mix of macro-nutrients and you still have a sensible meal.

If you have a favorite flavor or mix that you use for a breakfast shake, please feel free to share it with me. Have fantastic week!

In fitness, Bob

Health and Diet Benefits of Asparagus

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IMG_20150408_100933_710    Asparagus is in season right now and I was able to get some for a dollar a pound. This vegetable is very healthy and can be served raw, pickled or cooked. It used primarily in soups, salads, or as a side dish.

Asparagus is considered a bitter food, along with celery and lettuce. So called bitter foods, are regarded as a beneficial addition for weight loss. Asparagus contains the diuretic, asparagine, which is why it helps eliminate water through the kidneys. Bitter foods are also used to detoxify the liver and help expel unwanted moisture from the body. Too much asparagus can irritate the kidneys.

There are numerous vitamins and minerals in asparagus. Vitamin, K, C, E, A, B1, B3, and B6. Minerals are folate, copper, selenium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. It is also a source of fiber, protein and calcium.

My breakfast this morning consisted of scrambled eggs with mushroom ,green chilies, cilantro, and asparagus tips. I had this with a side of curried, steel cut oats.

IMG_20150408_093614_889    I prepared the oats as per the directions and let them cook while I began chopping. The green chilies I had in my freezer since I roast my own. I added those to 2 eggs, 1 portabello mushroom, (diced), about 10 asparagus spears, (snapped at the tip), 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro and whisked everything but the asparagus together. The egg mixture was put in a greased skillet, cooked for about 4 minutes, turned and cooked until done. The tips were placed on top, raw, but could be added to the mixture.

IMG_20150408_084222_194      I do not normally eat my oatmeal with fruit or brown sugar as some folks do, but prefer it as a side like rice or quinoa. Today I seasoned it with turmeric, cinnamon and a little salt.

IMG_20150408_090127_701       Stay healthy, eat well, and enjoy the benefits of fresh produce.

In fitness, Bob

Ginger Spiced Tilapia

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IMG_20150328_205913_831     And a meal is born! My wife informed me the other evening that I was preparing fish and asked how I was serving it. I hadn’t a clue other than ‘to cook it’.

Usually it involves lime juice, cilantro, garlic, some oil, my go to stuff. I wanted something different and remembered the fresh ginger. That’s when it hit me.

I sliced off three thin slices of ginger root, trimmed and minced them, grabbed the sesame seeds, some cayenne pepper flake, coconut oil and the pound of tilapia.

I put about a tablespoon of the coconut oil in a skillet and let that heat up. I then added a Tbsp sesame seed, the minced ginger and a couple shakes of the red pepper. This cooked for a couple of minutes, just long enough to make a beautiful aroma, and the ginger and sesame started to darken a little.

IMG_20150328_204741_484      The tilapia fillets were laid gently over the bed of seasoned goodness and cooked for about three minutes per side.

This was served with mixed vegetables that were rather boring next to the fish.  Last minute thought, remember?

So there you have it, a quick, simple, healthy and nutritious meal that was thrown together in under twenty minutes. Now what am I going to make tonight…?

In fitness, Bob

International Waffle Day = More Protein

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Why would a personal fitness trainer talk about waffles? Let’s start with some background.

Today is celebrated as Waffle Day. This is also celebrated on August 24th in honor of the first waffle iron by Cornelius Swarthout in 1869. Waffles originated in Greece around the 13th century. Waffle celebrations coincide as a welcoming of Spring.

Waffle calorie counts can range from 82 per ounce to over 400 per waffle. The majority of the macro-nutrients in a waffle are carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are a beneficial fuel source, but for some they are restricted in their diet. If not monitored, carbs quickly become sugar and an ensuing ‘crash’ occurs.

This is where more protein can come into play. Pairing protein with carbohydrates, helps to slow the absorption of sugar from the stomach into the bloodstream. This will help keep blood sugar from spiking, which can lead to future cravings.

Adding more protein to your diet will help you burn more calories due to the thermic effect of food. That is the energy required to digest it.

In short, enjoy that waffle today, be modest with the toppings, add some protein to the meal, then do some exercise.

In fitness, Bob

Heart Disease in Women

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Can you believe that at the age of 30, physical inactivity begins to play it’s largest role in a woman’s risk of developing heart disease? This is according to Australian researchers, as posted in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (May 2014)

Physical inactivity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. In 2008 according to the World Health Organization; globally, 31% of adults age 15 and over were insufficiently active. Of those, 28% were men and 34% were women.

From the age of 31 and beyond, inactivity raises the risk of heart disease more than smoking, being overweight or having high blood pressure.

Changing diet habits and walking thirty minutes a day or for an hour three times a week, will make a drastic change in your risk. Blood flow to the heart and the ability to pump normally can be changed in as little as a  month.

Exercise is only a fraction of the equation though. Stress management and a strict, healthy diet are crucial lifestyle changes that need to be adhered to. Following up with regular visits to your doctor, staying at a healthy weight and not smoking will greatly reduce your chance of developing heart disease as well.

It is never too early or too late, to begin a healthy lifestyle change. Find a support group, join a walking club or just ask your medical professional for advice and help. Some insurance companies will offer a discount on proactive health services. Search social media or join a discussion forum. My Fitness Pal is just one of the apps that has many group discussions, recipes, food logging tips and support opportunities.

Whatever method you choose to better yourself, just stick with it. You will develop a sense of pride and accomplishment, and just may be a role model for someone else.

In fitness, Bob

Black Bean and Corn Salsa with Tilapia

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IMG_20150304_212057_118     This amazingly simple, healthy and nutritious dish was originally put together as a dipping salsa. However, when it came time for dinner, it was warmed and served as a bed for grilled tilapia.

The ingredients were 1 can black beans (rinsed), 1 can corn (drained), 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 small can diced green chilies, 1/4 Lg onion diced, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, and a dash or two of lime juice.

I threw all of this together and let it chill in the fridge. It definitely was not one of my most thought inspired dishes but it turned out very nice.

In fitness, Bob

Banana Peanut Butter Snack

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IMG_20150219_121116_012   I was chatting with fellow blogger Tony, (One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Longer), about the uses of peanut butter and coconut oil this morning and I came up with this.

IMG_20150219_114114_055    I sliced one banana into 1/2 ” rounds, mixed 1 Tablespoon coconut oil with 2 Tablespoons PB2 and spread it onto the banana rounds. I then dipped them into cacao powder.

IMG_20150219_115831_542    These make for a quick, healthy, and nutritious energy snack. You could easily substitute a cacao nib for the powder. This was not as quick as slathering peanut butter on a banana but it kept my portions in check.

In fitness, Bob