I love potatoes. Honestly, I think they are probably one of my favorite vegetables. BUT they are super high in calories and carbs, so I try to limit them. One baked potato is a whopping 270 calories – that’s most of my allotted calories for a single meal when I’m dieting (which is around 300-350 calories/meal) – and that’s without butter, sour cream or anything extra!
A medium French Fry from McDonald’s is 360 calories!! Sadly, I have to admit, when I get fries, my eyes are bigger than my brain and I feel the need to order a large fry because I like fries more than the darn burger. However, that large fry will cost me about a 5 1/2 mile run! A large fry had more calories than my sandwich – 537 calories (Super Size is 610 CALORIES!)!! Needless to say, if you are counting calories, it doesn’t take long to realize you need to limit potatoes from your diet if you want to lose weight.
With all that high-cal potato talk, I got a little creative last night and made a potatoless Shepherd’s pie. Honestly, if I had cauliflower, I would have made mashed cauliflower. Instead, I started my meal out like I always do. I look in the fridge and pantry to see what I have and then I start brainstorming. Yesterday, I ended up with Ground Turkey & Cabbage Shepherd’s pie and it was a success. Steve loved it, and he liked the carb to protein ratio – so here it is!
Potatoless Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 head of cabbage chopped (made 4 cups)
- 4 cups cooked and seasoned lean ground turkey
- 1 1/2 cup yellow corn
- 1 1/2 cup lima beans ( didn’t have peas!)
- 1 tablespoon butter/margarine
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon of Stevia and Splenda
- Salt & Pepper
- Badia Complete Seasoning
First I combined cooked and seasoned turkey meat with cooked corn and limas (cooked and seasoned with salt and pepper) and put that in the casserole dish. (I seasoned my meat with lemon juice and Badia Complete Seasoning). Then, in a separate pot, I boiled the cabbage with seasonings and the Stevia until really tender and soft. I drained the cabbage reeeeeally well and added the butter to add a little fat, as well as a buttery flavor. Next, I spread it out on top of the meat mixture, topping it with the sprinkle of cheese and baked it on 400 for 20 minutes or so (just to melt the cheese and do the final bit of cooking).
After you pull it out of the oven, drain off any fluid (from the cabbage) and let it stand for a few minutes. If you can’t wait, you can serve it right away, but it will be a messy meal. If you let it cool, it cuts in nicer squares. I let mine cool completely and stored it in the refrigerator. Then I cut it in squares and put it in tupperware (cuts beautifully when cold). Steve loved it and it was darn tasty!
9 servings: 278 calories 25g P, 15g C 13g F
12 small squares: 209 calories, 19.1g P, 11.3g C, 9.9g F
NOTE: Fat slows digestion, helping you feel fuller longer, as well as provides you with more lasting energy.
When I want to enjoy a hot meal, but I don’t want a lot of whole food in my stomach, I go the soup route. The fluid fills me up, without putting a lot of whole food through my stomach. As a result, I eat fewer calories and my stomach flattens out. I headed to the kitchen, looked to see what I had and started creating. Here’s basically what I came up with.
Please note: I didn’t measure as I went. I was just shaking, dumping and stirring stuff in, using what I had in the pantry and doing what I do best – make stuff up as I go along. I tried to guestimate what I did after I realized I probably should share what was brewing – especially since it was SO yummy and only 107 calories a cup, 8.5gm protein, 15.6 carbs and 1.2g fat! Feel free to adjust the seasonings, water and lemon juice to fit your tastes. As for the 2 cans of soup. I often use a can of soup as a base for my pot-luck soups. You can use pretty much any vegetable soup as a base, or skip it altogether and just add more seasoning, diced tomatoes, bullion or powdered soup mix.
Tangy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
DIET TIP: Scan food as you cook to track calories in your LoseIt app. Remember to adjust serving size to match the ENTIRE can or food product.
4 Chicken Breast pulled (boiled in lemon or lime juice, water, salt and seasonings)
(1-2 Cups of the broth from that soup can be used for the base)
1 1/2 Cup Yellow Corn (limit corn to limit calories)
1 Can Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 Can of Vegetable Beef Soup (that’s just what I happened to have)
3-4 Cans Water (depending on desired thickness)
2 Cans of Black Beans (dieters use 1 can)
1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 Can of Dices Green Chiles
1 Cup Yellow Rice (optional)
3 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1/3 Cup Lime or lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Sonny’s Sweet BBQ Sauce (optional – gives a chipotle taste)
1 1/1 tsp Splenda or Stevia
Fresh Cilantro (to taste)
A few shakes of Red Pepper
Salt to taste
Should Make Approximately 23 1/2 Cups
Boil the chicken until the chicken falls apart. Chop it up, pull it apart and combine it with all other ingredients in a huge pot. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for a couple of hours. The longer it stews, the more flavor the chicken and veggies will have. Don’t do final tasting until it has cooked for a while. The taste of the broth will change as it adopts the flavors of the tomatoes, chicken, corn, black beans and green chiles. Once it has had a chance to simmer for a while, then you can determine if it needs more lemon or lime juice, or seasonings.
After I finished cooking it, I measured out (one cup at a time) into a tupperware container to find out how many cups it made. Add more chicken to increase protein, or decrease corn and beans to decrease carbs. You can add sliced avocado on top as a garnish if you want to increase fats. The key is finding out what your diet needs and making adjustments to fit your needs.
One cup makes a great snack. 1.5-2 cups is a filling meal!
Beef up the meal and protein by combining 1 cup of soup with 3 oz side of chicken for a 277 calories, 31g protein, 27gm carbs and 5g fat. (pie graph above shows the breakdown of nutrients)
DIET TIP: LOWER CALORIES EVEN MORE
Use 1 can of black beans (instead of 2), 3/4 cup of corn (instead of 1 1/2 cup) and no rice (instead of 1 cup), and you’ll reduce your calories to 78 calories per cup. (29 calories less – lower carb). Add broccoli to add more fiber and consistency with fewer calories.
Does someone become an olympic athlete by practicing the most difficult trick? No. A gymnist will start with a forward roll on the ground before they advance to cartwheels, round-offs and flips. They have to do what they CAN do first. Then they advance, onc small challenge at a time.
This is how our workouts are. If someone can’t do a military push up, they start on their knees. They may not even complete the movement in full range, but they do what they can, going deeper and deeper (with better and better form) each time they “practice it”.
If I had a dime for every boot camper, or member, who said they never DREAMED they’d be doing what they are doing now – I’d be filthy stinkin’ RICH! Sadly, many people don’t even begin to try because they don’t see what’s possible. All they see is the impossible.
Be encouraged! Don’t think about all the things you CAN do, just do what you can – and eventually, over time, you will be doing things you never thought possible!!
Happy 2014 everyone!! I hope you enjoyed my 31 Days of Motivation. More motivation to come!
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Calvin Coolidge
TD Jakes once said (in a church service) “there is probably more talent in this audience than is on this stage, but they lack commitment”. I think of all the people I know who could have been pro athletes or music super stars, but are secret hidden talents because they lacked commitment and persistence.
Some of the best champions are not THE best, they are just the ones that refuse to give up – and the same goes with fitness. There are people who are in the gym DAILY and trying to watch what they eat DAILY – and even though they fail, their determination not quit brings them to success eventually. Better yet, they can be MORE successful than the toughest chick in the gym, or the most disciplined competitor, IF they are more consistent and committed.
BE ENCOURAGED!! Persistence trumps one day of strength. Never give up.
Bring Your Gym Bag, Your Muscles AND Your Brain
When I show someone an exercise, I believe it’s important to tell that person what we are working, why that exercise is working that muscle group, and how they can make the most of that particular exercise to get the results they want. Not only will they understand the importance of that exercise, and know how to do it correctly, they will be more motivated to do it when they understand what it will do for them.
Sure, I could easily just point to a machine and have them go through the motions. Shoot, if I did that, they’d HAVE to keep coming back to me for help. Maybe other people consider that good job security. Some trainers have the mentality of, “don’t teach them anything, or they might go off and do it themselves”. But, if I just told people what to do, although it may change their body, it won’t change their mind.
Here’s my philosophy. People need a mind make-over. People need more than guidance, they need education. They need to make better decisions when no one is around to tell them what to do. The more a trainer empowers people with knowledge, the more lives they can change. The more success stories, the better their reputation will be – that THEY were the one that helped so many people reach their goals.
Sadly, some people just don’t want to learn. Often times people resort to short cuts or programs that tell you what to do because they don’t want to think for themselves. While joining a program that directs you is a good thing, beware of spending hours being told what to do without learning anything. Don’t be afraid to think, to try to understand, to invest time and energy in learning.
We are supposed to LEARN from our hard work. Dedication and discipline is supposed to challenge us, grow us and teach us how to persevere and overcome obstacles. Don’t look for short cuts, look for the right path – no matter how long or hard it looks. The right path is where you will learn the most, and you’ll learn how to stay on track once you get there!
Don’t look for shortcuts, sometimes the hardest routes teach us the most!
14 Quotes to Motivate You to Work Hard in ’14!
- The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work. Thomas A. Edison
- Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. Peter Drucker
- Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich
- Enjoy your sweat because hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but without it you don’t have a chance. Alex Rodriguez
- Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. Sam Ewing
- Talent in cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. Stephen King
- Young people are threatened… by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire. Pope John Paul II
- For every two minutes of glamour, there are eight hours of hard work. Jessica Savitch
- All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work. Thomas J. Watson
- You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. Alan Alda
- Temporary success can be achieved in spite of lack of other fundamental qualities, but no advancements can be maintained without hard work. William Feather
- No great achiever – even those who made it seem easy – ever succeeded without hard work. Jonathan Sacks
- Opportunity looks a lot like hard work. Ashton Kutcher
- A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell
Something I heard once that stuck with me was when my sister said “I never realized how bad unhealthy felt until I discovered how good it felt to be healthy”. This is something I had never thought of at the time, and her insight opened my eyes. She wasn’t talking about feeling good because she looked good, she was talking about feeling even after only a couple of weeks of eating healthy. She basically immediately started having more energy and feeling as healthy as she was eating – way before the weight started coming off.
Not only does unhealthy food not fuel you properly but it weighs you down – literally. Overweight bodies are tired from the weight alone. Then couple that with being tired from the lack of energy from eating foods that lack nutrition, and you’ve got one tired, sluggish, heavy, unmotivated person. Yet, as soon as you start eating healthy, you immediately start benefiting from the nutrients you are putting into your body. People go from having no energy at all, to having TONS of energy when they begin to FUEL their body instead of just feed it.
Nowadays, when I have a period of time where I’ve been cheating or eating poorly (like over the holidays), I truly crave healthy eating because of how it makes me feel. I miss the way my body feels on a higher quality foods.
I challenge you to not just think of healthy eating as “dieting”, but choosing foods that will energize you, and give you the fuel you need to feel your absolute best! You’ll be SO surprised of the difference good fuel makes!!
Hale the Kale Salad
Thank you Offerdahl’s for the inspiration! Loving this salad!!!!
1/4 cup cooked quinoa (I cooked with a splash of lemon juice, salt & garlic powder)
2 cups chopped kale
4oz diced chicken breast
1 heaping tablespoon of chick peas
1 tablespoon chopped sweet onion
1/2 tablespoon low-sugar Craisins
1/2 tablespoon goat cheese crumbles
Squirt of lemon
1 tablespoon Honey Roasted Almond Accents
Honey Lime or Lemon Vinaigrette
Light Honey Dijon dressing (I used Publix brand, but I also make my own)
Toss all the ingredients together with the dressing and top with the roasted almond slices. YUM!!
CLICK HERE for 10 delicious Kale Recipes!!
I’m overwhelmed by the people who could ever judge anyone at a gym. That’s like judging a sinner at church. Just because someone joins a gym (or attends church for that matter), doesn’t mean they know everything there is to know to make the changes they need to make. That’s why they are there (duh!).
People are on a journey. Joining a gym is the first step, not the last step. THEN the journey begins. While I’ve personally never heard anyone make fun of someone who was overweight in a gym, I know it has happened somewhere, and it is a very real fear. Ironically, I probably see more people judging the fit people, like the power lifters, bodybuilders, NPC female athletes, yogis and CrossFitters for their extreme practices – but either way, there is no place for any of it in ANY gym.
If we compare the gym with the church, I think we all may be able to see things a bit differently. No matter where someone is in life, most people go to church because they know they need help. They know they need to make some changes, and showing up to church once a week is a start. Just because they go, doesn’t mean they change overnight. Even people who go to church still have junk to workout at home. It’s not like everyone who starts going to church immediately stops smoking, cussing, being selfish and making poor choices. No, making those types of improvements takes time. Over time, the people around them should start seeing their efforts to improve, and poor decisions should start shrinking like a dieter’s waistline.
The same goes for the gym. People can join a gym and learn a few tips here and there, but it takes time to accept it and apply it. I’ve had members who have been with me for YEARS who have been fed good advice for a long time, but weren’t willing to accept and apply it for a while. Does this make them a hypocrite, since they go to the gym but aren’t living healthy at home? No. It makes them a learner. Some learn the hard way, some learn the easy way – both are learning.
Sadly, people often go to the other extreme, making fun of the people who have applied all the principles and are completely “religious” about their fitness. They too can be an easy target of scrutiny. It’s the Super Member (like the Super Christian) that can be intimidating to be around, or be a turn off, because of their seemingly extreme ways.
Today, I’d like you to make a pact with yourself to try to put all judgement aside. We don’t know what people are going through personally. We don’t know people’s issues, or reasons for dieting, working out, or competing in fitness events. Sculpting their body may be the ONLY thing in their life they have control of – which may be their only sanity. There are also many reasons someone works out besides their looks. Some people do 2 hours of cardio a day because they have a tremendous amount of stress at home and they need to healthy social escape. The list goes on.
There are others who you may view as people who are “pretending” to do everything right but they haven’t lost a pound. Someone who has been a member of a gym for years and hasn’t dropped a pound is no different than someone who has attended church for years and still continues to sin. We should CELEBRATE they are still coming!! While we may not understand someone’s gym (or church) rituals or quirks, as long as they keep going, they have a chance to be impacted by the people around them. Some people are impacted easily, while others are stubborn and take time. Either way, we have to learn to love them where they are, just as I hope you love me where I am.
Let’s work together to build each other up no matter where we are on our fitness journey. Remember, EVERYONE started as a newbie – everyone! If you are further on your fitness journey, then encourage people around you, teaching them what you have learned – and never, ever, EVER give up on anyone, especially your self!
Making NO Decision is Still Making A Decision
I think many of us are not making bad decisions as much as we are making NO decisions. If we stop to think about what we are doing, we typically know the right thing to do. However, most of the time, we rush into things or live on the fly, without stopping to ask ourself if we are making the best decision. Every time I ask myself “could I, would I, should I?”, I make MUCH better decisions – purposeful decisions, instead of impulse decisions.
Even the smallest decisions are decisions we can regret. From whether we should run or not (Spoiler Alert: The answer is almost always yes) or we should eat “this or that”, sometimes we just need to stop and really think about what we are doing. If we are honest with ourselves. We’ll make more decisions we can be proud of – and less decisions we regret.
We all have a favorite food we seem powerless around. Some people crave sweets, others (like me) crave salty snacks. If you want to see me struggle, just put a bowl of chips and salsa in front of me. It’s my kryptonite. I will shrivel up into a ball and lose all my super powers. OK, not really, but you get the point.
If you want results this year, you need to STOP obsessing over your kryptonite, and START obsessing over the super powers you will get as soon as you get away from it. If you think you can’t live without your nightly ice cream, you should be more stressed out about living one more night not feeling your best, your strongest, your fittest, your healthiest. That, my friend, is actually something worth worrying about.
Think about living one more day in tight fitting jeans. Think about living one more day, out of shape and out of breath. Think about giving up a healthy heart, a long life, and spending time feeling your best playing with your grandkids. THAT, my friends, is what you are GIVING UP every time you GIVE IN – and THAT is some scary stuff!
Are you giving your kryptonite too much power?
Make a list of the things you are giving up (the future, healthier you), if you don’t give up the things you need to reach your goals.
Is it a day you have a ton of energy? Is your definition of a good day when you feel extra motivated to workout and eat right? Maybe it’s that kind of day that nothing goes wrong, all traffic lights turn green for you when you are running late to work, and you get a random check in the mail when you get home from work that covers the exact cost of an unexpected bill.
If you answered yes to any of those “good days”, then maybe you should change your way of thinking. We shouldn’t let our circumstances decide whether we are having a good day or not. We can make any good day a good day by the way we react to our circumstance.
A good day can be one of the crappiest, hardest, most challenging days you’ve had, but your reaction is so great, you go to sleep proud and happy. When your decisions are good, even on a crappy day, you end up stronger, fitter and more proud than you could have ever been on any normal day.
Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals. - Dorothy Height
Anyone can be victorious when there is no opposition, but true victory is when you beat opposition. Make today a great day. Make this year a great year – not by what happens to you, but your response to it.