“Abs are made in the kitchen”

How many times have you heard the saying,” Abs are made in the kitchen”? I know I have heard it many times and I see it all over Instagram! It is honestly one of the truest sayings out there. No matter how hard you workout in the gym you cannot out-train a bad diet. It catches up to you eventually.

Over the past year I have been experimenting with meal prepping. I always do my best to prepare nutritious food to eat during the week when I am at my busiest. I tend to keep my meal preps very basic and I add small ingredients here and there to spice it up a bit before I eat. I always choose the following to prep:

  • Lean protein choice: chicken, salmon, turkey
    • Lean protein helps repair muscle tissue and aids in muscle growth. It also helps with the development of skin, hair, and nails.
    • Check out the following link for more information on specific protein sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/91587-four-major-sources-protein/

  • healthy carbohydrate: sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa,couscous, vegetables,etc.
    • Carbs are your body’s energy source; think of it as fuel to the fire. One of the most common misconceptions is that “carbohydrates make you fat”, this is just simply not an accurate statement! Think about it, too much of any food even healthy can cause weight gain. Carbohydrates can help you lose weight and help promote healthy weight loss. Moderation is key.
    • Check out the link below for six reasons why you should eat carbohydrates!:

http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/6_reasons_you_should_be_eating_carbs?page=3

  • Vegetables (a complex carb):I choose dark leafy green veggies like spinach, kale, or field greens. I also eat a lot of broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and asparagus. Even though vegetables are technically carbs because they have carbs, they still provide important vitamins and minerals that other carbs like brown rice or sweet potato may not provide.
    • Dark green, leafy vegetables are excellent source of fiber, folate, and carotenoids. They contain important vitamins and minerals that act as antioxidants in the body. Visit the link below for further information on how to choose these vegetables and how to store and prepare them:

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/fcs3/fcs3567/fcs3567.pdf

  •  Fat: I choose cooking oils such as olive oil or vegetable oil and I choose foods high in healthy fats like almonds, almond butter, avocados, etc.
    • Despite its name, fats are very important when it comes to a healthy diet. Fats are very important for energy and provide storage spots for your body’s energy. It also helps transport vitamin a, d, e, and k throughout your bloodstream and helps absorb them into your body.
    • Visit the link below for more information on fat and it’s functions in the body:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/43948-fats-important-diet/

mealprep

The picture above is from my meal prep today 🙂 I cooked quinoa for the first time. It came out bland. I am going to research some recipes to help season it up a bit. If anyone has any recipes you would like to share with me that would be so very helpful!

I also chose to cook broccoli because it is one of the easiest veggies to cook and one of my favorites!

For my protein source I almost always go with chicken. I add garlic powder, black pepper and this time I added a European Basil blend. It came out absolutely delicious and I did not need to add any salt. 🙂 I like bland/earthy flavors so you can obviously season your chicken with anything you prefer!

A couple of great low sodium or zero sodium options are:

  1. Mrs. Dash: you can get this seasoning at your local grocery store
  2. Flavor God: http://flavorgod.com/

Meal prepping doesn’t only have to be for the person who is a body builder or woman/man who is prepping for a show. Meal prepping can be applied to anyone’s weekly routine! It helps to have that food readily available when you’re tight on time. It is already prepared and cooked, just heat it up and chow down!

Happy Prepping!

M.

Square One

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Everyone has been there, the bottom of the totem pole. If you’re anything like me starting on this fitness journey can be overwhelming. Luckily, I had my brother who had already found his passion in the fitness world as a certified personal trainer. He was there to help guide me along this path; he was and still is a huge motivating factor in my life. Plain and simple, it helps to know at least a couple of people in the fitness world whether they are friends, family, co-workers, or people from your gym. You can go to them for advice and they will help mentor, motivate, and inspire you. I absolutely enjoy meeting other people who are educated in the health and fitness world because their brains are so full of knowledge! You can learn so much from someone just by talking to them and getting to know them.

Here’s something I know many of you may be able to relate to.

I had a conversation with a friend of mine, he is a great coach and very knowledgeable. I was talking to him about my fitness goals telling him my frustrations and telling him where I WANT to be. He … was … blunt and brutally honest. He told me, “The workouts you’ve been doing on your own won’t get you there.” He asked me a bunch of questions that I literally didn’t have an answer for: “What’s your process?”, “What’s your method?”, and “What are you going to do to get you to peak week?”, “Do you know how to prep for a show?”, and “Do you know how to develop your body or pose?” Talk about overwhelming and disappointing! Confusion hit me like a tidal wave. I immediately thought to myself, “Now what? What is it that I really want to do?” Finding out that what you have been doing all along is not working is a tough pill to swallow. It’s just like starting over from square one.

This is something I am sure everyone has experienced in life not only in fitness but also in our daily lives: relationships, careers, etc. I know I have experienced it outside of fitness. You think you want one thing and then something happens that shows you that maybe it’s not what you really want. Life constantly changes and adapting to its changes is what it’s all about. You take the punch, shake it off and get back at it. I am still unsure of what it is that I really want to do, whether it is competing or performance, but one thing is certain, I know that I live a healthy well-balanced life. That is something to be proud of. So, now that everything is out on the table it’s time to dig down deep and re-prioritize my goals and create a solid plan that will help me achieve them!

M.

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” -Henry Ford