Mini Pizzas!

pizzarecipepictureWhen you’re counting macros, extravagant meals can be a real b***h to keep track of! So, you have to get creative in the kitchen to keep your stomach happy and your mind sane. This is just a basic macro friendly mini pizza recipe that I made last night, and I absolutely loved it. Obviously, you can add as much-or as little-of the ingredients as you want or none at all! It’s all up to you and what you enjoy. If you try this recipe, drop me a comment below, and let me know how you liked it! bon appetit!

Mini Pizza Recipe – Serving Size 2 Small Torilla Pizzas

Ingredients

  • 2 La Banderita Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • 2 tbsp Dei Fratelli Natural Pizza Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup of Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • Italian Seasoning
  • 8 Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • 16 Carando Turkey Pepperonis
  • about 2 tbsp of diced green pepper
  • about 2 tbsp of diced onion

* Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

Tortilla Pizza Preparation

  • spray the front and back of each tortilla with olive oil spray (do not use too much, about 1 second spray will do)
  • spread 1 tbsp of pizza sauce on one tortilla and the other tbsp on the other tortilla
  • sprinkle 1/2 of the 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese on one tortilla, sprinkle the remaining cheese on the other tortilla
  • add your veggies and Italian seasoning: diced onion, diced green pepper, and spinach
  • add 8 pepperonis to one pizza and the remaining 8 to the other one
  • Place both pizzas on a cookie tray, spray the tray so nothing sticks, and cook for 10 minutes

THAT’S IT! 🙂

Now for the part you have been waiting for, the macros. Keep in mind these are the macros for the specific pizza above. If you change ingredients, you will change the macros:

  • Calories: 347
  • Carbs: 34g
  • Fats: 15g
  • Protein: 22g

Have questions? Comment below! I’m happy to help 🙂

 

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Sleep & Muscular Development

Sleep. Can’t get enough of it, am I right? What’s even worse is we can be so doggone tired, lay down to go to sleep and then it’s like the checklist you couldn’t get accomplished throughout the day hits you like a train! Now, you feel like you’ll never get to sleep … I’m sure we have all been there. As part of a healthy lifestyle sleep is important for many different reasons like muscular development and physical performance, improves memory, and also gives you a higher level of energy to take on the day! Since we, here at CSL, are geared towards fitness I am going to direct your attention to why sleep is important for muscular development and overall physical performance.

A little information on SLEEP

There are 2 categories that sleep is divided into, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, and NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. You spend a large portion of the night in NREM and progressively work towards REM sleep about every ninety minutes. The later stages of sleep that your body enters into are the most important when it comes to restorative function. The downside is that you can only get there by getting through the initial stages of sleep. Improving sleep quality is just as important as improving how often you sleep.

Human Growth Hormone

Most of your growth hormone is produced while you sleep and responsible for your physical growth.  Some benefits of HGH include but are not limited to:

  • Repairs muscles allowing optimal growth
  • Increases calcium retention improving bone mass
  • Promotes fat loss
  • Minimizes fat storage
  • Support optimal immune system function
  • Keeps your body running smoothly

HGH levels are high in childhood and peak in adolescence. HGH levels begin diminishing after puberty. HGH is constantly being produced throughout our lives and helps regulate the body’s metabolism aiding weight loss.

Recovery

Recovery, the period during which muscle growth occurs, will not take place without plenty of sleep. Rest and the duration of rest are important for each and every muscle group. The rest time varies according to each muscle group and the intensity at which you trained. It may take your legs 2-4 full days to completely recover where your arms may only take 1-2 days. Full recovery will allow your body to grow in strength and size.

Sleep Time

Sleep time is very individualistic. Generally between 6 and 12 hours of sleep will suffice. Although there are super-humans out there like The Rock who seems to function optimally on very little sleep (props to him!) Find the time that works best for you. For myself I have noticed that 6-7 hours allows me to wake feeling energized and refreshed, any more than that and I feel sluggish the entire day!

Sleep tips & tricks!

Below are a few helpful tricks to allow you to turn off your brain and improve your sleep!

  • Keep a notepad on your nightstand and jot down anything that comes to your mind. Jot down your “check-list”. Write it down, leave it, and rest! This method allows peace of mind in realizing that you no longer have to think about it any further (fingers crossed!)
  • Utilize calming music to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. I won’t lie, I have had to use this method on those nights where I just can’t seem to relax. Listening to the sounds of birds chirping, waves crashing, rain, or grasshoppers allows me to mentally focus on those sounds alone eventually leading to sleep.
  • Maintain a clean room. This might sound very elementary but it works! You’d be surprised at how many adults go to sleep with clothing and shoes thrown everywhere, papers and deadlines sitting on dressers, etc. By picking up after yourself and placing any work related paper or information in the dining room or living area, you are promoting a stress free environment that allows for optimal sleep rest. The atmosphere in which you rest in plays a huge role on you mentally and eventually physically.
  • Implement a casein protein or a blended protein like CSL’s Clinical Protein before you go to sleep. I am famous for getting in bed, falling asleep, and waking up in the middle of the night hungry (I know I’m not the only one!) Your body goes through a period of starvation while you sleep pulling from its energy stores. For people trying to build muscle this can be detrimental. Try supplementing with a blended protein that contains slow digesting proteins right before you go to bed. The slow digesting protein allows your body to take in nutrients throughout the night while you sleep keeping you satisfied and avoiding hunger. This also allows your body to fuel itself from those nutrients and not your muscles, bonus!

CSL’s Clinical Protein also contains mct’s (medium chain triglycerides) that provide cellular energy for repair. These mct’s aid in muscular recovery while you sleep! Avoid muscular cannibalism and enhance muscular recovery with Clinical Protein! Click the link below for more information.

http://clinicalsportslabs.com/product/clinical-protein-vanilla-ice-cream/

5 Ways to Remain Goal Focused through the Holidays!

(As seen on Clinical Sports Labs at clinicalsportslabs.com)

Athlete  with bottle of water after running workout outdoors

We are fast approaching that time of the year where New Year’s resolutions will be set. Am I moving too fast for you? Okay, ill slow it down a bit. . .

November is here and thanksgiving is just around the corner! The most festive times of the year where loved ones gather with family and friends and partake in the high carb, low exercise festivities. . . I mean, it’s true right? This is the time of year where goals usually receive a swift kick in the ass out the front door. But just because that’s the holiday “norm”, it doesn’t have to be you! Below are a few ways you can remain accountable and motivated to stick close to your plans in reaching your fitness goals even through the holidays!

  1. Re-write your game plan!

Chances are, you sat down a long time ago and wrote down your goals in a notebook or on a sticky note. That notebook is probably underneath books and papers that have accumulated over the months or that sticky note was maybe thrown away on accident; what I’m getting at is that the goals in your head have become clouded and may not be as clear to you as they once were. One way of re-introducing your goals back into your daily routine is to re-write them! Reacquaint yourself with your fitness goals and map out a plan of attack. This time, keep that paper pinned on your wall or somewhere you can see it daily. Never forget what it is you want and never stop working towards it!

  1. Cheat … Smart!

Yeah I said it, cheat. This pertains to you meat heads and fitness junkies out there! Competition prep can really hit you hard not only physically but mentally as well (you know). Allowing yourself to cheat is a healthy way to recharge you mentally and physically. Allow those extra carbs you consume through the holidays to fuel your workouts! Your brain will thank you for it as well for receiving the macro-nutrient it loves most! But be careful don’t allow your thanksgiving meal to drag you down. Cheat, but cheat smart. Enjoy thanksgiving and all the delicious, mouth watering carbs it provides but don’t let this cheat meal or day turn into a cheat week! Get on track and hit the gym the next day. That workout will be the best workout you’ve probably had in a long time.

  1. Short term reward for long term risk?

What I mean by this is when it comes to making decisions that may have a temporary reward ask yourself “Does this also have a long term reward?” Saying yes to a few sugar cookies a day can be your arch nemesis when the day comes that you have to check in with your coach around contest prep time. Yes have a cookie, but don’t over indulge! Think about the long term advantages and disadvantages of every move you make. Trust me, they count.

  1. Supplement your sweet tooth!

The holiday season is famous for its sweets! This is a perfect time to get creative with your supplements! With the help of Clinical Sports Labs’ delicious protein flavors you can come up with healthy, protein rich sweets that will help you steer clear of the devilish, high sugar desserts put in your path. I am a huge fan of blending Arctic Zero’s Cookie Shake ice cream with a scoop of Clinical Sports Labs’ vanilla ice cream protein and almond milk to make the most delicious milk shake on the planet! (My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it!) You can add protein to cookies, cakes, pancakes, oatmeal, and coffee to create something you can indulge in and leave the guilt behind!

http://clinicalsportslabs.com/product/clinical-protein-vanilla-ice-cream/

  1. Don’t be hard on yourself

Look, we are all human. We all make mistakes and we all slip up. It happens. The point I want to drive home is that you shouldn’t hate yourself or be hard on yourself because you made the decision to eat cake. They don’t call it bulking season for nothing right? 😉 Your body is an amazing machine. It’s ability to adapt is profound. You can truly adjust, change, and manipulate your body in a way that you are happy with whenever you want. Yes, it may take some time to work off the cake you ate at your holiday party but the thing is that it’s not impossible. It’s not like that cake is permanently glued to your thighs or abdomen, although it may feel that way for some time. Don’t be hard yourself. Look at your goals and get right back on the horse.

T.G.I.M: Live life with no excuses

Be stronger than your strongest excuse.

Excuses tend to get us out of  many, many messes. It covers our asses when we need it most and gives us a reason for not wanting to or not doing something we know we should have done in the first place. The problem with this? Excuses can become little road blocks preventing us from moving forward towards our goals.

My alarm wakes me at 7:00a. I open my eyes and think to myself, ” I really don’t feel like getting up and studying. I am so comfy and could actually use a little extra sleep … I mean, I didn’t really get enough sleep the night before because … because of ..my dog. He kept me up so late that night. My body needs to catch up on some rest and plus I have time later to study.” I hit “snooze” and go back to sleep.

This is absolutely legit and is something I struggle with almost every other morning. Since I really don’t sleep well at night, it is incredibly difficult to wake up in the morning. Especially to study. This is where I am failing to see the big picture and many of you are as well, (I know i’m not the only one who does this).

It isn’t about the studying or the sleeping, it’s about your goals, your dreams. It’s about doing whatever you have to do and whatever it takes to get you closer to reaching your goals. It is about what you have planned for your life. You can’t allow your excuses to become bigger than your goals! Tell those excuses to go f**k off and get to work! Build a life you can be proud of and a life that makes you happy. Learn to ignore those little excuses that your brain creates and learn to push past them. Look at the big picture and in my case, get out of bed. If your goal is to lose weight, wake up early and get that morning workout in before work. Save us all from listening to the perfect excuse you have created convincing yourself that you will do it later because we both know that wont happen! Trust me, I’ve been there and done that. If you are trying to grow your business then get out into the world and network your ass off. Don’t let your lacking skill-set excuse you from working hard. Teach yourself ways to improve your skill-set and then work harder. Wake up, work hard, and get it done! No excuses.

Be stronger than your excuses.

-mk

 

TGIM: “It does not matter how slowly you go”

“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”

-Confucius

“When it comes to reaching your goals you have to realize that it truly doesn’t matter how quickly or slowly you accomplish them, as long you don’t stop… As long as you don’t give up. Take baby steps if you need to but keep pushing forward. Keep making moves to get closer to those goals. I truly believe that anything is possible in this world and the only limitations that stand in your way are the ones you allow. ”

-Meagan Kunisch

This is a preview of what I post on my Instagram page. Yesterday I posted this on my page and I felt the need to share it with you today for my TGIM post. Save this quote if you need to and keep it with you wherever you go. It truly doesn’t matter how slowly you go just don’t ever give up!

I. AM. HUMAN: The Disappearance of Motivation

flower

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

I’m sitting here on my couch, sipping on a warm cup of coffee and listening to “The Today Show” all while I look at my blog and wonder where my motivation went. Isn’t it strange how you can start something like a fitness routine or in my case a blog with an amazing amount of motivation to keep it going and then one day you lose it? It is pretty perplexing to me seeing as how it’s something I really enjoy doing.

But guess what … here’s why it happens:

I. AM. HUMAN.

or you can read it like this:

YOU. ARE. HUMAN.

That’s really it. While there are thousands of very motivated and inspiring individuals out there, not everyone is the same. Where one person might be highly self motivated another may not be. These people, like myself, have to look for inspiration that will jumpstart our motivation from something inward or outward.

Just because you experience this odd disappearance of motivation doesn’t mean you failed, I’ll say it again:

YOU. DID. NOT. FAIL.

A lack of motivation is not failure. Failure to notice this lack of motivation and not creating a plan to get back on track is failure. If you aren’t aware of your lack of motivation you wont ever feel the need to make changes. Without creating a game plan to get back on track … you wont ever progress.

  1. Recognize that you have a problem: Lack of motivation
  2. Create a game plan to get back on track
  3. Make a note of why you veered off path before (laziness, school, responsibilities, etc)
  4. Execute your game plan!

As long as you dedicate yourself to getting back on track, you will not fail.

That goes for everything in life: addictions, fitness routines, diets, work, blogs, writing, drawing, etc. Sometimes you just have to recognize what the problem is and where the problem came from in order to create a fresh game plan to get you back on track towards your goals!

-mk

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

healthyunhealthybody

I’m going to give it to you straight up … it ain’t easy. Hell if it was everyone would be living a healthy and fit life! Am I right? Knowing how to start helps and having simple steps to guide you through the process is even better. I have compiled my own step by step process to help guide you into this beautiful, stress relieving world of health.

  1. The Decision

It honestly has to start with the decision to willingly begin. It can’t be someone else’s decision for you, it must be 100% your own. As we all know if our heart isn’t 100% dedicated to something we are less likely to follow through with it. So, when you have taken that first step … you are ready to begin.

  1. Educate Yourself

This is the hardest and most frustrating part. Because you are a newbie you are a beginner and we all know where beginners start … the beginning, the bottom of the totem pole, the back of the line, etc. There is always a stage where you have to put in a little bit of hard work and that comes with anything in life: there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Research any information pertaining to YOUR current health status. For example, if you deal with a disease or have any food allergies you will want to look up the foods you can and can’t eat. Take note. Also, make sure to write down the types of foods that your diet should be rich in and will have a positive impact on your health. As for your fitness plan, research exercises you can and can’t participate in. Any injuries you may have, you will want to find the exercises that will build these parts up stronger but won’t hurt these bones, ligaments, or muscles at the same time.

I strongly suggest avoiding fad diets. A fad diet is a weight loss plan or aid that promises dramatic results. These types of diets may give short-term weight loss but the promise of keeping it off long-term … it just won’t happen. Fad diets can also cause metabolic damage and other health related issues.

To learn how to differentiate between healthy diets and fad diets check out the link below:

http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/pages/fad-diets.aspx

After you have made a list of foods you can and can’t eat and a list of body strengthening exercises that won’t further irritate any injuries you may have, it’s time to make a plan of action!

  1. Plan of Action

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

So, it’s time to put all of that information you spent hours researching together in a document. Pat yourself on the back because the hard part is over … for now (insert evil villain laugh). I highly recommend using a word processing program like word, excel, or publisher to put together something you can refer to. This is where you can have fun! What I would do next is simply put together a sample weekly diet plan and weekly fitness regimen. Start with one at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself! A sample diet plan could look like this:

Monday

Breakfast: egg whites with spinach, grape tomatoes, and feta cheese and 1 slice of Ezekial bread with Almond butter.

Snack: handful of almonds and 8oz of water

Lunch: 1 can of tuna mixed with seasonings, spicy brown mustard, and celery served on top of whole wheat toast with a side of mixed field greens and balsamic vin.

Snack: 2 rice cakes with peanut butter

Dinner: grilled chicken breast, mixed veggies, and sweet potato

Try your best to be thorough but the key here is to create something that YOU CAN REFER TO. This shouldn’t be some silly ‘ole regimen you put together and never look at again. This should be your guidance, what you will refer to when you get overwhelmed in the future. Trust me, it helps.

A sample fitness regimen could look like this:

Monday

Morning run / Afternoon weight lifting: Chest & Tri’s

  • Barbell bench press
  • Barbell incline bench press
  • Cable flies
  • Skull crushers with EZ bar
  • Dumbbell kickbacks
  • Cable press downs

If you are new and you aren’t sure where to start with selecting exercises visit bodybuilding.com. They provide thousands of sample exercises and all you have to do is type in what muscle group you are searching for.

www.bodybuilding.com

Those are a couple of examples of how you can lay out your sample diet and fitness regimen. A few things to aim for when it comes to creating a healthy diet plan:

  • Include variety: make sure your plan includes a variety of whole foods ranging from green leafy vegetables, fruits, red and white meats, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds, dairy, whole grains, etc. Including a variety of all of these foods allows your body to take in the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy! Of course, pay attention to any health or medical conditions you have as they might limit or exclude some foods.
  • Create balance: creating balance just means not having too much of one thing. I am sure you have heard of MyPlate. If not, MyPlate is just a useful website that gives you information about eating healthy. It shows you how to divide your plate according to meats, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, etc. MyPlate says to dedicate half of our plate to green leafy vegetables and then divide the other half of our plate between a carbohydrate and a protein. Simple enough right?
  • Moderation: this simply means to pay attention to how much of one item you’re eating. Have you noticed that you have been consuming a lot of sweet potatoes the past couple of days? Maybe it’s time to switch things up and try eating some brown rice. Too much of a good thing can be bad, so just keep an eye on what you eat and how much of it you eat daily.

Visit the link below for more information about healthy food choices and how to implement balance, moderation, and variety into your diet!

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

  1. Implement your Plan!

The day has finally arrived. Day One in your calendar; this is the day where your life can change forever. You have made the decision to begin living a healthy life and you have created a plan of action that will guide and aid in this life changing process!

It’s GO TIME!

Always keep in mind what your long-term goals are: lose 20 lbs, clear your acne, relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, and strengthen your heart, whatever it is always remember what you are working so hard for! They will be your motivating factors on this journey. When it comes to health and fitness nothing happens over night, let me say it again,

NOTHING HAPPENS OVER NIGHT.

Got it?

This process takes time. Do not give yourself unrealistic expectations of trying to accomplish this life change in one week or a month. Be patient and trust the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it? No.

If you are someone who is motivated through seeing changes, as I am, I recommend keeping a journal. This is where you can write any and everything! Write down your starting waist, hips, and thigh measurements, your current weight, how clear your skin is, how you feel mentally and physically. Write down whether or not you enjoyed the food you ate or if you hated it. Make notes about your fitness: what did you enjoy and what did you dislike? As time goes by you will begin to notice subtle changes and you will also have a point of reference for determining if and when you need a change.

These steps helped me start living a healthy and fit life. I always recommend reaching out if you have questions or concerns. Contact a friend for advice, information, and motivation. Talk to your doctor if you have health related questions or a personal trainer for physical questions. You won’t know the answer until you ask the question!

Today is the day you could change your life forever.

Go for it!

-mk

Other blog posts I have previously written that can help aid in this process are listed below: