November’s Recipes and Q & A Wrap-Up
Below you will find a list of all of the recipes and Q & A sessions from this past month’s newsletters. If you’d like to get these types of articles delivered to your email on a regular basis, please sign up for the Fit Facts Newsletter (and get a free e-report in the process!).
RECIPE: Sweet Potato Fries
A lot of people aren’t too fond of sweet potatoes, or only eat them in the form of the sugary nightmare we all know as candied yams at Thanksgiving, but it’s unfortunate because sweet potatoes, when eaten as nature intended, are very good for you! If you enjoy french fries, you will get a kick out of sweet potato fries, plus all the health benefits of sweet potatoes… try them for yourself and let me know how you like them!
- 1/2 pound sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4″ thick sticks
- 1 tbsp reduced-fat parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- pinch of cayenne
- salt, to taste
- pinch of ground black pepper
- ketchup (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes, cheese, olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a medium nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, flip the potatoes over and bake for 10 to 12 additional minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and browned in spots. Serve immediately, with ketchup, if desired. Enjoy!
RECIPE: Guiltless French Toast
I love French toast and devised a way that I can have them once a week without feeling any remorse for cheating! This variation on the sugar and fat-loaded breakfast favorite is low in fat, sugar-free and high in protein and complex carbohydrates… can’t get much healthier than that! Try them for yourself and let me know how you like them!
- 2 eggs, yolks removed
- Dash salt, optional
- Dash cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp xylitol or Splenda sweetener, optional
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
- 3 slices whole-grain bread
- I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light
- Sugar-free syrup
- 1/4 cup Blueberries, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, etc, optional
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Separate egg whites from yolks and put whites into a wide, shallow bowl or pie plate; beat lightly with a fork. Stir in salt, cinnamon, sweetener and milk. Over medium-low heat, heat griddle or skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Place the bread slices, one at a time, into the bowl or plate, letting slices soak up egg mixture for a few seconds, then carefully turn to coat the other side. Soak/coat only as many slices as you will be cooking at one time. Transfer bread slices to griddle or skillet, heating slowly until bottom is golden brown. Turn and brown the other side. Serve hot, topped with butter and syrup, and with fruit and/or nuts if desired. Enjoy!
RECIPE: Roast Beef and Red Bell Pepper Wraps
Wraps are awesome, easy to make and easy to transport—in other words, the perfect lunch food! If you like eating roast beef then you have to try this variation. Try them for yourself and let me know how you like them!
- 1 tbsp fat-free cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
- dash black pepper
- dash dried rosemary, crushed
- 1 whole-wheat flour tortilla
- 1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper strips
- 3/4 cup lean, low-sodium roast beef deli meat
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese garlic sauce, black pepper and rosemary, mix well. Spread cream cheese mixture onto tortilla. Top with bell pepper strips, roast beef and basil. Roll up and enjoy!
RECIPE: Leftover Turkey Sandwiches
Considering it’s the day after Thanksgiving, I figure that most of you are going to partake in the de-facto post-Thanksgiving lunch—turkey sandwiches. Remember, Thanksgiving is over and it’s time to get back on track, so avoid the usual mayonnaise and stuffing-loaded variety in favor of this more healthy version, and get off to the right start! Try them for yourself and let me know how you like them!
- 1 tbsp low fat garlic aioli
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 4oz white turkey, sliced
- 2 leaves romaine lettuce
- 2 slices Ezekiel bread, toasted
- 1 tbsp cranberry sauce
Spread the aioli and dijon mustard on opposite slices of bread. Put the sliced turkey on the mustard side, top with cranberry sauce and the romaine. Put the other piece of bread on top, aioli side down. Enjoy!
Q&A: Learning to Accept Periods of Rest?
Sooo, I’m a workout junkie. I feel my best after a hard workout. Here’s the situation. I got sick Wednesday night and haven’t been able to work out. Literally slept and laid in bed ALL weekend. I feel better today and may be able to muster up the energy to do some light cycling tomorrow to feel like less of a blob . Im having a tooth pulled Wednesday morning and will not be able to do much for 3-5 days as it’ll worsen the swelling and healing process.
I’m having a psychological war with myself right now. I know that I needed to take the last several days off (even walking the dog for 15min was enough to put me into nap mode) and that I’ll need at least 3 days to recover from the tooth (I’ll maybe walk to dog an hr in the mining and evening just so I’m moving!!). So while I know I’m doing what’s good for my body, knowing that I will not have had a workout in over a week is driving me nutty!! I’m eating at maintenance so I KNOW I’m not going to gain weight and I know I’ll probably kill it in the gym next week because of being so well rested! I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve taken more than 2 days off in a row. But still, it’s eating at me. How can I relax and ENJOY complete rest?? – Beth
Not only is it OK to take a break every once in a while—it’s actually GOOD. It’s crucial to take a week or so break every couple of months to give your body a complete recovery, and to keep your focus (which is one of the reasons we take a week-long break after every two CORE Condition bootcamps). As you can see, your mind is craving fitness and as the responder above mentioned, this is a good thing and you want to have this feeling. Just learn to embrace it and see it as a positive instead of a negative.
You are correct that you will not see negative results in this time period (even if you did, they would be minimal and you could recover from them in roughly the same amount of time, i.e. a week) and instead will likely find that when you return to your workouts, you have much more energy and focus than you did before.
Learn to start scheduling these short breaks on an occasional basis. I like to time them around my vacations when possible… but how you do it is up to you
Good luck with the tooth…
Q&A: Fitness Routine for a Beginner?
Can you recommend a good routine for a free weight routine? I am just starting to weight train at home again after many years off. I have done body weight exercises and am in pretty good shape. I can do the basic exercises with good form since I did do free weights years ago. I just need some direction on how to organize my routine. I understand muscles need a day rest to recover to build.
Should I do a whole body routine every other day and my twenty min cardio on my days off from weights or is it better to do weights everyday and do a split? Thanks!
Typically, only very advanced lifters and bodybuilders will benefit most from a “5 or 6 days per week, body part split” style of routine… your idea of working the whole body 3-4 times per week is perfect.
As for cardio, it depends on your goals. If your goal is fat-loss, I’d do cardio 6x per week for ~45 minutes or so per session. If your goal is lean mass gain, I’d limit the cardio to 1 or 2 times per week simply for vascular health and maybe ~30 minutes or so per session. Remember that diet will play a huge part in your results, so make sure you lock that down!
Q&A: BCAA’s and EFA’s?
I was wondering is there a way to naturally consume Bcaa’s through foods we eat or is it only in pill format? If I’m understanding them correctly it sounds like Bcaa’s are a great substitute for protein in building muscle but you don’t need to eat as much right? I’m a vegetarian so alternative protein sources are always an interest for me. For Efa’s a great natural way is avocados right?
BCAA’s (branched-chain amino acids) are just a select type of amino acids, so yes, eating regular protein will give you a good amount of BCAA’s as well as the other amino acids.
BCAA’s in supplement form don’t contain any calories (protein itself is 4 calories per gram), and come in a powder form or caplet. You definitely want to still eat real food protein sources to get the full spectrum of amino acids but you can totally supplement with BCAA’a as a vegetarian to help get enough “protein” (I put that in quotes because again, BCAA’s are NOT protein, they are a few of the building blocks that make up protein).
There are only two true “EFAs” or essential fatty acids. The omega-6 EFA (Linoleic Acid or LA) is found in most seed and nut oils, while the omega-3 EFA (Alpha Linolenic Acid or ALA) is only found in a significant quantity in leafy green vegetables and select few seed oils such as canola, hemp, chia, flax and soybean. A common misconception is that fish contain ALA but this is not true, they contain DHA and EPA which are also critical fatty acids, but they can be created from ALA if need be; ALA and LA needs to be ingested directly as they cannot be formed from anything else by the body. Most fish oil caps have ALA added though, which probably contributed to the confusion.
For the record, avocados have no EFA in them at all, although they are full of healthy fats in general.
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