September’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: Low-Carb Pancakes
If you’re on a low carb or carb-cycling diet, you are probably getting used to eating the same boring things day in and day out. Personally, I love pancakes and going without them is one of the hardest parts of dieting for me. I designed this recipe to give myself something that satisfied my “pancake obsession” without jeopardizing my diet. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!
- 1 scoop protein powder (preferably vanilla flavor)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 whole egg
- 4 drops vanilla extract or liquid vanilla cream stevia
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
- cooking spray
- 1 tbsp I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light
- 1 tbsp sugar-free syrup
In a small bowl, combine the protein powder and cinnamon, and add just enough water to form a thick paste with no lumps. Add the egg and beat well into the mixture. Add the vanilla flavoring and mix well. Add the peanut butter which should thicken the batter to a semi-pourable consistency. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour the batter onto the griddle to form one large pancake. Let it cook until bubbles form in the middle, about 2-3 minutes. Flip over and immediately turn off the heat, allowing the pancake to finish cooking from the residual heat, for about 30 seconds. Transfer the pancake to a plate and top with the butter and syrup.
RECIPE: Cereal Bowl
It can be pretty difficult to take cereal out of your diet… after all, we’ve been eating it since we were kids! Next time you have a hankering for this childhood favorite, try this recipe instead of the sugary, fattening cereal that most Americans eat. It’s important to make sure you’re using whole flaxseeds unless you want the healthy fat content instead of the fiber—whole flaxseeds are not digested by your body and instead provide a high dose of fiber. When you consume milled flaxseed on the other hand, you will digest all the fats and lose most of the fiber benefit.
- 1 cup Kashi GoLean high-protein, whole-grain cereal
- 1 tbsp whole flaxseeds
- 2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 1 packet Truvia
Pour the cereal into a medium bowl and top with flaxseeds, soy milk, bananas and Truvia.
RECIPE: Protein Pudding
Pudding does not have to be bad for you! I created this recipe in an attempt to increase the amount of protein in my pudding, and inadvertently created the most tasty, mousse-like pudding I’ve ever had! Considering it’s sugar-free, high in protein and includes healthy monounsaturated fats, you can’t go wrong with this one! Let me know how you like it and feel free to share any modifications you’ve made—I’ll be sure to pass them onto the rest of the newsletter readers!
- 3/4 cup nonfat cottage cheese
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 1 box sugar-free fat-free instant chocolate pudding mix
- 2 tbsp Trader Joe’s natural unsalted peanut butter
- 3 packets Truvia
- 2 tbsp sugar-free fat-free Cool Whip topping
- 1/2 banana, chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (optional)
Combine the cottage cheese and soy milk in a blender, blend until smooth. Keeping the blender set to the lowest setting, add in the optional items if desired. Gradually add the pudding mix. The mixture will thicken almost immediately, turn off the blender and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the peanut butter and the Truvia and mix with a fork or spoon to combine fully. Transfer to two bowls and place the bowls in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour before serving. Top each bowl with Cool Whip and serve.
RECIPE: Protein Oatmeal
In the spirit of breakfast, here’s an easy recipe that I use every day to give me a quick, delicious treat in the morning. Most people eat oatmeal hot, with sugar, butter and other unhealthy additives. I prefer mine cold, which gives it a “rice pudding”-like texture, with protein powder for flavor! That way you get your healthy carbohydrates and protein all in one! Let me know how you like it and feel free to share any modifications you’ve made—I’ll be sure to pass them onto the rest of the newsletter readers!
- 3/4 cup old fashion rolled oats
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 packet Truvia
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 2 drops vanilla-creme flavored liquid stevia (optional, for added flavor)
- 1 tbsp ground or whole flaxseed (optional, for added healthy fat or fiber, respectively)
Combine the oats and water in a bowl, and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes or until the water has been completely absorbed. Put the oatmeal in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight. Combine the Truvia, protein powder and cinnamon in a small dish and add just enough water to make a slightly-liquid paste. Add the mixture to the oatmeal and combine thoroughly. Add the optional items, if desired, and mix thoroughly. Enjoy!
Q&A: Are Side Bends Good for a Slim Waist?
I have been doing side bends with dumbbells for a few months now but I am not seeing any results from them. Do I need to use more weight or am I doing them all wrong? – Jessica
Side bends are actually one of the worst, functionally-useless core exercise you can do! First, let’s examine the functional benefit of the exercise. How often in your daily life do you find yourself doing this movement? I’d imagine that you do not do it very often if at all… we usually do not bend over sideways to pick things up and when we do, there is typically a twisting motion involved that side bends do not address. Now, let’s examine the aesthetic benefit of the exercise. Most trainees perform this exercise in an attempt to reduce fat near the waist and consequently reduce the waist’s circumference. This is unfortunately a futile (and even counter-productive) effort for a number of reasons:
First of all, it is not possible to spot-reduce fat. Your body will choose where to remove or add fat on your body, regardless of which area you target in your exercise. Only by reducing overall body fat can we ensure that our problem areas are also reduced. This is accomplished through consistent exercise and proper nutrition.
Finally, side bends will, instead of slimming the waist, thicken the waist because they will cause your oblique muscles to grow in size, which will reduce the lean, v-taper look that you’re going for and create more of a boxy-look to your torso. In other words, stay away from side bends and concentrate your efforts on performing total body resistance training and cardio on a consistent basis, and eating fewer calories than you use each day!
Q&A: Is More Always Better?
I am trying to lose weight and am currently working out 2 times per day, but my progress has slowed to a crawl and I feel like I’ve hit a wall. I don’t really feel like I can increase my exercise any more than what I’m currently doing without living at the gym! Any suggestions? – Ariadna
It actually sounds like you’re working out too much… if you work out too much you’ll overtrain your body and regress rather than progress! Think of working out as the act of tearing down a wall, and the rest you take after your workout as the act of rebuilding that wall stronger than before… as you can see, if you keep tearing the wall down while it’s halfway through being rebuilt, it will never become stronger and instead will become a big pile of rubble!
Rest is one of the most critical components of an effective fitness program. Try reducing your resistance training workouts to 3-4 days a week, with a cardio session included (and an extra day of cardio on the weekend, so 5 days of cardio total) and see how that works for you.
Q&A: Help My Heartburn!
Hi Ben, I’m training for a half marathon and I have a really hard time staying hydrated during the long runs. Every time i take a sip of water, it makes me feel burpy, which makes my stomach turn. I end up having to swish water in my mouth and then spit most of it out. But I am thinking that’s why I struggle so much after 7 miles, because I’m getting dehydrated. Any advice? – Elise
It sounds like you’re possibly experiencing acid reflux which could be due to a number of factors. Try the following and if it doesn’t relieve the symptoms, I would go to your family doctor and have them check for a possible acute problem such as a hernia in the esophagus, or for a more severe case of chronic acid reflux. The doctor may decide to prescribe you anti-acid medicine which can alleviate the issue (such as nexium or omeprazole).
- Avoid common reflux trigger foods (caffeine, chocolate, mint, onions, and citrus fruits) well before the race or training.
- While drinking the water, ensure you’re not drinking it too quickly as you may swallow air with the water which can aggravate the issue.
- Avoid drinking a large amount of water during or immediately after eating a large meal… I assume you’re carbing up before the race and lots of carbs + water can often lead to reflux issues.
Q&A: Lordosis Problem
I’ve extra lower back curve problem I mean lordosis problem! Now what can I do for this? Is there any remedy or any exercise to make my tummy flat? What should I’ve to do for quickest possible result? Please let me know in detail. – Jasmine
Lordosis (excessive curvature in the lumbar spine) is very common among the American population due to our high level of sedentarily and consequently, muscle imbalances. You most likely have very tight hip flexor muscles, which are the muscles which would assist in lifting your knee as if you were marching and your gluteals are likely weak.
Together this causes your hip bone (pelvis) to rotate forward which pulls the spine into lordosis. This happens over years of bad posture, inactivity or training abs and other body parts improperly so there is really no “quickest possible result.” You cannot expect to reverse something which developed over a span of 5 years in a matter of days, weeks or even months.
You can begin correcting your lordosis by stretching your hip flexor muscles. Simply perform a deep lunge straight forward onto one foot while your back foot is pressed against the ground, heel up. You should probably stretch each side for 30-45 seconds 2-3x a day and more if you sit for extended periods of time.
Your next priority should be to strengthen your gluteals which you can do with hip thrusters, glute-ham raises and any properly-performed leg exercises such as lunges.
If you have a pooch, core exercises can also help you tighten your mid section by strengthening the muscles which support your lower back. Perform core exercises only if you are able to pay close attention to form.
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