Sunday, June 24, 2012

Protein brownies

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4 egg whites
7-8 oz. berry babyfood (I use stage 2 Gerber Apple Blueberry)
1/2C oat flour
3 teasp. unsweetened cocoa or 2 cap fulls of chocolate extract (Watkins)
2 cap fulls of vanilla extract
1/4 cup Ideal brown sugar (or Truvia- maybe a little less)
2 teasp. baking powder
1/3C water
4 scoops Chocolate VCore protein from Complete Nutrition (or any whey protein)

In a large mixing bowl combine: egg whites, babyfood, extracts, water and sugar substitute.  Then mix in the protein powder until all of the lumps are smooth, next add the oat flour and last the baking powder.
Spray an 8x8 square baking dish ( I use a glass baking dish.)
bake at 350 for 25minutes (give or take 5 minutes, until the center is done.)

These must be stored in the fridge.  So, after they are mostly cool, I cut them into 9 pieces and individually wrap them with plastic wrap and store them in the fridge or freezer.  I hope you enjoy these as much as our family does.  When I have one the next day, I like to warm it in the microwave for a bit and put a little natural chunky peanut butter on top... but I'm a PB lover!  My husband prefers them plain because he doesn't like them too sweet or rich!

Oh and by the way, I found a recipe similar on the Internet about a year ago (sorry, don't know where to give someone credit!)  but I've tweaked the recipe several times until they are "prefect!"  That's why I put name brands of the ingredients to be more specific.  I noticed when I used substitutions (like different protein powder) they did not turn out as good.

Makes 9 servings
per serving:
Calories: 95
Protein: 11g
Fat: 1g
Carbs: 8g

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How do you test success?

Here's my two cents on body numbers...
I am not going to say Body Mass Index (BMI) is a useless number. However, BMI is nothing more than a height and weight ratio type calculation. It doesn't take into consideration the body fat percentage or muscle mass.  For  example, if you are short and lean, with a considerable amount of muscle, your BMI will show you're obese.  Likewise, if you are really tall, with little muscle mass, and a beer belly, your BMI might be 'ideal'.
Now, with that being said I believe the BMI has it's place,,, like in the Dr's office.  When a physician notices their patient is overweight, he or she can then figure their BMI to give them a number that tells them they are overweight!  A higher BMI can put you at risk for obesity related health issues.  If a Dr. is trying to help a patient to be proactive and lose weight for health reasons, the BMI number would be very helpful to monitor their progress. 
AGAIN the BMI is just a height to weight ratio.  If you'd like to figure it go right ahead, it's not a bad thing to know.
 Here's the formula for BMI:
English Units: BMI = Weight (lb) / (Height (in) x Height (in)) x 703

Now, here's what's interesting... and proves my above point! Check this chart out!

  The CDC provides the following ranges for BMI values for adults:

Underweight Less than 18.5
Recommended 18.6 to 24.9
Overweight 25.0 to 29.9
Obese 30 or greater

My BMI is 25,,, yes, I am overweight!  Now, don't you think if that were true my Mr. Fitness husband would have me on a strict celery only diet!?!? 
I believe the mirror, and a skinfold caliper body fat test are the way to go!  Now, let me caution you that the body fat calipers can have a huge margin for error!  Now I said CAN, because you really just need to go to someone who does this A LOT and knows what he's doing!  I would also have them take several different measurements,,, 5-8 places on your body and each spot twice... or a third time if there are discrepencies. 

Currently my body fat % with calipers is 16%.
So check out this chart!

The American Council on Exercise provides the following ranges for body-fat percentage:
Essential fat
woman 10-12%
men      2-4%

woman 14-20%
men      6-13%

woman 21-24%
men     14-17%

woman  25-31%
men      18-25%

woman 32% +
men     26% +
(These facts/charts come from a trusted source,

So, am I overweight or athletic???  Good question.  I feel like I'm right where I want to be.  I don't want to be any lower body fat% wise because last summer when I was 12% I lost my period for three months!   Okay enough said, I think Body Fat % is more accurate than BMI.
However, there is another measurement of body fat that I have experienced. It is with the x-ray body composition scan machine at my Dr's office.  This scan, like the BMI, is probably used more by Dr's.  They can find out if their patients are carrying too much fat around their organs; which is a huge health risk.  This scan puts my number about 4% higher than calipers (it shows the fat on the inside of your body too).   I  like this scan because it gives you the lean mass amount in grams per limb!  This is a great way to see your muscle growth and of course fat loss too!   The progress from one scan to the next is very noticeable with numbers: body fat %,  grams of lean mass and grams of fat mass!  I would have to say this scan is pretty accurate.  The downfall is the price.  It is ranges from $30-$50 per scan! 
While we are on the topic of money, the upside to the caliper is most gyms will do it for free if you are have a membership, or they usually only charge $5-$15.  
The cheapest way to see if you are making progress in reducing fat is the mirror! 
However, do not rely on the scale to determine your success.  My personal example demonstrates this!  This winter I lifted hard and ate to gain muscle.   All winter and this spring I gained 7 pounds but went down from 20% body fat to 16%.  So, if you know you are working out hard and eating clean don't worry about the scale!   Go get your body fat% done and you will know where you are "really" at!!! 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chest, tri's and shoulder workout

I am sssooooo SORE from this Friday's workout... so I thought I would share!  ENJOY!

CHEST, TRI's and SHOULDER's (scrambled!)
3 sets of 10 reps- Bench press 45 lb straight long bar add enough weight that the 10th rep you are thinking you shoulda had a spotter!  haha! (last set, last rep, I wasn't laughing!)
SUPERSETTED with 3 sets of 15 "tricep" pushups (elbows in)

4 sets of 10 reps- single arm clean and press with a dumbbell.  don't switch arms, do all ten with one arm, then 10 on the other arm (every set go up in weight by 5 pounds)

4 sets of Weighted Dips (25lb plate on lap) 15 very slow and concentrated and then finish with 5 fast burn reps!
SUPERSETTED with: 4 sets of 10 per side: Standing lateral cable flyes

3 sets of 10 reps-Anterior delt flyes/raises
SUPERSETTED with 3 sets of 12 Tricep cable pushdowns (Very slow and concentrated!)


I'm not a rocket scientist!

When it comes to the topic of weight loss, I realize everyBODY is different and what works for some does not work for others!

I totally understand losing weight is not easy!  Everyone's body is different.  And then you have to take into consideration outside factors such as metabolism, medical conditions, medications, stress, environment, what you're eating, when you eat, what you're not eating macronutient percentages, and even water intake.  Not to mention your genetics plays a huge role in losing fat.   
I think the human body is a very intricate machine and there's LOTS of hard to understand science behind how the body gains and loses fat and muscle.
However, I'm going to say this even though I will have some who want to argue this point... "WEIGHT LOSS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE",,, okay maybe it is, but we don't have to make it so difficult!
It is very simple... Diet and exercise! If you want to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you need to sustain your body.  It's the simple math of input/output!  The bigger the person you are the more calories your body needs to maintain itself with proper body function etc.  For example, I don't need to consume as many calories as my "big man" of a husband!  
First, you need to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate which is what your body needs to maintain itself on a daily basis (if you did NOTHING all day).  Use this formula:
A Woman's Basal Metabolic rate (BMR) = 655 + (4.35 x Weight) + (4.7 x Height in Inches) - (4.7 x Age in yrs)
A Man's BMR = 66 + (6.23 x W) + (12.7 x H) - (6.8 x A)
So when you get your BMR that is the number of calories you need to maintain if you do nothing at all!  Which is surely NOT the case! 
(My BMR is 1,186! ohhh, that's not very many daily calories!)

So finish with the Harris Benedict Formula:

To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor. (see below):
•If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) :  BMR x 1.2
•If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) :  BMR x 1.375
•If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : BMR x 1.55
•If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : BMR x 1.725
•If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : BMR x 1.9
For the record I said I was moderately active and that bumps me up to 1839!  That's more like it!
So now if you decrease your calories and/or add in exercise (or keep exercising if you already are) you are going to create a caloric deficit.  Obviously, you can do both, decrease calories and add exercise, for a more effective weight loss plan.
To decrease calories just subtract 200-600 calories daily to force your body to start using it's reserve fat stores.  To me, this is the tricky part!!!  Most people think "more is better."  For example, "if I drop my calories by 1000 I should lose weight really fast!"  That may be true but that's also called a "Crash Diet" and weight doesn't stay off with "Crash Diets"( Amanda Adams- crash diets )Here's another point for some of you to argue... I believe if you go too low your body goes into  "Starvation Mode" and it will slow down your metabolic rate therefore slowing down your progress!  However, you would eventually lose weight if you continue to starve yourself to death,,, literally! Furthermore, as soon as you start eating again you will gain it back, and probably some extra because your body is smart and it wants some reserve if you decide to starve it again! 

Losing weight may become a process of trial and error, but it is not Rocket Science and I know this because I've figured it out with my own body and I'm not a Rocket Scientist!  Even though it's not rocket science I might add, you do need to have a bit of knowledge of how to count calories.  I use  to help me keep track of my calories and macros.  
AND  just for the record, I can lose weight by keeping my calories between 1200-1400. 
Oh and one other thing you need::: DETERMINATION to stay on track and NOT CHEAT!
For more reading
check out this article about how to get certain body parts leaned down!  Again, you might be surprised but it's NOT rocket science!