Tuesday, August 25, 2015

More carbs :D



It feels like I write this every other post but really, my diet has been all over the place again. I failed to meal prep last week and I ate a ton of candy. I've been logging most of my food in My Fitness Pal but I end up stopping halfway through the day  because I know that it's going to be over.

Today was a good day even though I had some treats, I'm still at a calorie deficit. I had two of those monster cookie bars and a survival cookie along with a few gummies at work. Anyway, after a messy week I wanted to be prepared for this week so I did some grocery shopping and planned out my meals. My cousin also asked why my protein goal was so high in MFP so I told her that's what iifym.com determined it should be. So I'm back to 40% carbs and fat, and 20% protein.

The fitness industry presses upon us that protein is the most important macro but carbs are your bodies main source of energy. They're not the enemy. If you want to lose weight your ultimate goal should be limiting overall calories. I'm not a big meat eater so it really makes more sense for me to eat higher carbs. After eating 'low carb' I'm actually having a hard time getting nutrient dense carbs back into my diet.


Breakfast was two PC Blue Menu pancakes topped with syrup (I'm still trying to use the stuff that's been in my fridge for a while but I also use low sugar jam and I just bought a low calorie syrup) and a whole egg and 1/3 cup egg whites. Nutritional info: 43g carbs, 6g fat, 21g protein, total calories 391. (this is with 1.5 tablespoons of syrup)


First snack was a chicken sandwich. I had lunch meat left from camping that I had frozen so I wanted to use it up. This bread is from the Superstore bakery and it's to DIE FOR. Nutritional info: 25g carbs, 10g fat, 21g protein, total calories 270. Not pictured and not included in the nutritional info was a couple spoonfuls of cottage cheese I had with this.


Lunch was a black bean burger and coleslaw with tomato and olive oil and vinegar dressing. Nutritional info: 33g carbs, 12g fat, 19g protein, total calories 282.


Dinner was a chicken quesadilla with guacamole and salsa, and fresh garden cukes. Nutritional info: 36g carbs, 21g fat, 36g protein, total calories 477. (I also had some carrots and hummus while making this which is not included in the nutritional info listed)

My total intake of calories from all this food is 1670 calories and I've had around 300 calories from 'fun' foods. I could have done without it but hey, you only live once and monster cookie bars are kind of irresistible. I can't wait until they're gone tomorrow haha.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monster cookie bars


I'm on a baking kick apparently. I told my slo-pitch team that I would bring cookies for our game on Tuesday so I made the survival cookies I just posted but they're too good to give away. So I found this recipe and I had to make it. As stated in the other post most times I cut the sugar in half in recipes. This is one of those recipes.

Here is the original recipe from Together as Family. Read the comments on her page if you have any questions about it as there are quite a few already asked. I didn't have any issues and I also cooked mine for 19 minutes but I'm thinking I should have taken them out at 17-18 minutes. She also states to use a 12"x18" pan but I used a 12"x16" and it turned out fine.

RECIPE

  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar*
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar*
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c natural smooth peanut butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c quick oats
  • 2 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pkg of mini M&Ms (found in the baking aisle)
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven for 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the first 4 ingredients with a hand mixer until it is well blended and light in color
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well blended
  4. Remove the beaters and scrape the sides down with a spatula
  5. Add in the oats and baking soda and stir until evenly mixed
  6. Add the M&Ms and chocolate chips and mix until evenly mixed
Spread onto the baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes. It will look under cooked in the middle but it will finish cooking while it's cooling. When the edges are browned and look done it's time to take it out. Let cool for 30+ minutes before cutting. 


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Survival cookies - a healthier cookie



I made cookies the other night thinking they were going to be for my slo-pitch team but I gave some to my parents and the rest have found a home in my freezer where I've been eating 2-3 a day.

I won't say these are healthy cookies because really, other than the oats they have little nutritional value but if you're going to make cookies, these are a good option because they have healthier ingredients. I cut the sugar on most recipes unless it's already reasonable. I haven't found that it affects the consistency of the batter/dough yet so I'll just keep doing it. When I tell people that it's half the sugar they often tell me they can't imagine how sweet it would be with the full amount.

With that being said, the original recipe is from one of those old church cook books that Babas and Grandmas would put together for a fundraiser. This particular recipe came from "Canadian Luthern Ladies: Family Favourites Cookbook," on page 167. I have two of these cookbooks and I love the recipes in them. Again, they aren't necessarily healthy or low calorie recipes but everything is modifiable. I use them as guidelines for the most part but this recipe actually had a reasonable amount for sugar so I didn't cut any back but other changes are marked with an asterisk (*).

RECIPE

Mix:

  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c melted margarine* (I used coconut oil because I didn't have margarine and they turned out sooooo good, and very coconutty. I highly recommend trying it)
Add:

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix well.

Add:

  • 1/2 c mashed banana
  • 1/2 c chopped nuts* (I used 1/4 c of mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 c coconut
  • 1/2 c raisins

Mix well.

Add:

  • 1 c flour* (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c oats and/or granola* (I used 2 cups of quick oats)

Mix and drop onto cookie sheets. I like my cookies uniform so I use a measuring tablespoon and flatten them a bit once on the sheet. Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes. I like my cookies chewy so I baked mine for 13 but remember that ovens vary.

Nutritional information:


Thursday, August 13, 2015

My new lunch bag


I bought a new lunch bag last week. I have a few but they stink from stuff leaking and one of them turns stuff onto the side which is likely what's causing the leaking. My friend and I stopped in at Walmart and Superstore before heading home from camping on the search for umbrellas. I lost my good one a few weeks ago and she has a wedding to go to today and rain is in the forecast.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Two weeks of vacation!


If you haven't noticed, I love summer. I love the heat, and HOT days. Tomorrow marks the end of my first week of vacation but I also have next week off. I started the weekend with a friend who came to visit. We went for dinner and played tourist, it was a lot of fun.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Spicy (not hot) chicken stir fry


I got home from camping today and wow did I eat... and drink, a lot of calories since Sunday. I got some biking and hiking in but with the snacking, staying up late, and drinking I was still at a caloric surplus. Needless to say I'm not feeling very great. So I bought some frozen veggies while looking for an umbrella (it's been raining her the last 2 days).

I called it spicy stir fry because it doesn't use the 'traditional' sauces, spices, or herbs that most stir fries use. This one has cumin, paprika, and chili powder.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Have you hit a plateau?

I see people at work and restaurants eating salads, yogurt, fruit, and other healthy foods and notice they're still overweight. The people at work I've seen for years eating their healthy foods but are the still the same size. What's the problem?

Just because you're eating healthy food doesn't mean it's impossible to eat too many calories, even if they are from nutrient dense foods. We also work in an office/call center - if you don't exercise you burn very few calories. On rest days even with walking 4 km my activity tracker tells me I burn between 1300-1600 calories. If you aren't aware how many calories are in your food you are likely eating at a surplus. Meaning: you aren't going to lose weight or fat unless you are at a calorie deficit.

If you are eating healthy and exercising regularly and you're no longer losing weight/fat then that means you need to re-evaluate your calorie needs and intake. If you calculated your caloric needs when you were 25 lbs heavier they're going to be quite different. This difference is likely the reason you aren't losing weight because you are no longer at a deficit and it's possible that you are now eating at a surplus.

I've written about this a few times before but fat loss and gaining muscle all comes down to calories in versus calories out. If you're eating more than you're burning you are not going to see results. Let's look at some numbers:

To calculate your total daily expenditure (TDEE; the number of calories your body burns in 24 hours) you consider your basal metabolic rate (BMR), activity level, weight, age, and gender. There are a few ways to calculate the number of calories but I like the Harris-Benedict equation:

For men:
BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilograms) + (5 x height in centimeters) - (6.8 x age in years)

For women:
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilograms) + (1.8 x height in centimeters) - (4.7 x age in years)

Conversions for measurements are 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters and 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds

Example:
I'm a 26 year old female
I'm 5'6" (5 feet x 12" = 60" + 6" = 66" x 2.54 cm = 167.64 cm)
My weight is normally around 138 lbs, give or take a few pounds each way (138 lbs / 2.2 = 62.73 kg)

BMR = 655 + (9.6 x 62.73 = 602.21) + (1.8 x 167.64 = 301.74) - (4.7 x 26 = 122.2)
BMR = 655 + 602.21 + 301.74 - 122.2
BMR = 1437 calories

This means that my body requires 1437 calories to function, not including calories required for activity which is the next step in calculating your TDEE. You take this number and multiply it from the number in the table below based on your activity level/job.

Activity level  Multiplier Description
Sedentary BMR x 1.2   little or no exercise, desk job
Lightly active BMR x 1.375 light exercise or sports 3-5 days/week
Moderately active BMR x 1.55 moderate exercise or sports 3-5 days/ week
Very active BMR x 1.725 hard exercise or sports 6-7 days/week
Extremely active BMR x 1.9 hard daily exercise or sports and physical labor job or twice-a-day training (football camp, etc.)

I have a desk job and I workout pretty intensely so I would choose moderately active. If I had a more physical job I'd choose very active. So I take my BMR 1437 x 1.55 = 2227. To maintain my weight I would eat 2227 calories per day. The recommended deficit to lose weight is 500 calories in a day. Over a week this is 3500 calories and 3500 calories equals 1 pound which means you should lose a pound in a week.

I pulled this information from Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle but you can find it on many websites. As noted previously you can use www.iifym.com and it will calculate everything for you, all you have to do it type in your information.

So if you have been working out hard and following your meal plan but you're not noticing a difference in measurements, clothing, and the scale, then I recommend recalculating your caloric needs and you should notice a difference within two weeks, sometime sooner.

If you use My Fitness Pal it also calculates these numbers for you using your information but a lot of the time it suggests 1200 calories. I find this to be extremely low, especially if you exercise but it is something that will help you lose weight fast.

I hope this helps some people with their fitness journeys and don't be afraid to ask me any questions.

-- Kelsey

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chili


I know what you're thinking... "It's not winter! Why is she making chili?!" I do normally prefer salads in the summer but hey, I needed a change from my usual foods. I used the recipe on the package of the veggies as a guideline because I wanted more protein/fat and fewer carbs than the recipe called for.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fooooood (groceries)


I wasn't going to go grocery shopping yet but I realized after making my stir fry that I'm short on veggies. I knew I wanted the broccoli slaw for PM snack but then I saw the cabbage so I had to buy it so I can roast it up, yum!

I also knew that I wanted ground beef again because I'm sick of fish and I can only do chicken once a day. When I was looking in the frozen veg section I found this bag of chili veggies. Perfect! I've bought their stir fry blend before and thought it was great so off I went to find the rest of the ingredients that I didn't have at home. You can find the recipe here.\

It's preached a lot that you need to go to the grocery store with a game plan - plan your meals, make your shopping list, and only buy what's on the list. However, if you're getting bored of the same stuff sometimes it can be beneficial to have a loose plan. Know what kind of protein or veggie you want and then find stuff at the store to go with it.

I've been trying to cut back on my spending (which is not really happening since it is summer and that means going for drinks on patios) so I try my best to basically have an empty fridge before I run to the store. For the most part I've been successful in doing this and most of the time even after shopping my fridge isn't stuffed like it used to be.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chicken stir fry - peppers, broccoli, asparagus


I've been craving stir fry for over a week so that's what I'm having for lunches this week. I had broccoli and asparagus in my freezer and I have bell peppers that needed to be used.