Super-Easy Meal Prep With My PSP Model

As you may have noticed, I put a heavy emphasis on nutrition. Why? Because without focusing on your nutrition, your training results are probably going to be lackluster, unless you’re some sort of a genetic freak. For the rest of us who were not born with the bodies of the gods, nutrition is going to play a very key role. Like seriously…the most important role; particularly in fat loss or muscle building.

Now unfortunately, most people tend to have the most problems with the nutrition part of the equation. They often enjoy working out, or at least are relatively good at getting their workouts in. But when it comes to nutrition they get a bit lazy. And honestly, lazy is okay! You just have to recognize that you ARE in fact lazy and find some work arounds, like I do. ūüôā

Clients and acquaintances are often asking me for advice on nutrition, and of course, I’m always happy to advise! My advice is to always focus on the “big rocks.” But what exactly are those? Let’s¬†discuss…

IMG_0236

There’s generally 3 steps I tend to follow when planning my own diet, and I’m at a point where these are just habits. I don’t have to think about them too much anymore. But when you’re just starting out it may require much more thought, just not for long.

In lieu of simplicity, I have developed a little acronym to help you remember the 3 steps I like to follow. The acronym is PSP; Plan, Shop, and Prepare. So now let’s go over exactly what those all mean!

Plan:¬†Step 1 is to plan. You absolutely have to have a plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail, right? And we don’t want to fail when we have big goals for ourselves! So this is the most important step. Decide what you’re going to eat for every meal, every day, and write it down. What sources of proteins, carbs, and fats do you need? What extras do you need to make those things tasty? Plan it out, meal by meal.

Shop:¬†Step 2 is to shop. Once you have a plan, make a shopping list and hit the grocery store. Stick to the list. Don’t get a bunch of extras. It’s very rare when I pick up something that is not on my list and probably considered “unhealthy.” So try not to be tempted by all the extras at the store. If it’s in the house you’ll be more tempted to eat it (chips and ice cream can often be my downfall). So stick to the plan and stick to your list! Want a sample of what I buy on a regular basis? Well, I will be sending out a sample of my weekly shopping list to all of my e-mail subscribers this week. If you’re interested in seeing what I buy regularly or if you need help setting up your own shopping list, you can subscribe here by clicking on this link—>¬†Send me your shopping list!

FullSizeRender-2

Prepare: Step 3 is to do some prep work. This is FREAKING IMPORTANT! Like Big. Time. So pay attention.

Right when I get home from the grocery store and after I’ve put mostly everything away, I throw my berries in a colander and start rinsing them off and preparing them for snacking throughout the week. I’ll also start rinsing and chopping any veggies that I use for snacking or for adding to eggs or other dishes throughout the week. At some point early in the week and shortly after shopping, you want to start cooking a butt-load of food, or at least prepare it to be cooked (chopping, seasoning). Anything you can do in advance to help keep you from wavering from your diet plan is going to be key. Make it easy for yourself! A little bit of extra prep work on the front end will make sticking to your diet much easier as you’ll be less likely to veer off course and order take-out or something. I’ll often buy pre-seasoned fish, pre-chopped veggies, and pre-washed salad mixes because I know myself. If I have to do too much work to prepare it, I might not do it at all. So KNOW YOURSELF! Sometimes spending a little more to buy food that has already been prepped for you is totally worth it.

Fruit and veg

I like to cook a lot of meat at once several times during the week. For example, when I grill chicken I will cook a couple pounds of it and use some of it for lunches for my husband and I, and add it to different meals, like salads.

Chicken

The next thing I would like to mention is not exactly a step, but something to keep in mind. I often like to keep my foods and prep work….

Same, Sane, and Simple

What do I mean by “same?” Well, out of ease and simplicity, most of my meals during the week are the same from day to day. I don’t feel the need to get too creative. Sure, I might swap out one fruit for another, or one meat for another. But in general, I use the same model for my meals every day.

Also, my recommendation is to keep your meals relatively simple. If it’s going to take you 30 minutes to an hour to prepare every meal, you’re going to throw in the towel real quick. That might be fine for dinner every night, if you’re into that… But for breakfast? Hell no. Keep it quick and simple so that you’re not likely to blow it off and stop by McDonald’s on your way to work. Go ahead and feel free to use spices, marinades, and other yummy things to kick the taste up a notch, but every meal does not need to be Food Network quality. Yah mean? Oh, and by the way, if you’re eating “clean” and tend to avoid processed food, don’t be afraid to use salt, especially if you drink a lot of water.

Just about every day I have a protein shake and a protein bar (at separate meals, obvs), and this is just because they’re yummy AND they’re quick! No thought required! But they’re great for filling in those protein gaps.

And finally, by “sane,” I mean don’t cut foods out just because some ‘rando,’ new trendy diet says so. If you like dairy and it agrees with your body, eat it. If you like wheat products and they agree with your body, eat ’em. If you want to go hard during the week but then have a couple slices of pizza on the weekend, go for it. Life’s short, baby. Eating “healthy” doesn’t have to be so hard. Even swapping not-so-healthy things out with slightly “healthIER” things can make an overall difference.

Hope that was a little helpful! Again, if you’re interested in more details on how to shop or structure your meals, sign up here for my e-mails! —>Send me your shopping list!

Advertisements

Stop Eating Like a Child

It’s time for some hard talk you guys…

At some point you have got to grow up and take responsibility for yourself.

Are you still wondering why you haven’t “lost the weight?”

Well, have you tried?

I mean, have you REALLY TRIED?

You know what you need to do. It’s not complicated.

Losing fat is actually really damn¬†simple. It may not be¬†easy¬†per se’, but it’s¬†simple¬†as hell.¬†

Now, I’m not talking about going from 18 to 15 percent body fat (for women). That might be a whole different story as it can be quite a challenge. But getting from 30 to 20 percent body fat… That’s not complicated.

Let’s go over the two basics:

1. Eat more quality food.

2. Eat fewer calories.

Boom. Done. That’s it. I’m setting exercise aside for this discussion. You can be one hell of a skinny bitch without exercise. You might not have much muscle “tone,” but you can be thin.

You’re an adult. Stop feeding yourself like a child. That sugary breakfast cereal is not serving you and you¬†KNOW¬†that. That McDonald’s hamburger and fries you had for lunch aren’t serving you either, and you¬†KNOW¬†that. But maybe you don’t want to admit¬†it¬†because then you might have to change and do something about it. This is the time to be a grown ass adult and make the decision that best serves you, your health, and your goals.

22644_647149744811_541683_n

Me…as a child…chowing down on ice cream…

Want my advice? Start food journaling. Write down everything you eat. Every damn bite. You don’t have to tie emotions to these foods, but you do need to think about them. What’s serving you? And what is doing a disservice to you? Does this food make you feel full and satisfied? Or does it leave you wanting more?

Stop looking for the magical diet that will change everything for you. Come up with your own diet. That’s the only one that’s going to work for you in the long run. You know what all diets¬†have in common? ¬†They all pretty much cut¬†out certain food groups and/or force you to increase your intake of higher quality foods, thus you’re inherently cutting back on calories. Yep. So any diet will work as long as your calories are reduced and you’re eating more protein and fiber.

I know I’m coming off as mean or harsh, but sometimes we all¬†just need a bit of a reality check. You have to stop this incessant hunt for secret information. You already have it all. You just need to start acting on it and putting what you know to use. It’s seriously not complicated. You just have to want it bad enough to feel a little hungry here and there and eat things that MIGHT not taste as good as Ben and Jerry’s 90% of the time. You can totally go for the Ben and Jerry’s the other 10% of the time. Got it? Good.

How I Feel About the Current Fitness World…Written by Someone Else…

Just wanted to share an awesome article that I read today on¬†T-Nation. It was written by Charles Staley and honestly, he expresses a lot of things that I’ve been thinking about the health and fitness industry lately. Don’t you just love it when someone else is able to put your thoughts into words for you??? Saves me loads of time! Anyhow, enjoy!

8 Reasons People Do Dumb Things – Charles Staley

Times of Transition

I would like to apologize to both you and myself for not writing as consistently within the past month or so. ¬†My husband and I have been traveling and transitioning, so it has been hard for me to grab a moment and collect my thoughts. ¬†We spent about a week traveling around Ireland and Scotland and shortly after that we moved back from London to New York. ¬†(How cosmopolitan do we sound? Geesh… Don’t be fooled.) A couple of days after our move back to New York, we drove down to North Carolina to pick up our dog, Tiki, and we spent a couple of days there with my parents.

Tiki and I reunited after nearly a year apart!

So needless to say, it’s been a very difficult month for proper nutrition and training. ¬†Unfortunately, my body looks soooo different now than it does in my photos and it’s kind of depressing! ¬†I mean, I do realize that I should give myself a break and not be so hard on myself since this last month has been pretty wacky, but I’m not always 100% sensible. ¬†It’s hard to have your body just where you want it….and then you just lose it. ¬†It makes you feel out of control and it doesn’t feel good. ¬†I make it sound like I’ve become obese over the last month….well, it’s not THAT bad! ¬†I’m just softer at the moment. ¬†My muscles are just hiding out! ¬†I’m retaining a lot of water from the additional calories and carbs and may have put on a smidgen of fat, so my rational-self knows that all is not lost! ¬†And besides, it’s not like I’m prepping for something right now. ¬†I don’t have a photo shoot or competition in the pipeline, so there’s no reason I should feel pressure to be perfect. ¬†

After our trip to Ireland and Scotland (where we really just let loose and ate whatever came our way), we tried to tighten things up a bit. ¬†Yes, we had last dinners and parties with our friends in London, but we kept up with our workouts and ate our normal meals when we could. ¬†Since moving to New York, we’ve had to be a bit more creative with our workouts because we haven’t obtained a gym membership yet. ¬†There’s a park nearby that we’ve done sprints in and they have pull-up bars for us to play on. ¬†So we’ve been doing a lot of pull-ups and push-ups. ¬†We’ve also been doing some longer distance runs (3+ miles) in both New York and North Carolina. ¬†(The hilly roads near my parents’ house are absolutely BRUTAL!) ¬†So anyways, we’ve been doing what we can.

Now we are back in New York for about a month, so life will be relatively normal for a while. ¬†A friend of my husband’s family has hooked us up with some passes to the YMCA, which we are extremely grateful for. ¬†I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some iron again! ¬†This morning we did some sprints and pull-ups in the park and I might do some work with the dumbbells that we have on hand this afternoon. ¬†Training is actually going to be pretty hot and heavy this month because my husband is preparing to go back into the Army as an Officer. ¬†I’m taking this opportunity to do some extra training with him and kick-start the reduction of this transition-time-weight-gain.

I’m happy that life is going to normalize for a while. ¬†I’m definitely a creature of habit. ¬†Sure, it’s fun to take a break for a while, but I can only handle that for about a week before I start becoming depressed and longing for my typical lifestyle. ¬†I can honestly say that I NEVER get tired of my morning egg whites and oatmeal. ¬†I do think that we all need to remember one thing though, and that is:

Life happens and sometimes there are more important things to worry about besides nutrition and training! Just do the best that you can with the circumstances that have been given to you!

Just Starting Out?

So you’ve finally decided that strong is the new sexy and you want to start lifting heavy, but you just don’t know where to begin. ¬†I am often asked by both men and women about how to get started with weight training, so here is an overview! ¬†I’m not going to spoon feed you a specific training routine or diet because they both need to be catered to the individual, but instead I’m going to help you help yourself. ¬†After all, that’s how I did it.

  1. Find a training routine. ¬†This is probably the most obvious part of the equation, but people often have a hard time knowing where to find this. ¬†It’s very important to find a quality routine written by a professional. ¬†Don’t do this yourself unless you’ve been training for several years and have an idea of what you’re doing. ¬†Believe it or not, but there’s an art to writing training splits. ¬†Some places where you can find quality training splits are:

Bodybuilding.com: You can spend hours at a time reading the articles on this website.  There are also tons of training programs you can follow.  I learned A LOT from this website.

-Books: The New Rules of Lifting, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, Starting Strength, these are just a few popular books.  There are tons out there.  Check some out at your local library!

-Internet: Some really popular programs that you can find online that are free are Max-OT, Stronglifts, PHAT, and so on.

-Magazines: Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness Hers (or even his!).

-Hire a trainer: ¬†There’s nothing wrong with hiring a trainer. ¬†This stuff isn’t easy! ¬†I’ve hired a couple of trainers in the past, albeit, they were online trainers, but they outlined training and nutrition programs for me. ¬†I gained A LOT from them and I have learned what works and what doesn’t work for me.

2. Schedule it in. ¬†Make a date with yourself that you won’t break. ¬†Put your workouts on your calendar until you know you will definitely not skip it. ¬†I go very early in the morning. ¬†No excuses (unless I’m dying in bed with an illness or it’s a scheduled week off for me). ¬†I have absolutely nothing else to do at 5:30 am, so there is no reason I shouldn’t be going to the gym. ¬†If it’s important to you, you will find or make time for it. ¬†If your excuse for not going in the morning is “Ohhh…but I need my 8 hours of sleep”, then I ask “Why not go to bed earlier? Or, why not go at night?” ¬†Frankly, there are no excuses.

3. Gradually “clean” up your diet. ¬†You aren’t going to notice any results if you don’t change the way you eat. ¬†I wouldn’t suggest going from all horrible, processed foods to all healthy, clean alternatives overnight. ¬†You might find that to be way too overwhelming and throw in the towel before giving this new lifestyle a chance. ¬†Stop eating garbage and start eating good, natural food.

If you’re looking for something right now, my idol Jamie Eason has just come out with a 12 week training video series on www.bodybuilding.com. ¬†She’ll tell you what to eat, how to train, and what supplements to take. ¬†This training series will be released August 16th. ¬†That’s this Tuesday! ¬†If you’re interested, check out this link: Jamie Eason’s LiveFit 12 Week Trainer.

And those are the basics! ¬†Now obviously, stating them is easier than putting them to practice, but you don’t need to be perfect right off the bat. ¬†Like I say a lot, this is a lifestyle and these changes take time. ¬†But you’ve got this….I know you do.

Protein Pancakes!

I recently found a great protein pancake recipe by IFBB Figure Pro¬†Ava Cowan, and put my own twist on it. ¬†Lately, I’ve been enjoying these every Sunday morning. ¬†I’ve also been making them for my husband and they rock his world! ¬†Since we enjoy them so much, I thought I’d go ahead and share them with you. ¬†When you’re eating clean day in and day out, it’s a great way to mix things up and stay on plan!

Banana Protein Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  • 1/2 or 1 whole scoop of vanilla protein powder (or any flavor you prefer)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 banana (this is optional, but I like to add it because it makes the pancakes moist)
  • Splenda to taste
  • water (if needed for proper consistency)
  • coconut oil

Mix all ingredients (except coconut oil) in a bowl.  Heat up frying pan on medium-high heat and coat pan lightly with coconut oil.  Pour half of the batter into the pan and smooth out with spoon to desired thickness/size.  Cook until edges are firm and then flip.  When cooked all the way through, remove from heat and top with honey, agave nectar, sugar-free maple syrup, natty peanut butter, fruit spread, or whatever you like!

If you have any easy, yummy, clean eating recipes you like to cook often, please feel free to share!