Latest Posts

Cinnamon Quest Bar Granola

Granola1

I never met a granola I didn’t like. Granola is one of those foods that I could eat every day for the rest of my life and never get bored. Homemade granola, store bought granola, stale granola, doesn’t matter. They’re all so. delicious. My favorite recipe for granola is from an old Food Network Magazine, and I give batches of it away in pretty jars for every holiday. Everybody loves it, but nobody knows that for every batch I make, only about 40% makes it into gift jars. The rest goes straight from the pan into my mouth as a “taste test”. I can’t even handle myself, it’s a real problem. I think it’s because of the simple fact that I never ever buy or make granola for myself anymore. There are absolutely zero options available on the shelf that pass the “clean eating” test. (more…)

Easy Fresh Tomato Soup

soup1Has everyone else been as busy as me lately!? The last two weeks have been jam packed full of events and get-togethers leaving me very little time for blogging, cleaning my house, running errands, or remembering to feed the dog (only once!). Yesterday in particular was Easter, and I invited my family over for an elaborate holiday themed dinner. I started cooking at 9:30am, planning to be done around 3, leaving me a couple hours to clean the house and get dressed. Well that didn’t go well! I was still cooking at 5:50pm when everyone showed up (early!) and I hadn’t so much as brushed my teeth. (more…)

Mexican Amaranth Crusted Tilapia

Amaranth Crusted TilapiaTilapia can be pretty dull. Panko-crusted, done it. Lemon pepper, been there. Fish is a great low calorie protein source, but it needs a little help in the creativity department. Unless you have a bodybuilding competition tomorrow, I can’t think of any reason you’d want to eat a plain piece of tilapia, ever. I wanted to bread my tilapia with a healthy carbohydrate, and right there in the front of my pantry was an almost empty bag of amaranth. Perfect! (more…)

Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

Loaded Mashed CauliflowerMashed cauliflower is not a new idea, but it’s one that sometimes you might need to be reminded to make again because it is SO good! I want to start by saying that potatoes are NOT unhealthy. Sometimes they get a bad reputation, especially in French fry form, but on their own, boiled and mashed potatoes are a clean carbohydrate rich in Vitamin C and potassium. It’s the copious amount of heavy cream and butter mixed in that usually makes the calories skyrocket. I prefer to mash cauliflower in the place of potatoes because I can make a giant serving of vegetables taste like a cheat meal for a fraction of the calories. 10oz of cauliflower (about half a head) contains 70 calories, 7g of fiber, and 5g protein. The same amount of potato has over 200 calories! That doesn’t leave much room for the glorious toppings. (more…)

Understanding Iron Deficiency and How It Affects Your Athletic Performance

You exercise, eat well, get enough sleep (most of the time), but sometimes still feel sluggish, unmotivated, or weak. What could be causing it? Many athletes or health-conscious individuals think they are doing everything right for their body, but their body doesn’t always seem to agree. A simple blood test could reveal that you, along with about 30% of the world’s population, have an iron deficiency.

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Iron is a part of the protein hemoglobin that helps transport oxygen from the lungs, through your blood to other parts of the body, and produces ATP, your primary energy source. Iron also helps create red blood cells and protects your immune system. You will notice the symptoms of an iron deficiency, such as fatigue and irritability, but you might not recognize that it’s a nutrient deficiency. Anemia caused by inadequate iron levels is often mistaken for overtraining. Chronic injuries and overall loss of power, motivation, and appetite can all be caused by an iron deficiency. Only a blood test can determine if your iron levels are adequate. (more…)

Dark Chocolate Orange Oatmeal

oatmeal1It’s still freezing outside (even in Texas) and I think we’re all still craving some warm, comforting foods to distract ourselves from the blistering discomfort of all things outside-the-bed. A nice, hot bowl of oatmeal really fits the bill due to its simplicity and nutrient value. Oatmeal is a staple in the standard bodybuilder diet, and requires very little cooking ability. It is a high quality carbohydrate with fiber and a low glycemic impact, and requires only some water and a pot. But plain oats aren’t going to get me out of bed when the house is 45 degrees, no matter how warm or healthy they may be. Sure you can throw some protein powder in the oatmeal, or add some chopped nuts or berries. Those would be very healthy choices. But this recipe for dark chocolate orange oatmeal is healthy AND tastes like a real cheat!  (more…)

Easy Cranberry Gummy Hearts

gummies1Valentine’s Day is around the corner and America will spend around $2 billion on chocolate this week alone! Now, I could probably eat at least half a billion dollars worth of chocolate all by myself, which is exactly why I won’t be buying any. (Portion control is an art I have not completely mastered). My Valentine’s Day plans this year are a little untraditional, including Mediterranean food and a heavy metal concert. Chocolates are not on the agenda, but who doesn’t want something a little sweet on Valentine’s Day? These cranberry gummy hearts only have three ingredients and satisfy that sweet craving perfectly without causing a sugar coma. (more…)

Suspension Training 101: Core Exercises

Core5In my previous article about suspension training, I explained why a suspension training system (like a TRX or a Lifeline Jungle Gym) is the perfect solution to at-home strength training with minimal equipment or space required. Your own body weight provides the resistance to improve your strength, power, core stability, and balance. Switching exercises also takes just moments with a quick change of hand or foot position. This 6-exercise core workout can be done in 10 minutes and makes a great add-on to a weight, suspension, or cardio workout. Refer to my last post or a youtube tutorial to set up your suspension straps for the first time. (more…)

Easy Sweet Potato Chips (With Major Nutritional Benefits)

Sweet PotatoesThe humble sweet potato is always a star around Thanksgiving, but how often do you eat them during the rest of the year? They are frequently overshadowed by the white potato, an American staple. But sweet potatoes are one of the best tasting foods available from the dirt! This is largely due to the sugar content (5g sugar and 16g starch per 4.5oz potato), but that doesn’t mean you should exclude them from your diet. Luckily for us, delicious low calorie sweet potatoes are incredibly nutritious. (more…)

Are You Sleeping Enough To Support Your Fitness Goals?

Exercise? Check. Healthy lunch? Got it. You take your supplements, read your food labels, and never miss a workout, rain or shine. Your dedication to health and fitness is admirable. But you could be missing the most important piece of the puzzle. Be honest, how much sleep do you get? sleep3 An estimated 50-70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. In this study, 35.3% of people reported getting less than 7 hours of sleep during a typical 24-hour period, 48.0% reported snoring, 37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day, and 4.7% reported falling asleep while driving.

Those statistics are terrible! Most people know that sleep is important, but they still push it to the bottom of their to-do list, only getting to bed when everything else is done first. Are you one of those people? The truth is, if physical fitness is your goal, sufficient sleep is non-negotiable. You are only spinning your wheels if you don’t prioritize sleep on a regular basis. (more…)