Blog Archives

Deviled Eggs

Easter just wouldn’t be the same without eggs. Although I absolutely love Cadburys eggs, I am keeping my eye on my goals this Easter and opting out for something less sweet but equally as delicious—Deviled Eggs. Below are few different variations on Deviled Eggs that I absolutely love.

The basics remain the same throughout all of these recipes. What varies are the “flavoring” ingredients that make these Deviled Eggs unlike anything that you have ever tried before.

10168000_10101376667898517_293558011_n

Rorschach says: “Eat like a bunny to look like a fox!”

A word about ingredients:

I try to use large or jumbo eggs for these recipes.

Tobiko also known as fish roe and comes in a variety of different colors. You can find tobiko in almost any Asian supermarket or health food store.

Although sardines are not usually considered “healthy” food, using them in moderation can add flavor to sauces and other dishes (deviled eggs). Make sure that you blot the sardines with a paper towel to remove access oil before adding them to the egg mixture.

Porcini mushrooms can be found fresh or dry. If you are using dry mushrooms: rehydrate the mushrooms as per instructions on the package, dry with a paper towel, and mince before adding to the egg mixture. If you are using fresh porcini: sauté the mushrooms before use.

1504080_10101257624183077_2094230351_n

Sinless Deviled Eggs

The Classic

Recipe Featured in Fierce Gourmet: A Fit Foodie’s Cookbook

Ingredients:

4 Eggs
1 tsp Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Light Mayo
1 tsp Dill
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
¼ tsp Paprika

Directions:

Hard boil the eggs. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, remove the yolks and place them in a small bowl. Set aside the egg whites.

Using a fork, mash the yolks, add the yogurt, mustard, mayo, dill, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Place the mixture in a pastry bag (you can use a plastic bag with one corner cut off) and pipe it into the egg whites. Garnish with paprika and dill (optional).

The Sakura

Ingredients:

4 Eggs
1 tsp Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Light Mayo
1 tsp Dill
¼ tsp Paprika
1 oz. Smoked Salmon (minced)
1 tsp Tobiko

Directions:

Hard boil the eggs. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, remove the yolks and place them in a small bowl. Set aside the egg whites.

Using a fork, mash the yolks, add the yogurt, mustard, mayo, dill, and smoked salmon. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Place the mixture in a pastry bag (you can use a plastic bag with one corner cut off) and pipe it into the egg whites. Garnish with paprika (optional) and tobiko.

Captain’s Treat

Ingredients:

4 Eggs
1 tsp Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Light Mayo
1 tsp Parsley (minced)
¼ tsp Paprika
1-2 small Sardines (minced)
1 tsp Scallions (minced)

Directions:

Hard boil the eggs. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, remove the yolks and place them in a small bowl. Set aside the egg whites.

Using a fork, mash the yolks, add the yogurt, mustard, mayo, parsley, and sardines. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Place the mixture in a pastry bag (you can use a plastic bag with one corner cut off) and pipe it into the egg whites. Garnish with paprika (optional) and scallions.

Taming of the Shroom

Ingredients:

4 Eggs
1 tsp Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Light Mayo
1 1/2 tsp Porcini Mushrooms (minced)
¼ tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chives (minced)

Directions:

Hard boil the eggs. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, remove the yolks and place them in a small bowl. Set aside the egg whites.

Using a fork, mash the yolks, add the yogurt, mustard, mayo. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Place the mixture in a pastry bag (you can use a plastic bag with one corner cut off) and pipe it into the egg whites. Garnish with paprika (optional) and chives.

Advertisements

10 K Training Guide

motivational-quotes-2191Congratulation, you have decided to bring it up a notch and run your first 10K. You might be wondering where you are going to start and what you need to do. Below is a fun, 8 week training plan that will help you prepare for a successful, stress free race. In anticipation of Preachtree Road Race, we will be offering an expanded edition of this training plan starting on May 1st. The expanded program will include 8 weeks of cross training workouts, stretching guide, and a meal plan.

10K or 6.2 miles is a fun distance to run. You have successfully graduated up from 5K and moved on to the next level. It is easier and takes less time to prepare for than a half marathon, with manageable training hours, and you can still go out dancing after the race.

Before you start training for your 10K race, you should get a full workup from your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough for this kind of activity. You should have a reasonably good level of physical fitness and should have done some sort of running / walking in the past. If you are new to running, I would suggest starting at a 5K level. There are plenty of programs and apps available to train you for your very first 5K race.

How This Program Works:

Cross Training (CT): Simply put cross training can be anything that isn’t running. It can be swimming, cycling, walking, and weight training or any other form of aerobic activity. However, recent research has shown that runners benefit more from weight training and exercises that builds underactive core muscles than from any other form of cross training. My recommendation is combining weight training and other forms of cardio for a complete, well rounded workout.

For example, you could do 15 minutes of intervals on a stationary bike at the beginning of your workout, 20 minutes of weight training, 15 minutes of intervals on a stationary bike, and 5 minutes of stretching as your cross training.

For a list of cross training workouts, check back on May 1st for an expanded 10 K prep guide.

Running: This part is fairly simple – go run. It is preferable to train on the same surface as the race, so go outside and hit the pavement (or a trail if you are doing a trail run). If the weather doesn’t allow you to do so, set your treadmill incline to 1.5 -2.0 for your running workouts.

You should be able to run at a comfortable pace that allows you to carry on a conversation. If you find yourself unable to talk, or only talk in short phrases, you are running too fast.

Rest: Rest is extremely important. On rest days you should take it easy, give your muscles a chance to recover and rebuild.

Long Run: This is the longest run of the week. Typically a long run is done at a slow pace.

Walking: Walking is so underrated! In this 8 week training plan, I have a walk scheduled for Friday (the day before your long run). A walk will keep your muscles active with less stress. It is a great way to recuperate from the week of training before your long run. Feel free to walk at any point during your runs too! No one cares if you run the whole race (unless that is your goal). If you are tired and you know you can’t push through, walk!

Below is an 8 weeks training schedule. Feel free to modify it to fit your life, this is merely a guide to help you get started. If you would like a personalized, custom training guide, don’t hesitate to contact me. I would be honored to help you reach your 10 K training goals.

8 Week 10K Training Schedule:

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 CT 1 M CT 1 M Walk 2 M Rest
2 CT 1.5 M CT 1.5 M Walk 3 M Rest
3 CT 2 M CT 2 M Walk 4 M Rest
4 CT 2.5 M CT 2.5 M Walk 5 M Rest
5 CT 1.5 M CT 1.5 M Walk 3 M Rest
6 CT 3 M CT 3 M Walk 6 M Rest
7 CT 3.5 M CT 3.5 M Walk 7 M Rest
8 CT 3 M EZ CT Stretch Walk RACE Rest

 

Diet

Diet is extremely important when prepping for a race. You don’t want to get to the start line and realize that you are 10 pounds heavier than when you started your training. You also need to eat for your goals. That means eating strategically to optimize your performance.

Eating whole grains and complex carbohydrates will help you maintain steady energy in your workouts as well as on race day. Protein will help with recovery and building up muscles necessary for a successful run. Proper water intake is essential to keep your body functioning properly.

Going on a low calorie, low carb diet is not the best choice when running a 10 K is the goal. You need to be eating smarter, not less. Try swapping out processed foods for whole foods, decrease your fat intake, and make sure that every meal is well balanced. That means that you should eat a complete lean protein (such as chicken, fish, eggs, or lean red meat) and complex carbohydrates (whole grains, squash varieties, sweet potatoes, and cruciferous veggies) with every meal. The longer the distance, the higher amount of carbs you will need in your diet.

The jury is still out on the optimal amount of carbohydrates that a distance athlete needs to ingest to optimize their performance. For more details on nutrition, meal planning, and a sample menu check back on May 1st for our extended edition of the 10 K training plan.

Easy Calorie Counting & Demystifying Weight Loss

Nutrition and Calories

l_a1d8c110-60e7-11e1-b1da-97b177c00001It is no secret that in order to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume. Cutting calories and “dieting” is more of an individual process than generic, preset approach. It is only through trial and error that you will be able to know what truly works for you and how many calories you need to consume in order to lose weight and gain lean muscle.

If you follow Fierce Miles, you have heard me say this time and time again—severe caloric restriction is not sustainable and extremely dangerous. Creating massive deficits will wreak havoc on your hormones and result in slowing down your metabolism even further which will lead to the inevitable weight gain.

Of course, there are general guidelines that can help you figure out your approximate optimal daily caloric intake. However, without good record keeping and a willingness to go through a certain period of trial and error, you will never be able to zero in on what truly works for you.

 

Fat Loss:       

The general formula to calculate daily caloric intake with the emphasis on fat loss is the following:

Focus on getting 11-16 calories per pound of your target body weight.

So, if your goal weight is 140 lbs:

11 cal X 140 lbs = 1540 calories (this is your absolute lowest daily intake)
16 cal X 140 lbs = 2240 calories (this is your highest daily intake)

Muscle Building:

The general formula to calculate daily caloric intake with the emphases on muscle building and weight gain is the following:

Focus on getting 17-25 calories per pound of target body weight.

So, if your goal weight is 200 lbs:

17 cal X 200 lbs = 3400 calories (lowest daily intake)
25 cal X 200 lbs = 5000 calories (highest daily intake)

Weight Maintenance:

It is generally ill-advised to maintain a caloric deficit for prolonged periods of time. Your body will eventually get use to the deficit making fat loss more difficult. In order to maintain a healthy metabolism and a lean, strong, healthy body, periods of maintenance are essential. During maintenance periods your body rests and rebuilds.

There is no set formula to calculate your maintenance calories. I suggest starting slowly increasing your caloric intake by 15-20 % every week until you stop losing weight. A large increase in the daily caloric intake may result in an increase in body fat. If that happens just reduce the weekly caloric increase.

Maintenance periods can be tricky and it usually takes time to find the proper increase percentage. Good record keeping is essential for the maintenance phase.

Counting Calories:

fitness-inspiration-954-eaf80244-sz480x480-animateToday, there are a number of tools that you can use to track your daily caloric intake. However, nothing beats good old math. Many food companies actually underestimate caloric values of their products on their labels due to the way they count calories in fiber. It has been a fitness myth for many years that calories from fiber do not count towards the total caloric value of a carbohydrate because fiber isn’t fully absorbed by the body. The key word here is fully. Some fiber does get absorbed and can’t be counted towards “free nutrients”. So, what does that mean?

That means that some food companies do not include the caloric value of fiber in the calorie total of the product. Although a difference of 10 calories here and there may not sound like much initially, an extra 100 calories a day can add up to 1 pound of body fat gain per month.

Here are the macro nutrient caloric values:

Protein = 4 cal/gram
Carbohydrates = 4 cal/gram
Fat = 9 cal/gram
Fiber = 4 cal/gram (fiber is a carbohydrate and there for is 4 calories per gram. When you take into account that only about ½ of the fiber gets absorbed by the body, it totals to roughly 2 calories per gram. When calculating total caloric value of fiber, divide by two).

Example of calculating calories based on food labels:

Let’s take Healthy Life High Fiber Bread, the label give the following information:

Calories: 70
Total Fat: 0.5 gram
Total Carb: 16 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Protein: 5 gram

Look at the total fiber number, divide by two. Subtract the number you are left with from the carbohydrate total and multiply by 4 to get the proper carbohydrate calories in the food you are looking at.

When you calculate it out:

0.5 x 9 = 4.5 (fat)
5 / 2 =2.5
16 – 2.5 = 13.5
13.5 x 4 = 54 (carbs)
5 x 4 = 20 (protein)
4.5+54+20= 78.5 (total calories)

So the total calorie count in the Healthy Life High Fiber Bread is 78.5.

What to do when a food doesn’t have a nutrition facts label:

There are a number of resources that you can turn to if you find yourself in a situation where nutrition facts are not readily available.

  • USDA National Nutrient Database
  • USDA Super Tracker (a more user friendly version of the Database)
  • CRON-O-METER (although this does not come in a convenient app form, it is accurate)

In most cases a simple Internet search will answer all of your macro nutrient questions. However, make sure that you rely on trustworthy sources for your nutrient information. Some of the largest fitness and calorie tracking applications that are available today grossly underestimate calorie information and are laden with human error.

3 Quick and Healthy Valentine’s Day Desserts

One of the most romantic and delicious holidays is upon us, but don’t let it be an excuse to eat junk! There are a few treats and special gifts you can choose that won’t add to your calorie quota. Stop being dirty, I’m talking about strawberries, light cool whip, and semi-sweet chocolate! Well, ok, you might get a little dirty making these treats, but you’ll love every minute of it.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate_strawberryToday I was out at the mall. I was blown away at the prices that the gourmet shops wanted for their chocolate and chocolate covered strawberries. The worst part is there is no way to know whether the fruit is really organic, properly cleaned, what kind of chocolate they used, what is the fat percentage of the chocolate etc. Basically, you might be buying something that you think is a healthier option for your loved one (or for yourself) and end up with low quality junk. I say, don’t fall into the trap of gourmet chocolate industry! Make the treats yourself. You will save a ton of money and the rewards will be so much sweeter. Here’s how:

 

Ingredients:

12 large Strawberries (leaves still attached, cleaned and dried well)
12 oz. Semi- Sweet Chocolate

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In order to melt your chocolate you’ll need a heat proof bowl and a pot filled with water. Make sure that the bowl that you chose is just large enough to rest on the sides of the pot with the bottom slightly touching the water in the pot. Bring the water in the pot to a simmer, put the chocolate in the bowl that is resting on top of the pot and stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted. This usually takes a few minutes after the water heats up. Once the chocolate is melted, cut the heat and begin dipping your strawberries in the melted chocolate.

Set the strawberries on the parchment lined cookie sheet and set it into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate coating is mat and solid.

Spicy Orange Chocolate Apples

Chocolate_ApplesCraving something spicy, sweet, and unexpected? Do you absolutely love food on a stick? No problem! Here’s what you will need:

Ingredients:

1 Granny Smith Apple (cut into 8 slices, skewered)
1/4 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
1tsp Orange zest
8 oz. Melted Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Using the double boiler method described in the recipe above, melt your chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted, add cayenne pepper and orange zest. Mix until well incorporated. Dip your skewered apple slices into the chocolate and set on a parchment lined cookie sheet. At this point you can dip the apple slices into crushed nuts, crushed mint candies, or crushed hard caramels for an extra punch of flavor. Just remember, any sugary additions that you choose will bump up the calorie count.

Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the chocolate coating is mat and solid.

Strawberries and Cream

This has to be on of my favorite recipes of all time! It is so satisfying and in a pinch will take your mind off of ice cream. Here’s what you do:

Ingredients:

4 oz. Lite Cool Whip
4 strawberries (diced)

Directions:

Combine the lite cool whip and the diced strawberries in a small bowl. Freeze. Enjoy!  You can also use this recipe to make ice cream sandwiches. Just take two caramel rice cakes, put the filling in between, make a sandwich and freeze. In no time you will have a delicious, healthier alternative to regular ice cream sandwiches.

Now, I don’t recommend eating these treats all day every day, but when it comes to special occasions, holidays, and post workout treats, why not opt for something delicious, clen and satisfying especially if it is fairly easy to make?

i_heart_love_running_runners_card-r9d08c3df70e141578ba36af7c4b3fc4a_xvua8_8byvr_512

Happy Valentine’s Day, guys and gals! May your holiday be as sweet as the feeling of accomplishment and achievement you get when you conquer your next set of goals.

3 Easy Steps to Get Fit in 2014

1381532_648223808555104_266900310_nIf you have been anywhere around a TV set, a radio, or a computer, you have noticed the great abundance of “get fit now”. It is that time of the year again. The time when supplement companies and larger than though trainers are pushing their miracle cure all product on the unsuspecting consumers with low self-esteem. Do these products work? Some of them. Do they work safely and for a prolonged period of time? No.

We live in a society that is largely driven by instant gratification and impulse. No one wants to work to be fit, but everyone wants to have a fit body of a fitness model. After all, it is much easier to pop a pill and eat a pizza while watching football, than working out and eating clean. Does anyone think about the consequences of taking these drugs? Does anyone stop to ask why they work so quickly and so effectively? No. Why? Because blissful ignorance with a skinny fat body is significantly safer than a challenging and at times difficult reality in which one has to find information, process it, and work to get the results that they want. In short, half-baked approaches breed half-baked results and a lot of disappointed, misinformed consumers. So, what can you do to get lasting weight loss results? Read on.

What I have to say right now may not be what you want to hear, but I am not in the business of cuddling and propagating fitness myths. I am here to give you the hard truth and save you the time you’ll spend doing research on your own. Here’s the deal. Most “magic” weight loss pills, shakes, and powders are unsafe. If you have to order your food premade, you’ll gain all of your weight back after you stop eating “out of the box”. There is no such thing as getting “toned and fit” without changing your daily lives.

The only way to get true and lasting results is by keeping a clean and sustainable diet, maintaining a healthy attitude, and exercising daily.

Keeping a Clean and Sustainable Diet:

1238363_644675618909923_1184660794_nLet’s face it, if you drastically cut calories, completely cut out certain food groups or expect perfect rigid compliance to a dietary plan, you will eventually slip. In fact, when you slip you will binge, feel guilty, get down on yourself, and try to maintain the same diet with even more restrictions than before to make up for your pitfall. Does that sound like a healthy relationship with food? No. To me, that sounds more like an eating disorder and we all know that eating disorders are very unhealthy.

A sustainable diet should revolve around a lifestyle. When you decide to get in shape, you have to realize that you are on a journey and just like any journey, this one will have peaks and valleys. The secret to sustainable, healthy weight loss is realizing that a valley isn’t going to undo everything you worked for. So, if you make it a priority to eat healthy 90% of the time, that one piece of cake on your birthday, a plate full of delicious food on Thanksgiving, and a bowl of macaroni and cheese every other month aren’t going to send you on an express train to fat town.

A clean sustainable diet should involve all of the major food groups (unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from eating certain things) in moderation. Eating for weight loss is an art form that will take time to master fully, there is no diet that perfectly fits all, and there are no shortcuts. A clean, healthy diet with proper caloric intake (you can’t starve yourself!!!) takes time to develop and perfect.

I encourage you to do your research, look at various food plans, study strategic eating, and custom design your own eating plan. It will take time, but in the end you will be rewarded with energy, better health, and a lean, strong body.

Healthy Attitude:

quoteWe briefly touched on this subject in the previous section when we discussed a healthy relationship with food. You can’t punish yourself for slip-ups and deviations of off the plan, but you also have to hold yourself accountable for what you do in daily basis. Having a support group helps, but at the end of the day it is between you and your refrigerator, or between you and your bed.

You have to make a plan and stick to it regardless of what the world around you wants. If you know that what you are doing is right for you, then no one else has the right to keep you away from your goals and your dreams. Not even you. You have to push yourself every day. I wish I could tell you that it gets to a point where going to the gym or out on a run is automatic. No. I still have days when I question why I am up at 5 am on a cold winter morning. There are days when the last thing that I want to do is drive to the gym and lift a bunch of weights when the laundry is piled up, dinner needs to be cooked, and I still have a mound of paperwork to get through. However, I don’t make excuses. I put on my big girl pants, lace up my shoes, and I tell myself that it is better that way. I can say with full confidence,  I am yet to regret a workout that I did.

However, healthy attitude goes far beyond building a healthy relationship with food and regular, hard workouts. A healthy attitude also encompasses how you view the world. It is easy to be mad and sad about your circumstances, but when you make a decision to take control and change, you become empowered. Feeling strong and in control is what gets people in the gym initially, but most quickly get discouraged because the results didn’t come fast enough. Here’s the hard part: you have to remain positive and have faith in the fact that the results will come if you actually follow a program that you set for yourself. You have to force yourself to become an optimist on those days when you just want to quit because the pudgy feeling isn’t going away fast enough.

Again, I wish I could tell you that feeling discouraged goes away with time – it doesn’t. But if you keep at it long enough, you will learn that the voice inside your head that tells you “it’s not working”, “you don’t have the body for this”, “you are too old” etc. is a total liar. With time, you learn to ignore your own little critic and you learn that when the voice rears its ugly head, you are closer than you ever were before to achieving that one goal that you set for yourself.

Exercising Daily:

Khloe-Kardashian-Fitness-MotivationA good diet and a great attitude aren’t going to get you far without exercise. Consistent, challenging, daily exercise paired with a great diet is a sure recipe for a fabulous body. Now, let me clarify, I am not telling you to go out and do Zumba (although it is a fun way to initially lose some extra weight). The exercise that I am talking about involves 3-4 heavy weight training sessions and 3 cardio sessions a week. You can’t be a cardio queen and expect a toned body of a fitness model. You have to lift HEAVY weights. Let me say this right now: there is no way that you are going to end up looking like a she Hulk unless you are SPECIFICALLY working to attain that aesthetic. So, no, don’t tell me that lifting heavy turns women into men. It is a total myths that is propagated by men who are scared of strong women, women who are scared of hard work, and skinny fat models who would be out of a job if the rest of us woke up and realized that having the ability to pick up more than 5 lbs at a time makes you more attractive and gives you the lean, toned look you actually want. Yes, I’m talking to you ladies.

Gentlemen, I have to caution you against trying to show off. Heavy training means lifting the weight you can ACTUALLY lift with PROPER form. Allow me to elaborate: that means that you shouldn’t be squirming under a barbell during your bench press like a deranged worm because you loaded the bar too heavy. You are not a hero if you get hurt, so why set yourself up for failure? Take it easy, maintain proper tension throughout your exercises and watch your body bulge with awesome rippliness faster than the guy who has been trying to “out lift” you all alone and has been doing it wrong.

trustI don’t know about you, but for me, a fit strong body is a status symbol. You can’t buy it, you can pay someone to surgically make it. You have to invest the time, the sweat, the tears and the doubts to achieve it. There are challenges to achieving your perfect physique at any age and in any circumstance, so don’t discount the efforts of the younger crowd just because of their age or the older crowd just because of their experience. We all face different struggles, have different body types, and respond to different things better than others. Building a body you want takes time, it takes trial and error and you have to be willing to invest in your journey fully in order to rip the perfect results.