5 Steps to Easy Meal Prep

diet tips Jan 09, 2019

Meal prepping doesn’t have to be a chore or take all day. When you plan ahead and take some time to outline your meals, you’ll find that following your eating plan is much easier and stress free! Follow these simple steps and you’ll have healthy meals ready to go all week long. 

1. Look at your weekly grocery store sales flyer and outline your menu for the week.

I plan all of my meals based on what’s on sale. I have several go-to meals that I know my family loves that will also fit into my diet plan. Then you can figure out what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. It helps to generally eat the same meals each day with some minor changes to keep from getting bored.

Here is a sample of what a typical week looks like for me. I usually keep my meals and snacks the same and just alter them each week. It makes prepping and logging much easier.

  • Breakfast – 4 egg whites + ½ cup oatmeal
  • Lunch – 2 rice cakes, mini guac, 4 oz...
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What Does it Mean to Be Healthy?

diet tips goals misc Jan 04, 2019

Check out this guest post from Cristina Panagopoulus. If you’re in the Chicago area and want an in-person trainer, be sure to look up Cristina.

What does it mean to be healthy? 

Being healthy is a broad term. There is no "one" way to be healthy BUT there is a way for you to be healthier. I always tell clients that making smaller steps in the right direction can do wonders. For example, if you eat out every day for lunch try bringing your lunch instead. Or perhaps you don't care for vegetables. Start incorporating them week by week. Try something new at the grocery store you don't normally eat. Being healthy, for the most part, is making small steps to living a long life. Make your food instead of buying it pre-made. Eat out once a week. Exercise 4-5 times a week. Eat more vegetables and less processed foods. Taking the steps to change your lifestyle will keep you living a healthy life.

How can people stick to their New Year’s...

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My Top 3 Tips to Get into Competition-Ready Shape

cardio diet tips goals Jan 03, 2019

My Top 3 Tips to Get into Competition-Ready Shape

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to compete in another bodybuilding competition this summer and my ultimate goal is to get my pro card in one of tougher natural federations called the OCB (Organization of Competition Bodies). The OCB only allows competitions who attain their physique without the use of drugs or diuretics. This it what makes this competing with this federation more difficult and more rewarding

I work full-time, manage a family and still find the time/effort to prep for figure competitions. It’s not always easy, but anything worth achieving usually isn’t easy. It’s doable even with a crazy lifestyle.

Tip #1 - Make your goal a top priority and have a deadline.

When I plan to compete, I need to select a federation, date, and location. Normally I try to pick shows that are close to home so there is minimal disruption for my family. That said, I also try to be realistic about how much weight I...

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5 Tips on How to Handle Buffets Without Wrecking Your Diet

diet tips Dec 23, 2018

Have you ever had a work meeting or been on vacation and stuck eating at the proverbial buffet? Maybe you’re at a party, holiday gathering, or other event where eating at a buffet is your only option. Here are five tips to keep your diet on track without making you feel like you’re missing out:

  1. Take an inventory -- Look at your options and visually figure out your plan of attack. Walk along the buffet and see what’s available. You want to stay away from fried foods and heavy creams or sauces as these are very calorie dense foods with little nutritional value. Next you will want to look at the veggie options because they are going to fill you up faster with less calories.
  2. Use a small plate -- Opt to use a dessert plate versus a dinner plate. It will allow you to fill up the plate without feeling like you’re skimping.
  3. Focus on veggies and lean proteins -- You will be able to get the most bang for your buck with vegetables and lean proteins....
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Top 5 Best Snacks for Back-to-Back Meetings

diet tips Dec 07, 2018

Does this sound familiar...stuck in back-to-back meetings from morning until evening? Wondering when you’ll get a chance to eat or even take a bathroom break? I’ve been there and I feel your pain! Be prepared for those crazy marathon meeting days and pack your snacks ahead of time. Here are my top 5 best snacks to keep on hand -- whether it’s your car, your purse or your desk!

  1. Hacked Snacks Protein Bites
  2. Power Crunch Bar
  3. Almonds + Apple
  4. Quest Tortilla Chips
  5. Turkey Lettuce Wrap

You’ll notice that these snacks are low in fat and high in protein. They will help keep you full and are only around 200-250 calories. For #1, #2 and #4, there are a variety of flavors and options.

Keep these on hand whether you’re stuck in the car driving or on a flight delay. When you don’t have options and you’re ravenous, that’s when bad food decisions happen!

What’s your favorite go-to healthy snack to keep on hand?

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3 Tips to Survive the Holidays Without Busting Your Scale

diet tips Nov 14, 2018

The holiday season doesn't have to mean you pack on the pounds. Keep your weight in check with these tips:

1. Keep doing your workouts!

The holidays are not the time to stop working out. If anything, you should increase them. In addition to burning more calories, they’re a great stress reliever. If you’re traveling, make sure your hotel has a gym. 

No gym? Bring your own workout...resistance bands, jump rope. Try to get more movement in no matter what. Again, the holidays are not an excuse for your exercise routine to “go on holiday.”

2. Don’t overeat

The holidays do not give you carte blanche to eat everything in sight. Go into parties and events with a game plan. Don’t show up hungry...keep your mouth and hands occupied...chew gum...Try one thing that you really like -- not everything. Keep alcohol to a minimum -- those are empty calories! Do not eat like every day from November through December is a holiday. Cut back during the day if you...

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Ways to Know You’re Stress Eating & What to Do About It

diet tips Nov 05, 2018

When it comes to losing weight, stress eating or emotional eating can quickly derail even the best laid plans.

How do you know when you're stress eating? Typically something triggers you. This could be anything from getting a rush project at work to finding out a loved one is sick. Your heart starts racing and you start searching for food. You mindlessly start putting food in your mouth without much thought to the taste or the quantity. And once you start eating, you just can’t stop. We’ve all been there. It’s not fun. But if you plan ahead and stay aware of what you’re doing, it can definitely help!

Here are some ways to prevent a stress eating spiral:

  • Distract yourself
    Take a walk, phone a friend, get in a workout, clean the house.
  • Occupy your mouth
    Brush your teeth, chew gum, drink water, pop a mint.
  • Take a moment
    Stop and take a moment to realize that you’re stress eating and ask yourself why. Journal, talk to yourself or meditate. Getting to the root...
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Game On: Here's Your Super Bowl Diet Strategy

diet tips Nov 05, 2018

Are you ready for the big game? Do you have your Super Bowl diet strategy in check? Whether you’re rooting for the Falcons or the Patriots, one thing’s for sure, you don’t want to wreck your diet as you cheer on your favorite team. With some pre-planning, you can enjoy the game, the food and the festivities without wrecking your diet.

Some of the tips from How to Party Like a Rock Star Without Wrecking Your Diet still apply. But here are some additional ways to keep your diet on track:

  1. Eat before you go to the party or before your guests show up. Take that edge off so you’re not starving. Have a nice big salad to fill up your belly and lessen your chances of overeating.
  2. Drink lots of water. Many times hunger is mistaken for thirst. More importantly, for every beer, glass of wine or mixed drink you have, be sure to drink a glass of water. Not only will it help keep a hangover at bay, it will also prevent you from eating too much.
  3. Prepare ahead of...
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Sugar Craving? 4 Ways to Handle the Sugar Monster

diet tips Nov 05, 2018

It's 3 p.m. You’re tired…you’re bored…or maybe you’re both. It’s nothing a sugar fix couldn’t handle, right? STOP! Step away from the candy bar! When a sugar craving hits, you need a game plan.

Here are four ways to avoid the grips of the sugar monster.

  1. Keep your hands busy
    It’s hard to eat when you can’t use your hands. Type an email. Take up a hobby like knitting. Do a load of laundry. Clean something — anything! Tackle your to-do list. Do whatever you need to in order to distract yourself until the craving subsides.
  2. Keep your mouth busy
    You can’t consume sugar if there’s something already in your mouth. Pop a piece of gum or sugar-free candy. Make a cup of coffee or tea. Call a friend since it’s pretty hard to hold the phone, talk and chew. Start chugging water. I find that this fills my belly and many times will help keep me full
  3. Keep your body busy
    Stop that sugar craving in its tracks and get away...
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Get Back on Track: Post-Holiday Fit Mom Diet and Workout Plan

cardio diet tips workouts Nov 05, 2018

Did you overdo it during the holidays? Too many cookies and not enough exercise? It happens to the best of us. (Yours truly included…never met a Christmas cookie I didn’t like.)

Don’t wait another minute to get started. Now’s the time to get back in the saddle to take control of your eating and exercising. (Yes, I know New Year’s is this weekend…that’s no excuse.)

The goal is to focus on consistency.  When it comes to changing your body, diet is 70% of the equation, while exercise is 30%. With 100% dedication, you’re ready to go.

Workout Plan

Commit to this workout 5x a week for 12 minutes or 3x a week for 20 minutes. It doesn’t matter if it's first thing in the morning, during lunch or before bed. Pick the time that works best for you and DO IT!

Complete 10 repetitions of each exercise before moving onto the next one. Repeat until you hit 12 minutes or 20 minutes.

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Squats
  3. Push ups
  4. Crunch
  5. Walking...
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