Tag Archives: precision nutrition
Posted on 01. Oct, 2009 by admin.
A lot of people tend to think that they will have to be eating bland foods or take dessert out of the equation when they decide to lose weight. The good news is, there are still healthy dessert recipes that you can make at home without the guilt or the bad effects on your waistline.
I’ve compiled a list of my top 3 healthy dessert recipes below so you can start enjoying them too. Don’t worry, they’re very easy to make! There’s a free download towards the end of this post so make sure not to miss it.
Here’s a tasty little treat that is also well suited for that second jolt of fast-acting carbs and protein after your PWO shake. Or you can split it up for a couple of desserts following P+C meals.
- 1 cup cooked basmati rice. The quality, fragrance, and taste of basmati are far superior to any other rice I’ve ever had. Sure the GI is higher than brown rice, but in this case the taste just doesn’t compare. That’s why I like to eat it as one of the post workout meals. Prepare the basmati rice in bulk by adding a cup of rinsed rice to 1.75 cups boiling water, cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
- 2 cups skim milk
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (try to find a brand that doesn’t taste like powdered chicken feet, and depending on the brand, you might add some Splenda to get the desired sweetness).
- 2 tablespoons sugar-free instant Jell-O vanilla pudding
On medium-low heat, simmer the cooked rice in milk for 20 minutes or so, until rice bulks-up, cover and cool for a few minutes, then add the protein powder (and Splenda if necessary), and a dash of salt, stir, cover and put in fridge until it cools. Add Jell-O mix to cooled mixture, whip, and you’re all set.
* K/cal: 478
* Fat: 4 g
* Carbs: 63g (2 fiber)
* Protein: 47 g
Blueberry Bran Muffins
These little treats are made from low-GI carbs, so you don’t have to worry about eating one or two after a P+C meal. They also have a bit of flax meal to add moisture, and just a couple of polyunsats. I’ve been eating these for a while and loving them, so recently I gave them the final test by taking a batch to a dinner party. Success! They were reduced to crumbs, followed with compliments about their taste, rather than their ingredients.
- 1 cup oat bran
- ½ cup flax meal
- 4 scoops protein powder, flavor of your choice (I like chocolate with this recipe).
- 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup granulated Splenda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 jumbo egg whites
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
- 2/3 cup water
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the egg whites, extract, and water. Stir until mixed well. Scoop into a muffin pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350-degrees for 25 minutes.
Makes 6 large muffins.
Macronutrient Profile (each muffin):
* K/cal: 176
* Fat: 4 g (1s, 1m, 2p)
* Carbs: 20g (4 fiber)
* Protein: 21 g
Yes, you read this correctly…blueberry cheesecake! Just be careful with these things, as it is nearly impossible to put the cheesecake down after you’ve taken one bite. From my experience, and the stories of my friends who have made them, it’s almost impossible to keep an entire cheesecake around for longer than one day.
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- ¼ cup raw oat bran
- 1 oz fat-free cream cheese, warmed in microwave
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 cups lowfat cottage cheese
- ½ package (52 g) powdered Jell-O instant pudding, cheesecake flavor
- 3 oz. fat-free cream cheese
- 3 scoops strawberry whey protein powder*
- 1 cup frozen blueberries and 4 tablespoons granulated Splenda (*see option 2 below before adding these at this stage)
To make the crust, mix crust ingredients in a large bowl. Stir this mixture until it is all the same consistency, then press into a 9-inch pie pan sprayed with Pam, stretching the crust up the sides of the pan.For the rest of the cake, put the other ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. You might have to blend it in smaller portions, depending on the power of your blender, but resist the temptation to add water, as this makes the cake soupy. Also, more Jell-O mix can be added for more desirable consistency. Pour the blender mixture into the crusted pan, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
*Blueberry option 2: to make a ‘fancier’ cheesecake, thaw the blueberries, then stir the Splenda in with them, and use this as a topping for the cheesecake.
Makes 6 slices.
Macronutrient Profile (each slice):
* 258 k/cal
* Fat: 5 g (2s, 1m, 2p)
* Carbs: 30 g (2 fiber)
* Protein: 25 g
A few notes about some of the dessert ingredients:
Flax meal is simply ground flax seeds. Flax seeds are cheap as sin in bulk, and you can grind them at home with a hand-held coffee grinder. I usually grind them just before their used. If you want to make the meal in bulk, just be sure to store it in an airtight container in the fridge to preserve its freshness.
Splenda is used as a low-calorie sweetener in many of these recipes, as I prefer its taste to other artificial sweeteners besides Stevia, but others can be used according to your preference. Splenda is not entirely carb-free, since they use a bit of maltodextrin to give it texture. There are 24 carbs in 1 cup of granulated Splenda. This was calculated into the nutritional information for the relevant recipes.
So there you have it. These meals should give you enough variety to avoid the tuna can doldrums. Bon appetit!
For more healthy dessert recipes, download the free Gourmet Nutrition Desserts here
Posted on 04. Mar, 2009 by admin.
Lately, I have been reading in other blogs and forum threads about nutrition mishaps – meaning that they either binged or just made some bad food choices. Just like them, I also have a bit of trouble in this deparment (don’t we all?) and so as one of my strategies in approaching this issue is to closely monitor my “cheat meals” by following the 90% rule.
What is the 90% rule?
I originally heard of the 90% rule from Dr. John Berardi, creator of Precision Nutrition. The rule states that you can still have amazing results if you follow a good nutrition plan 90% of the time. To be more specific, I’ll give you my example.
On the nutrition stand point
I routinely eat 5 meals a day (on the days that I’m not fasting – that is) which give me a total of 35 (5 meals/day x 7 days) meals per week. I just use this number even on the days that I fast. So, this means that I can eat 3.5 (35 x .1 or 10%) cheat meals and still get great results! The idea is the 10% leeway will not affect your results heavily because you are in 90% compliance anyway. Isn’t that great news? I mean even the most disciplined person in the world needs a little wiggle room every once in awhile right? So, why do it 100% when you can still get the same results at 90%? The one problem with this though is that some people will take this 10% and make it into 20% or even 50%. This is one reason why I want to track my meals in some way (more on this later).
From the workouts stand point
The 90% rule applies to your workouts as well. Since I go to the gym 3x a week and follow a specific program for 4 weeks, I can miss one workout and still see some nice changes. Now, working out and eating are two totally different creatures for me. I love working out – I like the high that I get from it. I see it as a way for me to keep the stress levels down as well. Even on some days when I’m just feeling blah and not really motivated to get my butt to the gym – I still end up going because I look forward to that feeling after a great workout. Now, if you talk to me about the nutrition side of things – that’s totally different story, my friend.
So why did I bring up the 90% rule?
Partly because, I really want to start actually marking off my meal chart with my cheat meals so that I’ll know that I’m really in 90% compliance and not 85% or 75%. I got a chart from my Precision Nutrition purchase but if you want a poor man’s (or woman’s) version, Maggie Wang, created one here. You’d have scroll to the bottom of the post to download the pdf file. I need a chart like this because I have a hard time remembering what I eat/ate unless I write it down or track it in some way (can’t imagine how sharp I would be several years down the road…lol). It may sound tedious but it really isn’t. Think of it as a way to see your progress just as you would your % body fat or other measurements.
Before I conclude, I’d like to add that the 90% rule is helpful in terms of eating healthy and not thinking of fat loss in terms of “dieting.” Incorporate the 90% rule all the time and not just when you’re trying to lose weight. This way of thinking makes it a longer term plan instead of having the “yo-yo dieting” mindset. Remember that losing the weight is just as difficult as maintaining it so keep the rewards forever – you already worked hard for it, you might as well keep it.
Posted on 09. Feb, 2009 by admin.
“If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”
I can’t remember how many times I have heard this quote before but I remember how powerful it was the very first time I read it. It really is true in many aspects of our lives and it is especially true when it comes to losing weight or body fat or blubber or whatever you want to call it.
When I’m not fasting, I plan to eat 5 meals a day – not snacks but meals. Do you know how daunting of a task that is for a person who spends 2.5 hours in commuting time, work a full time job; take care of the husband, the dog, and myself; go to the gym three times a week; put in some kind of “light” workout (I put in the quotations because sometimes my light activities are not so light anymore) on the days I don’t go to the gym; etc. etc. So, when I was first learning more about losing the ever elusive belly fat and learned that I had to eat 5-6 (six meals is mostly for the men who have higher calorie requirements – lucky them!) meals a day, I knew I had to make some adjustments and cough up some self-discipline.
This discipline required me to plan a whole week’s worth of meals ahead of time and set a time during the weekend to cut up all the ingredients that I will be cooking throughout the week. So, this is how I do it:
- Thursday: start looking for recipes for 3 different entrees, 1 breakfast, and 2 handy snacks to cook for next week.
- Friday: start a grocery list of my ingredients and check the fridge and pantry for stuff that I already have. Go grocery shopping
- Saturday afternoon: cut up all the vegetables and cook one entree for dinner.
- Sunday afternoon: cook two more snacks that I can take to work besides leftovers
- Monday and Wednesdays (non-gym days): Cook the other two entrees.
I realize that it looks like I do a lot of cooking which I do but it doesn’t take much of my time because I already cut up all my vegetables on Saturday night. At the same time, my snacks need very little cooking time or no cooking at all.
After buying Precision Nutrition recently, I actually had to take out my food processor because I had to cut up a LOT of vegetables. I remember not having any success with this kitchen equipment because I thought that I can put whole vegetables in there — wrong! While I still have to cut my vegetables into small enough pieces so that they can get cut up into even smaller pieces, I do save a fair amount of time IF I’m cutting all my vegetables at the same time. But, if I only need to cut one or two vegetables then, a knife and a cutting board will be sufficient. To give you an idea of how much vegetables I prepare during the weekend, see the picture on the left side.
Also, take note that I own an inexpensive food processor like this one from Black and Decker (it was actually free from mom…lol).
After preparing all my ingredients for the rest of the week, I don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen during the week. All I need is to throw in all the ingredients in the pan or skillet and I have a meal in less than 20 minutes. Here is an example of my menu from Gourmet Nutrition:
- Saturday, Entree 1: Asian Chicken Veggie Stir Fry
- Monday, Entree 2: Braised Beef in a Red Wine Sauce
- Wednesday, Entree 3: Peruvian Chicken
- Snack 1: 1 apple with 1 cup plain yogurt and half a scoop protein powder (no cooking time)
- Snack 2: Mixed Nut Bar from Gourmet Nutrition (only takes 20 minutes to prepare and bake)
- Breakfast: Oatmeal Pancakes or Spinach and Mushroom Omelet
This menu would be enough for me and my husband to eat 5-6 meals a day because I would also double the amount of ingredients required in the recipes. This way, I can take left overs to work for lunch or a snack.
I pretty much stock up on Spinach in my fridge because I can alway use them in my omelet or in a salad. Because of that, I have to find ways to keep it fresh. So, I remember learning this technique from my roommate in college who grew up in a farm. Basically, I wash the Spinach all at once then, drain the water from it as much as I can. After that, I lay 2-3 pieces of paper towel on the kitchen counter and wrap the spinach in the napkin. Then, it goes in a big Ziploc bag. If you prepare your Spinach this way, it stays fresh in the fridge for about 2 weeks (possibly longer).
So now that I have taken you through my food preparation strategies, you might be feeling overwhelmed – don’t be. I didn’t start out doing all these meal preparations right away. I started with small, baby steps which eventually became a habit. I can come up with many excuses not to prepare my meals but those excuses won’t do me any good. They would just prevent me from reaching my goals and living a healthier lifestyle. As for you, you can doing one habit today or this weekend such as preparing a healthy snack, stick to it for a few weeks.
If you want to jumpstart your way to weight loss by cooking and eating healthier meals, here are two free downloadable e-books from Precision Nutrition: