Well, we’ve made it. The last week of the challenge here! Now is your chance to fine tune your lifestyle and give it 110% for the next 7 days. I sincerely hope each and every one of you have been seeing noticeable changes whether it be your strength, cardio, recovery, energy levels, digestive health, or physique.
I’m going to sound like a broken record, but your consistency of eating healthy and staying on track is so key to seeing the results you want. A common barrier from seeing further improvements is something similar to writer’s block. In order to eat well it’s also important to have a meal ready that is both healthy and appetizing. If you’re stuck choosing chicken, sweet potatoes, and broccoli every day, instead try a healthy round of tacos that include ground turkey, salsa, grilled peppers and onions, and some corn tortillas. Or how about switching up that boring salad by adding legumes or choosing red peppers instead of tomatoes. Variety is the spice of life!
For those partaking in the Open this year, here are some guidelines to follow for workout day:
- Rely on familiar foods
- Limit high fat food sources
- Focus on low/medium glycemic carbohydrates throughout the day
- Hit your protein targets
- Avoid high fibre foods right before the workout
- Stay hydrated
- Consider taking caffeine 1 hour prior to the workout for an energy boost
- Fuel with protein and carbohydrates within the hour
- Aim for high glycemic foods to aid in faster recovery
- Avoid drinking alcohol right after your workout to avoid dehydration
Look forward to a wrap up article announcing the winners from the challenge!
Here’s to looking good naked!
- 2½ cups old fashioned rolled oats*
- 2 scoops Ascent vanilla whey protein
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 cups milk (I used almond, but any is fine)
- 2 whole eggs
- 6 tbsp. agave syrup**
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups frozen, mixed berries
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Mix oats, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, add milk, eggs, agave syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry. Gently mix until combined.
- Pour in coconut oil while continually stirring to incorporate.
- Finally, add mixed berries. Gently fold berries into batter.
- Grease a 9×13 baking pan with coconut oil or spray with nonstick spray.
- Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake at 375 for about 35-40 minutes. Cut into 10 slices and enjoy!
- ½ cup oat flour*
- 1 scoop (34g) vanilla protein powder
- 3 tbsp. (15g) cocoa powder
- ¾ tsp. baking powder
- ½ cup (113g) vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 whole egg
- 3 tbsp. (42g) stevia/sugar baking blend**
- 2 tbsp. milk (any milk is fine)
- ¼ cup strawberries, chopped
- ¼ cup (56g) vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. (32g) white chocolate coconut butter
- 2 tbsp. (30g) white chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp. milk (any milk is fine)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flour, protein powder, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, egg, stevia/sugar blend, and milk. Gently mix wet and dry ingredients together.
- Add chopped strawberries and fold into batter. Spray a donut pan with nonstick spray. Pour batter into a large Ziploc bag. Cut end off bag. Pipe donuts into donut pan evenly. There is enough batter to make 8 donuts.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Take donuts out of pan and put onto a cooling rack to completely cool.
- Heat coconut butter and white chocolate chips in the microwave mixing every 30 seconds until melted. Add Greek yogurt and milk. Mix until smooth glaze forms.
- Dip cooled donuts in glaze. Set in fridge for a few minutes to let glaze harden. Dip in glaze again. Add more chopped strawberries if desired.
Thanks to www.macro-chef.com for the recipe!
As we are nearing the latter half of the challenge, a common theme the coaches are hearing from members is how to stay on track during the weekend.
I’ll set the scene…It’s Saturday and you are craving something that is off limits. So you decide to have that baked good at your favourite café. This has thrown off your macros for the day so you think “what the hell” and get a large burrito for lunch with all the dressing, pizza for dinner, and potentially drink the night away. This is the all-or-nothing mindset. Thinking this way can be very dangerous for your progress as it gives you permission to fully indulge without being mindful of what you are putting into your body.
Know that there is no quick-fix
Know that you cannot break all emotional eating/binge eating in a single day. We all want that quick-fix but that isn’t the way we will ultimately be successful. If you have a bad day, don’t freak out. A lot of the progress will be two steps forward, one step back, not a straight forward thing. The most important thing to remember is to stay consistent and use positive momentum to build new habits.
Avoid a binge by planning your indulgences
It might help to plan out what you are going to have. Know when you’re going to have it, enjoy it, embrace it, don’t feel bad about it, then get back on track.
Learn to listen to your body
This may seem common knowledge, but most of us need to relearn how to identify physical hunger. Our body’s signals can often become muddled amidst our emotions, schedule and social life. When you eat, try slowing it down and savouring your food. Listen to your body’s signals and identify when you’re satisfied. Make an effort to stop eating when you’re satisfied, but not overly stuffed. This will help with overeating mindlessly.
So remember, one small cookie will NOT hinder your health goals. However, giving yourself permission to splurge all weekend long will not only set you off track healthwise, it can cause a sense of guilt and remorse. That’s an awful feeling. It’s about balance. If you have noticed that you are consistently overdoing it on the weekend, then having a midweek treat to offset the weekend binging might be a good compromise. Something to consider!
Here’s to looking good naked!
Prep: 10 Min
Cooking Time: 25 Min
1kg sweet potato, cubed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200ml low sodium chicken stock
juice of ó lemon
handful green olives, pitted or whole
20g pack coriander, leaves chopped
1. Boil the potatoes in water for 15 minutes or until tender. Mix in the cinnamon and cumin, then sprinkle all over the chicken. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large frying pan, then brown the chicken for 3 minutes on each side until golden.
2. Lift the chicken out of the pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock, lemon juice and olives, return the chicken to the pan, then simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce is syrupy and the chicken cooked.
3. Mash the potatoes with 1 tbsp oil and season. Thickly slice each chicken breast and stir the coriander through the sauce.
4. Serve chicken and sauce over the mash. Have with side of cooked vegetables.
Nutrition per serving
Makes 2 servings
- 8 oz. lean ground beef
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 tbsp crushed chili pepper
- 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Brown ground beef in skillet.
- As beef is browning, add sliced onion and peppers
- Add chili pepper, sesame seeds and vinegar and continue stirring as it cooks. Once beef is browned and vegetables are to desired doneness place ingredients on a plate and eat.
This is a low carb meal option. Make this a colourful meal by adding extra free veggies (broccoli, snow peas), and don’t forget your water!!