healthy snacks

Healthy Snacking

Coach Cujo at Ellipse Fitness Allouez started with us only last month! Since his first day, he has wowed us and graced us with his great knowledge. Cujo is ACSM certified as a Exercise Physiologist. Today, we’ve decided to share with you this awesome information Cujo brought to his studio in Allouez. Here’s what he had to say about HEALTHY SNACKING! (Save this information and use it to your advantage during cravings!)

“Healthy Snacking is almost imperative to master if you want to achieve your health and fitness goals. If you go through your workout with little or no food before and/or after exercising you won’t get the full benefits of the workout, and you’ll likely have more soreness and fatigue than you should. If your body begins ‘starving’ it will go into survival mode and pack on more fat from the meals you do eat. And finally, if you mentally deprive yourself of all your cravings you will eventually quit whatever routine you are building – or you will go crazy trying to stick to it!”

Here are a few tips for things people commonly experience:

1. Are you feeling light-headed or weak during or immediately following your workout?

Try having a snack with some healthy fats and carbs, but also a high level of protein 1 – 2 hours before your workout. This will ensure your body has the proper fuel to engage in rigorous physical activity

2. Are you suffering from extreme soreness for 24-48 hours following your workout?

Supplying your body with a source of complete protein immediately after exercise – within 1 hour, and the sooner the better – can often drastically reduce muscle soreness. If time and convenience are a limiting factor for you, try a BCAA (Branch-Chain Amino Acid) supplement that can quickly be mixed with water. During strength/power exercises your muscle fibers are literally tearing, and protein is required for them to recover and grow to prevent future muscle soreness.

3. Are you having a hard time putting your finger on what exactly it is that you are craving?

You may just be thirsty! Keep water near by and easily accessible at all times! Sometimes when you are dehydrated your body will send signals to eat what is in front of you, because it contains water! Water is 100% integral to a properly functioning body. If you are dehydrated, nothing from working out to excellent nutritional habits will help you achieve your goals!

Craving this? Substitute that!

Salty! (french fries, potato chips, etc)
Try some edamame (boiled and sprinkled with sea salt), raw snap peas (snow peas), or raw nuts! (roasted/salted nuts are ok too as long as you can control portions)

Greasy! (burger, hot dog, fried cheese)
Instead reach for smoked salmon or beef jerky – both of which don’t require refrigeration before opening! Also, a slice or two of cheese with some grapes or apple slices can just as well satisfy that craving!

Sweet! (you get the picture)
Chocolate? Try a couple small pieces of 50% or more Dark Chocolate! Cookies? A couple of figs or dates might do the trick. Ice cream? Try blending chick peas or frozen bananas with peanut butter and a few semi-sweet chocolate chips and vanilla extract for a healthier alternative.

Alcohol! (also bread)
Oatmeal or granola, nuts, or dark leafy greens can provide good substitutes for the micronutrients you might be craving.

Maybe you are just bored or need to unwind? Try a bath (add Epsom Salt for sore muscles!), go for a walk at sunset or any other activity that gets fresh air into your lungs, and if it’s too cold? Play a game with a friend, child or spouse that forces you to think a little!

If you find that nutrition is one thing that you keep getting stuck on, ask about our Results in 42 program! 6-weeks of working with a coach to get back on track and pick up some new tips along the way.

Healthy Summer Options

Summertime is all about being outside…at least in the Midwest! We cherish our Summer months and we head out to the patio whenever possible. The issue with our frequency of grilling out with family and friends is that these settings almost always come with potato chips, dips, sugary snacks or cocktails, and beers. Today, I’d like to give you an alternative for these Summertime classics.

The Potato Chip & Dip Dilema

Potato chips can, and should, be avoided when you want to live a healthy lifestyle. The switch is easy, for any starchy chip…turn to a vegetable instead. A common mistake is that when snacking on vegetables, many go overboard with its counterpart….the dip. Instead of the cheese, sour cream, or dill dips that contain unhealthy fats, hummus is the answer. To be honest, it’s smart to skip the snacks all together and wait for your main dish! If you’re going to have it anyways, there’s no need to over indulge while you’re hanging out on the patio.

Sugary Snacks

If you’re going to eat something sugary, make it fruit whenever possible. Alternatively, here are some delicious recipes for your sweet tooth.

Triple Berry Yogurt Bark

Adapted from: The $5 Dinner Mom

Yield – 8 snack servings

Preparation Time – 15 minutes

Cooking Time – 2 hours in the freezer to freeze

Ingredients

  • 32 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • about 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • Parchment paper

Directions

  • Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt and honey.
  • Pour and spread the yogurt mixture into the base of the lined baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the different berries and gently press into the yogurt.
  • Freeze for at least 2 hours or until completely frozen.
  • Use a knife to make the first “break” and then you can break with your hands. Break into serving size pieces and serve cold.

Banana and Peanut Butter Bites

Use browning bananas before they go to waste! Make little peanut butter and banana bites and put them in the freezer for 2 hours. Sweet, salty, cheap and easy to do!

Cocktails

If it’s a cocktail kind of night, you’ve got to eliminate the sugars. Stick to sugar free options, avoid mixers other than club soda or flavored sparkling waters with zero calories. Here are some options:

  1. Cucumber Fizz Cocktail: Replace the high carb tonic water in this drink with either a sugar-free tonic water that uses artificial sweetener for a no-carb version. For a lower-carb version, use an agave-based tonic water like Q-tonic that has 5.5 grams of carbs per 4 ounces compared to the 16.5 grams of carbs per 4 ounces in regular tonic.
  2. Healthy Green Tea Martini: Green tea’s benefits are endless. In a mixed drink, it’s a light way to bring some antioxidants into your party. Directions: Combine equal parts green tea (brewed and chilled) with vodka or gin in a martini shaker. Add in juice from a whole lime and 1 tbsp. of agave nectar. Stir ingredients until blended. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.

There are endless healthy bites you can find and use as alternatives to the fatty and sugary snacks that are usually at patio parties! Being healthy doesn’t mean you have to skip the fun. Being healthy means you need to think ahead, plan accordingly, and practice self control. Enjoy the weather!

Ellipse Fitness Greek 7 Layer Dip

Ingredients
 8 ounces hummus, store bought or homemade
 1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
 1 clove garlic, finely minced
 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
 Juice of 1/2 lemon
 Pinch kosher salt
 Freshly ground black pepper
 2 tbsp red onion, minced
 1 cup English cucumber (about ½ large), ½-inch dice
 1 cup Roma tomato, seeded, ½-inch dice
 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced

Preparation
1. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
2. In an 8”x8” or 7″ x 11″glass dish, layer the hummus, yogurt mixture, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, feta and olives. Serve with whole grain pita chips, celery, or cut fresh veggies

Nutritional Information
Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Calories: 93 • Fat: 5 • Carbs: 7 g • Fiber: 1.5 • Protein: 5 g • Sugar: 2 g • Sodium: 202 mg • Cholesterol: 6 mg

St. Patrick’s Day Shake – From Ellipse Fitness

Have you ever wondered, “Why am I hungrier on a day when I lift weights vs. the day when I do a cardio workout?”  Most people would think that you’d have a large appetite on the day that you do a cardio workout simply because our mindset is that the cardio workout burns more calories than a lifting workout, right???  Actually, studies prove that the after-burn effect of the weight lifting workout will typically burn more calories throughout the entire day, thus boosting your metabolism and leaving you feeling a bit hungrier!

A Great Recovery Shake!

Resistance exercise (weight lifting) is a key component of exercise recommendations for weight control because the more muscle you have on your body, the faster your body burns the calories that you put in it!  To give you an example:  1 Pound of Lean Body Mass (muscle) burns 15-50 calories daily, while 1 Pound of Fat only burns 6 calories daily!  So as you can see from this example, it is clear that the more muscle you are able to sustain on your body and/or that you build, you will likely need more calories!  WOW – more muscle = more food!  That sounds like a win!

So, we know that more muscle is going to lead to greater results, and we get there with a combination of cardio and resistance training.  But —What about hunger?  A good workout could suppress your appetite for as long as 2 hours afterward, and researchers speculate that the effect could have something to do with ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone.  Exercise seems to suppress this hormone, leading to less hunger directly after a workout.  However, when we look at the example above and see that the lean muscle mass is requiring more energy throughout the day, it is a “no brainer” that you may feel hungrier after a weight lifting workout simply because your muscle is requiring more energy throughout the day!

As you know, at Ellipse we believe that exercise and nutrition go hand in hand.  You will not obtain or keep the results that you are looking for in your physique by simply exercising and continuing to fill your body with “empty” or “less than nutritious” foods.  Our Pro-Shop shelves are stocked with supplements to help you recover after your workouts and our blog is loaded with great recipes to keep you on track!  Next time you are in need of a nutritious recipe to take to a party or want a healthy recipe to cook at home, check out the blog or ask your Ellipse Coach for some suggestions!

Here is a shake recipe that will help you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in good health!

1.5 Scoops Chocolate Mint Whey Protein Powder
1   Cup Fat-free Milk
1   Cup Crushed Ice
2   Drops of GREEN Food Coloring

Directions:  Add all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and creamy!  If you want to cut the sugar a bit, try Unsweetened Almond Milk in place of regular milk.

Serves:  1
Exchanges:  1 Milk, 5 Extra Lean Proteins

Tip:

Planning to down some corned beef and cabbage in celebration for St. Patrick’s Day?  The average calories in one meal of corned beef and cabbage is 942 calories and 59 grams of fat!  Now add on two green beers and that adds on another 250 calories, for a whopping total of 1192 calories!  This is equivalent to the calorie burn of 2-3 Ellipse workouts!  If this is your favorite indulgence – then go for it!  But if you’d rather save your calories, give this shake recipe a try instead.  This shake recipe is the perfect treat after a workout with tons of protein to help with muscle recovery!

Favorite Pairings by Ellipse Fitness

Hi Everyone ~

Here are a few favorite pairings of Ellipse!

1.  Mix 1 Cup Milk with 1 Scoop WHEY Protein Powder.  Add Special K Added Protein Cereal!  Complete package breakfast with Protein, Milk, and Carbs!  Add fresh fruit if you’d like!

2.  Fat Free or 1% Cottage Cheese whipped in a blender to a smooth consistancy.  Add Fat free, Sugar free Pudding mix and it tastes like cheesecake!  My favorite pudding mix flavor is cheesecake, but you can also use chocolate or vanilla!

3.  Mmmmm…Egg Beaters with 2 tablespoons of Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa!  You just can’t go wrong!  Slide this on a whole wheat tortilla and make a Mexican Omelet Wrap!

4.  A small carton of Fat-free Plain Greek Yogurt mixed with taco seasoning mix.  I use this as a dip and use the Quaker White Cheddar Rice Cakes for dipping!

5.  Eggo Nutri-Grain Low Fat Waffles topped with Sugar Free Strawberry preserves are a breakfast favorite!  Or…enjoy this anytime with a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese!

6.  Need to whip up dinner in a hurry?  Grab some pre-cooked shrimp and toss with fresh peppers and a 1/2 cup of Uncle Ben’s Wild/Brown Rice!

Tiffany’s Tip:  Don’t get bored with your meal plan!  Keep it interesting and try new things.  You never know what might be your next “favorite”!