Mini Turkey Meat Loafs

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Here’s a new take on some of Mom’s home cooking! These meat loafs are portioned out and leaner than using ground beef. They have a little kick too with all the spices! If you don’t like a little heat, you can change the recipe a little.

–          2 lbs of ground turkey breast

–          2 celery stalks (chopped)

–          1 small onion (chopped)

–          1 cup 1 minute oats

–          3 egg whites

–          ½ tsp ground cumin

–          ½ tsp dried thyme

–          2 tsp dry yellow mustard

–          2 tsp ground black pepper

–          2 tsp chipotle spice

–          1 tsp salt

–          2 minced garlic cloves

Preheat your oven to 375. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Use coconut oil to grease a muffin pan.  Then fill each hole in the muffin pan with the mixture and cook for 40 minutes. This makes 12 muffins.

Each mini meatloaf is 128 calories.  8 g of fat, 4.6 g of carbs, 22 g of protein.

Eat 1 to 2 of these along with something leafy or green and you’ve got yourself a pretty good meal!

Why Runners Should Strength Train

When I ask people about their workouts, I often hear “Oh I run to strengthen my legs”, and it makes me cringe. Nothing is wrong with running; you just are not maximizing your results if that is all you do. Here are the top 5 reasons why runners should do resistance training:

  1. Strength training will help with any muscle imbalances that may make you more prone to injury due to dysfunctional movement patterns. A common weak muscle in the quad is the vastus medialus obliquus, this can lead to knee pain when running. Also, weak calf muscles may lead to shin pain. Resistance training should be done in multiple planes of motion so that muscle imbalances decrease or disappear. Strength training also stimulates protein synthesis in not only your muscles, but the surrounding connective tissues as well, helping make a joint stronger and more stable. In addition, strength training helps build bone strength. With all of these training adaptations, chronic aches and pains will be less or go away.
  2. Resistance training makes your muscles more sensitive to insulin than running or aerobic exercise does. Runners often consume more carbohydrates than most people, so it is important to strength train to keep up your insulin health.  Nobody wants diabetes.
  3. Because of #2, your metabolism goes up and you will process carbohydrates better, burning more fats than carbohydrates. This will help you have a better body composition, having more muscle and less fat.
  4. Running increases oxidative stress in your body, promoting inflammation. Inflammation makes losing weight harder.  Strength training has been shown to counteract oxidative stress as well as supplementation with products like Juice Plus.
  5. Perhaps one of the more obvious benefits of strength training is that you will get faster because you are stronger! If you are stronger, you will use less effort to move your body. You will then use less energy and should be able to run longer.

Control of Your Blood Sugar = Success

Watching your blood sugar and carbohydrate intake is not just for those who are diabetic or have metabolic syndrome. If you are trying to lose weight or body fat, you are not going to have success until you monitor what is in your diet. After you eat a meal, your body has a hormone called insulin that is secreted by the pancreas to take digested sugar from the bloodstream into your body’s cells. It’s not a simple process and there are many other hormones involved with your metabolism, but controlling your carbohydrate intake is the best way to control your insulin. When you eat too many carbs, overeat, or don’t eat a balanced meal, you tend to make your pancreas work harder and have too much insulin produced. If you do this repeatedly over time, this leads to fat storage and gaining excess body fat as well increasing your chances to develop metabolic syndrome or diabetes.

Another hormone that controls blood sugar is cortisol. One function of cortisol is to pull stored sugar from your cells into the blood stream in response to stress. Cortisol will elevate due to skipping meals, going too long between meals, and any prolonged physical, emotional, or situational stress. Research has shown that cortisol levels will elevate after long bouts of steady state running over 45 minutes to an hour. From a weight loss standpoint, running as your only form of exercise will not produce the results you desire. Strength training produces a better response of other hormones than running does, specifically HGH and testosterone that are better at burning fat.

Ways to control your blood sugar:

  1. Eat every 3-4 hours. This helps you keep from having swings in your blood sugar and promotes fat metabolism. Ideally you should eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day, however don’t eat if you aren’t even hungry. Everyone is a little different when it comes to meal timing.
  2. Avoid simple sugars in foods such as white rice, pasta, white breads, pastries etc. Especially if you don’t eat any protein with it.
  3. Eat balanced meals that contain protein, and lots of high fiber vegetables like bell peppers or asparagus or fruits that are high in fiber such as apples or berries. This helps slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and lessens the response of insulin to your meals.
  4. Eat snacks that contain fats or protein. This will keep you from getting what I call “hangry”.
  5. Do not deprive yourself of all carbs, you need them for energy. Just make sure they are coming from the right sources such as sweet potatoes, brown rice and other whole grains or legumes.

Running Shoes or Training Shoes?

Having trained hundreds of people in my career as a trainer, I have seen a lot of different shoes on my clients’ feet. The goofiest shoes I saw were by a certain company claiming to “help tone your calves and glutes” by simply walking in them. That statement was then retracted and the company had to pay millions to consumers for their fraudulent statement. Throwing out gimmick shoes, there are two basic types of shoes when it comes to fitness; running shoes and training shoes. Which type is best depends on the activity.

Running shoes have a wedge-shaped sole, tilting you forward, designed to help aid in the heel strike of your running gait. They also are thicker, providing more cushioning to absorb the forces your body takes from the ground when running. When you take a client who already tends to supinate (bear weight on the outside of the foot) or pronate (bear weight on the inside of the foot) when doing a squat, adding running shoes in the equation can make things more unstable because of extra cushioning and cause changes up the kinetic chain at the knee and hip. This changes how you move and increase risk of injury.

foot suppination and pronation squat with knees bowed in

When you are doing resistance training, it is best to wear a training shoe, sometimes called a cross trainer. This type of shoe provides more support in lateral movements and has a more flat sole, better for movements such as squats. You can also run for shorter distances in this type of shoe.  To check if your shoes provide the right kind of support for resistance training, perform a squat while looking in a mirror. Pay attention to the knees and see if they stay over, outside or inside your feet. Then take off your shoes to do a squat and see if there is any change in your form. If your shoes change how you move when squatting, get a shoe that doesn’t.

The Effects of Sitting

Our bodies were not meant to be sitting for hours at a time. Having worked with many types of clients over the years, I have seen many people with postural changes due to sitting. When seated, the elbows are flexed, the hips are flexed and the knees are flexed. Having the muscles around a joint in a shorted or lengthened state repeatedly for prolonged periods of time eventually leads to changes in the length of the muscles around that joint. This leads to dysfunctional movement patterns and increased risk of injury.

xray seatedStarting with position of the head, the spine is in cervical flexion. This makes the muscles on the anterior side of the neck shortened. The muscles responsible for internal rotation of the shoulder are also shortened. This leads to impaired shoulder function, especially with overhead movements. Often the upper traps become dominant and take over in movements where the mid back and lat muscles should be engaged. Common movement impairments include shoulder elevation and head lurching forward during pushing and pulling movement such as a push-up or row.

rounded shouldersdysfunctional row

The abdominals are weakened and the hip flexors are shortened, causing poor activation of your lengthened gluteal muscles. The hamstrings are also shortened. These changes cause the “S” shape of the spine to disappear. The spine will then be more rounded at the shoulders and more flat at the low back.   All of these can contribute to low back pain or possible injury to the low back.

Corrective exercise can help reverse some of these changes and improve movement over time. Corrective exercise programs should be started under supervision and should not cause pain. Here are some examples of corrective stretches and exercises to help these posture problems:

cobra IYT kneeling hip flexor stretch lat stretch pectoral stretch scalene stretch sternocleidomastoid stretch supine hip extension theracane trap stretch foam rolling

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

20130610_081240If you get bored of the food you eat when trying to eat clean, this is a great recipe to use to mix it up and feel like you’re eating some of the foods you enjoy.

  • 1 1/2 Cups Oat Flour
  • 2 tbsp Splenda or Truvia
  • 1 tbsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 cup Raw Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze
  • 2 Scoops Vanilla Protein

Preheat your griddle or pan to medium heat. Add all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix. Then add the wet ingredients and mix until you get the right consistency. Use about a 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Makes about 10 pancakes so you can freeze the extra and have breakfast ready to go for a few days.

Top with fruit, Greek yogurt, nuts, peanut or almond butter. You can also use sugar free syrup.

64 Calories, 1.3 grams of fat, 9.5 grams of carbs, 3.5 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar per pancake.

Lean Mean Turkey Sandwich

Ingredients:

–          2oz Lean Cold Cut Turkey

–          ½ cup Baby Spinach

–          1 Tomato Slice

–          1 slice Ultra Thin Cut Swiss Cheese

–          1 Multigrain Thin Bun or Ezekiel Bread for lower carb option

Make a sandwich. Presto!20130122_153711

239 calories

26g carbs

10g fat

17g protein

4 Bean Chili

4 Bean Turkey Chili

Ingredients:

–          1 Small Onion, chopped

–          1 TBS Olive Oil

–          1lb Ground Turkey Breast

–          1 Can Diced Tomatoes with Jalapenos

–          1 Can Chickpeas

–          1 Can Black Beans

–          1 Can Red Kidney Beans

–          1 Can Chili Beans

–          1 Small Can Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

–          ½ TSP Sea Salt

–          ½ TSP Cinnamon

–          ½ TSP Cumin

–          Hot Sauce, to taste

In a pan, sauté the onion with the olive oil until softened. Dump in the ground turkey and chop it up with a wooden spoon until cooked. Add in all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.20130120_165759

Makes 6 servings: 293 Calories, 31g protein, 32g carbs (good carbs), 5g fat, 11g fiber per serving.

Power Breakfast Burrito

Ingredients:

–          1 Medium Low-carb Tortilla

–          ½ 100 Calorie Pack of Guacamole

–          2 TBS of Salsa

–          1 TBS of 2% Mexican Blend Cheese

–          Liquid Egg Whites

–          Fresh Cilantro (optional)Breakfast Burrito

In an 8” omelet pan, pour egg whites to cover the whole bottom of the pan and cook until set. Warm up a low-carb tortilla in the microwave for 15 sec. Spread guacamole over the tortilla and then place the cooked egg whites on top. Sprinkle 2% Mexican Blend Cheese over the eggs. Add salsa and chopped cilantro on top and roll into a burrito.  It should take less than 10 minutes to prepare.

245 Calories, 12g of carbs, 13g of fat (good fats), 23g protein per burrito.