3 Easy Gym Tips

Staying fit and keeping active for many is no easy feat. With work, children, travel, and catching up with friends and loved ones– it is sometimes hard to lock down a set schedule to head to the gym or get outdoors and be active. An active lifestyle helps relieve stress and maintain weight, but it works best in conjunction with a nutritious diet and plenty of rest. When I think of all the reasons I have skipped physical fitness, it mostly comes back to being tired or being too hungry. To remedy this, I have learned to snack. Snacking between meals should not be out of boredom, but out of purpose. It should hold a person over till their next meal, and it can also fuel a person before a tough workout. In these summer months, I will periodically blog about easy snack ideas so that we can all stay on track with our fitness goals. Here are a few things that consistently keep me feeling energized and light and ready to tackle a tough workout:

3 Easy Gym Tips
1.Smoothies and shakes:Add protein powder, fruit and any green and you instantly have a high protein, low calorie drink that helps you stay on track with your daily fruit and vegetable intake. Click here for a great shake recipe.

2. Nuts: You need only a small handful to provide you with fuel from protein and fat. These are very easy to store in the office or in your gym bag for emergencies.Does anyone else get cranky when they are hungry??

3. Water: spend a little money on a good refillable water container. It’s worth it. If you are feeling thirsty, you are probably already a little dehydrated!
4. Greek yogurt: Low calorie, high protein, and delicious.
5. Berries: These are full of antioxidants and they are brain food. If you are sharp and alert, you will have the mental power to PUSH during your workout!

Here is a link to my video pertaining to fitness and food tips:

Shells & Luscious Greens

I’ve always found it slightly amusing when someone says to me ,“You know there are more calories and fat in a salad than there are in a burger and fries!” Now, we know that is an exaggeration, but the person justifying their burger has a point: when you look at the sodium, fat and cholesterol in some of the most popular salads, it is atrocious. Heaped high with avocado, eggs, high calorie dressing and fried chicken strips, some salads can pack 1000 calories! What’s worse, many complain of not being full after making a salad a meal. One thing that making a salad at home can do is, help you lower the calories, and also to find a way to repurpose leftovers that may have otherwise gone to waste.When a salad is made with a generous amount of leafy greens, you can get more of your daily vegetable servings in before the day is over. Green leafy vegetables are surprising powerful as immune system warriors although most associate citrus fruits with getting well over a cold. Did you know that 1 serving of kale has 290% Vitamin A and 190% vitamin C for your daily intake? Yet, we hardly ever hear anyone say, “I’m not feeling so well, I think I’ll go make some kale.”  Some find kale to be a bit of a rough green to eat raw. In nice thin shreds, kale is delicious and easier to blend into salads. I added the shell pasta to introduce an additional dimension of texture to the salad grazing. Enjoy!

*The salad in the picture is photographed with vegan chicken, but you may use any assortment of beans, tofu, salmon, or roasted chicken you may have left over in your fridge.

Serves: 1

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • Kale, 1 cup, shredded
  • Spinach, 1 cup, roughly chopped
  • Pine nuts, 1 TBSP
  • Pea shoots, 20 to 30 shoots
  • Green olives, pitted, 10 olives
  • ½ lemon
  • Grapeseed oil, 2 tsp
  • Your choice of protein, seasoned and cooked, 3 oz (Cold leftovers are great)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Conchiglie (shell) pasta
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Skillet/ Frying pan/ Wok
Instructions

  1. Measure ½ cup dry shell pasta and cook according to al dente instructions. Drain when complete and allow to cool.
  2. Heat skillet on medium high, and once it is heated, add 1 TBSP of pine nuts to toast for 15 to 30 seconds, or until browned. Remove immediately from heat and set aside.
  3.  In a large mixing bowl, add kale, spinach, pasta, pine nuts and olives. Toss with 2 tsp grapeseed oil, 1 TBSP balsamic,  1/8 tsp sea salt, pepper to taste, and ¼ lemon wedge. Mix well.
  4. Place mixed contents onto plate or bowl they will be eaten from.
  5. Place your protein of chicken, seafood or beans on top of the bed of greens, Cut off about 2 to 3 inches of the ends of the pea shoots, and arrange on top of the protein.
  6.  Drizzle the juice of another ¼ lemon over the salad once more along with a dash of salt and pepper.