Can’t Lose Weight? Little Changes – Big Results

Small ChangesMaking changes when you feel like you can’t lose weight.

Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the number of pounds that we want to lose or how far we feel we are from our fitness goals.  I know in the past this has caused me to stay stuck.  Please know that even small changes can make a big difference.   I firmly believe that these small changes are the most important piece of the puzzle for permanent change.  Fad diets help people lose weight but then they gain it back again – many times with even more weight than before.

JH is one of my fitness challenge members.  He also happens to be my son.  He is on a journey to lose around 100 pounds.  He originally planned to do the Les Mills Pump workout, but life got in the way and he had to move out of the home he was renting and rent a room from a friend.  Because of this he doesn’t have the space to do that particular workout.  But he didn’t let that stop him!  Here is his story in his own words,

“I have been stuck for about three weeks feeling like I was getting enough exercise. Yet not losing any weight. So this week I started walking a few miles every day and on top of that I’m walking to work. So far 3 pounds gone. And! I finally passed my miniature goal.. This is officially 2 pounds lighter than I’ve been at any point in the last 3 years. Lost 25 pounds since December and more to come :) point is don’t lose hope just try switching up your normal routine. Good luck.”

 

Another challenge member, JM  let me know that she has made changes in her life over the last month – eating regularly and walking. She was able to fit into jeans that she hasn’t been able to wear in 3 years! She says

“Have not felt this healthy in a couple years, and am seeing awesome results in a short time-Thanks for motivating me!!”

 

Now it’s your turn.  Make one small change this week that moves you closer to your goals.  I would love for you to comment below and let me know what change you are making.  Your change can inspire others and we all win!
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Quinoa – A Delicious Superfood

Quinoa

Super Yummy Superfood

This is part of my series about the superfoods that are in Shakeology.  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is grown in South America.  It is technically a seed but is usually considered a grain.  It does not contain gluten. It is high in protein and has many minerals and contains all the essential amino acids.  One half cup of quinoa has 14 grams of protein.  Quinoa is high in iron and is a great food to eat when you have anemia.  It has twice as much fiber as other grains.

When using quinoa in a recipe it is important to soak the quinoa first.  The outer shell can be bitter and soaking fixes that problem.  Or you can buy pre-soaked quinoa and solve that problem.  Quinoa has a delicious, nutty flavor and is very easy to prepare. Its texture is similar to couscous.  Quinoa can be found in most grocery stores.  It can be used in any recipe in place of rice or other grains and contains much more protein than other grains.

Quinoa has been around for centuries but has only recently become popular in the U.S.  I tried it about a year ago and my children were instant fans.  It can be prepared ahead and used in place of rice or pasta in some of your favorite recipes.  I’ll provide a couple of recipes for you to try – it’s good for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

 

 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb ground turkey, browned
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (½ cup)
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 c fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 3 large carrots, grated (1½ cups)
  • 1½ cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided (or your favorite cheese)
  • 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
  2. Stir in black beans, quinoa,carrots, cooked ground turkey and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
  4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping ¾-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.
http://cravingfitness.org/nutrition/quinoa-superfood/

Quinoa for breakfast is very filling and you can change up the things you add in (dried fruits, nuts, seeds) for variety. Here’s a breakfast recipe to try.

Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Protein BarsSatisfy Your Sweet Tooth With Homemade Protein Bars

I have had several people ask for my protein bar recipe so I thought I’d post it here.  These protein bars are higher in calories than my other snacks, but they are full of healthful ingredients and satisfy my sweet tooth.  I usually make these about once a month and they last me for several weeks.  You can calculate the calories for yourself with a website like My Fitness Pal or something similar.  The nutrients vary depending on the type of protein powder and other ingredients you use.  Make sure you use natural peanut butter so you don’t get added sugar.  I modified this recipe from a recipe I found at The Blonde Ponytail.

2 cups protein powder

2 cups natural peanut butter

1 cup dry oatmeal

1.25 cups honey

Mix all ingredients together and place in a 9×13 pan.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and cut into 24 squares.  Serving size is 1 square.

 

Cure Sore Muscles with a Foam Roller

Foam Rolling

Foam Rolling to Reduce Sore Muscles and Prevent Injury

One of the things I’ve learned from doing P90X2 is how important foam rolling can be to reduce sore muscles and keep you in top form to prevent injury. In P90X2 foam rolling is an important part of the warm up/stretch. Foam rolling is a form of self myofascial release. Myofascial release is a technique that involves using pressure to get rid of restrictions in your muscle tissue to relieve sore muscles and restore motion. Stretching is important, but it cannot fully stretch a muscle that is knotted up. Foam rolling can help reduce or eliminates the knots in the muscle allowing it to elongate like it was designed to do.

Foam rolling involves rolling slowly over a muscle group and finding the sore spot or “trigger point.”  When you find that sore spot, stay there for 30-60 seconds.  Then move on to the next painful area.  You can change your body position to increase or decrease the pressure on each muscle. Work on all your muscle groups.

This can be done before or after a workout.  It’s also a great way to start your day.  If you are doing it after your workout, make sure you cool down first.  You can view some sample foam rolling positions here.  Foam rollers are inexpensive way to keep yourself healthy.

The images below will show you two of the different types of foam rollers.  The black one is a basic foam roller.  It is great for beginners.  When you begin to use it you will find all sorts of tight and sore muscles that you didn’t even know were there.  Using it regularly will help work out the tightness.  The blue one is called a Rumble Roller.  This is the roller featured in P90X2 and it is the one I am currently using.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  It is more like getting a deep tissue massage as compared to a Swedish massage. If you have a foam roller, here is a great guide to show you how to use it: Foam Rolling Guide.

Foam Roller

Foam Roller

 

Rumble Roller

Rumble Roller