Top Protein Sources

Top Protein Sources

Do you consume enough PROTEIN on a daily basis?

Protein is a vital macro-nutrient, especially when trying to lose weight and/or gain lean muscle.

Below is a breakdown of some of the TOP protein sources, along with nutritional info to set you off in the right direction to achieving your daily protein needs! SAVE and use this as a reference.

  • EGGS – Whole or egg whites.Healthy fats, and many nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, choline, iron and folate. One egg (6g); 3 Tbsp egg whites (5g). 
  • FISH/SEAFOOD – High in protein + heart-healthy Omega 3 fats. Wild salmon, trout, cod, sardines, snapper, sole, shrimp, and scallops.3.5oz serving – Salmon (26g); Shrimp (24g). 
  • DAIRY (and alternatives) – Protein and calcium-packed! Cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, kefir, low-fat cheese. 1 cup skim milk (8.4g); cottage cheese (26g). 

    NON-DAIRY ALTERNATIVES – 1 cup oat milk (4g). 6-oz soy-milk yogurt (6g). 
  • PROTEIN POWDER – whey and vegan options. 1 scoop whey protein (25g); 1 scoop brown rice protein (24g).
  • VEGETABLES – Good source of protein, phytonutrients and antioxidant packed! Spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, sweet potato. 1 cup asparagus (3g); 1 cup broccoli (2.5g)
    Special mention – GREEN PEAS! Lit’ protein powerhouse gems 1 cup (8.6g). Contains antioxidant lutein – supports heart health by fighting cholesterol and preventing plaque buildup.
  • NUTS & SEEDS – peanuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and cashews. Heart healthy source of Omega 3 fatty acids + helps blood vessels function properly by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, reducing risk of heart disease.2 Tbsp peanut butter (8g); 100g almonds (21g).

    SEEDS – chia, hemp, flax, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, superior plant source for iron and zinc. High in protein, seeds such as hemp are packed with an impressive – 3 Tbsp (10g);), while the nutritional crunch of pumpkin seeds delivers – 3 Tbsp (9g). 
     
  • LEGUMES – soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, kidney and lima beans. Wholesome amount of protein, high fiber, low in fat and glycemic index, legumes assists w/ digestion, weight management, lowering glucose and cholesterol in the blood.1 oz chickpeas(3g); ½ cup lentils (9g).
  • NUTRITIONAL YEAST – Deactivated form of yeast (won’t ferment or rise, like when baking bread). Sold in powder, granules and flakes; mimics a cheesy, nutty-like flavor. Complete-protein profile. Fat-free, low in sodium and calories + dairy-free, gluten-free. ½ cup (8g).
  • ANCIENT GRAINS – spelt, quinoa, millet and amaranth, contain high levels of protein + substantial amount of fiber, iron and zinc. 1 cup spelt (11g), I cup amaranth (9g). 
  • MEAT SUBSTITUTES – Soy-based foods; tofu and tempeh. Tofu has a neutral taste which can take on the flavor of many culinary ingredients. ½ cup (10g). Tempeh is made from fermented whole soybeans; strong, nutty flavor. ½ cup (15g).
    Soy/meat alternative – Seitan; made from wheat gluten. 3oz (20g).
  • POULTRY – Protein-dense and good source ofB vitamins and selenium. Chicken and turkey. 3oz skinless,chicken breast (26g); 3oz turkey breast (15g).
  • LEAN MEAT – High in protein, great source of iron and zinc. Lean cuts of beef, veal, lamb and pork. 4oz beef (29g); 4oz pork tenderloin (18g).

     
Sweet Potato Granola

Sweet Potato Granola

Enjoy this naturally sweetened, oil-free, crunchy granola in a bowl of milk, yogurt, over oatmeal, smoothies or straight-up, as is! Simple ingredients, easy to make and even easier to eat.

Delicious deets: ⤵️

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups nuts of choice (I used walnuts, pecans, almonds)
1 tsp cinnamon 
⅔ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup cooked, mashed sweet potato 
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven at 300F. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another. Pour wet mixture into dry, stir to combine. Spread onto baking sheet. Bake for 30 min (halfway, stir granola, bake for another 15 mins).

ENJOY!

Why You Should Be Snacking

Why You Should Be Snacking

Snacking will help your body stay fuelled and energized. In order to reap its healthful benefits, what you consume and level of activity are important factors into how snacking can support or impede your fitness goals. If you’re sedentary person, sticking to one or no snacks could be the best course of action. Alternatively, if you’re a person who’s active and on-the-go, 2-3 snacks/day may suffice for your lifestyle.

Below are the TOP 4 reasons why snacking can be advantageous to your health and wellness:

  1. Boosts your metabolism – if you’re eating clean meals every few hours, your body is in a state of burning food for fuel. Thus, amping your metabolism and turning it into a calorie-burning machine.
  2. Weight loss & satisfaction – when your body and mind are properly fuelled, there is less chance of overeating and/or reaching for indulgent treats to satisfy your sweet/savoury tooth.
  3. Stabilizes blood sugar – a regular supply of nutrients from food helps to keep sugar levels maintained and avoids mood/energy swings.
  4. Regulates your appetite – if you’re following a wholesome diet with the addition of snacks, the body will climatize to your healthy-eating regimen like clockwork. Thus, allowing you to understand when and how your body needs to be appropriately fed.

Keep these TIPS top of mind when reaching for your next snack:

  • Consume protein-rich, fibrous carbs and healthy-fat snacks to fuel your body + keep you full until your next meal
  • Avoid empty calories, high-sugar, processed foods, i.e.. cookies, candy cakes, soda
  • Snacks should be about 200-300 calories, 10-20 grams of protein, depending on activity level
  • Portion control is key. A snack is a snack, not a meal – think single-serving packs and/or snack bags
  • Meal prep – try to pack snacks ahead of time, especially if out and about. If hunger strikes, you can strike back with healthy foods to feed the monster.
  • Be mindful – be aware of hunger cues and mindless snacking, i.e. in front of TV

Are you looking to get your diet back on track with a nutrition/fitness coach that’ll steer you in the right direction? Take a look at my nutrition/fitness programs and let’s get to work customizing a meal plan that will achieve, sustain your health goals!

The 9 Best Pieces of Equipment for Your Home Gym

The 9 Best Pieces of Equipment for Your Home Gym

Never miss a workout again.

With many working from home, gyms closing/re-opening throughout the pandemic and other responsibilities, keeping to your fitness regimen can be a task all within itself. Don’t allow life’s circumstances to hinder your health and fitness goals. Take back control over how and when you’d like to workout – and with WHAT fitness tools!
 
Here’s a list of gym-equipment essentials you can easily set up in your home that are affordable, even perfect for small spaces.

Dumbbells – An all-around, versatile workout tool for a full-body workout or specific muscle groups. The training options are endless! Great for muscle power, strength and endurance. Upper body – shoulder presses, bicep curl, triceps kickbacks; Lower body – lunges, glute raises, squats.

Resistance Bands and/or Loop Bands – Convenient, compact and portable. Ideal for muscle endurance workouts or assistance to maximize training session. Helps to build balance and core stability. Used of upper/lower body exercises. Loop bands: squats, leg and hip raises. Resistance bands: shoulder lateral raises, back rows, chest flye, bicep hammer curls.

Stability or Bosu Ball – Strengthens muscles, improves balance, posture and core stability. Great for abs, back, glutes, upper and lower body exercises. Try ab crunches, glute bridges, burpees, tricep dips, even great for stretching.

Kettle Bells – Enhances strength and stamina; builds power, improves coordination. Used for stability exercises and upper body workouts like push-ups, rows, curls; lower body such as squats and lunges. 

Skipping Rope – Lightweight and portable. Perfect for a good cardio session or used as an active rest in-between sets! Use it Rocky-Balboa style to amp-up your cardio/strength training routine.

Medicine Ball – Helps to promote better balance, coordination and core strength. Can be used in upper and lower body exercises, even partner workouts by throwing weighted ball back and forth (p.s. killer core workout!).

Doorway Upper-Body Bar – Portable and out of the way (unless you’re 7 ft tall!). Multi-purpose equipment to increase strength in chest, back, shoulders, arms and abs. Use it for pull-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, dips, crunches.

Weight Bench (foldable versions available!) – Universal equipment, great for free weight workouts. A definite must-have IMO. Helps to facilitate upper/lower exercises like all-around chest and back exercises, shoulders, biceps and triceps. Can also be used for lower body like leg-ups and single leg lunges. An adjustable bench is recommended. 

Exercise Mat – All-purpose and comfortable for your floor workouts, body-weight and/or stretching exercises. Cushions the spine, hips, knees and elbows. Crank out an ab routine, glute/leg circuit, yoga or isometric workout.

Pick & choose or grab them all. These tools are sure to get your heart and muscles pumping. And of course, if you have a bigger space and budget, consider a universal weight machine and/or cardio equipment like a treadmill or rower. 

Bottom LINE – No excuses. Even if you have a couple dumbbells and a skip rope, you can move that body and stay on track!


Head over to my FITNESS AND NUTRITION PROGRAMS and check out my plans to help you achieve, sustain optimal health and fitness. All programs are customized, specific to you, your lifestyle and how you want to workout. Home/Gym/Travel options available.

Contact me today! 

Green Pea & Avocado Soup

Green Pea & Avocado Soup

Simple, delicious and nutrient-packed! Quick and easy to prepare, this soup has few ingredients; natural, wholesome, real-food eating. This bowl o’ soup will be sure to warm the soul. Enjoy!

  • 4 avocados, peeled and pits removed
  • 1-1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Top with chopped parsley

Instructions:

  1. Add the avocados, peas, garlic and half the broth into a blender, blend until smooth or desired consistency. Scrape down the sides of the blender and process to ensure all is mixed well.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a large pan over medium heat. Add the remaining broth, ginger, black pepper and salt.
  3. Stir to combine, cook until heated through.
  4. Transfer the mixture to individual bowls and garnish with parsley

Add a side salad with a slice of whole-grain for a nice, light meal!

Can Too Much Cardio Be Bad?

Can Too Much Cardio Be Bad?

Are you doing TOO MUCH CARDIO? 

While cardio can contribute to many amazing health benefits such as:

  • Improving blood circulation
  • Promoting elimination of waste 
  • Boosting metabolism 
  • Workout recovery

Is doing too much of it, adversely affecting your health goals? The answer…YES.

Cardio in excess can actually be your foe not your friend, when trying to build a toned, healthy physique. Especially if you’re limiting calorie intake plus partaking in excessive, LONG cardio sessions, could be detrimental to your fitness objectives, as it may cause muscle loss instead of fat loss.

Additionally, it could put your body in a catabolic state, thus, burning the hard-earned muscle that sculpts your body. As a result, the loss of muscle mass will reduce strength and eventually slow your metabolism. Lastly, extreme aerobic exercise can promote the production of cortisol, the stress hormone that weakens the immune system. If chronic levels ensue, it can induce feelings of fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleeping as well as lowers bone density. 

So, what are some indicators of TOO much Cardio?

  • Your body remains “soft”, regardless your hard work 
  • Your joints (ankles, knees, hips and lower back ) are chronically achy
  • You’re not sleeping well 
  • You’re getting sick more often
  • You’re always feeling drained and fatigued
  • You’re tired of always “working out”

What are the KEYS to cardio success?

Keep your heart pumping sessions within a shorter duration to preserve your muscularity. Try interval training which will keep your sessions short and intense. If you’re a distance runner or partaking in cardio over 60-70 minutes, ensure you’re consuming enough to support your calorie expenditure. In order to build and sustain a healthy, toned body you NEED to eat enough food!

Cardio is absolutely a fundamental component to include in your fitness regimen. However, too much of a good thing may negatively impact your desired results, if you don’t take a holistic fitness approach in your fitness objectives. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS – Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand; caloric expenditure should align with caloric intake. Excessive cardio will burn muscle not fat; keep cardio within a shorter duration.