Monthly Archives: January 2012

But it’s low-fat! That’s good, right?!

WRONG!!  This is the biggest misconception people have these days!  No fat in your diet is BAD and is causing you to be MORE fat!  

One thing I have noticed from reviewing many people’s food journals is most people are not getting enough essential/healthy fats in our diets.  This is probably because of all the marketing that claims following a low fat diet helps to lose weight and lowers cholesterol or controls heart disease.   Here are some interesting stats that may be a shock to you low-fat dieters…

“The low-fat approach to eating may have made a difference for the occasional individual, but as a nation it hasn’t helped us control weight or become healthier. In the 1960s, fats and oils supplied Americans with about 45 percent of calories; (1) about 13 percent of adults were obese and under 1 percent had type 2 diabetes, a serious weight-related condition. (2,3) Today, Americans take in less fat, getting about 33 percent of calories from fats and oils; (4) yet 34 percent of adults are obese and 11 percent have diabetes, most with type 2 diabetes. (5,6)”

Why hasn’t cutting fat from the diet paid off as expected? Detailed research—much of it done at Harvard—shows that the total amount of fat in the diet isn’t really linked with weight or disease. What really matters is the TYPE of fat and the TOTAL CALORIES  in the diet.  Bad fats, meaning trans and saturated fats (i.e. hydrogenated oils, pizza, cheese, butter, whole and reduced fat milk, sausage, bacon, hamburgers, cookies etc)  increase the risk for certain diseases. Good fats, meaning monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, fish, omega 3’s etc), do just the opposite. They are good for the heart and most other parts of the body.

One problem with a generic lower fat diet is that it prompts most people to stop eating fats that are good for the heart along with those that are bad for it.  Another problem is that when people cut back on fat, they often switch to foods full of easily digested (or simple) carbohydrates—white bread, white rice, potatoes, sugary drinks, etc—or to fat-free products that replace healthful fats with sugar and refined carbohydrates. The body digests these carbohydrates very quickly, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. Over time, eating lots of “fast carbs” can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes as much as—or more than—eating too much saturated fat.  That’s why it’s important to replace foods high in bad fats with foods high in good fats—not with refined carbohydrates.  Personally I notice that since I have made a conscious effort to eat more fats I have fewer carb cravings AND my skin, hair and nails have never been healthier!!!

Here is a picture of my dinner last night (with leftovers for lunch today!)-a complete meal that includes chicken (lean protein), brown rice (complex carb) yellow peppers (complex carb/veg) and avocado (GOOD FAT!) with a bit of garlic, sea salt and pepper for taste…

The Bottom Line: 

Recommendations for Fat Intake from (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-full-story/#Intro)

Although the different types of fat have a varied (and sometimes confusing) effect on health and disease, the basic message is simple: Out with the bad, in with the good. You can do this by choosing foods with healthy fats, limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, and avoiding trans fat. Here’s how to make it happen:

  • Eliminate trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils.Food labels should say “0” (zero) on the line for trans fat; also scan the ingredient list to make sure it does not contain partially hydrogenated oils.  Fortunately, most food manufacturers have removed trans fats from their products. In restaurants, steer clear of fried foods, biscuits, and other baked goods, unless you know that the restaurant has eliminated trans fat (many already have).
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats by cutting back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods. Try replacing red meat with beans, nuts, poultry, and fish whenever possible, and switching from whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods to lower fat versions, or just eating smaller amounts of full-fat dairy products, such as cheese. Don’t replace red meat with refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, potatoes, etc).
  • In place of butter, use liquid vegetable oils rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, in cooking and at the table. Olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, peanut oil, and the like are great sources of healthy fat.
  • Eat one or more good sources of omega-3 fats every day. Fish, walnuts, canola or soybean oil, ground flax seeds or flaxseed oil are excellent sources of omega-3 fats. (or take an omega-3 fish oil supplement!)
It is very important to remember to be conscious  of how much fat you are adding to your diet because too much fat (healthy or unhealthy) can lead to unwanted weight gain!  For example, one serving of nuts (unsalted and raw is best) varies so be sure to check the label as all nuts have different fat contents (6 almonds or cashews is 60-80 cals).  1 tsp of oil is one serving (40 cals).  1/8 of an avocado is 1 serving (35 cals).  Just something to be aware of so make sure you read the labels!
**Not sure if you knew this already or not but I am not a registered nutritionist or dietician so the advice and information I offer are suggestions/guidelines for weight loss 🙂 and may not work for everyone!**
If you have any comments or questions about the importance of healthy fats in your diet or any other “fat” inquiries please send me a message or post a comment!
Les 🙂

Want to come to my yoga class??

As part of my yoga teacher training one of our assignments is to teach a one hour class on our own time.  So I am going to start looking for a place to hold the class but just wanted to see who would be able to come?  It will be a beginner Hatha class meaning anyone and everyone can do it!

I also wanted to do a survey to find out what day and time works best for people???  If you could please comment on this post or send me a message through the Contact Me page that would be great!  Or you could send me an email or text!

I am thinking the 10-12th weekend in February as I do not have yoga teacher training that weekend.

Remember this class is FREE and led by yours truly so it is guaranteed to be FUN!!!

Tell your friends and family, the more the merrier!  I am excited already!!

Namaste 😉

Les

PS I went to my first (and last) hot yoga class at the Athletic Club.  It was a lovely studio and the teacher was nice but it was sooo boring!  The other reason why I will never go back is because when I tried to sign up to get a membership yesterday they wouldn’t let me because I am a personal trainer?? Like seriously?  Apparently they can do this (I asked my sister who is a lawyer) but I still think it is ridiculous!  Oh well it wasn’t meant to be  🙂 This experience has allowed me to apply one of the yoga principles (or sutras) that we are learning about….

1.33 To preserve the openess of heart and calmness of mind, nuture these attitudes:

Kindness to those who are happy

Compassion for those who are less fortunate

Honour for those who embody noble qualities

Equanimity to those whose actions oppose your values***

**This last one really hit home with me during my visit to the Athletic Club, so instead of getting upset and making a scene when they denied me a membership I decided to have compassion for them and gracefully said ‘ok I understand, that’s too bad but thank you for letting me know”.  This left me with a feeling of calmness instead of raising my blood pressure.  What would you had done in a similar situation??

Here is a quote that fits in nicely with this theme from Martin Luther King Jr,

“The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy.” 

Something to think about…

Have a great weekend!

I still can’t believe Dave and I are celebrating our 1 year anniversary this weekend! :):):) YAY!

Les

I may be repeating myself but…

…I am determined to help as many people as I can reach their fitness goals (or any other goals you may have!)

Some of you (I know who you are!) are already fitness fanatics like me but there are still a few out there who are having a hard time getting up off the couch and sticking to a training regiment  So here are some more great tips (some you may have heard/read before in previous posts) to ensure you consistly get to the gym (or yoga studio or out for a run) at LEAST 3 times a week!

1. Schedule your workouts-make a point to WRITE DOWN in your planner or on a calendar the days you will be working out and even record specifically WHAT your workout will be…always remember this –>if you fail to plan you will plan to fail (or something like that haha) 

2. Set a specific goal-Choose a date that you would like to look your best (a wedding, graduation, vacation, family reunion etc) or choose a race you have always wanted to do!  Having a specific date to work towards is a great way to stay motivated and will keep you on track with your workouts!

3. Find a friend-We all have so many friends (according to Facebook lol) so why not schedule some time during the week to meet up with your friends for a workout, go to a yoga class together or schedule a run before or after work.  It makes exercising so much fun!

4. Use your weekends to get in some extra workouts-I know that the first thing we all want to do on the weekend (for those of us who are lucky enough not to have to work on the wknd) is to RELAX which means we sit on our butts, drink wine, eat pizza, watch tv (this may be an exaggeration) and do nothing for 2 days and I am not saying there is anything wrong with this.  BUT your butt (haha) and the rest of your body will thank you if you decide that you will just spend just 1 hour out of the 24 hours that make up your Saturday or Sunday to commit to exercising.  The extra calories you burn will pay off and being active an extra couple of days a week will mentally and physically encourage you to keep forging ahead!  (Does this make sense?!)

5. Get a personal trainer-’nuff said…you know where I work and how to contact me 😉  Working out with a personal trainer is not only fun and the best investment you can make in your health but it will get your results 80% faster than working out on your own as you will be held ACCOUNTABLE for reaching your goals and making sure you get your workouts in and you will have endless support that will lead you to a new and improved lifestyle!  Check out my website to read a few of my clients’ testimonials and how personal training changed their lives (I will be posting my clients Allan and Chris’ stories this week so stayed tuned and keep checking out my website for updated testimonials!) 

6. BE PATIENT!! Keep in mind that achieving your goals, i.e., getting those lean arms, abs and legs you’ve always wanted, improving your flexibility, or being able to run for 30 minutes without stopping takes time!  Especially for those of you who are new to exercise, think about how long you were inactive and lived an unhealthy lifestyle, it is going to take at least that many years to adopt new habits and for your body to change.   Even some of my clients who see me 3 times a week took at least 6 months and sometimes more than 1 year to see results and transformed their life once they realized that this it was an ongoing process.  There are even things that I need to remind myself of every day to ensure that I am staying on track with my fitness goals.

7. Surround yourself with positive people-I am sure they are many other people in your life or maybe who you haven’t met yet who are trying to get in better shape, lose weight, learn to run, start doing yoga etc.  Don’t be shy in sharing your goals and be sure to let other people know what you are trying to achieve and you would be surprised with the responses and support you will get from people who are doing the same thing and are right there with you or have been through similar struggles.  On the other hand try to separate yourself from people who I call ‘sabotagers’-these are the people that give you a hard time for trying to improve your lifestyle and want to bring you down with them (for example-When I decided to stop partying and drinking a lot people would say things like “You’re no fun anymore, come on live a little” or “I like the old Leslie” Obviously this didn’t phase me as I didn’t listen to them, focused on what was important to me (reaching my fitness goals and losing weight) and I am much happier (and healthier) because of it!)

If you agree with what my tips I would love to hear from you!  What works for you?? How do you get yourself to the gym on a regular basis??

I am heading over to the studio I now work and train at  LC Fitness Studio for a workout right now!  Time to get my swole on! haha

I am also going to try my first yoga class (with my friend Corinne) at the Athletic Club.  I have heard so many great things about the yoga classes at this place.  I will let you know if I liked it or not in Friday’s post 😉

Until next time…

Les 🙂

My deepest, darkest secret revealed…

Happy Monday!

I hope that everyone had a great weekend.  I spent most of my weekend at Rama Lotus with my wonderful yoga teacher training friends and amazing lead instructors 🙂  The part of my weekend that I also enjoyed was dinner last night with Dave (my boyfriend)!  He was sweet enough to take me out for dinner (which we do once a month) and we both decided on PIZZA!!! One of my favourite cheat meals is PIZZA!!  

I know you are all probably thinking ‘shame on Leslie, she isn’t supposed to eat pizza, she is a personal trainer!’  Well you are right!  I shouldn’t and I don’t very often but let me share a little secret with you-I AM HUMAN!  All personal trainers like to ‘cheat’ on their diet once in awhile or take a day off from training…we are human and need a break sometimes!

Wondering why I encourage my clients (and also give myself) 1 cheat meal per week?

Here are the reasons why…

1-The Pleasure Principle-I’m all about everything in moderation, so if you’re eating healthy and exercising, indulging with a small treat or a glass of wine here and there isn’t going to throw you off the wellness wagon. However, if you need to harness your cravings schedule a cheat day/meal.  I think that a cheat meal keeps me from feeling deprived since I have something to look forward to.

2-Psychological benefit-Many people feel that cheat meals help them deal with the feelings of restriction they endure while trying to eat cleaner. They find that by looking forward to splurging on their favorite foods they have an easier time sticking with their healthy diet the rest of the time

3-Metabolic effect-When you shock your system with a high influx of calories at one time, the body’s metabolism will show an increase and you’ll kick start your ‘furnace’ into high gear once again.

The next time you are thinking about a cheat, think about how it will affect you physiologically and psychologically and try and make the best judgment as to how it will help you progress and reach your long term goals.  This is why I usually recommend having a cheat meal as opposed to an entire day of cheating (can you say stomach ache?!)

What are you thoughts on having one cheat meal a week?  What is your favourite cheat meal?

Les 🙂

Still don’t believe me??

Read this article (from the Ottawa Citizen way back in November 2011) and consider it my post for today 🙂  Pretty straight forward stuff but I always like to re-emphasize certain topics as they tend to be forgotten…

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/diet-fitness/Exercise+diet+choice+both/5750215/story.html

I think we can all agree that the key to weight loss requires a consistent combination of both healthy eating and regular exercise.

On a side note, my January promotion is almost over!  Message me today to receive your first month of personal training FREE at the studio.  This is the ONLY month I will be offering this promotion so sign up now!  Come and learn more about what I can do to help you achieve your fitness goals 🙂  I will teach you how working out and eating healthy can lead you to a happier and more productive life.

Remember the road to weight loss is not easy but it will be worth it and we will have fun along the way!

Have a great weekend everybody!! Stay warm, it’s FREEZING out there!

Les:)

Fun ways to be active EVERYDAY!

Before I begin today’s post let me congratulate all of you who are doing a 30 day challenge!! You are more than halfway there!  Hope that you are enjoying yourselves as much as I am!  Doing yoga and running (just about) everyday has worked wonders for my mind and body!  With less than two weeks left you should be planning what your next 30 day challenge will be…I am going to get 8 hours of sleep for 30 days, I am looking forward to it already!  What’s your next challenge?

Now, back to business!!  How many of you are really good about working out 3 days a week?  AWESOME! I am happy you are consistently going to the gym (hopefully to lift weights most of the time).  However we all now there is more to exercise than lifting weights, plugging away on the old dreaded cardio machines or running outside SO I thought I would provide you with some FUN ways to become more active.  We spend so many hours sitting at our desk, in the car or on the bus and sleeping in our comfortable beds that it becomes so important to spend AT LEAST 1 hour a day being physically active.  This video may inspire you as well http://devour.com/video/23-and-a-half-hours/

I am sure you already know the health benefits of a more active lifestyle right???

Check out this link for a few reminders–> http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html

10 fun (and simple) ways to be active everyday…

1-Chase your kids (or pets!) around the house or in the yard

2-Turn up the music and dance around your living room (come on I know some of you do this already!) 

3-Listen to music while doing your chores around the house (makes doing chores so much more fun and gets your heart rate up!)

4-Try swimming! An amazing full body workout and great cardio too!  I joined a master’s swim club for a few months in the fall and WOW what a workout!  Swimmers are incredible athletes!

5-Go for a walk (or run) with a friend-I have had some of the best conversations while running or walking with a friend or my boyfriend plus time flies when you have a friend to talk and walk with!

6-Go to a yoga class or any other fitness class 

7-Go for a bike ride-tough for us Canadians in the winter but for those of you in warmer climates-ride on!

8-Take some dance lessons with a friend or your partner-another great way to spend some one on one time with a close friend or significant other and a fun way to get exercise!

9-Join a recreational sports league-super fun and another great way to spend time with your friends or make new ones!

10-Go for a hike-check out your local parks and/or trails and enjoy the wonderful outdoors! 

As always I would love to hear what activities YOU love to do on your days off from the gym.  Share your tips!

No matter what you do the key is to find something you enjoy so you’ll stick with it!

And to end today’s post I thought I would leave you with these motivational quotes…

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”
– Charles Buxton

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
– Mark Twain

So get out there and get moving today!

Les 🙂

Top 10 Reasons to Eat Oatmeal for Breakfast!

  • Over 40 studies show that eating oatmeal may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. According to Quaker, all it takes is 3/4 cup of oatmeal each day to help lower cholesterol. The soluble fiber in oats helps remove LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while maintaining the good cholesterol that your body needs. In January 1997, the Food and Drug Administration announced that oatmeal could carry a label claiming it may reduce the risk of heart disease when combined with a low-fat diet.
  • The soluble fiber in oatmeal absorbs a considerable amount of water which significantly slows down your digestive process. This result is that you’ll feel full longer, i.e. oatmeal can help you control your weight.
  • You probably already have oats in your kitchen. It’s estimated that eighty percent of U.S. households currently have oats in their cupboards.
  • New research suggests that eating oatmeal may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association already recommends that people with diabetes eat grains like oats. The soluble fiber in these foods help to control blood glucose levels.
  • With the exception of certain flavored varieties, the oats found in your grocery store are 100% natural. If you look at the ingredients on a canister of rolled oats, you will usually see only one ingredient… rolled oats.
  • According to recent studies, a diet that includes oatmeal may help reduce high blood pressure. The reduction is linked to the increase in soluble fiber provided by oatmeal. Oats contain more soluble fiber than whole wheat, rice or corn.
  • Oatmeal contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidantsand is a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates and iron.
  • The fiber and other nutrients found in oatmeal may actually reduce the risk for certain cancers.
  • Oatmeal is quick and convenient. Every type of oatmeal can be prepared in a microwave oven. Even when cooked on the stovetop, both old-fashioned and quick oats can usually be made in less than 10 minutes. And what about instant oatmeal… a hot breakfast in under a minute… incredible!
  • Oatmeal can be absolutely delicious! Whether instant, cooked on the stove or baked in the oven, the combination of flavors you can fit into a serving of oatmeal is limited only by the imagination. 

I found this list on a website called http://www.mrbreakfast.com/index.asp  I couldn’t have said it better myself!   Amazing resource for breakfast ideas and my new favourite website as I LOVE BREAKFAST!!  I highly recommend this website to anyone reading this blog!

He even has a list of 143 oatmeal recipes!  Check it out…http://www.mrbreakfast.com/recipe_collection.asp?subcategoryid=7

So hopefully you have gotten the message by now–> EAT OATMEAL FOR BREAKFAST!!  Not only does it provide you with many health benefits, it is natural, easy, delicious (when you get creative with it), and helps to control your weight as it satisfies your hunger.

Go ahead and dust off that big bag of oatmeal in the back of your pantry and start your day off right with  a bowl full of oatmeal.

Here is what I put in my oatmeal this morning (sorry I ate it before I had a chance to take a picture!)

1/4 cup of dry oatmeal

1/2 cup of water

Cook for 2 minutes on high in microwave

Add 1/4 cup of raisins

1/4 cup of chopped walnuts

1/4 cup of almond milk

2 tsps of organic pure maple syrup**

**I am going for a 16km run today so I needed a little extra energy/sugar!

YUMMMMMMMYYYY!!!  I also had 1 cup of egg whites cooked in a pan and a big glass of water 🙂

How do you like YOUR oatmeal!?

Les 🙂

TGIFT!!!

Thank God It’s Friday the Thirteenth!!!

Interesting article I came across today while ‘google-ing’ Friday the 13th related to fitness…

http://fitness.families.com/blog/friday-the-13th-tgift#

Thoughts?

Doesn’t matter to me whether it is Friday the 13th or any other Friday because I LOVE FRIDAYS!!

Have a great weekend everyone!  Don’t let the snow be an excuse for skipping a workout, missing your favourite yoga class or  not going for a run…get out there and enjoy this lovely winter wonderland!!  Even just going for a walk is an awesome workout!  TRY IT!

Les 🙂

Find a fitness friend!

The more the merrier!!  I was inspired to write this post after my AWESOME  workout with Lucas and Honore yesterday at our new location on Bank Street.  Here’s what we did…

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARMUP: 3 minutes of battling rope drills…insane workout!! And it doesn’t take long!  My biceps are still burning haha

Then….

3 sets of each exercise

7-10 reps (increasing strength/size)

1-2 minute rest between sets

CHEST

Incline Dumbbell Chest Press

Flat Dumbbell Chest Press

Incline Dumbbell fly/halfway Around the World combo (really burns the chest!)

SHOULDERS

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Bent Over Lateral Raise

BACK

Dumbbell Skull Crushers (neutral grip/palms facing each other)

Tricep extension (straight bar-palms down)

Supinated (palm up) single arm cable tricep extension (burns!!)

The three of us did this together (took turns for each set) and had a blast!  I felt like I worked so much harder and really pushed myself as I had them watching me!!  I don’t know about those guys but I am sooo sore today!! OUCH!!!

So if you are having a tough time getting to the gym, schedule a workout with a friend!  This will make sure you don’t miss a workout.  And what’s better than having someone there to encourage you to finish those last few reps?!

If you don’t have any friends who like to workout, hire a personal trainer!  This is a great option in order to guarantee you get to the gym and you will get results 80% faster than working out on your own!  Don’t believe me?? Ask my clients! http://www.getfitwithles.com/#!testimonials

Not only will having a workout partner ensure you don’t miss a workout or motivate you to work harder in the gym but it is so much fun!!  I highly recommend it!

(Shout out to my workout partner from Rideau Goodlife…miss you Courtney!!)

Next time you want to meet up with a friend for coffee, lunch, a movie (or heaven forbid, a pint!) how about you coordinate to meet at the gym instead???  Or maybe schedule a run date??  Just an idea 😉  You will thank each other afterwards!

Les 🙂

 

 

Running out of healthy dinner ideas??

Well you have come to the right place!  Fear no more as I am going to provide you with 5 easy and healthy recipes today.  Just to warn you don’t expect any fancy, gourmet, 20+ ingredient crazy recipes here as I am a simple chef who believes that we should all eat to live, not live to eat!  Regardless of what you eat for dinner you should all know that carbs at dinner are a NO NO (unless of course you are carb loading for an endurance event the next day) when trying to lose weight.  Why?  Your body does not have enough time to burn off the carbs you eat at dinner (think potatoes, rice, pasta) before you go to bed so these extra calories will be stored as fat!  I have provided you with 5 options that are high in protein and low in carb (vegetables instead).  I hope you will try these simple, quick, easy, very healthy and tasty meals…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Chicken salad with pomegranate, oranges and walnuts (YUM!)

Serves 4 (perfect for you and another person and for you and leftovers for lunch the next day)

2.5 cups mixed baby greens, baby arugula or spinach

2 cups of cooked skinless/boneless chicken breast

2 oranges peeled and cut into segments

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (or 1/4 cup dried cranberries if you don’t have any)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 tbsp chopped chives

1/4 cup pomegranate juice (POM juice)

2 tbsp orange juice

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large mixing bowl, combine the baby greens, chicken, oranges, pom seeds, walnuts and chives.

In a small bowl, whisk together the POM juice, orange juice and the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss the salad to combine.  (Remember if you want the left overs for lunch the next day do not put dressing on the entire salad.  Keep half of it dry and add the rest of the dressing right before you eat it to prevent it from becoming soggy!)

2. Roast pork loin with garlic and rosemary

  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 2 1/2-pound boneless pork loin roast, well trimmed
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch roasting pan with foil. Mix first 4 ingredients in bowl. Rub garlic mixture all over pork. Place pork, fat side down, in prepared roasting pan. Roast pork 30 minutes. Turn roast fat side up. Roast until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 155°F., about 25 minutes longer. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

Pour any juices from roasting pan into small saucepan; set over low heat to keep warm. Cut pork crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Arrange pork slices on platter. Pour pan juices over. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

To make it a complete meal, add a salad or cooked vegetables of your choice as a side 🙂  You can also use the leftover pork to make a wrap or a salad for lunch the next day!  Planned leftovers make the best (and easy) lunch the next day!

3. Beef and sweet potato stir fry
1 cup (250 mL) low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 lb (375 g) lean beef, trimmed of fat and thinly sliced (Tip: Season with a bit of sea salt before cooking)
2 tablespoons (30 mL) rice vinegar
1 yellow pepper, sliced thin(Bonus: Contains more vitamin C than red or green peppers)
1 tablespoon (15 mL) cornstarch
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (50 mL) hoisin sauce (Tip: Contains protein, since it’s made from fermented soybeans)
2 teaspoons (10 mL) canola oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (Bonus: Loaded with beta carotene)

In a small bowl, blend 2/3 cup (150 mL) of the broth with hoisin sauce and rice vinegar. Heat wok (or deep pan), then add 1 teaspoon (5 mL) oil plus beef. Stir-fry until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer meat to plate and drain fat from pan. Heat remaining oil, then add onion and garlic and stir-fry for a minute. Add sweet potatoes, pepper and broth mixture. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, 10 minutes. Mix remaining broth with cornstarch; add to pan. Boil for a minute. Return beef to pan; serve over rice, if you must make sure it’s brown or wild, but I usually eat it as is without the rice (no carbs after lunch time!)

4. Green-Tea Poached Salmon and Sauteed Mushrooms

3     green tea bags
4     thin slices fresh ginger
1     tbsp (15 mL) black peppercorns
2     wild salmon fillets (about 750 g total)
1     tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
4     cups (about 250 g) mushrooms, sliced
1/4  cup (60 mL) dry red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
2     tsp (10 mL) green onion

In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups (1.5 L) of water to a boil. Place green tea bags, ginger slices and peppercorns in pan, turn off heat and let steep for 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove tea bags, ginger and peppercorns from tea broth. Place salmon in tea broth and bring to a slow simmer. Cook for eight minutes, or until salmon is opaque and flaky. (Maintain only a very mild simmer during poaching.) Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil  in a skillet over medium heat; add sliced mushrooms and sauté for five minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in red wine and cook for another five minutes or until most of the wine has evap­orated. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Divide salmon among four serving plates and top with sautéed mushrooms. Garnish with green onion. Serves 4.

Also sautee some asparagus or any other vegetable as a side or you can always add this salmon filet to a salad. Don’t forget your veggies!!

Last but not least, try having breakfast (an omelette) for dinner!

5. Chicken breast and egg white omelette 

2 chicken breasts

2 cups 500ml egg whites

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup of salsa

1/4 cup of chopped mushroom

Dash of Mrs. Dash seasoning (or seasoning of your choice)

A slice of fat free cheese (optional)

Pre heat pan to medium heat.  Spray with Pam. Chop left over pre cooked chicken breasts and add to pan.  Add veggies to pan. Add liquid egg whites.  Stir mixture in the pan. Add Mrs Dash seasoning blend or any other spice you wish.  Cover and leave until the egg whites start to cook.  Add fat free cheese slices on top of the omelette and a bit of salsa if you wish.  Cover again and let it cook for a minute.  Then serve and enjoy.  Serves 3-4.

All of these meals are low carb and high protein for those of you trying to lose inches, lose weight or maintain your shape.  Feel free to share your simple, tasty and healthy dinner ideas!

Bon appetit!

Les 🙂