Sunday, April 19, 2015

6 Nuggets on Getting Stuff Done

Venus hosted a call the other day with a guru on taking action or getting stuff done (GSD). I actually was not that excited about it but felt I needed to take part, and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. Here are some tidbits I took away.

1) Linguistics matter

The term "workout" might have negative connotations for you. Everyone is different, study how that word makes you feel. What do you associate it with? If the term is negative, use a new term for your Venus weight lifting program. Perhaps training (my personal fave) or exercise would be a better fit for you. The same goes with anything- diet, chores, budget, whatever.

2) Get off the excited wheel

Whenever you start a new diet-exercise plan (or really any new program) you are excited for about 7 days. Then the new excitement wears off and things become mundane. 99% of the population goes searching for the next "thing" soon after and thus circle the excited wheel again.

Thing is, on the other side of mundane lies the goal. Looks like this- excited < mundane < goal

If you would stick with plan XYZ (we are assuming the plan works, Venus for example) then you will arrive at goal in time. Instead the majority are in the excited loop. Excited < mundane < new plan < excited < mundane < new plan

3)  Find happiness in striving

Most people *think* they will finally be happy once they achieve goal X (insert body, money, significant other)

And they never are. Because the new wears off the goal once you achieve it in 2 days, studies show. Even goals that take YEARS to achieve such as winning an Olympic medal or setting foot on the moon.

Learn to be content where you are, find the happy in striving.  Again, this is true for health, wealth, and relationships.

4) Quit focusing on your problems

Instead focus on HOW to SOLVE them. The only sure way to fail is to stop trying. The thing that makes big achievers different is that they are consistent. They are persistent in troubleshooting and refusing to give up. Allowing others- especially someone who has been there, to help you problem solve is key. (This is where coaching come in, and why it works!) 

It is said there are no new problems. Quit trying to reinvent the wheel. Many hands make short work.

5) Be congruent

Do you do what you say you will? If you cannot count on YOU, who can you count on? Be decisive (indecisiveness is common for women) and live it with 2 feet in. Quit half-heartedly doing things, be in or out.

6) There is no perfect

Perfectionists tend to operate as procrastinators (It gives an out as to why it is not good enough to anyone else, and helps to avoid the task because of the mental drain.) Perfectionists also operate from a scared position, afraid to mess up.  No person. At anything. So quit trying to live up to that.

Instead focus on "more often than not" and doing "your honest best."

These nuggets were some reminders I needed that day, so I though I would share :) GSD!
X- Liss

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Healthy Stuffed Peppers

Growing up, my momma used to make stuffed peppers. They were wonderful. And I had kind of forgotten about them until I suddenly had a craving the other day.

The best thing is that this recipe is easy to sub and exchange items in to fit your plan. I will show you how I tweaked it, and suggest some other easy changes. The servings are huge, a great bang for your calorie buck! And at 409 calories per pepper and 39 g of protein, I am loving these macros.

Healthy Stuffed Peppers

Makes 4 hearty servings

4 bell peppers in any color
1 lbs lean ground beef (I used 90% lean, you could also sub lean ground chicken or turkey)
1 can tomato sauce (you could also sub diced tomatoes)
1/2 cup rice, cooked (you could also sub uncooked oats, even breadcrumbs or pureed cauliflower)
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 tbsp egg whites (or one whole egg)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp stevia
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder (or 2 cloves, pressed)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup cheese (Optional. I used cheddar. You could sub parmesan and mix it with the other ingredients.)

What you do:
Preheat oven to 350F.

Wash the peppers, and cut the tops off and remove the seeds inside. Place in a microwave safe dish, and microwave for 5 minutes to blanch.

In a separate large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients (except cheese) by hand thoroughly.

Grease an 8x8" pan and place the peppers upright. Stuff the meat mixture into the peppers. Place in the oven for 1 hour.

The last 3-5 minutes, pull the peppers out and top with cheese. Put back in the oven to melt.

Nutritional stats per serving:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 409
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19 g30 %
Saturated Fat 9 g45 %
Monounsaturated Fat 7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 118 mg39 %
Sodium 1118 mg47 %
Potassium 1011 mg29 %
Total Carbohydrate 17 g6 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g14 %
Sugars 8 g
Protein 39 g78 %
Vitamin A83 %
Vitamin C263 %
Calcium17 %
Iron29 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because therecipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

10 Weight watchers points plus PPV

9 weight watchers points

Sunday, April 5, 2015

High Protein Pumpkin Pie

I had a craving for pumpkin pie this week. Haha! Makes perfect sense since it is Easter, right?

So I took a fellow Venus Coach, Coach Roberta AKA Ro's protein custard souffle recipe and tweaked it to what I had and my craving! Everyone has been raving about these protein custards she has been making too! So I had to check them out. The nutritional stats are IMPRESSIVE :) 21g protein in 145 cals. DANNNNG.

I am thinking this will be excellent for breakfast, snack, or dessert. YES!

High Protein Pumpkin Pie

Serves 4

1 can pumpkin puree
2 cups egg whites (I used Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup water (you could sub unsweetened almond milk too)
1 scoop vanilla whey protein (I used GNC wheybolic vanilla)
2 tbsp stevia powder (or approx 20 drops of liquid)
2 tbsp whole almonds, ground (or 1 tbsp almond flour)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (you can also sub in equal parts nutmeg, clove, ginger, and cinnamon)

What you do: Preheat oven to 250*F. Grind the almonds into powder in the blender or food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a greased 8x8" pan and bake for 60 min.

Cool and cut into fourths. Store chilled.

Nutritional Stats
Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 145
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2 g3 %
Saturated Fat 0 g1 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 10 mg3 %
Sodium 234 mg10 %
Potassium 221 mg6 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g3 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g13 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 21 g42 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium4 %
Iron2 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because therecipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

3 weight watcher points plus PPV

2 weight watchers points

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blackened Tilapia with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Marinated Tomatoes

This collection of recipes goes way back for our family but they have weaved their way in and upgraded over the years. Back in the day, when I was struggling with my weight, I did a round of HCG. The diet portion of that protocol (which is the reason people get results by the way, 500 cals a day will drop fat like crazy but it does not teach you how to maintain it) calls for a very strict regiment of certain foods and certain vegetables. I really came to love brussels sprouts at that time and these marinated tomatoes and blackened tilapia popped up then too. My kids even love these recipes. But I have changed them over time into something a little more tasty and less "diet-ish" and now they are just good eats!

So it cracked me up the other day when I had left a note for the husband with fish defrosting in water in the sink that I was making tilapia and brussels sprouts for dinner, the kids were SO excited. I mean, excited and exclaimed "YES! Tilapia and brussels sprouts!" Made my heart sing! Haha!

Blackened Tilapia

Serves 4

The stuff:
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp coconut sugar (you can sub brown sugar)
1 tsp oregano, dried
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder (or cayenne or red pepper flake)
4 tilapia fillets (approx 6 oz per fillet)
1 lime, quartered
Olive oil

What you do:
Combine all the spices and rub on each side of the tilapia fillets. Preheat a large non-stick pan over med-high heat with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Cook tilapia 3 minutes on each side until it flakes. Squeeze lime over fish and serve.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4

The stuff:
18 oz baby brussels spouts (I like the frozen packages over fresh)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

What you do:
Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Toss brussels sprouts in a large bowl (or plastic bag) with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out in the pan and roast for 20-30 minutes, tossing once halfway through.

Marinated Tomatoes

Serves 2

The stuff:
1 container grape tomatoes
1 tbsp yellow mustard (I use French's)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp stevia (or other sweetener)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

What you do:
Mix everything but the tomatoes in a medium bowl. Add in tomatoes. Even better the next day! (These remind me of eating the tomatoes off your hamburger for some reason!)

Nutritional Stats per Serving

Blackened Tilapia

calories 180
Total Fat 3 g
Total Carbohydrate 4 g
Protein 32 g

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

116 cals
7 g fat
12 g carbs
4 g protein

Marinated Tomatoes

17 calories
0 g fat
4 g carbs
1 g protein

X- Liss

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mindset Hacks for Better Nutrition and Building a Workout Habit

I have been listening to a lot of mindset podcasts lately from the likes of James Clear to Chalene Johnson to Jill Coleman. I love to learn while I lift, why not grow mentally AND physically at the same time, right?

These are just some mindset hacks that I thought were brilliant, have used personally, or have coached clients to use:

1) Embrace the persona of who you strive to be

If you are trying to get into the habit of eating healthier, it serves you to say "I do not eat ice cream" instead of "I can't eat ice cream." By saying, "I do not eat X", you are owning that decision and at the same time reminding yourself of who you are becoming.

By saying I cannot eat X, you are playing the victim card. You are also removing your power. The funny thing is that by saying "I cannot", you are more likely to eat X! Crazy, huh?!

This same process of "do not" vs. "cannot" is key if you are trying to avoid eating out so often.

By the same token, fit people do not skip workouts. They prioritize them and do not do things that would interfere, for example,  they do not stay out too late so they will get up ready to go!

2) Build an environment conducive to your goals

If you are building a goal of early morning lifting, then it would be conducive to your goal to have your gym bag packed the night before so you can get up to head right to the gym. Heck, you might even sleep in your gym clothes. And then place your alarm somewhere that you have to physically get out of bed to shut it off.

If you are building a habit of better nutrition, then you would leave the kitchen scale out on the counter. It would create a better environment to take all your trigger foods to the office or the trash to be rid of them. Put fruits and veggies out on the counter to snack on. The path of least resistance is key. Things that are in eye sight are much more likely to be the choice in a moment of weak ego.

3) Plan for challenges

Your willpower is finite. You have the most in the morning and throughout the day, it depletes. Every single choice you make depletes your ego tank. You can use this to your advantage by removing choices that are optional. For example, Steve Jobs wore the same black turtleneck, jeans, and sneakers every single day to not waste his ego. As a female, I find wearing the same clothes a hard pill to swallow. I tend to pick out my clothing the night before at bedtime which just rearranges the ego drain to a more convenient time for me.

It helps to make a plan for challenges or situations that come up. This allows you to problem solve how best to handle them before they ever pop up. I like to plan out my eating in two stages. First, I plan a monthly overarching idea of meals and shop for them. secondly, the night before, I like to plug and play meals to meet my calorie and protein goal. This allows me to stick to my nutritional plan before things get busy or stressful.

So what if I get hungry for something not on my plan? Or what if I get hungry for a snack and do not have one planned in? Well since I have planned ahead, I have a few choices. I can rearrange for that item. I can find something else to do instead of eat- I like to do my nails instead or go shopping for gym wear. I can drink hot tea. All of these things are plans I have made in advance of the challenge that work for me.

I like to plan my workouts on a 12 week scale. I choose the Venus program I want to do next, how many days per week I will lift, and if I have any other fitness goals I need to plug in. Then I block out what my next 12 weeks will look like.

If a trip comes up, I can plan a workout with body weight only, find a gym, or do whatever cardio on the road. All this is possible because I have a plan to fall back on!

4) Surround yourself with like minded people

People in your life are not always going to get or even support your goals. Expect it. But there are plenty of others out there who do.

Connect with others who have similar interests at work or the gym. Venus ladies have the support of a huge online forum, often resulting in text and email buddies. Real life friendships are kindled further when we have meet ups like our upcoming April meet up in Miami.

There are also tons of blogs, Instagrammers, FB pages, podcasts, and other online forums to keep you submersed with like minded people. You can learn and troubleshoot your own issues from the experiences of others.

5) Set a maximum that is achievable and build on it

When you are building a new habit, it is easier to set a maximum than a minimum. For example, if you have a problem getting to the gym, allow yourself two weeks of 10 minutes working out for 3 days a week, max. After a couple of weeks, add an additional 10 minutes. Work your way up to the full routine.

The same thing goes for a calorie goal. Too often, people will cut the calories cold turkey when you would be better off tapering down 100 calories every few days until you get to your goal.

6) Track your streaks

There is a saying, "What gets measured gets done." I am a full believer in that.

Some like to track their streaks with stickers on a calendar- maybe one for nutrition and one for a workout. Some prefer tracking on a tracker like My Fitness Pal. Others like to use a spreadsheet. It is really whatever you will do consistently.

Once you get a streak going, it really creates a forward momentum that helps you ride your positive wave to the next!

What are your favorite hacks?

X- Liss

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Low Calorie Simple Shrimp Scampi

This recipe is one of those wonder recipes where you are just scratching your head? I mean it tastes SINFUL. But it is not. Comparable to the calories and protein in a 6 oz portion of chicken breast. Yep. My husband loves the shrimp scampi at Red Lobster and he is a BIG fan. So are the kidlets!

Read on.

Low Calorie Simple Shrimp Scampi

Serves 6

  • 2.00 lbs, Shrimp (I buy raw, frozen shrimp, but you can use fresh)
  • 4.00 tbsp margarine or butter (I used Blue Bonnet Margarine sticks, half a stick)
  • 1.00 tbsp, Lemon Pepper seasoning
  • 1.00 lemon yields, Lemon juice - Raw
  • 0.50 tsp, Red Pepper Flake (cut amount in half if you do not like a touch of spice)
  • 4.00 tbsp, Cheese - Parmesan, grated
In a large sautee pan or wok, preheat over medium heat. Add shrimp, butter, lemon pepper, lemon juice, and red pepper flake. I leave the lemon rind in the mixture too for flavor. Sautee until shrimp is pink and cooked through. Add the parmesan cheese and serve!

I like to serve mine alongside some stir fried vegetables (and some steamed brown rice for the hubby and kids!)

Nutritional Stats per serving

calories 157

Total Fat 6g

Total Carbohydrate 1g

Protein 24g