Yes, you DO need a meal plan. You plan the rest of your life right?

A lot of people ask me why they need a meal plan. Then they laugh when I ask them, “Why do you need a planner to plan your day?”

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We use planners to make sure our lives, personal and work, are running efficiently. Why shouldn’t we plan what and how we eat to make sure our bodies are running efficiently. If our bodies don’t run efficiently, how are the rest of our lives going to run efficiently? It seems like, as a culture, we have attacked “planning” a bit backwards.

Now, it may seem like some healthy people don’t follow meal plans to a “T”. The truth of the matter is, once healthy habits are developed, the need for a strict meal plan is less important.  It’s funny – you will still plan your meals without even knowing it. It will become part of your life.

So if you are on a 1,300 calorie diet (before including calories burned exercising), here is the breakdown of calories per meal.

Breakfast: 200 calories

Snack #1: 100 calories

Lunch: 300 calories

Snack #2: 100 calories

Dinner: 600 calories

These are all approximations. So for example, if  you have a 500 calories meal planned for dinner, you can move 50 calories to each of the snacks you have for the day. But if you didn’t know that you would be saving 100 calories at dinner then you may have been depriving yourself of calories during the day. The opposite is true also. If you end up having a meal 100 or 200 calories over what it should be, but ended up going over on other meals during the day too, then you may end up with en excess amount of calories for the day. Unless you workout, those calories end up turning into weight you are gaining instead of losing!

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Tip for you: Plan on the weekends (or day off depending on your job). Find and choose make-ahead recipes you can make on your day off to bring with you. The more you control what goes into your food, chances are the lower in calories it will be compared to anything you will buy at a restaurant or fast food place.

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Just because I love him so much! 🙂 Have a great Sunday!!!

And don’t forget to plan your meals 😉

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Operation: Wedding Slimdown — The Beginning!

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I am beyond excited to share this post with you today.

Two of my good friends have made the jump to  GET HEALTHY!!!!! To maintain their privacy I will call them Tracy and Julie.

Tracy is getting married in a little over a year from now and Julie is her Maid of Honor! We have been talking for a little while about this but having the wedding getting closer lit a fire under their butts to get moving! I am totally thrilled for them.

Today was our first weigh-in and measurements! We calculated BMI, set short term and long term weight loss goals, discussed their workout schedule, and went over my Food Guideline Packet. (More about that and some other services in about a week or so 🙂 )

Tracy is at 207lbs and Julie is at 204 lbs. 

Long term goal: – 56lbs by early January

Short term goal: 8-10lbs per month (about 2-3 lbs per week)

They also made a great decision and starting Monday are going to be drinking Shakeology to replace one meal a day! With their particular Challenge Pack they also got 2 workouts : Hip Hop Abs and Rockin’ Body. Both are high cardio, fat-burning, ab sculpting workouts..and best of all THEY GET TO DANCE!!! They both love Zumba classes, so I figured this would be perfect for them.

Meal Plan: stick to the guidelines in the Food Guideline Packet + one cheat day per week + Shakeology one meal per day

Workout: Hip Hop Abs & Rockin’ Body

I am so pumped to monitor their progress, kick their butts, and watch them transform their lives and their health!

I am also excited to share their experience with you! Starting today, I will start giving you updates on their progress, struggles, and comments every Saturday after our weekly meeting.

Operation: Wedding Slimdown has begun! Stay tuned 😉

Why are fruits and veggies better than high fattening foods?

This post is inspired by my Biology class that just started up. I have always hated the sciences and barely made it through each class. Now for my Elementary Ed degree I have to take a few of them. So I decided to have an open mind – and I actually learned something!

This question (blog post title) may seem obvious and to an extent it is. We all know the nutrients in fruits and veggies supersede those of high fattening foods (DUH!!) and that they have fewer calories. No brainer, I know. However the value of a calorie in fruits and veggies is worth a lot more than the value of a calorie in high fattening foods.

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I wanted a better way to explain to those trying to lose weight exactly what it means to gain fat – the real affect of the high fattening foods on our bodies. When my professor explained all of this to us in terms of energy, something clicked and it made so much sense to me! I will do my best to explain it a lot simpler than he did!

The foods we eat, healthy or not, are made up entirely of atoms and bonds. To keep this simple, lets think of the atoms as O and the bonds as . If you look at a fruit in terms of atoms it probably looks like:

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=                                 O

Therefore, our bodies can instantly break it down for energy to be used immediately. (Ever wonder why coaches tell athletes they can eat fruit in the middle of a game?) This is also why people on a vegetarian diet need to eat a little more regularly than others, because the energy they get from their foods is used up immediately causing them to be hungry sooner.

A food such as rice might look like this:

Unknown-2                           =               O–O

Here, our bodies need to break down the bond before they can break down the atom for energy. Because there are 2 atoms(or more), there is more energy but it takes longer for the body to break it down. (This is why athletes eat meals high in carbohydrates the night before a game or race).

Both structures (or my attempt at structures) are both very simple. Both are also foods (or foods similar) that are low in calorie and fat. They give our bodies good energy.

Now check out the structure of a triglyceride, or a food high in fat. I had to find one, because drawing one using a keyboard would have been impossible:

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See how many bonds that have to be broken before our bodies can even start breaking down the atoms for energy? Beyond that, the amount of energy created is more than we use up doing daily activities.

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So unless we workout or use up that excess energy it is stored in our bodies as fat. And we will probably eat ANOTHER meal, with more energy to break down, in the amount of time it takes to break down this energy.

Now, the bond above that I created for the rice might be a little bigger, just as the high fat structure might be a little smaller. However, I hope you can see the complexity of the high fattening food as opposed to the rice or the fruit.

For me, it made so much sense. I hope it did the same for you! I wanted to explain it without scientific jargon so ANYONE can understand. It is easier to grasp these concepts without having to look up every other word!

Like or comment if YOU learned something from this post 🙂

Run day one & my food journal

It is pretty humid today in Providence but nice for me, the sun isn’t out! I say nice because this lazy bum slept until 9 and missed peak running hours! I say this like Im some sort of an avid runner.. haha. I am , however, starting my interval runs today!!!! More about that later.

Breakfast this morning was two hard boiled eggs, w salad dressing(instead of mayo), and scallions with a bit of garlic and onion powder 🙂

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Over the last few weeks I’ve spoken to a couple of friends who have expressed their desire to lose weight. Other than providing them with a meal plan, I offered a piece of advice: start a food journal. Write down everything you eat every day; even when you sneak an M&M! When you write it down you see the reality of how you really eat, not just how you THINK you eat. SO I decided to take my own advice and start my own! For me, especially as a vegetarian, I want to monitor my protein and iron intakes everyday, and plan my protein intake especially around my workouts!

I, myself, am not aiming at losing a lot of weight necessarily.

My Goal: decrease my body fat and TONE, TONE, TONE!

One of the ways you can “lean out”, sort to speak, is to RUN! I used to love to run. However, when I played college basketball (quite some years ago now) I tore my ACL and had reconstructive surgery. It took me a year of therapy afterward to be semi-normal again, however, running has always caused me issues.

One of the reasons I think this happened is because I would always start out thinking I was in better shape than I was and would inevitably do too much too soon.

This time, I decided to start slowly with interval training. What that means, for those of you who are new to exercising or running, is basically that you run in intervals. You can choose the timing of it – for example, this morning I did a 3 min walking warmup and then jogged for 3 minutes at a time with a 1 min fast-paced walk in between. I did this for a half an hour. It may not seem like much but I was tired when I was done!

My Goal: Increase my jogging 1 min per week – Run 3-4 times per week 

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Afterward, I lifted arms – I will share my arm workout another day.

I wanted to share another workout I did after my run today – well attempted to do. It is called the New York City Ballet Workout. If you know me at all I wouldn’t be surprised if you are laughing your tail off 😉

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Well, I live up to my reputation. I lasted 5 minutes. I am the least graceful person on the face of the planet. I prefer getting down and dirty with my dumbbells and the pavement. I like to sweat and feel sore after. That’s just me! However, if you are a dancer or former dancer, this might be a perfect workout for you! Or if you hate using any kinds of weights etc. You can buy this workout on amazon here.

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Yes, I am icing with frozen brussel sprouts 😉

Another runner recently told me to ice after every workout no matter if your injury hurts or not. It’s called preventative icing 🙂 So I did!

I will leave those of you runners with knee issues with this: if you are running and you feel any kind of pain, not soreness, stop immediately. Having trouble walking the next day due to soreness is one thing, having it be because of pain is another and it lasts far longer!!

Off to make some sort of veggie concoction for lunch!!

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30-DAY VEGETARIAN CHALLENGE!!!

Over the last couple of months I have done a lot of reading about the health benefits of a Vegetarian diet. For clarification purposes, a vegetarian is someone who does not consume meat but may occasionally consume dairy and/or fish. Different people are comfortable with different levels of consumption of dairy and fish and it is a completely personal decision. A vegan, on the other hand does not consume any animal products whatsoever.

Check out this quick video on the benefits of a vegetarian diet!

 

 

I have been consuming a vegetarian diet since this past January (almost 7 months) and I feel absolutely fantastic! Not only has my energy level skyrocketed, but being a foodie by nature it allows me to eat a ton a food every day!

Many doctors, like the gentlemen in the video above, are huge advocates for a vegetarian diet for many reasons. Some even promote being a vegetarian during the day and eating a meal with meat at dinnertime. Even that is said to increase health! The problem with switching to a vegetarian diet is most people jump into it without doing the proper research. We do get some valuable protein and iron from animal meat. These are two important nutrients that people seem to lack when they go meatless. However, they are very easy to replace with the right foods! When I first went vegetarian I had to do boatloads of research to ensure I was consuming enough calories every day, getting enough protein (which is actually a lot easier than it seems), and especially getting enough iron!

BUT  I am here to make this process a whole lot easier! I am starting a 30-day VEGETARIAN CHALLENGE! With my help, and the help of Shakeology, I challenge you to experience the health benefits of a vegetarian diet.

How does Shakeology help?

Shakeology offers a vegan option for two flavors of shakes; chocolate and tropical strawberry. They are dairy-free and soy-free! By purchasing and committing to Shakeology for one month, you are guaranteed at least one meal per day that is full of essential nutrients for a vegetarian. Shakeology also helps increase energy and aids in weight loss, if those are your goals as well.

How do I help?

Well, if this isn’t obvious already I will elaborate. I have DONE all the research and am living a much healthier vegetarian life! As your coach for this challenge I am here for support; nutrition tips, recipes, recipe ideas, along with all the encouragement needed to help you discover the benefits of eating vegetarian.

What do you need to do to join the challenge group?

  • Email me (cassimalec@beachbodycoach.com) or Facebook Message me (www.facebook.com/cassi.malec) to find out how to purchase Shakeology and join the private Facebook Group dedicated to this challenge.
  • Commit to eliminating meat for 30 days and drinking a Shakeology shake once per day.

Start Date: July 8th

Spots Available: 10

You Get:

  • One vegetarian meal per day – Shakeology
  • One – on – one guidance and support via the private Facebook Group (or via email if you do not have Facebook)
  • Group support from others also participating!
  • MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!! – if you are not satisfied with your results I will give you your money back for your purchase of Shakeology!
  • Nutrition advice, recipe ideas, my recipes, and other ideas/experiences that make the transition easier!

If you decide at the end of the 30 days that eating a vegetarian diet REALLY isn’t for you, there will be absolutely no hard feelings. I am not a preacher and am not trying to “convert” you by any means for any moral reasons whatsoever. I am only trying to give people an easy way to switch to a vegetarian diet without having to search all over the web for healthy replacements. Why reinvent the wheel? If I can help get YOU to a healthier YOU, that is all I am aiming for!

GO VEGGIES!! 🙂

email: cassimalec@beachbodycoach.com

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cassi.malec