I thought it might be time to add some content to this blog other than just the interviews you all love that are provided! Today I asked and got a huge amount of positive responses on giving out some nutrition advice. Of course I’d love to help! Myself and my boyfriend whom I live with are huge fitness nerds. We love powerlifting even if we don’t do it as much anymore but you’ll always catch us at the gym 5 days a week despite busy schedules. As you know, we are gamers first. So we make the time to not just play games but be fit in our lifestyles too. Even if you aren’t trying to lose weight you might find this interesting because everyone should aim to feed themselves proper nutrition.
If you just wanna read the recipes you can totally scroll down, I won’t be upset.
But I want to give a little bit of a back story on my fitness journey that I’m still on.
My weight loss journey started for me seriously in 2013. I had before then tried fad diets and also something terrible, diet pills. I had tried taking ones from Cellucor brand to thermogenics like OxyElite Pro. I’d lose 5 lbs maybe tops but nothing really noticeable or long term. The reason why? I wasn’t feeding my body properly. I do not recommend any kinds of supplements like these (diet pills), they are usually a gimmick or not healthy for you after extended use. Too often we all get caught up in the word diet when we should be aiming for a lifestyle change ultimately.
Rewind to 2012 though was when I got my first gym membership, I was casually there but not getting results. Again I was trying to take these terrible diet pills while attending the gym, but eating processed food and frozen foods constantly. Enough was enough when I looked at myself in early 2013 and was no longer happy with my body image. I had gone from being in my 120’s around 2008 to becoming 166 lbs in 2013. Most of it was due to consumption of fast food and snacks, as well as all the Mountain Dew I could go through while playing World of Warcraft. I was up from a size 3 pants to size 10. I wanted my old body back or a better one. I ended up utilizing a friend of mine who was very intelligent to get a basic meal plan going. This was my first big step. The meal plan also listed a schedule for what workouts I’d be doing on what days. This was enough to get me started and genuinely worked long term to keep me involved.
Another thing I started doing then was drinking protein shakes. I would have one essentially mid day and one after work out. The only supplement I recommend everyone trying to be better with nutrition is a protein shake. Brands I recommend would be starting with anything Gold Standard: Optimum Nutrition. They have very reliable products. I also started taking a multi vitamin daily. If you are working out, even just cardio, getting the right amount of protein is essential. Taking protein after a workout and even adding a supplement called glutemine is also a great way to treat your body and it’s recovering muscles. You can find these at any GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, or Bodybuilding.com – I highly recommend the last 2 options because they usually have the best deals.
I saw many women I admired on my Instagram feeds who I knew in real life that were strong. They were inspiration to me. Sometimes we need inspiration to help us push. I wanted to also be strong. This was a big goal of mine and motivator to hit weights. (The cool thing as a woman about weights is you won’t get bulky just throwing light lifting into your routine.) You ultimately get more tone as you burn fat from doing so. This is what I started with. Day in and day out for 3 months I went 5-6 days a week to my local snap fitness. I would have a back day, chest day, leg day, arms/shoulders day, etc. Each of these days I also did my least favorite of things, cardio. Cardio is the key when combining it with weights to burn fat more quickly, especially when you do it after a good lift session. However, you burn a ton of calories just by having an effective workout with weightlifting at the gym.
I won’t go on and on about my story too much before getting into my favorite easy recipes for eating healthy, but I ended up losing 38 lbs around the 5 month marker of my journey in 2013. Note that not everyone will have this drastic of a result right away but I think mine was mainly due to consistency and eating so often and healthy throughout the time. A lot of people will tell you nutrition is the biggest percent to weight loss and they are right. You need to treat your body well in order to achieve results you desire. Your body is similar to a machine running on fuel and if you give it bad fuel it won’t run how you want it. So why fuel your body with the wrong foods? You also MUST drink around a gallon of water a day. This is essential to fat loss and just feeling overall better and less lethargic. Cutting out sugary beverages and going with water will make you feel better in general. Eating little bits throughout the day is also important. A handful of almonds can really help you in between meals as well as other low to no carb treats. My personal favorite are protein bars or brown rice cakes with almond butter.
Now continue years later, 2018. I’ve completed feats of strength I wanted such as going over 200 lbs for squats and deadlifts. During those times I was not focused anymore on weight loss but muscle mass. I definitely love muscle, and that’s okay if you don’t. This isn’t a blog trying to convince other women or even men they need to get buff. I’m going to continue to keep pushing myself and improving form and the amount I can lift as I please. The recipes I have in this article though will be for both those looking to gain muscle and can additionally be used by those those looking to burn fat. Another key to keeping active is to find things that still motivate you. I find a lot of what motivates me now is the characters in fighting games I love. So many are strong and have beautiful muscles. I try to aim for that. Another thing is hoping I can influence my father some day. He has Multiple Sclerosis. Being overweight can be rough on someone’s body when they have this. I want to see my dad live a long time and without pain. I hope that my fitness journey can show him it can be done so he can make lifestyle changes himself. What do you think would motivate you most? This is a good question to think about.
So let’s get to the good eats!
We’ll start out with 3 recipes that are quick to make but healthy to eat and last more than one meal also!
Jamie Eason’s 3 Bean Turkey Chili –
I chose this one first because it was one of my first meals I prepped I had never made before at home. Yes, until 2013 I never made homemade chili. Jamie Eason was a face I saw often on BodyBuilding.com promoting workouts. When I saw she had a recipe for healthy chili I had to try it.
This I will link to specifically so you can have the options of altering it. I prefer to use ground chicken myself over turkey!
Romanova’s Chicken Stuffed Peppers –
(Overall time to make 1 1/2 hours but gives you 4 meals)
1 Package lean ground chicken
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 green or red peppers (preferably organic)
1 bottle of organic marinara sauce
1 cup brown rice
– Cut tops off of green or red peppers and remove seeds inside.
– Bring a large half pot of water to a boil and add the four peppers
(25-30 min until soft yet still firm)
– Dice eggplant into small pieces and cook in a skillet adding salt & pepper until soft
– Place ground chicken into skillet and add cumin, garlic powder, & minced garlic
– Cook chicken through and after combine with eggplant in a mixing bowl
– Follow instructions on brown rice box or container and cook 1 cup of it
– Combine brown rice, chicken, and eggplant and mix in the majority of marinara jar
– Stuff mixture inside each of the 4 peppers and place them in a pan to bake
– Set oven to 350° F and top your pepper with a little marinara before putting in oven
– Bake for 20 minutes and voila, beautiful stuffed peppers ready to be devoured!
Estimated Calories: 250
Estimated Protein: 25g
Estimated Fat: 7g
Estimated Carbohydrate: 25g
(Serving size is one stuffed pepper)
This is a great meal for those who are active or not. An example I can give are from my own macros and you can gauge your own. I’m supposed to have around 100g of carbs on an active day and 50g on a non active for myself who’s a 142 lb woman that lifts and has a decent amount of muscle. This is a great lunch healthy lunch for anyone!
Healthy (high protein) Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese –
This is a recipe that isn’t FAST but is EASY with little work and a lot of flavor.
You will need a crock pot for this one! You will also need a deep but medium sized cooking pan for the oven to bake your mac in.
1 package fresh boneless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 bottle Mr. Spice Organic Salt Free Hot Wing! Sauce, 10.5 Fluid (low sodium!!!!)
1 box Banza! chickpea shells (extra protein deliciousness!)
2 cups low fat mild cheddar cheese
– Cook chicken in crock-pot combined with salt, pepper, and hot wing sauce
(Cook this for 8 hours on low settings)
– For noodles, bring water too a boil in pot and place in shells
(Cook time 7-8 minutes)
– Use olive oil or olive oil cooking spray to grease your pan or foil liner
– Place a layer of shells on the pan with 1/2 cheese spread on top
– Shred crock-pot chicken and place a layer of it on top of the noodles and cheese
– Repeat this again (you should have enough of it for 2 layers of each and end with noodles on the top.
– Put the remaining cheese on top
– Bake for 30 minutes
Estimated Calories: 400
Estimated Protein: 32.5g
Estimated Fat: 16g
Estimated Carbohydrate: 35g
(Split into 4 servings for the estimates above!)
Simple and delicious. Add gluten free crumbs to top if you are allowed to have extra carbs for this meal. If not eating without is still delicious.
If you enjoy what is posted here so far I’ll try to do more of these specifically just with the recipes. There are many others I love and that are easy to prep including snacks. Good luck to everyone trying to make the journey to healthier nutrition.