Category Archives: Nutrition

Meal of the Month, It’s not a cheat month!

It is officially upon us the holiday season. This is the time of the year that stress levels tend to increase. We have family pressures, our time become less ours and more dictated by outside forces, we also have ample opportunity to eat poorly. I am here to tell you it’s ok and we will get through this better and ready to attack 2020! Here are 7 tips to make it through this holiday season guilt free and wearing the same pants size you do now (or maybe even an improved body).

  1. Don’t let guilt win. When at the holiday party enjoy yourself. The extra calories are fine as long as you don’t do it everyday.
  2. Don’t count calories at the party. Akin to the first tip, be a human and have some fun.
  3. Know when you cheated and get back on the right path the next day.
  4. Drink 1 gallon of water a day. Not only will it keep you full, it will also prevent you from consuming too many liquid calories.
  5. Forgo on the flavored holiday latte flavor before the party. Like a caveman drink real coffee for a few days.
  6. Keep track of weight and how your jeans fit. These two methods or measuring your stress levels have stood the step of time. If you see an unwanted increase don’t freak out just get back on track at your next meal.
  7. At the holiday party be sure to start at the veggie plate. Fill your stomach with some carrots before going straight to the desert tray.

Bonus tip;

Create a chart with 7 days and 4 boxes per day, each box represents an eating opportunity. Every day put a check in a box when you stuck to your plan. Put an x in a box when you cheated on your plan. Score yourself out each week. Do not be too harsh. If you only followed your plan 50% of the time then just get back at it next week and aim for 60%. If you try to be perfect all the time you’ll only get frustrated and fail. So enjoy the time with friends and family, get some exercise and enjoy the sweets, just not all of them.

 

 

Meal of the Week (burn your turkey edition)

This week for our Meal of the Week we are going to change things up just a bit. We are now 8 days out from Thanksgiving. We all know that this is the ultimate “cheat day.” Here at Union Fitness we truly believe in helping each and every one of our members in and out of the gym. You may spend 1-10 hours a week in Union Fitness and we hope to empower you during that time to be your best self and live your best life. Too often as strength and fitness professionals we all lose sight of the end game, a better life. So with this in mind we are preparing to stuff ourselves on Thanksgiving day with friends and family and invite you to do the same and feel no guilt about enjoying your day.

The other thing we want to do is take care of yourself and others. On Thursday November 28th we invite you (and friends, member or non-member) to come down to Union Fitness and join us in our biggest class. We have named this class the Turkey Burn. If you are using our discount and running the Turkey Trot with our friends at the YMCA we will let you slide on this one. If you are free come down and join in the superclass. All we ask of you is three things:

  1. Bring a canned good so that we may donate to those less fortunate than us. Don’t worry there will be coffee for after the workout.
  2. Bring your Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) and maybe some friends or family to raise their holiday spirits too.
  3. Sign up for the class online so we know how much coffee to bring. We have already added more spots to this class three times so let’s burn some turkeys.

The workout will consist of some cardio class, some lifting as well as a special Powerful with CJ workout. We will have the entire gym to ourselves so should be a great day of training. The workout will begin at 9 AM and wrap up at 10 AM, just in time to check your burnt turkey at home.

If you have any questions please ask any of our staff members. Now let’s empower each other for greatness.

CJ’s Spicy Salsa

It’s Wednesday so that means it’s time for meal of the week. We at Union Fitness love a good spice and nothing says spicy food like a cold day, so with winter creeping upon us we give you this recipe from Charles Jasper (CeJ, CJ, CG).

If you’re looking for some quality spice in your life, I suggest you try out this tasty salsa recipe. After my buddy Anthony B tried it out, he gave me his high five of approval. I’m not a guy that follows recipes to a tee but here is the baseline of ingredients .

CeJ’s Salsa Party
1-14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1-10oz can diced tomatoes w green chili
3- cloves of garlic
1/2-onion of your choice
2- jalapeños
Couple squeezes of honey( I used hot honey)
1/2- Cup of cilantro
A Bump of Salt
Lime Juice
Toss all these into the blender, pulse it up and enjoy!
Stay Spicy my friends,
CeJ

Cayt’s Meal Of the Week

For those that may not know, powerlifting is a weight class sport and in hope to maintain the theme of the upcoming meet, I am going to talk about my mindset going into weigh-ins this meet.  This may be my first full power meet that I don’t try and cut weight to make a weight class.  The thought alone messes with my head a little for a few reasons, but I am trying to find peace with it being an option.  I am slightly above weight so once we reach 7 days out I will decide if it is something I can and want to manage.  

For someone with a past of eating disorders, I am very aware of my own triggers.  I am still learning how to entirely combat those feelings, but I am also learning to accept that it will be a process of good and bad days and even better and worse moments.  Leading into this meet, I am acknowledging that a few of my personal triggers are developing and when this happens I have to prioritize those that I can control and cannot control.  

With that said, for the time being, my goal is to eat enough to regain energy, to train and recover as necessary, and to COMPETE well.  

I made a big pot of chili over the weekend for one of my meals.  I rarely use measurements and tend to use my eyes as a judgment call for recipes like this.  However, these are all of the ingredients: 

93/7 ground turkey 

90/10 ground beef 

Black beans

Light red kidney beans

Dark red kidney beans

Carrots

Celery 

Onion

Green, yellow, and red pepper

Tomato sauce 

Diced tomatoes

Chicken broth

 

Meal of the Week – Mariah’s Cilantro Lime Salmon

Can you say superfood?! Salmon has so many health benefits as well as being uber tasty! It’s probably top of my favorite sea meals. Going forward, I’m trying to incorporate new dishes into my prep besides just chicken and rice. I want to add some flavor to my routine so let’s see how these couple weeks go, and I’ll keep you updated!

 

So back to what you came for. Salmon is a good source of potassium, balancing blood pressure, and your immune system. It also is an anti-inflammatory so helping with recovery thanks to its Omega-3s for all my lifting friends.

 

With this main dish, I would pair it with 1 cup of 5 min white rice I usually squeeze lime juice and garlic powder to give it some flavor as well as 1 cup of steamed brussel sprouts. I just buy mine from Aldis usually cost around $1.27 for a bag. Their 5min white rice usually comes out to be $1.70.

 

So delicious! And guess what it takes only 20 mins for the whole meal, so if you’re looking for a quick dish this week this one is a goooo!

 

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 15 mins

Serving: 6

 

Ingredients:

2 tbs oil

1 lime (juice/zest)

2tbs cilantro, coarsely chopped

½ jalapeno, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped (I used 1tbsp of minced garlic)

2 lb salmon fillet

 

Directions:

  1. Puree the oil, lime, juice, and zest, cilantro, jalapeno and garlic in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Place the salmon on foil on a baking sheet, pat dry, season with salt and pepper, spread on the cilantro and lime mixture and bake in a preheated 400F/200C oven (or barbecue) until just cooked, about 10-15 minutes.

 

Nutrition:

245 Cals

14g fat

1.5 g carbs

30 g protein

 

Meal of the Week – Lindsey’s Last Minute Lunch

Keeping this one short and sweet. I didn’t leave a lot of time for meal prepping this weekend, but I always have a back-up plan. This is where I rely on foods that are quick to cook or just need to be microwaved for a quick meal. Surprisingly, I always get told this particular meal smells good, so maybe you’ll like it too.

I was so behind this week that I grabbed my ingredients from Giant Eagle on my way to work!

 

What I Use:

  • Cooked Jasmine Rice (either in the rice cooker, or buy a bag of microwaveable rice)
  • Birds Eye Broccoli Stir Fry, half the bag
  • Cooked chicken (I try to cook up a pound of chicken thighs before running to work most days, but if I can’t I grab the $5 grilled chicken breasts from the prepared food section of Giant Eagle)
  • Soy Sauce to taste
  • Cashew pieces to taste, for a crunchy topping

What I Do:

  • If using microwaveable rice, start with that and follow the directions. If you’re lucky to have a rice cooker like me, get that going early so it’s hot and ready when you’re hungry.
  • Throw half the bag of veggies in a bowl and top with some salt, microwave until cooked most of the way through.
  • Cut up chicken and add to the bowl of veggies. Add soy sauce to taste. Microwave until it’s all hot.
  • Throw on top of your prepared rice.
  • Top with cashews.
  • Eat and enjoy (even though you’re in a rush).

 

When I think ahead, I like to keep other sauces around to mix this meal up (Thai curry is REALLY good, but even having some sriracha and PB2 around to make a quick peanut sauce is a tasty change). It’s healthy, easy, and keeps me full through work, training, and teaching. And as a side note, it took every ounce of my self-control to take a picture of this bowl and not just scarf the whole thing down in 3 minutes. You’re welcome.

 

Meal of the Week – Alison’s Edamame Noodles

Say hello to my newest obsession: Edamame Noodles. 

 

I stumbled upon these bad boys at Aldi this weekend while my kids were searching for the perfect noodle. (Unbeknownst to me, I might have found mine too!) They settled upon linguine and I popped these organic, gluten free & vegan noodles in the cart too.  A good gluten free noodle is hard to come by, so naturally I was a little wary.  I’m happy to report that they got a gold star from me!

 

  • Tastes good
  • Fast cook time
  • Cheap
  • Healthy
  • Versatile

 

I’m always excited to find a noodle that has a hefty amount of protein and just one serving (about 2 oz dry) packs a massive 24g of protein, only 20g of carbs and 3.5g of fat.  Wins all around!

 

For lunches this week, I tossed the noodles in about ½ teaspoon of pesto sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, paired with BBQ grilled chicken and fresh from the farm green beans.

Meal of the week- Ryan’s sunny side up special

Food log 7/3

 

I have recently moved- the downside is my commute is no longer down the stairwell, out the door, and into UF.  But I love where I’m living- beautiful location, more space, and a patio – so it has been a great decision. One of the biggest upgrades is the size of the kitchen. The kitchen that I have available to me now is probably double the size of the kitchen that was in my studio. I love it, which only encourages me to cook more often. With that being said, I have been able to try new dishes rather than just eating bison and rice. I have cooked all sorts of delicious summer food’s from chicken with homemade mango salsa to a new pasta dish with chicken, basil, and parmesan cheese to homemade French toast in the morning. My first reaction is never take a picture of my meal when I am about to eat so unfortunately you don’t get to see any of those.

 

So this week, I have a pretty normal meal for you…

 

Sunny side up eggs, toast with almond butter and jelly, and a large slice of pineapple. 

 

I highly recommend almond butter. It can be a bit more pricey than peanut butter, but I prefer the taste.

 

I am still working on eating larger meals. I tend to under-eat so my goal is always to get enough calories for the day and I have to be especially conscious on training days because I need even more calories to fuel my training and recovery.

Meal of the Week – Lindsey’s Take Out??

Lindsey’s Meal of the Week

It’s really just more of the same!

 

A few months ago I wrote about how I eat when I’m traveling, and it turns out I really don’t eat that much differently when I’m at home. My schedule has been pretty intense this month – between working some extra hours during the Iron City Open, traveling back and forth across the state (again), helping out a friend, and ramping up my training, I haven’t had a ton of free time to cook. Luckily, I have two staples that I can turn to in times of need. 

 

The first one is take-out! I’m lucky that I live in Squirrel Hill – there is so much variety in the food here, and plenty of healthy choices! While I don’t always pick out the healthiest things (the burgers at Murray Avenue Grill are secretly some of the best I’ve ever had), my absolute favorite is the grilled chicken hummus meal from Aladdin’s on Forbes. I get it probably once a week at this point. I also add one of their salads to round things out (and since I’m running so much, lots of pita for dipping). It really is as simple as some grilled chicken thighs and veggies on a huge bed of hummus. But it’s affordable, healthy, and means I don’t have to cook OR clean after a long day. 

 

 

When I don’t feel like ordering take-out (AKA when I’m trying to be better about money), I always keep some quick cooking staples around – namely the same bags of pre-chopped salad I talked about in my last food log, frozen salmon fillets, and fruit. As soon as I walk in the door after work, I throw the salmon in some water to quick defrost, then take my hyper little dog for a walk. When I get back, he gets fed, I cook that salmon up, mix the salad, throw some fruit in a bowl, and sit down to finish whatever work I have left that day.

 

It’s not the fanciest, but it keeps me going when I don’t have a lot of time for prep. While yes, it would be easy to let my cravings take over when I’m this busy, I know that my training goes WAY better when I’m feeding myself well, and that’s a huge priority in my life. These are just some of the ways I’ve found to make my lifestyle work for me!