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3 Mistakes People Make When Cutting Carbs

It’s come to my attention that a lot of people struggle with a few key points when attempting to convert to a low carb diet. Let’s say someone is having chicken cutlet for dinner with a side of pasta and vegetables. Well the breading for that chicken cutlet is going to make up 1-2 servings of carbs and if you’re like most people you probably didn’t measure the amount of pasta you put on your plate. Your dinner alone could contain over 100 grams of carbs without you even feeling like you ate a lot of carbs.

These are the 3 Mistakes People Make When Cutting Carbs:

1. They have no idea how many grams of carbohydrates their body needs to maintain their current weight let alone lose weight.
2. They don’t know how to translate this into meals that provide the predetermined portion of carbs that they need in order to lose weight.
3. They may not know what foods are sources of carbohydrates. Yes, everyone knows bread, rice, and pasta are carbohydrates but few people realize that dried fruit and some starchy vegetables are high in carbs.

I’ve had clients say to me “I’ve been cutting out carbs for a few weeks now and I haven’t seen any results. I can’t lose weight no matter what I do”. Then, when I ask them what a typical breakfast looks like they say something along the lines of “yogurt with granola and fruit”. So what you just told me is that you’re cutting back on carbs but for breakfast you had a sugary protein with carbs and carbs.

In short, here’s my advice

1. Get an Idea of How Many Grams of Carbs You Need

You can use free tracking apps like MyFitnessPal to get a good idea of how many grams of carbs, protein and fat you should be eating, or you can consult with a nutritionist or dietitian for advice. Once you’ve figured out how many calories you need every day and how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat you need every day to maintain your weight, you’ll be one step closer to figuring out how many grams you need to cut to lose weight.

2. Cut the Servings of Carbs You Eat Everyday

Sounds a little obvious right? If you normally eat a bagel every day for breakfast doing something as simple as switching to half a bagel every day is enough to spark some results. This is by no means the most effective method, but it’s a method none the less.

3. Clean Up Your Carbs

Switching from white rice to brown rice probably isn’t going to spark the weight loss you’re after alone but it’s a good place to start. Let me be the first person to say that the commercial where they say “sugar is sugar, your body doesn’t recognize the difference” is the most misinforming piece of nutritional information of all time. Your body absolutely knows the difference between the sugar you get from a piece of fruit and the sugar you get from an iced caramel macchiato. Keep 80% of  your carbs from whole sources like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. They’ll keep you feeling satiated longer and they’re less likely to be stored as fat for a few reasons: it’s much harder to eat 100 grams of carbohydrates from vegetables than it is from candy, they won’t spike your blood sugar as much, and you’ll automatically increase your intake of fiber and micronutrients.

4. Use the Nutrition Info Label on Packaged Foods

A typical serving of carbs is about 15 grams. If you absolutely have to eat a processed, packaged food make sure you look at the nutrition info and see how many grams of carbs are in each serving and more importantly, WHAT IS 1 SERVING? 1 serving size of poptarts is one pastry…nobody eats one pastry. If you never check the serving size on the nutrition info label then you could easily be eating 2x the amount of carbs that you think you’re eating.

If you have any questions feel free to comment on this post. Check out my Instagram for low carb, high protein meals that are easy to make and a lot more exciting than eating salads all day. Like this meal (minus the wine and breadsticks):


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Shout out to my sister, Jackie, for this topic idea. She’s an awesome cook and sees people making this mistakes all the time!

What Should You Eat Post-Workout?

Whether you’re Team Whole Foods or Team Supplements you know you have to eat something after you’re workout. The question I always hear is, “what should I eat after my workout?”. I’m all about getting nutrients from a whole food source, but if you’re in a crunch for time then you may want to consider some different whey shakes and bars because, honestly, peanut butter and celery is not an effective post workout meal even if it makes you feel better that it’s more natural. Here’s what you need for an effective post workout meal: simple carbohydrates, fast digesting protein, and very little fat (and if you have to have it, make it a plant based fat). These are some really easy meals you can have within 30-45 minutes of working out. Some are going to be whole food examples, some are going to have supplements.

1. Grilled Chicken & White Rice
6 oz. grilled white meat chicken
1 cup of white rice

Simple right? Add 1 to 2 tbsp. of a very low fat (3-5 g fat/tbsp.) sauce to jazz it up or just eat it plain…like a serial killer.

2. Whey Protein Shake & Gummy Bears
1-2 scoops of whey protein in 8-12 oz. of cold water
1 serving of gummy bears, gummy worms, Swedish fish or dried fruit

Team Whole Foods is going to boycott my page for this. Remember, 4 out of your 5 meals for the day should be from whole food sources and healthy. I even added the option of dried fruit to this meal out of respect! There’s science behind this, I swear. After your workout your body’s insulin levels jump. At this time your body wants to deliver nutrients as quickly as possible to the affected muscles to begin repairing them immediately. Your muscles need amino acids (protein) and glucose (sugar) as quickly as possible to recover. This is why we’re focusing on having a quickly digestible source of protein and a simple sugar.

3. Eggs & Pancakes
1 whole egg, 3 egg whites
1 serving of pancakes (usually 1/3 cup mix)
1/4 cup lite syrup

Hang in there Team Whole Foods. Again, we have a terrific source of protein to rebuild those muscles and we have a source of simple carbohydrates. If you’re not in a crunch for time after your workout, try this out.

eggs & pancakes

4. Lean Sirloin Steak & Potatoes
6 oz. grilled lean sirloin steak
1 whole baked potato

Steak isn’t my first choice for a post workout meal because it isn’t a necessarily fast digesting protein but it’s still a high quality protein source, so it makes the cut. Our whole baked potato still coincides with our goal of simple carbohydrates.

* These meals are just examples. Your independent macronutrient needs may differ.

I could think of a million other post workout meals that fit this description but I’ll stop here. Follow my Instagram page for more post workout meals and a ton of other healthy meals you can try out. BCAA supplements are another great source of fast digesting protein. I use Scivation Xtend BCAAs during and after my workouts.

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High Protein Parfait in 30 Seconds

If you’re looking for a quick, healthy breakfast that you can bring to work look no further. This recipe takes 30 seconds to make and is packed with slow digesting protein and fiber to keep you fuller, longer.

8 oz. Plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup High Protein Granola
1 banana (6″)
1 tbsp. flaxseed or chia seed
1 packet of truvia

Scoop 8 oz. of plain Greek yogurt into a bowl or container
Add 1 packet of truvia and stir
Mix 1/2 cup of High Protein Granola with 1 tbsp. flaxseed or chia seed
Layer the granola/flaxseed or chia seed over the yogurt
Slice 1 6″ banana on top of the granola

Greek Yogurt Recipe

Nutrition Info
Protein: 37 g
Carbohydrates: 55 g
Fat: 8 g

This is a super easy and effective recipe. Try it out and let me know how you like it!

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Whole Wheat Protein Pancake Recipe

Pancakes are hands down one of the most beloved breakfasts in America. It’s hard to say many bad things about pancakes but when you’re trying to find a way to have an incredible breakfast you shouldn’t have to choose between healthy and delicious. That’s why I reached out to my friends at Kodiak Cakes after I saw them earn two offers on Shark Tank. They make a variety of healthful pancake mixes and when I saw they have a high protein whole wheat pancake mix I had to try it. Eventually we worked out a deal where I would get to GIVE AWAY a whole case (6 boxes) of this awesome mix for free to one of my followers on my Instagram and I got a case myself to try. I still make these pancakes at least once a week now and I want to share the recipe and nutrition info with you.

My Power Cakes Recipe

1/2 cup pancake mix
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water
2 egg whites
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon

Pour 1/2 cup pancake mix into a measuring cup
Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water depending on desired consistency and stir
Add 2 liquid egg whites and stir
Add 1 tbsp. vanilla extract to the batter and stir
Add 1 tsp. ground cinnamon to the batter and stir
Heat on an oil coated skillet on medium-high until both sides are golden brown

Nutrition Info
Protein: 24 g
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Fat: 2 g
Total Calories = 234

With 2 whole scrambled eggs and 1/4 cup lite syrup
Protein: 36 g
Carbohydrates: 44 g
Fat: 12 g
Total Calories = 428 calories

This pales in comparison to traditional pancake mixes which offer higher carbohydrates with little protein that leave you unsatisfied and generally consuming much more than the serving size. Assuming you only have 1 serving of regular pancake mix, here’s what your nutrition breakdown looks like before you drown them in syrup.

Protein: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 40 g
Fat: 1 g

With my Power Cakes mix I not only get a more satisfying, balanced meal that I can portion perfectly, but my carbohydrates are also coming from a more wholesome source (whole grain vs. refined flour). In addition to my large protein serving, I’m also getting 5 grams of fiber to keep me fuller longer.

Check them out at kodiakcakes.com and see if you can find them at a store near you.

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