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As I write this post I am devouring a delicious breakfast that holds a special place close to my heart; my usual morning scramble.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, primarily, I’m sorry. But secondly, you really need to know that I love egg scrambles. How much, you ask? Well if I were a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Donatello preferably), egg scrambles would be my pizza to put it in perspective. So yes, I like them quite a bit.

“But Shaaane, what the heck is an egg scramble?”

Scrambled egg is your typical version of this dish; eggs beaten in a frying pan to a desired fluffiness. A So Healthy Scramble is way beyond that though. It’s an art that requires some creativity.

The whole point of a So Healthy Scramble is to get as much healthy variety in your scramble as possible. Plain eggs are boring. Why not add a ton of scrumptious veggie crunch? My usual ingredient list includes tomatoes (because I have an addiction), bell peppers, spinach, and onion. However the possibilities are endless.

For instance, my scramble this morning consisted of two eggs, a whole tomato, red pepper, onion, spinach, chicken, and pesto (I freaking love pesto FYI). And yes, I try to eat a mix like this every day for breakfast. Personally it’s a great way to kick-start my routine.

“But Shaaane, eating too many eggs is bad for you, isn’t it?”

To be honest eating too much of anything is bad for you. That’s why I like to mix it up. Sometimes I’ll toss in broccoli instead of spinach or even asparagus instead of bell peppers.

The whole “eggs are bad for you” phase is coming to an end. Research has proven against the whole notion. I wrote an article about it a while ago. If that’s not enough for you, check out anything by Adam Bornstein. He loves eggs as much as I do, maybe even more! The guy even did an Eggsperiment where he ate eggs everyday and monitored his health to support his belief. Talk about dedication.

I also don’t go overboard with my eggs. Two are plenty to provide a nice base for the scramble, and I rarely eat any at other times of the day.

One of the other great things about this breakfast idea is that it totally supports my gluten intolerance. I used to thrive on whole grains for breakfast. English muffins, oatmeal, and high-fiber cereal used to be my bread and butter. After discovering I was gluten intolerant I struggled with breakfast ideas. The So Healthy Scramble really helps provide a gluten free breakfast.

“But Shaaane, doesn’t this take so long to make? I only have 15 minutes in the morning!”

That’s another beautiful thing. You can prepare everything ahead of time. Pre-cut all of your veggies and store them containers so that when it comes time to cook you oil a pan and then toss whatever veggies you want right in. Mix it up for a couple of minutes and voila, you are done.

The So Healthy Scramble is great for those looking to lose weight, maintain weight, or even put on muscle. It all really depends on what you put in it. Regardless though, you’re getting a great amount of protein and fat to help keep you full and satisfied. The vegetable provide just enough carbohydrates to get you through your morning feeling energized.

The opportunities are truly endless.

What do you like to put in YOUR egg scrambles?

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Congratulations! You finally decided to make a change. You’ve been cleaning up your diet, regularly exercising, saw a few pounds fall off, but now the dreaded situation has presented itself; your friends want to grab a bite to eat this Friday. This doesn’t have to be as tragic for your lifestyle change as you may think.

There are a few problems to look at when eating out and by making yourself aware of them you can fight it head on instead of cowering away.

Portions are usually way too big, health isn’t usually taken into account when making scrumptious dishes, and you really have no idea what ingredients your food is made with.

Don’t skip out on your next social get-together. The secret to weight loss is enjoyment and not resenting yourself. Learn these few tips so that you can enjoy your night out without worrying about your waistline.

Learn Portion Control

Arming yourself with portion control knowledge is one of the best things you can do when trying to shed a few pounds. Restaurants like to pack on the food so that you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. This can easily lead to overeating. One little trick that I like to do is eat half of my food while I’m out, and  ask the host to pack up the rest to-go so that I can enjoy it later on, or the next day.

When it comes to meat, try not to go bigger than the palm of your hand. This will give you a nice combo of protein and fat to help keep you satisfied and not resenting yourself. I prefer to stay away from anything carb-heavy, so instead of coming with rice or potatoes, ask the host to have a vegetable mix instead. Most places will have no problem making the swap for you. If you’re absolutely stuck on something starchy, a good rule of thumb is to have no more than a closed fist.

As far as veggies and salad goes, eat as much as you can! Just ask for the dressing on the side and use it sparingly. I know it tastes awesome, but some chains have salads that are more calorically intense than whole entrees.

And yes, drink water. It’s really quite silly to drink a ton of calories. It’s not worth it, plus nothing rejuvenates the body quite like a cold glass of H20.

Pay Attention to the Toppings

This tip is huge too. Restaurants like to load on toppings to salads and other side dishes for added flavour. The real problem is that you don’t know what’s in them. I would recommend staying away from anything cream-based, and instead opt for something composed of oil. Generally speaking oils tend to be healthier for you.

Really try not to get any meat with a topping. With the proper spice blend you shouldn’t need to mask the delicious taste anyways. With that being said, herbs and spices are always the better option for your carnivorous cravings.

Focus on the Calories

If weight loss is your goal then at the end of the day it really is calories in versus calories out. If you know where you’re going to eat beforehand look the place up online. Most restaurants provide full nutrition information on their websites. Find all the dishes you like and see which one has the lowest calories with higher protein. You shouldn’t pick your homemade meals like this, but for eating out it will do. After all, you’re simply trying to avoid sabotaging your great weight loss efforts thus far.

The key is to find a dish that has some kind of meat, with vegetable, and preferably a salad. If you need to have some grain in there, opt for something completely whole wheat.

By looking and deciding what you want ahead of time, you will also be less tempted to look over everything else on the menu and be tricked into buying something terribly bad for you.

Enjoy and Indulge Guilt-Free

This tip isn’t necessarily something you might see as important, but on a psychological level it really is. Beating yourself up over an eating mistake can really take a toll on your motivation. We’re all human and we will over indulge from time to time. Don’t let it get you down. Instead, get back up on the horse and learn from your mistake going forward. One meal will not destroy all of your efforts, but continuously overeating will.

Sit down, enjoy your food, taste each bite, and have a great time. Making these smart decisions will make eating out a whole lot less stressful for you. Seeing as how stress can also lead to weight gain, it’s like killing two birds with one stone.

Are there any tricks you like to do to avoid overeating when eating out? Share them in the comments below!

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This One’s For the Ladies

September 21, 2012 — 12 Comments

The other day I had a conversation with a girl that I know. We exchanged tales of all the lovely things going on in our lives from work to school, to past-time activities. You know, all of the great small talk stuff. She had told me how she had recently become addicted to working out at her gym, to which I was quite impressed (we should all be impressed). Good for her. What wasn’t good, though, were the foul plague-like words that came from her mouth next.

“I don’t want to lift heavier weights because I’m afraid I’ll get too bulky.”

Let’s end the story there so that I can elaborate on this mentality that women have when it comes to weight training. It irks me. Maybe I can even debunk a couple myths associated with the stigma.

First things first…

Ladies, you do not have to be afraid of lifting heavy weights.

You will not get bulky. You will not turn green and rampage the streets of Toronto.

It actually amazes me how many women I know that refuse to lift a significant weight because they are afraid they will get massive arms, or a massive chest and back. It is possible, but not without severe training and diet plans, or possibly a little testosterone boost. If you’re a casual exerciser (3 or less times per week) then you have nothing to worry about.

In fact, if your goal is to lose weight and get “toned,” I would actually recommend that you definitely lift some heavier weights. Like, right now. It has been proven several times that weight training is one of the most efficient ways to lose fat.

Here’s some basic knowledge for you. When you go to the gym and hop on a treadmill to burn 300 calories (which is far from accurate just FYI) and you leave, you’ve accomplished just that. You burned X amount of calories while being at the gym.

When you go to the gym and crank out some circuit training (consecutive exercises with little rest) with decent weight, you’re getting resistance training plus a cardiovascular workout. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Pretty cool, huh?

The coolest part is that the resistance training can actually increase your metabolism for up to 48 hours after you workout. And guess what…

An increase in metabolism = an increase in calorie burn.

So you’re really getting a lot more bang for your buck. And it’s actually quite fun. Each time you do it you aim for performing one more rep, increasing the weight a little bit, or even doing it in a quicker time. That way you know you’re making progress. Get it?

I haven’t really explained why yet, so you’re probably looking at this with a big “so what.” The fact is simple.

You won’t become the next Incredible Hulk because you lack the testosterone to do so.

Testosterone is the main muscle building hormone in the body, and because women produce significantly less levels of it, they cannot put on muscle mass as easily as men.

Also, to become the bulky beast you fear, you would have to purposefully consume a lot more calories than you need to. I’m not talking over-indulge a little here, and there. Like legit, stuff your face full of protein whenever you can, workout every day, and you maybe even need the addition of supplements. Getting “jacked” isn’t easy stuff. Even for men.

I’m not trying to persuade you into lifting heavy weights. I believe strongly in doing what makes you happy. If you thoroughly enjoy the cardio blast you get from a treadmill, elliptical, and stair master, then please continue to work hard on them.

I’m merely trying to state that women don’t need to be afraid of lifting heavy. If you try it, and end up enjoying it, that once long road to a flat belly and voluptuous tush might be just around the corner. Just saying.