Protein Packed Banana Bread

Banana BreadI was never the type of person who had a “sweet tooth”. Growing up, if I was offered sliced apples or candy, I took the apples. Somewhere along the way, especially with dieting, I have developed one. I’m not exactly sure why, but I crave sugar and sweets all the time now.

This can be difficult because I have put in so much work building my body, and trying to live this healthy lifestyle. So, what was I to do in order to feed my cravings and at the same time, not hinder my progress. Well, I had to get creative.

My mom taught me how to cook and bake at a young age and it is a passion that I have continued to grow throughout my life. Ok, now to get to the point. My mom had a recipe for banana bread that I absolutely love. The only issue with it, as with most baking, is that it has far too many carbohydrates. I really wanted banana bread, so I decided to find a way to make it more “macro” friendly. It came out so well, that I have to share it, so here it is.

Protein Packed Banana Bread

Ingredients

½ Cup Baking Blend Truvia

½ Cup Softened Butter

2 Eggs

3 Ripened Organic Bananas

1 ½ cup Oat Flour

1 Tsp Salt

¼ Tsp Baking Soda

1 Scoop Level-1 Ice Cream Sandwich Protein

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 °F

Cream butter, eggs and Truvia

Mix in oat flour, salt, baking soda and Level-1

Mix in bananas

Spray loaf pan with Pam cooking spray

Add batter to loaf pan and bake for 55 min to 1 hour, or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Macros for entire loaf

1874.5 Calories

67g Fat

33g Sat Fat

288g Carbohydrates

28g Fiber

97g Sugar

68.5g Protein

 

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

A Case for Cod

Cod is native to both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. It is part of the Gadidae family along with pollock, haddock, hake and whiting. When it comes to fish Cod is hands down one of my favorites. It is light and flaky and has a very limited “fishy flavor”. As with all fish, there is the fear that we will consume too much mercury in the process. However, there are several agencies that are working hard to ensure that you are educated on the safety of fish choices. Here are the links to them to educate yourselves.

http://www.seafoodwatch.org/

http://www.fishwatch.gov/

Now that that’s out of the way let’s look at the benefits. Cod is an excellent source of Vitamin B12, Iodine, Selenium, Phosphorus, and Protein. Additionally, Cod has several other health benefits. In a large number of studies, fish, such as Cod, have been shown to assist in regulating blood sugar. In one study involving individuals who were already diagnosed with coronary heart disease, lean fish, like Cod, have been shown to improve cardiovascular risk factors when consuming approximately 4 servings per week. Another benefit, that most people look for, is the weight loss benefits of Cod. The consumption of Cod, because of its high protein content, can curb your appetite and leave you feeling full.

There are still a few things that you should look for when you go to make your Cod purchase. If you are lucky enough, I’m unfortunately not, to have a fish monger, then you should get to know them. This will be someone that you can trust when wanting the best quality fish. This will also allow you to purchase the fish that are on display and not prepackaged. When looking at it the fillets should glisten white and have no browning or gaping. You can also smell it and it should smell more like seawater than fish. This is a very perishable product and should be used within the first two days of purchase or vacuum sealed and frozen. If you freeze it be sure to refrigerator thaw it. Don’t leave it on the counter all day to thaw.

So, how are we going to cook it? Cod cooks relatively quick, about 7 min per inch of thickness and should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The fish will become opaque and will flake away with a fork. I usually bake or broil mine and I will include a recipe later in the article. Grilling is near impossible because it is very delicate and will burn easily.

I made this recipe this weekend and I thought that it came out really good. This recipe is courtesy of http://www.morrisonhealth.com/

 

Broiled Cod Fish

submitted by Dr. Morrison

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 x 6 oz. Alaskan cod fillets
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • juice from 1/4 lemon
    • sea salt and black pepper

SERVINGS: 4

PREPARATION

Set oven on broil and allow to heat for 5 minutes. With a fork or spoon, mix extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, dill, and black pepper in a small bowl. Place fillets onto ungreased cookie sheet, brush or spoon sauce on fillets, and place in oven.
Broil 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove once light golden color is achieved. Sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with brown rice or steamed vegetables.

Broiled Cod Recipedrm_recipe_broiledcodfish

If you aren’t consuming fish on a regular basis, I would strongly recommend that you begin to add it to your diet. The health benefits are amazing. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the Adam Delgado Fitness email newsletter by clicking the sign-up button at the top of the page. You can also follow me on Instagram and join my Facebook group by clicking here. Good luck and keep making 2017 your best year yet.

-Adam

Meal Prep, Meal Prep, Meal Prep

img_1490I’ve written previously about meal prepping, but as I read it I realized it was more on meal planning than actual meal prepping. When I say meal prepping, I am talking about the food that we are planning on consuming that day or the next. This is such an important aspect of our fitness journey that it cannot be overlooked. If you don’t prep your meals the night before, you are allowing yourself a chance to fail. I say this because it almost allows too much flexibility when we get hungry. If you go to work and didn’t prep a meal you are prone to go to the vending machine, or if your office has a snack bar, or you end up going to a fast food restaurant instead.

To prevent this, you need to prep what you plan to eat the night before. This gives you time to weigh out your food, a very important process, and get it in the containers that you will carry it around with you. I also suggest that you download an app to track your macros. I use the myplate app from Livestrong.com. Here is the link to see it Link to Website. While you are weighing out your food you can enter it into the app and eliminate the guess work associated with macros. This makes it easier to adjust and make sure you are setting yourself up for success the next day. There are a lot of different ways to go about meal prepping
and the internet is loaded with information on it.

Here is a great article on meal prepping and keeping a food journal. THE IMPORTANCE OF A MEAL PLAN AND KEEPING A FOOD JOURNAL

If you have any questions about meal prep or fitness in general, feel free to send me an email. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and join our Facebook group (AdamDelgadoFitness) for even more fitness and nutrition info.

Wake Up Early

Crazy man, insane, psycho. These are all names that I have been called based on the hours that I keep. On a typical day I am out of bed no later than 3:30 am. While most “normal” people think this is just plain crazy, there is a method to madness and I’m here to explain it. By getting up this early I am effectively adding more hours too my day, which most people complain they don’t have. So,let’s take a look at my typical day.

3:30 am – alarm goes off and I get up. I throw on my gym clothes. Brush my teeth and take my pre-workout.

4:00 am – I get to the gym and at most there are three other people there. This allows me to move through my workout without having to wait for equipment or benches.

5:30 am – Get home and take my post workout. I start the coffee. Shave and shower and get my uniform on.

6:00 am – Make my breakfast, pack my lunch, have some coffee and watch a show on Netflix.

6:30 am – Off to work

7:00 am – 3:30 pm – Work

4:00 pm – Get home and get on the laptop to work on my own goals

5:30 pm – Eat dinner

6:00 pm – Prep lunch for tomorrow and clean up

7:00 pm – Back on the laptop to do more work. Check Facebook and Instagram. Maybe write a blog post and watch some TV or just hang out.

8:00 pm – Put the kids to bed and back on the laptop

8:30 – 9:00 pm – Off to bed

So that is a typical 17 hour day for me. Seems easy right? This didn’t happen overnight for me and took a lot of work to get to this point. Some people that I have talked to say that they can’t go to sleep that early. The main complaint that they have is that they just can’t fall asleep. While some people do suffer from insomnia, that is not the case for most. We are usually laying there staring at the ceiling thinking about what we did during the day or what we have to do tomorrow or what we are doing with our lives. One way to combat this is to let it all go while you are relaxing at the end of the day. Go over what you need to do or what you did during the day. If that doesn’t work for you then get a journal and write your thoughts or plans in it. Just get them out of your brain. Some other tips include not turning on the TV in your room and try to keep it cold. It is scientifically proven that we sleep better when we are cool.

This is the main jumping off point. Another way to insure that you succeed at this is to ignore the snooze button. When your alarm goes off get up. Those extra few minutes are not helping you at all. Sit up and put your feet on the floor. Once you are up you’re not going to go back to sleep. I know this seems like a lot, but it really is worth it. You will get more accomplished during the day and you will be ready for a restful night at the end of it. It does get easier too if you have a good diet and are exercising. These two things alone will help you sleep better.

Alright, it’s 8:48 pm right now and 3:30 am comes early 😉 I’m no sleep expert, but if you need help or advice with nutrition or fitness shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to help where I can. Do something different and keep making 2017 your best year yet. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and join Facebook group Adam Delgado Fitness.

– Adam

Macros Macros Macros

If you have ever been to a gym or looked at any fitness website, you have no doubt heard the term macros. It was likely something to the effect of, “yeah Bro. I’ve got my macros on lock-down.” I love gym “bro” talk. Anyways, macros and why are they important, or in this instance not so important. First things first. Macros stand for macro-nutrients, or protein, carbs, and fats. Most people involved in fitness focus on these three and pay little attention to anything else, like say micro-nutrients, which we’ll discuss in later articles, and I’ve briefly touched on in previous articles. Anyways, I’m getting off topic again.

Ok, here is the point. If you are just starting a transformation or a fitness routine, I want you to completely ignore these macros. Chances are that your macro count is not the problem. It is more likely the portions of food that are consumed and an imbalance of fats and carbs to protein. What I want you to focus on, like I just stated is portion control and the imbalance that most of us suffer from. To start, your first task is to work on portion control. Don’t get me wrong I love food. I live in Las Vegas and there is no shortage of all you can eat buffets and I love the Cheesecake Factory. However, while okay to indulge some of the time, this is how I got myself in horrible shape. So, let’s look at portions and keep it simple. Protein, one palm size portion. Carbohydrate, one fist size portion. Vegetables, at minimum one fist size portion. Easy, right? No complicated calculations, no weighing each bite, just keeping it simple.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s talk about food. Food is awesome. It is vital to our survival. It’s how we celebrate things, and so many traditions are passed down through the generations while in the kitchen. These alone are reasons not to fear food. I know too many people who, when trying to lose weight, tell me that they are just going to eat salad. You need to eat protein, and not just drink a protein shake that you picked up at Wal-Mart. When I say protein, I’m talking lean beef, chicken, turkey, pork and even buffalo (so delicious). For carbs, we are talking brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole grain pasta, and fruit. Vegetables are basically free game, steam them, put some salt and pepper on them and eat them up. Remember, keep it simple when you are starting. I’ve been doing this for almost two years and have just recently started counting macros because I am training for competition. If not I would still be following the advice I laid out in this article. Have fun and enjoy the journey.

Here are a couple samples of a meal plan and a food list that I put together to give you an idea. As always, if you have questions shoot me an email and I’d be more than happy to help you in reaching your fitness goals.

Building Lean Muscle After You Workout.

shake-vs-foodThe hour after you finish working out is a very important time to ensure that you are getting your body the nutrition that it needs in or to repair itself. There is an old saying the muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen and rebuilt in bed. The irony in all of this is that your time in the gym has basically the least amount of importance when it comes to getting healthy and building lean muscle. We’re going to take a look at some of the important facts that people are missing and hopefully fill some gaps, so let’s get started.

When you lift weights or do high-intensity cardio, you are tearing your muscle fibers. Most of this is common knowledge to anyone who has ever read a fitness article. However, one facet that is often neglected to be mentioned is where did this energy that you used to workout come from? Your body is an amazing machine and runs on Glycogen. The dictionary defines Glycogen as, “a substance deposited in bodily tissues as a store of carbohydrates. It is a polysaccharide that forms glucose on hydrolysis.” In layman’s terms, Glycogen is your energy stores. It is built up in your muscle tissue and utilized by your body when you need it, like when you are weight training. During your training routine, you deplete these levels and they must be replenished. This is where the most important part of your fitness journey comes into play.

So, we just finished our workout and we’re drenched in sweat, we’re exhausted and probably hungry. Our muscles are begging for nutrients and our body is working out how it is going to replenish our energy stores. Now, our body utilizes carbohydrates as fuel, so that is what it craves. This is where we fall into a trap. What do we feed our bodies to ensure that we repair our damaged muscles fibers, while at the same time, replenish Glycogen and burn fat. There are a few different methods we can use. First, we can eat. Food should always be your primary source of protein, carbs, and fat. The only issue with using food after a workout is that it can take our body several hours to break down the nutrients provided by, chicken and rice after we workout and by the time it has been broken down it will be used to replenish Glycogen first and then repair muscle fibers. Remember, our body is only concerned with survival, not muscle development. So, what can we use instead of food? Maybe a protein shake. We have to remember though that not all protein is created equal. If you take a sustained assimilation protein like Casein, it takes a long time for your body to absorb the nutrients. If you take just a basic Whey protein that is high temp processed or ionized, the Amino Acid structure has been changed and you are likely to not get the best results out of it. The best option, in my opinion, is a low temp processed, hydrolyzed whey isolate protein. The low temp process ensures that the Amino Acid profile is kept intact allowing your body to receive all of the macros the protein boasts and the rapid absorption ensures that your muscles are fed.

Now, to make things even more complex. We are looking to replenish Glycogen and rebuild muscle. This is where Insulin becomes so important. After a workout, your body is in what is known as an Anabolic state. It is craving nutrients and will readily absorb them. For this, I use a mixture of a fast digesting carbohydrate with a hydrolyzed whey isolate protein. This ensures that my muscles are fed and rebuilt and while Glycogen is replenished. This aids in the recovery of your muscles and an added benefit, it reduces soreness. Think of Insulin as a freight train, when you take a fast digesting carb you are adding more cars to the train and the fast digesting protein is the cargo. This combo is almost impossible to beat when it comes to recovery. If you take it 30-45 minutes after training and follow it up with a quality meal 30-60 minutes later you are priming your body for optimal recovery and growth. As always there is so much more that can be said about nutrition and recovery, but I want to keep it short for the article. Hope this helps in giving you a basic guide and if you have any questions feel free to email me or leave a comment.

If you are interested, here is a link to the post workout recovery that I use and I have not been able to find a better combo available. Keep working hard and making 2017 your best year yet. Post Workout

Personal Transformation

img_1098These before and after pictures or from May 2016 – December 2016. Even though my transformation had started August 2015, I lost focus a year later and while I wasn’t as bad as I was before I still had to transform myself again.

The scariest part of any transformation or life change is the fear of failure. When I began my physical transformation in August of 2015 I didn’t take a single picture of what I looked like. Aside from being embarrassed, I had tried this before and failed and had those pictures to remind me of the failures. I was already setting myself up for failure in thinking that I had tried this once and this time it would just end the same. This type of defeatist attitude was only counterproductive. I was able to start with good momentum regardless. I was meal prepping on the weekend, I was going to the gym (which was terrifying), and was following a workout routine. Regardless of all of that though, the thought of failure was always lingering over me. It was gnawing at me, it continued to tell me that I was only going to fail again, that I wasn’t good enough and that I should just give up.

I know this isn’t the way that most would start an article like this, but I ‘ve never been one to follow the norms. Most would post how they hit the ground running and never looked back, that they felt great and saw instant change in every aspect of their lives. While some of that is true for some people, in my experience, it is very rare. Most people deal with the same anxiety and doubt that I felt. The first week is painful. It is full of fear of going to the gym and “not fitting in”, it is the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), it’s the monotony of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables, and the drastic change to your daily life.

Now that I’ve gotten the negatives out of the way let’s look at the positives. When your body transforms, it can transform your life. It is a great feeling when in you start seeing results. Your clothes fit better, you have more energy and people start to tell you that you look great. You are lowering the risks of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. You are reversing the clock on aging. Give me a day and I’ll show you achievement, a month and I’ll show you results, give me 3 months and I’ll change your life. I will never tell you that this is going to be easy. It takes hard work, discipline and determination. There are going to be days that you don’t want to go to the gym, but you must fight that and go. There will be days that you want to cheat on your diet, but you have to stay committed. This is your life and it is worth fighting for. Don’t wait another day to start. Find a plan and get committed because nobody else can want this but you.

On a final note, this is not something that you can do for a few months and stop. This is transforming your life and leaving the old you behind. Don’t make the mistakes that I made. Take before pictures and don’t doubt your abilities. Stick to the plan and it will work. Keep making 2017 your best year ever!!

If you have questions about how to start shoot me an email or you can find me on Instagram, by clicking the link, or on my Facebook group (Adam Delgado Fitness).