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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Delicious Shrimp and Spinach Bowl (Lean/High Protein Dish)


Here is one of my favorite recipes...it's high in protein, flavorful and light yet filling...


Ingredients:
-1 package frozen chopped spinach (thaw it out)
-1/2 medium onion, diced into small pieces
-2 cloves minced garlic
-1 tbsp organic salted butter or 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (i think the butter tastes better!)
-1 tbsp soy sauce
-1/2 cup skim milk
-3 tbsp Plain Fat-free yogurt
-1/2 cup fat-free plain cottage cheese OR 1small container "mediterranean flavored" cottage cheese (sold @ Loblaws....i used this only because i found it @ Loblaws on sale yesterday!)
-10 med/large thawed frozen Shrimp; you can also use fresh Shrimp. Chop them up into smaller pieces!
-salt, paprika and black pepper for seasoning
-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Directions:
-In a medium sized frying pan, lightly sautee the onions and garlic in butter/olive oil until slightly brown. Add the thawed spinach, soy sauce, paprika, black pepper and salt (1 tsp salt should be enough....its up to how you like it). Cook for 3-5 minutes on med-high heat. Turn down the heat and add the skim milk, mix well and cover the frying pan w/ a plate or if it has its own cover you can use that. Let sit on low heat for about 5 minutes. Place the components from the frying pan into a bowl and add the yogurt, mix then add the shrimp, followed by the cottage cheese. Mix the ingredients in the bowl and top with Freshly squeezed lemon juice.


This dish is HIGH in protein, iron, calcium, fiber, vitamin D & E & C, probiotics and is low in calories. It's also low in carbs so it's a great lunch/dinner choice!!! :)
***NOTE*** If you're lactose intolerant, forget the yogurt/cottage cheese/skim milk (if these things upset your stomach) and add in 5-7 extra chopped shrimp to keep the protein intake high ;)


ENJOY.....XOXOX

-Alex L.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Craving Chocolate on a Friday Night but Concerned about those Extra Pounds???


Don't worry, you are NOT alone.... everyone has those Friday night blues every now and then....when all your friends or your significant other have gone out clubbing, and you just felt like spending some nice, peaceful, quiet time alone at home... perhaps it's time to indulge in a nice, HEALTHY cocoa treat now.... one that will HIT THE SPOT, make you feel GREAT, but NOT add any extra pounds, in fact it may help you SHED UNWANTED POUNDS... I'm going to share this recipe with you, it is high in flavonoids, antioxidants, helps produce serotonin, high in fiber, iron, and tastes great!!! :) and for the ladies, this is a GREAT remedy for PMS... LOL

Alex's Shredded Coconut Cocoa Truffles
-1/2 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ("Nutiva" is a good brand sold at Loblaws in the organic section...."Omega Nutrition" also sells this) @ room temperature
-1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
-1 cup Frys Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
-1/2 cup Fat-Free Plain Cottage Cheese
-1 small container (single serving) Astro Zero/Silhouette Vanilla Yogurt
-2 envelopes Splenda Sweetener
-2 envelopes Stevia Herbal Sweetener (they have a french vanilla flavored one in packets that tastes GREAT)
-1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients thoroughly....make sure they are all well incorporated. Spoon small truffle-sized balls onto a baking sheet w/ wax paper on it. Place in the fridge and let them harden... You can lightly sprinkle the truffles with cocoa powder or roll them in some Frys cocoa to give them that "bakery truffle" look!

ENJOY!!!
XOXOXO

Alex L.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

IS IT POSSIBLE TO BUILD A BUTT THROUGH TRAINING OR AM I GENETICALLY DOOMED???


Hey guys!! Sooo i've been asked this question time and time again by clients, friends, family members, facebook/myspace friends and just people in general ...lol... well guess what?? i once asked myself the EXACT same question... When i first started working out, years ago, i had no idea how to gain muscle in areas that needed most or even how to train and hit the right angles...

Hitting the right angles when training the GLUTES is KEY!!! The reason why most women/men can't seem to achieve that perfect apple bottom is because they are ONLY doing squats, leg presses, forward lunges or simply exercises that do not hit the TOP/SIDE parts of the glutes (the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius)...these are the areas that give the butt that ROUNDNESS that everyone wants so badly. it is GREAT to do squats, lunges and leg presses but the way that most people perform the exercises, they are focusing MAINLY on the gluteus maximus...

Here's a tip, try the following exercises (no need to use heavy weights either!!)
-Reverse Lunges (you can even do these with different angle/foot positions)

-One-legged/Single-legged deadlifts (with or without weights, squeeze glutes!)

-Stiff-legged deadlifts (really squeezing the top of the butt when you bring the weight up)

-Sumo squats (wide stance squats with toes pointing outwards)...again, focus on squeezing the top of the glutes when coming up...
For cardio, try doing the stairmaster backwards, at a lower speed ofcourse... you can place your hands slightly on the handles, push through your heels when stepping and really focus on squeezing each glute as you step.

The KEY to building nice, round, lifted glutes is working the gluteus minimus, maximus and medius... make sure to incorporate exercises that hit all these areas.
DONT FORGET...DIET PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN MUSCLE GROWTH AND FAT REDUCTION...
Make sure to consume enough lean proteins(refer to my article on "Eating Low Carb to Lose Unwanted Bodyfat" for more tips on proper nutrition)... When trying to add lean muscle mass and reduce overall bodyfat you want to increase your lean proteins, make sure to eat enough essential fats to sustain decent energy levels, eat lots of veggies and stir away from starchy carbs!!!


BEST OF LUCK!!!
XOXOXO
-Alex L.

DELICIOUS RECIPE FOR SUGAR-FREE COCOA YOGURT!!!

Hey guys....so as you know i'm an advocate for low-carb dieting:) One of my favorite things to do is to make little concoctions and bake with unsweetened cocoa powder....its LOADED with antioxidants, enzymes, flavonoids and also helps your brain produce serotonin----that feeeeeeeeel good stuff :)

Well, i wanted to share one of my recipes with you all...

Ingredients:
-1 cup fat-free Plain Yogurt
-3tbsp Frys Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
-2 enveloppes of Splenda and you can add some "Stevia" herbal sweetener to it as well for added sweetness...
-1 tsp "jamaican" vanilla ( i bought mine at a local West Indian store)
-3 tbsp fat-free cottage cheese (optional...but it gives it a cheesecake-ish flavor)
-1/2 cup black currants FROZEN... (you can get these @ a health-food store)
-3 squares finely chopped 90%cocoa chocolate (completely unsweetened Baker's chocolate is fine too)

Thoroughly combine all these ingredients in a bowl, making sure everything is well mixed together...mix mix mix!!!! I like to add the frozen currants in last(frozen raspberries are also an option)....This way when they mix in with the cocoa/yogurt mixture they form a sort of ice creamy texture!!!

This dessert is mighty low in carbs, high in fiber, rich in antioxidants and flavonoids and you will feel GREAT after consuming it....it aids fat loss and muscle gain as it is high in protein :)


ENJOY!!!!!


XOXOXO
-Alex L.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WILL MY BOOBS GO AWAY WHEN I LOSE WEIGHT???


I have been asked numerous times by female clients, gym members and women in general "will i lose my boobss" if i lose weight???"
Most recently, a family member of mine asked me this exact question...

My response to that would be that it is expected to lose fat off all areas of the body when following an effective meal plan and training program...HOWEVER! once you have lost unwanted bodyfat you can train your chest with weights in a way that adds DIMENSION and CREATES THE ILLUSION OF A FIRMER, FULLER BUST. The only way your boobs will REALLY shrink is if you're following a VERY strict diet, almost like a bodybuilding diet, OR a diet that is TOO LOW IN FAT (especially healthy fats) and not enough PROTEIN! doing TOO MUCH CARDIO and not training the chest at ALL ANGLES are all culprits of making our boobs "poof!" disappear...

In my own personal experience, i went from a 36B to a 34C when i started my chest training.....i lost fat in my upper back but i built volume and density in my chest. I have no complaints about losing my boobs now even when i diet down for a show and im superrrrrr LEAN, i STILL have at LEAST a FULL Bcup...

Exercises such as the "Incline Dumbell Press" ,"Low Pulley Cable Chest Flys" "Dumbell or Barbell Pullovers on a Flat Bench", "Pec Dec Machine" and performing "Pushups at different Angles" and much more are some examples of exercises that will lift, firm, tone and add dimension to the chest...

It is better to lose unwanted overall bodyfat and create the illusion of a nicer chest than to have MORE BODYFAT just so you can have bigger boobs... in my opinion atleast LOL....


I hope this helps, and i will try my best to upload a video very PRONTO of me doing a mini chest workout @ the gym... for now, you can check http://www.bodybuilding.com/ and actually type in the name of the exercises i've listed and see how they are done :)



By performing

Monday, January 25, 2010

EATING LOW CARB TO LOSE UNWANTED BODYFAT


The reason i am sharing this with you all is because i have gotten tons of messages on my facebook profiles with diet inquiries on how to lose unwanted bodyfat.... I understand that we are all different and have different genetic makeup so some people may prefer a totally different nutritional approach to getting in shape. However!! THIS is what works for me... i am not "Dr. Johnson" or "Dr.Smith" in a white coat with a PHD in "blah blah blah" i am just a bikini model/fitness competitor and gym fanatic that has been in considerably alright shape for almost a decade now.... I am a personal trainer/nutritionist but my nutrition knowledge comes mainly from YEARS of trial and error and having sampled numerous different diets...
ok, so what i found works best for me is a diet LOW IN CARBOHYDRATES....when i say carbs i mean anything Whole wheat, oatmeal, bran, brown rice, rice cakes, fruits and any other of that stuff that people are brainwashed to think is the "key to weight loss". i've tried many diets that included servings of oats, brown rice or baked potato/yam/sweet potato etc...... THESE APPROACHES DO NOT WORK FOR ME!!!!! i will post some pics of me when i was ON THESE DIETS....i was "fit" but not exactly very lean.... i didnt have much energy and was not pleased with the results i was seeing considering how much time i invested in the gym. Im not saying to completely eliminate carbs because as you will see listed below...i do consume SOME carbs but mainly "cellulose" carbs coming from green veggies, and perhaps skim milk and yogurt, cocoa powder....thats about it though...
The diet ....... "MY DIET" that has NEVER FAILED me consists of Lean proteins coming from sources such as: whey isolate/concentrate, chicken (skinless chicken thighs, breasts, skinless wings), liver, beef, plain yogurt, skim milk, salmon, tuna, fish, eggs..... Vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce, sundried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage, pickles, cucumbers, peppers....... Healthy fats such as olive oil, cashews, almonds, nuts, coconut oil, shredded coconut, 90%chocolate, home-made real butter sometimes, flaxseeds/flaxseed oil...........

I eat around 5-6 meals a day consisting of mainly protein, veggies and some fats.... i drink coffee whenever i feel like it....surprisinly when i was on a "Complex carb" based diet i craved coffeee much more than i do now....im good with about 3 cups each week, compared to 3-5 cups a day before.....

RE: FACEBOOK INBOX INQUIRIES for "Figure Fit Alex" / "Real Deal Alex" PROFILES

Good afternoon all....i have received quite a few messages in my facebook inboxes with people asking me what i eat, what workouts i do, how to train certain bodyparts, what to eat to gain muscle, lose body fat and such.... i will be posting some tips, sample meal plans for lean muscle gain/body fat reduction aswell as some workout plans on here. Hopefully this can come in handy. I will also be uploading pics/slideshow/video links featuring me training clients as this may benefit some of you and maybe you can learn something new :)



XOXOX
Alex L.

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