fitness in a flash

Shape Up: Eating For Fitness… And Taste

unnamedEating right and working out are the baselines to any healthy lifestyle. However, pushing your body past a certain point takes a little planning, some smart choices and a touch of creativity (man cannot live on boiled chicken and broccoli alone).

Protein breakfast? Check. Power lunch? Nailed it. Dinner…? Dinner can be trickier. Why? Well you’ve probably already hit the gym so now it’s all about lowering your carb intake in the evening. You need to deplete your body of its main energy source, which is carbs. By replenishing your protein stores and not your carb stores, you’ll switch into fat burning while you sleep.

When starting a fitness regimen it’s important to start thinking of your body as a well-oiled machine. It’s important to think about your carb intake and your fitness demands for the day. 

You only need to feed your body energy when it’s got work to do. When you’re sleeping, there’s not much work. When going to sleep your body will burn through whichever energy source is readily available. When you don’t replenish your carbohydrate stores, your fat stores get tapped into. So if you’re looking to burn that fat, it’s important to think what your body’s fuel source is going to be. If you provide your body with a high protein and low carb dinner, you’re forcing it to switch fuel sources and burn the fat away while you sleep. It’s all about the strategy. Meals focused on lean meats and low carbs in the evening will help you slim down. 

There’s one last factor. Taste. No one wants to stick to the same ol’ bland meal — no matter how insta-ready you need to be. Try to change up your meal with various spices and unique flavors to keep your palate interested while sticking to a regimen that’ll have you looking fine in no time. 

To get you started in the right direction, here’s one of my favorite healthy recipes to make. High in protein and low in fat and evening carbs. Easy to make and yummy. Bon apetit!

Frank’s Chicken Lettuce Cups for the Swole

1 head of “living” butter lettuce 

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast

5 oz. shitake mushrooms, chopped

1/3 cup of green onions, chopped

5 cloves of garlic, chopped.

1 Tbsp. ginger powder

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Slow cook the chicken breast in broth. I like to use low sodium chicken stock and lemon juice for this particular recipe. Cooking times vary, so check to make sure that the chicken is thoroughly cooked through.  You will shred the chicken after it is cooked.

Add sesame oil to a well-heated wok. Brown mushrooms, garlic and green onions.

Add white wine vinegar, Sriracha and Dijon and mix well.

Add shredded chicken to wok and brown a bit then set aside in bowl.

Separate lettuce leaves from head and wash.

Fill individual lettuce leaves with the shredded chicken mixture.  Sprinkle sliced almonds on top and eat like a taco.

Not required for this recipe, but something I really enjoy with it:

Red Onion Relish

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 large red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce

Combine liquid ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add Onion and Garlic. Let sit for a while before prepping tacos.

This is my version of a citrus forward salsa/relish for a topping on these lettuce cups. Enjoy!

The Phoenix Effecta metabolic bootcamp that gets you in shape fast, is offered exclusively at Mansion Fitness, 7914 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood.