Low Carb Lunch Ideas

#2 low carb lunch

Spaghetti squash with Kale, chick peas and hazel nuts. 

Oh my Gosh, the Nutrition!
Winter squash rocks because it is a powerhouse veggie. Unlike summer squash (re: zucchini, crookneck, pattypan), winter squash has had a lot more time to develop and pump itself full of vitamins and minerals throughout its lengthy life on the stem. We’re talking oodles more vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and even some extra dietary fiber thrown in just for kicks. This combination of nutrients spells good news for asthma sufferers, those with heart disease, elevated cholesterol, or inflammatory conditions such a rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.  
The other bonus? Nature designed summer squash to be rather delicate, with a high water content for those hot summer days when we need a cool down. Naturally, their shelf life is rather short during our abundant harvest season when produce is plentiful. On the flip side, winter squash has a tough outer skin and lower water content, which allows it to be stored for a very long time – some varieties up to six months. This means that we can keep these vitamin bombs around for a long time after the first frost to provide our bodies with the nutrition we need to see us through the long months of winter when there is nothing fresh in sight. 
Put that in your oven and roast it. 

This dish is so yummy – like Oh my Gosh yummy. I wanted to create something totally special and seasonal, with rich, earthy flavours, and satisfying comfort. Everyone loves pasta and the way it is like getting a hug from the inside, right? Well, this dish comes pretty close, except that instead of that really heavy feeling you get after a plate of penne, spaghetti squash is filling in an energizing way. I bet you will be very surprised at how delicious it is all on its own, straight out of the oven – I nearly ate a meal-sized portion to myself before combining it with everything else. I just couldn’t stop myself! I’m totally wild!


Oh my Gosh, Spaghetti Squash
Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
1 bunch kale
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
sea salt
pinch crushed chilies
¾ cup toasted hazelnuts
Pecorino Romano (hard sheep’s milk cheese)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
2. Prepare the spaghetti squash by cutting it in half lengthwise, removing the seeds, rubbing the inside of each half with a drizzle of olive oil, then seasoning with salt and pepper. Place face down on a lined baking tray and place in the oven – cook for about 45 minutes.
3. While the squash is baking, prepare the rest of the filling. Wash kale well and remove the tough center rib of each leaf. Roughly chop kale into small pieces. 
4. Heat oil, ghee, or butter in a frying pan, then add minced garlic, crushed chilies to taste, and a pinch of sea salt. Cook 2 minutes until fragrant, then add chopped kale and cook until the leaves are bright green and just starting to lose structure. Throw in the chickpeas and cook just to warm. Remove from heat. 
5. Remove squash form the oven when it is cooked through. Using a fork, scrape out the insides, which will pull away from the shell in strands, like spaghetti (whoa). Place all strands in a bowl, and toss with the kale and chickpea mixture. At this point you can either serve it from the bowl, or mix it everything together and place back in one half of the empty squash shells for a beautiful presentation. Sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts and shaved Pecorino Romano. Enjoy.

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Are you deficient in essential nutrients?

1. Are You Deficient?

1. Vitamin D

This vitamin helps regulate calcium absorption in your gut. It also helps maintain bone strength, healthy muscles, a well functioning nervous system, and is important for immune function and cell growth.

You might be deficient if you are experiencing digestive or gut issues, a weakened immune system, or even feeling depressed.

To get more try eating more eggs, milk, cheese and butter. Mushrooms can also be a great source of Vitamin D. Fish such as cod, salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Perhaps the most efficient way to get more Vitamin D is to get out in the sun. Our bodies naturally produce it when exposed to sunlight so try getting at least 10 to 20 minutes a day.

Go for a walk at lunchtime, park further away from work or the shops, expose your skin – you don’t need factor 50 ALL year round – feel healthy and alive! 
P.s. I’m not suggesting you strip off in public tho’, especially this time of year. The UK is at a latitude meaning we don’t get the Suns rays at an angle where we get enough Vitamin D even if we streak around the garden naked in Autumn, Winter and even part of Spring. 
Think about a supplement – you can get soft gels to chew or an under the tongue spray and you’re golden! 

Consistency is Key! 

Don’t Cheat a Diet
I’m not sure how many times I’ve written or read this, but it’s true. The dietary system or nutritional framework that you choose to employ is far less relevant than your level of compliance within it. The reality is that most nutritional approaches have very similar principles, the overriding one perhaps being that you need to eat within your calorie requirements, being in a deficit if your goal is weight loss.
Fitness Truths: the three reasons you’re not burning fat

  
Is this really what you had for breakfast?

Most systems will assume that most of what you consume comes from decent sources, with the key messages being to drink more water, eat your vegetables and get enough protein. Regardless of what you choose, the bottom line is that you’ve actually got to do it, consistently.
Don’t Skip a Workout

  
Cheating on the gym is the same as cheating on your diet: it doesn’t work. Again, most approaches and systems will share common underpinning principles, such as prioritising resistance training for example, so what you choose to do is far less important than you actually doing it consistently.
The simple way to think of nutrition and exercise when it comes to changing your body shape and composition, is that your diet will look after fat loss, while your training or exercise will look after your muscle mass – think toning – and cardiovascular health. Both are important. 
The bottom line is that you need to turn up three times per week, focus your mind on the task at hand, and give it a good go.
Do Invisible Training

  
Invisible training is a term I borrowed from a well-known coach in professional sports, which refers to various recovery and regeneration strategies, or the things that we do outside of the gym that often go unseen. 
Fitness Truths: three reasons you’re not burning fat

I use the term in general fitness circles to describe the exercise or movement that we do outside of our structured workouts – that is, activity that keeps the systems ticking and burns additional calories. Things such as walking to work, taking the dog out, playing tag with the kids, taking the stairs, swimming a few lengths on holiday, and all of the other things that you do not record or perhaps think of as exercise, but are actually equally, if not more important than, your scheduled sessions.
 Written by -Claude Vacassin is founder of W10 Performance,

Your Results – What Do They Mean?

Your Results – What Do They Mean?

You’re losing scale weight but also losing muscle mass….

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This suggests a couple of solutions…….
A. You need to exercise much harder to maintain your lean muscle. You see, your body will drop muscle when you reduce calories, because muscle demands more energy to maintain than fat stores. The only way to avoid this happening to you is to exercise very hard – to the point of failure and exhaustion – so your brain believes there is a threat that you may need your muscles in order to escape! Try interval training – but it must be High Intensity Training.

B. You have reduced your total calories by too many, forcing your body into starvation mode.
Take a good look at what you are really eating – you can eat MORE and drop fat!

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C. You need to increase your lean protein so that you can build, repair and maintain your hard earned muscles. If protein is low, you will train hard and not see any body shape changes!

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D. You’ve gradually reduced calories, meals and snacks over a long period of time and think that exercising harder or more often you’ll see results once more.
What you don’t realise is that you have trained your body to exist on less and less food. You may have to gradually increase total food and more importantly nutrition quality to boost your Fatloss hormones before you see any results.

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All these situations will be much easier to manage if you keep a detailed food journal, plan shopping lists and menus each week. This may sound like a bit of a drag, but you will see results and learn what works for you much faster.
Most importantly measure and weigh every month.
If you train with me I can do this any Saturday, before or after class or before or after any workshop.

Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results.

Jax

Is Your Diet Really Healthy? Pt. 1

Is Your Diet Really Healthy? Pt. 1

Identify and remove nutritional deficiencies

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Mission Impossible Plan….
Most people think they need a complete overhaul at first.
“I have to cut out sugar… and dairy… and carbs… and saturated fat.
Plus I have to eat more protein… more healthy fats… and more vegetables.
Not a lot of fruit, though.
I have to start drinking lots of water too.
And exercise… maybe a 6 am boot camp… yeah.”

I don’t know about you, but I get exhausted just thinking about changing all this, all at once. Let’s call it the “Mission Impossible” approach.

After coaching many clients over the years, I’ve come to realize that the Mission Impossible approach isn’t just difficult; it’s misguided.

Because a complete overhaul rarely addresses what’s making most people feel bad in the first place.
Often, people struggle with how they look and feel because their physiology doesn’t work the way it should.
This can be hormonal imbalances, but it’s more often dietary deficiency: not getting the right nutrients, in the right amounts, to get the best results.
Dietary deficiencies, therefore, are the first red flag that something’s wrong.

Just how common are dietary deficiencies?
The research in this area is pretty telling. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that it’s really hard to get all the essential vitamins and minerals from food alone.
This study analyzed 70 athlete diets. Every single diet was deficient in at least three nutrients. Some diets were missing up to fifteen nutrients! The most common deficiencies?
iodine
vitamin D
zinc
vitamin E
calcium

Another study, also published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, showed that people following one of four popular diet plans (including Atkins, South Beach, and the DASH diet) were also very likely to be micronutrient deficient, particularly in six key micronutrients:
vitamin B7
vitamin D
vitamin E
chromium
iodine
molybdenum

A study at University of Western Ontario, of nearly 600 fourth-year exercise and nutrition undergraduate students showed less than 10% met the minimum standards for a “complete, balanced diet”. Like the other studies, they were missing such nutrients as:
zinc
magnesium
vitamin D
omega 3 fatty acids
protein

Bottom line: Dietary deficiencies are very common. Chances are, you’ve got one, no matter how good you think your diet is.
That’s a problem because when you’re deficient in key nutrients, your physiology doesn’t work properly. And when your body doesn’t work as it should, you feel rotten.

Just how important is this first step?
Energy levels, appetite, strength, endurance, and mood all rely on getting enough of these essential nutrients. When you don’t get them, things break down.

That’s why you can eat “clean”, go Paleo, avoid meat, lower your carbs, or count calories – you can do “everything right” nutritionally – and still feel lousy.

You need to identify your red flags from the very beginning and start eliminating them, one by one.

What are the common nutritional red flags?
Here are the most common deficiencies I see with new clients:
water (low-level dehydration)
vitamins and minerals
protein (particularly in women and in men with low appetites)
essential fatty acids (95% of the population is deficient here)

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To find out where you stand-
A). you could get your diet analyzed by a dietitian
B). you could also record what you eat each day and enter it into an online diet calculator like the ones at Fitday or Livestrong.com.

Or – let me do a quick survey of what you’re eating, analyse your body composition and measure where you are now.
From there, I can advise you better towards
– eating more of the protein-rich foods you prefer;
– drinking more hydrating fluids;
– taking in more essential fats (through the use of fish or algae oil);
– eating more foods rich in the vitamins and minerals you need most.

Without any other advanced screening or crazy dietary changes, you will start feeling better. You will lose fat and gain lean muscle. Feel more motivated. And your workouts will become easier and better.

The power of removing nutrient deficiencies
Here’s just one example (of many): Research in the British Journal of Psychiatry shows that providing fish oil and a multivitamin to prison inmates reduces aggressive and violent behavior by 35% and decreases antisocial behavior by 26%.
Also, a paper published in Nutrition Reviews shows that giving children fish oil and a multivitamin improves both their behavior and intelligence scores. (Who doesn’t want a smarter, better-behaved children?)

That’s the power of removing nutrient deficiencies. When our bodies don’t have the nutrients they need to do their work, we all suffer.

But as soon as we get these nutrients, we thrive.

Book your Nutrition check up NOW
If you’re training with me you get this included with your plan.

If you’re local you can message or text me to book
07831 680086. Jaxallenfitness@gmail.com

Fees: £25 initial assessment. £20 follow-ups
Time: 40-60minutes

Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results

Jax

Low Carb Options

Low Carb Options

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A low carb diet really only work for 5 to 7 days at a time
before your thyroid and leptin levels react negatively to slow your metabolic rate
and suppress fat burning hormones.

As you can see it can be a double-edged sword. Too many carbs at the wrong time and you’ll store fat, no carbs and your metabolism will slow and put a stop on your fat loss efforts.

You need to get a little “sneaky” and cycle your carb intake to maximise both your health and long term fat-loss.

In fact, it’s mandatory that you use high carb days and even your favourite
cheat foods when using his system.

You’ll use your favourite carbs to:

1. Stimulate the hormones that control your body’s ability to burn off stubborn belly fat
2. PREVENT the metabolic slowdown that causes plateaus when trying to lose weight with a traditional lower carb “diet”.
3. Double the fat-burning effect EVERY time you exercise

The end result? You rid “dieting” from your life forever and AVOID rebound
weight gain once and for all.

Many people damage their metabolism with excessive low
carb dieting, I’m a big believer in keeping carbs in your diet.

If you want to
learn more I will run another workshop soon.

Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results

Jax

Menstrual Cycle Phase Training PT 2

Part 2
The Follicular Phase

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The follicular phase is shown to be a more anabolic time overall allowing women to engage in more cardio based exercise with less chance of losing muscle as well as derive enhanced lean tissue gains from weight training.

Follicular phase (Days 1-14)

Diet.
30:40:30 macronutrient intake (carbs:protein:fat).
This is more of a standard ratio of foods.
A far cry from the high carb diet of most western diet, though.

Training Schedule.
Strength & Conditioning.
3 times weekly full body traditional weight training
(squat, bench press, back row, shoulder press) you’ll get this with me on Metabolic Rest based training days.
4 sets of 10 using a 8-12 rep max. Remembering to go heavy and fail for best results rather than light and never cause any changes.

Cardio
5 days per week steady state moderate intensity cardio (40-60 minutes).
If you know me well, you might be shocked at this. But, studies suggest this is the right time to use cardio. I would add that I don’t endorse running – too repetitive, too much impact – use a bike or better still a rower even better a swimming pool! (Spin class is too intense, we’re talking lightly puffing, warm and a bit sweaty – look at the jogging, skipping elite athletes and competitive body builders do – fasting cardio – that’s before breakfast)

After 30 years of teaching Aerobics, Step, Spin I know that I don’t need to add Cardio into my mix – but then I’m in a different hormonal phase now.
I do however adjust by nutrient mix.

More soon when we’ll look at how HRT and the contraceptive pill effects your fat loss efforts.

Eat Clean, Train Smart, Expect Results.

Jax