Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bodytech Protein Powder Review

Protein, one of three macronutrients, is essential to health and well-being. It supports our muscles, bones, skin, hair and almost every tissue in our bodies. Without it, we experience muscle wasting, growth failure, decreased immunity and weakening of the heart and respiratory system. Here in the U.S., the recommended daily allowance of protein is 46 grams per day for women over the age of 19 years. Some nutritionists, though, are now arguing that such recommendations are too low. However, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, up to a third of women between the ages of 20 and 40 don't consume the amount set by RDA.

Why such low consumption? For one thing, protein foods aren't as convenient as carbs and fruits. How often do you see someone pulling out a plastic baggie with steamed fish or chicken breast?  If you do, its often fried. Second, they're higher in calories so many who are trying to lose weight, usually go for low calorie options like veggies and fruit. 

But there's no need to be afraid of protein-rich foods. Numerous studies have shown that a diet high in protein does wonders for weight loss. That's because protein takes more work to digest, metabolize and use - more work means more calories being burned. High protein foods also take longer to leave the stomach so you have the sense of fullness and satiety for longer. 

So how do you meet your protein needs and speed up weight loss? Protein powders have long been a staple in the body builder's regimen but its becoming even more popular among the health-conscious. Not only do protein powders claim to provide ample supply of protein but many are low in sugar (simple carbohydrates), come in variety of flavors and provide versatility. 

So with all the hooplah, I decided to give the protein powders a try. Vitamin Shoppe had a massive sale a few months ago so I purchased two 5-pound containers of Bodytech Whey Tech Pro Protein Powders. I got the French Vanilla and Strawberry flavors (I really wanted Vanilla for versatility but it was sold out). I've been using these powders almost everyday and this is my experience with these products.

 Bodytech Whey Protein
French Vanilla
Has a mild after taste
Tends to clump if you mix it over heat
Goes just fine with my oatmeal and cereal
Has an after taste that cannot be disguised no matter the number of ingredients you add
Worse strawberry flavor I've had so far
Experience less soreness when I include it in post workouts
No digestive issues with this product→

Great cost, got it as a BOGO sale item, less than $100 for two 5-lb whey protein powder, can you say STEAL?→

This product provides 17g protein per scoop (100 calories) which is pretty good for the price→
 This line provides 24g per scoop (110 calories). Can't complain

Would I buy this product again?

I absolutely `would. Besides the mediocre taste and minor blending issues, its good protein for your buck (I'll make sure to get the vanilla next time).

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sculpt Your Best Booty With These 3 Moves!

Thanks to stars like J. Lo, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and now Iggy Azaelea, having an ample booty is no longer a bad thing. One of the biggest trends in fitness right now is how to achieve a bigger and rounder derriere. Believe me, squats have never been this popular.

I've put together a few of my favourite exercises to achieve a firmer and rounder backside. They're pretty simple and can be done with or without weight. If you want larger glutes and quads, I suggest using weights, starting out with light weights until you get stronger and you can increase the weights. But for those who are absolutely fine with your butt just the way it is and you just want to firm and tone, I suggest doing lots of repetition with your own body weight. Now, I must say even though these celebrities do work how to achieve their bodies, a lot of them were naturally born with a larger backside. So if you are flat as a pancake, don't expect to look like Nicki Minaj. Instead of trying to look like someone else, focus on achieving a better YOU. By keeping your expectation realistic, you're way more likely to stick to your fitness goals.

Plie Squat

4 sets of 20 repetitions

Glute Bridge

4 sets of 20 repetitions

Donkey Kicks

4 sets of 20 repetitions each leg

Saturday, November 29, 2014

7 Foods That Are Causing Your Inflammation

Inflammation is the body's natural defense against infection or injury. When you cut yourself while making dinner, your finger may swell, turn red and begin to hurt. Your body causes the wound to become inflamed by sending white blood cells to thee wound to destroy bacteria. In this case, inflammation is a good thing. 

However, chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on your health. According to world-renowned nutritionist and dermatologist, Nicholas Perricone, MD, when that inflammation become chronic, "the immune system mistakenly attacks normal cells, and the process that ordinarily heals becomes destructive." Heart disease, Alzheimer's cancer and even acne are just a few of the possible consequences of chronic inflammation. Here's a list of some common inflammation-causing foods. A few may surprise you.

Sure, it can hard not to indulge your sweet tooth. But sugar may be causing your body undue stress. The American Journal  for Clinical Nutrition suggests that processed sugar triggers the release of inflammatory messengers known as cytokines (these are released by infected or injured cells). Not sure if sugar is hiding in your food? Just check your food labels for any ingredient ending in "ose".  And  don't just cut back on sugary desserts. Breakfast cereals, sweetened yogurt and fruit juices are high in sugar and won't do you any good.

Ok, if too much sugar isn't good for you then sugar-free sweeteners are the next best thing? Wrong! Especially sweeteners made with the protein aspartame  can be wreak havoc  on your health.  Aspartame, a neurotoxin, is commonly used as an artificial sweetener because its 200 times more sweeter than sugar and is sold under the names NutraSweet or Equal. For those who are susceptible , they may have an imflammatory response to aspartame.

Vegetable Oils (High in Omega-6)
Vegetable oils tend to be high in omego-6 fatty acids which are essential for health. However, too much omega-6  (in relation to omega-3) causes the body to produce pro-inflammatory substances like eicosanoids. Eicosanoids have been linked to inflammatory diseases such as allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's and heart disease.

Cow's Milk
 Milk provides necessary calories, nutrients and fat essential for the growth of young calves, not humans - especially fully grown ones. Milk and its by-products such as cheese are not crucial for strong healthy bones and contains casein, a common allergen that causes inflammation. Plant-based sources of calcium include green leaky veggies such as broccoli, spinach, kale and collards. Love texture of milk? You can opt for nut milk such as organic almond, rice or oat milk.

High Fat/Sodium Foods
We know high fat and sodium diets can lead to chronic diseases  like cancer and heart diseases. Studies also suggest that animal fat also contribute to inflammatory response. Meats high in fat and sodium include burgers, hot dogs, bologna and ribs. Swap out high sodium season mixes for fresh or dried herbs or choose no-sodium added season mix.

Commonly found in prepared Asian food and soy sauce, mono-sodium glutamate (MSG as it is most widely known) is a food additive that enhances the flavour of food. This substance can trigger two pathways of liver damage and chronic inflammation. Prepared soup, soup mixes and fast food may also contain MSG.

Gluten-free diets have become very popular over the past few years and for good reason. Especially for those living with arthritis and celiac disease, gluten can make the inflammatory response even worse. This protein can be found in many foods made from wheat, rye and barley.

Foods to Consume More Of
Nut Milk such as organic almond milk, rice milk and hazelnut milk
Fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna
Plain Greek Yogurt
Fresh & Dried herbs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Green leafy vegetables

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Egg & Bacon Cups

If you did a survey and asked what the typical American breakfast looked like, more often than not, it looked a lot like sunny side up eggs with good ol' bacon.  Whilst this is not my go-to breakfast option, I was intrigued when I came across this unique spin on the traditional bacon and eggs. Its easy and prep time is less than 30 minutes. Not to mention, you can make a bunch of these and store for quick high-protein snack.

What You Need:
6 strips bacon
6 eggs
1 slice American cheese
Black pepper to taste
Butter or cooking spray
Muffin tin


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
 Lightly grease muffin tin. You can use butter or cooking spray.
 Line each muffin cup with bacon. If its too long, just cut off the extra bit and use to line the bottom. 
Gently crack each egg to fill each bacon-lined cup. 
Cut cheese slice into six equal parts then place each piece on top of each egg. 
Season with black pepper or any herbs or seasonings you prefer.
Once oven is heated, pop the muffin tin inside and bake for 15 - 20 minutes (I like my eggs hard so I leave mine in for 20 minutes). 



Voila! Its time to eat!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Top Tips for Staying Motivated!

Always Have a Plan

Have you ever heard the saying, "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail?" If you haven't, please take note! Every goal you set, whether its getting into shape, going back to school or saving towards a house, needs to have a plan. How will you get to your desired destination if you don't plan a route to get you there? That's right! So grab a calendar and schedule work out sessions. How many days a week will you work out? Which body parts do you want to focus on and when? What will your meals be like? How will you assess your progress? These are all things that you need to figure out if you're going to be successful in achieving your fitness goals. Also, don't even think of making a mental note. I've tried this many times and I can tell you that writing things down works. A lot of us are visual creatures so we respond better when we see what we're working with.

Keep track of progress

As was briefly touched on in the previous point, you need to keep track of your progress. This doesn't mean just writing down measurements or your weight, but you can take before and after selfies or challenge yourself with an exercise move. Say you started out with only being able to 10 squats per set. Eventually, you'll find yourself being able to more with each set.  If you stick to your lean eating plan and workout sessions, you will see changes even if its not so obvious to others. This is help keep you motivated to keep pushing until you real your ultimate goal.

Change your Outlook

I get it. Workouts can be hard. Trying to fit it into your already crammed schedule is always a struggle. After a while, you start to think of it as another thing that needs to get a CHORE. STOP! Working out is "me time" to blow off steam and you're guaranteed to be in a better mood once you're done. Just as a day at the spa does your body good, so does workout . If you look at it that way, it's not so daunting right?

Plan for Lazy Days

Yeah, we all have those days when getting to the gym or working out outside seems feels like too much of a hassle or its just not convenient that day. That doesn't mean you get a free pass. There are so many resources online where you can find free  workout videos that can be done in the privacy of your home. You don't need gas. Your outfit doesn't have to look cute. Just grab your mat, some light weight if you have and you're ready to get your sweat on!

Mix Things Up!

Truth be told: I've never stuck to one routine for more than four week. That's just me and I get bored with my routine very . That's why I always mix things up by trying new workout routines that strike my interest. You may want to try Pilates one week or a HIIT class next week. Go for it! Even if you don't like it, at least you've narrowed down the list of what works for you on your journey to a healthier and fitter you!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Healthy (And Delish!) Pizza Recipe

Eating clean can be hard. I know this because I love food. Most times, I literally have to step away from the situation so that I don't overindulge. But food is meant to be enjoyed which means chicken and salad cannot and shouldn't be the only way to keep on your diet. Whilst I wouldn't recommend this recipe for someone who is looking to get lean in a short amount of time, it is a much healthier version to your store-bought or fast food option. If you'd like to try the recipe, keep scrolling :)!



1/2 cup dry oats
2 eggs
1/4 tsp minced garlic
Thyme and ground black pepper to season


1/2 cup RaguTomato Sauce (Tomato, Garlic & Onion)
1/2 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped sweet peppers
1 cup chopped spinach
1 chicken breast, chopped
4 slices Great Value 2% Reduced Fat American Cheese


Preheat oven at 350°F. In a baking pan, mix all crust ingredients so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Place it in the oven for 15-20 mins or until its firm.

Chop veggies as much as you like. You can also swapped out or add other veggies that you love. You can also try other lean protein such as ground turkey or even tuna!

Once the crust is firm, remove from the oven. Spread Ragu sauce over the crust then layer with cheese slices. Once that's out of the way, then you can add your other veggie and meat toppings.

Next, pop it in the oven for another 15-20 minutes are until the crust is at a consistency you like (I like mine not too crispy). As soon as the time is up, it's time to dig in!

I will definitely be making this. Not only was it delish but it kept me for three hours until my next meal time. Not to mention, my husband love it too! Then again, he's not the picky type.

Tell me if you also tried this recipe or added any special ingredients!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

National Nutrition Month 2014

As we await the long anticipated start of the spring season, we have another reason to be excited about March - its National Nutrition Month 2014! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it's a national education campaign that places the spotlight on "making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right" is this year's theme which highlights how nutrition and taste can be brought together to craft healthy meals.

How do you make healthy meals more enjoyable? Let me hear some of your tip and tricks!