Planning your diet is key when it comes to a successful weight loss, muscle building or healthy maintenance program. But it's also one of the most difficult and overwhelming parts!

But not anymore! I've been building a unique Excel based program which provides you with everything you need to design a personalized meal plan that will help you achieve results - whether your goal is cutting, building or maintaining!

Based on the nutritional guidelines that I follow myself , you will be able to build out a customized meal plan that suits your workout schedule with ease. Simply by entering four numbers, this tool will strategically develop a nutrition profile equip with calories and macro-nutrients divided into 7 meals. And what's even better, is that this tool is designed to complement when you train - Morning or Afternoon. By using this tool, you will ensure that your body gets the right types of food, in the right amounts, during the right times of day. Then, you have full control over what you choose to eat to meet those meal profiles!

The toolbox program will include:
        - A meal distribution calculator
        - A recommended food list equip with nutritional information
        - A meal planning tool, auto-populated with individual meal macro information    
          based on your targeted Calories & Macros
        - A list of tips and tricks from Kristen herself, and,
        - An FAQ document to answer all those burning questions!

Who will benefit from this tool?
Anyone looking to strategically design a meal plan to help them achieve their desired results - be that fat loss, muscle building or maintaining. This tool works best for someone who has a relatively 'inactive' job, attends school full time or is a stay at home parent. If you have a very active day job I do not recommend this tool box for you as it is designed to distribute meals so that you receive most of your energy in the morning and pre/post workout. Someone with a very active day job may find they lack the energy they require throughout the day to perform effectively if they use this tool. 

Stay tuned! It's coming soon!

(This program is being designed with Microsoft Excel 2003)
Since the fall is upon us, why not start your days with a protein packed, pumpkin inspired meal! These pancakes are delicious!

Batter Ingredients
- 150g Egg Whites
- 15g of Oatmeal
- 1/3 cup of pure mashed pumpkin
- 1 package of stevia
- 1 box of raisins (14g)
- Pumpkin Spice
- Cinnamon

Butter Ingredients
13g of Natural Peanut Butter
1.5tbsp of Pure mashed pumpkin
1 package of stevia

Combine all of the batter ingredients in a blender - the magic bullet works best - and cook half the batter on medium to high heat in a non-stick pan. Before turning the pancake over to cook the other side, strategically place half of the raisins in the batter so that they are evenly spaced out. Now flip the pancake and continue cooking it until golden brown on both sides. Do the same with the other half of the batter.

To make the butter, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl until the butter is smooth. If you'd like to make it less thick, add in a few drops of water until you reach the desired consistency.

Before indulging in this yummy meal, spread the butter on top of the pancakes and sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Delish!

Approximate Nutrition
293 calories
7.5g Fat
30g Carbs
24g Protein

So, by now, most of you know how obsessed I am with my protein pancakes. Which is why it was hard to come to terms with losing the oatmeal in my diet when I decided to go gluten free.

But don't fret! I've come up with an alternative and they taste amazing!! Check these out:

Kristen’s Almond Flax Pancakes:
- 20g Almond Flour
- 15g Milled Flax
- 160g Egg Whites
- 1 Package of Stevia
...- Spices or Pure Extract’s to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender – I use the magic bullet – and cook over a heated skillet (sprayed with cooking spray) just like ordinary pancakes. Makes 2.

Top with sugar free syrup or pure maple syrup and enjoy!

They turn out great, don’t take long and they are very versatile! You can add raisins, or goji berries to the batter as well to spruce it up. I love it with goji berries for added antioxidants.

Let me know what you think!
The almond flour I use.
In 9 hours I will be on my way to the airport to enjoy the sun and sand in St. Lucia. But, of coarse, not without a little bit of planning! 

Aside from planning what to bring, and ensuring I have all of my gym accessories and clothes, there was one other important plan I had to do - my meal plan for the week I return. 

Think about it, when you go on vacation and you come home, what is one of the first things you do? Go grocery shopping! So, instead of relying on myself, when I'm in a lazy state, to try and quickly compile a plan, I decided to put it together ahead of time. This way, I'm ready and prepared for when I come home!

Now, if you are wondering why I am still putting together meal plans while I'm building (a.k.a. bulking), it's because I want to ensure that I am:

       a) not over-indulging in junk food and turning this build into a 'dirty bulk' - I want to keep it    
       clean so that I make lean gains as opposed to fat gains. 
       b) strategically placing my carbs and fats throughout the day so that I minimize the risk of 
       these extra calories being stored in my body as opposed to utilized for muscle 

So, in order to do these things above, I continue to design meal plans! Plus it just makes shopping and packing my meals a heck of a lot easier - I don't have to think later :). 

One of the other reasons why this next plan is so important is because when I return I will officially be entering into the building phase. Currently, I've been working on slowly increasing my numbers, but it won't be until I am back from vacay that I will officially be above my maintenance caloric intake and putting on muscle - so this plan deserved a lot of focus and attention.

Well, anyways, I thought I would let you guys know what I'm up to. If you want to see my meal plan for when I am back from my vacation, check it out below! I tried to incorporate foods that are rich in anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as carbs that are less likely to contain lots of gluten (with the exception of oats pre-wrkout) as I think I am having a reaction to it (I'm testing this theory). So rather than rice, pastas, WW breads etc., I will primarily be eating fruits, veggies and sweet potato for m

Thanks for checking in!! And if you want more frequent updates, please 'like' my facebook page:  

File Size: 40 kb
File Type: xls
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Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been experiencing something that has never affected me until now – cravings. I know a lot of people get them, and I know I’m not the only person in the world experiencing them, but when it’s never really happened to you before – it sucks!

For most of my life, I have been craving free. If there was ever something I “fancied” I would just feel a little desire to indulge, but I would easily be able to forget about it and make a healthier choice.  

Lately, however, the cravings have been strong, and they’ve all been for JUNK. Treats like cookies, chips, popcorn, chocolate and pizza have been haunting my brain all because of a recent hormone replacement medication I was put on. 

So, keeping my goals in mind I’ve had to come up with some coping mechanisms for dealing with these cravings and I thought I would share them with all of you:

1.       Fill up with “freebies”

When I really get a hankering for something “bad” I’ll turn to s select few staple foods that make me feel full and satisfy my flavor needs, these include:
§          Sugar Free Jello – tastes yummy and it’s only 5 cals and 1 gram of protein!
§          Fresca Soda (sugar free) – low sodium and calorie, carb, fat and protein free.
§          Green or Herbal Tea – sweetened with a splenda, this gives me something to sip for awhile to keep my hands busy. 

2.      Keep busy
A lot of the time, when we are “hungry”, we are really just bored. If this is the case, step away from the TV and go do something that keeps your brain working or get’s you away from the fridge. Try some of these ideas:
§          Tidy up around the house
§          Go for a walk
§          Take a bath
§          Read a book or magazine
§          Hit the gym

3.      Trick your brain!
I’ve found this to be one of the most helpful tactics for abolishing the cravings – tricking them! Basically, find a healthier option for the thing you are craving and make it work in your meal plan. For instance If you are craving pizza, make a healthy one! Use whole wheat crust, make a cauliflower crust recipe or use an upside down portabella mushroom to place the toppings on. Then use a low sodium tomato sauce, or purred tomato paste for the sauce and place some healthy toppings on top. Voila – a healthy pizza to satisfy your craving. 

4.      Stay Hydrated
Often times, another reason why we are “hungry” is because we are thirsty. So, every time you get an urge to snack , drink a large glass of cold water. If nothing else, it will make sure you get your water in for the day and it will fill your belly up with liquid to make you feel full. 

5.      Allow yourself one cheat meal a week.
Speak to your nutrition coach before deciding to incorporate this tactic. But if you get the green light, this one is a great one! It’s important for us to remember that this is a lifestyle we are creating, and that doesn’t mean completely avoiding every food that isn’t in your plan. Sometimes, it’s healthy to go out to a restaurant and just indulge a little. You can still make healthier choices, but don’t get down on yourself if you decide to take a break from the plan for one meal each week. Just remember though, it’s one meal – not an entire day!

When you're on a cut, it happens. You tend to find yourself eating bland food that is free of excess salt, oil and butter - the good stuff. But what if there was a product that could give your food a wonderful flavor boost, without the excess calories? 

This brings me to Molly McButtera new addition to my cupboard that I rate 5 stars out of 5! 

I came across this tiny shaker when I was loitering in the grocery store one day. Sometimes I like to just take my sweet time and see if I can come across some interesting new finds, and that day I did. 

Molly McButter is a natural butter flavor "sprinkle" that can be found in most grocery stores amongst the spices. This tasty food hero packs a whole lot of flavor, without a whole lot of guilt, and can be generously layered on your vegetables, potatoes, popcorn etc. - anything you would normally put butter on (when you are off of a cut, of coarse!).

So, what is it's nutrition like? 

For a 1tsp serving
Calories: 5
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 1g
Protein: 0g

If you want my opinion, go out and grab this product now! It is a great way to spice things up every now and then. 
Hey Guys!

Thought you might be interested in seeing how I come prepared for work.

I've got my handy little lunch box and ice pack and then I fill it with all of my preportioned goodies... YUM! This keeps me away from the food court, and my diet in check.

Remember, planning is the key! Send me a picture of your lunchbox!

The other day I was eating my grilled chicken, craving something to dip it into. So, after a quick glance into the fridge, I came up with this low cal, no fat, low carb dip! 

If you like a little kick in your dishes, this dip is for you!

You'll need:
5g of chili Sauce 
1 tbsp of regular mustard
1 package of sugar twin or splenda

Mix together and serve! It's a great addition to any chicken dish. 

5 calories
0g fat
1g carbs
0.2g protein 
So, like I said in my posting a couple of days ago - progress seemed to have been slowing down for me. But, since I changed my diet and workout routine I feel like that is beginning to change.

I'm not sure if there is any connection, but I feel like when I really nail my meal plan and workout routine on the head, my body gets particularily hot.
For instance, when I eat a really good, clean meal (like sweet potato, chicken and salad) I instantly start to sweat! It's like my metabolism goes VEERRRROOOOMMMMM!!! Maybe it's just me, but I don't notice this kind of heat when I eat something crappy for my body.

Anybody else notice this?

Anywho, today has been a good day. I have had a bit more caffeine then I probably should - but otherwise it's been a great day.

Stay tuned!