I stole this way-too-yummy shake recipe off the Instagram account of my good friend (and fellow fitness junkie), Kacey Luvi. If you’re not a fan of protein shakes, I beg you to please try this one…you won’t regret it!
As Kacey said, “Fall and fitness have never tasted so good.” Mmmm…she’s right. Even better? It is the perfect Low Carb shake for those Carb Cycling.
Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake - serves 1
What you’ll need:
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2-3 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1 scoop Vanilla flavored protein powder (she uses an Oatmeal Cookie flavor…but Vanilla is delish too)
3-4 shakes each of cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
How you’ll make it:
1. Pour all ingredients into blender.
2. Add ice and blend to experience healthy heaven in your mouth ☺.
What’s in it:
Each serving has 236 incredibly healthy calories, 23 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of fat.
Confused about carbs and how they fit into carb cycling? Believe me, you’re not alone! Many of my most frequently asked questions are about carbs. And yes, with all the talk of “carbs this” and “carbs that” in the media, it can get a bit confusing. It gets even more complicated when you think you need to keep track of grams of carbs per meal and per day and the “good” vs. the “bad.”
It’s time to rethink how you think about carbs, agreed?!
First, the basics: carbs—and the roles they play in your diet—are actually pretty simple. If it comes from a plant, it’s a carb, and carbs are the preferred fuel source for your muscles and organs. Breads, beans, potatoes, table sugar, fruits, and vegetables are all carbs.
There are two categories of carbs: simple and complex. The simple, not-so-healthy ones are found in foods such as cakes, cookies, some commercially made breads, and many processed foods. Fruits are also considered simple carbs because of the type of sugar they contain, but they’re a healthy choice because they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants, and some fiber. Your body breaks down simple, not-so-healthy carbs very quickly, which spikes your blood sugar levels and stimulates the release of insulin, resulting in a craving for more simple carbs. And that is soooo not good!
Complex, healthy carbs – like those found in legumes, root vegetables, whole-grains, cereals, breads and pastas – are typically high in fiber, which slows food digestion and the release of sugars. This keeps your blood sugar and energy levels steady (and longer lasting), so your calorie-burning furnace stays hot and burns more calories! And that is awesome! ☺
So how do carbs fit into our carb cycling program? It’s actually pretty simple. No matter what carb cycle you choose, every breakfast of every day is a high-carb meal, which means you’ll eat a portion each of protein, carbs, and hopefully vegetables. Every breakfast, every day. Your carb can be a grain, a legume, a starchy or root veggie, or a fruit.
On low-carb days, your remaining four meals (spaced every three hours) consist of a portion each of protein, fat, and veggies (think fibrous green veggies, not the starchy, root kind), and on high-carb days, your remaining four meals (spaced every three hours) are made up of a portion each of protein and complex carbs (grains, legumes, starchy or root veggies, or fruits). And if you’re still hungry, you can always throw in a portion of veggies (again, the fibrous greens). Remember: with carb cycling, you can have a portion of fibrous green veggies with every single meal (starchy, root veggies, like potatoes, will fall into the carb category)! Pretty simple, right?
Here’s what it looks like, including some handy portion size helps:
Here’s another great idea that will help with carb confusion: sign up for Chris’s FREE enewsletter at ChrisPowell.com, and you’ll receive a FREE printable food guide that will make choosing foods for your low-carb and high-carb meals even easier!
Here’s the most important take-away about carbs: with carbs and carb cycling, it’s not about a magic number of grams of carbs to eat every day. It’s about spreading your carb intake throughout your high-carb days—using portion sizes instead of gram counts—so your body gets the greatest benefits from those healthy carbs you eat. And wouldn’t you much rather measure portions sizes than count grams? I know I would!
Lately, my eyes (and stomach) seem to want EVERYTHING in sight! And LOTS of everything in sight, may I add. How do I help satisfy these cravings for more while sticking to my extra 300 calories per day that my baby needs? By implementing the tricks to bulking up my food – not my calories!
Fact: The average slice of bread has around 100 calories. The average rice cake has only 35 calories. What does this mean for me? I can eat THREE rice cakes to every ONE piece of bread! BINGO – and so my Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich idea was born…no pun intended.
At 100 calories per open-faced, crunchy turkeywich, they sure can kill those cravings, pregnant or not. Give ‘em a try!
Open-Faced, Lower-Carb Turkeywiches
Serves 1, makes 2 wiches
What you’ll need:
2 lightly salted brown rice cakes
3 oz low sodium deli turkey, sliced
¼ of a small avocado
1 handful spring mix greens
mustard to taste
Optional: tomato slices
How to make them:
1. Spread mustard over each rice cake, to your liking.
2. Top cakes with lettuce, ½ handful for each cake (the more the merrier for me…I like bulk right now!)
3. Place 1.5 oz turkey on each greens-covered cake.
4. Top with avocado.
5. Optional – add tomato. I didn’t have any or I would have too ☺
What’s in it:
2 turkeywiches has 200 calories, 5 g fat, 14 g carbohydrate, 20 g protein
KatieCouric.com – How You Can Eat Carbs and Still Lose Weight
POSTED ON May 15, 2013
Celebrity trainer Chris Powell says that you can still lose weight without cutting those beloved carbs. He shows off his carb-cycling method and they discuss transformations with Heidi. Watch at KatieCouric.com
1. Put all ingredients into a gallon-size zip-top bag and seal. Gently massage bag to mix ingredients and fully coat meat with marinade. Let site for at least 30 minutes (or prepare the night before or morning of for even more flavor.)
2. Remove meat from bag and discard any remaining marinade. Grill over medium heat or broil, cooking on each side to desired doneness.
3. Serve immediately with your favorite side for a high- or low-carb day; or portion out and store in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to reheat and enjoy.
Serve with a side salad or veggies of your choosing.
Serve with a side salad or veggies of your choosing.
Drizzle with salad dressing.
Serve with your favorite card side dish, such as brown rice
or black beans.
This is just one of many delicious recipes from Choose More, Lose More for Life. The book is loaded with high- and low-carb options! Chris knocked this one out of the park, I must say! For more info on the book, click the links below.
If you want to shed those extra pounds extra fast, the Turbo Cycle is for you. Of the four carb cycles, this cycle takes off weight the fastest. Unlike the Easy and Classic cycles, which alternate low and high-carb days, the Turbo Cycle pits two low-carb days against every high-carb day. That means you’ll burn fat two days in a row before your body’s furnace (metabolism) is re-stoked on your high-carb day, and you’ll lose weight really, really fast!
Even though the Turbo Cycle has an extra low-carb day as compared to the Easy and Classic cycles, it is not a calorie-restricted cycle. Women should not consume fewer than 1,200 calories a day, and men should not consume fewer than 1,500 calories a day. And since you’ll have two low-carb days in a row, you may feel less energetic on the second low-carb day. But this is okay. These low-carb days are powerful weight-loss accelerators!
Here’s what a Turbo Cycle week looks like:
As with the other cycles, you can stay with the Turbo Cycle as long as you want, or you can change cycles. This program is tailor-made to you and you alone!
The Classic Cycle was first introduced in Chris’ book, Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution. While the Easy Cycle is the easiest cycle, the Classic Cycle is the simplest carb cycle. It offers a quick and easy introduction to carb cycling and results in fast and steady weight loss.
Unlike the Easy Cycle, which has a reward meal incorporated into every high-carb day, the Classic Cycle has an entire reward day every week. Imagine that—a whole day to satisfy those cravings for your favorite foods! And you’ll still lose weight.
Here’s what a Classic Cycle week looks like:
With the Classic Cycle, besides losing weight at a quick and constant pace, you’ll also be able to tune into what is happening in your body during this carb cycle process. You’ll learn and actually feel how food affects your body, and while you may experience some brief periods of nausea, headaches, low energy and other symptoms as you change the way you fuel your body, these will be temporary. In the end, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for this marvelous body you have! And as with the Easy Cycle, you can stick with the Classic Cycle throughout your weight loss journey or move onto another cycle. You are in control!
Do you want to “lean up” without compromising your athletic performance? Do you want to train for long periods of time? Then the Fit Cycle is the cycle for you. The Fit Cycle not only eliminates fat, but it also supplies your body with the fuel it needs to perform successfully, no matter what sport you choose to excel in.
Unlike the other three carb cycles, the Fit Cycle only has two low-carb days per week, and there’s a very important reason for this: The extra high-carb day allows your muscles to absorb more fuel (glycogen), which you’ll need for maximum athletic performance. During your low-carb days, when this supply of glycogen gets depleted, your muscles will develop insulin sensitivity. When you then have a high-carb day or your reward day, these insulin-sensitive muscles will actually soak up more carbs, your body will burn this extra fuel instead of storing it as fat, and you’ll still lose weight. It’s an amazing process!
Here’s what a Fit Cycle week looks like:
With the Fit Cycle you won’t lose weight as fast as with the Turbo Cycle, but you will be able to maintain your athletic performance. However, if you do experience a slight decrease in your athletic performance with this cycle, and you’re not as concerned about losing weight, try combining the Fit Cycle with pre- and post-workout supplements or meal replacement shakes with some extra macronutrients.
And as with the other cycles, you can stay on the Fit Cycle or change cycles at any time. It all depends on your weight loss and athletic goals.
Do you have a hard time going without your favorite foods, but you still want to lose weight? Then the Easy Cycle is for you. In this cycle you alternate low-carb and high-carb days, and on every single high-carb day you can have a reward meal, as long as that meal isn’t your dinner meal.
That’s right, you can eat the foods you love—four days a week— and still reach your weight loss goals. And by favorite foods I mean pizza, ice cream, bacon, chocolate cake, cheesecake—they’re all okay. The power of this cycle is that if you get those favorite food cravings on low-carb days, you only have to wait until the next day to satisfy them. Anyone can do that! Success can be yours with this cycle.
How is this possible? First of all, you’ll be following the low-carb/high-carb eating plan for your non-reward meals, and the success of this pattern has been proven many times over. And even though you’ll be rewarding yourself, you’ll be rewarding yourself less often. Let’s say you usually eat seven servings of ice cream a week. With the Easy Cycle you’re already eliminating three bowls of ice cream a week, and that’s a lot of calories! You’re satisfying your cravings without depriving yourself, and losing weight.
Here’s what an Easy Cycle week looks like:
For all your meals, on both low and high-carb days, try and eat smaller portions than you would pre-carb cycle. The more calories you can cut, the faster you’ll lose that extra weight!
And yes, you won’t lose weight as quickly as you would in other cycles, but the important thing is that you will lose weight, and you’ll also be forming healthy habits that will last a lifetime. And when you’re ready, you can move onto another cycle if you want to. Or you can stay with the Easy Cycle throughout your weight loss journey. It’s totally up to you!