Q&A: Does your Pre & Post Workout Meal count towards your calories for the day?

QUESTION: “I’ve heard that you don’t have to count your pre-workout and post-workout meals? Is that true?”

ANSWER: Yes, I do! And you should too! Calories are calories and you’re body is still using those calories whether you workout or not. Always count your calories! The only way to lose fat is by bringing in LESS calories than what you are burning. If you’re not counting your pre or post workout meals and saying they are “free calories” is crazy! Do you know how many cupcakes I could probably consume before and after my workouts? I could probably put away a dozen of them at least! What I’m trying to say is, what’s the point of adding more food and more calories to your day, when your goal is to lose fat? The main reason most people workout is to burn extra calories. So, if you just start scarfing down food after your workout to reward yourself for working out, you are defeating the purpose of your workout. Your workout was pretty much for nothing. By the end of the day, you want to have a calorie deficit to lose fat.

Does your Pre-Workout and Post-Workout meals count towards your calories for the day? Yes! And here's why! | Stephanie.Fitness | www.stephaniedotfitness.com | Diet | Weight Loss | Fat Loss

Trust me when I say a post-workout meal is one of the most important meals of your day, besides your breakfast. But, you still need to count those calories and you still need to portion control your meal. If you think you can head to the ice cream store and chow down your favorite treat all the while thinking you worked out after all….”I deserve this”…….you will not get the results you are looking for or working so hard for. Do you know how easy it is to go over on your calories in just one meal? It’s mind blowing how easy it is to destroy all of your hard work in just meal.

On another note, most people who work out for about an hour, whether it’s cardio or weight training, you are only burning anywhere between 300 to 600 calories. Most people burn more calories just by walking around for the day and standing. Your workout is only part of your hard work. 80% of your hard work is the diet and it’s very very easy to screw up on your diet.

Always count your calories, no matter what. The less calories you bring in than what you burn, the more fat you will lose.

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I have always loved asparagus, but the moment I started baking it instead of boiling it, my whole love for asparagus grew 10 times more. I will never eat boiled asparagus again. Baking it is the way to go!! It’s crunchy, it’s savory, and oh so deeeee-lissssshhh!!

Baked Asparagus | Low Carb | Low Fat | Low Calorie | Stephanie.Fitness | www.stephaniedotfitness.com

Servings: 2
Bake: 400 degrees
Bake Time: About 30 to 35 minutes

16 fresh asparagus spears
Sea Salt, to taste
1 tsp Fresh Thyme
Olive Oil Spray

1. Rinse asparagus spears under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Lay asparagus out on a cutting board. Take one piece of asparagus and slowly bend it till the stalk snaps in half. Line up the top of your asparagus stalk with the rest of the bundle and cut them to match the length of your first asparagus stalk that you snapped in half. Throw the bottoms away.

2. Take a shallow baking pan and spray lightly with olive oil. Spread out asparagus spears onto pan so that they are laying completely flat and are not laying on top of one another. You want them to lay out evenly on the pan. Spray asparagus lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle fresh thyme and sea salt over the top of them.

3. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven when done and let them cool for 5 minutes. Serve while still hot. Enjoy!

Calories: 25
Fat: .15g
Carbs: 4g
Protein: 3g
Fiber: 2.5g
Sugar: 2g

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My 2013 NPC UTAH Women’s Physique Competition Introduction Video

Here is a little sneak peak preview of my “behind the scenes” at the 2013 NPC UTAH bodybuilding competition. I compete in the Women’s Physique division which is geared more toward women who are little more muscular and leaner than Figure girls. And lucky for me, I’ve partnered with a very good friend of mine, Jade Schiess from Schiess Photography, who helped film this video {and more to come!} and will be editing all of my videos from here on out. Man this girl has got some freaking talent when it comes to the camera! Jade just finished up this short “teaser” clip to give you all an idea on what’s to come…..which is a much longer documentary video. I can’t wait to share it with all of you!!!

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Mmmm…Oatmeal. Pecan Pie. What’s not to like? I felt like something sweet this morning and this breakfast is a perfect way to start a perfect day. Enjoy!

Pecan Pie Baked Protein Oatmeal | Stephanie.Fitness | www.stephaniedotfitness.com | Healthy Low Calorie Breakfast Recipe

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Bake: 350 degrees
Bake Time: 30 minutes

1/2 cup Old-Fashioned Oats
1/4 cup Cottage Cheese, 2%
1/4 cup Vanilla MuscleEgg Egg Whites
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Butter Extract
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 cup Water
2 TBS Caramel Torani Syrup, sugar-free
1 Stevia packet

1 TBS Brown Sugar
1 TBS Pecans, chopped
Spray Butter

1. Mix all of the oatmeal ingredients in a medium size oven-safe bowl. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

2. Pull oatmeal out of oven and put oven on “low” broil. Sprinkle brown sugar and pecans over the top of oatmeal. Spray with butter. Place back into oven and broil for 10 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes to cool off. Enjoy!!

Calories: 330
Fat: 8.5g
Carbs: 43g
Protein: 20g
Fiber: 5g
Sugar: 12.5g

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WEAN GREEN Product Review
Tempered Glass Food Storage Containers

I had the coolest opportunity to try out a brand of glass containers called Wean Green. I have been looking high and low for good quality glass containers that were easy on the budget, light weight, and sealed really well. And finally!!! Eureka! I found the best brand ever!!

Wean Green | Glass Food Storage Containers | Lock & Lock | Product Review | Stephanie.Fitness | www.stephaniedotfitness.com

If any of you know me, I’m constantly eating out of plastic Tupperware. I heat my food in it, my food in the fridge will sit in one for days, and I’ll eat directly right out of them. Especially when I’m traveling or on the go. But, I’ve also heard how terrible it is to reheat your food in plastic containers as well as eat directly out of them. Check out Wean Green for yourself and shop their online store. I promise, you will not be disappointed!

Wean Green | Glass Food Storage Containers | Lock & Lock | Product Review | Stephanie.Fitness | www.stephaniedotfitness.com

PROS about Wean Green:
1. Lightweight
2. Dishwasher safe
3. Tightly sealed due to Snap & Locking Lids
4. Microwaveable
5. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors
6. 5x stronger than regular glass
7. Non-porous and no BPA or chemicals

CONS about Wean Green:
1. I’ve got none! Seriously! This brand is AWE-mazing!!!

Wean Green Product Review | Glass Food Storage Containers | Stephanie.Fitness

Check out Wean Green on their:
WEBSITE: WeanGreen.com
FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/weangreen
TWITTER: Twitter.com/weangreen
INSTAGRAM: Instagram.com/weangreen

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Zack seems to do better with brown rice rather than white rice, so I made this recipe for my him so that he wouldn’t have to eat plain ol’ brown rice all the time. What’s great about this recipe, is you can eat it by itself or add it a Mexican dish or a yummy roast. You’ve gotta try it! It’s so good.

Cilantro Lime Brown Rice | Healthy Mexican Side Dish Recipe | Stephanie.Fitness | www.stephaniedotfitness.com | Low Fat Recipe Ideas

Servings: About 6
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

1 cup Brown Rice, dry {I used natural long grain}
2 1/2 cups water
1 to 2 TBS fresh lime juice
3 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Fine Sea Salt, to taste

In a saucepan, bring your water to a boil. I like to add a dash of salt to my water. Once water is boiling, add your rice. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 45 minutes or until all your water is absorbed. Pour cooked rice into a strainer and rinse with cold water till to wash away any starch.

2. Place rice in a large mixing bowl and fluff with a fork. Add in your lime, cilantro, and sea salt. Fluff till rice is completely mixed with your seasonings and lime juice. Serve while still  warm.

NUTRITION FACTS: 1/2 cup cooked
Calories: 117
Fat: 0.8g
Carbs: 24.5g
Protein: 2.5g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 1g

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I love cream cheese and I love turkey. Put my two loves together and you’ve got my stuffed turkey meatballs. I can eat these plain, in a sandwich, or on a bed of brown rice. These are great to have on hand to take on the go and eat right out of your pocket. Ha ah! Sometimes it’s nice to have something that is easy to reheat and take anywhere with you. With our busy lives, this recipe is a must for me.

Garlic & Herb Stuffed Turkey Meatballs | Protein Packed Lunch & Snack Recipe | Stephanie.Fitness | www.StephanieDotFitness.com | Easy & Simple Recipe | Healthy | Clean Eating | Low Carb & Low Fat

Servings: 4
Preheat Oven: 350 degrees
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 to 50 minutes

1 pound ground extra lean turkey {99% Fat-Free}
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb cheese wedges
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Olive Oil Spray

Lightly spray muffin tin with Olive Oil spray. Set aside. Cut two laughing cow cheese wedges in half, so that you have a total of 4 slices. Set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine your turkey, oats and Worchestire Sauce. Pat your meat mixture down into bowl. Take your hand and score meat into four equal parts.

3. Take 1/4 of turkey mix and pat into a flat patty. Take 1 piece of cheese and place in center. Start forming turkey mix around your cheese wedge till completely covered. Roll into a ball. Repeat this step till you have 4 perfect stuffed meatballs.

4. Place meatballs into muffin tin. Pour a small amount of water into remaining cups so that the pan will cook evenly and you won’t ruin your muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes. Enjoy warm!

NUTRITION FACTS = 1 Turkey Meatball
Calories: 167.5
Fat: 2.5g
Carbs: 4g
Protein: 28.5g
Fiber: .5g
Sugar: .5g

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What Valentine’s Day is Really All About

For the last month I’ve seen nothing but Pink, Red, and Purple frilly Valentine’s Day decorations, cards, and candy all over the place. Valentine’s Day is on TV, it’s the first thing you see when you walk into any store, on Facebook, on Billboards, Newspapers, and Instagram. It’s freaking every where! If a guy completely forgets that it’s Valentine’s Day today, then he has a few screws that are loose in his head and should seriously get his head examined.

But, that’s what I really want to talk about. Is that what Valentine’s Day really has come down too? Chocolates? Champagne? Lingerie? Cards? Flowers? Jewelry? And Candy? And I know many of you have heard the saying, “Valentine’s Day is just a way for stores and companies to market their products and jack up their prices. It’s all commercialized….blah blah blah.” Yup! I’m pretty sure you’ve heard something similar to that.

My husband, Zack and I, have never celebrated Valentine’s Day. Never. Ever. We’ve been married for almost 11 years now and not once have we felt the need to make dinner reservations, buy each other unnecessary gifts, and then jump in the sack to rekindle the romance. Want to know why?

Because we don’t need a holiday to celebrate our love and our lives together. Zack and I have always taken our marriage seriously and we communicate all the time. Trust me, we have our ups and downs. What marriage doesn’t? We have had many moments over the years where things have become stagnant or stale. But, we always know those moments are only temporary and we talk. A lot! We notice all the time that when we’re in a rough patch it’s always the times that we’re really not speaking to each other enough.

As parents, we’re constantly busy with kids, house cleaning, work, and more. And trying to find time for just each other can be rather daunting and hard to come by, but that doesn’t mean I love him any less. To be honest, I love my husband more now than I did when we first got married. There have been times where we’ve asked each other, “Did we really love each other when we first got married?” Ha ha! Because seriously, when we think about it, the love that we feel for each other now is much more deep and sincere than it was 11 years ago. GOD, I love that man!!!

Zack and I are constantly finding little ways to remind each other that we still love each other. We kiss each other every day. We hug each other every day. He grabs my ass on a regular basis. Well….I like grabbing his ass too and “OH MY” we have sex every single week. To much information? Well, suck it up LADIES! If you don’t lead your man to water, he’ll find water somewhere else. I hope you get the gist here. If you’re married, than you have sex…..am I right? You’re not roommates! You’re married.

Zack and I are married and we’re a couple who love each other very much. We support each other. We communicate often. We disagree often, but we are each others best friends. We have two beautiful boys together that mean the world to us. To me…..that whole combination sounds like Valentine’s every day. We celebrate our love every day. I don’t need a special date night. I don’t need flowers or jewelry to remind me that my husband loves me. Just spending time with him is all I need. My idea of the best Valentine’s Day is sitting on the couch, cuddled up with my entire family, watching a movie marathon while eating popcorn and pizza.

I understand what Valentine’s Day may mean to some people, but to me I will never truly understand it. If anything, Valentine’s Day has turned into more of a kids holiday than an adult holiday. I love living vicariously through my children. I love helping them fill out their cute little Valentine’s Day cards for the classmates and you can see the excitement in their eyes when they know they’re going to have a sweet V-Day party in the their class.

Leave Valentine’s Day to the kids. Because if you really want Valentine’s Day to mean something…..celebrate it every day with the one you love. You don’t need one special day to tell that person you love them. Tell them every day. Make every moment count. Make every moment special. And don’t forget to kiss each other every single day.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!

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Dealing with the Winter Blues? It’s Called Seasonal Affective Disorder {SAD}

You guys know how open and honest I am with all of you. I’m not ashamed of my flaws nor do I hide behind a fake facade that I’m little miss perfect and my whole life is nothing but rainbows and butterflies. Trust me….I’m just like you! I’m a real person, a human being, that deals with cravings, moodiness, kids, a messy house, body issues, ups and downs, and more. I’m just like you!

Dealing with the Winter Blue's | Seasonal Affective Disorder | SAD | Stephanie.Fitness | www.stephaniedotfitness.com | Depression | Anxiety

Today, I want to talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder {SAD}. Do feel depressed or moody during certain times of the year? Do you feel more tired and fatigued during gloomy weather? Do you find yourself having no motivation a few weeks or months out of the year?

There are soooo many people that deal with SAD and I am one of them. Without fail every year from about February to April I get into hermit mode and my motivation for anything just flies out the window. This year has been no different. The weather outside is ugly and gloomy. Every week seems like one of us in the house is sick with something. The holidays are officially over and all I want to do is take a nap. I have very little energy and the thought of doing laundry just makes me want to hurl. I’m just dying for some sunshine and chirpy birds to fly by my window to show me the first signs of Spring. I’m in “blah mode.” But, I know I’m not the only one who deals with this.

“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, summer blues, or seasonal depression, was considered a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer.” -wikipedia.org

So, you’re probably wondering how I deal with this disorder year after year? Every year I pump myself up for this particular part of my “blah mode” and think “Not this year!” I’m going to stay busy, workout, clean house, and so on and so on. And every year…..I don’t. What’s even more crazy, is that even though I know I have these tendencies it’ll be weeks before I recognize what my problem is. Today was my ‘AHA’ moment. I’ve been dealing with sick kids for weeks, I’ve been sick a few times myself, my husband is working long hours and many weekends, and I kept blaming my “blah-ness” on just my surroundings and life. I have missed more days in the gym in the last 2 months than I have actually gone to the gym due to illness and such too which really makes my “blah-ness” even worse. As I was moping around the house today with my youngest who is sick AGAIN, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around getting off my ass and even doing the laundry. I haven’t been to the gym for over a week…..AGAIN. And I’m trying my best to stay on a good diet while skipping the gym and such, but still, I’m feeling like such a lame-ass. What is my deal?! Oh yeah……DUH!! It’s that time of year again. It’s that time of year that I deal with SAD.

Recognizing my disorder always makes me feel much better. It makes me realize, I’m human and this happens every year. And by every April I snap out of it and I Spring Clean like a crazy lady and my ass is back in the gym on a regular basis because no more cold’s and flu’s will be plaguing my household. Dealing with SAD is often times much easier said than done. Even though I know I have it, doesn’t mean I can make it magically disappear. It has to do with the weather. Granted I live in Idaho and Idaho can get pretty gloomy and ugly outside this time of year. The snow begins to melt and we’re left with a muddy and brown mess that surrounds us everywhere. No sunshine. No green grass. And it’s frigid cold. Hell….if it’s gonna be cold….it should freaking snow. Right?! I really wish Idaho would get with the program. Ha ha!

Dealing with SAD is more of like a “mind over matter” situation. You can try your hardest to talk yourself out of it. Pick up a hobby to keep yourself busy. Get involved in your kids’ programs and school to prevent yourself from sitting at home and taking naps all day. Drink lots of water to keep yourself from getting dehydrated which can make your symptoms even worse. And there are those who have SAD so severe that they have to take some sort of anxiety or depression medication to help get them through it. Lucky for me, mine isn’t so severe that I need to take meds, but I know a few people who do. But, I’m here to tell you…..you’re human. If you deal with SAD, you’re not alone and for most people it’s only temporary. Be thankful your depression moments of SAD is not a long term issue or something that you deal with all the time.

So…..unless you have sick kids at home or you’re sick yourself and you feel like you’re dealing with SAD right now. Then I suggest to get off your ass and go to the gym. Send those happy endorphins to your brain so that you can make yourself feel good. Or clean house! I know that sounds crazy, but I can’t tell you how many people say just having a clean house {with me it’s a spotless and clean kitchen} puts them in a better mood. Just get up and do it. Because if you don’t, you know it won’t get done. You’re going to have to pull yourself up and get ‘er done! Because your spouse, your kids, your friends, or your co-workers are not going to do it for you.

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