Balance Eating and Weight Stabilization For Life

Dedicated SurroundCycle client, Kristen Zetterberg, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian and owner of Inspire Nutrition, Inc. wrote this month's blog about healthy eating....

In this busy, complicated world it can be tough to know where to begin when venturing out on a journey towards health. As we know, exercise plays a huge role in health, both mentally and physically, however, like the saying goes “you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.”  Well, this is 100% true. 

I work with hundreds of clients each month on creating a more balanced plate and below is a snapshot of how to do so.  It is not complicated, it is a real, natural, whole food approach to eating that is refreshing and simple.  No gimmicks, no restrictions, just balanced. 

Eat “PFC” everyday.  

Weight loss and weight maintenance are all about blood sugar management. To stabilize blood sugar levels, strive to eat protein, fat and carbs (PFC)every three to four hours, MAX, to keep blood sugar levels balanced. The underlying key to consistent energy levels, positive moods, improved mental clarity, supported metabolism, decreased sugar cravings and avoiding that “hangry” feeling is blood sugar regulation. All which can be easily accomplished by following the simple PFC mantra.

Each meal should consist of one Protein (like eggs, chicken, fish, etc.), one Fat (avocado, nuts & seeds, olive oil, real butter, etc.) and one Carbohydrate (fruits, vegetables and whole grains).

TIP -  If weight loss is your goal, you want to keep your carbohydrate sources from mostly non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, peppers or spinach, etc., limited fruit (about ½ cup as a serving) and limited amounts of grains.

Here’s how it works: You know that carbohydrates, which are the foundation of low-calorie and low-fat diets, cause your fat-storing hormone, insulin, to be released and store fat. Fat and protein, on the other hand, aren’t metabolized as sugar. They act as buffers, slowing down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and, in turn, help to keep your blood sugar levels stable. When your blood sugars are stable, that wonderful fat-burning hormone, glucagon, is released, which burns stored fat for energy. Get on glucagon’s good side by eating more healthy fats, thus giving glucagon a chance to shine. You come out ahead too, because when your glucagon is rocking and rolling, so are you! You become a fat- burning machine with more energy and a better chance at shedding the pounds.

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Amy Winston
The Power of Arugula

SurroundCycle Instructor, Sarah Kyria Eldridge, uses the power of arugula to stay healthy and eat well.  Arugula is a simple, aromatic salad green which is very low in calories yet high in vitamins A and C. It contains powerful antioxidants and is a great source of fiber, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.  It provides a surprisingly high level of protein.  If I'm looking to trim calories, I'll include arugula in every meal.  Breakfast consists of an egg or two (see the photo) with one small piece of dry wheat toast.  To add a bit of zest to the arugula I drizzle it with olive oil, balsamic reduction, salt, and pepper. For lunch I keep it simple with an arugula salad topped with tomatoes, onions, and a light dusting of crumbled feta. Again, I'll dress it with olive oil and some balsamic vinegar.  At dinner I fill most of my plate with arugula salad and then add whatever carb and protein my family is eating.   Those add-ons are important components to the meal, to keep me satisfied and full.  I always eat balanced meals with protein to keep my energy level up, especially as I continue to teach and work out!

Avoiding loads of calories and fats is important.  I do graze on healthy snacks (such as fruit and nuts) in between meals, and add in low-sugar, half-water protein Green smoothies occasionally. 

Making healthy,  smart choices for meals and in between, while spinning and weight training regularly I guarantee you will be happy with the results!

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Amy Winston
Protein Pancakes

SurroundCycle Instructor Amy Marino's Favorite Protein Pancakes

This is one of my go-to recipes when I need a quick, healthy snack pre or post workout.  The ingredients are simple and it packs a nice protein punch (which we know is so important for muscle recovery).

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese
8 egg whites (I buy liquid egg whites in a carton)
1/2 tsp baking powder

Blend all ingredients in a blender and make like regular pancakes on the stove.  I use cooking spray only in the pan.  This should yield about 7 medium sized pancakes.  I usually double this and make 14 at a time.  When cooled, I put them in a big zip-lock bag and freeze for the week.  I microwave two at a time and top them with nut butter and berries for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  Sometimes I'll eat just one with nutbutter about 90 minutes before teaching.  They are filling, delicious AND healthy!  Enjoy!


Notes: Any cottage cheese of your choice will work.  If you buy egg whites in a container, it's about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups, depending on the brand of the egg whites.  You should get pancake consistency once blended.

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Amy Winston