By Kristine Theodore
Keep it simple, less is more. This is how I like to approach diet and nutrition to help my clients maintain consistency and set them up for long-term success. The more complicated a diet or nutrition program is to follow, the less likely it is to maintain.
How we start our morning nutritionally can have a positive or negative impact as the day progresses. I encourage my clients to start the day with something simple and nutritious and a smoothie is a viable go-to.
Smoothies are quick to prepare, easy to clean up, and can be balanced with all your needed macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fats). I generally get my protein source from a powder, and I aim for a serving that is 15-25 grams/scoop. Personally, I prefer a whey protein isolate over a whey protein concentrate because it’s a more pure form of protein (check the label). If you choose a plant-based protein, make sure you like the taste and texture it gives to the smoothie and that it’s a complete protein source.
Here are two of my go-to recipes that require minimal prep and have few ingredients.
CACAO DELIGHT (1 serving)
- 1C milk (I prefer Oat milk)
- Handful ice
- Scoop vanilla protein powder
- Small banana (I like cut mine up and freeze them)
- Small spoonful of cacao nibs
- Spoonful of flaxseed or chi seeds
CHOC-O-MINT (1 serving)
- 1C milk
- Handful ice
- Scoop chocolate protein
- Small banana
- Handful spinach (rinse it first)
- Few mint leaves (rinse them first)
- Spoonful chia or flaxseed
For more tasty recipes that are healthy and easy to prepare, please visit my IG page @Kristine_theodore, or email me with questions at Kristine@GravelRoadEats.com
QUICK FIT TIP:
Cold weather giving you an achy back? Low back feeling tired after chasing the little ones? Waking up feeling stiff after being on the computer all day?
Here are a few simple moves you can do throughout the week that require little time and can help minimize or eliminate back pain. (If you have an injury, then it’s always best to consult with a professional before starting a program.)
- PRONE COBRA
Lie on your stomach with your hands directly under your shoulders and elbows pointing slightly to the sky. Set-Up:
✓ How to Lift
✕ How NOT to lift
- Draw your shoulder blades down your back and pull your navel in as you inhale and gradually lift your head and chest off the floor.
- Hold for 1-2 seconds and then exhale as you lower back down.
- Repeat 5-10 times, working in a pain-free range of motion.
- Feel the extension through the entire spine and not just the lumbar spine.
- Keep the shoulders down away from your ears so you are not crunching up into your neck (as seen in the picture).
- Lie on your back with your arms long by your side, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart, and pointing forward.
- Draw your navel in and inhale as you drive your hips up to the sky.
- Hold at the top for 1-2 seconds and then exhale as you lower back down, one vertebra at a time.
✓ How to Lower
✕ How to NOT Lower
- Repeat 10-15 times, working in a pain-free range of motion.
- Make sure the small of your back touches the ground before your pelvis and tailbone. This is key to lengthening and stretching the lumbar spine (as seen in the picture).
- Keep your knees hip-distance apart the entire time because they will want to fall out or collapse in.
- Keep feet flat and toes pointing forward because they will want to lift or turn out.
- BIRD DOG
- Kneel on the floor with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Your eyes look slightly in front of your hands.
- While maintaining a nice long neutral spine, draw your navel in and inhale as you reach the right arm forward and the left leg back.
✓ How to Reach
✕ How to NOT Reach
- Hold for 1-2 seconds while keeping everything parallel to the ground.
- Exhale as your return to your setup and then repeat on the other side.
- Repeat 8-10 times (4-5 per side), working in a pain-free range of motion.
- Keep your pelvis even without either hip dipping.
- Keep the chin up slightly so the head stays in line with the torso.