Protein cookies: these are addictive!

My gym stocks Complete Cookies by Lenny and Larry … and these cookies are addictive! I mean, you train really hard and then you get to stuff your face with these delicious cookies. It’s a bit counterproductive, but they are hard to resist! Anyways, when I realized they were not particularly good for you (lots of fats and sugars) and had a ton of ingredients (including palm oil), I decided to try and make my own.

protein cookies 2

I stumbled upon this very detailed recipe and decided to give it a try. I changed it a bit, and I thought I’d share my favourite flavours here.

Here is what you need for 2 big cookies or 4 regular cookies:

  • 3 tbs almond flour
  • 30 g protein powder (I used Iron Vegan’s vanilla athlete’s blend)
  • 2 tbs nut or seed butter
  • 1 tsp to 1tbs coconut nectar or maple syrup (depending on your taste)
  • 2-3 tbs oat milk

Flavour combinations:

  • Birthday cake: 1 tsp vanilla extract + 1 tbs sprinkles
  • Hazelnut chocolate: 1 tbsp chocolate chips + 1 tbsp whole hazelnuts (also use hazelnut butter if you can find it)
  • Double chocolate: 1 tsp cocoa powder + 1 tbs chocolate chips
  • Choco-coconut: 1 tbs coconut flakes + 1 tbs chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter – chocolate: use peanut butter + 1 tbs chocolate chips

protein-cookies

Here is what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Mix all the ingredients for your flavour combination in a large bowl until well combined. You might need to add a bit more milk to make every thing smooth. I found that 3 tbs were good for some of the flavours with dryer ingredients.
  3. Devide the batter to form 2 or 4 cookies.
  4. Place on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool completely (if you can) before eating them. Store in an air-tight containter. Enjoy!

I really enjoyed making these because the combinations you can come up with are endless. Since you are only making 2 cookies at a time, you can easily mix and match the flavours.  Let me know if you try this out!

 

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Serving: 1 cookie (half the recipe)

 

 

 

 

 

Train with me: Split workout #1

Considering that I used this workout last March, this is a long over-due post! As you might know, last year, I started going to the gym regularly. I started out with a whole-body routine that I did for a few weeks. After that, I created this workout.

gym3

It’s a basic push, pull, leg split. When I started using this workout, I could only go to the gym 5 times per week, so this is how I organized it:

  • Day 1: Push #1: Focus on pectorals, shoulders and triceps.
  • Day 2: Pull #1: Focus on back and biceps
  • Day 3: Leg: Focus on quads, glutes and hamstrings
  • Day 4: Rest day, no gym
  • Day 5: Push #2
  • Day 6: Pull #2
  • Day 7: Rest day, no gym

As you can see, I  used to train legs only once a week because I really hated training legs and also because I wanted to develop my upper body strength more… but really I just hated training legs. As this is a bit unbalanced, you could replace a rest day by a second leg day to hit your entire body twice a week.

I also added 10 to 15 minutes of cardio before starting using the weights, either running or cycling, as a warm-up. Finally, I added 10 minutes of stretching at the end of each session.

Click on the link below to download my plan. You’ll get two versions of push and pull, and one leg day.I hope you’ll find it fun and useful. Let me know what you think of it!

split work out #1

Remember that I’m not a personal training or health care professional, so make sure to consult with a professional before starting or changing your fitness routine.

 

Beginner’s Weight Training Plan

It’s here! This is the training program that I used when I started back at the gym. It targets the entire body, so it’s great if you only have time for 3 to 4 gym sessions per week. Just print it out and take it with you! Here a are a few guidelines before you get started.

  1. Make sure you are fit enough to start training. Consult your doctor or personal trainer to make sure you have their go before starting any new training program.
  2. Start by a quick cardio session (5 to 15 minutes) on your favourite machine to get warmed up before you head to the weight lifting section of your gym.
  3. I’ve included pictures of each exercises so that you have a reminder of what they are once you hit the gym. I suggest checking them out on google before you start if they are unfamiliar. There is a ton of videos for each exercise, so you should have no trouble finding them.
  4. I’ve included a suggested repetition and series number. 3 x 10-12 means that you should go for 3 series of 10 to 12 repetitions (so you do the exercise 3 times for 10 to 12 times). You can also see the rest period for each exercise. This is the rest period you should give your muscles to recover between each series. So you do your first 10-12 reps, rest 1 minute, do your second series, rest 1 minute and do your final series.
  5. I’ve also included a tempo. Basically, each exercise here has an eccentric (the muscle lengthens) and a concentric phase (the muscles shortens). These two phases are kept equal in this plan and should last two seconds. For example, if you are doind the biceps curl, starting with the weights at the bottom with your arms straight, it should take you two seconds to bring the weights to your shoulder and then two seconds to bring your arms straights again, without any pause at the bottom or at the shoulders. That’s what the 2-0-2-0 means.
  6. To know how much weight you should use, I suggest going through trial and error. Start at a low weigth and see if you can do no more than 12 reps. If you can do 13, 15, or even 20 reps, up the weigth. Let your muscles rest for 1 minute, and repeat the process until you find a weigth for which you can only do 12 reps and not one more.

I really hope you’ll give this program a try! Let me know what you think!

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Click here to download the pdf !

Remember that I’m not a personal trainer, but simply a gym enthousiast. You should always check with a personal trainer, a kinesiologist or your health care practitioner before changing your exercise routine. Be careful and have fun!

 

My own personal tips on starting to run again

Here are my personal tips that I try to keep in mind as I am trying to start running again after many months of laziness. Keep in mind that each body is different and that I am not an expert in any way. This bunch of ideas help me stay motivated and make my running life easier.

 

1- The first step out is the hardest, so don’t worry too much about the rest! Once you put your sneakers on and walk out the door, you are already half way there. If you are out and about, give yourself a pat in the back and start walking. Warm up your body, look around and enjoy this time you give yourself. Once you start to feel ready for more, your body will ask to run by itself as you already have a strong desire to run. Don`t over think it; just be aware of how you are feeling and enjoy!

Let's go out already! :)

Let’s go out already! 🙂

 

2- You don’t need an iPhone, lululemon gear or any other expensive material to run. People have been running way before apple existed, before lululemon launched its first pair of super tight yoga pants, and before Nike created fit bracelets. Giving yourself the excuse of not being well equipped to delay your training is a waste of time and a big fat lie to yourself! All you really need to run is a good pair of sneakers, a t-shirt and some comfortable sweat pants or shorts. Add in a pair of sunglasses and a cap/bandana and you are good to go! Don’t overlook the shoes you wear though because good shoes can prevent many injuries and make your running life dreamy. So next time you go for a run, leave the electronic devices at home, keep it simple and just listen to what your body is telling you instead of relying on technology.

 

3- Treat yourself to downhills. Remember that running should be fun, not a sadistic activity. Start with running downhills; you’ll work your way to uphills soon enough. I am lucky enough to live right next to the Mount-Royal, meaning that I can go between downhills, uphills and straight roads. It might sound a bit lazy, but hey! I am out and running, and downhills still work your cardio 🙂 I found that running downhills is a gentle way to get back to it as I run straight roads as well. I try to incorporate one or to uphill roads at the beginning of the run just to say, but I find that ending with downhill gives me the satisfaction of keeping on running while still being gentle to my body.

 

4- Embrace your body: remember that it is your current body that enables you to move and run. Instead of focussing on the dream body you wish to attain through exercising, focus on the body you have now as you start running again. This is the body that has the will to train, and that kicks itself out the door every day to exercise. So itself of fueling this extraordinary being with negative thoughts, be patient and proud of what you are doing.

 

5- Don’t stop running at your doorstep. Just as you took the time to walk before you started running, take the time to walk after you ran. This will help you cool down from the effort you just did and will help your muscles get some blood and oxygen. This will prevent or lessen the level of soreness you will feel on the following days. Take advantage of that time to think about your run, reflect on your progress and listen to how you are feeling.

 

I hope you can find something to help you out in these tips! These are just a couple of things that I do and find useful. Let me know what you think and remember to be gentle with your body. Afterall, it is the only one you have. What I learned from my back injury is that you can push yourself to do better, but moderation will take you farther than anything else. So get ready to sweat and listen to your body!

Morning walks

So as I mentioned in a previous post, I want to take advantage of out new place to change my habits. With the internships I just finished, I really did not have the time or energy to go work out.

One of the things I really missed were morning walks. I started doing this during the March break: every morning during that week I walked for an hour, just strolling and looking around. It really made me feel great, grounded and refreshed. After the walks, I would be ready to work and focus better.

So, as we are in a really nice neighborhood now, I reconnected with that habit this morning and started to explore around. I have to admit, I was really happy with the scenery:

Beautiful Montreal this morning!

Beautiful Montreal this morning!

The sun and birds were out and with a swift 12C, it was the perfect temperature to walk out.

I had a lot of fun, and I feel like this is a habit I absolutely want to keep up!