NTP Training

 

We are not interested in treating disease, but rather restoring wellness.

– Gray Graham Founder of the NTA

 

 

I am inspired and ready to get back to regular blogging because I have so much I want to share with all of you.

At the beginning of the month I went back to school to become a certified NTP, which is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.  I am LOVING the coursework and learning a ton (my head is swimming in a good way).  Sure, it is hard to balance family life (always #1), my business, and schoolwork, however what I am learning is making it all worth it.  At the end of June I will be fully certified and will be able to expand my practice.

Currently the majority of my clients are focused on aesthetics and helping them achieve their goals is extremely rewarding.  I will continue to offer those services, however my main focus will move toward wellness and how I can help people restore their health through nutrition.

I was drawn to the NTA’s belief that there is not one diet that is best for everyone, but that we need to focus on the bio individuality of each person and figure out what works best for their system.  Through Nutritional Assessments, hands-on Functional testing, and Lingual-Neuro testing I will be able to determine which body systems we need to focus on restoring and which vitamins and minerals are deficient.

You all know I have personally experienced the healing powers of nutrition and lifestyle changes.  I am beyond excited to join the movement by sharing this information with clients.  I am so grateful that I learned early on in my autoimmune diagnosis’ about the power of nutrition and truly look forward to paying it forward.

Get ready for more blogs to come…

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8 WEEKS TO SUMMER – WEEK 2 & 3 UPDATE – NEW DIRECTION


Week 2 Macros:

Date:  4/10/17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 142.5 (Beginning Weight 142.2) = gain of +0.3lbs

Macros: Last Week  – 130C/130P/120F (2120 cals)

_____

Week 3 Macros:

Date:  4/17/17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 142.8 (Beginning Weight 142.2) = gain of +0.6lbs

Macros: 130C/100P/100F (1820 cals)

_____

This Morning:

Date:  4/17/17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 142.3 (Beginning Weight 142.2) = gain of +0.1lbs

Macros: Intuitive eating

Sometimes we need to learn to recognize when all signs are pointing you toward a different path.  I ask my clients to trust me when it’s time to place our focus elsewhere and I am doing the same with myself right now.

I have been in a caloric deficit for three weeks now (I cut calories by another 300 a day last week) and I literally haven’t lost any weight or seen an appreciable change in body composition…in fact I weigh more…not by much, but it’s more nonetheless.  It’s no fun to be REALLY hungry and see the scale go up!

Why didn’t my body respond?  There are several reasons:

  1.  I am in the middle of treatment for a candida overgrowth (and will be for several more months)
  2. I am on week 10 of a major kitchen/family room renovation (I am cooking for the family in our laundry room)
  3. I haven’t been sleeping well

Those are not prime conditions for going on a diet.  When you are under stress your body does NOT want to drop any fat.  Its funny…if I client came to me and told me that they had items 1-3 above going on in their life right now I would have told them that this wasn’t a good time to attempt a cut.  Somehow I didn’t think through that one for myself.

My plan from now through the end of my candida treatment and kitchen renovations (hopefully just a few more weeks) is to eat intuitively and continue to train.  I know how to eat and what to eat to best fuel my body and that is what I am going to do.  Eat when I am hungry and eat until I am full.  I plan on eating three square meals a day and will continue eating along the principles of the Autoimmune Paleo Diet.  I have successfully reintroduced tomatoes, several seed and nightshade spices, and eggs, so those will be a part of my diet in addition to the AIP.

I am very comfortable with my current physique, so this cut wasn’t something I needed in order to feel comfortable in a swimsuit for the summer…it was more a fun way to document a cut.  Fortunately I have already done so.  For those of you interested in seeing what the process is like to go through a cut, click HERE.

 

If you would like me to help you get ready for summer, please click HERE to learn more about my programs.

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Filed under 8 Weeks to Summer 2017, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition

8 WEEKS TO SUMMER – WEEK 1 RECAP

 

Here is where I am as of this morning:

Date:  4/3/17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 142.5 (Beginning Weight 142.2) = gain of +0.3lbs

Macros:

Last Week  – 130C/130P/120F

This Week – Same

 

So…you’ve gotta love going into a deficit for the week and GAINING weight.  My weight actually got as high as 143.4lbs this week.

I have been battling a candida overgrowth for the past few months and have been cycling treatments.  This past Monday I began using grapefruit seed extract and have been experiencing intestinal issues as a result.  I am guessing this is the blame for the weight gain.  You should’ve heard my stomach last night.  It was so loud my husband could hear all the gurgling and wars going on in there!

I was also REALLY hungry last week.  Again, I am guessing that is a result of the candida not wanting to give up.  I know that I am not even close to starving on a 2000+ calorie per day day, so I know logically that it must be the candida as well as my body adjusting to all of the changes.

As for my macros, I did allow myself a refeed on Friday (I hadn’t planned on one) because I was really hungry and it felt like my body needed it.  I woke-up the next morning 0.6lbs less which reinforced the fact that having the refeed was the right call.  This week my plan is to keep the same macros and see what happens.  I actually “feel” leaner despite the weight gain and don’t want to reduce macros at this point.

 

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions as I document this process.  If you would like me to help you get ready for summer, please click HERE to learn more about my programs.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ MY DAY 1 RECAP

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8 WEEKS TO SUMMER

It’s been about two years since I did my first macro-based cut/diet  (click HERE for details).  Since then I have focused my attention on building-up my metabolic capacity as well as trying to add as much muscle as possible…easier said than done.  Click HERE for details on the Reverse Diet I completed after my cut two years ago.

I thought it would be fun to do another cut and document it for all of you to show that I am now able to diet-down on much higher macros than before.  My goal is not to lose much weight, but rather to lean-down a bit right in time for swimsuit season.

I am currently following the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol Diet with a few successful reintroductions added back in (eggs, tomatoes, peppers).  This diet has been SUCH a big help in my attempts to control my autoimmune diseases.  I have also been battling a pretty significant candida overgrowth with the help of my functional medicine practitioner.  Next month I should have an update on that since I just sent my latest tests into the lab.

Here is where I was prior to my original cut back in 2015:

Gretchen Tseng FitQuestMom 8 Weeks to 40 years oldDate:  9/7/15

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 143.8

Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1515 calories 120C / 135P / 55F

Friday 1736 calories 180C / 146P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

 

Here is where I am as of this morning (my weight is pretty darn similar in both pictures):

Date:  4/3/17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 142.2

Macros:

Daily – 130C/130P/120F

As you can see my macros are pretty consistent now versus the carb cycling I did before.  My current macros are also MUCH higher in fat.  I find that I feel better eating higher fat and stay more satiated.  I will most likely add in a refeed day, but will keep my macros as is for this first week.

It is exciting for me to see that in two years I have been able to increase my cutting macros from an average 1553 calories a day to 2120 calories a day…that’s huge.  I am proud of that 567 calorie increase PER DAY!

My workouts are also less intense and shorter in duration than they used to be.  I used to average 90 minutes a day 6 days a week and now I lift between 45-60 minutes 5 days a week and walk at about 3.5-4.0 mph for 45 minutes to an hour twice a week.

 

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions as I document this process.  If you would like me to help you get ready for summer, please click HERE to learn more about my programs.

 

Click HERE to read about my Week 1 Recap

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Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas

Healthy Chocolate Covered Bananas Balanced Grettie Fitquestmom

Over the Memorial Day Weekend we went to a BBQ at a friend’s house and I was tasked with bringing a healthy-ish dessert.

Frozen chocolate covered bananas were always my favorite Disneyland treat and I think it is because that was the only place I ever saw them when I was younger.  I had a MASSIVE sweet tooth, yet I would choose those every time over a Mickey ice cream sandwich or the other fun ice cream treats they sold.

I thought that chocolate covered frozen bananas would fit the bill and would be fun for my daughter and I to make together.  She is the age now where I am wanting to give her more freedom in the kitchen and this was the perfect recipe for that.

This dessert ended-up being a hit with kids and adults alike…I’m pretty sure they will make a regular appearance this summer.

INGREDIENTS

  • Ripe Bananas (not too ripe though)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Chocolate chips for melting (I used Enjoy Life brand)
  • Various toppings
    • Trail mix (we chopped ours up in the blender)
    • Nuts
    • Mini marshmallows
    • Raisins
    • Cereal
    • Sprinkles
    • Coarse sugar

METHOD

  1. Cut bananas into 3″ slices
  2. Stick a Popsicle stick into each banana piece
  3. Place the banana pieces on a cookie sheet and freeze for an hour or longer
  4. Melt the chocolate chips (I used the double boiler method)
  5. Coat each frozen banana with the melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle on the toppings (the chocolate will harden FAST)
  6. Lay the finished product back on the cookie sheet and into the freezer until ready to serve

What’s your favorite healthy-ish summertime dessert???

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Filed under Dessert, Frozen Treats, Fruit, Gluten Free, Holiday, Ice Cream, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Sorbet, Vegan

CRAZY PROTEIN BREAD

Crazy Protein Bread

I posted a picture of this extremely macro-friendly protein bread the other day on my Instagram account and there was a lot of interest in the recipe.

I based the recipe very closely on iheartmacro’s recipe for protein bread, however I am personally not a fan of cooking with protein powder and I am back off dairy, so I could not use Greek yogurt.

I am also a big fan of Crazy Richard’s Pure PB powder and added that to the recipe because PB makes EVERYTHING better!

This bread is awesome for those who struggle to get in all of their protein for the day and is VERY filling thanks to the coconut flour.

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cup liquid egg whites (I prefer organic)
  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 farm fresh eggs
  • OPTIONAL – stevia to taste
    • Use if you want sweet bread
    • Omit if you want more neutral tasting bread

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup Pure PB powder (replace with almond flour to make it Paleo)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl until fully incorporated
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until very smooth
  5. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cake
  7. Cool and slice into 8 slices
  8. Store in the fridge (I place the bread in a tupperware along with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture).

MACROS PER SLICE5C/9.5P/2.9F

 

*Use code “FITQUESTMOM for 10% off Crazy Richards Products.  Shop HERE.

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Filed under Breads / Crackers / Muffins, Breakfast, Cake, Dessert, Gluten Free, Paleo, Recipes

PRODUCT REVIEW – THUNDERBIRD Real Food Bars (20% OFF CODE)

Thunderbird was kind enough to send me a sampling of their real food bars.  What I like most about these bars is just that…they are made with REAL FOOD.

When deciding which bar to try first, being a lover of carrot cake,  I immediately zeroed in on the CASHEW + FIG + CARROT flavor.

Check out the simplicity of the ingredients…

INGREDIENTS: Dates, Cashews, Figs, Carrots, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Himalayan Sea Salt

NUTRITIONAL FACTS:  Serv. Size 1.7oz (48g), Calories 150, Fat Cal. 26, Total Fat 3g (4% DV), Sat. Fat 0.5g (3% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 204mg (8% DV), Total Carb. 29g (10% DV), Fiber 3g (11% DV), Sugars 26g, Protein 4g.

I am really impressed with the taste and texture of the bars and highly recommend them to my endurance athletes for fuel on their runs, bikes, etc. because they have a fair amount of bars that are lowfat and high carb.

Thunderbird also makes some bars that are higher fat which would be great for my clients who have trouble getting all of their fat macros in (I never seem to have trouble with that!).  The HEMP + SUNFLOWER + PUMPKIN SEED bar has 22g fat and lower carbs at only 11g.

INGREDIENTS: Dates, Macadamia Nuts, Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Macadamia Nut Butter, Coconut Shreds, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Cinnamon, Himalayan Sea Salt.

NUTRITIONAL FACTSServ. Size 1.7oz (48g), Calories 250, Fat Cal. 198, Total Fat 22g (33% DV), Sat. Fat 6g (30% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 75mg (3% DV), Total Carb. 11g (4% DV), Fiber 3g (4% DV), Sugars 5g, Protein 7g.

HERE is a link to all of their bars.  If you are unsure which flavor to get, Thunderbird has 3 different types of assorted boxes for you to purchase.  Make sure you enter FITQUEST at checkout for 20% off your order.  Please know that I have ZERO affiliation with the company and do not make any money by recommending them…I simply like their products and they generously offered a coupon code for my readers.

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CHINESE SHRIMP TRICK

Shrimp FitQuestMom Balanced Grettie (2)

My husband and I have been together for 20 years and married for almost 17 (times flies).  In that time I have learned a ton about cooking from my in-laws.

Leave it to the Chinese to figure out a way to make each and every ingredient taste the very best it possible can.  Their tricks/methods are usually really simple, but man do they yield great results.

This morning one of my clients emailed me to ask me how I prepare shrimp and though I have been using this method for years, it never dawned on me to write a post about it until today.

I don’t know if you have ever realized that texture makes a huge difference in the taste of shrimp.  In my opinion there is nothing worse than soggy shrimp; it needs to be crisp and crunchy.

Shrimp FitQuestMom Balanced Grettie (3)

To achieve that crunch, peel and devein the shrimp.  Place the shrimp in a colander along with 1/2-1 tsp of sea salt or kosher salt.  Mix the shrimp and salt together with your hands and leave it in the colander to drain over a plate for 10-15 minutes (this is where the magic happens).

After 10-15 minutes some of the liquid from the shrimp will have gathered on the plate.  Rinse the shrimp really well under cold water to remove the salt.

After thoroughly rinsing the shrimp, lay down 2 layers of paper towel and beginning on one side place the shrimp on the towel in rows touching each other.  Once all of the shrimp are on the paper towel, cover with another layer of paper towel and roll it up (like you would roll-up a log of cinnamon rolls before cutting them).  This will remove any remaining moisture.

If you are not ready to cook the shrimp, place the roll in the refrigerator until it is time.

I usually saute a bunch of shrimp in my wok on high heat with a little oil and then add some of it to a stir-fry for dinner, but I have also made them into shish-kebabs and grilled them.  I keep the remaining shrimp in the fridge to use in meals for the next few days; burrito bowls, tacos, etc.

You can cook the shrimp using any method you prefer and I guarantee you will notice a difference because of the time you took to salt, drain, and dry them.

Shrimp FitQuestMom Balanced Grettie (1)

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Filed under Gluten Free, Main Dish, Paleo, Recipes, Seafood

HOW TO MAKE DAIRY FREE KEFIR

A few weeks ago on Intstagram I shared that I have been making my own almond milk kefir and a few people asked me to write a post about how I make it.

I am a fan of eating probiotics because they do wonders for you gut.  A few months ago I tried adding dairy based lactose-free kefir in to my diet and to be honest it constipated me in the worst way.  Because of that I began to research dairy-free kefir alternatives and came across The Cultured Food Life blog which is a wealth of information.

I was and still am shocked at how easy it is to make kefir if you follow a few key steps and avoid using anything metal.  When I first started making kefir my results were hit and miss and I couldn’t figure out why until I realized that I was either stirring the mixture with one of my metal chopsticks or using mason jars with metal lids…I later learned that using metal is a no no because the kefir culture reacts poorly to it.

In order to avoid metal lids I ordered THESE jars from The Jar Store (such good prices) and haven’t had a problem since, though I will say that pouring the kefir out of these jars can be a little messy (live and learn).

Almond Milk Kefir How to Recipe Numbered

METHOD

 (IMAGE 1) Pour 4 cups non-dairy milk (I use almond milk) into your glass vessel along with 1 packet of freeze dried Kefir starter (like THIS one) and 1 tsp of sugar.  Since we are not using dairy based milk that contains sugars, you need to add some, but don’t worry about any extra carbs because the culture will eat the sugar.  Stir using a wooden or plastic spoon.

 (IMAGE 2) Place the lid on the vessel and allow it to sit on the counter for 12-24 hours until it looks like image 2.  How long it takes for the kefir to mature will depend on how warm it is, etc.  Once the kefir is done place it in the fridge.

 (IMAGE 3) This is what the kefir looks like after it has been in the fridge for a day (it thoroughly disgusts my kids!).

 (IMAGE 4) Stir-up the kefir and you are good to go.  I use it mostly in smoothies, but have also used it in my homemade protein bars.

 

It is really simple to make more kefir.  When you have about 1/2c of kefir remaining, add 1 tsp of sugar, 4 cups of non-dairy milk, and leave it out on the counter again.  It will take a few hours more for the kefir to cure since it started out cold from having been in the refrigerator.  I can make kefir this way 5-6 more times before starting the process all over again with a new packet of freeze dried starter.

I have used several brands of yogurt/kefir starter and they all have worked well.

I am interested in trying to make kefir with real kefir grains because once you have those you can use them indefinitely.

Happy culturing!

 

 

image above of different types of non-dairy kefir is from Cultured Food Life.

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Filed under Breakfast, Drinks, Gluten Free, Nuts, Recipes, Smoothie, Smoothie / Shake, Vegan

PALEO CHICKEN TACO BURGERS

I came across these Paleo Chicken Taco Burgers on Pinterest and knew I had to try them.  The recipe was posted to Tablespoon.com and created by the Cheeky Kitchen

I made the patties for dinner last night and my daughter raved about them.  She isn’t naturally drawn to protein and last night she ate 4 and I had to cut her off!

This morning when I came up from my workout she was eating the patties for breakfast!  I’d say this recipe is a clear winner and will definitely be making another appearance on my table.

I didn’t prepare the recipe exactly as written.  Here are the modifications I made:

  • I used 2lbs of lean ground chicken (vs. 3lbs)
  • I still used the entire packet of taco seasoning (I used THIS Simply Organic Southwest Taco Seasoning)
  • I added 2 eggs and 1TBS cornstarch
  • I used 1/2 a lemon (vs. lime…I didn’t have any limes)
  • I seeded the jalapeno so it wouldn’t be so spicy
  • I used olive oil (vs. coconut oil)

Click HERE to be taken to the recipe.

 

 

Images from Tablespoon.com

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Filed under Appetizers, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Paleo, Recipes