Fiber One Protein Bar Recipe v.2

This version of my non-dairy Fiber One Raisin Crispy Treat Bar cuts out the artificial sweeteners and adds in a bit of coconut for texture. I’ll post updated nutrition stats when I get home! (Done!)

Fiber One Raisin Coconut Crispy Treat Bar (2 layer bar)

Fiber One Protein Bar 2

Yields 14 bars

Nutritional information per bar: 226.3 cals, 6.3 g fat, 2.3 g sat fat, 29.2 g carb, 7.0 g fiber, 20.0 g pro

Base Layer
10 scoops chocolate protein powder (I used Dymatize Elite Rich Chocolate)
2 TBSP cocoa powder
6 TBSP natural peanut butter
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 c. shredded coconut (sweetened, unpacked)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. agave nectar or honey
1/2 – 3/4 cup water (less or more based on your protein powder)

Crispy Treat Layer
3 cups Fiber One cereal
12 large marshmallows
1 TBSP butter/margarine

Line large (7x 11 or 9 x 9) baking dish of loaf pan with wax paper (let the paper be over size on two opposite ends so that you can use them to pull out the bars after setting).

BASE layer: Combine dry ingredients for BASE layer in a medium bowl and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix (use pastry cutter, two butter knives, or your hand–preferably gloved) – the mixture will be crumbly and dry. Add water & vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix everything until dough forms. The dough should have the consistency of warm Tootsie Roll candy or nougat. Spread dough into pan and press down using a sheet a wax paper and a spatula.

CRISPY layer:

Stove: Over stove in non-stick pan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted and sticky. Remove from heat and quickly stir in cereals to coat.

Microwave: Melt butter in large bowl for 15 – 30 seconds. Add marshmallows and stir to coat. Microwave for an additional 30 sec – 1 minute until melted. Stir and quickly stir in cereal to coate.

Press mixture into pan on top of base layer using wax paper (or spray your spatula with cooking spray) to prevent sticking.

Refrigerate for overnight or freeze for 1 hour and cut into 14 bars. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or store in covered container between sheets of wax paper. Keep refrigerated.

LL Cool J Platinum Workout Week 11 Stats

7/7/09 Measurements (Difference from Week 6 stats in parentheses)

Age: 34 (still)
Height: 5’6” (same)
Weight: 146.6 (-2.6 lb)
BF%: 24.7% Averaged from 27.2% (Tanita body fat scale); 22.2% (Omron handheld)
Chest: 35.0” (same)
Waist: 27.25” (-1.25”)
Hip: 38.88” (-0.12”)
Thigh: 23.5” (-0.50”)
Calf: 14.88” (-0.12”)
Shoulder: 42” (+0.50”)
Arm: 12.13” (-0.37”)

Lean mass: 110.39 lbs (+0.28 lb)
Fat mass: 36.21 lbs (-2.88 lb)

From the online BF calculator:

Body Mass Index: 23.7 kg/m2
Waist-to-Height ratio: 0.41
Percent Body Fat: 25.5%
Lean Body Mass: 109.2 lb

Your weight is in the normal range.
You do not need to lose weight.
Minimum caloric requirements: 1855 Calories per day
Your diet should contain at least 76 grams of protein per day.

Summary: Not much change in the last week due to the decreased exercise intensity of Active Rest week and the random foods from the 4th of July weekend (I am pretty sure I am still retaining water), but I admit that I need to clean up the food more for this phase of the program. I need to average a loss of 1 lb per week over the next 12 weeks to reach my body fat percentage goal of 18% (approximately 134-136 lbs) before we head out on our two week Mediterranean cruise.

According to my Weight Loss Spreadsheet, I need to keep calories between 1579 – 1763 per day to reach my goal in 83 days. I think my intake has been close to that, but my meals could stand some more standardization and cleaning up. I’m going to shoot for the lower end of that range on non-lifting days and the full 1750-1770 on lifting days. The addition of a 200 calorie post-workout shake on lifting days should take care of the extra calories.

I am currently in the “Gold” or hypertrophy phase of the LL Cool J program. I finished up 4 weeks (Silver phase) of strength workouts the week before last and then took a scheduled week of Active Rest for week 10 where I primarily stuck to the Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout boxing, Forza, and push-ups. I love this program so far and have managed not to tweak anything in the scheduled workouts. The cardio portion is finally picking up and calories are coming down at the same time. I expect to see an increase in the rate of fat loss from this point on as the focus shifts to hypertrophy and fat loss in the final Platinum phase.

For the time being, though, I’ve really enjoyed eating enough to support my workouts and allow strength gains in nearly all of my lifts while gradually bringing my body fat down. LL and his trainer apparently know their stuff. 🙂

May Makeover Challenge Plans

For the May Makeover Challenge over at Pink Dumbbells, I am going back to basics with my program.

As of this week, I am doing the program outlined by LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout book (LLCJ) with a week of Red Carpet Ready (RCR) workouts while I’m away from my home and gym on a trip to see my sister. This will get me through the “Bronze” phase of the LLCJ program.

Week 1
M/W/F: LLCJ Full body machine circuit (1 circuit x 15 reps each; 30 sec. rest between exercises) + 15 minute incline walk or HIIT

Week 2 (Trip to California)
M/W/F: RCR Action Hero Babe workouts with Valslides, resistance tubing, and bodyweight

T/Th/Sa: 20 min. HIIT Run or 20 min. Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout cardio boxing with the Wii

Week 3 (3 x 12 rep straight sets w/ 1 min rest between sets)
M/Th: Upper Body + 15 min cardio @ 60% MHR)
T/F: Lower Body + 15 min cardio @ 60% MHR)

Week 4 (3 x 8 rep straight sets w/ 1 min rest between sets)
Mon: Upper Body + 20 min cardio @ 55% MHR
Tue: Lower Body + 15 min cardio @ 60% MHR)
Thu: Upper Body + 20 min cardio @ 60% MHR
Fri: Lower Body + 15 min cardio @ 65% MHR)

I am going to keep calories close to maintenance this month at 1800-2000 calories per day. I’ve been off program with exercise for so long now that I’m confident that just adding the extra calorie burn back in while eating at the same level will cause me to drop fat and build some muscle back up without resorting to calorie restriction. The meals in the LLCJ book are calibrated for males, however, so I’m going to look at the New Rules of Lifting for Women and Muscle and Fitness Hers 12 Week Makeover meal plans for my recipes.

– 1800-2000 calories/day
– Macronutrient ratios: 40-50% carb / 30-40% protein / 20-30% fat
– 5 meals per day on non-lifting/rest days, 6 meals (due to added PWO shake) on lifting days
– 16 cups water per day
– Supplements: multivitamin, calcium + D, 6 fish oil caps, l-glutamine, creatine/l-glutamine pre-workout

There are almost too many things I want to fix up around me, but I’m going to keep this realistic and choose my living room and patio as my makeover victims for this month.

The patio houses my weight bench and Powerblock weight set as well as some extra pairs of free weights, a small round outdoor dining table, lots of resin chairs, two wicker novelty chairs, and DH’s grill. It has no discernible style at all, and now that it’s getting warm again, I find it too stifling to work out in there.

Our living room has decent couches, but it’s a mess at the moment with one of the sofas commandeered as Yarn Central for my crafting hobby. We have a very tall wall in there thanks to the vaulted ceiling, so there is a lot of vertical space to fill up. Neither of us loves what we have going on up there now, and I really want to put up the set of four Chinese scrolls my sister brought back for us from Australia last year.


Getting Fit with Video Games: Two Week Exergaming Experiment

In honor of my latest exergaming acquisition for the Wii console, Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout, I am embarking on a two-week video game workout program that will use the following three programs:

Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout (GGCW) for the Wii

Yourself Fitness (YF) for the Xbox; for Wii owners, an updated Wii version is sold as My Fitness Coach.

Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2 (DDR) for the Playstation 2

Yourself Fitness will be my baseline program. I am setting up my profile with an emphasis on Upper Body Strength and then allowing the program to generate a six-day per week workout schedule for me to follow. I’ll also be doing 15 minutes of GGCW, or the equivalent of one lesson immediately following the YF session. DDR and interval cardio will be alternated throughout the week.

Mon: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Tue: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Run (20 minutes)
Wed: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Thu: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Bike (20 minutes)
Fri: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Sat: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Elliptical (20 minutes)
Sun: Rest

To keep this challenging, I plan to use the heaviest weights I can handle with my YF workouts and integrate my Valslides on lunges and any other exercises that work with them. I’m also wearing 1 lb weighted gloves with the GGCW sessions since those are based on boxing movements. I’m not adding any difficulty to the DDR because I am so inherently uncoordinated that just keeping up will be a miracle for me.

My nutrition will fall into the 1500-1700 calories per day range, with macros of 40% carb, 30% protein, and 30% fat.

My goals over the next two weeks are:
– Be 100% consistent with my workouts and 90% consistent with my nutrition.
– Unlock 1 music style and 1 workout locale in Yourself Fitness.
– Earn enough gold for a new outfit in Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout.
– Try every initially available song in DDR Supernova 2 at least once, even if I fail.

Notice that I’m not including any measurement or body fat targets. I am going to try shifting my focus to earning points in-game and unlocking things instead of worrying about the scale or the calipers for a few weeks. My work and crafting schedules are not leaving me with enough spare time to both exercise AND play any video games, so I am combining those two types of activities into one block of time each day. I’m banking on my drive to improve my scores and unlock goodies in games to keep me focused enough to drop a few pounds, build up some muscle, and increase my cardiovascular health without obsessing over every calorie eaten or burned.

Anyone else using their Wii or other gaming consoles as their primary form of exercise?

$19.99 Champion Sports Bra Sale plus 20% off

Gosh, I love it when Champion runs their semi-annual $19.99 sports bra sales!. They always seem to know when my motivation is flagging and could use a little boost by way of a cute new pink sports bra with high motion control and wicking Double Dry lining. 😉

Even better, through 3/29, you’ll also get an additional 20% off your entire order as well as free shipping for orders over $100. I doubt that I’ll hit that free shipping threshold, but 20% sure isn’t bad, especially since several styles in discontinued colors are only $15.99.

The $19.99 sports bra sale runs through April 27, but the 20% off ends this Sunday, so pop on over and take a look if the girls need a little pick me up, LOL. (And if you don’t happen to be a female, they also have an $8.99 Double Dry workout gear sale going on for the men, too.)

Champion Clearance Sale @ OneHanesPlace


There’s another great Champion sports bra and workout gear clearance sale going on at through the end of the month!

Several different styles of sports bras (usually $30 or so) are on sale for $9.99-$15.99, and there are also plenty of workout bottoms and wicking sports tops in the mix for $15 or less.

Check it out, and get an additional 20% off with promo code 611357 if you order before 3/11/09! (Enter the code during checkout–there’s a button on the same page where you enter your payment information.)

Oh, and there is a nice selection of men’s workout clothing, too, but who cares about that? 😉

Procrastinator’s Guide to Fitness

Sometimes diet and fitness sabotage are related to a problem with procrastination. I’m listening to the Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play on audiobook during my drives to and from work, and it’s amazing how many of the traits exhibited by chronic procrastinators also turn up in those who have trouble sticking to a diet and workout regimen to the end.

For example, procrastinators:

– are overwhelmed by the scope of large projects

– are fearful that if they finish the work needed they will only have MORE work to do (very true in the case of achieving and maintaining fitness)

– are afraid that no matter how hard they try, their work/results will be criticized or considered not good enough

– are so determined to be perfect that any setback throws them off

– can never truly enjoy their leisure time and activities because they feel guilty about not completing work tasks

– tend to talk to themselves in negative, self-defeating ways like, “I HAVE TO eat only plain chicken breast, egg whites, and broccoli until I reach my goal weight” or “I SHOULD get up at 6 AM and exercise.” These words make the fitness journey seem like a burden and chore, and cause some people to lose motivation and others to want to rebel against the health authorities.

There are many more insights in the book that I don’t have time to list, but the solutions can be applied to all areas of one’s life, not just work and fitness.

The primary solution is to JUST START. Over and over, every day, even if it is just for 30 minutes. You may never come to love exercise and clean eating on their own merits, but once you START enough times, you’ll definitely see and feel results, and I guarantee you will love those results enough to keep coming back.

I checked out the digital audiobook for free from via my library’s site. Give it a listen (or read) if you have a chance!

Adventures in Semi-Vegetarianism

To answer Erin’s question about what program I am using to move towards a more vegetarian (or pescatarian at least) nutrition model, at the moment I am just attempting to replace one of my usual two servings of meat per day with a vegetarian or seafood option. I normally have some kind of lean meat at lunch and dinner, with breakfast and snacks leaning more towards eggs, soy, nuts, and protein powder for my protein sources, so cutting out the red meat and chicken without using dairy as a crutch will be the major change.

Since I am still eating fish and eggs, this isn’t as big a transition as, say, going full-on vegan or even just strict vegetarian. In fact, I just gobbled down some innocent pre-cooked shrimp as a snack. 😉

What I’m having a difficulty with is making time to try out new vegetarian recipes that really feel like full meals instead of side dishes, especially those using beans. Beans are not really a staple of the Taiwanese diet and don’t feature prominently in most of my staple recipes like Beef Noodle Soup, stir fries of any kind, and Korean BBQ burgers. I think I need to give veggie chili a try (I WILL miss my ground meat in this…sigh) as well as some soups and stews. I also need to learn some better ways to prep tofu. Don’t get me wrong–I love pan-fried firm tofu with a blog of hot sauce, but some veggies would be nice in there, too. I’ve been too busy with other projects and social commitments to just buckle down, crack open Vegan with a Vengeance, and get cooking, except for my recipe-less Pingtung eggplant, scallions, jalapenos, and tofu in oyster sauce last night, which totally rocked my socks off. Quinoa and brown rice will have to make a come back, too, because I am sick of sweet potatoes, and I cannot have just fruit as my carb portion with lunch.

This is Day 4 of the experiment for me, and it has not been an unqualified success.

  • Monday, I developed a headache by 7 PM that I couldn’t shake off. I think I didn’t quite eat enough that day or was sensitive to something I ate–possibly a banana or a Nature Valley Fruit and Nut bar. Worked out anyway and felt better after chugging more water.
  • Tuesday, I stupidly consumed a boiled egg that I could tell wasn’t quite right in texture (too soft/mealy) as a snack, and then proceeded to reap the rewards of food poisoning for the rest of the day, including a major migraine and some really unproductive nausea. Didn’t work out as even turning my head too quickly made me want to boot. On the plus side, did no evening snacking. 😛
  • Wednesday, I had to rejoin the ranks of the actively eating, but I stuck with bland foods and lots of water. My stomach no longer rebelled. Still had a residual headache.
  • Thursday, my head felt fine in the morning, and I am so far feeling pretty good. I don’t think I drink enough water when I’m eating meatless meals, though. CLX Burn Intervals and Abs should be on for tonight.

So that is my semi-vegetarian week so far. I went into it not quite prepared, but I’m muddling through as best as I can until I have the time to really plan out a good menu for myself.