Saturday, 7 December 2013

Shake It Up

Drink and Shake- Homemade Protein Shakes

20gms of protein from whirling up all these with a milk base

Protein shakes are considered an important part of any muscle building regime, however, I always recommend people to get their proteins from natural and unprocessed sources and make protein shakes themselves at home. Drinking a glass of homemade protein shake pre and post workout is an easy way of getting 20gms of protein. A big glass of homemade protein shake is a good choice for a nutrient dense high energy breakfast on the go. Kick off your day with this energy load!

To get an easy healthy and handsome intake of protein, try experimenting whirling your own protein shakes.


select a base for your shake, 250ml of one of these:
 skimmed milk/soya milk/almond milk (average 8gms protein). 

For thicker shakes use 4oz greek yogurt (12 gms protein)  or plain yogurt (6.5 gms protein).



 A protein rich ingredient, use one of these 4oz cottage cheese (14gms protein)

Raw eggs (5.5gms of protein) or 2Tbsp Peanut butter (8gms of protein) and Ground Flax seed (for fibre and good omega fats)


  To add the micronutrient, add chopped fruits, banana, melon, berries, oranges (1-2 gms of protein average)

More Protein:

For the additional boost of protein and fibre, add 1 tablespoon, 15gms of Oatmeal (3 gms protein).

Put everything in a blender, blend in a thick smooth liquid and drink it all. 

Here you go building solid muscle mass!!!

Note: Contribute images of your own homemade Protein Shakes, they will be featured here.

Great Abs Are Made in the Kitchen

There is popular saying that 'great bodies are made in kitchen', and this is correct for a reason. 

Workouts, running, sprinting, weight training and all kind of resistance exercise would not do any good unless you follow an appropriate diet aimed at building muscles at the right places and keep your weight under control.

The following guidelines are specifically for males in persuit of staying fit and developing some great abs. 

Given that an average Pakistani man is between the age of mid twenties to late thirties, without any medical condition, dont drink alcohol or smoke. He engages in 60-75 minutes of workout including weight training and resistance exercise at least 6 days a week. These guidelines would help them achieve their goals and discipline their health regime resulting in a healthy muscular body. 

The ultimate body building and fitness goals require a consistent workout regime with correct nutrition intake. 

Great bodies are made in kitchen not soley in gyms.

Daily Dietry Need Summary:

Calories 18-20gmsx165 (your total body weight)

Total Calorific needs average: 3000-3300 since you are not a professional body builder, or wrestler keep calorie intake at lower end

20%-30% of these calories should come from protein, 40%-60% from carbs and 
20%-30% from fat, out of which 5% from saturated fats only

To keep a balance, your training regime should not burn more calories then you consume, so calories are utilized to build muscle mass.

The calories should come every day from;

165gms of protein

330-500 gms of carbohydrate

150-170gms of fats

1- Number of Meals/day:

Aim for 6 perfectly balanced meals a day each 450-500 calories.
To build quality muscle mass at right places, your body needs a constant and even supply of nutrition dense calories throughout the day for growing muscles.

Balanced meal is key, if you load on one meal comprising 1000-1200 Cal, your wont be hungry in the next 2-3 hours for your next meal. Your body wont be able to process that extra calories which will be ultimately stored as fats and you will gain weight not muscles.

What Makes a Balanced Meal

Your 450-500 Cal meal plate should be ½ lean protein, ¼ carbohydrate and ¼ fruits and vegetable, and 30gms of fibre minimum.

2- Proteins:

Protein is the most important macronutrient for building muscles. The average daily protein intake should be 1.2-2 gms per pound of body weight. Select protein sources that are lean, complete protein that is containing all 9 amino acids.

Sources of Complete Animal Protein:

Try consuming following in grilled, baked, BBQ or stir fried form:

-Fish like Salmon, Tuna, King Fish, Becti, Red Snapper (everyday)
-Eggs very frequently, 6-8 a day whites with no more then 1-2 with yolk (everyday) its a total nutrition powerhouse.
-Chicken in moderate quantity (5-6 times a week breast only)
- Red meat beef or Mutton- occasionally (1-2 times a week)
- Milk (drink everyday, if you want to drink several glasses use reduced fat or skimmed milk or better soya or almond milk)

Eating meat curries, shorba, and salaans can be tasty but they generally are fat laden and spices can create digestion issues. 
 If you have to have them make sure, they are cooked in olive oil, flavoured with fresh herbs, whole spices (sabat garam masala) tomatoes and no ground red chillies and sparingly using other ground spices.

Plant Sources Of proteins;

-Soya Products- make burger patty of soya beans, eat roasted soya nuts, tofu, drink soya milk

- Beans and lentils:  choose whole mung and masoor beans, Chana/gram/chickpeas, red kidney beans, fava beans, broad beans etc. eat them in soups, salads, low fat low spice herbed curries, in chats, and salads.

3- Carbohydrates:

Unlike weight watchers, the muscle builders need to load up on good carbs. You body uses glycogen for weight training, and complex carbohydrates replenish that. 

Ensure an intake of 330-500gms of good carbs everyday, which means at least 55-70gms in every meal. Unprocessed and complex carbohydrates are best choices for building muscles. Rice, pasta, potatoes and bread are complex carbs, but they become unhealthy choices if you eat white and refined ones. 
Rule of thumb choose whole grain fibrous carbs for all your staple part of meals.

Food choices can include, multigrain whole wheat bread/chappatis, unpolished wholegrain Basmati rice, Quinoa grain (it is 50% protein and Number-1 staple choice), Steel cut oats, Oat meal, Rye Bread, Sweet potatoes. 

Avoid puris and parathas at all cost. Omit all simple sugars such as chocolate, soft drinks, cakes, mithai, sweet biscuits.

Besides milk, fruit and vegetable also provides good carbs as well.
Carbs play an important part both in even flow of energy to help build muscles and get you through the workout. The timing of loading on carb is important for sportsmen or individual following rigorous workouts.

Loading on a slow digesting carbohydrate before workout and a fast digesting after workout is great practice.

Before Workout: Load on slow digesting carbs, like fruits apple, pear, bananas, steel cut whole grain oats, or multigrain bread. You will be less tired during workouts, and burn more fat.

After Workout: Eat a fast digesting carbohydrate like fresh orange juice, ORS solution, a baked sweet potato. This will raise the insulin level driving the cardbohydrate to muscles where it aids in protein synthesis to build grow muscle fibres.

Totally avoid sports drink, they are expensive and quick fix, you can get same results with a glass of ORS or lemonade made with brown sugar, salt and lemon juice. This is enough to keep the balance of sodium and electrolytes post workout.

4- Fats:

To keep growing and maintaining the muscle fibres, a selection of good fats in every meal is what you need to care for. The 15%-20% of daily calories intake should come from carefully chosen fat sources that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, out of which at least 5% can be saturated fats. 

Include the following in your diet:

-       Olive oil, coconut and canola oil
-       Olive butter, Peanut butter
-       Avacado
-       Peanuts
-       Pumpkin seeds, almonds (for snacks, cereals and salads)
-       Flax seeds, add 1-2 tsp of flax seed meal in cereals every day

For Saturated Fats:
-       red meat
-       dairy butter, full cream milk,
-       yougurt

Maintaining optimum level of testrones is very important for muscle building, and avoiding weight gain. So eating some saturated fats are good for it.

5- Hydration:

Extremely vital to keep your muscles hydrated all the time, or else your muscles will have hard time recovering. Drink 3 litres of water minimum sipping throughout the day. 

6- Micronutrients (Minerals and Vitamins):

As you consume good sources of macronutrient, including Minerals and Vitamins are equally important for maintenance of healthy disease free body. Eat plenty of green vegetable, like spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, lettuce, and other salad green, add plenty of fresh green herbs to flavour your meals like mint, cilantro/coriander, basil, Oregano, dill etc. 

7- Sample Meals Plans

The key to developing beautiful muscles under that shirt is to eat what you like and enjoy but following the guidelines given. If you're not eating what you like, it'll be harder to consistently follow through with your diet.

Sample diet to give you a better idea of what you might eat in a day:


                     Breakfast: egg-white omelet with smoked salmon or chicken breast; multigrain toast; banana.

                     Pre-lunch snack: mixed nuts; apple, lassi.

                     Lunch: tuna/grilled fish salad with olive oil, onions and olives; multigrain bread.

                     Pre-workout snack: cottage cheese with strawberries/peaches/pears.

                     Post-workout snack: low fat lassi; sauted spinach/Homemade Protein Shake.

                     Dinner: Grilled Snapper fillet/pan seared snapper/ chicken breast with quinoa; stir-fry with carrots, onions, peas, and peppers.


7:30 a.m. Breakfast:
Boiled 2 large whole eggs, 2 large egg whites

1 cup plain cooked steel cut oats/oatmeal cereal

Large sliced banana

10 a.m. Midmorning Snack
 sandwich with 2 slices whole-wheat bread,  roast chicken breast
, rocket leaves, low-fat cheese
 and mustard, Any seasonal fruit

1 p.m. Lunch 
6 oz. lean Beef shami kebab/Chicken
Qeema sauted in light spices and herbs

2 cup bran rice
1 cup steamed broccoli


3 p.m. Midday snack
 I chicken tikka/200
 2 slices whole-wheat bread

1/2 avocado

5 p.m. Pre-workout
 1 glass homemade protein shake with
 2 slices whole-wheat bread/multigrain muffin

6:30 p.m. Pos-tworkout
 1 huge 300 ounce homemade protein shake 

7:30 p.m. Dinner
8 oz. Salmon/King Fish panseared or grilled/chicken or lean beef steaks
 roasted sweet potato or quinoa grain
 1 cup suated spinach/green salad plate

10:30 p.m. Bedtime
 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
 2-3 Tbsp. peanut butter/handful of almonds with a glass of whole milk

8- Quick Tips: Change starts from your grocery shopping that reflects on the food that turns up on your table and finally your bodies show it.

Mark the following:

- Buy all lean meat, i.e without fat, and cook with minimum oil. Buying expensive cuts of lean meat then cooking it in lots of oil/butter/ghee is a waste.

- Flax Seeds meal (powder it at home enough for 2-3 days supply, the flax seed meal/powder gets rancid if stored for more then few days)

- Balanced meals Keep reminding yourself to balance every single meal you take during the day

- Count Calories and Nutrition; To keep track of your nutrition and calories intake download and use any one of the Calorie and nutrition counting apps  

- Avoid processed food; try to limit all packaged, bottled, tinned foo

-Cottage Cheese; learn to make your own cottage cheese at home and use that in your meals 

- Sodas and sugary drinks: all boxed bottled carbonated drinks, juices and such should be avoided, added sugars are empty calories

- Learn to Cook: Most Pakistani men rely on others to cook for them, remember it is your Abs and body, so work for it yourself, or join cooking with mom, sister, wife or whoever is the executive chef of your family.

- Share your Success: send me some images once you begin getting those abs and the images and details of your meals

- Tweet for qs: For questions and concerns twitter @FSKamal


Note: Feature yourself in this blog. I have not put any images on this block, people who follow some of these and get good result can send their images of themselves showing the abs, biceps or their meals. I will feature them here.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Quinoa-The Super Food

Quinoa is to overcome the food shoratge of tomorrow with its perfect balance of carbohydrate and complete protein

 Quinoa is a Super Grain historically consumed by Inca civilizations some 3-4 thousand years back as staple food.  Though referred to as grain, Quinoa is the seed part of the plant and one of the top protein rich staple one can have.  Contains all 9 amino acids making it complete source of low fat, no cholesterol protein. Owing to the high nutritional value and importance of this grain, the year 2013 is declared as the year of Quinoa by United Nations.

Nutrition Profile:

185gms of cooked quinoa contains;

229 Calories of which 32 Calories is from fat

8.0 gms of protein

3.5gms of fat

42gm carbohydrates

5 gms of fibre

31 mg calcium

2.76 mg iron

318 mg potassium

13 mg sodium

2.02 mg zinc

Because of this excellent balance of carbohydrate and protein Quinoa is also considered the number one food to overcome the food shortage in future. Given this nutrient dense profile, Quinoa makes a perfect choice for staple for health and wellness, including controlling obesity, diabetics and Cardio Vascular conditions.

Since 2008, the researches have been underway at Agricultural University of Faisalabad and later in in Chakwal and Bhawalpur experimenting growing this high nutrition value crop of quinoa in Pakistan . Some health food stores in major cities of Pakistan have imported quinoa available, though very expensive it is better to pay for healthy food then hospitals.

Quinoa can be creatively used to cook many dishes just like rice or pasta, in soups, salads, ground into flour. Its nutty, delicate and popping structure with a distinct ring of protein upon cooking gives way to endless culinary and create healthy and delicious main course or side dishes Taste totally delicious with a crunch and when flavoured with herbs and spices, or eaten fruits, cream, milk or yogurt for breakfast.

 Here goes my favorite  of  quinoa dish, I serve it as a side to go with baked fish/poultry and vegetable.


1 cup wholegrain quinoa
¼ cup sliced skitake mushroom/any mushroom you get
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp sundried tomatoes
½ cups chopped green onions/chives
1 tsp chopped garlic
¼ cup chopped onions (the white part of green onions)
Salt n pepper to taste

1-    Saute the onion and garlic in 1 tbps olive oil, then add mushrooms and  continue sauting.
2-    Now add washed and drained quinoa, salt, and pour broth/liquid ( any would chicken/veg/fish/plain water).
3-    Let it cook like rice on medium flame until all water soaked and quinoa appear fluffy and soft. Now add sundried tomatoes. Before serving add chopped green onions/chives.
4-    Let it cook like rice on medium flame until all water soaked and quinoa appear fluffy and soft. Now add sundried tomatoes. Before serving add chopped green onions/chives.

Quinoa, can be a great nutrient packed cereal as well;

My favorite Quinoa breakfast:

-In a teaspoon of butter in a heated pot add ½ cup washed and drained quino and a cinnamon stick
- stir this for 3-4 minutes on medium flame
- Add 1 cup water and cooked until soft and fluffy
-divide in 2-3 bowls, add warm milk, sliced almond and apple/banana chunks, optional honey/maple syrup or brown sugar