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Blog

Approachable health tips from the personal trainers of TorqueStrong

Filtering by Tag: nutrition

Craving Pizza? We Tested Two Healthy Alternatives and One Clearly Stole Our Taste Buds.

Alydia Bryant

For years people have been raving over cauliflower pizza. Its low carb, gluten free ingredients has allowed people an opportunity to try the food they love in a new manor while still staying within the guidelines of their nutrition. We recently stumbled along a pizza crust recipe called Fat Head Pizza. People were claiming it was the Holy Grail of pizza so we decided to test the two out and give them our own review. 

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Cauliflower Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower - should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon basil or rosemary, minced (or dry)
  • ½ teaspoon oregano, minced (or dry)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • Choice of Toppings

Instruction

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Remove the stems from the cauliflower and cut into chunks, Place the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse it until it resembles the texture of rice. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a cheese grater or chop it very finely.
  3. Microwave the processed cauliflower uncovered in a microwave safe bowl for approximately 4-5 minutes on high. Remove it from the microwave and allow it to cool for at least 4-5 minutes (trust me don't rush this step!). After the cauliflower is slightly cooled, place it in a kitchen towel and squeeze all the liquid out of it. Be sure to squeeze as much liquid as humanly possible. 
  4. Combine the cooked cauliflower, egg, garlic, cheese, and seasonings. Stir until a dough texture forms. Spread the cauliflower mixture out onto lightly greased parchment paper or a pizza pan in the shape of a pizza crust. 
  5. Bake the crust for approximately 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven), or until the crust is golden and crispy. I cooked mine for approximately 15 minutes. After the crust is golden remove it from the oven and add your toppings, I used marinara sauce and cheese for a simple margarita pizza. 
  6. Place the pizza back in the oven but this time turn on the broiler, bake for about 2-5 minutes until the cheese melts. be sure to keep an eye on it because the broiler can burn the cheese quickly. 
  7. Slice and serve warm , enjoy!
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Fat Head Pizza:

Ingredients:

  •  1 3/4cups pre shredded/grated cheese 
  •  3/4cup almond meal/flour
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt to taste
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary/ garlic or other flavorings (optional)
  • choice of toppings

Instruction

  1. Mix the shredded/grated cheese and almond flour/meal in a microwaveable bowl. Add the cream cheese. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.
  2. Stir then microwave on HIGH for another 30 seconds.
  3. Add the egg, salt, rosemary and any other flavorings, mix gently.
  4. Place in between 2 pieces of baking parchment/paper and roll into a circular pizza shape (see photos above). Remove the top baking paper/parchment. If the mixture hardens and becomes difficult to work with, pop it back in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to soften again but not too long or you will cook the egg.
  5. Make fork holes all over the pizza base to ensure it cooks evenly.
  6. Slide the baking paper/parchment with the pizza base, on a baking tray (cookie tray) or pizza stone, and bake at 220C/425F for 12-15 minutes, or until brown.
  7. To make the base really crispy and sturdy, flip the pizza over (onto baking paper/parchment) once the top has browned.
  8. Once cooked, remove from the oven and add all the toppings you like. Make sure any meat is already cooked as this time it goes back into the oven just to heat up the toppings and melt the cheese. Bake again at 220C/425F for 5 minutes.

Reviews

"From the minute I took my first bite I knew which pizza was going to win in my book. This was my first time trying cauliflower and fat head pizza. The Fat Head pizza was a bit spongey compared to normal Pizza but you could still pick it up/fold it/ eat it to your own desire. The Cauliflower pizza taste like cauliflower and we were un able to pick it up. It had to be eaten with a fork." -Alydia

Fat Head:

Appearance: 9

Consistency/Texture: 9

Ease of Preparation:8

Taste:9

Cauliflower:

Appearance: 7

Consistency/Texture: 5

Ease of Preparation:5

Taste:4


"I loved both pizzas that we tried for different reasons. Overall, however, I liked the fathead crust better than the cauliflower crust pizza, mainly because of texture. I enjoyed the cauliflower crust's pizza's flavor, but the texture was just a tad too mushy for me to consider it a pizza dough. The fathead pizza crust on the other hand had similar texture to an actual crust made from flour. Even though it was slightly spongier than normal pizza crust, it was very minimal." -Avery

Fathead pizza:

Appearance: 9

Consistency/texture: 8

Ease of Preparation:9

Taste: 9

Cauliflower pizza:

Appearance: 8

Consistency/texture: 4

Ease of preparation: 3 (This was so tricky to prepare!)

Taste: 7 - as long as you're not expecting a classic pizza taste, otherwise 5


"Both pizzas were phenomenal considering they were low carb and gluten free. The cauliflower crusted pizza wasn’t too bad, considering it was primarily made out of a vegetable. The fathead pizza was super delicious and honestly, I would prefer that crust over normal pizza crust."-Gentry

Fathead pizza:

Appearance: 10

Consistency/texture: 10

Ease of Preparation:9

Taste: 10

Cauliflower pizza:

Appearance: 9

Consistency/texture: 7

Ease of Preparation:6

Taste: 8


"I think the winner for me was the Fathead Pizza for a few different reasons. It was much easier to make than the Cauliflower pizza, fewer steps and better overall crust. As far as taste, the Fathead had more flavor while the Cauliflower pizza really didn't have a lot of flavor as far as crust goes. This is not to say that the cauliflower pizza wasn't good because I think that it is still a great alternative. "- Meredith

Fathead pizza:

Appearance: 10

Consistency/texture: 10

Ease of Preparation:10

Taste: 10

Cauliflower Pizza:

Appearance: 7

Consistency/texture: 5

Ease of Preparation:6

Taste: 8

Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad

Alydia Bryant

After last weeks post about Nutrition and Fitness we received a number of requests for the recipe of the salad we used in the the post! SOOOOO here it is!

To Start and Helpful Tips:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  • Gather a baking sheet, mixing bowl

  • Thoroughly rinse produce and pat dry

  • Prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray

  • Red beet juice is a strong dye (it's even used as food coloring), so cut red beets last to avoid staining other ingredients. Separate red and golden beets on baking sheet to keep colors distinct.

  • Shallots bring a slightly assertive onion-garlic flavor when used raw. Use to taste when adding to vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Shallot
  • ¾ oz. Pistachios 
  • 2 Golden Beets
  • 2  Red Beets
  • 1½ fl. oz. Champagne Vinegar
  • ½ oz. Honey
  • 3½ oz. Baby Arugula
  • 1 oz. Goat Cheese Crumbles
  • olive oil
  • salt and peper

Directions:

Torquestrong, Lynchburg Va, Healthy, Clean Eats, Personal Training

1. Peel and slice shallot into very thin rounds. Coarsely chop pistachios. Trim tops off golden beet and red beet, peel, halve, and cut into ¼" dice. Keep beets separate. Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry, and season both sides with ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.

2. Place golden beets and red beets on separate halves of prepared baking sheet. Toss both with ½ tsp. olive oil, ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Roast until tender, 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool. While beets roast, make dressing.

3. Make the Dressing: Combine Champagne vinegar, honey, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add shallot rounds (to taste) and set aside.

4. Add arugula and beets to bowl with vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Garnish with goat cheese (breaking up with your hands if needed) and pistachios. 

torquestrong, Lynchburg Va, Personal training, health, wellness, fitness
 

Nutrition & Fitness. Must go hand in hand.

Alydia Bryant

nutrition Torquestrong Personal Training Lynchburg Virginia

Eating the right way and exercising?

Let's be honest, if given the choice most people would rather exercise for forty-five minutes to an hour each day and then head back home and eat whatever they feel like. If we are even more honest, this is exactly what most people do.

We hear things like "I earned this dessert, I did an hour of cardio today!" or "I'll burn this meal off tomorrow." As a trainer I feel like most people want to be successful and consistent when it comes to eating right, but sadly most fall short. We are all humans after all and no one is perfect, but the mind set that we can eat whatever we want and it will all magically balance itself out because we exercise is just wrong.

Lets start with why it is important to eat well.

1. Food is fuel for exercise and life.

We cannot reach our full potential in the gym if we are fueling our bodies with junk. Imagine you were a formula one driver. Would you pull up to your pit crew and say "Hey guys, I really want to win this race, but instead of the high octane petrol go ahead and fill her up with rain water. She'll be fine." Crazy right? Well, millions of people do the same thing with their own bodies every single day in the gym. The only difference being that we can't just go and ask our sponsors to buy a new race car, we are stuck with this one body for better or for worse. We can't figure out why we are aren't getting any leaner or stronger or why we are exhausted by 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when really the answer is simple: poor nutrition.

2. Food will make or break you from the inside out.

Forget about how you want to look for a moment or how much you want to lift, and think about being healthy from the inside out. Think about longevity and a great quality of life. The unnecessary wear and tear we place on our bodies through processed foods, sugars, and poor eating is unreal. A recent study out of NYU showed that 74% of Americans live with some level of gastrointestinal discomfort. These symptoms include regular bloating, IBS, diarrhea, and sever abdominal pains. The sad thing is that most people just figure that the way they are feeling is normal and continue to live with these unnecessary discomforts. In most cases the solution to these problems is cleaner eating habits. I am not even talking about a full 180 degree change in your nutrition. It may be as simple as eliminated soda, reducing your diary intake, or cutting your sugar intake in half. Believe me that I have heard all of the responses to these suggestions before: "What?! No, I have to have my diet coke." or "That is my comfort food! I have to have that." All I will say to those comments is: Nothing is worth your health or quality of life. Nothing.

3. Eating better can stop the "Medication Cycle."

We live in a society where the pharmaceutical industry is an absolute giant and drugs are king. Many health professionals are far too quick to prescribe this pill or that drug instead of stopping and saying "Well, lets look at your diet. With a few adjustments you might not even need to go on any medication." Please don't get me wrong, there are many instances where the absolute best course of action is some form of medication. I am referring to the current trend where instead of eating better, the average person will just say "Nah, I'll take the cholesterol meds instead. I love my fried foods!" Thus begins the medication cycle. The medication may in fact control your cholesterol levels, but constipation may be a side effect so you'll need a prescription for that, and that drug may cause headaches so you better take something for that, and those meds will make you extremely irritable so here's a pill for that. On and on the medication cycle continues until we are completely dependent upon on all of these drugs. In many cases these drugs are extremely difficult for our bodies to process which in turn can cause serious long term damage to our kidneys and liver. Will proper eating prevent or cure every ache, pain, symptom or disease? No, but shouldn't we try to stack the deck in our favor? Shouldn't we at least give ourselves a fighting chance?

In closing, proper nutrition should not be the sidekick to our exercise plan or an afterthought in the whole process. Proper nutrition is the hero, it is the main event!

Proper nutrition must go hand in hand with exercise. You will feel better, you will be healthier, and you will have a much greater chance of reaching those goals your are working so hard to acheive.

We only have one shot at this life and we only have one body with which to take it, so let's stack the deck and give ourselves a fighting chance!

Sean Archulet Torquestrong Personal Training Lynchburg Virginia

-Sean Archulet- Sean@torquestrong.com