So You’re Curious About Nutrient Timing and Working Out

Recently, on Instagram I’ve had some feedback about what works for me. What works for me nutritionally, in the gym, nutrient timing, supplements, etc. Well here is an example of a ‘regular’ day for me and some of the supplements I take.

Keep in mind: what works for me is specific to ME only. This is for you to get ideas from, but know that what works you could be 100% opposite. Bodies are weird like that.

My Staples: there are a few things that I just can’t and won’t go a day without. I know that not only do they do my body good, but they have benefits for other things.

Oatmeal. I was on and off with this for awhile, but now I am it is ON and here to stay! When I finally realized the difference in my non-oatmeal to my oatmeal days, I couldn’t believe I didn’t realize it sooner.

  • Why I like it: When I have this for breakfast I notice that it keeps me full a lot longer into my day. Instead of getting hungry 2-3 hours after breakfast, I can last 4-4.5 hours. It makes a big difference on the days when I have to wait 4+ hours to eat my second meal because I’m so busy. Not only that but it is a great complex carb, my body appreciates it.
  • How I eat it: One of 2 ways usually. 1) Overnight oats with 1/2C oatmeal + 1/2C Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Vanilla yogurt + 1/2 scoop Quest salted carmel protein + 1 TBS peanut butter + almond milk (to desired consistency). Or option 2) 1/2C oatmeal +1/2 -1 scoop quest protein any kind + 1-1 1/2 C water + peanut butter/choc chips/ sprinkles to taste 🙂

For more on complex carbs, check out this article: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/benefits-of-complex-carbs-and-the-best-ones-to-eat/

Peanut Butter. I. Can’t. Go. A. Day. Without. There are plenty of “healthy” or “healthier” peanut butter options out there. What’s usually in my cupboard is Jiff Natural Peanut Butter, Better N’ Peanut Butter any flavor, or the Peanut Butter Co. Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

  • Why I like it: Because it’s peanut butter, duh
  • How I eat it: With everything.

Apples. 

  • Why I like them: An apple away, keeps the doctor away. But no really, I eat one a day for all dat Vitamin C, and they’re delish
  • How I eat them: Uh, as is. Or with PB 🙂

Greek Yogurt. Dannon Oikos triple zero vanilla to be exact. Still delicious with a LOT less sugar.

  • Why I like it: A great source of protein, no fat, low carb (this kind specifically)
  • How I eat it: in overnight oats, with granola, mixed with PB and honey, with fruit.
  • Extra tip: Use plain greek yogurt as a substitute for so much – sour cream, heavy cream or cream cheese in baking, etc.

These foods are in my grocery cart every single time, even when I’m not getting a full load because I go through these that quickly. Below are other staples:

  • Chicken
  • Couscous/ quinoa
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Ground turkey
  • Deli turkey
  • Almonds
  • Quest bars/ protein bars
  • Almond milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • Misc fruits and veggies

So eating all of these foods may seem fine and dandy, and then some people try it and say “Uh… What? I’ve been eating healthy, heck I’ve been eating Kale and other superfoods and I am seeing no change!” Sometimes it comes down to nutrient and meal timing.

And let me note this here. Just because you are trying to eat healthier or begin a diet does not mean you have to eat less. Don’t do it. Majority of Americans either overeat (the obvious) or undereat because they don’t know what their bodies need.

Nutrient Timing: Yep. It’s a thing. Spreading your meals out into more smaller meals throughout the day at a pretty consistent basis, that works. That is the easy party of nutrient timing. What I found to be hard, and it has taken me quite a few years experimenting to figure this out is nutrient timing. What to eat before and after a workout, what’s best for breakfast, for a bedtime snack, etc. Here is what my nutrient timing looks like

  • Carb loading first half of the day. I’ve found that my body works best when I have majority of my carbs (60% or more) in the first “half” of my day. Usually that means before about 3PM. Within that time I have oatmeal for breakfast, an occasional sandwich or PB toast, yogurt + granola, apples and other fruits, and sweet potatoes or something of the sort for lunch. When it comes to dinner, I don’t omit carbs though, because I hate the notion of “oh no carbs are bad for me”. No I just have less carbs in the second half of my day. Dinner? Usually sees couscous or quinoa or a taco salad. Pre bedtime snack? Cottage cheese, protein pudding, or halo top.

So I know when my body appreciates carbs. Why do I think this is? Well I usually have 1-2 workouts done before 5PM. Also, I’m usually up pretty darn early. My body not only appreciates the carbs early, it demands carbs. Will this work for you? Maybe. Maybe if you workout in the morning and are on your feet the rest of the day. Maybe your body just likes carbs early in the day so it has time to work them through your body and store them properly. Or maybe you need a more even keel of carbs throughout the day. Maybe you only workout in the afternoon or maybe you wake up later in the day. You figure it out, you do you booboo.

Thats a breakfast full of carbs. Gimme that energy for leg day.

  • Carbs + protein + little fat before a workout and protein + carbs after a workout. My pre-workout choices? Apples, rice cakes, bananas. Or if it is 1 hour or more prior greek yogurt parfait or PB toast. Post workout? honestly, it usually falls perfectly with one of my meals. But if not, and this rarely happens, I’ll have a protein shake to tide me over.

Not only does nutrient timing your workouts help you get through the workout – with proper energy, without feeling sick, etc. It also 100% affects how your body recovers and also plays into your weight loss, strength building, etc. goals. But that’s another topic for another time.

  • Meal timing: 1 meal every 3-4 hours. It works. I eat 6 meals a day and on my really early days I eat 7 meals. I’m not eating 500+ calories each time. No, my biggest caloric meal is actually usually lunch. Breakfast (300-400 cals) Breakfast no 2 aka meal 2 (200-300 cals) Lunch (450-550 cals) Meal 4 (200-300 cals) dinner (400-500 cals) bed time snack (100-200 cals)

Why does meal timing work? It allows your body to constantly have something to work through. As soon as you finish digesting one meal you are about ready to put another one in. It doesn’t give the body time to be confused or to think that it is not getting a meal for awhile, putting itself into starvation mode.

Let’s tie this into exercise

Now of course, contrary to popular belief, everything done in the kitchen will outweigh your efforts in the gym. You just can’t out exercise a bad diet. So, knowing that my diet is on cue, here is what I currently have found to be working for me. NOTE:  I change up my exercise routine about every 3-4 months.

Strength training: Don’t be afraid of muscles. I’m not. Sure one of my main goals is to always be getting stronger and to have visible muscle definition, that might not be your goal, but strength training is important to have in EVERY program. If you don’t want the “bulky” look go for lighter weight and higher reps. But keep the strength training because it helps your body be strong to fight against falls, poor posture, injuries, etc.

  • Current program: 3-4X per week of legit strength training. Where most of my sets are only 4-8 reps each set. Some sets get into the endurance range of 12-15, but the overall goal is strength. My heart rate is not as high here, which is why I pair it with an occasional 2-a-day with running (see more later).

 

HIIT, or something of the sort: I recognize that one of the best ways to burn fat is to work in intervals. High heart rate to low. So I do HIIT. Plus some days I just need to sweat, so here’s a good way to do it.

  • Current program: 2-3X per week of HIIT. This could include tabatas, interval training, workouts under 30 minutes. The goal is to monitor the ups and downs of the heart rate. More recently, I’m working out at #orangetheoryfitness more for this HIIT (if you haven’t tried OTF- do it!). I mean the whole premise of OTF is the “afterburn” which comes from that intervalling of the heart rate

 

 

Running: yes, I’m a runner. Especially right now as I know that a half marathon and hopefully a tough mudder will happen this year. As long as you are smart about running, it can be beneficial to any program – I mean #cardio, duh. The more running I put in my regimen, the leaner I feel. But I will NOT run myself into the ground with miles and miles just to attempt to be leaner. That is where strength training also comes into play.

  • Current program: 2-4X per week of running (noting that some of these days my running comes in my HIIT when I do Orangetheory). Usually my run days are my 2-a-days, most commonly paired with lifting.

 

Daily example:

  • Monday: AM lift- legs, PM (afternoon) run
  • Tuesday: AM lift- shoulders + run at the end of workout
  • Wednesday: HIIT at orangetheory (including core)
  • Thursday: PM lift – chest/ tris /core
  • Friday: AM lift- back/bis + PM run
  • Saturday or Sunday: Lift- deadlift/ accessory work/ core + run
  • Saturday or Sunday: rest day

Lastly, supplementation

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert here. I will just note what I use and why I like it and keep it short and sweet

Protein

  • Quest nutritin protein powder (to be mixed with anything you can set your mind to- protein pancakes with quest are BOMB) plus quest bars

Pre workout

  • NLA for her Ignite: I’ve tried a lot of pre-workouts and I just like this. No tingling, no crashing plus workout energy, focus, and sweat

BCAA

  • Currently NLA for her aminos, but changing to ideal lean. The NLA BCAA’s did make me tingle. Any other recommendations for BCAA’s?

Probiotic

  • Easy living nutra. If you don’t currently use a probiotic I highly suggest you try. It really helps with a “happy gut”, and in my personal experience, eliminates unnecessary bloating.

Misc

  • Joint health – Vasayo microlife ‘renew’ gel. Works wonders. Curious about it? Ask
  • Multivitamin- Vasayo microlife essential. Proven to be absorbed by the body ALOT more than regular multis and not just peed out

Questions? Please ask!

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How to Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals

… and not only realistic, healthy.

It’s March, and with March comes Spring Break. What better time of year to realize that you aren’t where you want to be? That your goals might have been forgotten about, or maybe half-assed the last oh, 6-8 months?

So it’s March, and new weight loss goals are being set. And the fitness industry knows this. Now, I am proud to be apart of, present and past, of organizations that revolve their goals for members around healthy achievement, but I do know that that is not the case for everyone in the “health and fitness industry”.

Nothing. Nothing Makes me cringe more than the weight loss ploys to lose 5-10 lbs A WEEK! Like What?! Have you ever taken a course in nutrition or how the body works?!

Excuse me while I go calm myself down…

 

OKAY. I’m back. Here’s the thing, if you have been victimized by one of those weight loss ploys there are a few different things that could be happening here.

  1. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence thinking about the money you spent and the results you did NOT get.
  2. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence thinking about the results you did get, and the weight gained back- not to mention how your body hasn’t been the same since.
  3. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence just simply because you couldn’t agree more.

I’ve seen it. I’ve seen friends, acquaintances, co-workers, community members, new clients, etc. put money into something that just didn’t measure up. I’ve seen people with such damagemetabolisms that no matter what they do they can’t get it back on track. I’ve seen people with cupboards full of supplements, detoxes, pills, powders, and fridges full of cucumber waters, etc. that aren’t being used because they don’t work.

And here’s why they don’t work

Based on scientific, long-research, mathematical equations, a person should only *healthily and realistically* lose up to 2 LBS per week. TWO POUNDS! Why? Well here’s some math for you…

1 lb of weight loss per week= 3,500 calorie deficit per week = 500 calorie deficit in one day. Double that for 2 lbs.

What does a 500 calorie deficit look like? For most people starting out, who likely eat maybe 3 meals a day, that is essentially cutting each meal in 1/3. But realistically it is cutting your dinner in half, because that is where most overeat.

Sure, this may sound easy, and to some it is. I’m not saying the caloric deficit is hard, I’m saying that a deficit more than that is hard on the body.

What do most of these “lose 30 lbs in a month” or “lose up to 20 lbs in a week” ploys do? They put you on a restricted diet. And for the love of God, don’t get me started on the “CUT OUT CARBS BULLSHIT” like do you even know what your body’s preferred source of energy is? It is NOT 4 servings of green tea a day + 1 bowl of cottage cheese (eye roll). And if these weight loss fixes don’t put you on a restricted diet they are filling your body with chemicals that confuse the heck out of your body.

What happens when you restrict your caloric intake?

You restrict your nutrient intake. You might be eating less and not physically feel starved (but honestly most of the time you will) but instead you will start feeling lethargic, your immune system will suppress and you will be sick more, you might break out with more acne, you might get injured more easily. There could be a lot of “side effects” that you won’t even realize are related.

Not getting enough nutrients in your diet because you are eating 600 calories per day? You’re going to get sick. Or maybe you’re drinking some sore of drink that is “full of nutrients” which it MIGHT be, but chances are your body is only absorbing 10% of those nutrients (this is common among most multivitamins anyway). So if you’re drinking a nutrient rich drink and not absorbing it, where are those nutrients going? You’re peeing them out.

OH and when you lose a lot of weight each week, what kind of weight do you think you’re losing? Fat? Yeah sure, you’re losing some. But you’re also losing muscle. Muscle doesn’t only exist on bodybuilders and gym rats, EVERYONE has muscle. And even if you don’t have muscle definition you still have muscle and that muscle is the support system of your body. It is what keeps you tall with proper posture and supports your core in daily activities. You need muscle, not only for that, but for the fact that you want your body, your bones, your organs, protected.

The jyst here: I could go on and on about why these things don’t work but it all comes down to the fact that health and fitness professionals, along with scientist and people who dedicate their lives to their field have proven that weight loss should not happen in more than 2 lbs per week, and that fact has stayed tried and true for YEARS.

*Side note: if you are BRAND new, to a fitness and health program there is a good chance that you do  lose more than 2 lbs per week, this is called adaptation. It is not something that lasts*

So how to set realistic health and fitness goals

  • Set that goal for 1-2 lbs per week!
  • Incorporate not only a cleaned up diet but also a prescribed fitness routine by a professional
  • Set small goals that lead to a big picture
  • Know that not all goals need to be weight loss related. Make performance goals.
  • Realize that progress is still progress no matter how small. We are not sprinting here, we are running a marathon, and that-that is what makes results that last. Why? Because you are creating not only healthy habits but a healthy lifestyle. You are not falling into a 1 month quick fix only to “bounce back” and relapse as soon as you’re done. No, to be healthy you have to realize that it is a lifetime commitment to yourself

When it comes down to it, trust your gut, but more importanty trust yourself. You are much  more powerful than you think you are. You got this. Go rock the world.

Get On Track For The Holidays Now; Cleaning Up Your ‘Diet’

It’s Wednesday, November 16, 2016. That means that thanksgiving is 8 days away. EIGHT days away?! If you’re anywhere in the midwest like I am, you walk outside into 65 degree weather and think that somehow we all went back 2 months in time, so no way Thanksgiving is next week!

But it is.

So let’s get on track. Cleaning up your diet and your relationship with food before the feast begins will make everything easier, and leave your pants a little less snug.

*PS.  I say diet because diet by definition is the food that a person habitually eats, we all have a diet, everyday*

thanksgiving.jpg

Here are a few tips to take with you as you approach the holidays, some obviously stated in a thousand other blogs before, some maybe not:

1) Portion Control

portioncontrol-post

I know, isn’t it obvious? But let’s just take a minute to remind ourselves. Starting NOW at every meal you eat, take a look at your portion sizes- are they what they should be? How can you measure?

-Get a food scale and portion out in grams or ounces what 1 serving size for that food is (see nutrition label on food, or google it if there is not a label)

-Visualize portion sizes using familiar objects. Example:

*The palm of your hand= Recommended serving size of meat, about 3 ounces

*The front of a closed fist= Recommended serving size of cooked pasta, about 1/2 Cup

*Your thumb= roughly a tablespoon of almost everything, double this portion size for peanut butter

-Think choose my plate when serving your dish:

myplate_blue

2) Use meal tracking apps or websites.

Start today! Download MyFitnessPal or any other app or meal tracking help you can find. If you start now, you will be familiar with the app and know how to use it. When the holiday comes you will find yourself being more conscious of what you are choosing to put on your plate because you will know that you have to track it- it will make you hold yourself accountable.

myfitnesspal_screenshots

If you are wanting to figure things out a little more on your own- see 2 old blog posts (originally meant to be paired with exercise) that go into calculating everything you  need to know:

https://infitinyhealth.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/eating-to-fuel-your-workout-and-your-goals/

https://infitinyhealth.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/eating-for-your-fitness-and-goals-part-2/

3) Cook for yourself 

Pretty simple here, if you cook for yourself you know exactly what is going into it. You can choose healthier ingredients, you can track it better, and just feel good.

4) Think ‘Natural’ or “Unprocessed’ when grocery shopping for your meal.

It’s obvious that buying boxed cakes, pre-made pie crust, pre-made sides, etc. from the grocery store is the easy way, but take some extra time this holiday to find the good ingredients, and this goes back to cooking for yourself. If you are picking out your ingredients to cook for yourself, take the extra step to go as healthy as possible- and that includes as healthy as possible for desserts. Look for fresh fruit to cook with instead of canned, fresh veggies to cook instead of canned or frozen, fresh meat from the deli, and if you must buy something pre-packaged, look for lower sodium or lower sugar options.

Thanksgiving dishes naturally are high in sodium, prevent that number from rising by buying low sodium, and especially, by cooking fresh. Canned and packaged foods have 1,000X more sodium than natural, fresh food. All the extra sodium, and even sugar, and fat on the holidays will not mix well, causing bloat, etc.

Here’s an example of the sodium difference in fresh green beans (left) & canned green beans (right)

greenbeans        canned-green-beans

5) Get on track with a buddy- think power in numbers!

Get a relative to buddy up with you, that way you have someone on your side at the feast. I know it can be extra hard to resist when other, non-health minded people push you to “splurge” or “give in” a little bit. Find a relative, or a friend, whoever! Keep each other on track, sit by each other at the table, encourage each other, and remind each other of portion control 😉

Don’t let Thanksgiving be the beginning of a spiral into fat pants. If you’re on track, stay on track with these tips. If you’re not on track, get on track now. It never makes sense to “Wait until after the holidays.” or to “Wait until January to start a resolution.” Start now! NOW. 🙂

Panko Coconut Chicken with Zesty Orange Sauce

Coconut chicken, healthy crispy, delicious, coconut chicken.

Are you ready for this?

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My dinner as a whole was actually really freaking delicious, but lets focus on that chicken and GAH that sauce!

I altered the recipe slightly because it called for baking it in the oven and I just aint got time for that, although it would probably make the chicken look a little more appealing. The original recipe I got the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction:

( http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2015/04/17/crispy-coconut-chicken-with-spicy-honey-orange-sauce/ )

My version served 2, so here it is!

6 chicken tender strips, uncooked

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4-1/2 panko breadcrumbs (more or less depending on your love for coconut taste)

1/4 cup liquid egg whites

1/4 cup coconut oil

(The original recipe called for salt and pepper (I chose not to use it), as well as flour to use as a sticking agent for the crumbs, I also chose not to use it)

Dipping sauce

1/2 cup apricot preserves

Slightly less than 1/4 cup honey (more if you reallllllyyyy like honey)

3 TBSP Dijon Mustard

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I like spicy so I used 1 TBSP)

To Prepare:

  • Prepare a non-stick skillet with spray and the 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • In a small bowl, mix together the coconut and panko crumbs
  • In a separate small bowl, pour the liquid egg whites
  • One chicken tender at a time, dip into the egg white to coat completely, then dip into the crumb mix (Roll it around with a little pressure, this is how it “sticks” well without having to use flour. Using your other handle to sprinkle extra crumbs on might be needed)
  • Place tender into skillet and repeat for the remaining 5 strips.
  • Cook on medium-high heat for about 10-15 minutes, flipping every 2-3 minutes, until chicken is 165 degrees F
  • While tenders are cooking prepare the sauce by mixing all ingredients and giving a good stir!
  • Serve tenders along a heaping spoonful, or 2 of sauce, eat and ENJOY!

Coconut chicken (per tender):

Cals: 136 / Carb: 3g / Fat: 6g / Protein: 15g

Zesty Orange Sauce (Per serving/ Makes 4 servings):

Cals: 108 / Carb: 27g / Fat: 0g / Protein: 0g

 

Breakfast Egg Muffins

I’ve been talking to multiple of my friends and clients lately about the importance of breakfast and what I eat for breakfast. Here is a recipe that I am particularly proud of because well, it’s DELICIOUS! Switching up the ingredients is easy, you can also easily control the amount of fat, carbs, and protein that you get out of it just by what you put in it.

If only I had a picture of it….

Below is how I usually make them, but like I said, they can be switched up SO easily!

  • 5 egg whites + 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup frozen hash brown
  • 1-2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • 6-8 slices deli meat (I usually choose turkey)
  • 1/4 cup cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. While the oven is preheating, mix your egg whites and 1 whole egg in a bowl and beat until the yolk is frothy. Add in the hash browns, spinach, and tomatoes. Before pouring the mixture into the muffin tin, line each insert with 1-2 pieces of deli meat (thick slices only use 1, thin slices use 2. You want the entire muffin insert to be covered with deli meat. I prefer to use deli meat as a way to help the muffin keep it’s shape, for a lower calorie option, omit the meat). Once the deli meat is in place, pour the egg mixture into each insert. Top with cheese as desired.

Place in oven and bake for 12-16 minutes or until the egg is completely cooked and a fork inserts and pulls out clean. Remove from pan and eat, or save for later!

Serves 6-8

Protein Cake Batter Dip

If you’re ready for your mouth to waterrr, while still staying within your daily Macro needs, try this!

IMG_6426

Protein Cake Batter Dip

The very easiest way to satisfy a sweet tooth:

  • 1/2 Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Scoop Vanilla Protein (I used Quest Vanilla Milkshake)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 box of sugar free vanilla pudding mix
  • Vanilla Extract to taste
  • Sprinkles optional (but for real why NOT?)

Calories: 180

Protein: 21g

Carbs: 21g

Fat: 0.5g

**Note: if you want to omit a few carbs, used plain greek yogurt and just add either more pudding mix or more vanilla extract**

** Recipe can also be done using 1 cup of plain greek yogurt + 1/2 box of pudding mix + vanilla extract to taste**

Serve with reduced fat graham crackers or dip in with a spoon! Enjoy!

IMG_6430

Green, lean, protein packed machine!

Smoothies are becoming my go-to morning meal and so it is time to experiment with recipes! I have decided to go the green route today, adding some veggies in with my breakfast, giving me a boost to my day! And it turned out FAB-U-LOUS!

Here is the easy recipe!

  • 1 cup almond milk (I used almond/coconut blend)
  • 1/2 cup trop50 orange juice
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (I used toasted coconut vanilla for extra flavor)
  • 2/3 of a full banana
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 TBSP agave nectar
  • 1/4 scoop Quest vanilla protein powder (can use more than 1/4 depending on protein needs/wants)

Blend together for about a minute and wah-lah! I got this beauty

IMG_5787

Calories: 365

Protein: 23g

Carb: 64g

Fat: 3g

A few tips:

  1. freeze all of the fruits and veggies the night before for easier prep and a colder/thicker smoothie!
  2. Blending smoothies for longer expands them in size by letting more air into the tight spaces, giving you a larger, more filling smoothie for the same calories! (if you don’t believe me, check out #30 on bodybuilding.com’s “40 laws of lean”–> http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/40-laws-of-lean.html)

When Can Exercise Become TOO Much?

I’ll start with an honest statement here. I am writing this because I feel that I, like many others, might be suffering from over-training syndrome and exercise addiction.

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Oh and a disclaimer: if you are reading this as someone who is contemplating beginning an exercise program- do not let this scare you away! Start that exercise program, reach those goals, it is good for your health. Just take this as an educational session on how to not get too addicted to that exercise program and start seeing problems!

How to tell if you are exercising too much? Has your body had enough? Has your mind had enough? Are other areas of your life being affected? Over-training and exercise addiction can happen to those of us with the best intentions. We want to get in, and stay in, the best shape of our lives. For some, over-exercising is just a misinterpretation that extra exercise means extra fast results. For me, sometimes over-training happens just because my body feels invincible. I’ve been into fitness for so long, I’ve studied it, I teach it, I do it 5-6 days a week. So when my body feels good it is easy to convince myself to do more, to see just how much I cant accomplish that day. If I can’t decide if I want to do my normal lift at the gym, or a HIIT class at Kosama, I do both, because I have nothing telling me not to. I feel great after both workouts, my caloric burn is through the roof, as is my metabolism. But I often don’t notice how close I am to over-training until is hits me like a brick. I find myself unable to complete the workout, not because my mind is telling me to quit, or because my muscles are just sore and it would be easier to not to that last squat, but because my body is tirrrreeeeddd, all the way down to the bone.

This cycle happens to me frequently, more frequently than I notice. And with this time, I have really stepped back to look at how it is affecting my life. Here are my initial thoughts:

  • My body is just sore,I’ve had a lot of high intensity workouts recently
  • My nutrition is fine, it’s not like I starve myself, not even close- I couldn’t if I tried! So I obviously am just sore
  • I workout because I like to, and it doesn’t affect other areas of my life
  • I exercise the same amount as I always have

But then I took a further step back and realized a few things…

  • My body is transforming lately- is it my workouts or Advocare? I’ve gone weeks with multiple high intensity workouts, sometimes 2 a day, but always at least 1 rest day. I’m proud of the caloric burn and the way my body is transforming- finally “leaning” out, and I can see muscles I used to not be able to see unless I was flexing really hard and that feels good!
  • Okay maybe I workout a little bit more than I always have, I guess I kind of up the intensity and/or time duration on a slow scale and haven’t realized the increase
  • My weights have been stuck for awhile, I haven’t seen any new big PR’s- maybe this is a plateau?
  • My nutrition is good, I don’t starve myself, but maybe 1800-2100 calories is actually too low (gasp) for my activity level. Maybe I need to re-evaluate how much I’m actually burning in a day by exercising as well as coaching group fitness and being on my feet all day….?
  • Do I let exercise and nutrition interfere with my life more than normal? It’s hard for me to say. Yes I will go lift on a Friday afternoon now instead of hitting the bar at 3pm, or I will choose to eat at home before meeting my friends out, but I have always been contributing that to 2 things: 1) I have more bills to pay now, so I’ll save my money where I can! 2) I’m out of college, I don’t need to pretend to be a college student anymore..?
  • Okay so maybe a few other things in my life are being affected or compromised because of my exercise habits and/or eating… I’m stressed, but is it because of work, or stressed out about fitting exercise into my day? Maybe it’s both. Maybe I feel that I’m losing my libido due to my hormones being so out of whack from all of this exericse- something I didn’t realize was so closely tied together until recently. Sometimes I don’t realize how tired my body is until I’m sitting on the couch at 8PM, and then it affects my home life, and I am just absent because my body and mind are already asleep.
  • Oh and its hard for me to take rest days! It throws me off. But don’t worry, I know it’s important, so I take them!

My good news is that I do not (yet) have any signs of over-training injuries, but surely that would be the next thing to come! I could list more about how I feel, my current level of exercise, how it’s affecting my life, yadayadayada. However, I want to share some of the research, extensive research, that I have done for myself. Time to start practicing what I preach, for real.

What Science Says About Over-Exercising

When someone is showing signs and symptoms of overtraining, they might be classified as those who have “overtraining syndrome”. This is when an athlete, exerciser, etc. sees diminished performance as a result from an increase in training volume and/or intensity combined with inadequate rest days/periods and/or inadequate nutrition.

When exercise is a good thing….

  1. It helps control your weight
  2. It helps lower your risk of chronic and debilitating health conditions
  3. It improves your mood
  4. It helps you sleep better
  5. It boosts your energy
  6. It improves your libido
  7. It can be fun!

What happens within your body when you exercise….

  • You intake more oxygen- by up to 15-20X more
  • Your heart rate rises
  • Your body works to release heat- by sweating
  • Metabolic wastes are eliminated
  • Your muscle fibers are being broken down and torn
  • Certain hormones are released- epinephrine, norepinephrine, aldosterone, cortisol, testosterone, & growth hormone

Anabolic and Catabolic States….

An anabolic state is what is considered “ideal” for the body. During an anabolic state your body is building up and repairing tissues and muscles, especially those that have been torn apart during exercise. When the body is in an anabloic state it is using energy within the body for repair, growth, and maintenance.

On the other hand, during a catabolic state, the body is breaking down food and nutrients to store the energy for later use, and later anabolic processes. During this state, larger molecules in your body are being broken down into several smaller ones, and thus, releases energy to then be used by the anabolic process.

It sometimes can be hard balancing between these 2 processes

When exercising we are in a catabolic state because our body is breaking down complex sugars to be used for energy, this is a natural process that needs to happen for your body to sustain exercise. BUT being in a catabolic state for too long can be detrimental to your health and can cause muscle mass loss. Being in a catabloic state for too long is known as catabolism: it is breaking down your bodily tissues, your muscles, it weakens your immune system, even causes fatigue.

Over exercising= catabolism.

How exercise can be a bad thing….

  • It can cause over-use injuries and tears in the joints, tendons, bones, ligaments
  • Over-exercising is often tied to a lack of proper nutrition, or compulsive behaviors and calorie counting
  • It can actually strain your heart, due to high amounts of increased heart rate. The heart is a muscle too
  • It can compromise your immune system
  • With too much exercise, the adrenaline is constantly pumping and other hormone levels are constantly increased, making it harder to fall asleep, stay asleep, or getting enough sleep
  • Exercise might cause your mood to shift- you might be irritable, depressed, develop low self-esteem, or stress
  • Over-exercising can cause some women to develop a condition called “amenorrhea” or the loss of menstruation
  • Too much exercise can put you in a negative catabolic state where your body is breaking down the tissues faster than your anabolic process can build them up

So how to tell if you are overtraining, reaching overtraining syndrome, and need to slow down….

  1. You all of a sudden have a lack of motivation to hit the gym
  2. You are extra sore, even from exercises you have been doing for years
  3. You have reached a plateau, you are not seeing results despite your efforts
  4. You are restless and/or are unfocused
  5. You feel your soreness down to the bones & joints
  6. You have a lack of energy, you feel sluggish and slow
  7. You are getting sick more frequently
  8. You are feeling discouraged

The easiest way to avoid over-training:

TAKE REST DAYS! Your body, more specifically your muscles, need time to repair! They are broken down during exercise and will never get a chance to build back up (making you stronger) if you don’t give them a chance to. Rest days are the #1 most important thing when it comes to fitness success, and if rest days are hard for you try some easy “active rest” ideas…. casual walking, light & fun swimming, yoga, stretching, even yard work or gardening, be creative!

My Top 3 Take-Aways and “Must Try’s” to combat my overtraining and/or fitness addiction

  1. Find balance between work and exercise- especially because my job is exercise I need to consider how much work I’ve already done in the day, or plan on doing in the day, before planning my exercise
  2. Choose between my personal lifts and a group fitness, kosama workout. Somedays it might make sense to do 2- based on time and the different natures of each workout- but I no longer need to do a kosama strength class and my own lifting class on the same day
  3. Be lenient. About calorie counting (both calories in and out), about skipping the gym if just doesn’t fit my schedule, about hanging out and having a life rather than committing to the gym and a stay at home meal- even though I’ve already had 6 workouts this week- maybe that’s a sign to just let loose.

BONUS! Love my body and know that just because I’m in the fitness industry, doesn’t mean that everyone is judging me for having a sports model like body. Or know that just because I’m in this industry, it doesn’t mean that I HAVE to always be on my A-game, outworking everyone in the room, trying out multiple exercise avenues, and all the other stereotypical views that are put upon us in the industry. We are knowledgeable in fitness, we love fitness, we love proper nutrition, but we are also human, not freak-of-nature robots.

 

 

references:

Bergeron, Stephen. “Overtraining Symptoms: 7 Signs You’re Training Too Much.” BuiltLean. N.p., 05 June 2012. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Choueiri, Richard. “Fight Back To Build Mass: Let These Catabolic Crushers Help Keep Hard Earned Muscle!” Bodybuilding.com. N.p., 09 Sept. 2010. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

“Effect of Too Much Exercise on You.” Effect of Too Much Exercise on You. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Eller, Marlan. “How Does Exercising Affect Your Hormones?” IDEAfit. IDEA FitnessConnect, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Maffetone, Phil, Dr. “The Overtraining Syndrome – Dr. Phil Maffetone.” Dr Phil Maffetone. N.p., 06 May 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Fitness.” Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

“What Happens to Your Body During Exercise – Hello Healthy.” Hello Healthy. N.p., 17 July 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Low Carb Chicken Enchilada Bake

So I gotta admit, I got this recipe from a blog on Pinterest, (you can find it here: http://www.diary4cook.org/no-tortilla-cheesy-chicken-enchilada-bake/) , BUT since I tweaked it a little bit and it turned out FABULOUSSSSS I knew I just had to share. So here it is! ❤

LOW CARB CHICKEN ENCHILADA BAKE
IMG_4309

Ingredients:

  • 2 bell peppers (any color, or a variety), chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1 Cup pasta/tomato sauce of choice
  • Low fat ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 Cup shredded mexican cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Begin by sautéing the onion with seasonings of choice on medium heat. Once sautéed add the pasta sauce and let simmer on low while preparing the rest.

Chop the peppers and tomatoes, making sure you have enough to line the bottom of the pan (I used an 8×8 pan). Mix the ricotta cheese in with the peppers to make the base layer.

Add the shredded chicken on top of the veggies/ricotta cheese layer.

Pour the sauce/onion mix on top of the chicken.

Bake for 11 minutes, remove and add the shredded cheese, bake for 11 more minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

IMG_4310

oh and did I mention, it is boyfriend approved 😉

Serves 2// 360 calories per serving// 13.2 g fat// 18g carb//41.5g protein

To reduce calorie and/or fat, reduce the amount of shredded cheese to top with

 

Why You Should Invest in Your Health

Stretching

When you think about your daily routines and activities, have you ever thought about how much of them positively affect your life and how many negatively affect your life? Do you sit in the car or in a chair for hours, compromising your spine, your low back health? Are you sedentary in general? Do you spend hours in front of a computer, on your phone, watching TV? Do you exercise and meet recommended guidelines? Do you cook your own food or go out to eat?

What is worth your money and what is not?

What is worth spending money on: Health and Fitness

We hear it, read it, see it all the time: “Your health is the single most important thing you could invest in”, yet we also hear, read, and see “health food is so expensive”, “gym memberships are so expensive”, “I want to get healthy but I can’t afford it”, and it goes on and on.

What is not worth spending money on: Excess cable and internet packages, cell phone plans, leisurely, sedentary habits, etc.

What I think is funny is that we don’t hear, or say “cable is so expensive”, “I want to watch TV, but I can’t afford it”

Better yet: most people don’t bother to add up how much they might spend a month on eating out, watching TV, getting their nails done, getting their hair done, etc.

Did you know:

Percentage of Americans with Cable TV:

83%

Percentage of Americans with gym memberships: 15%
Price of Cable/Internet per month:

$40-$150

 

Price of Gym Memberships per month:

$10-$150

Percentage of unused Cable packages/channels:

90%

Percentage of unused Gym Memberships:

67%

How cable/internet use affects life expectancy:

-4.8 years of life

How exercise affects lift expectancy:

+4.5-7 years of life

83% of American households pay for cable TV! That is approximately the population of the top 26 highest populated states COMBINED! But yet only 15% of the population belong to a gym, that is fewer than the population of California and Texas combined.

Living a sedentary lifestyle that consists of hours of sitting, in chairs, in front of the TV, in bed, combined with little to no exercise can do more than take 4.8 years off of your life.

Risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
Increased risk of cardiovascular health

 

Lowers risk of health conditions and diseases
Accelerated rate of bone loss, leading to osteoporosis Helps control your weight
Increased risk of cognitive and mental decline Improves sleep and boosts energy
Increased risk of high blood pressure and risk of stroke Improves your mood
  • And if that hasn’t convinced you enough that exercise > sedentary habits and hobbies, take a look at this:
    The total direct and indirect costs of sedentary lifestyles to chronic health conditions exceed $150 billion per year and combined health care cost for all causes exceeds $1.3 trillion per year
  • Cardiovascular disease costs reach $298.2 billion dollars per year
  • Type 2 Diabetes costs reach $98 billion per year
  • Sedentary lifestyles and physical inactivty account for approximately 15% of U.S. health care cost per year
  • If both cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes (both have been studied to be linked to sedentary behavior) saw a reduction of 30% across the U.S. population, it would save annual health care costs of up to $119 billion per year

source: Reader’s Digest: President’s Challenge

So lets do some simple math, have you ever calculated how much you spend a month on leisurely items?

  • Cable & Internet package: $90 (that is what I currently pay so lets go with it)
    One monthly trip to the movies: $10 (per person)
  • Food & Drink at the movies: $10 (per person)
    Netflix subscription: $10
  • Misc movie rentals: $5-$10
  • Plus additional expenses such as cell phone data plans, getting your nails done, etc.
  • Total: $140+ (and this is a modest number)

if you had to start visiting the doctor routinely because you are not feeling well, discover you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, and have to start treating it, your expenses would look like this:

  • Doctor’s visit (1 time): $130 (on average, before coverage)
  • Diabetes screening (A1C test, Metabolic & Lipid panels, & venipuncture charge): $320 (on average, before coverage)
  • Prescription drugs: $80 on average (source: http://journal.diabetes.org)
  • Total: $530 average
    Add that to the discomfort in daily living= just not worth it

Now combine what you could be paying for your sedentary lifestyle plus your doctor’s bills due to chronic diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle: $670+ 

However, to reduce your risks of chronic diseases, and sedentary behavior, let’s consider this:

  • A standard gym membership: $50-$150 on average
  • Total: $50-$150 

And don’t even get me started on the costs of eating out vs. cooking at home.

Health and Fitness might seem like an expensive business, but when 10 years from now when you are looking back on your past 10 sedentary years, the medical costs associated with it, your discomfort in your clothes and daily routine, and how you feel within your own body, you are going to wish you took the plunge and cut back on some technological, electronic, and leisurely items, and spent a few extra dollars a month making your health better. Worth it.

 

 

Sources:

“Deus Caritas Est.” Distanzierte Nähe (n.d.): 145-47. Reader’s Digest. President’s Challenge. Web. 1 Feb. 2016.

Leichter, Steven B., Sarah Faulkner, and Joan Camp. “On the Cost of Being a Diabetic Patient: Variables for Physician Prescribing Behavior.” On the Cost of Being a Diabetic Patient: Variables for Physician Prescribing Behavior. N.p., n.d. Web. 2000.