Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Weight: 62.1kg (down 2.1kg) Water retention gone!
Relaxation and Recovery: 30min walk around lake with TJ and Rob then 30min yoga DVD to stretch out tight glutes from yesterday's front squats
Exercise: HIIT sprints (30s on, 90s off x 8)
Meal Compliance: 6/6
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Thought for today: Instead of worrying about eliminating bad habits, focus on adopting good ones
Weight: 64.2kg (water retention from carbs over the weekend)
I am trying to gain muscle at the moment so am eating above maintenance but expect scale weight to come down a bit as I clean up my act.
Incidental: walk to shops to get eggs for breakfast
Planned: weight training: incline bench press, front squats, DB row, Bulgarian split squats
One benefit of the water retention from the weekend is increased leverage in my lifts. Got a PB in incline bench press - woot!
Meal Compliance: 6/6
Rob had his 'chocolate biscuit night' - once a week he eats two packets of D'lush gluten-free chocolate biscuits. I usually 'help' him eat them - I think they taste better than Tim Tams! Hard to stop at one (or two or three) though. Luckily I was at the gym when he had his first packet, and then was starting on my evening oats when he opened his second packet, so wasn't tempted.
My organic fruit and vege box arrived this morning so here's what I've got to play with this week:
corn on cob
oak leaf lettuce
Monday, December 29, 2008
M1: egg whites, whole egg, beans, veggies, cheese, fruit, fish oil
M2: yoghurt, nuts, protein powder, Vital Greens
M3: lean protein, salad, nuts, oil dressing, fish oil
M4: lean protein, salad, nuts, oil dressing
Weights (protein and carb drink)
M5: lean protein, veggies, fruit, rice & sweet potato, fish oil
M6: egg whites, fruit, oats
Non-weight-training days will be the same for meals 1-4
If doing HIIT will have drink with BCAAs, glutamine and Vital Greens
M5: lean protein, veges, fruit, few nuts, sweet potato, fish oil
M6: egg whites, whole egg, fruit, cheese
This gives me plenty of variety, as I can subsitute whatever lean meat, fruit, and veges I like into the menu, and it allows me to create meals that I enjoy and look forward to eating. And I have 10 percent of the week (roughly 4 meals) to eat some foods not on the menu. Where possible, I want to try and make those '10 percent' meals healthy alternatives rather than sugar-laden processed crap that turns my 'moderate indulgence' into a 'free-for-all'.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
'Most experienced Testosterone readers probably find themselves stuck in the stage of conscious competence. And that's not a bad thing really. They aren't failures at all, but the daily grind and struggle make it easy to slip back to stage two.
Time is often the cure. Avoid shitty foods long enough and you won't want them anymore. Sometimes this can be done in as little as 21 days: a time period most behavior experts agree it takes to kick a habit.
With diet goals, that means that cold turkey is best. Let's take that 21-day example literally (although there can obviously be differences among individuals and individual habits). Okay, so if you avoid fried food for at least 21 days, you'll begin to lose your taste for it. But what if you have a cheat meal of fried food once per week, you know, 'cause you "deserve it" and it "replenishes glycogen or somethin'"?
Well then, you never reach 21 days of cold turkey, do you? In fact, you reinforce the negative behavior by making it special – a reward for being good all week.
The alcoholic doesn't kick booze by rewarding himself with a 12-pack every Saturday. Food addictions work the same way, which is why I now disagree with the idea of all-out cheat meals.'
This part of the article struck me because I am like this with sugar. My eating during the week is good (protein, veges, fruit, good fats, and carbs around training) and I deliberately avoid sugar, but during the weekend I am more likely to eat chocolate, biscuits etc. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I have a problem being 'moderate' with these kinds of foods. I need to get back into the habit of choosing other alternatives to satisfy my sweet tooth.
So I am going to try going without sugar for 21 days (with the exception of workout drinks). I figure if I can do it during comp prep, there's no reason why I can't do it any other time, right?
Because I found being accountable to my blog helpful to achieve my Christmas Day goal, I am going to do the same for this goal. Starting Tuesday morning I will briefly log how the previous day went, and what alternatives I've used when I wanted something sweet.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on grilled eggplant
Protein powder and yoghurt, almonds, Vital Greens
Barbecue garlic beef fillet, salad with avocado and fetta
Ham, brie cheese, egg, cherries
Pre-Dinner Nibbles, 9pm
Pickled pork, pineapple, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, cheese sauce
- 2 coffees
- 1 glass champagne
- 3 glasses sparkling shiraz
- 1 glass pinot gris
- 1.5L sparkling mineral water
- 2 glasses diet coke
- 1 decaf coffee
A successful day for me food-wise. By being accountable to my blog (and therefore mindful of what I was eating), I learnt that I can eat the same way on Christmas day that I do on any other day. My protein portions were probably a bit bigger than normal (especially breakfast) but at no stage did I feel stuffed, or that my eating was out of control. I also proved to myself that I can drink alcohol in moderation (roughly 1 glass with each meal) without it affecting my eating. The other thing that helped this year was that I didn't volunteer to do a dessert, so I didn't have one of my favourites to tempt me. Rob's cousin made a trifle, but it's not something that I would normally choose to eat, so it was easy to pass up. Plus I had Christmas mince pies last night, so that kept me pretty happy. Now to do it all again tomorrow.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
by Tom Venuto
Media reports say that most people gain between 5 and 10 pounds of body fat in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. According to research from the New England Journal of Medicine, the average amount is much more modest - just over a pound. However, even modest holiday weight gain may be cause for concern: A study by the National Institutes of Health found that this seasonal weight gain - even just a pound - is usually not lost after the holidays; it simply adds to the “weight creep” that sneaks up on us as we get older.
Whether the weight gain is a pound or ten pounds, did you ever ask yourself why does holiday weight gain happen at all?
Here are some common answers I’ve heard:
“I’m too busy over the holidays to work out as often as usual.”
“I’m more stressed over the holidays, and the food is there, so I eat more.”
“I have at least three parties to attend and then there’s christmas and New Year’s, so it’s impossible to stay on a diet”
“No one can tell me not to enjoy myself over the holidays so I’m just going to eat whatever I want.”
These answers all have a few things in common.
First, they assume that it’s an either/or proposition: You can either get in better shape or enjoy yourself, but not both. Stated in reverse: You can either deprive yourself of holiday enjoyments or gain weight, but it has to be one or the other. The truth is, “either/or thinking” is a very limiting form of thought.
Second, these are all excuses or rationalizations. “I’m too busy” for example, is always an excuse, because I have never known someone who was too busy to make time for his or her highest life priorities. The problem then, is not lack of time, but that most people do not make exercise or eating healthy a priority. We all have the same amount of time - 24 hours a day - but the way people prioritize the use of time is the difference between success and mediocrity. And remember, words mean little. Actions reveal a person’s true priorities.
Third, none of these are the real reasons most people gain weight over the holidays to begin with. The real reason is because an intention was never set for the opposite: To get in BETTER shape over the holidays.
Most people set a “goal” to get in worse shape over the holidays!
It’s not consciously set, of course, as few people would intentionally set out to gain fat. They simply do it by default. In their minds, they accept that it must be just about impossible to stay in shape with everything going on over the holiday season, so why bother?
Once the decision has been made, then the rationalizing (“rationing lies”) continues:
“Why should I deprive myself?”
“Family is more important”
“Worrying about diet and exercise during the holidays is neurotic”
“I don’t care if I gain a few pounds, I’m going to enjoy myself anyway”
“It’s only these two or three weeks that I let myself go wild”
“I’ll start the first week in January and lose the weight then.”
As a result of this “negative goal-setting,” they expect to work out less, eat more and gain a few pounds, and they don’t seem to even consider alternatives.
But what would happen if you set an intention and a goal to get in better shape between now and New Years’s Day?
What would happen if you decided that it was not an all or nothing proposition and that you could enjoy the holidays and all it has to offer and get in better shape at the same time?
And what if you decided that your health and your body were the highest priorities in your life, because you realized that can’t enjoy anything else in life, including family or holidays, if you don’t have your health?
Here’s what would happen: You would get in better shape!
I’m not all that different from you just because I’m a bodybuilder and fitness professional. I have many of the same problems, concerns and struggles as you do. Although today I always get in better shape between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, that’s a result of a conscious choice, a close examination of my old belief systems and a lot of action. For me, it all started about six years ago.
For most of my adult life, I wasn’t much of a traveller and I didn’t enjoy flying or staying in hotels. I had a belief that if I traveled, my workouts and nutrition would suffer. After all, “it would be hard to stick with my usual bodybuilding diet, and I wouldn’t have access to my usual gyms.” Because of these reasons (excuses), I never did much travel back in those days.
Then I was forced to take some trips for business reasons. Predictably enough, my nutrition and workouts suffered while I was spending time in airplanes and in hotels. With my experience having confirmed my beliefs, I re-affirmed to myself, “See, travelling is nothing but a pain. You just can’t stay on a diet and training program when you’re out of town.”
After several more trips, I noticed that something very negative happened: I surrendered. I had resigned myself to “not bother” while I was on the road. I let my expectations create my reality.
But I didn’t let it go on for long. As soon as I became aware of what was happening, I decided that I wouldn’t tolerate it, so I challenged myself and my previous limiting beliefs. I asked myself, “Why the heck not? Why let myself backslide? Why even settle for maintaining? Why not challenge myself to improve while I’m traveling?” The answer: There was no reason, there were only excuses.
From that day forward, I set a challenge for myself: To come back from every trip or vacation in better shape than when I left. Of course there were exceptions, as when I went on a vacation for total R & R. But I never let travel get in my way again…
I prepared food that I would eat on the planes so airline food was never an excuse…
I only chose hotels that had kitchens, so I could cook my own food…
I went food shopping immediately after check-in…
And I actually found myself training harder than usual!
No matter where I was training - it could even be some “dungeon” of a gym in the middle of nowhere - it didn’t matter because my mind was focused on improving and looking better when I came home than when I left. I had a goal!
What do you think happened? It’s not hard to guess: I always came home in better shape than when I left.
Since then, my “travel challenge” has become somewhat of a ritual in my life. When I’m away from my “home-base” it becomes a “fitness road trip.” I search the Internet or yellow pages or ask locals to help me find the most hard-core gym nearby wherever I will be staying. When I get there, I train every bit as hard as if I had a competition just weeks away. I look forward to it now.
In fact, this experience is what led me to my “holiday fitness challenge.”
Like many people, I travel over the holidays, so I’m automatically in “travel challenge” mode at thanksgiving, Christmastime and New Year’s. But with the additional temptations and busyness that the holidays bring on top of the usual travel stresses, I saw fit to declare a new challenge: “The Holiday Challenge.” The difference was that for my “holiday challenge,” I pledged to not only to return home in better shape than when I left, but to enjoy the holidays to the fullest at the same time.
People who think I “deprive” myself to look the way I do would be shocked: I eat some damn good food over the holidays including Pie at Thanksgiving and my mom’s famous red and green Jell-0 Christmas cake. Then on New Year’s I’m usually toasting champagne and having a blast with friends or family. The difference is, every other meal stays right on schedule and I work out hard and consistently over the holidays; I don’t let everything fall apart just because ‘tis the season.’ In fact, I work out HARDER over the holidays!
The idea that you can either enjoy the holidays or stay in shape - but not both - is damaging and limiting. It hurts your social life, your emotional life and your physical life. Life is not an either or proposition; it’s a matter of balance. Success does not mean going to extremes. Success can be a simple matter of re-examining your beliefs, rearranging your priorities, setting goals, changing the questions you ask yourself, re-evaluating your expectations and acting in accordance with all of the above.
Your expectations will become your reality.
What are you expecting this holiday season? Are you expecting to be in better shape after holiday parties, celebrations, banquets, dinners, and desserts? If not, then why not? What’s preventing you from enjoying all of the above and still getting in better shape? Do you have a limiting belief which dictates that it’s one or the other? Could it be that you never set a goal, intention or expectation to do it? Could it be that you’re rationalizing or making excuses? If so, then I challenge you to change it this year.
I CHALLENGE YOU TO BE IN BETTER SHAPE ON JANUARY 1st THAN YOU ARE TODAY! I CHALLENGE YOU TO BE FITTER, HEALTHIER, LEANER AND MORE MUSCULAR!
There’s less than a month until the end of the year. Why not see how much you can improve your physique over the holidays, without depriving yourself of any holiday enjoyments or festivities? Just step up your expectations. Step up your standards. Step up your nutrition. Step up your training. Step up your action. Step up to the “holiday fitness challenge” the minute you finish reading this, and then just see what happens!
Eat right, train hard and expect success
'With many of the latest health reports now focusing on carbohydrates and fats, it sometimes seems that sugar has been forgotten. So does sugar actually deserve the bad rap it has gotten in previous years? Natureco naturopath Samantha Warner said while sugar in itself is neither good nor bad, the issue is quality and quantity. “Sugar in the modern world has become evil purely due to its high availability and excess in processed foods,” she said. Most processed food does not contain many minerals and vitamins, which help the body to use the energy from sugar. “We must use our stored nutrients to help us digest and assimilate the sugars we are eating, leading to chronic deficiencies particularly magnesium, chromium, zinc and B vitamins,” Ms Warner said.
Too much sugar can also feed fungi and other pathogens in the blood, leading to candida and other bowel dysbiosis. “Sugar makes the blood sticky, potentially leading to clots, and blocks in small capillaries, leading to tissue and nerve damage,” Ms Warner said. Excess sugar can also cause free radical damage and oxidation in the vascular system, which can contribute to plaque formation in the arteries and cardiovascular disease.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
'If you have a craving for cake - or a drink - trying to supress it can sometimes make the craving worse, [psychologist] Kavanagh explains.
"Not only are you trying not to focus on the craving, you're also mentally checking to make sure you're not thinking about it," he says.
That's where mindfulness comes in - the practice of allowing thoughts to float into your head, rather than fighting to keep them out.
"The idea is to try to see unwanted thoughts - like cravings - as paper boats floating past on a stream. You can grab them or you can let them drift past," he says, adding that, with practice, we can learn to let the thoughts go - and perhaps replace them with more positive images of how we want to be.'
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
'In two separate studies, (both published in recent issues of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism) researchers found that within 10 minutes of drinking about a pint* of water, metabolic rates in both men and women begin to increase as much as 24-30 percent!
They don't completely know why, but it might have something to do with osmotic pressure changes. (If you're wondering, other drinks don't seem to have the same effect, so it's definitely the water that's doing it.)
You know, if you drank this much water every day upon rising you could actually burn an extra 17,400 calories a year- for a loss of five extra pounds. Just from drinking water!
Now granted, that's not an awful lot of weight. But added to all the other benefits of water, the little bit of extra weight loss is a nice bonus!
For best results consume it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
And then keep on drinking all day!'
* A pint is almost 500mL
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The atmosphere was lovely, and after buying a few bottles, we decided to sit outside in the sunshine with a glass each and have a chat. Then we headed off to the BBQ. It was a nice afternoon, sunny but not too hot, and I enjoyed meeting Rob's workmates and their families and having some yummy pecan pie and baked cheesecake.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
By Will Brink
Pre- and post-workout nutrition is all the rage these days, and for good reason. For some, however, it’s become more than a science—it’s become their religion, or perhaps just a place to focus their OCD-like tendencies.
Regardless, people have taken the topic of pre- and post-workout nutrition to a level that is not justified by the research, or at least not confirmed by the research that currently exists.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
With this identity, you are the person who does not miss workouts. You are the person who chooses better food options. You are the person who continues to do these things whether you’re on vacation, have had a bad day, are not seeing progress, or just don’t feel like it some days. You are the person who gets right back in the game when you do slip and fall.
Regardless of whether you have achieved your goals, you do these things because your identity as a fit person won’t permit you to act any other way.
So get the gear. Build the environment and lifestyle of being fit. Surround yourself with fit friends and people who will cheer you on. If you make fitness and nutrition your identity, you will find every creative solution to get up off the ice and stay in the game.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
1 bunch basil
1 bunch chives
1 bunch parsley
1/2 cup mint
3-6 garlic cloves
1 baby onion
1 can drained anchovies
1 tsp seeded mustard
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 C flax oil
Blend all together, put in a container and refrigerate.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Stress, inadequate nutrition, poor digestion, toxin build-up or lack of exercise increases the oxygen-free radicals. The result is a weakened immune system, premature aging, anxiety, depression, decrease in mental capacity, illness, cancer, weight-gain, lack of libido or insufficient energy. ANTIOXIDANTS boost the body's immunity against oxidation, eat up the free-radicals and help to keep the body strong and youthful. Antioxidants are found in many natural foods - what we also often hear referred to as flavonoids from plant foods. Flavonoids actually are more than just antioxidants and help our cells communicate with each other..cell talk! Flavonoids can affect the way our cells respond to inflammation, allergens, free-radicals, bacteria, cancer and even viruses.
The body needs on an average 3000- 5000 UNITS OF ORAC ANTIOXIDANTS PER DAY. ORAC (oxidative radical absorbance capacity of antioxidants in food). Many RAW SUPERFOODS have a high ORAC value and powerful flavonoids. In vogue are pure cacao, goji berry, açai berry, Japanese green tea, curcuma, ginger and spirulina. Not as well known but quite powerful are coffee cherry, acerola cherry, lucuma, seabuckthorn berry and the sensual rose. Not all foods are easily digested by each body - not everyone can digest each food equally well. Genetics, illness and or inadequate digestive enzymes may prevent the assimilation of proper nutrients from food into the body. PREBIOTIC FOODS are typically more easily digested and thereby allow nutrients and probiotics to work more powerfully inside the body.
All calories are not created equally! The question should not be: 'How many calories?' BUT
'What type of calories?'
LOW-GLYCEMIC calories satisfy the appetite, stimulate fat loss, keep sugar levels stable and give the body lasting energy and better performance. The body also needs good fats like ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS and omegas to lubricate the cells, nourish the brain and nervous system, protect bones & muscles and enhance power. Remember, a clean body is a good body! REGULAR BOWEL MOVEMENTS get rid of waste and toxins and keep the rectum and colon healthy and clean. Pure water and natural food fiber are simple yet powerful cleaning agents. Of course, humans are built for movement. PHYSICAL EXERCISE generates new cells, burns fat, builds muscles, suppresses appetite & stimulates the release of endorphins in the cells. Endorphins keep us feeling good, strong, sexy and happy. Let's not forget that CLEAN AIR, LOW STRESS, RELAXATION & DEEP SLEEP repair and renew our cells, promote pro-aging and stimulate powerful health at any age. Most importantly, we are what we think - every thought affects our cells. POSITIVE THOUGHTS promote powerful energized cells.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
- 1 fillet of beef, about 1.25kg
- 4 cloves garlic, slivered
- 3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 Tbsp Dijon-style mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
With the point of a sharp knife, make small slits in the beef, insert the slivered garlic. Place the beef in a plastic bag. Combine the wine, mustard and garlic then slowly whisk in the oil. Pour into the plastic bag and move the beef around so it is well coated in marinade.
Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Turn occasionally.
Remove the beef from the marinade. Place under or over medium heat and grill or barbecue for about 8 minutes each side depending on the thickness of the meat. Baste occasionally with a little of the marinade.
If cooked in a barbecue oven, roast for about 20 minutes at 190 degrees C (this is how we usually do it).
Cover loosely with foil and stand for 5 minutes in a warm place before carving. This 'sets' the juices and makes the meat easier to cut. The marinade can be strained, boiled and served with the beef.
Serves about 6.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
'Many have competed “wanting” that physique, they can’t possibly maintain. And what happens once they attain it. Usually that “want” is just replaced by another want. Many want that contest look till they have it, and once attained a set of “new wants” appears does it not?
All of a sudden the attained physique is not nearly as important as “now I want to eat normal food” “I want to be able to go out and have a few drinks with my friends, and not be so worried about my physique" “I don’t want to be a slave to my training any more” So what happens then? These people with the “wanting mentality” then go out and pursue these new wants till they lose entirely their physiques they previously “wanted” for so long. And then the process of “want” continues all over again. This is hardly a winning thought strategy.
People need to change if necessary their thoughts, actions, and behaviours to build a life that suits them, not a life burdened by endless “wants” and pursuing accomplishments as end results with no long term meaning.
If people are going to develop effective life strategies, even in something as seemingly simple as diet psychology then lessons must be learned or the process just keeps repeating itself.'
Scott Abel, New Year’s “Evolutions”: Negative Diet Strategies Reflective of Self-Image Issues, January 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
You can eat a 200g bag of jelly snakes in one sitting without blinking. One of your favourite spreads is honey, and you have been known to eat half a loaf of bread when it's toasted and spread with honey.
You know this, and don't like the fact that once you start eating sweet stuff you find it hard to stop. You gradually reduce your sugar consumption so you only have it around your workouts, when your body can best use it.
Then, in the four weeks before your comp, you cut out the sugary stuff around your workouts as well. After a couple of weeks things like sweet potatoes and blueberries start to taste sweet. Your body feels calm.
You receive your instructions before your show. Jelly snakes and honey are two of the ingredients for your carb up. You stand in the confectionary aisle, reluctantly looking at the jelly snakes. It's been months since you last had any. You throw a packet in your basket, along with a bottle of squeezy honey.
Think about this for a moment. You have had months of eating low- to no-sugar foods (by choice) and in the last four weeks your carbohydrates have mostly come from low-GI plant-based foods. How do you think your body is going to react when you do two shows over a weekend and have two days of back-to-back high GI carbs? Please sir, can I have some more?
More than anything, my experience with comp prep this year has taught me to stay true to my beliefs about how my body works. I would rather do a longer, slower carb up on sweet potatoes on the Thursday and Friday before a show than have sweet potato on the Friday and rice cakes, honey and jelly snakes on the Saturday. Give the body more of what it's used to, rather than shock it with something foreign.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Various epidemiological data has demonstrated that high fruit and vegetable consumption, over 5 servings per day, decreases the overall risk of many different cancers by approximately one half. The beneficial effects of fruit and vegetable consumption have been linked to their anti-oxidant and anti-proliferative effects. Anti-proliferation targets the later progression stages of cancer and helps prevent the spread of the disease.
A recent study set out to find the anti-proliferative and anti-oxidant effects of 34 different vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes and green beans in eight different types of cancer cells kept alive outside the body. These included stomach, kidney, prostate, breast, brain, pancreatic and lung cancer cells.
Results revealed that prostate and stomach cancer cell lines were most sensitive to the extract treatments. The prostate cancer cells were reduced by 50% or more in 23 of the 34 vegetable extracts tested and stomach cancer cells were reduced by 50% or more in 19 of the 34 vegetable extracts tested.
In lung, pancreas and kidney cancer lines, this decrease only occurred in 14, 12 and 7 of the 34 vegetable extracts. This may indicate that prostate and stomach cancers are more sensitive to dietary influences. The vegetable extracts that demonstrated >50% inhibition in all cell lines were Brussel sprouts, cabbage, curly cabbage, garlic, green onion, kale, leek and spinach. Garlic extract diluted at 1/1000 demonstrated complete inhibition of the [brain] cell line. At this dose, it was the most potent inhibitor of proliferation.
In addition, the anti-oxidative capacity of each vegetable extract was quantified. Garlic, curly cabbage and Brussel sprouts had the highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC)* values of 41.1, 40.5, and 32.9 µmol Trolox** equiv./ml respectively. Acorn squash and English cucumber, had the lowest values of 1.5 and 1.4 µmol Trolox equiv./ml.
In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the anti-carcinogenic properties of these vegetables produce anti-oxidative and anti-proliferative effects that help decrease cancer risk."
Full article and references here
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Although I'm keen to get back into heavy training, I've decided to do a preparatory phase first. Today Rob and I did some postural, flexibility and muscular strength assessments. I have a posterior pelvic tilt (flat lower back), quite a few flexibility issues, and an instable shoulder (old skiing injury). So for the next four weeks I will be addressing these problems, training three days per week. I'll also do a couple of interval training sessions a week, so my week will look something like this:
Tues interval cardio
Thu interval cardio
plus I will be doing 'lifestyle' cardio (walking the dog) each day.
Planned meals for this week:
1 yoghurt, protein powder, almonds, Vital Greens, fish oil
2 frittata, legumes
3 Rae's favourite salad plus oil and balsamic dressing
4 same as 3
5 lean meat, veges, rice, fruit
6 egg whites, quinoa, fruit (made into pancake)
1 yoghurt, protein powder, almonds, Vital Greens, fish oil
2 frittata, legumes
3 Rae's favourite salad plus oil and balsamic dressing
4 same as 3
5 lean meat, veges, nuts, fruit
6 egg whites, whole egg, cheese, fruit
I will have four 'off plan' meals per week, probably Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday morning and Sunday night.
Oh, and I need to drink more water too.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
My parents are arriving at the end of the week and we are going away for a few days.
Am looking forward to seeing them, relaxing, and visiting a sheeps cheese factory and maybe a winery while we are away.
After we get back I am looking forward to getting back into my morning walks with the dog. Training intensity will be a bit lower as I will be focusing on some corrective exercises for structural imbalances for a couple of weeks, so will start to keep a closer eye on food intake/weight then.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I would also like to congratulate my husband Rob. Two weekends ago he won two silver medals at the Australian Jiu Jitsu Champions Cup, and this weekend he won his weight class at his club's tournament.
We have managed to manipulate his diet so that he weighs in at the very top of his weight class (giving him a strength advantage) without any depletion/dehydration the week beforehand. He has an eating plan that he uses in the comp season, which he adds treats to in the weekends. Depending on how he is tracking weight-wise a week or two out from comp, he just cuts out the treats and does a little more incidental exercise. This week he also stopped his grappling practice early in the week, giving him plenty of energy for today's fights.
Pics from today:
He has the Pan Pacific champs in two weeks, and after that he will be into his off season. He knows now that it is in his advantage not to put on too much bodyfat during this time as it takes a lot of work to get it off again to get to his ideal fighting weight. Now he knows what I go through, LOL.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
All food is good
For a whole range of reasons we tend to classify foods as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Dietitian Glenn Cardwell suggests we change our way of thinking about food and drop the guilt trip. It’s about the ratio not the food he says in his new book, Getting Kids to Eat Well. Here’s an extract.
“How can all food be good for you? It doesn’t make sense and let’s face it, trustworthy friends, family and the media constantly remind us that there are bad foods that will harm us and our children. Ask yourself this, however: ‘If I eat potato chips or French fries once a month will it shorten my life or increase my chance of heart disease or getting fat?’ I suspect most of you will say ‘No’. What if you ate the same food five days a week? Your answer will probably be ‘Yes’.
We have been conditioned to think that food is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. If I ask you to name a few good foods you are likely to list: fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals and bread, lean meat, legumes, reduced fat milk or soy drink, and with a little more thought you might include nuts (unsalted, of course), peanut butter, rice and pasta and some of your famous home-made custard or pesto.
If I ask you to name the bad foods, your list might seem to be endless: fast foods, deep fried foods, soft drinks, confectionery, anything with caffeine, crisps, snack foods, coloured bits in breakfast cereals, candy floss, chocolate biscuits, hundreds and thousands … Be honest with yourself – aren’t some of those ‘bad’ foods also your favourite foods? Think about hot pizza on a cold Sunday evening when you couldn’t be bothered cooking, or chocolate melting over your tongue, or a cappuccino and croissants from that great café down the road overlooking the park?
How do you feel when you eat these foods? Guilty? Worried that the food is going to laugh maniacally, bypass your digestive system and leap onto your bottom to remain forever? It is common to feel ‘bad’ after eating ‘bad’ food.
How do you feel when you eat ‘good’ food? Pleased with yourself? Happy you have control over your food and your life? A glow from nourishing your body well?
How you classify food will determine how you feel after eating that food. Classifying food as ‘bad’ just means you feel bad after eating it. Calling it ‘bad’ has given that food a huge amount of power, a power it hardly deserves. Nature is designed such that you should feel grateful and happy after every repast. Feeling guilty or uncomfortable after eating is neither natural nor healthy.
Try spinning it all around. Start labelling a ‘bad’ food as a ‘good’ food. Now, the ‘bad’ foods will lose their emotional power. It can no longer make you feel bad or guilty. When you call a food ‘good’ instead of ‘bad’, the power actually returns to you. Here’s the tricky bit: it is now up to you to eat all foods in amounts that are good for your health and well-being.
Like you, I enjoy eating good quality food and feel much better for it. Indeed, one reason I like to make 90% of my food very nutritious is so I have some flexibility with the other 10% to enjoy, without guilt, some pizza, black jelly beans or corn chips. They may be high in saturated fat, sugar or salt, but as they comprise only 10% of the diet they have little chance to cause harm. This 90:10 mix works for me. You can even eat a nutritious diet based on a 80:20 mix, which is the common blend that most people can enjoy. If you go to a 70:30 mix then you will likely be getting too much fat, sugar and salt in your diet.
As a counter-point, I don’t think there is much benefit in trying to get a 100:0 ratio as you are likely to become food obsessive, striving to reach something called the ‘perfect’ diet. Nothing in life is perfect. Enjoying a treat is absolutely normal and makes life interesting. There is not a scrap of evidence that the occasional chocolate, bowl of premium ice cream or croissant ever led to anyone’s early demise.”
For more information, check out http://www.glenncardwell.com/
Friday, October 17, 2008
My off season this year is all about keeping it simple. I plan to do weights three or four times a week, with a little bit of cardio and/or some yoga on my off days. I have some meal plans to follow, which means I won't be stressing about what to eat when, and the only supplements I will be taking are fish oil, protein powder, creatine, greens powder, recovery drink/BCAAs.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Meal 1: 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, veges, cheese, baked beans
Meal 2: yoghurt, protein powder, almonds
Meal 3: tuna, large salad, olive/flax oil, cashews
Meal 4: tuna, large salad, olive/flax oil, walnuts
train (recovery drink)
Meal 5: lean meat, stir-fry veges, wild rice, fruit
Meal 6: buckwheat pancakes (made with egg whites), fruit
Am training shoulders with Rob soon so better get going. Enjoy the rest of your day!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
No. 2: The Allium Family
Onions, Garlic, Chives, Leeks, Shallots and Scallions
If açaí is the most exotic food on this list, the Allium family of foods is perhaps the most humble. Garlic, onions, leeks and chives contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione (the tripeptide that is the liver's most potent antioxidant). Glutathione enhances elimination of toxins and carcinogens, putting the Allium family of vegetables at the top of the list for foods that can help prevent cancer. Here are just a few benefits from members of this family.
Lowers total cholesterol (but raises HDL—"good"—cholesterol)
Lessens the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
Lowers blood pressure
Reduces the risk of blood clots (cause of the majority of strokes and heart attacks)
Destroys infection-causing viruses and bacteria
Reduces the risk of certain cancers, in particular, stomach cancers
Produces more "natural killer" cells in the blood to fight tumors and infections
Helps fight against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's
Enhances detoxification by reducing toxins
For optimum effect, eat garlic raw. Cooking can destroy some of the allicin compound, which is the active constituent.
Inhibit the growth of cancerous cells
Increase in HDL cholesterol (especially when eaten raw)
Reduce total cholesterol levels
Increase blood-clot dissolving activity
Help prevent colds
Stimulate the immune system
Reduce the risks of diabetes
Have antibacterial and antifungal properties
Reduce the risk of certain cancers
Help relieve stomach upset and other gastrointestinal disorders
Onions contain two powerful antioxidants, sulphur and quercetin—both help neutralize the free radicals in the body, and protect the membranes of the body's cells from damage.
Leeks have all of the healthy properties of the Allium family as described above. However leeks also contain these nutrients:
This particular combination of nutrients makes leeks particularly helpful in stabilizing blood sugar, since they not only slow the absorption of sugars from the intestinal tract, but help ensure that they are properly metabolized in the body. Spikes in blood sugar accelerate aging, wrinkles and a host of degenerative diseases.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I usually compete at around 51kg. My body likes to sit at around 58kg in the off season. It's not the '5kg ideal' but it's where my weight has ended up prior to every comp prep, so I'm not going to fight it. My comp preps have usually been 10-11 weeks and I don't think that's long enough. Only once have I been happy with my level of leanness, and that was doing it hard in 10 weeks and losing some muscle along the way. So I reckon 16 weeks would be a good amount of time to lose about 7kg. Assuming a 'linear' rate of weight loss (yeah right!) that would give me 14 weeks to get the weight off, plus a couple of weeks up my sleeve.
Also, I have only ever tracked my prep progress by how I'm looking (photos) or, most recently, with weight. I think I would like to do it with calipers next time, so I have something to guage my progress against for future preps.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
So I am going to try and do my own nutrition from now on.
I am also enlisting my husband's help in the gym. He has been doing weights for 20 years and we have trained together off and on for 14 years. He knows how hard to push me in the gym, and his background as a personal trainer and myotherapist means he knows what my structural weaknesses are and how to address them. He also has great shoulder development, which is something I aspire to. He believes that my body type requires short intense workouts with compound exercises, plenty of rest before training the same bodypart again, and no more than two days of training in a row. I agree with him. Watch this space...
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I ended up doing INBA intermediate figure on Sat and ANB novice figure on Sun. Didn't place at either show (think I was 'undercooked' by a couple of weeks) but I learnt a lot I can apply to my next comp season.
I probably won't receive professional pics until next week, so if anybody took any pics of me over the weekend, I would love to see them.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Have enjoyed having my hair and eyelashes done today though. Still want to practise my routine, then do nails and redo my bikini straps, so will sign off now.
Thanks to my family for their support this week!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I slept in.
My bikini arrived today :-)
Last heavy back session done.
I've done about 2.5 hours of walking today. Sixty mins on the treadmill this morning, 75 mins walking the dog this afternoon, and another 20 mins on the treadmill after training tonight. My lower legs are tired. Should have worn my Skins. Will be wearing them tomorrow methinks.
Had to go to the dentist today and get a filling replaced (have been putting it off for a few months now). Had a numb face for a few hours. Made eating and talking interesting!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Quinoa and blueberry 'omcakes'
6 egg whites
1/3 cup quinoa flakes
1 tsp xylitol
They almost look like blueberry muffins!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I feel a bit behind in terms of fat loss, but on the positive side, yesterday's pics show how much muscle I've gained over the last 12 months (and managed to retain while prepping).
These next two weeks are going to be a challenge, but I think I work best under pressure. Bring it on!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
During grilling at high temperatures (or frying for that matter), compounds known as HCAs- heterocyclic amines- are formed, and most researchers believe that these are human carcinogens. Some research shows that eating more heterocyclic amines increase the risk for colorectal, stomach, lung, pancreatic, breast and prostate cancer. The better done and more "burned to a crisp" the food is- and unfortunately this includes "blackened" varieties of fish- the worse it is from a heterocyclic amine point of view.
So besides grilling at lower temperatures, cooking slower and avoiding the splash back of fat onto the meat or fish and the formation of "blackened" crusts, what can we do?
Actually, quite a lot.
Researchers at Kansas State University and the Food Science Institute now believe that marinades may hold the key to healthier grilling.
These scientists marinated steaks for an hour in ordinary store-bought marinades. They coated the meat on all sides and turned it a few times before grilling at 400 degrees for five minutes per side. They then compared similar steaks that had been made without marinade.
The steaks made with marinade had between 57% and 88% less carcinogenic compounds (some marinades, like the "Caribbean" one, performed better than others, but all reduced HCAs by at least half!)
The common ingredients in all marinades were spices and herbs with high antioxidant properties. The best performing marinade was made with thyme, allspice, rosemary, chives, red and black pepper.
So if you're grilling this summer, consider using a marinade, be generous with the spices, and cook slowly at lower temperatures.
And consider washing it down with some red wine or other high antioxidant food or beverage (Pomegranate juice, red grapes, green vegetables).
Thursday, September 18, 2008
That's me on the left, digging into my muesli and yoghurt after my first show
I know now that eating conventional muesli is not such a great idea for me, as the wheat and dried fruit mean that I find it hard to stop at one bowlful.
This comp prep, things are different. On Sunday for breakfast, at 3 weeks out, I had yoghurt, apple and berries, along with quinoa, protein powder, cinnamon and hazelnuts, made into a lovely gluten-free, bircher-style muesli.
I liked it so much I had it again yesterday. I'm eating it preparing for a comp, and I'll be eating it after comp. No more muesli cravings for me, and it doesn't send me 'off the planet'.
Mix together 1/3 cup quinoa flakes (35g), juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/4 cup water, and soak overnight.
In morning, mix in 100g plain low-fat yoghurt, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1/2 grated green apple, cinnamon and 1 tsp xylitol.
Top with 25g defrosted berries and 5g chopped nuts (I used blueberries and hazelnuts).
This came out to 336cals: 5.4g fat, 21.5g protein, 46.5g carbs (of which 23g is starchy carbs).
If you're in a hurry, you can use boiling water instead of soaking overnight.
The traditional recipe uses 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup yoghurt (about 125g), no protein powder, honey instead of xylitol, and 1 Tbsp nuts.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
From an interview with Jonny Bowden at T-nation:
Q: You wrote in your 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth book that turmeric, the spice, deserved to have a whole book written on it. What's so great about this stuff, besides the fact that it makes Indian food taste good?
A: The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, a member of a class of plant chemicals called curcuminoids. Curcumin has anti-cancer properties. Even the very conservative American Cancer Society says on its website that curcumin has "demonstrated some anti-cancer effects."
Several types of cancer cells are inhibited by curcumin in the lab, and it's slowed the spread of cancer in some animal studies. It's also a powerful antioxidant and highly anti-inflammatory as well, and since inflammation is a component of virtually every degenerative disease on the planet, that's a very powerful résumé.
And if that weren't enough, curcumin (or turmeric) is one of the most liver-friendly compounds on the planet, which is why you almost always see curcumin in liver-detox supplements.
'Skins is body-moulded gradient compression performance equipment with built-in BioAcceleration Technology™ which will enhance your performance in training, competition and recovery.The future of technical wear is engineered gradient compression. When compression is engineered to apply a balanced and accurate surface pressure over specific body parts, it triggers an acceleration of blood flow. This increases oxygen delivery to working muscles to enhance their performance. The circulation improvements also help the body to eliminate lactic acid and other metabolic wastes. The combination of these effects allows you to work at a higher rate for longer.'
I started wearing mine yesterday and could feel a difference in how my legs felt straight away.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
1. being more focused now that comp is closer
2. worrying about something other than comp prep (Rob and his dad)
3. eating less - even though we changed my intake to about 1500 cals at the end of last week, I probably haven't been eating that much. Have had more low cal days than high, mostly because I haven't been that hungry (see point 2).
4. eating more veges, and a slightly higher ratio of protein. At start of comp prep I did the 40/40/20 ratio but felt like I wasn't getting enough good fats. Tried doing high fat, low carb (with a high carb, low fat day every so often) for about four weeks, but started craving more veges (it's hard to squeeze in many veges when you're only doing 10-15% carbs and still want some postworkout starchy carbs!), and I knew that I didn't want to eat less protein once my cals dropped (I like my meat!).
Training has been OK. Knew I was starting to get depleted towards the end of the week as I didn't have much energy for training, and there was little to no improvement on the previous workouts. Friday night was probably the worst, where I felt like things were actually going in reverse in a couple of cases. So had some extra starchy carbs after training. Didn't top me off though as I felt a bit irritable before going to bed (couldn't relax in my bath) and this morning TJ got a big telling-off for pulling on the lead. So had some starchy carbs after my walk. Didn't used to worry too much about carbs after my walk, but now they are around the one-hour mark, I may start to need them. I haven't been walking on an empty stomach though - usually have something small beforehand as I get nauseous doing any kind of exercise on an empty stomach. And walking TJ is not always a stroll in the park.
Friday, September 12, 2008
The last two days I have finished work (I work from home), switched my computer off, gone to the gym, come home to shower and eat, watch TV for an hour and then gone to bed. I feel so much more relaxed doing this, as my head isn't buzzing with all the things from the computer. TV isn't really a great substitute, but it will do until I get some more books to read.
Am looking forward to training back tonight, coming home to eat, then having an Epsom salt bath and going to bed. Exciting Friday night, huh?!
Have a great weekend everyone (and Happy Birthday Liz!)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Earlier in the year I was getting this kind of kale. The stalks are woody so I only ate the leaves.
Lately I have been getting this kind of kale, which is also known as lancinato kale, black cabbage or cavalo nero
I know I feel good after eating it, and now I know why...
From Jonny Bowden:
'Kale is the highest ranked vegetable on the ORAC scale, a measure of antioxidant power. (It's value is 1770; the next best vegetable is spinach with a rating of 1260.)
'It's a member of the brassica family of vegetable royalty and, like other members of this family (cabbage, for example), contains powerful phytochemicals like cancer-fighting indoles which have been found to have a protective effect against breast, cervical and colon cancer.
'It also contains sulforaphane which helps trigger detoxifying liver enzymes, helping the body to rid itself of chemicals and free radicals that may cause cellular and DNA damage.'
Bowden suggests a raw kale salad with dried cranberries and pine nuts, and says it's also great stir fried in some coconut oil.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
While thinking of my hubby today I was looking through my pics. Realised I had two of him taken in August, three years apart.
He is probably 5-10kg lighter in this year's pic. He does weights a lot less now (only a couple of times a week in the gym as opposed to four or five) but does about 10-12 hours a week of Mixed Martial Arts training (which he loves). All going well with his dad, he will be competing at Jiu Jitsu nationals in October.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
TJ (our dog) and I are enjoying our walks. We are doing about 45 minutes to an hour each day. I even get a bit of an upper-body workout in sometimes when the 45kg beast decides to haul his 55kg 'mother' over to investigate something. We were out early this morning and it was lovely to hear the kookaburras laughing away. Have mostly been walking in the morning then training in the early evening this week. I am familiar with my new program now and am trying to push the weight/reps up for each exercise, though some days are better than others. Yesterday was frustrating. There is only one set of 1.25kg plates in the gym, and I like to use them to put my bench press and BB bicep curl weights up or down in small increments. I could only find one of the plates yesterday, so had to jump up or down in bigger amounts, making it harder to hit the number of reps I wanted. Weights have been followed up by about 30 minutes of cardio. Then home to eat my quinoa and berries - yum!
Enjoyed the variety of meat I got from the markets last week, especially the venison. Yesterday I got my organic fruit and vege from the markets instead of having it delivered. Since there is just me at home this week, I thought it would be nice to go and choose a few things for myself. I found some asparagus and broccolini, two of my favourite veges, so was happy about that.
Weight was pretty stagnant for most of the week, so have dropped down another 100 cals in the last couple of days, to average about 1500 cals. Some days are higher than this (1700), some days are lower (1300). This time last year I was on about 1350-1450 cals consistently so it's nice to be eating a bit more, and to have some higher cal days to balance out the lower ones.
Have been drinking more water the last few days too. Probably about 5 or 6 litres a day, which is a lot for me.
Not long to go now!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Today felt like a bit of a turning point for me. Moved my training session from the morning to the evening so I could take advantage of the nice weather this morning to get out for a decent walk, which was great. Training this evening went well - did a PB for Romanian deadlifts. Also had a reminder to keep enjoying my journey - something I needed as lately I've been focusing (worrying) more about the final outcome (the competition).
The best thing of all though was that I found out I might be able to combine my love of food and interest in nutrition with my career in publishing. It's just on a volunteer basis at this stage, but could lead to other things. Very exciting.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Food: last week I tried to tighten things up by 50 cals a day (from 1700 to 1650 on average) but then had a very hungry weekend so cals blew out a bit (although eating was all clean). This week I've dropped down to around 1600 on average, and have also experimented with taking my Surge out after training to replace with a whole food meal.
Today's breakfast was a real winner for me. I love bircher muesli and decided to try making some with quinoa flakes instead of oats. It came out surprisingly well (and kept me full for ages) so will definitely be having it again.
I went to Queen Vic markets yesterday and picked up lots of fresh seafood (prawns, salmon, tuna and a couple of other kinds of fish), plus some kangaroo, venison and turkey, so that should keep us going for a while. I like getting my turkey from the market as they mince it for you right there. I can never understand why Safeway adds oil to their turkey mince. Puts me off buying it. Today for lunch I made turkey patties with grated apple, onion and sage in them - yum!
Training: OMG! New program is great but boy do I have DOMS. Trained legs today and they were still a bit sore from my previous workout on Tuesday.
Cardio: walking every day, plus cardio (intervals/incline walking) after training. Am enjoying this too - love my walking.
Sleep/recovery: not so much in the way of formal recovery for me this week, but have been trying to take little moments to chill out when I can: yoga stretches and a couple of minutes in the 'corpse' pose at the end of my workouts; taking the dog for a walk in the beautiful weather yesterday; finding a sunny spot to relax and eat my snack while shopping in town; having a coffee and reading the paper at a cafe. I have been in a weird mood most of the week, so taking these little moments has been helping me stay sane.
Supplements: am loving my acai. I've been taking it first thing in the morning and I'm sure it helps me wake up.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “insulin resistance” many times by now. It’s been used in many commercials to sell diet books, videos, specialty (expensive) diet foods, and a whole lot of other garbage. But insulin resistance is very real. Here’s how it can happen in your body …
Your cells need energy to carry on the many vital, complex functions they have. They get energy in the form of glucose, a simple sugar your body gets from the food you eat. But for this glucose to be used, it has to get inside your cells.
Insulin—a natural hormone produced in your pancreas—bonds to receptors on the outside of cells. There it acts like a key to let glucose enter. When the doorway no longer recognizes the insulin key, glucose stays in the blood rather than entering the cells.
The pancreas responds by releasing large amounts of insulin to lower the glucose levels. Your pancreas can compensate for this flood of glucose for a number of years by secreting more and more insulin. But after awhile, your cells become overwhelmed by all the insulin, and they start to respond to the insulin much more sluggishly.
The amount of glucose in your blood gets higher. The pancreas keeps receiving signals that glucose levels are high, so it ratchets up insulin production. The more insulin that’s released, the less effective it becomes, and the more resistant to insulin your body’s cells become.
This is insulin resistance!
Too much insulin = uncontrollable weight gain
The key to controlling insulin resistance is to control blood sugar levels
Eating for success
1. Eat less more often
Eat every three hours. Set your watch by it. Of course, if you do this, you’ll want to eat less at each meal. By eating this way, without even trying you’ll reduce your total food intake throughout the day. And spreading out your food intake keeps your insulin from having to respond to sudden huge surges of carbohydrates.
2. Start every day with a scrumptious “breakfast” of … almonds
Unless you’re allergic to almonds, start your day soon after you get up by eating 10 dry-roasted or raw, unsalted almonds. They wake up your liver and kidneys and get them ready for the later influx of food they have to deal with.
3. Stay away from simple and highly processed carbohydrates
We all love spaghetti and mashed potatoes. But make those your special occasion meals. If you’re going to eat carbs, make them complex carbs like you get in regular (not instant) oatmeal.
4. Eat more protein … within reason
Replace the processed carbs you’re reducing with good protein. Cheese, almonds, tuna (in water, not oil) and the like are great for those meals you’re now eating every three hours.
5. Always sit down for your meals
Make your meals special. Make them about social interaction rather than just eating. Use smaller plates. Take smaller bites. Put your fork down between bites. Talk to your spouse or a friend during the meal. The longer you take to eat, the less food you’ll consume. And you’ll walk away satisfied.
And if you don’t have the time to do this—like at the office—take a few extra minutes, lay a napkin on the desk, set out your lunch, and take your time eating, even if it means working during the meal.
6. Swear off the “hard stuff”… sodas, diet sodas, and packaged fruit juices!
This will be hard because we’re all programmed to want sodas. But sodas just jack up your blood sugar without giving you any nutrition.
And as I mentioned earlier, diet sodas are as bad if not worse than regular sodas. It will take awhile to kick the soda habit. But once you do, you’ll discover a broad new world of flavors available to you.
But what about fruit juice? Aren’t they good for you? Look at almost any can or box of juice you pick up. Up near the top is the infamous high fructose corn syrup. It is far better to skip fruit juices and eat the fresh fruit instead.
What will you drink? Water. Tea. Coffee in moderation. A little red wine. Sparkling water.
7. Fast foods are the fast lane to Metabolic Syndrome
Make your own convenience food instead of stopping at the local burger joint. String cheese is tasty, filling, and comes in reduced fat variety if you want.
If you must choose one of the big name fast food restaurants, opt for one of their “healthier” options. And when they ask, “supersize that?” remember they’re not really supersizing the food or drink. They’re supersizing you.
Forget strenuous exercises. You just need to move!
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t exercise strenuously if that’s your thing. Keep it up! But it’s not for everyone and just because someone works out two hours everyday doesn’t mean they’re healthier than you.
The key, though, is to move. Regular movement gets your heart pumping faster. It uses glucose pumping through your blood vessels, ultimately reducing your blood sugar and your insulin resistance.
The easiest way to start moving is to walk. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week. Start with an easy walk on flat ground if you haven’t pushed yourself in awhile. Go with a friend or partner. Talk about things of mutual interest and the 20 minutes is over before you know it. Soon, you’re stretching it into 30 minutes … or more.
If walking doesn’t thrill you, find another activity that does. Dance. Swim. Yoga. Ping pong.
Where are you going to find the time to do this? Let’s say you’re going to walk 20 minutes. It takes you 10 minutes to get to and from the park (or wherever) and another 10 minutes for warm up and cool down. That’s 40 minutes.
Is there a 60-minute TV show you can give up to make room for personal movement time? I’m sure you can find one every evening. Eliminate or record that program and shift your schedule to accommodate your personal movement program.