Personal Health Intiative Training

Posts tagged ‘diet’

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When all else fails, go back to the basics

Back to the basics

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Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Chewy Bars!!

October is here! It’s time for some new recipes! I really enjoy eating pumpkin, but it’s harder to find outside of the fall season. I purchased two cans of pumpkin last week and decided to do something with them. I made a healthier version of pumpkin bars that are easy to make and have a good amount of protein. I added chocolate chips because I just love chocolate. You could substitute the chocolate with nuts or blueberries. These are great pre or post-workout.

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Bars

  • 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 2 whole eggs (can substitute egg whites)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil melted (or leave out for less fat)
  • 1 can of organic pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of ground instant oatmeal
  • Enough almond milk to wet the mixture to the consistency you desire ( you can also use water)

1. Spray a square glass baking dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Take about 2 cups of dry instant oatmeal and grind in the blender until it is the consistency of flour. Measure out 1 and 1/2 cups of the ground oats and place in a bowl. Add the baking soda and protein powder in the bowl with the oatmeal. Add the flaxseed meal. Mix.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the canned pumpkin, vanilla extract, eggs, coconut oil, and chocolate chips. You can also add in stevia if you want more sweetness.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until blended well. Slowly add in the almond milk to make the mixture smoother, but it should still be a little thick.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Check often and make sure it doesn’t dry out too much.

6. Take out and cool.

7. Cut into 10-12 squares.

Food Shaming

Gluten-Free, IIFYM, Flexible Eating, Keto, Low Fat, Low Carb, Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Non-Fat, Diet, Free Range, Organic, Natural, Raw, Whole Wheat, Sugar Free, Vegan, Paleo, Vegetarian and more! What are you? Do you classify yourself as a devout follower of a specific style of eating? Do you shun those who like to indulge in a nice juicy burger on two fat slices of white bread? Do you turn your nose up on those who eat only plant sources of food? Are you a food shamer?

Since when did the way people eat become a fad? When did we turn into a society that is totally obsessed with the way people eat? Why do we call some food bad and some food good? We have all turned into a bunch of food shaming lunatics. I started thinking about this the other day when I was offered a piece of homemade pound cake. In the past, I would have felt guilty for eating it, and if I did eat it, I would immediately get on the treadmill to “burn it off.” But you know what? I ate the cake, and it was good….and then I went about my business. I didn’t care if it had 200 or 500 calories because I know I don’t eat cake every single day. I eat in a way that allows me to consume a lot of whole fruits, vegetables, meats and grains and snack foods such as cakes, cookies and so on. But, I don’t obsess over every single thing.

I used to be horrible; especially after my first figure competition! I ate like a cow, and then felt guilty. It was pretty much a daily process. I gained weight and then had to work twice as hard to get it off. Competing had my mind screwed up when it came to food. I was so used to being super restrictive that I had a hard time making the transition back to everyday life. Before I competed, I did not have this issue. I am much better now. I used to judge people who ate a certain way and shame myself if I ate a cookie or a burger.

I’m done with that. There is no black and white when it comes to nutrition. It is a gray area. You have to learn to look at the macronutrients in your food and not just the name of the food. Burger does not equal bad and “Clean Food” does not equal good. If you eat too many “clean” foods, you can gain fat just as you would from “bad” foods. The best way to avoid becoming a food shamer is to do your own research. Learn about nutrition so that you can make smart choices. Don’t judge people by the way they eat. Learn how to eat a variety of foods. You might find that there is something you’ve never tried that you like. Unless you are an athlete or preparing for a bodybuilding competition, you can be a little flexible with your diet. You will be happier for this in the end, and you will learn how to control your food impulses.

In Between

I heard a message this morning that really made me think. We get so caught up in our daily lives and trying to get the dream job, dream house, dream car, and even the dream body, that we don’t enjoy the process. I have thought about this in regards to my prep for this next show and also my career. Of course, I have big goals and positions that I would like to see myself in.  Ultimately, I want to make a career of teaching others how to make healthy lifestyle changes, not just temporary changes for a show or an event. But, I realized that I am getting so caught up in reaching the end or dreading the beginning, that I am not truly enjoying the journey.

For the next 10 weeks until my next competition, I have a plan to enjoy the journey more. Here it is outlined step-by-step.

  • Share my experience in more details by writing in this blog
  • Record training sessions of myself and my clients
  • Implement a new training style for the first six weeks (German Volume Training…more on this in a separate post)
  • Read more literature on nutrition and competition training
  • Take my cardio outside on nice days, walking outside, or running at the lake
  • Include yoga back into my routine once a week
  • Include meditation
  • Pray for more patience and strength to enjoy each day

 

Don’t ever get so consumed with the FINAL result that you forget to enjoy what it takes to get there. If you enjoy the process, the task will be less arduous and stressful in your everyday life. If you want to lose 20 lbs in 3 months, don’t just think about that last day of the 3rd month, think about what you are doing to get there. What will your workout plan involve? What new and creative exercises can you add to your regimen, and what types of creative meals can you plan. How will you be a positive influence to those around you while you are pursuing your goal? Yes, it will be hard and yes, you may slip and fall….but just keep going and please enjoy the ride!!!

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”-Greg Anderson

 

 

 

Bread Anyone?

I have been very skeptical of trying this “low carb” bread by Julian Bakery. It just sounded too good to be true. However; when you look at the ingredients, you can see that the macronutrients are in exact alignment with what is needed for a cutting diet. 6 grams of carbs total with 5 grams of insoluble fiber, so the bread contains only 1 gram of net carbs. The coconut bread by Julian Bakery only has 1 gram of fat and is just 35 calories per slice. When I saw this in Whole Foods today, I just had to try it. Part of the fun of doing my own diet is that I can be creative! I need to experiment on myself first before I make recommendations to other people.

Well the verdict is….I love it! It tastes good, makes me feel full, and helps me psychologically get through a VERY strict diet. This bread is very expensive but to me it is worth it. If you cannot eat bread because of a gluten allergy or are on a cutting diet, you should give this a shot. You will continue to lean out while eating it. There are many different versions of their bread but this is the one I tried.

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You have to keep it in the freezer, but you can thaw it out in the oven and make a wonderful slice of toast for breakfast. I ate this with my bison burger and zero carb noodles for lunch today. It was delightful.

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Creative Snacks

It can be hard to get your meals in at work and it’s not always possible to sit down for 15-30 minutes to eat a full meal. Sometimes I eat my meals at my desk and fortunately I am able to step away to eat most of the time. However; today was really busy and I had to get my last snack in some way. I came up with an idea on the fly. I always strive to get a protein, carb, and fat source at each meal.  I decided to combine my protein and sweet potato into a pudding. I took 50 grams of cooked sweet potato, added one scoop of protein, and a little less than 1\4 cup of coffee in a styrafoam cup. I mixed these ingredients together and it came out to be the consistency of pudding. I love pudding but the instant mixes tend to have a lot of sodium. So this was a nice way to get what I like in a healthy way….and it was fast! Here are some ideas you can try for quick meals.

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-Pudding made with one scoop of protein and just enough almond milk stirred in. Great in the morning before your workout when you don’t have time to eat.
-1scoop of protein powder with 1\4 cup of dry oats. Add a little water and make a “goo.”
-Add fruit into a container of Greek yogurt. You can even add nuts for a complete meal.
-Mix cooked sweet potato in with protein powder and water and microwave for a few minutes….instant brownie!

These are just a few things I have done to make sure I sneak in a quick meal on the go. No excuses!

Encouraging Myself…And You!!!

I am 5 weeks into my prep and I am making very good progress. There have been moments that I get weary or a little worn out. Training alone can be difficult but you have to push through and keep going. You might not have anyone who motivates you and tells you to keep going. If you talk to a lot of competitors you will always hear them say that they had moments where they felt alone. One night I watched an interview with Kai Greene, one of the top bodybuilders in the country. He stated that people think his life is glamorous but don’t understand how lonely the path is. Yes, he does have training partners, sponsors, friends etc… But there are many times, he finds himself alone.

I say all this to encourage you if you  feel like you are alone. Don’t despair! You will be just fine if you don’t quit! Be a big girl or a big boy and just do it. Don’t wait for your friends or your spouse to push you because that may or may not happen.

Back to prep…I have lost 10 lbs, so I am at 138. The picture shows 139 because it was taken last week. My average is a 1.5 lb loss per week which is the healthy way to do it. I am meticulous about counting my macros and calories. I have something to prove here and though I may get tired, I am not quitting. I have about 10-12 more lbs to go depending on how I look.

11 weeks to go!
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