Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Detox? Oh That Thing You Already Do? Fitness Friday 26

detox

Okay so this Friday’s post is about something that really rubs me the wrong way.

Detoxes. 

Do you know how many people opt to try out “detoxifying” products? When I worked at GoodnessMe! I had to really bite my tongue whenever someone would ask me about the effectiveness of the latest liver detox kit.

It bugs me even more when people jump onto a ‘detox diet’… that basically is a starvation diet… in order to rid their bodies of toxins because its overloaded

Overloaded you say?

What does that even mean or feel like?

Is that the feeling you get after drinking all weekend? Having a holiday meal and perhaps eating one too many servings of overly sweet or calorically dense foods?

I’m sorry, but that’s not toxins, that’s just a feeling of sluggishness and fatigue from your body having to go into overdrive to break down everything you just ate.

So on this side, no, a detox isn’t required. Instead, next event, try to monitor yourself. No, I’m not saying to restrict, feel guilty or over compensate with restriction and over exercising the next day. What I’m saying is to be mindFUL of your choices and your satiety cues during these events to prevent yourself from over eating.

If you happen to over eat, the best detox would be …

water

Yeah. Easy no?

Conclusion of first rant: Feeling not so great is generally the outcome of nutrition related choices. Enjoy yourself and don’t feel the need to skip your favourite treat this holiday season but don’t let yourself take a free-for-all because no, your body will not be happy afterwards. It is not filled with toxins to be rid of, it’s simply stuffed and needs some time for processing.

Before I go onto rant numba 2, lets just highlight the fact that your body does a pretty good job as detoxifying your body.

That’s kind of its job.

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Yes, we don’t eat the same quality of foods these days and we take in a lot more toxins from our air, water, etc, but the liver is still going to detox just fine unless it’s some extreme event. Otherwise, the fatigue and ‘bleh’ feeling you are experiencing is most probably more so the result of chronically eating foods that are not nutritionally dense and take a lot of processing. If heavily processed food is your go to, it’s not a detox you need, its a change in diet.

#SorryButSomeoneHadToSayIt

Okay so that’s one part out of the way, the other reason some people do detoxes is for weight loss or to ‘jump start’ their weight loss journey.

Why you shouldn’t do this…

~Any weight you loose is water most definitely because most of these detox diets and/or kits require a huge caloric deficit. Many of them are liquid based diets or eating mostly veggies. So no foods with real substance. 

~You are freaking your body out with days and days of poor caloric intake. When it gets scared, it does things to compensate and save energy. When your body starts “saving energy”, say bye-bye to any potential for weigh loss. 

~As mentioned in the first point, any weight loss is not something that will stick around. Once you actually begin to eat again, you will just gain the weight back and possibly more depending on the degree of dietary restriction and length of time (ie. how much your body adjusted)

So tell me again how this is helpful for loosing weight?

From what I have seen, it doesn’t help at all. It often just makes you worse off than when you started because many people binge eat after the detox

Over-eating when your body is not adjusting to being starved = weight gain.

My advice: Just don’t do it.

Lastly, because this can’t be all about me ranting, are their studies that actually show some effectiveness or positive outcomes from these detoxes?

Not really. There have been some studies showing some detoxifying benefits of certain types of foods BUT they are done on animals and some studies have been found to have some methodological issues. (Refer to this study)

The study just mentioned also discussed:

~How there have been no studies that have looked into detoxes and weight loss

~Presents a study that shows a potential mechanism for preventing weight loss due to high stress of a low calorie detox diet. 

~Detox diets, whether food/liquid or supplement based, are DANGEROUS! Overdosing on the supplements and severe caloric restriction have major negative consequences

Another study looked at 3 types of detoxes and highlighted some interesting things:

~Main motivators

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~There is no data that shows the efficacy of detoxes

~Detoxes should not be attempted by everyone. If you are already sick, you definitely SHOULD NOT attempt these stupid things because they are going to cause more stress on the body. 

…..

So to bring this post to a close, I will ask that if there is no evidence regarding benefits and/or potential negative consequences of these detoxes PLUS they are unpleasant to do, why even do them in the first place?

As proposed in the first study, what we should be focusing on is the reasoning behind WHY people want to do these. I personally believe that a big reason for most is weight loss and I’m going  to be blunt and say that weight loss does not come from a quick fix. Dietary and lifestyle changes are needed and people need to accept that. No it’s not easy, but that’s just the way it is. If we just ate more so the way our previous generations ate (less processed/fast/convenience foods and actually had proper meal times) I don’t think we would be struggling as much as we are with obesity.

Just my two cents. 

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Nuff said.

Have a great Friday night my friends!

-Chelsea


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Fad Lifestyles, Gym Newbs…Thinking Out Loud

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My friends I have a lot to think out loud this week, so lets get started right off the bat shall we?

Thanks to the lovely Amanda from Running with Spoons for being the hostess to the mostess.

1. Maggie on my Mind

Here I was saying I’m an adult and everything and was going to be just fine when Rita left, but day 2 it hit me hard. You know that ‘down’ feeling, yeah that was me. I try my hardest to still smile (okay I don’t have to try that hard to smile, its just me) because smiling just makes you feel better, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have a bit of a dark cloud floating over me the past few days. It is perfect timing for me to go home this weekend and spend time with my familia and I have to say I just want snuggles…

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Of the puppy variety.

Is it bad that I have been ‘craving’ having a dog a lot recently…Ugh. Come to me money! Or better yet, can I just have one and it not cost me anything and never get sick… ever?

You know you’re desperate when you start wanting a cat just because you want a snuggle friend and they are less baby-like in their needs…

2.The gym is not a playground FYI

Not to sound like a preacher, but for real, take the gym seriously and don’t be an idiot when you come into the gym. I’m going to sound sexist here, but this specifically applies to guys because most often girls will run away to the cardio section when they are not sure (which is not the answer either!) rather then just being plain stupid.

Okay so that was a bit harsh, but I really don’t feel like seeing someone die when I’m in my domain.

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Pardon my lack of spell checkin…slips happen when you are speaking with irritation passion

This most often happens when said individuals are not only newbs but also when they decide to bring their newb friend(s) with them too. Multiples just increase the stupidity that occurs.

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And they just laugh…after they barely rack the bar and the guy crawls out from underneath it.

Just sits there and shakes my head. 

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And when you don’t succeed, try again with more weight? Cuz that makes perfect sense

And fail again. Like actual fail and once again, spotter barely racks it with 50 extra pounds. Unfortunately in cases like this, it generally takes an injury for them to smarten up a bit.

Let me say something before someones like “you talk **it but why didn’t you step in”. One, I wish I could lift 150+lbs just so maybe I could show them up (plus ya ya save their life and everything). And two the spotter did manage to get it on the bottom rung (i.e. two inches from the guys face…).

Please note how there were numerous GUYS around these two and they did nothing…

Speaking of which…

3. Girls vs. Guys

We apparently think very differently. I went over to talk to a gym friend of mine about said newbs and his response to my “They’re freaking me out because I would rather not see someone die this morning…”

You apparently have a bigger heart then me, I would laugh if it fell on their face.

Now before you judge my friend, please note that most guys would have said the same thing. Call it tough love. They are being idiots, so the guys logic is that maybe if they actually loose it, maybe they will learn their lesson…plus get a bit of entertainment.

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Lets be realistic here, guys often get a kick out of seeing other guys pain. 

4.Eating Like a Caveman…

Check out this podcast as this inspired this lil rant thought.

 To the paleo folks, did you know that you have been depriving yourselves?

Of oat gains!

That’s serious.

New research has pointed out the fact that Palaeolithic people did in fact eat grains. BLASPHEMY! In fact, a new paper was published (and discussed in the podcast) on a new tool that was discovered that has traces of a type of oat fiber suggesting that it was used to grind the grains into a flour.

So yeah….Sorry?

They also touched on some other forms of ‘dieting’ that I wanted to mention.

Intermittent Fasting

This is no miracle solution to loosing weight, but rather just a different way to space out your calories for the day. Mr. Dolce happened to mention that he had tried and and felt like absolute crap for the 3 months he was on it.

No PR’s

No Strength

No Energy

Why make life hard on yourself?

Eat something before you train and fuel your body to make gains. Simple as that.

Exception may be for runners who get sick with running on full. Perhaps eating something very quick to digest is best, but go with your gut. Pun intended. 

IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)

I discussed a while back about this and what it was actually supposed to address when it was first released but they give great basic information as to why eating whole foods, rather then processed crap, is really how to keep your body weight in check. No, I’m not saying you need to eat clean 100% of the time to maintain your weight, I’m saying that eating wholesome makes a huge difference in satiety and often leaves you eating the calories your body needs. IE. Not in excess.

He said something very real..

Have you ever seen someone sit down and eat 3 apples? Not really. 4 donuts, yes.

The truth is that the satiety of the fiber and water from the apple often leaves you not wanting more due to feeling full and satisfied. The sugary, easy to digest foods leave you feeling unsatisfied and wanting more. Unfortunately, the latter is much higher in calories and can easily put you over your maintenance and lead to weight gain if consistently indulged in.

In other ranting news…

5.Why Do People Still Hate On Carbs.

Ugh I know that education on this topic is not there yet but it kind of infuriates me to hear people saying that I’m cutting carbs to loose weight or body fat.

Guys, no macronutrient (carbs/pro/fat) are the “fat storing macros.” If you go over your calories you will gain weight. You could eat over your cals in lettuce and you would gain weight. Don’t try that though because that may be painful…

Carbs bring with them a lot of water (about equal water per gram of carbs) so often people may reduce them to feel ‘slimmer’ just due to water loss but that is it. It’s not fat you are loosing. ITS WATER!

Okay rant over. Let me unruffle my feathers…

Disclaimer. I’m talking about carbs in general. Some people will avoid all carbs, including natural sources (oats, sweet potatoes, rice, etc) thinking that weight loss will follow. I’m not talking about cereal, sugar, etc

6. Bunny Therapy?

I just discovered that the pet store near my house lets you hold newborn bunnies just because. They just messed up because imma be there ERRYDAY!

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OMG I just can’t get over my joy.

…or over that baby bunny. Uh Oh…

7.The Best Compliment.

“You look like you’re an athlete.”

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This is when strength and athleticism has surpassed aesthetics for the reasons why you work out, you know there is passion there. Find what you love because that is when it will stick and that is when you will progress.

I workout for me because I love it and I love getting stronger. I don’t work out because I feel that is required to have a certain body type.

…..

Well I’m off to lift real soon, so I’m gunna close it off there. I will be heading out for a nice lil hike post lift with a friend of mine to catch up which will be real nice…and maybe I will drag her back to the bunny shop…

I have a problem okay. At least I admit it.

Happy Thursday Friends!

-Chelsea


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Fake Pregnancy For Weight Loss? Fitness Friday 10

Please, please, please never believe a word Dr. Oz spews out. Mmmmkay? Or at least take his advice with a large injection of skepticism…

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Is that a flex? Do you even lift brah?

Speaking of injections…

Would you ever inject yourself with a hormone released during pregnancy if you thought it could help you loose weight?

Oh and while you’re at it, why don’t we just slash your calories to about 500 too.

The obesity epidemic is solved!

Well at least, that must be true because DIS GUY said so.

…..

Fitness Friday 10

So if you didn’t guess already, this weeks topic is on another diet SCAM which is the hCG diet.

Lets begin with some background shall we.

What is hCG?

HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin and it is released by a fertilized egg when it implants and has an integral function in maintaining the corpus luteum which then releases progesterone and helps to build the uterus for the nourishment of the developing fetus

So I know what you are thinking, it has to do with pregnancy so what the hell ?….

What does it have to do with weight loss?

Created by Dr. Simeons, he stated that individuals could loose fat without losing muscle if they were given low doses of hCG in addition to being on a very low calorie diet. He came up with this ‘theory’ through his research in overweight males with pituitary problems and pregnant females in India (background here). From his studies he said that hCG acted to protect the fetus and so in times of deficit calories, the body would then be rid of excessive and unneeded fat because it would immobilize it for energy.

He wrote a book on this and stated that targeting obesity was the main goal. He also said that individuals could loose fat while keeping muscle.

Totally sounds legit right!?!?

So what’s the diet?

Put very simply, in addition to getting a lovely needle of the hormone every day, you also get the pleasure of having 2 solid meals a day adding up to 500 calories only. Oh and you can choose to have some water or tea but that is it. Finally, these meals are both low in fat and carbs and high in protein. so enjoy being constipated while you’re at it

Side Effects?

Do you even need to ask?

One, you’re basically starving your body. A mere 500 calories is NOT maintainable and no one can argue that it is. Apparently it is not recommended to go more then 40 days on said diet by medical professionals (source) …

Instead they should be saying you shouldn’t go on this diet at all…But hey, I’m not a professional doctor.

What about the hormones?

Research doesn’t even support the idea that it leads to weight loss (source). The weight loss that was supposed to be from the hormone is much more likely to be due to starvation. Starvation then brings with a whole host of potential consequences including protein loss from your vital organs, deficiencies, cognitive impairment, and the list goes on.

To to conclude…

This diet has been attacked from the research world on multiple occasions. The FDA stated that all products that contain the hormone must have a disclaimer that it has not been found to cause weight loss and any weight reduction is simply a result of starvation. Weight loss companies have to inform their patients of the lack of research to support it and also potential problems associated with it.

So the fact that Dr. Oz stated in an interview that he continues to support it and that every time he is asked he believes it works more and more is simply BS.

Again, don’t believe this ‘doctor’ because his word is a bunch of crap just like this diet scam.

HCG-Diet1

LIES!

Rant over. Happy Friday my friends!

-Chelsea


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Friday Fitness Questions

Hey Friends,

Update, lets all pretend it’s Friday mmmmmkay 😉 

So I wanted to do a lil Friday thing (lets see if it sticks! Hope so!) where I answer a few common fitness related questions that I used to get in my comments section back when I was a real blogger (ie. was able to post more then once a week…promise that is my goal for this summer, not because I feel I have to, but because I want to and miss you guys!).

Anywho, so hopefully these will be useful to many, and although some of them may some simple and common knowledge, I did get these questions a lot so they are new information to many. Feel free to post any questions in the comments below on each of these posts and I will make sure to answer you in a following post!

Also, if you have different opinions and research also comment away! I’m always up for learning more.

So lets get started shall we?

1. Do I need protein powder if I’m lifting weights? If so, what is the best kind to get?

Part 1: No you don’t.

Even the most “hardcore athletes” don’t need to use protein supplements. In most cases they simply choose it for convince OR because it is what they can digest easily after their training. I personally tend to fall into the second of those two. I found that when I was eating whole foods, it took my too long to feel the effects (due to having to break it down too much I suppose and release the nutrients) after my workouts and I tended to get sleepy and stay sleepy. After switching to having my current post workout meal (organic brown rice cakes + protein powder ‘icing’ + banana + coconut oil), I feel the effects right away and feel more awake, even after those tough leg day sessions where I’m slightly shakey post-workout.

Most tend to think that they need to down protein shakes post workout because that is what all of the bodybuilders do, but there is really nothing in the literature that says that is best over whole foods, from what I have found. Yes, whey is arguably one of the best sources of protein in terms of bioavailability to the body (in other words, percentage of the protein you absorb) and thus is very quick to be used as the powder and and easily digestible form enables quick absorption, but in terms of growth and repair, it’s not going to get you better or faster results per say then something like eggs or meat.

I say per say because I’m not sure if you would see different results comparing a  post workout recovery meal of whey vs. a whole food one of less bioavailable sources like plant-based proteins that also may not cover all of the essential amino acids. You also just need to ensure you’re getting enough protein in general!

If greater muscle synthesis is what you’re after, research shows that the essential amino acids (the 15 AA that need to be ingested as they are not made in the body) are what you should be leaning towards. A study by Paddon-Jones et al (2006) that looked at the difference in muscle synthesis in elderly and young individuals taking either a whey or essential amino acid supplement and found that the supplement showed greater synthesis then the whey. To be brief, they concluded that it appears that the addition of the other amino acids did not appear to stimulate greater synthesis.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is the fact that although you see people chugging straight protein, carbohydrates appear to be important for greater effects (I have seen some conflicting observations BUT the majority talks about a benefit). A study by Tang et al (2007) concluded that even a minimal dose of whey (10g) with the help of a carbohydrate source (21g) created a 2 fold increase in muscle protein synthesis in young men post-exercise.

Note the ratio of carbs to protein….2:1 friends. Don’t forget about your carbies

 Further evidence of the important role of carbohydrates came from the 2006 study by Bird, Tarpenning and Marino. They reported a synergistic effect of post-exercise carbohydrate and essential amino acid supplementation pairing on muscle protein synthesis. Specifically, the anabolic affect on muscle was greater when paired together rather then taken independently. So once again, it’s the essential aminos that appear to be important for muscle growth, but it also appears that carbohydrates help aid in that process.

 This article by Volek (2004) provides a great overview of the literature if you’re interested further OR if you want a more easy read, here’s an article by Eirik from Organic Fitness (not a journal article but includes research in the article) talking about how quantity of protein is more important then timing and how a protein shake is not necessary.

So overall, eating a whole food protein vs. whey doesn’t seem to make a difference in terms of recovery and growth post-workout. So everyone out there who are lifting and exercising because they simply enjoy it or are just trying to keep active in their daily lives, a meal of whole foods would be just fine. If you want to get specific, are an avid bodybuilder/athlete and are looking to gain the most from your post-workout nutrition, then the literature suggests to look more so at those essential amino acids (particular interest on Leucine ratio?) for a greater anabolic affect.

Also in general, don’t forget about those carbs. They are important not only for replenishing those glycogen stores, but also appear to aid in the process of muscle synthesis.

Before I get some comments regarding glycogen replenishing, intensity or the workout is an important factor here. If you eat a pre-workout meal that is rich is carbohydrates and you’re workout is not at an intensity high enough to burn through them all, then this is not an emergency, but I still feel that it’s important to get some good, complex carbs in post workout for energy levels. 

Part 2: Best kind to get?

This is purely coming from experience and also my opinion. If you’re out to get a whey powder, I would ensure to check for a few things:

~How many other ingredients are in it? Too many fillers, preservatives, artificial crap and sweeteners are just a recipe for an aggravated tummy and are just not necessary. Keep as natural as possible. If it’s sweetened, go for stevia.

~Do they list a proprietary protein blend? Be cautious because for some reason they are not telling you their blend and it could be that they are using ingredients of lower quality.

~Go for grass-fed, antibiotic free sources of whey if possible. I feel the same kind of way about milk products if you choose to eat those.

~Whey isolate vs. whey concentrate? The isolate will be more expensive because it’s a higher percentage of protein. Basically, the concentrate may have a slightly larger proportion of carbohydrates and fat (mostly coming from lactose). Some may even go as far as saying that concentrate is more of a ‘whole foods’ supplement, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal unless you are looking for the purest form you can get your hands on. See this article for some more info.

~Other useful ingredients? If they are going to add things, they mind as well be beneficial. I think that all proteins should have enzymes in them to aid with digestion. Lactase is obviously the most important in this case as it helps break down the milk protein, lactose. Glutamine is sometimes added and has been reported (mixed results still however) the help with muscle repair and gut health in some studies. Also, more recently, anti-inflammatory ingredients likes turmeric and other herbs are starting to be added to some proteins but they aren’t required for it to be effective from a protein aspect, but just a little bit of an added bonus.

What do you think?

Do you have a post workout shake?

Favourite flavour of whey is you use it?

-Chelsea

References

Bird, S.,  Tarpenning, K., Marino, F. (2006). Independent and combined effects of liquid carbohydrate/essential amino acid ingestion on hormonal and muscular adaptations following resistance training in untrained men. Eur J Appl Physiol, 97, 225–238. doi: 10.1007/s00421-005-0127-z

Paddon-Jones, D., Sheffield-Moore, M.,  Katsanos, C., Zhang, X, Wolfe, R. (2006). Differential stimulation of muscle protein synthesis in elderly humans following isocaloric ingestion of amino acids or whey protein. Experimental Gerontology, 41, 215-219

 Tang, J., Manolakos, J., Kujbida, G., Lysecki, P., Moore, D., Phillips, S. (2007). Minimal whey protein with carbohydrate stimulates muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise in trained young men. Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism, 32(6), 1132-8. doi: 10.1139/H07-076

 


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The New Biggest Loser

Let The Diets Begin…

A new show this season, My Diet Is Better Than Yours, came to CTV and randomly caught to my attention when I was waiting for my post-ice cream sugar crash to send me into a slumber Friday night.

I was curious.

I clicked play.

My thoughts starting going…as usual.

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Oh hey looky it’s Shawn T!

This show, like The Biggest Loser, is all about weight loss but it takes a slightly different spin as each individual is placed with an expert that is passionate about a certain diet. They believe that their diet is not just a short term thing, but a longer term solution or lifestyle change to weight management.

Now while it’s interesting to see the different fad diets put head to head in a real life experiment, you know how I feel about diets…

Diet= Short term (if it even does anything in the first place) and possibly puts your health at risk!

I don’t agree with diets whatsoever. I think that everyone needs to take the time to learn their bodies, play around with their nutrition and find out what works effectively for THEIR body and lifestyle. This allows it to be maintainable for the rest of their lives and not feel deprived.

For most, I feel as if this is a lifestyle of eating mostly whole foods with some processed and/or treats in moderation. I believe that is sustainable and something that is sustainable is your secret to success.

Plans that TAKE AWAY are not sustainable because whenever something is lost we want it more.

Anyways, I wanted to take the time and go through the fad diets that are being highlighted and give thoughts on them. Now these are strictly my opinion and I’m no expert, I just wanted to go through and discuss them. I would love for you all to give your thoughts too so feel free to jump into the commentary in the comments section! 🙂

The Wild Diet

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Basic Idea: My automatic thought here was that it was a paleo or even maybe a ketogenic style of diet. The first thing he introduced to his client was bullet proof coffee, or when you butter grass fed butter in your coffee. This may seem gross to you at first, but many ketogenic followers love this high fat, caffeine boosting start to their day.  Personally I don’t agree with the ketogenic diet, but my thoughts aside, the basic principles here are eating higher fats to compensate for the lower carbohydrate consumption. This is supposed to make you a ‘fat burner’ rather then the standard ‘sugar burner.’ With regards to proteins, they will be high quality the fattier cuts and varieties are encouraged because these are natural fats that are nourishing for the body. Despite by initial perception, he does have a major focus on plant based foods (2/3 of the diet) which is different from the ketogenic diet which I believe is more like 75% fats.

In addition also utilizes a 7-minute workout a day as your exercise and that’s it for the most part.

Despite my hesitations due to the whole keto feel of this diet, there are a lot of things I do like about it.

My Thoughts THE GOOD:

~Focus on REAL food. Don’t count calories but just avoid processed crap and diet foods, which he states are just cardboard tasting things disguised as food. I completely agree with this logic. Too many people just read calorie counts and ignore what is actually making up those calories. Something lower calorie may be completely made up of chemicals while a higher calorie food may be all natural foods. Now, considering both, which would rather eat?

~Meeting your farmers/butchers/etc. He talks a lot about eating quality meats and seafood and to know where you food comes from. If you have the opportunity to do this, I think this is so important. I always feel better knowing that my meats come from a local source rather then shipped across the ocean from a place where the conditions the animals were raised are unknown.

~You have to eat fat to loose fat. SOOOO TRUE! Low fat is not the answer. Fat is satiating and thus by cutting it out, you are basically setting yourself up for a binge. In addition, you body needs it for basic hormone production and guess what is included in hormones? What cues hunger and satiety.

~While I love my long workouts and despite being hesitant to say that a mere 7 minutes can really work especially once the initial weight comes off, the idea that short bursts (think HIIT) works as a very effective fat burner is completely correct.

My Thoughts THE BAD:

~I still don’t like the idea that carbohydrates are evil. This diet and many others place a negative light on all carbohydrate sources (vegetables are exempt here) and I still don’t believe this to be true. Saying you shouldn’t eat a sweet potato just doesn’t seem right to me but my learning continues on this topic.

~I don’t know how sustainable this is. I don’t think you should worry about what everyone else is eating, but true low carbohydrate eating is really not the norm and so many may have issues eating out. Also, alcohol is often banned with these types of diets and while some people like myself are perfectly content without the booze, most are not and would then feel deprived.

~I also still believe that there is never one true lifestyle for everyone. Right now for me personally, my coach would laugh in my face if I told him that I wanted to even reduce my carbohydrates let alone reduce them to sub 100g levels. Carbohydrates are the easiest fuel for your body to use and call me a sugar burner all you want, but most bodybuilders thrive on carbohydrates when building muscle because it’s an easily accessible source of energy that your body is set up to use.

The “No Diet” Plan

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Basic Idea: This one is really interesting to me because he specifically states that it’s not about the food. Instead, he states that the food has become the habit that needs to be tackled. So yes he does tweak their diet and their exercise habits, but he focuses on behavioural changes that are supposed to lead to weight loss. Some of his ideas may sound crazy, like eating on a blue plate to reduce how much you eat (Reasoning: blue is not found in nature often and therefore you eat less because you don’t automatically think of a food), but when really think about some of them, they make sense. So he refocuses your thoughts on the way you shop, the way you sleep and how you perceive food in order to help you loose weight. One of the things that really stuck with me was…

If it goes bad, it’s good for you.

My Thoughts THE GOOD:

~I’m on board with the notion that often it’s not the food that is the problem, its the underlying behaviours and attitudes that lead to weight gain. Much like eating disorders, food becomes the way of dealing with something they don’t want to face. Notice how many individuals with depression or poor self esteem often turn to food for comfort?

~I love the fact that sleep is a major focus because many Americans are not getting enough and that really does have a potentially deviating effect on the body and that cortisol (i.e. product of stress) can lead to weight gain all by itself.

My Thoughts THE BAD:

~As I mentioned, many of his ideas may seem bizarre and therefore may not be followed in the long run.

~Due to not focusing a lot on food and exercise, I’m wondering how long the weight loss will continue before a plateau occurs. When their goal weight is 100+ pounds away, I’m wondering if these changes are enough to reach where they want to be.

The Superfoods Swap

JASMIIN QUEEN, DAWN JACKSON BLATNER

Basic Idea: This plan says that can really have whatever you are craving because you can just swap out some of the less nutrient dense foods for more nutritious ones. As an example, in the first episode she made a cauliflower cheese sauce for her daughter’s beloved mac n’cheese and she said it was good and couldn’t even taste the cauliflower in it. This plan also says that you can have your treats, they just have to be a social thing (eat it out, don’t bring it home) rather then something done in secret.

Cut the CRAP

C-Chemicals

R- Refined Flours and Sugars

A- Artificial Stuff

P- Preservatives

My Thoughts THE GOOD:

~Teaches proper servings and how to eyeball proper proportions on a plate. Instead of the typical American plate that is probably 50/50 carbs/protein, dedicate 1/2 to veggies and a 1/4 to each other macronutrient (carbs and protein). A healthy dose of healthy fats is also called for as a topping.

~You are not depriving yourself. Taking out always leads to binge eating if there are underlying food relationship issues so I like how this talks about how you can eat your treats but do with others to take your focus off the food and make it more about the company.

~This seems more reasonable and sustainable then some of the other plans. A little bit of learning on what nutrient dense foods are, how to shop for them and how to incorporate them into your favourite dishes are really all you need.

My Thoughts THE BAD:

~I always think the term ‘superfood’ is misleading. Personally I think a majority of vegetables and many fruits are superb in their nutrition stats. Yes, there are some such as your greens that pack a huge nutrition punch, but you should always remember that a rainbow is best. Just because green is getting the spotlight, the reds, oranges, yellows and purples need lovin’ too because they also give you a great range of those nutrients.

The Wellness Smackdown

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Basic Idea: This plan is focused on detoxifying the body and is anti-inflammatory. It centres around lots of water, vegetables, vegan eats, and other lifestyle habits including oil massages, non traditional exercise (yoga, meditation, etc) and really listening to your body and dealing with stress in a more positive manner.

My Thoughts THE GOOD:

~I like the idea of focusing on inflammation and dealing with stress better because cortisol is really NOT your friend when maintaining not only a healthy weight but also overall wellness as well

~Drinking lots of water is great because it’s something that many forget but is vital in letting the body cleanse itself and for basic processes.

~Focus around vegetables and wholesome foods. With the amount of processed foods these days, it’s no wonder why many kids have no idea what vegetable makes up ketchup.

My Thoughts THE BAD:

~The initial liquid cleanse. I HATE CLEANSES. Can I say that any louder? What is your liver for? Your body is designed to detoxify and cleanse itself naturally. Yes, it has taken a bit more of a hit with all the crap food we eat these days but to put yourself on a liquid diet of juices for a week is not something I would ever recommend.

~This leads me into my second issue which is the reinforcement that juices and such make you loose weight. The initial week she lost about 6 pounds. Granted because she is overweight, she will loose more then an individual in the healthy range, but she lost mainly water weight because SHES NOT EATING! When you consume only liquids, typically you will show “weight loss” but it’s not long term. DONT FALL FOR THAT.

~The notion that veganism is best. She stated that research shows that those who practice a plant based diet get sick less and live longer. Although I would need to do more research, I doubt that the relationship here is direct. I feel like it may have something to do with the focus being shifted to more vegetables then the average person because of the loss many of the other food groups. Vitamins and minerals that protect you from illness mostly come from your vegetables and fruits, so if you eat lots of those, of course you should then have a stronger immune system. Concluding thought. Don’t blame meat for illness.

~She stated some interesting thoughts on these oil massages and how it apparently releases toxins that allows them to then leave the body. I don’t know how strongly I believe this. Toxins are invaders and often get stored in fat as your body doesn’t want them freely floating around. I have a  hard time vouching for massaging causing weight loss due to releasing said toxins. I do think that toxins can lead to weight gain, but I don’t believe that if you can actually rub those free to get rid of them that the loss will be a great one.

~Listen to your body BUT DONT SNACK!….Hmmm…

~A lot of raw is included here which is a bit rough on the system. I have stated before, we are not cows and we started fire for a reason. Cooked is easier to digest and therefore we absorb more of the nutrients. I’m not saying cook the **it out of your food and never touch anything raw, I’m just not suggesting eating the majority raw or you may run into some GI upset.

UPDATE: She got the boot after the premiere unfortunately. 

The cLean Mama Plan

my-diet-is-better-than-yours-carolyn-barnes

Basic Idea: As a busy mom, Carolyn’s plan was made to try to advantage of the busy lives of her clients through ‘taskercise.’ This is where you take your every day chores and tasks and tweak them to be a form of exercise. She doesn’t believe you need a gym or equipment, instead squat while playing with your child, use your stairs for cardio or even pushups, etc. She also believes in making healthy food options quick and easily accessible so that you are less likely to grab the less nutritious foods due to being busy.

My Thoughts THE GOOD:

~I like that she is trying to make this more doable for the busy bees of our world. At least it’s something they can do every day if they just use a lil bit of imagination.

~Focuses on cLean eating. The notion of CLEAN aside, she means to fuel your body often to avoid crashes (which can then lead to poor food choices), and places an emphasis on whole foods and vegetables in particular.

~I love that she stresses variety to get a bunch of different nutrients. Many people forget that foods lack certain nutrients and therefore a healthy diet should include many different foods to ensure you are getting a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Yes, eating kale is great, but if that is your only vegetable you may run into other deficiencies.

My Thoughts THE BAD:

~Eating every two hours would probably not be doable for someone who doesn’t even have the time to sit down.

~I don’t see this form of exercise being particular useful for large weight loss goals (diet aside). Perhaps in the beginning due to the increase in activity overall, but I do believe that you will plateau pretty quickly. The food will help to keep the losses going, but this is like any other ‘clean eating’ lifestyle.

~The idea of ‘Lean’ is concerning. I’m sure this lifestyle does include the use of healthy fats, but I never like the idea of only consuming lean proteins. It gives the false notion that the fattier cuts, like beef, lamb, etc are bad for you which is not the case. These are natural fats and how can you say that something that is natural is going to cause you harm when eaten in moderation?

Concluding Thoughts. 

Overall I think the superfood swap is most likely the one that can be maintained over the long term. It’s easy to understand and is about moderation and not deprivation.

Well there is a lot more that I could say, but at 2700 words already, I think I should be done.

Please give me your thoughts! I would love to hear them.

Which, if any, do you think are the most sustainable over the long term?

-Chelsea


3 Comments

Emotions Out Loud

My Friends My Friends

Today I knew was going to be a good day

Why?

Because today I got a free tea.

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Thank you UofG

Why can’t other main chains have cool cards like this? Timmie’s take note!

#Cheapos

This Thinking Out Loud is full of emotions because I’m quite thankful for all of the love and support that I have been graciously given over the past few days. Amanda, here’s a big thanks heading your way for the link-up!

Thinking-Out-Loud

First off, thank you all for your kind words from my last post on my new journey. I have felt so much love over the past few days and that kicked off with your amazing and sweet comments. You are all so positive and I cannot say enough how much you all help to push me towards better places. You are part of my journey, never forget it! 

Full steam forward!

I said earlier that I have to be my own cheerleader, which is true, but it’s nice to have a team of cheerleaders too.

Also on my side are my amazing housies who both were asking how I was doing all day yesterday when my meal plan really kicked in. I was so anxious about that first pre workout meal that I ended up distracting myself making breakfast for Rita.

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It doesn’t look that scary, but for me, all I was thinking going into it that this is an additional plate of food in the same time I’m usually digesting my pre-workout oats and therefore I was going to be going into the gym too full.

But I did it. I ate it. And you know what?

I had a lot of great energy in the gym despite being kinda super tired as I woke up an hour earlier to try to squeeze 2 meals into a 3 hour window before my lift.

Plus I remembered how much I really loved the simple taste of bite of roasted chicken with a bit of mashed avocado and sweet tater. Like Thanksgiving!

Both my parents also contacted me yesterday to ask how I was doing…

I also have the support of my coaches FB group. They are all telling me that great things will happen.

So much love, so much love.

Also, getting positive affirmation from my coach always is a bonus!

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I always say to never reward with food because that can make you have weird relationships with it, but sometimes food just tastes like a reward…

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Craving for lobster….

So much orange…

Also something I learned yesterday,

Rice cakes aren’t actually that bad. Kinda nutty actually. Of course I buy good quality ones (brown rice is the only ingredient and they are organic), not the preservative and sugary white ones.  And hey, topped with my salted caramel Diesel whey (made into an icing) and some nanner for hitting those protein and carbs post-workout on the go, they were actually not too shabby..

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I had it all over my face (#StickyMess) but who am I trying to impress when I’m hangry and eating at the gym?

What is really bad…

Shooting back a serving of Greens first thing in the morning.

Pranin

OMG. So bad. Pluggin the old nose is an understatement.

Finally, to end on a funny note

Random blurb from my biophysio class…

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Sorry I had to. He’s comin for ya….

The antechinus is am marsupial that has so much sex, it begins to disintegrate…

Hmmm I kinda feel bad for these lil guys as they only last through one mating season (i.e. 2-3 weeks) but they are literally having sex 24/7 no joke, even when, as it was put, “they are dishevelling.” Some may see that as not being such a bad life.

Hope that made you LOL.

Happy Thursday my friends!

Oh and comment about what serious or more educational topics you want me to post about, I want to know what you want to hear about 🙂

Are you a fan of rice cakes?

-Chelsea


23 Comments

What I Would Eat If I Was Low FODMAP

Hey friends!

So talking to Ellie over email after my last post, she had mentioned that she really enjoyed the What I Would Eat If posts when I highlighted a certain type of diet + gave you examples of what types of meals you could make with the included foods soooo I decided to bring those back. As I want to abide to the rules of Jen’s WIAW, I will keep these separate as of now.

This post will highlight a diet that most foodie blogs have touched on or experimented with themselves and that is the…

Low FODMAP diet.

Normally something that people turn to when they are having digestive issues (IBS related), this diet is one that avoids foods that include FODMAPs or fermentable oligo-di-mono-saccharides and polyols. Speaking very generally these are specific types of short chain carbohydrates that have been found to irritate the digestive track due to poor absorption in the small intestine which leads to your gut bacteria fermenting them instead. This then leads to unpleasant symptoms of bloating, gas, abdominal pain and constipation/diarrhea.

Before I move forward, lets break those carbohydrates down real quick.

Monosaccharides:

These are your simple sugars that make up long chains of carbohydrates or saccharides molecules. They include glucose, galactose and fructose. In this diet, the one that is of concern is fructose (commonly understood as fruit sugar), especially when a food contains a higher ratio of fructose then glucose.

Disaccharides:

Chains of 2 monosaccharides. For example, milk sugar, or lactose, is made up of the monosaccharides galactose and glucose. Other common ones include maltose (malt sugar) and sucrose (table sugar). Lactose is the main culprit here.

Oligosaccharides:

Chain of saccharides or mono-saccharides (simple sugars) that are said to be hard to digest. The ones that are highlighted in this diet are fructans, which are chains of fructose, and galacto-olgiosaccharides, which are chains of galactose molecules, as both are poorly digested and absorbed in the small intestine.

Polyols:

These guys are famous sugar alcohols that are used so that foods can advertise “low carb” and “sugar free” on their foods as a major selling strategy. The reason for this is because these are not well broken down by the body, so they don’t end up contributing many calories due to only being partially absorbed. They are generally less sweet then something like real sugar and are often in combination with other sweeteners in foods. Some commonly seen ones include maltitol, xylitol, sorbitol, etc.

I will also mention that some of these are naturally found in some stone fruits such as peaches and plums and vegetables like cauliflower and mushrooms.

What is the diet?

As I already mentioned, this diet is often one that is commenced by individuals who are suffering from IBS or other related digestive issues (Crohns and other inflammatory bowel disorders, IBD)  as a method of alleviating some of their symptoms. It is very useful in pinpointing specific trigger foods that may cause individuals issues.

Generally when you first start, there is a huge list of off-limit foods and then slowly over the course of diet, you gradually start re-introducing foods into your diet to see how they make you feel. If they create symptoms, then you know that your body doesn’t digest them well and they may be something to consider removing from your diet all together.

Now, from the terminology I listed above, it may seem as though there aren’t that many foods that would be considered off limits or high FODMAPs. They are all carbohydrate based right? So yea, just another low carbohydrate diet, yada yada…

Think again.

This is not directed at loosing weight. This is also not meant to be a low carbohydrate diet. In fact, it states that if you remove something from your diet, you should find a nutritious alternative to avoid dietary losses.

Also, this is not a permanent diet. Of course, if you find that everything on this list upsets your stomach, well then maybe it is, but for most people, it will only cause the loss of a few foods if they wish to avoid their symptoms from returning.

So overall, this is meant to help you learn about what foods makes you feel your best.

So now that I have cleared that bit up, lets look at those high FODMAP foods that are to be strictly avoided vs. those friendly foods.

A more detailed list can be found here. This also lists the quantities of allowable foods if they have a limit. 

Overwhelmed?

Yeah, the ‘to be avoided’ list seems a bit extensive BUT REMEMBER that this is not permanent (unless you have issues with them). You will slowly re-introduce them back into your diet to gradually to see how you respond to them.

So to conclude the informative portion of this post, lets make a summary.

  1. This is not a permanent diet for most. Instead, this is a way to pinpoint the triggers of your symptoms and simply remove those foods from your diet. This resource said it best -> the intent is to lower the FODMAP load at each meal to help manage symptoms.
  2. This works best if a food log is kept (to monitor what food are introduced + feelings after consuming them a few times) AND is under doctor supervision.
  3. This is not meant to be a means for weight loss. Ensure you are getting sufficient calories from those accepted foods.

For more information, check out these great sites!

Canadian Digestive Health Foundation

IBS Diets FODMAP Dieting Guide.

So now onto the goodies.

If you were to start this diet, what the heck would you eat?

Let me help ya out with some blog love eh?

Oh and I will attempt to show you more creative recipes rather then just keeping it simple because that’s more fun.

 Breakfast

For the sake of keeping things different and original, I will loose my beloved oats even though they are allowed for low FODMAP. Instead, something I have seen that looks quite interesting is this..

plantain socca

This is a super simple recipe (only 3 ingredients!) by Purely Twins that is quick to make and can have humpteen different uses. You could use it as bread (maybe think of adding some savory herbs in blend…no garlic though as that’s something to avoid. :-() or you can make it like this..

Later on, topped with almond butter and chocolate chips preworkout.

Avocado Athlete

Which would be how my breakfast would be (replace the chocolate chips, you could use unsweetened carob if you wanted to, with nanner) because when it comes to breakfast, there always has to be a sweet or desserty like thing and there also must be a vessel for nut butter because breakfast without nut butter…

I have no words. It’s just not right.

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Or you could do coconut butter + cacao nibs and a homemade chocolate sauce a la Powercakes if coconut is your thang.

Confession. I hate the taste of coconut. I tried to like it, I really did, but I cannot.

Other cool ideas to try:

Low FODMAP Banana Oatcakes

No Oat Oatmeal

Scrambled Egg Stuffed Baked Potatoes. Limit or omit cheese and leave onion out.

Lunch.

How about some pizza?

No wheat? No problem, thank the sweet tater.

And Sweet Chili Mango.

https://i1.wp.com/chocolatechillimango.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/sweet-potato-pizza-base_3803_wm.jpg

The sweet potato acts a the main constituent of the pizza ‘dough’ with amaranth and quinoa flours, psyllium husk and egg whites holding it together.

Sweet potato is a moderate FODMAP food so perhaps do half sweet potato and half squash.

Go crazy with the veggie and protein toppings but watch which cheese you choose and don’t over-do it. Goat and sheep cheeses and aged varieties in general are often safe in limited quantities as they have lower lactose. I still don’t advocate the use of ‘fake cheese’ like Daiya and other vegan cheeses because 1. they are filled with chemicals, fillers and weird binders that are bad for you and 2. those ingredients probably contribute to your symptoms.

Other Cool Ideas:

Sweet Potato Spring Rolls. I would add a protein to these like shrimp

Warm Salmon Salad with a Lemon, Ginger and Soy Sauce Dressing.

Ginger-Curry Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Omit the scallions (no onions sorry) and make your own ginger sauce, unless you can purchase one without anything you can’t eat.

Dinner.

This caught my eye

Warm Seared Scallops over Zucchini Noodles - Eat Spin Run Repeat

Warm Seared Scallops Over Zucchini Noodles. Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat

I mean it’s my loves…Scallops. I also really love the idea of zucchini noodles because they just seem fun and I’m all about a plate of veggies.

One problem for me though…

I need more carbohydrates. Enter again the sweet potato.

pho (6 of 6)

Mmmm Pho. This site also gave some interesting information regarding bone broth and gut health. If beef is too hard to digest, or if you are removing beef in the beginning to give your system a digestion break, use shrimp or another form of seafood as they are easier to digest. Also sad fact, you cannot have the mushrooms. Sigh.

Other Cool Ideas.

Stacked Polenta with Bolognese Sauce. It’s like lil mini lasagnas without the noodles and the cheese. Add some veggies to the layers and you can add a small amount of goat or sheep cheese, just ensure you are under the maximum quantities described in the charts.

Winter Vegetable Ragout. Omit garlic.

Fresh Summer Vegetable Cod Pockets. Follow her substitutions.

Snackage.

Sometimes better digestion comes with less frequent meals throughout the day, which is something I have found for myself, but some still need something in between so here are some options for ya!

Sweet….

Low-FODMAP Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread #FODMAP

Nanner Bread from FODMAP Fun

….and savory

lemony kale hummus blog.katescarlata.com

Lemony-Kale Hummus from Well Balanced.

Well there ya go guys. I hope that was an interesting read for you and can be helpful to anyone with problematic tummies like myself.

I will say that a few things I would have a really hard time giving up for that lil while would be:

  • Garlic and Onions. Flavour base for errryyythang
  • Avocado. Because..fatty goodness.
  • Mushrooms. Tears my heart.

What would you be most sad about removing from your diet temporarily?

Anyone follow the low FODMAP diet already? Tried it?

What’s another diet you are interested in hearing about?

-Chelsea


15 Comments

Status Can Be Dangerous…Thinking Out Loud

Hey friends,

So I saw this picture on my Insta feed and it made me a little angry.

IMG_7117Not that I followed Bob Harper that much to begin with, but I really lost some respect for the man due to this list alone.

Let me share with you my rantage as part of…

Thinking-Out-LoudThanks Amanda for the link-up.

So take a look at his list of “How to be skinny”

What do you think?

First off.

I don’t like his use of the word skinny.

I don’t think anyone should work towards being skinny.

To me, skinny suggests weak and ill. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone, but that’s just what my brain associates with that term. With that said, I don’t know why anyone would want to work towards that image. Yes, not everyone is out to look more muscular and defined like myself, but I don’t think you aim to look sick either.

Anyways, I’m getting off my main point, I want to dissect his rules a bit for you and let me know what you think.

Some of his rules are kinda standard, like what you may agree with as general knowledge.

  • Eat your vegetables
  • Get enough fiber. Not too much though (yes it’s possible, I can attest to that) or you may end up with some gut anger.
  • Get enough sleep. Although I have no idea what his definition of ‘sleeping right’ is. Anyone know how to sleep right?
  • Don’t drink your calories. Who wants to drink when you can eat?!?
  • Learn how to read food labels. Dont just look at the calorie count! The ingredients are more important.
  • Learn portion sizes. Our eyes have gotten larger these days…
  • Dump the fast foods and fried crap. Of course, once in a blue moon, if you like that kinda stuff then have it, just keep them to a minimum as there is really no food in those meals in my opinion.
  • Have a protein source with every meal. I firmly believe in this because protein takes longer to digest and there is what helps to keep you satisfied. Eat just carbohydrates for a snack and feel hungry in about 5 minutes.

The rest of his list though are either complete crap or controversial meaning it may work for some people but not others.

Shall we begin?

Please jump into the comment section and let me know your thoughts. We are Thinking Out Loud here. 😉

Rule 1: Drink a full glass of water before every meal.

I feel like this is very personal. For me, if I drank an entire glass of water before I wouldn’t be able to eat. Additionally I would probably throw up. Water doesn’t go down that smoothly in high volumes for me.

I see where he’s going with this one…Are you really hungry? Maybe you’re thirsty….OR…you will fill up on water and eat less….Either way, I still think that this is not a be all end all rule.

Instead: Learn to listen to your body and take note of when you are feeling hungry. If you’re bored and are feeling munchy, try to distract yourself for a little bit instead of drowning yourself in water. If the hunger persists, well you’re probably hungry and you should probably eat something.

Rule 4: Slash your intake of refined flours and grains.

This is a controversial one right now. Everyone is on the paleo, grain free train in attempt to slash their waist line. Rule number 1 should be to not follow certain lifestyles that everyone is saying makes you loose weight. Do your research.

I will say that I agree we eat too many flour and grain heavy foods. Sorry I’m not sorry but all forms of grains (even whole wheat peeps) turn to sugar and are stored as fat in your body unless they are used up. So, in a very under active population who tend to lerrrrve their carbs the most, we tend to go overboard on these guys.

BUT!

Carbohydrates are not the enemy.

Just like the other macronutrient, if you have too much for your caloric needs, you will gain weight. That’s science. What I do know is that people have gotten lazier (or busier, take your pick) and simply buy their carbohydrate sources which tend to be over-processed, refined and devoid of nutrients. So essentially what you are left with is empty carbs so to speak.

So overall, I would say to watch your refined carb count from a nutrient perspective BUT you don’t need to get rid of all forms of grains 100% if you enjoy them and are not allergic. Try to go for the whole forms more often as they have minerals and other nutrients in them which do the body good.

Brief note. Simpler, refined grains are thought to spike your blood sugar more than whole forms but it is highly dependent on context. The glycemic index is somewhat flawed as they did their research on fasted (hadn’t eaten) individuals and gave them only that one food. For example, a piece of white bread. Who just eats a plain piece of white bread? So they showed a high spike in blood sugar and that is what they used as the glycemic index values. So yes, flawed. Other foods help to buffer the effects of ingested grain on your blood sugar. For example, fats and proteins really help to slow that release into the blood sugar because they are digested more slowly.

Rule 6: Eat apples and berries every day.

I have no idea where this one is stemming from. If you’re watching your sugar intake, you tend to stick with the berries, but apples? The fiber maybe? Again, if you have no issue with fruit, eat the ones you like. I believe that the only rule you need to kinda go by is get more vegetables than fruit in a given day.

Rule 7: No carbs after lunch.

Seriously? Is he only talking about starchy ones like breads, pasta and rice. OR is he saying carbs in general, which would include all vegetables too. Are you supposed to just eat protein and fat for half of your day?

Again he’s making carbohydrates seem like this evil thing which I don’t believe in. You can eat carbs and not gain weight I promise. I know I’m going to get yelled at by some of those folks on paleo or keto diets but carbs are your body’s (brains!) preferred source of fuel and I’m sorry, getting through the afternoon on just fat and protein would mean I would be napping for 18 hours a day.

The second thing

Since when does your body know what time it is?

Skip.

Like I said, everyone has a total amount of energy they need to take in on a given day to maintain their weight. If you consistently go over on any of the macronutrients (leading to your overall caloric total being higher then what you need) you will gain weight. So enjoy your carbs whenever you want them.

Rule 10: No more added sweeteners, including artificial ones.

This one is another personal one I think. It depends how much you care about your sugar intake or your intake of fake foods (ie the artificial sweeteners). Personally, I don’t add sugar to my food. My sweet tooth is shrunken to the point where fruit is sweet enough for me, I don’t need anything extra. I also don’t like artificial sweeteners because they make my stomach hurt and, well they aren’t real and our bodies don’t understand them. We also aren’t 100% sure how they react in our bodies as research is relatively new on these. That being said, I do enjoy some maple flavouring a la Walden Farms every once and a while

If you like your honey or brown sugar or what have you, then it’s up to you on if you have it or not. Just take note on how dense of a source of carbohydrates it is and because it’s a liquid form, it gets into your blood stream a whole lot faster then a whole food source that needs to be broken down.

For example, 1 tbsp of pure maple syrup contains about 50 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates and 14 grams of sugar.

So, I’m not tyring to say it’s this awful thing, but just be aware of how something so small contains so much.

NOTE: Don’t fall for the whole “natural sugars are better for you then cane sugar”. The vitamins and minerals in the natural sources are negligible in how much you would typically use and your body doesn’t see them any different.

Rule 11: Dump the white potatoes.

See above note on glycemic index.

I believe that he probably going along with the “white potatoes= sugar and will make you fat because they spike your blood sugar” argument but, once again, it depends on context. Do they have many other nutrients as things like sweet taters, well not really (they have lots of potassium which is something), but if you like the ol’ white spud then enjoy them.

Like everything else though, just make sure they are not your only starchy carbohydrate source.

Rule 12: Make one day a week meatless.

Personal once again. Yes its great on the environment and your wallet to forgo meat in a meal but I couldn’t do it. For one, I can’t eat beans and lentils without blowing up and I don’t do soy…so I’m at a loss there.

Do as you please here. If you can tolerate those non-meat sources, have some fun and make a creative meal that is meatless like this one below and enjoy (from Chocolate Covered Katie) some added fiber and B vitamins to your day.

Meatless Chili (high protein, quick, and easy to make) http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2014/08/22/vegetarian-chili-recipe/

Rule 14: Eat a real breakfast.

What’s a real breakfast? Apparently, to his standards, it includes a glass of water.

Rule 15: Make all your food and have at least 10 meals at home.

This may be unrealistic for some people who are working very long hours and/or have families that they have to take kids here and there constantly. YES I firmly believe in making as much of your food as possible as you know what’s in it and can better control portions, but not everyone can make everything they eat from scratch. What would help more would be tips on choosing healthy and quick foods to prep ahead to take with you OR how to chose healthier options when eating out.

Rule 16: Banish high salt foods.

Once again we are demonizing something. Salt, pure salt, is not bad in moderation. Things you should keep out of your diet most of the time are highly processed foods that contain heaping amounts of sodium. Sodium is not the same as pure salt. Pure salt is required by the body as an electrolyte that balances our water levels and, thus, affects our blood pressure and heart. Sodium is a cheap preservative that is used in pre-made foods. Watch your sodium, but use pure salt to taste.

NOTE. If you have a major health condition that requires you to watch all forms of salt, keep to your doctors recommendations.

Rule 18: Go to bed hungry.

Is this for real?

Is he actually serious?

This one really irked me. Basically he’s telling you to starve yourself. Way to go Bob!

Again, your body doesn’t know what time it is so eating before bed is a personal thing. If you’re hungry EAT! I do.

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My snack every night right before bed. Like I go to sleep the minute I’m done this. My frozen protein pudding with all zee peanut butter and 1/2 a less burnt looking Questbar. It’s my favourite thing aside from breakfast.

I think the issue with bed time snackage is the choices that people make. Often it’s fried, high calorie snacky things like chips, which may then place you over your caloric expenditure. That will be where you gain weight.

BUT.

Eating at night in general doesn’t make you fat.

Rule 20: Plan one splurge meal per week. 

This one is a toughie because there are many different opinions on this. If you’re living a lifestyle (not on a diet), I don’t think you should need to have something ‘special’ every week to keep your sanity. That seems like restriction to me.

I have mentioned before that I try to have a ‘cheat meal’ every week (that doesn’t always happen) for more psychological reasons, but overall, I think that if you’re living a balanced lifestyle you shouldn’t need to plan some special meal out. One big reason for that is that these planned meals are often associated with going nuts and eating something you don’t normally get on your day to day diet. This can then result in…

Basically its like you are telling yourself that you should go eat crap because you were good all week.

Food is not a reward AND you shouldn’t be looking forward to feeling like crap.

So those were my thoughts. All 2000 words of my thoughts, so I hope you enjoyed and it stimulated some thoughts of your own. If it did share them with me! 😀

What do you think of Bob Harper?

Do you take ‘skinny’ as a negative term?

Do you believe the advice celebrities preach?

-Chelsea


2 Comments

The Meat Freak Talks Vegan Say What?!

Hey friends!

I had a request to talk give out some vegan recipes and I finally decided to tackle that one for ya! Oh hey Melissa, this ones for you. 🙂 Now, as you all probably know, I’m a complete carnivore (no offense to all the vegans and vegetarians out there) and due tot that, I don’t really have any full meals that are vegan to share with you. I was going to do one meatless Monday this vacation with a soup, but I didn’t think that was very creative so I thought it would be better to just do some bloglovin and share some amazing recipes from the blog-o-sphere. I will however give some tips and factoids about the nutritional requirements I think are important as you have to be much more mindful that you are giving you body what it needs for any diet that requires restriction.

So how ’bout some lil pointers first eh?

The first thing that comes to mind is protein. It’s the question that makes all vegans (and vegetarians) go crazy because it really isn’t that hard to get all of your protein from non-animal sources, it just takes a lil bit more thought.

I will go off the deep end here and say that if you’re a hard core bodybuilder you may need some protein powder of some kind to meet your needs if your diet is also carb restricted. I firmly believe that high protein is needed to build a decent amount of muscle, many will argue against this notion, but this is what I believe.

There are many sources of protein in nature other than in animal products. Yes, vegetarians will have it easier as they can include dairy, fish and eggs, if they chose, and that should mean they have no problem reaching their requirements for protein BUT vegans, it can be trickier.

With plant based proteins, they are incomplete (with a small handful of exceptions which most people don’t eat, like some forms of algae/kelp I believe), meaning they don’t have all of your amino acids. Due to this, it is crucial that you eat a variety of different foods to ensure you are getting all of your amino acids (ie building blocks of any new tissue, muscle, etc in the body), especially those essential ones that the body cannot make on it’s own. Now, I have now come to believe that you don’t need to do complementary pairing at every meal, but instead, having a day full of variety is enough to get what you need.

Here are some examples of foods for your essential ones. Make sure to include these in your diet daily as you cannot make these lil guys.

  • Histidine: Rye, bananas, green vegetables, rice
  • Isoleucin: Soy protein, seaweed
  • Leucin: Beans, lentils, nuts, rice, oats
  • Lysine: Beans, nuts, seeds, some grains
  • Methionine: Beans, nuts, seeds, grains,
  • Phenylalanine: Soy products, nuts and seeds
  • Threonine: Lentils, black beans and sesame seeds
  • Tryptophan: Spirulina, unsweetened chocolate, seeds, some grains (like quinoa), and dates
  • Valine: Beans and legumes

The only other issue of getting enough protein with this lifestyle is whether or not your body responds well to the protein sources you have left. Personally, not only would I never be able to give up meat without feeling like I’m giving up the best foods (again, sorry to those who are not meat eaters, I’m just being honest), but my body just wouldn’t work eating vegetarian proteins. I can only eat beans and lentils once in a blue moon because they upset my stomach (way to gassy), I refuse to eat soy and well….there’s nothing really substantial left. Check out the video (click on the image) I posted below for my take on this issue.

So now that we got the big one out of the way, some other vitamins and minerals of concern, especially with vegans include:

B12: This guy is very hard to find naturally in non-animal products so you’re kinda stuck going with supplements or fortified foods. One natural source I do know of is nutritional yeast (which more use a cheesy tasting substitute). Guys, you need this one for sure as it can wreck havoc on your system from damaging your nerves, causing anemia or leading to heart problems. Take this one seriously or you will find yourself in a convulsive fit.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Without fish, this one can be tough because plant based sources are tricky to use by the body. For example, while flax is a source of omega fatty acids, specifically ALA, the body has to convert that ALA to EPA and DHA and it’s not very efficient at this process. As a result, you are kind of stuck getting a small fraction of what you see on the nutrition label. Best to find a supplement offering a high amount of DHA and EPA. The source is often algae.

Calcium: Although in smaller amounts, this one can be found in a number of plant based foods. Some of those include, dark leafy greens, beans, legumes, nuts, and many green vegetables. The issue once again comes down to the ability to absorb the calcium as there is a pesky thing called oxalate that is found in quite high amounts in those foods and that blocks absorption. Often, supplements are still required to get enough after accounting for lack of absorption.

Vitamin D: Once again, supplementation or fortified foods are your friends here as Vitamin D is a toughie in non-animal foods. Mushrooms are one of the only natural sources I can find.

Iron: Similar issue in a way to calcium. Iron comes in two forms, heme and non heme. Heme, which is in animal products, is much more bioavailable to our body’s to use, while plant based non-heme iron is harder for the body to use and thus you end up with much less in the end. Plant based foods such as grains, beans and lentils are great sources of iron BUT ensure to eat them with vitamin C to help with absorption.

Here is a great website to check out for more info! Click here.

Okay, wow this is getting long and we haven’t even gotten to the recipes yet. Okay, one final comment before I get to the food.

One major trend I see all too often with vegans and vegetarians is the fact that they eat way too many carbohydrates (as they may turn to fast or processed foods) because they don’t eat enough protein and therefore just don’t know what to eat. In the end, because carbohydrates really don’t satisfy you when consumed solo, you find yourself constantly hungry and munching and that can lead to weight gain. Just because meat is taken out of the equation (which is often the center focus of our meals these days) doesn’t mean that all you have left are carbohydrate heavy dishes.

On the other hand, I also see many very undernourished vegans because they are eating too many low calorie plant based foods and not enough fats and proteins. Although you may be getting lots and lots of vitamins and minerals from those veggies, your body needs fats and protein to sustain you, and, without them, it will start to break down quickly.

So, the key is balance. Be mindful that you get enough protein at every meal and don’t go overboard with excessive amounts of carbohydrates (as many protein sources are also quite high in carbohydrates), take supplements as needed and listen to your body. If you’re constantly getting sick, feeling tired or just not right, either you are missing something vital in your diet or it’s time to take a hard look at whether this lifestyle and determine if it’s something your body can handle.

Alrighty, now onto the fun stuff!

Zee foods.

I have hunted down a good number of recipes that I hope you enjoy. I tried to include a variety of styles, types of meals, ease of cooking and tastes for you all.

Screen shot 2014-12-22 at 9.37.40 PMOh She Glows. Protein, check. Healthy carbphydrate sources, check. Greens…I would add some kale perhaps or another dark leafy green. Also, the fat free dressing is not something I’m a fan off. Add some fat with olive oil or add avocado to your salad so it sticks around a lil bit longer.

Black Bean & Brown Rice Burritos

The Everyday Veggie. High protein but a lil on the carby side for my liking as it’s rice inside a tortilla. I would wrap it all up in a collard green wrap.

Chatelaine. I love the fact that they didn’t put it on a bun! They used portabello mushrooms as their buns which are natural sources of both protein and vitamin D.

fall pumpkin buckwheat breakfast bowl-1-3

Eating Bird Food. You didn’t think you would get away without getting something that looks like oatmeal did you? I would however add some more protein to this dish by either adding some protein powder (vegan of course, peanut flour would be ideal) or hemp seeds.

My New Roots. For the request for a vegan cheesecake, here is a beauty! Do not be afraid of the fats in this one as they are coming from healthy sources including nuts and coconut oil PLUS this is a treat. It’s much better to be eating those fats then the hydrogenated ones found in a commercial cheesecake no?

See, being vegetarian or vegan is not hard, it just takes a lil bit of base knowledge about your bodily needs, some more thought perhaps in the beginning and dropping the stigma that you will be eating leaves for the rest of your life.

Experiment and have some fun!

I hope this post helped some of you out.

It’s officially Christmas Eve tomorrow and I can’t wait!

All the best,

-Chelsea


12 Comments

The Grain Lovers Diet….WIAW

Hey Friends!

OMG I GET TO BLOG!

Oh how I have missed you so.

Transitioning back into school life and managing to keep everything I’m used to together has been a bit tougher than I thought and time doesn’t seem to be on my blogging self’s side lately. More on that later, but I’m glad to be chattering with you today in my spare time…cough..which I should technically be using to work on my assignments that are due this week but meh they will will get done. Zee blogging itch must be scratched!

Fall into Good Habits: WIAWSo I’m jumping back into Jen’s What I Ate Wednesday this week to give you another installment of “What I Would Eat If I Was….” and this one is a new one, even for me, so lets jump right in shall we?

Grains have been on the chopping block a lot lately and I can’t say that I’m ignoring all of the research that is surrounding these pesky lil carbs but hey, as a food blogger and a future RD in the making, I have to keep my mind open to hear about different dietary philosophies. Plus, I find it fun to poke around and learn more about those random lil dietary lifestyles you don’t hear too much about.

So whats a dietary lifestyle that focuses on grains you ask?

What diet was thought to be beneficial to cancer patients?

What diet doesn’t support the consumption of animal products but is less strict in that regard (most of the time) than a vegetarian?

Gwyneth Paltrow sported this lifestyle for years and the entertainment world has buzzed the idea that this diet is a diet that legit works!

But before I get into all that, what is it you ask?

Basically this diet is kinda like vegetarianism in the sense that you don’t eat animal products (including things like eggs and dairy, which are recommended to avoid unless absolutely required during the transition period), but the main focus here is on eating a diet that is full of whole grains, particularly those that are well chewed like brown rice and cereal grains (buckwheat, millet, etc) and supplementing your lifestyle with raw and cooked vegetables, fermented soybean foods, soups, seaweed and other sea veggies and the occasional (a few times a week) addition of nuts and seeds, fish (in less rigid lifestyles), sweeteners and fruit.

Another big focus in this lifestyle is avoidance of processed foods. Similar to some of the other approaches I have mentioned in previous posts, one is supposed to be eating those things that are as minimally processed as possible. It also looks at really taking a deep look into how food makes you feel. This stems from the original Japanese philosophies that a diet such as this has healing properties and that because you are avoiding loading your body with toxins that promote inflammation through the ingestion of commercial products.

One individual in general who really began this movement (if you want to call it that) was George Ohsawa who presented the backbone of this lifestyle through his universal principles. Check out those principles here [link].

Yes, this is not just a diet but an entire lifestyle approach. Of course, for WIAW purposes, I’m just focusing in on the diet.

His philosophy goes into a lot of details so I will lead you to his foundation’s main site so you can learn more about his beliefs and how that began to build this dietary lifestyle and why every component is important.

One thing I did find interesting and wanted to share was the yin and yang portion that is mentioned quite a bit in his theories…macrobiotic-principles-2013As you can see, balance is the key. Being too extreme on either side wouldn’t be optimal, but having both maintains healthy life. As an example related to food, meals should have a balance of some yin and some yang and I will show you all that in just a sec with the day of eats portion.

The last thing that I wanted to mention about this diet is that it was thought or advertised at one point, that it was the ‘cure and an/or prevent cancer diet.’ Newer research however doesn’t necessarily show this [check out this article]. There really hasn’t been evidence to support the idea that this diet has specific advantages in patients post cancer treatment or those with a poorer prognosis. Instead, this dietary lifestyle is more of a general, ‘you should eat more like this’ type of diet due to some of it’s components. This is not to say that everyone needs to be a vegetarian to be healthy, but instead, just like many others, the focus is to eat less processed and mo thangs green.

 As a final note (I swear last thing!), there are a few things to watch out for if adopting such a lifestyle.

  • Make sure you are eating enough calories. Similar to vegans, very strict macrobiotic diets can be void in healthy fats and calories in general which can lead to a whole host of food related deficiencies, low energy levels and poor general health.
  • Once again, be on top of your vitamin game as removing foods from the diet can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Vitamin B12 may be the only one you really need to supplement if you’re on top of your diet (if you choose not to eat fish. If you do, you are getting a natural source there). Other potential issues if you’re not careful could be Vitamin D, iron, zinc, omega fatty acids and all of your essential amino acids.
  • Along similar lines to the first point, this diet has been attacked for issues related to malnutrition. Specifically it has been argued that due to such a heavy emphasis on rice, a person could end up become malnourished due to lack of variety. This has been observed in some very strict (no animal products at all) macrobiotic diets and was once big incentive for doctors to advise cancer patients to NOT use this as a aid or type of treatment for their illness.
  • Children and pregnant women should also be very cautious on a diet such as this to ensure they are getting everything they need for their growth and changing bodies.

So what do you think?

Are you a brown rice-a-tarian?

Still not sure how a day in the life would look like, here let me show ya! Time for the foodzzzz

So I had mentioned that I was new to this dietary lifestyle too, so this is what I put together based on what I learned.

Breakfast.

Creamy Pumpkin Buckwheat Groats via Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.

Because it’s fall ya know, had to throw in something festive and although I’m not a huge pumpkin flavour person, fruits are placed on the ‘eat occasionally’ list SO veggies it is. But hey, most people love punkin amirite?

Now, I broke the rule a wee bit as there is banana (sweetness and a creamier texture) in there BUT you could remove it if you’re feeling real strict. Adding more pumpkin puree may make up for some of the creaminess, but not really the same sweetness factor.

Yin Factors: Rich in potassium, Less dry, Sweet, Vegetables, Fruit

Yang Factors: Whole grains, Longer cooking time, Orange colour, Below ground growth, Heavy in Carbohydrates

So in and amongst your yin’in and yang’in, your tummy grumbles

Time for..

Lunch.

Since you didn’t have brown rice for breakfast, you naughty lil person you, I order you to have it for lunch. Here ya go..

Just kidding. I assume the diet’s not that bad. They do really emphasize brown rice so I figured I would put it somewhere BUT lets make it more fun shall we?

Sushi Rice Salad via Triumph Wellness (her inspiration came from this recipe).

Most people lerve sushi amirite? Well here ya go, sushi without the rolling. Sushi you can still eat with chopsticks. Sushi that, with a few tweaks, is totally macrobiotic diet friendly!

The tweaks are things that are on the occasional list once again, so you aren’t going completely off the rails if you leave them in.

  • Corn
  • Natural sweetener (for the sauce)
  • Cucumber (replace with zucchini)

Yin Factors: Less dry, Sweet, Vegetables, Sea Vegetables

Yang Factors: Whole grains, Longer cooking time, Lighter Colours, Heavy in Complex Carbohydrates, Salty

Finally you have ended your meditation practice and righting down you top ten list of things you’re grateful for in life. You can now sit down to a nice and light….

Dinner.

Squash and Arame Soup via The Macrobiotic Association of Great Britain

Soothing, nourishing and warm, this miso based soup is super simple to make and full of ‘good for you’ whole ingredients. I would add some protein to this if it was me. Also, because it’s me, that protein would be seafood. Man, I’m just livin wild on the ‘occasionally only’ list ain’t I?

Yin Factors: Less dry, Rich in Potassium, Vegetables, Sea Vegetables, Softer

Yang Factors: Grown More in the Winter, Miso, Heavy in Complex Carbohydrates, Salty

Okay Okay I confess, I shnacked. I shnacked hard on a few of these babies

Snack.

5 Minute + 5 Ingredient No Bake Almond Butter Chews via Oh She Glows

Brown rice strikes again! In ball form. In puffed form. Bam.

Yin Factors: Higher in Fat, Sweet, Sweeteners

Yang Factors: Whole Food, More Dry, Smaller, Darker Colours, Whole Grains.

So what do you think?

Are you a grain lover?

What’s you’re favourite brown rice dish?

Don’t forget to check out Miss Jen’s page for all the other noms of the week here 😀

-Chelsea