Lil Miss Fitness Freak

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


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Too Much Of A Good Thing…Fitness Friday 41

Greetings my fitness friends, so I am just finished my exams this week and officially I can say that I have graduated with my second Bachelor of Science. Yay for being 25 with 2 degrees eh?

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As I head into my Masters/Internship this fall…very expensive Masters/Internship… -_- … My parents my be thinking this instead…

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Not art school but you get the idea

So now as I have this week and next to do a bit of relaxing and moving (gross) I want to get into a few topics with you including today’s topic…

When Something Good Becomes Something Bad

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We all know why the idea of ‘moderation’ is out there. Everything has it’s limits. Even the healthiest of things are bad when taken in excess. I wanted to re-iterate this for a few things that the bodybuilding/fitness community tends to go overboard with .

Lets do a quick short list of a bodybuilder staples that maybe they should reconsider their portion sizes in.

Cinnamon.

You a bit shocked? I have mentioned the benefits of cinnamon before, but it was pointed out to me more recently that my mindless pouring sprinkling, which was probably upwards of a tablespoon (ooppps), in my cream of rice every morning is something I need to stop doing.

We health freaks, bodybuilders and just oatmeal lovers adore us some cinnamon and while it is great for you, it actually contains a compound in it that has blood thinning property (anticoagulant). Specifically, coumarin. This pesky lil guy also can damage your liver when eaten in large quantities as well…

Unfortunately for us all, the ‘cinnamon’ that you buy in the store is not really true cinnamon. I wrote this in another blog, but the actual cinnamon, ceylon, which is found mostly in health food stores, is what you actually want to go for and provides you with those amazing benefits the most and less of this nasty compound. What most of us eat is cassia, which contains high amounts of coumarin and can then put you at risk if you’re like me and use half a bottle at a time.

So for all you cinnamon lovers out there, find you’re the real good stuff and watch how heavy-handed you are on the cinnamon shaker as a sprinkle here and another 4 sprinkles there can really add up.

Spinach

So low in calories. So great for volume. Eat all the spinach all the time!

But spinach has calcium they say. It has fiber. It has vitamin K. It has glorious vitamins!

So put it in everything right? Especially when those calories are getting a bit low for your liking and the hanger is too high for others to handle…

Check yourself.

Spinach along with other dark green vegetables have oxalic acid in them, which is a strong inhibitor of calcium. So while you think you’re getting a great dose of plant based calcium, you’re actually not really absorbing all of it. In fact, a study by Weaver and colleagues (1993) found that the foods that contains the most oxalic acid (including spinach and rhubarb) in them had a the lowest absorption of calcium. These plant chemicals can also cause kidney stones which also ain’t something you want to deal with (Durham, 2017).

Tuna

Canned tuna is easy and on-the-go friendly. Not to mention it is a great source of protein with virtually no fat (skipjack, not albacore) and no carbs. Perfect food for prep and many fitness lovers.

How do you all feel about mercury?

Well tuna (among other big fish) are notorious for becoming overly contaminated with this metal due to being one of the bigger predators, especially albacore. Mercury is often found in many species small and large, but as the larger ones eat more of the smaller ones, the overall levels in the bigger fish accumulate and therefore when you eat them, you’re getting a much larger dose.

Switch up your protein sources and the recommendation is have no more than 3 servings of those larger fish like tuna per week of this meaty fish. Also, try to stick to the white tuna varieties, as they are smaller which means they have less bioaccumulation.

For those on prep, try shellfish or, if those are too pricey for your liking, go for other white fish like haddock and hake (if you can get your hands on it) as I find them more tasty than things like cod. Also, don’t be afraid to get your fats from your proteins venture out to the other fishes too.

See Burger and Gochfeld (2004) for more information about canned tuna and their mercury content

Caffeine

Yell at me all you want about how much you need your Starbucks to survive, but there is a limit of caffeine that the body can actually handle. Apparently there is a fairly high level that is actually toxic, but when in prep you got the coffees going plus the pre-workouts and perhaps even a fat burner (ps those don’t work…) and well you have accumulated quite a bit of caffeine there…

Although mortality is rarely seen with caffeine intake, and toxicity generally only arises from doses in the gram amounts, a study by Musgrave et al (2016) pointed out the fact that some people may be at greater risk even with small doses. Those with liver (this metabolizes drugs) and cardiac issues should be especially mindful of their intake, as symptoms of excess may present themselves at lower doses than your average person.

Unpleasant symptoms that have been cited include:

~Tachycardia (super fast heart rate)

~Nausea

~Vomiting

~Shaking and agitation

Can’t say those sound too fun to me and obviously are a sign that you need to cool your jets on the ol’ coffee maker. The other issue is that research no this topic is still quite inconsistent and some people have seen these negative symptoms at a few hundred milligrams too.

So, although considered and widely accepted as safe in most regards, keep an eye on all your sources of caffeine, including potential hidden sources in all those random herbal supplements out there.

Fiber

Now this isn’t about to kill you but the digestive distress that you could be forced to endure may make you want to go into hiding. For a lot of people, when their macros get low start they tend to go really high with the vegetables to feel more satisfied. The problem with that is that too much fiber really is not a nice thing. Bloating, gas, flatulence (I’m being professional here..) and just general discomfort and, well, not feeling lean, all can result from excessive amounts of fiber.

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Did you know that too much fiber can also lead to mineral losses too?

So, yes you’re hungry, but do yourself a favour and don’t ring in more fiber than your body can handle.

Please keep in mind that this was geared towards people in competition prep who will undoubtably feel hunger at some point. The average person should not have this feeling as they shouldn’t have their calories lowered to the same degree even in a weight loss phase. 

This can also be targeted at vegetarians and vegans as they increase their vegetable and plant based protein consumption. Be mindful of how you feel and adjust as you need to. Try to get some of your vegetarian protein sources from things other than beans and legumes 24/7.

Artificial Sweeteners

I know I know this one also comes with a stamp of uncertainty, but from experience alone, I know that these can cause real digestive upsets. Different types lead to varying degrees of gastrointestinal upset (lets not get started on the lack of sound research for LT brain effects..) but in most cases taking in way too many of these things to lower your fat or carbohydrate intake can also lead to you looking like you’re 4 months pregnant OR will force you to live on the toilet for a bit.

It appears that some are better tolerated in adults than others (erythritol may show less adverse digestive affects)(Source) but from a subjective perspective, I know a lot of people (including myself who’s IBS HATES them) who feel bloated ingesting them and feel much better keeping them to a minimum.

So, although I focused on foods that are commonly overeaten by those in prep for bodybuilding competition or heavily into fitness, some of these are eaten quite often in the general public due to being regarded as healthy staples. These foods do provide many benefits to you, however, like almost everything, things have their limits, so I wanted to make you aware of some of the ones you may not think about.

Are you a cinnamon inhaler like me?

-Chelsea


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Banana Oatmeal Pancakes With Chocolate Chips

Pancakes can make every day a lil better no?

Well, my housemate wasn’t feeling the greatest a few mornings ago so I decided to do what I do best and get my tushie in the kitchen to whip up something to lift her spirits.

The result?

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A plate full of fluffy, tender patty-cakes full of caramelized banana and some slighty-naughty chocolate chips.

They did their job well as she was full of smiles as she slathered some natural honey on top and ate it with her finger’s.

#ThatsLoveAtFirstBite

Incredibly simple to make and for not that much batter, you get a four cake tower! Now thats what I call happiness.

Gluten free (if you use certified GF oats) and made without a drop or sprinkle of sugar because that spotty death looking banana truly is a sweetheart despite it’s dark demeanour  😉

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Serves 1 

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

~1/4 cup oat flour + 2 Tbsp rolled oats
~1 egg (or an do an egg white)
~1 medium RIPE banana
~1/2-1 Tbsp natural almond butter
~1/4 cup almond/cashew/milk of choice
~1 tsp Vanilla extract
~1tsp baking powder
~Cinnamon
~1-2 Tbsp chocolate chips (optional but for chocoholics its kinda mandatory..)

Directions:

1. Mash 3/4 of the banana in a bowl.

2. Whip in the egg, almond butter, vanilla extract and milk of choice.

3. Add your dry ingredients minus the banana and chocolate chips. If the batter is way too thick, you may need a tbsp or 2 more of liquid but that depends on the size of the banana. Batter should be not runny, rather, pourable-but-spreadable

4. Heat a large non stick pan in medium. Add a bit of coconut oil.

5. Take 1/4 of the batter and plop into the pan forming a thick pancake. You can make two or more per pan depending on your flipping skills.

6. Slice you banana and place some slices and some chocolate chips on each cake.

7. Pop on a lid and let it cook low and slow until the bottom is golden and firm. NOTE These won’t bubble.

8. Flip and let cook for about a minute more without the lid. Remove from the pan.

9. Re-spray your pan and make pancakes out of the remaining batter using the same method.

10. Voila all done!

Top with whatever you would like. Honey, maple syrup, more fruit, etc, etc.

I hope you enjoy! 

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I missed fat Tuesday by a long shot, but hey, I play by my own rules. 

-Chelsea


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Clam and Turkey Kielbasa Paella

Friends, a new recipe a new recipe!

Okay so as I typically do when I have downtime and my housemates are busy is I do some meal prepping for them…. You may think that’s lame but I enjoy the creative time spent in the kitchen. This is especially true in situations like now when no one has come back to Guelph yet, it’s freezing outside and I have lil stressed birdies to feed. Rita has been trekkin through the first week of her co-op in TO and unfortunately is stuck commuting for a short while before figuring out better arrangements. That means 5am wake-up calls and 7:30 arrivals at home. So, as you can imagine, if left to her own ways, food would be bought every day…

Of course, Mama can not let that happen, so here we are.

Before you call me out on being judgey, she doesn’t feel good when she eats out too much but she just doesn’t want to cook…

My challenge (yes I even make challenges to myself to make it more exciting…) was to make sure that everything she got was high in iron as she suffers with chronic anemia. I have succeeded thus far with making each of her 3 square meals per day contain at least 15% or more of her daily iron. Also a positive, she loved every meal and because I’m making them, they are not loaded with crap.

Win win if I do say so myself.

So I do have a recipe to show you BUT first I figured I would give a bit of insight into her meals to show you how I got her iron intake up in tasty meals that took no more than 30-40 minutes to make.

Breakfast.

Oats, wheat bran and maybe some cream of rice thrown in too.

Okay, so I did the whole oat’s thing thang because I can stuff them in a glass jar and she can heat them and eat them on the train. I also used oats because 1 serving contains 8% of your daily iron! I also did a blend of oats and wheat bran because the bran contains a wee bit more iron per serving.

Okay so that’s only 8% iron…

Wait a minute, you know my oats ain’t no plain jane oats. Let me continue.

She loves savoury oats, so I threw this lil number together and she adored it. So much so that I had to make it again the next day..

Awful picture I’m sorry. I swear it tastes good. Rita vouches for it!

Sundried Tomato and Mushroom OIAJ

~Serving of sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil (8% iron)

~Cremini mushrooms 

~ about 1-1.5 ounces of a homemade sausage of sorts that she picked up during Xmas when all the farmers came into the mall (iron..I have no idea..)

~1 large egg that was roughly scrambled (6% iron)

~1 green onion

~Pepper to taste 

Directions: Sauté all of the vegetables and sausage (or other meat) together in a saucepan that has a lid. Once they are caramelized, add your oats and recommended water. Top with the lid and bring to a boil. Once most of the water has been absorbed, crack the egg in there and let it cook mostly before breaking it up. Put in a jar and voila, donzo.

Something else to consider when thinking about plant based iron sources is that they have primarily non-heme iron and are therefore the iron is not as well absorbed as animal products that contain heme iron. Never fear, if your food also has a good dose of vitamin C, you are better able to absorb iron. So in the case of oats, the sundried tomatoes help the body absorb more of the iron in the meal.

You know what else is high in vitamin C?

unknown-pineapple

And so I rotated sweet and savoury oats by making her a pineapple and coconut oats in a jar one morning as well. The cooking is the same BUT obviously you’re using fruit and not vegetables (although if you want to grate some zucchini in there I wouldn’t oppose…and you can’t taste it) AND the egg is whipped in there such that it dissolves completely.

So even forgetting the iron amount in the sausage, I racked in about 18% iron to start off her day.

Lunches/Dinners

So here was where I got to be more creative. I’m going to apologize in advance that I have no pictures…

The first dish was an Italian/Mediterranean style penne dish but it has a twist!

It used these noodles..

Do you see that iron friends! Oh and check how short the ingredient list is! Score one for Mama and her foodie finds.

Beans, legumes and lentils are a vegetarian staple for more than just protein needs. Iron is huge in these guys so now the are coming up with interesting ways to incorporate beans/lentils into more dishes.

Sundried Tomato, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pasta with Basil Pesto.

For one serving:

~1 serving bean pasta (15% iron)

~1 serving sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil (8% iron + vitamin C)

~a few cremini mushrooms 

~onion

~2 tbsp goat cheese (2% iron)

~2 tbsp basil pesto

~Black pepper and chili flakes to taste 

***I chose not to add garlic here because her goat cheese was a garlic infused one

Directions: Cook up your pasta to the doneness you prefer, rinse and drain. Salute your vegetables until caramelized. Add your pasta and your pesto and stir around to coat all of the ingredients with the pesto. Let it cool for a few minutes before adding the goat cheese in small chunks.

Iron count: 25% DV

***Vegetarian friendly with tons of good protein. Also gluten free. ***

Finally, I made a Cajun seasoned dish of sorts with a turkey kielbasa I picked up from GoodnessMe!

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Cajun Turkey Kielbasa and Pepper Quinoa

For one serving:

~1 serving Kielbasa (6% iron)

~ serving quinoa (cooked from package directions. I used low sodium beef broth for more flavour) (8% iron) 

~1/4 each green and red pepper (Vitamin C!)

~serving of corn (I used salt free, canned) (little bit of Vitamin C)

~1/8 cup onion, chopped

~1/2 tsp (or more) minced garlic

~1 tsp salt-free Cajun seasoning (or to taste)

Directions: Cook Quinoa, fluff and set aside. Saute vegetables with kielbasa until caramelized. Add your garlic and cook for a minute or two more. Add your quinoa and cajun and combine well. Done.

Total iron: 14%

So her total for those three meals alone (approximately as absorption differs, blah blah blah…) was around 57%!

I say I didn’t do too bad eh?

Oh and all of that (plus the recipe to come) was maybe 40 bucks. Cha-ching! or rather, lack of cha-ching…#StudentBudgetWin.

Okay okay, now that I have sufficiently babbled on and on, here’s the actual recipe for the post.

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Clam and Turkey Kielbasa Paella

Serves 3-4

~2 servings Kielbasa (12% iron)

~2lbs clams in shell or about 6-8 ounces of meat (~130% iron in one serving!!)

~1 cup rice (I used white jasmine) (8% iron)

~1/2 each green and red pepper

~1/2 a small-medium zucchini

~1/2 can of corn (no salt)

~1/2 can tomato paste (no salt) (4% iron)

~1-2 tsp spanish paprika

~1 tsp oregano

~2 bay leaves

~ pinch of saffron threads (I happen to have this on hand, I don’t know an alternative to this for taste, but you can just make it ‘spicy tomato rice’ without it)

~chili flakes or cayenne pepper AND black pepper to taste

Directions: Saute your vegetables with the kielbasa in a large pan with a lid for a few minutes until they are browned. Add your tomato paste, spices, rice and liquid (as required for your rice to cook) and stir. Place the bay leaves in the rice and pop a lid on dish and bring it up to a boil. Once it begins to boil, turn it down to a simmer and allow the rice to cook with the lid on. Once the rice has absorbed most of the water, wash and scrub your clams and add them to the pan and put the lid back on. The dish is done when the shells open up. You can than remove the shells and any clams that didn’t open up. Also make sure to remove the bay leaves. Than enjoy!

Iron Count per serving (4): just under 40% DV iron 🙂

What have we learned?

If you’re iron deficient, eat your mussels, clams and/or oysters friends.

That is all. I hope you enjoy it and perhaps add a lil iron in your diet. Good for them energy gainz ya feel me?

-Chelsea


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To Count Or Not To Count…

My friends, Happy Thanksgiving week to my American readers, I hope you are going to be enjoying family time this week and some good nomz!

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I wanted to chatter a bit about a topic I have been sitting on for a while…

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Yes dem Macros.

Tricky topic, well I believe it is, and you will see that in the video as I discuss both sides and try to come to a conclusion.

Take a listen and let me know your thoughts.

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Link HERE. I’m sorry I just checked it and for some reason the whole video is not in sync. Take a listen and ignore the fact that it doesn’t match up to my actions. Sorry, damn iMovie.

Happy Humpday friends! 

Do you track?

Do you think people should track?

-Chelsea


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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. 

liver2

Nuff said.

Have a great Friday night my friends!

-Chelsea


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Why I Eat What I Eat…WIAW

My friends,

So I haven’t done a WIAW in such a long time. To be honest, I didn’t want to be judged for my food choices. I often felt that people would believe that I was restricting because I tend to eat the same things every day and say that I don’t ever get cravings for ‘bad foods’

The notion of ‘bad’ foods was simply for a lack of a better term. Think of foods as more or less nutrient dense. There are no BAD foods. Well okay maybe some could be argued to fall into that category, but when looking at foods that are not made specifically to give you a heart attack, this is how food should be looked at. 

These are meant to show others what a healthy lifestyle means to a person and to perhaps give some ideas or find a new combo to try. It’s never about judgement.

I like my food, my food makes my body feel the best it can be (well when my stomach is content for the day) and it has been working for me and my current goals.

Disclaimer: Never think you need to eat the same way as anyone other than yourself. You have your own needs. My food is for my training and to help my current GI issues.

So onto the post. I’m going to preface this with an “I’m Sorry” for some failed meal snaps…my bad friends. I hope you enjoy the commentary as a make up.

Thanks to Laura, Arman and Jen for this fun lil linkup. Check out all of the other fun eats at Laura’s today.

wiaw-new

So for today’s commentary I wanted to give an overview as to WHY I eat some of the things that I do. Mostly, its for healing my gut and allowing for the easiest digestion, but I will share with you my reasonings below.

Please note that I’m on a low fiber and easy to digest diet post parasite treatment for a lil but because I have literally no bacteria in my gut following two rounds of antibiotics 

Pre-Breaky Supps

~shot of ACV diluted with water

Benefits: umpteen, but I take it mostly for the digestion aid and prebiotic factors

Breakfast. Loaded cream of rice

Why I eat it? Cuz I love it. Duh

Okay benefits of this for tummy.

~COR less fiber than my beloved oats so it digests nicer. And, carbs. Nuff said.

~Egg whites: need my protein yeah?

~Pineapple: Contains bromelain which is a natural digestive enzyme. Plus I like it.

~Pink Salt: I need added salt in my diet because I don’t get sodium from processed food and athletes need to ensure adequate electrolytes. Plus salt and peanut butter? Nommzzz

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Sorry 6am cream of rice ain’t too aesthetic so heres everything in my breakfast (forgot pink salt+cinnamon). 35g brown COR made with unsweetened cashew milk. 90g egg whites cooked in half way through. Add-ins are 30-35g banana/15-20gpineapple, 16g organic crunchy peanut butter + some peanuts, sprinkle of peanut flour, cinnamon and pink salt

Also with breakfast, I take a digestive enzyme pre-eating and than after is a small amount of spirulina mixed with vitamin C powder in a shot glass with some water. I also take Vitamins E, A, D and a probiotic. It seems like a lot but we are trying to heal right? Lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

Pre-Workout

I used to have sweet potatoes with this meal, but experienced A LOT of bloating and gas (sorry TMI) so despite my resistance (I love sweet taters!), white jasmine rice took it’s place. Quick and fast to digest and gives me the carbs I need without the GI symptoms. Avocado is there for a bit of added fat (I can’t tolerate a huge amount of avocado, that has been discovered…its high FODMAP and rings in a decent amount of fiber) for some staying power through my 2 hour lifting sessions.

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135g white jasmine rice + 3.5 ounces roasted chicken breast + 1 ounce avocado. Seasoned with fresh cilantro and a **it ton of cumin + chili powder and liquid smoke

*Another digestive enzyme…cough these things cost me an arm. 

Intra-Workout

In my bottle for during my lift, I put in a scoop each of my BCAAs and glutamine. The BCAAs I began using to prevent my body from using my protein stores for energy as my workouts are very long and I was underweight. I still use them for this reason + it helps me to take in enough water. The glutamine is for both muscle recovery and also is gut fuel. Glutamine has been found to feed the GI tract and help with it’s recovery.

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Intraworkout BCAAs and Glutamine

Post-Workout

This is honestly something I look forward to every day. I don’t really have a sweet tooth but something about this is just so satisfying to me. All whole foods but makes me feel like I’m getting a treat. Its a ‘great job for killing your workout’ indulgence.

Reasonings:

~Rice again..in rice cake form. These are not your cardboard Quaker rice cakes. NO. These babies have double the carbs and therefore taste so much better. They actually taste like puffed rice. These are a carb staple in my diet.

~Coconut oil: Simply added to the ‘icing’ for added calories that I can’t see as added bulk.

~Whey: I have tried eating whole proteins and they just take too long to digest when my body is literally shaking. Whey is much faster and prevents me from getting sleepy. I only buy New Zealand whey as it’s lactose free, no antibiotics and the cows are grass-fed. The ingredients are just whey, enzymes and natural flavouring. Their flavours are amazing!  

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3.5 organic brown rice cakes (Lundberg–> much better tasting! higher carbs= no styrofoam taste) + Protein ‘icing’ of 1 tsp coconut oil, 25g whey (I used maple), 1 tsp crunchy peanut butter, 15g melted banana and enough water to form a paste. Topped with 35g nanner.

And you guess it…2 more enzymes. I take two because I think the whey makes me a bit bloaty if I don’t have the extra one. Before anyone asks, no I cannot eat vegan protein. I can’t digest quinoa or any sprouted grains other than rice. Plus it tastes like assssss..sorry but it’s true. 

Unpictured ‘bite’

My post workout is around 2-2:30pm, and I take my fish oil in between than and dinner but like to have something in my tummy with it as without anything it can lead to gas (hello fish burps) so I down a bit of chicken in the fridge.

1 tbsp of lemon juice before to help with fat digestion. 

Dinner.

Lobster is a special occasion when my Dad comes down. He so nicely brought some for me and of course I opened that baby the next day..

I have my vegetables for the day here…so sad. I have a small salad (unpictured) to start with all easy to digest/ low FODMAP veggies (cucumber, carrots, iceberg lettuce and some dark greens, not kale or anything). I love veggies but cannot have too much.

I have roasted mini potatoes and kabocha pictured here. To be honest, I hate potatoes, so bland to me compared to sweet taters even with seasoning, but I can’t have my sweets right now and I need carbs. Kabocha is a staple (cuz what person doesn’t adore it?), but should be limited due to being a high FODMAP and to be honest I think I have been over doing it a bit recently (anyone else find it bloats you?) because of aforementioned hatred for potatoes.

And no, I eat rice all damn day so I don’t want rice for my nice sit down meal of the day.. lol. Oh and yes, enzyme number 100000 for the day and a shot of ACV. 

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Lobster (thanks Dad) + roasted kabocha and baby potatoes. Unpictured salad to start with dressing of ACV+ lemon juice+ herbs+ mustard

Night Meal

Unpictured ~5 ounces of haddock attacked with turmeric because no one needs to see that…

Eaten in bed. It may seem weird to you to eat fish before bed and than pair it with rice cakes and nut butter. I like to think of it as the meal and dessert.

The fish is simply more protein (read below before you yell at me for eating too much protein…), the turmeric is for anti-inflammatory properties and the rice cakes are simply for more carbs.

The reason I have mostly peanut butter with a shmear of almond butter is because my coach really wanted me to try to rotate almond butter with peanut butter because peanuts have a risk of moulds and such I believe..

…but I just can’t (TEAM PB!). So there, I have some almond butter.

😀

Also yes there the nut butter is strategically placed. I like a big glob for the last bite okay. Common there has to be another person out there who saves the best for last no?

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2 Organic, unsalted brown rice cakes (Lundberg) + 20g organic crunchy peanut butter and 5g organic crunchy almond butter

Shot of lemon juice (cuz that’s a large amount of fat according to my body) + …enzyme. 

So yeah, can you tell that rice is a staple for an annoying stomach? It’s my major carb source in various forms because it sits well and gives me the carbs I need for my training. We are still being very, VERY modest with fat increases because my system doesn’t handle  those very well. I try to help this by taking a shot of lemon juice before a higher fat meal as acid helps to hydrolyze the fats a bit (i.e. help break them down). Also, yes my protein intake is high. It is what it is (for the moment..). It gives me calories and my system is okay at the amount it has right now. Can’t take any away if it cannot be replaced

Know what I’m saying?

So there is my day of eats. Very typical, as it’s pretty much the same every day with a few switch ups (fish type at dinner, choice of whey, etc) but I do that because 1. I like my food and I’m a creature of habit and 2. because it doesn’t turn my stomach into a raging….umm.monster.

Hope you enjoyed!

Anyone else out there okay with eating the same things every day?

Similar food restrictions?

-Chelsea


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Gotta Keep That Metabolism Firing…Fitness Friday 20

I’m sure we have all heard this..

Gotta eat every few hours to keep that metabolism chuggin along.

Well guys, this idea is FALSE.

How often you eat has no effect on muscle gaining and/or fat loss so eating more often doesn’t mean your metabolism is tickin faster either….

surprised-guy

Shocker!

I’m going to introduce this post with a video I watched recently that inspired this topic. Eric Helms is featured and discusses the controversial topic of meal frequency and explains how it has no effect on metabolism.  Instead, it’s more about what fits your life best. Click the video below and take a listen!

Eric Helms is a very prominent figure in the sports and exercise field.  He has multiple degrees in exercise and nutrition (BS in fitness and wellness, MS in exercise science, and MS in sports nutrition), is a natural bodybuilding Pro and coach, often writes for excise and nutrition journals and even speaks at Universities and other events sharing all of his knowledge.

Some Highlights

~No specific number of meals is associated with greater or less muscle gain/fat loss

~Studies have shown that number of daily meals MAY be associated with satiety and therefore diet adherence (which in the context of weight management is the most critical component). It appears that having less then 3 meals (the average number of meals most people eat) may be associated with greater hunger. BUT that being said, if you have way more than 3 (one study even did 14 daily feedings) that hunger was also greater.

~Tips for success: Find a number of meals around 3ish or slightly more that fits your schedule and leave you feeling the most satisfied. Spread your protein across these meals for additional satiety.

I think the message here is clear. As with many things, it’s not a specific one-size-fits-all protocol for how many meals you should eat, it’s about what will fit your lifestyle best and allow for you to reach your goals while not overthinking and becoming obsessed with food.

….

So lets address this well known myth that was discussed in the video:

You need to eat X number of times a day because if you don’t, your metabolism will slow down to a crawl and you will get fat.

I swear every generic personal trainer will preach and preach this like it’s going out of style. You should be eating 3 square meals and 2-3 snacks every day because if you’re not eating every 2-3 hours, your metabolism will not be running as fast as it can be.

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Well ain’t that a lot of time in your day spent eating…

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Well don’t worry, unless that is how you like to live your life, it ain’t necessary. You want to eat 3 times a day, do it. You want to eat 14 times a day, do you. It doesn’t matter.

Here’s some research to back up my words because I like to be accountable and prove that I ain’t just spewing iissshhhh

~An article co-written by Eric himself discussed the current research in nutrient amount, nutrient timing and meal frequency in body builders and specifically highlighted that no studies have shown that more frequent meals leads to greater thermogenesis (which is a factor that affects metabolism). Studies that have been done, which have been tightly controlled, looked at meal numbers anywhere from two to seven and found no difference.

~An early review (1997) by Bellisle et al addressed the idea that ‘nibbling’ is better for ones’ metabolism during dieting than ‘gorging,’ or, in other words, eating more frequently during the day is beneficial for greater fat loss over less frequent, larger meals. From their review, they failed to find a relationship and concluded that if any study did find a small difference that it was probably due to intake records (ie. under-reporting their nibbles during the day).

Finally…

~A 2008 study by Smeets and Westerterp-Plantenga looked at the effect of having 2 vs. 3 meals on things like diet induced thermogenesis, 24-hour energy expenditure, exercise-induced thermogenesis and sleep expenditure. Overall they found no relationship between the number of meals and these outcome variables of interest.

One of their findings warrants further discussion and will conclude this discussion is this:

“The same amount of energy divided over three meals compared with over two meals increased satiety feelings over 24h”

I believe that this is the main point of this all: SATIETY! What will ultimately affect your weight management the most is whether you are satisfied or not. If you are starving trying to eat only 2 meals a day, then you are likely to go over your calories because you will over eat at some point or binge outside your 2-meal schedule. On the other hand, if ‘snacking’ your way through the day never leaves you satisfied you may find yourself picking away too much and over eating your calorie needs.

So to re-state the message a lil bit more simply
Meal frequency means nothing. Do what works for both your schedule and satiety/sanity. If you enjoy eating large meals and 3 leaves you able to live your life and feel good than have 3 square meals. If you feel better having 3 meals and 2 snacks, than do that.

When it comes to things like this, its always about calories in and whether that is higher then your needs that will ultimately affect your weight status.

So don’t over think it, just do you.

Disclaimer: This is for the generally healthy individual. There may be some medical benefits of eating more frequently for individuals with health conditions like diabetes, although more research is needed as results are mixed. Look here (potential benefit) vs. here (no relationship)

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How many meals do you eat a day?

-Chelsea