Lil Miss Fitness Freak

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


Leave a comment

3000 Calories and On a Cut…BF Eats Edition

My friends!

I have wanted to do this post for a while because I get a lot of questions about how my boyfriend is loosing weight and continuing to eat ice cream and copious bowls of cereal. I figured I would show you instead of explaining it, but lets get the simplest explanation out of the way first..

PatrickEating

You will loose weight if you’re in a caloric deficit (unless there is some hormonal or physical barrier, which actually is in only like 2% or less of people..). WITH THAT SAID… we want you to perform at your best, feel energized and enjoy your diet so you can sustain it.

My philosophy as a coach is that I want people to never feel deprived, as that leads to unsustainable dieting and weight regain. I also want people to be healthy so a nice balance of mostly wholesome, nutritious foods with a treat of their liking that fits within their macro meals is what I tend to do. This allows them to stay on track while also giving their bodies the fuel it’s wanting and used to using.

I’m going to say this now…your body runs BEST on whole, unprocessed foods. It just does. You will be leaner, have greater energy and perform better on those than a pile of junk, so those IIFYM people eating donuts pre workout…yeah they may not gain weight because they have factored it in, but do you think that donut will give them the best training outcomes?

Probably not.

Also keep in mind that a treat to one person is not the same for another person. While some would want to work in seem ice cream (like my bf), others may really really love a sweet potato with peanut butter as a sweet treat. They both can work as long as your other nutrients are in check.

So thats the shortest I can explain that, so lets get into food now so you can see it come to life.

Breakfast. I was off yesterday so I got out the waffle iron and made him some protein waffles.

img_2429

Not pictured was the 4 egg whites scrambled with roasted red peppers, spinach and some cheddar Allegro (lactose-free) cheese

These used Yummy Sports Nutella protein and I topped it with caramelized banana + almond butter + Walden Farms syrup (doesn’t upset his stomach so he likes to use it)

Waffles–> blend together 2 tbsp coconut flour + 1 tsp chia seeds + 1/2 scoop whey + 40g oats + 1 egg white + 30g unsweetened apple sauce + 1/4-1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp baking powder

Meal 2: This one he eats around 10ish and happened to be his pre workout yesterday. As a PT manager he works a split shift so gets some flex time late morning to go and lift

img_2430

This meal is super easy to meal prep and he loves it. This version is with sweet potatoes and extra lean ground beef. He’s also pretty happy with the portion size on that one. #AlwaysHungry #BiggerPortionsAreBetter

Meal 3 –> This was his post workout. He got a bit delayed getting to the gym so he was starving. He does take some pre workout and the stimulants calm his appetite a bit during his workout, but afterwards…look out.

img_2431

I like to call this the volume ‘kitchen sink’ stirfry. He has about 48g of carbs per meal but for extra volume uses the cauliflower rice to make this meal massive. With the remaining carbs he likes some roasted potatoes in his stirfry and this week, instead of quinoa, he added left over chickpeas to fill in the rest of the carbs.

Immediately post workout he also has a protein shake. No you don’t need to have a protein shake immediately post workout if you’re going to eat, but mentally he feels better if he does, so protein protein protein..

img_2433

We found this company at the Pro Show and they are super yummy and have no fillers or even gums! Happy tummy’s all around.

He has another protein shake in the later afternoon…because always hungry and his protein is really high. The higher protein is an experimental thing that my coach suggested so he’s trying it out. He likes it so far.

Before any comments..no high protein doesn’t hurt your kidneys if you’re a healthy individual. Studies have also shown that even a surplus in calories in protein doesn’t lead to the same degree of fat mass gain as fats/carbs. They have also shown that higher intakes in those who are in a deficit maintain greater lean muscle mass while loosing fat mass than those following traditional macronutrient ratios

Down the hatch goes protein shake numero two.

img_2432

This is also very easy for him to just have while busy at work with clients or his staff. Great flavour on this one too and we got this for like 10 bucks because it was on blow out at GNC.

Dinner –> As I was off, I like to make him fun dinners and I happen to see a Poke kit at the grocery store so that was all I needed. Deconstructed sushi is great in his eyes and I got to make a pretty Poke bowl like all of the ones I see plastered on IG

img_2435

Great success. He loved it and basically everything (minus the rice) is raw so it’s fast to make too. He’s a bit picky about how he eats his mango, so he picked that out to save for last but other than that, it was a thumbs up from him.

In the bowl –> tuna poke + sauce, serving of sushi rice, seaweed salad from Zehrs, avocado, zoodles, sesame oil, ginger, 1 tbsp soy sauce and some wasabi…plus mango that he picked out.

Bedtime Meal –> So this is where his treat comes in. His last meal is eaten with me in bed every night for us to unwind and watch a show together. We love our bed time snack routine and he takes it as his snack treat time.

img_2439

Protein is a standard (which we both have a protein to start..they are not eaten together haha) and than the fats and carbs are typically where he has some fun. Last night he tried out the popcorn I got for him, which was a white cheddar jalapeño flavour. He liked it and it had a nice kick to it.

So that is a day in the life of my bf on a cut. I won’t do the specific macro breakdown for you because that is personal to him and will serve nothing to you BUT he is loosing weight steadily and eating 3000 calories at the moment.

Ladies and gents, you don’t need to starve to loose weight. If you treat your body correctly and keep your metabolism high + your psychological self in check, you will get where you need to go. Patience and consistency are key and enjoying your life.

I hope that has helped a bit and thank you to my love for letting me steal pictures of all of his food yesterday before he ate it…

TGIF!

-Chelsea

Advertisements


Leave a comment

One More To Go…

My friends!

Happy Thursday, today is quite the busy day for me but wanted to stop in to chat real quick as I have just finished up my first week in my new placement over at Lang’s Medical Centre in Cambridge.

This will be my last official placement for my degree, but I added a final placement at Dietetic Directions because I will be joining Andrea’s wonderful team at her practice once I am finally done (job spoiler alert! Squeeeaaal). The placement with her will not only act as a training and overall welcoming to her biz but it also helps to me to cover some of the hours that I lost due to my many medical appointments following my GI issues and jaw accident.

dietetic

Go say hi to Andrea over on her website http://dieteticdirections.com 

I’m so excited and thankful to join Andrea and her partner, as they are doing just what I have envisioned myself doing. So, really this job is a dream come true. I’m still on the look out for a second PT job, but I’m over the moon happy about this one and ansy to begin.

giphy

…..

As I begin this new placement I was sad to leave Amy and my previous placement because I really felt like she gave me the most opportunity (plus more) than I could have ever imagined. She really believed in my abilities as a counsellor and threw me into just about anything and everything from day one.

~I counselled my first client on day 2 and continued to counsel most clients that she saw afterwards

~I did my own Lunch-And-Learn on sports nutrition data for 8 FHT staff (dieticians, kinesiology and nurses)…which they said I did awesome so that was nice to hear

~I taught a cooking class

~I helped teach various groups for educating on diabetes and healthy eating

~I did a home visit with a family with a child with special needs (physically and mentally)

~I helped Amy pull together evidence to form a case against a fellow medical professional who was selling harmful advise and procedures to the public

Overall, Amy just made me feel as if I was competent. More than anyone has so far. We had a great working relationship and flow and I can’t thank her enough for everything she offered to me. It truly means a lot that she let me take charge with her patients, as it shows she trusted me and didn’t think I would royally screw things up!

I can say that even just being at Langs for a few days, I have come to understand my style of counselling even more. The charting system at Langs is much more structured and rigid, leading to a much more robotic counselling style. This may appeal to some, but for me, I feel as if it is less ‘client-based’ than just going with the flow of the client’s conversation and concerns and then free-style charting afterwards based on what you ended up discussing. I don’t like the ‘check off the boxes’ style sessions, it doesn’t seem as natural.

I also have not been able to counsel yet, which is hard because I was doing it every day and gaining more confidence than I already had before by doing it so often. I suppose they have to be comfortable too OR I just haven’t spoken up enough, but I want to be respectful and not overly pushy about taking over their patients while I’m there. After all, these placements are only 5 weeks due to my final placement being cut in half.

img_2422

Regardless, I do think I will have a good time at Langs, as we still see a large variety of clients and I still get to take part in a class or two each week. One thing I have noticed is that I’m entering a new population demographic in the sense that many of the individuals seen here are low income, elderly and Indian. Many of these groups can be challenging because they have their own tastes and unique foods to understand (I have come to learn roti is eaten at practically every meal, paneer is a dairy product and eggs are not to be eaten in the summer…), elderly have appetite and many more other chronic illnesses (on top of their diabetes) and lower income often means much worse eating habits and more barriers to affect their stage of change.

With that said though, I’m always up for the challenge and going to take everything from this placement that I can just as I have always done.

….

Its supposed to be a beautiful weekend friends, so I hope you get outside to enjoy every ray of that sunshine!

…and to end your week on a funnier note, I saw this on IG the other day and, well, we students can relate.

img_2412

Much love friends! 

-Chelsea

Also jumping into Thursday Thinking Out Loud with Amanda and the crew! Thanks for the link up!

think

 


2 Comments

I Didn’t Gym For 3 Weeks..And I Lived.

My Friends,

So after a slightly traumatizing event (insert jaw break) and a medical-forced eternal rest time from my favourite place (insert picture of Chelsea lifting weights in her dreams), I have finally made it back to my happy place…

img_2361

Come follow me! MissMightyMouse

After just a week and a half back in I can say I have felt a bunch of mixed emotions..

~Frustrated because I’m not as strong as I was and that before my accident I had just reached my goal of my 2BW back squat. Looking at that weight and where I’m at right now, it looks impossible to reach again.

~Elated. The first day I stepped back I was anxious because I was afraid of my weaker and tired body but also relieved because it was a weird sense of painless-ness. My jaw didn’t hurt because honestly I was so focused on just breathing in my second home again that I didn’t think about it much.

~Supported. As I mentioned in my previous posts, the love of everyone in wishing me back and checking up on me was overwhelming in the best way. 

~Determined. I know my strength will come back. I have done this before. I have fought worse battles than this, I will get there again.

The biggest thing that I can say I took from all of this is that I truly understand my relationship with the gym. I need it, but not for what you may think.

Can I say I was (and still am…) addicted to the gym? 100% yes, but let me explain…

I used to think that my fear of not going was simply because I felt I would get fat and soft (sorry if that is triggering to anyone, I’m being honest here). I wanted to go because of my passion, I truly did, but the fear of missing a day was mostly based off of that.

The other fear was because my stomach is such a mess right now, consistency is what I lived to try to keep it somewhat happy. If I didn’t go to the gym, I didn’t know WHEN to eat, WHAT to eat and if I would ever get hungry at all! From my past, I’m left with a huge fear of stuffing or force feeding myself and the past year of struggling with this unknown GI distress has had me doing that a lot.

The difference post accident is that I had no “purpose” or reason to tell myself I had to do it. I wasn’t doing it to ensure I had fuel for my lift. Yes I realize I needed to be eating for recovery and repair, but stick with me here. How was I supposed to tell myself I had to eat when I wasn’t hungry when I couldn’t really ‘use it’ or perceive that I had a reason to use it?

In a lot of ways, the gym kept me in a routine of eating so that I didn’t lose weight while I was often really not wanting to eat. It was my crutch while my stomach was this tyrant leader that basically dictated my life.

img_2350

But you know what? I got hungry, maybe not as much but I did before, but hunger came around. I basically broke part of my face, I would hope my body had some ability to tell me it needed energy.. So I got a sense of relief a bit because hunger is a real emotional thing for me because its not always there during these times.

Aside from that, I took a much bigger lesson out of this. I learned that I need the gym because it gives me life and a sense of strength because I feel my body is failing me sometimes, which makes me feel weak. Even when I felt like crap with a flare up, I could somehow get my mind and body to perform at it’s peak in the gym and that made me feel even a bit better in the moment.

The gym also helps clear my anxiety, so I need it in my life for that and I literally felt a piece missing from me during those three weeks. Pushing my bf to sadly leave me to go because I knew that I wanted him to enjoy the very thing that gave me so much joy. If I couldn’t, at least he could and that made me happy.

img_2344

Placement helped a lot. This is the best placement I have had and really solidified what I want to do with my life but man is it busy and mentally draining. Kept my busy mind from focusing on what I didn’t have.

Going to stop making this sound like a sob story, not my intention, just trying to portray how important this was for the next lesson to make sense

One ultimate thing that I learned through all of this…

Although its still hard for me to take a day off, this experience has shown me that my two biggest fears will not happen if I did for one or two days. I will get hungry and be able to eat AND I won’t literally die without it. I will not lose all my progress. I will not randomly wake up with a little pot belly (again sorry if that is a bit much, but my mind thinks irrationally sometimes) if I don’t go a day because there was something that took me away all day.

Like a nice weekend in Niagara with my love

Its still hard, but I’m learning that I can break routine once and a while and things won’t fall to pieces.

I’m also starting to slowly gain my strength back as my food comes back up and I’m feeling better as a whole.

img_2184I really had to think about whether I wanted to post this or not, but what the hell, I posed for a reason. Everyone has some rough morning faces no?

So heres a thumbs up to…

1. Gaining back my strength

2. Eating solid foods again

3. Being able to have my source of stress relief back in my life

4. Joining my favourite person in our favourite place once again and eating back at my table at Movati post workout as I always have.

Much love my friends! Happy Monday and sunshineyyyyy day!

img_2317


Leave a comment

One Week Down And I’m Hooked

My friends,

I have officially finished my first week in placement and I knew I would look forward to my clinical placement for a reason…

img_2265

But before I get into all that…

Before my placement began this past Tuesday, I dragged my bf to the KW Pet Expo in Kitchener and got to pet all the doggies and even see a kangaroo!

img_2238

Hi Buddy!

Now I’m always stuck between not liking the fact that this guy is in a cage and enjoying the ability to see them up close and personal but I kind of always feel selfish for not being 100% opposed to the whole thing. I have this same moral dilemma with the zoo. They don’t deserve to be in that little cage, but I have to be honest when I say I was super happy to see this guy.

#MyGuiltyConscienceIsBuilding

What I can say is that I do not agree with this..

img_2237

No. I don’t care if the dye is not harmful to the dog, you don’t do that. They are not a play toy. They are a living creature and I’m sure that is not something a dog would really want.

Do you believe in changing the colour of a dogs hair? 

Anyways, so onto placement..

What a busy week BUT I literally enjoyed every second of it, well maybe except for the need to fill up Dori more than I would have liked because the gas companies are trying to kill us all.

screen-shot-2018-05-12-at-12-22-02-pm.png

Like actually though…My thumb will be sticking out the next time I have to fill up.

#PrayersForCanadianDrivers

Let break down my days into nice easy bullets of fun

Tuesday

  • Did my first chart note. Apparently I’m a fast charter, which is good because all you hear is dietitians talking about how they are always getting behind on their charting
  • Got to sit in with my first client and my supervisor called me the “expert.” She was an IBS client and I swear she turned to me half of the times. Makes me feel all good about myself.
  • Amy (my supervisor) challenged me on a number of questions related to Diabetes so I got to do lots of research and learn a few things
    • Did you know that smoking with diabetes increases your risk of having to have a limb amputated? Due to already having vascular and circulatory issues, the ‘diabetic foot’ is already prominent. Add smoking to that equation and you create a hypoxic (little to no oxygen) environment that doesn’t allow for healing.
  • Got my calendar for all of the things we will be doing. So many things to attend and learn from
  • Was able to listen to a client phone call
  • Got my research project
    • The various recent diets and how they impact type 1 diabetes

Wednesday

  • Keto presentation at another FHT!! Blog post to come but OMG this was such a good lecture. Was mostly about it’s applicability in the paediatric epilepsy population but she (the presenter, expert on the topic) discussed all of the risks and cautioned about it’s use in various other clinical applications and advised against the use of a traditional keto diet for weight loss purposes. Gets my mind going.

img_2248

  • More charting…
  • Helped run the Craving Change class that ran from 5:30-7:30. This is a class for people who struggle with their eating and trying to use a form of CBT-like therapy to understand their thought and emotion patterns and how that relates to their eating. This week we discussed WHY we eat, whether these are stomach, mouth or mind reasons and discovered that most of the time, we are eating for something emotional.
    • I also had to be prepared to brief a client on the previous class (which I didn’t attend either as I wasn’t there yet) because she missed it before that class began.

Thursday (Busiest day!)

  • 9am Diabetes Network committee meeting at a hospital. I was a bit lost as I have no idea what the committee was talking about and what they were currently working on, but hey, I got to listen to their challenges and brainstorming
  • 11:30 Lunch-and-learn about new insulin pump technology. This was basically half me stuffing a pin cushion with various pumps…

img_2253

…and half telling them the event of my jaw injury because I wasn’t eating their lunch… #StillOnBabyFood

  • 3-5 was the Intro To Diabetes group, which was educating individuals who were newly diagnosed (although some didn’t know of their diagnosis…yikes!) on the basics of diabetes and nutrition related to the condition.
    • I learned that many people don’t know that eggs DONT belong in the dairy family
  • 6:30-7:30 I helped run the Healthy You class, which focused on teaching about healthier eating patterns, whether that relates to understanding portion sizes, making substations and helping with healthy and sustainable weight loss if that was a goal.
    • I’m supposed to teach the class by myself next week…0_0
  • Before that I got pulled into another client education session with the FHT Diabetes Educator. This was cool because I got to hear another professional’s counselling style and how she dealt with a client who was originally against making changes.
  • Finally I was asked to run MY OWN lunch-and-learn on sports nutrition for a table full of dietitians from surrounding FHT’s so they can be educated on what to do with their clients. I was so honoured (hello it’s my third day) but slightly terrified at the same time. I know I can do it but my mind is swirling with how to present this thing…and it’s my third day!

Friday

  • This is my research day. I can work from home but it’s doing my research project.

Overall, it was a great start to this placement. I enjoyed every moment of it and my supervisor, Amy, is amazing. I feel like she really believes and has a lot of confidence in me and my abilities and that’s really amazing to feel, especially so early on.

I have found my happy place guys. I’m a born counsellor and this is where I need to be.

Was there a time that something you were doing just ‘clicked,’ like you knew that this is really what you wanted to do? Yup, that was me this week.

Have a great Mothers Day weekend my friends, I took my Mom to the Butterfly conservatory today and it was tons of fun. Hope you have something fun planned with your loved ones!


Leave a comment

Two Down, Three 2 Go

img_1697

Hat so big they had to staple it together for me.

My Friends!

Thursday marked the end of my second semester and my second placement of my Master’s of Applied Nutrition (MAN) Program. I handed in my paper and I’m done with it all..

…for 3 weeks

assigment

Lesssss be honest, I would never throw my Mac out the window tho..

I was looking so forward to relaxing over the next 3 weeks. Doing life the way I wanted, whenever I wanted. The only plans I really had (which I was super excited for…) was to be shadowing Andrea (RD at Dietetic Directions) and meeting with my 3rd placement preceptor, but it seems like life doesn’t like simplicity.

Lets see…

~Stats meeting for my thesis Friday + interim report due that night

~Oil change this Tuesday morning, so I have to go home and stay there overnight because it’s at the crack of dawn

~Graduate pictures with my favourite fellow MAN grad, Frannnnaa Bannnannnaa Thursday

~Colonoscopy prep all Friday and Surgery Saturday morning… Maaaammmmeee

~Gastric emptying test at McMaster at 8:30am the following Thursday

~Training my client Karl 3 times plus my other clients (I have two brand new clients adjusting to plans)

~Moving into my summer sublet..with babes ❤

…So, well I like to be busy?

sigh

Aside from my forever busy schedule (okay okay thats half my own doing, I’m in my 20’s reach for the stars right?), I wanted to conclude this placement with a little list of things I learned and gained.

These placements are supposed to be about growth and guide you towards your RD career and I think with each placement thus far I have really strived to push myself to take on opportunities that will benefit me and my future. This semester has been the best so far so I cannot imagine what next semester will bring me.

hosp

I was placed in Hospitality Services for this placement, as it was my time to do food service. I was supposed to be working at adding nutritional information to all recipes on campus using their new software system…

Unfortunately the software was being a bit more finicky and had more ‘bugs’ to work out and my project was than essentially put on hold for the summer interns to take over. As a result, I was able to jump into various positions from cooking in the kitchen, working with the team at SNAP (student nutrition awareness program) and helping upper management with their allergy awareness food line and training modules to help complete my competencies.

I was able to learn a lot and I’m glad that I had the variety because one thing that I really have learned about myself is that I get bored easily and so having more than one task or thing to think about keeps me mentally stimulated the best.

What else did I take away from this placement?

1. A new Food Prep company in the making…

img_2086-1.jpg

I met Aaron Crawford (Tourne Cuisine) during my kitchen time and he stated that he was interested in starting up a meal prep service alongside his catering company and asked for me to help with recipe planning and macronutrient counting.

We than moved forward with this idea and we are on our 3rd week of supplying to a customer, who happens to be a trainer at my gym. I hope it can grow from here but I suppose I must be patient as we still haven’t been ‘alive’ for more than a month.

2.  Even those things you aren’t looking forward to may have their purpose.

I will be honest and say that I was NOT looking forward to this placement. Out of the three types of placements we have to do, Food Service was my least favourite. I figured I would be in the back gagging over the hospital food…

ramsay

But Ed was great and he allowed me to work fully independently and have lots of tasks to do during my time there. It was a good learning experience and not as bad as I thought.

Still being honest…Could I see myself going into a Food Service job…? No, not really. Clinical and Community are my niches.

3. I loved the ability see my friends every day.

The placement itself did NOT include seeing my friends but I was so centralized on campus that it was rare that I didn’t meet up with one of my friends for lunch. It was so nice to catch up with everyone, including friends I made in the Wellness Centre during my last placement.

img_2131

Lesson learned: I need my friends in my life, even when it’s super busy.

4. I hate change but it’s also not so bad and will work it’s way out. 

I get super anxious at the beginning of any new start because my body HATES change to my schedule. Thanks IBS… but it will all be okay once you get into that routine. The gym has always been the biggest and more anxiety provoking change, where I have to switch from my beloved late AM workouts to PM (prime time) but if you love something you will always get it in, no matter where it has to fall.

I also learned how much I needed that stress relief. I was dancing around in the last hour of my day just wanting to go and lift. Brought new insight into my love of lifting.

5. I can fall into work-a-holic tendencies…

I always preach having your down time but I fail at being able to do that myself. With the number of clients I have, my volunteer work, my placement, school and now this prep company, I feel like any second I have I tend to spend working (if I’m not working out). When you are single you don’t tend to notice this, but it becomes more apparent when you find yourself feeling bad about working so much because you want to spend time with your person.

He didn’t need to tell me that I worked too much or that I needed time to myself because I knew it and I wanted to spend more time with him so I knew that I needed to re-proritize and re-balance. It turned out to be something I have to continue to work on but I’m getting better with taking care of myself and having some non-work fun.

The other thing is that I truly love working with my clients. I really really do so it was hard for me to just let that go, even just for a single day. The thing everyone has to learn is that you need time to refuel your tank so that you can help them. It’s also NORMAL and NEEDED to take time for yourself and be ‘selfish’…despite it not being actually selfish. I’m still learning this lesson.

6. Sleep…sleep is important.

Yes I obviously know this, but with everything going on with my health I was literally told by my ND that I needed to actually legit make it a priority. I have been doing my bestest and I have to say that I have done better now probably more than I have in a long time so I’m proud of myself.

sleeping

Fun fact, my fav animal is a penguin…and I have a stuffed one on my bed

More lessons to learn as I head on into my summer placements. But for the next few weeks its about taking that time to myself and recovering from those few procedures I have to get done.

Much love my friends! 

Whats one lesson you learned from your University days?


Leave a comment

Happy Gut, Happy Training

Happy Fitness Friday Friends!

I thought I would keep trekkin along on the gut topic as more recently gut health has really been getting some hot attention. It would have been nice if the importance of gut health and taking proper care of your flora and and such was noticed earlier but that’s science and they are only really starting to crack the surface on this whole intricate system (which did you know actually has something very similar to an entire CNS for itself??!).

happy-tummy-2

So why am I talking about this for Fitness Friday you ask?

Well, as you’re probably aware, your gut is important for a number of things. Some of those things are extremely vital to your training…

~Digestion and absorption of the nutrients you get from your food

~Making short chain fatty acids that can also be used as a form of fuel

In taking a deeper look at the first one, obviously an efficient and EFFECTIVE digestion system not only helps you get the nutrients you need but that ultimately affects your mood to train and how intense you think you can go, your energy levels, your strength levels, recovery ability and overall just makes you feel good enough to have a beneficial and enjoyable lift. After all, who enjoys anything when their stomach is is just not right?

So with keeping this post low key and not too wordy, I thought I would share some tips for optimizing your digestive health and also some things that can help when your stomach decides to attack you.

These are going to be coming from my experiences and my coaches suggestions mostly. Some other things I may include are those that I have heard about but may not have much experience with SO they may or may not be effective. I still want to share them, however, because gut health and what makes people feel their best is so variable that some random things may work for some readers.  

So lets start with somethings that help optimize gut health and prevent issues.

Probiotics

Adding healthy, live cultures to your gut is a good thing. Many things inner environment today kill our flora. With less bacteria, you have less lil guys to break down your food and can cause poor digestion. Invite some new people into your lil biome to help yourself out. Ensure they are refrigerated! Ones on the shelf are no good. 

Glutamine.

I talked about this one in a previous post, so check it out here. I also talked about making your own gelatin gummies there too which are loads with glutamine naturally and are very cheap to make.

Bone Broth.

Going along with glutamine and probiotics, making your own broth is great for your gut and very satisfying during the winter months here in the great white north. Ensure to use free range and organic chicken or beef with the bones to get the live bacteria and the most omegas and glutamine.

Apple Cider Vinegar.

Another thing I already talked about here, but I will say that this is helpful for adding more acid to the gut to help with breakdown. It is especially helpful for those who have low stomach acid and often complain of indigestion. Lemon juice also has similar effects.

Fermented Food.

Kombucha, Sauerkraut, raw yogurts with the active cultures, etc are all great sources of probiotics and thus have the same benefits as taking a supplement, just in a much smaller amount. Take caution though, these may be a problem for some. For example, I love love love kombucha, but the carbonation that naturally occurs with the fermentation doesn’t go over well with my tummy unfortunately. Trial and error with these guys friends.

Watch your water consumption with meals.

Sounds weird, but makes sense when you put it all together. If you drink water during a meal, the liquid will dilute you enzymes and simply slow digestion. Consider holding off on the drinks until a lil bit after you have digested a bit. Some say 30 minutes, but I always say to go with your gut…I’m so punny…

Avoid gum or things that add excess gas in the stomach.

Gum. Beer. Carbonated drinks. Straws. ETC. All of these are going to put lots of gas and excess air into the gut and if you’re very sensitive, well you’re gunna get an upset tummy plus bloating. Also, chew slowly and don’t gulp in tons of air.

Say no to artificial sweeteners.

These tend to be HUGE gut irritants. Whether they give you diarrhea if consumed in large amounts or just straight up gas and distention, they do not make for a happy gut.

Sleep!

Sleep is super important for many things, but one clear cut trigger for my stomach is go hay-wire is if I don’t sleep enough. Poor sleeping, whether it’s chronic or even just a couple days, can really cause your digestion to slow right down and cause you discomfort so make sure you are getting your beauty rest.

…and a last and seemingly obvious one…

Avoid things that your tummy doesn’t agree with.

As mentioned, this seems obvious. If you get an upset stomach after eating something, don’t eat it. Surprisingly, I have heard of so many cases where people say they choose to suffer the consequences and just eat it. To each their own I guess but if you have a serious sensitivity like celiac, where further consumption continues to damage your intestinal track, you need to give you head a smack and just quit cold turkey.

What about when your tummy gets mad…

Low FODMAPs.

I would have said BRAT diet foods BUT I’m much more confident in this approach for a few reasons. One, apple sauce is out for me because I have experienced issues with apples, which are high FODMAP. Also, the bread is another issue. What if your issue is wheat? Overall, yes the FODMAP diet is more restricted but most often chronic digestive issues are from sensitivities that you are going to have to figure out and those often require elimination and then trial and error. By going full low FODMAP you are giving your system a break from all inflammatory and problematic foods and then can re-try them when it’s a bit happier.

Slippery Elm.

I personally have taken this, but not sure whether it made a difference at the time because I was trying so many things at that point, but I have heard good things from others about this one. You can get it in a supplement form, but they also have it as a tea.

Digestive Enzymes.

If you know you have issues with digestion OR for those who are thinking about starting a bulk, digestive enzymes can help support the breakdown of your food simply by adding more enzymes to the playing field. You can chose ones that contain one or more types of enzymes depending on your needs. Have an issue with dairy? Try lactase. Don’t know what your issue is? Try a multi-enzyme.

Pineapple.

Speaking of enzymes, pineapple actually naturally contains an enzyme of it’s own, Bromelain, which can also help digestion. Plus pineapple is awesome. Just be careful not to over do it or you will find yourself peeling the top layer of your mouth off…

Mint Tea.

I always do well with peppermint. Whether you have nausea or you need something warm and comforting when your stomach is being annoying, mint (specifically peppermint…yes there is a difference!) is always my go-to.

Take it easy on harder to digest foods.

Red meats, fats, raw vegetables, high fiber foods, etc are all much more difficult for your system to take care of. When it’s already upset, go for things that are absorbed more quickly and easily. Think low fiber carbohydrates (cream of rice, oats sit well for some, pumpkin, squash, white rice and potatoes), some fruits like bananas, lean meats and fish and easier digesting fats (but still keep these a bit lower) like coconut oil, which bypasses the liver and goes right into use as energy.

And finally be patient. When your stomach is upset, the best you can do is be nice to it and let it settle. Try not to stress about it and let it run its course. Ensure that if it’s a new problem that you take a look at your recent eats and activities and try to figure out the trigger so you can try to avoid it in the future. If it is due to chronic illness, I can relate and I’m sorry you have to put up with that crap but I can only hope that these can serve as a means of coping with it when it looses its mind.

Hope your tummy’s are happy tonight and enjoy the rest of your Friday friends!

-Chelsea


Leave a comment

Zzzzzz….Fitness Friday 25

My friends, today, well actually not just today but for holiday’s sake, we need to stop and take the time to appreciate the fact that we are here and living the lives we do because of the contributions of many men and women years ago.

#TheyLostTheirLivesSoYouCouldLiveYours

Always remember. Always appreciate. Never take for granted how you live and the rights you have. Things could have been very different.poppy

Keeping that in mind, with the news of the election in the States, I have gone through many phases if I’m being honest. At first I joked and laughed at the fact that a business tycoon with the famous comb over was able to make his way to the top and actually become the leader of the most powerful country in the world. I have since swayed to being annoyed with it all. The results are in, voting is a public thing, the people spoke. As much as everyone can complain about it, the people spoke to have him there.

That is all. It is done. He is on his thrown and I suppose we will have to see what life has to bring us in the near future.

Moving on to a less snooze worthy topic…or are we..?

Lets move onto Fitness Friday

Something that I haven’t touched on yet but is pretty much just as critical as food and exercise is….

url.gif

The Slumbers. The zzzzzzzsss. Snoozies.

Sleep my friends, sleep. 

I had a guest lecture yesterday in my Exercise, Metabolism and Nutrition class that I wanted to share the highlight reel with you all.

So lets start with the basics, than I will share a few fun tidbits/studies.

Sleep in a nutshell…

~Sleep goes in 90 minute cycles. You move through stages that include REM and non REM sleep. REM is where most of your dreams happen and your brain is fairly active (almost as active as when you are awake), while the deeper stages (non REM, stages 3-4) is where your brain activity is quite low.

~Your sleeping patterns are highly influenced by your hormones and their response to light and dark. Light hits your eyes and than the suprachiasmatic nucleus in your brain. That than inhibits the pineal gland’s release of melatonin (signals your ‘nighttime’), which keeps the body awake. The absence of light allows for melatonin to be released and so your body believes it’s night time and prepares for sleep.

~There are many theories on why we sleep, but we are still unsure. Is it to repair? Is it to save energy? Is it to enhance memory and learning?

So there are the bare bone basics. Now that we know those, lets move onto some fun stuff.

How much zzzz do you need?

Depends on age and also on the person. One study that was presented to us was one by the National Sleep Foundation.

sleep-requirements

For young adults, it was stated that most need 7-9 hours. They than added the may be appropriate ranges (the turquoise boxes) to account for inter-individual differences. So the recommendation for us is around 7-9 BUT some people say they can function perfectly fine on 6, while some others say they need 10-11 in order to adult.

Now lets dive into some relationships shall we…

url.jpg

…this one seems to peak the interest of most, for good reason I suppose, is:

Does lack of sleep lead to greater risk of obesity?

…Well this is kind of like the whole chicken and the egg thing.

On the one hand, obese individuals see greater incidents of sleep apnea, which than leads to poorer quality sleep. Obesity also sees many cases of depression, which also tends to lead to poor sleeping habits.

On the other side of the spectrum you have all of the correlational data showing positive correlations between reduced sleep and:

~Wanting higher calorie foods

~Greater appetite and differences in appetite related hormones. Specifically leptin (satiety factor) appears to be reduced and ghrelin (appetite stimulant) appears to be heightened.

sleep

~Significantly higher incidents of insomnia in obese when compared to normal and even overweight individuals. So the trend appears to show that the higher the BMI, the more potential for poor sleeping.

And one really interesting finding was a study done on sleep deprived individuals that found that after 4 nights of less than stellar sleeping (i.e. allowed to sleep for 4.5 hours for all days), subjects were found to have their insulin receptors on their adipose tissues being 30% LESS sensitive. Fun fact was that this was in healthy and LEAN individuals. What would the results shown if this was done in obese subjects where they already have some degree of insulin resistance?

PLEASE NOTE insulin is not the only player obesity. Insulin is not a bad hormone, its actions are just unable to respond in normal and healthy ways in those with insulin resistance

So overall, we are not sure 100% which way this relationship goes but there is quite the large amount of evidence showing that lack of sleep may contribute to weight gain from a multitude of different pathways.

Other random tidbits I enjoyed:

1. The idea of social jet lag.

Most of us young peoples like tend to stay up into the wee hours of the morning, similar to an owl per say. Society on the other hand pushes us to be early birds with the way everything from work to life works. What does this end up causing? We are exhausted all week, then sleep in on the weekends and get back to feeling good just to start all over again come Monday. So basically we are creating our own form of jet lag

2. Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (NSRED). 

Yes this is actually a thing. A diagnosable disorder. Some people sleep eat without any way of controlling it or preventing it from happening. Now this may seem funny to some but it actually appears to be very dangerous as many of these things ‘chosen’ to consume are actually inedible. Think paint, cigarettes, etc.

Yeah, not so funny when you could potentially poison yourself while you’re asleep! Not to mention cutting yourself while ‘preparing’ your meal, falling down stairs, etc.

I was wondering if perhaps there’s a deficiency of some kind present here for the body to be drawn to inedible. Similar to conditions like pica, where they eat things like chalk or flour, maybe they are deficient in some mineral. 

Finally, I will end off on something near and dear to my heart..

url.jpg

3. Naps

Yes, I take a nap for 20 minutes every day before dinner and will continue to do so until I need to grow up and adult during those 20 minutes. 😉

Now there is a science to taking naps. I’m sure you have all heard that if you go past 20 minutes you are screwing yourself, but most people refuse to only go for 20 because they want MOOOOORRREE.

Well unfortunately the rumours are true and if you go past roughly 20 minutes, you are than entering later sleep stages and will end up waking up groggy. Instead, sticking to 20 minutes, you will wake up feeling ready to go because you only made it into REM sleep where the brain is still mostly active. The only way around this is perhaps to go the full sleep cycle which is 90 minutes, but lets be real friends, we don’t have time to nap for 1.5 hours.

Stick to the long sleeps during the night and the power/cat naps during the day.

Its this…

url.gif

vs. this..

url.jpg

On that note, it’s almost time for my slumber soon since I’m actually one of the weirdos who functions as an early bird. I hope you enjoyed the info and have a good sleep. 😀

Information from this post was taken from a lecture presented by Dr. Justine Tishnisky on November 10, 2016 at the University of Guelph. 

-Chelsea