How much should I be eating?

How much should I be eating?

I get this question a lot!

Ideally if you are a man and you workout moderate to heavy (crossfit / strength / 1 hr+ per session-4x a week) you should be sitting at 2300-2500 calories a day. For a woman its 1900-2300 on average.

Most of the time, this isn’t the case. As a nutrition coach i see most of my clients under eating. I have one word ‘Homeostasis’. You have allowed your body to adjust to very little calories and when its time to cut calories to lose fat you find it difficult and give up quickly or sooner than you planned. Or if your trying to build strength and muscle you find it very hard or haven’t been able to since your new exercise regimen.

Track your food for a week, without trying to hit any particular calories and macros, and see where your at. If you fall 500+ calories short of the aforementioned, then your are drastically under eating. This is if your trying to meet a specific goal like gain muscle/strength or lose body fat. If you like where your at then don’t worry about it. If not then you may want to consider a Reverse diet. Adding calories slowly over a period of time. Get your calories up and be consistent. Make it a lifestyle! Its a slow and scary process but worth it in the end. More on Reverse diet in another blog.

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Competition/ Game Day Fueling

Competition/ Game Day Fueling

Here are some tips on how to approach our nutrition during game day
1) Eat a good breakfast. Wake up early to have a full meal. Protein 20-30g Carbs 50-60g and Fats around 10-12g is a good area to work with.

2) Keep your fat intakes light in between workouts. Fats slow down the digestion of food so if your taking in lots of fats (8-10g+) then your body is gonna fight to shuttle blood to both digesting AND to working muscles.

3) Take snacks- Protein powders and Fruits are good snacks. Fruits will help replenish glycogen stores and electrolytes between heats. Protein powder will aid in muscle recovery and preservation. Protein bars will work well here too, just watch the fats here. Other sources of carbs should be simple like Gatorade/ white breads/ rice cakes.

4) Take a light lunch- If you find yourself with 2+ hours between heats then a light lunch will work best here. Proteins around 20-30 grams Carbs around 40-50 and Fats around 8-10g should be the rough idea for a meal.

5) Hydrate! drink water but also drink an electrolyte so your body works optimally.

6) Choose Foods your familiar with- this day is not the day to try new shit! DO WHAT YOU NORMALLY DO. EAT FOODS YOU KNOW YOUR BODY WILL WORK WELL WITH.

Have FUN! A positive attitude will always Fire you up and push you to your potential. Mind over Body!



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Good all week & Overeat on the weekends?

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Good all week & Overeat on the weekends?

I know this all too well. I spent the good part of my entire life doing this and i still do sometimes.

I track my food all week, eat healthy and avoid fast food, candy, cookies all the goodies i love. Then the weekend hits and I’m out with my friends or my hubby wants to go out to eat and i completely derail. Or I barter with myself and say, “…Well i was good all week so i can have this whole pint of Halo top ice cream cause Its healthier choice than regular ice cream…” Only to find myself digging into the Dreyers ice cream and adding Girl scout cookies with it. and then, “… know what sounds good….club sandwich with grilled butter bread and tortilla chips in the middle…” Then the signifcant other comes in and says they just ordered pizza! Oh what? Well, fuck it i already messed up. So i proceed with that as well and i end up overeating and feeling like shit!

I get mad and ashamed at myself. I realized when i get this way I’m not just upset with myself, but I’m upset PERIOD! I take my anger out on other people and that’s not cool.

There were a few things that has helped me with this problem and i still continue to work on them. I will list them from where i started to where I am at now.

1) I started flexible dieting- This allowed me to avoid restricting foods and have all the foods i love in moderation.

2) I took the time to Prep for meals- Before the weekend hits I think to myself, “…what do i feel like having next week?…” Then i pre-log my food and create a menu for myself to shop from and to use when i prep my meals. I also found the time to find recipes online so i can actually enjoy my food. I use spices/ butter/heavy whipping cream/ full fat salad dressings. I started with 4 simple recipes with minimal spices and worked with that for a month or two. Then switch it up, slowly adding new seasonings and food items when i had the time. I also cooked in bulk, having extra food in the fridge for when i came come from work. All i had to do was slap some butter on it and warm it up.

3) I became more realistic (not perfect)- I did what I could. I fall off and get back on. I have good days and bad days even TO THIS DAY but I allow myself the mistakes. I’m not perfect NOR will i ever be but i will learn from it and move on. If i overeat on one meal I don’t say fuck it and continue the rest of the day fucking up. I used to do this. It lasted the whole weekend in fact. Soon it went from all weekend to Friday and Saturday. Then just Saturday, and last its on a meal to meal basis. Don’t get me wrong i still fuck up a whole day but tomorrow is a new day and i have to let it go.

3) I Eat foods I truly enjoy- I cant stress this enough. If you want some fucken ice cream and your thinking Haagen Daz don’t fucken get the Halo top! Get the ice cream you are craving. Have a serving and savor it! Take your time with no distractions. If you feel you want more wait 20-30 min. Chances are you wont be craving that second serving cause you have allowed your body the time to recognize the craving has been met.

4) Find a balance.- I love pizza! So i have a pizza slice or two for dinner and i pair it with a large salad. If you have seen my Instagram blog you will notice that i actually cut up the pizza and add it to the salad. Its like cheesy croutons. I’m legit totally satisfied with this. You do what works for you. Find your niche.

5) Listen to hunger cues- This is where I am at right now. I cant stress how much this step has helped me. I’m learning to listen to my body. I ask myself “…Am i hungry?…” In the initial phase of doing this it was hard question to answer. I truly wasn’t sure if i was hungry or not. If that became the case then i waited until i new i was. I didn’t wait till i was starving , although initially i did, cause, again, i didn’t know. But i waited till i felt the hunger pain a bit. As i continue to get better at this and practice more often i realize that i can go longer than 3 hrs without eating anything. I don’t need a snack. I try to drink 8-16 oz of water in between meals. When i kinda start to feel hungry i will drink an additional 8-16oz of water to avoid any cravings; dehydration can be associated to sugar cravings unintentional hunger. That usually pushes my next meal back bout another 1/2 hour or so.

5) Working off of a hunger scale- When i become more accustomed to knowing whether i was hungry or full i use now a hunger scale to determine how hungry or full i am. I take my time when I eat to. This allows your body to know when its full as it takes 10-15 min. From a scale of 1-10 (1= starving; 10= uncomfortably stuffed) i aim to eat when I am at a 3-4 and stop eating when i hit around 7- 8. Typically by doing this i kinda feel like i am still hungry, but when the 10-15 min pass i realize damn, I’m sure glad i didn’t keep eating! lol

6) Practice PracTICE PRACTICE- Things take time. We will do good and fall off. Back on, back off. This is how we learn. We will always suck at something we start doing for the first time but when we keep exposing ourselves to this new thing and practice, we will get better. I realized how much better i have become. I allow the learning process to take place. Patience is my virtue.

The amount of time you put into practicing anything will determine the outcome of your success!

This is how i have coped with this weekend problem. I hope this helps you guys find your way.

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Good Fats and Bad Fats- NO SUCH THING!

Good Fats and Bad Fats- NO SUCH THING!

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Good fats, bad fats. All fats are healthy for you. It’s how much of one fat your taking that determines your health.

It’s best to limit saturated fat-not eliminate- and take in a variety of other fats for optimal health.

High saturated fat diets lead to high LDL cholesterol. Too much LDL can accumulate stick to blood vessel walls. Don’t take this the wrong way, we want LDL in our bodies. Its job is to transport cholesterol to all the cells in our body for cell membrane and to help make hormones in our body. But we dont want TOOO HIGH LDL.

Taking in other fats like unsaturated fats help to lower LDL. Excericise can raise HDL Cholesterol which has the ability to shuttle excess LDL out of the body.

Be sure to take in enough fiber (25g+) as it binds to LDL to be excreted.

Disclaimer: genetic makeup plays a factor in cholesterol levels. Get tested! Know where you stand. LDL is known as bad cholesterol HDL good cholesterol but it’s healthy to maintain a balance of both. It’s when anything is in excess that it becomes bad! Remember Balance!

Resources: Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies 14th Edition by Frances Sizer (Author), Ellie Whitney (Author)

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How to Lower LDL Cholesterol and raise HDL Cholesterol

How to Lower LDL Cholesterol and raise HDL Cholesterol

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How to lower LDL Cholesterol (aka bad cholesterol) and raise HDL Cholesterol (aka good cholesterol).

1) Exercise: Raises HDL cholesterol by altering cholesterol metabolism. Moderate to Intense exercise will achieve this.
2)Eat more Unsaturated Fats: swap some saturated fats for more unsaturated fats help to reduce your LDL cholesterol. Think less animal and tropical fats for more nuts, olive, and omega fats
3)FIBER!: Fiber in your diet binds to the LDL cholesterol so its excreted. Aim for 25g+ women 30+ Men

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How I got over the Cold in one day

How I got over the Cold in one day

Believe it or not I tried my best this flu season from getting it. But lo and behold I got it. Man it was something fierce. 101 degree temperature I felt like shit, and i managed to get over it in about a day. Heres how:

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First sign- i went home from work and rested- i made my sicky soup and ate nothing but that or all my meals. Whole fresh ingredients like garlic clove, onion and a little lemon juice helps build up your immune system and fights of bad bacteria.

2nd- drank several cups of honey, fresh ginger and lemon tea. And i made Turmeric Tea once or twice a day. All these ingredients are antiviral and help to build your immunity. Turmeric especially is a very potent anti inflammatory. This was really a treat!

3rd- So i had to rest and get the fever down so i took NyQuil at nighttime and cold-eeze during the day. NyQuil brought down my fever and i guess the cold-eeze might have worked but who the hell knows. I really took it for peace of mind.

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4th- Hydrate!! Rest! These are key! No Rest No Best....hahhaha well i tried to put a good pun in anyway. My little monster was able to help me rest, lots of cuddling from this furbaby!

Thats it! Hope this helps you guys too!! 

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List of Fat Sources

List of Fat Sources

FAT....IS...LIFE! lol Fat makes food taste great! It helps with hormonal balance with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Fats are harder to break down so they take your body Fore-EVA to digest which helps keep you fuller longer. I would limit fats before and after your workouts for this reason.

FAT SOURCES

  • Avacados (contains carbs)
  • Coconut
  • Oils (i prefer, coconut/ olive oils)
  • Butter (grassfed is best and tastes sweeter)
  • Milk 2% / whole (contains carbs & protein)
  • Heavy whipping cream (contains carbs)
  • Red meat (contains protein- but fattier grass-fed variety is great!!)
  • Egg Yolks
  • Bacon (contains protein)
  • Nuts and Seeds

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List of Carbohydrate Sources

List of Carbohydrate Sources

Theres 2 types of Carbohydrates- Simple and Complex.

Simple means its easy for your body to digest and digests quickly. These carbs should be limited and saved for times around your workouts. WHY? If you havent fueled prior to your workout a quick shake or drink can help provide fuel so you can kick ass during your workout. Its also good Post workout as it replenishes your energy stores and prevents further muscle breakdown already caused by exercise.

Complex means it takes longer and is a bit harder for your body to digest. These are best eaten all other times. It provides your body with fiber, vitamins and minerals to allow all the cells  and organs in your body to function optimally. Fiber is the reason for complex carbs as it slows down the digestion of food and helps keep you full and satisfied longer.

SIMPLE CARBS

  • Sugar/candy/soda
  • white rice
  • white pasta
  • white bread
  • Fruit Juices
  • Sports drinks
  • Rolled/ Instant Oatmeal
  • White potato
  • Milk- (also contains Protein & possibly fat)
  • Cereals 

COMPLEX CARBS

  • Vegetables 
  • Fruit-whole form (limit dried fruits as some contain added sugars)
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat Pasta
  • Sweet Potato
  • Beans/Legumes
  • Quinoa
  • Brown/ Wild Rice

 

 

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List of Protein Sources

List of Protein Sources

Here is a list of Protein sources to refer to. I will continue to add to this list....

Protein helps to build and sustain muscle. Best to have a serving at every meal to meet your protein intake and to keep your blood sugars stable.

LEAN SOURCES

  • Chicken- Breast/ wings
  • Ground beef- 97/3
  • Tuna
  • Crab (real)
  • Shrimp
  • Egg whites
  • Greek Yogurt (plain-nonfat/ 0%)
  • Cottage cheese (nonfat/0%) (contains carbs)
  • Milk- (nonfat/ 0%) (contains Carbs)
  • Protein Powder

FATTIER SOURCES

  • Chicken- Thigh/ Drumstick
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Whole eggs
  • Cottage cheese (2%) (contains carbs)
  • Tempeh/ Tofu

PROTEIN SOURCES THAT ALSO CONTAIN CARBS

  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Quinoa
  • Beans/Lentils
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Soybeans/Edamame
  • Zucchini

 

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Are you Sleeping enough?

Are you Sleeping enough?

Are you sleeping enough?
7+ hours is optimal
Why?? Out bodies need rest to reset hormone levels- Heres a little on that….
Hormones effect:
-Food cravings (Leptin and Ghrelin hormones- am I full? Am I hungry? Why so much sugar/simple carb? )
-Fat metabolism (fat burning and fat storage, IE Cortisol levels- am I burning fat during exercise?)
-Muscle building (testosterone levels optimal for male and female)
-Recovery (body need ample rest & ample hormone production to recover and restore muscle broken down during exercise)
-Mental focus (Clear thinking, positive thoughts, Stronger mental drive)
-Stress levels (again cortisol levels- if chronically stressed (exercise induces stress) cortisol levels remain at a constant high and you continue to store bodyfat or keep it on till stress is reduced)

This isnt everything but its a start to get to understand hormones/ stress/ food cravings etc... Hope you found it useful! 
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How vitamins & minerals influence your energy levels

How vitamins & minerals influence your energy levels

How vitamins and minerals influence your energy levels.

 

The feeling of having more energy can come from the nutrients in fresh, whole foods, which we need for our bodies and brains to work properly. Try to get these nutrients through your diet, instead of supplementing.

  • Vitamin B1 & B2: We need thiamine (B1) to convert carbohydrates into energy (ATP). Riboflavin (B2) helps release energy in the Krebs cycle (the process by which our bodies generate energy).
  • Vitamin B6: We need vitamin B6’s active form pyridoxine-5′-phosphate (PLP) to make the amino acids L- tryptophan and L-dopa into the feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, both of which are important for cognitive function and focus. Vitamin B6 is also important for our cells’ mitochondria (power plant), helping to regulate the enzymes we use to draw energy from food.
  • Vitamin B12: We need vitamin B12 to protect and preserve the myelin sheath, which covers neurons and helps conduct the electrical signals sent around the body. B12 helps make neurotransmitters and metabolize fats and carbohydrate, your main energy sources.
  • Vitamin C: We need vitamin C to make carnitine, which transports long-chain fatty acids to the mitochondria to be used for energy. Vitamin C also helps us produce catecholamines, a group of hormones and neurotransmitters (such as adrenaline [epinephrine] and dopamine) that are usually stimulants.
  • Magnesium: We need magnesium for metabolic reactions, especially those that convert food into energy. Having more magnesium seems to improve cognitive abilities, while not enough seems to make cognition worse. Without enough magnesium in our cells, insulin doesn’t work as well, which makes it hard for us to use glucose. Many enzymes that help us convert food into energy need magnesium.
  • Calcium: Calcium helps to turn fatty acids into energy; it helps to modulate ATP production (aka our bodies’ fuel). As with magnesium, without enough calcium, our insulin may not work properly. Insulin is one of the main hormones of blood sugar regulation, which affects our energy levels.
  • Zinc: Zinc is a trace mineral, so we don’t need a lot, but we definitely need some. Zinc contributes to at least 100 enzymes in our body, many of which have to do with energy metabolism. When zinc is low, we don’t secrete as much insulin (which then causes problems with glucose metabolism); nor do we metabolize lipids (fats) nor protein well. If we don’t get enough zinc, we don’t get proper energy from food nor build proteins / muscle.
  • Water: Our brains depend on electrolytes — dissolved ions of minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium — to work properly. We need to carefully balance our electrolytes and fluid to send chemical and electrical signals in the brain (aka neurotransmission). If we get enough water, we maintain that balance. If we’re dehydrated, our brain (and our thinking) suffers.

*courtesy of Precision Nutrition

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Creating Habits

Creating Habits

I often tell people to make a habit of things they want to change in their lives. Habits are hard to break and thus ifyou want to either eat healthy, exercise, spend more time with family or just learn something new its easy to reach these goals by turning them into habits. Here is a good article that goes over how to make these small changes in your life stick. Below is the quick summary of steps to take (found in the article)

  1. Take baby steps. 
  2. Don’t bite off too much. 
  3. Track your progress. 
  4. Set a reminder. 
  5. Forgive yourself if you have a bad day. 
  6. Add, don’t subtract. .
  7. Make it fun. 

https://life.spartan.com/post/how-to-do-anything-in-30-days

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Having Trouble sleeping?

Having Trouble sleeping?

It started during my cutting phase.I thought it my cutting calories that was causing my restless sleep. For more than a year I would have to wake up every night to go to the restroom. I eliminated fluids and it didn't work. Sought a doctor (which i would recommend just to rule out any medical problems you may have) and everything worked fine.

The culprit? Not enough carbs........before bed!  I was eating a full meal before bed but my carbs were 20g or less. On a hunch I decided to see if eating fast digesting carbs such as white bread before bed would help! Lo and behold it did! BUT would it work a second time?  YASSS! Success!! I have now been eating 50+ carbs before bed and sleep like a baby. 

I would recommend you rule out any possible medical issues just to be safe cause you never know. But its worth a try. So if you have trouble sleeping try throwing in some potatoes, breads, rice, or pasta into your dinner and see if that doesnt help. :)  Recovery is Key to Longevity, less stressful days and recovery!

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Intuitive eating- Kids are a natural

Intuitive eating- Kids are a natural

For todays post I want to quickly discuss intuitive eating. Kids naturally eat intuitively. Its when we as adults label foods as bad or good or keep them from eating certain foods or providing processed foods that cause these intuitions to fade. Trust your kids to know what they are doing. They will stop when they are no longer hungry and eat when they are. All you have to do is provide whole real foods. This article is a good quick read too.

http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2017/04/12/raise-intuitive-eater-first-bite/

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Micro-nutrients/Vitamins/ Fat-soluble & Water-soluble

Micro-nutrients, particularly vitamins, are either Fat-soluble or Water-soluble. 
Vitamins A, D,E,K are Fat-soluble which means not only do you need to eat fat to absorb them but u don't need them everyday cause they're stored in your fat cells. 
Vitamins B and C are Water-soluble so we need these more often since we take in and excrete water often.

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How should I portion my meals??

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How should I portion my meals??

If your wanting to start eating healthy or just don't know where to start here are a few tips to get you started on the right track.

1) Choose a certain number of meals to eat each day and stick to it! Consistency is key!

2) Choose whole real foods as often as you can. Avoid foods that come in a box and that are deep fried.

3) Partition each meal the same. Here is a diagram to help you out:

Shoot me a comment or share how you approach your diet!

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