Eating Clean in 2014 Guidelines

Aside

Goal: Reset your gut after a month of indulging. Cleaning up your intestinal tract and bloodstream!

Guidelines:

Eating whole, non-processed foods with high nutritional value.
Getting more highly-colored veggies into each day.
Avoiding any processed foods out of a box – cereal, rice-a-roni, etc.
Avoiding sauces.
Avoiding milled grains, including bread, pasta.
Choosing complex carbs in their more natural state – whole grain rice, sweet potatoes, etc.
Choosing foods that are close to their original forms.
Avoiding alcohol.
Avoiding caffeine.
Avoiding sugar, BUT, eliminating artificial sweeteners.
Drinking a lot of water – not flavored, just water! (yes, you can squeeze citrus in!)

For example, choose for breakfast:

  • Oatmeal with fruit and a bit of natural sweetener, instead of grits and cheese.
  • Eggs; scrambled, poached, minimally fried, instead of eggs Benedict (avoid processed meats).
  • Smoothie with protein powder and real fruit, instead of pastries.

For lunch:

  • Salad with grilled tuna with olive oil/vinegar, instead of tuna salad sandwich and dressings made with soybean oil.
  • Clear-ish soups, such as chicken and rice, instead of potato soup (unless your mom made it and you know the ingredients are real).
  • Stir fry and brown rice, instead of white rice sushi

For dinner:

  • Broiled fish or chicken, instead of chicken fried anything.
  • Freshly made hamburger, instead of Hamburger Helper.
  • Sweet potatoes, brown rice, instead of pasta or bread.

The aim of these guidelines is to clear out the old, and refuel with quality ingredients. Remember, we’re not fasting! I don’t believe in fasting; it lowers your metabolic rate and facilitates muscle loss.

I am also taking this time to stop obsessively chewing sugarless gum. I’m doing this for two reasons: it contains sugar alcohols, which I’d like to minimize. I really get on a roll with this habit, and I need to stay in control of it.

If there are other nutritional changes you’d like to make, like my example, use this opportunity to reset your habits. For instance: want to test out avoiding gluten? Give it a try now (I don’t happen to think there’s any reason to avoid gluten for the average person, but sensitivity to it is a real condition).

If you’ve got any questions, please post or message me. I’d love to help you move toward healthier eating.

We’re all in this together for the next three weeks – Monday, January 6th until Sunday, January 26th . Let’s support each other!

 

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Eating Clean in 2014!!!!

ImageSince I make my living through fitness, you might think I have this nutrition and weight maintenance thing permanently under control. I wish that were the case, but, I always have five pounds, more or less, to take off after the holidays. I have to take care of this quickly, because I can’t expect my clients to believe in me unless I walk the talk, right? So, I’ve developed a three-week clean eating program for myself that I’ve used for several years. Now, I have my clients join me in this three-week detox/jumpstart, so we can all get back on track after the excess.

There are several reasons this works. First, we’re all in this together! When you’re feeling deprived, you can think about everyone else doing this with you. We’ll keep each other on track.

Second, it’s very effective to jumpstart fat loss by losing all the excess water/salt weight. You really don’t know where you’re at, weight-wise, until you get through at least a week without excess sugar, salt, simple carbohydrates, and alcohol. That’s probably five pounds right there!

Finally, losing those first few pounds will get us going on some real fat loss. There’s nothing quite as motivating as success, is there?

The first step to prepare for this program is to get comfortable tracking your nutrition. Register on a food tracking website. My favorite, which I mentioned in another blog, is http://www.sparkpeople.com. Many of my clients use http://www.myfitnesspal.com. Either is fine, and both of them are free to use online. If you’re not used to one or the other, you should check both for added features before you commit. For instance, myfitnesspal.com works with Withing’s body composition scales, and sparkpeople.com works with FitBit.

The next step is to stock up on clean food, and getting rid of anything that is going to push you off the wagon. Throw out that leftover eggnog. Get rid of that peppermint bark!

The guidelines:

No added sugar
No wheat products – pasta, bread, etc.
No alcohol
No coffee
Avoid artificial sweetener

Choose whole, healthy foods and snacks
Plan all meals and snacks
Stay within my calorie range, and maintain a good protein/carb/fat ratio daily

I promise that if you follow these broadly stroked guidelines, you will feel a difference in your body in three weeks. We’re going to re-up every three weeks. More details to follow tomorrow!

3 Nutrition Tips – before, during and after your workout

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One of the most often asked questions I get as a personal trainer is, “What type of meal should I have after my workout?”  The post exercise meal is the most crucial, but I am also going to discuss what to consume before and during a workout.  There is a science to all of this, so just remember a little effort will go along way.

Pre-Workout

The pre-workout meal will ensure adequate energy stores are available for your exercise session.  This meal should be consumed about 1 – 2 hours before you begin the session.  The Journal of Nutrition reported that consuming a low glycemic index meal prior to a workout increases fat mobilization during exercise. Some low glycemic index foods include apples, grapefruit, lima beans, green beans, chickpeas, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes and brown rice. Also, make sure you are well hydrated, water is fine, a sports drink is not necessary at this point.  If this meal is skipped fatigue will set in shortly after your workout begins and you will not reach your full potential.

 

During the Workout

Water is sufficient to consume during your workouts lasting less then an hour and it is extremely important to stay hydrated. Once you pass that 1 hour threshold, a sports drink, such as PowerAde, may be helpful to replenish electrolytes that are lost through sweat.

 

Post-Workout

As mentioned earlier, this meal is the most crucial of the three.  Preparing for this meal is detrimental to the overall results of your fitness program.  What and when you consume after your workout can effect your muscle mass, glycogen (energy) stores and performance of your next workout.  A study in the Journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise found that timing is extremely important when ingesting protein and carbs after exercise. Thirty minutes to 1 hour after resistance training your muscles are primed to replenish nutrients lost during exercise.  Consumption of protein during this time frame enhances muscle synthesis.  A 2009 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association revealed that ingesting 30 grams of high quality protein within 60 minutes of leg extension repetitions enhanced muscle synthesis by 108%.

Now that we see the proof of protein, where do we go from here?  There are so many types of protein powders it can be overwhelming when trying to choose one. Most studies show that milk protein, especially whey protein, are most advantageous in increasing muscle hypertrophy.  It is crucial to consume proteins that contain the amino acid leucine, which is a key stimulator of muscle building.  Leucine occurs naturally in whey protein.  Those with milk allergies need to avoid whey but most with lactose intolerance can consume whey without side effects.

Carbs are also important to consume in the 30 minutes to 1 hour time frame after a bout of exercise, especially if any type of endurance exercise is performed.  This is when glycogen stores are most efficiently replaced.  The muscles, in this window of opportunity, are like sponges and will absorb carbs to ensure your muscles will have enough energy to sustain your next workout. I take in about 25 grams of carbs after my workouts but some recommend as many as 50-60 grams.

 

Recipe

My favorite post exercise meal is a protein shake with a banana.  I use Optimum Nutrition’s double rich chocolate, Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein. I blend 1 scoop of powder with a very ripe frozen banana. I freeze the banana once it is almost all brown, by freezing it I do not have to use ice in the blender and the shake is creamer than when ice is used. This protein powder can be purchases at GNC stores or the http://www.vitaminshoppe.com, as well as other health food stores.

 

 Tips

Waiting too long to consume your post exercise meal will result in slowed carb replenishment, slowed protein repair and early on set of fatigue the next time you workout.

The intake of unsaturated fats is an important aspect of daily nutrition but should be left out of the post exercise meal.  Fat can decrease the effectiveness of the meal because fat slows down the transition through the stomach which then would slow the digestion and absorbtion of carbs and protein.

Fluid replenishment is of great importance at this time and throughout the day.  Make sure you drink lots of water to replace what you have lost through sweat.

Nutrition is as important as the workout.  These meals all have a role to play and it is up to you to make the most of your fitness program. All it takes is a little planning and preparation and you are on your way to a healthier, more fit you.