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There are certain times of the month where I find myself pigging out.  Its a very strange thing.  I feel like for 3/4 of the month I am in control, and then all of a sudden I lose it.  I don’t know what happens, other than I turn in to a ravenous beast and no matter what, I can’t get full.  Its almost like the first stages of pregnancy…(and no, def. not preggo).  I was, however a little interested in the subject and found out some interesting facts that I thought I would share.

Fact 1.  You burn 15% more calories on your period than when you’re not.  This is a little exciting. even though it means working out during that special time (which definitely is not exciting) you get more bang for your buck so to speak.  So pull your bloated behind into the gym already!!!

Fact 2.  That serious carb loading that I’m doing is actually caused from a dip in my serotonin levels ( a chemical that regulates well being and appetite)  However!!!!!!  Your body actually compensates for these extra calories by increasing your metabolic rate. Your metabolism increases about 5 to 10 percent in the days before menstruation. (so says livestrong.com)

Fact 3.  That craving for salty potato chips is making you extra bloated.  Avoid salt like the plague at this time of the month.

Fact 4. Eating green veggies can reduce the spams that cause cramps because of their high calcium, magnesium and potassium content.

So, at least I know that all of that eating is there for a reason.  I usually try to take the week of because i am not a dieter that enjoys struggling through hunger, and I don’t know about you, but pigging out on loads of veggies just isn’t going to happen!  So, cut yourself some slack if you feel the monthly visitor coming over.  Take a little break from your diet, but make sure you kick some butt at the gym!!

Honey Nut Pork Chops

Holy guacamole! This was amazing! My kids were licking the plate after this one!  Here’s the recipe in all of its Paleo glory

Coat Pork cops (boneless or bone-in) in coconut or almond flour.  Cook chops in coconut oil in the skillet.  Once they are finished place them to side and in the same skillet add 1/4 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of finely chopped nuts (I used almonds, but you can use any nut that you like, except peanuts, of course) When its heated and looking kind of runny, pour it over your chops.

Did I mention how delicious this is?!?!?!  I served it with baked broccoli that had been tossed in olive oil and minced garlic.  Sorry there is no picture but it looked so good that we couldn’t wait.  This is one of the easiest dinners you can make.  Total time for everything…about 20 minutes!!!

Enjoy!

effort makes all the difference

We all know there is no such thing as perfection. Even the people that can lift a ton of weight and have the best bodies need to work on something.   Now, we know I train people, and I LOVE my job.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  I love helping people learn. I love seeing their confidence grow. But… Let me tell you one thing that frustrates me…(and if there are any other trainers out there, please chime in) What frustrates me the most is when people come in and want to change and want to get better but only want to put in minimal effort.  They say that they aren’t seeing results and they aren’t getting a lot stronger.  This really gets me riled up because I know how good they could be.  I know if they pushed it a little harder they would break out of their funk.  But in order for this to happen, they need to prepare themselves for it.  It may sound crazy, but you should do some serious soul searching.  What is it that you want out of your workouts?  Are you looking to get stronger, faster, more muscle, more skilled or just lose weight?  Figure out your goals.  Write them down.  Short term first.

Example (me and my muscle up)  I tried relentlessly for 6 weeks.  There were times when my arms hurt so bad that I couldn’t lift my kids.  There were times when I thought “this is stupid and pointless” and “I’m not strong enough”.  But what mattered was that I didn’t quit.  I had set a goal.  Even though it didn’t happen by the deadline that I wanted it to, it still happened.  And let me tell you how rewarding it was to accomplish that goal that I worked so hard to achieve.  It taught me a lot about my character.

As a trainer I can motivate and teach you how to do something.  I can tell you when you’re doing it wrong, but I can’t put in the work for you.  If there is something that you’re struggling with PRACTICE IT!!  Take 15 minutes or so a day and work on it.  DON’T say “I can’t”.  If you say you can’t then you won’t, I promise you.  Set a goal, be optimistic and don’t get down on yourself.  So whether it be to up your max in your deadlift, finally do kipping pull ups, double unders or a faster race pace, you can do it!  It takes work and time but if you are determined then it will happen!

Paleo vs “the Zone” and other big news :)

In the crossfit world there seems to be 2 sides to the diet story.  You either follow “the zone” or “paleo”.  The Crossfit prescribed diet says to “eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar”.  This is basically paleo in a nutshell.  So, what do you do if you have had success on “the Zone” and are thinking of boosting your results?  Answer:  you combine them!  You can “zone” your paleo food!!  This is where the money is!!  If you are not getting the results from your diet, whatever it may be, find a way to tweak it.

When I first tried The Zone a few years back, it didn’t work for me personally because I need something pretty strict.  There were “unfavorable” items that were ok to eat, so I ate them.  A lot.  I found myself trying to Zone a snickers bar.  Now, this is not a bash on the zone!!  I think the science behind the zone is impeccable.  I think if someone is disciplined enough to follow it, they will get amazing results.  The problem was me.  I needed more limits.  When I switched to Paleo, it was easier for me to know what to eat.  But now, that I’ve been on it for a few years I have learned to measure and have the right amounts of proteins, fats and carbs, hence “Zoning my paleo”

Now, when you research the paleo diet you will see all kinds of do’s and don’t’s.  Some say no dairy, others say dairy is ok.  Some say no legumes, others think “maybe the paleo man did run across beans from time to time”.  I think the paleo era could have offered a lot more than we think it did.  Personally, my results have come from avoiding dairy, grains and sugar, but you may be different from me. You might feel like your body responds well to yogurt or skim milk.

Ultimately, I think its so important to avoid ANYTHING processed.  Stay away from packaged, chemically enhanced or refined foods!  Clean yourself up and you will be on the right track no matter what diet you follow! So, for all my zone friends,  I challenge you to zone some paleo food for 14 days.  See if you improve, see if you do worse…I’m really interested to see if you break out to another level in your training!  and if anyone has any paleo/zone experiences or results, please share your comments!

Oh, and by the way, this Betty got her first muscle up today!!!  YAY!

Honey-lime shredded pork

This is one of my quickest go to recipes!  The kids Love it and I love it because leftover pork goes awesome on eggs in the morning, salads for lunch the next day, or just with plain old avocado on top!

Place 3lb pork roast in the crock pot with a few cups of water.  Throw some garlic powder on it for seasoning.  Cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours. (I think its always better on low)  About 30 min before dinner time drain and reserve the liquid and shred the meat with a couple of forks (it should shred super easy if you cooked it long enough) Pour in 1/4 c of lime juice, 1/2 c honey and a few tablespoons of chili powder (depending on how spicy you like it) Mix it together with the shredded meat and let it sit until dinner.  If it seems like it needs a little moisture, add some of the reserved liquid.  Give it a taste.  If you like it sweeter add a little more honey (try not to go overboard) and for a more tangy taste add more lime.

We eat this on a salad with avocado, salsa, onions and cilantro!

Let me know what you think!!!

So…what is this paleo diet anyway? (part 1)

Many of you know that I follow the paleo diet (about 90% of the time, anyway).  I get a lot of questions on what exactly “paleo” means, and why it doesn’t allow certain foods.

So first, What is the Paleo diet?

The paleo/caveman/hunter gatherer diet is eating the way our ancestors did pre-agriculture.  Data suggests that these ancestors were free from many health problems that we face in modern society.  (obesity, cancers, heart disease)  In the paleo diet you eat Proteins such as: eggs, beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish and any type of wild game.  You eat veggies, preferably seasonal, and if you can, get your veggies from a local farm or better yet, your own garden! You can have seasonal fruits.  And you can have fats (almonds, avocado, macadamia, coconut oil, almond oil)

Now, some things to take into consideration: If you are trying to lose weight, you need to limit your fruit and fat intake.  Try to only have one serving of fruit per day.  And 1-2 oz of fats (nuts and oils)

Things to avoid!!!  All grains (flour, oats, rice, corn) sugars (with the exception of a little bit of honey) all dairy and basically anything that is processed and has a long shelf life.

There are simple ways to make substitutions for you recipes.  If a recipe calls for milk, you can use almond or coconut milk.  Substitute coconut oil for butter, for sugar you can sub honey (1/2 the amount).

So, clean out your pantry and avoid all of that nasty cream of whatever and pastas and the like! Start today by eating clean!  If you mess up at lunch, or at a snack make up for it with a healthy dinner.  Everyone messes up in their diet.  Don’t give up just because of that candy bar.

I plan on breaking this down into parts and getting into details about the why’s? in the near future.  But please, leave any questions or comments and I will do my best to answer them!

skinny fat people

I can’t even tell you the amount of ladies that have told me that they don’t want to lift weights because they are afraid of “bulking up”.  Well, lets just lay this out on the table.  You may be 120 lbs and look great in a bikini, but that doesn’t make you less “fat” than anyone else.  I actually have a friend, (i won’t name any names, but you know who you are…Love you :)  She looks amazing, she was 125 lbs and was nice and curvy in the right places.  One day she had her body fat percentage tested and it was 29%!  That was incredible to me because she looked so thin.  So what was she missing?  Muscle! That being said, my sister came across an blog post from Cody Rice, a trainer at crossfit southbay. all about body fat which, strangely enough, got me super excited to post about it.

Check out these girls…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both have around 10 to 15% body fat.  Hard to believe, right?  Now you tell me, does girl #2 look “bulky” or does she looks totally amazing?!?! Do you want to look like girl #1?  If your answer is yes, you need to stop reading this blog and read a blog for anorexic people. Just kidding! ;)

Most people think in order to get into shape they need to eat a low calorie diet and run.  Why is the answer always running? Running is good for you, but if your goal is to be “lean”  then you need to get some muscle on that body.  I’ve seen plenty of runners that have lost weight, but still have a high body fat percentage.

In Cody’s article he says “Some people keep saying to be leaner they just need more cardio and less strength.  Well, yes, if you just do “more cardio”, you will lose more fat, but you would also lose muscle because without strength training, your body burns muscle as well as fat. Then, once you stop doing “more cardio” you will gain fat even faster now that you don’t have the muscle to burn the extra calories, resulting in the “skinny fat” look.  You can see this in ex-athletes that have tried to “get leaner” by doing “more cardio” only to result in having more fat with less muscle.”

So, instead of focusing on a scale, we need to be more concerned with our body fat percentage.  Find a place where you can go and get it checked once a month.  Most gyms have the equipment and there are even some fancy scales that can do it too.

Another question is…”when will I start to see results?”  Well, if you get on a clean diet and incorporate weights and cardio, you will notice results within a few weeks.  Now, in order to start seeing definition women typically need to be below 20% and men at or below 10%