Sunday, November 29, 2009

My green smoothie!!

In the last month I have made some serious changes to my diet. Not that it wasn't good before, but the standard bodybuilding style of diet I had been consuming for SO many years seemed to be lacking so much. Too much meat, super-high protein protein powder, dairy and artificial sweeteners. Not enough plants (multi-colored vegetables and fruits).
Well, in my effort to revamp my diet toward a more plant-based one, I have been enjoying one to two "green" smoothies a day in addition to the rest of my daily intake. They are so good, and so packed full of great stuff that I just have to share the recipe. Being told that we are supposed to be having 10 servings per day of vegetables and fruits seems daunting-until you knock out a good 5-6 of these servings out in one or two of these blended concoctions!


1 scoop Vega Whole Food Optimizer (plant based protein)
.25 c frozen blueberries
2-3 large frozen strawberries
.5 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
handful raw spinach
1/2 small banana
stevia (just a pinch)
.5 c alfalfa sprouts (optional)- these really add a "sprouty" flavor, so only if you like them
1 tsp coconut oil
handful ice
about 2.5 c water


This make a huge smoothie. I drink all of it, but if you have a hard time with large amounts of liquid, just cut the water and ice down.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Balancing fitness with family life

Last night we were out on the town having "family night". This usually includes some form of really bad food, as we have to go to "kid friendly" establishments. Its not fair to ask a teenager to go to a salad or pita place on their one night out a week! We had a ball playing games, video games and eating stuff we normally don't, and having a couple of cocktails (well, the adults of course!). Its funny, but because I'm a professional in the health and fitness industry, many of my friends and clients would be horrified if they saw us last night. Most people expect that if you are living the fitness lifestyle you live this rigid, structured life that has no wiggle room. I have encountered this so frequently over the years. At parties when I get the 10th comment about "I can't believe you are eating/drinking that", "You aren't supposed to eat" chips/party mix/appetizers/other offending food. Or how about, "Wow, no wonder you stay in shape, you can eat whatever you want!" People often miss the big picture. Life needs to have balance, especially when you have kids because you need to set an example. Of course we shouldn't eat massive amounts of fattening foods and wash it down with a cocktail every day, but when you work out really hard and eat all the right things MOST of the time, you are entitled to a reprieve once every week or so......just make sure you hide in the closet while you're having it so as to not be seen.....wink ;-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In spite of all of my preaching about not making excuses, being mentally tough, and "the hardest part sometimes is just getting through the gym door".....occasionally we need to NOT do any of those things. Depending on how hard you've been hitting it, and for how long, the body does need breaks. The consequences of ignoring your body's "I've had enough" signals can cause you to actually look worse rather than better. Not that many people ever get to the point of "overtraining". Usually an occasional family trip or increased work demands will keep one out of the gym enough to promote some serious healing time. However, when that doesn't happen, and we continue to train and push week after week, month after month, the body gets stressed. Positive body changes don't happen in the gym, they are actually achieved at rest, when the rebuilding process happens. Many exercisers think the more they work out, the fitter they will be.....which is true to a certain point, but not once the body senses too much. Too much training, not enough rest, and inadequate nutrition can slowly creep up on you, then slowly you start to realize everything aches. There can be a lack of motivation to get to the gym, low grade irritability, and increased muscle tension. Muscle gets broken down, rather than built.
I try to take scheduled rest periods of a week (or more) from lifting weights at least every three months. It is easy to forget to take these breaks, and before I know it it has been 6 months without a rest. My clients will sometimes see that I am "off" from training and wonder why I haven't prescribed time off for them. Most of my clients have had plenty of recovery time due to vacations and unexpected missed gym time due to kid and work issues. For the gym rat who hasn't had any of these setbacks, and is training regularly and intensely, there needs to be a recovery plan in place. A good rule of thumb is a week of rest after 8 weeks or so. This is optimum. Do I always follow this rule? No, but I end up suffering the consequences. That week of rest that would normally get me strong, refreshed and ready to rock needs to be a little longer. ;-)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Go out and get it!!! Then NEVER LET IT GO....

I know I'm a little type-A and a little psycho. I tend to run myself into the ground and then wonder why I get so tired sometimes. I was out for a run after work yesterday, and as usual my internal dialogue was yapping away at me. I was thinking how wonderful it felt to be able-bodied enough to be on that run, and what a huge blessing that is. I was also thinking about how often clients ask me how I stay motivated year after year to keep up my fitness routine. Let me just say, aside from realizing EVERY SINGLE DAY that I will never take my health and strength for granted, it is just good old fashioned fear. Yup. I am so determined that I will not go back to being overweight and plagued with health issues. I am determined to never again let some catty bitch in a club ask her guy friend "why he's talking to a fat chick". I'm determined to never again be referred to as "a good 'ole corn-fed American girl". Life is too short, and we only get one go-round. Go out do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get your best, most fulfilling life, and never let it go!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sitting outside of a sub/smoothie shop.....ugh!

As I sat in my car outside of this place waiting for my 13 year old daugter to get her smoothie, I started thinking what a travesty the standard American diet is. People were filing in the front door like cattle to get their "healthy", "low fat" meal. Each person was in various states of over-fat and under-muscled. I wonder how many of these individuals are chronically frustrated with their ever expanding girth in spite of eating what is being marketed to them as the "right thing" to be eating? I notice the huge poster in the window that boasts "Only 2 grams of fat per serving*"..... some sort of teriyaki-glazed sub sandwich. Yeah, only two grams of fat.....but what about the nitrites in the fake processed "meat" that have been linked to cancer, DNA mutations and a higher incidence of brain tumors in children? What about the wheat colored bread which is actually no better than Wonder Bread? What about the high-fructose corn syrup based teriyaki sauce they drizzle on top, that is most likely in the fake wheat bread too? These poor, uninformed souls were also leaving with either a huge high-fructose corn syrup soda to wash it down with, or (possibly) even worse......a "healthy" "fruit" smoothie. These things often don't even contain any real fruit, and if they do it is in combination with a nice high-fructose corn syrup and artificial color based "smoothie mix". For example, a SMALL Peanut Butter Moo'd (16 oz.) has 530 cals, 11 g fat and 94 g carbs (mostly sugar carbs). A small Acai cup has 620 cals, 15 g fat and 114 g of carbs. Thats over 24 teaspoons of sugar! So lets say one of these patrons leaves with the five-inch "low-fat menu" sandwiches and a small moothie. These low-fat subs hover around 300 calories, and add one of these evil smoothies in a small....this one meal can pack upwards of 900 calories, 161 grams of simple-sugar carbs and.....get this- 884-1300 mg of table salt, the worst kind. Thats almost enough for an entire day. Lets not even talk about the obese guy I saw leaving with the foot-long and a 32 oz. smoothie......sigh.
The pickle we health-aware parents are in is that virtually EVERY child/teen are eating this way or worse. As a parent you are labeled a fanatic or disordered if you try to discourage this way of eating. I have had family members say I am "setting my kids up for an eating disorder" by feeding them fresh vegetables, real meat and complex carbs....and packing their lunch. So sad.