Nutrition Boot Camp FAQ’s

Nutrition Boot Camp starts in just days! I’ve opened up a few more spots, but I am trying to keep them small so we can get to everybody’s questions. Today, I wanted to answer some questions that have come up and clear up what might be holding you back :)

  • How much time will this take?

Well, the answer is: however much you’ll give it. Bootcampers will be given exclusive information sent directly to their inbox for the subject matter we are covering that week. You can read it all right then, or put it in a folder and still have access to the knowledge well into the future. Calls are limited to 1 hour or less every Monday night and will be recorded (or at the very least, typed out) and put into an email within the following 48 hours.

  • What if I can’t make the call?

As stated above, the call will be recorded and sent. I encourage you to email questions that you have prior to any call you may miss so I can answer it for everybody. This also works if you’re just a little shy about asking questions :)

  • What is the difference between Nutrition Boot Camp and Nutrition Counseling?

Nutrition Boot Camp is a class-style environment designed to get the most education and information to a broad range of people. We will be covering basics in Nutrition Boot Camp (more in-depth boot camps will be coming soon!). Nutrition Counseling is one on one personal nutrition, tailored to meet your goals and overcome your own personal obstacles. Nutrition Boot Camp is a 6 week course. Nutrition Counseling takes 3-12 months to complete.

  • What can I expect to have covered in Nutrition Boot Camp?

Here is an overview of our 6 weeks in Nutrition Boot Camp:

  1. DIETS: They only make us fatter
  2. Eating Style vs. Diet
  3. Emotional Eating: Pitfalls and Fixes
  4. Common dis-ease nutrition fixes
  5. Why any kind of deprivation is a BAD idea
  6. Metabolic Damage: We’ll touch briefly on what it is, what causes it, how to identify it and ways to avoid it. There will be an in-depth class offered later on repairing the metabolism.
  • At the end of the day, what will I learn?

While we will al walk away with different things, here are a few I am hoping will stick:

  1. To NEVER trust a diet again…no matter who is doing it
  2. To trust that I can make the right nutrition decisions for myself (and my family)
  3. What the heck is a metabolism really?
  4. Food is fuel, but it should also be enjoyed
  5. I don’t have to live in deprivation to reach my goals
  6. How to clarify my goals and make my nutrition meet my lifestyle.

Those are the basics of what you can expect by enrolling in Nutrition Boot Camp. It’s not a boot camp about my eating style, or why you should change everything you’re doing, or meant to make you feel terrible about the way you are eating….it’s quite the opposite. We learn and then apply that knowledge to suit our lifestyles. Keep it simple people!

Sign up by clicking the NUTRITION TAB or email me: michelle@michellecfitness.com

Januray 13 2014   rockin abs

 

These pictures were taken 3 months apart and were the result of loosening up on food restriction and LESS gym time! I’m no super hero…I just like to share what I know :)

Hope to see you there,

Michelle

Nutrition News: Why You NEED Carbs

Welcome to your nutrition station :)

I hope you’ve fueled up with a good breakfast and are ready to go this Hump Day! As we forge ahead in our nutrition series, I think it’s important to address a BIG area of concern: CARBS

clean carbs

As my beautiful nutrition mentor and eat clean queen suggests, we all NEED carbs since they play such a huge role in fat burning and muscle building…..we just need to be selective about the source of our carbs.

flat abs breakfast

Clean carbs extend far beyond the general notion of breads and pastas. Carb sources include most of your plants, fruits and veggies, as well as other carb sources such as quinoa, oats, oat bran and even the almond milk you put in your coffee. These are all good, clean sources of carbs and should be enjoyed DAILY in your diet.

So, what is it that carbs do for you?

apple

For starters, carbs are your body’s most preferred fuel source for energy. If you look at competitive athletes and bodybuilders, the one’s who have been in the game the longest still eat carbs instead of relying on pre-workout drink mixes and fake sugars packed with caffeine. Why? Because your body can easily break carbs down into a usable fuel source (i.e. the glucose we store in our liver and muscles for the body to use during training). As we continue, let me clear up a common myth: there is no “fat burning zone”. At the end of the day, when we refer to fat loss, we are looking at how many calories your body can burn. By the way, I don’t rely on those fancy gadgets worn around certain body parts to tell me how many cals I burn per day….I look at how hard I work and how my clothes fit.

So, in the case of carbs, you have 2 kinds: simple and complex. When we think of simple, we usually think SUGAR. This is not too far off the mark, but I want to expand just a little. Simple sugars consist of either one or two molecules. One-molecule carbs are known as monosaccharides and include glucose, fructose and galactose…all of which are easy to digest. This means if these are taken in directly prior to training or playing a sport, your body can break them down for fuel very efficiently. If they are taken in before sitting at your desk for 4 straight hours, you body breaks them down and packs them into the storage unit, i.e. your fat molecules. So, watch those labels and think about your food. Two-moleculed simple carbs are called disaccharides and include sucrose, lactose, maltose and high fructose corn syrup. These are man-made and much harder for the body to break down in time of need. Lactose is, of course, the sugar in cow’s milk. More and more people are becoming allergic to this as a result of poor nutrition habits.

Complex carbs contain 3-20 molecules. Some are great, clean carbs (such as oats, brown rice, vegetables and quinoa) others are man-made, such as maltodextrins which are found in a variety of sports drinks. These belong to the oligosaccharides family :) . The polysaccharides are composed of more than 20, sometimes up the thousands of carb molecules. Have I lost you already??? Stay with me, you might learn something awesome :) If complex carbs have more molecule, this naturally makes them harder to break down right? So why do we need to choose them over the simple-sugar cousins down the road? Complex carbs provide indigestible fiber, such as cellulose, hemicellulose, gums, and pectins, and are extremely important for gastrointestinal health and disease prevention (particularly Type 2 Diabetes and certain forms of cancer).

So , the question remains: which carbs do we eat? The answer: selective carbs. What do I mean? I’m glad you asked :)

carbs

Without the proper consumption of carbs, we lack the muscle-building and fat burning know how within the human body. Most bodies require the same nutrients, just in different amounts based on genetics and lifestyle. So, if you are preparing for a long run in the morning, a breakfast consisting of oats, fruit, honey and a small protein source (egg, whey protein, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese) would be ideal. However, if you play desk jockey for hours on end, a small protein shake may be more beneficial (or a small egg and English muffin). I am a HUGE fan of eating oatmeal just before my workouts. I keep it clean and simple, adding fruits and maybe a dash of honey. This gives me the carbs my body needs to get started (from the fruit) and the carbs my body needs to keep me going AND start the recovery process (the oats).

It boils down to this: there is NO one true nutrient that needs to be completely cut out of your diet. NOTE: sugar is NOT a nutrient and simple sugar itself is not beneficial to the body. Our bodies were made to be highly efficient, but it is MY firm belief that we have “dieted” ourselves into inefficiency. We have disease that has not existed in the past (pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance) due to overall poor health and low standards for nutrition. Raise the bar for yourself! You now know that your body has needs and will be much more willing to do the work to shed the weight if you seek to meet those needs.

Need a little more help? I offer plenty of nutrition options online to get you started. Everything from meal plans to nutrition counseling. Think in basics though: know what you eat, take care of your health.

Until next time, HAVE A HEALTHY DAY!

Michelle

Portion Distortion Revisited

All of my nutrition counseling sessions revolve mostly around the portion control issue. The fact of the matter is that we eat more with our eyes than our stomachs. We see good food and we pounce and attack. Studies have shown this to be even worse when we are in the presence of friends and family. Oddly enough, we can eat up to 50% more than we intended if we are around people who make us uncomfortable (think of a judgmental family member). The theory is that we are trying not to say anything rude, so we close the talking hole :)

So, if we live in a land of excess, how do we accomplish portion control? Well, we simply apply a little bit of thinking to the equation.

First we must establish what too much food can do to our health:

  • Excessive weight gain. That’s a given, and sadly one of the lesser evils.
  • Increased inflammation. Too much chronic inflammation can lead to diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Obesity and obesity related diseases.
  • Loss in bone density.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Loss of muscle mass.

These are a few of the side effects, but I’m really not trying to scare you here! The best part about all of this is a lot of these things (metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes included) can be reversed with just a few simple switches.

Here are a few ways to keep your portions in check, no matter what you’re doing:

  1. Get a hand on it. Remember that your hand can serve as a great guide for portions. For example: at a family BBQ you should need both hands to carry your plate :) Seriously though, your protein is the size of the inner part of your palm, carbs are 1 tightly closed fist, fats are the last thumb knuckle, and veggies are 2 big open palms (sans the fats from frying or dressing).
  2. If you’re eating out, share your meal or have the waiter box 1/2 of it before it comes to the table.
  3. Eat off of smaller plates instead of large dinner plates.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Most signs of hunger are actually signs of dehydration.
  5. Weigh and measure all your food for 2 weeks. Past that point you can eyeball portions.
  6. Take a bite, take a break. After placing a bite of food in your mouth, lower your utensil and enjoy the food! Wait 15 seconds after swallowing to get another bite. I know it sounds crazy (and I really struggle with this one!) but not only does it help you notice when you feel fuller sooner, it also helps you avoid stomach issues and certain cancers. That’s worth it to me!
  7. Eat at least 1 meal per day at home. Bigger is better in the food biz and we are always looking for more bang for our buck. That is exactly what has gotten us into this sickly state. By committing to eating 1 meal per day at home (or pack it and take it with you), you can reduce your risk of disease and prolong your life.
  8. Watch the alcohol. We all have good intentions when we begin our meal, but alcohol lowers your will power. If you’re eating out, order your drink AFTER the meal is over as opposed to before it begins. Dining in? Have your nightcap at a time when the kitchen is closed. Personally, if I have washed all dishes and started the dishwasher I won’t dirty up another plate for a midnight snack.

These are a few simple tools to use. Remember, recent studies show that by reducing your daily calorie intake by 20% you can reduce inflammation by up to 60%. That’s good enough for me :)

In good health,

Michelle

End of March: What’s in MY pantry and fridge?

ALL the Awesomeness!

Hey everybody!

Today’s blog is going to cover a whole lot, so hang with me as we get going :)

First up is food news (everybody’s favorite kind of news right?) and we’re dealing with the most nasty: FAKE SWEETENERS…..AAAHAAHAHAHAHHHHH! That was scary right? I’ll make it short and sweet with some of the new research. Basically, we know that table sugar is no good for your body (your waistline NOR your internal organs and normal body functions), but we love our sweets. So, ages ago man decided to make sweeteners to fill the gap so to speak. These artificial sweeteners are now causing loads of problems, the least of which is the fact that they kill the metabolism and promote the ever rising epidemic of obesity. So, what’s a sweet tooth to do? The short list of acceptable sweeteners (moderation, my friends) is as follows:

  • Stevia
  • Xylitol*
  • Succunat
  • Raw Honey
  • Agave

yes, I know your beloved Sweet n Low and Splenda are not on that list. GASP! When you take in zero calorie sweetener your body pulls a “What the HECK is THIS?!?” moment and decides that since it offers absolutely NO nutritional value it will simply put it in the nearest storage facility: i.e. your gut. That’s right! Diet Coke addicts trying to get rid of your poof? (Not the Jersey Shore kind). Ditch the diet drink! Also, even more interesting is the latest research on GUM. Yeah, gum. That thing we use not only to freshen breath, but thanks to the Biggest Loser, we are now addicted to it because it helps ward off cravings right? NOT SO, says research. Many sugar-free gums contain aspartame, which wrecks the metabolism AND when it comes to gum it can actually spur sweets cravings. Are you thinking back now to all the times you had a piece of gum ONLY to eat the candy anyways? Yeah, happens to the best of us. So, what should you do? Ahem, READ YOUR LABELS! I did it for you already and Trident offers Xylitol as it’s sweetener of choice. Fresh breath plus no cravings, rock on. Now why are stevia and xylitol acceptable even though they are labeled as calorie free? First off, in order to actually register a calorie rating on the package, the item must have over 5 calories per serving. Second, these 2 sweeteners are naturally derived and therefore processed differently and used for energy (technically they DO contain energy in the form of calories).

Second order of news: FREE CLASSES! I am in the midst of filming videos for 2 online classes. One is a 31 day nutrition mission called the Lean Eating Program. You’ll learn the ins and outs of actual nutrition (not dieting, gimmicks, or heresy) and how to use nutrition to reach your health and fitness goals. The catch? I’m ONLY accepting 20 people to the FREE round of this particular program, then it will be offered again through a different system. So keep an eye out for that one. The second class is a lifestyles course that will deal with all the issues that we have in leading the life we should be leading. Like I’ve said to many of my clients, you have to learn to get out of your own way to reach your goals. This will be a 30 day online course designed to tackle some of the hardest aspects of making lifestyle changes and taking responsibility for the outcome. Examples of subjects covered are optimal health and fitness, branding you (instead of trying to be others), goal setting, goal reaching, how to deal with people (especially those who are less supportive), how to handle roadblocks, self-confidence techniques, budgets for your time, energy, and money, PLUS loads more. You learn how to build the habits of a succesful life. This one will be open to 100 people FREE OF CHARGE.

Last, but not least is the APRIL CHALLENGES! I’ll have 3 challenges beginning April 2nd. My challenge groups so far have been experiencing phenomenal results so I’m excited about starting 3 new ones. As always, you’ll get all the coaching you need (and probably some you don’t want!) to help you reach your full potential. I’ll be putting up the actual challenges next week, but here’s the teaser:

So, that’s the announcements for now. I hope all of ya’ll are up and enjoying life today. Remember, don’t just show up and sit on the bench, GET IN THE GAME!

Michelle

FOOD PREP

One of the MOST important tools in your nutrition tool box is food prep. It’s taking a little time to accomplish a lot for your health and fitness goals. So, I took some pics during my food prep the other day and thought I’d give you a quick rundown on what goes down :) in my kitchen.

After grocery trips, I usually try to lay the produce on the counter. If I can’t get to it that day, then I make sure I have time within 24 hours. The deal is, we used to waste money on produce that would go bad. After I started setting aside time to prep my food, viola’! Money saved. Simple steps for your produce:

  • Wash everything (except strawberries). I wash fruits and veg separate, but I dump them ALL in and give them a good wash.
  • Portion what needs be portioned. Grapes should be 1/2 cup and fit well into snack bags. I chop my veggies (you can have 2 cups at a time of those) and place them in plastic containers.

 

 

 

During the veg prep, I cook whatever meals I can cook. Be a little careful with this step as I have been known to cook way too many meals at once and then we can’t eat them all! General rule of thumb: a family of 4 can go through 3 meals per week, plus snacks and lunches.

 

 

Portion out what needs to be portioned, especially if you’re taking it on the go. There is nothing that will kill your nutritional endeavors faster than unpreparedness! Baggies and small, reusable containers are your best friends when it comes to grab and go nutrition. Buy things in bulk, such as nuts and rice cakes, whole grain crackers, etc. and make sure you portion them out once you get home. Eating directly from the bag is always a bad idea.

Keep in mind that you will have to give up some time as you first start food prep. It’s like any skill though, it can be learned. Get the whole family involved! Mom, that means you’ll have to give up your pursuit of perfectly chopped and sliced veggies and let the kids help. It’s better for all of you in the end :) Once I got the hang of food prep, it takes me less than 1 hour to get things ready for the ENTIRE WEEK! Hello? That’s the excuse everybody gives, so I’m calling you out. The easiest way to start is to plan a minimum of 3 days worth of meals and snacks. Once you’re comfortable with that, you can bump it up to 5, then all the way to 6 or 7 without any fuss at all. You’ll find that this will help you stay on track and promote overall better eating habits in your family. Be prepared, and there’s no way you can fail :)

Here’s to living the FIT life!

Michelle

Sample Daily Meal Plan

Hey guys! So, I know for some it’s really hard to figure out WHAT to eat, right? Below is a sample (and simple) daily meal plan that will get you started. Enjoy and remember: nutrition is 80% of HOW you look but 90% of HOW YOU FEEL. Need energy?

Meal 1 (within 1 hour of waking): 3 egg whites + 1 whole egg , scrambled with no oil. 1/2 cup steel cut oats cooked in 1 cup water, add your choice of fruit (up to 1/2 cup) and sweeten to taste if needed.

Meal 2: 20 almonds and 1 large apple

Meal 3: 4 oz tuna, 2 celery stalks (chopped), small bit of onion if desired, 1 teaspoon light mayo, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (mix all together); 10 cherry tomoatoes, 1/2 sliced cucumber, 10 whole grain crackers (or 1 slice whole wheat bread), 1 all natural cheese stick ( I love sargento cheddar, yum!)

Meal 4: 1 scoop whey protein (or SHAKEOLOGY) , 1/2 banana, 4 oz water, 4 oz unsweetened almond milk, 1 handful spinach

Meal 5: 4 oz grilled chicken breast, 1/2 cup cooked whole grain brown rice, 2 cups steamed/roasted veg (light EVOO)

Meal 6: 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (may replace with PLAIN, low fat yogurt), mixed with small handful of fruit if needed*, one 1 oz square dark chocolate

*NOTE: if you tend to hold fat around your midsection (like I do), omit fruit before bed as it will store as fat in the nearest place…the abs.

Be sure to drink a minimum of 3 liters of water per day. This does NOT include flavored beverages.

This meal plan is super easy to follow and hangs out around 1530 calories, provided you stay within the portions. Try it for 5 days and see/feel a difference!

Michelle

RECIPE WEDNESDAY!

I could really come up with something every day of the week! Today is going to be awesome though.

SWEET POTATO FRIES

Oh yeah! Everybody loves fries and I’m giving you, not only a healthier way to cook them, but a healthier fry in and of itself. Read all the way down so you can see come variations, then get in the kitchen and get creative!

Shopping list:

  • 3-4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour*
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Additional spices and herbs: dill, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, parsley, cinnamon (for sweeter fries).

Prep work:

  • Slice potatoes into strips (about the size of your pinky) or chips (small, thin rounds). Try to get them cut as evenly as possible.
  • Place in LARGE bowl. NOTE: I slice them the day before, cover with really cold water and throw in some fresh rosemary= heavenly.
  • Add EVOO and mix. Use your hands, they won’t bite.
  • Add flour* and herbs/spices and mix.
  • Put them evenly on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F for 45 minutes THEN for crisper fries, turn the broiler on HIGH and leave them in for another 10 minutes.
  • Serve warm with a small dusting of sea salt and some no sugar added ketchup.

Now, if you want these to REALLY take on the “fried” texture of fries, you’ll have to do more work. The BEST way I’ve found is to use panko bread crumbs (found in the Asian foods) and egg whites. After mixing everything together, roll the potatoes around in the egg whites then toss them through the bread crumbs. Same cooking process.

*If you have a wheat allergy, you can omit this altogether OR use ground flax, ground millet, or ground spelt.

To be honest I most enjoy these with an open face buffalo and avocado burger, loaded to the brim with fresh veggies, but I cook them almost every week and we have them with everything! Sweet potatoes are one of your true super foods in that they offer up vitamin A, E, and C as well as plenty of good fiber and energy boosting good carbohydrates. Don’t overdo the ketchup and ruin all you’ve worked for though, limit the serving to 1 tablespoon. 3-4 potatoes will get you about 6 generous servings of fries topping out at around 95 calories and 2 grams of fat.

Stay on the FIT track!

Michelle