By, Mallory Haldeman November and December tend to be the toughest part of the year for our bodies. There are too many delicious holidays and celebrations crammed into such a small period of time. The temperatures are cooler and the days are shorter which makes comfort food more appealing and gym trips seem much less appealing. This time of year I am usually moving from a building phase into my prep phase. Once I started competing, I found out pretty quickly that the holidays are no time to forget about healthy eating. Since its only the beginning of stricter eating for me, I have a few tips that always help me guide myself healthfully through the holidays while still being able to enjoy myself. I know many people that force themselves to tug along Tupperware to their family gatherings but there is nothing enjoyable in that. Clean eating and the fitness life should never be a drag. It should never keep you from spending time with your family and friends and it should definitely never make you feel like you have to "pass" on everything that you haven't prepped for yourself in your 6x6 inch gladware :) Nothing bothers me more this time of year than listening to people tell me how they "passed" on everything. I am a REAL person. I like chocolate and anything with cheese in it, and I have NEVER had stuffing that I did not LOVE! During December, I keep my meals fairly simple but never as strict. I focus on hitting 3 main meals a day and will have 2-3 snacks. I typically keep low carb year round but the biggest change is in my fat intake. Carbs only increase slightly. (usually based around training) Here is an example of what my day might look like: Breakfast : 3 whole eggs + 2-3oz of chicken prepped with a handful of green veggies Lunch: Bison patty with 1/2 avocado and a small salad Post training :2 scoops whey + 2 rice cakes with almond butter Dinner: 4-5 oz lean turkey + small yam Bedtime: egg white omelet made with 4-5 egg whites and spinach Keeping my meals clean and simple, and continuing to keep up with my 5-6 cardio sessions a week helps me stay lean while never really having to "pass" on anything that I really want to enjoy. If i have to go to my Grandmother's house on Christmas eve and not get to enjoy a serving of her famous stuffing and one of her lemon bars, I will be thoroughly upset. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. I don't over eat, and I don't opt for a cookie every time I am faced with one, but if you never give your body a rest and you can't relax enough to enjoy a nice meal with your family, then what is really that enjoyable about your "fitness" lifestyle? Don't pass on that delicious stuffing this holiday, and enjoy the gatherings with your friends and family.
By, Charlotte Snow Newsflash! There is a food (well condiment) that may help you stop going for that extra piece…or two of pizza! Believe it or not, some studies have been done to show sprinkling red chili peppers atop of your food might just help you to stop eating when you’re full. Where did this information come from you ask? A study from the journal Appetite has been conducted to gage the effects “spicing up” your food would have on total food consumption. A group of people, all ranging in the early 30’s age bracket were asked to be a part of this four session study, conducted over 36 hours. In the first go around, the subjects were given various foods to eat. In the second session, the people were given the same exact foods but with red pepper flakes added to the meals. They repeated this two more times…had the same foods, the third time not spiced up, and the second time spiced up. After each meal the subjects were given pizza to eat freely…as much as they wanted, they could have. So….what happened?? Well, the study showed that the participants ate 30 percent LESS pizza after eating the meals with chili pepper flakes then without the spice! What’s even better? They also reported feeling more full overall after eating the food kicked up a notch. Here’s the deal… if you are taking in enough calories to maintain satiety for your body weight daily, the pepper flakes may help prevent you from eating too much for the fact that their flavor is so strong and savory. It was concluded that by spicing up your food, it may force you to slow down while you are eating and really enjoy each bite. By slowing down, your brain will have the chance to let your belly know it’s had enough before you’ve gone overboard! Maybe try spicing up your food this week and see if it helps you consume less calories!
By, Charlotte Snow Okay, for those of us who are fitness competitors, we all know ridiculously intense our diets are during competition season! I mean, we are talking no joking around, crazy, hard - core diets. When clients or friends express interest dieting down to achieve this “stage look”, but have no intention of ever competing, I try to explain to them that eating healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a much healthier, better route to go. When we, competitors, are on prep, we are weighing all of our food, literally every ounce of food we consume we strategically weigh and pack in Tupperware to take with us for the day. We have to make sure there is no added salt, unknown spice or any kind of oil or such on our food. So, we are limited in the sense that we can’t easily just grab something on the road. Seems kind of strict, huh? Well, it is. This is my life on season. No questions asked. However, off season is a little less strict. I still weigh and pack my food for the day, because I do stick to an off season diet, but, if I am out and want to grab lunch with a friend, I can easily order something healthy at a restaurant. I allow myself the freedom to change up my meals. As long as I am eating healthy, making clean choices and sticking within my range of macros for the day, I am okay. I maintain my healthy lifestyle, a physique I am happy with and optimal energy! This is what I recommend to anyone looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I would never put my clients who are uninterested in competing on a strict competition diet. It’s hard, very trying and truly unnecessary if you’re not planning to step on stage.
What is organic exactly? Organic food is food produced without the use of artificial or chemically formulated substances. GM, genetically modified, have been researched to have negative side effects on rats. There are studies that show depressed immune systems, reproductive dysfunction, cancer, allergies, toxicity and more. Genetically modified foods are suspected to cause allergies and decreases your immune system. Here are some of the other benefits to going organic: Less Antibiotics Organically raised animals are not given antibiotic additives; therefore organic diary and meats products do not contain these residues. Consistent exposure to low doses of antibiotic residues can also disrupt the normal flora for humans. This will reduce the number of “good” bacteria and leaving humans more vulnerable to harmful bacteria and illness. This is how the immune system can get weakened. Less Pesticides Many consumers choose organic produce because they desire to lower their exposure to the pesticides found on commercial produce. Certified organic produce is free from pesticide residues. Higher Antioxidants Antioxidants are important nutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables. They have great benefits such as prevention of many cancers. Some studies show that organic foods may have more antioxidants compared to the genetically modified fruits and vegetables. Better Taste Try tasting an organic fruit or vegetable compared to commercial ones. Many fruits and vegetables look better, but the taste will have no comparison. Eating all organic can be pricey, so if you want to start of small there are some foods that tend to be higher in pesticides. These foods you would want to consider getting organic: Meat and poultry Dairy products Strawberries Bell peppers Spinach; Cherries Peaches Celery Apples Green Beans