Tag Archives: Diet

Four Pillar’s: Nutrition

Nutritional deficiency: an inadequate supply of essential nutrients (as vitamins and minerals) in the diet resulting in malnutrition or disease.

 

Nutritional deficiencies are common among most people. In the first link below Dr. Rhonda Patrick talks about how people who don’t take a multivitamin have inadequate vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A. I am not prescribing vitamins but I want to give you an idea of how common it is to be deficient. She goes on to discuss that people who take a multivitamin can still be deficient in these vitamins.

 

If you remember in my last article I talk about optimal levels. I talk about how you don’t have to be deficient in something to feel the symptoms of not being at optimal levels. Now, the best way to know what your levels are at, of anything whether it be hormones or vitamins, is to get blood work. But once you get blood work done you are probably asking “what is an optimal level?” This is where I believe a dietitian can play a huge role. There are many experts online that give free info on such things. My favorites on nutrition are Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Dr. Eric Serrano, and Stan Efferding. Playing with your levels, to a degree, shouldn’t be harmful. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND GETTING YOUR VITAMINS FROM FOOD FIRST! Meaning if you are low in a vitamin try to consume the food that has an abundance of it before mega-dosing with a vitamin supplement.

 

Let’s talk about absorption. Many people like to go out and buy a multivitamin that has every vitamin and mineral. Getting the multivitamin that has 3000% of each thing. Don’t do this. Please. Certain vitamins inhibit other vitamin absorption so you might as well throw that pill into the toilet and save some of your time. Calcium is notorious for this. Calcium is known to inhibit iron and zinc. So if you are taking one of these I would avoid taking them with foods that are high in calcium such as dairy unless prescribed by a doctor or dietitian. Now there is also the opposite, certain vitamins increase absorption. For example, Vitamin D helps calcium absorption. Keep this in mind when taking certain supplements or about to buy some multivitamins that guarantee everything in them.

 

 

I am sure you are reading this saying “well I eat healthily and take a multivitamin so I am probably at optimal levels let alone deficient in the vitamin.” For that reason, Let me share my experience with vitamin deficiency. When training more constantly I would eat red meat as my main source of protein, for more than half my meals. But during this time I was becoming chronically tired, yawning throughout the day, not recovering from workouts, and craving ice-cold water constantly. When I say poor recovery, I mean it once took 7 days to recover from a hamstring workout. I first tried to increase my sleep time from 7-8 hours to over 9 hours; it didn’t work. I started increasing some anaerobic training thinking this would assist in recovery; now I wasn’t recovering from the anaerobic training. I finally reduced my time lifting weights: which made a moderate difference but decreased my progression.  I finally spoke to two different nutritionists. One recommended B vitamins supplement (which I was already taking) and the other recommended an adrenal cleanse. Both did not work. Finally, I had a blood test that showed I was deficient in Iron. Now, if you are thinking this makes no sense considering the amount of red meat I was eating you would be spot on. But then I had another that showed the same results. I started supplementing with 15 mg of iron and after 2 days, my energy levels increased to the equivalent of feeling as though I drank 3 cups of coffee. My workout recovery improved, naps during the day were no longer necessary, and I barely yawn now. It also resulted in drinking far less caffeine. This could be from multiple factors but either way, it’s important to check what you might be missing.

 

By the way, your fancy pre-workout is not going to fix your vitamin deficiency but it will mask it.

Dr. Rhonda Patrick

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0u8UdZeOhc&t=158s

Calcium and Iron 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21462112/

Calcium and Zinc 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9174476/

Vitamin D and Calcium 

https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/osteoporosis/role-calcium-vitamin-d-bone-health

Examples of Combinations of Vitamin’s 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Nutritions-dynamic-duos

Dolce Diet Week 2: CHEATER

Dolce Diet Week 2: CHEATER

 

Week 2:

 

Change is hard.  Ok, so I have a confession. I’m about to be as honest as Usher in the early 00’s right now. You know Eco Bistro right? Well on Thursday’s they have a Pittsburgh steak salad special. Although I grew up in Pittsburgh, I don’t have too many distinct Pittsburgh characteristics. I don’t speak Pittsburghese. I can barely name the three rivers. I’ve never had an Iron City beer. I’m not a Steelers fan, or Penguins, or what’s our other team again? BUT— I LOVE, and I’m talking an unhealthy-obsession-type-LOVE of French-fries on my salads. Lots of them. The more the better. I embrace this part of my Pittsburgh heritage wholeheartedly. Anyway, back to my confession. On Thursday, I broke from the Dolce Diet to indulge in one of those glorious Pittsburgh salads, with extra fries. (GASP!) The worst part? My coworkers managed to get photographic proof (see below). I was caught red handed.

So yeah, I had something not so healthy. I “cheated” on my diet. Did I punish myself with endless, sweaty hours on the treadmill? Nope. The elliptical? Nope. Did I starve myself for the rest of the day to make up for it? Not a chance. Did I at least berate myself a little bit, maybe lament at my inability to stick to the plan? Never. What did I do then? I smirked at my coworkers and enjoyed my French-fries topped with lettuce. The end.

You see, if you know me or have ever come to one of my classes, you hear me talk about balance a lot. And not just necessarily in yoga poses when we balance on our heads. It applies to life too, including our well thought out diet and training plans. Balance is key because we are HUMANS, and we are vastly imperfect. We can’t always stick to the perfect plan. We can’t always be perfect parents or perfect friends or perfect exercisers. We can, however, balance it all out at the end. So, if you had something unhealthy, balance it out with some extra veggies. If you lost your temper and yelled at your kids, give them some extra kisses and snuggles. If you thought negatively about yourself, look in the mirror and say something kind.

I strive for balance but when days like this Thursday (read: French Fry Indulging) roll around, it’s important to leave the guilt and judgement out of it. There is no space in the Dolce Diet, or my life, for demeaning thoughts or feelings of shame. Practice kindness. Practice balance. So, for now, I’m back to my regularly scheduled Dolce Diet plan as I try not to tip the scales too far into French-fry land…until next Thursday, then all bets are off!

Dolce Diet

Dolce Diet

 

Week 1:

 

Change is hard.  Adjusting to something new, whether it’s a new schedule, new workout routine or a new nutrition plan, has many unique challenges. Today I’m about halfway through my first week of the Dolce Diet and if I’m being completely honest, it’s haaaard.  To put it simply, I’m riding the struggle bus—I’m tired, irritable and outright haaaaangry! Just ask my coworkers, they’ll tell you. (Sorry Linds & Casey!!)

As a weightlifter, I’m used to eating CARBS.  I’m talking white rice, whole grain breads, tons of veggies, and yeah, the occasional Rice Krispie treat or ten. I’ve also been known to take down a whole pizza in one sitting, like every Friday night to be exact. In the Dolce Diet, aside from the morning oatmeal, there are minimal carbs. Definitely not as many as I’m used to— so cue the Carb Cravings and the Carb Crash.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Carb Cravings (lucky you!), I’ll try to explain it to you.  Imagine your favorite carb, be it pizza or Rice Krispie treats.  Then imagine that every single person you see morphs into that favorite carb.  Literally just slices of pizza walking around everywhere! You can smell the gooey dough. You can almost taste that salty first bite of cheese. Everything is so real and your brain is telling you to “EAT PIZZA NOW.” That drool inducing phenomenon is what I call the dreaded Carb Cravings. The Carb Crash on the other hand is when you’re knocked back into reality and realize, “Nooooo, they are just people. You can’t eat them. That’d be weird and most definitely highly frowned upon.” The crash is harsh.

So how do I deal? Deep breaths. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.  Savor the food I do eat. Focus on the good, nourishing aspects of my food. Focus on the change. Focus on the end goal but enjoy the process. Focus on my health.

I’ve also realized that I need to heed my own advice.  I often tell my clients to find a balance between the edge of old habits and the challenges of the new, slowly making progress step by step.  I tell them to learn to be comfortably uncomfortable because that’s where we see the greatest changes. I’ve never told anyone it was easy though. Change is hard but I’m not giving up.

My Meals:

 

  • Breakfast for the week: Steel cut oatmeal with chia seeds, hemp seeds, raisins, almond butter and frozen blueberries.
  • Lunches for the week: Egg scramble with turkey bacon, spinach, peppers and tomatoes cooked in avocado oil.
  • Dinners for the week: Wild Salmon with spinach, kale, peppers, and asparagus cooked in coconut oil.