Tag Archives: Diet

Nutrition Debunking (Part Two)

Have you ever noticed that a lot of “fad diets” really stray away from consumption of carbs or labels will market foods as “low-carb,” this is a primary example of society conditioning us to believe a certain food group is bad without really allowing ourselves to process the truth. I’m going to flat out say it, CARBOHYDRATES ARE NOT BAD.

 

So, the question remains, why are we conditioned to believe carbs are bad? All good and tasty things we love have carbohydrates in them, such as: pastries, bread and snack foods. Ultimately these are things you want to eat in moderation but the sheer fact that carbs are marketed as bad leads us to believe we shouldn’t eat even the ones that do benefit us. The reality here is if the average person really looked into what they should be eating, we would find that most humans, if not all should be getting in at least 100g – 200g of carbs a day based on their specific needs and daily caloric intake. A lot of times when I have clients come to me I’m noticing if not all are in a deficit and not fueling their body properly, this comes as a shock when I actually start introducing more food into their diets. The responses I get are, “I feel like I’m eating too much,” “I feel like this is way too many carbs” – Mostly these feelings stem from eating whole and nutrient dense carbs (rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes) energy sources that will keep you fuller for a longer period of time vs pastries, bread and snack foods that only curb that hunger feeling for maybe less than an hour.

 

The reason we see low-carb diets advertised for weight-loss is because it’s an easier grab of the consumers attention then actually taking the time to educate a client on eating in a deficit and working out as a sustainable approach. This is why diet culture is insanely toxic for the human mind/body and also at the same time very profitable. Like I said in part one of my Nutrition Debunking series, quick-fixes do not yield long-term results. The idea here that makes diet culture so profitable is that it requires the consumer to continuously come back for more, it’s basically an endless cycle of dieting. Do you really want to spend your entire life dieting on and off? I’d hope not. Telling the consumer carbs are bad or to eat low-carb creates lack of trust in an energy sources that our bodies need, we’ll get used to eating a lower and lower amount of calories until we are starving ourselves and then we’ll binge and find ourselves chasing that low-carb diet again that some Instagram influencer told us to do because juice cleanses are needed to feel “refreshed” again.

 

Honestly, aren’t you sick of dieting? Aren’t you tired of always feeling like you can’t have this or that? True nutrition education teaches nutrition professionals how to bring awareness to sustainable weight-loss that yields long-term results, habit building and trust creating relationships with all types of food. The truth to the whole “carbs are bad” or eating only “low-carb” is that it’s indeed fake news. You can have that doughnut or muffin and go about your day not feeling bad or feeling like you threw your whole day off because of one thing. Allow yourself to have the pastry and then go about your day choosing whole and nutrient dense foods, making good choices that fuel your body and making sure you are eating around your body weight in protein.

 

It is my ultimate goal to educate people on eating well and never telling yourself you can’t have something because honestly thats just dumb, why would you ever avoid foods that make you happy. Life is all about balance and being insanely restrictive isn’t fun, it creates stress, makes you unhappy and feel inadequate – Trust me I’ve done the whole restrictive thing. When we let ourselves enjoy we want it less, the desire to binge becomes undesirable and honestly we become a happier, healthier version of ourself. 

 

If you’re ever curious as to what you should be consuming, grab me and pull me to the side in the gym or DM me on Instagram (@jlemay). I’d rather spend 30 min with you making sure you are fueling your body and feeling your best than have you spend the rest of your life feeling like you have no idea what you’re doing or that you’re not seeing the results you want to see.

NUTRITION DEBUNKING (PART ONE)

What’s up guys, Jocelyn here. I’m super excited, overly passionate and invested about anything and everything nutrition related. After finishing my Nutrition Coaching cert through Precision Nutrition I’ve had so many opportunities to personally help and/or guide people through their own nutrition journeys. I’ve found consistently, even from just coaching in general that there are A LOT of nutrition myths out there, thus another nutritious blog post from yours truly (see what I did there?).

 

Misinformation exists, especially in the fitness world and it’s a huge problem for professionals in this industry trying to properly educate individuals. The market for dieting is growing every year, from weight-loss supplements, juice cleanses and meal plan templates, we are seeing the biggest marketing scheme for “quick-fixes” take over the health and wellness industry.

 

In this blog post I’m going to focus specifically on the diet culture within the fitness industry and providing educational and informational responses on why these chosen paths for weight-loss are ultimately damaging not only for your body but mental health as well.

 

Let me first clear things up, there are no quick fixes especially when it comes to weight-loss.

 

Getting right into it, I want to start off with this idea that we need to eat 1200 calories a day in order to see weight-loss happen. Here’s what will happen if you only consume 1200 calories, you will lose weight (awesome right? Not exactly), you will also lose some fat but also muscle. The biggest problem with restrictive eating is that your metabolism will eventually get used to eating at such a low caloric intake that you will have to continue to eat less and less calories to see progress in your weight-loss. The issue with this is that it creates an unhealthy relationship with food, it creates stress and stress comes with a whole list of things it does to your body. Having such a mentality leads to disordered eating, labeling food as “good or bad” and then eventually binging because you’ve deprived your body of what it needs for so long, this is not only harmful for your body but also your mind.

 

No person on this earth except for a child under eight that doesn’t exercise should be eating less than 1200 calories (according to the 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines). As we get older the baseline amount of calories we need to function properly go up and they will also vary dependent on how active of a lifestyle we live and if/how hard we workout. This is why a one-size meal plan templates does not work and why juice cleanses are a superficial. The main reason why a one-size meal plan doesn’t work (side note: it may work for some people when its a customized plan for their specific needs) however, we are all different and that means the amount of calories we need is different from say myself and what my fellow co-worker Curtis needs to fuel his Powerlifting training. Therefore, buying a one-size fits all meal plan template from an Instagram influencer might not be the best move for long-term sustainable success.

 

Let’s move onto juice cleanses, a market that has generated $215 million dollars in 2012 (according to market research firm NPD group via Harvard Health). The biggest issue I have personally with juice cleanses is that they claim to “detoxify” your body when in actuality your body comes equipped with a natural detox system AKA your kidneys and liver. If you have healthy kidneys and liver they will filter blood, expel toxins and cleanse your body 24/7. Juice cleanses will profit off of detox marketing and misguide people thinking this is what they need to do to rid their body of waste so that they feel healthier. These cleanses are generally low in calories and in-turn result in weight loss, however the real question here is what do the participants do once they have finished their cleanse? Just because you rid your body of all the “toxins” within it doesn’t mean you can go back to how you were eating before and evermore your internal desire to binge will be high due to restricting yourself for days. We also need to pay attention to how much protein the body is getting, even if you are vegan/vegetarian these diets still get a healthy amount of protein to maintain muscle mass. Juice cleanses have little to no protein in them, overall the juice cleanse is just a “quick-fix” to a long-term problem.

 

Good nutrition comes from education on whole and nutrient dense foods, a stress-free and relationship centered focus in regards to food. Restricting calories, following diets that are a one-size fits all approach or thinking quick-fixes are going to get the job done is not going to promote health for the long-term. Nutrition Coaches like my myself focus solely on making sure the client in eating enough food to sustain a healthy weight while also reaching their goals, the biggest myth of all is that you need to starve yourself to lose weight when in reality you probably need to eat more than you already are now to achieve your weight-loss goals.

 

Next time you’re scrolling through social media pay closer attention to what type of information you’re taking in and if you have specific nutrition questions, stop me in the gym next time you see me and/or stay tuned for part two!

 

Much love,

 

J

 

References:

Publishing, Harvard Health. “Juicing — Fad or Fab” Harvard Health, health.harvard.edu/healthy-eating/juicing-fad-or-fab.

“Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015” 2020 8th Edition 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/.

Toria’s Trip

Hello! I’m one of the new kids here at UF. I wanted to introduce myself and share a little bit of my story with you all. So… I graduated from Slippery Rock University with my BS in Exercise Science and from the University of Pittsburgh with my MS in Health, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease. I am currently an Exercise Physiologist at a research lab at the University of Pittsburgh, and a desk worker/soon to be trainer at UF. Now that you know my education and work background, let’s get into the fun stuff. 

 

When I was a student in college, I had gained just about 50 lbs over the course of those few years from being lazy and unmotivated. I believe I gained 25 of those 50 lbs in just one year. I only saw the inside of a gym maybe a few times per year. I was very unhappy with myself and didn’t care enough to try and lose the weight. I would eat fast food and drink pop (or “soda” for you oddballs out there) literally all of the time. I don’t think I really even knew what a vegetable tasted like. My physical and mental health both went down a steep hill. 

 

A little over a year ago, my doctor ordered a blood test because of the rapid weight gain and how badly I had been feeling. The test revealed that I had abnormally high LDL cholesterol levels (LDL = the “bad” cholesterol). At the age of 22 it definitely isn’t normal to have high cholesterol with no history of it in my family. Since I’m young it doesn’t seem like a huge concern, but I sure was scared for my future health. Not long after that news, I discovered a local CrossFit gym that I figured I could try out. I was intimidated and very unsure of it at the time, but I immediately fell in love with exercise and fitness. I ended up bringing my cholesterol levels down, losing all of that extra weight I had gained in college, gaining some solid muscle mass and a lot of confidence along the way. When I first started out, I could barely do a few pushups even from my knees and that extra weight I was carrying put a lot of stress on my joints. Now I can exercise with no pain, do movements I wasn’t able to before, and I feel great while doing it.    

 

I found a love and passion for exercise, and I realized that it’s something I will never give up on unless something crazy were to happen to me. Exercise is truly one of the greatest things on this earth. To be able to physically perform and experience what it can do to you is definitely a blessing as not everyone in this world is able to. On this journey I have learned that fitness is not about being better than someone else, it’s 100% about being better than YOU used to be. If you put even just a little bit of focus on yourself and your physical/mental health progress, it can truly go a long way. I hope my story helps you realize and remember that even with some of the setbacks that come throughout life, you can do anything you put your mind and body to!

 

Stay healthy friends!

 

Toria

Now That’s NEAT!

“Low energy flux, but not energy surplus, predicted future increases in body fat. Furthermore, high energy flux appeared to prevent fat gain in part because it was associated with a higher resting metabolic rate.”
-Hume et. al 2016

 

I often share this advice as one of the most actionable items for a fat loss client. Daily movement can be the secret weapon in achieving your fat loss goals. We are designed to move as humans, and we should be moving often. However, today’s society tries to make us move less and make life even more convenient than how it was for our ancestors. What’s worse, when we are in a caloric deficit and trying to lose fat, our brains may try to fight against us and down-regulate movement since we are consuming less calories. We need to be conscious of our movement and make it a daily habit like brushing your teeth and bathing. You do those things, right? Right?

 

I’ve had this conversation quite frequently over the past months: “I’ve gained weight during COVID-19 despite continuing to train or keeping my diet the same. What should I do?” While there are many factors why this could be, a big culprit in many might be the loss of NEAT.

 

NEAT is roughly attributed to 15-20% of your total daily energy expenditure. NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or purposeful exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, household chores, and even fidgeting. If you had a job that required you to be on your feet prior to COVID-19 and now you are exiled to your couch, this can be why those pounds seem to be racking up.

 

Research by Shook et. al showed that a threshold for achieving energy balance occurred at an activity level corresponding to 7116 steps per day, an amount achievable by most adults. This research also showed that “the theory of the zone of regulation is important because it relates the accumulation of adipose tissue as not only occurring as a result of low amounts of energy expended but also that physical activity plays a regulatory role in the amount of energy consumed via appetite signals.” So what this means if that NEAT is low, you likely won’t be able to regulate your appetite and there’s a greater likelihood of storing fat. I hope this gives you closure knowing that there was always a deeper reason why you were diving headfirst into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s on a Sunday night. Blame it on your lack of NEAT, anyone?

 

As part of a daily checklist for my fat loss clients, I require them to perform 10,000 steps. Put on a podcast/audio book, call an old friend while walking, or simply enjoy your time to yourself while exploring a new route and become one with nature. If you are a busy professional, consider taking walking meetings or perform 10 -minute walks. A 10 minute walk every 60-90 minutes can do wonders for NEAT and will probably provide better mental focus as well. No matter how you choose to do it, my advice is the same: get up and get moving! 

 

References 

 

Hume, D. J., Yokum, S., & Stice, E. (2016). Low energy intake plus low energy expenditure (low energy flux), not energy surfeit, predicts future body fat gain. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 103(6), 1389-1396. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.127753

 

Shook, R. P., Hand, G. A., Drenowatz, C., Hebert, J. R., Paluch, A. E., Blundell, J. E., . . . Blair, S. N. (2015). Low levels of physical activity are associated with dysregulation of energy intake and fat mass gain over 1 year. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 102(6), 1332-1338. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.115360

Chef CeJ

Hello Union Chefs

 

Today it’s time to get on the line and run a dish on the fly (chef jargon).

 

Here is what is on the menu at Cafe de Union;

 

Fresh As Heck Cucumber & Tomato Salad

 

Quiche Me I’m Irish…Maybe

 

Pineapple Express & Spicy Shrimp Battle Spears

 

Shake Shake Shake Shakshuka 

 

FAH Cuc & Tomato Salad Recipe

 

I’m a big farmers market fan and do my best to get the majority of my produce from these cool pop up markets. Thankfully Union’s own Big Cod “Farmer Fran” Miller brought in some of that fresh fresh produce.

 

Ingredients: Cucumber, Tomato, Hot Pepper, Green Pepper, Garlic, Olives, Onions, Olive Oil, Wine Vinegar, Salt , a weeee bit of Suggaa. Slice, dice, pour, mix, clap your hands and just like that you have yourself a Fresh As Heck Salad!

 

Quiche me I’m Irish…formerly known as Quiche By A Rose Recipe 

 

I like pies and I like breakfast things, so we put it all together.

 

Ingredients: All the Veggies you like, Hot Peppers, Sweet Pepper, Onions, Garlic, Tomatoes, Parsley, Fan Favorite Cheese, Eggs, Heavy Whip It Good Cream, Salt, Pepper, Pie Crust.

 

Sauté up the veggies while the pie crust is baking in the oven and then toss those veggies into a bowl with the eggs, cream and whip it up real good. When you’re ready, pour the mixture into the pie crust and let that puppy bake for about 20-30 minutes. Slice it up and enjoy.

 

Spicy Shrimp Battle Spears Recipe

 

Sweet heat on a fresh Summa Day!

 

Ingredients: Shrimps, Pineapples, Zucchini, Squash, Onions, Sweet Peppers, Mushrooms, Jalapeno, Garlic, Olive Oil, Lime, Red Pepper Flakes, Salt and whatever else you want to toss on the stick. Toss it in foil or right on the grill and let the magic happen.

 

Shake Shake Shake Shakshuka Recipe 

 

A meal all in 1 cast iron skillet.

 

Ingredients: Onions, Garlic, Peppers, Tomato Sauce, Tomatoes Diced, Eggs, Paprika, Chili Powder, Salt, Pepper, Cilantro & Parsley. Sautee all the veggies and sauce in the skillet. After about 10 minutes use a spoon to make a pot hole to crack 1 egg per hole in. Cover the skillet for a few minutes (depending on how “dippy” you like your eggs) Then garnish with the herbs, wipe the drool off your mouth and feast my friends.

 

As always, have fun cooking and devouring new meals! Stay spicy my young Chefs.

 

Cheers,

 

Chef CeJ

It Goes Beyond the Gym

You’ve probably heard it before, “ you can’t outwork a bad diet.” I mean you can try but at some point you’ll either hit a plateau with your goals or you’ll start feeling “blah” and those are things that happen when either you’re not eating enough or you’re not fueling your body with the proper nutrients it needs to perform simple daily tasks.

 

If you’re an athlete within your respected sport or a member of Union Fitness coming in at 5:30PM to get bumpy with CJ in #Powerful, you’ve probably more than likely heard someone or our staff briefly mention anything in regards to nutrition. Not only do we want our clients to perform to the best of their abilities but we also want them to feel good in their everyday life. This all starts and ends with the basics of good nutrition. Good nutrition can be defined as eating whole and nutrient dense foods. Generally in a good diet we want to look for foods that contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fats. These foods include, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and lean protein (when prepared with little to no saturated facts or added sugars/sodium).

 

So back to the all defining phrase, “you can’t outwork a bad diet.” For example, let’s use an early 30’s female, who works a full-time job, eats out a lot, workouts 1 hour a day and likes to enjoy a glass of wine before ending her evening – This would be what her day looks like.

 

6AM Wake-Up

 

Breakfast: breakfast sandwich from fast-food chain + coffee

Heads into work for 9AM

Lunch: chicken salad with ranch and a diet soda

Afternoon snack: greek yogurt with granola + water

Leaves work at 5PM

Takes CJ’s 5:30PM #Powerful

Dinner: burger and fries + glass of wine

 

Now let’s break this down a little, overall she’s not eating terribly but we can nit pick at a few things. First, she’s not eating enough and more specifically she’s not eating enough whole and nutrient dense foods. Secondly, her fast-food breakfast sandwich, diet soda and a burger/fries will eventually leave her feeling the “blah” sensation at some point (if her eating is consistently like this). Her water intake is also very low and my overall observation is she just needs to replace a few things that would fuel her body better.

 

Let’s take a look at the same woman but with a better understanding of eating well.

 

6AM Wake-Up

 

Breakfast: glass of water, breakfast wrap (homemade) + coffee

Heads into work for 9AM

Snack: greek yogurt with granola/blueberries + water

Lunch: glass of water, chicken salad with balsamic dressing and a soda water

Afternoon Snack: Protein bar, banana + glass of water

Leaves work at 5PM

Takes CJ’s 5:30PM #Powerful

Post-Workout: Protein shake + granola bar

Dinner: Seafood pasta + glass of wine

 

After she has learned the basics of good nutrition she implemented a few things, increasing her water intake, increasing her protein intake, choosing drink options that are healthier and making sure her meals are portioned and opting for more homemade meals and whole foods. She is eating more and fueling her body for the simple things like daily tasks whilst getting the nutrients she needs to help her get through a PM workout.

 

The goal here is to understand that regardless if you want to gain muscle or lose weight, you’re going to need to eat but what your nutritional plan looks like is going to be specific to your own goals and your genetic makeup. While we’re at it too, diet culture has long engrained in us that we need to eat less to lose weight and thats not necessary the case (but thats another blog post for another time).

 

It all comes down to fueling your body for daily life and working out. So, whatever your goals may be keep in mind whole and nutrient dense foods are the answer, shop the perimeter of your grocery store and allow yourself to eat the things you love in moderation.

 

Much love,

 

J

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.