In Summer of 2020, my health began to take a dive. Years of chronic dieting, over-exercising, negative self-talk, and hormonal birth control was taking its toll. I was eating next to no carbs, minimal sugar, low fat, no dairy, lean protein only, working out 6 days a week, hours of cardio & felt terrible physically, mentally and emotionally. I began to take a hard look at the way I was living/eating/training and how it was working against my physiology.
When I began my healing journey and found the “pro-metabolic” community, I wasn’t looking for more diet dogma, but to improve my overall metabolic function and support progesterone creation and a healthy ovulation. Gaining weight was a necessary part of the equation. and when Discussing this with @fundamental.nourishment she brought this research to my attention 🤓
We can easily fall into the traps of the diet and fitness industry. We constantly chase perfection and the desire to alter our bodies because we live with the belief that we are not good enough. We want to be a smaller size, a smaller number on the scale.
Recreating the relationship that we have with exercise and why we do it, is one of the most important aspects of shifting from restrictive-driven behaviors to cultivating a happy and lasting lifestyle that is pleasant to keep up.
Exercise addiction is a state characterized by a compulsive engagement in any form of physical exercise, despite negative consequences.
While regular exercise is generally a healthy activity, exercise addiction generally involves performing excessive amounts of exercise to the detriment of physical health.
It may also involve a state of dependence upon regular exercise, which involves the occurrence of severe withdrawal symptoms when the individual is unable to exercise.
Exercise addiction shows a high comorbidity with eating disorders with approximately 39-48% of people that have an eating disorder being addicted to exercise.
TLDR: An unhealthy relationship with exercise tends to involve rules and rigidity, be joyless, shame-based, and shame inducing.
A healthy relationship with exercise tends to be flexible and fulfilling. It varies in the type of movement we are doing and the amount of time we are devoting to that activity.
Over a year ago when the gyms shut down, it illuminated that I had obsessive compulsive exercise behaviors. I NEEDED the gym. It was my therapy. Now I know, therapy is therapy. And while exercise can enhance our mental state, for me how I was doing it, was destroying my mental & physical health.
🙌🏼Freedom is exactly what I wanted, I wanted to live my life full of joy and experiences, outside of obsessing about my food and workouts.
🙌🏼And now I am doing just that.
💯 I choose every day to nourish my body, to eat enough food, I give myself plenty of permission for rest days, I strength training 4 times a week max. My health is improving, my soul is thriving! Patience is 🔑
It’s common for new clients to hire a personal trainer wanting to lose weight (fat loss). While I understand the desire to do this, we can and will get there.. We usually have to enter a different kind of approach before we can actually “diet” for fat loss because our first intention must be to achieve optimal psychological & physiological baselines.
Most clients have struggled with yo-yo dieting, binge eating, poor relationship with food, negative body image and sporadic consistency with their workouts. When we first discuss the concept of dieting in reverse, they are naturally hesitant because it’s quite different than what they are used to. 😲
The amazing part throughout this process they realize that achieving maintenance is a massive progress flex! 💪🏻 It still requires lots of effort and consistency.
In maintenance phase you experience:
🔘Better sleep 🔘Improved performance 🔘More muscle 🔘Not 🤔 about 🥘 all the time 🔘Stable energy 🔘Less mood swings😃 🔘Ability to be social🥂 🔘Restore hormone balance 🔘Increased libido😈
It’s important to spend enough time optimizing your metabolism, building muscle, and enjoying your life, so that when & if the time does come to enter a diet phase, things will be easier, an the progress will be sustainable.
All nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes contain anti-nutrients that require neutralization. Nuts and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors that actually block digestion – and this can potentially cause negative effects on the body. Grains and legumes contain phytic acid that robs the body of super important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc, and iron. The overall impacts are negative because of the frequency and quantity in which these foods are present in the modern diet.
Soaking grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes generally involve adding the food to a bowl, covering the food in the bowl with water, adding a neutralizer, letting the food sit at room temperature for a while, and then draining.
If you decide to eat grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, always make sure to follow the guidelines below to prepare them for optimal nutrition (bio-availability) and health.
I do not recommend eating these foods all day every day, because even when soaked it can still be quite rough on the digestive system for some.
Quinoa: Place 2 cups of quinoa into a large mixing bowl and cover with 6 cups of filtered water. Stir in 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, or whey. Cover and leave the bowl at room temperature for 24 hours. Drain, rinse and cook as usual.
Rice + Millet: Place 2 cups of grain in a large mixing bowl and cover with 2 cups of warm filtered water. Stir in 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or whey. Cover the bowl and leave at room temperature for about 7 hours. Drain, rinse and cook as usual.
Oatmeal: Place 2 cups of grain in a large mixing bowl and cover with 2 cups of warm filtered water. Stir in 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or whey. Cover and leave the bowl at room temperature for about 7 hours to 24 hours. Drain, rinse and cook as usual.
All Other Grains: place 2 cups of grains in a large mixing bowl and cover with 2 cups of warm filtered water. Stir in 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or whey. Cover and leave the bowl at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Drain, rinse and cook as usual or dry in a dehydrator.
Kidney-, Navy-, Black-, Pinto-, White Beans: Place 2 cups of beans into a large mixing bowl and cover with warm filtered water. Stir in 2 pinches of baking soda. Cover and leave the bowl at room temperature soaking for at least 18-24 hours. Every 7 or so hours drain the beans, rinse the beans, and cover with warm filtered water again, and stir in another 2 pinches of baking soda.
Drain, rinse and cook in a large stockpot, dutch oven, or a slow cooker.
Garbanzo -, Fava Beans, Split Peas: Place 2 cups of beans into a large mixing bowl and cover with warm filtered water. Stir in 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Cover and leave the bowl at room temperature to soak for at least 24 hours.
Drain, rinse and cook in a large stockpot, dutch oven, or a slow cooker.
Lentils: Place 2 cups of lentils into a large mixing bowl and cover with warm filtered water. Stir in 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Cover and leave the bowl at room temperature to soak for at least 7 hours.
Drain, rinse and cook in a large stockpot, dutch oven, or a slow cooker.
Soaking Nuts & Seeds
All Nuts And Seeds: Place 4 cups of raw, shelled nuts into a large mixing bowl. Cover with filtered water and stir in 1 tbsp of Celtic sea salt. Cover the bowl leave it at room temperature to soak.
♦♦ See the chart below for specific times.
Drain and rinse the nuts or seeds and place them in a dehydrator. | Alternatively spread the nuts or seeds on a large baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper and dehydrate them in a warm over (under 150 ˚F) for 12-24 hours, you want them to have that crunch. I usually let the nuts dehydrate overnight when I use the oven. |
♦ Almonds: 8-12 hours ♦ Brazil Nuts: 4-6 hours ♦ Cashews: 3-6 hours ♦ Flaxseeds: 8 hours ♦ Hazelnuts: 7-8 hours ♦ Hempseeds: do not soak ♦ Macadamia: do not soak ♦ Pecans: 4-6 hours ♦ Pepita/Pumpkin Seeds: 8 hours ♦ Pistachios: do not soak ♦ Pine Nuts: do not soak ♦ Sesame Seeds: 7-8 hours ♦ Sunflower Seeds: 2-4 hours ♦ Walnuts: 4 hours
Sprouting Grains, Seeds, Nuts & Legumes
There are four simple steps to sprouting grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Step 1: Using a large bowl soak your grains, legumes, nuts, or seeds in water. Make sure that the water is double the amount of the item being soaked. Leave at room temperature for the specified amount of time listed below. If you desire you may rinse and change the water halfway through the soaking time.
Step 2: Drain the liquid, rinse, and fill the bowl back up with fresh water. Next, drain the liquid at an angle to create a humid environment (use a mesh lid on a mason jar). The goal is to keep the kernels moist until they sprout a bud. This happens when the kernels are exposed to light and moisture.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 every few hours, but at least twice daily.
Step 4: In 1-4 days, your sprouted grain, nut, bean, or seed should be ready to use.
Your workout may be where you “feel” like you’re getting results, but it’s actually proper nutrition + your workouts that plays a larger role in the results factor.
🍌Nutrient timing is purposely choosing foods around your workouts that will nourish and support your cells for the upcoming physical activity.
It was found that the net protein balance was greater when consuming the protein + carbs before exercise rather than post exercise.
What does this mean? You get a greater anabolic response (protein synthesis= growth) when consuming pre-workout nutrition compared to post workout nutrition. You get more amino acids into your muscles both during and after exercise when consuming pre-workout nutrition.
💥 PRE-WORKOUT NUTRITION💥:
•Ideal pre-work meal is mostly carbohydrate based.
•20 minutes to 1 hour before exercise:
Simple carbohydrates from fruit like dates, raisins or banana, or a coconut water can give you quick energy. Or a small serving of yogurt with fresh fruit. My favorite is the adrenal elixir with some collagen. AIM for: 6 G protein & 35 g carbs minimum
Examples: Oatmeal+ collagen with fresh fruit or greek yogurt, rice cake with jelly and dates, sweet potatoes and eggs with fruit.
❓What about protein before workouts? There is evidence that consuming protein before a workout is beneficial, and while these recommendations include protein, you could increase the amount in your pre-workout meal–experiment with anywhere between 6-20 g and see what works for you!
❓What about eating a high fat meal before a workout? Fat is the most complex fuel for your body to break down and absorb, and while it’s important for overall health, I recommend consuming low-to moderate fat intake with your pre & post workout meals.
💪POST WORKOUT NUTRITION 💪
Eating post workout within the right time frame following your workout plays a huge role in your recovery and training progress. And when it comes to fueling after exercise, I bet there’s little surprise that women are different than men. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re trying to maximize your recovery: 👇 . 💪 Women’s metabolism comes back down to baseline within 90 minutes after exercise whereas men might take 3-18 hours, depending on the exercise.
💪 We need to eat protein (aim for 25-30 grams with 5-7 grams BCAAs) with a bit of carbohydrate as soon as possible after exercise – especially if you’re doing a depleting exercise like cardio. Ideally, aim to eat within 30-45 minutes after finishing your workout.
💪 If you delay calorie intake, you stay in a breakdown state. In short, your body won’t start repairing until you take in some food.
💪 Even if you eat enough in the rest of your day to meet what your body needs, not eating post-workout acts the same as not eating enough.
Fuel for what you’re doing, and fuel for the recovery that your body needs afterwards!
Have you ever thought about WHY you are engaging in your fitness & nutrition routine?
🧠Intention is is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought.
Body Neutral Fitness is shifting the intention behind WHY you want to workout.
Instead of aesthetics being the main intention, the focus is more on how you want to FEEL and cultivating a more positive body image through developing body appreciation
It can be easy to fall into the trap of pointing out what you are insecure about, or hearing someone else do the same. But try to avoid this, or at least notice when you are doing it and how it makes you feel. Redirect the conversation to another topic
Body neutral fitness is about nourishing our bodies with foods full of vitamins and nutrients that you need, but also not depriving ourselves of delicious treats. We do not engaging in restrictive dieting behaviors.
Exercise is not meant to be a punishment. If your body needs a rest day, then give it a rest day. I work closely with my clients to build their programming with activities that they enjoy. More recreation, more walks and MORE FUN!
For me, I’ve spent years dieting and exercising to change my body and make her look a certain way. To be accepted. To be seen as worthy.
I’ve torn down my old identity and entire sense of self and rebuilt a new version from the ashes of who I once was.
I’ve shared a bit about this process, how a lot of it revolved around SELF-ESTEEM and improving my concept of self.
Contrast can be an amazing teacher. When we experience things we do NOT want or like, it provides clarity and insight into what we DO want.
🌱You’ve got to CHOOSE growth 🔝 We can either go through life, or GROW through it. 🌱
Growth hurts. & it’s always worth it. It’s also never ending. 📈
Health is not a destination that you “arrive” to and stay. 📍
It’s a flowing, growing, shifting, seasonal journey. 🗺
This past year I’ve done some deep soul digging to rebuild my identity around fitness to be coming from a place of excitement and joy !
“The deeper your why, the higher you fly”
Ready to make the shift into Body neutral fitness? Apply for coaching HERE
✅ Schedule it in & Commit When time is your biggest challenge when it comes to exercise, then knowing what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it is very important! At the beginning of each week, schedule your workouts like you schedule your meetings or appointments. Create a plan, know what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it, and commit! You can even have an alternative day to make up your workout if something does happen.
✅Morning or Earlier in the day workouts. Plan your workouts in the morning or during your lunch breaks. This way you dedicate that time for you before the day slips away. Being busy throughout the day usually leads to fatigue by the end of the day and can make commitments to workouts later in the day harder.
✅ Boost Your Daily Activities Try giving some of your daily activities a boost to get your movement in. Take advantage of every situation. This can be parking a little farther from the grocery store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking while chatting on the phone, or walking during meetings that you do not have to participate in.
✅ Change Your Mindset Around Movement Movement should not be looked at as an activity that you dread or that takes over your life. We want to view movement as a GIFT to yourself not a chore. If you wake up and think “I don’t have time to workout today” you’re most likely not going to find the time to get it done. If you wake up thinking of it as a priority and how much better you’re going to feel after its done you are more likely to find the time.
✅ Make It Enjoyable Do something that you actually enjoy. It’s easier to get something done when you like the activity. Focus on what makes you feel the best, helps you to reach your goals, and is rewarding for your mind and body.
Change of any kind intimidating and it may seem like you have a long way to go in achieving your goals…
Here are some tips for hacking consistency:
1️⃣Focus on 1-2 habits that you can easily commit to start. Get into the groove with them. Next, build one or two habits on top of those, this concept is called habit stacking.
Example: Two daily habits could be eating protein with almost every meal and getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Next you could focus on drinking water first thing before coffee and adding in a morning stretch routine.
Building on habits is what creates a routine.
A routine is what creates consistency. Consistency is what creates results.
This is why fad diets, 30 day challenges and 75 hard is a waste of your time. If it’s not based around your own individual health markers, lifestyle and goals, if it’s not teaching you about your own biofeedback and empowering you—You’re likely not gonna stick with it.
2️⃣Focus on what’s being added in and improved. Adding in more protein, more fruits and veggies, more movement etc. (not what’s being taken away or restrained.)
3️⃣However your path looks like on the journey to feeling better it should be rewarding and tied to deep personal meaning and intrinsic motivation.
4️⃣Self-Efficacy is the name of the game- building belief in oneself over time, creating a foundation of knowledge that is a sustainable lifestyle.
Consistency is everything— if what you’re currently doing is too difficult to stick with, it’s not YOU. It’s your approach.
Fiber is an essential nutrient. However, many Americans fall short of the recommended daily amount in their diets. Women should aim for about 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should target about 38 grams, or 14 grams for every 1,000 calories. Your fiber intake is a good gauge for overall diet quality.
The idea that more fiber is always better is one of those persistent nutrition myths that has been drilled into us for decades. When someone decides to go on a ‘health kick’ they often start by loading up on the salads, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and legumes because fiber! Only to experience tons of gas, bloating, constipation and heartburn a few days in.
While adding ‘roughage’ to our diet is often recommended, there are some potential downsides to that:
👉 Harsh fibers can be very irritating for our gut, damaging the gut lining.
👉 Your body has to expend a lot of energy to move all this bulk that provides no energy in return.
👉 When too much fiber sits in the gut for too long, it can ferment, causing gas, bloating and acid reflux.
👉 Just think about it: is making something bigger really the solution when you are trying to pass it through a small hole?
This is not to say that all fiber is bad. But overdoing greens and grains especially when your gut is not in an optimal state can end up making you feel worse. I like to stick to more gentle fibers. These include fruit fibers and those from very well cooked vegetables. If your gut is in a good place, you can probably handle more fiber with less problems.
So why the raw carrot salad then? Raw carrots are unique in that they have their own defense’s against bacteria and fungi (ever noticed how much longer you can keep carrots in your fridge compared to other veggies?). The fiber in carrots can bind toxins produced by bacteria and carry it out rather than increasing the amount produced.
Fiber rich food sources are veggies like carrots, peppers, asparagus, bamboo shoots, cooked leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, fresh arugula. Fruits like apples, berries, oranges, plums, prunes, and avocado.
When increasing fiber, be sure to do it gradually and with plenty of fluids. As dietary fiber travels through the digestive tract, is similar to a new sponge; it needs water to plump up and pass smoothly. If you consume more than your usual intake of fiber but not enough fluid, you may experience nausea or constipation.
By including certain foods, you can increase your fiber intake in no time.
For breakfast, choose steel cut oats (soaked overnight) with berries, served with a side of 3 eggs and sautéed spinach.
At lunch, have a sandwich or wrap on a sprouted whole-grain tortilla or sprouted whole-grain bread and add veggies, such as microgreens and tomato, or a side of homemade veggie soup!
For a snack, have fresh veggies or sprouted whole-grain crackers with hummus and cheese.
With dinner, try brown rice or roasted squash with sautéed veggies along with your protein.
The fiber argument is nuanced. We can’t really make blanket statements about fiber because it really depends on the type of fiber, the state of the individuals gut, what else they are eating, etc. The best way to determine your fiber threshold is to pay attention to how your body reacts and adjust as necessary.
Diet culture places value on our weight and size over our health. it promotes messaging that tells us what foods are “good” & what foods are “bad.” it glorifies restriction & willpower and ignores our wellbeing. Diet culture is supported by a multi-billion dollar industry that pushes weight loss through every medium possible. Diet culture tells both men & women that they are not small enough, strong enough, or lean enough. DIET CULTURE IS HARD TO IGNORE. So, how can one be against diet culture but fine with a diet? it starts with terminology >> A DIET merely refers to the foods & drinks we habitually consume. a diet can be a specific, structured way of eating or just our normal daily intake. The term “DIETING,” is often where the idea of weight loss comes into play. Dieting is (usually) used to describe eating with the purpose of losing weight, which requires a calorie deficit. >> I am anti-diet culture because i believe that food is not meant to be associated with guilt and shame << I am anti-diet culture because i do not believe that reaching a specific weight, shape or size is ever more important than our physical or mental wellbeing. However, I do believe that it is ok to want to change your diet. It is ok to have aesthetic goals, especially when we can learn to work towards them in a healthy & sustainable manner. It’s to want to shift from old negative eating patterns and thoughts to new behaviors that leave you fueled and healthy. I believe that it is ok to want to look & feel your best & addressing your nutrition and relationship with food is often the best way to do so. Your diet is not bad. restriction, shame, guilt, & obsession are 💥