Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Green smoothies are great. Only problem with them is so many people dislike the green flavor that they pump them full of sugar from fruits. Natural sugar isn't bad, you just don't need a ton of it, and if you're making a smoothie out of strawberries, bananas, apples, pears, pineapples and a handful of spinach, it may look green, but it doesn't really qualify as a green smoothie. Green smoothies should be mostly green food based, with a teensy bit of fruit thrown in to help the flavor and consistency.
So I'm smoothie-ing this week, and not in the most delicious way, but still in a bearable way. Here are the ingredients Drew gave me, I worked out the ratios (varies a little bit for every blender, depending on how awesome your blender is).
2 large leafs CHARD
2 large leafs KALE
2 stalks CELERY
1 big CARROT
1 small APPLE
8oz WATER (otherwise it's a super thick green goo)
Blend it all up and drink throughout the day. It's not awesome, but it doesn't just taste like grass either. Blend it really thoroughly so the kale doesn't stay chunky. I think that's what makes most people think they dislike legit green smoothies, they just aren't blending enough, or they have a dysfunctional blender. I don't blame them for not wanting to drink a chunky green mess. As the day goes on, the grapefruit flavor (aka sourness) becomes more prominent, so I find it helps to add a little splenda or stevia into later servings.
This makes about 3 servings for me. I drink each serving as a pre-meal on it's own, about an hour before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then the meals themselves are protein and leafy greens only. Starting tomorrow Drew wants me to do two days in a row of only smoothie (I'll double the amount so I don't starve to death) and egg whites as protein, to really clean out my system, so to speak. Waiting to hear if I should cut the pre-workout protein powder for those two days as well. We'll see if I survive.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
1. Nature's Best Perfect Zero Carb Isopure Creamy Vanilla Protein
Recommended by Drew. I don't know the science behind it, that's why I talk with all my trainer/nutritionist friends all the time, but I do know that every single one of them says the best protein powder is Whey Protein Isolate (WPI). (Isolate instead of Concentrate because the fat and lactose have been removed and thus there is a much higher protein ratio by weight.) Even with that specification, there are a lot of varieties of WPIs, and Drew says Hydrolyzed WPIs are the best, followed in a close second by Isopure's Ion Exchage WPI (because of the no fat/no carb beneit of Ion Exchange WPIs). You can do a lot of google and wikipedia research as to what the different labels for proteins mean, but ultimately it seems it comes down to wanting to find the kind that has the highest protein to everything else ratio. And for the love of goodness don't get one with added sugar.
So I'm using the Isopure because it fits into my carb depletion plan (it also is delicious and dissolves wonderfully when shaken up). The main way to get a great benefit out of this protein powder is in shake form, pre-workout. I'm doing one shake (made just with water and powder) about an hour before a workout or bike ride. This will not only sustain my energy through a workout, but also get my metabolism revving before and through the workout, as protein takes a lot of energy to synthesize in the body, and the higher protein intake you have, the more your body will secrete muscle-building hormones thus increasing your muscle to fat ratio over time.
Nutritional info on the Isopure if you care:
Nature's Best Perfect® Zero Carb Isopure® Creamy Vanilla Directions
Serving Size: 2 Scoopfuls (62 g)
Servings per Container: 22
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0 g 0%*
Saturated Fat 0 g 0%*
Cholesterol 5 mg 2%*
Sodium 320 mg 15%*
Potassium 750 mg 20%*
Total Carbohydrate 0 g 0%*
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%*
Sugars 0 g
Protein 50 g
Vitamin A 50%*
Vitamin C 50%*
Vitamin E 50%*
Vitamin K 50%*
Vitamin B6 50%
Vitamin B12 50%*
2. LipoKarv Fat Burner Supplement
Ok, so I know that diet pills are never the answer. Nor are cleanses, crash diets, or anything that trends on twitter. But LipoKarv is the reason I reached out to Drew initially. It's a supplement he spent a long time creating and perfecting with the help of doctors, nutritionists, and world class body builders. Then he tested it on himself (along with his usual awesome fitness and diet regimen) and wow. He's the guy on the front page of the website www.lipokarv.com. I saw a post of his about it, checked out the website, read up, watched the videos, and sent him a quick email saying I was making changes to my diet and fitness regimen, amping things up as I'd like to get back in competition shape, and did he think LipoKarv is something that would be beneficial to me, seeing as how even in the prime of my competition years, I still had a layer of fat over all my muscle. He said yes, then he also said he was going to be my personal trainer/dietician through the summer. Bonus. So now this is all going and I've started the fitness and diet changes and I'm about to add in the supplement.
What is the supplement? Go to the website for all the info, but basically it's Geranium Flower, Caffeine, Green Tea Extract, Cayenne Pepper, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Cinnamon Bark Extract, 5-HTP, White Willow Bark. These things are in almost every fat burning supplement out there, so Drew experimented with different levels and came up with what he thinks (and results show) works best. It's really important to note that if you already have decent diet and fitness habits, adding LipoKarv on top could be enough to help you get where you want to go, but if you're a little lazy about it all like I was up until a week ago, then you need to make sure your habits are healthy too and you're not just relying on a supplement to do all the work for you. Because while that may temporarily give you some results, the results won't last. A commitment to great fitness and nutrition are what lead to lasting, awesome results.
So I'll keep blogging about my process, I'll post before, during and after photos, and we'll see where this muscle-building, high-protein, low-carb, interval-training, LipoKarv life takes me!
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Are the foods you're eating feeding the parts of your body that make it run (organs, muscles...), or feeding the extra stuff around it that you don't need?
Or, as they say in HBO's Girls, "Do you eat for fun, or do you eat for fuel?" That's a little bit of an extreme to take it to, but it's a good reminder that food actually is fuel. Are you putting good fuel in you, or are you fueling the stuff you don't want, the fat, the injuries, the laziness, the exhaustion?
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Little tidbits from tonight's convo with Drew that I don't want to forget in no particular order:
-Don't rebound from carb depletion!
-Juicing can be done in the right way for a short period of time without seeing rebound re-gain of weight at the end. You have make sure the juicing is focused on protein and fiber. Tons of protein and tons of fiber! More on this focused juicing later. (I think I might try to tackle it next week in prep for a tv show I'm taping. I'll spill all the juicy details here.)
-There are some sick capoeira moves that can be worked into daily routines to really tighten up hip/glute areas.
-A great protein-based snack is putting a couple egg whites in a bowl, add protein powder and a little fish oil (or other oil for a little fat), mix it up and toss in the microwave for a minute or two. Puffs up to a delicious sweet, protein-packed treat. Add splenda if you need it to be more sweet.
-Before bed, or an hour before bed, mix protein powder with almond milk and a little natural peanut or almond butter. The almond milk soothes your stomach for sleep, the fat shuts off some valve (I should take better notes next time, or try to remember all I learned in PhySci 5 at UCLA) in your stomach so that the protein takes longer to be digested thus more is absorbed thus your metabolism is going at night. This helps you burn off fat even while you sleep, as your body has to get the energy to digest that protein somewhere.
-Serious bodybuilders will even wake up at 3am and take another protein/good fat mini shake to make sure their body's burning all night long.
-Craving carbs or junkfood? Body builders get away with indulging by doing it after a hard workout. Your body's already so revved up and in such a high calorie burning zone that the junk food will pretty much pass right though you. That is, if you don't majorly overdo it. I'm not saying binge eat a gallon of ice cream after running a marathon.
-Hungry at night? Already had all your meals for the day? Steam broccoli, cauliflower, green beans with water and a little apple cider vinegar tossed in to fill you up. Yes it sounds boring, but suck it up. And you get a ton of fiber that way too!
-Fiber is your friend. Have I said it enough?
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
So one of the aspects of my new diet is carb depletion days. My trainer Drew (ok, not really trainer, more like fitness model friend who knows an insane amount about health, fitness and nutrition) has really walked me through this, because done incorrectly, carb depletion can lead to exhaustion and some pretty serious rebound days. So here's how I'm doing it: I'm starting out with just two days back to back of depletion, then going back to moderate carb consumption for a few days, then back to depletion. During the depletion days, I will up my healthy fat intake, be it from meats (I don't eat many, up until I began this program a week ago with Drew I was a pescatarian who barely ever ate the pesca part of the tarian, now I've added in occasional lean ground turkey and chicken breast), nuts, or avocado. Adding in a little more fat gives my body more energy, the energy it would normally get from healthy carbs. Eating a ton of leafy dark greens (kale, spinach, broccoli), and even taking fiber pills, also helps during depletion periods, and is really important when attempting to slim down in general, as it helps keep you full and helps regulate your digestive tract, making sure you're not storing pounds of extra junk in there. Since I am an athlete (no more competitive swimming, but I do compete in a few triathlons and mud runs a year now), I may start doing more than two days in a row of carb depletion to get results more quickly. Drew doesn't recommend this for everyone, because if you don't know how to properly regulate your carb intake, and if you don't have a competitive, strong, goal-drivin mindset that is inherent in many athletes, you can rebound really hard and eat 10 times as many carbs as you should in your first day back from carb depletion, practically negating all the work you've just done. So yeah, I'm not going to rebound. Or at least I say I won't now. Writing that sentence is half the battle, now the internet is holding me accountable. Oh, that and Drew calling me daily and posting photos of his latest fitness shoot to make me feel incredibly guilty if I cheat even the tiniest bit. It's a blessing and a curse to have ridiculously fit friends.
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