It’s a new day and another beautiful one here in Calgary – spring has definitely sprung and I’m loving the warmer air in the mornings when I walk out to my car, the evening warmth as the sun goes down (seems to be the warmest part of the day!) and the buds that are slowly showing themselves around the city!
Yesterday in my blog post I reflected on busyness and rest, and today I wanted to share a few thoughts on food.
Over the years I shared about different programs I’ve done and different plans I’ve tried like the 21 Day Fix, Advocare Challenge, dabbled in juice cleanses (sorry that the photos were lost in the posts when my blog transferred! :(), and recently was asked to do another program. I see quick fixes like this all the time on Instagram, websites, in ads on Facebook, and you know what? I’ve finally decided to swear them off. There’s nothing wrong with participating in a program that focuses on real food, but when there’s an element of restriction (like no dairy, grains or sugar on the Whole 30), even if it’s only for a period of time, it’s really not sustainable. More and more, I’m interested in eating and living in a way that I can sustain for the rest of my life, not just until a set time period is over. Again, those challenges are fine, and most people see change on them, but they mess with my mind, make me want the banished foods more, and I always return to my same weight and body composition once it’s all said and done.
I was also practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF) for quite some time, and while it did work for me (and I love Brad Pilon, linked just above!), I’m starting to think about my body in a bigger health perspective, like looking at my hormone health and my insides, not just my outsides. I think I was using IF as a way to restrict myself so that later I could justify an entire bag of licorice or not worry so much about what I was eating because I had fasted all day. Again, it can definitely work for you, but reading this article made me realize I *could* be headed down a road I didn’t want to travel, so I decided to pull the plug a few months ago.
(Back to breakfasts and it feels so good!)
What’s funny is I never considered myself to be a dieter – I was always focusing on real foods and not doing anything crazy like just drinking lemon water and cayenne pepper – but the truth is that behind it all I was still wanting to lean out, to lose body weight and appear more cut. I finally decided to stop with the fat loss mentality and focus on my strength. While my workouts still need help to get me in a muscle-building vein of movement (I would like to do more heavy lifting but right now I’m holding steady at about 3-5 total body strength workouts a week), my food is now focused on eating to fuel my body and without obsession!
Enter: Eat to Perform.
I have followed ETP for a while online with their podcasts and emails and really like the concept of eating to fuel your performance. It’s very different than the “less is more” concept for eating and especially for women. I decided to sign up for a few months, get my macros set for me, and see what others thought in terms of where I should be if I want to build muscle in terms of my macros (carbs, proteins and fats). Here’s a quick snapshot of my starting numbers and where I’m trying to increase to in a few weeks:
(hopefully you can read that – had to take a small screenshot to get it all in!)
You can see that I’m eating quite a bit! And you know what? No weight change! I’m eating more, am more mindful of getting enough protein and carbs (yep! you read that right) and don’t feel afraid of any foods. I wasn’t before, but now I’m eating in a way that fuels my workouts and isn’t based on making my body move while I’m fasted. I feel stronger, my muscle definition is great, and while I would still like to lean out a bit (yep, that urge is still there!), I’m excited about how I’m doing in terms of eating well. While I’m tracking I’m not always hitting my numbers exactly (it’s tough for me to stay low on fats, but I feel better when I’m not eating too much, as it’s easy for me to be in the 70+ grams of fat a day phase!), I’m slowly working my way up and feeling good about it! Now to get my training to match so that I’m really putting those calories to use!
I’m not an affiliate but I love the program, the massive (HUGE!) resource guide that is given when you pay, and the online forum – both on Facebook and on a separate app – that offers support and tons of info and access to coaches. There’s also group coaching available but right now I’m soaking up everything and very happy I’ve joined this community. It’s only $29.95 and I would highly recommend it for freedom from food and if you want to change your focus to being, as they say, a more capable human!
Last week I also took the plunge and signed up for Precision Nutrition! I can’t believe it and am excited to add this amazing program to my credentials to help better understand, listen to and coach clients. When it comes to nutrition, I’ve learned over the years that there’s NOT one-size-fits all and that every body is so different out there – both composition, genetics, habits and preferences – and it’s okay to change the way you eat and view food. I’ve changed! And will continue to change.
So that will do it on my reflections on food today! What style are you eating in right now (or is it not even a “style”)? What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the last few days? I think my glass of wine last night + breakfast of brussel spouts, greens, eggs, goat cheese and sweet potatoes is top of my list right now. 🙂
Live well & be well, and catch you guys later!
(me and my banana – one of my favorite post-workout eats – after yesterday’s workout!)