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Category Archives: Nutrition

I have been stressing a little about my goals and how to stay focused through the holiday events and cheer.
I’ve been finding myself losing motivation from it all to be honest; sometimes I feel like I would like to just kick back and relax… Eat sugar and carbs, drink beers and not give a fuck. But at the end of the day that’s counteractive to my training as it slows progress and essentially if I ate like that I’d have no energy to hit the gym in the first place.

Anyway, I’ve just found a great article by IFBB Pro Tabitha Klausen about surviving Thanksgiving dinners which I think applies greatly to any of the big social events coming up… hope you enjoy it. Happy Sunday.

Surviving Thanksgiving by Tabitha Klausen

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Brace yourself – this is going to be a long entry. However I’ve seen countless twitter updates and blog entries about the bathroom scales and their lack of honesty or more accurately, just how useless they are in determining fat loss and I’ve been meaning to put together a piece for quite some time now, unfortunately for those ADHD sufferers – it’s not something I feel like I can brush over quickly…

Let me paint you a picture…

You’ve been training your tush off, yet according to your scales your tush doesn’t seem to be actually going anywhere. Say, you’re down to your last five kilos of fat loss to go and you hop on the scales one idle morning knowing in your heart of hearts that you’ve trained so hard and eaten the cleanest of foods but wait, WHAT THE FUCK?! You’ve gained weight?! How is that even possible? Why did this happen?  “How am I going to get through the day without actually losing my marbles”, you think.

And why wouldn’t that be your thought process; it’s depressing for even the strongest of us. You eat the right foods when everyone else is eating carb loaded processed garbage. When others go straight home after work to park their ass in front of their glorious 45inch plasmas and the newest episode of Gossip Girl, you head to the gym and train till you feel like you might collapse never finding out what actually happened with Blair and Chuck. On the weekends instead of going out drinking from Friday through to Sunday, like you used to do before your healthy conscience kicked your ass, you keep to the plan and you head back into that gym. In fact, you’re in there enough that your own family sees you less than the staff at your gym does.

So what in god’s name is going on with your body, huh? Better yet, what on earth is going on with your head? All these mind games can’t be doing you any favours; in fact they are almost enough to make you want to give up all together and go back to your old boozehound ways (Hello Friday night drinks and Saturday 3am kebabs). I mean, why not? You’ve put so much work into this and you seem to be getting nowhere fast. What’s the point?

Well, before you go to the nearest 7-11 and induce death by chocolate; ditch your fucking scales. Throw them from the greatest height and DO NOT LOOK BACK. Your scales are useless on your quest to transform and they are holding you back mentally in such a ridiculous manner that it likely will have a lovely side effect of holding you back physically too (We’re all guilty of throwing in the towel a little and having things to eat we know we shouldn’t or skipping training sessions if we just feel as though we’re not getting anywhere).

But don’t worry; you’re not alone in this – I am speaking from great personal experience here… The scales have been my best friend and worst enemy for many years; some times they are the same thing at once. I remember days when I used to weigh myself two or three times a day, and beat myself up emotionally when I was a kilo or two heavier at night than I was in the morning; even though in reality that would be exactly what would happen to anyone over the course of a day.

This is not a normal habit. This is something I was guilty of in the very worst of my days and it’s not healthy. We are not on a quest to be skinny; we are on a quest to be fit and healthy. If you think that playing mind games between yourself and the scales is a good idea, you couldn’t be more wrong. What’s the point in putting so much effort into bettering yourself only to be so demotivational?.

So why should you ditch the scales? Other than the reasons I’ve given you so far…Well we all KNOW muscle weighs more than fat. We also know that training in the gym is not going to get you to lose muscle, so the more you train – the more muscle you gain, now let’s put two and two together and that would explain a lack of decrease in your scale numbers. But for some of us that logic just isn’t enough to break a habit we’ve probably had since the day we learnt what the word calorie meant.

Let me tell you a personal story to prove a point…

I’d been saying to myself all year that I want to hit under the 60kg mark. If I didn’t get there; I was writing myself off as a failure. I started the year at about 67kgs and recently I actually got down to 60.5kg.  Exciting, right? ALMOST THERE. I was overjoyed. I loved what I saw when I looked in the mirror, everything fit better, everything suited me – I was smiling constantly. Until my next weekly weigh in (yes, I had enforced a once a week and no more rule) where I expected to be under the 60kg mark, but instead it clocked me in at 63.5kgs. You can imagine the fury, in fact I think you could almost see the steam coming out my ears and my eyes turning red the moment I stepped off the scales. I cried. I literally took one look in the mirror and decided that the body I saw was a totally different one to two or three minutes prior. I was now disgusting and embarrassed to leave the house. In my eyes I couldn’t see the difference between 63.5kgs and 105kgs. How could I be so massive suddenly? I put on the loosest clothing imaginable and headed into work deciding that I wouldn’t take these head games any longer. I just couldn’t continue to be so reckless and allow my thoughts to be dictated by a number.

Jump back three months prior to this; I had had a Dexa Scan… I’d read about them online and I was interested in a method that would accurately gauge my weight loss as I deep down never really trusted those nasty scales (yes, I’ve always been aware they are stupid – yet for some reason have always aloud them to dictate my moods and self confidence). For those of you that aren’t aware, a Dexa scan is an x-ray which determines exactly what your body is made up of, it will show you how much of your body is comprised of bones, what your bone density is like, how much is of you is made of muscle and how much is (insert cringe) fat. But more than that, it takes into account water retention; it shows your symmetry (ever wondered which leg is bigger than the other or if your right arm has more muscle than your left? Wonder no more). I went into see Dr Jarrod Meerkin at Measure Up in Sydney where he politely asked me to jump up on this very modern looking bench which would scan over my body as I lay still and a few minutes later gave me a detailed description of what was actually going on. Easy. He would even give me an idea of how many calories I should consume a day and what my macronutrients should be according to my goals.

So when three months later I had my princess moment with the scales I decided enough was enough; if I was gaining fat I needed to know and I needed to change whatever it was that wasn’t working.

Luckily for my sanity, Jarrad had availability that day at lunch for a follow up scan, I held my breath, crossed my fingers and pray to God, Allah and Buddah that there was something wrong with my scales and my efforts had actually resulted in a loss not a gain.

What I found out that day was that my weight had in fact gone up, KILL ME NOW, right? No. My weight had gone up but my body fat had decreased by several kilos and a total of 4%. The increase in weight was caused by a significant increase in muscle mass (well, what do you know? All that weight training and I’d gotten bigger muscles – one would think I could’ve put that together on my own).

Not only that but my body had evened out and become completely symmetrical when before I was holding a lot more fat on the right leg and arm.

So essentially what I had been doing was working, and working really well. My goals were to increase muscle mass and decrease fat, which I had done and very successfully over the course of 12 weeks. Not only that but as I had increased muscle, my body was burning a greater number of calories daily all on it’s own (this is why you want to weight train ladies; muscle BURNS fat. It’s like the Rock/Paper/Scissors of body sculpting).

At the end of the day we need to realize that the number on your scales is not going to really indicate what is going on with your body at all. If you’re like me and you have 5kgs or so left of fat to lose then you aren’t really even going to see these numbers shift at all; you might spend months training weights and cardio and stay at the same weight and yet completely decrease your body fat percentage and your actual shape will change all together.

It comes down to remembering that your health and peace of mind is more important than your body fat percentage too though. More importantly than your quest for weight loss is your health, and that includes the way you perceive yourself in the mirror and inside your mind. What my experience taught me is that patience is a virtue and whilst I have very little patience, I need to work on developing that as at this point in my journey, things take a long time. I will likely not notice results in the mirror that I look at EVERY day and the way I feel, be it grumpy or elated, will always dictate the reflection that I see staring back at me.

So let’s all make a pact now to get rid of those bathroom scales because they lie more than your ex-boyfriend. And let’s spend time enforcing positive affirmations and working on body confidence. Make your goals about training rather than about your body, aim to achieve a faster time in your running, or a greater weight lifted… and let go of your weight loss nonsense but remember to eat clean and train hard and rest in the faith that you are doing ALL that you can; because when push comes to shove, that’s exactly all you can do. Be your best and be patient and in three months time, then look at your results. They might surprise you.

 

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I’ve not got a sweet tooth generally. I do have a salty-oily-cheesy-greasy-anything savoury tooth though… but since I’ve been cutting out a lot of nonsense from my diet and staying high protein / low carb I’ve needed to find delicious alternatives to bad foods so that I stay relatively sane and don’t feel like I’m always missing out.
That said I’ve acquired quite the pancake fetish over the past few weeks, and who’d have thunken I could enjoy the little golden drops of goodness without stacking on the kilos AND still meeting my macronutrient requirements for the day?

WELL I CAN, dammit. So you should be able to as well… It’s not like it’s a big secret and it’s quite freaking easy to make as well (this is the key when sticking to a nutritional plan-more on this later- easy recipes that are quick to chuck together keep you satisfied and out of the kitchen away from the snacks)

So here you are – this recipe (for me) will make 4 little pancakes, which I think is 2 servings… I will say that you can add a 1/4 or even 1/3 cup of quick oats or ground oats to fluff them up and YES it tastes nicer but if you’re having them later on at night or you’re already to high on your daily carb intake – they don’t NEED to have oats in them to cook…

What you need:
1 scoop of protein (pick your flavour – I use Banana Cream GNC Whey)
2 Egg Whites
50g of Low Fat Cottage Cheese
1 1/2 Tablespoons Almond Milk (You can use regular milk, it’s your choice)

Mix together, blend if you have one, it’ll stop lumping – and then cook them up in a pan… You’ll need to watch them like a hawk because you don’t want to overcook or burn them as they dry up real quick but when you get the hang of it they are fluffy gorgeous little treats.

Serving Suggestions:
You can add fruit, I like raspberries on top, chopped banana, chopped almonds or walnuts, whatever you like.
Queens Sugar Free Maple Syrup is low in calories as is Light Whipped cream but I truly emphasise that you use sparingly if you’re cutting – however if you’re just trying to just make better food choices – these are still better alternatives to fucking chocolate bars.

Let me know how you go with these, if you feel like they don’t cook right or they are perhaps a tad too dry for your liking — definitely add the oats…
These work as a delicious breakfast or alternative to protein shakes if you can’t stomach those bad boys, but keep in mind that the toppings you use negate the actual health factor of the pancakes themselves.

Nutritional Stats: (Without Oats)
Per Serve (Recipe makes 2 serves or 4 pancakes)
Calories: 103
Carbs: 5grams
Fat: 2grams
Protein: 18grams

 

Whilst the photo up top is not pancakes I’ve prepared – CMON GUYS THE BLOGS GOTTA LOOK PRETTY – this is a legitimate photo of my breakfast today… So no, protein recipes don’t have to be grosse and second rate to the usual foods, keep that in mind ;) Eating well doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth…

 

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So we all know I love to train. Train, train, train, eat and sleep. That’s pretty much the epitome of happiness right there for me.

But why do I train so hard? Awwh, man don’t ask big questions… ;)   I don’t exactly know. At first I enjoyed getting in shape, then it became about being able to mould my body and the science behind fitness and nutrition being able to totally change your shape. Now I think one day, maybe, I’d like to do some fitness modelling – No, I don’t mean that I would like to be some hot shot model, I just mean I’d love to be comfortable enough with my own body and proud of my accomplishments through training so hard that I want to show it off.  So for now that’s the goal. I’d like to push myself to my limits and train like an actual boss always overloading and progressing further to see where this takes me but I’d really like to do some kind of amateur photo shoot stuff in about three to six months.

I’ve got a long way to go to get to where it is I want to be. But where was I before? Well that’s the interesting part.

I used to weigh 85kgs. Lovely and fit. *Rolls eyes* I used to live off junk food, Maccas and KFC twice a day would not be out of the question. Not to mention numerous lovely sugary and salty (I was not exactly prejudice) snacks in between meals. I smoked like a chimney from the age 13 to December last year, that’s 13 years in total. I used to drink tequila like it was going out of fashion (I’m not kidding, binge drinking was my Tuesday/Thursday/Friday and Saturday night favourite to-do’s) and I wasn’t exactly above abusing illicit substances.

It’s been a couple of years now since I’ve lost majority of my weight, I was 70kgs at some point toward the end of 2010 and that’s when I really started my training. I didn’t lose all my weight from training like a gym beast, I wish I could say that I did but the amount of yo-yo dieting, diet pills and stupid fucking choices I have made to shift that weight only made me more determined these days and more understanding so when I do start Personal Training. I figure there will be hardly anything I don’t understand when it comes to why people are the way they are and the lengths people go to to shift weight. I’m also now keenly aware of how much better life in general can be with fitness and nutrition being a big part of your day to day life. I even advocate fitness over anti-depressants. Having suffered a ridiculous strain from depression that medicine never did one 1000th of what working out can do for your mind, body and soul.

After a couple of months of running consistently every morning (I’m not even kidding when I say I had to start with C25k app to even get running in the first place) I then suffered an intense knee cartilage injury that I wrote about earlier this year on here… For quite some time I couldn’t walk properly, let alone train and my doctors performed ultrasounds and x-rays and told me it might be appropriate to prepare myself for the reality of not training anymore. That was January this year. At that point I was about ready to give the fuck up. It was all so hard. It wasn’t until about mid-March that I was able to make the move back into training and so realistically I’ve only been doing this since then. My progression feels so slow but looking back on how far I’ve actually come in the space of about eight months, I have to really pat myself on the back.

I had a Dexa scan when I started to get really serious about training three months ago and have since dropped 4% body fat percentage, dropped kilos of fat mass and I’m building a great base of muscle mass. I am pretty proud of how quickly it’s coming along, though now I’m really wanting to lean out and further drop my body fat. That’s the goal.

So, without further adieu; here’s an old photo of me a couple of years back with my Dad over the holidays, it’s not the best quality photo and probably doesn’t emphasise just how big I was – but I’ve made damn sure there aren’t many photos of me at this size floating around, this one happened to have slipped in amongst some family photos my grandma was busted showing my fiancée (Yes, thanks heaps Grandma)….

And here are some current pictures of myself, as I’ve noticed that I frequently post about my progress or my fitness goals without actually holding myself accountable or even posting pictures of myself for you (whoever you are) to see…

Hopefully over the next few months I can get a little closer to this amazingness, which is my goal body…

I know that this is barely brushing the surface of my journey with fitness and why I do this stuff and what I want to do in the future but I hope it helps you to understand me better and possibly inspire you to push yourself and more than anything I hope being open about this inspires me to push myself even harder than before…

You just do what you can.

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Anyone who is lifting weights knows (or should bloody well know by now) how important protein is. But you’ll find that it is frequently overlooked by everyone else as an important diet staple; people rarely get enough of the good stuff.

Fact is that eating protein WILL lean you out. If you’re holding onto excess weight it’s likely it’s because you are not getting enough protein and too much carbohydrates… But as this is not diet boot camp – I’m not here to chastise but merely to share with you my new favourite CheatWithoutCheating meal. I’m thinking about making this a regular thing if anyone is keen on seeing follow-up recipes of the like.

Today I’m bringing my carbonara craving cheat to the table; both proverbially and physically.

Behold… The Chicken Carbonara Omelette!

With all the nutritional benefits of fresh vegetables, lots of proteins from meat, and of course eggs. These are so simple to whip up; I could do it backwards with my eyes closed and hanging upside down, so even the most inept kitchen clutz could figure it out. Takes about 10-15 minutes all up and yes, it tastes nice reheated the next day (no excuse to not smash loads of protein in your dinner and your breakfast).

I am not a big fan of heavily creamy dishes, but from time to time I miss the comfort of a creamy pasta… So this helps curb the cravings.

Ingredients:  (Makes one serve)

1 Whole Egg

2 Egg Whites

1 Tsp Light Ricotta

Parsley (fresh or packaged herbs, personal preference)

Pepper (to taste)

1/2 tsp minced garlic (adjust according to preference)

1 Tblspn Thickened Light Cream

150g Chicken breast (oven baked – and prepared in thin strips)

2-3 mushrooms (sliced)

15g Parmesan Cheese (shaved from the block is the best!)

  1. Prepare chicken by either cooking on the stove or baking it in the oven (I literally just place the breast in the oven till it’s white all the way through, but covered in fresh herbs first) and when it’s cooked through, break up into thin strip like pieces.
  2. Heat non stick fry pan. Add mushrooms, chicken and minced garlic. Allow mushrooms to soften, then add cream. Allow the chicken and mushrooms to soak the cream and then take off the heat.
  3. Add the whole egg, two egg whites and ricotta into a bowl and mix (this is the best base for an omelette I have found so far). Add parsley and pepper to taste.
  4. Heat non stick fry pan and add the omelette mixture, allowing it to cook 70% and then add the chicken and mushroom cream mix to one side of the omelette.
  5. Once the eggs have cooked through; fold the omelette in half. Sprinkle the cheese on top to finish.
  6. Serve and eateateat. Seriously, it’s so good you’ll be all “Pasta Who? Carbs??? What the fuck are carbs?”
Nutritional Information:
Calories:    359
Protein:     57 grams
Carbs:         5
Fat:              11

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