Food, Glorious Food, Life Plan Update, April Mini-Challenge Update

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks to everyone who made last week such a successful one at the gym.  It is fantastic to see so many new faces in the gym, but more to the point so many regular faces challenging themselves by joining in with a Body Work or Tanks session for the first time, or throwing a kettlebell around after the class as part of the April Challenge.  It really is a great feeling to be part of Round 1 – I quickly put together a ‘Mini-Challenge’ for April, the whiteboard we are using to track progress is chock full of names…and more to the point, the gym is filled with people who are doing the challenge ‘together’ and really encouraging one-another to stick at it and get to the end.  It is interesting to all of us who work in the gym as trainers – we all hope to provide a level of encouragement to everyone who comes in to train, but one truism of the gym is that those people who train consistently – and have trained consistently with us for a long time – do so in the company of friends who provide them with encouragement, inspiration (and I guess, keep them honest).

Given where things are at with the Life Plan at the moment (we are in the midst of measuring people at the conclusion of month 3) – I thought it would be worth talking a little bit about food this week.  The start of this little section could be the all-time “You can’t out-train a bad diet” quote, but more relevant would be what one of our Life Plan participants said during measurements last Friday night.  “I have been training at Round 1 a few times a week for three (3) years now.  And whilst I have gotten a lot fitter, it wasn’t until I started doing this (meaning the plan) that I started to really lose any weight.  And the more I have been watching what I eat the better my results have been.”  Now whilst this seems obvious, for a lot of people, it isn’t – there is always the “I train so I can eat what I want” ideology that is held by a lot of people, and whilst that is true up to a point, you can certainly train a lot harder and a lot more effectively if your diet is ‘right’.  The question everyone has of course is “What is ‘RIGHT’?”

Where I have ended up with my food these days – which, with the exception of some Ice Cream and some alcohol is pretty much 100% Paleo – has really been the result of what is going on a four (4) year experiment with my own body and what works for me.  Does this mean it will work for you?  Well, maybe not in exactly the same way – but if you stick too it for the long-term you will feel better…and you will lose weight.  But I am sort of getting off the track of what eating this way really means / what it really ‘looks’ like.  And I am certainly getting off the track of the traps that you fall into when you ‘simplify’ your eating choices – and I haven’t even mentioned the ‘trouble’ that eating ‘this way’ can cause.  So what does my daily food look like?

Breakfast.

I find breakfast really easy.  Really, really easy.  But two (2) years ago I would have said eating what I am about to propose is just too hard.  And two years before that – when I was immersed in corporate life – I would have said it was IMPOSSIBLE.  But breakfast for me is some eggs and some veggies – and if I am lucky, it is some bacon.  Making a quick omelette with three (3) eggs, some mushrooms, some English spinach and some coconut oil is a great way to start the day.  It gives me protein, it gives me energy – and I am full until lunchtime.  I guess this is a key to my eating – I really don’t eat between meals (or it is rare that I eat between meals) and the reason for this is my meals are such that I don’t NEED to eat between meals.

Lunch.

Now – if you aren’t prepared, lunch is HARD.  This is because if you aren’t eating grains – then all kinds of rolls, sandwiches, wraps, pasta salads, sushi rolls etc are all OUT.  So you have to be organised – because every cafe or lunch bar you walk into will be full of all kinds of delicious looking bread and pastry based dishes – with maybe some spaghetti or lasagne in a bain marie.  And if you are like me, then you simply can’t, won’t and don’t eat any of those things – but you are at work all day and you need to eat…so you have simply GOT TO GET ORGANISED.  Taking to work something like a tuna and salad wrap – when the ‘wrap’ is a lettuce leaf, is perfect.  And when all else fails, another omelette is great – but that only works if you are at home or have access to some cooking facilities.  The best plan is to eat for lunch what you ate for dinner the night before – in other words, have some ‘leftovers’.  In order to make sure you have leftovers, when you serve up dinner make sure you have your lunch box (lunch boxes) on the bench ready to go and serve it at the same time as you serve the evening meal.  That way, you reduce the chance of going back for seconds (and therefore not having enough for leftovers) is reduced and you have reduced your food preparation time by making dinner and lunch at the same time.

Dinner.

Best meal of the day.  Cook some steak.  Cook a roast.  Make some pork chops.  Slow cook some lamb shanks.  Bbq some pork bellies.  Grill some fish.  Cook up some broccoli.  Roast up some parsnip, some pumpkin – and maybe even some sweet potato.  Or put together a simple salad.  Done.  Simple.  Easy.  And super healthy.  If you are keen for dessert – and who amongst us isn’t? – then some fruit and berries is best.  Sure enough, have a real ‘treat’ every week or so, but if you are really keen to lose some weight and change your body composition, then keep the ‘treats’ to once every week or so.

So what are the traps?

Well, there are a few.  Nuts and fruit are the main one.  Because whilst nuts and fruit – including dried fruit – are ‘healthy’, it is really easy to overdo it.  Ten (10) nuts each day is probably enough as a ‘snack’.  And two pieces of fruit is a pretty good average – particularly fruits that are high in sugar such as bananas.  All of us have gone through stages where we decide to eat ‘healthy’ in an effort to lose some weight, which leads to us snacking on five (5) or so pieces of fruit every day…and then a month later we jump on the scales to find the number has moved north instead of south.

What about Dairy?

Well, I don’t really ‘do’ dairy these days.  I drink my coffee black, and I basically don’t eat cheese.  I still eat ice-cream as a treat though – and I have some yoghurt a couple of times each week.  To me it is a really simple and convenient snack and as long as I have one that is really low in sugar (unflavoured types are best to make sure of this) then I pretty comfortable with a serve or two each week.  Basically, my body is pretty happy with a little bit of dairy.  Other people are not so lucky and do a lot better when they drop it completely from their diet.

Anything else?  What about ‘Protein Shakes’?

My anything else is pretty simple.  Fish Oil is good for (reducing) joint inflammation and whilst I can’t tell when I am taking it I can certainly tell when I am not!  How much should you take?  Well, if I was you I would read THIS article, but if you want to cheat I have already read it and the answer is somewhere between 2 grams (for little people) to 4 grams (for big people).  As for taking protein, well – I try to get mine from my food rather than from a shake.  I generally supplement with one serve of the Boomers protein every week or so – usually on a Friday or Saturday when I am feeling particularly tired after a week of work/training (Saturday is my rest day).  I take Boomers for the same reason we sell it – it is from grass-fed cattle, contains no flavors (and therefore no extra sugar), no additives and is exactly what it claims to be – a protein supplement.

That – in a nutshell – is it.  Drop the breads and pastas and rices.  Eat enough meat and (lots and lots) of veggies so that you don’t need to snack between meals.  Eat some fruit (but not too much).  Stay away from sugar – and drink loads and loads of water.

See you at Round 1,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – April (Mini) Challenge Week 2

The The April Mini-Challenge Is underway – and it is great to see so many names up on the board, so many people running, riding, lifting and swinging after each class.  But, lets face it – it wouldn’t be a challenge if there wasn’t a challenge so it is time to up the ante.  The NEW rules for the challenge are still pretty simple though:

-       Complete three (3) sessions per week.

-       At the end of each class, complete 1x Bin Run (or 1.5km bike in G16), 25x Squats (weighted – girls min 20kg, boys min 25kg), 25x Pushups and 50x KB Swings (girls min 16kg, boys min 20kg).

After all – since everyone has already been doing their squats and swings with the lighter weights everyone should be ready to progress!  Right?  Right??

Just another reminder that if you want to do your reps BEFORE a session rather than after, that is just fine with me!  Done is done for the purposes of the mini-challenge.

Gym Update #2 – 6-Month Life Plan

Month Four (4) of the Life Plan is underway as of tomorrow – April 7th.  The first group of measurements was completed last Friday night (April 4th) and once again the results were positive – weights, skinfolds and measurements generally trended in a southerly direction!  Most pleasing to me has been the number of people who have moved themselves from a position where they were at risk from some ‘REAL’ health concerns – using +40mm abdominal skinfold as a key marker – into a much (MUCH) better position…the trick now of course, is maintaining the trend (which of course is what month 4 is all about – see the rules bellow).

There have been a few people who have stuck at the challenge right throughout the 3-months but are yet to see any significant changes.  All I can say to you guys is that we might not know what the solution is yet but I am pretty certain that giving up is NOT it.  It is time to really focus in on the little things – write down every thing you eat and drink for a full week and bring your food diary in for us to look at – maybe there are some simple changes we can make together that will help get you some of the progress you are looking for.  Maybe we need to look at things a different way?  Maybe a lot of things.  Regardless, I am quite happy to keep trying to help as long as you are happy to keep pushing ahead…and if we need external help and support, then we can help you with that as well.

The rules for the new month are as follows:

Training Rules
3 Classes per Calendar Week (Must be signed by trainer)
TWO (2) Barbell Circuits per Week (Mark with BB on the sheet)  Details of the barbell circuits have been included on the challenge sheets.
Diet Rules:
NO PASTA permitted – AT ALL!  One serve of rice permitted each week (Mark on sheet with a ‘R’).
Breakfast cereal allowed only ONCE per week – PORRIDGE (Oats) is the only acceptable cereal.
ONE SERVE of Sweets – Lollies, chocolate, cool drink (soda), icecream or biscuits/cakes etc PER WEEK.
No product with ANY added sugar or sweetener except as part of your ‘Free Eating day’ OR your once per week serve of ‘sweets’.
No bread – At ALL!
No more than THREE (3) pieces of fruit on any given day.  No Fruit Juice AT ALL.
Five (5) alcohol free days each week – and only two (2) drinks allowed on the other days.
Two (and ONLY 2) days during the month when you can eat/drink outside of the ‘rules’.
Prehab Rules
TWO (2) x 30 minute walk/stretch sessions per week.

Good luck (and stick with it).

Gym Update #4 – Medium Bag Mitts

We have been ‘out’ of medium size bag mitts for nearly 3-weeks now.  The products are in transit and we hope to have them in stock sometime this week.  Apologies to everyone who has been waiting – we hope to have them on hand soon.

Gym Update #5 – AFL Dreamteam and Footy Tipping

Well, with two (2) games still to go, there is one person (Toffeeman – whoever the heck that is!!!) who has picked 7/7…and 18 others who have picked 6/7.  The one wrong selection that EVERY SINGLE ONE of those 18 people selected was – happily – the mighty Dogs getting across the line against the Tiges.  Isn’t that right Barry Doran??

Over in the DreamTeam comp, the leading score (as I type with two games to go) is held by the Beeliar Bogans with 1890 points – the Bogans are closely followed by the ‘Half-Time Heroes’ and ‘The Bourbinators’, both sitting just under 1800 points.  I can’t seem to find the ‘easy view’ that showed me all the games and showed the number of players who have yet to play – hopefully I can figure this out as the year goes on.

Facebook Highlights

A quieter week of links on FACEBOOK this week – there was some good stuff though:

Coffee:  http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/bodywork/the-fit-list/A-Cup-or-Two-of-Excellent-Health.html

BMI:  http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/uncovering-true-health-costs-of-excess.html

Rant about dieting:  http://www.t-nation.com/powerful-words/dieting-a-rant

Caveman eating:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10737039/Caveman-diet-twice-as-effective-as-modern-diets.html

Enjoy!

Link of the week

Interesting food article this week:  ‘Seduced by Food’:  http://boingboing.net/2012/03/09/seduced-by-food-obesity-and-t.html

See you in the gym!

Michael.