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Archive for July, 2011

Hi everyone!

For this week’s diet challenge you are going to be including 1 tomato with each of your meals.

Tomatoes are extremely healthy and best of all they taste delicious and are easy to add to almost anything.
Tomatoes are full of Lycopene – a vital anti-oxidant that fights against cancerous cell formation as well as other health complications and diseases. This challenge is about adding something healthy to your diet, so load up on tomatoes and let’s see how creative you can get with how to add them to your meals. I will kick it off with something really simple: I love to eat them as if they are apples 🙂

Enjoy!

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Diet Challenge #6

This week’s diet challenge is all about identifying one weakness in your diet – something that you persist on eating that does not support your training or your body composition goals. This will require each of us to take a good hard look at what we are eating, because we obviously each have our own soft spots when it comes to treats and junk foods. This process is not about eliminating everything that is “bad” for is– this challenge, in particular,  is about picking one item and keeping up the discipline for one week not to eat or taste it.

Maybe you have been following our challenges with great results, but you still drink a can or two of diet soda each day. Diet Soda could be what you look at eliminating for the week. Or maybe your thing is Peanut Butter Cookies – whatever it is, choose something that will challenge your will power. The real kicker in this challenge is that when you feel the craving for junk food, choose to make a healthier choice. Instead of that can of Diet Coke you reach for juice or water, or instead of the cookie, crunch on an apple instead.

Have fun with this challenge, and remember that we are all here to support each other through this 🙂

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This week’s diet challenge is all about water. The truth is most of us are not drinking nearly enough water per day.  The super intense workouts that we do  speeds up water loss – this should make drinking water a priority for all of us.

To recap the basic heath class, water makes up just about 60% of our total bodyweight. All of those great looking lean muscles that make us so strong actually contain 75% water. The blood surging through your body while you do burpees contains close to 83% water. As you see,  getting enough water in your system is vital for your health and the overall performance of your body.

Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. If you are waiting for this signal from your body, chances are that you are already heading towards dehydration. Typically, thirst is not detected until 1-2% of your bodyweight has been lost. By this point ,you will have reduced aerobic endurance, and you are heading into reduced muscular endurance. At 4% you are facing reduced muscle strength, reduced motor skills and heat cramps.

It’s important to get an idea how much water we need so that we can aim to drink enough to keep us healthy and hydrated.  Here is a really simple method to use to determine how much water you need:
For every 1 kilogram of bodweight,  drink between 30-40 mL of water.

A more general approach is to drink about 3 L of water a day. Absolutely don’t try and drink your daily water intake all at once – this can be very dangerous! You want to spread it out across your whole day. Obviously if you are larger or exercise more you may need more water.

That brings us to this week’s challenge 🙂 This week we are going to strive to drink enough water and stay hydrated.

It’s easy to drink water when you are exercising. It’s keeping up our water balance for the rest of the day that is more challenging. Figure out a strategy that will work for you. I know a lot of people who constantly have a water bottle with them.  When you reach for a Coke, Diet Coke, or any other processed liquid chemical sugar bomb, try and catch yourself and make the choice to go for water instead. This is the crux of this challenge. You are going to have to force yourself to choose water over whatever tasty beverage you are craving and the ego absolutely hates to have its desires denied. Just like anything else this is a discipline and it requires some backbone. Ask yourself – if you don’t have the minerals to take a stand on what you are going to drink, then how the heck are you going to stand for what counts in other areas of your life? It’s a simple choice – drop a set and make it – you won’t be sorry!

A few points on water and exercise: It’s actually recommended that athletes should drink about half a liter of water 30 minutes before they train as a “pre-hydration” strategy. During exercise, it’s recommended that they drink 250 mL every 15 minutes. After you finish exercising, fluid intake is important to help with recovery.

If you guys have any suggestions or strategies for how to take this challenge on please share 🙂

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Hi Everyone

The 4th Diet Challenge is all about keeping our portion sizes small.

First, if this is the first time you are reading this blog, it is really important that you review the first 3 diet challenges. There has been a progression in our approach to food and how and what and even when we are eating. It is important to start at the beginning and work your way through the first series of challenges before you arrive at portion size control.

I think that portion size awareness has become increasingly difficult for people in light of the massive quantities of foods now being served to people by restaurants. When you go out to a restaurant you’d be shocked to discover how much food came with a typical restaurant meal. Food was being served on platters not plates, and the amount of food and drink being presented to 1 person was easily enough to feed the whole table. Look at the offerings at typical family restaurants – the portion sizing is insane. You can see the same portion size mentality being carried over into our work place and school cafeterias, basically anywhere food is served. It seems like there has been this crazy value proposition in food marketing – more food at cheaper prices equals greater consumer value. That would be great if we were talking about fresh produce, but often it’s the fast food chains that are hyping up the drive to supersize our portions to get the greatest caloric bang for our buck. Just because it’s cheaper to go to a buffet, does not mean you can eat all that you can eat! This diet challenge is about regaining our sense of what a healthy portion size looks like, to reset the sanity button and realize that when it comes to what you eat quality often beats quantity and the real value we are talking about comes in the form of our long term health.

We have already covered how we should be eating superfoods 4-5 times per day, and how to include lean protein with each meal. So now how much of these superfoods and lean proteins should we be eating? What should our portion sizes look like?

If you are a woman, the size of your complete lean protein portion should be the size and thickness of your palm. For guys, it should be two palms. Remember the palm does not include your fingers 🙂 Do the best you can to approximate your servings of lean protein using your palms as measuring tools. It is a simple approach that in my opinion is far easier on many levels than counting calories. If you are eating a mix of the superfoods each day you know you are eating healthy. For me simple wins every time. Your portion size of veggies should be approximately 2 cupped hands together for both guys and girls and for starchy carbs (whole wheat bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, oats etc) it should be 1 handful.

The good news is that no matter where you are, you now have the hands on knowledge to measure out portion sizes that will support your training and overall body composition goals 🙂

Try this approach in combination with the first 3 diet challenges and continue to check out the fitness section of this blog, and you will be amazed at the progress you will make.

Best,

Jessy

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