Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Nutrition Challenge....24 Days! GO!

Because when your fit! You have more fun, feel better, and you are usually a much happier person! I have been struggling to get myself back on track since crossing the finish line at the 2012 Texas Iron man. Not only have I not felt that great, but I have been all over the map with my weight and training. Life can do that to you sometimes and you have to just keep on moving forward to figure out what it is that needs to change to get yourself back on track! I know how to train, I know what I am "suppose to be eating", and I have the degree's hanging on the wall to prove that I have that knowledge. But, I have seriously lacked the Discipline that has been needed to step back onto that podium the last year and half!

I was talking to my sister a few weeks ago, Amy Sharp, who teaches Zumba and Total Life Fitness classes in St. Joseph, Mo. at B&J Skate Center, about the importance of staying on track with what and how you fuel your body everyday. We discussed the issues that we were both having with fitness, my on the bike performance, and then just the basics of not letting your "diet" or food intake get out of hand during the day. When you have a full calendar of work, family activities, and trying to workout, it can be a massive challenge to keep it all together. We are both fortunate that one of our jobs consist of working with others to get them on track or keep them on track with workouts and fitness. This helps us focus a little more, but we both have had our struggles this past year. This lead us to discussing what to eat when and how it may be the difference between what and when a woman eats carbs, proteins and fats vs. when a man eats them. This could create a huge debate, as it should, but for our purposes, we just agreed that there is a difference and especially as we age or gain more wisdom. Then we simply determined that maybe it is just the timing of the those foods vs. our activity levels that can turn up our metabolism or simply not fuel us for an effort the right way, regardless of your exercise levels.

Anyway, at the end of it, I decided to take a little challenge. I am now 6 days into what is called the Advocare 24 day challenge. Now, before you stop reading, no this is not just an advertisement!! I have used this challenge 2 other times since 2011 to jump start my "diet" per say and get back on track. This time, I am also reviewing the timing of Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats into my daily food intake. This is also important for fueling my body prior to workouts, during my long rides, and post workout recovery foods and drinks. Advocare has great products, but I use an assortment of supplements for training purposes on the bike and for post workout supplements. Such as Hammer Nutrition Products, Scratch Lab, Cliff Bars, Bonk Bars, and just Soy Whey Protein mix. Every one's situation is very different, and every one's body reacts to how it is able to process foods at different rates. A sedentary individual will not need all of what I use if they are starting to workout and do a 24 Day Challenge type of program. The diet modification alone will help them lose weight and add in some light exercise and you could re-set your metabolism in a positive direction to reach weight loss and health goals.

So,  like I said I am on day 6, here is a link to the 24 Day Challenge, if you want to follow along. I am not going to re-write those recommendations here and you can message me directly if you have any questions. In my 1st 6 days my weight is down 4 pounds and I have already noticed a much better digestive system. This meaning, I do not feel bloated, constipated, and or have GI issues post meals. This could be the Cleanse I am on with the program, but I also believe that it is the taking out of several things in my diet. Replaced milk with Soy Milk for my coffee and cereal. I try to eat Protein 1st in the a.m. and introduce carbs as needed during the day. Limiting the carbs a lot, except for an hour prior to workouts and in a mix post workout Carb / Protein mix. I use the Advocare Meal Replacement or I use Hammer Recoverite. Whey Protein is also very good post workout and in the evening when I am starting to get a rumble in my stomach about 9 p.m. It is also great for muscle recovery when you sleep. Taking out of foods processed as much as possible, hard with 5 and 7 year old in the house. One huge thing that I have done since last Thursday is take out my Coca Cola addiction! I say addiction, because I nearly had this kicked in 2011 and 2012. But, it has managed to sneak back into the picture over the last year and half! I drink Coffee for my caffeine fixes and a low Calorie drink mix called Spark, which does not give me the massive crash post sugar high like the Coke use to do, which has actually evened out my mood more during the day. I do not need that high Calorie crap to keep evened out or the extra cup of coffee late in the day, that seems to disturb my sleep patterns and cause late day GI issues.

This all leads me to what and how am I really fueling my body. I am eating REAL FOODS and utilizing supplements to get the vitamins and minerals necessary per my activity levels each day. I actually eat several small meals a day and base them on high in protein, fats, or carb mix. All meals have some of each, but I make sure I increase the carbs as needed and try hard not to overload myself in one setting with them, to keep the system steady. Studies do show that eating several smaller meals a day will help boost your metabolism and re-train your system. It also helps with digestion and can take care of GI issues from overeating in one setting. I try NOT to feel hungry, if that means eating a protein bar, an apple, or banana, then that is what I do. I keep food on me at all times, hard boiled eggs in the fridge for quick protein, and try to time out my diet based on my activity levels that day. Staying true to the Advocare 24 Day Challenge in terms of the Cleanse and eating Clean! Lot's of veggies, fruits, and staying away from the fatty foods as much as possible. It is amazing how I just stopped thinking about what I was putting into my body, but I would go out and workout super hard and then not repair my body with the proper nutrition post workout. It is all about habits and changing them! I have given myself a little brake and try not to beat myself up if I went too long without eating and made a bad choice. It is going to happen and will not be the 1st time. I just move forward and try to stay focused for the next meal or day. Whichever comes first!

I have performance goals that are motivating me down this path. I also have a 5 and 7 year old who I love to play soccer, baseball, ride bikes, and hope to be very active with throughout their lives. It is about feeling better each day, keeping my health in check each day, and trying to be my best each day! I can say that I feel very good after the last 6 days, I have been in the gym and on the bike a lot over the last 6 days. Which has been challenging keeping myself fueled up for each workout. I did not eat enough on Saturday night and struggled with some cramping the last 7 miles of my long ride this Sunday. I had plenty of protein in for breakfast, but not enough or any carbs. I paid for that mistake! It is only 6 days in and I have a long ways to GO! before this Nutrition Challenge is complete, I have already messed up a few times, but oh well, back on track and moving forward in a positive direction.

Some of you may have Nutrition Issues that are slowing you down, holding you back from getting yourself moving or maybe your physician has said that you need to make some changes. I know I have my battles and hope to reach some of my goals sooner than later. But, this is not an overnight process, it is a lifestyle change and a behaviour pattern change when it comes to my food intake or diet! Follow along with me if you want? Take the challenge or read my updates along the way from time to time. I promise it will not be this long winded, more related to how I am feeling, the process, timing of foods and how important the timing of the right foods can be to exercise performance. I will add some photo's along the way to see physical changes. If you have any questions or want to join me in the Challenge, just email me at shoressports1@yahoo.com It is all about living your best life and feeling good enough to get out everyday and GO!

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