BEATING ALLERGIC DISEASES HOLISTICALLY WITH DIET

Your body knows what’s good for you which means it knows plants are good for you. This is how you can beat allergic diseases holistically!

Did you know over 60 million Americans are suffering from allergic diseases? The diseases arise in the body, producing an immune response that includes but is not limited to sneezing, shortness of breath, itchy skin, or watery eyes. On average, people are allergic to two or three different sources, typically from food, grasses, animals, or even dust mites. Lucky for us, research studies are setting the stage for holistic treatment options for these uncomfortable and sometimes deadly conditions.

Twenty patients with skin allergic eczema were placed on a predominantly low-calorie vegetarian diet for two months, and their disease rating drastically cut in half. These results are comparable to the findings after patients in the double-blinded study took 5mg of a skin inflammation drug, cyclosporin. The drug produced quicker results, within two weeks’ time; however, since the main side effect included kidney failure & cancer, the drug was considered a class one carcinogen, the dietary option is absolutely preferable. Adopting a diet limiting meat appeared to show rapid results without the harmful side effects.

Next, researchers studied a vegan regimen with another allergic disease, asthma. The patients of this study included thirty-five men and women with long-established-verified bronchial asthma within the 2–33 year time span (average of 11.9 years). The fairly advanced asthma patients were on an average of four medications, including cortisone, and some were on as many as eight and still not experiencing health improvements even with all their medications. These unhealthy individuals were placed on a vegan diet, and the results speak for themselves. Within the twenty-four patients who were able to complete the study & adhere to the diet, 71% reported improvement at four months and 92% percent at one year. They did all this with diet alone.

According to this study “Concurrently with this improvement, the patients greatly reduced their consumption of medicine. At one year, four patients had completely given up their medication. The majority had reduced their medication by 10%–50% of the original level and only two had an unchanged medicine consumption. Many patients said that their improvement was so considerable that they felt like “they had a new life.” Pretty amazing, right?!

In almost all cases the medication was reduced or decreased completely, and the patients began to regain health through the power of a plant-based diet. In addition to the asthma symptoms dissipating, the inherently healthy lifestyle produced a cascade of additional powerful side effects. Patient’s cholesterol improved, blood pressure stabilized, and they lost an average of 18 pounds per person.

 

O.Lindahl, L.Lindwall, A.Spangberg, A.Stenram, P.A.Ockerman. Vegan regimen with reduced medication in the treatment of bronchial asthma. J Asthma. 1985 22(1):45-55.

T Tanaka, K Kouda, M Kotani, A Takeuchi, T Tabei, Y Masamoto, H Nakamura, M Takigawa, M Suemura, H Takeuchi, M Kouda. Vegetarian diet ameliorates symptoms of atopic dermatitis through reduction of the number of peripheral eosinophils and of PGE2 synthesis by monocytes. J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. 2001120(6):353 – 361.

J M Sowden, J Berth-Jones, J S Ross, R J Motley, R Marks, A Y Finlay, M S Salek, R A Graham-Brown, B R Allen, R D Camp. Double-blind, controlled, crossover study of cyclosporin in adults with severe refractory atopic dermatitis. Lancet 1991 338(8760):137 – 140.

P Krupp, C Monka. Side-effect profile of cyclosporin A in patients treated for psoriasis. Br J Dermatol. 1990 122 – Suppl – 36:47-56.

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WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY WHEN YOU GO PLANT BASED

The fountain of youth isn’t the myth that people think. It can be found in the healthy, clean eating of a plant-based diet! Your body says thank you!

You Protect Your Heart

In the early 1950’s, heart disease was once thought to be caused by aging; however, research is now clearly defining heart disease to be linked to diet and lifestyle through an abundance of irrefutable research. Research now shows, high cholesterol in persons with atherosclerosis is acquired by choices of the foods they consume. The INTERHEART study revealed that factors such as diet, exercise, and smoking accounted for over 90% of the risk of having a heart attack. This accounts for men and women of all ages from around the world.

  • The best way to avoid heart disease:
  • Avoid saturated fat (found in meat dairy & eggs)
  • Avoid Trans Fat (found mostly in processed junk foods & animal products)

The Intake of Cholesterol Itself (especially found in meat, dairy & eggs)

Did you know our bodies produce cholesterol on its own? Any animal products we consume adds cholesterol to the supply our bodies have already made for us. Over time, this additional cholesterol may lead to an increase in our bad cholesterol, “LDL” levels. Elevated LDL levels have also been shown to be due to a lack of fiber, found in whole plant foods. In general, all animal products seem to raise our risk of dying from America’s number 1 killer, while plant foods, greatly lower that risk.

You Have Less Inflammation & Bloating

Did you know your gut bacteria changes based upon the foods you consume on a daily basis? Intake of plant-based foods (especially fiber) from these foods greatly impacts our health. Meat and dairy contain no fiber and require different types of bacteria to break them down. Our good gut bacteria digestion of fiber yields a short chain fatty acid named butyrate, which research shows, may aid against cancer by slowing the progression of colon cancer cells & programming cancer cell death. Because plant-based diets lead to an increase in butyrate, we are now connecting the dots to why plant-based diets seem to lower inflammation in the gut. Another recent study concluded, butyrate seems to exert anti-inflammatory activities by affecting immune cell migration, adhesion, cytokine expression as well as affecting cellular processes such as proliferation, activation, and apoptosis. Let’s not forget, healthy colons and gut bacteria aid in speedy and efficient digestion, keeping bloating to a minimum!

You May Lose that Last 5–10 Pounds

Plant-based foods are less calorically dense than meat and dairy and are inherently lower in fat. Doctors such as Dr. Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, took the opportunity to collectively analyze all clinical research studies focusing on plant-based and vegetarian weight loss trials and found that plant-based diets lead to greater weight loss results, whether or not weight loss is intended. Participants lost an average of roughly 7.5 pounds when adopting a plant-based lifestyle. These findings were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Knowing what a plant-based diet can do for you, it’s time to get started!

 

CHOCOLATE BANANA QUINOA COOKIES

Chocolate Banana Quinoa Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • ¾ of a spotty mashed banana
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup agave
  • 2 tablespoons softened coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup nondairy chocolate chips
  • ½ banana sliced into small pieces
  • Raisins or dried cranberries
Prep Time

10 min

Total Time

1 hr 10 min

DIRECTIONS

Grab a large mixing bowl and mix in dry ingredients. This will include the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, flour, raisins. Once everything is mixed well and smooth, set bowl aside.

Mix all wet ingredients in another bowl. This will include the agave, softened coconut oil and vanilla.

Combine both the wet and dry ingredients. Mix until smooth then add in chocolate chips and banana. Chill the batter in the fridge for 40 minutes. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Spray your baking pan with coconut oil and drop batter into small balls onto the pan leaving 1 inch in between each cookie.

Bake for 10–15 minutes.

Let the cookies cool for 15 minutes and Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Quinoa Cookies

Benefits of a Plant Based Diet

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What is on the end of our fork matters. What we consume and put into
our bodies either feeds disease or prevents it. Did you know that
according to recent studies, vegans have lower cholesterol, heart
disease, lower triglycerides and cancers compared to non vegans? Not
to mention, vegans also have a higher intake on fiber. Worried about
protein? We’ve got you covered! It is very simple to meet your protein
requirements on a plant based diet. Don’t believe me? Ask Dr. Garth
Davis , founder Memorial Hospital’s “Farmacy” based out of Houston,
Texas. Research is laying out proof that plants are the key to health
and longevity.

Improve Your Health One Bite at A Time

One benefit of a plant based diet is higher consumption of fiber. On
average, adults require around 25- 35 grams of fiber per day. Beans,
legumes, vegetables, fruit and whole grains are great sources of
fiber. Fiber, both insoluble and soluble are both beneficial to
overall health and smooth digestion. Fiber acts as a broom and
cleanses your digestive track while keeping you feeling full longer.
Fiber is also proven to control blood sugar levels, keep LDL (bad
cholesterol) at bay and reduce the risk for colon cancer. Fiber is
also a key contributor for the body to create “good bacteria” through
the presence of lactic acid in the large intestine. This improves
vitamin and mineral absorption in the body while boosting our overall
immune system.

A Plant Based Diet Leads To Weight Loss
Because of the low fat content and high amount of nutrients in plants,
a vegan diet may promote over all weight loss compared to the standard
American diet. Many people believe animal products have nutritional
benefits due to their protein, iron, and/or calcium, depending on
which product. However, these foods contain dangerous components and
are not essential to our health. They may cause inflammation, promote
disease and weight gain. Plants, on the other hand, contain protein
and iron or calcium while providing the body with phytochemicals,
nutrients and fiber to help prevent and fight disease and sickness in
the body. They provide you with the energy you need to exercise and
build muscle. Check out Team Plant Built for major motivation or give
veganbodybuilding.com a gander!

farmacy

Doctors Now Prescribing Patients to visit the “Farmacy”

Dr. Garth Davis, of Memorial City Hospital in Houston Texas is one of
the first doctors in the United States to physically prescribe fruits
and vegetables to his patients through a partnership co-op with
Texas’s locally owed Rawfully Organic. Dr. Garth has experienced
extreme health results from patients after adopting a plant based
lifestyle. His approach is simple,  he advises them to increase their
plant based foods and limit the amount of meat and dairy they consume.
Not only are his patients losing weight, but many are regaining their
health from the inside out.

According to Davis,

“Meat causes inflammation by causing acidosis
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12450898. Also, meat has bacterial
endotoxins in its fibers that are released when consumed and cause an
inflammatory response http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19755625.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17991637. Time and again, meat has
been found to increase CRP which is a direct risk factor for
development of heart disease and diabetes
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17696726.

When you eat animals you actually are eating arachidonic acid which is
a direct precursor that the body uses to create inflammatory
chemicals. Diets high in arachidonic acids have been associated with
inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative
colitis, and avoidance of meat has been shown to reduce these
inflammatory diseases. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20950616,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22333737,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12548439,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12548439,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8205407,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20503448

Now a new study confirms these findings. They randomized people to a
vegan diet, semi vegetarian diet, or regular diet and found
progressively more inflammation with more meat consumption.
http://www.pcrm.org/health/medNews/.

Every time we eat meat we are adding to our inflammatory load. If you
are healthy and eat lots of fruits and veggies, which can counteract
the inflammation, then you are probably fine. But if you suffer
diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel
disease, meat is a poison to your body!”

So, where can vegans get their protein from a plant based diet?

Sunwarrior offers a wide variety of protein supplements that are
packed with plant based proteins. You can also find protein in every
plant based food. Here are some examples of plants that offer a higher
amount of protein to help you meet your nutritional needs.

Soy-based products-

Soy milk- 10g per glass

Soy beans- 20g per cup (cooked)

Edamame- 25g per cup (shelled)

Roasted soy beans- 22g per half cup

Tofu- 25g per cup

Tempeh- 46g per cup

Textured vegetable protein/soy mince- 48g per cup (uncooked)

Soy Spaghetti- 42g per 100g (dry weight)

Other meat substitutes-

Seitan- 63g per cup

Vegetarian mock meats- varies, usually 15-50g per serve depending on the product

Grains-

Wholemeal pasta- 15g per 100g (dry weight)

Oats- 17g per ½ cup (dry weight)

Oat bran- 22g per ½ cup (dry weight)

Ezekial bread- 11g per 100g or 4-5g per slice

Vegan Protein Powders-
(around 25 grams per scoop of plant based protein)
(Email us at Elizabethmorganfit.com for advice on healthy organic vegan protein powders)

Legumes-

Chickpeas- 20g per cup (cooked)

Dry roasted chickpeas- 20g per cup

Split peas- 25g per cup (cooked)

Lentils- 27g per cup (cooked)

Kidney beans- 24g per cup (cooked)

Mung bean pasta- 45g per 100g (dry weight)

Black bean pasta- 46g per 100g (dry weight)

Vegetables-

Spinach- 14g per 500g

Silverbeet- 8g per 500g

Broccoli- 14g per 500g

Cauliflower- 10g per 500g

Mushrooms- 15g per 500g

Potato- 10g per 500g

Corn- 16g per 500g OR 8g per large ear

Asparagus- 16g per 500g

Kale- 16g per 500g

Lentil sprouts- 22g per cup

Green peas- 8g per cup

Broad beans- 20g per cup

Nuts and seeds-

Pepitas- 18.5g per 50g

Almonds- 10.5g per 50g

Pistachios- 10g per 50g

Hemp seed- 18g per 50g

Other-

Nutritional yeast- 10g per tablespoon, 65g per ½ cup

Spirulina- 10g per tablespoon

Wheat grass powder- 5g per tablespoon

Barley grass- 5g per tablespoon

Chollera- 12g per tablespoon

Seaweed (dried)- 4-10g per tablespoon depending on type

Resources

–>30 Reasons to Go Vegan: http://bit.ly/1srlb8X
—>Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Position Paper on Vegetarian
Diets: http://bit.ly/12sFhCv
—>Kaiser Permanente Thrive’s Nutritional Update for Physicians:
Plant-Based Diets: http://1.usa.gov/1k20IIi
—>6 Reasons Plant-Based Nutrition Is The Solution to The Healthcare
Crisis: http://bit.ly/1C1TmLH
—>6 Steps Towards a Plant-Based Diet: http://bit.ly/1slIIcV
—>The Plant-Based Food Guide Pyramid and Plate: http://bit.ly/177tOQz
—>Notable Nutrient Sources: http://bit.ly/1pmm0xZ
—>Vegan Easy Challenge’s Free 30 Day Vegan Challenge: http://bit.ly/1BoW7WQ

Benefits of Berries

Blackberries
Blackberries are composed of more than 85 percent water along with a hefty dose of fiber, which makes them a great fruit to eat if you’re trying to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or manage type 2 diabetes. They are a good source of folate, a B vitamin that helps maintain healthy hair and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and mood disorders. Additionally, blackberries are full of potent antioxidants that can help with arthritis, age-related memory loss, cataracts, and other eyesight problems.

Blueberries
Blueberries consist of 85 percent water, which makes them a great fruit to eat if you’re trying to lose weight. They also contain potent antioxidants that can help with arthritis, age-related memory loss, and cataracts and other eyesight problems.

Boysenberries
Boysenberries are a cross of raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries, and they look like a jumbo version of a blackberry. Boysenberries contain anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants that can help with arthritis and age-related memory loss.

Cranberries
Fresh cranberries are composed of more than 85 percent water along with a hefty dose of fiber, but they are rarely eaten fresh since they are so sour and astringent. Instead, cranberries are most often eaten in sweetened form either as dried cranberries or sugary cranberry sauce, and because these foods are concentrated sources of sugar, people with type 2 diabetes should dramatically limit their intake. Both fresh and dried cranberries are a good source of anthocyanins, anti-inflammatory antioxidants that can help with arthritis and age-related memory loss.

Raspberries
Raspberries are composed of more than 85 percent water along with a hefty dose of fiber, which makes them a great fruit to eat if you’re trying to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or manage type 2 diabetes. They are also full of potent antioxidants, including vitamin C and anthocyanins, which can help with arthritis, age-related memory loss, cataracts and other eyesight problems, and maintaining healthy skin and hair.

Strawberries
Strawberries are composed of more than 90 percent water along with a hefty dose of fiber, which makes them a great fruit to eat if you’re trying to lose weight, lower cholesterol or manage type 2 diabetes. They are a good source of folate, a B vitamin that helps maintain healthy hair and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and mood disorders. Additionally, strawberries are full of potent antioxidants, including vitamin C and anthocyanins, which can help with arthritis, age-related memory loss, cataracts and other eyesight problems, and maintaining healthy skin and hair.

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The importance of Protein and Recovery

When it comes to gaining muscle protein shakes can definitely help. It’s important to 1. Train 2. Get in proper nutrition and 3. REST! Protein is vital for muscle growth. Protein powders are great because they are quickly absorbed and your body can digest them rapidly to help start the recovery process after training. To gain muscle you really need the essential amino acids before and after your workout.

Even though protein is needed to grow muscles, too much protein can still lead to weight gain.  Our bodies can only digest and use about 30 grams of protein in a three hour window. Too much of anything will lead to fat! It’s important to not only eat healthy clean foods but aim to eat proper portions and eat every 3 hours. When you master that balance you WILL see amazing changes.  We aim for about 20-30 grams pre or post workout. Portion sizes vary on each person and what their goals are. The after training meal is extremely important because the muscles are in the recovery process, so it is vital to eat no longer than an hour after your training to reach that anabolic window. We typically eat an hour before a workout and then RIGHT after!

As for muscle soreness, glutamine can really help. Why would added glutamine in the diet help? Because, during intense training, glutamine levels are greatly depleted in your body, which decreases strength, stamina and recovery. So, by taking a glutamine supplement your body can repair faster which equals LESS SORENESS  !!! A huge benefit of protein powders (especially Oh Yeah! powders) is they contain all the essential amino acids AND glutamine! Oh Yeah! also sells glutamine supplements! The biggest advantage of supplements is convenience, digestibility and their well-balanced profile. They are quick and easy and take care of what you need after a good workout.

Protein Shakes VS Whole Foods?

Whole foods will have an advantage because they will take more time to digest and because of the energy needed for digestion, your metabolism is boosted and more calories are burned breaking down the foods..protein shakes are already broken down for the body. This is known as the Thermic Effect and while all protein scores the highest ..around 30 percent of all the energy it provides is used up in processing. Basically, our body uses more energy to digest chicken than a protein shake.

So the question is Food or Supplements??! We say both! They are both great for different times depending on your goals. We aim for protein powders only pre or post workouts and then choose to eat whole foods in our other meals to get that thermagetic effect we told you about earlier. Food should always be your first option and then use the protein supplements at the times when they do their best muscle building magic.

 

pH Balance. Does it matter if my foods are alkaline?


The average consumer, eater and American may very well have heard about diets rich in alkaline forming foods. This specific topic does not have very much light shed on it and this is not because it is a controversial matter, but simply because people know very little about it with the small amount of coverage on this topic. Many believe it to not be imperative.

First of all, to get down to the nitty-gritty:
One’s pH (pH stands for power of Hydrogen) is a measurement of one’s Hydrogen ion concentration within the body. This level is numbered from 1-14 with 7 being neutral. A level below 7 is considered to be acidic and a level above 7 is said to be alkaline. The human body’s ideal pH is a slightly alkaline one at 7.30 to 7.45. At this slightly alkaline level, our bodies can work at their utmost potential and maintain a constant and effective state of homeostasis.
To ensure your pH remains slightly alkaline it is definitely a beneficial idea to incorporate alkaline forming foods into your diet.

Here are the bare-bone facts on alkaline levels in food:
Foods that are highly alkaline include pH 9.5 water, green drinks, Himalayan salt and real salt, kale, parsley, sprouts, spinach, tomato, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumber, endive, garlic, grasses (alfalfa, wheatgrass, etc.), soy nuts and pure soy lecithin.
Moderately alkaline foods include beets, basil, carrot, chives, coriander, ginger, green beans, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, okra, radishes, red onions, turnips, zucchini, lemon, lime, rhubarb, butter beans, lima beans, navy beans, chia seeds, hemp seeds and quinoa.
Your lower/mildly alkaline foods are going to be almond milk, distilled water, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, comfrey, lettuce, peas, pumpkin, rutabaga, swede, squash, watercress, coconut, grapefruit, pomegranate, almonds, fennel seeds, lentils, tofu, sesame seeds, oils (avocado, olive, coconut, flax, grapeseed, hemp and omega oils.)

Should you care to worry about eating these alkaline foods?
The benefit of increasing intake is a widely researched topic and there have been many studies that are clinically germane.

But what have we found?

Well, first off, a highly alkaline diet is one with increased fruit and vegetable intake.
This may improve the body’s K/Na (sodium-potassium) ratio and in turn, this benefits your bone health.
Regarding muscle mass, high alkaline diets, in conjunction with a reduced acid load, have been shown to reduce muscle wasting and sustain the muscle mass of aging men and women.

There is quite a large amount of important information to become familiar with in order to decide if you want to go the ‘more alkaline way’!

A high alkaline diet results in an increase in your growth hormone! This may improve multiple systems all the way from one’s cardiovascular health to one’s cognitive health and memory.
Increasing your alkaline food intake will increase your intracellular magnesium! Why is this important, you might ask? Well proper/higher magnesium levels are critical for the function of enzymes within the body (every system and interaction in one’s body needs their enzymes)! This accessible magnesium is needed to activate vitamin D in the body and in turn, this will let one experience the multiple added benefits of proper vitamin D apocrine/exocrine system functioning.

Because of these findings, it is quite safe to say that an alkaline diet may reduce morbidity and even mortality of chronic disease that we as American’s are seeing much too much of as the years tic on!

pH and cancer.. now this is a bit controversial…
It is factual that cancer cells are acidic cells and that, by default, every person who does have cancer has a pH that is too acidic. Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize in 1931 for proving that cancer can’t survive in an alkaline, oxygen rich environment but thrives in an acidic, low oxygen environment.
Once a body is cancerous and undergoes chemotherapy, the effectiveness of the chemotherapy is remarkably influenced by pH. Chemotherapy kills one’s body cells (the rapidly dividing cells) and this directly correlates with more acid in the body. Because of this, inducing metabolic alkalosis (supplementing the body with bicarbonate) may result in improving the therapeutic effectiveness of the treatment.
Though, this does not convey that eating alkaline foods will PREVENT cancer. Eating alkaline foods, however, WILL reduce inflammation in the human body and we know that chronic low-grade inflammation does indeed play a role in many diseases and illnesses.

WHAT IS CLEAN EATING?!

Clean eating is about eating foods in their most natural state. This means avoiding processed foods, foods with loads of preservatives, foods with lots of added sugar, and foods with high levels of bad fats (some saturated fats/all trans fats). Alternatively, you want to avoid foods that have been stripped of their nutritional value and/or have been injected with a heaping dose of six-syllable chemicals.

Clean eating isn’t an exact term with standard guidelines to follow. Our definition of clean eating is what we have learned from our nutritionist, Kim Porterfield and many other professionals in the fitness industry. These are some of the basic guidelines that I associate with clean eating.
-Eating every 2-3 hours
-Eat Whole foods (plant based primarily)
-A diet with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
-drinking a gallon of water a day
-We drink plant based protein shakes post workout (email us at Elizabethmorganfit@gmail.com if you are interested)

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Making healthy cooking choices, such as baking, steaming, and light sauteing whenever possible.
Consume healthy fats from natural sources such as nuts, avocados, organic coconut oil, etc.
The overwhelming point I want to drive home to you is this; choose foods closest to their natural state. It’s great if you’re eating broccoli, but if it’s covered in cheese, butter, breadcrumbs, casserole style, then baked for 45 minutes, it’s losing a ton of its nutritional value. A better option would be to lightly steam your broccoli, toss with a little olive oil, lemon juice, or use chicken broth and yummy spices to flavor your food. Learning to cook (and eat) cleanly is all about learning to simplify things and not overdoing it with your meal prep. When you keep things simple, meals normally turn out to be more healthy.

How To Tranform Your Body!

 It has taken me a couple years of researching in school about nutrition, learning from my nutritionist and speaking to many fitness competitors and models in the industry that eating more healthy foods is the key to losing fat. A woman that is 120 pounds is going to need to eat around 1,400-1,500 a day. A woman that is 210 pounds needs about 1,000 more calories to have healthy fat loss. If you are not meeting the caloric goals your body needs then metabolism may slow and eventually losing fat and building muscle will be nearly impossible. There is no magic pill, fad diet or easy way out. It is all about fitness, proper rest, water intake and NUTRITION. That’s all it really boils down to. Simple..Right? There is no easy way out so avoid the road blocks with trying crazy diets or supplements that market the notion they will “do the work for you.” You have the power INSIDE YOU to reach your goals. Trust yourself and the process.

          As we both began to bump up our calories with the correct portions and choices of lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats we were able to build and maintain muscle while lose fat.. JUST by bumping UP the calories.. not taking them away. Nutrition is science and depending on your goals, adding or subtracting calories and macros (along with a great workout plan) will determine how you meet those goals. For example, when I began attempting to build muscle this fall I bumped up my calories slowly to make sure my body had all the nutrients it needed for proper muscle growth and intense training regimen. When I began training for my competition in April my goals changed so, I tapered down my calories BUT still kept them in the 1600-1800 calorie range. I am now at 10% body fat and getting ready to step on stage for the NPC competition next month. 

       I am now leaner than I was years when I thought eating hardly anything during the day would cause me to lose weight. Evening though I had to taper my calories to lean out for my competition… it is still WAY more than I was eating when I was uneducated about nutrition and out of shape. Caloric needs are different for everyone but there are many calorie calculators online if you need help figuring out your personal range.

      I’m writing this because I know this was a struggle for me to wrap my head around. It took years of learning and researching. I remember at the Arnold this year, IFFBB PRO Amanda Latona, my sister Morgan and my best friend had this very talk. She told us to make sure to always focus on proper nutrition even when competing. Taking away calories and carbs to meet goals will ONLY hurt you in the long run. You need carbs for not only energy needs but also brain function! It is not something to take away!

       Eating clean is 80% of what YOU look like. Working out for 5 hours a day is only a very small percentage of your week (3% to be exact).. You must stay consistent.. and remember if you’re only trying to eat healthy “70%” percent of the time.. that was a C- in school, so expect C- results!

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