Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Power of Protein

I think the world is finally catching on. Fats are our friends and protein doesn't make us bulky. We are learning that sugars are seriously evil, and grains are actually not so glorious. 


When I can, I like to cook and bake from scratch while using the freshest ingredients in their most whole form. Don't we all. And wouldn't we all, in a perfect world.


Since my world is far from perfect, and I'm only human, I like indulge and eat things like waffles, cereal and yogurt. I don't follow any diet paradigms, I just try to eat a balanced diet. By balanced, I mean, the appropriate amount of protein to build muscle, enough carbohydrates to keep my brain humming happily, and enough good fats to fuel my workouts. For me, this looks like 30% of my diet from fats, 30% protein and 40% carbohydrates, roughly. I try to take in at least 100-130g of protein a day.


All my dietary preferences aside, I don't count calories and I don't track what I eat (by using MyFitnessPal or writing it down). I wish I was strict enough to, but honestly, I'm a beliiver in the 80% rule. If 80% of the time you're making smart food decisions, then the rest will take care of itself. If you're totally out of touch with your macro nutritent break down, I suggest journaling for a week or so to see where you are. See how many grams of sugar you take in a day (fruit sugars count, too), that you're getting enough protein, enough fats, etc.

Any time I reach for a box or a package of something, I realize there is a more wholesome form of food I could be eating. So, I don't reach very often. But, the point is that when I do, I want it to still be a smart form of food. Of course, instead of eating a protein bar, I could eat a steak or eggs or both. Is that practical though when I'm leaving the gym? Not so much.

I have a few rules when shopping for things that come prepared: watch for hidden sugars. Chobani is filled with it. Fruit is still fructose. Fructose, while natural, is still a sugar. I don't care how natural the sugar is, it's all broken down the. same. way.

Cereal needs to have less than 7g of sugar in a serving. I might let it slide if there is 8g. I love Uncle Sam's Flax cereal sprinkled on my oats or over fruit or on yogurt. Sometimes I splurge. I recently found this cereal from Special K, this would be a splurge. A big bowl would be a "cheat" or what I consider the other 20% of my diet.


Yogurt needs to have at least 13g of protein in a serving, and no more than 8g of sugar in it. I have found a few brands in the plain flavors that fit the bill, including Fage Greek Yogurt and Liberté, and recently a few flavors from Yoplait.


Berries before any other fruit. And keep the skin on everything else. I keep the skin on apples and even my kiwi.


When purchasing apples and bananas, don't buy the huge ones. People don't even realize how huge our fruits and produce have become thanks to GMO's. An apple should fit in between two cupped hands, and I usually buy 5-6" long bananas. I admit, they can be hard to find sometimes.


At least 70% cocoa or higher when purchasing chocolate. Eat it daily. ;)


 I like to make my own waffles (a big batch of them and keep them in the freezer), but I recently spotted these from Vans, and couldn't help but add them to my basket. My husband loves them, and I do, too. I like to have one with my morning coffee before the gym, just a little something in my stomach to pull me out of fasting, but not enough to slow me down.


They're seriously delicious. I don't need to top them with anything. Just toast and go. 

I'm not a nutritionist. I've played around with and read about the negative effects of gluten, grains and all processed foods. I've read about soy, I've read about GMO's. Dairy is killing me, yadda yadda. This is me living like a normal human being. I don't believe in diets. I don't believe in cutting out foods for good. I can't live in a world of restriction, or I end up binging horribly. Moderation is the key.

It is the Holiday's, people. Omg, gain 5 pounds. Burn it off in a few weeks during the New Year. This is life. We aren't cavemen any more. Why are we trying to make people eat like them?!


This is a real body. A normal human, eating normal foods, everything in moderation. I'm not perfect, I'm healthy and I'm pretty damn happy in my skin. 


 Even if it's a little ripped up after today's workout.

Skill: 
15 minutes to practice bar muscle ups.
 
Strength: 
3x10 alternating military press (1 pood kettlebell, 5x each arm)
3x10 single leg deadlift (1 pood kettlebell in each hand, 5x each leg)
3x20 rows with rotation (1 pood kettlebell, 10 each side)

Metcon:

"Jingle Belles"
5 rounds for time:
10 double kettlebell russian swings
10 double kettlebell front squat
10 kettlebell snatches (5 each arm)
10 kettlebell push press
1 minute rest between rounds
Total time: 23:01, Rx'ed

(1.5 pood bells for men, 1 pood bells for women)

Cash out:
Farmer carry walking lunges (hold two kettlebells at your side and lunge!) x50 reps


This workout KILLED me.

Do you have a favorite kettlebell movement?
I love the kettlebell snatch, Turkish get up and goblet squat.

What are some of your food rules?

What's your favorite nut butter?
Funny, because I was crazy about peanut butter for a second, but right now it's sunflower seed butter.

36 comments:

  1. Sounds like a tough workout! Awesome!

    I'm for the KB snatch and just your typical swing. I love the feel of the weight flying high above!

    Yes, moderation. Focusing on the most natural foods. And yes. Chocolate daily. Agreed!!

    Not gonna lie on this one. PB. I can do almond though

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crunchy or smooth!? Haha :) and do you like the CrossFit swing or the Russian swing?

      Delete
    2. crossfit swing...if its light enough. haha

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Happy it was helpful! Thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  3. I like the kettle bell swing. Goblet squat give a nice burn too.

    Thanks for saying which brands of yogurt are best. I've been eating plain Brown Cow brand and now know I've got to find something else. I try to eat in moderation. If I'm using sweeteners I try and use natural ones like honey and maple syrup but limit those too. I don't eat a lot of bread, crackers, or oats either. I just feel like there are "real" foods I could be eating instead.

    I agree with you about the holidays. Am I going to have some pie, you betcha! But I'm not going to have the whole thing just a slice. And in the New Year I'm going to burn it off :)

    Almond butter and sometimes sunflower butter.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love this post! Moderation for everything! "we are not cavemen why are we eating like them" is one of my favorite lines from this post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm usually a fan of plain ol' kettlebell swings and kb snatches, even though they just about put me on my butt yesterday.

    I'm in a weird place with food right now... I did Weight Watchers from April to December in 2011 and lost over 50 lbs. Then January 2012 hit, and upon having a young-life crisis, my eating habits fell apart. We're talking all comfort foods & sweets, all the time. Obviously, I regained about 25-30 lbs. Since starting Crossfit in August, I've gotten better about my eating habits, but I'm definitely still figuring them out. I'm trying to focus on more whole foods as opposed to processed (For boxed/packaged stuff, I try to follow the "5 ingredients or less" rule), but I still have my weaknesses... like a stick of Colby-Jack with my breakfast :) Thankfully, I do love me some fruits, veggies, and some meats.

    As for nut butters, I've never had anything other than peanut butter, which I love. What are some other good ones to try?

    Which flavors of the Yoplait did you find that you liked? Also, does anybody have any suggestions for lunches to pack aside from sandwiches, which I'm trying to get away from, or salads, which I'm starting to get bored of?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Emily! I love making homemade soups and bringing them for lunch. You can cram tons of veggies and nutrition in them, and they really keep you satisfied!

      Delete
    2. Hey Emily! How about chicken? You can always do a quick shake and bake chicken prep the night before or have leftovers from dinner :-) I eat a lot of chicken and fish for lunch and dinner !! Also, tuna salads work as great packed lunches!

      Delete
    3. Emily,

      Hey! I love mason jar salads! If you Google it, you will be I inspired by a ton of different ideas. I spend a lot of time in my car for work, these save me and they're so fun!

      Justin's makes small single serving packs of various butters. I've even seen them at WalMart, that's a great way to try a new flavor without investing in the whole jar. Hazelnut butter is awesome, almond butter, and sunflower seed. Target makes a few fun "blends" - all of them together! Check out the Archer Farms brand :)

      Life is always kind of a balancing act. Keep your chin up, you'll find your groove :)

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I'll be sure to hit up Target and google those mason jar salads. Microwaves on campus are few and far between, so cold lunch ideas are always great! :)

      Delete
  6. I love love love this post! I agree - everything in moderation is key. Eat healthy to nourish your body most of the time, but eat things you enjoy as well to stay sane :) Favorite nut butter? Such a hard question because I like them all. Sunflower seed butter = <3, but I also love peanut, almond, coconut, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I too loved this post as I think you broke it down quite well!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this post! I've been making some positive changes to my diet lately(ie sugar cut-back), and seeing some results. This makes me even more motivated for the new year. PS, making your own nut butters is amaze-balls! So delish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cutting out sugars is no easy feat, good for you!

      Delete
  9. Love me some kettlebell swings! Turkish get-ups are fun, too, but hard!
    Love your rea life perspective on food. That's how I eat, too.
    Peanut butter right now! But I've yet to meet a nut butter I didn't like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never met a nut butter I didn't like, hear hear!*

      Delete
  10. Loved, LOVED this post! I get so caught up in trying to eat Paleo that it's ridiculous. I love your view and thanks so much for all of the tips! :)

    I love kettlebell windmills. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you for eating Paleo! Is there a particular reason for doing so?

      Delete
  11. I love your philosophy on food and it's very similar to my own! Diets don't work, eating a healthy diet needs to be a part of your lifestyle.
    I compete in kettlebell sport, and I love both jerks and snatches but I think snatches take the cake :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey! I'm so happy you commented because I've wanted to ask you about competing in kettle bell sport. I know I mentioned a few weeks ago I was thinking about a power lifting meet, but that really isn't my thing. I don't think. But kettle bells, may be! Do you have any information you could pass along?

      Delete
  12. I'm still obsessed with Peanut Butter. IMO it is the BEST nut butter ever and I could probably eat a jar of it in one sitting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If its a jar of crunchy peanut butter, it will already be empty because I would have eaten it all!

      Delete
  13. Loved this post, Courtney! I was doing really well with my eating and lifting up until last week, when i somehow managed to get Mono. I can't lift again for another week or 2 and I'm thoroughly depressed about it. I feel like sitting on my ass for the past basically 2 weeks now, has completely killed all the hard work I had put in. I'm trying to get back on my healthy food wagon, but I loved your diet philosophy in this post and I really feel like it's the way to go. No actual diets, just good healthy eating habits. Gotta get my shit together here before the holiday. LoL.

    As for kettlebells, I love me some swings and goblet squats are pretty good too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think of it as your body telling you that you needed a de-load week. You have the rest of your life to tackle your strength and fitness goals, two weeks is a blip on the map!

      Delete
  14. Where'd ya get that sports bra?! I love it! I also love your attitude towards food! I treat myself to something small everyday, keeping my diet pretty clean otherwise. You go girl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's Under Armor, I got it on clearance at Dicks Sporting Goods over the summer. ;)

      Delete
  15. Great post! I love peanut butter "Naturally More" and i love almond butter too. Next time i will buy sunflower seed butter to taste it. I have been working a lot that i have not been at the gym;-(( i will definitely go this weekend and train hard. have a good day tomorrow

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me know how you like it! And have fun killing it in the gym this weekend. :)

      Delete
  16. I love love love sunbutter, but I can not control myself when I have it! I'm also dying to try cashew butter, but I feel that will be equally as dangerous for me. Greek yogurt is the shiz. So much protein for so little calories. Win!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your abs are DA BUSINESS!!!!!! :) Your lifestyle and the way you eat is working. I've gotta find that right balance too. Merry christmas to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a relief to read about an approachable way to eat healthier. Thank you!! To answer your questions, let's see. . .Pretty boring but my favorite is peanut butter. I haven't really tried many other nut butters. I need to try kettle bell workouts. I keep hearing great things about them. Finally, my food rules...I try to keep my portions in check and I rarely eat fast food. Also don't drink soda often (recovering Diet Pepsi addict)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love almond butter! You look great by they way! Definitely wish I had your muscles. I want to start cross fit but cannot afford it. Any websites you know of that give at home workouts? And what equipment do you recommend for having at home? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've read. And re-read. And re-re-read. I love LOVE this post! I have it bookmarked all by its lonesome because you've said it so well! Everything you're doing is obviously working because you look fabulous! Thanks again for all the great tips that you go by. And to echo what you (and so many others have said) moderation is key. I've only had peanut, almond and hazelnut butters. Love them all. Right now I'm on a kick for chocolate mocha hazelnut butter (Jif). So healthy... :-/

    ReplyDelete