IIFYM: Part 2 Are you doing it right?

images4MRCJONZWe have all heard the phrase “IIFYM brah!” and have seen the endless number of Poptart pictures on Instagram. IIFYM has been huge in the diet and workout industry as of lately. Even my first post on IIFYM has seen the most hits out of all the ones here on my blog. I personally shift back and forth from eating things I WANT to eat and eating things I SHOULD eat when it comes to macro tracking. First let’s start with the three macros one tracks when dieting or bulking: Fat, Protein and Carbs. There are a ton of sites and ways to calculate your macros and calories. From IIFYM.com to the plethora of google results you can get just by typing it in, it might be hard to choose the right formula.

Fret no more! Direct your attention to this article written by a good friend of mine: Scott Herman Fitness Now this isn’t a shameless plug or a bit of spam. I’ve known him since we were in high school and his fitness success has exploded on the internet. You can find him on Youtube as well and follow all his free workout videos.

By calculating the correct number of calories and macro percentages based on your goals, you will find that losing weight or gaining weight can be very easy.

One of the biggest takeaways from IIFYM however is what you put into your body. Many of these IGers will swear by IIFYM and because they are lean and “make gainz” IIFYM and eating poptarts and pizza must be right. Here is where I disagree. There are so many chemical in today’s foods that by eating whatever you want as long as it fits your macros, can set your body up for self destruction later on. Why do I say this? Another good friend of mine recently beat cancer by changing his diet and incorporating raw greens juicing and healthy organic foods into his diet. He is a professional bodybuilder and admits to eating fast food at least once a week as his cheat meal before his cancer diagnosis. After cancer, he realized that more should go into what you put into your body. Forget about all the conspiracy theories and people who go for media drama and hype, there are a number of chemicals that are banned in other countries but not here in the US (for those readers who are outside of the US, check online to see if any other chemicals your nation might use are considered harmful).

By raw juicing and eating organic, grass fed beef and chicken, you can rid your body of the harmful chemicals that are snuck into your foods. While it’s great to look lean and cut, what good is that going to do you if you decrease your future quality of life? Be smart about this folks!!

Now I don’t claim to have vast amounts of knowledge in dieting and nutrition. However I’m sure this photo will prove that I have made great progress in trying to understand health and fitness:

 

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While it might be fun to eat poptarts and pizza, please consider the damage you may be causing to your body. Instead, focus on clean foods that will round out your macros while allowing yourself to cheat once and a while so you don’t binge on snack foods. If you have any questions on counting calories or macros, comment below and we will get back to you right away!

As always, following along on Instagram and come on over to our Facebook page Fitness by Claire

 

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Why Am I So Fat?!

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Have you ever felt like doing this? I’m almost positive I have actual performed this feat at one point. I used to clear a package of double stuffed Oreo cookies no problem. Ben and Jerry’s? I could eat that pint faster than you could take it away from me!

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Then the next day would be followed by this….

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Anyone ever feel like that in the morning?? It’s hard to break the cycle of eating because you feel bad and then feeling bad because you ate. The truth is, most of us use food as comfort, there’s a reason they coined it comfort food. It creeps up on you before you know it and one day you’re in the shower and you look down and your feet have disappeared!

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However all is not lost!! As I said before, I used to weight 160lbs. If you are reading this for the first time….here’s an example:

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Head on over to my post Fat Kid Living Inside Me for more fat kid pictures (you know you’re dying to see them!)
I can proudly say that now, 6 years later, I’m 120lbs (don’t panic, it only took 8 months to get to that weight, I’ve kept it off for 6 years) and I now look like this:

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Special thanks goes out to my amazing husband for being the source of my inspiration, the motivation behind my drive, and the completion to my life!
Here is a small list of success tips I have that will help motivate you all through your journeys:

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Happy hump day everyone!

Alcohol, chocolate, water OH MY!

Here’s a little bit of information if you are wondering if you can still incorporate chocolate into your diet:

Fitness Facts: CHOCOLATE:
🔹Excessive consumption of Chocolate can definitely be counter productive to a healthy lifestyle, but when added to a diet in small amounts it can provide benefits to both health & fitness!
🔹Most of the benefits from chocolate come from it’s primary ingredient cocoa, so the more cocoa in the chocolate the more benficial it can be. Out of the main 3 types of chocolate (dark, milk, & white), dark chocolate contains the most cocoa.
🔹Chocolate contains notable amounts of Potassium, Iron, & Magnesium, which help with muscle function and preventing cramps.
🔹Chocolate contains the flavonoid Epicatechin, which binds to muscle receptors and may help them resist fatigue.
🔹Chocolate increases blood flow to the heart as well as to the brain, so it can help improve cognitive function and muscle memory.
🔹Chocolate can decrease levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL), as well as decrease blood sugar levels.
🔹Eating a small amount of chocolate 2-3x/week can help lower blood pressure, as well as help prevent Type 2 Diabetes, blood clots, stroke, and arteriosclerosis.
🔹Dark chocolate contains caffeine! A 1.5 ounce bar contains about 27 mg.
🔹To add healthy doses of chocolate into your diet, you can add chocolate chips to trail mix, or add a few scoops of cocoa to your protein or meal replacement shakes to increase the flavor and health value!

Additionally here is some information pertaining to alcohol consumption while dieting:
Fitness Facts: ALCOHOL:
🔹Excess amounts of alcohol can definitely be hazardous to the health & well being of the consumer, but in moderate amounts alcohol can be beneficial!
🔹Moderation with alcohol is defined as no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. One drink can be a beer, 6 fl oz of wine, or shot of liquor.
🔹Moderate drinkers tend to live longer than people who don’t drink at all or those who drink in excess.
🔹Low amounts of alcohol can increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).
🔹Alcohol acts as a blood thinner, like aspirin. So when consumed in moderation, it can reduce the likelihood of developing blood clots or coronary heart disease.
🔹If your goal is to gain muscle, don’t drink alcohol immediately pre or post-workout since it causes a drop in testosterone levels while increasing cortisol, a hormone that destroys muscle.
🔹When it comes to alcohol & weight loss, moderate drinking should be cut back to no more than 1-3 drinks/week. Not only does alcohol contain calories (7 calories per gram- that’s more than protein or carbs), but because it takes longer to metabolize in the body than other substances it can slow the metabolism down.
🔹The best way to minimize caloric intake in alcoholic drinks is to either drink the liquor straight, or use a low calorie mixer such as tonic, club soda or watered down fruit juice.
🔹To minimize the damaging effects alcohol can have on your body, drink 1 glass of water for every drink you drank. Especially if you drank close to bedtime! The digestive process slows down when you sleep so diluting the alcohol will ease it’s absorption. And of course this will also make for a less intense hangover 😉

Lastly I will expand on the subject of water consumption:
1st topic of many Fitness Facts to come: WATER:
🔹The human body is 50-65% water. Men contain more water than women.
🔹 Drinking a full glass of water before a meal has been proven to increase weight loss.
🔹 Warm water makes you feel full.
🔹 Ice water boosts your metabolism & immune system.
🔹 Cold water stimulates your brain to release mood-boosting endorphins.
🔹 Dehydration is one of the leading causes of headaches, cramps, lack of energy, constipation, and high blood pressure.
🔹 If you’re thirsty, you’re probably already mildy dehydrated. Don’t wait to be thirsty to drink water- drink it throughout the day.
🔹 Divide your weight (in pounds) in half= that’s at least how many fluid ounces of water you should drink a day.
Example: If you weigh 150lbs, 150/2= 75 fl oz (about 4.5 average bottles of water)
🔹 When consuming protein powders to build mass, you need to increase your water intake.
🔹 Excess protein puts extra stress on the kidneys and liver, and water helps the filtration process.

Primal Diet….Caveman Style!

Get 'em Grok!

Get ’em Grok!

So a few of my friends have inquired lately about the Primal Diet, what is it, where do you find your recipes, and am I crazy for even doing it? Now many people will argue that grains are good for you, I mean, after all they are in the Food Pyramid correct? Well like everything else in the world, they sadly, are not good for you. YES you need fiber but what most don’t realize is that you can get your fiber not only from fiber drinks such as Advocare’s Peaches and Cream Fiber Drink but you can get it from simply eating your fruits and vegtables too. Broccoli is my go to fiberous vegtable and its so delicious! But I HATE broccoli you may say? Well luckily I have provided you a list of foods high in fiber along with their fiber content:

Here’s a look at the fiber content of some common foods. Read nutrition labels to find out exactly how much fiber is in your favorite foods. Women should try to eat at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 grams a day.

Vegetables Serving size Total fiber (grams)*
Artichoke, cooked 1 medium 10.3
Green peas, cooked 1 cup 8.8
Broccoli, boiled 1 cup 5.1
Turnip greens, boiled 1 cup 5.0
Brussels sprouts, cooked 1 cup 4.1
Sweet corn, cooked 1 cup 4.0
Potato, with skin, baked 1 small 3.0
Tomato paste 1/4 cup 2.7
Carrot, raw 1 medium 1.7
Fruits Serving size Total fiber (grams)*
Raspberries 1 cup 8.0
Pear, with skin 1 medium 5.5
Apple, with skin 1 medium 4.4
Banana 1 medium 3.1
Orange 1 medium 3.1
Strawberries (halves) 1 cup 3.0
Figs, dried 2 medium 1.6
Raisins 1 ounce (60 raisins) 1.0

Now I have to not only give credit to the Mayo Clinic for providing that information but I must give a shout out to Mark’s Daily Apple for the wealth of information he has provided in my quest to be more Primal. See, it’s not simply the newest Fad diet out on the internet, it’s a way of life. Its getting back down to our roots and focusing on the little things, playing outside, smelling flowers, not ingesting poison only to be unhappy and unsatisfied with the results, which we caused ourselves in the first place. Let’s get honest, how many times have we seen or heard someone who is overweight and unhappy with their lives, complain all day about it only to stop at McDonald’s on the way home or buy that dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and eat the whole thing? It’s time to take control of our lives!! Is this the end result we want:

Today's Society

Today’s Society

I seriously doubt the answer to that question is yes….

Follow these guidelines

Follow these guidelines


Here’s the one concern I found with all this trying to eat healthy junk: it’s expensive!! You would think the opposite would be true right? I mean if it comes straight from the ground it shouldn’t cost nearly as much as it does. Well folks that’s the world we live in. Every week I try to budget accordingly, put aside $200 a paycheck for Costco trips….waittttttt Costco isn’t primal….is it? HA, well they have a large meat, seafood and produce section. As long as you can eat all that food before it goes back, you can really make your dollar stretch far there. I tend to buy mostly berries for fruits, the sugars in other fruits can be too much and most people don’t even realize the sugar content in fruit. For veggies I keep it simple, broccoli, kale, spinach, peppers, onions and mixed bags of veggies to change it up. For meat, well it’s simple: red meat, chicken, fish or any seafood really. We tend to catch our own fish here on the weekends (gotta love the florida keys) and even lobster when it’s in season! Grok would be proud! At this point I see you all scratching your heads going “who the F is Grok?!” Grok is the official prototype for primal living. He is who we should model ourselves after in the quest for our most natural lifestyle. I’ll leave you all with that….for now.

For Paleo and Primal recipes, come follow my Pinterest and my Twitter for all things Primal and healthy! Grok on my friends!!

6 Pack of….Abs or….Soda?

So I am pleased to report that after my lady friend has come and gone I’m back to my weight of 120lbs. I now have 10 days remaining on the challenge and I am determined to lose as much as possible in those 10 days. Granted I’m still only cleared to walk on the treadmill and not strain myself, but it’s something…right?

This morning before the gym I decided to use the last 4 bananas we had in the house and make some banana muffins.

These look yummy don't they!

These look yummy don’t they!

In keeping with the Primal/Paleo diet I substituted a 1/2C up the flour it required for almond meal instead. Almond meal is a fantastic substitute for flour however, I have yet to perfect pancakes with it. They all fell apart and it was not a pretty sight in the kitchen!

Now for the fun part of this post: Water VS Soda. So I stumbled upon a little post on FB earlier today and felt compelled to share it via my blog:

WATER
1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 30%.
4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

And now for the properties of COKE

1. In many states (in the USA) the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the truck to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.
2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days.
3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the “real thing” sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.
4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.
5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.
6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.
7. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

IMPORTANT INFO

1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis.
2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly corrosive materials.
3. The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!

Now the question is, would you like a glass of water or coke?

Too many people make the mistake of thinking that Diet Soda or Coke Zero is a better alternative to regular Coke. While it might not contain any calories but it is still filled with chemicals that only poison your body.

On a separate note, my personal 6 pack is starting to come back which is a fantastic milestone. I also received a package in the mail today from my friend Cat with some samples of Rehydrate:

Rehydrate powder and Gel! Can't wait to try!

Rehydrate powder and Gel! Can’t wait to try!

Lastly lunch today consisted of baked chicken thighs from yesterday that were cooked with pepper, salt and paprika and some left over broccoli. I personally think it tasted just as good if not better than yesterday.

Today's lunch!

Today’s lunch!

Recipe:
2 packages of boneless chicken thighs
salt to taste
pepper to taste
paprika to taste
Coat a baking dish with olive or coconut oil and place chicken thighs in the dish. coat top of chicken with some olive oil
Preheat oven to 400F and place dish in oven and cook for approx 30 min. If you like your chicken with skin and bones you might have to cook it longer.
Steam or cook broccoli in a cast iron pan, using a little coconut or olive oil to prevent sticking. Enjoy!!

Fat Kid Living Inside of Me…

That’s right. You read that correctly. I have a fat kid that I keep stuffed deep inside. Don’t believe me?

Circa 2008 In Maine! OMG!

Circa 2008 In Maine! OMG!

Yeah that's me on the left

Yeah that’s me on the left

Yeah that’s right. 5 years ago I tipped the scales at 160lbs! I’m only 5’1″! My diet consisted of pizza, 6-8 regular sodas a day, cheetos, chinese food, and I could totally clear a pint of Ben and Jerry’s icecream in one sitting (actually I think I could still do that if I tried today). Thankfully the military would not allow me to remain at this weight much longer.

I'm bigger than the snowman?!

I’m bigger than the snowman?!

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Long story short in less than a year I dropped 30lbs and gained muscle! 5 years later and I’m steady at 120lbs! I’m MUCH healthier, my diet is so much cleaner than it used to me. I no longer drink sodas unless its a special occassion. I follow the Primal or Paleo diet lifestyle and I have to say it has done wonders for my energy level and overall well being!

Me 2012 in Washington DC

Me 2012 in Washington DC

So how did I do it you ask? well that’s the whole point of this blog! Stay tuned for the diet that changed my life!