The Ratio Game

Today’s Foodie Friday Post: The Macronutrient Ratio Game (Individual Results May Vary!)

Hello People!

Wanted to share with you one mistake I made in regards to diet this week.  It had to do with a meal I ate on the run.  I was in a hurry and only had time for a quick bite.  My homemade food was out and there was no time to whip anything up.  So I grabbed a box from my freezer of a frozen dinner that I wanted to try.  It is from a company that I like and it is organic.  I have had issues in the past with other frozen meals of this brand causing me to have severe carb cravings after eating them, so I knew that the possibility was there to happen again.

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This particular meal is gluten free, but that doesn’t give any guarantee that the meal will be more filling.  Often times, gluten free products are worse than normal whole wheat products acting just like refined flour because they use refined white rice flour (in this case Masa, which is essentially corn turned into flour).  So, I tried to supplement the meal with other items to help “beef” up the sticking power.  This meal is also vegetarian, which doesn’t do anything for me other than let me know that I may need to add a bit more protein to it for it to be balanced.  So, I stuck a slice of cheese on the top because not only does cheese have protein, but it contains fat which also gives satiation or fullness.  While I was waiting for the thing to heat up in the oven, I ate a few bean chips with salsa.  These are a combination of carbs and fat and protein as well.  After eating the entire meal, I was full but wondered if this would last me the 5 hours I knew I needed it to.  It didn’t.  I was ravenous and that is all I’m going to say about that.

Why exactly did this meal fail me even after the attempts I made to make it more satisfying?  It had plenty of calories.  I felt full after eating it.  It is made with organic wholesome ingredients.  The rice on the side is brown.  What happened?  Here is what I can gather:

Lately I’ve been immersing myself into the strange, holistic and often times horrific world of the famous practitioner Paul Chek. In his well known book, How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!, he asks in the diet section to take a questionnaire to Unknown-5determine one’s Metabolic Type.  There are 3 categories: Protein Type, Carb Type and Mixed Type.  I fall under the Mixed Type of person who needs, according to him, 40% Animal Protein, 50% Carbohydrate, and 10% Fat in each of my meals to feel satisfied and full.  This is the optimal balance for me, but one can play with the numbers if you want to fine tune it.  He states:

“Metabolic Typing is a system that identifies an individual’s genetically-based nutrition and diet requirements.  There is not Unknown-4one diet that is right for everyone, therefore to achieve optimal health, you must determine what is right for you.  You may notice that the diet for a protein type is similar to the popular Zone Diet, while the diet for a carb type is closer to the Ornish Diet.  The great thing about Metabolic Typing is that it will direct you towards the diet plan that is right for your body.”

So, knowing this information, let’s look at the meal I ate in comparison with what he recommends.

I added up all the elements of what I ate:

The Main Course

The Main Course

Cheese (1 slice)

Cheese (1 slice)

Bean Chips

Bean Chips

And they came to this summation:

Carbs=71 grams  Protein=17 grams  Fat=25 grams

Now I ain’t no mathematician, but this is obviously unbalanced especially in the carbs to protein ratio. (not to mention the fat is through the roof!) The ratio was more like: Carbs=80% Protein=19% & Fat=28% (YIKES!)  Protein and Carbs need to almost be equal, with Carbs a smidge bigger.  The protein was the issue here.  Not enough protein for my metabolic type created a crash a few hours later with my blood sugar.  The evening was then spent trying to satisfy my raging hunger (and I mean RAGING!) with all types of no-no foods.  So, one can see that a calorie is not just a calorie from this little experiment.  If you want to stay full a long time and not binge later due to setting yourself up for poor nutrition, know your Metabolic Type or what ratios between Protein/Carbs/Fat makes you feel the most satisfied in regards to meals.  If you can’t get his book, I would suggest doing a food log and making a note of how each meal made you feel physically 4 – 6 hours after eating it.  If your response is like mine, you know you are on the wrong track.

P.S. If you ain’t no mathematician like me, to determine your ratio’s, add up all grams and multiply each one to the total as a percent. My total grams were 113. So it looks like this:  .71 x 113 = 80.23% and so forth.

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Who Is Right?

Think It Through Thursday:

Who Really Has the “Answer” to Weight Loss?

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Hello People,

I have been really researching health and wellness earnestly the last few days just because I’ve had a sudden urge to discover more, and I am hitting a wall over all of the contradictory information being presented by BIG names in health and fitness.  I mean, who is right in the department of: “I have the answer to your weight loss problems!”? They all have the “answer,” and those answers contradict each other in huge ways that only leave me confounded and not wanting to eat anything or ever exercise again.

Case in point: I am hearing by leaps and bounds from the Paleo/Atkins/The Zone type crowd (not all of them strictly Paleo, but anyone and everyone who believes we should be eating all full-fat proteins, saturated fats, and vegetables – eliminating all grains, dairy and fruit) how ESSENTIAL eating full-fat meat, like steak and pork chopsimages-1 is to our endocrine system.  It has little/no effect on raising blood sugar (yay!) which is the sole reason we are all too fat, and is NOT the reason why arteries clog or diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc, etc… happens.  Then, I get in the mail one of my favorite health publications, one I really trust, and on the cover it says “Why Red Meat is Dangerous! New Research Shows that Carnitine in Meat is Bad for Your Health.” And this is just one example out of many. Both parties have extensive scientific research to back them up.  Both are completely believable. Both have valid points to consider.  Then, there is the consideration of how my gut feels about all of this back and forth.

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Maybe they do have the answer, but only for some people. I’ve tried eliminating grains from my diet and frankly, it doesn’t work for me.  Not because I want the sugar or I need a carb fix, I really need some whole carbohydrate in each of my meals to feel satisfied and full.  My brain does not work without them – really!  I’m talking within reason too, like a 1/2 cup of a starchy carb such as beans or brown rice.  Nothing crazy. I do not feel right eating a meal of only meat and a pile of veg.  I could eat that all day and feel miserable.  I know some of you reading this know what I mean.  This doesn’t apply to everyone though.  Some, like my Dad, are perfectly fine eating a meal like that.  They even thrive!  Good for them – but don’t push your Dogma on me just because it works for you.

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The real irony of the situation is, once you stop to think about what is really going on here, is that every one of these people, no matter how educated and important they are, are trying to SELL YOU SOMETHING!  Sure, once upon a time they may have been mere individuals, like me, on a quest for real answers to health and well being.  Their research was honest and hard-earned.  They deserve their credentials.  No doubt about it. They may in fact really believe (and I know they do) that their research is right.  But then, it dawned on them that they could make a buck or two “educating the masses.” They go under holistic titles and claim they are against the Big Food Industry who they say over and over again are only out to make money off of consumers.  Let’s face it: Big Pharma, Monsanto, The Meat Industry – are. But…aren’t these people in it for a little piece of the pie too?  Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing what the rogue health community is talking about and 90% of it applies to me as real truth that is completely useful.  But as far as the “I have the answer to all of your health/fitness/emotional-mental problems” is concerned – I don’t completely agree with any of them.  Paul Chek comes the closest, but even he has concepts that I think are full blown incorrect.

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You may be wondering why I would be so bold to say they are wrong?  I mean, who the hell am I to argue?  I don’t have any credentials or Books/T.V./magazine/newspaper/Documentaries behind me touting my validity.  Because of my own body telling me in a real physical way that what they say doesn’t entirely work for me.  Therefore, I must find what does and perhaps it may come down to hand-picking from multiple sources what my beliefs about health and wellness are.  Then I’ll write a book and make lots of money telling people that “I have the answer to all of your health and fitness problems!” JK.

The Marathon Effect: Extra

Hi there!

I have been searching day and night since I posted the article about The Marathon Effect.  I wanted to give you all a reference for where I got my information. Leaving it open-ended seemed a bit unfinished.  So after hunting down the radio interview (this took hours on end to find) with JJ Virgin, I have a viable source you can decipher for yourself about what I stated.

I’m referring to the section where I said: exercising/endurance training in the fat burning zone for long distances will make your body store more fat when you are done to replace what it has burned.  You literally become a fat storer professional.  You will lose muscle also in the process compounding the problem of screwing up your metabolism. And…you release tons of stress hormones like cortisol that will also help you to store fat like a boss.  This is cardio for hours on end that I am talking about- not working out in the weight room for 3 hours.  That is different.

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JJ Virgin has a resume as long as my body.  She was a health advocate on the Dr. Phil show and has done numerous appearances on T.V., written tons of magazine articles and her own army of books, and has appeared and spoken at tons of health conferences.  She has every credential in the book and is a huge believer in “Burst Training” or what I call HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).  Please listen to this incredible interview with her on Blog Talk Radio hosted by Underground Wellness.  The marathon discussion happens around 31 minutes.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/undergroundwellness/2010/05/05/six-weeks-to-sleeveless-and-sexy-with-jj-virgin

The Marathon Effect

Exercise Monday: The Marathon Effect

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Hello People!

This is going to be a controversial post but I don’t care.  I need to talk about it because it is something that is near and dear to my heart personally.  About 4 years ago I participated in a Marathon; the Lake Tahoe one to be exact.  It is about 6,000 ft elevation and I not only had to train for endurance, but I had to train for high altitude. The “track” is around the lake and the up and down mountainous climbs also needed to be trained for.  Some of the inclines felt about 50% grade or more. It took me about 5 months to train and that was short. One more thing, I walked it – not ran.  I am not, nor will ever be, a runner.  My body is not built for it and I make no apologies.  I completed it in 7 hours which is a good time for a walker.

I trained in horrible summer heat of about 95 -100 degrees due to the marathon taking place at the end of Sept.  It also happened to be a bad fire season in southern CA that year.  I had to wear a surgical mask when I trained so that I wouldn’t breathe in ash. On one excruciatingly hot day, I was at mile 18 and fainted from the heat. I also needed to eat something because training can be strenuous on the body especially when you are up past 3 hours.  There is no stopping to rest in training. I wore one of those strap on waist packs that carries two water bottles.  I looked like a freak with my fanny pack and mask on marching around in sweltering heat, but I had a mission to accomplish. One woman, after seeing me look like hell, asked if she could give me a ride somewhere.  That was embarrassing!  After the fainting spell, I ran out of days to train. I was actually supposed to go 2 more miles that day, but the fainting/heat/fires put a stop to it. Plus, I didn’t want to experience that again.  So I knew going into the marathon it would be painful because I had only trained up to mile 18. A marathon is 26.2 miles for the record.  On one afternoon, around mile 16, I ran into a bear.  He actually saw me first and ran away, but I was about 30 feet from him.  That got me running!

Anyways, I want to talk about the fact that while I was doing hours and hours of training for this monstrous feat, I gained a lot of weight in the process. This was the most frustrating and irritating problem for me.  I wanted to do the marathon to lose weight, not gain it for heaven’s sake!  Think about it: exercising for hours on end burning hundreds if not thousands of calories only to gain weight steadily every week you train harder!!!  This was confounding.  Then I heard someone explain a principal of fat storage that began to make a lot of sense to me.

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It was about 2 months after the marathon that I heard about this concept or bodily process, but it suddenly dawned on me that it made perfect sense and that I was an unfortunate victim of it.  I want to say up front that I don’t have any facts to share with you yet, but just theories and guesses.  I also have my own body as a guinea pig to prove it.  The idea goes that your body uses different types of fuel to get you through a workout session: Fat, Glycogen (sugar in bloodstream), and Muscle.  Muscle is used in a desperate situation when the body is overtaxed and has nothing left to operate on (you NEVER want to be in this state).  Most people burn either fat or glycogen when they exercise.  An endurance trainer needs to exercise at a pace that will carry them through a long period of time. If they go too hard, they will burn out quickly and have nothing left.  I saw this happen in the marathon.  Many runners racing past me were cramping and sitting down up the road when I reached them due to them either not training enough, or pushing too hard too fast. They were probably pacing themselves wrongly in what I call the High Intensity Heart Rate Zone which is approximately 80 – 90% of your maximum heart rate.  This is very hard on the heart and lungs for long periods of time and is usually only done in short spurts of energy output such as what a sprinter or pole vaulter would do.  Endurance runners/walkers have to not work out as hard and keep their pace in the Fat Burning Heart Rate Zone which is about 60 -75% of your maximum heart rate. This will ensure that they have enough energy to empower them to go long distances without fatigue or failure. And to go even further, those who work out in the HIHRZ burn/use glycogen as their fuel (at first, until it runs out) and those who exercise in the FBHRZ burn fat as their fuel.

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Here’s the problem.  Once upon a time it was thought that burning fat as you worked out was a great thing! It sounds it, doesn’t it? The idea of piles of fat melting off as you walk up and down the block is a dieters dream come true.  The controversial part of this post comes here: Only burning fat as fuel while you work out sets up the body to immediately store fat once you stop exercising and eat your next meal.  The fat burned off will be replaced by more fat (the body protecting itself) and the more you keep doing that,the more fat you store making you gain more and more weight. Even if you are working out 6 hours a day like I was.  You also have to keep in mind that strict endurance training does very little in building muscle mass or tone.  It can also use muscle as fuel if you start to overtax yourself.  Burning glycogen on the other hand, like sprinters who work out in minutes of fast explosive episodes, makes the body replace glycogen when you are done exercising and not fat.  Also, exercising in the HIHRZ makes the body burn fat when you are at rest, oddly enough. (I’ll keep searching for relevant articles relating to my conjecture here.  I know that this may sound like a bunch of hoo-haw.)

So I was gaining weight even though my diet was roughly the same and I was working out like a bitch. Oh the frustration!!! (I am not the only one who has experienced this and has talked about it).  Look at the difference between an endurance trainer and a sprinter.  The sprinter is often times very muscular; whereas the endurance runner can be skinny (scrawny?), and oddly flabby in the upper body.  Those who are older than 35 look down right pudgy. I know because I passed thousands of them the day I raced.

Side Note: The people who look ”buff” also do strength training in addition to running and/or are usually below the age of 30 (males).

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Conclusion: Don’t do endurance training if you want to build muscle and be fit and toned. Keep workouts short: 20 -30 minutes, but with high intensity.  Do endurance training if you like wind in your hair and running all day long.

Think of it this way as well, endurance training such as walking or running on a machine for an hour or more while reading a magazine or talking to a friend will burn calories.  But the minute you get off that machine, the calorie burn is over.  Strength Training on the other hand allows you to quit exercising and burn fat for hours on end after the workout has ended.  That sounds like a better bargain to me.  I’m not against cardio training, but only do it in moderation of short periods of high intensity now.

P.S. I couldn’t walk for 4 entire days after the marathon.  This is not a good thing to do to the body.  It wreaks havoc on the joints, ligaments and sockets. The repetitive motion causes way too much stress and strain. There is a reason that the original marathon runner promptly died after doing it.

Inside Out Weight Loss

Inspirational Sunday: Inside Out Weight Loss Podcast with Renee Stephens: Aligning Mind, Body and Spirit for Lasting Change

The Butterfly Logo = Transformation

The Butterfly Logo = Transformation

Hello People!

I have mentioned this podcast before here on my blog, but did not devote an entire entry to it.  It really deserves it’s own mention because of how powerful it really is.  I don’t know if you are into podcasts or iTunes anything – but you should take a look at all of the free options on health and wellness offered over there.  I found this podcast one day just rummaging through their line-up of weight loss programs.  Searching on iTunes or Apps can be a bit of a difficult task, but if you know the exact title of what you are looking for, it can be a lot easier.

I’m quite certain that this podcast is no longer current, meaning it isn’t being updated.  The “show” is complete and can be listened to in entirety from start to finish. I must admit that I have not made it even through the half-way point of the program, but have listened to it on and off several times up through about Episode 70.  It’s one of those things that you can’t get bored of or over listen to.  Even if you’ve heard the same Episode three times, it’s still relevant and useful.  Recently, I’ve been dedicating my Sundays to listening to a show and reflecting on its wisdom for a week.  I really want to reach the end this time. I also use a journal to write down any thoughts she poses in each program.  Sometimes she gives homework.

So, what’s great about it? Well, for one thing, it isn’t like anything else in its category.  The concept is to talk/think/write about why you are overweight and how you got yourself there.  What is your current thinking to keep you at your current weight?  Why do you sabotage your weight loss efforts?  What exactly do you want your weight loss to look like?  You see, Renee is a practicing psychologist who is trained in hypnotherapy.  She often includes “Guided Journeys” in the programs; which means she uses some of her hypnosis training to help you delve deeper into your subconscious mind for answers.  It isn’t weird, I promise.  I am not a hypnosis type of person and I never feel awkward about her requests.  It can be very relaxing and quite intriguing.  She is also the one who introduced the concept of The Secret to me.  That will be another post for another day, but it is a very powerful way of thinking that can transform someone’s life instantly. Mostly though, it is her enthusiasm for helping others that is so addictive. It is hard to listen to just one program at a time.  But don’t  overdo it.  You need to digest what has been fed to your mind before moving on to the next topic.  Even if you feel you “got it already.”

Each program is about 22 minutes long.  I recommend listening to them via headphones.  Recently I started looking for them on my iPad and went online to the site that launches this program and others to download it and then listen.  For some reason I was only given a few shows in the Podcast area of iTunes and was told if I wanted to listen to more that I would need to go to the site. Whatever, it’s there and I highly recommend it.

Renee Stephens

Renee Stephens

Show Titles Include:

Self Correcting, The Naturally Slender Eating Strategy, Guided Journey to Get What You Want, Unstoppable Weightloss Motivation, Love Your Excuses, Dream Yourself Slim, Cracking Food Addiction, How the Brain Learns New Habits, Letting Go of Anxiety Eating, Forgive Your Way Slim, Find Your Inner Mentor, Speeding Up Your Weightloss with Gratitude, Is It Possible for Me to Lose Weight Permanently?, Can A Movie Make You Slim?, Can Your Dreams Be Too Big?, Breaking Through Persistent Plateaus, Assumptions That Will Make You Thin, Finding a New Best Friend to Replace Food, Are You Programmed for Fat or Thin? etc…..

Go check it out! You’ve got nothing to lose, or do you?

Meal Highlight: Brown Rice & Veg

Hello People!

Saturday Meal Highlight: Brown Rice with Vegetables & Chicken

This is the first Saturday post about meals I have made or am eating during the week that I share intimate details about.  Actually, my Mom made this dish and she included organic chicken in it.  The stir-fry vegetable mix came in a package and she added other types of veggies such as a red pepper, green onions and mushrooms.  She cooked everything in olive oil. She used about 1 1/2 Tbsp for a recipe that would feed 6-8 servings.  I added the 1/2 cup of brown rice to make it a complete meal in macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrate & Fat

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I will season all of it with a little bit of tamari sauce (it doesn’t contain wheat).  I also included in this meal a bowl of cherries (12, for the record).  Not sure I could do much better than this in terms of nutrition.

Total Estimated Calories: 325

The Great Gluten-Free Debate: II

Hello People!

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Foodie Friday: More Gluten-Free Thoughts

So, gluten! It is such a touchy subject.  I must admit that when a friend of mine got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and her Naturopath Doctor told her to get off of the yeasty stuff, I gagged in relief that this wasn’t my diagnosis.  I even said to her (and this was only a few months ago) “I will NEVER give up my bread even if I’m told I would die if I ate it!”  I like talking dramatically.  It makes life interesting.

Well, for reasons pondered in THIS POST, I decided that maybe gluten was causing me major issues, and possibly leading me down the road to death eventually.  I don’t think it would have killed me, but all food issues will slowly and surely over a long period of time break down the body’s ability to fight disease, stay healthy and work optimally. If you don’t believe me have a view of the movie Supersize Me.  It convinced me that a diet of foods that don’t help the body function properly will lead to sickness sooner than later.

Fast-forward to now, maybe 3 months into being gluten-free, and I feel better.  Well, I feel the same, but my eczema is gone, and my psoriasis cleared up by 90%.  I feel better in the sense that I don’t scratch my scalp in public and then create a haze of white skin fluff around me afterwards.  That was gross. Also, eczema hurts because the cracks in the skin feel like cuts.  I’m happy to be rid of that as well.  But the real reward is digestion!  I can eat a whole cup of beans and not have one gas bubble.  Whereas before I would not have been able to sleep due to the pain of constant flatulence which could go on for hours.  This is my biggest conquest.

The video that got me interested in this subject was the one posted below by my newest favorite trainer/clean eating/health guru Brenda Leigh Turner.  She got me thinking about those villi she talks about (Reason #5).  If the villi are coated in glue, the body can’t absorb nutrients through the gut walls properly.  I had what is known as “Leaky Gut Syndrome.” That sounds great, doesn’t it? It means nutrients were not being absorbed properly and in some ways I was malnourished from my meals.  This is not the same as a person who has Celiac Disease which is a horrible reaction to gluten and can lead to death.  I didn’t feel awful eating gluten, but I could see and feel the results of it on my skin.  What started as an experiment lead to a lifetime choice.  I’m happy I did it and am doing quite well.  Sometimes I indulge in gluten, but more often than not I don’t have it.

Back to Before

Hello People!

Yep, I took a blogging break.  You may not have noticed and that would great.  If so, I’m sorry, but I had to get my wits about me.  It has been a year and a half and my weight is bobbing around at the same number like a buoy a sea.  I was getting fed up and majorly discouraged.

There are also a variety of personal discouragements going on at the same time, but I’ve decided to conquer each one in its own time and not worry about them all at once.  The one that I have some control over is my weight (and the “some” part is getting better all the time).  Someone just said to me the other day, “It’s horrible to think that the one thing I have any grasp over is my weight -and that has been nothing short of an uphill battle.  How am I going to conquer the other issues I’m going through?  I thought the losing weight issue was the hardest one, and it turns out, it’s the only one I can control right now.” I told her I got what she was saying.

All of this not-losing-weight is driving me to drink.  Just Kidding.

All of this not-losing-weight is driving me to drink. Just Kidding.

This is going to sound dumb, but one thing I have been trying to implement is just telling myself that it will be EASY to lose weight.  This is a bunch of horse dung, I’m aware, but if I keep telling myself the perhaps-lie, I may start to actually believe it.  It’s like when people tell you to “smile!!!:)” and you just want to punch them in the face.  Well….there is a bit of truth to that. When you smile, your body starts to actually believe that you are happy and in turn, others may/will smile back.  That isn’t too bad to deal with now.

Mostly, though, I’m at the point of saying to myself: “Just get through today.” I’m not going to worry if I fall off the wagon tomorrow – I won’t, but it is easier to focus on today only. Losing weight sucks.  Not gonna lie.  But this weight will come off of me this summer if it’s the last thing I do…EVER!  I’m being dramatic because I’m calorie starved (told ya I wasn’t gonna lie).  Please forgive any rash outbursts of mine.

Anyways, the only point to this random-it-has-no-point ramble is to tell you, I will be posting regularly again.  I’m thinking of doing something in place of my What Do I EAT Saturday posts.  I may post a recipe that I thought was awesome sauce that week, that I made.  How would you like that? Would you like a video to accompany it to see the process?  I like making videos too.

Ok, that’s it.  See ya tomorrow.