Monthly Archives: February 2014
Meal Prepping // Clean Eating
Guess what DAY it is?!
Meal Prep Day!
Not really, Meal Prep Day was actually Sunday. But today we get to talk about it. :)
When I began Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Program, I committed to the nutrition plan which is 100% clean eating. This means 12 weeks of egg white omelettes, lean protein and greens, whey protein shakes, and lots of veggies & fruits. In an effort to ease my hectic school week and stay on track with my diet, I took 4 hours on Sunday to make a week’s worth of clean lunches and dinners. My own little lean cuisines ;)
ON THE MENU:
- Baked seasoned white meat chicken
- Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Brown Rice
- Steamed Broccoli and Green Beans
- Sauteed zucchini & bell peppers
- Chopped spinach, tomatoes and bell peppers (for omelettes)
- Jamie Eason’s Turkey Meatballs
- Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread (girl’s gotta have dessert too.)
Cooking 6 day’s worth of lunches and dinners in one afternoon is an undertaking. My kitchen was covered in piles of cutting boards and measuring cups and tupperware and vegetables.
Packaging them all up into individual portions was fun…I had a whole Mix n’ Match thing going on so that no single meal was exactly the same. Variety, my friends.
I even finished off by baking a CLEAN batch of Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread. Gluten-free, with no added sugar, fats, or butter. This bread is made with ground oats, applesauce, almond milk, protein powder, stevia, & cinnamon. Super healthy/pretty/delicious/clean/&GONE (800 calories for the entire freakin’ pan…)
I’m going to be inside due to impending rain this weekend so I plan on experimenting to make a banana, mocha, and possibly pumpkin version of this. I’ll share next week :)
***Those green things are Stevia packets. I made the rookie mistake of buying a box of 40 packets versus buying an actual box of bulk Stevia. No wonder it was $3 cheaper… I tore and measured out the packets & will get the real deal next time ;) ***
Now that I’ve made it through the first week of meal prepping I’ve learned the importance of organization.
Start here: Get the chicken cleaned and in oven —-> Move on to veggie chopping —-> While the greens are steaming, start up a batch of rice —-> After the chicken comes out of the oven, swap in the sweet potatoes —-> While they bake, start cleaning up dishes —-> After everything is cool enough, weigh and measure out portions and package into containers —-> pop into the fridge or freezer depending on how long they need to last —-> feel accomplished :)
Supplements, say what?
What do you think of when you hear “supplements”? I always considered “supplementation” an extreme aspect of body building for the vein-popping, testosterone-driven, hulks of the gym. Supplements, in my brain, equated to freaky chemical-laden concoctions that artificially promoted muscle mass.
I was wrong.
I am now a member at GNC. Something I never thought I would say.
After being introduced to supplementation in Jamie Eason’s program, I learned that simple additives like a multi-vitamin, calcium, and whey protein are part of supplementation. I do this already! So I began more research on some of the more unfamiliar products like BCAA’s and Glutamine. And then I bought some myself.
Branch Chain Amino Acids: (According to WebMD & Bodybuilding.com) the essential amino acids our bodies require in order to build muscle (and function in general). They can prevent fatigue by reducing muscle breakdown during workouts. Most of these we can get through a healthy, natural and balanced diet. BCAAs are also prevalent in whey protein; however the best time to ingest the BCAAs is during a work, while protein is used afterwards. Separating the BCAA from the whey protein leads to faster-digestion and efficiency. *This is the most science I have learned/used in the past three years of college!*
Sometimes there are “gaps” in our nutrition plan. Jamie describes taking BCAA supplements as our “insurance policy” to make 100% sure that our gaps are filled in. Nothing crazy or magical about this supplement, it’s just like taking any other vitamin or mineral.
On Friday, I spontaneously pulled in the GNC parking lot on my way home from a class. My thoughts had been consumed by my new LiveFit program and I wanted to find a BCAA supplement to add to my training plan. (Obvi I got more Quest bars while I was there. The cashier now knows me by my Quest Bar consumption.) The guy working the store, who was familiar with the bodybuilding.com training programs and Jamie Eason, gave me tons of helpful information when picking out my product. He was really patient with me and explained the differences in all the BCAA products. Ultimately I chose GNC’s brand (I wanted one that contained Glutamine) in Watermelon flavor!
This is a powder that I add to my water bottle and drink during my workout. It also ensures that I am fully hydrated during the workout as well, always a bonus. You can’t really have too much water. Drinking water isn’t really something I struggle with anyways but it will be nice to have some fruitiness added to the mix :)
Whey Protein: Whey Protein powder has gotten a bad rap. One diet-extremist tried to convince me that whey protein and dairy products in general were the devil, never meant to be ingested by humans. Just like anything, there are pros and cons and I always do my own research with *hopefully* reliable sources. So I’ve concluded that whey protein is an acceptable means to post-workout recovery mix and I stocked up with a chocolate flavor (duh) to mix with unsweetened almond milk for post-workout nourishment after intense strength workouts. For ideal recovery, we should aim to intake our protein source within half an hour of our workout. I’ve included more facts on whey protein and isolates in this delicious Chocolate-covered Strawberry Protein Smoothie post from last year:
Calcium, Iron, Minerals, Oh My: Even the individual vitamin pills you can find at Target and Walgreens are considered supplements. They are an important part of professional body builders’ training regimen too, because strength training is extremely stressful on our bones and tissues, so they may need a little extra help.
All these new habits to form and products to try out has me PUMPED. The shopping and stocking up my kitchen was the fun part. Now I get to use it all and see how it enhances my training.
How about some more throwback smoothie posts to my brunette days…
This track workout is followed by another Berry Protein Smoothie:
And yet another post-raquetball “workout” smoothie with some greens:
Another favorite is to just mix chocolate protein powder with almond milk in a blender so it’s frothy, and freeze for half an hour. It’s honestly like ice cream :)
What are your thoughts on supplementation?
LiveFit: A New Goal
Settle in, this is going to be a long one. I’ve got a lot to say about my recent fitness-enlightenment.
This amazing thing happened two days ago while I was purusing some health and fitness blogs, like I tend to do when I’m procrastinating my finance homework. I found my new fitness goal. I have been aimlessly searching for a new source of motivation for the past month when my marathon training came to a (successful) end. Some days I would run laps around the field outside my apartment. Other times I would complete a few rounds of strength circuits. Weekends are full of hiking and biking. But there was no PURPOSE. I had no specific goal to reach for, and that really affected my overall mood and fitness.
One fateful link led me to Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Program from Bodybuilding.com. (The 15-minute introductory video had me instantly hooked. Which I subsequently sent to my mom, who was instantly hooked. Which I’ve now shared with you. Prepare to be hooked.) Jamie Eason is gorgeous, her body is incredible (I will sacrifice peanut butter for those abs), and her attitude was completely inspirational.
What had me sold: it’s not just workouts. The “3×3” philosophy includes Workouts, Nutrition Plan, and Supplementation Plan. My intial introduction sent me into hours and hours of research on supplementation, meal prepping, clean eating, clean recipes, weight training and muscle recovery. THIS IS THE STUFF I LOVE. Learning about metabolic functions/nutritional science/macros is pure fun for me. A lot of this information was not new to me, however I’ve never experimented with supplementation, meal prep or complete 100% clean eating.
As per the program’s requirements: cutting out processed foods, NOW. I am giving up my beloved Luna Bars, Clif Bars, and even the emergency Nature Valley Bars. (And replacing them with Quest Bars! Much more expensive but a much cleaner alternative.) I’ve decided to replace my powdered coffee creamer with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Jamie made it very clear that her abs are made in the kitchen. You could have abs of steel, but if they are hidden underneath a layer of “cushion” then no amount of russian-twists are going to expose them. Plus, the chemical and preservative content of most processed foods leads to bloating and retained water (mainly due to high sodium content). So I solemnly swear that by committing to the program, I will follow a clean-eating lifestyle. All natural, whole, unprocessed foods. Fortunately there are SO many great natural foods.
I’m also exceptionally excited to try out clean-eating and protein-packed recipes from bodybuilding.com like the sweet potato protein pizza crust, which I found on Pinterest. *Naturally I’ve followed Jamie on Pinterest and Facebook. We’re basically friends now ;)
Jamie does not support cardio in Phase 1 of the training. She believes we are solely focusing on building muscle and supporting our physique through weight training and diet. She also admits that she HATES cardio and can’t stand running. Guess what? I LOVE CARDIO. RUNNING IS MY FAVORITE THING TO DO. I do it for fun. I need to run. I am grumpy and unpleasant if I don’t. Running makes me feel confident and fit, and the endorphins are my drug.
Needless to say I will continue my cardio exercise because I believe that it is an important part of my life and I can sustain enough energy to follow both the weight training program and cardio.
Now that I’m typing this out, I realized I am going to break it up into multiple posts. Next I will cover my thoughts and experience with supplementation, meal prepping, workout routines, clean recipes, and other goodies like carbs, alcohol, & cheat meals. (<—- including that list just made me accountable for keeping up the blog posts!) I’ll also share my progress and thoughts on the program :)
Fitness, for me, is a way of becoming confident and happy. I love the feeling of accomplishing something. Exercise gives me the opportunity to feel this every day.
Oh and I should note that I am in no way trying to become a “body builder.” My goal with this is to achieve a completely clean diet, commitment to build muscle, and see how my body transforms in 12 weeks. I will never be perfect, I know. I’m just trying to be the BEST I can be. I want something to give all of my energy to and see the pay off.
Keith Urban put it perfectly. And I have no shame (see what I did there? Listen to the song & you will..) that I played this song exactly eleven times during my run last night. You should turn the volume up way too high for this one: