Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fasting for a day can be done

"When you feel good,
you look good"  
~ Fasting day ~

Today is a day of fasting, in other words we are not allowed to eat anything at all, just drink plenty of water and tea. We are asked to do this for two reasons:

1. Nutritional experience

Fasting is a nutritional practice that's been around for thousands of years...and has been practiced for a host of reasons, from religious to weight control.

There are even new books out suggesting that intermittent fasting (fasting one or two days every week) might be a good strategy for weight control.

2. To learn about hunger

It's important to learn about physiological hunger.
Many of us no longer recognize the difference between psychological hunger (which often comes from boredom, the need for an emotional pacifier, etc) and physiological hunger (the body's actual need for food).

The only way to really experience true physiological hunger -- to tease it out from the background noise -- is to fast for an entire day.

In other words, today, I'll learn what it feels like when I'm legitimately hungry.

I started out my day by eating a normal porridge breakfast and from then on I haven't eaten anything. I've drank about 4 liters water today and 5 cups of green tea, however the day is not over yet.

My first hunger struck me at around 2 1/2 hours after breakfast. So I drank my 1st 1l water bottle empty. Then I lost my thoughts in work and the 2nd time hunger snuck on me around 15.30 in the afternoon, which was about 5h from the last time I ate. Then I forgot the hunger again as I carried on with work and kept drinking my green tea until it crawled back around 18.00 when I went out for a light jog/walk with a friend.

Not once during the day have I felt that I can't do this. But now sitting at home waiting for bedtime I'm trying hard not to think about FOOD. I'm still sipping my green tea, trying not to think of food, which I'm obviously not being able to do as I'm writing here about it.

However it has been an interesting experience and I'm sure tomorrow will carry out to be further more interesting as after waking up I have to wait a while until I can eat..to around 11 in the morning.

What is important after such a fast is that the next time you eat, you don't over eat. One has to try to eat as normally as possible. I'm at least interested to see what my body feels like tomorrow and what the scale shows! hehe

Until next time,

- Sara

Saturday, May 15, 2010

When lazyness hits you, you need to remember your commitment

"When you feel good,
you look good"  
~ When laziness hits you ~

Sometimes we all get lazy. Luckily enough I haven't gotten lazy workout wise, but blogging wise. It is not my strongest suits. But just like training, blogging is all about commitment. If you make a decision to commit to something you have to follow through with it.

Most people go back and forth. One week we are dieting, the next we are not. One week we are committing to training the next we are not. Your life then becomes a roller coaster and it's not good on your mentality or physique.

We all, even I struggle with it, think that it's just one biscuit, or it's just one extra rest day from exercise without thinking about the affects in the long run. What we do, what we eat, how we think is IMPORTANT every day, every minute. None of us are perfect but every minute counts, every training counts, every time you say NO to a bun or a bag of candy counts.

I've learnt through this Lean Eating program to think about the BIG PICTURE.
a) Every move counts
b) But also every break down should be immediately put behind you, it's over and done with, CLEAN SLATE POLICY

My struggles with this program still remains the nutrition part. My weakness is emotional eating and thinking I can eat what I want when I've trained a lot.

Big part of my problem is actually the mindset that underlies these behaviors. Here is a list of the assumptions I make that then lead to problem behaviors.

- I've burnt a lot of calories today
- I exercise so much so often that it doesn't matter
- Just one doesn't matter
- I'm PMS-ing 
- I'm sick
- I feel so bad, depressed etc. 
- I know how to work it off

None of these excuses gives me the right to binge or emotional eat. I have to think of every minute of every day and stick to the PLAN, eat right, exercise right and I will reach my goal of FITNESS.

Make a list today of your poor excuses. And whenever you are in a situation that you want to binge or eat that extra bun read the list through, be strong and make the right choice that will get you one step closer to reach your goal!

- Sara

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Good things come with patience

"When you feel good,
you look good"  
~ Good things come with patience ~

So we are now half way done with this Lean Eating program, and I keep getting more and more addicted to it. I won't be wanting to let it go at all. To my luck, there is another program following this one that I can attend to carry on.

Good things really do come to those who wait and are patient. I have done my very best to keep up with the program and it has given me good results. Below you can see my improvements by measurement.

Jan 16         59.2
March 27   58.6
Jan 16          33
March 27     32

Jan 16         98.2
March 27   95.5

Jan 16         86.6
March 27    86

Jan 16          27.2
March 27     27

Jan 16         73.2
March 27    69

Jan 16        98.5
March 27   92

Jan 16        59.5
March 27   56

Jan 16         35
March 27   35

Important is to just stick with what you are doing, not giving up. There are always gonna be bad times but you get over them and come out stronger. And it's good if you have other sporty people around you to cheer you on. They can support you and they can understand you.

Just today I went on a run with a friend. I was the one who was supposed to coach her a little towards a 10km run in May but today she ended up cheering me on as I was nearly giving up. I was very glad to have had her there with me, otherwise I might have ended up just walking the last up-hills. Now instead I left off to work with an awesome feeling of energy and success.

I may not have lost weight but I've grown stronger and I feel better about myself than I ever did before. My attitudes towards food and eating has changed, it's more healthy now, as in I'm not obsessing over what I eat and when I eat. I've stopped counting calories which used to cause a lot of stress. Of course I have a lot to learn still and improve. All will happen in good time.
So stick to your programs, do your daily routines and habits, and results will come eventually, 
you will see!
- Sara

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Slowly forwards

"When you feel good,
you look good"  
~ Slowly forwards ~

Project is going forth slowly. Our training program changed, it's more versatile now as following:

Monday - Whole body workout :
  • Explosive dumbbell/kettlebell swing
  • Lumberjack squat into calf raise & press
  • Pronated‐grip reverse push‐up
  • Chin‐up
  • Vertical thrust
  • Iron cross
Tuesday - Cardio workout

Wednesday - Lower body workout:
  • Barbell front squat (treat as quasi warm‐up)
  • Barbell back squat
  • Alternating dumbbell rear lunge
  • Trap bar / dumbbell deadlift
  • Alternating lateral squat
  • Alternating single‐leg hip bridge

Thursday - Active rest day

Friday - Upper body workout:
  • Bent‐over alternating dumbbell row
  • Slight incline dumbbell bench press
  • Neutral grip pull‐up
  • Seesaw press
  • Barbell corner press
  • Barbell corner row
  • Cable push‐pull

Saturday - Cardio workout

Sunday - Active rest day

I can see changes in my body. Thighs becoming more formed, my arms are just making me laugh 'cause they are looking incredible in my eyes.

Eating is becoming easier..I'm enjoying new recipes, trying new kinds of foods. It turned out that I made 'eating protein with every meal' habit to something too difficult, when it's not.

There are million of ways to have protein with every meal. We humans just try to make everything that seems a struggle in the beginning an impossible thing to do. Even though all things are possible once we make an effort to try and follow through with it.

I'm very satisfied that I went along with this project. I have to admit it hasn't been easy all the time, ups and downs are bound to come along the way, and they have. I've had days when I've broken down in emotional eating or over eating due to boredom. I've had days when I've been sick and tired and wanting to give up. 

Struggles are a part of life, we just have to keep going on and leaving past in the past and with a positive mind going slowly forwards.

- Sara

Monday, February 15, 2010

Protein with every meal

"When you feel good,
you look good"  

~Protein with every meal ~

Did you know plants have protein? Well  if you didn't know, now you will learn that it is in fact true that plants do contain protein.

All plant foods contain all the essential amino acids. There is only one food that does not contain all the essential amino acids and it's an animal food- gelatin. 

This new habit "protein with every meal" that was taken into our "new habits" is quite difficult at the end of the day to execute. I never thought I ate enough protein but I did think that when I ate protein that I used all kinds of good protein sources. However I was wrong, I ate very limitedly. 

Lean Eating has opened my eyes for new and more sources of protein. It's really exciting and interesting tasting and trying new things. 

Now here is a list of different plans foods with the protein percentage, go for it, try something NEW!


  • Broccoli 27%
  • Spinach 39%
  • Cucumber 14%
  • Celery 17%
  • Squash 24%
  • Asparagus 34%
  • Artichokes 22%
  • Mushrooms 43%
  • Seaweed (most varieties) 20%
  • Amaranth 16%
  • Quinoa 14%
  • Oats 17%
  • Sprouted grain bread 20%
  • Hemp bread 30%
  • Lentils 30%
  • Tofu 40%
  • Kidney beans 25%
  • Edamame 30%
  • Tempeh 34%
  • Veggie/Soy burgers 50%
  • Soy sausage/bacon 53%
  • Hummus 18%
  • Peas 26%
  • Refried beans 24%
  • Seitan (wheat gluten) 77%
  • Rice protein powder 77%
  • Hemp protein powder 50%
  • Soy protein powder 84%
  • Pea protein powder 80%
Nuts and Seeds
  • Almonds 14%
  • Walnuts 14%
  • Flax seeds (flax meal) 17%
  • Hemp seeds (and hemp seed butter) 27%
  • Peanut butter 15%
  • Pumpkin seeds 23%
  • Pistachios 14%
  • Hemp beverage (milk) 23%
  • Soy beverage (milk) 30%
For reference, compare to the following non-plant protein foods and refined foods:
  • Human milk 6%
  • Cow's milk (2% fat) 27%
  • Eggs 33%
  • Cheese 33%
  • Lean beef 45%
  • Salmon 44%
  • White bread 11%
  • Donut 4%
  • Ice cream 7%
  • Licorice 3%
  • Jam 0%
  • Big Mac 18%

- Sara

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Clean slate policy

"When you feel good,
you look good"  
~ Clean slate policy ~

This girl has been on the sick bed for a while now, that explains the silence on this blog.
Now this was and is usually something very typical. You decide to make a change in your eating habits or training habits and it goes on really well for a while, UNTIL you get sick.

The GREAT thing about Precision Nutrition they emphasize the 'clean slate' policy. If you fall off track, DON'T PANIC, just get back on track again, when you can.

I was really discouraged when the flue hit me and pulled me to bed. My eating habits went bad, either I didn't eat or then I made bad choices when I did eat. Obviously since I was sick I didn't train and I kept feeling guilty over it.

It's good to always keep in mind, this is life, good and bad times are bound to come around. We just push through them and start from where we left off, or worst case from the beginning.

I am finally feeling better and will go to the gym tonight to test the new gym program that we have started on. What follows the next 4 weeks is:

Monday - Gym, whole body workout
Tuesday - Interval training
Wednesday - Gym, lower body workout
Thursday - Active rest
Friday - Gym, upper body workout
Saturday - Interval training
Sunday - Active rest

I am excited to get going again and starting from a CLEAN SLATE with a positive mind and attitude!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Carbs, your enemy?

"When you feel good,
you look good" 
~ Carbs after workout ~

So, now is the time when it all becomes just a little bit challenging According to PN (Precision Nutrition) we should get ALL our energy from food, which means no milk, no juices, no lemonades...they suggest only to drink water and green tea.

Last week friday I started with that new habit, no hot cacao, no juice. I'm trying to simply drink water, which I've done so far about 2l a day but drinking green tea is a struggle as I think it's horrible. I'm trying to learn to like it. hehe

This week PN gave us a new habit to learn in two weeks. The title says it all, carbs only after workout. Any other times we should eat lot's of protein and vegetables,fruits; eat only lower-carb meals.

Now this is very difficult for many as we ALL LOVE CARBS. However it's a kind of good motivation tool I think. Try to think that if you go train hard you can reward yourself with carbs. You go home after a good workout and start preparing a really nice pasta meal with meat and sallad, or rice and chicken. YUMMY.

Now there are basically three different types of carb foods:

1) Fibre-rich carbs
These include vegetables, fruits and legumes. These foods have a slow rate of absorption and will balance out blood sugar and hunger. They are loaded with nutrients, promote health and have low caloric density. Having these foods at the base of your "food pyramid" is a great idea.

2) Starchy carbs
These include eg. Quinoa, amaranth, sprouted and whole grain breads and pastas, potatoes, yams, acorn squash, oats, cereals. They are slightly lower in nutrients and higher in carbohydrates and energy (ie. calories) than fibre-rich carb foods.

Starchy carbs are best consumed after exercise. It's during this time that your muscles are like big sponges - they'll soak up the carbs and use them efficiently to restore and repair the muscle. At other times, when activity has been lower, the muscles aren't quite as receptive to carbs. This means they're more likely to be stored as body fat. Bottom line for fat loss: eat starchy carbs during the 3 hours after exercise only.

3) Refined sugary carbs
These foods are empty calories and don't do much for health. Still, eating them during and immediately after exercise may give your body a quick energy boost and accelerate recovery. You could take advantage of refined sugary carb foods by using nutrient dense sources like dates, raisins, figs and nutrition bars.   
Bottom line for fat loss: eat sugary carbs rarely, and only after exercise.

Just keep in mind, EXERCISE and you can eat without too many restrictions.
- Sara