This Blog is from Dan:
This one is dedicated to the ladies. You wonderful women who work hard, sweat, and limit calories to reach this magical number. This number controls your thoughts and actions and is sometimes the only thing you care about. In some extreme cases you determined divas will starve yourself, do excessive cardio and weight training and not realizing that these things are damaging your bodies. The good news is that now the mindset of you wonderful women is on being fit by focusing on body composition, functionality, and overall health and not aesthetics and that all mighty NUMBER.
This has been a challenge for Tiff and now that she is going to be my wife, I hope now I can talk about her fitness journey. In the beginning she was stuck on a certain number that she thought was her ideal body weight. First thing is, we didn’t go see her physician to find out what her ideal weight really should be. In the beginning she picked a “number” and that number has changed more than once in the first six months of her journey. The funny thing is, we have no idea what her ideal weight will be until she gets there. In her younger years she was active and athletic and over time she gained some extra weight due to external and internal factors that she has been continually overcoming on a daily basis.
My fiancé has been through some very difficult lows and challenging situations in the past couple of years. Sometimes I don’t know if she really knows how amazing she is and what she has accomplished and continues to accomplish. Now in her fitness challenges, she has put the same amount of determination into changing her lifestyle for the better, not only for herself but also for her daughter. She has completely changed her lifestyle. Increasing her fruit, vegetable and water intake along with training 4-6 times per week. These changes have not only reduced that number but it also has given her more energy, increased her mood and she is doing things and seeing changes that she never thought possible.
Tiffany is a beautiful woman that I saw from that first day I laid eyes on her. She was living in the wrong body and I don’t just mean physically. Her self-esteem was low and she was hurt bad. She limited herself due to negative influence from external parties and years of being told certain lies that she eventually started to believe. The worst part, like most of us was that she was her hardest critique. She has now gotten herself out of that environment and has truly started a new life and she has told me that she feels like she is getting back to her young, ambitious and confident self. She is a gym rat like me and loves all the changes that have happened; how she can bench 135lbs, and squat 205lbs, she can do 6-10 full body weight dips and run 10k. Now she can where sleeveless shirts, buy lulu and bench clothing which has lead us to have a new shopping problem on our hands….lol jk. Her best friend showed her an old picture of herself seven years ago and she was 15lbs lighter then but looks WAY better now, proving that a number is just that… a NUMBER.
Everybody that sees her is amazed by the changes she has made and has even inspired people to start to live a healthy life including me. It’s easy to maintain a healthy life if that’s all you know, but to change the way you’ve lived your whole life and maintain that is true success. The best part is nobody cares about the number, they will never say you look any different once you tell them. So why should you care about it? Once you reach your ideal weight that is determined by your doctor or other health professionals, it will fluctuate up and down 5-10lbs, which is normal. Instead of focusing on the number only, I challenge you to focus on everything else that living a healthy and optimal life has to offer you. Trust me, you are better off and will love seeing and noticing all the other amazing changes and positives that will happen in life.
Until next time
A few weeks back Dan suggested I start calorie counting and my instant reaction was “Heck No” as I find it was too time consuming and very little benefit. As I was listening to the “Cut the Fat Podcast”, they were speaking on the proper way to calorie count and how to figure out how many calories one should be consuming in a day. It actually sounded somewhat simple, so I thought I would give it a shot.
My ideal weight is between 140-150lbs so I took my weight of 140 and multiplied it by 12-14 to figure out my daily caloric intake. I used the lower end of both (140lbs and 12 calories) to see faster results. Then Dan and I worked on creating a meal plan for me, which I would follow daily for the next 8 weeks, right up until the day we leave for Florida.
I took the meal plan and googled every item on it to find out how many calories is in each. The simpler your meal plan the simpler it will be to determine the calories. You want to stay away from foods that are variable, meaning they fluctuate in size, such as Power Ball Bites (http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/no-bake-energy-bites/) as this is much harder to determine how many calories per one ball.
Now that I have my meal plan and I know, it is within my allotted 1680 calories per day I eat the same thing each day. This concept may be a struggle for you but if you can handle taking the variety out of your meals then it is worth it.
I encourage you to do the math based on your goal weight and multiply by 12 to determine your daily caloric intake and then sit down to create a healthy meal plan that you can stick to for 2-3 months. I promise you, you will see great results. If you find you are having difficulties, there are many apps out there that you can use to track calories.
I am just starting into my second weeks now and let me tell you….week one was difficult for the first three days. I feel I was at a slight disadvantage having just come off the holidays but I was able to push through. I felt very tired, lacked energy and was irritable….I bet you are all thinking, then why would I even bother! Once you push through those first few days, your body really starts to adjust to the changes and it gets easier with each day. The weekend presented it’s own challenges as there are a lot of mental changes I needed to make around weekends. We didn’t have our traditional date night of Milestones (Portobello Mushroom Chicken) and a movie but rather Dan got fully on board with my new journey and cooked a nice healthy meal at home.
I did have a melt down on Sunday as I ate my plain rice cake with a small amount of peanut butter on top and complained that it just isn’t fair! There are so many people out there who can eat whatever they want and they don’t put a pound on and I just want to have their body. With Dan’s little pep talk I was able to refocus on my end goal and realize that once my body hits the 140lbs and has a new hemostasis I will be able to lighten up on my restrictions but for now this is what I need to do to get there!
Week 1 is complete and I lost 4lbs…If you have read my previous blog you may say….”but you are not weighting in for a year” and you are correct. I still have no idea how much I weigh as Dan is the one who weights me each week. With a very straight face not to give away anything to me, he tells me my success!
I feel calorie counting has gotten a bad rap and people do not give it a fair try. I am telling you after one week it has been working and will continue to get easier with each day.
If anyone is interested in getting help setting up your program, please leave a comment below or send me a message and I would love to help.
I also encourage everyone to start listening to the Cut the Fat Podcast as it is FILLED with amazing helpful knowledge to make these changes! http://cutthefatpodcast.com/
As I have been contemplating my relationship with hunger over the last week I have been trying to finger out my belief system on food.
How do I view food?
What do I love about it?
Why do I love it?
Why is it a daily battle?
Why don’t people understand my struggle?
How do I change my views?
How do I change my habits?
This blog was inspired when we were invited to dinner at my parents house with the couple we stay in Africa with. My mother served cheesecake and I debated having a piece but guess what…I gave in. Later that night Dan said with enthusiasm “I’m so proud of you that you didn’t eat the cheese cake” and I quickly said “but I did and I was sitting right beside you!” We had a good laugh but it brought on a good discussion as to why I felt the need to have a piece and I couldn’t let it pass me by.
What I concluded is that I feel like I am missing out if I don’t have a piece. I don’t get dessert often so if I don’t have it then I don’t know when I will get to have desert next. I just can’t miss out…I just can’t.
I want to get to the point were dessert isn’t even on my radar but I know that I need to do this in stages. I have decided that going forwards I will help myself to “Just a Sliver” and being satisfied with that portion. I have changed my mental game and rapidity tell myself that I will be happy with just a sliver so when the day comes and cheese cake is served I will be content and fulfilled.
Once I have become a master of the sliver, I will move on to omitting dessert all together. I know it will take time to get to that point but one day it will happen. As I was speaking with Dan about this concept and writing this blog he was so “black and white”. He said I shouldn’t be having dessert at all if I wanted to hit my goals. After we continued to speak, he realized he hasn’t walked my path and doesn’t fully understand my battle. He apologized for his black and whiteness and respected my new path and commitment to changing this area.
What areas are the ones that hold you back from reaching your goals? Maybe dessert isn’t a challenge for you? Maybe it’s something entirely different. I encourage you to search yourself and figure out what holds you back from reaching your goals and create small steps to change those habits.
Once you do figure it out, leave a comment below as I would love to hear about your success.
Have you ever stopped to consider what your relationship with hunger?
What your view on food is and why do you have this view?
I was listening to a podcast today and he briefly spoke on our relationship with hunger and I found it so interesting as I had never stopped to consider this question. Once I started to consider it, I also was struck by how I view food. If I stop and think about hunger and what it actually is, which is your bodies physiological need to eat, I wondered how often I felt hungry through the day, which I boiled down to just before meal times. But how often was I eating outside the concept of being hungry?
When I was living an unhealthy lifestyle, I can tell you my eating was terrible. Fast food, freezer meals and junk where just a few “go to” and I know I was eating outside the hunger pangs I was feeling as I was an emotional eater and would often eat when bored. Now that I am living a healthier lifestyle, I feel I eat my set out meals for the day and really try not to deviate from this plan. Since it is filled with healthy fats, proteins and is considered a plant-based diet, I find I am not hungry outside my set meals. When I do feel those hunger pangs coming on, I am learning to deny them to teach myself that I don’t need to eat just because I have pangs. I guess you could say my relationship with hunger has changed between the two life styles and if you don’t stop to take a second to ponder your relationship with hunger it’s probably something you would have never considered.
Take a minute to think about this relationship right now…
Do you need to make a change to your relationship with hunger or do you have a healthy relationship with hunger? Like every relationship in our lives, they all need nurturing and so does this relationship. If you have determined it is an unhealthy relationship, now think about ways you can make changes.
Looking at this from a biblical standpoint, we are to consider our bodies as temples and we are stewards of this body, therefore the relationship with hunger is very important. We can’t let hunger dominate us, our thinking and our lives. One solution when you feel the need to satisfy hunger outside your daily caloric intake or to satisfy your hunger with food that will not nourish your body is to stop and pray, ask for the strength.
You could also fast for a day or even a couple of meals to get control of your hunger. Many times, we eat more then we need to and its ok for our body to be hungry through the day as this allows our body to work through the food in our intestines.
Do you know there are body who go days without feeling hungry? Have you ever done this? This fact amazed me but is an epidemic that faces so many people in our culture today.
I really encourage to take a couple days to think over the relationship with hunger. Start to own your hunger pangs and be in control of them. It’s truly not the end of the world to be hungry, especially the individuals who have excess weight, as there is stored fuel that can be used to provide energy through those pangs.
You goal is to get your body into a ketogenic state. Ketosis is a state at which the body has an extremely high fat-burning rate. Even the brain runs on fat, via ketone bodies. These are energy molecules in the blood (like blood sugar) which become fuel for our brains after being converted from fat by the liver.
I really encourage you to do your own research, become a master of your body, find out for yourself what works for you and then share this information with others.
This has been on my mind and I am still working through what my relationship with hunger and food.
If you have defined your relationship with hunger, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below. I think the more we hear from others it will help us develop our own.
YOU & HUNGER are ONE
Like most life changes, it isn’t so easy at first and I can honestly say by setting short and long-term goals, you are able to maximise your success. This works for beginner’s right up to experts and professionals.
The 90-day challenge is a great way to get some reasonable and tangible results showing your efforts are paying off. Three months gives your body time to adapt to the lifestyle changes and you can begin to form new habits. You also give yourself time for mistakes and setbacks, as we are human and they happen, thus it makes sense to factor mistakes and setbacks in to best prepare yourself for success.
Fitness, like most challenging things is very mental and psychological. Thinking a year or more down the road can be overwhelming and intimidating, even thinking about sticking to a program or regime for six months can feel like a lot, especially for first timers. This overwhelming feeling can lead to failure and is the main reason most people quit. 90 days is that “ideal” time period that most people can commit to and through that period they will see results to feel accomplished and motivated to continue!
So give yourself a 90 day challenge to; gain, lose, get stronger, trim inches, get faster, jump higher, swim strong or run further….whatever it is, just keep challenging yourself and pushing yourself to your fullest potential. At the end of it, you can say you did your best and gave it your all! If you are interested in starting a 90-day challenge, email me and I would be happy to help you set up it.
Everyone keeps telling Dan that hes weird because he doesn’t eat dairy. The truth is he did as a child and is happy he doesn’t anymore. For all you cheese lovers out there, you might not like this blog but remember everything in moderation. I know there are times where I eat something that isn’t the best for me; we are all human, so if you have a little cheese from time to time it’s your choice and not the end of the world. What I’m presenting are some facts on the problems with dairy and then show you some healthy alternatives so you can get the same if not more of the same nutrients found in dairy products. I like keeping things short and sweet because like you I’m sure you don’t have time to read though a massive list of information. I have narrowed it down to the top 3 reasons why milk is a big no no!
Different from both allergies and lactose intolerance, some people have sensitivity to the casein (a type of protein) in milk. This sensitivity can trigger inflammation throughout the body, which may produce symptoms such as sinus congestion, acne flares, skin rash and migraines (Medical News Today).
Calcium, potassium, Vitamin D and protein are the top nutrients found in milk and the good news is that you can find these in many other foods. High calcium foods include dark leafy greens, cheese, low fat milk and yogurt, bok choy, fortified tofu, okra, broccoli, green beans, almonds, and fish canned with their bones. Food that are packed with potassium include; Winter squash, sweet potato, white beans, halibut, ,100% orange juice, broccoli, cantaloupe, banana, pork tenderloin, lentils, salmon, pistachios, raisins ,chicken breast, and tuna.
Vitamin D is the easiest, JUST GO OUTSIDE IN THE SUN! Vitamin D is naturally made by your body when you expose your skin to the sun, and that’s why it is called the sun-shine vitamin. Some natural foods high in vitamin D include fish oils, fatty fish, mushrooms, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Finally protein (the most important to me!) can come from a variety of meat and plant based foods. High protein foods include meat, fish, cheese, tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds and protein isolates. So as you can see there are many foods that you can eat that are pack with all the essential vitamins and minerals.
I am suggesting you keep dairy to a minimum or eliminate it completely! Trust me your body will thank you.
Until next time!
3 Rules and Top 6 Power Foods
Hey everyone, today I’m going to talk about some general rules for good eating habits and also Ashmeade’s top 6 power foods. The reason that I say general is because when it comes to nutrition we as human beings can almost eat whatever we want. We just need to be conscious of portion size, frequency and nutritional balance. Here are some easy rules to stick to and the best part is there are only three.
#1 Eat live, fresh, REAL foods. I don’t mean you have to eat “organic,” what I mean is simply eat foods that were once alive. If it swam in the oceans, lakes or rivers walked on the earth, climbed trees, grew from the soil or flew in the sky…EAT IT. Stay away from foods that are in boxes, cans and bags! Also try to eat cooked foods as little as possible. Most of the nutrients and vitamins are lost during the cooking process. 50% or more of your foods should be fresh and not cooked in every meal.
#2 Stay Away from Dairy. There are many studies and tests that prove dairy products are not good for us but I will leave that for another blog. I want to give you some reasons that I see and from first-hand experience that you should not eat dairy. First of all we are the only animals that drink milk after infancy, our bodies are not made to process milk and over 70% of humans are lactose intolerance. When I used to consume dairy products, I had many stomach and digestion problems. This is something shared by many of my clients, friends and family. If you’re worried about your bones, you can get all the calcium, and other vitamins and minerals from other foods such as sardines and leafy greens like, spinach and kale. Lastly milk these days is packed with sugar, making it even worse for you. I would suggest staying away from dairy as much as possible.
#3 No to Sugar and Yes to Fats. This one is simple…STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR!!! I’m talking about refined sugar. I don’t need to get specific, basically any food that MAN has made. (Refer to rule #1) Secondly, increase your healthy “Good” fats intake. “Good” fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats because they lower disease risk. Foods high in good fats include vegetable oils (such as olive, canola, sunflower, soy, and corn), nuts, seeds, and fish.
Here are the Top 5 foods that you should add to your diet. These foods are packed with the most essential vitamins and minerals for the body and are some of the best examples of foods in macro nutrient intake.
#1 Spirulina- is a plant based Protein that is even better than hemp seeds. Dried spirulina contains about 51–71% protein. It is a fresh water micro plant that is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids. Being a plant based protein; you don’t have to cook it which reduces the amount of protein in the process. Spirulina is one of the only plant based complete protein. You can find it in the health food store and even Bulk Barn in pill or powder form.
#2 Spinach- Spinach is a super food loaded with tons of nutrients in a low calorie package. Dark leafy greens like spinach are important for skin and hair, bone health, and provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. Spinach has 15 out of 21 of the most essential vitamins needed for human function and optimal health. You can add them to your omelettes, make it the base of salads and blend them into your morning shake.
#3 Sunflower seeds- Sunflower seeds provide a rich source of vitamins E and B-1, as well as copper. Adding nuts and seeds to your diet benefits your health. They are easy and convenient, plus can be added to any salad or meal. These are the perfect emergency food when you are on the run or working in a situation where you can’t sit down and eat. Have a shake with a handful of nuts or seeds and that will hold you over until the next meal.
#4 Coconut Oil- Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought. Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype. Coconut oil is the highest source out of all the oils and tastes amazing on salads and in smoothies. It is a little more expensive due to the high quality but you don’t need to use as much because of its concentration.
#5 Goji Berries- Their history as a medicinal plant has roots in ancient China, where goji berries still are used to treat eye, liver, and kidney ailments. A host of additional nutritional and medical claims have made the fruit very popular. Goji berries are high in vitamin C and fibre, and low in calories. They are also a good source of iron and vitamin A. One serving of about four ounces of goji berries even provides nearly 10 percent of the suggested amount of dietary protein, a surprising amount for a fruit. They make a perfect addition to cereals, oatmeal, fruit salad or regular salads, also great in trail mix.
#5 Cocoa- I saved the best for last! Cocoa is such an amazing food that it at times is considered a medicinal. According to Elson Hass in his book “Staying Healthy with Nutrition,” cocoa may provide antidepressant benefits. Cocoa may also have the ability to boost endorphins, which act as natural “happy” opiates. Finally, cocoa may boost serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter that antidepressants target in order to boost overall happiness levels. On top of this Cocoa also contains approximately 43.6 mg of flavonoids per gram. Flavonoids are part of a powerful group of antioxidants known as polyphenols, and according to Medical News Today, cocoa is one of the highest polyphenol-containing foods. In addition to the above possible health benefits of cocoa powder, cocoa may lower LDL cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots, increase blood flow to the arteries, lower high blood pressure, boost cognitive performance and provide essential minerals such as calcium and potassium…. And it’s chocolate!!
I’m not telling you to start eating all kinds of chocolate, remember everything in moderation. I also want you to have cocoa in power form without the sugar, not the mars bar…lol
The main thing I want to mention is to focus on adding things to your diet instead of subtract. If you keep adding good stuff to your diet, eventually you will have less room for the bad stuff and you won’t want it anymore. It’s all about small changes to improve your overall nutrition habits and lifestyle. Food was created for us to eat and treat, but like all things it can be abused so stay in control and enjoy using food as fuel to charge your body, mind and soul.
We have had a lot of people asking for tips about our nutrition and what we eat. We thought it was a good idea to give you some tips about grocery shopping
These are tips which will help you towards "eating clean"
We hope you find these tips helpful and if you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below
Tiffany & Daniel
Here are some tips to help you achieve your health eating goals