Eat, Work, Gym, Repeat

As promised, because when you make a promise on the internet you have to keep it, here is my post on nutrition.

Chances are, if you’re even relatively athletic, or have some semblance of a gym schedule, your peers/coworkers/family members, and even sometimes gym strangers, ask you about your diet. Whether they’re trying to build muscle, lose weight, or “tone”.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that everybody’s different. Some people are sensitive to carbs, some people literally can’t go without them. And I’m not talking about your average “I love carbs” addiction, I mean people who’s actually become hypoglycaemic without them.  So when adjusting your diet, pay attention to your body and the feedback it’s giving you.

As always, if you’re a diligent reader, I’ll allude to previous articles. I personally am a big fan of keeping carbs low in the morning and throughout the day. The first meal of the day sets the tone for how your body will use and regulate carbs. By eating fats and protein as your first meal you’ll avoid spiking your insulin, which can lead to fat gain. However, go to long without eating and your can increase cortisol levels, blood sugar drops, and your body down regulates your metabolism.

Don’t feel anxious, I know this sounds complicated, but it’s not!

As a general  rule, I recommend eating every 4 hours. This may seem like a lot of food to most, but let me run you through a typical weekday for me, and in reality you’ll probably find it’s calorie and macro content add up to less than most people eat, who haphazardly eat when and what’s convenient.

Most mornings I start with 2 scoops of greens and fibre, and a spoonful of omegas 3, and a black Americano on my way to work. Honestly, I love sleep, so I don’t eat before leaving for work. This quick easy concoction gives my body some nutrition to work with, wakes me up and gets the metabolism fired up. Once I sit down at my desk I have 3.5oz of lean ground turkey which I’ve prepped before the week. It’s an easy convenient meat cookie, to get my protein in, and again, keeping cortisol low. You can add egg whites and greens to this combo if this just isn’t enough for you. Come lunch I typically have 4oz chicken with mixed salad greens and a little dressing. If I’m dieting I’ll add straight balsamic, not vinaigrette or oil, but if I, just living life, simply put whatever small amount of dressing of my choice. So there, we’re already at lunch and your carb content hasn’t exceeded More than 5-10g. Since my work day usually goes to 6, sometimes later, I try to plan accordingly. I’m I’m anticipating leaving at 6, around 4 I’ll have a small snack to tie me over until gym time. I don’t like to work out on a full stomach, but if I miss this meal I won’t get to eat again until 8 or 9. This is usually some nuts (8-12 is an appropriate serving size), with a high quality protein shake.  Whey would be the best choice here, opposed to an iso whey. I also mix mine with water to keep Cals minimal. This is a great low carb, high protein snack, with some fats to keep you full.

So congrats! You’ve made it through your work day and it’s finally gym time! You’ve kept to your diet, and hopefully you’re feeling good. My workouts typically take about 80 minutes at most, depending on the day and how busy the gym is. If I’m doing cardio, a little longer. After I’ve finished I take 1000mg of vitamin C and head home. You might ask why I don’t eat right away. Well, there are a few reasons. For one, I want to continue the fat burning process going, you body is still breaking new muscle and metabolizing fat for energy. Secondly, I prefer to eat whole foods, especially when dieting, so I can go home and relax and eat a proper meal, not out of Tupperware. And lastly, I tend to take a pre workout with stimulants prior to working out. Stimulants, such as caffeine are an appetitive suppressant, combine with high intensive training and my stomach just isn’t ready for digestion.

My last meal tends to be a repeat of my lunch. A combination of chicken and salad or veggies. If your are keeping some carbs in your diet, or are having a higher carb day, this would be the meal to add it in.

Finally, because I am a creature of habit, once I’ve finished dinner and cleaned up for the night I repeat my greens and fibre routine to keep everything moving, ad finish the night with chia, zma for muscle repair and relaxation, and a little PB, cause you’ve still gotta treat yourself.

Up next on the blog, pre workout and intra workout, what I like, what I’ve tried and how to get a skin tearing pump… Or maybe something else, who knows!

Your fitbetch,
JP xoxo

Concoctions and cold remedies

Given that Toronto is apparently going to be getting some snow this week I thought I might circle back to some health related advise.

As the temperature drops, the days are darker, and I pretty much always feel like Im fighting an impending cold, how do you stay on top of busy work schedule, strict gym regiment, and some semblance of a social life (even if it’s just making time to get my roots done)?!

Obviously not feeling sick is a good place to start. Even having the slightest inkling of that tired, yucky, headachy common cold can pretty much make every aspect of your busy life hard. And if you’ve been following the blog over the past few years you’ll know that I am a huge advocate of all those little daily things that keep bodily stress and cortisol at bay. Even the standard vitamin C and echinacea combo has been proven to stave off nasty symptoms when taken regularly and in the right doses. So, when given the opportunity to try Cold Q, a herbal spray, I was intrigued.

I’ve always been a strong advocate of natural forms of supplementation. Part of that probably stemming from a childhood of swallowing raw cod liver oil, and garlic pills as a form of cruel and unusual punishment (or immunity or whatever). Even now, I take turmeric for inflammation, ginger to digestion, zinc and magnesium for deeper sleep and relaxation, and the list goes on.

Being me, as you know, everything is a research project. Years of peer reviewed studies, stats courses, and testing and measurement have instilled a certain skepticism in me. But aren’t we all just a little better for it? Think of the time I save you! So I obviously did my reach on Cold Q, I wasn’t going to be spraying this concoction in my mouth before knowing its usefulness first.
There is a long list of ingredients listed on the bottle, all FDA approved and natural, but here is some of what I found.
Let’s start with the medicinal properties of the Dahurican root, which has been dated back to Ancient China as early as 400 BC. Zhang Cong Zhen (1156–1228), a famous physician in the military, believed that diseases were caused by external evil factors, or better knelt to modern day science as pathogens, that entered the human body (which is why we always avoid touching our lovely faces ladies and gents). He listed Danuricam root as a herb that purged the body of any negative influences such as heat, clamminess, dryness, and cold on the skin. While this concept of purging may seem a little off, what he was rally seeing was the plants ability to act as an antinflammitory. Today, due to this property it is often used as a treatment for headaches, relieving nasal obstruction, as a pain reliever, a topical anti inflammatory, and bonus points, when ingested, a laxative.

While a little less mystical history here, Astragalus membranaceus (Huang qi), A. propinquus is an component in Lectranal, and a little less ambitious in terms of what it can cure. It is a food supplement used in treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Aka seasonal allergies.

Ziziphus jujuba commonly called jujube (ahh, yum…) is a red date, or also known as a Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date.  As you’ve likely deduced, it’s a fruit bearing tree. The freshly harvested, as well as the candied dried fruit, are often eaten as a snack, or with coffee. This ingredient already has me won over. Candy that cures my cold? Yes please! The fruit and its seeds are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are believed to alleviate stress (aka the root of all evil) and traditionally for anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory purposes. It is also a great antioxidant, and immunostimulant, which also contributes to its wound healing properties A controlled clinical trial also found the fruit helpful for chronic constipation… I’m seeing a trend here.

Aside from Asian and Indian cultures, In Persian traditional medicine it is used in combination with other herbal medicines to treat colds, flu and coughing. Again reinforcing its immunostimulant and stress relieving properties. Recent research also suggests jujube fruit has nootropic and neuroprotective properties.

Lastly let’s talk about Ziziphin, a compound in the leaves of the jujube.The jujube fruit is mucilaginous, meaning that is produces Mucilage, a thick, gluey substance produced by nearly all plants and some microorganisms. It is a polar glycoprotein and an exopolysaccharide. In lamens terms, a sticky slimy sugar substance. Mucilage in plants plays a role in the storage of water and food, as well as seed germination, and thickening membranes. It’s important to us in this particular scenario because it is very soothing to the throat, and decoctions of jujube have often been used in pharmacy to treat sore throats.

So, to sum it up, cold Q is a pretty useful concoction of natural plant remedies, all brought together in a neat little spray pack, to help you not only avoid the cold, through immunostimulant and anti inflammatory properties. But also treat any of those gross symptoms that do manage to bypass your super awesome immune barriers. Such a sore throats, coughs, and runny noses. As always my lovelies, stay healthy!

Your fitbetch,

JP xoxo