THE BEST DIET OF ALL TIME

What’s the best diet?

As a fitness professional, one question I hear all the time is, “which diet or nutrition plan do you recommend for best results?”

“Is it Paleo? Vegan? Intermittent fasting? Should I detox first?” etc etc etc

Everyone wants to know the “secret diet” for best results.

Let me share the secret: there is NO secret or ‘best’ diet. I know that may sound upsetting and maybe you don’t quite believe me when you read this but let me explain why.

Everyone of us is so different. You and I have many differences, as do you and everyone else in this world. Just to prove this is true, here are just a few differences many of us have:

• Body type: Some are tall and thin; others short and stocky. Or everything in between.

• Fitness level and body composition: Some are active, strong, lean, and dense. Some have been sedentary for the last 50 years and may be frail, without a lot of muscle.

• Dietary preferences and exclusions: Whether kosher or halal; plant-based or carnivore; scavenger or “picky eater”; iron stomach or “allergic to everything”, we all have a vast range of food preferences and many reasons for them.

• Budget: Some of us might be struggling students, some are middle-class families trying to make ends meet, or highly paid executives — maybe even a pro athlete.

• Organic / conventional: Some of us live on boxed and packaged foods. Some try to read labels, sometimes. Some of us may choose only kale that has been lovingly grown by a sect of Californian monks who hand-pluck the bugs off.

• Nutrition knowledge and diet history: Some of us will be faithful followers of a certain dietary practice, or a history of trying different diets. Others have very little nutrition knowledge at all.

• Time: Some of us have an open schedule, ready for any kind of health and fitness project. Others have a crowded daily schedule and countless conflicting priorities.

• Ethnic background and heritage: I work with clients all over the world. A meal or cuisine that suits your lifestyle may not suit someone who lives in another country or distant state, city or town.

• Age: As we age, our metabolisms change, our food tolerances and appetites change, and our digestive abilities change. You get the picture.

So when someone asks me what the ‘best’ diet is out there…it depends on each and every one of us and the differences we have.

You can be healthy and fit whether you eat mostly meat or mostly veggies, mostly fat or mostly carbohydrates, many times a day or just a few times, and so on. When working with a client, I ask them to track their foods for a few days and then we review the foods they enjoy most and how to make their meals work for them in reaching their goals; while not making them feel deprived of what they enjoy about their favorite foods.

What do they need to be their best?

GOOD NUTRITION IS MORE SIMILAR THAN DIFFERENT.

You might be wondering:

How can such varied diets all keep people fit and healthy? Well, despite their differences, most effective nutrition programs are more alike than different. Here’s how:

1. Good nutrition asks people to care about their food and eating.
Research shows that your actual choices are probably less important than simply paying better attention to what you eat. When you really care about what you eat, and make mindful, deliberate choices, you almost inevitably eat better.

2. Good nutrition focuses on food quality.
Almost no decent diet plan asks you to eat more processed, nutrient-depleted pseudo-food. Instead, pretty much every plan recommends eating whole, minimally processed, nutrient rich foods — foods that our body has a longstanding relationship with.
Regardless of the macronutrient breakdowns or specific choices, just eating better quality food will improve most of our health significantly.

3. Good nutrition helps eliminate nutrient deficiencies.
When we care about what we eat, choose foods mindfully, and try to get the best-quality foods we can afford, we usually get lots of valuable nutrients as a bonus. Many times, when people start a certain diet program, they just start eating better overall. They get more nutrients.
They may get more variety.
Or fresher foods.
Or less-processed foods.
Or foods they chose mindfully. Because of these factors, they feel better. And that’s one reason they start making wild claims about the rejuvenating power of their new diet. They didn’t do anything special, really. They often just started getting what their bodies needed.

4. Good nutrition helps control appetite and food intake. For most people, “it’s hard to eat just one” of the hyper-addictive deliciousness of processed foods. We often keep eating and eating them, but never feel satisfied.

We may also eat them on the go, when we’re rushed and busy.

So not only are we eating foods that encourage us to eat more of them, we’re not even really paying attention to the experience at all.

On the other hand, when we’re more aware of what we’re eating; choose a variety of more satisfying, higher-quality foods; and eliminate nutrient deficiencies, we almost always end up eating less food overall.

We feel more satisfied — both physiologically and psychologically.

We lose fat, gain muscle, and perform better. Notice that you don’t need calorie counting here.

Focusing on food awareness and food quality is usually enough for people to tune into their own hunger and appetite. That means calorie control without the annoying calorie math. (cuz I don’t love math) 🙂

5. Good nutrition promotes regular exercise.
When you start paying attention to what you are eating, you usually start thinking about physical activity too.
Or vice versa: If you take up an activity you love, eventually you start wondering if your nutrition could help you do that activity better.

Good nutrition fits with regular activity like a key into a lock. And most nutrition programs suggest that people exercise along with eating well.

Hopefully this information helped you understand the basis of a good meal plan and that most of them are more similar than we think.

If you need help with your meal planning, shoot me an email today: kathyprofitness@gmail.com

Dessert/ No Bake Choc, PB, Oat Clusters

OMG!! Who else just loves everything that includes the words, “No bake”, “chocolate”, “peanut butter” and “oats”??

It’s like a perfect world of foods!! Right?? 😉

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Chocolate And Peanut Butter Oat Clusters

YIELD: 16 CLUSTERS

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES

COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES CHILL TIME
TOTAL TIME: 50 MINUTES

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup all natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

Create a double boiler using a saucepot and glass bowl.

Place chocolate chips, milk, and peanut butter in the bowl and stir a few times until it has all melted together. Remove from heat and add oats and salt.

Stir until the oats are completely coated in the chocolate mixture.

Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper and use a tablespoon to drop the oat mixture into clusters.

Pop in the fridge until set (at least 30 minutes). Enjoy!!

Makes 16 clusters.

Nutritional Analysis

Nutrients per cluster: Calories: 88; Total Fat: 4.6g; Saturated Fat: 1.7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrate: 10.5g; Dietary Fiber: 1.4g; Sugars: 4.3g; Protein: 2.3g

K.I.S.S. (In Honor of Valentine’s Day!)

So you say you want to change your ways…but you don’t know how?

You hear so many different “experts” spouting off completely opposite points of views when it comes to nutrition, fitness and habits. What is anyone to believe anymore?

Well, if you just go back to “basics”, you will reach all of your goals. Remember the acronym K.I.S.S.?  KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID!! Not that I’m referring to anyone as “stupid” but if you keep doing what you’ve always done and keep getting the same results….then STOP IT!!

Common mishaps are skipped meals, over exercising or lack of movement, laziness, fast food habits, etc. So, in honor of getting ourselves on track, once and for all….here is a great plan devised by Steve Edwards (Beachbody fitness and nutrition blogger and fitness guru) that I think is the BOMB to getting back to basics. Read it and tell me what you think below!

**As a BONUS, I will be leading a PRIVATE group of individuals who want results and are willing to take on this very challenge. If this is YOU, please comment below with your email OR send ME and email to: http://www.spazzykay@gmail.com and title it:  “8 Week Transition”.  I will contact you and get you hooked up. Prizes awarded to the biggest achievers in this challenge…(hint, hint…you just have to follow the darn plan to get the results!)

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The Easiest Way to Change Your Eating Habits

Inspired by Steve Edwards, Fitness Guru

99% of ―diet is cutting junk and eating real food.

Steve Edwards created ―The 8-Week Transition Diet is for those wanting to make a gradual transition. Healthy eating will become habit over time. So, let’s get started and make a gradual transition:

Week 1
No junk. Eliminate junk food from your diet, for example, potato chips, candy, ice cream, cake, etc. You may be stricter if you’d like, but for Week 1, don’t be too hard on yourself. For many of you, this step alone will reap huge benefits.

Cheat Days: 2 (reward for a life well-lived)
Since no one’s perfect, you get 2 days to cheat. That’s right; 2 days where you can eat anything you want! Listen to your body. At first, it’ll probably tell you it wants whatever you’ve been denying it. However, over time, it’ll start to crave nutrients you’re deficient in. Learn to read your body’s subtleties. If you’re craving ice cream, you may be short on essential fatty acids. If you crave a hamburger, your diet may lack protein. This way, you can make better food substitutions. It’s a way of getting in tune with yourself that will benefit you for your entire lifetime.

*Weekly focus: Water. You should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. Drinking a glass of water when you feel hunger pangs coming on will help stave off your hunger to some degree. Diet soda, juices and sugary sodas also fall into the junk category. Alcohol should be kept to a minimum. When you do drink, red wine is the alcohol of choice, with beer running second.

Week 2
Each week’s rules are cumulative, so the “no junk” rule from Week 1 will apply until the end, as will each subsequent week’s rule. Remember that this is a learning process. It’s like you’re in school and the subject is your own body. Eat small, eat often. Eat four to six small meals a day. Try to keep each snack or meal balanced. Keep a 30 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrate, and 30 percent fat scale in mind, though you don’t need to worry too much about it. Just realize that you need a bit from each macronutrient group. Eat based on what you’ll be doing for the next few hours (if you’re working out, eat a little more; sitting at a desk, eat a little less).

Cheat Days: 2
Weekly focus: Carbs are not the enemy. Your body needs them, just like it needs proteins and fats. The trick is to choose the right carbs. As a society, we eat too much refined sugar. Complex carbs, like whole-grain breads, whole-grain rice, sweet potatoes, and legumes are outstanding foods. Even fruits, which have simple carbohydrates wrapped in fiber, are very good for you. Try to avoid white rice and flours.

Week 3
Eat some colorful, nutrient-dense food at every meal. Veggies are the most obvious example. You can eat a salad bowl overflowing with lettuce and veggies and you most likely won’t exceed 100 calories. By consuming veggies and fruits, you’ll keep your portions under control naturally. When it comes to live foods, the richer the colors, the fresher the products tend to be. Try to eat a
variety of colors in your diet. This simple and somewhat random act will help ensure that you’re covering your bases, nutrient-wise.

Cheat Days: 1
Weekly focus: Protein at every meal. Try to get some protein—meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, or legumes—each time you eat (meals and snacks), especially when you’re working out hard, because you need to repair broken-down muscle tissue.

Week 4
Cook at home. One of the best ways to control your eating is to prepare all your meals yourself. Eliminate all fast food (which should have been gone in Week 1) and most other restaurant food. You may still eat food from certain restaurants where you can be sure of the ingredients. But avoid all fast food chains, even ones that claim to be “healthy.” For example, next time you see one of those nutrition charts, check the sodium levels; most fast foods use ridiculously high amounts of salt. Avoiding fast food alone will often bring your body closer to homeostasis (its desired state of balance).

Cheat Days: 1
Weekly focus: Fat is essential. Fat is a vital part of your diet. What is not vital is a lot of saturated or Trans fats. Trans fats are mainly those that are artificial, and hopefully they’ve been eliminated from your diet by this point, since they’re generally only found in junk. Saturated fats are found in dairy products and meats, and you don’t need too much (2 servings of milk/5 – 7 ounces of protein per day). For cooking, try to use olive oil when possible. Also, the addition of either flaxseed or hempseed can have a pronounced effect on your health. These seeds are loaded with essential fatty acids (omegas 3 and 6). Be careful about that amount of fat. It is dense and has 9 calories per gram, as opposed to 4 for both carbs and protein. A tablespoon goes a long way!

Week 5
Reduce starchy carbohydrates. Reduce your intake of rice, bread, potatoes, corn, and pasta. Starches are great energy food, but if you eat too many, they turn the tables and make you sluggish!

Cheat Days: 1

Weekly focus: Sugar is only beneficial after a hard workout. Your body doesn’t need processed sugar. But if you really enjoy it and can’t avoid letting some sneak into your daily diet, the 1-hour period after you exercise is the best time to indulge. During this window, your blood sugar is low, because you’ve used it up to finish your workout (assuming you pushed yourself), and sugar during this time will help you recover faster because it speeds into your system and initiates the recovery process. Adding a little protein, but not too much, will enhance your recovery even further. You should avoid fats during this immediate post-workout period, because of slow absorption—a good thing most of the time, just not during and immediately after working out.

Week 6
If man makes it, don’t eat it. This is likely to be the hardest week of your diet. You want to eat only whole foods and eliminate all processed foods. This includes salad dressings, cereal, luncheon meats, cheese, dried fruits, anything with preservatives, and alcoholic beverages. What you can eat are whole foods such as fruit, raw or steamed vegetables, meat (sans any type of sauce), natural whole-grain rice, eggs, etc. Since your eating habits have been slowly changing, this shouldn’t be that big a shock to your system, but keeping in mind that you only have to do this for 7 days will make it easier. (Although each week’s rules are cumulative in the plan, Week 6 is more of a “cleanse” or “reset” week where you avoid all processed food; after Week 6, you can go back to the occasional processed food, but chances are you’ll take what you learned this week and tend to make healthier, smarter choices.)

Cheat Days: 1
The “cheat day” mentality isn’t a bad one. Rewards like decadent desserts, a night at the buffet, or drinking with friends are good for you as long as you keep them in perspective. These are rewards for a life well lived and you should be able to feel good about doing them. Plus, there’s some method to this madness as well, in that you still tend to crave nutrients you lack. So if you’re cutting down on the calories to lose weight, allowing yourself a cheat day will give your body a chance to take in what it needs.

Weekly focus: Nuts make great snacks. A handful of raw almonds or pistachios is a quick and easy snack that goes a long way (one handful only). Don’t be put off by the high fat count of nuts, because this means it takes fewer of them to satiate you. Nuts are loaded with important phytonutrients, as well as good fats, protein, and fiber.

Week 7
Be yourself. No rules—just try and eat as healthy as you can and do it by feel. Trusting yourself might seem like a lot of responsibility, but by now you’ll be up to it. Learning to eat by feeling what your body needs is an important step in your transformation. Consider the way you’ve been eating over the last 6 weeks, but don’t worry about what you should and shouldn’t do. Just fuel yourself. The point is to take a mental break. Relax and allow yourself to eat in a way that feels normal. You may be surprised to find yourself craving something healthy instead of a candy bar or soda. You’ll be better at listening to your body because it will tell you what it needs to eat, as opposed to what you’re used to eating. Your body should feel somewhat transformed. Does it?

“Reward for a Life Well Lived” Days: 1

Weekly focus: If you’re so hungry at night that you can’t sleep, try a protein shake before bed. When it’s real, and not habitual, hunger means you lack nutrients your body needs to repair itself as you sleep. But protein at night, especially whey, will help the body repair damaged tissue and enhance the natural growth-hormone spike that you get while you sleep.

Week 8
Eat a perfect diet. Now it’s time for a real challenge—are you ready? The perfect diet is strictly individual, as there’s no one diet that suits everybody. So who better to choose the perfect diet for you than you? Our bodies are all different, and the key to your own perfect diet is learning about how your body reacts to different foods under different circumstances. Your journey over the last 7 weeks should have brought you to a new understanding of how food affects your body, both for good and for bad. Now it’s up to you to put it to the test. See how well you can eat for a week. In fact, see how well you can eat for the rest of your life. Live and enjoy.
Reward Days: 1, of course!

Weekly Focus: Don’t bonk. Bonking is a state where your body runs out of stored blood sugar for energy. If you feel like your workouts are going backward instead of forward, this is a likely culprit. Use your energy level as your gauge. As soon as it starts to drop, start adding carbs back into your diet until you feel energized all day long. When you feel energized during your
workouts and not sluggish throughout the rest of the day, you’ll know you’ve found the right balance between carbs and other nutrients. Also, remember that as your body puts on more muscle, you will need to eat more. Muscle weighs much more than fat so as you gain muscle and lose fat, you will shrink at the same weight. You will also require more calories in order to maintain your muscle. So when you’re working out hard, don’t be afraid to eat more carbs than you do otherwise.

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So, there you have it! Doesn’t it sound ridiculously simple, yet beneficial? I challenge you to join the change!

My Daughter Made a Clean Treat!! OR “Almond Reese’s Cups”

I had to brag about this awesome treat!! Mostly because I didn’t even come up with it….

My daughter did!!

GASP!! Did you hear that right? (or read that? lol)

You bet! I came home this weekend and my daughter had created these amazing CLEAN treats by herself and without being asked.  I couldn’t be more proud and decided to write a whole blog post in honor of this event. (yes, now she’s completely embarrassed by my actions and might not repeat something like this again anytime soon) Since they were so good, she was kind enough to make them AGAIN…and made MORE for all of us to enjoy!!!

Yayyyyyy!!

In moderation, of course! “cough, cough”….

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So, I hear that you are interested in the recipe? Here you go; and make sure to share with your friends and click FOLLOW for my blog posts from here on out! lol

raw chocolate almond butter cups: makes about six
Chocolate:
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
1/6 cup preferred liquid sweetener (like date syrup, agave syrup, maple syrup, coconut nectar, etc.)
Filling:
6 teaspoons almond butter (CLEAN with no sugars or additives)
To make the chocolate: whisk together the ingredients until smooth. Optional add-ins: salt, cinnamon, maca, berry powders, nutmeg, chili, ginger, etc. Pour about 1 teaspoon of the liquid chocolate into the bottom of 6 cupcake papers, or at least enough to cover the bottoms. Put in the freezer for 5 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened. Scoop 1 teaspoon of almond butter onto each chocolate base, then cover with the remaining liquid chocolate. Put in the fridge for 10-20 minutes or until hardened.
Chomp.
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