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PN Newbie Questions
I just started PN today and have a few questions.
Do you consider edamame a protein or a vegetable? How should I consider it because I LOVE it and like to eat it regularly as a snack or part of lunch but am wondering if I should consider cutting back. I'm eating about a serving a day.
I'm getting ready to be on the road for work for awhile. This is when I go run client meetings so I am usually relegated to what I bring or what is at the hotel. I'm planning on packing plenty of protein powder but wanted any other suggestions.
I love salt as well and have found that sunflower seeds are a good substitute for the old chips is it bad for me to munch on them? Also should I quit diet soda? I have usually one a day but should I try for one a week, like treat?
Also I'm super concerned about eating too much fruit. Specifically I like to put a cut up apple in the microwave with Splenda and cinnamon on it.
I guess in general even though I'm eating well and for instance tonight I had stir fried shrimp with brown rice, that I'm eating too much. I worked out before my dinner per only getting something like brown rice when you workout.
I think because I'm so used to trying to diet where I count calories, portions, etc., to the point of obsessing about it that I'm kind of obsessing about not obsessing if that makes any sense.
I love this quote I found today on an old article here on PN...
"If you try to lose weight quickly, you'll end up trying to lose it every year instead of taking a year to lose weight once."
This is my motto moving forward but any advice is welcome.
Hi Amanda! Welcome and congrats on your first forum post
I'd consider edamame a protein foremost, so how about pairing it with another vegetable like bell pepper strips or baby carrots for an awesome snack to get both your protein and veg in?
For on the road snacks, I typically think of getting vegetables and protein and some healthy fat with each meal. If you have a cooler or fridge, that makes more things options: leftover chicken, beef, etc from home, hard boiled eggs, greek yogurts or cottage cheese. For healthy fats, I like milled flaxseed or nuts, but you can also cook your meat or vegetables in some healthy oil to get the fats in.
If you don't have a cooler or have to purchase food: I tend to look for salads with some protein like chicken,beef,or shrimp on them. Nuts are easy to come by at most convenience stores or fuel stations. If you are eating in restaurants, put on a kind smile and simply ask for what you want: extra veggies instead of a potato? Could they add some guacamole to that salad? How about a side of black beans instead of chips? Most places are accomodating.
I personally am happy to tip well and pay extra for keeping in line with my goals.
With the fruit, diet soda and salt.... you won't get far in helping yourself overcome obsession by labeling "good" or "bad." I'd say sunflower seeds are a better option than fried chips, but keep an eye on the portion size since they are quite calorie-dense.
With diet soda, it's a personal choice. Opinions differ. Mine is that it is as bad as it makes you feel. If you get cravings for more sweets or just feel like you aren't comfortable drinking diet soda because of the processed nature or chemicals in it, those are signs you might feel better cutting it back or stopping. In terms of weight loss, its probably better than regular soda which packs in chemicals PLUS tons of calories. I personally feel like it's something I save for a treat, not a daily thing, and I don't worry about it. But if I get into the pattern of drinking it often (say, daily) I don't feel good about it, and notice that and switch back to more water. Think about your current intake if diet soda: would you feel better cutting it back, or would you feel better leaving it for the moment and focusing elsewhere?
On fruit, it's rare that someone's fruit intake is itself a problem. I'd recommend not worrying about it if you have noticed that your overall food intake is too much. Developing your skills in consuming the right amount and not more than you need of ALL foods will be a more beneficial habit to get your fat loss going.
So....that's a lot of stuff. How about picking one or two to focus on today and the rest of the week, and then once you are comfortable that they are nailed, taking another step? You've got the wisdom: slow and steady.
Georgie Fear, RD, Pn1, MKC
Coach: Lean Eating for Women
My PN Member Log
PN blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Thanks Georgie, all very helpful.
Right now I'm only have fruit once or twice a day. The edamame is a huge help as I was eating some cheese with it instead of veggies so that's an easy fix.
Diet Pop doesn't make me feel bad but is still something I would like to cut back on and make it more of a treat. I actually drink a ton of water naturally (about a gallon a day) so a lot of times it is what I want for a break, but I think crystal light would be a better choice.
I'll start by adding veggies to my edamame, and then working on pop reduction to a couple a week.
The travel tips are very helpful. That seems to be where I fall of the wagon most easily. Having a drink with clients leads to three which leads to bad food choices, etc.
I've decided to be self-centered. Yep, no one cares about my healthy and how good I look naked as much as I do and I'm happy to tell the client no if it helps me in the end. I am in training after all... training to get the best body of my life!
Good choice on the Pn. It works, if you work it.
I started 2 months ago, and I am seeing excellent results and I'm not counting calories or anything. I'm following what it says at the start, focus on building good habits.
If you plan to do the following you will definitely see results:
Eat a certain amount of times per day based on time (2-4hrs) with the Pn recipes
Get Fish oil
Work your habits around your life (travel as you have mentioned)
Eat a ton of veggies with each meal
Work out as prescribed
What you can expect:
1) you will never feel Starved
2) your mental sharpness will increase significantly
3) you will not be tired after you eat
4) you can enjoy delicious food
5) you will learn how to cook healthy and quick meals
6) your health will improve alot
7) your energy will improve alot
8) you will be able to kick arse in the gym (translates to better results)
9) you will become focused on successful habits as opposed to temporary actions which revert back
10) your body will thank you by looking more lean
11) you will be happy
As you said, don't obsess. Work hard at the habits that are in the book, when you get down to a certain level then it's time to become "specific"
I'll do exactly that focus on changing my habits and then get more specific. For the first time, I' accepting this will be slow and that is a good thing.
One place I'm really struggling is breakfast. Any suggestions there? I can do eggs about four times a week but honestly I don't like anything in my eggs other than cheese so I'm struggling to get my veggies in the mornings. Some times I just have a protein shake.
I guess I could try the shakes in the book, but like this week with travel I will just have my shaker. Do you think fruit in the morning is an adequate substitute?
Hi German 27,
It seems you and I have the same issue. I can't stomach multiple days of omelettes. I used to love them, but after about a month of daily omelettes I just couldn't do it.
Maybe what I am doing isn't enough calories for the morning meal, but as I said before I'm working the habits, I tend to have a shake instead. I usually use the following in the shake:
almond milk (when I have it..i live in the Middle East, so sometimes tough to get North American Products).
If I am still feeling guilty for not having enough veggies, I'll add in a few raw veggies that are my favorites, like baby carrots or a tomato sliced up. It isn't elegant at all, and it isn't that high in calories to kick of the "big breakfast" idea, but it is in compliance with Pn. I find that it's a much more digestable and quick solution than making a giant omelette and having to take 20 minutes to consume. On these days where I don't have a whole food breakfast, I usually eat a big sized snack at 10:30 or 11:30 which consists of whole foods (anytime meal)depending upon what is happening that day.
I find that I feel better doing this and I can still maintain my adherence to my habits. This is the most important thing for me right now, is to make sure I fall into these proper eating habits. I also find that the veggies eaten raw wake me up and make me feel good.
As for the "slow results" I don't necessarily think that just by following the habits that the results will be slow. However, it is important to make sure that you have realistic expectations. Many people prefer a crash diet b/c it gets them to where they want to be, however they will just end up being back in their old spot after they fall back into their "old ways" i.e. bad habits and self justification.
The way around this is to set your goals on long long term. I want to maintain my healthy blood profile. I want to keep my cholesterol low, I want to good healthy skin and hair, I want good cardiovascular health. I want to avoid diabetes. These goals don't really have an end point, and in this way you can fall into habits which will support those goals which should take a lifetime to achieve.
The good looks and fit body will come as a result, a kind of side effect. Unless of course you are working to enter into a fitness competition whereby your body will be on display.
Keep working those habits, and yes do take measurements, but just remember that changes happen slowly and usually noticeably over time
Can I ask you which work out program you have chosen and how that's going for you?
My goal right now is to wake up on my 32 birthday and be energetic, lean and happy. My birthday isn't until December 27 so I feel that is an attainable goal. Honestly, the energy thing is key for me. I have trouble sleeping and my work hours are long. I'm also the over analytical type if you haven't noticed so just enjoying life instead of worrying about it is my ultimate goal...feeling good.
Honestly, I've only really been eating PN compliant for about three days, but I feel so much better it is insane. That is my motivator right now. I realize measuring energy, etc. isn't necessarily tangible but it is what I want.
I'll try the shake idea. I packed protein powder for my trip that I'm on but my luggage isn't here yet, the joys of air travel, so I ordered breakfast this morning. I ordered eggs, when I took a bite of the eggs I thought I might hurl... I have only a few day tolerance for eggs and they have been my breakfast all week. I ate the ham steak and hash browns. It's not PN compliant as I haven't worked out yet, but considering it is morning I figured it would be okay.I'm still waiting for my shoes to arrive to workout!
I digress though...
Workout wise I've always liked to lift and swim. One of my friends is a "meathead" as I like to call him and helps me with my lifting program. He's a t-nation reader (which I really love that website if you haven't checked it out).
My challenge right now is I like to lift weights, bike and swim. I signed up for two small tris in August and September. I'm also biking across the state of Iowa in July (471 miles in 7 days). It's called Ragbrai and it's awesome.
Based on that you would think I was an endurance athlete but I'm more of a "short court" athlete as I like to say. I'm quick but not fast. So, I find these other activities challenging and that is what keeps me motivated.
Right now my workout schedule is lifting 3 days a week. I refuse to quit lifting as I want to look lean and strong if the rest of the stuff I do suffers from that I'm okay with it because it is more important to me. Right now my lift schedule is
5 sets of 5:
Squats or deadlifts
Pull-ups or lat pull downs
I do 5 sets of 5 at a weight where the last set I feel like I could use a spot but don't necessarily need one. This is my friend's plan for me but he wants me to try the Wendler 5/3/1 method. I haven't read through it yet though.
The other three days I try to bike or do the elliptical for an hour. Since my cycling event is first I'm focusing on that for cardio. I don't want to give up the weights and I'm not a good enough runner to break any records in the tris, I put them on my calendar for something to work toward.
Here are my current stats:
My goals are to stay 5'8" and female. LOL. I honestly just want to look good. When I think I'm where I want to be when I look in the mirror, I'll step on a scale and see what it says.
I've tried Weight Watchers but quit because it made me feel like I could eat crap and that isn't the point. I've tried Atkins but couldn't make it five days with without wanting to kill someone for an orange. So for me PN seemed the way to go (another "meathead" friend recommendation).
I've found those things have made me a slave to the scale. So, I had my boyfriend hide it. I am not weighing myself, if I'm up a lb and get discouraged I just go completely off the plan, any plan.
My measurements will come from my pants and the mirror.
It sounds kind of crazy but with PN I feel like I'm finally doing it my way! I'm following the 10 rules as best I can and hope to be completely compliant by July1 then I'll get more "specific". The travel aspect is hard for me as I'm in an industry where my clients like to eat and drink so this weekend is the first test. I'm on the road again next week and if I can get through that I will have the confidence to continue to do it.
What is your workout plan? I've never tried almond milk, is it any good?
Sounds like you've got a full schedule indeed. I'm pretty much the same, minus the flights. I work 6 days 8 till 530, gym, golf, arabic, guitar, friends, writing, relationship.....ad infinitum. It is all still possible.
I like your goal of having the energy of your early 20s, and you can have it plus more.
The key to making the habits work is planning. Yes, it will be hard, but as you travel it may be very useful to find a grocery shop even if it's small. Buy a big bag of veggies and carry them with you in plastic bags. If you are embarrassed, you can also "take a telephone call" and nip out and have a quick snack with your bag and return. Although, i think people will respect someone that is sticking to a healthy way of life rather than ordering triple nachos and cheese, with 3 large mugs of coke. being around these clients is a challenge, and one that you should address with yourself and how you will manage this situation when it happens. If you plan for it, you can manage it.
Trying to be compliant isn't as hard as you think. As I mentioned, it takes tactics, and it takes planning. I make homemade chocolate protein and PB brownies, they are healthy, portable and delicious. If you are stuck for a protein fix, they can be consumed quickly. Also, if you are stuck for a veggie fix, then any bar or resto will serve raw veggies. If you need a fat source, a gas station will have a pack of salted peanuts, or some beef jerky. There are many options at your disposal, even if they don't come from the Pn book.
Try hard to work on the compliance and substitute veggies and you will see results for sure.
T-nation is a good website, that's how I found Dr. JB long long ago. But I find it caters to those who are looking for super performance, or to be advanced. This is their positioning and this is a much more well rounded group of normal people all looking to improve their health first. Just like you. I am happy to see you are lifting and enjoying weight training, this is an important hurdle for alot of women to get over. They assume that they will get all muscley and look like a man. They don't have the right hormones for that kind of activity, so don't worry.
Also a good point is to let your clothes and the mirror do the measurements. The clothes will start, and also know that the fat disappears from different places for each individual. Usually outside in hands, neck, arms, claves, and internal organs, then from our difficult areas last. If you know you get derailed by scales, then avoid as you say.
I'm using Turbulence Training for Fat Loss and am currently on phase 2. I've actually gained muscles and lost my belly, I have lost 2 inches from my belly, while gaining them in my shoulders and legs. So the scale has increased slightly but the clothes and look is much much different. The workouts are 45 mins max, including weights and HIIT. They are the effect, and ass busting. Coupled with the habits and recipes, I'm seeing excellent results. I am not measuring or working macros, just eating anytime meals all day except when i work out i sip a protein and BCAA shake and then eat a PWO meal afterwards.
I"ll chime in later, it's my weekend and I'm heading to the golf course.
Keep it up!
I agree that travel is hard and I mentally have to get over the looks and stares when I choose not to drink or to eat healthy but eventually they will get used to it and wonder why I'm eating nachos some night out as it is my 10% meal. :)
I do have a rental car this trip so I stopped and got a back of baby carrots, some bananas and beef jerky in individual packs to have throughout the day. Since I'm basically the onsite contact for the even I know that they have vegetarian options as one of the people we are hosting is a vegetarian, that's helpful to me. Plus most restaurants are good when you ask for a salad or veggies instead of fries.
I would like your protein brownie recipe though. One of my challenges at home is I have a BF with a sweet tooth. I'm slowly getting him away from crap as he feels bad when I point out how bad something is so this may be a good alternative. He has recently gotten into protein shakes such as BioTest stuff. He thinks of the chocolate like chocolate milk (even though he uses just water) and it is his post workout treat. He actually gets excited about it.
I'm not much of a sweets person overall. Salt is my nemesis but nuts and dill pickles have been a huge help in that category.
I just CAN'T believe how good I feel after just a few days. It amazes me.
I've always liked lifting and historically I build muscle pretty easily. I was an athlete in high school so weight lifting was part of our program. I still hate squats but the are so good for you.
My boyfriend is a workout guy so that helps we go together. We don't actually do any workouts together except biking but having a gym buddy is huge.
I do find this site to very encouraging compared to others I've been on and I feel like the PN certified people jump right in and give you good advice. I'm very happy so far.
Enjoy your golf. I'll get back to entertaining people at the KY Derby.
Well looks and stares will eventually turn into looks stares and "questions" at how you are losing, or how you manage to look good, and perform well. Once people see that your habits are indeed habits, they will stop staring as this is the new normal for you. Nothing wrong with having convictions in life, they usually go hand in hand with respect.
As for the Pn Brownies, they aren't really brownies, they just kind of look like them without being baked. They're more like bars. The recipe is in the Pn book but they're easy enough to make.
4 scoops of choco protein powder
2/3cup of flax meal
4 scoops of natural PB
1/4 cup water
Mix and form into bars, then freeze.
Sometimes, I add coconut shavings to them as well, sometimes I use crunchy PB as opposed to smooth, sometimes I add a bunch of seeds to them (sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)
I bring them with me to the office and also in the car. They are delicious and portable.
As for the BF, if he has a sweet tooth, he'll love the Pb bars for sure, they are sweet enough as it is. if you need to increase the sweetness, stevia or another sugar substitute will work nicely.
If he has a sweet tooth, and he wants a good post workout, then it really doesn't get much sweeter than Biotest Surge. Dr. Jb developed it and I had used it continuously when I lived in Canada. At first the flavour is very sweet, and after a while you begin craving it almost. It tastes like angel food cake to me. He'll love it, and it's good to sip on during the workout and then slam the rest afterwards.
Finding portable solutions is the key to making the habits work. If you're in the car, this is easier than a plane for sure, however the bars and premixed shakes or precut veggies in bags are always handy. If I'm stuck for time, I just keep the protein powder with me in a shaker cup and there are always ways to get water wherever you are. So, mix it shake it and drink, snack on the veggies and nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews).
Restaurants will always have a salad option, it just takes some investigating to find which one has the most veggie variety. Also, if you remove the fries or potatoes options from a plate, most places will be happy to give you extra veggies (usually beans carrots and cailiflower or broc). So, the choice are now there these days.
Other than the gaurantee energy levels and mood elevation, how is the body responding?