Changing Careers, Not Goals

Wow, I took quite an extended break from here.. sorry to everyone! Although, I’m still working with Dave and Pulse Advanced Nutrition, I’ve been pursuing another career, outside of the fitness industry. It’s been a huge, intimidating, humbling, and yet incredibly rewarding change in our lives. Now that I’m settling into a routine, and am getting my feet back under me.. I want to share with those who could use some tips, mentally and physically to “live the fitness lifestyle” without literally LIVING in the gym… like so many of our admired “gurus” are able to do.

My first week on the job was GLORIOUS.. it was home study, and I didn’t have to change one thing about my life.. I met Dave for our lunchtime workouts, spaced my workouts throughout the day… didn’t have to dress up with my hair and make-up to fit into a professional setting.. it was exactly what I’ve been doing my entire career.. living in the gym! Easy!

  • wake up at 6, do fasted cardio
  • make breakfast and prep meals for the day
  • study
  • gym
  • 2nd cardio (I was doing doubles for the beach)
  • study, chill, help Dave with business stuff

My second week, I was asked to do a bit more traveling.. I had a dinner to attend 2.5hours away, with an overnight stay at a hotel, before coming back home the next morning. I also had a couple long days out in the field, running around, driving for hours! I knew about the dinner, and consulted with Dave about what the best options would be, given the type of restaurant I was going. I ended up ordering a tuna steak with steamed green beans, with a house salad as an appetizer. It was delicious, satisfying, AND others followed suit with how I requested my order…what a trend setter, I was!

  • wake up at 5, do fasted cardio
  • make breakfast and prep meals for the day
  • hurry up and shower and get all professional-woman-looking
  • ride around with my trainer all day, learning the job, chugging my gallon of water and eating out of my tupperware!
  • go to the gym around 6p
  • 2nd cardio
  • study, crash

I prepped my meals for the night and next morning for my overnight this week. It was easy, I had a microwave and fridge in my room, and used the gym in the morning to get my cardio in… didn’t miss a beat!

yes, I packed my foam roller for my overnight!

yes, I packed my foam roller for my overnight!

good morning!

good morning!

Hilton offers a fresh omelet station, but they only use 3 egg whites, so i supplemented with a couple hard boiled eggs..

egg white omelet and green beans!

Third week… UGH! It was an emotional breakdown of a week! I had to spend 6 nights across the country, locked up in corporate for 45+ hours.. Dave said to take this week down from weight training, so I wouldn’t alienate myself when meeting all the important people so early in my career. Ok, so… wrap my head around that… THEN, we’re given a small allowance for food each day, but lunch is catered, and non-reimbursable if I chose not to eat what was served, and dinner was with the team…wherever they chose. I think I had no less than 12 panic attack sessions. So, this is what I did. The rental car was in my name, and one other girl joined me, because she didn’t want to join in the gorging shenanigans either…

-went to the local grocery store (Yelp is quite an amazing app, btw) and bought:

  •   veggie steamers
  •   tuna packets
  •   ready-made hard boiled eggs
  •   mustard
  •   plain greek yogurt
  •   a couple quest bars
  • gallon of water (I refilled it each day in the hotel “gym”)

My Days were like this:

  • wake up at 5, do fasted cardio in hotel gym
  • I initially tried the hotel eggs, but they were just overwhelmingly salty and fatty by the second day, I was dying (hence the pre-made hard boiled eggs)
  • At corporate from 8-5:30ish.. ate a bar or yogurt, or tuna packet and steamers for my meals before and after the catered lunch
  • Catered lunch.. with the exception of Friday, each day had a salad… so I loaded up on that, and then secretly cried while I ate the deli meat or other catered meat option.
  • Dinner… I had a little say with these choices, so I always requested some sort of steakhouse style restaurant.. Almost always able to get a grilled chicken and vegetable and/or a nice modified salad…

I tried to make decent choices this week, choosing chicken breasts and vegetable options wherever we went. Next time I go out for corporate training, I’ve found a “healthy” food catering company, who preps your meal plan (aka, you can eat what’s on the paper), and they deliver all your meals to you. THIS is what I would highly recommend doing if you’ll be somewhere you cannot prep your food and you’re away from home for an extended time. Finding hotels with kitchenettes would be the best choice, though, when possible.

Fourth week and since has been better. I have to take coffee, breakfast and lunches to offices nearly on a daily basis. I stick to my routine, of cardio, meal prep, and hit the road. I’ve timed my meals so I’m eating my tupperware meal just prior to serving the office their food, so 1) my mouth isn’t stuffed with chicken and asparagus while they’re attempting to ask me questions. 2) questions aren’t directed toward what I’m eating, why I’m eating it, why I’m not eating what I brought for them, etc 3) I don’t feel like I’ve ruined my day because I caved to the catered food, because I’ve eaten mine, therefore I’m not hungry for theirs. A lot of offices request I bring their meals from certain places, places where I’d never dream of eating from, so that also makes it much easier to not join them in their feast.

Planning and preparation really is a priority. Do I WANT to wake up at 4:30am to get my cardio and food prep completed on mornings I have to take breakfast into an office? Not so much. But it’s a priority for me. Once you fall out of a routine, it’s really difficult to get back into it if your mind isn’t there. Just like with any goal, if you make it a priority, everything else will fall into place. If staying on track with your eating is a true priority for you, then you’ll MAKE time for it. Remember, you always have a CHOICE. You always have a choice as to what you CHOOSE to put in your body, and you always have a CHOICE about how you CHOOSE to look at any situation. It all comes down to priorities.  I’ll delve further, next time, into how I’ve personally been creating a change mentally, to become stronger with my lifestyle decisions, while still accomplishing the social responsibilities my job/life requires, to succeed.

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The Mentality of Failing…

We all have our ups and downs.. and this time of year really challenges us to keep moving forward. Most of us have now been back to the gym for a couple months now, and are beginning to evaluate how our routines are progressing us to our goals. Sometimes our plans can be absolutely flawless.. but it’s our mindset that will ultimately hold us back from actually attaining our goals. Here is a great clip by David Pulcinella on “The Mindset of Failure”. Enjoy.

 

If you’re struggling with a program, approach, or fine tuning your goals.. contact us at http://www.pulseadvancednurtition.com, or on our facebook page. We will definitely create a plan that will fit your needs, and help you reach the next level of success!

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A Little More on Macros…

Ok, so in our last blog, we talked about macronutrients and what they are. Today, we want to go a little deeper into what purpose they serve in a sound and balanced nutrition plan.

It’s important to note that meal plans for athletes and meal plans for our more “average” client, will differ greatly. For short periods of time, athletes, with a set date of competition or photo shoot, will have to buckle down and adhere to a schedule of nutrition and exercise that may be a bit harsh or unbalanced. Perhaps they have to be in the single digits in body fat and/ or carry very little subcutaneous water for a contest or photo shoot. For these individuals, short bursts of this type of protocol will get them to their goal after which they can return to a healthier, more balanced approach.

These are NOT the plans we are addressing in this blog. We are talking about the average client with a goal of improved health, more vibrancy and energy and of course, an appropriate body weight/ body mass index. For these individuals it’s important to include foods from all 3 macronutrient groups. (Protein, carbs and fats).

The ratios of these “macros” will depend on several things. A “food preference” questionnaire helps us determine a good starting point for our clients macro ratios and then we fulfill these ratios using foods they enjoy and, oftentimes foods they are already eating and enjoying, only in a different proportion than they used to.

All three macros are important for different reasons.

1)protein: helps muscles recovery from intense exercise. Creates a satisfied and “full” feeling (satiety) when included in meals. Helps improve metabolic function.

2)carbohydrates: act as the primary fuel for all muscular activity. Provide the brain and heart and nervous system with a readily available energy source. When used correctly can boost the metabolism and aid in the burning of bodyfat for fuel.

3) fats: the right sources of fats will help regulate important hormones in the body and actually aid in muscle retention and fat loss. Also help with maintaining a healthy cardio vascular system and can be very anti inflammatory which can help with certain joint issues. They also help your body utilize some very important vitamins.

an excellent source for carbohydrates

an excellent source for carbohydrates

So as you can see, you probably don’t want to greatly reduce or eliminate one or more of these 3 nutrients on a permanent basis. Although the human body can exist without dietary carbohydrate quite easily, proteins and fats are essential for life. So a no-carb plan can work in theory, the main problem I see with these plans is that they are usually too limiting for the average person to stick with as you need to exclude a full 1/3 of your food choices.

So, in summary: all three macronutrients play key roles in your health and performance. Arriving at the best ratio of these macros is the first step to eating correctly. Then, using those ratios, creating a plan that puts your body in a slight calorie deficit. This will create a comfortable and livable nutrition plan for you to follow while you reach your goals.

If you’d like to sit down with one of us to see how this is done, contact us for a free consultation!

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What the… Macronutrient??

recipe available in Pulse Cooking Cookbook

recipe available in Pulse Cooking Cookbook

Calories, calories, calories!!!!… who cares about CALORIES?!?! It’s all everyone ever talks about….UGH! Who cares, why should I care, and what good comes from caring about my calories?

A calorie is actually a measure of heat; the amount of heat it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celius….which nicely complements the term ‘thermogenesis’, which deals with an increase in energy expenditure. Total side note…sorry. So.. our food is measured in calories, the more heat it takes to break down and metabolize the food you eat, the more calories that food contains. Pretty, simple right? lol.. I say, thank goodness the calories in our foods are already measured and recorded somewhere for us! So MACRONUTRIENTS are the stuff that contain CALORIES.. among other things. There are four macronutrients.. three of them are essential for proper function.. one is essential for the average American’s proper FUN. :o) They are Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats….and Alcohol.

Carbohydrate: Contains 4 calories per gram. Carbohydrates are our tasty downfall.. in most American diets, not because they’re bad; but because they’re overconsumed. They are a reliable and essential source for energy, brain activity, and maintaining blood insulin levels, used as glucose. It’s normally recommended to take in whole grain sources of  carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, etc. However, raw sources of carbohydrates are just fine, given the situation. “White carbs” are given a bad rap, because they are absorbed into the blood stream faster, thus causing a spike in blood insulin levels…which is not ideal for fat loss…MOST people’s fitness goals.

Protein: Contains 4 calories per gram. Proteins are probably the nutrient that is most often under consumed in American diets. They are a super source… with the capability of being used everywhere in the body, including muscle retention, hair, skin and nail growth… and it’s stored in muscle as glycogen, rather than fat. Good sources of protein are considered COMPLETE proteins…normally found in animal sources….poultry, beef, eggs, fish, and tofu. Though vegetarians and vegans are able to create complete proteins by combining the right INCOMPLETE proteins, which includes sources like beans and lentils.

Fat: Contains 9 calories per gram. Fats are also a killer in the American diet, and easily over consumed. They are, however, essential in hair skin and nail health, aid in satiety, insulation, digestion and nerve activity. It is also the most resented calorie, stored in our physiques as unattractive lumps misplaced all over various parts of the body. Fat sources would include butter, nuts, and oils.

Alcohol: Contains 7 calories per gram. Alcohol is considered most like carbhoydrates in their chemical structure.. but not in how they’re broken down… These bad boys have an entirely separate metabolic system in the liver developed just for them.. called the MEOS. Alcohol metabolism takes priority over any other macronutrient metabolism because the body, in most cases, recognizes it as a toxin and works to eliminate it immediately. It really does nothing for your health, as far as make YOU look or even function better.. but it could make not so good looking people look better to you.. which you may regret in the morning..

Up next… What are good Macronutrient ratios?…

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cover photoAn excellent way to incorporate old favorites and new ideas into a healthy way of cooking. Pulse Cooking is a great Christmas present.. with nutrition and cooking education, along with nearly 50 clean-eating recipes!

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Navigating through the Holidays

FAAAAAAATWhy are the final 6 weeks of the year so challenging to keep any sort of routine in any facet of life? We’re bombarded with social events above and beyond what any normal person should have to feel obliged to attend. Our budgets are tight, our bellies are full (but we strategically layer the clothes to try to disguise our extra insulation), and our will power to maintain a consistent workout routine, let alone sticking to any type of meal plan is non-existent … You feel your fail-proof plan of attack to hit your goals is on a vicious downward spiral… right to your love handles! ugh!

Remember.. you’re always in control. Always. You control how much, how often, and what  you put in your mouth. Just because there’s an array of scrumptious looking goodies offered at every cubicle  you walk by, I promise, it’s not offensive to NOT eat anything. WHAT IF..for instance… you have  a severe food allergy…to SUGAR.. I bet NO ONE would be hassling you, challenging your will power, or hovering the christmas cookies under your nose trying to entice you…Yeah, they may tease you a little.. because let’s be real…who wants to be allergic to sugar…but if you’re on a plan.. and you’re dedicated to seeing your goals…then you’re allergic to anything that would hold you back! Ok, so maybe that’s a little extreme…and I’m not promoting completely depriving yourself around the holidays.. I understand that events happen, schmoozing and boozing takes place….but you must always remember, you’re in control of your own actions.. and how you chose to delve into your “holiday spirit”.

Here are some tips to help you manage the chaos:

1. Prioritize. We’re back to planning again.. imagine that?! You know the holidays are ridiculously crazy, and your gym activity might go down…that’s ok!!!..just plan or have your nutrition coach plan your meals to accommodate the lack of activity!!

2. Bring your own “healthy” version of dishes to get-togethers or events.. that way, you always know there is SOMETHING you can eat that won’t make you say a prayer before jumping, squirming and squeezing into your jeans the next week.

3. Pick and Choose… just because there are a MILLION events going on.. you don’t necessarily HAVE to attend every last one.. you’ll burn out.. to the point where when your schedule allows you to regain a routine.. your body will fight back..hard.

4. If your situation does not allow you to eat better.. for whatever reason.. MOVE more.. figure it out.. yes I know…it’s cold out and your bed seems unbearable to leave in the morning.. but your hiney will be a whole lot heavier to move when your schedule actually allows for a better, non-chaotic routine… Which would you prefer?

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This Round Is On…..YOU!

So you’ve made your goals, you’ve outlined your plan of attack.. you’re more active, you’re planning, recording and preparing your meals, and you feel GREAT! …then the phone rings and it’s your bestie calling with plans for the night out. What to do, what to do…?!?!?! Goals don’t just happen, they’re earned …you know it and you’re not falling short this time.

Biggest mistakes a lot of people make when they begin a new “lifestyle” approach: 1. You write off all social gatherings to avoid the enticement of unwanted calories. 2. You go to those social gatherings, saying “to F with it”….and another goal bites the dust… If this “goal” that you’ve outlined follows SMAART, then chances are it’s a permanent change where finding a balance in life can be challenging.

Unless you’re prepping for a bodybuilding event, photoshoot, or some sort of athletic/aesthetic event that requires ridiculously strict dieting and training, then putting your calorically-based social life in the ground should not necessarily be part of the plan. So you’ve planned… a “cheat” night hopefully? Life happens, and if you live in the 21st century, then nearly every social event revolves around some sort of food, and or beverage, and many times the beverage is alcohol….which can lead to unplanned grazing of unwanted foods. Know your agenda. Know when you have work/social events, family gatherings, Girl’s (or Boy’s) Night Out, weekends away, and PLAN for them. If it’s an event where you can bring your food, eat before and/or after, then do so. Find out what type of food, if any, will be served. You may be able to incorporate it into your daily intake without skipping a beat. Don’t make it a cheat unless you’ve planned it…and then make it worth it!

Instead of feeling like you’re depriving yourself at and from these events, try to think of what you CAN have and do that DOES complement your new lifestyle. Empower your circle of friends and try to create a support network within them. A lot of times friends become threatened by a new lifestyle because they don’t feel involved in your life anymore.. You’re motivated, making changes and they feel like they’re losing their partner in crime…their “late-night-wawa-hoagie-drunk-run buddy” after a night out on the town. If your goals require a lifestyle change, then empower your friends or significant other(s) to join you; no one likes to be left out ;o). Chances are, if they’re true good friends, even if they don’t want to join you, they’ll support you, they’ll admire your will to change, and help hold you accountable to your own goals….

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Fail to Prep…Prep to Fail…

Ok, ok. I know, totally cliche.. but it definitely serves the point. Have you ever been on “a diet”, been out running errands …forgot to bring a bar or snack and decided “what the heck, what’s one meal?”… then caved on your diet?…. FAIL!! So many people want to lose weight, want to gain lean body mass, want to burn fat, but refuse to put in the work in order to do it. We’ve gone through setting goals and the importance of journaling; and now that you’ve documented these, I’m sure you’ve probably seen patterns. You’ve recorded when a meal doesn’t satisfy you, when you have your mid-afternoon crash, when you have the most energy, etc… So now USE that information to help you PREPARE your day. It’s a pain at times, but then again, isn’t having to buy clothes a size bigger, and only having mirrors in your house from the chest up because you’re gaining weight like the rest of America …WORSE???

Here’s What to Consider When Creating the Game Plan:

  1. Are you working out today? if so, when? Make sure your meals reflect the quality of nutrients you’ll require before and after your workout.
  2. How long will you be out of the house? How many meals? Pack one extra, just in case. something non-perishible is always a good idea for the extra meal.
  3. Water. Be “one of those people” and keep your water with you at all times.

Tips/Suggestions:

  • Invest in a good cooler, food scale, and tupperware.
  • Cook your meat in batches for a couple days, especially if you have long days and don’t necessarily have time to cook everyday.
  • If you have trouble getting your water in, try a wedge of lemon in it, or alternate your refills with crystal light.

Remember, it’s ok not to know everything, and reading stuff on the internet will not make you an expert. So, if you’re hitting a road block, don’t hesitate to recruit a professional for help. They’ve invested years of experience, time in education, are on top of the latest studies, and can help you weed through the “fads” to create a lasting and satisfying lifestyle. 

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To Journal or Not To Journal…

So now that you know the steps in setting your goals, you’ll need more information about your current fitness and eating habits. Having goals is great…but knowing where to start to achieve those goals can be just as overwhelming as creating them in the first place! It all comes down to having accountability and knowledge.. ignorance is only bliss when it goes your way… and usually that’s only momentarily when indugling in the gloriousness of family cookouts, tailgating indulgences, wedding weekend celebrations, and the ever so popular: pintrest no-good-for-you-goodies from the “food-porn” section. Remember, not truthfully recording what you eat, will only hurt your progress, and does no good to anyone….so record the GOOD, the BAD, and those tasty temptations you wish you never knew existed (after the fact, of course)…

Studies have shown that daily journaling is one of the top 5 habits of successful dieters. It takes out the unknown, and gives you more control over knowing what you’re putting in your mouth. Most people I talk to don’t want to eat poorly, because, they don’t want to have to write it in their journal. Journaling will also allow your coach to help you help yourself. The more information we have as fitness professionals, about the “other 23 hours of the day” or the “80% that comes from the kitchen”, the better we are able to create an easy transition to success for you. Living a healthy lifestyle for most won’t happen overnight, and you shouldn’t expect it to. However, by journaling, you can find a solid starting point from which you can create goals to work toward.

Things to Consider when Journaling:

  • date
  • time
  • food: what, how much, how it’s prepared
  • water intake
  • how you feel after you’ve had your meal (satisfied or not, etc)
  • your workout: type and time.

It’s amazing what a little journaling can do in helping you get one step closer to achieving your goals. There are several smart phone apps out there now that will also help with the ease of journaling, so you don’t have to “write” it down, but rather record it all electronically. Some good ones that I’ve come across are: FitDay and MyFitnessPal; both are free.

what would dave do?

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Setting Goals…

Ever see someone and just stare in complete awe?…wondering what it took for them to get where they are now… The focus, the dedication, the drive and persistence, not to mention, the support, knowledge and other tools needed to get there? If you’re human… then chances are you have. These people who we idolize all have something in common. They had goals, and they executed them. They went out and worked for them. They outlined, planned, and attacked their goals, then created higher ones.

As a trainer and nutritionist, my first session with a client isn’t brutally murdering their muscles through a workout or immediately putting them on a standard meal plan….It’s helping them assess a plan of attack; and in most cases, an actual goal. Many people can see what they want, visualize what they’d like to see in the mirror, how they want to feel when doing the things they love, but correctly communicating those goals, and understanding what it takes to reach them is a whole ‘nother story. Most people have a number in their heads of what they think they need to see on the scale, sometimes it’s a weak goal, as if they’re planning to fail, and other times, it’s unrealistically aggressive.

When setting goals, there’s a simple protocol to follow.. it’s SMMART.. I’m sure you have seen a variation of it in the past, but here’s my take:

S- Specific. Do your research. Understand what exactly you want to see. for instance, is it “skinny” or “lean”, do you want to lose weight, or lose body fat? (yes, many times, they go hand in hand, but they do result in different aesthetic outcomes). Once that’s established, how much?

M- Measurable. Take measurements. You need to start somewhere, and as much as we dread the scale, calipers and tape… it’s a necessary evil to determine progress. Who knows.. when you feel like you’re having a bad week, the numbers may tell you differently, rejuvenating your motivation to continue.

M- Maintainable. Many times, the models and athletes you see in the magazines look like that for only days at a time. They’ve trained and prepped, and are strategically positioned with proper lighting for these shows, and photo shoots to look the way they do. Many of them do not stay THAT lean, tone, and ridiculous year round. Understand what type of lifestyle you’re willing and able to live, without selling yourself short (i.e. being lazy in settling), and still be confident and proud of your results.

A- Attainable. Is this something that is possible for you to reach? Does your work, family, medical allow for it?

R- Realistic. For goodness sakes.. make sure the goals you choose are actually realistic ones. For example.. don’t expect to lose 50 pounds in one month. (I know, total exaggeration…but I’m just trying to make a point). This really goes hand in hand with “attainable”…

T- Timeable. OK, so maybe I made that word up.. but it sounds pretty good. But just like in the real world, school, work… we have due dates. you need to hold yourself accountable to your goals.. give yourself a deadline. Events are great deadlines.. whether it’s for a wedding, a reunion, a holiday, a vacation, a show, a photo shoot, a dance, etc.. PLAN SOMETHING, if you don’t have anything..

Instead of setting your goals short, for fear of failing, recruit the experts who are trained in helping you through these unknowns. The more “unknowns” become “known”, the less excuses you have to fail.. The more you have to work with, the better. Though, having a support network is amazing, at the end of the day; these goals are yours and yours alone. Only you can want them bad enough to reach them. The question is, do you?

The Only Thing Between You and Your Goals Are Your Own Excuses.

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