Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ancora Imparo

Post title is Latin for "I am still learning." I am pursuing fitness knowledge with a vengance and loving every minute of it. Current topic of choice -- nutrition! I'm trying to learn what to suggest to my clients and what to do that will work best for me.

When you immerse yourself in a topic, it's interesting to look for the commonality between sources. And guess what? "Eat more fresh stuff" and "eat less processed crap" shows up in nearly every single book/discussion board/website/article you'll find on good nutrition! So that's not news to anyone, but when you see it again and again, it starts to really have an impact.

(Speaking of crappy foods -- thank you Tim for taking our kids and their friend to IHOP for breakfast so I could have this peaceful time. I'm enjoying my almonds and apple, and really happy to have the solitude. I owe you!)

So specifically, what am I reading? Here's a sampling:

Precision Nutrition: both the binder and the message boards. John Berardi has great food prep strategies, and I think he's right when he says that if you're looking to lose fat, you need to eat starchy carbs only in the post-workout window of time. Also he says you need to eat vegetables with every "feeding opportunity" (I love that phrase!).

CrossFit message boards: CrossFit loves The Zone, but there are also fans of The Paleo Diet on the boards. I don't know enough to summarize either diet, but I do know that neither feels that massive bowls of cereal and milk right before bed are good choices. Hmmmm.

The Performance Menu message board: PM is Paleo based, which means fruits, veggies, nuts, and meat mostly. Great recipes too.

As I type this, I must confess that my food choices over the last few days have been less than fantastic, and it's showed up in my moods and in my waist. In case anyone's unclear on this, toasting protein bread, then covering it with butter and brown sugar does not move you in the direction of smaller/tighter/leaner. You're welcome!

So I'm coming to terms with the belief that I'm super sensitive to refined carbohydrates. When I stay with veggies, fruits, lean protein, and nuts, I feel fantastic. Focused. Determined. Energetic (and let's not even talk about my caffeine intake right at the moment, although I'm pretty sure I'll be lookin' at that in the near future). And I really think that I get scared at some point of how good I feel, and that leads to food choices that help me to feel less powerful and more (in a strange way) comfortable.

Don't quite know how to wrap this up, so I'm not even going to try, except that the more I learn, the more aware I become that I really know very little. But that's not a bad thing -- it's just the truth.


Brit-Man said...

"I think he's right when he says that if you're looking to lose fat, you need to eat starchy carbs only in the post-workout window of time"

Much as though I highly respect such people, I think respectfully that's often a debateable point.

That's why most Protein powders contain things like high GI sugars, especially Maltodextrin which is a favourite, to Spike Bloodsugar back up.

The one problem with some Starchy Carbs, I.E. Mushrooms, Broccoli, Tomatos, is they have low Carb Yield, and also low GI, which means in real terms, Glycemic load is going to be very poor.


Tomtato, rates about 10, but Carb Yield is 3.5g, so even if you ate 3, that's 10.5g, rounded down to 10.

If you then have a Glycemic Load of 1, it could be argued, that is not enough to spike Bloodsugar levels up effectively, as the ideal time for high GI foods is Breakfast or after workouts, making sure Carb content is high enough to at least, probably give a GL of 15, preferably 20+ if possible.

You could go for higher GI Carbs like Parsnip, Red Potato, Sweet Potato, all 90+, but if their Carb yield isn't that high, GL might not peak over 20, (High GL), so you might still not necessarily get a good enough spike. Don't ask me what that is, I don't know :-p :-p.

Some people do have the Cereal thing at night. I do, same for Breakfast, because you could argue something like Wheat Cereal which is GI 75, will stop Bloodsugar dropping for a small period of time during sleep, although I usually have it about 1-2 hours pre-sleep anyway.

Especially as if you're combining it with a good Protein source like Milk, you're protecting muscle reserves during sleep time, or an additional 2 hours at any rate.

Most people don't have problems with Carbs before sleep, though occasionally some find it might disrupt their sleep patterns, so it's really horses for courses.

The other argument could be, as working out can increase Metabolic functions during the day, that having some kind of Protein Synthesising, and Bloodsugar spiking source, like something with a Simple sugar in, wouldn't be a problem, owing to the bodies increased ability to reduce potential Fat deposits that might be triggered by a Simple Sugar source.

As a lot of Metbolic fat burning activity occurs post-workout not during.

Although if I do workout before a meal, like today, I usually take advantage of the window of opportunity, have some form of Protein supplement, then include a meal, as I can have more Protein, then increase my overall GL within a 45-60 minute period, by giving my body some kind of Simple Sugar, and a Complex, (starchy), Carb source anyway.

Nuts are a good choice too, (providing they're not too salty), the main problem is some people forget, just because unsaturates can assist in removal of bad fat, and are also not as bad for you supposedly, you can have a lot, but reality is you're still getting 9 calories per gram, the apparently main difference is, Unsaturates don't have any Nitrogen in them, Saturates do.

Anyway, I'm not trying to sound controversial.

I hope you're having a great day, and best wishes to you. You're doing fantastically well with things all the time Leslie, and you've a right to be so proud of yourself.

Take care

:-) :-).


Brit-Man said...

"Especially as if you're combining it with a good Protein source like Milk, you're protecting muscle reserves during sleep time, or an additional 2 hours at any rate"

Siorry that should have said 3 hours :-(.

Colette said...

Not sure about the other diets, but I do know that the Zone is pretty much a clean way of eating, BUT very low cal.

Well, now you know about refined carbs. Stay away from them, or only every so often eat them. Listen to your body. I think eating more fruits and vegies are better anyway (I like a little candy every once in awhile though...bad me).

Have a great day, Leslie!

oldLobo said...

My observation about eating, and I lost about 40 lbs 2 years ago, is that it is not to try for perfection in your diet. Limiting the damage during those less than ideal situations, which we all find ourselves in sometimes, also represents progress. A particular choice may not meet the ideal, but if it is better than what you were doing before, it is progress.

When I find myself at an IHOP or something like that (which is pretty rare, I don't go looking for trouble...) I consciously try to make the least bad choice. I haven't even been into a fast-food joint for years, but if I did, I would make a challenge of it. I need to eat, but what?

Eileen said...

I understand what you mean about the refined carbs...I know I am the same way. They tend to make me MORE hungry, so eating them makes little sense (other than the fun aspect).

But I still like cookies....

Lori said...

Speaking of nutrition, when you learn more about it and look back at what you thought you knew...I always thought that eating any type of chicken was healthy for me. i thought at any restaurant as long as I ordered chicken Iwas good....quesadillas, KFC...any of it...NOT. Wow, we are sure uneducated when you think about it.

Pamela said...

I like your wrap up sentance.. the more I learn - the more I realize I know very little.... VERY aptin my world! thanks for the "food" for thought!

Irene said...

Oh, that last paragraph I could so relate to! I know so very little, and I get confused. Then what I do know changes with new studies and new perspectives on the old info. I think you're on the right path, though.

Anonymous said...

Check out for an interesting take. I try to "upgrade" it a bit and skew it towards protein, but I like the concept. Good luck...