Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Forget about The Zone, get with The Flow

Flow is a state of mind and being where you are fully engaged and immersed in whatever you are doing. When you are in The Flow you will feel that whatever you are doing is effortless, energizing and highly fulfulling. You will have no worry about future and no regret about past. Being in The Flow allows you to be present and being present enables you to be in The Flow.

If you are currently struggling with your goals, your relationships, your work or just life in general, perhaps it's time to get in The Flow!

Learn more about the experience of flow from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi at TED (20 minute video presentation).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Weight Debate - Today's Lean Eating Lesson

As many of you know, I am a Lean Eating Coach with Precision Nutrition.

I felt today's Lean Eating Lesson is an important on for all my clients and colleagues. Feel free to spread the message and perhaps generate a movement that being your best and progress with your health, fitness and physique goals has very little to do with what you weigh.

The Ongoing Weight Debate

What does your weight really mean?

We've seen it time and time again. Come "measurement day", clients who have been feeling proud and happy with their progress, suddenly are left feeling defeated. Like they're spinning their wheels.

It can go the other way too. With a single step on the scale, folks suddenly feel like they are doing everything right when in fact they've been doing the right things all along.

It got us thinking. Why do we give so much value to a number on the scale?
Perhaps it's time for a little perspective from Coach Krista Schaus, who weighed in on what it all means during her contest prep for the Arnolds in 2009:

I am in the process of accepting the fact that the weight debate will never die. I have a hard time understanding why we are so attached to this number. I am trying to empathize, but one thing that has been reinforced as I prepare for the Arnolds is that we do not walk around with our weight tattooed on our forehead. On stage, I will not be be judged by my weight. Only by how I look.

I weigh 7 lbs more than I did for my last contest, but at this weight, I look, feel, and perform better. When other people see me, they think I look like I weigh less than I do... not that I care about that either.

My point is this: focus on making the body you want inside and out, and then see where the weight comes in. You may be pleasantly surprised that your best body is not the dream weight you've been envisioning for yourself for years.

Maybe this dream weight is just that... an unrealistic mirage that does not apply to your structure and does not actually bring your "best".

Or maybe you'll find that once you get to your goal weight, you haven't achieved the look you expected to see.

This disconnected focus on the scale, and on a certain number or weight range can largely contribute to not getting the visual progress you want with your body.

Where does endurance training fit in with the scale?

Every coaching group, we get clients who come in with the preconceived notion that performing hours of cardio is a necessary part of the weight loss equation. Some even go as far as setting their sights on marathons or triathlons for the sole purpose of achieving their weight loss goals. We hear from clients taking in 1200 to 1500 calories a day and training 2-3 times a day... and wondering why they have not seen progress on with their body or on the scale.

While using sporting events and competition can be a strong drive for success, there are some problems with this mindset.

1. The action
(endurance event training) does not necessarily lead to the outcome (weight loss / better looking body). Because elite endurance athletes typically have the token "lean and light" look, it's common to assume that they go hand in hand. However it's not generally the case that one leads to the other.

The reality is, most people looking to achieve a lean and fit look would benefit from the complete opposite -- 5 hours a week of resistance training, 1-2 hours a week of a combo of high intensity interval training and steady state cardio, paired with perfectly nutrient-timed and combined nutrition... stricter than you ever imagined. NOT a triathlon when you are not built for it, do not even like it, and are eating basic survival calories.

2. Embracing this strategy can backfire if you are not coming from a healthy place mentally.
If the goal is all about seeing a certain number on the scale, and there is no larger purpose -- balanced intrinsic motivation and JOY in the process -- you won't make progress. Not only will the strategy not work, you will be pushed further back ... into more disordered thinking, more frustration, and a more sluggish metabolism.

For further reading on where cardio fits in with your weight loss goals, check out Clearing Up Cardio Confusion. (Note: link will open in a new browser window).
Weight loss - exactly
Often the most profound insights come from one of our Lean Eating participants themselves:

I can't focus on weight loss - that's not something I can control. What I CAN control is the PROCESS. My choices. And enough good ones built up consistently will lead me to my goals.


Outcome-based goals, like losing 20 pounds of fat, we have no control over. Might as well rub our magic lamp, make a wish and take a nap on the couch.
What we do have control over are those behavior-based goals. You know, the goals that we can set each day that LEAD to the outcome-based goal. That is where true success remains. Working hard and accomplishing the healthy behaviors, while letting the rest fall into place.


Consider how weight is tied into your goals and behaviours.

If you're basing your goals on a number or pursuing the wrong activities for your ideal body, it's time to adjust your attitudes and actions. Do what you enjoy and make sure your goals are coming from a healthy place

Focus on behaviour-based vs outcome-based goals.

Outcomes are beyond your control but you can control the behaviours that lead to a leaner body.

* Ramp up your nutritional habits to eat "cleaner" than you ever imagined possible
* Focus on nutrient quality and density in your food choices. Do not skimp on calories or nutrients
* Consider your overall activity -- exercise frequency, volume and intensity -- and adjust your intake accordingly
* Fuel/feed your workouts. If you enjoy and are pursuing improved performance in endurance sports, will need more than 1/2 or 1 serving of post-workout, low-GI carbs if you want your body to play along

Adjust how you view your weigh-in

If you have all the right behaviours in place, the scale becomes just one more piece of information to help you understand how your body is changing. The number does not reflect how well you're doing, nor does it tell the whole story when it comes to your body composition.

Outside of weekly weigh-ins for your coach to track your progress, if the scale is hampering your results more than helping, weigh yourself only to see "Hey, I look good... I wonder what I weigh in this better looking bod?"

To learn more about Lean Eating program visit:

Being Hot Fudge Sundaes - by Genee Roth

Hi Krista

Your email from this morning (thank you!) inspired me to forward to you the following email newsletter I received last month from a woman name Geneen Roth who writes about emotional eating from a place of knowing (you can check out her website for her personal story, but it's not necessary). Anyway, at the same time that you provided me with amazing insight regarding my personal weight and scale struggles, I received the email below. It really hit home, and coincides with what you continue to remind me of in your role as a coach and mentor.

Being Hot Fudge Sundaes

It’s never been true, not anywhere at anytime, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around, and when we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels.

We don’t want to eat hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to be hot fudge sundaes. We want to come home to ourselves. We want to know wonder and mystery and possibility, and if instead, we’ve given up on ourselves, if we’ve vacated our longings, if we’ve left possibility behind, we will feel an emptiness we can’t name. We will feel as if something is missing because something is missing—the connection to the source of all sweetness, all love, all power, all peace, all joy, all stillness. Since we had it once--we were born with and as it--it can’t help but haunt us. It’s as if our cells remember that home is a resplendent and jeweled palace but we’ve been living as beggars for so long that we are no longer certain if the palace was a dream. And if it was a dream, then at least we can eat the memory of it.

During the first few bites, and before we get dazed by overeating, everything we want is possible. Everything we’ve lost is here now. And so we settle for the concrete version of our lost selves in the form of food. And once food has become synonymous with goodness or love or fulfillment, you cannot help but choose it, no matter how high the stakes are. No matter if your doctor tells you that you won’t live another month at this weight. Because when you are lost, when you are homeless, when you’ve spent years separated from who you are, threats of failed hearts or joint pressure don’t move you. Dying does not frighten those who are already half-dead.

The most challenging part of any system that addresses weight-related issues is that unless it also addresses the part of you that wants something you can’t name—the heart of your heart, not the size of your thighs--it won’t work. We don’t want to be thin because thinness is inherently life-affirming or lovable or healthy. If these were true, there would be no tribes in Africa in which women are fat and regal and long-living. There would be no history of matriarchies in which women’s fecundity and pulchritude were worshipped. We want to be thin because thinness is the purported currency of happiness and peace and contentment. And although that currency is a lie—the tabloids are filled with skinny miserable celebrities—most systems of weight loss fail because they don’t live up to their promise: weight loss does not make people happy. Or peaceful. Or content. Being thin does not address the emptiness that has no shape or weight or name. Even a wildly successful diet is a colossal failure because inside the new body is the same sinking heart. Spiritual hunger can never be solved on the physical level.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Physique Friendly Pizza - Step 2 The Toppings


Once you have a physique friendly crust, the toppings are the easy part.

The top two problems with traditional pizza toppings are the cheese and the deli meats. Keep your sauce, keep your veggies but replace the type of cheese and reduce the amount.

I personally use light or fat free mozzarella as the glue that keeps all the toppings together and crumbled goat's milk cheese for amazing taste and texture. You need much less shredded cheese than you may think. Use just enough to keep your toppings in place. I prefer light to fat free as fat free is too plastic like. Plus fat gives food its taste and texture.

Pepporoni is no longer a part of my diet. There's nothing about pepperoni that is physique or health friendly.

Here are my favorite replacements for pepperoni:

- Organic bison, beef or venison pepperettes (sliced thin) from Lakeland Meats in St. Catharines.
- Diced chicken
- Cajun shrimp
- Ground turkey or chicken
- Oven roasted turkey or chicken deli slices (low sodium / low fat) - if you can find nitrate free, even better
- PC reduced fat meatballs (beef or chicken), sliced
- Turkey bacon

As for veggie toppings, be creative! Some of the best pizzas have unique ingredients. Think outside of the pizza box! Here are some suggestions to get your creative pizza juices flowing:

- chopped spinach
- sauteed red onion
- roasted red peppers
- baked eggplant
- zucchini
- diced orange pepper
- scallions
- thinly sliced apple
- dried currants or raisins

This combination is amazing for taste and nutrients:

- Pepperoni substitute of your choice (I would chose diced chicken for this one)
- crumbled chevre (goat's milk cheese)
- Sauteed orange pepper, red onion and egg plant
- fresh chives, chopped fine
- pineapple, chunks
- raisins
- Top with sea salt, cinnamon, ground pepper, garlic powder and fresh basil

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Physique Friendly Pizza - Step 1 THE CRUST

I love pizza but have given it up for a few years now as pizza did not love me. Most pizza is too carb, fat and calorie dense not to mention the oodles of ooey gooey cheese was causing more harm than good digestively.

The first step in making a physique and performance friendly pizza is the CRUST:

Protein Pizza Crust RECIPE: (high protein, high fiber, low carb)

1 cup egg whites
1 cup eggs
1 cup ground flax
1 scoop brown rice, pea or hemp protein powder (I prefer hemp)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
2 cups spinach

Blend in blender until smooth. Pour over PAM Sprayed (olive oil) large frying pan to a moderate / thin layer. Cook covered over medium to medium-high heat until many bubbles appear and it starts to cook through. Flip and cook other side. Cool completely. Cover with pizza toppings after cooled and bake on stone (round pizza size) for 8 minutes as 400 degrees.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

DE Client Peggy Rainbow takes 4th at Arnolds! - 2010 IFBB Arnold Amateur International Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure & Bikini Championships Women Pre-Judging Photos! Page 3

Full details coming soon.

Congratulations to Peg for her continued hard work, dedication and commitment to seeing her goals through!

(picture: side pec - prejudging)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Do what makes you feel ALIVE - solutions for a hard day

One thing that has always worked for me during the toughest times is coming back to the stuff that makes me feel alive:

* Training... the harder the better
* Eating... the cleaner and more taste bud stimulating the better
* Fun... finding my best friends and just laughing until it hurts
* Art... pulling out the paint, brushes and canvas and not caring if it looks like anything or if anyone else will like it
* Writing... journalling is a conversation with yourself and often stuff will flow out that you didn't even know you were thinking. Let it out rather than keeping it in is what makes us feel alive as caged emotions are unhealthy.
* Exploring... just go somewhere - anywhere - and explore. Might be a road you never knew existed in your community, a new walking trail or a quaint coffee shop.

Time to live and get out of the confines of your mind and stop the ongoing mental traffic jams.

My best advice is this:
Focus on how you want to FEEL not how you currently feel. Anytime a negative thought or feeling comes in, acknowledge it and replace it with a good thought and feeling.

Keep doing this. It takes practice. It's my "secret" and now it's yours too.