Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Daily Diet- What to Eat When Working Out

It can be tricky navigating what to eat when working out, or how to eat if trying to loose weight. While I'm not a big advocate of dropping a lot of weight quickly- there are some things I have discovered along the way that have helped me burn fat, drop pounds and keep them off, while stepping up the tightening and toning of my beautiful body!

I say I'm not a big advocate of quick and dramatic weight loss because I have done it over and over, only to gain back the weight and have to 'do' it all over again. Loving your body and changing your body into one you truly love and feel beautiful in, requires a lifestyle change- not just a ten day diet. While loosing weight or exercising is something you can 'do' as a quick fix to feeling better about yourself, or fitting into that dress or those jeans (guys read this blog too!).... Long term physical changes like loosing weight and keeping it off, and/or tightening and toning your physique requires changing the way you do things on a daily basis over the long term.

If you've been following this blog, you will know my view on growing a beautiful body. It is more than just how you look on the outside, it's what is going on- on the inside that is vital to maintaining a healthy and happy attitude. An uplifted attitude allows you to stay positive and keep self-love the priority. When that is in tact, it is easy to follow new lifestyle changes that can lead to your body growing and glowing in new and more beautiful ways. 

I remember dropping 60 pounds in 2000. I went from close to 200 pounds, to less than 140 pounds. Though my ribs were sticking out and my old jeans fell down my legs when I tried them on, I still saw the fat version of myself in the mirror and was haunted by the same negative thinking patterns of self-hate about my body. Because my inner thoughts and feelings were not matching the outside of my new physique, I later gained the weight back.

A positive attitude towards yourself will help you keep on track with workout plans. It will help you maintain a change in your daily eating habits that can naturally help your beautiful body shine through.... I promise!

Making changes that you can keep up with are important. We are all so diverse, and our bodies require different nutrients from one another. For example a meat eater may require a different diet from a vegetarian. I am not a certified nutritionist or a qualified personal trainer. What I am is a certified yoga and fitness instructor with a knack for acknowledging my body as a landscape of biodiversity, where I can experiment and be my own alchemist, and you can too. 

With regard to diet and alchemy- what you eat before and after exercising are vital to growing your beautiful body from the inside out. When you start experimenting, you will quickly notice changes in your energy and the results of your physical exercise will become more defined as you find what feels and works best for you. Daily restrictions and treats are important too. You don't want to blow all the hard work you do by eating foods that will keep the weight or fat on. But you also don't want to feel like you can never enjoy a treat ever again! You want to give yourself the correct amount of nutrients when working out, and eat correctly on the days you have off. Here is what works for me. If it speaks to you, try it on and see if some of my findings work for you too!

If you have been working out with little or no results, or if you hit plateau's too quickly, 
consider making these changes TODAY. 

Stop buying the following items at the supermarket. These foods are treats, not to be eaten on a daily or weekly basis. Trust me, if your a big carb eater, your body will dramatically change within two weeks by dropping the following items. (Unless you are doing serious body building and heavy weight lifting, then you may want to eat more carbs and proteins prior to working out- but for most of us who just want to loose weight for good, tighten and tone, sculpt and define a leaner body- getting off the carb train instantly changes how the body can metabolize the foods you eat from the exercise you do. When the following foods are not in your pantry, you will have the opportunity to become more creative with how you eat and that's the fun! See my goat cheese quesadilla recipe below- yummmmm!

STOP with the WHITE FOOD- these are treats to be eaten rarely, not daily. 
1.NO daily potatoes- only eat twice a month- if at all.
2.NO daily Bread. Sure, indulge in a white bread panini or sour dough sandwich once a month. And if your metabolism is really charged up, you can eat a simple open faced sandwich maybe once a week with one slice of quality Ezekiel bread.
3.Pasta-once a month ONLY.
4.Flour Tortillas- if you have to, it's a treat, but start choosing corn over flour.
5.White/Brown Rice. If your out eating, sometimes you have no choice. But if you do, choose Quinoa instead of rice. The one exception I make is for rice crackers- love them with hummus.

I used to eat 2 slices of toast with a bowl of cereal for brakfast. Then I would eat a sandwich (that's two more slices of bread) for lunch, and then maybe some kind of a four tortilla quesadilla or veggie pasta or rice dish for dinner. That is so much gluten, so many carbs and so much bread- bread- bread. Even though I worked out, my body had so many extra carbs to break down, it never had a chance to truly change it's physique or loose weight because it was over loaded. When these items were in my day to day diet, I also felt bloated constantly and had issues with constipation. Do you? That's when I discovered Acidophilus; it helps to replace good bacteria in the digestive system and helps to keep you regular too. Store it in a cool place like the fridge if possible. I use Trader Joe's basic brand and it works!
These days I eat pasta once a month as a treat. I almost never eat rice. I find substituting quinoa is a great alternative. As far as bread goes, when you do eat it, try Ezekiel bread available at Trader Joe's or your local health food store. It is made from sprouted grains and seeds and will help your gut move rather than stuffing it up. I have switched to corn tortillas, and as a treat, I eat potato chips or will have a dish with a little potato once in a while, maybe twice a month- but thats it! When I get my period all bets are off. You will see me eating cake and mac n cheese and a lot of dark chocolate! That is my 'once a month' indulgence time when treats are allowed into my daily diet for a few days in a row. See my blogpost entitled 'PERIOD'at

WORKOUT DAY This is very much like my non-workout day diet.
Morning- 8.30am
Mug of coffee; black no sweetener
Half large or whole small banana
1/4 cup mixed unsalted high quality nuts; walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds- no peanuts

Pre Workout- 10am
Cup of Trader Joe's oatmeal with cranberries, plus a few more nuts for a little added protein.
Oatmeal is great prior to a workout because it is a slow burning carb, meaning your body can slowly burn the carbs off while giving you enough sustenance to work out for longer periods without feeling depleted or bloated. I can eat oatmeal at 10 am, start my work out at 10.30am and go til 1pm easily. If I am training longer, I will eat a healthy nut- based bar with a higher protein count half way through my work out or towards the last leg of it. Having some added protein prior to exercising is key (like adding nuts to oatmeal), so as you build muscle your body can use the protein you put in it, rather than taking it from the muscle you have already built to create more muscle. 

Post Workout
8-11oz Non-Soy Protein Shake (minimum 20 grams of protein per serving).
My choice brand; 'RAWFUSION'.
Save your big protein load for after your workout. Post workout muscle repair with a quality protein shake is the way to go. Take your shake with you to the gym and drink it directly afterwards, so you can help those muscles recover right away. You will feel your body absorb the nutrients. This will help you build lean muscle and give the body a rest before you eat a larger meal a little later. * I am allergic to soy in large quantities and break out in a rash when I have it too often. I used to take an all soy protein shake every day even on days I did not work out and was covered in patchy red bumps. It took a while to figure out what the cause was, but after a forty day trial of cutting the soy protein shake from my diet, my skin was restored. Now I use an non-soy all vegan based protein shake and recommend it for those who are sensitive to soy. I also found that the muscle I was building when using soy was much bulkier versus the longer and leaner look I am achieving with the non-soy vegan protein shake alternative. Too much soy can be hard for the body to digest, and can cause an upsurge of the hormone estrogen which can be harmful to women in larger doses (do your research).

Late afternoon- Early evening dinner
Goat Cheese Quesadilla's with half an avocado and huge salad and dressing.

Get used to eating your bigger meal earlier. When I eat my meal after working out, and after my protein shake, I consider it to be 'dinner', even if its at 4.30pm. Life is always changing and our schedules fluctuate constantly. It can be hard to regulate the timing of when you eat, yet the more you can eat a bigger meal earlier in the day, or evening-the quicker and more steady the results you will find. Depending on how hard I work out, or how tired/full of energy I am, sometimes I am hungry within an hour of having my protein shake, and sometimes I can go several hours before I am ready to eat a large meal.

2 mini corn tortillas
couple slices of gouda goat cheese
heirloom or beefsteak tomato (my fav's- but substitute with what you have at home)
half avocado
fresh organic salad greens plus cucumber and cherry tomato

1.Prepare salad and 1/2 avo
2.Preheat mini corn tortillas. I do this on my gas stove old school style by flipping them over a flame before folding them into quesadillas. Let them brown a bit so they don't tear during folding.
3.Heat a large stainless steel pan to medium heat for a few minutes. Do not use oil. Dry pan only.
4.Prep your quesadilla's by placing cheese and tomato inside. Fold in half and place in heated pan. If the contents is falling out of your tortilla, use a toothpick to keep it under control. Cover pan, this will melt the cheese nicely. turn over once, after three-four minutes and cook for another two minutes or until melted nicely. Place on plate with salad and voila. Use your favorite dressing for salad, bless your food and enjoy! I let myself use any dressings I want, because I can be strict with other things, I let this one go. If you want to restrict calories with dressing, opt for a balsamic and olive oil.

Evening Snack ideas include
-Natural Popcorn watch the salt- too much salt in your diet will keep you holding water weight.
-A handful of corn tortilla chips with Salsa
-Half avocado filled with sunflower seeds
-Handful of rice crackers with hummus
-Bowl of Sesame Kale Sale (recipe coming soon)
-Yogurt sprinkled with a few dried cranberries or blueberries and sunflower seeds
-1or 2 stalks celery with a natural nut butter

General Daily Diet Do's 
According to my vegetarian and slightly vegan diet, I find protein in places other than meat.
-Daily fresh veggies, including dark leafy greens (salads/kale)
-Fruits are ok, but consider experimenting with less fruit in general. I know, it sounds crazy because fruit is supposed to be good for us- and it can be. Educate yourself on your fav fruits and how many carbs go into your smoothie. They are generally filled with sugar based carbs that can take a lot of exercise to work off. I opt for a nectarine/handful of blueberries twice a week, or add pear to my green veggie juice at home.
-Quality Protein. From my vegetarian standpoint, here is how I get my daily protein.
-Nuts; walnuts, cashews, almonds and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.
-Dairy; Greek yogurts and Fage brand are high in protein and contain important flora (good bacteria like Acidophilus) that help the body draw nutrients from the foods you eat, and also aid digestion by helping to keep your BM's regular. We all want that right?
-Black beans, chick peas, lentils, quinoa.
-Greens; have small amounts of protein.
-Cheese; Through my alchemating (being a body alchemist), I have found goat cheese the easiest to digest, personally speaking. Do you have a hard time digesting certain dairy products? I love cheese, but end up bloated and have a hard time digesting it... Until I found goat cheese! Many people with lactose sensitivity have a similar experience in being able to digest it with greater ease. If normal cheese disagrees with you, but you still want the protein hit, try the goat! It is often due to the manufacturing of cow based products that induce allergies.
Eggs; Though I don't eat them straight (like a boiled/scrambled egg). When I do use them in cooking, I go for happy cage free eggs. Note*- Egg whites contain more protein than the yellow.
Avocado- protein central. I eat up to five or six avocados a week when in season.


When I arrived back to California after living in Spain, I had gained twenty pounds from my normal and stable weight (where I feel good in my body) of 160 pounds, and weighed 180. After doing research, I found eating a teaspoon of raw coconut butter before each meal raised my metabolism overall and helped to burn fat more rapidly. By adding this to my daily diet, I lost the twenty pounds safely over an eight week period and have not put it back on since. I was doing less exercise at the time, but was watching what I ate. It worked for me, maybe it will work for you too. Here is the brand I recommend- Artisana RAW COCONUT BUTTER $11.99 at Whole foods. I am also showing the Organic Coconut Oil from Trader Joe's it is much less expensive $5.99, and does the same thing, except it is harder for me to literally swallow!- So I go for the BUTTER instead of OIL when I am eating it from the jar. These days I eat it less often, but still include it into my diet. There are infinite benefits from ingesting coconut oil and butter. Like I said, I look forward to sharing more on this later, and always encourage you to do your own research.

Keep Loving your Beautiful Self- Mind, Body & Soul. 
With Love, Love, Love..
Tuesday May

I am not a certified nutritionist, doctor or therapist. 
Please consult your healthcare professional before participating in any
 lifestyle changes you may feel are questionable to your health. 
I am not responsible for any action you resume. You are- Make it pleasurable.
© Tuesday May Thomas 2013

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