Many of you know I have been traveling for weeks away from home, eating out and staying in hotels. This can take a toll on the health, the diet and the waistline. It is so easy to give in to a moment of being on the high of being in a different place, on an expense account and amongst colleagues who love to eat nice meals. I have been there the last couple months. But if you want to preserve your healthy mind and body, you have to have the discipline to pick and choose the best you can. This series will chronicle different aspects of how I do this whilst on the road. I have had years of practice and a lot of help to be able to do this. I still have a lot of nutritional guidance.
Here I am now, in Europe, a vegetarian and trust me, it is not always easy (this week is already difficult and its only been a day or two!). My first step is always to have a plan. Start with planning out your meals. I know how to pick and choose on a menu the best thing I can eat, but in certain places, its been difficult when the salads are not the loaded American salads, but a plate of lettuce and tomatoes with a block of cheese. Not ideal to fill the stomach. So, for me, I am lucky to have a nutritionist friend who plans my diet charts keeping the location in mind. One thing I am still learning and coming to terms with is: to lose fat, you must eat fat. The right kind. Through the next 30 days, join me in learning how to pick the right foods off a menu, how to plan your meals and how can you workout during the long days of working and socializing.
If you have your own tricks, please do share with me! I always want to learn new things…one thing I refuse is to starve. I need to eat or I cannot function. Or sleep. I will be posting my favorite go-to snacks and meals int he different countries I visit; my favorite workouts and how I fail and pick myself back up. It is never easy, but for me..the first step is planning out that I eat well. 80% of the battle is food. 20% is working out. Stay tuned for videos, posts, tips and lots of fun in the coming days and weeks! I may not write posts every day but follow me on instagram: reshie2000 and you will see some of my fitness tricks I have been using to keep wellness on the top of my priority. With that, I say in German: Guten Tag!
As many of you already know, I am training for a 10K and am trying to stay on the straight and narrow for that. The run is coming up in 2 weeks and a couple days now.
I noticed some interesting things in my training the last few weeks. Last month, I got to a point where I seriously had noticed some results and feeling fit and toned. Then came a couple down weeks and last week I started training and eating better. However, I ended up trying something different than the past weeks. ..just because of how I felt (in other words, I had not really planned how I was going to complete my workouts, just that I would complete a workout daily). And I feel this new way of training did not help me much….even though I did more days…it did not feel as effective. I had a pretty social week last week.
So, let me talk about the 2 slightly different ways I did the workouts. Work out 1 is the one I felt did me more justice (and I had more fun I think with that one):
Original Intention for the week: The weekly goal was to get in 5 days of working out a week, including Yoga, Strength training, 2-3 running sessions in varied mileage, cardio 5 days a week for at least 35-40 minutes. And BANG on with my diet chart (outlined in my earlier post).
What really happened?: I ended up doing only about 4 days due to soreness+ 1 day just walking, but the workouts seemed more intense (not sure if they really were more intense or not). Here is what I did:
2 strength training workouts with my trainer (about 30-40 min) and then 45 min of the elliptical at a medium to low resistance
Couple yoga workouts to ease the mind (Hot vinyasa or ashtanga yoga)
Cardio Days: I did 1-2 classes at the gym that were intense like Cardio Kickboxing and Triple Cardio (which ended up including body weight exercises too). Those were 60 minutes. I also went for a couple walks in the evening, which included a lot of steep hills and flat ground. (that ranged from 60-75 min).
I only got in about 2 days of running, if not just one day. (ranging from 30-50 minutes) and then stretched.
Average workout time/day (not including my walks): 75-80 minutes.
Original Intention for the week: Get in 6 days of working out for the week, not necessarily care about yoga. Strength, running.
What really happened?: I did 6 days of gym, but I was not very sore until probably day 5. That was when I started feeling maybe I was not doing as much, but I convinced myself it was OK because I was going to complete 3 runs. I did indeed complete 3 runs.( 2 miles, 3.5 miles, 4.5 miles), which was different. But then I was starving and craving food at night at the wrong times! Of course the more you run, the more your metabolism boosts needing more calories, which is fine, but it was getting me to crave wrong foods.
2 strength training workouts and 1 reformer Pilates session(about 30-40 min) : no cardio on these days at all
Cardio Days: I only did 3 days of cardio, all running days. And it got somewhat stressful on my knees and joints.
Average workout time/day (not including my walks): 40-45 minutes.
So at the end of the week after Workout 2, I didn’t feel like I had made any progress by working out 6 days a week of moderate intensity workouts. I think this is a great example of how individual body types and structures respond to different types of workouts. I experimented a little and figured out what is best and what is working for me. That and some mental determination in eating healthy, clean food most of the time.
So this week, I will go back to trying out Option 1. However, due to my 10K being SOO close, Rashi and Kim (my trainer, who gives me stuff for the road) have asked me to cut down on sugar, alchohol and processed foods and ensure I get my workouts. My stamina has definitely increased.
My longest run this week is supposed to be 5 miles, but I think I will do 5.25-5.5 miles if possible. This will get me ready to run 6 miles next week so when I do the 10K, I have been pretty close to having done one.
Rashi got me onto a new diet chart for the next 2 weeks, including my weekend home options and also the options for on the road (I have gotten a request to detail out how to find the right things on the road; It will be a blog topic!). This time, I gave her the liberty of almost giving me everything she wants with no input from me other than if it is do-able. Except—I refused a protein shake as my meal 1. I knew I would always try and skip that!
15 days Diet Chart:
Meal 1 (within 10 min of rising): 12 almonds and 6 prunes (B complex and B6)
Meal 2 (10am): 1 whole avocado with salt/pepper and seasonings
Meal 3 (12:30pm): 6 Tablespoons rice + 3 cups dal (Indian lentil soup) + subzi or Cheese sandwich+ veges (Omega 3 and 6)
Meal 4: (4pm): 2 cups of steamed veggies with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (carbs)
Meal 5 (7pm, post workout): 1 scoop protein powder with water
Meal 6 (Dinner): 1 chapati (roti) + paneer or 1 slice of whole wheat bread + minestrone soup.
Bed time- Calcium Citrate
Important: Water: 3 lts/day
What am I bad at? Taking my vitamins! It is a must now. My goal for the next two weeks!
So..that is the weekly update. Next week, stay tuned for workouts and eating on the road. Plus, hopefully a very special interview session.
I thank all my new followers as in the last 10 days, I have gotten a lot of new followers on my blog. Also, it looks like readers from Bahrain are really hitting the site! If you are reading this and from Bahrain, I would be very interested to know where you found my blog from and any feedback/comments.
I am very excited for the upcoming weeks, cuz as soon as the 10K is over, we will talk more about new ways of working out as I am going to kick up my running shoes for something new!
Until then…the show must go on…at the gym!
I met Rebecca when I moved to Atlanta in 2008 and joined Lifetime Fitness. My mom had already started her yoga classes and had so many praises for the way she teaches and her nutrition and yoga AND meditation techniques, I just had to meet her. At the time, I was also going through a tough time personally and was looking for ways to calm myself. I had also started researching the benefits of yoga and staying fit. And trust me, Rebecca’s classes and her advice was not just the praises I had heard from my mom and several other members at the club. Her advice on a day to day life, how to handle stresses in your life and how to really use the techniques practiced in yoga in daily life has really stayed with me. Not only a yoga teacher but she became a friend as well.
Today Rebecca will talk not only about her yoga and nutrition experience but a little secret I stumbled upon by the ways of google: Rebecca was in a fitness competition during her college years! The training and dedication it takes to compete is mind-blowing. And so my respect for Rebecca’s dedication to her craft and career grew even more. Here is one person who has gone through the trials and tribulations of getting a perfect 10 body.
Rebecca Thieneman Yoga and Nutrition professional is based out of Atlanta, GA and currently works as an instructor at Lifetime Fitness. She is also pursuing further certifications in yoga in India. To contact Rebecca, please see the end of the interview:
- What made you want to turn towards yoga and nutrition as a career option? How did all this start?
I have always been passionate about health, and believe that while there are many ways to live, the only way to thrive is by sharing your passion with the world. I took my first yoga class at 16, and studied nutrition on my own until I was able to enroll in a university and study it more formally. Throughout college I taught fitness and nutrition classes in dorms, for sororities, at the campus recreation center, in local fitness facilities, and for various events and organizations in the community. I wrote for various health and fitness publications, and I had the privilege of teaching an Undergraduate Science of Nutrition course for several semesters while I was completing my Masters degree. I have for as long as I remembered sought out ways to share my passion as often and with as many as I could.
2. Yoga is a very talked about topic for weight loss these days. Many people are confused what yoga to do when. Can you talk about some of the different types and how to incorporate them into goals such as weight loss, meditation, peace of mind, depression, bouncing back from an injury, etc?
Yoga of any kind has benefits for all of the above. There is not a single person on the planet who would not benefit from this practice. That being said, Vinyasa yoga is a very active form of yoga, great first thing in the morning or any time during the day when you need a little pick-me-up. For a practice more focused on deep stretching and relaxation, yin or restorative yoga may be more appropriate.
3. What kind of nutrition plan do you suggest to your clients? Any foods that you recommend nutritionally that are perceived as “fattening or high carb” but actually have a high nutritional value?
I recommend as many whole foods as possible. With the low-carb craze fruits are often discouraged however I encourage my clients to include them daily. I also encourage vegetarian meals whenever possible, reducing the volume of animal-based foods, and instead focusing on plant-based proteins and healthy fats such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, legumes, beans, and nuts.
4. What are your thoughts on a “yoga” diet plan? Some yogis stick to very basic foods, right? Macrobiotic?
Yogic eating does include foods that are sattvic-or pure-in nature. It also includes paying attention to how you eat. Mindful eating is a great example of how the practice of yoga can become a way of life: being in the moment, and experiencing things one bite at a time.
5. We talk a lot about women and their weight loss struggles. Let’s flip the switch for a minute and talk about men. What would you suggest to a man wanting to lose weight? What is different for them vs women?
Some common factors I have noticed when it comes to men are their eating schedules and the lack of concern they have with their food choices. Often eating is an after thought during the workday, and meals are put off until arriving home in the evening. This creates an unhealthy balance of caloric intake throughout the day. Women seem to be more concerned with food factors such as organic vs. inorganic, brands, caloric content, nutrition integrity etc. while men seem to be more driven by taste and convenience.
6. What would you suggest to a man wanting/needing to gain weight? What is a sample diet chart?
Eat, eat, and eat some more! The amount of calories needed to gain weight is as significant as the amount of calories avoided in losing weight. To get the calories in, I generally recommend 3-4 solid meals with nutritional supplements in between.
7. I came across you one day in my Google searches being in a women’s fitness competition. Can you tell us about how you decided to take that on and what type of commitment it took?
I have always enjoyed fitness. As a former dancer and marathon runner, I appreciate challenging activities that require discipline. During my freshman year of college there was a local competition that I decided to channel my long hours in the gym towards. While I didn’t expect to win, this outcome led me to compete in quite a few more advanced competitions in the years that followed. Getting your body composition into peak condition is as much about diet as it is exercise-if not more. The combination of extended training and strict eating can be exhausting at times. That being said, I think it sharpened my character, and helped me endure my college years with more ease.
8. What was a sample diet you had to follow for a day and how many months did you stick to this?
Generally, the diet I followed was very calculated. When it came to carbohydrates, I focused on minimal sugar intake, though I did eat low glycemic fruits and natural sugars until several weeks out of the competition. Other common carbs were brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, non-starchy vegetables of all kinds, and whole grain cereal. I also prioritized lean proteins and avoided condiments, and processed foods of all kinds as much as possible.
9. What was the workout plan like for the week training for the competition?
First thing in the morning on most days I would do low-intensity cardio for an extended duration. Later in the day I would do high volume weight training, a short bout of high-intensity cardio, and have routine practice.
10. Can you suggest a sample plan for anyone wanting to lose weight? Does working out 3 hours a day help?
When it comes to nutrition, I suggest focusing not just on calories but the volume-the actual space-the food fills. There is evidence that volume contributes to satiety, the feeling of fullness and satisfaction. This means non-starchy veggies, fruits, and naturally high-fiber foods top the list. Protein is another nutrient that can help you feel fuller for longer, and also requires more metabolic energy to digest. Including a vegetable and/or fruit at every meal along with a lean form of protein is key. I also recommend using an online food journal such as thedailyplate.com, sparkpeople.com, myfitnesspal.com, etc. to keep track. The additional accountability and awareness this activity can provide makes a significant impact.
11. Tell us about what you do to keep fit and healthy?
I practice yoga daily, and run 3-4 days per week. I follow a vegetarian diet and always keep an open mind towards new foods and new types of physical activities.
Rebecca Thieneman: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002418570752