Changing Direction

Sometimes life takes twists & turns and either we go with them or get left behind. And so it happened to me.

I’ve always struggled with depression off and on my whole life. My childhood probably was as far from ideal as it could get. But l pursavered and have learned for the most part how to keep just putting one foot in front of the other. Except I still struggle with depression and if I don’t catch the warning signs soon enough I spiral down til I hit bottom. (I refuse to be medicated)

The struggle and stress of working almost a month straight & trying to prep for this contest has triggered self destructive behaviors that signal the begining of what could be a very bad time. I’ve already had minor breakdowns & I needed to take a really hard look at what was going on in my life.

After chatting with my coach, my family and some friends… I’ve decided to cancel the show in a couple weeks time. It’s tearing my mental health apart. I thought I was ready for this, but as it turns out I’m not.

I am not quiting. I’m going to be focusing on building strength over the winter and coming back for a smaller more local show next year.

THANK YOU to all my supporters I love and cherish you all.

I will be even better next year!

Eating For Pleasure

The desire — to eat purely for pleasure, rather than hunger — is called Hedonic hunger, and it can lead some people down a dangerous path to overeating and perhaps, obesity.

Pleasure eating, as opposed to eating for hunger, activates endogenous reward signals in the brain, which when activated, prompt people to eat more of the pleasurable food, even if their bodies don’t need it, a small study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found. This phenomenon is closely linked to body mass index (BMI), and may be a factor in the Western world’s rising obesity rates, the researchers who conducted the study at the University of Naples SUN in Italy say.

How to Curb Your Cravings
If you’re guilty of a little Hedonic eating from time to time, (who isn’t?), follow these steps to crank up your willpower the next time you’re full and faced with an all-too-tempting bite.
Drink water. Often, we think we’re hungry when we’re really just thirsty. The first step to stopping a craving should be downing a full glass of water. Quench your thirst, and it’s likely the cravings will stop.

Chew gum. Pop a piece of sugar-free gum to keep from obsessing over the taste of your favorite indulgence. Chewing will keep you distracted, and you’ll be less likely to overeat with minty-fresh breath.

Find a distraction. When you’re at home or sitting at your desk, it can be tempting to eat out of boredom, not hunger. Every time you’re about to open the fridge because you have nothing else to do, be ready with your go-to distraction. You can call your diet buddy for support, go for a brisk walk around the block, or pick up a book — whatever it takes to divert your focus from food.

—-> Take Home Message
The sooner you stop looking for pleasure from your food… the sooner you will heal your relationship with eating. Eat to fuel your body. . Not for pleasure. Find a new way to reward yourself!

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/0503/eating-for-pleasure-not-hunger-activates-the-brain.aspx

Biological Value

Biological Value:
Biological value measures protein quality by calculating the nitrogen used for tissue formation divided by the nitrogen absorbed from food. This product is multiplied by 100 and expressed as a percentage of nitrogen utilized. The biological value provides a measurement of how efficient the body utilizes protein consumed in the diet. A food with a high value correlates to a high supply of the essential amino acids. Animal sources typically possess a higher biological value than vegetable sources due to the vegetable source’s lack of one or more of the essential amino acids. There are, however, some inherent problems with this rating system. The biological value does not take into consideration several key factors that influence the digestion of protein and interaction with other foods before absorption. The biological value also measures a protein’s maximal potential quality and not its estimate at requirement levels.

Here is a great review of BV and other measures of protein.

*disregard parts of paper saying ketosis and protein is bad I was more interested in the measures of quality protein.
http://www.jssm.org/vol3/n3/2/v3n3-2pdf.pdf

wo substances in raw eggs have been shown to block nutrient availability. Conalbumin is a protein that can bind together with iron and block its availability. Avidin is a second egg protein that can bind together with biotin (a B-vitamin) and make it unavailable.

The cooking of eggs helps denature both of these proteins, and can increase the availability of both iron and biotin from eggs. Of course, another reason for cooking eggs involves health safety. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 of every 20,000 eggs may be contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella, which is actually passed from the infected hen to the egg before the shell is formed.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=23
The nutritional and healing properties of vegetables are in special need of your help when it comes to proper cooking technique! Here are our six cardinal rules for preserving the power of vegetables:

Don’t pre-soak vegetables to make them tender. REASON: nutrients that dissolve in water can be lost by pre-soaking.
Cook vegetables in as little water as possible. REASON: nutrients that dissolve in water are less likely to be lost.
Leave vegetables in contact with water for as little time as possible. REASON: nutrients that dissolve in water are less likely to be lost.
Balance heat and water contact. If you use high heat, keep water contact at a minimum, either by steaming, or baking in a dry oven. If you use low heat, you can allow more water contact. For example, simmering is okay because you bring the water to a boil and then turn down the temperature. But never boil on high heat with direct water contact for more than a few minutes. REASON: nutrients that dissolve in water are less likely to be lost.
Use the Color Power test: when vegetables become more vivid in their colors, with brighter greens and yellows and reds, the power of the vegetables is being enhanced. When the colors begin to pale or become lost, the power is also being lost.
Think tender, not soft. Tender is what your digestive system needs with several types of vegetables, especially those with tough stems and stalks. But soft almost always means less healing power.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=23

Protein and mineral content is relatively stable in red meat, regardless of how you cook it. Vitamins, however, are often affected by cooking methods. Water-soluble vitamins, such as the B vitamins, tend to be the most affected by cooking methods, but fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin E, can sometimes be affected.
Water-soluble vitamins can drop due to high temperatures, long cooking times, cooking in an alkaline solution or cooking in water. Fat-soluble vitamins can leach out of your red meat if you cook the meat in large amounts of fat. Choosing cooking methods that minimize these conditions will result in meat with the most nutrients.

One of the best cooking methods for red meat if you want to minimize vitamin losses is stir frying, according to the European Food Information Council. Stir frying uses only small amounts of oil and liquid and involves short cooking times, although sometimes the temperatures used are a bit high.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/552434-the-best-way-to-cook-red-meat-without-destroying-the-proteins-vitamins-minerals/#page=4
Understanding how microwaves work can help clarify the answer to this common question. Microwave ovens cook food with waves of oscillating electromagnetic energy that are similar to radio waves but move back and forth at a much faster rate. These quicker waves are remarkably selective, primarily affecting molecules that are electrically asymmetrical — one end positively charged and the other negatively so. Chemists refer to that as a polarity. Water is a polar molecule, so when a microwave oven cooks or heats up food, it does so mainly by energizing — which is to say, heating up — water molecules, and the water energizes its molecular neighbors.

In addition to being more selective, microwave-oven energy is also more penetrating than heat that emanates from an oven or stovetop. It immediately reaches molecules about an inch or so below the surface. In contrast, regular cooking heat goes through food rather slowly, moving inward from the outside by process of conduction.

Some nutrients do break down when exposed to heat, whether it is from a microwave or a regular oven. Vitamin C is perhaps the clearest example. So, as a general proposition, cooking with a microwave probably does a better job of preserving the nutrient content of foods because the cooking times are shorter.

As far as vegetables go, it’s cooking them in water that robs them of some of their nutritional value because the nutrients leach out into the cooking water. For example, boiled broccoli loses glucosinolate, the sulfur-containing compound that may give the vegetable its cancer-fighting properties as well as the taste that many find distinctive and some, disgusting. The nutrient-rich water from boiled vegetables can be salvaged and incorporated into sauces or soups.

Is steaming vegetables better? In some respects, yes. For example, steamed broccoli holds on to more glucosinolate than boiled or fried broccoli.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Microwave-cooking-and-nutrition.shtml

Amount of Meats to Reach Leucine Threshold

All weights are of raw meat

Chicken breast (no skin no bone)

6.6oz ~ 3.2g leucine

9oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.485g leucine/oz

Turkey Breast (no skin no bone)

 5.8oz ~ 3.2g leucine

8oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.549g leucine/oz

Beef Sirloin fat trimmed

7oz ~ 3.2g leucine

9.7g ~ 4.4g leucine

.452g leucine/oz

Ground beef 90%

7.3oz ~ 3.2g leucine

10oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.437g leucine/oz

Ground beef 80%

8.5oz ~ 3.2g leucine

11.75 ~ 4.4g leucine

.375g leucine/oz

Ground Lamb

9oz ~ 3.2g leucine

12oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.361g leucine/oz

Lamb Chops lean

7oz ~ 3.2g leucine

10oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.445g leucine/oz

Ground Bison

6.5oz ~ 3.2g leucine

9oz ~ 4.4g Leucine

.486g leucine/oz

whole eggs

Jumbo ~ .685g leucine (5-7 eggs)

Ex Lg ~ .609g leucine (5-8 eggs)

Lg ~ .544g leucine (6-9 eggs)

medium ~ .479g leucine (7-10 eggs)

small ~ .413g leucine (8-11 eggs)

Egg whites12oz ~ 3.2g leucine

16oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.284g/oz

Shrimp (wild caught)

7oz ~ 3.2g leucine

9.75oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.451g leucine/oz

Salmon (wild caught)

7oz ~ 3.2g leucine

9.75oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.452g leucine/oz

Cod (wild caught)

8oz ~ 3.2g leucine

11oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.405g leucine/oz

Tilapia

7oz ~ 3.2g leucine

9.75oz ~ 4.4g Leucine

.449g leucine/oz

Halibut

6.75oz ~ 3.2g leucine

9.25oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.474g leucine/oz

Pork Sirloin

7oz ~ 3.2g leucine

9.5oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.461g leucine/oz

Ham

5.25oz ~ 3.2g leucine

7.25oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.618g leucine/oz

Lobster

7.75oz ~ 3.2g leucine

10.5oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.418g leucine/oz

Crab

8oz ~ 3.2g leucine

11oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.407g leucine/oz

Tune Fresh (wild caught)

6oz ~ 3.2g leucine

8oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.537g leucine/oz

Tuna canned in water

5.5g leucine ~ 3.2g leucine

7.5g ~ 4.4g leucine

.580g leucine/oz

Cat Fish (wild caught)

8.5oz ~ 3.2g leucine

11.75oz ~ 4.4g leucine

.373g leucine/oz

All nutrition data gathered from:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/

http://www.simplyshredded.com/the-truth-about-protein.html

Calories In Calories Out?

A calorie is a unit that is used to measure energy. The Calorie you see on a food package is actually a kilocalorie, or 1,000 calories. A Calorie (kcal) is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius.

Nutrition scientists measure the number of calories in food by actually burning the food in a bomb calorimeter, which is a box with two chambers, one inside the other. The researchers weigh a sample of the food, put the sample on a dish, and put the dish into the inner chamber of the calorimeter.
They fill the inner chamber with oxygen and then seal it so the oxygen can’t escape. The outer chamber is filled with a measured amount of cold water, and the oxygen in the first chamber (inside the chamber with the water) is ignited with an electric spark. When the food burns, an observer records the rise in the temperature of the water in the outer chamber. If the temperature of the water goes up 1 degree per kilogram, the food has 1 calorie; 2 degrees, 2 calories; and 235 degrees, 235 calories — or one 8-ounce chocolate malt!
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-nutritionists-measure-calories.html

So I don’t know about you but I am pretty sure that our bodies are a bit different then a bomb calorimeter!! State of metabolic health, mix of macros, age activity, etc all have affects on how and where the energy from food goes and how much energy we get from it. Now add on top of that no real accurate way (outside a lab setting) to measure calories burned, and you start to get a picture of why the counting of calories and CICO is so flawed!

Poor Misunderstood Calorie is a great book that delves deeply into why a calorie is not a calorie and is a great read, I highly recommend it! Also the accompanying blog http://www.caloriesproper.com is a great further education source!

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Some suggested further reading/viewing:

Energy Balance>CICO
http://caloriesproper.com/energy-balance-cico/

Nutrition Forum – Dr. Donald Layman, PhD

Dr. Layne Norton presents on Refractory Phenomenon

The need for Protein throughout the day

ENERGY BALANCE MATTERS
but the counting of calories is severely flawed!! — with Helga Middleditch.

Follow Me to the Stage week 11

Time is flying and almost half way there. 11 weeks down and 13 weeks to go until the NPC show on October 10th.

Training is coming along well! Still making progress in most areas! Really really starting to finally feel confident squatting & actually is begining to become a favorite!

Diet is coming along well & really starting to notice big change in my legs.  Finally! I’ve really had a hard time being patient for my legs and have disliked them for so long even as my upper body has leaned out.

Have had steady down ward trend the last 3 weeks, so really feeling good about progress! Time to start looking specifically toward show planning, registration & getting my NPC card! Need to pick out my routine music and putting that together. Time to really get after posing practice.

This last week has me back in the 140’s pretty excited about that! When I look back at where I was a year and half ago I can’t believe it, I don’t recognize that person I was any longer!

Here’s to continually progressing and realizing dreams!

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Where I came from…

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Follow me to the Stage ~ 2 months

Tomorrow marks two months down and that leaves just 4 months (16 weeks) to go. I have seen tremendous strength gains in the last 2 months!
Starting total volume for my 3 day cycle was 35,195lbs. Total volume for last full 3 day cycle 74,495lbs! That is a 53% gain in total volume! That is huge! The biggest increase is seen on the second day (split squat, OHP, chin ups, hip thrusts, calf jumps & leg extentions) which saw a 65% increase in total volume from 13,470lbs to 39,115lbs.

With summer baseball in full swing my schedule is all over the place. A lost gym key card has led to one improvised workout in my basement & the only rest day during the last two months. My life is super busy but I always find time to get to the gym whether it’s 4am or 7pm or any time between.

Weight loss isn’t happening quite as rapid as I’d like, time to really buckle down now so I can hopefully coast into my show.
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