In today’s digest we bring you articles on Clean Eating : 5 Golden Rules to Achieve the Physique of Your Dreams – Fitness and Power, RED-S: The condition all runners need to know about, Friday Faves and Tip: Puny Feet, Puny Body. Hope you enjoy them…
Clean Eating : 5 Golden Rules to Achieve the Physique of Your Dreams – Fitness and Power
Clean eating is not as hard as many people make it out to be. It’s quite simple. All you have to do is follow these 6 simple rules that will not only transform your physique but will also make you happier, more energized and improve your health and sense of well-being. Clean eating has become […]
Clean eating is not as hard as many people make it out to be. It’s quite simple. All you have to do is follow these 6 simple rules that will not only transform your physique but will also make you happier, more energized and improve your health and sense of well-being.
Clean eating has become somewhat of a trend nowadays and almost everyone has heard of it. There are lots of restaurants who offer such menus and many fitness gurus and celebrities are promoting it. It has become a way of life for many people but few know what it means and the benefits it brings for the body.
It’s a pretty simple concept. Instead of thinking of it as some kind of diet where you’re supposed to eat more or less of specific things, such as more protein or fewer calories, you should become mindful of how the food travels from its origin to your plate.
The most important thing to remember is that clean eating consists of eating “whole” or “real” foods. What we mean by this are foods that aren’t refined, processed or handled in any kind, making them as close as possible to their naturally found form.
So, here are the 6 golden rules of clean eating that you need to implement into your diet:
Always choose fresh, whole foods over refines ones
Refined or processed foods are any type of food you can find in a can, bag, box or any other type of package, and even though there are some exceptions to this rule, such as a bag of fresh green beans, the majority of the foods you’re consuming should be fresh.
Natural sugars and whole grains are a hearty option
Even though you may not be able to eat all too often, you can try whenever you can to increase your intake of whole grains such as millet, brown rice, amaranth, and quinoa. Legumes and beans are also very important for your heart’s health and can protect the heart from coronary heart disease. When eaten in moderation, clean natural sugars are good too. These include maple syrup, honey, and dehydrated sugar cane juice. All of them are natural sweeteners full of antioxidants and free of cholesterol and fat.
Eat lots of protein
The majority of people are on diets that mostly consist of carbs and fat, however, they are seriously lacking in protein. This is especially true for the early part of the day, for breakfast or an early lunch. As everyone knows, protein is the most important nutrient for muscle building, and it can also help suppress your appetite. If you eat it throughout the day, it will keep you feeling satiated longer. Always be mindful of the nutrient ratio in your meals and see to it that you eat even amounts of protein during the day.
Be aware of your salt and sugar consumption
Doing this is a lot easier than you think, especially if you’ve already eliminated processed foods, which are the biggest source of all of our excess calories and high levels of sugar, salt, and fat. Clean, whole foods usually have a low content of all of these ingredients.
Avoid drinking your calories
Drinks with high-calorie content such as vitamin waters, specialty coffees and all types of soft drinks, on average, can add an extra 500-600 calories a day to your total intake. Whenever you feel thirsty, choose water first, or some unsweetened tea, whichever flavor you like. Other suggestions include organic milk or 100% fruit juice. You can add some sparkling water in the latter for a more refreshing taste.
How to eat clean
The main principle one needs to understand when deciding to eat clean is to recognize which foods are processed and which ones are closest to their natural form. The best way to ensure this is to live on a farm and grow your food, but unfortunately, this is not an option for the majority of people. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of foods which should be included in your clean eating plan.
Unprocessed, whole foods include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- All types of nuts
- Dried legumes
- Eggs from naturally fed chicken
Minimally processed foods include:
- Unrefined grains, like whole-wheat bread and pasta, steel-cut oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice, and quinoa.
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
- Olive oil, flaxseed oil, etc.
- Hormone-free dairy products
- Unprocessed meat, wild over pastured, pastured over grain-fed animals
It is also generally recommended that pesticide-free organic food is eaten so that you can avoid consuming the added hormones and various chemical compounds. It’s important to note that this can lead many people into thinking that as long as you eat clean you are free to eat as much as you want. The truth is that although they may be healthy, they still have calories in them.
This nutritional approach can help you maximize your energy levels and improve your overall health, making it much more than just a diet, but a lifestyle. This fact alone implies that it has a certain flexibility to it, meaning it can be adapted to fit almost any type of routine a person has had.
Clean Eating : 5 Golden Rules to Achieve the Physique of Your Dreams – Fitness and Power was originally published at LINK
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RED-S: The condition all runners need to know about
You’ve heard it a million times before – if you want to run faster, you need to run more. In a culture that promotes a ‘no excuses’ attitude towards working out, pushing yourself beyond your limits is often celebrated as a sign of discipline, agility and physical strength. As we fixate on improving our performance […]
You’ve heard it a million times before – if you want to run faster, you need to run more.
In a culture that promotes a ‘no excuses’ attitude towards working out, pushing yourself beyond your limits is often celebrated as a sign of discipline, agility and physical strength.
As we fixate on improving our performance and reaching new goals, we rarely consider the future losses of our present gains.
An unhealthy endurance athlete may seem like the ultimate paradox, but it’s a lot more common than you may think. RED-S is a syndrome that affects countless sports fanatics – many of whom don’t even know it exists.
What is RED-S?
RED-S refers to Relative Energy Deficit in Sport, and it is exactly what it sounds like. Previously called the Female Athlete Triad, it is characterised by low energy availability due to a caloric deficit.
The condition, which was termed in 2014 by the International Olympic Committee, can affect both males and females, including elite and non-elite athletes. It can lead to irreparable damage, impairing almost every system of the body if left untreated.
With little known about RED-S in the general medical and athletic community, it often goes overlooked. It prevails under the radar, only drawing attention after a drastic injury or mental collapse.
‘It is still a relatively new condition,’ explains Sports and Eating disorder specialist dietitian, Renee McGregor. ‘It is a clinical condition within a sporting community, so only practitioners trained in both clinical and sports science/medicine will have a full understanding.’
However, as the evidence of its dangers mount, more people are speaking out to raise awareness about the syndrome.
One of these voices belongs to Great Britain runner Poppy Woolven, who suffered from the debilitating condition for over five years. Determined now to help others through her mentorship programme, she shares her own experience with RED-S with Runner’s World.
Warning signs of RED-S
RED-S manifests in a variety of physical and psychological symptoms, which unfortunately, often go unnoticed. Creeping up in the form of benign colds and general fatigue, it’s unlikely to sound any alarm bells at first.
‘It was worryingly easy to dismiss the initial warning signs, since they were all relatively subtle in isolation,’ Woolven says.
These seemingly minor symptoms are in fact indicative of the body slowly breaking down. ‘Biological processes become depressed,’ McGregor explains. ‘When there is not enough energy in the system, digestion slows, resulting in bloating, discomfort and IBS symptoms.’
Stubborn sniffles and chronic coughs are another side effect of this deficit.
‘The immune system also becomes impacted, which puts the individual at a higher risk of infections and illness.’
A key symptom of RED-S in female runners is hypothalamic amenorrhea, or the absence of menstruation. While regular periods are a sign of good health, they can also be a major hindrance for many female athletes. Their disappearance is often a welcome relief from monthly cramps, headaches and mood swings – all of which impact training and racing.
‘It seemed more convenient not to have them,’ Woolven reveals. ‘I didn’t have to worry about being on my period during competitions or buying tampons anymore.’
This acceptance of amenorrhea speaks to an uncomfortable truth about RED-S.
Its early symptoms can perversely enhance performance – at least, in the short-term. Excessive training and restrictive eating leads to lower body weight, which can result in faster times. The detriment of these behaviours is obscured by their immediate benefits – more PB’s, more medals and more acclaim.
‘In my mind, I was just doing what it took to reach my potential in sport. I thought the odd illness, body image issue and low iron levels were just part of the challenge,’ Woolven says.
The danger of RED-S lies not in its symptoms, but in our failure to recognise them as symptoms.
RED-S is not an invisible illness that wreaks havoc on our internal organs as we ignorantly carry on with our lives. It waves at us in a bunting of red flags, but we remain colourblind to its warnings. In a society warped by messages like ‘No pain, no gain’ and ‘Eat less, move more’, it’s easy to view physical hardship as fundamental to making progress.
Our ability to detect health problems can, ironically, be corrupted by our determination to reach our fitness goals.
The responsibility of others
With athletes often unable to identify the issue objectively, it’s crucial that their support team develops an understanding of RED-S.
Unfortunately, the initial ‘pros’ of the condition are often applauded by coaches, whose concerns are typically rooted in achieving visible results. Many doctors also have little knowledge of the condition, which further delays diagnosis. Despite displaying all the symptoms, it took years for Woolven to discover she had RED-S.
‘I’d had countless blood tests, seen multiple doctors and endocrinologists and not once was RED-S or the Female Athlete Triad suggested.’
Woolven emphasises the importance of discussing menstruation more openly in the athletic community. A loss of periods, which is a major indicator of RED-S, is often normalised in female runners and can therefore go unnoticed.
‘Every doctor who looked at my body weight and food consumption reassured me: no period – no problem,’ Woolven reveals.
The female body requires a certain amount of energy to make sure reproductive hormones regulate and produce a monthly period. Hormones such as oestrogen are also crucial for bone health, cardiovascular health and cognitive health.
‘During amenorrhoea, when these hormones are reduced and often non-existent, individuals put their health and performance at risk,’ explains McGregor.
Exhausted from her futile chase of a concrete diagnosis, Woolven finally decided to take matters into her own hands. She came across a series of articles and blogs on RED-S, and was shocked to discover how accurately they detailed her own symptoms.
Despite the relief of finding an answer after years of confusion, Woolven felt frustrated by the vagueness of the condition. ‘At first, I couldn’t believe that the simplicity of the RED-S description could possibly explain the complicated nature of my problem.’
As she delved further into her research, Woolven was confronted by a painful realisation – her body had been undernourished for years.
‘It became apparent I had quite simply spent years in an energy deficit that was far from replenished during the “reset” I thought was behind me,’ she admits.
This prolonged energy deficit is far from benign. The long-term consequences of RED-S include, but are not limited to, decreased bone density, cardiovascular issues, gastrointestinal disturbances and decreased immunity. Armed with this new information, Woolven embarked on a plan to salvage her deteriorating health.
With RED-S often taking years to be diagnosed, there is no fast lane to recovery. As many of its physical symptoms grow from a deeply entrenched mindset, effective treatment requires a focus on one’s mental health. Initially, Woolven attempted to loosen her rigid attitude towards nutrition and training on her own. Despite her good intentions, the process was a lot harder than she had expected.
‘I seemed to be stuck in an agonising middle ground; motivated enough to start the process but continually falling short, time and time again,’ she says.
After ‘a series of half-hearted efforts and frustrating partial comebacks’, Woolven took a crucial step in her recovery – seeking professional guidance. With the help of a psychotherapist, she dug deeper into her disordering eating patterns and established a plan to combat these unhealthy behaviours.
Woolven also began to take time away from running, to pursue other hobbies and invest time in close relationships. To her surprise, varying her interests only benefited her training. She quickly realised that she did not have to neglect all other aspects of her life to reach her athletic goals.
‘Ironically, I performed at my worst when I was overly focused on sport,’ she explains.
Athletes in Balance
Woolven’s experience inspired her to establish Athletes in Balance, a mentorship programme which supports people battling with similar issues. Having struggled to receive a RED-S diagnosis and to implement an effective treatment plan, she now wants to assist those who may be presenting symptoms.
‘My goal as a mentor is to be the person who shows up, looks at the bigger picture and then helps someone apply their strength as an athlete to overcoming challenges related to RED-S,’ she says.
While she recognises that it is not a replacement for medical intervention, Woolven believes that her mentorship can be a valuable resource for those grappling with RED-S. With her extensive experience of the condition, she aims to a provide the holistic support that may be missing from standard clinical treatment.
‘Sometimes science doesn’t hold all the answers to the change in mindset an athlete may need to go through,’ she explains.
By sharing her story, Woolven hopes to help others identify the warning signs of RED-S, implement effective strategies, and of course, emphasise the importance of balance in every athlete’s life.
If you think you may be suffering from RED-S and need someone to talk to, Woolven can be contacted here.
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Hi friends! Happy Friday to ya. I hope you had a wonderful week. It’s been a good one over here. I’ve been cranking through some work stuff in between helping Liv navigate her Google classroom times and homework, drawing and working on letters with P, doing a couple of science experiments, and making time for […]
Hi friends! Happy Friday to ya. I hope you had a wonderful week. It’s been a good one over here. I’ve been cranking through some work stuff in between helping Liv navigate her Google classroom times and homework, drawing and working on letters with P, doing a couple of science experiments, and making time for the pool in the afternoon.
(One of my fave poolside salads: chicken salad, egg salad, and tuna salad in artichoke heart bottoms with greens and balsamic)
I feel like we’re still trying to find a groove with everything, but this week feels better than last week, so I’m calling it a win. I hope everything is going well for you, too, especially as the kids head into school or distance learning.
It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party. This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and I always love when you share your faves, too! Please shout out something you’re lovin’ in the comments section below!
– Anniversary celebration! For the first time in quite a while, the Pilot was in town on our anniversary and we got to celebrate it that night! It was our first date night in almost 6 months and it was amaaaazing.
(Even on the drive over there we were like THIS IS WEIRD because it was our first time in the car, just the two of us, since before the world turned upside down.)
We went to Hacienda del Sol and sat on the patio. I’ve been to weddings and events at Hacienda but it was my first time dining at the restaurant. The food is incredible and since it seemed family-friendly (there were kids there), we could absolutely take the girls. We had an insane charcuterie board, cocktails, and for my entree, I chose the curry special, which had scallops, octopus, and mussels in a curry broth. We shared the bread pudding for dessert.
– 4 weeks to read. A friend recommended this for P since her 4-year old loved it and it did indeed teach her how to read. I LOVE the interactive design of this program. (We have the “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons” and while it worked for Liv, P is not into it.) You do 3-4 letters per week, and each lesson focuses on one letter and its phonetic sound. You play the alphabet song, talk about the letter of the day and what sound it makes, read a cute poem focusing on that letter, sing a song focusing on that letter’s sound, and practice writing the letter and coloring pictures that start with that letter. The lessons are short – maybe 15-20 minutes total – and P loves them! I also like that they have an app you can use on your phone instead of using the CD. They break everything down for you and it makes me happy that P really looks forward to this time.
Fashion + beauty:
I shared my experience with the embrace Active Skin Defense wipes and stickies in Instagram and they’re offering a 20% promo through the 31st if you’d like to give them a whirl!
Nordstrom sale has been bananas so far but there’s still a lot of great stuff left! Hanky panky thongs, Barefoot dreams throw, my fave classic black leggings (lots of sizes still available in black), these super cute mules (mine arrived last weekend and I love them!), these amazing Hunter boots, and kids’ North Face jackets (the girls were so pumped when theirs arrived the other day).
Read, watch, listen:
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. I needed something lighthearted to watch and this has been exactly what I needed. It’s heartwarming, witty, and who doesn’t love a random song and dance break? 10/10 recommend.
My latest post for WebMD is here! Tips for using stairs for your workouts + a sample circuit.
Don’t forget to check out this week’s podcast episode here.
I love this idea for anniversary photos!
Fitness + good eats:
Peach cobbler might need to happen this weekend.
Barre arms and core workout.
Some new meal ideas in this post.
Another reason to promote activity for our kiddos.
Happy Friday and hope you have a great weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today.
Tip: Puny Feet, Puny Body
When you don’t strengthen and mobilize your feet and ankles, it’ll lead to long-term problems: A weak foot arch can lead to inward ankle and knee caving. Poor ankle dorsiflexion can cause knees to collapse inward. Valgus collapse will allow you to gain access to greater squat depth as the tibia ducks inward to bypass […]
When you don’t strengthen and mobilize your feet and ankles, it’ll lead to long-term problems:
- A weak foot arch can lead to inward ankle and knee caving.
- Poor ankle dorsiflexion can cause knees to collapse inward.
- Valgus collapse will allow you to gain access to greater squat depth as the tibia ducks inward to bypass restriction at the ankle. This is compounded by poor hip external rotation and a weak glute medius.
One of the best ways to strengthen the feet, calves, and ankles is by doing more single-leg exercises. Single-leg squats, split-squat variations, and single-leg deadlifts force the muscles in the feet and ankles to work harder as you balance on them.
You can turn up the challenge with this simple drill for stronger foot-arch muscles. This exercise is especially valuable to those with fallen arches or flat feet.
Single-Leg Kettlebell Pass
Stand on one leg with a kettlebell (easier to pass between hands than dumbbells) in one hand at your side. Slowly pass it in front of your body to the opposing hand while maintaining balance on only one foot.
Slowly bring the kettlebell to pause at the opposing hip, then reverse. Repeat for 4-6 passes for 2-3 sets on each leg. Progressing load matters less than improved control and balance.
What You Don’t Know About Calf Training
The Truth About Barefoot Training
Tip: Puny Feet, Puny Body was originally published at LINK