The Perfect Pancake

Pancakes, waffles, waffles, pancakes

Same thing. 

I have seriously perfected this recipe over the past year. I started out with just oats and egg whites and some baking powder. I mean it works, but it's nothing to get too excited about. 

I also then decided to add a few more ingredients that have been clutch in that fluffy perfect waffle. So, even though I eat too much to add tons of ingredients, I know how yummy this is with all the ingredients so I digress. 

I present you the proper way to make a protein pancake. ;) I personally believe that pancakes made with protein powder tastes like bricks or rubber or both but that's just me. 

Yes, of course they are pumpkin. I keep pumpkin pie spice year round to make them however cinnamon alone with do.

Yes, of course they are pumpkin. I keep pumpkin pie spice year round to make them however cinnamon alone with do.

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup oats 
  • 3 egg whites 
  • 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut flour 
  • dash of cinnamon 
  • packet of sweetener (my personal choice is Sweet N Low) 

"But Katie, artificial sweeteners are terrible for you." -Read my viewpoint here

Directions: 

  • Add all ingredients into blender.
  • Blend 

They are totally worth the extra steps to making them! 

Macros: 18g P // 17g C // 3g F 

Feel free to add toppings as you please according to your macros. My favorites are mini oreos, a little spray butter, and Walden Farms pancake syrup.

I'd love to know if you make my special concoction! ENJOY! 

 

4 Ingredient Pizza Burrito

Ever have a to-do list that doesn’t get done at all because you are having such technical difficulties. That is my life right now. I am wanting so badly to put some things on my new blog, but it is being very testy with me. I had to step back, go work out, and come back to it so that I didn’t throw my computer across the room. HA!

However, I was able to put together this tasty little treat and it’s so easy so I just had to share so in all it’s glory, I give you …

The Pizza Burrito

I just have to share that I’ve been working on my photography skills, and this is a “food” setting. It basically makes food colors really vibrant, and I’m not sure that’s my jig. Nevertheless, here’s the simple ingredients:

  • 1 low carb wrap (Trader Joes Brand)
  • 2 oz 99% lean ground turkey (if you refer to my meal prep then I always have this on hand already cooked)
  • 1 laughing cow garlic and herb cheese wedge
  • Hunts pizza sauce (2 tablespoons)

How to:

  • Put a piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and lay down wrap
  • Make pizza
  • Bake on 350 for 10 minutes (the crust will get crispy and yummy)
  • Roll into burrito

I mean really, it’s that easy. I always cut the laughing cow cheese into little slices onto the pizza. Yes, I use a tablespoon to put my sauce down. I count macros. So, yes that’s what I do.

Macros: 20 P // 13g C // 5g F

With love and pizza,

Katie

We will forgive but not forget

I hardly feel worthy to even write an article about this, but I wanted to remember the moments that I spent in the midst of the memories, in the heart of the memorial.

To catch you up to speed, I live in Manhattan. I actually live in Battery Park City. I actually live literally in walking distance (like 0.3miles) from the 911 Memorial. Every day almost, I have to walk through the tourists at the memorial and while it was cool the first 100 times, it becomes less cool fighting the crowds everyday.

However, I woke up today and it stopped me in my tracks. I can’t stop thinking about that day.

Maybe you’ve thought it through a thousand times about the memory of where you were, but take it a step further and imagine what it must have been like for those individuals with lives lost and affected.

Today, I just thought on my 8 mile run about the victims the entire run. At 10:28, I heard something. It was a horn in the harbor. The NYPD were all over the harbor in boats, and I tear up just writing about it and certainly did on my run. They blew this horn for a solid minute which marked when the second tower fell. The first tower fell at 9:59 and the second tower at 10:28am. I actually then thought about the terrorists and their families. I feel as if not everyone will agree with me on this, but I also feel as if we should forgive them. I would hope that the families could forgive so that they could have peace within their souls.

After my run, I headed to the memorial. They have it blocked off for the day except for close family members. Close friends of those lost are not even allowed in. I have to admit I was very disappointed, however I deeply respect the decisions of those who know better than I. They have flowers everywhere, and a wall painted close by. There are NYPD literally everywhere forming almost a grid lock around the entire perimeter.

This year is different for me. This year, I will probably never forget. The impact of being around the pride of America, and the somnolence of the city is something that I can’t explain. The weather even is overcast as if it may rain.

Tanner and I spent some time in our quiet times praying for those families lost, the ones that are still dealing with the aftermath, the police officers on the scene that deal with the pain of what that all looked like and also for the terrorists.

May God sweetly bless America on this unforgettable day.

The Passionate Life

Today is different than most, and a topic I would love to share with yall more…my life OUTSIDE of fitness. 

Although I love fitness, I also love my Savior, my husband, my teacup yorkies who just had puppies, New York City, my tiny hometown of Shelby, my family and my friends). I try to be passionate about everything that I lay my hands on, and I tend to constantly stay busy. A good quote from my brother is, “Even though you know nothing about horses, you would probably create some horse restoration camp if you had nothing to do with your time” 

I’m always thinking. I’m always setting goals and making lists. I absolutely love decorating my apartment and I’m really frugal. I love to travel and I’m really getting into photography. I’m SERIOUSLY obsessing over the world of blogging right now and want to really pursue blogging on a more serious level :) 

I’m going to have a separate section on my launch of my new website called The Passionate Life that my husband and I are going to write together and share our lives, our struggles, and our adventures with you! 

Okay, enough about that! Let’s get to the fun of last night! I took an overnight bus from New York City to Charlotte. We thought my brother’s wife was going into labor but that child is stubborn and won’t come out ;) 

I had to leave these cuties behind that have started walking and exploring. Sorry for the blurry puppy pic as they are IMPOSSIBLE to catch without moving!

So, I take a bus right? It was so sketch. Holy cow. There was literally no bus stop. A 10 passenger van pulls up and everyone is smoking on it and they tell me that’s my ride. I’m like WAIT WUT? I started crying (dramatic much). I thought I was going to miss the birth and how would I get home?! When I found someone finally that could speak English, they directed me across the street to the other sketch no bus stop location and a big charter bus arrived. 

I sat beside of a nice lady and we chatted until I knocked out for literally 10 hours. I woke up pretty certain my neck was broken, and my legs so swollen I could barely move (which has never happened to me). When we arrived, I OF COURSE had to stop at Bojangles and my mom had a diet sundrop waiting on me! :) 

exercise on adventures? 

I judge things by what is going on around me. I’m so consistent with my workouts that I know I’ll find a way to easily fit it in on trips. I’m very “hardcore” about never missing however I am HUGE on never inconveniencing anyone. I never talk about my fitness with people if they don’t bring it up first. I’m not going to ask them to go out of their way to make sure I get my workouts in. There’s a difference between being dedicated than just being cray cray. My family time is more important than back and abs day if that makes sense. 

For food, I always have protein bars for on the go. It’s not my favorite way to eat but it gets the job done. I also don’t fear any food. I always look up fast food joints on my phone and find a good macro option. I recently discovered Chicken Fresco Soft Tacos (3.5g F/16gC/10gP) on my trip to New Jersey and enjoyed one of those! :) I just eat the way anyone would eat, making healthy life choices a long the way. When you have taken care of your metabolism, you won’t fall off course because of this.

I get many emails asking what to do on vacation and my answer is always to ENJOY!!! Don’t you dare count macros!! You can’t get that time back. But, don’t get insane either. Just be normal :) 

Okay, that’s enough for today. Hope you enjoyed because I loved writing it. My brain doesn’t hurt as much writing this one hehe :) 

With love and life, 

Katie

Journey to the City

I know all of y’all wanna know how we got to this place, right? How did two country kids from Tennessee and North Carolina end up in the big city?

Sometimes, we ask ourselves the same question ;)

In the fall of my first year of pharmacy school, I was going through some changes and decided that I was going to do my summer internship in NYC. I told my family and they were like “ha, yea, we will believe it when we see it.”

Well, they saw it. I came with 3 other girls and Brandy and I set up connections with our workplace that would set us up for the connection to get back to the city.

Let's be real, we are lookin GOOOOOOD! HA! 

Let's be real, we are lookin GOOOOOOD! HA! 

In January of 2014, Tanner and I had to make the decision on whether we were going to move. We thought that we had decided we weren’t going to but then I had this simple thought of “I’m going to regret this for the rest of my life if we don’t do this” and that was pretty much all she wrote. We decided we would apply in Charlotte and Manhattan and see where the Lord took us.

I called the supervisor in Manhattan to let him know that I was in fact interested in a position, and Tanner started applying for jobs. This is where the Lord stepped in. Immediately, I got an email offering me a phone interview. I did the phone interview and immediately was offered a position as a pharmacist upon graduation. We then had to make some decisions. Tanner started asking anyone he knew if they had connections (pharmacy is a small world and connections are often needed). He ended up getting an interview in February for Memorial Sloan Kettering (which I have to brag is the #1 hospital in the nation for cancer–they have now massed MD Anderson).

Side Note: I was in Belize during the month of February so he had to fly to NYC while I was in Belize, and called me there to let me know that he thought he had the position.

There was a slight problem. They needed him immediately.

We were full speed ahead while also kinda freaking out that we were in fact moving to New York, and QUICK.

I got an email. Her name was Jena. She is now one of my best friends!

Isn't she pretty? :) 

Isn't she pretty? :) 

The email read that she was a follower of mine on my instagram (I swear this was all outlined by God). She wanted to invite me to her church because she saw that we were moving to New York City and knew it was hard at first to get plugged in.

I decided to ask her if we could stay at her place to see a real NYC apartment when we flew home from Belize (we had an overnight layover) and she agreed. How crazy is social media? Don’t judge. The night that we stayed with her (Brandy and I), she told us that one of her roommates was moving out and they were looking for another. The possibility of Brandy living with her came to fruition. She also convinced us that Battery Park is in fact the best place in Manhattan to live.

We planned two trips to Manhattan. One weekend to find an apartment, and one week later to move into our apartment. This was all within 2 weeks of being home from a month in Belize. They wanted Tanner to begin work the beginning of April. WOW. Happened. So. Fast.

Right before we were going to meet our broker

Right before we were going to meet our broker

So, listen to this craziness. We weren’t going to get a broker but decided we didn’t know anything and had to get one. We met up with her and walked around the city for the entire day where she led us to all these apartments that were extremely out of our price range because she wanted to make a sale. She then proceeded to lead us to Jena’s apartment complex and we said “No, no, our friend lives here. We don’t want to be shown this apartment.” When they show you, you pay them. We didn’t think that was fair considering we could see it for ourselves, for free!

We talked to the leasing office to see what we could do and they actually had a DIFFERENT apartment available that we hadn’t been shown. We went and saw it, and then we took it.

If this sounds insane, it’s because it was. In New York, you don’t really have options to wait. You either take it or it gets gone. If you like it, you take it. So, we did. And every month we sell our souls to the apartment renting gods. HA!

The next weekend was move in. The move in happened so fast that I had socks in boxes with pots and pans and shoes in boxes with our DVD’s. It was just SHOVE INTO BOXES. GO! GO!

We slept very few hours and then got up early (5am) to drive the UHaul to the big city. My mom is an absolute doll and offered to drive behind us in her SUV. It was the most amazing and exciting day and the set up that our apartment had for us to move in made the move in so incredibly easy.

Here’s the last kicker: I had to leave on Sunday and spend the next 6 weeks in North Carolina before I graduated from pharmacy school. The first 2 weeks, I spent in an empty apartment in Raleigh where I steamed brocolli in paper plates because I was prepping for a competition, and the next 4 weeks on a friends couch. This ended up being a huge blessing because I ended up making a friendship with a girl I absolutely adore and it was at the same time that I was coaching her to her first bikini competition.

To this day, I can’t believe that this all happened the way that it did, but everything just seemed to go off without a hitch step by step. It all happened so so fast, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There are days where I literally question why we are here at all, and then I remember that I’m literally living out my dreams each and every day.

With love and big cities,

Katie

Muscle Weighs More than Fat Debate

I think we all have heard someone tell us that when we aren’t losing weight that we are just gaining muscle.

While, I would like to be uber encouraging and say that’s the truth, it is somewhat of a myth. Let me explain.

Truth: Muscle is more dense than fat.

Myth: Muscle weighs more than fat.

If you put five pounds of muscle on a scale and you put five pounds of fat on a scale then they are going to both weigh….umm…. five pounds. If you looked at both of them on the scale though, the muscle would take a smaller physical space. If the space that your body occupies (your weight) is made up of more muscle, then you are going to burn through calories easier (hence why you should lift weights). This is why you see overweight people eat less than smaller muscular people simply because they have more muscle.

Truth: You can be the same body fat percentage with more muscle and you are going to be a bigger person (duh).

Myth: When you start the weight loss process and you aren’t seeing the scale move, it’s probably muscle growth.

Muscle development takes time. If you aren’t seeing results in the scale in the first few weeks of weight loss, then that is not muscle growth. It just simply does not happen that fast. You can lose a pound of fat MUCH quicker than you can gain a pound of muscle. Some sources say that you can only gain one pound of muscle effectively per MONTH while we know that we lose a pound or more of fat per week. This gets into the big debacle of a bulk but even my husband cracks me up telling he gained 7lbs one week as if he is excited. BOY, USE YOUR BRAIN. You did not gain 7lbs of muscle! haha! You ate too many waffles ;)

Back to the original point, fat loss. What you are experiencing when the scale does not move is a lack of fat loss not a gain of muscle weight. Most likely if you aren’t trying to lose weight then you have reduced your caloric intake making it even harder to gain muscle.

I’m not wanting to switch the focus to the scale. This is quite the opposite but I want you to know that if you are looking for fat loss and aren’t getting this then you have not created a low enough caloric deficit for your body. HOWEVER, you don’t want to go too low. This will cause something called “adaptive thermogenesis” but it’s going to take a lot to take your body to this point in which your body has been starved for so long that it accepts this as the amount that it takes to run your body. You want to create the optimal environment: lose weight on the highest amount of calories that your body can handle.

How can you do this?

1. LIFT HEAVIER WEIGHTS!

2. Create a bigger caloric deficit.

3. Spend valuable time with a coach building your metabolism. Don’t expect to go into metabolism building to lose weight. Go into it expecting to change your entire future. You might even gain sometimes, but the most important thing to remember is that it will be WORTH THE TIME SPENT. This way in the future you won’t have to create such a steep caloric deficit to get that fat loss because of the adaptive thermogenesis that you created for your body by starving it too much.

With love and muscle density,

Katie

5 Ingredient French Toast

So, I really love to cook. However, while in NYC, our kitchen is very small. I am very limited so I have been a little bummed about the number of recipes that I’m able to create. Then, I thought about it, and who really has time for 10 ingredient recipes? I’d say just about no one.

I really want to aim to give valuable meaningful information that you can use. So, I am going to really try to show you recipes that are minimal ingredients and minimal time.

All you need is some bread ( I always pick low carb options), pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, one egg, and walden farms pancake syrup.

The bread I used this time is Pepperidge Farm Light Style. Other favorites of mine are Saralee 45 cal and delicious and the Weight Watchers brand. I typically aim for one that is less than 10g of carb because then I can have double what I normally could with regular bread. Many people aim for Whole Wheat bread or Whole Grain and while that is fantastic, the carb counts can be high on those so just be aware.

All I did was break one egg WHITE into the bowl (if you use the yolk that’s fine but just account for the fat in that). Tap some pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon into the bowl.

Coat both sides and put it on the skillet! And…DONE! It literally took me less than 10 minutes.

Then, of course, add Walden Farms Pancake Syrup! DUH ;)

VOILA!

Macros: 18g C // 7g P // 1g F

With love and french toast,

Katie

The Human Spirit

So, the human spirit amazes. The way that the brain was wired, we can literally push ourselves to do ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING we set our minds to. It’s all about the mindset and the rest falls into place.

I’d like to introduce you to my Mawmaw Daves. Until recently, I think we all thought that things were not looking good. She went to the hospital with a COPD exacerbation that was pretty severe. One doctor told her that she would have two years to live if she didn’t stop smoking.

This was her last February. This was her demeanor all the time. To be honest, I don’t think she was very happy. However, she is the rock of our family. She is the reason that we are what we are. She instilled family is huge in all of us and I don’t think any of us could thank her enough for that. She was on oxygen at this point. She may kill me for sharing this but I want you to know the full story. Smoking was her best friend. She has smoked since she was 18 (probably before ha). She has smoked for 60 years. Quitting was something that was not an option. We had all let it go because she just wasn’t going to. Boy, did she prove us all wrong.

When she left the hospital, for the first time, she told us that she would quit.

That statement alone was huge.

What was to come is the amazing part. She is going on 6 weeks with no cigarettes. She has come down on the amount of oxygen that she uses. She can walk now without always being in a wheelchair. She smiles. She smiles so much. Oh, I could cry, it makes me so happy. She is such a joy to be around. She laughs like from her soul. A disease that is not reversible (COPD), I truly believe that she has and will continue to do. And now, I share this photo from days ago. She has gained about 8 pounds at this point (and she NEEDED IT BAD). She replaced her cigarettes with cheez-its! So cute!

Please go back up and look at the picture before. I am so happy. I am so proud.

My point of today’s post. You CAN do anything you set your mind to. She is now on a mission to prove that any of us can quit our bad habits if we just set our minds to it. GO MAWMAW GO!

Never be afraid to push yourself further. Never underestimate yourself. The human spirit will far surpass anything you ever thought or imagined.

With love and this sweet lady,

Katie

The solid proof of those cheez-its

The solid proof of those cheez-its

 

 

Pumpkin Cookies by Betty

So, today is a different kind of recipe. It’s not one I made up. It’s one I whipped up though. It took me 10 minutes, and I had great cookies that I could take to our bible study group and guess what? I ate them.

I posted this to my facebook but it’s so true. I feel as if the average “healthy” chick would have just passed by the cookies and just decided she wouldn’t have one. Or maybe possibly just ate one cookie, and felt a little guilty but thought “I deserve this” or maybe even had 10 cookies and regretted it the rest of the night.

I have had all of those mentalities at one point or another and I feel as if it’s a fair assumption that you have to. So let’s squash that.

How do you fit those fun foods into your macros and keep progressing forward? There are many questions on this flexible dieting forum about “Is it okay to have this and that at night if I have a lot of macros left? Are you sure it’s okay to eat these foods?”

The answer is quite simply, YES! It’s sad that society has brainwashed us to thinking there are good and bad foods and created distorted realities of what food is all about.

So, let’s get back to pumpkin shall we?

If you are wondering if that is a real stick of butter, the answer is yes.

Ingredients included: 1 stick or 1/2 cup of butter, 1 whole egg, and 2 tablespoons of water

So, that’s exactly what I did.

Rookie mistake using a whisk for cookies. However, we live in an NYC apartment with a hardly existent kitchen therefore pulling out the Kitchen Aid was not on my top priority.

Next, was the part that you don’t already know how to do (or maybe you do).

I looked at the label to see how big I was going to make the cookies.

The label reads that 3 tablespoons equals 2 cookies. I find that weird that anyone would make a tablespoon and 1/2 cookie. Haha! So, I made 1 tablespoon cookies.

If you reference above to the label, it actually has a star by the fat. If you read the fine print it says that when you cook them, they are going to have 6g of fat for 3 tablespoons. That’s easy math. If we are doing 1 tablespoon cookies, that’s 2g each but beware that when you chart them in myfitnesspal, they are going to show up as the dry mix amount so account for this.

I expected them to be tiny! NOPE! Normal size cookies!

Secret for making cookies in general to keep them good for days. The timer says 10 minutes. Take them out in 5 minutes. Take them out when they are NOT done. This will create the perfect cookie after 20 minutes of cooling down.

So, I feel this is also a good time to explain how to fit fun things like this into your macros or rather an example of what a day in the life of IIFYM (if it fits your macros) looks like. I know this will make for a blog with lots of pictures and explanations but it’s worth it if you’ve been confused. If not enjoy your cookie with 7g carb, 2g fat, and 0.3g protein!!! OR TWO!

I have done an example of 1500 calorie day with 140g protein, 140g carb and 45g of fat which is a reasonable average amount for beginners looking for fat loss. Disclaimer: This is so variable. I am not saying these are your macros. I am simply saying that this is an example.

o, you will see that pumpkin spice cookie mix is on the last log under Snacks. I put in 2 cookies worth (2 tablespoons). I know however that I have to account for an extra 3g of fat for when these are cooked because as you will see, myfitnesspal charts them as dry. Maybe you say “WHATEVS!” on the 3g and that’s cool too. It would only really matter if you were charting like 6 cookies.

So, the items listed that would make up your day are:

Coffee with 2 mini Reece cups

Protein pancakes (recipe under breakfast)

Egg white and FF cheese wrap (low carb wrap from Trader Joes)

Livermush and cheese omelet with one patty hashbrown(this one was for my hometown folk)

  • You would weigh out your livermush to 1 1/3 oz
  • I buy hashbrowns from Trader Joes and just bake and broil them (just as good as McDonalds)

Grilled chicken salad with 4 oz of chicken

1 rice cake with 1 tablespoon whipped pumpkin PB

One plain greek yogurt 0% fat

  • 2 packets of truvia
  • 2 tablespoons of peanuts (or nuts of choice)

Another round of protein pancakes (because let’s be honest #pancakesallday)

  • Added a crumbled oreo on top

Homemade pizza with 1/2 flatout bread, 2 tablespoons sauce, 1 slice of laughing cow cheese cut into slices and 3 oz of ground turkey

2 pumpkin spice cookies explained above

1 cake ice cream cone filled with 1/3 cup Vanilla Maple Artic Zero with 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter for topping

And then never say that you’re on a diet again, please and thank you! :)

NOW CAN YOU START A FITNESS REVOLUTION WITH ME?? STOP THE MADNESS!!! EAT SOME FOOD!!! Chart it. Enjoy it. Live your life.

With love and gimme all the yummy food,

Katie

Branched Chain Amino Acids

I get this question a lot: 

What supplements do you take?

To be honest, none. However, my husband has recently opened my eyes to the possible benefits of BCAA’s and the actual legitimate research on intaking these. 

I will put the disclaimer in here that I am not recommending that you take these. I also truly believe that most every supplement on the market is just out to get your money. They succeed in this quite frequently with people just looking for a quick fix, however I will shed some light on the information that I have found on BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids)and why you might would benefit from them.

So what are they?  Branched chain technically means that it is a carbon attached to two other carbons but we aren’t going to go into the organic chem cuz #letsbereal, no one cares.  There are three BCAA’s and they are leucine,valine, and isoleucine. These are also three of the nine essential amino acids which means that we do not make these on our own and they must be supplemented. BCAA’s were originally used in burn victims and have been studied in many other situations most frequently possibly in autism which I find very interesting. We will see how the studies pan out.  One recent study actually shows that there may be a causation of bodybuilders taking BCAA’s and infamous….ALS. WHATTTT? I actually just read this study upon making this blog so now I’m all scared. Haha! There is really no information out about this however just by the mechanism of action of hyper excitement of the cells which leads to cell death from increased calcium, it brings about some fear for sure.  Side Note: This is another reason that I don’t take supplements. There is literally zero long term safety data (that I know of) for these fat burners, diuretics, bcaa’s, pre workouts, etc. What if they all caused some crazy heart malformation that we didn’t know about? Okay, I’m being dramatic but REALLY!? If you can get success without them, then why take them is my reasoning? Back to BCAA’s! They are most well known to help with muscle recovery. There is evidence that they can help with exercise induced muscle damage and also with muscle protein synthesis if taken before and after workouts. Muscle damage is what causes the delayed onset muscle soreness and if you were able to recover quicker from this then you may be able to workout harder, sooner and therefore build muscle more quickly. They also help with the production of cytokines which is a cell that is important in immune system regulation.  So, why would I be interested in taking them? Some new and older studies have shown that BCAA’s can actually reduce cortisol levels in endurance training. We all are probably pretty familiar with cortisol but this is the stress hormone that is created during intensive exercise and most notably endurance training. In the literature, the doses of BCAA’s are far greater than anything that you are going to find on the shelves at your local GNC but I found a study that evaluated the use of these even at commercially available amounts, and the results are the same that it decreases the amount of cortisol. Essentially, this can help you retain muscle while also doing endurance training. This is at least what I’m going to hope for.  If you are taking BCAA’s then look for a brand that has a higher amount. Cellucor actually has 10g total so that is a great brand and I’m actually planning on purchasing them with this groupon:  http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-cellucor-fitness-supplements-4 You. are. welcome! I’m not even affiliated with them and I never recommend supplements so today….is a big day! hahaha! There is also a picture above of what we have now (USP labs) and don’t you love that advertisement, 15g 50% more!!! These things crack me up! However, my husband does look for legit products and I believe this is one. So when should you take them? Ideally, to get the entire full benefit, you should take them before, during and after workout. However, I know the reality of this or at least for me. I’m all about being realistic and I can hardly remember to take Ibuprofen when I have a migrane much less remember BCAA’s every single workout. HA! So any of the above is what I would recommend and you are still going to get the benefits. I plan on taking them post workout but you could take them pre workout and be fine as well!  I hope this helps you make an education decision on whether you want to try them or not. Currently, my three teacup yorkies are playing and it’s darn near the cutest thing I’ve ever seen so I’m gonna go and enjoy that ;)  With love and supplementation,  Katie 

So what are they? 

Branched chain technically means that it is a carbon attached to two other carbons but we aren’t going to go into the organic chem cuz #letsbereal, no one cares. 

There are three BCAA’s and they are leucine,valine, and isoleucine. These are also three of the nine essential amino acids which means that we do not make these on our own and they must be supplemented. BCAA’s were originally used in burn victims and have been studied in many other situations most frequently possibly in autism which I find very interesting. We will see how the studies pan out. 

One recent study actually shows that there may be a causation of bodybuilders taking BCAA’s and infamous….ALS. WHATTTT? I actually just read this study upon making this blog so now I’m all scared. Haha! There is really no information out about this however just by the mechanism of action of hyper excitement of the cells which leads to cell death from increased calcium, it brings about some fear for sure. 

Side Note: This is another reason that I don’t take supplements. There is literally zero long term safety data (that I know of) for these fat burners, diuretics, bcaa’s, pre workouts, etc. What if they all caused some crazy heart malformation that we didn’t know about? Okay, I’m being dramatic but REALLY!? If you can get success without them, then why take them is my reasoning?

Back to BCAA’s! They are most well known to help with muscle recovery. There is evidence that they can help with exercise induced muscle damage and also with muscle protein synthesis if taken before and after workouts. Muscle damage is what causes the delayed onset muscle soreness and if you were able to recover quicker from this then you may be able to workout harder, sooner and therefore build muscle more quickly. They also help with the production of cytokines which is a cell that is important in immune system regulation. 

So, why would I be interested in taking them?

Some new and older studies have shown that BCAA’s can actually reduce cortisol levels in endurance training. We all are probably pretty familiar with cortisol but this is the stress hormone that is created during intensive exercise and most notably endurance training. In the literature, the doses of BCAA’s are far greater than anything that you are going to find on the shelves at your local GNC but I found a study that evaluated the use of these even at commercially available amounts, and the results are the same that it decreases the amount of cortisol.

Essentially, this can help you retain muscle while also doing endurance training. This is at least what I’m going to hope for. 

If you are taking BCAA’s then look for a brand that has a higher amount. Cellucor actually has 10g total so that is a great brand and I’m actually planning on purchasing them with this groupon: 

http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-cellucor-fitness-supplements-4

You. are. welcome! I’m not even affiliated with them and I never recommend supplements so today….is a big day! hahaha! There is also a picture above of what we have now (USP labs) and don’t you love that advertisement, 15g 50% more!!! These things crack me up! However, my husband does look for legit products and I believe this is one.

So when should you take them?

Ideally, to get the entire full benefit, you should take them before, during and after workout. However, I know the reality of this or at least for me. I’m all about being realistic and I can hardly remember to take Ibuprofen when I have a migrane much less remember BCAA’s every single workout. HA! So any of the above is what I would recommend and you are still going to get the benefits. I plan on taking them post workout but you could take them pre workout and be fine as well! 

I hope this helps you make an education decision on whether you want to try them or not. Currently, my three teacup yorkies are playing and it’s darn near the cutest thing I’ve ever seen so I’m gonna go and enjoy that ;) 

With love and supplementation, 

Katie 

Here are some studies on pubmed if you are interested but I basically summed them in this article:  J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Nov 6;10(1):51. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-51.

Here are some studies on pubmed if you are interested but I basically summed them in this article:

 J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Nov 6;10(1):51. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-51.

Simple Meal Prep

Hey guys! I get this question a lot, and honestly I don’t prep food to the extent that most people do. I think that it’s important for me to listen to my body and what I want day to day but I do have some staples that I make each and every week! 

I always make 1 bag of chicken (Trader Joes Breasts), 1 lb of 99% lean ground turkey, and a bag of red potatoes. I know that many believe in buying SUMO ORGANIC NON HORMONAL CHICKEN BREASTS OF THE AMAZON FORESTS, but I don’t have the money for that so please forgive my non-organic chicken. I also get my protein sources from many other things besides meat now that my carbs are higher because I do believe in a plant based diet to a point. 

First, I turn the oven to 350 degrees and let it pre-heat. I set out my frozen chicken at the beginning of the day in hot water. 

Then, I put all chicken breasts in a 9×13 dish and season with mine and Tanner’s favorite. He changes weekly but it’s normally something spicey and my go to is always Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning. The picture below even kinda grosses me out with the raw chicken (ha!) however you get the point.

I then put aluminum foil over the top (this is key…makes it so juicy and yummy)  

I then put aluminum foil over the top (this is key…makes it so juicy and yummy)

 

I then put it in the oven for 45 minutes. ( This is an estimate. I’m one of those that never sets a timer for anything.) I make sure it looks nice and done, cut off that nasty fat around the edges (really, chicken is so gross looking haha). 

I then put it in the oven for 45 minutes. ( This is an estimate. I’m one of those that never sets a timer for anything.) I make sure it looks nice and done, cut off that nasty fat around the edges (really, chicken is so gross looking haha). 

and then I take the aluminum foil off and use it for this…. 

and then I take the aluminum foil off and use it for this…. 

I put the aluminum down on the cookie sheet, spread the potatoes and then cook them for 20 minutes. 

I put the aluminum down on the cookie sheet, spread the potatoes and then cook them for 20 minutes. 

I then add seasoning salt (I don’t worry about salt because I sweat A LOT and I also have really low blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure then you may want to use a different salt or just no salt at all because they are good without).

I then add seasoning salt (I don’t worry about salt because I sweat A LOT and I also have really low blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure then you may want to use a different salt or just no salt at all because they are good without).

While this is in the oven, I actually cook my ground turkey (make sure to get the 99% lean…it’s more expensive but it’s SO different in the amount of fat and worth it).

While this is in the oven, I actually cook my ground turkey (make sure to get the 99% lean…it’s more expensive but it’s SO different in the amount of fat and worth it).

I simply put it in the skillet, and just keep flipping it until it goes from pink to white! I don’t add in any seasoning to this.

I simply put it in the skillet, and just keep flipping it until it goes from pink to white! I don’t add in any seasoning to this.

I then put all of this into large tupperwares. I don’t think it’s necessary to put them into individual ones for different meals because I personally never know what I’m going to crave and I like to listen to any and all cravings hehe ;) I have these things prepped so that I can easily add grilled chicken to salads or ground turkey on top of a homemade pizza! It’s already made up, and all I have to do is heat in the microwave. It makes the days so much simpler. I hope this shows you an easier route to meal prepping! I cook egg whites when I need them, and other protein I get from bars or plain 0% fat greek yogurt.

I then put all of this into large tupperwares. I don’t think it’s necessary to put them into individual ones for different meals because I personally never know what I’m going to crave and I like to listen to any and all cravings hehe ;) I have these things prepped so that I can easily add grilled chicken to salads or ground turkey on top of a homemade pizza! It’s already made up, and all I have to do is heat in the microwave. It makes the days so much simpler.

I hope this shows you an easier route to meal prepping! I cook egg whites when I need them, and other protein I get from bars or plain 0% fat greek yogurt.

With love and meal prep,  Katie

With love and meal prep, 

Katie

The Science Behind a Binge

Unfortunately, I feel that binge eating is becoming more and more common. It's a very real issue that seems to be inevitable in all "fitness" related topics (again unfortunately). It seems to be super common post competition because of the restrictions that is placed on competitors and without the competition as motivation, binge eating sets in and it literally feels like a black hole of depression. Before I delve into the purpose of writing this, I wanted to say that if binge eating is an issue for you then just know that I know the hardship and how deeply it hurts. It essentially consumes your life, your thoughts, and can be very debilitating. I do want to define a binge for the purposes of this blog post. I think that lately it's been overused. Overeating at a thanksgiving meal is not a binge. Having way too much cheesecake is not a binge. A binge is the overwhelming feeling that you literally can not stop. You eat and eat and eat to the point of exhaustion and you can't stop. You normally will consume so much food to the point of a lot of pain, nausea, and go to bed with shame. You are then consumed with guilt ....... and then you go through instagram and see what girls have it better than you and who you think have it all together. I believe this is a real problem. I could literally write BOOKS on the emotional ties to this however that is not the purpose of this post. This is not purely a scientific issue (as we well know, it's mental as well) however I feel that knowledge is power and knowing can help you make steps.

cheesecake

(This is proof that in fact I do eat cheesecake!)

The hypothalamus controls the emotional connection with overindulgence ESPECIALLY after a state of self restriction. We are taught from a very young age that when we receive something in excess that we love, this is a good thing. It alters the neurotransmitters in our brain to feel happy thoughts.

It all relates to insulin levels. When you restrict your food intake (most competitors or chronic dieters), your insulin levels are very low. When your insulin levels get super low, the hypothalamus (which controls mood and cravings) is more sensitive to the foods that we eat that will raise that insulin level. This goes back to the glycemic index of foods.

We are taught that we should "eat brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal" because these foods have a low glycemic index. A low glycemic index of foods tend to keep insulin levels stabalized and can help with fat loss. This is why they are the "go to foods." However, there are very few people that can just live on sweet potato alone (I mean it's good but so are hashbrowns). When you eat a food that has a high glycemic index ( anything processed essentially --including rice cakes ), this can cause a spike in your insulin levels. The effects that occur at this point are comparable to  a heroin addict. That reaction of not being able to stop eating. You walk away but you literally just want to cry because it's so powerful. If you have ever "beat a binge" then let me tell you friend, you are AWESOME! You beat heroin addiction ;) If you have struggled or no anyone that has struggled, they may speak of the "triggers" that they can't have in the house. Think about those...most likely they are foods of high glycemic index. This causes the spike and the cascade of emotions.

glycemic index

(Just a little look at which are high and which are low glycemic index foods)

So, now I'll explain how I believe that we can stop this.

If you notice, many girls that switch to IIFYM (macro counting and allowing many different kinds of foods) seem to "beat" this binge eating disorder and many talk very openly about it. I do believe that the mindset of being able to eat many different foods is just liberating in itself but it all goes back to the neurotransmitters in our brain and the stability of the insulin release. Our bodies essentially want homeostasis and stability of that insulin. When your body has these high glycemic foods daily, it is able to recognize that and not go into "self deprivation" mode where the receptors are more sensitive in the hypothalamus. Your insulin response stabalizes. Your insulin release may not be as low as when you were eating brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potato only but the minimal effects of insulin on fat loss are not worth the risk of a binge.

Furthermore, binge eating DESTROYS your metabolism. I don't even like saying this because it discourages people that they are doomed for life. NO!! However, you can mess up years of building your metabolism with just a week of post show binge eating.  When you eat more and more food, your body will continue to produce insulin by the pancreas. Insulin holds onto everything therefore when you have an overproduction then your body starts hanging onto fat and sugar and stores it. Eventually, with enough binge eating, your pancreas will burn out and will not be able to secrete insulin which leads to diabetes.

Wow, I know this a lot to take in and if you have any questions feel free to comment below. However, with all of this said, the best thing you can do for yourself if this is an issue that you are faced with is:

1. Seek a support system. This may not be through a therapist but at least a family member or a boyfriend/girlfriend.

2. Stop restricting even if the binge occurs. It only continues the cycle.

3. I would recommend having foods with a higher glycemic index reguarly and not just on a "cheat meal" so that your insulin levels get used to this and don't have that spike!

I really hope this helps!

With love and peaceful eating,

Katie

 

 

Macro Basics for Booze

So, I get the question about alcohol a lot so I'm going to spell out how to account for this in macros. I know, I know, you are thinking how ridiculous. Just give me a second.

This is for the person that wants a drink on Monday and Wednesday and Saturday.

Or the person that REALLY wants to stay on track but REALLY wants to have a drink too.

This is not about restriction. This is about making knowledgeable choices.

I will say the easiest way is of course, don't drink. However, everyone loves a nice cold....WHITE RUSSIAN? That's my favorite!

Here's a free tip on the house: Do 3 parts whipped cream vodka, kahlua, and baileys (not cream)! Thank me later ;)

Okay, back to macros!

Alcohol is a macronutrient. It is not a macronutrient that is listed on the nutritional label because it's not considered "essential to life." However, it has 7kcal/g. If you aren't familiar with macros:

Fat has 9kcal/g

Protein has 4kcal/g

Carbohydrates has 4kcal/g

If you take out myfitnesspal currently, you will see that if you look up "Bud Light" or "Vodka", you will find what you see below.

image photo (2)

If you will note, Bud Light has 6.6g of carbohydrates, 0fat, 0 protein and Vodka has 0g carb/0fat/0protein.

But wait, it has calories listed. Calories are made up of macronutrients. So how is their 0 nutrition and vodka but yet it has calories. If beer has ~7g of carb, then shouldn't it only have 28 calories??? The macronutrient missing here is pure ethanol.

So, I'm going to give you a run down of the numbers (stick with me) then step by step how to calculate for your special drink.

 

1gram of alcohol = 0.0352 fluid ounces

WINE   (6fl oz)                                     

1g/0.0352oz=Xg/6oz

X=170g x 7kcal/g=1190kcal

However, wine is 12% pure ethanol

0.12 x 1190kcal=143calories per 6 oz;  

VODKA ( 1 shot = 30ml = 1 fl oz)                                                                                                                                     

1g/0.0352=xg/1oz

X=24g x 7kcal/g=168kcal

80 proof (40% pure ethanol)

0.4 x 168 = 67.2 calories per shot

BEER (12 fl oz)

12 oz = 340g

340g x 7kcal/g = 2380 calories

Avg 4.5% ethanol in beer

0.045 x 2380 calories = 107 calories per 12 oz

 

I KNOW I JUST LOST YOU! Just read below.

Step 1: Chart whatever drink in myfitnesspal by the ounces. Fit those carbs into your daily macros.

Step 2: Allow for the extra calories that are not accounted for because ethanol is not a listed macro.

Step 3: ENJOY!

 

Some drinks of choice that I get that don't have those EXTRA carbs and calories on top of the ethanol are:

Diet coke and vodka

Gin and diet tonic

Fresh lime juice and tequila

Champagne

Light beers

And when I'm at home, I make my own "whipped cream vodka and baileys" and measure it out! :)

photo (3)

With love and White Russians,

Katie

 

 

Thoughts on a NYC long run

I'm pretty sure all runners can relate to this train of thought that I go through every week:

running

Oh happy day, I'm a runner. 

I'm so happy I run. 

Running is so fun. 

Let's settle in to this as this is going to be a long one. 

Just find that pace.

Lalala.

Maybe one day I'll do an ultra.

Look how cute that dog is. 

Oh my gosh, this song is my JAM! 

TSWIFT ALL DAY.

I don't know why everyone hates her. She's so great.

I'm close to Tribeca. I wonder if I could see her there today.

I'm surprised I haven't hit a mile yet.

I really do think I could an ultra one day though.

"One mile-pace 6 min 38 seconds per mile; split 6 min 38 seconds"

HOLY CRAP. I HAVE RUINED MY ENTIRE RUN.

SLOW DOWN.

My GPS must be messed up.

The wind is blowing kinda hard so maybe it thought I was going faster than I was.

Or maybe I'm just that good.

Actually no, because now I'm being passed by lighting speed mcgee to my right.

I suck. I'm the worst runner of all runners.

I hate being passed.

Maybe I could catch them.

Don't be obvious though as that would be awkward.

Is that my friend? Oh that is so my friend running.

Should I wave?

I should wave.

NOPE. NOPE. WASN'T HER. AWKWARDDDD.

Never waving again.

Am I going slow enough now? Let me check my watch. 8 min 30 pace.

Ahhh gotta speed up.

Settle in. Find your pace.

I seriously think me and Tswift could be friends if she met me.

Ever wonder which famous people are using the bathroom at this very second?

Is that weird? That is so weird. Why did you even have that thought?

I mean but they are real people.

I'm gonna eat so much food after this.

What could I make with my macros? Today is a 12 miler so that means I get like 75g extra!

TWO SKINNY COWS!!!!

No. I don't wanna spend all my money at one store.

I'll come up with something. It's gonna be epic.

Pumpkin. It should be pumpkin. I love pumpkin.

Seriously, I am so mainstream and cliche. Everyone loves pumpkin.

 I wonder if Tanner will be sleeping when I get home. 

Probably. 

I should make his coffee. 

Or maybe he should make ME coffee as I am running 12 miles. 

Okay taxi approaching.

Just run behind it as it passes. 

WHY DO THEY ALWAYS SLOW DOWN?

Clearly, I'm not going to jump out in front of your mr taxi driver. 

I had specifically calculated the time at which your cab would pass at which point I could go behind you. 

Great, he just threw off my time.

Should I sprint to make up?

No. That was a dumb thought.

These streets are so beautiful with no one on them. 

Ah, crap, a cramp. 

Breathe deep. Supply oxygen to the area. 

In through the nose. 

Out through the mouth. 

Why do I choose to be in pain?

Because the ENDORPHINS THATS WHY.

I don't have those right now though.

One foot in front of the other. 

Is that Heidi Powell? Oh my gosh!!! 

I'm about to meet Heidi Powell. 

Holy. Holy. Holy.

THAT GIRL LOOKED SO MUCH LIKE HEIDI!!! 

So bummed I almost met her but didn't. 

I cannot believe I have ran 6 miles. 

Halfway there. Push push. 

I cannot fathom those people that do 100 mile runs. 

How in the early world? 

Someday, I'll run ultras. 

OHHH SNAPPPP!!! 

I love this song. But I shouldn't. 

"TALK DIRTY TO ME. DA DA DA DA TALK DIRTY TO ME"

I should SO go to clubs.

Who am I kidding? Clubs are not my thing. 

I wonder what the service at church tonight will be on. 

I should really read my Bible more and pray more. 

I should use this time to pray. 

Dear Lord, You have blessed me so much.... 

IS THAT A RAT?

EWWWWW. OH MY GOSH ITS A RAT!

That thing was massive. 

8 miles. WHO'S YOUR DADDY? 3/4 THERE.

I really have got to answer all of those emails today. 

I need to do laundry too. I should probably clean too. 

I'll make a to do list when I get home. 

I should make a bucket list of races I want to do too. 

I wanna do Boston, Berlin, Chicago, Vegas...okay too many. 

Maybe I got like 50 marathons before I'm 50. 

Is that do-able. That means 2 per year. 

I could SO do that. 

I'm doing it. 

Wait, I want to have babies too. 

Maybe I should re-evaluate. 

OH HEYYYY!!!! 

That really was my friend. 

I should have smiled bigger.

I just somewhat feel as if my legs may fall off and my lungs may collapse.

Running this far sucks. 

I didn't mean that. I love you running.

Finish strong. Finish strong. 

Make this last mile your boss. 

My boss? Okay, that made no sense. 

I CAN'T BREATHEEEEE. I HATE RUNNING.

I LOVE RUNNING.

This last mile lasts so long. 

How am I still not there??

Still 0.4 to go? HOW??

This is dumb. I can do this. 

Go. go. go. 

DONE!!!!!!!!!!! 

I just ran 12 miles. I. am. awesome. 

I can't wait wait to run 14. 

 

 

How I guestimate my macros and eating out

First and foremost, if you are using myfitnesspal (which is what I recommend to all of my clients) then you are dealing with a database with MILLIONS of restaurants. If you are going to a restaurant that is even a chain in one city, it'll probably still be in there so first type in the restaurant name in the search bar and see if it comes up. 

If the restaurant is in myfitnesspal 

Step 1: Plan ahead 

Most of the time, friends and family will claim the restaurant that they are going to far in advance and that makes things really easy. You just get on google, and all restaurants are required to give nutritional values for all of their meals. Look through the different meals. Normally, there is a healthy choice area of restaurants but if not, no fear. No one should have macros so low that they couldn't work around this and just adjust for the rest of the days carbs or fats. 

If you have been wanting a steak, get a steak. You can just have less olive oil/peanut butter later. 

Step 2: Allow room in your day. 

Most likely, you aren't going to be going out to eat a lot if you are doing flexible dieting. It's just easier and you get more food if you eat at home so if you are going to be going out to eat, then you should put that meal into myfitnesspal at the beginning of the day and then you can work your other meals around those numbers. 

Step 3: Get a salad. 

It's not that big of a deal to get a salad. If you are following flexible dieting then you know you can fit some amazing creations for yourself when you get to the house and sometimes it's just easy to not get crazy and just get a grilled chicken salad. I do this quite often and then I go home and make a huge pile of pancakes ;) 

If the restaurant is not in myfitnesspal (I get asked a lot if I would still go...uhh DUH! This is flexible dieting therefore you are flexible with where you can go so YES! Go!) 

Step 1: Obviously, don't go buck wild. Don't think that your day is ruined just because you are going somewhere with no macro information. There are always healthier choices. 

Step 2: Pick something that you think would be the best fit for your macros. If the restaurant does not have information, I always go with the safer options.

Step 3: Get a salad. Haha! Again, I do this quite often as it's just easier to know that you are getting something good. You don't leave miserable and mad that you HAD to eat the bad food. Only you care what you eat, no one else really cares, so get what makes you happy mentally and physically. 

So how to calculate that?

Step 1: Put your thinking cap on. Think about the size of what you are actually eating. 

Step 2: Chart generics into myfitnesspal. 

I normally do this while I'm sitting at the table if I'm with my husband. If I get a salad, then yes, I count vegetables. I'm not going to just be like "oh I just had chicken" so if I had a garden salad then I would enter "2 cups lettuce, 1/2 cup cucumbers, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup purple onions, 2 tablespoons cheese" 

You can of course get salads with or without cheese. I never get dressing. Not worth your time or macros. 

If you have something different than a salad, then this is what I do. For example: I went to a diner and I got an egg white omelet with veggies, turkey bacon and home fries. This is annoying but this is what I did:

I looked and thought "thats probably only one piece of turkey bacon." I also thought "If I cooked an omelet, how many eggs would that be" (Tanner and I actually play this game a lot). "These home fries probably were cooked in oil so I need to account for that" 

So this is what I entered: 

3 egg whites 

1/4 cup mushrooms

1/4 cup green peppers 

2 tablespoons sweet onion

1 piece turkey bacon 

1/2 cup Homefries-generic will come up and I look at a couple of options. I pick the one that has the most carb and most fat

The options for homefries didn't have any fat in them. I knew that was wrong just using my brain knowing they cooked it in oil so I added 1 tablespoon olive oil. 

Many times, Tanner and I have gone to get cheesecake. Again, some places have information listed. If not, I go in ounces. We brought a piece home one time and I weighed what an ounce looked like for kicks and giggles. Yea, cheesecake is DENSE and heavy. But it works now because now I know what an ounce looks like. So, I can have cheesecake and guess how many ounces I had and chart for it. 

This is not obsessive. This is having cheesecake while reaching my goals and who the heck doesn't want that. So many people will "judge" those counting macros because they think counting is consuming and that you couldn't possibly do it if you weren't obsessive. NO. NO. NO. They will just either 1) not eat the cheesecake or 2) Eat the entire piece of cheesecake and talk about the starvation no carb no fat diet they are doing next week where they don't eat anything essentially. That was exaggerated but you get the point. HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO!!

I hope this helps you to allow yourself to eat out more and always to enjoy life a little more free!! 

With love and eating out,

Katie

Macro Madness Part 3

I think at first macro counting can seem extremely overwhelming so I just wanted to really simplify a few things about questions that I get a lot. 

I'm actually really excited to pour all this info on y'all! I think part of the reason that macros can be so confusing is that it's somewhat of a "fitfam" thing. I just googled "If it fits your macros" and "flexible dieting" just to see what comes up. Honestly, the information is not very good...at all. I can completely understand how you get overwhelmed and confused with how much crap information is out there.

I have gone through some of the questions on a big facebook group called "Female Flexible Dieting" and compiled that in this blog post. 

photo (3)

1. How do I know what my macros should be? 

Here's the honest to God truth. No matter what calculator you use or how much or how little you pay someone to calculate them, there is no scientific 100% guarantee that this going to be the exact magic numbers for you. I am a big proponent of getting someone to work with you. Try to find someone that you know knows their stuff and give them some of your time and money. It will be worth it. Here's why: 

They are going to know how to slowly tweek things as the numbers you originally receive honestly may not work. 

Those calculators can give you numbers based on population norms, but it does not take into consideration your metabolism or your goals. Some women have completely destroyed their metabolisms with dieting while other women can eat 2500 calories and still lose weight. 

photo (4)

For kicks and giggles, I calculated my macros. Yep, those aren't my macros. Not even close. My protein is way higher, and my carbs are slightly lower and my fat is higher than that. The point is, play around with it until you find what works best for you. Some respond better to a higher fat, some higher carb. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!

2. How long before I know if these macros are right for me? 

I think that you should give it 2 weeks on a set of macros. When you change, don't do anything drastic. Just change slightly maybe by even 5-10g of carb decreased. Try a carb cycle. You would have a moderate carb day most days, a low carb day maybe on your rest day, and a high carb day on your leg day.

3. Are these macros right? 

I think frustrations come from this question because it's been answered time and again. No one is going to know if they are right for you. Even the most elite coaches can not just look at a set of macros and say "yep those are yours" 

4. If I have this amount of protein or carb or fat left, what should I eat? 

Protein is one that people find hard to hit. I prep chicken and ground turkey at the beginning of every week that I throw in just about every meal but breakfast which I always make protein pancakes. I have cottage cheese, greek yogurt, quest bars for snacks and some ideas that you may not hear of often are that I will have deli meats, perky jerky (like beef jerky and can be found at Walmart or online), and Jack Links Beef Sticks (yes, high sodium, but this is flexible dieting).

Here is a great database on bodybuilding.com for that : 

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/nutrient.htm

 5. How do I fit fun foods in?

This is my favorite and most liberating part of this topic. 

If you are going to have something extra naughty then I always add that in at the beginning of the day. Many times, I personally plan these in advance. I will go to Saturday on myfitnesspal and put in "Shake Shack burger"--> I mean have ya had one? wow.

Enter this food before you even begin your day. This way you will have a good idea on how to adjust for the rest of the day. Most of the time, fat is going to be what you will have to adjust so just simply have less peanut butter that day.

image (2)

Reference: Instagram when I guestimacroed this aforementioned Shake Shack meal. 

6. This is just a tip. No one should be on a carbohydrate intake less than 100g per day. The only people that would be that low is someone coming directly out of a show. However if you are less than 100g per day then you probably shouldn't just jump right to 100g. I would just reverse diet and add 10g extra into your diet per week. 

7. Should I increase what I'm eating because I see these girls eating 250g-300g of carb and they look better than me? 

NO. NO. NO. The "fitfam" has made it look like that everyone can just start off eating this exorbitant amount of food and get results. It just doesn't work that way. These girls have spent a year of their lives slowly building their metabolisms to handle this amount of food while at the same time lifting weights so they are building muscle. Patience is the absolute key!! 

before after macros

 

January is right when I started weight lifting and joined an "eating clean" plan. So thankful for macros, but you'll see it took over a year to build the muscle. I've build calories from here, and am up to 2000 now continuing the build.

8. Macros just don't work for me. I'm just going to eat clean. 

Do me a favor and stick six. Give it six weeks at least. And when I say stick six, I mean like truly give it a chance and stick to your numbers and don't cheat and then blame it on your coach.

9. Explore, explore, explore! 

Go to the grocery store and give yourself 2 hours. I'm not kidding. It's a blast! Maybe I'm weird, but I find this truly so fun. You find so many things that you are like HECK YES I CAN FIT THAT IN! Today for example, see below: photo (33)Those french twists only have 30cal (9g C/2gF/0P) in them! That's great for a treat! 

Here was another great find at Target: 

cookiesCookies by Enternmann's brand have only 6g C/2.3gF/0.3gP ! I have two with coffee every afternoon now! 

10. Just because it's deemed "healthy" does not mean that the macros are going to be good. 

This is a common misconception. There are all these amazing recipes out there but sometimes they crack me up. Organic this, organic flax seed that, whole wheat flour this and that. I have started comparing this uber organic-y muffins that people make to a box cupcake mix and quite frankly they are the same. The oat flour used in "cleaner" recipes may have a lower glycemic index (see post from yesterday) but if you are hitting your numbers daily, then macros work, plain and simple. 

11. How do I make this puzzle work?

Aim for 80/20. Eighty percent of your day should be whole nutritious foods with high protein. See protein recommendations above. Save fat by getting extra lean ground turkey. Full fat ground turkey will waste all of your fats. Yes, it's more expensive. So, is diabetes and a plague in your arteries from fat. When you first start, play on myfitnesspal...a lot. Plug different things in and just become accustomed. You'll find what works for your macros and you'll see that this numbers game isn't so bad after all. 

With love and macro love,

Katie

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Should I count net carbs?

This is a question I get ALL of the time. 

I will start this by saying if you do not want to read below, then the simple answer is no. I count all of the carbohydrates that are in the foods that I'm eating. If I'm being 100% honest, I pay no attention to fiber or sugar grams in the foods that I'm eating. Let me explain why. 

cookies

 

I guess the only real reason of this picture is to show you I eat cookies. Like.....everyday now. Haha!

To begin talking about carbs, fibers, and sugars, we must first explain glycemic index. 

Glycemic index is a numerical value that associated with simply what that food will do to your blood glucose levels. When they were originally associating values for this, a person was put on a fast for 12 hours and ate a food on an empty stomach and then the blood sugar was tested. They took an average of 10 patients for each food. ( On a side note: I know this is the best way to do this however there are certain foods that we would never eat first thing in the morning therefore their glycemic index may be different when combined in the stomach with other fatty foods but that's another blog post)

I'm going to keep this simple so: 

A high glycemic index will cause a more rapid rise in blood glucose levels and are digested quickly. Some examples of these are candy, white bread, cereal, pasta, chocolate.

A lower glycemic index will cause a slower rise in blood glucose levels and is digested much slower. Examples are this are the foods that you always hear are "healthy" such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, seeds, beans, whole grains and some fruits, Usually a lower glycemic index equates to a stable insulin response however this is not always the case however, lower glycemic foods are best for diabetics and stable insulin response has been shown to help with fat loss however this is debatable.

So, let's get to the point!! NET CARBS!

There are three types of carb--> effective carbs, non-impact carbs, net carbs

STICK WITH ME AND YOU'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHY! MY BRAIN HURTS TOO!

Effective carbs --> all of the carbs that have an effect on blood glucose levels (this is further broken down into simple and complex carbs) 

Non-impact carbs--> have no effect on blood glucose levels (neither high nor low). This INCLUDES FIBER! Fiber passes through the body undigested.

Net Carbs by defintion is non-impact carbs subtracted from effective carbs. Glycerol is a non-impact carb that was used as a sweetner in many products that did not have to be counted per the FDA as a carbohydrate source. That recently changed in the 1980's. When glycerol was changed to a carbohydrate source, then manufacturers had to come up with ideas to sell their products because the carb count jumped so much. 

The term net carb was coined by manufacturers to get away with using glycerol as a sweetener in their products, classifying it as a non-impact carb so that it is made to look as if the carbohydrate number on the food group is lower.

However, these non-impact carbs have calories!! You are still intaking the calories from these net carbs. Normally, the people that even care about net carbs are going to be those that are on a low carb diet. If you are on such a low carb diet that your body is in ketosis, then the non-impact carbs will be processed as effective carbs anyway so then that defeats the purpose. The industry is able to label their foods "low carb" because there has not been restrictions placed on this yet even though the amount of carb in them may not actually be so low. 

In the end, I know that this is not that serious. I just think it's important to be knowledgeable about what you are doing. If you are just simply trying to eat better and you see a food with a lower net carb then by all means, that's a great choice. However, if you are counting macros then stick to the full carbs and you'll have better results. 

With love and the love of carbs, 

Katie

 

 

 

Let's let by gones be bygones

Today's post is one that I've went back and forth on for quite some time, but I feel as if we all reach that point where we reach a crossroads and we decide which way we want to go. 

The way that I have decided to go is for this to be my last post on my past. Now let me explain why. 

photo (2)

I always felt that my past was what would fuel my purpose and my passion. The Lord has shown me otherwise. The Lord has led me in some amazing directions in the past year, and for that I am forever grateful. I have completely changed my life for the better in every aspect, however I feel like I am being tied down to a string that no one will let me live down. 

It's as if an alcoholic walks into the bar and orders a drink. Literally, all eyes on him. That's how I'm made to feel.

 

I do not count macros because I am restricting. I can almost GUARANTEE I eat more than most people reading this blog post on a daily basis. I do NOT count macros because I want to control my intake. I count macros because I want to better my future for me and my children. I want to increase my metabolism so high that I can remain healthy, vibrant, and active and not even think about it. I want to eat hot dogs with the kids at a ballgame. I want to have pizza and grilled cheese nights. Because of my past, my body didn't allow me to do that without feeling absolutely miserable so it's a slow process to come out of that.

This is such a touchy subject and one that someone will most likely comment and bash me because that's what people love to do when they don't know my life or anything to do with me, but I'll tell you this. 

I am healed. 100%. So many people say it's not possible but see the thing is, my God is bigger than your doubts. My God is bigger than your wordly views. I do not think about my body image ( literally EVER). I simply eat to train. I am passionate and I live to train.

I have been an athlete literally since I was 5 years old when I started playing soccer. I have played on high level competitive teams my entire life, I was a competitive cheerleader and I cheered in college. This led me into the adult life of wanting to continue being an AFL (athlete for life). I want to be a marathon runner, boston qualifier, triathlete, ironman athlete, sponsored runner, featured blogger, and a well known fitness professional. I do NOT want to be the girl that used to have an eating disorder. 

I simply feel I've reached my crossroads. I will ALWAYS be sympathetic. I will ALWAYS be the one that will understand your heart and soul and how deeply this issues can take root. I just simply feel it's time that I moved to a new era, one that I leave this one behind. 

Thank you for following me over the years as I grow, mature, and develop. Thank you for simply letting me share my passions with you. I am forever grateful. 

With love and letting go,

Katie

 

Endurance Workout Split

biking brooklyn bridge run

So, if you have followed me for any period of time then you know that I have an evolution of fitness. 

I started out running a half marathon. I set a goal and I just did it. I remember the night before my race and just couldn't believe I had even agreed to do it. I didn't feel ready. Today, it just doesn't even seem like a big deal! Haha!

I went on to become a beachbody coach, but decided that I wanted to start my own thing and not be under beachbody. 

I set a goal that I was going to compete. I think it was that decision that really rocketed me to where I am now. I began lifting in January of 2013 and I never looked back. I loved running but the changes my body had with lifting were unreal. I just watched changes happen so fast. I actually got a stress fracture at around this same time so I HAD to stop running. However, I continued to do cardio 5x a week because that's what "everyone did" when they were prepping for a show (so I thought). 

The new trend has become to boost your metabolism that you don't have to do any cardio and just lift and eat in the correct distribution of carbs, fats, and proteins and your body will still look great! And this is true so rock on no cardio girls! 

However, I have always said that I will ALWAYS strive to be more athletic daily. I will always strive to reach crazier goals in fitness. I am not in this for aesthetics. I'm in this so that I can see what I'm capable of. With that being said, here is what my workout split looks like. I am currently continuing to lift to maintain the amount of muscle that I have ( I am happy and content with the amount that I have and do not want to make "gainz" ). I am also training for a marathon while starting to incorporate biking and swimming in slowly as well. 

Monday-shoulders/chest

Tuesday-Leg day and sprint work for normally 3-4 miles ( Keeping the hard days hard to try and not be sore from both)

Wednesday-Back/Abs/Run 2-3 miles

Thursday-Mid Week Run (5-6 miles) 

Friday-Power workout ( This is similar to a crossfit workout if you aren't familiar with my workouts) 

Saturday-Rest Day (sometimes I hit bis and tris since that's not much) 

Sunday-Long Run

I am not saying that this is the way to go however this is about 4 days of running, 5 days of lifting and the best way that I've found works for me. If I'm going out of town, I will tweek some things to make sure that I get all of this in. I also bike just about everywhere at this point. This is not included in my training but is just how I get to and from places. On Thursdays, I'm normally REALLLYYYYYY sore. I work this out in the mornings with a light swim. My apartment complex has an outdoor pool so I won't be swimming much longer as it's getting colder by the day. I may invest in a wet suit because I think it would be pretty awesome to swim when it's frigid outside just to say I did it. 

I don't claim to know everything, and never will but I sure love delving into new parts of fitness I never have before. It makes me come alive. Runners are an amazing group of people, and I'm so excited to get to know more of them as I continue doing more races! 

With love and endurance,

Katie