“As fitness professionals, we sometimes go a little overboard when trying to prove a point, or, at least, I know I do. This article and 6-day wellness journal are based on a true story of a personal nutrition experiment I conducted (on myself) back in 2009.”
December 13th Sunday 2009
Today I’m going to start an experiment to help a few of my clients better understand some of the nutritional theories and methodologies that I have learned, used and applied over the years. Why am I doing this experiment? Well, I have a few clients who are on the fence regarding the importance of specified energy sources and daily healthy food choices for each individual person. And, some still have doubts that everyone is different and will react differently to all sorts of foods (the good, bad and indifferent). Now, I’m not saying it is an easy process to figure this out, but it is important and it is well worth it, trust me! There has been a lot of trial and error for my clients and me over the years (and let’s not count how many total years it has been, we can just say a lot).
When it comes to my particular journey I have figured out that most fruits, peanut butter, mixed nuts, granola, certain oils, lean red meat, chicken, and turkey allows my body to run efficiently, my mind to think clearly, keeps my metabolism at a high level of production, minimize illness, maintain a positive attitude and feel uplifted with an overall sense of pure wellness… 90% of the time. I’m not saying that I don’t eat pasta, rice, vegetables, seafood and that there is something wrong with those food choices. I’m also not saying that I don’t splurge and eat foods that maybe categorized as “junk food”, trust me I’m don’t eat perfect every day or every meal. However, what I am saying is that over the years I have found that I know what my body runs efficiently on and what makes me feel like a healthy fitness rock star… Yeah, BABY!!!
Let’s also remember that, that is me and how I work. Not all energy sources will react or feel the same with my body and that goes for certain types of protein as well. But, unless I took the time to journal and write down how these foods made me feel before and after meals I never would have known actually how my body really works. Ok, now I’m rambling, let’s get started with the “The Trainer Fuel Experiment”!
For one week I am going to remove all the foods that I run so efficiently on and replace them with certain foods that are quick, easily accessible and inexpensive like sugars, refined grains and starches, a higher amount of saturated and trans fats, as well as deep fried and processes protein sources. Also, please note that I’m not saying ALL these foods I am going to be consuming are bad for you and that you shouldn’t indulge from time to time and enjoy what you are eating. What I am saying is that if you want to take your clients and your own training to the next level then you need to take a harder look at how you are fueling yourself.
Starting Stats: Weight: 183.3, Body Fat 6.6 %, H2O Level 53.8 % estimated by the Electrical Impedance Machine Called the INNER SCAN BODY COMPOSITION MACHINE!
12/13/2009 – Sunday
5:30 am – Waking up – I feel great and I’m ready to prepare my day! I start off grabbing my multi vitamin, brewing coffee and preparing to have some packaged processed oatmeal (cinnamon), water and protein powder. (500+ calories) Tasted pretty good and I feel alright, it’s going to be a good day!
What I usually have is All Natural Granola, Trail mix (peanuts, raisins), Protein Powder (Convenience factor), Skim Milk and a Banana. (550-600 calories)
8:00 am– Starting to get tired…
9:00 am– Next Meal – I feel tired but hungry! I made two PB & J sandwich’s on white bread. (500 or so calories) Gave me crazy energy initially, but it sat like the rock in my stomach for over an hour.
What I usually have is: Apple, Banana, Turkey & Cheese rolled up w/light dressing for dipping! (550-600 calories)
11:30 am– Crashing and I feel tired again.
1:00 pm– Next Meal – So hungry… I think I could eat a stack of my own business cards right now if I had some ketchup. I made some more oatmeal (apple cinnamon flavor), water and protein powder. (500+ calories). I guess I feel fine.
What I usually have is: Orange, Mixed Veggies (carrots, cucumbers, spinach) tuna, w/olive oil (550-600 calories)
4:30 pm– Next Meal – I feel ok, but not that hungry. I went out to eat and ordered nachos w/chicken. Ate the entire plate (I usually save half to have later) and now basically felt like crap!
What I usually have is – Apple, 2 tbsp Peanut Butter some lunch meat (Roast Beef or Turkey) w/light dressing for dipping! (550-600 calories)
8:30 pm– Next Meal – Not hungry at all. I forced down 2 slim fasts (that was weird). I hope this gets better…
What I usually have been: A protein shake or yogurt with granola
12/14/2009 – Monday
5:30 am – Woke up – Sort of felt like I was coming down with something, so I went back to bed. Woke up 8 am or so… I grabbed my multi vitamin brewed some coffee and decided to give the oatmeal (cinnamon) another try added some Skippy peanut butter, water and protein powder. (500+ calories) It definitely gave me energy but, it sort of sat there in my stomach.
Once again…What I usually have been Granola, Trail mix (peanuts, raisins), Protein Powder, Skim Milk and some fruit. (550cals or so)
9:45 am– I feel like I’m falling asleep training my client, I’m thinking that she’s definitely not getting her money’s worth.
11:45 am– Next Meal – I feel a bit hungry. Had a big scoop of Skippy PB, a bowl of Captain Crunch Cereal, water and protein powder. (500 or so cals) That was a really good pick me up, but it didn’t last long and I came crashing down fast… Damn you Captain Crunch!
What I usually have been: Apple, Banana, Turkey & Cheese rolled up w/light dressing for dipping! (550-600 cals)… oh do I miss that!
3:30 pm– Next Meal – Sort of hungry (1-10) 6! I know I should eat, but I could skip it. In a rush because I have a client, so I grabbed a muffin that someone had brought in that morning and had a muscle milk (500+ cals). I felt ridiculously full.
What I usually have been: You know what…I’m not going to write what I usually have because I miss it!
7:15 pm– Next Meal – I feel good because I just taught Plyo Power®, but I was light headed at the end of class. I am definitely hungry, so I have some white toast with peanut butter and jelly and a half of a protein shake.
What I usually have been Fruit, 2 tbsp Peanut Butter some lunch meat w/light dressing for dipping! I can’t believe I have 5 more days of this!
9:30 pm– Went to bed, so tired…
12/15/2009 – Tuesday
5:30 am – Woke up – Absolutely starving! I grabbed my multivitamin brewed some coffee and almost forgot about this ridiculous experiment… I made the stupid oatmeal, added some water and protein powder. (don’t care how many calories) I got some energy from it, but I know it is going to go away quickly.
I am done writing what I normally have because I feel the opposite from normal.
7:00 am– I trained my client w/boxing and I’m lucky I didn’t get knocked out…
9:00 am– I am so hungry I could eat a small horse. Made some of that fantastic oatmeal and protein powder (I hope you’re catching the sarcasm!!). Got energy but, will most likely lose it soon….
10:30 am– oops energy is gone! Actually was caught falling asleep at my desk by my next client…seriously?
1:00 pm– Really hungry because I just taught Plyo Power® again… Next Meal – I had a 400 calorie protein bar. I have no opinion on what it did for me…other than giving me something to gnaw on.
3:30 pm– I actually feel a bit down and depressed…I don’t usually feel this way. I have now gotten two texts from clients wondering what is wrong with me.
4:30 pm– I know I have to eat before Plyo Power®. Next Meal – I ordered some pork fried rice from a takeout place and now I’m feeling a little like Santa Claus minus the Jolliness…. but it’s ok most of my energy has to do with being able to teach a class that I love!
8:15 pm– I feel good because I just taught Plyo Power® and I’m really hungry. I went home and I made one of my usual cheat meals throughout the week. Homemade nachos. Although, this time, I’m making them with foods that are quick and easy, so brace yourself…A large pile of Doritos with processed chicken and spray on cheese. I feel bloated, I have a headache and I want to hibernate for the rest of the week.
What I usually have for this cheat meal is 2 Servings Light Tortilla Chips (180 cals), Veggies (50 cals), 4oz. Grilled Chicken (165 cals), Low Fat Cheese (60 cals) and some ketchup…sorry, I know for most of you…I just ruined it with the ketchup…I have a problem but admitting it is the first step. (500 cals)
9:30 pm– Trying to go to bed, but I’m tossing and turning!! This experiment is really not that good of an idea anymore!
12/16/2009 – Wednesday
5:30 am – Woke up – And back to bed…forgot to reset my alarm clock and then woke up 10 minutes before I need to be training my client. Threw on clothes and the next meal was on the run as I grabbed a balance bar and ate a couple of scoops of peanut butter with it (which of course I got on my face, not mouth, then on my shirt… AWESOME…) and I was off for my incredibly rushed day.
7:00 am– I don’t really remember what I was saying to my client as I trained her, but I’m sure it wasn’t very motivational or inspirational. I’m soooo tired!
11:00 am– Next Meal – Had a scoop of PB, some Captain Crunch, water and protein powder. At this point, the Group Exercise Director is voicing her concern about my lackluster approach to living in general and I think starting to worry a bit.
2:30 pm– Feel a bit down and depressed again…my client at 1:30 pm asked me what the hell is going on with me? So, I told him about the experiment. He also seemed very concerned about my energy and attentiveness. Oops, almost forgot…I have to eat…not sleep, eat… Let’s see how about some white bread, PB, and jelly, water and protein powder. Ummmmm……
6:30 pm – I so want some fruit… please someone give me some fruit. I’m going out to eat for my friends 30th birthday…YAH, real food! I had steak tips (yeah daddy!) French Fries, (Bring it on!) and cole slaw (that was just ok). Over ate because I can’t tell anymore how my body is running…so full, I need to unbuckle my pants… Sorry, over share…
9:00 pm– Attempting to go to bed, but I know from last night that this will be a process! I now can’t remember why I started this experiment in the first place. Still soooo full from dinner!
12/17/2009 – Thursday
6:00 am – Sort of woke up – want to go back to bed…but I know I can’t… I’m so exhausted… brewed the coffee (burned myself), made my ridiculously disgusting oatmeal and started my day.
8:00 am– Trained a client and still I’m not awake. Energy is low and now I have to teach class to actual people and attempt to motivate them…this should be fun…
10:00 am– Going to have some cereal with milk and protein powder…I’m also craving chocolate…what is up with that, I don’t really like chocolate… Am I pregnant? That’s all I need…
I honestly don’t really remember what I normally eat… I’m so far away from any sort of normality and apparently my memory is going…
12:00 pm– CRASH and BURN….I’m not myself and this is just not worth it anymore…. I may have to stop this because I don’t like feeling this way.
1:30 pm– I made two PB & J sandwiches on white bread again and a glass of milk. Good initial energy, but I can only imagine what I will feel like in an hour…
3:30 pm– I missed meeting a friend for coffee because I fell asleep in the stretching area, then I couldn’t find my phone (However, that is normal for me). Energy is really low and I want to go back to the stretching mats.
4:45 pm– Well, I guess I have to eat or I will not make it through class… These people don’t deserve my lack of enthusiasm, so I have to really dig down deep to pull this class off. I had some rice left over from…whatever day I had it last and also had some tuna w/ light dressing. (Calories…I have no idea anymore…I can’t count)
8:00 pm– I’m so tired and I’m getting frustrated as I attempt to make mac & cheese from a box and added in some fried chicken, that I picked up on the way home. Now that’s a meal I’m going to crash from! It sat like a boulder in my stomach and I couldn’t fall asleep even though I was exhausted. Tossed and turned until 2 am…
12/18/2009 – Friday
6:00 am –Woke up depressed and a bit annoyed– I just want to sleep all day…but I know I can’t…because I have a client… I’m tired of feeling this way… I ate some Oatmeal, Protein Powder, and some PB.
7:00 am– My client asked me twice if I wanted to just meet next week. I have the feeling that I am not matching up to what he needed this morning. I’m not really saying anything to him, but luckily he knows what comes next in his workout… I definitely owe him a session because this one he shouldn’t have to pay for.
10:00 am– Going to have a PB & J, some milk and protein powder…Once again craving chocolate or sweets like a madman! I have no idea what my body is doing…
12:00 pm– I’m exhausted, almost mad and I just snapped at a member… NOT GOOD!!! I have to teach a class and I just want to go home….
1:30 pm– That’s it…I’m done with this experiment, it is effecting my mood too much.
December 19th Saturday 2009
“The Trainer Fuel Experiment”
Ending Stats: Weight: 189.7, Body Fat 8.4 %, H2O Level 55.8 %.
It has been 3 days since the experiment and I’m feeling a bit better… I still have cravings for things that I normally don’t eat or want. I’m sleeping a bit better but still broken. My moods have improved, but I usually try not to bring any outside issues into my job, so I still have to fake it once in a while. Throughout this past week, I have put my body through something that I really don’t ever want to do again. Over the years, I have figured out how my body runs and what I should feed it if I want to have an overall sense of bliss (I guess you could call it). And, now I have a sense of what not to feed myself on a regular basis if I want to function normally and feel good.
I guess the main point of this experiment was to show one extreme case of not listening to your body. We all fuel ourselves differently on a regular basis and not many of us have found the exact mix of foods that make us run well or feel better. But, wouldn’t you like to find out how you and your clients can eat in a way that increases your energy, metabolism and improves your mood and attitude? I know that I have, however… Yes, it takes patience, effort, and dedication. I can’t explain it to you any better than the example above… I don’t always eat perfect every meal, but 80-90% of the time I try to. Energy levels and moods will change constantly with all of us, but having that clean feeling, that positive attitude and passing the message of wellness 90% of the time is pretty freaking great…trust me!
My advice is to start journaling yourself and also to encourage your clients to do the same, so you can together figure out what your body runs best on!
I hope this helped… because it sure did for me.
Train smart, dance often and find your healthy rock star fuel!
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“If you're going to PREACH IT, do yourself & the people you're influencing a favor & LIVE IT!What do I love? To dance, suspension train, jump & move athletically... Did I mention DANCE?”
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