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Everything posted by Vintage

  1. As a nanny I've gone round and round this issue with multiple kids (I'm not calling you childish - I know a lot of adults have this issue too, but I'm not responsible for feeding them). The vegetable-loving, strong-willed part of me wants them to learn to eat the veggies whole and learn to like the taste of them. The part of me that's done this for years knows that you don't have to taste or see them to get the health benefits. Chop them really really small. I use one of those pampered-chef choppers or a food processor to make them itty bitty with minimal effort. I also grate them on a cheese grater and use my julienne peeler. I put grated zucchini and carrots and bell peppers in meatballs and meatloaf. I chop veggies super tiny for soups and sauces. Cook them in with things that have stronger flavors- I can get my kids to eat all sorts of veggies if I put them in a stew/soup/chili that stews in a crockpot for several hours. My broccoli hating 9 year old will eat steamed broccoli that's been chopped fine and stirred into his tuna salad. My kids will eat pickled/fermented veggies sometimes as well (we ferment them at the house). Roasting things does make them sweeter, and you can add a little bit of honey if need be. Someone wrote a book on how to sneak veggies into your kids meals. Check it out for ideas.
  2. I don't think I've ever come across any scientific evidence that artificial sweeteners are dangerous (though as jfreaksho mentioned, some individuals have poor reactions to it - but the same can be said for bananas or eggs). But there are other considerations for me with artificial sweeteners. One is that they tend to perpetuate our need for all of our food to taste super sweet. Another is that if I'm drinking diet sodas, I may not be drinking calories but I'm also not drinking water. And I've generally found that I personally do better with food overall (including being able to really enjoy my food, crave real food not pure sugar or salt, and eat mindfully with reasonable portions) if I reduce processed foods in my diet.
  3. It depends where you're at. The leaner you are and the further along you are in strength training, the harder it is. If you've got a lot of extra weight and you're a true beginner, you can make a ton of progress, in part because a lot of strength gains in those early stages are really neurological adaptations, technique and just plain learning to get under a heavy bar and keep powering through. At some point, that slows way down, and when that happens varies among people. But that doesn't make strength training while eating at a deficit pointless - among other things, it will help you retain muscle mass (which will make a huge difference in how you look), burns some calories, and as you develop technique, you learn to use your muscles to their fullest. So when the time comes to eat at a surplus to pack on muscle, you'll actually be able to make the most of it.
  4. Yeah, I just track total carbs. And then if I'm going over on total carbs pretty often, I take a look at whether it's because of sugar intake. No need to create extra challenges and rules. Of course, if you try out that method for a while and aren't getting the results you want, you've always got the option of testing out whether reducing sugar helps. Just a random MFP note: There's an option to change the names of your meals and I use this to help me easily see how much of certain foods I'm getting if I need to for a while - I just make an extra meal and call it "fruit" or "caffeinated drinks" or "dairy"... this works well for me when I want to be able to see at a glance how much of a certain thing I'm shoveling in per day. Actually, none of my meals are titled breakfast or lunch or dinner... I have the day split into four chunks of time, and then I have additional categories for whatever I'm paying particular attention to at a given time ("pure junk food," "post-workout protein," "alcohol" etc.)
  5. Yeah, I have major issues with the focus on motivation. For me the real problem is that too many people have confused the idea of motivation with the feeling of "I really feel like doing ______ right now." All motivation is is the driving force behind an action, and that doesn't need to be about instant gratification. People seem to be under the impression that motivation is supposed to always appear in the form of "man, I just really want to go run 10 miles right now, nothing sounds better than that." That particular form of motivation seems to be pretty rare, especially when you're depressed (I'm extremely familiar with that). I gave up on waiting for that feeling, and instead I focus now on my long term goals as motivation. But beyond that, I simply had to re categorize working out as something I do whether I feel like it right then or not. I started out with workout times that were set in stone, and a plan to follow. I was going to show up at 6:30 Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and follow that plan, whether that sounded fun or not. Just like I went to work at 6:30 AM every morning whether that sounded enjoyable that day or not, and I shower every night and do my laundry when I run out of clothes because that's what needs to be done to operate in public. Those are things I'm motivated to do, but in the "I need money to pay rent and I'd like to not repel people with my scent" way instead of the "this task sounds pleasant" way. Last notes: 1) don't stress over getting the perfect food or exercise plan in place before you start. In the beginning, anything that isn't a serious safety risk will get you some results, and you'll have time to adjust from there to improve your progress. 2)the absolute hardest - in terms of "motivation" - part of almost every workout, especially in the beginning, was getting my butt into the gym and starting moving. Once I was there I was fine.
  6. Apart from making sure you're getting enough calories and nutrients to support your baby and you (there are people much more knowledgable about that than I), one big consideration for you will be all of the non-food stressors. Eating at a deficit produces stress to your system. Strength training (or any intense exercise) produces stress. This isn't intrensically bad, and it's a necessary part of the process - we create this manageable level of stress, our body adapts to it to make us more awesome, and so on... the problem shows up when there's more stress than our body can adapt to, and often that stress comes from lack of sleep, job stress, family stress, money stress, etc. At that point, people stop seeing the results they're after. That's why when people talk about over-training, the response is that it's really more about under-recovering, and one reason why professional athletes and celebrities can train non-stop and lose weight 2 weeks after delivery - they have the ability to minimize all the other sources of stress. So in your case... I'm taking a wild guess that you might not be getting 8-9 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep a night, or finding time to meditate/relax, and just maybe you're a little stressed out already. It doesn't mean that you can't work on losing the baby weight or strength training (you absolutely should strength train if you feel ready), but you do need to figure in the extra stressors and lack of recovery time at the moment when you figure out how many calories to take out or how often you train.
  7. I was just catching up on my blog reading and found this article... http://www.jensinkler.com/curing-workout-pee/ And remembered I saw this post earlier this week. Seems like it has some useful info. Double unders are awful enough without worrying about that. Congrats on the baby, by the way, and awesome job on getting back in the gym.
  8. I saw the thread title and my immediate thought was "always." I seem to get more out of it before a workout (usually I'll do it after a brief general warm up like a jog to the end of the block and back or 2 minutes of jump rope that gets me warm and my heart moving a bit), but I'm not sure if that's because my muscles are generally at their loosest immediately after a workout so I can't find the trouble spots or if I just don't have the patience and attention span to give it time at the end of a tough workout. Before bed is a prime time as well - or while watching a show at the end of the night. bigm is right - people underestimate how much mobility work they need to be doing. To a certain extent, this of one of those things where the best time to do it is whenever you'll do it (and take your time on it).
  9. I found that holding on to poles or things above me didn't help much with actually learning pistols. They tended to encourage me to twist or lean. One scaling method I did find helpful was to squat to something (a low box, a couple of stacked plates, a short stack of those step bench thingies they use in aerobics classes... at home I practiced on the coffee table in the beginning). I started with something just barely below parallel, and actually sat down on it and let myself get a bit of momentum going back up by rocking a bit. I slowly lowered the target and put less weight on it until I was just using it as a depth marker... then I got rid of it. I also practiced standing ON boxes. The leg that would normally be held up in front of me could dip down without touching the ground and lending support. This let me work on the necessary strength and angle for one legged squatting without having to work to hold that leg way up at the same time (and it helps with balance a bit). Over time I lowered the platform so that it gave me less wiggle room. Some people find that holding a light weight in front of them helps them to balance. Holding the toe works for some people, but it messes me up. Oh, and we occasionally use one legged forward rolls in our warm ups. Basically, you lean forward and roll, but as you come up you only put one foot down to stand up on (the other one should be out in front of you like a pistol). Some people need to touch their hands to the ground, but work away from that. It takes some practice to find the right amount of speed that will give you a little momentum without sending you hopping forward. Bonus: rolling is a great skill. As for other squats ideas: add tempos (slow them way down, pause in the bottom), jump squats, bulgarian split squats (weighted or unweighted), skater squats.
  10. Man, those days suck, especially the first few times they happen. It happens. Get back in there and try it again. But there is a chance you've actually stalled. If so, deload, triple check technique, and work back up again. This would be pretty early to have major issues, but it's possible you're going to need to slow down your progression. Weight training while eating to drop weight isn't counter-productive or pointless, but you do have to do it with the knowledge that you're not eating to support rapid gains. I've been steadily losing for a little over a year now, but I've strength trained the whole time and I've never regretted it. Yeah, it's frustrating at times because I know my numbers would go up faster if I was eating at a surplus and training mostly or all strength, but overall the progress I've gotten in other areas (I'm faster, healthier, happier and I look better naked) has outweighed it and focusing on those has kept me motivated, even when I stopped being able to increase weight every time I picked up a bar. At some point I'll decide that I'm ready to let progress in those areas slow or pause so that I can pour more energy and resources into building muscle, and I'll change my tactics and expectations accordingly. Oh, and I've found that keeping track of my bodyweight to weight lifted ratio has been helpful while losing weight. The other day I retested a 1RM on strict press for the first time in 3 months and it was exactly the same as it had been. It felt like zero progress and I was incredibly frustrated. Then a training partner threw a lacrosse ball at me to shut me up and said "And how much weight have you lost since then?" I first hit that 90# strict press when I was 165 lbs (I'm female and 5'3"), and now I'm 140. He had a point - actually several. Not only had the percentage of my bodyweight I was able to press increased, I had made huge progress in other areas. The weight training had done it's job of helping me retain muscle while I eat to lose fat, and when I switch to focusing on strength gains I've got the technique in place to use the new muscle effectively. Ego effectively soothed.
  11. I'll address the first one... Toddlers are easy. No, ok, they're not. They're loud, opinionated, irrational and usually sticky (trust me on this... I raise miniature humans professionally). But changing a toddler's eating habits is much much easier than changing the eating habits of school age kids or adults. They are physically incapable of procuring their own food and thus rely on you to buy, prepare and serve their meals. They have short memories and lack in years and years of habit formation. They don't have the same social situations surrounding food (think of teenagers, who spend tons of time at friends houses, eating school lunches, at the mall...). Toddlers won't starve themselves if they're given reasonably edible food (food that causes them true discomfort, like spicy food or something they're intolerant to can be an exception) and if it isn't presented as a power-struggle. Yes, tantrums suck. Yes, they may skip a few meals. Yes, you might have to deal with a cranky-hungry kid when they do this. You'll probably have to listen to endless repetitions of the word "no." You'll feel like a bad mom at moments because your kid is unhappy and crying. There will be times when you take convenience and ease over perfection (just like you will in your own diet). But being an awesome mom isn't about providing your munchkins with instant gratification or always being their favorite person... it's about being able to make good choices for them when they aren't able to yet. Last bit of preaching (and please know that I don't mean any of this in a critical way, by the way)... you started this thread asking about whether your ethnicity will affect your ability to lose weight and get healthy. Everyone addressed the genetics part of ethnicity. They're right that genetics aren't worth worrying about much But genetics are a very very small part of ethnicity. Humans as a species show an incredibly small amount of genetic variation between populations. But ethnicity is extremely important in health because it's mostly about culture. It's learned (through explicit instruction and through observation). Genetics may dictate whether your body functions better at 15% bodyfat or 18%. But being 300 pounds isn't about genetics, it's about our habits - the foods we eat, how much and how often, and how we fill our free time - and those things are learned. This is awesome and empowering, though, because it means we can learn new habits, and it means it's what you teach your kids (not their genetics) that will play the biggest role in their health.
  12. For nuts in particular... I wouldn't call them a high-carb food. High fat, yes. And they do have a few carbs (some types more than others), but a lot of the calories in nuts come from fat. As for the general question... Calories are important. Macros are important. But there are other things we need from our food. Yes, you can survive on it.Yes, fat loss or muscle gain are going to depend first on calories and then on macros. But there are a whole host of other nutrients our bodies need, and the primary source for most of them is (or should be) our food. Vitamins? Minerals? Phytochemicals? Here is a good article talking about why the food as fuel/energy model isn't sufficient when we're talking about true nutrition (as opposed to simple weight loss/gain). So is it a problem to get all of your fat from little wheels of (admitedly delicious) cheese? Yeah, probably. It's not necessarily the overload of one food as much as it's the lack of other foods and all of the things they offer other than fat calories. And Donar's probably got a point about the constipation
  13. The "official" paleo explanation is that sweet potatoes have more nutrients and thus provide some value other than carbs and calories. Sweet potatoes aren't free-for all foods by any means if you're trying to lose fat (or maintain), but they're a good carb source. That said, I think the distinction is overblown, and way too many people use it as an excuse to eat things that don't really fit their goals because "Hey, it's paleo!" If you're trying to drop fat, I'm sorry but sweet potato fries just aren't much better than french fries. BUT the big difference FOR ME is that I tend to be satisfied with less sweet potato. I get my starch fix and I get to eat a baked potato and fixings or a few french fries or potatoes in my stew, but I don't tend to overeat on them as much. Maybe it's because they've got a stronger flavor or maybe it's because regular potatoes in all forms used to be a major binge-food for me so they trigger that mode. Oh, and I loath the sugar and butter and marshmallow concoctions commonly associated with sweet potatoes. I cook them like regular potatoes.
  14. Go for it! Even for people who don't end up choosing strict paleo long-term, whole-30 seems to be a good way to make people re-think their diets, focus more on how their food effects them and try out new things. There's actually a whole-30 support thread pinned at the top of the paleo forum (inside the general diet forum)
  15. What are you eating for protein?
  16. Squats are incredibly important (and yes, a properly done, very strict burpee will hit the same muscles as a squat, but it's a pretty poor choice for a true beginner in my opinion because it's just too damn complicated to keep perfect technique the whole way through. And learning proper squat technique from day 1 is pretty darn important. I'd say master the air squat first, then put it into a strict burpee). As for stretching and DOMS... there's a difference here between hardcore, pushing the limits of your range of motion until you cry static stretching and getting the muscles moving by walking, easy yoga, light dynamic stretches, a few slow easy squats, etc. The former is pretty counterproductive, but the latter is absolutely the most helpful thing I've ever found. So I'd say that there's nothing wrong with the original routine, but yes you might want to decrease reps. DOMS isn't necessarily a bad thing in itself, but if it's so severe that it becomes a mental or physical deterrent to further workouts it will ultimately interfere with your progress. Sore is pretty normal, but more sore doesn't necessarily mean you accomplished more. I'd recommend reducing reps to the point that you can do the routine 3X a week with a level of soreness that doesn't keep you from functioning normally in everyday life. If you like the time concept, that works too. The first few reps in a workout may be less than comfortable, but you should start feeling better as you move more. For the time being, scale down your off-days by sticking to walking and easy yoga. You'll be able to add more in over time.
  17. Usually you can get free shipping if you're ordering a certain amount (like $75, which you'll hit with 2 bras), and then yes, you might pay 5-8 to send them back. But you can usually get flat rate going back, so do this with several bras at a time and you'll only pay once. It's worth it. I wear my sports bras 3-6 times a week, depending on whether I have one or 2 at a time. I don't have any other single articles of clothing that I wear more often, so I'm willing to spend a few extra dollars. But once you've found a style that works, you won't have to return much. At this point, I know that I like a given style of bra and once I've shrunk out of my current one I know whether I need to go down a cup size or band size or both and I order accordingly.
  18. I've only hit my boobs a couple of times, and operachica is right, as my weights got heavier it stopped being a real concern, both because I lean back and because with heavy weights, by the time the bar is at boob-level, I'm already pulling myself under the bar. With heavy squat cleans, the bar doesn't even get that high for me, But I started out at a 36G, and I HIGHLY advocate getting an awesome sports bra. Yes, they're expensive, but they're necessary. Think of them as being on the same level as a good pair of running shoes. If someone was running 3-4 hours a week and told you that their feet were causing problems but they didn't want to pay more than $25 at target for running shoes, would that sound reasonable to you? Probably not. Over the past 15 months I've dropped down to a 32DD, and for the most part I've just kept one or two good sports bras that fit at any given time. Washing them in the sink and laying them out to dry is part of my evening routine. My personal favorite is this one by panache. It's not very compression-y, but I like that. It's got an underwire and separate cups, so it gives me support without making my skin get sweaty and mushed up (that makes me break out and feel disgusting), while still being comfortable. Other people love shockabsorber bras, enell, avita, or lynx. I usually order a few bras online (barenecessities, figleaves, herroom, brastop are all good places) and try them on. I put them on, wiggle around, put on my workout tops over them, jog up and down the stairs, etc. Don't get them gross and sweaty, but I'd say spend at least 10-15 minutes in a bra before snipping the tags.
  19. Just a thought - tight/knotted upper traps present in my as pain in my neck. I usually address this by putting a bar in a rack at about the height I'd set it up to squat or slightly lower, putting some weight on it. Then I stand under it sideways and mash my traps with the bar, controlling the pressure by driving up into the bar. Spending some time with a lacrosse ball on the ground working on my lower traps usually accompanies this. Worth a shot.
  20. What/when/how much are you eating on either side of training?
  21. Weight loss has been a huge help for me. But so did a lot of the things I did as part of the weight loss... lifting heavy with good form and pull ups (and the exercises progressing to them) strengthened my back (and my entire core). Developing the musculature, mobility and awareness to keep my thoracic spine open while lifting has improved my posture outside of the gym. Sitting less. Foam rolling and lacrosse ball torture on my back (especially between the shoulder blades) has helped ease pain and keep it from building up.
  22. I'd try to sub out the orange juice if you want to decrease the sugar content. It isn't adding much value. I use water, milk or (unsweetened) coconut milk if I make smoothies. The coconut milk has a significant amount of calories, but it also has fat and that makes me stay fuller longer. I also use a mix of frozen and unfrozen fruit (sometimes this just means taking the fruit out of the freezer into the fridge the day before) which means I need less added liquid.
  23. I'm not trying to discourage you or say that your recent efforts aren't the right way to go, but just a bit of a reality check/caution here... it sounds like you've been seeing changes since you added protein powder, but it's been what? less than a week? Putting on true weight (especially muscle mass, instead of just trying to pack on fat) is a pretty slow process. I'm not saying you haven't added anything, but keep in mind that the first thing that happens is you start retaining water and extra food in your gut. You puff up and your scale shows an increase, but building muscle takes a while and some sustained effort for most people. I think you might be in for a longer, slower process than you're realizing here, and that can lead to discouragement and abandoning plans much too early. I've never done a significant amount of bulking, so I don't have a good time-frame to give you, but I'm sure someone else (read: waldo) can.
  24. It's pretty specific to the person, and there's a lot of gray area to this. For me, it depends on what's wrong and where I am in the course of the illness. I'm one of those people who gets a cold/minor virus, and then most of it goes away but I'll have chronic cough/chest congestion for weeks afterwards. Exercise actually improves this for me if I wait until I'm past the worst part of the illness and I don't totally drive myself into the ground. And staying mildly active during illness (provided I'm not death-bed ill) is important for me and for a lot of people. That may be as simple as walking up and down the hall for 20 minutes or up and down the stairs a few times. I can get outside 95% of the year, but I live in Texas and don't have to deal with cold air that can be very hard on our respiratory systems. Hospitals prevent lung infections in patients by having them walk hallways, and if they can't get out of bed they do the thing where they breath out hard into a tube a few times every so often. Long periods of total inactivity (especially lying down) can make things worse for a lot of people. But how soon to get back into things and how fast to go back to full speed is totally dependent on the person, the illness and what else they're doing to encourage recovery. Sleep/nutrition/stress/activity and conditioning level before the illness are all going to play a role in how fast someone recovers.
  25. You can also hunt around and see if there are any gyms (crossfit boxes are a good starting point, but not the only ones) that are offering any seminars or specific oly lifting classes. Often these are open to non-members as well (though members may get a discounted price). Look for weekend clinics or seminars, either with a local coach or an invited guest, or a 1-2x week specialized oly class. If you've got the money, you could look around for an experienced oly coach that would do a private session or two. These options would cost money, but it would be a short-term thing, not a regular, huge monthly cost. If you an learn oly lifts from videos and written descriptions alone, more power to you. I'm amazed by people that can do that. Having an actual human there to give me real-time input and cues has been necessary for me.
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