We are all human right? Personally, I think one of the greatest things about being human is how different we all are. I mean, how boring would it be if every athlete was the same. Workouts would be robotic and mundane. There would be no challenge or hurdle to jump over. Great news! I’m different and I LOVE it! My goals and my journey has been one that has fit around my lifestyle and me. However, there is one thing I will say that is true for every human being on this planet. ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN. In my belief, it’s absolutely impossible to out train a bad diet. I have been through many diet programs, Atkins, Veganism (stop laughing now), the Raw Food Movement (now that you’re rolling on the floor laughing you can really stop now), quick-buy-them-in-a-health-food-store meal plans, Paleo, and now Block eating. There have been many pros and cons to all of these lifestyles, but there is one thing that makes block eating stand out. Boundaries and knowledge.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the American culture is that of over indulgence and quick fixes. Results? They better be fast! Want a chocolate chip cookie? Give me a dozen! The Paleo diet and Atkins supplement to that lifestyle. There are very few boundaries involved. Paleo- meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, little starch, and not sugar, but how much do you consume? As much as you desire. The Atkins diet is very similar to Paleo. Atkins is the belief that you should limit your carbohydrates and sugar because carbohydrates are evil, and the body turns all carbohydrates into sugar. With this you have limited knowledge as to what carbohydrates are and how they actually work. Should you limit your carbohydrates? Perhaps… it depends on what kind of carbohydrates you’re talking about. Are they simple carbs? Complex carbs? How much are you actually eating…? Did you know that broccoli (Yum!) is a carbohydrate?
Veganism is great if you’re morally looking for a plant-based diet. There’s not limit to how many vegetables you can consume. In fact, you’ll have to consume more protein dense foods like beans, nuts and seeds to keep and build more muscle. However, these protein dense foods are not complete proteins. They lack what well rounded nutrients meat can give you. Nuts and seeds also tend to contain more Omega-6 fatty acids, which promote inflammation. If you’re looking to balance the hormones and even everything out, this isn’t exactly the way to go. And those fast meal prep shops where you can go in and pick out what you want? Been there, done that, and NO THANK YOU! Well, first let me start by proclaiming to the world I’m 100% a control freak. When it comes to getting healthy and balancing out my hormones with my food, I need to know what is going into my meal and my body. So there’s a nutrition label there, right? Do you know how to read a food label? Do you know how to decipher all the hidden sugars and preservatives in those quick meals you can buy? Did you know that the FDA has regulated that sugar is the only percentage value that is not required to be on food labels? Most of these foods proclaim to be healthy, but they tend to contain a lot of sugar. Don’t forget, like I mentioned in my last blog post, the body recognizes sugar as sugar. It doesn’t matter if its white table sugar, organic honey, agave nectar, or processed chemical sweetner. Sugar is sugar. On a side note, as a previous professional kitchen manager, sugar is a top preservative used by most kitchens and food factories. Sugar essentially has no expiration date. So, as a control freak, who now knows about the evils of hidden sugars, and as someone who is trying to become healthy and balance everything going on in my body, I could never go back to these quick, stop-in shops, for my meals. You might as well go down to the nearest fast food chain and order your favorite meal.
Block eating, I SWEAR IT, is the easiest and healthiest way to a better lifestyle. My lifestyle is balanced with boundaries of how much fuel (food) my body really needs in order to function at its peak. I also have the knowledge as to what exactly I am putting into my body when I am meal prepping. I know exactly how everything is prepared, and exactly how my body will react to the nutritional value of the fuel. I have 100% control over my boundaries so as to not over indulge, and 100% knowledge as to what I am eating and how good it is for me. No hidden or added preservatives here.
Although balancing hormones (insulin and glucagon) is our main focus, block eating has had an added benefit of major weight loss, decreased health risks, and better performance as an athlete. I also have to mention, yes my goal has been to lose the baby weight I started with, block eating can help those who are looking to build a bigger frame and add muscle. Once your hormones are balanced, your body will adapt to what it needs. Who wants to see results? That’s what I thought. Visuals are one of the most vital tools in watching and maintaining your performance. My first client, pictured in post, sent me this side by side picture of him at the end of week 2 of his programmed meal plan (left) and the end of his week 3 programmed meal plan (right). That’s a one-week difference! If your jaw didn’t hit the floor it should! Not only am I so proud of his progress, I am incredibly proud of his body’s adaptation to the balance of his hormones. Because his insulin and glucagon levels are beginning to balance, his body is ridding itself of the excess fat stores, his performance as an athlete has had a night and day difference, and he has hit a PR almost every single week. Freaking amazing!
And as far as my results go? In 8 weeks I have lost the majority of the weight I gained during pregnancy, with about 5-10 more pounds left to loose. As an athlete who loves weight lifting, I PR’d my deadlift at 235 pounds after I had been stuck at 180-185 for a year, I ran a mile in 8 minutes and 30 seconds (at the start of block eating my mile time was around 12 minutes), my skin is clearer, my mind is sharper, and after suffering postpartum depression, my mood and attitude are nothing more than happy every single day. See post picture for my progress between week 1 and week 4. Week 1, I started block eating: grocery shopping, meal prepping, and cooking at home and by week 4 it had become a complete lifestyle change for me. Another 4 weeks later, I am still an avid block eater.
I have also started taking on more clients and have given nutrition advice to many people. Even my fellow colleagues who are certified level 1 Coaches come to me with nutrition questions. My goal is to make this world a healthier place to live in. I want you to have the knowledge you need in order to make the smarter decisions for a more nutritionally sound lifestyle. Yes, we are all different in our motivations and why we want to get better, but the plan should be the same. Change your eating habits, be knowledgeable about what is going into your body, and set boundaries for your fuel tank. If you have questions or simply just want to get started, I am here to help.