Meet my Coach – We think Alike!

As a beachbody coach myself, not only did I get inspired to be a coach because of the results I was getting. It is also the help I’ve gotten from my coach. We all need a little push now and then and we all need someone to bounce things off of.
Here is a piece taken from my coaches’ Dave and Monica Ward’s site. I can help you as they have helped me. We are all on the same team and we’d love to have you join us.
You can see why we worked so well together. We have many of the same ideas and opinions on nutrition and exercise as well as big fans of Mark Sisson. (Somebody’s doing something right)

Here is a portion of Dave’s Healthy Eating Tips.

By Dave Ward
Ready for the truth? Health and fitness is 80% about nutrition and 20% about working out. You can workout like a maniac and still be over weight. Ever see people the run marathons that are overweight? Exercise is important, and you need to fuel your body for success, but if you ignore nutrition you are wasting your time.

Here’s the good news: It isn’t rocket science and it isn’t impossible. I know there are going to be foods that you just don’t like. For the most part, that’s ok. I strongly encourage you to try new foods. Be open to new things. Understand that you may simply be responding to the effects of an addiction to sugar. Our modern diet is way too high in sugar and other forms of refined carbohydrates. Combine that with the fact that sodium is added to nearly every processed food known to man and you have a recipe for a serious addiction to unhealthy foods. Let’s break that cycle.

As you will see below, I cite to Mark Sisson’s materials extensively. I cannot thank Mark enough for his books The Primal Blueprint and The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and his ever informative blog, Mark’s Daily Apple. There is simply no better source for easy to understand and scientifically based nutrition information.

Here’s a video discussing my thoughts on nutrition and what works for me.
Everyone needs to tailor their nutrition plan to their fitness goals, but these are some general rules that I think work.

Free Fitness Coaching
We offer Free Coaching for all the Beachbody programs and wanted to pause here to offer help to anyone struggling with these concepts or with any of the programs generally.

Nutrition Thoughts – For P90X, Insanity or Just Life
The Advanced Course
A lot of people ask me for my thoughts on nutrition and whether I have any helpful tips. Here are what I believe are the foundations of a healthy diet. These are just my thoughts based on my experiences and my experiments with several different nutrition plans (not “diets”), beginning with the P90X Nutrition Guide.

1. Whole Foods – Eat Things with One Ingredient
Avoid processed junk. Look past the nutrition facts and read the ingredients. The more ingredients, the lower the likelihood it is going in my mouth. A strawberry has ONE ingredient. So does an egg, or a chicken breast, or broccoli. Take a careful look at the pre-sliced deli meat that may be masquerading as “chicken”. Why does it have more than one ingredient? The “manufacturers” probably added sugar (things ending in “ose”) and sodium to that food. They do it for two reasons: (1) it lasts longer; and (2) because you’ll eat more when you are addicted to it.

Take a look at the ingredients in the foods you are eating. If you have trouble pronouncing them…keep moving. If you can get your foods from a local supplier that is preferable. Foods that are organic do make a huge difference. They are lower in toxic pesticides and generally higher in micronutrients. See if you have a local “CSA” (Community Supported Agriculture) program in your area. We pay $25 a week for a huge bag of organic seasonal veggies and fresh eggs that are raised in a real “cage free” environment and not fed corn and antibiotics. These types of eggs are much higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and generally much more nutritious. Check out the local harvest site.

2. Supplements – Filling in the Gaps
A whole food recommendation followed by a supplement recommendation seems contrary. Here’s the deal. Foods are simply less nutritious now than they were 20 years ago. Farming practices and pressure to produce higher yields have made the end product about 25% less nutritious that it was 20 years ago. Some of these farming practices have lead to foods that might even be dangerous to us (Google “GMO” and read this: In short, we have gaps to fill and the easiest way to fill them is with supplementation.

I take Shakeology whey protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and on occasion the recovery formula (sugar is an issue, but it has its place). If/when I get into a lot of endurance training with triathlon or cycling, I will also add in a multi-vitamin. The goal here is to give my body what it needs to process the basics. At the minimum you need a good multi-vitamin. You have to focus first on making sure your body’s basic functions are addressed. It isn’t going to do you any good to take an expensive supplement if you can’t digest it and process the ingredients. Address your base nutrition first and foremost.

3. Correlate Carbohydrate Intake to Activity Level – Controlling Insulin Production
As my favorite author Mark Sisson would say, “[i]t’s all about insulin”. You must take the time to understand the metabolic process associated with the intake of carbs and realize that the body views carbs essentially as sugars. Watch this:…layer_embedded. Excess insulin causes all sorts of problems. Insulin has an essential role. Without it our blood sugar would rise to toxic levels. However, if you keep producing too much of it (because your carb intake is too high), you will become insulin resistant, perhaps even Type 2 Diabetic.

Everyone has different fitness goals, and getting the right amount of carbs is key. Limiting carbs, in particular SUGAR, to the amount you need to support your goals is essential. As a triathlete training for a 1/2 Ironman, my carb intake is going to be a lot higher than someone that is doing P90X. Most people find they need more carbs when doing Insanity than they would doing P90X, but everyone is different. If you can limit carb intake to below 150 grams per day, you will see fat loss results.

4. Limit foods that make your blood acidic
Huh? Watch this video. Soda…get rid of it. It is poisoning your blood. Water…drink way more of it. It helps refresh your blood.

5. Limit dairy
At his January 2010 Phoenix Fitness Camp Tony Horton famously said, “cheese is a spice”. Use it that way. A little Parmesan on your food is ok, but otherwise ditch the cheese. It is high in fats that don’t help your body. Many people feel that our bodies are not conditioned to process milk from other animals. We are the only species that drinks milk that doesn’t come exclusively from our own mothers. Try to cut milk out of your diet and see how it works. I feel a lot better since doing that. Some people don’t have any adverse reaction, but if you aren’t sure, cut it out for a month and see how you feel. That’s what I did and I only have it in my coffee now. Almond milk makes a great substitute for cow’s milk.

6. Healthy fats – Get More of Them
You’ve got to get fat in your diet. Huh? Yes, fat is good for you. There is an ongoing debate about saturated fats and whether or not they are beneficial. The generally accepted principle is that they are not. After reading Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint, in which he presents the theory that saturated fats are not to blame for our society’s weight problems, and increasing my own fat intake I believe he is correct (a large number of people in this community have had similar results). Since February of 2010 my fat intake is between 30 to 45% depending on where I’m at with my carb intake. When I’m endurance training I usually have a slightly higher carb intake and a higher overall calorie intake. When I’m not, I limit carbs to my activity level and that means increasing my fat intake.

Here is Mark Sisson’s Definitive Guide to Fats. Please read this. I’ve found fat to be a remarkably good source of energy and fatty foods really fill you up, which means you don’t need to eat so much to feel satisfied. Regardless of that debate, you cannot go wrong with increasing your intake of fatty foods like avocados, nuts, and olive oil. Take the time to understand how fats work in your diet, because they are important.

7. Quality over Quantity – Eat When Hungry and Stop when Satisfied
I often ask people to count their calories when we first start working together. I don’t do this because I want them to keep doing it forever. Quite the opposite. I do it because if you count calories for a few months, you’ll learn to do it instinctively in your head. Furthermore, you’ll learn what it feels like to eat a healthy amount of food every day and you’ll know what the feeling of being “satisfied” rather than being “full” is all about.

What you eat is far more important than how much you eat. Spend more time focusing on what type of foods you eat and less worrying about how many calories you are taking in on a daily basis. Knowing your caloric range is important, but don’t get too caught up in that analysis. If you are hungry and have something healthy to eat, then eat it. If you are not hungry, don’t feel like you have to force food down to get to some predetermined caloric count. Just go with that feels right and eat healthy.

8. The 80/20 Rule.
Try to make 80% of the foods you eat be healthy whole foods that meet all of the criteria above. If you can do that, then the other 20% won’t hurt you too much. If your diet isn’t particularly good at this time 80/20 will be a huge improvement. The 80/20 rule came straight from the Tony Horton Fitness Camp seminars. Tony follows a 90/10 rule, so apply this according to your personal goals.

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