RANT: Society’s Perspective on Nutrition

Society has a very skewed perspective on the importance of nutrition. People fear the most ridiculous things, and eat in ways that are completely unhealthy. It is actually shocking sometimes how food illiterate they are. As someone who tries to maintain a bodybuilding diet, high in protein, it is incredible to see the things that the majority of society values. It is also incredible to see what society fears the most, which is usually salt. If we were to look at the diet of the average person, it would probably be completely unbalanced due to a few very simple things that could be easily resolved. Things like, the more sugar you eat, the more sugar you crave. This is why Oreo’s are addictive. So why do we freak out about a tablespoon of salt? Are you watching your water retention? Does the majority of society know what water retention is? They are the same people who question why I drink 5L of water a day, after all.

for realz

Today I was checking out the healthy menu at Red Lobster, which is a restaurant that actually offers items I am able to consume (shocking in itself). I was blown away by what they chose to list in their nutrition information, even though I really shouldn’t have been at all. Of course, they start with calories, because the average person actually knows what a calorie really is right? WRONG. They have no idea what a calorie is. They don’t know the basics: 1 gram of Carbs = 4 calories, 1 gram of Protein = 4 calories, 1 gram of Fat = 9 calories. But they watch this overall number as if eating 1000 calories of McDonald’s is the same as 1000 calories of broccoli. It is not. Moreover, these same people have no idea that they are drinking 600 calories at Starbucks in their precious lattes. Go figure. Anyway, next Red Lobster points out fat WHICH IS RIDICULOUS BECAUSE FISH HAS GOOD FATS THAT ARE HEALTHY! But people fear fat. Saturated fat, fine. Followed by Sodium, another not so terrifying number, and finally carbs. My question is, WHERE IS THE PROTEIN????

I base my entire diet off of the amount of protein I consume in a day. It is safe to pick a certain amount of protein, and shape the rest of your diet around that. So, if you weigh 125 lbs, and need to consume 1.5 g of protein per pound of body weight, you need to consume 187 g of protein per day, or 750 calories of protein. If you are consuming 1800 calories a day as an active person, that leaves 1050 calories to be split between the rest. I could care less about carbs and fat content if I don’t know about the protein first. Sadly, this is a common misconception. People load their diets with carbs, or run away from them, without knowing why. They cut carbs and fat out of their diets without finding an adequate protein source to replace them with.

It is actually scary. It is scary how many girls I have spoken to who think that 70 g of protein is enough to consume in one day. I consume that before 12 p.m. every day. Hearing things like that leaves me jaw dropped, wondering where on earth they are getting the rest of their daily calories. That’s only 280 calories per day from protein! Mind…blown. These are the same girls who fill their diets with alcohol, which by the way, contains 7 empty calories per gram. These are also the same girls who eat white carbs, that turn straight to sugar, and wonder why they are hungry an hour later. This may work in College, but it can’t be maintained long term.

In reality, we can’t blame the restaurants. We have to blame the population, because they are the ones who are projecting the information they care to know about their food. They hear that something is bad and they automatically believe it without question. Do we need to be reminded of the house hippo who taught us not to believe everything we see on TV? It amazes me that people do not understand the purpose of the nutrients they consume, which is to fuel your body, and for athletes, to repair your muscle fibers. Your body really is not a garbage bin. We all go through phases where we eat awful foods, or binge, but living completely in the dark is just naive in this day and age where information on nutrition is readily available. Why read labels if you can’t understand what they are telling you?

Long story short, I would really like to see society start to recognize the importance of protein in our diets, because ignoring this group is more unhealthy than eating salt here and there. Thanks for listening to my rant of the day!

If you are interested in learning more about proper dieting, visit:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/mhptrans6.htm

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Ab Roller Face Plant

Embarrassing but true story. 

My abs are my weakest point my my training. I shy away from body weight exercises because I don’t enjoy them, despite how effective they are. Push ups? No. Burpees? No way. Plank? Hell no. A few months ago I tried to remedy my extreme dislike for all things body weight by trying Ashley Conrad’s Clutch Cut Program. I was determined to get back into shape fast, and I thought this was my new calling. No. It wasn’t. I absolutely hated it, I dreaded every workout, and I only made it through one week. By the end of the week I was crying, and I couldn’t make myself continue. It wasn’t even that it was too difficult, I just hated it. Weight lifting is my thing, there is something about the empowerment I feel when I lift heavy weights that no body weight exercise can give me. When I designed my new program I had all intentions to work on abs, knowing that it is important, but I just haven’t been doing it.

I have spoken to some friends of mine, and I’ve read different opinions on ab training. Opinions on this fall on both ends of the spectrum. Some people believe that abs are built in the kitchen and trained through exercising other body parts. Some people believe that abs must be trained every day. I just ignored the whole discussion because it was easier not to bother working on them. It is boring and I hate it anyway. I made all sorts of excuses: my hips crack weirdly, it hurts too much, I don’t need to train them to have a flat stomach, blah, blah, BLAH.

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Well, it turns out you do need to train abs. The other day I found an ab wheel and wanted to see what it could do. As the image below shows, the ab roller trains everything! It seems to be the master tool, something I should definitely master to see a lot of progress. So I got a friend to show me how to use it. It seemed pretty reasonable, something I could do. I get down on the ground, get into starting position, side the roller forward, and FACE PLANT. I was like, “Oh, haha, that was a joke! I just wanted to be funny!” So I try it again, and face plant. It would have made me a YouTube celebrity if I had a video of that. As hilarious as it was, it was completely pathetic!

Double-Exercise-Wheel-Ab-Roller

It is pretty atrocious that I can make it through extreme workouts, lifting heavy weights, and I can’t even use an ab roller. This has motivated me to really work on my abs. I’ve tried lots of things and nothing has stuck. I have dabbled in the P90x ab workout, I do it once and forget about doing it again for 6 months. In my last program I only did 2/3 of the ab workouts regularly because the 3rd one made my hip crack and it grossed me out. I usually find motivation once every two weeks or so to do a basic ab workout after cardio, then I get too lazy to complete it. I seriously need some work.

Abs

I found this image with easy ab exercises that may be my answer, at least to start. Training abs really is important, because now I have an uneven body. I have trained my arms, legs, shoulders, etc. and my core can’t support the difficult exercises I am doing. As my other body parts get stronger, my abs stay weak. This is going to become an even bigger problem as I progress. Before this becomes a crisis of epic proportions, and I hurt myself  beyond repair, I need to start setting aside at least one day a week to fully train abs.

I strongly believe in no excuses, and I’ve given myself every excuse in the world to ignore this essential area. So, thank you embarrassing face plant, you woke me up and you will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

UGH Come On CANADA!!!

As a resident of capital city of Canada, I appreciate the importance of good government, not only to keep this city filled with jobs, but to ensure that it’s citizens are kept safe. One of the roles of government is to make sure that Canadians make “informed decisions,” and they do this by putting products through a “rigorous inspection process” to make sure that the things we buy are safe for use and consumption. This is excellent, except when the United States sells them, and they are widely used there, yet we cannot order them here.

This happens all the time, and it constantly prevents me from purchasing items I want, or getting good deals on bulk items. We have a 90-day day supply limit, which often prevents me from getting great deals on bodybuilding.com, when they offer two-for-one deals, and that goes over the 90-day limit. Thanks for making me pay double, Canada!

UGH Canada

My favorite experience is when I see things like the image above, NOTICE: Can’t ship to CA. This item, for instance, is the top rated Fat Burner on bodybuilding.com. If the item is this popular, and widely used, why is it deemed unsafe for Canadian consumption? I am all for protecting citizens from harmful drugs and products, but come on. The real reason I am super upset about this particular product is that bodybuilding.com sent me a product sample for it, and I loved it. Then, I went online to find it and realized that Canada prevents me from buying it. Come on, Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford can get crack but I can’t get supplements? For real.

RIP Favorite Protein Shaker

You know you have a problem with fitness obsession when you legitimately mourn the loss of your favorite protein shaker bottle. One would think that all protein shaker bottles are created equal, but that could not be further from the truth. This is meant to be funny, but for real, I am sad.

So yesterday, I used my favorite protein bottle for my pre-workout shake, because it doesn’t pop like other lesser bottles. I took it with me to the gym, filled it with xtend water and used it all workout, finished up and made a protein shake in it, as seen in the lovely post-workout, pre-hot tub image below.

In typical post-workout fashion, I brought my seriously scuffed up, favorite protein shaker from Power Gym to the hot tub, where I slowly drink my protein shake in peace. After finishing said shake, I put the empty bottle on a chair, took a shower, got changed and went home. This morning, I woke up and went to prepare my favorite bottle with my protein powder for lunch when a horrible realization occurred: I LEFT MY FAVORITE, UGLY, MESSED UP, OVER USED PROTEIN BOTTLE ON THAT CHAIR BY THE HOT TUB IN THE GYM. EFFFFFFFFF. EF. EF.

Naturally, I am going to get a new one ASAP. This bottle is unlike any other bottle. It has a super awesome piece that mixes your protein seamlessly into the water. Better yet, if you cut up lemons and place them in the water, it mixes them in too! Love it. It never breaks, never leaks, never fails, my fabulous Walmart bottle. I got it in Regina, Saskatchewan when I was doing my Masters, the first protein shaker I ever bought, before I realized protein should not be mixed with a spoon.

So RIP favorite protein shaker bottle. Perhaps I will find you tomorrow, then I will have two 🙂

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