Here’s what it takes to fuel my body. Part 2 in a series “Meet Angie”

What do I eat?

Another popular question I get asked all the time! Most people think I dont eat much at all, but let me tell you, I eat. A lot. But, I am very active. Not just with my own training but active in every day life even when I am not working out.  My body need a lot of fuel to get through the day. My training is intense. My lean muscle mass is high and lean muscle mass burns more calories. And my NEAT is high. What is Neat? Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Its all the energy used for everything you do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from using energy to walk, doing yard work, any body movement, climbing stairs, etc.. So what do I eat? Well,  every meal and snack I have is protein based. All macros are important but protein is very important for my goals. And, did I mention I am vegetarian?  What I eat daily is good for me, but not necessarily good for you. Everyone has different preferences and thats important to remember. Some want 100% organic. Some add meat. Some are sugar free or low carb. None of those are wrong. Its what works for you. The below is what works for me. 

I think of food as fuel. There are two types of calories in my books. Calories that fuel me or empty calories. Empty calories aren’t going to help my body get stronger or healthier.  These are things like processed foods, sugary and fatty deserts, potato chips, French fries, etc..  Fuel calories provide my body with needed nutrients to perform, stay healthy and get stronger. These are things like natural foods, veggies, fruits, proteins, and complex carbs. Does this mean I never eat empty calories? Nope. I eat them. Every day. Just in moderation. Everything in moderation. Im human. I like sweets. I like bread. I like sweets. Im eating it. If I eat these things in moderation I can still reach my goals. Its when I dont keep a balance that my diet will negatively affect the success of my goals. 

Since I work out first thing in the morning I split my breakfast into two portions, a before work out and after work out portion. I need some fuel for my work out but I dont want to weigh myself down with a heavy stomach. My first breakfast is one and a half servings of Fage yogurt, 27g protein.  I also have a serving of Nutrex Outfit Amped pre-workout. Yes I am a fan of pre-workout. Its not for everyone. But its good for me. Does it help? Not sure. Doesnt matter. I feel like it helps me. 

After my work out is breakfast number 2! A banana and an isolate whey protein shake, 25g protein. My favorite is Nutrex Iso-Fit. 

2-3 hours later (depending when I am hungry) I eat lunch. I have a HUGE salad with egg whites, kalamata olives and tofu protein strips (30g protein in this meal), a side of veggies (I vary the veggies). I also have a piece of bread and real butter, and a serving size desert. My desert is usually a caramel rice crispy square, a cookie, something chocolate or something sweet. My sweet snack is always around 100 calories. Just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. But not large enough to put me out of balance. I like 85-90% of my calories to be what I consider fuel calories and 10-15% empty calories. 

That holds me over for a couple hours. But 2-3 hours Im hungry again… so its snack time! I usually have a protein bar. Now protein bars have sugars and fillers, etc… so they aren’t a clean food. But they provide protein, they satisfy my endless craving for sweet food and I like them! My favorites are Quest bars or Built Bars.  Warmed up in the microwave with a glass of almond milk! YUM!

When do I eat next? Dinner! For dinner I like to do either a quesadilla veggie burger with sweet potato fries or other veggie as a side. Or roasted vegetables/stir fry vegetables with a tofu protein. My burgers are Boca spicy chicken burgers (11g protein) in a (1 serving) Joseph’s Lavash wrap (6g protein), with some fat free cheese (4g protein), spinach and tomato and low fat mayo.  Total protein for this meal is 21g. Sometimes I add avocado.  When I do fries, I cut a sweet potato into “fries”, bake them and season them with salt and pepper. Add some ketchup and boom! French Fries! If I do roasted veggies or stir fry veggies I go very light on the sauce / oil and add protein strips (24g protein).

Then right before bed, another snack. Yes I snack a lot. I always have a protein shake (Nutrex for the win again!) 24g. And a Kodiak cup brownie because can you tell I like sweets? Whats a Kodiak cup brownie? I use 1/2 serving of Kodiak mix, stevia, vanilla, a little cocoa powder and a small amount of chocolate chips. Add water. Mix it all up and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Yup, tastes like a brownie (7g protein). Total protein for my bedtime snack is 31g. 

On days when I am extra hungry or extra active I make an egg white omelette with 1/2 an avocado for a snack. Or I have some sort of “healthy” version of a snack food. Veggies and hummus, cheese and crackers, Chips and salsa (Jospeh’s wraps cut into “chips” and baked), popcorn, etc. … So many options! 

My regular day ends up being about 2700-2900 calories a day depending on the changes I make since I dont eat exactly the same thing every day. And some days I am hungrier than others.  On hungry or extra active days I can get up to 3200 – 3500 calories a day! Its a lot of calories but its also a lot of food for that number of calories.  I eat a large variety of foods and I have some great protein rich meals that I make to satisfy my cravings for pizza, sweets, etc… I will share those through social media over the next few months. Eating clean and “healthy” doesnt have to mean missing out on the foods you enjoy. 

I do log my food. ButI dont weight it. I stick to portion sizes by estimate. I want to keep track of what I am eating but I dont want what I eat and how much I eat to dominate my day. I dont want it to be stressful. I want it to be easy.  And I dont want it to be all I think about. 

Sometimes I eat out or get take out. I dont log my meal on those days. It doesnt matter. I know I went “over” on my calories but who cares? Its once in a while not every day.  A few days like that are good for your body. I do it intentionally. If my body gets used to getting the same calories and same foods every single day my metabolism will become way too efficient, requiring me to eat less to maintain my weight.  I dont want to teach my body to survive on 1200 calories a day. And it WILL happen if calories are restricted for too long. So I switch it up. Some days eat less, some days more. I listen to my body and eat intuitively. Even though I have a guideline of what I want to consume each day the most important part is listening to what my body tells me. I know and you will know too. Some days my body wants more food. Some days less. I listen. Some days my body craves lots of carbs and needs them!  Some days my body craves veggies and light food. Some days I eat all clean food and now and then pizza or other restaurant food, I listed to what my body tells me but I also keep my body guessing and guess what? Everything just levels out. When Im with friends or going out Ill drink a Moscow Mule or two. Or Vodka Soda. I still want to live life and have fun. I still want to eat the foods I enjoy. And as long as I do everything in moderation while maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle it all levels out. 

Meet Angie! Part 1 in a series

This will be the first in a short series of getting to know me better. It’s no surprise that my health and wellness (physical and mental) is a priority in my life. It is a lifestyle I have committed to. But trust me when I say I live so much life outside of fitness! I have fitness goals but I also have life goals. My personal life goal for every single day is to “Live the hell out of life”. Being strong, fit and healthy has opened up so many activity opportunities for me, Im definitely going to take advantage of that! Im not one to turn down fun! Its important to know you can be healthy, fit and reach your goals but still enjoy life! I am an ACE certified personal trainer and health coach. Precision certified Level 1 nutritionist. RYT 200 hr Yoga certified. AFSA assisted stretching certified. Fitness enthusiast. Hiker. Horseback Rider. Adventurer. Entrepreneur. Mom to two kids and 2 dogs!  I often get asked what my daily life looks like? Or what I eat each day?  How often do I work out? What else do I do? Over the next few weeks Ill be answering all those questions!

Although it can be very interesting to know what program and lifestyle someone is following, it is important to remember that not every person has the same goals, and not every person will need to or want to adhere to the same program. What can be learned from what others do is knowing how much you want to change your life, and what level of commitment is right for you. Use a few pieces of someone’s program that feel like a good fit for you. You dont have to use the whole program and probably shouldn’t since we are all so different. . And you dont have to fear that signing up for coaching &/or training will be as intense as your coaches training and lifestyle. But what you can do is learn from it and use the pieces that fit for you and your goals! Im often asked what a typical day looks like for me? How do I fit in exercise every day? I have such a large variety of interests and a lot of stuff going on all the time. I own three businesses. I have 2 kids that are involved in their own sports and I have plenty of animals that make up my family too. It wont come as a surprise that my health and working out every day is a priority for me. So dividing my time between all of these things means that I have to schedule in my work out and meal prep otherwise I wont get to it. It has to be part of my lifestyle for me to succeed.  The goals are big, my expectations for myself are huge, and Ive learned enough to know it takes commitment, planning and lifestyle change to be where I want to be. But please remember that is a different place than where you may want to be.

My workout is a very scheduled routine, but I will flex the schedule on everything else that entails my day. The one thing I never flex is my work out. Its always the first thing I do every day. On most days I can wake up at a reasonable time without an alarm. I go to bed early enough (between 9 and 10pm on most nights) to make sure I wake up naturally between 6 and 7 am. Waking up without an alarm is the best way to ensure your body is getting enough sleep. Sleep is very important and often takes a back seat to exercise and nutrition but the reality is, without enough good sleep, you wont reach your goals. More on that in another post. 

After a some morning stuff (feeding animals, barn chores, making breakfast for the kids, and other household stuff), I work out. I work out first thing in the morning. In my home gym or go to the gym. If I dont work out first, Im too tired, not motivated or run out of time later in the day. When I have an early morning commitment (or when traveling with the kids for horse shows or leisure or work) sometimes I have to set an alarm as early as 4am to have time to work out before my day begins. It is not my favorite. My performance is not nearly as good because Im so tired. But getting a work out in is a priority for me so I commit. I wake up and get it done. There are usually some (ok, many)  thoughts of “why am I doing this?”, “Go back to bed”, “ Just skip today”, etc.… But I do it anyway and when I am done I never regret it. My day is off to a good start and I feel good. Sweating feels so good! 

After working out I walk my dogs for 30-45 minutes. Its a great way to keep my body loose after pushing it hard through training. And it gives me time to relax, meditate and spend time with my dogs who are my best friends!  Walking is a great low intensity exercise. It tends to be highly undervalued. The benefits of walking are endless. My dogs love it and they need exercise too! They are my accountability partners. Sometimes Im tired and I dont want to go for a walk, but they look at me and I know I cant disappoint them, so we go. And like my 4am work outs, Im happy I followed through. For many people having a gym partner is the same thing. Someone you know is counting on you to be there. They are my accountability partners for my daily walk. Get one for the gym if you need one, it helps! 

After walking its time to work. A girls gotta make some some money! Ill work with clients from any or all of my businesses. No matter what job I am doing I stay moving. If Im in the office I use a standing desk. If I am working hands on with a client or teaching I stay walking basically the entire time. I try to move as much as I can all day. Why? Its better for my body. Im not pushing my body hard. Im not breaking a sweat. Im engaging in low intensity movement for the majority of my day. Burning calories, staying mobile, staying loose. Im never stiff or sore. Movement is healthy and I make sure I do plenty of it every single day. I dont count steps, it doesnt matter to me. I just move as much as I can all day long. I dont do anything sitting. After work comes life stuff.

Cooking dinner for the kids and prepping lunches for school for the next day
Feeding animals (dogs, horses, goats)
Meal prep for me for the next day (this can be as simple as making sure I have what I want to eat in the house already so Im not grabbing take out food or empty calories snacks when short on time. It can also meal packing my lunch and snacks for work if I am going to be on out of my house for long periods of time. Im definitely not skipping a meal or snack so I prep)
Morning work out prep (pre-mixing my workout drinks EAA/BCAA. If I am heading to the gym I make sure my bag is packed and ready on the counter).
Hanging out with kids (games, talking, watching videos)
Basically all things life.

And guess what? I move as much as I can while I am doing all of that too. By moving during all of the things I do each day I am constantly asking my body to move on different planes of motion and in different ways. Up and down. Side to side. Twisting and turning. This will help me stay mobile and flexible as I age. It also increases my NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Many small movements make a huge difference in NEAT. Sitting leased to increased risk of CVD, increased BP and BS levels and increased body fat. If what I am doing can be done standing or walking, I stand or walk every time. I only sit when I have to. When there is no other option. Sounds silly but sitting too much is just detrimental to the body and to general health. I also truly enjoying movement and appreciate my body for being the reason I can move and the reason I can do all of these things.  

When I have down time at the end of the day I hang out with my kids and dogs, friends, or my boyfriend. Social wellness plays a huge role in longevity too! So it is important to make time for the social interactions that are good for your energy. Social circles can also help support you on this journey. I also spent time going to my sons sports games (football and hockey!) or bringing my daughter to horse shows. Whatever I have for free time I spend as much of that time as I can outside.  I love to be outside. I believe in getting as much fresh air and sunlight (safely) as possible.

Another important point to note is that I am a HUGE fan of naps. Especially in the sun. If I have a quick 15 or 20 min of free time during the day you’ll often find me napping in the sun in my backyard. These quick power naps recharge my energy and give me the rest I need for going as hard as I do. I fit in a quick nap whenever I can and I dont feel guilty about it at all! It feels so good. And if my body is telling me I need a nap, I need to listen. In the winter you’ll see me pull in my driveway with the heat on in my car and take a quick nap in my car. I LOVE to be warm! Either way, when a nap calls, I listen.

When I have free time (either a full day or a block of time) I try to go on a hike, rock climb, golf or participate in some sort of an adventure. Alone or with kids or friends. I like to try new things as often as I can. These things are great way to stay moving on many planes of motion, switch things up in my program and allow me ways to exercise outside of the gym. They add variety to my training program.  And also balance out high intensity training with moderate and low intensity training. These activities prevent me from getting bored while giving me so many ways to cross train. And as a bonus I have a ton of fun! I add an experience to my life a minimum of once a week. Sometimes more. Its mentally and physically stimulating. Leading an active lifestyle is healthy. Movement is healthy. My day focuses around movement. As much as I can all day, every day. Its good for me. And its an easy way to stack the odds in my favor for longevity and improved health without taking any time out of my day or disrupting my day at all.

One of my favorite hobbies is traveling. I travel a ton. Soon, Ill talk about how I travel so much while maintaining my fitness goals. 

Comment and let me know how you make healthy movement a part of your every day life!