The momentum of the seasons is as old and ingrained as the earth itself.  Life is pushing from darkness of winter or gathering of the autumn harvest. By riding this wave we have the opportunity to replenish and renew ourselves for the next cycle that’s coming.

I’ll be offering sound and grounded information to support you wherever you are at in your health journey.  There will be an opportunity to prepare and do your own thirty day health reset.

What kind of work-out routine is right for you?

I’m using the term workout broadly here.  A workout may be training a couple hours per day most days of the week.  For someone recovering from illness, a workout may include gentle yoga or resistant training followed by a walk one or two days/week.  Any practice, activity or sport where you move your body and feel good is included.  From my point of view as a health care professional I like to see people to move their bodies in order to release pleasurable chemicals and hormones that support overall well-being.  It should not leave you exhausted afterwards.  If it does back off a bit. Being consistent and increasing duration or intensity gradually is key.  Experiment, keep it simple and have fun!

This is also true with diet.  Ideal macro-nutrient ratios vary widely and humans have thrived on a range of proteins, carbohydrates and fats for thousands of years. We are incredibly adaptable based on environment, availability and activity.  Studies show healthy people who eat primarily fat most of the year or only honey for periods of time.  These are two extremes but it shows how variable we are.

Building and maintaining muscle

For building muscle the most important factor is overall calorie intake.  Under eating kicks in a survival response which undermines muscle synthesis and weight loss.  To quickly calculate your baseline multiply your weight in pounds by 12 – 14.  Add 100 calories for every 10 minutes of moderate to high intensity activity.

Protein intake can range between 25-35% of your diet.  For muscle growth ensure consistent protein intake throughout the day.

Carbs can average between 20-50% of your diet.  I recommend these come in the form of nutrient dense veggies and fruits.  Eating fruit with fats reduces insulin resistance and makes for a slower burn.  Healthy fats provide a good source of energy.

What to eat pre and post workout?

Training at high intensity without food may cause increased muscle breakdown and impair recovery.  A pre-workout meal 30-45 minutes before can increase muscle building.  The post-workout anabolic window may extend up to three hours.  Most people are going to eat within three hours of their workout due to a natural hunger response.

Post-workout nutrition may be more important for women than men. Fasting after exercise can cause high testosterone and PCOS-like symptoms in women.  To avoid the female athlete triad syndrome and symptoms associated poly cystic ovaries eating at least 3o grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein post-workout is recommended.
When working with women in clinic I always get a complete picture of their menstrual cycle as it is such a clear indicator of health and provides many clues.  For example as a young woman I trained 6 days per week as a dancer.  What this led to was amenorrhea for a period of time.  This is very common in female athletes and can have long term effects if proper nutrition and recovery time are not taken into consideration.  The triad is training hard with inadequate calories and energy depletion.   Osteopenia or bone loss is a risk later in life. Infertility is another concern and PCOS is considered the leading cause of this.

 

Some examples of good snacks would include a half a sweet potato plus 2 ounces of beef jerky, 1 banana plus two eggs, or 1.5 cups of  pineapple plus 1 cup of Greek yogurt.

Remember that the average person doesn’t need a pre or post-workout meal if they are are doing lower intensity exercise.  If the goal is weight loss working out in a fasted state and not eating immediately after the workout may be a better choice for a period of time.