I am feeling great y’all! It was great week of training as I wind up Phase 2 of Get Swole marking the halfway point in this program.

I enjoyed an early birthday (Italian) dinner last night with my wonderful family. I ordered a child’s plate which consisted of two cheese raviolis with marinara; enjoyed two bites of chocolate cheesecake and water (no wine). It is so easy for me to make better choices even during “special” occasions because my desire to feel good supersedes my desire for fleeting pleasure. There was a time when I would have ordered a full portion of something very cheesy, a glass of wine (or two), a dinner roll, and dessert. I would have experienced a foggy head from the wine, an over-full stomach from the food followed by a carb crash and a food hangover zapping my energy the following day. All of this would have slowed me down and interfered with my tasks. In addition to that, I would have felt guilty. None of these things support my higher, healthier self. In fact, they are all depleting.

Last night I had an amazing night’s sleep, woke up feeling spry, clear headed, and ready for a productive day. I enjoyed my dinner immensely without the over-indulgence of food and booze. I posted this video the other day to Facebook that talks about the five second decision.

I am most proud of my five second decision to bodybuild. So much has improved in my life since then. I am more mindful of my decisions. I am more decisive. I am more aware of how I am affected by decisions from moment to moment. I have lots of work to do but then again I think we are always a work in progress because life is not static. We are constantly adapting to our ever-changing lives.

BE healthy, BE the change, BElieve in yourself.

…and have an amazing weekend!




Why you should ditch the boxed food

What is processed food?

In this context, process foods are those that are not only mechanically processed but also chemically processed.  Most items at the store that are packaged in boxes, cans, bags, or bottles are processed.  They need to be processed to be edible and to lengthen shelf life.
Chips, crackers, cereals, breads, canned vegetables, frozen pre-made items like pizzas and microwave meals are just a few examples of processed foods.

Vegetable oils  such as corn, cottonseed, soybean, canola or safflower are commonly used in  processed foods and can include chemical extraction, bleaching, and deodorizing.


Why should you avoid them?

If you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle, you need to cut back, or better, eliminate processed foods. Many processed foods contain relatively large amounts of sugar. High sugar intake has been linked to cardiovascular disease mortality.

They also contain vegetable oils and unnatural transfats (hydrogenated oils) which are linked to heart disease. Trans fats and sugar consumption lead to an increase in inflammation affecting the body’s immune response leading to disease.

Trans fats are cheap and have a long shelf life which is why they are used in processed foods.  One U.S. study that analyzed store-bought soybean and canola oils found that 0.56% to 4.2% of the fats were trans fats, without any indication on the packaging. If a food contains up to 0.49 gram of trans fats per serving, it will read as zero grams of trans fats on the label.

anti-inflammatory image

Training and processed foods

With the body’s immunity burdened, it will hinder recovery after training. This is a response you cannot out exercise.  To prevent this type of inflammation, diet must be altered. You want to get the most out of your training and a good diet will help you maximize results from your gym time. In order to avoid trans fats and excess sugar, the best thing you can do is eliminate processed foods from your diet.

In following posts I will explore in more detail fats, inflammation, nutrition, and training.


Following along with information I have read about utilizing the female hormonal cycle to my advantage (I posted information here), I am now in a reset phase. The idea is my metabolism is higher, insulin sensitivity lower, and I’m in a fat burning mode. Therefore, carbs should be decreased, fat increased, and training moderate.

Today I dropped my calories from 1700 to 1200, decreased carbs and increased fat, which will continue for the next 10 to 14 days as I move into a fat burning/cut phase. There will be no growth this cycle but rather muscle maintenance and, hopefully, fat loss.

My diet will eliminate rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, bananas, and will include more eggs, avocados, butter, natural oils, nuts, nut butters, and just a little bit of cheese now and then. I will still consume my yogurt, smoothies, protein powders (modified to accommodate the macros), and lots of greens and veggies.

Weight training will be moderate and cardio steady state rather than HIIT.

I enjoyed a farm fresh egg (from my own farm) with a sprinkle of cheese for breakfast followed by a tablespoon of peanut butter (more of a “treat”).

Looking forward to seeing how this phase will affect me and sharing it with you.