Monday, December 31, 2007

New Interviews, New Website

Happy New Years Eve Everyone!

I just got back home from Canada yesterday, after an overdue visit with my family and friends. The flight home was a bit unpleasant (I got sick), but it was well worth it.

A few new things to mention before the craziness of 2007 is over.

First, my new website is up at Please check it out and let me know what you think. I still have some material to add to it, but those will happen in the next few days.

Then, yesterday, despite still feeling a bit nauseous from the flight, I did an interview with Kevin, Jimmy and Jen on The Fitcast. In it, we spoke about the new book with Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove, "The New Rules of Lifting for Women". To hear the interview for free, please go to episode 79 of

Finally, while in Prince George, BC (my home town in Canada), I did an interview with The Citizen, the local newspaper. Frank Peebles did a great job. To read that, please go here.

I hope everyone has a great New Years Eve. I'll be with my fiance and friends and will hopefully go to bed soon after midnight since I've got a lot going on the rest of this week.

Looking forward to 2008! It's going to be a great and exciting year!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Low Fat or Low Carb? Or Neither?

With all the conflicting headlines about diet in recent years, it's no wonder you're confused about what diet you should follow. You ask yourself, "Should I restrict carbs because everyone following Dr Atkins plan loses a ton of weight? Or, should I restrict fat because that's what most bodybuilders do, and they're almost fat-free!?"

Then, you ask yourself, "Maybe I shouldn't restrict any nutrient, and just eat a careful balance within a certain caloric parameter?"

What's the best answer? What should you do if your goal is to shed fat, lose size and keep your weight stable? (Personally I think question number 3 is the best)

You see, there's really no correct single answer for every woman. Each of us is completely different than the next. What works for your girlfriend to keep her lean and healthy, may not be the option that works for you. The best explanation for this is that you're not what you eat, but you are what you DO with what you eat. If a food causes you to store calories, where in another women it causes her to burn them, you'd want to stay away from that food, where should would want to eat it.

This is why you'll see thousands of women tout that carbohydrate-restricted eating patterns are the best of all the options, and then hear that cutting back on fat is the best pattern for a thousand others.

I even see this in my research experience. In highly controlled settings, I'll have some participants respond extremely well to a low-carb diet, while others do completely horrible. The ones who have a bad response say that they're always hungry and they feel terrible eating so much meat, fat and no whole grains or fruit. The ones who do well tell me they can barely eat all their food, and don't have any cravings for sugars or sweets (where as before, they couldn't stay away).

It all comes down to differences in how your body metabolizes and utlizes certain macronutrients compared to others.

The overall point of all this is that to take control of your eating habits and reach a goal (whether it be body composition or health-related), you have to find what works best for YOUR body. Sheild yourself from all the news headlines and just stick with what is working for you.

If you're trying something that's supposed to be amazing, and you feel terrible, stop it right away. Your body is a smart machine and will guide you to the right choice. Yes, there are times when your mind will trick you (i.e., tempting you to eat all those Christmas cookies), but think before you act and understand if your brain is really trying to tell you something important or if it's just testing your ability to think about the most ideal nutritional choice.

I hope that you all can discover the right plan for your body no matter what your goals may be - just remember, you're unique and there is a right plan for you, but it might not be the same as the person next to you. Don't give up.

From my family to yours, Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Exercise Hyperphagia

"Exercise what?", you ask?

Hyperphagia = noun, Abnormally increased appetite for and consumption of food

In Gary Taubes new book (with which I’m completely absorbed), “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, he suggests that exercise may not be the answer for weight loss because it increases one’s appetite.

This statement is completely true. Exercise does increase your appetite. How many times have you had a totally hard workout, where you’ve almost completely lost all desire for food because you were so tired, to then feel completely famished only a few hours later? This massive desire for food sometimes just doesn’t seem to be satisfied to matter what you decide to eat. You’d like to keep on eating, but you knew that all your efforts in the gym would be negated, if they weren’t already.

This phenomenon is exactly what Gary has presented and it’s more than just the thought of one author. Here in our exercise research lab at the University of Connecticut, we’ve observed the same thing. In some of our exercise & weight loss studies, especially those involving a lot of aerobic activity, many participants have a hard time losing weight because they’re always hungry. Interestingly, this occurs more often in women than it does in men.

Now, this sexual dimorphism (i.e. difference between men and women in hunger response to exercise) may be due to the energy deficit women experience compared to their male counterparts. To explain, say you have Joe and Jane, both eating and exercising to lose weight. Joe’s body needs at least 2000 calories to maintain his metabolism (his RMR) and eats 2600 calories a day to see his abs. When he exercises, he expends 350-400 calories which leaves him about 200 calories over his RMR, but still loses weight and fat, and isn’t hungry. Now, Jane only needs 1500 calories to support her RMR, but, due to the silly weight loss advice she reads in most magazines, she’s only eating 1200 calories a day to minimize her thighs and make her waist smaller. When she exercises, she expends about 250-300 calories per session, which now puts her in a severe calorie deficit. She loses some weight and fat, but she can barely control her appetite because she’s basically starving herself. She can hardly stick to her diet plan and usually binges several times per week. Clearly, if Jane ate more, and ate foods that were more satiating, she’d have a better chance at meeting her weight and fat loss goals.

The difference between men and women may also be due to the energy conservation mechanisms that are inherent in a women’s genetic makeup. Women are traditionally the child-bearers, which is an activity that requires plenty of energy (food). When exercise is thrown into the picture, the energy lost tries to be recovered by the body through an increase in appetite.

Despite the fact that exercise can greatly increase hunger, especially in women, it’s still beneficial for body re-composition goals. When one is trying to change the way their body looks, exercise helps to diminish fat stores and increase muscle mass so the body appears firmer and more sleek. Exercise is also beneficial for the cardiovascular system, enabelling you to sustain activity for a longer period of time without feeling like someone kicked you in the lungs. Finally, it is well known for reducing risk of developing chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

So, if exercise makes you so hungry that you feel like it’s not even worth it, what should you do?

Well, first, since you’re more than likely going to be hungry after you workout, have a plan in place of good things you should eat. Don’t hide cookies in your cupboard, with hopes that you won’t find them, because when your hungry strikes, you’ll reach for them for sure. Make sure you have easily accessible good protein, fat and carbohydrate foods pre-prepared, such as cooked chicken, or tuna in a can, raw nuts and avocados, and fresh fruits, vegetables and whole cooked grains like barley and brown rice. This way, when you come home after a long day and a hard workout, you won’t be tempted to order out for pizza, but instead have a healthy satisfying meal at home.

Then, always make sure you don’t wait too long after eating to engage in a serious workout. For example, if you usually workout at 4:30 pm, always make sure you eat a complete protein with some fat and/or carbohydrate no later than 2:30 pm. If you know your workout is going to be more than an hour and a half long, you should eat no later than 3:30 pm. As I’ve said before, you need this food to allow you to have an effective workout. If you’re concerned about fat loss, then just wait at least 30 minutes AFTER your workout before you eat to lengthen the fat-burning window. A good pre-workout food would be something like a scoop of whey protein, mixed with water or milk, poured over 1/3 cup Fiber One cereal + 1/3 cup Kashi Puffed Whole Grains, with 1 Tbsp of unsalted sunflower seeds.

Finally (for now), since blood sugar fluctuations are a major stimulus of hunger, prevent extreme highs and extreme lows by eating slow-digesting, low-glycemic carbohydrates (such as spouted grain bread vs. a honey bagel) with a small amount of health fat (such as almond butter) and a complete protein (such as whey protein, chicken, fish, eggs, etc). If you let your blood sugar levels spike by eating food rich in sugar or refined starch, you’ll never be able to control exercise-induced hunger when it strikes.

In my new book, the “Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet”, I write a lot more about why we’re hungry and how we can prevent it. Although the title of the book says “diet”, the book is more than just an average Jane diet plan. It comes complete with 75 original recipes that I created (that actually taste good and are easy to make) and 3 effective workout programs, that are specific to your body type. Also, in our book, "The New Rules of Lifting for Women", Lou, Alwyn and I emphasize over and over again that women have to eat quite a lot of calories or their bodies will revolt and halt their progress in the gym.

(Note, this blog didn’t start out as an advertisement. I’d been thinking about this topic for a few days and just realized that the information tied into my new book. You don’t have to buy the book. I just thought I’d pass along the word).

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ladies, eat to support your workout.

On Friday I had to go to NYC to do media training for my other new book, Women's Health Perfect Body Diet.

I got up at 6 am (I'm not a morning person) and was on the road at 7 am for an hour drive to get to the New Haven train station that would take me to the city in another hour and a half.

I always eat in the morning, unless I'm doing cardio under 20 minutes in duration (don't want to lose any muscle I've built). So, at 7 am, while my fiance was driving me to the train, I ate my scoop of whey protein mixed with 1/4 cup of old fashioned oats and a Tbsp of ground flax (all mixed in water), as per usual.

I also always pack food with me wherever I go, and today I had a baggie of raw pecans and sunflower seed kernals. But for some reason, I didn't pack any more, which in retrospect, I should have. I snacked on a handful or so of those at about 9 am, because in the morning, I'm hungry every 2 hours no matter what (mostly because I train at night).

When I got to Grand Central at 10:30 am from New Haven, I needed to eat again because I knew with my schedule that day, I wouldn't be able to eat again until about 2 pm. Nothing really appealed to me, but, I got a small dish of tabouli, which (naturally) came with a slice of pita bread, which I DID NOT eat. (I don't do bread... it goes straight to the butt.) The tabouli was good though. Normally I would have eaten a bit more than that knowing that my next meal was going to be much later than I needed, but my stomach was a bit queezy due to nervousness.

I walked my way from GC over to the Rodale office (the publisher of the book), and got there at 11 am. I met with the people I needed to work with and, as expected, didn't have an opportunity to eat until about 2:30. At that time I didn't have the resources to eat what I really wanted, as I had to rush back to the train station for a 3 pm departure. On my way out of Rodale, I was able to grab a couple of good snacks, out of the plethora of carb-ladened snacks found in the Rodale lunch room. They happened to have these all-pork jerky sticks (kind of like Slim Jims) called Joy Sticks, that had no preservatives and few calories. I could have grabbed a sugary "natural" granola bar snack too, but I knew the carbs weren't what my body needed.

The fact that my 3 pm food had such low calories, left me in a brain-drain for most of my ride home on the train. Basically, my entire caloric intake for the day was maybe about 500 calories, and at that point (3 pm), I was only at now 800 or so. That just wasn't enough for a woman that burns at least 1200 calories doing nothing.

I could feel that my calories were too low on my ride home with my fiance. He didn't have time to grab me anything before he picked me up, so I still had nothing else to eat during our hour-plus ride back home in the car.

Even though I didn't eat much that day, I still had to go to the gym as planned once we got back to our area of the state. (like I said, that was over an hour once I got off the train in New Haven)

I almost didn't even want to go because I felt so blah, but I had planned on it, and I wasn't going to back out.

I walked in the gym and knew I just didn't have the energy to lift. So, I got on a cross-trainer and did that in intervals for about 40 minutes. While on there, my fiance lifted, and I chatted with a buddy. This buddy of mine knew I rarely did cardio and asked what was going on. I told him that I didn't eat enough that day and would have had a more pathetic workout if I tried to lift. Then I deduced that maybe that's why I always see women on the cardio machines versus in the weight-lifting area.

Most women I know just don't eat enough. They think that to get their ideal body, they need to deprive themselves. However, when you do this and then try to workout, your workout completely suffers. You feel tired and crabby because you need more food energy, and then you try to get a good workout in, but all you have energy to do is mindlessly do circles on the crosstrainer or bike. If you ran, that would be disastrous too.

Ladies, if you really want to make changes in the appearance of your body, you HAVE TO EAT. Do NOT starve yourself.

You need the energy of the right food, designed specifically to benefit your body, in order to workout with intensity and feel energetic while you do it.

No one likes dragging themselves in the gym when all they want to do is just go home and vegetate on the couch due to a day of insufficient calories.

Both of my two new books, The New Rules of Lifting for Women and The Women's Health Perfect Body Diet advocate that you eat enough food and never starve yourself into misery.

You need to eat to support exercise, which is a necessary component of any body-composition-altering plan, otherwise you leave yourself in a tired, depressed place where all you want to do is cheat from your diet plan and stay as far away from exercise as possible.

My learning experience for this day was to always bring food with me so that I would be left in a situation like I was. After I finished my cardio, I still felt terrible and when I got home I wanted to eat anything in sight. That just wasn't a good place to be in and I knew better. Next time, my plan will be in place and my workouts and food control will be much better - I didn't blow it, but knew that it would have been easy to do so.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Facebook Group for New Book

Facebook is my new favorite hangout.


If you haven't heard of Facebook, you're really missing out. It's a new site developed to help friends connect. I'm not sure how it originally started, but it's exploded into a networking and reconnecting opportunity for millions of people.

Since I've been on Facebook, I've connected with many friends that I have not seen or heard from in a LONG time. I now know where my former highschool buddies are in life and what my old workout partners from other cities are up to.

Also on Facebook is a application that allows groups of people to join and discuss similar topics. For instance, there is now a group that has started for one of my new books: The New Rules of Lifting for Women.

Ladies and Gentlemen who have joined this group will be discussing the workout program, the diet program and the book in general.

If you're interesting in joining this group, or just joining Facebook to find old friends, you can check it out here:

Facebook NROL4W

I look forward to seeing you there! :)

(Note, to get to the group, you have to sign into Facebook, then it will take you to the NROL page)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Appetite reduction with standard multivitamin

An interesting study. Researchers report that a standard mutlivitamin and mineral can help women losing weight through dietary restriction to reduce their appetite and maintain their weight loss:

11/29/2007 - Multivitamins and minerals could reduce appetite in women on a weight reduction regime, while lower body weight and fat mass was more obvious in men, says new research from Canada.

The study adds to the body of evidence supporting adequate vitamin and mineral consumption for health, and is published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Two studies were performed; the first looking at multivitamin and mineral consumption and body composition, and the second a double-blind, randomised controlled study compared appetite ratings recorded from the first study.

The first study, a cross-sectional survey of 267 men and 320 women aged between 20 and 65, used a dietary questionnaire. Lead researchers Genevieve Major from Laval University and collaborators from the University of Ottawa, and Pennington Biomedical Research Center (Baton Rouge) report that male consumers of vitamin and dietary supplements had lower body weight, fat mass, and BMI, compared to non-consumers.Similar results were recorded for women.

Moreover, women consumers of the supplements reported reduced hunger levels.

The intervention trial recruited 45 obese non-consumers of the supplements and assigned them to a 15-week energy restricted diet, supplemented with either multivitamins and minerals, or placebo. Energy restriction was achieved by reducing normal caloric intake by 700 calories per day. At the end of the study, the researchers report that all groups recorded weight loss, with no statistically significant difference between placebo and supplement groups. However, women receiving the supplements reported reductions in fasting and postprandial (after a meal) appetite ratings."Overall, this suggests that an appetite-modulating effect of vitamin and mineral supplements could be more significant in individuals characterised by inadequate intake in micronutrients," says Major.

"Appetite is increased in response to body-weight loss due to variations in hormone levels implicated in the regulation of energy balance such as insulin, leptin and cortisol," they wrote. "Since some vitamins and minerals are involved in the synthesis of these and other peptides and neurotransmitters that control food intake, a decreased micronutrient availability could affect peptide hormone levels and thus interfere with the signalling pathways that control food intake," they added.

Source: British Journal of Nutrition (Cambridge Journals)
"Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study"
Authors: G.C. Major, E. Doucet, M. Jacqmain, M. St-Onge, C. Bouchard, and A. Tremblay

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hypoglycemia Attack

The Day Post-Thanksgiving (or Black Friday as some call it) has brought an important topic back to my forefront: HYPOGLYCEMIA and other blood sugar control disorders.

I've blogged about this topic in depth previously and even helped a few women (through the internet) determine a new method of eating so that this was not an issue for them. Today, a woman named April just emailed me and told me some of her experiences.

She wrote: " [Cassandra,] I happened upon your site and read your opening and some of your blogging. I am also Hypoglycemic, I have been for years but truly had no idea until about this same time last year, about 3 days after Thanksgiving 06'. I was so sick of feeling dizzy and not ever really having the energy to even get out of bed for two hours after I had woke up. I also never had much energy throughout the day and stayed dizzy, anxious and spacey (like someone had drugged me) all the time.I also had mega mood swings. I kind of though tfrom my lack of energy and near constant dizziness that I might be dying from some underlying illness or something, because the doctors always told me I was healthy; they did continuously test me for Diabetes and couldn't find any sign of it although I had many symptoms. About this time last year, I peeled myself out of bed but felt even worse than usual ( I now know that felt even worse that usual because I had eatena lmost an entire cheery pie before bed that nightbefore). I had already figured out that I needed to try to find a source of protein in the morning,because my fiance's doctor told him to do the same because at times he had similar symptoms to mine....."

For myself, I've learned to overcome these feeling of dizziness, shakiness and general lethargy, by doing just what April was told to do by her doctor: eat protein with every meal, keep my carbohydrate intake low and include fats as often as possible.

You see, for those with blood sugar disorders, even including the disease diabetes, the body does not process carbohydrates and use them at a constant rate for energy. In these people, the body cranks out too much insulin in response to carbohydrate foods, possibly because they have enhanced absorption of carbohydrate from the gut into the blood stream, or because their blood glucose (sugar) levels are maintained at a lower level that other people. This surge of glucose and insulin in the body leads to a plethora of symptoms including shakiness, lack of concentration, moodiness, headaches, and general lethargy. The body is designed to use the carbohydrates faster than is really needed, so in turn, a person is left yearning for more food very soon after eating a higher-carb meal with a lack of protein or fat.

Last night, even though I know better, and came armed with my own crustless sugar-free pumpkin pie, I indulged in my aunt's high-sugar, white flour crust pumpkin pie, and felt the effects of the sugar-rush right away. I felt disorientated, unhappy and very tired (and that wasn't from the turkey). Then, in about 45 minutes, I crashed hard and started shaking so bad that I had to eat again. This time I chose just turkey and greens, and immediately felt better, without feeling overcome by a large dose of sugar.

There's just something about sweets that irresistable to some people, and maybe for those people, sweets and other high-carb foods should just be avoided as if they produced some terrible disease (which, they actually can do).

For people with symptoms of hypoglycemia, the answer is not to stop eating or eat more carbs, it's to eat minimal carbs, increased about of protetin and plenty of fat. With regards to the latter two foods, stay away from processed foods and anything hydrogenated for the most optimal choices.

The body is a smart piece of machinery. If your car's CHECK ENGINE light kept coming on after you put cheap gas in the tank, wouldn't you start to question the gas you chose to put in your vehicle? The same goes for food: If, when you eat a food, you feel like you've been drugged (unless you purposely ate something that would make you feel that way...), you'd think you'd really start to question the food you put in your body! However, some people don't. They think they're sick, or their doctor tells them that they are, and they end up feeling the same way for years and years.

People: we're all engineered to eat a specific way. Don't let any doctor or nutritionist tell you that you should eat just as the FOOD GUIDE PYRAMID tells you to (with a basis of grains) if that way make you feel worse. Listen to your body and try new things until you get your food consumption just right for you.

For hypoglycemia, if you feel terrible after eating foods with a high sugar content, then STOP. Don't fear that protein is going to give you kidney failure or that dietary fat is going to cause your heart to have an attack because none of those items are based on any conclusive science. Eat for you, not for anyone else. Include these latter foods in your diet and stay away from carbohydrates... your body will thank you in more ways than one.


From here on out, I will blog at least twice a week. It's been a busy time for me with my dissertation project. I cook all week and then catch up on work on the weekends. It's hard, but I'm sure my final data will be great.

Also, if you haven't yet seen it, please check out my new books on amazon:
1) The New Rules of Lifting for Women, by Lou Schuler, Alwyn Cosgrove and myself.
2) The Women's Health Perfect Body Diet.

Happy Post Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween: To Treat or Not to Treat?

I don't know what to think about halloween anymore. When I was a kid, halloween was all about collecting as much candy from my neighbours that could fit in a large pillowcase and then, if there was time, go out for more. I remember one year I acheived a pillowcase-and-a-half, and it only took me a month to consume it all..... oh my.... (That's one of the reasons my cat's name was Candy). Yes, I was a typical child: I liked sugar and (I think) it brought me much joy.

Today I don't even like candy (my favorite used to sour soothers... not chocolate). In fact, I was in Target this afternoon purchasing a few things for my dissertation project, and marveled at the plethora of sugar-laden goodies available for a cheap price. I knew that all that candy was going to be given out tonight to eager children holding their pillowcases (or jack-o-latern candy bins), and they were going to love it.

My puzzlement with this whole holiday, is why did it turn into a candy and junk food feast? Should we really being encouraging children to eat more sugar and gawd-knows-what in such volumes? Is this really a good idea considering that most kids have body weight issues and attention-deficit disorders that are only exasperated by sugar? Yes, candy tastes good and kids should be allowed to eat it if they really want to because when they grow up, they can figure out if it's really good for them or not. (For me, I just knew candy was the pavement for the road to diabetes and excess body fat, so I choose not to eat it at all... really, at all.)

My current neighbourhood doesn't get any candy-grabbing monsters knocking at the door, but if they did, I wouldn't be like everyone else and hand out mini-chocolate bars. Instead, I'd offer small packets of raisins, or, if there weren't too many visitors expected, some healthy snack bar, such as a Larabar or a BeNaturals bar (fruit and nuts bar). I'd love to be able to give out fresh apples but there's the scare every parent has of razon blades shoved in the apples, or bags of cashews, almonds or walnuts, but again, peanut allergy-scares would cause them to become garbage.

What are you going to do this halloween? Are you giving out candy or do you have another better option for our insulin-spiked kids?

NOTE: My dissertation feeding study is going great. I've started the second week and my participants love to food and are impressed by my cooking skills. This project is definitely A LOT of work, but I'm so happy to be doing it. I'll keep you posted when I get partial data.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Low carb research in the works

It seems like I'm on the once a month blogging schedule. But, it's with good reason.

Since the beginning of the month, I've been working hard to collect participants, design the blood draw scheme, design diets and order supplies for my upcoming dissertation (PhD thesis) project at UConn.

For the past 3 years, I've been fortunate to work and research along side the great and all-knowing low-carb expert, Jeff Volek, PhD RD. With Jeff I've looked at the effects of low-carb (very low-carb to be precise) diets on individuals with the dyslipidemia of Metabolic Syndrome, and on weight-loss combined with resistance training.

My previous research experience at the University of Alberta in Canada revolved around how different types of fat sources affect blood cholesterol levels and cholesterol synthesis rates. In my MS, I did a human feeding study (translation = I cooked all meals every day for my participants) for a total of 4 months. It was tiresome, but a good experience.

I'm now combining my past experience with my current research to design one of the most interesting low-carb experiments that has ever been done.

What I'm doing is cooking all meals again (yes, I'm crazy) for 12 men aged 30-60, for a total of 3 months. This means that I'll be a slave to a kitchen again, cooking and preparing a total of 252 meals and 252 snacks each week. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm really looking forward to it.

The design is such that I have created a 7-day rotational menu for 2 different low-carb diets that will last a period of 6-weeks each. One diet will be the typical low-carb diet that is rich in saturated fat, mostly from dairy sources (butter, cheese and cream). The other diet is the supposed "ideal" low-carb diet that is rich in monounsaturated fat and omega-3 polyunsaturated fat from olive oil, canola oil, fish and omega-3 eggs. Each man will consume one of the diets in a cross-over design with the first one of the diets being given between the middle of October and the beginning of December, and the other mid-February to the end of March (2008). Three weeks prior to all this food being given, each man will follow a self-selected low-carb diet for 4 weeks so that their bodies are all adapted to the carb-restriction.

The diets are also not "diets" in the traditional sense. The calorie level provided is actually going to be sufficient enough so these men do not lose weight because in previous published papers from our lab group, we are criticised because people lose more weight on low-carb and any beneficial effects seen from the diet are suspected to be just because body weight decreases so much. So, in my study, I'm keeping weight stable.

The overall purpose of this research is to finally define what type of fat a person should eat if they decide to make low-carb their lifestyle. Currently there are no recommendations, so this study may provide more insight into what one should eat.

In the study we're measuring body comp via DEXA before beginning any low-carb eating, pre-6 week low-carb feeding and post-6 week feeding. Also looking at fatty acid composition of the blood, blood inflammation, urine isoprostanes (a measure of oxidative stress), blood lipids, antioxidant status and standard chem panels (liver function, kidney function, etc).

So, with all these measures, my days are very busy. I usually get up at 5:30 so that I can be at the lab by 7am to manage subjects, take blood, collect urine etc, etc.

Soon, my days are going to be even more busy as I become a full-time chef. Like I said, it's going to be a tough job because the diets are so particular and precise, but I'm really looking forward to getting away from the computer and getting down and dirty in the kitchen.

As the days roll on I'll update my progress. Wish me luck because this ain't going to be easy (yes, I know "ain't" ain't a word...just threw it in there for fun ) :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Supplement Coach

Last week I was in Miami (like I have the time, eh? lol) doing filming for the credible online supplement and nutrition site:

I was asked to come down there along with Jose Antonio, PhD, Jeff Stout, PhD, Dr Hector Lopez, MD, Doug Kalman, PhD, Juan-Carlos Santana, CSCS, and world-class distance athlete Sonya Friend-Uhl, CSCS, to interview about various supplements and dietary practices used by athletes and non-athletes alike, such as creatine, caffeine, fish oil, low-carb diets, and beta-alanine.

The site was started by Melinda Mergen who had a dream and made it a reality. She wanted to help people obtain factual, scientific-based information about supplements and nutiriton without having to sift through hundreds of different books or weeding through some of the misinformation that is taking over the internet. So, she put together an easy to understand vehicle with which people could get this information without having to worry it was incorrect or a scam. The format it is presented is unique too: video files that have experts talking about the supplement or dietary practice. This makes it very easy to understand for those who don't want to always read tiny letters on a website.

Melinda is not only a smart business woman, but is very passionate and caring about what she's doing. She is truely dedicated to helping people understand supplements and diets so that they don't buy into something they don't need, or worse, take something that might harm them.

Melinda is also one of the most beautiful women I've met, both inside and out. As a model and a genuine caring person, she's one of the people that makes our world a more special place. I'm glad she asked me to join and I look forward to contributing more in the future.

In health, Cassandra

Now, back to my PhD!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

No excuses to miss a workout

My life is pretty crazy (hence the long days between posts). Not only am I doing my PhD project in just a few short weeks, I'm doing edits for the new book I wrote, supervising a diet trial for the new book, doing assays in the lab for other research projects, writing for other websites, peer-reviewing papers for journals, writing questions for a new sports nutrition text book, etc etc, ALL while managing my own home, working out every day, attempting to plan a wedding and trying to not ignore my fiance Justin. Oh, and let's not forget getting at least 7 solid hours of sleep a night; any less and I feel really bad.

So, due to all this craziness, I have to make shortcuts wherever I can. First, I have about a 40 minute commute to work (the University) each way. On that drive, I get in most of my phone calls to friends, family and whatever else is going on.

Then, to ensure I eat well all day long, I cook large batches of food at one time, eat almost the same thing everyday and bring all my food with me wherever I go. This saves me from running to a cafeteria and being forced to choose something that just doesn't fit into any woman's (or man's) diet.

Finally, most importantly, I make sure I'm ready and able to exercise at all times. Luckily, I can wear running shoes and workout clothes to my job. So, like right now, I'm dressed in my workout shorts, a tank top and a pair of crosstrainers that can be used either for running or lifting (I really don't run that much, but I do run stairs at the football stadium or do sprints on the track). This way, when I get a free hour from the labwork at the University, I can walk over to the gym or the track and get a workout in. Or, if I don't want to workout at the U, I can hit my other gym on my way home from work.

Now, since not everyone has the luxury of wearing workout clothes all day long, you can always keep your gym bag with clothes and running shoes in your car, or carry your gym bag with you to work, if you take the train. This way you have no excuse to miss a workout because you've got everything with you.

Exercise is one of the most important ways (aside from good food choices) to keep your body weight steady, to keep your energy levels high, to help you sleep better at night and to make you feel good all over from head to toe. Don't rely on anyone else to workout for you. Make it your priority to get exercise in your life at least 30 minutes each day, everyday. If you have a workout partner, great, but don't let that make or break your date with exercise. Also, if you feel you need a trainer to spark new motivation in your workouts, suck it up and dish out the cash for someone to show you new moves for a few weeks. Trust me, it's worth it.

So, in summary, to make sure you never have an excuse to miss an opportunity to workout:
1. Keep gym clothes and shoes with you at all times
2. Even better, wear your gym clothes to work
3. Have two gym memberships in different areas so you can make it to the gym no matter where you are
4. Don't skip the gym just because your workout partner can't make it
5. Hire a personal trainer, or seek someone to design a new workout for you if you feel bored with your current routine

If any of you have other ideas, please share it in the comments. We can all benefit from other's experiences.

From one workout nut to another.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

More about role models

Last year I blogged about how atrocious some of the women on magazine covers look these days. Basically, I went off on a tantrum about the fact that the women who are "supposed to be" our role models, look nothing like any woman could possible appear naturally. It's ridiculous how thin some of these women seem - making it no wonder why women are overly critical about their physiques.

Well, a few days back, my co-author Lou Schuler posted a link about how Redbook drastically altered a photo of the beautiful Miss Faith Hill because they felt her almost 40 year old wrinkles, her wee-bit of loose skin, and normal sized arms were unapproapriate for a cover picture.

Please have a look at the link here and you'll be just as disgusted at how some people think women should look, just to be on a cover of a magazine. If the change in the size of Faith's arms is not enough to make you want to vomit, watch for her shrinking hips and disappearing smile lines.

If gorgeous Faith Hill isn't good enough the way she is to be on the cover of Redbook the way she is, you wonder who the heck really is?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Creatine for Women

Today T-nation's counterpart, musclewithattitude published an article I wrote with my friend Jen Heath about creatine use for women.

Check it out here


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2007 is the year for Fat Loss

If you're looking to make 2007 the year in which you succeed at Fat Loss, then you need to tune your MP3 to this amazing resource created by Jen Heath:

Fat Loss Pros

I was recently recruited (along with noted fat-loss experts such as Chad Waterbury, Dr. Lonnie Lowery, Craig Ballantyne, Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, Alwyn Cosgrove, Charles Staley, and several others) to provide my BEST thinking on real-World, practical fat-loss for a comprehensive 15-hour downloadable MP3 interview collection.

In addition to the staggering 15 hours worth of fat-loss secrets from the top dogs in the industry, the package also includes a ton of bonus materials from all the experts involved.

My bottom line for you is this: if you can’t get crazy-lean with the tips, tricks, strategies, insights, diet plans, and inspiration you’ll find in this expert interview compilation, it’s just never gonna happen for you!

It all comes down to a simple question- are you serious?

If so, get your own copy of Fat Loss Pros and make 2007 the year you get freaky lean.

Click Here

Monday, July 9, 2007

Bike Specs

I didn't think I'd get asked this, but Robin had asked me to post some specs about my great new bike.

You can go to the Specialized website and get all the details here

I'll also list information about the bike right below:

Name: Specialized Crossroads Sport Women's


-A1 Premium Aluminum Low Entry "U-Frame" design, Ground Control Geometry 700c comfort frame
-SR suspension fork
-Body Geometry Comfort grips, triple density gel
-Tektro alloy 3 finger brake lever, Kraton contact area, for twist shifter
-Wellgo platform pedals
-Specialized Super Comfort Plush saddle w/ springs and an alloy suspension seatpost (this is the best part... springs in my butt!)

Tektro "V" w/ linear spring
Tektro Wmns alloy 3 finger lever, Kraton contact area, for twist shifter
Shimano C-102, 31.8 clamp
Shimano Acera
Shimano RS-41 Revo Twist
Shimano HG-40, 8-speed, 11-32t

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Biking to the gym

Don't you think it's a little funny that a person would bike to the gym?

I do.

So, today, instead of getting in my car and driving to the gym to just do cardio, I road my bike. Now, it normally takes me about 15 minutes to drive there, but today on my bike, it took 45.

The day was gorgeous, the air was fresh (albeight a bit humid) and the sun was shining.

Since I have a bad back which makes it very painful to ride a bike, I finally located a bike that works for my mechanics. This made my ride much more enjoyable then the year prior when I would get off my $1300 road bike and want to just die from the pain. Now, I've got myself a granny bike (as some people call it) which sits me upright and makes my back very happy. It also gives my legs and butt a killer workout because the angle at which I sit is almost like stepping up on a stair rather than rolling my thigh back on a normal bike.

Pictured is my beauty bike. If you have a bad back, like I, I encourage you to check one out. It's the Specialized Crosstrails and it makes riding to gym a great and pain-free workout.

The next time you have the option to bike to the gym instead of driving you should. It made my whole day a lot better and my workout a lot longer.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Putting life into perspective

Sometimes it takes an unfortunate event to make you realize there is so much more to life than the little things we all worry about.

Today I found out that a very sweet student that I was in contact with this year passed away suddenly on Sunday June 24th. He was only 25 years old and from what I experienced, a very genuine and hard working young man. His name is David Wood and he remains in the hearts of all who knew him.

I feel so selfish. While I was stressing over stupid insignificant things in my life today and yesterday, a young man's family was mourning over an uncessary loss.

This was a rude wake-up call for me. I wish his family support and strength in this tough time I will also stop worrying about little things and remember to count my blessings. I'm glad I have my health and the love of many around me. That's what is most important. Not books, not papers, not exams, not working out, not eating, nothing.

Take a moment to reflect on all the good you have in your life. It will make your worries seem so unimportant.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cinnamon linked to better blood sugar control

6/26/2007 - Using cinnamon as a functional ingredient may lead to slower emptying of the stomach and reduce the rise in blood sugar after eating, says a new study.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adds to a growing body of research reporting that active compounds in cinnamon may improve parameters associated with diabetes.

"Inclusion of cinnamon in the diet lowers the postprandial glucose response, a change that is at least partially explained by a delayed [gastric emptying rate]," wrote lead author Joanna Hlebowicz from Malmo University Hospital, University of Lund

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The scale only tells you one thing.

Before I get to the topic that my title eludes, I'll let you all know that I finished the book on time.

In just 6 weeks, along with my writer, we submitted 96,000 words and well-over 365 pages of material. The book was the new diet and training book for Women's Health magazine. Basicially, it's what the Abs diet is for Men's Health. It should be out VERY soon.

Now, my topic:

For the past two weeks while working on the book, I only lifted once, (but still walked on my treadmill at least once a day) and ate an incredible amount of food. Since I was stressed, I dug into the nut jar and also ate so many vegetables that I'm surprised I've not turned green. Also, while I was in Vegas, I indulged in A LOT of food at two great buffets....easily ate over 800 kcals in one sitting

So, despite the lack of lifting and good eating, my scale had different ideas for me. As you know, I was at 128 lbs when I finished my hardcore Velocity diet for 28 days, but when I got back from Vegas AND after the 2 weeks of crappy habits, I weighed 125!

Thankfully my clothes still fit, but I was pretty soft compared to how I usually am.

Which got me thinking: Why the heck do I even weigh myself? All the scale tells you is ONE thing: how much you weigh. It DOES NOT tell you how much body fat or muscle you carry, and it sure in the heck does not differentiate between water and tissue.

Obviously I lost muscle as I lost the weight, which is NOT what I wanted.

In fact, the V-diet combined with the Se7en and the intense training I was doing probably stimulated massive protein synthesis. All that quick digesting, high-leucine containing whey was great for muscle growth.

But, if you're like most women (and some men), if you see the scale go up when you think it should go down, you think your diet or training is bogus and you quit.

I wish we were just able to determine changes in body fatness instead of trying to figure what's going on in our bodies with a simple scale.

So, what we need to do is use different methods: how clothes feel, how we feel, how we look in a bikini. NOT what the stupid, inaccurate, mind-of-it's own scale says.

As one girlfriend of mine said this weekend: I can make the scale lie (i.e. by leaning against the wall or something like that), but I can't change the way my jeans fit.

Good point.

In other news, now that I'm back to my real life (not book life) it means I can do many things I've put off... primarily my disseration and my wedding plans.

PhD and Mrs Cassandra Pribanic, here I come (actually, I'll keep my current last name and add Justin's with a hyphen)

That's a lot of letters: Cassandra Elizabeth Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD, CSCS, CISSN.... count 'em, it's 50!!! Yikes.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Quick update --I'm on the radio

Yes, I'm in stressful book-writing mode right now... In fact, I've been up for almost 24 hours straight today, and I've barely moved off my butt. Ughhhh

But, in lighter news: I'm on Big Butt Radio this week (coincidence, I think not!)

Check out the show here:

It was a lot of fun to do that show. The crew at BBR are great! I couldn't stop laughing (you'll hear when you get to my part of the show).

And I want to send out a great big thanks to everyone that has sent me an encouragement email or text message. Thanks for letting me know you care.

OK.. I need to stretch and take my own advice: sleep may be a good thing.


Friday, June 15, 2007

One week to go

I'm back from beautiful Las Vegas and I'm now cranking with everything I've got to get this book done on time. There is MUCH to do, so I will be likely not posting again until after the 22nd.

Thank you to all the women who have contacted me with their stories of low-fat diet horrors. If I haven't gotten back to you yet, I will shortly; I've just been really over-loaded since I got back.

After the book is done I'll tell you all about it, but right now, it just needs to be written.

Thank you!

Wish me stamina and focus! (That's what I need right now)


Saturday, June 9, 2007

Vegas here I come!

I'll be away for the next few days in beautiful (and fun, and exciting, and stress-free.... ) Las Vegas for the 4th annual International Society of Sports Nutrition annual meeting.

If anyone reading this blog is going to be there, please find me and say hello. I'd love to meet you.

Here I go!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Has a Low-Fat diet failed you?

For my new book, I'm looking for a few testimonials from women that have tried a very-low fat diet and found that it failed them.

If this is you, I'd love to include your story.

Just let me know what happened to you when you followed the diet. Did you gain weight? Did you become depressed? Did you crave peanut butter? etc.

You can either post your comment here or send me a direct email at

Thank you!


Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Low Carb study shows increased CRP

A new study just came out the other day in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition by Virginia Tech researchers that compared a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) Atkins diet (>65% fat) with a low-fat, high-carb (LFHC) AHA (American heart association) diet (15% pro, 20% fat, 60 % carbs).

The diets were followed for 4 weeks by 29 pre-menopausal (age 32-45), overweight women, sedentary women, with no disease (i.e. diabetes) or other endocrine disorders.

The women came to the lab every week at the same time to have blood, urine, body weight and waist circumferences measured. Blood was collected to look at classic disease risk markers, including high-sensitivity CRP which is a protein in our blood that increases when we are sick, when we have systemic inflammation, and it may help predict our risk for heart disease. High CRP is usually seen in obese persons. It is shown to decrease with weight loss, diets high in fiber, diets high in antioxidant foods (like fruit) and diets low in simple high-glycemic carbohydrates.

Urine was collected to look at an isoprostane, which is an inflammatory compound produced in the body from arachidonic acid and is a classic marker of oxidative stress(OS). OS is an imbalance between production and elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which are compounds that have an unpaired electron on oxygen and can attack other molecules in the body. ROS are associated with many diseases and with ageing.

The results showed that after 4 weeks, all women lost a significant amount of weight, but the women in the LCHF group lost more than in the HCLF group (8 lbs vs 5 lbs), especially during the first week. For some reasons, the circumferences were not reported. Caloric intake between the two groups was similar except that the macros were obviously different. They both consumed on average about 1350 to 1400 calories.

The diets had no effect on isoprostane production, and no differences were noted between groups. This means that the diets did not increase oxidative stress.

However, what they did find after 4 weeks that was different and which was surprising to me, was that the LCHF diet increased concentrations of CRP (from 5.7 mg/L to 7.1 mg/L) whereas the HCLF diet decreased CRP (from 4.8 mg/L to 2.7 mg/L). But, this increase and decrease was not completely linear. The LCHF started at 5.7, then went to 7.5, 6.1, 6.1 and 7.1. The HCLF started at 4.8, then went to 4.2, 4.3, 4.1, and 2.7 in the last week. If the results were looked at the third week, there wasn't any difference. But, that wasn't the case.

Plus, in speaking with other people who know more about CRP than I do, they state that CRP does not increase like it did here unless there was illness among a few of the women. Many times, when a women changes her diet drastically to lose weight, she ends up sick with a cold, so that may explain these results. Further, please keep in mind that the normal values for CRP are less than 1.0 mg/L for the lowest risk of heart disease, 1.0 to 3.0 mg/L for average risk, and more than 3.0 mg/L is the highest risk. In this study, the women all started with an apparently higher risk, but again, this number is increased in those who are very overweight, those who have previously exercised, and those that are sick, or are getting sick (i.e. a cold).

Even though CRP was elevated, it was not associated with an increase in an inflammatory cytokine called IL-6. This cytokine is thought to induce release of CRP from liver, but it's relationship to CRP is not simplistic. Some studies find that IL-6 and CRP change in the same direction with dietary alteration, while others do not find this effect. Usually, CRP drops with weight loss, but IL-6 does not always.

Overall, what is the explanation for these findings? Does this mean that women should not follow a LCHF diet to lose weight because it will increase their CRP levels? No, and this is why:

· First, here at UConn, we have conducted this same type of investigation in men and women, comparing a HCLF diet with a LCHF diet and have not seen an elevation in CRP. The difference between our studies and this one though is that our studies are carried out for a longer period of time; usually at least 6 weeks, but mostly 12. When a person is given more time to adapt to a diet, it will help their body return to normal homeostasis. Think about it: If you radically changed your diet from low-fat to ultra-low carb, do you think it would automatically respond favorably? No. At first your body would have to make many modification in various enzymes and proteins before it was completely normalized to the new diet. Four weeks is not enough time to see the true effects of a radical dietary change like this one.

· Second, if you look at the individual results in CRP, you can see that there were a few women only in the LCHF group (Atkins) that had quite high CRP levels. This would drag the norm up. Some women were as high as 17 mg/L at baseline. Then, after the 4 weeks, only 2 women really had a spike in CRP. Their values went up by 5 and 6%, which is more likely a result of some infection or illness, not because of the diet. These are probably women who were not suited well for the diet, and perhaps they got so stressed out about eating so much fat that they made themselves sick.

· Third, weight loss was greater in LCHF versus HCLF and from the research we've conducted, this loss is mainly visceral fat. When you lose weight from deep adipose tissue stores, it means that a lot of fat is released into the blood. Some investigators feel that these free fatty acids are pro-inflammatory which would then result in increased CRP.

· Fourth, no other markers of inflammation were associated with CRP, not IL-6, and not the isoprostanes. This further supports the fact that CRP, which is increased short term in response to infections and illness, was not due to the diet alone. It had to do with some of those women responding negatively, either with stress or illness.

· Fifth, ultimately, it may boil down to the fact that these women were not suited to follow a very low carb diet. In our research and in other studies, it is shown that women with risk factors for Metabolic Syndrome including central obesity (i.e. belly fat, the apple shape), increased insulin and glucose (indicating poor carb tolerance), low HDL cholesterol, high blood triglycerides, and high blood pressure, are the ones that respond best to carbohydrate restriction. For other women with gluteal-femoral fat (i.e. the pear shape), good carbohydrate tolerance, and low triglycerides, the low carb approach does not work very well.

Overall, this drives home the idea that you have to follow a diet that is best for your body, not one that is popular at the time. Realize first if you really need to restrict carbohydrates, instead of just blindly following the ultra-low carb diet revolution bandwagon. Some women do not need to drop carbs this low to see weight loss and fat loss. Then, don't assess your results in just the first 4 months. It takes time to lose weight, fat and improve your health. If you developed love handles and a tummy in 4 months, don't think it's going to come off in 4 weeks. On that same note, if you radically change your diet around from low fat to low carb, don't think your body is going to be happier right away. Give it time to adjust and learn to use fat effectively.

Thoughts and feedback are welcomed.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bikini Shopping -Do it, I dare you

I'm in the market for a new bikini (or one piece, not sure yet), and my roomate suggested that I get one from victoria's

First thing I thought is NO WAY.

For one, the women designed to wear VS bathing suits, are just not me. I don't know about you, but the only time I ever looked like one of these women (see picture) was when I just got out of the hospital a few years ago for intestinal surgery and I lost 15 lbs in 5 days.

For two, I've never bought a bikini on-line, or any piece of clothing for that matter. I just have to try it on otherwise I'm sure I'll be sending it back.

However, I thought I'd just check the site out to see what they had. Well, what I found was me wallowing in a pit of sorrow after looking at these completely flaw-free fat-free women. I mean, come on, do any women look like this in REAL LIFE????

Then, I smartened up.

Although I'm on a fat loss journey right now, my body is nothing to feel crappy about. I'm fit, I'm healthy, and I look pretty darn good in a bikini. AND I think I look better than these skeleton-like women.

I may still buy a bikini from VS... but at the moment, I just want to tell the company to feature more realistic women. This one gal I posted here is kinda sickly looking. Ugh.

Countdown to Vegas - T minus 12

This day was perfect. Macros and calories lined up excellently.

Cass's diet record Tues May 28, 07. (Training Day)
Good sleep last night. Slept 12:30 am to 8:30 am

6:30 am - Got up and made Justin his lunch for work and his breakfast for the road (a shake). He started summer hours this week, so it means, we'll be going to bed a lot earlier (not that last night was a good example). When he left, I came back to bed and slept for another hour and a bit (I just wasn't ready to be awake at 7am).

9:00 am - went for a quick walk/jog with the dogs outside - 25 mins.

9:40 am - Took greens and supplements = 30 cals, 6 NET carbs
10:00 am - Took 2 fish oil, 2 GLA, se7en (am going to take this 2xday for next 2 weeks) and Rev-Z = 18 cals, 2 g fat

10:10 am - Made a whole food meal for breakfast: 1 large egg, 1/3 cup egg whites, 10 g walnuts, cilantro, spinach and pepper. Served over 1 slice of Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, with 1 tbsp Heinz One Carb Ketchup. Had 10 big fresh blackberries = 242 cals, 19 g protein (some from bread, and nuts), 19 g NET carbs (27 - 8 fiber), 10 g fat

Worked on computer all morning. Back to work day.

12:30 pm - 120 g Extra Lean Ground Turkey with 90 g Organic Pasta Sauce. 1 Medium red bell pepper, and 65 g blackberries, 2 fish oil = 292 cals, 34 g protein, 12 g NET carbs (16 -4), 12 g fat

3:45 pm - 150 g cooked tilapia with Hot Sauce and spices. 70 g corn, 100 g green beans. 10 g walnuts = 308 cals, 39 g pro, 20 g NET carbs (23-3), 8 g fat

5:30 pm (pre-gym) - red bell pepper, 60 g lean ground turkey with One Carb Ketchup, 60 g blackberries = 148 cals, 18 g pro, 10 g Net carbs (15 -5), 4 g fat

Gym workout 7:30 pm to 9:10 pm: Took 1 F-heit before training (made me kind of nauseous)
Heavy upper body workout 4-6 reps,
Start with 20 mins on crosstrainer
Warmup A1) Single arm rope tricep pushdowns - 15 reps, 3 sets
Warmup A2) Single arm squat row - 15 reps, 3 sets
B1) DB Bench Press: 45 lbs each hand - 4 sets
B2) Single arm decline ab crunch - 15 pounds, 4 sets, - 12 reps each side
C1) Military Press: 65 lbs, 6 reps
C2) Rope Bicep curls, 10 reps
D1) Seated Row: 115 lbs, 6 reps
D2) Staggered Pushup: 4 each arm
D3) Assisted Pullups: 5 reps
Cardio 30 mins more

Stop at grocery store. Home at 9:45 pm

10 pm - Eats: 140 g cooked tilapia with Hot sauce, 20 g walnuts, 95 g apple, 100 g blackberries, 60 g corn plus 100 g green beans with 30 g organic tomato sauce and glucomannan. Two Flameout, Two GLA = 462 cals, 39 g pro, 36 g NET carbs (49 - 13), 18 g fat

Totals = 1500 cals (1608 if fiber was added), 149 g pro, 103 g carbs (130 - 27 fiber), 55 g fat

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Diet/Training Plan until I leave for Vegas

With the help of my good friend Jen Heath, my plan for the next 12 days (because I leave for Vegas on Sunday the 10th) is to consume 1600 calories with approx 160 g protein, 120 g carbs, and 55 g fat on weight training/cardio days. Then, on cardio-only days, I'll eat 1200-1300 cals, with 140 g pro, 80 g carbs, and 50 g fat.

My diet will consist of whole foods with pro, fat and carbs in each meal. I don't like to purposely separate fats from other foods because I don't eat enough carbohydrate in a meal to cause a surge in insulin that would stimulate fat storage. That's silly. I also keep my carbs lower in the AM because that's when glucose surges are the highest, based on new research findings that I just read. It makes sense to me, because in the AM your muscles haven't moved at all, and your body is going to be not in the best mode to process carbs . Because you lose non-insulin stimulated glucose uptake (due to the inactivity of the muscles) you depend on insulin completely to send that glucose to your muscles. That means insulin will be jacked in the AM. High insulin increases hunger, and will these low cals, I don't want ANY hunger pains to hit me. So, I'll focus on my highest carb intakes in the meals after my workouts.

The only time I really leave out fat is if I eat just veggies to fill up (i.e. in between meals I have a red bell pepper or green beans, etc and they don't need anything added to them… I love my veggies).

My training plan is to do cardio everyday. I'll do 1 hour at least on non-weight training days, and 1/2 to 1 hour on weight training days. I'll lift 3 days a week on a M, W, F split or, for this week, a T, Thurs, Sat split.

I don't take fat burners and never have, but I'm going to try and use F-heit once a day later in the afternoon when cortisol is lower to see what happens. I'm not a fan of most fat burners because they make my stomach hurt and they make me too shaky and irritable. Never have I used them to get lean, and I really didn't want to depend on them, but I'll see what happens now.

Other supplements I'll take for fat loss are 2 se7en a day, 2 Rev-Z a day, 8 to 10 fish oil per day (Flameout), GLA (a anti-inflammatory fatty acid), Biotin, CoQ10, and a powdered greens (soy-free).
For food, I'll only take 1-2 shakes per day (they were easy to have and they saved me a LOT of $$$ on groceries), and the rest will be whole food. I don't eat flour products, and will focus my carbs on veggies, sprouted grain bread, brown rice, oats, raisins, berries, NexGen muffins (no flour in these babies) and perhaps rice crackers. Proteins will be eggs, egg whites, tilapia, salmon, tuna, chicken, ground turkey, whey, maybe cottage cheese. No lunch meats or anything will nitrates, etc. Fats will be egg yolks, salmon, salmon oil, nuts, seeds, and oils in shakes. I'm not a fan of nut butters so won't bother with them.

I'll stay away from sushi… only 1 time until Vegas perhaps and will count all my calories from veggies. When I get to Vegas, then I'll eat all that lovely raw fish… yumm.

I don't need to have any cheat days until I leave. That means no sunchips! Hahah. That means I'll be sticking to my plan 100% for the next 12 days, which is not hard to do anyhow.

So, I'm not expecting to really lose any weight, but I just want to make sure I don't gain any before I leave. I'll do new measurements next Monday and see where I'm at with these whole food meals.

Countdown to Vegas - T minus 13

Cass's diet record Mon May 27, 07. (Mountain Bike Day)
Good sleep last night. Slept 12 am to 8:45 am

Back on diet watch today after a long weekend of eating whatever I wanted.

9:00 am - It's a holiday, so I slept in. Got up, took probiotics, woke up, foam rolled and stretched/strengthened. Got dressed and ready for our mountain bike day. Justin and I were planning on heading out by 11 am to hit the trails.

9:40 am - Took greens and supplements = 30 cals, 6 NET carbs
10:00 am - Took 4 fish oil, and Rev-Z = 36 cals, 4 g fat

10:00 am - Drank a shake for breakfast because it was habit (made in blender): 1 1/2 scoops Dymatize whey, 10 frozen strawberries, 1/6 cup almonds, 1 tsp ground flax, and glucomannan = 325 cals, 39 g pro, 13 g NET carbs, 13 g fat

Helped Justin get the bikes ready. One of the perks of dating an engineer is that they can build/fix anything. We've also got a roommate that is a bike mechanic, so we've got a whole bike mechanic work room in the breezeway. Justin put a new fork on my bike because I've been complaining it didn't have enough shock absorption. He also put on a new tire (bigger with more grip).

11:00 am - Headed out for the trails. Ate 20 g raisins on the way there = 56 cals, 14 g carbs,

12 pm - Started our ride. Road HARD for 2 hours and got back to the cars by 2:30 pm. My body was DEAD when we got back. I felt SO out of shape the whole time we were riding. Since I've not done anything seriously cardiovascular for the last 4 weeks, I was a super slow poke. I was drenched with sweat when we got back to the car and felt like I got hit by a truck. It was a hot day and a difficult course of more than 75% climbing… ugh. While riding I ate the other 1/2 of a Larabar and drank BCAAs = 201 cals, 3 g pro, 18 g carbs, 13 g fat (for whole bar, because ate rest later)

We went out for lunch after the ride and ate at Atlanta Bread CafĂ©. No, I didn't eat bread, but I had a chicken salad with corn and black beans: 3 oz chicken breast, 1/3 cup mandarin oranges, 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1 tbsp sliced almonds, 3 cups romaine, 1 tbsp sesame salad dressing and 1/3 cup corn and black beans = 347 cals, 31 g protein, 22 g carbs, 15 g fat (I don’t know if this is correct, but I'm going with it)

I was still so out of it after this. Justin and I went to EMS and I bought those Reef sandals for women that have the little compartment under the heel. We then went to home depot to get new towel racks for the bathroom. Fun, fun. J

Got home at 4:45 pm and rested for 15 mins, but didn't sleep. Showered, etc.

6:30 pm - made a tuna sandwich: 1 can tuna plus mustard and glucomannan, 2 small slices sprouted grain bread. Drank water and had another 1/2 of a Larabar = 297 cals, 40 g protein (10 g from bread), 23 g carbs, 5 g fat

7:30 pm - Felt crappy, so had 1 red bell pepper, raw, and cooked broccoli and green beans, with 1 tbsp organic pasta sauce and glucomannan (makes it thick) = 70 cals, 13 g carbs, 2 g fat

10:30 pm - 1/2 scoop Dymatize Whey, 1 red bell pepper, 25 g almonds = 202 cals, 20 g pro (some from almonds), 8 g carbs, 10 g fat

Totals: 1558 cals, 133 g pro (35%), 117 g carbs (30%), 62 g fat (35%)

I thought I'd eat 50-25-25… but it didn’t turn out that way. This 35-30-35 is still good though.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Last OFFICIAL day of the modified velocity diet

Friday was the last official day of the diet for me.

I followed it to a "V" (standing for Victory) up until after my workout. Then, it was time to EAT. I consumed a heck of a lot of calories in the form of sweet potato, corn, Sunchips... yes, sunchips, salmon, white beans and... strawberry shortcake (light coolwhip, fresh strawberries and a small foam cake mold). I felt so good and slept like a million bucks.

My measurements were OK, but I wished they would have been more significant. I really restricted as much as I could and worked out harder than most people would while following this diet. But, it was OK.

What happened is: I lost another 1/2 inch of my waist for a total of 1 1/2 inches for the 4 weeks, but nothing anywhere else. This 1/2 inch did make me somewhat happy though because I was expecting to be bigger due to PMS. I ignored my body weight because it wasn't accurate (PMS) and my body fat % was a bit lower at 17.5%. I took pictures and the loss was noticable in my waist area. Plus, I looked a bit harder all over.

So, it wasn't all for nothing. When I put on my bikini yesterday (Saturday) for the beach, I was impressed that I looked pretty damn hot (must have been all that food I ate the night before... haha) and it inspired me to keep going hard on a restricted diet for the next 2 weeks. Two weeks is my goal for now because that's when I make my way over to Vegas to speak at the ISSN meeting. Such fun!

I trained lightly on Saturday morning (lifted for 20 mins and did 1 hour straight cardio), and ate big all day. We went to the lake (as I mentioned) and I just ate a lot of food. I was so exhausted, so I needed it. Today, Sunday, I've just done some walking, and again another higher calorie day.

I can see how easy it is for people to get fat though. We've got so much access to high calorie foods and we don't do anything to burn it off. All the people I hung out with this weekend ate about the same as me... but they really shouldn't have, because they didn't work out all week long, nor worked out much at all.

Tomorrow, I'm going to use all my stored glycogen to hit the trails for a hard mountain bike day (probably climb for 2-3 hours) and will also lift later in the afternoon. I'll eat at maintenance (1800 to 2000 cals) or slightly lower with a 50% pro, 25% carb 25% fat split of only foods that I can calculate the calories on (which is what some people refer to as "clean foods" like chicken, tuna, salmon, rice, etc). Then, starting Tuesday, it's back to low cals of about 1200 to 1500 and 1-2 shakes per day with all whole foods and lots of vegetables until Sunday which I will eat one more maintenance day, and then back low again until I leave for Vegas (because in Vegas I won't have the luxury to calculate my food, but I will eat good).

It was nice to not have to count anything or weigh anything this weekend. Left me time to think about me and what I really wanted.

This is it: I want to be 16% body fat or less (that's reasonable). I want to be muscular. I want to be happy with myself and not let my diet craziness harm my relationship with Justin AND I want to be able to function normally around my friends (and not act like a food snob... which they all think I am anyhow).

Alright. Gotta work. Will post my food up until my trip to Vegas and will blog about more fun things,,,, like the craziness of Cassie's mind. And, some cool science news.

Here's my log for Friday. Have a great Memorial day!

Cass's diet record Fri May 25, 07. (Training Day)
So-so sleep last night. Slept 12 am to 7:15 am.

7:00 am - Got up, made Justin breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, took probiotics etc. Foam rolled quickly but didn't go for a walk because I had to start working right away on the book. Needed to get a lot done in the morning because didn't get much done last night and figured I wouldn't get much done again this evening.

7:40 am - Took greens and supplements = 30 cals, 6 NET carbs
8:00 am - Took 4 fish oil, and Rev-Z = 36 cals, 4 g fat

8:30 am - Drank first shake of day (made in blender): 1 1/2 scoops Dymatize whey, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 1/6 cup almonds, 1 tsp ground flax, and glucomannan = 296 cals, 38 g pro, 9 g NET carbs (17 - 8 fiber), 12 g fat

Worked at computer all day again. Didn't take as many breaks as I should have… was on a mission to get a lot of work done.

10:30 am - Shake #2 (made in blender): 1 scoop Dymatize Whey, 7 frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup almonds, and glucomannan = 320 cals, 32 g pro, 10 g NET carbs (18 - 8 fiber), 17 g fat

12 pm = Ate 1/2 a red bell pepper and 50 g of blackberries at 12 pm = 30 cals, 7 g carbs

1:45 pm = Shake #3 (made in blender): 1 scoop Dymatize Whey, 10 frozen strawberries, 1 Tbsp ground flax, 1 tsp ENOVA oil, and glucomannan = 242 cals, 27 g pro, 11 g NET carbs (18 - 7 fiber), 10 g fat

3:20 pm - Drove to get measurements done. Went grocery shopping, and drove back home.

5:10 pm - One scoop Dymatize Whey plus 20 g raisins and glucomannan = 161 cals, 23 g pro, 15 g carbs, 1 g fat

Totals so far: 1117 cals, 120 g protein, 58 g carbs, 45 g fat

Workout 6:30 to 8 pm:

1 1/2 hours of brutally hard weights and cardio. Burned at least 400 calories. At least.

Came home and BBQ'd with friends. Ate onion Sunchips (damn they were good), salmon, sweet potato fries, 1/2 corn of the cob, white bean and tomato Italian salad, Strawberry Shortcake. Felt like a million bucks!

This whole meal was about 700 calories easy and about 100 carbs at least. My muscles sucked up that food like they were starving for it (which they were…) Damn. That was awesome.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Modified Velocity Diet Day 28 - May 24 (one more day)

I'm going one more day with the strict V-diet plan before I weigh in/measure up. Not sure how accurate the results will be tomorrow because I'm PMSing like crazy and holding a bucket load of water... sigh.

Cass's diet record Thurs May 24, 07. (Cardio/Light workout Day)
So-so sleep last night. Slept 12 am to 7:15 am.

7:30 am - Got up, made Justin breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, took probiotics etc. Foam rolled quickly and then went for an easy walk with the dogs for 30 mins.

I was feeling really drained this morning and wasn't really sure why. It could have been because I didn't eat the right combination of macro's or total calories after my workout last night. I could have been because I really didn't sleep all that soundly (for some reason I had some really nasty dreams). It could be that I've trained every day without a break for the last few days OR it could be because that TIME of the month is coming and my body is revving up it's metabolic rate and wants more calories.

** On that last note, yes, it's true, your metabolic rate increases right before your period and that’s usually why women have cravings --they need to EAT! They also have crazy cravings for things like chocolate because serotonin and dopamine declines and we all know how good chocolate make you feel (albieght a temporary high). Whatever it was, I knew it was OK to take it a bit easier this AM.

Got back to the house at 9 am and drank my greens and supplements right away. There was going to be NO waiting around this morning to eat. My body needed the calories.

9:00 am - Took greens and supplements = 30 cals, 6 NET carbs
9:20 am - Took 4 fish oil, and Rev-Z = 36 cals, 4 g fat

9:30 am - Drank first shake of day (made in blender) and made it a little bigger because I was so hungry this morning: 1 1/2 scoops Dymatize whey, 10 frozen strawberries, 1/6 cup almonds, 1 TBsp ground flax, and glucomannan = 351 cals, 40 g pro, 14 g NET carbs (23 - 9 fiber), 15 g fat

Worked at computer all day again. Took breaks when I could to play with the dog.

11 am - was really foggy, so ate 1 red bell pepper and 1/3 cup corn =64 cals, 16 g NET carbs

12:00 pm - still hungry so ate 3 cups of broccoli and 1/4 cup green beans = 50 cals, 2 g pro, 10 g NET carbs

1:30 pm - Shake #2 (made in blender): 1 1/2 scoops Dymatize Whey, 7 frozen strawberries, 1 TBsp hemp seeds, 1 tsp ground flax, and glucomannan = 247 cals, 36 g pro, 10 g NET carbs (14 - 4 fiber), 7 g fat

Headed out at 3 pm to pick up more protein and go to the gym. It was 90 degrees today which made me almost wanted to lay on the lawn and tan, but I decided to get my workout done anyhow. Did go for a tan though at the salon…

Gym workout 4:15 pm to 5:30 pm.
Mostly just cardio and rehab because was still feeling a bit blah.
Did weighted ab exercises such as Saxon side bends and weighted decline crunch. 4 sets, 20 reps. Plus rotator cuff work i.e. straight arm pulldowns.
Did 20 mins on cross-trainer not holding on to anything.
Did 10 mins on treadmill at 4.0 mph and a 4 incline.
Not bad. Good recovery day.

Grocery shop etc. Sipped BCAAs on way home.

Home at 6:15 pm.

6:30 pm - Whole food meal: 0.8 lb shrimp steamed (bought at store like this.. I was craving fish), 100 g blackberries, 100 g kernel corn, 20 g raisins = 480 cals, 75 g protein, 40 g carbs, 1 g fat

I was still hungry after this meal, probably because there was no fat. So, had a red bell pepper, 10 g whole almonds and drank some power drive (which, I think has been sitting in my cupboard for too long, because it tasted kind of old…) Also took 3 more fish oil. Continued to drink BCAAs. = 121 cals, 10 g carbs, 9 g fat

9:00 pm - Another red bell pepper and shake: 1 scoop Dymatize Whey, 1 tsp ENOVA oil, 1 tsp ground flax, glucomannan, ice = 199 cals, 24 g pro, 10 g NET carbs, 7 g fat

10:00 pm -Ate broccoli and cauliflower (steamed)

Totals = 1624 cals, 177 g pro, 130 g carbs, 44 g fat

Calories and carbs were a bit high for today, but it was from vegetables. Now, some people don't count those calories in their calculations, but I did for this experiment.
My body need this amount today. I was running on zero energy it seems, so I'm not feeling bad about this. If it means my weight loss progress is slower, I'll take it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

TOM, you confuse me

Since it's my blog and I can do this... I'm going to rant VERY quickly:

Someone tell me why our blessed Mother Nature gave us TOM and let him make us retain huge volumes of water and plasma at least once a month?


I feel as big as a whale right now.

Modified Velocity Diet Day 27 - May 23

Cass's diet record Wed May 23, 07. (Workout Day)
Good sleep last night. Slept 12 am to 7:00 am.

7:00 am - Got up, made Justin Breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, took probiotics etc. While trying to wake up, I looked through some of the cookbooks I own to pick more recipes to modify for the new book today. By 7:40 am, I still felt a bit blah, so I went back downstairs to bed and rested for about 25 mins.

Finally got going at 8:15 am and went out walking/jogging with the dogs for 35 mins. Nice day again, which made me feel much better. Got in the house, showered, did a load of laundry and took greens and supplements.

9:30 am - Took greens and supplements = 30 cals, 6 NET carbs

Had a phone meeting again this morning from 9:45 am until 11:00 am, so didn't get to drink my shake right away. I was ravenous when I finally got off the phone as a result. THAT is why I tell women to eat within at least 2 hours of waking. Otherwise, you'll feel crazy when you finally do eat and may not want to stop. (I wanted to drink more… or dig into the bag of natural almonds,,, but I didn't)

11:00 am - Took 4 fish oil, and Rev-Z = 36 cals, 4 g fat

11:00 am - Drank first shake of day (made in blender): 1 1/2 scoops Dymatize whey, 8 frozen strawberries, 1/6 cup almonds, 1 tsp ground flax, and glucomannan = 291 cals, 38 g pro, 10 g NET carbs (15 - 5 fiber), 11 g fat

Worked at computer all day. Took breaks to do burpees, jumping jacks, bridges, etc when playing with my dog.

12:30 pm - Red Bell Pepper = 20 cals, 5 g NET carbs,

2:00 pm - Shake #2: 1 1/2 scoops LC Metabolic Drive whey, 1/6 cup almonds, 1 Tbsp ground flax, and glucomannan = 290 cals, 35 g pro, 6 g NET carbs (12 - 6 fiber), 14 g fat

4:30 pm -Shake #3: 1 scoop Dymatize Whey, 6 frozen strawberries, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp ground flax, glucomannan = 218 cals, 24 g pro, 8 g carbs, 10 g fat
Peas and corn = 52 cals, 13 g carbs,

5:50 pm-(Was kind of hungry and going to the gym at 7 pm so had something) = 1/2 scoop LC MD, 20 g raisins = 56 cals, 14 g carbs

Gym workout, 7 to 8:15 pm.
10 min on crosstrainer plus upper body dynamic warmup
A1) Bench Press: 5 sets, 10 reps, 90 lbs
A2) T-bar row: 5 sets, 10 reps, 45 plate
B1) DB Incline Press: 3 sets, Alt arm 5,4,3,2,1 reps (total of 15 reps each arm), 30 lbs each hand
B2) One arm DB row: 3 sets, 10 reps, 35 lbs
Bicep curls, tricep dips as finisher.
20 min more cardio

Quickly changed and headed out from the gym to meet Justin for dinner where I met his friend from CA who was in town because his sister just passed away (sad, sad)

9:15 pm - Whole food meal: Mahi Mahi 7 oz (it had butter on it), steamed zucchini (1/3 cup), 3 tbsp whole wheat cous-cous (probably had butter on it too). Drank water and unsweetened iced tea = 354 cals, 45 g pro, 12 g carbs, 14 g fat

Totals = 1368 cals, 142 g pro, 74 g carbs, 56 g fat

It was great to socialize with Justin's long-time buddies. I wasn't so excited about eating out though and almost wished that I just drank a shake and had a fruit leather in my car on the way there because I didn't want to go too far off my eating plan. I still chose wisely and didn't eat as much as I possibly could of if I wasn't caring about it. I was a little snobbish too in that I wished I could have cooked the fish myself since I just KNEW the chef would cook it with some gawd-awful soybean oil or hydrogenated margarine. That's why I love going out for sushi and just having the raw fish - I know you can't mess that up too much.

Home at 11 pm, felt a little restless because of the caffeine so didn't fall asleep until about 12 pm.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Modified Velocity Diet Day 27 - Kick my butt sprint day

Tuesday's workout (yesterday) was AWESOME. I did a great sprint workout at the track and felt like I was floating when it was all over. See below for all the details.

Despite low cals, when I want to push myself I really can.

I'm glad I ate enough after my workout too, because today I don't feel like I'm in a fog as I do sometimes when I don't eat right after I kill myself training.

Oh, and yes, Aunty Flo (aka PMS) is on they way. That, or I'm pregnant.... ugh, let's not even joke about that. lol.

Cass's diet record Tues May 22, 07. (Sprint and Cardio Only Day)
Good sleep last night. Slept 12 am to 7:30 am.

7:45 am - Got up, made Justin Breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, took probiotics (normal morning ritual), foam rolled briefly (body wasn't really sore anywhere so didn't need to foam roll long).
Jogged outside with the dogs for 25 mins. Beautiful morning again.

9:00 am - Took greens and supplements = 30 cals, 6 NET carbs

Had a phone meeting at 9:30 am until 10:15 am, so didn't drink shake right away. Normally I would though.

10:15 am - Took 4 fish oil, and Rev-Z (no Se7en, just taking it in PM once a day) = 36 cals, 4 g fat

10:30 am - Drank first shake of day (made in blender): 1 1/2 scoops Dymatize whey, 8 frozen strawberries, 1.1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp ground flax, and glucomannan = 239 cals, 34 g pro, 10 g NET carbs (13 - 3 fiber), 7 g fat

I thought I was still hungry after having my shake and I was going to eat a red bell pepper. But, I got busy working on the computer that I didn't get a chance to eat again, and by the time I thought about it again, I didn't feel like eating anymore. It's true that you have to give yourself at least 20 mins after eating before you decide if you're really still hungry.

Worked on computer all day. But, took breaks every 30 mins to an hour to play with the dog outside. Each time I threw the ball to him I would do burpees or jumping jacks or other plyo exercises until he brought the ball back to me (sometimes it was a little too long, so I helped him find the ball when it got lost… ). This kept me feeling energized all day and stopped me from eating when it wasn't technically "time yet".

12:15 pm: Shake #2 (made in blender): 1 scoops Dymatize whey, 6 frozen strawberries, 15 g whole natural almonds, 1 tsp ground flax, and glucomannan = 200 cals, 26 g pro (some from almonds), 8 g NET carbs (13 - 5 fiber), 7 g fat

3:15 pm: Shake #3 (made in blender): 1 scoops LC Metabolic Drive, 3 frozen strawberries, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp ground flax, and glucomannan =168 cals, 20 g pro (some from almonds), 4 g NET carbs (6 - 4 fiber), 8 g fat
Also had 1/4 red bell pepper and some pureed broccoli = 20 cals, 5 g carbs

5:30 pm Shake #4 (pre-workout… but first, had to clean up the garbage bag that my dog destroyed in the front lawn when I wasn't looking… grr): 1 scoop Dymatize Whey, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds and glucomannan = 169 cals, 25 g pro, 6 g NET carbs, 5 g fat

6:50 pm to 8:35 pm - CARDIO TIME/Sprints and bike!
Biked over to the high school track on my rusty old mountain bike. It took me 1/2 hour to get there with constant peddling. Once I got there I thought I wasn't going to be able to do my sprint workout because I was a bit hypoglycemic, however, I pushed myself hard and actually ended up having a great workout. After a 10 min warm-up of walking/jogging, I sprinted the straights (100 m) and walked the curves for 8 laps. It was awesome! Then, stretched quickly and got back on my bike to go home. The ride back was a little slower because I was fried. Plus, the pain in my back from riding sucked the energy out of me (I've got a spondylolithesis on L5, so biking is really a pain in the…back). I got home at 8:25 pm and then proceeded to take out all the trash for garbage day tomorrow. We had a lot of bags because of all the cleaning we did this past weekend. All-in-all, it took another 10 mins to get this all accomplished and I made it harder by sprinted back up the long driveway after every load. I WAS POOPED.

That makes a good solid 2 HOURS of cardio today, and that's not no long-slow duration cardio either! Nice!

Had a shower and then proceeded to eat whatever I wanted because I had done such a crazy hard workout. I really didn't eat that poorly, but I did indulge in one homemade peanut butter cookie that my roommate had made for the new book. Ingredients were natural PB, Rye Flour, Sugar-free apple juice and spices. It was awesome and I really felt no guilt. All in all, it was about 30 g of carbs.

So, 9:00 pm - Whole food meal: 116 g cooked chicken breast with One Carb Ketchup, 6 fresh blackberries, 1 PB cookie, and 2 small homemade falafel (chick peas and spices), 1/3 cup frozen corn = 575 cals, 53 g pro, 45 g carbs, 20 g fat (from PB)

Totals: 1521 cals, 158 g pro, 103 g carbs, 53 g fat

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Are you a yo-yo dieter?

While working on my new book, I came across an interesting study that shows when women bounce their weight up and down over the course of several years through dieting and overeating, their body weight tends to settle more in their midsections than it did before.

I was wondering if any of the women out there experienced this and if so, I'd love to hear about it.

If you agree, I would put you in my book as an example of a woman that this has happened to. - If you don't want to be in the book (i.e. not your name), we don't have to go there.

Either way, just wanted to hear from ladies on this one.


Modified Velocity Diet Day 26 - May 21

Cass's diet record Mon May 21, 07. (Light Training Day with more Cardio)
OK sleep last night - my legs were achy and my shoulder was bugging me so I didn't sleep as good as I could. Slept 11:30 am to 7:30 am

Got up, made Justin Breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, took probiotics (normal morning ritual), foam rolled briefly (was tired and didn't feel so peppy). Went outside instead of walking on my treadmill and walked/jogged with the dogs for 40 mins. It was a beautiful morning, so I'm glad I got to enjoy it instead of staring at my wall busting my butt on the treadmill.

9:15 am - Took greens and supplements = 30 cals, 6 NET carbs
9:30 am - Took 4 fish oil, and Rev-Z (no Se7en, I'm cutting back the dose) = 36 cals, 4 g fat

9:30 am - Drank first shake of day (made in blender): 1 1/2 scoops Dymatize whey, 8 frozen strawberries, 2 tsp ground flax, 15 g whole natural almonds, and glucomannan = 282 cals, 36 g pro (some from almonds), 12 g NET carbs (18 - 6 fiber), 10 g fat

Worked on computer all morning.

11 am - 1/3 cup corn, 1/4 cup peas = 60 cals, 2 g pro, 13 g NET carbs,

12 pm - 1/2 cup corn, 1/4 cup peas = 80 cals, 2 g pro, 18 g carbs,

(For whatever reason I was just dying to eat peas and corn, so I did. I really absolutely love to eat these, and felt it was better than being in a pissy mood from avoiding something that my body would benefit from just for the sake of eating shakes).

1:20 pm - Shake #2 (in blender): 1 1/2 scoops Dymatize whey, 8 frozen strawberries, 2 tsp ground flax, 1 tsp flax oil, and glucomannan = 261 cals, 35 g pro 10 g NET carbs (18 - 6 fiber), 9 g fat
Also had more peas and corn = 60 cals, 2 g pro, 13 g NET carbs,

Drove to PT. Ate 20 g of raisins at 2:30 = 52 cals, 13 g carbs,

Drank BCAAs and then got to gym at 4pm.

Gym workout 4 to 5 pm.
Did 30 mins of quick tri-sets of 25 reps including: DB bench press with single leg DB with RDLs with single arm DB rows. Then, inverted rows with pushups and single leg bench sits. Good cardio on cross-trainer for 25 mins just as planned. (look ma! No hands! i.e. I didn't hold onto the bars…).

5:30 pm: Sushi dinner for whole food meal. 4.5 oz sashimi, bowl of miso soup and 3 pcs red dragon roll, 3 pcs eel roll and 2 pcs rainbow roll = 398 cals, 40 g pro, 35 g carbs, 22 g fat

8 pm- Shake: 1 scoop Dymatize Whey plus 6 strawberries, 1/6 cup almonds and glucomannan = 234 cals, 27 g pro, 9 g carbs, 10 g fat

9 pm - 1 red bell pepper and homemade broccoli soup (I made this containing glucomannan, fresh pureed broccoli, salt, pepper and onions) = 60 cals, 15 g NET carbs,

Totals: 1566 cals, 144 g pro, 144 g carbs, 46 g fat (almost gagged when I saw my carb totals… but it's from peas and corn which aren't even fully digested. So, I'm not too worried, but didn't mean to eat this much… yikes).

** I think I'm getting close to "that time of the month" because I'm displaying all the classic symptoms - probably explains some of my bitchiness this past weekend. In a way I do hope I have it, but in a way not. I'll just wait and see I guess.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Modified Velocity Diet Day 25 - May 20

I can't believe I've been doing this for a little over three weeks. Time sure does fly. The plan is to carry this out until at least this Friday and then see where I've gotten. So far, I'm still the same weight and I've been able to maintain the 1'' loss of my waist. Nothing spectacular, but it's still progress in the right direction.

This weekend was good. I stayed right on track with food and exercised a lot (mostly housework, but that's better than sitting all day, like I do during the week).

I've got a lot on my plate this week, so I just hope that I can keep my head on straight and focus depite the low cal level I'm putting myself at.

My plan for training this week is to do a little less weight training (40 mins max) and increase my cardio to at least 45 mins - 1 hour total each day. For today, Monday, I already walked about 40 mins so will do 30-40 mins of weights later this afternoon and then at least 25 mins of cardio (probably light sprints and walking on the gym treadmill).

Here is my record from yesterday. I was quite bitchy and brain dead this day... not fun.

Cass's diet record Sun May 20, 07. (Cardio Only Day)
Good sleep last night. Slept 12:30 am to 8:30 am

8:30 am - After getting up, walked fast on my treadmill, with incline for 20 mins. Good workout. Heart was pumping and felt great.

9:25 am - Took greens and supplements = 30 cals, 6 NET carbs
9:45 am - Took 4 fish oil, Se7en and Rev-Z= 36 cals, 4 g fat

9:50 am - Drank first shake of day (made in blender): 1 1/2 scoops Low Carb Metabolic Drive, 10 frozen strawberries, 1 Tbsp ground flax and glucomannan = 226 cals, 32 g pro, 11 g NET carbs (16 - 5 fiber), 6 g fat

Justin and I went to Costco and Home Depot to get morning errands done and pick up new shelving for the basement.

Home at 12 noon and had to eat again - Shake #2: 1 scoop Low Carb Metabolic Drive, 5 frozen strawberries, 1 Tbsp ground flax and glucomannan = 186 cals, 26 g pro, 7 g NET carbs , 6 g fat
Also had 75 g fresh blackberries = 40 cals, 9 g NET carbs

We worked in the basement most of the afternoon building shelves. I was cranky and nasty to Justin… side effect of low cals and stress. Don't like being this way.

The whole time we were doing this, our other roomies were brewing beer, hanging out in the sun and grilling. Justin had to join them, but I just didn't feel social. I hung out a bit, but really wasn't in the mood to be there long. Is this what the attainment of a lean body composition is all about? I remember having these shitty days when I dieted hard before and always wondered why I did that to myself. Oh well, the only way you understand something totally is if you engage in it yourself (referring to dieting hard to lose body fat fast).

3:15 pm - Shake # 3: 1 1/2 scoops Low Carb Metabolic Drive, 5 frozen strawberries, 75 g blackberries, 1 Tbsp hemp seeds, 10 g almonds and glucomannan = 266 cals, 30 g pro, 14 g NET carbs , 10 g fat
Took 4 more fish oil = 36 cals, 4 g fat

Worked in basement more. No sitting. All standing.

6:10 pm - Workout at home time: Foam rolled, abs, push-ups, lunges, hip lifts, bridges, rotator cuff work. Then, walked on treadmill from 6:30 to 7:00 pm. Great workout. I was a little hypoglycemic though during the walk and by the end I thought I was going to fall off the treadmill -not cool

Showered, made dinner.
7:20 pm - Whole food meal (at leftovers to get them out of the fridge and ate the creamed gluco-caulifower I just made): 2.75 oz salmon fillet, 1.45 oz grilled chicken breast with 1 tbsp Carb One Ketchup, 75 g brown rice with 1 tsp canola oil, 100 g plain low-fat yogurt with cucumbers and dill (sounds weird, but tastes awesome), 1 cup cauliflower = 352 cals, 37 g protein, 24 g carbs, 12 g fat

10 pm - Red bell pepper and more cauliflower = 50 cals, 2 g pro, 10 g carbs,

Totals: 1176 cals, 127 g pro, 72 g carbs, 42 g fat

Bed at 11 pm