12 Week LGBT Greek Health Challenge

NOTE FROM YOUR GUIDE:  


One Holiday event down and two more to go... Christmas and New Year's Eve/Day.

I hope everyone enjoyed their family, friends and good food.

I know I overeat where I was rubbing my stomach... FAT KID WITH CAKE!!!

So I can admit I am off my program, eating and working out. I am having to reset. So if you have to do the same, that is okay. Don't get discouraged. The motto is reset and continue the plan.

Reminder: DO NOT FORGET TO EAT & DRINK LOTS OF WATER. No skipping meals, Please. Water is essential to healthy living.
When you don't eat, you are telling your body that you are starving it and when you do eat, the body will store that meal and it will turn to FAT!! So please eat three large meals and small meals in between. You can even eat a bunch of small meals every two hours.

HOUSEKEEPING: Progress Report make sure you do this every SUNDAY. This part is how you will get the 30 hours of community service.


Thought of Week: 
"Patience along with putting in the work; you will see the results."

SNACK OF THE WEEK

This extra-thick smoothie has what it takes to help you recover after a hard workout. Crunchy options for toppings include walnuts, coconut chips, cacao nibs, and/or chopped banana chips. To freeze bananas for all your smoothie needs, peel ripe fruit, chop into 2-inch chunks, and spread out on a baking sheet. Place sheet in the freezer until bananas are frozen, then store in a zip-close bag. Here is another tip: To keep your thick smoothie from turning into smoothie soup, serve in a frosty bowl.

 
 
 
 
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup milk (2% fat)

  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 scoop(s) vanilla whey protein powder

  • 2 tsp natural almond butter

  • 2 tsp sugar-free maple syrup

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 large (8" to 8-7/8" long) banana, frozen

Prep: 10 min.

Cook: 0 min.

Total: 10 min.
Directions

  1. In the order listed above, place all the ingredients in a blender container. Blend until smooth and thick.

  2. Pour into a chilled serving bowl and garnish as desired. Optional garnishes: walnuts, coconut chips, cacao nibs, chopped banana chips.

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The Best Way to Use BCAAs

Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.

September 23, 2019

Branched-chain amino acids are all the rage these days, even though their benefits have long been known: They increase energy, blunt fatigue, drive muscle growth, aid fat loss, boost brain power, and even extend life. The three BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Leucine is the MVP when it comes to boosting muscle protein synthesis, particularly after exercise. Valine is the MVP before workouts, as it's directly responsible for blunting fatigue via a mechanism in the brain. Isoleucine, another essential amino acid (like the other two BCAAs), is involved in muscle tissue repair and may even help increase energy levels.

BCAA Priority List

  • Priority 1: Boosting Energy for Workouts

  • Timing: Approximately 30 minutes before workouts

The most critical time to get a 6-10-gram dose of BCAAs is before workouts. The reason is that BCAAs are unlike any other amino acids. They don't need to go to the liver first; they can go directly to the muscle cells, where they're used for fuel.

  • Priority 2: Driving Muscle Recovery and Growth

  • Timing: Within 30 minutes after workouts

The next most critical time to take 6-10 grams of BCAAs is after workouts. Here, it's important to get leucine to the muscle cells, where it can activate the protein kinase mTOR and push muscle protein synthesis as well as muscle growth.

  • Priority 3: Spiking Muscle Protein Synthesis between Meals

  • Timing: 2 hours after meals

When you eat a meal that includes at least 3 grams of leucine and at least 30 grams of protein, muscle protein synthesis is spiked momentarily. About two hours after the meal, protein synthesis will have dropped, but the amino acids from the meal are still in the bloodstream. At this time, if you provide another 3 grams of leucine (as well as the other two BCAAs), it may create a second spike in muscle protein synthesis from that same meal.

  • Priority 4: Bumping Up the Leucine Content of a Meal

  • Timing: With meals that don't provide at least 30 grams of protein

As mentioned, you need at least 30 grams of a complete protein, as well as a good 3 grams of leucine, to maximize muscle protein synthesis. If a meal provides less than 30 grams of protein, it likely also doesn't provide a full 3 grams of leucine. To create a bigger spike in protein synthesis from this meal, you can take a 6-10-gram dose of BCAAs to ensure that the leucine content is high enough to do it.

WEEK 8

The New Rules of Building a Super Body

To gain superhero strength and confidence, stop holding yourself back and change your approach to women's fitness and nutrition.

 

Nia Shanks

May 07, 2019 • 

Conventional wisdom about how women should eat, exercise, and look is often negative, self-defeating, and downright degrading. Magazines and over-hyped media encourage women to eat less, warn us not to lift too heavy, and offer numerous "secrets" about how lose weight. Because, you know, a woman's happiness is inexorably tied to the number on the scale. Duh.

Women are often given quick fixes, crash diets, cleanses, and other absurd fitness advice to help us make all of our high-school-jeans dreams come true. When in doubt, we're told, just do more time on the step mill and make more kale salads...oh, and stop eating so much.

It's no wonder so many women are miserable, overly exhausted from marathon workouts, and starving from constantly trying to eat fewer and fewer calories. Many of us are frustrated, confused, and tired of constantly looking for a simpler solution.

The explosive popularity of superhero movies, culminating in "Avengers: Endgame," shows that change is in the air. Actresses like Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Brie Larson as Captain Marvel are proving that women can derive power from strength, not just looks, and are giving Captain America a run for his money. It's time to pull your hero costume out from the back of the closet, dust it off, and wear it proudly. It's time you fully embrace the ass-kicking heroine role you know you can play. You're about to start leading the way for a more positive approach to women's fitness.

From Damsel In Distress To Superhero

Most of the common fitness "advice" for women revolves around following a strict diet and rigid gym schedule, and meticulously counting every gram of carbs, fats, and protein that crosses our lips. Unfortunately, most of us can't practice such an inflexible regimen for the long term without some negative consequences.

I know this because I have ventured over to the dark side and tried several "diets" with the hope of building a better-looking body. Once I finally came to my senses and got back to sane and simple nutrition principles, I had to correct obsessive-eating habits. After a bit of time, patience, and consistency, I found my way back.

Once I replaced my worry and doubt with a superhero cape, I began to follow positive, motivating, empowering fitness principles. I want to share them with you.

Here is the Superhero Creed:

1. I Will Shatter Self-Imposed Strength Limitations

Unfortunately, many women still believe a bodyweight pull-up (let alone several) is something they'll never do. They think deadlifting a loaded barbell that weighs twice their body weight is not a realistic goal. The limitations you set upon yourself aren't real. It's time to tell yourself, "Yes, I can," instead of "No, I can't."

When you apply this mindset to your workouts, you'll not only increase your physical strength, but your mental strength, as well. The simplest way to start breaking away from the limitations and freeing your inner superhero is to let go of your fear and take action. Forget what you know about what women are capable of doing. Ask yourself, "What else can I do?" Exercise for strength, not weight loss. Don't be afraid to squat away from the Smith machine. Unleash your power.

2. I Will Eat Real Food

Eat filling, delicious meals that make you feel great. Don't apologize for eating, and don't force yourself to eat foods you don't like just because they're supposedly good for you. There are tons of delicious, all-natural, healthy foods available, so eat the ones you like.

Despite what some "diet" principles would have you believe, eating whole food is really quite simple. All you need to do is apply some common sense and resist the temptation to dwell over the minutiae. Build your diet around red meat, poultry, fish and seafood, dairy, fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, herbs and spices, and healthy fats like nuts and seeds.

If you keep your nutrition guidelines simple and stress-free, you'll be much better off and much more likely to stick to them throughout your life. Not only that, you'll get more out of your workouts. Muscle, after all, needs to be fed to grow stronger. 

3. I Will Focus On Performance

Instead of working out with the sole purpose of changing how your body looks, focus exclusively on what your body can do and work toward constantly improving your performance in the gym. We all want to look as great as we feel, and that's one of the huge perks of training for performance: building a great-looking body is a tremendous side-effect.

To become Captain Marvel, Brie Larson trained for function, practicing heavy lifting and skill-based training to be able to perform stunts and fights. Follow her lead and focus on performance-based goals.

Most women want a sexy pair of arms that look great in a tank, but instead of doing military presses, biceps curls, and triceps extensions to get them, try working toward performing a few bodyweight chin-ups and 10 or more push-ups with perfect form. These exercises build your arm muscles, as well as the muscles in your back and chest, building true functional strength.

By the time you achieve those goals, your arms will look absolutely incredible and you'll have developed some real upper-body muscle strength in the process. This is truly win-win!

One of the other awesome things about training for performance is that you have tons of variability in your workouts. Use the whole gym. For instance, you can train primarily with bodyweight workouts, you can use a combination of barbells and dumbbells, you can use kettlebells, and you can use strongman lifts. Ultimately, the possibilities are endless!

Remember, train to be a superhero! Try to build the strongest, most awesome version of yourself. When you focus on that goal, the bonuses will include a leaner, shapelier, better-looking body. You also should have a lower resting heart rate, stronger bones, and more athletic skill!

4. I Will Embrace The Truth That I Am Awesome Right Now

Even if you're overweight, have just started working out, or still have a long road ahead of you, you can still choose to be happy with where you are right this moment. Forget about planning to be happy once you reach your main goal in the distant future. Being a superhero means living every day to the fullest and making healthy decisions because you love yourself as you are this very moment.

5. I Will Follow Simple, Sustainable Lifestyle Habits That Enhance My Happiness

Like any superhero, you will have to fight your fair share of villains. Skeptics will say women shouldn't lift heavy. "Experts" will tell you you'll have to diet the rest of your life. Even that little voice inside you will say your happiness and self-worth are determined by numbers on the scale.

Trust yourself and do what you know will fortify you. Keep focused on what really matters: your health and resilience. Every battle you win will make you that much stronger, that much smarter, and that much more awesome. In the end, you will be victorious.

The Younger Generation Needs Superheroes

As you go through your hero transformation, it's important to keep in mind that you will be watched.

All young girls have their role models. Growing up, and even to this day, the most prominent ass-kicking woman in my life is my mom. She taught me from a young age that physical and mental strength are traits to be desired, and that my self-worth does not come from a number on the scale. It's because of my mom that I'm the woman I am today.

The young women in your life are watching you. Be the superhero they can look up to. Show them how to be strong and confident. Talk more about gaining muscle and less about losing fat. Show them that being a woman is an awesome and powerful thing.

This Week's Exercise:

Dumbbell V-Sit Cross Jab

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Instructions

 

  1. Begin seated on your butt with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Lean your upper body back to form a 45-degree angle with the floor. Bring your feet off the ground so that your body resembles a V shape.

  2. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and hold tight to your chest with palms facing each other. This will be your starting position.

  3. While keeping your core tight and maintaining your body's V position, quickly extend your left arm straight out (similar to a jab) and then bring it back to the starting position while simultaneously punching out with the right arm.

  4. Your torso and legs may slightly rotate side to side opposite of your hands throughout the movement—this is okay.

  5. A punch with each hand counts as one total repetition. Repeat for recommended number of repetitions.