The Truths of Bernadette Prue Fitness

TRUTH: I know what works when it comes to losing weight and becoming healthy.

Those of you that have known me for a decade or more have seen my personal transformation and have trusted my fitness and nutrition advice simply because I have been there. Personal experience and success often trumps any formal education, but just in case credentials are also important to you, I now have Bachelor’s degrees in both nutrition and kinesiology. I eat clean and work out on a regular basis and have for years now. I have used myself as a guinea pig on a trial and error basis to determine what level of calories, what distribution of macronutrients, and what training schedule works best for my particular goals.

TRUTH: I am a skeptic by nature and would never promote restrictive fad diets.

I have heard of so many different diets and programs on the market that require you to completely cut out this food or that, cut carbohydrates to a dangerously low level, eat steak and eggs for every meal, or buy 100% of your food and supplements from a single company. I roll my eyes and warn friends about the risk of deficiencies when they try these programs. A varied, healthy diet and regular physical activity really is all it takes. I question results that are shown on TV and am the type that needs to see it to believe it.

TRUTH: I have lost more weight in 6 weeks than I did in 3 months prior to starting 21 Day Fix Extreme.

My weigh in log is shown below. The red numbers indicate outliers, most likely caused by water retention either from high sodium in my diet the days before the weigh in or a particularly heavy lifting day that caused my muscles to retain fluid. Those numbers aside, you can see a bit of a yo-yo effect with all of my numbers, down a bit but back up, very little true progress. The way I read this is that I lost 4 lbs and 1% body fat in a matter of 3 months, averaging out to 1.3 lbs per month. The blue numbers indicate my progress since I started using Beachbody products. In half the time I have lost nearly 6 lbs and 1.6% body fat. My muscle percentage is also climbing, which is very important to long term health and metabolism. Keep in mind that in June, July and August, I was working out 5-6 days a week and eating clean…I was training hard, not phoning it in. I was having the occasional cheat meal but my normal diet was fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, etc. So why the sudden accelerated progress?? Beachbody only promotes and puts their name on the absolute BEST products and workouts out there. Each one goes through vigorous testing before it is ever released. The workouts are designed and delivered by world class trainers and the meal plans are approved by nutritionists. What I’m saying is that these products WORK!

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TRUTH: I am not a salesperson!

There is a reason I went to school for nutrition/kinesiology and not for business or marketing. I am interested in helping others become happier, healthier versions of themselves: whether that means losing weight, building muscle, increasing flexibility, or decreasing symptoms related to chronic disease. I went to school so that I could acquire the knowledge to help individuals achieve these goals in the safest, most efficient ways possible. I decided to become a Beachbody coach because I’ve seen the products work on others, I have seen it work on myself, and I truly believe these programs are superior to anything I could build myself. If you can’t beat them, join them right? J

Email: beprue1985@gmail.com

Interested in purchasing a Challenge Pack to get your health journey started? Email me or click this link for more information. www.beachbodycoach.com/beprue

 

Life: A Series of Journeys

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Welcome all to my first blog post in quite some time. My entries are going to be focused on health, fitness, and living life to its fullest. As many of us can attest to, life is simply a series of journeys. Think about what you are doing right now, today…why are you doing it? For most of us, everything we do is the means to an end, we seek or create purpose in everything we do. Once we meet the “end” that we are currently working toward, we create another goal and thus a new journey begins.

I want to share a journey I began on 9 1/2 years ago. I was 20, living at home, working at a local hospital and going through the day to day motions. I was unsure of the path of my life, just simply doing what I needed to make money so I could move out and become a legitimate adult. For the most part, my existence was typical. The one part of my life that bothered me the most was my weight, or rather my appearance. I had struggled all through my teen years with self image issues, dabbled in anorexia, came out of that to gain a lot of weight, then went on to gain even more. At over 200 lbs, I was literally busting out of all of my pants (buttons were missing and I was keeping my pants on with safety pins). I had adopted a fast food diet, for many or all meals of every day. I stopped weighing myself once I hit 218 and started living in nothing but sweats and hoodies. I hated the way I looked and felt. I put on a bikini on vacation, saw myself and it brought tears to my eyes, how had I allowed myself to become so unhealthy? Instead of wallow in self-pity, I promised myself right then and there that as soon as I got back home, I was making a change. I made a plan, I followed it obsessively, and it paid off with a 70 lb weight loss in 6 months. My journey, however, did not end there. I still had A LOT to learn.

My original weight loss was purely from cutting calories, with a little bit of exercise sprinkled in here and there. I was thinner, sure, but was I truly healthy? The chances are that I was what is called “skinny fat.” Determined to keep moving forward so that I never found myself back in plus size clothes, I joined a gym and found out that I LOVE lifting weights. I was addicted to getting stronger and seeing definition. This was also a gradual journey, starting primarily in the cardio area of the gym and trying out the machines. I eventually made my way into “The Big Boy” area with the help and direction of a good friend and fellow female badass. Free weights took my strength to the next level. I was practically living at the gym. I was down to a lean 142 lbs and was discovering my hidden self-confidence.

It was around this time that I finally decided to take the leap and go to college. I finally knew that my passion was nutrition and exercise. I enrolled in the dual Nutrition & Kinesiology program at Kansas State University (a journey within a journey). I worked full time, took a full schedule at school, and commuted an hour each way for class. Needless to say, this crazy busy schedule had it’s affect on my workouts. I was always tired and never felt safe lifting heavy weight. I lost the strong woman confidence but maintained a regular workout schedule, still trying to get at least 45 minutes in 4-5 days a week. After 5 years of school, I found myself back in the 160’s (weight wise), again disappointed with my appearance, mainly because I knew I was capable of more definition, more muscle, and less fat. So after graduation, I decided it was time to get back to my lean mean strong beast mode self.

I started challenging myself to the hardest workouts I could find, got back to the gym, and kept up my clean diet. Progress was slow and often was 2 steps forward, one step back. I was still hovering in the upper 150’s to low 160’s, no matter what I did. Then a great friend of mine invested in her health and bought the 21 Day Fix. I saw her literally shrink before my eyes and become a much healthier, happier version of the beautiful woman she had always been. I had seen the 21 day fix infomercials from the ellipticals at the gym and thought that if I could get behind any one program on the market, that would be the one. Being college educated on the subject, I found that portion control and awesome workouts were the healthiest and simplest ways to losing weight. I decided to give the program a try myself and purchased 21 Day Fix Extreme. Within 3 weeks, I had already lost more weight than I had for months prior and now on my second round, I’m continuing to lose fat and gain muscle. I am excited to continue this journey and keep pushing myself with harder and harder programs. Every day, I am happy I made this decision and even happier that I decided to become a Beachbody coach so that I can help other people experience the same triumphs that I and so many others have.

If there is anything in your life that you are unhappy with and desperately want to change, start today! Sit down and make a plan, then follow that plan with diligence. You have the power to change your life!

Email me if you want to lose weight, increase strength, improve flexibility, or simply become a happier, healthier version of yourself. beprue1985@gmail.com

I have pre-diabetes and have just been diagnosed with high blood pressure as well. My doctor says to watch my sodium intake. I feel like I’ve been hit with a double whammy! In addition to trying to lose weight and watch my carb intake, I now have to watch my salt as well. Could you give me some low salt ideas for dinner meals?

The best way to ensure that you are eating a low sodium diet is to ditch foods in cans and boxes. Stick to fresh and frozen as often as possible. Even some frozen meats have added salt, so be sure to read labels.
Make meals with fresh turkey, chicken or pork. Your sides should consist of fresh vegetables and whole grains. Most grains such as brown rice, quinoa and barley are naturally low in sodium. If you don’t have the time to prepare your veggies from scratch, you can substitute frozen, but make sure they are plain, no added sauces or flavors that will spike the sodium level.
Add all your own flavors to your food, don’t buy pre-marinated or seasoned foods. Stick with Salt-free seasonings and marinades such as Mrs Dash. You can also create your own low sodium season mixes with fresh or dried herbs and spices.
It may seem like a real challenge at first to keep your sodium intake within the suggested 2400 milligrams a day, but once you make it routine, it won’t seem that hard anymore. I actually struggle sometimes to get up to the suggested amount.

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes as few months ago and has been working hard to lose weight and control his blood sugar. Each year we have a family gathering for thanksgiving that includes lots of food (large turkey dinner with all the trimmings and assorted pies & cakes for dessert). What are your suggestions to ensure my husband doesn’t overeat but also does not feel deprived this thanksgiving?

Your husband should still be able to enjoy the traditional holiday foods, but in moderation. He should fill his plate mainly with light meat turkey and vegetables, either fresh or steamed. He can sample the other not-so-good-for-you foods by taking about a tablespoon or less of each. Portion size is key. If possible, provide smaller plates so he doesn’t feel like he has to fill a normal or platter sized plate.
Make sure he waits about 20 minutes before going for seconds. This will allow his body time to realize it is full and he will be less likely to overeat.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last spring. I enjoy eating hearty soups in the fall and winter months. Can I still eat soup? Are there any soups that are better for me to eat than others?

Soups can actually be a really good food choice if you are mindful of what goes into it. The broth helps to make you feel full fast and you can incorporate all kinds of healthy ingredients into it.
Making it yourself is probably your best bet. Find or make your own fat-free, low sodium broth and then add frozen or fresh vegetables, lean meats that have been trimmed then baked, boiled or grilled, and if desired, add whole-wheat noodles to make it a complete meal. You can also add different varieties of dried or low sodium, rinsed canned beans to add protein, fiber and flavor. Jazz it up with your choice of fresh or dried salt-free herbs and spices.
For times when you can’t prepare it from scratch, keep a few cans of Campbell’s Select Harvest Heart Healthy soups on hand. They are low in calories, sodium, fat and contain nutritious ingredients.

My doctor has diagnosed me with diabetes and has told me to lose weight. I have heard about high protein diets, low fat/high carb diets, and many others. I want a sound diet instead of a fad. What type of diet is best given my situation?

I think your first step would be looking at this transition as a lifestyle change rather than a diet and then consult an updated food pyramid, or better yet, creat your own at http://www.MyPyramid.gov. We are learning that in addition to all other differences we have such as appearance and personality, all individuals are unique in the diet they should be eating. Recently, physical activity has been added to the pyramid, showing that nutrition and exercise go hand in hand when controlling weight and lifestyle diseases.
In general, eat fresh as often as possible. The greater amount of whole, non-processed foods you consume, the better.
Getting lean sources of protein with each meal is important. Stick to complex carbs such as brown rice, whole wheat pastas, quinoa and whole-grain breads. These two groups together should make up half of your meal, fill the remaining half with fruits and/or vegetables.
Preparation can be just as important as the food itself. Stay away from breaded, battered and deep-fried foods. Stick to foods that have been baked, boiled, broiled, steamed, grilled or served fresh.

I have diabetes and work long hours. I usually eat lunch at my desk while working. I’m struggling with what I can have for lunch. Could you give me some tips on what to pack for lunch at work?

My first suggestion for you, if you are not already doing so, would be to try to make lunch a small meal by eating healthy snacks throughout the day. Having breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a small lunch and then an afternoon snack will not only speed up your metabolism but may help control sugar spikes or drops.

If you are trying to keep your diet within about 1300-1500 calories, plan to get about 400 at breakfast, 200 in your morning snack, 300 at lunch and another 200 on your afternoon snack. This leaves approximately 200-400 calories for dinner.

Now what should your snacks and meals consist of? Since you are working at work and usually at your desk, you will want foods that are portable and easy to consume. For your morning snack, consider a banana and a serving of unsalted nuts, or an apple with a tbsp of all natural peanut butter. For lunch you could do a small salad made with fresh spinach leaves, fresh veggies of your choice and then a half sandwich of homemade tuna or another low sodium, lean meat. You could opt to make a larger salad and forego the sandwich. Make sure you add a protein and fat source to the salad such as olives, meats, beans and/or avocados. Other options would include wraps in whole wheat tortillas paired with fresh vegetables or pitas. Keep in mind to make fresh, natural choices and if you are short on time and must bring something that is already prepared, lean cuisine and healthy choice do have quite a few options that are all natural, whole grains and 300 calories or less, of course they are still higher in sodium so keep these to a minimum. For an afternoon snack, grab some carrot sticks and a tbsp or two of hummus to dip in. Or find a healthy snack bar that you like and is preferably all  natural. I would suggest Luna, larabar or Clif bars.

I was just diagnosed with pre-diabetes. The nurse told me to eat lots of vegetables. Could you tell me what “lots of vegetables” means and what type of vegetables to consume? Also, how should I prepare them?

You should strive to get a minimum of 3-5 cups of vegetables a day. Any vegetables are good, but try to eat a variety so you are not consuming too much of any one kind.

Stick to buying fresh or frozen varieties. Canned often lack the nutritional benefits of fresh and have a lot of added sodium. The three best ways to lock in nutrition while keeping calories and fat low is to bake, steam or eat them raw.

Is it ok to eat peas & carrots if you have diabetes? I heard to avoid those two veggies.

I had to do some research in order to answer this question and the following information came from www.carrotmuseum.co.uk

“There has been conflicting evidence as the whether people with diabetes should eat carrots and confusing advice about how much sugar there is in carrots and what their true glycemic number is, and therefore some advisors err on the side of caution and do not recommend you eat them. The current thinking is that carrots are now an “ok” food for diabetics (medium effect on blood sugar levels), so the advice from the World Carrot Museum is that carrots are fine in moderation and you should, as always,  consult your health practitioner or dietician should there be any concerns and before contemplating a change in diet. Avoiding carrots because of their Glycemic Index ranking would be a big mistake, particularly given all the vitamins and minerals they contain and the low Glycemic Load of each serving.  As seen elsewhere in this site, carrots are highly nutritous and can provide significant health benefits for several organs of the body.”

As for peas, they are a quality complex carbohydrate that is high in soluble fiber. They are effective in reducing the risk of diabetes. They assist in regulating blood glucose levels, lowering blood pressure, protects against macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. They are also a good source of non-meat protein.

How Much Protein Is Enough?

Adequate protein consumption has changed many times in recent years. It used to be believe that individuals only required 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight. In this respect a person weighing 140 lbs, approximately 68 kg, would only require 68 grams of protein daily.  After multiple studies, we now believe this number should almost double, suggesting 1 gram per pound of body weight.

Another way to judge if you are getting enough protein is to consider that it should account for 10-15% of your daily caloric intake. If you are eating 2000 calories a day 200-300 of those calories should be from protein. Protein has 4 calories per gram, meaning you should consume 50-75 grams at the very least.

Some non-meat alternatives for protein are soy products, nuts and seeds, avocados, edamame (the whole form of a soy bean), dairy products, eggs and protein powders or bars. Just keep in mind that nuts, seeds and avocados are also high in calories so adding a serving to your diet is great, but using them as your main source of protein may not be the most effective if you are interested in weight loss.