-The BiG BrEaK Experiment – REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY, What causes us to GAIN Weight?

 

What IS IT?

The BiG BREAK is a two-fold undertaking.

For ME it is an experiment in eating average for 30 days and gaining weight so I can walk everyone through how to lose it.

For YOU it is a closed group on Facebook where we will have weekly challenges, interaction and support and also where I will show everyone exactly WHAT IT TAKES to go from Average to Athlete. Not convinced? Check out my introduction article – HERE.

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Yesterday, I started my first day of the 3 Day Refresh after 1 full month of total food debauchery (ok, I didn’t totally pig out all the time, BUT I did drink more often and eat WAY more simple sugar and carb products)

Here’s the typical “Average Day”

Average-Day

(Oh, and add a Beer or Wine or 2, please!)

Is this you? Are you wanting to lose weight and look younger?  Keep reading!

So, what happened after 30 days of this??

I gained 5 pounds and 2 inches around my waist. (I know this doesn’t seem like much, but I’m only 5’2”. Just look at the photos below) Honestly, this was a bit depressing. BUT, I know what the bigger picture is… it’s helping YOU.

Big-Break-Experiment

Also, a major part of my experiment was to prove that eating “Average” WILL make you gain weight – particularly around your middle. Want to know more? Click {HERE}  So many times we hear, “Eating this will make you gain weight around you middle.” But honestly, it’s been beaten into our heads so many times we just ignore it. Same thing with losing weight. (Eat THIS to lose weight!) So who do you trust and where do you turn? I hope that my pictures will be proof enough – that I DO know what I’m talking about and I CAN help you reach your goals.

MAIN POINT

You CAN NOT out-run NUTRITION.

Fact.

OK ok. You may be thinking – “well what about those marathon runners that just eat whatever and stay skinny?” True. But we have to remember that true health is not evidenced by being thin. A marathon runner DOES burn off a LOT of calories, but it is still important to eat right the majority of the time.

What does an “Athlete Day” look like?

Athlete-Day

 What do you notice about this day in comparison to the “Average” Day?

FORGOT TO PUT SHAKEOLOGY IN THERE!!! I drink that everyday and replace one meal with it!

I’ve got one more visual to show you. And then I’ll wrap it up.

Macros are typically total percentages of Carbs, Fats and Protein. People that get in shape for competitions are very specific about their macros. This is a great way to simplify it and is what p90x uses as well.

Average-RatioAthlete-Ratio

During your challenge YOU are going to eat like an Athlete. It will take a little work in the beginning on your part, but I’m going to take away the stress in finding recipes by planning it ALL for you. By the end of  the month, my goal is to have you in a habit of eating like this so that you can reap the benefits for life.

Can’t wait!!!

See you there! Friend me on Facebook @ Kristi Nicole

OR Email me – kristinicole.fit@gmail.com

The-BIG-BREAK--Become-an-Athlete-in-30-Days

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Turkey, Kale and Barley Soup

 

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I REALLY can not wait to make this soup again. I would have to say this rivals chicken noodle soup, as far as comfort goes, but full-out beats  it TO THE GROUND when compared to health properties. This one will become a favorite on cold winter/fall nights and is a great way to use up extra kale and ground turkey. Enjoy!

Tip – When you cook the first veggies in a soup on medium to medium low it is called “sweating” . This slowly releases the flavors from the veggies and really makes your soup sing. Don’t rush it!

If you haven’t tried parsnips this is a great time to! They are slightly sweeter than carrots but more fibrous. They are best cooked low and slow.

 

Ingredients

2 TBS Olive Oil

1/2 large red onion, sliced or chopped

3 medium parsnips/carrots chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

8 ounces lean ground turkey meat

1 TBS Herbes de Province (OR Mix 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp tyme, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp fennel)

1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional! I like a little spice!)

4 -5 cups low sodium chicken broth (1 carton)

1 15oz can diced tomatoes (or tomato sauce works!)

1 can beans (I used kidney, but any white bean would be better like Great Northern)

1 cup cooked barley (throw it in a rice cooker!)

1 small bunch of kale, chopped and de-ribbed

pepper

(Parsley and Fresh Parmesan OPTIONAL)

 

Directions

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to MEDIUM and add the onions, carrots and celery and saute, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown and soften slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the ground turkey and stir until the meat turns white and begins to color very slightly around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the herbes de Provence and red pepper flakes and stir, 1 minute. Add 4 cups broth, tomatoes and barley and beans. Bring to a boil. Stir in the kale and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and the freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with pepper and serve!!

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with parsley and Parmesan, if using, and serve.

This recipe was adapted from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/turkey-kale-and-brown-rice-soup-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Baked Acorn Squash with Savory Sage Stuffing

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photo: http://www.mydailymorsel.com

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photo: coffeeandquinoa.com

I really hate it when I don’t have my own photo – think: a cross between both of these…. Only thing missing is the ground turkey! Here is another recipe that just makes you enjoy autumn even more. I like to serve this one to family and friends because the presentation is an added bonus! If you are making this to impress, take the 5 minutes to make the Balsamic Glaze. (If you’ve never made this glaze, do it! It is so good on Bleu Cheese Chips and Sage Walnut Ravioli…yum!) I made this for my grandmother while she was in town and she LOVED it! Enjoy!!

 Serves 5-6        Time: 1 hour 15 min

Ingredients

3 acorn squash

1 cup wild rice, cooked (you can sub quinoa!)

1/2 pound ground turkey

1 small onion, chopped

1 handful dried figs/cranberries, chopped

fresh sage, washed and chopped

chicken broth

butter

Balsamic Glaze (optional, but delicious!!!), recipe follows

 

Directions – 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put Acorn Squash in the oven WHOLE and cook for 20 minutes.

Take the squash out and slice long-ways. De-seed and scrape out any extra pulp. Drizzle with olive oil, and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Flip face side down and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until soft.

Get the rice started. I prefer to use a rice cooker. Use one cup of dry wild rice (unflavored) and 2 cups of water.

Now, brown the ground turkey on medium high heat. Add the onion and figs, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and stir. Cook until onions are soft and turkey is fully cooked.

Push the ground turkey to the side and add 1/2 TBS butter to the pan. Add the chopped sage and let it cook for 1 min. Add the rice and a splash of chicken and stir. Simmer on low for 5-10 minutes. Add more chicken broth if needed.

Once the acorn squash is done, take them out of the oven and flip face-side UP. Spoon stuffing into each and pack it down with the spoon.

Bake acorn squash for another 15 minutes.

Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze and serve!! (Recipe below!)

This one is impressive!

 

For the GLAZE

Combine 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 bay leaf in a small sauce pan. Reduce on medium-high heat for 5 mins or so, or until reduced by half. Do not burn!!! (If should be simmering and bubbly. This is cooking out extra moisture.)

Intro to the The BIG BREAK Experiment + FREE Group SIGN UPS!!!

The-BIG-BREAK--Become-an-Athlete-in-30-Days

My last article was all about breaking the glucose spike cycle AKA: eating sugary, processed, simple carb…junk. We ALL do it. We can’t get away from it! It’s EVERYWHERE. (Haven’t read how trying to stop eating sugar is a waste of time? Go HERE)

Next month, I’m running a free group to really guide my friends in how to lose 1 pound per week. (There is a really good chance you will lose more) Last month, I realized I had so many people in 90/10 Nutrition that really want to lose weight. Some, for medical reasons. Some, for military standards. Others, just for aesthetics, which is fine. What was missing was the structure. So here’s my solution.

Rather than telling everyone what to do – I’m going to get healthy WITH YOU.

But how can I do that? I’m already healthy. And honestly, for me to lose weight it would just not be OK. Look at this photo I took last month.

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Yea… not going to lose weight.

So, I’ve decided to do something interesting. Something most people would not do. And that is intentionally gain weight and become “average” again. And this is where THE BiG Break Experiment comes in – I am becoming addicted to sugar, simple carbs, ALL that stuff because I want to show you how to break the cycle from eating Average to eating like an Athlete.  I say “Average” because I’m not going all out and eating completely junk food – I’m eating what the majority of American’s THINK is healthy!

This is going to provide a solution to the disconnect.

What’s the disconnect? Well, first – there obviously IS one, or else this “getting lean thing” would’nt be such a conundrum.  The truth is, the food companies (the ones that process food…cereal, yogurt, snacks, etc) REALLY, REALLY… (can I put another REALLY in there??)  want you to think that what they have to offer you is going to make you healthy.  Why?? $$ Duh!  Think about the packaging (Low Fat! Gluten Free! All Natural! 100 Calories! Lower Sodium! As much calcium as 10 glasses of milk! Sugar-Free!! )

I think that gaining weight just to show how to lose it says something else. I am not obsessed in an unhealthy way with being skinny. If it helps my friends  get healthy, I WILL gain weight to do it! (And one thing I have realized is that someone’s size means NOTHING. Skinny does not = healthy! And Overweight does not always = unhealthy!)  In the group we’re going to tackle it ALL. INCLUDING the messed up mentality women have with being thin and staring at the scale.  I’m going to show you how to get lean NOT by starving yourself and counting calories, but by building muscle (which burns calories), and eating like an ATHLETE. I mean, who do you want to look like?

skinny-modelsvolley ball

                                This??                                                                                                   OR THIS?

I know I could’ve picked cuter girls for the left image… lol. BUT – this is the real deal. I’m not going to show you how to become the ladies on the left. I’m going to train you to become an athlete.

You might think, “Well, Im not an athlete! I could never be an athlete!” Wrong. We are ALL athletes. As humans, we are meant to be STRONG. This will be our focus. And it is a strange paradox – YES we will lose weight, but because we aren’t going to obsess about losing weight, rather – we will focus on building muscle and eating healthier, you are going to feel great in your body!

If you’re a guy you might be thinking that this group is not for you. WRONG. I’ve got a couple of guys that are extremely successful in attaining functionally athletic and muscular bodies that are going to help out with posting and supporting. Although guys might lift more weight and be able to consume more calories, the fundamentals of workouts and nutrition are the SAME for both men and women.

Guys do not struggle with society telling them to be skinny – but they do struggle with almost the opposite. Men are told that they need to drink beer, eat pizza and not give a crap about dieting because that is for women. Dieting and getting lean, is many times just not cool!!

Beer and pizza  ????????????????????

                             Is this you??                                                        What you WANT to be! …Right?

So WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO IN THIS GROUP??

1. Structure. I’m going to show you exactly what to eat and how to do it in a way that you are not starving but still losing weight. We WILL calculate our Basal Metabolic Rate, but we will NOT count calories. We will NOT look at the scale everyday. If I find out you are doing that I will hold your scale for ransom!!

2. Accountability. You all are going to chat. it. up! Share your struggles, your victories, post photos. It’s all about that support.

3. Build muscle. For men, this is a given – but many women think they can get in shape by just losing weight. As we age, muscle toning becomes incredibly important but harder to do the longer we wait. Plus, muscle continuously BURNS CALORIES and gives you that toned look. You NEED IT.

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What can I do to get ready for the challenge?

  • Cleanse. I am doing a 3 Day Refresh to get ready. This helps the body break bad habits (you don’t have any? Yeah, Right!) and will jumpstart your metabolism for the coming month. Plus you will probably knock out a pound in the first few days! If you want to do the 3 Day Refresh it’s inexpensive and is one of the few cleanses that gives you adequate protein to not lose muscle mass. It’s only 69$ for full-price and 55$ for military. Ask me how! (kristinicole.fit@gmail.com) Or go to http://www.beachbodycoach.com/kristinicole87 and order!
  • Nov.1st and 2nd (saturday and sunday) I will release the first video all about grocery shopping and meal planning. Yes, you have to be in the group to see it!
  • Clear out your pantry. Prior to Nov.1st you need to get rid of everything that is going to mess this up for you. We are going to talk about balance and eating sweets later. For now, get everything out! If your peanut butter contains sugar – get ready to buy some that DOESNT. Cereal, snacks – all that. It needs to be gone by Nov.1st. If your not sure what to get gone read THIS.

 If you want to go from Average to Athlete with me next month GET. SIGNED. Up. How?

GO TO: http://www.9010nutrition.com/knicole 

Scroll down and fill out the information under Register Now.

THIS IS FREE and I get NOTHING for you registering. All this does is put me in contact with you so that I can get you into the group next month. You will also get weekly emails from 90/10 Nutrition with updates and recipes.

This is MY Average to Athlete Photo. I can’t wait to see YOUR Transformation!

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Why Breaking the Sugar Addiction WON’T Result in Weight Loss – and what you SHOULD do.

are-you-a-sugar-addict

Here is something I know and see everyday. I see people that WANT to lose weight, that are overweight or just carrying extra weight particularly around their middle that CAN’T because they are absolutely addicted to the foods that cause an insulin spike…not just SUGAR. What does this mean?

“Insulin is a super-fat storage hormone that causes all the calories you eat to be laid as belly fat.” states Dr. Mark Hyman

 This is the absolute sole reason why some people can count calories all day long but do NOT lose weight…because they are eating foods that cause excess insulin to be released and then the vicious “sugar cycle” or FLC syndrome (FEEL LIKE CRAP). I know that sounds funny, but the truth of this is not funny at all – this is REAL. And this is why it’s so easy to get confused – It’s not just a sugar addiction – it an addiction ANY foods that cause an extreme spike in insulin.

“When you eat sugar and refined carbs, they reprogram your fat cells so those cells are hungry all the time. It’s the fat cells being hungry that makes you overeat. The fat cells are demanding to be fed.” – Dr. Mark Hyman

Here’s the Sugar cycle:

sugar-addiction-perpetual-cycle

Here’s the problem with this diagram and the whole sugar addiction philosophy. You CAN’T stop eating refined sugar and KEEP eating refined flour products. It effects your blood glucose the SAME. You have to stop BOTH.

Here’s my example of the cycle: 

You eat a sub sandwich full of simple carbohydrates and a soda (refined flour and sugar) => insulin is released and blood glucose spikes => the chemicals serotonin and beta-endorphins are released as well as dopamine which begs to be REINFORCED (or rewarded) => you crave more sugar (ie: sweet tooth after eating) => you then OVEREAT => cycle repeats => leads to diabetes and MANY other health issues

This cycle unfortunately doesn’t just happen once. For most, this happens everyday! Why? Because it’s addictive. That’s why it doesn’t work to tell someone to simply eat less. That is physically IMPOSSIBLE. That is like telling an alcoholic to just drink 1 beer!

oreoeat

So what do I do? Go to rehab? YES!! Food Rehab, that is!

Breaking an addiction is HARD. You have to be determined and you can’t do it alone. I strongly recommend doing some type of detox to cleanse the body (ie: 3 Day Refresh) and will lead you into a healthy eating program such as 90/10 Nutrition. Not sure what 90/10 Nutrition is? Go HERE! I also recommend taking a BEFORE photo NOW. This is going to be a reminder of where you came from and will serve as an inspiration to others as you transform! Want to do this with me? Read below…

Unfortunately, most people understand that refined sugar and carbohydrates are a problem but they do not understand how to break the addiction. There are so many foods that scream HEALTHY that are actually laden with refined sugar or refined flour. Here’s the trick. If it has refined sugar or flour in it – DON’T eat it. That’s it. Sound easy? Unfortunately …no. (But guess what – it WILL become easy!)

Avoid these foods:

Bread (unless you can find one that has NO sugar and is whole WHEAT. I honestly just tell people to cut out bread completely because it is nearly impossible to find bread that is actually healthy…and it’s usually extremely expensive!)

Tortillas, crackers or any other four food product. If it’s a food “product” that means it was made in a factory and it’s not REAL WHOLE food. No matter what the label says – it’s NOT!

Cereal – this one is tricky because it seems healthy but is laden with refined sugar. Eat muesli or oats.

Yogurt – Ok, if you see a processed food category that takes up an entire wall of the grocery store, you know there is going to be a problem. This is a big $$ making product. It’s not real food. Yea I said it!!  If you are going to eat yogurt, it needs to be PLAIN with no added sugar. You can sweeten it yourself! I prefer to not even eat yogurt. Try cottage cheese with fruit. 

White Rice – many times we wonder WHY? Brown rice is supposed to be more nutrient rich, so no big deal if you eat white rice – right? No, it’s all about how it affects your blood glucose! White rice causes twice the spike as brown rice. If you want to break the cycle don’t eat white rice. (With the exception of Basmati)

The Glycemic Index and why it matters –

Looking at the glycemic index is not just for those with diabetes. It is a great way to get a quantitative visual of how the foods you eat affect your blood glucose. Anything below 55 is considered LOW.  Check it out HERE!!

Example: White Baguette – 98 , Whole Wheat Bread – 71 (still high!!), Whole Wheat Tortilla – 30

This article is a response to a self-study I am doing where I allow myself to become addicted to refined carbs and sugar and gain weight. I then go through the 3 Day Refresh and then lose 1 pound per week in a full-on accountability group. I do this so that I am not just telling others what to do – I am LIVING it by doing it myself. You CAN do it!

Do you want to break the FLC cycle and get on track ONCE AND FOR ALL?

Let’s do this together. Contact me @ kristinicole.fit@gmail.com for FREE coaching. 

Resources

Why Overeating Doesn’t Make You Fat – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/overeating_b_4964351.html

Insulin Resistance – Our Love Affair With Sugar – http://www.womentowomen.com/insulin-resistance/insulin-resistance-our-love-affair-with-sugar/

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

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There are a LOT of butternut squash recipes out there – but this one is not only one of the healthiest but the best tasting! (Even my boys, ages 3 and 5 love it!)

There is no heavy cream and no bland butternut squash flavor to be found – this one surprises with every bite as the layers are so complex everyone will be wondering “what’s in this that makes it so good?”

Your mind processes butternut squash soup, but the truth is, there is such a melange of flavors it just registers as “delicious!”.

There are a few ingredients in this that are surprising – don’t omit any of them!! Just cooking the vegetable in the pot will make your entire house smell amazing!  It’s a clean and delicious recipe – PERFECT for fall! This is a soup you may want to simmer while breaking out those fall decorations!

Thank you Katie Malcolm for giving me this recipe a few years ago that has become a fall tradition in my home!

FEEDS 4-6 (Time = 1 hr 30 min)

Ingredients
2-3 TBS butter
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced (heat it up in the microwave or oven to make it easier to cut)
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 sweet apples, peeled and diced
1 carton of reduced sodium chicken stock
1 tsp Sweet curry (look for curry with a brownish color – it contains more cinnamon.)

“The sweet curry is the “secret ingredient” – don’t be afraid to add this one! It pulls all the flavors together and takes it from good to fabulous!”

DIRECTIONS

Roughly chop everything and sauté with 2-3 Tablespoons of butter or oil for

20 min or until onions are translucent.

Add 1 carton of chicken stock and simmer for 1 hr.

Blend with an immersion blender, reg blender, or food processor to
desired consistency.

Season with curry powder to taste! You do not need to add any salt to this!

ENJOY!!

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I had a hard time getting great photos this time! Dark outside does not = good photos!