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FitCamp, cleanses, and clean eating. Our most recent challenge winner dishes.

7 Nov

Another Clean Eating Challenge winner in the books here at Stay Gold Fitness & Athletics.  I was super excited to talk to Lisa Frass yesterday.  Lisa has been working out with me for over a year now and is one of my favorite students to have in class because she is so dang hard working!  Lisa took a little time to meet up with me and chat about what has made her a success over the past year and specifically during our most recent challenge.  Just to give you a snapshot of her success she has lost over 17 pounds in the past year, dropped almost 5% body fat and gained about 2% muscle.  Lisa took home a SGF&A “Mind on my Muscle” tee, a tub of delicious chocolate Vega Sports Performance Protein, two personal training sessions, and her $20 entry fee.  Let’s see some of the highlights of what Lisa had to say about her journey:

C: During the challenge can you tell me what your exercise regimen was?  I know you did FitCamp, but…

L: Yeah I did FitCamp every week day morning from 6am to 7am, hot bikram yoga four times a week and I’d walk my dog 3 to 4 miles a day.  The times of the classes helped a lot, because you can’t really argue that anything is going to get in the way from 6 to 7am.  That’s a beautiful thing.  I used to do the 7:15, and I liked that to but then you start getting into your day, or appointments come up, so it’s nice to get it out of the way.

C: In class we do a lot of modalities, you know we have strength, cardio, and you were doing yoga so you had A LOT going on.

L: The best thing about your program for me is that I would never, ever, for any reason, do strength on my own.  If I was to go on my own I would just walk in, and walk back out, I don’t know how to do it.  Then I do it in class and I love the fact that it’s like set up, I see that, and think, OK, I can do that.

C: Right, you don’t have to think about it.  I think that is part of what’s so great about the class, and about personal training, is just that…we do that for you!

L: It is, it’s awesome.

C: Then as far as diet goes, what were you doing?  I know you were working with a nutritionist.

L: Yeah, I was working with a nutritionist, who is Claudia (@vitamincclaudia) and she is amazing.  And she got me changing a lot, and she came over and consulted with me a few times.  And one of the things I did was I did a 21 day cleanse where I did no alcohol, no sugar, and no simple or refined carbs.  And, that was nice because it was easy, just Ok, your not allowed any of those so that helped a lot.  In general she has me juicing once a day, so I juice every day.  I either have a beet and carrot based juice, and like half an apple and that’s like a meal replacement, usually in the morning, and then I’ll replace another meal with a protein shake or something if I’m staying away from carbs, no pasta, she never wants me to have pasta.  Other than that you can eat almost anything you want, like salads and veggies and meat and olive oil.  It’s more trying to change the way you eat every day, rather than having some specific “diet” or program.

C: Trying to make sustainable lifestyle changes?

L: Right.

C: And you were doing the challenge so you were tracking as well, and using MyFitnessPal?

L: Yes.

C: Did you learn anything through the food tracking, or did you kind of already know what was going on?

L: Yeah I knew a lot about that.  Like I said, last year, when I did the 6 weeks and I did almost all the same stuff (exercise wise) but I didn’t change my diet, I didn’t lose any weight or make any changes at all, so I knew I had to change my diet.

C: Unfortunately exercise is not enough sometimes.

L: Well for me, my weakness is alcohol, I love having a cocktail in the evening.  You know, wine is my total weakness, so when I cut that out of my diet, ya know in MyFitnessPal I’d be under or make my calories almost every day.  I don’t have a problem with eating, but you know, 300 calories in a glass of booze, totally throws you off.  Not to mention, OK, a couple of glasses of wine, I think I’ll have some cheese, or I’ll have some pasta, you know.

C: Yep, alcohol completely lowers your inhibition as far as food choices go, and as well the quantity of food you consume tends to be more.

L: Right, right.  And I try not to label stuff “bad” or “good” but that is not the best choice for you.  And then sleeping, I sleep so much better.  I was tracking my sleep too (as part of the challenge), I was sleeping a ton, not only because you sleep better because you don’t have alcohol, but also your not just up watching TV or whatever, having another glass of wine, so your like oh, OK, my day is done, I’ll read or whatever, and you tend to go to bed earlier.  Especially with the morning class, cause you have to get up, so you want to get to bed by 9:30.

C: Yeah, so you definitely get better quality of sleep without alcohol, and they are now finding how important sleep is for recovery.  So if you are going to be working out 5 days a week you really do need to be mindful that you are getting the right amount of sleep as well as getting quality sleep.  And, the booze unfortunately, does not help with that.  Being able to come to class that early in the morning and to preform at your best is, in my opinion, another little part of you being successful in the class and/or the challenge. Being able to show up and work intensely as intensity is such an important aspect when it come to exercise in regards to physiological change.

L: Right and that’s another thing that is hard to do on your own, to know that you are working hard, whether in the group or with a trainer.  That’s the class worked so well for me.  I am competitive so whether it’s competing against the clock, myself or my classmates, it works for me.

C:  What would you say your biggest take away from this challenge?  We didn’t talk at all about macros, did you pay attention to macros?

L: A little bit. Like I said, I would say my biggest take away was the diet changes. One of the things I noticed was the macros would go screwy with a lot of fruit so I was trying to stay away from that, and I am learning a lot more about grains, what to stick with and what not to.  She (Claudia) is teaching me and I’m learning what works for me, and what it means to have different things in my diet.  Just changing things to have like red quinoa, instead of pasta, and just having that there.  She is having me eat a lot of good oils and fats, including avocados, and they are very filling.

C:  I think that is important and a huge piece that many folks miss is that you need to learn these things, learn about what your putting in to your body.

L: Yeah, and it’s not easy.  I had the added advantage of having a nutritionist to work with.  She actually comes in my house, she opens the cupboard, and she’s like, “Oh no, you gotta get rid of all this stuff.”  And she is teaching me to teach my kids too, because you know they eat crap, but I let them eat crap cause they’re so skinny (laughs).

C: Yeah but when they are 30 that won’t be the case.

L: Exactly, and she also says they will feel better.  My son is 17, he still eats a lot of crap and he’s been complaining about it.  But my daughter who is 15, she has changed her diet with me, and she has lost weight, she looks great.  She will pack herself a salad in the morning, peanut butter and apples.

C: That’s cool and very important that you can share that with your family.  It’s awesome that your daughter has really embraced it.  As far as nutrient timing, you said you were doing shakes?

L: Yeah, I would grab a little bit of protein and carbs in the morning before class, like you said, which is hard to do, you want to walk out the door without eating but I was always grab like a couple of nuts and like half an apple or something.  Just a little something so I’d have some gas in the tank, and a protein shake for after.

C: Nice, and there are different strategies to fueling yourself for workouts but because we are often working at very high intensities you don’t want to hit the wall in the middle of a workout so thats my general recommendation is to have some fuel to work off of.  I think that is something that can be really disappointing to folks they want to just come to class and (have me) tell them eat this, and have it magically work for them.  The reality is, it takes work, to learn what to eat, and when.

L: Right, and thats’ why I made the investment in Claudia because she taught me, one time she just came in and we cooked, she cooks raw, and she taught me all these different recipes.  And it’s like, I had no idea!  This way of eating is that much healthier.

C: Cool, that is a great compliment, and something I often encourage people to do and they often won’t.  I have personally spent a lot of time figuring it out for myself which takes a lot of time and effort.

L: Yes! It takes a lot of time and it’s overwhelming because you’ll get into some areas and be like I have no idea what their talking about and then you shut down.

C: Yeah and I mean, this is my job, so I can commit the time to thinking about it and doing it on my own, but someone like you, you have a very demanding job, that takes a lot of time and effort and brain power, and if you have to think about nutrition as well, that’s a lot.  It kind of goes back to, you get to show up to class, I do all the heavy lifting as far as the planning goes.

L: Yes, yes!

C: Working with a nutritionist, it’s sort of the same deal.

L: Yeah and I’ve been working with her since August, on and off, and you kind of take the tools.  You know when you’re picking something up.

C: Yeah, I think it’s a great compliment to exercise and a very important part.

L: And she’ll tell you as well, this won’t all work without exercise.  They go hand in hand. Well, you were the first one who told me, after one of the FitCamp rounds where none of my body comp numbers changed, that if I wasn’t seeing results I had to look at my diet.

C: Thanks Lisa!



Lisa, always smiling during her workouts!

And there you have it folks, diet and exercise together.  Sustainable changes, not quick fixes, and straight up commitment and dedication.  Thanks Lisa for being such a dedicated class attendee and working as hard as you do!

If you are looking to make some sustainable changes, hit us up today.  There is still time to jump into our 6 week Fit Camp that just started today and/or join in on this round of the challenge which can be started any time within the next week.  Find out more here:

Clean Eating Challenge Winner

31 Dec

Nancy celebrates her win!

In November we kicked off the first gym wide, open, entry clean eating challenge.   Participants were required to track 6 metrics over a 6 week time.  Including; workouts, food tracking, macro nutrient consumption, water intake, sleep, and nutrient timing for points.  Each participant received a starting fitness assessment by our trainers including; BMI, body fat%, skeletal muscle %, visceral fat, weight, and measurements.  Participants who completed the challenge completed fitness assessment at the end as well.

Today we took a little time to conduct a short interview with Nancy, our first place prize winner.  I’ve been working with Nancy in one on one personal training for over a year now.  She has made great leaps in her strength and over all fitness in that time.  The challenge proved as a great way for her to hone in one the missing piece, her diet, but also exercise frequency.  Nancy finished the challenge with a drop of almost 3% body fat and gained 1% muscle.  She earned 126 points out of a possible 180.  I asked Nancy a few questions so she could share her challenge experience and what she learned for the benefit of all.

C:  During the challenge, can you tell us, what your exercise regiment was?

N: Lots of variety.  Yoga, Zumba, workout with you, once a week.

C: How many days a week do you think you did?

N: I know I did at least 3. Once I did 4, in fact the goal was to do three, but I really wanted to do 4.

C: And that’s a variety of strength training, flexibility, you name it?

N: Yep, cardio, yeah, I did alot of stuff.

C: As far as diet goes, I know you specifically have been dealing with a lot of food allergy things; which lead you to be doing a cleanse at the beginning, correct?

N: Correct.

C: And that ended?

N: Yeah, I’d have to check but it ended early.

C: Like week one or two right?

N: Yeah, and then I started adding food back in.

Nancy was doing an elimination diet, suggested by and monitored by her doctor.

C: So as far as diet goes, what would you say was your biggest take away from the challenge?

N: Yeah, the tracking, and macros.  And the realization of those macros, that they existed in the first place. I was often able to meet one, or two, but never all three.  So now I’m thinking, hum, I don’t know why?  We need to figure out how to meet those, or change them.  But, I never met them once the whole time.

C: But you were striving?

N: Yes, and I would find too, that when I put foods in, because I was so used to the same things, like tons of sweet potatoes, cashews, nuts and things, that now I’d KNOW exactly what to do.  When I put something in (to MyFitnessPal) and it would say, oh I need X amount of carbs, my brain knows what to go and eat.  So THAT was huge for me.

C: And you and I talked a lot about nutrition timing?

N: Yeah, that was a biggie for me. I met it EVERY single time I worked out.

C: How were you successful; in doing that?

N: I would bring it here (referring to a post workout shake)  , but then I switched the kinds, and it was one that couldn’t sit for an hour.  So I’d just make sure I’d do it, I’d run home and eat.  I’d have a regular breakfast, a shake for breakfast, or something else.  And before I’d come workout I’d either have another shake again, or we talked about, like a banana and some nuts or something like that. And then when I got back I immediately had a shake.

C: And that was a new thing for you during the challenge?

N: It was totally new, I had not done both of them, it was usually one or the other.  I either did before or after, I never did before aaaand after. So that was huge.

C: So fueling yourself for your workouts, and for muscle recover?

N: Yep!

C: Finally, is there anything else you’d like to let people know, that you were successful with or that you learned that they can use to help themselves?

N: Hummmm, I need to think about that…

C: Big question, I know.

N: You know, I think it was really the nutrient timing, and identifying good sources of carbs, proteins and fats and where they came from.  And not eating something that may be high in carbs (because you need them to fulfill your macros) but otherwise not a good food choice.

C: So just really, awareness?

N: Yeah, awareness of what your putting into your body.

C: Super!  Super important.

N: Yeah!

C:  Cool, thank you!

Nancy’s take home prize for winning the challenge included a month of gym membership, a tub of Vega Sport Performance Protein, a Stay Gold Fitness tank, and her $20 entry fee returned.

If you would like to get in on the next round of the Clean Eating Challenge that starts January 9th-16th you can sing up at the gym or via the website at .

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