Breakfast or not breakfast …

I think that our generation has heard so many different myths about food that we don’t really know how to eat anymore.

We have been told to never skip breakfast, have it big, eat less at lunch and then super light at dinner, not eat between meals and then yes you can have snacks, have various milk product every day and now no milk is evil, have bread have pasta have rice and now no have gluten free products only !

The food lobbies are doing an incredible job with their marketing. We go to demonize food and then have them too much. We eat all the time and then we fast. We go from industrial prepared meals to full organic products or vegan diet without seeing a doctor and having a check up to see what’s actually going on in our bodies.

People I am telling you, we are nuts.

I am not a dietician, nor a doctor so today I will speak only from my experience.

When I was a kid I could have easily a breakfast with no issue. Then when I was 10 years old, I started to get sick every morning, I would puke before leaving home or just arriving at school. I didn’t know what the problem could be and was so ashamed I didn’t tell my parents. There, I stopped having breakfast for more 12 years.

Turns out I found out recently it’s the milk in my hot chocolate that I wasn’t digesting well. I today have a glass of chocolate almond milk because I love it !

I started to have breakfast again when I was 23… recovering from anorexia so it was not possible to skip a meal, I had to gain weight again.

There, I have tried different options: cereals, granola, Greek yogurt, bread with jam, tea, orange juice, turkey, fruits, eggs, protein pancakes, smoothies…

It took me a while to adjust the quantity, the food my body liked in the morning and what was enough to help me hold on until lunch (but I still need a snack during the day).

Today I am at a point of balance that works well for me: I have two whole eggs (I know not only whites), home-made bowl of chocolate granola and a green tea.

I have another green tea and an apple during the morning before my lunch, so I am not tempted by crap.

For years I repeated I was okay with the fact of not having breakfast. Truth I wasn’t: I was feeling exhausted all morning, it was extremely hard to concentrate at school and then at work, I was eating sugary snacks all morning and eating way too much at lunch to compensate.

So, in my opinion, in terms of energy yes, you need to have breakfast. If you don’t have appetite when you wake up well then have your food with you in your bag to have it in the bus or when you get to work.

Finally, in terms of fat loss I don’t fucking know. Some people say you have to eat it in the morning to lose weight, some others not. This is a debate that only trial can settle. I would suggest you give it a try for 3 weeks and see what happens: 3 weeks without it and 3 weeks with it. Check out your weight in the balance, the way you feel in your clothes, your look in the mirror, your digestion, your appetite and your mood!

Most of us are not nice persons when we are hungry. Before getting upset with your man/kid/coworker you might want to ask yourself if you should have a piece of food.

Quick reminder: skipping the breakfast doesn’t give you a pass to eat crap later during the day. If you do so, we need to start from the beginning and talk about caloric deficit, energy level and basic metabolism.

If you do need us to talk about these subjects let me know.

Dear bread

As any French person, back home I was a big bread consumer. Mostly because we have really good bakeries with good quality bread that stays crunchy or soft. And let’s not talk about the pastries we have or I am going to get nostalgic.
It’s been an interesting marketing campaign against bread and the evil: gluten !!

I will make another article about gluten but for now I just want to talk about how to choose a good bread, one sort that will help you get a lot of nutrients: cereal bread.

For starter, I just want to say that you don’t need to banish bread for your diet if you want to loose weight. It’s just about moderation. Also, the type of bread you choose is important.

The only way to loose weight is to control your energetic intake by spending more calories than the ones you are absorbing (especially with sports).
Cereals bread has a healthier impact in your health than usual white bread. But off course, i you eat an entire baguette every day, you will gain weight. A food can be healthy but it doesn’t mean that you can eat it without moderation.

First basic thing to do: not eat your bread during a meal with anoter carb like rice or pasta. It’s one carb or the other but not both.

If you choose your cereals bread to share with your meal you can enjoy its benefits because it’s rich in fibers (helping digestion and fight cravings), starch (provides energy), Vitamins E and B (antioxydants vertues), potassium, magnesium, phosphore and iron.

So there is no real reason to banish it from your diet, just keep the quantity reasonnable.

In terms of timeline, it’s better to have for breakfast and/or lunch but avoir having it at night for dinner. For brakfeast you can have it with a little bit of butter and jam. For lunch you can choose to eat it with a salad, or even as a snack during the day.

As it is with good things in this world, don’t overindulge.
Bon appétit !

The rice question

I always have been a huge pasta eater, I think it’s the ingredient I have been eating the most when I was a child and then a teenager. With my sport practice I have tried a lot of new recipes where I replaced pasta by rice and decided to dig up some informations about rice and actually understand the benefits.

Apparently there are more than 40 000 different sorts of rice.. we aren’t going to talk about all of them today !

Generally in our society we consume 3 kinds of rice :

– Brown rice : it doesn’t have anymore its outside enveloppe but still has the sprout and bran. There are the most important parts because it’s where the minerals are. The bran makes it harder to conserve so it has to be eaten quickly.

– White rice: it doesn’t have the sprout and bran so you can keep it longer in the kitchen but it has way less minerals on it.

– “Steamed” rice: it’s cooked with the bran and then, cut and dried with an industrial process . It gets the minerals and vitamins inside the rice seed. His natural nutritional properties are higher than the white rice but lower than the brown.

The healthiest one is the brown rice. A rice that isn’t going through a process of refining conserve all its B Vitamins, fibers, magnesium, phosphore and potassium. 60 % of them are lost for the white rice !

But the white rice has less phytic acid: its a molecule that prevent the assimiliation of some of the rice nutrients. So would be it the same result to eat bronwn or white rice ?

In terms of calories, there are pretty similar :

– 200g of white rice = 270 calories

– 200g of brown rice = 312 calories

Where the brown rice “wins” again, is that it also has a lower glycemic index : 50; What does it means ? That it will help you better regulate your hunger and sleepiness after a meal, or limit a weight intake influenced by insulin secretions.

Finally it also has a lot of fibers and … we really need more of these babies these days !

Personnally, I eat it with almost all vegetables, fish, turkey, chicken, in salad cold or hot, with spices or not. There are so many ways to cook it I don’t where to start !

So know you have a better idea of what you can look for next time you are in your supermarket !

Mistakes to avoid after a workout

You just finished your workout ? Great, I am proud that you went through with it ! But did you know that to be healthy there are certain things to do before and especially AFTER ?

Things that you should avoid doing ?

Yeaaaah I know, it’s not enough to exercize to be healthy, that would be too easy. If you want to optimize your trainings and keep a healthy mindset in the long term, you have to adapt your strategy .

So here are various elements you should really be careful about after your session :

  • Drink water ! Most of us we don’t drink enough of it during the day and the lack of hydratation can be really dangerous when you train. Our body composition is in majority composed by water, when you exercize you sweat so you lose more water. You have to keep drinking after your workout even if you don’t feel really thirsty.

 

  • Eat unhealthy food : I don’t know how many times I have heard people leaving the gym saying « let’s go have sushis or burger ; I trained so hard, I deserve this ». Okey I understand you want to reward yourself it’s human. But let’s make it clear here, only professional athletes can eat whatever they want because they spend HOURS EVERY DAY training as hard as they can. That is not our case ; if you systematically eat unhealthy foods, your workouts are going to be completely useless and you will give up, disappointed by the absence of results. You can indulge once in a while but if you really want results, after your workout stick to fibers, good proteins and a bit of carbs to fill up your energy stocks and build your muscles.

 

  • Skipping the streching : this part is as much as important as your warm up. You reduce the risk of injury and allow your muscles to get recover faster. If you are bothered by the longer time of your session I suggest that you reduce the number of series or rest time. Because it’s crucial to include at least 10 minutes of warm up and 5 minutes (or more) of streching when you are done.

 

  • Leaving the place like a mess : I am so annoyed by the people that leave weights everywhere at the gym and don’t pick it up. In particular guys that leave heavy weights everywhere that I can’t move. I have bruises on my legs all the time because I step on it. It’s like people don’t care if it’s not at their home. Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you train at the gym or at home, leave the place nice and clean, respect the trainers and the others members.

 

  • Be a potato couch for the rest of the day : okey, you trained, you can be proud of yourself. But it’s not a reason to be inactive until tomorrow. Keep moving as much as you can. Our body is made to be moving all day, not sitting at your desk or in you car. Move as much as you can during the rest of the day. It will keep your metabolism running.

 

  • Not sharing your journey ! This one can sound stupid but believe me, when you start taking pictures and videos, publishing and sharing with people, you become more accountable. It provokes good reactions around you and keeps you motivated. You don’t have to take the same selfies endlessly but don’t be shy and show your work !

Food cravings

We all have it in common in our lifes, no matter where we are from and the way we eat.

Food cravings appear because we don’t eat enough OR we don’t eat properly.

Yes, if you eat poorly nutrient foods, your body won’t have any fuel to function properly. That’s why it’s never a good idea to banish carbs from your plate. You can reduce them to lose fat and vary the way your cook your foods. But never banish them.

We have plenty of healthy options to cook for both our salty or sugary tastes.

Also, food cravings come a lot of times from stress. We feel pressure over something and start to snack compulsively. Usually we turn to sugary or salty products like chips, cereal bars, chocolate… They provoke a quick sugar high that will give us a boost but will go down so quickly too that we will feel really tired after. And wishing having another one to feel better. Vicious circle.

Of course you eat healthy 🙂 your have good portions 🙂 but you are human and have the right to snack. We just have to be careful because not to link too much our snacking to our emotional state. It’s dangerous because nowadays we have a lot of reasons to be stressed/sad/angry… and so abuse our snack ratio.

Here are some informations I think are interesting to understand how to manage our food cravings:

Food tqb

Now, it’s time to eat ! Bon appétit !!

Sugar alternatives

We all have our little weaknesses, I don’t know about you, but mine is every piece of food that is sweet. If it was healthy and possible to eat just chocolate it would be my case.

I think our tastes come from a place of habits.

I have never been a soda and chips girl. We never had sodas or any salted foods at my parent’s house, except for birthdays. My mom cooked very simple meals with natural ingredients. I remember we had ketchup on the table only on sundays to eat with our fries. She didn’t used much salt but spices and replace sugar with cannelle and other ingredients when cooking pastries.

She used to cook us home made cakes and I never got tired of it. I can’t talk about addiction but for sure I am a sweet-mouth girl. Whenever I am happy, sad, excited or stressed, I want to eat sugar.

I tried to suppress it completely of my food intake but it’s really hard because there is sugar … basically everywhere.

I am not eating white chemical sugar anymore but I need/like my sugar intake every week from different sources : chocolate, ice cream or cereal bars.

I am trying to suppress as much as I can because it’s a really toxic product to take. I have learned in different studies that’s even more addictive than cocaine. It also increase obesity tendancies, diabetese, mood and energy swings.

Like everything in life I think we can have it with moderation. To help you reduce your instake you can replace your white chemical sugar by :

  • Birch sugar : this natural sugar is found in vegetables lie cauliflower, plums and red fruits. It taste like chemical white sugar but it doesn’ t increase so much the sugar level in the blood after a meal. Careful with the quantity, if you eat too much of it you can get flatulences and diarrheas (not sexy but real).
  • Honey: this natural one has anti-inflammatories, antiseptics and anti-bacterials properties. You can put in your tea, yogurts, granola cereals and use with ginger it can help you to cure your cold sore.
  • Stevia : it’s been pretty famous the last couple of years. It comes from a South America plant Stevia Rebaundiana. It doesn’t contain calories and don’t attack the teeths. But it has a bitter taste so everybody doesn’t like it (hate it personnaly).
  • Agave syrup: it comes from a Mexican plant, taste like honey but it is more liquid. In addition of vitamins and minerals it also contains a lot of fructose sor careful with the amount you use.
  • Coconut sugar : it has the same sugary power as white chemical sugar but cost way more money because of it extraction process. It has also the same amount of magnesium, zinc and iron so keep your consumption reasonable.
  • Maple syrup: one of the best Canadian product I have ever eaten. You can use for pretty much everything with as pancakes, crepes, yogurts, tea…

A lot of sugar alternatives are not as healthy as we would think. A lot of these have a lot of fructose or are extracted with a chemical process.

The best advice I can give you is you try all of them with different recipes so you can feel what you like more and be reasonnable with the quantity.

Also keep in mind it’s a long process to reduce this consumption but it’s possible. I used to put 5 squares of sugar in my tea, I only put 1 spoon of honey on it now.