If you read the last post or have been following the Facebook page then you’ll already know about the 4 week ‘Get Lean, Mean and Healthy Bootcamp’ that Brett and I will be sharing with you – starting tomorrow.
This post is to provide you with all the information that you need to get started and join us and work towards a fitter, leaner and most importantly healthy you.
Be warned before you go on this is a LONG post with a lot of info. So print it off or take some notes in your fitness journal so you can refer to them or keep them by your bed for bedtime reading hehe.
Before we go on (when I say we I mean Brett and I as this is a jointly written post), one thing we want to make really clear is that this bootcamp is about us sharing the health and fitness routine we will be doing over the next 4 weeks for anyone that wants to share. It’s what we know works for us and is tailored around the results we desire, which is to continue to get fitter, healthier and leaner.
We feel good when we live like this. However, we understand people may have different goals and results they are after so if you read this plan and don’t like it and want something more specific or one of the following results then this bootcamp obviously isn’t for you.
Also note that
- If you aspire to being Angelina Jolie / stick skinny then this bootcamp is not for you.
- If you are hoping that following this bootcamp will help you drop 4 dress sizes and 15kg in a month then again this is not the bootcamp for you and any programme that promises that is either lying to you or compromising your health and /or metabolism. (Plus I suggest will make you very miserable following it).
- If you are training for something like an Ironman or are athlete with specific training goals geared towards a specific sport then the training programme in this bootcamp is not a suitable replacement and also if done in addition to the training you already do may well break you or hinder your goals.
- If you are just want to follow the exercise advice but not the eating principles, and fill yourself with rubbishy food or over eat, this bootcamp will not get you lean, mean or healthy, just frustated at the lack of results. Results mostly come from 80% clean and healthy eating and 20% smart training. You CANNOT exercise off a bad diet.
In a nutshell
Here’s a 5 second explanation of the whole plan (just in case you get stuck in a lift with someone who wants to know): we will be eating fresh, wholesome, tasty foods (predominantly proteins and veggies), eliminating refined sugars and grains and training smart with resistance and high intensity circuit training
This Bootcamp is the first big step in a lifestyle change to move towards healthier versions of ourselves and unleash our inner awesome (that we all absolutely have). On to the detail:
Key Principles for Bootcamp eating
In this section we are going to give you a ‘how to’ guide for how we are going to be eating over the next 28 days (and beyond).
To keep it super simple, for most of your meals you will be grabbing a healthy protein source, and mixing it with a whole bunch of veggies (predominantly non-starchy). If that sounds too simple that you’re not quite sure what we mean then here are some rules to follow. If you adhere to these rules when planning your meals, then you are on the way to improving both your body composition and your health.
Rule 1: Avoid all refined sugar!
This is the biggie. If you are going to adopt just one rule of the following nutrition principles, we recommend this would be the one to start with.
Just in case you’re not sure, refined sugar is found in this kind of stuff:
- Actual sugar (well durr)
- Lollies (that’s sweets for all of you in the UK)
- Lollies (That’s Ice blocks for all you Kiwis)
- Ice cream
- Muffins (unless they are one of the recipes provided by us)
- Chocolate (unless it’s a home made recipe provided by us)
- Sweet pastries
- Maple syrup
- Fruit juice
- Fizzy drinks (don’t sub for diet ones either – they are full of other crap)
- Cereal bars (so loaded with sugar it’s scary)
This is not an all-inclusive list of all sugar containing foods, but you get the idea. Read the label if you’re not sure, and if you see sugar in the ingredients list, avoid it (and maybe refer to rule number 2). Sugar hides in many places you wouldn’t necessarily think, sauces, chutneys, marinades, actually a lot of savory stuff and probably about 70% of stuff in a packet. Believe it or not there is even sugar in sushi (sugar is loaded into the rice – true story) and people eat this so often as a healthy alternative.
Rule 2: Eat real food
All of your food should be as close to the way nature intended it as possible. Your body recognizes food in its natural state, and the food retains its nutrient content. The more processed food becomes, the more nutrients are lost, and the more crappy, harmful chemicals are added. If in doubt, most foods that come in packet have been processed.
So think twice before you grab ‘convenient’ packaged options. To double check, read the ingredients list. Generally, the more ingredients, the worse it is (especially if that list reads like a chemistry set). Most of your food should come from this list:
- Heaps of Vegetables (mostly non-starchy. Greens are great)
- Fruit (moderate amounts only, don’t overdo it)
- Nuts (Unroasted, unsalted, not peanuts or cashews)
- Dairy (we recommend full fat, organic)
- Oils (Olive oil – don’t heat it, coconut oil, yes you can heat it)
Rule 3: Avoid grains
For this Bootcamp, we have chosen to avoid all grains for 4 weeks. This is something we wanted to try, as we believe our bodies will respond really well to it. Although we haven’t eaten much gluten for a while now, we have still been eating some grains. We want to give the no grains thing a bash as we both often suffer from bloating and tummy issues and think grains might be the problem. We’ve also researched it extensively and many experts are on the same page (granted if you look you will find just as many experts who rave about them, so it’s just about our personal choice). We will be doing it on this bootcamp challenge to see the difference it makes and if you want to whole heartly adopt the challenge then why not try it and see if you feel the benefit?
Just so we’re clear, here are the type of things we are avoiding:
- Anything with wheat / flour in it
Please don’t get us wrong. This is not a zero carb plan. You will be getting a certain amount of carbohydrates from the vegetables and fruit that you will be eating lots of, you just won’t be getting them from traditional Western choices of toast, cereal, sandwiches and pasta.
Those are the big 3 rules. Follow those and you’ll be on the right track
Other top tips
- Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a mid morning snack and mid arvo snack. You can also go for an additional snack after evening meal.
- Drink lots of water – at least 2 litres of water a day
- Avoid processed food and sugar – The key to this is being prepared so if you find yourself on the go all the time and grabbing stuff on the run then carry a protein shake or nuts with you or other healthy snacks.
- Eat every 3 to 4 hours – don’t skip meals – again have snacks with you that you can eat on the run)
- Eat heaps of green veggies every day – they are full of good stuff plus the bitter taste will help with sugar cravings.
- Include protein in every meal – this will help you feel full longer and you are less likely to lose muscle and takes more energy to metabolise. With the exception of post workout when you can get away with having pure carbs within 30 to 40mins of finishing.
- Avoid alcohol – Just for 4 weeks ditch the vino and other tipples of choice. Alcohol is completely empty calories, liquid fat and it is a kick in the face to your metabolism (not to mention your liver).
- Use coconut oil to bake and fry in. Use Olive oil in dressings / drizzled on salad only – it changes its chemical structure when it’s heated and not in a good way.
- Invest in some Glutamine powder and add to your protein smoothies / shakes or even just put a spoonful in some water after you train and down it – great for those of you that want to ensure you burn fat but maintain muscle mass.
Eating Plan – Meal and Snack Options
Here are our top choices for all meals and snacks so that you can use to ‘freestyle’ your own eating plan. We will be posting some additional recipes and ideas to add to these ideas in the next post and as we go through the bootcamp but this will get you started.
ALWAYS have brekkie – if you are training very early in the morning and can’t tolerate food then fine or just have a light snack or smoothie and have your breakfast after (preferably within 40mins of finishing). Options as follows.
- Eggs served anyway with sautéed spinach (and/ or any other non starchy veggies), served with either bacon or smoked salmon.
- Greek yoghurt mixed with a scoop of protein powder, flaxmeal or LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond meal) berries, cinnamon and a little nut butter (I use almond butter). You could sprinkle with coconut, chopped nuts too if you are extra hungry. Ensure the brand of yoghurt you use is full fat, as natural as possible and sugar free.
- A protein smoothie. A protein shake or smoothie is great for when you’re busy, new to eating breakfast at all or new to a protein breakfast. We usually put a large scoop of protein powder, half banana, almond butter, berries, coconut water or milk, flaxmeal and fresh spinach. Use a protein powder that is sugar and artificial sweetner free if you can find it (I use Red 8). Play around with the smoothies to see what ingredients you like – raw cocoa, banana, milk, vanilla protein, almond butter and flaxmeal is another yum one.
- Omelet (made with 2 to 3 eggs) filled with any of the following, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, ham, smoked salmon, feta, tomatoes etc (get creative).
- Steak, chicken or fish with handful of nuts. You might find this weird but it is great way to boost metabolism and keep you feeling full.
- Poached eggs, panfried fried haloumi cheese, sautéed spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes.
- Banana, coconut and berry Protein Pancakes – A yum treat to have maybe just once or twice a week – recipe is on the blog page under the ‘Clean eats’ section.
If you go out to a café for breakfast / brunch you should still be able to follow the principles of this plan within reason
- Leftover dinner – Brett and I do this a lot. We make up a large enough dinner that we can take left overs in for lunch the next day. Makes for a more efficient way of doing it, especially if you are time constrained.
- Salad – Consisting of some sort of protein (could be left over meat), mixed salad greens (such as spinach, rocket, mesculin), tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, grated carrot, grated courgette etc again get creative add ingredients you like but fit the rules. A salad that is a fave in our house is fried haloumi, rocket, roast beetroot, tomatoes and toasted seeds.
- Eggs if you didn’t have them for breakfast you could go for an omelet with some sort of yum filling or other type of eggs (poached scrambled) – again this is a good one if you are out and about as most cafes do
- If you are lunching out – either a salad bar which offers cold cuts of meat, chicken, turkey or salmon plus greens or in a restaurant, salad that follows the rules or look for a protein and veg option on the menu. Omelets or mix and match brekkie items served through out the day are another good choice. Don’t be afraid ask for modifications to meet the rules.
- If you’re on the run and no time to stop at least go for a protein shake, some berries or an apple and a handful of nuts. Keep those snacks in your bag. Prepare, prepare, prepare.
- Steak (or other protein) with veggies – this is about getting creative again – you could do a selection of roast veg like sweet potatoes, cauliflower (which is amazing roasted), beetroot, red onion. Or stir fry some Asian inspired veg, or simply steam some broccoli and asparagus.
- Prawns panfried with coconut threads and served with stirfried veggies
- Roasted Salmon (or other fish), seasons with Cajun spices and served with green vegetables. Spinach panfried in coconut oil with some walnuts, lemon juice and a little pesto is delish.
- Chicken Caesar Salad – made with cos lettuce, boiled eggs, anchovies, cooked chicken breast or thighs and boiled eggs. (no croutons but you could add some toasted seeds)
- Meatballs with zucchini pasta – recipe to come in next blog post
- Thai chicken or prawn curry – recipe to come in next blog post
- Frittata with salad – recipe to come in next blog post
Basically go for some kind of protein and lots of non starchy veg or a large salad. If you are going to be training in the morning or are feeling particularly low in energy add some roasted kumara or pumpkin
Keep a stash of these handy for in between meals and when you’re out and about:
- Fruit – berries, apples, pears, stonefruit, bananas (sparingly, best after a workout – no more than 2 fruit portions a day)
- Nuts – unroasted, unsalted: almonds, brazils, macadamias, walnuts, pecans etc (not peanuts or cashews)
- Nut butters (make your own almond butter cheaply – see recipes)
- Raw veggies – capsicum (peppers), carrots, celery, broccoli, tomatoes , corgette.
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yoghurt
- Whey Protein Powder – as natural a brand as possible, sweetened with stevia.
NOTE: that combinations of these work best. Manipulate them so you don’t get too bored, and so that there is always some protein in the snack, for example;
- Apple slices with almond butter
- Celery sticks with cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt mixed with protein powder and berries
- Protein shake
- Almond butter mixed with yogurt
If you have a sweet tooth, and the idea of going a month without sugar has you breaking out in cold sweats, fear not. We totally love our treats and believe they keep us honest. We’ve created some tasty ‘treats’ that contain no sugar or grains, but taste really awesome – your taste buds won’t know the difference, but your metabolism will!
If you are a sugar junkie and are fearful of your willpower to cut out sugar then these treats below will be what keeps you going. Please remember to exercise moderation of these and limit them to only 1 a day (in place of the other listed snack options above) or have as a post supper desert – preferably not everyday but we understand that for some this is what will keep you from delving into a large bar of dairy milk or tub of ice cream.
Here are some treats for you to try that have kept us on the straight and narrow of clean eating:
- Carrot Cake muffins
- Raspberry and Zucchini Muffins
- Almond and blackcurrant muffins (recipe to come or see Facebook page)
- Bliss balls
- Ice cream (frozen banana blended with a little protein powder and raw cocoa to your taste – soo delish)
- Banana and berry pancakes
- Chocolate Scroggin
- Cheats choc mousse (recipe on ‘Clean eats’ section of blog)
- Raspberry Ripe Bark (awesome chocolatey raspberry treat from a great blog I discovered called ‘My Food Religion’)
There are lots of other great healthy recipe blogs out there so go forth and search the net but just remember to make sure the recipes you discover following the rules (ie no sugar, no grains etc).
Sample Eating Plan
This sample plan is just to give you an idea of what your week could look like. This will be pretty much how we are going to do it. If you love to cook, use the basic rules and experiment with your meals. If you’re a pretty basic chef or time poor, pan cook some meat, and dump a large simple green salad, or 2-3 serves of non-starchy veg next to it, and hey presto, there’s your dinner (and lunch for the next day)
|Breakfast||Poached eggs, salmon & spinach||Breakfast smoothie||Scrambled eggs, ham, mushrooms, avocado||Banana, coconut, berry protein pancakes||3 Egg filled omelet||Breakfast smoothie||Steak, poached eggs, spinach & tomato|
|Snack||Apple & almond butter||Cottage cheese & raw veg||Apple & almond butter||Protein shake||Cottage cheese & raw veg||Pear & brazil nuts||Apple & nut butter|
|Lunch||Roast chicken leftovers & salad||Thai Curry leftovers||Steak & salad||Tuna salad||Meatballs & zucchini pasta||Salmon & roast veg||Lamb steak, haloumi & salad|
|Snack||Pear & walnuts||Plum & almonds||Yoghurt, berries & protein powder||Pear & pecans||Bliss balls & berries||Chopped raw veg & cottage cheese||Berries & walnuts|
|Dinner||Thai curry (chicken)||Steak & salad||Cajun Prawns & stir fry veg||Meatballs & zucchini pasta||Salmon fillet & roast veg||Lamb steak, haloumi & salad||Roast chicken, broccoli, carrots & kale|
|Dessert (optional – 1-3 times p.w.)||Berries and yoghurt||Banana ice cream||Almond & berry muffin||Berries, nut butter & yoghurt||Bliss ball||Cheats choc mousse berries||Choc scroggin|
If in doubt with any meals, check there is a protein serving in there, then add something green. Your fridge should be busting at the seams with spinach and broccoli.
A shopping list to support the eating plan can be found here on the Facebook page.
During this month of clean eating and training smart you should not be starving hungry. Having said that, it is not an excuse for all of you carnivores out there to overeat on 5 steaks a day or whole blocks of haloumi either.
The plan is that you fill up on the vegetables, and have regular (sensibly sized) portions of the proteins. Around the size of the palm of your hand is a good rough guide for protein portion sizes when it comes to meat or fish.
A great tip is to eat until satisfied, but not over-stuffed. If you have to loosen your belt a notch, you should have stopped eating a while back.
Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. This will aid digestion and ensure you taste and properly enjoy your food, you will also find that you possibly don’t need to eat as much too.
Do be honest with yourself when it comes to portion sizes – we are all different shapes and sizes and metabolisms which is why we aren’t recommending amounts, but think moderation in all things except non starchy veg where you can go for your life and fill up.
Bootcamp Training – Key Principles
The exercise part of this Bootcamp is also very important but as mentioned before the food is often where the magic happens.
We are not advocating that you smash yourself with some crazy, unsustainable workout regime that leaves you drained, and dreading your next training session. Our preference for exercise sessions is that they are intense (relative to your own fitness levels) and relatively brief; (there will be no long laborious cardio sessions in this programme), however as mentioned earlier if you are training for an endurance event then your goals are different.
Here are a few key principles:
Rule 1: Join the resistance
Resistance (weight) training is a huge part of staying fit, strong and healthy. We recommend that at least 2 x per week you lift something (barbells, dumbells, kettlebells, yourself, medicine balls etc). Your muscles look, function and chew through body fat better when you use them – that’s what they are there for…… to lift stuff. Your sessions should be 45 mins or less, and the weights you lift should be challenging (with great technique).
Rule 2: Mix it up
Unless you are training for something super specific, we’d recommend mixing up your weight training sessions. Some should be slower and heavier and some should be lighter and faster (like a Metcon circuit). Variety is king!
Also make sure you mix up your movement patterns. The primal standards of push, pull, squat, lunge, bend, twist and travelling (walk, jog, run, sprint, side shuttle, back pedal and crawl) are the bomb when it comes to getting in shape. You should probably forget about bicep curls and lateral raises for now, and focus on the more effective movements listed above. If you have no idea how to weight train, grab someone who knows how (like a Personal Trainer) and get them to show you some basics.
Rule 3: Pick up the pace
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is super effective when it comes to getting fit and trimming down. Gone are the days of painfully long, slow, boring cardio sessions. Instead, replace with repeated bouts of hard effort (10-60 seconds) interspersed with enough recovery time to perform your next interval at the same pace / level. Your pace should be around 8 to 10 on a scale of 1-10. Let your fitness dictate how many reps you do and how long the whole session is, but our key tips are to keep it somewhere between 15 and 45 mins. Push yourself, but not so hard that you can’t do something challenging the next day (or the day after at the latest)
Rule 4: Move it, move it
Your body is designed to move EVERY DAY! So we’re advocating that you do something every day. If you’re feeling a little drained or sore, pull back on the intensity and do something easy, like a long brisk walk, or gentle yoga class. Just don’t sit on your butt for 24hours, ever! Getting outside is super important for your overall wellbeing and vitality, so the walking option is great – fresh air is free and one of the very best things for you, so get it as often as your lifestyle lets you.
Rule 5: Play like a big kid
Some of the best, most nourishing exercise you will ever do is when you are playing something. Your body moves in non-structured ways, and if you choose the right activity, and or the right people to do it with, you will smile and laugh your way to less stress, greater fitness and improved body function. Go out and learn a new sport, play with your kids, head out for a round of golf or a surf, or rockclimbing, or dancing or………………… you get the point!
Rule 6: Challenge yourself
It’s so important to go outside your comfort zone – out there you will find change (for the better) both in your body, mind and spirit. You might also find some much activities that you never thought you would enjoy or try and achieve great things you never imagined.
This whole 4 weeks will be a challenge for some but we will also add some exercise challenges for you to have a go at.
Sample Exercise Plan
Here’s an example of what it could look like for a week. We will be posting some of our workouts on Facebook throughout this Bootcamp (14/1/13), or you could look up some workouts in some of our other articles.
|Session 1||Heavy weights supersets||20 min HIIT Sprints & 20 min sweaty circuit||Long and brisk hill walk (60mins +)||Heavy weights circuit & 10 mins HIIT sprints||BodyBalance® or Yoga class||RPM® /Spin class or run of 5x3mins hard & 2mins easy||Do something new and fun that’s active (go to a climbing wall, Stand up paddle boarding, roller blading, paint balling)|
|Session 2 optional||Brisk walk||Stretch session or yoga||Les Mills Grit® class or 30 min intense sweaty circuit||30 min intense sweaty circuit or Les Mills GRIT™ class||Home body weight circuit|
Sleep and Other Key Bits and Bobs
Some other great wellbeing / shape up tips that we’ve picked up along the way include:
- Get to sleep by 10pm
- For the hour prior going to bed, wind down, dim the bright lights and read a book or chat with your partner (computer work is not ideal for inducing sleep, nor is TV)
- Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible when you are sleeping
- Nap in the day if you can (fat chance for most of us I know, but some people can do it)
- Work on reducing stress wherever and whenever you can. Take at least 5-10 minutes each day to breathe deeply, sit in peace, meditate if you’re into it, and generally chill out – this may feel weird and be another challenge but one you will benefit from no end
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
- Get outside in the fresh air at lunchtime where possible, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The sunlight helps to tune your body clock
We are planning to be very active on the Eat Sweat Think Facebook page this month, so please keep checking in. We will be sharing our workouts, meals, recipes, photos, experiences, challenges and anything else that we think will be of benefit to you. We really encourage you to do the same and interact with us and the rest of the Facebook community. The more of us that share our tips and successes, the better we will do as a whole. Workout ideas and recipes are always welcome. Please note that we may not be able to answer all of your questions though, we’ll see how we go but we have day jobs and hey this programme is free.
To be Continued…..
Putting all this info together has taken longer than we thought so we’ve not quite got to doing all of the recipes and other bits we’d like. We think there is enough to get you started though and over the next day or 2 we’ll be posting part 2 which will include some recipes to enjoy and workouts to challenge you on this plan so you don’t get bored and see results.
So that’s all to get you started and on the ‘Get Lean, Mean and Healthy Bootcamp’. We are looking forward to sharing this journey with you so that we can all motivate each other to be our most awesome versions of ourselves. Let’s do it!!!