About Monique Beauchamp

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So far Monique Beauchamp has created 614 blog entries.

Sweatin the Details

I often get asked for nutrition and exercise advice, it comes with the territory, and honestly I couldn’t be more excited to help others make even the smallest positive change in their health. From a selfish standpoint, it’s rewarding to hear about what aspects of health people are struggling with because sometimes I get lost in the fact that I surround myself with fit individuals who have a similar mindset as I do. I easily overlook that not everyone thinks about health, nutrition, movement, body composition, fitness goals, and exercise plans all day long.

Recently, I was talking with a friend about their nutrition and how they can make it better, when I realized that I’ve had this conversation before. Not the exact nutrient for nutrient discussion, but the basic overlay.

Is X better than Y?

You can put anything into those two spots….

Is honey better that sugar?

Is dark chocolate better than milk chocolate?

Is coconut oil better than olive oil?

Is wine better than beer?

Is sprouted bread better than wheat bread?

Is brown rice better than white rice?

 

The answer to these question isn’t which one is better than the other….actually this is not even the right question to be asking.

 

We are missing the big picture

 

What truly matters when trying to make a difference in your health are the consistent actions that you take…the day in-day out habits you have formed….those are what are going to make the difference.

 

If you are you are struggling to figure out which is better brown rice or white rice (or maybe no rice at all) and in the meantime over the past 7 days you have had some pizza, a cookie, Chipotle, a bagel, caramel macchiato frappuccino, and some chips…..it’s not the type of rice that is holding you back.

 

Take a step back….look at the big picture. Don’t become paralyzed by the small details.

 

Figure out which habit you can change that will give you the biggest reward.

Hint: it’s not choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate.

Your Relationship with Food

There is a lot of buzz about having a good relationship with food, but what does that even mean and how do we get there? Food is something we all have in common, we all need to eat in order to survive, but the pressure we put on ourselves each day (multiple times a day) to eat the “right” foods is different from person to person and learning how we deal with these choices is what builds our relationship with food.

 

Our relationships with the people in our lives, to keep them strong, require the same consistency and awareness as our relationship with food. Relationships require us to be mindful, they need a little give and take, they sometimes start to crumble, but when they are worth it you’ll work to put the pieces back together again. It’s not always easy.

 

Now lets think about our relationship with food.

 

Are you mindful of what you are eating? Do you read the nutrition labels? Do you try and have a balanced meal (lean protein, vegetables (carbohydrates), & a little fat)?  When is the last time you actually tasted your food? I mean really sat down….no distractions and enjoyed the delicious flavors.

 

If there is only 1 change you make…begin mindful about your foods can make huge changes in your lifestyle, body composition, and athletic performance.

 

How do you react when you diet get out of control? Do you throw in the towel? Do you beat yourself up? Or do you make a conscious effort to make a change….to try and be a bit better next time you are in that situation?

 

“The grass is ALWAYS GREENER where you WATER it.”

 

If you want to make positive changes in your health, you need to “water it”. Your first step is to be mindful. Often we can “lie” to ourselves about how often we are participating in a particular habit. A great way to do this is to use a chart and check off each time you eat/drink something that is not inline with your goals.   

 

You might be surprised.

 

For example….let’s just say you tell yourself  “I don’t eat too many treats”

You make your chart and every time you eat something that you consider a treat you put a little check.

 

At the end of the week you count them up and this is what you realize.

 

On Sunday night you had a sweet treat because…well….you’ll start on Monday…CHECK

Monday you’re good…it’s day one.

Tuesday someone bring in cookies to the office…just 1 won’t hurt….CHECK

Wednesday You go out to dinner with friends and they convince you to share dessert…CHECK

Thursday is another good day

Friday….Well……TGIF…..CHECK

Saturday you have to go to a family party…chips, dips, cake and more…CHECK

 

So your week…when you told yourself that you don’t eat treats, you actually indulged 5 out of 7 days….interesting.

 

We have some charts already available for you at the gym. If you would like one just ask. Simple….Convenient and it will keep you honest with yourself. Remember your relationship with food is going to need a little TLC.  

Jicama

Have you tried Jicama?

It’s a delicious root vegetable that you more than likely skip right over. It is referred to as the “Mexican turnip” and it is a cross between a turnip and an apple. The outside has a brown skin that needs to be cut off, but the inside is a delicious combination of sweet and crunchy.

I came across this recipe on Paleomg and I wish I had found it sooner, it is amazing. This would be a great side dish to bring to a picnic (I realize my timing is off, but better late than never).

Ingredients:

1 Jicama

1 Green Apple

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Jalapeno

½ Red Onion

Zest of a Lime

Lime Juice (approx 1/4c)

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Cilantro

Salt & Pepper

 

Directions:

Peel the jicama and thinly slice (julienne) along with the rest of the vegetables.

 

Whisk together the Lime Zest, Lime Juice, Olive Oil, Cilantro, Salt & Pepper

 

Combine the dressing with the vegetables

 

I made a huge batch and it stayed well in the refrigerator for the entire week.

 

P.s. I just saw some recipes for jicama fries!!!! I will be making those soon and will get back to you!

Practice Restraint

Taking on new dietary habits is “simply” the art of practicing restraint. Changing our diet starts with acknowledging that what we have been doing is not producing the results we want. Those results may be physical appearance, athletics skill/performance, biomarkers such as cholesterol, or general wellbeing. But in order to produce the results we want we need to change our current habits to align with our goals and this will take a little practice in restraint.

 

Last Friday, a bunch of us headed over to Counter Weight after the Athlete Spotlight Wod. I had made the decision earlier in the day that I was not going to drink, even though it was my birthday. Why did I decide not to drink? A few reasons….first we are in the middle of the Lurong Nutrition challenge and I didn’t want to lose points, plus I knew I had to do 2-workout the next morning and I wanted to feel 100%.

 

But how did I do it? That was the real question.

 

Well, I’ve had a lot of practice.

 

One of the biggest benefits of doing these nutrition challenges is learning more about yourself, your triggers, and your habits. What I have come to know is true for me (you maybe different) is that when in a situation where there is food and drinks that don’t align with my goals it is easier for me to completely restrain from having them then it is to just have one. Having just a small taste or just one beer leads me to eating everything in sight and thinking that shots are a good idea, it’s a rabbit hole.

 

But, completely restraining is not the easiest option either.

 

Again, what I have learned about myself is that I need to have a replacement so I don’t feel left out. This occurred to me after many challenging nights going out to the bar after my softball games. To go out and have a drink (remember I’m not good at having just one) on a Tuesday night is not going to work for my 4:30am wake up call.

 

So, what do I do.

 

I drink a lot of water. I keep it in my hand the entire time. Something to keep me busy. Have you ever tried to drink as much water as your friends are drinking of beer? It’s challenging & you’ll be super hydrated.

 

Practicing restraint is powerful. We can’t always have what we want exactly when we want it, that is a greedy habit to have. The more you practice the stronger you’ll become and that mental toughness that you develop will spread to other areas of your life.

 

Athlete Spotlight: Mike

  1. What made you choose CrossFit True?
    Moe made me do it!
  2. How long have you been training with us?
    5+ years…I was part of the second On-Ramp class that CrossFit True offered
  3. What do you do for the short time of the day that you aren’t with us (i.e. a job)?
    I run my own business; Seaside Painting. I paint houses both interior and exterior. I’m also have a side “business” Wet Clay Works, making fancy pottery things.
  4. How is your nutrition? Do you eat a certain way? If so when did you make the switch?
    I love burritos. Every time you do a nutrition challenge, I do a burrito challenge….a burrito everyday. Honestly, I don’t have a particular way of eating, but I do pay attention to what I eat. I do a good amount of food prep at the beginning of the week. Overall I would say I eat a lot better than the average American.
  5. What are your 3 favorite movements/exercises?
    Cleans, Handstand pushups, and pull-ups
  6. How about a favorit WOD?
    I don’t know if it is my favorite but most memorable and one that I compare every year would be Murph.
  7. What is your favorite workout song?
    Any Rocky montage song
  8. What is your favorite type of workout? (AMRAP, Chipper, Ladder, Rounds for time?)
    Chipper, long ones
  9. Have you changed at all physically or mentally since starting to train with us?
    Yes, although I have always been “skinny” I use to be “skinny Fat”. I still weigh the same but now its muscle. Overall I am stronger and that comes from being more well balanced. Working on all aspects of fitness rather than focusing on just one or two
  10. What are your current goals?
    To get my muscle up back I lost it some time over the last 2 years. Not just get it back, but relearn it the proper way.
  11. What is your favorite color?
    Red
  12. What can you do now that you weren’t able to do before training at CrossFit True?
    10+ pushups
  13. Say something else, anything!
    We started a new tradition with Roz’s athlete spotlight…Friday night WOD then drinks at Counterweight. I would like to continue this tradition hope to see you all there!

Balancing Macros

Balancing your macros can be tricky. Each day you are involved in this “complex” math equation of getting the proper mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to equal your daily calorie needs.

In a perfect world everything we would eat would fit neatly into one of those three categories (protein, carbohydrate, or fat), but unfortunately nearly all our foods are a combination.

 

Examples:

Chicken Breast

Although it will mostly be adding to your protein, you can’t forget about fat that it will also be adding, even if it’s just a little. 3 ounces of raw chicken breast breaks down to this:

Calories =102

Protein = 20 grams

Fat = 2 grams

Carb = 0 grams

 

Peanut Butter

This is a bit tricky because although it is high in protein it is even higher in fat and you also have some carbs

Serving size 2 tablespoons

Calories = 190

Protein = 8 grams

Fat = 16 grams

Carb= 7 grams

 

Using an app to keep track of all of it is extremely helpful to do all the calculations for you, as long as you are diligent in putting EVERYTHING into it. Here are a few things I do that have worked.

 

Don’t ADD in “calories burned” from your workouts

 

When you use a macro calculator it will ask you to input some information about yourself and your goals. One of those question is your activity level. Therefore, when it calculates how many calories/macros you’ll need it is already taking into account your exercise. Putting in your calories burned will throw off your actual macros.

 

Don’t stress about getting EXACTLY the right number of macros.

 

In general, counting your macros can have an average error of around 20%. There are many factors that can cause this; errors in weighing/measuring, cooked vs. uncooked, not everything in the app is accurate, scale isn’t calibrated, human error, etc. So, don’t stress about needing to get 3 grams of protein. If you are within 5-10 grams, you’re on the right track!

 

Put in what you know, ASAP

 

If you know what you are going to be eating for your meals put them into your app right away to get an idea of where you stand with you macros. For instance, I prep and portion all of my breakfast at the start of the week. Once I know the measurement I enter them into my app for each day. In MFP there are 3-little dots in the bottom right corner for each meal/snack in your food diary. If you click that there is an option to copy a meal from a date making it easy to enter all the same items.

 

Although breakfast is the only meal I typically protion out, I typically eat variations of the same thing each day for that week. Knowing this I can put my other meals in and then make small adjustments to MFP when I am putting it together. So although it is only 7am right now, I have already added in my breakfast, lunch and dinner. Currently I have just over half of my calories entered. Then I can look at what macros I have remaining…..46 grams protein, 89 grams carbs, and 28 grams of fat. I will use this information to figure out the rest of my snacks that will balance out the remaining macros.

Another option (a little more prep is necessary)

 

You can figure out how many calories/macros you’ll need for each meal and snack and then make sure you get those at each meal. Lurong has a great breakdown of this depending on your eating style. If you just like to eat 3 meals a day it will break them down evenly. 3 meals and 2 snacks you have a bit higher macro content for you meals and a bit less for the snacks.

 

If you know you need to eat the following:

 

Meal Calories Protein Carbs Fat
Meal 1 473.0 33.6 42.3 18.8
Snack 1 183.9 13.1 16.5 7.3

You can figure out just how much of eat food will bring you to these numbers.

 

Either way works well, you just need to figure out what works best for you. Counting your macros is a trial and error, just stick with it. Even if you end up with the wrong information, don’t think of it as a waste of time….it is a learning experience. You’ll take that information and use it in the future and make it better.

 

The Final Countdown

Our next nutrition challenge is just around the corner and we are very excited to get started. Even if you decided not to participate this time around there is info in this blog that will be beneficial so keep reading.

One of the best motivators for sticking with your fitness & healthy diet is accountability. We are luck enough to have a great support system right here at CrossFIt True, the people you are surrounded with all have a desire to become healthier and with that kind of support we can accomplish anything.  (we currently have 17 people taking on this challenge!!!! Look below to find out who)

So,I ask even if you are not doing the challenge take part by helping those who are stay on track. Ask them how the challenge is going, share a healthy recipe, and participate in the workouts along side them. It can be challenging to make the right decision when no one is looking, but with a group supporting you, you’ll have the desire to not let them down and the better choice become easier.

In our nutrition talk I mentioned the value of being prepared. With the start of the challenge just days away, you should already be starting this preparation process (even if it’s just figuring out how you are going to be successful).

Here is how I break it down so I don’t get overwhelmed:

 

Thursday/Friday

-Start thinking about what I want to eat for the week and make a grocery list of the foods I will need.

 

Friday/Saturday

-Food shopping I like to do this on a different day than I am going to do my food prep. If I try to do both…I get cranky.

 

Sunday…..PREP DAY

-This is when I cook the majority of my food.

 

The bad news is that it does take a bit of time and organization.

 

The good news is you won’t have to do any other cooking or dishes for the rest of the week!!!

 

It’s a great trade off!

 

Resources

Now is the time to get to know the layout of the Lurong website, they have tons of great resources that you’ll want to take advantage of. On the main screen when you log in there is a side bar on the right-hand-side this is where you’ll find most of your resources. (except for the food search engine that is under nutrition & tools)

 

Food Summary Charts:

These are the same lists I have hanging at the gym next to our check in station. These charts are a broad list of what foods fall into which category.

 

***Remember you are not choosing one category for the entire challenge. Rather you are trying to eat as many meals and snacks at the best level possible.***

 

Meal Plans

There are two different meal plans that will take you through all 6-weeks. It lays out everything you could possible need.

All the meals

A grocery shopping list

What you should prep before hand to make everything run smooth.

 

Recipe Books

There are 3 different recipe books. These do not include a shopping list or how to prep, but they are FULL or amazing recipes to try. (and if you do let us know what you think on our FB page)

 

Nutrition U

These are a series of articles about nutrition. Everything from keeping your sugar balances so you don’t crash to grocery store video tours.

 

Food Search Engine

Not sure which category (elite/pro/starter) a particular food falls into? Use the Food search engine to help you make the right decision.

 

Macro Option

If you are taking the next step and looking to count your macros, I highly suggest downloading My Fitness Pal (MFP) or another calorie/macro counting app.

If you are on MFP you can request to be friends with me and then you’ll be able to see my food diary. My user name is Moe0139

Unless you do the premium version on MFP (I just use the free version)  you won’t be able to put in an exact macro count, you’ll need to use percentages and just get them as close as possible.

If this is your first time counting macros, allow yourself errors. Counting macros can be overwhelming….it’s like learning the Snatch…there are a ton of moving parts and to make them all flow together….well that takes time and consistent practice. Keep at it and it will come together.

 

Huge Shout out to all of those participating (if you see them around give them a high-five and continue to encourage them)

 

Brittany Munn

Cindy B.

Dan R.

Dave V.

Elaine

Erika

Jeremy

Jessica S.

Julia

Kristin

Landis

Lou

Meg F.

Moe

Nyrva

Sarah G.

Sue

Counting your Macros

The science around diet and exercise can be overwhelming and confusing. Information that is constantly being updated, research studies that don’t tell the whole truth, and that amazing thing that worked for a friend of a friend.

 

The latest in this trend of this information overload is counting your macros. The idea of counting macros can be very useful because it can be tweaked specifically for each individual and their needs.

But before we can get into counting macros we first need to understand what marcos are and how they are used by our bodies.

 

The three main nutrients that comprise the human diet, also known as Macro Nutrients are

Fats, Proteins, and Carbohydrates.

Each macro-nutrient plays an important role in the way our bodies function byproviding it with energy. Proteins are used for growth, tissue repair, and help

maintain body functions. Fats digest slowly, making us feel fuller longer andhelp us absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D. Carbohydrates provide us with quick usable energy.

The ratio of each macronutrient that is necessary for an individual varies according to many factors.

  • Activity Level
  • Goals
  • Body Composition
  • Age
  • Hormones

In order to determine your macronutrient needs, you first need to establish your total daily caloric needs (the base of our nutritional pyramid). Knowing your total calorie intake is essential because each macronutrient has a calorie amount that it correlates to and at the end of the day regardless of how many calories you are eating, your macro-nutrients need to add up to your total calories.

Macronutrient Calories per Gram

  • Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 calories
  • Protein: 1 gram = 4 calories
  • Fats: 1 gram = 9 calories

If you would like to learn more about nutrition and our upcoming nutrition challenge join us for an interactive nutrition seminar on Tuesday September 12th @ 5:30pm. We will be discussing different aspect of nutrition, helpful tips to keep you on track and detail of the nutrition challenge.

What I Put In My Belly

With the upcoming nutrition challenge and the start of the school year, everyone wants to buckle down and get back to their routine I thought it would be helpful to give you a glimpse into what I put in my belly on a daily basis.

It was brought to my attention thru the past few nutrition consults that I have done over the past month that there are a variety of issues surrounding food. Those of us who eat too much….those who eat too little…..those who attempt to eat “healthy” but are overwhelmed and the list goes on. So I thought it would be fun to show you just what I eat all day long.

But before you just scroll down a few things to keep in mind:

My diet is not perfect

This day is what is typical, my 90%, but I have days where I go off and enjoy some of the more delicious things in life.

What works for me won’t work for you

We are each unique.We have different dietary needs based on our goals, current weight, age, and activity level.

Even what I am doing now might not be what I need in 6-months

As we progress, as our goals change, so to does our nutrition.

I love to eat

And all the things that go into eating, cooking, even grocery shopping. Because I love to eat and I also love fitness, I need to choose nutrient dense foods. Its amazingly easy to have too many calories if your day starts with a Dunkin Donuts Bacon, Egg, & Cheese and your lunch is from Chipotle.  But if you are eating vegetables, fruits, lean meats, etc….the quantity you get to eat is huge…..I love being able to eat large quantities.

My photography skills are terrible

Not only that, but I most of my meals are stuffed into glass containers and contents are much larger than they appear.

If you come to the morning classes you know I can’t start my day without coffee….black (this stared because of a nutrition challenge and I never went back to my light & sweet)

Breakfast:

Egg whites, sweet potatoes, & chicken sausage. This is what I eat basically everyday for breakfast…..most of the time it’s with ground turkey instead of the chicken sausage,but I had a coupon.

Snack:

Not the best choice,but I was hungry and I didn’t have anything handy, and I love crunchy sourdough bread. I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of what I actually ate.

Lunch:

This usually changes every other week or so because it get old and I want some new flavors. Right now I have been on a kick of arugula, grilled chicken, goat cheese, peaches, and homemade creamy balsamic.

After Lunch Sweet Treat:

Chocolate. I make sure to portion this out and then put the bag away so that I don’t overeat them…I could eat this whole bag.

 

And an afternoon coffee while I work on some lesson plans

When I got home from the gym I was hungry, but I had a few things to do before I wanted to sit down and eat dinner. So I grabbed a quick snack

Grilled chicken breast and some Awesome Sauce (this is the best stuff…is basically a homemade thousand island…but so much better…its awesome.)

 

And finally dinner:

 

Little corn tortilla tacos…stuffed with ground turkey, rice, salsa, and topped with full fat greek yogurt.

 

Here is what it looks like in My Fitness Pal

 

So, there you go a day in the life of what I eat. As you can see in My Fitness Pal, I didn’t actually hit my calories and macros and this is ok. The way I’ve found that works for me is to look at a week rather than 1 day at a time. Over the course of the week I want my average to equal out to these numbers. That might mean on this day I am a bit short,but on another day I might be over. (this is not right or wrong, but rather MAINTAINABLE for me)

September is the NEW January

Forget waiting to make that New Year’s Resolution, September is the new January….the time to reset, to form new healthy habits, and take control of your health. As summer is winding down (sad face) we start focusing on our next big steps and that requires a bit more structure in our lives

 

Regardless if your routine changes much over the summer months, summer has a more relaxed feel, we let ourselves off the hook a bit. But now with a change in season comes a change in our mental game, we are more mentally prepared to buckle down and develop some new habits to propel us to our goals.

 

If you’ve found yourself being dragged away from the gym by sunshine, friends, and cocktails this is your time to reset….to make your comeback and be better than ever. Even if you have been staying the course it’s nice to have some additional motivation and take it to the next level.

 

Of course our classes will always offer the motivation you need to work on your weaknesses, to set new goals, and be better than yesterday. But there are a few things that will help you even more…..dialing down your nutrition and increasing the intensity of your workouts. September bring 2-events that are a MUST….

 

The first is the Lurong Nutrition Challenge. We have been doing this challenge for the past 5 years and every time I learn something new about my nutrition and i’m able to make a new habit. (5 years later and I am still getting results!). No matter what your nutrition level is there are guidelines that will fit your needs. From very basic, trying to get the most nutritious food into your diet while eliminating some of the processed foods to the more advanced Macro option where you weigh and measure you foods. There is something for everyone.

 

The second is the CrossFit Team series. If you have done the CrossFit Open in the past you know how you end up pushing yourself a bit harder, you try things you might not normally try, and you surprise yourself of what you are capable of….well its just like that, but this time you have a partner.

So, sign up. Challenge yourself. Get back on track!

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