You asked, I answered. I announced to my Instagram that I wanted to do a Question and Answer post for you guys on this blog, and you guys came up with some great questions. I guess I’ll get right to answering them. If you guys have additional questions, feel free to comment and I will include them in my next Q&A post.
What is your favorite vacation spot and where do you want to visit in the future?
One of my favorite vacations that I have ever taken was SCUBA Diving in Key Largo, FL at Rainbow Reef. I absolutely love SCUBA Diving, and Rainbow Reef has some absolutely stunning places to dive with exotic wildlife that is truly awe inspiring. When my family and I visit Key Largo, we rent a house near the ocean and enjoy the tropical beauty of the Keys.
Somewhere that I would like to go is to Alaska to hike in the mountains and maybe do some camping. Even though I haven’t been camping since I was a little girl, my fond memories of the serene outdoors make me itch to do it again. My Dad spent time in Alaska as a Wildlife Biologist and raves about is time their. Alaska seems like such a wild, untouched part of the world that I would love to experience first-hand.
What is your all-time favorite recipe?
I want to preface this answer by saying that this is sub an unfair question! There are so so many amazing recipes out there, but I guess I have to pick the recipe that I use the most, is the most versitile, and is the most macro friendly. I absolutely love Protein Ice Cream. It is easily adapted to your macros, extremely filling, and it can be made into a zillion flavors, just by using slightly different ingredients! I have posted three recipes for Protein Ice Cream, but there are thousands more out there, and everyone seems to make theirs a bit differently. Here are mine if you want to try them:
Base Recipe: Protein Ice Cream
How did you get started power lifting?
I began lifting 3 years ago at a CrossFit gym as a form of improving my volleyball skills. The movements that I did focused on making my jump higher and on making my sprintsmore explosive. I did a combination of Olympic Lifting movements (cleans, jerks, snatches) and Power Lifting movements (squats, deadlifts, benchpress). After a few months, I was in love with weight lifting. I continue to this day to play volleyball, but my heart lies with the weights. I am on my high school’s teams for both Women’s Weight Lifting and Varsity Women’s Volleyball.
What brought you to flexible dieting?
While doing my CrossFit training I came across the Paleo diet culture. I decided that I wanted to lose weight, and that I was going to lose it by being in the Paleo diet. At first, I maintained a healthy relationship with food, but at some point my mentality went crumbling down. My need for every morsel of food that I put in my mouth to be 100% “clean” became an obsession. I made my Instagram account (which is now @fuel_for_anna ) to connect with people who had had similar experiences with dieting. I found the accounts of Bikini Competitors, Body Builders, and Power Lifters that preached the ideas of self love and #ModerationNotDeprivation, and I fell in love with the fitness community. I adopted the IIFYM diet as a way to combat my “clean” vs “dirty” mentality, while still reaching my full fitness potential.
Do any of your teammates practice Flexible Dieting/ is it something that your coach talks about?
I am the only one on my team that practices flexible dieting. One of my teammates is a sort of “Clean Eater” but most of my teammates are just your average high school girls. I don’t expect many high schoolers to follow a lifestyle-centered diet like Flexible Dieting. The most dieting that I have heard people do is a Whole 30 challenge, but usually it’s just people living life and eating all that their teenage metabolisms can handle :D. The coach of my weight lifting team doesn’t talk to us about our diets much unless we are close to being out of our weight class (in weight lifting, you only compete against people who are around the same weight as you, in order to make sure that the results are fair. A 200 pound girl is going to lift more than a 110 pound girl. That’s just how it is and it is not fair for the smaller girl to compete in the same class as the larger one). Other than in this case, the coaches kind of mind their own business when it comes to diet. They do occasionally say things like, “Go home and eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a great post workout snack.” and I kind of just laugh. I hope no one is offended when I say that there are A LOT of better post workout options than a PB&J, no matter how tasty that classic is.
How do you track meals? Do you think it is beneficial to track meals?
I track meals using an intuitive-style Flexible Dieting approach. This means that I don’t plan my meals the day before, or even an hour before I have them (unless I am planning on fitting in something special, like a meal out to a restaurant). I simply walk into my kitchen and decide what I want. I usually try to have about the same amount of macronutrients in each meal, and try to spread them throughout the day. The next part of the question is tricky because it is really broad. I would say that for someone who wants to lose weight and is willing to be a bit strict about their diet, tracking your meals is a great way to reach your goals while still being able to have foods that you enjoy. However, it is easy to fall into the same trap as clean eating, where if you can’t track the meal, you don’t know how many calories are in it, you can’t find it on MyFitnessPal, it is an EVIL FOOD. Food is food. If it goes into your body, it will be processed and turned into energy just like all the other foods that you eat, no matter if it is “clean” or if can be found on MyFitnessPal. So tracking meals is beneficial as long as you keep your mentality in check. Try incorporating free meals, or estimating a tablespoon of peanut butter instead of weighing it out once in a while. It goes a long way in keeping you sane and happy.
What are some high protein dairy substitutes for Greek yogurt and cottage cheese?
This may not be high-protein but pumpkin or apple sauce can sometimes be subbed ~1:1 in recipes that involve baking with Greek yogurt. And for my Protein Ice Cream recipe, the cottage cheese can be omitted if you add another 1/2-3/4 scoop of protein powder. Other than that, dairy free yogurt is really the only dairy free substitute that I know of for Greek yogurt. I have never used a vegan/ dairy free protein powder but I have heard that Growing Naturals rice protein is a good brand.
What sweets do you eat at night?
All of them, my friend. All of them. 😀 In all seriousness though, I don’t believe in the whole “you eat sweets at night and you get fat”. The calories that you eat throughout the entire day are what lead to weight loss, maintenance, or gain. That is to say, in two scenarios, one where you eat 2000 calories throughout the entire day, and the other where you don’t eat for the entire day and then eat 2000 that night, you would not gain any more fat in the latter day than in the former one. You would probably feel very crappy if you ate like the second scenario every day, but you are eating the same amount of calories, and therefor your weight would not be different. That being said, I eat ice cream (in both the protein and nonprotein varieties) cookies, cakes, donuts, oatmeal, ect at night, DAILY. I have a huge sweet tooth and don’t do much to suppress it. That being said, I use healthier alternatives in order to eat sweets and stay lean. Check out My Recipes to get an idea of what I mean by “healthier alternatives.”
I hope that that answered your questions! If you have any more, comment them and I will answer them in my next Q&A blog post. Thanks for reading!