Competition Rebound: It’s Real

Competition Rebound-2For many of us that have been competing for multiple years we have learned that post competition nutrition is an important thing to understand, especially if you do not want to torch everything you’ve worked so hard for the previous three to four months. I have seen hundreds of competitors just a couple of weeks post show and am baffled to see they gained anywhere from 5 to twenty pounds after watching them work so hard to get lean and ripped for a show. I understand after being on a restricted competition diet we want to eat everything in sight. For me, I am constantly looking at foods on Pinterest and saving recipes of foods I want to eat after my show.  We want what we can’t have and we definitely miss the foods that make us feel good.  Our mind loves to play tricks on us and it’s human nature to want what you can’t have and lord knows I want it all after a show. The problem is our body has been on a restricted plan for a long period of time and the moment you flood it with foods you haven’t eaten in months like dairy, high glycemic carbs, bad fats, and sugar from dessert and alcohol we put our body through an emotional roller coaster and flood it with chaos. We immediately go into carb overload and with every gram of carb comes 4 grams of water which causes us to bloat because we were depleted just days earlier. The ideal thing to do is take baby steps into regular eating. It took one time for me to learn that eating what I wanted post show was not the way to go. You would be surprised at how easy it is to lose that tight midsection and ripped body.  So before you start hoarding your favorite cookies and stocking up on every flavor of bluebell there are a few things to understand.

First, for the last few months you have been eating clean and your body has been working like a machine to get you to your goals.  Many of you have been eating a set number of carbs that your body has been using for energy and to fill out those hard earned gains.  When you eat more carbs than the body needs it is going to take the extra carbs and store them for later use.  But if you are use to eating 100-150 grams a day and eat a whole pizza, then your body is going to take the extra carbs and store as fat. Let’s not forget all the additional water that comes with the carbs, hence the post show eating bloat.  I recommend easing your way into eating more. After a show your body is depleted so a good cheat post show is fine. The disaster begins when we start an eating binge that continues into the week post show.

Second, I recommend getting back on your usual eating plan and slowly start adding calories by increasing portions or adding a few foods that you’ve kept away but are still good for you like a little fruit, yogurt, and healthy grains. Don’t completely stop eating your healthy meals. Balance is everything and understanding how many macros/calories you need to maintain your weight is important when planning your meals for the day. Remember, you still need to stay on track to keep your hard earned body fit. This is a good time to talk to your nutritionist about future goals.

Finally, take what you’ve learned from your competition prep and continue to grow. Now that you understand you have to be consistent with your nutrition to get the amazing results of a bodybuilder use that to continue reaching new goals. If your next goal is to add more muscle then start a plan you will follow consistently to reach that goal. Grocery shop, meal prep, take your supplements, track your progress, and most importantly build that physique you have pictured in your mind!

You are the only person that can get you to your goals and the only person that can keep you from them. It’s up to you.

To contact Juliana for competition prep or questions: feistyfitness@gmail.com

It’s All Mental

Today I started thinking about a comment a member said to me last week. “You’ve got it so easy, you already look amazing.” Although she didn’t intend to make me feel I’d been slapped in the face I still felt the heat on my cheek lingering. Does she honestly believe ‘this’ is easy? Sorry sister, you don’t get to give me a compliment I didn’t even ask for, especially a back handed one. I work for THIS, I workout, for THIS, I eat for THIS, I supplement for THIS, I recover for THIS, I drink a lot of water for THIS, I do cardio for THIS, shall I continue??

Every morning I visualize how my day is going to go and what I want to accomplish.  As a body builder I plan every meal, workout, cardio session, supplement intake, and getting in my gallon of water. A routine I have been perfecting for 10 years and every year I find new ways to improve my strategy of prepping and training to conquer the body I want.  But you don’t have to compete to get the body you want. I compete because it holds me accountable and I look forward to the discipline, consistency, and development of my training along with helping others learn to live a healthier lifestyle.

The will power it takes to accomplish my goals is not easy.  Some days are tougher than others but I know I can do it.  When anyone sets a goal to lose weight, change their body, eat healthier, begin a workout routine, run a marathon, it all starts with the power to decide. You don’t start losing weight or adding muscle because it’s the in thing to do. You do it because something intrinsic has been stirring up inside of you and is ready to express its reality through your body. For some, they believe doing cardio and weight training is enough but do not give nutrition much effort. They aren’t ready for real change and continue doing the same bad habits with little effort to improve their daily eating. You have to be all in to feel and see change. In other words, going from 1-2 meals a day to 3 meals a day is nothing to get excited about if it’s still unhealthy/crappy food. If you are going to add a 3rd meal then make all 3 healthier and part of your plan to a healthier you. Our bodies are complex but when you find the formula that works it becomes easier.

It’s when we give up that we fall short of our accomplishments. You have to see it through til the end. Have patience and stay consistent.

Juliana Halloran

Gluten Free: Fad, or for Real??

wheat

This week I am going to talk to you about gluten and living a gluten free lifestyle. I’m going to introduce the basics of a gluten-free diet and introduce you to foods that are nutritious and better for you than gluten filled foods.

First, let’s go over what gluten actually is. I’m sure you’ve heard the term gluten-free being thrown around, how some people think it’s nonsense, or like me,  live by. Let me be clear, I am not 100% gluten free. I still indulge here and there in the occasional baked good if it’s not of the gluten-free variety. Gluten is actually a mixture of proteins that are found in wheat, barley, and rye. What does that mean exactly??? It means it’s found in everyday foods like breads, most pastries, pasta, cookies, crackers, croutons, boxed foods, cereal, and pizza. They’re also found in not so obvious products like licorice and in natural flavorings. There is a part of the population that have to eat gluten-free if they have been diagnosed with celiac disease. For others, eating gluten free is a choice. There’s a huge mis-education on eating gluten-free and living the lifestyle. It’s not just about your diet, it’s about gaining control of your health.

Eating gluten comes with different symptoms like joint pain, fatigue, depression, headaches, irritability, and other issues going on with your gut. When you eat wheat filled products the symptoms tend to stay with you from day to day because gluten can be found an many of our foods. Gluten is known as an inflammatory food and when our body rejects a food it has a not so friendly way of telling you to stop eating it like having gas, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and bloating. You know, the basic I don’t want to leave my house symptoms due to the lack of control of my bowels. Well, then why do we eat food that has gluten???

Because no one really knew that foods containing this had such a negative effect. In fact, humans don’t fully digest wheat. Wheat has not been around very long and our digestive systems have not evolved to digest it well. In other words, we aren’t met to eat it therefore we reject it.

So what do we do??

We start removing the foods that contain gluten. This can be hard at first. When you stop and look at everything you eat you will notice it’s in a lot of your daily foods. As I mentioned earlier it’s found in our every day foods that have become staples.

So the next question is what do we do? This week I want you to make an effort to start removing wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is also found in preservatives like MSG and in natural flavorings but for now let’s start with the basics. If you tend to eat bread every day for breakfast then replace your usual bread with a gluten-free bread. If you tend to cook with pasta try replacing it with rice or quinoa or better yet get a gluten-free pasta you can use. When you start removing the wheat the symptoms will start to go away. Trying to remove gluten is not an easy task so take it day by day meal by meal and make sure you’re more conscious of what’s going into your body.

Grains (including bread, pasta, rice, crackers), specifically whole grains, are an important part of a healthy diet. Whole grains are a good source of healthy carbohydrates, providing energy to get you through the day. Most whole grains are high in fiber, which keeps you full and helps with digestion. Though many grains have gluten, a wide variety are naturally gluten-free.

Naturally Gluten-Free Grains & Starches:

• Rice
• Quinoa
• Millet
• Oats: But be aware that oats may be processed in a facility that also processes wheat. You’ll need to confirm your oats are labeled gluten-free or check with the manufacturer to rule out cross-contamination.
• Cassava/Yuca
• Sorghum
• Teff
• Corn
• Buckwheat
• Amaranth
• Potatoes and potato flour

What to Avoid When Shopping for Grains:

If you’re not sure if your bread, crackers, pasta and other grain-based products are gluten-free, a quick look through the ingredients can help you tell. Avoid products that contain any of the following, as these are NOT gluten-free.

• Wheat
• Other forms/varieties of wheat that should also be avoided: whole wheat, spelt, wheat berries, kamut, durum, farro, farina, bulgur, graham, semolina, bromated flour • Barley
• Rye
• Triticale (a cross between rye and wheat)
• Malt

Finally, if you’re not already keeping a journal then start. This helps you keep track of symptoms. Keep a journal and also when you start removing it more and find one day that you do eat it right down any symptoms that you get that day and notice how your body reacts when you eat gluten and when you don’t. Eating healthy is a lifestyle and something that should be practiced daily. When I decided to start eating gluten-free I noticed a big difference in my body composition and the way I felt. Now if I do decide to have bread or pizza or pastries made with regular wheat I definitely get the symptoms and they remind me of why I no longer put it in my body.

Eating clean and making healthier choices isn’t a fad, it’s a lifestyle.

If you are serious about reaching your fitness and nutrition potential schedule a consultation with me  via e-mail at feistyfitness@gmail.com

Juliana Halloran

#getfeisty

Resilience

Resilience is bouncing back or adapting from difficult experiences. While Resilience can be learned and developed it takes action and self awareness to build it up. So, this is what I know… A lot of us set goals and many times we fail to follow through due to some unexpected event that steers us off our plan.

I know that we have all found ourselves in a situation where we were happily following a plan of getting fitter and healthier and then something happens like one of the kids get sick or maybe we got sick or there was a big emergency at work and it threw us off of our schedule. Or even worse, a separation occurred, a death in the family or maybe even a natural disaster like a hurricane rerouted your normal life. I know I’ve been there but instead of living in self defeat there are ways we can actually build our resilience so that we are stronger and adapt to whatever life throws our way. I’m not saying it’s easy, or it will happen over night but I do know from experience that you can start building your resilience by doing the following things I’m going to share.

The first one is to make connections. When you participate in civic groups, faith based organizations or other groups that provide social support it can help you reclaim hope and strengthen your resilience. Many of us turn to family or friends but sometimes you need a little more help getting through some of life’s tough situations.

Second is to avoid viewing problems as impossible. I understand that we respond to stress in a reactive way and think the worst but take a pause and be aware of the situation. In that moment remind yourself nothing is impossible and proceed with an open mind. Look for the little things that can help you feel better. Try not to fall into a negative zone and choose positive thoughts to help you have faith.

Third, take clear actions. It’s important that you act on difficult situations as much as you can. Taking positive actions rather than detaching completely from your problems and wishing they would just go away is a better approach.

Fourth, move towards your goals. Reassess and develop realistic goals and try to go back to your regular schedule. Every small success helps you regain confidence and move toward your final destination. Consistency is key and remember to celebrate the small wins.

Number five, maintain a hopeful outlook. An optimistic attitude enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Visualize what you want rather than worrying about what you fear. I know that’s easier said than done so it’s important that you keep a journal and write down what your hopeful for and visualize it in your mind.

Finally, the sixth thing to becoming more resilient is to take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. It’s important that you participate in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing like your meditation, enjoying time for you and doing the things that you love. Taking care of yourself helps keep your mind and body prepared to deal with stressful situations.

With all the chaos going on around us we have to prepare mentally for what’s to come. We can only come out stronger if we remember to practice what I’ve taught you here today. #getfeisty

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Body Empowerment

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BodyEmpowerment-3

Body empowerment is loving yourself as you are with the understanding that you are capable of creating a better version of yourself with the right resources to guide you. It amazes me when I meet clients for a consultation and when I ask them why they are here the first thing I usually hear is “I hate the way I look” then they continue with more insults to their body. You know, it breaks my heart to listen to their self loathing. But I understand because I have been guilty of it. It has taken me a long time to realize if I want to make positive changes to my body then I have to accept myself in my current condition. I realized the moment you give  love to yourself is the moment you are ready to change. So when I talk about body empowerment we have to start with an arsenal of mindset tools to break old thinking patterns. Showing appreciation for the body we have no matter what state it is in and learn to appreciate it. It’s as simple as writing down things you are grateful for. Once you start noticing the things you have and really zoning in on them with gratitude you will shift your mindset towards a more positive one that starts appreciating every part of your body. For example, every day I show appreciation for the things I have. I make statements like I am grateful for my 2 feet, I am grateful for my two legs, I am grateful for my two hands, I am grateful for my belly, I am grateful for the skin that covers my body, I am grateful for my two eyes, etc… then you can get more detailed… I am grateful I have two feet to walk me where I need to go every day. I am grateful for my two legs that allow me to sit down and stand up, I am grateful for my eyes so I can see the things ahead of me. Basically, becoming aware of your magnificent body and truly showing appreciation. You might think it sounds corny at first but as you practice this mindset you will learn to love what you have. There have been days that I’m on my commute home and I see someone unable to move around on their own or with a condition that has disabled them and at that moment I tell myself I am grateful  I am able to exercise and have the ability to get around comfortably. It’s not until we start paying more attention that we realize what we have.

Another mindset tool is visualization. Visualize the body you want and continue to appreciate the body you have. Stop the negative talk and stop pointing out your flaws. Now that you are making positive changes like eating healthier and exercising your body will be ready to change. When we create a negative mindset we hold ourselves back from getting real results. We set ourselves up for failure and continue in a downward spiral of self loathing. Even though  you want a leaner fitter body it’s important you give love to yourself every day. Creating rituals for yourself like exercising on a regular basis.Going to the spa and caring for your skin, hair, and nails. Learning to cook healthier and put the right things in your body for nourishment.  All of these practices embrace self love.

Practicing the art of self-love, mindfulness and self-reflection: move from love, instead of self-loathing. Move with mindfulness, instead of haste. Take time to reflect so you can drink in your experiences and become more aware. To have more love, to feel more love, you need to embody love, and move from that space. You have to connect to your heart, breathe, appreciate the task at hand, and open your mind to find new ways to appreciate what you are doing. I get it, we are always in a hurry and don’t take the time to stop and see every day movements and notice the things that matter to us. Slow down and do this with every task. When shopping, prepping your food, cooking, brushing your teeth, doing your hair, and exercising,  pour love into everything you do, as every single moment of your life is a moment to expand into your true state: which is love. It is one of the most healing things you can do for yourself. Too many times something happens and we get angry and we continue to talk about it and allow it to fester inside of us and before we know it we are filled with negativity and complaining and create this toxic mind set.  It turns into this ugly energy that sits  with us until the next thing happens and we repeat the cycle. From now on do not allow things to get to you and remember the only way to keep yourself positive is to do all things with love. I know it’s not easy, especially when you have that needy friend or coworker that always complains but you will learn to step away and remove the toxic people from your life. You know who I am talking about.  The person that always complains and plays the victim.  You do not have to condone their behavior.  It is easy to remove yourself from the negative talk and find positive people to surround yourself with.

Now… I know this sounds like a hard task but I know you are up for it. Baby steps. The first thing I want you to do is write down 10 things you appreciate about your body. Then I want you to read them out loud. Remember, love yourself the way you are meant to be loved. Enough with the negative talk. You are an amazing individual that deserves the best. To bring happiness we must look at life in a more positive light.  The choice is yours.  Do you want to feel bad or elated? This love will allow you to make yourself a priority and create healthy habits to help you create the body of your dreams. So, what’s it going to be? A positive mindset or play the negative victim with a heavy heart?

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Juliana

MACROS: Are They Worth Counting?

For more than 10 years I have created individual meal plans for people with different fitness and body goals.  As a nutritionist I believe eating healthy whole foods in the right amounts allow you to have enough energy to perform daily tasks and reach your fitness goals.  Meal plans are great because it takes all the guess work out and allows for eating the right foods.  While some people prefer to be told what to eat and do not mind eating the same things every day it’s not for everyone.  One thing I’ve learned over the years is variety and flexibility helps people stick to their meal plan and not give up when they can see they have not completely fallen off the grid.  Even more empowering is learning how to create your own meal plans with the right tools and turning it into a lifestyle you can enjoy.

Let me ask you a question. How many times have you found yourself on a “diet” that was hard to stick to and you fell off only to feel defeated and go off eating whatever you wanted the rest of the day? Or since you “already fell off,” you made a deal with yourself to start fresh on Monday?  Believe me, I have been there. If you were eating for your macros you would track your unhealthy meal, look at your total macros and adjust the remainder of your food. Once you learn which foods you can exchange and eat you will be able to plan events, parties, and prepare your meals in advance. Before I continue let me explain what macros are for those that have recently joined the healthy eating world.  Macros or macronutrients are the foods we eat, protein, carbohydrates, and fat.They each play multiple roles in our nourishment and when eaten in the right amounts can help you reach your health and fitness goals.  The focus is to eat the amount of grams for each macro and not stress over the calories because your total macros end up meeting your total calorie goal. Understanding serving sizes of foods is a necessity.It can be overwhelming at first but with patience and consistency it becomes easier.If you’ve ever looked at a nutrition label it gives you a breakdown of each macro nutrient in one serving of the food item.

I started counting my macros a few years after I started competing in bodybuilding.  Realizing I was not eating enough I took the scientific approach and calculated the amount of calories I needed to eat to gain muscle in my off season. The number took me by surprise and thought it was too much food but I knew I had to give it a chance to reach my goals. At first I was frustrated trying to figure out what muscle growing foods would total  250 grams of carbs in a day. Then I had to figure out the amounts and look up nutrient facts to be accurate. I felt like I was in a new math class! I finally looked into using a food logging app that had a database with most of the nutrition facts for the foods I was eating and as I logged each meal it totaled the grams for each macronutrient. This made tracking my macros easier and it saved my favorite foods, meals, and recipes. I tried multiple apps and found Lose It to be my favorite with My Fitness Pal running a close second.  Let’s be honest, it was a lot of work but at the end of the day this method has kept me in check during my off season. You don’t have to be a fitness competitor to count your macros, you just have to be ready to learn how to mange your nutrition. In my experience as a nutritionist my clients that track and log their food see better results than when they do not.

So, by now you are asking “How does this work?” or “How do I figure out what my macros are?” The first thing you need to establish are your fitness goals. Are you trying to lose weight? Lean out? Gain muscle? Once you know this we can can calculate your needs. First, calculate your BMR basal metabolic rate. The formula used by most apps and nutritionists is the Harris-Benedict equation.

Men BMR = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) + 5
Women BMR = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) – 161

Then you need to establish your total daily energy expenditure by multiplying your BMR by activity level.

Little to no exercise Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.2
Light exercise (1–3 days per week) Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.375
Moderate exercise (3–5 days per week) Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.55
Heavy exercise (6–7 days per week) Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.725
Very heavy exercise (twice per day, extra heavy workouts) Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.9

This calculation tells you how many calories you need in a day to maintain your current weight. If you are trying to lose fat, gain muscle, or increase performance an additional calculation can tell you total calories required and finally calculate your daily macros (yes, more math required).

Calculating macros is a task in itself and it’s no wonder a lot of people get frustrated and give up before they even start. When it comes to counting and tracking your macros it’s necessary to have a solid understanding of what they are and serving sizes of the different foods to reach daily goals.  For nearly ten years I have used this technique and have been successful when it comes to my clients and my own fitness goals. It keeps us accountable and on track. Counting macros is not for everyone but with the right resources and guidance it can help you reach your goals.

If you are looking for more information on counting your macros or a customized meal plan you can contact me directly feistyfitness@gmail.com

The Concept of Healthy Eating

Eating healthy can mean different things to people. If you change or stop one bad habit and replace it with a good habit of eating it is safe to say you started eating healthier. If you have a complete eating make over and change all of your habits into healthy habits it still has the same meaning of eating healthier. The concept of eating healthy is the idea of making healthier choices of your daily foods to improve your health. Eating healthy means removing processed, refined sugars, fast and unhealthy junk food found throughout the grocery aisles and on every other block in different fast food restaurant chains. To eat healthy you should choose foods with less ingredients. These tend to be healthier foods that are whole fruits and vegetables, lean animal proteins, seafood, and vegetarian proteins like tempeh and tofu.

Overall, eating healthy takes practice, preparation, and most importantly a good discipline practice. Many people have tried and failed at eating clean and it's because they are caving into their food cravings. Food cravings come after your blood sugar drops and you feel hungry. This feeling is normal when it's time to eat because your body is communicating with you. Since the body uses carbohydrates as its main energy source it needs to be replenished every 2-3 hours to allow body to burn efficient energy all day. If they body does not get the right foods with the right amounts you are constantly going through a viscous cycle of spiking and dropping your blood sugar, feeding into cravings that lead to over eating the wrong foods. When designing your nutrition goals it’s important to be realistic. Don’t try removing all bad foods with clean/healthy foods at once…you are setting yourself up for failure. Start small and just remove a couple of things each week. Keep a journal of what you are eating and log your food. You will be amazed at what you put in your body once you see it on paper or logged on your app of choice. I like the Lose It app. It's free and you can join your community of friends to see how they are doing with their nutrition goals. It helps calculate the number of calories you can eat to meet your weight loss/gain goal and there is even a premium account if you want to get detailed with your macros and goals.

Remember, daily practices of eating healthy take time to become long term practice. As you develop these changes you will feel and see a difference that motivates you to stick to your changes. As we all know change is hard but the final outcome is well worth the new changes.

Low Density Calories Rule for Weight Loss 




Calorie Density: Low density vs high density
If you are looking to drop weight and paying attention to what you are eating then calorie density will be important to reaching your goals. When eating healthier foods that are more beneficial and aid in keeping you full longer we look to eating high volume with lower calories which are low density foods.  To give you a better idea density describes the number of calories in a particular food in relation to its volume or amount. Let’s take a food that has 100 calories in 1 ounce and another food that has 200 calories in 1 ounce. This tells us the second food has a higher calorie density.
In other words you want to choose the food that has lower calories in volume. 

The following foods are examples of low calorie dense foods with high volume:

  • Lean proteins like meat, fish, tofu, and chicken breast provide satiety and aid in muscle building
  • Vegetables provide large amounts of food and low calorie packed with fiber, nutrients and provide satiety.
  • Berries are great low density foods with fiber and antioxidants.
  • Fish are high in protein and low in calories. 
  • Greens/salad mixes can provide high volume and low calorie.Building salads without the extra fat can be a great snack or meal after adding a lean protein like fish or chicken.

High density low volume foods usually are the ones we love to eat and can contribute to weight gain like fast food, processed foods, and baked goods. These are the ones we need to start removing from our daily eating habits and replacing with healthier choices. Let me remind you there are healthy foods that are high density and low volume to consider like almond butter. One tablespoon is 90 calories and we all know we love to eat well more than a tablespoon. Some are guilty of eating nearly half a cup if we aren’t mindful and that adds up to 720 calories of mindless eating. 

The following foods are examples of high density  calorie foods:

  • Baked goods like cupcakes, bagels, muffins, bread, Cornbread
  • Junk food like chips, fried foods, fast food
  • Trail mix with dried fruit and nuts are high density and should be portioned to 1 ounce servings
  • Sugar induced beverages like soda, fruit punch, artificially flavored juices, alcoholic beverages

Energy In VS Energy Out

It’s one thing to choose the right foods that are low density, we also need to have an understanding of food energy balance when it comes to weight loss. To lose weight energy in (total calories consumed in a day) has to be less then energy out (total calories burned for the day). If your body burns 2000 calories a day then you have to eat less than 2000 calories to lose weight. The same goes for weight gain. For the same 2000 calories you burn a day you have to eat more than your burn a day to gain. For maintenance, to keep your weight the same, you eat 2000 calories a day. Sounds simple, right? Well, this is where quality comes in because the kinds of food you eat are going to reflect how you feel and look. For now let’s focus on low and high density foods.

Calorie density not only plays a large part in the amount of calories it contains but the impact it will have on the other components of a weight loss diet like hunger, satiety, and hormonal effects. These contribute to the success of a plan and if there is an overconsumption of high density foods then it can impede on your goals of losing weight. 
Once we learn which foods are the right ones to keep us satisfied and on track with our goals we can better plan our meals and see consistent results.

Burning fat for fuel with ketones

The ketogenic diet has been around longer than you think. In fact, our ancestors that roamed the world lived in a ketogenic state in efforts to sustain hunger and use fats for fuel.  With the ketogenic diet the goal is to eat high amounts of healthy fats, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates.  At the end of day for keto to work properly your fats should be 75% of total calories, while protein are a moderate 20% and carbs 5%.  If you want this plan to work properly you must monitor your calories so you don’t knock yourself out of ketosis.  With the keto plan MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) are the preferred fat source and can be found in coconut oil.  These have been found to produce more ketone bodies than long chain triglycerides.  Burning this kind of fat is a cleaner source for the body than using glucose/sugar.  You don’t require insulin to break down your energy and you don’t get the highs and lows of your blood sugar.  The downfall of this plan is if you eat too many carbs you knock yourself out of ketosis and you have to work to deplete your body of carbs before you switch to fat burning mode and that requires low energy days. As more and more diet fads come and go the ketogenic diet has made a strong comeback and is used by many doctors when insulin use has become compromised. No, I am not making medical claims, but when I personally put myself through a process or use a supplement I like to tell people the benefits I encountered and share the love.

Studies have found that a low carb high fat Ketogenic diet works better than a low-calorie restricted low-fat diet. This diet sounds great considering it recommends fats like butter, eggs, and bacon but can be hard when trying to deplete your body of glucose.  This requires a lengthy 1-3 weeks of carb depleting until the body creates ketones to burn fat. Thankfully there are now therapeutic ketones you can take in powder form to get your body in a ketogenic state in less than hour!  Yes, you read that correctly, less than an hour.  How do I know for sure?? I use a blood testing kit to read the mmols of ketones in my blood.  That means I had proof of ketone bodies in my blood an hour after consuming keto-os.  It’s like drinking a pre workout that actually flips on your fat burning switch and knowing it actually works! I have been using keto-os in my daily routine for the last year and a half and never looked back.  Not only is it helping me burn fat, it has reduced inflammation in my body and nagging ailments like my sciatica in my lower back, tendonitis in my shoulder, and I definitely have better mental focus.

So, how does this help with nutrition?  It’s simple, while the ketones are in your system you burn fat.  I also notice it curbs my appetite and removes my cravings.  I don’t get the roller coaster sugar highs and lows so it makes sticking to a healthy plan easier.  One question I get asked the most is “Do I have to do the ketogenic diet for it to work?” The answer is no, but it definitely helps get you into ketosis a lot easier.  Whenever I had a party to attend where I knew there would be a large spread of food I would drink my keto-os and knowing they were in my body burning fat releived me but also reduced my cravings so I wasn’t eating everything in front of me.  Ketones, are a powerful fuel source and it’s one supplement I can count on.  Besides, who doesn’t want to burn a little fat and get better focus and mental clarity?? I know I do.

Great Start to 2017 Season

Last weekend I was blessed to compete at the IFBB Florida Grand Prix in West Palm Beach.  This was my second out of Texas pro show and am proud to announce I received 1st place in the Pro Masters (competitors 35 years and older) and 3rd place in the Pro Open (competitors of any age).

I arrived at West Palm Beach Saturday morning since the Pros were scheduled to compete on Sunday.  We normally compete on Saturday but I later found out there were a few girls that competed in the Pittsburgh Pro Saturday.  It made for a later start time but we were able to do finals just a few hours later.hair, makeup, and suit color.  I

This competition I made a few changes to my overall look.  Part of the judging includes hair, makeup, and suit color.  I knew I needed to bring a fresh look as I am always recognized for the big afro style curls.  A close friend and former competitor helped me find longer curls to add to my own for a more dramatic look to my hair. I also changed my hair color to my more natural dark brown as opposed to the red locks I usually rock on stage.  I was a bit nervous because the curls were looser than my tighter curls but my stylist Brittany curled all of my hair for a perfect match and they all blended together.

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She also did my makeup with a smoky eye finish and on stage, the complexion looked flawless with my tan body.  Usually, it’s a lot brighter than the spray tan but she applied the perfect finish.

As for my competition suit, I decided to go for the purple ombre.  Maria Thaikos, owner of Goddess Glam Competition Suits handcrafted my suit and it fit perfectly.  The color and Swarovski stones gave an intense effect to my overall presence on stage.

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Once my hair, makeup, suit, and jewelry were all in place I felt ready to dominate the stage.  This was the best I have ever looked and pleased with my posing and conditioning.

Prejudging started around 4:30 pm at Keiser University and lasted close to an hour and a half.  After individual poses, we have to stand in a diagonal line and hold our front or model pose until all ladies have done their posing and then wait for call outs.  Needless to say, it made for a long competition due to being in two classes.  In the Masters class I felt confident and when called for first call outs I made sure to shine brighter than the rest in the comparison round. Taking my time and keeping my composure in each movement was vital.  My confidence was high and I felt in tune with everything around me.  Once the Open class started I felt practiced and felt my individual posing was better the second time around.  With 22 beauties making first callouts in this class made my energy soar.  During the comparison round, I felt confident that my placing was top 3 and the finals proved my instincts to be right.  As for the Masters, receiving 1st place was surreal.  My heart soared knowing my hard work paid off.  The bikini class is very subjective and at times you cannot be sure if the judges are looking for a leaner or softer look.  I tend to get very lean and I definitely fit that look at this show.

Each show brings a new outcome and set the tone for the next show.  What’s next?? The Olympia of course.

Juliana Halloran IFBB Pro 2017
Bikini posing for IFBB Bikini. The right package and flawless posing make for a great outcome: 1st place Masters and 3rd place Open Class.