Sunday, February 24, 2013

KC: The Extreme Makeover and Update Edition

As many of you know from reading my blog for a few years, I have been in the health, wellness, and fitness field for about 20 years to some degree. In the 1990’s until around 2005, I was working full-time in the field.

Back in the day at the old st. Anthony's wellness center ...yes, that would be as in St. Anthony's Triathlon too.

These days, I just dabble in it here and there by choice. I may have removed myself from the fitness industry but my heart and soul are always in it. I still love reading and studying about nutrition, exercise, training techniques and the list goes on. Last year, I came down with a severe respiratory infection that kicked my butt. That was in February 2012. I found myself recovering for almost a full month, with lots of residual issues for another 2 months after that. I felt like I was starting all of my training from scratch again. One of the main residuals I noticed was that my taste buds got all whacked out. The liquid antibiotic I was taking, left a weird taste in my mouth. Add to that, my appetite was next to nothing. I soon found myself eating gummy bears and oranges all day (no joke!) to get that antibiotic taste out of my mouth. I was basically shoveling sugar down my throat and you know what? It was good! Something I had been so disciplined about avoiding for several years, quickly grabbed hold of me. Even though I started to feel better and better each month, I didn’t lose that taste for the sugar and allowed myself to continue this unusual (unusual for me) pattern of eating. As I continued to allow the sugar to creep back into my life, not just with sweets but with grains too, my body started to gradually change in a way that did not make me happy and I felt out of sorts. Despite training less and planning rest days more than i ever had in the past, I was still tired. Even though I worked my ass off training for Ironman Florida 2012 - working my ass off is in my DNA - I still wasn’t nearly as lean as I was in 2010 and 2011 and I felt more tired than ever before.

Now let’s fast forward to December 2012. I happened to be reading this cool chic's blog and stumbled upon this podcast that opened my eyes and mind to a whole new way of eating, training and living. I don’t mean to sound so dramatic, but I truly believe this has completely changed my life forever. I have basically done a 180. Most everything I thought I was doing right really wasn't. Everything that I had learned about in all of my nutrition courses has been turned upside down on its head. I no longer subscribe to the conventional wisdom that I was taught in college. I'm drink the NO SUGAR-NO GRAINS (NSNG for short) kool-aid now and this subject is a welcome topic of discussion, not debate, on my blog. If you are reading this and feel the need to debate about it, you can just walk away right now. I refuse to waste my time with close minded people. Mark Twain said it best ...

Mark Twain

“Do not argue with an idiot they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

― Mark Twain

My original intention was to see if I could go a week without eating any sugars or grains. I thought it was going to be really tough, if not, almost impossible. I was so wrong! It was easy and I can honestly say that I don't miss any of it and have had zero cravings. The last 2+ months have been amazing for so many reasons. I don't have to eat every 2 hours through out the day anymore. Eating small meals every 2 hours is something I had been doing for 15 years or more, so now I'm no longer a prisoner of my dietary habits.  Since eliminating anything with sugar and/or grains, my energy level has gone through the roof. I no longer hold the title of Nap Queen. I don't need as much sleep and wake up at 4am without having to hit the snooze button. I also don't find myself having to go to bed by 8:30pm in order to wake up at 4am anymore ...winning! I have gotten compliments on how great my skin looks and I no longer feel bloated at the end of the workday, which sounds weird but all the whole wheat crackers with cheese, fat free and lowfat yogurts, and whole wheat wraps were killing me. Sadly, it had become normal for me to feel that way. That is, until i stopped eating all things with sugars and grains, and it was like my entire GI system was brand new. Simply put, I feel so incredibly healthy, energetic, and happier than ever since eliminating  the sugars and grains that I was poisoning myself with on a daily basis. Funny thing is, I think most people would have thought the way I was eating before was super healthy, yet it was really super crappy and I didn't even realize it.   

This blog is ready to take a new direction. I will blog about training for and racing an Ironman on a NSNG lifestyle. I know it can be done with some practice/experimenting. There are many elite and pro endurance athletes who have become “fat adaptive” and are training and racing with way less sugar, as their main source of fuel. Let me be clear though, I know you can’t do 100+ mile races without some type of carbohydrate based fuel but you can teach your body to not need as much. Where the athlete who still buys into the need for a shit ton of simple sugary carbs while training and racing, like 1 gel packet every 20-30 minutes, the NSNG athlete would maybe only use 1/4 to 1/2 of a packet of gel every 60 minutes, at the most. The NSNG athlete has taught their body to become more fat adaptive. And, the fat adapted athlete will also include some type of fat, like cream cheese or macadamia nuts as a source of fuel. In other words, the NSNG athlete’s body can easily use fat as a fuel much better than the person who eats sugar and grains on a daily basis. 

I'm taking this year, 2013, to reconstruct my mind and body from the ground up. I recently started training by heart rate and will work on training smarter, not harder. I'm going back into the deep archives of my brain where all the exercise physiology files are stored and bringing them back into daily practice. I started cooking more and learning how to adapt recipes to fit into the NSNG lifestyle. 

There is so much more detail that goes into fully understanding how all of this works and I'm still learning, so I compiled a list of wonderful resources that can be found by clicking here. 

Last but not least, my other goal this year, is to blog on a more regular basis, so there you have it. Speaking of future blog posts, stay tuned for a half marathon (sort of) race report and some reviews on a few cool things I have gotten my lucky little hands on.

Much love and peace out! 


  1. Great post. Good to see you writing again. I tend to follow your lead, and I haven't been ked astray yet, so keep pointing me in the right direction.

  2. Great post Kristine! So happy you are feeling fantastic and I'm looking forward to following your training!

  3. HEY KC!!! Glad you are posting again!! I am trying to as well! I need to do a nice NSNG post like this! Thanks for the mention!! I am loving the NSNG thing for sure. Can't wait to follow the journey and learn some stuff from each other!

  4. Amazing how timely these things are. Jeff and I have been having a conversation about no more wheat and body fat percentage for months.

    I blogged about my journey today and how I was 'skinny fit/fat' last year but no longer. I have lost quite a bit of weight and body fat% while maintaining muscle mass.

    My one question about NSNG diet is fruit and honey. Both have sugars in them so is that out? Would the NSNG diet be vegan unless you eat grass-fed beef and not grain-fed beef?

    I do have quite a few questions so let's start there. I know Mandy has been thriving on it and I should probably look into it more to understand it better but I'll just turn to you instead.