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Catharine’s ETP Story

Catherine Adams After

On October 1st we start our ETP Live Challenge which will take participants through the holidays while keeping fat off strategically.  We have a special offer right now that bundles all four of our books and a Science Lab membership (just like Catharine below).  For more info click the button below.

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I’ve been following ETP for over a year now. Coming from a very low carb diet to one that utilizes carbs at the right time has been a complete game changer for me.The whole process of following ETP, incorporating up to 250g carbohydrate/day has given me a leaner body composition, more PR’s in the gym, greater understanding of nutrition and the ability to have the energy to keep up to my busy family.

The biggest change in following Eat To Perform is a much healthier mindset: eat more, do more. ETP doesn’t advocate the typical diet rhetoric of doing more with less and yet at the same time expecting to look and feel the best. There is definitely a shift in your mindset when you put performance and strength first which will result in what most people are looking for: a leaner body. Prioritizing to fuel your system rather than depriving it, building it up rather than breaking it down is definitely a big win.

A Little History

How did I end up with ETP? I was fairly active in my 20′s, really got into lifting weights, hiking and mountain biking. I was fit and healthy. My 30′s involved trying to keep up with outdoor activities but life seemed to take on a new priority… the 3 kids, all two years apart. As I came closer to 40 I felt I had “let things go” a little too long. After a brush with death from a medical emergency I realized life was short and I wanted to become as strong and able as I could going into my next decade of life. Lose fat and gain muscle was my focus. As I look back now I realize I was more interested in losing fat, it was how I defined being fit.

I went to the ultra-low carb and low calorie diet. In a few short weeks I had dropped 15lbs. It might have been fantastic if I had the energy to enjoy it. I was weak and feeble. Not really the energy-go-getter mom I wanted to be. I was completed depleted and defeated. I felt like crap, especially when I realized most of the weight was just water loss, the fat was still there. And as an extra kick in the pants, my workouts were lame.

Then I came upon ETP. A whole new world emerged that didn’t seem possible. After starting to read the information, more and more I realized it wasn’t fat loss I was directly looking for. I wanted strength, to be fit and able. More muscle meant more fat would be burned anyways. Why not build muscle and strength instead? So I embarked on a new journey. I started following ETP, reading everything they posted. I think I ended up a little obsessed! The calculator ended up being a big surprise for me. At the time my carb intake was 15-25g of carbs a day. I couldn’t imagine adding 75g carbs/day to my diet never mind the 250g the calculator spit out for me. I had lots of doubts and lots of questions. I’m sure I drove Paul Nobles crazy with my constant questioning. I had been convinced carbs were bad. Wanting to trust the process and reading other success stories I decided to try it out. The beginning was a bit bumpy. Leaping in with both feet first coming from a VLC diet to a higher carb has been a challenge. In the beginning I had bloating which made me doubt the whole program. Thoughts of going back to the VLC diet came creeping in again but the Forum made the difference.

Catherine Adams Before

In Comes The Forum

The Back Up: What made the difference? Why didn’t I just quit? The forum is such a motivating place. With the help of the moderators and other members in the forum I kept with it. April has been such an amazing support. We tweaked my macros and figured out the problem. In the process I learned a lot. I learned even more about nutrition and how my body reacts to different food, exercise and stress.

The ETP forum has many moderators that are fully educated in ETP; they have been there and seen it. The forum has hundreds (maybe thousands?!) members from all sorts of different backgrounds with the same mindset. The support is unbelievable. I truly believe consistency is vital for success. The forum has caring individuals who are willing to take the time to answer your questions and keep you on the right track. This support keeps you consistent and motivated.

If your discouraged, no problem. Gaining weight? Someone will help figure it out. Not sure where to start? The forum has got you covered. Have you been doing ETP for a while but need some tweaking? No biggie. Post it and you’ll get multiple answers within a short time. Be aware, the moderators will kick you in the butt if needed too. They will definitely clue in if someone is overtraining or skimping on their calories!

Where Am I At Now?

Physically, I’ve gained muscle and lost body fat. My strength goes up every week. I have a much healthier relationship with food. My body is well fed and well nourished. My kids see me eat, a lot. I’m not hungry all the time. I understand how to use metabolic flexibility. I’m an active member of the ETP forum and love helping others stay motivated!

I recently went to a local box to check it out. When finding out I’ve been training on my own at home a gal said, “You look like that and you did it on your own?”. No, I thought. I had back up, ETP back up.

Thanks ETP! You rock!

Catherine Adams Double Biceps


BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Skins with Fresh Cucumber Tomato Salad

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As a special offer we have a bundle of our Meal Planning Guide AND our Recipe Guide which normally both sell for up to $40 for just $14.95 (click the yellow button for this special)

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BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

Ingredients

  • 4 red garnet sweet potatoes (long and narrow, not too fat)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp bacon fat
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee (or Grass-Fed Butter)
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked & chopped
  • ¾ cup Sweet & Smoky BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup fresh spinach chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes to clean the skins and pat dry. Place them on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until fork-tender.
  3. Remove potatoes from the oven and cut in half lengthwise. Let them cool about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Scoop out some of the sweet potato and place in a large bowl, leaving some potato flesh on the skins. Mash the scooped out flesh with some salt and pepper.
  5. While the potatoes are baking, add your bacon fat to a sauté pan on medium high heat.  Add your shallots and cook until translucent (about 3 minutes) and then add your chopped spinach.
  6. In the same skillet, add the ghee until melted. Add the chicken breast pieces and ¼ cup of BBQ sauce and cook until no longer pink. Add your chopped bacon just until heated through.  Remove from skillet (don’t overcook, chicken will be tough).
  7. Drizzle the potato skins with a little olive oil and place them back on the baking sheet (skin side up) and bake for 5 minutes to get them crispier.
  8. Remove skins from the oven. Spoon the some of the mashed potato into each potato skin followed by a heaping spoonful of chicken/bacon mixture.  Return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes.  Remove the skins for the oven, slice in half and drizzle with some BBQ sauce and ranch dressing (optional).

Fresh Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber with seeds scooped out
  • 1 small Red Onion, sliced very thinly
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp Distilled White
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Dill
  • ½ Tbsp Honey
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel the cucumber(s) and slice them, along with the tomatoes however you want (julienne, quartered, diced, cubed, etc).
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine evenly.
  3. Cover and store in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. You could eat this right away but the flavor is immensely better if you let it sit overnight.
  4. Eat within a week (if it lasts that long!).

“Your Body – Your Choice” by Sheri Stiles

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As a female in a strength sport, I hear a lot of dumb and annoying stuff. I will also guarantee any girl choosing to lift heavy weights, or lift weights in general, will also hear this crap and share in my annoyances at some point!

Most of these annoyances I brush off—over the past few years I have become much stronger, and usually just laugh at them; however, there are a few that still get me down right irritated to the point I want to punch the offender.

One of those is the fact people feel they have the authority and right to comment on someone else’s physique, or lifting choices. You guys know what I am talking about–the people who sit there and feel THEIR opinion of how YOU choose to look should matter, or influence your choices or desires.

Take a physique or bodybuilding female, and put a picture of her up online… I bet it won’t be more than a few minutes before someone comes along with their righteous opinion. Dismissing that individual’s hard work, dedication, sacrifices, and personal desires for how THEY think a girl should look.

It’s downright ignorant, and purely to benefit oneself.

Think about it… what are they gaining by saying to that female “You are gross, and look like a man.” or, “You are no longer feminine looking.”

The comments and attacks are self-motivated. It has nothing to do with the person in the photo, or their choices. Does what that girl chooses to do affect you? Does that female give a crap if you like muscular girls? Do you think she does it for you?

Nope!

The same goes for strength athletes. I cant tell you the number of times a guy, or girl for that matter, has said to me, “You look manly.” or, “Don’t you want to workout like a girl and not like a man?” (Wtf does that even mean!?) And my personal favorite—“I bet that girl doesn’t get any guys.”–right, because I forgot, that is my sole purpose in life.

Again, thanks for your personal concerns, but I will continue to do what I do because I enjoy it.

If you are a guy making these sorts of demeaning comments, you had best ooze male perfection! The same goes for you ladies attacking another female–you had best be some sort of super female specimen; however, even so, you are probably not the first person most would choose to be around based on your discourteous behavior.

I also encourage the people who make these disrespectful comments to take a look at their own lives. You are probably lacking some self-confidence—work on that. Also, work on being a respectful human being… it will benefit you.  I am not sure where we lost the Golden Rule idea, but too many need reminding of this!


Get our BRAND NEW eBook “Your Diet Sucks” for just $14.95!  Learn how to get sustainable results while you eat the foods you love!

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ETP Testimonial: Chris Dietz Transforms His Body

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Get our BRAND NEW eBook “Your Diet Sucks” for just $14.95!  Learn how to get sustainable results while you eat the foods you love!

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“In the above picture, I weighed around 230 pounds. I had played sports my whole life, football and baseball on high school teams; then I was an amateur skateboarder and recreational snowboarder until November of 2005 when I tore my ACL and partially tore both the MCL and LCL. I had them surgically repaired and I got through the rehab quickly enough and got back to some level of activity, but over time  it slowly dropped off.  You know the story, my job changed from labor to desk, I had a couple kids, I was a pack a day smoker. I had become obese, weak, and out of shape. I couldn’t even play with my son without getting winded within minutes (if that) and needing to catch my breath.

Eventually I decided to get back into shape. We were going to have to reapply for new healthcare and in order to get a decent rate, I had to get my BMI down and quit smoking. In the pic above my BMI was 34 – obese. So I quit smoking and started working out by following workouts you see in mags like Men’s Health. I started running a lot, barely a block at first, but eventually 5ks. I also started researching diets and began changing the way I eat.  

During this time my lifts were stalling and my workouts were getting harder to get through. I was getting injured a lot, pulled muscles, strains,  aches, DOMS, etc… in general I was not any happier at 190 than I was at 230. As a 5’10, 190 lb guy who was lifting, running 5ks or doing hill sprints 6 days a week, I had cut from 2200 cals to 2000 down to 1600. I felt miserable with where my body was, and damnit, I WANTED TO SEE MY ABS! I actually got down to 173 lbs. to appease the insurance company (BMI 24.8!) but it wasn’t fun. It was like my body didn’t want to be that small. I should’ve listened to myself.

Shortly after this pic was taken I started getting fatter again. I was at a loss as to what to do. I thought I was doing everything right. I was trying every supplement and trick in the book to figure out how to get leaner…. I was eating “clean”, cutting out grains, potatoes, rice, sugar, HFCS, etc… I tried Intermittent Fasting, Warrior Diet, Zone Diet, and Paleo/Primal. I kept lowering carbs (even though I technically already was low carb from cutting potatoes and grains, I just didn’t know it) fat burning supplements… I tried every possible thing I could find… except for properly fueling myself. 

The truth is, I was miserable and had been during this whole battle with my body. In my frenzy to find my abs, I had gotten completely lost in the sea of fitness and diet information out there. I don’t really remember how I found ETP exactly, but in November 2013, somewhere in that ocean I came across a write up on April that talked about her taking pictures during a bulk. I read it a couple times  and some others on the site and then immediately bought Metabolic Flexibility for Fat Loss. I read it cover to cover, and then read it again, and again, and again… and it made perfect sense. I signed up for the Science Lab and started a training log. But I still wasn’t ready to accept that I needed to eat more. It took me a couple months to really get my mind wrapped around this concept of eating for performance.

Around Christmas of 2013 I was still clinging to the “eat less, do more” philosophy. Still not ready to let go, and then I remember looking around me at people at work, my friends, and my family. I would see people at the grocery store, Target, or restaurants. I would overhear people talking about cleaning up their diet or being “good” in order to lose weight and I realized  that almost every single person I know, at some time or another, has said they needed to lose weight. Just about everyone has tried this diet or that diet, some 3 week challenge, or meal replacement shakes. I was standing in checkout lines and noticed that almost every single magazine has at least one headline that tells you “how to get slim quick!” I realized we’re being constantly barraged by this “lose weight, smaller is better” message in magazines, TV, and movies. Everyone thinks they can get the body they want by doing a lot of cardio and cutting things out of their diet (but don’t lift weights, it’s dangerous!),  but yet no one I knew was successful at any of it in the long term. That’s when I became aware of the disconnect and realized I needed to do something different.

I was sick of a scale determining my feelings of failure or success. I made up my mind that I wasn’t in this to lose weight, but to be the best version of me I can be. I saw that the “lose weight” me and the “best version” of me were not the same thing. The best version of me required building muscle, which meant eating properly for that goal because the two go hand in hand. I realized I had to tune everything around me out. Everyone and everything who was telling me not to eat eggs, bread, or dairy, (or Oreos which is a major bummer because I really do love Oreos) had to be ignored. I would have to  just smile at them and stick to the plan. I became keenly aware for the first time that EVERYONE around me who is “on a diet” is as miserable as I was and they are failing in their weight loss endeavors.  I made up my mind to commit to ETP.

I knew I had to be patient and consistent with my lifting and with my calories and macros to get long-term sustainable results. No more extreme diets, no more quick fixes, no more questionable supplements. So, with the ETP TDEE calculator and April’s help, I got my calories and macros dialed in. I “fixed” my eating habits to more closely align with my own ideas and feelings about food by adopting an IIFYM approach to allow for moderation of all foods. I still eat mostly whole foods, probably 80/20, and I’m a member of a local, organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. But I no longer stress about each and every ingredient in my food. I don’t have any banned foods. There’s no good or bad, no cheat meals… there’s just food, and it is far easier to choose what to eat when you can apply purpose to a meal. Truthfully, Eat to Perform and the support and advice found in the Science Lab have given me my life back in a way no diet ever could. Where every other plan took things away, ETP gave it back.

This is me now, 227 pounds

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It mystifies me as to why BMI is used by insurance companies(or anyone really) to rate how healthy you are, and the proof of the BMI=health fallacy is right there in these pictures. I’m not the leanest guy, but I’m leaner than I was before. I’m not the strongest guy, but I’m stronger than I was before.
BMI doesn’t tell me that my numbers on the bar are going up every cycle or that I’m hitting new PRs or RRs every month. It doesn’t tell me that I can play with my kids for hours instead of just watching them. It doesn’t tell me that since the beginning, my bench has gone from 75# to 315#, My OHP from 50# to 190#, my squat from 125# to 375#, and my deadlift from 85# to 410#. It doesn’t tell me anything about myself except for a number, a ratio of my height to weight. BMI says I am the same in the first and last picture, 34 vs. 32, but am I the same person? BMI says I am and I call bulls**t.

Screw BMI, I’m going to Eat to Perform and enjoy every single rep and every last mouthful.”

“Thoughts on Competition Day Nutrition” by Sheri Stiles

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There is always a lot of prep that goes into getting ready for a competition (at least for me there is).  I have been competing for almost 4 years now and I’m still playing around with nutrition during events so when I am asked by others newer to the sport how to eat, I sometimes struggle with giving advice.  It’s not because I don’t have thoughts on this, but because there are a million ways it can be done and some methods are better than others; however, I will share some of the ways I’ve gone about nutrition and eating prior to and during my events.

I am sure there are “better” or “cleaner” ways to eat, and it’s going to be very individualized. I should disclose, I do not cut weight for my weight class (I usually drop about 3-4lbs only from not lifting for a week prior) and that’s going to entail a whole different way of eating. I tried it once—hated life!  I also sit too far away from the lighter weight class after years of lifting and gaining muscle, so it would be a struggle for me to cut. I also do not suggest weight cuts for any novice lifter—especially if you’re entering your first competition – but again, there are others who do this and that is fine.

My first powerlifting meet was much different than I do things now. I had been keto cycling for a while—not for any reason really, but a few of the guys I trained with were and I wanted to try it. So, while everyone else at the meet was walking around eating carby goodness, here I was, over in the corner, so happy I could eat a damn banana, rice cakes, and yogurt. I really didn’t know any different at that time. The short time I prepped for that was not filled with thoughts of what I should eat.

By my next few meets I had gotten much better! I was now that “typical powerlifter” walking around with candy and eating a donut after weigh-ins.

When I traveled to compete in Vegas for IPL worlds, and LA for the Fit Expo, I realized that getting a good meal in the night before, and eating during the event was even more important. I wasn’t able to bring my own food like I had in the past as I was flying to these events so after weigh-ins for Worlds, my dad and I hit the buffet. I made sure to keep it somewhat simple, and stayed with safe foods—had an omelet, bacon, fruit, and of course a waffle for breakfast. The night before I had a steak Chipotle bowel. The main goal was protein, and carbs I knew I could digest well.

For the Fit Expo it was a little different—I had somehow weighed in about 7 lbs. less than expected and felt weak. After weigh-ins we again went out to eat. This time, though, it was like carbs galore. I had tomato juice, oysters, an entire basket of bread and butter, and then chicken Alfredo for lunch. Again, the goal was loading carbs and getting my salt intake high.

Now we arrive at the first Strongman event I did this summer.  There were no weight classes – all the women were in open division. So my plan was to carb load for 3 days prior this time, instead of doing it all the night before. I won’t lie, I love carbs (who doesn’t right?) so this was as fun as it sounds!  I ate normal during the days, but had huge bowls of pasta each night. I added salt to my water, I had sweet potato’s at every meal, and the night before had a hamburger and ice cream.  This plan worked—I weighed myself the morning of and had bloated up 6 lbs. I felt strong, and had an awesome event!

As you can see, I play around with what to eat and timing a lot. I don’t think I have it all figured out. I know there are plenty ways to go about this.  What I can tell you, is there are some things that are important the night before and day of.

The Night Before

I personally know a handful of strength coaches who advocate for red meat and a carb source like sweet potatoes, baked potato, rice, pasta, even Chinese buffets the night before an event. Stick with good fats like butter, olive, or coconut oil, and try to keep the sodium intake semi high. I have added small amounts of salt to my water to increase sodium intake, and I love salt and vinegar chips, etc. I wouldn’t overdo it, and this is not the time to try new foods as you don’t know how your stomach may react to them. Last time I competed at a local Strongman event (on very short notice) I had half a rotisserie chicken, salt and vinegar chips, and Mike n’ Ikes. (I know some of you reading this will probably be scared of that.)

Day Of

This can be the hardest part as most of the time you are nervous, and may not actually be that hungry. I still have this problem after many competitions. The best advice I can give is to try and get a good breakfast in. If you are not a huge breakfast person, have something small. I usually have yogurt with granola and a shake, oatmeal and eggs, etc. I try and get a slower digesting carb in paired with protein and some fats so that I at least have some food in me. I haven’t done a meet in a while with a same-day weigh-in, but when I did, after I weighed in was when I ate this small meal. Throughout the day, and before a lift/event, you want more of a quick digesting carb—think about simple sugars.  Candy, juice, bananas, and yes, donuts!  I personally eat baby food. I get the squeeze pouches of bananas, plums, etc. It’s one of the easiest things on your digestion (it’s meant for a baby) and has the simple sugars I am looking for. I usually have a PB&J sandwich at about lunch time (if it’s an all-day event) I also drink pear juice, and do drink a lot of Pedialyte—especially for strongman where I am outside and it’s a long day. I have a shake too, if I am still feeling hungry, but don’t want a lot of food sitting in my stomach.

As you can see, it’s really about knowing your body. Like I said, this is not the time to experiment with new foods, or go super crazy on foods you don’t normally eat. If you usually eat chicken and sweet potatoes, don’t eat pizza and a greasy burger the night before. Stick to smaller meals if you can’t stomach that much food, and watch how your body feels or reacts to the food. Try and get enough carbs loaded in, along with protein and salt. Make sure you have some simple sugars on hand during the meet, enough Pedialyte to keep hydrated, and even if you are not hungry, try and eat a little bit so that you have some energy come your turn to lift.

Then go lift! That’s the fun part :)

Changes to Eat To Perform Challenges

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Our Meal Planning Guide includes a step-by-step process to designing your own meal plans based upon your individual requirements and your weekly schedule.  Get sample meal plans, cooking and shopping tips, starter spreadsheets, and more!

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Here at Eat To Perform, we run two different types of challenges for our members – ETP Challenges and Team Challenges, both with different standards of judging for different goals.  These occur about every two months and serve as a way to reward those members who take their performance, health, and body composition very seriously.  With your 1-year Science Lab membership, you will have the ability to participate in at least five challenges.

Challenge Schedule

We just began our first ever Team Challenge on August 1st!  Starting October 1st and going into 2015, the schedule will work like this:

  • October 1st will begin the last Challenge of 2014 – this will be an ETP Challenge.
  • January 1st will begin the first challenge of 2015 – this will be a Team Challenge.

ETP Challenges vs. Team Challenges

Let me explain the differences between the Challenges and why we do it the way we do it.  A big part of the idea with Eat To Perform is to get people thinking about the value of building muscle (not just fat loss), and both of these challenges emphasize that mindset.  We don’t want you to (and it’s unnecessary) to eat at a deficit all year!  This means building and maintaining muscle most of the time and only having short bursts of restriction so they are more effective and you can sustain that progress.  Put simply, ETP Challenges are about building muscle and they set you up for fat loss-focused Team Challenges.  They’re coordinated throughout the year to help you get the most out of your effort!

In the ETP Challenges, we emphasize muscle as a multiple of that of fat.  As an example, the October 1st challenge will bring us through the holiday season, a time where people typically aren’t looking to “diet”.  During this challenge, we’ll focus on keeping the muscle you are earning during your workouts while you also fit in time to lose fat (if that is your goal).  What typically happens is that people gain muscle, improve their work capacity, and that promotes fat loss.  You essentially change your fat loss equation.

The Team Challenge is different:  it’s focused more on fat loss.  These challenges take place during periods of the year where it’s usually desirable to lose fat, like after the holiday season – think early January.  This gives you the opportunity to focus on building muscle during the fall, then turn around and shed unnecessary body fat.  Because you’ve changed the math in your favor during the regular ETP Challenge, you’ll get very good results and have a lot of fun!  That doesn’t mean we don’t value performance though.

NEW:  Baseline Workouts

Going forward, we will add a NEW component to the Challenges that lets us objectively score for performance improvements!  If you have done challenges at a gym, you know that they will often have a baseline workout to judge gains in strength and conditioning; this is no different.  For now, I won’t give away the workouts but I will tell you how the scoring will work.

  • At the beginning of the challenge, you will do your workout and record the score.  This is your initial assessment.
  • At the end of the challenge, you will redo the workout and your actual score will be the difference between the initial assessment and the follow-up, whether it was positive or negative.
  • Then we take all participants that are in your group and rank the scoring/total the points for athletes places.  That will determine the winner.  Again, think about most fitness competitions like the Games or Regionals and you have the idea.

Adding this component will be a lot of fun and we also think it fits will with our theme of improving athletic performance alongside body composition so we’re really looking forward to kicking things off.

NEW:  Challenges WITHOUT Body Fat Testing

Since day one, body fat testing has been a big part of Eat To Perform and that won’t change anytime soon.  For a long time though, many of the Eat To Performers without access to either BOD POD, DexaScan or Hydrostatic weighing didn’t have many options to participate.  Now they do!  Beginning with our last Team Challenge and moving forward, we’ve added an untested group to allow them to compete alongside other members and get the same great advice from our doctors, nutritionists, and coaches; the only difference now is that they don’t miss out because they can’t find a testing facility nearby.  This allows them to Eat To Perform and pursue a goal without testing (which is completely possible).

We are excited about these new changes moving forward and we think it will make for a more interesting experience for everyone involved!


Get all THREE of our eBooks – “Met Flex”, the Recipe Guide, and the Meal Planning Guide – for just $19.95 $14.95!  Get 25% for a limited time only!  This also includes a 14 day Science Lab trial so you can work with our staff. 
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“Giving Thanks” by Sheri Stiles

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Today you can find blogs full of opinions on just about any subject matter you want. Some may be those of experts – there may be research involved – and some for all you know might just be the late night rants of your neighbor.

I would not consider myself an expert on many things, but there are areas I would consider myself knowledgeable in. When I write, I write for an audience (mainly women) and hope to inspire, motivate, or reassure others who may be facing the same struggles, situations, or achievements I am.  Although I love writing, and sharing my stories and experiences in general, people often still ask “Why do you write?”

Well, I write for others.

Just this week, I have had 2 women express to me that I (in my writing/blogging) have helped them through a difficult situation. The first woman is new to powerlifting and looking to improve her strength overall.  She told me she decided she wanted to clean up her diet; she decided she wanted to get a little more serious about eating habits, and how those transferred over to strength achievements. She expressed to me she had read my article on food journaling, and my starting to use MyFitnessPal as a way to get my own diet in check. From our conversation, it seemed like she was shocked to learn that I myself use a food diary as a tool—that its not just something for “beginners.” She told me I had inspired her to start journaling and we chatted about nutrition for a bit.

The second situation was a little different. I met a fellow female athlete this weekend (through mutual friends) that had recently decided to compete in her first strongwoman contest. Our mutual friend mentioned I had just completed my first one as well.  She came across my “Starting Strongman” article, of which she exclaimed helped to solidify her decision to compete in her first competition!

I can’t tell you what it means to me to hear from someone that I motivated them, that something I wrote inspired them, or that I helped them in anyway to keep pushing towards their goals.

That is exactly why I write. That is why I am so grateful and thankful to have the opportunity I do (thanks to Eat To Perform) to share my experiences, advice, and help with others.  I don’t claim to be an expert, but I still feel the same satisfaction from being a positive image to others.

I don’t believe these women or anyone else needs to thank me. I have not done anything but write some words down—The thanks should be given to those of you who read what I write, support me, and strive to reach your goals daily. If I am reaching or helping one person, its worth it!

So, thank you guys!  :)


Get all THREE of our eBooks – “Met Flex”, the Recipe Guide, and the Meal Planning Guide – for just $19.95! This also includes a 14 day Science Lab trial so you can work with our staff. 
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Inspiration From A Pizza? Hawaiian Pizza Tacos

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Sometimes, I find inspiration from the most unlikely of places.  This recipe is courtesy of one of my favorite pizza combinations…The Hawaiian Pizza!  I love the saltiness of the Canadian bacon along with the sweetness of the pineapple.  I love to add a little bacon to my Hawaiian pizza as well.  So here you go!  Pizza inspired tacos!

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Ingredients

  • 1 (6 pound) pork butt roast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt (I used Hawaiian Black Lava salt…cause I had it)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • ½ pound bacon, cooked and chopped
  • Shredded cabbage
  • ½ pineapple, diced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • ½ large red onion, diced
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Soft tortillas (you can make your own Paleo tortillas if you want) or use Bibb lettuce for lettuce wraps

Rub your pork roast with the salt and place in your slow cooker.  Drizzle the liquid smoke on top and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-7 hours.

Combine your pineapple, mango, cucumber, onion, cilantro and honey.  Refrigerate until ready to use

When your pork is done you will be able to use 2 forks to pull it apart.

Assemble your tacos with pork, salsa, cabbage and bacon.  Feel free to squeeze a wedge of lime on top for even more yumminess!!


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“The Competitive Mindset” by Sheri Stiles

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As human beings, we have basic instincts and emotions deeply rooted in our heritage.  I believe one of those instincts to be competitiveness. It makes sense if you think about it—in order to adapt in certain cultures and situations, we have to be competitive.  Today, however, we still see this trait in areas like work, school, and basic societal status.  If you watch animals, or children in certain situations, you can see this desire to be competitive manifest as jealousy.

Sure, there are advantages to being competitive—it pushes us to be better, we have a desire to work for something more, it makes us do well in school, work, etc.  But what happens when that drive to compete with others creates negative emotions and behaviors?

Lately I’ve seen a lot of this negative expression surrounding the lifting culture; I understand many of us train the way we do so we can compete ( and hopefully win events) but training and pushing ourselves to do the best is a lot different than being negative and disrespectful to another athlete or competitor.

I believe this to be especially true among female athletes. Try this: imagine someone who is better than you are at the sport you train for.  Now, were those thoughts of that person negative or positive? Although you may have a desire to get better, and feel competing against said person would be a test of your ability, that desire shouldn’t come with hoping the other person fails.

I’ve received many negative, demeaning comments and emails from others (women especially).  I brush it off as the person not being comfortable and confident in who they are but it gets frustrating that we are putting others down to lift themselves up instead of being a positive force. Shouldn’t we be lifting and supporting others to reach their goals whether or not those goals and abilities they have surpass our own?

I guess I see myself as a more positive person.  Do I think I’m the best there is? Absolutely not!  There will always be someone who is stronger than me—and that is fine!  I believe myself to be my biggest competition—I am trying to beat me!  Others develop friendly rivalries, which is also awesome!  Each goal is so individualized, and anything can happen.  Whether you win or lose a competition, people are going to remember how you treated others.

I am not saying you shouldn’t work your ass off and train to win in your sport. You should.  I am saying it matters how you get to that point. It matters how you treated others along the way.  It matters whether or not you supported your competitors or if you were negative, rude, and self-centered.

You may be ranked number 1, hold multiple records, and others may look up to you…but if you’re not a positive and respectful person, eventually people will not care if you’re the best.

The desire to be competitive with each other may be hardwired into our thinking, but we also have a conscious choice as to how we perceive competition and how we display the desire to win.  Whatever the goal, we should push it to the limit but remain humble in our achievements!


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“Beginning a Food Diary” by Sheri Stiles

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Food tracking is something we hear a lot about.  Even with the progression of  technology and the availability of smart phones, it’s something I have not actually done for a while. I used to keep a food log (like an old school one where I wrote it in a little notebook) and it took forever!  Recently I have decided to try and drop some body fat, so I was told to get My Fitness Pal and start tracking!

I was a little hesitant at first, as it took so much time before.  I downloaded the app and have started to use it and to my surprise (so far) I love it! I would consider myself a little seasoned in the nutrition area—I did teach nutrition classes to kids and families – and I feel like I “know” what I am supposed to eat and do to lean out or improve body composition.  However, I have always struggled to drop much weight/fat without losing strength, so my strength goals have always taken priority.

Ill clarify, though, that I am not on a “diet”, nor is weight loss necessarily a goal.  I love my muscle (I wouldn’t be upset to gain more) and instead, I would just like to lose some body fat so those muscles I’ve worked hard for show more!

It is only day 3 of my working with this MFP app and I’m shocked how easy it is. There is an option to scan the barcode of food items you are eating, and it pulls in the nutrition information automatically; no searching, guessing, or trying to manually enter the food.  This is the biggest plus for me, as I am so busy during the day, and like most, I do not have time to fumble trying to find the foods to enter.

I also like that it gives you a graph breaking down your macros.  I can easily see how much protein, fat, and carbs I have had for the day in a simple graph.

So far, it’s helping to keep me honest as well :) I don’t eat too terribly (at least not usually) but actually seeing the calories and food choices is much easier than just having them in my head and guessing.

For me, this tracking is not really about limiting—sometimes I have a hard time getting all my meals in, so it’s been helpful in that sense too.  I make sure I get the macros and foods I need to in during the day. You can also track exercise, which I think would be very helpful for someone just starting out.

I am excited to try this tracking ‘experiment’ for a bit and see how it turns out! With rehab and changing my normal routines anyway, this is just another thing to play around with.  I will make sure to keep you all updated on the progress!

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