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What’s Next

By | Diet

What’s Next?

Written by: Richard and April Stone

After your latest life-event (a wedding, welcoming a new baby, moving to a new city, a marathon, a vacation, or even the Saints & Sinners 5k, and regardless of the level of success with said event, you’re left with one common issue. ?What to do with the void that was previously filled preparing for that event? You have crossed the finish line, said ‘I do’, been there, done that and got the t-shirt (that you’re proudly wearing in your Facebook profile pic). Your bags are unpacked and you are suddenly left with a feeling of emptiness, an absence in both mind and body that was very recently cluttered by anxiety, dread, elation or surprise. The experience was grand, but all good things must come to an end. What do you do AFTER you have spent months prepping for a major life event? All of these events have affected your diet, workouts, and way of life, so how does one ‘maintain’ a healthy state of mind and body that ensures future success or simply allows you to move forward?

Please allow me to give you a brief background regarding my own experience before I delve into the advice. My husband and I had both competed and won our first competition in couples bodybuilding for the State of Texas. We trained for hours every day, prepped meals, cleaned dishes, and had zero time for anything other than preparing for competition day. Lucky for us, all that hard work equalled success in the form of a state title that we could utilize in strengthening our credibility as diet coaches for our family business, TKO Nutrition and Smoothies based in Austin, Texas. ?After the final traces of fake tan had been scrubbed away (a lofty task indeed), I felt lost. I still went to the gym, ate clean (most of the time) but had suddenly lost the drive, focus and competitive edge that I had begun to depend so heavily on in search of my goal. ?I realized that I had to make some conscious choices if I was to regain and maintain a sense of purpose and contentment.

Here?s a few pointers that I implemented in order to get me back on track with my meals, training…my sanity:

  1. State of Mind: ?I did something I had never tried before?yoga. It is the opposite of a competitive sport. I walked into the studio for the first day and I knew I was not the best. I would not compete to be the best. I would do MY best and enjoy the experience every time. I didn?t have to stress that I wasn?t doing a pose perfectly. Finally, my clothing, hair, make up, muscle fullness, definition, and size held absolutely no weight whatsoever.
  1. Diet: ?I still like to eat very clean and healthy foods but the food scale had to go! My husband and I continue to eat turkey, chicken, and fish followed with a seasonal vegetable and recommend the same for our clients. However, we have learned to enjoy a dinner out once a week and sometimes it isn?t very healthy (Thanks a lot Torchy?s!). ?It’s imperative to construct an ?After the Event? meal plan. This will allow you to stay on track, and not go off the deep end (it’s equivalent to not going to the grocery store when you’re hungry).
  1. ?Training: ?I was doing 4:30 am cardio. NEVER AGAIN! I aim for cardio on a regular basis but adjust to fit within the constraints of other boundaries of time, including work and ‘real life’. When life gets a little busy, I don?t stress. I simply bump it to later in the day. ?The same goes for weights. I don?t allow my blood pressure to rise just because I didn?t train my biceps on Friday. I just work it in a little more next week. After all, tomorrow is another day. I prefer to employ my obsessions on other aspects of my life that are more enjoyable.

In summary, complacency is a slippery slope. If you don’t articulate a plan for the vacuum left where a healthy dose of competition once stood, you will soon find yourself on the losing end of an unhealthy lifestyle. So in spite of where you finish in the race, carefully managing your exit strategy will ensure that you live to run, walk or crawl another day. After the ‘Saints & Sinners’ 5k, stop by any of our four locally owned TKO Nutrition stores, visit us at tkonutrition.com or ‘Like’ us on Facebook for help in developing your plan!

Maintain, Don’t Gain

By | Diet, Training Program

The holiday season! What joy! Parties, gifts, family, friends, food, drinks, food, sweets, food, food, and more food.

It can be merry, but oh so exasperating for the fittest mentality. This is the time when you are put to the test. Most bodybuilding and fitness competitors are in their ?off season?. Even those who are workout enthusiasts tend to let things slide. ?How can you avoid this seasonal pitfall? Let?s look at some tips to keep you your healthiest during the holiday season!

  1. ?Treat yo?self ?? once a week. You certainly deserve to taste a few yummy treats, but don?t make it a daily thing. Slow it down and enjoy the holiday party beverages and snacks during your office party. Don?t partake on a daily binge of the treat table or you will quickly see how your hard work throughout the year can be sabotaged.
  1. Never arrive to an event when you are famished. During your prep for the evening, make sure you eat a healthy snack or even a full meal. When you have a ravenous feeling, you will lose your mind and not be able to control what you ingest. The drop in blood sugar is the cause of this temporary insanity that causes us to eat things we normally wouldn?t touch.
  1. Engage in a new type of physical exercise or give your old routine a twist. This is my personal favorite when it comes to changing things up. Your norm is walking on a treadmill? Try walking outside. You visit the same gym each week? Try the new one down the road. Most new gyms offer trial memberships or a free day pass. How about your workout? Are you completing the same reps with the same number of sets month after month? This is the time of year when you can take a new class, find a new workout partner, or even hire a trainer for a couple of sessions.? TKO Nutrition has some excellent recommendations for trainers. Email [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

Fast weight loss or gain is never healthy. This is the way that your body tells you that something is wrong. If you do gain a few pounds during the next few months, do not expect that you will lose it quickly in the Spring. Start simple! Make sure you are monitoring yourself on a weekly basis so that things don?t get out of hand. If you would like a holiday meal plan, winter workout plan, or just want to add some different supplements to your regiment, please reach out to TKO Nutrition so that we can add some more ?HAPPY? to your holidays!



By | Diet, Training Program

For the past several months, I have discussed establishing healthy patterns within your daily life to help you accomplish your personal goals.? To conclude this point, I will explore how to achieve this in relation to the other essential parts of your life.

I believe in a life of balance. Notice that I did not say that I have a life a balance. However, I do think it is an admirable trait very much worth my aspiration. I always think of a life in balance not as a seesaw, but more as a triad. Each point is an essential part of your well being as a human.? I will explain a little more about each point.

  1. Make time for your family. Not too many mothers I know need to be told this tidbit of information. We do it in our dreams. It comes as naturally as breathing. It goes without saying that this is a given.
  1. Make time for work. Most professionals that I know love some aspect of their job. They may get aggravated, tired, or frustrated, but they really do love the core of their career. A formal or informal work clock usually dictates time for work. You either must be at work at a specific time, or you must attend to certain tasks before you are comfortable leaving for the day. The end of the day is becoming increasingly blurred due to the influx of our personal devices that make us accessible beyond the standard workday. That is not my focus, so I will leave it at that for now.
  1. Make time for self. In my mind, while you are reading this, I see you coming to an abrupt stop at this point. I am picturing an old-fashioned Wile E. Coyote running as fast as he can after that roadrunner reading about family (check) and work (double check) then self?. Oh No! There?s the Grand Canyon ahead! Put on the brakes! As much as we tell ourselves that we SHOULD make time for self, sadly, it is usually the last thing we attend to in our daily lives.

One of the worst things that you can say to someone who exercises daily is, ?Oh, I wish I had time for that.? Do you really think that person has extra time that you don?t have so that they can stroll to the gym and embark on a 2-hour training session? There have been very few times in my life where I have not had time to exercise or workout on a daily basis. Please note the words ?very few?.? I incorporate it into my daily life. I do not incorporate television, movies, or solitary games into my daily life. That is the trade off I make. I love a great game of Candy Crush as much as the next person. I have to let something fall off my plate in order to make something else fit. Some can consider an everyday exercise program extreme; however, making time for your physical health on a daily basis is NOT extreme.

I believe there are three ways in which you can balance self: physically, socially, and spiritually. TKO Nutrition can help you with one of these components ? the physical. Whether it is your diet or your physical activity, we can design a personalized program that will get you on the right track to becoming a more balanced individual.

Start here: http://www.tkonutrition.com/diet-plans/


By | Diet

You have identified the habit, determined the why, so now it is time to put the new habit into action.

Last time, I shared that I have the habit of eating processed foods when I get home from work. I figured out that I am doing this because my blood sugar has dropped and I am not making wise food choices. What should or can I do to prevent this? Well, I need to eat! I also need to make a better plan. After work, I am hungry. That is why I am in the habit of eating junk when I get home. A better plan is to stabilize my blood sugar before I get to the ?I?m starving? point.

In real life, I have tried a couple of things to fix the problem. If I make myself a quick protein shake (whey, ice, and water) before I leave work, then I can drink that on the way home. The protein fills me up. I have also implemented different foods. For example, during winter, an icy protein shake doesn?t sound appealing at all. Therefore, I prepare an additional meal that I eat before I leave work. It isn?t a huge 4-course banquet. It is enough protein that stabilizes my blood sugar and forces me to avoid the crazy pantry raid when I get home. This requires PREPARATION on my part. Not for the zombie apocalypse, just for my body?s normal ebb and flow as I move through my day.

I have also tried a couple of things that did not fix the problem:

  • I replaced the food with walking the dog. Can you guess why this did not work? I wasn?t looking at the ?WHY? of the habit. I was trying to replace the processed food with physical activity. EPIC FAIL! The reward of food needed to be replaced with food. Food QUALITY was the change that needed to happen, not replacing the food with an adorable 4-legged creature.
  • Another thing I tried was the attempt to avoid food, period. You can just imagine the negative results of that one! My mood was horrible and starving yourself is NEVER the answer.

You see, the reason why some people can?t make a change is because they try to DELETE something from their routine. Your brain says, ?NO WAY? to this. Your brain loves the fact that you brush your teeth every night before you go to bed. Your brain adores that seatbelt before you put the car in reverse automation. Instead of removing the norm, you have to replace the issue with a different activity so that your brain gets the same reward.? I had to replace the junk food with good food (protein shake) so that I still get food.

TKO Nutrition would love to help you put your new habit into your routine. Email [email protected] to set up a consultation so that you can get the results you deserve!