Thank you to those who participated! You had great questions and tips! I do want to address one topic of confusion for most people starting their journey and it's something that's not straight forward. Something I read yesterday reminded me of it.
Eating Clean. What does it mean to you?
Most people can agree it means eating as nature intended...no processed food. Many people say they eat clean, but some of those people don't always reach their fit goals and wonder why. I mentioned before how we are each unique and our combo of protein, carbs, and fat do matter. So it's great that you eat clean, but it just means you're not putting crap not meant for consumption into your body. I could eat raw macadamia nuts and sweet potatoes all the time and still gain fat eating clean.
So simply eating clean is a great goal for anyone who still eats processed food and drinks sodas and concentrated juice, but once you've mastered that, you might have to tweak your diet in order to see different results if what you're doing is not working for you. Although I don't like counting calories, a great start would be to ball park your BMR (using online calculators), factor in your activity level, and try to eat more, less, or the same amount in calories (depending on your goal) mostly in good protein and green vegetables. Then supplement your diet with good fat and healthy carbs tweaking along the way. Eventually, you'll be able to eyeball portion sizes, which is how I eat.
Speaking of portion sizes...
A couple of guys from volleyball were mildly confused at why my husband got to eat twice as much protein as me for dinner. The same reason my guy friend chuckled at me when he found out I eat 3-4 oz of protein for lunches at a time. (He eats WAY more than I do, but he's 6'5" and packed on a lot of dense muscle and he eats to support or grow that.) So men should eat more than women (usually). 1) They are bigger people and 2) They are male (while usually I don't mean that as a good thing ;-), men are made differently...more testosterone and usually higher metabolisms). Therefore, I get less for dinner...it's just fair.
So it took me a while to figure out where I was going wrong. I was that person who ate clean and worked out, but I wasn't seeing results. That's when I got a coach. :) I can't say this next bit for sure, but I'm fairly certain I was doing a little bit more cardio and eating fewer starches than many of my competitor friends just because my body was build to love me that way, lol. (It was even worse for some girls, I'm sure.) But it's okay. On the flip side to that, I know my body knows how to grow certain muscles faster than the girls who have a hard time gaining any weight (in fat or muscle). Anyhow, the point of that was to let you know, we are all unique and our diet needs will all be different. So if you aren't seeing the results simply by eating clean, start tweaking away!
Sorry, I was just day dreaming about being able to eat clean oatmeal with peanut butter for every meal...
Pre-Meal: Green tea and Ionix Supreme and water
Meal 1: Vanilla IsaLean shake with spinach and water
Meal 2: Non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with 1/2 shredded apple, oats, cinnamon, stevia, and black coffee
Meal 3: Chicken tenderloin, rice, spicy sauteed cabbage, red bell peppers, broccoli, olive oil, and water
Post-Workout Meal 4: Isopro/IsaLean shake (I ran out of spinach!!) and water
Meal 5: Fig/pork/swiss chard/spinach, avocado, and water
Meal 6: 2 eggs with mozz and water