Sample Diet

Screenshot_2013-01-03-14-32-10In my post concerning New Year’s Resolutions, I talked about recommitting to the 1900 Calorie Fat Shredder diet that I had success with in the past.

I wanted to take a minute and share exactly what that looks like. For me, I distinctly remember sitting down about a year ago at this time and mapping out my diet and nutrition (this was also about the time I started drinking Shakeology daily), and feeling completely overwhelmed.

One of the best features of my new phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which I freaking love) is the ability to take screen shots and share them. I completed my nutrition diary for Tuesday of this week, to show exactly what I ate that day using MyFitnessPal and am sharing those images here.

Hopefully, if you are feeling like I did a year ago, wanting to change your diet, or overall health, but are feeling completely lost as to how to go about doing so, this will help.

The image on the right is the pie chart for the percentages of Protein, Fat and Carbs that I consumed on Tuesday. On a fat-shredder diet, you should be shooting for 40-50% of your diet coming from protein. This can be really hard to accomplish, especially for someone not accustomed to eating so much protein in a day.

Drinking protein shakes makes up for a lot of this, as most protein powders have at least 25 grams of protein per scoop (usually around 140 calories). As you can see in the image below, I get a large amount of protein from my breakfast/morning snack.

Another important factor is timing your food. I have had really good success eating three larger “meals” and two-three “snacks” a day. Each meal is around 250-300 calories, and each snack is between 150-200 calories. This spaces out my metabolism and helps to keep me from crashing at any point during the day. I never feel overly hungry throughout the day because I keep myself feeling full by eating constantly. I am a high school teacher, and my classes are 70 minutes long, and I teach most of the day, and am still able to find time to eat healthy foods throughout the day.

A typical day’s worth of food looks something like this:



I had to take two screen shots, so I really only ate one can of tuna (the big can, or the equivalent of two smaller cans). I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to try to understand this stuff, so if you read this and are confused or need clarification, feel free to use the comment section.

I am not a nutritionist but I have had some good results using this formula.

For additional diet related posts, check out the Diet tab at the top of this site.

On a slightly different, although not unrelated topic, my YouTube video went over 15,000 views this week. Which I have to say is pretty hard to comprehend. I know that there are some pretty crazy P90X results videos out there that blow my results out of the water, but the mere fact that I have been able to accomplish what I have, and 15,000 people have witnessed it, is hard to fathom.


Getting Started

Monday marked the beginning of another 90 day journey for me.Last week was the end of my P90X2/Asylum hybrid. I didn’t take official “Day 90” pictures because we were in Cape Cod, but as you can see from the pictures in that post, the results were good. This is off topic, but I forgot to mention it in the Cape Cod post earlier this week. I we camped on an electric site, so I brought my blender, Shakeology, and three tubs of protein (which apparently was an issue for Danielle, and Avi when one fell on her head in the car). I had about two scoops of Greenberry Shakeology in a Tupperware container. After the third night in a row of raccoons stealing our bread, I put everything away before bed, except my small Tupperware of Shakeology. There are now a couple of super healthy raccoons running around Provincetown.

Back to the point of this post. On Monday I started Body Beast, which is a new program from BeachBody, the makers of P90X, Insanity etc. Body Beast focuses on building muscle and is more of a straight weight lifting program than Insanity or P90X2. It is somewhat similar to P90X, but I am finding it to be way more challenging. With the start of the new program (which I will have a week 1 review of up later this week) I got thinking about some of the things that go into getting started and what I have learned over the course of the last 18 months about doing at-home workout programs. These are, in my opinion, the keys to being successful with any 60 or 90 day at home workout.

Set your goals

What are you hoping to accomplish? When I first started P90X, my goal was just to get through it. I didn’t have a clear goal in mind. I was hoping to get down from 235 to 225 (a goal that I surpassed). I think that because I didn’t have a clearly defined goal, my results were less than they could have been. If you are looking to lose fat, gain muscle, get in better shape, dunk a basketball, or whatever, you have to clearly define it if you are to know how to go about doing it. It is very difficult to cut body fat and build muscle simultaneously. My suggestion is to focus on fat loss first, then when your body fat percentage is where you want it, adjust your diet to build muscle and run at a calorie surplus.

Set your nutritional goals

If losing fat is your goal, then you have to run a calorie deficit. You can use any number of online tools to calculate your body’s daily caloric needs. Once you know what your body needs in a day, you can decide what you are going to put into it each day. I suggest using the Fat Shredder diets listed under the Diet tabs at the top of this page. Get set up with MyFitnessPal, or a similar food tracking app. I got lazy with tracking my food this summer. Starting this week, I am tracking everything again. I am eating 2000 calories a day, 40% Protein, 40% Carbs, 20% Fat. MyFitnessPal does all the math for me, and also includes a pie chart to help me know where I am at for the day. If you are not tracking your food, you are not going to be honest with yourself about what you are consuming, and you are not going to be able to reach your goals. Period. It is in my opinion the greatest key to my success. One of the first questions I get asked is “did you follow the diet guide”, and the answer is yes, I follow the diet guide. But instead of trying to calculate it all myself, as the diet guides would have me do, I let the app and website do it for me.

My goal for Body Beast is to gain some muscle mass while continuing to cut body fat. So I upped my calories a bit (from 1900-2000) so that my body will have the fuel it needs to build muscle. I am not looking to get huge, so I am not eating to get huge. The diet is the key to the results.

Take Day 1 pictures

I famously skipped this step in my first round of P90X, which is why I have to resort to using the pictures from Cape Cod in 2008. Those are the closest approximation to how I looked last March that I have. I think I got camera shy because of how I looked. It does make for a cool comparison shot between then and now. You don’t have to show anyone but yourself, but you will want a record of your progress.

Select the program that works for you

I use BeachBody programs because they have worked really well for me. If TapouT XT is your thing do it. If you are looking for cardio and want to cut fat, Insanity is awesome for it. If you want to improve sports performance, Insanity: The Asylum is fantastic. Everyone pretty much knows what P90X is. I love it, it works. P90X2 takes P90X to a whole new level. Each program offers something different. I have done them all, and each is great in its own way. If you have done one and are ready for something new, there are great hybrid schedules available at

Make yourself accountable

When I started P90X, I signed up for a free account with Team BeachBody, went to the message boards, and found a group of people who all started P90X around the same day as me. It was awesome to have people to talk to every day that were experiencing the same things I was. Because it is anonymous, I didn’t feel stupid sharing the challenges I was facing. It was through this group that I learned about TeamRIPPED. If you are interested in something like this, you can follow the Join My Team link on the right side of this site and I can connect you with any number of TeamRIPPED Facebook groups. I am currently in two Facebook groups, one for veterans of X2/Asylum, and one for people currently doing Body Beast. The awesome part of the Body Beast group is that Sagi Kalev, the Tony Horton of Body Beast is a member of the group and posts advice and support. By signing up for a Team Beachbody account, you will have access to the message boards, which is where I built my foundation of knowledge.

Decide what supplements you are going to use

I have used a ton of different supplements. I like to try new things and get bored with the same thing after a while. One supplement that I take every day is Shakeology. I believe in the hype. The stuff is amazing and is the foundation of my daily nutrition. I also take a pre-workout almost every day. I take BeachBody’s Energy and Endurance right now for a pre-workout. I am also a huge fan of post-workout drinks. My favorite to date is Results and Recovery formula. If you are going to workout hard every day, you are most likely going to need to supplement your diet in order to maximize your results. I didn’t start using all of these things at once. I tried one, then added another until I found a combination that I found to work.

Stick with it

My first week of P90X, I missed two workouts because I was so sore I couldn’t move. I doubled up workouts at the end of my first week to catch up and didn’t miss another workout for 90 days. There are going to be times when it gets tough. Things are going to come up that get in the way. You are going to get sick, your kids are going to get sick. My suggestion is to keep pushing play. Once you build up momentum, it only takes a day or two to undo it. Stick with it. The results will be there in the end if you stick with the diet and exercise. If you cheat by skipping workouts or eating like crap on the weekends, you will not have the same level of success. Period.

I am excited to see what the next 90 days will bring. If you are interested in getting connected with the message boards, or any of the TeamRIPPED Facebook groups to support you through your journey, let me know.


I took the picture on the left four years ago in Cape Cod when Avi was 11 months old. I was weighing somewhere around 225. The picture on the right is me and Avi (she turned 5 two weeks ago) on the same beach four years later. I weigh 184 and am in the best shape of my entire life. I didn’t look like this in high school. I didn’t look like this in college. I look like this because I followed the steps I listed above and pushed play every day.

I’m Eating Healthy

Summer is officially upon us. Here in Western NY, it feels less like summer and more like the surface of the sun (can I take a minute to point out that it is my belief that the same people who bitch and moan about the snow in winter are now flocking to Facebook, Twitter or their social media outlet of choice to complain that it is hot out).

With summer comes picnics, cook-outs and vacations. All of which are a recipe for disaster if you are trying to eat healthy. I know from my own experience that no matter how “on-point” I am with my diet throughout the week, if we have a picnic or family party on the weekend, my ability to stave off temptation lessens. Especially when you throw in the added pressure of people around you making poor dietary choices. For me, one oatmeal raisin cookie can quickly turn into 4 if I don’t watch it.

I know that going into my first round of P90X, I was completely overwhelmed by the nutrition guide. Danielle and I sat down and looked at it, and both said “there is no way we can afford all of this.” The problem was, we were stuck in an outdated  “also” mindset, as opposed to an “instead of” mindset (which is exactly how I overcame my fear of purchasing Shakeology). Due to this attitude, I did not follow the diet guide. I ate better (or at least I thought I did) and had some results. It wasn’t until I became a member of TeamRIPPED that I started to understand the vital role that nutrition plays in shaping one’s success or failure. Once I started tracking my food (using I was able to better understand what to put into my body every day to achieve the best results possible.

To this day, there are times that I could make better choices. But because I track my food and know what I have eaten, I am able to account for every calorie.

I have followed the same 1900 Calorie Fat Shredder Diet for about six months now, and I am feeling great about where I am at. The problem is, I have had nothing to offer as far as advice goes for women, because I was pretty clueless what a woman’s body required while trying to lose weight. That was, until Coach Wayne posted his wife’s Fat Shredder diet. Feel free to use this link to help plan your eating. I strongly suggest using the MyFitnessPal app to track your food, at least until you get a firm understanding of what you need on a daily basis.

As far as shopping goes, I found this video:

Which does a great job of explaining what to look for at the grocery store. This is almost exactly what I use every day. I am still drinking Shakeology daily. I actually switched up my chocolate for greenberry this month and am loving the change. I think I am going to change again to Tropical Strawberry for July, as it just seems like a great summer flavor. For me, and I know I have said this a number of times already, Shakeology is the essential foundation stone to my daily nutrition. I know that every day, no matter what happens, I put the healthiest thing I possibly could in my body for breakfast.

The prohibitive factor with Shakeology is the cost. It breaks down to about $4 a day. Like I mentioned above, I started treating it like an “also” cost, and more like an “instead of”. The other thing I did to help with the cost was sign up for a coaching account with Team Beachbody. Coaches save 25% on all purchases, and because I am on monthly auto-ship, shipping is free.

I was stuck in a rut with my nutrition for a long time. I had to break 28 years of bad habits. It wasn’t easy. Change never is. But if what you want to do is live a healthier life style, look and feel better, and enjoy life more, these are the things I have done to do just that.

If you have any questions about diet, nutrition or Shakeology please do not hesitate to ask. I know for me, this was the most overwhelming and confusing part of the process, which is why it took me almost 9 months of P90X/Insanity before I really understood what I was doing.

Getting Enough Protein

One the biggest challenges I faced when starting my 1900 Calorie Diet was finding ways to get enough protein to hit my desired ratios of protein/carbs/fat (50/30/20).

It is really hard to get that much protein (240g daily). I have had to find creative ways to reach those goals. One thing that makes it a lot easier is starting off every day with Shakeology, whey protein and egg whites. In about 260 calories, I am getting almost 1/4 of the protein I will need for the day along with all of my essential vitamins and nutrients. Which is why I am constantly banging on the Shakeology Drum.

Beyond that, it can almost feel like a battle every day with the pie chart in MyFitnessPal (a post is coming about this) keeping that Protein percentage about 50%.

I found THIS LINK which contains some good info about healthy protein sources, even for people who do not eat meat. In order to lose body fat (which I think is most people’s goal) you have to be running calorie deficient (i.e. eating less than you burn in a day) and in order to lose quickly, you need to be eating close to the percentages I posted above. This is the beauty of MyFitnessPal, because it takes that guess-work out and makes life so simple. There is no way I could track my eating without it.

Now that I have found a routine that works, it is easy every day to meal plan. I know how much, and which foods to pack and or cook every day. The nutrition portion of P90X was the one thing that I never dialed in during those first 9 months. Looking at the P90X nutrition guide caused my eyes to glaze over. It just seemed like so much I had to buy.

Now, it seems like something so simple. I wish I could go back a year ago to last March, I cannot imagine what my results in those first 9 months would have been like had I known then what I know now. Nutrition is at least 80% of the battle. The saying goes “Abs are made in the kitchen” it it couldn’t be more true.