Podcast > Episodes
EPISODE #22
Interview with Connie Nightingale: Clean Eating Principles, Health Eating for Kids and How to be a Keto Athlete
May 13, 2021
INTRO
Connie Nightingale Fitness came about through Connie’s own journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Her frequent brain fog, body fatigue, and a general lack of motivation were just a few indicators that something needed to change. In 2015, Connie began her rewarding journey towards healthy living by becoming a body-building athlete and obtaining her certifications as a nutritionist and personal trainer and starting “ The Fit Farming Food Mom” podcast.
AUDIO
0 (1s):
Coming up on the get lean, eat clean podcast.

1 (4s):
I made sure that every day, no matter what, except for on Sundays, I woke up and I worked out. I didn’t have an excuse. I, and, and it’s hard, right? We’re all human. We all want that alarm goes off and we’re like, Oh, I’m too tired. I don’t feel like it. Right. But your brain naturally tries to talk you out of doing these things. So, and if you let yourself get away with it, and this is one thing I want to convey to everybody, if you let yourself get away with it, it’s especially in the beginning moments of your journey, then you will continue to let yourself get away with stopping or not doing a workout over and over again. It’s like these little railroad tracks in your brain that if you don’t finish them, the train doesn’t go anywhere.

1 (45s):
So you have to make sure I’m a huge advocate of making sure that you follow through with your actions, even on the days when you don’t really feel it, at least go in and do something.

0 (57s):
Hello and welcome to the get clean, eat clean podcast. I’m Brian grin. And I’m here to give you actionable tips to get your body back to what it once was five, 10, even 15 years ago, each week. I’ll give you an in-depth interview with a health expert from around the world to cut through the fluff and get you long-term sustainable results. This week I interviewed Connie Nightingale. She’s a bodybuilding athlete, a nutritionist personal trainer, and started the fit farming food mom podcast. We talk about her journey through her health struggles, where she had brain fog, body fatigue, and a general lack of motivation. We also talk about her superstar morning ritual along with clean eating for kids meal, prepping her eight week program, her intermittent fasting routine and eating and how to become a keto athlete.

0 (1m 45s):
So I know you’re going to love this interview with County. There’s a ton of great information. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy. All right, here we are get lean, eat clean podcast, my guests, Connie Nightingale, and she’s a fitness photographer. She also has a podcast called fit farming food. Is that right? And

1 (2m 6s):
Farming food mom. Yes.

0 (2m 7s):
The fit farming food mom, a bodybuilding athlete, nutritionist and personal trainer. So welcome to the show, Connie.

1 (2m 14s):
Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.

0 (2m 18s):
Yeah. So we’re going to talk about a lot of different topics. And before I get into that, maybe just a short intro, like how your journey into actually bodybuilding and also just fitness in general.

1 (2m 31s):
Oh my that’s a long one, but I’ll sum it up in a nutshell if I can for you. Okay. Yeah. So kind of like most people in the, in the health and wellness field, our mess becomes our message, right? So I’ve found myself with multiple messages. I’ve had to pick up over a lifetime and, and they kind of led me down this journey of health and diving into rabbit holes. And so the evolution of that kind of looks like originally switching my diet because my son was struggling from really severe ADHD. Couldn’t focus on anything and they wanted to put him on all these drugs and do all these things. And I went to this seminar on the gaps diet, which is gut and psychology syndrome.

1 (3m 13s):
We switched our diet completely around. Well, what I didn’t know was that I needed it just as bad as he did. So at that point, my life completely pivoted 100%. I lost a lot of weight over 50 pounds and I’ve always been an athlete, but I’ve always struggled with my weight. Like I’ve been the big, the thick athlete. Right. And anyways, so my life completely turned around at that point. And that’s when I started getting back into working out and making a commitment to myself because I had lost a ton of weight, but I was super skinny. I had no like definition, people would ask if I was okay and I, you know, anyway, so I was like, you know, the only person that’s going to make myself look the way I want to look as me.

1 (3m 55s):
And I made a commitment to myself to start waking up at four o’clock every morning and getting it done because I had always made excuses before, like my kids and, and don’t have time and I need to be around for them and my work schedule. And I’m too tired after work. And it was like this constant, you know, talk with my brain saying why I couldn’t do it. So I turned around and I made it happen. And, and I did that with just a small, a small morning routine. And that turned into something big, which then turned into getting crazy big and doing some bodybuilding shows. And, and then at that point, it kind of happened where I had another pivotal moment where I’m very typing.

1 (4m 35s):
I put myself into everything that I do. And when I pick something up, I don’t do it halfway. And so the nutrition changing our nutrition sent me down a huge rabbit hole. And I had a, a ton of knowledge with it because I’d just started pouring it into myself and taking every online class you could take. And then, you know, getting my nutrition license and going crazy with all that. But really what ended up happening is I wanted to win so bad bodybuilding and make it to the national stage and go do all these things, get my pro card that I kind of left health in the, in the dust, because at one point fitness can kind of turn into an unhealthy habit and you could push it too hard. So then again, I found myself in a health struggle.

1 (5m 17s):
So at that point I learned more in my journey. And so now I’m here and I’m still experimenting and learning every day and you know, all, all these tools that I’m learning to help myself, I can implement on my clients and the people around me and talk about in my podcast. And it’s just been a really great adventure.

0 (5m 39s):
Yeah. I mean, you touched on a lot of great things that I want to get to one of ’em while morning routine, because like you said, that sort of like help launch everything because it’s, you know, like you said, it’s easy to make excuses. You have kids, things get in the way, but you can always find time if, if you make it a priority and so speak on your, on your morning routine. Cause I’m a big morning ritual guy. So

1 (6m 2s):
Well, so at the point where I decided I was going to start working out, I ha I couldn’t go to the gym and I wanted to go to the gym because back in high school, I power lifted and stuff like that. I, I like to be in the gym, but just ever since I got out of high school, I mean, my husband and I used to race motocross every single weekend, we were in pretty good shape, but that’s all we did was train on motocross bikes. Like, so we were in good shape. I was still the thicker athlete, which is okay. But anyway, so I decided that I was going to make it a priority to make fit myself into the equation and that the only person that was going to do that was myself. So at that point I literally set my alarm for three 30 every morning.

1 (6m 43s):
And when it went off, I would wake up, you know, drink my cup of coffee, read for a few minutes and then I would just get to work with what my little routine was. And I wrote it down because I think that’s the other thing, right? If you don’t actually put pen to paper and it’s like, it’s like sealing the deal. When you write it down, I wrote it down. I stuck it on my mirror, what I was going to do at the time. It was so basic. And that’s the thing is all these little steps we’re taking in our life can turn into something so much bigger. And I mean, my routine in the morning was like three sets of 12 body weight squats, and like three sets of 12 push-ups and like three sets of 12 sit-ups, you know, and then it kind of morphed after three or four weeks into being like, okay, I’m bored with this and it’s not hard anymore.

1 (7m 30s):
So let’s add something. So I bought a 20 pound kettlebell. So then I added, you know, kettlebell swings and started to squat, hanging onto the kettlebell and then started to do some dead lifts with the kettlebell. And pretty soon I think my husband and I probably drove him nuts because I was like, look at my legs, feel my legs are so muscle when they’re they’re they’re, they’re like, they’re like not jiggly anymore. And so I’m sure he got totally bombarded with the changes that were happening, but they happened to fast over a simple routine. And I did that routine probably a couple of months, and then I was bored again. And I was like, you know, I want to start bench pressing.

1 (8m 9s):
So then I opened up Craigslist and next thing you know, I emptied out my whole office and I had a bench press in there and everybody was making fun of me over it. Right. That was the funny thing is they, they were like, ha enjoy your new coat rack. You’re going to have stuff all over that day. You’re not going to use it. And no, I, I mean, I continued to just change every time I got to where I wasn’t progressing any further, or I felt like things were easy. I would just add something to my workout. And eventually that morphed into doing like an upper body day and a lower body day. So, I mean, that’s kind of the thing, I don’t know if you’d call it a morning routine. It’s just, I made sure that every day, no matter what, except for on Sundays, I woke up and I worked out.

1 (8m 53s):
I didn’t have an excuse. I, and, and it’s hard, right? We’re all human. We all want the alarm goes off and we’re like, Ugh, too tired. I don’t feel like it. Right. But your brain naturally tries to talk you out of doing these things. So, and if you let yourself get away with it, and this is one thing I want to convey to everybody, if you let yourself get away with it, especially in the beginning moments of your journey, then you will continue to let yourself get away with stopping or not doing a workout over and over again. It’s like these little railroad tracks in your brain that if you don’t finish them, the train doesn’t go anywhere. So you have to make sure I’m a huge advocate of making sure that you follow through with your actions, even on the days when you don’t really feel it, at least go in and do something.

0 (9m 39s):
Yeah, that’s great. And it makes, I mean, it makes a ton of sense. I always talk about for morning routines. It’s like, you know, just getting up, even if it’s a half hour earlier, it doesn’t necessarily have to be at three in the morning. Obviously could be extreme for some people, but you know, you got to just find the time and the best time is, you know, for the most part in the morning, because a lot of times, if you wait till later in the day, that’s when, like you mentioned, like excuses can creep in and it’s easy to sort of just put it aside and not make it a priority.

1 (10m 6s):
Absolutely. And you want to know there’s something spiritual about my morning workouts. Now. It’s like, I get out on the bike, I’m up with the sun. And if like the birds are chirping, there’s nobody out there. It’s definitely spiritual. And it’s something that I, I love to do. And like, now that it’s winter time, I’m, I’m back in the gym and I’m like struggling to, to be as happy and motivated because I want to be out in the, in the daytime. So I think that’s another really important thing for people too is getting outside. And I know in these winter months it’s hard, but you know, getting outside and getting daylight, as soon as you’re wake up in the morning is a super important thing for your circadian rhythm.

0 (10m 44s):
Yeah. I agree. I was talking about it. I I’ve a couple of dogs, you know, getting up and going for that walk in the morning when the sun’s coming up, even though it’s, I’m in Chicago, it’s 20 degrees, but it’s still, it’s such a, it’s just like this, like you mentioned, like it’s like spiritual, like it’s this calmness when no one else is up. And yeah, I, I just enjoy it. Even if I don’t have the dogs around, maybe they’re staying somewhere. I’ll still get up and go for that walk. Cause it’s nice. Absolutely. Why don’t we talk about, so we got morning routine, let’s get a little bit into eating correctly or eating clean. Cause obviously I’m a big proponent of that. And you talked about with your son, how that was sort of a wake-up call, what kind of changes did you make?

1 (11m 30s):
Well? So we decided to commit to the gaps diet, which is extremely extreme. And I don’t know many people that can follow through with that. But like I said, me being the type, a person that I am, we literally threw away everything in our house that wasn’t approved on that diet. It’s, it’s called gut and psychology syndrome and it’s actually a, a gut healing protocol. And it actually takes time to heal the gut. So their main platform like being on this diet 16 to 24 months and they make it very clear in the beginning that if you do not follow through, you are not going to see the results that you could have. And so we stuck with it for a solid 16 months. We never cheated, never went off. Plan, never ate out nothing. And it yielded huge benefits to my whole family, not just my son at my husband and myself within two weeks, he had completely changed.

1 (12m 19s):
I started dropping weight and inflammation like crazy. I didn’t have that brain fog anymore. I didn’t have that. I was just exhausted all the time. I thought that was just a busy mom thing. Things totally changed. So that’s kinda what sent me down the clean eating rabbit hole when the researching our food and our food is being so detrimental to our health. Now there are so many people struggling with all sorts of things, whether it’s gut issue, I mean, gut issues, insulin resistance that they don’t even know that they have. And a lot of these, the, the grains and the thing, the sugars and the packaged foods that we’re eating, even if they claim to be healthy are laced with a bunch of stuff that is horrible for our body.

1 (13m 2s):
So I’m a huge proponent of clean eating, I think like a paleolithic diet

0 (13m 9s):
I was going to say, yeah, okay. That, that you have to be, but whole foods, right?

1 (13m 15s):
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Real foods. Like if you read the ingredient, it says like, I mean, I’m not a huge fan myself, but I mean, it would be better than eating something totally packaged. Right. But, but you look at the ingredients and it says like oats, or, you know, you know, when you pick up an Apple, it’s an Apple, like you can envision it growing on a tree. You know, if you eat a steak, you know what that steak was and exactly what it came from, which is a cow, you know, so eating foods where the ingredients are things that, you know, what they are, if it’s some kind of chemical like sucralose or xylitol or red number five, or you don’t know where that came from, I can’t picture red, number five, growing on a tree, you know, things that, yeah, exactly.

1 (14m 2s):
So you need to be able to envision that thing in its real form. And I think that’s a great place to start when it comes to nutrition.

0 (14m 10s):
I totally agree. And I know you just go on, on your website and look and give a ton of recipes and you’re a bigger opponent, obviously cooking at home. Is that something that you do IVF obviously now with the quarantine, a lot of people would probably be cooking at home. And do you have some favorite recipes that you use?

1 (14m 26s):
Oh yeah, my family. So they basically get spoiled by me. I’m a huge cook. So I have a couple, like you said, recipes on my website, but you know, we’re pretty basic. We don’t get too crazy. Most of the time I’ll cook a couple of good like casserole type meals and have them in the freezer in case of emergency. But really we are big fans of, we have Trager smoker grill and on Sundays we will cook 10 or 20 pounds of chicken, 10 pounds of like ground beef or ground elk because we’re big hunters and we I’ll make maybe some meatballs or something to bake up and leave in the fridge as well.

1 (15m 8s):
So then we have our protein sources in the fridge and a lot of times what we do is we’re on the run. We’ll just pull that tub out of the refrigerator and throw some meat in there and then throw a couple of vegetables in there. And you’re totally good to go. And you know, a lot of these vegetables, there’s so many ways you can cook them now. Right? We like to, to roast them on a baking sheet in the oven, I’ll just chop up a ton of stuff. So mushrooms, cauliflower, peppers, onions, zucchini, asparagus, all, I’ll do all of that. And I’ll put it in Ziploc bags and I’ll add some olive oil and some seasoning and I’ll shake it up, dump it out on a baking sheet, bake it up.

1 (15m 50s):
And then I’ll just leave tubs of cooked vegetables in the refrigerator. And so everybody it’s super easy. We have an air fryer too. So that stuff reheats well, if you do want to throw it in there, you can bake it. You can saute it. My husband is a big fan of throwing the vegetables that are already cooked in a sauce pan and then throwing some meat in there and adding some coconut aminos and stirring it up, make himself a little stir fry. So we’re all pretty basic around here. We ha we live on a farm. So farm fresh eggs in the morning with some bacon, you know, bacon pro contrary to what people think is actually not bad for you. There’s a lot of things out there that are way worse.

1 (16m 31s):
And yeah, we just keep it pretty.

0 (16m 34s):
I think you, I think you make a good point in the sense that, and I do this as well is make it pick a day where you make like a bunch of it and then you just have it for the week and then you don’t have to like, Oh, I got to cook tonight again, you know, like keep it basic. Like I use an instant pot from time to time and I’ll make, like, I just made like this sweet potato coconut soup. And then, you know, it’ll last for almost a week. And I think that’s a good rule of thumb. And like you said, with the meat, you can have that and stock it and we will, you just saw Tate or grill it or whatever. And then you got it for the week.

1 (17m 14s):
Absolutely. And you know, people, people put make a big deal out of meal prepping. They’re like, I don’t have time for that, but you know what? I don’t have time for it. I don’t have time for doing my busy schedule every day. Getting home from work, working with clients, doing all these things and then cooking on top of that.

0 (17m 29s):
You save time with your meal prep. Yeah,

1 (17m 32s):
Absolutely. It’s so much easier to take two to three hours on a weekend or whatever day is convenient for you put your meals together for the whole week. You don’t even have to put them in separate little containers. You can just have those things available to you to grab stuff out of throw it in another container to take to your lunch, or, but it’s so much easier. It’s actually a huge time saver and it takes the burden off of you during the week.

0 (17m 57s):
I completely agree. And I know you mentioned with your son healthy eating, and I know there’s a lot of listeners who have kids. How do you w what would you recommend as far as incorporating healthy eating with your kids?

1 (18m 10s):
I think it is extremely important. Number one, first of all, they’re growing and developing. Right? And I don’t know that the, the profile of our youth has changed. Right. And it’s very unfortunate because there’s a lot of young kids that are already struggling with a lot of health conditions, more autism, ADHD, juvenile diabetes, all these things that we are unintentionally setting them up for. Right. I mean, if you think about it from the minute they are start eating solid food, what’s the first thing we feed them is rice cereal and carbohydrate dense foods, fruits like pureed fruits and things.

1 (18m 51s):
And I know as a parent, like when you’re starting to feed your infant, these, these fruits there, you’re like, Oh, well, they’re not going to want green beans. So I’ll give him some of this banana, Oh, whatever, Gerber, baby food. So from a young age, we’re programming their palette to only appreciate sweet things. I’m also in this hyper palatable world, we live in, things are over the top sensational bull, like seasoned things. And so we kind of D train our taste buds to, to understand what good food actually tastes like. And so a lot of people struggle when they try to bring things in late in their child’s life to get them to eat it.

1 (19m 37s):
So

0 (19m 38s):
That’s,

1 (19m 40s):
The key is definitely start early, but you know, most of us are not in that position. But what I do have to say is you’ve never read in the newspaper about a kid dying of starvation. They’ll eat when they’re hungry. Even if they throw a little temper tantrum at first, I can tell you it wasn’t sunshine and rainbows. When I changed our diet around, and I have kids that like go to school with lunches and I had to pack around that and stuff. And I mean, so there was a little bit of pushback there. And my husband and was just like, listen, this is what we’re going to eat. You can take it or leave it. And it was only a matter of days before they started trying it and eating it. And that’s a pretty common thing if you don’t give in and you actually say, okay, here’s what you’re having.

1 (20m 25s):
It can be breakfast, lunch, dinner, eventually they’re going to start eating it. And, and they, they will appreciate it later on because I know my son was away for the summer and he came back and he was like, I want to eat real food again. So, you know, I think things for kids that are easy and, you know, protein is what they need in order to grow and develop. It’s not all of these fruits and, and oatmeal and things like that. And so, you know, there’s so many easy things for kids, hard boiled eggs and their lunches. Salami is another good one, you know, celery with some peanut butter on it, you know, check the peanut butter ingredients.

1 (21m 6s):
That’s one thing I do have to say, a lot of peanut butters have added sugar. You don’t want to do that. You know, there’s so many good outlets out there for good wholesome food. Now you can pretty much Google or Pinterest or whatever, and type in, you know, clean kids’ lunches, all libs. My kids love all those black olives, what kids don’t. They like to stick them on their fingers, you know? So there’s a lot of options out there. And, you know, I think once you start it and they become adapted to it, it’s not a big deal. You can totally, you can totally train them to think differently about food and set them up for success in the future. Right. Because I’ll just tell you a little story.

1 (21m 47s):
I had a client that I was working with that was obese. And she was like, I went on a bender this weekend and I ate all of my kids chips that were in the closet. And I was like, well, why do your kids have chips in the closet? And she’s like, well, because I need it for their lunches and stuff. And I was like, do you want to set your kids up for the same problems that you’re having now? You know, pre-diabetes auto-immune issues. What do you think got you to that spot? And do you want to set your kids up for that? Because it may not be bothering them now, but what’s going to happen down the road. Right. So that’s kind of my little story with that. Set them up for success now.

1 (22m 28s):
So they don’t have problems later on.

0 (22m 30s):
Right. And I think that, you know, I don’t have kids myself, but just being around a lot of kids. Cause I’m, I’m an uncle is if, like you mentioned, if they get exposed, not to say that kids can’t have like cheat foods. Right. But like, if the majority let’s say 80% of what they’re eating is good, solid whole foods. They’ll really appreciate it and not be so used to maybe just having that fruit, fruit, puree, like you mentioned that so easy to give and just given out a convenience, but like you said, if you don’t buy the, the chips and the goldfish and stuff like that, you’re not going to, you’re not going to have it. So the first one is just don’t buy that stuff. Right. And then, you know, find other things to sort of replace it.

1 (23m 12s):
Absolutely. And, and that’s the thing is like, we’re not, I’m not like, I mean, once we were done with the gaps diet, we go out for ice cream every once in a while in the summer or something like that. But it is not every day. We don’t eat dessert after every single meal, when we do go do something, we experience it as a family. Like, we’ll go out for ice cream or we’ll grab our ice creams. We’ll take a walk around the Lake and like enjoy things. And it’s not an everyday thing. It’s, it’s, it’s a treat.

0 (23m 42s):
Agreed. And what I wanted to talk about was I noticed on your website is changing topics a little bit, your eight week holiday challenge. I was like, that’s cool. Cause I have a, I D I have a 21 day challenge, the intermittent fasting challenge. And we can maybe talk a little bit about fasting. I’m curious if you incorporate that, but before we get into that, maybe tell me a little bit about your eight week holiday challenge.

1 (24m 7s):
Yeah. So I was running a challenge before the holidays to kind of keep people on track, coming up to the holidays because so many people kind of use that time as an excuse to spin out. They’re like, ah, I’m going to eat a bunch of during Christmas anyway. So I’m just going to eat like crap all the way up from Thanksgiving to Christmas. So I was trying to keep people accountable during the holidays, you know, keep our meals reasonable and all of that, but I pretty much always have some kind of an eight week challenge running. It’s a great way to introduce people to fitness and get them into making lifestyle changes. And so my programs are really programmed around that, which is starting with, you know, if you’re, I can work with elite people too, but you know, starting with just a basic routine, maybe it’s three days a week, maybe setting some nutrition goals, like I’m only going to eat out once a week or things like that.

1 (24m 60s):
So I work with people individually for eight weeks, we set up a program that works for them as far as making lifestyle changes. And I hold them accountable for those changes.

0 (25m 12s):
Yeah. Holding people accountable is a big deal. And one of the ways that I like to do it. And like you mentioned before, is writing things down, like in a journal, this is something that I do with my challenge is they, you know, cause like you said, if you write it down, you sort of like, it puts things in perspective. Especially if you, if you’re eating the wrong things, you’re like, Oh God, I gotta write this down. Absolutely. Is that something you advocate journaling?

1 (25m 38s):
So, you know, I’ve been off and on and the journaling realm multiple times. It depends on what I’m doing. I know when I was con doing contest prep and I was doing a lot of cardio StairMaster in particular, I would actually just talk to my phone and have it journal stuff for me. So I have a lot of really good journaling there. I think putting things out in the universe though, is just a great way to achieve your goals. Like telling someone else what you’re going to do because who wants to let somebody else down. Right. Right. I know when I started my bodybuilding journey, I told people right from the beginning, I was going to step on stage and people like, well ha ha.

1 (26m 18s):
That’s hilarious. Yeah. Right. You know, not you and I put it out there in the world and I stuck with it. And so I think, you know, telling others is another way of holding yourself accountable. Yeah. Now I do track a lot of things. As far as training goes, I track all my training. I write all of that down. I write a plan out for the week, so I know what I’m going to do. And then I stick to that plan. So, you know, I think there’s a, a portion of that that can be a definitely a useful tool. And I think as far as getting your, your mind into more of a parasympathetic state journaling is definitely good for that because we are in this high stress environment all the time.

1 (26m 59s):
And I think actually just sitting down and doing something intentional, whether it be journaling or meditation or yoga, you name it, getting yourself into a parasympathetic state with that is all, I’m all, I’m all for it.

0 (27m 13s):
Oh, I’m I’m I’m with you. I, one thing I’ve been incorporating in my morning routine is just like, I, you know, some yoga, maybe a little bit of like meditation, even if it’s just like five, 10 minutes or just like laying in stillness. It’s just such a great way to start the day. And what I also noticed too, at the end of the day, I, you know, with my showers, I like to do some cold, some cold showers or like cold, cold tubs. Do you do any like hormetic stresses, like cold therapy

1 (27m 47s):
I’m so I’m more of a heat therapy type of person during contest prep. I have done ice baths before I had thyroid disease and still struggle with it now, but I have it mostly under control. Most of the time training can be, that’s a whole nother subject, but training can be a little bit hard on it if you have an autoimmune disease. So it’s kind of one of those things to navigate, but I was cold for years and years and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. And I’m talking so cold finally, before I was diagnosed, I skipped my whole ski season, which is like unheard of, for me. I had season passes and everything, but I couldn’t get warm. So I think I have like this, this phobia of cold things, I guess you would say, so I don’t, I’m not real good on the cold bath thing.

1 (28m 35s):
I want to incorporate it more into my routines, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet, but I am training for a triathlon next summer. So I’ll be in the cold water in the morning pretty soon here. So yeah, I’m in cor d’Alene Idaho. Oh yeah. So the iron man actually comes here too, and it’s a great event and I volunteer for it. It’s a lot of fun.

0 (29m 4s):
Yeah. That’s great. And I, I just interviewed someone who did 15 iron mans, so that was pretty,

1 (29m 12s):
Wow. That is impressive. That’s on my bucket list, but I’m not sure if it’s going to happen because I I’ve had a couple hip surgeries and I’m hoping. Yeah. Yeah. So I love to cycle and I love to swim, but I, I, I really want to work towards that direction, but, but I’m not sure about the running part, so yeah.

0 (29m 33s):
Oh, I hear ya. Let’s talk about maybe eating around workouts and how you go about with that. Cause I know some people think that they need to sort of scarf down food right after they work out. I was one of those, our protein shake, but how do you, how do you incorporate food around your workouts?

1 (29m 52s):
So I have learned, I used to be much different, think much different in a much different camp with this. I used to be the typical bodybuilding borough where I had to have a protein shake after my workout. And I had to have carbohydrates to shuttle it there and all those things. And actually, you know, there are studies out there now supporting that, that can actually be deleterious to your progress. So now I’m actually a ketogenic athlete. I, I am fast a lot. You’re asking about that. I, I work on a 16, eight fasting window most of the time and what’s, you know,

0 (30m 31s):
What’s your fasting window.

1 (30m 34s):
I, I do 16 hours off and then I have an 88 hour eating window. It depends, you know, it depends on my day and what my plans and stuff are, but I usually don’t eat. I’ll either stop. Like the day before yesterday I stopped eating it like noon. And then I will wake up in the morning and eat later in the morning. So I think I probably went longer than my problem is, is I I’m not hungry anymore. And so I have a hard time getting enough food in which I have to get in because depending on what heart rate levels and stuff I’m training at for my endurance training, I need to make sure that I have either a little carbohydrate on board or I’m I’m training appropriately for that.

1 (31m 19s):
So I know I have to keep that up as well. Right. And it’s kind of funny because if I don’t eat for a couple of days, I say I’m not hungry or something like that, then I will actually gain weight. It’s I think it’s cause I stress my body out a little bit. So I have to remember to keep eating, but I think eight 16 is a great window because it kind of trains your body to go to that fat burning mode. Right. Then you don’t struggle with these things like people I’ve heard, I don’t know from how many clients about them saying that they’re hypoglycemic and things like that. And it’s like, no, you’re not hypoglycemic. You actually have never had to experience your body switching fuel sources.

1 (32m 0s):
So many of us, we get to that hangry state. And the first thing we do is we were like, Oh no, I’m, I’m getting hungry and I’m hypoglycemic. And we, we eat something well that never teaches our body to switch to that other end of the fuel spectrum. So basically the longer you can stretch it out, the better your body is going to do as far as, you know, learning how to yeah. Learning how to tap into that fuel source and becoming metabolically flexible.

0 (32m 30s):
Yeah. So when you, so you’ve changed your ways you become like a Quito Quito bodybuilder, right?

1 (32m 36s):
Yeah. I mean, I I’m pretty much ketogenic mean I’m in ketosis 95% of the time. The crazy thing is, is I, I become so well fat adapted that I can bring carbs in and I stay in ketosis anyways. So I’m in the optimal state right now because my body is using both fuels. Right. So using the measure, your ketones, I use it keto mojo. So I check my, my glucose and I was wearing a levels continuous glucose monitor for quite some time. And I plan on getting back to that next summer when I’m training on my bike intensely again, just because it’s really interesting, the trends and stuff that happened with your blood sugar when you are training.

1 (33m 19s):
So you can use that as a tool to fuel yourself properly. But I did 120. This is an amazing thing about being ketogenic and I’ve learned more and more. And now I’m tapping into all these keto athlete groups and stuff like that. I actually just started one on, on Facebook as well to try to get more people into it because it’s a different, it’s a different beast. And so, but the crazy thing is, is like you don’t build lactic acid up when you’re ketogenic, right. Which happens when you have carbs on board, you’ll get that pump and bodybuilders want that pump. Right. But if you’re a cyclist, you don’t want your legs burning. You know, anyone that’s gone out and gone for a run and isn’t used to it or gone for a bike, they get that burn in their legs.

1 (34m 2s):
Well that’s lactic acid. And when you’re in ketosis, you don’t experience that. So that was the first thing that started to happen to me. Yeah.

0 (34m 12s):
That’s that’s I actually, honestly, that’s like the first time I’ve heard that

1 (34m 16s):
It’s crazy. And you know, I don’t know the exact science to it. I have a great idea about the way it, it happens, but basically there’s actually some transmitters that are also suppressed when you’re in ketosis and they shut down the production of lactic acid. But if you go get back into like the energy pathways and stuff like that, that the by-product of glycolysis, which is where you’re getting your energy from sugar is lactate. So if you skip that cycle completely, then you’re not building lactate. You’re, you’re going through a different energy pathway, which is fat oxidation pathway.

0 (34m 55s):
So if someone let’s say someone’s listening, they say, you know what? I want to be a keto athlete. What would you recommend them doing?

1 (35m 2s):
Well, you first have to start by becoming really well fat adapted, right? Because if you just jump on your bike or you go out for your run and you’re not, your body doesn’t know how to switch gears, you’re going to crash. You’re going to bonk and anybody that’s bombed knows it sucks really bad. It’s happened to me. It’s happened to everybody that tries their, their hand in endurance sports. So you need to become well fat adapted first. So that looks like staying to a state, a strict ketogenic diet. Now, once that starts to happen, you can start stretching your rides out longer and longer so that you’re seeing how far your body can go. I definitely, if you’re starting to experiment with it and you can afford it, getting a continuous glucose monitor is a great tool.

1 (35m 47s):
You can get real-time feedback on if you were training at too high of a heart rate, because there’s a lot of science to this too. Right? And we can talk about this forever, but you know, your, your heart rate, like, I don’t know if you’ve ever been put on a cardio plan of some kind, but you burn fat at a certain heart rate. And I think our friend Brad talks about this too, like he doesn’t wear a heart rate monitor. I don’t think when he trains, but he’s like, if I can, if I can breathe with my mouth shut, I’m training at the right heart rate. But once I surpass that, that area where I need to open my mouth and start bringing air in, that’s less of a fat oxidizing heart rate and more of a glycolytic heart rate. And the reason for that is because the higher your heart rate goes the faster it needs energy, right?

1 (36m 32s):
And fat oxidation is a slow energy pathway. So, so ketogenic athletes have to train at a lower heart rate level, which is really hard. There’s different methods out there. One of them is called the math atone method. So I would recommend if you’re becoming a ketogenic athlete to train at a math atone method, pace, you can look it up. There’s lots of information about it on the internet. And then also start by staying strict keto because you cannot learn to efficiently burn your own fat for fuel unless you’re staying at that heart rate level and staying ketogenic. So Maffetone, and then staying ketogenic for a long period of time in order to kind of adapt your body for me, I didn’t start seeing the magic happen until I was five or six months in.

0 (37m 22s):
Yeah, like you mentioned, it takes time. So InCorp incorporating some fasting along with eating a keto diet, what would be a typical, you know, starter diet for someone getting into keto? What would you say? A good, a good point? You know, maybe a typical meal or typical day,

1 (37m 38s):
You know, you don’t have to get a fancy, that’s a great thing about keto. And if you find yourself in public where you’re going out with friends, it’s so easy to like, I mean, you can have a bunless burger with all the fixings, you know, you can throw some tomato on there. That’s fine. You know, the steak is easy, so we’re big, we’re big protein fans, but you know, your morning might be bacon and eggs, like an omelet, saute, some peppers up and mushrooms and, and have, make yourself an omelet with some bacon or ham in there. Steak, even, I know I’m a huge fan of making myself like this taco salad for lunch. So I’ll have probably about six ounces of chicken thigh over a bit of lettuce.

1 (38m 18s):
And I will add fed cheese and all libs and avocado all the good healthy fats. And then I’ll just add about a half a cup of salsa for my dressing. And it’s delicious. It’s super easy. Many of my clients do that too, because they love that. And then, like I said to you earlier, dinner usually looks like protein that I grabbed out of the fridge and then some vegetables that I reheated in a skillet on the stove and it’s delicious and it’s basic. And you know, you just don’t have to over-complicate things.

0 (38m 52s):
So for, for, for carbs regarding becoming a keto athlete, you want to keep it on the lower end though, right? I mean, it sounds like you’re incorporating it into your meals and, and those carbs that you’re incorporating and obviously are not refined things like maybe some vegetables here and there and maybe some healthy fats,

1 (39m 12s):
Right. So we have to kind of keep in mind that, you know, not all carbs are digested, right? So fiber is a carbohydrate, but you don’t soak it up. It just basically goes through your digestion. And so you can kind of remove that portion from your carb count when you’re counting for keto carbs. Some people it’s easier for them just to stick to it and not confuse it and say, okay, I’m the standard, this amount of carbs. But I find if I’m eating a lot of vegetables and things like that, then my carb count will be in like the sixties for the day, but that’s not okay. That’s not like wrong because you can’t digest that fiber and those kinds of carbs, aren’t going to affect your blood sugar.

1 (39m 53s):
So you’re safe to eat all these broccoli, green vegetables, broccoli, not peas, but like broccoli and you can have cauliflower and green beans and zucchini. All those things are totally fine when you’re doing a ketogenic diet.

0 (40m 9s):
Okay. Yeah. Cause I feel like some people will think, Oh God, I just got to eat all this fat.

1 (40m 14s):
No, you know, there’s some people out there that say you should stick to a one-to-one protein to fat ratio when you’re just getting into the ketogenic diet, which I think is a great place to start. Right. It gives you a number and you, you want to make sure you’re eating enough because eventually when you’re eating fat, it’s super satiating and they’re not quite as hungry. So I think kind of if you’re logging your food and like my fitness pal or lose it or something like that, kind of keeping it. So if you’re eating a hundred and this might seem crazy, but if you’re eating 140 grams of protein eat 140 grams of fat and there’s not going to be anything left for carbs there and I’m talking healthy fats. Cause that’s another thing, right? Polyunsaturated fats are super unhealthy, which polyunsaturated fats are, you know, like country crop, butter, canola oil, vegetable oil, cotton seed, oil, soybean oil, peanut oil.

1 (41m 3s):
Those are just a few. Those are all extremely unhealthy. So when it comes to the fat department of fat is not a fat is not a fat, they’re all widely different. So you’re, you’re looking for healthy saturated fats, such as the animal fats you’re getting from your steak or your ground beef lard, tallow, all of oil. You check on check the ingredients on olive oil though, because they can be not olive oil. Pretty much. You have to read, become label detective when it comes to things like that. But avocado oil is great and they make a lot of great, like primal kitchen makes a lot of great avocado oil, mayonnaise is and stuff.

1 (41m 44s):
So you can make yourself a tuna, like a tuna salad, you know, with some celery and some nuts and some relish with some avocado oil mayonnaise, you can’t have regular mayonnaise. There’s people that do dirty keto, but that’s full of like soybean oil and stuff. That’s terrible. And your cells are, you know, the fat, your sales are made of fat. You don’t want to be putting the wrong kind of fat into them. And these highly processed seed oils and stuff are like trying to build yourself out of, like, I would say, if you’re building your house, it’s like building the foundation out of a styrofoam block. You’re not actually putting the concrete there.

1 (42m 24s):
You’re you’re doing this halfway oil that is styrofoam. So definitely staying away from processed seed oils is really important. You need healthy fat. One of our favorites at our house is duck fat. We like to fry stuff up in duck fat and it tastes amazing.

0 (42m 39s):
Yeah. Yeah. And seed oils are everywhere. So yeah, like you mentioned, you get into reading labels. I talk about that a lot. And, and, and I guess if you’re eating whole foods, you won’t have to read labels. So that’ll sort of solve that problem. Right.

1 (42m 54s):
You pick up a steak, it’s a steak, you pick up a pepper, it’s a pepper, it’s it? It definitely simplifies things.

0 (42m 60s):
Yeah. What would you say is, I mean, so the main staple of the meals should be based around high quality protein. And then, and then, you know, you can add in some carbs here and there with some vegetables and things like that. What about like nuts and dairy and things like that? Is that something that you avoid?

1 (43m 19s):
So when I do do dairy myself, I try to make it quality dairy though. Not obviously you can’t drink milk. Milk has got carbohydrates in it because it’s, it’s so refined, but I will add on occasion, like heavy whipping cream to my coffee or something. Like if I go to the coffee stand and because if you, if you check, but it needs to say heavy whipping cream on it, or we get from the farm down the road, we get whole Jersey milk. It’s right out of their cows. Oh yeah.

0 (43m 51s):
I’ve been, there’s a farm, like 45 minutes away from me. And I want to go buy some raw milk and even make some cheese with it.

1 (43m 58s):
Oh, it’s so good. And the cream on the top is divine. I mean, especially jerseys, jerseys have a little bit of a different flavor to their milk. And the cream on the top is divine. My kids love the milk and it’s just like, you cannot be doing raw milk. So I, I do that. I do do aged cheeses. So cheeses that in, in the like always you have to watch the ingredients and buy quality dairy, but you know, I’m not against putting dairy in your diet if you agree with it and you don’t have any problems with it, then, you know, put it in, but become a label detective when it comes to that as well.

0 (44m 36s):
Yeah. Yeah. I definitely want to incorporate some raw milk. It’s not always that easy to get when you’re in Chicago. I’m not sure.

1 (44m 43s):
I can’t imagine. Yeah. I’m in farming country. So everybody’s got some kind of organic little farm going on. It seems like it’s pretty common. And then that’s the other thing, right. Is same thing with meat, right? So grass fed beef is obviously optimal and that’s because the fat in it is higher in Omega threes than it is heightened than Omega sixes. Right. And so that’s the thing with all this process fat that we’re eating is we’re being bombarded with a mega sixes as well, which are super inflammatory when, you know, taken in on the wrong ratio. And I mean, I think I just talked well, I did just talk to Dr. Kate Shanahan the other day. And she was saying, we eat like four pounds of polyunsaturated fat a day and it’s ruining our bodies.

1 (45m 28s):
And so I can believe that. So, you know, I’d say if your, your bank account doesn’t allow for it, then don’t stress about it. Get in protein, no matter how you can. A steak is still going to be far better than any kind of processed food or what you’ve probably been eating. But if you can get grass fed meat, it’s even better

0 (45m 49s):
And it’s become more accessible. Like I’ve been ordering it from a few companies where, you know, you get like a blend of beef blend and maybe there’s some nose to tail. And there are some Oregon meats in there and just not like a pound is, you know, it’s not that it’s not too bad. It really isn’t because I think there’s more and more companies doing it. So it’s gotten competitive and the prices have come down a bit.

1 (46m 10s):
Absolutely. Well, you know, there’s other kinds of exotic meats out there that are great. I know we hunt, we like elk meat is really great. But actually when I was in contest prep for bodybuilding shows, I was having yak burger and it’s actually a really great, so that could be something to put on your list and try if you haven’t, it’s super lean meat high in protein, but tastes has got a really nice flavor to it.

0 (46m 36s):
Wow. Yeah. I’ll look into that. Yes. I, I wa I usually with my interviews, I ask the same question towards the end and I, I’m going to ask it to you. We’ve probably touched that we we’ve touched on a lot already, that people can get some great value from is what would be maybe your tip to someone who’s middle-aged man or woman looking to maybe get their body back to what it once was maybe when they were younger. Cause obviously as you get older things get a little more difficult and what may be a one tip you’d give to them to, to get their body back

1 (47m 7s):
One tip. Well, first of all, remove processed foods from your diet, you know, processed foods and sugar in particular. So many of us are struggling with the, with the insulin resistance or some kind of problem that revolves around that. And we don’t even know it. So I think removing that from your diet and also you can be an advocate of your own health. You can go to the store, buy yourself a glucometer, watch your blood sugar, start making a log of that because you may not even know it, but you may be struggling from a little bit of insulin resistance and that $30 tool that you can get is insurmountable in the amount of information that you can get from it.

0 (47m 50s):
Right. That’s actually, I just got one. I did a continuous glucose monitor for, for a bit. And then I just decided to get, it was like seven bucks for a, you know, there’s the measure. Yeah.

1 (48m 2s):
Yeah. And you get so much from it. It’s crazy how much you can get from it. And you learn a lot about your body because you can even learn about your sleep patterns. Like for myself, I went to bed late last night, I woke up super early. It’s only 6:00 AM here. I woke up super early and I, when I checked my blood sugar this morning, it was one Oh five, which is not good. It should be down in the seventies. I’m fasted. I was sleeping. I, you know, but because, you know, I had a high stress day yesterday. I didn’t sleep well last night. Guess what? My cortisol is, high cortisol raises your blood sugar. So I learned that, okay, I need to fix that. I messed up there, you know, and it’s a great tool.

1 (48m 43s):
You can use it for so many things. And I think getting one of those, or I have the, like, we talked about the keto mojo.

0 (48m 50s):
Yeah. I’m going to check that out. Cause I believe that I’m, excuse me, I believe I’m in ketosis for the majority of time and I just, I’ve never really measured it, you know, just to see what it was. Yeah.

1 (49m 2s):
Yeah. And you know, it’s cool because there’s does glucose and ketones. So it will actually give you an index of where you should be. Right. Cause you can be higher in ketosis, but if your blood sugar’s up, then your GKI actually isn’t that great. So it gives you an actual GKI index at that point, which will tell you if you were in a therapeutic area of ketosis or if you’re too much in or not enough. And it’s just a really great tool. I definitely would spend the money on it over and over again.

0 (49m 33s):
And is that done through the, your breath or how did they measure a finger poke? Okay. Finger poke and then just a little stress

1 (49m 43s):
Strip that you put the blood on and it will tell you everything you need to know.

0 (49m 47s):
Wow. I’ll check that out. Well, this was great County, lot of great information for all types of people, moms, kids, and where can people find you? Where’s the best place for people to find you on?

1 (50m 2s):
So my website’s a great place. I have a blog there. I need to get better about updating it more. I’m a busy lady. So I get these great ideas, take pictures, and then don’t ever put it on there. But I do have great recipes on there that my family loves, you know, or just things about getting started on your fitness journey because some of us get so overwhelmed about that. So I have write ups about that in my blog as well. So that website is Connie nightingale.com Nightingale spelled like the bird. You can find me on Instagram at Connie B Gany, that’s my old motocross name. It stuck

0 (50m 37s):
With me forever. So nothing

1 (50m 39s):
Fancy there, but yeah, that those are the best platforms to find me on. And then if you’re a ketogenic athlete or you’re considering becoming one, I did just start that ketogenic athletes group on Facebook and it is called ketogenic athletes. So if you look into that, yeah, it’s blue and blue and orange cover photo with a cyclist and somebody doing a pull up and

0 (51m 3s):
Put some, yeah, I’ll put links in the show notes so people can, can find you. And then you also have your podcasts too. Right?

1 (51m 11s):
The fit, farming food mom. I have lots of wonderful people on there and you know, it’s been a successful podcast and I’ve had a great time speaking with so many wonderful experts on stuff. So it’s, it’s pretty exciting.

0 (51m 24s):
Awesome Connie. Well, thanks so much for coming on.

1 (51m 27s):
You’re so welcome. It was great chatting with you.

0 (51m 31s):
Thanks for listening to the get lean eat clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you’ve chosen to listen to mine. And I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode, feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member. That’s looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again, and have a great day.

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