Food

The happiness of freedom

Anytime in my life I had a goal, desire or passion for something, and fulfilling that certain dream was up to my own decision and action, I gave all myself. The first time I remember doing it, was for a wrong cause, but at the time I didn't know it. I was 16 and I wanted to be a fashion model. In Italy models are extremely  skinny (seriously, fashion world is sick and I now hate it) Fashion-Model-Health-thumb-375x561-63474

So being a teenager and not knowing any better, I wanted to be like them... to the point where the more bones were showing, the better. I dedicated a whole 3-4 years to that purpose. I left any interest and close person behind, I don't have many memories of that time because my brain was zooming in one only point: being skinny and whatever I had to do in order to become that way. It was the most brutal fight I had within myself, I was fighting hunger everyday, dieting was my sport, losing weight was all that made me happy, really. I expressed my feelings with drawing, I remember drawing a skinny mean Sofia beating up the good pretty Sofia, or the good Sofia trying to escape...

 

I don't even want to spend too much time talking about it, anyway my goal turned into a compulsion and I became victim of it. I lost track and it ate me up, I was trapped. Slowly and painfully I got out of that sickening mentality and found a "healthier" passion (wasn't so healthy as it sounds). I literally fell in love with fitness and weight training, I loved strong, fit bodies and since I was coming from a past of obsessive control, the idea of controlling my body diversely (to be lean and strong) really excited me. I could eat! But extremely controlled still, and everything had to be in a certain way (no oil, no butter, no wheat, no carbs, everything measured etc). I started getting some muscle but still I wasn't getting the point: beating myself up wasn't necessary the best way to reach a goal or fulfill a passion, nor being isolated from the rest of the world because I had to go home and eat my three egg-whites...

So again I learned a lot from that, I got better, ate more, still I was going thru a lot of body-mind conflicts. I couldn't find a balance, I was happy to train, cook, go to the market, study the body, test my limits but deep down I knew something wasn't right. I just didn't know how to live differently anymore. What did it mean "eat whatever you want"? "Train tomorrow relax today/go out with friends/do something different"? I was still drawing, better situations, bad Sofia now was friend with good, fit Sofia. But she was still there...

With many ups and downs, body weight fluctuations, I kept fitness/body building as my steady passion for many years. I really loved weight training and how it made my body look. I competed several times and did fitness modeling.

Image When I found pole dancing, I started to feel the desire to explore a part of me I never knew I had: a sensual, "sexy" side, which was nothing but my woman/feminine side, that side I neglected all my life with my insanely strict diet and training ! So all in a sudden I wanted to nurture that side (surely not thru food). Pole dancing did nurture it, and beside feeling completely awkward and disgraceful at the beginning, I loved it. So at that time I had weight training still my #1 passion, and pole dancing right up the alley. I started drawing pole dancers and heels ;)

 

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I wasn't completely out of my body-mind war, still controlling a lot my food and training, with little to no time for anything else (beside school).

I'm talking about years here... So all I said so far is about a 10 years evolution. Now, this is the last biggest part. While pole dancing my butt off day in and out, I started to grow more and more interest for flexibility. At the beginning I wanted to be more flexible to be better on the pole. But then, about six months after, I lost some of my pole enthusiasm (it turned out I preferred Floorwork) and figured that I would dedicate myself fully to flexibility, and more specifically, contortion!

 

Image Few months into contortion, I realized there was NO WAY I could keep up with weight training, at least the way I used to. So slowly I had to take it out of my life :( Leg training was actually the HARDEST thing to give up to. I LOVED training legs. I loved squats, dead lifts... And I mean, pretty freaking heavy. Wasn't squatting 10lbs just to clarify, more like 130-140lbs. I said bye to my round full butt and opted for a smaller one lol, still trained my body but very differently, whatever was making me stiff was off limits.

But the biggest change I experienced with discovering this new passion (contortion), was that I didn't need to focus so much on my appearance (therefore diet); that draining control on food wasn't necessary anymore. All I had to do was training! And yes eating healthy, but at least not to the point I had to refuse going out for dinner, go to a bar with friends, hang out at a party etc... So I ended up fueling my body better and my mind "flourished", I became more social and relaxed, finally BALANCED. I felt a new way of happy...The happiness of freedom. Freedom to move, go out, eat... Flexibility has a huge meaning to me. So I'm sorry if sometimes I talk about it so much but 1. It's my passion and I give all myself to it 2. It gave me the greatest freedom I ever had

And bad Sofia is no longer in the drawings. It's only good Sofia, and she's very flexible :)

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5 Foods worth to have in your life

As you all know I eat clean all year around, I've been like this since I was little, my family raised me with simple whole food, barely processed, never artificial. So if you'd ask me the question "What would you eat if you wouldn't get fat or sick?" I'd honestly tell you, I really like what I eat, maybe I'd have more carbs, but I'd never be like "Oh I'd eat cakes cookies bread and fried food" because most of common junk food either I don't even know how it tastes (not kidding... I never had an Oreo or Twinkies or marshmallows crackers, those American sweets are unknown to me!) or I just find it so disgustingly sweet or too flavor-rich. My taste buds are virgin to very bad food :) BUT...

There are foods that I don't eat everyday, that are totally worth to have sometimes. I categorize food as nourishment, but we can't deny it's a pleasure of life too. Taste is there for us to enjoy :) So those are my top 5 outside-regular-diet foods:

#5

Sweet potato fries. Here in Vegas it's insane the amount of good places where to eat. I love the sweet potato fries from Todd's English Pub at Aria (they also have a great tuna burger on multigrain bun).

#4

Loaded potato skins. Blame it on my husband. The first time he dragged me into TGIF, I was like "Ugh". But then... revelation. I found a grilled chicken and broccoli option (yay!) and those damn potato skins. They are addicting.

#3

Nutzo. If you are big on nut butters, you know this guy. It's basically the most crunchy-nutty-delicious-tasty nut butter you'll ever try. It's not unhealthy but the amount you'll end up eating probably is. Don't buy it if you can't control your hunger... it's dangerous.

#2

Garrett's Popcorn. Blame it on my husband #2. A shop just opened here in Vegas and Todd has been raving about those cheese popcorns. I was like, what the... they're just popcorns in the end. Mmmm... NOT. They are edible cocaine.

#1

PIZZA. It can't be Domino's or whatever has a crust, some tomatoes and cheese. It has to be thin crust, fresh tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella. Preferably imported from Italy. Naples style

And this completes the list. What's yours? What is a food you eat that is so good you don't even feel guilty. Those are my choices!!!

Thoughts on fitness competitions

Olympia Weekend is coming up, and I found myself thinking about what it means to compete. When I moved to America in 2006, my dream was to become a figure competitor. I remember looking at old Oxygen and Muscle&Fitness magazines and picturing myself on the cover, competing in shows and contests, strutting the best shape of my life. So I started my journey, I was training almost everyday and after about 10 months I attended my first Fitness Model competition in Hollywood, CA. Little I knew at that time... I remember seeing Maggie Diubaldo there, and I couldn't help it but staring at her abs, ahah. I felt "out of shape" compared to the other girls, who were tight, tan, shiny, groomed, in a perfectly fitting bikini, flawless makeup and hair. I think I had some blush and eyeliner on lol. Surprisingly I got 3rd place, and that got me really excited and motivated to do better next time.

I never had a coach teaching me about training and nutrition, I was a self-taught athlete. I never trusted enough someone to just do anything he/she said (beside one time in 2009 with Rosemary Jennings, my Miami mommy). I was so curious to research, learn and try by myself. So each competition that followed the first one, I was a little more prepared. If I remember correctly, I did 6 Competitions total, 3 with Fitness Universe, 1 with FAME, 1 with Joe Wheatley for Muscle Beach International, 1 in Italy. I never got first place, I was either too skinny, not enough boobs (...), not wearing a fancy bikini, not full and ripped (I was natural!), but I had always a great time, fun and memorable experience. I liked to compete because was a way to show how capable you were with your training and discipline, how far you could take it. Competing gives you that "extra motivation", having a set date makes you concentrate and focus more.

BUT...

Competing (if done often and repeatedly) has bad sides to it. Those are the major ones, in my opinion:

1. Feed a body-image obsession: you can't spend a day without checking your weight, fat, muscle size, tone etc. All you care is looking tight, muscular with little fat. If you look the way you want, it's a "good day".

2. Control freak (OCD): You weight your food, prepare everything in advance, size-portion it, bring it with you, avoid carbs like poison, can't touch anything that is not prepared by you only.

3. Food obsession: you find yourself dreaming about food several times a day, fight cravings with the most weird, disgusting methods (I was eating carrots with stevia...), google pictures of food etc.

4. Eating disorders: If you didn't have them before, you'll likely to develop them now. Or keep that anorexia mindset ready to pop out again.

5. Your worth is estimated by look: success is achieved thru your body appearance only. It's not so!

6. Post competition blues: after competing, you'll desperately try to maintain the same shape you worked hard for, thru diet and training. You'll realize is a utopia, your body needs rest, hydration and more nutrients. The slow, steady weight gain will make you depressed, you might binge with junk (not my case) or crave a large amount of food you denied yourself for long (it happened to me with carbs).

What I wanna say with this post is, competing is fun and definitely an experience worth to do if you like to train, eat clean and show off you hard work. It's not something I'd encourage to do as a profession or more times in a row. It's a big stress on your body AND your mind. I'm more happy now that I don't compete anymore, I train harder than when I was deprived (thanks carbs), I eat clean, nutritious food in the right amount for my height and body composition, I can focus on a lot more things beside diet and training, I'm not panicking if I'm eating out, my brain and body are in harmony. Oh and I've been told I look better NOW! Funny :)

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My last competition in 2010

How to "clean eat out"

Lately more than in the past I find myself eating out. I've always been a good cook and enjoyed home meals, but sometimes, for a reason or another, a lunch or dinner away from home is the way to go. Unlike my past beliefs, clean eating in restaurants has become quite possible. Here's a list of meals and restaurants I'd pick, based on the type of cuisine: American

My favorite places so far are Gran Lux and Cheesecake factory. Mostly because they offer a variety of food and accommodate any request you have without problems. I get usually grilled chicken breast (dry), side of steamed broccoli or sautéed wild mushrooms. Their big salads are awesome (no dressing, I use only balsamic vinegar), either with shrimps, chicken or salmon (I avoid cheese, bacon, croutons). If you love burgers, Gran Lux Chop House Burger with avocado and mushrooms is delicious! (No bun no fries).

Italian

I LOVE carpaccio (Olive oil on the side, I just like lemon juice on it). Best Vegas carpaccios: Olives at Bellagio and Terra Rossa at Red Rock Hotel. As main corse, I stick to simple grilled chicken breast and sautéed spinach. I don't do any pasta or pizza (remember I'm wheat free), but if you'd be in the mood, you gotta try pizzeria "Settebello" in Handerson. They get their ingredients directly from Naples, Italy; also their salad with pine nuts and artichokes is great. In Miami I used to really like Carabba's.

Japanese

Sushi samba is very good (but expensive). It's hard to go wrong here, just avoid tempura, cream cheese, teriaki or any sauce beside soy sauce or ponzu sauce. California rolls with brown rice and sashimi are a classic.

Chinese

I'd never EVER liked Chinese... Untill I tried PF Chang's Sea Bass. I get only that dish and I never get tired of it. It's just so GOOD (sauce and brown rice on the side).

Steakhouse

The best steakhouse IN THE WORLD is Prime One Twelve in Miami Beach. I dare you to find a better place. Their beef tartare and filet mignon are top quality. I really like Morton's too, I make sure they don't put any butter on the meat (why do they do that!?) and order lots of sides: either grilled asparagus, steamed broccoli, spinach, baked potato (I usually eat only chunks of skin lol). Rib eye or skirt steak are other good choices, a little more fatty, but very tasty.

Breakfast

I used to order these delicious oatmeal pancakes along with my mushrooms-onions egg white omelette (dry, with tomatoes on the side instead of bread) at Blueberry Hill, now I get just oatmeal. Other great breakfast places here in Vegas are Egg and I ( they have a wide variety of pancakes, once I had whole wheat ones with cashews and blueberries) and Peppermill.

I didn't include Indian, Thai or other cuisines because I just don't know about them and not a fan of them ;)

Now if you come to Vegas you got some directions where to enjoy tasty, clean meals!

Bathroom art... and burgers

During my stay in Chicago I got to eat at this super cool place with my hubby called Kuma's Corner, it looked like a punk bar with really loud rock music, famous for burgers... I never had a real good burger beside one time in Miami when I was 13 (my first cheeseburger!) and I was curious to try one here. It was LEGENDARY... big thick meaty burger with onions, mushrooms and avocado. I ate only one part of the bun which was insanely good (pretzel bun!) and I thought I was going to explode. How delicious!!! Here's a picture of one of their famous burgers

how the hell can you eat THAT??

But one of the things that caught my attention the most was... the bathroom lol.

I couldn't help it but taking some pictures of it... tell me if this is not artistic!

ROC power squares: vanilla coconut peanut delight!

Today I played a little with what I had in my pantry and I came up with a pretty good new recipe. It's gluten free and high in protein. The ingredients are, to make 4 servings: 45 gr coconut flour

30 gr garbanzo bean flour

1 tbsp psyllium husk

2 scoops vanilla protein (pick a good brand or it will mess up the taste!)

1 cup egg whites

40 gr peanut butter

a dash of cinnamon, vanilla extract, stevia, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Instructions:

Turn on oven at 350 F°.

Mix in a bowl dry ingredients first, then wet ones in another bowl. Combine them together and stir, add a little water if too thick.

Place the mix in a squared baking pan covered with oil spray, let it cook for about 20 min.

Cut in 4 squares. One square has 212 cals, fibers, good protein and fats, low carbs. Great pre workout snack!

Stuff your pepper! Awesome post workout meal

This is my favorite meal so far, thanks to my mom who taught me to do it :) STUFFED PEPPERS!

Here's the recipe, low-fat and no wheat, just few simple ingredients and the right tips to make them delicious :P

What you need (make 3 servings):

3 bell peppers, I like to pick them in different colors

150 gr tuna (avoid albacore, is the highest in mercury)

3/4 cup brown rice (approx 1 cup cooked rice for each pepper)

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup capers

salt

Instructions:

Turn on oven at 350F.

Wash the peppers, cut away the top, remove seeds inside, sprinkle salt and leave them face down on a paper towel to lose some water.

In the mean time cook the rice in salted boiling water.

When rice is done, rinse and add to it the tuna, capers, olive oil, stir.

Take the peppers and stuff them, really pressing the rice down so they are nice and full :)

TIP: do little incisions on side of peppers with a fork or knife, so the skin cooks nice and soft and rice absorb flavor better.

Put them on a ceramic or glass dish in the oven, let cook AT LEAST one hour. The more they cook, the sweeter they get.

Take them out and, VERY IMPORTANT, let sit few hours before you eat them. Even better, cook them at night for the next day. The more they sit, the better they taste!

Pepper distruction! Lol

Buon appetito :)

I'm not a little girl anymore... and a special dish

Haven't posted much lately. Boooo!My mom is here and I'm taking her around South Beach, enjoying the ocean and trying to survive the heat lol.

I've been away from Milan (my hometown) almost 6 years now, and I adapted to different habits and lifestyle, so it's pretty funny when she comes visiting because she's so used to the city and she says I live like a wild person, little messy, eat whenever, don't take care of the house much lol.

My body as well changed significantly, since I used to be very skinny. "You look so American!" my mom realized :) but deep inside I'm always Italian, I'll never lose my roots, background and culture. I love how I could embrace the two words.

One thing I notice when you grow up away is that your parents and family are left little behind with what's happening in your life. They know you for the years spent together in the past, but the present is quite different and can be hard for them to understand how you changed. It's life and it's normal, we grow up and slowly we develop a different relationship with our parents, more adult and independent.

I'm having a good time, fortunately me and my mom get along most of the times ;) She's so cute and I make fun of her english. Like tonight, I recorded when she says "awful" lol too sweet!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYmfAjrK6jA]

We don't go out to eat often, why bother when she cooks things I LOVE like this

Curry chicken!!! With brown rice. SO FREAKING DELICIOUS

How to make it:

Get chicken breasts (one for each person), red onion, olive oil, curry powder, green apple, milk.

Cut the chicken in pieces and make it cook in a large pan with a tbsp olive oil and a sliced onion slowly, till cooked. Add curry powder and let it cook some more. Then add a little milk, stir and let it sit at least few hours... That's the secret! So the chicken really absorb the flavors. You can cook it in the morning and eat it for dinner like we did! Also, to make it even more tasty, you can add few crushed pistachios on top. Have some brown rice on the side if you wish ;)

Happy tummy!

Ciaoooo

WHICH DIET??

I remember the first time I decided to start a diet, I was 16 and someone at a Model agency told me I would have looked better few pound less. How can you say something like this to a 16 year old girl? That was bad enough to make me flip out about my body image. I found a book my mom had at home: the ATKINS Diet. That has been my first diet ever. From the beginning I felt dieting as a torture. Wait, so no more bread and Nutella??? Oh Lord...

Anyway, ten years later I'm still dealing with food control but I got over the concept of "diet". The way I see it now it's either "Competition" or "Maintenance" clean eating. The main difference between the two is:

-overall calories (C is approx HALF of M)

-amount of carbs and fat (more carbs and fat in M)

- weighting food (I don't generally weight food in M, just few items)

If I want to get really shredded, from M I can gradually switch to C and get results in few weeks. The way I'm eating in M is always healthy (I never eat crap, the worst I can have is sushi or pizza, and it happens very rarely). I have more carbs as in pumpkins, brown rice, yams, rice cakes etc and fat from nut butters, pistachios, avocado. Alternating between the two plans makes me healthier, recover better, get stronger and I enjoy my life more.

So it's important you decide first what you're looking to get from a dietary regimen and how long, how strict you wanna keep it. It has to be a lifestyle, and it must fit your routine. Remember life is not black or white, go hard or go home ALL the times. Start with something reasonable, that you can follow and make adjustments on the way. Small changes are what make the difference in the end!

It's easy to read articles and magazines, print out diet plan after diet plan and sticking to none. I know many people do that... Also, do not get frustrated if someone is doing great and you're doing miserable on the same diet. Food choices are very individual.

My advice is: pick few healthy items you LIKE and make your own diet. Practice portion control on carbs and fat, be free to have as many veggies as you want and enough good lean protein. Stay away from too much fruit, processed food, saturated fat and sugars. Keep things as simple as you can while being creative in the kitchen. Do not eat out too often!

Green smoothie

Lately it's been so hot here in Miami that I feel the urge to consume more raw and refreshing food. I like to have a smoothie in the afternoon, after my long hours at the beach (I know, what a hard life lol). Today I did an experiment: since I had spinach in my fridge and I wasn't gonna cook them anytime soon, I thought of blending a bunch with a scoop of vanilla protein powder, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, a dash of wheat bran, stevia and vanilla extract, some water and ice

It turned out REALLY GOOD! It even matched my nails lol

Calories should be not over 250. Perfect snack, along some carrots and peanut butter. Omg peanut butter tastes good just on everything.

Talk soon!

Homemade Protein Nut butter (peanut free)

I'm so excited about my last invention! I always wanted a nut butter that: contained a mixture of nuts, especially pistachios

didn't have peanuts in it

didn't have sugar (no honey, molasses, sugar cane etc) nor added oils

contained protein

wasn't a mess to stir

didn't cost a heck of money

So I made MINE! I went to the store and looked for some bags of salted, mixed nuts. My favorite are cashews, almonds and pistachios and I found the perfect one

I bought two of these (10 oz, 283 gr each) and thrown them in the blender. I started to chop them and slowly added a cup of egg whites and a pinch of stevia, kept blending for few seconds, stopping to stir the whole thing with a spoon. It was still very dense and thick so I added about 1/4 cup of almond milk. Blended again and stopped to stir few times.

It came out a paste that I poured into a Whole Foods container.

Best part was CLEANING the blender ahah! Mmmmm....

D E L I C I O U S.

I dipped in some carrots and voitlà, great snack. I haven't measured the macros yet, but I guess 2 tbsp would be a good amount to get some protein and healthy fats. You can also do a cocoa version by adding approx 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa, or 1/4 coconut oil instead of almond milk to make it even smoother. You can play with other nuts of your choice, add flaxseeds etc. TRY IT!

Know your "stabilizing food"

I've been writing training and diet journals since 2004. I almost never read them back and sometimes I ask myself what's the point of keep writing tons of diaries which are then stored and never opened. But yesterday I wanted to go through some of them to analyze my "diet patterns". I switched diet throughout the years, sometimes for the better sometimes for the worst (getting too skinny or eating too randomly or too much of certain things), but I found that, in times where I felt great mentally and physically, there were some food as "constants", which I was eating daily and they were "stabilizing" my mood, cravings and overall hunger. It looks like they are: Some sort of starchy vegetables, like winter squashes or sweet potatoes

Anything nut butter (but NOT peanut butter)

Oatmeal

And veggies, of course, but not lots of them.

Whenever I tried to diet without those, in a matter of days I was craving all sort of things, especially sweets. The interest thing is that I don't need like 2 cups of oatmeal or 3 sweet potatoes or a half jar of almod butter... I noticed that even a normal amount, like half cup or half potato or a tsp of nut butter, trigger a response in my brain, which says like "thanks, got it, I feel good even if its little". Call it sensory satisfaction, portion control went well lol... But it works. Yesterday I had the proof of it, had them all in right amounts, and felt SATISFIED. Its been so long I haven't feel constantly hungry, wanting to stuff myself. And I felt so good, much lighter and alert. Even when I used to fill my belly with fibers and vegetables, I wasn't satisfied, almost noxious at times. I'm not suggesting find a food you like and have a little (ah ah! Too easy ;) no cookies, ice cream or fries my friends) but find those two or three healthy items that you know you CAN control (I can't control peanut butter, so that's out) and have them daily. They should come from carbs or fat, nutrients we tend to avoid, which on the long run we inevitably crave for. Even when I was leaning out to the extreme, I NEVER had to renounce to my half cup oats or tsp of nut butter.

On a side note, reading my old diaries was quite interesting. The weirdest thing is, depending on what I was eating during a certain time of my life, I can recall all sort of memories-totally not related with food. For example, if you ask me "what were you doing May 2006, from the 10th to the 20th?" I can give you a pretty good idea of my mood, feelings, who I was seeing etc. Just by reading my diet!

This tells you how much mind and food are connected. I think in the future I see myself not only as a personal trainer but a psychologist or life coach lol. If you make peace with your mind, everything else follows. If your mind is stuck, undernourished, constantly deprived, stressed, get ready to crash, soon or later.

I'm halfway my recipe ebook, I'm making sure it will be special and with not the same old "you find it everywhere online" stuff. Ok done for now, talk soon!

PS: attaching some fun shots from 23rd May at Rehab, Vegas... party hardy!!! :P

           

Ready to Vegas and day 6

The other day I did a shoot for fitness here in Miami Beach at South Point Park, the crew was so nice and I had fun. We took this pic after I had my make up and hair done

Isn't it funny?? It reminds me one of those "Benetton" commercials, with so much diversity in just one picture... the hair stylist (HairbyNato) with all those tattoos, the make up artist (Ruth Tufaite) with short hair and braces :)

Anyway, today is day 6 of SROCD (Survivor ROC Diet) and surprisingly I feel "good". Well honestly doing legs this morning kind of sucked, I can tell the energy is not the same at all. Once your body adapts to having good dense, complex carbs (mainly mine were winter squashes) and you take them out completely, it is "painful"physically and mentally, but at the same time I'm excited because I like to experiment. I can tell my body is shrinking! I'm not weighting myself because I know with cycling calories I can experience lots of weight changes from one day to the other, so I'll wait and take the skin and mirror as referrals. Yesterday and today I didnt went all the way back down to 1000 cals a day, I kept few hundreds more. Still, very low to me.

As long as I'm not training heavy, I can handle the low calories. I might feel little weak during the day and hungry, but it comes in "waves": when my body feels the caloric deficit, start to protest, making me nervous and weak, then when "he"sees I dont listen, calms down and shut it...then try again to protests etc.

Tomorrow I'm leaving for Vegas! I love/hate that place. I love it because I feel in Wonderland, I get to go out at night and have most of the times SERIOUS fun... but I also hate it because it messes me up, tires me like hell and makes my training miserable! But just few days is perfect.

I just need to pack "smart", bring the food I absolutely need (my wheat bran for example!!!!) and I'll be fine. I have the tendency to overworry about food when I travel. I'm afraid I wont find the right things to eat etc...then once I'm there I realize I'm not on MARS, there is chicken, vegetables, eggs everywhere lol. Food gives me "security" in a way. I can be without a gym, but I can't be without clean food.

Talk soon! Going to catch some good zzz... I'll miss it the next days, I know that!!!!

Summer time and update SROCD day 3, 4

I'm loving my time off school, I found new modeling opportunities, I've been shooting, meeting new people, planning the next months to come and of course keeping up with my new experiment, the SROCD (Survivor ROC Diet). I really love to take pictures, if I could I'd just train, cook, tan and do photoshoots :) (which is not so far from reality lol). Been practicing my dramatic home-poses!

Anyway I wanted to write a quick update about this different diet- approach I'm trying myself, and today, after 3 and 1/2 days of 50gr carbs and about just 1000 cals a day (less than 50% my regular diet) I got to have a break and change things up.

In the beginning I thought I could do 2 weeks straight on 1000-1200 cals a day. In fact that's possible...if you lay in bed all day, sort of. I could handle the very low calories, but getting a good workout was out of question, and "mediocre" training  is just against my nature. I' ve done 1 shoulder workout, 2 deep stretching/foam rolling and 1 decent cardio up till today. But the diet change was really drastic, so I thought I was OK to focus more on the "non-eating" rather than training. For those of you who wonder why the hell am I doing this: trying out a new plan to lose about 5 lbs in 2 weeks, whatever occasion you are getting ready for.

Today is day 4 and this afternoon I'm going to start a 24 hrs higher carbs phase. Am I giving up? NO. Am I going for a huge refeed? NO. I just read Lyle Mc Donald's UD2 ebook and it has been quite inspiring. I knew he's such a meticulous expert and I've been reading some of his articles for a while now. The way he discusses fat loss/muscle gain topics is so scientific and precise, it makes really lots of sense. I'm not doing exactly what he suggests (like having a 6000 cals carb load or following his training protocol) but honestly I see his point in having a higher carbs and cals window between 5 and 24hrs period. Plus I REALLY miss a heavy workout, and that surely will help my energy levels and hunger pain. I took lots of notes when reading and wrote down my adjustments ;)

If this higher carbs day is enough, I still will go back to 1000 cals a day, if not, I'd have couple days at 1600 for example, then back at 1000 for 3 and 1/2 days.

I still want to write an ebook about my experience once I'm done, I'm already writing not just the food I'm eating, but sensations, feelings, training, supplements, calculations to know exactly how many fat, carbs, protein and overall cals I need (and how you can do the same). It's gonna be not just effective but very interesting ;)

Already dreaming about carbs... this is mostly what my stomach have seen these days

lol!

Survivor ROC Diet. Day 1, 2

So the other day I ended up with too many rice cakes and more than 70gr of peanut butter... Crap! I knew it :( The guilt was pretty bad, so much so I decided to create and try a superstrict regimen of 2 weeks- just before my trip to Italy, so that I can get there on top shape, maybe little skinnier to match the italian population? Lol. I'm gonna be on the "Survivor ROC Diet". Its a diet variation I invented to lose quickly few pounds-mostly water and fat. I decided to call it this way because if I don't die by following it...I'll be pretty much a survivor lol. Its very strict, and it requires iron focus and will. Those are the guidelines:

Calories are 1000-1200 a day No cardio Just weights and stretching

The reason why there is no cardio is because the calories are very low already and beside the weights and stretching, you wont need to burn more cals. Remember this is a 2 WEEKS hardcore diet plan, not a lifestyle one.

I started yesterday and I was feeling pretty weak already. Good sign and major "suck it up" philosophy here. I think it would be a great ebook, let's see how I do. Will keep you posted and take pics and measurements as well. I like to be my own guinea pig!  ;)

(And no, I'm not on Paleo!)

A "not-so-strict" day

If you commit not to cheat, soon or later you'll have to deal with cravings a way or another, anyway. Its not that we-not food cheaters- never have cravings. Its human to desire different texture, flavor, smell... If someone tells you he never changes his diet or never craves anything, either is a robot or is lying. Most probably the second one ;)The problem is...how to deal with cravings without messing your diet up? I hear tons of stories when it comes to cheating. The one that hit my nerves best is "oh a bite of that won't kill you". My reactions are, in the following order: Fuck off (but is not verbally expressed). No it won't kill me, but is not life or death we are talking about here. I rather DON'T have a bite, because a bite just tickle my taste buds. And once they wake up to new/forgotten flavors, believe me, I can eat the bite, the whole thing and YOU in it. Its like telling an ex alcoholic to have a sip. I had a pretty tense relationship with food, if I have something out of my routine, I wanna be the one to decide it, not doing it just because YOU said SO. Yeah I'm feisty and so done with this comment lol.

Anyway, the title of this post is "a not-so-strict day" because that's how it was for me today. I really craved something different and I know it was unjustified. Haven't been low carbs or cals, so what the heck. I really had to play smart. People deal with cravings 3 ways:

Wait they pass, had lots of veggies or fibers (often times works).

BINGE either with healthy food (hey I'm just carbing up! Whole grains are healthy right? Like brown rice and honey and...RIGHT?) Or with whatever CRAP they dreaming about (NEVER my case, I can't stand sugars and junk, I can't stand them going into my body, period.)

Third way is NEGOTIATION.

Not talking about moderation, not talking about 1/10 of snicker bar won't hurt kinda bullshit. Its finding something STILL "approved" in your diet that can fight off the craving. It can mean adding few hundreds cals more for a day, from something you LIKE but still not totally wrong. And if you know me, you know I'm talking PEANUT BUTTER.

I wanted to see how much I really craved it, without measuring it FIRST. So I weighted the jar before, 630gr. I ate my dose and re-weighted the jar, 560gr. So My craving was 70gr (412 cals, 35gr fat). You see why I cant have it on a regular basis... :(

I also tried out SOCCA. Its nothing but the classic italian "farinata", a gluten free type of flatbread made from chick peas flour. I kept the oil out and just made it with a cup flour, a cup water, salt and pepper. Came out good!

Baked in the over 10min at 450F. I ate a salad with it

Just those 2 "extras" MADE it. I didn't have to overstuff myself with fibers and look like a pregnant hippo, nor to go all out with a refeed I didn't need at all. You gotta know when to just suck it up, or when to compromise.

Now I just need to hide that damn peanut butter. Lol

One of those days

It's just one of those days. It usually happens in the middle/end of the week, after several sessions of hard-non-stop training. I need a SLOW day. It's not just a day off, but a VERY OFF one. I'm sore (yesterday's deadlifts killed me) and really feel like doing nothing. I'm tired. I used to freak out on these days (I'cant be doing NOTHING!!!) but now I just take it. It's my body getting recovery to a higher degree. It's asking me just to take it easy. I don't like these days because I end up feeling lazy and hungry and bored. But I also learned its not an excuse, but a needed break. So mind must shut it. I just want the night to come, go to sleep and wake up full of energy again. Usually these days I feel also soft and fat...sometimes I get the crazy thought of wanting to be "skinny" again- I dont like to feel my legs and arms fuller, my abs less cut. But then I remember I'm just in phase 2, the one of growth and "there is not only body fat to think about in life" approach. I have better focus, energy and mood. I feel strong as hell. I'm not bloated. Food is more and I'm still lean. It's just under my eyes that things look always different. I'm hard to understand. Hard to satisfy. If im shredded im too small, if im more muscular im too big. Ahhhhhh.......

Anyway, let's play some fun stuff. If I was fat and careless, today I'd have  eaten:

pizza with mozzarella di bufala, like this one

banana and crunchy peanut butter

bread with walnuts (and honey too)

Ritter Sport chocolate. The one with the  biscuit in it! missing here

Food porn ! Make you eat with your eyes ;)

What I had INSTEAD:

oats, eggwhites and kabocha squash.

turkey, avocado, steamed veggies.

ricecakes, eggwhites, cashews.

steak, steamed veggies, wheat bran cooked in almond milk.

800ml circa water kefir.

Anyway. Tomorrow is another day.