guest post! susan e.

by Janetha on September 19, 2009

in meals

Hey Meals and Moves fans! My name is Susan, I blog over at a little place called The Great Balancing Act. Over there I talk about balancing out healthy eating and active living with a busy life! Today though, I’m going to talk about mostly “moves” with a few “meals” thrown in at the end for good measure ;)

One thing I love about Janetha is that she’s a girl who loves to lift, and loves to lift heavy. When I first got off my lazy butt and into the gym, I had no clue what to do with the dumbbells and barbells in the weight room. So, I’d do my cardio thang, put in some moderate effort on the machines and call it a day.

While I was losing weight this way, I noticed my body wasn’t really changing. It looked the same, just smaller. Enter weight lifting, or more precisely, this book.


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The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler. I picked up this book on a recommendation. At first it was really intimidating. Just the thought of trying to adjust the squat rack, let alone do a weighted squat, scared me! I thought for sure the hockey players who occupied the weight room would make fun of me, and that I’d leave with a few bruised toes (and ego).

Regardless, I embarked on the six month weight lifting program detailed inside. It started off light, with only three, 30 minute full-body workouts a week. Each “stage” ran approximately 4-6 weeks, with a week of rest in between. It focused on compound, full-body workouts. Taking full advantage of moves like the squat, lunge, press, row and push up. The intensity level increased with every stage, and to my amazement, so did my strength.

In fact, my strength grew by leaps and bounds. I started the program with no muscle base, squatting with a 15 lb body bar. By the end, I was doing 80 lbs.

My body shape changed too. My shoulders became sculpted, arms firm, legs strong and powerful, and even a couple abs peeked out!

The book isn’t all “moves” though. There are some “meals” as well. The authors clearly state that it’s hard to put on muscle when you’re eating in a calorie deficit. It makes sense, technically its muscle “gain.” There are so many benefits to that gain though. Besides making you stronger and firmer, muscle burns more calories at rest. The more muscle you have, the more you’ll burn in your daily activities. There’s also the “after burn,” when you body keeps working even after you put down the weights.

But to see all this glorious muscle you’re gaining, you’ve got to get rid of some of the squishy fat that surrounds it. That’s where diet comes in. Personally, I think this is all very subjective. Different diets work for different people. Most experts say that diets high in protein and low in simple carbohydrates stimulate fat loss. Personally, a diet made up of 50% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 25% fat is what worked best for me. I know a 40-40-20 ratio is what works for Janetha, and that’s great too!

The authors also advocate protein drinks immediately after lifting to help along recovery and muscle growth. Personally, this has worked for me. I just feel better with a thick and balanced protein shake after an intense lifting session.

So here’s where the pics and recipes come in! (as if I’d leave you without any ;) ) Here are some of my favourite protein shakes :)

Chocolate Banana Almond


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    1 cup skim milk
    1 scoop chocolate whey powder
    Half a banana
    2 spoonfuls plain yogurt
    1 tbsp almond butter
    6 ice cubes

    Vanilla Berry Blast

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    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 1 scoop vanilla whey powder
    • Half a banana
    • Several handfuls frozen berry mix

Tropical Green Smoothie

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    1 box natural coconut water (1.5 cups)
    2 scoops Vega Smoothie Infusion*
    1 cup frozen papaya chunks
    * I can’t do raw green smoothies for digestive reasons, but this would be great with spinach and vanilla protein powder!


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    Now what are you still doing here? Get into that weight room and under the squat rack woman!! Happy lifting!!
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Julie September 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Nothin like a good weight lifting sesh to make a girl feel strong like bull :) great post girly!

Leah @ simply fabulous September 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I love this guest post! Thanks for the book rec. I may just look for it on amazon tomorrow! I’ve been lifting more and more over the past 6 months but not consistent enough. I do enjoy it tho, and sometimes need the push to get more serious about it. Thanks!

Angharad (Eating for England) September 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Great post! It’s so nice to see where people get there “meals” and “moves” inspiration from! Starting to incorporate weight lifting into my workout routine was literally a big “ohhh now I get it” moment for me. My body changed so much more in three months than it had done in the 15 months I’d been doing cardio for.
Hope you’re having a great weekend!

ksgoodeats September 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I love lifting weights! Makes me feel so strong :)

Love the smoothie recipes! The first one in particular sounds really delicious!

inmytummy September 19, 2009 at 4:13 pm

I just started using this book (for the second time, I abandoned it in Stage 2 for some reason about a year ago) last week. Hopefully I’ll have the same results!

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) September 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Hi Susan! I’m so glad you did this post. My body totally changed when I started hitting the big-boy part of the weight room. When I see women with pink weights in their hands I just want to run and grab them out of their hands!! Such a waste of their time!

Julia September 19, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Those smoothies look really delish, especially the tropical green smoothie…YUM!

Andrea@WellnessNotes September 19, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Great info! Thanks! I’ll have to look for that book!

I have to agree, nothing changed my body like lifting weight more seriously. But I know that I still could do a better job and challenge myself more by mixing things up…

Thanks also for the shake recipes; they sound great!

mom September 19, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Hey there, you are SO right lifting really does make a difference! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and those yummy shake recipes, what no peach blast!! xoxo

WholeBodyLove September 19, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Since my workouts will all have to be indoors this winter, I have been looking into some options. This seems like a great way to revamp my routine. I assume the book is available in The States as well. I’ll have to google it and see where it can be found!

Courtney September 20, 2009 at 12:46 am


Tiffany S. September 20, 2009 at 9:28 am

Great post! I agree the way to see results is through weights.

I’ll have to get some of that Vega powder!

L. September 20, 2009 at 11:30 am

interesting post! great to read. i’ve seen that very book at my gym and been intrigued but now i’m going to have to try and buy it.

the calorie deficit point has definitely struck a chord with me.

thanks for the great guest post!

L. x

Meredith September 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I’ve seen that book before and have been curious about it! Thanks for the review :)

Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian) September 20, 2009 at 2:35 pm

ohhh i love this post – lifting has always been hard for me. it takes a lot of motivation and such to do it, but i always feel so much stronger when i do. i might have to pick up this book for more motivation. however, the fact that i can rationalize a smoothie after lifting helps too :)

Emily (The Experimentarian) September 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Great post susan! I’m working on lifting more, but i am the cardio queen, so it’s kind of hard for me to get into it. You and Janetha are fantastic inspiration though! xoxo

Nicci@NiftyEats September 20, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I miss lifting, i need to work on doing it more with my workouts. I think I’m going to check out this book too. great info. thanks for sharing

broccolihut September 20, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Yay protein shakes! I got some good ideas from this post..thanks!

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