Becoming Wonder Woman: How to Eat, Train, and Think Like a Superhero
Whether you like it or not, you are a superhero. Better said, the people around you expect heroic actions from you every day. Unfortunately, most of you aren’t recognized for your acts of heroism; it’s simply your “job” to perform day in and day out.
And to perform like a superhero, you’ve got to treat your body like one. You’ve got to eat like one. You’ve got to train like one. You’ve got to sleep like one. No, you don’t have to exercise six hours a day, and you don’t have to go on some ridiculously strict diet. In fact, if you do, you may be staring your kryptonite dead in the eye.
Sure, movie stars subject themselves to extreme diet and exercise programs. But here’s the deal. Their gig ends. Yours does not. You need sustainability. You need to be able to endure. You need to be resilient. You need superhero-like energy.
So while you may be looking for a diet, what you’ve stumbled upon here is much more than that. It’s a guide to help you protect your body, mind, and soul and give you the energy you need to be a superhero every single day. You can think of these tools like Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth, Bracelets of Victory, Royal Tiara, Magical Sword, Sandals of Hermes, and Gauntlet of Atlas.
Start with the “Big Rocks”
Far too often, we get caught up “mowing the lawn while the house is on fire.” In other words, we easily get lost in the details or focusing on the “wrong” things. That’s why we have to do two things:
- Prioritize: Put your “big rocks” in the jar first.
- Do less: Pare it down to the essentials.
For example, if your goal is weight loss, the most important variable is energy balance. In other words, to see the number on the scale go down, you have to consistently burn more calories than you consume. Of course, there are many ways to get there, and as simple as that sounds, it’s not easy.
The take-home point is that energy balance trumps nutrient timing, meal frequency, and even macronutrient ratios when it comes to weight loss. That said, there’s still a time and place for these things, and without a doubt, finding the “right” application of each of these can have a significant impact on how many calories you eat and burn.
That’s just an example, and overall, as women, good nutrition habits and a healthy relationship with food (and ourselves) are just a couple of our “big rocks,” which also include social support, stress management, sleep hygiene, regular exercise, and self-compassion. “Please take my hand. I give it to you as a gesture of friendship and love, and of faith freely given.”
A Note on Health
No matter how you slice it, the biggest of your big rocks is your overall health. Unlike Wonder Woman, who is able to resist many forms of manipulation due to her divine origins, we are unable to expel poison and heal injuries by merging with the Earth. Stay on top of your health and wellness by scheduling the following check-ups:
- Annual physical, including a complete blood panel, thyroid, cholesterol, etc.
- Cervical screening (aka pap smear) as directed by your personal physician—usually every three years.
- Mammogram every one to two years if you’re between 45 – 50 and 74.
Depending on your family history, there are various additional screenings and/or blood work you could include, but these three are often considered the “must-haves,” and a follow-up appointment should be scheduled with your practitioner to go over your results so you can be informed of any inconsistencies and monitor these. Do not be afraid to ask questions. In fact, write down any questions you have prior to your appointment to ensure you cover all of your concerns.
A healthy physical and social environment that are supportive of your goals is critical. Wonder Woman wouldn’t be able to fight crime without the help of the Justice League. It really does take a village, and it starts with YOU.
On the other hand, you may have to remove (or meaningfully address) limiting factors and “elephants in the room,” which can rob you of your energy. These may be addictions, soul-sucking stressful jobs, and people who zap your mental, emotional, and physical energy.
Wonder Woman is highly resistant to great amounts of concussive force and extreme temperatures, that if we were subjected to, would cause us a great amount of stress. If only we all had a fancy pair of gold bangles that could deflect things flying at us from every direction.
In the real world, stress comes at us from many angles, and when we’re chronically exposed to excessive level, it can zap our energy, strength, motivation, and health. Just like Goldilocks, we need just the right amount of stress so that we can tap into and preserve our superpowers.
If you find yourself unable to manage your current level of stress, get moving in a way that reduces both physical and emotional stress—walking, meditation, and yoga come to mind. Also, learn to say “NO” and set boundaries.
For more on stress management, we have an article coming out this week on adrenal fatigue.
As women, we know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us make it a priority—with even fewer getting the recommended 7 – 9 hours between the sheets. For any woman who has had children, we never really get back into a solid routine after childbirth. Much like Wonder Woman, we are always on high alert, often seemingly sleeping with one eye open.
Whether you’re looking to get that superhero body you’ve been dreaming of or restore superhero-like energy, sleep hygiene is crucial to getting a great night’s sleep. On the other hand, not getting enough restorative sleep can negatively impact everything from appetite to carbohydrate management to hormonal regulation to energy levels to mood to headaches and more.
It should come as no surprise that stimulants like coffee and energy drinks, alarm clocks and cell phones, light exposure (both too much and too little), what and when we eat, and even exercise (at the “wrong” times) interfere with our natural sleep-wake cycle.
For more on sleep hygiene and getting a great night of restorative sleep, check out the previously mentioned article.
Imagine having to fight off Doctor Poison and Doctor Psycho running on no sleep. Pretty much impossible.
So many women have been led to believe they have to spend hours upon hours in the gym to achieve their desired body. This is simply not true. In fact, you can get a great, healthy body you can be proud of without even stepping foot in the gym. My recommendations for being able to fight your everyday battles with ease is as follows:
2. Practice yoga, mediation, or deep breathing 3 – 4 times per week.
3. Do strength training workouts 2 – 3 times per week; these can be group classes, body weight workouts, sessions with a personal trainer, circuit-style workouts, etc.
4. Be active! Don’t discount taking walks with your kids/grandkids or significant other, doing housework, mowing the lawn, doing laundry, washing dishes, etc.
Most importantly, do things you enjoy. “Human beings can’t be happy unless they have something to do—an interest in life.”
Simply put, we are our own worst critics, and the fact is that negative self-talk can tear us apart. Along those lines, self-compassion may be one of the most important, under-appreciated, and under-used tools in your superhero toolbox. According to research, self-compassion involves three parts:
• Common humanity: you realize it’s not just you; everyone has challenges, makes mistakes, and feels down and inadequate. See yourself as part of a larger whole.
• Mindfulness: a state of nonjudgmental, conscious awareness and self-observation.
When things don’t go as perfectly as planned or you make a mistake, instead of beating yourself up, treat yourself with compassion.
We should not be so quick to write off any food group, such as going low-carb or low-fat, from our diets. We should also be consistent with our feedings. At the same time, instead of being mind-controlled (i.e., counting calories) like Superman was by Maxwell Lord, we need to tap into our internal cues (for hunger and satiety) and use them to our advantage. Slowing down your eating and paying attention to what your body is telling you is going to be a more authentic way to determine “how much” than some mathematical formula.
Some folks would argue that intermittent fasting is helpful in creating a successful weight-loss program. There is certainly evidence to support this, but if you choose to experiment with this, pay close attention to how your body is responding and how you feel. In general, women are more sensitive (than men) to caloric restriction, and some women might find they don’t respond very well to intermittent fasting.
One thing that is critical for maintaining energy is to consume adequate protein. Protein should be included with each meal, and your intake should be based on your body weight. The good news is you don’t have to carry a scale or calculator around with you; the only tool you need (your hand) to estimate “how much” is connected to your body.
• 1 serving of fat = 1 thumb
• 1 serving of carbohydrates = 1 cupped hand
My recommendations for a meal plan template are as follows:
- ✓ 1 palm-sized portion of protein (e.g., 20 – 30 grams of protein)
- ✓ 1 thumb-sized portion of healthy fats (e.g., 1 ounce of nuts, 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 tablespoon of nut butters)
- ✓ 1 cupped handful of acceptable carbohydrates (e.g., 1/2 – 1 cup) [Note: the amount is generally in direct proportion to the intensity/activity levels and inversely proportionate to body fat levels.]
- ✓ At least 1 – 2 fistfuls of veggies (no limit)
This is not meant to be a map, but rather a compass. What I mean by this is that I am not giving you specific directions for how and when to eat; rather I am giving you tools necessary to create your own path, based on what is most manageable for you. And based on what 30 plus years of evidence has shown you works for you.
The closer you can match these up with your normal eating habits, the better. You can seldom go wrong if you stick to portions of protein and free veggies with some healthy fats.
Remember, when eating out, you can always choose custom meals. In addition, it may be helpful to review menus in advance, so you have a better idea of what may be available to you. That way, you’ll know what types of foods you have access to. What’s more, if there are a couple restaurants up for debate, you may be able to make a better choice based on what you know about the menu.
You may want to be cautious with dishes prepared with sauces, as these can be dense sources of often hidden oils, sugars, and preservatives.
One of my favorite ways to ensure I am meeting all my nutrition goals is to load up a big bowl with various types of lettuce and veggies, then add a lean protein like chicken, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, or turkey. I include nutrient-packed complex carbs like quinoa, barley, or beans. And for fats, I am partial to avocado and a little bit of oil and seasonings to taste.
This is not to say you have to eat salad every day. Remember—compass.
“Having power and knowing how to use it are two different things.” I do want to encourage you to listen to your body. The simple practice of awareness can be quite helpful in making this a long-term nutrition plan. The portions can be tweaked up or down based on the feedback you’re getting from your measurement scales and the cues your body is giving you.
With that being said, as part of your mindfulness/awareness practice, here are some additional questions you might consider:
- What do you notice about your habitual thoughts and behaviors?
- What do you notice about your “triggers”—both positive and negative?
- What do you notice about your environment—which cues trigger automatic behaviors?
One thing to remember: Awareness is nonjudgmental. It’s simply a game of noticing.
The following are supplements I would recommend including in your healthy diet. I would consider these “lifestyle” supplements for women designed to be used ongoing for optimal health and wellness.
• Pro-X10. I don’t know about you, but as I’ve gotten older, my digestive system isn’t quite as bulletproof as it once was. I started to notice more digestive discomfort, like gas, bloating, and even occasional constipation. Not fun. On top of that, I’ve noticed I’m a bit more sensitive to foods I used to be able to eat without batting an eye.
That’s why I think probiotics are SO important; more important, in fact, than a multi-vitamin. Let me explain why. Our bodies are full of bacteria—both good and bad—and when we carry too much bad bacteria, which becomes increasingly common as we get older, it can cause a whole host of health concerns, ranging from leaky gut to all those unwanted issues I mentioned above. All sorts of things that nobody talks about, yet we have all experienced—especially as we get older. In fact, you may be experiencing these symptoms daily, yet were unsure of how to address them.
Digestive health begins with keeping a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, and probiotics not only tackle that issue, they also promote a healthy digestive system and support a robust immune system. On top of that, a healthy balance can also have a beneficial effect on mood, brain health, appetite, and more! Basically, all of the things necessary to provide a good foundation for optimal health.
If you don’t take any other advice from this article, I implore you to consider this. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to benefit from. I just take one capsule with my breakfast and another with my dinner. Simple as that!
• Ageless Body. Ever since this product was created, I have been including it as part of my healthy diet. As a woman, I need all the help I can get in supporting stress management and keeping my hormone levels in check.
I am all about aging gracefully, but if there are natural ways I can rejuvenate my skin and maintain a youthful appearance, I am not opposed to a little help.
With this product, I have found my skin appears more firm and healthy, and I have noticed a sort-of glow that I hadn’t seen in years.
The recommendations are to take 2 capsules daily, which is what I have been adhering to for roughly 6 months; however, it is both safe and effective to include up to 4 capsules per day for maximum anti-aging support.
• MetaboGreeens 45X. Truth be told, when I was first introduced to our greens product, I didn’t think it was anything I needed. To say I was skeptical of how this product could impact my life is an understatement. I never met a fruit or vegetable I didn’t like, and I am very mindful of including massive amounts of both in my healthy diet.
Fast forward 3 months, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t include a scoop of MetaboGreens 45X as my morning beverage or add it to one of my protein shakes. You see, it’s not just a greens product, it’s a superfood antioxidant fusion that gives you the feeling of having superhero powers.
The results have been amazing. My stamina, immune system, and mental well-being has been at 110%! Most days I find myself waking before the alarm clock feeling refreshed and alert all day. This greatly improves my productivity at work and my general happiness.
• Low Carb Protein Blend. If there is one thing that has been a staple in my diet for the last 4 years, this is it. Not only that, but I regularly use Low Carb in my baked goods to kick things up a notch. My children consume protein shakes, pudding, and ice cream, all made with Low Carb Protein Blend.
Having worked in the health and fitness industry for many years, I have tried just about every protein product on the market, and I have found our protein blend to be hands down the best out there. Most other products are made with artificial ingredients, have a higher carb to protein balance, or taste like chalk. It is no secret that the Peanut Butter-Chocolate is my favorite flavor and is my regular breakfast every day. I don’t even need a fancy blender, as I just fill my shaker bottle with 8 ounces of water and 2 scoops of protein and boom.
Anyone who has been in my car knows I often carry around a shaker bottle with 2 scoops of protein powder ready to go for those times when I am just leaving the gym and don’t have time to go home, or if I am sitting in traffic and hunger strikes. We have all been there. Having Low Carb on hand not only saves me from getting hangry, but it prevents me from making a bad decision on the fly.
I use the following template to create a healthy and well-balanced meal replacement:
- ✓ Protein: 2 scoops BioTRUST Low Carb
- ✓ Vegetable: 1 – 2 fistfuls veggies (e.g., spinach, powdered greens)
- ✓ Fruit: 1/2 – 1 cupped handful fruit (e.g., berries)
- ✓ Healthy Fats: 1 thumb-sized portion healthy fats (e.g., nuts, nut butters, seeds, coconut oil)
- ✓ 8 ounces low-calorie liquid (e.g., water, unsweetened almond milk)
- ✓ Ice to preference
• IC-5. This product was originally recommended to me by our Registered Dietitian, Shawn Wells, as a means to help regulate my blood sugar. Little did I know at the time, it not only helps with insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism, but moves those carbohydrates typically stored as fat to muscle tissue. As if that weren’t reason enough to include this in my diet, I began to notice my cognitive function and performance increasing, along with my quality of sleep improving. My appetite has been diminished, and I have never felt more on my game.
The recommendations are to consume with your two highest carbohydrate containing meals of the day; however, since my diet is relatively low carbohydrate, I simply take one serving in the morning and one in the afternoon, and I feel confident I am at my peak of performance.
“Women are the wave of the future, and sisterhood is stronger than anything!”
When you look in the mirror, I want you to learn to love the person staring back at you. Be fearless. Be strong. Be proud of your curves, your freckles, your cellulite even. Let’s face it, ladies, we all have it. You are a badass superhero day in and day out, and I want you to exude this type of confidence wherever you go. Not just when you are protecting your kids from danger, but when you are unshowered, naked faced, wearing sweats. “Why would anyone want to cover up their natural beauty?” Be so loud in your expression of confidence that you drown out the naysayers, the haters, and the people spreading negativity. Be so busy getting shit done that you cannot even hear what other people are saying.
“A new journey to be started. A new promise to be fulfilled. A new page to be written. Go forth unto this waiting world with pen in hand, all you young scribes, the open book awaits. Be creative. Be adventurous. Be original. And above all else, be young. For youth is your greatest weapon, your greatest tool. Use it wisely.”