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Helping a gluten-intolerant pescetarian girl pack on some muscle!

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by emanphx, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    Hi folks,

    I've got a really close friend of mine who is an avid runner (she runs 5x per week, around 5 miles each day, first thing in the mornings), 27 years old, measures 5'7" and 114lbs. I never really hear about women being classified as ectomorphs and such, but I'd say that she qualifies - small bones, hard-gainer, very thin, etc.

    She's been asking me for diet and exercise advice as she wants to pack on some muscle, and I've shared as much as I've learned through these forums over the last year and a half (which is a LOT, I love this place and the people here!). The exercise portion I'm pretty set on, she's only got dumbbells to use at the moment (up to 20lbs), but that should keep her going for a while with shoulder presses, shoulder raises, some added weight for squats, lunges, chest presses, etc, almost all of the basics. Not sure what to do for back other than rows, though - will have to check about a pull-up bar or something, and maybe 20lb DBs would be okay for deadlifts for now, not sure about her strength at the moment.

    The diet portion, however, is a lot trickier! As the subject of the thread indicates, she is:

    * Gluten-intolerant, so no wheat/oat products whatsoever, so good carbs are a bit difficult to come up with other than sweet potates and brown rice.

    * Pescetarian (vegetarian but does eat fish). She *may* be willing to eat chicken, but that's not definite.


    She eats mostly raw fruit and veg right now with some crab meat once in a while, but is only consuming approximately 1000 calories right now (if that!).

    Does anyone have some good ideas on other carbs that she could consume, or sources of protein (she hates canned tuna, unfortunately!) that she could consume during the day? My plan is to get her on 6 meals per day:

    8am: Protein/carbs after she runs (30g of each). Thinking egg-white omelettes, but not sure of a good carb to go with this..

    10:30am: Good fats (natural peanut butter, almonds, etc for 15g of fat)

    12:30pm: Protein/carb lunch (30g of each). Sweet potato for carbs, not sure about protein if no tuna or canned chicken.

    3:00pm: Another set of good fats (15g)

    6:00pm: Protein/dextrose shake immediately PWO (30g protein 60g dextrose)

    7:30pm: Final protein/carb meal (30g protein/60g carbs). Sweet potatoes or brown rice for carbs, not sure for protein.


    Do those numbers sound about right given her stats? Any recommendations for other protein/carb sources are very much appreciated, as well as any other advice anyone wants to share. I'll see if she wants to do weekly/monthly pics as I've been doing in case any other women on here are in the same boat.

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. Butterflyer

    Butterflyer Well-Known Member

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    Hi there!:)

    Beans would give her carb and protein, and they have plenty of calories too. There *all kinds* of fun beans! Beans go great with eggs for breakfast, I think.

    White potatoes are not a bad carb source, especially when you have limited good carb sources. Also, corn and cornmeal. Cornmeal makes good breakfasts too.

    I used to hear that millet was ok if you were gluten intolerant, but recently I've read that a lot of the grains that were supposedly ok actually are not. Do you know anything about that?

    Is she ok with milk? As a pescetarian, does she avoid dairy?

    Check to make sure the protein shakes are really gluten free. Has she tried them already? No problems with them? Some trace ingredients in commercially prepared food products are not necessarily on the label, or at least not in words many of us would understand. Sometimes a person with a sensitivity or intolerance is still affected, though.

    There seem to be a lot of good books out now for gluten intolerant individuals, cookbooks too. There was very little 10 years ago. Health food stores tend to have a lot of alternatives for gluten intolerant people and also lots of books.

    As long as you can get her eating more calories and weight training, she should be able to put on muscle nicely.:tu:
     
  3. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    Sounds a little bit tricky.

    I didn't check the calories. I'm guessing she has a goal weight maybe 125 to 140 pounds? So she probably requires between 1850 and 2200 calories?

    Deadlifts with 20 pound dumbbells is better than no deadlifts at all. She can do them with one leg when the dumbbells get too light for her. Same with squats. I really like the dumbbell bench step-up and would recommend it to everyone.

    Does she eat dairy products? A natural go-together with eggs is cottage cheese. And if you blend it in the blender and mix it with spices, you can't even really taste it.

    Rice is a nice easy carb. Quinoa is also a fantastic carb source. It's higher in protein than any other grain I can think of, is a good source of iron, and is gluten free.

    Soy is another thing to consider. Options include tofu, soy milk, and soy granules, plus the ready made veggie products.

    Her diet looks like it's pretty low in iron; that's another reason I'd agree with the recommendation for beans. :tu: Sardines are great as well, but I'm guessing if she doesn't like tuna, she might not go for those either. :p Her B12 could be low too if she eats very few animal products.
     
  4. vertigo88

    vertigo88 Active Member

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    I happened to be in a supplement/heath food store this afternoon and there was an entire wall of gluten free products. A few of the grain based crackers had pretty nice macro breakdowns. It would be a handy way to increase carbs and avoid gluten. Lentils, same as the bean comment above would be a great source too. Easy to make salads out of lentils and beans. Tasty too.
     
  5. nksmith

    nksmith Well-Known Member

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    My girlfriend is Gluten intolerant as well. Are you sure she can't eat oats?

    Celiac's and gluten intolerance are often not synonymous with each other. They certainly can be though.

    We eat protein pancakes made with buckwheat, egg whites, protein powder, blueberries, yogurt, and milk. They taste great and can be a great breakfast choice.
     
  6. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone! I've passed along all the suggestions, and she's trying to stick to the gluten-free cereal she's been having breakfast, as she's always only had cold breakfasts and thinks of warm food as being only appropriate for lunch and dinner. Yeah, I'm trying to get her out of that thinking, it's hard enough to work around the gluten intolerance, let alone heat intolerance! :) I suppose hard-boiled eggs would work for protein (with removed yolks) and she could prepare a bunch at a time, any reasons not to do this? I've looked into oats actually being gluten-free (provided they're not mixed with any wheat grains or prepared no the same lines), we'll give that a shot too.

    To answer some questions - yes, dairy products are absolutely fine, so eggs, milk, cheese, etc is all okay. She did used to drink protein shakes and didn't have any adverse reaction to them, so that should still be okay.

    Thanks for the protein pancake recommendation, definitely sounds good! Will try to make her some this weekend and see what she thinks (and perhaps gradually help warm her up to hot breakfasts being acceptable..?)

    She wants me to help her analyze her current diet, so she's keeping track of everything she eats this week - I'm pretty sure she's taking in less than 1,000 calories and indeed missing a number of essential vitamins and minerals, will report back on what I find. It's pretty fun being asked to help someone else who's serious about making changes and who wants to live as healthily as possible!

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  7. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    I just met up with my friend last night, and she gave me a list of the foods she's been eating. I punched them into fitday, and am shocked by the numbers -- she's only consuming around 400 calories per day at the moment. She just eats a tiny bit of a variety of foods throughout the day (as in, 1/4 of an apple, 1/4 of a banana, 1/8 of a cucumber, etc). Given that she runs 5 miles six days a week, she doesn't even have any calories left to burn for her daily activities (you know, like living and breathing!).

    At this point I'm not at all concerned about whether or not she can bulk up, I just want to get her living healthily and make sure that her body isn't constantly in survival mode. I've already reassured her that she doesn't have to worry about getting fat *at all* by eating more of the right kinds of good, whole foods. Any other tips to share on helping her up her calories to a reasonable number (ultimately probably around 2,000 or so given her activity level and goal to put on some muscle)? Definitely going to aim to do it very gradually and have set meals rather than just snacking on a bit of fruit and trail mix here and there as she's currently doing. She says that she never feels hungry with the way she's eating now, but I'm nearly positive that's just because her body has adapted to having so little food, no doubt she would feel much healthier and more energetic with more good food.


    Thanks everyone!
     
    #7 emanphx, Jun 5, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  8. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    I'm hoping to make these this weekend, but can't find an exact recipe with the ingredients you listed -- can you give me the quantities you use and any special instructions? I've only ever made straight-out-of-the-box pancakes before :) Thanks a lot!

     
  9. nksmith

    nksmith Well-Known Member

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    I can't give you exact numbers, but I'll do my best to get as close as I can.

    I usually make them for the two of us, but I end up eating more than she does. The recipe is probably about...

    1. Between 3/4 cup and 1 cup of buckwheat
    (sometimes we will use ground oats and/or a mixture of the two)

    2. ~5-6 egg whites

    3. ~2-3 Tablespoons of vanilla yogurt
    (have used cottage cheese as well)

    4. 1 Scoop Protein Powder (tastes great without it too)

    5. 1/4 Cup fat free milk

    6. Splash of Vanilla and cinnamon/nutmeg to taste

    I usually adjust the thickness of the batter with either milk or water. We always end up adding random ingredients to them as well. Sometimes we'll use blueberries, chopped nuts, peanut butter, dark chocolate chips, or flax too. Whatever's laying around.

    I'll also use a few sprays of the butter spray and sugar-free syrup. This usually makes a pretty large batch. Sometimes I'll even have leftovers. You can adjust the recipe to how much you want to eat. Just fool around with it and you'll start to develop what you think is a good recipe. This will work and taste great though.

    Have fun and good luck!
     
  10. zkat

    zkat Well-Known Member

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    Hey there. I am a female runner/soccer player that is Celiac. The diet does present some challenges, but it is possible. Other than Gluten, are there any other foods that she cannot tolerate? I am Gluten, Legume (peanuts, soy and all beans) and mostly dairy free, as I have intolerances to all of them.

    Most people that are gluten intolerant avoid oats due to cross contamination. Oats and wheat are stored in the same silos unless you get a brand that is grown in dedicated fields and stored in dedicated silos. I believe McCann's steel cut oats are certified GF.

    It sounds like she is not getting enough of anything to eat. Something that is fairly common with Celiac is a person gets to the point where they don't eat anything because they don't know what they can eat or their stomach has hurt for so long, they are scared to eat. A typical day for me is the following:

    2 eggs and banana for breakfast (you could do an egg white omlet with spinach, cheese and mushrooms)
    6 oz carrots and 1 0z cheese for snack
    3 oz protien, salad, avacado and tomato and 1 serving of fruit for lunch
    2 T. sunflower seed butter and fruit for snack
    3 oz protien, 1 serv. vegetable and 1 serving fruit for dinner

    When I am training for any distance beyond the 10K (Half marathon or Marathon) I truly struggle with eating enough carbs to fuel my runs. I will add in the Gluten free prepackaged foods to help - nut thins, corn chips, GF mac and Cheese, etc. I also will make my own gluten free bread that is very yummy and easy. I make pancakes out of coconut flour (Bob's Red Mill coconut flour has the recipe on the back) I also eat a lot more rice. Since she eats limited meat, some great protien sources would be beans, canned salmon has a better taste and texture than canned tuna, nut butters, or nuts in general.

    I am currently running 20-25 miles per week, plus I play 1 soccer game a week in the summer. I keep my calories around 1400 -1500 on off days and add 80 calories for each mile I run. I am 5 ft. 6.5 inches and weigh 130 (don't know my BF %, but it is low enough that I have an outline of abs, my guess is 17-18%)


    Let me know if you need further guidance, I have a wealth of information on the subject.

    Kat.
     
  11. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    Thanks a lot for the recipe - we gave them a try last week. She was hesitant about eating the buckwheat because of "wheat" being in the name, but fortunately the box itself stated that the product was gluten free.

    The first batch didn't get very fluffy at all, so added a bit of milk and about 3 tablespoons of yogurt and they fluffed up a lot more. Mixing in some fruit made them taste really good. Thanks again for the suggestion and recipe!
     
  12. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    Hi Kat,

    Thanks a lot for your reply and your own meal plan - I've passed along all the info you sent. She got a bit ill last weekend, perhaps from something she ate while out of town, but is pretty much back to normal now. She has been making an effort to eat more, I'll have to punch in the numbers and see how many calories she's at now. She's still undoubtedly quite low, but she says that she's never really hungry and can't force herself to eat more food.. any tips? She's also sticking to a lot of her "comfort foods", such as rice cakes with strawberry preserves on them, and some GF pretzels. I figure at this point it's best she eat anything, even if those aren't really ideal foods in any sense of the word, so instead I just try to encourage her to get protein at every meal and such. She's been snacking on almonds between the big meals so that's progress, and she's been eating chicken or salmon with her salads for breakfast and dinner.

    I know it took me a while to get used to the amount of food I was consuming when I was bulking on SUP2, especially post-workout, but after about 2 months of that program I finally got used to it and most days I would be wanting even more food (despite how nearly-sick the same amount of food made me feel at the beginning of the program!)


    Thanks again!
     

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