Jo vs. Dave

Podcast Episode #034: Jo vs. Dave “What Are You Eating?” Update

It's not just how much you eat that will determine your fitness results. The quality of food you choose is even more important.

Does this mean you have to become an expert chef, capable of preparing high-end food every single day?

Not at all.

As you'll see from the meal plans Jo shares, eating healthy, balance​d meals can be super-easy and very quick to prepare. It just takes a little planning...

Episode Resources:

Jo vs. Dave Fitness Challenge: Update #2

In today's podcast we'll be talking to Jo about the diet plan she's been following during this 12-week fitness challenge, AND we'll be checking in to see the progress we've both made so far!

Progress Report

Below are our progress pictures after almost 6 weeks of a very natural, healthy, sustainable approach to body transformation. Slow and steady progress!

Jo Update 2

Jo has seen a big change around her waist and in the muscle definition in her arms and legs. She has shed 6lbs of fat, going from a starting weight of 146lbs to 140lbs currently.

Dave Update

Dave has noticed more definition in his core muscles and a huge improvement in strength. He has put on 13lbs of muscle while maintaining a low body fat percentage.

Jo's Favourite Recipes

SPANISH FRITATTA

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of egg whites
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chopped spinach and/or kale
  • 1 cup of red peppers, diced
  • 1 can of tuna
Fritatta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, tuna, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat . Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes have softened and onions have caramelized, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Add egg mixture and peppers, and cook until the eggs start to set, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Place into oven and bake for about 10 minutes until eggs are set
  • Cut the frittata into wedges and enjoy!

EGG MUFFINS

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (roasted or raw)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 egg whites (you can use liquid egg whites for convenience)
Egg Muffins

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, combine all ingredients except for the egg whites.
  • Divide this mixture evenly among 12 nonstick muffin cups.
  • Pour in the egg whites, dividing them evenly among the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the whites are firm and not runny.

ROASTED GREEN BEANS

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Green Beans

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
  • On a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper, toss green beans with olive oil. Squeeze lemon halves over beans. Slice lemon halves and add to baking sheet, if desired.
  • Roast until browned and almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and stir in garlic. Roasted until fragrant, 2 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Note: The same recipe can be followed with other veggies (broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower) and don't forget to play around with other spices (turmeric, curry, onion powder etc.)

Jo's Meal Planning

As you heard in this podcast episode, Jo is all about planning ahead and batch preparing food. Here is the general meal plan she has been following during this challenge:

IMMEDIATELY UPON WAKING:

  • 16oz of warm water with juice of half a lemon (drink through a straw to protect teeth)

BREAKFAST:

  • 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal
  • Omelet (1 whole egg, 1/2 cup of egg whites, 1 cup of spinach and/or peppers)

MID MORNING SNACK:

  • 4oz of cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup of non-starchy vegetables

LUNCH:

  • 4oz of chicken or turkey
  • 1-2 cups of non-starchy vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 avocado or 1/4 cup of raw nuts

MID AFTERNOON SMOOTHIE:

  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana

DINNER:

  • 5oz of fish
  • 2 cups of roasted non-starchy veggies or salad (mainly spinach)
  • 1/2 cup of brown rice or sweet potato
  • 10 raw almonds
  • Salad dressing (1tbsp of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice with 1tbsp of olive oil )

NOTES:

  • Eliminate processed foods, sugar, hydrogenated oils, gluten, most dairy
  • Drink plenty of water (3-4 litres per day)
  • Coffee and tea are okay (not in excess)
  • Cook with coconut oil and use olive oil for dressings
  • Salad dressing (1tbsp of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice with 1tbsp of olive oil )
  • Don't be afraid to try different spices and vegetables!

Jo vs Dave Update [Full Text]

Dave: Thanks so much for joining me in this episode of the Make Your Body Work podcast. This show is all about answering your questions about healthier, happier living, but today is actually a special episode. For the first time ever, we're not going to address a listener question, and that's because we're doing an update from the Jo versus Dave fitness challenge.

If you don't know what the Jo versus Dave fitness challenge is, you can check out episode number 26 from the podcast. Just go to makeyourbodywork.com/26 and you can hear from one of my guests, Jo Dominguez. She's a fitness competitor and she's preparing for a photo shoot and she threw down a challenge. She said let's take the next couple months and we're going to really dial in our diet and track our workouts and see how good of results we can get. Who can get in the best

She said let's take the next couple months and we're going to really dial in our diet and track our workouts and see how good of results we can get. Who can get in the best shape. She basically said I'm going to kick your butt Dave. I said, there's no way and the challenge began.

We're just over half way through the challenge. In this episode, we're going to be talking about diet. Jo's going to share the types of food that she's eating, why she eats those types of food. She's going to talk about portion sizes. I'm going to touch a little bit on what I'm doing as well. Let's welcome back Jo Dominguez. Hey Jo, thanks for joining us for the third installment, second update of this Jo versus Dave fitness challenge.

Welcome Back Jo!

Jo: Hey Dave, thank you.

Dave: Basically, we're going today to focus on talking about diet. It's interesting actually because you and I were chatting about doing this update and talking about what we've been eating and what kind of results we're getting. First, maybe you can just start off by talking about how the challenge is going for you.

Jo: It's going good for the most part. I definitely struggle at times with my diet a bit or exercising. I think that's normal when you're doing something like this, right? Other than that, it's been really good. I'm feeling good about it. If I fall off the wagon, I get back on it as soon as I can. Looking forward to...

Dave: Maybe you can talk about that because I know it's encouraging for people out there to hear someone like yourself talk about falling off the wagon. Has that happened to you so far?

Jo: Oh my god, yes. A couple of times.

Dave: That was a very emphatic yes.

Sticking To A Restricted Diet

Jo: I'm not going to lie. I'm going to be honest. It has happened a couple of times. Again, I think the most difficult part for me is sticking to a restricted diet. That's because I love to cook, I love to eat. It's very hard for me not to want to try new recipes and stuff like that. That's where I struggle the most.

I noticed that when I'm doing these restricted diets, for some reason that's when I go online the most and look at recipes that I'm not supposed to be having or eating because I'm on a restricted diet obviously. I kind of tortured myself. I don't know why I do it. I did it last year when I was training for my fitness competition. I'm doing it again as I'm preparing for this challenge with you. I don't know what it is. It's just weird.

Dave: You told me when we were talking before that Pinterest is your weakness. You go on Pinterest and see all these delicious meals and then have to resist creating them.

Jo: The greatest invention ever but my enemy when I'm trying to diet for sure.

Dave: I want to just pick up something that you mentioned there. A couple times you mention being on a restrictive diet and in our original podcast when we started talking about this idea of the challenge, this was for the listeners podcast 26.

If you go to makeyourbodywork.com/26. I know Jo, a big part of your message was this time you wanted to get in shape without being so restrictive as you were previously. Do you feel like you've been able to achieve that so far? Kind of maintaining a bit more of a balance?

Jo: Yeah, it's a lot more balanced than the diet I was following last year for the show, but still there's certain things that I'm not supposed to have. Again, because I only gave myself three months to get in shape, there's got to be some restrictions, right? It's not like I can just eat whatever I want and then look good by the end of 12 weeks. There's got to be some restrictions for sure.

Dave: Maybe you can start to tell us a little bit about what that looks like then. In general how do you plan our your meals? What sort of eating plan are you on?

Jo's Meal Plan

Jo: I eat lean proteins, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, egg whites, green vegetables, and some complex carbs. My favorite are sweet potatoes, brown rice, and I also have oatmeal for breakfast. Basically those are the things that I include in my diet.

Dave: Maybe you can talk to us then about preparing some specific meals because I know I've gotten a ton of emails from people who are asking okay, what specifically are you eating and how can I do that? Can you talk about that? Let's start with breakfast, what right now are you eating for breakfast?

Jo: For breakfast I usually have oatmeal and an omelet which I make with one whole egg, egg whites, and spinach.

Dave: Do you eat that every single day then?

Jo: Yes, I do that every single day. Sometimes if I want to switch it up a bit, I'll make myself a green smoothie, but most of the time it's the oatmeal and the omelet. Again, that includes your carbs. It's got some fat and your protein. It's a very complete meal.

Prep Time For Your Healthy Meals

Dave: In terms of prep time, I know one thing that I get from listeners or people who go on my website a lot is they'll say I don't have a lot of time to prep, specifically in the morning for breakfast. How long does it take you to make that breakfast?

Jo: I usually most of my meals, I prep ahead of time. I usually take Sunday a few hours on Sunday and I cook big batches. For the oatmeal, I prep it in my crockpot. It makes a lot of it and then when it's done, I let it cool down and divide it into portions and then freeze it. That way every morning, or the night before, I take out a portion for the next day.

For the eggs, you can either make like a casserole, a frittata, and divide it into portions and again pack it and freeze it. Then take it out the night before or the morning of. The eggs you can cook every morning, sometimes I do that and it only takes maybe three to five minutes to do that. It's only spinach and eggs, right? There's nothing more to it.

Dave: Super easy, a lot of planning ahead. When you talk about portioning it out and freezing those portions again, for the listeners who actually want to follow along with this type of plan, what would a portion size look like for you? It probably would be similar for most listeners out there.

Prep meals ahead of time! You will save time and you won't eat nearly as much junk food!

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Jo: For the oatmeal, it's either half a cup un-cooked, or one cup cooked. When I cook in a big batch, I divide it up after when it's cooked into one cup sizes, one cup portions, and then freeze it. I just take one bag which contains one cup of oatmeal. For the omelet, I use one whole egg plus half a cup of egg whites and a handful of spinach.

Dave: Maybe this isn't for breakfast, but you were telling me about what you called a Spanish frittata. Is that something that you eat for breakfast? Or is that a different meal?

Jo: You can eat it at any time. It can be for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's a very complete meal. It's got eggs, it's got some tuna for more protein, it's got vegetables, and it has you can add sweet potato to it so that way you have your carbs. It's a very complete meal. That one can be ... You can eat it at any time actually.

Sometimes when I'm working and I come home from work and stuff, I'm very tired. I'm starving. If I have food already prepared, it's easy for me just to go and eat that healthy food. If I don't have anything already made, it'll be a lot easier for me to just grab whatever I can find and usually it's just junk. I tried to save myself some time and also this will help me stay on track as well.

Dave: A key message, again for anyone who's listening, Jo is over twelve weeks looking to get lean, looking to shed some fat. What's the secret when it comes to eating? Planning ahead and preparing ahead. Would you agree with that statement?

Jo: Yeah, for sure.

Dave: I'll tell you for my lunches, the big problem I'm having ... We're kind of in a different boat because my struggle is trying to consume enough calories to allow my body to start to put on some muscle.

One savior for me has been using a Vitamix blender and making soup. I've taken a lesson out of your playbook about sweet potatoes. Basically, make usually a sweet potato and a carrot or just sometimes a sweet potato soup on pretty much a daily basis.

I know people think soup can't be that high in calories but again, when you get into those root vegetables, they do have a pretty high concentration of carbohydrates as you mentioned. For me, eating a ton of root vegetables is good for getting those carbs. For you, I know you do a lot of sweet potato but probably in smaller portion sizes.

Jo: Yeah, about three ounces of sweet potatoes or like half a cup.

Dave: Okay, so that's quite a small portion then.

Jo: Yeah.

About Dinner...

Dave: Can you talk to us about your dinners then? So far, it sounds like everything's been very pre-planned. What about dinner? Do you prep that ahead of time or is that something that you cook on a daily basis?

Jo: No, same thing with my dinner. I try to keep things very simple so I cook everything I need on Sunday. That way I can just grab from the freezer all of my meals. Dinner is pretty much almost similar to lunch actually. I either have ... If for lunch I had chicken, I will have fish for dinner or turkey so there's a little bit of variety.

Again, I grab a bag of protein, a bag of vegetables, and a bag of carbs. Whatever that is. If you cook broccoli and then green beans, it is up to you what you want to eat when. There's a bit of variety but pretty much the same. I try to keep it simple. I don't want to complicate things, that way it doesn't get overwhelming.

Can't Eating The Same Meal Every Day? Be Creative!

Dave: I can imagine people that are listening to this and being in sort of awe that you would bulk prepare all this food and then just eat the same meals over and over again. Do you find that during prep for competition or in this case a photo shoot, you do get sick of these meals? Or is it okay?

Jo: I actually don't get sick. There's different things that you can do with them. You can eat the vegetables and the protein separate or you can chop everything up and make stir-fry, add different seasoning. There's different ways that you can make it a little bit different. I try to be creative in the kitchen with the same ingredients that I have. Yeah, it can be boring for some people but after a while you get used to it.

Dave: What I'd like is for the audience to be able to take something away from this that they would be able to actually start using. I know you're a good cook. Can you maybe provide some examples of ... Let's use your vegetables for example, what can you do to spice those up? Let's talk green beans. What can you do so it's not just plain old green beans day in day out?

Jo: There's different spices that you can use, like garlic, curry, you can chop up some onions and fry it with that. Balsamic vinegar. There's different ... Just experiment in the kitchen and use different spices that you haven't used before. That gives it a lot of flavor. Don't be afraid to try new things.

There's always a way to add flavour to your food. Be creative and have fun doing it!

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Dave: Maybe again in the show notes, would you be able to give just a little bit of direction for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? They have the prepared, already cooked vegetables portioned out, but then what they could do, like a couple examples of what they could do with those vegetables?

Jo: For sure, I can do that.

Body Results

Dave: Perfect. Let's talk results. You've been portioning everything out. You've been really good, minus falling off the wagon a couple times as you said. How has your body started to change?

Jo: I noticed that I look a lot leaner. That might not show too much when I step on the scale, but I don't like to rely on the scale. That doesn't really tell me where the weight is coming from. How much is body fat, how much is muscle mass, and how much is water weight? I don't know. For me, I have a confession to make, Dave. I do not like stepping on the scale, because I don't know where the weight is coming from.

Measuring Weight

A way I like to track my progress is by taking pictures. I stand in front of a tall mirror in my sports bra and shorts or just my underwear and I take a selfie. Then I compare that picture to the one I took the week before. I put them next to each other and then I can compare and see what progress I made.

You can definitely see changes. For example, my love handles are a bit smaller, my arms are starting to look more toned. That's the way I track my progress. I don't go by weight. Especially for women weight really fluctuates a lot depending on the time of the month. I don't like it. If there are women out there that like to weigh themselves, I recommend they do it no more than once a week.

Dave: I second that. I know a lot of the clients that I work with in my 10 and 4 challenge program, I don't ask them to weigh themselves until the 13th day into the program. It's interesting because quite often people will start saying things like hey do you want me to give you my weight? You can just tell everyone is itching to step on that scale but sometimes it doesn't always tell the full story.

Jo: Exactly. Exactly. There's some women out there that they're obsessed with stepping on the scale. They do it every single day and that is torture because our weight fluctuates so much depending on the time of month that we're in. I don't depend on that as much.

I've been comparing the pictures, especially the first one that I took. That was so embarrassing by the way, that was my hardest ever to share that picture with your audience. Comparing that one with the one I took last week, I've noticed a lot of changes.

Dave: You agreed that you'll share your most recent pictures for this podcast, correct?

How Do You See Your Own Body?

Jo: Yes. That's the hardest part for me. Sharing these pictures with you guys. Especially the first one that I sent you. My before picture ... I was very hesitant to send you that picture. You have no idea. This process has not been easy at all.

Dave: Jo, I appreciate you saying that because we all have hang ups with our body. I know there's probably some listeners who looked at those first pictures and thought oh you look great. When it's your body, you mentioned your love handles, and in those pictures, I look at that and think you don't have love handles but you think you do. Same, I look at my pictures and think I look so skinny, probably there's some guys out there who think oh you look fine. It's for everyone.

Jo: It's the same thing at work, people are like what you're trying to lose more weight? You're already skinny. It's like, no you don't understand. I do have love handles. You have no idea. They don't see it, I see it!

Dave: One other thing I wanted to ask you about, just in terms of the whole nutrition side or eating side is you've talked about portioning out foods but you haven't mentioned calories, you haven't mentioned counting carbs or counting protein or your macros. Do you do any of that?

Counting Calories? Keep It Simple

Jo: I don't like to over complicate things. I don't go by calories. I do measure things, but I don't worry about like okay, because I weigh this much, then I have to eat this much of protein or carbs. I don't like to over complicate things. No. That's why I don't worry about calories and stuff.

Dave: Yeah, Jo, I liked one thing that you just said there about not emphasizing calories or macronutrients. Not getting hung up on that. You used the phrase "keep it simpler". I think that's very true so for any of the listeners who are looking to do what Jo's doing and lean up, lose a little bit of fat, don't get hung up on a set calorie amount that you heard someone say or maybe you used a calculator online. Your body is different than anyone else's body.

Jo, maybe you can tell me if this is true but it sounds like you've gone through a bit of an experimentation process of figuring out what size of portions work for you. Is that true?

Jo: Yeah, definitely. You said it yourself, everyone is different. What works for me might not work for everyone. You can experiment. Maybe use what I'm following right now, the exact measurements that I'm using right now and see if that works for you or not. Then make changes according to that.

Everyone's body is different. Find out what works best for you and keep it simple

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Why You Should Adjust Your Portion Size Along The Way

Another thing that I forgot to tell you guys is that as I move along the 12 weeks, I start decreasing the amount of food that I eat. I decrease my carbs and I decrease my proteins that way I can start leaning down. What I'm eating right now is not something that I'm going to ... The exact measurements are not going to be the same a few weeks from now when it comes towards the end of the challenge. Just wanted to make sure that people got that. You have to start making changes as well.

Dave: That's an important piece as well, for anyone who's gone through significant weight loss before. Jo, I know you're not losing a ton of weight, but as you lose weight, you body size is smaller.

The amount of calories you need just for your resting metabolic rate decreases. The amount of food your body needs decreases. I know again, a lot of people out there will say things like well I'm eating what I've always eaten or I'm exercising like I've always exercised and it's not working anymore.

As your body changes, as you get closer to that ideal body weight, there needs to be a new stimulus. In this case, you talked about reducing your portion sizes.

Jo: Yeah, for sure.

Dave: Yeah. That's fantastic. Again, I'm just going to quickly comment on what I've been doing for portion sizes. Basically, I've been trying to ... I do follow calories a little bit but I don't count calories on a daily basis. I agree with you Jo, it's too much work. I know I have a menu of about twelve different meals that I like to cycle through.

To add variety, make a list of different meals that you can cycle throughout the week

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After preparing those meals, those are sort of my go-to meals, I know what a portion size looks like. I know how many calories roughly are in that portion. To count calories, every single meal, way too much work. Keep it simple.

Jo: As long as you stick to real food, you shouldn't worry to much about that. It's when you start eating junk, that's when you should be worrying about how many calories you're eating. If you're sticking to real food, veggies, meat, whole grains, that's fine.

Dave: Can you tell the audience ... I know you mentioned you said you fell off the wagon a couple of times, but in terms of indulging or treating yourself or letting yourself relax in this diet, is there room for that?

Jo: There's not much room for it but again, my way of cheating is me preparing meals at home with extra carbs or whatever. It's not like I go and buy pizza or burgers. It's just me making a meal outside my meal plan for the three months. That's my cheating. It's really not bad food, it's just food that I shouldn't be eating.

Dave: We were talking earlier, and I got a laugh out of this. You were telling me about a meal that you found on Pinterest that was shrimp cakes.

Jo: It's a sweet potato ... Oh my god, it's amazing. Sweet potato, shrimp biscuits. So delicious. My mouth is watering right now. I don't even know why you had to mention that because I'm pretty sure I'm going to want to make them after we're done talking.

It's all natural ingredients, not bad at all, but that will put me above my carbohydrate intake for the day. For me, I don't have any self-control so it's not like I can eat just one a day. I eat the whole thing in one sitting. It's really bad for me to make something outside my diet because I want to eat the whole thing at once.

Dave: I appreciate your honesty in that because ... Maybe in the show notes we can include that recipe and listeners when you take a look at it you're going to see that the ingredients are generally quite healthy ingredients but like Jo just said, if you take even a meal that is just a little bit off your diet, what you'd want to be eating, and then eat a whole ton of it, that's still going to cause a little bit of a problem.

Jo: Oh yeah, for sure. Especially if you're like me. No self control at all. It's bad news.

Dave: Again, I appreciate the honesty.

Jo: For sure.

Make Your Body Work Takeaway

Dave: Jo, maybe to finish this up, I like to always give sort of a Make Your Body Work takeaway and we're going to be posting pictures and some recipes. A little bit of information so that listeners can follow along, but what would be your piece of advice for someone who wants to do what you're doing? Really change their body over a course of a couple months. What nutritionally should they start to do?

Jo: I think the main thing will be to prep your meals ahead of time. That will help you stay on track. It will save you time during the week. You just grab things from the freezer and you got your meals all done, all ready to go. Prep your meals ahead of time. That will be my takeaway this week.

Dave: Awesome, yeah, really good advice. Jo, thanks again for being on the show and for providing your pictures and some recipes. We'll have you back in a couple weeks.

Jo: Awesome, sounds good.

Dave: Thanks again Jo for joining us in this episode of Make Your Body Work podcast and for being brave and being willing to put pictures of yourself on the internet. Thanks for the progress update and for sharing some of your meals and examples of ways that ... The listeners can spice up foods and make simple foods taste great, but taking a lot of the work out of food prep.

Healthy food prep doesn't have to be difficult. Thanks to you, the listener for tuning in. Keep on checking back for future updates on Jo versus Dave fitness challenge. We're half way done so we'll probably have one more update and then our final results. We'll show you how far hopefully we've been able to come over this period.

If you want to do a challenge of your own, I highly recommend my 10 and 4 challenge. That is a challenge that's going to help you really dial in your diet and get in a regular routine of exercising with the goal of losing ten pounds. Most people lose about ten pounds in four weeks.

If you want to work with me as your coach in the 10 in 4 challenge, just go to 10in4.com. That's 1-0-in-4-dot-com. Take a look at what the program's all about. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]. Love to help you see some amazing results over a relatively short period of time and set you up on a plan that's healthy and something that you can continue with for the long term. Thanks again for joining us for today's episode and I can't wait to see you here again next week.

Thanks for joining me today!

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