Interview with The Fittest Woman on Earth Over 40

When it comes to interviews we are often left wanting to know a lot more than the general how do you feel about……? Well with Amanda Allen you certainly are not left unsatisfied. She gives you entry into the deeper thoughts of her mind and emotions of her soul along with knowing the mechanics of her body. She is a very transparent, engaging and inspiring woman, who for the second year running has earned the title of “the fittest woman over 40 on earth.”

Amanda Allen 2014 CF Masters Champion

Amanda, Congratulations on your defending your title at the CrossFit Games Masters in 2014. What was your mindset going into repeating your title win?

Leading into the 2014 CrossFit Games I was very careful not to spend time thinking about winning (again). Which isn’t to say I didn’t want to win, just that I cannot afford to focus on an outcome that I ultimately have no control over. Obsessing over ‘winning’ can create immense pressure that has negative consequences on my training and wellbeing, I cannot afford to indulge such thinking and carry such pressure – so to the best of my ability I didn’t dwell on the thought of winning.

I am driven by a desire to be my absolute best and quite honestly I am driven by a fear that other women are better than me. It’s a powerful combination of motivating factors, which keep me focused in the moment, on what I’m doing now, on how hard I’m pushing, how quickly I can keep repeating reps in a WOD, how well I’m recovering, how carefully I’m monitoring my nutrition. I focus on everything I can control and I know that this is my power, the only power I have over the ultimate outcome of any competition.

What’s different about winning the title of fittest woman on earth over 40 this year compared to last year?

A second title is immensely confirming and rewarding. I didn’t know I needed it, but the achievement has been so sweet, so calming, so reassuring. It is a huge relief. It seems the rest of the world ‘knew’ I was going to win, I didn’t. I never take these things for granted. So to win in such a convincing manner this year was icing on the cake of my achievements over the last 3.5 years of CrossFitting. I have been overwhelmed by the support of thousands of people worldwide and I’ve had so many people convinced that I will three-peat in 2015. We’ll see, my goal continues to return to the CrossFit Games as an Individual.

How much improvement have you seen over the last 12 months in your major lifts, aerobic and gymnastic work?

My improvements have been most significant in gymnastics. I have worked extremely hard on developing strict gymnastics strength. I’m a heavier, taller athlete, so I am less ideally suited to gymnastics, hence my advantage and improvement has had to come from developing brute strength. It’s worked.

My lifting has improved very slowly, it is an area I will dedicate far more attention to this year. I believe it is a matter of confidence now. It is not my strength holding me back anymore, just my fear.

My aerobic fitness has remained my greatest asset; I don’t see it improving too much more, but watch out when my lifting and gymnastics skills are at the same level as my aerobic fitness!

Amanda Allen 2014

Have you managed to round off/even up some of your strengths and weaknesses this year?

This is a never ending process! Yes I have lifted my gymnastics skills and strengths significantly this year, but as I do, so does the rest of the world. The trick is to stay ahead of the pack. That margin is getting smaller and smaller! I am constantly pushing my own limits, constantly reviewing my weaknesses, constantly improving, constantly fearing what other women can do and trying to do better than them….I forget that I am twenty years older than many of my competitors, I just believe I can do whatever they can do – and more!

My lifting hasn’t improved significantly this year, but it has improved, and sometimes that has to be enough! I will keep working at it with my usual brand of motivation, madness, fear and fun!

How have you been celebrating your victory?

This is such an interesting question, this year I became acutely aware that I have some work to do in this area. I’ve actually been disappointed in myself at the realisation that is the large hole in my game! How you celebrate, how you transition, is as important as any daily training or recovery strategy – it’s a critical piece of the puzzle.

I spent 3 days after the Masters Games watching the Individual competition; during this time I did appearances for sponsors; fans were so supportive, they recognised and celebrated my achievements, congratulating me, having photos with me, it was an incredible experience to receive such generosity and enthusiasm from so many people! It was a celebration of sorts!

Amanda Allen and her Bacon

However, by the end of the CrossFit Games I found myself utterly exhausted and without direction. In future, as a means of my own personal celebration and reward to myself, I intend to use this period as a time to regenerate at some sort of ‘retreat’ – with access to yoga, saunas, massage, green juices, long runs in nature, clean foods, the ocean, meditation, journaling, no CrossFit, no hype, just gentle, peaceful time, time to reflect and regroup and transition from one significant period of my life to the next.

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Muscle Testing Supplements

by Amanda Allen

Have you ever tried to choose the right brand of supplements, only to find out that what you have paid for either doesn’t deliver or that they actually cause you problems?

I’m a huge fan and user of muscle testing and test everything I consume, especially supplements. Some people believe in it, others don’t, but after a few trials of your own, you will find the results hard to deny!

muscle-testing-supplements

mmmmmm……now which magnesium supplement should I choose?

Muscle testing, also called applied kinesiology, is used by many different kinds of health practitioners all around the world.  It is a non-invasive way of assessing the body’s needs. It can be used anywhere at anytime to assess many different things.

It is often used to test for imbalances, allergies or intolerances which are causing discomfort or negative side effects such as weight gain, bloating or tiredness. You can also use muscle testing for finding micro nutrient deficiencies or excesses such as from vitamins, minerals or amino acids.

Get with the vibrations!

So how does it work? The entire universe runs on what on we call the “law of vibration”. Everything we sense – touch, taste, see, hear and smell has a vibration. Every atom has a physical vibration and has an impact on the world around itself. These vibrations therefore have an impact on our health. When it comes to supplements, food, people and even situations – the goal is to find those things, that are positive for your body and your immune system and ultimately remove or limit your exposure to the things that have a weakening effect.

As an athlete I have used the tools and principles of muscle testing to create the most positive internal and external environment for me to train, compete and live in. I want to surround myself with positive energy, so I can function at my very best…..muscle testing is how I monitor and check things, primarily I use it as a confirmation tool if I have any doubts.

Amanda Allen

The body is a complex but interacting whole. Made up of over 100 trillion cells consisting of bones, muscles, organs and glands which are interconnected via energy circuits of nerves, lymphatics, energy meridians, and blood vessels. The theory behind muscle testing is that these circuits “shut down” due to imbalances or blocked by illness, injury, or toxin overload. So by balancing the body’s energy, the systems are able to heal returning you more rapidly to a state of health.

Muscle testing allows you to determine what makes your body strong or weak via the strength or weakness of an indicator muscle.  With muscle testing, you can determine what supplements and foods are helpful for your body and what are not. With this information, you are empowered to make health decisions that are effective for your own individual body at this exact moment in time.

There are many different muscle testing methods that are complex and use reflex or acupuncture points to help determine weaknesses in the body while other methods are very simple and test for muscle weakness or strength in the presence of specific supplements or foods.

Whilst muscle testing has grown in popularity over the last 30 years.  Muscle testing is not really accepted in mainstream medical circles yet but many health care practitioners use muscle testing, including medical doctor’s, naturopaths and chiropractor’s.

Muscle testing can either be done for you by another person or you can do it yourself using various methods.

Often, when muscle testing is done for you, your arm is used as the indicator muscle. Basic Muscle TestingThe tester places their hand on a shoulder while you extend your other arm straight out, to the side of your body. Whilst you hold the supplement or food in your free hand and  your arm is tested for weakness or strength.  If you arm is weak and will not stay up,  then the substance is not good for you but if the arm stays strong then the substance is good.

To test yourself try any of these two methods:

Standing test

Stand barefoot or in flat shoes. Hold the supplement or food in your hand. State “This is good for my body.” Become still, and after a few moments your body will either be pulled forward or backwards. If you feel yourself moving forward, the substance is positive for your body, if you feel yourself going backward, it is negative.

Index finger and thumb testMuscle Testing

Hold your left hand up with your index finger and thumb pointed, basically the fingers are held parallel to each other. Hold them firmly apart, take the index finger and thumb from the right hand and place them on top of/outside of the fingers of the left hand. Then follow the instructions above, placing the substance you are testing in front of you (or holding in mind a thought) and stating “this is good for my body”, if the substance is positive for you will feel the finger/thumb hold strong, if the substance is negative for you the finger/thumb will go weak and close together.

What does it mean?

I’ve tested everything over the years. I’ve stood at a smorgasbord and used the two finger testing technique to determine which foods are good for me and which are not. I’ve used muscle testing to help me make a decision about personal choices I am unclear about at various times. I use muscle testing to determine the better brand of supplement at the health food shop and I’ve used it to test clients – recently a client brought a protein powder and pre-workout with her to training, and after reading the nutrition label I challenged her to muscle test the products against Professional Whey’s NZ WPI &  IBCAA 4:1:1. Professional Whey ProductsShe was amazed by the result – she tested weak for both the chemical laden products she’d brought with her, and strong for the clean Professional Whey products!

This was the same experience I also had when I first discovered Professional Whey products. I knew they were clean from looking at the ingredients label, but I used muscle testing to determine that PW products were positive for me.

Only last night I stood at the pharmacy with 3 different brands of magnesium powders trying to decide which one would be the best choice for me. I tested them all using the simple index finger and thumb test – one product tested very weak, one was just weak and one tested relatively strong – so I went with the Sandra Cabot powder (relatively strong) – the best of a less than optimal lot. I usually get a practitioner only Magnesium powder from my Naturopath, I find the lesser quality, over-the-counter products really disturb my digestive system, giving me diarrhea, flatulence and bloating almost immediately – which is never a good sign!

As the years have progressed and my state of health has improved I recognise that my body intuitively knows what makes it strong and what makes it weak.- I’ve found increasingly that I don’t need to rely on the physical act of muscle testing as much. I love the simplicity and power of the testing protocol. I encourage you to explore it if you haven’t tried it, it’s a valuable tool to have at your fingertips!

Crossfit Games Masters Champion

Based out of CrossFit Adelaide Amanda Allen is the current Female Masters CrossFit World Champion (40-44) and a great Ambassador for Professional Whey. She has her eyes set on defending her world title July 22nd – 24th 2014 and being crowned fittest woman on earth over 40. She currently coaches many people all over the world via her Fit as F*ck Challenge  and has written two amazing books this year CrossFit: The Time of My Life and Eat Perform Win. Read more from her on her Facebook Page.
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Study Proves Eating Organic Cuts Pesticide Exposure By 89%

In a ground breaking adult study by RMIT University found after just seven days of eating a diet comprised of at least 80% organic food, pesticide exposure was reduced by 89% than after eating conventional food.

Eating Organic Reduces Pesticide Exposure

13 participants were randomly allocated to consume a diet of at least 80 per cent organic or 80% conventional food for seven days and then switched to the alternate diet for a further week.

The research was conducted by Dr. Liza Oates as part of her PhD project and supervised by Professor Marc Cohen from RMIT’s School of Health Sciences. It was supported in part by a donation to RMIT University from Bharat Mitra, co-founder of Organic India Pty Ltd.

Dr Oates  stated “Our results show that people who switch to eating mainly organic food for just one week can dramatically reduce their exposure to pesticides, demonstrating that an organic diet has a key role to play in a precautionary approach to reducing pesticide exposure”.

 “Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate pesticides, which are neurotoxins that act on the nervous system of insects – and humans – by blocking an important enzyme,” said Dr Oates.

“Recent studies have raised concerns for the health effects of these chemicals even at relatively low levels.”

Pesticide Spraying

Oats said “Pesticide exposure in Australian adults is mainly through their diets, but there are other sources of exposure, so we wanted to find out the difference going organic could make.”

There has been a few studies examining how organic diets affected pesticide levels in children but no research had so far been published on adults. This research is the first to compare the differences in pesticide residues in adults who consume organic and conventional food.

Urinary levels of six metabolites of organophosphate pesticides (known as dialkylphosphates or DAPs) were analysed on the eighth day of each phase. The mean level of total DAP metabolites after eating a diet of at least 80% organic food was 89% lower than the levels after eating conventional food.

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Colours to Die For

There a lot of products within the food industry that contain chemical based artificial colours and artificial flavours. As most flavours have little to no colour in appearance, the colours are added to manipulate the consumers senses; creating the illusion that what they are tasting really is blueberry, strawberry or ___________ insert flavour.

Now most “health” and “sports” nutrition flavoured supplements do not discriminate against such practice and follow suit. However you don’t need a lab jacket, microscope and a guinea pig to realise the possible damage that can be caused by such chemicals.

The following infographic displays the health concerns of each artificial colour and also some of the places that have banned their use. It also discusses some of the science and anecdotal evidence with children.

If you want to know if any of these colours are in your foods or favourite supplements they should be disclosed on the nutritional label. However you may need to ask, as some companies don’t disclose them fully or at all on the label, as they favour a “stealth approach” instead of a “health approach” to their ingredients list to avoid consumer backlash.

You can confidently rest assured that all Professional Whey products have absolutely NO ARTIFICIAL COLOURS, NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS AND NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS! So you can trust us with your health.

Colors to Die For

 
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Fresh Grocery Tips

We all know that fresh is best when it comes to buying wholefoods as they contain the most amount of nutrients. So avoid the rubbery broccoli and wilting lettuce leaves and pick up these fresh recommendations the next time you are at your local farmers market to improve your eye, heart, hair and skin health.

Which Fresh Groceries Are Most Healthy?
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Eggs For Breakfast?

Eggs have stood the test of time when it comes to consuming them for breakfast. Being a fresh wholefood they are full of high quality protein, fats, fat soluble vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plus they are tasty and versatile. You can have them fried, scrambled, poached, boiled, in a smoothie, in an omelette, over easy, sunny side up – you can eat them with salmon, ham, spinach, toast……the list goes on. It makes sense to eat them over 99% of other breakfast options. However you don’t have to limit yourself to consuming them at breakfast time…..they do have famous partnerships with steak and salad. Enjoy!

Better breakfast with protein-rich eggs

 
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Amanda Allen: 2013 CrossFit Games Masters World Champion

In our previous 3 part interview with Professional Whey Ambassador Amanda Allen, she laid out her training, diet, supplements and mindset in her bid to win the 2013 Masters World Female CrossFit Games in LA. Well, Amanda arrived home last week with the Gold Medal around her neck and a smile on her face from ear to ear. We got to catch up with her to get some of the finer details on her successful trip to the USA and share in some of her glory.

World CrossFit Masters Champion

Amanda, congratulations on Winning the CrossFit Games Masters (40-44). You are now the fittest over 40’s woman on the planet. What does that result mean to you?

Thank you thank you thank you!

Winning any World Title is a privilege, but to me, winning a CrossFit World Title is indescribably exciting, more than I could hope for! CrossFit is a sport and lifestyle that I am so passionate about, it defines so much of what I cherish and believe in…health, performance, humility, excitement, variety, community, integrity, overcoming, self-discovery, personal growth, strength and facing fear head-on, every day! So to have won a world title in such an incredible sport; the first person in Australia to win a world title; the first person in this age category…it is an absolute honour and a joy! It is also a confirmation to those who have supported me through this journey so far; sponsors, friends, family! It’s my gift to them too!

This also means time to relax, reflect on the past 2 years, bask in the glory briefly and then get back to the drawing board and a blank canvas for my 2014 journey!

What was going on inside your mind and body during each of the 6 events? 

It’s a tough question actually, because once I am in the thick of competition it’s like being on the silent razors edge. I am so focused, uncomfortable and aware of nothing and everything at every moment. I guess I’m in the zone. I am utterly consumed by the next rep, the next breath, holding my effort on the edge of my limits. Added to that I am intermittently aware of whichever competitor is closest to me. I might listen out or look for their rep count to gauge my position in relation to them – with this information I plan to hold or extend my lead or close the gap between us if I can. I always feel patient and driven. I always trust I am giving 200% of my capacity, and that allows me to simply perform to my best and accept the outcome. I love the crowds cheering and supporting me and the other competitors, so I will often interact by raising an arm or smiling to the spectators, this lifts me up and reminds me how much fun I am having! I love it!

People say I look relaxed, calm, like I’m doing it easy when I compete; I do aim to be relaxed, I do aim to remain calm, but I am never doing it easy; nothing in CrossFit is achieved easily! But to perform my best I must be strong and relaxed; I’ve always thought of it as finding the balance between effort and grace in the heat of battle! That’s where the miracles happen.

CrossFit Games: Pullgatory: Amanda takes 1st. Her third 1st place in a row

Do you have a word or mantra that you say to yourself when you’re competing?

I often talk to myself in moments of competition. It’s simple really…I’ll tell myself out loud ‘ok, lets go’ or ‘alright, come on’ or ‘alright, let’s go'; I also find just counting my reps to be a pure meditation and then there is the swearing which comes from a primitive place inside of me and seems to have a powerful place in my workouts – and training too! I won’t elaborate here – needless to say i can hold my own, this aspect of me has only evolved as I have evolved into CrossFit, I find it empowering and fun, it often makes me laugh and fires me up!

What have your learned from training and competing in the CrossFit Games Masters?

I’ve learned to keep turning up, to keep chipping away no matter what. I’ve learned also that it doesn’t matter where you do your WOD, the passion for CrossFit never changes, the reasons and motivations remain the same! I guess the significant difference with competing at the Games is that I get to share and celebrate my successes with tens of thousands if not millions of people rather than just the few who might be kicking around at the box (gym) when I do my workouts back home, incognito! I’ve discovered that I love this aspect of big competitions, it brings the very best out in me!

What does the future hold for you going into 2014?

My goals remain unchanged! I am committed to making it back to the Games as an individual athlete, competing in the main stadium for $275,000 and for the pure love of the sport!

Amanda Allen with her Gold Medal

I’m going to make a few changes this year, improvements based on my 2 years of experiences and growth in CrossFit. Change invariably carries an element of risk, but I trust myself and I’m not one to shy away from taking risks! So it will be an exciting year! I can’t wait to see it all unfold! It is going to be hard work and a whole lot of fun and I feel very, very ready!

Well Amanda, you are truly one of Australia’s finest athletes and on behalf of the Professional Whey community we are excited to see the next 12 months unfold and will be behind you all the way. Go Well! Follow Amanda on Facebook

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Amanda Allen Interview Part 3: Attitude & Lifestyle

In Part One of our interview with CrossFit Athlete Amanda Allen, we covered much of her training over the past 6-12 months. In Part Two she was very generous in giving us the fine details of her diet and supplement regime.  To conclude this interview we thought it would be very apt that 2 days out from her attempt to win the Masters World Female CrossFit Games in Los Angeles, Amanda would share her thoughts on how she has cultivated a positive attitude and an intentional lifestyle to support her personal dreams and athletic goals.

You have such a positive, can do attitude, how do you maintain and cultivate that?

Interesting question! One answer is that I spent at least the first half of my life in a very negative place, trying to find a positive place, which remained out of reach until my mid 30s…I never stopped hoping or striving to find that better place inside of me! From my teens I was reading every psychology, self-help and self-improvement book I could find – even a few psychiatry texts – underlining my way through each book!

I guess coming through that has given me a passion for the power of a positive attitude and living a positive life with integrity and determination. I worked hard to achieve it and I work hard to maintain it.

I believe that it is a privilege of a lifetime to be happy, fulfilled, passionate and committed to your dreams and priorities. I’m so very clear about who I am and what is important to me today. I strive to live in accordance with my values, passionately pursue that which fulfills me, try to keep things simple and maintain a sense of the ridiculous about it all! It works for me, fills me up and generates its own momentum!

Did you consciously create and develop your lifestyle or did it eventuate on its own accord?

I have worked hard, day after day, year after year trying to get the balance right. ‘Balance’ has been a defining word in my life that has both haunted and propelled me to do better. I have studied (yoga, reiki, psychology, lifestyle coaching) and read a lot, ever looking for ways to improve and grow. Every part of the formula that is my life today I have ‘strategically planned’ – what I eat, how I think, my weekly schedule of training and recovery activities, the supplements I take, my personal rules, how I conduct myself with others, strategies for managing low periods and times of stress….I kind-of have a strategy for most probable scenarios and a set of simple foundational rules to follow that keep me well and balanced! It’s simple and complicated at the same time!

Freedom Through Discipline: The T-Shirt

The motto you live by and placed on your t-shirts for the Games is “Freedom through Discipline”. Can you explain what this means to you?

I found this quote about 10 years ago! Up until that time I was a rebel against discipline. I didn’t have it and I thought it was society’s trap to control me. It was a pivotal moment reading those three words. I realised that through discipline I was free to become the very highest and best version of myself, but I had to be prepare to do the work with utter commitment and discipline. I guess in that moment I knew that no one else could do that for me. I had to take both responsibility and action, and then never stop building on that momentum! With discipline almost anything is possible. It’s a powerful realisation – I love the quote – it makes me feel so alive and full of possibility!

How do you wind down at the end of the day?  Is it intentional or is it just what works at the moment? 

Each day is a little different, but each is structured into my weekly needs. 2 nights of the week I finish my day with a massage and 2 nights of the week I finish with a float (flotation tank). I basically try not to talk to anyone work related after about 6pm. I just need to stop interacting verbally with the world. I’m usually working on the computer until 8pm with admin, then my rule is to turn the computer off and take the next hour to go to bed. And although I’m not a huge TV advocate, I like to watch a 45 min episode of my latest favourite TV series on DVD, just to totally remove myself from reality and forget myself. I eat early, light candles, put my salt crystal lamp on and retreat to my bedroom. Lights out at 9pm at the latest! It’s a simple routine that works for me, even on weekends!

What’s the most important thing you do for yourself each and every day?

Everything I do is the most important thing I do. To me it’s about every 1%, every moment of every day that builds the beautiful big picture.  What I eat, when, why and how – what I eat, the quality of my food and its suitability to my body and digestive system is critically important to me; the timing of my food intake is also very important, it’s always scheduled around training for maximum benefit and minimal harm; the reason I eat is important to me too – I am eating for performance, nutritional value, health, wellbeing, energy and recovery. I want to be eating with integrity and positivity, not fear and regret or from boredom or negative motivations; and how I’m eating is also important to me….I don’t want to eat in a rush or stressed. I want to eat with respect and appreciation for the nourishment I am privileged enough to have access to and be enjoying!

So I approach each aspect of my day/life with this attitude; how can I create the most from each aspect….on every level of my being? I get so much back from conducting my life in this manner. I absolutely love it!

CrossFit Adelaide

Who are your idols? Whom do you admire?

I admire each and every person out there striving to be a better version of themselves, particularly those suffering and still striving, despite the evidence against them, against hope and likelihood of success!

I love that fighting spirit, that determination to overcome the odds and that sense of both humility and humour! I see it in the people I train with, the people I coach and my dear friends each and every day! It is extraordinarily motivating and uplifting!

What do you see as the biggest challenge in your life? And what will be the biggest challenge ahead? 

The biggest challenge for me is learning to trust the process and simply continue to put in the action/work and accept the results. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason, which isn’t grounds for me to rest on my laurels and just ‘let shit happen!’. But it is important for me to continually look at the landscape of whatever I have been presented with in my life with an open heart and an open mind, so that I will see the great and beautiful gifts and opportunities that I have been given.

I think the biggest challenge ahead is in applying this understanding to my bid to qualify for the CrossFit Games in 2014 as an individual female (rather than Masters) – at almost 44 years of age. What will be, will be, always is that way, nonetheless I will be working with every ounce of passion, discipline and commitment in me, to be the best prepared athlete come qualifying time next May! I get very excited about this possibility – conceive, believe, achieve!

Amanda Allen CrossFit Athlete

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Amanda Allen Interview Part 2: Diet & Supplements

In Part One of our interview with CrossFit Athlete Amanda Allen, we covered much of her training over the past 6-12 months as she starts her bid to win the Masters World Female CrossFit Games in LA on 23rd June 2013.

In this second installment we cover the number one question she is asked a gazillion times a week ‘what do you eat and what supplements do you take?’. So lets get the nitty gritty details right from the start.

Amanda Allen Shopping

So Amanda, can you give us a detailed breakdown of what you consume on a daily basis?

The way I eat and the supplements I take, are the culmination of decades of trial and error, refinements, specialist support, personal education, tweaking, label reading, research, listening to the signals of my body and being ever ready to evolve and grow my understanding and habits!

Here is a breakdown of a very standard day of food and supplement intake for me (I train for CrossFit about 4 hours per day, 6 days per week with a 90min run on Sundays). I don’t count calories; my focus is solely on nutritional quality and building my energy and performance.

5.30am – 5.30pm:  4.5-6 Litres of water – Each 1.5 Ltr bottle contains:

  • 1 tbs Professional Whey IBCAA 4:1:1
  • 1 tbs Mixed greens powder
  • 1/2 tsp Professional Whey Creapure Creatine
  • 1/4 tsp Professional Whey Beta Alanine

5am:  300ml water with:

  • 1/2 tbs PW IBCAA 4:1:1
  • 1/2 tbs PW Ajinomoto Glutamine
  • 1/2 tbs Vitamin C Powder (Calcium Ascorbate)
  • 1 tbs Nutrition Care Magnesium Powder
  • 1 tbs Glucosamine Sulphate
  • 1 tbs Olive Leaf Extract
  • 2 x BioMedica Multi Vitamin Caps
  • 1 x 25mg Zinc (Chelated) Cap

6am: Breakfast

  • 3 pieces of bacon (nitrate free short cut)
  • 1 medium avocado
  • organic long black coffee w tablespoon organic coconut oil

8am: Snack – Large Slice Homemade Raw Cake contains:

  • Avocado
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Cashews
  • Brazil nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds,
  • Goji berries
  • Cranberries
  • Chia seeds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Cacao

Amanda Allen's Raw Cake Prep

10.30am: Post Workout Protein Smoothie:

  • 300ml of water
  • 1 banana
  • 2 raw free range eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 30g PW WPI
  • 25g PW Dextrose
  • 20g PW Ajinomoto Glutamine
  • 2g PW Taurine
  • 2g PW L-Carnitine L- Tartrate

11.30am:

  • Organic almond milk double shot latte
  • 1-2 Rice cakes with tablespoon each of fresh brazil and macadamia nut butter

12pm:

600ml of fresh organic green veggie juice – contains:

  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Lemon
  • Ginger

1pm: Snack

  • 120g bag fresh baby spinach eaten raw
  • Sometimes a 2nd piece of raw cake or rice cake with nut butter!

4pm: Post Workout Protein Smoothie

  • Exactly same as 10.30am

Post Workout Protein Smoothie

6:30pm: Evening Meal

  • With 4 chicken or 4 lamb kebabs
  • 3 cups cooked basmati rice
  • Lettuce
  • 600ml of fresh organic green veggie juice – same as 12pm

7:30pm:

  • Cup of Hot Maca with a dash Almond Milk

9pm:

  • Water with same supplements as 5am plus Vitamin D and Calcium

9pm – 5am: Bed Time Drink (For when I wake up or go to the loo)

  • 300ml of Water
  • 1 tbs PW IBCAA 4:1:1
  • 1 tbs PW Ajinomoto Glutamine
  • 1 tbs Vitamin C

Wow! A lot of people will be reading this and the first question they will ask for sure is, why do consume so many greens and BCAA’s?

The green stuff is filled to bursting with live enzymes, rich in antioxidants; it’s very easy to digest and contains no starchy carbs, so it’s super supportive of my health and wellbeing as an athlete. The BCAAs are the foundation in my arsenal of supplements. BCAA’s support my body’s ability to preserve and build muscle; they support my immune system, increase my resistance to fatigue, improve my endurance capacity and allow me to stay lean – why wouldn’t I be in love with BCAAs!?

Spinach and BCAAs

Have you always eaten like this? Did you eat like this when you were a professional triathlete?

As a professional triathlete (over 10 years ago) I was a carb-fiend, adverse to fats and protein. Later I spent many years as an all organic vegetarian primarily eating lentils, tofu and chocolate, drinking coffee, apple juice and raw milk! Neither of these styles of eating suits me, nor is optimal for me today. It’s taken almost 40 years to work out what is optimal for me; I had to get quite sick before I was ready to look deep enough into what wasn’t working and why – and then be willing to change!

Do you have any food intolerance’s or allergies?

I have intolerance’s to wheat, dairy, most grains, legumes, most preservatives, soy, oranges, tomatoes, peanuts, alcohol. I react badly to processed and packaged foods with chemicals, sugars, salts and preservatives added to them.

Are you ever naughty and just say, “what the heck” and eat something you should not?

If I eat these ‘foods’ I experience digestive inflammation and discomfort, significant drops in my overall energy, emotional state and mental resilience, I feel weakened, in a state of breakdown, less able to recover from training loads and less well than is acceptable to me.

I don’t want to live sub-optimally and this way of eating will not make me into the athlete I am striving (with focused discipline and dedication) to become. So over the years I have eliminated what doesn’t work and utterly embraced what does, and I have surrounded myself with the people and products that truly work for me! It’s all about quality and integrity – the food I eat, the supplements I take, the training and recovery I do and the people I surround myself with!

What about cheat meals?

I don’t do or believe in cheat meals (for me) – they do not help me or make me feel better…I absolutely love the health and well-being, strength, fitness, energy and performance that I am enjoying and building on a daily basis! In no way do I feel that I am restricting myself with my diet, so I have no need to go out and eat that which makes me feel yuk! Although in saying this I recognise that I do have a weekly (weekend) treat of a 90% Paleo Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – made by a friend and fellow CrossFit Adelaide crossfitter – the Choc Chips are the 10% naughty bit, I often share this bread with my friends at the float room when I visit on the weekend… usually I will eat my share after my long run on a Sunday…I don’t view this as a ‘cheat meal’…just a healthy little treat!

Green Juices and Organic Almond Milk Double Shot Lattes

How much of what you consume on a daily basis has enabled you to be where you are today?

I am 43 years old in a few weeks…off to compete in the CrossFit Games in 2 weeks! I have never been stronger, fitter, leaner, more filled with energy, more capable of recovering from anything thrown at me!

Every bit of everything in my diet contributes significantly to making this a reality for me! I am no longer living in a state where my body is constantly at war with the substances I put into it, instead all of my energy goes toward building and repairing, performing and enjoying my athletic and professional life.

I have found the formula that works for me. My body now has access to the highest quality and integrity foods and supplements that it needs to perform optimally. This is immensely exciting and satisfying to me, it has been well worth the journey and it is well worth protecting and continually improving!

Are you OK with your competitors reading your insights?

For sure! I have had to learn the long and hard way to find what works for me; if anyone – my competitors included – can benefit and grow in health and performance earlier in their lives then I am pleased to have offered my insights to that end. The thing that truly makes the athlete is the disciplined consistent commitment to all the 1%’s – these are my nutritional 1%’s applied everyday, every year, without fail. And at the end of the day, I am my own fiercest competitor!

Well Amanda, I am sure that everyone will appreciate your generosity in sharing your insight into diet and supplementation, along with your dedication to being the best you can be.  

Now don’t miss Part Three where we discuss with Amanda how her psychology and t-shirts are intertwined!!

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Amanda Allen Interview: Part 1 CrossFit Training

Amanda Allen is the new Ambassador for Professional Whey and a household name within the CrossFit world. For those that don’t know Amanda, she is one of Australia’s most inspiring female athletes and at 42 years young, she holds some impressive training stats to her name. At present she can:

  • Squat: 120kg
  • Clean: 87kg
  • Bench Press: 80kg
  • Overhead Squat: 90kg
  • Consecutive Pull Ups: 40
  • Consecutive Hand Stand Push Ups: 30
  • 2k Row: 7:15mins
  • 5k Run: 18:45mins

Currently she is one week out from her attempt to win the Masters World Female CrossFit Games in LA and we caught up with her so she could share some insights into her training, diet and psychology.

Amanda you are one week away the CrossFit Games in the USA, can you give us a breakdown of what your weekly training has consisted of for the past 6 weeks since you finished 5th at the Australian Regionals?

It’s been an intense period. I took one very light week of training coming off the Regionals…there’s always a bit of shell shock after any big event, regardless of the outcome – and this year although I am satisfied that I gave the Regionals my best, I was disappointed not to have achieved my ultimate goal. So that transition period was important to reflect, refocus and just pause a moment to respect that a milestone has been reached.

So steering my focus toward the Masters competition at this year’s 2013 CrossFit Games I have spent 5 very intense weeks of training. Volume and intensity have ramped up, coupled with high rep, high skill work, mixed in with some gut-wrenchingly long, tough, character building sessions – twice per day – 6 days per week! Each week has consisted of a rowing, airdyne bike and running interval sessions, a long run, and then a variety of metabolic conditioning and Olympic lifting sessions – all very Games orientated! Here are a couple of days training I did last week:

Monday Morning Session

  • 10 x 500m Rowing Intervals @ 1:46m pace w 2.30m rest

Monday Afternoon Session

  • ISABEL (30 x Snatch at 40kgs)
  • Rest 5 mins
  • GRACE (30 x Clean and Jerk at 40kg)
  • Rest 5 mins 
  • 21-15-9
  • Hand Stand Push Ups
  • Toes 2 Bar

Tuesday Morning Session

  • 16mins EMOM (Every Minute; On the Minute) alt’g:
  • Odd – 7-8 Deficit Hand Stand Push Ups
  • Even – 3-4 Ring Muscle Ups
  • Rest 5 mins
  • 5 Rounds: 3min AMRAP (As many Reps As Pos) (w 1min rest ea round):
  • 2 rope climbs
  • 6 KB Snatch (20kg) 3left/3right

Tuesday Afternoon Session

  • 15min EMOM
  • 3 unbroken Squat Snatch @ 55kg
  • 15mins EMOM
  • 3 unbroken Thrusters @55kg
  • 1km Run
  • 15 Burpee Muscle Ups
  • 1km Row

I have also run through a range of ‘testers’ – anything that has been a previous Games or Regionals workout – I’ve been put up against it to gauge where I’m at…then there are my weaknesses that get hammered in all manner of sneaky and creative ways  – most of it scares me as much as it excites me! Training has been building and building to the point that I have been on the very edge of the ragged edge. A dangerous territory, but a necessary evil…a place I have to go to be completely prepared for competition. This ragged edge peaks right before we begin my desperately needed and hard earned taper. This period is as much a physical as it is a mental game – the season of intense training is 5 months long – it’s a fairly hefty period of time in which to stay switched on!

How has it been going? Have you set any new PB’s?

It has actually gone very well. I pulled up a few days earlier than our planned taper-start-date – I was utterly wrecked and know my body well enough to listen to its warning signals. All the work has been done by now and it’s now time to regenerate. Nonetheless the things I have achieved in this period since regionals have astounded me! Yes, PB’s, PB’s and more PB’s…doing things I thought I was too fatigued to do. I PB’d ‘Isabel’ (30 x Snatch at 40kgs) for time – by 15secs with a time of 1:37mins on a day when I didn’t think I was capable of even warming up after an extremely tough morning rowing session which in itself was a PB of sorts! That’s pretty quick – I was shocked. Things like that have been happening each week, so that’s reassuring and all very positive!

Does your training program change over a 12 month period? Has your training differed much going from Open to Regional’s to Games?

Open through to Games is competition season – so I am very much ‘on’ and maintaining a high volume of metabolic conditioning and intensity of work during this period. The off season like most other sports allows time for me to build strength, focus on refining movement patterns and take the time to address weaknesses! It’s a much calmer period, not such a frenzied pace.

Once the Open is completed we do focus on Games and Regionals style workouts, weights and scenarios…heavier, harder, more skilled and complex variations – again aiming to test me against known workouts, address my weaknesses in Games style scenarios and try to anticipate unknown random movements that may appear at Regionals or Games – e.g DB Snatch, Atlas Stones, Parallel Handstand Push Up variations etc!

Amanda Allen Muscle Ups

Do you have any strengths or weaknesses you would like to share? 

My weakness continues to be ring muscle ups, I have improved, but not to a high enough standard. One rep max Olympic Lifts are the other area that we are slowly chipping away at! I have no gymnastics and no Olympic lifting background – I took up CrossFit when I was 40, so some things are just taking a bit longer than I’d like! Ring Muscle Ups have cost me a return trip to the CrossFit Games the last 2 years – in fact 3 muscle ups is what has stood between me and a podium finish at Regionals in both 2012 and 2013….they are at the top of my list!

My main strengths are my versatility, my massive work capacity and my overall applied strength – I can lift a lot of weight over and over and over – that’s what CrossFit is all about so I can feel confident in this capacity heading into big events!

How do you manage to improve on your weaknesses whilst building on your strengths?

I just keep doing what I’ve been doing with a painstaking commitment to hammering my weaknesses! When I wanted to improve my handstand push-ups I spent many an hour by myself in a corner of the gym doing  5 handstand push-ups each minute on the minute for 60mins. I learned so much just doing one rep after another looking for the timing and effortlessness of the movement – they have vastly improved as a result! It will be the same with ring muscle ups and Olympic lifting! I may seek some specialist coaching in these areas this year too – if I can find the right people to work with! I trust my coach Ben Norman to program for me! He and I have built me into a world class CrossFitter (currently ranked 32nd in the world) in just 2 short years – we have the formula right! Sometimes you simply have to trust and be patient whilst continue to work like hell with passion and discipline!

What have you learned regarding your body and mind during such tough physical preparation over the last 6-12 months? 

I am constantly – and I mean daily – staggered and amazed at my capacity to work and recover, work and recover whilst maintaining a love and passion for CrossFit! I know implicitly that if I continue to do everything in my capacity to support my health, wellbeing and recovery then I will perform beyond my wildest imaginings – the evidence is there.

The most powerful thing that I continue to discover is that I am capable of the extraordinary (it never gets dull); in fact, this extreme work, suffering and effort, that I willingly put myself through is making me a physically, mentally and emotionally stronger human being. I am a better person, have a far greater depth of character and self-knowledge as a result of my efforts. My preparations have taught me a personal resilience and sense of self-esteem that I have only dreamed possible. Powerful stuff! Humans have remarkable capacity if we are willing to do the work!

Amanda, on behalf of Professional Whey and our readers we wish you all the best for the Games. You continue to inspire us and we are 100% behind you.

In Part Two of the interview Amanda shares her diet and supplements.

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