Wednesday, June 27, 2012

EGGS-actly



An egg is one of the most complete and versatile foods available. It has a valuable role in providing a healthy diet for all and especially bodybuilders. We all know the importance of protein in the muscle building process, without protein, your muscles will simply not grow.

Excluding water protein, it is the next most abundant element that makes up the majority of our bodies, so with all this protein in the body, wouldn't you say that protein should be a very important part of anyone's diet? Bodybuilders need to take this a little further by damaging those protein fibers with heavy weight training in order for the protein fibers to regrow stronger and bigger. A bodybuilder's diet must be much higher in protein than the average persons.

Eggs contain about 6 grams of high quality protein.  Eggs are also a rich source of vitamins, including A, E, K and a range of B vitamins such as B12 (energy), riboflavin and folic acid. Eggs also contain all eight essential amino acids needed for optimal muscle recovery and building valuable minerals like calcium, zinc and iron.

Now before you get scared and say what about the fat that eggs contain, let me break it down for you. The white part of the egg contains no fat what so ever, on the other hand, the yolk of an egg (yellow) contains about 5 grams of fat BUT only a small proportion of this is saturated fat (Bad Fat) - about 1.6 grams. Bodybuilders seeking to bulk up muscle are in particular need for fat in foods at a time when they have high-energy requirements for growth but limited appetites. Eggs contain cholesterol but it is generally accepted that dietary cholesterol does not raise blood cholesterol levels. Eggs are easily digested and absorbed and are extremely useful in ensuring a balanced diet.

A quick look at the caloric break down and benefits of adding eggs to your diet...

6 Egg Whites And 2 Yolks In The Morning Will Provide The Body With:

  • 26.5 grams of protein.
  • Zero carbohydrates.
  • 5.23 grams of fat 2.7 grams of that is unsaturated fat (good fats).
  • 153 calories.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Paleo...True Story



I've always been an advocate of eating healthy and exercising regularly.  I have never been overweight, but as a female in my early 30's I can relate to many issues prevalent in today's society.  I suffered from an eating disorder for years and have battled depression since my late teens.  I sought food as my way to "control" things.  Watching every calorie, reading every label and then bingeing on anything and everything that contained sugar (donuts, cake, cookies, candy bars...).  This was a constant cycle. 

I finally found Paleo a couple years ago.  I was on and off of it several times.  Testing new diets wasn't new to me.  I've always been interested to see what works and doesn't.  From Atkins, South Beach, Raw Food, you name it, I've tried it.  But recently I needed something and fast.  I became a statistic of the unemployment crisis and I had too much time on my hands to EAT.  I didn't want to fall into a depression over the loss of a job AND weight gain so I needed to make a positive change.  My cycle of deprivation and bingeing wasn't working and it wasn't practical or sustainable.  In addition, I'm a certified personal trainer and know better.  I know how important nutrition is and preach it to my clients.  Of all people I should be a role model, not a closet case!

My experiment with Paleo began a few weeks ago.  I was already pretty familiar with it having tried it, so I cleaned out my fridge and added my meats, eggs, fruits, veggies and nuts.  After one week of no cheating I felt great.  My thoughts were clearer, my energy was higher, my mood was far more elevated and my cravings were diminished.  If you would have told me any of this a week prior I would have told you that nothing takes the place of chocolate...NOTHING!   I just couldn't believe it.  Maybe I was just having a good week!!  Even though I didn't truly crave anything I figured I deserved a little binge, so back to the processed food and sugar. 

BINGE DIARY:
  • Hershey Bar
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Reese's Cups
Not an hour later after consuming this CRAP, that's exactly what I felt like for the next 24 hours.  My body temperature rose, I got an extreme headache, I was lethargic, extremely depressed and absolutely no motivation to leave the house.  It was insane. 

I know most people don't necessarily "binge" on these types of sugary foods, but people DO eat processed foods on a daily basis and it's the same type of problems people are facing.  Lethargy, headaches, depression, etc.  Instead of treating these symptoms with a change in diet we immediately offer pills??!!!  These processed foods have no place in our bodies and for someone who knows better, I was still shocked at how my body rejected these foods.

All I know is what my body tells me.  I'm very stubborn to gimmicks and stories.  Do yourself a favor and give it one week without any cheats and see for yourself.  7 days, that's it!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beat the Bloat


A food intolerance means either your digestive system is responding to something in food that irritates it or you’re unable to fully break down food because of a shortage or missing enzyme.

Food which is not broken down properly impairs its intestinal absorption of nutrients, known as malabsorption. Carbohydrate malabsorption in your small intestine is the primary culprit for causing gas.

Whenever large amounts of sugar are not fully digested in your small intestine, it moves down to your large intestine where some otherwise healthful types of bacteria dwell.  Bacteria produced intestinal gas results in abdominal bloating, which suggests symptoms of a food intolerance.

CAUSE OF BLOATING:
Many foods contain a variety of naturally occurring sugars which can be a cause for your gas and bloating, like:

•  lactose ~ milk, dairy products

•  fructose ~ onions, artichokes, pears

•  sorbitol ~ apples, pears, peaches, prunes

•  starch ~ potatoes, corn, pasta, wheat (rice does not cause gas)

•  raffinose ~ beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus

Fats and protein cause very little gas.

Fiber contains a sugar called cellulose, to which human’s can’t breakdown because we don’t produce an enzyme necessary for this work. However, soluble fiber, found in oat bran, beans, peas, and most fruits, is broken down in your large intestine by certain bacteria, causing gas.

Whereas, insoluble fiber passes through your intestines relatively unchanged. Thus, no intestinal gas nor abdominal bloating symptoms created. This type of fiber is contained in wheat bran and some vegetables.

Since everyone’s enzyme deficits and gut flora vary, some will produce more gas than others to the same carbohydrate containing foods. Yet, it’s a sure bet you’ve experienced the unpleasant intestinal gas and abdominal bloating reaction to something you ate.


SYMPTOMS:
Although, any food consumed in a great quantity may cause digestive symptoms .Other symptoms of food intolerance beyond gas and abdominal bloating, may include:

•  diarrhea

•  heartburn

•  headaches

•  weight loss

•  stomach pain

•  nausea and vomiting

•  irritability, nervousness

You may not experience symptoms of a food intolerance until you eat a bunch of it or eat it regularly.

TREATMENT:
Common sense treatment for a food intolerance is by avoidance or intake reduction. When you do eat an intolerant food, some OTC help for treating, or preventing, abdominal symptoms are:

•  beano

•  lactase

•  antacids

Of course, if your intestinal gas and abdominal bloating is due to swallowing air while eating, then eat slower and stop doing that.

While a food intolerance can make you extremely miserable, it’s not generally a major health concern.

Food intolerance is very different from a food allergy or food poisoning. A food allergy employs an immune system response and food poisoning is caused by an infectious (viruses, bacteria, parasites) or toxic agent.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Guiltless Burger and Fries

One of the most traditional savory meals is the burger and fries.  You can find this in almost every restaurant, backyard BBQ or family picnic.  It's simple and now healthy.  Let's start with the reinvented burger...

HAMBURGER

1/4 pound  Maverick Beef (substitute ground turkey if you cannot find at your local supermarket)

Hamburger Buns: Wonder 80 Calorie Wheat Buns

Toppings: Anything low cal/low sodium (read labels)


 FRIES

1 package of fresh carrot sticks

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
  • In large bowl toss carrots, olive oil and salt
  • Spread out carrot sticks on parchment paper cooking sheet
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until carrots are browned

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Recipes on a Calorie Budget

Eating healthy doesn't mean that you have to give up your favorite foods, but it does mean being a little more creative in the kitchen and being a little more proactive when dining out.  I personally am not a savory food junky (I've got a sweet tooth), but when I'm asked to make a well known calorie tipping meal healthy, you couldn't make me happier.  I absolutely love the challenge of making savory foods in to something that is not only healthy, but easy for anyone to make.  Below is just one idea that can be made with simple ingredients and enjoyed without any of the guilt.  In fact, I just made this a couple of days ago and I have to admit it tasted GREAT!

Look for more ways to cut calories on recipes like pizza, taco salads, hamburgers and more in upcoming blogs.  Let us know what your favorites recipes are and see how we can make them in to your new healthy favorites.

MACARONI & CHEESE

1 (12oz) package of frozen butternut squash

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups nonfat milk

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound whole wheat spirals

4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (1 cup)

4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 ounce)

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 teaspoon olive oil

Olive-oil cooking spray, to grease baking pan

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (for pasta). Combine defrosted squash, stock, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for about 10 minutes and remove from heat.

Add noodles to boiling water; cook until al dente according to package instructions, about 8 minutes. Stir contents of saucepan; add nutmeg, salt, and season with black pepper. Stir to combine.

Drain pasta, and transfer to a large bowl; stir in squash mixture, cheddar, cottage cheese, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking dish (4 inches deep) with cooking spray. Transfer noodle mixture to dish.

Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and oil evenly over noodles.

Cover with foil, and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, about 20 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Number of Servings: 8

Nutritional Information Per Serving

Calories: 200.0

Total Fat: 5.8 g

Cholesterol: 16.1 mg

Sodium: 449.1 mg

Total Carbs: 27.9 g

Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g

Protein: 10.2 g