Nutrition

Let’s simplify your weight loss

The main reason that you’re not happy with your weight is because of what you eat.  It’s hardly your fault. Have you ever stopped to notice how many times you’re bombarded by food marketing each day? Ads come at you from magazine pages, T.V. commercials, on websites and billboards, each boasting of cheap, convenient and tasty ways to cure your hunger. The question “What’s for dinner?” has never been more complex than now. Extensive menu options and large entrees have distorted your concept of a proper meal, and before you know it you’ve fallen into the trap of the chain restaurant, the drive thru, and the take-out line. But wait – truly healthy eating is simple. First you need to block out the blizzard of food marketing around you.

Remember that advertisers want your money, and they don’t stop to consider if the food they promote will expand your waist – that’s your job. It’s safe to say that, with few exceptions, any food that you see marketed should be avoided. When was the last time you saw an ad for grilled white fish, steamed broccoli and a side of brown rice? So what does truly healthy eating look like?

A healthy meal contains lean protein, fresh vegetables and a modest serving of whole grains.

Just as importantly, a healthy meal does NOT contain:

  • Refined sugar / corn syrup
  • Fried / fatty food
  • Full fat dairy food
  • Processed food with chemical additives

Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What you decide to eat when you first wake up will set the tone for the rest of your meals that day. Try these healthy options:

  • Scrambled egg whites, sliced tomato and whole grain toast
  • Whole grain oatmeal, sliced fruit and a protein shake
  • Homemade breakfast sandwich: Multi-grain English muffin with lean turkey slices and egg

Healthy Lunch

It is important to plan your lunch ahead of time in order to avoid turning to a fast food joint or vending machine. Pack your lunch the night before and carry it with you. Try these healthy options:

  • Dark baby greens topped with chopped chicken breast and diced tomatoes
  • Albacore tuna (packed in water), mixed with finely chopped cucumber over brown rice
  • Homemade sandwich: Sprouted grain bread with lean turkey slices, lettuce, tomato and mustard

Healthy Dinner

Dinner is the meal where most people splurge and eat far more calories than they should. Eating at home is the first step in reducing your dinnertime calories. Try these healthy options:

  • Grilled white fish, sautéed spinach and whole wheat couscous
  • Baked chicken breast, steamed broccoli and brown rice
  • Try the recipe for Rosemary Lamb Chops below

While healthy eating is a huge factor in achieving your ideal weight, exercise is the other half of the equation.  Your exercise routine should be challenging and should be done on a regular basis.

I know that you have more than enough in your life to think about without having to plan your own exercise routine. Leave that job to us—call or email today to get started on a personalized fitness program that will leave your body no choice but to shed those unwanted pounds, in spite of the holidays!

Dealing with food cravings

You wake up each morning with every intention of eating well today.

You’ll skip the drive thru line on your way to work. You’ll refuse to get fast food with co-workers at lunch. You’ll boycott the vending machine in the mid-afternoon. And you won’t even think about having dessert after dinner.

But then your cravings kick in…

Your friend drops by with a big fluffy muffin and a latte for breakfast. A group of co-workers invite you to that greasy Mexican place down the street for lunch. Cookies are passed around at the mid-afternoon staff meeting. And after dinner your significant other surprises you with a bowl of your favorite ice cream.

You tell yourself that tomorrow will be different.

Tomorrow you won’t give in to food cravings.

But then tomorrow comes with its own special circumstances, and cravings get the best of you once again.

Why Do Food Cravings Always Win?

Let’s face it, we live in a world where food temptations are everywhere…which leads to cravings, which leads to eating things that we shouldn’t, which leads to pounds gained, etc., etc. Again. And again. And again. Until you’re so fed up with your body that you don’t even know where to begin to get yourself back on track.

Stores display the most tantalizing junk food items right where you can easily reach them. TV commercials for greasy, fattening foods portray them so scrumptiously that you literally salivate. Sugary snack items have full-page, glossy pictures in your favorite magazines. And as if all of these weren’t enough, the people in your daily life are another (constant) source of food temptation.

To make matters worse, you’ve been conditioned since childhood to have a positive association with the act of indulging in your cravings. You use food as a reward. You use food as a source of emotional comfort. You use food as a way to relieve stress. And quickly these associations and uses of food become habit. A habit that’s not easily broken.

New Technique to End Food Cravings

Food cravings don’t need to have the upper hand on you anymore. Here’s how you can fight back using your most powerful asset: your brain.

Remember that your mind is an amazing thing. Once your mind is made up about something it’s nearly impossible to change it.

Try This Powerful Mind Exercise: Imagine that you are peacefully floating down a river on a raft. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and you are having a fun, relaxing time. You feel wonderful about the river because it’s making you feel happy.

Now change perspectives for a moment. You’re now in a plane flying over the river and the raft. Instantly our eye is drawn to an enormous rocky waterfall. Then you look back to the person floating on the raft, having a wonderful time, headed straight for the treacherous falls.

With this new perspective of the river, do you think that you’d agree to get on a raft and take your chances floating toward the falls? Laughable, right? You’ve seen the hidden danger of the river. You know it leads to pain and suffering.

Now your negative association (watery death) with the river has replaced your initial positive association (relaxing fun).

This is the key to overcoming food temptations and putting an end to food cravings: building negative associations in place of existing positive ones. I’ll break this process down for you in two steps:

Step One: Create a STRONG Negative Association with Unhealthy Food

You may not have realized it, but up until this point you’ve placed unhealthy, fattening foods on a pedestal in your mind. As long as the wrong foods are on that pedestal you’ll continue to give into your cravings and will continue to gain weight.

Take the wrong food off that pedestal by listing off everything negative about them…

  • These foods make you unhealthy.
  • These foods cause weight gain.
  • These foods drain your energy.
  • These foods kill your confidence.
  • These foods lessen your quality of life.
  • These foods damage your love life.

Every time that you feel tempted to eat an unhealthy food, focus on your list of negatives. Kick the junk off the pedestal and put something healthy in its place.

Step Two: Create a STRONG Positive Association with Wholesome Foods

Now that your mental food pedestal has been cleared, put truly wholesome food items on it. Juicy fresh fruit, crispy vegetables and savory lean meats are the place to start.

List off the things that you love about healthy food…

  • These foods make you healthy.
  • These foods promote fat loss.
  • These foods boost your energy.
  • These foods build your confidence.
  • These foods improve your quality of life.
  • These foods enhance your love life.

I encourage you to immerse yourself into the world of healthy, wholesome foods. Browse the aisles of your local natural foods store. Stroll through a farmer’s market. Pack healthy snacks to bring to work. Clear your kitchen of junk.

Use the technique above consistently and you will soon find that healthy, wholesome foods are your favorite. And craving the wrong foods will be a thing of your past.

Is this you?

A woman sits at a restaurant studying the menu with a furrowed brow. She has begun an exercise routine and knows that her frequent meals out could slow her weight loss results if she isn’t careful. When the waiter comes she is still deep in thought over what to order. “What can I get for you?” he asks with a smile. She looks up and frowns, no closer to arriving at a decision. On a whim, self-conscious, she blurts out, “I’m trying to eat healthy but I have no idea what to order. What do you think I should try?”

The young waiter looks startled but quickly rattles off his idea of a healthy meal. “The eggplant and roasted pepper pasta is filled with vegetables. You could try that, with a salad.”

The woman smiles. Yes, eggplant does sound great. A salad alone just doesn’t do it for me. So she orders the veggie pasta with a side salad and a diet soda, then sits back to enjoy a slice or two of bread.

200 grams of carbohydrate and 1,450 calories later, she’s just derailed her entire week of workouts, but leaves feeling satiated and satisfied with her choices. Does that sound like a well-educated, empowered consumer? Little does she know, her eggplant was pan-fried in oil, the same oil her pasta was coated with. Everyone has their idea of what it means to be healthy, to eat healthfully. But, who’s right? Who can we actually trust?

Before I entered the fitness world, during my high school years primarily, I consistently worked in restaurants. I’ll spare you the horror stories (unless of course, you ask!). I will tell you that we used to get in an entire log (about 20 pounds or so) of 75/25 red meat that was simply sliced up and tossed onto a greasy flat-top grill, to simmer in it’s own fat…yikes! If anything is going to cause cancer, that meat would have my vote. On top of the grill cleaned nightly with harsh, skin-deteriorating chemicals. I know, I know…I said I would spare you! I don’t know the answers, but I can, however, promise you that the same virtually fat free, hormone free, chicken breast you can cook at home can and will often contain in excess of 15 grams of fatty tissue. Why? Flavor, of course! Why spend more money on a better quality piece of meat that may not taste as good? Fortunately, we have some great restaurants around here…but who actually knows what goes on behind the scenes?

It is said that 80% of your weight loss results are derived from diet, and the remaining 20% from exercise—so you can see how important it is for you to stick with a healthy eating plan.

Now that we are all horrified on a harmless Tuesdaymorning, let’s forget the scary stuff for a minute and use the following quick tips as your guide to eating out right, when you need to:

Appetizers

Appetizers are a great way to start out a leisurely meal, but can also derail your good intentions with a quickness.
Don’t Order:

  • Anything fried. Fried foods are a favorite, but will do damage that even the most intense workout won’t undo.
  • Creamy dips. These are filled with fat and usually come with something fried to dip in it.
  • Bread. It comes smothered in cheese or seeped in butter, and even when it’s plain it fills you up with more carbohydrates than your body needs.

Do Order

  • Green salad. Ask for very light dressing and no croutons.
  • Antipasto. A plate of thinly sliced meats, olives and cheese will start you off with some protein.
  • Lettuce wraps. These are delicious, protein-filled and low in carbs.

Beverages

Calories in drinks are sneaky because they don’t fill you up. This means that you end up taking in far more calories than you bargained for.

Don’t Order

  • Regular or diet soda. On one hand you’re drinking corn syrup through a straw, on the other you’re drinking chemicals that cause you to crave sweets. It’s a no win situation.
  • Sweet cocktails. Many restaurants are advertising sweet cocktails –resist the urge. Sugar plus alcohol equals loads of unneeded calories.
  • Sweetened tea. You may feel righteous for ordering iced tea, but if it’s sweetened then you may as well be drinking fully loaded soda.

Do Order

  • Water. Don’t laugh! Water is the best beverage of all.
  • Unsweetened iced tea. Don’t ruin it by adding that packet of sugar. Learn to enjoy the natural sweetness to the tea.
  • Red wine. Stick to one glass, and drink responsibly.

Entrees

This is where the real damage is done. When you order something carb-loaded you leave the restaurant feeling heavy and lethargic—you may not even realize this until you start eating better and experience the light, energetic way you’ll feel after eating a healthy meal.

Don’t Order

  • Pasta. I don’t care if it comes with red sauce or white sauce, meat or veggies.
  • Pizza. Another dish that has far more carbohydrates than you need. If you’re craving the pizza toppings then simply order those over a salad.
  • Burgers. If you really want a burger then ditch the bun and the fries, and have your patty wrapped in lettuce. And maybe ask the waiter if it came from a long, tube-like log of nasty – I wasn’t kidding!

Do Order

  • Lean meats with vegetables. Fish, steak, chicken, take your pick and pair it with green vegetables. Always, always ask how it’s prepared. Advocate!
  • Salad with protein. Ask for very light dressing and make sure you have a nice piece of protein on it.
  • Soup and salad. Stick with broth based soups that contain protein and pass on the breadsticks.

You’re so close to your goals. you just may not realize it yet. So now ask yourself…is eating out worth it? If you do your homework, you can come to that determination well before you get to the restaurant. Moral of the story, ask the right questions and you’ll be just fine.

Red and processed meats cause cancer?

On Tuesday marked an interesting day in consumer history. Anytime the World Health Organization releases a study, especially one of this magnitude, people take notice. I use the word “consumer” because we are ultimately in charge of the products we buy, the politicians we buy into, and the information we choose to absorb (etc, etc.). Let me ask you this…

Would you buy a brand new, thousand dollar TV, without doing some online research?

Will you vote Donald Trump into office just because he’s a little different and doesn’t embody your typical politician? Who are we kidding, he’s a lot different.

So will you stop eating local, grass-fed, red meat once or twice weekly, as part of a well-balanced diet…because of this recent study? I urge you to do your homework and to consider this…

A correlation represents a strong (or probable) cause and effect relationship between two things, backed up by some form of scientific data. So, in this case, the incidence of certain cancers has been shown to increase in those who consume red and processed meats. First off, any time new cancer research hits the consumer driven world, eyebrows are sure to raise. People take note. After all, we still don’t know how to prevent the world’s deadliest disease. Don’t smoke… Check. Don’t subject yourself to chemicals and contaminants over prolonged periods of time… Check. Don’t eat cheeseburgers? Wait a minute. Let’s talk more about correlations…

Isn’t it possible that the same people who regularly eat highly processed foods are the same people that eat other highly processed, chemical laden foods? And the same people who exercise very minimally? I just think there are too many variables in the Western diet to zero in on any one thing, at least right away. So at the very least, like with anything, we encourage you to do your homework, to become your own advocates. We drive this consumer driven world; we are the ones that need to evoke and embrace change…in a meaningful, well-educated way.

Top 10 Low Calorie Foods

Sadly, there aren’t actually foods that burn more calories than they contain. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your eyes open for foods that offer very low amounts of calories that will do your diet good. Ready to hunt down some of the best low-calorie foods available? Here are 10 of them.

#1: Black Rice

Everyone loves rice. Most folks will go straight to the white stuff, but many are turning to brown rice. If you want to trim more calories and cram in some more fiber and antioxidants, go even darker. With black rice, your main and side dishes will get a boost in needed nutrients while stripping out calories.

#2: Carrots

There are few foods as dense and filling as carrots that offer so few calories to add to your waistline. How many calories? An entire cup of the orange goodies contain a meager 52 calories! Additional perks include the fact that they’re great cooked, or raw, and have plenty of vitamin A.

#3: Asparagus

Toss it on a salad, get it fresh off the grill, or steam it up on the stovetop. However you prefer your asparagus, you can take comfort knowing that this filling food comes with just 27 calories per cup. Of course, many prefer their asparagus loaded with salt and butter, and if this is you, be careful! Otherwise you can easily turn a low-calorie stalk of asparagus into an unhealthy addition to your meal.

#4: Arugula

It’s green, has something of a peppery kick, and rings in at 4 calories per cup. Yes, you read right—4 calories. Versatile enough to go wherever green, leafy veggies belong, arugula adds flavor without adding fat, cholesterol, or calories to your salads, soups and beyond!

#5: Broccoli

What is it about green stuff that makes it so low in calories? Whatever it is, broccoli meets the criteria for being one of the top 10 low-calorie foods. Broccoli seems to have some of the greatest benefits of any low-calorie food, as it contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that strengthen and protect your body from a variety of dangerous and deadly diseases.

#6: Lettuce

Weighing in at only 5 calories per cup, lettuce comes with a variety of nutrients, depending on the type you eat. Best choices are those that are dark and rich in color. While you’re not likely to eat a head of lettuce on its own, it provides an exceptional, low-calorie base for all sorts of fantastically delicious and nutritious meals.

#7: Mushrooms

Want to amp up that salad even more? Better grab a handful of mushrooms. Even if you grab a massive handful, you’ll only get 15 calories. And don’t forget that you’ll also get a nice pile of potassium, antioxidants, and various B vitamins. Worn out on salad? Feel free to use mushrooms with other foods and enjoy their versatile abilities.

#8: Tomatoes

Tired of salad talk? Then don’t use that tomato in a salad. Instead, grab a knife, slice up a tomato, and eat it like an apple. When you finish off your medium-sized tomato, it’s okay to feel good about yourself, because you only consumed 22 calories. You also chowed down on vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and an antioxidant called lycopene.

#9: Watermelon

It’s hard to imagine a list of top foods without something to tantalize your sweet tooth. If you’ve ever been at a picnic, you’ve eaten watermelon. Its naturally sweet, has more of those cancer-fighting antioxidants that your body loves, and is exceptionally low in calories. So cut a slice and dig in!

#10: Broth

Rounding out the list of top 10 low-cal foods is good ol’ broth. No matter if you go for chicken, beef, veggie, seafood, or miso broth, it all drops just 10 calories per cup. Chop up some carrots, black rice, broccoli, and mushrooms, and you just made a fantastic soup with just a few more calories than ingredients. Just be mindful of sodium.

While we fully encourage you to replace the processed, high calorie items in your diet with some of the 10 foods listed above, all the low calorie foods in the world won’t get you where you want to be, if you neglect to build a challenging exercise program into your routine. You simply MUST exercise in a way that challenges your muscles to adapt and strengthen in order to be fit and healthy.

We are here to help you do just that: become fit and healthy. Don’t waste another minute of your life wishing that you were healthier and more fit – DO something about it. Call or email us NOW and together we will catapult your results with our proven 50/50 program.

Let’s do this!

The 7 Worst Items in Your Kitchen

1. Breakfast Cereal

It’s delicious, it’s easy to prepare, and sometimes it even gives you enough energy to get to lunchtime. Unfortunately, breakfast cereal is often jam-packed with extra sugars that will do more to drag you down than build you up for your day. Prefer the flavorless kinds? Then be ready to be hungry soon, as they often don’t provide enough good calories to fill you up for long. Still hungry for a bowl of cereal? Consider this: they’re one of the most processed foods on the market.

2. Flavored Yogurt

Yes, flavored yogurt tastes much better than its plain peers, but going with a pre-flavored yogurt will instantly double the amount of sugar you consume. Fortunately, overcoming the flavorless thing can be done healthily. All you have to do is add chopped, fresh fruit of your choice and enjoy! Still not enough? Try a touch of honey!

3. Frozen Entrees

It’s hard to believe how many people rely on frozen (what used to be called) TV dinners on a regular basis. If you’re a frozen believer, it’s time to put your health before convenience. On top of frequently lacking all the vitamins and minerals you need for optimal health, frozen dinners often present with trans-fats and abnormally high levels of sodium. This means that while your palate may be pleased, your waist, arteries, and heart will not.

4. Diet Soda

One of the most dangerous items to ever be invented was the diet soda. By trimming certain things from the ingredients list, soda manufacturers guaranteed a giant market share, consisting largely of people who are attempting to be health conscious. Unfortunately, diet soda messes with your body’s ability to recognize and manage sugar properly. And while diet drinks may be calorie-free, those who drink them are at a much greater risk for weight gain than those who do not.

5. Popcorn

No, all popcorn is not to be avoided at all costs. But more than likely, a lot of the unpopped kernels in your kitchen should be ditched. Here’s a good way to determine if your popcorn is at war with your good health. Is it in a prepackaged bag that simply has to be tossed in the microwave to be cooked? Then stay away! Those prepackaged popcorn packages, whether lightly buttered, drowning in butter, or candied, offer no benefit. If you’re going to do popcorn, you’ll need to pop it the old-fashioned way, preferably via air popping.

6. “Skinny” Desserts

The word “skinny” is alluring. It’s what you want to achieve. And marketers know that. Unfortunately, marketers are not tied to some code of ethics that prevents them from using words that are not factual. What they are tied to is doing whatever it takes to sell more of their product. A great way to do that is to toss the word “skinny” on your favorite dessert item. You’ll buy it, thinking you’ve saved yourself valuable calories, but all you’ve probably done is buy a smaller portion of the same stuff, only there isn’t any natural sugar and flavor. It’s all artificial.

7. Granola Bars

Enjoyed by healthy hikers around the world, granola bars are the final unexpected bad choice in your kitchen. This one may have you scratching your head when you consider that your favorite kind is crammed with every fruit and nut you can imagine. But read the ingredient label and you’ll soon see that there is probably more sugar—make that high-fructose corn syrup—than goodness your body can use. Are you ready to ditch the unhealthy items from your kitchen in order to take your fitness to the next level? Would you like to know without a shadow of a doubt that you are going to lose weight in the coming months?

It’s our goal to see you achieve greatness. We believe that you’ve got what it takes.

It’s so simple. Call or email today to get started on a program that will improve your health and well being, and will get you amazing results.

Here’s How To Eat Less Sugar

As a country, we’ve been eating more and more sugar over the past 200 years, which has led to rising obesity numbers. Back in 1822 the average person ate only 6.3 lbs of sugar per year, compared to 130 lbs of sugar in 2012. That’s more than 20 times as much sugar in our modern diet! No wonder, as a society, we are bigger than ever…

One of the reasons that your diet is filled with so much sugar is that some form of refined sugar is included in virtually every single processed food. This is yet another reason that it’s important to cut those processed and packaged convenience foods out of your diet.

Cutting sugar from your diet is easier said than done. Once it is a part of your daily diet, cravings strike, causing you to eat it even more frequently. But there is hope…

To follow are 7 ways to eat less of that sugar that you’re eating/craving, that’s killing your results and keeping you from attaining your ideal weight:

Eat More Protein
A diet rich in protein keeps you full, satisfied and less likely to crave sweets. A great way to make sure that you are getting enough is to plan each meal and snack around a protein. Plan breakfast around eggs, lunch and dinner around baked chicken breast and other lean meats, and make snacks simple, such as hardboiled eggs or turkey meatballs.

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
One of the biggest fitness myths out there is the idea that calorie-free, artificially sweetened beverages don’t impact your weight loss results. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is that the diet soda you’re sipping is doing much of the same. While the diet soda itself doesn’t contain calories, it has been proven to cause cravings for sugary foods. Put down the diet soda and instead pick up a refreshing bottle of spring water.

Steer Clear Of Saboteurs
The sad truth is that people in your life will try to sabotage your low sugar diet. You’ll run into that pushy person at the office who insists that you eat a donut, the well-meaning family member who dishes you up a bowl of ice cream, and the friend who comes over with a plate of her home-baked cookies. The best avoidance strategy is to sincerely thank the sugar-pusher for their gift, tell them you wish you could eat it, and then blame us – your fitness mentors – as the bad guys who say that you need to cut back on sugar and excess carbs.

Try Dark Chocolate
For those moments when your sweet tooth is relentlessly badgering you for something sweet, ditch the super-sugary candies and stick with a small square of very dark chocolate. Chocolate that is 70% or higher in cocoa content should be the only candy that you keep on hand. The benefit of the cocoa, in addition to the lowered sugar content, makes dark chocolate an occasionally justifiable treat.

Stick With Fruit
What’s sweet, colorful and comes in hundreds of flavors? Organic, seasonal, fresh fruit, of course! As you remove refined sugar from your life, feel free to add in some natural sugar by way of fresh, local fruit. It’s amazing how satisfyingly sweet fruit is – it’s truly nature’s candy.

Change Your Palate
As you begin to limit your intake of refined sugars, you’ll find that your tolerance for sugar decreases. This means that something that didn’t taste sweet before – say a green apple – now has uncanny depths of sweetness. What’s happening is that your sweet receptors are becoming more finely tuned, now that you’re not overwhelming your palate with sickly-sweet refined sugar.

Workout Like You Mean It
A regular, challenging exercise routine will not only get you into amazing shape, it also reduces your cravings for sugar. The endorphin rush brought on by vigorous exercise is an even more powerful feel-good-feeling than the pleasure gotten by indulging in sugary foods.

Make challenging, consistent exercise a part of your life by signing up for our fitness programs. We’d love to get you to your goals using our results-driven methods.

Creating an Effective Balance by Eating Fruits & Vegetables

This journal entry stemmed from a conversation about making effective dietary changes without placing too many limits. For a lot of people, the problems arise when there are disruptions in the normal day. It just takes an hour or two to sit down, identify potential inconsistencies and work around them. By keeping protein sources and snacks with you at all times, you can prevent long lapses in your day and intense bouts of hunger, all while keeping your calorie count down. If you’re hungry, EAT! But only if you’ve worked on a plan and have developed some sense of control.

I counted somewhere near 20 fruits and veggies on here! Every little bit counts, it can be done!

Click here to view!

Protein Shakes After a Workout

Protein shakes are often associated with bodybuilding and elite athletes. The reality is that most people don’t consume nearly enough protein or carbohydrate, if at all, after a strenuous workout. There is so much confusion surrounding the question of whether or not to “eat back” exercise calories. In the grand scheme of things, you want to be able to utilize physical activity to create a deficit conducive to a healthy, consistent weight loss. You shouldn’t necessarily consume more because you exercised, but you should consume smart.

After a workout, your body is broken down and depleted of many essential nutrients. The two that require the most attention after any type of prolonged or strenuous physical activity are carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates are our primary source of energy before we get into our fat stores. They drive all of the internal processes that allow us to function and perform on a daily basis. Proteins or amino acids make up the tools necessary to respond, repair, and adapt. They’re used as a building block for muscle tissue. The two go hand in hand. Your body needs the carbs for energy to repair your damaged muscles and the protein to carry out the repairs. If you want to get stronger, boost your metabolism, and generally feel less fatigued, it’s extremely important that you consume both within 30 minutes. This can be a challenge. Whole food choices like your meats, grains, nuts, etc. take far too long to break down. Any added fats will slow down the process even more (fats are metabolized very slowly). On the other hand, protein shakes are already in liquid form and are therefore metabolized and utilized more readily. Many protein powders actually already contain an optimal ratio of carbs to protein.

If you don’t take in the fuel you need to replenish your depleted energy stores, your body can actually begin to break down muscle tissue in order to make more carbohydrates. This can be extremely debilitating and frustrating over time.

We wish there was a simple equation that could tell you how many calories to consume based on the intensity level and overall burn of your workout. In a way, it doesn’t matter as much as you would think. Immediately following a workout, your body is in an extremely anabolic state. This means that you’re burning significantly more calories than you would at normal resting times. It can be scary to workout, see a large burn, and then seemingly take away some of your hard work. Rest assured, it doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t always boil down to the numbers. If it was all numbers all the time, it would be much easier to lose the weight! Protein shakes are your friend. Like anything else, consume in moderation!

The Truth About Smoothies

the truth about smoothies

Smoothies are refreshing and delicious, especially during the heat of Summer. But, unfortunately, like anything else, many smoothies are made to be ultra fattening, contain high doses of sugar, or some combination of the two. Couple that with the fact that those liquid calories will get digested and absorbed pretty readily, and you’re “healthy choice” could quickly send you running for help.

Here’s the truth about smoothies!

Food, by definition, makes up what (and how) we choose to nourish our bodies. In determining what’s appropriate to eat and when, we promote proper balance and education. We have to weigh the positives and the negatives to do determine if we should consume something, but we need the education to weigh things properly. So how do smoothies stack up? They should be a valued asset to your overall fitness regime.

Read on to find out whether your smoothie is working against instead of for you….

Does It Have Fruit Juice?

If your smoothie relies on fruit juices to give it some added punch, your smoothie may not be as healthy as you think. Since fruit juice is often jam-packed with flavor-enhancing sugars, you’d be smart to keep fruit juice well away from your morning pick-me-up. Have a killer recipe that can’t do without fruit juice of some sort? No problem. Just be sure to pick all-natural homemade squeezed fruit juice or coconut water. The best way to make sure your fruit juice is nothing but fruit juice is to squeeze it yourself, so start squeezing! And don’t forget the fiber-rich pulp!

Do You Have to Add Sugar?

For the same reason you don’t want a smoothie with store-bought sugar-laden fruit juice, you want to sidestep any smoothie that requires you to toss extra teaspoons of sugar or syrup in. The fruit you add to your smoothie should have plenty of sugar (often too much!) to give it the sweetness you desire. Anything else is excessive and will serve to slow you down and encourage fat storage.

Do You Toss in Yogurt?

Smoothies that include yogurt can come out on the healthy or unhealthy side of things. It all depends on what kind of yogurt you use. For the same reasons above, if your favorite type of yogurt is stuffed with added sugars and flavors, it’s not going to be a good way to power yourself up for the day. On the other hand, if you’re careful to only use homemade, organic, or Greek yogurt, your smoothie can be a superbly healthy start to your day. Just think about whether or not you still need the whole container to achieve the same consistency you’re looking for.

Is It Super Sized?

No matter what healthy ingredients you shove into your smoothie, it can still sabotage your weight and health goals if you over-consume. Portion control is extremely important. Remember, you can jam pack a lot of nutrition into a small glass. Think 8 ounces and stick to it! Before you serve yourself a 48-ounce smoothie, or purchase a 60+ gram of sugar Naked juice or Odwalla, really consider your weight goals and your bodies ability to process that many carbohydrates at once. The solution? Split your morning smoothie into appropriate portions so the whole family can join in. Serve it as part of a well-balanced breakfast on the weekend! Or, drink down one portion in the morning and save the rest for a small afternoon snack or finish it off the next morning.

Do You Ever Color It Green?

While fruit smoothies are incredibly delicious, it’s a great idea to switch it up by making a veggie smoothie on occasion. You may even want to go green the majority of the time. The deep green color is sure to give you some vitamins and minerals that your body is likely missing, and skipping the fruit on occasion will remind your taste buds that good things don’t always have to be so sweet.

Does It Contain Ice Cream?

Okay, this may sound like a joke, but if your smoothie contains three scoops of ice cream, a squirt of chocolate syrup, and a cup or two of milk, you’re not drinking a smoothie. It’s a milk shake. And it will not get your day or diet off on the right foot.

Before you laugh too loudly, you should know that some people think that anything cold and creamy that comes out of blender is a smoothie. So if you’re lounging at a friend’s house and he or she offers you a delicious homemade smoothie, ask what’s in it before accepting!

Getting Started

Smoothies are great for a lot of reasons. The rapid nutrient uptake/absorption and the potential to really balance off your day is exciting. If you’re not accustomed to eating breakfast, try to drink your breakfast! We all need the energy and nutrition early, to provide our body with what it needs to perform how we expect it to perform on a daily basis, in and out of the gym. You can read on to see how to supplement your workouts with protein derived shakes and the added benefit we see there.

smoothie nutrition factsIn the meantime, check out this (simple) sample smoothie. Note the balance in the nutrition line from carbs to protein to fat. With this and any smoothie, you can always add in some greens, healthy seeds, and the protein source of your choice.

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