Tag Archives: prevention

Beginner Nutrition Tips to Look, Feel and Be Better

When it comes to eating, maybe you often get bored of what you’re eating and than revert to more palatable yet not-so-healthy foods. On occasion this is ok if you have hit that mark on your journey, but too often and that is just a recipe for disaster. If you’re always on the lookout for new recipes or ways to change up some of your faves, or for easy shortcuts to prevent boredom, here are some tips to get you started:

1. Add Art to Your Meals – Colorful fruits and vegetables (just like a beautiful painting yes) quickly decorate your favourite recipes and make your food appear much more appetizing. Look for deep greens in spinach, vibrant reds in tomatoes and a rainbow of colors in peppers to add to your favourite home-cooked dishes.

2. Swap Schtuff  – It may surprise you to learn serving meals on smaller plates (or in smaller bowls) encourages people to eat less food. So downsize what you serve your meals on, and you might find your family eating the proper portions.  Eating with smaller utensils can help too as you will be forced to slow down your eating and thus will likely trigger your “I’m full” hormones sooner.

3. Change Your Take-Out and Delivery Menus- If you have a stack of take-out/delivery menus in your home, replace them with meal planner services. Having a planner will help you arrange a weekly grocery shopping list and save you time and money by limiting the number of nights you eat out. There are so many options as far as being able to get these delivered, daily, weekly or monthly as well as the option of buying pre-cooked healthy portioned meals to pick up. The number of healthy “fast-food” joint nowadays too removes major barriers as well.

4. Flip Off the TV and Couch – No I am not advising you to take gymnastics, or wait, maybe I AM! Instead of plopping on the couch in front of the tv after dinner, go for a walk and help shuttle the nutrients from the foods you just ate into the right places 😉

5. Vary the Ingredients – If you already have family-favorite recipes, look them over to see if there are ways to swap healthier ingredients in place of others. Varying your foods, ingredients and so forth is actually a great way to prevent food aversions, ensure you get a wide spectrum of micronutrients that are essential for health, fat loss, muscle building, performance, mental health….are you getting the picture 😉 Variety also helps to prevent certain intolerances and allergies too.

If you are a newbie, and even if you’re not, these little changes can make a big difference and when they do, please share them! You can, and totally SHOULD, keep adding to your toolbox. Start with small habits and changes each week. Add more nutrient dense foods, and a whole buttload of variety of them, instead of always “taking away” and you will no doubt look, feel and perform better in all aspects of life.

THE Strength, Performance, Fat Loss and Health Tool

Even if I was the inventor of this piece of equipment, I would still never tell you it was the only training tool you will ever need to reach your goals (although I do feel it could be ;D) Yes, you could only use it and excel at superhuman levels but I prefer to look at things in a complimentary fashion vs an either or.

The barbell. Definitely my favorite piece of equipment and whether you are a newbie or a seasoned vet, the barbell is hands down one of the best tools for any and all goals.

Barbell training is a great way to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. There are a ton of exercises you can do that will hit just about every muscle in your body, from the superficial to the stabilizers and if you move the bar at a faster pace, you will work your heart muscle pretty darn effectively too!

Want to be faster, have a firm round booty, jump higher, throw powerful punches, be able to LIVE a long life, not be on a medication timeline, look great nekked from head to toe etcetera etcetera (did I spell that right :p) ? You can do some of the following barbell exercises:

Back Squatsdownload

Deadlifts images

Push Press images (1)

Rows download (1)

Angled Barbell Press

images (2)

Glute Bridge

images (3)

I could seriously go on forever on not only the variations of these particular exercises, but the countless other exercises and ways to use barbells for any training goal. Maybe these are not fancy new age moves, (and I could show you some in person if you’d like and have some training behind you) but these basics just freaking work. The entertainment exercises are great for just that as well as for advanced peeps.

With even just the above exercises you are going to build fat burning, performance enhancing muscle mass and strength from head to toe, literally.

With the above, you will be preventing a whole host of diseases (and while I guess I am not really supposed to say this but you will most certainly treat or fix some you may already have) and other misfortunes that come from NOT training.

More work done in less time with barbell training no matter your goal, your age or your training background, sounds pretty kick ass to me!

Four Flu Fighting Foods

As the saying goes, the best offense is a good defense. In terms of your health, this means prevention  prior to treatment. With the cold and flu season upon us, you want to arm yourself with the right arsenal of weapons to ward off the ills and blahs.

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To get your immune system warriors on their guard, incorporating some of the following foods may help to fight off what could mean a week or two of feeling sluggish, stuffed up wheezy:

1. Whey Protein – the benefits of whey go far beyond simply helping you to build and maintain muscle mass (along side training of course!). Quality whey protein may help to reduce inflammation by means of reducing cytokine secretion (1) which is a major factor in health.  Whey is rich in substances called immunoglobins like bifidobacterium and lactoferrin,  and is an excellent source of the amino acid cysteine which is a precursor to the powerful antioxidant glutathione (3).

2. Stank foods aka Garlic and Onions – These two foods (or spices if you may) may act as natural antibiotics due to their compounds called allium cepa L, antioxidant (flavonoid) called quercetin, and allium sativa (4,5). Basically, the horrible stink that these foods give your breath is actually really good for your gut health and immune system. Bite in and ward off vampires AND cold and flu 🙂

3. Hard boiled eggs – I don’t know why foods that stink have to be so good for us but they just are! Whole eggs are rich in fatty acids, choline, B vitamins and sulfur (hydrogen sulfide). Sulfur (which is one of the reasons hard boiled eggs stink) is something often overlooked as being of importance in our diets. This nutrient can actually help to boost our bodies ability to fight off inflammation as well as to help produce the health promoting vitamin/hormone D and the ridiculously powerful immune promoting n-acetyl-cysteine (6,7) .

4. Sprouts – Whether it be alfalfa, clover or soybean, this family of food or herb, is a great addition to soups, salads and sandwiches for their immune promoting, cell protecting polyphenols, antioxidants and flavones. We often get sick in the first place because of too much mental, physical and oxidative stress and this group of foods may help to battle that damage off (8).

Summary

This can be a tough time of the year for many in terms of colds and flu. If you start incorporating these foods into your diet now before getting fully into the sickness season, you just might be able to fully enjoy the holidays this season with your loved ones instead of with a box of tissues and prescriptions. Seriously though, punch sickness in the face!

References:

1. Cross, M. L., & Gill, H. S. (1999). Modulation of immune function by a modified bovine whey protein concentrate. Immunology and cell biology, 77(4), 345-350.

2. Kau, A. L., Ahern, P. P., Griffin, N. W., Goodman, A. L., & Gordon, J. I. (2011). Human nutrition, the gut microbiome and the immune system. Nature,474(7351), 327-336.

3. Keri Marshall, N. D. (2004). Therapeutic applications of whey protein.Alternative Medicine Review, 9(2), 136-156.

4. (ok so we are not chickens but I digress) Goodarzi, M., Landy, N., & Nanekarani, S. (2013). Effect of onion (Allium cepa L.) as an antibiotic growth promoter substitution on performance, immune responses and serum biochemical parameters in broiler chicks. Health, 5, 1210.

5. Dash, P., Yadav, S., & Sahoo, P. K. (2014). Immunoadjuvant effect of garlic (Allium sativum)–mineral oil suspension on immunity and resistance to Aeromonas hydrophila infection in rohu, Labeo rohita. International Aquatic Research, 6(3), 167-173.

6. Santus, P., Corsico, A., Solidoro, P., Braido, F., Marco, F. D., & Scichilone, N. (2014). Oxidative Stress and Respiratory System: Pharmacological and Clinical Reappraisal of N-Acetylcysteine. COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

7. http://www.elizabethpavka.com/nutrition-articles/nutrient-articles/NAcetylCysteineforDepression,Fibromyalgie,IBS,Cancer%20Prevention,DetoxificationandMore.pdf

8. Sharma, G., Prakash, D., Gupta, C., Prakash, D., & Sharma, G. (2014). Phytochemicals of nutraceutical importance: do they defend against diseases?. Phytochemicals of Nutraceutical Importance, 1.

This is Your Brain, Your Fat Loss and Your Performance on Creatine NOT Drugs

I have been too busy writing for others hence my ignoring of my own bloggerooni. Did you miss me? I hope so 🙂 Yet again I am revamping things and this blogs randomness will soon be less random and arbitrary and just more awesome (I hope lol). I was prompted to write this recent post as the sexy vixen Shannon Crane  saw a post I made on Facebook about creatine aiding fat loss and was like, “wassup wit dat”? Okay so that is not exactly how she said it but I digress.

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This post is nothing ooh la la super new and cutting edge as most everyone knows of creatine. To be honest with you as I always hope to do (always learning!), the ooh la la supplements that come out every week promising you magic, are mostly BS and good ole creatine is NOT. Boring? Maybe, but LEGIT. There are enough posts out there delivering info on this stuff in a complex manner. This is why I will keep it simple and yes will include for you a few references. There are a TON on its efficacy in various areas I will cover though with my primary focus on how the eff this stuff can help fat loss.

Hopefully at this point in time you understand that training hard but smart and not just longer and more is better. Hopefully you also understand this means intensity is key for transforming your body as well as your health and performance. This is where you will realize that you should befriend and totally BFF creatine.

This is your brain on creatine:

Supplementation with creatine has been shown to help reduce oxidative (damage) stress in our brain while also improving our mental function/health and even memory (1,2,3,4)

This is your performance on creatine and thus fat loss:

Supplementation with creatine has been shown to increase the ability to lift higher loads, to train at a higher intensity, train with greater volume and output and thus increases your ability to put on fat burning, body reshaping, metabolically active, fat burning muscle mass (5,6,7). Due to its ability to aid recovery and reduce excessive catabolic hormones, fat loss is enhanced in that regard too by means of muscle preservation (8).

So the short version of all of this is drumroll puhleez….

In order to rock at all things in life and be a lean mean speed demon agility machine, you want to have muscle and a solid bit o grey matter between your ears. Creatine supplementation along with nutrition, training at the proper intensity and frequency with a balanced lifestyle may help you with the rockage ;D Wooooooooh to you!

References:

1. Rae, C., Digney, A. L., McEwan, S. R., & Bates, T. C. (2003). Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double–blind, placebo–controlled, cross–over trial. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 270(1529), 2147-2150.

2. McMorris T, Mielcarz G, Harris RC, Swain JP, Howard A. Creatine supplementation and cognitive performance in elderly individuals. Neuropsychology Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2007 Sep;14(5):517-28. Retrieved June 24, 2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17828627

3. Roitman, S., Green, T., Osher, Y., Karni, N., & Levine, J. (2007). Creatine monohydrate in resistant depression: a preliminary study. Bipolar disorders, 9(7), 754-758.

4. McMorris, T., Harris, R. C., Swain, J., Corbett, J., Collard, K., Dyson, R. J., … & Draper, N. (2006). Effect of creatine supplementation and sleep deprivation, with mild exercise, on cognitive and psychomotor performance, mood state, and plasma concentrations of catecholamines and cortisol. Psychopharmacology, 185(1), 93-103.
5. Volek, J. S., Duncan, N. D., Mazzetti, S. A., Staron, R. S., Putukian, M. A. R. G. O. T., Gomez, A. L., … & Kraemer, W. J. (1999). Performance and muscle fiber adaptations to creatine supplementation and heavy resistance training. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 31, 1147-1156.
6. Becque, M. D., Lochmann, J. D., & Melrose, D. R. (2000). Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body compositioin. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(3), 654-658.
7. Olsen, S., Aagaard, P., Kadi, F., Tufekovic, G., Verney, J., Olesen, J. L., … & Kjær, M. (2006). Creatine supplementation augments the increase in satellite cell and myonuclei number in human skeletal muscle induced by strength training. The Journal of physiology, 573(2), 525-534.
8. Passaquin, A. C., Renard, M., Kay, L., Challet, C., Mokhtarian, A., Wallimann, T., & Ruegg, U. T. (2002). Creatine supplementation reduces skeletal muscle degeneration and enhances mitochondrial function in< i> mdx</i> mice. Neuromuscular Disorders, 12(2), 174-182.