Posts tagged ‘nutrition’

Sleep, Stress and Fat Loss

I just read a fantastic article about sleep and had to share. This is such and important and often times overlooked element of our health. One of my favorite quotes from the video is “The essence of Leadership is being able to see the iceberg before it hits the titanic.”

Click Below:
Sleep, Stress & Fat Loss

June 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

Receipe of the Week

Hawaiian Pizza

1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Wheat Bran
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup tomoato sauce, spiced with garlic, oregano and basil
1/5 cups cottage cheese
1 egg
8 oz turkey ham, chopped
1 small can (6oz.) pinapple chuncks, drained
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
Mix the crust ingredients together in a large bowl, then spread into a 9×12 inc pan, spreading the curst 1-inch up the side of th pan. Bake the crust by itself for 5 minutes in an oven at 425 degrees F.

Blend the cottage cheese and egg together in a food precesser or blender until the mixture is smooth. Add the ingredients to the pre-baked crust in the following order: tomoato sauce, cottage cheese/egg, mozzarella, turkey ham, pinapple chuncks, green pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees F, broiling for the last 5 minutes.

Prep time – 45 minutes
Servings – 6

Nutritional Informatoin:
Calories – 250
Protein – 27g
Carbohydrates – 23g
fiber- 7g
sugar – 6g
Fat – 7g
SFA – 3g
MUFA – 2g
PUFA – 1g
omega-3 – 0.14g
omega-6 – 1.17g

This recipe is intended for post workout meals. Due to its level of carbohydrates, only eat this meal when you have earned it.


January 31, 2010 at 7:41 pm Leave a comment

Learn How to Vaccinate Yourself against Body Fat

This week I’ve shared with you two blog posts in which Dr
John Berardi talks about losing body weight (and body fat).

The first one talks about how important incentives are for
changing your body. And it goes on to incentivize you with
a whopping $40,000 in prize money.

Could The Chance To Win $10,000 Help You Get In Shape?

The second one shows you how to coerce yourself into
sticking to the plan, even when the motivation wanes.

Enter “the best kept secret in weight loss.”

Finally, today, I have one last post to share.

In this one, Dr Berardi talks about how you can actually
vaccinate yourself against body fat. Hint: it doesn’t
involve needles!

Learn how to vaccinate yourself against body fat

January 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

All About Energy Drinks

All About Energy Drinks
by Ryan Andrews, November 30th, 2009.

Cocaine. BooKoo. Mother. V. These are just a few of the hundreds of energy drinks now available on the market. Are these names supposed to be amusing? Or just downright disturbing?

Of course, and who can forget the infamous PowerThirst. It’s energy for men. It’s “menergy.”

OK, that last one is funny! But seriously, am I at a rave… or at the gym? It’s hard to tell.

What are energy drinks and why are they important?

In 1997, I just passed my driver’s license test. And in the same year Red Bull was introduced in the U.S. Over the next 6 years the sale of energy drinks in the U.S. increased about 465%.

In response, one question that I always ask is this one. Why would somebody need more energy?

I mean, the only time energy levels bottom out is when we skip sleep, skip workouts, and consume pathetic foods. Wait a minute, I just described most of North America. Ok, I guess I do understand why people are drawn to canned pick-me-ups!

Interestingly, the term “energy drink” is not recognized by the FDA or USDA. The details around regulation of these drinks are, well, kind of boring. Except for the following:

In the U.S., an over-the-counter medication for energy (like No-Doz) containing 100 mg of caffeine must include lots of warnings.
But the 24 ouncer of “knock your socks off energy beverage” from 7-11 that contains 500 mg of caffeine can be marketed with no warnings.

Badass or loser?

Energy drinks are now a $3.4 billion per year industry. The U.S. leads the world in total volume sales of energy drinks. In 2006, 31% of teens in the U.S. reported drinking them. We are talking about nearly 8 million teens — who are potentially consuming teeth-rattling amounts of caffeine and sugar.

What you should know about energy drinks

Have you ever heard of Red Bull? In 2002, it commanded about 50% of energy drink revenue. Let’s break down the ingredients. It contains:

Carbonated water
Sodium citrate
B vitamins (B3, B5, B6, B12)
Flavours and colours
We’ll take them one at a time.

Carbonated water
This is water dissolved with carbon dioxide. Doesn’t do much for energy or health – but it can make you bloated.

Unless your drink is sugar-free, you will find some form of added sugar. Per 8 ounces, the sugar content is between 20 and 35 grams for most drinks.

Glucose is the major energy source for the brain, red blood cells, and muscles. Consuming glucose with caffeine can enhance concentration. Too much sugar, though, will lead to a big waistline rather than big energy. Oh, and cavities.

A 24 ounce can of BooKoo has 81 grams of sugar. That’s the same amount as a medium Butterfinger blizzard from Dairy Queen.

Sodium citrate
More commonly known as citric acid. This is a preservative that also provides a tart taste. Lots of it may cause GI upset. And it has been known to erode tooth enamel.

This is a sulfur containing amino acid that we can make from methionine and cysteine. It’s found mainly in muscle tissue and can:

Help to regulate water, mineral & homocysteine levels
Help contribute to bile acid formation
Improve muscle contractility and protect against muscle stress in animals.
Help to prevent atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus, but results are mixed. Taurine has actually worsened lipid panels in animals.
A dose of nearly 5 grams might be needed to notice any effect. Most energy drinks contain much less.

Consuming taurine from food/supplements seems to have minimal impact on blood levels, yet strangely, it still concentrates in organs and tissues. Taurine is highly water soluble and excreted by the kidneys.

The wonderful world of taurine Those who probably shouldn’t experiment with taurine:

Anyone with kidney disease. It won’t be readily excreted and supplementation can lead to accumulation in tissues (and lots of dizzy spells). Anyone who doesn’t like itching. Supplementing taurine can cause itching. Those with epilepsy. Supplementing taurine can cause nausea, dizziness, and a headache

This naturally occurring glucose metabolite can help to reduce glycogen breakdown during workouts. It can help improve alertness too. It’s found naturally in very small amounts. Once ingested, it’s transformed in the liver and excreted via urine. That’s about all there is to say about this stuff.

90% of us (in the U.S.) consume caffeine each day. A typical energy drink contains between 50 and 500 mg of caffeine per can/bottle. 500 mg is like drinking 14 cans of cola or 5 strong cups of coffee. Zowie!

How many energy drinks before you die? Find out here:

Caffeine is one of the most widely studied, and most effective, ergogenic acids on the planet. Consuming 5 mg/kg of caffeine can enhance performance, both in the short- and long-term.

Caffeine is a methylxanthine and acts as an adenosine receptor antagonist, which can enhance CNS activation and blood epinephrine. It can also improve muscle contractility.

Caffeine seems to be more beneficial for those who don’t use it on a regular basis. When combined with taurine, the effects seem to be additive.

This is found in various foods and is necessary for insulin signal transduction. It can also be made by the body, so it’s non-essential.

B vitamins
The B vitamins are important for long-term adaptation to exercise. A B vitamin deficiency is bad news. But relying on a daily Red Bull shooter to meet your micronutrient needs is also pretty pathetic. Regular energy drink consumption is more likely to lead to toxicity.

Vitamin B3, aka niacinimide
Toxicity: Supplemental forms may cause flushing of skin, itching, impaired glucose tolerance, nausea, liver toxicity and gastrointestinal upset. Intake of 750 mg per day for less than 3 months can cause liver damage.

Vitamin B5, aka calcium pantothenate or pantothenic acid
Toxicity: Nausea, heartburn and diarrhea may be noticed with high dose supplements.

Vitamin B6
Toxicity: High doses of supplemental forms may result in painful neurological symptoms.

Vitamin B12
Toxicity: None known from supplements. Only a small amount is absorbed via oral route making the potential for toxicity low.

Flavours and colours
Even nutrition degenerates know these aren’t a good idea to consume on a regular basis.

Do energy drinks actually give people more energy? Energy drinks with sugar and caffeine may enhance performance slightly. However, it appears that the sugar-free varieties don’t match up. This might be due to the synergistic effect of caffeine and carbohydrates before workouts.

Pre-workout energy drinks seem to increase endurance and strength, but the results vary depending on exact ingredients.

Energy drinks don’t seem to improve memory very well, but they might improve reaction time. This holds true with sugared and sugar-free versions.

Energy drinks & alcohol
Guess what? Lots of booze isn’t associated with better test scores and more volunteer hours at the food bank. It’s associated with injuries, sexual assault, drunk driving, liver disease, and death. Not good.

Almost 25% of college drinkers report mixing alcohol with energy drinks. Before you chase your booze with an energy drink, you might want to make those last minute changes in your will.

Mixing energy drinks and booze can lead to heart rhythm disturbances and false assumptions regarding your level of intoxication. Further, alcohol and energy drinks lead to higher blood lactate, blood pressure and stress hormones.

Summary and recommendations
From a health perspective, energy drinks probably aren’t the best idea.

An energy drink that contains lots of sugar doesn’t make much sense, unless you’re participating in extended/repeated bouts of intense training. Energy drinks with artificial sweeteners probably aren’t wise either. Read more here: All About Diet Sodas.

On the performance side, the amount of “energizing” ingredients in most energy drinks are generally too low to notice a benefit or detriment, except for the caffeine.

And yes, there are still degenerates mixing energy drinks with alcohol. I would think common sense clues us in to how this might turn out, but since 24% of college students report mixing these drinks in the past month, looks like I’m the foolish one. Energy drinks can mask alcohol intoxication symptoms. This means your chances of walking off of the roof into the pool increase exponentially.

Think about the budget factor as well. What are we spending our money on when buying energy drinks? If you buy an energy drink three times per week, 40 weeks out of the year, that’s about $180.

Finally, consider why someone would “need” an energy drink.

How is their nutrition?
Are they overfat and lethargic?
Are they getting adequate sleep?
Do they take lots of meds with side effects?
Are they exercising?
Getting those habits dialed in might give you more than enough energy each day.

Further resources
Who needs Red Bull? Try Purple Bull!

Other interesting information about energy drinks
Energy drinks are a drain on water reserves. Producing 1 litre of energy drink requires approximately 2.5 litres of water.

Some people use inositol as a cutting agent with cocaine and methamphetamines.

There have been reported cases of seizures in those consuming high amounts of energy drinks (among individuals with no prior history of seizures).

Energy drinks may increase likelihood of manic episodes.

Thailand leads the world in energy drink consumption (per person – not in total volume).

Caffeine has been shown to increase alcohol consumption in rats.

PowerThirst now comes in flavours like Manana. (Just kidding.)

Forbes SC, et al. Effect of Red Bull energy drink on repeated Wingate cycle performance and bench press muscle endurance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2007;17:433-444.

IFIC Q & A – Energy drinks and health. July 2009.

Teens abusing energy boosting drinks, doctors fear. October 2006.,2933,226223,00.html

Babu KM, et al. Energy drinks: The new eye-opener for adolescents. Clin Ped Emerg Med 2008;9:35-42.

Reissig CJ, et al. Caffeinated energy drinks – a growing problem. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2009;99:1-10.

Candow DG, et al. Effect of sugar-free Red Bull energy drink on high-intensity run time-to-exhaustion in young adults. J Strength Cond Res 2009;23:1271-1275.

Wesseling S, Koeners MP, Joles JA. Taurine – Red Bull or Red Herring? Hypertension 2009;53:909-911.

Lovett R. Coffee: The demon drink? New Scientist. 2005.

Warburton DM, et al. An evaluation of a caffeinated taurine drink on mood, memory and information processing in healthy volunteers without caffeine abstinence. Psychopharmacology 2001;158:322-328.

Clauson KA, et al. Safety issues associated with commercially available energy drinks. J Am Pharm Assoc 2008;48:e55-e67.

O’Brien MC, et al. Caffeinated cocktails: Energy drink consumption, high-risk drinking, and alcohol related consequences among college students. Academic Emerg Med 2008;15:453-460.

Beck TW, et al. The acute effects of a caffeine-containing supplement on strength, muscular endurance, and anaerobic capabilities. J Strength Cond Res 2006;20:506-510.

Huxtable RJ. Physiological actions of taurine. Physiol Rev 1992;72:101-163.

Hoffman JR, et al. Effect of a pre-exercise energy supplement on the acute hormonal response to resistance exercise. J Strength Cond Res 2008;22:874-882.

Zhang M, et al. Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men. Amino Acids 2004;26:203-207.

Curry K & Stasio MJ. The effects of energy drinks alone and with alcohol on neuropsychological functioning. Hum Psychopharmacol Clin Exp 2009;24:473-481.

December 7, 2009 at 9:04 pm Leave a comment

How to Begin A Life Long Nutritional Plan

Many people know they need to eat healthy and genuinely desire to support a healthy, well-functioning body. However, how do you choose a plan best for you? How do you begin? and How can I sustain my diet?

We are all inundated with sensational advertising, magazine covers, “model” type aspirations and unrealistic quick fix ways to make ourselves “look good”. A critical point to understand is that there is NO QUICK FIX for changing your eating habits and “looking good” does note mean being healthy. There is definitely no pill to transform you overnight, 11 days or even in one month.

As a 5’1″ female who is not a fitness model, not a professional body builder, or professional athlete, I would like to share with you what I have found that works for me to support healthy eating habits. I have always been conscious of my weight and body image, maybe from my perspective a little more so than the average female, but probably just as much as the next guy. After college, I had about 30 lbs to loose and attached it head on with aerobic type exercise while remaining somewhat conscious about my eating. I was successful with what I felt was a healthy way to loose weight. Following my weight loss, I did partake in my fair share of diet pills and try many quick fix gimmicks. Kind of odd how I use the words quick fix and gimmick in the same sentence! After realizing that I was single and wanted to live a little, 1-2 hours exercise was not going to fit in my daily routine. In order to sustain my weight loss, I experimented even more with crash diets and drastic ways to keep my weight off. My main method of madness was severe caloric restriction and skipping meals when I felt guilty about what I had eaten previously during that day or evening.

So…how did I get to where I am today? I read a lot, experimented a lot, I learned how to listen to my body and give it what it needs. This is a very important point and not all of our bodies need the same things, we are all unique and must eat differently. Yes, we all have the basic need for survival. We all need oxygen, food, water, and a nervous system to survive.

In researching many types of diets, most all came back to quick fixes and restriction. Whether, restricting carbohydrates as in the South Beach and Atkins diet, restricting fat and protein as in the Pritikin Diet, or Dean Ornish’s Diet. Other popular diets such as the Zone allocate percent of carbohydrates, fats, and protein that appears to be a one size fits all diet – remember not all of our bodies need the same things. So what now — time and time again, I circled back around to logic and eating a natural, innate diet as our ancestors might have eaten. So, I gave it a whirl. My diet of choice is the Warrior Diet, which cycles periods of fasting (a natural detox) and periods of feasting on a daily basis. Now, this is not a diet that everyone can practice, but I believe in the principals behind this way of eating. Ori Hofmekler, in his book “The Warrior Diet” makes some very important points about food that can be applied to sustaining a healthy life long nutritional plan.

One of the first things I needed to realize was that I was not “dieting” anymore; I was beginning a life long process. One that I would be able to sustain and incorporate into my life. Easy right? No Way, this was a process that I committed to change my habits, it certainly did not happen overnight. Remember, the whole weight thing, this was suddenly second fiddle and simply a by product of my new way of eating. It wasn’t weight loss, it was fat loss and you know, that stubborn fat that we all despise. It was actually coming off!

To begin your healty eating plan follow this simple test:
1. Is it simple? Can you realistically follow in your lifestyle (be honest with yourself, no excuses here) 2. Is your diet plan based on proven scientific principles 3. Have the rules worked for people like you?

If you cannot answer yes to all of the above questions, then you may need to rethink your selected diet plan. I will also add one more rule here, let’s say a BONUS: Can you sustain your nutritional plan for LIFE?

What influences your eating habits? How have these habits influenced how you look today? Do you eat for convenience? Do you plan what you are going to eat on a daily, weekly basis? Have you ever kept a diary of what you are eating? You don’t have to write a term paper, but jot down a few simple influences on your eating habits, now think about how you can change any of these influences to support a positive nutritional plan?

Think about the influences above, I would like to introduce you to a set of good habits to begin practicing:
1) Eat Complete Protein, prefreably grassfed(anything that had a mama – You cannot kill a pizza), I would also recommend supplementing your protein intake with a Whey Protein Shake. Most people do not get near enough protien on a daily baisis. (remember I metioned keeping a food log)
2) Carbohydrates are not the bad guy, but concentrate on eating complex carbohydrates (vegetables, whole and fresh, did it come from nature?) not simple carbohydrates (refined sugars, processed food, there are no bread trees)
3) Eat Good Fats and eat them often – omega 3 fats are essential, we do not produce these and must get them from the foods we ingest (fish, olive oil, nuts, flaxseed oil)
4) Eat Organic as often as possible
5) Drink ONLY zero Calorie Beverages (water or greeen tea – a cup of coffee in morning is ok)
5) Watch your empty calories – (Alcohol, simple carbs, most all processed foods)
6) Supplementation – a good multi Vitamin, EFA (Essential Fatty Acids), Calcium (for females).
7) Exercise – must be treated as an essential nutrient (see previous blog)

Finally, in order to sustain a good nutritional plan, keep it simple. Plan your meals. “Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal”. Do you want to look back and say, I should have done more to take care of myslef? What’s stopping you now…

My Influences: Reading and Websites
The Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler
Prograde Nutrition
Defense Nutrition
Precision Nutrition
The Wellness Practice
The Innate Diet & Natural Hygiene by James L. Chesnut

October 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm 1 comment

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