New Proposed Food Label Posting for Nutrition and Metabolism Class

There is a new proposed food label. What are the differences between the old food label and the new proposal? Do you feel these changes will help consumers to choose better options? Why or why not? What are the things you personally look for on the label when you purchase products? Why?

In the new proposal for a food label a few differences include: required information on added sugars, added vitamin/mineral amounts on labels, and removing “calories from fat” on the label.  I feel anytime there is more information that it does help consumers make better decisions.  However it is still important that consumers learn about proper diet and how to properly read labels and/or make food choices.  One of many common misconceptions with food labels is that “fat is bad”.  For example, avocados, MCT oil/coconut oil, and olive oils are pure fat, but are superfoods that are staples in my diet.  I like that they proposed removing “calories from fat”, but I also wish they would just remove percentages in general from the label; still leaving the amounts on the label.   Everyone’s nutritional demands are different and modern research has shown that higher amounts of the right fats can result in fat being the primary contributor to calories in diet and still being healthy.  Another thing to consider is that a very active athlete with high-functioning organs will be able to metabolize and needs higher amounts of protein than other population groups.  I love the new “added sugars” part of the new label because a big problem in our society is the added sugars, preservatives, and fillers that weren’t in our staple foods prior to the obesity rates tripling 3-fold in the last 30 years.

Personally when reading labels I first look at the ingredient list and look for a few things including a personal preference that there are no grains or legumes added.  I like to see as few ingredients as possible, make sure that I know the ingredients, and then make sure they are quality ingredients.  So many boxed and packaged foods have fillers, preservatives, and added sugars that make the food a poor nutritional choice.  I then look at the: Calories, Fat, Protein, Carbs, Sugars, and Fiber; just because I have done it for years; but these aren’t as important as to what is actually in the food itself.   One of my diet guidelines is eating “Real Whole Foods”, which often means shopping in the fresh fruit and veggie section of the grocery store, going to the farmer’s market, and getting meat from a local butcher where there aren’t food labels at all.  As a healthcare professional (RN) and recreational athlete I feel better, think clearer, and perform better when I eat “Real Whole Foods”, minimizing grains and legumes (try to ferment/sproak), and choosing packaged foods with minimal high-quality ingredients.

United States Food and Drug Administration. (2014, August 1).  Proposed changes to the nutritional facts label. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm#Summary

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Random #Biohacks Inspired by Others

I just got accepted into the Master’s Exercise Program at Concordia University in St. Paul, MN.  So I feel that it would be appropriate to release a somewhat random, and incomplete blog post that I have worked on the last couple days, maybe Ill go back and complete this blog post at a different time, maybe not.  My co-workers at the Mayo Clinic and my desire to prevent some of the terrible diseases that I see on a daily basis have inspired me to not just care about the shape that I’m in (which I have been obsessed with for years) but to inspire and hopefully help others become more “Superhuman.”  Speaking of Superhuman, I get to see Ben Greenfield at Concordia University next Tuesday June 10th present; Ben has helped me with my own diet, fitness, recovery, and overall health with his books, podcast, and articles.  If I can help one person make positive health care decisions, prevent an injury, enhance performance, or just have better health in any way than I have succeeded.  I am always pursuing lifelong learning and although this article is now even more random due to my rant I give you my incomplete list of some things #Biohacks that I love……..

    • Intermittent Fasting– Yes I skip breakfast…. I typically stop eating at 8pm and don’t eat until after 10am….I use (MCT Oil) for mental performance and still have coffee in the morning…..(Benefits of Intermittent Fasting)
      • On days I have Two-A-Day Workouts (Days off of work) Ill have my coffee, MCT Oil AND a protein shake (minus the carb sources), some (BCAAs), or recently I’ve been using Ben Greenfield’s “Skinny Fat Shake
    • Supplements I take:
      • Protein Powder- make sure it is a good source without added preservatives, soy, sugars, sugar alcohols (If it has ingredients in it that you don’t know about, don’t get it)
      • Vitamin D3
      • Glucosamine
      • Gelatin
      • Melatonin
      • BCAAs- on days I do Two-A-Days
      • Creatinine- muscle energy (ATP) and mental clearance (Read Beyond Training)
      • Bitter Melon Extract- If I eat unneeded carbs and/or sugars

 

  • Eat Fat

 

      • Perfect Health Diet (PHD) recommends a diet ratio of 65% Fat, 20% Carb, 15% Protein)
        • When I kept track I got my calories from (50% Fat, 25% Protein, 25% Carb), which is beneficial to someone who exercises at times to a fault
      • There are bad fats: trans fat, vegetable oils, etc.  that I avoid
      • I don’t count nutrients or calories except a week or two a year, but try to get the majority of my nutrients from good fat sources (coconut, avocado, fermented dairy, olive oil, raw nuts, fish, clean meat sources, etc.)

 

  • It is not how much you eat, but what you eat

 

      • Not every Calorie is created equal (The Calorie Myth)
        • Nutrient Density vs. Calories
        • 100 calories of Chia Seeds is better than a handful of Typical Potato Chips
      • I don’t count calories, I just watch what I eat

 

  • Eat Real Whole Foods

 

      • Rarely do I eat out of a box or package (unless there are very few and good ingredients like a larabar for example)- take a look at some of the packaged foods in your pantry and see how many ingredients you actually know
      • Make Your Own Dressings- Have you ever seen the ingredient lists on your ……….brand dressings- I think I’ve made my point………
        • Your dressings should have a healthy fat and/or vinegar (which lowers blood sugar), and some spices

 

  • I do eat some grains (therefore I am not Paleo)

 

      • They must be prepared properly because……(link) or (link2)…nuts, seeds, and grains have acids and enzymes in their coating making them hard on the GI tract to digest properly leading to possible “leaking gut” and inflammation all over the body
      • Don’t need very many grains or any on days with minimal or no exercise (just excess carbs on those days)
      • I usually have a ½ cup of oatmeal soaking in a Mason Jar in my fridge in Vinegar Water
        • When I want a bowl of my famous Almond Butter/Chia Seed/Oatmeal, I just rinse all the vinegar out of the oats, soak with the chia seeds until the chia seeds soften (sometimes overnight again) and then add almond butter and heat it up until it swells….add stevia to sweeten and coconut milk to get the consistency you want
          • Don’t make it a soup like mom and dad used to do
    • MarcPro
      • increases blood flow to the trained muscle area
      • increases lymphatic (waste flow) away from trained muscle
      • therefore decreases recovery time!!

 

  • Blue-Ray Reducing Glasses

 

  • Chia seeds: I put them in my protein shakes, oatmeal, yogurt, hot drinks….why? because it swells, it reduces blood sugar, a complete protein, can sustain an Aztec warrior for 24 hours #Superfood…..Don’t believe me Ben Greenfield says in a recent article……
    • “Chia seeds have a long history as an endurance fuel. Ancient Aztec tradition held that an ounce of chia seeds could sustain a warrior for 24 hours. Today, chia is considered a superfood because it has more Omega-3’s than any other crop in the world, it has more antioxidants than blueberries, it is a complete protein, providing you with all 9 Essential Amino Acids (important for preventing muscle breakdown when exercising longer than 2 hours), and it has 25% soluble fiber. A chia seed can absorb 9-12x its bodyweight in water – and this helps regulate absorption, which can prevent sugar spikes and crashes. So despite the issue with having to pick it out of your teeth, I’m a fan of chia.”

This Article is to be continued and hopefully better organized……

My Superhuman Day Off

My #Superhuman Day Off

So I haven’t blogged in forever…..  I’ve really wanted to start a website about Diet, Fitness, and Health in General, but that has been put on hold.  Recently I have applied to go back to school part-time in order to get an Exercise Science Masters to do something in Sports Medicine which is something I am very passionate about.  I suppose it makes sense to get a degree in something that I spend a great deal of time doing between: exercising 8-12 hours a week, walking another 15-25 miles a week at work, cooking new (and some classic) foods that are both healthy and tasty, and in the last year really working on another aspect: RECOVERY.  Recovery has many aspects including: sleeping well, managing stressors, eating well(previously mentioned), and much much more.

I have been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast for over a year and utilized many of his diet, fitness, and other #biohack techniques.  Ben and Broc’s Podcast has inspired me to do many things as an endurance athlete so I can thrive as an endurance athlete and in life.  I have been hacking (no pun intended) through Ben’s great new book Beyond Training, continue to listen to his podcasts, and utilize Ben’s resources (which are getting spending by the way) #MarcPro #AmazonPrime……I am excited to listen to one of Ben’s presentations in June at Concordia University in St. Paul, where I applied for the Exercise Science Master’s Program.  In honor of Ben’s Superhuman way of life I thought I’d show you what a Superhuman approved day may look like……

 

0600- Wake up and have a cup of French Press (Freshly Ground) Coffee

0615- Marc Pro Electrodes on my Quads/Hammies while sipping Coffee and checking Email while listening to the new episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast #284

  • This episode talked about IT Band Syndrome which I have battled this spring
  • After Biking and Doing a Track Sprint Workout yesterday, it was fitting to be listening to this podcast with my Marc Pro Unit

0700- 30min Yoga Routine (Vinyasa Morning Flow Yoga ) (Fasted)

  • Also had a 20 ounces of water with 5 grams of Creatine (Brain Clarity and Strength see Ben’s Book)

0745- Breakfast- The “Skinny Fat Shake”- I saved a little of my French Press from 0600

  • I usually Fast until 10 or 11am on days that I work

0830-1130- Fishing with Dad for a couple hours

  • It is Dad’s birthday Sunday and I work 2- 12 hour shifts this weekend so I wanted to do something he loves.  I did fish with my shirt off and got some natural Vitamin D

1200- Lunch at a local Deli called City Market in Rochester, MN

  • I had a Turkey Breast Sandwich on Ben Greenfield’s Favorite acceptable bread SOURDOUGH w/ red peppers, leaf lettuce, red onion, and fresh tomato w/ many glasses of water to rehydrate post-fishing

1400- Workout- included 15min of easy cardio on the elliptical (after a high intensity cardio day yesterday) 30min of lifting consisting of 2-SuperSets w/ Dumbbells

  • 5×5 DB Bench w/ 5×15 R. Crunch w/ 5×5 Pull-Ups
  • 5×8 DB OH Press w/ 5x8e DB Row

1500- Post Workout 5min Cold Shower and Quest Bar

1600- Healthy Grocery Shopping- (Real Whole Foods w/ no added sugars)

1700- Carrots dipped in freshly homemade Guacamole

  • Also rinsed off my oats that sat overnight in vinegar (proper grain preparation) and added some Chia Seeds w/ the oats so I can make my famous Almond Butter-Chia Seed-Oatmeal tomorrow after a long day at work- (proper grain prep)

1800- Sitting here now writing this about to Thai it up with a Swai/Miracle Noodle/Red Curry/Vegetable Stir Fry and maybe enjoy one or two Vodka Stevia Water’s with a fresh slice of lemon and lime

Typical Work Day of Eating

Typical Work Day of Eating

  • Utilize Intermittent Fasting in the Morning
    • use daily intermittent fasting to burn fat as energy in the mornings and MCT oil to promote adequate brain functioning and mental clearness during my fast at work
  • Follow a low grain, high healthy fat diet (Primal Lifestyle)- My Rules to Eating Right
  • I try to eat real whole foods (on work days typically have 1 nutrition bar as only packaged food)
  • On Work Days ½ to ⅔ of my calories and food come after I workout in the afternoon including the majority of my carbs, because muscles utilize the nutrients immediately instead of converting them to fat

 

Typical 8-Hour Work Day Eating Schedule 

0530- Tsp of MCT Oil and Vit. D3

0630-Cup of Coffee (Black)

0900-1000- 2nd Cup of Coffee (Black)

1100-Quest Bar, Simply Perfect Bar, or Larabar (Homemade)

1200-1430- Lunch- A Few Different Options for my common workday lunches

  • Salad- Salad bar is a safe way to know what is in your food at work cafeteria if you make your own dressing-2 examples below
    • Italian- Mixed Greens, Chicken, Homemade Italian Dressing, and Other Veggies that look good that day
    • Mexican- Mixed Greens, Sauteed Fajita Chicken/Onions/Peppers, other veggies, and guacamole w/ salsa as the dressing
      • Make Your Own Dressing!!! (Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Spices, etc.)
  • Ben’s Pumpkin- (Canned Pumpkin, Stevia, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Protein Powder, Chia Seeds, and Coconut Milk)
  • Ben’s Almond Butter Chia Oatmeal- (Soaked Oats and Chia Seeds, Almond Butter, Stevia, and a small amount of almond milk to mix yet maintain a nice thickness)
  • Greek Yogurt Oatmeal (Link)
    • I commonly replace the oatmeal with additional chia seeds or almonds as a more “Paleo Approach”, although the oatmeal and yogurt are fermented grains/dairy if they are allowed to age making them easier to digest which is the negative of soy/dairy/grains.  Link to proper preparation of grains
  • Typically have celery, broccoli, and/or carrots dipped in Guacamole or Salsa as an addition to my Pumpkin, Oatmeal, or Greek Yogurt Mixes

1530-1600- Pre-Workout Snack- Apple or Orange (if lunch was a little early or I will skip pre-workout snack if lunch was late)

1700-1800- Post-Workout Shake

  • Base of Shake: ½ Scoop of Aro Whey Isolate, 8oz. of almond milk, Cup of Frozen Fruit (Banana, Various Berries, Mango, Pumpkin, or Tropical Fruit Mixture), and Tbsp of Chia Seeds

1800-1900- Supper

  • Favorites:
    • Large Salads w/ Wild-Caught Fish, Chicken, or a local Red Meat source Homemade Dressing and Lots of Veggies
    • Stir Fry (Curry, Italian, and more)
    • Over Easy Eggs on Top of Sauteed Kale or Spinach w/ Sirachi
    • Omelets
    • Recipe Links to Come 

1900-2000-Night Time Snacks after Supper (Before 8pm ideally)

  • Pistachios or Almonds
  • Small Chunk of Dark Chocolate typically 85%
  • Kale Chips- Homemade
  • Seaweed Chips (Trader Joe’s or Costco Brand)

2000-2100-Chamomile Tea sweetened with Stevia and Almond milk (last thing before bed typically)- also take Melatonin and Magnesium Supplement Before Bed

 

As a nurse I work 8-hour day and evening shifts during the week.  I also work quite a few weekends that include 12-hour 7a-7p shifts and vice versa 12-hour 7p-7a shifts.  The majority of my shifts are 8-hour day shifts and there are challenges to diet with changing of shifts, but I always try to encourage real food.  I made 3 ingredient homemade larabars today(dates, cashews, and unsweetened coconut) for a quick snack on the go!

 

Future Posts I’m working on:

  • What I do for Recovery
  • Recipes (once I get my new smartphone)- so I can have pictures with the recipes

 

Check out my other blog posts on WordPress.com

 

Rules to Eating Right

Quick Points: 

  1. Eat Real Whole Food
  2. Eat Healthy Natural Fats
  3. Minimize Grains, Soy, Sugar, and Dairy
  4. Intermittent Fasting
  5. Eat to Workout, Not Workout to Eat
  6. Minimize Caffeine and Alcohol
  7. Strategies to Help
  8. Read/Listen/Learn About Things That Can Help Improve Your Nutrition Knowledge

Background:  As a person who is addicted to working out, I have learned over the years that diet is more important than working out to your physical health. Here are some of my rules to eating.  (FYI I am not Paleo, I eat primal which is a less strict way of eating in comparison to Paleo, but encourages similar beliefs and whole foods).

  • I can personally attest to this lifestyle of eating by doing it myself and continually educating myself through evidence based practice articles, books, and podcasts (podcasts are a great thing to listen to while exercising or doing household tasks)
  • Please Click on my links in this article, they are my favorite resources towards eating better, which can help you feel better physically leading to improvement in your overall health (Mental and Spiritual Health as well!!!)
  • Eating Healthy should be a lifestyle, not a short term diet or fad, for the optimal benefits

RULES:

  1. Eat Real Whole Food
    • Eat whole foods especially vegetables and good meat sources
    • If you are eating something with a large ingredient list and you don’t know what a bunch of those ingredients are it is likely it could be preservatives or added sugars
      • Take a random box out of your pantry and see how many of the ingredients you actually know
    • Prepare your own foods/snacks to prevent unnecessary things going into your body
    • Even Most Foods, like protein bars and powders, that have been deemed healthy by society have many added “things.”  It can be tough with a busy life, but eating whole real foods is probably the best rule to eat by
  2. Eat Healthy Natural Fats
    • We have been told throughout the years that fat is bad, NOT ALL FAT IS BAD, in fact the majority of your calories should come from the right kinds of fats
    • The Perfect Health Diet recommends over 50% of your diet coming from fat
    • Ben Greenfield’s Superhuman Food Pyramid is a great resource
    • I try to eat 50% of my calories from healthy fats which include:
      • Avacado, Almonds, Cashews, other Nuts, Grass Fed Butter, Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk, Egg Yolks, Fermented Dairy, Good Meat Sources, and moderate amounts of nut butters
        • Remember Peanuts are a legume and aren’t Paleo; that said I eat an all natural Peanut Butter (Not Peanuts) because I love it and through the roasting process should have reduced Gastrointestinal Distress
  3. Minimize Grains, Soy, Sugar, and Dairy
    • A great way to start off eating healthier is completely eliminating soy, grains, and dairy for a couple weeks and then adding back minimal amounts of good sources one at a time to see what works for YOU
    • Moderate amounts of fermented grains, soy, and dairy are ok if your body tolerates them
      • Good Dairy Sources: Organic Eggs, Greek Yogurt (without all the added sugar), Cheese
      • Good Grain Sources: soaked grains (like soaking your oats for oatmeal overnight), sourdough bread (fermented)
        • Grains can be ok but they should be soaked or sprouted and here is how and here is why
    • avoid high amounts of sugar and be careful how added sugars are added to your food
  4. Intermittent Fasting
  5. Eat to Workout, Not Workout to Eat
    • Not every calorie is equal
      • new great book titled The Calorie Myth talks about what calories and nutrients really are
    • Many people workout so they can eat whatever they want after, but that is not how it works.  As I mentioned above DIET is more important than Exercise.  Even if you are an athlete, the fuels (FOOD) that you put in your body directly help with performance.
  6. Minimal Caffeine and Alcohol
    • I LOVE COFFEE, but I try to limit myself to 2 cups of coffee before noon (there are many benefits to black coffee just don’t add the syrups and sugar)
    • Remember that your source of coffee and alcohol matter as well
      • I get my coffee typically from the local Co-op or Trader Joe’s
      • A great source of decaf coffee (which is usually terrible tasting and ) is Caribou which is a much cleaner source of decaf
      • A great link for choice of alcohol is in this Bulletproof link 
  7. Strategies to Help
    • Prepare foods ahead of time like….
      • Crock Pot Chicken- I make 4 or so chicken breasts in the crockpot with a cup of water and my favorite spices.  I usually eat one chicken breast with a meal that night and then save the broth for a soup and dice up the chicken; saving it for salads and stir frys during the rest of the week
      • You can do this with other roasts and cuts of meat
    • Make it yourself:
      • I already mentioned it above, but if you make your own foods you know what is in it, especially if you use whole food sources
      • Make your own snacks: bars, fresh vegetables, trail mixes, Mason Jar Mixtures, and more!!!!
    • Celery (yes a tip called Celery!!!)- I dip celery into everything: nut butters, salsa, guacamole, hummus (not Paleo so I limit it), and other dips
      • Think about it this way; even if the dip is unhealthy (hopefully not) at least your not dipping chips (grains, preservatives, etc.) into the dip
        • My Favorite Foods and some Recipes- (Link to Come)
          • This is ongoing and am adding recipes and pictures as I have time
  8. Read/Listen to great resources to expand your knowledge (Here are some of my favorites)

Update on my Health and Some Interesting Podcast Points that I’ve listened to over the past week

Update on my Health and Some Interesting Podcast Points that I’ve listened to over the past week and a Killer Pumpkin Drink Recipe

 

According to my new FitBit band I have walked over 75,000 steps in the past week or over 35 miles and this doesn’t include a single run (I’m detoxing from running for a little change in my exercise).  These steps come mostly from walking from to and from my car about half a mile to the hospital, up 4 flights of stairs, and being constantly on my feet during my 8 to 12 hour shifts as a nurse (and to the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center after work).  I have been trying gain weight (as I have dropped below 150 pounds) and although I don’t record the exact nutrients in my diet, I know on days when I work that I have been unable to get the estimated 3150 calories a day (FitBit) that I burn between work and working out after work.  In an effort to gain a little muscle I have only been intermittent fasting 3-4 days a week, instead of every day.  I still find it amazing how I’m not hungry in the mornings after intermittent fasting almost every day for about 6-months.  In an effort to gain weight I have been doing the 5×5 lifting program twice a week (roughly 45min per workout) along with 2 upper-body TRX/Body-Weight/Resistance Band workouts.  For Cardio I have been doing indoor biking (spinning) 3 times  a week (2-30min rides and a 1-hour ride) as well as 3 swims per week (500yards, 750yards, and 1000yards).  I just bought a spin bike that I will be getting next week for at home!  I have also done 3 (20-30minute) Sadie Nardini Youtube Yoga Videos this past week.  I love how she has a continuous flow to her Yoga.  Like Dynamic Stretching to Static stretching as a comparison.  I get a nice core workout, stretch, and feel overall detoxed physically and spiritually after her Yoga sessions.  I like how she incorporates Squat variations into her sessions.  I have been doing a lot of squatting lately as it is one of the best movements for our whole body as well as gives a nice hormonal response, according to Ben Greenfield and Don John. I have now done 4 of Sadie Nardini’s Yoga videos total along with lots of swimming and spinning (indoor cycling) as I “detox” from running for a little while.  I try to utilize the sauna and hot tub a couple days a week with my daily foam rolling and stretching to enhance recovery.  

Eat Healthy

The fact that I have been unable to gain weight shows how eating high amounts of healthy fats, moderate protein, and “clean” carbs/minimal grains along with intermittent fasting is an excellent way to lose or maintain weight.  My diet doesn’t include many grains at all besides a couple bowls per week of my famous almond butter-chia seed oatmeal and an occasional meal when I go out to eat (not more than once a week).  Ben Greenfield’s Podcast 261 goes into nice detail about why grains and gluten in particular aren’t good for your gut and your nervous system. 

Other fun facts from Ben’s Recent Podcasts:

  • Interview with Dan John goes into how to gain strength and power.  A lot of Dan John’s workout program is similar to the program that I used in college to build-up to a 200 pound Division 1AA football player.  He believes in order to build strength you need to only focus on building strength.  His program is built around heavy lifting sessions with a lot of rest and eating in between lifting days over his 6-week program.  I totally agree that in order to just build strength this is the way to go.  However, I want to be strong, fast, ripped, feel good, and overall healthy in every aspect which is difficult to do.  I have either been in great “football” shape (big and fast in short bursts) or aerobically fit and toned, like I am now, as I have focused on eating healthier and doing distance events involving marathon and triathlon training.  I have always known the importance of cross-training but due to the amount of time I spend on my feet at work have recently cut back on some running and added the 5×5 program a couple times a week in hopes of putting some mass back on.

 

  • Ben Greenfield’s Episode 263 Highlights (PLEASE LISTEN IF THESE BULLETS INTEREST YOU) 
    • 10 Tips for staying /getting into great shape (Huffington Post)
      • Ben agrees (and disagrees) with a lot of the tips and says how he wants to be one of the fittest people in the world, which is ultimately my goal as well (as I just talked about wanting to be good at multiple disciplines of physical health: strength, speed, endurance, etc.)
  • Cycle your coffee
    • Ben cycles drinking caffeinated coffee 6 weeks on 2 weeks off and talks about the benefits of cycling caffeine and ways to stay alert (Green Tea, Cold Showers, etc.)
    • Fun fact: only need 30-45mcg of caffeine (cup of green tea) to increase mental alertness versus 300-400mcg of caffeine 3 to 4 cups of coffee to increase physical performance
  • Increase your speed!
    • Do speed workouts when fresh
    • Monitor your Heart Rate; when stressed don’t do speed workouts  
    • High Cadence Cycling and doing stadium stairs are great ways to increase speed
    • I loved this segment of the show because I used to have good speed and in order to be an athlete YOU NEED SPEED
  • 23 and Me
    • Ben talks about the DNA testing of 23 and Me
    • 23 and Me shows results of things like increased genetic risk for Diabetes or various Cancers as well as ability to utilize and excrete things like caffeine!
    • Ben reminds listeners that just because you have increased risks for certain things doesn’t mean you’ll get them because there is an environmental aspect as well (diet, exercise, etc.)
  • Gaining weight the healthy way
    • Ben references to the Perfect Health Diet
    • High Fats (65%) of caloric intake (Not Trans Fat, Healthy Fats!!!!)  
    • Don’t go above 500-1000 calories in excess of energy expenditure otherwise accelerated chance of “bad” weight gain 
  • I’ve been using TrainingPeaks to record my workouts with my FitBit Application as well after Ben recommending Training Peaks

My Goals for the Week:

  • Manage stress appropriately with four 8-hour shifts and two12-hour overnight shifts this week
  • Running Detox-Continue trying to build strength utilizing the 5×5 program, and Yoga/Cycling/Swimming for cardio
  • Detox from coffee- for the reasons Ben Greenfield mentions (listen to his podcast!)
  • No alcohol this week- I feel I’ve been drinking a little too much lately (at least 1 drink everyday and up to 4)-I’m not getting drunk but I still don’t want it to become a bad habit or inhibit my mental and physical performance
  • Detox from creatinine- good to cycle as well
  • Eat Clean!!!!
  • Eat small frequent meals with protein
    • In a recent Men’s Fitness article I read it talks about how eating frequent and moderate amounts of protein (15-20g) throughout the day is better than eating huge amounts of protein (We can only properly utilize a little protein at a time, also mentioned in the Perfect Health Diet that extreme protein amounts can be dangerous) 

 

Pumpkin Shake or Pumpkin Latte (Depending whether you are feeling hot or cold!)-Great either way

  • Pumpkin recipes to get your Pumpkin Pie fix without the added sugars, grains, and who knows what else
  • Combine the following ingredients together and either add a couple ice cubes and use a blender (if you want a shake) or microwave it for a minute and a half (if you want it warm)
    • ½ cup of canned pumpkin
    • ½ cup of almond milk or coconut milk
    • 1-scoop of a clean vanilla protein source (I use the Vitacost brand)
    • 1 packet of stevia
    • 1tsp-1tbsp of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, nut meg etc.)- to your taste
    • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
    • Add almonds or your favorite nut after blending or microwaving to add a crunch
      • BIG TIP: try to find a clean protein powder-If you are reading your protein label or any label and don’t know what is in it (either find out or find a better source).  Vitacost’s protein is sweetened with Stevia and has limited ingredients. A good rule of thumb is the less ingredients the better.  Know what you eat.  Eat Whole Foods most of the time

Links to Ben Greenfield Podcasts and Youtube Yoga Videos:

http://bengreenfieldfitness.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAUY5vCpfUk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fsQPM9xek8

Working Out With Me

A Week of Workouts with Me

Quick Points:

  • 5×5 Lifting
  • Biking, Swimming, Running for future Half-Ironman
  • Yoga
  • 20-25miles put on the Pedometer at Work a week
  • 5min Yoga/Stretch Prior to Bed

Personal Experience:

After a recent struggle with muscle wasting and overtraining, I began doing a 5×5 weight lifting program 1-2 times a week utilizing different variations of the program and a more minimalist training protocol after listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  The 5×5 program is a great program for building muscle, but I have a fundamental background in the lifts of squat, snatch, clean, and some other Olympic lifts that can cause injury if done improperly.  I don’t recommend doing these exercises with heavy weight (or any weight) to start until working with someone that is certified or at a minimum experienced with these lifts.  Since starting this program I have gained muscle while maintaining my ability to do aerobic exercises through balancing these with higher intensity, shorter triathlon specific workouts.  I try to do at least 2 running, 2 biking, and 2 swimming workouts a week.  I do one sprint workout for each area.  For running, this commonly consists of an up-tempo 4 mile run or a sprint workout at the track consisting of sprints (100m-400m) and Plyometrics.  I also do one longer workout for each category per week like swimming 1000m at a comfortable pace, or an hour long run or bike ride.  I have been utilizing shorter more intense workouts lately after hearing about Ben Greenfield’s success with his “Minimalist” approach to ironman training.  I have a goal to do a Half-Ironman next August; and hope to actually gain some muscle without losing endurance in the next year because of my recent muscle wasting.

I began doing the P90X Yoga DVD weekly my junior year in college after I started to truly realize the importance of stretching and recovery to physical health.  There are also mental/spiritual benefits of Yoga as well; I feel less stressed after a Yoga session.  I usually do the 1st 32 minutes of the P90X DVD 1-2 times per week now; I actually just did a Yoga session prior to writing this post a day after doing a 5×5 workout session that resulted in waking up pretty sore (I’m trying to listen to my body better).   Every night before I go to bed I foam roll for a couple minutes and then do a 5 minute basic Yoga routine to mainly stretch out by spine prior to bed.   I was introduced to foam rolling (a great recovery trick) during my collegiate football days and utilize it 5-10 minutes a day; sometime before and/or after exercise and before bed.

A tough aspect of my everyday health is properly calculating and meeting my nutrient demands because I walk 20-25 miles a week at work, which adds additional demands that many people don’t have.  I have read and researched about what others do for their nutrition, physical activity, and balancing the two for optimal health.  I tried to do exactly what these experts, like Abel James and the Jeminet’s, preach.  The length of my intermittent fasting, increased nutritional demands, as well as aspects of exercise (length, intensity, and recovery) all have to be considered in my weekly exercise and nutritional regimen.  Early on this year, I was doing too much physically that lead to fatigue and muscle wasting; I was running 20-25miles a week preparing for a half-marathon, lifting about 3 hours a week in an attempt to keep explosive muscle from my collegiate football days, and walking 20-25 miles a week as an Registered Nurse.  I was doing all this while experimenting with a low-carbohydrate diet that ended up being too low and introducing intermittent fasting into my lifestyle.  The recent changes I’ve made have increased my energy, athleticism, stopped muscle-wasting, and allowed me to maintain my endurance as I continue to recover from overtraining.  This is just another example of why You have to find what works for You.

Background:

A 5×5 Lifting program is based around 3 primary lifts: Squat, Bench, and Clean.  The program is built around these 3 lifts (and their variations) because these lifts utilize multiple muscle groups.  The traditional program is a 3-day a week lifting program where you do each exercise 5 sets of 5 reps on each lifting day; going extra hard on 1 of the 3 lifts per day.  For example, go hard on Squats Monday, Bench Wednesday, and Clean Friday; but still do 5×5 of the other two lifts all 3 days.  At StrongLifts there are great variations to the 3 lifts that include more and other muscle groups, which is very important especially with bench which is not a very functional lift.  This program has been shown to work in terms of gaining strength for many people throughout the years.  If you are looking to lose weight utilizing circuit training and body weight exercises are great ways to do so.  I still try to do one body-weight and resistance band (TRX, Bodylastics) workout per week; which when done in a circuit format includes a cardio aspect.

A triathlon is a race usually consisting of swim, bike, and then run challenging people in a variety of exercises.  There are other versions of triathlons that can include things like rowing and distances of triathlons vary.  The Ironman is possibly the ultimate triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile (Marathon) run.  The extreme distance of an ironman usually consists of great amounts of training and wear on the physical body.

Yoga is an Eastern art that has been used for thousands of years in Asia and has many variations.  Although yoga has been done for thousands of years, it has most recently become popular amongst athletes and Western countries due to the proven benefits of improved strength, flexibility, reduced stress, better sleep, improved posture, and others.

Links:

http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/

http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/the-health-benefits-of-yoga

http://www.fatburningman.com/

http://stronglifts.com/

http://www.bodylastics.com/