Tag Archives for " Nutrition "

The Secret To Building Massive Arms

Fitness internet sensation   Bradley Martyn has broken the  several times with his freakish feats of strength and agility. And it’s not just incredible, it’s pretty damn entertaining too. Most recently, One of his  post was reportedly viewed more than 20 million times on Facebook. Martyn’s  YouTube channel is filled with stunts, like when he squatted 315 pounds while standing on a hoverboard (and nearly breaking it), as well as workouts, tips and tricks on how to build a massive pump or simply improve your strength. We talked to Martyn about his training and his antics in this week’s edition of FUELED. 

What’s your height and weight and of course, what do you bench?

I’m 6’3″, 260lbs and can bench press roughly 430lbs, although I haven’t maxed out in a long time. A better question is asking somebody how much they can bench, squat, and deadlift. A lot of people can bench, but you don’t find as many who are serious about all three. If you have a big bench, but can’t squat or deadlift much, then what’s the point? 

What’s a typical day of eating look like for you? What fuels your body?

This varies as it all depends what my current schedule and goals are. A lot of people ask me this question because they think that if they copy what I eat that it will help them. The truth is, we all have different needs regarding nutrition and what I do probably won’t work for anybody but me! There are times where I’m so busy with work that I only eat 1-2 large meals per day. This can be something like Chipotle or In-N-Out Burger. If I told somebody that’s what I eat then they’ll probably get fat. The part they don’t know is that I know how many calories I need, and pay attention to my macros to fill those calories as well. So they see me eating Chipotle and think they can too! Even though it’s Chipotle, I’m still very much aware of my total nutrition on the day, and always eat according to my goals. There are other times that I eat several meals a day and space them out accordingly. Each meal is prepped in advance and considered “clean foods” in that they aren’t loaded with what many consider “junk” like fast food. So I don’t have a specific foods, or meals that I eat habitually. My habits are paying attention to my body, and adjusting my food intake accordingly. If somebody can do that, then they are on the right track. 

Describe an average week of training for you

I make sure to hit each muscle group at least once per week, but sometimes more. I always include the compound power lifts like bench, squat, deadlift, and overhead press. Outside of that, it really depends on what my specific goals are at the time. Sometimes I will train heavy and hit each muscle once a week. Other times I won’t go as heavy and train each muscle 2-3 times per week. Some other times, I’ll train arms every day. It all depends on what my goals are at the time!

What are some must-have items always in your gym bag?

The only things in my gym bag that are not my brand (BMFIT) are my adidas olympic weightlifting shoes and my headphones. Otherwise all things are now BMFIT as I’ve worked hard to supply the tools and accessories that I have always used myself. I would say that any good gym bag needs the following: belt, lifting straps, wrist wraps, knee sleeves, and a water jug. There are other tools and accessories that you could put to good use, but I would call that list the essentials. 

 

What’s your secret to building massive, sculpted arms like yours?

Every day is arm day! #ediad lol This is something I came up with as a result of the theory that if you want to build muscle in certain body parts that you have to train that muscle frequently. I had a long period of time that I trained my arms with 1-2 exercises every day. I definitely saw some results from that, but it might not work for everybody. That being said, here is the secret…there are no secrets! If anybody ever says they have the “secret” then they are lying to you. If you want big arms then work them out as hard and as often as you can so long as you can recover and don’t cause an injury. The “secret” is that you have to consistently put in hard work, both in the gym and on the dinner plate, for years. Most people just aren’t willing to be patient and put the work in. 
 
 

What advice can you share with guys looking to build big mass and get stronger?

Be patient! The first thing that people need to understand is that the accumulation of muscle mass and strength isn’t easy and takes time. Focus more on small goals and work to achieve them. If you can slowly get better then that all adds up! I get asked how somebody can look like me and how long it took me to get the results that I have. When I tell them that I’ve been working out and eating right with a passion for almost 15 years then they usually have this sadness that comes over them, as if it’s not attainable. The truth is that some may never be able to “look like me” or other fitness people that they get motivation from. That being said, everybody can make improvements to their physique, no matter their level of experience, age, or current body type. Instead of rushing to look like somebody you see in the magazines or social media, it’s important to just focus on building a better you. If you can consistently (and slowly) improve your physique then all those results add up! You’ll be surprised what you look like after putting all that time and work in. Like most things in life, enjoy the process more than the final result. If you can do that then you’ll do nothing but get better, and maintain your results along the way. 

 
What’s one product everyone should have to get workouts done at home or on the go?
 
There isn’t one product that people can use to get workouts done at home or on the go. However, one thing that people need is a strong desire to get better. If you have that then you can surprise yourself with the workouts you can get done without a gym or equipment. I remember one time that my friend and I wanted to go to the gym on Thanksgiving and all the gyms were closed. We ended up at the nearest college stadium and performed a variety of exercises  including push ups, pull ups, walking lunges, running the stairs, sprints, sit ups, leg raises, and even found some heavy tires to flip. I still prefer the gym, but we had that desire to get better so we found something to do when we didn’t have access to the gym or weights. If you have that desire then you’ll always make it work, even if that means doing push ups, lunges, and sit ups in your hotel room when you’re away.

Are there any workouts you hate doing? Why?

I love working out! I would say that I hate doing core exercises the most. The entire industry has convinced people that they need to do a bunch of random core workouts. They use these exercises to sell the idea that they need to do that in order to get abs. The truth is that abs are accomplished more with the diet than they are with working out. If you want something to strengthen the core then you should give squats and deadlifts a try! Core workouts are not bad to do, but they are boring and overrated, so I don’t like to do them very often. 

SOURCE…www.askmen.com

 

Eat Cheese, Live Longer

A recent study published in the journal Nature Medicine reported that eating cheese — specifically the aged kind containing the compound spermidine, as found in blue cheese — was linked to a longer life in mammals when tested on mice.

“The mice do not only live longer when we supplement spermidine to the drinking water, but they are also healthier in terms of cardiac function,” Frank Madeo, co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Graz in Austria, told Medical Daily.

The study observed 800 Italians and found that those who ate more cheese had lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and 40 percent lower risk of heart failure.

SOURCE…www.nypost.com

Is It Possible To Avoid Genetically Modified Food?

Genetically modified food has divided experts for years. Some say that it is necessary to feed a growing global population whilst others object to GM food on the grounds that it is unethical and poses health risks for both humans and for the natural environment.

Although many consumers are wary about eating GM products, food producers have continued to seek new ways to increase profits and reduce wastage. As a result many everyday products now contain GM ingredients. And GM food may be more prevalent than you expect. In fact, around 90% of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified.

So what exactly does Genetically Modified mean?
Genetically modified foods are produced by making changes to the DNA structure of food crops to give specific benefits. Examples include apples that have been modified not to brown as quickly or potato crops that have been modified to be more resistant to viruses.

How to avoid GM ingredients
It can be difficult to spot which products have been genetically modified, particularly as a large amount of animal feed contains GM ingredients. Even though the eggs you eat might not have been modified themselves, the chicken that laid them may be eating genetically modified feed.

If you want to avoid GM ingredients, the best thing to do is look for labels that state that a product is ‘GM Free’. Alternatively, choose organic products that feature the Soil Association logo.

The Soil Association campaigns against the use of GM ingredients in both human food and animal feed. For more information about the Soil Association, visit: www.soilassociation.org

6 Basic Principles Of Using Food As Medicine

In 1973, when I was a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health and beginning to become interested in alternative therapies, I met Shyam Singha, a London-based Indian osteopath, naturopath, herbalist, acupuncturist, homeopath, and meditation master. Shyam had gleaming yellow eyes and flowing black hair, and wore impeccably tailored Savile Row suits or floor-length, orange silk gowns.

Lecturing, he paced the front of the hall like a panther. A brilliant, challenging, occasionally terrifying trickster, he became my guide to the frontiers of healing. Together Shyam and I cooked meals that astonished my taste buds, raised my energy, and lifted my mood. The fast, “chaotic” breathing meditation he had learned in the Indian mountains pushed me through fear and anger.

Shortly after meeting Shyam, I was crippled by a back injury. The orthopedists were issuing dire warnings and getting me ready for a surgery I didn’t want.

Desperate, I called Shyam in London. “Eat three pineapples a day, and nothing else for a week,” he said.

I thought the phone had gone bad, and then suspected, not for the first time, that he was mad. He repeated it and explained, using principles of Chinese medicine, how the pineapple would “work on your lung” which was the “mother of the kidney,” and that the kidney was “connected” to the back. It made no sense to me then, but I knew that Shyam knew many things that I and the orthopods didn’t.

And I really didn’t want back surgery.

Amazingly, the pineapple fast worked. Later, Shyam suggested I eliminate gluten,dairy, sugar, red meat and processed food to relieve my occasional allergies, asthma, and eczema. That worked, too.

Ever since, I too have been committed to using food as medicine. Soon I was reading scientific studies that were validating the therapeutic power of traditional remedies and suggesting the need to eliminate or cut down on foods that had become staples of the standard American diet. I began to prescribe nutritional therapies for my medical and psychiatric patients.

By the early 1990s, I had decided it was time to teach what I was learning to my students at Georgetown Medical School. I asked Susan Lord, MD, my colleague atThe Center for Mind-Body Medicine, to join me. To honor Hippocrates, who coined the phrase, we called our course “Food As Medicine,” and it quickly became a hit with med students.

The students experimented with diets that eliminated sugar, gluten, dairy, food additives, red meat and caffeine. Many felt less anxious and more energetic; they slept and studied better and learned more easily. They shook their heads at how little attention their curriculum paid to nutrition.

A few years later, Susan and I made an expanded version of this course available nation-wide, to medical school faculty, physicians, other health professionals and anyone who was interested in improving her own nutrition.

Together with the dietician Kathie Swift, we created exactly the course we wish we’d had in school — one combining impeccable science and traditional wisdom, presented in the most interesting, practical user-friendly way. We called it “Food As Medicine” (FAM)

The course is comprehensive, but the basic principles are simple and straightforward:

1. Eat in harmony with your genetic programming — i.e,. the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate.

This doesn’t mean conforming to a strict Paleo diet, but rather following the guidelines it suggests. Consider a whole foods plant-based diet with as little processed food and added sugar as possible.

Ideally this means consuming far fewer grains (understanding that some people can’t tolerate wheat and other grains at all); little or no dairy (even if you don’t seem intolerant to it); cold water fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel as the preferred animal product; and far more intestine-activating fiber — we consume a paltry average of 15 grams a day; our Paleolithic ancestors took in 100 grams.

2. Use foods rather than supplements to treat and prevent chronic illness.

Whole foods contain a number of substances that work synergistically and may be far more effective than supplements that just deliver one of them.

Why take the powerful antioxidant lycopene in a pill when you can eat a tomato that contains both lycopene and a number of other antioxidants, along with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that work together to prevent heart disease by decreasing cholesterol and lipid levels and stopping abnormal blood clotting?

3. Combine your nutritional plan with a program to reduce stress and raise awareness about how as well as what we eat.

Stress inhibits and interferes with every aspect of digestive functioning and with the efficient use of nutrients. Stressed-out people can’t make very good biological use of even the most healthy diets.

Learning to eat slowly and mindfully will increase your enjoyment of meals, reduce your consumption of food (most of us eat so fast we don’t have time to register signals from our stomach that we are full), and help you make food choices that are better for you.

4. Understand that we are all, as the pioneering biochemist Roger Williams pointed out 50 years ago, biochemically unique.

We may be the same age and ethnicity, have very similar health status, ethnicity, and income, but you may use 100 times as much B6 as I do, and I may require 100 times more Zinc.

Sometimes we may need a nutritionally oriented physician, dietician or nutritionist to do specific, sophisticated tests to determine our deficiencies and requirements. We can always learn a great deal about what’s good for us by experimenting with different diets and foods, and by paying close attention to the outcomes.

5. Find a health professional who will help you begin treatment of chronic conditions with nutrition and stress management (as well as exercise) rather than medication.

Except in life threatening situations, this is the sane, common sense way to go. The prescription antacids, Type 2 diabetes drugs, and antidepressants that tens of millions of Americans use to decrease acid reflux, lower blood sugar, and improve mood, only treat symptoms and do not address causes. And they have very significant and often dangerous side-effects. If they are only prescribed, as they should be, after a thorough trial of non-pharmacological treatment, they will rarely be necessary.

6. Don’t become a food fanatic.

Use these guidelines (and others that make sense to you), but don’t beat yourself up for deviating from them. Just notice the effect of a questionable choice, learn, and return to your program.

And don’t waste your time and energy judging others for what they eat! It will just make you cranky and self-righteous, stressful emotional states that will ruin your digestion. And it sure won’t do those other people any good.

 

SOURCE…www.mindbodygreen.com

Why Fitness Pros Are Obsessed With Apple Cider Vinegar

Check out this powerful tid bit of knowledge ! Now we all know they say  an apple a day may keep the proverbial doctor away, but a daily splash of apple cider vinegar may be just what your trainer ordered. Fitness pros are gung-ho on the ingredient’s better-body powers, and for good reason. Here’s why:

How It Helps: “Apple cider vinegar has a positive impact on gut health because it’s anti-microbial. It helps to break down bad bacteria and feed the good,” say New York City-based master trainer Josh Stolz.

“My digestion improved when I added it to my diet so I started recommending it to clients. One had chronic bad breath that may have been linked to an imbalanced digestive system, so I got her on a daily apple cider vinegar protocol and her breath, digestion, and skin improved within weeks.” Consistent ingestion of apple cider vinegar has been tied to moderate weight loss as well. “Some studies suggest the acetic acid in it can boost satiety between meals so you may eat less,” says Brian St. Pierre, R.D., a fitness and nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition.

How To Try It: Stir a couple teaspoons into a glass of water and sip before meals. Another trick: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons to seltzer water then add stevia to taste (optional). “It’s like drinking a non-alcoholic, non-caloric sparkling cider,” says Stolz, who advises keeping your daily ACV dose to 2 to 3 tablespoons max.

Some advocates favor the pungent tonic first thing in the morning, but pairing it with your starchy meals may be your best bet. “Research shows apple cider vinegar can help prevent blood sugar spikes because it interferes with starch and carbohydrate absorption,” says Stolz. Pros agree that reducing the glycemic response in the body is especially important if you’re diabetic or have insulin resistance, but anyone can benefit. Notes St. Pierre: Ingesting it with a higher carbohydrate meal can decrease post-meal blood glucose levels, which can also lower inflammation and protect blood vessel linings.

Yet another super-worthy stat: Apple cider vinegar enhances the nutrition of bone broth. “Add it to the bones, water, and seasonings—1/8 cup for 1 pound bones, ¼ for 2 pounds of bones, and so on—about a half an hour before boiling. This helps pull more minerals from the bones,” says Stolz.

Why fitness pros are obsessed with apple cider vinegar
SOURCE..http://news360.com

Is Capitalism To Blame for Worldwide Obesity?

Lets take a moment to really consider the truth about why people get fat? Doctors have proven this increases  their personal risk of heart disease, diabetes and other “lifestyle” diseases and society’s risk of fiscal collapse from the expense of treating millions of people with those ailments.  Conventional wisdom, favored by governments and a vast and growing  ” Wellness Industry” around the world, is that it’s because individuals can’t control themselves. Accordingly ( “trillions” / with a T)  of dollars, euros, yen, rupees and other monies will be spent in the next few decades to nudge people into jogging and giving up potato chips and dessert, for their sake and their nation’s fiscal capacity . It would be a damn shame if that turned out to be a colossal waste of money. But it may be, if we learn years hence that obesity wasn’t caused by individual choices at all. A number of researchers have been making this argument, pushing against received opinion, and of them, the most striking is probably this new paper :

 

The key cause of the global obesity epidemic, it says, is capitalism.

It’s a striking paper (perhaps the only one you’ll ever read that references both receptor pathways for the hormone leptin and data on the size of the Indian economy before and after the British took over). There is, for example, where it was recently published: Not in some obscure pool of Marxist theorizing, but in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Human Biology. The author, Jonathan C.K. Wells, is an expert on fat metabolism in humans who works at the Childhood Nutrition Research Centre at the Institute of Child Health of University College London. On the evidence of this paper, he is as far from an ideological ranter as a human being can be. He seems instead to be a scientist who has been driven to exasperation by conventional wisdom, which looks to explain obesity only within the narrow viewpoint of individuals and the calories they consume.

Let me paraphrase Wells’ intricate argument as a multigenerational saga. It begins with you, a poor farmer growing food crops in a poor country. Capitalism appears with your colonial masters when Europeans take control of your economy. The new system encourages you and your neighbors to stop growing your own food and instead produce, say, coffee for export. Now that you aren’t growing food, you need to buy it. But since everyone in a capitalist economy is out to maximize profit, companies strive to pay you as little as possible for your crop, and to pay your factory-worker children as little as possible for their labor. So capitalism has, first, removed various traditional protections against starvation by changing your farming system, and, second, made sure you aren’t paid enough to eat well.

Cut to 80 years later. Thanks to globalization and outsourcing, your descendants have risen out of the ranks of the poor and joined the fast-growing ranks of the world’s 21st century middle-class consumers. Capitalism welcomes them. They are now targets for efforts to get them to buy things they don’t need, which of course includes foods and beverages that you could never have afforded. They’ve been put at risk of obesity because capitalism encourages them to over-eat.

But that’s not the worst of it. As Wells describes in detail, there is a lot of recent research to suggest that a body’s physiological response to food is heavily influenced by experiences in the womb and in early life. Moreover, it’s also influenced by the environment that a person’s mother lived in—not just when that mother was pregnant, but also when she was a child, and even a fetus in the womb of her mother. So the effects of under-nutrition last a lifetime, and are even passed across generations. And those effects appear to promote obesity.

It seems under-nutrition in a person’s early life, or even similar food deprivation in the life of that person’s parents, can set the metabolism to create fat reserves quickly and keep them. In other words, if you or your parents or their parents were under-nourished, you’re at a higher risk of becoming obese in a rich-food environment. (As Wells explains, when food is insufficient, evolution favors bodies that make and keep fat reserves, and once this adaptation is set it can’t be turned off when food becomes more plentiful.) Moreover, obese people, when they have children, pass on changes in metabolism that can predispose the next generation to obesity as well. Like the children of under-fed people, the children of the over-fed have their metabolism set in ways that tend to promote obesity.

So a past of undernutrition, combined with a present of overnutrition, is an obesity trap (Wells memorably calls the “metabolic ghetto”) that can’t be escaped by turning poor people into middle-class consumers. In fact, that turn to prosperity is what sets off the trap. In India, China and many other rapidly expanding economies, capitalism itself caused under-nutrition in previous generations and now causes over-nutrition today.

In other countries (Wells cites Ethiopia, where he has done research), the two forces are at work at the same time, making some poor workers unable to eat well even as their richer compatriots switch to a diet of processed foods.) Since capitalism is the driver of both past and current under-nutrition and today’s over-nutrition, Wells has concluded that capitalism itself is a long-lasting world-wide “obesogenic” force. “Obesity,” Wells writes, “like under-nutrition, is thus fundamentally a state of malnutrition, in each case promoted by powerful profit-led manipulations of the global supply and quality of food.”

He buttresses this claim with some detailed theorizing about the biochemistry, physiology and epigenetics that link poor nutrition in early life and later obesity. As the environmental epidemiologist Paolo Vineis  pointed out in his review for the F100 website , Wells’ theory suggests plenty of questions that could be answered by both lab and field experiments. This is not an ideological screed; it’s a peer-reviewed proposal for a theory that connects work on the economics of food with work on the way that environment affect bodies and behaviors.

But aren’t we all free to choose not to participate in this fattening system? As Wells sees it, the “unifying logic of capitalism” is exactly the opposite of this cliché about free markets. We may think we’re free to choose what to eat and how to eat it, but, he writes, food companies maximize their profits by restricting our choices, “both at the behavioral level, through advertising, price manipulations and restriction of choice, and at the physiological level through the enhancement of addictive properties of foods” (by which he means those sugars and fats that make processed foods so habit forming as well as fattening).

What is to be done, then?

Rather than harping on personal responsibility so much, Wells argues, we should be looking at the global economic system, seeking to reform it so that it promotes access to nutritious food for everyone. Also, we need to develop policies to fight hunger that don’t send people into the “obesogenic niche,” and, finally, regulate commercial interests so that they pay poor people better and market less fattening shlock to the better off.

I admit, I read that list and thought, Good luck with that. You can get rich people to fund efforts to get others to jog and watch their diet and be disciplined about check-ups (which amounts to trying to get the population to act more like rich people, so it’s an easy sell). But who is going to fund work that questions the very basis of their power to fund things?

Still, maybe I’m too pessimistic. It’s increasingly clear that the current consensus—people are obese because they individually decide to eat too much—is unsatisfactory. (To cite just one reason, that explanation doesn’t account for why in the 21st century animals are also becoming obese along with our species.) A number of alternative theories are circulating, which locate the cause of our “obesity epidemic” in society’s collective activities rather than in individual decisions about exercise and cookies.

One candidate, as Kristin Wartman   recently explained , is all the chemicals we modern people ingest, specifically organic pollutants like BPA. Another, as Beatrice Golomb  (search the page for her name to find the post), are industrial metals. Others have cited the stresses of modern life, including loneliness and lack of sleep. Wells’s idea is, to my mind, the most mind-blowing of all these alternative ideas about obesity. Whether or not he’s right, this paper will scrub your mind of unexamined assumptions and leave you thinking more clearly about a major global problem.

SOURCE…WWW.bigthink.com

 

Why You Shouldn’t Join a Meal Delivery Service

You can’t underestimate the value of convenience – especially when it comes to weight loss or healthy eating.

That’s why meal delivery services – the ones that deliver ready-to-eat meals straight to your door – are so great. Heat them up or just pull them out of your fridge, and you’re ready to go. Minimal time and effort required.Unfortunately, though, that no-effort approach means that you don’t actually learn how to add  or keep off the weight long term. “It’s robotic. You think, ‘as long as I eat what they send me, I’ll eat healthy. I’ll lose weight,'” explains registered dietitian Wesley Delbridge, spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But at some point, you are going to have to cook.”

For instance, research from Johns Hopkins University shows that people who regularly cook eat healthier foods and consume fewer daily calories even if they aren’t trying to lose weight. What’s more, they eat healthier when they dine out at restaurants . Impressive, right? But in a time when all of us are strapped for, well, time, why is cooking your own meals so important? Because, apart from making healthy eating sustainable (let’s face it, those meal delivery services are pricey), cooking teaches you what healthy food choices look like and how to be in charge of your own nutrition, says registered dietitian Laura Cipullo, owner of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services in New York City.

Plus, 2016 research published in Health Psychology shows that we simply enjoy foods more if we’ve prepared them ourselves. In the study, researchers at the University of Cologne in Zurich found that when people cooked their own healthy shakes, they rated them as tastier than the same ones prepared by others. According the study authors, that may be partly because the harder we work, the more we enjoy the fruits of our labor.What’s more, cooking increases your meal’s health salience – or how obviously healthy it is to you – which is an important part of meal satisfaction when you’re trying to eat healthy, according to researchers. Basically, if your recipe lists a bunch of healthy ingredients, you’re going to be happy – and happy with your work in the kitchen. The result: Your meals taste even better to you than they would otherwise. And healthy eating becomes much more doable in the long term.

Is There a Meal Delivery Service for That?

Luckily, yes. As research increasingly backs up that whole “you can give a man a fish or teach him to fish” theory and how it plays out in the kitchen, more and more companies are offering up ingredient-delivery (versus meal-delivery) services.For instance, companies like FreshRealm, Hello Fresh , Blue Apple and Plated allow aspiring home chefs to pick out the healthy meals they want to cook, and then they ship prepped ingredients along with full recipes to their doors. Purple Carrot specializes in super-creative vegan recipes, and PeachDish is all about southern favorites made healthier. Location-specific ingredient-delivery services focus on locally sourced foods.

Obviously, there are plenty of ingredient-delivery options out there. And just like traditional meal-delivery services, while they aren’t the solution to everyday eating for the rest of your life, they stand out in their ability to help teach you how to eat – and cook – from here on out, Cipullo says. After all, with these services, you are the one choosing your meals, sautéing, baking and grilling them as well as portioning them out for y. (No more eating your own “special” meal while your spouse and child eat something else.)It’s also important to remember that these companies pack their deliveries full of fruits, vegetables and spices that you might never pick up from the supermarket when left to your own devices, Delbridge says. Star fruit? Swiss chard? Curry? You’re going to learn how to use all of them! Over time, you build up a nice stash of go-to recipes, develop cooking skills and confidence in the kitchen, and learn how to tailor recipes to fit your needs or simply create new dishes on the fly.Because for any healthy eating strategy to stick, it needs to end with you cooking the healthy meals you love.

READMORE…health.usnews.com.

 

Why You Shouldn't Join a Meal Delivery Service

You can’t underestimate the value of convenience – especially when it comes to weight loss or healthy eating.

That’s why meal delivery services – the ones that deliver ready-to-eat meals straight to your door – are so great. Heat them up or just pull them out of your fridge, and you’re ready to go. Minimal time and effort required.Unfortunately, though, that no-effort approach means that you don’t actually learn how to add  or keep off the weight long term. “It’s robotic. You think, ‘as long as I eat what they send me, I’ll eat healthy. I’ll lose weight,'” explains registered dietitian Wesley Delbridge, spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But at some point, you are going to have to cook.”

For instance, research from Johns Hopkins University shows that people who regularly cook eat healthier foods and consume fewer daily calories even if they aren’t trying to lose weight. What’s more, they eat healthier when they dine out at restaurants . Impressive, right? But in a time when all of us are strapped for, well, time, why is cooking your own meals so important? Because, apart from making healthy eating sustainable (let’s face it, those meal delivery services are pricey), cooking teaches you what healthy food choices look like and how to be in charge of your own nutrition, says registered dietitian Laura Cipullo, owner of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services in New York City.

Plus, 2016 research published in Health Psychology shows that we simply enjoy foods more if we’ve prepared them ourselves. In the study, researchers at the University of Cologne in Zurich found that when people cooked their own healthy shakes, they rated them as tastier than the same ones prepared by others. According the study authors, that may be partly because the harder we work, the more we enjoy the fruits of our labor.What’s more, cooking increases your meal’s health salience – or how obviously healthy it is to you – which is an important part of meal satisfaction when you’re trying to eat healthy, according to researchers. Basically, if your recipe lists a bunch of healthy ingredients, you’re going to be happy – and happy with your work in the kitchen. The result: Your meals taste even better to you than they would otherwise. And healthy eating becomes much more doable in the long term.

Is There a Meal Delivery Service for That?

Luckily, yes. As research increasingly backs up that whole “you can give a man a fish or teach him to fish” theory and how it plays out in the kitchen, more and more companies are offering up ingredient-delivery (versus meal-delivery) services.For instance, companies like FreshRealm, Hello Fresh , Blue Apple and Plated allow aspiring home chefs to pick out the healthy meals they want to cook, and then they ship prepped ingredients along with full recipes to their doors. Purple Carrot specializes in super-creative vegan recipes, and PeachDish is all about southern favorites made healthier. Location-specific ingredient-delivery services focus on locally sourced foods.

Obviously, there are plenty of ingredient-delivery options out there. And just like traditional meal-delivery services, while they aren’t the solution to everyday eating for the rest of your life, they stand out in their ability to help teach you how to eat – and cook – from here on out, Cipullo says. After all, with these services, you are the one choosing your meals, sautéing, baking and grilling them as well as portioning them out for y. (No more eating your own “special” meal while your spouse and child eat something else.)It’s also important to remember that these companies pack their deliveries full of fruits, vegetables and spices that you might never pick up from the supermarket when left to your own devices, Delbridge says. Star fruit? Swiss chard? Curry? You’re going to learn how to use all of them! Over time, you build up a nice stash of go-to recipes, develop cooking skills and confidence in the kitchen, and learn how to tailor recipes to fit your needs or simply create new dishes on the fly.Because for any healthy eating strategy to stick, it needs to end with you cooking the healthy meals you love.

READMORE…health.usnews.com.

 

How to Eat and Drink Like an Olympian

Many American households, have got their  TV  tuned to one thing since August 5: the Olympic Games in Rio. It’s always fun to watch the athletes really going for it and there has been plenty to keep us tuned in, like the colorful rivalry between American swimmer Michael Phelps and his South African foe, Chad le Clos.

Fueling for Fitness

While the athletes always make everything look effortless, so much goes into their training in order to prepare them for competition. Not only does it take hours of exercise to hone their muscles, improve their speed and sharpen their mental focus , they also spend a lot of time fueling up before practice and eating to properly recover so they can train again the next day. Diet is a key part of an athlete’s training program.

The U.S. women’s soccer team was unfortunately knocked out of the competition by Sweden last week. But Julie Johnston, a pro soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars and a defender for the U.S. women’s national team trained hard to get to Rio. I had a chance to speak with Johnston leading up to the games and was impressed with the focus she places on eating healthy. In fact, she looks at it as her secret weapon. “You’re trying to find your edge in the sport and obviously, nutrition is one of them,” she says.

With about four hours of daily training, Johnston likes to fuel up with a big breakfast that consists of eggs  and toast or cereal, then she eats fruit closer to game time. Immediately after a game, her strength and conditioning coach serves the team smoothies with protein powder to help the athletes refuel quickly and get muscle repair underway. Following the smoothie, Johnston eats diced fresh mango to re-energize and get her appetite back before eating a full meal later on. Prior to Rio, she also worked on upping her hydration by adding electrolyte packets to her water bottles. She also focuses on foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric.

Energy to Burn

Bob Seebohar is a sports dietitian who works with Olympic-level and recreational athletes of all ages, abilities and sports through eNRG Performance. I picked Seebohar’s brain to get a glimpse into what really goes into an athlete’s body before and after those important training sessions.

According to Seebohar, a typical pre-training meal is about two to three hours before the workout or event and contains a mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats to maintain steady blood sugar levels. For example:

  • Granola with yogurt and fruit
  • Oatmeal with fruit, nuts and a scoop of almond butter
  • Toast and eggs
  • Smoothies and purees are ideal, especially closer to an event, as they are digested more quickly than solid food

Hydration – It’s Not Just About the Water

While carbs are necessary fuel for energy and protein is paramount for muscle growth and repair, the role of hydration  is something that can’t be underestimated. In fact, when some professional athletes are in training camp, they have to submit a daily urine sample to monitor their hydration status.

Loss of electrolytes in sweat can lead to cramping during events. Dehydration can also impede recovery and make athletes feel more sluggish and sore after training or competition. Sodium is the major electrolyte lost in sweat. Others include potassium, magnesium and calcium.

Electrolytes are charged particles that bind to water in our cells, which helps our bodies retain water. They also help move water into the blood and cells through osmosis. While we usually hate the thought of retaining water, it’s important to do so after intense exercise to help with rehydration. If athletes only replace the water they’ve lost, but not the sodium, the water will simply pass through their body without being absorbed. Athletes can add electrolyte packets to their water bottles, but generally you can replace the sodium you lose in your workouts simply through the meal you eat following exercise. Products like Clif Hydration Electrolyte mix can also be helpful, especially in the crazy hot and humid weather we’ve experienced this summer.

Recovery

Refueling, ideally within a 30-minute window post exercise, is incredibly important for athletes, especially when they have back-to-back events. Carbohydrates are needed to replenish glycogen stores and protein is necessary to help repair the small muscle tears that happen during exercise. Antioxidant-rich foods are helpful to combat the oxidative stress that occurs from intense activity.

While you don’t need to pay as much attention to each pre-workout snack as U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, it’s smart to think about your fuel and hydration to maximize your performance during workouts. And it’s not as complicated as you might think. As Seebohar says, “Many recreational athletes think that Olympians follow different nutritional plans. At the end of the day, they are usually just better at planning, preparing and implementing their food plan to align [with their training schedule].” After all, even mere humans like us like to go a little bit faster and feel just a smidge stronger, too.

 READ MORE Health.usnews.com