Month: November 2013

Start Your Day Out Right With A Protein Breakfast!!

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Start Your Day Out Right With A Protein Breakfast!!

Skipping meals never pays off. Have a great day! ( :

Protein Packed Snacks For Your Work Out

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If you’re headed to the gym, then here are 5 great protein powered snacks to take with you:

Whey Protein Powder (isolates) = 24 grams of protein (30 gram scoop)

Nothing compares to this for digestibility, ease and convenience to get your protein. Mix it with milk if you want a little more protein or blend in a smoothie to add ingredients of choice (frozen fruit for some carbs, colostrum, probiotics, maca, moringa leaf, etc.)

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Chicken, Turkey or Tuna (3 ounces) = 14 (4 slices of turkey) to 22 (½ can of tuna) grams of protein

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Eat in a lettuce wrap or slice of whole wheat bread for a great snack.

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Milk (16 ounces) = 17 grams of protein

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It’s that simple. Add a scoop of decadent cacao to it for some powerful antioxidants or mix with whey protein powder for a protein punch.

Greek Yogurt (5.3 ounce container) = 15 grams of protein

Easy and delicious. Skip any with added sugar or fruit. Instead add some berries or nuts to it for a perfect snack.

Eggs (three) = 19 grams of protein

These are a protein staple and so easy, especially hardboiled. Eat whole or sliced with a little salt and pepper.

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Eating one of these easy protein snacks before you work out will give you the protein you need for muscle support and muscle building and for the sustained energy and stamina you need to get you through it. Eat another protein packed snack after your work out to help you in that immediate recovery period to rebuild the muscle broken down and restore the energy you used up and to help you feel good!

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9 Superfoods To Super Charge Your Whey Protein Smoothie

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Blending up a whey protein smoothie is quick, easy, convenient and packed with the high quality protein you need, but have you ever thought of adding a scoop of a super food to the mix?

Here’s a list of 9 ideas to add to your protein smoothie and why these super foods are super charged:

1)  Moringa Leaf. The proteins in Moringa give you 18 of the 20 known amino acids, including all 8 amino acids classified as essential. With it’s 90+ verifiable nutrients, it also has significant amounts of Vitamins B, B1, B2, B3, D, and E, polyphenols (antioxidants), other minerals, fiber. It is one of the highest, naturally occurring sources of chlorophyll. Moringa leaf boosts your energy in a natural manner and it is a remarkable source of nutrition. People who have a continuous intake of Moringa say that their ulcers have healed, tumors lessened, improved arthritis, pain and inflammation, blood pressure, skin problems, and a stronger immune system. It is widely known for its soothing ability which promotes good sleep.

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2)  Maca. This interesting root has a long reputation for being an aphrodisiac and to enhance fertility. It also boosts energy levels. It is usually consumed in a powder form, so is easy to add to your smoothie.

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3)  Blueberries. These are antioxidant powerhouses! In fact, they have the highest antioxidant properties of all fruits. Blueberries have a potent anti-inflammatory capacity that helps in everything in the body when it comes to inflammation. They help everything from blood pressure to improving your memory! Plus they are delicious and easy to store frozen and add to a smoothie.

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4)  Chia Seeds. Everyone has had a chia pet, but did you know they are an amazing superfood? They originate from the ancient Aztecs who were well aware of their potent superfood quality. Chia seeds are packed with protein, fiber, calcium, manganese, phosphorous and omega-3 fatty acids. What is cool about adding them to a smoothie is they instantly create a creamy thickness to the texture!

5)  Hemp seeds. Almost like the Moringa leaf, hemp seeds come close to completing the amino acid profile, which makes them a wonderful protein source. They are loaded with folic acid, vitamins B & E and super rich in the omega-3 fatty acids as well. All you need is a spoonful of this great superfood to jump charge your protein smoothie!

6)  Bee pollen. It sounds a little strange, but this is a popular add to your diet and the many fans of bee pollen call it one of nature’s “best kept secrets”. Believe it or not, it is a great source of protein that is easily digested. It also contains the powerful antioxidants beta-carotene, lycopene and selenium. In the world of alternative medicine, bee pollen is well known for improving asthma and allergies.

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7)  Cacao. Yummy! If you’re a chocolate lover, then this is good to know. There are actually “healthy chocolates” out there to eat regularly. The higher the cacao percentage the better. Cacao contains up to 10% of its weight in flavonoids. These are supercharged antioxidants that significantly lower your risk of stroke and heart disease. If you want to make a chocolate flavored super healthy protein smoothie, then add a decadent scoop of raw cacao powder!

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8)  Spirulina. Yes, it’s algae and it’s rich in protein as well as vitamins and minerals and powerful antioxidants. It is known for its vast health benefits that fight disease. One of the things it is known for is that it has great anti-histamine properties that reduce allergies and also boosts the growth of probiotics that strengthens the immune system and overall digestion.

9)  Kale. This is one of those food items that has so many health benefits, they can never be overstated. It is supercharged with many vitamins and minerals, but especially has unique chemical compounds that boost our ability to repair DNA in our cells and block cancer cell growth.

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Creating an amazing whey protein smoothie has endless possibilities. The next time you blend yours, throw in one of these super foods to super charge your day!

The Incredible Value Of Water

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Plain old water is really not “plain”. We all know the human body is made up of something like 98% water and without it we would decline rapidly, but honestly, what exactly do we do with water in our bodies after we drink it?

AMAZING THINGS.

Circulatory value. Water is our body’s carrier service. It moves nutrients exactly where we need them and toxins exactly where we don’t need them. It’s a home cleaning service with a smile.

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Lubrication. Each muscle and joint needs moisture and a valuable cushioning to work right and to avoid debilitating friction. When you drink water, your individual cells absorb and distribute the needed water to plump up each membrane, muscle and the cartilage in your body.

Ahhh…..we replenish. Each breath or movement our body makes expresses water from our body. Add a big workout with heavy sweating or even the process of digestion, and we are burning off serious amounts of water.

Skin nourishment. Did you know that our skin is actually our largest organ? In order to keep it healthy, we need to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Weight Loss. The number one way we lose weight is actually through our urine. The adipose we lose is lost through urination….so drink, drink, drink!

Ache and pain relief throughout the body. If you have a headache, drink an 8 ounce glass of water and see what happens. You’ll be amazed how it just melts away. Take note to avoid the next headache!

Brain power. A well hydrated brain is a happy brain, sharp and ready to go!

Fight fatigue. When we are in a hydrated state, we are tired, very tired…..When we are lacking in hydration, the rest of our body tries to pick up the slack to help transport nutrients within the body. This will leave you sluggish and miserable. Chug the water and see what happens!

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Teach your kids early to drink water. No other liquid does so much!!

Why Whey Protein Isolates Can Change Your Life?

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Whey protein isolates (sometimes called whey isolate or WPI) is a dietary supplement created in the process of filtering milk protein. It is actually the tansluscent liquid that you can see when the casein protein is removed to make cheese. It is basically a by-product of making cheese. This cheese making process yields 3 forms of whey: whey isolate (WPI), whey concentrate (WPC), or whey hydrolysate (WPH). However, as it is processed and purified into whey protein isolates it can lose some of its biologic activity, but the amino acid sequences do not change when this happens and the protein is denatured. If a protein is denatured during this process, it does not have any effect on its muscle-building qualities. All large proteins are broken down during digestion into smaller protein chains and individual amino acids (denatured). Whether this process occurs in the gut or in the factory doesn’t affect how they are absorbed in the body.

What is unique about whey protein isolates is that the protein content is concentrated to levels as high or higher than 90%, and yet has very little fat and lactose (about 0.5%). This is the primary difference between whey protein and its isolate form. In contrast, whey protein contains around 10-15% protein, 60-75% lactose and 1% milk fat. Whey protein isolate is popular with people who are lactose sensitive or intolerant and unable to easily digest the lactose in whey protein. Many people definitely prefer whey protein isolates for its high protein concentration, especially athletes. It’s easy to add carbohydrates to your whey protein isolate if you want them, just by mixing it in a smoothie with fruit or fruit juice.

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Whey protein can be easily reconstituted for consumption by mixing it with water, juice, milk, almond or coconut milk, or another liquid.  It is very popular today, especially among athletes and people on the go, because of its ability to be digested very rapidly and it is an easy and very healthy source of high quality protein.

Significant HEALTH BENEFITS of whey protein:

Muscle Growth – Whey protein isolates contain ALL the essential amino acids our bodies need every day and that our bodies alone cannot manufacture on its own. These types of essential amino acids must be obtained through our diet. Equally important is the actual quality of these amino acids. There are two important components of whey protein isolates that make these important muscle builders 1) they have branched chain amino acids which are unique because they are directly metabolized by the muscles 2) the amino acid leucine which promotes muscle growth and development.

It is very healthy to consume whey protein isolates all through your life, but especially  later in life to prevent the natural degradation of muscles that occurs with age. This will also help reduce the chance of developing obesity and all of the problems associated with it.

The pure protein content of whey protein isolates is very quickly used by the body helping in the synthesis of muscle building. It gives you more strength and stamina for athletic activities and a decreased recovery time with muscle building.

Weight Loss – This is beneficial for weight loss in two ways 1) it requires more energy to digest whey protein isolates which causes the burning of more calories after a meal 2) it also aids in suppressing the appetite. Whey protein isolates contain two hormones that contribute to weight loss: cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide-1. Many recent studies have found that low fat diets with the highest protein content—the low-carbohydrate diets—have the best results in weight loss. Another component is its ability to help in decreasing triglycerides and total cholesterol while increasing the good cholesterol (HDL).

Immune System – Whey protein isolates increase the levels of glutathione, your body’s main water based anti-oxidant, which has the power to greatly reduce the number of free radicals in the body. These free radicals can potentially cause cellular damage to the body. It also contains immunoglobin antibodies and other molecules that are foundational for the immune system. It even initiates the growth of new healthy skin.

No supplement can replace a diet of whole, natural, unprocessed foods, but whey protein isolates are the next best thing and can be incredibly useful for people with a very busy, on-the-go lifestyle as a supplement, snack or full meal replacement to their normal diet routine. There is almost an endless list of benefits in consuming high-quality whey protein isolates every day! It is a life preserving product that we should all incorporate into our diets.

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Quote for the day

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Quote for the day

The Greatest Wealth Is Health

What has happened to the integrity of our food supply?

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Despite the fact that the food industry spends literally billions of dollars on creative advertising and packaging, convincing us on how great and healthy their particular product is, or better yet, how convenient it is, we are eating less nourishing and more damaging foods than ever.

There are 5 reasons our food supply is dramatically different than it was 20 or 30 years ago.

1)  We know less of what is in our food now than ever.

I’ve become quite the label reader and yet reading a label these days is not very helpful. It’s a mile long and has words and names of ingredients that I can’t even pronounce, let alone know what they actually ARE or if they are healthy. Food companies, in my opinion, have become creative labelers, even deceptive by changing the names of things, not having to disclose what’s in a listed ingredient or saying something contains a “100%” of an ingredient when it contains 51% or more of that ingredient. To say the least it’s incredibly frustrating, but it is also upsetting to be deceived when you are trying to eat healthy. What’s even worse is more and more foods now have poisonous preservatives, fats and sweeteners. You can’t even get away from it! You basically need a PhD in chemistry just to understand what’s listed in modern day labels. And sorry to beat a dead horse, but there are also more than 3,000 ingredients included on the FDA’s list of “safe” food additives, many of which are in everything. I don’t trust their idea of “safe” anyway….so moving on.

Woman checking food labelling

2)  Since when does food need a shelf life.

What did we ever do before trans fats and how did we actually survive? Well, before we baked it, then we ate it. Now, you can bake it and it will still be preserved for weeks and months to come, gosh maybe longer if it’s a Twinkie (like years or decades according to the rumors). The development of trans fats after World War II opened the door to bake and fry in a cheaper more effective way, but also allowing foods to be stored at room temperature without leaking oils and remaining so called “fresh”. The use of trans fats apparently makes potato chips and french fries crispier, cookies tastier and biscuits flakier. It also doesn’t smoke as much when you deep fry it…..I guess a bonus for restaurants. But the question is….is it good for you to eat them? NO, it is not, on a multitude of levels, but it for sure increases your risk for heart disease by increasing your bad cholesterol and lowering your good cholesterol. (more articles to follow on trans fats….don’t get me started)

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3)  Even our animal protein sources are less healthy today.

The fat content of many of our meat sources are dramatically higher than 30 or 40 years ago. We feed them corn or grain as well as soy products all laden with antibiotics, which adds unnecessary fat. We should be feeding them grass and bugs while they run around free, but instead they are sedentary, in cages and fed products they would never eat in the wild range. Nowadays you have to pay extra to eat a happy natural source of animal protein. The rest are exercise free and fed unimaginable things. So it’s not shocking to find out that today’s chicken has more calories from fat than from protein.

4)  Our fruits and vegetables are also less nutritious.

There is new research emerging that shows that the actual nutrition of our fruits and vegetables is less abundant now than decades ago. I’m not sure why this is, but I plan to get to the bottom of it. And obviously, the subject of GMO’s is a big one and a terrible reason for the decline in these foods. I have more to research and write on this subject….stay tuned.

5)  Our calorie intake has increased dramatically by what we drink each day.

This number has nearly doubled from what it was 30 or 40 years ago (and I have to think strongly that this is a VERY conservative number, I would say more like tripled or more). There was no Starbucks or Jamba Juice or the numbers of sodas readily available then like they are now. The introduction of high fructose corn syrup has also dramatically added to our waistlines as well, especially in children.

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This is one of those less than uplifting topics to write about, I know, but please don’t lose heart. It’s important to point out and focus on these things so we can do better.

There are many positive things you can do to avoid these things:

– avoid fast food (except maybe In ‘n Out)

– avoid processed foods or choose nutritious packaged food by reading the labels very carefully (the fewer the ingredients the better and making sure those are readily identifiable ingredients, sugar should not be first or second listed)

– drink only liquids that are 100% of whatever you’re drinking (juice, milk, etc.)

– avoid trans fats like the plague

– eliminate high fructose corn syrup from your diet entirely

– select and eat only whole foods

– buy organic produce when you can and learn to identify GMO foods (and avoid them)

– select lean cuts of meat and eat grass fed/free range meats and wild caught fish when you can

I know it sounds like a lot of work and more costly to eat this way, but poor health is even worse and even more costly. I’ve heard people say we spend more on our cars each month than our bodies and health. Hmm….maybe so?

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Taking an active informed role in what you eat is a huge benefit down the road, and teaching your kids to do the same. Eating healthier reduces your risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes, not to mention you feel a whole lot better!