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Complete Guide to Supplements for all your goals!

25 Aug

Have you been chasing fitness trends in your quest to build a massive physique or a toned, sleek figure? If you’ve been at it for a while, you’ve realized that Kangoo jumping, Hula-Hooping and weight-loss sunglasses just don’t cut it. Good news! Move into the modern age without having to choose crazy training regimens and wacky diets. I’m here to tell you that you can come closer to reaching your goals with a sane, integrated fitness program of weight training, nutrition and supplements the right way. I’ll go over some of the best supplements on the market today that will help with whatever purpose you have – building muscle, adding strength, managing your weight, attaining greater levels of endurance or recovering faster from grueling workouts (or a combination). Discover some of the top supplements that helps you stimulate muscle growth and burn fat when exercises are performed effectively.

PROTEIN POWDERS
Protein provides structure to all the cells in your body and then helps them function. If your objective is to maintain or build muscle, getting sufficient protein is a priority.

  • Muscle Milk Pro Series 50(Anabolic Protein Blend)
  • Healthy ‘N’ Fit 100% Egg Protein (Egg Protein pure and clean)
  • Dymatize Nutrition Super Mass Gainer (Meal-Replacement Protein Powder)
  • MuscleMeds Carnivore (Beef Protein)
  • Garden Of Life Raw Meal (Plant-Based Protein)
  • BSN Syntha-6 (Sustained-Release Protein)
  • Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass (Weight Gainers)
  • BodyTech Whey Protein Isolate (Whey Protein)

RTDS- Ready to Drinks
RTDs are convenient, travel friendly, and ready to go, with no blender or shaker cup required. Swap out the supplement shakes that have to be mixed, or do both! To choose the right RTD, know your goals and read the Supplement Facts label. Common effects are: maintain endurance, boost performance, aid in recovery, and more.

  • CytoSport Monster Milk RTD (High-Protein Drink)
  • Natures Best Isopure Green Tea (High-Protein Drink)
  • ABB Performance Speed Stack Pumped N.O. (Pre-workout Drink)
  • Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy RTD(Endurance/Energy Drink)

PROTEIN BARS
Solid nutrition in a single-serving packet, bars are among the handiest of supplements. Are you looking for a bar thats high in protein as well as in vitamins and minerals, a bar that can help you can control your hunger between meals or one that’s low in sugar? Consider your purpose in choosing a bar then check the Supplement Facts panel to make sure it meets your criteria.

  • Bonk Breaker High Protein Bar
  • MusclePharm Combat Crunch
  • Promax Nutrition Promax LS Lower Sugar Bar
  • MacroLife Naturals Macro Greens Bar
  • Pure Organic Ancient Grains Bar

AMINO ACIDS
If your diet includes plenty of lean whole-food protein sources and protein shakes, you’re probably are getting sufficient levels of amino acids. However, your body is interested in keeping itself running smoothly, so taking supplemental aminos ensures that it has an ample supply of these building blocks of proteins. The body requires some 22 aminos, and it uses them for everything from regulating your metabolism and mood to keeping your immune system, blood cells and hormones humming.

  • Healthy ‘N’ Fit Anabolic Amino 10,000
  • Fit Club Nutrition Reward
  • Optimum Nutrition Pro BCAA
  • Betancourt Nutrition Glutamine “Micros” Chewies
  • ALRI Human Pro
  • Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Powder

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT-FAT BURNERS
Dieting is easy—just eat fewer calories than you burn in a day. Right! If it were that easy, we’d all be built like Apollo or Aphrodite. It may seem straightforward, but as just about everyone’s knows, it’s rarely simple. Our hormones don’t always cooperate and neither do our metabolisms. Then we’re faced with carb or fat temptations, or even water retention. Here are some supplements that will help you to your goal weight and uncover that god or goddess within.

  • Betancourt Nutrition Ripped Juice EX2
  • Fit Club Nutrition Pre-X
  • GAT Fuel
  • MuscleTech Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite
  • Prolab Nutrition Advanced Caffeine
  • Top Secret Nutrition Ab Igniter Black

MUSCLE & STRENGTH BUILDERS
For boosting muscle mass or strength, protein powder should be at the top of your list. And if you’re really serious about it, then you’ll want to pay closer attention and learn about the supplements that are most likely to complement your efforts in the gym. Creatine, for example, is involved with energy production in cells. Taking branched-chain amino acids before and after training has been shown to help reduce muscle soreness. Here are some items that will help you optimize your muscle-building and fat-burning systems.

  • Beast Sports Nutrition Creature
  • BodyTech Creatine & Glutamine With Beta-Alanine
  • Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder
  • True Athlete Kre-Alkalyn Powder
  • BodyTech HMB
  • Olympian Labs A-AKG
  • GAT Testrol
  • Healthy ‘N’ Fit Advanced Steroidal Complex
  • Clean Machine Cell Block 80
  • Top Secret Nutrition Natural T

PRE-WORKOUT
Fueling your body before training not only allows it to work to its maximum potential, which can improve your performance, but it also sets the body up for enhanced recovery and muscle building afterward. Heres a list of sources of nitric-oxide boosters and optimally blended preworkout formulas, all geared toward helping you achieve the most productive workout possible.

  • BodyTech Nitrulline
  • Betancourt Nutrition Bullnox Androrush
  • BodyTech Tech X Pre-Effect
  • Dymatize Nutrition M.P.ACT
  • Fit Club Nutrition P.W.O.
  • MusclePharm Assault
  • Nutriforce Sports PreWOD
  • Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre-; Pursuit Rx Pre Workout;
  • Scivation Psycho
  • Top Secret Nutrition Cardio Igniter
  • True Athlete Energized Training Formula

INTRAWORKOUT/POSTWORKOUT
During workouts, supplementation is aimed at helping you train harder and longer. Many intraworkout formulas offer ingrediants to keep you well hydrated, plus aminos and other components to support endurance. Postworkout supplementation is aimed at repairing muscles and promoting growth. Time is of the essence postworkout because waiting too long to get protein and other nutrients to your muscles will throw off recovery and jeopardize protein synthesis. Here are some myriad muscle must-haves for both those crucial periods.

  • BodyTech BCAA & Glutamine
  • Clean Machine Clean BCAA
  • Dymatize Nutrition Amino Pro
  • Dymatize Nutrition M.P.S.
  • GAT Adenoflex
  • Pursuit Rx Recovery
  • True Athlete BCAA Powder

Try this Stack: Select 1 each from each category to take your workout and physique to the next level.

Eating out Tips

2 Aug

The average American eats out 4-5 times a week. Here are my 5 tips to keep in mind to avoid food choices you’ll regret later. Hey, just because you are eating out, doesn’t mean all cards are out the window! Also, eating out means more than a sit-down dinner on a Friday/Saturday night, it can also mean picking up take-out orders, making a trip to the fast-food drive-through lanes.

1. Remember the waiter is a salesperson
Don’t fall for the “Yes, this is my favorite dish!” line every waiter says. Remember, they are trained to sell you more food and drinks you will ever need.

2. Drink water before & during, and thank me later
Skip the alcohol and the soda. You came out to enjoy the food, not the drinks! Cut calories and don’t get full on calorie-packed liquids. Opt in for water instead – there are no added calories/guilt and it helps with digestion.

3. Eat dessert elsewhere (if you really want one)
Do you really want dessert? Because our brain doesn’t immediately register that our stomach is full, you may be at risk of eating more than your body needs. Slow down, take a moment, and see how you feel after 30 minutes. If you really want it, then make a smart choice and control the portion – split it with company!

4. Enjoy the company you are with
Hey! get your face out of the plate and take a break to enjoy whoever you are eating out with. It slows down the eating process, which helps you feel full faster.

5. Portion control
You can always take what you can’t finish home, it’ll still be there tomorrow, I promise. 🙂

Go through this checklist the next time you dine out/pick up food. You will enjoy your meal and not feel guilty later.

 

What does 365 days of eating look like?

22 Aug

american-average-food-consumption

Everything may seem all peachy when you are quickly glancing at this chart. You see the fruits, the vegetables, some meats, dairy…what’s the problem here?

Some disturbingly real facts for you – 

  • 32.8% of American adults are obese (Not just overweight, but obese – Yes, there is a difference.)
  • 25.8% of American children are obese (that’s 1 in 4 and 1 too many)
  • 13% increase since 2010
  • $147 billion spent annually to treat obesity

Yikes!! No wonder why we’re the most obese nation in the world. You know the saying of “you are what you eat?” Well, the U.S. is definitely a walking example of that.

The amount of fast food and processed foods consumed by an individual is alarming. We’re looking at 29 pounds of french fries, 53 gallons of soda (about 1 gallon/week), 24 pounds of ice cream, 23 pounds of pizza! Seriously? What’s wrong with this picture here?

What’s important here is that we need to re-program our brain and our attitude when it comes to health and wellness. It is not a “crash diet” or a “diet fad,” it is a new way of thinking, a new way to live your life. Eat to live, not live to eat.

The goal is to significantly cut down (eventually eliminate) the processed foods with high sugar and fat content that serve no nutritional value whatsoever, and increase intake of lean proteins, fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts. Never forget your body’s BFF – H2O. The human body is made up of anywhere from 50-70% water, so it only makes sense to keep it hydrated with water.

I promise you your body and quality of life will improve if you start making changes today. Start somewhere, even if it means starting small. Let’s say you are a soda drinker who consumes 2-3 cans of it every day. Start with cutting down to 1 a day for the first week, then every other day the next week, then 1 a week. Within a month, you’re soda free! Your body will be free of that 53 gallons of waste for the year. If not now, then when?

Remember getting in shape and losing weight is 80% diet 20% exercise. It goes beyond the 1 hour you put in at the gym, it’s also the other 23 hours that count. U1st!

 

 

BEWARE! Beach Bummie Tummie

6 Jul

Ahhh the beach.  The sound of the waves crashing, the sand between your toes, the warmth on your skin…sounds almost perfect right?  Well it could be! Or it could turn into a calorie packed inactive weekend from hell!

I’m not gonna lie I’m not a beach guy,  but I make my way there a few times in the summer. Every time I go, I’m seeing 2 complete opposite groups of people with 2 different types of behavior – so different it’s like they are 2 separate species. You’ve got the active peeps playing Frisbee and drinking smoothies, then you got the other ones chomping on the largest bucket of fries I’ve ever seen at 9 in the morning.  Okay…what’s really going on here?

Here are my two cents to the Do’s & Don’ts for going to the beach.

What you should do:

Plan ahead: Between the traffic, food supply and kids, you’ll drive yourself up the wall if you don’t got a game plan.
Pack the world’s most awesome cooler: water bottles (I prefer lemon/cucumer with mine), fresh fruits, whole wheat wraps and sandwiches, tuna salad, chicken salad. You’re aiming for lean protein here. Veggie/pita chips are good when you want something to munch on.

Sunblock: I’ve heard that Delaware holds the #2 spot in skin cancer. If you still don’t have the common sense of packing and applying sunscreen when you’re out in the sun,  you really need to get with it. Don’t be part of the statistic!  Many people think if you put Sunblock on you won’t get tan but that is most definitely a myth.

Keep active: Don’t be stationary and lay out there for the whole day (sounds boring already). Especially if you have kids, you gotta keep them active. Throw a frisbee, toss a football, play a game of corn hole, swing for some badminton,  or boogie your way through the waves.

What you shouldn’t do:

Let the concession stands lure you in: I’m talking about the boardwalk fries,  chicken fingers,  deep fried oreos, foot long ice cream & the list goes on. You’re spending more money and packing on the fat! Plus, is that what going to the beach is really about? Eating food that’s bad for you?

Be stationary: Get up and get moving!  Do you want to be that guy that has that horrible tan line because he fell asleep for hours on the beach?  Get off Facebook and IG and spend some time with real scenery and real people, like the ones that came with you?

Carbonated drinks: Bad news bears. Everyone wants to look good in their swim suit they work so hard to squeeze in. Don’t let bloating and gas caused by carbonated drinks ruin it! It has no nutritional value,  it’s processed, it has full of sugar you don’t need (Diet ones are still a no no), and it doesn’t make you look sexy. Period. Choose water or 100% juice/smoothie instead.

Arguing: #aintnobodygottimeforthat you’re here to relax. Keep the negativity out, no excuses!

Year in review: Have you been Naughty or Nice?

31 Dec

naughtyorniceAs 2013 comes to an end, I’m thinking of all the good and bad things that happened in my life this year. All the accomplishments, big or small that deserve to be celebrated; All the mistakes, big or small, that I can learn from and improve on for 2014. When it comes to health and fitness, it is also important to reflect on what you’ve done right and what you can continue to work on. Remember, no one is perfect, not any personal trainers (myself included), health gurus, or anybody. The point is to congratulate yourself on the things that are worth praising and take accountability for things that need improvement, so you can/will celebrate later!

Here are my top “naughty” and “nice” health and fitness items for 2013: 

Things I can pat myself on the back for:

  • No more late-night desserts –  I must admit, I have a sweet tooth, sometimes the chocolate chip cookies are simply calling my name! But I’ve swapped them out with fresh fruit or yogurt. It’s hard still, but it definitely pays off! Six-pack, here I come! Stay away from high calorie/fat items before going to sleep.
  • Changing up my cardio routine – I’ve always valued the importance of cardio and practiced it. However, the treadmill and elliptical were getting a little stale. I switched it up by running outside when the weather permits. I’m telling you, running outside is a whole different ball game than your regular old treadmill – The scenery is great and the variation in terrain keeps my run challenging and interesting. I also took a turbo kick class – I was a skeptic at first, but the high-intensity cardio + strength training kicked my butt, literally. Whenever you feel bored, just switch it up! It will keep you motivated and focused in your training.

What I slipped on (naughty):

  • Working though an injury  I’ve been experiencing a shoulder injury for the past couple of months. As much as I told myself to be patient, I continued to work through my injury. This not only slowed down my recovery process, but also increased the pain of the injury. When you have an injury, the first thing you should do is go see a professional (doctor, physical therapist), then  give it a rest for a while. When you feel ready, start with lower impact exercises for the injured area and slowly build up to where you were. Be patient. You will lose some strength, but overtime you will build it back up. Don’t let a little impatience impede your recovery process, or worse, damage the injury even more.
  • Lack of post-workout stretches We all know that stretching is essential when it comes to exercise. But when do you stretch? Before or after the workout? The answer is both. I am pretty diligent on stretching prior to the workout, but not nearly enough after I’m done. I guess my mentality is that when I’m finished with my workout, I’m exhausted and just want to go home! But did you know that right after a workout, your muscles are more open to movement  and it is actually one of the best times for some deep stretches? Yes, I’m talking about the ones that usually feel uncomfortable. Take advantage of your muscle being  more flexible and get a couple of deep stretches in – This will not only prevent workout injuries, but also enhance fitness results!

This is my health & wellness “nice” and “naughty” list for 2013…What’s on yours?

I hope you take some time to reflect on the accomplishments and setbacks for this year and learn from them for a better and healthier 2014!

Fun Fitness Facts

24 Jul

Here are some of the interesting facts about the human body and health that you probably never knew. Knowing these should give you yet another reason to love your body and take care of your health!

40 Facts about Fitness

Source: Visual.ly

Superfoods for the Summer!

10 Jul

Wondering what to snack on this summer? Here are 5 of my favorite foods that are in season all summer long, which means not only they are available locally, but their tastes are at their peaks! Take advantage of organic and or locally grown products,they contain less harmful pesticides and are more yummy. Click here for a list of Farmers Markets in Delaware. Shopping for produce at farmers markets is a great way to support your local growers and the difference in TASTE, well, let’s just say that there’s no comparison to your regular grocery store produce.

avocados_FotorAVOCADOS
Don’t be afraid of the green! Some shy away because of the high concentration of monounsaturated fats, but keep in mind that not all fat is bad for you. As a matter of fact, consuming monounsaturated fats (in a reasonable amount) along with a balanced diet can actually reduce belly fat. Fighting fat with fat? You bet ya! The benefits doesn’t stop there, others include decreasing risk of heart disease, stroke and even breast cancer. It’s also incredibly easy to incorporate avocados in your diet: Slice ’em up and throw them in your salads and sandwiches! Or better yet, make a shake out of it.

corn_FotorCORN
Although you can buy corn all year-round, but it really tastes the best and costs the least during the summer months because it’s in season. Matter of fact, have you tasted corn from the farmers market? They are sweet, crunchy and delicious all by themselves without any seasoning. Trust me, once you’ve had the good ones (sorry, not the supermarket kind, canned or frozen), there’s not going back! Tastes aside, corn contains tons of digestive enzymes that help metabolize your food. It is also high in antioxidants to keep your immune system strong. No one wants to be sick when you could be out having fun!

pepeprs_FotorPEPPERS
Peppers can taste very different in season vs. off season. So take advantage of the summertime to experience what they are really supposed to taste like. The sweeter bell peppers (red & yellow) are full of vitamin A, keeping your skin nice and strong while fighting off infection at the same time. If you are a spice freak like me, then hot peppers such as jalapenos, cayenne, chipotle, and habaneros contains almost no calories and on top of that, they speed up metabolism and enhance fat burners. So whether you like it sweet or spicy (or both), peppers are the way to go to add taste and color to your summer dishes.

raspberries_FotorRASPBERRIES
They say good things come in small packages, and this couldn’t be more true with raspberries. One cup alone of these little ones contain approximately 30% of your daily dose of fiber. But the it doesn’t stop there, it also makes up 60% of your RDA of manganese, which is critical for building strong bones and cartilage! They’re also a great post-workout snack, due to their high levels of ellagic acid, a compound that reduces inflammation.

watermelon_FotorWATERMELON
Who doesn’t love the refreshing taste of watermelon on a hot day? The fruit clocks in at 92% water, which is the perfect way to stay hydrated when the temperature sores. The beta-carotene and flavonoids in this superfruit have been proven to reduce the risk of sunburns and sun damage caused by UV rays. Watermelon and summer were practically made for each other!

Fun fact: Wonder why watermelons are red? Well it’s not just for looks. The hue comes from lycopene, an antioxidant known for reducing inflammation and promoting cardiovascular health.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!