ZING....

Posted on April 05
Bar far, the best Keto bar I have tried!
 
(These do contain peanuts and soy for those with allergies)
zing

HIIT

Posted on April 01
Nutrition and fitness trends continue to come and go almost as frequently as the sun rises and sets. However, when a "trend" continues to appear year after year, not only in popular media outlets but also backed with science and research, is it still considered trendy?

According to an annual survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, high-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, ranks in the top five fitness trends.

This month I'm sharing why the HIIT trend is worth following and some nutrition tips to fuel your workout!
Why HIIT for Your Health?
 
 

What does high-intensity interval training (HIIT) mean?
Before diving into the reasons you should jump on board this trend, I'll first answer, "What exactly is HIIT?" Simply put, a HIIT workout consists of swift and intense bouts of exercise - ranging from 10 seconds to five minutes - followed by short recovery periods.

The key to doing an effective HIIT workout is to push yourself to your limit (without causing injury) for the interval length duration. So if your interval length is 20 seconds, you will probably be pushing yourself a lot harder than if your interval length is three to five minutes.

Your recovery period will depend on your goal as well as the intensity of the interval.

Benefits of HIIT Workouts:

Improves:
  • Fitness performance
  • VO2 max and peak aerobic power output
  • Endurance performance
  • Production of growth hormones
  • Improves blood sugar control
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Mood regulation
  • Metabolism
  • Learning and memory function

Decreases:
  • Insulin resistance
  • Resting heart rate
  • The amount of time you have to spend working out!

How to get started?
  1. Increase the intensity of your workout. Interval training is highly effective for burning more calories without adding more time. Add intervals to your activity, such as sprints or speed walking, for a more efficient, fat-burning workout.
  2. Increase the resistance and/or weight of your exercise.
  3. Increasing your workout resistance will increase your metabolic burn

A few ideas to get started with:
Divide your workout into 5-minute segments and after a 5 - 10 minute warmup, do a 15-60 second sprint, followed by recovery.
  • 15 - 30 second sprint, followed by a light jog to recover.
  • 30 - 60 seconds of speed walking, followed by a recovery walk.
  • 30-60 second cycle sprint followed by a recovery pace.
  • Increase the incline of your treadmill. Walking at an angle as fast as you can for 30 seconds, followed by a four and a half minute recovery period.
Fueling tips for your HIIT Workout
 
  • Hydrate. Make sure you are drinking enough water before, during, and after your workout! Being dehydrated will impact performance and can increase the risk for injury.
  • Fuel with a macronutrient balanced snack or meal three to four hours before your HIIT workout or exercise fasted in the morning for maximum fat burning.
  • Recover with 25 grams of protein powder mixed with water with in 30 minutes of your HIIT workout. Your post-workout meal is also vital to restoring energy and repairing muscle tissue!
  • Post workout meal ideas include: eggs, non-starchy vegetables, avocado and high fiber toast; a large multi vegetable/colorful salad with olives, avocado, chicken, black beans and olive oil based dressing; "meal" replacement shake of almond milk, protein powder, berries, spinach and avocado or almond butter or salmon with 2 cups of vegetables.
  • Schedule a consult for a personalized nutrition plan. Nutrition and energy needs will vary depending on your individual needs, goals, and workout. To maximize your effort and performance, scheduling a consultation can ensure you are fueling for optimal performance.
Featured Recipe
Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain Greek or nondairy yogurt
  • 1 cup mixed berries, frozen
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • Stevia or monk fruit if needed

Preparation: In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Top with your favorite low sugar granola or nuts. Enjoy!



 

"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts."
- Winston S. Churchill

 

 
 
 
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'BIOTICS"

Posted on March 30
Fiber (prebiotic) is the food source for your microbes that generate SCFA (short chain fatty acids) for many physiological benefits.
 
#EAT your veggies! ????
gutt

Fiber ...

Posted on March 23
A high-fiber diet has been linked to a range of health benefits, including protective effects against heart disease, cancer and obesity. Now we can add lower rates of depression to the list, at least if the right gut bacteria are hanging around.
 
The link between dietary fiber and mental health can be partially explained by gut-brain interactions: positive changes in the gut-microbiome composition brought on by higher fiber consumption can positively affect neurotransmission. (think happy hormones like serotonin)
 
Strive for at least 25 grams of fiber per day for optimal health.
Soluble vs insoluble fiber2

Sugar Facts....

Posted on March 18
 
The average American eats 65# of added sugar per year.
 
1# of sugar = 1,712 calories
 
1,712 calories X 65# = 111,280 calories per year
 
111,280 calories/365 days = 304 added sugar calories per day!
 
Considering we only need about 100 grams of total sugar per day, this is an issue because this is not even taking into consideration the natural sugar we get from fruits, vegetable, beans, lentils and whole grains!
 
The major issues are sugar laden beverages like soda, sports/energy drinks and juices. Also, items like sugar laden yogurts, snacks and sweets.
Coke-and-9-tsp-sugar

Eating a Variety of Colors.....

Posted on March 11
 
Our diet should consist of rainbow colored fruits and vegetables to get all their health benefits. So, the next time you shop, take a look at your cart. If you see all green colored items from the produce section- like spinach, green apples, broccoli etc, go back and swap one of the items for yellow bell peppers, tomatoes or purple cabbage. There are nearly 4000 phytochemicals available in nature and to get their wonderful health benefits, we need to eat more colored fruits and vegetables daily.
 
Strive for at least 3 to 4 different colors of produce every day!
produce

Creamy Broccoli Chicken Soup

Posted on March 09

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup red peppers, diced
  • 1 cup cooked white chicken, diced
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste

 

Instructions:

Heat oil in a pot and sauté onions until soft and translucent. Add the red pepper and sauté for a minute, then add cooked chicken and broccoli. Once the broccoli is cooked, add vegetable broth and heavy cream, let it boil, then cover and let it cook on medium low heat (simmering) for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired.

CreamyChickenSoup-780x520

Plant Based Sweeteners

Posted on March 01

When it comes to reducing sugar intake, plant-based sweeteners have become the latest nutrition buzzword, and for a good reason! Not only can they be used as a safe alternative to sugar, but some also have health benefits! 

 
Sweet Plant-Based Sweeteners


Stevia. One of the most well-known plant-based sweeteners comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, known as stevia. This zero-calorie sweetener is about 300 times sweeter than table sugar and does not raise blood sugar levels.
  • How to use: A pinch of stevia can sweeten beverages such as coffee, tea, or lemonade, as well as in hot or cold cereals, smoothies, and unsweetened yogurt. While some brands do say you can bake with stevia, it does leave a strong aftertaste.
  • What’s to love: Stevia has been found to help reduce high blood pressure in people with hypertension by 6–14% and lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
  • Be aware: It does have a bitter aftertaste, and using too much can cause bloating or an upset stomach.
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classify sweeteners made from high-purity steviol glycosides to be “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS.

Erythritol. Erythritol naturally occurs in many fruits and is also made during the fermentation of some foods and beverages. However, It contains 0.24 calories per gram and is approximately 70% the sweetness of sugar.
  • How to use: Erythritol can be found in powdered format and is used to sweeten and thicken low calorie or sugar-free foods.
  • What’s to love: It doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin levels and appears to be better tolerated than most sugar alcohols. It has a mild aftertaste, which is why many people prefer it over other plant-based sweeteners.
  • Be aware: Taken in large amounts, it can cause digestive distress.
  • While erythritol is a new sugar alcohol, it was approved by the FDA in 2001.

Xylitol. Sugar alcohol has a similar sweetness level as sugar and contains about 2.4 calories per gram, compared to the four calories per gram of sugar.
  • How to use: Xylitol can be used as a sugar replacement with a 1:1 ratio. It is used to sweeten coffee and teas as well as in some baking. It is a common ingredient in sugar-free chewing gums, candies, diabetes-friendly foods, and oral-care products.
  • What’s to love: Xylitol has been associated with improved dental health, reducing the risk of cavities and dental decay. It also doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels.
  • Be aware: It can cause digestive side effects such as bloating, gas and diarrhea when taken in high doses.
  • While it is safe for humans, keep away from dogs as xylitol is highly toxic for them.

Swerve. Swerve is a natural, non glycemic sweetener made from a blend of erythritol and oligosaccharides.
  • How to use: Because of its unique blend, Swerve is excellent for baking. It measures cup-for-cup like sugar!
  • What’s to love: Minimal aftertaste or digestive discomfort. Like other plant-based sweeteners, Swerve sweetener will not impact your blood sugar and is loved by low carb bakers.
  • Be aware: Similar to other plant-based sweeteners, overeating can cause digestive discomfort and distress.
Up and Coming Plant-Based Sweetener: Monk Fruit 


Monk Fruit (Lou Han Guo) - Monk fruit is a small fruit native to southern China. The seeds and skin are removed, and the monk fruit juice is extracted to use as a sweetener. Monk fruit sweeteners are 150 - 200 times sweeter than sugar, which means only a small amount is needed to add a little sweetness! 
  • How to use: Similar to other plant-based sweeteners, monk fruit is used to sweeten beverages, hot or cold cereal, and smoothies. When it comes to baking, monk fruit will require a little more trial and error because the amount needed is smaller than traditional sugar. 
  • What’s to love: For years, it has been used to treat a sore throat or cold by traditional Chinese medicine! 
  • Be aware: There are more challenges involved with growing monk fruit, making it more expensive than other plant-based sweeteners. 
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers monk fruit sweeteners to be generally regarded as safe (GRAS). There appears to be no evidence that monk fruit sweeteners cause harmful side effects.

 
Featured Recipe
Eat Fit King Cake in a Mug 



Ingredients: 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour 
  • small pinch of salt 
  • 2 tbsp almond milk, unsweetened 
  • One egg 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 tsp Swerve sweetener 
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  •  

Cream Cheese Icing 
  • 1/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt, plain 
  • 2 Tbsp low-fat cream cheese 
  • 1 tsp Swerve sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  •  

Instructions

Mix spices, coconut flour, salt, almond milk, egg, vanilla, swerve and xanthan gum, and then add baking powder. Pour into a microwave-safe mug and microwave for 1 -1 1/2 minutes. (Time may vary depending on the microwave). Combine remaining ingredients to make the icing, stir until evenly blended. Spoon cream cheese icing on top of the cake and enjoy.

Nutrition: 260 calories, 12 g fat, 410 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, (19 grams of net carbs), 16 g protein
 

“Nature has given us all the pieces required to achieve exceptional wellness and health, but has left it to us to put these pieces together.”—Diane McLare

FAST BAR .... looking forward to trying this new whole food snack bar ...

Posted on February 25

Mushrooms....

Posted on February 23
Looking for a way to add protein and boost your immune system? Try adding in mushrooms as a side dish or as the entree. You can use a variety of mushrooms to saute or grill a large portabella as the main dish.
 
Mushrooms: 200 calories for 28 grams of protein
Filet: 200 calories for 19 grams of protein
 
Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms
Serves 4
 
Ingredients:
12 to 16 ounces fresh mushrooms (preferably assorted varieties but you can use your favorite type)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced (depending on how garlicky you want it)
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup dry white wine
Fresh thyme for garnish (optional)
 
Instructions:
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and minced garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly to prevent garlic from burning. Once garlic is fragrant (about 45 to 60 seconds), add the mushrooms and dried thyme. Increase the heat slightly to medium-high, drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the mushrooms for about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. [Note: Keep an eye on the pan and add more olive oil (about 1 tablespoon at a time) as the mushrooms absorb the liquid. If you pan is dry, the mushrooms will stick and burn. Add it slowly though as you don’t want to over saturate your mushrooms.]
Once your mushrooms begin to soften, add black pepper and stir to combine. Sauté for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add white wine (be sure heat is at medium-high) and allow to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until white wine is reduced by about half.
mushrooms

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