Nutrition For A Unique Snow Flake Like You!

Our nutrition should be tailored to the varying demands and requirements we face on a daily, weekly, seasonal, and lifespan basis.

The year 2017 is here, and I for one am excited! Coming off of the holiday break, I am fully refreshed and prepared to hit the ground running. And while no one can be fully prepared for what life has in store for him/her, most people can make smart decisions about where they want life to take them. Which is why it’s this time of year that I like to say that when it comes to health and fitness, you’re not special, but you are unique. No, this saying doesn’t make any sense out of context. It’s really a broader term that can be used to help you realize that there are guidelines for people like you to follow, and individualized approaches that you should use when making your health and fitness resolutions come to fruition.
In General
Let’s focus in on weight loss/body composition. By now, almost everyone should know that if you want to lose weight, you have to master your nutrition before exercise (1). The number one rule for weight loss nutrition is calorie balance. This means you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning. This doesn’t mean “eat less, move more” because if it were that simple, the advice “buy low, sell high” would make us all rich! These two pieces of advice don’t take into account the complexity of getting to the end result, and really don’t mean squat at the end of the day. Instead, calorie balance simply means you need to take into account how much you’re eating on a day to day basis. If you don’t know how much you’re eating, you don’t know what needs to change. So you can break out a food scale, weigh your food, and calculate how many calories are in each meal with a calculator and food label information (very accurate, but very time intensive). You can guess how much you’re eating and enter it into a calorie calculator like My Fitness Pal or Calorie King (not very accurate, but a modest amount of effort needed). Or you can use the old “your hand is your serving size” method (not accurate at all, but little effort needed). Calorie balance being the most important factor for success, I would recommend the former, at least at first.
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The second most important factor is food composition or macro nutrients. And while there are thousands of books that have been written about this topic, you really should keep it simple by prioritizing protein over carbs, eating fruits and vegetables, and avoiding over-processed junk food (2). These simple actions will keep you feeling full and decrease your total calorie intake without you even realizing it (3). Success is not measured from meal to meal or even one day at a time. To succeed in a weight loss program, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn on a weekly and monthly scale. These final factors are what everyone should be considering on a day to day basis, but are low on the priority food chain, so to speak.
 – Calculating and eating exactly the right amount of proteins, carbs and fats
 – Nutrient timing
 – Hydration
 – Supplements
Are You A Snow Flake?
Would you agree with the statement that what we do and where we are may be more important than what we are? If so, then you would agree that we don’t need a unique individualized nutrition plan. This is because we, with the rare exception of those with disability or disease, are not unique snowflakes. We are more like… cars, for example. We may have different years, makes, models, colors, and possibly aftermarket alterations, but we can function more or less the same way (4). Even our genetic makeup doesn’t tell us what the best nutrition program will be (5). Heck, we can’t even predict something as simple as height by using genetic analysis let alone the complex issue of nutrition and health outcomes (6). Not even our individual gut microbiome can be of any help in creating a personalized nutrition program (7). Environmental, cultural and behavioral factors greatly overshadow our individuality (8). So, what are some personal factors that should influence your nutrition then? The answer to this includes factors such as age, body/fat mass, physical activity, and even pregnancy. Due to the fact that all of these factors are subject to change (especially physical activity) throughout our lifetime, an optimal diet should not only be determined by what you’re currently doing but also to what you should be doing (9). To sum it all up, our nutrition should be tailored to the varying demands and requirements we face on a daily, weekly, seasonal, and lifespan basis (10).
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  1. Malhotra, A., Noakes, T., & Phinney, S. (2015). It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: You cannot outrun a bad diet. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(15), 967-968. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-094911
  2. Klok, M. D., Jakobsdottir, S., & Drent, M. L. (2007). The role of leptin and ghrelin in the regulation of food intake and body weight in humans: A review. Obesity Reviews, 8(1), 21-34. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2006.00270.x
  3. Holt, S. H., Miller, J. C., Petocz, P., & Farmakalidis, E. (1995). A satiety index of common foods. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 49(9), 675.
  4. Smith R (2012) Stratified, personalised, or precision medicine. Avail-able at: (accessed 14 September2016).
  5. Celis-Morales C, Livingstone KM, Marsaux CFM et al. (2016)Effect of personalized nutrition on health-related behaviourchange: evidence from the Food4me European randomized con-trolled trial. International Journal of Epidemiology. doi:10.1093/ije/dyw186.
  6. Gudbjartsson, D. F., Walters, G. B., Thorleifsson, G., Stefansson, H., Halldorsson, B. V., Zusmanovich, P., . . . Stefansson, K. (2008). Many sequence variants affecting diversity of adult human height. Nature Genetics, 40(5), 609-615. doi:10.1038/ng.122
  7. Zeevi, D., Korem, T., Zmora, N., Israeli, D., Rothschild, D., Weinberger, A., . . . Segal, E. (2015). Personalized nutrition by prediction of glycemic responses. Cell, 163(5), 1079-1094. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.001
  8. Joyner, M. J., & Prendergast, F. G. (2014). Chasing mendel: Five questions for personalized medicine. The Journal of Physiology, 592(11), 2381-2388. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2014.272336
  9. Blundell, J. E., & King, N. A. (1999). Physical activity and regulation of food intake: Current evidence. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(11 Suppl), S573.
  10. Betts, J. A., & Gonzalez, J. T. (2016). Personalised nutrition: What makes you so special? Nutrition Bulletin, 41(4), 353-359. doi:10.1111/nbu.12238

Meal Frequency: The Truth Is Out!

Does eating more meals a day boost your metabolism, or just your dish count?

What if I told you “the more you eat, the more you will lose weight?” Sound too good to be true? Well, you would be right. Over eating will lead to weight gain. Which is why it drives me up a wall when people say that eating small meals more frequently will boost your metabolism, make you feel fuller on fewer calories, and/or balance your hormones (i.e. insulin) and thus help you lose weight. Not only are these claims not true, but at the end of the day, we suck at guessing how many calories we eat. Try it yourself by taking a quiz if you want. In general, if you eat more meals, you’ll overeat at more meals. So let’s take a look at the claims, and what you should try instead!
Mo Meals Mo Problems!
I don’t know about you, but I hate doing dishes. So when I was advised to eat meals more frequently to keep myself lean, my laziness made me skeptical. What I found out was that eating more meals really just boosted your dish count and not your metabolism. I mean sure, you will increase your energy expenditure by eating (1). But if you think that you will every out burn the calories you’re taking in you’re crazy! This is because with most meals you will only burn around 10% of calories consumed regardless of frequency. So if you think eating more meals per day is going to help you lose weight or decrease your fat mass %, you’ve got another thing coming (2). And that would be dishes.
Fill Er Up
Do you save time and money by stopping for gas every day? No (at least I hope you don’t have to drive that much). It would probably only annoy you to stop that frequently, and you would waste time and energy doing it. Same goes for eating meals at a greater frequency. Not only will it not hep you with burning fat, but it may leave you feeling less satiated (hunger satisfied) at the end of the day (3). Of course, this may not be true for everyone but that’s the point (4). It’s not “a fact” that more meals are superior because they keep you feeling full. If you eat more frequently just because someone told you it will help with weight loss, you may end up being annoyed that you have to stop what you’re doing just to fuel up for no reason (5).
I’ve written about how insulin is not to blame in the past. But time and time again the insulin monster comes up in the media as if our pancreas is out to get us. But more and more studies are coming out showing that “Current scientific evidence does not support the ‘carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity’” (6). In fact, when it comes to controlling insulin, eating two meals a day is probably better than eating 6 meals a day (7)! At the end of the day bringing up insulin is a moot point. If you’re eating too many calories you will gain weight irrespective of how much insulin you have flowing through your veins. The only exception to consider here would be the amount of protein you’re getting. It’s generally better to spread it out through the day rather than get it in a couple of large doses (8). Even then, the net benefits are negligible for most casual gym goers.
So What Now?
If more isn’t better, then what is? Well the answer to that question, like so many others, is that it’s up to you. The best advice I can give regarding meal frequency is that it should fit your lifestyle. If you want to eat a bunch of little meals or just a few large ones, that’s fine.Just be consistent in your approach because irregular eating patterns may negatively impact your metabolism (9). If you’re looking for some hard and fast guidelines, I’m not the best guy to go to. However, generally speaking, I would suggest three daily meals spaced out no more than every five to six hours to promote lean muscle.
1. Mercier, I., LeBlanc, J., & Nadeau, A. (1993). Components of postprandial thermogenesis in relation to meal frequency in humans. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 71(12), 879-883. doi:10.1139/y93-133
2. Jon Schoenfeld, B., Albert Aragon, A., & Krieger, J. W. (2015). Effects of meal frequency on weight loss and body composition: A meta-analysis. Nutrition Reviews, 73(2), 69-82. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuu017
3. Ohkawara, K., Cornier, M., Kohrt, W. M., & Melanson, E. L. (2013). Effects of increased meal frequency on fat oxidation and perceived hunger. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 21(2), 336-343. doi:10.1002/oby.20032
4. Smeets, A. J., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2008). Acute effects on metabolism and appetite profile of one meal difference in the lower range of meal frequency. British Journal of Nutrition, 99(6), 1316-1321. doi:10.1017/S0007114507877646
5. Cameron, J. D., Cyr, M., & Doucet, É. (2010). Increased meal frequency does not promote greater weight loss in subjects who were prescribed an 8-week equi-energetic energy-restricted diet. British Journal of Nutrition, 103(8), 1098-1101. doi:10.1017/S0007114509992984
6. Bosy-Westphal,A, Hagele,F., & Nas,A. (2016). Impact of dietary glycemic challenge on fuel partitioning, Eur J Clin Nutr, 1038(10), 1476-5640. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.230
7. Kahleova, H., Belinova, L., Malinska, H., Oliyarnyk, O., Trnovska, J., Skop, V., . . . Pelikanova, T. (2014). Eating two larger meals a day (breakfast and lunch) is more effective than six smaller meals in a reduced-energy regimen for patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomised crossover study. Diabetologia, 57(8), 1552-1560. doi:10.1007/s00125-014-3253-5
8. Areta, J. L., Burke, L. M., Ross, M. L., Camera, D. M., West, D. W. D., Broad, E. M., . . . Coffey, V. G. (2013). Timing and distribution of protein ingestion during prolonged recovery from resistance exercise alters myofibrillar protein synthesis. The Journal of Physiology, 591(9), 2319-2331. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2012.244897
9. Farshchi, H. R., Taylor, M. A., & Macdonald, I. A. (2005). Beneficial metabolic effects of regular meal frequency on dietary thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and fasting lipid profiles in healthy obese women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81(1), 16.

Hungry For Success?

Food is so much more than a fuel for your body. It’s an experience, it’s joy, it’s a way we socialize.

I’ll start today’s post by asking you a few questions, and I want you to answer them as honestly as possible. What diet are you on right now? What diets have you tried in the past? How well did it (or has it) help you reach your goal? Finally, why did you stop your past diets? These questions are important to answer when searching for the true motivation behind an action such as dieting. But inevitably almost every diet fails due to the same reason. It robs you of something you enjoy! Food is so much more than a fuel for your body. It’s an experience, it’s joy, it’s a way we socialize. So today I am going to talk about why diets shouldn’t stop you from breaking bread (literally) with friends, family, or the weird neighbor you’re not too sure about.

Extremely UN-satisfying 

Most say “STOP” when it comes to eating a particular food. Fats, carbs, beans, meats, and gluten are just a few examples of things that are awesome, but get snatched away when we start a diet. In fact, many fad diets thrive on creating the fear of something (weight gain, disease, toxins, etc.). And when we buy into these notions, what we might fear is the pleasure of the foods, but then we want to rationalize it by saying that what we really fear is its effect on our health. Ultimately, this means that we walk around unnecessarily robbing ourselves of foods we enjoy.


Science Said So!!!

Many fad diets claim to be science based, but generally the science is garbage. In fact, it’s pretty darn difficult to study diets/nutrition in general. Just as importantly, science is filled with conditionals and fad diets are not. They don’t take into account individual needs or cultural norms/taboos. Ultimately what happens when we diet is we decrease our caloric intake, and often alter our vitamin and mineral consumption. There’s a plethora of weight loss hormones that get all jacked up when we alter our nutrition so severely. And guess what? Our natural response to such strict dieting is actually to over eat due to hormonal disregulation!

What To Do

Stay hungry. For long-term weight loss and happiness, avoid banning foods. This creates a cycle of cravings, inevitable indulgence, and guilt. Make all foods fit by eating smart 80% and food loses its power. In turn, you wont over indulge and/or give up and therefore you’ll a guilt free happy dieting experience.

Shift your pants. Not my best pun, but it has a point. When you shift your focus from dropping pant sizes to eating foods that are enjoyable and satisfying, you might actually consume fewer calories. Savoring your foods means you eat slower and feel satisfied with less.

Be realistic. Diets are not meant to be followed forever, so allowing yourself to eat all foods in moderation forms a realistic and sustainable approach. Long term success boils down to healthy lifestyle choices.

Balanced your diet. Proteins are for growth, maintenance and repair. Fats provide vitamin and mineral absorption, hormone regulation, and formation of cell structures. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of fuel. Don’t rob yourself of any of these functions by eating foods in moderation.

These last four tips are… well… the tip of the iceberg when it comes to nutrition. Make sure you go with your gut when looking at a new fad diet. And if you’re skeptical, use trusted websites to help in making an informed decision.

Quickie About The Little Things

How making a small change to your life can generate big results.

Today’s post discusses how making a small change to your life can generate big results. Doing simple things like walking a little bit extra each day, cutting out one sugary drink per day, eating out one fewer time per week, or even setting out healthy fruits to snack on instead of looking in the cupboard for a quick (and usually unhealthy) snack can generate tremendous changes in a gradual and maintainable way. Health and wellness are a life long journey, there’s no need to make a dramatic unsustainable change for a short term gain.

Winter {Weight} Is Coming

Because Winter is coming, we know the holiday feasting season is coming. So today I thought it would be prudent to go over some motivational, nutritional, and exercise advice to get you through it healthy and happy!

Because Winter is comingwe know the holiday feasting season is coming. So today I thought it would be prudent to go over some motivational, nutritional, and exercise advice to get you through it healthy and happy!
Step 1 – Set yourself up for success
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Don’t go into the holidays thinking “I’ll just eat healthy and be fine.” That’s not how it works… No one ever say a plate of grandmas (insert holiday of choice her) cookies and thought “Nope! I’m eating healthy!” By planning for moments like these you will be better equipped to just eat one, or handle yourself to not eat regrettably. This means you need to learn to be OK with being “not OK.”No one is perfect. You are human. You are normal. You are not a weirdo. You are not alone. Make a plan, and no matter how ridiculous you think it is, stick to it.
Step 2 – Anticipate obstacles
This goes along with step one, but has a few key differences. Instead of planning to have one cookie to let grandma know you love her and that she’s a heck of a cook, in this phase you need to make sure you don’t fall victim to the same traps over and over again. Do you skimp too much on dinner then lose it at the dessert table? Do you eat a dozen hors d’oeuvres before the real meal even starts? Crack a beer early in the day in anticipation for football? Anticipate these obstacles and set up an alternative course of action.
Step 3 – Tighten up home court
Starting NOW you need to tighten up your healthy habits. It’s much easier to maintain a good habit than it is to create a new one. So take a look at what you do well and lock down those healthy habits ASAP. So continue on with your workout routine, and start looking into delicious and healthy travel/holiday meals.
Step 4 – Adapt and adjust
During the holidays, and throughout your fitness journey, you will experience successes and setbacks. This is called learning, and it’s the only way to make long-term progress. So if somethings not working, experiment with your exercise and nutrition to figure out why. It’s not always about the “eat less and move more” formula. In fact, it is certainly possible to gain weight in a calorie deficit! Your strategies will need to continuously adapt, but the lessons you learn will stay with you. So plan ahead, stay motivate, an keep your chin up to get the most joy and the most health out of this, an every, holiday season.

Will Power

Think about your understanding of willpower. How do you define it? How do you think it works?

Today’s post discusses will power. I know that I will be using many of these tips myself from now on. Here are a few key insights:
Think about your understanding of willpower. How do you define it? How do you think it works? Consider how your definition of willpower affects your actions.
Try giving yourself a prompt to encourage a different view of willpower and motivation. For instance “Sometimes, working on a strenuous mental task makes me feel energized for further challenging activities”, or put your own spin on it “Following through on my new habits makes me feel like a ROCKSTAR who’s capable of anything”.
Consider how a different view of willpower might help you with challenges like:
 – Nutrition consistency
 – Sticking to a workout routine
 – Preparing meals ahead of time
The next time you feel like you’ve exhausted your willpower, ask yourself: How can I re-frame what willpower means for me? What successes have I already achieved? How can I draw energy from those successes?

What’s In Your Protein Shake?

it’s not the when, but the what and how much that truly matters.

Lifting weights and drinking protein shakes go hand in hand. Because getting that protein flowing through your veins immediately after a workout is the essential,right? Well, not really. Because it’s not the when, but the what and how much that truly matters. So whether you’re a vegetarian, meat eater, or milk drinker, I have the shake answers for you!
Why Not When?
The old way of thinking that you must get protein within your “anabolic window” after you workout is nothing more than a meathead myth. There have been loads of studies on the matter, and we know with a pretty high level of confidence that having protein immediately after your workout will have the same result as having protein 6 hours after your workout (1). Unless you’re Wolverine and have super fast healing powers, your muscles take a long time to repair and regenerate after getting broken down during your workouts. In fact, muscles can be highly sensitive to the anabolic influence of protein up to 2 days after a workout (2)! Now, I will say that there is one caveat to protein timing. It is most beneficial to consume protein every 3 hours. However, that point is moot if you’re not getting enough total protein.
What Totally Matters?
What matters more than the type of protein and the timing of protein is the total protein you get in a day. Like sleep, if you’re not getting enough, it doesn’t matter when you get it. Just get more! There really is no limit to how much protein you can have in a day. We know that very high protein diets don’t result in harmful effects on blood lipids (cholesterol) or liver and kidney function (3). We also know that not getting enough can result in sub-optimal recovery from exercise, and poor health outcomes especially for an older population (4). While the general recommendation is 1.2 to 2.2 g/ kg of body weight (1g/lbs) of protein per day, I personally recommend shooting for 100g of protein a day as a starting point. That means getting 20g of protein every 3 hours. This isn’t a strict recommendation. Your body can process a lot of protein at one time, especially when the protein eaten. Even if you drink your protein, the old myth of your body only being able to process 20g of protein at a time has been busted. Especially after a full body workout, you will utilize every bit of a 40g protein drink without wasting anything (5).
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Yo Soy Whey Cool
So what does all the previous information have to do with protein shakes? Well, for most people, trying to get 20g of protein every 3 hours means drinking a shake every now and then. It may also mean that when your choice of protein sources is limited (vegan/vegetarian), that you will need to find a way to get a few key protein components into your routine. This is due to the fact that plant protein sources, such as soy and peas, are often low in key amino acids such as methionine, tryptophan, lysine, and leucine. This means you will need to plan ahead to make sure that you get all of these essential amino acids, leucine being of the greatest importance, especially after a workout. Regardless of the source, you will want to look for proteins high in leucine because that’s the component that will help your muscles repair and develop the best (6). Instead of blabbering on, I’ll finish with a list of fun facts and pertinent tips:
Best protein sources for weight loss – casein and soy. These protein sources will fill you up the best, which means you need to eat less, which means you lose more weight (7).
BCAA’s are worthless – Drinking protein during your workout won’t really do anything at all to help you gain more muscles. BCAA drinks won’t make you feel full or burn more calories than eating your protein or drinking a shake either. Unless you’re in the middle of a marathon, skip the BCAA’s.
Confused? Here’s what to do – Focus on getting more protein in general. Don’t worry about the minutia until you nail down the basics. When it comes to protein, the more the better!
1. Schoenfeld, B. J., Aragon, A. A., & Krieger, J. W. (2013). The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: A meta-analysis. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 53-53. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-53
2. McGlory, C., Devries, M. C., & Phillips, S. M. (2016). Skeletal muscle and resistance exercise training; the role of protein synthesis in recovery and remodelling. Journal of Applied Physiology, , jap.00613.2016. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00613.2016
3. Antonio, J., Ellerbroek, A., Silver, T., Vargas, L., Tamayo, A., Buehn, R., & Peacock, C. A. (2016). A high protein diet has no harmful effects: A one-year crossover study in resistance-trained males. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2016, 1-5. doi:10.1155/2016/9104792
4. Deutz, N. E. P., Bauer, J. M., Barazzoni, R., Biolo, G., Boirie, Y., Bosy-Westphal, A., . . . Institutionen för folkhälso- och vårdvetenskap. (2014). Protein intake and exercise for optimal muscle function with aging: Recommendations from the ESPEN expert group. Clinical Nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), 33(6), 929-936. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2014.04.007
5. Macnaughton, L. S., Wardle, S. L., Witard, O. C., McGlory, C., Hamilton, D. L., Jeromson, S., . . . Tipton, K. D. (2016). The response of muscle protein synthesis following whole‐body resistance exercise is greater following 40 g than 20 g of ingested whey protein. Physiological Reports, 4(15), np-n/a. doi:10.14814/phy2.12893
6. Phillips, S. M. (2016). The impact of protein quality on the promotion of resistance exercise-induced changes in muscle mass. Nutrition & Metabolism, 13(1) doi:10.1186/s12986-016-0124-8
7. Acheson, K. J., Blondel-Lubrano, A., Oguey-Araymon, S., Beaumont, M., Emady-Azar, S., Ammon-Zufferey, C., . . . Bovetto, L. (2011). Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93(3), 525-534. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.005850

Macro Look at Micro Nutrients

Basic steps that you can take to analyze and improve your daily food needs.

Today’s post is all about the importance of your diet. By now most of us know there is no magic bullet. By that I mean there’s no such thing as a one size fits all diet, and we all need to individualize our eating habits to best suit our lifestyle and goals. The wonderful people at Precision Nutrition recently came out with a guide to basic steps that you can take to analyze and improve your daily food needs. So what are most people likely lacking? When it comes to vitamin’s and minerals they are:

–  B12 which helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. It can be found in foods like organ meats (beef liver), shellfish (clams), meat, poultry, eggs, milk and other dairy foods.

– B7 (biotin) helps support adrenal function, help calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and are essential for the metabolism of carbohydrate and fat. It can be found in foods like organ meats, barley, brewer’s yeast (hooray for beer), fortified cereals, corn, egg yolks, milk, royal jelly, soy, and wheat bran.

– D which is used to absorb calcium and promote bone growth along with so much more. It can be found in fish and mushrooms.

– E a fat-soluble nutrient that protects cells from the damage caused by free radicals preventing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and many other conditions. It can be found in Plant Oils (Wheat Germ), Sunflower Seeds, and Almonds.

– Chromium which is an essential part of metabolic processes that regulate blood sugar, and helps insulin transport glucose into cells, where it can be used for energy. It can be found in foods like whole-grain products, high-bran cereals, green beans, broccoli, nuts, and egg yolk.

– Calcium which in addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium helps our blood clot, nerves send messages and muscles contract. It can be found in foods like almond milk, rice milk or soy milk, and fortified foods.

– Iodine which is needed to make thyroid hormones. It can be found in fortified salt, seaweed, and potatoes.

– Molybdenum which combines with sulfite oxidase to catalyze sulfur-containing amino acids that are crucial for human health. Can be found in Grain products and nuts.

– Zinc helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses and make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Can be found in oysters (which contain more zinc per serving than any other food), red meat, and poultry.

The Big Picture

These nutrient deficiencies are just some examples of what we can be missing. Every person is truly individual so don’t just assume your diet is lacking all of the above examples. However, what can be said is that when our bodies don’t have the nutrients they need to do their work, we all suffer. But as soon as we get these nutrients, we thrive.


What’s Trending?

Like fashion, fitness trends seem to be cyclical. Every 5-10 years an old trend gets re-branded as something new and exciting (e.g. was Adkins now it’s Paleo).

After a brief break, I am back with a new post! This week we are taking a look at some health and fitness trends, and what you need to know about them. Like fashion, fitness trends seem to be cyclical. Every 5-10 years an old trend gets re-branded as something new and exciting (e.g. was Adkins now it’s Paleo). So let’s dive into the “new” trends and take a look at what they have to offer!
The Way You Move
The term “functional training” can mean a lot of things. Are you training to become better at a technical skill like a golf swing? Then sure! That’s functional training. But outside of getting better at a task, the resurgence of functional training has me shaking my head. You’ve probably seen the proponents of various “movement system” training at the gym or Youtube. Crazy folks standing on a wobble board to do squats, trying to mimic the movements of various animals, or doing all manner of contortionist circus tricks while standing on a physio ball attached to various bands, and so on. The people claiming that these exercises are necessary may use sciency-sounding words to justify what they are doing. In reality, there is no real standard to which functional training exists because we all move differently. There is no textbook form/function for specific exercises, but rather guidelines to prevent injuries while exercising. In all, there really is no justification for doing these crazy moves other than wanting to change up your routine. But if you’re trying to get strong and lose weight, well you may want to focus your efforts on practices that have been proven to improve those outcomes.
Expert Confusion
Holy crap I’m tired of seeing all these “experts” online. Everyone and anyone with an Instagram account and bulging biceps is apparently qualified to be a coach. This maddening concept is partly responsible for the resurfacing of the “muscle confusion” concept. Good lord it’s time to put that garbage term to bed. Adopting a periodized approach, rather than just winging it and doing something different every time you enter the gym, is a far superior way to see results. These coaches are also to blame for the social media fitness “challenges” that ask for both demanding and dangerous feats of athleticism. Fitness challenges may keep things entertaining, but it may come back to bite you.
Lose Weight Fast!!!!
Losing weight is easy. Just sweat a bunch, and you will lose weight. But because most people are looking to improve their body composition, it’s not weight loss that matters. That’s why the “lose weight fast” movement drives me crazy. Here are the tag lines of many “coaches” and/or companies that are essentially scamming us:
You don’t eat enough meals in the day to help your metabolism
You skip breakfast, which means you don’t “turn on” your metabolism to start the day
You don’t do intermittent fasting, which means your hormones are messed up
You eat too late at night and those calories are more likely to become fat
You eat “starchy” carbs, which are transformed into sugar
You eat white foods, such as white rice, which make you fat
You eat gluten or non-organic food sources, which pollute your body
All of these statements are laughably wrong (feel free to ask me for more info if you have questions). But millions of people waste money on products and services each year because these ludicrous statements are branded so well that they become social facts.
One Simple Trick!
It takes years of education and experience for fitness professionals to be able to properly help those they serve. So the insinuation that there is “one simple trick/plan” to help everyone is insulting and maddening. So when you hear/read some of the following statements, think “crap”:
Obesity isn’t a complex disease at all. It’s simple!
Calories don’t count; you just need to balance your hormones.
Hate exercise? There’s a wrap for that, and It Works!
Do fasted cardio to burn fat!
When it comes down to it, if you’re not eating well and regularly moving, then there really is no reason for you to even consider these trends. Try to master the basics of eating lots of fruits and vegetables and moving for at least 30 minutes every day. Because like everything else in life, achieving your fitness goals takes patience, dedication, and effort. If it’s truly meaningful to you, shortcuts are not an option.

Thoughts For Food

The “why” behind our food choices.

Today’s post is short and sweet. It comes from an article by the Health Science Academy about factors influencing our food choices. This fantastic review takes an in depth look at the “why” behind our food choices. Although we may think that it’s a simple decision, there are actually a lot of things that we can do to positively influence our decision making. Here are a few tips on how to make great nutrition choices!
1. Get enough sleep
2. Get a lot of exercise, especially when you’re stressed
3. Learn to say “no” to extra work or social events that will do nothing but add stress to your day
4. Hug Someone! This simple step can decrease stress hormones and positively influence your food choices
5. Control your environment by making healthy decisions easily seen and accessible