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3 Workout Mistakes You Cannot Afford to Make

08 December, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

By: Jason Riley

     

     You finally finish your workout!  What you decide to do next can have long-term implications to your performance, your health and your weight loss. Are you sabotaging your training goals by making these simple blunders? Here are 3 essential truths that you will learn:

Success is a matter of choice

  • Nutritional refueling is a must to maximize your performance, wellness and weight loss strategies
  • Active Dynamic stretching can actually improve your strength, power and muscular endurance
  • Dehydration can negatively impact every facet of your performance and your quality of life

REFUELING:

     How many times do we see clients walking on a treadmill while reading a book, and then going to Starbucks and sucking down that Caramel Frappuccino like their effort in the gym was so deserving. Refueling is more than just a necessity for athletes training hard, it actually takes careful planning. But lets make sure the intensity of the workout was deserving of your post-workout smoothie.

     Nutrient timing is a science that explores the implications of what you eat and how quickly you eat after a workout. It was designed to make sure that you are achieving your workout goals by consuming the necessary nutrients. Intense training, especially weight training, sprinting and HIIT turn our bodies into nutrient vacuums. They want and need nutrients to help the rebuilding and repair mechanisms within our body. During this time, our muscles crave glucose, and start storing it or using it as a fuel for recovery. In addition to that, our post-workout protein consumption ignites our muscles protein synthesis mechanism.

     Although nutrient timing can be an asset to help us achieve our body composition goals and refueling strategies, research also shows that eating well throughout the day is probably more important to your overall body composition goals than simply just focusing on nutrient timing post-workout.  

STRETCHING:

Stretching Girl and Guy

     Stretching is definitely not a sexy term when you are talking about body composition analysis or weight loss measures. Research has shown that while static stretching may not help prevent injuries, increase overall strength, or reduce muscle soreness after working out, it does have some benefits.

     Stretching can be extremely important to quality of life measures. Many people have desk jobs and sit all day long, limiting their hip flexor and quadriceps flexibility. This can lead to low back pain, hip pain and altered biomechanics, which can create unnecessary strains on other muscles that wouldn’t necessarily be prime movers if your flexibility was adequate. Static stretching can promote healthy circulation, enhance range of motion and flexibility as well as reduce stress.  

     Most static stretches attempt to isolate a single muscle. Fascial stretching on the other hand, engages the whole myofascial system.  Understanding fascia is an important step to understanding movement and soft tissue pain . Fascia is like the saran wrap of our bodies. It looks at the connection between the muscles, as well as their neighboring joints, tendons, ligaments and bones, and a multitude of other functions. This has some serious performance and health benefits that will take much more time to dive into.  Stay tuned in future posts to really understand this concept. 

     Another form of stretching called active dynamic stretching can improve strength, power, muscular endurance, speed, stability and overall coordination patterns. This type of stretching is similar to what most athletes do before competitions, and they utilize it to prime the body for the movements that they will encounter in their respective sport. You will see football players, baseball players and track and field athletes all perform active dynamic warm-ups before going out and competing. Active dynamic stretching can even serve as part of your workout if done correctly. The benefits of this type of stretching includes:

  • Increases core body temperature
  • Increases heart rate
  • Improves flexibility
  • Increases nervous system stimulation

     If you are not yet convinced, try performing active dynamic stretching before your workout or static stretching after your workout for a solid 30 days and we guarantee your body will thank you for it.

HYDRATION:

     Girl Athlete Drinking from Bottle

     Water may be considered one of the world’s most fundamental nutrients for life. Therefore, a lack of water within the body is capable of negatively impacting nearly every activity that we try to perform. Since the perception of thirst is an inaccurate indicator of the need to consume water, dehydration has become a common ailment that often goes unnoticed until its too late.

     The more energy you expend, the greater your fluid needs. When working out, maintaining fluid balance is critical for peak athletic performance, regulating core body temperature, lubrication of your joints and helping to transport nutrients to their respective locations. If your urine is clear or light yellow, you’re in good hydration status. But, when your urine is yellow, bright yellow, or brownish in color, that’s when dehydration is a problem.

     When you realize that the body is at least 60% water, you can start to understand why hydration is on the top 3 list of workout blunders. Try incorporating at least ½ of your body weight in ounces of water per day on days that you are not working out (120 lbs = 60oz of water). Workout days will require more water, so bring a bottled water to the gym and drink up to maximize your fluid needs.

     When trying to achieve peak athletic performance, maximize your overall health, or even try to lose body fat and weight, it is important to consider these variables. They will will assist you in reaching your goals. By incorporating proper post-workout fueling strategies, stretching routines and hydration status, you can keep your body functioning optimally.

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Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

18 November, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Recipe by: Jason Riey

Yes, it is November and pumpkin season is in full effect! Living in Florida, you really don’t get a chance to enjoy the sights and smells of a cool fall day like everyone up north. Autumn comes to us Sunshine State residents in the realm of food. When we see pumpkin lattes, we know fall has officially arrived.

In developing this recipe, we used all organic ingredients and limited the unnecessary junk so that you could enjoy the taste of fall without the guilt. So whether your looking for a post-workout reward, a healthy breakfast option or a late night snack, you won’t want to miss out on these. So grab some Elementz Whey protein from our online store and fuel up my friends.

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes by Jason Riley

Prep Time:              10 min

Cooking Time:        5 min

Yields:                     8 small pancakes

 

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Organic Oat Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Elementz Grass Fed Vanilla Whey Protein
  • 1 T Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Powder
  • ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Himalayan Sea Salt

 

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 Organic Free-Range Eggs
  • ¼ cup Plain Greek Yogurt (Noosa or Greek Gods)
  • ¼ cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 2/3 cup Filtered Water
  • 1 tsp Walnut extract
  • 3 T Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1 T Organic Maple Syrup

 

Directions:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well
  2. Combine all liquid ingredients into a separate bowl except the coconut oil and mix well. Heat the coconut oil slightly and mix with wet ingredients to prevent any oil clumping in the recipe. To make a fluffier version of these pancakes, you can also separate the egg yolks and egg whites and beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form.
  3. Combine the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine just until mixed. Do not over mix.
  4. Heat skillet at 375 degrees and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bubbles form on the top of the pancakes and flip.
  5. Serve and enjoy with some fresh fruit, almond or peanut butter or some good old fashion organic maple syrup.
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The Fats of Life

15 November, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

By: Jason Riley

5 TRUTHS ABOUT FAT:

  • Eating good fats and higher percentage of your calories from fat can actually help you lose weight and obtain a better body composition… You get leaner!
  • Consuming good fats can actually produce more muscle mass by stimulating a better hormone balance after intense exercise
  • When you consume fats that contain essential DHA, your brain processing speeds, reaction times and moods will be enhanced
  • There is an intricate balance between fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D and K and bone mineral strength. You want strong bones? You need to eat fats!
  • Oxidized fats can sabotage your hard work, so be very cautious of oil manufacturing and storage techniques, this includes supplementation.

Fats Avocado Chia Seeds Olive Oil

     Have you ever heard the saying that you are the sum of the people that you surround yourself with? We tend to adapt traits, behaviors and mannerisms of the people that are closest to us. Nutrition is no different! When we consume food, the environment that we place the food in helps determine whether that food becomes an asset or a liability to our bodies. Does it use them for energy for performance, or the expression of disease and decreased quality of life?

     So why is it that we have been told that eating fat will make us fat? Before answering this question, we must understand that not all fats are created equal. Some fats are good for you and will actually help you lose weight, while others will continue to add to that visceral fat that we are all so fervently trying to get rid of. Whether a particular fat is healthy, depends on how that fat communicates with your cells and genes. Bad fats will turn off your fat burning genes, making it harder for you to shed the weight.

     There are numerous studies that will disprove this theory of eating fat makes us fat. One particular study examined women who ate a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet until they felt full. These women actually lost twice as much weight as compared to women who ate a restricted low fat diet. Not only did they lose weight, but their risk factors associated with disease states also diminished. We must then ask the question, how does a decrease in carbohydrate fueling and a subsequent increase in fat consumption help us lose weight? There are numerous answers to that question, but it looks as if 3 main processes are involved: Improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation and the fats help to support your basal metabolic rate. Therefore, eat the right kinds of fat and you ramp up your fat burning potential. Eat the wrong kinds of fats and you gain weight and slow down your metabolism.

     We know that fats are important in many different metabolic processes. It aids in optimal absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as the synthesis of cholesterol and steroid hormones that are critical to your performance and survival. If we become deficient in essential fatty acids, we can limit our ability to utilize our fat-soluble vitamins. In one study, the subjects eating moderate fat exhibited higher testosterone levels than the subjects eating low fat. This finding confirms the results of previous studies, demonstrating that dietary fat is positively linked with testosterone levels. We can ascertain that increased consumption of good fats, more specifically good saturated fats like coconut oil, can positively impact your testosterone levels.

      When looking into fat consumption, you’ve probably heard of mono and polyunsaturated fats. Olive oil, palm oil, nuts and seeds are examples of good fats with high amounts of polyunsaturated fats; however, if not stored or manufactured properly, these oils can actually cause harm to your body. When a molecule gives up an electron to another molecule, it is called oxidation. Oxidation occurs all the time within our bodies creating a multitude of roaming free radicals that cause our cells to age prematurely. We all have seen oxidation at work outside the body when you bite into an apple, leave it out on the kitchen counter, and the brown that starts to grow around that bite mark is an example of oxidation.

      The question becomes, is oil that has become oxidized from air, light or heat dangerous to consume. There are numerous studies that fed oxidized oils to animals and showed increased systemic inflammation, damage to brain cells and a multitude of other negative symptoms. So, could consuming these oxidized oils be a threat to our quality of life or athletic performance? Well, we believe that inflammation can be one of the major causes of non-contact injuries like muscle strains and pulls. Consumption of oxidized oils is definitely not helping your body control inflammation.

     The question becomes how do we protect ourselves from the possible ill effects of consuming oxidized fats. We have listed the following guidelines to help you take control of your health and performance:

  • Store oils that you use for salads, foods and even cooking in a cool, dark place away from light and heat in an airtight container. Examples include:
    • olive oil, palm, canola, corn, avocado, safflower and sunflower
  • Refrigerate nut and seed oils to limit oxidation. Examples include:
    • Almond oil, walnut, hazelnut, flaxseed, macadamia, etc…
  • Choose oils that are packaged in dark glass containers to help keep light away from the oils and preserve its freshness
  • Make sure to place the cap back on the bottles of oil as soon as you finish using the oils. Every second the bottle is left open is inviting more oxidation into the oil.
  • Check expiration dates on the bottles of oil
  • Limit deep-fried foods and do not re-use cooking oils
  • Buy whole, raw nuts that have not been exposed to the roasting process and have not been broken into smaller pieces, which will accelerate the oxidation process.

     Whether your goal is vanity and just wanting to tone up and lose weight, increasing your hormone producing capabilities, balancing your mood or improving your athletic performance, fats play an important role in your daily life. So grab that bottle of coconut oil, handful of nuts and seeds, or oil based dressing and reap the rewards of feeding this all-important macronutrient to your body.

 

References

  1. Brehm, B. et al: A Randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2003 Apr; 88(4):1617-23.

  2. Sallinen, J. et al: Relationship between diet and serum anabolic hormone responses to heavy resistance exercise in men. Int J Sports Med 2004 Nov; 25(8):627-33

  3. Volek, JS, Forsythe, CE. The case for not restricting saturated fat on a low carbohydrate diet. Nutr Metabolism (Lond) 2005; 2;21.

  4. Volek, JS. Et al: Testoterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. J Appl Physiology 1997;82;49-54

  5. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/01/does-dietary-saturated-fat-increase.html

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Raw Mint Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

02 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

 

 

With fall now officially upon us, we wanted to share on of our favorite fall recipes with our followers. Pumpkin seems to be what most people relate with the advent of fall, so here it goes... ENJOY!!!

Raw Mint Pumpkin Cheesecake

Chocolate Almond Crust

1 1/4 cups almonds

1/2 cup (@ 8-10 large packed dates – pitted & packed)

1/4 cup organic raisins

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon mesquite powder

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

2 teaspoons water

Pinch of salt

In a food processor grind the almonds to flour.
Add the dates, raisins, salt, vanilla powder and cacao and continue to mix.
Add the water. Grind again and see if the mixture starts to stick together… if not, add another tsp of water and mix again. Press into the bottom of an 8” spring form pan.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

1 1/4 cup packed, cooked pumpkin puree or 1 15oz can pumpkin puree

1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 T vanilla paste

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon ginger

2/3 cup melted organic coconut oil

Blend all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor until smooth.
Slowly pour the Coconut oil into the food processor and keep mixing for an additional 30 seconds. Pour the mixture over the crust.

Mint Chocolate Sauce

3 T Coconut Oil

2 T maple syrup

2 T raw cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla paste

½ tsp peppermint extract

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together. Pour slowly over the top of the pumpkin pie filling. Now take a knife and swirl the mint chocolate sauce into the pumpkin pie filling in a circular pattern. Once finished, place in refrigerator for 4-5 hours, or in the freezer for about 1 hour and serve cold.

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