Category Archives: Nutrition & Food


Sports Nutrition Energy Needs

The body needs regular energy in order to perform at the highest levels physically and mentally. Eating a balanced diet is the first step to unlocking your best performance but additional energy, timed right for exercise, is required to fuel your workout and recovery. Proper sports nutrition will help you feel your best before and after exercise while aiding in a quick, strong recovery. Do you account for your sports nutrition needs?

Use this chart to determine your sports nutrition energy needs.

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100 Years of Vitamins

This year marks an important anniversary for the world of food and nutrition. A century ago, a Polish-American scientist named Casimir Funk coined the term “vitamin” in his landmark paper “The Etiology of the Deficiency of Disease,” which sought to ascribe nutritional deficiencies as the cause of diseases we rarely hear of today. We are indebted to him for more than his choice of terminology. His research greatly contributed to our knowledge of how foods – and their nutrients – can reduce risk of serious health conditions. To date there are 13 known vitamins – A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, niacin, folic acid, biotin and pantothenic acid – each having multiple functions throughout the body.

This year, we tip our hats to Funk for being a pioneer to scientists and researchers who have continued to explore the role of vitamins in human health.  Within 100 years, key breakthroughs and advances in technology and our knowledge of food science have led to the near eradication of many deficiency disorders through fortification of the food supply:

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Healthy Low Calorie Meal and Snack Ideas

A list so long, you are bound to find some healthy options you’ll really enjoy! Use the following meals and snacks to help build your meal plan. Each meal contains about 300 calories. Each snack is 100-200 calories.

Wendys Chili, a healthy snackSnack ideas

  • 1⁄2 cup low fat cottage cheese, 1⁄2 cup fruit cocktail in juice. 140 Calories
  • 1 small piece of fruit, 1 mozzarella cheese stick. 140 Calories
  • 1 hard boiled egg, 1 piece of fruit. 145 Calories
  • 1 tablespoon all natural peanut butter, 1⁄2 toasted English muffin. 155 Calories
  • 8 ounces fat free plain yogurt, 1 piece of fruit. 200 Calories
  • 1 cup cucumbers, 2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese, 1 large rectangular graham cracker, 1 tablespoon peanut butter. 200 Calories
  • 1⁄2 Protein Bar. 200 Calories
  • 1⁄2 cup Edamame. 130 Calories Continue reading Healthy Low Calorie Meal and Snack Ideas

Nutrition Cycling for Better Weight Loss and Results

I’m regularly asked – What is the best diet for weight loss, getting ripped, or muscle tone? As a new trainer years ago, I spent months in the bookstore reading the details of a collection of diets books. I found most diets to be very limiting and otherwise confusing. All this research helped me realize that nutrition cycling can help eliminate the confusion created by most diets, making the experience of eating much more pleasurable and sustainable. Nutrition cycling can be tailored to fit your specific training goal and best of all – it works!

Diet and training goals should match in order to get your best result. Without a proper diet, you can count on throwing some of your well spent training time away. When you want to add muscle you eat and train one way and when you want to burn fat and get ripped, you again shift how you eat and train. Nutrition cycling uses 3 types of meals that produce specific results. See the video below to learn about these meal types and how to use NUTRITION CYCLING to burn fat fast, build lean muscle, get energized and detoxify your body.

Fire, Fuel, Free, Meal plan for nutrition cycling and getting ripped

Continue reading Nutrition Cycling for Better Weight Loss and Results

Food Additives to Limit or Avoid

According to the Center For Science in the Public Interest, Shopping was easy when most food came from farms. Now, factory-made foods have made chemical additives a significant part of our diet. In general, it’s best to avoid the following ingredients.

  • Sodium nitrite
  • Saccharin, Aspartame, Acesulfame-K
  • Caffeine
  • Olestra
  • Food Dyes

And don’t forget to cut back on sugar and salt, which cause more harm than all the other additives combined. Foods additives have been categorized by a safety rating scale:

Safety Ratings Key from the Center for Science in the Public Interest

 Be watchful of the following additives

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Carbohydrates, Part of a Balanced Diet

To meet the body’s daily energy and nutritional needs while minimizing risk for chronic disease, adults should get 45 percent to 65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent to 35 percent from fat, and 10 percent to 35 percent from protein, says the newest report on recommendations for healthy eating from the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine. To maintain cardiovascular health at a maximal level, regardless of weight, adults and children also should spend a total of at least one hour each day in moderately intense physical activity, which is double the daily minimum goal set by the 1996 Surgeon General’s report.

A balanced diet often includes:

  • 50% of calories from Carbohydrate
  • 30% of calories from Fat
  • 20% of calories from Protein
Carbohydrates provide the predominant energy source for the brain and muscle activity. This is why the regular / balanced consumption or carbohydrates is important for sustained energy without fatigue. Use your recommended daily calorie intake to find your carbohydrates per meal on the chart below:

The Top Ranked Diet for Overall Health or Weight Loss

U.S. News evaluated and ranked the 25 diets with input from a panel of health experts. To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, and effective for weight loss and against diabetes and heart disease. The government-endorsed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) snagged the top spot.


Overall rank:  #1
Overall score:  4.1 out of 5

Download the Dash Diet Plan

DASH was developed to fight high blood pressure, not as an all-purpose diet. But it certainly looked like an all-star to our panel of experts, who gave it high marks for its nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and role in supporting heart health. Though obscure, it beat out a field full of better-known diets.

Read more here, US news/ health

How Sugar Hides – the good and bad

The AHA statement, published in the journal Circulation, makes the point that added sugars, such as high-fructose corn syrup or ordinary table sugar added to sodas, breads, and other processed foods, are likely responsible for the increase in calorie consumption and the subsequent rise in obesity of the past few decades. The researchers report that 91 percent of these added sugars can be attributed to intake of:

  • Regular soda (33 percent)
  • Baked goods and breakfast cereals (23 percent)
  • Candy (16 percent)
  • Fruit drinks (10 percent)
  • Sweetened milk products (9 percent), such as chocolate milk, ice cream, and flavored yogurt

Furthermore, people who have unhealthy sugar intake levels also consume lower levels of vital nutrients, such as zinc, iron, calcium, and vitamin A. And one study has suggested that too much sugar could raise blood pressure levels. The report also notes that over the past 30 years, we’ve consumed an average of 150 to 300 more calories per day than we used to and our physical activity levels remain unchanged, so those extra calories don’t get burned off.

This one step is the simplest way to quickly clean up any diet

Surveys have found that the average American consumes around 22.2 teaspoons of added sugar every day. Continue reading How Sugar Hides – the good and bad

Nutrition Tips For Weight Gain

Here are some nutrition tips for weight gain. These tips will help you promote weight gain by increasing calorie intake and frequency of eating:

Basic Guidelines

  • Eat three meals and two to three snacks each day. Try to eat every three hours.
  • Eat high-calorie snacks between meals.
  • Eat larger portions at meals.
  • Drink fruit juice, milk, or soy milk instead of diet soda, water, coffee, or tea with meals and/or between meals.

Ways to Add Calories

  • Add olive oil, canola oil, or trans-fat-free margarine to soups, vegetables, sauces, hot cereals, rice, to Food mashed potatoes, bread, and pasta.
  • Use natural nut butters on bread, waffles, pancakes, muffins, crackers, apples, bananas, celery, and carrots.
  • Add avocado, olives, cheese, dried fruit, and nuts to salads and sandwiches. Continue reading Nutrition Tips For Weight Gain