Eat Frequently For a Stronger Metabolism
Eating early and often creates a metabolic reaction in your body. By eating small, well-portioned meals throughout the day, you continually stoke and strengthen your body’s engine.
Good eating habits begin with breakfast. Think about what happens when you skip breakfast: You might not feel hungry until noon or even later, but once you start eating—watch out. You’re likely to overeat for the rest of the day.
On the other hand, if you start your day with breakfast and continue to eat frequently throughout the day, you never give your body the experience of feeling ravenous. You gently rev your metabolism all day long as you feed your body good food in reasonable portions. Eat every few hours, and you will maintain and gain lean muscle mass and burn excess fat. You’ll stop cravings and sharp hunger, and you’ll have more energy. You’ll even think more clearly and be less grouchy!
To keep your metabolism going all day long, try the following:
o Eat breakfast within two hours of waking up.
o Eat five to six times throughout the day. This should include three meals and two snacks.
o Do not let more than four hours pass between one meal and the next.
o Choose a time in the evening to end all eating. The best time is two to three hours before you plan to go to bed. Don’t worry if you feel hungry; that’s your body telling you it’s burning calories. You’ll soon grow accustomed to your new routine.
EATING THE OUTDOOR FITNESS WAY: A SAMPLE DAY
Egg-white scramble (made with three to four egg whites and one yolk, chopped veggies, and 2 tablespoons of salsa)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup blueberries
Grilled chicken salad with 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette or lemon juice
Small handful of almonds and apple slices or a no-sugar protein shake
Dinner salad with 1 tablespoon of light dressing
Broccoli with lemon
Our Top Picks for a Fit, Healthy, Vibrant YOU!
1. Blueberries—This colorful fruit is rich in fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants and phytonutrients for good health
2. Broccoli—This cruciferous vegetable is packed with nutritional power from fiber, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin C, and protective compounds like lutein and beta-carotene.
3. Garlic—Garlic has a purifying effect that reduces cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, fights unfriendly bacteria, and possibly viruses.
4. Spinach—Loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and K, and studies show it can help you to think more clearly!
5. Kiwi—Did you know that this fuzzy fruit has more vitamin C than an orange? And it’s loaded with fiber and potassium, too.
6. Salmon—The abundance of Omega-3 fatty acids found in this fish reduces the risk of heart-disease, stimulates the immune system and might even reduce the incidence of depression.
7. Tomatoes— Packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and carotenoids, these red beauties also contain lycopene, a phytochemical proven to protect against cancers, especially prostate cancer.
8. Egg whites—All protein, no fat. With only 6 calories per egg white and all the essential amino acids, egg whites score high as a perfect protein source.
9. Oatmeal—Perfect for endurance athletes and those of you in need of long lasting energy. A proven cholesterol reducer, this whole-grain is high in soluble fiber, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, folic acid and other B vitamins.
10. Almonds—For glowing skin and more. Raw almonds have been shown to decrease cholesterol and are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, potassium and iron. They’re also rich in phytochemicals, which are important “health guardians.”
More healthy tips:
• Keep your produce clean and free of Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides:
• Buy organically grown whenever possible.
• Wash your produce in water, Using a scrub brush, and rinse thoroughly.
• Discard the outer leaves of leafy vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
• Scrub the outside of melons with water or a produce wash product before cutting rinds. Rinse thoroughly.
Outdoor Fitness –
Top Sports Nutrition Myths
Sports nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald shares his Top Sports Nutrition Myths with Tina Vindum, on the Outdoor Fitness podcast. CLICK HERE to listen to the interview.
Myth #1 – Athletes should avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates
Most athletes are familiar with the concept of the glycemic index, which classifies various food types according to how quickly the body absorbs their carbohydrate content. We have been taught that low GI carbohydrates are “good” because they are absorbed slowly, giving the body a steady supply of energy, and that high GI carbohydrates are “bad” because they result in a “spike” in blood sugar and energy followed by a blood sugar “crash” and low energy.
For athletes, however, it’s not that simple. High GI carbohydrates are actually preferable for athletes before, during, and immediately after exercise. During exercise, the muscles burn carbohydrate faster than the body can possibly absorb carbohydrates consumed in food. Consuming carbs immediately before and during prolonged exercise has been shown to enhance performance by providing an extra fuel source to the muscles. But this benefit can only be realized if those carbs are absorbed quickly. They don’t do the muscles any good if they’re just sitting around in the stomach being processed. This is why sports drinks and energy gels contain sugars such as dextrose that are rapidly absorbed.
High GI carbs are also beneficial in the first hour after exercise, because they result in faster replenishment of the muscles’ depleted carbohydrate fuel stores. What’s more, when high GI carbs are consumed along with protein after exercise, the muscles are able to repair and rebuild faster.
Myth #2 – Athletes need supplements to achieve maximum performance
Heavy marketing by the sports nutrition industry has convinced many athletes that they cannot achieve their full athletic potential without using nutritional supplements. For example, research has shown that consuming protein and amino acid supplements after exercise enhances the muscle recovery and muscle-building effects of exercise. However, skim milk has been shown to provide the same benefits, at a fraction of the cost.
Myth #3 – Only strength athletes need to worry about eating enough protein
The reality is endurance athletes require almost as much protein per pound of body weight, as football players, bodybuilders, and others who are concerned with maximizing the size and strength of their muscles.
A recent study found that runners need to consume at least 0.55 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily to maintain muscle mass. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should try to consume at least 82 grams of protein each day.
Myth #4 – Dehydration must be avoided at all costs during exercise
It is true that dehydration can have a negative impact on performance. However, the link between dehydration and heat illness has also been exaggerated. For the sake of both your health and your performance, drink fluid according to your thirst during exercise.
Myth #5 – There’s only one “right way” to fuel the body for maximum performance
The Problem: The same foods may have very different effects in different bodies. One helpful way to connect nutritional cause and effect in your body is to keep a food journal. Record everything you eat throughout the day and also note how you feel and function after each meal.
Sugar and Your System – Get off the Fat Track
Your body has two primary fuel sources: fat and sugar, also called glycogen. Carbohydrates–all carbohydrates–turn into sugar in your body. This sugar becomes the fuel source glucose and then glycogen.
Here’s the Kicker…
Glucose gets converted into glycogen and stored in your muscles and liver to be used as fuel. Once these stores are full the excess is then rerouted– it’s like a waterfall spilling over into your fat stores. It’s actually the easiest way for your body to produce and store fat. This is one of the reasons why low-carbohydrate diets are so popular. When the body reduces carbohydrates to a certain level, it causes glycogen depletion and causes your body to burn primarily fat as its fuel source.
Unfortunately, these days fast burning carbs are a major part of the SAD (Standard American Diet); and it is this diet that is creating a generation at risk for fatty liver disease. These quickly digested foods include breads, cereals, quick oats, white rice, potatoes and a host of other packaged foods. These are the same types of foods fed to fatten geese to make foie gras (goose liver paté). High-glycemic diets send our blood sugar soaring, triggering a boom in insulin by the pancreas, and eventually toward the liver, which in turn causes the liver to absorb the sugar (carbs) to store as fat.
What to Eat
The best thing we can do for ourselves is steer away from high-glycemic foods and incorporate low-glycemic, fibrous foods, in their natural state, with minimal processing. Your daily diet includes fresh, non-starchy fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, peaches and berries. When buying “whole grain” foods, opt for foods in their most natural state: old fashioned oatmeal instead of instant oatmeal, brown rice instead of white rice, and whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta.
Quick Chicken – “Ariba!”
Quick Tip – Grab a pre-roasted chicken for a tasty homemade dish!
When I’m in a pinch for time, I’ll pick up a roasted chicken from the market. They’re great because you can make a variety of “home cooked” meals from Indian curry’s, to Mexican-style meals.
This is a family favorite; I like to serve it tostada-style, over greens, while kids like to make burritos.
• 1 small white onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ red pepper, chopped
• ½ green pepper, chopped
• 1 ear of corn, kernels cut off
• 2-3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
• 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
• 1 can black beans, drained
• 4 cups shredded chicken
• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• 3 T chili powder
• ¾ tablespoon chili pepper flakes
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 2-3 Tablespoons salsa
• 1 bunch fresh cilantro
• 1 lime
• Water or chicken stock
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a medium/large skillet sauté olive oil with garlic, onion and peppers; 2 minutes.
2. Add chili pepper and chili powder; cook for 2 minutes
3. Add oregano, chicken, salsa, corn, tomatoes, beans; add the water as needed
4. Simmer for 10 minutes, add chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze the lime over the top.
5. Serve over chopped lettuce, with warm tortillas, or by itself.
Appetizer for Easy, Elegant Entertaining – Endive Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
Sure it’s the middle of the winter season. But, did you know that it’s peak season for Belgian endive and oranges? In addition to fiber and phytonutrients, both are packed with vitamins A and C—great for boosting immunity.
Here’s an appetizer that has a lot going for it – It’s healthy, tasty and gorgeous to look at! The sweetness of the honeyed walnuts and orange sections complement the endive’s natural bitterness, while goat cheese provides a smooth contrast to the crunch of the greens and nuts.
• 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
• 2 tablespoons honey, divided
• Cooking spray
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 3 tablespoons orange juice
• 16 Belgian endive leaves (about 2 heads)
• 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese
• 16 small orange sections (about 2 navel oranges)
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
• 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine walnuts and 1 tablespoon honey; spread on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.
3. Combine 1 Tablespoon honey, vinegar, and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, and cook until reduced to 3 tablespoons (about 5 minutes).
4. Fill each endive leaf with 1 orange section. Top each section with 1 teaspoon cheese and 1 teaspoon walnuts; arrange on a plate. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over leaves, and sprinkle evenly with chives and pepper.
CALORIES 92 (calories from fat 44%); FAT 4.5g (SATFAT 1.1g, MONOFAT 0.7g, POLYFAT 2.4g ); protein 2.5g; carbohydrate 11.9g; fiber 2g; cholesterol 3mg; iron 0.6mg; sodium 29mg; calcium 43mg
Adapted From Cooking Light
High in Protein and Antioxidants
Protein smoothies are excellent if you are looking for a quick and easy breakfast or a great snack. Go for whey protein powder that is unsweetened. Whey is very easy for your body to assimilate, making it the perfect food after a tough workout! Easy to make and your body will thank you!
• 1/2 to 3/4 cup unsweetened organic soy milk or nonfat milk
• 1/2 cup water
• 1-2 scoops of unsweetened whey protein powder
• 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or mixed berries
• 1-2 Tablespoons flax seeds
• 1 Scoop Green Food powder (such as Green Vibrance®)
• Handful of ice
• Stevia to taste
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Approximately 250-300 calories
Ginger Green Tea
Ditch the calories. Go for the taste.
Here’s an excellent way add an even healthier punch to green tea, with ginger root.
• 1 Large ginger root
• 1/2 Gallon cold water
• 6-8 Green Tea Bags
1. Peel and thinly slice ginger root into long strips, then place in a large pot with the water.
2. Bring water and ginger to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes
3. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Let steep for 10-15 minutes
4. Cool. Then pour into a large pitcher and store in the refrigerator.
5. Pour over ice and enjoy!
White Bean Dip
If you are looking for a healthy AND tasty appetizer, this is it! Serve it with cut veggies or crunchy whole grain crackers.
• 1 16 oz can of Great Northern Beans or any other white bean; rinsed/drained but quite moist
• 1-2 garlic cloves
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1-2 tablespoons water or vegetable stock
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or thyme
Sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme for garnish (optional).
1. Put beans, garlic and some salt in container of a food processor. Turn machine on, and add the stock and olive oil in a steady stream through feed tube’ process until mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Then cover, and refrigerate (up to 2 days), until about an hour before you are ready to serve.
2. Just before serving, stir in herbs, drizzle with a little olive oil, and garnish with herb sprig if you like. Serve with cut up raw vegetables, whole grain pita bread or whole grain crackers.
Time: 10 Minutes
Yield: About 4 Servings
Adapted from Mark Bittman
The Perfect Marinade using Rosemary
See our blog post about the how rosemary can reduce toxins in your grilled meats.
• 1 tablespoon minced onion
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon dried or 2-3 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped rosemary
• ½ teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 1-2 cloves minced garlic
• 3/8 cup salad oil
• ¼ low sodium soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons white vinegar
Blend and marinate chicken or beef for several hours.
Eat Slowly…Lose Weight!
Lose up to 20 pounds in 12 months
You’ve heard it said before, to lose weight you should, “Eat slowly, because it takes your brain 20 minutes to register that you’re full.” Until now, there was no proof that you could lose weight by taking pauses between bites.
A study presented at the annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, found that people who eat slowly consume significantly fewer calories; an estimated 70 fewer calories per meal. It may not sound like much, until you run the numbers: At 3 square meals a day – you’ll have a daily reduction of 210 calories. Over a week’s time – there’s a 1,500 calorie reduction. For the month – a deficit of 6000 calories. For the year – a whopping 72,000 calorie reduction…that’s 20.5 pounds!
Why does eating slowly work? Researchers report that satiety signals take time – yes, we know that’s true – however, they reported the most important aspect of slow eating is satisfaction. Having a slow, relaxed meal is more enjoyable that a meal on the run.
Spice up your cooking AND your health with fresh herbs.
Many herbs fall within the category of “superfoods” because they are rich in phytochemicals. Many phytochemicals are thought to reduce a person’s risk of getting cancer and other illnesses.
This season, try growing your own herbs and spices – follow these simple tips:
• Herbs can be grown indoors and outdoors; in planters and pots, placed on the windowsill of the kitchen.
• Mint, parsley, chives, and dill are some examples of herbs that can be easily grown indoors. While Basil, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, can easily be grown outdoors.
• You can use fresh or dried (it’s easy to store the excess in the freezer).
• You can dry your herbs in a 90ºF oven (no higher) – this will allow their color and flavor to remain intact.
• Fresh herbs are a simple and healthy way to spice up your food, while adding vital nutrients.
Body Composition Tip – Drink Plenty of Water
There is no other contribution we make to our bodies on a daily basis that is more important to our health than drinking plenty of water. At nearly 70 percent, our bodies are mostly made up of water, and our blood is about 90 percent water. We can go a few weeks without food, but we can only survive a few days without water. The average person loses two to three liters of water every day, through sweat, urine, respiration, and cellular function. And yet, so many people go through their days dehydrated. The signs of dehydration are lack of energy, confusion, headaches, body aches, irritability, moodiness, muscle cramps, and fatigue. Dark-colored urine may also be a sign of dehydration.
Thirst is a sign that your body is already moving toward the state of dehydration. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Eight cups per day is a generally recommended minimum. With your Outdoor Fitness exercise, you may need more than that. Drinking 2 liters of water throughout the day will keep you hydrated, thinking clearly, feeling energized and satiated, and prepared for your regular fitness sessions.
Water and Your Workout
To prepare for an exercise session, drink water 30-60 minutes before your workout. If you are working out for 60 minutes or less you don’t need to worry about drinking during your session. Just make sure you drink immediately after your workout, and then throughout the day. If you are working out for more than 60 minutes, be sure to take water along with you and a small snack is also a good idea.
For an Active Outdoor Life—Are You Eating the Right Protein?
Not all protein is the same.
Even if you eat foods high in protein, you may still be missing something. Your body needs protein to build and maintain muscle, repair tissues, reproduce cells, hormone function and to strengthen your immune system. Protein is made up of amino acids. There are 22 amino acids involved in human nutrition. Your body can produce 14 of them, however, the remaining 8 amino acids must be supplied daily through the foods you eat.
Complete versus Incomplete Protein
There is often confusion about identifying proteins, particularly in distinguishing between complete proteins and incomplete proteins, and learning how to combine them in a healthy, balanced diet. Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids. These high-quality proteins are easily digested and used by the body. Egg whites are considered the highest quality protein—they’re easy for our body to assimilate and they are the standard used in determining protein quality. In addition to egg whites, high-quality sources of protein include fish, chicken and turkey (white meat is better for you), lean beef, low-fat cottage cheese, tofu, and whey or soy protein powder.
Food-combining for Complete Protein
Incomplete, or complimentary, proteins are plant proteins that lack one or more of the essential amino acids. As a result, these proteins are less efficient and/or useful for your body. These proteins should be combined with other foods to create a complete protein. For example, combining beans with rice results is a complete protein that contains all essential amino acids. There are many easy, appealing ways to combine incomplete proteins to create a serving complete with all the essential amino acids: whole wheat bread and peanut butter, toast and a glass of milk, and whole-grain cereal with skim milk are a few examples.
• 10% – 35% of your total calories should come from protein
• Eat a serving of protein with each meal
• Combine your plant protein sources to create complete proteins
How Much Protein for Do You Need?
To find out, multiply your bodyweight in pounds, by one of the following:
• Sedentary adult – 0.4
• Active adult – 0.4-0.6
• Athlete – 0.6-0.9
• Body Builder – 0.6-1.0
Complete Protein Sources
• Eggs and Egg Whites
• Skinless Chicken Breast
• Skinless Turkey Breast
• Lean Ground Turkey
• Low Sodium Low Fat Deli Meats
• Seafood – Fish / Shellfish
• Lean Meats (Grass fed)
• Non-Fat / Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
• Tofu – Low-Fat or Light
• Unsweetened Whey
• Egg White
• Unsweetened Soy