At one point, Chris Pouy, one of the owners of Cow Wow said that “flavored milk is being marketed as the perfect recovery drink for athletes.” He went on to say that “Got Milk” did a $25 million dollar campaign marketing chocolate milk to athletes because it has the perfect carb to protein ratio.
When Mark Cuban (owner of Dallas Mavericks) and Steve Tisch (co-owner of New York Giants) heard this statement, they laughed. Tisch said “not in my locker room, what about yours?” to Cuban, to which Cuban responded with a laugh and said “no.”
Isn’t that funny?
The milk industry pays athletes to sponsor their products, but professional athletes don’t actually put that garbage into their bodies. Not if they want to perform well.
It’s sad that kids and parents see these messages and think they are helping their kids to stay healthy.
My fiance, Michelle, recently watched the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and she immediately proceeded to visit the official movie website and order one of their suggested juicers, the Breville Ikon Multi-Speed Juice Fountain. I didn’t know anything about juicing and when Michelle told me that she paid $200 for a juicer, I thought to myself “Wow, this must have been a convincing movie,” so I watched it too.
The movie was extremely inspiring.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead follows Joe Cross, an Australian man who was obese, eating unhealthy and was taking tons of medications to keep himself alive. He decided it was time to turn his life around, so he travelled to the U.S. where he would do a 60 day juice fast while his doctor regularly checked his blood levels. He then travelled across the nation and spoke to people along his journey about health issues around the world.
This is where the story gets inspiring. Along the journey, Joe met a truck driver who was in worse condition than he was. I don’t want to ruin the movie for you, but I think it’s safe to say that meeting Joe was probably the best thing that has ever happened to him. It’s stories like this that make me wish I went to school to become a nutritionist.
What You Need to Know About Juicing
The movie was focused on losing weight, but the benefits of juicing are about more than that. I don’t want to lose weight, so it’s all about the nutritional benefits for me.
There are some key things to keep in mind about juicing.
You typically don’t want to juice only fruits, because it removes fiber which results in a high concentration of sugar. When consuming fruits, you want the fiber to regulate suger into the blood stream, so that you don’t get a sugar rush. If you want an all-fruit (or mostly fruit) drink, consider making a smoothie in your blender instead.
You should be juicing mainly veggies anyway. Most people have problems getting their daily recommended amount of vegetables, so if you’re going to use a juicer, use it in the way it will benefit you the most. Admittedly, an all-veggie juice doesn’t typically result in the tastiest drink (unless you use carrots or beets), so it’s fine to throw in an apple or an orange for some sweetness. I actually made a straight green juice with no fruits on my second juicing experience ever and what a mistake that was (the picture at the top of this article). It was super-healthy, but I didn’t have a taste for green juices yet, so it was tough to get through. I’ve heard that most people have a hard time with straight green juices at first, but the taste buds will eventually get used to it.
Juicing removes fiber, and that worried me a bit at first. Fiber is important isn’t it? It helps prevent constipation by moving foods through the digestive system. It has been known to lower risk of diabetes and heart disease by lowering cholesterol and glucose levels. It slows the absorption of sugar and it also makes meals feel fuller, which keep you from feeling hungry for a longer time.
In the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Joe went on a fast for 60 days, but from the research I’ve done, it doesn’t seem to be a sustainable diet. Eventually everyone needs to break their fast and go back to food. Nobody is going to go on a strict juice diet for the rest of their lives, so if you’re planning to go on a juice fast, you might be forgoing fiber for now, but it won’t be permanent. Personally, I probably won’t be replacing any my meals with juices, but instead just complimenting my meals, although I see no reason why someone wouldn’t want to replace meals, as long as they are getting enough calories to maintain energy levels.
Another great benefit of juicing is that since the fiber is separated from the juice, the body doesn’t need to break down any food. The body can’t digest or absorb fiber, so by consuming only the juice, you conserve energy and your body can assimilate the nutrients of the juice quickly. That is a huge benefit.
You should drink your juices immediately after juicing. Once the fruits and vegetables are pulverized by the juicer, the nutrients will begin to break down after coming into contact with the air. Some people suggest that you can store your juice for up to 24 hours if using a dark, air-tight container, but research suggests that nutrients will still be lost during that time. If you need to take your juices with you, don’t let the nutrient break-down deter you. It’s still very healthy. I’ve been looking for affordable portable juicers and this manual juicer from Lexen looks like the perfect juicer to take to work to avoid this problem. It has great reviews and is super-affordable.
Cleaning is a part of the process that many people probably don’t want to deal with but if you want your juicer to last a long time, you’re going to have to clean it regularly. Right now I’m cleaning the machine after each use, but if I start juicing more often throughout the day I might only do a quick clean of the filter after each use and then do one thorough clean of the whole machine at the end of the day. It’s really not that bad. I recorded myself cleaning the machine if you want to see what’s involved. It took me three minutes, but I’m sure that I could do it much faster now.
WARNING: I forget sometimes that my visitors might have kids nearby and I unintentionally added a song to this video which has explicit lyrics. Turn off the volume if your children are around 🙂
Before you buy a juicer, do research into the type of juicer you want. There are two main types; centrifugal and masticating. A centrifugal juicer, like the one we bought, is high powered and runs at fast RPMs. It’s great for juicing hard vegetables fast, but it isn’t so good at juicing leafy greens. A masticating juicer is perfect for leafy greens, but it’s slow, prone to jams and you’ll usually need to cut up your fruits and veggies into smaller pieces before running them through. Watch some videos on YouTube to get an idea of which you think is best. I’ll actually be posting an article going into more detail of the different types soon.
Also, as you might have seen from my cleaning video above, cleaning doesn’t take long for a centrifugal juicer and from some of the videos I’ve seen of masticating juicers, such as the Omega VRT330, all you need to do is pour in a little water while it’s running. It’s more of a rinse, but it seems to be good enough until you do a full clean at the end of the week. There seems to be a lot of benefits of using masticating juicers over centrifugal. I’d love to own one of each if I could afford it.
Here’s a video of us using the Breville we bought so that you can get an idea of how easy it is to juice.
A Quick Recap
Go watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 😉 Hulu (free) | Netflix (w/paid account)
Juicing removes pulp, but it’s not a big deal
Juices consisting of entirely fruit are not recommended
You should juice mostly vegetables
Juicing is an easy way to get your daily recommended dose of veggies
Your body doesn’t have to break down the food with juices
Nutrients are more easily assimilated in a juice
Juice should be consumed immediately after juicing
Cleaning is generally quick and easy
Do research on whether a centrifugal or masticating juicer is right for you
I absolutely love juicing. I’ve been searching for recipes all over the internet and I’ve been trying everything I can. What I like most about juicing is being able to take a cup of spinach, 3 carrots, an apple, and 2 stalks of celery, turn it into liquid and drink it for breakfast. That’s a pretty damn healthy breakfast don’t you think? I would have never taken the time to eat all of that for breakfast, but juicing allows me to get a large amount of healthy food quickly and easily.
It’s important that you never miss a meal, especially when you’re training hard and want the best results for your body. That’s why I love protein bars and meal replacement shakes. I don’t like to use protein shakes or bars in place of a meal, but sometimes it’s just too hard to get to some real food, for example when you’re working or in a meeting.
I just got a free sample pouch of the PowerBar Protein Plus Bites in the mail on Friday. I don’t even remember signing up for them, but I sign up for lots of free samples and it always takes so long for them to get here.
Anyway, I just wanted write up a short post to tell you about it.
Depending on your goals, 300 calories might be bit much for you. For me it’s perfect because I’m trying to gain mass. All of the other nutritional values seem good to me though. 20 grams of protein in one bag is awesome.
I’m not sure what other flavors they have, but they sent me Fudge Brownie. I love fudge brownies, so I couldn’t wait to try these. I was planning to save them for my next bike ride, but I broke down before the night was over and opened it up.
Sadly, I’d have to say that the taste isn’t great. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t terrible, but definitely not delicious. I think it’s a little bland and they left a weird taste in my mouth. They aren’t like the fudge brownies grandma used to make 😉
I get tired of eating the same protein bars day after day, so these would actually be a nice change of pace. I like the nutritional values so I would have no problem recommending them to friends.
To be completely honest, I put this article together based on my own research for myself, because one my New Year’s resolutions is to start taking my nutrition more seriously. I hang out with friends almost every weekend and this usually entails going to a restaurant and having beers. I don’t drink all that much anyway, but when I do, I want to make healthier choices.
Probably the most common alcoholic beverage around, beer actually has quite a few healthy benefits, despite what many people think. Beer contains many healthy vitamins, fiber, and readily absorbed antioxidants and minerals, according to studies. And it doesn’t have any fat, salt or cholesterol and has much less sugar as compared to other beverages. The problem is that beer contains lots of empty calories and many people don’t drink just one beer.
Light beers contain anywhere from 50-100 calories per 12 oz. while other beers range anywhere from 150 calories to upwards of 300. That’s a lot of useless calories to put into your body. If you choose to drink beer, go for the ultra-light variety. It won’t get you buzzed as fast, but at least you can still drink with friends. If you’re wondering how many calories are in your favorite beer, check out this handy beer calorie chart.
Wine and Champagne
Most people have already heard that one glass of red wine a day can be healthy for the heart. This is because it contains the resveratrol, which is an antioxidant that studies have shown can reduce cholesterol and prevent blood clots in the arteries. Studies have also shown that red wine can protect the brain from damage after a stroke. Those are great benefits, but just like with beer, it needs to be taken in moderation. One glass of red wine typically has about 80 calories.
Another option when drinking wine is to turn it into a spritzer. Whatever wine you have handy – white wine, red wine, zinfandels – cut them in half with club soda and you’ll reduce the calories by quite a bit. One word of advice; avoid wine coolers. They are processed and usually contain lots of calories. Something you might not have expected though is that the very popular boxed wine, Franzia white wine, only has 90 calories.
For special occasions, such as New Years Eve, weddings and wild trips to Vegas, you might also find yourself drinking champagne. Champagne is actually very similar to wine in terms of calories, one glass (or about 5 oz.) contains around 100 calories.
If you’re simply looking for a low-calorie alcoholic beverage, you might consider picking up some hard cider. Hard cider often has lower calories than even the lightest of beers. And you can even find many hard ciders with higher alcohol content than beer too.
Many people think the healthiest choices are straight up shots. This isn’t always true because many hard liquors contains lots of sugar, fat and calories. This depends on the type of alcohol of course. “Spirits” such as vodka, whiskey and rum contain about 100 calories per shot and are the best choices if you’re looking to do shots.
Generally, you can stick to these guidelines:
80 proof liquor has 100 calories in a 1.5 oz. shot
100 proof liquor has 124 calories in a 1.5 oz. shot
Mixed drinks are usually the worst choices because they are often made using lots of sweeteners such as grenadine (20 cals. x 1 tsp.) or other sugary liqueurs such as Kahlua (91 cals. x 1 oz.) and midori (80 cals. x 1 oz.). If you choose to go with a mixed drink, choose drinks that are simple – two or three ingredients only and when mixing with soda’s, use diet versions.
Here are several mixed drinks that won’t wreak havoc on your diet:
Rum and Diet Coke
Bacardi Limon and diet 7-up
Bloody Mary (lots of vitamins but also kinda high in sodium)
Vodka (or Gin) and Diet Tonic
Sugar Free Red Bull & Vodka
Mimosa – Minute Maid Light Orange Juice and Champagne (3 oz.)
Drinks to Avoid
During the holidays, many of us like to drink festive beverages, but these are often the worst. A spiked eggnog has approximately 391 calories, while drinks such as Irish cream liqueur can have around 407 calories in only 4 oz. That’s as many calories as one full meal in just one drink.
Here are a few more examples of some drinks you should avoid.
Martinis – 400-500 calories
Margaritas – 200-800 calories
Smirnoff Ice (12 oz.) – 241 calories
Mike’s Hard Lemonade (12 oz.) – 220 calories
Bartles & Jaymes (12 oz.) – 190 calories
Long Island Ice Tea – Up to 780 calories
I think the real key takeaway here is that to drink alcohol and still maintain a healthy diet, is moderation. Drinking any alcohol in excess, no matter what your drink of choice is, can eventually lead to weight gain, heart problems, liver problems, high blood pressure and other serious health issues.
I read a lot of various fitness blogs and follow plenty of people working in the fitness industry via Twitter and Facebook, and I can’t say that I remember anyone ever really mentioning anything about designing a healthy diet around the color of your foods.
That is until Bob Harper brought the contestants into his home and one of his tips was to eat a colorful diet. He mentioned that eating a diet that consisted of a broad spectrum of colors is healthy, because those colors are nutrients. He said bland and boring colored foods don’t contain the nutrients your body needs.
Since then, I’ve been seeing articles all over the place about this. I’m guessing Bob’s words have had quite an impact. In fact, before the Broncos game yesterday, Brady Quinn mentioned that eating colorful foods is the best way to maintain a healthy diet.
Here are couple of interesting articles I’ve found on the topic. Both of these talk more about specific foods and the benefits they provide based on their color. The third link leads to the video from the Biggest Loser.
It’s always been known by health experts that drinking water provides many benefits. It’s a necessity, it keeps your body cool and is refreshing on a hot day. And when you drink lots of water, you aren’t drinking sugary drinks like soda and orange Koolaid 😉 These benefits alone should be enough to convince you to start drinking more water daily, but according to research performed by a team led by Brenda Davy of Virginia Tech, water has been proven to to accelerate weight loss.
The research consisted of 48 inactive Americans between the ages of 55 to 75 who were split into two groups. One group was told to drink half a litre of water before each of their three daily meals. The other participants were not told what to drink. All test subjects had been consuming between 1,800 and 2,200 calories per day and for the test, the woman were allowed only 1,200 calories while the men were allowed 1,500.
The test went on this way for three months and it was found that the group that were not given instructions had lost about 11 lbs., while the group who drank water lost an average of 15 1/2 lbs.
Two key things to note about the study:
Both groups lost weight because their calorie intakes were reduced, but the group who drank water lost more.
The group who had not been told to drink water, may have consumed soda or sweet drinks, which did count into their daily calorie intake, so it doesn’t reason that they consumed more calories per day because of it.
Davy had mentioned that water may have helped satiate their appetites causing them to consume less calories. This may be true. Without seeing the complete results of the study, it’s hard to know whether or not the water drinkers finished their meals. 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day is quite low so I would guess that many participants did finish their meals.
While the study is fairly small at only 48 subjects, it still suggests that drinking more water can lead to greater weight loss. Do you really need a study to tell you that you should be drinking more water anyway? Drink up!
I recently watched a video (posted below) containing a speech from Dr. William Li explaining a new cancer treatment called angiogenesis, which is based on the process our bodies use to grow blood vessels. When angiogenesis is out of balance, or in other words, when blood vessels are in excess or insufficient, more than 70 diseases can occur. Dr. Li focused his speech on cancer, in which angiogenesis is a large characteristic, and spoke of cutting off the blood supply to the blood vessels that are feeding the cancer in order to cure the disease.
In experiments using Antiangiogenesis Therapy, he found that a variety of cancers, even in other species could be treated using this method of treatment. While the treatments have great success rates, especially as compared to older types of treatments, Li knew that the success rate isn’t as good as it could be. This is because they are treating it after it has progressed too far. He realized at this point that preventing cancer is the answer.
Looking at the factors that cause cancer, diet accounts to 30-35% of environments that spur on the disease. But instead of trying to figure out what to strip out of a diet to prevent cancer, he found that there are ways instead to eat foods that contain natural angiogenesis inhibitors. Using extract from red grapes, he found it inhibited natural angiogenesis by 60%. Strawberries and soy beans are even more potent.
Here’s his list of antiangiogenesis foods and beverages that are currently being studied for potency:
Grape Seed Oil
There are different potencies in all of these foods and even some combinations of foods have higher potencies than what they contain alone. In some cases, some of these foods are even more potent than drugs specifically designed to fight cancer.
This is amazing enough, but interestingly, the treatment is also useful in treating obesity. Fat has actually been found to be highly angiogenesis dependent – when blood vessels grow, so does fat. So the idea here is to shrink fat by cutting off it’s blood supply. In a study which took a genetically obese mouse he inhibited angiogenesis which caused the mouse to lose weight and return to normal size. When they stopped the treatment, it gained it’s weight back and after starting it up again, it would drop right off again. This shows how effective angiogenesis inhibition can be in controlling weight issues.
Dietary cancer prevention and the ability to fight obesity is available to all of us and it’s simple. We just have to eat healthy!
We’ve all heard about how bad high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is as a sweetener. You’ve probably also seen the commercials talking about how it isn’t any worse than other sweeteners when used “in moderation.” So who should we believe?
There are a ton of interesting facts about high fructose corn syrup as well as other sweeteners deemed to be healthier alternatives. Many people believe honey and agave syrup to be healthier only for the simple fact that they are “natural” but when you look at the facts, neither of them are any better.
In fact, all sweeteners that contain fructose can be unhealthy and all of them that do; agave syrup, HFCS, cane sugar, honey, and fruit juices – cause, or at least contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, high levels of fat in the blood and even cardiac disease. I definitely suggest reading the article to learn more.
The message to take home here is, limit the amount of added sugars you take into your body and eat everything in moderation. High fructose corn syrup doesn’t seem to be any worse than the other sweeteners, but as with the other sweeteners, try to find foods that don’t have it as an ingredient. You don’t need it in your bread or ketchup do you?
Nutrition is the most important part of living healthy and if you hope to meet your fitness goals, counting calories is vital. The amount of calories you consumer per day depends entirely on the how active you are and what your fitness goals are, but here’s a great equation to help you get started.
Body weight x 10 = Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
RMR x 20% = Daily calories burned outside of exercise
RMR + Daily Calories Burned + 600 = Energy Amount
Now that you have your Energy Amount number, compare it to the list below to figure out which level you’re in and how many calories you should be consuming daily. Keep in mind that this equation was created with P90X in mind so it’s taking into account an extreme daily workout of about an hour per day and 6 days per week.