Tag Archives: fiber

Apple with Peanut Butter: The Ideal Snack

29 Jul

peanut-butter-apples[1]Good nutrition bars are really hard to find (unless, of course, you have access to Whey Better Cookies).  Sure, there are some good ones out there, but most are full of cheap fats, sugars, and unnecessary additives.

The goal should be to find a portable, nutritious snack with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fat, protein, and 5-10 grams of fiber.  Most of us fall short of the recommended 38 grams of fiber per day.  Fiber is a slow-digesting nutrient that can help you stave off hunger until your next meal.

The next time you’re looking for some grab-and-go nutrition, consider an apple with peanut butter (1.5 Tbsp):

  • 240 calories
  • 8 g protein
  • 30 g carbohydrates (6 g fiber, 21 g sugars)
  • 12 g fats

It just may be the ideal snack.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Advertisements

Why You Should Try an Herbal Cleanse

20 Jun

HerbalCleanse[1]Have you ever tried an herbal cleanse?  I have, and I’m hooked.  A few years ago, one of my colleagues persuaded me to try AdvoCare’s 10-Day Herbal Cleanse (prior to that, the only cleanse I had ever tried was the “Taco Bell” cleanse).  Initially, I was a little reluctant because I had heard that these cleanses could be really hard on a person’s system.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the AdvoCare cleanse was actually quite mild (I wasn’t running for the bathroom every few minutes), and I felt great.

AdvoCare’s Herbal Cleanse is a great way to “kick-start” a new diet or nutrition program.  It can help rid the body of toxins and impurities; supports better digestion and healthy weight loss; and provides 10 grams of fiber per day.

The key to the AdvoCare Herbal Cleanse system is its combination of products: ProBiotics, Fiber Drink, and Herbal Cleanse Tablets.  The instructions are easy to follow, and the cleanse should be complemented by a healthy, well-rounded diet.  Drink clear liquids such as water, herbal teas, and diluted fruit juices; follow a diet rich in whole, fresh fruits and vegetables with light lunch and dinner options; and avoid fried, heavy foods, junk foods, and fast food.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Upgrade Your Diet with Flaxseed

20 May

flaxseed-ground[1]Flaxseed my be one of the healthiest plant-based foods on earth.  It is a rich source of the healthy fats, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha linolenic acid (ALA).  Flaxseed has been around for centuries, and boasts several health benefits.  It is a good source of:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids (one serving of ground flaxseed can provide almost 3000 mg of Omega-3)  Your body cannot make Omega-3, so they must be consumed as part of your daily diet.
  • Protein (3 grams per serving)
  • Fiber (4 grams of dietary fiber per serving)
  • Lignans (potent antioxidants that can reduce cell damage)

Health benefits of flaxseed include:

  • Maintains healthy cholesterol levels.  Flaxseed is associated with reductions in total cholesterol and LDL.
  • Helps with weight control
  • Works as a natural laxative
  • Fights depression (DHA is a “mood boosting” ingredient that is essential for proper brain cell function); diabetes (helps lower blood sugar); and cancer (ALA has shown promise as a cancer-fighting agent)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Improves immune function

Ground flaxseed is recommended over whole because it is digested more easily, thereby providing the most benefit. Add ground flaxseed to the following foods (and more) to improve their nutritional content:

  • Oatmeal and other cereals
  • Protein shakes and smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Pancake mix
  • Breads and muffins
  • Soups and salads
  • Condiments and dressings
  • Hamburger and meatloaf
  • Breading for chicken and fish

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Apple with Peanut Butter: The Ideal Snack

10 Jun

peanut-butter-apples[1]Good nutrition bars are really hard to find.  Sure, there are some good ones out there, but most are full of cheap fats, sugars, and unnecessary additives.

The goal should be to find a portable, nutritious snack with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fat, protein, and 5-10 grams of fiber.  Most of us fall short of the recommended 38 grams of fiber per day.  Fiber is a slow-digesting nutrient that can help you stave off hunger until your next meal.

The next time you’re looking for some grab-and-go nutrition, consider an apple with peanut butter (1.5 Tbsp):

  • 240 calories
  • 8 g protein
  • 30 g carbohydrates (6 g fiber, 21 g sugars)
  • 12 g fats

It just may be the ideal snack.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Why You Should Try an Herbal Cleanse

8 May

HerbalCleanse[1]Have you ever tried an herbal cleanse?  I have, and I’m hooked.  A few years ago, one of my colleagues persuaded me to try AdvoCare’s 10-Day Herbal Cleanse (prior to that, the only cleanse I had ever tried was the “Taco Bell” cleanse).  Initially, I was a little reluctant because I had heard that these cleanses could be really hard on a person’s system.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the AdvoCare cleanse was actually quite mild (I wasn’t running for the bathroom every few minutes), and I felt great.

AdvoCare’s Herbal Cleanse is a great way to “kick-start” a new diet or nutrition program.  It can help rid the body of toxins and impurities; supports better digestion and healthy weight loss; and provides 10 grams of fiber per day.

The key to the AdvoCare Herbal Cleanse system is its combination of products: ProBiotics, Fiber Drink, and Herbal Cleanse Tablets.  The instructions are easy to follow, and the cleanse should be complemented by a healthy, well-rounded diet.  Drink clear liquids such as water, herbal teas, and diluted fruit juices; follow a diet rich in whole, fresh fruits and vegetables with light lunch and dinner options; and avoid fried, heavy foods, junk foods, and fast food.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Upgrade Your Diet with Flaxseed

17 Apr

flaxseed-ground[1]Flaxseed my be one of the healthiest plant-based foods on earth.  It is a rich source of the healthy fats, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha linolenic acid (ALA).  Flaxseed has been around for centuries, and boasts several health benefits.  It is a good source of:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids (one serving of ground flaxseed can provide almost 3000 mg of Omega-3)  Your body cannot make Omega-3, so they must be consumed as part of your daily diet.
  • Protein (3 grams per serving)
  • Fiber (4 grams of dietary fiber per serving)
  • Lignans (potent antioxidants that can reduce cell damage)

Health benefits of flaxseed include:

  • Maintains healthy cholesterol levels.  Flaxseed is associated with reductions in total cholesterol and LDL.
  • Helps with weight control.
  • Works as a natural laxative.
  • Fights depression (DHA is a “mood boosting” ingredient that is essential for proper brain cell function); diabetes (helps lower blood sugar); and cancer (ALA has shown promise as a cancer-fighting agent).
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Improves immune function

Ground flaxseed is recommended over whole because it is digested more easily, thereby providing the most benefit. Add ground flaxseed to the following foods (and more) to improve their nutritional content:

  • Oatmeal and other cereals
  • Protein shakes and smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Pancake mix
  • Breads and muffins
  • Soups and salads
  • Condiments and dressings
  • Hamburger and meatloaf
  • Breading for chicken and fish

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Skip the Juice, Eat the Fruit

26 Nov

Everyone knows how important fruits and vegetables are to a well-rounded, healthy diet (even though research indicates that most of us don’t get enough of them in our daily diets).  Drinking your fruit (or veggies), in juice form, may seem like a convenient, sensible way to get your daily allowance, but is it?

Eating fruit can be more satisfying and beneficial than drinking juice.  Unfortunately, many juice drinks are nothing more than vitamin fortified sugar-water.  Many fruit juices that are sold in supermarkets contain only a small percentage of real fruit juice, and contain added sweeteners (sucrose or high fructose corn syrup). As a result, it is easy to consume a large amount of calories without getting any actual nutrition when you consume these beverages.  Skip the juice, eat the fruit, and you can save calories while ensuring your body gets all the nutrients fruit has to offer, including fiber.

Sugars

Although fruit contains sugars, it provides natural — and not added — sugars.  Typically, fruit juice equivalents can be significantly higher is sugars, including added sugars (for example, an average serving of apple juice has 25-30% more sugar than a medium apple).  A similar scenario holds true for other fruits.  The effects of the sugar on your blood sugar is greater when you drink juice, as the absorption of the sugar is not mitigated by the fiber provided by the whole fruit. Thus, drinking fruit juice can set the stage for a series of blood-sugar spikes and subsequent crashes, a scenario that is not much different from eating a candy bar.

Fiber

Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. You should eat 20 to 30 g of this nutrient each day, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Eating fiber has various health benefits; it can help to reduce your risk of contracting type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer. When you “drink” your fruit, you are eliminating this very important ingredient. Consider that a whole medium apple has more than 4 g of fiber, but apple juice has almost none. Blueberries are another example: A 1-cup serving will net you almost 4 g of beneficial fiber, but the juice provides practically none.  Fruit skins and pulp are the sources of many of the fruit’s nutrients (vitamins, flavonoids, etc.).

Satiety

Eating foods rich in fiber helps to provide satiety, the feeling of being full. Chewing your fruit instead of drinking it can trick you into thinking you are eating more calories, as it takes longer to eat a bunch of grapes than it does to drink a serving of juice. Note that the serving sizes for juice are smaller than what you probably serve yourself. Only 1/3 to 1/2 cup of juice counts as one serving of fruit, according to the University of Illinois Extension. When you drink a 12-oz. glass of juice, you are drinking three servings of fruit — not an advantage if you are watching your calories and overall sugar intake.

Healthier Drinks

If you are in the habit of drinking juice, it may be replacing healthier beverage choices. Low-fat milk, which provides calcium, and tea, which provides anti-oxidants, are better choices. Juice often takes the place of water, as well. Water provides no calories and should be a part of everyone’s diet. Drinking juice in place of water can lead to weight gain and difficulties regulating blood sugar. For the best health, stick to eating whole fruits and drinking low-sugar, healthy beverages.

In most cases, the switch from whole fruit to fruit juice can only be made at the expense of full nourishment and health.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Build a Healthier Burrito at Chipotle

17 Oct

Chipotle restaurants have become enormously popular.  And, why not?  Their food is tasty, convenient, and (for the most part) they use fresh, healthy ingredients.  But there’s also a potential downside.  The average Chipotle burrito contains over 1000 calories!  Most of us, including athletes, don’t need that many calories at one sitting.  There’s a smarter, healthier way to eat at Chipotle.

Chipotle Nutrition Facts

Wrap

  • 13″ tortilla (soft, burrito shell) = 290 calories; 44 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein.

Vegetables

  • White rice  = 130 cal; 23g carbs; 2g protein.  Brown rice is about the same, with the addition of 2g fiber.
  • Black (or Pinto) beans = 120 cal; 23g carbs; 11g fiber; 7g protein.
  • Fajita vegetables = 20 cal; 4g carbs.

Meat

  • Barbacoa = 170 cal; 24g protein; 7g fat.
  • Carnitas = 190 cal; 27g protein; 8g fat.
  • Chicken = 190 cal; 32g protein; 7g fat.
  • Steak = 190 cal; 30g protein; 7g fat.

Salsas

  • Tomato = 20 cal; 4g carbs.
  • Corn = 80 cal; 15g carbs; 3g fiber.
  • Red (hot) = 40 cal; 8g carbs; 4g fiber.
  • Green (medium) = 15 cal; 3g carbs.

Extras

  • Cheese = 100 cal; 8g protein; 9g fat.
  • Sour cream = 120 cal; 2g protein; 10g fat.
  • Guacamole = 150cal; 8g carbs; 6g fiber; 13 g fat.
  • Lettuce = 5 cal.

Tips for Building a Healthier Burrito

  • Skip the rice.  Or, at least go light on the rice.  Chipotle burritos are about 1/2 rice (by volume), providing nutritionally scarce calories and carbs.  Recently, they’ve started serving brown rice, but it’s only marginally better.  You’re better off without it.
  • Add beans and veggies.  As opposed to rice, black and pinto beans add nutritionally dense calories, protein, and fiber.  Fajita vegetables are low in calories and provide vitamins and other micro-nutrients.
  • Go for the chicken.  Although all the meats are relatively good choices, chicken is your best bet for lean protein.
  • Like it hot.  The hot salsa can improve digestion, boost your metabolism, and help you burn more calories.
  • A little cheese is OK.  8g protein is a fair trade-off for 100 calories.
  • Say no to sour cream.  I’m all for dairy, but 10g fat is not a fair trade-off for 120 cal.
  • Say yes to guacamole.  Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a dose of healthy (unsaturated) fats.
  • Saw it in half.  Save the other half for another meal.
  • Eat it naked.  Refuse the wrap, eat it in a bowl, and save almost 300 calories and 44g carbs.

Get Stronger, Get Faster!

Your thoughts?

%d bloggers like this: