Many times eggs are put on the bad foods list due to their high cholesterol content. However, after more research it was found that the cholesterol in food is not the culprit behind high blood pressure in humans1.
So, the cholesterol worry has been put to rest and we can focus on the benefits of eggs. First of all lets look at the macros in an egg2.
These are pretty awesome macros. Of course, if you don’t have a lot of fat left for the day you can always discard the yolk and just eat the whites which cuts out almost all the fat and still has about 3.6g of protein3.
Eggs provide about 25% of your daily iron requirement2.
They have carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin1.
One of the leading causes of blindness in older adults.
There is also choline in eggs4.
This may enhance brain development and memory.
In addition, there are many other vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to our health2.
I have seen so many times where people have cut dairy out of their diets for no other reason than they heard it was unhealthy. I’m not sure where this claim has come from,but dairy provides plenty of health benefits and is a great source of protein.
The protein in dairy is about 20% whey and 80% casein5. Whey is a faster digesting protein and casein digest slower. This combination makes milk a fantastic source of protein for immediate and sustained muscle protein synthesis.
In addition to the protein, dairy is
Rich in Calcium and Vitamin D6,7
Aids in increased bone density6,7
Related to better weight management6
Associated with lower blood pressure6,7
Linked to a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome6
Go get your dairy fix, but make sure to stay within your fat grams budget for the day.
This, I believe, is one of the most misunderstood food groups. So many people swear up and down that red meat will cause you to have higher blood pressure, heart disease, and possibly cancer. Many studies have shown a correlation between red meat consumption and a higher risk of these diseases so it may seem like a logical conclusion. However, that is where everything goes wrong. First of all, it is very important to understand that correlation does not equal causation. So just because two things seem to be related does not mean one causes the other to happen. We must then ask ourselves why does red meat seem to be linked to all these diseases.
A couple things to consider:
Most of these studies look at a population whose diet is high in not only red meat, but many other high fat, unhealthy foods8
This population also eats more red meat than what would be considered appropriate for their macronutrient needs
So is red meat the culprit? Most likely not. As with almost every other food group you must eat within your body’s needs to maintain health. When a diet is high in red meat, desserts, and fried food with little to no regulation then of course that is going to equal a higher risk of developing disease. Now that we’ve demystified the red meat debacle lets look at the health benefits associated with consuming red meat in appropriate amounts within a healthy diet.
Red meat is high in9:
B Vitamins and Phosphorous
That is a lot of health benefits in one cut of meat and it’s fantastic for reaching your daily protein intake goals. So what should we look for when buying red meat? I have created this free Guide for you to take to the store. Easily make the best choices and enjoy all the benefits from one of the most nutrient rich sources of protein available!
1Zelman, K. (2005, March 1). Good Eggs: For Nutrition, They're Hard to Beat. Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/diet/good-eggs-for-nutrition-theyre-hard-to-beat?page=1
2Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Egg, whole, raw, fresh. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/111/2
3Calories in Egg White, cooked, without added fat | Nutrition, Carbohydrate and Calorie Counter. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-eggs-egg-white-cooked-without-added-fat_f-ZmlkPTk5MTU1.html
4Nutrition Content of One Large Egg. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.aeb.org/images/PDFs/Retail/nutrient-content-large-egg.pdf
5Milk Products: Source of High-Quality Protein - Protein - Nutrients in Milk Products | Dairy Nutrition. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.dairynutrition.ca/nutrients-in-milk-products/protein/milk-products-source-of-high-quality-protein
6Magee, E. (2006, February 2). Dairy Product Health Benefits: Yogurt, Milk, Cheese, and More. Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/diet/6-reasons-to-get-your-diary?page=3
7USDA MyPlate Dairy Group -- Nutrients and health benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dairy-why.html
8Lee, E. (2011, August 29). Is Eating Red Meat Bad for Your Health? (J. Gelfand, Ed.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/the-truth-about-red-meat?page=1
9Red meat nutrition. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.mla.com.au/Cattle-sheep-and-goat-industries/Producer-advocacy/Cattle-and-sheep-industry-information/Red-meat-nutrition
This might the easiest and quickest dinner dish I make. Not only is it very yummy but incredibly easy to put in tupperware and reheat later. The macros are really well rounded, its so easy & quick, and tastes decilicous. What more could you ask for?
Macros / Serving (5 Servings):
Macro information from My Fitness Pal.
This is a delicious recipe that I love to have enjoy as a snack or sometimes a little dessert before bedtime. The wonderful thing about it is that you can tweak the recipe to find your favorite combo. This recipe calls for strawberries but you could try other berries or even different pudding flavors. Have fun with this protein packed, yummy recipe!
It’s hard for me to stay on my diet because I travel so much. I hear this a lot and it’s understandable. When traveling you don’t often have the opportunity to cook your own food and snacks that travel well will only hold someone over for so long. I used to prepare all my food ahead of time when I was traveling and take it all with me. I had to call ahead to hotels and ensure they had refrigerators and carry one or two extra bags with me for all my food. If I had to fly somewhere it was even worse because I had no choice but to eat out while traveling. I found this the hardest time to stay on track for my weight goals.
Is there a better way? Here’s the good news. There is a better way! TOS clients are not put on a “meal plan.” As in, I do not tell them exactly which foods to eat at each meal. I give them their macronutrient goals and we monitor their body’s progress then change their goals as needed to keep them on track for their goals. Why does this work better than meal plans for people who travel a lot? Well, it allows you to eat anywhere that is available and find food that will keep you on track. Earlier this year I was in Europe for almost three weeks. I traveled to five different countries during that time, ate out at almost every meal, and only got to go to a gym a couple times. So how is that I actually came back 3 pounds lighter than when I left? Easy, I set up my macronutrient goals in my food tracker app on my phone before I left and then I tracked my food while I was traveling.
Here in Scotland I enjoyed this delicious burger:
This lovely shrimp risotto dish in London:
Then here was this yummy sandwich, soup, and side salad in Amsterdam:
These are examples of my meals in three different countries where I ate out, but still met my macronutrient goals because I was tracking my food. Some meals were much lighter and healthier than others. That is the beauty of tracking your food, because I consistently tracked my food when I did splurge it didn’t negatively affect me. Instead I kept active by walking everywhere, riding bikes, doing home workouts, and didn't forget to log my meals. When traveling you can stay on your track to reach your goals!
Do you travel a lot and want to be able to effortlessly stay on track while enjoying your surroundings? I’ve created a PDF with My Top 5 Tips for eating out and staying on track. My top tip makes it incredibly easy to find the macros for any food you eat when the nutrition information isn’t given! Grab it for FREE here.
Lets toast to being able to travel, attend social events, and enjoy life while reaching our health and fitness goals!
As all fruits do, Grapes have a lot of nutrition and therefore many health benefits. Maybe that's why I like wine so much... but lets stay on topic.
Benefits of Grapes:
- High in Water Content:70ml per cup* (helps keep you hydrated)
- Antioxidants: Lutein and Zeaxanthin (keeps those eyes healthy)
- Red Grapes have Reservatrol (helps prevent many diseaes)
- Flavanoids: Myricetin and Quercetin (help combat free radicals)
- High in Fiber
All these qualities help prevent dieases such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, constipation, and even allergies.
So next time you're getting a craving for something a little sweet try a cup of grapes out for 104 calories, 1.4g of fiber, 0g of fat & 1g of protein!
Ware, Megan. "What Are the Health Benefits of Grapes?" Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 29 Aug. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
Recipe: Frozen Grape Pops covered with Greek Yogurt and Almonds
This delicious recipe is full of nutrition benefits and healthy fats! Plus, it's fun to make!
*Note: You want to be pretty quick about this so the yogurt doesn't start dripping
Macros per Serving:**
**All nutrition information from My Fitness Pal.
To log or not to log your food? That is the highly debated question. Here is why I have all my clients log their food and why this equals success.
Keeping track of everything you eat may seem daunting and time consuming, however it is quite simple and quick. There are so many food tracking apps out there today,that keeping track of your macronutrients is too easy. The labels on packaged foods can be scanned. Recipes can be quickly and easily imported. Many restaurants offer nutrition information and most of the time it’s already in the app. When all else fails, find a similar food and enter it. It is really that easy.
Now that we have established it’s pretty easy, why is it so beneficial? Probably the biggest reasons why we fail on our diets are self-regulation and rationalization. Many of us have an issue self-regulating our diets. It’s no wonder why either. If we don’t have black and white numbers staring us in the face telling us exactly what we have eaten and how much more we can eat it is very easy to lose track of what we’ve eaten. Also, we need guidelines.In order to regulate our diet there must be known parameters to stay within. When we track our food it tells us exactly what we have eaten and how much more we can ingest while staying within our diet parameters. Then we have to also overcome our innate ability to rationalize even our worst decisions away. When those exact numbers are not telling us exactly how much we’ve eaten it’s easy to think what we’ve eaten didn’t have as many calories or carbs or fat as we thought it did. Maybe we thought there was more fiber in our morning muffin or more protein in our smoothie than was actually there. Logging our food helps diminish these obstacles. We know exactly what we have eaten and exactly what is needed to reach our goals each day. This means there’s no guessing if we may or may not have reached (or surpassed) our dietary goals each day. There’s no rationalizing away a bad food decision.
But why can’t I just eat every few hours and just watch my portion sizes? Many people say oh I just need to watch my portion size. My reply is if it were that easy then why are you not at your goal already? This method may work for a time. However, our metabolism is not static.It changes over time. If you are not tracking your food then how do you know exactly what your body needs to lose weight? How do you know what changes need to be made to continue losing weight once you’ve plateaued? How do you know how much to increase your food intake to build your metabolism so that it gets faster not slower? The answer is you don’t know. Think of it like a bank account. Would it be helpful to say I need more money to pay bills,but I have no idea what bills are or how much money I’m currently making? No, it would not. You would be advised to sit down and calculate exactly what your income is and how much your bills are. No one would say well just work a little more and see if that covers it and if it doesn’t maybe just spend less everyday. That’s such vague and really unhelpful advice. However, we seem to accept that same advice when it comes to nourishing our bodies and reaching fitness goals.
Logging our food sets us up for success. It allows us to be able to choose which foods we want to eat and still reach our goals. It helps us self-regulate and not rationalize away poor decisions that take us further from our goals. Fortunately, technology these days has also made tracking our food incredibly easy. So I think the real question is, “Why wouldn’t you be logging your food?”.
You are probably expecting to read about not eating overly processed, sugary food here. However, Individual foods don’t change your entire body. There have been several studies showing diets containing excess sugar intake negatively affect energy levels and body fat. From this many “experts” have tried to push the message that eating sugar is then bad for you and will cause you to gain weight and feel lethargic. It’s time to set the record straight. Eating excess sugar will cause body fat gain and could affect energy levels. Eating sugar while staying within your macronutrient guidelines will cause you to meet your fitness goals. What? Yes, you read that correctly. Sugar is not the enemy.
Great, so I can eat all my carbohydrates in the form of sugar? No. Fiber comes from your carbohydrate intake and you must reach your fiber goal each day. Why? Among many other benefits fiber helps maintain blood sugar levels.1 Excess sugar in the blood is very unhealthy. No question there. However, if you are hitting your fiber goals each day and within your macronutrient goals then your sugar intake will not be an issue. So how much fiber and sugar can you eat? The recommended amount of fiber is 25 grams per day.1 I suggest to consume somewhere between 30 and 40 grams per day. Consuming too much fiber can also have some not so nice effects on the stomach and digestion (constipation) so staying within that range should prevent any negative side effects while reaping all the positive benefits of fiber.
As a last remark on foods that negatively affect one’s body, there is no one food that will do that. A diet that consists entirely of processed, non-whole foods is not healthy. However, if you have set up a macronutrient outline to follow you will find that to reach your goals you must eat wholesome foods. Not restricting foods from your diet does not mean you can eat a bunch of crap and still gain the results you desire. It means you can mix and match so that cravings, schedules, and general demands of life are not an issue. It gives you the ability to create a healthy eating pattern that will work for years and years to come.
1 Nutrition and healthy eating. (2012, November 17). Retrieved March 12, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983
Social media has been littered with people posting about not eating chemicals. This might the single dumbest movement I have seen so far. It is even worse than saying people shouldn’t eat sugar. If sugar can’t be avoided then you better believe chemicals can’t be avoided. Why? Everything is a chemical! That is right, everything from every piece of food we ingest to our actual bodies are made up of chemicals.
What is a chemical?
...Everything is a chemical. A better question might be, “What is chemistry?” Chemistry is the study of matter and it’s interactions with other matter. Therefore anything made of matter is a chemical.1
Some people then go into further rationalization of their ignorant statements. Trying to justify their statements by saying,” Well, I really meant man made chemicals are bad.” This is nonsense. Some of the most dangerous chemicals in the world are not made by man. Example: An all natural plant, Castor Oil Plant, is one of the deadliest plants in the world. Read this little excerpt from iO9:
“The seeds harbor an incredibly toxic chemical called ricin, and a lethal dose is considered to be in the range of 4 to 8 seeds. Ingestion of the seeds can lead to burning sensations in the mouth and throat, intense abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea within 36 hours, and can lead to death within 3-5 days if left untreated.”2
That’s pretty intense and no man made that plant. It’s time to stop with the incredibly overly generalized, fear mongering statements. Some chemicals are not good for you. Some people are not good for you. Some decisions are not good for you. Does that mean we just avoid every chemical, person, and making a decision because some may not be good for you? No, that’s ludacris. If you attempted that, as long as you were alive, you’d fail. Be smart about your decisions.
Instead of obsessing over nonsense, just make sound decisions. If we consistently eat whole, natural, healthy food and mix in there some processed food it is not going to cause “toxic” effects on our body. Our bodies are amazing machines that do a great job of keeping us healthy. They do a fantastic job of getting rid of substances we don’t need and effectively using ones we do. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
1 Helmenstine, A. (2014, December 5). What Is a Chemical? Retrieved March 4, 2015, from http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryfaqs/f/whatchemical.htm
2 Gonzalez, R. (2011, September 9). 10 of the World's Deadliest Plants - And How They Kill You. Retrieved March 4, 2015, from http://io9.com/5841540/10-of-the-worlds-deadliest-plants----and-how-they-kill-you
“ If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
This is something I always tell myself during the hard times. Whether it be a hard workout that I have to use my all energy to push through or a challenge in life. Think about those times in life when you were at your fittest or when you realized how much you had grown up and changed. Were the times before that easy and carefree? The answer is probably not. I’m not insinuating everything needs to be hard in order to be worth achieving. However, those moments when you feel like you’re just treading water and trying to stay afloat are the moments that count the most. The reps in your workout when your body wants to quit, have the biggest payoff if you’ll just push through. Making good, sound decisions will set us up for success. However, when push comes to shove it is important to remember that once you have conquered this obstacle you are that much closer to your goal.
“ Wow, I really regret that workout” - Said No One Ever
We all have those conversations with ourselves. We don’t want to workout. Maybe our shin hurts and we think oh we shouldn’t run. Maybe we’re running short on time and we think there are more important priorities to finish. However, just remember whether the excuse is valid or not, the result is the same. If we skip workouts and eat too much our bodies will respond whether or not the reason for doing so was valid. Have you ever chose to go workout and then thought, “I wish I hadn’t done that?” Most likely, that has not happened. Sometimes we just have to buckle down and get it done. Not every workout will be our best but we’ll never regret it.
“What you eat in private, you wear in public.”
Oh yeah, that’s right. Sitting there in our houses eating just one more spoonful of peanut butter than we logged in our food diary. Then we mix it with honey, put it on bread, and repeat 5 times. Oh wait, is that just me? Just because no one sees us overeat doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect our bodies. Worrying about other’s opinions is a waste of time. Being truthful to ourselves is one of the best ways to achieve any goal in life.
Download my 4 tips to beating cravings and stop self-sabotaging, just because no one can see you sneaking that extra cookie (or three).
Skinny Margaritas are one of my favorite adult beverages. They're super easy to make at home and personally I prefer my margaritas without the calorie filled Cointreau or triple sec.
The Madhava Agave Five is my favorite syrup substitute. It's a mix of Agave, Stevia, and Monk Fruit. It tastes amazing and 5 calories per serving! I got it at my local Whole Foods. Click here to find out more info about this awesome product.