What’s On the Menu – Too Good To Let Go To Waste

Let’s be honest. Guacamole is the best “dip” there is. Don’t bring your hummus, spinach & artichoke or salsa in my kitchen. NOT UP IN HERE!

Between the taste, nutrition and ease associated with preparing it, every thing else is playing for second place. Which is why I had to act fast when I had several ripe avocados at the house last week.

Instead of letting them go bad, I decided to make guacamole with whatever ingredients I had available. I ended up using 2 avocados, cherry tomatoes, shallots, fresh lime juice and salt. The heart healthy monounsaturated fat contained in the avocados was too good to let go to waste. ⠀

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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Valentine’s Day Taste Test & Macros Game

Happy belated Valentine’s Day Addicted to Fitness listeners!

This may be a lesser, borderline manufactured holiday, but it’s still a great opportunity to give you all a holiday themed episode. You’ll be hearing this after Valentine’s Day but the topics discussed are applicable throughout the year.

We start off this week’s episode with the Listeners Talk Back segment. We asked the listeners which 100 rep challenge we should Facebook Live to celebrate getting 100 likes on the Addicted to Fitness Podcast Facebook page. The results are in and you all chose……

Push-ups

We will have already completed this challenge by the time you’re reading this but you can head to the ATF Facebook page and watch the video. Feel free to leave us a comment while you’re there.

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We keep our Training Recaps short and sweet this week. Shannon successfully completed a week’s worth of workouts that included a trip to her home yoga studio Bella Prana. She has to complete her workouts before Ella wakes up at 7am, which means she a has to wake up around 5am in order to get a 20-30 min HIIT, spinning or yoga workout in, and still have time to get ready for work. This is quite an accomplishment because Shannon does not enjoy getting out of bed

I on the other hand, am still knocking out personal training sessions at Tampa Strength, Title Boxing and client’s homes. The only other workout related info I have to share is that I inherited Shannon’s Fit Bit Charge 2, which we reviewed in a past episode. This particular fitness tracker is great if you want to track & log health data like heart rate, steps and calorie burn.

After a quick training recap, we jump into our holiday themed taste test. During a recent grocery shopping trip we saw that the diet & weight loss brand Atkins makes a peanut M&M knockoff. Being that peanut M&M’s are one of our favorite candies, we decided to do a blind taste test of the Atkins peanut M&M’s and the real thing.

atkins m&ms

I had already sampled the goods, which is why Shannon participated in the blind taste test to see if she could taste the difference between the two versions of the peanut M&M. You’ll have to listen to find out if Shannon could tell the difference between the real thing and the knock-off, but here’s the nutritional info for both candies if you’re curious

Real Peanut M&M’s

  • 1.75 oz bag contains 13 g fat, 30 g carbs (25 g sugar) and 5 g of protein

Atkins Chocolate Peanut Candies

  • 1.2 oz bag contains 11 g fat, 18 g carbs* (1 g of sugar & 15 g of sugar alcohols) 4 g of protein *also contains a small amount of artificial sweeteners

If you want to learn more about the effect sugar alcohols have on our body, go back and listen to our interview with the CEO of the sugar alcohol producing company, Swerve.

As if a blind taste test of candies you may have given your sweetie wasn’t enough, we also have a holiday edition of the Macros Game on this week’s episode.

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Oysters are often thought of as aphrodisiacs

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the Macros Game, it is a nutritional trivia game that requires the contestants to guess the macronutrient (fat, protein or carbohydrate) when given its amount in a serving of a certain food.

This time around we test each other’s nutritional knowledge on foods that are often consider aphrodisiacs, which are foods that claim to increase libido when consumed. We tested each other’s knowledge on oysters, dark chocolate, sweet potatoes,  asparagus and other foods from Organic Authority‘s Top 22 aphrodisiac foods.

Make sure you listen to the podcast to find out if Shannon was able to maintain her winning streak. We also encourage you all to play along and send us your scores. If you get a perfect score we’ll share it on our social channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) with a special shout out post.

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You can definitely find that shout out on the Addicted to Fitness Podcast Facebook page. While you’re there, please leave us a rating & review, which we’d also appreciate if you could also do in iTunes. It only takes a few minutes and really helps us reach more listeners.

If you forgot to get a Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie, get them a bag of sustainable super coffee from The Hemp & Coffee Exchange. Head to hempcoffeeexchange.com and use the promo code “ATF” at checkout to get 20% off your order.

Links to this week’s episode:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2&i=1000402930556

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/valentines-day-taste-test

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/valentines-day-taste-test-macros-game

Weekend Workout – Push Yourself

Regular readers of the blog will know that I’m a big fan of compound exercises (multi-joint movements that require the use of various muscle groups) because they give you more “bang for your buck” when it comes to working out. One compound exercise in particular, the push-up, requires you to utilize muscle groups in your upper body, core and lower body which is why this weekend workout is full of them.

The bodyweight workout below includes a variety of push-up variations that will strengthen numerous muscle groups in your body.  I recommend performing 10 reps of each push-up variation followed by 90 seconds of rest for four circuits. Don’t forget to warmup and modify the workout to match your fitness level.

Connect with us on social media and share pics/videos of you performing this or any weekend workout (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). ENJOY!

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What’s on the Menu – The Best Breakfast Option Out There

I’m a gigantic breakfast fan. The options you have at breakfast far surpass anything lunch or dinner has to offer, and I believe it’s all thanks to one magical food.

Eggs.

Whole eggs, yes yolks and all, are at the top of my “Whole Foods” power ranking list. Right below eggs on that list is its frequent companion on a many diner menus. Steak.

Steak & eggs is high in protein & fat and contains a ton of important micronutrients like iron, vitamin B, choline and omega fatty acids. I had the meal below and swear I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the day. I believe based on the nutrition research I’ve gathered & personal experience, that this is a much healthier option than the meals filled with processed carbs that seem to dominate breakfast foods (cereal, bagels, etc.).

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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – A Review of the Headspace Meditation App

Another week and another awesome episode of the Addicted to Fitness podcast!

This week, Shannon and I investigate the scientific-based benefits of mediation and give a review of the Headspace smartphone mediation app. But before we jump into those topics, we give our training recaps.

I’ve been trying to do a better job of shooting videos for the @ettampa Instagram feed, especially boxing/kickboxing videos. Striking instruction is my bread & butter and I want to share that with my online audience.

I’ve also been adding more steel mace (see pic below) exercises into client workouts. I love using the steel mace because its highly uneven weight distribution can make any common exercise, like a lunge, much more challenging. Plus, they make you look BADASS!

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Shannon has been slowly, but surely, adding workouts back into her routine. She’s been able to do a small amount of yoga and HIIT sessions, but a reoccurring vertigo condition has somewhat slowed her progress. We asked if listeners have any suggestions on herbal supplements that can help with vertigo, maybe even an essential oil, which we plan on investigating more in a future episode.

After we wrap up our respective training recaps, we dive into the topic of mediation. Thanks to one of our favorite sources of evidence supported health information, healthline.com, we list the 12 science-based benefits of mediation:

  1. Reduces stress
  2. Controls anxiety
  3. Promotes emotional health
  4. Enhances self-awareness
  5. Lengthens attention span
  6. May reduce age-related memory loss
  7. Can generate kindness
  8. May help fight addictions
  9. Improves sleep
  10. Helps control pain
  11. Can decrease blood pressure
  12. You can meditate anywhere

The last benefit from that list was really made a possibility thanks to smartphone apps like Headspace.  I learned about Headspace while listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast. I took advantage of their free 10 day subscription several times. Then I finally upgraded to the full subscription version, which cost about $95 annually.

headspace pic

The app was created/founded in 2010 by marketing & brand developer Rich Pierson and Andy Puddicombe. Andy is a former Buddhist monk and the voice of the guided meditations. Rich and Andy’s mission is to remove the mysticism attached to meditation and make it more attractive to a broader audience.

Once I upgraded to the full version, I had to complete 90 foundational sessions in order to unlock any of the other packages contained in the app. Those foundation sessions walk you through the best methods to achieve a meditative state – focus on breathing, be present, acknowledge outside distractions (sounds, smells, etc) but always return to the breath.

One of the first packages I used after my foundation sessions was the “pregnancy” package. As you can imagine, I listened to it while Shannon was pregnant with Ella, and it help teach me how my character/mood could affect the development of the baby. The app is full of packages that introduce an intention for a subject area that you want to improve on (e.g. anxiety, motivation, sleep, etc.).

Headspace also has guided mediations that you can listen to while performing a specific task (e.g. cooking, walking, commuting, etc.), mini 1-3 minute mediations you can use if you need to refresh or focus and animations that help explain the different aspects of mediation.

I’m a big fan of the new “everyday headspace” feature which provides a new intentions daily and allows you to change the length of time you want to mediate. Shannon has been a fan of mediation for a long time due to her years in yoga. After she started using the app, she realized how many of the same methods she’s already been using. She believes headspace is great for introducing people to the foundations of mediation, but from what she’s seen so far, it may be more geared towards beginners than experienced mediators.

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If you’re a user of the Headspace app, please let us know what you think of it by leaving us a comment/message on the Addicted to Fitness Podcast Facebook page. As you heard in this episode, if you leave us a comment or message, we will read it in a new segment Shannon dubbed Listeners Talk Back.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the awesome 20% off promo code (“ATF”) from our sponsors, The Hemp Coffee Exchange, so you can stock up on some tasty, and nutritious, coffee – the perfect follow-up to a good mediation session.

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2&i=1000402046714

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/a-review-of-the-headspace

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/a-review-of-the-headspace-mediation-app

Weekend Workout – Strengthening Your Core Should Be A Primary Concern

The primary mover is the muscle or muscles generating the majority of the “force” during a particular exercise. For example, during a bench press, the pectorals are the primary movers. During a curl, the biceps are the primary movers and in the weekend workout below, the muscle groups that make up your core are the primary movers.

Performing five, 10 rep supersets of this workout will help strengthen all the muscles in your core, not just your 6-pack (rectus abdominis). Don’t forget to warmup and modify the workout to match your fitness level.

If you complete this or any weekend workout, please let us know in the comment section below OR you can send us a pic/video of you doing the workout on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). ENJOY!

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What’s on the Menu – Cooking in batches is good for your health

Shannon and I really try our best to make one wholesome “Big Batch” dish every week. Having one dish that is ready to go whenever we get home from work prevents us from ordering out or picking up dinner. We’ve found that the less takeout and delivery we get, the better we feel. It’s also much easier on our finances.

One such big batch we make frequently is a Tuscan Chicken Skillet. I’ve shared the recipe with several of my clients and they all love it. It’s not exactly a quick meal, but it’s definitely worth the time. It’s also one of those dishes that I believe taste better the next day.

Below is the recipe and a few pics. If you end making it please send us and email (elementaltampa@gmail.com) or share a pic of it on our social channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Tuscan Chicken Skillet

  • Cook 1-1.5 lbs of chicken tenderloins in olive oil for 4-5 mins on each side, or until cooked thru⠀
  • Remove chicken from skillet, add more olive oil & 8 oz of chopped mushrooms, cook till soft⠀
  • Remove mushrooms and add an entire onion, sliced & cook till soft⠀
  • Add a can of diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, spices (salt, pepper, oregano & thyme) and 1/4-1/2 cup of chicken stock⠀
  • Simmer till liquid reduces slightly then add chicken and mushrooms back in⠀
  • Remove from heat and add several handfuls of greens and season to taste⠀

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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – The Health Benefits of Sauna Use

Welcome back and thanks again for taking time to pop over and check out this week’s Addicted to Fitness Show Notes.

As always, we truly appreciate all the likes, reviews and comments. Keep, them coming!

We start off with a quick training recap.

On the one side, Nick has been doing a lot of sandbag of training lately. The system he’s becoming versed in is ultimate sandbag training, also know as DVRT, which is what they use at Tampa Strength  (they even have a 100 lb sandbag). Nick also mentioned that Tampa Strength will be launching their group mobility class February 6th, which you can read more about in this blog post on their website for more details on the class and the importance of mobility.

Then there’s me, who’s really only been able to add a couple of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts back into my routine. Workouts have been brief (only about 12-minutes each) when Ella is napping, but at least it’s something!

If you haven’t experienced the benefits of a sandbag workout, come into Tampa Strength and let me show you what you’ve been missing – – – Repost from @tampastrength – We’re big fans of functional training at Tampa Strength, which is why we added a ton of equipment & programming from @ultimatesandbag. The exercise below is an example of how working with a sandbag can assist with developing good squat patterns. Hit the contact button in our bio to schedule your first sandbag workout at Tampa Strength. ⠀⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #personaltraining #tampapersonaltrainer #health #fitness #fitnesscommunity #exercise #fitfam #weightlifting #sandbags #functionaltraining #abs #dvrt #core #squats #workout #Tampa #tampabay #tampafl #tampafitness #southtampa #sandbag #ETTampa #tampastrength

A post shared by Nick 👊Elemental Training Tampa (@ettampa) on

Now, let’s heat things up a bit as we get to the main topic of discussion. Let’s talk about the health benefits of saunas.

Saunas have been used around the world for an extremely long time for relaxation and a range of health benefits. There has been a good deal of quality scientific research on the health benefits, most of which is from Finland, where they are utilized regularly by citizens.

A sauna is a small room or building used for keeping heat (steam or dry) in it. The types of saunas:

  • Finnish sauna
  • Electrically heated sauna
  • Smoke sauna
  • Steam sauna/room
  • Infrared sauna

A quick search for at-home saunas led to us to find a range from $1000-$1500, and even some cheaper, DIY versions (picture below).

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Courtesy of homedepot.com

Some quick stats:

  • A  2015 study stated that using a sauna multiple times a week can actually significantly improve longevity by reducing all-cause mortality by up to 40%.
  • Another study suggests that sauna use can help improve athletic performance, muscle gain and proper regulation of hormones
  • Dr. Mercola describes the positive effect on chronic brain-related conditions regular sauna use can have in a number of studies in his article.

Saunas have been touted for their health benefits since ancient times and now the science is actually backing up those claims. Some people still see them as more of a relaxation/luxury than an actual health boosting practice, but there is clear evidence they should be used for the latter!

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If you are a regular sauna user, please let us know on the Addicted to Fitness Podcast Facebook page. As previously mentioned we appreciate all the feedback you’ve been giving us as of late and we’ll make sure you read your comments on a future ATF episode.

We also encourage you to give us a rating and review in iTunes. May not seem like a big deal but it’s a quick, easy task that can really help us reach more people.

As a little show of a gratitude for your listenership, use the promo code “ATF” at our sponsor’s website, hempcoffeeexchange.com, and get 20% off their delicious sustainable super coffee.

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-health-benefits-of-sauna-use/id1121420986?i=1000401490276&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/the-health-benefits-of-sauna

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/the-health-benefits-of-sauna-use