Month: July 2017

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Charcoal: Health Solution or Trendy Gimmick

This week’s episode Show Notes brought to you by Shannon.

A couple quick announcements…

First, if you haven’t already taken Nick and ETT up on the amazing opportunity, send Nick an email today at elementaltampa@gmail.com to schedule a free fitness consultation (online, phone or Skype – you don’t have to be local!). Because who doesn’t need a little motivation and inspiration on their health and fitness journey?

Second, we’re thrilled to be able to announce the voting for Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay 2017 has officially opened! Simply visit cltampabay.com/botb2017, log in and you’ll find ATF at the top of the list for Best Local Podcast in the “People, Places, Politics” category. You can vote every day if you want, so feel free to show your support!

Screen Shot 2017-07-30 at 7.16.42 PM

Now, let’s get into it.

Training for Nick and I this past week included Nick returning to jiu jitsu classes and also kicking off training with Spanish from 102.5 The Bone for the Mike Calta’s Punchout – a local radio show event that Nick’s been involved with for the past few years as a trainer for on-air personalities. We’re both cheering on Spanish, who has already been putting in some great training time.

I meanwhile have been just trying to stay active whenever I can (we all have those weeks, right?). We quickly touch on how being pregnant has made even some of my go-to exercises, like my beloved peloton rides, a bit more challenging, but I’m keeping after it!

As for today’s title topic, we’re getting into that health trend that has appeared across numerous industries – skincare, food, supplements, even dental care – and that appears on more and more peoples’ Instagram feeds, charcoal. Specifically, we talk about activated charcoal, which is what the charcoal products we’re discussing include.

Now, don’t worry. This isn’t the briquettes you use in your grill or what you may possibly used in high school art class, this is a bit different. A wonderfully simple description of activated charcoal was included in this nice overview article in Real Simple magazine, which summarized as a byproduct of burning coconut shells, wood, or other plant materials. It’s considered “activated” due to its negative charge, which gives it the capability to bond with positively charged ions (like chemicals).

You’ve likely seen or heard at least one of the following claims that activated charcoal is supposed to do, but Nick and I take a closer look to see whether these claims are real solutions or just marketable ploy.

  • Skin Care Claim – Removes Impurities:
    • Does it really pull all the gunk out of your skin though? Don’t be suckered in by some products that promise miracle results. Though charcoal masks with activated charcoal can provide a lovely facial, they’re not an instantaneous win for skin. Be smart about what you purchase and beware that there are a lot of gimmicky goods to sift through. Nick asked my personal opinion, as I’ve tried a number of these skin care items, and I recommend the Origins Charcoal MaskIMG_8513
  • Dental Claim – Whitens Teeth:
    • Does black charcoal paste produce pearly whites? Well, as it turns out, no. One dental expert in a recent Guardian article pointed out the complete lack of evidence that activated charcoal whites teeth. Plus, the expert points out that charcoal is abrasive, which could remove the enamel on your teeth if used too frequently. Eek!
  • Diet Claim – Detoxifies:
    • The science proves that activated charcoal does bind to certain substances in the stomach when you ingest it. However, activated charcoal shouldn’t be taken in large amounts because it doesn’t discriminate against what it attaches to and carries out of the body through the digestive tract. It will remove good things like calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and even some medications. Plus, it can attach to water molecules and cause dehydration, leaving some with a bad case of constipation (oh no!).
    • One recent article by The Refinery went into a further look at the risks involved with consuming too much activated charcoal.
  • The Hangover Claim – Will Cure Your Hangover:
    • This is just a flat out myth, but even Nick admitted to having heard this before. Sadly, there’s not much truth at all to it. Activated charcoal doesn’t bond with alcohol, so even in larger amounts (which you should only get at the hospital), it can’t help. Plus, it only helps to limit absorption in the stomach, and alcohol gets absorbed into your bloodstream long before the onset of a hangover. Perhaps some people use activated charcoal to purify their booze, but it’s not going to help shake the headache and stomach aches that follow a night/day of alcohol overindulgence.
  • Poisoning Cure Claim – Prevents Poisons From Being Absorbed
    • This is a scary topic regardless, and one of the oldest actual medical uses for activated charcoal. There are written records going back to Ancient Greece, that describe charcoal being used to decrease the impacts of some poisons. Even the Mayo Clinic lists activated charcoal as a type of treatment for certain types of poisons, but only in emergencies situations. However, they mention that it does nothing for poisons like corrosive agents or strong acids. Large doses can be used for specific cases, but activated charcoal should not be taken that way normally.

We finish off this week’s episode with a new segment – Straight from the Headlines – where we reference a timely health/fitness article that deserves a callout.

You likely remember our recent podcast on Coconut Oil and an especially damning article that USA Today published citing the American Heart Association (AHA) and its recent “presidential advisory” which basically vilified all saturated fats, including coconut oil. It created quite the buzz as we’ve been told in the recent past that not all saturated fats are created equal, and scientific studies had been disproving what the AHA had been pushing for years.

Well, Nick dug into it during that recent episode of ours, and is now backed up by an op-ed written by an excellent investigatory journalist, Nina Teicholz (article link). The piece details how Teicholz examined all the data and sources that were cited in the aforementioned article and deduced that it was primarily driven by “long-standing bias and commercial interests” more than sound science.  Afterall, the AHA needs to reaffirm the “heart healthy” advice it’s been saying for nearly 70 years, all the while being conveniently funded by some commercial companies whose interests don’t lie with saturated fats in almost any form. As I summarized so nicely – it’s mostly PR fluff from the AHA. Very well-placed fluff, but still.

Podcast pic 7-31

That’s really it for this week’s episode! Thank you for listening and please give us a rating and review if you haven’t already – it means so much to us.

Hopefully, you’ll vote for us in CL’s Best of the Bay, and if you already have or are about to we deeply thank you!

Until next week, please stay in touch via email or on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). We love hearing from you!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/charcoal-health-solution-or-trendy-gimmick/id1121420986?i=1000390482279&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/charcoal-health-solution-or

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/charcoal-health-solution-or-trendy-gimmick

 

 

Advertisements

Weekend Workout – The Best Of Both Worlds

This weekend workout combines another pair of plyometric & isometric exercises. Plyometrics get your heart rate up & increase your maximum force production while isometric exercises are great for increasing strength with little to no risk of injury. ⠀⠀

Make sure you warmup and modify the exercises & intervals 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 a us pic/video of you doing the workout on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). ENJOY!

Weekend Workout (4)

What’s On The Menu – The Whole Food That Gets Invited to Every Party

If you’re one of the 11 people on the planet that haven’t heard the go-to mushroom joke, here you go

Q: Why did the mushroom get invited to all the parties?

A: Because he’s a FUN-GI!

Allow me to explain why that joke is somewhat comical for those who may not understand. Even though you find mushrooms in the produce section of the grocery store, they aren’t technically vegetables. They actually belong to a group more closely related to humans than plants known as the FUNGI (pronounced fun-guy) kingdom (source).

Let me know when you stop laughing?

Screenshot 2017-07-27 at 5.45.31 PM.png

Image courtesy of suttons.co.uk

Now that you’ve had your chuckles, I want to enlighten you on the serious health benefits mushrooms can provide. One cup of raw white button mushrooms (pictured above) contains ~1 gram (g) of fat, 2 g of carbs and 3 grams of protein. You should also be aware that different varieties of mushrooms can provide different amounts of micro & macronutrients. For example, while white button mushrooms only have 3 g of protein per cup, large portabella mushrooms contain 5 g per cup (source). Not a tremendous difference but definitely important to individuals who are looking for more non-animal protein sources.

Mushrooms are certainly a great low-carb addition to any meal, but I believe the real benefits lie in their micronutrients. They contain a significant amount of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B9 (folate). B vitamins play a major role in our energy levels and red blood cell formation, but they’re also important for brain health and fetal development (source).

Mushrooms are also the only non-animal, non-fortified source of vitamin D. This is a big reason why mushrooms are a frequent component of the vegan diet. The best dietary sources of vitamin D usually come from the animal kingdom OR processed foods enriched with vitamins and minerals (source). The naturally occurring vitamin D in mushrooms is important to several bodily functions & systems, but recent research suggest that its biggest benefit may be cancer prevention.

screenshot-2017-07-27-at-6-34-10-pm.png

The results of two separate studies, one published in 2015 and the other published this year, suggested that specific varieties of mushrooms demonstrated the ability to suppress the genetic markers associated with certain types of cancer (source). I don’t care how funny they are, mushroom’s ability to fight off the Big C is a much better reason to have them at your next party.

That’s a call back people.

Speaking of calls. You should schedule a Skype call with yours truly to discuss your current health & fitness plan. I’d love to provided you with tips on exercise, nutrition or accountability. All you have to do is send me an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com. You can also email us your delicious mushroom recipes or share a pic of your favorite mushrooms dish on our social channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – How Juicing and Alcohol Consumption Could Help & Hinder Your Fitness

This week’s show notes brought to you by Shannon.

Nick and I are chatting about popular beverages on this week’s show!

Not so much recipes, but rather the health benefits of oh-so-trendy juicing and the often debated alcohol. Before we get into that though, a little recap of training.

I was in recovery mode after a yoga immersion weekend – which is almost a full three days of yoga – it takes a toll, especially being fairly pregnant at this point. With only a couple months of yoga training left though, the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. Still learning some important lessons though, including the importance of self-care, especially as a teacher or trainer.

Nick meanwhile, has been shooting a lot of exercise videos for the Tampa Strength YouTube channel (link). If you’re interested in remotely training with ETT, you don’t have to move to Florida. Give Nick a shout, elementaltampa@gmail.com, and he can build an online workout for you.

On a sad note, one of Nick’s and my favorite Peloton instructor, Steve Little (who focused on heart rate training), is moving onto another career, so we say goodbye (with a couple water eyes). We’ll miss you Steve Little! And if you’re curious about learning more about Peloton, check out our past podcast that features an on-bike review by Nick.

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 6.35.34 AM

We’ll miss you Steve Little! (Image courtesy of Peloton blog)

Pros & Cons of Juicing

We used to be pretty hardcore juicers a while back. Our juicer of choice is the Bella NutriPro juicer (sadly discontinued so we can’t link to it) and we used to juice every day with it. Green juice was our preferred recipe, though we grew to love beets as well.

We even learned a few lessons. Lessons like drinking juice straight away, which provides the optimum delivery of nutrients. Some of the lessons, we got from the Juice Generation book, which includes some great recipes and info.

To help highlight some of the pros and cons of juicing, we gathered together a nice little list for you!

Pros:

  1. Great way to provide a large amount of your daily nutrient requirement
  2. Make nutrients in produce easily absorbable
  3. Great way to eliminate food waste

Cons:

  1. Depending on the ingredients, can deliver a large sugar spike
  2. Can be expensive
  3. Lose out on the fiber

Different types of juicers could minimize the amount of fiber loss.

While I am more of a fan of juice than smoothies, Nick is the opposite. What camp are you? If you are a juice fan, let us know what your favorite type is.

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 6.47.55 AM

Yes you need all this, and more, to make green juice for two

Now onto an epic debate. Is it possible to call alcohol healthy?

More specifically, does MODERATE alcohol consumption provide health benefits? Moderate meaning 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.

(1 drink is defined as 12oz beer, 5oz of wine & 1.5 oz of spirits)

In our personal experience, one health benefit (which might be rather obvious) is the relaxation and social lubrication provided by moderate alcohol consumption.

In addition, red wine contains resveratol, which certain studies suggest helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces LDL cholesterol and prevents blood clots.

Certain studies have linked moderate alcohol consumption, other than just red wine, to improved heart health. One 12+ year Norwegian study stated that moderate alcohol consumption lowered heart failure risk by 33%. However, other studies claim that even one drink could cause irregular and possibly harmful heart arrhythmias.

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 6.58.47 AM

Red wine is healthy……..or is it?

Our final verdict is that the studies/information is inconclusive on whether or not alcohol is healthy. Even the studies that found beneficial results associated with moderate alcohol consumption state that their findings do not prove causation, meaning they could not determine whether or not the improvement in items like heart health were actually due to alcohol consumption.

We do know that excess alcohol consumption can lead to plenty of negative health issues like liver and pancreas diseases, heart failure, hypertension, cancer, stroke, behavioral issues and obesity. According to the CDC, excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010 (link).

So no magic bullets on the alcohol front.

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 7.00.02 AM

As we wrap up, we have a couple friendly reminders for all our awesome listeners.

First off, keep checking cltampabay.com to see if you can vote for ATF for the “best local podcast” in the Best of the Bay contest.

Secondly, take advantage of Nick’s current free fitness consultation by emailing him at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for more episodes and give us a shout on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/how-juicing-alcohol-consumption-could-help-hinder-your/id1121420986?i=1000390234743&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/how-juicing-and-alcohol

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/liquid-calories-how-juicing-and-alcohol-consumption-can-help-hinder-your-fitness

 

 

Weekend Workout – Get Your Rocky On

You all know how much of a fan I am of workouts that include proper striking techniques, which is why I’m excited to share this weekend workout with you. I combined a couple hands & feet combinations with a pair of body weight exercises that are guaranteed to make you sweat!

Head to the ETT YouTube channel (link) if you need further instruction on the lead hook + power uppercut and/or alternating knee strike exercises. I recommend performing the workout in interval format (30 sec work/30 sec rest) for 12-20 minutes. 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 a us pic/video of you doing the workout on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). ENJOY!

Weekend WOD (1)

What’s on the Menu – The Fruit that Tells You It’s Summer

We discussed the optimum growing seasons for produce in a recent episode of the Addicted to Fitness podcast (click to listen), but we didn’t discuss which produce best REPRESENTS each season. My “season appropriate produce” list is as follows:

  • Fall – Pumpkins, squash and other gourds
  • Winter – Kale and Apples
  • Spring – Berries and Asparagus
  • Summer – Corn and Watermelon

I’m OK with people disagreeing with me on most of my choices, but for those who don’t agree that watermelon is the most summer produce there is I say FOR SHAME.

I can’t be the only one who attended summer cookouts where the giant green melon was used for the appetizer, main course and/or dessert. I’m sure if you go back and look at your family photos, they’ll be a picture of you standing next to a sprinkler with a giant wedge of watermelon in your hand. The fruit’s optimum growing season is May through September for PETE’S SAKE. Anything else go on between May and September?

How bout a little thing called summer break.

I rest my case.

pexels-photo-128598

Now that I’ve established the fact the watermelon is THE summer produce, let’s discuss whether or not it’s healthy. One cup of watermelon contains less than one gram (g) of fat & protein and 11 g of carbs, 9 of those grams coming from sugar.

Not terribly uncommon for a sweet fruit, but somewhat of a departure from the items you’d usually see on this weekly blog. The relatively high sugar content translates to a rather high number on the glycemic index (GI), 76. However, unlike its GI, watermelon’s glycemic load (GL) is only 8, which is considered low. In layman’s terms, a serving of watermelon can cause a blood sugar spike but only for a short period of time, which translates to a minimal insulin response (source). With that said, if you are obese or a type 2 diabetic, I’d suggest asking your physician if it’s OK to add watermelon to your diet.

If you are fortunate enough to include watermelon in your diet, expect even more benefits than just its delicious flavor. In addition to a host of important vitamins (A, B6 & C), minerals (copper & magnesium) and amino acids, watermelon contains a significant amount of the phytonutrient lycopene. This carotenoid is not only responsible for giving watermelon its red color, it also provides the fruit’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. Recent research also suggests that lycopene can be very important to our cardiovascular and skeletal systems (source). Both of which are super important when you’re 30 something year old going head first down a homemade slip & slide.

I mean it is summer after all.

Menu pic 7-20

Watermelon is also one of those fruits that pairs well with a wide variety of other foods. Shannon and I are big fans of watermelon salad with feta cheese and reduced balsamic dressing. If you have any other mouthwatering dishes that feature watermelon, please share them with us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Before I wrap up this menu spotlight, I want to give you a friendly reminder about ETTampa’s free fitness consultations. If you are looking for a little guidance, whether it be for exercise, nutrition or even accountability, send me an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – From the Vault: UFC Date Night & How You Like Your Eggs

Every so often, Shannon and I like to share an episode from the earlier version of the podcast known as the ETT Wrap Show. These throwback episodes act not only as an audio time capsule, but also share pertinent health & fitness information with our current audience. This episode from the ETT Wrap Show vault kicks off discussing our upcoming group workout on the Tampa Riverwalk (link).

Outdoor workouts, especially in a safe environment, are extremely beneficial because of the exercise involved and the fact that they get you outside. Remember, vitamin D, which is important to bone density and hormone regulation, is obtained by soaking up a little sun. If you have any parks, green spaces and/or riverwalks in your city, you should definitely think about incorporating them into your fitness routine.

14468582_10100786082641128_7229080079496994182_o

Locations like the Tampa Riverwalk provide a great opportunity to incorporate outdoor training into your fitness routine

After singing the praises of the Tampa Riverwalk, Shannon and I discuss our experience at our first UFC Live event. I doubt I even have to say this, but the UFC is the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the world. I’m sure most of you probably already know that due to the upcoming boxing match involving the biggest personality in UFC history, Conor McGregor.

We didn’t get to see Conor at the event we attended, but we did see his next potential MMA opponent, Khabib Nurmagomedov (yes that’s his real name). Shannon was especially impressed by Khabib superior takedown skills and his luxurious headwear. Click the link to learn more about this special hat and see a picture of UFC announcer Joe Rogan wearing it.

12993390_10100678307498378_297093615883025752_n

Whole eggs, egg white or egg yolks. Which do you prefer?

After recapping the UFC fight, we move onto a discussion about my favorite whole food of all time: EGGS! One whole egg, yolk & whites, contain 5 g of fat, 6 g of protein and no carbs. Essentially the perfect no-carb snack that will keep the pesky hunger hormones leptin and gherlin at bay, IMO. We go on to describe the different nutritional profiles for egg whites and egg yolks on their own. How you like your eggs is a question we know can vary widely from person to person based on which version they believe is the healthiest.

We put the call out to our listeners to tell us what type of eggs they thought were the healthiest. Much to my delight the overwhelming response was the whole egg. I’m pleased by this because it wasn’t too long ago that everyone believed that eating eggs increased the cholesterol in your blood. However, according to a 2015 press release from the Mayo Clinic (link), dietary cholesterol, which whole eggs are high in, does not raise cholesterol in our blood. HOORAY!!

Screenshot 2017-07-16 at 8.30.38 PM

We hope you all enjoy these throwback episodes as much as our normal episodes. If you do, please let us know by giving us a rating & review in iTunes (link). Also, we’d really, really, REALLY appreciate it if you vote for Addicted to Fitness as the “best local podcast” in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay contest. Voting will be opening in a few weeks so bookmark their website (link) now and check back at the end of July to vote.

To show our appreciation for all the support you give us, I encourage you to take advantage of our current free fitness consultation offer. If you are looking for a little guidance, whether it be for exercise, nutrition or even accountability, send me an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com. Let’s make your fitness a top priority

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/from-the-vault-ufc-date-night-how-you-like-your-eggs/id1121420986?i=1000389968387&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/from-the-vault-ufc-date-night

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/from-the-vault-ufc-date-night-how-you-like-your-eggs

 

Weekend Workout – Bringing Back Some Gym Class Memories

You’ll have to break out a few cones for this weekend workout. Incorporating speed drills into your exercise routine can help you improve reaction time, build oxygen capacity, develop fast twitch muscles and strengthen ligaments.

I recommend performing three to five sets of these speed exercises. It’s especially important that you warmup and modify this workout to match your fitness level. Head to the Tampa Strength YouTube channel (link) if you’re looking for additional exercises to add to you weekend workout.

Let us know in the comment section below if you completed this or any weekend workout. ENJOY!

Weekend Workout (3)