Month: September 2017

Weekend Workout – Stiff as a Board to Move Light as a Feather

I mentioned it in a previous weekend workout post, but I think it bears repeating: having 6-pack abs doesn’t mean you have a strong core. Your rectus abdominis muscles make up your 6-pack, but to improve overall core strength you need to perform exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, obliques, transversus abdominis, erector spinae and more.

One such exercise that strengthens all these areas is the plank. I recommend performing the plank variation workout below in interval format (30 sec work/30 sec rest) for 15-25 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 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 – Eating Whole Foods On The Go

I’m a man who likes structure. I love scheduling out all my appointments, meetings, training sessions and so on. Hell, I even like scheduling out what food I’ll eat on a daily basis. Unfortunately life doesn’t always allow that to happen.

Regular readers of the blog know that Shannon and I’s schedule the last few weeks was completely rearranged by Hurricane Irma. After I heard Tampa was in the path of potentially one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the U.S., I disregarded any healthy eating habits and focused primarily on fortifying our house. Thankfully, Irma caused minimal damage and allowed us to return to our normal routine rather quickly.

Then, 2 weeks later, Shannon went into labor.

Shannon labor

These two epic life events forced us to eat a lot of prepackaged foods on the go. Fortunately for us, there are some legit prepackaged whole foods available nowadays. Below is a list of several of my favorite whole food items that you can eat on the go:

  • Epic Bars: these “meat bars” are made with high quality protein from sources like buffalo, venison, salmon, wild boar and many more. They also focus on using other whole ingredients that are low in sugar and free of gluten, grain, soy and dairy. The sriracha chicken bar pictured below contains 4 g of fat, 15 g of protein and only 1 g of carbs (click here for more nutritional info).
  • Trail Mix Packs: individual serving packs of raw and/or lightly roasted & salted almonds, cashews, walnuts and even peanuts are a great source of dietary fat, protein and fiber. Just beware of the sugar content of any trail mix packets that are filled with lots of candy or dried fruit. The Go Raw Trek Mix packets from Trader Joe’s contain 14 g of fat, 7 g of protein and 3 g of fiber.
  • Parmesan Crisps: these crispy chip substitutes are so flavorful that you won’t even remember the word Doritos after having them. I usually grab a $3-4 container from Whole Foods when I’m out and about, but you could easily make these at home. According to the Whole Foods website, 4 crisps contain 6 g of fat, 9 g of protein and 1 g of carbs (source).
  • Upgraded coffee: I don’t leave home without my homemade coffee concoction – 12 oz of coffee, 3 tbsp of Great Lakes Collagen and 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream or canned coconut milk. This creation contains approximately 12 g of fat, 18 g of protein and <1 g of carbs. Click here to read more about Great Lakes Collagen.

Whole Foods Togo

That’s my abbreviated list of whole foods you can eat on the go. If you’ve got an item that you believe fits the criteria please let me know. Drop us a line, and by that I mean email us at elementaltampa@gmail.com or give us a shout on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

I believe that the moumental life events are done for the time being. Now Shannon and I are mainly focused on rearing our young, which means we’ll hopefully have time to make some home cooked meals. If you have any ideas for big batch dishes we can munch on during our maternity/paternity leave, feel free to send them our way.

 

Addicted To Fitness Show Notes – From the Vault: Jiu Jitsu Training & Nutritional Benefits of Grassfed Beef

Even though Shannon and I are busy preparing for the arrival of our first little one, we still wanted to give you all your weekly dose of health & fitness info. Which is why we reached back into the ETT wrap show vault to pull out a throwback episode for this week’s Addicted to Fitness podcast.

As you’ll hear, this old school episode features the first cohost, Tyler Knox. That name may sound familiar to you all because he returned to the ATF podcast recently to discuss how being a new dad affects your fitness, which you can listen to by clicking here. Can you see the connection?

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Former co-host Tyler Knox and he’s little man Henry

Tyler and I kick off this throwback episode discussing my recent jiu jitsu training. Before I took ETT full-time I was heavy into jiu jitsu and even got to take a seminar from the recently crowned 194 lb Abu Dubai Combat Club (ADCC) champion (link). If you have NO idea what ADCC is, just think of it as the olympics of jiu jitsu. With that said, Gordon Ryan is a beast and I was fortunate enough to receive his tutelage. Our jiu jitsu convo led to us discussing the shocking results of UFC 196.

Most fight fans may remember UFC 196 because it was the first and only time that Conor McGregor lost in the octagon. Conor was submitted by Nate Diaz by rear naked choke and the woman who dethroned Rhonda Rousey, Holly Holm, was defeated by Miesha Tate with the same move. It was an excellent advertisement for the power of jiu jitsu.

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Image courtesy of mmaweekly.com (link)

After our UFC recap, Tyler and I discuss the nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef. Shannon and I have talked about grass-fed labeling on a past ATF podcast (link), but this was the first time I ever discussed its nutritional superiority. According to the Primal Blueprint podcast, which is essentially a narration of blog posts from Mark Sisson’s website (link), grass-fed beef has an optimal omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio. It also contains higher amounts of specific vitamins and minerals, not to mention its animal welfare implications. Click here to read more about its nutrional benefits in a recent What’s on the Menu blog I wrote.

Even though grass-fed protein may take more raw resources to produce, it allows us to be more connected to our food supply. It can also help us rejuvenate the small farm industry that once thrived in this country. Another industry that we mention in this throwback episode that could help reduce our reliance on livestock protein is insect production. We allude to a cricket protein bar taste test, which we were able to accomplish in a future, or is it past episode? Either way, click here to listen.

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I love looking back on these throwback episodes, not only to see how we have progressed as podcast, but also to see how the topics we’ve discussed have evolved. I hope you all enjoy these time capsule episodes as much as I do. If you do, we’d really appreciate it if you gave us a rating and review in iTunes (link) or on our new Addicted to Fitness Facebook page (link).

We’ve got a lot of great podcasts lined up for you all, including a possible delivery room episode. You’ll definitely want to subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t done so already, and please rate, review and share Addicted to Fitness with anyone and everyone. Thanks again for all the support and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to the Addicted to Fitness podcast

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2#episodeGuid=6204d2cb139eb4c3ab18f279673a80db

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/from-the-vault-jiu-jitsu

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/from-the-vault-jiu-jitsu-training-nutritional-benefits-of-grass-fed-beef

Weekend Workout – Train Like A Fighter Without Getting Hit

Combat sports, particularly boxing, have been in the news A LOT lately, which is why I felt it be appropriate to share a weekend workout that features a few boxing & kickboxing techniques. I combined a couple hand combinations with a pair of lower body exercises to ensure that you stay active this weekend.

Head to the ETT YouTube channel (link) if you need further instruction on the punches and/or front kicks. 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!

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What’s on the Menu – A Review of Arbonne Protein Shake Mix

I always promote the theory that a huge component of healthy eating is the utilization of whole ingredients. Whether it be fruits, vegetables, nuts or meat, I believe that the more wholesome you can be with your diet, the better.

However, I know that our go-go society makes eating whole foods somewhat difficult. Being a personal trainer that caters to clients in multiple locations requires me to frequently eat on the go. Unfortunately, whole foods aren’t always the most travel friendly.

I regularly bring tupperware containers full of whole foods with me whenever I can, but sometimes situations arise where having a portable meal replacement option available can be a godsend. I believe that’s one of the main reasons why protein shake mixes and meal replacement bars have risen in popularity over the past 5 years (source). Unfortunately, this rise in popularity has also led to market saturation, in my opinion.

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Ate this “breakfast” in the bank parking lot

The number of meal replacement bars & shakes you have to choose from nowadays is almost overwhelming. Also, most of these items are marketed as “health foods” while certain ones are no better than items you can get at a fast food restaurant (source).  These are the reasons why I love sharing my reviews of “meal replacement” options whenever I try them.

I was recently asked by a friend to try out a protein shake mix from a company called Arbonne (website). Arbonne is based out of Switzerland and it distributes a wide range of beauty & health products. According to their catalog, all their nutrition products are vegan, gluten-free and free of artifical sweeteners & flavors. I want to state that I am not a Arbonne distributor and currently have no plans to be one in the future. Right now, I’m just a taste tester.

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, here’s my review of Arbonne’s vanilla protein shake mix:

  • Nutrition stats: 1 packet (~1/4 cup) contains 160 calories, 3 g of fat, 14 g of carbs and 20 g of protein; contains numerous vitamins & minerals, most noteably vitamin B12 (17% RDA) & vitamin E (16% RDA). Click here for more nutritional info on this product.
  • Taste: mixed half the packet with just water – dissolved well, not gritty or chunky – good vanilla flavor & not overtly sweet but I definitely got the stevia aftertaste; mixed remaining powder in a blender with frozen spinach & blueberries – created a super creamy smoothie, but I preferred it with just water.

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Overall, I was pretty impressed by the protein shake mix from Arbonne. The ability for it to dissolve completely in water is a huge bonus and the single serving packets are easy to transport. Sugar cane is the second most abundant ingredient according to the label, which I’m not thrilled about, but it wasn’t super sweet. I would probably add a little full fat coconut milk to my water to get a more satiating “meal”. Either way, if I were in the market for a vegan protein powder, I’d definitely consider Arbonne.

As previously mentioned, I’m not an Arbonne distributor, but if you’re interested in their products, I can connect you with someone who is. You can always contact me via email, elementaltampa@gmail.com, or give us a shout on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). If you do reach out, and I hope you do, make sure to include any suggestions on the next product you’d like me to review.

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Protein Powder & Protein Water Taste Test

This was the Addicted to Fitness episode that you were suppose to hear before Irma rolled through our neck of the woods. Sorry it took a few weeks longer to deliver it to you all, but we’re very grateful that we even get the opportunity to share it at all. Many areas affected by Irma are still recovering and I encourage everyone to continue supporting the relief effort by donating to credible organizations like the American Red Cross (link) and Save the Children (link).

Now that the über important stuff is out of the way, we can jump into this week’s protein filled episode. Shannon kicks it off recapping her recent training, which is limited to walking and yoga because, according to her, she’s “big time pregnant.” Both those forms of exercise are conducive to her current condition but she’s also doing a ton of yoga because she’s coming to the end of her yoga teacher training program.

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In the final months of her program, Shannon has taken, assisted and even led several yoga classes. She comments on how much she’s learned in this program and how she’s developed a love & appreciation for prenatal yoga. Shannon was exposed to numerous yoga disciplines that few people know about and she’s eager to share information about these mostly unknown forms. Stay tuned for a deep dive into lesser known yoga disciplines on a future ATF podcast.

My training recap isn’t nearly as eventful. I’m still making it to my weekly jiu-jitsu class and doing strength training at Tampa Strength (link), but what I’m really excited about is the addition of Title Boxing Club (link) classes to my personal training schedule. The group dynamics of the Title classes are a pleasant departure from the 1-on-1 or semi-private training I provide.

After our training recaps, Shannon and I discuss the non-perishable food items we purchased for our hurricane preparedness kit. We wanted to make sure we had food that was essentially ready to eat but also very nutrient dense. We both knew that items high in protein & fat would keep us fuller, longer than items made primarily of refined sugar and grains. You’ll have to listen to find out whether or not the food items we purchased matched the hurricane checklist from Delish.com (link).

#whatiatewednesday – stocking up on non-perishable foods in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Loading up on nutrient dense items like jerky, peanut butter, canned fruits & veggies, canned meat and nuts.⠀ ⠀ I think it's safe to say that you can throw healthy eating out the window when natural disasters come into play, but I believe you should still stay away from items that contain large amounts of refined sugars & grains because they have the ability to make you hungrier faster. Follow local authorities recommendations, help out your neighbors if you can and please STAY SAFE EVERYONE!⠀ ⠀ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ ⠀ #health #nutrition #fitness #diet #exercise #workout #nutrients #peanutbutter #nuts #jerky #wholefoods #protein #fat #carbs #meat #minerals #vitamins #hurricane #hurricaneirma #hunkerdown #Tampa #tampabay #tampafl #tampafitness #healthytampabay #igerstampa #ETTampa

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After our training recap and hurricane food review we FINALLY get into the taste test of two newfangled protein products. Shannon begins by giving her review of thinkThin single serve protein powder packets. She tried the strawberry raspberry flavor and commented on how much fruit flavor it possessed, which wasn’t surprising since the second most abundant ingredient according to the packet was dried fruit. The entire packet provided 15 grams (g) of animal & plant-based protein, 5 g of fiber and a whole serving of fruit. Shannon commented that it didn’t have any gritty texture or bad after taste and she looks forward to trying the other flavors. Check out the thinkThin website (link) for more nutritional info & ingredients.

My protein product was an item I’d been itching to try for sometime. Protein Water is produced in the Tampa Bay Area and I’ve been hearing a lot about it on local radio. I finally picked up a few bottles and saved one specifically to share on the podcast with you all. The protein filled water contains 15 g of animal based protein and numerous forms of electrolytes. It also contains 100% of our recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D & vitamin B6 and 1250% of our RDA of vitamin B12. It not only provides protein & energy but it is also hydrating, which isn’t always the case when it comes to pre-made protein drinks. Check out the Protein Water website (link) for more nutritional info & ingredients.

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We’re always looking for products to try on a future podcast. Please feel free to send your ideas for future taste tests to elementaltampa@gmail.com or connect with us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Also, we’d really appreciate it if you gave us a rating and review in iTunes (link) or on our new Addicted to Fitness Facebook page (link). Don’t forget to get enough protein in your diet and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2#episodeGuid=776d7f9661d18bc98a0d9ee4fb846a5f

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/protein-powder-protein-water

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/protein-powder-protein-water-taste-test

Weekend Workout – Jump Around to a Fitter You

This weekend workout will definitely have you feeling a little froggy. Incorporating jumping exercises into your workout routine can help you build lower body strength, balance and agility. They’re also a great way to quickly elevate your heart rate, which can lead to improved cardio capacity over time.

I recommend performing four to six sets of these jumping exercises. It’s especially important that you warmup and modify this workout to match your fitness level. Also, if you have a significant lower body injury (e.g. ligament strains or tears) you should click here for one of our past core centric weekend workouts.

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

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What’s On The Menu – It’s More Pea Than Nut, But I’m OK With That

Some of you may have guessed from the title what food I’ll be discussing in today’s menu spotlight, but for those who are still trying to figure it out, I’ll give you a hint: it taste DELICIOUS! I’m sure that’s all you needed to realize that I’ll be analyzing the nutrition of peanut butter in today’s post.

My love for peanut butter is borderline extreme. I don’t know if I’ve tasted a peanut butter product I didn’t like. My dedication to this faux-nut runs so deep that I mandated that Shannon eat at least a tablespoon a day while she’s pregnant with the hope that our child won’t be born with a peanut allergy. As silly as that may sound, a recent study suggested that exposing infants, that are at least 4 months old, to peanut products could make them less likely to develop peanut allergies (source). It’s probably a longshot but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the same logic extends to babies in utero.

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Peanut butter is a derivative of peanuts, DUH, which belong to the Fabaceae family, better known as the legume family. Even though peanuts are often used in the same culinary applications as true tree nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, etc.) they are actually related to peas and beans (source).

Unlike green beans or snap peas, peanuts actually grown underground. This is extremely beneficial to the agricultural process because they can create their own nitrogen, which helps them grow. Then when they die, they release that nitrogen into the soil for other plants to use. This reduces the amount of additional nitrogen in the form of fertilizer the farmer has to use (source).

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But this post isn’t about the agricultural benefits of peanuts. It’s about its buttered version’s nutritional pros and cons. Check out the list below and make up your mind on whether or not peanut butter should be on YOUR menu:

PROS

  • Contains a significant amount of all 3 macronutrients: 100 grams (g) consists of 50 g of fat, 25 g of protein and 20 g of carbs. Also contains 5 g of the pseudo macro fiber (source).
  • Contains a significant amount of micronutrients: 73% RDA of Manganese, 67% RDA of Vitamin B3 and 45% RDA of Vitamin E just to name a few (source).
  • Contains cancer fighting antioxidants: peanut butter contains p-coumaric acid which research suggests could help prevent colon cancer (source).

CONS

  • Peanuts contain aflatoxins, which have been linked to cancer & childhood development issues. It should be noted that the process of turning peanuts into peanut butter eliminates approximately 90% of the aflatoxins (source).
  • Contains a large amount of omega 6 fatty acids. Research suggests that frequent consumption of foods high in omega 6’s can increase inflammation and create a greater risk for cardiovascular disease (source).
  • It doesn’t contain as much as roasted peanuts, but peanut butter does contain oxalate, which can contribute to the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones (source).

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After a cursory look at the nutritional data on peanut butter, I can say with all honesty that I’m still a huge fan. I don’t advocate pigging out on it, but it can be a macronutrient dense addition to your diet. Just make sure there is no one in your household that is allergic.

As you can see from the photos above, I’m a big fan of adding a smear of peanut butter to fruits and vegetables. I’d love to hear about which food vehicles you use to get your dose of PB. Please email your go-to recipes/meals to elementaltampa@gmail.com. You an also post your PB creations on any of our social media channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). Let’s all show our love & appreciation for this nut butter imposter!