Month: October 2017

Weekend Workout – This Workout Focuses on Your Core Concern

Several potential benefits of core training according to Men’s Fitness include: improved sports performance, reduction in lower-back pain, better posture, development of stronger breathing muscles and a slimmer waistline (source). Plus, you’ll absorb more beneficial Vitamin D during those times showing off your core muscles at the beach, or supermarket. Wherever you prefer.

You’re gonna want a workout mat to perform the core exercises in this weekend workout. I recommend performing five 10 rep supersets of these exercises with at least 60 seconds of rest in between sets. 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 – How Fat Can Be Your Friend

When celebrity fitness trainer Vinnie Tortorich came on the Addicted to Fitness podcast (click here to listen to entire episode) last year, he made a statement that really resonated with me. He said

The worse thing about dietary fat is that it’s called FAT!

That one statement inspired me to look into the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) lifestyle to determine if it suited me better than the not so low carb lifestyle I was participating in at the time. After subtracting certain items that contain refined carbs from my diet and adding more items that were high in healthy fats, I started feeling fuller, longer and was no longer hangry two hours after a meal.

There is one particular “fatty” food item that has been a part of my diet well before my shift to LCHF. I’ve been hearing about its health benefits for well over a decade and its versatility has made it a staple in Shannon and I’s kitchen. It can be used as a cooking oil, salad dressing, finishing sauce and even a skin care product. The multi-talented food item I’m referring to is olive oil and it’s this week’s menu spotlight.

Olive oil is a broad category of oil made from pressed olives. I realize that isn’t “breaking news,” but I wanted to mention that because the different types of olive oils at the supermarket can be quite overwhelming. If you’re looking for the variety that provides the most health benefits, you’ll want to stick with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Any other variety may use solvents to extract the oil or partially consist of cheaper, inflammatory oils.

Even though EVOO, purchased from a reputable producer, doesn’t contain any protein or carbs, it’s still highly nutritious. One hundred grams, which is about 7 tablespoons, of EVOO contains 72% of our recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Vitamin E and 75% of our RDA for Vitamin K (source), both of which can contribute to preventing cardiovascular disease. The micronutrients contained in olive oil are impressive but it’s the type of fat it contains that really sets it apart from other cooking oils.

EVOO consists primarily of monounsaturated fat. This type of fat is more heat-resistant, which means it is less likely to oxidize when used in cooking applications. This is one aspect of EVOO that makes it superior to other cooking oils like canola or even flax-seed, which consist primarily of polyunsaturated fat. Less oxidation means less free radical production, which can cause inflammation that may researchers believe is responsible for chronic health conditions like atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Oh, and EVOO contains a ton of anti-inflammatory phenols and polyphenols to further combat those previously mention conditions (source).

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As you can imagine, I frequently use EVOO to saute veggies and as my go-to salad dressing (2 parts EVOO + 1 part vinegar). I also use it to make my baked sweet potatoes fries nice & crispy, add extra flavor to my fried eggs and add even more monounsaturated fat to my daily avocado snack.

I mentioned it quickly earlier in this post, but it is very important that you purchase your EVOO from a reputable producer to get the optimum amount of health benefits. There are two great books, Extra Virginity Real Food / Fake Food, that describe some of the deception associated with olive oil.

A couple quite tips I’ll give you in regards to purchasing EVOO are buy imported and make sure the container it comes in is NOT clear (light can cause oxidation over time). If you have a brand of EVOO that you swear by, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to share it with us via email (elementaltampa@gmail.com) or snap a pic of the bottle and share it on our social channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) and don’t forget FAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU FAT!

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – How Having A Baby Changes Everything

Hi all! Shannon here.

This week, we’re talking about our own “labor day” recap and how having our baby girl (whom we are madly in love with) has changed everything, including our sleep habits.

We know there are a number of listeners who have been following our pregnancy journey closely, watching when we posted to social media for any sign that we “popped.”

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Without getting into graphic details, here’s a quick recap of our labor story:

Our last doctor appointment was on a Friday and the doctor basically informed us that we were no closer to labor than the previous week’s appointment, but since we were overdue at that point (by three days) it really could happen at any time.

Well, our baby apparently was ease dropping and decided she didn’t want to wait for an induction, because less than two days later, contractions started. I powered through them at home for about 17 hours (they started around 4am on a Sunday) but we finally went to the hospital late that night in the hopes of being admitted (yes, they do frequently send you home if you’re not far enough along).

Thankfully, we got the thumbs up to stay and after another 11 hours of contractions, a number of which were seriously intensified due to a dose of Pitocin, I finally asked for an epidural. It had been a total of 28 hours of labor at that point – it was time. Things happened pretty quickly after that and about four hours later our doctor arrived to give us the go ahead to start pushing. Less than an hour later our little lady made her grand entrance into the world.

Story time with Ella

Some respiratory concerns resulted in a trip to NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), but thankfully, she recovered en route so that she didn’t actually have to be admitted. A couple hours of observation in the nursery later, she arrived to our recovery room healthy and hungry.

As new parents, we were terrified for those two hours, but we knew she was in the best possible hands. Finally getting to hold her and have her in our arms was the best feeling we could imagine though.

Two days at the hospital consisted of all the usual tests, check-ups, visits, baby care lessons, administrative chores, and sleepless hours, but we were still just so grateful and happy. Our baby’s nocturnal habits didn’t match up with hours though and he need to be fed every 2-3 hours was one of the more challenging aspects. We knew it was coming, had been warned in all our books, classes and by all our friends/family, but that doesn’t make it any easier to prep for. Regardless, our exact words on the whole experience were, “We are deliriously exhausted and deliriously happy.”

Sleepy with Ella

Deliriously happy & exhausted

Once we returned home with baby in tow, life continued to change. Likely because we were struggling with sleep, a recent headline on the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Medicine caught our attention, as this year’s went to three Americans for their work on Body Clock Studies.

Their study focused on the health effects that the circadian rhythm has on adult humans who are naturally diurnal (meaning we are wired to be up during daylight hours). The scientists discovered that a protein actually builds up in the body during sleep (at night) and then dissipates during the day, which is concrete evidence that explains how our sleep syncs up with our natural body clocks. The discovery of this protein could lead to future advancements in treatment for chronic conditions that cause or are caused by a misaligned circadian rhythm (that is HUGE!).

At the end of the day (literally), sleep is crucial to your health, so if you’re not getting enough (like us right now) it is really important that you try to get back to that natural sleep rhythm. Until more studies result in a way to counteract or alter the circadian rhythm, we’re all attached to that body clock!

Nick and I will be trying to encourage better sleep habits in our household as soon as we can so that everyone stays healthy. In the meantime, we’ll stumble a bit through our days, but the podcast will keep coming!

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In fact, we are making some big moves regarding the podcast, including a new sponsorship and a discount code for you listeners. Please make sure you share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating and review in iTunes and on our new Addicted to Fitness Podcast Facebook page.

Follow us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) for loads of other updates and to see some proud parent pictures of our baby girl. We try to keep the posts balanced though, so don’t worry – they’re not all baby related.

Until next time, we hope you’re looking after your health and fitness and look forward to bringing you some new info in the next episode!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/how-having-a-baby-changes-everything/id1121420986?i=1000393567380&mt=2

Android: http://subscribeonandroid.com/addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/rss

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/how-having-a-baby-changes-everything

Weekend Workout – I’ve Got Boxing On The Brain

My recent chat with combat sports historian, Dr. L.A. Jennings, on the ATF podcast (episode link) inspired me to share a weekend workout that features several boxing techniques. The workout below integrates a couple of hand combinations with a pair of body weight exercises that I guarantee will make you sweat!

Head to the ETT YouTube channel (link) if you need further instruction on the cross + lead hook and/or jab + power uppercut hand combinations. 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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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – The Return of Combat Sports Historian, Dr. L.A. Jennings

This week’s show notes brought to you by the lovely Shannon

Thanks for checking out the latest episode of Addicted to Fitness!

Please help us grow our audience by sharing the podcast and giving us a rating and review in iTunes or our new Addicted to Fitness Podcast Facebook page.

This week, we’re excited to bring you an interview with our first repeat guest – our good friend and Nick’s former coach, Dr. L.A. Jennings. L.A. and her husband Mike own a popular MMA gym in Denver, CO called Train. Fight. Win. (TFW), of which Nick was the first member over eight years ago.

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Let’s get into the interview.

Like many of the best places, the gym L.A. and her husband started, TFW, was born from humble beginnings. The start included days when no clients would even show up to train. Flash forward to today when TFW boasts its own competitive fight team along with a healthy crew of clients who participate in conditioning, striking and grappling classes.

Local fight organizations are even starting to feature TFW on highly publicized fight cards, exposing the gym to an even broader audience and helping to attract more individuals with competition experience to the gym.

Outside the gym, L.A. has an extensive list of achievements including becoming a published author of essentially the encyclopedia on the history of female combat sports called She’s A Knockout: A History of Women in Fighting Sports.

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L.A. is currently working with the organization Wrestle Like A Girl to get girls wrestling sanctioned in middle schools and high schools around the country. Believe it or not, only six states currently have sanctioned girls wrestling at that level.

She had been writing for Vice’s Fightland, but decided she would rather focus her research and content creation into another medium. The chosen medium? Well, it turns out that our ATF podcast actually inspired L.A. to start her own podcast called The Warm-Up, which includes historical accounts of important sporting events throughout time.

It’s safe to say, we’ve already added the podcast to our must-listen list. Knowing L.A., it’s bound to be a hit!

Next, we discussed our thoughts and feelings on the hyped-up Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight. L.A. was particularly interested in the topic because McGregor really helped MMA fighters command more respect when it comes to negotiating contracts and demanding better pay.

We also commented on the most highly anticipated boxing event in recent history, Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez, which ended in a controversial decision and reignited the ever-present idea that boxing is a corrupt sport.

These topics really emphasized that even though combat sports have been around since ancient times, they are still evolving in modern times.

Finally, make sure you check out L.A.’s book and podcast, and if you’re ever in Denver stop by Train. Fight. Win. and tell them Nick and Shannon from the ATF podcast sent you. You can also follow TFW on Instagram (@tfw_denver) and L.A. on Twitter @Dr_LA_Jennings.

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As always, thanks for listening to this week’s episode. Send us an email (elementaltampa@gmail.com) or give us a shout on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) if you have any questions or topics for future episodes. In the meantime, we’ll keep working to bring you exciting experts and timely info on health and fitness.

Links to this week’s episode:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2&i=1000393234960

Android: http://subscribeonandroid.com/addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/rss

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/the-return-of-combat-sports-historian-dr-la-jennings

Weekend Workout – Make Sure You Warm-up Before You Warm-up

Dynamic warm-up movements can increase body temperature, activate your nervous system and increase range of motion all while getting your body in optimal condition to workout. They can also be combined with a pair of speed drills to produce a cardio & strength building workout.

I recommend performing the dynamic warm-up & speed exercises below in a three to five set interval workout. You still have to warm-up and modify this workout to match your fitness level.

If you complete this or any weekend workout, please let us know in the comment section below OR 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 – The Best Smelling Health Food There Is

Most foods produce a distinct smell while cooking, but there is only a select few that elicit the “that smells awesome’ response from me while being prepared. The items that bring my olfactory senses to their figurative knees include:

  • Bacon: I know vegans that even enjoy the smell of cured pork bellies.
  • Coffee: Shannon didn’t drink caffeinated coffee while pregnant, but she loved smelling the beans.
  • Bread: We have a Cuban bakery in our neighborhood that makes me want to go on a carb binge every time I drive by.
  • Shallots: Doesn’t matter what meal is being prepared. If shallots are being used, I’m salivating and THAT’S one of the reasons why they are today’s menu spotlight.

Shallots belong to the Allium genus of vegetables, which also includes onions, leeks, garlic, etc. I’ve already declared my love for garlic in a previous menu spotlight (click here to check it out), and I often cook garlic & shallots together to double up on the mouth-watering aroma. As much as I would like Yankee Candle to carry a shallot scented candle, its perfume isn’t the main reason I love it so much.

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By weight, shallots contain more vitamins and minerals than its larger cousin the onion. Approximately one cup of shallots contains a significant amount of our recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, copper and iron. They also contain more antioxidants, by weight, than any other Allium vegetable (source). Research suggests that one particular antioxidant possessed by shallots can mitigate the damaging effects of several chronic health conditions.

When you chop or crush a shallot, you cause an enzymatic reaction that produces the sulfur containing antioxidant known as allicin. In specific scientific studies (source), this antioxidant has been shown to:

  • Reduce cholesterol.
  • Combat viral, bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Protect against certain forms of cancer.
  • Regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Who would have thought that the onion mini-me would possess so many health benefits. Honestly, shallots taste & smell so good that I’d still use them even if they didn’t have all the health benefits.

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One recipe I frequently add shallots to is my breakfast bowl (pictured above). Besides shallots, the breakfast bowl includes dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.), mushrooms, mini sweet peppers, several eggs and diced tomatoes. I make sure to chop my shallots first because more allicin is produced the longer a chopped/crushed shallot goes uncooked. Next, I saute the mushrooms and peppers till soft (3-5 minutes), chop up a few tomatoes in the meantime, then throw in the greens & shallots for about a minute till the greens wilt.

Using the same pan I cooked the veggies, I fry up several over easy eggs in coconut oil. After the eggs are done, I slid them onto the cooked veggies, add the tomatoes & crushed red pepper and VOILA! Breakfast, lunch or dinner of champions.

If you’re a frequent shallot user, I’d love to hear about which dishes you add them to. Send your favorite recipe that features shallots to elementaltampa@gmail.com or reach out to us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).  I don’t think it will be better than my breakfast bowl, but there’s no shame in being runner-up.

 

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – The Pros & Cons of a Gluten-Free Diet

It appears that gluten has become public enemy number one in the world of nutrition. If it seems like more and more people are adhering to the gluten-free diet, it’s because they are. According to a 2016 Medical News Today article, around 1.6 million people in the United States follow a gluten-free diet without having been diagnosed with celiac disease. We dive into this stat and many more related to the gluten-free diet in this week’s Addicted to Fitness podcast.

Before we jump into our gluten-free discussion, Shannon and I recap our training for the week. Most of my exercise related activity was focused primarily on hurricane prep.  All the lifting, drilling, digging and carrying awkward loads mirrored a lot of the functional strength training I normally do at Tampa Strength (website link). It’s almost like I’ve been training for the hurricane.

Shannon on the other hand was participating in a much more structured exercise program. We’ve been talking about it a lot in the past several episodes and it has finally come to a culmination. Shannon has completed her Bella Prana yoga teacher training program. Eight months of immersion weekends, at home projects, leading & assisting her own classes and taking numerous yoga classes finally came to an end with a final “exam.”

Her exam consisted of constructing and leading another student through a 1-on-1 yoga session. The other student happened to be pregnant, which allowed Shannon to use the prenatal techniques that she has grown so fond of throughout her program. She passed her final and is now a 200 hour certified yoga teacher and couldn’t say enough good things about the program and the relationships she developed with her fellow classmates. Click here if you’re interested in learning more about the Bella Prana teacher training program.

Upon completing our training recap, we jump right into our gluten-free diet discussion. The vast of the majority of the info we refer to in our discussion comes from that 2016 Medical News Today article I referred to earlier (link). For those that are unaware, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale (a combination of wheat and rye).

Gluten-free foods are especially important to individuals who have celiac disease, which is an autoimmune response that attacks the lining of the small intestine. This can lead to celiac sufferers to be unable to effectively absorb nutrients into their bloodstream, which can lead to anemia, delayed growth, and weight loss.

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Almond meal frequently used in gluten-free recipes

It appears that individuals with celiac disease aren’t the only ones suffering due to gluten. There is an estimated 18 million people in the U.S. that have some form of gluten intolerance – referred to medically as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). The symptoms associated with NCGS include bloating or gas, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, “brain fog,” and itchy skin rash.

However, eating gluten-free isn’t without its pitfalls. Shannon and I present the benefits & disadvantages of eating gluten-free for those with NCGS. You’ll have to listen to the episode to hear the full list of pros and cons, but if you’re interested in learning more about celiac disease and gluten-free cooking, I’d suggest you listen to the past ATF with gluten-free cookbook author Anna Vocino (episode link).

We wrap up this week’s podcast describing several gluten-free grain substitutes including quinoa, flax seed and buckwheat. FYI – many foods are naturally gluten-free, including fruits and vegetables, fresh eggs, fresh meats, fish and poultry (not marinated, breaded, or batter-coated), unprocessed beans, seeds & nuts, and the lots of dairy products, which conicide with Shannon and I’s proclivity to whole, unprocessed foods.

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If you follow a gluten-free diet and want to add any pros or cons to our list, feel free to send them to us via email (elementaltampa@gmail.com) or by reaching out to us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). We’d also really love, Love, LOVE it if you gave us a rating & review on iTunes (link) OR our brand new Facebook page (link).

We’ll be back next week with an interview episode featuring our first repeat guest. Thanks for listening 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=486bb77f8f4f0f6d4e74e0c8e1ffe155

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/the-pros-cons-of-a-gluten-free

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/the-pros-cons-of-a-gluten-free-diet