One food item that I feel a lot of people have a hard time giving up when trying to eat a more low-carb diet is pasta, specifically the dry variety. It’s cheap, easy to prepare, and can be used in a multitude of different dishes. However, the glycemic response to most pasta, especially those not cooked al dente, can be higher than non-starchy vegetables not to mention possible inflammation due to gluten sensitivity. What’s the solution to keeping your weekly pasta dish while sticking to your low-carb diet? THE SPIRALIZER! This fantastic kitchen gadget can turn any vegetable into noodles. You got a zucchini? BOOM, ZOODLES! You got a carrot? BOOM, COODLES! You got a, ok I think you get the idea. This product is easy to use and usually comes with several different blades and can spiralize pretty much anything. You can see below it has no problem turning a whole sweet potato into shoe string sweet potatoes (FYI – sweet potatoes and pasta have a similar glycemic load). There is a handheld version, but I would recommend the countertop version because it’s much easier to use and is only about $10 more on Amazon. I think this is a great investment for anyone trying to reduce the amount of processed carbs in their diet. If you have a veggie spiralizer, let me know what your go-to recipes are.
I really enjoy yoga. Every aspect of it. The holding of poses, the breathing, and dare I say the spirituality of it. The benefits it can provide anyone, even strength athletes, makes it the perfect complement to any workout plan. Yoga and workouts that are centered around yoga can vary in poses, tempo, and even environment (i.e. hot yoga). One variation that I’ve been practicing lately is DDP Yoga, which was created by former pro wrestler Diamond Dallas Page. Unlike the more “traditional” yoga classes I’ve participated in, DDP yoga incorporates more movement into its workouts. It contains a few explosive exercises like punches and knee strikes, but the majority of the movements are slow and deliberate. Page instructs users to employ “dynamic resistance” which involves contracting certain muscles groups while you perform a specific movement. You are essentially working against the resistance created by your own muscles to complete the workout. I enjoy using DDP yoga on my active rest days because it allows me to improve my flexibility and is a great stress reliever. DDP Yoga exercises will most likely not be new to anyone that has participated in yoga before, but it is a great introduction to anyone who is new to the discipline. The best aspect of DDP Yoga is that Page coaches you through all the workouts. He provides modifications to all the exercises for any fitness level and is a great workout instructor. He is able to motivate you to work hard while simultaneously conveying the importance of adjusting the workout to meet your fitness level. I would definitely recommend DDP Yoga to anyone that is interested in incorporating yoga into their current workout plan or someone who has taken a hiatus from exercise and is looking for a workout routine that will help them regain their physical fitness. Check out what Men’s Journal thought about DDP Yoga and let me know what exercises you’re performing on your active rest days.