What’s on the Menu – The one soft drink that doesn’t make me sick to my stomach

Yes. There is an actual difference between ginger ale and ginger beer, at least in theory. Traditional ginger beers, use fermentation to create the carbonation & usually yield a stronger ginger flavor. Ginger beer can contain alcohol, but most available nowadays do not. Ginger ale on the other hand is sweetened soda water with added ginger flavor (source). Even though I believe soft drinks can cause serious health problems, these two ginger sodas do offer moderate health benefits, but it’s certainly not because of their sugar content.

There is a reason why they offer you a ginger ale on the plane if you’re feeling nauseous. Studies performed in the last 10 years suggest that ginger can not only help with your run of the mill upset stomach, but it can also alleviate the nausea associated with sea sickness, chemotherapy and pregnancy. It’s important to know that they did not use ginger ale in these research studies. They actually determined that 1-1.5 g of ginger (raw or powdered) could alleviate symptoms associated with these various types of nausea (source). The medicinal effects of ginger don’t stop there.

pexels-photo-128403

Ginger also contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound known as gingerol (clever name).  This compound has been linked to the reduction of certain side effects of chronic health conditions like osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes and cancer. In fact, several recent studies have determined that gingerols “may be effective chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents” in the treatment of colorectal and ovarian cancers (source). The relief of day-to-day muscle pain provided by gingerol is another beneficial aspect.

In 2010, a small study conducted at the University of Georgia suggested that regular ginger supplementation could reduce exercise-induced muscle pain (source). As someone who essentially lives at the gym, this quality alone makes throwing a couple hunks of ginger in my smoothie or afternoon tea worth the spicy kick.

Menu pic 5-25

Much like garlic, I’ve eaten whole hunks of ginger root. However, the intense flavor can be a little much. Which is why I love cooking with it instead of swallowing it whole. I’m a big fan of sauteing up minced ginger in a pan before I toss in vegetables and shrimp for a delicious stir fry. I know it’s a big component of Asian cooking, but I’ve found that it can provide a whole new flavor to a variety of dishes.

I’d love to hear your preferred method of consuming ginger. As long as the recipe doesn’t contain the words “Canada Dry” feel free to send them to elementaltampa@gmail.com or just tweet us a picture the next time you cook with it. Our Twitter and Instagram handle is @ettampa. Let’s connect!

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Mothers know best & OUR BIGGEST ANNOUNCEMENT EVER!

Even though Mother’s Day has come and gone, Shannon and I wanted to give our moms the credit they deserve for their influence on our current approach to health and fitness. We describe the pertinent life lessons they bestowed upon us, then we share the BIGGEST ANNOUCEMENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE PODCAST! Before we get into all that, we recap our training for the week.

Both Shannon and I performed our normal training routine of HIIT workouts, strength training at Tampa Strength and rides on the Peloton cycle. We also got in workouts during our Mother’s Day weekend trip to the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. Shannon did a nice long walk (almost 2 miles!) on the beach and I knocked out a total body workout at the hotel’s fitness center. As you can imagine, the Ritz Carlton fitness center is full of state of the art equipment and is staffed with several personal trainers. We don’t get spoiled with trips like this too often, which is why I do my best to take full advantage of it.

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 5.58.00 AM.png

Photo of Ritz’s Fitness Center courtesy of ritzcarlton.com

After our training recap, Shannon launches into a description of the lessons her mom taught her about health & fitness. If you’ve listened to Addicted to Fitness in the past, you probably already know that Shannon’s mom is an Eastern medicine practitioner. She began her training program when Shannon was in her tweens, and often practiced her new found skills on Shannon. This exposure to “alternative” medicine compelled Shannon to develop a more holistic approach to health. As avid listeners know, Shannon isn’t big on taking medications like pain killers or antibiotics. We both realize the importance of Western medicine, but we are more attracted to the idea of treating the cause of specific health problems, not just the symptoms. My mom didn’t have a health specific career, but her occupation did shape my current approach to health & fitness.

Since I’ve been alive, my mom has been in school. This is somewhat of paradox because while she was in school, she was also a teacher. My mom has been in a constant state of education for as long as I can remember. She recently earned her PhD and her continual dedication to learning definitely affected how I approach health & fitness. I’m always interested in learning the most up to date information in regards to this subject in order to pass it along to my clients and listeners of the podcast. My mom also taught me to swim when I was 6 months old, which came in handy during the several triathlons I participated in as an adult.

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 6.37.01 AM

After giving props to our moms, we get into our BIG announcement. I could go into detail about what it involves, but that would kill the tease! There is a definite theme in this week’s episode but you’ll have to listen to find out what our big news is. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, but once you hear the news, please feel free to reach out to us if you’re going through the same process.

We’re always looking for feedback on the subjects we discuss on the podcast. You can reach us via email (elementaltampa@gmail.com), social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) or leave us a rating & review in iTunes. I say it at the end of each episode, and I’ll say it now, you’re feedback help us get better. Thanks for listening and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mothers-know-best-our-biggest-announcement-ever/id1121420986?i=1000385674669&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/moms-know-best

What’s on the Menu – I can see clearly now

None of us are getting any younger. I know that’s not exactly breaking news, but I recently reached the point in my life where I’m beginning to feel the effects of aging. I cruised through my 20s with little concern every time my birthday rolled around. Now, as I inch closer to 34, I’m starting to experience issues that would have never affected me 5 years ago.

My muscles take a little longer to recover from a tough workout. It’s hard for me to be energetic the day after a poor night’s sleep and if I decide to forgo “clean eating” for a night, my digestive system is in turmoil for at least 24 hours. Fortunately, there is one bodily function that has yet to be touched by the hands of father time and I believe that has a lot to do with today’s menu spotlight.

Salad

Whether it be in a salad I packed for lunch or Shannon’s delicious Saucy Tomato Eggs (clink link for recipe), bell peppers frequently make their way into many of our meals. Unlike their spicy cousins, bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, which is why they’re often referred to as sweet peppers. True to their name, bell peppers provide a sweet flavor and a tremendous crunch to any recipe. Even though they lack the beneficial capsaicin compound, bell peppers provide a host of beneficial nutrients that can help manage several different health conditions, including poor eye sight.

One medium sized red bell pepper contains approximately 75% of our recommended daily value of vitamin A. Research has shown that the vitamin A contained in vegetables like bell peppers not only protects the surface of the eye, but also decreases the inflammation created by specific eye conditions (source). In addition to vitamin A, bell peppers also contain high levels of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to be effective in the treatment of age-related vision loss (source). Believe it or not, the bell pepper’s health benefits don’t stop there.

Menu pic 5-18

Bell peppers also contain a significant amount of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate and numerous antioxidants. This nutrient dense fruit/veggie improves immunity, reduces inflammation, promotes healthy pregnancies and stimulates collagen production. It’s important to remember that a lot of the vitamins bell peppers possess are fat soluble vitamins. Which means you need to prepare them with a fat source. Sauteing them up in olive oil or butter should do the trick (source).

I know I included the link already, but do yourself a favor and check out Shannon’s saucy tomato eggs recipe. If I had to pick only one meal that contained bell peppers to eat for the rest of my life, it would be that one.

No doubt about it.

If you have a recipe that features bell peppers that you can’t live without, please let me know about it. You can email your recipes to elementaltampa@gmail.com or post a pic of your favorite bell pepper recipe on one of our various social media channels. It’s going to be hard to beat Shannon’s recipe, but you can try.

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – An Interview with the CEO & Founder of Growing Rootz, Carlen Garmon

We’re bringing you another interview episode of Addicted to Fitness this week. Before we get to our interview, Shannon and I discuss a pair of upcoming fitness related events we’re looking forward to. Shannon has another yoga immersion weekend for her Bella Prana teacher training program coming up and I will be starting a new morning boot camp at Tampa Strength. If you live in the Tampa area and want to start your morning off with fun & effective workout come check out the Rise & Grind Boot Camp (link).

After our fitness updates, we jump into my interview with the CEO & Founder of the organic grocery delivery service Growing Rootz (link), Carlen Garmon. Carlen began her pursuit of optimizing her health when she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (link) and hyperinsulinemia (link) in her early twenties. She decided to go off her medications once she became pregnant and instead used a diet of whole & organic foods to help treat her conditions. This shift in nutrition was a driving force behind the creation of Growing Rootz.

Growing Rootz provides customers in the Tampa Bay Area with organic quality produce, pastured & grass fed meat, free range eggs, raw dairy, bone broth and other wholesome goodies. Carlen believes that these types of products allow our bodies to function at an optimum level which is one of the main ideals that she incorporates into her holistic health coaching. I’m always skeptical when I hear a person label themselves as a health coach, but as you’ll hear, Carlen has a lot of personal experience dealing with health conditions that a lot of people struggle with.

Podcast pic 5-15

Interviewing professionals in the field of health & fitness is one of the main reasons why I began the Addicted to Fitness podcast. Even though all their stories are different, they seem to have one similar quality:

A situation arose in their lives where they had to make a decision on whether or not to make their fitness & health a top priority, and they did so.

I hope that this podcast can help inspire some of you to make a similar choice. This podcast is called Addicted to Fitness because we know how beneficial being obessesed with your health can be. If you agree please let us know. Feel free to email us at elementaltampa@gmail.com or hit us up on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). We’d also really appreciate a honest rating and review in the iTunes. Thanks again for all the support & stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/interview-ceo-founder-growing-rootz-carlen-garmon/id1121420986?i=1000385437699&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/an-interview-with-the-ceo-founder-of-growing-rootz-carlen-garmon

 

What’s on the Menu – Grass vs. Grain

Today’s menu spotlight will focus on the nutritional differences of grass fed and grain fed beef. Before I get into the nutritional research I gathered, I want to quickly touch on the environmental & animal welfare aspects of both types of beef. Even though the production of both types of cattle can vary widely based on current regulations, I feel comfortable stating a few generalities about both. Grain fed cattle tend to live the duration of their lives in indoor feed lots and consume grain products like corn and soy. Grass fed cattle live the majority of their lives in pastures feeding on the grass available to them. Based on these points, the lives of grass fed cattle are more similar to that of their wild ancestors than grain fed cattle.

I want to reiterate that these are generalities. The USDA has not yet set a standard that all grass fed beef producers must follow (hear more about that here), which means the conditions grass fed cattle are subjected to can vary from one producer to the next.  If you choose to buy grass fed beef, research the producer. The more you know about the beef your buying, the better. Alright, on to the nutritional comparison.

Screenshot 2017-05-11 at 12.46.33 PM

Image courtesy of American Grassfed Association (link)

Can food and environment actually affect the nutrient composition of a species? You bet it can!

A 2010 study determined that grass fed beef can have up to 5 times more omega 3 fatty acids than grain fed beef. This is important because omega 3’s reduce inflammation and lower the chance of us acquiring insidious health conditions like heart disease and dementia (source).

In addition to fatty acids, grass fed also contains a different saturated fat composition than grain fed. While the amount of saturated fat in both types of beef is relatively similar, grass fed contains a higher proportion of stearic acid than grain fed. This component of saturated fat has been determined NOT to raise blood cholesterol levels, meaning that grass fed can have less of an effect on your cholesterol than grain fed (source).

Grass fed also contains more vitamin E and beta-carotene than grain fed. Our body uses these nutrients to help prevent the production of free radicals, which have the ability to create damaging health conditions like arthritis and cancer. These particular antioxidants also work together to prevent nutrient degradation during the beef’s journey from farm to table (source).

Menu pic 5-11

Even though I’m a big grass fed cheerleader, weird visual, both types of beef are highly nutritious in regards to macronutrients. Three ounces of 85/15 (lean meat to fat ratio) ground beef contains 13g of fat, 22g of protein and no carbs. But when you factor in the environmental impact and animal welfare differences, along with its micronutrient superiority, spending a extra cash on grass fed seems like a no brainer. Plus, your purchases can help revitalize the small farm industry, which I believe is key to changing our current industrialized food system.

I know cost is one reason why people choose not to buy grass fed beef, but I’d like to hear if there are any other reasons. Feel free to send us an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com or contact us on social media.

All you grass fed lovers can hit us up too! Send us a pic of your favorite meal featuring grass fed beef. We’d also love to see pics of the local farm you pick up your beef from.

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Core Strength & Green Spaces: Tips to Live a Longer, Healthier Life

You may notice that this week’s episode starts off a little differently. I hate to give a spoiler but I did the intro this week! Nick handed over the reigns and let me take a crack at kicking things off. How’d I do?

In a quick recap of our training, we both shared our recent use of the Peloton including my preference for switching up class types on certain days of the week. We also discuss our fondness for Peloton instructor Steve Little’s (peloton profile link) endurance classes which focus on zone 2 training. Nick loves to compliment long rides on the bike with intense strength training sessions at Tampa Strength, while I like to mix in yoga and HIIT workouts at home.

Something we’ve both been focusing on in our own ways is core work. Which brings us to one of our primary topics for this week – Core “complaints”.

Steve little pic

One of many story posts from Nick’s instagram (@ettampa)

Nick found an informative article in Health magazine discussing several common complaints from individuals trying to get rid of “ab flab” including the common “I can’t see my abs.” So why do all those crunches not result in a rock hard, visible middle?

An individual’s core is not just those 6-pack abs – it’s all the muscle groups that make up our midsection (abdominals, obliques, lumbar, etc.).  Whether you can see the cut muscles or not (which frequently comes down to diet – tip: increase soluble fiber, good fats and calcium) a stronger core helps you have better control of your extremities and allows you to be more mobile later in life.

Another common complaint discussed is people saying they hold fat in their midsection, but this largely comes down to your genetics and body type. You can avoid that troublesome belly fat by staying away from refined grains & processed foods. The article offers up some good suggestions on other diet tips if you’re interested.

Whether you sit a lot for work or are just looking to strengthen your core, be sure you get up and move during your day; even standing will help you build core strength. Try to see if your office will get you a standing desk or better yet a treadmill desk!

From here we segue over to several “unconventional” tips on extending your life from a recent blog post by Mark Sisson. The five tips that we break down are:

  • Live somewhere green/grown lots of plants
  • Follow your life’s purpose
  • Eat lots of collagen
  • Get really cold/really hot on a regular basis (check out our past episode on cryotherapy)
  • Keep your spouse as healthy as you are (we agree this is the most important)

We’re always looking to share methods on how to live healthier lives on this podcast. Which is why we’re excited to announce that next week’s episode features an interview with the owner & founder of an organic grocery delivery service, Carlen Garmon (Growing Rootz Facebook). You won’t wanna miss it.

Podcast pic 5-8

You can stay up to date with everything we’re doing by following us on social media. Nick has been working hard on keeping his Instagram, including stories, up-to-date so be sure to check it out. Get in touch with us in between episodes on Facebook or by emailing us at elementaltampa@gmail.com. Your feedback and support continues to help us grow and we are extremely grateful. Keep rating, reviewing and sharing the podcast!

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/core-strength-green-spaces-tips-to-live-longer-healthier/id1121420986?i=1000385205121&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/core-strength-green-spaces-ways-to-live-a-healthier-life

What’s on the Menu – How to avoid the common cold & vampire bites

Some of you may know what #WCW means. If by chance you’re not privy to the seemingly endless amount of social media hashtags there are nowadays, WCW is an acronym that stands for “woman crush Wednesday.” Apparently, men and women use this hashtag to let their social media followers know which lady “caught their fancy” that week. I’ve yet to participate in the WCW trend, but if I had to pick someone (other than my wife Shannon of course) I’d go with Dr. Rhonda Patrick (site link).

I’ve professed my platonic love for Dr. Rhonda Patrick numerous times in this blog and on the Addicted to Fitness podcast. Her recall for scientific facts and data is ASTOUNDING! I’ve listened to her on multiple podcasts, including her own (link), and it’s damn near impossible to remember all the information she rattles off. One particular piece of information that stuck with me involved the benefits garlic can offer to combating infections.

The majority of research on the antimicrobial benefits of garlic have yet to produce substantial results, but that may be due to the fact that those studies used garlic supplements instead of raw garlic. Dr. Rhonda Patrick described mitigating the effects of a MRSA infection she experienced by eating raw cloves of garlic & taking megadoses of vitamin C. In addition to her anecdotal evidence, a recent 2016 study demonstrated that eating raw garlic significantly reduced the amount of a specific pathogenic stomach bacteria (source). As unappealing as eating raw garlic sounds, there is a scientific reason to why it may be healthier for you than cooked garlic.

One of the numerous sulfur compounds contained in garlic is alliin. Once a garlic clove is crushed or chopped, the alliin converts to allicin. Allicin is believed to be the compound contained in garlic that provides the majority of its antimicrobial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory benefits. What’s interesting is that more alliin is converted to allicin the longer the crushed clove goes uncooked or uneaten (source). This means that in order to receive the maximum amount of health benefits from garlic, you should eat it raw. However, if you’re not prepared to take that leap, simply crush it and let it sit on your cutting board for 10-15 minutes before cooking it. You’ll still enjoy a certain amount of the health benefits without having to endure the bad breath.

Garlic - ADOS

Shannon and I are absolute garlic FIENDS! I don’t remeber the last meal we prepared that didn’t include garlic and/or shallots, which also contain allicin. We’ll chop up a few cloves and toss them in everything from veggies to meatloaf. I’ve also eaten cloves of raw garlic on the rare occasions that I felt a bit under the weather. I’m not sure if I have that ritual to thank for not being sick in a long time, but research suggest that it definitely doesn’t hurt.

If you are one of the brave souls who has eaten raw garlic or if you just enjoy throwing a few cloves in with your sautéed veggies, let us know! Send your favorite recipe that features garlic to elementaltampa@gmail.com or reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  We love to interact!

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Unicorn Food: Starbucks didn’t start the trend

Shannon here. I’m finally back this week bringing you the show notes for our newest, and certainly one of our more trendy episodes. This week we jumped on the trend of unicorn foods. But before we get into the multi-colored fun, we tackle a quick recap of the week’s training.

I proudly hit my modified training goals – 4 training days a week including 3 days on the Peloton cycle and a HIIT workout that focuses on legs, butt and back. Sometimes it’s the little victories that make your week.

I’ve also started sharing some of my yoga learnings and leading Nick through yoga training, starting with basic vinyasa flows focusing on proper alignment. We even quickly chatted about areas of yoga that I’m most interested in.

Nick had his first appointment with his new functional medicine doctor. No worries, there were no particular issues that inspired it, but rather a general search for knowledge about what was going on in his body.

Functional medicine is focused treating underlying causes of symptoms, not just the symptoms themselves. Nick’s doctor was very thorough in their initial appointment, even commenting on his low heart rate and making some… interesting samples requests. Chances are we’ll be talking about the results on an upcoming episode!

Now, onto the trendy talk – unicorn foods. The mystical food trend around rainbow colored foods that started on Instagram and has spread to brands across the world. Most recently, Starbucks jumped on the swirly color food item and they debuted a rather controversial product – the Unicorn Frappuccino.

Pictures of the concoction – pink and blue swirls of sugary blended ice complete with sprinkle topped whipped cream – appeared all over with a note that it would only be available for a limited time, so of course I had to pick one up for coworkers and I to sample.

Nick was not so inclined to try it and took a very adverse position to the whole thing, somewhat outraged that a ridiculous cup of sugary iced syrup could get so much attention. Nick even quoted a line from his man crush, Anthony Bourdain about his hate for Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino.

Granted he was fairly unaware of the whole unicorn food trend anyways. It wasn’t until I reminded him of the viral sensation that was the Squatty Potty video in which an animated unicorn pooped out rainbow soft serve.

So where’s the health/fitness hook, right? Well, we dive into the nutrition facts of this particular item and it rocks some particularly lengthy amounts of flavorings and sugar. And amidst the laundry list of ingredients, Nick was most scandalized that there was NO COFFEE IN IT at all. There was a scary combination of fat (16g) and sugar (58g) in a grande (medium) though.

The most shocking part? The Unicorn Frappuccino is not the worst offender on their menu. Most of the frappuccinos are just as bad on the nutrition side. This led us to talking about how Starbucks, which has quickly jumped in to compete with fast-food restaurants, doesn’t always boast the best food options. It’s really just the straight coffee that isn’t too terrible.

In the end, the responsibility of keeping a healthy balance comes down to us (the customers) making the right decisions. So be sure you take a peak at what’s in your food and try to keep a good balance if you partake in even the trendy foods.

Finally, we recapped some of the listener responses from our previous episode – when do you listen to the podcast – and the most common response seems to be while commuting. So thank you to EVERYONE who is listening, whenever and wherever.

Podcast pic 5-1

This week, let us know if you’re a trendy food or just unicorn food lover!

As always please send any and all feedback to elementaltampa@gmail.com or drop us a line on social media. Have a healthy and balanced week!

Links to this week’s episodes:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/unicorn-food-starbucks-didnt-start-the-trend/id1121420986?i=1000384951994&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/unicorn-food-starbucks-arent-the-only-offenders