carbs

Thanksgiving Edition What’s on the Menu & Weekend Workout

Earlier this year I wrote about the recent rise in popularity of the sweet potato. I attributed the 80% increase in consumption of sweet potatoes in the U.S. between 2000 – 2014 (source) to the emergence of the Paleo Diet. Before the Paleo diet even made it into modern-day vernacular, sweet potatoes were a regular Thanksgiving Day staple, even though they were often referred to by another name.

Multiple varieties of sweet potatoes have been grown in the United States since colonial times. In order to differentiate the different types, farmers used the term “yam” which was derived from the name of a root vegetable native to Africa that closely resembled the sweet potato. This was the start of the culinary name game and eventually led to the USDA including “sweet potato” on the label of yams sold in the US (source).

If you really want to include yams in your Thanksgiving, you’ll have to hit up the international supermarkets. It may be worth the trip because real yams do have some nutritional advantages over their starchy doppelgänger.

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When compared to 1/2 cup of peeled and boiled sweet potatoes, yams contain:

  • Less sugars but more carbs
  • More fiber but less sodium
  • More potassium but FAR less vitamin A (source)

Ultimately, if you’re looking for foods lower on the glycemic index, you’ll want to seek out true yams. That may be a good idea on Thanksgiving considering Americans consume an average of 3000 calories during Thanksgiving dinner alone (source).

A few tricks you can utilize to avoid holiday binge eating include chewing your food more thoroughly, putting your fork down between bites, not going back for seconds and completing the following workout before sitting down for your Turkey day feast.

11-18 ETT weekend workout

This workout focuses on your core, which is another reason you’ll want to complete it BEFORE you eat dinner on Thanksgiving. I recommend performing the following exercises in superset format, which requires you to complete a desired number of repetitions for 3 separate exercises in succession.

Supersets allow you to up the intensity of your workout in a shorter period of time. A shorter, more intense workout will give you more time to spend with friends and family. Just make sure you warmup and modify the workout to match your fitness level.

Let us know in the comment section below if you completed this or any pre-holiday workout. ENJOY & HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Day Macros Game

Autumn is in full swing, the Halloween candy has been devoured, and signs advertising turkeys are posted in pretty much every grocery store window in America. Yes, it is almost Thanksgiving time! Which is why this week, we’re bringing you the return of our Thanksgiving Marcos Game where Nick and I face off in a battle of nutrition knowledge (kind of) and deductive reasoning.

But first, we highlight training notes for the week and share a tip for your holiday eating this year.

Let’s start with Nick’s training. He’s been enjoying a surprising aspect of his position teaching classes at Title Boxing & Kickboxing; he gets to meet a wide range of individuals, including a YMCA sports director and a science professor at our Alma Mater (University of Tampa). The feedback from those taking has class have been flowing in and it’s been really positive. Meanwhile, the ETT tribe has also added some new members recently in addition to welcoming back some returning folks.

Finally, Nick hinted that we’ll soon have some exciting information to share about a new program geared towards moms that Nick will be launching soon at Tampa Strength. More to come on that in a future episode, so stay tuned!

I, meanwhile, missed the mark on my training targets this past week due to some increased time demands from our baby girl. However, I did manage to get on the Peloton for a couple rides and incorporate some short yoga and circuit training workouts in addition to the daily walks/trips with the little one and our dog. Any activity is good!

shannon and the peanut

Now, we’ve talked about some holiday eating tips in the past (check out that episode here), but this year, we’re bringing you something new! And it all goes back to a very simple instruction that you probably heard from your parents growing up – Chew your food.

I discovered an interesting story in a book that we’ve had on our shelves for some time, that described the importance of chewing and cited a story from a book by Lino Stanchich, Power Eating Program: You Are How You Eat. The story was about Lino’s father, Antonio, who was a concentration camp survivor.

Hear the whole story in our podcast, but the quick summary is that Antonio and his two friends who practiced chewing their water (yes their water) survived the labor camp amidst starvation conditions, while the 29 other people in that camp did not. Chewing the water gave them more energy! The very act of chewing impacted their ability to survive with so little food.

Once Antonio was free and home, he tested the impact of chewing on his food (once up to 300 times per bite!) and found that chewing a bite of food (150 times per bite was the sweet spot he discovered) had tremendous results on his energy. Official studies have also detailed how important chewing your food is, primarily because properly chewing your food allows the rest of your digestive system to do their own jobs, versus taking extra energy to do the job of breaking down food. This is why you feel so tired after large Thanksgiving meals – you likely didn’t chew your food and your digestive system was having to do overtime to digest that monster meal!

So this year, take a page out of Antonio’s book (or rather his son, Lino’s) and really chew  each bite of your holiday meal. You don’t have to aim for 150 bites, but set a reasonable goal of 12 or 20 – just to try – and see if you feel more satisfied and have more energy by the end of your meal. It truly comes down to enjoying each and every bite. You’ll likely consume less food too, which your waistline will appreciate.

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Next we break into our 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Macros Game! (Test your knowledge and hear how we scored on the first game in this previous episode.)

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the Macros Game, it is a nutritional trivia game that requires the contestants to guess the macro nutrient (fat, protein or carbohydrate specifically) when given its amount in a serving of a certain food.

This time around, Nick and I test each other’s nutritional knowledge on foods like bone-in ham, mash potatoes, apple pie, and more items you’ll probably see on your Thanksgiving table. Listen to the podcast to see whether I was able to maintain my winning streak or if Nick broke through with the win.

Also, make sure you play along and send us your scores. If  you get a perfect score we’ll share it on all our social channels with a special shout out post!

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As we conclude, we have to share a special congrats to our sponsors at The Hemp & Coffee Exchange for closing on their first brick-and-mortar store location. More details on that announcement to come soon.

For those who don’t live in the Tampa Bay Area, you can still enjoy their sustainable super-coffee by visiting hempcoffeeexchange.com, and using the code “ATF” at checkout to get 20% off your order. It makes an incredible gift for the coffee-lovers in your life!

As always, please take a minute (seriously, it’s that fast) to rate and review the podcast in iTunes and on the Addicted to Fitness Podcast Facebook page.

Connect with us via email (elementaltampa@gmail.com) and on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Links to this week’s episode:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/2nd-annual-thanksgiving-day-macros-game/id1121420986?i=1000394733610&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/2nd-annual-thanksgiving-day

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/2nd-annual-thanksgiving-day-macros-game

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

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.

 

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!

 

What’s on the Menu – Let’s Talk Turkey

I may be guilty of propagating a myth about one of our nation’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. In the Instagram post (link) promoting this week’s menu spotlight, I suggested that the wild turkey was in a race with the bald eagle to be on our nation’s seal.

I recall hearing that historical tidbit from a reliable source and when I went to find supporting research, I found a source that seemed to confirm my statement. Upon further research, it appears the idea of Franklin championing for the wild turkey to be our nation’s symbol way back in the 18th century isn’t entirely true.

According to excerpts from a letter authored by Franklin, he did believe that the wild turkey was a “bird of courage” more likely to chase off an intruder than the bald eagle, but did NOT suggest that the turkey should be a part of our nation’s seal. It appears that Franklin was somewhat apathetic to the idea of having a bird on our nation’s seal altogether (source). Regardless of the turkey’s moral character, the fact that it provides both significant macro & micronutrients is 100% accurate.

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You won’t find these types of turkeys at your grocery store

The turkey you pick up at the grocery store looks very different from the turkeys Benjamin Franklin was talking about. They may look different but their macronutrient content is very similar. Three ounces of turkey breast, without skin, contain 2 grams (g) of fat, 0 g of carbs and 26 g of protein (source). Not a great source of healthy fat or carbs, but a definite protein powerhouse. No surprise that you find turkey on a lot of meal plans for individuals looking to put on muscle.

Much like other animal-based protein sources, turkey is high in B vitamins, B3 & B6 in particular. B3, also known as niacin, is critical for the conversion of dietary macronutrients into usable energy including the production of glycogen. For those unfamiliar with glycogen, it is an animal starch stored in our muscles as fuel for future physical activity (source). This particular function of B3 is most likely why bodybuilders ingest supplemental forms of it to help them maintain their rigorous workout schedule.

Turkey also contains a significant amount of important dietary minerals. Zinc, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and iron are several minerals you’ll absorb eating turkey, but the mineral most abundant in turkey is selenium. A 4oz serving of turkey contains 62% of our DV of selenium, which is known to be a powerful antioxidant. With that said, it should come as no surprise that the consumption of turkey, and other poultry, has been shown to reduce the risk conditions/syndromes caused by oxidative stress like pancreatic cancer (source).

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Turkey doesn’t contain the amount of fat I normally prefer in my animal protein, but that’s an easy problem to fix. Shannon and I love using ground turkey (which does have added fat) to make burgers and I throw a couple slices of avocado on them to up their fat content. The combination of the protein from the turkey and the fat from the avocado makes for one satiating meal.

If you have a go-to turkey recipe that you think trumps my turkey burgers, please feel free to share it on our social media channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). You can also email it to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Email is the best way to find out more about Elemental Training Tampa’s online training program. Get that personal training you’ve always wanted at a price that you can afford.

What’s On The Menu – Let’s Ketchup on this Micronutrient Superfruit

I apologize for the brevity of this post. I had a full blog written, with funny anecdotes and informative nutrition details about this week’s menu spotlight. Bbbbbbbuttttt, when I woke up yesterday morning to do the final edit, I discovered that I didn’t save it.

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My reaction when I realize I didn’t save this week’s blog

I don’t want to leave you all hanging this week, so the following is a short summary of why you need to start incorporating more tomatoes & tomato products, besides ketchup, into your diet.

  • Tomatoes’ macronutrient content isn’t anything spectacular – 1 medium size tomato contains no fat, 1 gram (g) of protein and 5 g of carbs; its carbs consist of mainly simple sugars & insoluble fiber (source).
  • Tomatoes’ micronutrient content is what really sets them apart – they contain a significant amount of vitamins (C, K & B-complex), minerals (molybdenum, potassium & copper) and antioxidants (lycopene, rutin, beta cartoene & many more – source).
  • The consumption of the micronutrients contained in tomatoes has been shown to mitigate certain health conditions – The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants contained in tomatoes have been shown to help with the treatment of high blood pressure, heart disease, degenerative vision conditions, depression and more (source). Lycopene, which tomatoes contain a significant amount of, has been shown in epidemiological & animal studies to lower the risk of certain types of cancer (source).
  • Shannon makes the best tomato dish EVA! –  Some may say this is an opinion, but if you’ve had Shannon’s Saucy Tomato Eggs, you would know it’s a fact. Do yourself a favor and click here to check out the recipe.

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Hopefully the wizards at WordPress can work some magic and recover the previous blog. If they do, I’ll update this one with any additional info.

In the meantime, please feel free to send us your favorite tomato recipes. Doesn’t matter if you like’em raw, stewed or smashed into a paste, send those recipes to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com. You can also send us pics of your go-to tomato dishes on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).  Shannon and I will pick the most tasty looking one and repost it on all our channels.

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?

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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.

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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).