carbs

What’s on the Menu – These Veggies Could Save Your Life

Vegetables are a great source of vital nutrients. I know that’s not exactly a news flash but eating a variety of veggies is necessary to obtain a wide range of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial organic compounds.

One such group of veggies that Shannon and I try to each multiple times a week are cruciferous vegetables. The member of this veggie family, including the brussels sprouts pictured below, contain organic compounds known as glucosinolates that have been found to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects (source).

I love roasting them in the oven, but when I’m crunched for time, I simply boil them up, cover them in spices & butter and chow down. I want to point out that eating them with a fat source, like butter, helps you absorb the tremendous amount to of Vitamin K contained in these mini cabbages.

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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – 3rd Annual Girl Scout Cookie Challenge

It’s that time again. We’ve got another Girl Scout cookie challenge on this week’s Addicted to Fitness podcast. We’re on our third year of this fun fitness challenge and this time Shannon is going to give it a go.

For all those new to this challenge, the ultimate goal is to burn off the calories contained in 3 Girl Scout cookies as quickly as possible.

Just like in previous years, we chose the peanut butter & chocolate Girl Scout cookie known as the Tagalong. We were primarily concerned with the calorie content for 3 of these cookies, but the other nutritional facts are: 14 g fat, 20 g carbs (12 g sugar), 3 g of protein.

Shannon downed three of these bad boys, performed a 5 minute warm-up, then jumped on our beloved Peloton cycle to burn off the 210 calories worth of cookies.

While Shannon was doing most of the heavy lifting, or in this case riding, I gave our training recaps for the week.

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In addition to doing several sessions on the Peloton, Shannon did yoga almost every single day and got to a yoga class at her home studio, Bella Prana. She also performed a couple HIIT workouts to round out her fitness for the week.

I had my personal training sessions at Title and Tampa Strength, including a session with a new ETTampa client. I’ve also been working hard on creating new content for you ATF listeners. We’ll be making an exciting announcement about our new weekly show real soon!

While Shannon was chugging away on the bike, I shared several interesting factoids about Girl Scout cookies like:

  • Since 1999, Girl Scout Cookies bring in about $700 million in annual revenue
  • Thin Mints are the most popular
  • All the girls on the boxes are Girl Scouts
  • In 1985, a 13-year-old girl sold $25,000 worth of cookies

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Thanks to Shannon’s Apple Watch, we were able to count down the final seconds before she reached the 210 calorie goal. Make sure you listen to this week’s episode to find out how long it took her to complete this year’s challenge. Then you can go back and listen to the previous years episodes to find out who completed the challenge faster.

Let us know what you think of this fitness challenge on the Addicted to Fitness Podcast Facebook page. While you’re there, please leave us a rating & review, which we’d also appreciate if you could do in iTunes. It only takes a few minutes and really helps us reach more listeners.

All you ATF coffee lovers should definitely check out our sponsors The Hemp & Coffee Exchange. Visit hempcoffeeexchange.com and read about their delicious & nutritious sustainable super coffee and when you place your order, make sure you use the promo code “ATF” at checkout to get 20% off your order.

Links to this week’s episode:

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

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/3rd-annual-girl-scout-cookie

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/3rd-annual-girl-scout-cookie-challenge

 

What’s on the Menu – The Best Breakfast Option Out There

I’m a gigantic breakfast fan. The options you have at breakfast far surpass anything lunch or dinner has to offer, and I believe it’s all thanks to one magical food.

Eggs.

Whole eggs, yes yolks and all, are at the top of my “Whole Foods” power ranking list. Right below eggs on that list is its frequent companion on a many diner menus. Steak.

Steak & eggs is high in protein & fat and contains a ton of important micronutrients like iron, vitamin B, choline and omega fatty acids. I had the meal below and swear I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the day. I believe based on the nutrition research I’ve gathered & personal experience, that this is a much healthier option than the meals filled with processed carbs that seem to dominate breakfast foods (cereal, bagels, etc.).

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What’s on the Menu – Cooking in batches is good for your health

Shannon and I really try our best to make one wholesome “Big Batch” dish every week. Having one dish that is ready to go whenever we get home from work prevents us from ordering out or picking up dinner. We’ve found that the less takeout and delivery we get, the better we feel. It’s also much easier on our finances.

One such big batch we make frequently is a Tuscan Chicken Skillet. I’ve shared the recipe with several of my clients and they all love it. It’s not exactly a quick meal, but it’s definitely worth the time. It’s also one of those dishes that I believe taste better the next day.

Below is the recipe and a few pics. If you end making it please send us and email (elementaltampa@gmail.com) or share a pic of it on our social channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Tuscan Chicken Skillet

  • Cook 1-1.5 lbs of chicken tenderloins in olive oil for 4-5 mins on each side, or until cooked thru⠀
  • Remove chicken from skillet, add more olive oil & 8 oz of chopped mushrooms, cook till soft⠀
  • Remove mushrooms and add an entire onion, sliced & cook till soft⠀
  • Add a can of diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, spices (salt, pepper, oregano & thyme) and 1/4-1/2 cup of chicken stock⠀
  • Simmer till liquid reduces slightly then add chicken and mushrooms back in⠀
  • Remove from heat and add several handfuls of greens and season to taste⠀

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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!

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.