cheese

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.

 

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What’s on the Menu – Grocery Shopping Prerequisite

We’ve all done it. It’s a mistake that I’m sure grocery stores are happy people make week in and week out. No, I’m not talking about forgetting your reusable grocery bags. I’m talking about going to the grocery store HUNGRY.

We seemed to be focused on grocery shopping this week on elementaltampa.com, and for good reason. The choices you make at the grocery store can have a significant effect on how you look and feel. You may not realize it but those choices can be influenced by the level of hunger you have before you step into the grocery store. In as 2013 study, researchers found that individuals that went grocery shopping while “hungry” were more likely buy high-caloric unhealthy foods (chips, candy, etc.) than those that ate before shopping for groceries. Another study confirmed these findings by documenting individuals that went grocery shopping before dinner time, 4-7pm, buying more unhealthy foods than those people that went shopping after lunch, 1-4pm (source). The “feast or famine” mentality left over from our primitive ancestors may want us to eat everything in sight when we’re hungry, but there are certain steps we can take to prevent us from bringing home a barrel sized container of cheese balls.

Shannon and I have discovered several ways to prevent impulse buys while grocery shopping, but none work as well as eating before you go. A couple of our go to pre-grocery shopping snacks are raw cashews and/or cured meat with cheese. Both snacks are nutritious (cashews: 6g fat, 4g carbs, 2.5g protein per ounce; genoa+provolone: 26 g fat, 21g protein, no carbs per package), shareable, portable and most importantly satiating. I’ve, and some scientific research, found that foods containing a significant amount of protein and/or fat will help you stay fuller longer and hold back that pesky hunger hormone gherlin.

Hopefully you are already practicing this pre-grocery shopping ritual. If so, send us pictures of your pre-grocery shopping snacks. We’re always looking to expand our repertoire.

cashews-salami

 

What’s on the Menu

If you’ve been following this blog for an extended period of time, you are probably privy to the fact that I’m a devout omnivore. That devotion is what inspires me to order the “charcuterie board” whenever I see it on a restaurant’s menu.

Meat and cheese may seem simple, but the variety of flavors that can exist within those two food categories appears to be endless. Which is why when Shannon asked me what we should have for a mid afternoon snack on Christmas I almost involuntarily responded, “charcuterie!”

I’ll admit right now that I had no idea that my request would result in the picture you see below.

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(Vegan Cheeze Dip in the top left corner)

As you can see the board contained a variety of meats and cheeses, but it also contained Shannon’s vegan cheeze dip. I know what you’re thinking “How the hell can cheese dip be vegan?” Fortunately, the answer to that question is ridiculously simple. Check out the recipe from her blog to see why:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cup Raw Cashews
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • pinch of Cayenne Powder
  • pinch of Turmeric

DIRECTIONS:

Dump all the ingredients into a food processor and blend till creamy.

This recipe is perfect for everyone! It doesn’t contain any dairy, the cashews are full of healthy fats (source), the nutritional yeast has a surprising amount of protein (source) and the vast majority of its carbs come from fiber.

You make this dip for you next big party and I promise you’ll be having people asking you for the recipe. Just make sure you tell them you got it from elementaltampa.com!

Dairy: I have nipples, can you milk me?

This week’s Addicted to Fitness podcast kicks off with Shannon and I recapping the most recent ETT group workout. We’ve been offering free group workouts since the inception of ETT and have used several different venues with varied experiences. After this month’s group workout, I believed we’ve found our go-to venue. The Tampa Riverwalk is a nearly 3 mile walkway that snakes its way through downtown Tampa. ETT has used it the last few months for our group workouts which consist of a run, stair climb and striking exercises. After hearing feedback from several workout participants, I believe we’ll be hosting our group workouts there from now on.

 

After reminiscing about the workout, Shannon and I dive into the main topic of this week’s episode, DAIRY. The benefits of this food group seem to be frequently contested. Some people claim we’re not evolved enough to digest dairy. Others advocate the consumption of fermented dairy products, like yogurt, is key to maintaining proper gut health. What’s the truth? We discuss our relationship with dairy and review an article from Self magazine that describes several key points about human’s ability to digest dairy products. Sticking with the dairy theme, I go on a rant about a flavored milk product that will certainly make you cringe. I won’t give too much away because I want you to listen to the rant, but I will say that any chance of TruMoo being a sponsor of this podcast in the future is pretty much zero. Sorry I’m not sorry.

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Check out the nutritional facts of this product

We love sharing the most up to date health and fitness information with you all. Not only do we want to educate ourselves but we also want to educate others in order to reverse some of the unhealthy trends we as humans are currently experiencing. By rating, reviewing or sharing the podcast, you will help us distribute that information to more people. You keep helping us grow and we’ll keep searching for ways to lead healthier lives. Thanks again for your support and stay healthy this week folks!

Links to this week’s podcast

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2#episodeGuid=ba0d1d6e7f17b650159edae59a92b899

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/dairy-ive-got-nipples-can-you-milk-me

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Image created with screen grab from “Meet the Parents” trailer