collagen

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 – The beneficial aspects of being bitter

I think I can count the number of sugary sodas I’ve consumed over the last 5 years on two hands and still have a few fingers to spare. I’m sorry if you feel that I’m gloating but after recent research suggested that sugar, specifically sucrose, may be more addictive than COCAINE, I’m OK tooting my horn a little bit (source). I’m not trying to alienate any individuals currently addicted to sugar because we’re learning more about how legit that dependency can be.

I get it. Water is boring. Sure, all living things need it to sustain life, but as an animal with approximately 10,000 taste buds, we enjoy our beverages with a twist of flavor. With the information about the detrimental effects of sweetened beverages coming out seemingly on a weekly basis, what options do we have left?

Thankfully, mother nature provided us with such a well know flavor enhancer that restaurants are just giving it away!

Screenshot 2017-07-13 at 11.04.15 AM

Picture courtesy of Shannon’s blog (adashofsparkle.com)

Lemons belong to the citrus genus that include other fruits like grapefruit, oranges and limes. The beneficial aspects of citrus were first documented in the late 1700s when James Lind discovered that they effectively treated scurvy, which is caused by a Vitamin C deficiency. One lemon contains approximately 50% of our daily value (DV) of this important nutrient. Research shows that the symptoms of the common cold, anemia, asthma and ischemic stroke may be significantly reduced by the consumption of foods high in Vitamin C, but the health benefits of this nutrient don’t stop there (source).

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is needed for the creation of numerous bodily structures including bones, muscles, skin, ligaments and more. In order for our bodies to produce collagen, it requires Vitamin C. Being that Vitamin C is an essential nutrient (one we must gather from food or supplementation) consuming foods that are high in it, like lemons, may increase our collagen production. Increased collagen production could increase muscle mass, reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis and minimize skin lines and wrinkles (source).

Let’s recap – consuming more Vitamin C could allow you to gain more muscle, reduce soreness and look younger?! Let’s all go suck on a lemon.

Screenshot 2017-07-12 at 5.20.05 PM

Ok, maybe I’m being a little bit over zealous. Sure you could eat a lemon to get that precious Vitamin C OR you could add the juice of a lemon (1 oz = 23% DV of Vit C) to salad dressing, fresh fish or that water bottle you carry around all day.

See what I did there? I brought it all back around to how we started this post. If you’re trying to kick that sugary soda habit and plain water isn’t cutting it, add a twist of lemon to your water. Better yet, add an ounce of lemon juice to soda water. You still get your carbonated beverage fix without the damaging sugar.

If you have a recipe that incorporates lemons or lemon juice, please feel free to share it with us. You can send a pic of your tart recipe to us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) or you can email it to elementaltampa@gmail.com.

You can also take advantage of the complimentary fitness consultations we’re currently offering by emailing us. Whether you need advice on nutrition or just want workout tips, I’d be happy to set up an appointment with you to discuss how you can improve your fitness.

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 – Following KISS

I’ve discovered that following KISS has brought a certain level of ease to my life. Just to clarify I’m not talking about the rock band Kiss. I’m referring to the acronym KISS, which stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.” I try to apply KISS to all aspects of my life, but one aspect in which I use it the most is my nutrition. I’ve tried my best to convey my predisposition to consuming food & drink that consists of the fewest whole ingredients possible. Which is why it should be no surprise that my preferred protein powder consists of only one ingredient.

The ever expanding selection of protein powders has, in my opinion, reached a ridiculous level. Trying to be educated on the laundry list of ingredients contained in certain protein powders can be even more overwhelming. That’s why I use collagen hydrolysate from Great Lakes when I want to add a little protein to my morning coffee or veggie & fruit smoothie. This brand of collagen hydrolysate is created by the application of heat and/or enzymes to beef collagen from grass fed cows to change its molecular weight. The change in molecular weight is what gives the hydrolysate the ability to dissolve in both hot and cold liquids. Not only does it dissolve in essentially any beverage, it is LEGITIMATELY unflavored. They don’t add any real or artificial sweeteners in an attempt to make your healthy meal replacement drink into a nummy milkshake. Nutritionally speaking, 1 tbsp contains 25 calories, 6g of protein and 0g of both carbs and fat. It is a pure protein that is high in amino acids like glycine, lysine and proline which are essential for the growth of hair, skin, muscle, cartilage and ligament cells (source). Oh and the price? Try about $23 for the can pictured below, which contains about thirty-one 2 tbsp servings. I’ll admit that the health benefits and affordability of this protein supplement are enticing, but it’s the recommendations from health & nutrition professionals I trust that really sold me on it.

I’ve heard nutrition experts like Vinnie Tortorich, Anna Vocino and Dr. Rhonda Patrick recommend Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate many times. I’ve even seen Tim Ferriss feature it in a recent video about his morning routine. I trust these experts and appreciate the fact that this particular protein powder matches my KISS approach to nutrition. Let us know if you practice KISS and which areas of your life you apply it to. Feel free to send us feedback at nick@elementaltampa.com or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

protein-powder

What’s on the Menu

This week’s peak into my daily nutrition features my non-dairy version of bulletproof coffee. For those that aren’t familiar with bulletproof coffee, it’s essentially a mixture of coffee, MCT oil and grass fed butter that was made popular by Dave Asprey. The idea behind this concoction is that it keeps you satiated longer unlike many common breakfast foods (i.e. cereal, doughnuts, bagels). Also, some people say that the MCT oil, which is a source of energy itself, can prolong the caffeine effect of coffee. Either way, as someone that makes a conscious effort to get the majority of his calories from fat, this seems like a good idea, but I can’t handle that much dairy right when I get up. Which is why I was ecstatic when I learned about a non-dairy version of the upgraded coffee during our interview with Anna Vocino on the Addicted to Fitness podcast. I’ve been using this recipe almost every morning for the last 3 months and I’ve had no problems, and unlike bulletproof coffee, this recipe contains a significant amount of protein. Give it the once over and let me know if you prefer it over the traditional bulletproof coffee recipe. 

Recipe
1/3 cup of Trader Joe’s Reduced fat canned coconut milk (90 calories, 9g of fat, 1g of sugar)

1 tbsp of Trader Joe’s Coconut oil (120 calories, 14g of fat, 0g of sugar)

2 tbsp of Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate (45 calories, 11g of protein)

12 ounces of black coffee (>2 calories)

*Pour all ingredients in a blender or shaker bottle and combine till well mixed 

= 317 calories, 30 g of fat, 11 g of protein and 1g of sugar

coffee-concoction

Thanks to author Anna Vocino for providing this recipe