What’s on the Menu – Goes Together Like Peas & Coffee

A few weeks ago I shared my favorite dairy coffee creamer, but I want to let all you know that I’m also a fan of nondairy creamers. As mentioned in the previous post the variety of nondairy choices you have to choose from is borderline overwhelming.

Soy, almond, and coconut are probably the most popular (besides the uber processed coffemate), but there is one that is starting to show up more in stores that I believe provides the most nutritional benefits.

Ripple Foods produces “milk” made up primarily of pea protein. Eight ounces contain nearly 5 g of fat and 8 grams of protein. It doesn’t have as short of an ingredient list as I’m use to, but it’s much more nutritious than almond milk.

Too much dairy wreaks havoc on my digestion so I like to add this and some unsweetened coconut milk to one of my daily coffee concoctions.

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What’s On The Menu – The OG of Coffee Creamers

The coffee creamer industry has really blown up in the past couple decades. Every grocery store now has multiple shelves dedicated to every type of creamer you can imagine.

Hazelnut flavored creamer made from soy milk? Got it!

Pumpkin spiced flavored creamer made from almond milk? You betcha!

I, on the other hand, prefer the original coffee creamer.


Besides collagen from Great Lakes, heavy cream is my preferred coffee additive. Two tbsp contains 12 g of fat (mostly saturated) and no sugar or carbs. It does contain a small amount of lactose so those that are intolerant may want to use unsweetened coconut milk if they want a fatty coffee creamer.

Just stay away from the sugar-laden creamers filled with artificial ingredients.

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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Crutch Foods & How To Avoid Them

We were working late again on this week’s podcast, which is pretty evident straight off the bat as poor annunciation (listen for the excellent “recrap” instead of “recap” moment) led to some pretty funny moments amidst our discussions.

Our first point was serious praise for all you listeners who have truly stepped up in the recent weeks and are leading the podcast to some exciting milestones. Keep up the sharing and listening as we work to make the podcast better than ever!

In our look back on our past week of training, Nick called out his most recent accomplishment – taking his first barre class at Pure Barre in South Tampa. You’ll be hearing more about this experience in the future, but for now here’s a little taste…

Me at barre

I’ve never felt so uncomfortable at a bar

Meanwhile, I got back on the Peloton cycle and had to make some decisions of my own, reevaluating my fitness goals and identifying the changes I needed to make. We’ll go into it more in the future, especially the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) parameters that you can use to set successful goals.

One of the biggest areas of health and fitness goal setting is diet, which brings us to this week’s main podcast topic – Crutch Foods.


Any of these items your crutch food?

The first question we seek to answer is what is a crutch food?

Nick’s definition of crutch food included more of an emotional aspect = food that elicits a pleasurable feeling, or rather comfort foods.

My definition focused more on it being the habitual use of comfort foods so that it becomes an unconscious addition to almost every one of your meals. You don’t eat the food item for its nutritional value, but rather it takes over as a reliant go-to.

For me, my recent crutch food was an old friend/foe – breads and carbs – but I have also used cheese and dairy as a crutch food in the past, thus the reason I was a vegan at one point in time.

Nick’s crutch food is coffee. Though he’s not currently drinking an unhealthy amount he drinks it regardless of whether he needs the benefits it provides or not. It has become something he leans on, like a crutch.


A diet of whole & seasonal ingredients can lead to better health

This brings us to how do you shake or avoid crutch foods.

Though it may come as a surprise, a great resource recently came out in the April 2017 issue of  Martha Stewart Living. Since Nick is as big of a Marth Stewart fan as I am (which we have a good laugh about – though he denies just how much he loves her), we talk through the article “The New Way to Eat” and the 12 principles it outlines to put the focus back on whole, seasonal foods.

The 12 Principles:

  1. Expand Your Food Horizons – be adventurous and explore different types of whole foods; incorporate more in your diet
  2. Get Satisfaction – Remove distractions while eating to fully ensure your focus is where it should be
  3. Let Things Simmer – Embrace some crockpot-style cooking to capitalize on the benefits
  4. Be Smart About Starch – Carbs aren’t the devil and some like starches can be a smart part of your diet
  5. See Seafood Differently – Get some of the original smart food: seafood (avoid large predatory fish – high in mercury)
  6. Wine is Fine – Studies show that some wine, especially the antioxidant-rich dark reds, can have some added benefits in moderation
  7. Go for Full-Fat – Though some can’t handle dairy, those who can, will see benefits from full-fat dairy which is actually easier for our bodies to digest than processed, low-fat versions
  8. Fill Up On Fiber – Fresh produce has more than vitamins; it’s loaded with fiber which is vital to our digestion
  9. Finish Strong – Use herbs as a way to pack a tasty and satisfying punch to your meals
  10. Eat Sweets with Intention – A zero-tolerance policy doesn’t work when it comes to desserts so indulge wisely with the utmost intention on enjoying quality in your sweet treats.
  11. Take the Spice Route – Spices pack more than a punch of flavor, some have incredible anti-inflammatory and brain-benefiting powers, so use them when you can
  12. Lock It In For Life – Focus on real food, not just for a day, but every day to create lasting impact

Nick and I break down each of the principles and talk about how they can be used to formulate a good diet and strong lifestyle. Many of the principles are ones we already subscribe to, but it’s easy to forget just how important healthy eating is. The article provides an important reminder.

Podcast Pic 3-27

Thanks again for making March our best month yet. Keep listening and sharing the podcast and if you have time please give us a rating and review in iTunes. Be sure to keep connected with us and feel free to send any feedback via our social channels or email elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Links for this week’s episode:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/crutch-foods-how-to-avoid-them/id1121420986?i=1000383159057&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/crutch-foods-how-to-avoid-them




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. 

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


Thanks to author Anna Vocino for providing this recipe

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.


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


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