digestion

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!

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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

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What’s On The Menu – More Than Just The Freshmaker

How did mint become the go-to car air freshener scent? Was it good marketing? Did people like how that green leaf looked hanging from their rear view mirror?

It’s visual appeal could be a possible reason but I think it has more to do with how the scent affects our biology. A study performed in the early 2000s found that the smell of peppermint actually affected the amount of anxiety, fatigue and physical demand experienced by drivers on prolonged trips in the car. The study suggested that “periodic administration of (peppermint) odors over long-term driving may prove beneficial in maintaining alertness and decreasing highway accidents and fatalities” (source). Cognitive benefits are just the start to the positive health benefits of this refreshing herb.

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I constantly tell you about the high antioxidant content of certain fruits and vegetables, but I don’t seem to give as much recognition to herbs. Shame on me because mint, which is a broad term for 15-20 different species, contains one of the highest antioxidant capacity of any food. One particular antioxidant contained in mint, rosmarinic acid, has been shown to be an effective natural treatment for seasonal allergies. Also, if you already have the sniffles due to the common cold, menthol contained within mint plants has been long regarded as a natural decongestant because of its ability to break up phlegm and mucus (source).

The benefits of mint not only alleviate cold like symptoms, they can also help prevent you from getting a cold or some other type of infection. Peppermint oil has been shown to stop the growth of certain types of fungus and bacteria including the nasty MRSA. It’s also a good source of vitamin C, which can help improve the performance of our immune system (source). Speaking of performance, mint may be the PED all athletes can use without fear of getting busted.

I already mentioned one study that demonstrated how peppermint enhanced the performance of drivers, but can it do the same for athletes? A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine in 2013 discovered that individuals that ingested a minute amount of peppermint essential oil displayed improvements in exercise performance, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and several other related categories. The researchers believe that these improvements were due to the herb’s ability to relax bronchial smooth muscles, increase ventilation & brain oxygen concentrations and decrease blood lactate levels (source). That means that if you can run and chew gum at the same time, you may have a leg up on your competition.

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I always try to chew gum while working out, except for disciplines that require me to wear a mouthpiece (e.g. kickboxing, grappling, etc.). I’m sure it helps me concentrate but I use it mainly to prevent dry mouth. I use the crappy sugar-free stuff you get at the grocery store, which is peppermint flavored but I doubt has any real peppermint in it. Maybe I’ll perform a little experiment on yours truly to see if ingesting peppermint essential oil has a beneficial effect on my workout performance. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you like to incorporate mint into your diet. I enjoy throwing a handful of mint leaves into a tall glass of club soda with lime, essentially making a non-alcoholic mojito. Please feel free to share your minty fresh recipes with us on our social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) or email them to elementaltampa@gmail.com.

You can also take advantage of the free fitness consultations I’m currently offering by emailing me.

Last but not least, we’d really appreciate it if you vote for Addicted to Fitness for the “best local podcast” in the Creative Loafing Best of the Bay contest. Click the following link to cast your vote. Thanks!