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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – How Juicing and Alcohol Consumption Could Help & Hinder Your Fitness

This week’s show notes brought to you by Shannon.

Nick and I are chatting about popular beverages on this week’s show!

Not so much recipes, but rather the health benefits of oh-so-trendy juicing and the often debated alcohol. Before we get into that though, a little recap of training.

I was in recovery mode after a yoga immersion weekend – which is almost a full three days of yoga – it takes a toll, especially being fairly pregnant at this point. With only a couple months of yoga training left though, the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. Still learning some important lessons though, including the importance of self-care, especially as a teacher or trainer.

Nick meanwhile, has been shooting a lot of exercise videos for the Tampa Strength YouTube channel (link). If you’re interested in remotely training with ETT, you don’t have to move to Florida. Give Nick a shout, elementaltampa@gmail.com, and he can build an online workout for you.

On a sad note, one of Nick’s and my favorite Peloton instructor, Steve Little (who focused on heart rate training), is moving onto another career, so we say goodbye (with a couple water eyes). We’ll miss you Steve Little! And if you’re curious about learning more about Peloton, check out our past podcast that features an on-bike review by Nick.

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We’ll miss you Steve Little! (Image courtesy of Peloton blog)

Pros & Cons of Juicing

We used to be pretty hardcore juicers a while back. Our juicer of choice is the Bella NutriPro juicer (sadly discontinued so we can’t link to it) and we used to juice every day with it. Green juice was our preferred recipe, though we grew to love beets as well.

We even learned a few lessons. Lessons like drinking juice straight away, which provides the optimum delivery of nutrients. Some of the lessons, we got from the Juice Generation book, which includes some great recipes and info.

To help highlight some of the pros and cons of juicing, we gathered together a nice little list for you!

Pros:

  1. Great way to provide a large amount of your daily nutrient requirement
  2. Make nutrients in produce easily absorbable
  3. Great way to eliminate food waste

Cons:

  1. Depending on the ingredients, can deliver a large sugar spike
  2. Can be expensive
  3. Lose out on the fiber

Different types of juicers could minimize the amount of fiber loss.

While I am more of a fan of juice than smoothies, Nick is the opposite. What camp are you? If you are a juice fan, let us know what your favorite type is.

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Yes you need all this, and more, to make green juice for two

Now onto an epic debate. Is it possible to call alcohol healthy?

More specifically, does MODERATE alcohol consumption provide health benefits? Moderate meaning 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.

(1 drink is defined as 12oz beer, 5oz of wine & 1.5 oz of spirits)

In our personal experience, one health benefit (which might be rather obvious) is the relaxation and social lubrication provided by moderate alcohol consumption.

In addition, red wine contains resveratol, which certain studies suggest helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces LDL cholesterol and prevents blood clots.

Certain studies have linked moderate alcohol consumption, other than just red wine, to improved heart health. One 12+ year Norwegian study stated that moderate alcohol consumption lowered heart failure risk by 33%. However, other studies claim that even one drink could cause irregular and possibly harmful heart arrhythmias.

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Red wine is healthy……..or is it?

Our final verdict is that the studies/information is inconclusive on whether or not alcohol is healthy. Even the studies that found beneficial results associated with moderate alcohol consumption state that their findings do not prove causation, meaning they could not determine whether or not the improvement in items like heart health were actually due to alcohol consumption.

We do know that excess alcohol consumption can lead to plenty of negative health issues like liver and pancreas diseases, heart failure, hypertension, cancer, stroke, behavioral issues and obesity. According to the CDC, excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010 (link).

So no magic bullets on the alcohol front.

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As we wrap up, we have a couple friendly reminders for all our awesome listeners.

First off, keep checking cltampabay.com to see if you can vote for ATF for the “best local podcast” in the Best of the Bay contest.

Secondly, take advantage of Nick’s current free fitness consultation by emailing him at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for more episodes and give us a shout on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/how-juicing-alcohol-consumption-could-help-hinder-your/id1121420986?i=1000390234743&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/how-juicing-and-alcohol

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/liquid-calories-how-juicing-and-alcohol-consumption-can-help-hinder-your-fitness

 

 

What’s on the Menu – The Fruit that Tells You It’s Summer

We discussed the optimum growing seasons for produce in a recent episode of the Addicted to Fitness podcast (click to listen), but we didn’t discuss which produce best REPRESENTS each season. My “season appropriate produce” list is as follows:

  • Fall – Pumpkins, squash and other gourds
  • Winter – Kale and Apples
  • Spring – Berries and Asparagus
  • Summer – Corn and Watermelon

I’m OK with people disagreeing with me on most of my choices, but for those who don’t agree that watermelon is the most summer produce there is I say FOR SHAME.

I can’t be the only one who attended summer cookouts where the giant green melon was used for the appetizer, main course and/or dessert. I’m sure if you go back and look at your family photos, they’ll be a picture of you standing next to a sprinkler with a giant wedge of watermelon in your hand. The fruit’s optimum growing season is May through September for PETE’S SAKE. Anything else go on between May and September?

How bout a little thing called summer break.

I rest my case.

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Now that I’ve established the fact the watermelon is THE summer produce, let’s discuss whether or not it’s healthy. One cup of watermelon contains less than one gram (g) of fat & protein and 11 g of carbs, 9 of those grams coming from sugar.

Not terribly uncommon for a sweet fruit, but somewhat of a departure from the items you’d usually see on this weekly blog. The relatively high sugar content translates to a rather high number on the glycemic index (GI), 76. However, unlike its GI, watermelon’s glycemic load (GL) is only 8, which is considered low. In layman’s terms, a serving of watermelon can cause a blood sugar spike but only for a short period of time, which translates to a minimal insulin response (source). With that said, if you are obese or a type 2 diabetic, I’d suggest asking your physician if it’s OK to add watermelon to your diet.

If you are fortunate enough to include watermelon in your diet, expect even more benefits than just its delicious flavor. In addition to a host of important vitamins (A, B6 & C), minerals (copper & magnesium) and amino acids, watermelon contains a significant amount of the phytonutrient lycopene. This carotenoid is not only responsible for giving watermelon its red color, it also provides the fruit’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. Recent research also suggests that lycopene can be very important to our cardiovascular and skeletal systems (source). Both of which are super important when you’re 30 something year old going head first down a homemade slip & slide.

I mean it is summer after all.

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Watermelon is also one of those fruits that pairs well with a wide variety of other foods. Shannon and I are big fans of watermelon salad with feta cheese and reduced balsamic dressing. If you have any other mouthwatering dishes that feature watermelon, please share them with us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Before I wrap up this menu spotlight, I want to give you a friendly reminder about ETTampa’s free fitness consultations. If you are looking for a little guidance, whether it be for exercise, nutrition or even accountability, send me an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Benefits of eating seasonal produce

This episode of the Addicted to Fitness podcast is dropping on the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day. Cookouts, pool parties and summer vacation for students & teachers are all great reasons to love this holiday. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention why we celebrate this holiday in the first place. Memorial Day is the day we pay tribute to the men and women of the armed forces who gave their lives to protect our country. I know military action may be a contentious issue, but I will always show my respect to those individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect this country and its citizens. Thank you to all the members of the armed forces, past and present.

Alright, on with the show notes!

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This week’s training recap doesn’t really contain a lot of training. Shannon is quickly approaching her 6th month of pregnancy, which means her workout clothes, specifically her pants, no longer fit. The pants she had were so uncomfortable that she was dreading her beloved Peloton cycle rides.  This prompted her to splurge on specialized maternity workout pants, which she wore while we recorded the podcast. Judging by her reaction, she really enjoyed them. She encouraged all ladies, pregnant or not, to purchase fitness wear that is functional and comfortable. It will make workouts much more enjoyable.

My portion of the training recap included a discussion of the lab results from my recent trip to the functional medicine doctor. The only test results that were issues of concern were my LDL cholesterol and vitamin D levels. After discussing my diet with my doctor, he believes that my family history and certain dietary choices are contributing to my high cholesterol levels. He suggested substituting mass produced beef & pork for sheep, lamb or game meat and incorportating more small fish (sardines, achovies, mackeral, etc.) into my diet. He also prescribed red yeast rice and vitamin D supplements to address both areas of concern (check out our past podcast on vitamin D deficiency link).

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Image courtesy of foundmyfitness.com

I was super pleased by how thorough my doctor was. I’m very happy that I sought out a certified function medicine practioner (click link to learn more). I’ll make sure to keep you updated on any future doctor visits and test results.

After our training recap we get into a timely discussion on seasonal produce. The optimal growing conditions of spring & early summer usually result in a a wide variety of produce at the grocery store and your local produce stand. We use an article from the Feeding South Florida website (link) to discuss the health & environmental benefits of eating seasonal produce. We also consult the seasonal produce list from the USDA (link) to find out which season you can expect to find certain produce items. You can also click here to find out when certain produce items are in season in your state.

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We love supporting local businesses and we couldn’t think of a better one to promote than local produce stands. Both Shannon and I have fond memories of ours growing up, and I’m sure you do too. We’d love to hear what you look forward to getting when you visit your local produce stand. Feel free to send your responses to elementaltampa@gmail.com or send us a message on any of our social channels (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter). We’d love to hear from you all.

One last thing, we’ve got another interview episode of Addicted to Fitness coming atchya next week. I don’t want give too much away about our guest, so I’ll just say two words: Coach Fury.

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/benefits-of-eating-seasonal-produce/id1121420986?i=1000385914079&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/why-you-should-visit-your-local-farm-stand

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Two Big Struggles: Allergies & Pesticide Contamination

Shannon and I recorded this week’s Addicted to Fitness a little earlier in the week than normal, which means we didn’t have a tremendous amount of training to recap. I was fortunate enough receive a Stick Mobility training session from Shawn at Tampa Strength. If you are unfamiliar with Stick Mobility, it’s an innovative exercise modality that uses pliable “sticks” of varying length to simultaneously build strength, improve mobility and increase muscle activation. Click here to learn more about this all-inclusive form of exercise

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Follow Stick Mobility on Instagram to see more exercises

Shannon didn’t have a lot to report during our training recap, but she did participate in a very important health related event this past week. If you’ve listen to the podcast in the past 3 months, you may have noticed Shannon frequently battling congestion. She finally came to the realization that her frequent “colds” may be the result of environmental allergies. Fortunately, her mother is a practitioner of a non-invasive form of allergy testing known as Namburdripad’s Allergy Elimination Testing (NAET). NAET uses muscle testing to determine the body’s response to a specific allergen (click here to learn more). Shannon’s test determined that she has sensitivities to trees, weeds and grass which are all in full BLOOM right now in Florida.

I recount my own experiences with allergy testing and I can tell you that they were the exact OPPOSITE of non-invasive. Shot, after shot, after shot. My arm would look like a dart board after an allergy test. When I got my final allergy test as a pre-teen, they ditched the single needle approach for a board with at least 16 needle-like attachments that they laid on my BACK, which allowed them to measure my body’s reaction to multiple allergens all at once. If I had to do it again, I think I’d rather live with the allergy than go through those tests again. However, I didn’t have severe allergies like the one nowadays that can ground a plane.

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Shannon and certain plants now have a love-hate relationship

Both Shannon and I feel as if peanuts are public enemy number one when it comes to allergies. We don’t have children, but we’ve already heard stories about schools being “no nut” zones and/or airlines having to offer “nut free” flights. Shannon and I give a quick synopsis of the 2017 recommendations to prevent peanut allergies from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH guidelines state that early exposure may help prevent severe peanut allergies from developing (click here for the NIH press release).  After our peanut discussion, Shannon and I move onto another issue that I’m sure parents are concerned with in regards to its effect on their children’s health.

Numerous studies have linked the consumption of foods high in pesticide concentrations to adverse health problems. Shannon and I discuss one tool that can help consumers avoid these health risks. Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out lists of the “dirtiest” and “cleanest” produce in regards to pesticide contamination. According to their website (link), the EWG is a non-partisan environmental group that acquires their pesticide data from tests performed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). We go over both lists in their entirety in the episode but if you want a quick sample from both: Dirty: 1) Strawberries 2) Spinach 3) Nectarines; Clean: 1) Sweet Corn 2) Avocados 3) Pineapple. Hopefully this information helps you make the healthiest decisions possible when it comes to picking out produce.

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We love providing you all with helpful health & fitness information on a weekly basis and judging by our download numbers, you all love hearing it. We actually have a little homework for you all this week. We’d like to know when your favorite time to listen to the Addicted to Fitness podcast is. Do you listen while commuting to work? Sitting on the spin bike? Walking the dog? Whatever time, place or activity you’ve reserved for the podcast, we want to know about it. Feel free to send your responses to elementaltampa@gmail.com or send us a message on any of our social channels. We’d love to hear from you all.

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/two-big-struggles-allergies-pesticide-contamination/id1121420986?i=1000384465001&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/two-big-struggles-allergies-pesticide-contamination

What’s on the Menu – Superfoods in my Backyard

The Florida Strawberry festival takes place every year in the small, rustic town of Plant City. The event has been going strong for over 80 years, and it continues to grow each year with the addition of rides, livestock contests and popular music acts like Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts and Elle King (one of Shannon’s personal fav’s). The vast majority of the food at the festival is typical fair food; deep-fried and/or covered in sugar. However, the festival’s namesake is readily available and it when it comes to nutrient rich foods, it’s hard to beat strawberries, or any berries for that matter.

Strawberry shortcake

I consider myself pretty lucky to live in an area that has access to substantial berry crops every year. The farms in my area plant over 10,000 acres of strawberries annually, along with other berries like blueberries and blackberries (source). You best believe that when berry season rolls around, Shannon and I stock up on a weekly basis.  Not only do they taste delicious, but they’re often considered a superfood because of their nutritional benefits.

Possible health benefits associated with eating berries include reduced disease susceptibility, increased insulin sensitivity and improved arterial function. They are also high in essential nutrients (ones our bodies can’t make) like vitamin C, K, manganese and folate (source). I’m a huge berry fan, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention strawberry’s regular appearance on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen List.

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Organic berries from Florida’s Wish Farms

Since 2004, the EWG has been creating lists of the dirtiest and cleanest produce in regards to pesticide contamination. Strawberries often find themselves at the top of the “dirty” list, most likely due to year round production brought on by high demand. According to EWG’s website, Americans individually eat an average of 8 pounds of strawberries a year. Even though we’re still discovering what negative side effects eating foods containing pesticides can have on our health, the EWG recommends that you buy organically grown strawberries whenever possible. If you like to check out what other produce made it onto EWG’s lists, head on over to their website.

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I believe the reporting of high contamination levels in produce like strawberries will help increase the demand for organically grown produce. The overuse of pesticides and the negative effect its had on our agricultural industry is a discussion for another day.

Whether you buy organic or conventional berries, I want to hear how you prefer to enjoy them. Do you throw them into a smoothie, add them to yogurt, or just eat them by the handful like I do? However you enjoy them, please feel free to let us know by leaving a response in the comment section below or emailing it to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

What’s on the Menu

This week’s edition of #whatiatewednesday focuses on the importance of bacteria. I imagine that when most people think of bacteria, they think of something dirty like the bathroom door handle or the floor of a fast food restaurant. The strains of bacteria I’m referring to are contained within our bodies and our food. Maintaining the appropriate amounts and types of certain bacteria within our gut can affect our mood, cognitive function and longevity (source). One dietary source of “good” bacteria that I pack in my lunch everyday is greek yogurt. I combine 1 cup of full fat Greek yogurt (20g of protein + beneficial strains of bacteria) with blueberries (antioxidants + phytonutrients) and ground flaxseed (omega 3 fatty acids) to create a nutrient dense mini meal that satisfies all the macronutrient categories and helps me maintain a healthy gut.

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What’s on the Menu

This week’s menu item is not one particular food, but an entire meal I prepared for my wife and I. The salad is made of arugula, watermelon, grated cheddar and a balsamic reduction. Even though watermelon has a high glycemic index (72) it has a low glycemic load (5) due to the water and fiber it contains. Enjoying it with a protein, like the shrimp pictured below, will reduce the watermelon’s insulin response even further. While we’re on the topic of reducing insulin response, substituting zucchini noodles for any refined grain based pasta will do just that. Reducing your refined grain intake could lead to you avoiding troublesome health conditions like bloating and irritable bowel syndrome just to name a few. The real beauty of this meal is that it took about 15 minutes to make. Quick, healthy and delicious. Just the way I like it!

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