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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – An Interview with the Founder & Head Instructor of Amir Academy of Martial Arts, Amir Ardebily

This Addicted to Fitness has been a long time coming, but before we get into the juicy part of this week’s episode, we’ve got a couple important announcements to share with you all.

I know Shannon and I are starting to sound like broken records, but we want to make sure you all take advantage of the free fitness consultations I’m currently offering and vote for Addicted to Fitness as “best local podcast” in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay contest before it’s too late. Send an email to elementaltampa@gmail.com to schedule your consultation and follow the directions in the caption below to help ATF bring home the gold.

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Visit cltampa.com, click on the Best of the Bay tab and you’ll find Addicted to Fitness in the “People, Places and Politics” category under the best local podcast.

As previously mentioned, this episode of the podcast is long overdue. When I first conceptualized Addicted to Fitness, I knew I wanted to have an interview component. Before I even recorded my first episode, I made a list of individuals that I wanted to speak to and at the top of that list was the person I was fortunate enough to interview on this week’s show.

I’ve mentioned him several times before on the podcast as the man primarily responsible for my current obsession with all things health and fitness. He taught me how to literally & figuratively fight for the fitness that I desired. This week’s Addicted to Fitness features an interview with life long martial artist and founder of Amir Academy of Martial Arts (link) in Saint Petersburg, Florida, Master Amir Ardebily.

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Master Amir looks on moments before I tap to tight armbar (photo courtesy of Jeff Morris)

Amir’s father started teaching him martial arts at the age of 6. By the time he was 16, he had opened his own martial arts studio in his native Iran. Unfortunately, war erupted between Iran and Iraq while Amir was in high school and he was drafted into the army upon graduation. He spent 2 years in Iranian special forces before seizing the opportunity to immigrate to the United States.

Amir visited the U.S. while he was a teenager but was forced to go back to Iran once the war began. He had always wanted to go back to the United States and had his chance in 1984. There are a several great moments in this interview but Amir’s immigration story is reason enough to listen to this episode.

We also discuss how Amir started his first martial arts school in the U.S. without knowing how to speak the language, the affect Bruce Lee had on his teaching philosophy and why the UFC plays an important part in introducing martial arts to the masses.

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If you live in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, I strongly encourage you to visit Amir Academy of Martial Arts. Call 727-821-4097 for more details.

Also, Amir is organizing another one of his great amateur kickboxing events for November 11th in St. Petersburg. I’ve had the honor to both compete and attend these events and I can say with all sincerity that they are top-notch. Put it on your calendars now!

Thanks again for all the support you give us. We love producing these episodes for you and if you love hearing them, please let us know. You can drop us a line at elementaltampa@gmail.com, on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) or leave us a rating and review in iTunes (link). Thanks in advance and stay healthy this week’s peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/interview-founder-head-instructor-amir-academy-martial/id1121420986?i=1000391008396&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/an-interview-with-the-founder

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/an-interview-with-the-founder-head-instructor-of-amir-academy-of-martial-arts-amir-ardebily

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

 

 

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – An Interview with Strength & Conditioning Expert Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner

We start off this week’s Addicted to Fitness podcast reminising about our Memorial Day weekend. Shannon and I indulged a little during the holiday, but were still able to eat relatively clean thanks to healthy recipes like Shannon’s berry dessert and veggie burgers. We also logged several rides on the Peloton cycle and thanks to her customized maternity fitness wear, Shannon is back to enjoying her rides on the bike.

As much as we enjoy recapping our weekly exercise and nutrition, that’s not what this episode is all about. This week’s Addicted to Fitness features an interview with a functional strength expert known to his friends and clients as Coach Fury.

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Steve Holiner, aka Coach Fury, started his love affair with functional training when he took a kettlebell class at the famous Five Points Martial Arts academy (link) in New York City. After being introduced to kettlebells, Coach Fury pursued other similar training systems like DVRT (known also as ultimate sandbag – link), Original Strength (link) and Indian Club (link). Coach Fury started as an “enthusiast and became a professional enthusiast” and is currently a Master RKC & DVRT instructor, an Original Strength Lead instructor and a Strength Faction (link) lead mentor.

Coach Fury recently transitioned his training from primarily in-person personal training to more online remote training. His online training program, known better as “Die Mighty” online training, appeals mostly to general population clients and trainers looking to improve their skills. Coach Fury’s “Die Mighty” mission statement derives from his desire to help individuals lead long and vibrant lives. He hopes his training allows his clients to move well, without pain well into old age.

In addition to being a strength coach & educator, Coach Fury is also a self proclaimed film geek. He is a former visual effects producer and frequently posts film reviews on his Instagram (link) & YouTube (link) channels. You can check out these reviews and much more content from Coach Fury by visiting his website coachfury.com. You can also check him out on Facebook (link) and Twitter (link). If you reach out to him make sure you tell him that you learned about him from the Addicted to Fitness podcast

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I really enjoyed speaking with Coach Fury. As someone who is still a relatively new trainer, gathering information from health & fitness experts is a must if I want to develop as a trainer. If you know of the next expert we should interview, please feel free to email your suggestion to elementaltampa@gmail.com.

You can also send any feedback you have on the content, structure or flow of the podcast. We are always trying to improve in order to bring you a better product each week. Keep listening, sharing and rating the podcast and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2#episodeGuid=3e4763a63144cda54cac298b03ac51c8

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/an-interview-with-strength-conditioning-expert-steve-coach-fury-holiner

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 – Mothers know best & OUR BIGGEST ANNOUNCEMENT EVER!

Even though Mother’s Day has come and gone, Shannon and I wanted to give our moms the credit they deserve for their influence on our current approach to health and fitness. We describe the pertinent life lessons they bestowed upon us, then we share the BIGGEST ANNOUCEMENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE PODCAST! Before we get into all that, we recap our training for the week.

Both Shannon and I performed our normal training routine of HIIT workouts, strength training at Tampa Strength and rides on the Peloton cycle. We also got in workouts during our Mother’s Day weekend trip to the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. Shannon did a nice long walk (almost 2 miles!) on the beach and I knocked out a total body workout at the hotel’s fitness center. As you can imagine, the Ritz Carlton fitness center is full of state of the art equipment and is staffed with several personal trainers. We don’t get spoiled with trips like this too often, which is why I do my best to take full advantage of it.

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Photo of Ritz’s Fitness Center courtesy of ritzcarlton.com

After our training recap, Shannon launches into a description of the lessons her mom taught her about health & fitness. If you’ve listened to Addicted to Fitness in the past, you probably already know that Shannon’s mom is an Eastern medicine practitioner. She began her training program when Shannon was in her tweens, and often practiced her new found skills on Shannon. This exposure to “alternative” medicine compelled Shannon to develop a more holistic approach to health. As avid listeners know, Shannon isn’t big on taking medications like pain killers or antibiotics. We both realize the importance of Western medicine, but we are more attracted to the idea of treating the cause of specific health problems, not just the symptoms. My mom didn’t have a health specific career, but her occupation did shape my current approach to health & fitness.

Since I’ve been alive, my mom has been in school. This is somewhat of paradox because while she was in school, she was also a teacher. My mom has been in a constant state of education for as long as I can remember. She recently earned her PhD and her continual dedication to learning definitely affected how I approach health & fitness. I’m always interested in learning the most up to date information in regards to this subject in order to pass it along to my clients and listeners of the podcast. My mom also taught me to swim when I was 6 months old, which came in handy during the several triathlons I participated in as an adult.

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After giving props to our moms, we get into our BIG announcement. I could go into detail about what it involves, but that would kill the tease! There is a definite theme in this week’s episode but you’ll have to listen to find out what our big news is. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, but once you hear the news, please feel free to reach out to us if you’re going through the same process.

We’re always looking for feedback on the subjects we discuss on the podcast. You can reach us via email (elementaltampa@gmail.com), social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) or leave us a rating & review in iTunes. I say it at the end of each episode, and I’ll say it now, you’re feedback help us get better. Thanks for listening and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mothers-know-best-our-biggest-announcement-ever/id1121420986?i=1000385674669&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/moms-know-best

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Fat + Coffee Taste Test

We kick off this week’s Addicted to Fitness discussing our training accomplishments for the week. Shannon is working towards logging 3 Peloton rides per week and is starting to perform more exercises to improve strength & endurance in her legs, butt and lower back. I on the other hand am focusing on building strength & mobility in my upper back with daily workouts at Tampa Strength, and increasing my run training. I love long distance running which is like nails on a chalkboard to Shannon who prefers long rides on her bike. This fact promted her to remind me that she kicked my butt in the bike portion of the sprint triathlon we did together back in 2011.

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Post triathlon selfie of Shannon and I

After our training recap, Shannon and I launch into the main portion of this week’s podcast, which was inspired by a listener’s request. One of our favorite listeners, Lindsey, asked if we had any knowledge of the health benefits of the fat + coffee mixture known as “bulletproof coffee”. We’ve actually discussed the idea of fat + coffee in several episodes of the podcast (episodes #3, #8, #39) but we figured why not do a taste test of multiple types of these beverages. You don’t have to twist my arm to get me to drink coffee, especially ones that have my preferred macronutrient.

Bulletproof coffee was made popular by Dave Asprey, who claimed that a combination of high quality coffee blended with healthy fats, grassfed butter and MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil, can act as a meal replacement and provide several other health benefits. Believers of fatten coffee claim that it provides immediate sustained energy, improves metal acuity, kickstarts your metabolism and puts you into fat burning mode (source). I’ve been drinking fatten coffee for sometime now and I can attest that I’ve experienced some of these supposed benefits, but I often vary my recipe. Shannon and I decided to taste test 4 different fattened coffee recipes:

  • Coffee + 2 tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream = 100 calories & 12g fat
  • Coffee + 1 tbsp Coconut Cream + 1 tbsp Coconut Oil = 165 calories, 18g fat, <1g sugar
  • Coffee + 1 tbsp Butter = 100 calories & 12g fat
  • Coffee + 1 tbsp Omega Power Creamer (Ghee, Coconut Oil, MCT oil) = 120 calories, 14g fat

I’ve been drinking the coconut cream & oil version for sometime and it is my go-to not only because of the taste (like a coffee & a pina colada had a baby according to Shannon) but because it helps me minimize the amount of dairy I ingest on a daily basis. Shannon actually enjoyed the butter version the most because of the non-oily mouth feel and it’s latte-like characteristics.

Coffee taste test pic

Fatten coffee works well for me because I feel that I function better running on fats opposed to carbs. If you’d like to become “fat fueled” this morning coffee concoction may be for you, but I do want to warn potential fatten coffee drinkers that regularly combining it with a high carb breakfast could lead to potential health problems (click here for article on other potential health problems associated with bulletproof coffee). I want to convey that you should always consult a physician or certified dietician before making any major additions to your diet, but please feel free to continue to send us podcast topics for future episodes.

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You listeners helped us set our download record in March and we’re on pace to set another record in April. Please keep listening, sharing and sending us feedback on how we can make Addicted to Fitness the best health & fitness podcast available. If you promise to keep helping us spread the good word of fitness, we promise to keep churning out interviews, product reviews, taste tests, and everything else you’ve come to enjoy about the podcast. Keep sharing and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fat-coffee-taste-test/id1121420986?i=1000384200765&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/fat-coffee-taste-test

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – An Interview with Juice Plus+ Senior Sales Coordinator, Elise Rosato-Devin

This week’s episode starts off with a bit of celebration as the podcast hits a monthly download record of about 1500 downloads in the month of March. We couldn’t have done it without you! So first off we have to give credit where credit is due and thank you all for listening and sharing the podcast each week.

We’ll keep things rolling so you can keep on listening!

Before we dive on into the main interview of the podcast, we chat about an interesting new experience for Nick. This week, he left the kickboxing bags and mitts and donned some sticky ankle socks for some work at the barre. No, that is not a spelling mistake. We’re not talking about some booze filled tavern, but rather the isometric workout that focuses on small movements for a total body workout that will give you a new respect for all those ladies who are hitting the barre hard multiple times a week.

The reason for all the pelvic tucking and toe pointing exercise at Pure Barre South Tampa was the instructor, Elise Rosato-Devin, who is not only a pure barre instructor but also a spin instructor, a fitness competitor and a national sales coordinator for Juice Plus.

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Follow Elise on Instagram at @barrebellafit

Nick and Elise met up at a local coffee shop and dug into some background and details.

First up, as it was top of mind since Nick just completed his first class, was the Barre workout. The contracting of muscles, the intense control, is all about tearing down the muscle fiber and rebuilding them with isometrics. This training usually appeals to women (95% of clients are female) because it builds long lean muscle, while men come in, try the workout and usually struggle with the poses. In his 55-minute workout, Nick burned almost 400 calories!

In addition to teaching barre, Elise is also a spin instructor at Soho Cycling, where her focus is more on building cardio. She is even a fan of Peloton and she recently visited their home studio in New York to train!  Elise focuses on the shake and burn while in the barre studio, she uses interval training in her spin classes to burn fat and build heart health.

Elise also goes into her experience as a fitness competitor. When she was training to compete in 2016, she was lifting weights six days a week, but overtraining most likely led to a back injury that forced her to put her hopes of competing on hold. This temporary setback helped her realize she needs to have a different mindset when she restarts her training later this year, especially as a vegetarian, which can make consuming enough protein without consuming too many carbs difficult.

The topic of nutrition helped draw their conversation to her use of Juice Plus for its whole food nutrition. The supplements are based on a “juicing” concept to provide individuals with a multivitamin that people can actually absorb, unlike synthetic vitamins you get at the drug store. Since our current food system is drastically lower in nutrient dense whole fruit and vegetables, Juice Plus juices fruit and vegetables fresh from the farm in order to provide the maximum amount of nutrients possible.

The supplements provide the nutrients we need to fight inflammation and oxidative stress, which can causes illness and disease. Elise tested the product on herself for four months before she started sharing it with her network of friends and family as a sales coordinator. She was impressed by the large amount of clinical research Juice Plus did to confirm the legitimacy of their products’ nutritional benefits. Plus, if you use Juice Plus, you can sponsor a vitamin program for a child for free up to four years – a great program giving back to kids in need.

Learn more about the Jucie Plus products Elise provides HERE.

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Nick and I were both really impressed with Elise’s diverse fitness journey. I was a wee bit jealous of her trip to the Peloton studio in NYC for sure!

Since the topic of Juice Plus had been requested by one of our friends and listeners, Katie C., we were happy to finally get into this, especially with a great interview subject. I have used some of the Juice Plus products previously and had positive experiences. No doubt, we’ll be looking into Juice Plus ourselves in the future, Nick is really eager to try it out before officially endorsing it to clients and family.

If you’ve used Juice Plus before, we’d love it hear about it, along with any other feedback you’d like to provide about the podcast. Don’t be a stranger and get in touch with us. Connect with us on our social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or send us an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Thanks again for making March our best month yet!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/interview-juice-plus-senior-sales-coordinator-elise/id1121420986?i=1000383626057&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/an-interview-with-juice-plus-senior-sales-coordinator-elise-rosato-devin

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.

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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.

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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.

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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