macronutrients

What’s on the Menu – Cooking in batches is good for your health

Shannon and I really try our best to make one wholesome “Big Batch” dish every week. Having one dish that is ready to go whenever we get home from work prevents us from ordering out or picking up dinner. We’ve found that the less takeout and delivery we get, the better we feel. It’s also much easier on our finances.

One such big batch we make frequently is a Tuscan Chicken Skillet. I’ve shared the recipe with several of my clients and they all love it. It’s not exactly a quick meal, but it’s definitely worth the time. It’s also one of those dishes that I believe taste better the next day.

Below is the recipe and a few pics. If you end making it please send us and email (elementaltampa@gmail.com) or share a pic of it on our social channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Tuscan Chicken Skillet

  • Cook 1-1.5 lbs of chicken tenderloins in olive oil for 4-5 mins on each side, or until cooked thru⠀
  • Remove chicken from skillet, add more olive oil & 8 oz of chopped mushrooms, cook till soft⠀
  • Remove mushrooms and add an entire onion, sliced & cook till soft⠀
  • Add a can of diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, spices (salt, pepper, oregano & thyme) and 1/4-1/2 cup of chicken stock⠀
  • Simmer till liquid reduces slightly then add chicken and mushrooms back in⠀
  • Remove from heat and add several handfuls of greens and season to taste⠀

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What’s on the Menu – Let’s Talk Turkey

I may be guilty of propagating a myth about one of our nation’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. In the Instagram post (link) promoting this week’s menu spotlight, I suggested that the wild turkey was in a race with the bald eagle to be on our nation’s seal.

I recall hearing that historical tidbit from a reliable source and when I went to find supporting research, I found a source that seemed to confirm my statement. Upon further research, it appears the idea of Franklin championing for the wild turkey to be our nation’s symbol way back in the 18th century isn’t entirely true.

According to excerpts from a letter authored by Franklin, he did believe that the wild turkey was a “bird of courage” more likely to chase off an intruder than the bald eagle, but did NOT suggest that the turkey should be a part of our nation’s seal. It appears that Franklin was somewhat apathetic to the idea of having a bird on our nation’s seal altogether (source). Regardless of the turkey’s moral character, the fact that it provides both significant macro & micronutrients is 100% accurate.

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You won’t find these types of turkeys at your grocery store

The turkey you pick up at the grocery store looks very different from the turkeys Benjamin Franklin was talking about. They may look different but their macronutrient content is very similar. Three ounces of turkey breast, without skin, contain 2 grams (g) of fat, 0 g of carbs and 26 g of protein (source). Not a great source of healthy fat or carbs, but a definite protein powerhouse. No surprise that you find turkey on a lot of meal plans for individuals looking to put on muscle.

Much like other animal-based protein sources, turkey is high in B vitamins, B3 & B6 in particular. B3, also known as niacin, is critical for the conversion of dietary macronutrients into usable energy including the production of glycogen. For those unfamiliar with glycogen, it is an animal starch stored in our muscles as fuel for future physical activity (source). This particular function of B3 is most likely why bodybuilders ingest supplemental forms of it to help them maintain their rigorous workout schedule.

Turkey also contains a significant amount of important dietary minerals. Zinc, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and iron are several minerals you’ll absorb eating turkey, but the mineral most abundant in turkey is selenium. A 4oz serving of turkey contains 62% of our DV of selenium, which is known to be a powerful antioxidant. With that said, it should come as no surprise that the consumption of turkey, and other poultry, has been shown to reduce the risk conditions/syndromes caused by oxidative stress like pancreatic cancer (source).

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Turkey doesn’t contain the amount of fat I normally prefer in my animal protein, but that’s an easy problem to fix. Shannon and I love using ground turkey (which does have added fat) to make burgers and I throw a couple slices of avocado on them to up their fat content. The combination of the protein from the turkey and the fat from the avocado makes for one satiating meal.

If you have a go-to turkey recipe that you think trumps my turkey burgers, please feel free to share it on our social media channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). You can also email it to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Email is the best way to find out more about Elemental Training Tampa’s online training program. Get that personal training you’ve always wanted at a price that you can afford.

What’s on the Menu – Grass vs. Grain

Today’s menu spotlight will focus on the nutritional differences of grass fed and grain fed beef. Before I get into the nutritional research I gathered, I want to quickly touch on the environmental & animal welfare aspects of both types of beef. Even though the production of both types of cattle can vary widely based on current regulations, I feel comfortable stating a few generalities about both. Grain fed cattle tend to live the duration of their lives in indoor feed lots and consume grain products like corn and soy. Grass fed cattle live the majority of their lives in pastures feeding on the grass available to them. Based on these points, the lives of grass fed cattle are more similar to that of their wild ancestors than grain fed cattle.

I want to reiterate that these are generalities. The USDA has not yet set a standard that all grass fed beef producers must follow (hear more about that here), which means the conditions grass fed cattle are subjected to can vary from one producer to the next.  If you choose to buy grass fed beef, research the producer. The more you know about the beef your buying, the better. Alright, on to the nutritional comparison.

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Image courtesy of American Grassfed Association (link)

Can food and environment actually affect the nutrient composition of a species? You bet it can!

A 2010 study determined that grass fed beef can have up to 5 times more omega 3 fatty acids than grain fed beef. This is important because omega 3’s reduce inflammation and lower the chance of us acquiring insidious health conditions like heart disease and dementia (source).

In addition to fatty acids, grass fed also contains a different saturated fat composition than grain fed. While the amount of saturated fat in both types of beef is relatively similar, grass fed contains a higher proportion of stearic acid than grain fed. This component of saturated fat has been determined NOT to raise blood cholesterol levels, meaning that grass fed can have less of an effect on your cholesterol than grain fed (source).

Grass fed also contains more vitamin E and beta-carotene than grain fed. Our body uses these nutrients to help prevent the production of free radicals, which have the ability to create damaging health conditions like arthritis and cancer. These particular antioxidants also work together to prevent nutrient degradation during the beef’s journey from farm to table (source).

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Even though I’m a big grass fed cheerleader, weird visual, both types of beef are highly nutritious in regards to macronutrients. Three ounces of 85/15 (lean meat to fat ratio) ground beef contains 13g of fat, 22g of protein and no carbs. But when you factor in the environmental impact and animal welfare differences, along with its micronutrient superiority, spending a extra cash on grass fed seems like a no brainer. Plus, your purchases can help revitalize the small farm industry, which I believe is key to changing our current industrialized food system.

I know cost is one reason why people choose not to buy grass fed beef, but I’d like to hear if there are any other reasons. Feel free to send us an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com or contact us on social media.

All you grass fed lovers can hit us up too! Send us a pic of your favorite meal featuring grass fed beef. We’d also love to see pics of the local farm you pick up your beef from.

Addicted To Fitness Show Notes – A Conversation with the Creators of the Hemp & Coffee Exchange

I go into each podcast with a general outline of what topics I want Shannon and I to address, but we rarely stick to our outline. I’m not complaining because these seemingly scheduled detours lead to great conversations. Which is why it was no surprise to me that this week’s episode of Addicted to Fitness unfolded in a way that I could have never imagined.

We took the podcast on the road this week to meet with the creators of an innovative coffee beverage. Jeremy Denny and Brett Schwencke are the owners/operators of the Hemp & Coffee Exchange, which focuses on providing “sustainable and progressive products to the conscientious consumer by focusing on renewable hemp merchandise and high quality consumables.” Their premier “high quality consumable” is a super coffee that combines the nutritional benefits of hemp hearts or seeds with single origin green coffee beans that they roast themselves. I was first turned on to their product by seeing a bag of it at my local coffee shop. This discovery led Shannon and I to take a trip out to Jeremy’s “Tiny Ranch” for a taste test of their products. What we got was an experience of a lifetime.

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Before we sat down for the podcast, Jeremy showed us around his small estate, introduced us to his four legged friends and demonstrated his affinity to a sustainable lifestyle. After our tour, Shannon and I sat down with Brett and Jeremy and began going over the history of the The Hemp & Coffee exchange. Jeremy’s extensive culinary experience combined with Brett’s knowledge of the hemp industry allowed them to create a unique product that meant both of their ridiculously high standards. Jeremy explained how combining hemp with coffee can provide additional macro and micronutrients not normally found in coffee like omega 3 & 6 fatty acids and fiber. Brett informed us that not only is hemp nutritionally beneficial, but farming it in the United States, where it is currently illegal to mass produce, could help rejuvenate our dwindling agriculture industry. Shannon and I were sold on the nutritional and environmental aspects of the super coffee, but what about the taste?

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The first blend we tasted was a combination of hemp seeds and coffee. Our first immediate reaction was that it tasted very similar to tea. We were both drinking it black and were surprised by how subtle the flavor was. Shannon normally can’t handle black coffee, but she had no problem with this blend. We then tasted the combination of the hemp hearts and coffee. Right away I could tell that I preferred this one. The hemp hearts provided a creamy and nutty flavor similar to that of my non-dairy bulletproof coffee. Interesting enough, Jeremy and Brett stated that their hemp coffee provided the same nutritional benefits, if not more than that of bulletproof coffee. Take that Dave Asprey!

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Jeremy and Brett from the THCexhange

I hope I’ve conveyed the fact that this episode is much more than just a taste test or interview podcast. You really have to listen to the episode to get the full scope of the discussion. Our conversation with Jeremy and Brett was not only educational, it was inspirational. Meeting and speaking with like minded people that are focused on sustainability, whether it be environmentally or nutritionally, is one of the main objectives of the Addicted to Fitness podcast. Do yourself a favor and order a bag of super coffee on the Hemp & Coffee Exchange website, and connect with Jeremy and Brett on their various social channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

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We really hope you enjoy episodes like this. If you do, please let us know. You can send us feedback at elementaltampa@gmail.com or leave us a rating and review in iTunes. We hope you enjoy the podcast as much as we enjoy producing it. Thanks again for your support and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversation-creators-hemp-coffee-exchange/id1121420986?i=1000381428238&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/a-conversation-with-the-creators-of-the-hemp-coffee-exchange

 

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.

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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – From the Vault: Protein Preferences

I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand. Not a worry in the world, cold beer in my hand. Life is good today. Life is good today

I imagine I’ll be humming along to this Zac Brown tune while you all listening to this week’s podcast. Shannon and I are off to Mexico for a friend’s wedding, but we don’t want to leave you loyal listeners without your weekly dose of health and fitness information. Which is why we reached into the ETT Wrap show vault for a throwback episode of the Addicted to Fitness podcast.

Shannon and I start off this classic episode discussing our weekly workouts, group training and ETT’s first team competition, the Mud Endeavor 5k. For those unfamiliar with the Mud Endeavor, its a great obstacle course race based out of West Central Florida. Having already ran this race, I highly recommend it and suggest anyone looking to challenge themselves, consider obstacle course racing. After all the mudrun talk, we get into the real “meat” of the episode.

The remainder of the podcast focuses on the wide variety of protein sources available to meateaters and non-meateaters. Shannon describes her experience as a vegan and lists off her go-to protein sources (legumes, nuts, seeds) along with what type of supplements she had to take in order to get all her essential nutrients (B12 & iron to name a few). We also read off a ton of our listeners favorite protein sources which include peanut butter, yogurt, eggs, cricket flour, red meat and many more. Reeling off our protein preferences leads to an interesting discussion about the importance of gut health, which we will definitely be talking more about in a future episode.

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We’ve got a lot of great podcasts lined up for you all, including next week’s episode which I believe is our best episode to date. You’ll definitely want to subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t done so already, and please rate, review and share Addicted to Fitness with anyone and everyone. Thanks again for all the support and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to the Addicted to Fitness podcast

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2#episodeGuid=ff12ecccd3885916e7d604ce5fdecb63

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/from-the-vault-protein-preferences-for-vegans-meateaters

What’s on the Menu – Grocery Shopping Prerequisite

We’ve all done it. It’s a mistake that I’m sure grocery stores are happy people make week in and week out. No, I’m not talking about forgetting your reusable grocery bags. I’m talking about going to the grocery store HUNGRY.

We seemed to be focused on grocery shopping this week on elementaltampa.com, and for good reason. The choices you make at the grocery store can have a significant effect on how you look and feel. You may not realize it but those choices can be influenced by the level of hunger you have before you step into the grocery store. In as 2013 study, researchers found that individuals that went grocery shopping while “hungry” were more likely buy high-caloric unhealthy foods (chips, candy, etc.) than those that ate before shopping for groceries. Another study confirmed these findings by documenting individuals that went grocery shopping before dinner time, 4-7pm, buying more unhealthy foods than those people that went shopping after lunch, 1-4pm (source). The “feast or famine” mentality left over from our primitive ancestors may want us to eat everything in sight when we’re hungry, but there are certain steps we can take to prevent us from bringing home a barrel sized container of cheese balls.

Shannon and I have discovered several ways to prevent impulse buys while grocery shopping, but none work as well as eating before you go. A couple of our go to pre-grocery shopping snacks are raw cashews and/or cured meat with cheese. Both snacks are nutritious (cashews: 6g fat, 4g carbs, 2.5g protein per ounce; genoa+provolone: 26 g fat, 21g protein, no carbs per package), shareable, portable and most importantly satiating. I’ve, and some scientific research, found that foods containing a significant amount of protein and/or fat will help you stay fuller longer and hold back that pesky hunger hormone gherlin.

Hopefully you are already practicing this pre-grocery shopping ritual. If so, send us pictures of your pre-grocery shopping snacks. We’re always looking to expand our repertoire.

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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – The Macros Game Returns!

I’m giving Shannon the week off from writing the show notes to ensure that she is in tip top shape for our trip to Mexico next weekend. Even though she’s taking a week off from the show notes, it doesn’t mean you won’t get to hear her on the this week’s Addicted to Fitness podcast.

We start this week’s episode with a recap of our past week of training. Even though Shannon was feeling a little under the weather, she was able to complete a couple short sessions on our beloved peloton cycle. After our training recap, Shannon discusses her upcoming yoga “immersion” weekend, which is part of her Bella Prana yoga teaching certification program. This certification process will provide Shannon with a whole new skill set and allow her to pursue one of her passions. Shannon discussing pursuing her passion was the perfect segue to my big announcement about Elemental Training Tampa (ETT).

If you’ve listened to the podcast before, I’m sure you’ve heard me mention that providing personal training through ETT is where my passion lies. However, I haven’t had the opportunity to make ETT my full time vocation, until now. I’m proud to announce that starting in March, ETT will be a full time health & fitness operation. We have been invited by the Tampa Strength Academy to operate our training system at their new location in South Tampa. When I started ETT back in 2014, I always wondered if I’d be able to go full time into fitness. Now that the opportunity has actually presented itself, I almost can’t believe it. I’ll be writing another post about the entire process of deciding to take ETT full time, but needless to say, I couldn’t be happier.  As if that announcement wasn’t enough, we’ve got a brand new edition of the MACROS GAME!

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For anyone that is unfamiliar with the Macros Game, it is a nutritional trivia game that requires contestants to guess the macronutrient (fat, protein or carbohydrate) when given its amount in grams contained in 1 serving of a specific food. It may sound complicated, but once you hear it in the episode, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it. We’ve done holiday editions in the past, but this week we grab nutritional info from food items we picked up on a recent trip to the grocery store. We would love you all to play along at home and let us know if you have more nutrition knowledge than Shannon or I.

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When you all send your scores for this week’s Macros Game, we’d love it if you’d provide us any feedback on the podcast. Better yet, head to the iTunes store, and give us a rating and review. I say it every week because its true. Your feedback helps us create a better product. Thanks again for all the support and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/grocery-shopping-edition-macros/id1121420986?i=1000380846108&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/grocery-shopping-edition-of-the-macros-game