obesity

What’s On The Menu – Let’s Ketchup on this Micronutrient Superfruit

I apologize for the brevity of this post. I had a full blog written, with funny anecdotes and informative nutrition details about this week’s menu spotlight. Bbbbbbbuttttt, when I woke up yesterday morning to do the final edit, I discovered that I didn’t save it.

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My reaction when I realize I didn’t save this week’s blog

I don’t want to leave you all hanging this week, so the following is a short summary of why you need to start incorporating more tomatoes & tomato products, besides ketchup, into your diet.

  • Tomatoes’ macronutrient content isn’t anything spectacular – 1 medium size tomato contains no fat, 1 gram (g) of protein and 5 g of carbs; its carbs consist of mainly simple sugars & insoluble fiber (source).
  • Tomatoes’ micronutrient content is what really sets them apart – they contain a significant amount of vitamins (C, K & B-complex), minerals (molybdenum, potassium & copper) and antioxidants (lycopene, rutin, beta cartoene & many more – source).
  • The consumption of the micronutrients contained in tomatoes has been shown to mitigate certain health conditions – The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants contained in tomatoes have been shown to help with the treatment of high blood pressure, heart disease, degenerative vision conditions, depression and more (source). Lycopene, which tomatoes contain a significant amount of, has been shown in epidemiological & animal studies to lower the risk of certain types of cancer (source).
  • Shannon makes the best tomato dish EVA! –  Some may say this is an opinion, but if you’ve had Shannon’s Saucy Tomato Eggs, you would know it’s a fact. Do yourself a favor and click here to check out the recipe.

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Hopefully the wizards at WordPress can work some magic and recover the previous blog. If they do, I’ll update this one with any additional info.

In the meantime, please feel free to send us your favorite tomato recipes. Doesn’t matter if you like’em raw, stewed or smashed into a paste, send those recipes to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com. You can also send us pics of your go-to tomato dishes on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).  Shannon and I will pick the most tasty looking one and repost it on all our channels.

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!

What’s on the Menu – I can see clearly now

None of us are getting any younger. I know that’s not exactly breaking news, but I recently reached the point in my life where I’m beginning to feel the effects of aging. I cruised through my 20s with little concern every time my birthday rolled around. Now, as I inch closer to 34, I’m starting to experience issues that would have never affected me 5 years ago.

My muscles take a little longer to recover from a tough workout. It’s hard for me to be energetic the day after a poor night’s sleep and if I decide to forgo “clean eating” for a night, my digestive system is in turmoil for at least 24 hours. Fortunately, there is one bodily function that has yet to be touched by the hands of father time and I believe that has a lot to do with today’s menu spotlight.

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Whether it be in a salad I packed for lunch or Shannon’s delicious Saucy Tomato Eggs (clink link for recipe), bell peppers frequently make their way into many of our meals. Unlike their spicy cousins, bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, which is why they’re often referred to as sweet peppers. True to their name, bell peppers provide a sweet flavor and a tremendous crunch to any recipe. Even though they lack the beneficial capsaicin compound, bell peppers provide a host of beneficial nutrients that can help manage several different health conditions, including poor eye sight.

One medium sized red bell pepper contains approximately 75% of our recommended daily value of vitamin A. Research has shown that the vitamin A contained in vegetables like bell peppers not only protects the surface of the eye, but also decreases the inflammation created by specific eye conditions (source). In addition to vitamin A, bell peppers also contain high levels of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to be effective in the treatment of age-related vision loss (source). Believe it or not, the bell pepper’s health benefits don’t stop there.

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Bell peppers also contain a significant amount of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate and numerous antioxidants. This nutrient dense fruit/veggie improves immunity, reduces inflammation, promotes healthy pregnancies and stimulates collagen production. It’s important to remember that a lot of the vitamins bell peppers possess are fat soluble vitamins. Which means you need to prepare them with a fat source. Sauteing them up in olive oil or butter should do the trick (source).

I know I included the link already, but do yourself a favor and check out Shannon’s saucy tomato eggs recipe. If I had to pick only one meal that contained bell peppers to eat for the rest of my life, it would be that one.

No doubt about it.

If you have a recipe that features bell peppers that you can’t live without, please let me know about it. You can email your recipes to elementaltampa@gmail.com or post a pic of your favorite bell pepper recipe on one of our various social media channels. It’s going to be hard to beat Shannon’s recipe, but you can try.

What’s on the Menu – Expiration dates need not apply

I’m a huge Anthony Bourdain fan. I know I’ve said it before, but he is my man crush. He’s a badass chef, a killer writer and trains jiu-jitsu nonstop. Besides the decades of substance abuse, I’d definitely want to be him if I could switch bodies for a day. One of the main reason I want Bourdain’s life is he gets to travel the world and eat unique and sometimes unusual cuisine. One such trip, which was documented on this CNN show Parts Unknown, took him to Denmark and the “science bunker” of the often #1 rated restaurant in the world, Noma. There he got to taste numerous food items in various stages of fermentation. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to travel to Denmark to reap the benefits of fermented foods.

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Inside the Noma Science Bunker (pic courtesy of eater.com)

Fermented foods are all the rage nowadays. You can find them at grocery stores, farmers markets and juice bars. You can even find them at baseball stadiums. You may have several fermented foods in your fridge and not even know it. Common fermented foods include: yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, natto and kimchi, which is today’s menu spotlight.

The nutritional value of the vegetables used to make Kimchi are actually enhanced due to the fermentation process. The primary bacteria responsible for Kimchi’s fermentation, Lactobacillus plantarum, not only increases the numerous vitamins and minerals contained in the vegetables, it also increases important bioactive compounds like thiocyanate and glucosinolate. These compounds have been linked to possible treatments for various health conditions such as cancer, obesity and atherosclerosis just to name a few. Kimchi also happens to be a natural probiotic that promotes proper gut health (source). Sounds like a miracle food right? I think it is and what’s even more amazing is that you can make this miracle food at home for next to nothing.

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Making homemade kimchi is so ridiculously easy that I’m pissed at myself that I haven’t done it yet. The only supplies you’ll probably need to invest in are several glass mason jars with screw on lids. Other than that it’s just vegetables and spices. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to prepare (sorry for the commerical).

If you already make your own homemade kimchi, let us know about your recipe. We’d love to share a pic of your delicious fermented veggies on our social media channels. Feel free to send any and all feedback to elementaltampa@gmail.com or reach out to us on social media. We’re not afraid to “fanboy” over the greatness of kimchi in a public forum.

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – 2016 Year in Review

Shannon here. I’m back!

The end of one year and the start of another prompts many traditions, including a look back at the year we’ve bid farewell to. 2016 was a pretty epic one for the podcast, being the inaugural year!

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We covered some great topics in the past year and picked out some special highlights for you in this week’s episode.

  • Interview Highlight – Vinnie Tortorich explaining the NSNG diet and how it could have a great impact on the country’s obesity epidemic.
  • Taste Test Highlight – Bone both review discussing the taste and benefits of this popular “new” food item.
  • Product Review Highlight – Peloton cycle review including an on-bike workout going through the features the bike has to offer.

Mostly, we want to thank all the listeners for your support which has helped keep us going through this first year and made Addicted to Fitness a 5-star rated podcast in the iTunes store. We are so appreciative for all your support. Don’t forget you can get in touch with us between podcasts and keep the feedback coming either on Facebook or by leaving a review in the iTunes store.

Thanks again for listening and Happy New Year!

Links to this week’s episode:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-2016-year/id1121420986?i=1000379513408&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/addicted-to-fitness-a-year-in-review

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Interview with Swerve Sweetener President & CEO Andress Blackwell

Notes by Shannon.

This week’s podcast is going to be sweet.

It all started with the discovery of Swerve Sweetener. Picked up on a whim, we tried this sugar alternative after seeing it in a blog recipe. After making one kick-butt pumpkin pie, our interest was piqued.

Could this product that tastes comparable to sugar (you can use it 1:1 in most recipes to substitute regular sugar), with zero effect on blood sugar & insulin response, be too good to be true?

We put the question out into the world (and social media) and got a response. A response from the folks at Swerve Sweetener no less, offering up an interview with their President and CEO Andress Blackwell!

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Picture courtesy of Shannon Palmer

The quest for more information about this sugar substitute, which we have previously chatted about in a past episode, is what led to this week’s interview. Nick got the chance to ask those questions that had been nagging at us for weeks:

  • Where did the development of this particular sugar alcohol – erythritol – come from?
  • How was it different from other sugar alcohols that can cause some… gastric issues?
  • Where has it been tested? Will there be more tests in the future?
  • What’s the mission for the Swerve Sweetener team?
  • Who could benefit the most from a sweetener like this?
  • Where can you find this product now?

Nick got the answers to these questions and more in the interview.

As for where you can find this product to try it out for yourself (just in time for the holidays no less!), you can use the store locator feature on their website to find a retailer near you.

We’re not the only podcast talking about sugar substitutes. Friend of the podcast, Vinnie Tortorich voiced his opinion in an episode of his podcast not too long ago. (If you know Vinnie, you might very well be able to guess what his vote on any sugar-like product would be.)

Our main takeaway, though? It’s easy to see how something like this could come in handy as an extra tool to battle the overwhelming amount of sugar in our diets around the holidays (and the rest of the year). There’s a good chance I’ve got a couple batches of favorite holiday cookies baking up in the oven right now. It’s tradition after all.

But don’t take our word for it! Listen to the interview and let us know if this is a product you might be using to sweeten up your life in the future.

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President & CEO of Swerve Sweetener, Andress Blackwell

Have a topic or interview you want to hear us discuss in a future podcast? Send us an email – elementaltampa@gmail.com – or give us a head’s up on our social channels. Thanks so much for all your support and don’t forget to tell us what you think either on Facebook or by leaving a review in the iTunes store. We love your feedback! Thanks for listening and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/interview-president-ceo-swerve/id1121420986?i=1000378846236&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/an-interview-with-the-president-ceo-of-swerve-sweetener-andress-blackwell

 

Body Types, Skinny Fat and the drawbacks of the Body Mass Index (BMI)

Fresh off our trip up to New England, Shannon and I kick off this week’s Addicted to Fitness podcast reminiscing about how good, and how bad we were in regards to what we ate. Shannon discovered, with the help of the Lose It! app, that the most egregious diet perpetrators were the adult beverages and dessert. In other words, SUGAR! Even though we strayed a little from our normal low-carb diet, we weren’t the only ones concerned about “cheating” on our diets. We discovered that a couple of close friends had recently joined Weight Watchers and I’m happy to say have had some awesome results. I know that in the past we’ve voiced our concerns about the long-term success rates of “calorie counting” diets, but I do believe they can make people more cognizant of the effect certain foods have on their bodies. Their weight loss and the way they were discussing food choices made me believe they were on the road to healthy eating.

 

After our trip down recent memory lane, Shannon and I jump into a discussion about the 3 different body types. According to a article adapted from the book ROAR by Stacy T. Sims, PhD, the three general body types are ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Each body type has different symmetry, ability to gain/lose fat or muscle, exercise preferences and nutrition requirements. According to the article, Shannon and I identify with a lot of the mesomorph qualities but we also possess attributes from the other categories. Check out this article and let us know which body types you most identify with. It may help you determine which nutrition and exercise plan will optimize your health.

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Image courtesy of robinshea.com

One of the seemingly antiquated methods to determine overall health is the Body Mass Index (BMI). A simple ratio of weight and height has been used for nearly 200 years to determine whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Shannon and I discuss the pitfalls of BMI, including some troubling statistics brought to light in a recent New York Times article. The article breaks down a survey of over 5,000 people in which nearly 1 out of 5 participants were misidentified as being at a healthy or unhealthy weight. One segment of the population that is misdiagnosed are those with weight that is normal according to BMI, but their body fat % is higher than recommended. This phenomenon is known as “Skinny Fat” and Shannon and I describe why this may be more dangerous than being obese.

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Image courtesy of nytimes.com

Week in and week out, we try our very best to give you the most up to date health & fitness information. Whether it be about healthy foods, new exercise equipment or the latest wellness book, our goal is to provide information that will ultimately improve your quality of life. We already have our next interview with a health & fitness professional lined up, and we’re planning a couple cool on-location podcasts for the near future. Our weekly downloads continue to climb which tells us that you enjoy what you hear and you’re sharing the podcast. Keep on sharing and please, please, please give us a rating and review on iTunes. Thanks again 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=4b15b6c3cd7a94b904e0ace4e33cdb5e

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/body-types-skinny-fat-and-the-drawbacks-of-the-body-mass-index-bmi

An Interview with Certified Diabetes Educator Nicole Recine

The highly anticipated interview with certified diabetes educator (CDE) Nicole Recine has finally made its way to the Addicted to Fitness podcast. In addition to being a CDE, Nicole is also a registered nurse and soon to be nurse practitioner. She has made numerous guest appearances on other podcasts including our friend Vinne Tortorich’s Fitness Confidential podcast. I hope you were looking forward to this as much as I was because Nicole doles out a ton of awesome health and nutrition information during this interview. Nicole and I discuss numerous topics including the difference between type 1 & type 2 diabetes, the insulin response created by certain foods and how a high fat-low carb diet may be the key to weight loss. If you’ve tried to lose weight and been unsuccessful, you may want to schedule a phone consultation with Nicole. Just head to her website for all the details on how you can enlist her services.

The interview is definitely the focal point, but we also release the dates for a pair of upcoming ETT events on this episode. If you’re interested in finding out more about those events, just like us on Facebook. We’d also really appreciate if you’d give us a rating and review on iTunes. Your feedback helps us reach more people. Thanks for listening 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

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/an-interview-with-certified-diabetes-educator-nicole-recine