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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

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.

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – An Interview with the CEO & Founder of Growing Rootz, Carlen Garmon

We’re bringing you another interview episode of Addicted to Fitness this week. Before we get to our interview, Shannon and I discuss a pair of upcoming fitness related events we’re looking forward to. Shannon has another yoga immersion weekend for her Bella Prana teacher training program coming up and I will be starting a new morning boot camp at Tampa Strength. If you live in the Tampa area and want to start your morning off with fun & effective workout come check out the Rise & Grind Boot Camp (link).

After our fitness updates, we jump into my interview with the CEO & Founder of the organic grocery delivery service Growing Rootz (link), Carlen Garmon. Carlen began her pursuit of optimizing her health when she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (link) and hyperinsulinemia (link) in her early twenties. She decided to go off her medications once she became pregnant and instead used a diet of whole & organic foods to help treat her conditions. This shift in nutrition was a driving force behind the creation of Growing Rootz.

Growing Rootz provides customers in the Tampa Bay Area with organic quality produce, pastured & grass fed meat, free range eggs, raw dairy, bone broth and other wholesome goodies. Carlen believes that these types of products allow our bodies to function at an optimum level which is one of the main ideals that she incorporates into her holistic health coaching. I’m always skeptical when I hear a person label themselves as a health coach, but as you’ll hear, Carlen has a lot of personal experience dealing with health conditions that a lot of people struggle with.

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Interviewing professionals in the field of health & fitness is one of the main reasons why I began the Addicted to Fitness podcast. Even though all their stories are different, they seem to have one similar quality:

A situation arose in their lives where they had to make a decision on whether or not to make their fitness & health a top priority, and they did so.

I hope that this podcast can help inspire some of you to make a similar choice. This podcast is called Addicted to Fitness because we know how beneficial being obessesed with your health can be. If you agree please let us know. Feel free to email us at elementaltampa@gmail.com or hit us up on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). We’d also really appreciate a honest rating and review in the iTunes. Thanks again for all the support & stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/interview-ceo-founder-growing-rootz-carlen-garmon/id1121420986?i=1000385437699&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/an-interview-with-the-ceo-founder-of-growing-rootz-carlen-garmon

 

What’s on the Menu – Looks like Popeye was Right

I had a stout aversion to any green vegetables growing up. I don’t know if it’s a phase all kids go through, but the idea of eating peas, broccoli or kale made me physically ill. My parents gave up trying to incorporate green veggies into my diet after an unfortunate “messy” situation at the kitchen table. Those scarring experiences are probably why my parents, and other relatives, are still astonished when they see me pile green veggies on my plate nowadays.

One such green veggie that seems to make it into my diet on a daily basis is spinach. To be honest with you, I actually have to limit how much spinach I eat. It’s not because I’m prone to kidney stones, which the oxalates in spinach can contribute to, it’s because Shannon and I eat so much that we’d have to buy a new container multiple times a week. If you listened to this week’s Addicted to Fitness (episode link) you’d know that we buy it organically grown since the conventionally grown version contains high pesticide levels. I’d hate to go broke over spinach, but its health benefits are so prolific that its worth spending a little extra cash.

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I’m sure you’ve heard some of the major health benefits that spinach provides: high in numerous water & fat soluble vitamins (K, A, B6, Folate), minerals (magnesium, copper, iron) and fiber. What you may not be aware of are the potential health benefits of its “lesser” known micronutrients.

Spinach happens to be one of the richest sources of chlorophyll (substance that makes it green) on the planet, which means it’s also one of the richest sources of thylakoids. Recent research using spinach extract containing high levels of thylakoids has been shown to delay stomach emptying, decrease levels of hunger-related hormones and increase levels of satiety-related hormones. This research suggests that spinach extracts may be a viable treatment method for obesity and type 2 diabetes (source). In addition to its numerous health benefits, the mild taste of spinach makes it a welcome addition to a variety of dishes.

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Naturally I incorporate spinach into any salad I make, but the one meal that I always add spinach to that may come as a surprise to some is my homemade smoothie. Vegetable and fruit smoothies are a great way to add more dark leafy greens into your diet. My go-to recipe includes:

  • A big handful of spinach
  • 1/3 cup of blueberries
  • 1/3 cup of strawberries
  • 3 tbsp of Collagen Hydrolysate protein powder
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon & turmeric

I don’t think I’ve found a dish that I wouldn’t add spinach too. Even though I haven’t tried it in a dessert, I’m certain I wouldn’t turn down a bowl of spinach ice cream. Please feel free to share your favorite spinach recipe in the comment section below or email them to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com. You can also share pics of your delicious spinach meals on our Facebook page. Click here and post away!

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.

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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.

Food Label Breakdown

Shannon and I start off this week’s episode reminiscing about our past week of training. Our workout recap got me thinking about a possible exercise experiment. We’ve talked about which exercises burn the most calories according to a Harvard medical school publication in a past episode, but I want to determine which of the following exercises burn the most calories in 10 minutes: jump rope, shadowbox or stationary bike. Not sure if I’d be able to podcast this experiment, but I’d certainly post the results in a future blog. Which of those exercise do you think would burn the most calories in 10 minutes?

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After our training recap, Shannon and I investigate the actual definitions for several commonly used food label terms. Thanks to an article written by Sheah Rarback, a registered dietician and nutritionist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, we discover what the terms natural, GMO, non-GMO, gluten-free and organic really mean. Make sure you listen to this episode because I think you’ll be surprised about what products are allowed to use these terms. I know I was. In addition to these terms, we also discuss the ever evolving concept of “grass-fed.” Shannon and I frequently purchase grass-fed products, but after reading an article about the USDA recently dropping their requirements for a product to be considered grass-fed, we’re definitely rethinking adding them to our weekly grocery list.

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We are constantly trying to provide you with the most up to date health and fitness information. That is why I am please to announce that next week’s episode will feature an interview with registered nurse and certified diabetes educator Nicole Recine. Nicole is full of information on a variety of health and fitness topics including how we can fight the current obesity epidemic. If you have a suggestion for a health and fitness professional we should interview on the podcast, please leave it in the comment section below. After you leave your suggestion, please give us a review on iTunes and when you share this episode, tell your friend to do the same. Thanks in advance and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s podcast

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/food-label-breakdown/id1121420986?i=1000376118741&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/food-label-breakdown

What’s on the Menu

This week’s #whatiatewednesday post is meant to help those who’d like to add a little flavor to their food without adding empty calories. It’s true, sauces can sometimes be a stumbling block to healthy eating. Whether it’s preservatives or added sugar, something as simple as store bought tomato sauce can be detrimental to your quest to eat better. That’s why I wanted to highlight a sauce that in my opinion, and according to the label, seems legit. Publix Greenwise’s roasted garlic tomato sauce contains only 4g of sugar per 1/2 cup and has an ingredient list that I could recreate at home if I were so inclined. If you do use it, I’d suggest sticking to the serving size or less and use it to add a little flavor to veggies, not pasta. 

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