pregnancy

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – How Nutrition Affects Postpartum Depression

This week’s Addicted to Fitness kicks off with a brand new announcement! I encourage you all to keep emailing me to schedule a free fitness consultation and follow-up, but I also want to let you know that you can train with Elemental Training Tampa from anywhere. Contact me at elementaltampa@gmail.com to learn how you can participate in our online training program.

I start off this week’s training recap discussing the fitness contract I drew up for myself and my clients. Staying accountable to the goals you set for yourself is one of the many steps to achieving them. I believe signing a physical contract that you can see on a regular basis can help you be more accountable. My personal fitness contract stated that I will take at least one jiu-jitsu class a week. If you’re interested in using the fitness contract to reach your own goals, click here to download a .pdf version.

Screenshot 2017-08-20 at 8.28.47 PM

Free fitness contract; download by clicking link above

Shannon is closing in on the big day, which means the type & amount of exercise she’s capable of doing is becoming more limited. Instead of morning rides on the Peloton cycle, she’s made it a goal to walk approximately 30 mins every morning. This benefits both her, the baby and our a 4 legged child Jaz.

She also discusses her recent experience assisting in prenatal yoga classes in her training recap. Shannon is coming to the end of her yoga teacher training program, and has noticed that most fitness professionals are over-cautious when working with pregnant women. In her current state, she knows that pregnant women love and appreciate a little extra hands on attention.

We stay on the subject of pregnancy for our main discussion on this episode. Shannon bravely admits that she’s worried about the anxiety symptoms associated with the postpartum period. We did a little research to find out why the baby blues occur and discovered that a large contributing factor is a massive shift in hormones.

Prenatal yogi

After her yoga teacher training program, we’ll technically have 2 yogis in our household

From what we read, postpartum symptoms are at their highest 5 days after childbirth and are significantly influenced by a lack of estrogen and the presence of the enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A). This enzyme can prevent the brain’s utilization of “feel good” hormones like dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.

A recent clinical trial demonstrated that a supplement containing blueberry extract and the amino acids tryptophan & tyrosine had prevented “any depressed mood” in a group of women during their postpartum period (study link). Shannon’s already a fan of blueberries, so we researched the top 10 foods that contain tryptophan and tyrosine. You’ll have to listen to the episode to hear the entirety of both lists, but below is a couple of Shannon’s favorites.

Foods High in Tryptophan – egg white powder, spinach, soy protein isolate & spirulina (link to entire list).

Foods High in Tyrosine – cottage cheese, salmon, turkey & spirulina (link to entire list).

screenshot-2017-08-20-at-9-23-47-pm.png

We hope that this episode helps people understand a little more about what happens to women after childbirth. I also want to reiterate that we BARELY scratched the surface of a very complex issue. If you want or need more information about postpartum depression, PLEASE consult a medical professional.

If you’re looking for feedback about your current fitness plan, you can reach out to me via email and/or social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter). We’d also really appreciate it if you left 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/how-nutrition-affects-postpartum-depression/id1121420986?i=1000391275086&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/how-nutrition-affects

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/how-nutrition-affects-postpartum-depression

What’s On The Menu – The Whole Food That Gets Invited to Every Party

If you’re one of the 11 people on the planet that haven’t heard the go-to mushroom joke, here you go

Q: Why did the mushroom get invited to all the parties?

A: Because he’s a FUN-GI!

Allow me to explain why that joke is somewhat comical for those who may not understand. Even though you find mushrooms in the produce section of the grocery store, they aren’t technically vegetables. They actually belong to a group more closely related to humans than plants known as the FUNGI (pronounced fun-guy) kingdom (source).

Let me know when you stop laughing?

Screenshot 2017-07-27 at 5.45.31 PM.png

Image courtesy of suttons.co.uk

Now that you’ve had your chuckles, I want to enlighten you on the serious health benefits mushrooms can provide. One cup of raw white button mushrooms (pictured above) contains ~1 gram (g) of fat, 2 g of carbs and 3 grams of protein. You should also be aware that different varieties of mushrooms can provide different amounts of micro & macronutrients. For example, while white button mushrooms only have 3 g of protein per cup, large portabella mushrooms contain 5 g per cup (source). Not a tremendous difference but definitely important to individuals who are looking for more non-animal protein sources.

Mushrooms are certainly a great low-carb addition to any meal, but I believe the real benefits lie in their micronutrients. They contain a significant amount of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B9 (folate). B vitamins play a major role in our energy levels and red blood cell formation, but they’re also important for brain health and fetal development (source).

Mushrooms are also the only non-animal, non-fortified source of vitamin D. This is a big reason why mushrooms are a frequent component of the vegan diet. The best dietary sources of vitamin D usually come from the animal kingdom OR processed foods enriched with vitamins and minerals (source). The naturally occurring vitamin D in mushrooms is important to several bodily functions & systems, but recent research suggest that its biggest benefit may be cancer prevention.

screenshot-2017-07-27-at-6-34-10-pm.png

The results of two separate studies, one published in 2015 and the other published this year, suggested that specific varieties of mushrooms demonstrated the ability to suppress the genetic markers associated with certain types of cancer (source). I don’t care how funny they are, mushroom’s ability to fight off the Big C is a much better reason to have them at your next party.

That’s a call back people.

Speaking of calls. You should schedule a Skype call with yours truly to discuss your current health & fitness plan. I’d love to provided you with tips on exercise, nutrition or accountability. All you have to do is send me an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com. You can also email us your delicious mushroom recipes or share a pic of your favorite mushrooms dish on our social channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Getting Enough Iron & Metabology Taste Test

Shannon here, bringing you some show notes from the recent episode.

Looking back on our training recap for the week I’m proud to say being pregnant hasn’t held me back from my training. In fact, I’ve been able to keep up with my training goals for the last 6 weeks, just scaled back. Gone are the days of high impact and even super high intensity, replaced with some more moderate plans. In addition, I’ve expanded my yoga practice to include prenatal yoga, which was eye opening, especially when it comes the pelvic floor exercises (oh so important).

Meanwhile, Nick has been trying to get in some strength training, though he admits he’s been slacking a bit in the last week. The majority of his work has been focused on kettlebells. He’s also been doing a 30-day “waist trainer” challenge with clients.

Next, we get into some recent doctor visits. At the recent St Pete Healthy Lifestyles health expo, put on by future podcast guest Mika Rotunda, Nick took advantage of a discounted consultation at local chiropractor office. He learned that he doesn’t have optimum movement in the upper spine (cervical and thoracic) and that he has a slight forward head position. Both Nick and I agreed that he should start getting regular massages, but in the meantime, he’s working on some mobility work at Tampa Strength.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 5.36.28 AM

Image courtesy of appreciategoods.com

For my doctor visit, I had the joyous opportunity to do the glucose test for gestational diabetes. Thankfully my results came back negative.

I also had some bloodwork done and had my iron levels checked. Despite having had normal levels at the beginning of my pregnancy, it seems my iron levels have decreased since the baby is using more iron. Turns out pregnant women need twice the daily value (DV) of iron than non-pregnant women, about 30g per day. Now that I know, I’m being diligent about taking my prenatal vitamin and getting more iron from the food I’m eating.

In looking up those foods rich in iron, I learned there are two types – heme iron (from animal sources, attached to protein) and nonheme iron (plant sources, which don’t typically get absorbed as well).

The top 10 iron rich foods (via the Dr. Axe article)

  • Top 10 iron rich food; click on food to read more about their additional health benefits

Though we both were fairly informed about foods packed with iron, we both learned something new when it came to vitamins that help or inhibit the absorption of iron. Turns out Vitamin C is an iron “enabler” (hello, strawberries), but calcium (dairy) is an iron inhibitor. So, turns out what I pair my spinach salad with is extremely important!

Now on to the main meal… literally.

Metmeals

Learn more about the Metabology meal service at metabology.co

Despite the fact both Nick and I believe that cooking the majority of meals is a key component to eating clean, it’s a big commitment and a lot of time goes into it. At some points in your life, we all need something fast. However, the “fast food” industry is not the best option for a decent meal, especially as abuse of that food contributes to health epidemics like obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

We had the opportunity to review Metabology meals, which is a food service that is available here in the Tampa Bay area.

We tried two meals, cooked by the German chefs that create the recipes, and we divided them up. Here’s a quick look at our taste test:

  • My meal – Breakfast Skillet
    • Plastic containers keep the food fresh and are microwave safe, coming complete with cooking instructions, macronutrient breakdown and a best by date
    • I missed that there was no ingredient list, but I took a guess at what was in my meal:  eggs, potatoes, green bean, yellow corn, sweet peppers, sausage, cheese, and herbs & spices. It also came with a small container of mild salsa
    • The overall taste was good, even after microwaving it, it wasn’t dried and had a nice little spice to it
    • Portion size was a bit big for me, and it took me a while to finish it, but it kept me full for over 3 hours
    • Overall rating: two thumbs up
  • Nick’s meal – Chipotle Chicken with Northeastern Veggie Medley with White Rice
    • We both found the container lids somewhat tough to get off, but it may be why the food stays so fresh
    • Chicken wasn’t rubbery after microwaving it and even the rice tasted fresh (not an easy feat for microwaved rice), which was a very pleasant surprise
    • The chipotle “sauce” on the chicken was tasty but not sure what it was made of
    • Meal kept him full for over 3 hours, which is especially rare for Nick
    • Overall rating: one and a half thumbs up

Our mutual conclusion was that the meals were good, but both Nick and I agreed that we’d like to get more information about their ingredient sourcing and preparation process.

Podcast pic 6-26

Knowing that meal prep takes time, TELL US, about you meal prep experience.

And don’t forget email elementaltampa@gmail.com to take advantage of the free fitness consultation we’re currently offering.

If you haven’t done so already and can nominate Addicted to Fitness for best local podcast in Creative Loafing’s 2017 Best of the Bay, please do so.

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/getting-enough-iron-metabology-taste-test/id1121420986?i=1000389089665&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/getting-enough-iron-metabology

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/getting-enough-iron-metabology-taste-test

What’s on the Menu – Get’em while their fresh

Today’s menu spotlight is asparagus, which is why I want to address the stinky elephant in the room right off the bat. Yes, most people experience some unpleasant odors when they visit the restroom after eating asparagus. The reason why is a chemical contained exclusively in asparagus known as asparagusic acid.

Clever name right?

When digested, this chemical produces foul-smelling sulfur-containing compounds. As unpleasant as this olfactory side effect may be, it pales in comparison to the health benefits eating asparagus can provide (source).

Asparagus is full of healthy micronutrients but the one that is most prominent is vitamin K. One cup of asparagus contains over 100% of our daily value (DV) for vitamin K. This vitamin is essentially necessary for blood clotting. Studies have also found that the vitamin K in asparagus could help increase bone density, while decrease fracture rates among individuals with osteoporosis (source). The health benefits of vitamin K are extremely important, but asparagus contains a large amount of a another nutrient that I’m much more interested in, especially at this point in my life.

pexels-photo-416594

The day this blog is posted, my wife Shannon will be 27 weeks pregnant. Anyone that has gone through this process knows that proper nutrition is a HUGE part of a healthy pregnancy. One component of pregnancy nutrition is making sure the woman receives an adequate amount of certain nutrients. Folate happens to be one of those nutrients and asparagus contains over 60% of our DV per cup. Folate aids in several functions critical to a developing fetus like preventing neural-tube defects, red blood cell formation and DNA construction (source).

Which is why it’s safe to assume that I’ve been essentially force feeding Shannon anything high in folate over the last six months. We’ll have to cross asparagus off that list soon because its peak growing season has nearly ended and freshness definitely affects the plant’s nutrient density.

Asparagus is a spring time crop. Yes you can buy canned and frozen asparagus year round, but the plant’s biology drastically reduces its available nutrients once it’s harvested. You may not know this but plants don’t instantly “die” once they’re picked. Metabolic functions continue to occur and in asparagus, these functions occur at a very rapid rate. In fact, asparagus’ post harvest “metabolism” is approximately 5 times greater than onions and potatoes stored at room temperature. This fact is why the George Mateljan Foundation recommends eating asparagus within 48 hours of purchasing (source).

Menu pic 6-22

Hopefully this post inspires you to grab some fresh asparagus if you see it at the grocery store or farmer’s market this weekend. It may be your last opportunity! If you do grab an asparagus bunch during your next shopping trip, please let us know. Feel free to snap a pic and tweet it to us or post it on our Facebook page (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). We want to know if you were able to enjoy fresh asparagus before the season ends this year.

In addition to your asparagus pics, you can also contact us at elementaltampa@gmail.com to take advantage of the complimentary fitness consultations we’re currently offering. Whether you need advice on nutrition or just want workout tips, I’d be happy to set up an appointment with you to discuss how you can improve your fitness.