sugar

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Zero Calorie Beverage Taste Test

Nick and I start this week’s podcast off with a couple announcements that are likely familiar to any of our regular listeners.

First off, Nick is still offering a complimentary fitness evaluation and all you have to do is email him at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

If you enjoy our podcast and want to show some love, we have a great opportunity for you! Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay 2017 is open for voting until August 23rd and Addicted to Fitness is a finalist for Best Local Podcast (under the People, Places & Politics category).

How to Vote⠀ Visit cltampabay.com, click on Best of the Bay Banner, and you'll find ATF in the "People, Places & Politics" category under best local podcast. ⠀ ⠀ Make sure you vote for your other Tampa fav's including friends of the podcast @uscryo_tampa @sacredfloatsandgems.co @purebarretampa @spaddyscoffee @amirardebily @themikecaltashow @samwax1 @mwax10 @uniqueotto⠀ ⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ #addictedtofitness #podcast #itunes #libsyn #fitness #health #exercise #workout #diet #nutrition #food #gym #fitfam #boxing #saturatedfat #coconutoil #aha #skincare #activatedcharcoal #cltampabay #hearthealth #Tampa #tampabay #tampafl #tampafitness #healthytampabay #igerstampa #southtampa #ETTampa

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In terms of our training recap for the week, Nick and I talk about a pair of group fitness classes that we were both involved in over the last week. I did my very first assisting class, which is part of the requirements for my yoga teacher training, by jumping in to help a group of 50 people of different experience levels. It was actually a terrific experience and once I got past the initial nerves, I really enjoyed helping people find proper alignment and offering some hands on adjustments to those who wanted it.

Nick on the other hand actually got thrown into leading a section of a kickboxing class at Title Boxing in Tampa, where he’s been looking into the possibility of teaching classes. Minus being completely new to the Britney-Spears-headset, he admitted that he got right into the 30-min drills on the kickboxing bags that he led. Stay tuned for whether he’ll be debuting his training skills at Title Boxing in future!

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For this week’s episode, Nick had told me that he really wanted to do a taste test, which was just fine with me! We took on a taste test of zero calorie “naturally” sweetened beverages.

You’ll have to listen for the full initial reactions and reviews on each of the three drinks we tried, but here’s a quick recap:

  • Perrier with Lime – Classic mineral water with loads of bubbles and a clean, refreshing lime flavor. We both agreed it was a win, with its natural flavors, if you like bubbles. I even suggested it might make a good mixer for the bar!
  • Zevia – The Mountain flavor was sweetened with stevia and smelled a lot like Sprite. The taste, however, was all stevia. Neither Nick or I could really get past the “blanket mouth” aftertaste that it left behind.
  • Steaz – A half-and-half green tea, lemonade combo that mentioned its zero calorie benefit three times on the front of the can (clearly they wanted to get the point across). Not nearly as bubbly as the other two, this beverage was a hit for both Nick and I. The major sweetener was erythritol, which we’d explored in a previous podcast (check out Episode 29 – the interview with CEO of Swerve, Andress Blackwell).

There are loads of other zero calorie drinks on the market, but these were just a few that we thought would be good to review. Please let us know if you’re a fan of a particular beverage in this category so we can give it a try.

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Also, we called it out early on in this week’s episode but always end with an invitation to share your feedback and ideas for future podcast episodes with us. Message us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) or email. We’d love to hear from you!

Until next week’s episode, have a great one!

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/zero-calorie-beverage-taste-test/id1121420986?i=1000390742956&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/zero-calorie-beverage-taste

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/zero-calorie-beverage-taste-test

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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 – The beneficial aspects of being bitter

I think I can count the number of sugary sodas I’ve consumed over the last 5 years on two hands and still have a few fingers to spare. I’m sorry if you feel that I’m gloating but after recent research suggested that sugar, specifically sucrose, may be more addictive than COCAINE, I’m OK tooting my horn a little bit (source). I’m not trying to alienate any individuals currently addicted to sugar because we’re learning more about how legit that dependency can be.

I get it. Water is boring. Sure, all living things need it to sustain life, but as an animal with approximately 10,000 taste buds, we enjoy our beverages with a twist of flavor. With the information about the detrimental effects of sweetened beverages coming out seemingly on a weekly basis, what options do we have left?

Thankfully, mother nature provided us with such a well know flavor enhancer that restaurants are just giving it away!

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Picture courtesy of Shannon’s blog (adashofsparkle.com)

Lemons belong to the citrus genus that include other fruits like grapefruit, oranges and limes. The beneficial aspects of citrus were first documented in the late 1700s when James Lind discovered that they effectively treated scurvy, which is caused by a Vitamin C deficiency. One lemon contains approximately 50% of our daily value (DV) of this important nutrient. Research shows that the symptoms of the common cold, anemia, asthma and ischemic stroke may be significantly reduced by the consumption of foods high in Vitamin C, but the health benefits of this nutrient don’t stop there (source).

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is needed for the creation of numerous bodily structures including bones, muscles, skin, ligaments and more. In order for our bodies to produce collagen, it requires Vitamin C. Being that Vitamin C is an essential nutrient (one we must gather from food or supplementation) consuming foods that are high in it, like lemons, may increase our collagen production. Increased collagen production could increase muscle mass, reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis and minimize skin lines and wrinkles (source).

Let’s recap – consuming more Vitamin C could allow you to gain more muscle, reduce soreness and look younger?! Let’s all go suck on a lemon.

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Ok, maybe I’m being a little bit over zealous. Sure you could eat a lemon to get that precious Vitamin C OR you could add the juice of a lemon (1 oz = 23% DV of Vit C) to salad dressing, fresh fish or that water bottle you carry around all day.

See what I did there? I brought it all back around to how we started this post. If you’re trying to kick that sugary soda habit and plain water isn’t cutting it, add a twist of lemon to your water. Better yet, add an ounce of lemon juice to soda water. You still get your carbonated beverage fix without the damaging sugar.

If you have a recipe that incorporates lemons or lemon juice, please feel free to share it with us. You can send a pic of your tart recipe to us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) or you can email it to elementaltampa@gmail.com.

You can also take advantage of the complimentary fitness consultations we’re currently offering by emailing us. 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.

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Unicorn Food: Starbucks didn’t start the trend

Shannon here. I’m finally back this week bringing you the show notes for our newest, and certainly one of our more trendy episodes. This week we jumped on the trend of unicorn foods. But before we get into the multi-colored fun, we tackle a quick recap of the week’s training.

I proudly hit my modified training goals – 4 training days a week including 3 days on the Peloton cycle and a HIIT workout that focuses on legs, butt and back. Sometimes it’s the little victories that make your week.

I’ve also started sharing some of my yoga learnings and leading Nick through yoga training, starting with basic vinyasa flows focusing on proper alignment. We even quickly chatted about areas of yoga that I’m most interested in.

Nick had his first appointment with his new functional medicine doctor. No worries, there were no particular issues that inspired it, but rather a general search for knowledge about what was going on in his body.

Functional medicine is focused treating underlying causes of symptoms, not just the symptoms themselves. Nick’s doctor was very thorough in their initial appointment, even commenting on his low heart rate and making some… interesting samples requests. Chances are we’ll be talking about the results on an upcoming episode!

Now, onto the trendy talk – unicorn foods. The mystical food trend around rainbow colored foods that started on Instagram and has spread to brands across the world. Most recently, Starbucks jumped on the swirly color food item and they debuted a rather controversial product – the Unicorn Frappuccino.

Pictures of the concoction – pink and blue swirls of sugary blended ice complete with sprinkle topped whipped cream – appeared all over with a note that it would only be available for a limited time, so of course I had to pick one up for coworkers and I to sample.

Nick was not so inclined to try it and took a very adverse position to the whole thing, somewhat outraged that a ridiculous cup of sugary iced syrup could get so much attention. Nick even quoted a line from his man crush, Anthony Bourdain about his hate for Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino.

Granted he was fairly unaware of the whole unicorn food trend anyways. It wasn’t until I reminded him of the viral sensation that was the Squatty Potty video in which an animated unicorn pooped out rainbow soft serve.

So where’s the health/fitness hook, right? Well, we dive into the nutrition facts of this particular item and it rocks some particularly lengthy amounts of flavorings and sugar. And amidst the laundry list of ingredients, Nick was most scandalized that there was NO COFFEE IN IT at all. There was a scary combination of fat (16g) and sugar (58g) in a grande (medium) though.

The most shocking part? The Unicorn Frappuccino is not the worst offender on their menu. Most of the frappuccinos are just as bad on the nutrition side. This led us to talking about how Starbucks, which has quickly jumped in to compete with fast-food restaurants, doesn’t always boast the best food options. It’s really just the straight coffee that isn’t too terrible.

In the end, the responsibility of keeping a healthy balance comes down to us (the customers) making the right decisions. So be sure you take a peak at what’s in your food and try to keep a good balance if you partake in even the trendy foods.

Finally, we recapped some of the listener responses from our previous episode – when do you listen to the podcast – and the most common response seems to be while commuting. So thank you to EVERYONE who is listening, whenever and wherever.

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This week, let us know if you’re a trendy food or just unicorn food lover!

As always please send any and all feedback to elementaltampa@gmail.com or drop us a line on social media. Have a healthy and balanced week!

Links to this week’s episodes:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/unicorn-food-starbucks-didnt-start-the-trend/id1121420986?i=1000384951994&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/unicorn-food-starbucks-arent-the-only-offenders

What’s on the Menu – Not So Sweet Potato

I really think the sweet potato should thank the Paleo movement for its recent rise in popularity. I grew up on a farm and the only time I recall seeing and/or eating sweet potatoes was in pie form at Thanksgiving. But then the paleo diet started to gain popularity in the early 2000s and BOOM! Sweet potatoes were in vogue.

I should mention that there is some debate amongst paleo diet followers if sweet potatoes are “paleo” or not. Regardless, I think sweet potato farmers should thank Robb Wolf and Dr. Loren Cordain for the 80% increase in consumption of their product in the U.S. between 2000 – 2014 (source). Shannon and I have certainly done our part to contribute to that increase as sweet potatoes frequently make their way into our weekly meal plans, and why not! They provide significant amounts of essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin C & B6 and manganese. They also provide more of the antioxidant beta-carotene than any other whole food on the planet (source). But what about their sugar content? Well, the actual truth of their sweetness may surprise you.

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The glycemic index (GI) & glycemic load (GL) chart is a good tool to use when you’re trying to determine your body’s blood sugar & insulin response to certain foods (click here to see chart).  If you check out the chart you’ll see that sweet potatoes have a lower GI and GL than russet potatoes. If you’re trying to maintain a strict diet that contains only low GI & GL foods, a baked sweet potato may not be an option. Luckily there is a certain way to prepare sweet potatoes that will significantly lower their GI & GL.

While a baked sweet potato contains a relatively high GL of 22, a boiled sweet potato contains a GL of only 11 (source). This is great news! Wanna know why? Because in order to absorb more of those awesome nutrients contained in the sweet potato, you need to add fat to them. See where I’m going with this? That’s right, mashed sweet potatoes with butter and heavy cream may be the healthiest way to enjoy this multipurpose starch. You can also toss the steamed sweet potatoes in olive oil if you’re lactose intolerant.

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Sweet Tater Chips – One of my fav preparation methods

Above you’ll see a pic of my sweet potato “chips” before they head into the oven. No, they’re not exactly low carb, but they are covered in butter and olive oil. If you’re interested in indulging in these every once in a while, you’ll need a stainless steel vegetable slicer to CAREFULLY cut the sweet potato nice and thin. Coat them and a foil lined baking sheet in butter and/or olive oil and bake them at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Take’em out, flip’em, and cook for another 10-15 minutes. You can broil them for a few minutes at the end if you want to crisp them up.

Now that I’ve share one of my favorite sweet potato recipes, it’s time for you to return the favor. Feel free to send your recipes, complete with pictures, to us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You can also email them to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com. We appreciate all feedback, especially the tasty kind.

What’s on the Menu – Dark Chocolate: Brain Candy

If you’ve checked out the “About” section of elementaltampa.com you would know that I wasn’t always as health conscious as I am right now. There was a point in my life where I didn’t care about a food’s nutritional content, calories and/or ingredients. My taste buds determined what I ate and that usually meant refined grains and sugar. Pasta, crackers, chips, fast food and of course CANDY! I was fortunate enough to pull up from the nutritional tailspin that I was in and now my cravings for “treats” has evolved.

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I discovered that once I kicked processed foods out of my diet, my taste buds started being more appreciative of the flavor of whole foods, especially sweet items. This epiphany marks the point when my love for dark chocolate really began. I always liked chocolate, but it was mainly milk chocolate that consisted of more sugar than actual cacao. Once I modified my diet, I started gravitating more to dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao. I now enjoy Ghirardelli’s 86% cacao dark chocolate, which contains less than 2 grams of sugar per 1×1 inch square. I’m trying to condition my taste buds to enjoy the highest cacao content possible not just because it contains no sugar, but because of its numerous health benefits.

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Much like the previous menu “spotlights” in this blog, dark chocolate with high cacao %’s contain extremely high levels of antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce the presence of free radicals, which can be responsible for chronic diseases/syndromes like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and even cancer. In addition to its antioxidantive properties, dark chocolate may be one of the world’s most powerful “brainfoods” (source).

A 2009 study documented an improvement in the cognitive function (e.g. problem solving, memory recall, perception, etc.) of elderly adults that consumed foods rich in flavonoids like dark chocolate. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also promote cerebral blood flow which could help individuals who suffer from dementia or strokes (source). Hopefully these health benefits will motivate you to add a few pieces of dark chocolate to those Easter baskets you may be putting together in a few weeks.

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If you have a killer recipe that features dark chocolate, please send it our way. You can post it in the comment section below or email it to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com. Also, please share these blog posts with a friend. Help us spread the good word of proper nutrition.

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

 

What’s on the Menu

I’m tired of one of my favorite Thanksgiving Day staples being blamed for post feast sleepiness. Tryptophan is an amino acid that contributes to the production of the body’s “calming” hormones serotonin and melatonin. It’s true that turkey contains tryptophan, but no more than any other animal protein. According to the infographic below, a 3 ounce portion contains 250-310 milligrams. If you look at natural sleep aid supplements, like Onnit’s New Mood, a recommended dose contains 2-3 times that amount. The turkey you eat during your meal is not solely responsible for you feeling like you have narcolepsy. 

The real culprit of post Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness is most likely the amount you eat and, in my opinion, the massive amount of sugar you consume. Think about it. The marshmallows & brown sugar on the sweet potato casserole, the cranberry sauce, the obligatory pumpkin pie. All these dishes create a massive blood sugar spike which will almost certainly lead to you passing out in front of the TV while the Lions lose another Thanksgiving Day football game. If you’re interested in not acting like a tranquilized bear after yourThanksgiving Day meal, you may want to eat a little more turkey and ditch the sugary & carby side dishes. With that said, you best believe I’m having some pumpkin pie tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving peeps!

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Infographic courtesy of Time.com