weight loss

What’s On The Menu is this Weekend’s Workout

I didn’t get my weekly “What’s on the Menu” post done for its normal Thursday post date, but I still wanted to share it with you. Read about my experience with intermittent fasting then enjoy another effective weekend workout.

I was first introduced to the idea of fasting during my formative years in Catholic elementary school. Every Friday during Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter), all Catholics were encouraged to fast during the day and then finish the day with a “meatless” dinner. Thankfully the Bible didn’t consider seafood meat, which meant I enjoyed a lot of McDonald’s fish sandwiches and pizza for dinner during Lent.

I’ll admit that my dedication to daylight fasting during Lent was spotty at best and, as devoted to Catholicism as my parents were and still are, they didn’t send my brother and I to school without lunches.  I was extremely grateful to them at the time, but with what I know now, periodic fasting could have been extremely beneficial.

The origins of fasting date back to ancient Greece and it’s inclusion in numerous religious doctrine make it one of the oldest weight loss/control methods. Even though its been used for several millennia, the extent of fasting’s metabolic benefits are just starting to be discovered (source).

One of my go-to sources for the latest health research, Dr. Rhoda Patrick, has been promoting the benefits of intermittent fasting, which she refers to as time restricted eating, for some time now. The basic concept is that you have an eating window everyday that syncs up to your natural circadian rhythm. The research suggests that the most metabolic benefits occur with a eating window of no more than 12 hours and, unlike my Lenten fasts, occurs during the day (source).

Studies have shown that adherence to this way of eating may save you from a number of the leading causes of death. Several recent discoveries about the death-defying benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  • Every other day fasting found to reduce obesity and insulin resistance by changing gut bacteria (source)
  • An 11-hour eating window associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk & reduction in recurrence (source)
  • Frequent fasting has been shown to reduce the insulin-like grown factor 1 (IGF1) which has been show to proliferate the growth of cancer cells (source)

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I’ve been partaking in time restricted eating for the past 3 weeks and I’ll admit it’s pretty tough for someone like me. I have a very active job and some days I leave the house before 7am and don’t return till 8pm. Thankfully I’ve been very good at packing a lunch full of nutritious and satiating foods that help me get enough fuel in during my eating window.

Even though I started my current intermittent fasting plan with no desire to lose weight, I’ve lost nearly 5 lbs in 3 weeks. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but when you’re 5’11” and 160, losing 5 lbs without really trying is pretty significant. As great as the weight loss is, I’m more excited by the possibility that this way of eating can help me prolong my life.

Another way to prolong your life is with regular exercise, which is why you should try the weekend workout featured below. This workout includes several variations of one of the most beneficial exercise there is, the squat.

Squats are considered a compound exercise, which means they are multi-joint movements that require the use of various muscle groups. Try to knockout these various forms of the squat and make sure you let us know in the comment section below or on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) how you feel the next day. Don’t forget to warmup and modify the workout to match your fitness level. ENJOY!

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What’s on the Menu – Cauliflower: The Veggie Drawer’s Utility Player

If you all are anything like me, you knew when your mom or dad was cooking cauliflower for dinner. Hell, you could probably smell it before you even walked in the house. In today’s post, we’re going to go over several reasons why you should eat cauliflower, but I get why kids don’t exactly go crazy when they see it on the dinner table. The smell, the stark white appearance and the overall bland flavor would turn off any 8 year old. The beauty of this “blank canvas” of a veggie is in its versatility and the fact that it is a nutritional “powerhouse“.

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Cauliflower belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes other highly nutritious veggies like kale, broccoli and turnips. One cup of cauliflower contains 5g of carbs with over half of those carbs coming from fiber. The phytonutrients contained in cauliflower include a significant amount of Vitamin C, K and folate. It also contains an organic compound known as glucosinolates, which when broken down during the cooking process produces cauliflower’s less than appetizing smell, but also produces several other compounds that have been found to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects (source).

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You know me, I’ll sacrifice taste for a nutritional payoff (e.g. sardines). Luckily, cauliflower is so adaptable that you can use it to make some of your favorite carby side dishes. Instead of white rice, try riced cauliflower (pictured above). Instead of tater tots, try cauliflower tots. Instead of a wheat based pizza crust, try a cauliflower pizza crust. Yes that’s a real thing! Former guest of the Addicted to Fitness podcast Anna Vocino has an awesome cauliflower pizza crust recipe on here website. Give her recipe a shot and let me know how it comes out. We’d love to see pictures of how you dress up your cauliflower.

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Our Favorite Smartphone Fitness Apps

Written by Shannon, aka Cassandra. 

Sometimes you simply can’t avoid getting sick. This week I caught a cold which resulted in a husky alter-ego that Nick named “Cassandra.” So don’t mind the raspy co-host for today’s episode.

Ironically, we’re talking about health & fitness apps today! Specifically, Nick and I share our favorite apps that we use every day, then we go through apps from listeners and friends who submitted their picks.

Following up on our previous episode where I reviewed the Fitbit Charge 2, I dive into the user-friendly mobile app that serves as the real power behind any Fitbit. This free app is where you setup your actual Fitbit device, establish your goals, and even where you can track a few other handy health and fitness items.

The Fitbit app includes a very easy user interface, with a main screen that highlights some of your main daily metrics like: steps, floors climbed, miles covered, calories burned, activity and water consumed. You can also get info on your resting heart rate, calories consumed, sleep, etc.

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Picture courtesy of fitbit.com

The best part is the integration with other apps, including Nick’s food log app that he breaks down further, and the peloton app, which sends workout info from the bike to your Fitbit app.

Nick provides a review of the Lose it! app, which is a food journal. While neither of us are big on counting calories, we do like holding ourselves accountable and it’s easy to lose track of what you’re eating. This app is a great way to ensure you’re truly seeing how much macronutrients you’re taking in each day, your calories consumed and your calories burned.

The food catalog for Lose It! is truly impressive with millions of food items, ingredients and meals alike, already logged into the database. You can even scan barcodes with a built-in barcode scanner to make it easy to identify specific food items.

Snap it!, which is an extension of the Lose It app, even gives the option of identifying food by snapping a picture, which it then tries to match up to corresponding nutrition information. It’s just not incredibly accurate, so it’s more effective for simple items (e.g. piece of fruit, protein bar, etc.).

There is a premium version of the app, but the free version offers great options and even integrates with other fitness apps to provide information like steps and exercise.

Getting into the listener’s favorite fitness apps, we list them off for ya:

At the end of the day though, it doesn’t matter if you use fitness apps or not. Use whatever tools you need to hold yourself more accountable and help you to reach your fitness goals.

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We wrap up this episode getting amped up for the new Facebook Live workout that is now available on the ETT Facebook page. Perfect little 25-min workout video that includes a warmup, 15 min HIIT workout and an ab-centric cooldown.We’ve got exciting episodes coming up; please reach out at elementaltampa@gmail.com and let us know what topics you’d like us to discuss on a future episode. Thanks for listening!

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/our-favorite-smartphone-fitness/id1121420986?i=1000380559728&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/our-favorite-smartphone-fitness-apps

What’s on the Menu – Butter is back!

We’ve been told for decades that this particular food item can be a major obstacle to losing weight and being healthy. I’m talking about the ingredient that is making the dish below glisten like a newly shined automobile.

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That’s right I’m talking about BUTTER!

It seems back in the 1960’s, butter and other saturated fats (e.g. cream, coconut oil, lard) were labeled as unhealthy by our government. This was most likely due to some possibly-bias research provided by Ancel Keys. Keys and his Seven Country Study asserted that individuals that had a higher intake of saturated fat were more apt to develop heart disease. We’ve recently discovered that his research may have been swayed by the Sugar Association and that higher mortality rates were most likely due to the higher consumption of saturated fat in conjunction with sugar.

The debate of who’s right still rages on, but scientists and researchers like Dr. Mark Hyman, Nina Teicholz and Gary Taubes have discovered that saturated fat is not the villain, it was once painted to be.

Now, I don’t want anyone to think they should start eating sticks of butter like Homer Simpson or Paula Deen, but I think it’s safe to say you should feel comfortable to cook eggs, melt and drizzle on steamed veggies, or create a sauce for a delicious salmon dinner (like the one pictured above) using butter.

One tablespoon of butter contains 100 calories and 12 g of total fat (8 g saturated) with no carbs or protein. Not exactly a complete food, but the fat it provides is essential for the production of hormones, energy, and cell membranes (source).

Also, in a world of processed foods with mile-long ingredient lists, a quality butter has AT THE MOST 2 ingredients: cultured pasteurized cream and salt.

It’s important for me to state that I’m not a doctor. Shocked as you all may be, I would never recommend taking my dietary suggestions over those from a medical professional. However, I’m pretty confident that if Shannon, the chef for the meal above, made this dish for a medical professional, they’d agree that butter is BETTER!

We want to see the delicious dishes you’ve made with butter. Tag your photos on social with #ETTampa or leave comments below on how you’ve ditched manufactured vegetable oils for the real thing.

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – 2016 Health & Fitness Accomplishments

I’m taking the show notes back this week as Shannon recovers after a stellar Christmas Day performance at our place. The woman is a hell of a host let me tell you. You all hear how passionate she is about exercise each week on the podcast so I’m sure you can imagine her engineering an all day Christmas extravaganza. With one holiday in the books, and New Years well in sight, Shannon and I thought it be appropriate to look back at our 2016 health and fitness achievements on this week’s episode of Addicted to Fitness.

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Listing our achievements for 2016 made us grow nostalgic of all we were able to accomplish in the past year. We reminisced about the first Elemental Training Tampa (ETT) mudrun, coaching Carmin at Mike Calta’s Punchout 2, Shannon purchasing and loving her Peloton cycle, my tumultuous year of jiu-jitsu and Shannon’s dedication to a healthier way of eating (she’s already lost of 10 lbs!). Another achievement Shannon and I discuss is ETT’s first Facebook Live workout, which is happening December 26th at 11am EST. All you have to do is go to ETT’s Facebook page and you can take part in a intense HIIT workout that will help you work off some of those delicious Christmas calories.

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This podcast itself is most definitely an accomplishment for us in 2016. Producing a weekly health and fitness podcast was a goal I set before this year started and I’m proud to say we were able to accomplish it. We’d love hear what goals you accomplished this year. Please feel free to share them with us in the comment section, on our various social channels or you can email them to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com. Your feedback and support has helped us grow into a 5 star rated podcast and we are extremely grateful. Keep rating, reviewing and sharing the podcast and let’s stay healthy as we transition into another year.

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/our-2016-health-fitness-accomplishments/id1121420986?i=1000379331633&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/our-2016-health-fitness-accomplishments

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

 

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – From the Vault: Sleep Supplements & Biggest Loser

Guest post by Shannon.

As we draw closer to the holidays and the close of another year, it’s a great time for a flashback.

One of the great things about podcasting is that you have a store of regular discussions to look back on and relive. Thus, we bring you one of the Vault episode from the earlier rendition of the podcast known as the ETT Wrap Show.

In this podcast episode, Nick and I review his and the ETT race team’s performances in the Mud Endeavor 5k, how he avoided serious injury and how this race gives other obstacle course races, like Tough Mudder, a run for their money.

 

NOTE: The next ETT team competition is going to be the 2017 Gasparilla 5K on Feb. 25th in Tampa. Want to join the team? Register here and when you choose a team, look for Elemental Training Tampa.

We also get into my constant battle with getting back to a normal sleep routine after enjoying a total lack of sleep structure on vacation. Could simply getting out of an established routine be to blame or is work stress adding to the challenge? We reference a Primal Blueprint podcast and explain the cortisol effect and what supplements can help depleted adrenal glands.

Getting more into news, we chatted about a New York Times article describing former “The Biggest Loser” contestants’ post-show weight gain. A bit of friendly debate around whether a calorie deficit diet really is the best way to keep weight off, follows. It’s a common practice by celebrity trainers, but health experts don’t necessarily agree, opting for quality over quantity.

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We’ll be bringing you an all new podcast next week, so keep listening for more health and fitness information each week. Let us know if you have any topics you want to hear. Send us an email – elementaltampa@gmail.com – or give us a head’s up on social. As always, rate, review and share the podcast. We love and appreciate the support. Stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/from-vault-mud-runs-sleep/id1121420986?i=1000378584024&mt=2

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

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/from-the-vault-mud-runs-sleep-supplements-the-biggest-loser

 

 

What’s on the Menu

Being a Maryland native, I’m predisposed to like crab cakes. It’s in my blood. In my opinion, the blue crab should be the state animal. Do states even have state animals? Anyways, I love this delectable seafood dish and depending on the ingredients, a crab cake itself can be rather healthy. My grandmother would use a little bit of flour as her binding agent, but the prominent ingredient, and rightly so, was the crab. Three ounces of cooked blue crab contains 15g of protein and almost half of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin B-12. The naughtiness of this awesome dish usually arrives with the addition of a sauce or a bun if you have it as a sandwich. The version you see below, created by my talented wife Shannon, is the gluten free version of a crab cake “sandwich.” The crab is held together with egg, mayo and gluten free breadcrumbs and the “bun” is a portobello mushroom. I can tell you it would make my grandmother proud. If you’re sticking to a strict low carb diet you can ditch the potatoes for another vegetable. Trust me, you’re going to want to add this dish into your weekly meal plan.