5 Foods You Must Avoid

Another Great Article From Prograde Nutrition!

By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES

Buying local, fresh foods from Farmers’ markets, organic farms, or from your local grocer can go a long way for your budget and your health.  However, not everyone can benefit or wants to shop healthy.  Here are the top five foods to avoid or minimize in your diet for a longer, healthier life and a leaner waistline, followed by the top five foods that will give you amazing health benefits.

Food #1 Low-fat Foods

Food labeling can be very deceptive when it comes to food geared for weight loss.  Low-fat foods are one of the products to be careful about.  Just because the food says “low fat,” does not mean the food is low calorie.  Be sure to check the label and see how many calories are typically in the product.  Most people associate low-fat foods with lower calories, so they tend to eat more.  Do not be fooled by this deceptive labeling technique.

Food #2 Sugar-Free Foods

Sugar-free foods are geared to people with diabetes or at risk for developing diabetes.  Sugar-free foods have low calories and no sugar.

However, look at the label under sugars, and you will see something interesting.  Sugar-free foods tend to have sugar alcohols, which is an ingredient designed to give it sweetness.  Most of the time, sugar alcohol is made from sugar products, which can lead to increased calories.  Sugar alcohols carry between 1.5 and 4 calories per gram.  Not only do you get extra calories, but you also can get cramping, bloating, and other gastrointestinal problems if you ingest too much.

Food #3  Commercial Smoothies

Normally, smoothies are associated with healthy eating.  They have skim milk, fruit, and yogurt, so they are considered a great, healthy food.  Some commercial smoothies, however, have many hidden calories from extra sugar.  Some smoothies are also made with ice cream, so you end up ballooning sugar, fat, and calorie content.  Most of the time, the fruit in smoothies is blended up into fruit juice, or fruit juice is added.   This eliminates the fiber that is found in the skin of most fruits.  My advice:  Make your smoothies at home, and leave the commercial smoothies on the shelf.

Food #4 Commercial Yogurts

Yogurt, again, has been considered a natural health product containing calcium, probiotics, and other products that have been shown to be beneficial to our health.  Look at the label again, and you might see something surprising.   When looking at the label, some of the first few ingredients in yogurt are different forms of sugar.  All this extra sugar can lead to weight gain and stubborn, hard-to-lose body fat.  So again, read the label and see exactly what is in the product before you choose the yogurt of choice.

Food #5 Sugary energy drinks including items with added vitamins and minerals

Energy drinks have been advertised as giving you that extra pick-me-up during the day, and a way to increase the intensity of your workouts.  Energy drinks can contain high amounts of caffeine and sugar, which gives you that initial pick-me-up, but you end up crashing hard later.  Also, some drinks that have added vitamins and minerals, can have loads of sugar as well.  So stop and think before you drink and choose something lower in calories and sugar, maybe something like coffee or tea.

Next, I am going to share with you 5 foods that are beneficial to your health, and you might not even know it.


Food #1 Swiss Chard

Aging can create many different problems for people.  Wrinkles, lack of balance, and our eyesight can worsen, and are just some of the different things that happen with the aging process.  Swiss chard is considered a super food because of some of the amazing caroteniods that can be found in this leafy green vegetable.  Swiss chard contains high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin that have been shown to help with good eyesight.   These two caroteniods have been shown to build up in the eyes, which help with the way light rays enter our eyes and are absorbed.


Food #2 Pepper, Especially Capsaicin

So most of you are probably asking why pepper is on the list.  Pepper is a zero-calories food that can add a lot of flavor to your foods.  Not only does it pack a great punch to your foods, but capsaicin has been shown to have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties.  It has also been shown to be helpful in fighting some cancers because of its anti-cancer effects.
Food #3 Wheat Grass

There are plenty of juices out there that contain Wheat Grass which is chock full of vitamins and minerals that will keep you healthy.   Loaded with Vitamins, B, C, and E, this food can help to clean out your system and fight infections.   Not only does this food contain essential vitamins and minerals, but it also is a complete protein.  This food is full of the essential amino acids that our bodies require for building muscle.   The high concentration of vitamins helps protect the body from stress that our bodies are under daily.

Food #4 Tahini

Tahini is now found in most grocery stores as an excellent source of all the B vitamins as well as calcium.  B vitamins are essential in development of healthy cells in the body, especially red blood cells.   B vitamins can also help in raising metabolism, and help our immune system become stronger.  Tahini also holds a surprising amount of calcium, zinc, and copper.  The high levels of calcium can help keep bones strong and healthy, and might be responsible in fighting some cancers. Tahini also holds an abundance of fiber, specifically sesamin and sesomolin, which can have positive effects in lowering cholesterol.
Food #5 Avocado

This amazing fruit helps reduce inflammation through some of the carotenoids found in the green, fleshy part of the avocado. This vegetable also has a tremendous amount of fat, but the good fats that are beneficial to the body. The main source of fat is Oliec acid, which helps with fat absorption and also helps to lower the risk for developing heart disease. Avocados also have phytosterols, which keep inflammation in the body under control.

How To Instantly Remove Two Of Your Biggest Weight Loss Obstacles >>

Kissing Gluten Goodbye

For people with celiac disease, this happens every day.

Thought it was good for me???

 

It has a funny name and is fairly rare. As a result, most people don’t understand Celiac disease. Want to be one of the educated folks who understand this difficult disease? Read on for a crash course.

Something Like an Allergy

When someone has Celiac disease, his or her body has a negative reaction to gluten. This negative reaction causes the small intestine to go crazy. More specifically, millions of villi (tiny hair-like substances that line the intestines and help the body absorb nutrients from foods) get damaged whenever gluten is ingested.

Since gluten is found in all sorts of foods, it is difficult for individuals with celiac to get well-rounded diets. Rye, barley, wheat, and grains that come from these foods all contain gluten. Since these foods have to be avoided by individuals with celiac disease, people living with celiac disease are at high risk for some other dangerous conditions.

More Names, Same Problem. Celiac disease is known by a variety of names: celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, gluten intolerance, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy. The end result, however, is the same: an inability to eat foods that contain gluten.

To Complicate Matters

The most obvious complication that can arise as a result of celiac disease is malnutrition. After all, if you can’t eat a variety of important foods, you’re going to have a hard time staying nourished. This leads to dangerous weight loss, fatigue, and growing problems. But celiac disease’s complications don’t end there.

In addition to malnutrition, celiac disease increases your risk for type 1 diabetes, gastrointestinal cancers, and thyroid disease. As each of these conditions come with even more potential complications, recognizing and treating celiac disease properly is your best chance at living a normal, productive, and healthy life.

Find and Fix

Most of the time, individuals with celiac disease will suffer from some embarrassing symptoms. Diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain and bloating are the most common symptoms, and these are often accompanied by depression or frequent bad moods. As these symptoms are often mistaken for indicating other conditions, it is important to undergo proper medical screening to ensure you receive a proper diagnosis. For an accurate diagnosis of celiac disease, you may have to undergo a physical examination, blood tests, and biopsies of the small intestine.

Once the condition is diagnosed, treatment is as simple as beginning a new diet that completely removes all gluten. Unfortunately, as easy as this new diet sounds on paper, it can be difficult in real life, as gluten sneaks its way into foods ranging from breads to sandwich meats. If you have celiac disease, you’ll also have to be on the prowl for foods that may have been contaminated with gluten products. Your favorite kind of ice cream may not contain gluten, but if it was made alongside a bread factory, you may have to find a new dessert of choice.

What to Watch

Wondering what foods you should avoid if celiac disease sneaks up on you? Have a friend with celiac disease coming over for dinner and want to make sure the menu is gluten-free?

The following are some of the items that contain gluten:

  • pasta
  • certain seasonings
  • dips and spreads
  • stuffing
  • thickening agents
  • non-dairy creamer
  • marinade
  • dry-roasted nuts
  • fried chicken
  • French fries (they’re often coated in flour)
  • modified food starch
  • wafers used in communion
  • cake flour
  • bread and breading used for cooking
  • couscous
  • sauces and gravies
  • yogurts that contain wheat starch
  • some wheat-free products
  • soy sauce
  • certain herbal teas
  • certain flavored coffees
  • beer
  • broths and bouillons
  • imitation meats

Sleeping Your Way to Weight Loss

Can catching Zs help you drop lbs?

You’ve been working at shedding that last five pounds for months, and nothing seems to work. You cut back on the amount of calories you eat, work out twice a day, and say no to every sweet temptation that has passed your way.

So why do those extra pounds keep such a firm grip on your hips? It could be your unwillingness to hit the hay.

That’s right. According to legit medical research, spending an ample amount of time getting shuteye is essential to helping your body get rid of those unwanted pounds.

Wondering how it works? Prepare to be amazed.

Getting Hormonal

Inside your body are all kinds of hormones that are responsible for doing all sorts of things. Two of these hormones, leptin and ghrelin*, have a stronghold on your appetite. In other words, if these two hormones decide to make you feel hungry, you’re going to feel hungry. They work by causing you to feel hungry (ghrelin) and informing your brain that you’ve had enough to eat (leptin).

While these hormones function quite well most of the time, a lack of sleep can result in your leptin levels to plummet and your ghrelin levels to rise. As a result, you feel hungry more than you ought and your brain never has a clue that you’ve had enough to eat. When this happens, you can only imagine the damage that can be done to all the hard work you’ve put into looking your best.

Put It to Bed

Now that you’re ready to power up your sleep for an easier time with weight loss, you may be wondering how to get better sleep. The first step is to give yourself enough time to sleep. You may be able to function on four or five hours of sleep each night, but most people require more. On average, shoot for eight hours, give or take an hour. It may mean giving up your late night dancing ways or beginning your workout a bit later in the morning, but getting your body’s hormones regulated will pay off.

In the event you’re already spending plenty of time in bed at night without feeling rested in the morning, you may be living with a sleep disorder. From sleep apnea (pauses in breathing as you sleep) to restless legs syndrome (irresistible urges to move your legs when you rest) to narcolepsy (constant sleepiness), sleep disorders disrupt your bedtime routine and your entire day from the moment you wake up. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can find the relief you need from your condition and beginning sleeping better and losing weight with greater ease.

*Sleep loss also changes the amount of another hormone (cortisol) produced by your body. Like the combination of leptin and ghrelin, cortisol is also directly responsible for regulating whether you feel hungry or full.

The Other Way Around

Getting plenty of good sleep is essential to your ability to obtain and maintain a healthy weight. At the same time, losing weight is a good way to improve your ability to sleep well.

Why? For a number of reasons.

First, overweight people are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that causes the sufferer to stop breathing for prolonged periods, as he or she sleeps. In many cases, losing weight actually results in the individual being cured of sleep apnea.

Another reason weight loss helps you sleep is because of the frequent link between being overweight and suffering back pain. While back pain is bothersome during the day, it can be extremely bad when the sufferer lies down to sleep, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay that way.
So whether you find yourself attempting to lose weight or get better sleep, you can’t have one without the other!

Welcome 5 New Athletes To Killeen’s Boot Camp!

Welcome!

WELCOME!

Reshanda Tatum

Cheryl Fidelia

Angela Clemons

Timika Bynog

Gaynor Lewis

The Slow Food Movement

More than a movement, it’s becoming a way of life.

Yummo

Cook your own food using fresh ingredients. Know where the vegetables, meats, and fruits you eat come from. Meet your local farmers if you can. It sounds like some sort of Utopian view of eating, and maybe it is. Known as the Slow Food Movement, this new view of an old way of life is garnering lots of attention from food lovers across the globe.


But is there something you can learn from this slow-and-steady approach to mealtime?

Good Things Take Time

While the Slow Food Movement may have only recently become a household name, it’s been around for quite some time. In fact, according to the web site for Slow Food International (slowfood.com), it all started in 1989. Just remember this the next time you’re frustrated with the amount of time it takes to cook a meal the old-fashioned way. Or when you’re tied up in traffic, building a boat from scratch, or teaching your children good manners. Because while you can get a high-fat, unhealthy meal at the snap of a finger, good nutrition and life takes a bit longer.

Conformity Is Bad

Sit down for an hour or two of television and you’re guaranteed to see multiple commercials for fast food and other restaurants. You’re likely not going to see commercials espousing the benefits of purchasing your own food from local growers and spending time cooking it. If you do see commercials for making homemade meals, it’s probably a grocery store pushing their prepackaged “homemade” meals that only require a little time in the microwave.

You knew it in high school and it bears repeating – conformity is not always a good thing. Yes, conforming to traffic laws and accepted etiquette is a good idea. But conforming to what the media says you ought to eat will do nothing but beef up your waistline, leave you feeling sluggish, and put you at increased risk for all sorts of diseases.

Patience Is a Virtue

One of the most obvious differences between Slow Food and other means of eating is the amount of time it takes to plant, harvest, and prepare foods. Whereas you may be accustomed to sprinting through life without giving a second thought to any of your actions, the Slow Food Movement forces you to think twice.

Where did this piece of celery come from? What chemicals were used to force it to grow faster and with fewer bugs? Did the person who grew and cultivated the celery get paid fairly? In the Slow Food Movement, emphasis is placed on buying local, enabling you to better appreciate the process of growing food.

At the same time, cooking your own food helps you learn patience inside your home, as it is impossible to whip up dinner in the three minutes you allow the people behind the counter at a fast food restaurant. Who knows? The Slow Food Movement may even encourage you to spend more time with your family, which everyone desires.

Support Local

Wondering how you can get your hands on more locally grown and raised produce and meats? Here are a few tips.

  1. Find your local farmers market and shop there regularly. It’s wonderful to develop a relationship with the people who are responsible for growing your food.
  2. Contact your local chamber of commerce. Having a hard time finding out where the farmers market is? Head to the chamber of commerce and ask. Someone there will either know or know someone who does.
  3. Talk with local grocery stores. Individually owned and some chain grocery stores are often willing to stock local fruits, veggies, and meats. Tell a manager that you would like to buy locally as much as possible, and you may have a better local selection in the near future.

Welcome New Fitness Boot Camp Athletes!

I want to welcome Paige Claro and Norma Martinez to our evening Boot Camp class! Oh and they totally rocked the “Murph” workout today. Just sayin.

What’s Your Real Reason For Not Commiting?

Do you have a REAL reason for not training, for not working hard to lose fat? A REAL reason for it?

Look at this picture and tell me yes...

Building a Healthy Smoothie

Smoothies are supposed to be healthy. Here’s how to make sure they stay that way.

Yummo, Coach like!

Ever since you first heard of smoothies, your mouth has been watering. When you’re sipping on a smoothie, your mouth is in taste heaven. When there’s no smoothie in your hand, all you can think of are strawberries, bananas, and blueberries. But if you’re not careful, your smoothies can turn into nothing more than an average dessert.

To make sure your smoothie is as healthy as it is cold and delicious, you’ve got to have more than a good blender. You’ve got to have the right building blocks as well.


Building Block: Fruit

In a healthy smoothie, the most basic building block is fruit. Ideally, you want to go with fresh fruits that aren’t sitting in sugar water or have been made unhealthy in some other way. Rather, you want fruit straight off the vine or tree. Raw fruit that hasn’t been tampered with will ensure you the most powerful smoothie punch.

Some of the most common fruits found in smoothies include bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. But don’t let this keep you from getting creative. No matter what your favorite fruit is, you can toss it in the blender for a delightful, flavorful smoothie. From cantaloupe and mango to pineapple, raspberry, and melon, you can include any fruit you can find in your smoothie concoction.

Want the thickest, most delicious smoothie possible? Toss the fruits you plan to use for a smoothie in the freezer before you go to bed. In the morning, toss them in the blender. It’s a simple, yet effective way to get the thick smoothie you want.

Building Block: Juice

Once you’ve got your fruits picked out, you’ll need to find a complementary juice. As with the fruit choices, there is one juice that is picked much more often than the others: orange juice. However, you can toss in whatever type of juice you want to spice up your smoothie.

For variations on your favorite smoothie, give apple juice, grape juice, or cranberry juice a shot. Each different juice will affect the consistency, thickness, and flavor of your smoothie, so keep trying out juices until you find the perfect flavor for your pallet.

Building Block: Yogurt

When you have lots of different fruits and flavors, you’ll probably want something to pull them all together into one cohesive whole. Enter stage left: yogurt. Low-fat or fat-free is the best choice, and since most yogurt falls into one of these categories, it is also an easy choice to find.

With the right amount of yogurt in the mix, your smoothie will go from a yummy treat to a must-have each and every day. While you’ll probably rely on vanilla yogurt for most of your smoothies, using strawberry, strawberry banana, blueberry, or other flavors will enhance your smoothie instantly!

Wake Up and Smell the Smoothie

Need a better way to get your day started? Get your morning off right with this easy-to-make Wake-Up Smoothie recipe.

Yields:
3 servings, 1 cup each
Preparation Time:
5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups orange juice (go for calcium-fortified for added benefit)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen berries of your choice (good options include raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat silken tofu or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or Splenda Granular (optional way to add flavor that causes the smoothie to be a tiny bit less healthy)

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients and put in a blender. Cover and blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Serve immediately. Smile.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 139 calories; 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams monosaturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 28 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 19 milligrams sodium, 421 milligrams potassium.

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken and Avocado Salad

Looking for a cool salad to fill you up this summer? Here’s a delicious recipe from my partners over at Prograde Nutrition for you.

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken and Avocado Salad
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

1 tsp.  lemon juice

1 bag (10 oz.) torn romaine lettuce (about 10 cups)

2 cups  shredded cooked chicken

1 medium tomato, cut into wedges

1 small  cucumber, sliced

1/4 of a medium Vidalia or Walla Walla onion, chopped

½ cup Red Pepper

1/2 cup  Light or Fat-free Italian Dressing

¼ cup Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Toss avocados with lemon juice in large salad bowl.

Add lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions; mix lightly.

Add dressing; toss to coat.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Serve immediately.

Hey, if you like that one they’ve got 196 more! Seriously, Prograde has a really cool 197 Healthy and Delicious Fat Burning Recipes ebook for just $4.95!

Check it out here: http://jimmahan.getprograde.com/prograderecipebook.html

Amazing Fitness and Body Composition Results! Killeen’s Best Boot Camp!

I’m just saying…Fit Test results from last week.

Total increased push ups: 23

Total increased sit ups: 43

Total increased squats: 47

Total weight lost: 22.8 pounds

Total inches lost in waist, 19

Total inches lost in hip: 12



Way to go Boot Camp Athletes, You are awesome! Want results like this? Join Killeen’s Best Fitness Boot Camp today! Call Jim at 254-247-3668 for a free class and body composition assessment.