Okay, been off the grid for awhile, but this new supplement company has brought me out of hiatus! I have got to tell you all about Modus Nutrition. They are a NSF for Sport Certified vitamin and supplement company. What does that mean? Well to the average person, not much, but to a family raising future college athletes and a mama who is a nutrition stickler, it means high quality and no substances banned by the NCAA. Currently, Modus has three products with an amazing fourth product being certified as I type. The main product is a professional grade, plant-based protein powder that contains BCAA's, Tyrosine, Arginine, Proline, Glycine and Lysine which are neccessary for optimizing performance and post workout recovery. Their two other products "Power On" and "Power Off" are quite possible going to reach the top of my "Favorite Things" list for 2018. Let's start with "Power On" which is a nootropic supplement designed to help athletes maintain calm and sustainable mental focus during performance-demanding moments. "Power On" helps your brain produce dopamine and contains natural enhancers clinically proven to strengthen memory, boost ATP, improves blood flow to the brain and provides key nutrients required for healthy neurotransmitter production. It contains NO BANNED SUBSTANCES OR CAFFINE yet this ADD gal can focus and perform better while using it - which IS CRAZY!! Now my favorite product of the three is "Power Off" because everyone who knows me knows I dont sleep normally and, according to my mom, that has been the case since birth... Well, that has been different with Modus. "Power Off" is the first NSF Certified for Sport supplement that helps athletes calm down after extended training or games, and ensures a good night's sleep for maximum performance. "Power Off" helps your brain power down for sleep and enhances sleep quality while reducing awakenings so you wake up alert and well rested. It also provides the nutrients required for healthy neurotransmitter production. Now that I am home from my last trip and training begins, these three products will be my go to supplements! If you are interested in learning more ,check out www.modusnutrition.com and if you want to give it a try, use my code ASF10 for a discount. Stay tuned to how training goes. St. Judes here we come!
Amazing Precision Nutrition recipe you must try! Shout out to PN for this one because healthy can be good. Nutrient dense can be good. Fuel your body?
VEGGIE LOADED ZUCCHINI NOODLE LASAGNA
With 2 whopping servings of veggies per plate – you can feel pretty great about enjoying this lasagna without any sacrifice of flavor!
olive oil 1 tsp
extra lean ground turkey 2 lbs
garlic, minced 3 cloves
1/2 red onion, chopped small
1 red pepper, chopped small
1cup spinach, chopped
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-14 oz can whole tomatoes, with juice
1-6 oz can tomato paste
4 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, about 1/4 cm thick
15 oz. ricotta, low fat
3/4 cup mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
Garnish with fresh parsley
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 60 minutes Yield: 8 servings
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice the zucchini’s lengthwise using a mandolin or as thin as you can cut them intact (1/4 cm).
Next, chop the red pepper, onion, spinach, and garlic. Set aside.
Grate mozzarella and parmesan separately and set aside as well.
Now, add olive oil, onion, garlic, and ground turkey to a pan and cook until the turkey is half done (half pink). Add chopped pepper and spinach and cook until turkey is fully cooked (no longer pink). Drain excess liquid.
In a separate bowl, mix canned tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, parsley, oregano, and sea salt – reserve 2 tbsp and set aside. Add the remaining amount to the ground turkey and mix thoroughly. Remove turkey mixture from heat.
In a separate bowl, mix ricotta with the eggs. Set aside.
Spread the 2 tbsp of reserved tomato mixture on the bottom of your pan (approx. 12″ x 8″ in size or 2 smaller pans) and then add the first layer of zucchini noodles (1/3 of the amount you chopped) either lengthwise or widthwise.
Add ½ of the meat mixture and then add another layer of the zucchini noodles (another 1/3 of the amount you cut).
Add the ricotta/egg mixture and lightly sprinkle ¼ cup of grated mozzarella.
Add the last layer of zucchini (last 1/3).
Add the rest of the meat sauce (if you feel like there is too much, save a little for lunch another day).
Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of grated mozzarella, ¼ cup grated parmesan, and either ½ tsp dried parsley or 1 tbsp fresh parsley for garnish.
Bake 50-60 minutes until bubbling throughout and cheese is lightly browned on top.
As a new week begins in this household we tend to use Sunday afternoons to prep meals for the week. One of our favorites are these easy to make easy to freeze Italian turkey meatballs. Loaded with flavor and enhanced with my favorite oils and vinegars from JOLIVES. I have paired these three to create a savory meatball with a splash of tangy sweetness. You can serve a variety of ways, my goto is quinoa with roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts using the same oil and vinegar parings from the meatballs with a little pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper. Would love to hear how you would serve.. Happy prepping😘
Those who truly know me understand sweets can be my weakness. So using one of my greatest tools "research" and trial and error last night I made the best completely Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream... and the kids loved it! So here is the final recipe that I put together after weeks of experimenting with a variety of different recipes.
4 bananas, sliced and frozen
2 TBS Almond Milk
1-2 tsp Organic Vanilla extract (not imitation)
2 1/2-3 TBS Cacao powder
2-3 TBS PB2 Powder
blend it all in food processor then stick in the freezer for 1 hour.
Now for the variations if Im using as a "snack" not a "treat" then I add 2 scoops of Power Crunch Protein powder and take away 1 of the TBS of Cacao powder.
The kids like to top theirs with a few dark chocolate chips or strawberries and raspberries.
Give this a try! I would love to hear of any variations that you might come up with as well..
Ready to start the New Year? Have you already made a list of resolutions? Then you're on the right track! With some planning and commitment, you can achieve your goals in 2017. This could be your healthiest, happiest year yet. It all comes down to the choices you make every day. Begin getting rid of the bad habits, embrace new healthy habits, and surround yourself with like-minded people who support your goals. Remember that health and wellness is easier to achieve when you surround yourself with like-minded people that can encourage and support you on the journey.
Find Your Motivation
Did you know that only one in eight British adults kept a resolution last year? More than half of them stated they failed because they had lost their motivation. Statistics also show that less than 49 percent (out of the 70 percent that even make one) of U.S. adults actually stick with their resolutions, whether it's joining the gym, cutting back on sugar, or quitting alcohol. One in four will give up within the first week of the New Year.
Most people fail to make their resolutions stick simply because they lack motivation. Once you find your inner drive, everything else comes easy. Whether you want to lose weight, stay active, or compete in a sport, motivation is the key to success. Try to figure out why you wish to change things, and make sure you do it for yourself, not for your friends, spouse, or parents. Change because you desire to be a better you!
Goals keep you motivated and help measure your progress. If you don't know what you want, you won't be able to achieve it. Set short and long term goals, such as quitting smoking, losing 10 pounds, or doing a 5k. Break larger goals into smaller goals that can be easily achieved. Small successes lead to bigger successes!
Eventually, make only one resolution and do whatever it takes to reach your objective. For instance, let's say you want to eat healthier and improve your diet. Start with baby steps, such as replacing the soda during the first week with water, swapping sugar for stevia during the second week, and cooking at least one meal a day by the end of the month. Big changes don't happen overnight. Be patient and give yourself time to adjust to healthy living.
Plan for bumps in the road; you'll fail more than once before reaching your goals. Diet slip-ups, missed workouts, and other common mistakes are part of everyday life. Even the healthiest people fall off the wagon from time to time. Don’t expect perfection from yourself. Remember that you're human and humans make mistakes. Instead of blaming yourself, move on and do it better next time. Think optimistically about where you are going and stay positive. Surround yourself with positive and encouraging people that help build you up yet are honest with you and help keep you accountable.
Let Go of Negative Thoughts
Negative thinking is your worst enemy. Surprisingly, about 80 percent of our thoughts contain some sort of negativity. These thoughts are like a snowball. The more you focus on them, the bigger they get. Over time, they end up controlling your life and your actions. The enemy tells wants you to think you will never win the battle but God say All things are possible!
Let go of negative thoughts and replace them with positive statements. For example, instead of thinking "I will never lose weight," tell yourself: “I didn't get here over night and I can’t change over night BUT I WILL CHANGE. I'm facing some obstacles, but I'll soon reach my goals." Change the tone of your thoughts and believe in yourself.
Let your family and friends know about your goals. If possible, get the whole family involved. The ball is in your court when it comes to getting healthy and living the life you’ve always dreamed of. Trust yourself, embrace your flaws, and take responsibility for your actions. Through this practice, you will learn that life is a journey, not a destination. And most of all, love yourself where you are but desire to be the best version of you that you can be. If cleaner eating, getting control of food, and implementing exercise is your goal, check out the link below for what 365 days of healthy habits looks like and think this time next year that could be YOU!
How often do you eat salmon, tuna, or avocado? What about olive oil? If you're like most dieters, you probably avoid these foods because of their high fat content. Big mistake! Not all fats are created equal. Oily fish, unrefined vegetable oils, coconut oil, and other whole foods contain omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which support optimum health. A diet that's too low in fat can put you at risk for chronic diseases and inflammation.
Are Dietary Fats Really Important?
Lipids and dietary fats provide your body with energy. During exercise or intense physical activity, your body uses carbs in the form of glycogen for fuel. When your glycogen stores run low, it switches to fats for energy. If fats are not available, it will use protein to maintain energy balance. This can lead to muscle loss, fatigue, ands other health issues. Adequate fat intake helps spare protein and maintains muscle mass.
Every cell in your body needs fat to function properly. This nutrient promotes healthy skin and hair, fights inflammation, and helps maintain body temperature. Some fats delay the aging process and support cell regeneration. Others play a key role in brain function and blood clotting.
The human body can not produce linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids (ALA). For this reason, these essential fatty acids must be obtained from food or supplements. Other important fats are DHA, EPA, lauric acid, stearic acid, and myristic acid. Unsaturated fatty acids, which include trans and cis fats, have undergone partial hydrogenation, a hardening process that affects their nutritional value. These fats increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, stroke, high cholesterol, and metabolic disorders.
Types of Fats
A balanced diet should include large amounts of monounsaturated fats, moderate amounts of polyunsaturated fats, and small amounts of saturated fat. Trans fats should be limited or avoided completely, while saturated fats should be kept to less than six percent of the daily calorie intake. Omega-3s, omega-6, and other healthy fats enhance vitamin absorption, help transport nutrients across cell membranes, support the nervous system, and aid in the production of testosterone and other hormones. Some nutrients, such as vitamin A, D, E, and K can not be absorbed and processed by your body unless in the presence of fat.
The best dietary sources of monounsaturated fats include olive oil, sesame oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, peanut butter, sardines, mackerel, tuna, and fish oil. These nutrients reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and protect against stroke and heart disease. They also help your body produce steroid hormones, maintain healthy skin, and regulate insulin response and blood glucose levels.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in flax seeds and vegetable oils, such as soy, corn, and sunflower oil. Just like monounsaturated fats, they help improve your blood profile and boost cardiovascular health. Saturated fats, which occur naturally in meat and dairy, help build strong bones and support the production of testosterone and other anabolic hormones that are crucial for muscle growth. They also aid in the absorption of calcium into the skeletal system. Trans fats, which are found in processed foods and refined oils, lower good cholesterol, increase bad cholesterol, and cause weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes. Trans fats should be avoided or greatly minimized as they contribute no nutritional value to your pursuit of health and wellness. If you need help in finding the perfect balance of macro nutrients and food choices that work best for your body and wellness goals contact us we would love to join you on your journey.
Struggling to cut back on carbs? Want to slim down and clean up your diet? If so, there is no need to give up carbs. These nutrients are your body's main source of fuel. Without carbs, your muscles can not recover properly from exercise. Additionally, a diet that's too low in carbs may not be sustainable on long term. Let's see why carbs are important for health and athletic performance!
Why Are Carbs Important?
Along with protein and fats, carbohydrates are a primary source of energy for the body, and the only direct energy source for the brain. Chemically, they are composed of carbon. oxygen, and hydrogen. These nutrients provide readily accessible fuel for all cells and tissues. Red blood cells rely on glucose to produce energy.
After ingestion, carbs are turned into glucose and then broken down through a process called glycolysis. If your body has enough energy to function properly, glucose is stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. The excess is stored as fat. Your liver and muscles can store about 4,000 calories at a time. Intense physical activity and exercise can deplete your glycogen stores, which may affect muscle repair and energy levels. Without glycogen, your body must use fats and protein for fuel. Basically, carbs spare protein breakdown from being used to make glucose.
Types of Carbohydrates
These macronutrients can be classified according to the number of sugar units combined in one molecule. The major types of carbs include:
Monosaccharides (fructose, glucose, and galactose)
Polysaccharides (pectins, cellulose, and amylose)
Disaccharides (lactose, sucrose, and maltose)
Polyols (isomalt, malitol, and sorbitol)
Carbohydrates can be also grouped into starches, sugars, and fiber, or into simple and complex carbs. These compounds occur naturally in fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. One gram of carbs provides four calories.
Carbs and Sports Nutrition
Athletes need carbs to recover from exercise and perform at their best. When their glycogen stores are low, they can not meet the energy demands of training or competition. Carbohydrates not only provide energy, but also play a key role in fat oxidation, digestive function, and cognitive processes. These nutrients allow your body to use protein for muscle growth and repair, and not just for fuel. Fiber, one of the main types of carbs, keeps the digestive system running smoothly.
The daily recommended carb intake for athletes depends on their body weight, type of activity, and training goals. For example, a runner or a powerlifter needs more carbohydrates than a bodybuilder. Most athletes need a higher carbohydrate percentage than sedentary individuals. I would recommend 45 percent to 65 percent of an athlete’s daily calories should come from carbs. For others, carbohydrate intake percentages would be based more on body type and or nutritional goals.
Be aware that not all carbs are created equal. Plant-based foods contain "good carbs," which fuel the body and support overall health. Processed foods, cookies, soda, chips, pastries, and commercial fruit juices are high in simple sugars that cause insulin and blood glucose spikes. Fruits and vegetables have both simple and complex carbs, but they also contain fiber, which slows sugar absorption into the bloodstream. Complex or slow digestive carbs provide steady energy throughout the day, while simple or fast digesting carbs are quick energy sources. Let us know if this is an area you need help in, we would love to join you on your journey to wellness.
Want to lose fat and recover faster from your workouts? Looking to increase your metabolism and burn more calories? If you get more protein in your diet, you can do just that! Along with fats and carbohydrates, protein is an essential macronutrient that keeps your body functioning at its peak. It supports lean muscle growth, aids in fat loss, and improves body composition. Its beneficial effects on athletic performance are well-documented.
Why Do You Need Protein?
Protein is a major component in every cell and tissue. For this reason, your body needs it in larger amounts to stay healthy. This nutrient contributes to the formation of enzymes, hormones, muscles, bones, skin, and blood. Under certain circumstances, it can be used as an energy source. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, protein is not stored in the body, so you need to get it from food on a daily basis. The recommended protein intake depends on your age, body weight, activity level, and goals. Active individuals, bodybuilders, and athletes need more protein in their diet so they can recover from training and maintain lean mass. A high protein intake can help prevent muscle loss and increase metabolism when you're on a low calorie diet. This nutrient also regulates your hormones, promotes wound healing, boosts immunity, and supports mental health. Eating too little protein can lead to impaired immune function, mood swings, muscle loss, poor concentration, slow metabolism, bone disorders, and difficulty building muscle or losing weight. Although the daily recommended amount of protein is 0.8 grams per pound of body weight, it's not enough for most people. I generally recommended a minimum of 1.5-2 grams per pound of body weight, but this is only a recommendation. Depending on desired goal this figure should be individualized. Protein bars and powders can make it easier to meet your daily protein requirements.
Protein and Athletic Performance
The benefits of a high-protein diet go beyond weight loss and better overall health. This nutrient plays a vital role in athletic performance, muscle growth, and tissue repair. Although it's not an ideal source of fuel for exercise, it supports muscle building and recovery. Protein contains all the essential amino acids that are needed for muscle growth, such as leucine, valine, lysine, and arginine. By increasing your protein intake, you'll perform better in the gym, lose body fat, and become stronger overall. This macronutrient enhances physical performance and stimulates the release of anabolic hormones. Protein requires up to 25 percent more energy to digest compared to carbs and fats, which explains its metabolism boosting effects.
What Are the Best Protein Sources?
Protein is found mostly in animal products, such as meat, dairy, poultry, fish, and eggs. Leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes contain smaller amounts of protein. Soy is a good choice too, especially for vegans and vegetarians. Some of the best sources of protein include lean beef, turkey, chicken, salmon, tuna, tilapia, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and whey. Vegans can opt for kidney beans, pinto peas, split peas, tofu, tempeh, almonds, cashews, flaxseeds, pumkin seeds, and whole grains. If you have a hard time meeting your daily protein needs, have a protein shake between meals. Whey protein has the highest absorption rate and contains all essential amino acids needed for building muscle size and strength.
How to Prep Food for the Week in One Day
Struggling to eat healthy and stick to your diet? If so, planing your meals in advance just might be your missing link! Food prep is easier than you think, and can make all the difference to your success.
Contrary to popular belief, this habit isn't time consuming or expensive. It can actually be a money saver because you are only buying exactly what you need and it can save time over the course of your week because you've already planned it and prepared it. All you need are a few hours to buy and cook your food. If you're short on time, do that on a Sunday. A little planning can go a long way towards making sure you’re prepared to eat clean and healthy for your coming week.
The Surprising Benefits of Meal Prep
Fitness models and bodybuilders claim that meal prep plays a major role in their success. You've probably seen those photos posted online, which depict packed containers with food for the week ahead. It may seem complicated at first, but it will get easier with practice. This habit can save you time and money in the long run.
Meal planning is a key part of eating healthy. Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, or simply clean up your diet, try to develop this habit. This way, you'll always have healthy food at hand and you won't be tempted to order pizza or buy fast food during your lunch break. On top of that, you'll manage your budget more effectively and save hundreds of dollars on food.
Another major benefit of food prep is that it makes it easier to control portion sizes. When you plan your meals, you know exactly what and how much you're going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is particularly important for those who track their macronutrients and daily caloric requirements. Additionally, meal planning helps reduce waste because you'll only purchase healthy foods that are needed for the recipes you're going to use.
Cooking your food on Sundays will reduce stress during the week. You won’t have to worry anymore about shopping and cooking after a hard day at work or busy day with the kids. This will allow you to spend more time with your family, go out with your friends, or hit the gym. It's also a great way to add variety to your menu and make sure you get all of the nutrients needed for optimum health.
Cook Once, Eat for a Week
Planning and cooking your meals is really simple. First of all, you need to set your caloric target and/or macronutrient ratios. Even if you’re not on a diet, try to determine your daily calorie goals or consult with a certified nutritionist. Katie and I would love to assist you with this if you need some help or advice. This will make it easier to maintain a healthy weight or achieve a targeted weight goal.
Secondly, decide what you're going to eat and then create a shopping list. Come up with delicious, healthy recipes that provide complex carbs, lean protein, and essential fats. Steer clear of any recipe that requires large amounts of sugar, white flour, hydrogenated fats, or highly processed ingredients. If you're new to meal prep, start with basic recipes like steel cut oatmeal
with walnuts or almond, chicken breast and veggies, power salads, roasted turkey, salmon, frittata, and healthy one dish casseroles.
Make sure your shopping list includes cooking staples, such as lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, spices, and herbs. Seek healthier alternatives for white flour, sugar, and butter or margarine. Next, add the ingredients required for the recipes you will use over the week. Buying food in bulk helps save money and enables you to cook large batches. Store it in airtight containers, freeze it, and reheat your meals for the day every morning. It's also fun and helpful to join a "food prep co-op" where you have 5-7 people each making their "signature healthy clean eating meal" and you meet and trade on a set day and time.. It's the perfect way to go home with food prep done and fun new meals for the week.. I'm in the process
of forming some local fun groups like this if you are interested drop me a quick note😉 There is so much I could write on this topic. I hope this gets you thinking about prepping for your week.. Life seems to run smoother when we start with a plan..
How many of us catch our selves telling our children to "clean their plate" or "finish all your food if you want..dessert..to get up...you fill in the blank.. This bad habit we teach our children daily is leading to the obesity epidemic in our country.
How long does it take you to finish a meal? Is it 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or more? According to health experts, eating slowly can accelerate weight loss and improve digestion. It also increases satiety and keeps hunger at bay for longer. People who eat quickly find it hard to slim down and feel hungry shortly after finishing their meal.
Still have doubts? Let's find out more about the benefits of eating slowly!
How Eating More Slowly Can Benefit Your Health
In today's fast-paced world, most people eat their food quickly and then get back to work or go out. This mistake can ruin your metabolism and cause weight gain in the long run. A growing body of research indicates that slower eating is the key to a healthy body weight. It appears that fast eaters tend to be heavier than those who take the time to enjoy their meal. They are actually up to 115 percent more likely to become obese later in life.
A recent study conducted on 4,000 middle-aged people has found that those who ate fast gained the most weight since age 20. This bad habit increases stress, triggers weight gain, and affects digestion. Eating slowly, on the other hand, makes it easier to control your appetite and keeps your digestive system running smoothly.
The explanation is quite simple. Research shows that it takes the brain about 20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full. If you eat too quickly, your brain won't receive satiety signals from the gut. As a result, you'll feel hungry despite eating well. Additionally, fast eating puts stress on your digestive system.
Other studies have shown that people with a normal body mass index (BMI) tend to chew their food more slowly than who are obese or overweight. Prolonged chewing keeps your blood sugar levels stable, prevents diabetes, and makes it easier for your body to absorb and break down the nutrients in food. The more you chew, the fewer nutrients are lost. Eating slowly also helps regulate satiety hormones and decrease overall food intake. Fast eating and eating until full triples your risk of becoming obese and can mess up the regulation of your hormones.
Learn to Enjoy Your Food
The benefits of eating slowly go beyond better health. After all, eating is an enjoyable activity that allows you to socialize, and interact, and spend time with your friends. Food and social interaction are strongly connected. Research indicates that both men and women tend to eat less in social situations. Women consume fewer calories when they're eating with men. Additionally, most people tend to consume as much food as they see others eating.
When you eat slowly, you enjoy your food more. This allows you to experience new flavors and turn every meal into a pleasant activity. Prolonged chewing also keeps bacteria and other pathogens from entering your gut on large food particles. On top of that, it helps prevent plaque buildup, strengthens your teeth and jaw, and activates taste receptors allowing for a more enjoyable experience. If you want to stay fit and healthy, take the time to enjoy every bite. Food, when approached with a healthy mind set, is your friend!