Tag Archive for Nutrition

Fitness Fact Friday -”Calories”

Today’s fitness fact centers around calories. We want to first start off by showing you guys a quick video on How To Correctly Count Your Calories.

For more info you can also click here.

 

Do you know how many calories equal one pound? Click here for the answer.

 

Do you know how many calories are in 1 gram of protein, carbs, or fat. Click here for the answer.
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Fitness Fact Friday – “Food Additives”

Do you know what is in your food? Do you take the time to read the nutritional label? Learn how to here. You will be surprised as to how many “additives” are added to your food. Weightloss.org has put together a fun visual showing some of these chemical additives. We hope you enjoy it, and we hope you start to pay more attention to your nutritional labels.

Taste, texture, color, and freshness all play roles in the enjoyment of our food as well as in weight loss. These are the qualities that make eating a pursuit that goes well beyond simple nourishment. Our modern lifestyles have given rise to high food production, mouths to feed, and a greater demand for shelf-life. This, in turn, has given rise to food additives, which give us exactly what we want out of our food, but at what cost?

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An Apple a Day!

It’s one of the oldest adages, yet one of the most ignored. As the obesity numbers rise and the health and wellness industry becomes more and more profitable, many people are forgetting some of the simplest ways to become healthier. While everyone is trying to sell the next big health food, the neglected apple sits on the tree, silently screaming, “REMEMBER ME.” Let us remind you of all the Benefits of the Apple!

Lowers Bad Cholesterol

Apples contain a polysaccharide called pectin which studies show helps lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol. 2 apples a day will reduce your LDL 10%. Other benefits of pectin are improved insulin resistance and prevent a surge in blood glucose levels.

Prevents Breast Cancer

A study done by Cornell University found that rats who were given 1, 2, or 3 apples per day reduced their risks of breast cancer by 17, 39, and 44 percent respectively.

Weight Loss

Researchers in Brazil found significant weight loss among women who ate 3 apples per day as opposed to those who didn’t. Eating an apple before a meal will help you fill up and eat less as well. The honest truth about weight loss is that you will have to eat more fruits and vegetables and less junk.

Clean Teeth

Eat more apples to clean your teeth naturally. The juice in an apple is so sharp; it whitens the teeth and brightens your smile. Drink water while eating an apple to remove the sugar from your teeth.

These are only a few of the many benefits of an Apple. Always remember to keep apples refrigerated and don’t buy apples that you can dent with your finger.

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The Results of my December “No Meats” Challenge

For the month of December I challenged myself to a “No Meat, No Dairy” diet. You can see the original post here. Let me tell you….it wasn’t easy but I’m glad I followed through with it.

The first week was challenging. I had become accustomed to having some sort of dairy product or meat product with every meal. I was a carnivore who allotted only a certain amount of space on my plate for the “other stuff.”  Cutting meat, dairy, and eggs cold turkey made me want it even more.  That first week of the challenge I probably told my wife 100 times, “I can’t wait until this is over so I can have a big steak….pork chop….rack of lamb….whole rotisserie pig…..rhinoceros thigh….etc.”

However, after that first week things became easier. I started looking forward to preparing new and creative “Vegan” meals. I took pride in knowing that I had set a goal for myself and I was sticking to it. If you read my intro to this challenge you know that for the past few years I have been struggling with high cholesterol. Every meal started feeling like a step closer to victory rather than a step closer to heart disease.

This past Friday (December 30th) I went and had my blood drawn for updated lab work. I will receive the results this upcoming Tuesday. (January 2nd)

I will update this post with those results.

There is no doubt in my mind that the number will have come down. I feel better than I have felt in a long time. I am optimistic about my future. Having a family and dealing with high cholesterol problems always left me with thoughts of feeling that I would leave them sooner than I wanted to. I want to live a long life and be here for them in my later years.

This challenge has given me an appreciation for the “Vegan” diet and has made me realize that I can cut down or completely cut out what was a major staple in my diet. Will I remain a Vegan? Possibly. There are some things that I miss. Like Salmon!

If I do go back to eating meat I can assure you that it will be because I am treating myself or because I am having a cheat day. I do not want to go back to making it a necessity. I love life and my family more than I love food. I will miss them more and they will miss me more than I will miss meat. My body synthesizes cholesterol different than others so this is my solution to the issue. It may not be an issue for you. However, for those of you looking to lose a little weight, I can assure you that by cutting out or cutting down on foods high in saturated (which a lot of cuts of meat are) you will benefit from doing so. If you pair this with a “No Sweets” challenge you will be well on your way to your weight loss goals.

During the month of December I was relentless in sticking to both my “No Meats” challenge and Coach Demitrius’  “No Sweets” challenge.

I lost 11 pounds in 1 month.  I feel leaner and have more energy.

Here are my before and after pictures:

December 1st (Left) ---- December 31st (Right)

The month of December has now given me the inspiration to work hard towards obtaining my ideal physique. I have some substantial goals for myself now in 2012. There are subtle changes in my photos above that are separated by 31 days. Over the next few months I will hold myself accountable to my 2012 expectations by keeping you guys updated with photos.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you my personal journey, and as always, me and Demetrius will be here for you along yours!

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Are You Really Eating in Moderation?

Are you really eating in moderation? You really don’t know if you aren’t keeping an accurate food journal. I have spent countless hours helping people construct healthy eating plans who have told me that they eat everything in moderation.  Once I have them keep track of their food intake, we discover that their moderation isn’t moderate at all. Here are some common mistakes:

A Glass is not a Cup

A serving of juice is measured as 1 cup. In case you don’t know, a glass of juice is not a cup of juice. Chances are it’s about 2 ½ cups of juice. Therefore instead of 1 serving and 100 calories, you had 2.5 servings and 250 calories. An extra 150 calories here and there leads to an extra 2-3 pounds here and there.

I only had 1 or 2

Frequent trips to the cupboard and grabbing one cookie might fool you, but believe me your metabolism isn’t fooled at all. Be honest with yourself about how many trips to the cookie cupboard you actually took. If you aren’t honest with yourself, your weight gain will. When you are writing in your journal, write everything.

1 of everything is Still 1 of EVERYTHING

I have actually heard people say that they are on the 1 of everything diet. They wholeheartedly believe they are indulging less by sampling everything as opposed to eating a bunch of one thing. There are numerous theories behind this and rather than listing them all, I will say, they are wrong. Sampling one of everything usually provides a ton of calories and sugar just as eating a bunch of one treat does.

Your Daughter’s Leftovers Count

Unfortunately the 2 bites of chicken and half a slice of garlic bread you cleaned off your daughters plate (into your mouth) has to be counted as well. You can’t hide from the truth about calories. It has to be written in your food journal as well.

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An Introduction To My December Challenge For PRODUCING A More FRUITFUL Life!

Challenge Time.  That’s right! December is going to be fun. Coach Demitrius is currently in his second month of the “Junk Food Challenge” and is doing exceptionally well. Along with over 100 of our fans he has made the commitment to better his diet and inspire others. I too have been inspired and have decided that it’s about time I challenge myself and battle one of my demons. My cholesterol!

Three years ago I saw my physician for a routine checkup.  He went through his normal routine and everything checked out o.k. Before I left they drew some blood to send off to the lab. It seemed routine and I was not worried about it one bit. Then I received a call a couple weeks later. He informed me that my cholesterol levels were “High” for someone my age. I was shocked. How was that possible? I have been an athlete all my life. I just spent nearly 5 years in the Marine Corps. (We exercised a lot!) I still sustain a moderate level of physical activity.  I’m only 26 years old and I maintain a fairly healthy diet.  It didn’t make any sense to me. My Doc suggested that I start attending “Heart Smart” classes. “I’m not doing that,” I told myself. I’ll cut out my rare and random trips to the fast food joints and that should be enough.

Well…… It wasn’t! About a year later I went into the lab for more blood work and guess what? Yep, you guessed it. Blood Cholesterol levels were still high. And to my amazement they actually went up. Let’s fast forward about 2 years to this past July. (5 months ago)

Different Doctor, same results! Except for this time the number was the highest it has been in the last 3 years. “Are you kidding me,” I told myself. I have cut out fast food, cut way back on fried foods, I’ll have an occasional steak, and I work out several days a week. I have also been supplementing with fiber tablets and fish oil (omega-3).  Well it wasn’t enough. The new Doctor informed me that the synthesis of cholesterol in my body was more than likely hereditary. Now the Doc is recommending that I take Lipitor (a cholesterol lowering medication) in order to get my levels in check.  Well, I refused. I don’t want to take some pill for the rest of my life. I’ll just do more to finally take care of this issue. Read more

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ASPARTAME – I WON’T LET MY FAMILY USE IT.

Aspartame is No Good!

Aspartame is No Good!I have two young daughters who love chewing gum.  Before we buy any at the store, they need examine the label carefully and look for aspartame.  It seems like it’s becoming harder and harder to find any gum without it.  In fact, it’s getting more difficult to find anything sweet without it.  Some might say I’m going overboard and it’s only on the market because it is safe.  Well, if you think all the products approved by the FDA are safe, think again.  Aspartame is  dangerous and you should stay away from it like poison.

Aspartame (Nutrisweet) is a chemical used to sweeten at least 9000 products on the market today.  It is found in diet sodas, light ice cream, gum and the list goes on and on.  Unfortunately, aspartame was found to cause brain tumors in rats and confirmed it might cause brain tumors in humans. Despite being ruled unsafe by the FDA in 1974 and 1980 with further studies needed, the product was pushed through and approved thanks to political forces.  This was done because Donald Rumsfeld was then the newly appointed CEO of Searle, the chemical company that held the patent for aspartame.  Searle was bought by Monsanto, a company very well known for being ‘in bed’ with the FDA. In 1981 a 5-person commission was put together to review the findings and the original decision was upheld 3-2.  However, a 6th person was appointed to deadlock the ruling and allow the director, Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr. decide in favor of allowing aspartame into the market. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety.  Despite complaint after complaint since then, aspartame is legal.

Don’t believe me?  Research it yourself.  That’s what I did because I’ve always thought that putting artificial ingredients in your body is not healthy.  Aspartame is 10 percent methyl alcohol that is toxic to us.  At temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it breaks down into DKP and formaldehyde, both of which are known toxins. This list goes on and on.  Please see http://www.rense.com/general33/legal.htm to find out more about aspartame.  Aspartame is NOT a good alternative for sugar.

 

 Ben Theiss is a devoted father and husband as well as an avid runner and cyclist. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Earth Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a Math and Science Teacher for over 13 years. Ben served in the US Army and is a Veteran of Desert Storm.

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How To Pick Out Healthy Foods

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Frozen Fun That Keeps The Kids Happy And Healthy

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Are You Counting Your Calories Correctly?


Be sure to also check out our article on Quick Facts About Calories.

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