Tag Archives: health

10 Foods with Surprising Medicinal Benefits

These 10 foods may help prevent, alleviate or cure your symptoms because of their surprising medicinal benefits

medicinal benefits

Every vitamin, mineral, gram of fiber, protein, carbohydrates and fat play a role in your body. These 10 foods have amazing medicinal benefits that you may notice immediately after eating them. Learn how to incorporate them in your diet whenever you can.

1. Honey: Anti-Bacterial/Anti-Fungal

From soothing sore throats to potentially preventing infections, honey is the multipurpose, swiss-army knife sweetener. Honey now could mean you may not need antibiotics later. How’s that for a food with a surprising medicinal benefit?!

2. Ginger: Relieves Nausea & Stomach Aches

Ginger is a natural antacid, laxative and has chemicals that make it a natural indigestion medicine. Sprinkle ground ginger in your tea next time you’re suffering from indigestion.

3. Cinnamon: Anti-Bacterial, Improves Blood Sugar

Cinnamon is a natural antibacterial and also helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, cinnamon is often paired with sugary snacks and desserts that DON’T help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Sprinkle some on your yogurt to get all of the health benefits without packing on the excess calories.

4. Flax & Chia Seeds: Lower High Cholesterol

Flax seeds are loaded with fiber and omega fatty acids which help lower cholesterol, protect against heart disease and cancer. Try sprinkling 1 tbsp. of flax or chia seeds in your yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, breadcrumbs, or anywhere else you can sneak them in.

5. Coconut Water: Dehydration

Coconut water is high in potassium and other vitamins and minerals making it a great option to prevent hydration. Try using it for smoothies, juices, or mix it in with your regular beverages to boost their nutritional content.

BCAA & Superfoods Recovery Smoothie

6. Coffee: Prevents Some Cancers and Parkinson’s Disease

Coffee is chock-full of antioxidants which fight cancer causing free radicals, and improves cognitive health.

Protein Packed Vanilla Cinnamon Cappuccino Recipe

7. Almonds: Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Almonds are a fantastic source of healthy, unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, magnesium and other vitamins which help reduce the risk of Type Two Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and cancer.

5 Superfood Snacks to Boost Energy

8. Beets: Improve Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure

Beets are becoming a famous pre-workout staple in the bodybuilding world due to their ability to improve blood flow, lower high blood pressure and subsequently improve athletic performance.

Does Your Pre-Workout Have These Ingredients?

9. Peppermint: Indigestion, Allergy Relief

The natural menthol in peppermint leaves provides soothing indigestion relief as well as allergy symptom relief including sore throat, headaches, and sinus congestion.

High Protein Peppermint Patty Ice Cream Recipe

10. Peppers: Immune System Support & Wound Regeneration

Peppers are higher in Vitamin C than oranges and most other fruits. Everyone knows that Vitamin C supports healthy immune system function but most people don’t know that Vitamin C also helps regenerate connective tissue.

Can Vitamin C Help Heal Your New Tattoo?

Now that you know that these foods have surprising medicinal benefits, try to add them to your diet however you can. Why take medicine when you can eat delicious meals instead?

5 Caffeine Fitness Benefits

Go ahead, fill up that second cup of coffee. Turns out there are many caffeine fitness benefits!

caffeine fitness benefits
High Protein Vanilla Cinnamon Cappuccino

Caffeine is the most popular drug in the United States, especially as Americans look for new and convenient ways to boost their energy. There are several caffeine fitness benefits and lucky for us, there are many sources of caffeine:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Energy Drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Pre-Workout Mixes
  • Yerba Mate
  • Guarana Berries

Protein Packed Vanilla Cinnamon Cappuccino Recipe

While some sources are higher in caffeine than others, it doesn’t matter so much where you get your caffeine from. It’s matters more how much you’re getting (although obviously 100 mg of caffeine from coffee is easier/healthier than eating 1 lb of chocolate to get your caffeine). As far as the benefits of caffeine for fitness results go, here are 5:

1. Decreased Fatigue Time

In a study done with strength and endurance training athletes (TBA), athletes reported feeling less fatigued in between sets. Caffeine consumption did not result in greater power output however.

2. Increased Alertness

The caffeine jolt from a cup of coffee or a pre-workout will increase alertness prior to and during workouts. This is particularly helpful when strength training and being aware of weight balance, and when switching positions quickly during endurance training.

3. Increased Metabolism

Caffeine is present in most fat burning supplement complexes, but the metabolism increasing effect of caffeine is only temporary. Where caffeine really makes a difference is by stimulating an individual to get up and get moving when they might otherwise feel sluggish and want to sit. The extra movement stimulated by caffeine is more likely to help burn extra calories as opposed to just drinking more coffee to try to burn fat.

4. Increased Focus

An athlete with more focus can accomplish a lot more. Caffeine enhances motor performance and cognitive performance allowing an athlete to focus on their immediate goal with greater intensity.

5. Decreased Recovery Time

Due to the vasodilating effect of caffeine, more blood and nutrients are able to rush to sore muscles allowing them to potentially heal faster or at the very least feel better.

4 Keys to Faster Recovery

The 4 Best Ways to Heal Sore Muscles

250-350 mg of caffeine is generally where you’ll experience these caffeine fitness benefits but it also depends on your tolerance. Some people can barely handle 50 mg of caffeine and are better off using a non-stimulant, amino acid based pre-workout drink. Other people barely feel 150 mg of caffeine and can handle two scoops of a pre-workout mix with no problem. I generally have 1 cup of coffee (~100 mg of caffeine) in the morning and 150-200 mg caffeine pre-workout from either black coffee or a pre-workout mix several hours later to experience the caffeine fitness benefits. You may need more caffeine, less caffeine, or no caffeine depending on your needs.

30 Minute Upper Body Workout

Are your days jam-packed? This upper body workout is designed for when you only have 30 minutes to spare.

Upper Body workout

Don’t waste any time with this 30 minute HIIT upper body workout. Using half of your lunch break to fit in some gym time? Supersets, dropsets, and short breaks are all you need to get a super, upper body pump. Try this out:

Circuit #1
Push-Ups: 5 sets x 10 reps
Pull-Ups: 5 sets x 10 reps
Rest: 30 seconds

10 Different Ways to Do Push-Ups

Circuit #2
Dips: 4 sets x 10 reps
Straight Arm Pull Down: 4 sets x 10 reps
Rest: 30 seconds

Circuit #3
Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
Incline Dumbbell Row: 3 sets x 12 reps
Rest: 30 seconds

Circuit #4
Incline Cable Fly: 4 sets x 12-15 reps
Barbell Shrugs: 4 sets x 15 reps
Rest: 30 seconds

Circuit #5
Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets x 15 reps
Bent Over Fly: 3 sets x 15 reps
Rest: 30 seconds

Sometimes people avoid working out all together when they don’t think they can dedicate an hour of their time. This 30 minute upper body workout is designed with that person in mind. Don’t have 30 minutes? Try this 20 minute home workout.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

Are you finally starting to notice the buzz about the Mediterranean Diet? Here’s what you should know

 

Mediterranean Diet

The “Mediterranean Diet” is essentially mainstream validation of new scientific information regarding the health habits of people from the Mediterranean region. In fact, I was writing up sample meal plans for clients with meals like “Mediterranean Chicken Salad” and “Gyros” fresh out of college where I learned about the benefits of popular Mediterranean food (olives, cheese, lean meat, and more). That’s my way of saying I was about the Mediterranean diet before it was cool. Here’s what you need to know about the Mediterranean Diet:

1. High Fat Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is chock-full of nuts, olive oil, fish, and other healthy, high fat foods. In America we generally view fat as “bad” because we walk around the grocery store and see things advertised as “low-fat”, “reduced fat” or “fat free” everywhere (now we’re starting to see that with Gluten). Research is beginning to show more and more that fat isn’t necessarily bad for you…more of it actually may be better for you. In moderation, fat from plant based sources like almonds and olive oil may help reduce the risk of heart disease and may even help burn fat by mobilizing the fat already stored in your adipose tissue.

mediterranean dietavocado mediterranean diet

2. Food Sources

The Mediterranean Diet is almost exclusively whole, unprocessed food sources but is particularly higher in lean meats, fresh dark green vegetables, legumes, fish, and whole grains. Some of the foods that make this list are salmon, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, chicken, asparagus, kale, spinach, beans and wine.

mediterranean diet
3. Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Research is also beginning to show (over the last 5-10 years) that unsaturated fats from plant sources is helping to lower bad cholesterol (LDL), and balance good cholesterol (HDL) in people with high blood pressure and CVD. People from Mediterranean areas suffer from heart disease significantly less than Americans and think about it…they eat lean meats, plant based fats, whole foods and we eat fried everything, fatty meats (burgers, hot dogs, wings), and processed foods. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death for Americans and it’s also one of the most avoidable diseases.

4. Complete, Nutrient Dense Diet

Look closely at a Mediterranean Diet meal and compare it to an average American meal. The Mediterranean Diet meal is generally well balanced with lean meat (4-6 oz.), dark green vegetables, fresh fruit, complex carbs, wine, and olive oil or nuts. All different colors, textures, and flavors are found on that plate. With more variety and more colors comes more nutrients and health benefits.

5. Wine-centric Alcohol Consumption

Studies have shown that 2 glasses of red wine per day may help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. Out of all your alcohol options, red wine is the healthiest due to it’s high level of antioxidants. While a craft beer may be delicious, if you’re left with the choice to opt for wine, you may want to consider it.

6. Not Calorie-Based

The Mediterranean Diet is based on a 2000 calorie diet. The meals aren’t pre-packaged and assigned an amount of “points”. The foods aren’t fortified with vitamins and minerals to make them more complete. The Mediterranean Diet is based off a whole foods, fresh produce perspective that values the quality of the food being eaten over the quantity available.

The 80/20 Diet Rule

5 Superfood Snacks to Boost Energy

Take a Mediterranean Diet approach to all of your cuisines and you’ll be looking at great health and fantastic results. Bring high quality, diverse flavors and fresh ingredients to every meal you make. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for 90% of your food and then go through the aisles and treat yourself to the things you crave. Most people do it the other way around.

5 Superfood Snacks to Boost Energy

Need a snack? Ditch the chips and make one of these Superfood Snacks instead.

 

Superfood Snacks

Chips, cakes, and ice cream offer you nothing but fat, salt and sugar, and in overabundant quantities. These Superfood Snacks offer you fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy unsaturated fats that could even help you burn fat. Try these out:

1. “PB & J” on Ezekiel Bread

Toast a slice of sesame or cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread. Then, spread 1 tbsp. of natural almond butter and 1 tbsp. of raspberry preserves on it. This super-satisfying snack is the super-version of the classic Peanut Butter & Jelly on white bread.

Healthy Snack Ideas to Crush Cravings

2. Avocado Toast

Dominating the superfood world right now is Avocado Toast of all varieties. Toast a slice of 100% whole wheat or multigrain bread, then add 1/4 of an avocado (sliced) on top. Try topping it off with tomatoes, lox, 1 sunny-side up egg, or turkey bacon. The possibilities are endless.

3. Grapefruit & Honey

Taking a break from agenda of pushing my Loaded Apples recipe, try 1/2 a grapefruit with 1 tbsp. of honey instead of regular sugar. You get the health benefits of honey and some extra sweetness added to the fat-burning, high fiber grapefruit.

4. Sweet Potatoes w/ Honey & Cinnamon

I swear this tastes like eating a Sweet Potato Pie without any guilt and a fraction of the fat. Bake 1 large sweet potato and slice it down the middle. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and a drizzle (1 tsp.) of honey. Is there anything better than Superfood Dessert?

5. Date Bars (Lara Bars)

Lara bars are an amazing snack if you’re looking for a healthy fix. Made up of only 2-3 ingredients, Lara Bars are essentially just date bars with cashews, coconut, apples, almonds, etc.

What are the best fruits for diabetics?

Unbelievable Protein Muffin Recipes!

These superfood options are a great way to boost your energy and your  metabolism when you feel yourself crashing in the middle of the day. Pair them with a cup of coffee and get ready to feel 100% again.

Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes Recipe

What’s better than breakfast for dinner? Dessert for breakfast. Try this Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes recipe.

Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes Recipecarrot cake protein pancakes recipe

Imagine being able to eat spiced carrot cake bursting with autumn flavors without any guilt. What’s more, imagine being able to eat carrot cake after your workout to BUILD MUSCLE AND BURN FAT. Now that’s possible with this Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes recipe.

Ingredients
1/2 cup Flapjacked Carrot Spice Pancake Mix
1/2 cup of water
2 egg whites
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lite maple syrup
1 tsp. coconut oil

Instructions
1) Mix pancake mix, water, egg whites, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
2) On a coconut oiled pan, cook the pancakes on a low-medium flame until golden brown on both sides.
3) Plate and drizzle maple syrup.
4) Serve.

Nutrition Info
Protein: 30 g
Carbohydrates: 41 g
Fat: 11 g

Want to make these Carrot Cake Pancakes even more Carrot Cakey? Make a cream cheese glaze or frosting:

Ingredients
2 tbsp. cream cheese
2 tbsp. butter (melted)
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Want more delicious pancake inspired recipes? Check these out:

Maple Glazed High Protein Jelly Donuts Recipe

High Protein Cookies

Must-Have Fitness Products

If you’re looking to get into shape or maximize your fitness potential then you need these fitness products

Fitness Products

The fitness market is saturated with apparel, supplements, and accessories making it perfect to get amazing deals on products that, just a few years ago, were nearly double the price. Fitness products like pre-workouts, shaker bottles, apparel and wrist wraps have been exploding in volume lately so make sure you snag some while they’re cheap. To make my point, pre-workouts about 5 years ago barely ran under $25. Today, you can buy great pre-workouts for about $15-20.Look into these must-have fitness products to capitalize on your gym membership:

1. Shaker Bottle

Specialty shaker bottles like Umoro, Cyclone Cup and Mixr are exploding onto the scene with innovative new ways to make hydration more exciting. You can’t go wrong with a classic shaker bottle though. For $2-5 you can stay on top of your hydration and save a ton of money if you’re regularly purchasing beverages at work. Definitely start here.

2. Weight Lifting Belts

Depending on your routine you can get anything from a soft neoprene velcro-strap belt to a tough leather belt with a steel locking gear. Unless you’re lifting some serious weights (or planning to) I would start off with a neoprene weight lifting belt which will run you about $20.

3. Straps & Wraps

Invest $10-$20 in wrist straps for heavy, pull-motion lifting and/or wrist wraps to reinforce your wrists during push movements.

4. Supplements (Only the basics)

Don’t waste your money on supplements that you’re struggling to pronounce, look sketchy and are super expensive. Start off with the highly researched basics backed by science. Unless you’re looking to get into competitive bodybuilding you really don’t need to take pro-hormones, growth hormones or a medicine cabinet filled with supplements. Stick with a pre-workout, BCAAs, Whey protein or protein blend, and maybe fish oil or joint support supplement (if you need it).

5 Reasons You Should Supplement with BCAAs

My Top 5 Pre-Workout Supplements for Beginner-Novice Level Trainees

5. Functional Fitness Apparel

This means compression gear and other functional sportswear, not fitness fashion apparel. You could buy that too if you want but it’s not going to provide any real purpose…other than swag.

Think I left something off my list? Post about it in the comments section and I’ll add it!

What Are The Best Fruits for Diabetics?

Of all the fruit out there, what are the best fruits for diabetics?

Best Fruit for Diabetics

You can eat all different types of fruit if you have diabetes. You don’t have to limit yourself to these fruit but be aware of the portions and carbohydrate content in each serving. The best part is, there’s so much variety with fruit that you can have a beautiful mix of colors and flavors to keep things fresh. Here are the best fruits for diabetics:

1. Strawberries
Strawberries are first on my list because for a single serving you’re able to eat 1 1/4 cups which is the most out of the other berries. “Strawberries are lower in calories and have three times more vitamin C than the other berries on this list

2. Raspberries
Raspberries have the most fiber compared to cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries making them a close second on the list.

3. Apples

Nothing beats a New York apple in the middle of Autumn. Apples are packed with fiber and vitamins, and are generally much less expensive than berries. Pick small-medium sized apples and make sure you eat them with the skin so you don’t miss out on any quality nutrition.

4. Oranges
I’m sure you know that oranges are loaded with Vitamin C, but did you know they’re also packed with fiber and potassium. Make sure you keep the rind (the white stringy stuff) intact.

5. Kiwis
Just in case you feel like changing things up, grab a large kiwi and eat around the fuzzy skin. “Kiwi is a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. One large kiwi has about 56 calories and 13 g of carbohydrates, so it’s a smart addition to your diabetes-friendly diet.” – Kelly Kennedy, RD.

At the end of the day, most fruits in moderation (about 15 g of carbs per serving) are a fantastic option for someone with diabetes. While fruits are high in sugar, they’re also loaded with vitamins and fiber. Learn how to incorporate them in your diet to achieve a balance in your overall health, diabetic or not.

Protein Muffin Recipes That Are Unbelievable

Can you burn fat & build muscle while eating muffins?! You can with these protein muffin recipes.

Protein Muffin Recipe

I made these 4 Unbelievable Protein Muffin Recipes using Flapjacked Mighty Muffin mix, a little creativity and some suggestions from some of my followers on Instagram. Each muffin has 20+ grams of protein, less than 30 grams of carbs, and less than 10 grams of fat. A regular muffin has closer to 15 grams of fat, 35+ grams of carbohydrates and about 3 grams of protein. Try these out instead:

1) Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Muffin

Add about 1/4 cup of water to the Double Chocolate Mighty Muffin mix and microwave for 45 seconds on high. Once cooked, use your spoon to dig a small hole in the middle of the muffin. Add 1 tbsp. of peanut butter to the center and make a melted peanut butter core!

2) Molten S’mores Sundae Muffin

Add about 1/4 cup of water to the S’mores Mighty Muffin mix and microwave for 45 seconds on high. Once cooked, add 1 tbsp. of reduced fat frozen vanilla froyo on top to make a molten S’mores Sundae.

3) Apple Turnover Muffin

Add about 1/4 cup of water to the Apple Cinnamon Mighty Muffin mix and microwave for 45 seconds on high. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of brown sugar on top and add 1 tbsp. of diced apples to make a delicious Apple Turnover High Protein Muffin.

4) Maple Pumpkin Muffin

Add about 1/4 cup of water to the Maple Pumpkin Mighty Muffin mix (my personal favorite) and microwave for 45 seconds on high. Add crushed pecans and a drizzle of lite maple syrup on top for an classic Autumn breakfast (or dessert) and an unbelievably healthy and delicious high protein muffin.

My friends at Flapjacked sent me these samples after I won their Instagram giveaway and their strategy definitely worked because I will be a customer. I’m not sure it possibly gets much better than high protein muffins in under 60 seconds. Check out their pancake mix also. My favorite is the carrot spice mix. I’ll have a recipe up for Carrot Cake Pancakes soon, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so you get it directly to your inbox!

5 Reasons to Meal Prep

There are 5 important reasons you should start to meal prep.

 

5 reasons to meal prep

If you want to save money, get better fitness results, eat better meals, never get “hangry”, and have fresh food “on tap” then read on. Making your meals in advance, whether that be 1 day, 3 days, or 5 days in advance, can have enormous benefits on your health and on your wallet. Here’s why:

1. Save Money

Bringing home-cooked meals to work can cost you as little as $2-3 for that meal. Compare that with closer to the average $10 that people generally spend on lunch and you can see how those savings can add up over time.

How Meal Prepping Can Save You Thousands

2. Get better fitness results.

Meal prep means you have more control over the exact amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, fruit, and vegetables you’re eating. This puts you in the driver seat on the road to fat loss and muscle building.

3. Eat better meals.

When you meal prep you put yourself in charge of how the meals come out. You don’t have to be a great cook to make great meals. My recipes are easy to make (with the exception of some of the more extravagant ones) and take very little time. No disrespect to the classic bagel & cream cheese, but you could have a protein packed Greek yogurt parfait instead and be full way longer.

Cinnamon Vanilla Greek Yogurt Parfait (Recipe)

4. Never get “hangry”.

Like the Snicker’s commercial, are you not yourself when you’re hungry? Are you more irritable, sleepy, or light headed? When you meal prep you have access to high quality food every 3 hours which means just as you’re really starting to get hungry again you have a meal waiting.

5.Have fresh food on tap.

Piggy-backing off of #4, when you meal prep you have fresh food on tap. Being able to make your diet at least 80% whole food means you can eat high quality, nutrition dense food when you eat, instead of eating greasy pizza and calling that a meal.

High Protein, Low Carb Seafood Zoodles (Recipe)

I highly recommend checking out 6 Pack Fitness if you plan on getting into meal prepping. They make several lines of meal management bags ranging from backpacks and totes, to purses and briefcases.