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Nutrition

The Myth: If I starve myself I will lose weight.

Fact:  It takes energy to burn energy.

What this means is that if you eat too few calories your body will start to break down muscle tissue to feed itself.  The problem with this is that muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue.  Our goal is to increase our muscle tissue, not burn it up.

Never run on fumes

Like a car, you never want your gas tank to be empty.  We want to keep our blood sugar levels up so that our bodies have plenty of fuel to maintain muscle tissue.

In order to increase our energy we need to make sure we are eating enough calories and there are plenty of apps to help you figure out the amount of calories that you should be eating (or you can always ask a coach to help you).  Again, I use MyFitnessPal, but there are many others out there.

 

Regular vs. Premium

Also like a car, the better the  quality of fuel you feed your body the better it will run and the longer the fuel will last.  Once you know how many calories you should be eating you can start concentrating on the quality of these calories.  Concentrate on complex carbohydrates, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lentils.  Chicken, turkey, fish , and lean red meats are great sources of protein.

 

Avoid high fat food

Lastly, avoid meals high in fat.  Fat stimulates the production of serotonin which may cause you to feel less energized and ready for a nap.  You should divide your fats up between meals and snacks and eat healthy fats like eggs, nuts, avocados, and cheese.  Cook with olive oil, sesame oil, sunflower, or coconut oil and avoid corn and soybean oils

 

A combination of healthy, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats at every meal should give you the burst of energy needed to keep you running at peak performance every day.

 

Get back to the beach (and beach body) with this delicious, but still good for you, Pineapple Banana Smoothie Recipe.

 

Don’t let winter, life, or quarantine 2020 keep you from enjoying the tropics

We are all missing the beach these days (for future readers it’s Quarantine 2020 as I write this recipe) so why not bring the beach to you.  Sometimes it just takes a smell or a flavor that reminds you of something you love.

As soon as I smell the pineapple and banana in this recipe I can feel the calm of the ocean, the sun in my face, and the sand in my toes (obviously the kids are at Grandma’s when I go to my special place LOL).

Pineapple Banana Protein Smoothie Recipe

 Watch me make this recipe here

 Ingredients:

½ c almond milk

½ c yogurt

1 scoop Phormula 1 Vanilla Milkshake Protein

4-8 oz of pineapple chunks W/ juice

1 banana

½ c ice (See tips to eliminate ice)

 Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender or Nutribullet

Blend until smoothie consistency (about 20 seconds)

Pour in a glass

Enjoy

Tips:

  1. I froze the pineapple chunks the night before so that I did not have to use ice to give it a nice smoothie consistency
  2. Use a Yogurt that is low in sugar (Greek may be too bitter) because we are using it for protein and consistency, not for flavor. This will help keep the calories down.
  3. You can use coconut milk, cashew milk, regular milk, etc. Using an unsweetened nut milk will also help cut calories down.

 

 

 

Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day, so why not start the day right with a nutritious & delicious Mixed Berry Protein Muffin.

A healthy on the go breakfast even the kids will enjoy!

Most days having enough time to get my kids dressed is a challenge, let alone feed them and myself!  I love having options for us to eat in the car as we head to school/ work.

I know there are plenty of options that are pre-packaged for on the go breakfast, but let’s be honest, they are not great for you.  Most have a lot of added sugars, preservatives, and all the extras we are looking to avoid.

 

Mixed Berry Protein Muffin Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup Kodiak Protein Pancake Mix

1 Scoop Cinnamon Cookie Batter Protein*

1 c Mixed Berries

2 T Coconut Sugar

1 T Agave Syrup

1 egg

¾ c Almond Milk

1 T Coconut Oil

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine all ingredients except berries and 1 T coconut sugar

Sir until thoroughly mixed.  Batter should not be clumpy

Fold in berries

Pour in lined or greased muffin tin

Sprinkle remaining coconut sugar evenly over muffins

Bake for 16 minutes (until inserted toothpick come s out clean)

Allow to cool before serving

Store in an airtight container

 

Makes 12 Mini Muffins

 

Enjoy your breakfast to go!

I stored my muffins in the refrigerator because I wanted to make them last as long as possible (no preservatives=less shelf life) and heat them in the microwave each morning to warm them up.

Mornings are better for everyone when we have had a great breakfast in our bellies!

 

This Strawberry Protein Ice Cream is full of protein, real strawberries, and it tastes AMAZING.  A perfect dessert that won’t wreck your waistline.

I love Ice Cream!  A LOT of Ice Cream

I will admit I have been known to indulge in some….err. a lot of ice cream.  Sometimes it is a reasonable amount, and others it is an entire container…..insert face smack emoji.  Unfortunately after these indulgence I not only feel horrible physically, but mentally too.

So, I had to come up with an alternative.  This Strawberry Protein Ice Cream recipe was my answer.

Now I can eat ta serving or the whole recipe and I do not feel bad (mentally or physically)

 

It’s a win, win, win!

 

Watch me make the recipe here

Strawberry Protein Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 c Vanilla Yogurt

1 scoop Strawberry Milkshake Protein

1-2 T Coconut sugar

 

Instructions

Combine all ingredients

Mix thoroughly (I use a manual food processor, but if you chop the strawberries finely you can hand mix)

Pour in a bowl of choice

Cover

Freeze at least 2 hours

Enjoy

 

Easy to make and you can make multiple batches at one time.

This is an easy recipe to make, but because it takes a little time to freeze I like to make larger quantities.  Making bigger batches gives me several days of Ice cream or I can share with the kids.  Fun little trick for the kids……eating ice cream that is good for them (because healthy…..yuck, LOL)

 

 

Are you craving something sweet but you do not want to mess up your progress?  Me too! Then I made this Chocolate Protein Mousse Recipe….GAME CHANGER!

I love Dessert, but unfortunately they love me too

I will admit that I am a dessert junky (that’s the first step, right?).  But as much as I love dessert I love being comfortable in my skin too.

Can’t have both, right?

Sort of.

We just have to find healthier, but still tasty alternatives to the things we love.  This Chocolate Protein Mousse Recipe does just that.  It is full of protein, but lower in sugar than a traditional mousse recipe.

You can watch me make this recipe here

Chocolate Protein Mousse Recipe

Ingredients:

1 c Vanilla Yogurt

1 scoop 1st Phorm Level 1 Milk Chocolate Protein Powder

1 T Cocoa Powder

1 T Coconut sugar

½ t Vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients

Mix thoroughly

Pour in a bowl of choice

Cover

Refrigerate 1 hour

Enjoy

 

Fast & Easy makes this recipe perfect for the sudden onset cravings (let’s call them SOC, lol)

This recipe takes very little prep time and the ingredients are easy to keep on hand.  One bag of coconut sugar will last a long time and yogurt is a great staple to keep in the refrigerator.  When SOC strikes whip up a batch of Chocolate Protein Mousse and you live to fight another day…..and so do our loved ones that suffer the wrath of our sweet tooth mood swings.

 

 

These protein balls are an easy snack that is packed full of energy. They are great for a busy day when all you can do is grab a couple and run out the door.

As a mother of 3 I understand all too well how quickly a day can go by and I have not had enough to eat.  Unfortunately everyone suffers, not just me.  Yes, I get a little cranky, LOL. On top of a great pick me up snack they are very quick and easy to make, which is perfect for those of us with very little spare time.

 

German Chocolate Cake Protein Balls (GF)

Servings: 24
Calorie content per ball: 173 calories (Carbohydrates: 12.5 grams Protein: 6 grams Fat: 11 grams)

*Macro information is based on the ingredients I used.  If you are changing up the recipe in any way you will need to recalculate your macros.  If you have no clue what I am talking about but want to, read my blog What Are Macros?

Ingredients

¾ cup coconut flour
¾ cup almond flour
½ cup 1st Phorm German Chocolate protein powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup honey
¾ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup coconut oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon butter extract
*Optional: coconut flakes and cocoa powder for topping

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together except the coco powder & Coconut Flakes.
2. Stir until all ingredients until completely mixed.
3. Put mix in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
4. Once chilled roll dough into 1 ½ inch ball
5. Place on wax paper or in mini muffin papers
6. Refridgerate in an air tight container until ready to eat.
7. Optional: lightly dust the balls with cocoa powder and sprinkle with coconut flakes before serving

 

I hope you enjoy this Recipe as much my kids and I do!

 

 

Multi Vitamin

Many of us are familiar with Macro nutrients (aka Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat), but what about our micronutrients? Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining good health.

How do we get micronutrients?

Like with our macronutrients, a well-balanced diet gives us a good foundation for our micronutrients.  But, even with a good diet we may be deficient in some vitamins and minerals.  These deficiencies can lead to health problems.  This is where a multi vitamin comes in.  Taking a multi vitamin daily can fill the gaps in our vitamins and minerals.

Are all multivitamins the same?

Taking any multivitamin is better than not taking one at all, but not all vitamins are the same.  Some multivitamins contain 100% or more of the recommended daily amount while others may contain only 25%.  Some vitamins will have a more quality source for the vitamins and minerals they contain.

Multivitamins can come in different forms as well.  Most multivitamin are in a pressed tablet form (very hard to digest completely), others are capsulated, gummies, or even liquid.  The easier they are to digest the more you will get out of the vitamin.  We carry several Multivitamins at Brick & Iron Cafe for Men and Women specific, for everyone , and even for kids.

Can’t build without a good foundation

Think of your multivitamin as a foundation.  You could not build your house without a foundation or it would not hold up.  Having the time to eat all our nutrients perfectly every day can be challenging for anyone, especially when we have the busy schedule of kids, work, school, etc., taking a multivitamin gives you a good foundation to build on every day.

Iced Caramel Latte Protein Coffee Recipe

 

How to make a Caramel Latte Iced Protein Coffee that is not just great for you, but great tasting too!

Ditch the high sugar and chemical filled creamer!

I will be the first to admit, I love creamer!  The more the better.  My husband would always ask “Do you want some coffee with that creamer?”.  My response “Just a splash” LOL.  Unfortunately, my waist line did not love the creamer as much as I did.

I had to come up with an alternative.  I tried so many different ways to quit the creamer and failed miserably.  Until I found 1st Phorm Caramel Latte Protein

Finally, I had found something that was sweet enough to curb my cravings for creamer and had the bonus of being a great protein supplement.  I am a busy mom of 3 (two still in diapers) so getting some nutrition with my coffee keeps me from getting hangry first thing in the morning……or later in the afternoon when I am running on fumes.

Watch me make this recipe here

Caramel Latte Iced Coffee Recipe

Ingredients:

4 oz Unsweetened Almond Milk

6 oz Iced Coffee

½ scoop Level 1 Caramel Latte Protein

Instructions

Combine all Ingredients in a Shaker Bottle

Shake until blended

Pour over ice

Enjoy

Why is protein important?

You may have noticed up above that I said I liked that I was getting a great Protein Supplement, but you may be wondering why that is so important to me.

To put it in simplest terms, muscles help burn fat and we need protein to build muscles.  Most of us struggle to get proper nutrition every day let alone get our daily requirements, so a protein supplement helps.

What is Sugar?

Sugar is an ingredient found in most foods we eat.  It occurs naturally in many foods, like fruits, milk, vegetables, and whole grains.  Sugar can also be added to food and this is why we tend consume too much sugar each day.  It is recommended that women only consume 6 grams of added sugar per day and men 9 grams.  Unfortunately, the average person is consuming  three times (or more) of the recommended amount.

 

Is all sugar bad?

Sugars that occur naturally in food are not included in the daily recommended amount because this is the preferential way to get the sugar your body uses for energy.  When we start consuming processed food, soda, fruit drinks, candy, cakes, etc., we are eating added sugar.

We know that soda, candy and sweets have added sugar in them, but there is added sugar in many foods that you would not think it to be.  It is very important to read labels and to know what ingredients are added sugar.  The most common forms of added sugar are the following:

  • Corn syrup
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Molasses
  • Any of the sugar molecules that end in -ose, like glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, etc.

If you are unsure if something had added sugar then read the label.  The label has the total grams of sugar listed which will include the amount of added sugar.

 

What effect does sugar have on your body?

It is very important that we take control and begin to limit the amount of added sugar we intake every day.  Too much sugar can have very serious effects on your health and wellness.

Diabetes:  It is widely known that prolonged excess sugar intake can lead to Type 2 Diabetes by increasing obesity and increasing insulin resistance.

Weight gain:  We all know that excess anything can cause weight gain.  This is still true with sugar.  It may even cause weight gain faster than expected due to the fact that a small food choice that contains a large amount of sugar will not leave you satisfied and leave you still hungry.  You will probably eat to satisfy the hunger and therefore increase the calories by even more.

Heart Health:  Excess sugar intake has been linked to increased risk for heart disease.  Sugar has been shown to increase artery clogging deposits and increasing blood pressure both of which increase your risk of heart disease.

Teeth:  Sugar is the main cause of tooth decay.  Sugar feeds certain bacteria that as they grow in your mouth they produce the acids that cause decay to your tooth enamel.

Joints:  Sugar increases inflammation in the body.  Increased inflammation increases joint discomfort.  This is especially important to those that already have arthritis or joint pain.  Decreasing your sugar intake may help decrease the amount of day to day pain you have.

Brain:  Although sugar may give you a momentary spike in energy it is followed by a very hard crash.  This can cause more severe consequences than just feeling fatigued after the crash.  Too much sugar has been linked to depression as well.

 

Decreasing sugar is not just for you

Not only is decreasing the amount of added sugars you eat important to your health, but it is extremely important to our children’s health as well.  All of our children benefit from the healthy choices we make by having happier healthier parents, but if we apply our healthy living to their lives they will be healthier and happier too.  You are also setting up their future health choices.  If we teach them young it is easier for them to make healthy choices as they get older.  This is especially important for our children with special needs as the effects of sugar has been negatively linked to many special needs.

In my case, children with Down Syndrome tend to carry excess weight.  Their metabolism is a little slower than most people so I try to limit the amount of processed foods Kiera eats daily.  I do not cook separate meals for my family, so she knows (like all my kids) if she does not eat what is on her plate she will be hungry when she goes to bed.  Kiera loves grapes, bananas, strawberries, and mandarin oranges so I keep these on hand for snacks.  I am not saying she never has other snacks, but I try to limit them whenever possible.

 

How can I curb my sugar cravings?

Now that we understand what sugar is and why it has a negative impact on our health and wellness how do we stop eating so much of it?

Food tracking: Start writing down everything you eat.  You can better analyze how much added sugar you are eating and where you can cut back if you can see what foods you eat daily as a whole.

Read labels: Knowing what you are eating is the best step to eating the right foods.  There is a lot of useful information on the labels of food.  If you see sugar (or any of the other terms for sugar) in the ingredient list then it has been added.  If those ingredients are in the first 4 ingredients then A LOT has been added.  Be conscious of what you are buying.

One thing at a time:  After you have found where you are getting a lot of added sugars in your diet you may be tempted to cut them all.  This may set you up to fail and binge on foods with too much sugar.  Try eliminating one thing at a time.  Removing one sugar filled food from your daily diet each week will give you a better chance of sticking with it than cutting out all added sugar cold turkey.

 **Sodas and fruit juices are so full of sugar.  Because they are liquid and tend not to give you the “full” feeling that food gives you, you can consume a lot of added sugar to your diet without any benefits.  Therefore, these need to be the first cut from your list. 

Sugar replacement:  Have fruits available to you for the times when you are having a sweet craving.  The natural occurring sugar in fruits will help curb those cravings.

Stay busy:  Many of us eat because we are bored, looking for comfort, or it is just a habit to eat when not doing anything.  If you find yourself eating sugary snacks when you are not really hungry then get up and do something to occupy your mind.

If you have been a member at our gym for more than a minute, I am sure you have heard someone talk about Macros.  I have to admit I used to laugh at all the “macro talk” .  Then Ted started tracking his macros and got pretty lean, so decided to give it a try.  Weird thing happened……it made a HUGE difference in my progress.

So, what are these macro things everyone is talking about?

 

Protein:

Protein is one of 3 major macronutrients, Carbohydrates and Fats are the other two (which I will go over next) your body needs.  This means protein is a nutrient you need a lot of for body functions.  Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.

Protein is an essential nutrient that is an important part of every cell in our body.  Protein is used by the body to make and repair tissues.  Protein is what makes up most of your hair and nails.  It is also a major component to building bones, muscles, and skin

Protein and your progress

When I have people do a body composition scan, the most common trend I see with our newer athletes is their weight may go down, but their body fat percent doesn’t change but their skeletal muscle mass decreases.  This means that the weight they have lost is muscle and not fat.  We want this the other way around.  Muscle helps to burn fat and calories faster than fat does, so, ideally we want more muscle mass to speed up our weight loss, or fat loss progress.  When I ask about nutrition I find that the amount of protein they are consuming is very low.

How can eating protein really affect my muscle loss?

Our bodies do not store protein like they do fats and carbohydrates.  So, when you burn through all the proteins you have consumed your body will find alternative sources, like your muscles.  Therefore, it is very important that we eat enough protein every day for proper body functions.

 Protein rich foods

There are so many ways to get protein through our diet.  Meat, chicken, fish, seafood, and pork are major sources of protein.  You can also get protein through animal by products such as cheese, milk, and eggs.  There are even many great sources of protein that do not come from animals like lentils, nuts, legumes, soy, and tofu just to name a few.

Protein Supplements

There are many great protein supplements out there but that is exactly what they are, supplements.  The majority of your protein sources need to come from the list in the above paragraph and you can use supplements to fill in the gaps.

 

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are typically the main source of energy your body needs and uses, with them making up 40 -60% of your total calories per day.

Simple and Complex Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are made up of one or two sugars.  Fructose, which you find in fruit, and galactose, which you find in milk products are called monosaccharide. Mono meaning one.  Disaccharides, such as lactose (found in milk), sucrose (table sugar), and maltose (found in beer and some veggies) are made up of two sugars.

Complex carbohydrates, or polysaccharides, are made up of three or more sugars.  These make up your more starchy food.  Beans, lentils, rice, corn, and whole grains are examples of complex carbohydrates

Empty Calories

Candy, sodas, sweets, and cakes are made up of sugars.  Unfortunately these sugars are processed and refined and are considered “empty calories”.  They are referred to as empty calories because they hold no nutritional value and are responsible for weight gain when consumed in excess.

Fiber

Fiber, another type of carbohydrate, is found in the cell walls of plants and is necessary for healthy digestion.  There are many fruits and vegetables that are very high in fiber.

Good carbohydrates

A good carbohydrate will have a lower calorie content while still maintaining high amounts of nutrients.  They should also have a good amount of fiber.  Good carbs are low in sodium, fats, and contain no refined sugars.  Fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals are considered good carbohydrates.

Bad Carbohydrates

Bad carbohydrates are high in refined or processed sugars but low in nutrients. They are typically higher in calories as well.  White breads, donuts, candy, and soda are all examples of bad carbohydrates.

Why do I need to eat so many carbs?

Carbohydrates are the fuel your body stores and uses first for fuel.  If you deplete your carbohydrate storage then your body will switch to using protein as a fuel source.  You do not want this because we need protein for muscle growth and repair.

 

Fats:

Fat is a macronutrient required in our diet. Fats are important for energy, organ protection, skin health, and helping other nutrients do what they need to do. Without fats we could not live, but they are also what is killing most Americans. In order to understand why this is we need to understand the different types of fats.

Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and when consumed in excess they can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats, which are considered “good fats”, are liquid at room temperature. There are two kinds of unsaturated fats, mono and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated fats are found in olives, olive oil, nut oils, and avocado. Polyunsaturated are found in fish, eggs, and some nuts. Polyunsaturated have omegas, like omega-3, in them which may help with reducing joint inflammation, increase brain function, and reduce cholesterol levels.

Trans Fats
Trans fats are a man made product. They do not occur naturally. Trans fats are NOT essential for living, quite the opposite in fact. Trans fats increase bad cholesterol (LDL), decrease good cholesterol (HDL), and increase the risk of diabetes.
Trans fats are found in fried foods, processed and prepackaged foods, margarine, and shortening. They are used because they are cheap. If the label says partially hydrogenated oil anywhere on it then it contains trans fats.

So, the take home message is that we should not be afraid of fats, just the wrong kind of fats. Always read labels and limit the amount of trans fats to a minimum, or better yet, not at all.

 

Now that we know what Macros are it is time to start tracking them!  If you would like a little help getting your macros set up you can make an appointment to have a coach help get you started.