Grass-fed, Free range, Wild Caught Labeling

As discussed in my previous post, the food labeling industry has all sorts of labels without offering explanations.  We go to the store and see organic, grass-fed, cage free, free range, wild caught labels, but many of us don’t exactly know what they all mean.  Because organic labeling was already discussed, today I will be touching up on grass-fed meats, Free Range/Cage Free eggs, and wild caught fish vs their counterpart.

Wild caught fish are simply fish that are found and caught in the wild.  Compared to farm raised fish they are a more natural source of omega 3s, have more calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium.  They also contain less fat and depending on the type of wild caught fish, they may also have less calories.

Farm raised fish are fed unnatural diets, including antibiotics to combat the diseases many of them obtain because of their enclosed, dirty environment.  The pink in farm raised salmon, for example is an artificial coloring.

Grass-fed meats come from pastor that was fed their natural diet of grass and contain more omega 3s, less fat, more vitamin E and conjugated linoleum acid (CLA) compared to conventional meats that are filled with steroids and pesticides.  PLEASE NOTE: Grass-fed meat is not the same as organic meat as organic meat can come from animals fed a grain diet (better than steroids, but not as clean as grass-fed meat).

Eggs are in my opinion one of the most complicated because you can have free range, cage free, vegetarian fed, or omega enriched eggs, and they do not necessarily mean the same thing.

vegetarian fed hens, while their diet is clean, their environment may not be. Below is a useful chart that helps you understand the labeling.

how-to-read-egg-label

conventional eggs for the most part come from hens that are not only fed unnatural diets, but are also kept in horrid living conditions.

Wether your an animal lover, health nut, or curious about what the different labels actually mean, the choice is up to you!

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Sleep Deprivation and Exercise Performance

We all sleep, we all lose sleep when things get crazy, and we all feel out of whack when we do start to lose sleep.  Some of us are athletes and are demanded to train at a certain level day in and day out.  Sometimes balancing our training and personal life gets so hectic that we sacrifice sleep in order to fit everything into our boys schedules, but what happens to our athletic performance when we lose sleep?

Studies have showed that a lack of sleep in an athletes body has lead to an inability to properly metabolize glucose as well as an increase in cortisol levels.  An increase in cortisol levels comes from our body’s increase in stress levels that are induced by sleep deprivation that sometimes we don’t notice.  It can lead to an impaired memory, age-related insulin resistance, and an inability for your body to recover it’s muscles.  Lack of sleep also decreases the levels of human growth hormone.

So what does the aforementioned actually mean for an athlete?

1. Glucose and Glycogen (stored glucose) are your muscles source of energy.  For an endurance athlete being able to utilize the glucose in your muscles and liver is extra important.  Not only does sleep deprivation decrease glycogen stores but it also decreases utilization, which greatly .

2. Raised cortisol levels mess with muscle tissue and repair, which is needed to full recover from a gruesome training day.

Recap: Many athletes think diet is the most important factor in recovery and taking your training to the next level.  In  reality, diet and sleep go hand in hand if you want to recover and be able to train harder the next day.

athlete being able to store glucose and utilize it 100% in your muscles and liver is extra important.

My Experience at the WSSC

Last week was  nuts to say the least! Tuesday I spent from 10am-6am studying for my Chemistry exam.  Took a 30 minute cat nap and left to Day of 1 of my Kettlebell Concepts Level 1 Certification workshop.  Amidst Day 1, I left back to school to take the Exam and then rushed right back to finish Day 1 of the course.  For those of you who are new to my blog, I am very much into Crossfit.  In crossfit, we are constantly using the Kettlebell in our WODs.  So for me, the biggest take home from this course was not a movement, but being able to perform every movement and be consciously aware of how the way it was carried out is affecting my form and efficiency.  I am happy to announce that I did pass the practical and am one online exam away from officially being Kettlebell Level 1 Certified.

So that was part of the pre-conference to the WSSC (World Spinning and Sports Conference).  Moving onto Friday battered and bruised from all of my Kettlebell mistakes I took 4 workshops/lectures.  My day started with a 9am introduction to ViPR.  The only way to describe the ViPR is its close resemblance to the strong man log, only not as heavy and not meant for single direction lifts.  It is incredibly dynamic, which makes it great for all ages.  Definitely plan on investing in my own ViPR to add to my current regime.  Then at 11am I attended a Lecture on the Paleolithic/load carb dieting.  Though I am not a fan of the low carb lifestyle simply because of how important the right kind of carbs are for our bodily functions (Refer to macro post).  I did however, learn the reasoning behind it and got more educated on why it is beneficial to people who are obese.  At 2pm I took a workshop entitles Shock Wave.  Basically one full our of interval sprints on the spin bike.  Mind you haven’t done a spin class in YEARS so imagine how I felt after one hour of interval spinning.  It was death and I’m still feeling it.  To end the first day of the conference I attended a 4pm on the Adrenal Fatigue myth.  In summary, the lecturer basically said that people think its from exercise, but in reality more than it is from over training it is from lack of sleep and overall exhaustion.

Saturday morning I missed my 9am workshop due to a fluke bug that hit me like a truck friday night, so I slept in.  I ended up starting the day at the 11am with a workshop entitled “Advanced kettlebell lifting for Metabolic and Neurological Adaptations.”  After that workshop, I am even more excited to pursue my level 2 cert as well as incorporate the circuits we learned as a part of my warm ups. 2pm was the booty belly bootcamp.  When I arrived to the room and saw a plastic board with resistance bands tied around I was intrigued to say the least.  Fast forward through the whole workout and I was DRENCHED! I thought some of my WODs were tough, but I got my booty handed to me by the “Club e-fit.” 4pm was a lecture on busting through training plateaus where we went more in depth into periodization programming.

Sunday was the final day of the conference and my day started with a 9am mobility is freedom workshop.  I left feeling like a brand new person.  4 days of beating my muscles up, I can’t think of a better way to have ended the conference.

Overall, I loved everything I did and learned at the WSSC and will definitely be back next year!  On thursday, my posts will be back to normal and I will be blogging about Dark Chocolate as requested by a client/friend of mine.

Happy Tuesday!

High Intensity Interval Training

Here I am finally able to sit down and write my weekly post after surviving week 1 of 6 of summer semester general chemistry 2.  Anyways, today I wanted to touch up on High Intensity Interval Training otherwise known as HIIT.

Fingers crossed, my ebook will finally be out by the end of June.  I have put crazy amount of time, effort, and research into constructing my 30 day program.  After much hair pulling, I decided that my first ebook would be centered around HIIT. Why? there are 3 main reasons.

1.  It is for all fitness levels.  Because there are small bouts of exercise before an even smaller rest, a person of any level is able to push themselves as hard as they possibly can in that bout of exercise.  Of course, it’s not really advised to sell yourself short and not give it your all in order to get the maximum benefits.

2.  Fat burning and metabolic boosting benefits  Not only do you burn twice the calories in the same amount of time as you would doing more traditional forms of cardio (treadmill and elliptical), but HIIT generates whats called EPOC (exercise post-exercise oxygen consumption).  EPOC in simple turns is when your body continues to consume oxygen even after your workout and sets your body up for more calories burned throughout the day.  So imagine starting your day with just 30 minutes of my HIIT program!

3.  Strengthens the heart.  A stronger heart muscle allows us to carry out daily activities like walking and using the stairs with more ease.  A stronger heart also allows your body to pump blood more efficiently and ultimately reducing your risk of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol with more production of the good cholesterol, and heart disease later on in life.

Stay in the loop of my upcoming ebook publication date by liking my Facebook page and following my company instagram!

amount of time as doing traditional, slower forms of cardio (elliptical and treadmill for exam

Sugar After Hours

I mega-apologize for being MIA this past week and a half.  I can officially say I am done with Spring semester and am FINALLY graduating with my degree in International Relations and Political Science with a minor in Business.  I am now able to focus 100% on my Nutrition and Dietetics BS.

Anyways, one of my friends requested that  give my opinion on eating sugar later in the day.  First, some facts of sugar:

1.  Sugar can be good and bad

2. Sugar provides your body with instant energy (that’s why sugar crashes happen from too much processed sugars in one sitting)

3. Sugar is a carbohydrate

Because sugar is a carb, it does provide our body with energy. What happens when we don’t have enough time or activities in the day to burn off the carbs by using up the energy?  It turns into fat.  This is why people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a lean build are recommended to avoid eating anything with sugars in the evening.  Unless of course you’re more intense workouts happen at night.  For most people however this is not the case.  When sugars go unused throughout the day your body converts it into stored fat in a process known as lipogenesis. (lipo=fat genesis=origin or formation of something).  If you do choose to eat sugars late at night, ditch the processed sugars (candy bars, juices, granola bars etc.) and go for the real sugars found in fruits (well, you should always go for natural sugars if you have to ear it).  Personally, I prefer berries because they are lower on the Glycemic Index.

I know this post was very short, but I hope this helps clear up any confusion you ever had on why you should avoid sugars later in the day.

So you’re looking for a personal trainer?

I’m sure everyone has someone on their social media feeds posting their workouts, food, etc.  I know I do.  The recent boom in health and fitness is AWESOME! I love seeing people make their health a priority.  So the purpose of this blog is not to bash anyone posting their fit tips and workouts.  It is to educate people based on my own opinions about choosing a personal trainer.

There are SO many people starting their fitness journey (which is so great), but just don’t know where to begin. I’ll admit, when I was younger I did tae kwon do for 13 years without ever stepping foot into a gym.  I moved in straight to crossfit, which is no where near the traditional gym.  When i took a 9 month break from crossfit, I decided to give the gym a shot.  It was VERY intimidating going into a place with so many different machines that I had no idea how to use, and the instructional pictures didn’t help either.  So trust me, I understand the frustration of new gym goers.  Because of this, many people are turning to personal trainers to whip their behinds into shape.  Being a certified personal trainer myself, I have 10 quick pieces of advice to give anyone who is looking for a personal trainer.

1.  Is the trainer in shape?  Far too many times I’ve seen trainers that are more overweight than the clients they are training.  If you’re potential trainer is overweight because they can’t even practice what they preach, that’s a big red flag.  On the other hand, kudos to the trainers who have lost weight and are still actively pursuing their own fitness journey the healthy way.

2.  Can they tell you why they are making you do the exercises they are giving you?  If they can’t even tell you why you are doing what you are doing, how can you expect them to know how they are going to help you with YOUR goals?

3.  Can they perform the same exercises or workouts that they are making you do?  Anytime I ever work anyone or a group of people out, I either test run the workout if it is something I have never done myself, or pull from old exercises I have done.  Why am I going to tell someone to do something I can’t even do? A good trainer should lead by example.

4.  Are they telling you to “eat clean” but shoving their face with pizza and cookies any chance they get?  The same way a trainer should lead by example with the workouts you are given, they should follow the exact advice they are giving you; fitness and nutrition related.  Now, if you’re a trainer who is blessed and can eat whatever he/she wants and still keep your 6 pack, good for you.  Just don’t start giving nutritional advice.

5. Number 5 probably should be number 1, but is your trainer even certified? If so, in what? How long ago were they certified? Are they reading, attending lectures, or seminars to stay up to date with latest trends or fitness discoveries?  Too many times I see people getting trained by people who aren’t even certified! So what if they have a abs, what works for them may not work for you, and they may not be educated enough to know that.

6.  Are they worth the price they set?  Do they have experience? Degrees? Certifications? Awards? Anything to back up their fees.  Someone who just got certified should not be charging the same as someone with a PFT certification that also has multiple other certs or someone who has a bachelors, masters, or pHD in exercise physiology.

7.  There is a fine line between a trainer who knows how to push someone to achieve their best performance and a trainer who pushes someone into an injury.  If you are complaining of pain that is not the general huffing and puffing or burn, but a legitimate pain,  your trainer should not tell you to ignore it.  It could very much lead to a more serious injury.  If you’re just being lazy, then yes, you should get yelled at. I heard a story about someone who went in on back to back days to train.  On the first day, she went in and by the end of the workout felt an unusual pain in her shoulders, she told the trainer, and her trainer said to ignore it.  On the very next day, she came in saying her shoulder was hurting and the trainer insisted on training upper body? uhm, HELLO?! First of all, you are paying him to train what YOU want to train.  Second of all, you have legs that can be worked out without exacerbating the pain in your shoulders.  Major red flag.

8.  Are they touching you only when it’s necessary?  If you are doing something that needs correcting, a trainer should ask permission if it’s in an “iffy” spot.  Are you doing something right and still getting touched in inappropriate places.  Leave and don’t come back.  You should NEVER feel uncomfortable around your trainer.

9. Are they making sure you are warmed up before going into a workout?  You should never go into a workout full throttle cold turkey.  Get your heart rate up and warm up your muscles first.

10.  Are they making sure you cool down and stretch after every session?  Not doing so can lead to injury.

Again, everything here is my own personal opinion.  You are free to agree or disagree.  I do hope that This post was able to help someone find a good personal trainer.

Macronutrients vs Micronutrients part 2

On Monday I went over the 3 different Macronutrients: Carbs, Proteins, and Fats.  Today, I’m hoping this post will clear up any confusion over the basics of Micronutrients.  Unlike macros that are needed in large amounts, micronutrients are only necessary in small amounts.  They are the Vitamins and Minerals.

Vitamins: A, C, D, K, E, & Bs

Minerals: Fluoride, Selenium, Iodine, Copper, Zinc, Sodium, Iron

Sodium is used for fluid balance and blood pH regulation in the body.  Manganese is required for Bone formation, to metabolize macronutrients, and energy production. Magnesium is needed for heart rhythm, glucose conversion to energy, and is needed to metabolize calcium and vitamin C.  Iron is needed to produce lymphocytes and red blood cells.  Chloride is needed to regulate water, electrolytes, and cell pH.  Though there are many more micro nutrients, I decided to name only a few to help you understand that though they are required in small amounts they are incredibly necessary for your body’s everyday processes.

Being deficient in Micronutrients, is usually due to a poor and unbalanced diet, and it incredibly dangerous.  Being deficient in iodine for example, is the lading cause of brain damage, still births, and miscarriages.  Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness in kids as well as night time blindness in women pregnant.  Iron deficiency anemia is the most common of micronutrient deficiencies and occurs when your body is not producing enough red blood cells.  Unless you have a documented deficiency however, you shouldn’t worry about any side effects from being micronutrient deficient.micro chart