If you are looking for Scottsdale weight loss solutions, then my personal training facilities are your best bet against the flab! While you decide to make your way over to Lucas James Personal Training, here are some of the rules of weight loss that I like to live by:
Eating Properly Is Half the Battle Won
A healthy diet is important if you want a healthy life devoid of pains, aches and weird illnesses. Eating foods rich in harmful fats and empty calories can lead to chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc.
But a healthy diet that doesn’t contain any fat-filled foods and processed items can help you lose a lot of weight with even small amounts of exercise. When your body gets the nutrition it needs along with the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals not only do you get lose the excessive fat but also develop a strong immune system that can fight illnesses and diseases… like a ninja!
Sugar is your worst enemy; this means that in order to lose weight you need to stay away from the colas, dried stuff and all things sweet.
It is also important to make sure that the energy and calories that you intake are balanced with the energy being spent by your body. And this means lots of physical activity so you can burn what you eat.
Protein laden foods are great aids when your goal is weight loss. Protein helps your body hold onto the muscle through the weight loss process, it also improves muscle fitness and helps build HDL or good cholesterol levels in our bodies.
Although weight lifters and body builders have forever been singing praises of protein rich food, new research suggests that protein can satisfy hunger in a much more efficient manner when compared to fats and carbohydrates.
Nutritionists and doctors suggest eating around 120 grams of proteins a day. Ask your triner or nutritionist for the best way of doing this.
You May Not Like Cardio But It’s Here To Stay!
What happens is that you get up bright and early for the morning jog for 4 days in a row, but on the 5th day skipping a day’s cardio doesn’t seem like much of an issue. And soon you are missing whole weeks of cardio exercises. This happens because cardio-intensive exercises consist of repetitive actions.
What I suggest is that you mix it up. May be jog one day and then cycle the next.
Cardio is important for weight loss because it gets you burning more calories than any other exercise. It challenges you inside and out, so you are sweating, panting and burning more calories than ever. Besides if a cardio exercise becomes too easy for you, it is quite simple to rev up the intensity of the exercise. For example just increase the speed, or incline. Climb a hill instead of jogging or try a completely new exercise such as swimming.
Cardio is also an effective exercise because it can be done almost every day. With strength and weight training you need to give rest to your muscles between each exercise in order to recover and grow. But with cardio you can safely perform the exercises most days without worrying about overtraining.
Get Your Sleep On!
Doctors advise to sleep at least 7 hours every night. And when you don’t do that, two things happen to your body: first of all, you feel hungry even when you are full and secondly, your body’s fat stores only get bigger.
Researchers recommend that in order to lose weight, people must adjust their sleeping habits along with their eating habits. Avoid eating large meals before bedtime, stop eating at least 3 hours prior to going to sleep. Also don’t exercise right before bed time either. Don’t take caffeine rich foods and drinks in the evening s these will interfere with a healthy sleep later on in the night.
And if none of this is helping with the sleep, it is important to get in touch with a doctor to find out the causes.
Drink Enough Water for Weight Loss
Water is the most important supplement you can give yourself. It helps transport nutrients all over the boy and gets rids of the waste. Cold water can help speed up your metabolism and help burn calories. Yes, drinking cold water helps burn calories! How awesome is that? Your body works hard to warm it up meaning weight loss for you! Water also keeps you full and away from meaningless snacking at odd hours. So if it isn’t time to eat, get your drink on for the ultimate weight loss solution!
When sports supplements, vitamins and protein powders are concerned there’s a lot of misinformation and false marketing aimed at increasing product sales. It’s important to note that you can achieve any and all of your fitness goals, even the seemingly unattainable ones, through a natural diet and proper fitness training program. To give you an idea of the right types of foods to eat, our nutrition expert at Lucas James Personal Training in Scottsdale, Arizona weighs-in on the benefits and effects of consuming a high protein diet for both weight-loss and lean muscle gains. We’ve even included some delicious chicken recipes and high-protein vegetarian options to help you on your way to a leaner body!
While goals for weight-loss and gaining lean muscle might seem like two completely opposite concepts, they’re actually quite similar processes. Physiologically, the more lean muscle you have, the easier it is for your body to burn fat. Vis-vera, the less fat you have, the easier it is for your body to metabolize the foods you eat and build more dense, leaner muscle tissue. Current research also suggests that protein may satisfy hunger better than both fats and carbohydrates.
With either fitness goal in mind, eating a high protein diet will help you both burn fat and reduce your body weight, while helping support lean muscle growth, weight loss, and reduce muscle catabolism or breakdown.
Aside from its dietary functions, our bodies use protein at all stages of growth and development throughout our lives for a variety of bodily processes. Protein is a major component in all body cells, including both muscle tissue and bones. It is also a crucial component of our immune systems, helping to fight off infection and protect our bodies.
In terms of eating too much protein, there are no real dangers associated with high protein intake unless you have specific digestive problems or kidney disease. If this is the case, the high nitrogen content found in protein can place added stress on an already damaged kidney filtration system. Too much protein can have side effects if it comprises too large a part of your total diet, causing gastro-intestinal disorders or problems with proper nutrient absorption. Keeping this in mind, protein is important, especially for weight loss and healthy muscle growth, but so are carbohydrates and fats within a balanced diet.
The best sources for protein are typically lean meats, but also include plant sources such as tofu, beans, soy, nuts, saitan and quinoa. For animal protein sources we suggest incorporating foods such as chicken breast, lean fish such as Tuna, ‘fatty’ Omega-3 fish such as salmon, egg whites, turkey, skim dairy products, shrimp, veal or lean cuts of pork. Depending on your dietary preferences you might decide to eat only a few of these options, but all will provide you with healthy helpings of protein! However, not all sources of protein are equal. Here’s a list from the United States Department of Agriculture describing the differences in amounts for some of the foods listed above.
Grams of Protein
1 ounce meat, fish, poultry
1 large egg
4 ounces milk
4 ounces low-fat yogurt
4 ounces soy milk
3 ounces tofu, firm
1 ounce cheese
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup cooked kidney beans
1/2 cup lentils
1 ounce nuts
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup vegetables
1 slice bread
1/2 cup of most grains/pastas
There are no real dangers associated with high protein intake unless you have specific digestive problems or kidney disease. Too much protein can have side effects. If they take up too large a part of your diet it can cause gastro-intestinal disorders the likes of which you have never seen. The chances of consuming too much protein is typically unlikely, but it’s always important to consult your physician or dietician before starting any new diet.
The main concern with high protein diets is a lack of carbohydrates. When there’s an insufficient carbohydrate intake, you have a drop in blood sugar and your body if forced to convert stored glycogen or sugar from the liver and muscles to its usable form. The main issue is that this process known as ‘gluconeogenesis’ results in muscle breakdown. Another concern is that high-protein diets are often high in saturated fat as well from animal sources such as red meat. For this reason, its important to limit the amount of red meat you eat to 2-3 times a week maximum, while focusing on leaner sources of protein.
Here are a few healthy, high-protein, low-fat chicken recipes:
This baked honey mustard chicken makes such a simple yet delicious everyday low fat chicken dish. It also uses few ingredients, ones that you’ll likely have in your pantry already. Serve with some rice and your favorite vegetables.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 six-ounce chicken breasts
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place a rack on top and spray with cooking spray.
-Combine honey, mustard, oil, curry powder, and pepper in a small bowl. Brush chicken pieces all over with the honey mustard mixture, then place chicken breasts on the rack.
-Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning half way through. Baste every 10 minutes or so with the remaining honey mustard glaze.
Per serving: Calories 268, Calories from Fat 52, Total Fat 5.9g (sat 2.2g), Cholesterol 82mg, Sodium 483mg, Carbohydrate 21g, Fiber 0.3g, Protein 32.9g
Here’s a simple summer chicken w/ tomatoes recipe that makes the most of fresh tomatoes and basil, and a generous dose of garlic. I like to use the punnets of mini heirloom tomatoes or at least a mix of red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
- 4 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ounce basil, slivered
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
-Preheat broiler and spray pan briefly with nonstick cooking spray
-Place chicken breasts on broiler pan.
-Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic together
-Brush half of vinaigrette on to chicken breasts, and sprinkle half the slivered basil on top of chicken.
-Broil 5-6 minutes, then turn over. Brush second side with remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle remaining basil.
-Add tomatoes to broiler pan, surrounding chicken.
-Broil for 5-6 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Serving: Calories 198, Calories from Fat 48, Total Fat 5.4g (sat 1g), Cholesterol 82mg, Sodium 98mg, Carbohydrate 4g, Fiber 1.1g, Protein 33.5g
This low fat baked chicken and rice dish has become a staple in our house. It’s quick and easy to prepare, and the whole family will eat it.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 4 5-6 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped (1/2 a six-ounce bag)
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Place chicken breasts in a single layer in baking dish that can accommodate the chicken in one layer.
-Combine uncooked rice, chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, garlic and oregano in a medium bowl. Stir in chopped spinach. Spoon mixture over chicken. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35-40-minutes, until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees f) and rice is tender.
Per Serving: Calories 372, Calories from Fat 23, Total Fat 2.5g (sat 0.6g), Cholesterol 82mg, Sodium 266mg, Carbohydrate 48.3g, Fiber 3.8g, Protein 38.9g
Here’s some High-Protein Vegetarian Recipes:
This Mexican casserole recipe is a one dish vegetarian casserole perfect for those busy nights. You can get this meatless vegetarian enchilada baked Mexican casserole in the oven in just a few minutes. A simple Mexican-inspired meal the whole family Ingredients:
- 2 cups chopped onion, fresh or frozen
- 1 1/2 cups chopped red pepper, fresh or frozen
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup salsa
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 15.8 ounce cans black beans, drained
- 12 6-inch corn tortillas
- 2 cups Monterey Jack and Cheddar blend cheese shredded
- 3 tomatoes chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives (optional)
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Combine onion pepper, garlic, salsa, cumin and black beans in large skillet and bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.
-Arrange 6 tortillas in bottom of 9″ x 13″ baking dish overlapping them as necessary. -Spread half of bean mixture over tortillas and sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat layering process with remaining tortillas, bean mixture and cheese.
-Cover dish with foil and bake 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil and serve warm.
-Garnish with tomatoes, sour cream and olives.
Makes 8 servings of Mexican enchilada casserole.
Nutritional Information per Serving: (excluding optional ingredients)
Fat: 11.5 grams
Fiber: 21.4 grams
Cholesterol: 25 mg
Protein: 34.9 grams
Vitamin A: 24% , Vitamin C: 51%, Calcium: 40%, Iron: 39%
Easy Whole Wheat Vegetarian Lasagna. Make your lasagna just a bit healthier by using this recipe, which calls for whole wheat lasagna noodles and spinach. Even though it uses whole wheat noodles, this Italian spinach lasagna is incredibly rich and creamy as it uses plenty of mozzarella, Parmesan, and low-fat cottage cheese. Recipe courtesy of the Wheat Foods Council.
- 1 8 ounce package whole wheat lasagne noodles, cooked slightly (al dente)
- 1 9 ounce package frozen raw spinach
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
- 3 cups pre-made or store-bought pasta sauce
- 3 cups grated low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese
-Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
-In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs; add cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese. Spray a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
-Put one layer of slightly cooked lasagna noodles flat across the bottom of the baking dish. Add 1/2 the leaf spinach, pressing down lightly and evenly over noodles. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles. Top this layer of noodles with the cottage cheese mixture; add the remaining spinach. Then add the last of the lasagna noodles laid evenly on top of spinach. Spread pasta sauce evenly over the top; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Press down lightly.
-Cover baking dish with foil, using foil sprayed with cooking spray and keeping foil off the center of the lasagna. Secure sides tightly over baking dish.
-Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes in oven. To lightly brown the top, remove foil for a few minutes at the end of baking time.
-Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Servings: Provides 10 servings
Calories/Serving: 373 calories/serving
Nutrition: One serving provides approximately: 373 calories, 33 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 12 g fat (7 g saturated), 110 mg cholesterol, 142 mcg folate, 3 mg iron and 671 mg sodium.
Choosing between McDonalds, Starbucks or Subway might be the toughest dietary choice you’ve had to make recently. But for the rest of us who struggle with interpreting the nutrition information and data on a nutrition facts label at the super market, it often feels like we’re reading an ancient manuscript. That’s why our expert nutritionist Jason Apfel, at Lucas James Personal Training, has broken down food labeling into a few simple steps so you can easily understand all that nutrition mumbo-jumbo!
If you’re concerned with maintaining a healthy body weight, the most important nutrition fact to note is proper serving size and portioning for each food or meal. With this in mind, the first place to look on the nutrition facts label is the serving size and the number of servings per package. Why is this so important? Well, while you may be eating healthy foods, it’s just as important to eat the right amount of food to ensure healthy weight maintenance, weight-loss or growth, all of which depend on your total daily calorie intake.
Remember, when you take in more calories than your burn throughout the day, even when engaging in exercise, you’ll gain weight. Vis-versa, if you eat less than you burn, you’ll loose weight. When weight-loss is concerned, you need to reduce your calories by a total of 3,500 calories per week, or 500 each day, to loose one pound of body weight. You can keep track of calories through noting the proper serving size on any food product package. Serving sizes are now standardized for similar foods to make it easy to compare like-products. The measure for serving size is even provided in the same units, such as cups or pieces per serving, to make items easier to compare. *American Heart Association Image
Aside from the obvious reasons, why is serving size important? It ultimately influences the listed amounts of everything else on the nutrition label such as carbohydrates, fat, protein etc. This is because the amount of each listed nutrient is based on the portion size. For example: the larger the portion, the more grams of each nutrient listed. Often foods that are unhealthy, such as butter or processed chips, have relatively small serving sizes to make them appear healthier than they are! Ask yourself “How many servings do I consume”? To help you keep track of calories.
When you hear the term ‘calories’ you may think amount weight. However, calories actually provide a measure of how much energy you receive from eating a given amount of a specific food. Calories come from the three main macronutrients Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins, not from micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Each of the main macronutrients contains a different amount of energy or calories per gram. For example, carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 calories per gram while fats contain 9 calories per gram, making them more calorically dense. Aside from the biochemical structure of fats and the way they are metabolized, fats are ‘worse’ for us when weight-loss is concerned, because they contain more calories –making it harder to loose weight.
Some foods are also higher in calories than others. For example, fruits and vegetables tend to be lower in calories, especially fat, and are devoid of saturated fats found in animal products. Plant foods also typically contain more minerals and vitamins than animal products do. On the flip side, animal products such as milk and meat tend to be higher in protein content and important minerals such as iron and calcium.
Since calories are really a measure of energy, the calorie section of the label can help you manage your weight through energy balance as previously described. It’s crucial to remember that the number of servings and portion size you consume determines the actual number of calories you take in.
Nowadays, when deciding on your favorite restaurant and fast-food items the calorie content and even nutritional information is available on the menu depending on where you live. This may be startling, but recent legislation had required every large restaurant chain in the nation, including fast food chains, to provide caloric information on their menus and drive-throughs. This new federal law passed in 2011 by the Obama administration requires restaurant chains that are comprised of twenty or more locations to disclose the caloric content of their food items, as well as a description of the daily recommended calorie intake for a healthy person (~2000 calories per day. The legislation takes this one step further, requiring that vending machines also list the amount of calories in the food items they’re selling.
So next time you’re considering a Big-Mac at McDonalds, Frappucino from Starbucks, or tuna sub from Subway, you might just be staring down at a sign, reminding you how bad some of these food choices are.
Just how bad are some of these items & what should you eat instead? Well, just for fun we’ll fill you in!
AVOID- Their 6″ version of a Tuna Sammy has 530 calories and 31 grams of fat, and over 1000 mg of sodium (more than half your recommended daily intake).
The Healthiest Subway Options:
-6″ Ham Sub has 261 Calories, 4.5g fat, 17g protein and 39g carbs
-6″ Roast Beef has 264 Calories, 4.5g fat, 18 g protein and 39g carbs
-6″ Roasted Chicken Breast has 311 Calories, 6g fat, 25g protein and 40g carbs
-6″ Subway Club has 294 Calories, 5g fat, 22g protein and 40g carbs
-6″ Veggie Delight w/o cheese has 200 Calories, 2.5g fat, 7g protein and 37g carbs
-6″ Honey Mustard Turkey w/ Cucumber has 275 Calories, 3.5 g fat, 22g protein, 42g carbs.
AVOID – A Peppermint White Hot Chocolate has 730 calories, A Mint Chocolate-chip Frappucino has 680 calories, and a Tazzo Green Tea Frappucino even has 650 calories!
AVOID the Blueberry Scone with 460 calories and 22 grams of fat.
The Best coffee: Drip coffee has only 5 calories! A little extra if you decide to add a splash of dairy.
The Best breakfast selection: Starbuck’s ‘Perfect Oatmeal’ is fiber-packed with heart healthy oats and only has 140 calories. If you add their ‘Perfect Nut Medley’ containing almonds, pecans and walnuts add an additional 100 calories to the total.
AVOID – The Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese contains 740 Calories, 42g of fat (19g saturated fat) and 1380mg of sodium. Even their Grilled Chicken Club has 570 Calories, 21g of fat (7g saturated fat) and 1720mg sodium (almost a total day’s worth of sodium!!!)
The Healthiest McDonald Options are:
-The English Muffin with only 140 Calories, 2g Fat, 4g Protein and 25g Carbs
-The Chicken McGrill w/o mayo has 340 Calories, 7g Fat, 26g Protein and 45 g Carbs
-Their Hamburger has 280 Calories, 10g Fat, 12g Protein and 35g Carbs.
For centuries, many cultures have been drinking tea for its health benefits. It is often spoken about as a wonder food for weight-loss and for its potent anti-oxidant powers. Over the last several decades, researchers have examined the extent of its long-purported health benefits, often noting positive results but offering no definitive answers.
While the mechanisms for green tea and appetite suppression or weight-loss still remain largely illusive, the results are always the same; Green tea is healthy and helps reduce fat!
A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that both Green Tea with caffeine and a high protein diet may independently improve weight management through thermogenesis (our bodies ability to burn calories through emitting body heat) and fat oxidation (our bodies ability to burn fat as energy), while sparing lean muscle and increasing satiety.
The benefits of Green Tea are thought to be largely due to a substance found within known as epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. EGCG is held to be one of the most potent naturally occurring antioxidants. Increasing evidence also suggests that EGCG can be beneficial in treating multiple cancers by hijacking the cells that keep cancer alive. One University of California study on the cancer-preventative qualities of green tea concluded that you could probably attain a healthy level of EGCG by drinking merely two cups per day.
So will this ancient appetite suppressant make you loose that excess weight you’ve been trying to shed? Well, the answer is…it can help. There is however no quick fix when diet and exercise are considered. It is important to focus on the big picture. This means a consistently healthy diet and work-out schedule. While Green Tea is not a miracle drug, it can certainly help with weight loss when taken in collaboration with a healthy diet. It should be thought of a another tool in your weight-loss arsenal.
It’s particularly important not to overbrew green tea to reap its total health benefits:
- Use one tea bag, or 2-4 grams of tea per cup.
- Fill a kettle with cold water and bring to a boil.
- After unplugging the kettle, allow it to stand for up to 3 minutes.
- Pour the heated water over the tea bag or tea, and allow it to steep for up to 3minutes. If using a tea bag, remove the bag.
- Allow the tea to cool for three more minutes.
Green tea can also be incorporated into food dishes, such as Shrimp with green tea leaves or other stir-fry or Thai inspired meals. Try making a marinade in a small bowl, mixing together soy sauce, brewed tea with tea leaves, chicken broth, sesame oil, sugar and black or white pepper.
If you’re more in the mood for a light refreshing beverage, try mixing up a green tea latte for a healthy summer treat that’s great with breakfast or for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. All you’ll need for this iced-blended Green Tea Latte recipe is:
• 1 cup cold, unsweetened soymilk
• 1 cup ice
• 1 Tbsp warm water
• 1 Tbsp Tupelo honey (or other mild honey)
• 1 tsp food-grade matcha (powdered green tea)
Throughout history blueberries have been a natural part of the human diet. Over the last several decades, scientists have acknowledged their possible health benefits. Current research suggests blueberries may serve to aid weight-loss and help to reduce the occurrence of both cardiovascular disease and cancer in the human body. Numerous nutritional studies have demonstrated that blueberries exert a powerful cardio-protective effect due to the fiber they contain. Furthermore, research suggests that these tasty berries supply our diet with plant polyphenols and anthocyanins that serve as potent anti-oxidants, which may help to alleviate specific conditions of aging. One study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry suggests that ‘moderate-term’ blueberry supplementation can confer neurocognitive benefits for individuals with declining cognitive function and symptoms of depression. So are blueberries a miracle cure for poor health? Well, no. However, when eaten as part of a balanced diet, you can ensure to reap the most benefit.
Fiber & Cardiovascular Health
It is recommended to include four to eight ounces of fresh blueberries daily to your diet or take an organic blueberry concentrate supplement to naturally improve health and prevent fat cell development. Since blueberries are loaded with soluble fiber, they help to reduce cholesterol absorption and elevate fat metabolism. The recommended intake for dietary fiber is between 20 to 35 grams per day for adults, or approximately 10 to 13 grams for every 1,000 calories in the diet. Since fiber-rich foods take longer to digest, they result in an increased feeling of fullness and satiety. In addition, the more gradual absorption caused by increased fiber intake slows the entrance of glucose into the blood stream, helping to prevent high blood glucose levels and insulin spikes.
Forget the little blue pill and try the little blueberry! Men’s Health magazine recently stated “Forget Viagra. Mother Nature’s original blue potency capsule may do even more for you.” Blueberries are also packed with phytochemicals, beneficial plant compounds, that help relax your blood vessels and improve blood circulation. Due to the benefits of lower cholesterol and better blood-flow, blueberries have been recommended as an aid for improving blood flow to the genitals.
Try eating these tart and tasty berries by themselves or on salads, desserts or drinks to boost your antioxidant intake. For a fancy smoothie or frozen after-meal treat try blending: Frozen unsweetened blueberries, frozen acai pulp, light agave nectar, mango, ice, limes, wheat germ, pineapple cubes, coconut water, flaked unsweetened coconut for a 288 calorie treat!
If you’re into more of a savory mood, try mixing up a Chicken-Blueberry Salad. This light, refreshing salad uses the sweet accents of blueberries to compliment the savoryness of chicken. Just mix together olive oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, chicken breasts, celery, sweet onion, red bell pepper, carrots, salad greens, blueberries for a 200 calorie meal
For a breakfast on the go, try baking these delicious healthy versions of blueberry muffins, with only 196 calories, 5 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. What you need: 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup oat bran, 1/4 cup quick cooking oats, 1/4 cup wheat germ, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1 banana- mashed, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract,
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, or line with paper muffin cups.
-In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, oat bran, quick-cooking oats, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir in the blueberries and walnuts. In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed banana, buttermilk, egg, oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix just until blended. Spoon into muffin cups, filling all the way to the top.
-Bake for 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly touched.
Scottsdale, AZ based celebrity personal trainer dish out all the health benefits of eating blueberries.
Veganism, often seen as the natural extension of or progression from vegetarianism, can provide numerous benefits to animal ecosystems, the environment, and our own health, through healthy dietary and lifestyle changes.
According to the American Dietetic Association, both vegetarian and vegan diets can offer a number of nutrition and health benefits. Among these benefits are lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, increased dietary fiber and nutrients such as folate, antioxidants and vitamins. Vegetarianism and Veganism have also been reported to be associated with lower body mass indices (BMI) than non-vegetarians as well as decreased health risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer.
Since animal foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs are high in saturated fats and cholesterol they tend to have a more stressful effect on our bodies than plant foods, causing hypertension and other health issues. The most powerful cholesterol-lowing agents are soluble fiber, unsaturated fats, and phytochemicals, all of which are found almost exclusively from plants.
While there are rumors of dietary deficiencies resulting from vegan diets, it is one-hundred percent possible to receive all of the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals from a vegan diet, with proper supplementation from vitamins and minerals.
Vegan options that include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans, are low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are rich in fiber and nutrients. These healthy sources are nutritionally dense foods that help promote proper growth and development. In terms of protein, vegans can get all the protein they need from legumes such as beans, tofu and peanuts, as well as other sources as grains including rice, corn, whole wheat breads and pastas. Foods such as broccoli, kale, collard greens, tofu, fortified juices and non-dairy milks as soy, almond or rice milk, are all important sources for calcium to maintain proper bone health. When immunity and circulation are concerned, iron from chickpeas, spinach, pinto beans, and soy products will satiate our body’s need. Vitamins such as B12 can be obtained from fortified foods or dietary supplements.
When exercise is concerned, the vegan diet can supply all the necessary components for fueling our bodies, but extra attention should be paid towards eating prior to a workouts in order to provide the body the with proper fuel and hydration it demands during and after high intensity activities. The key is to choose foods that will prevent hunger, provide additional carbohydrates as energy and minimize possible digestive complications. Since vegan diets can easily turn into low-calorie diets, its important to eat the proper portion sizes, which can be larger than normal due to the high amount of vegetables and plant foods. This will help to provide you with the energy needed to rebuild your muscles and promote healthy body conditioning.
Here are a few suggestions healthy serving sizes when trying to maintain a healthy vegan diet from the Vegan Society.
- 2-4 servings of vegetables, plus 2 to 3 servings of vegetables from the ‘green leafy’
- 6- 10 servings of bread, pasta, rice and fortified cereals
- 2- 3 servings of beans, pulses and protein foods
- 1- 2 servings of nuts and seeds
- 2- 3 teaspoons of oils and fats
- 1- 2 servings of fruit, plus 1- 2 servings from the dried fruits sub-group
- 3 servings from the fortified non-dairy sub-group (such as soya milk)
- 8 glasses of water daily (more if very active)
In addition to this, adults should try to eat:
- Vitamin B12 – 2.4 micrograms daily
- Vitamin D – 5 micrograms daily
- Calcium – 600 milligrams daily
Scottsdale, Arizona based celebrity personal trainer Lucas James and nutrition expert and trainer Jason Apfel give you the low down on poor nutrition and fad diets.
With all of the fad diets out there the phrases ‘low-carb’, ‘low-calorie’, and ‘low-fat’, have all been associated with weight-loss at one point. But what’s the catch? Aren’t all these things good? Well… the answer isn’t as clear as you might think. While low-calorie and low-fat food options can be beneficial, these ‘deprivation’ diets are often impossible to maintain over the long run and typically lack valuable vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Low-carbohydrate diets especially, tend to promote unhealthy meal options and eating habits that can deprive our bodies of the necessary energy for healthy growth and development. If any weight-loss is achieved with fad diets, the pounds don’t stay off for long, once you return to a ‘normal’ eating style.
It is important to avoid ‘dieting’ in the typical sense of the word. A healthy lifestyle accounts for a healthy diet. Dieting alone is a short-term fix and can be detrimental to ones health. There are numerous unhealthy dieting plans and products out there supported only by marketing claims for noticeable weight loss in a short time period. Some of these include: the Atkins diet, South beach diet, Low-carb diet, Low-fat diet, Hollywood diet, Grapefruit diet, Liquid diet (using low-calorie, high-protein, high-fiber shakes) and the juice diet.
The majority of weight loss during these diets can be attributed to a loss in water-weight. More so, weight loss during fad-dieting is often quickly regained when normal food and liquid intake is resumed. These diet plans are often expensive and can be dangerous for maintaining proper body function. Moreover, they do not emphasize lifestyle changes that will help you maintain your desired weight. Poor dieting can result in the loss of valuable body tissue such as muscle mass in addition to vital minerals, vitamins and nutrients necessary for maintaining our health.
So if these diets are a sham what really works? Well, first off, eating fewer calories than you burn through exercise and normal body function is key in reducing body weight. To drop a pound of fat in one week, which is the equivalent of 3,500 calories, you have to aim to eat about 300 fewer calories every day while burning 300 calories from exercise five times a week. Just as important as reducing your caloric intake is replenishing your body with nutrient dense calories from healthy food sources. The most effective way to achieve your body weight is to eat a variety of correctly portioned healthful foods, in addition to exercise.
Our bodies are constantly undergoing an internal tug-of-war to balance our nutritional needs with our daily energy expenditures and body functions. Proper fueling is necessary for our bodies to utilize our diet most effectively for nutrient replenishment and muscle growth; this means focusing on implementing specific eating strategies: eating the right food types at the right time. It is important to eat the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to ensure healthy growth and develop, along with other nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Each vitamin or mineral helps to regulate metabolism and bodily processes. If you have low levels of certain vitamins, you may develop a deficiency disease.
For example, Vitamin D and Calcium cooperatively work to maintain healthy bone structure and prevent low bone density and fractures. Vitamin C helps boost your immune system and protect your body against infection. B Vitamins help with an array of functions including supporting neurological function and development. Vitamin E stimulates the function ofT-cells, which help fight off foreign diseases and are an important component of your immune system.
Whenever you go on a fad diet that promoted the exclusion of any of these necessary nutrients, you increase your risk for illness and disease. While too little of a specific nutrient may not cause a problem immediately, once your body is depleted for an extended period of time, you can suffer from the resulting health consequences.
Aside from the frequency and types of foods you eat, portion size plays a large roll in maintaining a healthy body weight. Over the last few decades, food servings have grown larger and larger with new fast food restaurants and ‘super-sized’ meal options. You should aim for the following portions:
- A cup of fruit should be no larger than your fist.
- Four ounces of cheese is about the size of four playing dice.
- Three to four ounces of meat, fish, or poultry is approximately the size of a deck of cards.
- One to two ounces of nuts equals your cupped hand.
When you’re at home, try serving your meals on salad plates instead of large dinner plates to dissuade you from plating oversized portions. Also, fill up on fresh greens, salads, fruits, and vegetables instead of high-fat foods, breads, pastas, and sweets. With weight-loss in mind, try eating a variety of healthy foods including lean proteins, complex carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and healthy omega-3 fats from fish and monounsaturated fats from avocados, nuts, and olives or olive oil.
*What are those fad diets?
Atkins Diet- The Atkins diet involves limited consumption of carbohydrates to switch the body’s metabolism from metabolizing glucose as energy over to converting stored body fat to energy. Low carb (ketogenic) diets deplete the healthy glucose stores in your muscles and liver. When you deplete glycogen stores, you also dehydrate, often causing the scale to drop significantly in the first week or two of the diet. This is usually interpreted as fat loss when it’s actually mostly from dehydration and muscle loss. Loss of muscle causes a decrease in your metabolism. More so, since metabolism happens in muscle, less muscle and muscle tone means a slower metabolism, meaning fewer calories burned in any given day.
South Beach Diet- The South Beach Diet is relatively simple in principle. It replaces “bad carbs” and “bad fats” with “good carbs” and “good fats.” Phase 1 eliminates all sugars, processed carbohydrates, fruits, and some higher-glycemic vegetables as well. Its purpose is to eliminate the hunger cycle and is expected to result in significant weight loss. Phase 2 re-introduces most fruits and vegetables and some whole grains as well. Phase 3 is the maintenance phase and lasts for ‘life’. The high-protein intake from south beach diet can make the kidneys work harder, causing kidney stress and strip the body of calcium. The inconsistency between each ‘phase’ of the diet is unwarranted. Good foods are always good foods, not tools to change your ‘hunger cycle’.
Hollywood Diet / Grapefruit Diet- usually involves eating half a grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice with each meal and significantly reducing caloric intake, often to below 800 calories per day. The diet is based on the claim that grapefruit has a fat-burning enzyme or similar property. The variations of the grapefruit diet that are too low in calories (below 1200 calories a day), carbs or essential micronutrients are considered unhealthy and potentially dangerous. Highly restrictive diets can cause eating disorders and poor mental health.
Liquid Diet / Juice Diet (using low-calorie, high-protein, high-fiber shakes) - A clear liquid diet consists of transparent liquid foods such as vegetable broth, bouillon, clear fruit juices, clear fruit ices, popsicles, clear gelatin desserts, or clear carbonated drinks. A full or strained liquid diet consists of both clear and opaque liquid foods with a smooth consistency. It includes milk, milkshakes, ice cream, puddings, strained cream soups, fruit nectar with pulp, smooth cooked cereals such as porridge and cream of wheat, butter, and honey. Mostly, people replace meals with ‘health’ drinks or ‘meal-replacement’ drinks. This can result in malnutrition, body system shut-down and extremely detrimental and deadly conditions. We are not robots that run on gasoline. Our bodies need calories, fat, carb and protein. Health drinks and products cannot replace natures true fuel.
Not All Energy Bars are Created Equal: The Good, the Bad, the Unhealthy!
Being able to decipher nutrition label information, aside from flashy packaging and hype, is often crucial to discovering which nutrition bars are healthy options. Scottsdale, AZ based celebrity personal trainer, Lucas James and nutrition expert, Jason Apfel give you the break down of different bars on the market. Find out which are best for maintaining your weight loss or reaching your strength training goals!
With so many different brands and types of bars on the market, it’s often hard not to get confused. Supplement bars include: meal replacement or diet bars, energy bars, fiber bars, breakfast bars and our favorite, protein bars. All these options can make choosing one that’s healthy and suits your goals both confusing and a challenge.
-‘Meal replacement bars’ are commonly used as ‘diet’ bars because they are packed with higher amounts of calories, primarily from carbohydrates, to fuel you with quick energy and ‘replace’ other higher fat options or snacks. While they can help to curve your appetite, they are often lower in protein than their nutrition bar counterparts. More so, these bars often include pig or cattle derived binding agents & fillers, such as gelatin or hydrolyzed collagen. Both collagen and gelatin lack the essential amino acids found in complete protein such as egg albumin. This translates into inferior protein sources and quality. The best time for these carbo- loaded bars is either before or after working out, to help boost your glycogen levels, for energy use or tissue repair.
-‘Energy bars’ are generally designed to give a boost to endurance athletes and active individuals, such as runners, swimmers, cyclists, triathletes, marathoners or even the avid group fitness aficionado. Be aware, ‘energy’ equals ‘calories’; similar to meal replacement bars, the main component in these bars are mainly carbohydrates. Look for options with fewer sugars and good sources of complex carbs such as nuts or fruit, to fuel your high intensity workouts.
-Fiber & Breakfast bars focus on creating a nutrition bar with relatively similar levels of carbohydrates and fat, but with a small amount of protein and extra fiber to aid digestive health. Watch out for bars frosted in sugar or syrup or packed with sugary fillings, such as store bought oatmeal bars or nutrigrain bars. Also, look for the amount of high fructose corn syrup, which can spike blood sugar levels and negate any potential benefits you might otherwise get from healthy ingredients such as oats and fiber. Also, try and avoid sugar alcohols that can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea in large doses. While they are lower in calories, they are often added in bulk to achieve a similar taste. Note: ‘Low Fat’ options such as granola bars, does not translate to low sugar or low calories.
-Unless you have food allergies or digestive or kidney issues, protein bars are typically one of the best options for nutrition bars. While they too can be coated with sugar or chocolate, they typically have the highest amounts of protein in relation to carbohydrates and fats. They are designed with resistance / strength training in mind to help you build muscle and lose fat when you train. Look for a bar whose ingredients list hydrolyzed whey protein, whey isolate, whey concentrate, casein protein or a blend of all four. These milk-based proteins contain all the essential amino acids your muscles need to repair and build themselves up after workouts.
The Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, found that whey protein stimulates a rise in muscle protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men (Age 21±1 yr), supportive of a positive net protein balance. Protein Bar Source
Our Top Picks
If you’re stuck on the convenience of eating a nutrition bar, look for products with no more than five ingredients. All have natural complex carbohydrates and ingredients, no additives and are high in Fiber!
(low sugar) protein bars pack 18 grams of replenishing protein, have ‘all natural ingredients’, 14 grams of fiber and contain 40% less sugar than leading regular energy bars (9 grams versus 15-21). There are also no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, maltitol, or gelatin used. An added plus: they are gluten-free, kosher, and vegetarian.
B ‘Cliff Builders’ protein bars / Cliff energy Bar by Clif Bar, Inc.
Clif Bar is made with all-natural ingredients such as organic soy flour and soy protein. Its goal is to provide a boost of energy (or 20g protein from the ‘builder bars). Regular cliff bars have a 4:1 carbohydrate : protein ratio, great for an energy-replenishing post-workout snack. Just watch out for their high levels of sugar!
Five Quick Healthy Snacks for at the Office or on the Go!
A simple list of the healthy snacks for the office or on the go can help reach your weight loss goals and maintain a high metabolism. Celebrity personal trainer, Lucas James and Nutrition Expert, Jason Apfel give you a quick list of foods that are easy to find and buy at your local grocery store.
Health benefits: Current research suggests that green tea (among other types) helps to lower cholesterol and decreases the risk of diabetes and stroke. An added bonus: the low levels of caffeine in tea help to boost your metabolism and burn fat.
How it works? The leading theories suggest that Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), found in green tea, serves as a potent antioxidant with therapeutic properties for many disorders, possibly including even cancer.
Snack tip: Substitute that morning cup-o-joe for two to three cups of green tea throughout the day instead.
Nuts: Almonds, Hazelnuts & Walnuts
Health benefits: All three of these nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants making them ‘heart-healthy’ choices when incorporated into a healthy diet.
How they work: Nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients that help to lower the amount of LDL, low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol” in the body. High LDL levels are one of the primary causes of heart disease.
Snack tip: Mix a handful of walnuts (about ½ cup) with fruit, rolled oats or oatmeal for a fiber-rich snack. Not only will this help with digestion, but also keep your hunger at bay for longer.
Low G.I. Fruits: Cherries, Plums, Peaches & Grapefruits
Health benefits: Foods that don’t spike your blood sugar levels tend to be better for you, especially for individuals with diabetes. Cherries, for example contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that provide the red pigment that give cherries their color. Anthocyanins are a type of phytonutrient (plan nutrient) that has been linked to a variety of anti-inflammatory and anti-aging health benfits.
How they work: Fruits that are low on the Glycemic Index scale take longer to digest and help keep your blood sugar levels steady. These complex carbohydrates are a great source of healthy energy, unlike their simple sugar counterparts.
Snack tip: Eating low G.I. fruit helps to control blood sugar and may aid in weight loss. For an added protein boost try them chopped with low-fat or fat-free Greek Yogurt.
Low Sodium Beef jerky
Health benefits: Beef jerky is a common snack and great source of protein. Unfortunately it can also be high in sodium, so look for low-salt & low-fat versions. Also, try not to eat the whole bag in one sitting!
How it works: High protein foods help to increase your muscle mass and protein synthesis. This means your body can burn fat more efficiently!
Snack tip: Eat 1 to 2 servings of jerky with a piece of fruit, such as a banana or apple, for a balanced snack.
Health benefits: Greek yogurt has about twice as much protein as regular yogurt, packed with around 20g of protein per a 6oz service size. The healthy live bacteria cultures in greek yogurt also help your digestive tract function.
How it works: Greek yogurt contains healthy probiotic bacterium such as L Bulgaricus, and L Acidophilus, important for proper digestion. The milk and whey proteins help reduce muscle breakdown and promote muscle growth after exercise.
Snack tip: Top 6 ounces (or more for the avid body builders) of Greek Yogurt with ¾ cup of your favorite berries for a mid-day snack.
Vitamins and supplements play a major role in women’s health and should be taken to ensure proper health. Most women do not get all the nutrients that their
bodies need from diet alone Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ areas. While it is advisable to eat a variety of healthful foods, it can be difficult to ensure complete nutrition just from food. Taking a multi-vitamin is one way to consume the vitamins required for optimal health. Some women choose to take individual vitamins instead of or in addition to their daily multi-vitamin. Certain vitamins are important for all women, especially those of child-bearing age.
Women of childbearing age should take a supplement with 400 mcg of folic acid, or folate, each day. Folic acid helps to prevent neural tube birth defects. Examples of these birth defects include spina bifida and anencephaly. Since the neural tube develops early in pregnancy, it is important to take this vitamin before a woman even realizes she is pregnant.Multivitamins for Women Get a Vitamin Profile Personalized For Your Unique Nutritional Needs!
Women should take calcium to help build bone mass in their early years, lessening the chance that they will be affected by osteoporosis, which is a loss of bone density. Women under the age of 24 should take 1,200 mg of calcium daily. Once a woman is 25, she can safely reduce her intake of calcium to 800 mg per day.
Each month, a woman loses some iron through menstruation. Supplementing with 15 mg of iron per day can help women avoid iron deficiency anemia, a condition that can cause paleness, headaches, and fatigue. Iron can be taken in supplement form or through foods such as meat, fish, peas, beans, and spinach. Taking excessive amounts of iron can be harmful, so women should seek medical advice before taking more than 15 mg of iron supplements per day.
Studies have shown Vitamin D to be helpful in protecting women against colon and breast cancer. There is some evidence that Vitamin D supplementation can raise immune system function, preventing colds and influenza. Vitamin D also can regulate the levels of calcium in the human body. Women should consume a minimum of 400 IU of this vitamin per day. Women, who are obese or who have dark skin, should talk to their doctors about taking more than the minimum recommended amount. Good sources include sunlight, dairy products and Vitamin D3 supplements.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help prevent some cancers, coronary heart disease, strokes, hypertension and cataracts. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to rickets, a disease that causes bleeding, bruising, hair loss, loose teeth and joint pain. Women should consume 75 mg of Vitamin C per day. Women who smoke need more Vitamin C, and should consume 110 mg per day. Good dietary sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, red peppers and broccoli. Natural and synthetic Vitamin C supplements are also available.
2,500 IU (50% DV), 20% as beta-carotene. The 100% DV of 5,000 IU is too much for women with relatively healthy diets, which is why One-A-Day Women’s cut that amount in half. Most multis pack in too much A — typical doses range from 3,500 to 5,000 IU — and some provide even more. Part of One-A-Day’s vitamin A comes from beta-carotene, a compound that converts to A in the body, which is shown to be safer than straight-up A.
(B6, B12, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin) (100% DV for all except for 50% DV for niacin). Bs are in plenty of foods, especially vitamin-spiked cereals, so there’s no need for more. (PMS relief claims aren’t supported by research.)
30 IU (100% DV). There’s no evidence you need more than what’s found here: Research has failed to prove that extra E protects against cardiovascular disease or cancer.
25 mcg (31% DV). Vitamin K works with vitamin D and calcium to build bones, yet some multis leave K out altogether because it can interfere with blood-thinning drugs like coumadin that are used to treat heart disease. Women with healthy hearts, on the other hand, should probably add a supplement that contains about 100 mcg. WH pick: Puritan’s Pride All Natural Vitamin K (100 mcg). Take it with your vitamin D pill at dinner. The fat in your food will boost absorption.
50 mg (13% DV). Most women don’t get enough of this mineral that protects against heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer — and multis, including One-A-Day Women’s, don’t provide much either. Aim to get to 320 mg a day with the help of another supplement. Take it with a meal — magnesium on an empty stomach can make you queasy.
If you’re looking for the best Scottsdale Personal Trainer then make sure to give Lucas James a call at 602.400.8506!