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Nutrition

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It’s Like Butter!

Want to know the best diet, best keep coffee secret, fat zappers and surprising health facts? You’ve come to the right place. As part of the health and nutrition industry, I am consistently being introduced to new products, tidbits and procedures. As always, I will continue to share these ideas to my devout co-fitness/nutrition comrades.Good-Fats-Vs-Bad-Fats

Food delivery. Ok, the food the delivery market has expanded tremendously since my husband first worked for Plated, one of the only 2 initial players in the market. Now there are dozens. And have I found a treat. Responsibly sourced, organic, delicious, healthy meals with pre-measured ingredients, delivered to your door step every week with step-by step instructions on cooking gourmet recipes in under 30 minutes. Whew! No brainer. Did I mention organic? For four free meals click here: http://greenchef.com/invite/nqzrd4

Butter coffee. Most of you have probably heard about Bulletproof® (grass-fed) butter coffee. But did you know the benefits of drinking it and that you can make your own??

Grass fed organic ghee butter has:

  • The good fats that regulate cholesterol and have the best ratio of omega-6 to omega 3 fatty acids (translation: reduces body fat)
  • Is a good source of Vit K (reduces heart disease)
  • Is a healthy fat source for your brain and body and increases energy while being anti-inflammatory
  • Drinking it in the morning prepares your body to burn fat all day
  • “They” say it can be a meal replacement in the early morning (essential fats and calories provide higher performance than carb)

How to make it: Start with organic brewed coffee, organic grass-fed ghee butter, and if desired, Brain Octane or XCT oil (I do not use this but great benefits!). I simply add a ½ tsp of the butter to my coffee in the am. For more details, Google “home-made butter coffee”.

Endermologie treatment – I just had my first at Just Be Smooth in Millburn, NJ. It is a sub-dermal approach to treating and reducing cellulite, love handles/saddlebags, muscle soreness or aches, toning/smoothing your skin, improving circulation and reshaping your body. It’s non-invasive, safe and completely natural.

You slip into spanks-like full body tights and the machine vacuums each part of your body. It was extremely relaxing and rejuvenating. Although I only did 1 session (it typically takes approx. 14 sessions to reap the benefits), I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I have a few discounted coupons for anyone that would like to try it. Just email me: info@heelstolaces.com

Eat more fat. I recently found myself very sluggish and fatigued – all the time. I eat very healthy and pure (minus weekend indulgences) and could not figure out the culprit. One of the trainers I work with at YB suggested I needed to up my fat/protein intake and further reduce my carbs/sugars/dairy. So, I tried it. It wasn’t hard or too deviant from what I have already been doing. The result? A big surge in energy and big decrease in inflammation. Some things I have added/increased: butter coffee, nuts, seeds, oils, avocados, eggs (the whole egg), pure lean meats/fishes.

Walking. Most of you know, I teach HIIT (high intensity interval training). I am a huge believer in its steadfast results and efficiency. However, recently I have been adding walking to my weekly routine. Walking is how I initially lost my baby fat, very quickly. Why walking? I was looking for a way to get more centered…contemplating yoga or even barre. Quickly remembered I am too ADD for those classes. I now use walking to:

  • Decompress
  • As a form of quiet meditation
  • For a boost of energy if I am tired
  • To destress
  • To build long, lean muscles
  • For added stretching and flexibility
  • To breathe fresh air

A brisk, quick walk will also prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, strengthens your bones and muscles, improve your mood and adds balance and coordination. Try it. You’ll see what I mean.

Protein Cookies. Received this amazing recipe from K2 Fitness and altered it a bit. Super easy – takes 15 minutes to make (including cooking time) and is full protein snack. My kids love it!:

  • Mash 2 bananas…add 1 cup quick oats, ½ c vanilla protein powder (I used pure Whey protein, unflavored), ¼ cup almond, peanut OR soy nut butter (for those with allergies), 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ cup dark choc chips (use as many organic ingredients as possible). Scoop balls of dough onto lined cookie sheet – bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Wa-lah!

The Rapid Egg Cooker. Life changer. Thank you, BFF. The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker cooks hard boiled eggs in about 6 minutes. No more old school boiling water. And, they peel perfectly. Great, quick meal or snack. Done and done. Find it here or at Home Goods/TJ Maxx.

The SKIMM. I have talked about this before and I will continue to tout what an incredible edition this has been to my life. I-am-so-informed. Cheeky, quick daily review of the biggest news topics in an easy to read, easy to understand, hilarious format. Why is this part of health and nutrition? Because it makes me feel so much smarter and well informed, which triggers positive endorphins and knowledgeable conversations . It’s how I start my day with my morning coffee: Sign up here.

That’s this month’s version of “Healthy Finds”. Until next time…

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Updated TJ’s Shopping List

I am a loyal shopper of Trader Joe’s.

I discovered this find a couple of years ago and have never turned back. They have great, healthy selections with very reasonable prices. Although, like every supermarket, not everything they sell is “healthy”. You still have to read packages and ingredients.

I published this list quite a while ago and have since learned even more about healthier choices and selections. Plus, TJ’s has expanded it’s organic/non-GMO offerings – always a plus!

As before, I am not suggesting everything on this list is the perfect balance of nutrition, but most on the list are excellent choices. I have spent the time reading the packages and narrowing down selections.

Here ya go:Healthy-Nutrition-For-Optimal-Tennis-Fitness

Breads/Pastas/Crackers

Ezekiel Bread

Organic French Baguette

Organic Shells and White Cheddar Mac & Cheese (for the kids)

 

Organic Tri-Color Pasta

Organic Tri-Color Quinoa

Organic Brown Rice (in freezer section)

Organic Quinoa (in freezer section)

Organic Peanut Butter Crackers

Organic Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs

Multi-grain and Flaxseed Water Crackers

Cereals

McCann’s Irish Oatmeal (non-GMO)

Organic Oatmeal (or Steel Cut)

Uncle Sam’s

Organic Nature’s Flax Plus

Organic Heart to Heart

Organic Heritage Flakes

Organic Golden Flaxseed

Organic Chia Seeds

Sauces / Condiments/ Dips

Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole (my addiction – half the calories of normal guac – it’s made with Greek yogurt!) – this is NOT organic, but I just can’t resist!

Organic Hummus

Balsamic Glaze (I use on mozzarella & tomato sandwiches, as salad dressing, as a dip…)

Organic Reduced Sugar Strawberry or Raspberry Preserves

Organic Ketchup

Organic Marinara Sauce

Organic Pure Grade A Maple Syrup

Cinnamon

Proteins

Individual Goat Cheese Packets

Organic Lite Cheese Sticks

Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter (drain the oil from the top before eating!) – this only has organic peanuts & sea salt…nothin’ else

Trader Joe’s Organic Hemp Protein (choc or vanilla)

Organic 1% Milk

West Soy Organic Unsweetened Vanilla Soy Milk (I use in smoothies)

Organic Eggs

Organic chickpeas / black beans / kidney beans

Goat Cheese Cream Cheese Spread (great tasting and none of the artificial ingredients and “guar gum” of regular cream cheese)

Trader Joe’s Organic Shredded Mozzarella

Trader Joe’s Organic 1% Lowfat Greek Yogurt (large and individual containers)

Organic Mixed Nuts

Crumbled Feta

Shaved Grana Padanoi Parmesan Cheese

Organic Ground Lean Beef

Organic Chicken Breast

Snacks (suggest eating the top 2 in moderation vs. sitting down with a bag, but a serving is perfectly fine)

Organic Tortilla Chips

Organic Popcorn

Go Macro Protein Bar

Kind Bars

Produce

Organic Raw Broccoli

Organic Celery

Organic Carrots

Organic Sugar Snap Peas

Organic Broccoli Slaw (mix with yogurt, a little mayo, salt, pepper)

Organic Apples

Organic Oranges

Organic Bananas

Organic Pears

Organic Sweet Onion

Organic Tomatoes

Organic Peppers

Organic Tri-Mix Salad (in a bag)

Organic Applesauce (used in baking)

Organic Dried Turkish Apricots

Organic Dried Cranberries

Vegetables/Fruit (in the frozen aisle)

Organic Superfood

Organic Spinach

Organic Broccoli

Organic Sweet Peas

Organic String Beans

Organic Sweet Corn

Organic Frozen Fruit

Miscellaneous

Raspberry/Lime Sparking Seltzer

Electrolyte Water (mostly for my kids)

Organic Low Sodium Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Organic Dark Chocolate

Organic Coffee (Decaf and Regualar) – grind yourself

Organic Coconut Oil

Ghee Butter

Organic Ketchup

Organic Sour Cream

Flowers – to treat yourself!

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The Italian Experiment

italiaThis April, we spent 10 days in Italy. Best. Trip. Ever. And we ate. Everything. Cheeses, oil soaked veggies, gelato, pizza, bread, pasta…All of it. The entire week, I did not have one stomach ache (typically I average 1-2/day) and I lost weight. Truth spoken people.

Aside from moving to Italy, there is a lesson in this – and it’s two-fold.

  1. Pure, unprocessed fresh food is good for your body. Period.
  2. Fat is good.

1st point – Italians barely use a refrigerator and do not load their pantries with snacks. Most of them use the college-sized dorm room versions our kids take to school. Everything is bought and made fresh daily. They do not manufacture or consume processed foods.

Now let’s focus on the 2nd point. As I’ve written about before, we have been taught to be afraid of fat and told “fat will make you fat”. I am here, as a witness, to tell you… that is a myth.

More and more we are learning that higher fat diets help balance hormones, make vitamins (A,D,E,K) more absorbable, promote skin, hair, cardiovascular & brain health, prevent diabetes and… help you lose weight. All calories are not created equal. That is a farce. But there is more to it. Some pure logic – some scientific.

The fat you will find in a frappuccino or a milkshake (kinda the same thing), in a processed protein bar, in frozen dinners, in cookies or even in over-the-counter cheese is not the fat I am referring to. These processed fats are not pure, fresh or organic. They are simply that – processed. And your body does not know what to do with them – so the chemicals are converted to fat in your body.

Enter the scientific: The hormonal effect of food is a much bigger part of the equation and is the most important factor when it comes to fat loss. Namely, insulin (the fat-storage hormone, not fat-releasing). According to Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS – author of Smart Fat: Eat More Fat, Lose More Weight. Get Healthy Now, “the American high-carb, low-fat diet…causes a lot of insulin to be released. When insulin is high, the fat cells lock their doors and won’t release their goodies…and fat can’t be burned for fuel.”

Here’s the kicker. Carbs and protein effect insulin levels. Fat? Not-at-all. And it produces more energy per gram than any other food group. And this all works when you eat “smart fats.”

Smart fats include:

Extra virgin olive oil (hello, Italia)
Fish oil
Wild salmon
Nuts
Coconut, palm & nut oils
Dark chocolate (Italia, there you are again)
Free range, organic eggs
Fats from grass-fed organic meats

Toxic fats include:

Factory farmed meat on a grain-fed diet
Man-made processed fats and foods
Processed omega 6 veggie oils (corn, soybean, canola)
Fats damaged in cooking (see previous blog: Best Oils To Cook With)

So, the high-fat, high-fiber, high flavor, moderate protein-rich foods consumed in Italy proved to be the winners.

Try it. See how you feel and if you notice a difference. And always remember to source your fruits, veggies and proteins organically as much as possible.

To leave a comment on this article or any other blog entry, please fill in the “Leave a Comment” box under each blog entry on our site: Heels to Laces.

 

 

  • Sonja Gamgort

    A+ post! Should we skip the store bought packaged pasta then? Would love to look deeper at the case for eating grass fed meats versus grain fed!

    • Debra

      Organic fresh pasta is your best option. Definitely avoid grain fed meats if possible.

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