Thursday, July 31, 2008

What's in Your Fridge

Recently my buddy Kevin over at the Fitcast did a post about what he had in his fridge. Well I decided to submit my fridge for his 100th episode show (more on that soon, but just know Dr. John Berardi will be on the show). So without further adieu here is a glimpse into my refrigerator.

NOTE: I lied, there is further adieu, sorry. Keep in mind I have a roommate so not all food in the refrigerator is my own, but I will highlight what I use regularly. Anyone that knows me would probably be freaked out by the fact that Milk is in the refrigerator knowing full well that I don't tolerate Milk well, and as for the regular trans fat peanut butter and high fructose corn syrup laiden jelly, tisk tisk Conor!

From Top To Bottom:
Greens+ Apple Flavor
Coconut Milk in a Mason Jar
Fish Oil (Biotest Flameout)
Spike Shooters (For those grueling lower body workouts)
Ground Flax Seeds via the magic bullet
Annie's Cowgirl Ranch Dressing (A great tasting Canola Oil Based salad dressing)
Gourmet Nutrition Pesto via the magic bullet
Tons of egg whites

3lb Bag of Carrots
Large Bag of Snap Peas
Natural Peanut Butter (you know the stir kind)
A couple pounds of organic spinach
Tub of Cottage Cheese
Brita Water Pitcher
A couple dozen eggs
Roasted Turkey
Defrosted Chicken Breast

More Egg Whites
Trident Wild Salmon Burgers
Trident Wild Salmon Fillets
96% Lean Beef Burgers
Frozen Blueberries (double as ice cubes in your shakes and great for cooling down some hot oatmeal)
Organic Chicken Sausages
Bison Burgers (all natural they claim)
Chicken Breast

There are a few things you can't see tucked away like the giant bag of frozen mixed veggies, fresh peppers, cucumbers, avocados, feta cheese and I'm sure more things that I can't think of right now, but that's a pretty detailed tour of my refrigerator. I don't really go out of my way to buy organic so much but if it's there I'll get it. First and foremost it's important to just eat the produce, secondary to that is where it came from. Buying local from farmers market is always a good idea and better for the environment.

If you have any questions regarding the food or want to share what is in your fridge, please comment below.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sun Burned Squats Suck

So I may have stayed in the sun a bit too long in California. I didn't realize how much stronger the Sun could be there as I've stayed out in the sun for hours in the Northeast with nothing major happening. It was a nice mid 70 degree day and I didn't think anything of it. I figured I'd have a bit of redness after but nothing like what you see below. The top picture is a few days before the trip. The bottom picture is a few days after a day at the beach.

Not Enough Vitamin D?

Too Much Vitamin D!

I don't think the pictures do it justice as the redness has a nice kool-aid man like redness that digital photography just can't fully capture. My back definitely got the worst of it.

So silly me. I decided to hit the gym and go figure the first exercise on the agenda was box squats. Imagine my surprise when loading the bar to just over 200lbs and finding it more painful than usual. To say I had a crappy workout would be an understatement.

Anyway, Cali was fun. I guess I should post a blog of acceptable sun screens in the near future as I'm not a big fan of most of the ones on the market as they contain carcinogens themselves (irony at its best, being that we use it thinking we'll help prevent skin cancer). I typically just recommend limiting sun exposure, and I guess in this instance I failed to follow my own advice.

I'll be resuming my things you are afraid of series this week, so don't worry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Couple Quick Thoughts

I'm about to road trip out to California and I wanted to at least post something before I left, as yesterday I had a couple of realizations.

The first realization I had is that people don't understand the value of time. Time is a resource you can't get back, once it's gone, it's gone. Yet people seem to think it's okay to have me wait for them, only to be 15 minutes late calling, to say they are going to be another 20 minutes late. I don't know about anywhere else, but where I come from, that would mean you are fired. Pick up the phone ahead of time to tell me you are going to be late. That's like coming in to work with a dunkin' donuts bag and being 15 minutes late. It's unacceptable to be late with breakfast, jeez.

Anyway I was all riled up about this and told them I wasn't going to wait and rescheduled so I could hit the gym. I had forgotten how much a good workout can relieve stress. You have to be so focused that you forget about all the stupid garbage clogging up your life path and just push through set after set. I had a great workout yesterday and the whole lateness thing stopped bothering me so much. So yet another reason not to miss a workout.

So make sure you value your time. If you don't, find something better to do with it because you are doing something wrong (something better doesn't involve watching episodes of Grey's Anatomy that you've already seen).

I'm off to Cali, have a great weekend, and to my fellow utah folk, have a good holiday. It's Pioneer Day tomorrow!

Friday, July 18, 2008

What Are You So Afraid of?

Over the past few decades we've managed to create this 'everything is bad' mentality. As a result people have began fearing virtually everything. In this introduction I'll be detailing the fear of fat. Is any of it warranted?

There is nothing to fear, but fear itself -FDR

Ever since the low fat campaign of the 80s, dietary fat has been at the forefront of things to cut out of our diet. The fact is that during the same time when we started cutting out fat our waistlines got larger, and incidences of obesity and diabetes skyrocketed. People began replacing animal fats with things like vegetable oils and margarine and strangely enough heart disease continued to rise. As this began to happen along with cutting out fats, people began to binge on carbohydrates, consuming even more overall calories.

Guilty of limiting fat intake?

So with such a blanket recommendation there must have been some good science to back up the whole 'fat is bad' theory, right? Well not so fast. A lot of the studies we relied on for nutritional guidance came from food questionnaires. People participating in these studies are asked about the number of servings of various foods they consumed on a regular basis. People can't even remember what they ate yesterday, let alone when asked to recall what they ate months ago. Needless to say the results from these studies aren't very accurate and this is what our dietary recommendations are based upon.

So there is no good science showing that a reduction in fat betters overall health. So what now? Even with all this information readily available people are still afraid of fat. With many foods claiming to be low in fat or fat free, it's easy to see why everyone might still think it is important. We see it virtually everyday as we are bombarded with mini anti-fat campaigns. Every time you see a low fat or fat-free label you are subconsciously being told fat is bad.

Well it's time to get over it. Fat is an essential nutrient and avoiding it is just plain silly. Your brain is made up of fat. The benefits of olive oil, avocado's, nuts and seeds simply can't be ignored, not to mention omega-3 fats which are receiving high praise in the media from reducing inflammation, heart disease and even metastasis of cancer.

I'm going to pass the buck on saturated fat as Men's Health has a great article where you can draw your own conclusions. Adam Campbell has recently written a great book called the TNT Diet. In it there is a startling diet plan that *gasp* doesn't exclude saturated fat.

So what are you afraid of when it comes to health? Post a comment below and it can be featured later on in the series.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fruit Juice vs Whole Fruit Again

I previously wrote an article about fruit juice and why it's simply better to eat the fruit. A recent study featured in Reuters confirms this again by showing that eating whole fruit or veggies while shying away from fruit juice reduces your risk for type 2 diabetes. These results make sense because fruit juice would surely mess with your blood sugar levels more than whole fruit and vegetables would. This is because it creates a hefty load of sugar being absorbed quickly because of the lack of fiber. Combine this with less nutrient density and it's double trouble. Did they really need to conduct a study to find this?

Apple vs. Apple Juice - A battle to the death

The study showed various servings of fruit and vegetables reduced the incidence of diabetes, while fruit juice consumption actually showed an increased incidence. So another battle won by whole fruit over fruit juice.

Now if we could only get people to understand the cure for type two diabetes. Plain and simple, it's time to get rid of the national guideline stating that it is acceptable to substitute fruit juice for a whole fruit serving. It simply doesn't measure up.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mixed Signals on Obesity

Yesterdays post about mixed signals got me thinking and I've decided to compile some visuals of the mixed signals I'm talking about. A picture is worth 1000 words they say.

3 Things that Don't Make Any Sense(in no particular order):

1. Shrek was Chosen as the Spokesperson for an Anti-Obesity campaign aimed at children. Yes please take a "big fat ogre" as he is referred to, and make him head up a campaign on Obesity. McFly! McFly! (back the the future reference)

It should also be noted that Shrek is also featured on fruit snacks and candy as well. I mean don't get me wrong, I think the whole Shrek Movie series is fantastic as it teaches kids acceptance of others. I just don't think he makes the cut for Anti-Obesity Study. I think he eventually got yanked from fulfilling the job, as I don't see too much about it anymore.

A picture of 2 AWARD WINNING Dietitians

2. Does anyone see the problem here? In yesterdays post there was an error, yesterday I said award winning nutritionists, when I should have said dietitians. I think dietitians actually makes this a bit worse. Thanks for Chris Shugart for pointing this one out.

3. Don't you even think about expending a few extra calories on your way to the gym. Make sure you park close too, in those reserved parking spaces. I'm hoping this is a photoshopped picture but I doubt it.

As you can see these mixed signals are everywhere confusing adults and even more painfully our youth. If you see any of these mixed signals elsewhere please comment below.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mold Doesn't Want It.

Mold doesn't want it, bacteria of all sorts shies away, yet we continue to eat it. What is it? See Below...

I'm off to McDonalds...I imagine after a few of you watch this I'll see you there as well. Make my french fries extra fried, and my cow extra corn fed.

Another thing that irks me about this video, is that the woman who has received acclaim for her diet books looks considerably overweight. I know they say the camera adds 10lbs, so maybe I'm being harsh. Okay I am being harsh, but it is a harsh reality, if you aren't going to practice what you preach you lose all credibility(in my humble opinion). And if you are practicing what you preach and it isn't working, then you need to find a new field to play in or just shut up because you are confusing everyone.

Now don't get me wrong as I don't mean to single her out, because she isn't the only one. I've seen awards given to nutritionists that were clearly overweight. Does anyone else see a problem here? These mixed signals are everywhere.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Six Months Down, Six More to Go

Well Independence Day has come and gone leaving you with a little less than half a year remaining. The farthest thing from your mind is probably your New Years Resolutions. If your goal was to lose 20lbs this year, have you lost at least 10? If your goal was to make a million dollars this year have you made a half million?

I hope everyone had a HAPPY & HEALTHY Independence Day

If you aren't on track to achieve your goals now is the time to wake up. There is still plenty of time this year to make it happen. Now is as good a time as any to re-evaluate your goals and maybe make some new ones.

I've compiled a few of my favorite goal setting tips below:

1. Write it down and tell someone. If you write your goal down studies have shown you incredibly more likely to achieve them. Telling someone that will support you is also important. You often don't have to be specific when telling someone your goal especially if your goal is ambitious. People are afraid of those who have high standards and reach for what they want. These toxic people will envy you and do everything they can to hamper your results. This is why if you have a goal of say losing 20lbs, you might want to just tell them I'm trying to lose some weight. Though you can be unspecific when relaying your goals to others you will want to be specific when you write them down for yourself. Clearly define what goal achievement will look like. Heck even draw a picture so it can help you visualize your goal.

2. Have a constant reminder. A constant reminder is something that you can see daily that reminds you of your goal. It can be as simple as listing your goals on your refridgerator. Other options include putting something visual in a common place. If your goal is to golf like tiger woods, placing a picture of him somewhere you'll see it everyday will keep golf at the forefront of your mind. One of my goals is to roll a perfect 300 game in bowling. I have a score sheet filled in on my wall showing what that 300 game will look like. I never forget the end goal and will keep working at it until I get there.

3. Put an end date to the goal. This will force you to work towards your goal and keep on pace to achieve it. Periodically evaluate whether you are on pace and if not figure out what you have to do to get back on track. I've often found that once you set a goal and an end date you'll find that beating the target date is often possible.

No goal is too small or too big to be included on your list. So take a few minutes and write some down now!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Terror Within

This video makes me sad...because it is reality. A 12 year old being allowed to get to that point is simply neglect and child abuse.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

5 Reasons to Eat Spinach

Is your mouth watering yet?

1. Spinach has some great nutritional properties. These properties include having plant derived omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber. It's dark and leafy giving you all kinds of phytonutrients. Spinach eaters have been shown to have lower risks of virtually every type of cancer. Spinach can help balance out those acids in the SAD (Standard American Diet) with its extreme alkalinity. Aside from some exotic vegetables I believe spinach is the most alkaline food that is readily available. It even has some protein in fiber with it to boot!

2. Spinach comes in convenient bite size leaves. No need to chop, dice, or cut. Just tear open a bag and stick a handful in your mouth. It's a great replacement for popcorn at the movies and no need to add butter.

3. It's the only vegetable that is 100% fully endorsed by Popeye.
Eat Your Damn Spinach

4. Spinach shrinks when cooked. It becomes such a small amount thus making it easier to get your 10 servings of vegetables in. Heck 16 ounces of cooked spinach can fit in a small bowl.

5. Spinach is versatile. You can throw some in an omelet with your breakfast, you can use it as a base for the leafy part of your salad. You can sauté it with some garlic for an awesome side dish. It is even used in a pesto sauce in the new Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook.