Friday, January 22, 2016

Healthy Finds at Sam's Club

Grocery shopping can be a real headache when you're trying to be healthy. Even the healthiest of stores stock shelves full of foods with toxins, artificial ingredients and sneaky sugars. I've found a few simple approaches to shopping quickly and cost-efficiently at Sam's. Below, I've posted a video of some of my favorite food finds you can buy in bulk at your local Sam's Club. I'm sure Costco has similar items as well.




Team A.M.Fit Omega 3 Trail Mix

  • 8 cups walnuts
  • 6 cups sliced almonds
  • 8 cups pecans
  • 8 cups Energy Trail Mix (from Sam's)

This makes 2 gallon bags full of trail mix, which comes out to about 64 1/2 cup servings or 128 1/4 cup servings (probably a better serving size).

For tracking macros, refer to the breakdown below.

1/4 cup serving | 189 calories

  • 4.5 g protein
  • 6 g carbs (3 g fiber/ 3 g net carbs)
  • 16 g fat

For more tips and resources, follow me on social media: FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. Also, check out my Services to find out how I can personally help you get fit from the inside out.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Why Your Body Won't Get Lean

Do you feel like you're killing yourself in the gym to torch calories? Or maybe you feel like you follow all the rules of your healthy habits for a few weeks and then get burnt out? If you're banking on your will power, then you might get somewhere, but probably not to your ultimate goals. If you want peace with your body and peace with food, then you have to change your mind about dieting and exercise.

Your body burns carbs primarily instead of fat.
Traditional diets and low-fat eating can often lead to hormonal imbalances. When your body is underfed healthy fats like salmon, flax, coconut, avocados and almonds, your body resorts to storing fat and burning only what's absolutely necessary, thus slowing down the metabolism. Try implementing more whole foods, healthy fats and less carbs.

You eat too much after exercising.
I'm not one to advocate limiting the amount of food one eats, but sometimes, we can overestimate how many calories we torched during exercise and end up overeating afterwards. This can happen especially easily if you're under-eating during the day. You also don't want to get into a habit of rewarding yourself with food after you workout. Instead, find different ways to reward yourself like a new pair of shoes.

You restrict and reward.
Have you ever told yourself, I'm never eating _____ again? That kind of restriction sets you up for failure. Food is not bad. Some food is better than others, but telling yourself you can never have something you like won't help. Instead, try finding alternatives to the foods you crave, and eat those regularly. And then, the occasional indulgence in something less healthy won't kill you.

You're drinking greens full of sugar.
Pre-made green drinks are notorious for hiding tons of sugar. Kinds like Odwalla and Naked sneak in more than 50 grams of sugar. It doesn't matter if that sugar stems from real fruits or not; it's still sugar. The problem with sugar is that it spikes blood insulin levels and desensitizes your body's hormones from cuing fat to free up as fuel.

You're mindlessly eating.
Multitasking is no foreign idea to most of us. If you're like me, you can text, sweep, launder and let the dogs out all at the same time. When it comes to eating, however, you want o narrow it down to just one activity. Studies show eating slow, enjoying your meals and turning off all distractions help you have more self-control during meals, as well as help you notice hunger/fullness cues more easily.

You're skipping meals during the day.
Not only does this put your body into starvation mode, it often triggers make-up hunger pains late at night, when your body should be going into fat-burning/restorative mode. You see, most people eat something full of carbs in the morning like cereal or a granola bar or yogurt, OR they don't eat anything at all. The body's blood insulin levels spike in the morning and then completely fall during the day, causing your metabolism to once again slow down. Instead, plan ahead. Prep meals on the weekends or one evening a week. Research easy recipes or snacks to take to work or in the car.

For more tips and resources, follow me on social media: FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. Also, check out my Services to find out how I can personally help you get fit from the inside out.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

MyProtein Supplement Review


When your life revolves around when and how you're going to workout for the day, it's especially important you have supplementation to keep you ahead of fatigue. That includes things like protein powder, BCAAs, quick snacks and high functioning apparel (ain't nothing worse than a pair of leggings that slide down your thighs). With so many supplement companies throwing new things at you, promising lean gains and supernatural fat-burning, it's easy to get lost in which brands are legit. I'm happy to review MyProtein supplements and comment that yes, they are legit.

The MyProtein supplements: BCAAs, Whey Isolate, Protein Bars and Shaker cup
MyProtein supplements has taken over the market in Europe and is quickly expanding in the U.S. With a shipping plant in Chicago, supplements can get from them to you in less than a week. My experience with MyProtein was very positive, from the initial contact made by a very friendly MyProtein representative all the way to the performance of these snazzy blue workout pants.

Aside from the supplements, MyProtein has done a great job at educating visitors to their website on each supplement they sell. They have research explaining why you would want to take any of the supplements listed, and references for where that information came from. I love that they care so much about the integrity of their products and actually informing people, instead of just claiming to be the best. They also give you free shipping when you spend $70 or more.
The mugcake I made using Vanilla Whey Protein Isolate by MyProtein

Impact Whey Protein Isolate

  • Over 22g protein per serving
  • Comes in a HUGE variety of flavors including Rocky Road, Coffee Caramel, and Blueberry Cheesecake (tons more too)
  • Sweetened with sucralose
I really like this protein. I'm a huge advocate for whey isolate (highly absorbable and bakeable), so that's a no-brainer. Ideally, I wish it was sweetened with stevia and free of the soy lecithin, which is an emulsifier, but other than that, there are not a bunch of crazy ingredients. I even noticed on some of the other unique flavors, they use natural coloring agents like beetroot coloring to make things red. I was sent the vanilla flavor, and it tasted delicious. I enjoyed it in a normal blended protein shake (water, ice, stevia and protein), and I made a mug cake (coconut flour, cinnamon, stevia, baking powder, flax and protein). Both worked seamlessly.


BCAA

  • 0.5 lb bag of aminos (easy to scoop)
  • Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine (good for protein synthesis and to prevent muscular breakdown)
  • Comes in 10 flavors including Berry Blast, Blue Raspberry and Raspberry Lemonade
  • Sweeteened with sucralose
I got to try the Sour Apple flavor, and while I normally don't like that flavor, this one was pretty good. It was less sour and more just "apple-y." It actually tasted like apple juice. My husband really liked these BCAAs. Again, I'd prefer stevia-sweetened products and no artificial food colorings. 


Protein Chox Bars

  • 22 g protein per bar
  • 5 flavors including lemon crunch and cookies and creme
MyProtein protein bar: chocolate caramel flavor
Caramel Peanut: Protein Blend (Milk Protein Isolate, Hydrolysed Gelatine), Milk Chocolate Couverture (17%) (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin, Flavouring), Caramel (14%) (Sweetened Condensed Milk, Glucose Syrup, Non-Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Caramelised Syrup, Emulsifier: E471; Salt, Natural Butter Flavour (Milk)), Humectant (Glycerine), Glucose Syrup, Peanuts (6%), Peanut Flour, Fructose, Rapeseed Oil, Flavouring, Sodium Chloride, Antioxidant (Mixed Tocopherols).

I got to try the above flavor, Caramel Peanut, and it tasted pretty comparable to other protein bars. My husband actually loved these, and he's already eaten like 14 of them. I'm not a huge fan of these protein bars because they have so many artificial ingredients in them, but the biggest reason is because they have 13 g of sugar. So, if we're rating taste, I'd give them an 8/9, but overall, about a 5 — pretty comparable to a FiberOne protein bar.


Shaker Cup

What's not to like about the shaker cup? It's great.

Leggings

At first, I'm not going to lie, I was a little afraid of these leggings. I thought they would fit too snug in the waist and be uncomfortable, but they were actually really easy to exercise in. Plus, they looked cuter on than I thought. They're dry-fit, and definitely resisted wetness during the workout. They have several patterns available, and the best part is they are totally affordable — less than $40!

Whether you're brand new to the exercise game or a seasoned gym rat, I'd recommend browsing the MyProtein website and giving some of their supps a glance. If you're set with supplements, then you still might be interested in the web of articles and research they have available, which is really interesting. They've already got quite the team lined up with fitness professionals like Brad Gouthro, Bradley Martyn, Nina Ross, Michael Kory and Chris Lavado.
*I was not paid to review these items, nor do I receive any monetary compensation to endorse these items. I did, however, receive these items free of charge.

For more tips and resources, follow me on social media: FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. Also, check out my Services to find out how I can personally help you get fit from the inside out.`
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