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5 Reasons you need to be PRO-Protein

Protein isn’t just for “Athletes”!  Quality protein needs to be a staple in EVERYONE’S meal structure, as it’s an essential piece for human development.  It’s not just a statement- I’m going to tell you why you need these highly valuable nutrients, and then YOU make the decision to add them into your regimen.  If your beliefs allow you to eat animal based protein, focus on adding:

  • Lean Beef
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Pork

However if you have developed your eating habits on an animal friendly ecosystem, stick with more:

  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Lentils

Here are several reasons to put more emphasis on your protein intake.

Protein Benefits1.  Thermic Effect of  Food (TEF)-  Protein is a very costly macronutrient for the body to metabolize.  Your body actually burns calories in order to digest protein.  So from a Fat Loss perspective, it only makes sense to include protein with every meal.

2.  Repairing Skeletal Muscle and Tissue-  The volume and intensity of your exercise and training creates consistent damage to the body’s muscle fiber and tendons.  Protein plays a major role in repairing the broken down tissue.

3.  The Addition of Lean Body Mass (LBM)-  Resistance training tears down the body’s muscles.  As noted, it’s important that you provide your body with the proper nutrients to rebuild itself.  Contrary to popular belief, a high-protein diet will NOT create big, bulky muscles in Women.  Females simply do not have the testosterone and hormones responsible (more…)


FAT CHANCE- The skinny on Fat!

The preconceived notion is that “fat” is bad for us.  Well, that is correct and incorrect.  There are the negative altering fats and health boosting fats.  No matter what you do in your life and what your goals are, if you can harness the power of heart healthy fats into your daily regimen you will thrive!  Keeping it simple keeps our decisions sound and easy.

Fat ChanceStarting with what to avoid- unhealthy fats.  Trans fatty acids are poison.  These fats increase the hardening of your arteries and negatively affect your metabolism.  Trans fats lurk in packaged cookies, crackers, chips and in many fast food meals- especially fried foods.  When reading a food label, be on the lookout for terms like partially hydrogenated or just hydrogenated vegetable oils.  If either is at the top of the ingredient list or listed before healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, save your money and don’t buy the product.

Saturated fat causes the build up of fatty tissue along the lining of your arteries and increase blood cholesterol levels.  Avoid or severely limit foods with these fats: red meats, full-fat dairy products, vegetable shortening and butter.  You can often identify Saturated Fats they tend to be solid at room temperature, with the exception of tropical oils.

In contrast, polyunsaturated fats are your heart healthy allies with decrease aging affects and are required for normal daily function.  Along with increasing your cholesterol profile, polyunsaturated fats assist building in cell membranes.  The two types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help lower triglycerides.  It has been proven that omega-3s help prevent and even treat heart disease and stroke and can be mainly found in (more…)


Maw Nutrition takes stage

Living and breathing in the fitness industry for the last 20 years of my young existence, I’ve met, connected with, been inspired by, and built relationships with just about every resource out there to share with our dynamic community.  Just recently from operating successful sponsorship events at several large competitions and shows this Spring, we can add a reputable and integrity driven Nutrition Food Service to the positive network arsenal .  As you know one of my mantra’s: Creating Positive Addictions; Maw Nutrition fits right in.

Maw Nutrition FeatureIf and when you meet the owner, Mike, and taste his freshly prepared food, you’ll soon understand why the Maw Nutrition brand is gaining popularity amongst serious competitors and nutrition savvy consumers alike.  Even at the NPC Titan up in Racine, WI this past weekend, I couldn’t keep track of all the nods and positive conversations from the customers walking away from his booth with full plate and fork in mouth.  It’s no wonder his mission is “to provide convenient all natural foods to the Bodybuilding Community, along with the Endurance Athlete and anyone who is dedicated to eating the way Nature intended” and delivers!

We’re proud to add Maw Nutrition to our sponsored community within the feelfitastic.com home page.  Be sure to click their banner and check out their amazing service.  They ship anywhere for your convenience.  Solid.

To happy and healthy eating,

Steve @ Team Fitastic


How Sweet your Potato is

These days the “Carb Craze” is at it’s highest point of awareness and controversy- ‘In order to obtain my fitness goals, do I eat carbs, do I Not eat carbs, if so how many carbs do I need?’ are the questions being asked.  Yes, everyone’s goals and nutrition input is different from the world’s perspective.  One thing is for sure… if you want to create a sustainable healthy lifestyle that you can keep and maintain for the long haul, Don’t Skip Out on your Valuable Carbohydrates.   One of many is the generous Sweet Potato.

Sweet PotatoOne of the greatest benefits is the superior fiber content.  Sweet potatoes contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes.  Contributing close to 7 grams of fiber per serving, and make an excellent starchy addition to any meal.  The high fiber content gives them a “slow burning” quality.  This basically means their caloric energy is used at a slower and more efficient rate versus a low-fiber carbohydrate.

They also contain a sizable amount of vitamin B6.  B6 is well known for breaking down a substance called homocysteine, which contributes to hardening of the arteries and blood vessels.  Keeping the walls of these important blood passageways flexible and healthy, Vitamin B6 allows blood to flow freely.

In addition, sweet potatoes contain high amounts of potassium.  Potassium plays an important role in lowering blood pressure by eliminating the body of excess sodium and regulating fluid balance.  It is also an important electrolyte that helps regulate the natural rhythm of the heart, and maintains normal function of the brain and central nervous system.

This powerhouse nutrient food shouldn’t be ignored (along with all other nutrient dense carbohydrates) when it comes getting your body metabolized and sustaining the results you’ve put so much effort into.  How Sweet it is!!!


Strength of Avocado

Avocado health benefits make a persuasive case for why you should be eating more avocados today.   Yeah, they’re loaded with “fat”, but not all fat is bad for your body.  Monounsaturated/Omega-9 fat in particular is what constitutes the first health benefit of an avocado.  In a typical avocado, most of the calories you receive come from monounsaturated fat.  The monounsaturated fat in an avocado is healthy for you.  All foods similar to avocados that contain monounsaturated fat lessen your LDL cholesterol, which is harmful to your body. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol has been called “good cholesterol,” and there is evidence that monounsaturated fat actually raises this type of cholesterol.

Avocado SlicesA typical avocado will contain both insoluble and soluble fiber; that alone makes it very powerful, since not many foods can brag about containing both kinds of fiber.  The breakdown in an average avocado is approximately 75 percent insoluble fiber to 25 percent soluble fiber.  The benefits of each type of fiber are already well known.  Insoluble fiber is great at cleaning out your bowels by way of increasingly efficient bowel movements.  Soluble fiber is great for appetite control.  It has the effect of making you feel full, because it turns into a gel that sits in your stomach for a while when it comes into contact with water.

My favorite bragging rights to avocado is the vitamin and nutrition content contained.  You can find B, K, and E vitamins along with a notable amount of potassium (almost double the amount of the infamous banana).  B vitamins help your body’s (more…)


Protein Brownies

In he Kitchen with Wild Will

Who doesn’t love brownies? I mean really,have you ever met someone who you offered a brownie and they said mmmm no thanks? If you have, I would personally stop being their friend. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. HOWEVER. Brownies are rarely found on a person living a healthy nutrient dense lifestyles meal plan. Sadly. That is until now. Once again I have entered your life to bring your Protein Brownies. These are some seriously tasty and moist (sorry for everyone who hates the word moist) brownies.

Be sure to try these brownies out for yourself. Now if you do make these please post your comments on Face Book with a picture of you and your brownies. I would greatly appreciate it.

Now the videos are coming. Editing takes a bit of time along with getting everyone together to film; a bit more ambitious then I originally thought. Apparently YouTube stars don’t have day jobs.

So without further delay here are Wild Will’s Protein Brownies.

Protein Brownies

Ingredientsphoto

1 cup of liquid egg whites

1 can (200g) of unsalted cooked black beans

3 scoops chocolate protein powder

1/4 cup of cocoa

1/4 cup of syrup

3 tbsp coconut flour

5 tbsp cottage cheese

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1-3 tbsp of peanut butter (optional but really nice)

Directions

photo 31. Using a mixer blend all the ingredients together. Bear in mind that what you want to end up with is a thick pancake-like batter. If your batter is too runny, add a tbsp more of coconut flour until it thickens. If it’s too thick, add an extra egg white or two.

2. Once your mixture is perfect, smooth and thick, yet pour-able. Bake it in a small brownie pan at 320 degrees for 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

3. Pull out of the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes

If you want to substitute the coconut flour, you can. Try ground oats, or a combo of ground oats and ground almonds. You’ll probably want to add a lot more than 3 tbsp of either of them to thicken the batter though, so just eyeball it and add enough until your batter looks like, well, brownie batter.

If you want to add an extra element of oomph to the brownies, throw some chopped walnuts onto the batter just before you put in the oven. Or add to the batter if you want them in the brownies themselves. Just be sure to account for it in the macros.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @feelfitastic


Build the burn with BREAKFAST

When you awake in the morning, rub your eyes, and put you feet to the floor to start your day, is your initial thought ‘Time to Eat!’ or ‘I’ll find something to eat on the way out the door to work’?  You know the answer your mind and body should be looking for…  Your body slows down its metabolism as a mechanism of defense to conserve energy when it hasn’t consumed food for so many hours; as in a state of famine.  When you wake up and you haven’t eaten anything since your last meal the night before, your body will be in a

Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism by 5%

Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism by 5%

catabolic state (in other words breaking down)- thus your body is consuming muscle tissue to get you fueled up as needed to get you up and moving.  While you’re sleeping your body goes through a biochemical process called gluconeogenesis that allows your body to utilize amino acids from your muscle tissue and transport them to your liver where they’re converted to glucose, the only thing your brain can use for energy.  In the process of not eating for all those hours, your body is depleted of these glucose (glycogen) stores and needs to obtain it from elsewhere to keep your brain mainstreamed and operating.  The optimal option is to steal it from your muscles, take the amino acids and convert them to energy.

A recommendation to minimize cannibalization is to consume a healthy serving of protein alongside a whole grain carb with fiber preferably first thing in the morning (or when you awaken).  Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism by 5% according to Dr. Wayne Callaway, an obesity specialist at George Washington University.  Individuals who skip breakfast are much more likely to binge in the late morning due to starvation and begin to get the “shakes” because of low blood sugar levels.  By the time they eat, their metabolism is even lower than it was when they first woke up.   Portion control goes out the window and they gorge on too many calories which usually leads to high-fat, low nutritious decisions and more weight gain.

Moral is… take time to invest in your first meal of the day as it will launch your mind, body, and metabolism into a fuel burning machine all day long (as long as it’s continually fueled properly).

In good health,

Steve @ Fitastic


Fast Facts about Caffeine

caffeine facts10 to 15 minutes: time it takes caffeine to appear in your bloodstream
60 to 90 minutes: time it takes to reach peak caffeine levels after you drink coffee
3 to 5 hours: time it takes your body to reduce caffeine levels by half
10 to 12 hours: time it takes to clear caffeine out of your system

This means that, if you’re a regular morning coffee drinker, each day you wake up in the middle of caffeine withdrawal.  If you drink coffee throughout the day, your body is essentially always under the physiologic effects of caffeine, whether you feel the buzz or not.


Control your sweet tooth- Valentine Sweetener Edition

Are you struggling to control your sweet tooth?

Sure most of us get Wide Eyes when mauling over a sweets table, but what are you consuming (or about to) and what are the effects?  Especially when you have or are borderline diabetic, including sweets in your diet requires careful planning.  Often a daunting task, it can be hard to just save sweets for special occasions.

Curb Your Cravings:

Sugar stackFoods and drinks that use artificial sweeteners are an option that may help curb your cravings for something sweet.

Sometimes low-calorie sweeteners are also called artificial sweeteners, sugar substitutes or non-nutritive sweeteners. They can be used to sweeten food and drinks for less calories and carbohydrate when they replace sugar.

The sweetening power of most low-calorie sweeteners is at least 100 times more intense than regular sugar, so only a small amount is needed when you use these sugar substitutes.

Also, with the exception of aspartame, all of the sweeteners listed below cannot be broken down by the body.  They pass through our systems without being digested (more…)


The Never Ending Burn- Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Push Pic1We breathe every second of every day.  Our hearts perpetually pump blood, out bodies maintain constant body temperature, and many other involuntary functions are performed 24 hours a day.  These functions require calories to be expended, producing the energy our bodies need to survive.  The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimum amount of calories necessary to survive in our most restful state.  Put another way, the BMR is the minimum amount of calories needed for a person to remain asleep all day.  It accounts for 60-75% of total calories on a daily basis.  Every individual’s BMR is different because no two people have exactly the same genetic blueprint, are the same age, height or weight, have the same daily activity level, have the same body composition, or are the same gender.  These personal factors assist in determining your individual BMR, and therefore help determine the amount of calories required to lose, maintain, or even gain weight.

Couple BMRSome determinants lower your basal metabolic rate while others raise it.  Unfortunately we lose muscle mass as we age, which lowers our BMR because muscle demands more calories than fat to maintain itself.  This is why resistance training is important to maintaining a healthy weight as we age.  Also, fasting and crazy diets that require drastic calorie reductions lower your BMR because your body is likely to go into a state of starvation and cannibalize itself when it doesn’t receive the necessary calories from the food you consume.  That’s right, your body will eat its (more…)


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