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Top 5 Foods to keep you warm this Winter

Top 5 Foods to keep you warm this Winter

Well it’s cold outside here in the Mid-West. The cold can have a negative effect on our health. The cold can cause us to want to stay inside were it is warm. The cold can cause us want to move less and eat more “comfort food”. Well fun fact you can’t build your summer body with your winter coat still on. So here are some top foods to eat to help keep you warm. This way you won’t feel the need to stay in, avoid the gym and make poor choices nutritionally.

#1 Homemade Soups

chicken-noodle-soup-3 Hot soups seem obviously for the winter months, but the timing of the foods are important.  A soup, such as a beef and vegetable, in the evening can help keep the body warm through the night. Be sure to notice that we said HOMEMADE soups not store bought. It’s time to bust out the crockpot and get creative; start with a chicken broth or beef broth. Then add your meats and veggies.

 

 

 

#2 Whole Grains

Whole-GrainsOatmeal all day every day! Oatmeal can be used to add more whole grains to any meal. Eating hot rolled oats can give immediate warmth to the body. Not only that, but grains are filled with B Vitamins and magnesium. This will help your thyroid and adrenal glands better regulate the body’s temperature during a time when they slowdown from the cold.

 

 

 

#3 Spice it up!

download (1) Not too spicy now though. Spices such as cayenne pepper can make you sweat which will cause you to lose body heat. Focus instead on cinnamon, cumin, paprika, nutmeg and all spice to help increase your body’s metabolism and generate heat. Fun Fact: Most of those spices are in (more…)


Free yourself from “Sugar Free” and “Fat Free”!

It’s easy to see how “Sugar Free” and “Fat Free” products sound extremely appealing to the consumer.  No sugar or fat?  It must be way healthier than the real thing.  Uuuumm, Boom! Think Again.  This common misconception has many people fooled. The claim is true that the product doesn’t contain sugar and fat, however, if you take a look at what else is included you might think twice about reaching for these “healthier” options.

Avoiding Fat Free Snacks and whyEducate yourself- Products labeled “sugar-free” and “fat-free” are not shortcuts to flat abs and tank-top arms. While it may be tempting to reach for the sugar-free cookies or the fat-free cheese, don’t let that temptation get the best of you. Give yourself a little jolt to your noggin, step away from the Oreos and hightail it out of that grocery aisle.

Those “sugar-free” products may not pack any refined sugars, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of dangerous territory. In these products, sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners, which are not any better for you. In fact, they’re worse.  Sure, artificial sweeteners don’t have calories, but they’re hundreds of times sweeter than real sugar, which can cause serious confusion for your body. When you eat something sweet, your body expects calories to follow. Because artificial sweeteners don’t have any calories, your body goes looking for them later elsewhere.

So remember, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to stay away from both real sugar and artificial sweeteners the best you can. However, if the sweet tooth strikes too hard and you can’t resist, allow yourself a conscious indulgence of the real thing in moderation of coarse.


Benefits of Carbs Post Workout

Benefits of Carbs Post Workout

Carbohydrates are the current hot button topic. Don’t have carbs! Have carbs! Only have carbs after sundown on the 4th day. The rules of eating carbohydrates are constantly changing depending on who you talk to and what their current belief is. So let Fitastic clear up one major discussion on carb intake and that is post workout or post training carb intake.

You just gratifyingly finished your exclusive Fitastic training program for the day. You are a hot sweaty mess, your body is tired, your muscles ache but you feel good. Let’s keep that feeling going for inside your body. We all know to grab a quick protein meal/shake right after our workout but we Shake it upoften forget about the carbs we should be eating as well. Regardless of your fitness goals you need to have carbs post training. You need a good mix of fast acting carbs high in fructose (sugar) and slow digesting carbs.

Why?

Simple, carbohydrates are used by your body to restore muscle glycogen that was depleted while during exertion of physical activity. If your post workout meal doesn’t contain the appropriate carbs, your body may actually instead break down muscle tissue for this same purpose (which would suck). Carbs also create an insulin spike which helps to move nutrients into your muscle tissue quicker.

Examples of fast acting carbs would be raw honey, banana, apple, dextrose and jelly. (Be sure you are using actual sugars in your honey and jelly, not fake sugars like HFCS).  These sugars are necessary to covert quickly back into the muscle for a speedy and efficient recovery.

Examples of slow acting carbs would be brown rice, sweet potato, oatmeal and jasmine rice.

Now the crafty part is how much? (more…)


This Crazy Shake Thing

A couple of days ago I got a message on Twitter from someone who seemed fairly interested in my lifestyle. After a few various questions that I answered for them they then asked, “Out of interest, do you know the business opportunity behind Herbalife?” Truthfully, I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs considering I get this from some sort of “meal replacement” distributor every other week. Instead, I respectfully said, “I do. Please don’t take offense to this, but I am an advocate for eating whole foods for meals.” It continued on into a much longer drawn out explanation, but this sums up my point. At the end of our conversation they shared a video to further explain and asked if I’d watch it. Finally today I thought, what the heck? Maybe I’ll learn something useful from it.

So I pull up this video. One of the first points it brings up is that as a nation we are less active. This is why we have so many people that are overweight and/or unhealthy. Why do you think this is? Probably because there is a McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell or any other fast food place you can think of on every corner. People have become lazy and in too much of a hurry and now rely on convenience. Wouldn’t you rather be able to still have that meal, but know what is in it by making it yourself? This point coincides with the next. The next point was we have less time to prepare healthy meals. How much time do you spend in front of the tv a day? How many times do you hit the snooze button? How important is sleeping in on the weekend or your day off to you? It is not so much that we have less time it’s that we don’t make time. Isn’t your health important to you? We do only have one body to live in. Unless you’re a cat you don’t get many chances in it.

you are what you eat

   Companies such as Herbalife, Shakeology, Visalus, Isagenix, Advocare, etc. give promise of weight loss and convenience. Sounds great, right? So what happens when you’ve reached your goal? (more…)


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


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