Category Archives: wellness

Addressing Visceral Fat

9516E825-425E-4C0A-A72A-909FED0648E6.jpegUnderstanding body composition-lean body mass, skeletal mass, body fat percentage and how it relates to optimal health and disease prevention is a fresh outlook in regards to weight wellness instead of strictly weight loss.

I believe in the importance of having body competition data to be sure we are losing body fat and gaining muscle when we see the scale shifting in either direction.

Let’s talk visceral fat:
First off there are Two types of Abdominal Fat-
Subcutaneous- the fat that is outside of your organs, can pinch with fingers
Visceral- Surrounding the organs, deadly in high amounts

What causes high visceral fat? Poor diet, lack of exercises, stress, aging, hormones and genetics.

BridgeCity Wellness is about creating healthy lifestyle habits and when it comes to Visceral fat loss in particular I’d like to offer some helpful tips about mindful eating and stress management.

Stress Management:
There are many easy activities you can incorporate into your daily life to help shift your focus and your mindset when you begin to feel stress. First, focus on what can you take direct control of: this may be incorporating the use of stress-modulating herbs called adaptogens into your diet, participating in an exercise program you enjoy, a spa treatment, cooking a meal you love, or simply turning off your phone for an hour.

Whatever your stress relieving activity is, schedule it into your calendar at least once a week. It is crucial to make room in your routine for important self-care tasks, like you would with a doctor or dentist appointment. Dedicating time throughout your week to self-care routines will improve the consistency of your actions.

 

Mindful Eating Practices:
Paying attention to the physical feelings of hunger. Are you physiologically hungry and actually in need of nutrition? Or are you psychologically hungry and experiencing cravings of food because your thirsty, stressed or bored?
Identifying cravings. This is your body communicating with you and could be indicating you need a specific nutrient. Example: Craving salty foods like pickles or chips could mean you need to replenish sodium and/or electrolytes. Try adding ConcenTrace Mineral drops to your water, or make your own kale chips for a healthy snack. Craving onions could mean you need more sulfur in your diet for liver function. Chocolate cravings often indicate that your body is deficient in magnesium, which is a common deficiency. You can try adding mineral drops to your water and if you’re going to eat chocolate try adding cocoa powder to you smoothie, or dark chocolate as your 15% fun.
Sensation of fullness. Also known as satiety. Having fiber, balanced protein and healthy fats as part of your meals and snacks will help you feel full after eating.
Taste satisfaction. Enjoying the food you eat is important for your body to get the most nutrition for your cells. Clean eating doesn’t have to be boring! Explore new spices, fresh herbs and seasonings. New recipes will excite your meal planning.
Gratitude. Take a moment before you consume your meal to think what it took to get from farm to table. It is recommended we chew our food 20-30 times before swallowing. Focus on feeling satisfied about how you have chosen to fuel your body.

 

New findings published in the Journal of Obesity suggest that combining a technique called mindful eating with stress management can help reduce cortisol levels and the resulting belly fat. The most effective mindful eating practices are paying attention to the physical feelings of hunger, identifying cravings, sensation of fullness, and taste satisfaction so you fully enjoy your eating experience and feel satisfied about how you have fueled your body.
Link to the Journal of obesity study: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobe/2011/651936/

TO Read more about stress management: https://bridgecitywellness.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/is-stress-making-us-fat/

To read more about mindful eating and quality foods over quantity: https://bridgecitywellness.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/stop-counting-calories/

 

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Why you should be Protein Pacing

What is Protein-pacing? 

“Protein pacing,” Dr. Arciero defines, “is the scientifically proven combination of eating healthy, lean, protein foods at the right time of day to maximize health and performance.”

As a professor of health and exercise sciences and director of the Human Nutrition and Metabolism laboratory at Skidmore College, Dr. Arciero has been a key figure in research on protein pacing. He was also the lead researcher in a series of recent studies, including those that involved Isagenix products, investigating protein pacing for losing weight, cardiovascular health, and athletic performance. (See references below)

 

 

3-more-protein-1

The science behind it:

By consuming protein throughout the day, you can maximize muscle maintenance during weight loss and muscle building when combined with exercise. Even more intriguing to those seeking fat loss, recent research suggests that protein pacing could increase your basal metabolic rate and improves body composition regardless of dieting.

Science translation: You can build muscle and burn fat without severely restricting calories.

“When subjects ate a diet higher in protein, specifically from whey protein, and paced their protein intake, they lost more body weight, more body fat, more abdominal fat, and they maintained their lean body mass. Importantly, these beneficial improvements were achieved even though total calories consumed were identical to a normal eating pattern,” Dr. Arciero explained.

Protein intake alone can stimulate a greater thermogenic response (increasing metabolism) compared to carbohydrate and fat, meaning it requires more energy to process. Protein can also increase satiation (sensation of fullness)

So how do you “Protein-pace?” 

Introducing the simple six meal plan ! simple6mealplan

Eat every 2-4 hours be sure there is protein with every meal and/or snack!

Start with 20-24 g Protein per meal and 10-15 g of Protein per snack. (Macro-nutrient number goals will vary depending on several factors age, gender, activity level and specific goals-some may need more.)

 

Here is a photo of a traditional Isagenix 30 day system. We weave in IsaLean Shakes and meal replacement bars for one meal and one snack each day. This provides a minimum of 48 g of Protein from just the shakes, helping obtain your macro-nutrient goals for the day. We balance out the other meals and snacks to fit a 40% carb, 30% pro, 30% fat balance.

30dayimage

 

Another quick grab and go Protein Option:

eggwhites

Egg White Scramble Muffins

2 Cup egg whites

1 Cup Diced vegetables 

1 clove garlic (optional)

2 T of Braggs 24 herb seasonings

1 T coconut/avocado oil

Salt and pepper to taste  

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Heat cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir veggies until slightly soft. Remove from heat and cool. If using squeeze spinach to remove excess moisture.
  3. Whisk egg whites and spices together- mix well. Add veggies. Pour egg mixture into the muffin cups almost to the top. Place the muffin tin on a rimmed baking sheet and pour water halfway up the sides of the muffin tin to create a water bath.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until muffins are set in the middle, 20 to 25 minutes.

 

Protein rich SNACKS

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

2/3 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed and coated with 1 tsp curry powder and a pinch of salt, roasted at 300 degrees for 20 minutes: 8 grams protein

Edamame Poppers

The only thing more fun than how much protein you can get from a serving of edamame is getting to eat these little beans out of their bright green pods. Buy them fresh and steam, or use the pre-cooked frozen variety and briefly microwave to defrost before chowing down.

1 cup edamame pods sprinkled with sea salt: 15 grams protein

Toasted Quinoa

Try this unconventional way to enjoy the gluten-free superfood: lightly sweetened, and toasted to crunchy perfection. Pack it in a container on top of yogurt, or like we tend to do with our favorite granola, eat it by the handful!

1/3 cup quinoa mixed with ½ tbsp ground flax, 1 tbsp shredded coconut, and 1 tbsp maple syrup, toasted at 425 degrees for 10 minutes: 9.4 grams protein

 

Cheesy Kale chips 2 cups kale leaves coated with 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, baked at 325 degrees for 15 minutes: 9 grams protein

 

Roasted Chickpeas

3/4 cup chickpeas roasted for 20 to 30 minutes with 1 tablespoon each olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper: 9 grams protein

 

REFERENCES:

http://www.drpaulsprotocol.com/index.php/who-is-dr-paul

http://www.isagenixhealth.net/protein-pacing-works-fat-loss/

http://www.isagenixhealth.net/isagenix-improves-body-composition-weight-loss-long-term-weight-maintenance/

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/8/8/476/htm

 

Importance of Hydration in Sports Performance and Health

How much water do you consume a day? Water is the most vital nutrient to human existence. We can survive far longer without food than without water.
Sedentary women should be consuming at least 74 oz of water a day and men should be consuming 101 oz.
The body’s requirement for water varies in accordance with several factors: environment, activity level, functional losses, metabolic needs, age and other dietary factors.

Paul Chek provides a reliable calculation for meeting our body’s needs. For your minimum daily intake, one should base the calculation on one’s body weight in in kilograms, (lbs divided by 2.2) and then divide that by 0.024. This level of water intake works out at 1 liter plus 1 cup (1250ml) for each 30 kg of body weight.

Example

  • An 80 kg person would require 3 1/3 liters per day = 80 kg divided by 0.024 = 3.3 liters per day.

Drink your way to better health- Hydration changes everything!

  • Protects organs and tissues
  • Lubricates joints
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
  • Helps dissolve vitamins and increases bio-availability
  • Reduces the burden on kidneys and liver
  • Moistens tissues of mouth, eyes and nose
  • Helps prevent constipation
  • Increases muscle tone
  • Reduces risk of disease-Studies have shown that an increase in daily water decreases the risk of colon cancer  up to 45%, reduces the risk of bladder cancer by 50%, and potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer. It is also believed that water may prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infection

Stay hydrated with fruits and veggies!

Cucumber, Iceberg lettuce, spinach, celery(96%), raw radish, zucchini (95%) , Watermelon, strawberries, sweet peppers, green tomato (92%) , Cauliflower, orange, raspberries, peach(87%)

Signs of Dehydration

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Weakness
  • Tired or sleepy
  • Decreased urine output
  • Urine is low volume and more yellowish than normal
  • Headache
  • Dry skin-skin will “tent” when pinched
  • Dizziness

If you are thirsty, then your levels are already low. Consume small sips during physical activity to not overload the body systems. Ideally you should sip every 15 minutes.

Dehydration’s effect on Athletic Performance

  • Reduction in blood volume
  • Decreased skin blood flow
  • Decreased sweat rate
  • Decreased heat dissipation
  • Increased core temperature
  • Increased rate of muscle glycogen use

Hydration Before, During and After Exercise

Before Exercise

  • It is recommended that individuals drink about 17-22 oz. of fluid ~2 hours before exercise to promote adequate hydration and allow time for excretion of excess ingested water

During Exercise

  • Athletes should start drinking early and at regular intervals in an attempt to consume fluids at a rate sufficient to replace all the water lost through sweating (i.e. body weight loss), or consume the maximal amount that can be tolerated
  • During exercise lasting less than 1 hour, there is little evidence of physiological or physical performance differences between consuming a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink and plain water

After Exercise

  • Drink 600 ml of water for every pound of body weight lost through sweat during exercise with a natural recovery aid or suitable protein shake
  • If training for a prolonged period of time (+60 min), it is essential to have a carbohydrate intake to prevent blood glucose drops and increase glycogen stores in muscles.

Hydration in Sports Performance

Sweat losses of as little as 2% of body weight (less than 3 pounds in a 150-pound athlete) can impair performance by accelerating the onset of fatigue. This is important because some athletes can lose 5 to 8 pounds of sweat or more during practice or competition. So it’s easy for athletes to become dehydrated if they don’t drink enough to replace what is lost in sweat.

There is clear research to show that working at different intensity levels and duration will decrease blood plasma volume, but as long as you have been maintaining hydration throughout the day you will be fine to train. If you have not been drinking during the day to maintain your hydration, your body will be fighting for the use of water.

  • 15-20% decrease in 1 min bouts of exhaustive exercise
  • 7.7% decrease when training at 40% of 1 rep max
  • 13.9% decrease when training at 70% of 1 rep max
  • Sweating causes additional plasma loss
  • Reduced plasma volume will increase blood viscosity which has been linked to impeded blood flow thus limiting oxygen transport

What is Blood Plasma? Plasma is made up of water, plasma proteins, and cellular nutrients (such as electrolytes, enzymes, hormones, antibodies and waste products). Its primary role is to aid transport of the red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes) and platelets (thrombocytes) in and around the body at rest or during exercise.

Electrolytes are minerals (calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, sodium ions) in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. Electrolytes  affect the amount of water in your body, the acidity of your blood (pH), your muscle function, and other important processes. The body loses electrolytes as it sweats.

SODIUM: Maintains water balance, activates thirst response, prevents water intoxication & hyponatremia, prevents cramps by enabling normal muscle contraction.  Influences performance of other minerals; enables nerve impulse transmission and maintains normal blood pressure

Potassium: Maintains water balance, stimulates metabolism of proteins & carbohydrates; helps muscles use glycogen and prevents muscle fatigue; enables normal muscle contraction.

Chloride: Maintains water balance; prevents dehydration, helps the body break down protein, absorb minerals & vitamin B12, enables normal muscle contraction, relaxation and nerve impulse transmission.

Magnesium: Participates in the conversion of ATP (adenosine triphosphate),  stimulates the metabolism of carbohydrates & fats; helps the body build proteins, decreases pain from sports-related injuries & excessive physical activity; enables normal muscle relaxation; prevents muscle cramps & spasms. Also, influences performance of other minerals; enables nerve impulse transmission; decreases vulnerability to disease; alleviates symptoms of numerous medical and psychiatric conditions

Sports Drinks are to be avoided

Do not count on sports drinks to provide you with the adequate amount of electrolytes, as most only include sodium and potassium.  Gatorade’s latest product introduction, Endurance, which claims to have five electrolytes and yet contains only a whopping 400 mg of sodium and 180 mg of potassium. What about the other electrolytes? Calcium and magnesium are mentioned; however, Endurance provides less than two percent of the Daily Value for these two critical electrolytes. A 2005 study published in General Dentistry reported that some popular sports and energy drinks destroyed tooth enamel more effectively than cola due to their high sugar content.

A balance of all electrolytes is necessary to maintain optimal hydration and endurance. Not only do you lose sodium in sweat, but you also lose other critical electrolytes like magnesium, and since most people don’t get enough magnesium, serious deficits can be occurring. The bottom line is to not count on plain water and sports drinks to meet your body’s hydration and electrolyte needs. Plain water (including bottled “mineral waters”) doesn’t contain a substantial quantity or balance of the essential electrolytes you require to stay adequately hydrated, replace electrolytes lost in sweat, and maintain optimum performance. As for sports drinks, the high-sugar content of most of these beverages often causes bloating, stomach cramps, and can impair your hard-fought training and performance at the moment when it may matter most.

  Adding electrolytes to water is a simple idea.  It provides pure electrolytes and nothing else. It powers rapid hydration and quickly replaces all lost electrolytes—not just sodium. It supports performance, stamina, and recovery, and delivers electrolytes evenly to ensure optimal hydration. And unlike sugar-loaded sports drinks, this metohd doesn’t involve calories, flavorings, sweeteners, colors or sugar, all of which hold the potential to hinder performance.  I use ConcenTrance Mineral drops in my water daily.  

Water is the most vital nutrient to human existence. Hydration is vital to any successful athlete. I hope this inspired you to tune into your daily water consumption and electrolyte balance. Cheers to H20!

References:

http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/dehydration-and-its-effects-on-performance

http://www.acsm.org/

http://eletewater.com/uploads/elpdf/electrolytes_and_dehydration.pdf

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/behar12.htm

http://khsaa.org/sportsmedicine/gatorade/hydrationcriticaltoathleticperformance.pdf

http://www.kellygarsia.com/the-importance-of-hydration/

New Awareness brings about a Delicious Discovery

Greetings fitness professionals, foodies, friends, family, and clients! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted and I plan on keeping this post short and sweet.

Balancing my work life consisting of 5 jobs, healthy snacking on the go is way of life.I used to joke: If you are what you eat-I’m a LARA Bar! Nutty and sweet! 🙂 Until the sugar content came into my focus-28g per bar?!

This inspired my recent new mission for finding a snack bar that is low in sugar, high in protein and healthy fats, NON-gmo & moderate calories- I found this savory bar! And only costing $1.85 each!

Gluten-free, 10g Fat, 17g Carbs, 6g Protein, 6g of Fiber and only 3 g sugar! Total calories 170

FullSizeRender

In the Mediterranean their culture is not about restriction. It’s about enjoying all things in moderation. Foods such as whole grains, fresh fruits, leafy greens grow in their fertile lands and they combine these nutrient-dense foods to create delicious balanced meals.

Black olives are rich with Vitamin A and Calcium and Monounsaturated fats which are recommended for consumption in moderation to help reduce risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Walnuts are rich in vitamins A, K, Folate, abundant in mono & polyunsaturated fats and a great source of minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese.

This bar is crispy, satisfying and best of all SAVORY! Packed with nutrition and not a ton of sugar. Spread the word bird, these are incredible!

Check out their website for more product information and where to purchase yours!

http://mediterranutrition.com/

The Importance of Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

“We build muscles in the kitchen, we tear muscles in the gym.”

“Changing your body composition comes down to 80% nutrition and 20% exercise”

“You eat far more often than you’ll ever exercise.”

All great quotes to live by. If you’re one of my clients-you’ve heard these quite a few times.

Nutrient timing is a concept focusing on the importance of what you eat before and after your exercise routine. This is a great opportunity to exercise your will power. Fine tuning these choices can drastically decrease the time frame in which you see results from your hard work. Within the last year I’ve been incorporating the AMPED Line into my lifestyle. This amazing system makes sports nutrition easy and has been a significant game charger in my performance and body composition.

PRE-WORKOUT NUTRITION:

Ideal pre-work meal is mostly carbohydrate based.

Carbohydrate Sources and Timing: 1 hour (or more) before exercise:

Complex, low glycemic carbs (high in fiber) help ensure blood sugar balance.  Serving size should be about 30 g  Examples: 1/2 c oatmeal or quinoa, 1 rice cake, vegetables like sweet potato and squash can be good options.

20 minutes to 1 hour before exercise:

  • Simple carbohydrates from fruit like dates, raisins or half of a banana, or a coconut water can give you quick energy.
  • Small serving of easily digested sources of fat, such as coconut oil (a source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) or chia seeds can be consumed less than an hour pre-workout, or even during a workout. These fats are easily converted into usable energy, fueling your workout rather than being stored as fat.

 Meal Ideas (1-2 hr pre workout)

  • Stir fry 1 c spinach for 1 min in avocado oil, add 1/2 c cooked quinoa; crack egg & cover for 1 minute. Scramble and enjoy.

  • 1/2 c oatmeal, 1/4 c dried fruit, 2 tsp chia seeds

  • 1/2 c sweet potato, 1/2 c sauteed greens, 1 egg

POST WORKOUT NUTRITION

HYDRATION: The first nutritional priority after exercise is to replace any fluid lost during exercise. Consume 16-24 oz. of water post workout.

Benefit of protein shakes/post workout liquid meals:
Liquid form of nutrition that contains rapidly digesting carbohydrates (e.g., maltodextrin, dextrose, glucose, etc) and proteins can accelerate recovery by utilizing insulin for nutrient transport into cells, can result in rapid digestion and absorption. Also, these products are often better tolerated during and after workouts. Whole food meals aren’t always practical for a few reasons. Some find they aren’t hungry immediately after exercise, and the process of digestion may take 1-3 hours before its absorbed into blood stream and your body needs replenishing within the hour.

Protein and Carbohydrates:

Research shows that combining protein with carbohydrate within thirty minutes of exercise nearly doubles the insulin response, which results in more stored glycogen.   This is essential to building adequate glycogen stores for continued endurance training.  Endurance exercise is defined as repetitive prolonged exercise of sub maximal intensity greater than 45 minutes.

Protein Data indicates a minimum of 18-20 g of protein after a workout to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis. This number will vary depending on lean body mass and your goals. Eating more protein than that, however, has a negative impact because it slows re-hydration and glycogen replenishment.

I highly recommend mixing 1 scoop AMPED Hydrate.  with 1 scoop AMPED RECOVER

1 scoop IsaPro.  ( Dairy Free option ) These three products cover all your nutritional needs and tastes incredible! Proper sports nutrition is the key to success in reaching your goals.  You’ll feel better during and after your workouts.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12235033?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1601794?dopt=Abstract

http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.HTML