My Blue Print Nutrition Tip of the Day- Top 5 Supps for FAT Loss Part 1

 

Tami our lifestyle coach and myself are excited to discuss NUTRITION!  With so much info out there we want to keep things as simple as possible for you all.  With fat loss being such a big topic today we will discuss what we have had success with clients for fats loss

Note – YOU must follow a proper nutritional program as there is no supplement that will outrun a POOR diet

Part one

Here are favourite Supplements To Take For Fat Loss – part one

Omega-3 Fish Oil

If you only take one supplement, it should be omega-3 fish oil. Studies show that supplementing with omega-3 fish oil significantly increases lean mass, while decreasing body fat at the same time. Omega-3 fish oil improves the body’s testosterone-to-cortisol ratio by lowering cortisol and turning on the fat burning genes, while turning off the lipogenic or fat storing genes. Omega-3’s improve leptin signaling in the brain, causing the brain to turn up fat burning and turn down appetite.\

fish oil cartoon

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10 Food Staples To Throw Out NOW!! – Part 3

Welcome back to our pantry overhaul series! If you have missed the first 6 pantry items to trash check out Part 1 & Part 2 of this series.

Quick and easy meals and snacks are great and almost essential for our sanity and schedules. Sometimes, however, seemingly healthy options can be our worst enemies.  Our next two items can be very tricky…

7. CANNED SOUP

Soup can be a great healthy quick option for meals, however, a lot of canned soup should be re-labelled as canned liquid sodium! Some varieties can contain upwards of 800mg of sodium per cup. That is over 1/3 of your daily recommended intake in one cup of soup!!

Many canned soups are also packaged with plastic linings that often contain BPA’s, are flavoured using MSG, and all those veggies in there are left pretty much nutrition-less after the high heat and pressurization from the packaging process.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Sodium-free Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Alton Brown's Garden Vegetable Soup as seen on Food Network

Soup is one of the easiest and quickest meals you can make! Keep a few boxes of low-sodium broth in the pantry and throw whatever you have lying around in the fridge into a pot – corn, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, onion, garlic, celery, green beans. Blend it to make a creamy soup or don’t to have a clear broth soup. Add chicken, meat balls, or shrimp. Add your own salt, hot sauce, or fresh herbs. The possibilities are endless, delicious, and nutritious!

8. GRANOLA BARS

Bars can be a great on-the-go or emergency snack but be cautious! While the word granola may make you think of whole grains, whole nuts, fruit all wrapped up in a convenient bar most granola bars have suffered the same fate as trail mix.  Many are made more like candy bars containing sugar, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, marshmallows, chocolate, artificial flavours, any many chemicals that cannot be pronounced. Some Bar can contain upwards of 30+ grams of sugar in a single bar; spiking your blood sugar and actually making you hungrier in the long run (check out this post to see how).

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Bars made with whole foods, short ingredient lists and high in fibergranola bar

While any type of bar may not be the healthiest option (always try to eat your food as close to its natural state as possible) their convenience cannot be matched and there are some options that are healthier. Make sure to look at the nutrition label, your bar should contain at least 5 grams of fiber. This will help moderate your blood sugar levels and keep you full. Look at the ingredient list, it should be short, all ingredients recognizable – Oats, whole nuts, fruit – and sugar, or any derivative of it, should be as far down the list as possible.

Thanks for tuning in this week! Check back next week when we look at pantry items 9 & 10. One of which is probably the MOST toxic food item almost every household has and needs to throw out now!!

If you have any questions or comments about this post make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( cplewes@sstcanada.com ).

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10 Foods Staples to Throw Out NOW!! – Part 2

nutnHere we are with our second installment of food staples that you need to rid your pantry of ASAP!

And of course what to replace them with!

Click the link in case you happened to miss Part 1

3. WHITE OR “MULTI-GRAIN” BREAD

White bread, and even deceivingly, multi-grain breads contain zero whole grains, are made with enriched white flours, and little to no fiber. Meaning these breads will spike your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry again soon after eating.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – 100% Whole Grain Wheat Bread

whole grain bread
Look for breads with ‘whole grain’ as the first ingredient on the ingredient list. The first ingredient on any nutrition label means it is proportionately the most used ingredient in that particular product. Whole grains are not only great for keeping you satiated but can also help protect against many diet-related chronic diseases; such as diabetes.

 

4. GENERIC PEANUT BUTTER

While peanut butter on toast or fruit may seem like a smart snack choice, generic peanut butter is full of sugar, trans fats and little useful nutrients. Generic peanut butters (such as Kraft, Jif or Skippy) are usually highly processed using a technique called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen atoms to the molecular structure of fat in a product in order to make it more spreadable, creamier, and shelf-stable. This process actually lowers levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body and increases levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Hydrogenated oils should be avoided as much as possible.nutrition fat loss,

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Natural Nut Butter
Now a days there are SO many nut butters to choose from! Almond, cashew, walnut, the choices are endless. When choosing a nut butter to keep your pantry stocked, read the ingredient list, there should be 3 or fewer ingredients and the first one should always be nuts.

nut butter

5. TRAIL MIX

Trail Mix is another tricky snack dressed up and disguised as a healthy one. Pre-made trail mixes now contain chunks of chocolate, M&M’s, and dried fruit. Making this, could be healthy, staple more like a bag of candy.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Homemade trail mix

The best trial mix is the one you mix yourself! You can customize them to your own preferences and goals. Cut out the unwanted sugar and look to add ingredients such as 90% dark chocolate, almonds, and walnuts. Be sure to store them in air-tight containers to keep your mixture fresh!

 

6. WHITE PASTA

White pasta has the same problems as white rice or white bread, it has been stripped of all its useful nutrients, is highly processed, and is a simple carbohydrate. It will spike your blood sugar levels as well as leave you feeling hungry again soon after your meal.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Garbanzo bean, Quinoa, Black Bean or Veggies Based Pastabean pastas

The one upside to the ridiculous gluten-free craze that hit the supermarket shelves was the introduction of vegetable based pastas! These ‘pastas’ contain more fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals. These options are going to keep your blood sugar levels steadier and keep you feeling full long after your meal. Granted they do not taste as bland or neutral as regular pasta but once you try these options you will not want to go back to tasteless pastas ever again!

Have you tried any of new food staples?!? Let us know how these new staples are fairing in your kitchen down in the comment section.

Check back next week for Part 3!

If you have any questions or comments make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( cplewes@sstcanada.com ).

10 Foods Staples to Throw Out NOW!! – Part 1

With busy schedules of work, school, kids, training, housework – the list can go on and on – pantry staples can be a great time saver in preparing your meals, avoiding the drive-thru and keeping your nutrition on track. However, there are many everyday staples in your pantry that are doing more harm than good and need to be thrown out immediately!

healthy pantryHaving healthy, nutrient dense pantry staples on hand will help keep you full longer, aid in lean muscle growth, increase your energy and help the waist line shrink!

Read on to find out what time saving staple need to be kicked to the curb and what you can replace them with!

1. READY-TO-EAT BREAKFAST CEREAL

These are the first thing that need to hit the trash bin!! This staple is quick, easy, LOADED with sugar and not much else. It is easy to be fooled by labels boasting about ‘added vitamins’, and pictures of whole almonds, oats, grains, mountain scenery… But even those cereals marketed as ‘healthy’ are usually loaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates and they lack sufficient fiber, protein, and healthy fats to help keep you energized and full for the start of your day. Because of this you are more likely to have a crash in blood sugar levels mid-morning causing more sugar cravings and having you reaching for snacks that contain more sugar and doing so earlier in the day then you should be.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Oatmealoatmeal

Were not talking to Quacker packets loaded with sugar. Stock your pantry with plain oats (steel cut are even better) that can be made on the stove top. They only take a couple minutes to prepare and you can customize them with all your favourites – almonds, cashew butter, fruits, seeds, flax-seed, organic honey, dark chocolate shavings – the possibilities are endless and delicious!

2. WHITE RICE

White rice is about as void of nutrients as a product can get. The heavy processing the rice goes through strips rice of almost all vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Along with that white rice is a refined carbohydrate meaning it is digested and absorbed by the body quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar levels which in turn forces your body to process the sugar quickly and leads to fat conversion and storage.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Red, Black or Wild Rice
These whole grain rice options may cost an extra buck or two but they are worth the splurge! Whole grain rices have vitamins, minerals, fiber, and are digested at a much slower rates. Allowing your body to properly prowild ricecess the carbohydrates and using them as fuel instead of converting them for fat storage. These options will also keep your blood sugar levels more stable leading to less cravings and the extra fiber will help keep you feeling full longer.

 

 

 

If you liked this post make sure to check back in a few days for Part 2!

If you have any questions or comments about this post make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( cplewes@sstcanada.com ).

Sports Nutrition on the Road – Part 4: Low & High GI Carbs & Energy Drinks

In case you missed the beginning of this series: PART 1, PART 2 & PART 3

OTRN part 4

In Part 2 of our sports nutrition on the road series we spoke about Low- and High-GI Carbs, but what are there? And why do they matter to you performance?

Carbohydrates are important for athletes because they provide you with your main source of energy for exercise and competition. Without an adequate supply of carbs your performance can be severely limited. The Glycemic Index (GI) is an index of foods with different kinds of carbohydrates; complex, simple, etc. Foods are generally rate as “Low GI” or “High GI” based on the speed at which carbohydrates are absorbed by the body.

Low GI Foods are rich in fiber, and have carbs that absorb slowly and take a longer time to deliver glucose to your blood and glycogen to your working muscles

  • Eat these the night before games and at your pre-game meals
  • Potatoes (preferably sweet potatoes)
  • Pasta (Whole wheat)
  • Beans and nuts (not peanuts)
  • Rice/Grains (wild rice, quinoa, barley)
  • Fruits -apples/pears/cherries/grapefruit/bananas/pineapple
  • Vegetables – carrots/broccoli/mushrooms/peppers/tomatoes

High GI Foods consist of sugars and starches, and have carbs that absorb rapidly and deliver glucose to your blood and glycogen to your muscles quickly

  • Eat these within the first 12 hours after competition to reload the tank quickly
  • Some may also be eaten within the last 30-60 minutes before competition, at halftime, or between innings/periods
  • Baked potatoes
  • Corn chips/rice cakes/pretzels
  • Brown rice/Jasmine long grain white rice
  • Cereals (corn and oat-based)
  • Sweetened fruit drinks/dried fruits/watermelon
  • Sports Bars or Drinks

 

Energy Drinks

Energy drink such as Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, Amp, etc. contain incredibly high levels of caffeine, other stimulants, and huge amounts of sugar. They DO NOT provide any kind of sustained energy you need for an athletic competition and can actually have the opposite effect. Energy drinks can actually promote poor sleeping habits, caffeine/sugar crashes, and nutrient wasting by stealing your appetite from healthy foods.

Because these drinks are caffeine laden they also have a significant effect on dehydration as well as raise your heart rate and blood pressure. If you are in a sport in which randomized drug testing is common place these drinks can also exceed the legal caffeine limits set by CESP and WADA.

These are all things you definitely want to avoid on game day!

 

If you found this info useful be sure to share it with a friend!

For more info on this topic email Courtney (cplewes@sstcanada.com)

Sports Nutrition On The Road – Part 3: Game Day

In case you missed PART 1 or PART 2!

Awareness, knowledge, and preparation are key when wanting to make huge difference in your game day performance.  The benefits of nutrition, in respect to athletic performance, can mean the difference between winning and losing and an optimal vs. subpar performance.

Think about your body like a high performance race car.  Dale Earnhardt doesn’t put regular gasoline in his car before a race he uses Sunoco Green E15-a 98 octane fuel blend specifically engineered for high-performance engines! Basically, the best of the best! You need to approach your game day nutrition in the same manner. By doing so you can maximize gains you have made OTRN part 3from training, increase your energy levels, recover faster and think more clearly.

 

How to Prepare on Game Day

Pre-Game Meal

  • 4-6 hours before game
  • High Complex/Low GI foods; low protein and fat
  • Hydrate well: sports drinks (Aminocore, BCAA’s with electrolytes), water

2-3 Hours before game

  • Moderately-sized snack: more low GI foods; low protein and fat
  • Continue to hydrate
  • No caffeine* (or energy drinks)

1 Hour before game

  • Small snack: easily digestible foods (fruit, pretzels)
  • Continue to hydrate with water or a sports drink such as BCAA drink with electrolytes (like Aminocore or Biosteel)
  • No caffeine* (or energy drinks)

30 minutes before game –“Top off the tank”

  • High-GI carbs that will absorb quickly and deliver glucose rapidly to working muscles
  • Hydrate with water or a sports drink such as a BCAA drink with electrolytes (like Aminocore or Biosteel)
  • No caffeine* (or energy drinks)

*Caffeine has major dehydrating effects, can make you jumpy, and raises your heart rate and blood pressure; all the things you should avoid on game day!

 

Post-Game Recovery

30-60 minutes after competition

  • VITAL PERIOD!
  • Replace every pound of weight lost through sweating with 20-24 ounces of fluid
  • Make sure to fuel your body for recovery
    • Ingest food with a concentration of 4:1 ratio carb:protein blend drink – better than water
    • Carbs should be of the High-GI variety to replenish glycogen stores quickly

60-90 minutes after competition

  • Continue to hydrate

Within 3 hours after competition

  • Mixed Meal – combination of protein, carbs and fat
    • Carbs here should be of the Low-GI variety so as not to spike your blood sugar levels
  • Continue to hydrate
  • NO soda, alcohol, caffeine

Within 24hrs after competition

  • Strictly Limit: Alcohol, Soda, Caffeine in any form
  • Dehydration, lack of sleep, and lack of nutrients are detrimental to recovery

 

Meal Examples:

  • Game day breakfast:
Three soft boiled eggs with a pinch of sea salt and two pieces of
whole grain toast with organic butter, small Greek yogurt & fruit mix with ground flax seeds.
  • Pre-Game Meal:
Grilled skinless chicken breast with brown rice, broccoli and a salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Pre-Game Snack:
Oatmeal with ground flax seeds, walnuts, banana, unsweetened shredded coconut and a drizzle of pure maple syrup!
  • Post-Game Recovery Shake:
Six ounces coconut water, six ounces water, 2 scoops good quality protein and one banana.
  • Post-Game meal: Grilled skinless chicken breast, sweet potato and asparagus
A good blend of lean protein, complex/nutrient dense carbohydrates and veggies. The foods your body needs to repair itself!

 

REMEMBER – Game day nutrition and recovery are vital to successful performance week-in and week-out, but eating well on game day only works if you are eating well all week as well! Don’t wait for the pre-game meal to get everything you need. Approach your nutrition with the same discipline as your training and you will maximize your potential as an athlete.

Keep a look out for PART 4 coming soon!!

If you liked this post be sure to share it with a friend!

If you have questions or would like more info about this topic please email Courtney (cplewes@sstcanada.com)

 

Supplements Safe???

Is it Safe to Take Supplements? Will I Test Positive?

You have been living under a rock if you have not heard of the recent drug scandals that have been flooding professional and amateur sports. From Lance Armstrong, to Peyton Manning it seems as though no professional athlete is safe from the allegations. Performance enhancing drugs in sport are very real and athletes at any level may be exposed to the temptations.

What’s even scarier is that many athletes will utilize supplements or medications to help them increase their performance thinking that these substances are safe because they are “natural”. It’s no secret that the supplement industry has grown large by marketing an increased number of muscle building, fat burning, and substances that will do just about anything. Marketing strategies include using terms like “natural” to persuade more consumers to buy their product. The average gym goer is looking for anything that will give them a boost and rarely cares about the ramifications of taking a supplement that may be laced with a banned substance. Unfortunately for us, it is the consumer’s responsibility to know if the supplements we are using are safe.

For athletes especially, this responsibility is not a choice! Athletes must take responsibility for every single thing that they ingest. Many sporting organizations are now testing for banned substances on a regular basis. It is not acceptable to claim ignorance or deny the allegations by claiming that you were only taking health supplements.

So how does an athlete stay safe from performance enhancing drugs?

The CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sports) recommends that athletes take responsibility for everything that they put into their body. Since every CIS athlete is eligible for drug testing both in and out of season, athletes are to be responsible and informed year round. Athletes should reference all supplements with the Global Drug Reference Online (DRO).

Luckily there are some organizations that make it their mission to test supplements for banned substances so that athletes are not left in a bad spot if they choose to use their products. At SST, we believe that supplements can offer benefits in performance and recovery for athletes; however these supplements need to be guaranteed safe so there is no worry of testing positive. We also work to supply products that are banned substance free, so that our clients need not worry.

When choosing supplements, athletes should look for the “Informed Choice” or “NSF Certified” logos. These 2 organizations have made it their mission to rigorously test supplements to ensure they are banned substance free. For more information on the Informed Choice or NSF process you can visit their websites HERE and HERE.

Please choose wisely and be informed when choosing nutritional supplements. Testing positive is not worth it.clip_image001 clip_image002

The Power Of Protein

What is Protein?

Protein is one of three Macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats being the other two), it is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks for protein. Primarily protein is responsible for our growth and development and is also required for every chemical reaction within our bodies. Along with muscle growth and repair, our body also requires protein to manufacture hormones, antibodies, enzymes, body tissue and it can also be used as a source of energy for the body when glycogen stores are scarce. All of the functions listed above are of course essential for living!

What are Amino Acids?

As mentioned above, amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are about 22 amino acids, 9 of which are essential and must obtained through our diet. The remaining amino acids are non-essential meaning that our body can actually produce them itself.

Proteins can also be either complete (there is a complete profile of amino acids) or incomplete (missing amino acids or doesn’t have enough amino acids to meet bodies needs). Complete proteins are found in animal proteins such as fish, beef, poultry, eggs, pork, lamb and other game meat. Incomplete proteins are typically found in plant sources such as nuts, seeds and legumes. These incomplete proteins must be eaten with brown rice, wheat or corn to make a complete protein that your body can effectively utilize.

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are a unique type of amino acid and are a staple supplement for athletes of all types as these amino acids is metabolized in the muscle opposed to the liver where all of the other amino acids are metabolized. There have been many studies that show reduced levels of fatigue in athletes who use BCAA’s for both anaerobic and endurance sports. Many bodybuilders and power lifters take BCAA during their workout as it improves recovery during and post workout.

If you are an athlete who is serious about training results, BCAA will help you immensely, as they have an anti-catabolic effect in which prevents muscle breakdown, which intern promotes muscle recovery and growth.

How Much Protein do I need?

The amount of protein that one person needs may vary as it depends on a number of different factors, such as: Body type, personal goals, activity level, size and lifestyle. Here are few equations you can easily use to avoid a deficiency and reach your training goals!

To avoid a protein deficiency your body requires at least .8g of protein/kg of body weight.

Ex – 225/2.2 = 102 kg. Multiply 102 x .8 = 81.6g/day just to avoid a deficiency!

A safer rule of thumb to live by is to try to get 1 g of protein/pound of bodyweight, to ensure proper immune function, metabolism, weight management and optimal performance.

If you are looking to put on muscle your body will require closer to 1.5 g of protein /pound of body weight! The same recommendation of 1.5g of protein/ pound of body weight for a low carb diet is suitable

How Much Protein are YOU Getting?

Now that you know how much protein you are supposed to have, how much are you actually ingesting on a daily basis? For most people this is not as high as one would think.

Chicken Breast – 30g Fish – approx 22-25 g /filet Pork – 22g/chop Eggs – 6 g/egg

Cottage Cheese – 15g/ ½ cup Hard Cheese (parmesan/feta etc) – 10 g / oz – Steak – 42 g/6oz

It is recommended that you get as much protein as possible through natural and organic food sources, as these foods will contain a high profile of micronutrients and your body actually has to use energy to break the food down. Protein supplements are definitely recommended for vegetarians and vegans, as well as athletes and anyone looking to build muscle or put on weight. Having a protein shake after your workout will help get protein to the muscles immediately to aid in the muscle recovery process.

If you are 225 lbs like the person in the example above and you eat three eggs for breakfast (18 g), 2 chicken breasts (60g) for lunch and a steak (42g) for dinner then you are only at a total of 120 g for the day. Say you add a handful of nuts (7-9 g) and a bowl of bean salad (10-14g) as snacks that gets you to around 150. Leaving an additional 75g until your reach the goal of 1 g / lbs of body weight and that is where your protein shake and BCAA come into play. 1 scoop of protein is typically 25g, add 2 scoops of protein to your shake, along with your BCAA and you have met your goal of 225 g of protein/day!

Protein Deficiency

Unlike carbohydrates and fats, our body does not store protein well as it is constantly being used up by our bodies to carry out all of the functions it is responsible for. If you are not getting enough protein you may notice a host of physiological problems occurring within your body such as: increased risk of injury, reduced muscular strength and endurance, weakened immune system, unstable blood sugars levels, weight or hair loss or having difficulty sleeping.

If you have read this article and realize you are not getting as much protein you should be and are actually experiencing some of these symptoms, it could be as easy as eating more protein! Also use your resources such as books or internet to find out how much protein is in a certain food so it will be easier to track your daily intake.

Don’t let a Protein Deficiency keep you from reaching your goals!!!

John Blair

SST Burlington Fat Loss Specialist

www.sstcanada.com

www.sst.training

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Get Your Body Summer Ready Part 1 of 6!

Get Your Body Summer Ready

With a seemingly endless winter still looming the thought of summer seems like a dream. Summer evokes dreams of relaxing, patios, warm weather and of course summer clothes. If the words flip flops sound glorious, but bathing suit makes you cringe, you’re not alone.

Its easy to hide under those layers of clothes in the winter and hibernate, but by the earliest sign of spring we are ready to peel back some of the layers and show some skin.

Follow these tips to kick start your weight loss regime and shed those winter pounds.

Give yourself a break. It is a natural function of the human body to hold onto a few extra pounds in the winter. Extra body fat is a survival mechanism the body provides itself for protection. As the weather improves the body won’t fight so hard to hold onto those extra pounds.

Establish a goal. Set a realistic goal and break it down into smaller goals. Smaller goals are more obtainable and help keep us on track. These smaller victories help keep us motivated and contribute to overall success.

goal-setting1

Part 2 tomorrow!

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My Blue Print Nutrition Tip of the day- Foods you thought were good for you….NOT! Part 3

Now that you know that PROTEIN BARS are just a waste lets take a look at the last 3 food myths!

Diet Pop. Science suggests too much of these zero-cal beverages could do as much damage as the sugary stuff, potentially leading to weight gain and an uncontrollable sweet tooth. Artificial sweeteners found in diet pop signal the brain to crave sweets and confuse hormones related to appetite, leading to weight gain.

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Juice Diets. Many of us could use a few more fruits and veggies in our diet, but we don’t need to juice them. Juice diets may leave out important nutrients and enough calories to stay strong throughout the day. Not to mention eating, not drinking your fruit and veggies is much more theromogenic, meaning your body has to work harder and burn more calories just to break down the food.

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Light Beer. Light-beer or diet beer doesn’t necessarily mean less calories. Instead, many simply have a lower alcohol content. Not to mention beer, even diet, is extremely estrogenic and can lead to increased estrogen, lower testosterone and increased weight gain.

SST

www.myblueprintnutrition.com