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Food & Nutrition

5 Must Have Food Groups For Your Grocery List

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the ultimate body doesn’t start in the gym, it starts in the supermarket. There is no room for error when it comes to picking the right foods to stock your kitchen with which is why your grocery list is the foundation for your perfect body.

The perfect body is achieved with 75% proper nutrition and 25% dedicated training. This is why a little planning goes a long way. Grocery shopping can be daunting and time consuming. It’s easy to be overwhelmed while comparing nutrition facts and choosing the healthiest foods amongst all the options that line every aisle. Add new trends and fads to the mix and narrowing your selection can become unmanageable.

To help you navigate the supermarket, I’ve compiled the top five food groups that are imperative for helping you achieve the ultimate physique.

Also remember, the next time you’re heading to the grocery store, shop with this list, eat before you shop, and stick to the perimeter of the store, as this is where the produce and meats usually are.

Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein. In fact, a regular size whole egg contains a mere 74 calories and 5 grams of fat while packing an impressive 6.3g of protein. Additionally, eggs are high in leucine, an amino acid that helps your muscles utilize glucose. If you’re concerned about high fat intake when eating eggs everyday, you can reduce this by using just the egg whites in all or part of your recipes.

Fish is super healthy and packed with lean protein! The very leanest choices include white-fleshed fish like flounder or tilapia; however, dark meat fish like tuna and salmon are also lean and are loaded with healthy fats. Fish is a great source of lean protein and the ultimate source of omega-3s, which help your body regulate your hormones and metabolism while reducing inflammation. The health benefits are huge, but do pay close attention to how the fish is prepared. Heavy sauces may knock the calorie content into overdrive.

Poultry & Meat: The trick to choosing healthy meats and poultry is to be selective when it comes to the cut of meat. While it is true that white meats are generally leaner than the red varieties, you can include either in a healthy diet. Lean cuts of meat include tenderloin, eye of round or center cut. Don’t forget about specialty meats like buffalo which is full flavored and an extremely lean source of protein.

Complex carbs are essentially foods in wholegrain, natural form, such as oats and brown rice, which take much longer to digest. Simple refined carbs, found in many processed and convenient foods, tend to be devoid of natural nutrients that aid in the metabolic effectiveness of the breakdown process. It’s important to know that you need carbs. Without them, your body will use your muscle tissue to fuel your body, thus sabotaging your efforts.

All carbohydrates are broken down into glucose to produce the energy molecule ATP (adenosinetriphosphate); however, complex carbs are broken down into glucose slower than simple carbs providing a gradual, steady stream of energy throughout the day. This creates a stable and sustainable energy level, versus the ‘sugar high’ that you get after eating simple carbs. Even if the caloric content of the simple carb source is lower than the calories in a complex carb source, there is an increased risk that some of the energy of the simple carb will be converted to and stored as fat. Natural complex carbs are often devoid of any additives and are essential for effective exercise.

The best way to introduce carbohydrates into your diet to make each workout more explosive and endurable is to stick with natural sources such as oatmeal and brown rice.

Everyone knows that nuts make a delicious snack and a tasty addition to a host of recipes. But beyond the distinctive flavor and satisfying crunch, nuts offer a wide range of nutritional and health benefits making them a valuable addition to most diets. Nuts are packed full of protein and are a good source of healthy fats, not to mention all the vitamins (including antioxidants) and minerals they contain.

A great way to incorporate nuts into your diet is with all-natural nut butters, which are available in an assortment of mouthwatering varieties. My personal favorites are almond butter and of course the ever-popular natural and organic peanut butter. Spreadable and blendable high-quality nut butters are a smart and simple way to boost the flavor and nutritional content of your favorite recipes or snacks.

One of the greatest benefits of protein powder is that if you’re unable to satisfy your body’s daily protein requirements by consuming whole foods and full meals throughout the day, it’s not only convenient but also very effective. Studies show that protein can help increase lean muscle mass while supporting weight loss.

Adding a protein powder supplement to your diet is a great way to jump-start the weight loss phase of your program. Within 10-20 minutes of drinking a shake, it will give you energy while supporting muscle repair and recovery. Healthy muscles speed up metabolism, and when the muscles repair quickly after a workout, it will encourage intense workouts more frequently.

I personally take Nutrabolics’ ANABOLIC WINDOW which is a combination of Isolate Proteins, BCAA’s and Waxy Maize Carbs as my pre workout fuel and post workout. Post cardio, as a meal with healthy fats, and before bed I use Nutrabolics’ Triple Isolate Sustained Release Protein ISOBOLIC.

Green vegetables are crucial for achieving the ultimate body. Not only are they nutritional powerhouses containing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber, antioxidants and even protein, but they also enhance satiety and reduce energy intake at a meal. Eating green vegetables has been shown to help you shed countless pounds of unwanted fat.

Green veggies register low on the glycemic index that ranks carbs according to how they affect blood glucose and sugar levels. By including plenty of greens, you will be sure to keep your weight in check.

One of the best ways to get in a variety of greens is to use an ultra premium powdered green product. The one I use and recommend is Nutrabolics’ Fighter’s Food because it uses Freeze Dried Vegetable extracts. Freeze drying removes water from the vegetables while preserving 100% of the biologically active antioxidants and phytonutrients. In terms of biological activity, Fighter’s Food possesses powerful enzymatic activity and a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Fighter’s Food is a supplement of power and convenience that makes adopting the perfect nutrition plan possible for anyone concerned with performance. No need for a kitchen, just add some water and shake it up.

So there you have it – 5 crucial food groups that should always be on your grocery list. But this is just the beginning. You and I both know that all this information can easily be found through a quick search on the web. What you need to understand is that, in order to transform your body, timing, portion size, and exact food selection is everything.

There is plenty of information available. It’s up to you to sort through and adapt nutrition programs to suit your own body. Let’s be honest, this can prove confusing, time consuming and ineffective. This is where WNS comes in.

WNS has the best team of professionals on hand to closely analyze how capable your body is at burning calories to develop a formula and nutrition system designed to work specifically for you. Further, after a few weeks, your progress will be reassessed and reevaluated so you don’t plateau.

Getting into peak condition is not just as simple as picking the right foods, it is a complicated science that takes some a life time to master. I have been fortunate enough to master the most cutting edge nutrition system within the last 10 years through research, trial and error and my own experience. If you are willing to give these food choices a try then you’re well on your way to getting started. The next step is for you to contact WNS and work 1 on 1 with us to develop a professional and personalized program that will take your body, stamina and health to a level you never dreamed possible!

Food & Nutrition

Enjoying the Powerful Perks of Pomegranates (Recipes)

Kendall Lou Schmidt

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Pomegranates are such a powerful fruit. As we discussed in part one of this article, the overwhelming amount of antioxidants pomegranates offer have many incredible advantages on your performance, appearance, and health. But, my personal favorite reason to eat pomegranates is simple… they are delicious! Here are 3 easy recipes to help incorporate more miraculous pomegranate into your diet.

VIDEO: How to Peel

POMEGRANATE BASICS (as a side bar table)
Fresh pomegranates begin to ripen in September and are usually available through January

Where do they grow?
When choosing a fresh pomegranate, look for one with a deep purplish-red color that is heavy and dense for its size.
Many stores will carry the arils prepared and ready to eat, making them even easier to enjoy.
The juice is available at most grocers even when pomegranates are not in season, so you can benefit from the healthy antioxidants year round.

POMEGRANATE MOJITO


Dairy-free ● Fat-free ● Gluten-free ● Vegan ● Paleo
Crisp and refreshing, this drink is a delicious way enjoy pomegranate juice. Serve up this virgin cocktail anytime of day, or add a little rum to make things interesting.

Serves 1 / Prep time 5 min
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Stevia or sugar substitute of your choice
10 fresh mint leaves
1 cup Ice
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons club soda
Pomegranate seeds (optional)
1 lime wedge (optional)

Ingredient tip: Traditionally, Mojitos are made with granulated sugar. If you don’t mind the extra calories, you can substitute sugar or agave syrup for the Stevia. Don’t forget that adding it, or a shot of rum, will change the nutritional values listed below.
In a cocktail shaker or large study glass, combine the mint, Stevia and lime juice. Muddle the ingredients until the mint leaves and limes are well mashed. If you don’t own a muddler, the blunt end of a cooking utensil like a spatula or wooden spoon will do the trick just fine.

Add pomegranate juice (and rum if you choose to) and mix well.
Place the ice in a glass and pour the mixture over the ice. Add the club soda and briefly stir.
Garnish with a few pomegranate seed and a lime wedge (optional).

Per Serving (1 drink)
Calories 31 ; Carbohydrates 8g ; Fat 0g ; Protein 0g

S.A.M. SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE SEEDS


Dairy-free ● Fat-free ● Gluten-free ● Vegan ● Paleo
Tender spinach, buttery avocado, and sweet mango pair perfectly with the tangy juice bursting out of each pomegranate seed. With antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber, this salad will satisfy your taste buds and boost your health. Enjoy with grilled chicken breast or your favorite protein to make this meal complete.

Serves 1 / Prep time 15 min / Assembly 3 min
For the dressing
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried cilantro
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
For the salad
2 cups baby spinach leaves
½ mango, peeled and sliced
½ avocado, peeled and sliced
⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
To make the dressing
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing. Mix well. Set aside.
To assemble the salad

On a large plate, spread the baby spinach leaves.
Top with alternating slices of mango and avocado.
Spoon the pomegranate seeds on to the center of the salad.
Drizzle the dressing lightly over the entire salad.

Per Serving (1 salad)
Calories 302 ; Carbohydrates 50g ; Fat 12g ; Protein 5g

POMEGRANATE PORK ROAST


Dairy-free ● Gluten-free ● Paleo
This savory roast is extremely simple to make but tastes like fine dining. After just a few hours in the slow cooker, you’ll find a tender piece of meat packed with flavor, ready to enjoy with your favorite vegetable side dishes.

Serves: 4 / Prep time: 15 min / Cook time: 4 hours / Rest: 10 min
1 (16 ounce) pork loin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup pomegranate juice

Clean the pork loin and pat dry. Place the pork loin on a large plate and aside.
In a small bowl combine the oregano, coriander, chili powder, black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper. Mix completely. Coat the entire pork loin evenly in the mix of dry spices, then place the pork loin into the slow cooker.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup. Stir until well blended. Gently spoon the mixture over the pork loin.

Pour the pomegranate juice into the slow cooker, gently drizzling some over the pork loin.
Set the slow cooker to high. Roast for 4 hours.

Gently transfer the pork loin from the slow cooker to a serving dish. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve warm.

Serving tip: The drippings are delicious drizzled over the pork, or you can use them to make a flavorful gravy.

Per Serving (4 ounces of meat and ¼ total drippings)
Calories 245 ; Carbohydrates 16.8g ; Fat 11g ; Protein 24g


References:
All recipes and images are the intellectual property of Kendall Lou Schmidt.

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Food & Nutrition

Enjoying the Powerful Perks of Pomegranates

Kendall Lou Schmidt

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From ancient times to the modern era, pomegranates have been the gem of the fruit world. Within the thick and inedible outer skin, there is a beautiful cluster of jewel-like arils. The sweet and tart juice that surrounds each edible seed is rich in nutrients and full of flavor, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

Extremely high in antioxidants, the health-promoting potential of pomegranates exceeds other sources. In this article, I’ll explain why pomegranates are so darn good for you and outline all the miraculous benefits for your body. I’ll also share a few of my favorite pomegranate recipes in part 2 of this article, and best of all, I’ll show you how to peel one without making a juicy mess.

The Powerful Nutrient Profile of Pomegranates
Pomegranates really pack a punch. The pure juice of a pomegranate is dense with nutrients and has an antioxidant activity three times higher than red wine or green tea2. Each ½ cup serving of arils or pure juice can provide a significant amount of your daily vitamin C, E and K, potassium, and folate. The seeds, if you choose to eat them, are a great source of dietary fiber and healthy fats1.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, let’s get more specific. Pomegranates are one of the best sources of polyphenols. These naturally occurring compounds have antioxidant properties that prevent cell damage, fight infection, and combat an abundance of health problems4. All those polyphenols make pomegranates one of the best sources of antioxidants out there, ranking significantly higher than blueberries and other antioxidant-filled fruits3. Let’s look at 10 of the biggest benefits pomegranates can have on your health.

The Big Perks of Eating Pomegranates
IMPROVE YOUR WORKOUTS
Pomegranates are rich in dietary nitrates, which improve blood flow. Drinking pomegranate juice before a workout can improve your endurance and efficiency5. Clinical trials have also shown that it increases performance during weight training sessions, speeds up recovery and reduces muscle soreness after6.

IMPROVE YOUR LOVE LIFE
Pomegranates can improve your performance other places as well, like the bedroom. That increased blood flow isn’t limited to only your muscles… if you catch my drift. In addition, antioxidant therapy with strong sources like pomegranates, have shown promising results in preventing the smooth muscle dysfunction and fibrosis that leads to erectile dysfunction7.

IMPROVE YOUR METABOLISM
Pomegranates have the power to boost your metabolism and improve body composition. A large number of polyphenols in pomegranate juice can lower your bodies initial glycemic response to a carb dense meal and continues to help regulate blood sugar through the later stages of digestion8. Studies have also found that regularly consuming pomegranate juice increases the binding of high-density lipoproteins to the enzyme paraoxonase, improving fat metabolism and preventing weight gain9. Even the seeds are rich in linolenic acid and punic acid. Both of these fatty acids have a positive effect on fat metabolism and work to prevent insulin resistance and obesity10,11.

SLOW THE EFFECTS OF AGING
Simply explained, aging is the accumulation of damage to cells and tissues. It is believed that oxidative stress from free radicals is the leading cause of this damage. With advancing age and decades of accumulated damage, our risk of disease and death builds. It has been found that diets rich in antioxidants, like those found in pomegranates, have proven anti-aging benefits and are effective in reducing the oxidative stress that leads to signs of old age4. These signs sign also appear on the outside, so yes, you will look younger as well!

PROTECT YOUR HEART
Enjoying pomegranates on a regular basis can improve your cholesterol levels9. Studies also suggest that pomegranate extracts may reduce blood pressure and could possibly prevent hypertension in the normotensive population12.

PROTECT YOUR MIND
Antioxidants protect neurons in the brain. Various studies show clear benefits on memory and other cognitive functions. Task-related increases in functional brain activity, better memory of daily tasks13, improved memory after physical truamas1415 have all been reported. Best yet, pomegranate inhibits the inflammation and amyloidogenesis that leads to Alzheimer’s disease16.

PROTECT YOUR HEALTH
Pomegranate fruit, its juice, extract, and oil are all incredibly beneficial for your health. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties improve immune function, so you are better suited to fight infections17. There is constantly building evidence that as antioxidants, polyphenols protect the different components that make up each of the cells in every type of tissue; and therefore, limit the risk for many degenerative diseases4. Studies have shown promising results in treatment and prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dental conditions, erectile dysfunction, bacterial and fungal infections, antibiotic resistance, skin damage, bone loss, male infertility, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and obesity18.

So how do you get all that pomegranate goodness into your body? That’s up to you. Drink the juice, eat the seeds, buy some extract, or incorporate some pomegranate into your favorite recipes. Click here to see 3 of my personal favorite pomegranate recipes and learn the absolute BEST way to get all those delicious arils out of that stubborn skin.


Resources:
1. Basic Report: 09286, Pomegranates, raw. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. Web. accessed 11/30/17. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2359
2. Gil MI1, Tomás-Barberán FA, Hess-Pierce B, Holcroft DM, Kader AA.Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Oct;48(10):4581-9. Web. Accessed 11/30/17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11052704
3.Kalita D, Jayanty SS (2014) Comparison of Polyphenol Content and Antioxidant Capacity of Colored Potato Tubers, Pomegranate and Blueberries. J Food Process Technol 5:358 Web. Accessed 12/1/17 https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/comparison-of-polyphenol-content-and-antioxidant-capacity-of-colored-potato-tubers-pomegranate-and-blueberries-2157-7110.1000358.php?aid=30238
4.Kanti Bhooshan Pandey and Syed Ibrahim Rizv. Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2009 Nov-Dec; 2(5): 270–278. Web. Accessed 12/1/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835915/
5. Eric T. et. al. The effects of pomegranate extract on blood flow and running time to exhaustion. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Sep; 39(9): 1038–1042. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4146683/
6. Ammar A et. al. Pomegranate Supplementation Accelerates Recovery of Muscle Damage and Soreness and Inflammatory Markers after a Weightlifting Training Session. PLoS One. 2016 Oct 20;11(10). Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27764091
7. Azadzoi KM, Schulman RN, Aviram M, Siroky MB. Oxidative stress in arteriogenic erectile dysfunction: prophylactic role of antioxidants. J Urol. 2005 Jul;174(1):386-93 Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15947695
8. Kerimi A et. al. Pomegranate juice, but not an extract, confers a lower glycemic response on a high-glycemic index food: randomized, crossover, controlled trials in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Dec;106(6):1384-1393. WEb. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29021286
9. Estrada-Luna D et. al. Daily supplementation with fresh pomegranate juice increases paraoxonase 1 expression and activity in mice fed a high-fat diet. Eur J Nutr. 2017 Feb 27. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28243786
10. Keisuke Arao et. al. Dietary effect of pomegranate seed oil rich in 9cis, 11trans, 13cis conjugated linolenic acid on lipid metabolism in obese, hyperlipidemic OLETF Rats. Lipids Health Dis. 2004; 3: 24. Web. Accessed 12/3/17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC534798/
11. Vroegrijk IO et. al. Pomegranate seed oil, a rich source of punicic acid, prevents diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Jun;49(6):1426-30. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21440024
12. Stockton et. al. Effect of pomegranate extract on blood pressure and anthropometry in adults: a double-blind placebo-controlled randomised clinical trial. J Nutr Sci. 2017 Aug 9;6:e39 Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29152243
13. Bookheimer SY et. al. Pomegranate juice augments memory and FMRI activity in middle-aged and older adults with mild memory complaints. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:946298. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23970941
14. Susan A. Ropacki, Sapna M. Patel, and Richard E. Hartman. Pomegranate Supplementation Protects against Memory Dysfunction after Heart Surgery: A Pilot Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 932401. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789410/
15. Hajipour S. et. al.. Motor and cognitive deficits due to permanent cerebral hypoperfusion/ischemia improve by pomegranate seed extract in rats. Pak J Biol Sci. 2014 Aug;17(8):991-8. Web. accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26031017
16. Velagapudi R et. al. Pomegranate inhibits neuroinflammation and amyloidogenesis in IL-1β-stimulated SK-N-SH cells. Eur J Nutr. 2016 Jun;55(4):1653-60 Web. Accessed 12/2/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26155780
17. Mousa HA. Prevention and Treatment of Influenza, Influenza-Like Illness, and Common Cold by Herbal, Complementary, and Natural Therapies. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Jan;22(1):166-174. WEb. Accessed 12/4/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27055821
18. Jurenka JS. Therapeutic applications of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.): a review. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Jun;13(2):128-44. Web. Accessed 12/4/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18590349

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Food & Nutrition

How to Make Pesto With Any Kind of Green

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For a long time, I lived under the assumption that you could only make with basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan. If you wanted the famous green sauce but didn’t have one of those ingredients, then you were just straight out of luck.

Also check out: Organic Food For A Better Environment And Health

I’ve since learned that that is very much not the case. What I love about cooking is that it isn’t scientific, like baking. If you make a cake and mismeasure or use baking soda instead of baking powder, you could end up with something inedible. But if you add an extra clove of garlic or a bundle of dandelion greens to your pesto even though the recipe didn’t necessarily call for it, it will usually still be excellent.

In fact, as long as you follow a very basic recipe template (nuts + cheese + greens + oil), a delicious pesto is completely within reach. You can truly use any variant of these ingredients. Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and even peanuts are all fair game in the nut department. As far as cheese goes, it’s entirely up to your preference. Feel like using aged cheddar instead of parm? Then do it! You won’t regret it. And your greens can be anything—they don’t even have to be leafy. Peas, broccoli, and avocado all work wonders in the sauce. Once you’ve assembled these ingredients (plus salt, pepper, and any other flavoring agents you desire), all you have to do is blend everything together. It really is that simple.

Take a potentially delicious chance on your next pasta by giving one of these 13 alternative pesto recipes a shot. They’ll teach you that no matter what ingredients you have on hand, you can always make a yummy pesto sauce in seconds.

Source self.com

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