Eat Real Food

The third edict of our Nutritional Recommendation is to "Eat Real Food." 

Many of you have wondered what our definition of "Real Food" is.  Below are our rules for eating real food.  We challenge you to eat only from these suggestions for 8 days.  Not 8 cumulative days cherry picked from a year, or so of happenstance eating.  8 days straight!  The health and energy (not to mention clarity of mind and soul) you'll feel at then end of 8 days will be astounding.  It'll be a great jump start to healthy, positive eating. 

 

  • Eat Foods in Their Most Natural, Unmodified State.
    • Uncooked, less-cooking is better.
    • Non- processed (read labels, if it has multiple ingredients it is more processed)
  • Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts & Seeds
    • Locally grown
    • Organic
    • Whole
    • Unsweetened
  • Local Meats (Pork, Beef & Chicken) & Seafood (Wild Caught)
  • Dairy Products
    • Milk
    • Yogurt
    • Eggs
    • Cheese
  • 100% Whole Grain Products
    • All natural ingredients
  • Occasionals:
    • Honey
    • Pure maple syrup
  • Beverages
    • Water
    • Milk
    • 100% juices (may be diluted)
    • Coffee (in moderation)
    • Tea (in moderation)
    • Wine (in moderation)
    • Beer (in moderation)
    • Spirits (in moderation)

Bacon = Bad?

Which is better for you?  

A) Two strips of bacon
B) Half a bagel
C) A bowl of Rice Crispies 

Those who answered B or C are what we like to call WRONG.  Besides having fewer calories (bacon - 84, half bagel - 135, Rice Crispies - 126) bacon will not spike blood sugar.  Scientists at Harvard took another look at bacon and its potential for causing heart disease.  Their findings?  Zip.  Nothing.  After reviewing 21 studies they concluded bacon does not contribute to heart disease.  Heredity, hypertension, injury to the arteries, smoking and inflammation are the major culprits.  

Should I Take a Multi-Vit?

Q: Should I be taking a multi-vitamin?

A:  When making the decision whether you will take a multi, or not, keep this in mind:  EVERY process that occurs within your body (digestion, movement, cell regeneration, immune response, conscious thought, unconscious thought, hormone regulation, weight maintenance, etc. & etc.) takes place in the presence of water, energy, vitamins and minerals. 

The real question, for me, is - What happens if I am absent (even just low on) any of these things? 

Rx+ Wk Nutrition Recommendation

Regarding Nutrition recommendations for Rx+ week ...

There is power in community.  If all of us are doing nearly the same thing this week with our nutrition, it will help to inspire and empower each of us as individuals to do better and be more successful.  This week we suggest a round of Burst Cycle dieting with a couple of very important changes.  Changes are as follows:

1.  Burst Cycle is very low calorie dieting (roughly 1100 calories per day).  If you are doing all the workouts this week, your caloric needs will be much higher than what this diet provides.  Find out your daily caloric needs by clicking HERE.  Now, simply make up the difference by taking in lean protein ONLY.  Most of us plan to do this with protein shakes to ensure strict compliance.  

Side note: If you have a goal to lose weight and are using this week as a jump start to that goal, we suggest you take in significantly fewer calories than the calorie calculator suggests you eat.  You'll definitely need to add calories this week, but your goal should be to take in only what is needed to support your activities and lean body weight.  Ask trainers for suggestions.  

2.  Burst Cycle calls for a "day off" after the 3rd day.  Since this Rx+ week only lasts 6 days, we are skipping this.  This is NOT suggested on-goingly.  Follow all other Burst Cycle rules as written. 

One more thing:  You will need to pay special attention to your fluid intake this week.  Remember, much of your fluid intake comes in the form of the foods you eat.  Since you are limiting calories, and since you are increasing activity, and since it will be HOT this week, you'll need to significantly increase water intake.  You may also consider adding an electrolyte supplement to prevent cramping.

Good Luck this week.  Shoot any questions you have for us into the comments section of each daily workout.  Most people will have the same questions, so they'll be better answered there.

Chocoholics Rejoice

by Cami Jo Satterthwait

Emotional eating and chocolate are best friends. Nothing quite soothes the soul like a piece of melt-in-your-mouth Ghirardelli goodness! But we’ve been taught that emotional eating is bad. Giving into those desires causes weight gain and out-of-control feelings! Right?! I would beg to differ. There’s nothing wrong with letting yourself have a treat after a bad day. Eating is emotional. There’s no way around it. What you eat will affect your mood, just as much as your mood will affect what you eat. (Ever watched a cry-your-heart-out-chick-flick munching on raw broccoli? Yeah, ain’t gonna cut it!) Creating a harmony of the two is a balancing act. How to choose what you really want but still feel good afterwards. It takes a little mindful practice.

Rather than shun the evil chocolate forever and mourn your broken friendship, take a look at these benefits of eating chocolate:

•             It’s an antioxidant which slows down the aging process

•             Reduces blood pressure and inflammation by causing the vessels to relax

•             Helps blood flow and keeps blood platelets from sticking together

•             Improves insulin sensitivity

•             Chocolate stimulates the pleasure center of our brain which releases endorphins, boosting mood.

Wait, if chocolate does so many good things, why has it ever been labeled as “bad”? Unfortunately there are people in the food industry that prefer big profit margins over quality. They increase their profits by driving down the cost of making chocolate. They pollute it with cheap oils and sugars that dull the real chocolate flavor, and diminish the nutritional value. The oils and sugars can actually cause you to crave more than you would if the chocolate was a purer form. Eating too much of ANYTHING is bad for you, not just chocolate. Make peace with chocolate. It’s your friend.

What to choose?

The darker, the better. Choose 65% cacao or higher.

The following list is in order of highest antioxidant activity to the lowest: Natural cocoa (the best choice), dark chocolate, baking chocolate, then chocolate chips.

The protein in milk actually binds the flavonoids (responsible for the health effects) so milk chocolate and white chocolate just don’t have comparable health benefits as dark chocolate.

How much?

You should make it a GOAL to eat chocolate every day. Seriously. To reap the heart-healthy benefits, shoot for 1 ounce daily. That’s about two or three dove squares.

The Almighty Antioxidant

by Cami Jo Satterthwaite

What causes cars to rust? It happens when metal is exposed to water and oxygen. Rust basically dissolves metal. Even though a little may not seem like a big deal, it can grow into a big problem, eventually causing irreversible damage.

Free radicals can have the same effect on our bodies. They attack healthy cells and steal energy, making healthy cells weak and vulnerable. The destruction that excess free radicals cause can and will lead to heart disease, cancer, cataracts, diabetes, and basically any negative symptom of aging (wrinkles, weakness, etc.). They gradually speed up the breakdown of our bodies.

Having some free radicals is normal. In fact they are generated as part of our body’s immune response to help to destroy bacteria and viruses. The problem is that they damage ANY cell (bad or good) in their path until they’re stopped.

What causes free radicals?

Smog, pollution, the sun, basic metabolic processes (yes, our bodies naturally creates them), chemicals, drugs, smoking, high levels of oxygen, and stress to your body (including physical exercise). So they seem pretty unavoidable, right? The environment surrounding us constantly bombards our bodies with things that might cause free radicals to develop. That is why we need to be diligent and ensure that we are doing everything that we can to protect our bodies.

How to stop the damage

The human body is pretty efficient at taking care of free radicals. It has its own process of antioxidants. It really is a miracle how much it takes care of itself without a single thought. However, it’s up to us to make sure that we’re giving our body the nutrients it needs to keep up with the free radicals. Zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium are minerals that have to be available for the body to maintain its defenses.

A lot of nutrients can act as antioxidants: vitamin C, E, carotenoids, beta-carotene, and lycopene just to name a few. Having an abundance of antioxidants in your diet really can act as a shield to help protect your body. It can literally slow down the process of aging. You can guarantee yourself a better quality of life as you age.

Where to find these all-mighty nutrients? Mainly fruits and vegetables. Surprised? Yeah, I keep finding they’re the answer to everything too…

Here’s a short list I liked: red wine, whole grain pasta, brightly colored vegetables, sweet potatoes, kale, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, cantaloupe, peaches, strawberries, grape juice, eggs, seafood, canned beans, carrots, squash, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, blueberries

Potassium

By Cami Jo Satterthwaite

Dizzy, lightheaded, weak, muscle cramps and twitching.

 Have you ever felt any of these after a GPP workout? Ever? Maybe once or twice? Uh, YEAH! Those workouts can be tough. Moving hard, playing hard, and sweating hard are going to deplete your body’s nutrient stores. Those symptoms I listed at the top are potential consequences of not getting enough POTASSIUM. It’s an important mineral that can really alter your performance during workouts. The following article outlines the need-to-know of what potassium is, how much you need, and where to find it.

Potassium: what does it do?

  • Potassium assists in the contraction of smooth, skeletal, and cardiac muscle. Racing hearts and contracting muscle is just part of another day at GPP.
  • Potassium works with sodium and chloride to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Only drinking water may not be enough to recover from a hard workout. Try eating something with potassium (there’s a list of sources below). It may help you rebound faster.
  • It facilitates many reactions in the body. This means it acts like a key to unlock important reactions in our bodies.
  • It assists in nerve impulse transmission and has a profound effect on the excitability of nerve tissue. So it helps your brain and body communicate quickly and efficiently.

Simply put: it is very important for brain, nerve, and heart function. Those are all pretty important things to have working properly!

Potassium and Blood Pressure

Low potassium intake=high blood pressure

High potassium intake + low sodium intake=prevented or corrected high blood pressure

Lowering blood pressure isn’t just about reducing sodium intake. Increasing potassium intake is an equally if not more important change to consider.

Potassium also reduces the risk of stroke-more so than can be explained by the reduction in blood pressure alone.

What if I don’t get enough?

Potassium is extremely abundant in common foods (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) so a dietary deficiency is not likely. However, potassium serves a lot of roles in the body and it’s important to get enough so all functions are covered.

Severe vomiting, diarrhea, or use of diuretics can cause profound fluid loss which can result in a drop in potassium levels. A deficiency is called hypokalemia.

If a deficiency does occur symptoms might include:

  •          Increased blood pressure
  •          Increased calcium excretion
  •          Kidney stones
  •          Bone turnover (bones are being broken down and not built back up).

As the deficiency gets worse symptoms might progress to:

  •          Irregular heartbeats
  •          Muscle weakness
  •          Mental disorientation
  •          Glucose intolerance

Is it possible to get too much?

Not likely. If too much is ingested, the kidneys usually excrete the excess. High serum potassium concentration is called hyperkalemia. It causes serious heart problems and even death. It is nearly impossible to get through diet if you have normally functioning kidneys and circulation.

So how much is recommended?

The AI (adequate intake) is 4,700 mg/day. Most Americans get around 3,300 mg/day.

*It is not recommended to supplement with potassium without a doctor’s supervision. It can cause serious heart and kidney problems.

Rockin’ sources of potassium!

What do you think of when you hear potassium? BANANAS! One of the greatest things I learned while exploring potassium is that it is in ALL LIVING CELLS. Plant or animal. It is wildly abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables. In contrast, most processed foods such as canned fruits and vegetables, lunch meats, and ready-to-eat cereals have lower amounts of potassium and higher amounts of sodium.


1,000 mg

Avocado (1 cup)

Baked potato (8 ounces with skin)

Beet greens (3/4 cup, cooked)

Edamame (1 cup shelled, cooked)

Lima beans (1 cup, cooked)

Papaya (1 large)

Sweet potato (1 cup, cooked)

 

750 mg

Plantains (1 cup, cooked)

Salmon (6 ounces, raw)

Tomato sauce (1 cup)

Winter squash (1 cup, cooked)

 

500 mg

Banana (1 large)

Beets (1 cup, cooked)

Cantaloupe (1 cup)

Dried apricots (12 halves)

Dried figs (4)

Orange juice (1 cup)

Yogurt (1 cup plain low-fat)

 

250 mg

Broccoli (1/2 cup, cooked)

Chicken breast (5 ounces, roasted)

Dates (5 whole)

Kiwifruit (1)

Mango (1)

Milk (1 cup)

Nectarine (1)

Orange (1 medium)

Peanut butter (2 tablespoons)

Peanuts (1 ounce, about 1/4 cup)

Pear (1 large)

Raisins (1/4 cup)

Strawberries (1 cup)

Zucchini (1/2 cup, cooked)

Protein After 6:00?

Question from Court on MY FaceBook page (thanks Court):

"I have always heard not to eat anything after 6pm...until recently.  Now I'm told that you should eat some protein right before bed so your body doesn't break down muscle tissue while you sleep...What are your thoughts...?"

A: There is definitely something to be said about keeping "pro'd-up." Doing so helps regulate blood sugar, spare muscle and regulate appetite. It does a lot of other things too.

You are right.  Scientists and professionals are now saying you should have some protein on board at bedtime. More specifically they suggest casein (it digests more slowly). Having protein in your stomach while sleeping may help repair mechanisms in your body do their jobs more efficiently. This may help you become stronger, leaner and younger looking. It may also dramatically improve immune function.  We suggest 20-24 grams within 30 min of falling asleep.  That is, if your stomach can handle it.  For this reason we suggest VERY high quality protein.  We sell THIS.     

BTW - That whole "Eat after six and it sticks" thing is a myth UNLESS you are the type that eats a boat load of food after six.  If this is the case, you should apply its principles with haste.

Personalize your Diet

by Neil Anderson

We don't believe there is ONE eating program that works for everyone. Take Jared Fogle. He lost 245 lbs. eating nothing but fast food. Jared ate low fat Subway sandwiches and one bag (single serving size) of baked chips twice a day for almost a year. Many times the scientific and health care communities scoff at this type of dieting, but there is no disputing his results. The guy went from a self-proclaimed 400+ pound "schlub" to a 180 pound walker. He has kept it off for almost 10 years. He found what works for him and stuck with it. Total caloric intake for his diet was right around 1000 per day. When I interviewed Jared for my radio show, he told me that one rule was to “throw away all the rules.” I would say there were never wiser words spoken.

Eat The Same Thing Daily

 

by Neil Anderson

When dieting, we suggest you eat the same thing every day.  The same breakfast.  The same lunch.  And the same dinner.  If you snack, it should be exact same snack(s). 

When it comes to successful weight loss, the devil is in the details.  It is always surprising to ask a client what they ate the day prior.  The longer you stand there and discuss, the more things they seem to be able come up with.  First you hear about (generally) healthy meals.  Then, 2 handfuls of M&Ms.  Then, a couple of spoonfuls of mac-n-cheese from the kid's lunch.  Then, a couple of tastes of dinner.  Oh, and then a bite or two of batter while you were making cookies for the neighbor who just had a baby.  Then, then, then and then...

All of this is very hard to keep track of.  And it ALL adds up.  This "system" of eating has sabotaged more weight loss intentions than any other culprit.  It is always better to eliminate the "and thens" altogether.  Eating the exact same things in the exact same portions eliminates the guesswork and self-sabotage.  It also makes it easier to make adjustments and fine tune results.

Staying Hydrated

by Neil Anderson

Fighting a little fatigue this week?  You may be somewhat dehydrated.  Physiologists will tell that before you ever notice the typical signs and symptoms of dehydration your performance may drop more than 40% of normal. 

F-0-R-T-Y

A 2% drop in normal blood volume due to dehydration can be responsible for your cramping, fatigue, sleepiness, grumpiness, dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, lack of coordination and even fainting.  This small percentage of change will make performing workouts - ROUGH.  It will also affect the outcome of the workout since dehydration makes it harder to recover. 

Dehydration isn't all about getting enough water.  There are 3 types of dehydration.  Hypotonic or hyponatremic is primarily a loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, calcium, etc.).  Hypertonic or hypernatremic is primarily a loss of water volume.  Isotonic or isonatremic is an equal loss of both.  

Becoming re-hydrated once dehydration has set in can be quite a process. Your body absorbs water slowly through a process called osmosis. It takes time.  We are talking days here.  

To become re-hydrated and begin functioning at the highest levels again start drinking a lot of water immediately.  The general 8-10 cups per day is a silly guideline.  Don't follow it.  Instead, use urine color.  Drink enough water to make it pale, then keep it that way.  Now all you have to worry about is electrolyte balance.  Proper nutritional habits work best to ensure proper levels.  Fruits and vegetables , even canned or frozen are high in electrolytes, as is bread and milk. Gatorade works in a pinch (not big on all the sugar though). Tap water or spring water does not contain electrolytes.

This is one of those subjects where an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.  Stay hydrated all of the time and experience maximum benefit from your workouts. 

5 Day No Sugar Challenge

"The Terrible 10"

I think that understanding the history of the health and fitness movement makes it easier to program workouts and improve on our philosophy.  I spend a lot of time perusing books, attending lectures and surfing the internet learning about the craft of improving human health. 

One of the experts I encounter most often during my perusals is Jack Lalane.  Many of you know that Jack Lalane is my hero.  This guy was giving advice in the 30's and 40's that we are just catching onto now.  The advice he gave (pioneered) back then flew in the very face of the medical establishment (what has since become the department of Health and Human Services, and the CDC, and etc.).  At the time, the medical establishment opposed almost everything Jack taught his "students."  For example: Jack told people to lift weights.  The medical establishment said not to and that if you did so it would make you "muscle-bound."  Jack told people not to smoke.  The medical establishment said it was "healthy and good for you."  In fact, doctors used to recommend smoking as a way to cure things like emphysema and asthma. 

Jack made lot of other recommendations that were opposed by the medical establishment, but one recommendation that was way ahead of its time was his recommendation to cut back on refined sugary foods.  We know NOW that our sugary tooths are responsible for many of the things that may ail us (ie. obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke & etc.). 

Please watch this video and take heed.  I myself am due for his 5 day challenge.  I encourage you to do so also, if you feel there would be a point in it.  Or if you feel you can.  He says I'll feel 100% better.  Hell, 25% would do...

 

 

Hangin With the Hamburger

by Neil Anderson

Although criminalized by nutritionists and health practitioners everywhere, we believe hamburgers can be healthy.  Think about it.  They are mainly topped with fresh vegetables.  Ketchup (although 25% sugar - used sparingly) is packed with lycopene.  Lycopene is good for your heart.  Cheese (if you get the real stuff) is full of calcium.  It has got good macronutrient (carbs, proteins, fats) balance.  As long as the buns are relatively small (preferably less processed) and the meat is of good quality (low fat), a hamburger can be a healthy meal.  In fact, a weekend fitness seminar I attended once claimed that the lowly McDonald's hamburger was a "great source of nutrition, in a pinch." 

I'm not sure I'd go THAT far. 90 calories ain't bad, but 60 of them are fat calories (that's two thirds if you are counting) and 520 g of sodium equals 22% of your daily recommended intake.  In fairness they did say, "in a pinch."  We'd prefer you grill it yourself and combine it with fresher toppings and real cheese.  This would make a hamburger a better meal.  But we are splitting hairs here. 

Seems to me, eating a single McDonald's cheeseburger isn't the cause of America's health problem.  Nor should eating it be at the root of the health establishment's ire.  Instead, I would submit that the root of our problem has more to do with "supersizing" everything.  Compare the simple McDonald's hamburger (nutrition profile above) to the Wendy's Triple Whopper.  According to Men's Health, that monstrosity has 1250 calories.  765 of those calories are from fat.  That is 85 grams.  It also has an astounding 1600 mg of sodium (100 mg more than you need per day).  But that's not all.  The typical American will add a large fry (500 calories - 225 of them fat) and a 24 oz. soda (270 calories) to that and NOT be full.  For those keeping track, that is a grand total of 1,970 calories!  Criminalization for this...I might be able to get behind.



O'doul's - World's Best Recovery Drink

(Originally posted Aug. 16, 2010 - Today I found THIS hmmmm.  Seems like we may be ahead of the game down here at GPP!)

I think I may have discovered the worlds most perfect beverage.  So, I'd like to take some time and make a case for why we should all be drinking O'Doul's non-alcoholic beer instead of some of the stuff we may be drinking instead. 

First of all the basic ingredients of O'Doul's beer is water, barley, hops and yeast.  Simple. Basic. Natural. Healthy. Please compare these ingredients to the Diet Coke or Mountain Dew you are about to down. Here are some interesting facts about the ingredients.

Read More

Magnesium

by Neil Anderson

 

Magnesium deficiency is tied to many ailments.  Many of which may be needlessly dogging you daily.  If you are feeling several or even ONE of the following you might look into supplementation.  Ask your M.D.

 

  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Asthma
  • Blood Clots
  • Bowel disease
  • Cystitis
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney disease
  • Migraines
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Nerve problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tooth decay
  • Gray hair
  • Frequent tendon/ligament injury
  • Premature aging (wrinkles)
  • Age/sun spots
  • Poor exercise recovery
  • Persistent dehydration

Got any of these?  We recommend:
Women - 540 mg/day
Men - 800 mg/day

Where to find magnesium?  Kelp, wheat bran, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, tofu, spinach, shrimp, avocado, brown rice, dates, barley, sunflower seeds, cheddar cheese, etc. 

Eat Eggs

by Neil Anderson

I feel bad for eggs.  Yep, eggs.  Once the scientific community made the link between cholesterol and heart disease it (quite blindly) banned them completely.  During the 1980s and 1990s the anti-egg paranoia hit fever pitch.  Although things in the anti-egg camp have cooled off (complete reversal actually) there are still a lot of people (including health care providers) who won't touch them.  Seems like once a food gets a bad rep it sticks.  

Eggs are heart healthy.  They are recommended eating for GPPrs.  They are an excellent source of:

Choline - promotes memory.
Lutein and zeaxanthin - antioxidants thought to promote eye health.
Selenium and Vitamin E - stress busters also antioxidants
Protein - might be the highest-quality most inexpensive protein on the planet.
Small amounts of vital nutrients, including folate, riboflavin, selenium and B12.  

They are also an e(gg)cellent (couldn't resist) snack.  Only 75 calories per.  Doctors now recommend them for LOWERING cholesterol.  Most nutritional experts say 1-2 per day promotes health.

Better Bs

by Neil Anderson

Good news!  It seems that the "B" vitamins in your daily multi-vit have gotten better.  In the old days, they used to tell us the only way to know your multi-vit was even dissolving was if your urine went bright yellowish-green.  The discoloration was supposed to be due to the "B" vitamins in your tablets.  The big thing back then was that if your pee wasn't the same color as a high-lighter pen you were probably passing tablets whole!  Port-a-potty cleaners have graphic stories about this (something about a pressure washer and strainers).  I heard that one port-a-potty cleaner was supposed to possess a collection of all the popular brands.  All the markings on the tablets were supposedly still visible...too much info? 

Have you recently become alarmed that your urine doesn't glow in the dark several hours after taking your vitamins?  Me too...until I talked to Wally.  Turns out the new vitamins (the good ones) don't do this anymore.  The "B" vitamins have gotten better.  Guess we are all going to have to find a new way to determine if our multi-vit is working.  If you hear of one let me know.  Also, if you think of a way to poke that port-a-potty image out of your minds eye, also let me know.  It haunts me.