NUTRITION: WHAT DOES YOUR GROCERY LIST LOOK LIKE?

Clean eating is not as hard as it sounds. The focus is on whole, nutrient rich, minimally processed foods that fuel both your mind and body.

GRAINS, NOODLES, & PROTEIN

SEEDS & NUTS (dry roasted)

VEGETABLES & HERBS

  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Spinach
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Acorn Squash
  • Green Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Asparagus
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Jalapeño

FRUITS

  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Grapefruit
  • Pears
  • Avocado
  • Green Apples
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries/Blackberries
  • Melon (Watermelon is the best due to it's water and fiber content)
  • Mango
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Goji Berries

DAIRY & DAIRY-FREE

  • Organic Whole Eggs
  • Feta Cheese
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Daiya Cheese, Dairy-Free
  • Cottage Cheese
  • String Cheese
  • 1% Milk
  • Brown Cow Vanilla Yogurt
  • Fage 2% Greek Yogurt
  • Unsweetened Soy, Almond, Coconut, Rice, or Hemp Milk
  • Earth Balance Coconut Butter

OILS, CONDIMENTS, & SPICES

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sriracha
  • Agave, Raw Honey, or Natural Maple Syrup
  • Walden Farms Sugar Free Maple Syrup
  • Bragg Liquid Aminos (Low sodium soy sauce alternative)
  • Coconut Aminos (Low sodium soy sauce alternative, less sodium than Bragg)
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Pure Salts (Pink Himalayan or Sea Salt)
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Red Pepper Flakes

BAKING

SNACKS

BEVERAGES

TREATS

SUPPLEMENTS

HEALTH: KNOW YOUR BODY TYPE

Not every body's created equal. Before you start your training and nutrition regimen, it's a good idea to figure out your body type. Knowing which of the three basic body types you're closest to will help you better tailor your diet and exercise plan and set realistic, attainable goals that pave the way to your success.

THREE BASIC HUMAN BODY TYPES:

THE ENDOMORPH
Characterized by a preponderance of body fat

  • Blocky
  • Thick rib cage
  • Wide/thicker joints
  • Hips as wide (or wider) than clavicles
  • Shorter limbs

    An endomorph will look heavier even when ripped.

THE MESOMORPH
Marked by a well-developed musculature

  • Wide clavicles
  • Narrow waist
  • Thinner joints
  • Long and round muscle bellies

    A mesomorph will look well proportioned even with a little added weight.

THE ECTOMORPH
Distinguished by a lack of much fat or muscle tissue.

  • Narrow hips and clavicles
  • Small joints (wrist/ankles)
  • Thin build
  • Stringy muscle bellies
  • Long limbs

An ectomorph will naturally look skinner than he or she is. 

How can you tell what your body type is? Take this simple test here at bodybuilding.com

Learn how to train and eat for your specific body type. Don't waste your time with cookie cutter plans that don't take your unique qualities into consideration.

NUTRITION: POST-WORKOUT MEAL

6 Perfect Post-Workout Meals

Eating quality food post-workout is crucial to muscle growth and recovery. The science on recovery is a little War-and-Peace-y in its complexity but you can boil it down to a few nutritional musts: in order to optimize your results, you need to replace the amino acids and glycogen lost during your workout.

Starting the muscle building process by increasing protein synthesis and nitrogen retention requires a quick dose of the right protein and carbohydrates. But we can’t (and shouldn’t) always rely on plain protein shakes, chicken and rice. It’s boring and an absolute affront to your flavor-deprived palate. Besides, your body prefers a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods. Try these six post-workout muscle-building meals that taste great and get results.

MEAL 1: PROTEIN PANCAKES

How To: Mix four egg whites, ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup cottage cheese, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cook on a preheated griddle on medium to low heat, until it bubbles then flip and cool another 30-60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or banana slices.

The Perks: These pancakes pack a mean protein punch without a ton of carbs, perfect for those looking to retain muscle tissue when trying to lean up. The medium- and slow-digesting proteins help keep a steady stream of amino acids to stay more anabolic.

Calories: 421 | Protein: 51 g | Fat: 6 g | Carbs: 39 g

MEAL 2: BEEF AND SQUASH MARINARA

How To: For those looking to satisfy that deep, aching post-workout hunger, this one is for you. Cook up eight ounces of lean grass-fed beef with salt and pepper to taste. Cook one whole butternut squash for 30-45 minutes until soft. Mix them together in the pan when done and add four ounces of your favorite marinara sauce.

The Perks: If you are training hard and with more volume than usual, chances are your appetite is up as well. The creatine replenishes your explosive energy stores and extra fat from the beef helps keep you satisfied and full of calories. The starchiness of the squash digests slowly and helps keep hunger at bay.

Calories: 628           | Protein: 70 g | Fat: 18 g | Carbs: 38 grams

MEAL 3: TUNA AND CRACKERS

How To: Take a can of yellow fin tuna and add a handful (1/2 cup) of crushed up whole grain crackers. For flavor, add pepper, a dab of extra virgin olive oil, mustard, and chopped up pickles.

The Perks: This one is perfect to utilize on-the-go for those working out on their lunch break at work, or those who have to endure an epic commute home from the gym. It is also simple and cost effective. The crackers add some needed carbs, helping to spike your insulin levels to drive nutrients into your muscles.

Calories: 379 | Protein: 41 g | Fat: 13 g | Carbs: 24 g

MEAL 4: HIGH-PROTEIN OATS ON THE GO

How To: Add ½ cup of rolled oats, 1-2 scoops of your favorite whey protein powder (we suggest vanilla), ½ cup of frozen or dried fruit, and slivered almonds. Add ½ cup of water or skim milk and let it sit overnight in the fridge. Add cinnamon or stevia to add more flavors.

The Perks: Another great convenience food, this dish is best for morning trainers. Oats and whey have been a bodybuilding staple forever, but often times are bland and burnt out. By adding some fruit, natural sweetener and almonds, you gain a whole new appreciation for oatmeal. The balance of carbs and protein make it great for those looking to build mass and those watching the leanness scale.

Calories: 422           | Protein: 31 g | Fat: 12.5 g | Carbs: 48 g


MEAL 5: EGG SCRAMBLE OR OMELET

How To: Scramble four whole eggs with two added egg whites. Add one cup of chopped mixed veggies. Spinach, onions, mushrooms and red bell peppers are good additions. For more protein, add ¼ cup of diced lean ham or bacon. If you need (or want) more carbs, add a piece of fresh fruit on the side.

The Perks: Breakfast for dinner? Uhhh…yes. Plain egg whites just get too boring, forcing you to ditch your high-protein meal for a Krispy Kreme when you are burned out on traditional bodybuilding foods. Keep the yolks for the extra omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals. Make them taste good with some bacon (turkey bacon is a great, lower-fat option) and increase nutrient density and texture with the veggies. Nothing says post-workout breakfast like eggs. This post-workout is perfect for those on low calories and carbs, but need the protein to retain muscle and fat to decrease hunger.

Calories: 520           | Protein: 37 g | Fat: 23 g | Carbs: 29 g

MEAL 6: CHICKEN AND SWEET POTATO HASH

How To: Grab a large chicken breast (about 8 ounces) that is already cooked and dice it up and throw it in a pan with olive oil. Add ½ cup of diced sweet potato, 1/2 cup of diced apples and add cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste. You can make an even bigger batch to store in the fridge to use through the week.

The Perks: Chicken and sweet potatoes, gourmet recovery style. Sweet potatoes are the perfect bodybuilder carb that slowly digest to keep your energy levels high and insulin spike just enough to feed the muscles but not the fat stores.

Calories: 300 | Protein: 51 g | Fat: 5 g | Carbs: 30 g

SOURCE: MUSCLEANDFITNESS.COM

NUTRITION: PRE-WORKOUT MEAL

Your health and fitness goals are tied to your nutrition and physical activity, so why not maximize your gains by knowing what to eat, when to eat it, and why it is crucial for fat loss, muscle growth, and recovery.

PRE-WORKOUT MEAL
1-2 Hours Before Training

1. Clean Source Of Moderate To Slow-Digesting Carbohydrates:

In order to power through your gut-wrenching, muscle-fiber-tearing workout, you need a premium source of fuel. That's why it's fundamentally important that you consume a slow to moderate digesting source of carbohydrates.

Not only will they provide a source of energy, thereby preventing your body from tapping into muscle for energy, but a slower digesting carb will sustain you throughout your entire workout.

This is why it's not recommended to use mainly high glycemic or fast-digesting carbs as you'll quickly burn out once their energy source is used up during your workout.

Some recommended low to moderate GI carbohydrate sources are brown rice, oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, white rice (long grain) and even whole wheat pasta. Of course, portion control and timing is a must when consuming a meal pre-workout.

If you consume an overabundance of carbs or consume them too close to your workout, your body has insufficient time to metabolize the food.

This results in blood being redirected to your working muscles rather than being reflowed to your stomach to aid in digestion, causing stomach cramps. As a general rule, consume anywhere between 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrates one to two hours before working out.

2. Fruit:

Fruits, such as oranges, make an excellent addition to your pre-workout meal. Now that you have a slower digesting carb source (as outlined above), it is also beneficial to have a small but sufficient source of fast-digesting carbs to kick-start your workout.

Oranges provide this type of quick energy source. That's why you always hear bodybuilders talking about eating or sucking on oranges before a workout.

Aside from providing a solid source of simple carbohydrates, oranges are packed with vitamin C and electrolytes. Bananas and apples are also excellent options if oranges are not to your liking.

3. Protein:

Of course, no meal is complete without protein. As the building block of new muscle growth, protein - composed of essential and non-essential amino acids - is vital to maintaining a positive nitrogen balance necessary to stimulate maximum protein synthesis.

Obtaining the correct ratio of amino acids is vital to achieving an anabolic state and the best way of achieving this is by consuming complete protein sources such as egg whites, chicken, turkey and even skim milk.

Don't waste a good workout with bad nutrition!

SOURCE: BODYBUILDING.COM

FITNESS: B3: BUILD a BETTER BOOTY

  Photograph by  Torbjørn Rødland

Photograph by Torbjørn Rødland

There is no secret on how to get a bigger, fuller, shapelier booty. It's not magic, it just takes hard work and consistent exercise over the course of at least 30 days!

Try integrating this booty exercise into your normal regimen:

25 regular squats
30 walking lunges
Rest 30-60 seconds
Superset x 4

25 sumo (wide) jump squats
12 bulgarian split squat (on each side)
Rest 30-60 seconds
Superset x 4

8 minutes HIIT (high intensity interval training)
Stairmaster: 30 second fast / 30 seconds slow
Stairs/Bleachers: Sprint up / walk down
Track/Treadmill: 30 second sprint / 30 second walk
Indoor rower: 100 meter sprint / 50 meter rest

(beginner: body weight;  intermediate/advanced: add weight/resistence)

HEALTH: The importance of HYDRATION

 Marilyn Minter

Marilyn Minter

The human body is comprised mostly of water:
Blood: 83% water
Kidneys: 83% water
Liver: 86% water
Brain: 74% water
Muscles: 76% water
Skin: 70% water
Connective tissue: 60% water
Bones: 22% water
Fat: 20%

It’s really simple, just DRINK MORE WATER !!!

1 glass upon waking up to activate and rehydrate your organs after a night of fasting
2 glasses 30 minutes before each meal to help with digestion (which aids in significant weight loss over the course time)
3-5 glasses throughout the day to stay hydrated

If you are very active, you always drink at least 1 liter (1000ml, 32oz, 4.25cups) of water after a cardio heavy workout to replenish

Replace sugar laden drinks (soda and anything sweetened) with WATER for just a week and you’ll notice a tremendous difference.

MORE REASONS TO DRINK WATER

Helps with weight loss
Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells
Helps convert food to energy
Keeps skin healthy
Boosts your energy level
Helps make exercising more effective
Cleanses by flushing out toxins and wastes

HEALTH: The Government’s Bad Diet Advice

By NINA TEICHOLZ

  Mark Pernice

Mark Pernice

America’s dietary guidelines have long been based on weak science.

For two generations, Americans ate fewer eggs and other animal products because policy makers told them that fat and cholesterol were bad for their health. Now both dogmas have been debunked in quick succession.

First, last fall, experts on the committee that develops the country’s dietary guidelines acknowledged that they had ditched the low-fat diet. On Thursday, that committee’s report wasreleased, with an even bigger change: It lifted the longstanding caps on dietary cholesterol, saying there was “no appreciable relationship” between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. Americans, it seems, had needlessly been avoiding egg yolks, liver and shellfish for decades. The new guidelines, the first to be issued in five years, will influence everything from school lunches to doctors’ dieting advice.

How did experts get it so wrong? 

Read more at nytimes.com

HEALTH: MATCHA GREEN TEA BENEFITS

Matcha Green Tea is the highest quality powdered green tea available. Made from the nutrient-rich young leaves picked from the tips of shade-grown Camellia sinensis plants, Matcha Green Tea is steamed, stemmed, and de-vined before being stone-ground into very fine powder. Matcha Green Tea powder is then stored away from light and oxygen in order to preserve its brilliant green color and antioxidant properties.

The benefits of Matcha Green Tea, a cancer-fighter, a fat-burner, and much more.

The health benefits of matcha tea exceed those of green tea because when you drink matcha you ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water.

One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of its nutritional value and antioxidant content.

1. High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are the magical nutrients and enzymes responsible for fighting against the negative effects of UV radiation, giving us younger-looking skin, and preventing a number of life-threatening maladies. Antioxidants are something that all health-conscious individuals seek from such foods as raw fruits, green veggies, and (let’s not forget) dark chocolate. The first amazing benefit of Matcha Green Tea is that just one bowl provides over 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food – the highest rated by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method.

2. Loaded with Catechin, EGCg
Not all antioxidants are created equal. Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha Green Tea. Out of all the antioxidants, EGCg is the most widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties. Scientists have found that Matcha Green Tea contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market.

3. Enhances Calm
For over a millennium, Matcha Green Tea has been used by Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks as a means to relax and meditate while remaining alert. Now we know that this higher state of consciousness is due to the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the leaves used to make Matcha. L-Theanine promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain which induces relaxation without the inherent drowsiness caused by other “downers.”

4. Boosts Memory and Concentration
Another side-effect of L-Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration – something that can benefit everyone!

5. Increases Energy Levels and Endurance
Samurai, the noble warriors of medieval and early-modern Japan, drank Matcha Green Tea before going into battle due to the tea’s energizing properties. While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost received from Matcha is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. The increased endurance from a bowl of Matcha Green Tea can last up to 6 hours and because of the effects of L-Theanine, Matcha drinkers experience none of the usual side-effects of stimulants such as nervousness and hypertension. It’s good, clean energy.

6. Burns Calories
Drinking Matcha Green Tea has also been shown to increase metabolism and help the body burn fat about four times faster than average. Again, unlike many diet aides currently on the market, Matcha causes no negative side-effects such as increased heart rate and high blood pressure.

7. Detoxifies the Body
During the last three weeks before tea leaves are harvested to be made into Matcha, Camellia sinensis are covered to deprive them of sunlight. This causes a tremendous increase in chlorophyll production in the new growth of these plants. The resulting high levels of chlorophyll in Matcha Green Tea not only give this tea its beautiful vibrant green color. Matcha is also a powerful detoxifier capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.

8. Fortifies the Immune System
The catechins in Matcha Green Tea have been shown to have antibiotic properties which promote overall health. Additionally, just one bowl of Matcha Green Tea provides substantial quantities of Potassium, Vitamins A & C, Iron, Protein, and Calcium. Further studies have even suggested that the nutrients in Matcha may have the ability to inhibit the attacks of HIV on human T-cells.

9. Improves Cholesterol
Researchers aren’t entirely certain how Matcha Green Tea has such a positive effect on cholesterol, however studies of different populations have show that people who drink Match Green Tea on a regular basis have lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while at the same time displaying higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Men who drink Matcha Green Tea are about 11% less likely to develop heart disease than those who don’t drink Matcha.

Finally, the tenth and final benefit of drinking Matcha Green Tea

10. Amazing Flavor
Drinking something just because it’s healthy can be a lot like swallowing medicine. It’s unpleasant and you dread it, but you feel obligated to do it. After all, it’s good for you… right? Sure, but wouldn’t you rather look forward to improving your overall well-being? Of course you would!

Fortunately, unlike a lot of other teas which require sugar, milk, or lemon to make them palatable to the average consumer, Matcha is absolutely wonderful all by itself. It’s crisp vegetative notes are complimented by the savory taste of the L-Theanine amino acid making Matcha a tea that is truly unique in every way. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a delicious bowl of hot Matcha.

 

FITNESS: The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk

To combat afternoon slumps in enthusiasm and focus, take a walk during the lunch hour.

A new study finds that even gentle lunchtime strolls can perceptibly — and immediately — buoy people’s moods and ability to handle stress at work.

It is not news, of course, that walking is healthy and that people who walk or otherwise exercise regularly tend to be more calm, alert and happy than people who are inactive.

But many past studies of the effects of walking and other exercise on mood have focused on somewhat long-term, gradual outcomes, looking at how weeks or months of exercise change people emotionally.

Read more at nytimes.com

FITNESS: The Best Time to Exercise to Lose Weight

 Eadweard Muybridge Plate 63 - Nude Male Running at Full Speed

Eadweard Muybridge Plate 63 - Nude Male Running at Full Speed

Q: What is the best time of day to exercise, if my goal is weight loss?

A: You might try setting your wake-up alarm earlier and exercising before breakfast. There is some evidence that working out on a completely empty stomach — or, as scientists call this woozy, wee-hours condition, “in a fasted state” — prompts the body to burn more fat and potentially stave off weight gain, compared to exercising at other times.

Read more at nytimes.com