Friday, March 21, 2014

Parents, skip weight talk and focus on eating advice, study suggests !

There's a growing list of things that clearly do NOT work in helping someone who's carrying too much weight trim down. Shaming, teasing and hectoring stand a good chance of backfiring, and it remains to be seen whether treating obesity as a disease -- as the American Medical Assn. voted to do last week -- will induce obese patients to lose weight. But a new study finds that when it comes to adolescents, especially those who are overweight or obese, even talking about diets and weight loss is a counterproductive strategy.

The study, published online first on Monday by the journal JAMA Pediatrics, asked parents of 2,348 adolescents, roughly half of whom were overweight, how they talked to their kids about the issue and food, intake and weight. The kids were drawn from high schools and middle schools around St. Paul, Minn., and were roughly equally divided among different races and ethnicities.
Not being overweight was no assurance that a kid would not get "diet and weight" talk from mom or dad: About 1 in 3 such kids heard suggestions to lose weight and how to do it. Among the parents of overweight adolescents, 60% of mothers and 59% of fathers reported having conversations about dieting and weight loss and the child's need to do it. Only 15% of mothers and 16% of fathers with overweight kids, by contrast, kept the focus on healthful eating. About 20% of the parents kept their mouths closed on the subject.

The overweight kids who got a good dose of healthful eating advice from parents were significantly less likely than those who heard diet-and-weight talk to engage in dieting and unhealthful weight-control behaviors such as fasting or laxative use. Among the 15% of those overweight kids whose parents focused on healthful eating, about 4 in 10 reported dieting or unhealthful weight-control behaviors. But that figure rose to 64% among overweight kids whose parents urged them to diet and lose weight.
Binge-eating, at least, did not appear to be more common among adolescents whose parents urged diet and weight loss than among those with parents that focused on healthful eating.

Fathers' voices on the diets versus healthful eating issue carried particular weight. While most of the parents and caregivers who reported conversations with their child were women, researchers were able to survey fathers of roughly half of the kids to see how they spoke to their kids on the subject. Compared with kids whose fathers were silent on the subject or who championed healthful eating, adolescents whose dads talked about weight loss and diets showed an even greater likelihood of engaging in unhealthful weight-loss behaviors.

These findings suggest that parents should avoid conversations that focus on weight or losing weight and instead engage in conversations that focus on healthful eating, without reference to weight issues, the authors write. This approach may be particularly important to parents of overweight or obese adolescents.

And dads? Whether or not their kids are overweight, the researchers suggested, they should probably just shut up.
"It may be important to educate fathers to avoid any form of weight-related conversation with their adolescents," the authors added.

As always be sure to stop by and speak with our highly trained and certified staff of sports nutritionist if you have any questions about healthy eating for you or your little one!
Til next time,

Thursday, March 6, 2014

5 Ways Yoga Can Help Boost Athletic Performance

 This is a great article from Brook Robert of Muscle & Fitness we just had to share! Check it out!
Ahh, yoga. Crunchy, serene, woo-woo yoga. But we've got news for you: It’s not just for hippies or girls in yoga pants anymore – just ask the Seattle Seahawks. If you think yoga is a waste of your precious lifting time, think again. Developing a steady practice can actually help you get stronger.
The dirty truth of the matter is that putting your body through any repetitive movement (even weightlifting) will eventually create muscular imbalances and lead to injury. So hard-chargers take note: Incorporating yoga into your existing routine might be exactly what your body needs in order to improve.

Here are five ways yoga can benefit even the most muscular among us.

1. Increased Power

Flexibility keeps muscles and joints safe. Chances are, if you've just been using the same muscles for repetitive movements, they’re going to be pretty tight. Top-flight bodybuilders and dedicated weekend warriors alike love a good massage for this reason. Maybe you've even noticed a one rep max plateau, or a speed block. If a muscle is so tight that injury is imminent, your body will start to recruit other muscles to help out with certain moves. And if those muscles are under trained, you’re looking at a torn muscle and -gasp- down time. Elastic muscles and supple joints move more efficiently, recover more quickly and continue doing their jobs. Increasing your flexibility will also increase range of motion, which means an increased power output due to greater muscle recruitment, and more efficient movements.

2. Better Muscle Function

Yoga is a lot of things but it is basically all about breath and movement, movement and breath. To fully be present and to full articulate each posture in yoga, a strong, focused breath is essential. Doesn't hurt that it tames busy brain or helps take the edge off your pre-workout drink. Getting in touch with your breath can help establish better breathing patterns and access parts of your respiratory system that you didn't even know you could control. Get ready for more efficient oxygen intake, more complete exhalation, and better muscle function. Hello, gains. Goodbye muscle fatigue, symptoms of asthma, ragged breathing, and side stitches. Just like you wouldn't restrict precious nutrients and protein from your muscles, you should also be feeding your muscles with more delicious blood flow and oxygen. This is also certain to develop positive respiratory habits that you can carry into the rest of your training endeavors.

3. Mental Toughness

One of the biggest benefits of yoga is its emphasis on the connection between body and mind. Whether through meditation, or through the holding a headstand for an extended period of time, your mental toughness and focus are likely to improve. This might be the hardest benefit to achieve but once you begin to get your head in the game the benefits are almost unlimited.

4. Control   

“Pull your belly button to your spine,” “feel your lungs expanding,” “roll down your spine, one vertebrae at a time,” are all common phrases in yoga classes. It’s this constant cuing to pay attention to the smallest of sensations that helps build the neurological connections between our brains and our muscles (See No. 3). Yoga builds body awareness, and this can help you analyze your form during your workout to both optimize your lifting techniques, and help prevent compensation based injury. Again, this carries over into your normal cadre of sets-and-reps: the better you are able to “connect” mind and muscle, the more focused (read: efficient) each rep will be. Tough to think about the burn when you’re laser-focused on the effort.

5. Active Recovery and Muscle Repair

Active recovery typically means a light workout on an off day. These low-key days are a perfect way to slide yoga seamlessly into your schedule. Using specifically yoga as a form of active recovery can actually repair muscle fibers more quickly than other common forms, as the combination of stretching and relaxing muscles encourages blood flow to broken down muscle tissues. Do yoga, lift again sooner.
If you think yoga is just for slim, prissy girls with hot yoga pants on, think again. A great many of you out there likely have at least some familiarity with yoga through your TV-ordered set of P90X DVDs. Through yoga, you learn to control your body and your mind. And when it comes to building a stronger, leaner, more functional physique, that control can truly provide next-level results. 
Along with yoga a good nutritional diet will help keep your body balanced and ready for the next workout. Come see one of our certified nutrition specialist and let them help you balance out your diet!
Til next time,

Friday, February 14, 2014

Women and Protein: The Truth!

Seeing as today is Valentines day we wanted to drop a little info just for the ladies. Fellas, you can keep your ears open too as this might help you understand your body and it's protein needs a little better!
Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science and Sport Performance from the University of Alberta in Edmonton and gives us a great break down on just what the big deal is about protein for ladies.
We've all experienced it. After a week of rigorous exercise and dieting—and Tupperware containers full of broccoli, brown rice, and chicken—you feel an uncontrollable urge to stray from your carefully planned meal plan. You measured and weighed all your meals but, alas, you hear ice cream and pasta calling your name. As it turns out, that voice could be especially loud if you're a woman.
According to a study published in the "International Journal of Eating Disorders,"1 women tend to crave sugary snacks like chocolate, ice cream, and donuts. Men, on the other hand, prefer to sink their teeth into a well-marbled porterhouse. Women seem to lack protein in their diets, even when it comes to cheat meals! A lack of protein can be problematic for anyone, but it's especially troubling for women in the gym!
While your body needs carbs and healthy fats for energy, protein is essential for tissue growth and repair. If you're in the gym knocking out tough sets of squats and Romanian deadlifts, a lack of protein in your diet can hinder your body's ability to recover and grow!
The reasons for adding more protein to your diet plan are numerous. Of the 20 amino acids that make up protein, nine are essential. "Essential" means that your body can't manufacture these aminos on its own. The only way they can be consumed is through food. Dietary protein supplies the building blocks of muscle tissue. It also supplies the materials needed for neurotransmitters and hormones.

Each time you hit the gym for a workout, you break your muscle tissues down. You actually build them outside the gym. To do that, however, you need enough fuel. With proper protein intake, amino acids come to the rescue of your damaged muscle, repairing those tissues so they grow back even stronger.
Protein provides other key benefits to the hard-working, fit female.
If you're constantly ravenous throughout the day, you're probably not eating enough protein at every meal. Compared to carbohydrates, protein takes longer to break down and digest.
This slow digestion time means you'll stay fuller longer and keep hunger at bay, making it easier to hit your caloric intake and macros for body weight maintenance.

Protein has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF), which is the amount of calories it takes your body to process and utilize a nutrient. At 20-35 percent, protein has the highest TEF.
This means that your body actually uses 20-35 percent of the energy from protein consumed just to digest and absorb it!
Out of every 100 calories you get from protein, 25-30 are burned in the digestion process.
Since your body expends more energy to process proteins than it does to digest carbohydrates and fats, people who consume more protein throughout the day might see faster fat-loss results than people on a lower-protein diet plan.
As your caloric intake drops, and carbohydrates and fats become scarce on a strict diet, there's a greater chance that your body will turn to incoming protein for energy. This leaves less protein for various bodily functions.
If insufficient amino acids are present, your body will start breaking down muscle tissue to get individual aminos. For you, this could mean a loss in muscle and a slower resting metabolism. Protect against this by prioritizing protein!
Oh, the wonders of whey. If you choose to add whey protein powder to your diet, you'll be taking in more than muscle-building strength gains. You get an immune boost, as well. Whey protein contains glutathione, a tripeptide that helps strengthen immune function.2

One of the reasons that some women shy away from protein is because they believe the myths. Don't let false rumors cost you gains. Clear up confusion by separating fact from fiction.

Protein will make you stronger. Associate it with powerful, lean muscle gains, not a masculine physique. Choosing chicken over chocolate and hitting the weights hard won't turn you into an "overly ripped" version of yourself. Put your mind at ease and know that this simply won't occur.
Ladies, remember that your body contains just a fraction of the testosterone needed to build up lean muscle tissue. Even with the addition of protein, you're not going to pack on muscle the same way your male counterpart might.
Your body can also only make so much lean muscle per day. Excess protein won't necessarily increase your muscular development. Excess protein gets broken into amino acids to be used as fuel or excreted, so don't worry too much about this myth.
If you have pre-existing kidney problems, then you definitely want to be a little more careful about adding protein to your diet plan. But, provided you're an active woman in good health, you can safely increase your protein intake.
Just remember that increased protein can be dehydrating, so you'll want to increase your water consumption at the same time.
There's no definitive proof that high-protein diets cause the excess acid load that's been linked to bone loss and poor health.
In fact, according to the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," studies found that high-protein diets had a small but significant benefit to the lumbar spine.3
So, how much protein do you need? The suggested number differs depending on the source.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the standard food guide recommendation for the average individual is set around 46 grams per day for women and 65 grams per day for men.4
Keep in mind, however, that this is the recommendation for the average, semi-sedentary individual. If you're constantly exercising and breaking down lean muscle tissue, your required protein intake needs to increase. Likewise, if you diet and consume fewer calories from carbs and fats, the macros you consume from protein will need to increase.

People who just exercise and do not diet should aim to consume somewhere around 0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily.
If you're dieting and exercising, aim higher—between 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of your body weight per day. As your caloric intake decreases, your protein needs will actually increase, so keep that in mind as you plan out your diet.
Focus on eating high-quality protein sources such as chicken, fish, lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products, and quality whey protein powder.

As always, feel free to stop by and speak with our staff of certified nutrition specialist if you have any questions about how much protein YOUR taking in and if its the right amount for your goals!

Til next time,

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Choice Protein - Cinnamon Oatmeal

Our friends at Choice Nutrition Systems give us a great recipe to try with their Choice Blend Cinnimon Bun flavored protein!

A lot of healthy eaters make Oatmeal a staple of their diet regimen.  For me personally, I love oatmeal but find it filling, especially when I have to supplement it with eggs or egg whites in order to get the protein I need at each meal.  Here is an easy solution that won’t make you feel like you are eating the entire farm every breakfast.

Make your oatmeal as directed by the oatmeal manufacturer.  We will borrow Quaker Old Fashioned Oats recipe here as an example.


½ Cup Dry Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
(We prefer the old fashioned whole rolled oats versus the over processed instant.  Whole oats give you more usable energy and cause a higher thermic effect for the food to burn more effective calories)

1 and ¼ Cup Water or we prefer Almond Milk (Vanilla or Regular, but always unsweetened)

1 ½ Scoops of Choice Blend Cinnamon Bun Protein Powder

Dash of salt (optional)

Bring the milk or water to a boil (or microwave till hot).  In a separate pan, mix the dry oats with the protein powder. 

Stir the dry mixture into the hot liquid until it is the consistency you like.  Usually takes at least 4-5 minutes on the heat to cook the oats or approximately 2 minutes in the microwave.  Let stand and cool a bit before eating and add additional milk or water after if you are wanting a little less thickness.


Here is the nutrient profile of your Choice Cinnamon Oatmeal (made with water):

380 Calories; 32grams Carbohydrates; 5grams of Fat (Zero Saturated); 45grams of Protein; 70mg Sodium

This is a perfect macro-nutrient ratio to start your day!

Stop by today and try a sample of their awesome Cinnamon Bun flavor or ANY of the awesome protein flavors they have!

Til - Next time!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

9 ways to detox naturally in the New Year

 President at Top Contributorgive us a run down of the best way to detox for the new year that's safe and effective check it out.
It’s the New Year, which means everyone’s talking about “cleansing” and “detoxing” after a bit of holiday binging. But the truth is, your body detoxes just fine on its own: Your liver, lungs, kidneys, skin, and digestive track are programmed by Mother Nature to keep your body clean 24/7.
But you can give your body’s natural detoxing powers a boost with these nine easy tips. 

1. Stay hydrated with water. Water is part of every metabolic process in the body, and adequate water intake also helps keep the balance of body salts normal. Natural thirst should always be addressed. And remember that fruits and vegetables are almost all water, so 5-7 servings can boost your natural water intake. And the best way to tell if your water intake is adequate is to check the color of your urine. Pale yellow is the goal. If it’s any darker than that, drink a glass of water or two.

2. Limit caffeine – but there’s no need to eliminate it. Caffeine can be a boost for mental focus and energy, if limited to less than 300 milligrams per day. A large mug of coffee has about 150 milligrams of caffeine, so that’s about two servings a day. A mug of tea is around 50 milligrams, so that’s about six servings. When it comes to caffeine, the less often it is consumed, the more of a positive biological effect you can expect. 

3. Extra credit: Avoid alcohol -- even red wine. (it.

4. Skip sugar – and low-calorie sweeteners. You want to ground zero your sweet taste buds with more limited intake of sweet of all kinds. Cut out sugary drinks, snacks, and treats, and you’ll be surprised how fruit will satisfy your sweet tooth. And taking a break from all low-calorie sweeteners helps you learn to tamp down your perception of sweetness.

5. Eliminate processed and prepared foods. As a general rule, don’t consume things that come in cans, boxes, bags or jars. Bonus points: Don’t eat in restaurants, either. Many restaurant foods may look healthy, but the food may have been prepared in unhealthy oils, or they may be drenched in a creamy sauce. Cutting out processed foods is the quickest and easiest way to limit excess (and often hidden) sugars, fats, and calories. 

6. Break a sweat. Skin is the body’s largest organ, and sweating helps you eliminate excess body salts and other metabolites of body processes. Breaking a sweat every day is a good way to support your body’s healthy elimination of metabolic breakdown products.

7. Eat fiber. There are so many myths associated with “cleansing” the digestive tract, but your digestive tract actually wants to be stimulated, especially with fiber. Think of this as exercise for your gut. Fiber revs up your digestive tract -- it’s like nature’s Roto-Rooter. But stick to fiber that’s found in nature -- fruits, veggies and whole grains -- and skip the bulked-up processed products that claim to contain 50 percent of your daily fiber needs or more in ONE serving. Stick with nature’s fiber content, which is about 3-4 grams a serving, about 15-20 percent percent of your daily requirement.

8. Get some sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours every night. Adequate sleep supports and maintains a healthy brain. Recent studies continue to support the connection between amount of sleep and cognitive function.

9. Change your response to stress. While eliminating stress is not realistic, changing how your respond to daily stressors goes a long way to boosting a healthy body.
Also, stop by 4x Nutrition Center adn speak with one of our certified nutrition specialist about other way to detox and get your body ready for the new year!
Til next time,

    Monday, January 20, 2014

    How do you eat clean while traveling? Here's a brief outline with tips to help keep you lean and mean while at the airport, hotel and more.


    • Bring an empty Tupperware or shaker cup. Bring ziplocks with pre-measured Whey and a bag of almonds. If your diet calls for carbs, rock some dry oats. Remember, this is a flight, so you need to leave the liquid behind to get through security.
    • When it is time to eat, buy some water and you can have either 'sludge' (mix as you would with peanut butter, but with less liquid) and drop the almonds in after to make a pudding-like sludge with your protein. Or, you can simply shake up some whey and eat the almonds.
    • If you need carbs, simply add the oats to your shake. Boom! You just got served a knowledge bomb of chocolaty goodness!


      • Order meat and veggies and if you need carbs, order a dry sweet potato, baked potato, or even rice.
      • For veggies, be sure to ask for them "steamed with no butter".
      • Ask for your meat to be cooked dry with no oil or butter.
      • Ask for your eggs to be cooked in spray and not in butter.
      • Reiterate "no sauce" on anything!
      • Have fun and plan ahead! For example, we found that the Chicken Fajita Omelet with no cheese and no sour cream with Harvest Grain and Nut Pancakes with no butter and sugar-free syrup from IHOP, fit my macros perfectly and is a darn clean meal!
      • Denny's! This place will grill plain chicken and eggs at a great price.
      • At steakhouses: always opt for lean sirloin and fillet. Remember the "no butter" rule!


      • If you have a microwave, rock a brownie!
      • Sludge is still your friend. Unless going out, sludge it up, or make shakes. A 2lb container of Choice Whey takes up very little space in a carry-on or backpack!
      • Buy peanut butter and all goods when you get in town. Blueberries will keep unrefrigerated for quite a while.
      • To make oatmeal in your room, use the in-room coffee pot and make hot water. Pour over oats and BAM, SLAM, Thank you MA'AM! You got oatmeal.

      IN THE CAR

      • Protein shakes and almonds while you drive. All you need to know... follow restaurant rules when you eat out.

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Health Benefits of Green Coffee Bean Extract: Does Research Support the Hype?

    "Green coffee beans are the same coffee beans we have come to know and love.
    coffee antioxidantsThe difference is that green coffee beans are left un-roasted, not only giving them a smoother taste than roasted beans, but also giving them a distinct array of health-promoting plant chemicals.
    The concept of green coffee applies to green tea as well.
    Green, white, oolong, and black teas actually come from the same Camellia 
    sinensis  plant, but green tea is the least  processed.
    The change in how long the teas are roasted determines why green tea has different health properties than black tea.
    This is also how green coffee beans harbor unique health benefits when compared to roasted coffee beans.
    We know that drinking regular black coffee can be associated with a lower incidence of diabetes, certain types of cancer, as well as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and liver disease (12), but what is so exciting about green coffee bean extract?
    Emerging research shows that green coffee bean extract, may be a low-cost way to reduce weight naturally.
    Early research suggests the extract may help normal weight adults prevent weight gain, and overweight adults from becoming obese (3).
    According to animal studies, green coffee bean extract may support weight loss and inhibit weight gain by three interesting ways:
    1. Block absorption of fats
    2. Boost fat-burning
    3. Support healthy sugar and insulin levels
    Together, these three mechanisms may create a unique & natural synergy that may support natural weight loss in a way that would be very difficult to mimic with a drug.
    Green coffee beans contain unique plant chemicals that are otherwise lost with typical coffee roasting.

    Coffee Antioxidants: Chlorogenic Acid

    The “breakthrough” compounds believed to be responsible for the health benefits of green coffee beans are chlorogenic acids.
    When you consume green coffee bean extract, a portion of the chlorogenic acids are believed to be absorbed directly in the small intestine. The leftover compounds that make it to the large intestine and colon then do something interesting.
    Further down the intestinal tract, chlorogenic acids may interact with healthy bacteria in the colon to produce additional sub-chemicals. Researchers associate these chemicals with even more anti-inflammatory benefits (12).
    Chlorogenic acids found in coffee may also:
    • Improve brain performance and mental health (13)
    • Reduce oxidative stress, body fat, and energy uptake, while also boosting glutathione, your body’s primary antioxidant and toxin-scavenger.
      • Ultimately, the extract may reduce DNA damage and yield anti-aging properties (1415)
    • Reduce blood pressure, although the research evidence is still inconclusive (161718).
      • The proposed blood pressure-lowering effect may be a result of 5-quinoyl quinic acid as well as other chlorogenic acids found in green coffee bean. Scientists also have shown that the higher the dose of green coffee bean extract given, the more profoundly that blood pressure may be lowered. (19; 2021).
    • Offer anti-cancer properties, and like similar plant chemicals, may keep cancer cells from metastasizing into new areas of the body (22).
    Green Coffee Bean Extract has become extremely popular in just a short time. Dr. Oz recently featured it on his popular television show, and Starbucks now features green coffee bean extract in their new Refresher drinks.
    So while the research is still young and predominated by animal studies, it supports the claims that green coffee beans can boost energy and potentially help you burn fat and lose weight. Just beware of unnecessary added sugars.
    I’m usually one of the first to question a new trend, but I do believe that green coffee beans can be a useful piece of your nutrition and lifestyle strategy to support healthy blood sugar, improve fat metabolism, and ultimately maintain a healthy weight."

    Its' the new year and everyone wants to burn fat. 2013 saw the introduction to many new and natural fat burners. One particularly interesting one has been green coffee bean extract.

    Dr. Alexander Rinehart, MS, DC, CCN give us his run down on everyone favorite little bean!

    Stop by and try a sample of some of the great product we have in store with green coffee bean today!
    Til next time,