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It’s the Final Countdown to Tough Mudder!

Tough MudderAs we recover from our Gut Check Saturday routine, we should all have a good idea of where our conditioning lies.  At this stage you are either ready or you are ready to suffer.  I believe most of us are ready.  The final step is how do we spend the next two weeks?  Do we rest?  Do we carbo load?  How do we maintain the hard work we put in and maximize our race day performance?  Well, I am going to attempt to answer each of those questions to the best of my limited knowledge.  This will be the longest hardest race I have ever done.  Saturdays 13.5 miles, 200 pullups, and 500 pushups is the hardest workout I have done since my swimming days in high school.

My training schedule will look something like this:

  • Sunday 5/6:   Rest and Stretch -[easyazon-link asin=”B000TG8D6I”]P90x Yoga or X Stretch[/easyazon-link]…if anyone has a yoga video to share let me know.
  • Monday 5/7:   Strength day  & Murph: Run 1 mile, 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, Run 1 mile (Partition the pullups, pushups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run.)
  • Tuesday 5/8:   Rest and Stretch [easyazon-link asin=”B000TG8D6I”]P90x Yoga or X Stretch[/easyazon-link]
  • Wednesday 5/9:   7 mile run for time.
  • Thursday 5/10:   The Prison Workout : burpees: 20,19,18… 3,2,1. walk 25m after each set.
  • Friday 5/11:   Rest and Stretch[easyazon-link asin=”B000TG8D6I”]P90x Yoga or X Stretch[/easyazon-link]
  • Saturday 5/12:   7 mile run for time
  • Sunday 5/13:   Buy your mother something nice and Call her!!!!
  • Monday5/14:   Strength day  & Murph: Run 1 mile, 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, Run 1 mile (Partition the pullups, pushups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run.)[easyazon-image-link asin=”B000TG8D6I” alt=”P90X: Tony Horton’s 90-Day Extreme Home Fitness Workout DVD Program” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/614mZw4iDmL._SL160_.jpg” align=”right” width=”160″ height=”160″]
  • Tuesday 5/15:   4 mile run for time.
  • Wednesday 5/16:   2 mile easy run.
  • Thursday 5/17:   Rest and Stretch – [easyazon-link asin=”B000TG8D6I”]P90x Yoga or X Stretch[/easyazon-link]
  • Friday 5/18:   Rest and Stretch – [easyazon-link asin=”B000TG8D6I”]P90x Yoga or X Stretch[/easyazon-link]
  • Saturday 5/19:   Tough Mudder Go Time!

 

Eating:

tough mudder foodYou do not need to eat hundreds more calories the week pre-race. You only need to exercise less. This way, the 600 to 1,000 calories you generally expend during training can be used to fuel your muscles. All during this week, you should maintain your tried-and-true clean eating training diet. Drastic changes can easily lead to upset stomachs, diarrhea, or constipation. For example, carbo-loading on an unusually high amount of fruits and juices might cause diarrhea. Too many white flour, low fiber bagels, breads, and pasta might clog your system.

Your body needs protein on a daily basis. So, you can and should eat a small serving of low-fat protein-such as poached eggs, yogurt, turkey, or chicken-as the accompaniment to most meals (not the main focus), or plant proteins such as beans and lentils (as tolerated).

Drink enough alcohol-free beverages to produce a significant volume of urine every two to four hours. The urine should be pale yellow, like lemonade to even clear. Read Aarons 5 tips post on water consumption.  He strives for a gallon a day.  I find that is hard to accomplish but I make it my goal.  No soda, sugary fruit juices, or sports drinks.  The key here is water and more water.  I would recommend a good recovery drink for after your workouts.

HOW MUCH CARBS?

You can’t completely fill your muscles with glycogen from just one meal, which is why you should start carbo-loading two or three days before your race.. Since you’re running very few miles, the glycogen will accumulate in your muscles. About 50 to 70 percent of an athlete’s total daily calorie intake should be from low-glycemic carbohydrates (three to five grams per pound of lean body weight). The week before the race aim for 70%.

CHOOSE WISELY

There are many high-carbohydrate foods beneficial to both your health and athletic performance. The key is choosing the right carbs.  Following is a breakdown of ten of the best energy-sustaining foods, all loaded with powerful nutrients to keep your body running on premium fuel.

  1. Rolled Oats:  Fiber not only helps reduce risk for heart disease, it slows glucose absorption into the bloodstream, helping maintain peak energy levels and curb appetite. Rolled oats are also an excellent source of B vitamins (great for stress management and energy production) and contain a significant amount of zinc for immune function.
  2. Lentil Soup:  Lentils produce a low-glycemic response, meaning you won’t experience a spike in blood sugar followed by an energy-sapping crash. Also loaded with dietary fiber (eight grams per half-cup serving), lentils provide the feeling of satiety, helping mute those intense cravings for sweets. Lentils also are packed full of folic acid, a nutrient essential for keeping cardiovascular risk low and guarding against birth defects.
  3. Fresh Figs:  Just three figs provide a whopping 30 grams of good carbohydrates along with a multitude of B vitamins, calcium and potassium to helpTough Mudder ensure peak muscle function and optimal bone health. Figs also are an excellent source of soluble pectin fiber, shown to lower cholesterol and ultimately reduce cardiovascular risk. For a tasty snack, try serving quartered fresh figs with a dollop of reduced-fat ricotta cheese or flavored yogurt.
  4. Roasted Chestnuts:  In comparison to other calorie- and fat-dense nuts, chestnuts contain less than one gram of fat per ounce while providing a hefty dose of fiber, vitamin C and folic acid, nutrients important for immune function, formation of collagen and reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. Chestnuts are tasty in stuffing, pilaf, vegetable side dishes and soups. Or try them as a snack by themselves.
  5. Blueberries:  A one-cup serving and a mere 80 calories later, you get 20 grams of energy-enhancing carbohydrates, four grams of appetite-curbing fiber as well as a significant amount of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that keeps the immune system revved.
  6. Low-fat Plain Yogurt:  Yogurt has always been touted as a nutritional powerhouse, partly because it’s loaded with calcium. Rich in vitamin B-12, yogurt also helps prevent fatigue. And plain yogurt just may be the perfect recovery food for athletes, as it promotes glycogen replenishment and muscle recovery. Give yourself an energy boost after your next workout by slicing a ripe banana into a cup of plain yogurt. Make sure your yogurt contains active cultures called probiotics, hugely beneficial to immune function.
  7. Rice Bran:  The USDA reports more people are eating refined white bread, which lacks quality nutrients due to processed flours. Rice bran boasts superior nutritional credentials, with five grams of carbohydrates and more than two grams of fiber in a mere two tablespoons.   Furthermore, it provides 23 percent of the RDA for magnesium, a nutrient directly responsible (along with calcium) for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), for energy during metabolism, as well as conversion of glycogen to glucose for use as the body’s fuel during exercise.
  8. Whole Wheat Pasta:  Despite some concerns about the glycemic response of large portions of pasta, this common carbo-loading meal can be a healthful addition to your diet. Whole wheat pasta provides nearly 40 grams of energy-rich carbohydrates per one cup (cooked) serving. In addition, whole wheat pasta provides five grams of dietary fiber, most of it insoluble fiber, shown to reduce risk for breast cancer.   To ensure you are buying the healthiest whole wheat pasta, look for at least four grams of dietary fiber and five grams of protein per two ounces dry (or one cup cooked) serving. Be sure to watch portions and try to add a protein (chicken, ground sirloin, EGGS!) to your plate to avoid craving that second pasta portion. And, of course, add some veggies for color, fiber and an array of health-enhancing nutrients.
  9. Sweet Potatoes:  A four-ounce sweet potato contains a mere 143 calories with a whopping 28 grams of carbohydrates and more than 100 percent of your daily requirement for beta-carotene.   A sweet potato also packs in more than a quarter of your daily needs for vitamins C and E, nutrients shown to prevent cell damage in athletes competing in extreme environments (altitude, heat, cold, pollution), as well as enhance muscle recovery after intense training. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of iron.
  10. Oranges:  Considered by many to be winter’s most delicious fruit, oranges are rich in natural sugars for a quick energy boost, yet provide three grams of fiber for sustained energy. In addition, just one navel orange meets an entire day’s requirement for vitamin C, while providing immune-enhancing flavonoids, helping to keep colds and flus at bay.


UNDERSTANDING THE  GLYCEMIC INDEX

tough mudderThe rate at which carbohydrates raise blood sugar and consequent insulin is measured by glycemic index. Carbohydrate-rich foods with a high-glycemic value enter the bloodstream rapidly, leading to a quick rise in blood glucose and the release of insulin.

A survey conducted at Harvard University’s School of Public Health determined that 16 of the top 20 carbohydrates eaten by Americans are high glycemic. In fact, high-glycemic snack foods comprise 25 percent of the total caloric intake in the United States. Among the most popular are french fries, white bread, cereals with added sugar, soda, pizza and muffins.

In contrast, low-glycemic foods, which tend to be higher in fiber or contain protein, are converted into glucose slower than high-glycemic foods and, therefore, less insulin is needed to regulate blood sugar.

Good Choices: Enjoy sweet potatoes, old fashioned oatmeal, energy bars (Clif, PowerBar), beans, low-fat dairy foods, most fruits, 100 percent whole wheat or whole grain bread, oatmeal, nuts, whole wheat pasta, green peas, hummus and rice bran.

Foods to Avoid: Steer clear of sugared soft drinks, processed grains (white bread), french fries, pastries, scones, sugared cereals, syrup, whipped cream, chips and movie popcorn.

Sources:
http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-301–14076-0,00.html
http://www.halhigdon.com/writing/50943/Nancy%20Clark%20on%20Carbohydrate-Loading
http://www.active.com/women/Articles/Top_10_energy_foods__Carbs_athletes_should_love.htm

5 Simple Tough Mudder Training Tips

In the next 5 days, I am going to share 5 simple tough mudder training tips that will ensure a successful completion of the Tough Mudder Race. These tips are simple because they are a necessary part of our every day lives. So check back each day for a simple tough mudder training tips. In yesterday’s post I shared a post entitled, Tough Mudder Training Tips: More Water, if you missed it be sure to read it.  Today I am talking about the importance of food, specifically breakfast.

 

Day Three: Eat Breakfast.

Tough Mudder Training TipsSimply put, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yes, you’ve been hearing your mom say it since you were a kid.  But it is so true. It seems our 24/7 work schedule has removed breakfast from our households.  So much so that  our government is asking public schools to provide kids with breakfast because they are not getting it at home.  If it is important for our students’ performance then it is equally important for our performance.  Don’t give up on breakfast.  Make it a priority.  Do whatever you have to do to eat breakfast. Get up 30 minutes earlier for work.  Take a shower the night before.  Make a meal plan.  Be proactive instead of reactive.  So much of our lives is reacting to situations instead of being proactive.

[easyazon-image-link asin=”030746363X” alt=”The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DeCVMleRL._SL160_.jpg” align=”left” width=”107″ height=”160″]Two books have revolutionized how I eat in general and especially how I eat breakfast.  The first,[easyazon-link asin=”030746363X”]The 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss,[/easyazon-link] inspired me to understand the importance of a healthy diet, especially in the morning.  The second book is [easyazon-link asin=”B001OW5O6I”]The Fiber35 Diet[/easyazon-link], by Brenda Watson.  This book is a crash course in the benefit of fiber in our diet.  If you want [easyazon-image-link asin=”B001OW5O6I” alt=”The Fiber35 Diet: Nature’s Weight Loss Secret” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515gwP9rdZL._SL160_.jpg” align=”right” width=”127″ height=”160″]to know why, how and what fiber can do for you, then read this book.   If you are looking to be inspired to eat right and understand how to do it in a short period of time, order these two books.  They are available via the links in this paragraph and in the Team Uppercut Store.

 

When to Eat Breakfast

Tim Feriss, in [easyazon-link asin=”030746363X”]The 4 Hour Body,[/easyazon-link], writes about the importance of eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking.  This ensures that your body begins burning calories immediately.  This willincrease your metabolism early in the morning and give you an energy boost as you prepare for your day. Many body builders or those concerned about building muscle will drink a protein shake immediately upon waking.  Then they have a healthy breakfast after their morning workout.

 

What to Eat for Breakfast

Protein and fiber is your friend in the morning.  Step away from the bagel and pastries.  They are of no help here.  It is recommended to eat 8-12 grams of fiber and 20-30 grams of protein for breakfast.  Eggs are the power house of breakfast foods.  Specifically egg whites if you are trying to drop a few pounds.  Try adding some legumes to your eggs.  They are high in protein and fiber.  Oatmeal, greek yogurt and high fiber fruits like bananas and apples run a close second.  Don’t forget to add some chicken or turkey and possibly some fish into your routine.  They will help you hit your protein goal without requiring you to eat 4+ eggs.   Sounds like a buffet right!  Exactly. Breakfast should be your BIGGEST meal of the day.

Tough Mudder Training Tips

Take time for it.  If you want to compete in any race, competition or just have a desire to drop a few pounds, then eating a large healthy breakfast is most important.  Remember that no matter how healthy you eat, you still need to burn those calories throughout the day.  That’s why your biggest meal at the beginning of your day verses the end of your day will help you burn away those clean healthy calories faster.  This will keep you lean and mean and ready for whatever the day holds.

Tough Mudder Training TipsBrenda Watson author of, [easyazon-link asin=”B001OW5O6I”]The Fiber35 Diet[/easyazon-link], recommends eating 38 grams of fiber a day.  So does the U.S.D.H.H.S. That means focusing on fruits, veggies and complex carbs instead of refined, processed carbs.  The great thing about fiber is that is burns calories as it is being digested.  Yep, it burns calories just by you eating it!  Here is Watson’s fiber math:  For every gram of fiber you eat, you can eliminate up to 7 calories. By adding 10grams of fiber to your breakfast you can burn 70 calories just by swallowing.  If you eat the recommended (for a male 40 years of age)  38 grams of fiber daily, times 7 for each calorie burned,  times that by 7 days a week, times that by 52 weeks a year and then divide it by 3500 calories (which equals 1 pound), you can lose 266 calories a day.  1,862 calories a week.  96,824 calories a year.  If you divide that by 3,500 (the calories it take to make a pound), you could loose 27.6 pounds a year just by eating fiber and regularly using the restroom. She calls it “The Fiber Flush.”  And all  just by eating fiber.

 

Benefits of Eating Breakfast.

To recap the importance of breakfast check out the list below.

Tough Mudder Training Tips

  • A healthy breakfast will reduce your cravings for carbs later in the morning.
  • A healthy breakfast will prime your metabolism to work at its highest capacity throughout the day.
  • A healthy breakfast will help regulate your blood glucose levels.  This will encourage fat loss.
  • A healthy breakfast will boost your energy levels and mental functions.
  • A healthy breakfast will make you successful.

Success is what we’re all about.  Eating a breakfast will help you do what you’re doing now, only you will do it better, faster and stronger.   Tomorrow we will discuss tough mudder training tip #4.  Now go eat breakfast.

 

Eating to Build Muscle

TeamCaptain —  February 24, 2012

Team Uppercut workouts have started. Building core cardio and muscle strength is in process.  Many of you have been asking about what to eat.  Building muscle and improving our cardio is important, but filling your body with empty calories will cause all your hard work to be useless.  Two of the greatest enemies of eating right are lack of knowledge and not being prepared.   It is impossible to eat right when you don’t know what constitutes “right”.  It is difficult to eat right unless you have a plan.  Having a good plan is essential to eating right.  What is your goal in eating right?  Goals are dreams with deadlines.  So, it is important to set  a goal and a dead line to complete your goal.

Example:  to add ten pounds of muscle and still reach my ideal weight goal of 185 lbs. before Tough Mudder Race, May 19, 2012.     (First, my wife needs to stop making homemade banana bread.)

So now that we have a goal, we need a plan.  Your plan will be dictated by your goal.  My goal is about adding muscle and loosing fat.  Easier said than done.  So the question is: “How can I eat to build muscle?”

Eating to build muscle.

First, gain knowledge.  Do some searches online about how to eat to gain muscle.  You will find more information then you can possibly digest in one sitting.  I have been reading about how my body process food since August 2011 and I am just starting to gain a basic understanding of what it takes to eat healthy. In my case: eating to build muscle.   One book that was a great catalyst for getting my body back into shape was  www.fourhourbody.com  this book really helped me understand what I need to do to drop weight.  Most of my other knowledge came from Bryce Becker and a variety of different articles on the internet.

My Daily Eating Plan

  • Upon Waking:  30g of Syntha-6 Whey Protein with 5g of Creatine & 1 serving of BCAA’s
  • With Breakfast:  2 eggs + 4 egg whites, 7grain double protein bread with peanut butter and honey. 1 Men’s Multivitamin & 1 Serving of BCAA’s
  • Snack:  Apple or 1/2 cup cottage cheese or granola.  Something to keep my metabolism up.
  • With Lunch: Chicken & Spinach Salad with veggies or a Turkey Sandwich.  1 serving of Fish Oil
  • Snack:  Apple or 1/2 cup cottage cheese or granola.  Something to keep my metabolism up.
  • Pre-Workout:  30g Syntha-6 Whey Protein + 5g Creatine + 5g Glutamine
  • Post-Workout:  30g Syntha-6 Whey Protein + 5g Glutamine
  • Supper – Very Light, I eat a light portion of what the family eats or one of the above protein shakes because I usually weight train before or after supper.
  • Snack – greek yogurt & 1/4 cup of granola (Kashi is my favorite)  or apple with peanut butter…etc.
  • Before Bed:  5g Glutamine  ( Hard gainers:  those of you who have a hard time gaining weight. You should drink a 30g casein protein shake just before bed.)
  • I drink 1 gallon of water every day!   This is not a option.  Sometimes more.  I carry a gallon jug wherever I go and work on it all day.
  • **each of these items linked are available via our Amazon Store.

I try at all cost to get 30g of protein in my body in the first 30 minutes of my day.  It kick starts my metabolism and keeps it rolling all day.  To gain muscle and lose weight, six small meals that are high in protein are ideal.  When it comes to protein I eat it all. However, fish, turkey and chicken is the best.  But a good steak or pork chop are hard to resist.    How much protein is recommended?  I try for as many grams of protein as my weight goal.  My goal:  185 lbs that means 185g of protein a day for me.   I try to eat protein, veggies (leafy greens are a plus) and complex carbs in that order.  I stay away from anything white:  Enriched flour, white rice, refined white sugar, white potatoes and of course the largest gut buster,white pasta.  When I do eat carbs I want them to be complex.   Sweet Potatoes, brown rice, whole grains, legumes (beans). I try to eat all or at least most of my complex carbs before 4:00 p.m.  I also try to stay away from domino foods.   That is foods that cause me to eat, eat, eat, eat, eat and eat some more.

It is important to experiment and find out what works for your body and your schedule.  Remember to plan ahead.  That means if you’re super busy and work and skip lunch then you are not allowing your body to consume and burn calories.  Plan ahead…if that means cooking 7 chicken breast and having them prepared and bring a sack lunch to work, then do it.  Buy 14 apples and eat one in between each meal and drink loads of water.  This will keep you from eating large piles of whites at dinner.   Listen to your body and eat small amounts when it’s telling you it is hungry. Instead of 3 HUGE meals try 6 smaller meals.  The point is to understand what to eat and when to eat it.  When you find that sweet spot you will notice you will become faster, bigger, stronger and have the ability to recover quickly.

Weight Training for Muscle

I follow this plan for weight training:  Monthly Training Plan.  I have been following this plan for the past 50 days.  According to my Body Composition Report in the first 30 or so days I have gained 3 pounds of muscle and increased my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)  up by 52 points.  The Average person BMR for my body type is 1800. My BMR increased 53 points in 30 days.  This was all before we started training as a team for Tough Mudder.  So I am slowly but surely on my way to reaching my goal.

This is what my weekly workout and weight training plan looks like.

  • Monday:  Heavy Weight Training: Chest, Shoulders, Traps, Triceps
  • Tuesday:  Light Weight Training:  Back, Biceps, Forearms  & Uppercut Circuit Training
  • Wednesday:  Heavy Weight Training:  Legs, Calves, Abs
  • Thursday: Light Weight Training: Chest, Shoulders, Traps, Triceps & Uppercut Insanity Training
  • Friday:  Heavy Weight Training: Back, Biceps, Forearms
  • Saturday:  Light Weight Training:  Legs, Calves, Abs
  • Sunday: Uppercut Outdoor Training.

When it comes right down to it, it is up to you.  What is motivating  you to eat right?  Hopefully Team Uppercut workouts are motivating you to get your body into shape.  But at Team Uppercut we are not just about lean body mass and incredible cardio. We are about becoming the complete person God designed us to be.  That means strong mind, spirit & body.

The Proverb of the Day says this:

 Proverbs 24:5-6  It’s better to be wise than strong;
intelligence outranks muscle any day.
Strategic planning is the key to warfare;
to win, you need a lot of good counsel.

Eating for muscle is good.  Eating the Word of God each day is better.  This is what it takes to throw life a knockout punch.  Yes, comments are welcome.

 

You Are What You Eat

Sea Bass —  February 21, 2012

You truly are what you eat…and that starts with how food and other natural substances that complement the diet affect your cells and influence your health.
In the past, the main focus was on the nutrients we might be missing. That’s still important. However, now scientists realize that there’s a lot more to consider when planning our daily diets than just avoiding a deficiency. Healthy eating, nutrition, and other modifiable lifestyle factors can help you reverse the disease process and improve health.

How Lifestyles Affect Your Body’s Nutritional Intake

Despite a wide variety of foods, people today generally eat more but actually get fewer nutrients. Many common aspects of daily life can deplete the body of the nutrients it needs to function properly:

  • Drinking—alcohol
  • Coffee/sodas (caffeine)Smoking—nicotineMedications—statin drugs
  • Corticosteroids, diureticsEating—junk food
  • Refined carbohydratesStress—work
  • FamilyState of Health—illness
  • Injury, intestinal issues

These things can rob you of nutrients by:

  • Increasing your need for certain nutrients.
  • Causing accelerated nutrient loss.
  • Impairing the absorption of nutrients from food

What You Eat Affects How You Feel

Processed foods and other unhealthy dietary habits can interfere with the dietary signals sent to cells throughout the body, which can lead to premature aging and disease. Addressing unhealthy eating patterns allows you to manage symptoms and even halt or reverse the progression of illness. Eating plans can also be tailored to specific conditions to maximize healthy signals—to help regulate blood sugar or reduce inflammation, for example.

Eating to Send a Healthy Message

Are 3 balanced meals a day enough to keep you healthy? Food is the preferred source of nutrients to supply you foundational nutrition needs for basic health maintenance. Knowing how to eat to maximize these omega3foodsnutrients will help you stay on a path of reduced disease risk.
As you probably know, the foods you eat can be broken down into 3 categories: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. They’re all essential to health—but not every food supplies them in a “good” way. And too much of anything—even a good thing—is still too much. Work with your health care provider for suggestions on daily calorie intake and serving size suggestions to match your individual needs and activity level.
Some Fat is Good for You
Fat is a vital nutrient that your body needs for a wide range of biological processes, including growth, healthy skin, and absorption of nutrients. It’s also an important fuel source. Eating the right fats, in moderation, will help you feel full faster, and in turn, decrease your appetite. They can even help lower your risk of heart disease by reducing your levels of total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

  • Good. Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids (from coldwater fish, nuts, flaxseed oil) are healthy.
  • Bad. Saturated fat and trans fat (from animal products and processed foods) can be harmful.
  • Disease alert. Saturated and trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease by increasing your total and LDL cholesterol.

Protein is More Than Just Meat

Protein is a key component of practically every tissue in your body, including muscle, skin, hair, and other tissues. Proteins manufacture the enzymes and hormones that power digestion, metabolism, and tissue growth and repair.
Protein can be found in all meats and vegetables. Some are “complete” proteins (typically from animals) because they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to build more protein. Others are “incomplete” proteins (vegetables, nuts) because they lack one or more essential amino acids.

  • Good. Lean cuts of meat, white poultry meat, whey protein, soy protein, nuts (in moderation), beans, reduced fat dairy products (or dairy substitutes).
  • Bad. Fatty cuts of meat, dark poultry meat, excess cheese or “whole” dairy product consumption, poultry skins.
  • Caution. Even lean protein sources can be prepared in unhealthy ways—battered, deep fried, or covered in fatty sauces or cheeses.

Carbohydrates: the Key to Healthy Eating

Carbohydrates are important sources of energy and can be found in most foods. Not all carbohydrates are beneficial, so choosing the right carbohydrates is essential.

  • Good. Better sources of carbohydrates are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans. These foods are a good source of energy and provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals—as well as phytonutrients that are essential for good health.
  • Bad. Refined carbohydrates or sugars (white bread, white rice, pastries, sugary sodas) provide little or no nutritional value.
  • Caution. Even the best carbs can be prepared in bad ways. Overcooking can deplete nutrients, or they can be covered in cheese, butter, and fatty/sugary sauces that counteract their benefits.
  • Disease Alert. Over time, a steady intake of refined carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance, a harmful condition in which the body can’t properly convert blood sugar into energy. Insulin resistance, in turn, can result in weight gain, low energy levels, diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions.

Fiber and Water: Filling You Up and Cleaning You Out

Good sources of fiber include bran, beans, brown rice and nuts, and green vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, spinach). Your health care provider may also recommend a fiber supplement. Dietary fiber helps:

  • Promote healthy insulin and blood sugar response by slowing digestion, which helps to prevent a surge of blood sugar.
  • Create a feeling of fullness, helping you control the amount of food you eat.
  • Increase bowel motility, helping you empty what your body doesn’t need more regularly.
  • Disease alert. Low fiber diets can increase the risk to insulin resistance, digestive discomfort, and more serious intestinal concerns.

Water helps to transport vital nutrients to, and export waste from, our cells. It’s also necessary to moisten the lungs and respiratory tract, lubricate joint surfaces and internal organs, and ensure proper digestion. Like fiber, it can increase the feeling of fullness and aid in toxin removal. So it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough water every day.

Targeted Nutrients—Extra Help for Improving Health

The growing field of research in nutritional genomics—or nutrigenomics—has demonstrated the effects that nutrients and plant substances can have on modifying the expression of genes in favor of good health. This has led to the development of research-based nutraceuticals and medical foods that complement dietary approaches to address today’s top health concerns.
“Boosting” Your Healthy Message with Nutritional Supplements
Even if you eat a nutritious diet, you might benefit from nutritional supplementation. Nutritional supplementation not only helps you maintain adequate nutrient levels. It can also help improve your health or manage chronic health conditions.  Contact your doctor for more information on how a specialized supplement plan can help you.


Basic Vitamin Essentials

Sea Bass —  February 16, 2012

vitaminsTaking a multiple vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D3 daily are what I consider to be the most basic supplements we should all take.  Keep in mind that this is my opinion based on positive feedback and results from patients over the years.  Patients who supplement vitamins, these three vitamins in particular, at the proper dose will seem to respond better to care and feel better as a general rule.  From my own personal experience I feel I respond much better to life’s challenges and get sick much less.  When I couple proper diet and exercise into the equation I feel like I am on top of the world.

I supplement these three vitamins daily and will share with you what I believe to be safe and effective doses for each.  If we all ate a perfect diet and received adequate amounts of sunlight then one could argue that supplementation would not be necessary.  The problem is, we as Americans eat far from adequate diets and so we need to supplement just to meet the minimum nutrient needs our bodies require.

Multiple Vitamin:

It is always better to get our nutrients through real food.  I would like to be very clear that supplementation is not a substitute for a healthy, clean diet and adequate sunlight.  According to the Nutrition Journal 2007 (1.) : “This group of long-term multiple dietary supplement users consumed a broad array of vitamin/mineral, herbal, and condition-specific dietary supplements on a daily basis. They were more likely to have optimal concentrations of chronic disease-related biomarkers, and less likely to have suboptimal blood nutrient concentrations, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes compared to non-users and multivitamin/mineral users. These findings should be confirmed by studying the dietary supplement usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of other groups of heavy users of dietary supplements.”
My interpretation of this is that one or two multiple vitamins a day should be safe and effective in reducing nutrient deficiencies and the likelihood of some disease processes.  I take two Metagenics Brand Multigenics vitamins per day. (see store for link)

Vitamin D3:

Vitamin D is a very popular topic right now. What we know is that the further we are from the equator, the less sunlight we get.  Our primary sunsource of vitamin D is sunlight.  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and along with vitamins A,E, and K you can take too much.  Medical doctors are doing blood work to monitor patients’ levels and administer high doses of Vitamin D with seemingly positive results.  I believe that all of us here in Minnesota are essentially a bit deficient and taking 2000IUs of Vitamin D3 per day seems to be a safe and effective dose for the average adult.  I believe anything higher should be monitored with blood work.
Michael F. Holick states:
“The discovery that most tissues and cells in the body have a vitamin D receptor and that several possess the enzymatic machinery to convert the primary circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, to the active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, has provided new insights into the function of this vitamin. Of great interest is the role it can play in decreasing the risk of many chronic illnesses, including common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular disease. In this review I consider the nature of vitamin D deficiency, discuss its role in skeletal and nonskeletal health, and suggest strategies for its prevention and treatment.”  (2.)

He further goes on to recommend 800IUs of vitamin D per day at the very least.
Bottom line is start taking a dose in the area of 800 to 2000IUs per day and if you want to be very accurate and safe get your blood levels checked at your local clinic. I take 1 Metagenics Iso-D3 2000IU tablet per day.

Fish Oil:

fish oilResearch shows the positive effects that supplementation of fish oil capsules (omega-3 fatty acids) may play on inflammation in our bodies.  It just so happens that inflammation is the new plague of our times and is a major factor in allergies, asthma, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia, diabetes, bowel disease, lupus, osteoporosis, overweight/obesity, and depression.

A typical dose is anywhere from 1000mg to 8000mg per day.  The average adult should take 1–8 1000mg capsules per day.  It is important to buy a reputable version of fish oil due to high levels of mercury found in fish.  The mercury is deposited in the fish fat and thus it is extracted with the oil.  The company that manufactures the fish oil capsules needs to put the oil through an expensive process to extract the mercury out while still leaving the oil in a viable state.  **If you are taking prescription blood thinners you should consult with your medical doctor as fish oil capsules will thin your blood.**

I tend to be a strong believer in fish oil and since my body seems to have a propensity to inflammation I take a high dose of fish oil a day.  I take 5 Metagenics EPA/DHA 720 pills per day.  This is equal to 12 regular strength fish oil pills.  I feel it helps my concentration as well as helping to reduce my body aches and pains.

As with any health related information it is always important to educate yourself and then discuss the information with a trusted physician to make sure that you make the right choices for you.  No one person is the same and we all have slightly different requirements and circumstances.  These are simply my opinions based on experience and personal choices which I share with you to discuss with your own personal doctor.

Sources:
1.  http://www.nutritionj.com/content/6/1/30/abstract
Nutrition Journal 2007, 6:30doi:10.1186/1475-2891-6-30
Published:
24 October 2007

2.  Vitamin D, NEJM 2007
Volume 357:266-281July 19, 2007Number 3NextVitamin D Deficiency
Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D.