Tag Archives: food

Are you getting enough greens!?

I recently posted a video on my Facebook page about the benefits of a product I take everyday called “Vital Greens”.  For some reason I am having a hard time uploading it to my blog so I will summarize the information I provided in the video below…

What is it? NAKA Vital Greens- “a liquid boost of essential green nutrients plus a great mint flavour”

Why should I take it? It is a 100% vegetarian herbal formula that provides green nutrients, botanicals and vegetables in a pleasant cleansing liquid and is a great way to get all your essential green nutrients if you have a hard time eating lots of vegetables and salads.

Benefits? Increases energy and alertness, improves elimination and detoxification, improves digestion and immune function, balances blood sugar levels which can reduce cravings/leads to weight loss

When do I take it and how much? In the morning on an empty stomach, 1/2 a capful or 1 tbsp of Vital Greens mixed with 1 cup of water.

What’s in it? Chlorophyll, aloe vera, ginseng, ginko biloba, spirulina, beet root etc, as well as a list of super foods and vegetable juice complex.

What does it taste like? A nice light mint flavour, very refreshing!

Where do I buy it and how much does it cost? At any health food store. A 500mL bottle which will last you over a month (if you take it everyday) costs less than 30 dollars!

Where can I get more info?  Check out this website….

Any other questions about supplements or healthy ways to detoxify your body?? I’m here to help so feel free to comment below 🙂

Have a great night!

Les 🙂

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Super easy (and spicy) paleo chili recipe!

Thanks to my client Mike who has recently discovered and  is following a paleo diet and has been getting amazing results! This was one of the recipes he came across and modified to make it even more yummy (and spicy apparently!)  It is so easy and the best part?? It is dairy free, grain free, and all around CLEAN and healthy!  Plus it is super easy to make! My sister made it over the weekend and has been raving about it (right Katie?)!  Check out the recipe below…it makes a lot so it is perfect for someone who doesn’t like to take a lot of time preparing meals everyday, you will have enough leftovers to last you a few days!

Mike's Paleo Chili

Ingredients:
4lb extra lean antibiotic free organic ground steak (you can also use ground turkey, beef or chicken)
3 large cans organic chopped tomatoes
2 large spanish onions, chopped
2 organic celery hearts, chopped
227g of chopped mushrooms
2 chopped jalapenos
2tbsp chipotle powder
4 dashes liquid smoke
Directions:
1. Brown the meat and onions first
2. Combine all ingredients in a large pot or crockpot and let it simmer for 4-6 hours on low.
3. Serve and enjoy!
On a side note, my 16 week figure contest prep has begun! Stay tuned for updates on my workouts, my diet and progress.  I took ‘before’ pictures on Saturday, and well, let’s just say I have a lot of work ahead of me but I am ready to work hard and be in the best shape possible by April 27th!! Looking forward to going on this journey with 2 of my clients and quite a few other friends and clients at LC Fitness Studio. Team Ottawa is ready to rock the WBFF Show in Montreal!
What goals did you set for yourself this year?  What’s your plan to get there?
Have a fantastic week!!

Les 🙂

 

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How to stop falling off the wagon!!!

if you're tired of starting over

Are you one of those people who starts a diet or makes a decision to eat healthier and then less than a week later you’re back to eating unhealthyfoods and finish off an entire carton of ice cream?? Well in today’s post you will not only learn why you do this…but WHAT to do about it and hopefully how to prevent it from happening again!

But first, I want to share an interesting article I found on the internet that sounds very similar to the way I dealt with food in the past (and not gonna lie I am human and have weak moments from time to time even now!!)  This is also very similar to what I’ve noticed over the last several years working with  many different people as a personal trainer and observing how people lose weight…it’s long but worth the read…you will most likely be able to relate…

“It’s that when most people start a diet (which by the way I don’t encourage), they seem to have NO IDEA what will keep their enthusiasm going and keep them from cheating… and eventually failing.

And when they fail on these diets, they feel “out of control” of their lives…like a weak person that has no willpower…or a loser that’s failed — AGAIN!

Have you ever started a diet and really believed that THIS time it is gonna be different because you have found that drive and determination to change yourself… NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES?

Have you told yourself, “I don’t care how hard it’s going to be. I’m ONLY going to eat what my diet says is okay to eat.”

Ok let’s get real here!! Here is an example of what happens to most people (including myself)…

So here you are, on a diet and it’s the weekend and you have plans to go to a party!

You  have been so good all day long and only eaten exactly what the meal plan told you to eat today. You’re feeling really good about yourself and know that you’re going to have a great time at the party tonight.

You show up at the party feeling great and looking good.  You make your way over to the appetizers and there they are…Fresh baked, hot chocolate chip cookies! NO! Not COOKIES!  I LOVE COOKIES!  But there they are… teasing you with their sweet, sugary aroma and hot steam dancing around the slowly-melting chocolate chips (HAHA!)  Your senses take all this in and your mind quickly zooms in on the chocolate chip cookies. Suddenly, you can think of nothing else.  It was as if everyone in the party  has disappeared and there is a spotlight pointed at the tray of cookies (seriously this has happened to me before!)  You tell yourself, “I’ve been so good all day long. One cookie isn’t going to hurt any.” So you grab one and stuff it into your mouth. OMG!! Pure decadence. Mouth-watering ecstasy.  No worries in the world… just you and your cookie… wait! It’s gone! That was over way too quickly… you must eat more. And so you grab a second, and then a third, and then a fourth… and before you know it, you’ve had 6 fattening, sugar-filled chocolate chip cookies. Was that on your diet meal plan for the day?  I guess probably not.  All at once it hits you…What Have I Done?!  You ate 6 chocolate chip cookies in less than 5 minutes. How could I let that happen? I was doing so good.

Well, now that this night is shot… you might-as-well enjoy it while you can and have some fun.  So you go over to the chips and guacamole and start piling it on.  You tell yourself, “I’ll start back on my diet again tomorrow.”

And so the cycle repeats…

Isn’t that a funny phrase, “start back on”?  How can you “start back on” anything?  Can’t you only start something ONCE?  How many times have you “started back on your diet”? If you’re like me then you don’t even remember.  I would start a diet and really believe with all my heart that I would stick with it… that NOTHING was going to break my willpower.  I would tell myself, “This time it feels different.” “It feels special.”So why did I always end up back at the same place with a cookie in one hand and a fried tortilla chip in the other? I was doing everything I could to convince myself that I needed to change my body. I took a ‘fat picture’ of myself and pinned it to my bathroom mirror, I made a list of all the things about my body that I hated and wanted to change, I even laid out my high school jeans so I could look at them every day for motivation. But still I was cheating. Still I couldn’t keep from eating those super-fatted and sugar-filled foods. You would think that the disgust that I felt every time I caught a glimpse of my thighs in a mirror would be inspiration enough to PUT DOWN THAT COOKIE AND GRAB A CELERY STICK…

but it wasn’t.

Every time I started a diet to change the body that I hated, I failed. Finally, it hit me…THE BIG AH-HA THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR ME!.  Maybe the reason that I kept failing at my diets wasn’t because I didn’t have ENOUGH hatred for my body… Maybe that hatred was actually the reason why I was failing. I started to think about this a little deeper. I had been torturing my body and trying to force it to change… but it wasn’t responding.  In fact, it was rebelling and I was getting fatter. The more I thought about this, the more it seemed to make sense. Of course!

Why SHOULD my body change? What motivation am I giving it? Hatred. And what responds positively to hatred? Nothing. Think about what would happen if a friend wanted YOU to change. If she comes to you insulting you… and telling you everything that she hates about you… and all the reasons why you should change… and then DEMANDING that you change…You’re probably not going to react really well to this line of talk… and you are probably NOT going to change. No, you’d just get defensive and grind your heels in deeper. But if she comes to you with caring… and humility… and from a place where she is wanting to help you because she loves you… and then she convinces you there are wonderful reasons to make the change…You might feel inspired.You WANT to change.

I started to treat my own body like a friend that I wanted to inspire. Every day I would tell my body all the beautiful things that I loved about it. And when my body (or mind) made a mistake, I immediately gave forgiveness because I didn’t want my body to become discouraged. This shift in my thinking about my body changed my relationship with my body. It was no longer an enemy that I was fighting against… My body became my strongest ally. And we were fighting together for the same common goal — to be the healthiest person possible. It was suddenly much easier to stop eating junk food or to stop after one. It actually brought me JOY. And that was just the beginning…The more time I spent exploring my body, the deeper into my SELF I travelled. And you know what I found? Hiding underneath all these bones and organs, quietly and patiently waiting to be discovered…Was my spirit. And once I was introduced to my spirit, my fascination with my body faded quickly. And I made some really big discoveries…I am more than my body. This body is where my spirit lives. Every time I eat junk food or crap, I am polluting the house of my spirit. More than that, I WANT to give my spirit a beautiful place to live… and only pure, clean natural foods can build that. And so I started eliminated unhealthy foods from my diet, one-by-one and replacing them with healthy foods. And the healthier I ate, the brighter my spirit shined. I love that feeling. I CRAVE that feeling. I appreciate how great it feels when your spirit shines brightly because I spent the first decades of my life without that feeling. And now, I’ll do anything for it… I’ll even give up chocolate chip cookies. I even enjoy working out.

If this sounds crazy to you, I understand. I never thought I would find a better feeling than eating a plate full of chocolate chip cookies… but I have. When I feed my spirit the pure, clean, natural foods that it needs…My spirit rewards me in so many ways. I have more energy than I know what to do with, I laugh like I did when I was a schoolgirl, and I find happiness EVERYWHERE – even in the most common things. You may be thinking, “You get all this from food?” Believe it or not, Yes. When I finally found a deeper motivation to eat healthy foods, I stopped eating crap. All that crap I used to eat was dead. Dead of life, dead of nutrition, and dead of any good energy. Once I started to eat healthy foods, it was like someone came and breathed life into me. It feels so good to eat healthy! And it begins to actually taste BETTER to you than that junk food does. When your food is dead – YOU ARE DEAD.

I feel like I am alive for the first time in years. I got so many good feelings from eating healthy that I got hooked and didn’t want to eat anything else.

And you know what happened? My body started to change. My eyes got brighter, my skin got clearer, and all that extra fat around my thighs, butt and stomach disappeared. AND I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE! When I started talking to other women who have healthy eating habits, turns out they all have some higher motivation for rejecting crap and embracing healthy, natural foods. Some are healing from an illness…Some are following spiritual beliefs…Some have ethical reasons… Regardless of WHAT the motivation is… it always comes from some higher place other than “I want to look hot in a swimsuit.” The physical desire to change won’t carry you through those really difficult times when you want to cheat because that’s a physical desire as well. The physical pleasure you get from pigging out won’t always win over your physical desire to be “hot”… But your spiritual one will. When your motivation comes from the deepest place within you, it is driven from a much more powerful force. It is NOT driven by fear or hatred – it is driven by love. And that’s what kept me from cheating and failing at my diet. Today, if I do decide to cheat (which I sometimes do) I know that I won’t feel good after I eat it, and it won’t give me the same rush of health that I’ve become hooked on… But I do it anyway and I allow myself the enjoyment while I’m eating it because I know that that’s ALL the enjoyment I’m going to get. I deal with the after effects – the bloating, the indigestion, the sluggishness and lack of energy… And then I get right back to my healthy diet because that is what I prefer. Now, I CHOOSE foods that give me sustained enjoyment that nourish my body, mind and spirit. Look, I’m not some spiritual sage levitating four inches off the ground in lotus position… I’m not some great and powerful person or some holy saint with superhuman powers… I’m just a regular woman from a small town in Texas that turned my attention to what really makes me happy… and I found out that it wasn’t in chocolate chip cookies after all.

I know any woman can turn her attention inward…and discover what REALLY makes her happy…so that she can start to make better choices. And when you PREFER to make better choices, you will STOP failing at your diet. In fact, you won’t have to ever diet again. I know that this is not something that happens right away, and that maybe you might need some more guidance to find your way to where I am. 

PHEW! I am back!  Now  I am going to share with you 5 simple steps you can follow to stop failing at your ‘diet’ and prevent you from constantly starting over again:

1. Don’t be on a diet!!  Instead make wise-food choices.  Eating healthy food allows your body to get the nutrition it needs and it promotes a healthy physique as well.  There are foods that can naturally promote weight loss and a lot of these clean and healthy foods.  This includes a wide variety of vegetables and fruit (most veggies), as well as lean sources of protein, complex carbohydrates (oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potato, brown rice, etc) and a fair amount of healthy fats as well.  Stop failing at your ‘diet’ by wisely choosing the right foods!
2. Do not skip meals! Skipping meals will not do you any good. Do not believe in the common misconception that starving yourself makes you thinner and healthier. This is false! In fact, skipping meals can sabotage your weight loss attempt! Skipping meals causes your metabolism to slow down and as a result, the fat deposits are not thoroughly and easily burned. Skipping meals also makes your body eager to store more fat than the usual because fat stores are necessary to sustain you during the times that you are hungry and skipping your meals. Tip: You should be eating 6 times a day!
3. Proper timing of meals.  Many underestimate the effect or proper timing in food intake. What most do not know is that proper timing can increase or decrease the effectiveness of your weight loss routine. For one, eating on time makes your metabolism regular and on its peak. Correct timing also decreases untimely cravings at night. Tip: Eat small meals (with protein at every meal) every 2-3 hours!
4. Go natural-Eat whole foods! Nature has its way of making our body fit. As much as possible, always go for fresh, organic foods and avoid those which are commercialized and artificial. Commercialized and artificial products are high in bad fats (good fats can be found in natural food sources like avocado, oils, nuts) which are more resistant to fat burning. Moreover, these junk foods often contain a lot of salt and other preservatives which promotes water retention. Excess water makes you feel bloated and heavy.
5. Make your best worst choice– Sure, you might for various reasons make nutritionally or calorically (is that a word?) frightening choices, but so long as you asked yourself these two important questions, “Is it worth it”, and, “How much do I need to be happily satisfied”, there can’t be a wrong choice.  Sometimes your best may be a basket of chicken wings but perhaps a smaller basket than normal and one less beer, or a fancy coffee with whip just ordered less frequently, or a bowl of ice-cream instead of a pint, or a small bag of chips rather than the giant bag, or a full-sized chocolate bar rather than an entire Blizzard. What I’m getting at is that sometimes we make choices that are less than ideal, but that so long as you’ve made your best worst choice, you’re still doing great!

 

Hopefully this has been helpful and you will do your best to stick to your plan of eating healthy!  I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this topic, I know so many of us struggle with this!!

 

Les 🙂

 

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Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies!!? Yep it’s possible!

Who doesn’t LOVE chocolate chip cookies?? Well I LOVE them and I am sure you do too!  BUT we all know they aren’t good for our waistlines if they are made the traditional way (lots of sugar and butter) but I did some surfing on the net and found 3 simple recipes to make healthier versions of cookies.  No matter what ingredients you make your cookies with you should still limit the number of cookies you eat! A calorie is a calorie after all but you can get more bang for your buck with these healthy alternatives!

First I found a recipe  for Almond Butter Chocolate Chip cookies!  What I like about these is that there are only 6 ingredients, 2 steps and 20 minutes to make two dozen cookies that are no-flour, no-dairy, and low-sugar!

Recipe #1

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unsalted almond butter, stirred well
3/4 cup Sucanat (found in the organic section of grocery store or in the health food store)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa or greater), broken into small pieces
INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients until blended. Stir in chocolate.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 15 more minutes.

Nutrients per cookie: Calories: 110, Total Fat: 8 g, Sat. Fat: 1.5 g, Carbs: 10 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 2 g, Sodium: 55 mg, Cholesterol: 10 mg

Makes 24 cookies and as you can see from the nutritional info there are 100 calories/cookie and 8 g of fat. Best to bring these to a party or share with friends 🙂  1 or 2 as a treat will be enough 🙂 I wouldn’t eat these everyday if I were you…

Recipe #2

I also enjoy peanut butter cookies so here is an easy NO BAKE recipe for Peanut Butter Protein Cookie recipe.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Mix the following in a big bowl:

1 cup of oatmeal

Approx. 1/2 cup peanut butter

2 large spoonfuls of flax seeds

3 to 4 scoops of Whey Isolate Protein Powder (vanilla or chocolate)

Add just enough water to make mixing a little easier. Add it a little at a time, then mix, and add a little more as needed.

When all the ingredients are mixed, form balls a little smaller than the palm of your hand and put them on a plate.

Put them in the refrigerator for a couple hours uncovered.

If you didn’t use too much water, the cookies come out with a nice chewy consistency.

I don’t have the nutritional info for these cookies but as you can tell from the ingredients it is a very high protein and low carb, low sodium recipe. Sounds pretty perfect to me!

Recipe #3

Here is a video (Bonus: the chef is good looking man with an accent) that teaches you how to make healthy high protein cookies if you are more of a visual learner…I think adding chocolate chips instead of raisins would make these DELICIOUS!

If you have any other healthy cookie recipes you’d like to share, please do!

 

Les 🙂

 

 

 

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Should I take protein powder?

I get asked this question ALL THE TIME!  What do I tell people??  Most often (after looking over their daily food log) the answer is YES! Why? Because most people do not get enough protein on a daily basis.  Why do you need to eat more protein and why protein shakes?  Well continue reading if you’re interested….

If you have ever been to a gym or a health food store you’ve probably seen and heard about various flavours, brands and kinds of protein powder.  If you are a health and fitness guru/nut like me, protein shakes are a part of your daily meal plan, at least once (post workout) or maybe even twice a day.  They are becoming more and more popular as people are discovering that the key to weight loss and building muscle is adding more protein to their diet, therefore protein powder has become a neccessary supplement. But do you know which kind is best?? How they are made?? Or how much protein you need?? Hopefully I will answer all your questions below…

You can buy protein powders in every nutrition store and the are sold all over the Internet. You can even find pre-mixed, ready-to-drink protein shakes in many stores.  But are protein powders just for bodybuilders, or can the average everyday person benefit from them as well? The answer is YES, everyone can benefit from adding more protein into their diet.  Why? Lean sources of protein increase your metabolism, increase muscle mass, increase recovery, leave you feeling full so you eat less which eventually lowers body fat, increases adaptation to training demands, lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, boosts your immune system, etc.

What Are Protein Powders?

Protein powders come in various forms.

Protein powders are dietary supplements that contain a high percentage of protein, this protein being derived from a variety of different food sources including:

Rice, Egg, Milk, Pea, Hemp and Soy

Here’s what you should know about each type…

Rice protein: Hypo-allergenic, gluten-free, neutral taste, economical

Egg protein: Fat-free, concentrated amounts of essential amino acids

Milk protein: includes whey, casein, calcium caseinate, and milk protein blends. – May enhance immunity, high in BCAA’s, contains lactose, most likely to not be tolerated, highly studied

Pea protein: No saturated fat or cholesterol, highly digestible, suitable for vegans, hypo-allergenic, economical

Hemp protein: Provides omega-3 fats, most forms provide fiber, suitable for vegans, free of trypsin inhibitors, can get in raw form, high in arginine and histidine

Soy protein: May have benefits for cardiovascular disease, suitable for vegans, contain trypsin inhibitors

h percentage of protein, many manufacturers fortify their products with synthetic vitamins and/or minerals as well as additional fats and carbohydrates. These later products, which also contain appreciable amounts of carbohydrates and fats are often referred to as MRPs or meal replacement powders.

As protein powders come directly from whole food sources, they are created by extracting the protein component of the food through a variety of processing methods. Typical processing methods include:

Protein concentrates
Concentration is a high heat drying process and acid extraction to lessen the whole food source into a concentrated protein powder. It is fairly inexpensive. During the processing other impurities can be concentrated with the protein (e.g., lactose, fat, cholesterol). Concentrates end up being about 60 – 70 percent protein by weight.

Protein isolates
With isolated protein, the idea is to separate out a majority. This is accomplished through an alcohol wash, water wash, or ionization technique. Each method has a different expense. Water is the least expensive and ionization is the most expensive. After the isolate is created it goes through a filtration process. At this point, virtually everything but the protein has been eliminated. Minimal carbohydrate, fat, fiber and phytochemicals are left. Isolated protein is about 90 – 95 percent protein by weight.

Protein hydrolysates (hydrolyzed)
Hydrolyzed protein is created by adding water to protein polymers and breaking them into miniature groups of protein called peptides. The groups will range in size from 2 to 5 amino acids. This is done to enhance absorption. Hydrolysis is essentially pre-digestion. Hydrolyzed protein is expensive to produce.

Ion-exchange protein
Ions are atoms or molecules containing charge-bearing groups. Ion exchanging separates protein molecules from other fractions in the food by taking advantage of electrical charges.

Microfiltration, cross microfiltration, ultrafiltration
This is a powerful filtration process that removes contaminants from the concentrated protein component by passage through a membrane. It is similar to reverse osmosis used for water purification.

The industry gold standard for milk protein processing is ion-exchange. However, different protein sources require different processing techniques.

While protein powders provide a significant amount of protein, most people, even athletes, can also get everything they offer by eating sources of lean protein like meat, fish, chicken, and some dairy products (greek yogurt and cottage cheese preferably) BUT let’s be honest, who wants to eat  more than 3 chicken breasts a day!? Not me!

How much protein do I need?

The general rule of thumb is 1-1.5 grams/pound of body weight (seems like a lot and very few people get enough protein everyday).  So for most women this is 20-30g of protein PER MEAL (120-180g/day) and for men 40-60 g of protein per meal (240-360g/day).

If you’re unsure as to how much protein you’re currently consuming click on this link to find out the protein content of almost every food you can imagine!

With the many options of protein powders currently available, it is important to find the option that matches YOUR needs. Digestibility is an important issue and should be established before choosing a protein powder. For most people who first start taking protein powder it will take a few days for your body to get used to it.  So give it time and if your body still doesn’t like what you’re giving it, try a different type of protein powder.

Also, the method in which the protein powder is used will also influence your selection (e.g., shakes, puddings, bars, pancakes, etc). Finally, remember this, with dietary supplements, you get what you pay for. By choosing a “cheap” protein powder, you’re likely to get higher amounts of lactose, fat, etc. not removed during the isolation process.

I have tried all types of protein powders, and to be honest I like to mix it up and try different flavours and kinds (and try and find the expensive ones on sale!)  My favourite is the new VEGA Performance Protein (chocolate flavour). Here’s a link for more info on what’s in it.  I’ve also used ALLMAX Isoflex Whey Protein Isolate in the past (so many flavours to choose from).  Here is a link to find out more about this product.  What’s great about this brand is you can buy it in most grocery stores (check the health food aisle) so it’s very convenient.

Any one else have any opinions on protein powder?  Feel free to comment!  Hopefully this post has been useful in answering any questions you had about protein powder.

In my opinion the BEST way to lose weight/gain muscle is to follow a regular strength training  and cardio routine (most effective with the guidance of a personal trainer), practice yoga at least once a week and most importantly follow a consistent healthy diet, high in protein, loaded with veggies and minimal fruits, healthy fats, and lots of water…there’s so secret formula, it takes hard work and dedication to your goal!  Contact me for more info and I’ll show you how to get the most out of your workouts and help you get the results you’ve always wanted!

 

 

Les 🙂

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Is Vitamin Water Healthy??

To all you Vitamin Water lovers, I hate to break it to you but NO it most definitely isn’t.  I can remember when this drink first came out I feel for the marketing and would think I was being healthy drinking this “nutrient-enhanced water beverage” after all  “vitamins+water=all you need” and they claim their product is “hydration only better”.  Pffff ya right!  Little did I know that it’s not a “nutrient enhanced water beverage” at all but but it is more like “sugar+water =all you get”.  In fact it contains 33g of sugar and 125 cals for every 20 oz bottle so it ends up being more like a sports drink or pop than plain water.  There was even a Vitamin Water lawsuit, check out the article on Time.com

From searching a few websites I found out the ingredients in Vitamin Water are “…a sweetener called crystalline fructose that is brought about from corn syrup, electrolytes, natural flavors, citric acid and vitamins E, B12, B6, B5, B3 and C.  At other times, more ingredients are included based on the flavour needs of a particular vitamin water drink.  The sweetener, crystalline fructose, is decidedly unhealthy for you as there have been concerns raised about its propensity to play a role in causing chemically produced liver damage, or hepatotoxicity. The presence of citric acid also may be a problem, as citric acid is known to wear down your tooth enamel if ingested to excess.”  Wow sounds very refreshing now doesn’t it??

You might be wondering “Ya, but there are vitamins in the drink, do they benefit you in any way?”  They do but not as much as you’d think.  There was a study published in 2009 in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition of 12 participants found that vitamin water provided a similar nutrition for B6, B12 and vitamin C as a standardized meal with a caloric savings. So while some of the water soluble vitamins (Bs and Cs) are absorbed that isn’t clear for the fat soluble vitamins, A, D and E.

But guess what!!?? You can make your own!! If you’re not a fan of plain water and are looking for a way to ‘spice it up’ try squeezing lemon or lime juice into some water for vitamin C and potassium.  You won’t reach the same levels of vitamins you do in sugar…I mean Vitamin Water, but if you’re concerned that your diet isn’t already supplementing you with enough then try a high quality multi-vitamin supplement.  The best way to lose weight, get enough vitamins and minerals, be energized, increase your focus, boost your immune system (which apparently will happen by drinking Vitamin Water??)  is to eat a clean, well-balanced and healthy diet loaded with vegetables and fruits, complex carbs, lean protein, healthy fats.  So if you’re not doing this already, Vitamin Water will not help you feel any better 🙂  If you have any more questions about the topic of nutrition or your opinion of Vitamin water, I’d love to hear from you.  I’m always looking for new ideas for future blog posts…

Les 🙂

 

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The MuscleCook’s Famous Chili Recipe [ALMOST as good as my Mom’s!]

YUM!!!  Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of chili?? I do and to be honest nothing beats my mom’s recipe (I’m serious mom!) BUT I came across this recipe the other day as I follow Dave Ruel “The Muscle Cook” on Twitter and he had posted his “Famous Chili” recipe.  I decided to try it since I had some extra lean ground beef left over after making homemade burgers 🙂  This guy is an expert when it comes to planning healthy meals for body builders or anyone else who is trying to improve their body composition/lose weight.  I met him through my friends/co-workers Lucas and Honore as he is their good friend and was their trainer/nutrition coach when they were competing in fitness competitions.  Super cool guy and I even have his cookbook full of high protein, low carb recipes that are so easy to make (and delicious!)

I made this chili on Sunday afternoon and have been eating it for lunch and dinner everyday since then!!

Here is a link to the video of Dave making his famous “Muscle Cook Chili”…

…and here is the recipe!

Makes 9 Servings

 Ingredients

– 1.5 lbs of Ground Buffalo (Bison) or Extra Lean Ground Beef
– 1 cup of diced onions
– 1 diced Green Pepper
– Garlic (3 cloves, minced)
– 1 tbsp of Chili Powder
– 1 teaspoon of Curcuma or Tumeric
– 1 teaspoon of Oregano
– 2 Cans (15oz/can) of Black Beans
– 2 Cans (15oz/can) of Diced Tomatoes (with juice)
– 1 Can (14oz) of Low Sodium Beef Broth
– 1/4 teaspoon of salt / 1 teaspoon of Pepper

 
Directions

1. In a pan, cook the buffalo/ground beef, green pepper, onion, garlic for 5-6 mins, until it is almost cooked.
2. Transfer everything in a big casserole. Add Chili powder, curcuma, oregano, beans, tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper.
3. Let it boil
4. Reduce intensity and stir for 20 mins until it reaches wanted thickness

 Nutritional Facts

(Per Serving – 1 Cup)

Calories: 264
Protein: 30g
Carbohydrates: 26g
Fat: 4.5g

What’s your favourite chili recipe??  I love making large batches of food (chili/stews) because it means less meal prepping for the next few days.  AND I find the longer this chili sits in the fridge the better it gets! I even shared some of it with my friend and her son today and there’s lots left.  They both licked their bowls clean so I am guessing they like the chili as much as I do!!  Try it out and let me know how you like it…

Les 🙂

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