Posts Tagged ‘healthy recipes’

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By Tom Nikkola, CSCS, CISSN, Pn1

For years, outside of the sports nutrition community, protein’s importance was overlooked as the debates about nutrition focused on carbohydrates and fat.

More recently, higher-protein intakes have been shown to be very powerful for supporting weight management programs. They seem to play a role in improving a number of other health outcomes as well, but there are still a number of myths surrounding higher-protein intakes.

The following are six of the most common high-protein myths I still come across. Now you’ll know the truth behind these myths.

1. You can only use 30 grams of protein in a meal

As it relates to maintenance or development of lean body mass, protein both increases protein synthesis and decreases protein breakdown. The more you can increase protein synthesis and/or decrease protein breakdown, the more lean body mass you can build.

Protein synthesis is maximally stimulated after consuming 20-30 grams of high-quality protein. But research shows that protein breakdown is further reduced at higher levels.

A study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition addressed this 30-gram-per-meal myth.[i]

First, the researchers found that when individuals consumed 80% of their daily protein in a single meal, it caused a greater overall anabolic response for the day than when the protein was split up over several meals. This could be because the total protein intake for the day wasn’t excessively high.

Second, they found that the greater the amount of protein individuals consumed, the greater the overall anabolic response was. Greater protein intakes in a meal caused protein breakdown to slow even more. Clearly, the higher amount of protein from a meal was digested and absorbed, and it had a greater impact than a lesser amount, such as the often espoused 30-gram recommendation.

There is a likely a cap at which the total protein intake for the day reaches a limit on its anabolic effect. It’s probably closer to the “one gram per pound body weight” often recommended by sports nutritionists. Split that up over 3-4 meals, and you’ll need to eat a lot more protein than just 30 grams with each meal.

2. Excess protein just turns to fat

To be clear, we’re talking about pure protein. Often, when people envision protein, it’s protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. You can’t get away with eating as much filet mignon, cooked in butter and topped with crabmeat and hollandaise sauce as your stomach can hold. There’s a lot more in such a meal than just protein.

However, assuming carbohydrates and fat are kept in check, it seems that eating more and more protein has virtually no effect on fat gain. After a certain point, it doesn’t help in adding more lean mass either.

To test the effects of a super-high protein diet, Dr. Jose Antonio and his team studied two groups of resistance-trained men and women. One group followed a diet that included 1.0 gram of protein per pound of body weight. The other group doubled that amount, eating 2.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That’s a lot of protein!

It would be nearly impossible to eat such large amounts from whole food, so a large amount of the extra protein came from protein shakes. This also helped minimize the introduction of additional carbohydrates and fat.

The second group ate an average of 145 grams of protein extra per day and did not gain any weight. Also, they did not eat less carbohydrate or fat. That’s right. They ate 145 grams more protein than the other group and didn’t gain weight. In fact, they averaged about 800 calories more than their maintenance level and didn’t gain body fat. They also didn’t gain any extra muscle from that much more protein. It’s a good example of why You Can’t Count on Calorie-Counting for Weight Management.

Eating too much protein-rich food, with all the fixings and side dishes will surely pack on the pounds, but excess protein itself isn’t a cause of fat gain.

3. Too much protein is hard on the kidneys

One of the byproducts of protein digestion is urea. Urea is filtered by the kidneys, so the theory is that as protein intake goes up, urea goes up which puts an excessive load on the kidneys. While it’s true that urea increases, there is not evidence to show that it’s bad for those with healthy kidney function.

After two years of tracking participants on either a higher-protein, low-carb diet or a lower-fat, low-protein diet, those who ate a higher protein diet experienced no negative impact on kidney health.[ii]

Another study followed three groups over two years. They followed a low-fat, a Mediterranean, or a higher-protein, low-carb diet. After two years, there was no difference in kidney function for any of the groups. The participants were moderately obese individuals, some of who had type II diabetes and some of whom did not.[iii]

Those with a pre-existing kidney issue may need to limit protein intake, but for those with healthy kidneys, evidence suggests higher protein intake is fine.[iv]

4. High protein diets decrease bone density

Just as higher protein intakes help maintain or even increase muscle tissue, they also support greater bone density. High-protein diets do not leach minerals from bone and decrease bone density. To the contrary, they’ve been shown to enhance mineral reabsorption and increase bone density. The greater issue when it comes to bone density is taking in enough calcium, magnesium and vitamin D to support good bone health.[v],[vi]

Women are more likely to follow a low-calorie diet, which is often low in protein. Low protein diets, rather than high-protein diets can contribute to decreased bone density.[vii] Women are already more prone to bone density loss as they get older, so adding a low-protein diet to their lifestyle could accelerate the loss of bone density. The importance of higher protein intake should be stressed to support optimal bone density.

5. Too much protein raises insulin and increases fat storage

Protein consumption does cause a small rise in insulin levels. Insulin is necessary to help shuttle amino acids into muscle cells. The rise in insulin is nowhere near the rise that carbohydrates cause, but protein does cause a rise in insulin.

If someone is following a ketogenic diet as part of cancer therapy, to enhance endurance performance or to address significant blood sugar regulation issues, a higher-protein intake may temporarily take him or her out of ketosis.

For most people, even those with type II diabetes, the increase in insulin from protein is not significant compared to the benefits of the higher-protein intakes. If there was an issue, we would not consistently see the improvements in metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes that we see in research using higher-protein diets.

6. You only need the RDA for protein, which is 0.36 g/lb per day.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is amusingly small: 0.36 grams per pound body weight.

For a 150-pound adult, that would be 55 grams per day, about 8 ounces of lean meat.

While such a paltry amount of protein might be enough to sustain life, it’s certainly not enough to have achieve optimal levels of health and fitness, or to achieve a superior level of quality of life.

As Bosse and Dixon stated in their JISSN paper:

The “lay” recommendation to consume 1 g protein/lb of bodyweight/day (2.2 g/kg/day) while resistance training has pervaded for years. Nutrition professionals often deem this lay recommendation excessive and not supported by research. However, as this review shows, this “lay” recommendation aligns well with research that assesses applied outcome measures of strength and body composition in studies of duration > 4 weeks.[viii]

 

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Tom Nikkola, CSCS, CISSN, Pn1
Tom is the Senior Director of Fitness Strategy and Business Development at Life Time Fitness. He began his fitness career in 2001 as a personal trainer and played a number of roles at Life Time, including Senior Director of Nutrition and Weight Management. In that role, he helped evolve and develop Life Time’s lab testing, nutritional products, and nutrition coaching services, while also helping to launch the brand Life Time Weight Loss.

Don’t forget this weekend we will be hosting our Brewery Boot Camp at Dry Dock Brewing’s – North Dock location! Great way to head into your Easter weekend with a great workout and some good beer. $10 will get you a total body workout and discounted Dry Dock beer. 

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Don’t miss out on the chance to win prizes and get in shape at the same time!!!

Eventbrite - Lose Your Fatitude - Weight Loss Challenge

This is our 3rd Lose Your Fatitude Weight Loss challenge and we are looking for our next big winners! This time around we will be giving prizes to the Top Male, Top Female and Top Team who lose the greatest percentage of body weight. To register or start your team use the button above or below. For each friend your refer you will receive a FREE nutrition session!

Spring 16 Lose Your Fatitude (1)
Eventbrite - Lose Your Fatitude - Weight Loss Challenge

This challenge we will be giving prizes for the top Male and Female weight loss winners and top Team! If you would like to participate in the team challenge all you need is 3 friends. What better way to get in shape than with the help of your friends and family. Not enough friends to participate in the team challenge? No worries you can still participate as an individual or we can help you build a team.  Email strengthtrain4life@gmail.com or call 720-810-0230 for more information

Spring 16 Lose Your Fatitude (1)

Eventbrite - Lose Your Fatitude - Weight Loss Challenge

Are you looking to get fit for the upcoming swimsuit season? What better way to do so than through a little competition and have the chance to win prizes.  Checkout our informational video for more details.

 

Eventbrite - Lose Your Fatitude - Weight Loss Challenge

Here is a tasty and quick recipes to keep you on track with your fitness goals!

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Serves 4-5
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

1 Zucchini
1 Yellow Squash
Mushrooms
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 Cup Cottage Cheese or Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 lbs Italian Sausage
1 pkg Organic Pepperoni
1 Jar Marinara
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp Grape seed oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a skillet cook the Italian sausage until done. Meanwhile, slice the zucchini and the yellow squash in thin slices or use a mandolin to cut. Take cottage cheese, parmesan and Italian seasoning and mix together.  In a 9×9 (it will be tight) or an 9×12 baking pan (you may need another zucchini) place the Grape seed oil on bottom of pan and spread evenly. Place one layer of zucchini/yellow squash on bottom of pan. Follow with a thin layer of cottage cheese mixture, pepperoni, mushrooms and marinara. Top with another layer of zucchini/yellow squash. Follow with Italian sausage, remaining cottage cheese mixture, marinara and cover with mozzarella cheese. Bake in oven for 35 minutes or until cheese is completely melted on top.

Happy Holiday’s from Strength Train 4 Life!  We know the holiday’s come with lots of opportunities to indulge in those amazing homemade sweets. Here is one recipe that can curb that sweet tooth, but keep you healthy at the same time.

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Coconut Macaroons

5 cups Shredded Coconut
4 Large eggs
1/2 cup coconut sugar or sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla together on medium-high speed until foamy and the sugar is mostly dissolved – at least 2 minutes. Fold in the coconut, making sure the coconut is evenly moistened.

Using a large cookie scoop, scoop 2 Tablespoons of the mixture and place onto prepared baking sheet – at least 2 inches apart. Make sure the mounds are very compact and neat, as pictured above.

Bake until lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Make sure to rotate the pan to ensure even baking. Otherwise some tops may burn. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets before enjoying. Cover leftover macaroons tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days or 3 days at room temperature. Macaroons freeze well, up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Time: 60 mins cook time
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

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Ingredients:
1 cabbage head
1 lb lean grass-fed ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
½ onion diced
½ carrots thinly sliced
1 cup Quinoa
2 eggs
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

Sauce:
1 (15oz) can organic tomato sauce
1 (15oz) can organic tomato chunks
3 garlic cloves
½ onion diced
2 tbsp grape seed oil
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Prepare the cabbage leaves. Carefully separate the leaves from the head. Blanch 16 large leaves in boiling water for about 1 minute, or until bright green and just softened. Immediately refresh the blanched leaves in ice water. Drain and reserve.
  2. Place all filling ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly (I use my hands).
  3. In a sauce pan put your grape seed oil, minced garlic and onions. Sauté on medium high heat until onions are golden. Place tomato sauce, tomato chunks, salt and pepper into the pan. Bring to boil for 1 minute and let simmer until ready to place on cabbage rolls.
  4. Divide this mixture into sixteen 2-ounce balls. Using moistened hands, form the balls into cylinders. Place a cylinder of filling near the bottom of a cabbage leaf. Begin to roll it up, folding both sides over the filling, and finish rolling to enclose the filling, like an eggroll. Continue, filling and rolling all the cabbage leaves. Place them, seam side down, on a tray or baking sheet.
  5. Pour sauce over rolls evenly and place in oven for 1 hour at 475 degrees.

Enjoy!

 

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Ingredients
    3 large zucchini
    1.5 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1 tsp salt, divided
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    2 tsp any small hot pepper/jalapeño or to taste, seeded and minced 
    1 medium or 1/2 large lime, juice of
    3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
    Cooking spray (I used coconut oil)

Directions
    Using a spiralizer or mandoline, make zucchini noodles, transfer into a large bowl and set aside. You can also chop zucchini into any size pieces, if you don’t have the gadgets for making zucchini noodles.
    Preheat large deep skillet on high heat and add chicken. Saute until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add cumin, 1/2 tsp salt and ground black pepper towards the end, stir and cook for another minute. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    Wipe clean or wash and pat dry the skillet and return to the stove on high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add zucchini noodles. Saute for 1.5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add previously cooked chicken, remaining salt, small hot peppers/jalapeños, lime juice and cilantro. Stir gently and serve hot.

This recipe was found at http://mouth-watering-foods.blogspot.com/2014/09/zucchini-noodles-with-cilantro-lime.html

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 265
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6 g 10 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 12 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 96 mg 32 %
Sodium 855 mg 36 %
Potassium 1081 mg 31 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g 11 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 37 g 74 %
Vitamin A 12 %
Vitamin C 77 %
Calcium 4 %
Iron 9 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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Baked Pesto Chicken
Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken
1/2 cup basil pesto
2 oz. (1/2 cup) grated low-fat mozzarella cheese

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken pieces, then cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces.

Spray a 9″ x 12″ (or 8.5″ X 12.5″) baking dish with non-stick spray, then spread 1/4 cup basil pesto over the bottom of the dish. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread 1/4 cup more basil pesto over the chicken.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. (Don’t cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.)

When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted (if your broiler is separate from the oven, start preheating it when you take the chicken out). After I melted the cheese for 5 minutes I switched my oven to broil and broiled for 5 minutes more, just long enough to get the cheese lightly browned.
Bacon Asparagus
1/2 package uncured (no nitrates/no nitrites) bacon
1 bunch of asparagus
Cut bacon into approximately 1/2 inch pieces and cook on medium heat in a skillet and stir occasionally. Once the bacon is almost cooked to your preference, place the trimmed asparagus into the pan. Cook until asparagus is slightly tender.
Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 257
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21 g 32 %
Saturated Fat 4 g 22 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 37 mg 12 %
Sodium 589 mg 25 %
Potassium 122 mg 3 %
Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 5 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 15 g 29 %
Vitamin A 8 %
Vitamin C 13 %
Calcium 12 %
Iron 5 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.