Holiday Fit Tips + Free Thanksgiving Day Fat Burning Workout

Three days away from Thanksgiving. The one day a year where the amount of food I eat isn't considered abnormal. The holidays are also one of the leading contributors to the rise of our nation's overweight population. Much of what is gained during this next month is rarely, completely burned away. 

 

Here are some tips to make the most of your holidays. Helping you stay fit and still enjoy delightful delicacies, and time with your friends and family.

  1. Stay Well Hydrated - Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated will help improve satiety levels and reduce cravings. This means you won't eat as much during get-togethers, nor will you have as much of a desire to pig out.
  2. Go hard on protein, but easy on gravy - Much liking staying hydrated protein will help keep you satieted. However I recommend sticking with more of the dry type condiments like salt and pepper. This being said, if you do add gravy to your meal just don't go crazy. Also real, grassfed butter can be a nice substitute.
  3. Don't skip your workouts - It's very easy to explain away working out because the gym is closed or with your family. However what I am about to give you is a fast and easy 15 minute workout that only requires using your body. Are you ready?

This routine is to be treated as a circuit. You will rest and perform as prescribed, and you can even perform this circuit several times per week.

  1. Bodyweight Squats - 8 to 10 reps
  2. Push-ups (Or Hands Elevated Push-ups) - 5 to 8 reps
  3. Plank - 15 seconds
  4. Jumping Jacks - 15 reps
  5. Reverse Lunges - 6 reps per leg
  6. Glute Bridges (Single Leg or Double Leg) - 10 reps

If you're a beginner you will perform these exercises resting 30 seconds between each. After doing all 6 exercises you will rest 90 seconds than repeat 4 more times.

If you're intermediate you will add 10 seconds to plank. Rest 20 seconds between each exercise, and rest 75-90 seconds after all 6 exercises. You will repeat 5 times

If you're advanced you will add 20 seconds to the plank. Rest 20 seconds between each exercise. Rest 75 seconds after all 6 exercises, and repeat 6 circuits.

There you have it. Two really simple tips to help you eat healthier along with a killer workout.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Dave

 

Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals pt. 4 - Strategic Veggie Eating

I always hated it in school when the teacher would give a really complicated lesson, and yet never left me with a practical use for what they were talking about.  I even still get that when I go to seminars or read articles.  At the very least all I ask for is a real life example so that I can deem for myself if the information is applicable towards my purposes.

 

If you’re like me then I hope this installment has been more than throwing information around but actually helpful.  In each post I offered sources of foods that contain the vitamins and minerals I was describing, and even some of the tasks each micronutrient performs so that you’re not just blindly throwing them into your body.

 

If you missed any of the posts you can link back to them here;

- Water Soluble Vitamins - https://hpi-ibji.squarespace.com/blog/2014/7/31/making-sense-of-vitamins-and-minerals-pt-1-water-soluble-vitamins

 

- Fat Soluble Vitamins - https://hpi-ibji.squarespace.com/blog/2014/8/9/making-sense-of-vitamins-and-minerals-pt-2-fat-soluble-vitamins

 

- Minerals - https://hpi-ibji.squarespace.com/blog/2014/8/25/making-sense-of-vitamins-and-minerals-pt-3-mining

 

Bottom line; I hope you better understand why yo' mama wants you to eat your veggies, and since we started with them, we're going to end with them.  I want to offer you three practical strategies towards eating your veggies.

You know those little guys ate their veggies, before getting a cookie

You know those little guys ate their veggies, before getting a cookie

 

1.) Keep Fruits and Vegetables Easily Available - Humans are naturally lazy, when we want a quick snack, we want a QUICK snack.  We’re not about to go grill up a burger or something when all we want is to munch on something.  So why not use this to your advantage.  Have baby carrots available in your fridge, or have broccoli heads already chopped up.  When you go grocery shopping use the time that you’re putting all your food away to actually prepare some of the bulkier fruits and vegetables for easy access later in the week.

 

2.) Juice - No I’m not talking about store bought juice, but going off that first point, when it’s easier to eat the fruits and veggies it will be easier to get those micronutrients into your body. This is where having a good blender comes in handy.  I find, with the right combination, you can make a good tasting drink with about 5 to 6 different fruits and veggies.  Our very own Cory Leman has even perfected the art of making it look good too. Here’s a really basic recipe that will provide a solid flavor.

- 1 cup of Strawberries

- 1 Handful of Spinach

- 1 Banana

- 1 Handful of Kale

- 1 Fresh squeezed lemon

- 16oz of water

 

You get 5 servings of fruits and veggies, and it won’t taste that bad because the fruit will overwhelm the veggies. Also the water will help make it easier to drink.  

 

If you’re brave like me you can even try tossing in some more veggies in there, but the recipe above is a nice, simple start.

 

3.) Hide Your Veggies - Who doesn’t like a game of hide and seek? Better yet, hide and don’t seek… Regardless, hide your veggies in your food. I refuse to count lettuce on anything fast food, but  I mean sure salads are good. However, did you know you can put spinach in an omelette, and it doesn’t taste bad?!  Even better, put in some tomatoes too... mmmmm.


 

In summation; vitamins and minerals do remarkable things for your body, and vegetables along with other proper foods are extremely good for you.  If you want to perform at your best then you need to be careful about what you put into yourself.  

 

I’m out,

-Dave Howington

Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals pt. 3 - Mining

I was born with hillbilly in my blood, in fact I can trace my roots back to the good ol’ Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. Out there mining is a way of life, and in fact, I remember during many trips to see family out there we’d even visit a mine or two.


In legends people talk of mining to find valuable minerals and resources such as gold and diamonds.  However, what we often take for granted is the mining process our bodies go through.


As we eat food our body sifts through what we need for health and performance. The digestive system is not just looking for vitamins but also valuable minerals that will help our body work like a well oiled machine.


Personally I’ve always been more aware of vitamins and their functions then of minerals. However, minerals are just as important as vitamins, and after reading today’s post I hope you’ll better understand why the body’s “mining” goes a long way in finding valuable minerals for optimal function.

 

Minerals

 

Calcium - assists in blood clotting process, and with cell function in bone

- Popular Food Sources - green leafy vegetables, and kelp

 

Chloride - aids in the digestion of other nutrients

- Popular Food Sources - whole grains, whole fruits, lean meats, and unprocessed salty foods

 

Chromium - improves the bodies response to insulin

- Popular Food Sources - broccoli, whole grains, meat, and bananas

 

Copper - serves as an anti-oxidant

- Popular Food Sources - cashews, almonds, chocolate, whole wheat and organ meats

 

Flourine- Prevents tooth decay

- Popular Food Sources - water, and tea

 

Iodine - Necessary for thyroid hormones

- Popular Food Sources - iodized salt, seafood, eggs, and strawberries

 

Iron - Helps with the formation of hemoglobin (think red blood cells)

- Popular Food Sources - red meat, tuna, spinach, and cashews

 

Magnesium - assists in the metabolism of carbs and fats

- Popular Food Sources - whole grains, almonds, avocados, and cashews

 

Manganese - helps with metabolism of carbs and cholesterol

- Popular Food Sources - pineapple, oats, spinach, almonds, sweet potatoes, and raspberries

 

Molybdenum - helps with metabolism of drugs/toxins

- Popular Food Sources - whole grains and nuts

 

Phosphorous - helps with the structure of bones, and hormone production

- Popular Food Sources - whole grains, eggs, berries, bananas, and almonds

 

Potassium - Helps with muscle contraction and nerve impulses to muscles

- Popular Food Sources - bananas, spinach, tomatoes, almonds, and avocado

 

Selenium - Interacts with nutrients responsible for antioxidant effects

- Popular Food Sources - seafood, whole wheat, and milk

 

Sodium - Regulates blood volume and pressure

- Popular Food Sources - whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables, meats, and nuts and seeds

 

Zinc - Supports structure of the cell as well as immune function

- Popular Food Sources - poultry, cashews, almonds, and yogurt


 

Next time I hope to wrap up this installment up by offering practical applications towards helping you eat healthier.

-Dave

Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals pt 2 - Fat Soluble Vitamins

If you recall last time we talked about water soluble vitamins and all the exciting things that go along with it. In case you missed it you can check it out here - (http://www.hpi-ibji.com/blog/2014/7/31/making-sense-of-vitamins-and-minerals-pt-1-water-soluble-vitamins)


Well in this installment we’re going to be talking about fat.  Not ‘phat’ like the word in the 90’s to call something cool (If you got that I salute you).  But, ‘fat’, the thing everybody’s trying to lose these days.


Well believe it or not fat isn’t necessarily all bad for you.  There are a lot of types of fats that your body actually needs. Some of it can be gained through what you eat, like coconut oil. And  you’re body fat is too low in fat, proper functions get all messed up.

coconut oil.jpg


Unfortunately talking about fat is a whole other topic that could be it’s own blog series on its own.  


That being said, there are vitamins that need to dissolve in fat in order to be properly utilized by the body, and well that’s another reason why fat is well… phat.


Ok, in all seriousness just like last week I want to provide a list of fat soluble vitamins and the functions they assist the body in performing, and foods that provide them.


Fat Soluble Vitamins 


Vitamin A and Carotenoids - Formation of visual pigments (helps eyesight), supports immune system

- Popular Food Sources- pumpkin, red and yellow peppers, and carrots

bugs bunny.jpg


Vitamin D - Supports immune system, and helps with calcium absorption

- Popular Food Sources - egg yolk, salmon, and even the sun (sorry vampires)


Vitamin E - removes free radicals and functions like an antioxidant

- Popular Food Sources - nuts, avocado, whole grains, and carrots


Vitamin K - Prevents excessive bleeding in infants, and helps the body break down and use amino acids

- Popular Food Sources - lettuce and other green leafy vegetables.



It’s a shorter list but these vitamins are just as important as the water soluble vitamins.  I hope that you’re slowly starting to see why vegetables are so important for you to eat, and that you’re starting to get an idea of what kinds of foods you should be eating on a regular basis.

In part 3 I’m going to shift focus from vitamins to minerals.  


-Dave

Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals pt 1 - Water Soluble Vitamins

When I think of good nutrition I hearken back to the days of old. When I was just an adorable little tot not wanting to eat my vegetables.  Unfortunately what the boss lady says, goes, and I’d be sitting at the dinner table while everyone else was having a raucous good time.  Simply because I refused to eat my vegetables.

 

Looking back I was missing out on a lot.  To be honest when it comes to nutrition we may know what is good for us, but many of us aren’t too clear on the why, and well sometimes that makes all the difference.

 

You see vegetables are chalked full of vitamins and minerals, all of which support vital functions for the body.  From performance to even just looking good. Paraphrasing the wise philosopher - Mr. T, “I pity the fool who does not eat his vegetables”.  Don’t worry though, there are other solid food sources too.

 

In order to help you better understand vitamins and minerals I am going to make this a four part series.  Making easy to understand and digestible lists (see what I did there?). Today we’re going to focus on Water Soluble Vitamins.

I'm not going to discuss all the main functions and food sources, but I hope what I provide helps.

Water Soluble Vitamins - Vitamins that dissolve in… you guessed it, water.

Water.jpg

 

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - Helps your body in producing energy from food

- Popular Food Sources Include; spinach, tuna, and whole grains

 

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - Involved in red blood cell production, and iron metabolism

- Popular Food Sources include; spinach, eggs, yogurt, and almonds

 

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - Helps to control cholesterol

- Popular Food Sources include; asparagus, salmon, and whole grains

 

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) - Helps with the formation of acetyl-CoA, a very important molecule for metabolism

- Popular Food Sources include; broccoli, tomatoes, berries, eggs, avocado, and sweet potatoes

 

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) - Helps with red blood cell metabolism, supports nervous and immune system function

- Popular Food Sources include; bananas, spinach, avocado, tuna, and salmon

 

Vitamin B7 (Biotin) - Formation of four vital enzymes responsible for chemical processes in the body ranging from energy production to the useof fats

- Popular Food Sources include; green leafy vegetables, salmon, avocado, tomatoes, carrots, almonds, eggs, cucumber, and berries

 

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) - Assists in the formation of new proteins, and red blood cell formation/circulation

- Popular Food Sources include; citrus fruits, lettuce and asparagus.

 

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) - Assists in maintaining healthy nerve and red blood cells

- Popular Food Sources include; Beef, Tuna, and Eggs

 

Vitamin C - Protects cells from dangerous chemicals by acting as an antioxidant, develops collagen, an important structural protein

- Food Sources include; broccoli, citrus fruits, strawberries, and asparagus

 

There you have it. I know this is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but in order to live a healthier life and optimize your performance you need to consider not just carbs, fats, and proteins, but also vitamins and minerals.

Stay tuned for next time when we discuss fat soluble vitamins.


-Dave