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Brotein

By Beau

It seems to me that there is not enough information on protein - what it's used for, where it comes from, where it goes. Most of us know that protein helps the muscles repair and grow within the rebuilding phase known as the "super compensation phase" where your body breaks down and mends itself with the delivery of water and glycogen around the body.

//Where is it?
Protein can be found in meats, eggs, dairy, dark green leafy vegetables and supplements such as protein shakes and BCAAs. Handy chart here.

//How much?
Now the amount of protein the body can handle per day is 0.8 grams per kilogram of your bodyweight for sedentary men & women, 1.0 – 1.2 grams per kilo for elite female athletes and 1.2 – 1.5 grams per kilo for elite male athletes (EG if you weight 61kg: 61kg x 0.8 grams = 48.8 grams per day). But what happens if you go over your limit? Where does it go? Does  your body burn it up? Does it come out in your poop or does it just disappear?

The correct answer is that what hasn’t been utilised metabolically by your body is broken down into building blocks known as peptides. Peptides are further broken down into amino acids, the amino acids are absorbed through the small intestine's lining and enter the blood stream.  From here, some of the amino acids build the body's protein stores. Excess amino acids are converted to fats and sugars that will store through out the body and flow out the kidneys and out of the urinary stream.

Don’t forget that there is also harm in retaining excess protein. For example, excess protein may lead to dehydration, because protein metabolism requires extra water for utilisation and excretion (i.e. elimination) of its by-products. Since exercising individuals are already at an increased risk for dehydration, the additional strain of protein waste excretion may further promote dehydration as well as kidney damage. So when you hear dudes talking about protein and how it makes them huge and they need as much of it as they can it's not the correct information. Fitness and health is so widely misinterpreted and should be tailored to you for the best and safest results!

So make sure you eat the right amount of protein and drink plenty of water!

Food

Where To Find Protein

PROTEINCHART

Clicking the above chart will allow it to be opened full size for download

Protein isn't just for 'gainz', it's actually essential for your body to function, helps in the repair process after exercise or strenuous activity and even maintains your hair, skin and nails. Every day you should aim to be eating 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. Proteins give heat and energy to your body and are rarely stored, as your body uses them quite rapidly.

There are two main types of proteins: fibrous proteins and globular proteins. Fibrous proteins can be thought of as having a 'rope-like' arrangement and are usually for structural use: keratin (fingernails + hair), elastin (blood vessels + ligaments), fibrin (blood clots), myosin (muscle tissue), collagen (tendons, bone + tissue). Globular proteins are spherical and transport substances through your blood: haemoglobin (oxygen transport in blood), transferrin (iron transport), insulin (hormone for controlling glucose metabolism), myoglobin (oxygen transport in muscles) and immunoglobins (immune response).

If you have trouble eating as much protein as you should keep this chart handy to help you select options which contain a good amount. Remember that protein isn't the only ingredient that you will need to keep in mind, some foods that are high in protein are also high in fat (you do need some fats in your diet), this is particularly true for foods containing animal products (red meats, cheeses, etc). Vegetables which are high in protein are also generally high in carbohydrates, but they are Low GI carbs which are great for energy and recovery.

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Food

7 Tips for Healthy Eating on Holiday

fruit

So if you've caught my posts on Instagram you'll probably notice that Beau and I are in Thailand at the moment on a nice little getaway. If you're anything like me then you probably don't want a few weeks of holiday and relaxation to mess up all your hard work. I've put together a few tips to help you stay on track with your eating habits, because yes it's nice to enjoy some treats and it's fantastic to get to try different foods whilst you're on vacation - but if you overdo it you're probably not going to end up feeling too crash hot when you get back home anyway.

1) Stay hydrated! Keeping hydrated is going to help stop your body from sending a false 'hunger' signal to your brain, more often than you realise your sense of 'hunger' (or wanting to just snack on whatever you see) is actually your body trying to tell you that you need to drink some water.

2) Try to avoid sugary drinks These may seem like a treat if you don't have them very often, but sugary drinks are just empty calories. If it's hot where you are and water isn't quite refreshing enough try to have a soda water and pop some fruit into the bottle if you can.

3) Don't worry about leftovers One thing that seems to have been drummed into most of us since we were kids is to "finish your plate". Once you're satisfied (not stuffed full) stop eating. Just because someone serves you a huge meal at a restaurant or hotel does not mean you have to eat everything on the plate.

4) Don't let yourself get hungry Hunger leads to poor food choices, make sure you've got snacks so that you're not just eating 3 basic meals a day.

5) Snack wisely Try to find somewhere to buy yourself a bunch of unprocessed, simple food that you can snack on if you really need something to eat between meals (nuts/fruit/veggies always make good snacks to just grab and go). Beau and I walked down the markets and picked up a bunch of fruit for the equivalent of just a few Australian dollars.

6) Use good judgement Does the food look fresh? Do you have a decent idea of what ingredients are in it?

7) Limit starchy carbohydrates At the hotel we are staying in Phuket they provide breakfast every morning, and a lot of the options tend to include things like toast, croissants, rice & noodle dishes, and other highly processed carbohydrates. On top of that many of the restaurants and food stalls around load up their meals with rice or noodles, so keep an eye on the amount of carbohydrates that you are eating (that aren't fruit/veg) because you don't necessarily want too many of these, they will fill you up but the sense of fullness will not last very long at all.

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Food

Meal Prepping

mealprep

Why do Beau and I meal prep? To keep on track, to know exactly what we're eating and to have our food already prepared because we are so busy! Pre-preparing your meals is going to make sticking to your food goals so much easier for you, and it works out relatively cheap too. We find that when we prep our meals we waste less food and we eat out less. It results in us saving money and then because we're eating healthy we feel good. This is about a weeks worth of food for us and it cost $132 (which works out to us spending $9.42 each per DAY for our food - so cheap!!) and a couple of hours of effort. (It took half an hour to cut up the fruit and veggies as well as puree the mango. Then about an hour and a half to cook all the food).

What do we have this week?

Left to right, top to bottom:

Chia seed pudding x 4 (base pudding recipe here)

Kiwi fruit x 4

Mango puree (to eat with chia seed puddings)

Blueberries x 2

Protein muffins x 4 (recipe here)

Paprika & chilli chicken with vegetables x 6

Chicken, chickpeas and vegetables x 4

Bananas x 1 million

Mince and lettuce leaves (we eat this as 'tacos' with avocado and tomato)

Watermelon (prepared to go into smoothies)

Cut up pears x 4

Cut up carrots x 4

If you're like us and you find that by the end of the day you want to just grab something easy and convenient because you've finished work late and you're tired, try prepping your meals like this. It's going to make your weight loss or fitness journey much easier.

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Food

Benefits of Tumeric

tumerictea

Turmeric, an ancient spice from the same family as ginger, is something that could be missing from your life. Turmeric contains some handy little things called curcuminoids, the main ones are curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. These fellas are responsible for most of the anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and antioxidant properties that turmeric contains. This spice can be helpful as a natural therapeutic relief to tissue injury, arthritis, phlebitis, tuberculosis, fevers, allergies, sinusitis, fibromyalgia, gastritis, tissue irritation and autoimmune disorders (McMahon, 1997). Turmeric is also packed full of micro-nutrients that your body requires, like niacin, sodium, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins C, E, and K.

So lets simplify and break down 5 things turmeric can do for you:

1. It is an anti-inflammatory Although short-term inflammation can be necessary for the body, long-term (chronic) inflammation can work against your own tissues and cells (Singh & Aggarwhal, 1995). The curcumin, which I mentioned before, is so anti-inflammatory that it has matched effectiveness with some medical-grade anti-inflammatory drugs (Jurenka, 2009).  Beau’s fibromyalgia was causing him a lot of pain one day (more than usual) and he was aching all over and felt like he was getting the flu, but had no other symptoms, so I made him a turmeric tea. Beau said that he used to mainly get the pain through his hips and he noticed that an hour or two after the tea the pain had just disappeared. He drinks it every day now.

2. Fights colds and flu Heat 1 cup of milk with ½ a teaspoon of turmeric (and then strain out the turmeric and drink the milk – it does not taste pleasant…) as a natural remedy to colds and flus. Studies have shown that the spice can help reduce the symptoms and severity of colds (Turmeric: the golden spice’, 2013).

3. Helps indigestion and weight loss There have been some studies which have shown that curcumin is able to help reduce symptoms of indigestion and bloating and acts as a natural thermogen. If you’re not yet familiar with the world of supplements a thermogen is a product that promotes thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is a process that takes place when the central nervous system of the body burns fat in order to maintain it’s regular temperature. Increased rates of thermogenesis can mean increased body temperature but also greater fat burning and faster weight loss (Jin-Gyu, 2014).

4. Relief for arthritis and other joint inflammation The pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be relieved by the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. In addiction to the pain relief because it’s a ‘natural pain killer’, turmeric has been found to also destroy free radicals in the body, free radicals can damage your cells.

5. Controls diabetes Turmeric has been found to moderate insulin levels, improve glucose control and increase the effectiveness of diabetes medications (Finney-Brown, 2011). It is still best to consult a medical professional before taking turmeric capusules for this purpose.

So there you have it! Five great things about turmeric, and there are way more too! The easiest way to have turmeric is half a teaspoon in a cup of boiling water (like a tea). The taste does take a bit to get used to, if you really can’t tolerate it try adding some cinnamon and/or raw honey.

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References:

Finney-Brown, T 2011, ‘Turmeric for diabetes’, Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, vol. 23, no.2, p 96.

Jin-Gyu, K 2014, ‘Beneficial dietary effect of turmeric and sulphur on weight gain, fat deposition and lipid profile of serum and liver in rats’, Journal of Food Science and Technology, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 774-779.

Jurenka, J 2009, ‘Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research’, Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 14, no. 3, p 277.\

McMahon, S 1997, ‘Tumeric: from kitchen cabinet to medicine chest’, Vegetarian Times, vol. 240, p 70.

Singh, S & Aggarwhal B 1995, ‘Activation of transciription factor NF-kB is suppressed by curcumin (diferuloylmethane)’, Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 270, no. 44, pp. 24995-25000.

"Turmeric: The Golden Spice." Facts For You 8 Jan. 2013. General OneFile. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.

Food

10 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

acv

Apple Cider Vinegar is probably one of the most versatile things that you can keep in your cupboard. It is used in dressings, marinades, preservatives, vinaigrettes, etc is is is made from fermented apples. However, even a small amount of this sour liquid used in other ways can have many health benefits:

1) Weight Loss Studies such as this one have shown that daily consumption of apple cider vinegar led to lower blood sugar and insulin levels and greater weight loss. Just put 1-2 teaspoons of the vinegar in a glass of water and drink it in the morning (also remember it's the entire lifestyle that counts, this isn't a magic potion).

2) Aids Digestion ACV improves digestion because it contains heaps of necessary minerals and other trace elements that your body needs to break down food. (1-2 tsp in a glass of water).

3) Scar Reduction If diluted with a ratio 1:4 (acv: water) and dabbed on the face it can regulate the pH level of your skin, helping to reduce scarring. Or you can make a face mask such as this one.

4) Immunity ACV is antiviral and helps your immune system. It is also able to help clean out your lymph nodes. (1-2 tsp in a glass of water).

5) Reduce Bad Breath If you have bad breath it can be used to help treat this. Dilute ACV in warm water and gargle with it twice a day.

6) Reduce Cramping Drinking diluted ACV can help with increasing potassium levels throughout the body, which will reduce cramping in muscles. (1-2 tsp in a glass of water).

7) Soothe Sunburnt Skin If you have sunburnt skin pop some ACV into your bath water and soak your skin for 15-20 minutes to reduce the burning sensation.

8) Allergy-Friendly Household Cleaner Can be used as a household cleaner because it's antibacterial (one part vinegar and two parts water).

9) Liver Protection Apple Cider Vinegar helps protect liver and kidneys from dietary cholesterol, as found in this study.

10) Sooth a Sore Throat Half a tablespoon of ACV mixed with hot water and honey can help sooth a sore throat.

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Food

How Much Is Enough?

One thing I tend to notice is people saying they're eating "pretty healthy" but then their serving sizes are quite large. It's so easy to overeat and not even realise it, and if you are trying to lose weight eating more calories than your body needs is still going to eventually cause you to gain weight. The sizes that restaurants feed you is not a single serving! I've done up a little downloadable chart that has a bunch of pretty common foods and how much of them actually qualifies as a serving.

Click on the image below for it to open full resolution.

servingsizechart

How many of these should you eat per day? Vegetables: 5 servings Fruit: 2 servings Milk, yoghurt, cheese, nut milks: 2.5 servings (4 if you're over 50 years of age) Grains: 4-6 servings Meat, eggs, nuts, seeds: 2.5-3 servings Junk food (this includes alcohol too): 0-2 servings Servings can be higher for more active individuals.

Did any of the serving sizes surprise you? 

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Food

Where To Begin?

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 6.19.23 PM

Something that I've been asked a fair few times on my Instagram page is how to get started with a healthier lifestyle. For me, deciding to actually clean up my diet and live a more healthy lifestyle happened in a split second. If you're like me and that happens to you, run with that momentum!!! Seriously, just embrace it and do not look back! However I do understand that not everyone will have this miraculous moment early on in their journeys, and some may not get it at all, which will require just a little more effort in making the transition, taking it as a step by step process.

First off, do not expect to become some sort of god or goddess overnight, and don't have unrealistic expectations for what you can achieve. Perfection does not exist, and once you accept this the whole thing becomes a lot easier. If you are trying to get lean or lose weight or gain muscle etc, it is important that you do have relevant goals though, and that you actually write them down or print them out… just have them somewhere that is physically available for viewing, i.e. a note on your fridge or written on the front of a book you have to use a lot. For myself, I don't know what I can transform my body into, because it's already changed more than I expected it to - so an inspirational photo won't help me because I will just end up comparing myself to it and I don't believe that's a mentally-healthy way to approach things, and I don't want to motivate myself by looking at old photos as a 'warning' to not slip off track because these changes have been for the positive. So I have a note for myself which says, "EAT METICULOUS. TRAIN RIDICULOUS" to remind me of what I want to focus on. If you are just beginning, it's fantastic to set a date for your goals too, this makes them measurable, e.g. "I will lose 3% body fat in a month". If you just want to live healthier and aren't too fussed on any particular physical goal, just find a way to remind yourself to eat healthy when you first begin.

Now lets talk about your mindset. If you worked really hard at your job, managed to climb your way up to the top and start making a huge amount of money and bought yourself a new Lamborghini, are you going to just put sub-par fuel in that thing, or are you going to actually treat it well and only put the high quality stuff in… pretty easy answer, right? I find it helps to think about food in this sort of way, it's literally a fuel for your body to run, that does NOT mean it has to be boring though, there are so many delicious things you can make, you just have to do some trial and error. The human body is absolutely incredible, so it deserves to be looked after. Having a variety of high quality macro and micronutrients in your diet is going to help you reach your physical best, make your skin great, increase cognitive function and elevate and even out your mood. Snacking on a bag of Doritos in the afternoon and grabbing some takeout for dinner on your way home from work is probably not going to do all that for you. When you are going to eat something take a step back and think, "How is this helping my body at a chemical level?" it will help you re-evaluate what you are about to eat. For example, blueberries: very high in antioxidants and contain vitamins A, B, C, E and zinc, just to mention a few. Lentils: high in protein, contain soluble fibre which will lower cholesterol levels and are also packed full of complex carbohydrates which will help increase your energy levels (it definitely does not have to be that specific).

Ready to make the change?

1. Clean all the rubbish food out of your cupboards and fridge, it's time for a fresh start… pun not intended haha.

2. Figure out your goals and write them down, draw them, collage them or pay a goddamn artist to paint a mural for you, just get it visible in your day-to-day life. Start to supplement in healthy foods which you enjoy, and try new things, you'll never know if you like it until you try it.

3. Commit to making the change to healthy eating, you can have 2 "bad meals" per week, or 1 for quicker results (going overboard in your cheat meal is not going to help you, I usually like to just get a nice veggie burger or sushi for mine, but I am trying to be pretty strict with my food nowadays).

4. Meal prep is key. Eating every couple of hours will help you too. A general amount of meals during a day for me is breakfast > snack > lunch > snack > dinner. Write down a list of meals and snacks that you will eat during the week. I like to cook up a batch of foods and I've learnt not to get bored of them. I will eat the same lunch 3 days in a row, and and the same dinner 3 days in a row, then switch it up.

5. While you're at it, plan your workouts. If you have never really exercised consistently before, commit to doing at least 4 half hour workouts a week, you can always build it up from there, and remember resistance is just as important, if not more important, than cardio.

6. Go shopping and only purchase what is on your list, try to mainly stick to the refrigerated and fresh produce sections. By minimising the amount of time you have to spend in the general aisles you're going to reduce temptations to put naughty things in your shopping trolley!

7. Don't torture yourself if you slip up, just tell yourself you'll do better, relax, and get back to your original plan.

8. Drink lots of water!!! 1L per 30kg of body weight is the recommended amount, more if you exercise, and more if you live in a warmer climate. This will be pretty difficult to adapt to at first, it makes it easier if you tell yourself how many millilitres (or bottles) you need to have had by certain times of the day. Personally I find myself drinking around 4L on a regular day now because the weather is heating up, I could probably rave on about the benefits for a week if someone let me.

 

I'm interested to know how other people found their motivation, did it happen in a split second or did you have to have patience and make small changes?

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