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Post Workout Nutrition Part 2

As I described in the previous article I hope you are beginning to understand why your post workout nutrition is so important. In part 2 of this article I hope to make some clarifications so that you can ensure that you are being the most effective with your post workout nutrition.

I know I need carbs and proteins after a workout, but what about fats? Fats are a very important part of the diet and you should aim for a good mix of saturated and unsaturated fats throughout your day. However, after your workout we should avoid consuming fats in the diet. Eating fat after your workout may slow down the digestion and absorption of carbs and proteins. We should avoid fats during this time and incorporate them within the various other meals throughout our day.

How should I consume my carbs and protein after my work out? Preferably in liquid form. We are looking for the best way to have maximal absorption into the body. Food sources are another option, but we are delayed by the digestion process. The delivery to the muscles is just too slow. Choose a liquid source if you can such as 1 part Gatorade, juice, or other simple carbohydrate liquid, followed by 1 part whey protein isolate. Mix and you have yourself a solid post workout shake.

How soon after my workout should I consume my post workout nutrition? As soon as possible. Studies show that consuming immediately is superior to consuming 1 hour after. Also, consuming one hour after is superior to 3 hours after. There is a short window of time where your body is primed to accept these nutrients. Some studies even show that you should start consuming your nutrition during or before the end of your workout so that you don’t miss out on this important window where your body will utilize the nutrients in the most effective manner.

So what’s the bottom line? The bottom line is that if you are not taking advantage of the post workout nutrition benefits you are missing out on maximizing your health and fitness goals. Your goal with any fitness program should be to maximize your results in the time you have allotted. Remember that the workout is just the physical stimulus designed to break down your muscle for repair. If you do not provide the necessary materials for the muscle to repair itself after your workouts then you are doing yourself a disservice.

I hope you enjoyed this 2 part series on post workout nutrition.

If you have any questions feel free to email Michael our Nutritionist and BodyAware Specialist at Michael@thebodyholiday.com or book a consultation with him when you are with us.

Post Workout Nutrition

It really amazes me how many people put in the hard work at the gym and then totally neglect the post workout nutrition window. If you don’t know by now, it’s your nutrition and recovery time that yield the results you desire. The exercise itself is just the physical stimulus. So my hope in this short article series is to help you understand the importance of post workout nutrition so that you can be more efficient in achieving your fitness goals.

Let’s dig in and see why your post workout nutrition is so important.

Whenever you perform a vigorous workout or exercise session your body uses muscle carbohydrate stores and proceeds to break down protein structures. The body then signals that it needs to rebuild. This is obviously a simplified explanation but it helps you get the picture. If you are not providing any carbs or protein after your workout how can the body rebuild? The answer is it can’t. It’s like expecting a builder to remodel a home with no materials or bricks. Neglecting the post workout nutrition window will never let you to reach your peak performance or full muscular potential.

Everyone should focus on post workout nutrition because all exercise uses carbohydrates as energy. So how many carbs should I consume post workout? Great question, here is a breakdown depending on your bodyweight.

Research recommends that a carbohydrate intake of 0.8 to 1.2 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight.

To be honest I think the 1.2 might be a little high, and realize that excess carbohydrate will be stored as body fat. So unless you are doing a very intense training session I would stick with closer to the 0.8. So for a 200 pound person that would mean around 72 grams of carbs.

Now that we have addressed the carbohydrate portion we can’t forget about the proteins, which are the building blocks to muscle.

Researchers have recommended anywhere from 0.2g – 0.4g of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight. Which means that same 200 pound person should aim for around 18 – 36 grams of protein.

My personal recommendation based on years of experience and working with many clients is to keep the carbohydrate portion a little more modest and the protein intake towards the upper level. So if I was working with this 200 pound individual (depending on how well they handle carbohydrates), I would recommend their post workout nutrition to consist of around 50 grams of carbohydrate and 40-50 grams of protein.

Stay tuned for the next part of this series where I will discuss the best way to ingest your post workout nutrients, different carb and protein sources, how soon after your workout you should consume carbs and proteins, as well as address the question of using fats after your training sessions.

For more personalised life changing advice when you are with us see Michael, our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant.

Is the Gluten Free Movement a Fad or Should I Be Concerned?

It’s seems like everywhere you turn these days the new buzz in the health and fitness industry is eating a diet that’s gluten free. What does that mean and should you be concerned? Let’s start with exactly what gluten is. Gluten is a large water soluble protein that creates the elasticity in dough. You will find it in grains such as oats, barley, rye, and wheat. In addition to the grains that are listed it may also be an additive to many other food products which can include candy.

There are two distinctions we need to clarify when it comes to gluten. Some people may be gluten intolerant and others may have something called Celiac Disease. Let’s take a look at what happens with a person who has gluten intolerance and then we will examine someone with Celiac Disease.

When a person with a gluten intolerance eats or drinks something with gluten, the body initiates a type of allergic reaction which usually results in some form of inflammation. Some of the symptoms may include joint pain, fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, and acid reflux. One important thing to be aware of is that some people with a gluten intolerance may be asymptomatic for many years of their life, and may not have had an issue eating foods with gluten until they’re in their 30’s or 40’s.

As we look at someone with Celiac Disease they are in a more serious position. Celiac Disease causes intestinal atrophy which can decrease the area for nutrient absorption. Many times this goes unnoticed until the person becomes malnourished and experiences frequent stomach pain, bloating, or diarrhea. As with someone who has a gluten intolerance, the symptoms are very similar but realize they are two separate conditions.

So if you have experienced some of these symptoms do you have a gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease? Maybe, but here is a simple non-invasive test that you can perform on yourself to give you a better answer.

It’s very simple, just stop consuming gluten for 4-6 weeks and see how you feel. If you reintroduce gluten back into your diet after the 4-6 weeks and you face some of the same irritating conditions you faced previously then you may have an issue with gluten. Consult your physician about this and inform him/her of the gluten free nutrition plan you have followed to experiment if you have an issue with gluten. He/she can then recommend further testing.

To learn more about gluten free options see  Michael, our resident Nutritionist for a personalized nutrition consultation when you are with us.

Seven Ways to Lose Weight

Recent research shows that we are not victims of our genetics. The fact that your genetic makeup may predispose your body to put on excess weight does not mean you’re destined to be obese. We are not slaves to our genes!

Your habits alter the genetic expression of your genes.

There is no “quick fix” solution – those who lose weight and keep it off maintain a healthy lifestyle and form permanent habits of staying active and eating healthily.

Once you’ve been obese, you will not be able to return to the amount of calories that a normal person of your size should eat unless you’re particularly active. This is particularly true of childhood obesity, which changes your genetic predisposition.

Who wants to look and feel great, live longer healthier, and thrive?

 7 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

1. Start a resistance-training program.

Growth hormone is boosted via intensely exercising fast-twitch muscles for brief periods of 10 – 30 seconds. Cardio, aerobics and even many strength-training exercises do not increase growth hormone, thus minimizing their efficacy for weight-loss. For growth hormone to be activated, you need to work out intensely, and sweat profusely.

2. Focus on your digestion.

I suggest Chi Nei Tsang or Abdominal Massage as the best way to stimulate weight loss outside of what you eat. This is because it stimulates detoxification and addresses the underlying emotional stress that is causing the issue.

3. Improve the quality of the food you eat.

It’s not as simple as just calories in/calories out. It’s the quality of calories that counts. I teach 3 really simple principles to get this right: Organic, Raw and Alkaline.

4. Avoid bad fats and get plenty of good fats.

It’s important to develop an understanding of good fats versus bad fats. Good fats are found in Paleolithic sources like raw nuts, organic greens, wild animals, wild fish (not farmed) and seeds (hemp and flax seed are my favorites).

5. Avoid sugar

Sugar addiction is another thing that can easily lead to yo-yo dieting, so avoid sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, and other hidden sugars.

Instead of sugar-laden, over-processed hot chocolate, invest in cocoa – available in your nearest health store – an amazing food source of muscle-relaxing magnesium and antioxidants for muscle recovery.

6.  Keep your immune system in great health.

The two primary culprits I come across for suppressed immune function, are fatigue and stress. Get plenty of rest and relaxation, and listen to your body. If you’re going to use supplements, Maca is my number one superfood.

7. Keep meal portions small especially if they’re cooked.

If you do eat cooked food, eat it with raw food – as cooked food alone leads to a reactive immune response. Combining raw and cooked is the solution. Keep your blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day via regular nutrient-rich snacks and meals. My favorites are raw nuts and berries, especially delicious with a dab of organic yogurt.

I hope these simple tips will help get you on the path to better health and feeling better about yourself.

To kickstart your digestion and weight-loss journey, see David, our Visiting Naturopath for a  Maya Abdominal Chi Massage  and other specialised treatments  when you join us.

Top Tips for Healthy Shopping

When you’re trying to lose weight or improve your health a seemingly harmless trip to the supermarket can actually throw you off course, you know what I’m talking about; the eye catching packages on processed foods, buy one get one free offers that you simply can’t leave on the shelf and don’t even get me started on the cartoon characters on products targeted at children.

A supermarket trip shouldn’t be a battle between will power and marketing, you can get around the store and leave with only what you intended to buy and keep your healthy lifestyle on track, just follow these simple tips and take the headache out of your weekly shop.

  • Make a list before you leave the house, failing to prepare is preparing to fail! You are more likely to just go in, get want you want and by pass any unwanted shelves if you are following a list and stick to only what is on it!
  • Know your store! In most supermarkets the fresh produce, meat and dairy is around the outside of the store, so stay there, don’t get stuck on the inside isles where the more processed foods are. If you use your list and know where to find things, you shouldn’t find yourself straying from isle to isle, where you may be tempted.
  • Know your products! It is all well and good having a list and getting to the correct isle, but it could all go out the window when you are stood in front of a shelf with several brands or varieties of goods. Do your research beforehand and check the ingredients lists/labels of your products so you know exactly which one to pick up, the time you spend doing the research will make your shopping trip more efficient and your waistline will thank you for it!
  • Don’t shop hungry! You’ve probably already heard this one but I really think it works, if you are hungry you are more likely to reach for the sugary snacks that you may not normally eat, or you could be setting yourself up to over indulge on the car journey home!
  • Distract yourself! This is something I find very useful, take music, an audio book or listen to a pod cast while you shop this should stop any flashy marketing tactics catching your eye, especially useful when waiting at the checkout where there is usually a stand of chocolate bars waiting for you to cave in!
  • Shop online! You can’t add unwanted things to your shopping basket if you can’t see them! This is my number one tip for those that can’t find time to exercise, do your grocery shopping online and spend that time working out instead, double bonus!

Hopefully these easy tips will not only help you stay on track when at the supermarket but may also save you some time too, its precious after all.

Take the hassle out of researching your products and see Rachel, our resident Nutritionist for a personalized nutrition consultation when you are with us.

What if the Sun Doesn’t Shine?

While I’m sat here in my office overlooking Cariblue Beach, it has suddenly dawned on me the importance of sunshine in optimal health and wellbeing. I’m sure we can all agree that it certainly lifts the spirits; everyone seems in a much better mood when the sun is shining. But what role does it play in keeping our bodies healthy?

Over the past couple of years there has been a huge increase in studies looking at Vitamin D after research showed a rise in deficiency. The major source of natural vitamin D is the sun, so with a lack of sunshine due to long harsh winters, the modern  “office job” lifestyle limiting our time outdoors and the use of high factor sun screens, the skins ability to make vitamin D is drastically reduced. What does this mean in relation to our health?

Its commonly know that vitamin D is important for bone health, but this further research has shown that in fact vitamin D is a micronutrient essential to human survival, playing a role in proper immune function and reducing the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

So what can you do if your only time in the sun is your annual vacation?

  • Firstly try and get outside when you can! I see it on a daily basis people walking on treadmills and doing exercises in the gym that really can be done outdoors, even plan to get off the tube one stop earlier and walk the rest of your commute when the sun is shining (however limited the summer months are!!).
  • Include fatty fish in your diet! It’s a source of vitamin D plus you’ll get the additional benefits of the omega 3 content for heart health and glowing skin!
  • Referring back to my eggs-cellent blog! Eat the yolks not just egg white, that’s where the vitamin D is!
  • Take a supplement! Vitamin D supplementation has shown to bring a range of health benefits, but get your levels tested with your GP first.

And of course, come and visit us here at the bodyholiday more often, we’ve got the sunshine all year around!!

For more personalised life changing advice when you are with us see Rachel, our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant.

The Truth about your Cup of Joe!

So why is it that people feel the need to whisper or apologize to me about the fact that they drink a cup of coffee in the morning? I’m the first to put my hand up and say there is nothing better than the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the morning and I can even tell you the best coffee houses in every city I’ve ever visited. So here it is the reasons why you don’t need to hide your cup of Joe from me the next time I’m walking by.

  • Coffee is a source of powerful antioxidants which can lower your risk of illness and disease including heart disease.
  • The antioxidants can raise HDL cholesterol a.k.a the” good” cholesterol which improves total cholesterol.
  • Its caffeine content can enhance the body’s use of fat for fuel
  • Coffee can enhance your performance if drunk before a workout or training session

BUT as with everything you shouldn’t abuse coffee, it is a stimulant and increases stress hormones so if you are a highly stressed person coffee might not be the right choice for you, it may also affect your sleep patterns if you drink it later in the day, so try not to use it as an afternoon pick me up, err on the side of caution and don’t drink it past 1pm. Finally the quality of your coffee has a huge impact on its health benefits, where you can always buy fair trade, organic and if you can brew it fresh, commercially produced or instant coffee is usually high in chemicals and as you know by now I’m all about reducing the chemicals in your diet to assist the body’s natural detoxing system.

So enjoy your morning brew and see Rachel, our resident nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant, for more personalised life changing advice when you are with us!

ACV what’s all the fuss about?

What springs to mind when I say vinegar? Goes great with salt on my fish and chips possibly? Or great for cleaning the bathroom mirror with yesterday’s newspaper, well not any more, now you can say great for my health. That’s right apple cider vinegar, which has long been used in home remedies, has been shown in recent studies to help with high cholesterol, diabetes and even some cancers.

I’m not going to lie to you, it’s pretty strong tasting stuff so if you are new to ACV I wouldn’t recommend trying to drink it in water straight away as many cleanses suggest. You could start incorporating it into a simple salad dressing, soup or juice to ease you into the flavour, just remember ACV can be harsh on your tooth enamel so never drink it undiluted and use a straw where you can.

However you decide to use it, it’s well worth it for some of these amazing health benefits.

  • Help prevent indigestion
  • Aid detoxification
  • Promote weight loss
  • Stabalise blood sugar levels
  • Alleviate skin problems
  • Keep hair healthy , soft and shiny
  • Combat bacterial infections- clear your stuffy nose or upset stomach!!

The top benefit of ACV: it’s inexpensive and you can usually pick it up in the vinegar isle at your local grocery store so no hassle of hunting it down in health food stores. You want to check the label and look for raw, unfiltered with the “mother of vinegar” to ensure it is unheated and unpasteurized. If you are worried about the high acid content affecting your throat, stomach or any other medical condition you may have, you can always check with your doctor, otherwise try it out and as always let us know what you think and how you feel!

See Rachel, our resident nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant, for more life changing advice when you are with us!

An Egg-cellent Idea!!

Hands up if you don’t eat eggs, and certainly not the yolk? You are not alone, people are always amazed when I tell them that eggs are a health boosting food that they should be including in their diet and that they are missing out on a whole lot of nutrients by opting for an egg white omelet at breakfast.  Let’s take a look at the nutritional benefits of the mighty (whole!) egg:

  • A whopping 6 grams of high quality protein per egg, an essential component of the diet that helps the body repair muscle, grow tissue, maintain skin, hair and nails, regulate hormones, control metabolism and defend against illness.
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids essential for brain health, reducing inflammation in the body and boosting heart health.
  • Eggs are a source of all the B vitamins that collectively play a role in the release of energy from foods, improve the body’s ability to withstand stressful conditions, produce hormones, form DNA, maintain normal functioning of the nervous system and improve circulation.
  • An excellent source of selenium that acts as an antioxidant to fight free radicals in the body that can cause premature aging, illness and disease. Selenium also reduces inflammation, supports the immune system and protects the heart.
  • Can aid weight management due to their high quality protein content that helps you stay fuller for longer while keeping you energized throughout the day.

So how many of you are reading this but thinking what about cholesterol? And quite rightly so, for years you’ve heard the bad reputation that eggs have been given, deeply scrutinized for raising blood cholesterol levels and contributing to heart disease.

Well worry no more my egg loving friends, scientists have now shown that the cholesterol in food and the cholesterol in blood aren’t as directly related as was once thought. A study in the University of Arizona by Dr. Wanda Howell and colleagues reveled people on a low saturated fat diet can eat up to 2 eggs per day without showing signs of their blood cholesterol raising.

There we go, several reasons for you to throw out the sugar-loaded breakfast cereals, break out of your shell, come on over to the sunny side and get eggs-cited about breakfast time again!!!

The Best Pre Workout Snacks

When it comes to kicking butt in your workout, what you eat before plays a vital role, eating too much too close can leave you at risk of feeling uncomfortably bloated but going in hungry won’t allow you to give it all you’ve got! Ideally you should look to consume a small amount of carbohydrates, protein and fats one and a half to two hours before your workout, with water to ensure hydration, to give you energy, power and strength. Check out these mouth- watering snacks that will set you up for a successful workout.

  • Smoothies: Smoothies are a great pre workout snack as they are easy to digest and allow you to fill up on nutrient dense ingredients; my personal favourite is almond milk, half a banana, handful of strawberries and a handful of spinach.
  • Nut Butters: Whether you chose almond, peanut or cashew, nut butters provide protein, fibre and a host of vitamins and minerals to support a healthy body and mind. Try spreading your nut butter of choice on slices of apple for a slow releasing nutrient dense snack before you hit the gym, particularly good as a small snack 30 minutes before a workout first thing in the morning.
  • Greek Yogurt: Pair the yogurt with a chopped banana and a sprinkle of chia seeds for a super food snack fit for any Adonis or Greek Goddess!

There are also things you should look to avoid before you work out that could really cause an upset stomach which could sabotage your workout or worse still force you to throw in the towel in the middle of your session. Stay away from anything you know causes digestive problems for you, any unfamiliar foods, high fibre foods and refined carbohydrates or sugary snacks that may cause a blood glucose drop during your workout.

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