WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS…

Make Spa Water

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One of natures bounty that just keeps on a givin’, the lemon is a hybrid of the Citron and the Mandarin, and although it can be traced back to before Ancient Rome, the lemon is believed to have first been cultivated in Genoa, Italy during the middle part of the 15th century. As well, some research suggests rather, that it was Central India.

Benefits


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Lemons have long been thought medicinal. The 1st Century Roman naturalist and philosopher, Pliny the Elder refers to them in his work, “Natural History” as malum medicum, or “medicinal fruit.” They are extremely high in vitamin C, important to the immune system, digestive system, and skin. The website OrganicFacts.net  lists 15 benefits ranging from helping treat kidney stones to respitory infections.

Flava Flav


Lemons contain flavonoids.

  • Flavonoid – a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables.

What does this mean for you? It means that these are good for you. Some fruits and vegetables have more than others, but adding more can only help.

Plus, on a sweltering summer day, a zesty finish to your meal  and some spa water tastes oh, so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT pt I

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Exercise alone isn’t enough to shed fat and build muscle. There is an unofficial official rule (yes, another rule to follow in the world) throughout the fitness industry called, “the 80/20 rule.”

But more on that in a bit.

The foods we eat say a lot about who we are. Our cultures, lifestyles, tastes and habits. Food is a basic necessity of life. Here, in the United States we have influences from all around the world. We’re lucky like that.

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food” – George Bernard Shaw

COUNTING MACROS


What is a macronutrient?

mac • ro • nu • tri • ent

  • a substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms, in particular.
  • a type of food (i.e. fat, protein, carbohydrates) required in large amounts in the human diet.

PROTEIN


Protein is considered the main building block for muscle, bones, skin, tissue and most everything in the body. After consuming it, the body breaks it down into amino acids which fuel all the aforementioned, as well the immune system. The more you put in the more the body has to work with.

HOW MUCH


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That depends on your size and your goals. In the definition above it states, “in large amounts.” However, to simply things, the general rule accepted is to aim for one (1) gram of protein per pound of body weight.

Sound like a lot? It is. Can it be done? You bet.

Highlighted below are bonafide protein sources garanteed to boost your efforts….twofold. Some are tried and true, some are on the “say what” side of the list. “Abs are made in the kitchen” they say, so get your whisks and your measuring spoons out. It’s time to protein up.

The Skinny

Eggs – Why? Eggs are considered the perfect protein source. One medium to large egg contains 4 – 6 high quality grams. Harb boiled, scrambled, or over easy, they are budget friendly and extremely versatile.

– The french eat have a penchant for eating omlettes at dinner with a little fines herbes. Tres chic! 

Turkey – Gobble Gobble. Lean, lean, and ever so lean, turkey continues to be near the top of the list.

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Fuggedabout the Thanksgiving trimmings you normally have with it, (like green bean casserole) turkey is lower in fat than the other meats and, as of this writing, remains relatively inexpensive.

Chicken – Boneless/skinless or a beautifully roasted breast, chicken can be prepared so many different ways how could anyone get bored with it. Like the jingle says, “We’re having chicken tonight, yes chicken tonight.” 

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One large chicken breast has close to 22 grams of protein.

Peanut Butter – Creamy or chunky, PB is an excellent source and couldn’t be easier to consume for those who don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen. You just stick the spoon in and voila!

– A St. Louis businessman named George Bayle first sold peanut butter as a snack in 1894. 

Chocolate Milk – Yup. But go for low-fat. Chocolate milk helps to replenish glycogen stores directly after a hard workout. It has been said it especially good for the ladies. There you go.

Cottage Cheese – A bodybuilders staple, cottage cheese is full of casein, a slow digesting protein, which makes it good to eat before a fasted period like sleeping. With high amounts in a typical serving, cottage cheese is affordable and goes well with a ton of stuff. (Like fruit)

The Takeaway

Slamming stacks and pumping iron is the first step. However, if you want to make all those sessions really pay off and pack on the muscles, pack the shopping cart with the fuel your body needs.

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Email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

 

 

 

IIFIYM and why it probably won’t work for you

EATING HEALTHY


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WHAT EXACTLY IS A FAD?

First, what ever happened to a simple cheat meal? The concept being, that after staying on track, eating wise and healthy for a specific amount of time, we reward ourselves with the meal of our choice. Guilt free. Your inner self thanking you, you revel in high caloric deliciousness, and your metabolism possibly getting a little jump start as well.

fad   noun

  • an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.

IIFIYM


The acronym gone Instafamous, If It Fits In Your Macros, i.e. “flexible dieting”, has gone viral and taken the industry by storm, and not without it’s controversies. This one, in my opinion, has asked for it. The concept behind it seems simple enough. Stay within your “count” and you can be “flexible” and eat what you want, on a regular basis.

Yeah, no.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO, HMMMM

Pizza once in awhile is probably not going to cause you a lot of problems. Keep trying to justify eating it on a regular basis because 2 slices “fits in your macros” will probably lead to some issues, though. By the way, who says restaurants and companies are telling the truth on all that serving info? There are such things as “empty calories”. Unless you cooked the food yourself, fully aware of exactly what went into it, how does one know the truth?

We don’t.

“The only way to get the fat off is to eat less and exercise more” – Jack Lalanne

The man lived to be 96. Personally, I believe he was doing something right. Second, to be clear my favorite cheat meal happens to be onion rings. I love them dipped in everything from honey mustard to ranch. However, knowing that a typical serving has anywhere from 15 – 18 grams of fat, in roughly 6 – 9 pieces, do I just figure this into my daily count and eat them whenever I want?

No.

Fried food clogs arteries and contributes to a whole host of health problems. All of this leads me to my main point. Eating clean means different things to different people. To the majority of us it simply means consuming more fresh, relatively additive and preservetive free foods that are proven to be good for us. And full of flavor!

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Diets and fads come and go, but one thing remains the same, we have to watch what we eat and exercise more.

As with starting any new diet or exercise regimen I would suggest first consulting a physician.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Weight Loss


 

Calorie

  • a unit of energy

 

Fat is stored as energy. A person looking to burn fat must increase their energy output. i.e. exercise, to burn off more calories than they’ve taken in.

I tend to prefer most things in layman’s terms. Lounging on the futon scrolling through meme’s doesn’t count as burning calories. According to The American Council on Exercise acefitness.org  one (1) pound of fat eaquals 3,500 calories.

Burn baby, burn

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Our Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR is the amount of energy, (calories) required just to function at rest, day to day.

“The only way to get the fat off is to eat less and exercise more” – Jack Lalanne

Healthy, and realistic weightloss is a pound to a pound and a half a week. Depending on a persons daily activity, this can be achieved quite succesfully with the right workout routines.

To get started on counting calories first, become familiar with two (2) things:

  • Maintenance
  • Weight Loss

My suggestions 

To find what your current maintenance level would be, multiply your current weight x 12. For example, a 185lb person x 12 would have a calorie maintenance level of 2,220 per day. This is your base to work from.

You can then subtract your daily count for losing weight, or add calories to gain mass, i.e. size. However, right now we’re not “bulking”. (More on that later)

Getting in the habit of reading labels helped me get a solid understanding of counting my daily intake.

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Granted these labels are typically based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, again it is a base in which to work from.

Now, time to start counting.

 

 

 

 

 

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

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SALAD DRESSING

Back in my days of working in restaurants I remember numerous tableside interactions that went something like this:

Me: Did you need more time, or have you decided?

Guest:  Yes, I’m having the house salad. And can you please have them leave off the croutons. I’m really watching what I’m eating.

Me: Of course, and what dressing would you like?

Guest: Buttermilk Ranch!

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So you’ve made up your mind to start eating better. More salads you’ve decided. So you arrange the perfectly washed bed of crisp greens. The plump, juicy tomatoes. You’ve put your chef hat on and found the right flavor profile with pears, red onions, and dried cherries.

Why smother all that deliciousness?

The origins of what we know as a salad can be traced back centuries. The word Sal, latin for salt, which led to salata, or “salted things”. The Greeks used vinegar on vegetables as well. Americans came to know salads around the turn of the century and over time ways to flavor them have swelled to that of entire aisles of shelves. I believe all the years of serving soaked, overly dressed salads encouraged me to change the way I eat, and even view the salad course itself.

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ON THE SIDE

Every once in awhile I do like a bottled dressing. Just to put it out there, my favorite is Catalina. Really. On the day-to-day though, I’ve come to only prefer to dress the ingredients in oil, a little salt & pepper and some  vinegar.

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That’s a base to add upon. Some days it’s a little mustard. Crushed garlic on others. Olive oil is considered the good fats, the monounsaturated fats, or MUFA’s. 

Below are some of my recommendations to keep on hand for some serious salad envy.

  • Olive Oil – A good quality. I don’t believe in breaking the bank, but neither going bargain basement either.
  • Balsamic Vinegar – Keeping with the same logic as above, once you’ve come up with the right ratio together you’ll get a dressing people will want to sell for you. 👉Look for the color, it will be a very specific shade of brown.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – No you won’t catch a buzz, it doesn’t contain alcohol.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – While the benefits of this one are widely debated, my cabinet is never without it.
  • Dijon Mustard – When you have people over, this addition will take your dressing to restaurant level.

Lemon, lime, cilantro, you name it. Dress it up well and let the ingredients shine through.

For my All-Star recipe email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

EAT LIKE AN ANCIENT GREEK?

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“Now if you want an onion, just consider what great expense it takes to make it good; You must have cheese and honey, and sesame…to dress it up with; for by itself the onion is bitter and unpleasant to taste.” – 

Much can be told by the type of food one eats. Interestingly enough, onions were fed to Olympian athletes in large quantities. Believing they helped to cleanse their bodies, the ancient greeks in the gymnasiums treated them a sort of detox. Previously worshipped by the Egyptians as a symbol of eternity, the greeks also took to them for strength and soldiers rubbed them on their skin.

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MODERATION

The ancient Greeks had a saying that summed up their overall atittudes.

Meden Agan

“Nothing too much”.  It was inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Delphi, a sacred site a little over a hundered miles northwest of the Capital Athens, was considered the center of the world. If anyone practiced what they preached, surely it was here.

2500 years ago before supersize, this society ate straight from the land and sea. With fish, fruit, and copious amounts of olive oil, evidence shows they ate smaller meals throughout the day. Dinner being the most important. If you were of means, animal proteins were typically saved for special occasions. Although diluted wine was served at breakfast, wine was not meant for excess consumption.

“Though in reality old wine is not only more pleasant, but also better for health;…and being thinner it itself  more digestable;” – 3rd Century BCE poet Alexis

Studies are still out as to the true benefits of red wine, specifically for the heart, but dare we say it surely better than soft drinks? And in moderation, isn’t a fine, aged Cabernet oh so delicious?

Onions, now widely thought of to be an incredibly healthy food are high in antioxidents, or powerful free radical fighting agents.

More on onions

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More and more we try and “clean up” our diets. Rightfully so, too many foods today contain additives, preservatives, and large amounts of ingredients we cannot pronounce. While it can be very confusing keeping up with the newest “discoveries,” two principles remain clear and easy to understand;

  • Moderation
  • Fresh

The American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised & Updated 3rd Edition, states “Cutting back on fat or switching to healthier fats doesn’t need to be a huge change. Even small changes add up.”  Suggesting more seafood consumption, fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains as well, one can imagine perhaps a late Athenian afternoon, warm breezes off the Agean Sea blowing over a table of terra cotta pots full of freshly picked olives and hardboiled eggs. With honey to dip your cheese in, and lemon to squeeze over lightly seasoned fish. Finishing with a dessert of perfectly ripened and juicy figs, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to think twice about the content of our meals.

And just enjoy.

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For a free copy of my upcoming ebook on ancient greek fitness and diet subscribe by email!

 

 

 

Summer Staple

Nutrition


MEAL PREP IDEAS

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A cleaner version of a summer classic, this recipe substitutes plain, greek-style yogurt for mayonnaise, not only cutting fat tremendously, but adding more protein per serving. You can do half and half, or cut the mayo out all together. Strained to remove it’s whey, greek-style yogurt has a much higher protein content largely of casein.

👉 What you’ll need

  • 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Poached or baked. Shredded.

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👌 For a “Waldorf” style (my favorite) add honey and apples.

  • 1/4 cup plain, unflavored greek-style yogurt
  • Salt & pepper

Mix & chill.

👉 Suggestions

Drain yogurt before folding in. The salad will keep longer.

Add different ingredients to each days meal. Variety is a good thing.

Wait until eating to add seasoning.


Bon appetit!