Tag: nutritional selection

Trick or Treating is for Our Kids Right?!

During the Halloween season we either have our own kids to take trick or treating or will have kids knocking at our doors dressed is scary costumes. This usually means our kids coming home with pillow cases full of candy and/or stocking up on candy to hand out to the cute little goblins. Inevitably this leads to us trying out our favorite candies because of their smaller size we do not worry too much about the calories (even if you eat 20) and their high saturated fats; there is so much around at this time of year that it is hard to avoid. Here are some Halloween candy tips to get you through our sweetest holiday without gaining any weight:

  • Don’t have the candy bowl in sight, if we can see it, our mouth usually wants to eat it.
  • Eat properly before you indulge, don’t come home from work and snack on candy because it’s there, do make a healthy snack first.
  • Purchase candies that you don’t like, that way if temptation sneaks up on us, there is no reason to indulge. These usually include gummy textured candies and sour candies.
  • Buy hard candies such as suckers, its takes more time to eat one and are usually lower in calories.
  • If you must indulge, look for old fashion candies which are usually made of cane sugar and not high fructose corn syrup.
  • If you must have your chocolate, take a look at the list below and choose ahead of time the one that you want to burn off the extra calories at the gym later (so choose the one with the lowest calories).

Here are the calories for some Halloween candies:

  • Butterfinger – Fun Size 1 bar= 100 calories
  • Hershey Chocolate Bar – Fun Size 1 bar=90 calories/ 5grams of fat
  • M&M’s – Fun Pack 1 bags=90 calories
  • Milky Way – 1 snack size bar = 90 calories
  • Almond Joy – 1 snack size bar = 90 calories
  • Snicker’s – Fun Size 1 bars=80 calories
  • Reese’s Cup – 1 cup=80 calories
  • Twix – Fun Size 1 bar= 80 calories
  • Milky Way – Fun Size 1 bars=75 calories
  • York Peppermint Pattie – 1 pattie=70 calories
  • Nestle’s Crunch – Fun Size 1 bars=70 calories
  • Tootsie Pop – 1 pop = 60 calories
  • SweetTarts – 1 treat size pkg. = 50 calories
  • Kit Kat – Fun Size 1 bars=50 calories
  • Twizzlers – 1 treat size pkg= 45 calories
  • Peanut M&M’s – Fun Pack 1 bags=40 calories
  • Milk Duds – 1 treat size box = 40 calories
  • Tootsie Roll – 1 small roll = 13 calories

LIQUID CALORIES…What’s Your Intake?

By Alison Wilson, Wellness Director/Nutritionist
Seattle Athletic Club Downtown

Over the last 37 years the total daily intake of calories from beverages increased 94%, now amounting to an additional 222 calories per day. Note that in one year, just one daily 12-ounce soda can increase your weight by 16 pounds!





Tips for reducing intake of high calorie beverages
When keeping track of calories don’t forget that everything you eat and drink counts!

When watching your calories water is always the best option. It has zero calories and will keep you hydrated!

A plain cup of coffee contains only a few calories, so consider this when drinking youdaily cup of joe:

  • 1 tablespoon of cream adds more than 50 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar adds nearly 50 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of fat-free milk, on the other hand, adds only 5 calories
  • 100% fruit juices and low-fat milk are good high calorie beverages since they supply other nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.

Nutrition 101

What is a Calorie?
Calories are not something to be avoided! They are simply a measurement of the amount of energy stored in food. We mainly consume calories in the form of macronutrients, which are also known as carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Each macronutrient has a different caloric density.

What is a Macronutrient?
The 3 main macronuteints we consume are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. They provide your body with its structure and the biological fuel necessary to live!

• Carbohydrates are our primary source of fuel. They are stored in our muscles and liver for ready and available energy. (See Focus on Carbohydrates for more information)

• Proteins make up the bulk of our structure. They are used for building muscle, bone and enzymes. Proteins make up 17% of our body weight! (See Focus on Protein for more information)

• Fats provide energy during endurance exercise and between meals. They also insulate your body and protect your bones and organs. Unsaturated fats decrease the risk of heart disease and can assist in growth development and brain function (omega-3). (See Focus on Fats for more information)

Where does Fiber fit in?
Fiber, though not a macronutrient, causes you to stay full longer, lowers blood cholesterol, decreases heart disease and type-2 diabetes, and maintains a healthy digestive system. The recommended daily intake is 38g for males and 25g for females. (See Focus on Fiber for more information)

What is a Micronutrient?
Micronutrients are substances we only need in small amounts, but without them our bodies cannot function. Vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, and calcium are among the many micronutrients that enable our bodies to produce enzymes and hormones necessary for growth and development.

What is Caloric Density?
Caloric Density refers to the amount of calories packed into 1 gram of a macronutrient. Here is the calorie breakdown of 1 gram of carbohydrate, protein, and fat:
• Carbohydrate – 4 calories / 1 gram
• Protein – 4 calories / 1 gram
• Fat – 9 calories / 1 gram

For example, a piece of whole wheat bread has 13g of carbohydrates, 3g of protein, and 1g of fat. This piece of bread amounts to 73 calories. Here’s how we got it: [(13g carbohydrates x 4kcal) + (3g protein x 4kcal) + (1g fat x 9kcal) = 73kcals]

How do I divvy up my calories?
It is always up for debate what percentage of calories should come from each major macronutrient. Percentages can vary according to level and intensity of physical activity. Here is a general guideline for how to break up your calories into carbohydrates, protein, and fat:

• 45-65% of calories should come from carbohydrates (No more than 25% coming from added sugars)
• 15-25% of calories should come from protein
• 30% of calories should come from fat (Saturated fats: 10% of total calories)

Exercise does not erase unhealthy dietary choices.

Exercise is not a diet eraser! I often hear those who frequent the gym lamenting that they are working hard to undo some unhealthful choices from the weekend, or prepare for some upcoming unhealthful choices. These comments make funny jokes, but they are representative of a misunderstanding of the aggregate impact of our daily lifestyle choices and behaviors on our overall health.

It is important to remember that an increase in the amount of adipose tissue is not the only impact from making unhealthful dietary choices. Eating unhealthful things, sacrificing sleep, ignoring exercise, and participating in other dangerous activities may impact your overall health in many ways, and the choices that we make today carry weight throughout the rest of our days. Unfortunately, thirty extra minutes on the treadmill will not erase our choices from the night before. You cannot “balance out” unhealthful lifestyle choices by going to the gym. If you want to stay healthy you will need to take care of yourself on a regular basis, inside and outside of the gym.

Fiber Helps Keep You Moving and Living Longer!

We all know that fiber is good for you but a recent study of 400,000 people age 50-71 has found that fiber can help you live longer! The men who ate 29 grams of fiber a day and the women who ate 26 grams of fiber a day were 22% less likely to die after 9 years than those who ate less fiber. More and more we are finding out that inflammation contributes to chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The study found that fiber has anti-inflammatory properties.

So how can you eat a high fiber diet?
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are high in fiber but to get above 25 grams a day you really need to add some beans/lentils.
You would have to eat 5 cups of broccoli or over 7 cups of brown rice to reach 25 grams but you only need ~1 ½ cups of beans or lentils to get to 25 grams of fiber.

  1. You can add beans and or lentils to a salad, soup or vegetable dish.
  2. You can have a bean and rice burrito for breakfast or lunch.
  3. You can have hummus and veggies for snack.
  4. The following recipe for Meatless Chili is not only high in fiber but also low in calories.

Enjoy and live long and prosper!

Meatless Chili
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 can (16 ounces) chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cups cooked kidney beans, drained (reserve liquid)

Heat oil in a large saucepan; sauté garlic and onion until slightly brown. Sprinkle in chili powder and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes until a sauce is formed. Add reserve bean liquid if mixture becomes too dry.

Calories per serving: 160
Fiber per serving: 22 grams

Fiber in Foods
Fruits / Serving size / Total fiber (grams)
Pear, with skin / 1 medium / 5.1
Apple, with skin / 1 medium / 4.4

Grains, cereal & pasta / Serving size / Total fiber (grams)
Brown rice, cooked / 1 cup / 3.5

Legumes, nuts & seeds / Serving size / Total fiber (grams)
Split peas, cooked / 1 cup / 16.3
Lentils, cooked / 1 cup / 15.6
Black beans, cooked / 1 cup / 15.0
Kidney Beans / 1 cup / 18.0
Pinto Beans / 1 cup / 18.0
Sunflower seeds, hulled / 1/4 cup / 3.6
Pistachio nuts / 1 ounce / 2.9
Pecans / 1 ounce / 2.7

Vegetables / Serving size / Total fiber (grams)
Artichoke, cooked / 1 medium / 10.3
Broccoli, boiled / 1 cup / 5.1
Turnip greens, boiled / 1 cup / 5.0
Brussels sprouts, cooked / 1 cup / 4.1
Carrot, raw / 1 medium / 1.7

Keep a clear head, and a properly functioning body, by refraining from alcohol.

We are all familiar with the common effects that alcohol has on our body. Many people enjoy its sedating influence and it’s hard to deny that it does play a vital role in many of society’s traditions and practices. One effect alcohol has, which is not widely discussed, is its impact on body composition. In its purest form, supplies seven calories per gram, almost twice as many as proteins and carbohydrates, bumping up ones total energy balance whenever it is consumed. Although, unlike macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, alcohol supplies what nutritionists often refer to as empty calories: calories without nutrition. To make matters worse, it is the first fuel to be used when combined with carbohydrates, fats and proteins, postponing the fat-burning process and contributing to greater fat storage.

In general, alcohol consumption affects rational thought, emotions, mood, judgment, speech and muscle coordination. Alcohol is specifically detrimental to athletes and can inhibit recovery, protein synthesis, hydration, motivation, and nutrient intake. It interferes with many of the processes so important to success: focus, performance, recovery and rebuilding. Although alcohol is absorbed rapidly, it is metabolized very slowly and its effects may still impact performance up to 48 hours after the last drink.

As little as 2-3 standard drinks can directly:

  • Decrease strength, limiting workout intensity and muscle growth and development
  • Impair reaction time
  • Impair balance and hand/eye coordination
  • Increase fatigue
  • Interfere with body temperature regulation
  • Cause dehydration
  • Deplete aerobic capacity and negatively impact endurance for up to 48 hrs after the last drink
  • Impact cellular repair, lowers testosterone and increases estrogen
  • Impact fat oxidation, meaning fat burning stops all together. The Kreb cycle which normally involves burning fat will instead be burning the alcohol off to detoxify your body. So not only will you not be burning fat but you’ll be consuming extra calories which lead you to put on more fat
  • Impact cardiovascular system, raising blood pressure.
  • Disrupt sleep
  • Cause vitamin and mineral depletion
  • Impair digestion
  • Cause cognitive impairment and lessened inhibitions

As you can see a simple drink has far reaching consequences especially if you are attempting to improve your physique. Your performance in the gym and your recovery and nourishment from food are severely impacted. Try not to negate all of the discipline and hard work you devote to improving your health and reaching your goal. Keep a clear head, and a properly functioning body, by refraining from alcohol when looking to improve your physical fitness, or in other cases, at least be aware of the trade off you are making!

Kale & Apple Salad with Pancetta & Maple Roasted Pecans

Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 2 cups maple roasted pecans- recipe below
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons caper brine (from a jar of capers)
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large head radicchio, shredded
  • One 8-ounce bunch kale—stems discarded, leaves finely shredded
  • 3 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 2 ounces shaved pecorino cheese

In a skillet, heat the oil with the pancetta and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the pancetta is browned, 6 minutes. Strain the pan drippings into a large bowl; whisk in the vinegar, caper brine and maple syrup and season the dressing with salt and black pepper. Add the apples, radicchio, kale, chives, tarragon and pecorino and toss. Mound the salad on plates, garnish with the pecans and pancetta and serve.

MAPLE ROASTED PECANS

  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 pound pecans (3 ½ cups)
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper if desired

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 10” x 15” baking pan. Mix all ingredients and put onto pan in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes and stir. Bake 5 more minutes and stir again. Bake for about 5 more minutes or until all of the syrup has crystallized, being careful not to overcook as they will burn quickly after they are done.
Put roasted nuts on a clean lightly oiled pan to cool.

Adapted from FoodandWine.com

Losing Weight Safely

It is safe to say that a majority of our population today is looking to lose weight, but most are unsure of how to go about doing so. Whether it may be a few pounds or 30, most are striving to get to a place where they are comfortable, confident and healthy. Unfortunately, this leaves many turning to fad diets and/or extreme exercise measures to drop the pounds quick. While you may lose weight initially, you are actually doing yourself more harm than good. There is no supplement, no magical device and no “fad diet” to help you lose weight. The safest and best way is tried and true…through nutrition and caloric expenditure.

Many gym goers believe that weight loss is 80% what you do in the gym and 20% of what you put in your mouth. This is the first mistake many people make. If you would like to see any substantial change in your physique, nutrition is one of the most important factors to the equation. Getting your nutrition under control should be your top priority, followed by your daily exercise.

Weight loss is an equation, we burn a certain number of calories per day based on our metabolic rates. Calories come in through the fuel we feed ourselves and calories are expended either through exercise or everyday functions and daily living. The goal in this equation is to consistently make a big enough deficit in our caloric intake/output to then yield a lower number on your scale. Sound confusing? Well by numbers it is actually much easier than you think!

The first thing we need to find is your RMR* (resting metabolic rate) or how many calories your body burns in a day. You also have to determine what rate you would like to lose weight, I would recommend to achieve safe and permanent weight loss stick to .5-2lbs per week, meaning you need to create a deficit in calories through diet, exercise or both and consistently stick to that deficit.

So, since 1lb=3500 calories…

  • To lose .5lbs/wk you must make a deficit of 250 cals/day
  • To lose 1lb/wk you must make a deficit of 500 cals/day
  • To lose 2lbs/wk you must make a deficit of 1000 cals/day

Take and utilize the following example to jump start your own weight loss!
So let’s say I want to lose 2lbs per week and my RMR=2300 cals/day. I would need to make a 1000 calorie deficit per day in order to stay consistent with my weight loss. Cutting 1000 calories out of our diet would be a bold task, the safest way to make this deficit is to cut back on food intake while also supplementing with exercise.

On days that I exercise I will strive to burn at least 400 calories (which is equal to about 40 minutes of moderate intensity exercise) this will allow me to only have to cut 600 calories out of my diet.

After taking my RMR I have found that I expend approximately 2300 calories per day.
Our equation would look something like this…

  • RMR=2300 cals so to create a 1000 calorie deficit I must subtract 400 cals(from exercise)-600 cals(through diet) to equal 1000 calories expended.
  • So now that we have our deficit we can determine how many calories we should eat per day. We do this by taking our RMR and subtracting our 600 calories we will cut out of our diet to contribute to the deficit.
    • RMR=2300 cals-600 cals(through diet)=1700 calories total to consume/day.

On days that I do not exercise I have to be cautious to still maintain a deficit making it a little more difficult if I wanted to stick to my 1000 calorie deficit. This would mean I would have to limit my intake to 1300 calories on those days; although you may choose to consume slightly more as long as you stay within a deficit you should not gain weight.

Getting a grip on your nutrition will not only help yield promising results but will also give yourself a sense of empowerment knowing that you are in control of your results. You might find that the simple act of being aware of how much is going in and what effort is being expended will make you feel better in its own. Now granted there are a number of other factors that can go into weight loss, this is one of the safest tools you can use when it comes to planning out your weight loss safely and remember it is always a good idea to speak to a physician first before you begin any weight loss program! If you have any questions on how to set up an RMR test or how to get started on your weight loss program please contact Personal Fitness Trainer Christine Moore at 206-443-1111 x292.

Post Exercise Fueling

Just finished a hard training session with Captain “I said 10 more!” and now you are dog tired and hungry as a wolf. What do you re-fuel your body with, there are so many choices! The best thing to do is pick food higher in protein and fat and lower in carbohydrates and sugars especially. The more protein the better chance your body (muscles in particular) have of re-pairing themselves. The protein combined with the fat will take long to metabolize and sustain your energy for longer. Stay away from simple carbohydrates such as bagels, muffins, scones, syrups, yogurt coated nuts, etc. Need something fast, a protein shake with real fruit and a small amount of milk/soy milk in it will really hit the spot! Want to keep it simple? Try a hand full of almonds, a hard boiled egg, and a small piece of fruit. Don’t forget to follow it all up with plenty of water!

The Life Curve

As someone who makes a habit of eating healthfully and exercising regularly, from time to time I find myself defending my lifestyle choices. I am sure many of you who are reading this have experienced this as well. People are often interested, and sometimes appalled, to hear that I would rather spend my Friday night in the gym than at happy hour, or that I would gladly choose some dark green leafy vegetables over a side of bacon. In effort to explain (and perhaps justify, depending on the audience) my lifestyle choices, I have tried out many different lines of reasoning. Nothing I have come across does a more effective job summarizing my overall reasoning than the concept of the life curve.

I have noticed that generally we think of our lives as a s*tring with a definite beginning and an end. Your life begins when you are born, and it ends when you die. When you think about your life this way, it leads you to consider health in a one-dimensional fashion. Most health-related matters eventually boil down to whether or not they will immediately sever your lifeline. I am sure you have often heard someone lament that a particular activity or food “is not going to kill you” implying that if death is not a likely outcome, then it is without consequence. This sort of thinking also makes healthful eating and regular exercise somewhat easy to dismiss because, let’s face it, your life could end abruptly at any moment. And it seems reasonable to conclude that since “life is short” you may as well have a good time while you can and not worry all the time about extending your lifeline, right? That all seems logical given the information that we have, but perhaps there is more to the story.

The concept of a life curve expands on the idea of the lifeline by adding a second dimension, and it looks something like this:

In the above illustration, the x-axis represents how long we will live, just as it does in the one-dimensional representation of your life. The y-axis represents our quality of life. The higher up the life curve is on the y-axis, the better the quality of life. Here ‘quality of life’ represents many things. For example, immune system strength, bone density, body composition, energy levels, the ability to concentrate, and how long you can run are all examples of quality of life. The list is seemingly endless, and can best be prioritized by you.

‘Quality of life’ is a relatively abstract term, but this concept can significantly change our thinking. Length of life is no longer paramount, but secondary to how we will feel each and every day while we are alive. And believe me, all of our actions matter. Everything that we eat, all of the exercise that we do, how much sleep we get each night, and our overall level of stress, among many other things, all impact quality of life. Our behavior has real and tangible consequences that will be felt not only in the short-term, but in the long-term as well. Everyday decisions that we make have the potential to impact the rest of our lives.

The next time that someone is giving you a hard time for choosing water instead of wine, spending an extra fifteen minutes on the treadmill, or forgoing the cheese on your sandwich, encourage them to add a second dimension to the way they consider their lifeline. You may just have an easier time justifying your position.