Fueling for Fitness

ForwardFit Health | Nutrition 0 Comments

By Carla Schuit- MPH, RD, LDN

Between all of the different diet trends out there and research it is hard to sort out what is the truth and what is just fluff. The truth of the matter is your body doesn’t know if it is eating Mediterranean or Paleo. It does know it is eating protein, carbs, fats and many micronutrients. All things that it needs to function daily. We have already discussed previously why your body needs all three of the macronutrients using carbs to fuel your brain and red blood cells and fat for joint health and cell structure. These are both essential nutrients, but when it comes to burning calories and losing weight protein is our best weapon aiding in energy expenditure while preserving muscle or lean body mass.

We all know that by including circuit, weights and resistance training in our work out regimen it promotes the maintenance of muscle, burning of fat and increases our RMR (resting metabolic rate). Every 1lb of muscle increases the resting metabolic rate by about 11 calories, using this energy when not exercising to maintain and repair that muscle.

A healthy weight loss is considered to be 1-2lb a week. In order to accomplish this we would need to create a deficit of 500calories a day either by burning during exercise, consuming less or a combination of the two, as 3,500calories equals a pound.

We can assist this work by consuming the appropriate percentage of calories from fat, carbs and protein.
The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for carbs is a minimum of about 130g of carbs a day to maintain brain function and prevent protein breakdown for glucose. See your brain needs glucose to function and if it is not getting it from carbs it will begin to break down protein.
The 2010 Dietary guidelines provide the below reference ranges for macronutrients.

• Carbohydrates: 45-65% of calories
• Fat: 20-35% of calories
• Protein: 10-35% of calories

The calorie distribution can be more impactful than total calories consumed. By maintaining a calorie level and adjusting protein, carbs and fat we can promote or slow down fat loss and muscle synthesis. Keeping in mind that the optimal protein absorption at one time is 30g, so it really doesn’t do our bodies good consuming loads of protein in one setting but spreading it out evenly through out the day. This will also prevent hunger and promote satiety.

Because of this special function of protein for active people or those looking to lose weight but maintain lean body mass I recommend higher percentages of protein, lower fat and lower carb. No foods are mono-nutrient meaning that most will contain all three or at least two of the macronutrients. I recommend to track meals in fitness apps like MyFitnessPal to see how daily meals are divided between the different nutrients. People often eat healthy foods but in higher portions, such as nuts which are good sources of protein but high in fat, that throws of their macronutrient balance.

When translating nutrients to foods choose whole complex carbs such as sweet potatoes and whole grains, proteins should be lean and fats of plant origin.
For your specific macronutrient requirements contact myself or your local Registered Dietitian.

No Bones About it!

ForwardFit Health | Nutrition 1 Comment

By Carla Schuit- MPH, RD, LDN

There are a lot of food trends out there, some we have discussed together. One big trend is bone broth. So what is this all about? Is it worth it? Should you be drinking bone broth?

I think it first important to define what is broth vs stock. This is a trivial technicality but good to know.

  • Broth: Technically speaking, broth is any liquid that has had meat cooked in it. Of course, now broth really is a catch-all for any flavored cooking liquid, including broths made by simmering fish, vegetables, or even legumes.
  • Stock: Stock, however, always involves bones, simmered for a long time to extract their gelatin and flavor. The thick, often-gelatinous nature of stocks is only possible when bones are present. Roasting the bones makes for a richer, more deeply colored stock, but it’s not essential to the process.

So what we have been referring to as “bone broth” is truly stock. This is probably how you remember your mom or grandma making soup stock as a kid. Adding some carrots, celery and onion to the pot and maybe some spices. But regardless what we decide to call it, is it as healthy and miraculous as it is marketed to be?

 

I decided to find out. I grabbed out my Crock Pot (I do not have a large enough stock pot). In went the carcass of a turkey I had roasted, carrots, onion, celery, mushrooms (I know not traditional but full of nutrients and I thought may add a deep, meatier flavor), and spices. Set the knob to high and sat back and waited. A few hours later I pulled out the solids, skimmed the fat and let the stock cool. True to all descriptions it was a gelatinous, rich substance when cooled, when reheated it goes back to the liquid state of broth/stock as we think of it. Why does it gel? Due to the high protein and collagen content it causes the liquid to gel when cooled. But should I drink it daily for touted health benefits? If you believe Brodo Broth company in NYC you can buy a steaming hot cup of this savory liquid instead of your morning coffee for a cool $11.00.

While sipping on your hot, meaty cup of broth you may be consuming a beverage high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, proteins such as glycine, and proline and a variety of amino acids all readily absorbed by your body. A 1 cup serving of beef bone broth will provide 208 calories, 9g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 17g carbs, 16g protein, 13% of daily iron, 27% of daily Vit C and 9% of daily calcium.

These mineral and protein beverage has been touted to promote digestive health, joint health, detox, healthier immune function, decrease inflammatory conditions, decrease fatty liver, leaky gut, and aid in osteoarthritis.

So should I keep a cup of this at my desk instead of coffee or water? The facts state- eh, sure?? There is no conclusive data showing that drinking broth daily will increase your health and there is no research to substantiate the claims that are being made by companies like EPIC who sell the product. A soup or dish made with your bone broth/stock will add much more flavor and nutrition than if you were to use store bought stock/broth, but will it cure your arthiritis. Most likely not, but improve digestions, possibly! Chicken stock used in chicken noodle soup has been shown to decrease cold times, aid in immune function and digestive health.

The moral of the story is it is always healthier anytime you use real, whole ingredients and make food or ingredients at home. But there is no magic elixir.

Breakfast Anytime

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By Carla Schuit- MPH, RD, LDN

Having the correct balance of macronutrients is key to ensuring proper, healthy and balanced nutrition. I, like many, have a crazy busy schedule so I need to plan my meals ahead. I usually pick one or two days a week to cook for the next few days. I need recipes that are easy, nutritious, and low in cost that I can get multiple servings out of. So needless to say they need to reheat well.
I could eat breakfast anytime of the day. I love it. Below is a recipe I recently created that is easy, quick, simple, delicious and nutritious!

Ingredients
Total Time (about 2hrs- can minimize by prepping your potatoes)
2 sweet potatoes (baked)
4 eggs (optional)
16 oz carton egg whites
1 cup spinach
4 pieces uncured bacon

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Pierce sweet potatoes about 5 times and bake until just done, about 30-45 min. Let cool and peel. (can save time by cooking potatoes ahead of time)
3. Chop bacon into little pieces and cook through in a pan.
4. Decrease oven temperature to 350F.
5. Slice baked sweet potatoes into even width slices. Line 9 x 9 greased baking pan with sweet potatoes (may have some potato left over depending on size of potatoes)
6. Top with 1 cup fresh spinach
7. Sprinkle bacon on top of spinach.
8. Pour egg white container over sweet potato, spinach and bacon.
9. Crack one whole egg over egg whites in each corner (optional)
10. Bake 15-20 min until egg whites are set.

Let cool. Top with Salsa or your favorite topping. Excellent reheated and delicious!

Happy Eating!

Food For Your Health

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By Carla Schuit   – Registered Dietitian

The holidays’ are over and now is the time to start the New Year off right. After all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it is the time to take care of our selves. Hopefully you have been sticking to some work out schedule and haven’t totally derailed your diet. But if you have, no problem, we will get you back on track. This year there are some very exciting and beneficial trends in food.

Sprouted Grains- Grains and carbohydrates have a bad rap these days. Although not all carbohydrates are created equal there are some good ones out there. More recently you may have seen “sprouted” on bread or grain packages in the grocery store. Whole grains are the seeds of grass like plants that we harvest and process in to flours and other grains. Under the right conditions these grains will begin to sprout, meaning produce life. This process increases the availability of nutrients such as B vitamins, Vitamin C, folate, fiber and other essential amino acids including lysine. It is also thought that these grains are easily digested because the sprouting process has already begun breaking down the grain.

Reduce sugar- Sugar has been a hot topic recently and how much is too much. It is estimated by the World Health Organization that the average person consumes up to 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. That is equivalent to 88g of sugar. A typical yogurt can have upwards of 22-25g of sugar and 1 can of coke has around 40g of sugar. It is easy for this to add up quickly in our diet. Sugar, in any form, is a simple and quickly digested carbohydrate. It is found that limiting this and other refined carbohydrates is not only healthy for diabetics but can aid in cardiac function as well. Great ways to reduce sugar in your diet is to choose plain dairy and add fruit or other toppings, limit any sweetened beverage consumption or eliminate if possible, watch whole grain/whole wheat breads as sugar and honey are often added to improve flavor. Read nutrition labels and monitor the sugar amount in foods.

Probiotics- these are not new and have been around for a while. Your digestive tract is how nutrients and other substances (good and bad) enter our bodies. It is important to keep it healthy and good bacteria present. L Avidophillus, L plantarum, L rhamnosus, and L reuteri are popular propbiotics found primarily in yogurts and other fermented dairy products. It will be common coming in the New Year to find probiotic-fortified foods. Also concentrate on fermented foods such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and vinegars to keep the good bacteria healthy and gut function flowing.

Betting on beets- that is right beets! They come in gold, purple and a rainbow of colors. Beets are high in betalanis, folate, fiber, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties as well as touted as containing chemopreventive activity. I love them in salads, with goat cheese or even pickled! Expect to see these pop up in different foods on your store shelves in hummus, spread, dips and juices.

Pulses- Pulses are lentils, beans and chickpeas. These are a great source of protein and nutrients to help form a sustainable diet. Meat and other animal products are great sources of protein but can be taxing on the environment and high in saturated fat. Adding pulses to your meals to replaces animal proteins can add variety, nutrition, fiber, and are very affordable. You will see many more snack foods and side dishes made with these pulses. Not feeling very hungry?? Lentil salads are a great option for something light and very nutrient dense.

Here is a great recipe:

Beets

5 medium beets
½ red onion, peeled and sliced
~ Extra-virgin olive oil
~ Kosher salt

Lentils

~ Extra-virgin olive oil
½ red onion, peeled and chopped
1 plump garlic clove, chopped
cups lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
~ Kosher salt

Vinaigrette

1 garlic clove
~ Big pinch of kosher salt
2 Tbsp. toasted walnuts
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
~ Freshly ground black pepper

 

  • Cook the beets: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and peel beats (may purchase already peel beets). Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring with a spatula halfway through, until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife or fork. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Cook the lentils: While the beets are cooking, prepare the lentils. Into a large saucepan, sauté onion in olive oil, add the garlic, stir for 1 minute, then add the rinsed and drained lentils and enough water to cover the lentils by about an inch. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, until tender but not mushy (about 30min). Drain any remaining liquid.
  • Prepare the vinaigrette: Mince together the garlic, pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons walnuts. In a bowl add the Dijon mustard and vinegar, and whisk until smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking all the while, until the full amount is incorporated. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Add dressing. Optional addition but tasty is to add some goat cheese or other soft, tangy cheese of your choices.

Enjoy!!

Happy New Year and Happy eating.

Happy Healthy Holidays

ForwardFit Health | Nutrition 0 Comments

By Carla Schuit   – Registered Dietitian

Cheers to the 2015 holiday season!! I can’t believe the year is ending and the holidays are finally here. Tis the season for family gatherings and holiday parties filled food, friends and beverages. Hot chocolate, egg nog, bloody mary’s , wine and other cocktails are a major part of the holidays season. Whether stopping in for a drink during shopping or a glass of wine at a holiday work party. I have noticed that as I have aged my body doesn’t handle, metabolize or recover from a few holiday cocktails as it used to.

Alcohol is metabolized in multiple tissues including the brain and stomach but mostly in the liver (more about this later). Alcohol is broken down into acetaldehyde which is then metabolized into acetate which is finally broken down to water and carbon dioxide.

How much alcohol one can consume is based on your drinking history, body composition and liver size. However, there are a few things we can do to set us up for success.

  1. Eat high protein or foods with fat before drinking- some alcohol is absorbed right in your mouth but a lot of absorption happens in the stomach. Eating high protein or foods with healthy fats will line your stomach blocking some of the absorption. Foods such as cheese, guacamole, lean proteins such as chicken, fish and legumes are great options before drinking.
  2. Alternate drink’s with water- alcohol uses B vitamins for digestion and can be dehydrating. Make sure to have a 1:1 water : alcohol to keep your body hydrated to prevent adverse side effects of excess alcohol.
  3. Monitor high fat specialty drinks- we all know eggnog and hot chocolate are festive and delicious. A 12 oz Hot Chocolate packs around 400 calories. Remember this needs to be included in any calorie counting you may be doing. Adding one of these hot chocolates daily to your diet will add up to an additional 2,800 calories a week!
  4. Keep a healthy liver-As stated above your liver does the detoxing of the body and most of the alcohol metabolism. To keep your liver healthy eat foods such as garlic, grapefruit, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, green tea, avocados, turmeric, lemon and walnuts. Drink a lot of water and exercise.

This is the time of year to celebrate and spend time with loved ones. Keep your beverages and meal choices away from celebrations healthy, plant based and portion controlled. If you do this you will be able to treat yourself at parties (with in reason) and not negate the work you have done the rest of the year. Eating healthy meals that promote liver health will make your new year start off healthier and easier. One little trick I have also found with this time of year. Before you go to bed after a holiday party drink a glass of water and take a multivitamin. This gives your body a little extra boost of vitamins, minerals and hydration to wake up ready for the day.

 

Cheers to your holiday season! Maybe it be filled with health, happiness and love.

Workout Challenge of the Month

December 2015 Workout Challenge of the Month

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Perform the following 5 moves for 2 minutes each. followed by a 5 minute shuttle run.

Round 1
1. KB Goblet Squat and Press
2. Planks to Pushups
3. Reverse Lunge
4. MB Overhead Slam
5. Band Splitters

5 minute Shuttle Run

Round 2
1. KB Swing
2. T-Pushups
3. Forward Lunge
4. MB Lateral Halo Slam
5. Band Bicep Curls 1st minute, Band Splitters 2nd minute

5 minute Shuttle Run