Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday In Meals + Supplements

Good morning!

It’s time for another edition of Monday In Meals where I share what I ate throughout the day. I also include in this post some of the supplements that I use on a regular basis. I’ve received a number of questions lately from readers, so I figured sharing them would be helpful to others too. With that, here’s what I ate yesterday + a recap of the supplements that I incorporated into my day!

Monday In Meals_March 13

Carrots 'N' Cake Favorite Supplements

I mentioned some of these products above, but here are a number of supplements that I used throughout the day yesterday/on a regular basis:

Dandy Blend: I love this delicious (caffeine-free) alternative to coffee– both hot and cold. I love drinking it mixed with iced coffee, collagen, and some coconut creamer, which tastes like a slightly sweet dark roast coffee. I also like it mixed with protein powder, especially SFH Churro, and poured over ice as an afternoon pick-me-up (without the caffeine). FYI: Here’s why I’m cutting back on the iced coffee.

Collagen Hydrolysate: Love this stuff because it’s super versatile and has so many health benefits, including to help regulate the body’s metabolism, building connective tissue in hair, skin, and nails. (I’ve heard it can help the appearance of cellulite.) It’s friendly on the gut and digestive system, and it has 12g of protein per serving, so it an easy way to hit your macronutrient goals for the day! 🙂 It’s nearly flavorless and mixes right into hot and cold liquids and foods (like oatmeal, sauces, soup), so you can add it to just about anything! It’s a great alternative to protein powder, too!

Natural Calm: I actually didn’t use this yesterday, but I do drink it on a regular basis. I have the raspberry-lemon flavor and mix it into my water as a way to get some extra magnesium into my diet. Here’s why. I was asked if it makes me sleepy, and it doesn’t usually. It’s pretty diluted in my water bottle, so I guess my sips/small doses throughout the day don’t affect me all that much. I do notice, though, on the days that I consume at least a couple of teaspoons, I’m pretty relaxed before bed and fall asleep without any issues.

Beauty Bursts: Yummy collagen chews! They’re perfect for when you want just a small bite of something sweet. I keep them on my desk for when I need a little boost while I’m working.

SFH Whey Protein: I love this protein powder so much! It’s grass-fed whey, but it’s made from quality ingredients (GMO-free, minimally processed), so it doesn’t mess with my stomach. I also love that the flavors don’t taste fake and blend well, especially when it comes to recipes. Right now, I’m obsessed with the Churro Pure flavor (120 calories, 22 g protein). It’s so darn tasty as a protein shake as well as in recipes. I also love the Vanilla Recovery (80 calories, 16 g protein) for the same reasons, and it’s my go-to for post-workout recovery. Coconut Fuel (130 calories, 20 g protein) is really tasty too, especially in protein ball form!

Natren Healthy Trinity: Even though I’m taking Entyvio, I still wanted a good probiotic in my life. I dillydallied for weeks and never purchased one until I heard Melissa Ramos on a recent Balanced Bites podcast. She was talking about hormones, and, long story short, mine are STILL messed up after having Qman nearly 3 years later. I figured adding a probiotic back to my routine couldn’t hurt, so I took her recommendation for Natren Healthy Trinity. I’ve only used it for a couple of weeks now, so I’ll have to give you guys an update down the road if I notice any changes.

Question of the Day

What supplements do you use on a regular basis?

Just a quick note: I am sometimes compensated through my affiliate links in this post, but, as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting CNC!

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Wired To Eat Winners!

Hey folks!

So, I posted on social media that if y’all had questions about Wired To Eat I’d tackle them in a video. I figured I’d get a few questions and  out of those i’d pick my three favorites and send the authors an autographed copy of WTE. Well…I had a bit more response than I’d anticipated! Thanks to everyone who submitted a question, I’ll be working my way through as many of these as ai can over the next few days. For now here are the folks who submitted my favorite questions:

Susanmesaverde Biggest fan from The Netherlands here! 🙌🏻 My question: did you change your opinion about the most optimal diet for humans in these past years or is this still paleo, even with all your newly gained knowledge? I am very curious how this is presented in Wired To Eat, looking forward to reading it!

Healthier_keri excited to read this book! My question would be – for people who have struggled for so many years with weight loss/diet change, how will this book provide some different information? Especially for someone who has jumped from Paleo to Keto and everything in between?

J_tav1 @dasrobbwolf it seems that humans do better with less food then more food, so why are we wired to eat through ghrelin? The more we eat the more we are wired to eat. Even to our detriment. What is the evolutionary point behind it?

Wired To Eat officially launches in the US next Tuesday, March 21st. If you want to get some amazing bonus materials make sure to pre-order before that date and follow the instructions at this link to get your swag!

 



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Dear Mark: Isometrics and Yoga for Seniors, Plus How Aging Affects Recovery

Elderly man practicing sports on the streetFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a few questions about exercising for seniors. Last week’s post drew a lot of comments, and a few questions about how seniors should train. First, I’ll explore isometrics as an alternative for building strength and power. Can you get away with only trying to move weight? Next, I show how yoga can be an effective strength-builder in older adults. Then, I discuss how aging affects recovery. Many people notice that their recovery time goes way up the older they get. I’ve noticed it myself. Why does it happen?

Let’s go:

I’m surprised you didn’t mention jump roping as part of “hopping”. How about isometrics?

You’re right. Jumping rope is perfect. People feel decidedly less ridiculous jumping over a rope than hopping in place. Isometrics are another great option for older people. Let’s explore.

Isometrics is resistance training where the joint is held in a fixed position. Instead of lifting or lowering the weight, in isometrics your effort takes one of two forms.

You’re either attempting to overcome an immovable force (pushing against a wall, pulling up on the chair you’re sitting on) or prevent a force from acting upon you (preventing a weight from lowering). Another way to think about these are concentric isometrics and eccentric isometrics.

Pause squats are one way to incorporate isometrics into normal resistance training. That’s where you “pause” at the bottom of a squat, holding for 3-5 seconds before rising back up. Finishing a deadlift by gripping the bar as long as you can is another way to incorporate isometrics.

If you want to make isometrics a major part of your exercise regimen, you should probably employ different angles. Isometrics training produces angle-specific strength; strength increases and tissue adaptations occur primarily in the trained joint-angle.

Oddly, there aren’t very many studies looking at isometric training in older adults. The only ones I could find dealt with isometric grip training, and they were impressive. Grip training exclusively was enough to improve blood pressure control in older adults. Maybe I’m going too far, but if isometric grip training can have those wide ranging effects, I’d imagine isometric training other parts of the body will be similarly beneficial.

After all, we’re all humans. We all respond to training. The key with undertrained, older adults is doing it safely. You want to get stronger. You don’t want to break or strain anything because that could really set you back. Isometrics are some of the safest, most controlled training methods around.

I suppose Yoga isn’t ‘uncommon’ but it sure feels good! Also, Katy Bowman’ s Nutritious Movement….whole body barefoot, move your DNA, etc….fabulous!

No, yoga is a good one. It’s not uncommon to hear how good yoga is for older adults’ balance, flexibility, and other similar measures, but most people don’t think of it as a strength-building tool. It can be. I should have mentioned it.

Among older adults, yoga is as good at building strength and balance as a typical strength training program.

Yoga can help older women with arthritis strengthen their lower bodies enough to prevent excessive knee adduction (caving in).

A 2012 research review in older adults concluded that yoga’s benefits “may exceed” those of conventional exercise for building strength.

I have been wondering about how age slows me down, though. I see these youngsters (20s and 30s) getting strong so fast. I feel like I’m being cautious because I don’t want to injure myself (long history of disc, joint injuries) but it also seems like it just takes longer. The last few days, my patellar tendon is sore and I’m doing everything I can to stretch and strengthen my legs so my knees are more stable. But is some of the pain age-related? I’m wondering how my body is responding to exercise differently from when I did triathlons in my 20s.

It likely is responding differently. That’s okay, that’s normal, but it’s a reality we must address and acknowledge.

Everyone just sorta “knows” that the younger you are, the quicker you recover. Sometimes it seems like an energetic toddler could regrow a finger if he lost it in a freak accident (don’t try this at home). And the older you are, the more slowly you recover. But why?

One factor are our muscle stem cells: These are the cells responsible for repairing and regenerating muscle tissue after injury and damage, and they respond differently to damage depending on the age of the organism. In one study, researchers took aged muscle stem cells and exposed them to a “young environment” and an “aged environment.” In the young environment, the stem cells quickly repaired damage. In the aged environment, the same stem cells were slow to repair the damage.

Another factor is the changing hormonal environment. As people age, hormones crucial for recovery and repair, like testosterone, tend to decline.

Testosterone matters for women’s recovery as well. In women experiencing declines in strength, muscle mass, and sexual desire along with low testosterone following a hysterectomy, testosterone replacement therapy restored sexual function and increased muscle mass, strength, and power.

There’s also—and this might be the most significant of all—the general trend toward inflammation increasing with age. Exercise is a stressor. Acutely, it increases inflammation, which triggers the recovery/repair response. That’s how we get stronger, fitter, faster—by bouncing back from inflammation better than before. But when baseline inflammation is high due to aging, recovering from those acute spikes becomes harder. We’re already dealing with chronic levels of inflammation

Can you improve this? Age really is just a number. Biological age is the real issue here. But with the way most people live, that number and our biological age tend to line up. Leading a healthy, happy life will contribute to a youthful internal environment, which should help.

That’s it for this week, everyone. Thanks for reading and take care!

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Things You Drink: Why I Am Drinking Less Coffee And Wine

Coffee and Wine. Let’s discuss.

Coffee first. Studies show that coffee is good for you (like all things, in moderation), and generally 1-2 cups of coffee a day is nothing to cut out if you feel your best. Remember that I was a decaf drinker for years? That’s because I am very sensitive to caffeine. I’ve become dependent on coffee at different points in my life, and I found that out because I skipped a day and got a raging headache. I usually just have one, maybe two, mugs in the morning, but doing something every single day is enough to get the body too used to having it. I didn’t like feeling like I had to have coffee to avoid feeling bad, so I switched to decaf for a long time.

And then I met Thomas, who LOOOOVES coffee. He buys really delicious, locally roasted, freshly ground coffee that smells so amazing, and I just had to hop back on the coffee train. His excitement got me excited about it! I really didn’t notice much difference after adding the caffeine back, but many months later, I started to feel kind of bad in the mornings. It was sort of like being mildly hungover and a bit foggy (and this included mornings when I had no alcohol the night before). I never felt any kind of immediate change upon my first few sips of coffee, but I felt better by mid morning once I had “woken up” a bit. So maybe it was my body asking for coffee first thing, getting it, and then feeling good again.

I didn’t like that feeling, so I’ve started to wean myself off of caffeine yet again to see if that is the culprit. I do plan on drinking regular coffee on occasion because I love the taste, but I’m hoping not to get quite so dependent on it in the future (which is hard!). I started the weaning process by having just a half mug for a week, and then less and less until I switched back to decaf. So far, so good! I *think* I am feeling better, but since feelings are so vague it’s hard to be sure quite yet.

And now on to wine – yum! The past two years or so I’ve been drinking more frequently than ever. I drink for all of the reasons one would think to partake: because it makes me feel grown-up, because it’s nice to end a long day with a glass of wine, because I have lots of fun social events at bars and restaurants, because it’s relaxing, because it tastes good, and because it makes food taste better. All understandable reasons, right?

But I could feel myself wanting a drink every night because I had no reason not to have a drink every night. Sometimes one drink turned into two as it does, but most of the time I stopped at just one (er, one big one 🙂 ). This is one of my favorite posts because it outlines the dichotomy between what I practice and what I truly think about alcohol. This post, written by my former intern Blake, also outlines some of the nutrition behind it. Overall, one drink at a time = no problem. (Other than the empty calories, of course.)

And then I listened to this three-part podcast series by Brooke Castillo. (You can listen on her podcast through iTunes or watch the videos that I linked to on her website.) I was in agreement with every single point she makes about all the reasons people get conditioned to drink alcohol habitually (which is different from alcoholism). So much of what Brooke says about the classical conditioning that goes into having a drink to celebrate, relax, or socialize and then wanting to satisfy that desire again had me nodding my head in agreement. I am practicing some of her techniques (such as having the desire and not acting on it) and I think it is working to break the chain. I just want to drink less, not quit altogether, and her techniques work for either. And I always have lots of mocktail ideas! Like the coffee, so far, so good on progress. I’ll update you guys in a few weeks!

(I am finishing this post at 5:41 p.m. and of course, now I want a glass of wine at the end of the work day while I start on dinner! I am saying no, though. Thought –> Desire –> No Action breaks the cycle! Go listen to Brooke!)

I’ll be sure to update you guys soon enough on both of these. What are y’alls thoughts on this topic? Do you drink coffee or wine? Why or why not?

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Clean Eating Lemon & Thyme Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Clean Eating Lemon & Thyme Cauliflower Rice Recipe

As many of you know, I’ve gone back to low carb eating alongside clean eating. I’m doing this for health reasons. But one of the things I’ve discovered is that there are some things in the low carb… Read more →



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