Tuesday, April 14, 2020

When Is The Best Time to Eat Carbs?

best-time-to-eat-carbsBeyond the great debate about how many carbs we should be eating, there is another question you might be wondering about: When is the best time of day to eat carbs?

Today we’re going to dig into the data and see if we can get some answers. Before we do, though, I want to make something clear. The types and amounts of food you are eating are much more important than nutrient timing when it comes to health, body composition, and even athletic performance.

Before worrying about nutrient timing, you should:

  • Eliminate the “big three”—grains, excess sugars, and offensive vegetable and seed oils
  • Consume an appropriate amount of food for your goals and activity level—neither too much nor too little
  • Ensure that you are getting enough micronutrients via diverse, nutrient-dense foods, plus supplementation when necessary

I’d also say that macronutrients—the relative amounts of carbs, protein, and fat you’re eating—comes before nutrient timing in the hierarchy of “likely to matter.” A Keto Reset is probably going to impact your health and body composition more than changing the timing of your carb intake.

Still, I know many of you are self-experimenters and optimizers. You like to explore ways to squeeze a little more “edge” out of your diet and lifestyle. For some of you, nutrient timing might be the key to resolving a nagging issue that hasn’t been fixed by diet and lifestyle changes. If this is something you’re curious about, read on.

The Best Time to Eat Carbs: Why Would Carb Timing Matter?

The growing field of “chrononutrition” investigates how food timing affects overall health. I’m sure you know that many bodily systems operate according to biological clocks. Sleep, immune system activity, and body temperature are all governed by circadian (~24-hour) clocks, for example. Disruption to our normal biological clocks negatively impacts health.

Metabolism operates according to circadian rhythms, too. On a basic level, we are meant to sleep when it’s dark, move and eat when it’s light. Insulin sensitivity and beta cell activity (the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin) are highest in the morning. Research shows that glucose tolerance—the body’s ability to clear glucose from the bloodstream after a meal—goes down if your sleep is poor or under conditions of circadian misalignment. There also seems to be a link between eating later at night, weight gain, impaired fat oxidation, and other negative health outcomes.

Taken together, this has led some researchers to suggest that we should eat most of our food earlier in the day to entrain, or align, our circadian rhythms. Doing so, they argue, could improve glycemic control (glucose regulation) and insulin sensitivity. It might also regulate appetite hormones and cortisol, and have downstream effects on body composition.

Carb Timing for Glycemic Control and Insulin Sensitivity

A number of studies seem to suggest that eating later is associated with impaired glucose tolerance and/or insulin sensitivity. On the other hand, both may be improved with early time restricted feeding (eTRF). This is where you eat in a compressed window, say 8 or 10 hours, and that window is shifted toward the morning. A typical eTRF schedule might entail eating all one’s food between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Most of these studies focus on food timing generally, not nutrient timing per se. For example, in this study, men with type 2 diabetes ate all their calories in a 9-hour window. In one phase, they ate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (eTRF). In the other, they ate from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both schedules improved glucose tolerance, but only eTRF decreased fasting glucose.

A handful of studies do specifically look at carb timing:

  • Healthy volunteers kept three-day food diaries. Those who ate relatively more of their food, and more carbs specifically, in the morning were also more insulin sensitive than late eaters. (Eating more fat in the evening was also correlated with poorer insulin sensitivity. It’s not clear how much these effects were driven by total caloric intake.)
  • In another interesting study, researchers assigned men to eat two different diets for four weeks. They either ate most of their carbs before 1:30 p.m. and most of their fat after, or vice versa, in a cross-over design. For men who started out normal glucose control, carb timing didn’t matter. However, among men with high fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance, eating carbs at night led to unfavorable changes on several makers of glucose tolerance.
  • In contrast, in this study, men followed a hypocaloric diet for eight weeks. Participants who were assigned to eat most of their carbs at lunch instead of dinner ended up with higher fasting glucose and insulin, and poorer insulin resistance.

Does type of carb matter?

Maybe. Researchers compared low-GI (glycemic index) and high-GI meals with most of the calories loaded into either the morning or the evening. Participants had the highest postprandial glucose (glucose after a meal) and insulin in the high-GI + evening eating condition. It didn’t matter when participants ate low-GI carbs. (Participants also consumed 302 grams of carbohydrate per day. Diets consisted of bran cereal, low-fat fruit yogurt, “fruit loaf,” and a Mars bar, among other things. It’s not clear exactly how these findings apply to Primal eaters.)

Conclusion: More research is needed in this area, but the available evidence points to morning carb consumption being favorable for glycemic control, perhaps especially among people who already struggle in this area.

Carb timing for athletes

As you know, I’m a big fan of athletes using fat for fuel. It’s an efficient, cleaner burning, more abundant source of energy. Once you become fat-adapted, it’s amazing what you can do as a fat-burner. As I detail in Primal Endurance, low-carb and keto diets work tremendously well for endurance athletes and even for hard-core strength athletes.

That said, there is no denying the ergogenic effect of carbs – carbs’ effect on stamina, physical performance and recovery. When you’re fat-adapted and running mainly on fat (and maybe ketones), adding some carbs to the mix can be like rocket fuel. I’m a fan of the “train low, race high” strategy for endurance athletes. Conduct most of your training using a low-carb approach, but add carbs strategically for your highest-intensity training sessions and races. You don’t need a lot, maybe 60-100 grams per hour.

Targeted Carbs: Should You Eat Carbs Before a Workout?

One strategy I’ve talked about before is targeting your carb intake around workouts. There are two rationales here. One is the aforementioned ergogenic effect — giving your workouts a boost. The second is that when you exercise, a glucose transporter in muscle cells called GLUT4 moves to the surface of the cell. This facilitates the transport of glucose into the cells without insulin.

Intense exercise also depletes glycogen, so there is a window after exercise in which ingested carbs are more likely to go to replenish glycogen. This is what I mean when I talk about the “glycogen suitcases being open” after exercise.

Thus, it makes sense to time your carb intake around exercise, especially hard and/or long bouts. In the keto world, this strategy is called “targeted keto.” The same principle applies for low-carb-but-not-keto folks. It’s not because you need the carbs for workouts—most of us do just fine without any special carb loading—but that’s when the body is most ready to use or store them.

Does Eating Carbs in the Evening Help You Build Muscle?

In the world of muscle gains, there are a handful of approaches that involve backloading carbs into the evening following a workout. Bill Lagakos does an excellent job unpacking them in a two part blog series here and here. Briefly, the logic behind carb backloading is that you don’t want to eat carbs when you’re more insulin sensitive in the morning because they’ll get stored as fat (oversimplifying here). Instead, wait until later in the day when insulin sensitivity decreases, then use exercise to push carbs into muscle instead of fat.

There’s no real evidence that this works, beyond anecdotal evidence from people who enjoy eating carbs at night. If you have body fat to lose, I think the evidence favors shifting calories and carbs toward the morning.

For the average person looking to gain strength and functional fitness, carb timing is not a great concern. For fitness competitors or people trying to push their physical limits, it might start to matter.

If you’re looking to gain lean muscle, you might find that ingesting a small amount of carbohydrate—25 to 30 grams—before hitting the gym can be beneficial. Contrary to popular belief, however, post-workout carbs do not seem to enhance muscle synthesis or recovery to a meaningful degree, especially not when protein needs are covered.

Bottom line: Carb timing isn’t important for muscle building except maybe for elite competitors and high-performers.

Timing Carbs for Weight Loss: What Does the Science Say?

In recent years, some people have claimed that eating carbs at night actually supports weight loss. In fact, this is one of the rationales offered for the aforementioned carb backloading. However, the studies they typically cite as evidence for this assertion have methodological problems that I can’t overlook.

Those studies are also at odds with a larger number of studies linking weight loss to eating more of your calories earlier in the day. Mechanistically, eating late delays the onset of the overnight fast, interfering with fat-burning and potentially with switching on ketosis. Eating later can also be associated with eating more, period.

Unfortunately for the purposes of this post, studies that look at meal timing and weight loss don’t examine nutrient timing, with one exception. In this study, researchers compared two diets, one prioritizing carbs at lunch and protein at dinner, and the other vice versa. Participants lost equal amounts of fat on each, but the group who ate most of their carbs at dinner also lost more lean tissue—not what you want! (This was also the study that showed poorer glycemic control with lunchtime carbs, in contrast to most other studies.)

Bottom line: When it comes to weight loss, there’s not enough data to convince me that carb timing seems very important.

Carbs Before Bed and Sleep Quality

Theoretically, carb intake at night could positively affect sleep by increasing tryptophan production, which is a precursor of serotonin, which in turn promotes sleep. It makes sense. No empirical research directly supports this hypothesis, though. Still, experts recommend you try adding some carbs at night if you’re struggling with sleep, especially on a low-carb diet.

There are plenty of studies looking at the relationship between macronutrients and sleep. However, they look at dietary composition as a whole, not nutrient timing. A single small study found that eating a high-GI meal four hours before bed improved sleep onset, compared to a lower-GI meal, and also compared to eating that same high-GI meal eaten one hour before bed. That’s all we have data-wise, besides anecdotes.

Conclusion: Anecdotal evidence aside, there’s no proof that timing carbs at night help your sleep. It probably doesn’t hurt to try.

So Where Does This Leave Us?

Well first, it leaves us asking for more studies that systematically investigate carb timing. I specifically want to see more studies looking at carb timing in a low-carb population. As usual, the studies I cited here involved a standard high-carb paradigm. If you read the reports and see what researchers are feeding their participants… well, let’s just say you Primal folks wouldn’t volunteer for these studies.

This always leaves me wondering how well any of these findings apply to us fat-adapted folks. We can’t know for sure.

Let’s summarize the findings we have, though. First, for entraining your circadian rhythm, improving glycemic control, and losing weight, the available data altogether point to the benefits of eating more of your carbs earlier in the day.

You might wonder how this fits with intermittent fasting. First of all, I.F., doesn’t have to mean skipping breakfast. Many people skip breakfast largely out of convenience. If it works for you, great. Nothing I’ve said suggests that it’s bad for you. That said, if you’re still struggling with glucose tolerance, or you have a few stubborn pounds of body fat you’d like to lose, loading more of your calories and carbs earlier in the day seems to be a worthwhile experiment, as I’ve said before.

It makes sense to target carbs around exercise, but it’s generally not necessary for athletic performance. Most weekend warriors can get by just fine without any special carb timing strategy. People looking to gain muscle may want to ingest a small amount of pre-workout carbs, and endurance athletes should be open to using carbs around heavy training and races. I still think becoming fat-adapted should be every athlete’s first priority.

Finally, maybe experiment with some extra nighttime carbs if you’re a low-carb eater whose sleep is suffering.

But Don’t Sweat It

Nothing I’ve seen suggests that carb timing is more important than the amount and quality of food you eat. Once you dial in those higher-priority goals, by all means go ahead and try being more intentional about your carb timing if you want.

It might make a difference if you’re at the top of your performance game looking to squeeze out a few more drops, or if you have lingering health issues. Otherwise, I’d consider it just another variable you can experiment with if you want, but don’t sweat it if you have bigger things to worry about.

 

More related posts from Mark’s Daily Apple

Dear Mark: Glycogen
Should You Sleep-Low to Boost Performance?

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Additional references

Challet, E. (2019). The circadian regulation of food intake. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 15(7), 393–405.

Oda, H. (2015). Chrononutrition. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 61 Suppl, S92-94.

Oike, H., Oishi, K., & Kobori, M. (2014). Nutrients, Clock Genes, and Chrononutrition. Current Nutrition Reports, 3(3), 204–212.

Qian, J., Dalla Man, C., Morris, C. J., Cobelli, C., & Scheer, F. A. J. L. (2018). Differential effects of the circadian system and circadian misalignment on insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in humans. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 20(10), 2481–2485.

Wefers, J., van Moorsel, D., Hansen, J., Connell, N. J., Havekes, B., Hoeks, J., van Marken Lichtenbelt, W. D., Duez, H., Phielix, E., Kalsbeek, A., Boekschoten, M. V., Hooiveld, G. J., Hesselink, M. K. C., Kersten, S., Staels, B., Scheer, F. A. J. L., & Schrauwen, P. (2018). Circadian misalignment induces fatty acid metabolism gene profiles and compromises insulin sensitivity in human skeletal muscle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(30), 7789–7794.

Zilberter, T., & Zilberter, E. Y. (2014). Breakfast: To Skip or Not to Skip? Frontiers in Public Health, 2. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2014.00059/full.

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Metabolic Health and COVID-19 | Salty Talk 005 | THRR


Welcome to Salty Talk. This is a special edition of Healthy Rebellion Radio. Each week on Salty Talk Robb will do a deep dive into current health and performance news, mixed with an occasional Salty conversation with movers and shakers in the world of research, performance, health, and longevity.
For the full the video presentation of this episode and to be a part of the conversation, join us in The Healthy Rebellion online community.

WARNING: These episodes may get “salty” with the occasional expletive.

This episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by Perfect Keto. Perfect Keto makes eating keto easier. Perfect Keto provides clean low-carb bars, nut butters, and supplements, and the best keto recipes and info so you can keto with confidence. Go to http://perfectketo.com/salty40 and use code SALTY40 for buy one get one 40% off on all Perfect Keto products. 

SHOW NOTES

LCD fr diabetes: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1325029/

CDC COVID preparation: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html

Johns Hopkins: CORONA stats:
https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540747/all/Coronavirus_COVID_19__SARS_CoV_2_

Reducing Covid risks: https://digestivehealthinstitute.org/2020/04/10/how-to-reduce-risk-from-covid-19/

Low carb and Ventilator status: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2504796/?

Circadian Biology and COVID: https://theconversation.com/beyond-sanitizing-and-social-distancing-a-healthy-circadian-rhythm-may-keep-you-sane-and-increase-resilience-to-fight-covid-19-135535

Calls to National Help Line Increase 9X: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/calls-us-helpline-jump-891-white-house-warned/story?id=70010113&cid=social_fb_abcn

George Washington and Inoculation: https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/GW&smallpoxinoculation.html

Jim Olsen on the potential of inoculation: https://medium.com/@jimolsen52/sars-cov-2-inoculation-could-reduce-mortality-and-save-the-economy-e2803d68e9d8

Transcript:

Download a copy of the transcript here (PDF) –  Coming Soon…..

 



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Over 100 snacks better than Goldfish for kids

If I can stop one goal of the BIG food industry in the way I raise my daughter it would be this:

Refuse to buy junk food designed to be addictive that has no nutritional value. 

And refusing to feed my daughter Pepperidge Farm Goldfish fits the bill brilliantly. But why is this snack something almost every child in America eats in the first place? Parents buy them by the gallon carton full at Costco. Preschools and day cares serve them. It’s time for this to stop. 

First, let’s talk about what’s not on the label. The majority of wheat in this country is sprayed with glyphosate (Roundup weedkiller) as a drying agent before harvest (1), which is ending up in finished products on the shelf. Tests have specifically found residues of glyphosate in Goldfish Crackers (1). This chemical is known to cause cancer (2).

The cheese in Goldfish Crackers is not organic. That means it comes from factory farmed cows that were raised on an unhealthy diet of food that was not organic and probably sprayed with glyphosate and other pesticides (3). When you buy Goldfish crackers, you are supporting the industrial complex of crap food. And you don’t need to do that. Kids will be just fine without Goldfish Crackers and I will prove it to you. 

When you combine the blood sugar spiking ingredient white flour, cheap oils likely produced with hexane with an addictive flavoring like autolyzed yeast which is just MSG disguised as another name – you create the perfect food for hooking your brain to crave it over and over again. Autolyzed yeast is an excitotoxin, purely used to increase food cravings and irresistibility, so you eat more than you should. I personally don’t want my child’s taste buds to be hijacked by foods like this. We need to stop the habit of brainless munching of low quality foods that has led millions of Americans to diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. 

But here’s the good news… 

I put together a list of over 100 snacks that are a zillion times better than Goldfish Crackers.

This is for all the moms and dads out there who think they need Goldfish Crackers to have snacks on-the-go for their kids. You can stash any of these alternative snacks in your bag or car, or wherever you go and you’ll always have a healthy snack handy for your child that is non-white flour and non-white sugar. 

It’s time to stop letting our kids get hooked on nutrition-less dead food! Big food has done of enough damage to our health. Let’s break their control together. 

Over 100 Packaged Snacks A Zillion Times Better Than Goldfish Crackers For Your Kids

Choose organic whenever possible. I linked to the products to make shopping easy for you. 

Note: this list doesn’t include the myriad of fresh fruits and vegetables and homemade snacks you can make in your kitchen – which are the snacks I offer most to my daughter. 

Crunchy Snacks

1. Newman’s Own Spelt Pretzels

2. Unique Organic Sprouted Wheat Pretzels (the ones with sprouted whole wheat & olive oil)

3. Natierra Nature’s Organic Freeze-Dried Peas

4. Edward & Sons Vegetable Brown Rice Snaps

5. Edward & Sons Toasted Onion Brown Rice Snaps

6. Edward & Sons Black Sesame Brown Rice Snaps

7. Edward & Sons Brown Rice Snaps

8. Suzie’s Puffed Rice Thin Cakes

9. Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cakes

10. Lundberg 5 Grain Thin Stackers

11. Lundberg Red Rice & Quinoa Thin Stackers

12. Lundberg Brown Rice Lightly Salted Thin Stackers

13. LesserEvil Organic Popcorn

14. Mary’s Gone Crackers

15. Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed Crackers

16. Mary’s Gone Sea Salt Pretzels

17. Brad’s Kale Veggie Chips

18. Brad’s Sweet Potato Veggie Chips

19. Brad’s Cheddar Veggie Chips

20. Brad’s Red Bell Pepper Veggie Chips

21. Brad’s Broccoli Cheddar Veggie Chips

22. Brad’s Crunchy Kale

23. Barnana Plantain Chips Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

24. Barnana Plantain Chips Acapulco Lime

25. Barnana Plantain Chips Sea Salt & Vinegar

26. Doctor In The Kitchen Sea Salt Flackers

27. Doctor In The Kitchen Cinnamon & Currant Flackers

28. Doctor In The Kitchen Rosemary Flackers

29. Doctor In The Kitchen Savory Flackers

30. Hu Everything Grain-Free Crackers

31. Hu Sea Salt Grain-Free Crackers

32. Hu Pizza Grain-Free Crackers

33. Rhythm Kale Chips

34. Rhythm Cauliflower Bites

35. Rhythm Beet Chips

36. Rhythm Carrot Sticks

37. Simple Mills Farmhouse Cheddar Crackers 

38. Simple Mills Sprouted Seed Crackers

39. Simple Mills Sea Salt Crackers

40. Simple Mills Rosemary & Sea Salt Crackers

41. Simple Mills Garlic & Herb Sprouted Seed Crackers

42. Simple Mills Everything Sprouted Seed Crackers

43. Simple Mills Sundried Tomato & Basil Crackers

Savory Snacks

44. Gaea Green Olives

45. Sunfood Black Olives

46. SeaSnax Seaweed Snacks

47. Artisana Organics Raw Cashew Butter

48. Artisana Raw Almond Butter Packets

49. Artisana Raw Walnut Butter Packets

50. Go Raw Sunflower & Pumpkin Fiesta Seed Mix

51. Go Raw Pumpkin, Sunflower & Watermelon Seeds Mix

52. Go Raw Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt

53. Go Raw Sprouted Organic Sunflower Seeds

54. ELAN Organic Raw Almonds

55. Food to Live Raw Almonds

56. Terrasoul Superfoods Raw Cashews

57. NOW Foods Raw Cashews

58. Beyond Nature Raw Walnuts

59. Food to Live Raw Macadamia Nuts

60. Elan Organic Raw Pistachios

61. Food to Live Raw Pecans

62. Organic Wild Jungle Peanuts

63. NOW Foods Raw Brazil Nuts

64. The Good Bean Crispy Crunchy Chickpeas

65. Made In Nature Veggie Pops

66. Divine Organics Golden Princess Mix

67. Trail Mix (make your own with raw nuts, seeds, and dried fruit)

68. Nick’s Sticks 100% Grass-Fed Beef Snack Sticks

Sweet Snacks

69. Natierra Nature’s Freeze-Dried Bananas

70. Natierra Nature’s Freeze-Dried Beets

71. Thousand Lakes Freeze-Dried Bananas & Strawberries

72. Natierra Nature’s Freeze-Dried Mangoes

73. Natierra Nature’s Freeze-Dried Raspberries

74. Natierra Nature’s Freeze-Dried Strawberries

75. Natierra Nature’s Freeze-Dried Apples

76. Natierra Nature’s Freeze-Dried Tropical Fruits

77. Nova Scotia Organics Freeze-Dried Wild Blueberries

78. Nova Scotia Organics Freeze-Dried Pineapple Chunks

79. Next Organics Coconut Chips

80. Made in Nature Vietnamese Cinnamon Toasted Coconut Chips

81. Made In Nature Organic Maple Vanilla Coconut Chips

82. Joolies Medjool Dates

83. Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola Bars

84. Go Raw Choco Crunch Cookie Crisps

85. Go Raw Ginger Snap Cookie Crisps

86. Go Raw Organic Carrot Cake Cookie Crisps

87. Go Raw Organic Lemon Pie Cookie Crisps

88. North Coast Organic Apple Sauce

89. North Coast Organic Apple Sauce with Cinnamon

90. Peaceful Fruits Organic Fruit Strips

91. Blueberry Lemon Raw Crunch Bars

92. Evo Hemp Bars

93. Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars

94. Barnana Coconut Chewy Banana Bites

95. Made In Nature Figgy Pops

96. Go Raw Sprouted Bites

97. Nud Fud Goji Chia Banana Crisps

98. Rhythm Crunchy Mango Bites

99. Rhythm Crunchy Pineapple Bites

100. Mavuno Harvest Dried Bananas

101. Made In Nature Apple Rings

102. Little Duck Organics Tiny Fruits

Chewy Snacks

103. Nature’s Wild Fruit & Snacking Nut Bites

104. Looney Pruney Organic Pitted Prunes

105. Newman’s Own Raisins Mini-Boxes

106. Navitas Naturals Goji Berries

107. Food To Live Dried Bing Cherries

108. Peeled Snacks Dried Mango

109. Made in Nature Dried Pineapples

110. Eden Organic Dried Cranberries

111. Navitas Organics Goldenberries

112. Made In Nature Dried Smyrna Figs

113. Made In Nature Dried Apricots

114. Navitas Organics Mulberries

115. Mavuno Harvest Dried Jackfruit

116. Rhythm Watermelon Slices

117. Pan’s Mushroom Jerky

Now there’s no excuse to ever buy Goldfish Crackers ever, ever again. Am I right?

Which of these snacks are you going to try? Tell me in the comments below! 

And, please share this post to inform parents everywhere that it’s okay to stop buying Goldfish Crackers. There are over 100 better options now BOOM! 

Xo,

Vani

 

 

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6 Tips for Taking Your Workout Into Your Backyard

Disruption is the enemy of good habits and good intentions. And if there’s one word to sum up what the Covid-19 crisis has done to everyday life, it’s disruption. This is the time you might need your fitness routine the most, both to keep your immune system strong and to stay sane. If the gym is closed, and you’re under a stay-at-home order, no problem. Here are 6 tips for taking your workout into your backyard.

Photo by Dominik Wycisło on Unsplash

6 Tips for Taking Your Workout Into Your Backyard

1. Create

First things first: create a space to work out. A patio is a great place for a kettlebell burpee pyramid workout. All you need is a kettlebell and some space. Set up a yoga mat if your patio is too hard on your palms. If you’ve got enough lawn, think short sprints. Or butt kicks. Or plyometrics. You get the idea.

Just make sure your spaces are clear of dirt and debris. You might get out the leaf blower or the lawn mower to tidy things up a bit before you begin.

2. Motivate

Reframe your thinking. Instead of thinking you’re stuck at home, think “I’m going to go work out.”

By just going outside, you’re reaping much-needed psychological benefits. You get an endorphin hit by exercising. You lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol by being outside. Combining the two is a serious mood booster. We could all use that right now.

3. Substitute

You have quarantine options. You can stop exercising — or move daily. Don’t get hung up on doing X many sets with Y number of reps at Z amount of weight. Just move. Twenty minutes of gentle flow yoga is much better than sitting on the couch, moping.

Yoga not your thing? Maybe you have bad knees. A workout doesn’t have to mean situps, pushups, running, or squats. An hour of gardening can burn up to 600 calories. The stretching, bending, and twisting is also great for toning those muscles.

4. Stay Social … Distantly

Social support is key to maintaining a fitness plan. That much was true way before the latest pandemic started. It’s especially true now.

There are a few things you can do while physically isolating. Text your workout buddies. If you haven’t already agreed to do it, promise to hold each other accountable via text or social media. Use Zoom, Skype or Teams to work out with your friends. Sign up for a virtual work out class. We’re in this together. We can all break a sweat together, too.

5. Listen to Your Body

It’s crucial to keep moving, but you definitely should not push yourself past the breaking point. If your body says to rest, then take the rest day. And whatever you do, do not push yourself to work out if you have a cold or flu symptoms. Call your doctor instead.

6. Have a Plan

Working out in the backyard might get you your daily dose of vitamin C and lower your cortisol levels. What about those inclement weather days.? Make a Plan B now, so that spring showers don’t dampen your sweat session.

It might be yoga in the living room, or maybe you already have a mini garage gym set up. Mentally frame it as your official backup — and a bad weather day won’t feel like a setback.

You got this. We’ll get through it, one day, and one workout at a time. I hope you found these 6 tip for taking your workout into your backyard to be helpful!

Dominic Wojcik is a man with twin passions, for fitness and the outdoors. He has been writing about both for two decades.

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Scrambled Egg Sandwich with Avocado

This sky-high scrambled egg sandwich on whole wheat bread is layered with avocado, slices of sharp cheddar, and spinach. Enjoy for breakfast or lunch! When I was young my mom used to make a scrambled egg sandwich for lunch all the time! Just two pieces of bread with scrambled eggs in between. Why didn’t she...

The post Scrambled Egg Sandwich with Avocado appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.



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How To Freeze Avocados

Wondering how to freeze avocados? This guide can help!

If you are like me, you probably have a few avocados that never seem to get eaten as soon as they should. And for me, at least one always seems to go bad. So I started researching how to freeze avocados and came up with three methods you can use.

Three avocados sit on a table waiting to be prepped for the freezer in this guide to how to freeze avocados

Freezing avocados is a practical bit of know-how. If you’re lucky enough to have access to an avocado tree (I’ve always wanted one!!), or even if you’ve ever had even a single avocado sitting on your counter, you know that they can go from hard, to ripe, to rotten in the blink of an eye. The trick with freezing them is to get them when they are ripe. And I even have a trick for keeping them ripe longer! Now aren’t you glad you stopped by?

KEEPING AVOCADOS IN THE REFRIGERATOR

The simple truth is, avocados ripen MUCH slower in the fridge. It’s one thing to leave them on your counter if they are hard. But once they even get a hint of softness to them, stick them in the fridge immediately. They will continue to ripen, but at a much slower pace, giving you a bigger window to do something with them, like eating or freezing.

Where a rip avocado will stay ripe for a day or two before it starts to rot on the counter, it will stay in the ripe stage for a full week (sometimes more!) if it’s in the fridge. So don’t miss that opportunity to extend the life of your avocado.

BEST WAYS TO USE FROZEN AVOCADOS

Does freezing avocados change their texture? The short answer is, yes. It will change their texture. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Again, it all depends on how you are going to use them.

  • Guacamole
  • Smoothies (makes them super creamy!)
  • Smashed on your morning toast
  • Homemade frozen yogurt or ice cream
  • Avocado based salad dressings
  • Popsicles
  • Pudding
  • In quesadillas
  • In burritos
  • Used in baking

HOW TO FREEZE AVOCADOS

If you are ready to freeze your avocados, there are three methods you can use. How you freeze them will depend on how you intend to use them when thawed. If you know you will be mushing or blending them, then mashing them in method three will be just fine. If you aren’t sure, you can use method one or two, as you like.

For all methods, follow these steps first.

  1. Wash the avocados so that no dirt on the outside gets pushed into the flesh with your knife when you cut.
  2. Cut the avocado in half. Cut avocado halves sit on a table. One side still has the seed in it.
  3. Press the knife into the seed, twist, and remove. Give the handle of your knife a good hard tap on the side of your garbage can to get the seed to fall off easily. Showing the knife pressed into the seed for removal.

FREEZING AVOCADOS – METHOD 1

Option three for freezing avocados is to remove the seed, put the halves back together, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

Once the seed is removed, put the avocado back together and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Then place several avocados in an airtight container with a locking lid and freeze for up to 4 months. You can also vacuum seal them like this.

FREEZING AVOCADOS – METHOD 2

An avocado half with the skin removed, sits on a pan, ready to freeze. A spoon sits between the skin and flesh of the other half.

Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh from the skin.

Place the whole scooped out flesh on a pan as it is. Spritz with lemon juice and freeze overnight. In the morning, transfer the frozen avocados to an airtight container. Before placing the lid on the container, press plastic wrap down, around your avocados. Then fasten the lid and return to the freezer.

Note, you can also vacuum seal the avocados once they are frozen.

FREEZING AVOCADOS – METHOD 3

If you know you’ll be mashing or blending your frozen avocados, you can save time and mash them right inside a plastic zipper-top bag. Just make sure to add a little lemon juice to keep things from browning.

The most important step in this method is, once the avocados are mashed, you have to spread them out in the bag and press out any excess air. Air will brown your avocados, so make sure you press out as much as you can get out. Then place in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Option two for freezing avocados is to mash them.

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