6 Health Benefits of Mangoes

Did You know all the benefits of a Mangoe?

Here are some…

6 Health Benefits of Mangoes

The delicious fruit can help your skin, hair, eyes, immune system, and more!

Luscious and sweet, mango is known as the “the king of fruit.” Biting into the tropical fruit can feel like pure bliss, so much so that you may wonder if something so delicious and decadent can actually be good for you. The answer is a resounding “yes.” Although they’re high in sugar (one cup contains about 25 grams of carb and 100 calories), mangoes offer some pretty impressive perks. Here are five benefits of mango, along with some simple ways to enjoy the juicy gem.

Mangoes may protect against cancer

The fruit packs over a dozen types of polyphenols. These plant compounds have antioxidant activity that shields cells from the DNA damage that can lead to degenerative diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cancer. (In research done on animals, mango antioxidants actually suppressed the growth of breast cancer cells.)

They boost the immune system

One cup of mango provides about a quarter of the daily target for vitamin A, a nutrient that’s essential for proper functioning of the immune system (including the production and activity of white blood cells). Not getting enough of the vitamin is associated with a greater susceptibility to infections.

Mangoes improve skin and hair health

The vitamin A in mangos is also key for the development and maintenance of multiple types of epithelial tissues, including skin, hair, and sebaceous glands. The latter, which are attached to hair follicles, help keep hair moisturized and healthy. (In animal research, a Vitamin A deficiency has been tied to hair loss.) One cup of mango also supplies about 75% of the daily minimum vitamin C intake. This nutrient is needed to produce collagen, a type of tissue that gives skin its elasticity and helps prevent wrinkles and sagging.

They may ease constipation

In a study on people with chronic constipation (and funded in party by the National Mango Board), eating mango was found to be more helpful than taking an equivalent amount of isolated fiber. It’s important to note though that mangos are a high-FODMAP food, so they may trigger gas and bloating in some, particularly those with irritable bowel syndrome.

And improve blood sugar regulation

It seems unlikely that such a sweet food would improve blood sugar, but that was the conclusion of a pilot study at Oklahoma State University. For 12 weeks, 20 obese men and women ate 10 grams of ground, freeze-dried mango pulp (equivalent to about half a fresh mango) every day. At the end of the study, the participants had lower blood glucose levels than when they began the experiment. Researchers suspect bioactive components in the fruit, including antioxidants, may be at work.

Mangoes support eye health

The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin found in mangos help your eyes in several ways. The two natural compounds, which protect the retina and lens, have been shown to increase visual range, lessen discomfort from glare, enhance visual contrast, and reduce the time it takes the eyes to recover from the stress of bright lights. The duo also protect eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays, and fight or slow the progression of cataracts and macular degeneration.

How to eat more mango

Luckily, the fruit is easy to incorporate into any meal, sweet or savory. For example, you can top your avocado toast with sliced mango, or add it to Greek yogurt or overnight oats. Whip mango into a smoothie; add it to salsa, slaw, tacos, tuna or chicken salad, and garden salads. Serve mango over cooked fish, or mix it into whole grains, like quinoa or wild rice. Mango also makes a delicious and colorful addition to desserts and treats, including chia pudding, coconut milk ice cream, even mango margaritas!

Enjoy the Journey to Getting Slim Now

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What Is ‘Dirty Keto’ and Should You Try It?

This twist on the keto diet sounds easier, but will it still lead to weight loss?

The high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet has helped all kinds of people lose weight. The diet is relatively simple; you want to put your body in a state of ketosis, so you burn fat (instead of sugar) for energy. But making real and permanent changes to your eating habits and food choices—that’s not always so easy.

Enter “dirty keto,” a trendy hack to this eating plan. As the name implies, it’s the less clean (read: less healthy) version of the OG keto diet. 

Here’s the lowdown: On a regular keto diet (also called “strict” or “clean” keto), no more than roughly 5% of your calories should come from carbs, 75%-90% should come from fat, and the remaining 6%-25% from protein. With the dirty version, your macronutrient focus is no different, but the quality of the foods you eat to hit those targets matters a whole lot less.

Instead of noshing on an avocado and kale chips with a side of creamy ranch for lunch, you can cruise carefree through the Five Guys drive-thru. A hamburger topped with cheese and bacon, no bun? Sure. Wash it down with a diet soda and grab a bag of pork rinds from a convenience store for your afternoon snack. A keto-friendly chocolate bar has your name written all over it for dessert.

The benefits of dirty keto? There’s no meal prep, it allows you to eat virtually anything (as long as it’s not a carb), and you still get the potential weight-loss payoff of the regular keto diet, says exercise physiologist Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, of MohrResults.com.

If you have a serious fast food addiction, dirty keto is tempting (very tempting!). And when you’re traveling or on the go, it might be the only way you can stick to the keto diet. While it’s okay to eat this way on occasion, you’ll want to clean up your food choices asap—so you don’t miss out on all of the good-for-you micronutrients that keep your system healthy.

“Although you may lose weight [eating dirty keto], the quality of the food we eat impacts us beyond our weight,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, author of the Superfood Swap.

Basically, dirty keto isn’t a version of the diet you want to follow over the long haul. “The vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients in high-quality foods protect our overall health,” says Blatner. “If you do want to try keto, though, go with a more holistic, clean approach and choose unprocessed versions of fats and round it out with quality proteins and produce.”

If you do go dirty keto every so often, seek out less-unhealthy items that hit your macronutrient targets. For example, pick up some sushi, sans rice, from the grocery store. It’s fairly easy to find pre-made hard-boiled eggs or jerky at a convenience stop; these are healthier than a burger or burrito. Or sign up for a keto-friendly meal delivery service or meal box, so nutritious, keto-approved food come to your door.

Although the dirty version seems easier than the old-school keto diet, it’s likely to wear out its welcome faster. Anecdotally, people say the “keto flu” (the nickname for the fatigue and nausea some keto followers experience when they first start the diet) is much worse when it’s fueled by junky, processed, fatty items. And from an overall health standpoint, this isn’t a diet you want to follow for the long haul

3 Healthy High-Fat Foods You Should Eat More

3 Healthy High-Fat Foods You Should Eat More

Fat is backw

We don’t have to tell you what a disaster the low-fat craze was. We all stopped eating many of our favorite foods thinking they were bad for us (welcome back, eggs and dark chocolate!) and ended up overweight, overly full of refined carbs, and sick. In the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, for the first time in 35 years, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services removed the limit on total fat consumption in the American diet (though they still recommend getting less than 10% of daily calories from saturated fat). In their words, evidence clearly shows that eating more foods rich in healthful fats like nuts, vegetable oils, and fish have protective effects, particularly for cardiovascular disease. They also help you absorb a host of vitamins, fill you up so you eat less, and taste good, too. Here are 13 healthy high fat foods to stock up on to celebrate.

Types of fat

Fat comes in many forms, including:

Unsaturated: Liquid at room temperature and generally considered heart healthy. Found in plants like nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and seafood.

Saturated: Solid at room temperature and found in animal foods, like meat and butter, as well as coconut and palm oil. Often deemed unhealthy for your heart, but research is equivocal. “Some sources are actually good for us,” says Brianna Elliott, RD, a nutritionist based in St. Paul, Minn.

Trans: Liquid fats made solid through a process called hydrogenation. Found in fried foods, baked goods, and processed snack foods. These heart-health wreckers were banned from the food supply in 2015. They’ll be gone by 2018.

“What really matters is where the source of fat is coming from. The fats found in processed junk foods and store-bought baked goods aren’t so good for us, while fat from more natural foods like avocados, grass-fed beef, and olives can be beneficial” says Elliott.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is the original healthy fat. A tall body of research finds that it helps lower your risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Most recently, Spanish researchers publishing in the journal Molecules reported that the various components of olive oil including oleic acid and secoiridoids protect your body on the cellular level to slow the aging process. “To get the most health benefits, choose extra-virgin olive oil, as it is extracted using natural methods and doesn’t go through as much processing before it reaches your plate,” says Elliott. Research shows that veggies sautéed in olive oil are also richer in antioxidants than boiled ones—and they taste better too! Don’t go crazy though. All fats are relatively high in calories and 1 tablespoon of olive oil has about 120 calories.

Fish

You may have heard your mother or grandmother describe fish as “brain food.” That’s because these swimmers are brimming with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function, says Elliot. “Your brain is made up of mostly fat, so you need to consume them in order to stay sharp and healthy,” she says. The new Dietary Guidelines recommend eating 8 ounces per week to get healthy amounts of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), all of which feed your brain and fight inflammation and chronic disease. If you’re concerned about mercury, choose salmon, anchovies, herring, shad, sardines, Pacific oysters, trout, and Atlantic and Pacific mackerel (not king mackerel), according to the USDA.

Avocados

Avocados do more than provide the keystone ingredient for amazing guac. They also help lower inflammation, which is linked to cardiovascular disease. In a 2014 study, a team of Mexican researchers fed a group of rats too much sugar, which gave them symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including high blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides. They then fed the rats avocado oil, which lowered levels of triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol in their blood, while keeping protective HDL cholesterol levels intact. “You need to consume healthy fats in order for your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K—pair them with a salad so you can reap the benefits of all those veggies!” says Elliot. Keep your overall calorie intake in mind; one avocado is about 320 calories. An easy way to get a good dose is with avocado toast, which can work as a complete breakfast, snack, lunch or even an easy dinner. 

Eggs

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines lifted the longstanding hard limit on cholesterol, as many researchers now believe the cholesterol you eat doesn’t have that much bearing on the amount of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol floating in your bloodstream, and that saturated fat (like fatty meats) and genetic makeup are the real driving force behind dangerously high cholesterol. That’s good news, since research finds that eating eggs in the morning can help you feel full and satisfied longer, making it easier to resist those pastries in your office pantry. “Eggs from hens that are raised on pastures or fed omega-3 enriched feed tend to be higher in omega-3s,” says Elliot.

Tree nuts

Nuts are nature’s most perfect portable snack. Each handful packs a powerhouse of nutrients including amino acids, vitamin E, and unsaturated fatty acids. In one long-term study published last year in the British Journal of Nutrition, eating a daily one-ounce serving of nuts was associated with a 50% lower incidence of diabetes, a 30% reduction in heart disease, and a nearly 50% lower incidence of stroke. (Note: the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council helped fund this particular study, but the general health benefits of nuts have been well established.) Before you chow down, beware the “candyfication” of nuts. Skip any that say “candied,” “honeyed,” or “glazed,” and read ingredients lists carefully. “Make sure there aren’t any added ingredients, such as sugar and other vegetable oils,” Elliot says. “There is no need for oils to be added to nuts because they already have their own!”

Nut butter

Those PB&J’s your mom put in your lunch bag (and maybe you put in your own kid’s now) are also really good for you. In a 2013 study published in Breast Cancer Research Treatment and funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, girls who regularly ate peanut butter between the ages of 9 and 15 were 39% less likely to develop benign breast disease by age 30. Today, you can buy nut butters of all kinds including almond, cashew, and more. “The healthy fats in nut butters can help to keep you full and satisfied,” says Elliot. “Just make sure that the nut is the only ingredient listed (along with salt with some brands). Avoid those that have added sugars or vegetables oils”

Coconut oil

Coconut oil used to get a bad rap because its calories come predominantly from saturated fats. Now it’s receiving some well-deserved vindication, says Elliot. The main type of saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, “which is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties,” says Elliot. “Coconut oil is also unique from other sources of saturated fats because it contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are metabolized differently—they go straight from the liver to the digestive tract and can then be used as a quick source of energy rather than getting stored. It’s also a very stable fat and is great for cooking with high temperatures.” For a tasty treat whip up a coconut oil latte! 

Dark chocolate

For years, many of us reserved chocolate for an occasional indulgence. Now we know that a daily chunk of dark chocolate, which is a source of healthy fats, actually protects the heart. Researchers from Louisiana State University reported that when you eat dark chocolate, good gut microbes like Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria feast on it and they grow and ferment it, which produces anti-inflammatory compounds that protect your cardiovascular health. The sweet may also keep you slim. One study published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that folks who eat chocolate five times a week have a lower BMI and are about 6 pounds lighter than those who don’t eat any.

 

Greek yogurt

About 70% of the fat in Greek yogurt is saturated, but you may notice about a gram of trans fat on the label. Not to worry: unless you see partially hydrogenated oil on the ingredients list (which is unlikely), then it’s a naturally occurring type of trans fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). “While man-made trans fats are very unhealthy, ruminant trans fats like CLA may help to protect against type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer,” Elliot explains. “To get the most bang for your buck when it comes to yogurt, aim for grass-fed, full-fat yogurt. You’ll also want to make sure to choose plain yogurt because flavored yogurts are typically full of added sugars and artificial sweeteners.” The new guidelines recommend choosing low fat or fat free dairy, including milk, when possible.

Olives

The oil from these pressed gems steals the health spotlight, but the fruits themselves deserve a prominent position on stage—and your plate. Naturally, they are rich in oleic acid, the monounsaturated fatty acid that protects your heart. They’re also rich in antioxidant polyphenols, which protect you from cell damage, as well as iron, fiber, and copper. “Expand your horizons beyond the ripe black olives found on pizzas,” says Leslie Bonci, RD, sports nutritionist at Pittsburgh-based company Active Eating Advice. “Markets have huge olive bars with a wide array of sizes, colors, and textures. Even if you think you don’t like olives, there may be a kind you do, you just haven’t found it yet.” Just keep in mind that they can be high in sodium. The Guidelines recommend no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day for those 14 and older.

Seeds

Seeds are so tiny, it’s easy to dismiss them as sprinkles for salads or flavoring for bread. But it’s time to regard these crunchy add-ons as more than a garnish and as the nutritional powerhouses they are. Seeds like pumpkin, hemp, flax (grind these in a coffee grinder to release nutrients), chia, and sunflower are rich in monounsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which suppress inflammation. They’re also a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, iron, and magnesium. “Pumpkin seeds have been found to be especially helpful for balancing blood sugar,” says Stanford University nutrition scientist Stacy Sims, PhD.

Soybeans

Soybeans are one of the few beans that are not only rich in protein, but also a good source of essential fatty acids. So they make a fiber-rich meat substitute. “Soybeans—dried or fresh—are a healthy source of complete protein as well as isoflavones (a form of plant-based estrogen), fiber, and vitamins and minerals,” says Bonci. “That’s also true for soy milk, miso and tofu.” That’s not to say veggie corn dogs are a health food, however. “Meat analogs like Fakin Bacon are primarily soy protein without the other healthful components. So choose whole soy foods for health benefits.”

Cheese

Cheese has long been regarded as dietary villain that packs up your arteries like a stuffed pizza crust. Curbing highly processed, sodium-packed cheese products is still smart, but you can make room for a good cheese plate. In fact, some studies have found that people who regularly eat cheese have lower risk of high LDL cholesterol and heart disease. Aged cheeses like Parmesan are also a good source of probiotics, which promote healthy digestion and weight. “Cheese is full of good nutrients like phosphorous, protein, and calcium that people forget about because of the fat issue,” says Sims. “It also increases levels of butyric acid in the body, which has been linked to lower obesity risk and a faster metabolism.” One of the healthiest ways to get your cheese fix: As a garnish on a salad. It adds flavor to your bowl, and the fat helps you absorb the nutrients in the veggies.

Make Your Bed

Making your bed can get you out of pain.

How?

Well, by itself, it can’t. But what it represents and what it becomes can.

There is no good reason NOT to make your bed. Let’s start there. If you disagree, leave the “do not disturb” on your hotel room door when you travel from now on.

Making the bed becomes a habit once you do it enough times. It’s a habit that at first can have some resistance attached to it and one that you have to manufacture value to get behind early on.

It’s the simple, personal respect, and discipline that it takes to make your bed that it takes to start doing the necessary things to get out of pain.

It’s improving your diet.

It’s prioritizing sleep.

It’s reducing stress.

It’s going for walks.

It’s breaking a sweat.

It’s warming up.

It’s cooling down.

It’s moving with intent.

Habits.

We are a convergence of our habits. Some of those habits come easy, some we have to develop on purpose. Either way, we make the choice.

If you start each day by making your bed, you start each day with a win.

And remember….

#WinnersWin

Enjoy the Journey to Getting Slim Now

Get Better Sleep

5 ways to help sleep

1) Blackout your room! 

Any light can effect your sleep quality.

2) Cool climates help.

In the 60s is good from research. 

3) No technology 90 minutes before bed. 

The light from tech tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. You could also try blue light blocking apps or glasses if you need to work late on a computer.

4) Sunlight in the morning and throughout the day.

A good night sleep starts in the morning. Even on a cloudy day you still get some much needed rays. 

5) Get on a schedule. 

Your body will adapt to a schedule and allow for your sleep to improve.

Five Reasons to Get an Adequate Sleep

Adequate meaning 8 + hours of sleep. 

Not just lying in bed.

1) Regulate hormones

Getting enough sleep helps to regulate hormones including: testosterone, cortisol, growth hormone, leptin, serotonin and dopamine. Also, lack of sleep in men has been shown to give the same testosterone as men 10 years older. Not in a good way.

2) Increase cognition

Studies show that adequate sleep helps increase recollection, memory, and learning, and reaction time.

3) Remove toxins

When you sleep, the glymphatic system clears waste from the CNS. It circulates cerebrospinal spinal fluid to filter out waste surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

4) Increases immune system strength.

5) Increases HGH

This helps with fat loss, muscle growth, joint protection, tendon health.

Adequate sleep has so many other benefits so, the moral of the story, get your sleep!!

Meals and Snacks with the Right Amounts of Protein

As promised here are some meals and snacks with their respective amounts of protein.

Protein-Focused Breakfast Options

Omelet with avocado and a side pea protein “yogurt”: 24g
Made from two whole, large, organic, pasture-raised eggs, an omelet packs 12 grams of protein, says Sass. Pair with veggies and avocado, with a side of plain pea protein Greek ÿogurt¨  for another 12 grams.

Egg “muffins” with two slices of whole-grain toast: 22g
Kimball suggests scrambling up two eggs in muffin tins and pairing them with whole-grain toast for an early a.m. protein boost.

One Fage Greek yogurt: 18g
Not into eggs? One 6-ounce container of Fage Greek yogurt contains 18 grams of protein.

Protein-Focused Lunch Options

Salad with grilled chicken: 24g
A large salad made with leafy greens, extra-virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinaigrette, topped with 2 ounces of grilled chicken breast would be about 14 grams of protein, says Sass. Add half a cup of cooked chilled quinoa and you’ll tack on another 4 grams. Half a cup of chickpeas gives you another 6 grams of protein—that’s a salad with 24 grams of total protein.

Protein and nut butter smoothie: 27g
If you’re eating lunch on the go, hit up a smoothie bar or whip up your own smoothie made from a scoop of protein powder (typically about 20 grams of protein), frozen fruit, a handful of kale, fresh gingerroot, unsweetened almond milk, and 2 tablespoons of almond butter (which adds 7 grams of protein), suggests Sass.

An old-school turkey wrap with vegetables: 25g
Don’t diss the old-school brown paper bag lunch. Three ounces of lean meat (in this case turkey) will provide about 20 grams of protein. Pair that with nutritious whole-grain bread, and you’re at about 25 grams, says Kimball. Include your favorite veggies or spreads as fillings.

Protein-Focused Dinner Ideas

Salmon with Brussels sprouts: 25g
One cup of Brussels sprouts (oven roasted in herbs and extra-virgin olive oil) provides 3 grams of protein. A little bit of cauliflower gives you about 2 more grams. Top it with 3 ounces of broiled Alaskan salmon for another 22 grams of protein. Complete the dish with 1 cup cooked spaghetti, suggests Sass.

Bean bowl: 22.5g
Beans are a solid but sometimes overlooked source of protein and a great option for plant-based eaters. Prep a red bean power bowl—packed with mixed greens, veggies, and fruit—for an easy 22.5 grams of protein.

Banza mac and cheese: 18g
Sometimes, cooking from scratch isn’t *quite* in the cards. No pressure. Banza chickpea pasta provides a solid dose of protein (far more than your traditional types of pasta, which usually clock in around 7 grams).

Protein-Focused Snack Ideas

A nutrition bar: 10g
Not all protein bars are created equal—but Protein One bars pack 10 grams of protein, 90 calories, and 1 gram of sugar. Plus, they’re easy enough to store in your desk drawer to pull out any time a craving hits.

Pistachios: 6g
Plant-based protein, like the kind found in pistachios, provides more bang for your calorie buck, says Caspero. “Nearly 90 percent of the fats found in pistachios are the better-for-you mono- and polyunsaturated types. Plus, they’re a good source of protein and fiber for a trio that helps keep you fuller longer, compared to just protein.”

Cottage cheese: 25g
Kimball favors protein-rich cottage cheese as a nighttime snack—especially for those who find themselves hungry before bed. Rich in a slow-digesting protein called casein, it’ll do away with hunger pangs the healthy way, keeping you full throughout the night.

What Eating the *Right* Amount of Protein Every Day Actually Looks Like

Eating healthy is important, but it can be a process in and of itself: Should I eat organic fruit? Do I need grass-fed beef? Should all juice be cold-pressed? And that’s before you even start figuring out how much of each macronutrient—carbs, fats, and protein—you need on a day-to-day basis. Sigh.

Fortunately, things don’t have to be so difficult, at least when it comes to arguably the most important macronutrient for active person: protein.

Here, why the filling nutrient is such a key part of your diet, how to gauge your individual protein needs—plus protein-packed picks for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anything in between to help you make sure you’re getting enough of it every day.

Why Protein Matters

Think of your body like a never-ending construction site. Protein is the workers required to keep the project running smoothly.

“You’re continually using protein to support hormones, enzymes, immune cells, hair, skin, muscle, and other protein tissues,” says Cynthia Sass, R.D., a performance nutritionist based in New York and Los Angeles. “On top of that, protein is needed to recover from the stress of training.” After exercise, your body uses protein (broken down into amino acids) to repair damaged muscle fibers, building them back stronger than before.

Not getting enough protein could lead to muscle loss, weak hair and nails, or immune issues. But, bare minimum, it’ll hold you back from the best results in the gym. 

Luckily, most Americans do get enough protein in their diet. In fact, “there are some estimates that the average American gets two times the recommended protein intake,” says Alex CAspero, R.D., a dietitian based in St. Louis. But acing the right amount of protein is important. “The body can only use 15 to 25 grams of protein at a time for muscle building,” says Caspero. “The rest of that gets broken down and used as fuel, or stored as fat.”

How Much Protein Do You Need?

While dietitians have differing thoughts on the *exact* amount of protein each body needs, there are some general rules of thumb in place to help guide you. The National Institutes of Health’s Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), which describes the minimum amount required for the body to function properly, says daily protein intake should be 0.36 grams for each pound you weigh. That’s about 46 grams of protein a day for the average person.

But many experts, including Molly Kimball, R.D., C.S.S.D., a dietitian with Ochsner Health in New Orleans, suggest a fit person needs far more than that. After all, that amount only prevents a protein deficiency, Kimball says—it’s the minimum requirement. It isn’t optimal for muscle repair and growth, a reduced risk of injury, or feeling fuller longer.

How much protein you *actually* need depends on who you ask and who you are. 

Generally speaking, the more you move, the more protein you need. “The less wear and tear you put on your body, the less repair work there is to do,” says Sass. Your age plays a role, too. Some research suggests that as you age, your body performs better with higher amounts of protein. One study published in The American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolismfound that when people over age 50 ate about double the DRI of protein, their bodies were better at building muscle.

If you’re working out hard on a regular basis (think: both cardio and strength training on the reg), Sass notes that the ideal daily amount of protein for muscle building and maintenance is about 0.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight—ideally spread out evenly throughout the day. So, if you’re working your butt off, aim for 0.75 to 1 gram of protein per pound of healthy body weight.

In short, that means whatever your weight was when you’ve felt your strongest and healthiest. The distinction is important considering if you’re severely underweight or overweight, you don’t want to just use the numbers on the scale as a reference for your protein intake.

Your absolute minimum, if you’re not active or only slightly active, should be about 0.5 grams of protein per pound of healthy body weight, notes Kimball. For an active 130-pound woman (59 kg), a ballpark protein breakdown would be roughly 24 grams of protein per meal including snacks, or about 97 grams a day (more or less, depending on your activity level).

If you’re still concerned about protein needs (vegans and vegetarians can sometimes require more attention) a registered dietitian can help you ID the ideal amount of protein for you.

Tomorrow look for meals and snacks (one from each category), with their respective amounts of protein, when determining your meals and your macros for the day…

Enjoy the Journey to Getting Slim Now

Four Healthy Resolutions

Sorry I have been gone many days…. but I am back!

In January many people are focused on shedding holiday pounds.

But others see the New Year as a chance to establish healthy (and sustainable) eating habits for reasons other than weight loss.

These folks are driven by goals like more energy, stronger immunity, improved strength and endurance, and better digestive health, sleep, or mood. Some are even driven by the beauty benefits of a clean diet, such as smoother skin and glossy hair.

People with these types of quality-of-life motivations are more likely to stay on track throughout the year, even if they don’t see a steady drop on the scale. If you are in a similar boat, I recommend the four simple resolutions below, to help making eating healthy your new normal in the months ahead.

1.- Stock up on ingredients for quick, balanced meals

When hunger strikes, if you don’t have a healthy option on hand, it’s all too easy to gorge on anything that’s readily available. Many clients tell me they wind up eating things like their kids’ mac and cheese or pizza, when they haven’t planned their meals in advance.

While prepping healthy options may seem like a pain, you can actually make the process pretty simple by choosing a few go-to meals, and stocking up on their ingredients. For example, always keep a container of leafy greens in the fridge as the base of a meal. You can top it with canned wild salmon (seasoned with Dijon, balsamic vinegar, and Italian seasoning), a few hard-boiled eggs, a scoop of lentils, or a handful of pre-cooked frozen shrimp (thawed by rinsing under cold water).

Add a healthy fat, like avocado, or a jarred option, like olive tapenade or an EVOO-based pesto. For a good carb, toss in fruit (like a sliced apple, pear, or thawed frozen berries), a small scoop of pulses (canned chickpeas or lentils), or a whole grain like pre-cooked quinoa. You can also leave the starch out of the dish and munch on popcorn afterward instead.

These meals made from clever shortcuts can be prepared in minutes. And when you have the components on hand, it’s much easier to resist a less healthy option.

2.- Identify healthy take-out options

We all have days when we just cannot carve out time to put together even a quick meal. But if you’re going to order in, it doesn’t have to be pad Thai or a mega burrito. Instead, choose three solid options in advance, and alternate.

One good choice is a taco salad (without the fried shell) topped with grilled veggies, and either chicken, seafood, or black beans for protein; plus salsa or pico de gallo and guacamole as your dressing.

Another healthy choice is sashimi, paired with seaweed salad or a side salad with ginger dressing, and sides of brown rice and avocado. And you can’t go wrong with a Mediterranean platter (skip the free pita) of salad dressed with tahini or EVOO vinaigrette, lentil soup or kabobs of chicken or seafood, and a side of hummus. Scope out where you can find these meals in your delivery zone now, so you’ll know who to call on your next crazy-busy day.

3.- Adopt a strategy for sweets and booze

The two things that most often derail people from a healthy eating routine are drinking alcohol and unplanned sweet or savory splurges (like a cupcake or potato chips). I don’t believe it’s realistic to never have these extras. However, I think the best approach is to determine how and when you’ll include them in your diet in advance.

For example, some people eat clean, healthy meals Monday through Friday, then indulge on weekends. Others choose two days during the week when they’re going to indulge, based on their social plans.

Regardless of which approach works for you, having a concrete plan makes it a lot easier to pass up temptations. In other words, if you know you’re going to dinner Thursday night and will be splitting molten lava cake with a friend, you’ll be less tempted by M&Ms at the office.

4.- Take five minutes a day to meditate

Now, you may be wondering what meditatiom has to do with healthy eating. The answer is everything.

When you clear your head, and stay present in the here and now, eating becomes a much different experience.

Spending just five short minutes a day meditating can help you better tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness signals; eat with more awareness, at a slower pace; and lead you to make more thoughtful decisions about food. This change alone has the power to end patterns of under or overeating, and help you naturally eat in a way that optimizes wellness.

Enjoy the Journey to Getting Slim Now

Juan Fernando Gutierrez

Timming, Frecuency and Supplements

Last part of this interesting article…

Level #4: Nutrient Timing & Meal Frequency

Industry thinking used to be as simple as, eat big, lift big, get big.

The pendulum then swung too far to the right of moderation towards excessive attention to detail. 

The new standard became ‘eat many small meals throughout the day’, sometimes known as a typical bodybuilder diet.

Unfortunately I now think it has swung too far in the other direction, where we have the (only slightly less annoying) myth that ‘meal frequency and timing don’t matter’, or even that ‘calories don’t count as long you eat within an 8 hour window’ – a natural consequence of people jumping on the intermittent fasting bandwagon without understanding (or caring about) the science.

As is the case with most of these things, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Here are some nutrition and timing guidelines:

  • Aim to eat 2-3 meals if you are in a fat-loss phase, 3-4 meals if you are in a muscle gain phase. If you’re just sustaining your weight, 2-4 will do. (You can eat more frequently than this if you prefer, the downside is that the extra work with meal planning can threaten adherence.)
  • Aim to eat within two hours of finishing your training.
  • Don’t train completely fasted. Have a whey shake or BCAA drink at the minimum. (This isn’t counted in the meal frequency guidelines above.)

Level #5: Supplements

Supplements are the smallest part of the puzzle, but they can be useful. They can be divided into health and performance supplements, here’s the short list that will be applicable to nearly everyone.

Note that I’m not listing protein powder here as I consider it to be a powdered food, not a supplement.

Health & Nutritional Supplements

  • Multivitamin – A good insurance policy against deficiencies. – 1/day when cutting, not normally needed when bulking.
  • Essential Fatty Acids – Usually consumed in the form of fish oils, when appropriately dosed, EFA’s help with leptin signaling in the brain, reducing in inflammation, enhancing mood, and reducing disease factor risk. They can also aid in joint recovery and have shown potential for some metabolic benefits as well. – 2-3g/day, EPA and DHA combined.
  • Vitamin D3 – Having insufficient levels of vitamin D in the body can compromise the immune system, which can be a disaster for someone who is training hard, dieting, or attempting to perform any type of activity at a high level. – 9-36 IU/lb/day (20-80 IU/kg/day) based on sun exposure.

Performance Supplements

  • Creatine monohydrate – By far the most tried and true, most affordable, and most effective of all the creatine variants. It will benefit strength and power production. – 5g/day
  • Caffeine – Pre-Workout to enhance performance – 1.81-2.72 mg/lb (4-6 mg/kg), 1-2x/week max.
  • Beta Alanine – If you think of creatine for power, think of beta-alanine for longer anaerobic performances. – 3-4 g/day only if doing continuous high intensity exercise for 60 sec+.

The rest you don’t need to bother with. Trendy right now are “exogenous ketones” and “HMB”, but there appear to have fraudulent study data as the only real thing going for them. BCAAs won’t do nothing for you outside the context of fasted training, if your protein intake is sufficient for the day.

Moral of the Story:

The next time you are evaluating your nutrition, training, and (hopefully not too much) supplementation, please recall the “layer cake” example from the beginning of this article. 

Once you understand the hierarchy of importance that each layer brings to the table, you’ll be making better decisions and that will lead to increased performance and progress toward your goals.