Nutrition Hack Wednesday: Why You Need Macros in Your Life!

✳️Once you hit a certain point, you can pretty much know what and how much food you are consuming within a certain range.  

For instance, a professional golfer 🏌️‍♀️can hit a shot with a club and probably within 5-10 yards tell you how far he hit the ball.  An architect could most likely look at a room and judge the square feet of that room pretty accurately. And a professional gamer 🎮 could probably guess within 1-2 energy drunks 😈, how many they have consumed within a 24 hour period.  HAHA!

I joke 🃏 because I used to be a hardcore gamer (at least I think) so, I know energy 😵 drinks can be consumed at a crazy, rapid rate without even thinking about the consequences.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN MACROS?

Briefly, macros refer to the 3️⃣ main macronutrients being carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.  Each has a certain caloric value represented per gram.  For instance, 1g of fats = 9️⃣calories, 1g of carbohydrates = 4️⃣ calories, and 1g of protein is also = 4️⃣ calories.

So, if you eat a 🍔 burger with 30g of fat, 40g of protein and 25g of carbs, all you have to do is multiply those number by the associated caloric value per gram and boom! you have the total calorie number.  

Although, we’ve discussed before, all calories are not the same and 10g of sugar 🍦 (carb) does not affect the body the same weight 10g of sweet 🥔 potato.

Macro counting can seem like a daunting task 😳 at first but the benefits ✅ are huge for those wanting to lose weight, gain muscle mass, train for a competition, or increase optimal performance.  Hitting your total caloric intake for the day is great 👍 but if the ratios of Carbs to Protein to Fats is all ❌ jacked up, you may not be seeing the results you want, if any at all.

If you’re an everyday person who doesn’t really care about macros 🤷‍♀️ then I would still suggest counting your nutrient intake for at least 3️⃣0️⃣ days.  This would allow you to actually see what and how much of each nutrient is in a food item and if you are abundant or deficient in any area.

I just recently ❗️started tracking my own again to see how good I was only my total intake and to be honest, I was pretty spot on.  This is 1 part pure luck, but also, from years of experience counting my macros and weighing food day after day.  This process becomes a habit 🐾 just like anything else and really doesn’t take a lot of time.

WHAT’S OUT THERE?

With the advances of most tracking apps, all you really have to do is snap 📷 a photo of the food item eaten or added to the menu and enter the quantity.  Since I just started back tracking, I wanted to see what apps were out there and which ones had improved.  Search engines, app store, and some more revealed different results.  I downloaded and even bought 🙄 a few of the apps just to see how easily they integrated with different features.

Long story short, MyFitnessPal is still one of the best and easiest to use.  🔥 Did I mention the basic features are all FREE!  This is all I need and it works perfectly.  The only benefit for me, would be to pay so it does math for me.  The free version 🚫 won’t say you have 40g of carbs left.  

Instead, the app just shows you how many you’ve consumed (80g) and what your total for the day is (120g).  So you just have to know 120-80 = 40g left for the day.

I also, subscribed to Avatar Nutrition to see what a computer based macro coach was really like.  The price is $9.99/month and asks you to weigh-in and take simple measurements to adjust your macros accordingly.  

This seems like a cool 😎 concept and they use IIFYM style of “flexible dieting” to get your where you want to be.  The downside for me is they don’t have a “low carb” setting and I can’t adjust my ratios where I’d like them.

I decided to pay and subscribe with the program because you obtain access to the
Facebook group where you can chat with tons of other people and the founders directly.  To me, that’s worth the $10 alone.  Downside though, they only integrate with 1 specific macro counting app and it costs $2.99 to download. 

So, I downloaded it and became instantly frustrated with the process because it took so long to log food plus, the macro nutrients were off.  🏃Quickly, I went back to the App Store and downloaded MyFitnessPal again, logged my macros, and was right at home pretty easily.

FINAL WORD

All-in-all I don’t think most people need to weigh food for the rest of their lives.  I will, however, stress the importance of macro counting if you are trying to optimize your performance, lose/gain weight, or anything else on this spectrum.  You need to tailor specific ratios based on what you are trying to get out of your body and specifically, your body type.   Even if you’re not on one of these paths, it’s still a great idea to track for at least 30 days so you know

  1. How many calories you are actually ingesting
  2. Where you are abundant or deficient in macros/micro nutrients
  3. What ratios work best for your individual body type

Remember the one-size-fits-all approach isn’t the way to go.  Try a specific diet out, see your ratios first hand, and find one that works for you.  I would suggest:

  1. Seeing your doctor before trying anything out especially if you had or have any conditions.  Plus doing some blood work to see how the dietary changes really do affect you after 30 days.
  2. Looking for a Dietary Coach if you need help.

I truly hope this article helps.  Do you have a better way to track macros?  Do you even bother with it?

 

Happy Training 🙂

#JustMove!

 

 

Equilibrium #1

For the next few Friday’s, I wanted to try something new.  I’m calling the segment Equilibrium and it’s purpose is so you can hear my actual voice speak about issues I believe are extremely important.  I could write about some of the topics, but I feel with writing, sometimes my tone or message doesn’t always come across clear.

I hope you check it out and enjoy!

Equilibrium #1

Happy Training!

 

 

Burning Fat: Vol 4 (3min)

Let’s get into today’s topic by discussing algebra shall we?  Yes, you heard me right, ALGEBRA.  For the most part you’d think if a + b + c = d then math tells us taking things to the other side of the equation you can find other letters.  For example, a+b+c=d so d-b-c=a.  Hello?  You still here? (Haha jk)

So let’s say a represent a normal healthy you and d represents overweight you.  If b and c are junk food and sitting on the couch then yes, subtracting those two makes perfect since.  However, if your speaking of chronic inflammation, being obese, having a disease, etc. then NO! just subtracting two things doesn’t get you back to healthy you.  

Throughout this post I’m also posting 3 personal photos.  The first two were taken 30s apart with #1 being immediately after excerising off a fast and #2 seated and not flexing.  The third is from about 30 minutes later and consuming a healthy recovery meal.  The point of this to show you don’t have to be an Instagram model every second of every day because no one really is.  Also, I want to clarify I am not calling myself and Instagram model by any means 🙄😂😂.  Anywho…

LIVE LIFE

Today, I wanted to make it clear that all of the things we’ve discussed over the past few weeks isn’t just for burning fat, it’s for a healthier and happier life.  A life free of chronic pain, chronic fatigue and hopefully disease. Gaining some weight over the years happens to a good bit of people.  This doesn’t mean it’s always the “norm” or that you must but chronically gaining weight, becoming obese, which then wrecks your body isn’t good at all.  

What is good?  You can change all of this.  By eating right for your body, using moderate exercise, and becoming aware of your surroundings, things can change for you.  You can make a a conscious decision today to shift your equilibrium back to your side.  Check this out! 

Some Things to Knock-Out Today!

  • Sodas, pop, cola, whatever you want to call them 🙄, fruit juices, etc.
  • Junk food — just throw it away! 
  • Other forms of chemical sugar like syrup, corn syrup, etc.
  • Vegetable oils 
  • Crisco

I wish I could go into detail on all of these topics but each one would require its own article and there are plenty articles out on the line already.  These substances, when consumed, don’t appear to be gut or body friendly at all.  Once you can expell these awful things from your diet, you will probably notice a change.  Remember start small.  Make one simple change to form a habit which can enturn form a lifestyle. 


WHY FAT?

I want you to also consider why it is you want fat gone.  Is it to look better, feel better, other or all the above? I’m not just speaking to people trying to lose weight here, but also, anyone concerned with their actual fat percentage.  The point being, you can lose weight, gain muscle, be jacked or ripped or something in between.  Looking different may gain you some confidence in the short-term but it won’t change who you are deep down inside.  

Finding out who you are and becoming comfortable with that person should be the ultimate goal in all of this. Most people don’t want you to hear that because they’ll say becoming fit will change your life.  That’s true, it will certainly help you have a healthy body but what about your mind?  Becoming comfortable with who you are, what you want to accomplish, and confident how you’re going to do it is the key.  

Does that mean problems won’t arise?  Of course they will, that’s life.  BUT, having contingency plans put in place and being able to adapt in any situation is how you combat problems.  Most people get scared or feel overwhelmed when they don’t have an answer or know how to solve a problem.    Being scared is okay, but having a plan to help guide you through your fear(s) is how you will conquior them in business, at the gym, at home, or wherever. 

 ——————————————————————
FINAL WORD
Start today trying to focus on WHOLE FOODS like meats, veggies, and fruits.  Try to eat them as much as you can and lay off the other stuff.  I won’t touch on bread or gluten here today but I will say it’s probably best to not buy the store bought stuff if you’re going to decide to eat it.  Just because it says “whole grain”doesn’t mean it even comes close to being healthy.  

Be smart.  Just because a TV ad, article, or whatever says eat this doesn’t always mean it’s true.  Yes, I know that sounds crazy but do your homework.  When you see a commercial or study that makes a statement, look at who’s funding them and see why they might have come to that conclusion.  
I hope this series helped or at least encouraged you to ask more questions.  My hope is only that, to get you to ask more questions and want to find answers.  Best of luck to your weekend.  
Happy Training! 

Nutrition Hack: The One Green You’re Not Eating and Should Be

Ok, hear me out on this one.  Today’s hack is all about the one green I doubt many of you are actually taking into considering.  WHAT IS IT? Well, it’s something you probably normally throw away or scoff at whenever you see it on your plate if your eating at.  This secrete ingredient is none other than… parsley.  Yes, you heard me, P.A.R.S.L.E.Y.

WHY PARSLEY?

If you follow us on Instagram (@sol.fit.project) you saw some of its amazing benefits for our Fun Fact Friday’s, Did You Know Segment. We have also been posting on our story, especially me (@lc.sol.fit) about how we’ve been incorporating Parsley into our everyday meals.  It is underrated herb but has such tremendous health benefits.  Here are just a few of them.

Parsley contain over 100% of your daily needs of Vitamin A (101%), Vitamin C (133%), and an astounding Vitamin K (1230%) per 1 cup. (1)  It also contains:

  • vitamins: K, E, B6, B12
  • Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin
  • Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, Magnesium
  • Volatile Compounds (antioxidants) such as myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene

Parsley has been shown to have anti-diabetic and anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as, help with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.  Due to its vast nutrient content, parsley can also help strengthen the immune system and act as a diuretic. (2)

HOW TO USE
Parsley is a great add-on to any meal.  We love using it in soups, teas, on fish, or salads.  Lately, even adding it in the mornings to our cooked eggs and spinach has become a thing.  You typically don’t want to actually cook with parsley but just add some to the finished meal before devouring.  Cooking parsley could void it of the amazing nutrients you want.  A word of caution though to any who are pregnant.

“It’s considered safe in normal food quantities, but large amounts or using parsley essential oil has not been studied enough in pregnant women to be considered safe.” –Dr. Axe

Any with gout or kidney stones may want to be cautious as well because parsley contains small amounts of oxalates.  For normal people, this is no big deal but for those with these problems, special note should be taken when consuming any amount of parsley.  (1)

 ——————————————————————Add it to your favorite foods and let us know what you think.  Good, bad, or just not for you, leave a comment so we can see how it goes. 

Happy Eating!

 

Meal Prep Sunday: Wrap It Up!

We know you’re super busy so we don’t spend 3 paragraphs on Sundays introducing you to the topic.  Instead, we just want you to simply be able to look at the overview, find the ingredients and get right to the prepping.  It’s summertime so that means fresh produce so, this week we are talking wraps!  Here’s the what, why, and how quick and simple.

*Quick reminder we don’t always use exact ingredients.  We use pinches and handfuls more so than tablesspons and cups when it comes to cooking.  With baking we are a little more cautious though.


WHAT?

Salmon Lettuce Wraps.


Ingredients:

  • 3oz. Salmon (Fresh, Wild-Caught)
    • We ususally bake on 300-325 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
    • You can replace with another protein if fish isn’t your thing
  • 1/2 serving of Organic Black Beans

 

  • Grapes – few chopped in half (like 10 halves per wrap)
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1/2 serving of almonds
  • Celery chopped fine (load it up)
  • Big ole scoop of fresh avocado
  • Lettuce wrap- romain, leaf, swiss chard, collard greens (works the best)

 

  • Dressing: Organic Extra Virginina Olive Oild & Apple Cider Vinegar
    • We use a 1:1 raito (~ 1 tsbp each)
    • You can play with this to taste and also substitute a different vinegar or oil
    • Ex.) Avocado oil and baslamic vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Fresh Parsley — big flavor comes in a few bunches

 

Directions:

Not to much to this one so no pics needed.  Just layout the ingredients, place in wrap, and bit down haha! 

  1. Place lettuce wrap on plate
  2. Load up ingredients
  3. Roll tight
  4. Consume and enjoy!

 *Collard greens seem to work the best for actually wrapping up like a buritto.  Leaf lettuce or romain make more of a taco type meal.  Either way it’s still delicious.  

Sides:

You’ve got a good bit of greens already so no need for a salad here.  But, this does go great with a side pico de galo, summer salsa, summer slaw, or a serving of fresh fruit.

Have fun with this one and let us know what you  make?  Have any tweeks or suggestions to this recipe?  Hit us up and let us know!

 

 

 

 

Burning Fat: Vol. 3 (5 min)

I have done you a disservice.  I’m not proud of it but, this is my time to come clean.  When writing the first volume of this series, Burning Fat, we dove hard into the topics and I made the comment calories in vs. calories out as a good way of thinking how to lose weight and/or fat without really explainning what that means.

If you’ve ever gone to a fitness center or worked out with a trainer to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain weight, one of the most popular things people say is calories in vs. calories out.  While intuitively this statement makes since, what science is now learning and sharing is there’s a lot more to the equation than just eating less and working out more.  The eat less, sweat more mantra can actually further harm the progress you are trying to make.

In this article, I want to explain to you what’s possibly going on in your body and why what you’re feeding it means so much more than just looking good, losing weight, or “bulking up” for the season.  I want to empower you to take action and know what to eat and why… and how to best protect your body if you eat junk every now and then. I’ll recommend some further readings at the bottom if you want to nerd out with us.  For now, here’s what you need to know.

 

WHY SO SERIOUS?

Whether you want to believe it or not, what you put into your body matters a whole heck of a lot.  Frustration sets in anytime we come across a social media post, article, or other about If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) program.

Eating whatever you want as long as it’s within the range your given sounds like a great plan, but carbs, proteins, and fats are not all the same unfortunately.  If they were, I’d be in a Dairy Queen line right now getting an Oreo Blizzard (should that be capitalized? not sure) and asking them to stuff as many fries in it as possible.

Sadly, all calorie quality is not the same and vegetable oils don’t do the same things to your body, as say, a healthier alternative, like coconut oil or avocado oil.  People are making some serious cash off of this too.  Selling their calculators, diet programs and recipe books to you.

Why?  Because they are telling you to eat whatever you want if it fits in the macros… Isn’t that what you wanted to hear?  Have you cake and eat it too? It’s ok to have some of that every now and then but it shouldn’t be the bulk of your diet.  To be fair, not all people say this or believe this but they will try to make it a selling point for sure.

 

ENTER  THE WOLF

An interesting amount of research is coming out from Robb Wolf.  Who is this man? Robb used to be a biochemist researcher and now is major Paleo advocate and affiliate owner for Crossfit.  As you can see, health, nutrition and wellness seem to mean a lot to him.  In his new book Wired To Eat he explores the reactions your body has to certain foods.  That is to say, how your blood glucose responds to cookies vs. a banana, for example.

What he found was pretty shocking. Apparently, everyone has different responses to different foods.  It’s not just across the board, this food makes this happen in your body.  For example, he tested consuming a coookie and then measured the blood glucose response.  While some people had higher blood glucose responses as expected to foods like cookies others ate the cookies and had a normal blood glucose response.  Could this mean cookies aren’t so bad for you after all?  Well, I wouldn’t jump the gun and go by a box of Oreos chalked full of chemicals and garbage just yet. 

What Robb suggests is doing a 7-Day Carb Test to find out which foods promote healthy responses in your body.  You can find out more about in his book Wired To Eat or FAQs here.  It’s relatively easy to read or listen to and to do the actual test all you pretty much need is a blood glucose monitor.  

Why is your glucose response to foods so important?  Without getting super nerdy and sciency this week, I want you to understand some basic concepts.

Normal Conditions:

  • Your body tells you, HELLO I’m HUNGRY!! by releasing ghrelin (hormone)
  • You eat food
  • Your body extracts this across your GI
    • Different areas for different macros (fat, protein, carbs)
  • Your blood glucose rises in repsonse because it’s from the food you just ate now in a metabolite form in your blood
  • At some point leptin (hormone) is released and says HEY UP THERE, I’m GOOD, no more food please.
  • You liver releases insulin to tell your cells to store the excess glucose now in the blood stream to bring your glucose level back to normal for you
  • Once blood glucose returns to baseline (normal) the liver will stop release insulin and all is well until you eat again.

Under normal conditions this process seems pretty straight forwarded right?  You are hungry, you eat, your body says that’s enough and the body adapts and stores the nutrients.  The problem isn’t quite so simple.

Abnomral Conditions:

To be honest, this is what many books are written about, what exactly happens when we eat bad food to our bodies.  Best answer I can give you is a whole lot.  Our bodies are made up of atoms with continuous chemical reactions making us who we are.  Every second there is an estimated 37.2 trillion chemical reactions occuring in a eukaryotic cell (us).  So, you can start to imagine when just one thing goes slightly wrong what can happen “down stream” to the rest of the reactions.

When we eat junk, or better yet, when the food we eat bothers us internally (abnormal rise in blood glucose, leaky gut, etc.) or externally (ezcema, allergies, asthma, etc.) we cause inflammation to occur.  This requires our immunes system to go into over-drive because the body thinks of the food as an invader and wants to attack it.  I can tell you from personal experience when my diet includes the things I know I shouldn’t be eating, like certain grains, my hands and knees can swell-up and be very painful.  This dramatically affects my quaility of life so I know what I have to stick away from unless I want those consequences.

OH, COME ON!

Now, let’s assume you eat at least one food item that bothers you.  Just one.  (Although, I’m very sure after reading two books recently, more foods than that do bother us.)  So what?  Well, if you are already overweight or obese you are adding several factors in that are further complicating this process.

I’m not asking you to buy into anything, adpat to a new lifestlye, but I do want you to realize your body is one giant beaker of reactions.  What you put into one side of the equation must be balanced on the other side to meet – equilibrium or homeostasis. When we eat junk or inflammatory foods we are making a conscoius decision to disrupt this formula and consequences sooner or later will result.  It could be acidreflux after a burger and fries or worse Alzheimer’s 20 years down the road from a chronic inflammatory process.

Again, I know from experience when it comes to the inflammorty process.  I sometimes will break out with eczema or have bad sinus problems due to foods I acutely eat.  Now imagine I just kept eating these foods for years instead of rarely.  What do you think will happen then?

FINAL WORD

Whether you want to beleive me or not, food can make or break you internally or externally.  You may not see all the signs and symptoms right away from inflammatory foods, but believe me, they will find you.  Everyone’s body is different and you can react to certain foods very negatively while your buddy has no real response. 

Notice how your body reacts and feels to each food item you ingest.  If it causes a “crash” or other symptom like heart burn, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from those foods.  Eat more of the ones that make you feel great and you’ll be on your way to success.

Next week we will be talking about different diets and how they effect you. 
Happy Training!
Futher readings:

Wired to Eat — this takes you to audible for a 30-Day free trial and you can download this book or any to listen to. Worth it!
It Starts With Food — Great book by the peeps who brought you Whole 30 which is a 30 day challenge to change your eating and feel better.  Very simple and easy book that expands on many of the topics here.
Further listening:

Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast — this podcast taps about good carbs, bad carbs, high carbs, and low carbs.  Yea that’s what it says and not me being funny.  Great listen plus it will give you a head start to next week.  

Wednesday Nutrition Hack: Simple Hangover Remedy

With most people celebrating this weekend or next week for Independence Day, SFP wanted to make sure you had a plan in case you wake up the next morning feeling like fireworks are still going off in your head.  Depending on several factors, even just a few beers or glasses of wine can leave us with that “foggy” feeling the next day so, we have a simple at home remedy for you.

It’s important to remember hydration is key.  Water is your friend in times of hangovers but things like coconut water can be a great addition too.  Our nutrition hack to hangovers though is none other than… Matcha Tea.

What is Match Tea?  

Matcha Tea is a form of green tea using the whole leaf from the green tea plant instead of a portion.  By grinding up the actual tea leaves for use, Matcha Tea contains more ECGCs (catechins), polyphenols (tannins) and L-Theanine (amino acid) than green tea.  This leads to an increase in antioxidants, more micronutrients, and the L-Theanine increase may improve creativity, learning, and memory.

 “All together, matcha contains 137 times more antioxidants than green tea.”  – epicmatcha.com

How To Make Matcha. 

A cup of tea before all the raging begins to protect your body and a cup the next morning to help it recover seems like a great idea.  You can mix as little as 1 teaspoon in 1/2 cup water and take it down like a shot or add in other flavors like lemons, ginger, spinach, etc. and make a whole concoction.

Here’s two recipes from Teaologists that will help get you off the couch and out the door the next morning.

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of Matcha with some coconut water and a pinch of salt. This will give you relief from headaches, thanks to Matcha’s caffeine. You will be re-hydrated by the coconut water and salt.
  • Therapeutic Matcha Smoothie – to make this, you need about 2 teaspoons of Matcha, 2 cups of water, a mango (a pear will also do), 1 slice of ginger, about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 cup of kale or spinach. Blend all the ingredients and add honey/banana to taste. Add ice if you want or refrigerate the whole thing in a mason jar. Drink it throughout the day and the hangover will be gone for good.

You can buy matcha tea almost anywhere but according to health.com…

“Tea experts also warn that with matcha quality is key, and it comes at a cost. In other words, high quality, fresh, pure matcha is expensive. A low price tag can be a red flag for a poor quality product.” — Health.com

… the DEAL may not be worth it.  This is one thing where you want to look for fresh, quality ingredients just like all other foods you eat over the knock off super savings.

Foodies

We’ve all woken up the next day, rolled out of bed, and grabbed a slice of pizza or headed to a local burger joint.  Although tempting, be sure and stay away from fried foods the next day because it can worsen symptoms and irritate the gut.  What should you look for instead?

  • Eggs
    • Contain cystein and taurine.  Cystein helps breakdown acetaldehyde (why you have a headache) and taurine boosts live function
  • Bananas, dates, leafy greens
    • High in potassium (electrolyte) and can be depleted during a hard night out
  • Oats
    • Contains minerals like calcium and iron and can help neutralize stomach acid

Final Word

Matcha tea does contain about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee which can sometimes make headaches and your body feel worse due to further dehydration, among other things.  So, be aware of the whole process.  The antioxidant affects outweigh the caffeine side affects for us but make your own decision and do your own homework.

Try it and see what happens!  I’ve read several articles and spoke with a few tea nerds and they all agree.  It works.  Let us know if you try it.  Did it work or make you at least, feel better?  Leave us a comment below or on our social media pages (links at bottom) to get this conversation going.

Happy Training!

Cheers!!

Cam

To Eat or Not to Eat? – That Is The Question. (Click Here)

Intro…

Have you ever heard not eating before a workout will burn more fat?  Well spoiler alert this myth has been debunked

BUT…

I’m more interested in finding out why this myth started and how it’s evolved.

Could there be some truth to this?  Is this the result of a Ketogenic Diet?  Does pre-workout, amino acid or coffee drinks still count as fasting if consuming during the fast period?

Continue reading “To Eat or Not to Eat? – That Is The Question. (Click Here)”