Carbohydrates Make You Smile
Evidence suggests that we don't need carbs to survive. We can subsist on fat and proteins. so long as we are consuming the entire animal and not just going to Safeway for chicken breast and turkey thighs. But you know what? What kind of person just wants to survive? We want to thrive. We want to live and be happy. And most of all we want the energy to be active.
Folks who live on just fat and protein (according to the study) don't have the same endurance or energy levels as a person who includes moderate carbohydrates in her diet. This have to do with the fact that there are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in carbohydrates that play an imperative role in our growth and energy levels.
Carbs not only make you happier mentally, they make it easier for your body to use fats and proteins. Amazing right. So the next time somebody tries to carb shame you, go ahead and give them the bird. Here are some great ways to incorporate carbs into your diet and be happy.
Is It Healthy to Raise Kids Vegan?
The Center for Disease and Prevention reports that 16% of American children are overweight and obese, while one-third of the children consume a fast food meal at least once per day. The downfall of proper nutrition and the rise in childhood obesity are forcing the medical field and parents to find a healthier alternative to a meat-based diet.
1,600 Calorie Meal Plan for a Week
Sixteen hundred calories isn't a lot of food, but for some men and women looking to reduce their calories or live a sedentary lifestyle, it can be enough for awhile. Of course, a 1,600 calorie plan should be used for no more than 12 weeks. After that, you should start adding in more calories until you get to your maintenance range. Remember, no human was born to eat the exact same number of calories every day. You can use a calorie calculator to figure out an appropriate calorie range (if you are the calorie counting sort).
Americans spend more than 20 billion dollars each year on dieting books, dieting pills and other weight loss products (we are unsure if this includes fitness equipment, as the study did not state it directly). All we can say is, if that kind of money is being spent on the desire to lose weight, why do we still have 220 million dieters attempting to lose weight annually?
We have some ideas. Our modern lifestyle is busy. But not only is it busy, it teaches us to expect instant gratification and reject long term goals. Most Americans are looking for the quickest way to lose weight with minimal energy exerted. C’mon people! Exerting energy is part of our genetic code. We were built to move; we were built to work hard. But life can be hard, we get it.
If you find yourself struggling to meet your
We love you.
We are all trying to stay healthy and keep processed food to a minimum. We wake up every morning to our fresh bowls of oatmeal or scrambled eggs and broccoli (okay, okay almost every morning) and we put on our shoes and hit the pavement.
We sip water and drink herbal tea. We avoid the ice cream aisle because it is sooooo tempting. But what about the healthy fitness-oriented products? I'm pointing my finger at sports drinks to be precise. Gatorade, Powerade, and many others touted for being electrolyte replenishes have a nasty sidekick: high fructose corn syrup.
Sports drinks are soda in disguise. Drinking anything with high fructose corn syrup in it is bound to have an impact on your health progress. But what sort?
What the Heck is Carb-Cycling?
Carb cycling is a dietary choice where you alternate the amount of carbohydrates you have on each day. The idea is to have higher carbs on heavy lifting or cardio days and lower carbs on low energy days.
But that's nice. What does that really mean for you? The idea behind adding carb cycling into your life is that it trains your body to burn fat on low-carb days. Since you aren't giving your body a rich stream of carbs throughout the day, your metabolism is forced to turn to fat for energy.
Now, the reason carb cycling may be more beneficial than a strict all-low-carb-every-single-fucking-day diet is because the high-carb diets remind your body to replenish important hormones like leptin and human growth hormone...among others. When you dive into a low carb diet, you do get better insulin sensitivity, but your body also turns down certain hormones that are activated by carbohydrates in the blood stream. Ultimately, the high-carb/low-carb strategy burns fat without decreasing your metabolism. It also keeps you from turning into a raging a-hole because you didn't get your pancakes with whipped cream and syrup. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration...or is it? I'm pretty much an a-hole when I don't get my Sunday pancakes.
If you want to try carb cycling and see if it helps you lose weight or get you over a rough spot in your progression...or hell, if you just want to change up your diet, follow our 2-week carb cycling program, featured below.
The Food Pyramid That Doesn't Suck
Let's get something straight, the food pyramids created by the USDA for Americans, whether meat-eating or vegetarians (or vegans) suck. They are funded by big agriculture and recommend that you eat large amounts of the food that they want to sell. Plain and simple.
I know this because I worked for the USDA for a brief time (but left because I couldn't handle the fact that they allowed their pockets and politics to influence the information they provided to us). I watched as the dairy or beef or wheat guys would totally influence how the pyramid was designed. That consumers were told to eat more grains or dairy because it was important to them to boost those economies...it had nothing to do with your health.
This is something that has been sitting on me for a long time and part of my mission to get you from skinny to strong is to make you the most informed on nutrition as possible. I aim to provide honest, no-agenda nutrition information that doesn't appeal to fads or policy. It just appeals to the human body and your physical (and sometimes emotional) needs.
To start, I have created a food pyramid that is the center of our nutrition program. And because many of you are meat eaters or are vegan, I made sure to create this pyramid to accommodate your dietary choices. Of course, you will not find dairy on this pyramid because it is not a legitimate food group for humans. We are not going to talk about this here, but let's just remember that another animal's milk isn't created for other species...we don't see baby cows being fed human milk, do we? No, it doesn't make any sense and it is purely a commercial product.
Protein: 3-4 servings per day
Fats: 1-3 servings per day
Fruits: 1-3 servings a day
Vegetables: 5+ servings per day
Grains: 0-3 servings per day
What the Heck is a Ketogenic Diet?
A ketogenic diet seems all the rage these days, but it's really just an amped up version of a paleo diet.A "keto" diet is a ultra low carbohydrate diet that relies primarily on fat as the fuel source. We don't recommend this type of fad diet....because that's what it is...a fad and it shouldn't be used. Don't let doctors and other "nutrition experts" fool you.
If you look it up, many people begin their transition into a keto diet by eating a block of cream cheese for three days! The notion behind this diet is to reduce carbs low enough so that they body has no choice but to use fat to provide the body with energy.
Let's face it, thousands of blogs out there tell you that we need certain vitamins to stay healthy. And we agree with them, but what we want to convey here is not only the essential vitamins that you need to get fit, to stay fit, and to be happy, but how to do it without taking supplements.
And yes, while we do promote the occasional scoop of protein powder, we definitely want to make it clear to our community that vitamins can be consumed through healthy, whole food options. Of course, times exist when a supplement is easier, or necessary, but today is not the day for that conversation.
For this post, we included vitamins A,C, and D.