Light Chicken Salad

June 27, 2012


Who doesn’t love a chicken salad? I know, rhetorical question. Everybody loves it. Minus the vegans and the vegetarians (sorry pals).
A chicken salad it’s one of those all-American great foods. Perfect on its own, better in sandwiches. A total crowd pleaser.
But. Yes, there is a but and I started the sentence with it. Apologies to you grammar purists, I know I just broke one of the “sacred” and “must be obeyed” rules of written English. Never start a written sentence with a “but”. My bad.
But (again) chicken salad is generally loaded with calories. Almost 500 for 1 cup, with nearly 70% of these calories coming from fat. Too much.
There’s only one to blame for this hot mess: mayo.
However, mayo is what really makes a chicken salad. Without it, it would just be boiled chicken with celery and onions...pretty blunt, huh?  With mayo it all comes magically together.
So, my dear mayo what can we do about you? We have no other choice but to let you go.
That’s when Greek yogurt comes to our rescue. Like Batman when the signal fires into Gotham City’s sky. That kind of cool.




Your Weight Is The End All, Be All! True or False?

June 22, 2012

When newbies hit the gym or start a new eating regimen they, most of the time, obsessively start to weigh themselves.
Day-after-day, if there’s no appreciable weight loss, they get easily frustrated.
This happens because there’s a common misconception on the importance of weight; as if skinny is healthy and fat is unhealthy.
In other words, becoming healthy is too often associated with weight loss.
But, weight has little to do with the fitness level. Or better, it’s just one of the factors that can help determine whether you’re an healthy person.




Carrot Orange Protein Smoothie

June 19, 2012

Carrot Orange Protein Smoothie


This is the quintessential summer smoothie. It's supercharged with vitamins A and ß-carotene (which converts into vitamin A in the body). As you probably already, know Vitamin A is not only essential for vision, it's THE nutrient for maintaining a healthy skin.
Carrot juice, orange juice and peaches. Three incredible sources of Vitamin A. What do you want more?

"Crowding Out" Instead Of "Cutting Out" When Dieting

June 18, 2012

When dieting, it’s pretty common to feel deprived (or hungry, at the least) as you parse out calories in order to lose weight.
It’s called “cutting out” and it’s the standard (and far too popular) approach to any form of dieting: cut your food intake, get into a calorie deficit and lose weight.
However, there’s an alternative way to just cut calories (and feeling miserable): it’s called “crowding out”, and it’s a different approach to the old “cutting out” method.
Crowding out involves adding more healthy food to your diet rather than cutting back on foods you enjoy.
Supporters of this method believe that over time, cravings for unhealthy foods are likely to disappear (or diminish), leaving you healthier and leaner.



Crowding Out


Drinking Ice Cold Water Burns Fat! True or False?

June 15, 2012

I was at the gym earlier today and I overheard two girls chatting about tricks to lose weight. One told the other one: “You know that when you drink ice cold water your system burns a massive amount of calories to bring it to the body’s temperature!”
I shook my head in disappointment (and I think they noticed) because, unfortunately, this is a myth deeply rooted in people’s mind and not exactly on point.




Quinoa, Zucchini & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata

June 14, 2012

Quinoa, Zucchini & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata
I went ahead and make you a perfect post-workout dinner for tonight.
Except I ate it. All. It was too good to resist.
So eventually if you could make your own post-workout dinner...I think that it would definitely be best.
I’ll tell you what to use, how to cook it and the reasons why you should do it. But I won’t go as far as cooking it. Because I will eat it and it would be same story all over again.
First off, we’re talking frittatas here. They fill your belly. If done the right way and with the right ingredients they’re nutritious and good for you.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, it’s always the right time for a good frittata.
After a rad workout that’s when they are the best choice, as they provide all the nutrients necessary for a speedy recovery.
THIS FRITTATA is everything and all the above, in just one simple recipe.

Quinoa, Zucchini & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata
Quinoa. Isn’t it THE PERFECT post-workout food? With zucchini. Very thinly sliced...AWESOME! Then some garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil chopped. ARE YOU JOKING? Plus egg whites (or eggs). PURE BLISS.
This dish has all the qualities an athlete holds dear: proteins (quinoa and eggs: hello?), complex carbs, vitamins and all kinds of nutrients.
All in all THE PERFECT POST-WORKOUT FOOD. And if you think I’m overusing ALL CAPS, wait until you’ll cook this. I’m positive you’ll become an ALL CAPS kind of person too.

Quinoa, Zucchini & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata
Quinoa, Zucchini and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata                                        Print this recipe!

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 cup / 6.5 oz / 185 gr cooked quinoa (you’ll need around ½ cup uncooked quinoa)
10 egg whites (or 5 whole free-range eggs)
2 large zucchini (or 4 medium), very thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
handful fresh basil, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

Heat a large skillet (or saute pan) over medium to high heat and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic and saute’ for 1 minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and saute’ for another minute. Add the zucchini, salt, pepper to taste and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the off heat and add the fresh basil.
In a medium bowl mix the eggs (or egg whites), the quinoa, the zucchini mixture and Parmesan cheese.
Deglaze the pan you used for the zucchini with 1/4 cup of water, scraping any brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.
Drizzle the pan with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Now you have two options:
1) cook the frittata over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Turning the frittata upside-down halfway through with the aid of a lid.
2) Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cover the skillet with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. You want the eggs to cook but not to bake all the moist out of your frittata.
You can serve it warm, at room temperature or cold.

Nutrition facts

This frittata yields 500 calories, 18 grams of fat, 36,5 grams of carbs and almost 60 grams of protein.
Meaning that one serving has 120 calories, with 4.5 grams of fat, 9.1 grams of carbs, and 15 grams of protein.
However, if you’re using whole eggs instead of egg whites the whole thing has around 700 calories, with 36.5 grams of carbs, 49 grams of protein and 43 grams of fats.

Doing Cardio Is The Only Way To Lose Weight! True or False?

June 13, 2012

This is a pretty big fitness misconception: “Doing cardio is the only way to lose weight!
Cardio is in fact good for the heart and increases endurance, but alone is not the best way to burn fat.




Weight loss is most effectively achieved through a combination of both cardio (such as running, biking, or swimming) and strength training.
While the cardio will get your heart rate up, strength training adds muscle mass to your body, and increased muscle mass means an increased metabolism.
In other words, adding even a few pounds of muscle will increase the number of calories your body burns each and every day.
If you focus only on cardio it might become harder for you to lose weight. In particular, excess cardio could significantly decrease your muscle mass, as a consequence slowing your metabolism and that will result in an overall weight gain.
So, if you have a limited amount of time to workout everyday (let’s say 1 hour) you should really seek to mix cardio with strength training: that’s the best recipe possible. And if you’re not sure what to do, ask your the personal trainer at the gym he/she will have plenty of tips to help you out.

The  Iron You

NYC Ban on SuperSize Sodas: Helpful Or Not?

June 11, 2012

You have probably heard this already: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on the sale of large sodas in an effort to reverse the supersize citizens of his city.
The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 oz would be prohibited.
There are some exceptions such as diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks (milkshakes), or alcoholic beverages.
However, the ban would not go as far as to ban beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.
In an a public statement at City Hall Mayor Bloomberg claimed that “Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying ‘Oh, this is terrible’
That is why public health has been one of the priorities of Mr. Bloomberg’s tenure and, so far, it has included bans on smoking in restaurants and parks (yay!), a prohibition against artificial trans fats in restaurant, a requirement for health inspection grades to be posted in restaurant windows, and mandatory food calories posting in restaurant chains.
Needless to say it the plan to ban large sodas has drawn scorn from the soft drink industry and heightens the debate about how involved government should be in efforts to steer individual behavior in the name of health.
The debate around the proposed legislation is in full swing: let’s see what it is all about...




Homemade Fruit Jellies (A Perfect Pre-Race Snack)

June 10, 2012



Saturday I was packing my stuff for Sunday’s race and I was pretty amazed by the amount of energy gels I carry with me.
Energy gels are a perfect “energy option” for endurance athletes as they deliver a good amount of nutrients in one tidy package. Truth to be told, they bring sugars, maybe in a complex form, but still sugars. And there’s nothing wrong with that since sugar will fuel your muscles.
That is why, back in the days when energy gels were not so popular athletes used to much on small candies (hard and soft) which are a good source of simple carbs.

Lately, sport nutritionists recommend to munch or chew snacks that are close to whole foods as possible and tp avoid ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes and chemical stuff not easily identifiable.
Since the energy gels are packed with stuff with names I can’t even spell, I thought to myself: why I don’t I try to make some homemade candies that I can use before training/races?
I gave it a thought and realize that my best option was to make some fruit jellies.
Fruit jellies are basically fruit and sugar in a “form” that it’s super convenient to carry.
I used some organic strawberries, apricots and loquats that I had in the fridge. But you can use any other combination.


Extreme Exercise May Be Harmful...What Can I Do About It?

June 8, 2012

You’ve probably heard about this already a thousand times as it’s been all over the news in the last couple of days. Extreme exercise may be harmful, in particular it may damage the hearth and trigger rhythm abnormalities. Activities such as marathons, Ironman distance triathlons, and very long distance bicycle races may cause structural changes to the hearth and large arteries, leading to lasting injury.
Researchers of Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, said that exercise is generally beneficial for health but could tip into becoming harmful when taken to excessive lengths. In particular, they have identified the safe “upper limit” for heart health to be of an hour a day, after which there is little benefit to the individual.
Even though, being an Ironman, this piece of news does not make me happy, all I can say is “What can I do about it?




Cherry An "All American" Superfruit

June 7, 2012

We search the four corners of the world to find the next superfood: açai, goji berries, quinoa, etc. Everyday someone comes up with the next miraculous food, found in some remote places that promises to bring health. And by doing so we forget to look in our homegrown gardens, that are instead jam packed with superfoods. Such as cherries: a homegrown powerfood.
About 95% percent of cherries consumed in the U.S. are grown here, with most coming from Michigan, Wisconsin, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania and New York.
This homegrown advantage, coupled with potential health benefits, make cherries "America's Super Fruit."
Cherries come in dried, frozen and juice forms so they're readily available to enjoy all year long but as right now is cherries’ season why not get some fresh ones?
Let’s discover the amazing health benefits of this fruit!




Mixed Berry Protein Smoothie

June 5, 2012

Mixed Berry Protein Smoothie


Warmer months are all about smoothies. At least for me. I gorge myself on them throughout the day. First one in the morning and at least another one in the afternoon when I’m done with training.
Usually with breakfast I prefer the all-fruit ones. It goes without saying it, I always (always, always) add at least one scoop of protein powder.

Mixed Berry Protein Smoothie

Spicy Chicken with Guacamole on Roti Sandwich

June 4, 2012

Sandwiches make for a very big part of our meals. I try to avoid them as much as I can because of the bread and the sauces and the cured meats...but I have to admit that they are a very handy and convenient way to eat. You can carry them with you everywhere and they do not require any flatware nor dish to eat.
And as there are situations in which you just can’t avoid eating sandwiches, I decided that the best thing to do was to make my own and stuff it with the best possible “IronYou” approved ingredients.




Low Intensity Exercise Burns More Fat! True Or False?

June 3, 2012

Among the fitness myths that torment our lives there’s one in particular that has always been pretty popular: “ You burn more fat with low intensity exercises!
This belief is supported by many cardio machines in gyms all around the world that gives you the option of setting up a workout labeled as “fat burning zone”. This usually refers to lower intensity, lower heart-rate zone exercises aimed to burn more fat-calories than carbs-calories.




Bananas Are Better Than Any Sports Drink!

June 1, 2012

Bananas are probably one of the most convenient, easy to carry and available fruit around. They are also one of the favorite athletes' snacks .
Who doesn’t remember Michael Chang’s run to the French Open title in 1989? Down two sets to none to Ivan Lendl in the fourth round, Chang rallied to claim one of the most improbable victories in tennis history.
Chang began cramping in the fourth set. He had to employ some very unusual tactics to defeat the world’s top-ranked player. Chang used moon balls, an underhand serve and quickly ate many bananas to help with his cramping.
Because bananas are, among other things, rich in potassium and other precious nutrients that make them one of the preferred snack of athletes around the world.
And a recent research conducted at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab in the Kannapolis-based North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) has revealed additional benefits.