Friday, December 20, 2013

How To Be A Nutri-Ninja This Holiday Season

How To Be A Nutri-Ninja This Holiday Season


image
What is a Nutri-Ninja? Well, he/she is one who uses the way of the ninja and applies it to nutrition. A very simple concept, but when you master this you will make it through all the difficult holiday parties looking good, and feeling great about the choices you made.
How to be a Nutri-Ninja during the holiday season? First, 3 characteristics of a Nutri-Ninja:
1. A Nutri-Ninja sets goals.
Granted the holidays are upon us already, and most individuals have the all-or-none mentality when it comes to nutrition. We either are on a very strict diet and only eat cabbage or we swing the pendulum the complete other way and eat anything and everything saying, “I will start January 1st.”
A Nutri-Ninja takes goals seriously and knows what they want when it comes to nutrition. They write them down. For example: no sugary drinks, less fried food, more lean meat, more greens… you get the picture. Oddly enough, no one has seen a Nutri-Ninja diet, but when is the last time you’ve seen a ninja?
2. A Nutri-Ninja always has a plan.
Like any great warrior a Nutri-Ninja knows that goals are only as good as the execution of them. Every Nutri-Ninja has a plan of attack to achieve their goals and this plan must be on point when the holidays come around. Ninjas know how to party and have fun don’t get me wrong, so don’t think that because you are making smart choices you have to sacrifice taste. On the contrary, the execution of your plan will allow you to stay within those parameters that you have set before you get to the event. For example, I will allow myself to eat a slice of cake, or I will allow myself to have a drink. Yet you know before going in what you are planning on doing, and this will save you from overindulging.
3. A Nutri-Ninja is stealthy
The great thing about being a Nutri-Ninja is that people will never know that you actually have your nutrition under tight control. They’ll see you at events and office parties eating and drinking as things are normal. However, you know that because of goal setting and having a plan of execution your nutrition is in check. So it’s ok to eat that cookie, because the rest of your week has been incognito to everyone else as to how well you are doing with your nutrition.
Now, Nutri-Ninja’s actually are allowed to recruit other willing individuals to the cause of being healthy and fit.
PS. Ninjas wear black for a reason!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

#3 Spinach and Other Green Vegetables

# 3 Spinach and Other Green Vegetables

Superpower: Neutralizes free radicals, which are molecules that accelerate the aging process.  
Secret Weapon: vitamins including A,C and K; folate; minerals including calcium and magnesium; fiber; beta-carotene.
Fights against: obesity, cancer, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis  
Sidekicks: cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts; green, yellow, red, and orange vegetables like asparagus, peppers, yellow beans and asparagus.

Impostors: None, as long as you don’t fry them o smother them in fatty cheeses.  


Just in case the 12 power foods slipped your mind, here they are again.
Almonds and other nuts
Beans and legumes
·         Spinach and other green vegetables
Dairy (fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese)
Instant oatmeal (unsweetened, unflavored)
Eggs
Turkey and other lean meats
Peanut butter
Olive oil
Whole-grain breads and cereals
Extra-protein (whey) powder
Raspberries and other berries

Friday, December 13, 2013

# 2 The Abs Diet Beans and Legumes




Instagram: @_tobz_

Twitter: @tobygarza

Superpower: builds muscle, helps burn fat, regulates digestion
Secret Weapon: fiber, protein, iron,
Fights against: obesity, colon cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure
Sidekicks: peas, bean dip, hummus, edamame

Impostors: refried beans, which are high in saturated fats, baked beans, which are high in sugar.


Just incase the 12 power foods sliped your mind, here they are again.
Almonds and other nuts
  • Beans and legumes
Spinach and other green vegetables
Dairy (fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese)
Instant oatmeal (unsweetened, unflavored)
Eggs
Turkey and other lean meats
Peanut butter
Olive oil
Whole-grain breads and cereals
Extra-protein (whey) powder
Raspberries and other berries

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Abs Diet


Instagram: @_tobz_

Twitter: @tobygarza

I came across this book about a 4 years ago and still think it is very relevant today. I  would like to  share some of the great ideas from it. This book was written by the editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health.  This book is more than a diet, it is about making those subtle changes that we all can stick to.  The premise of the book/life style diet is to inform people about the importance of having less fat sorted in their bodies especially around the mid section.  
                The diet is very simple and structured for the working individual. It is built around a nifty acronym “ ABS DIET POWER” . Each of the letters representing a food group and or supplement, that when grouped together in this way are optimal for health, targeting muscle growth and kick starting your body’s natural fat burners.  Here is a cheat sheet.
Almonds and other nuts
Beans and legumes
Spinach and other green vegetables
Dairy (fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese)
Instant oatmeal (unsweetened, unflavored)
Eggs
Turkey and other lean meats
Peanut butter
Olive oil
Whole-grain breads and cereals
Extra-protein (whey) powder
Raspberries and other berries
Dr. Zinczenko suggests,  “ most other diet plans are too complicated and invite failure in three major ways.”  Here is an overview of the tree ways that most fail.
1.       They reduce calories too severely.
2.       They restrict too many foods.
3.       They don’t take into account lifestyle.
The reason from this post is to help people on a right track with thanksgiving tomorrow, and Christmas and New Year’s coming right after.  With office parties and family gathering, food is something that is always associated with this time of year. Yet at the beginning of next year we associate more with extra weight and a lack of physical activity.
So what I will be doing is over viewing each of these power foods in the weeks to come, and letting you know why they are great for your health and your waist line. I have made it a goal of mine to make those subtle changes and I hope you all join me in trying to live a healthier and better performing life.
I recommend that you check out this book and actually read it, it has some amazing ideas.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Running and Mental Health.



Instagram: @_tobz_

Twitter: @tobygarza


           As fitness professionals there are many different groups of people that one will work with including, working with athletes, the elderly, middle aged clients, and youth.  The focus of this discussion will look into what single type of exercise would be suitable for enhancing the quality of life for (a) a healthy young adult (late 20’s- early 30’s)  and (b) and older healthy adult (60+). A fair amount of research suggests that cardiovascular training is beneficial for both demographics.  A review study by Warburton, D. R., Nicol, C., & Bredin, S. D. (2006), states that regular physical activity is a factor in directly and indirectly preventing cardiovascular and several other chronic conditions, which can be a cause of premature death. The review also stated that physical activity can be a health preventative measure for people of all ages.

Physical fitness can be split into two different categories: performance related physical fitness (sports enhancement) and health related physical fitness (a physiologic state; which allows one to meet the stress of daily activity) (Warburton, D. R., Nicol, C., & Bredin, S. D. (2006). Each of these two can help enhance quality of life. This discussion will be looking at the benefits of aerobic training, also known as cardiovascular training, on enhancing the quality of life for both subjects discussed earlier.  Although aerobic training is beneficial for both demographics, the fitness professional must understand that there is an appropriate exercise selection for each.

For young adults, the fitness professional has the opportunity to choose from a wide range of aerobic exercises to help improve quality of life. Stroth, S., Hille, K., Spitzer, M., & Reinhardt, R. (2009) study suggests that aerobic fitness is related to positive cognitive function and mood. This study conducted a 6 week aerobic running program that was 70-100% of aerobic threshold. The positive effects that were recorded were seen in a visuospatial memory test, their tests the memory of visual items. Improving ones visual memory is an important part of enhancing quality of life.  Shiotani, H., Umegaki, Y., Tanaka, M., Kimura, M., & Ando, H. (2009) suggest that aerobic exercise has a positive effect on lowering heart rate and positive benefits on circadian rhythm. This is important because both of these indicators have also been seen to be predictors in coronary vascular disease. The subjects in this particular study performed 35 minutes of cycling 3 times per week for two months.

For the older adults we will be looking at an age range of (60+).  Hatta, A., Nishihira, Y., & Higashiura, T. (2011) suggest that growing older comes with many physiological changes such as: weakness, poor quality of life and ability to function in a day-to-day fashion. Hatta, A., Nishihira, Y., & Higashiura, T. (2011) conducted a study where they focused on the effects of a single session of walking on psychophysiological stress in healthy adults. The intensity of the exercise was moderate, which in this case was 60-70% of maximal heart rate. Their study found that walking for elderly adults lowered ‘Confusion’, which suggests that moderate aerobic exercise can influence brain function in a positive way.

As stated before, fitness professionals must show tact when choosing exercises for every client. Understanding that not all elderly have the ability to do moderate amounts of walking every day is important. Large amounts of the elderly have difficulty with mobility and other chronic diseases which limit the options for exercise. Broman, G., Quintana, M., Lindberg, T., Jansson, E., & Kaijser, L. (2006) suggest that deep water running is an alternative for those that have mobility limitations. The study had females of ages 69 +- 4 perform 3 interval sessions of 75% of maximal heart rate for an average of 24.2 minutes. . Broman, G., Quintana, M., Lindberg, T., Jansson, E., & Kaijser, L. (2006) suggests that high intensity deep water interval running with a vest helps maximal aerobic power and maximal ventilation in healthy elderly women.



Aerobic training has been shown to have positive effects on cognitive function and mood, as well as lowering heart rate and has positive benefits on circadian rhythm in healthy young adults. It has also been shown to have positive effects on psychophysiological stress and increases maximal aerobic power and maximal ventilation in healthy elderly women.







References
1.Broman, G., Quintana, M., Lindberg, T., Jansson, E., & Kaijser, L. (2006). High intensity deep water training can improve aerobic power in elderly women. European Journal Of Applied Physiology, 98(2), 117-123.

2.Hatta, A., Nishihira, Y., & Higashiura, T. (2011). Effects of a Single Session of Walking on Physiological and Psychological Stress in Elderly Adults: A Pilot Study. Advances In Exercise & Sports Physiology, 16(4), 109-115.

3. Stroth, S., Hille, K., Spitzer, M., & Reinhardt, R. (2009). Aerobic endurance exercise benefits memory and affect in young adults. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 19(2), 223-243.

4.  Warburton, D. R., Nicol, C., & Bredin, S. D. (2006). Prescribing exercise as preventive therapy. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 174(7), 961-974. doi:10.1503/cmaj.1040750

5. Shiotani, H., Umegaki, Y., Tanaka, M., Kimura, M., & Ando, H. (2009). Effects of Aerobic Exercise on the Circadian Rhythm of Heart Rate and Blood Pressure. Chronobiology International: The Journal Of Biological & Medical Rhythm Research, 26(8), 1636-1646.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Forks over Knives ? A Review and Thoughts.

Disclaimer: I am not for or against this documentary; I just found there were good take a ways from it. I am a person who loves information, and this has gotten me to think and truly ask question about what I have learned and what I will learn in the future. I will speak about the clear and the confusing statements in the film. I hope if you have watched it, this might help you think differently, and if you haven’t it might help you have background knowledge coming into it. I believe that a documentary that is well filmed can trap people into a skewed mind set. The pendulum effect is a great way to explain it.

The Pendulum effect (loosely defined): Human nature tends to swing from one extreme to another, like a pendulum.



The Clear:  

·         We have an issue with Food in America. The western diet.

·         Obesity is in fact an epidemic.

·          We need more information about where our food comes from.

·         Meat is not the only source of protein.

·         We spend too much money on health care in this country.

o   This can be significantly reduced with nutrition alone.



The Confusing:

·         Subsidized foods (who are pushing their own agenda?)

·         The diets people in the documentary were on.

o   Plant based, but what else?

·         If the bottom line is that animal protein is the bad guy, why do we not see more carnivorous animal’s obese or dying of cancer?

·         Many athletes, whom eat meat and supplement with extra animal protein and are not eating plant based diets, are some of the healthiest people alive,. (Exercise?)

·         The patients in the film, did their numbers drop in all of the bad areas because of plant based food or because they lost weight in general?

My thoughts:

After talking to a registered dietitian friend of mine about the topic in this film, we both came to a similar conclusion. The pendulum effect is in full swing ;), on one side this documentary is telling you to eat a whole foods diet, ( not meat), on the other side the very popular Paleo diets is telling you to stay away from whole grains and grains in general ( meat is encouraged) . What are we to do as a general public with extremes?

My dietitian friend said that meeting in the middle is the best, and that diet is highly specific to your body type and genetics, (she says to see a dietitian, I wonder why? Lol).  We discussed how the documentary did not specify what the diets the patents were on looked like. Was it that they only started to eat whole food and a plant based diet, or did they reduces total calories, and start an exercise program as well? Is it about portion control or nutritional selection? Well both. My friend went on to say that the best way to drop any of the bad health numbers is to lose weight. She also said that the factor is in the weight loss and now how you lose it, yet there are healthy ways to lose weight.  

 We have to understand that we have a Food issue in this country and that is a truth that we can all agree on. What might be some simple ideas on what diet to follow? Well if your family has a history of heart desires, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, it might be a smart idea to stay away from the high fatty animal proteins (not cut them out completely). If you have recently found out you have a grain allergy, it might be smart to find an alternative.  As for exercise in all of this, it is a great supplement, but that is all it will ever be is a supplement. You can never out work a poor diet. A strength coach once said, “The best exercises are plate push a ways.”  Read that again, and let it sink in.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Why Can’t I Touch My Toes?


Why Can’t I Touch My Toes?
Instagram: @_tobz_
Twitter: @tobygarza

In our tip of the day on Intagram we showed you a quick way to improve your tissue quality with a softball, baseball, tennis or golf ball. We said that it could help people that struggle with, plantar fasciitis, calf tightness, shin splints and foot/toe cramps. The concept behind rolling out the bottom of your foot is very similar to that of the foam roller, but on a smaller scale and it is actually affecting a different tissue. In this case you are rolling out the Fascia which is on the sole of your feet.  

What is Fascia? It is a connective tissue that is similar to tendons and ligaments but fascia actually wraps around/ covers muscles. Its function is to help with a more fluid movement during activity or when contract muscles.
               
           Fascia can get stuck and loss its ability to function in providing the fluidity that the muscles need. Which is why either foam or ball rolling is important, and considering that fascia is connected to all of your body, it is important that we get it moving and help it in any way that we can to perform its function.
                
           The question of why you can’t touch your toes can be a loaded one, yet most people either have tight muscles or restricted fascia. Try this simple exercise:
           
           Try and touch your toes: don’t bend your knees or bounce. Remember how far you were able to reach. Some of you might not touch and some might touch the floor.
Now grab a golf ball or tennis ball: roll out each of the soles of your feet. Do this for about 30 seconds each focusing on putting pressure, you can sit down and do this if the pressure of standing on it is too much.
Try and touch your toes again: in theory you should be able to go a little further. The reason being is that you are allowing the fascia on the soles of your feet to regain their function. This can happen with not only the soles of your feet but all other muscles as well.

Continuing with the concept of teaching the basics of a fitness programing, lets finish up the first section of the warm up “Form Rolling Complex” .
Movement and Mobility

12-15 min
Foam Rolling Complex
Exercise
Time
Lower Leg
Calf
15 sec/ per side
Thigh
IT band
15 sec/ per side

Adductors
15 sec/ per side

Quads
15 sec/ per side
Hips
Hamstring/ Glute Attachment
15 sec/ per side

Glutes
15 sec/ per side
Thoracic Spine
Thoracic Roll
30 sec

Lat Roll
15sec/ per side



Just like the soles of our feet, with foam or ball rolling you can change the tissue quality in other muscles. Here is a video of the “Hips” and “Thoracic Spine”: