Getting enough protein consistently throughout your day is a non-negotiable requirement if you want a lean, fit and hard body. It all boils down to what you eat, food being the fuel for your body. You’ve probably heard the line, “You are what you eat” and that’s 1,000 percent correct. The problem is getting a steady stream of clean, healthy protein when you’re always on the go. Not everyone has the time (or the culinary skills) to whip up chicken, turkey and fish pronto like a short order cook at the neighborhood diner.
Many people turn to bars for a fast protein fix, but that strategy can be problematic too. Some bars have a plethora of weird and artificial ingredients that you can’t even pronounce and you need like a hole in the head. Too many companies that churn out bars are still in the Stone Age and deliver antiquated products more geared toward the Flintstones as opposed to meeting the needs of contemporary and fit women. Even worse, the bars taste so awful you wouldn’t even feed them to Dino, let alone use them to power your active lifestyle.
Given the current state of convenient-to-eat protein options, our staff was floored when we sampled the new GoTein Balls. We dubbed them “The Great Protein Revolution” because GoTein Balls are so different from anything we’ve tried. GoTein Balls are delicious, fresh, hand-rolled protein snacks made with healthy ingredients. They taste like they were crafted by an expert baker or a fine pastry chef – but GoTein Balls contain high-quality protein powder and deliver the energy you need to keep you going through your busy day. Something else we liked about GoTein Balls is that they contain no preservatives – they are simply a fresh snack with the power of protein. What could be better than that?
With 12 flavors to choose from, one thing about GoTein Balls that might not be so quick or simple is deciding which flavor is your favorite. We especially liked the Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Cup and Chocolate Matcha flavors; others include Birthday Cake and M&M. More information including the complete flavor lineup is at goteinballs.com
There are many myths that people cling to so strongly that they are accepted as fact— even though there may be little or no scientific evidence supporting these myths. Protein might possibly have more ill-founded myths surrounding it than any other subject, probably because it plays such a large role in any nutrition program focused on building muscle. These myths tend to bug me probably more so than most people, because my area of research was specifically in protein metabolism. There are so many myths out there it was hard to pick out just a few, but here are my Top 3!
Myth: “You can only absorb ‘X’ grams of protein in one meal.”
The real deal: Not only is this myth not rooted in any kind of fact, it is actually a misnomer in and of itself. Absorption refers to the amount of a certain substance that makes it into circulation (plasma) from the digestive tract. The body will absorb a good portion of the protein you eat, regardless of the amount of protein in the meal. In fact, if you didn’t “absorb” over a certain amount of protein, whenever you surpassed this amount, you would have massive diarrhea! The human body is extremely effective at absorbing nutrients, and protein is no exception. In most cases, you will absorb darn near all the protein you consume. What people actually really want to ask in most cases is, “What is the dose of protein that maximizes the anabolic response?” That is a good question!
Although there is no definitive answer as to the maximum amount of protein that is beneficial at a meal, there is some research out there that is mildly helpful. Leucine is the sole amino acid responsible for triggering the anabolic response, and protein sources have been shown to elicit anabolic responses in proportion to the amount of leucine they contain.1 It appears that consuming approximately 0.02 grams of leucine per pound of bodyweight at a meal will maximize your anabolic response to that protein source.2 So for every hundred pounds of bodyweight, you would be shooting for around 2 grams of leucine at a meal. Someone who weighs 120 pounds would need around 2.4 grams of leucine at each meal.
For a high-leucine protein source like whey (about 12 percent leucine), that would require about 30-35 grams of protein from whey to max-out anabolism. For a source of protein like casein, which has a lower concentration of leucine (8 percent), you’d be looking at closer to 50 grams of protein. The threshold may actually be lower than this, but we know for sure that this level of intake will definitely max-out the anabolic response to a meal. So make sure you pay attention to the leucine content of your protein sources.
Myth: “Don’t count incomplete protein sources toward your total protein intake.”
The real deal: An incomplete protein source is defined as a food that is lacking one or more amino acid. I believe this myth came about in response to research that concluded that when certain amino acids are deficient in the diet, skeletal muscle protein synthesis can be inhibited.3,4 This is very unlikely to be a problem for the typical athlete, as the condition would only manifest itself if she ate a diet that was predominantly based upon a certain food that was deficient in an amino acid over a few days, not meal to meal. Additionally, most athletes consume a complete source of protein at almost every meal because any animal product will contain the complete spectrum of amino acids.
Even if one consumed an incomplete protein source at a meal, there is no way a decrease in protein synthesis would occur, so long as a complete protein source was consumed with this meal. One should therefore absolutely count incomplete protein sources toward their total protein intake, since they are consuming the full spectrum of amino acids over the range of their entire diet.
Myth: “High-protein diets are hard on the kidneys.”
The real deal: Quite a few medical professionals have theorized that a high-protein diet may be hard on the kidneys, since a high-protein diet increases the body’s production of ammonia— which must be excreted by the kidneys as urea. As a result, low-protein diets have typically been recommended to people who suffer from renal disorders. However, the notion that a high-protein diet is hard on the kidneys in a healthy person is a very big stretch.
Researchers who recently conducted a review of the available scientific literature on the subject concluded that, “No significant evidence exists for a detrimental effect of high-protein intakes on kidney function in healthy persons.”5 Additionally, a study examining athletes with protein intakes of 2.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight versus well-trained athletes with moderate protein intakes revealed no significant differences in kidney function between the groups.6 It is therefore reasonable to conclude that a high-protein diet is NOT hard on the kidneys.
Hopefully, this article has helped clear up some confusion surrounding high-protein diets. I fear the spread of misinformation will not end, however— so it is everyone’s responsibility not to be so quick to believe everything they hear or read. Keep in mind, if someone makes a claim they cannot support with established scientific evidence, there is a good reason… they likely have none.
1. J Nutr, 2009 Jun;139(6):1103-9.
2. Agro Food Ind, High-Tech, 2009 Mar/Apr;20(2):54-57.
3. J Nutr, 1995 Oct;125(10):2623-30
4. J Nutr, 2005 Mar;135(3):469-78.
5. Nutr Metab (Lond), 2005 Sep 20;2:25.
6. Int J Sports Nutr, 2000;10:28-38.
Dr. Layne Norton is a natural pro bodybuilder with a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences. He offers contest-prep, nutritional, and training consultations through his company, BioLayne LLC. He also recently re-released his acclaimed DVD, Layne Norton Unleashed.” To learn more about Layne the services he offers, visithttp://www.biolayne.com
A good pre-workout can be your best training partner, energizing you once you hit the gym with a surge of power that unlocks your muscle-building potential for maximum growth and performance. One pre-workout that you should definitely check out is IMPACT Igniter from ALLMAX® Nutrition. We’ve tried a lot of pre-workouts, taken a ton of formulas for test drives, and IMPACT Igniter really delivers. IMPACT Igniter is a fully dosed and highly effective pre-workout that gave us exactly what we wanted— results!
It didn’t take long for IMPACT Igniter to kick in. A couple of guys in our group looked like they were running on two cylinders earlier in the morning, but IMPACT Igniter provided the anabolic jolt needed to power through the workout. We all remarked how we felt energized, had better pumps and were able to push harder and recover faster, and get back to the weights sooner. IMPACT Igniter provided us with a surge of energy for increased workout performance. That’s what an excellent pre-workout should do.
Aside from the fact that we love the Tart Black Cherry taste of IMPACT Igniter (let’s face it; plenty of pre-workouts are less than culinary masterpieces), we also love that this product contains a combination of ingredients that have been scientifically proven to maximize your potential. Let’s start with a better pump. That’s what we experienced, and it was no chump-change pump, either. As intriguing as it might be to look at your pumped self in the mirror for a prolonged period, we learned the science behind the pump and how IMPACT Igniter helped get us there.
There’s more going on during a pump than an inflated ego. IMPACT Igniter contains a combination of citrulline malate (2:1), agmatine sulfate, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) and taurine to take full advantage of their ability to increase the body’s physiological tendency to flood muscles with blood, nutrients, oxygen and yes, metabolic waste products in response to intense training. The ingredients in IMPACT Igniter lead to substantial increases in levels of blood plasma, nitric oxide, erythropoietin (EPO) and osmolytes (ingredients that help manage hydro-pressure within muscles).
Use Fat As Fuel
Let’s cut to the chase: if you are training to improve your physique, you want increased muscle and decreased fat. That’s what we saw while using IMPACT Igniter, and this transformation didn’t come from doing a keto diet— that’s for sure. Again, it goes back to the science behind the product. IMPACT Igniter literally “ignited” a physique change by incorporating Active Fat Transport and increasing both the release of stored fat and the burning of that fat for fuel. This technology literally spares muscle energy and shifts metabolism to use fat for energy during intense training.
It’s Up to You
The right pre-workout will make a big difference in the results you see in the gym. IMPACT Igniter offers everything that a pre-workout should deliver. So whether you’re looking to set that new PR or grind out those last few reps with full force, IMPACT Igniter will get you there.
For more information, visit allmaxnutrition.com
Power the Pump Without the Stims
We were glad to see that IMPACT Igniter is also available in a PUMP formula. An ultra-premium fully dosed pre-workout, IMPACT Pump delivers the extreme focus and power you need to train for RESULTS – without the stims. That is a game changer for a lot of people who are intolerant to stimulants/caffeine. That’s the case with a few people in our training group, who incorporate IMPACT Pump into their supplementation regimen and have been very pleased with the outcome. They have found that IMPACT Pump delivers the extreme focus and power needed to train for RESULTS. It’s fortified with every ingredient required in a pump product for sleeve-stretching vascularity including citrulline malate, agmatine sulfate and Glycer Pump, all while still providing the laser-sharp mind to muscle focus you love from IMPACT Igniter.
It can be tough to remain motivated or find creative ways to exercise when you’re stuck at home most of time, but you can get a full workout without leaving home using only a towel. These simple tips are great for both beginners and those looking to switch up their at-home workout routine, with an added bonus – there’s no equipment needed. To get you moving, the health experts at Envolve, an integrated health care solutions company, have put together ways to use a towel and limited space to easily get in a total body, strength-building workout.
1. Lateral Pulldowns. Twist your towel and grab both ends while raising it above your head. Keep your arms about shoulder-width apart, back straight and look straight ahead while slowly lowering your arms behind your head until you reach your neck. Try to touch your shoulder blades together, pausing for a second to maximize results. This exercise activates several muscles in your upper body including arms, back and shoulders. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Bonus Burn: Perform pulldowns while in a plié position (toes pointed out, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, then squat) to engage your inner thighs and blast more calories.
2. V-Sits. This dynamic core exercise is a great way to increase abdominal strength. Sit on the floor and hold each end of your towel in front of your body. Lift your legs, bend your knees, and keep your shins parallel to the ground as you pull your knees toward your body. Keep your legs beneath the towel and push back out with your legs, returning to the starting position. As you pull your legs toward your chest again, guide your towel beneath your legs creating a “V” with your body. Alternate those two movements for a great ab workout. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Bonus Burn: Stand back up and jog in place or do jumping jacks for 30 seconds to a minute to get your heart pumping.
- Biceps Curls. This popular exercise concentrates on the front of the upper arm muscles. Place each end of the towel in your hands with your palms facing the ceiling. Lift one leg off the ground and wrap the towel below the kneecap. Apply pressure by pushing down with your knee while simultaneously curling your arms up to your chest. You control the amount of resistance with your knee so make sure to use enough force to get the best possible results. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Bonus Burn: Keep your ab muscles held in tight to benefit from the “crunch” created by lifting and lowering your knee.
- Towel Shakes. This heart-pounding exercise improves cardiovascular health and strengthens your shoulder and core muscles. To reap the benefits of this movement, grab both ends of the towel and stand up straight with feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Move your hands up and down as quickly as possible, shaking the towel like a wave. Don’t forget to keep your core tight to really feel the burn. Perform for 30 seconds.
Bonus Burn: Stand in a squat position while doing the shakes to engage your leg muscles and increase the difficulty of the move.
- Lateral Slides. This lunging exercise hits your quads, glutes and hip muscles making it a no-brainer to add to your home workout routine. First, find a surface that allows for a sliding movement. Next, fold a towel into a square so that one shoe fits comfortably on top. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and place one foot on top of the towel. Push your leg outward until you reach full extension, and then bring your leg back toward your body. Using a towel during a lunge keeps your muscles under tension for the entire movement, making it more challenging. Switch up your routine and try rear and side lunge variations to tone multiple lower body muscles. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions per leg.
Bonus Burn: Get your heart pumping again with another cardio blast for one minute. Try hopping over an invisible jump rope or doing “high knees” where you march or run in place while bringing your knees as high as you can.
Don’t forget to warm your body up before beginning the exercises and to spend a few minutes stretching after you’re finished to prevent muscle soreness.
Always consult a physician or health care provider before starting this or any other exercise program. The information provided is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. In the case of a medical emergency, contact your health care provider or call 911.
Perhaps your workouts are not going quite as well as they should. You’re pushing the weights to the max, when suddenly you become sidelined by discomfort, burning, tingling and cramping sensations. Not enough rest could be the culprit, or maybe it’s lactic acidosis at work undermining your efforts in the gym? Fortunately there is a solution for this fairly common yet serious problem: LacticPRO, which reduces lactic acid buildup in muscle for increased muscular performance and improved muscle recovery. LacticPRO is a revolutionary product that unlocks reserves that you didn’t know you had, so you can train harder and longer and build more muscle, and get back in the gym sooner.
Increased Performance and Improved Muscle Recovery
Our body creates lactic acid naturally, but problems can arise when the lactic acid is produced at a higher rate than your body can process – creating what is called lactic acidosis. This can happen especially during high-intensity workouts where your muscles may require more fuel than your body is able to produce. This can cause discomfort, burning, tingling and cramping sensations. LacticPRO has been carefully formulated to reduce lactic acid accumulation within your body. LacticPRO is a unique formulation using a high dose (500mg) of L-Carnosine along with essential vitamins and minerals that when taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of accumulating excessive lactic acid. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in LacticPRO that can relieve lactic acidosis and offer amazing muscle powers that you never thought were possible.
Carnosine is a naturally occurring dipeptide, containing two amino acids, beta-alanine and histidine. Carnosine is found in the human brain, heart, and skeletal muscle tissue. Carnosine is the number one and most important lactic acid buffer in muscle. It is also an important antioxidant in muscle. Carnosine does everything that beta-alanine does and more! Research has shown that carnosine can reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, prevent advanced glycation end products (AGEs), plus improve insulin sensitivity, weight loss and cardiovascular health. Also, research has shown that carnosine can lower waist circumference, improve cognitive function and exercise performance. Carnosine is not found in plants or vegetables; it is naturally found in meat and fish, but can be denatured and destroyed in cooking. That’s why supplements are important.
LacticPRO also contains magnesium and B vitamins, which are required for energy metabolism and enhanced carnosine function.
Train Harder and Longer
To begin realizing the amazing muscle powers of LacticPRO, take 1-2 capsules one to two hours before you work out or as directed by your physician. Take LacticPRO with plenty of water. LacticPRO will enable you to train/perform harder and longer, speed up recovery time, and should also reduce the risk of muscle fatigue.
For more information, visit profound-products.com
- Kirthi Menon et al. Histidine-containing dipeptides reduce central obesity and improve glycemic outcomes; a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obesity Reviews, December 11, 2019.
- Estifanos Baye et al. Carnosine supplementation improves resistant concentrations in overweight or obese otherwise healthy adults: a pilot randomized trial. Nutrients, September 7, 2018.
- de Courten B et al. Effects of carnosine supplementation on glucose metabolism: pilot clinical trial. Obesity 2016.
- Sale C et al. Carnosine: from exercise performance to health. Amino Acids 2013.
- Sanders B et al. Beta-alanine supplementation to improve exercise capacity and performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2017.
- Guiotto A et al. Carnosine and carnosine related antioxidants: a review. Current Medical Chemistry 2005.
G-Fit On Demand Is Here! Wednesdays on instagram Live (12pm PT, 3pm ET)
Just because you’re self-quarantined and the gym (and just about everything else) is closed doesn’t mean your workouts have to come a screeching halt. During these unprecedented times, social distancing has become a reality. Now is the perfect time to discover the many benefits of training at home and reap the rewards of keeping fit without the gym – and Gina Aliotti and FitnessRx for Women have your back. We have partnered with Gina to bring workouts and a healthy lifestyle right into your home.
Live Instagram Videos. Starting this Wednesday, April 8, join Gina Aliotti while she does her LIVE Instagram videos for FitnessRx for Women at https://www.instagram.com/fitnessrxwomen/?hl=en
Gina’s show is on Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m. Pacific/3:00 pm Eastern.
Download the G-Fit App for Effective Home Workouts
G-Fit On Demand Is Here! Everything you need to build your body – all in one place and on your schedule! In an effort to help everyone stay fit and healthy, the G-Fit app is being offered FREE for 60 days. To get the 60 Days FREE you must go through Gina’s website: ginaaliotti.com <http://ginaaliotti.com> or ap.ginaaliotti.com <http://ap.ginaaliotti.com> – both will direct you to the same place to download the app.
Anytime, Anywhere – G-Fit on the go! Stream 24/7 or download to your device for immediate access. WiFi is not necessary. Includes meal plans and simple recipes.
Let’s stay healthy and fit together!
Superfoods have become a popular trend, and for good reason. They deliver a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber that can help improve your overall antioxidant status, protecting the body from oxidation. Oxidation, which can be brought on by the environment, stress or even a tough workout, is an abundance of free radicals that can attack your body’s cells, leading to structural damage that make it harder to recover and could possibly lead to the onset of disease later on.
Eating a diet rich in superfoods can help reduce damage brought on by free radicals, help you recover faster. Here’s our list of four superfoods to include in your diet.
SUPERFOOD #1: Beets
Beets are perhaps one of the best superfoods when it comes to muscle building due to their naturally high content of nitrates. Nitrates can improve blood flow, circulation and vascularity by increasing the amount of natural nitrate that feeds into the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway, the pathway that increases the production of nitric oxide. This pathway doesn’t require oxygen, which means there is more available in the body to carry out other processes including nutrient delivery. Beets are also a great source of betaine and folic acid. Betaine can help reduce inflammation and improve endurance and power, while folic acid is an important anti-inflammatory vitamin that can help protect the heart. If you have never eaten beets before, consider eating fresh raw beets by shredding them on top of a salad, or try steaming them.
SUPERFOOD #2: Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. They are full of important phytonutrients including sulforaphane, which is a strong antioxidant. Sulforphane has been shown to increase the production of enzymes that reduce the presence of free radicals. Cruciferous vegetables are also high in the anti-estrogen phytonutrient di-indole methane (DIM). This compound binds to excess estrogen in the body and neutralizes its effects, packing it to be processed and removed from the body. Lastly, cruciferous vegetables are also high in soluble fiber, helping cleanse the gut! Use shredded cabbage and chopped kale in salads; eat broccoli steamed or sautéed in a fresh stir fry or try mashing your cauliflower and using it as a substitute for mashed potatoes!
SUPERFOOD #3: Berries
Of all the fruits available, berries of any kind rank the highest when it comes to antioxidant content and capacity. In fact, just one 1 cup of berries can provide you about 10 times the USDA’s recommendation of specific antioxidants – phytonutrients and vitamins. Blueberries rank the highest, while goji, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are also good options. A few of the key antioxidants found in berries include vitamin C, A, quercetin, anthocyanidin, catechin and epicatechin. These nutrients can help reduce inflammation brought on by a tough workout. Just 1 cup of berries delivers less than 100 calories and provides a source of natural soluble fiber. Eat them for breakfast with your oatmeal, add fresh or frozen to your favorite protein smoothie or toss them into your Greek yogurt.
SUPERFOOD #4: Avocados
Avocados are much more than just a source of healthy fats and are considered a superfood for many reasons. A one-half serving of avocado delivers almost 5 grams of dietary fiber and a rich source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. But that’s not all. This green powerhouse food also delivers sources of magnesium, vitamins A, C, E, K and B along with antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin, phytosterols and glutathione – perhaps the most important antioxidant. Gluthathione has been shown to help provide protection against certain cancers. This creamy and delicious fruit can also provide protection against high cholesterol and reduce inflammation, while also helping protect against abdominal fat weight gain. Serve avocado in salads or mix up some guacamole to have along your favorite meat dishes.
Dreher ML, et al. Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013. 53(7): 738-50.
By Brently Rousset
Whether we are in a cutting, bulking, or maintenance phase, counting our macronutrients is a habit that remains the same. Raising and lowering calories, fats, carbohydrates, and protein intake is essential toward transforming your body into your ultimate physique.
The one macronutrient that is hyped and discussed the most for strength and muscle building is protein. And there’s good reason for that. Protein assists with muscle growth and helping to repair and rebuild your muscles after they become stressed during exercise. Proper protein intake helps improve the protein synthesis process within your body, which assists in building muscle faster and stronger.
The first foods we think about consuming to meet our protein requirements are meats, fish, or protein powders. Chicken, beef, turkey, tuna, salmon, eggs, and whey protein are some of the most common food items we eat to satisfy our daily protein intake.
But many of us get so focused on counting our macronutrients that we tend to forget about our micronutrients. Micronutrients include fruits and vegetables and provide our body with essential vitamins and minerals, which help our body and brain function properly each day. A deficiency in these vitamins and minerals can lead to you having less energy throughout the day and leave you more susceptible to injury – and less likely to get exercise.
Fruits and vegetables are also an excellent source of protein for those of you who are vegetarians, vegans, or just someone looking to add some extra grams of protein into your diet. Adding protein-packed vegetables to your daily nutritional regimen is an easy way to add more protein to your diet while also adding the variety of other nutritional benefits that vegetables provide.
Here’s a list of 10 protein-packed vegetables to help you close in on those extra 15-30 grams of protein you may need to reach your daily protein goals and build your ideal physique.
The king of protein-packed vegetables, soybeans provide approximately 28 grams of protein per cup, which is equivalent to about 5 oz of chicken. So pairing a cup of soybeans with your chicken can provide you with over 50 grams of protein in one meal. The fiber and unsaturated fats within the soybeans also provide digestive and cardiovascular benefits.
- Brussels Sprouts
The one vegetable you either love or hate, Brussels sprouts is a great low-calorie, low-fat vegetable to incorporate into your daily nutrition. Providing 3 grams of protein per cup at only 40 calories, Brussels sprouts will help fuel your body as they are rich in vitamin C and K, and also contact minerals like folate and copper.
Stop thinking of edamame as something you eat before sushi. With 22 grams of protein per cup, edamame is also low in fat and calories and packs a large amount of essential vitamins and minerals. Packing edamame into Ziploc bags to keep in the fridge as a quick, high-protein snack is a great way to stay on par with your nutrition.
One of the most nutrient-packed legumes, lentils packs approximately 18 grams of protein per cup when cooked, with only 230 calories. Lentils are a great protein source to add to your diet during a cut or those low-calorie days because of their low calorie count. They are also a great source of fiber and provide high amounts of folate, phosphorus, and iron. Lentils are perfect for pairing along with your meat and carbohydrate source for some extra protein. Or, if you are looking to take a break from the meat for one meal, you can mold them into a lentil patty for a high-protein, meat-free burger.
A fruit that’s not always in season, the guava is a sweet, tasty fruit that you can use to satisfy your sweet tooth, meet your micronutrient goals, and provide your body with a small amount of healthy protein. With 4 grams of protein in a single guava, guavas are also high in fiber and packed with vitamins A, B, C, and K.
They may be small, but peas provide a decent amount of protein. A cup of peas contains about 9 grams of protein and is a great source of vitamin A, C, fiber, and iron. Containing a good amount of fiber, peas are a great protein-packed vegetable to add to your diet on a high-carb day.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Not just a snack to enjoy during the fall season, pumpkin seeds pack approximately 5 grams of protein per ounce, pumpkin seeds can be roasted, seasoned and put into plastic bags as tasty snack when you get that midday craving. Throw away the chips and start munching on these small, high-protein bites.
My personal favorite of all nutrient-rich vegetables, one cup of asparagus contains approximately 5 grams of protein per serving. Asparagus also provides a great amount of potassium and is one of the top plant sources for vitamin K. This protein-packed vegetable is one of my favorites because it also acts as a natural diuretic, providing the perfect side dish during those cutting phases. Depending on your goals, asparagus is going to help you get slimmer while helping you reach your daily protein intake.
Ah, broccoli. The go-to vegetable for anyone who eats a healthy diet and wants to look their best. Why? Because broccoli is a fat-free, micronutrient-packed vegetable that can be paired with any meal with ease. Microwave, sautéed, or boiled, one cup of broccoli will give you an extra 2.6 grams of protein per cup. While broccoli doesn’t pack the high amount of protein as the vegetables discussed before, a cup of broccoli will give you over 100 percent of your daily vitamin C and K needs.
A hearty vegetable you can enjoy alongside your steak or chicken. With 16 grams of protein per cup of corn, this vegetable is one of the highest protein packed micros on this list. Corn has been a staple vegetable within numerous cultures for thousands of years and provides a healthy source of fiber and vitamin B.
Take “home is where the heart is” to the next level. Keep the same drive and motivation at home as you did at the gym. Put your heart into your home, working out as if you were at the gym. Believe me, this does stink that the gyms are closed but that does not mean you cannot get a solid workout in. I have jogged more in the past week than all of 2019. It is the incentive factor that is tough to amp up at home. Here are a few ways to put some gas on that motivation fire.
Play Some Music
Music increases stimulation. This is because music is able to increase stimulation, as there’s a connection between auditory neurons and motor neurons. That’s why music often makes us more mobile and motivates our body to move. Physical activity sparks mental activity; therefore, music fuels productivity and motivation.
Watch a Few Workout Videos
For me this one is just a preference. Sometimes I will look up YouTube workouts to get some ideas and it really motivates me, or even sometimes boxing and or UFC does it for me. It gets me going.
If taken in proper doses, this can be a great option for an energy boost. It is the caffeine in most pre-workouts that gets you motivated. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant of the methylxanthine class. It is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug.
Get Up and Move Around
A 15- or 20-minute walk is better than no activity at all, because that’s 15 minutes you won’t be sitting around trying to find your motivation. Walk around the block, ALONE! Remember social distancing. It’s all about getting that heart rate up. Move a muscle, change a thought. Perhaps you have heard that phrase before. It basically is a statement that represents the connection between our physical and mental activity. It is used to alleviate worry, fear, depression or any other negative mental or emotional state.
Have a Little Fruit
If you are feeling a little blah, grab some fruit. Slice up a pineapple. The sugars are sure to get you moving; yes it might be a quick sugar rush, but sometimes that’s what is needed to get moving.
If you haven’t been exercising because of being home quarantined, you need to start. The first thing you need is motivation. If you’re good at coming up with excuses not to exercise, start replacing those excuses with motivational thoughts and affirmations. Now that I have given you a few ways to get moving, let us give some exercises a try. Here are a few to start with.
Face away from the dip bars (at home this can be done on a coffee table) and position yourself so that your body is suspended in the air with your arms straight and elbows soft. Lower your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees of flexion while keeping your elbows in close to your body.
The plank is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time. Add a few push-ups in between sets to give the upper body and core a little more intensity.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a sandbag (or anything in your house with some weight to it) across your upper back. Taking care to not arch your back, push your hips back and bend your knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive your heels into the floor to push yourself explosively back up to the start position. You can start this with no weight at first to get proper form.
Stand up holding a pair of dumbbells with your hands down at the side and your palms facing your body (a neutral grip). Slowly curl the dumbbell of your left arm across the body toward your right shoulder. If you do not have any dumbbells, you can do this exercise with a gallon of water (empty some water out if it’s too heavy).
Find Some Stairs
Stair climbing is the climbing of a flight of stairs. It is often described as a “low-impact” exercise, often for people who have recently started trying to get in shape or if you are stuck at home and the gyms are closed. I am lucky that I have a set of stairs on the inside of my apartment where I have been climbing them with the sandbag as well doing calf raises on them. A little fun exercise is to do 10 calf raises on the first step and go up each set and see how far you can get. My little baby calves only make it six steps until I collapse.
Pull-ups, side-bends, hill-climbers and many others are perfect for the home workout – there is no gym required to get fit and look good. It starts with motivation. Once you get going, it’s a wrap. Game on. Take this time at home to perfect your form, diet and goals for the future. Personally I am working more on my core, stamina and my diet to get a strong foundation. When I do return to the gym it’s going to be an all-you-can-eat buffet, and I’m hungry.
Sometimes, later becomes never. A lot of times I do not want to do what is uncomfortable but I just do it. After that, I never regret it. Success doesn’t just find you, you have to go and find it and repeat. My two favorite sayings that drive me are:
Get up to shred up.
Never look back but remember the pain.
Anxiety is leading to fear and panic! Hope and good news is on the way! Researchers and doctors in France, South Korea and the United States are using the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin (brand name: Zithromax or Z-Pak), which is prescribed for upper respiratory infections. President Trump has announced a national trial, and emergency medical supplies of this drug combo are coming to New York on Tuesday, March 24th. The President was criticized at first but now he has the support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Anthony Fauci, director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
This drug combination isn’t a miracle cure for COVID-19 virus but may save lives, lower the infection rate and spread of the virus until we have a vaccine in the next 12-15 months! What the hell do we have to lose? This antiviral combo might work! They have already been approved for many years in the treatment of malaria, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and upper respiratory infections. Some researchers have said that the low incidents of coronavirus in Africa may be the result of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and its use for many years. We need to stop or kill this virus ASAP!
More testing, social distancing, shutdowns, and properly washing hands will help, but not on their own! Compassionate use of this drug combo for the sick should be recommended universally now!
Hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combo can slow down viral replication and regulate the overreaction of the natural immune response and lower inflammation in the lungs. Sure, more controlled clinical studies are needed but why wait if we can save lives!
I was very pleased to see an editorial today in the Monday, March 23rd, 2020 edition of The Wall Street Journal. The article is entitled: “These Drugs Are Helping Our Coronavirus Patients” by Jeff Colyer and Daniel Hinthorn. The authors of the report said that on March 9th, a team of researchers in China published results showing “hydroxychloroquine was effective against the 2019 coronavirus in a test tube. The author suggested a five-day, 12-pill treatment for covid-19: two-hundred milligram tablets twice a day on the first day followed by 1 tablet twice a day for four more days.”
“A more recent French study used the drug in combination with azithromycin.”
“But researchers in France treated a small number of patients with hydroxychloroquine and a Z-Pak, and 100% of them were cured by day six of the treatment.” “Compare that with 57.1% of patients with hydroxychloroquine alone, and 12.5% of patients who receive neither.” “What’s more, most patients cleared the virus in three to six days. Rather than the 20 days observed in China. That reduces the time a patient can spread the virus to others.” “A couple of careful studies of hydroxychloroquine, but results may take weeks or longer. Infectious disease experts are already using hydroxychloroquine clinically with some success.”
Other existing antiviral drugs and new unapproved drugs are under investigation at this time and are being fast-tracked and brought to market as quickly as possible against the COVID-19 virus! These drugs include remdesivir, an antiviral drug (available from Gilead Sciences) that has great potential. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has started the first clinical trials, an important randomized clinical trial for the clinical treatment of the coronavirus. Also, the anti-flu drug favipiravir and HIV Kaletra, which is a combination of antivirals Lopinavir and Ritonavir. The biotech company Moderna, Inc. has said that the experimental vaccine for coronavirus is being fast-tracked and may be available as early as the fall for a select few but large quantities and mandatory testing which can take 12-15 months required to prove safety and efficacy!
Like I said earlier, the scientific evidence is preliminary and more clinical trials on this potential antiviral drug are needed.
SO, DON’T PANIC! Knowledge is power! Be proactive, smart and logical. You should know the real risks and take the necessary precautions. Below are reliable, authoritative sources. Beware; unfortunately a lot of misinformation is on the internet.
STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY!!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
- Gautret et al. (2020) Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID‐19: results of an open‐label non‐randomized clinical trial. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents – In Press 17 March 2020 – DOI : 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105949
- French study finds anti-malarial and antibiotic combo could reduce COVID-19 duration. Darrell Etherington@etherington/March 19, 2020.
- Chloroquine for COVID-19: Cutting Through the Hype. Chris Baraniuk. Mar 20, 2020. The Scientist.
- A malaria pill from the 1940s has caught the eyes of doctors, analysts, and even Elon Musk as a potential coronavirus treatment by Andrew Dunn Mar 19, 2020. Business Insider.
- COVID-19: Could Hydroxychloroquine Really Be An Answer? Aude Lecrubier. March 18, 2020. The MedScape.
- A Trial of Lopinavir–Ritonavir in Adults Hospitalized with Severe Covid-19. Bin Cao, M.D. et al. March 18, 2020. New England Journal of Medicine.
- Audio Interview: New Research on Possible Treatments for Covid-19. Eric J. Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., Lindsey R. Baden, M.D., and Stephen Morrissey, Ph.D. March 19, 2020. N Engl J Med 2020; 382:e30. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe2005759
- COVID-19 Incubation Period: An Update by Stephen Baum Stephen G. Baum, MD reviewing Lauer SA et al. Ann Intern Med 2020 Mar 10, 2020
- COVID-19 treatment might already exist. By Nevan Krogan – Professor and Director of Quantitave Biosciences Institute, University of California, San Francisco. March 26, 2020. Live Science.
- These Drugs Are Helping Our Coronavirus Patients. Jeff Colyer and Daniel Hinthorn. March 22, 2020. Wall Street Journal.