Eating Healthy Makes Life Easier!

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Eating Healthy Makes Life Easier!

Of course eating healthy doesn’t make life harder, it makes life easier.  I'm in the business of making peoples lives easier and more enjoyable but I’ve fielded this topic enough that I was compelled to write about it. 

 

When talking about the perks of eating real food and giving a shit about your nutritional intake, I often hear:

 

  1. “I just love food to much.”
  2. “I can’t give up ‘fill in the blank’ food, thats impossible.”

 

I hear these two protests a lot when someone is asking me about my class The Real Food Experiment.  I get it: before I understood what it meant to eat healthy, I had no urge to eat healthy.  I had no desire to be thin or “healthy”, especially if to do so meant giving up the food I loved.  

 

I had grown up competing in wrestling from 7th grade to the collegiate level.  Through wrestling I had developed a learned helplessness with nutrition.  During my wrestling career I tested so many diets and tactics all without success.  Tactics tried and discarded included putting the fork down between bites; eating smaller meals every few hours; not eating before bed; only eating prepackaged food so I could read the food lable.  I remember that while I was in college looking forward to a time after wrestling when I could have a beer belly and only eat the food that I enjoyed.  To never have to think about eating healthy because it just wasn’t worth it.  I dreamed about this because I had learnt that eating healthy tasted awful and took impossible amounts of willpower.  Eating health food meant their was no possibility of feeling satisfied.  Or that healthy living involved so much work only the incredible vain would go through and no sane person would.

 

That was me.  So I get it: eating healthy sounds shitty.  So lets take a look at what someone is really trying to say with those protests from earlier.  

 

  1. Healthy food doesn’t taste good and I don’t care enough about my health and well being to eat food that tastes like shit.
  2.   I would rather eat food thats unhealthy for me and can’t be bothered to take ‘whatever bad food’ out of my diet; for even a short time.  

 

I get it people, change is scary.  Lets face it: your relationship with food is one you started at birth and who am I to come in and tell you how you should change it?  This is why I designed The Real Food Experiment.  People can learn the how and why about healthy eating at the same time gently improve habits.  These fears are not without merit so let me explain my side now that live an enlightened nutritional life.

 

1.  Your taste buds and body evolved to let you know when food is good for you.  So when you feed your body “Real Food” that nourishes, fuels and satisfies, you should not be left wanting.  If your healthy meal leaves you wanting more that is a sign/symptom that something is missing.

 

    Tomas R, Personal Trainer

“Holidays threw me for a loop, got off track. Woke up this morning and chose to use a lettuce leaf on my breakfast wrap, of peppers, spinach, turkey and guacamole.  Been through many different eating regimens and I gotta say you made it the easiest to get back on track...simple plan. Eat balanced, eat clean, season to taste.”

 

2.  If someone told you they couldn’t give up drinking/ smoking/ whatever drug for even just a short time, what would you think?...  Addiction, right?  Addiction is no different when it comes to food.  Have you ever seen someone addicted to a substance who’s life wouldn’t improve if they could just break themselves of the addiction.  If you can’t cut out something from your diet that is potentially bad for you for just a short time then News Flash! you’re addicted to it.  The Good news about food (really sugar and carbohydrate) addictions is that it doesn’t take that long to break the addiction.  The really Great news is that once you do, it feels Amazing!  Eating healthy will put an end to symptoms, a lot of which you probably have become numb to.  When you don’t realize that you are addicted to these foods symptoms pop up that seem like “old age” and are “inevitable”. 

Truth is your body doesn’t want to be sick.  So when you start eating real food symptoms start to disappear.  Symptoms that can include but are not limited to: loss of excess body fat, reduced stress exposure, clearer skin, looking younger, more energy, less energy crashes, better immune system function, easier mornings, improved recovery, actually seeing your all your abs, bye bye love handles, no more “skinny fat”,...  Basically what I’m trying to say is, eating healthy doesn’t make life harder.  It makes life easier in ways you will never see coming.  If you improve your quality of food you will defiantly improve your quality of life.

    

    Amy R. 

“The Real Food Experiment program changed my life.  I had no idea how addicted to sugar my body was.  I no longer have energy crashes and feel very strong with my sustained energy levels.”

 

    Jessica D.

“I had been Struggling with my weight for years, trying to count calories and survive on salads.  The Real Food Experiment taught me how to cook satisfying hearty dishes .  The pot lucks are so much fun and filled my fridge with small meals to have on hand with tons of yummy healthy fats I didn’t know I should be eating.  It surprised me when the lbs. melted away!”

 

 

For more information about The Real Food Experiment or to sign-up contact Jerry at OstbJerry@gmail.com

 

 

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Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

After my Thanksgiving day webinar on how to eat clean I had a great response from everyone who had gotten my clean cooking for thanksgiving guide and took the class.  Really I can’t say enough for all the support I’ve gotten for LaBonté Nutrition and Wellness, thank you thank you, thank you everyone.

If you didn’t get to take the class don’t worry we’ll have a new ones coming soon, just sign up for the email newsletter and you’ll be prevue to everything new that comes out.

Enough talk here is my favorite recipe from my thanksgiving guide.  It was my favorite because yes it is super taste but also my whole family gobbled it up without out even realizing how healthy it is for them.  I made a bunch extra, so that their would be plenty leftover for myself It keeps really well as leftovers.  I will heat the soup up with a couple pieces of turkey to make it a full meal in a bowl, will all the macro nutrients I need.

My pumpkin soup recipe calls for mirepoix.  Mirepoix is are traditional ingredients in French cooking that are used in lots of stocks, soups and sauces.

 

Ingredients  

1. Mirepoix

2 large, onions chopped (eye ball that your onions should match both the carrots and celery together)

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

2. 1 medium size pumpkin or 2 smaller pumpkins (~2 cups pumpkin puree)

3. 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

4. 2 cups of bone broth, (I use organic chicken stock from the carton but if you make your own even better)

5. 1 cup heavy cream (sub whole fat organic Coconut milk for added health benefits)

6. 1/4 teaspoon of each of black pepper, allspice or cinnamon and nutmeg.

Depending on the bone broth you should salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F line cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut off the top of the pumpkin and then halve. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out all of the seeds and strings (save seeds in a ziplock bag for roasting).
  3. Brush the flesh with warmed coconut oil and place face down on the baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the skin. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then peel away skin and set pumpkin aside.
  4. To a large saucepan over medium heat add 1 Tbsp coconut oil, mirepoix and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent. Turn down heat if cooking too quickly.
  5. Add broth, pumpkin, seasonings and bring to a simmer.  Hold light simmer for 20 minutes stirring regularly.
  6. Add heavy cream and bring to simmer again
  7. Transfer soup mixture to a blender or use an emulsion blender to puree the soup. If using a blender, place a towel over the top of the lid before mixing to avoid any accidents. Pour mixture back into pot.
  8. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  9.  

Chocolate Mousse

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Chocolate Mousse

I might have really outdone myself with this recipe here.  I’ve been making this for a few months now and every version came out just fine, awesome actually (I just knew I could do better.)  The fact that I’m not 300lbs with a giant muffin top spilling over my pants after eating all the food I make is pretty awesome, I feel like I’m cheating the system.  Thats why I share what I know with everyone so people will know how food that fuels life should be tasting amazing, while being easy to make.  Here it is, share it with friends, make it for yourself, tell everyone it’s too good not to share.

 

Chocolate Mousse

 

  Ingredients

• 1 can coconut Milk, full fat

• 1 ripe avocado

• 3 tablespoons cocoa powder

• 1 tablespoon of natural sweetener, (i.e. local honey, stevia, maple syrup)

• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

• 1/4 cup whey protein powder (isolate or consulate, preferable from grass-fed cattle) optional

 

 

 

 

Step by Step

1. Leave canned coconut milk in fridge over night or at least for one hour. When you open can, carefully scoop out only the solid coconut fat, the liquid part is extra that I haven’t found a good use for yet.

2. Combine coconut, avocado, cocoa powder, salt, whey protein powder and a small amount of the sweetener of your choice.  The goal is to use as little of the sweetener as possible.  (The whey protein powder can be left out if you don’t have it in your pantry, with it the consistency becomes a little creamier.)

3. Some sweetness will be needed to add to the flavor so start by adding just a small amount then blend and taste add more if needed and taste again.

4. Store in fridge or make fresh.

 

Thanks for checking out my recipe if you like it please, share it with friends or leave a comment to let me know if you like it.

Cheers,

Jerry  

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Water for thought

Water for thought

Howdy Beautiful People, 

I was out shoveling my driveway and roof this weekend for a few hours and realized I was surrounded by water and had none to drink.  I could feel that I was sweating, and it made me think how many people would be doing the same thing and not realize they need to replenish afterwards.  Here is my water guide to drinking the right amount of water,I hope you all enjoy.

 

The Water Guide

It’s no secret that our bodies are mostly water 60-65% of our bodies are water, (got doing a quick search on the web).  But how much do we need on any given day to maintain healthy function?  That will depend on your body weight, activity level how humidity of your environment, temperature of your environment and temperature of your body.

The easiest and simplest way to make sure you are drinking enough water is to get in the habit of carrying a water bottle everywhere you go.  Having a water bottle with you eliminates the need to keep track how much water you drank.  Now you can just take a sip any time you think about it, just interpret “thinking about water” as your body telling you its time to drink more water.  Along with carrying a water bottle with you if you also get in the practice of drinking a glass of water any time you have a diuretic, (ie coffee, alcohol, some prescription drugs) or any time your working out/ sweating (ie the gym, skiing, hiking, at a concert, doing yard work,…) you will be just fine.

A simple estimate for how much water you should be drinking in a day is 1 gallon for men or 3/4 a gallon for woman.  If you are not in the practice of drinking healthy amounts of water then bringing a gallon jug of water with you is a great idea.  As the day goes on you can see how much you have to finish before the end of the day, which hopefully will motivate you to drink more, this will provide you with great insight as to how much water you should get, and can probably transition to a more life friendly bottle after a few days.

If you’re looking for a formula that is a little more involved, here is one recommended by the Poliquin Group

(Body weight in pounds/2) + (body weight x 20%) = number of ounces per day.

For example:      

140 lb/2 = 70

20% of 140 = 28

70 + 28 = 98 oz/day

I also don’t know why they make it so complicated, Here is the same formula but rewritten by someone with a degree in Math.

(BW/2) + (BW x 20%) = Number of ounces per day,

(BW x 1/2) + (BW x 2/10) = OPD,

BW(1/2 + 2/10) = OPD,

BW(7/10) = OPD,

Body weight x 70% = Number of ounces per day

For example:

140 lbs x 70% = 98 oz/day

*keep in mind the is a formula that doesn’t involve humidity level or activity level so even this fairly involved formula is just a rough estimate.

Drinking water at work:

For those of you who have a desk job you may or may not have heard that sitting at a desk for long periods of time is not conducive for better health.  Well if you have a water bottle with you at work and are good about drinking it you will have to take frequent breaks from your desk to use that restroom and to fill up your water bottle.  So you could have a standing desk or set a timer to walk around your office every fifteen minutes or… you could just carry a water bottle with you.

Drinking water and fat loss:

When the body perceives that you are in a drought it will start to ration the water that is available.  This is the same pattern the body takes if you are restricting calories, in extreme temperatures, excessive exercise or basically any extreme stress that your body perceives is a threat to life.  The body naturally redirects it’s resources to where it is needed right now and ignores demands that are farther down the road.  What the body says to it’s self is ‘who cares if my organs fatigue in 5 years I don’t have enough water to make it to tomorrow.’

When your body senses that water is low it will send signals to shut down kidneys functions.  In the short term this isn’t a problem because the liver can then take over the kidneys, this really becomes a problem long term when the liver can’t do the other jobs we would like it to perform.  What are those other jobs?

Detoxification and Fat processing

The liver removes toxins from the blood stream to be pooped out later and turns triglycerides (body fat) into glucose which is how the body fuels energy demands.  If you think how these liver functions pertain to water intake it becomes pretty clear that you need your liver the most when we are socially least like to give it what it needs.

This explains why drinking a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage goes so a long way to helping your hangover the next day.  If you didn’t do that then your liver wouldn’t be operating at 100% when you need it to remove that toxic crap from all those poisonous beverages.  What? you didn’t know that alcohol was poison?  Haven’t you ever heard a bartender ask, “pick your poison”

Now switch to the gym and suddenly could explain why I hear stories of people who have plateau’d and are not seeing any results when they are forgetting to drink water.  If you are on the boarder of being dehydrated then start a training session to work of body fat (the better the activity the more you are to sweat) you become really dehydrated really quickly.  That combination of water restriction and physical activity will stop all fat loss in its tracks.  Then when you realize that because the liver is not firing on all cylinders your body might be switching to a different source for fuel, Your Muscles!!!  Or this could explain why going to the gym seems to suck the life out of some people while so many others it seems to help boost their energy.

Signs or symptoms of dehydration

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased Urine output
  • Tired or sleepy
  • Urine is low volume and more yellowish then normal
  • Headache
  • Dry Skin
  • Dizziness

While these symptoms don’t seem sever I really urge you that they are.  Lets take the symptom of the headache, seems fairly common.  But when you realize that your brain doesn’t have any pain receptors like lets say your foot does (which will notice everything you step on).  Then you might start to realize that if you are experiencing even just the mildest of headaches due to dehydration then you are seriously dehydrated.  Same goes for all the rest of the symptoms.

What can you expect when you are hydrated

  • Clear Urine
  • Plenty of volume to your urine
  • Better energy levels
  • Better metabolism
  • Better recovery
  • Better sleep
  • Basically your body works the way it’s supposed

Drink your water from glass bottles whenever possible to avoid any chemicals that could leach into it from plastic bottles.  This is why you will see me with a recycled glass bottle (that and I think it looks cool).

If you are drinking bottled water (which is a great way to remove toxins if you don’t have a reverse osmosis filter) then you should avoid the water that comes in the soft plastic containers.  A soft plastic containers are the opaque containers that you will see milk sold in.  Look for the clear hard plastic to get less contaminants in you water.

Ciao,

Jerry

Pumpkin Paleo Protein Shake

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Pumpkin Paleo Protein Shake

This is a recipe that I found online and had to add some flavor to make it my own. A super cool way to paleo hack for your post-workout protein.

 

Ingredients

4 eggs (as natural raised as possible)

1/2 can of Organic pumpkin mix (find in the baking isle)

1 tablespoon local raw honey

Cinnamon to taste

*extra credit add a teaspoon of MCT oil or coconut oil to up the healthy omega 3’s

The Process

Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice then blend till ice is mixed into drink.  This will stay cold for a few hours if you take it with you to the gym to drink afterwards.

If you don’t have a blender just combine all ingredients into a plastic bottle with ice and shake vigorously.  You might have a hard time getting the honey to incorporate into the beverage without the blender so just make sure the honey goes in after the pumpkin, and it won’t stick to the bottle as much.

There is a reason why you must blend this or shake vigorously in a blender bottle.  If the eggs aren’t denatured is someway they will not be fully digested by the body.  Blending the eggs will help to break down the protein, as well as combining the MCT oil which will bind with the

Why:

Pumpkin is a great source of carbohydrates through vegetables.  Getting your daily source of carbohydrates through vegetables will make sure your getting a boat load of fiber and other nutrients that your body will need to recover from your workout.

Eggs are probable the best source of easily accessible protein, if you can get if from a friend who is naturally raising chickens then you get bonus health points.  But they need to be denatured, if you just drink raw eggs like Rocky your body will only be able to process about %64 of the protein.

Raw honey that is sourced locally helps your immune system function by introducing local bee pollen on a regular basis.  Basically if you can find a way to have a small amount of raw honey everyday you won’t be as affected by sessional allergies.

Cinnamon has been shown to have positive health effects all across the board, from lowering the glycemic index of a food to improving someones chances against cancer and it tastes pretty awesome.

Learn more about raw honey here

Learn more about cinnamon here

Learn more about raw eggs here

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For the Women, By a Woman

For the Women, By a Woman

My good friend Jerry asked if I would be willing to write a blog post for his new site, Labonte Nutrition. He wanted me to give a little piece of nutritional wisdom to the ladies that a man couldn’t. How could I turn down an offer like that?!

Over the past three years, I have had the pleasure of working with a wide range of women from all walks of life to help them dial in their nutrition plans. Do you know that one thing that every single one of them was missing from their diet?

SATISFACTION!

That seems crazy, right? Who would ever put the words “diet” and “satisfaction” into the same sentence?

But here is the deal, in order for any nutritional strategy to work, it has to be satisfying. For a lot of the women I work with, they feel an immense amount of guilt or shame about the foods they find pleasurable. It is almost as if there is a big seperation between the foods that are “good for you” and the ones that “taste good”. A lot of women don’t even know what foods are satisfying to them, because they have trained themselves for so long to not feel pleasure from the food they eat.

So ladies, lets imagine this. Lets talk about your sex life. If you never tried new things, if you never allowed yourself to break out of missionary, if you never tried having sex in the morning over the bathroom sink, how would you ever know if you liked it? How would you know what blows your skirt up?

Now lets come back to food. If you never tried new foods, if you never allowed yourself to break out of your low-fat low-carb low-calorie way of eating, if you never tried eating coffee ice cream in the bath tub, how would you ever know if you liked it? How would you know what blows your skirt up?

The truth is, we are hard wired to derive A LOT of pleasure from the food we eat. And as women, we are very particular. We like things to be a certain way. We like it “just like that” or “mmmmmmm a little more of that” or “just a little slower” or “just a little more”.

For men, it’s different right? They don’t care if it is right here or there or everywhere, they are just happy to be getting it! For them, food is food and sex is sex. For us, it’s not quite that way. We need a few more specifics to be satisfied. We like things to be just to our taste, and to feel just right.

So, who’s responsibility is it for you to feel satisfied?

YOURS!

If you do not know what you like, what your preferences are, it is impossible for you to scratch that satisfaction itch. You need to spend some time finding out what brings you pleasure (in all areas of your life, not just food and sex) otherwise you are doomed to always feel as if, “things just don’t taste right…”

Now how’s THAT for a nutritional strategy 😉

My recommendation for you this week is to get curious as to what brings you pleasure and satisfaction. Is it a poached egg breakfast at nine o’clock with a cup of black coffee? Is it a rare steak with grilled asparagus for dinner? Is it a bottle of Malbec shared with someone good looking sitting on the deck at night? What is it? With all the nitty gritty details?

Once you’ve identified that, once you have figured out what it is you REALLY want, I would ask, “Are you getting it?”

Here’s to getting what you want, ladies. You deserve it :)

Heather Kelly is an evolutionary sports nutritionist and certified psychology of eating coach. She is the owner and operator of OPENutrition and Heather’s Choice. Heather works with clients worldwide to help them develop a relationship with food that leaves them feeling SEXY. STRONG. and SATISFIED. She is the creator of mydietissexy.com and the OPENutrition Challenge. Heather is available for one on one and group coaching, as well as live speaking engagements. You can get in touch with her by visiting OPENutrition.com.

The Birthday Frittata

The Birthday Frittata

The way I like to say thank you to friends and family is to make something delicious for them.  Good health is the first form of wealth, so if you can make something that someone would have to go to a restaurant for and that is incredible nutritious, your gift is priceless.  This sunday I made my Mom her Birthday brunch as she turned early 40’s, Mom reminds me that she had me when she was twelve so her 44th Birthday.

I’m going to give the recipe for this frittata a little different so you can make it your own when you make it for your loved ones.

Set oven to 350 and let preheat while you prep everything else.  Ideally you will have a cast iron skillet that is well coated.  If you don’t have that then a pan that has a handle that is oven safe will work fine.

Julian two medium onions to caramelize.  Using a big skillet I added coconut oil and onions over a very low heat.  The key to caramelizing onions is to take your time, if you try to go to fast you just end up with cooked onions that aren’t caramelized.  If you want to make kick ass fully caramelized onions then with chopping and cooking should take over an hour.  But because this is part of a brunch frittata just let the onions simmer while you dice your sweet potatoes.

Wash peel and double peel if you have the time, your sweet potatoes.  Root vegetable should be washed and peeled to remove toxins absorbed from the dirt.  Once potatoes are diced remove onions from pan and replace with sweet potatoes, add extra coconut oil to pan if needed.  While that is cooking dice any mushrooms or other vegetables that you want to use.  When adding your different vegetables just remember the denser the vegetable the longer it will take to cook.

With all the vegetables simmering (oh, you put the onions back in there right?) start prepping the eggs.  Take half of the eggs you plan to use, (I used 12 eggs total) scramble with salt pepper and sriracha sauce.  Why sriracha?  Uh duh, it’s hot sauce and eggs a match made in culinary heaven.

Now we get to the part that will turn your delicious nutritious breakfast into something that you will become insta-famous for.  Pour scrambled eggs over vegetables in skillet, shake and push around veggies to settle and even everything (this is all done while over a low heat).  Take remainder of the eggs crack and evenly place around the skillet.  After placing eggs salt and pepper once more for good looks and place in oven till eggs are done.

When will it be done?  That depends how you like your eggs.  I recommend sunny side up, egg whites cooked but leaving the yolks unbroken and slightly un cooked inside (yolk should pour out when you break into it).

This method of starting eggs on the stove top and finishing them in the oven is a French way to cook eggs.  I find it adds volume to the eggs and cooks them evenly.  That isn’t as easy to accomplish when cooking on the stove top alone.  Have fun making this recipe and practicing these techniques.  The ingredients I used were  just the ones I had in my kitchen if I had planned ahead I would have had some green veggies in there for sure and if I had a nice cheese I probably wouldn’t have minded if that made it in as well.

Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet Potato Salad

Love this recipe, I like to make it at the begging of the week and go back to snack on.  It’s easy to do that with this sweet potato salad as it is good right out of the refrigerator.  When I don’t have time to make a whole meal the ability to grab something nutritious and quick is a life saver.

With Sweet potatoes being the main ingredient it will have a pretty high glycemic load, which is fine if you are at your ideal weight or if you are part of a high intensity training regimen.  I would recommend eating some after a workout or in the second part of the day.

Ingredients

1/2 pound bacon

3 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2 cubes

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil

juice 1 lime

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 green onions, chopped

handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped

dash of red pepper flakes (optional)

dash of ground cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste

The Process

1. Preheat oven to 375˚f.  Line baking sheet with foil and lay bacon flat on the sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bacon is slightly crispy. let cool then roughly chop.

2. While bacon is cooking double peel sweet potatoes*

3. In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, toss sweet potatoes and garlic in rendered bacon fat from baked bacon (let bacon fat cool before handling).  Roast for about 30 minutes or until slightly browned.

4. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  Toss in green onions, dill, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and salt and pepper and mix well.

5. Once sweet potatoes are finished cooking, toss them together with the dressing and bacon.

Notes

*any tubers or root vegetables should be peeled to avoid toxins that can be picked up form the soil or , a simple step that goes a long way to improving health.  With sweet potatoes I double peel as recommended by the Bullet Proof Executive.

~ cooking time will vary relative to the size of the sweet potato cubes, try to keep them lade