What type of milk to drink

Do you drink milk? That’s a pretty easy question because it doesn’t specify what kind of milk? Most people assume you mean cow’s milk but nowadays that question can be open to interpretation as the regular variety or one of rice, almond or soy. 

5 Drinks to Get Familiar With

 

So the #1 goal of people who go to the gym is weight loss. And it’s like finger nails on a chalk board when I see people making all the right decisions when it comes to training, rest and the foods they eat only to blow it in one area.

What is that one area?

Nutritional Myths Seminar Recap

Tuesday a number of our clients, friends and family gathered at the facility for some beer, chocolate, wine & cheese and handed out some door prizes.

Oh yeah, there was also a nutritional seminar going on as well.

You Don’t Need More Energy

Quick question…what’s your favourite cheat food?

For a lot of people the answer would be something sweet. Maybe it’s ice cream, or chocolate or some type of candy. I like all of these.

But indulging in a treat can wreak havoc on your training goals. We’re trying to create a caloric deficit from training but then can quickly undo a lot of our efforts when we load up on sweets.

The Hangover 2, Beer Bellies and Wine During Dieting

So last night I went and saw Hangover 2. And if you’re into that kind of humour you may find this one funny. But be warned. It’s not for everyone.

But after the show was over my mind drifted back to training.

And I started thinking about the effects of alcohol on training. So I did a bit of a review of the literature on some recent studies related to alcohol consumption and exercise.

Here’s what I found.

Top Healthy Snack Ideas to Support Fitness Goals

When it comes to nutrition there is a common element that confuses a number of people.
 
Snacks.
 
What should you snack on? When should you snack? How much is ok? Should you snack?
 
The more you think about it the more confusing it can get. So I’ll keep it really simple. Here are the rules.
 
Rule #1 – Eat Your 3 Squares of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Rule #2 – If Still Hungry Between B,L,D Then Have a Snack
 
It doesn’t have to get much  more complicated than that. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s ready for fuel and nutrition.
 
Believe it or not everyone one of us is a unique individual. And everyone’s goals, schedules, metabolism and starting points are all going to be different.
 
Knowing these differences exist it is pretty difficult to say everyone should eat the same snacks, at the same time and the same amounts.
 
With that in mind below are a number of sample snack ideas. Feel free to add your own favourites to the comments section.
 
 
* low fat cottage cheese – excellent source of protein
* low fat yogurt – none with fruit already added though
* fruit – specifically berries i.e. strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries & melons i.e. cantaloupe, honey dew, watermelon & grapes 
* celery & peanut butter (try Adams Natural pb)
* beef or turkey jerkey – if possible without MSG
* nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia, Brazil, cashews, hazel, pistachios 
* seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
* porc rinds – find these in the potato chip section of your supermarket
* tuna with dill pickle or salsa
* smoothie made with water, ice, fruit & a scoop of protein powder
 
Some other options include:
* whole grain bagel with cream cheese and a yogurt
* Adam’s Peanut Butter, Stoned Wheat Thins and a V-8 juice
* trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
* granola with low-fat milk and banana
* instant oatmeal, not the flavoured kind, with low-fat milk
* artichoke hearts, cheese & stoned wheat thin crackers
 
As well when buying snacks:
* yogurt – buy plain fat-free, or Greek, and flavour with vanilla, honey, cinnamon, applesauce, fruit cocktail or berries
* choose fresh fruits that are in season
* bagels – whole grain varieties which provide more vitamins and minerals than bagels made with white flour
* crackers – stoned wheat, sesame, bran
* popcorn – plain then flavour with garlic, chili, onion powders

I had to take popcorn off the list. More on that in another post.

Keep in mind as well that not all snacks are suitable for every person.

For those looking to shed a few pounds (or more) keep an eye on the carbs such as the crackers, cereals and fruits.

For those looking to gain a few pounds increase your intake of healthy fats and dried fruits which have a higher caloric density.

The take home message is to listen to your body and track your results.

If during the mid afternoon at work or school you are experiencing head nods and struggling to stay awake maybe a snack and some fresh air would benefit you.

Or if you’re having trouble adding a few pounds of lean muscle mass look to add in a snack or two, especially on days when you’re not training, to put yourself into a caloric surplus and grow.

Now let me know your favourite snack. Even if it’s not a healthy one tell me anyways and I’ll see if I can find a healthy alternative for you.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                    okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

5 Tips for Better Step-Ups

Today we’re celebrating Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. So with the indulgence in turkey, gravy, potatoes and of course some pumpkin pie the mind tends to shift towards thinking about ways to burn all these extra calories. Plus as the seasons change our activities move from links and lakes to the hills for winter fun.

So with this in mind I usually like to incorporate more step-ups in the workout. Step-ups are great in that they work well for all levels, they allow you to get in some quality single leg work and with a few changes in the acute variables of sets, reps and rest you can train for a variety of different purposes.

But before you jump in and start with the step-ups there are 5 technique points that will help you perform this lift more safely and effectively.

1. Maintain a neutral foot. Many of us tend to roll into pronation when we bend at the ankle-knee-hip. Imagine your foot collapsing towards the arch when you take a step. If this happens you will disrupt the chain reaction that occurs with ground based motion and have altered mechanics as you step up. Keep a neutral foot and watch that the knee is in line with the 2nd/3rd toes.

2. Paw the bench. With the foot that is on the bench imagine pulling the bench towards yourself. This loads up the glutes and hamstrings which many of us have difficulty recruiting during our leg training.

3. Take a larger step. This ties in with the previous point of trying to engage the posterior chain. Many of us are quad dominant and look to use our quads first and glutes and hamstrings, second, if at all. With a larger step you open up the angle at the knee and hip which takes load off the quads and transfers it to the glutes and hamstrings.

4. Stay tall. Imagine a string through the top of the head pulling you tall. At the same time imagine pushing the chest tall. Both of these actions help set your posture, allow your core to fire more effectively and assist in proper execution of the lift. As well when you set up in this way the hands naturally hang by the body rather than drift out in front pulling you off balance. A common cheat in this regard is allowing the trunk to fall forward onto the lead leg during the up portion of the lift and then completing the rep by extending at the low back.

5. Control the step down. This is where most people fail on performing ideal form on this lift. We are all very good on the concentric part of the lift i.e. when we shorten the muscle and count a rep but sometimes get a little lazy during the eccentric part of the lift. Imagine stepping down onto thin ice at the completion of each lift. Unless there is control of the descent you will break through the ice.

Look to incorporate step-ups into your workouts for the benefits listed above. Make sure to keep these 5 technique points in mind to do them as safely and effectively as possible.

Chris
okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’