Diet and Nutrition

Do Fasted Workouts Work? What Skipping Breakfast Means for Your Fitness

superfood supplement powder

You may or may not have heard of fasted workouts, or probably more likely, fasted cardio. Fasted workouts are just that: workouts that are done in the morning on an empty stomach.

The idea is, if you get your sweat on before you break the overnight fast with breakfast (yes, indeed, that’s where the name comes from) your body will go immediately to burning its fat stores instead of wasting time burning through the calories you ate for breakfast.

It sounds good in theory, but doesn’t this go against everything we know about the “most important meal of the day”?

Let us first look at how breakfast affects your morning workouts in general:

FOOD IS YOUR BODY’S FUEL.

Your body uses the food you eat to power it to do the things you love, and all nutrients in your food are used for different purposes. This food, however, must be digested and broken down for those nutrients to do their jobs, which can take hours. Leaving time for this can be nearly impossible if you prefer to workout first thing in the morning, but it’s always been encouraged to consume at least a little something, preferably quick burning carbohydrates which break down quickly for fast energy. (more…)

Penn Jillette’s 105-Pound Weight Loss is No Illusion

penn-weight-loss

Everyone everywhere has started to notice that magician Penn Jillette is seemingly a very slender man all of the sudden. We will avoid making the same “he didn’t use magic!” joke that everyone else has referenced, but we will say that he looks incredible.

According to various sources, Jillette has lost somewhere around 105 pounds–an incredible amount of weight. Jillette told People Magazine that he was on six different pills a day to help with his high blood pressure. When doctors told him he could cut some of his medication out of his life by losing weight, Jillette took it to heart. The controversial comic-magician lost the weight by introducing a very low-calorie diet into his life. By consuming about 1,000 calories a day, Jillette lost 105 pounds in three or four months. (more…)

Dietetics Association Shames Their Own Members Over Deal with Kraft Singles

kraft-cheese-eat-right-label

This year’s National Nutrition Month, held every March, has been a disaster for registered dietitians. I speak for myself as one of the rank and file when I say our professional association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, threw us under the bus. Again.

The fiasco started on March 12th when The New York Times ran an article titled, A Cheese ‘Product’ Gains Kids’ Nutrition Seal. It described how the Academy gave Kraft permission to add our ‘Kids Eat Right’ logo to Kraft Singles, those individually wrapped slices of pasteurized prepared cheese product. ‘Kids Eat Right’ is a nutrition education program run by the Academy’s foundation. Kraft Singles is the first product to carry the logo, in the form of a seal. It looks like a product endorsement, but the Academy maintains it’s not. Unfortunately for them, it quacks like a duck.

Due to the absurdity of an organization of nutrition professionals promoting Kraft Singles, major news outlets, including ABC News, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, US News and others, picked up the story. They called into question the credentials of registered dietitians. It was guilt by association for us. But none was worse than Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, who quipped while pointing to a package of Kraft Singles, “the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is an academy in the same way this is cheese.” Oh, the shame! (more…)

How to Make Your Own Perfectly Roasted Chickpeas with Help from 2Armadillos Crispy Chickpeas

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Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and African cuisine, making them second only to the soybean as the most widely eaten bean in the world. The primary ingredient in hummus, chickpeas are a great source of lean protein and filling fiber: a one cup serving of chickpeas contains 268 calories, 12.5 grams of dietary fiber, 14.5 grams of protein, and 4.2 grams of fat.

Mild in flavor, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like a chickpea, unless it’s the mushy texture that turns them off. When roasted, however, they can offer a healthy, low-carb crunch to your favorite meals. If you’ve ever tried to roast them on your own, you are probably painfully that without the right recipe you’ll end up with scorched, bitter bits with a mushy center.

2Armadillos Crispy Chickpeas makes hand-roasted chickpeas that crunch like pretzels and taste like chips. They use nothing artificial, no preservatives, no junk and they offer a variety of delicious flavors like Tomato Basil, Spicy Cayenne, and Cinnamon Toast. Passionate about their chickpeas, 2Armadillos’ relationship manager Candice Cook shared with us her expert secrets to make your own delicious roasted chickpeas at home, plus tons of flavor combinations and unique uses you’ve probably never thought of. (more…)

The Bug Banquet: Serving Sustainability in a Cricket Pesto Flatbread

eat-crickets

“You’re invited to the Bug Banquet,” the email read. Ewwww! Must I go? I am psychologically averse to insects, but as a good sport, I’ll try.

The Bug Banquet is a culinary exploration of entomophagy, the practice of eating insects. It was created as an “experience” to help guests enjoy insects as food. Founders Chloé Bulpin, a senior at at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Alex Gandarillas and Matt Kominsky, two Johnson & Wales University culinary students, believe in the power of visual imagery to educate.

The intriguing menu was served cocktail style and the presentation was gorgeous.

  • Pesto Flatbread: cricket pesto, mozzarella and artichokes
  • Tempura Skewers: crickets, silkworms and scallions with a spicy sriracha sauce
  • Watermelon and Waterbugs: compressed watermelon, apple and waterbug
  • Spicy Silkworm: Korean-style marinated silkworms with hummus and roasted cauliflower
  • Dark Chocolate-Coated Crickets
  • Sundae Shooters: waterbug ice cream, caramel, and banana
  • Several different cookies and tarts made with cricket flour

How did the creations taste? The comment most often overheard was, “I would never have known.” Ground crickets in pesto tasted “like escargot.” Waterbugs had a “floral extract that is not off-putting.” Roasted crickets tasted “like roasted fava beans with a crunchy outside and a mushy middle.” Dark Chocolate-Coated Crickets were “reminiscent of a Ferrero Rocher candy.” (more…)

7 Healthier Spring Weight Loss Methods That Work

spring-weight-loss

We are well into the swing of 2019. How’s it going so far? Do make resolutions and then walk away? Or do you check-in with yourself? Spring break is the perfect time to reassess your progress to goal and what you can adjust to help keep you on track and see that resolution through to the end.

If you’ve tried something that didn’t work for you, maybe consider switching gears a bit. Or if you’re using spring as the impetus for making healthy changes, then you’ll need a place to start.

Here are new players on the weight loss scene — big program changes to age-old standards a few exciting new faces that deserve your attention!

The Atkins 40

Atkins revealed a new diet plan at the start of the year, a fresh take on their famous low- or no-carb way of life. The Atkins 40 is a new, revised program that focuses on sustainability and results. People are encouraged to eat from all of the major food groups, starting at 40 net grams of carbs instead of the previous 20. The program is best designed for people who have less than 40 pounds to lose.

What You Can When You Can

The #WYCWYC meme has taken the social web by storm, and this incredibly refreshing theory will be available in a book in just a few weeks. Written by Roni Noone and Carla Birnberg, the What You Can When You Can philosophy focuses on living in the moment — something that will likely appeal to everyone. The book will be released at the end of April, thanks to a hashtag that has already gone viral. If a healthy lifestyle on your own terms appeals to you, without any pressure or guilt, then it’s time to see what you can do… when you can! (more…)

Roasted Kielbasa and Potato Casserole: An Easy Meat and Potatoes Dinner You Can Feel Good About

potatoes-and-kielbasa

I very much grew up in a meat and potatoes household. Our dinner menus were as predictable as the negotiating was to get out of doing dishes. Every night there was a meat entree — ground beef made into burgers, meatloaf, sloppy joes — with some form of potato — be it baked, mashed, or frozen fries. A side of canned green beans or corn would round out our plates. And for dessert we never received more than two small sandwich cookies.

This is my comfort food. This is what I fall back to when I’m homesick, too exhausted to think through a meal plan, or just want to keep things really simple.

So many of my recipes are fresh takes on old favorites, and that’s exactly what I’m serving up here. There’s nothing new with this recipe, it’s been served out of casserole dishes for decades. What is new is the realization that you can make it a little more wholesome, but just as savory, familiar, and comforting. (more…)

Condiments Revealed! What’s Really in 14 of the Most Popular Condiments

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Condiments are one of the easiest ways to amp up the flavor in your foods. While the addition of some condiments provides flavor and little else, some can actually ramp up the health factor of your meal, while some of your favorites may be heaping hundreds of calories and unnecessary sugar, fat, and salt onto your already healthy meals, sabotaging your efforts to eat lighter and cleaner.

Anything in excess can be bad for you, so just because a food is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s free license to eat as much as you’d like. To keep our condiment analysis true and accurate, always stick to recommended portion sizes.

7 Basic Steps for Cleaner Eating Without Going Paleo

Salsa: 1 oz, 8 calories, .9g sugar

Veggies, herbs and spices, what could go wrong? If you’re whipping up your own, not much, but grabbing a jar of name brand salsa off the shelf can mean you’re pouring on preservatives, chemicals, loads of sodium, and even added sugar if you’re a fruit salsa fan. Big companies will pump their salsa full of preservatives to keep it shelf stable. Think about it — how else can “fresh” veggies sit on a shelf for weeks and still be edible?

If you go fresh and all natural, salsa can be an amazingly healthy and delicious option for just about anything. If buying from the store, you should be able to recognize every ingredient on the label. If making your own, dice up fresh roma tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic and a little jalapeno and pile that pico high to sneak in an extra serving of veggies. Try it on eggs, over chicken, or mixed with brown rice and kidney beans for a satisfying meatless Mexican filling. (more…)

Do You Know What You Just Put in Your Mouth? Author Patrick Di Justo Tells Reddit the Truth about Processed Junk Food

chemical-foods

Patrick Di Justo, author of “This is What You Just Put in Your Mouth” took to reddit last week to answer readers’ questions about the very same topic.

Di Justo wrote a column in everyone’s favorite science publication, Wired magazine, where he broke down the ingredients in common household products, explaining just what those unpronounceable ingredients really are, why they are used, and just where they come from.

“All my research is dedicated to pointing out what is in the food you eat and the products you use. I almost never make value judgments about these ingredients — the idea is that you now have all this information, you make your own decisions,” explained Di Justo to one reader. “I think the only thing I’ve ever told people to stay away from was heroin, because heroin is pure evil in powdered form. And high fructose corn syrup, which is not as immediately evil as heroin, but still bad for you.”

When Wired magazine got its own show on PBS, called Wired Science, host Chris Hardwick presented Di Justo’s articles as a special segment of the show. The very first food he broke down? Cool Whip.

Cool Whip

Before you dollop this unassuming, fluffy, sweet treat on your fruit salad, let’s find out exactly what’s in it:

First off, it’s bleeding you dry: water is Cool Whip’s main ingredient, since air can’t really be put on an ingredient list. Water and air make up forty-one cents per ounce, just over twice what it would cost to whip real cream yourself. (more…)

Sunny Side Up Breakfast Sandwich: Because We are Free to Eat Egg Yolks Again!

fried-egg-breakfast-sandwich

While most people like to take advantage of sleeping in on a weekend morning, I roll out of bed and start cooking. Similar to most other families, mine is a crazy kind of busy all week. But on Saturdays we get one another’s undivided attention over a hearty breakfast that fuels our equally busy weekends. Since I have a preschooler who rises at dawn, sometimes my version of sleeping in is letting someone else cook, and that’s where I found this sandwich.

One morning at a favorite local breakfast dive, I poured over the menu and couldn’t find anything I wanted. However, the BLT on the lunch menu called to me, especially with the mention of avocado and tomato slices. I asked them to breakfast-ize it with an over-medium egg. They did, and it was glorious. It seemed so obvious, yet, I’d never thought about it before!

Any guilt you’ve harbored for the last few decades over eating a fried egg, well go ahead and shake it loose. Cholesterol is no longer the nutritional enemy we’ve been told to avoid. Our Mary Hartley, RD explains why we are no longer relegated to egg white omelets. That’s why we’re celebrating over runny egg yolk sandwiches! (more…)

Kiss Those Egg White Omelets Goodbye! Dietary Guidelines Will No Longer Prohibit Dietary Cholesterol

yolks

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the panel of experts who review the Dietary Guidelines for revision every five years (published most recently in 2019), will change their recommendation about dietary cholesterol in the report they will send to the federal government in the next few weeks.

The current guidelines, and those of the past 40 years, restricted dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams a day. For reference, an egg yolk has around 200 milligrams and a 6-ounce T-bone steak has 90 milligrams. In 2019, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology dropped their advice about cholesterol as well.

12 Delicious New Ways to Enjoy Your Eggs

True, cholesterol is a major part of the plaque that narrows the arteries in atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart disease and strokes, but only 20 percent of our blood cholesterol comes from diet. Our liver makes the rest. The issue is confounded because many high cholesterol foods are high in saturated fat and saturated fat and trans fat do add to blood lipid levels. Dietary cholesterol, which is found in animal-derived foods, is usually accompanied by saturated fats as in full-fat dairy products and the meat of domesticated animals. Egg yolks and crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and crayfish) are high in dietary cholesterol but low in saturated fat. (more…)