Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

How Important Is Water When Exercising?

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

So NOW it’s time to get serious about H2O. Does is really matter how much you drink after a workout?

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So you should be hydrated BEFORE your workout and stay hydrated DURING your workout, but did you know it’s also important to maintain hydration AFTER you’ve given your heart and soul into your workout?

Being hydrated before your workout will keep you from getting lethargic, dizzy, experiencing muscle cramps during the workout, regulate your bodies temperature and it will keep your body running like a well-oiled machine because that water will act as a lubricant for your muscles. Weigh yourself BEFORE and AFTER you are done kicking your own butt into shape. For each pound lost during your exercise, drink appropriately  2 -3 cups of water.

You just might alleviate muscle soreness, those body aches and pains and give those vital organs that pumped so hard to help get you through that exercise some good ol’ T.L.C.

Strength Training….Does it REALLY matter?

Monday, October 21st, 2013

If you’re like me you LOVE CARDIO. Your heart pounding, sweat dripping and all of your body parts moving. Listening to your favorite beats will your cycling at your fastest RPM’s or training for your first 5k. Is all of this cardio really that good for you? I mean without any sort of resistance training, all your doing is pumping, pumping your heart muscles without working on stabilizing or strengthening some of your other major muscles groups like, quads, calves, hamstrings, glutes, lats, biceps, triceps, traps, chest and core.

So, why do strength training AND cardio. The combination of both wiIMG_20120627_193802ll burn more calories between the repetitive motion of cardio, where you to take minimal to no breaks in a fairly long distance of time, and the heavy lifting, where you to take many mini breaks to either change out weights, move to another routine or just let your muscles “breath” for a minute. For one thing, strength training is needed to sustain muscle mass and increases your bones density, which is extremely beneficial when it comes to all of the stress you can put on your joints and bones from running, cycling, jumping, etc… Whenever you take on muscle, your body becomes this amazing furnace for calories and begins to slowly burn them away, so the right combination cardio and strength training will have you burning fuel and slimming down, but with the right intake of proper food you can always keep the furnace lit=energy sustained.  Energy sustained is more motivation, more focus and feeling young and spry again, like a teenager.

Because strength training strengthens muscles and increases bone density, as you age, you minimize the likelihood of encountering osteoporosis,  brittle bones, arthritis or encountering back issues. The proper nutrition, cardio and strength training will aide in the prevention of diabetes, heart disease, obesity.

So do your weight training.  We love Body Beast, P90X, P90X2 and P90X3 which is coming soon for the best weight training around!

Got questions?  Feel free to contact us here and remember we offer FREE fitness coaching, have groups on Facebook we’d love you to join for support and motivation and are always available for help anytime.  We LOVE to help!

How to Eat Well on a Budget

Friday, May 17th, 2013

If you have ever walked into a natural foods store, you may have felt the prices alone make it difficult for the average person to afford to eat well and healthy all of the time. It can be discouraging if you only look at the price of organic fruits or vegetables that seem to be twice that of others food. But, it is possible, with a few helpful hints, to eat well on a budget.budget
One of the easiest ways to adopt better eating habits and enjoy more natural foods on a budget is to buy in bulk when you can. This simply doesn’t work for fresh foods obviously; but there are healthy alternatives that you can purchase in bulk and save a lot of money in the process. Frozen fruits and vegetables are perfect bulk buying candidates for a healthier lifestyle. Frozen fruits obviously last longer but are also cheaper in the long run, too. Plus, it’s very easy to throw a handful of frozen fruit into a blender and make a smoothie or put some in the fridge at night to have fresh, great tasting, and healthy fruit with your breakfast. They are also pre-washed and typically cut ready to use. Vegetables frozen in bulk are also just as nutritious as fresh vegetables from the farmers market. They can be as versatile and easy to use straight from the freezer as their fresh counterparts. Aside from frozen bulk foods, invest in bulk nuts, grains, multi-grain pastas and dried fruit in bulk. These items will not go bad and make great healthy ingredients for endless meal possibilities. With dried fruit and nuts, you can combine what you love into your own snack bags or containers and make your own trail mix at a fraction of the cost of buying it in stores.
Another great way to eat well on a budget is to cut the pre-packaged and processed foods from your shopping list. Real food, made with real ingredients is better for your body and your budget. Instead of buying a prepackaged frozen dinner loaded with preservatives and unnatural colors and ingredients, buy the actual ingredients to make it yourself. Buy the chicken, seafood, pasta, vegetables, or whatever else it calls for and make your own dinner. You could spend pennies compared to dollars for each serving when you simply put in the extra time to combine the necessary fresh and real ingredients rather than buying a prepackaged meal. And when you make it fresh and save money, it actually tastes so much better, too.

grocery_budgetLearning what is seasonal in your area can also help you save money and eat better. If you buy from the local farmers market or simply keep an eye out for what is on special because it is plentiful in your area, you will be getting great fresh food at a great deal. You may simply have to adjust recipes or meal ideas to accommodate more of what is in season; but it will be worth it.
Aside from buying frozen, bulk foods or seasonal foods, think about what you consider healthy food to begin with. A great way to eat well at a bargain is to understand what ‘eat well’ means. One great way to eat well is to incorporate more protein, just what the Beachbody nutritional plans call for. While most people think about expensive cuts of meat as a primary protein source, there are cheap proteins that are also healthy. Eggs, tuna, and other fish can be great sources of protein and relatively inexpensive also. Work in these cheaper protein options to build muscle without depleting your wallet.

Finally, when it comes to eating well on a budget, go through the Beachbody recipes and food options. You can get maximum benefits from the protein shakes as a value priced meal. You can also invest in the high quality low cost ingredients of your favorite Beachbody recipes. The Results and Recovery Formula will help you maximize the benefits of your workout and also keep you from feeling starved and overindulging in any kind of junk food around. Shakeology is an economical choice when you consider what you aren’t putting into your body when you drink the shakes. Beachbody P90X protein bars can keep you satisfied and help keep you from eating what isn’t good for you when choices are limited.whole-food-shopping-list-

If you have any questions about your food choices please email us at jobrandes@overactivelife.com.  We would love to help you.  Also, we run 90/10 Clean Eating Challenge groups that will connect you up with other folks all trying to stabilize their nutrition.  Check out the 90/10 information here.
While it may take some planning ahead for meals and snacks, with these simple tips and keeping an eye out for deals on healthy foods you can be creative with, you don’t have to go broke trying to be your healthiest and eat the best foods you can.

Best Broccoli Recipe Ever

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

So I learned about the best broccoli recipe ever and I love it so much that I decided I absolutely have to share it with the world.  I have never been a fan of vegetables, in fact I pretty much hate them but since I started doing Body Beast I decided I needed to eat totally clean and that included loving vegetables.  A friend of mine shared this broccoli recipe with me and trust me, it is the best broccoli recipe ever.  I will literally eat the broccoli by itself as a meal now.  It’s amazing!

So, let’s start shall we?  I know all you veggies haters and lover want to know how to make this amazing stuff right?

Ingredients:

  • Salt (I used Himalayan Salt)
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon juice (I used the little yellow plastic lemon looking thing, I didn’t squeeze a lemon)

Before you Begin: Heat the oven to 425 F

Step 1: Buy as many bunches of broccoli that you want for your meal. I bought 2 big bunches

Step 2: Cut up the bunches into small pieces.  Basically cut them up into bite size pieces.

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Step 3: Put the broccoli in a bowl and gather your ingredients.

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Step 4: I didn’t measure any ingredients.  I just added some of the salt, pepper, a couple teaspoons (it seemed) of garlic, and I sprinkled some olive oil all over the broccoli.  I had enough olive oil to coat the broccoli but not that much that it left a puddle.  I just wanted enough to coat.  Trying to keep it light and healthy here folks.  Don’t soak it.

Step 5: Shake it, shake it and shake it so it is all mixed in nicely.

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Step 6: Grab a cookie sheet and line it with tin foil.  Lay a single layer of your broccoli on the foil.

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Step 7: Pop that puppy in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the broccoli is golden brown.  You’ll know.

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Step 8: Grab your lemon juice and sprinkle it on the broccoli and voila, you are done.

Optional: The original recipe had you add a bit more olive oil and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top but I left that out. I wanted to keep this super healthy but I’m sure that makes it tasty.

Dinner is served!

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So, did you try it?  What do you think?  Yummy!!!

P90X and P90X2 Challenge Packs on Sale!

Monday, March 11th, 2013

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P90X2 and P90X2 Sale, what sale?

P90X and P90X2 Challenge Packs are on sale for the month of October  and this sale is amazing!  They are only $180.  The Challenge Packs are available for any new or existing customer or coaches so take advantage of this while it lasts.  It is great!   The savings is really off the hook.  If you were to purchase either P90X or P90X2 and Shakeology separately it would cost you $240 plus shipping and handling.   The $180 Challenge Pack price this month is really out of this world.  I wish I didn’t have these programs already otherwise I’d hop on this.

 

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What the heck is a Challenge Pack anyway?

A challenge pack is the coolest new thing from Beachbody.  It packages together everything you will possibly need to get fit and healthy.  You get any one of Beachbody’s fitness programs, you pick, at a discounted rate, a month supply of the very popular Shakeology, a 30 day member to Team Beachbody Club and to top it off you get all of this with FREE shipping!

The beauty of all of this is that if you bought all of this separately you would pay much more including having to pay shipping so the bundled cost is a way better deal.

Of course this month as I mentioned, you get an even better deal because P90X and P90X2 Challenge Packs are on sale so it can’t get much better unless of course they were free!

 

Shakeology What?

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So you have heard of Shakeology, seen the ads, heard the testimonials but still want more info?  Sure!  Shakeology is a meal replacement shake that not only tastes amazing but is truly the most nutritious thing you will find on the market today.  If you can find something more nutritious let me know and I will send you a free bag of Shakeology, I bet you can’t. Shakeology contains over 70 ultra high-quality ingredients conveniently located in one glass, to deliver nearly all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy diet.  More info here.

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Free Fitness Coaching and amazing support!

Added bonus here!  We offer free fitness coaching and have some seriously great support that we offer after you have bought your challenge pack.  We have a wonderful Facebook group full of people doing the programs that you will be doing.  We have done P90X and P90X2 so we can help you along the way with answers to your questions about nutrition, the workouts, if you need a kick in the butt to start or keep going or just want some friendly advice and some friends.  Both of us will help you out and we will introduce you to what we call our family on Facebook.  We have a close knit community and you will grow to be a part of our family, our team.  We’d love you to join us.  Click here for more info.

Enter the Beachbody Challenge when doing either of these workouts and get a FREE t-shirt and a chance to win $500 daily, $1000 monthly or a grand prize of $100,000!

Good Fats Vs Bad Fats: Just the Facts on Fats

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

There’s plenty of talk about fats. It’s actually the a huge popular topic when discussing fitness and healthy nutrition. Sadly, most people feel that simply eliminating fat from their diet will help them lose weight.  There are good fats vs bad fats and the key is to learn about them both.

This could turn out to be a huge mistake, though. If you completely cut fat from your diet, there are serious health repercussions. There are fats that are important for digesting certain vitamins, some that help to keep our skin soft and smooth, and others that are absolutely required for normal biological functions.good fat bad fat

But, with everyone blaming the obesity epidemic on fats, it can be easy to get mixed up. In this guide, we’ll set the record straight with some simple facts on fat.

Overview of contents:

  • Bad fats, and why we should avoid them
  • Good fats, and why you need them
  • A simple solution to getting the right fats while avoiding the bad fats

Bad Fats – Why You Must Avoid Them

Saturated fats are your worst enemy when you’re trying to improve your appearance. They clog your arteries, go straight to your thighs (uh oh!), and have even been related to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Yuck.

But they taste so great, well kinda! You’ll find them lurking in just about every delicious snack or meal that you eat, but they’re particularly plentiful in fried foods, baked goods (cakes, cookies, pies, pastries), and red meat.

They’re also calorie-dense. Each gram of fat contains 9 calories. Carbohydrates, by comparison, have only 4 calories per gram. Carbohydrates have been demonized in the last few decades, but they’re nowhere near as calorie-dense as saturated fats.

It will be impossible to cut them from your diet completely, though. They’ve also been shown as an essential part of a balance diet in studies performed by Harvard. Pay attention to the amount of saturated fats in your diet to make sure that they don’t make it more difficult for you to get into the best shape of your life.

Trans fats are the absolute worst enemy of anyone hoping to build an awesome body. They’re also known as hydrogenated fats, and they’re found in plenty of processed foods. You might love eating special edition holiday Oreos but they’ve got way too many trans fats to be eaten regularly.

Thankfully, food-label laws have made it easier than ever for us to identify the foods that are high in trans-fats. Look out for them and make sure to avoid them all together, if possible.

Good Fats – Why Do You Need Them?

You might feel like a department of homeland security employee who just heard that there are “good terrorists.” You can’t possibly imagine a world in which fats could do anything good for your body. But, as outlined above, they’re essential for biological functions.

Unsaturated fats also provide several additional health benefits. Monounsaturated fats can help to lower your bad cholesterol levels (LDLs) while improving your good cholesterol levels (HDLs). Polyunsaturated fats are also known to help with this process, but provide additional health benefits.good fat

For instance, they provide an abundance of Omega-3 fatty acids (when consumed through sources like fish, oils, nuts, or seeds). These are essential fatty acids that are important to proper neurological functions, metabolic processes, and the production of certain oils in our body.

You can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids, so you’ll have to consume them from an external source. Polyunsaturated fats deliver.

Make it Simple – Get Rid of the Bad and Keep the Good

One of the best ways to make sure that you maintain a good balance of good fats and bad fats is by using my favorite meal replacement shake  Shakeology for a number of reasons.

First, the shakes are designed to compliment your fitness efforts through Team Beachbody programs like Insanity, P90X2, Les Mills Combat and other workouts like Slim in 6. They deliver the essential nutrition that you need to recover from these workouts, but they don’t have any of the junk that you might be consuming with your own cooking.  With over 70 super food ingredients in one super tasty shake you really can’t go wrong.  I have one everyday for breakfast and love them!  They also help with weight loss, digestion, lowering cholesterol, energy gain and much more. Yum!

shakeologyThese shakes don’t provide a “full-time solution.” You’ll find it incredibly tough to survive on nothing but Shakeology shakes. Instead, you can use them to replace one or two meals per day (follow the instructions closely, and consult with a physician if you have existing health conditions). By doing this, you’ll eliminate the likelihood that you consume too many calories, but you’ll also increase your chances of avoiding the bad fats.

They also taste great. They come in a number of flavors and they’re easy to make. You can even get a set of 24 packets that are great for when you’re on the go.  If you want a free sample of Shakeology just let me know.  Click here!

Have you had any experiences with Shakeology, or eliminating bad fats from your diet in any other way? Share your experiences in the comments below to help everyone else on their fitness journey!  We welcome you to join our Challenge Groups or just ask us for free advice or coaching.  Email us or just go here for information about free fitness coaching.

Abs Are Made in the Kitchen – You Earn a Six Pack from Eating Well

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

One of the benefits of getting into great shape is having a body that looks great. Most people consider a six pack to be the most important part of a sexy physique. But, if you’re working out and not experiencing results, it may be that you’re just not eating properly.mens six pack abs

Working out can help to keep us looking great. It’s an essential component for anyone looking to sculpt their body. But all by itself, working out won’t do more than improve your health. While we all want to feel our best, spending hours in the gym working out or doing our wonderful Beachbody workouts without visible results can really eliminate your motivation.

Learning how to eat to increase your chances of showing your abs is essential. In this post, I’m going to cover:

  1. Three eating habits that are keeping your abs from showing through
  2. What you should eat instead, so that your melt that belly fat
  3. A great program that can help jump start your journey towards having killer abs

Three Eating Habits that Hide Your Abs

It’s simple to understand how you develop abs. You lose fat and gain muscle. But if you’re working out on a regular basis, you might wonder why your abs aren’t haven’t shown up yet. It probably has to do with the eating habits that are left over from before you changed your lifestyle to focus on fitness.

The first is eating late-night snacks. There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t eat before you going to bed – you’ll get better rest, wake up earlier, and have more energy. The biggest challenge with eating before bed, though, is that you’re filling your body with calories just before it goes into a low-metabolic state.

This means everything that you eat before you go to bed is more likely to end up stored as fat. Don’t eat anything three hours before you go to bed. It’s as simple as that.

The second bad habit you probably have is eating “three square meals” a day. You need to divide your caloric intake between six meals. Ideally, each meal should be two hours apart. It can be tough to eat like this, but it has great benefits when it comes to boosting your metabolism.  Check that P90X Nutrition Plan or your Insanity Nutrition and you will notice that you won’t be eating “three squares” a day.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to squeeze these extra meals into your day, check out the article that I recently released that shows five simple snacks that will help with your fitness efforts.

The third bad eating habit that most people have is simply eating the wrong things. I’m not going to tell you to cut out carbohydrates or deserts. That would be totally insane! But, you do need to focus on making each meal well balanced.

There are plenty of great resources that can help you do this. Myplate.gov is one of the most popular. The Team Beachbody club member’s only area also has a customized meal planner, though, that’s far more advanced. Get in touch with me to learn more about how you can gain access to this part of the Team Beachbody website.  Learn more about Club membership here.

Bonus Tip – avoid red meat! It’s best that you find your protein through sources like chicken and fish. They’re lean proteins, and they’re less likely to collect in your digestive tract. One of the reasons so many people seem to have large bellies is because of the red meat that’s collected in their gut. Limit your consumption of red meat to no more than once every ten days to see amazing results.

What You Should Eat to Melt the Belly Fat

There’s no miracle food that burns more calories than it puts in your body. Sure, broccoli, brussel sprouts and other forms of roughage (like lettuces and cabbage) can help to jump start your metabolism and digestive process, but they’re just not going to help you burn calories.female six pack

Instead, you should focus on eliminating the processed foods that probably make up the majority of your diet. Build your entire diet around organic alternatives to the foods you’re used to eating, and you’ll see that you experience results in no time at all.

Jump Start the Process and See Those Abs Fast

Everyone wants a shortcut. I’m here to tell you that there’s really no way to get to six-pack abs without a little bit of hard work and dedication. You can, however, jumpstart the process.

Consider signing up for the Shakeology Home Direct meal replacement system. You can replace one of your six daily meals with a shake, which makes everything much easier.  If you want to learn more about Shakeology just go here.

The Team Beachbody Ultimate Reset program can help you boost your energy, lose weight, and lower your cholesterol. It’s a perfectly formulated body detox that can also help to clean out all of the junk that’s built up in your digestive system in as little as 21 days.

Give it a try and don’t be surprised if you find that your belly fat disappears in about a month. Get in touch with me here if you have any questions about Shakeology or the Ultimate Reset.

Leave your comments to let everyone know what experience you’ve had with eliminating belly fat and getting those abs to show up!

Remember for free fitness coaching please feel free to contact us!  We LOVE to help.

5 Quick and Easy Snacks That Are Healthy

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

If you’re hoping to get in great shape, then you’ll need to focus on eating healthy, too. It can be tough, though, as our lives are rather hectic. Finding the time to prepare many of the healthiest snacks can prove to be all but impossible. Use these five quick and easy snacks to keep your metabolism running at high speed.

Contents at a glance:

  • Shakeology Home Direct
  • Super Scrambled Eggs
  • Breakfast on the Run
  • Granola and Yogurt
  • P90X Protein Bars

Shakeoloy Home Direct – Quick and Easy Snacks without Any Work

If you’re looking to cut back on calories without sacrificing nutrition, then Team Beachbody’s Shakeology Home Direct program might be your best bet. Not only do you get a meal replacement shake that’s packed full of the stuff your body needs to stay healthy and more, but you’ll also have them sent to your home on a monthly basis. Shakeology is absolutely amazing. It has been my go to meal for breakfast for two years now. Totally addicting!

shakeologyYou can choose to purchase 24 single serving packets, which is best if you find yourself frequently on the go. You can also choose the thirty day supply to keep in your kitchen. They’ve been designed to accompany your weight loss efforts with Team Beachbody work out programs, like P90X, Insanity, and TurboFire, and many more. If you want a free sample just click here.

They’re a great way to jump start your weight loss efforts, but they’ll also help keep you nourished when you’re on the go.

Super Scrambled Eggs

Combine three eggs, 1/3 cup grass-fed organic milk, ¾ tablespoon of salt, 1/8th table spoon of pepper, and ½ tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.

Beat the eggs, milk, and seasonings together. Fry for six to eight minutes. Stir often.

This you can double the ingredients to provide a healthy, protein-rich breakfast for two.

Breakfast on the Run

Combine two whole frozen bananas, a cup of milk, a half cup of plain yogurt, a quarter cup of wheat germ, one raw egg, and two tablespoons of vanilla extract in a blender. Puree until well blended.

Consider adding nutmeg for additional flavor. Avoid adding sugar to sweeten the shake. You can also experiment with using less milk and more yogurt, as well as additional fruits. Blueberries, raspberries, and black berries are my favorite.

It’s a healthy snack that will provide plenty of nutrition for your busy day. Don’t let the name fool you, though, as it’s a great snack even in the afternoon or in the evening.

Granola and Greek Yogurt

Granola and greek yogurt is one of the fallbacks that most fitness buffs turn to when they need a quick snack. Be careful and make sure that you use a low-fat, plain greek yogurt. Granola is a healthy and nutritious snack, but it packs a lot of calories.granola and yogurt

Keep the calories in check by limiting your snack to a half cup of granola and one cup of yogurt. Mix and match different flavors of granola to find which you like best. Just be sure to check the nutrition details to make sure you aren’t consuming more calories than you realize.

P90X Peak Performance Protein Bars

P90X Peak Performance Protein Bars may very well be the best quick, healthy snack on this list. They provide 20 grams of protein to help your muscles develop properly. This is important even if you’re not hoping to become “buff” or “ripped.”

Having healthy, strong muscles helps to boost your metabolism, even when you’re at rest. All of the Team Beachbody workouts – from Body Gospel to Turbo Fire – have some component to help you develop strength throughout your entire body.

P90X Peak Performance Protein Bars help to provide the nutrition that your body needs to recover from these workouts. They come in four different flavors (chocolate fudge, Café Mocha, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Wildberry Yogurt), so you’re sure to find something that you like. You can try all of them with the variety pack to find the one you like the best.p90x protein bars

The protein also helps to keep you satiated. Controlling your cravings is important when you’re making a lifestyle change that focuses on fitness. Your old eating habits have trained your body to eat certain amounts of food at certain times of the day.

If you’re working on reducing your daily caloric intake, these bars will help to keep you full so that you don’t turn to your old eating habits when you find yourself with a craving. They’re relatively affordable, too. A twelve pack starts at $23.95, and if you only eat one bar per day they’ll last for nearly two weeks.

They’re a staple in my fitness plan, because it’s always great to have a quick snack handy that can provide essential nutrition before and after workouts. They also fill in as a great quick snack in the middle of a busy day at the office. I love the two chocolate flavors, I have one daily at work as a snack, they are absolutely delicious!

Have you tried any of these snacks? Let me know what you think by commenting below and contact us if you are interested in our free coaching program, we’d love to hear from you.

What’s New with the P90X2 Nutrition Guide?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Denis Faye, the Wellness Expert and Fitness Advisor for Beachbody, wrote a wonderful article recently about what is new in the P90X2 Nutrition Guide.  As we prepare for the upcoming arrival of  P90X2 we should also prepare our stomachs for the new improvements in the nutrition guide.  The changes are good and we should all be very happy that Beachbody has made these wonderful improvements.  Read Denis’ article below and get prepared for this new workout and nutrition plan that will be here in the next couple months!

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By Denis Faye

Everyone wants to know how we went about breaking down the P90X® Nutrition Guide and rebuilding it into the P90X2 Nutrition Guide. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

In a way, that’s true. Just as Steve Austin was a great astronaut before Oscar Goldman and the OSO spent $6 million to turn him into the Bionic Man, the P90X guide is still a great resource. However, you, our customers, have changed. We’ve spent the last 9 years watching you evolve into better, stronger, faster fitness fanatics. Our job was the make sure the guide evolved with you. Our job was to make a bionic nutrition plan.

When P90X first came out, Beachbody® had a fairly uniform customer base. Today, however, our customers come from all walks of life, so we need to address a much broader spectrum of needs. For example, a 105-pound mother of five just isn’t going to have the same nutritional requirements as a professional basketballer. (Everyone knows the mom’s life would be much more physically challenging.

Furthermore, our original customers, after one or more rounds of P90X, with possibly a little INSANITY®thrown in for good measure, have become incredibly aware of their nutritional needs. They’ve learned exactly how much protein, carbs, and fat they need to perform. They’ve also started experimenting with various nutritional philosophies. Although I’m neither a vegan nor a primal eater, the sheer volume of questions about each on the Team Beachbody® Message Boards has forced me to become an expert on both.

So we took these factors, combined them with the latest research, and voilà! Welcome to the P90X2 Fuel Your Performance Nutrition Guide, a collection of 27 different subplans, among which you’ll hopefully find a way of eating that works for you.

 

Out with the old

In order to offer all this variety, we decided to do away with the menu plan. The vast majority of P90X users preferred the portion plan anyway, so we focused on that. However, everyone loves a good recipe, so we reached out to some of our favorite chefs, including Tony’s personal chef Melissa Costello, and asked them to design a host of meals for every occasion. In this new guide, you’ll find scores of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, soups, salads, and Shakeology® recipes. Because we also have grain-free and vegan plans in P90X2, we made sure to have plenty of recipes to suit both of these dietary approaches as well. As was the case with P90X, each recipe lists the portion boxes to check when you eat it.

And don’t worry, all your favorite recipes from the P90X Nutrition Guide will still work with P90X2.

We also tossed out a lot of the junkier food options featured in the P90X portion lists. At that point, many of you were still transitioning to healthy eating. At this stage, you should have no need for veggie dogs, V8®, or that fast food portion conversion list in the back of the old guide.

 

In with the new

For every low-quality choice we eliminated from the portion lists, we added two healthy and delicious choices. You’ll find new fats, snacks, proteins, and more.

The three calorie “levels”—1,800, 2,400, and 3,000—are still there, as are the different macronutrient balances. However, given that the latest research is making the importance of dietary fat increasingly obvious, we upped the fat in all three “phases.” We’ve also redubbed them “plans,” because while we encouraged you to work your way up the three phases with P90X, by now you should have a pretty good idea what works best for you when it comes to performance, shedding fat, or both. In P90X2, you can just pick the one that works for you and run with it, changing plans whenever you feel like it.

That said, if you’re still not sure if you should be eating the “Fat Shredder 2.0” approach, the “Energy Booster 2.0” approach, or the “Endurance Maximizer 2.0” approach, we’ve included a section to help you figure that out.

As mentioned above, we’ve also added vegan and grain-free options that work for all three calorie “levels” and all three macronutrient “plans.” If you’re familiar with these lifestyles, you can jump right in. Otherwise, the book includes plenty of information on how to implement them. Also, we acknowledge that some of you cowboys (and cowgirls) don’t like to be restrained by portion lists. You just want to know how many calories or grams of carbs, protein, and fat to eat so that you can use your own foods and measurements. For y’all, we’ve provided charts listing all the numbers you need if you decide to forego the portion plan and just hit the macronutrient numbers on your own. Yee-hah!

Finally, we’ve let our top-notch design team rework the guide. They’ve taken a potentially dizzying amount of information and placed it in charts and graphs that should make it easy to digest. A nutrition plan never looked so beautiful.

In the 9 years since we launched P90X, we’ve watched umpteen diet fads come and go, each one claiming to be the final word in sports nutrition. It’s absurd, really, considering there’s no one single plan that works for everyone. The P90X2 Fuel Your Performance Nutrition Guide doesn’t claim to do that. Instead, it’s a wide-ranging guide intended to offer you all the tools needed to work with the only nutrition expert in the world who can truly tell you the right way to eat. That nutrition expert? You.

Simple Carbs vs. Complex Carbs

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Carbs are just carbs right? Wrong. Different carbohydrates have different effects on your body and could either give you that energy you need or just plain slow you down. So which is which?

Carbohydrates in general provide a majority of the “fuel” your body needs to keep going and doing so efficiently. What is important is the kind of carbohydrates you choose to put in your body and knowing the effect those carbohydrates will have.

    • Simple carbohydrates, like soft drinks, candy bars and donuts give you that brief “fix” of energy and then you’re tired again and looking for that boost of energy, so you grab something else that consists mostly of sugar and unhealthy fat to relive that ‘fix”. It’s unhealthy and unproductive in your quest to becoming a healthier, more energetic person. The other down side of simple carbohydrates is that for the most part they have no nutritional value, can cause quick highs and lows in your blood sugar levels and make visits to the dentist frequent due to your intake of sugar.
    • Complex carbohydrates consist of beans, grains and some vegetables that have nutrients in them such as B-vitamins, iron and fiber. Complex carbohydrates are more beneficial due to their staying power in the body and work as an on-going energy source releasing those nutrients throughout the day. Not only are complex carbohydrates beneficial for supplying “healthy” energy to your body, these carbohydrates can help regulate your blood sugar levels, help lower blood cholesterol and they don’t give you that “fix” and energy drop like simple carbohydrates do.

whole grain breads and pasta picture

So, in a nut shell, the best carbohydrates for you to have, which would be considered complex carbs, are the following:

  • Oatmeal (combining it with honey, yogurt and raisins not only gives plain oatmeal extra flavor, but also gives you added energy.
  • Bananas (having one/day limits and/or prevents stiffness that could come from having a sedentary job).
  • Beans (jelly beans don’t count in this food group)
  • Many veggies are perfect complex carbs!  They are high in water, low in fat, have lots of great vitamins and minerals. Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, potatoes, yams, corn, carrots, onions, all types of lettuce, celery, cucumbers, cabbage, artichokes and asparagus.  Yum yum!
  • Whole grains, which are high in fiber and they contain antioxidants similar to fruit and vegetables. Look for whole grain breads, pastas and rice.
  • Dried fruits like apricots, raisins and figs, which are low-fat and high-energy snacks. **Commercially packaged dried fruits contain sulfur dioxide-increases your risk of asthma, so be aware of the way you purchase the fruit.

Choose wisely and not just what looks and sounds good for that moment. Your body will thank you for it later and appreciate your decisions time after time.

Healthy Summer Foods

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

As summer begins we all want to look good so we can go to the beach and pool in a little less than a parka and snow pants, but to do that we need to realize that exercise only does not cut it. You need to continue to eat well, and I don’t mean fat free ice cream. Let’s discuss some ideas for healthy summer foods that are still tasty but will help you stay in shape throughout the summer.

The first goal is to keep the foods light and refreshing. No one wants to eat a heavy meal in 100 degree weather. Nor do you want to cook that heavy meal and heat up your kitchen with the weather being hot outside. The beauty of the summer is that is when the farmer’s markets come to town, the fruit is abundant and the veggies are at their peak. Not only do they taste great, well, most of them, but they are low in calories, they have lots of vitamins, minerals, fibers and other great stuff that is good for you. Of course, the best part is that fruits and veggies are very refreshing when the temperatures peak.

Besides tasting good, being super refreshing in the summer, fresh fruits and veggies are what I call “free”. Do not worry about overeating these items, but do make sure you are getting fresh fruit and fresh veggies, not the canned stuff that soaks in syrup. You can happily eat these without worrying about how much you are eating. Free!

Just think how tasty a piece of watermelon on a hot summers day sounds or a cold salad with some grilled chicken instead of a heavy peace of steak. Next time you think about eating on a hot day, try some fruit and vegetables instead of something heavy.

Climb Michi’s Ladder

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Michi’s Ladder is not a diet. It’s a simple substitution plan. To lose weight, try swapping the foods you eat for similar foods in tiers 1 and 2. The more you eat in tiers 1 and 2, the more you’ll increase your chances of losing weight.

There are some healthy foods in lower tiers, but they’re either calorie dense or nutrient deficient. To lose weight, you want to maximize the nutrients in every calorie you consume.

Note on frying: Foods should be eaten raw, steamed, grilled, poached, baked, or broiled. Frying automatically drops even the best foods into tier 5.

Click here to download a PDF of Michi’s Ladder.