Your “Tasty Tuesday” Primer (5/29/12)

29 05 2012

Happy “Tasty Tuesday,” GymGeeks!

I don’t know about you guys,  but I’m always on-the-go.  Because of this,  I plan at LEAST three meals ahead of the one that’s coming up.  Perfect example:  knowing I’d be on the road for at least three hours on the way back from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando, I had the perfect plan in place for my lunch, my mid-day snack and my dinner (knowing I had zero food in my fridge, so nothing could spoil while I was out of town).

For that reason,  I actually took a long-winded route using the Florida Turnpike, since the choices at the service stations sure beat the hell out of pulling over at a random exit on I-95 and having the choice of McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King or all three at a truck stop.  I was able to run in, grab a turkey wrap from the “healthy choices” kiosk, a bottle of water and get back on the road.  Also, knowing that I’d be going shopping almost the recond I got back into town,  I had one of my homemade protein bars ready so I wouldn’t shop hungry.  This stopped me from taking advantage of the special on a whole turkey sub at the Publix deli and allowed for a more sensible dinner instead of carb loading.

With that in mind,  the posts and tweets today will revolve around how to survive (nutritionally speaking) on-the-go or in a pinch for something to eat.  I have a great recipe (if you want to call it that, since it’s so freakin’ simple) for your mornings, as well as how to survive a vacation.  Having spent the last few days down in South Florida catching a Miami Marlins game, going out to dinner with my parents (not to mention dinner on Friday with my brother & sister), I know I was able to avoid some pitfalls, so I want to share that knowledge with my GymGeeks.

Hope everyone had a great weekend…now let’s get back to work!

Advertisements




Pineapple: The Tropical Muscle Builder

22 05 2012

I’ll let out a little bit of the nerd in me:  I’m a big fan of the (recently cancelled) TV show, “Chuck.”  In the first season, they did a Thanksgiving episode which revolved around the dreaded day-after holiday that we’ve all come to know as “Black Friday.” 

As employees of the Buy More (the fictionalized version of Best Buy), they devised an emergency protocol, where if things go sideways, someone says one…simple…word…(which can be seen at the link below, since YouTube won’t let me embed!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZA29AhiP6Y

Little did I know until doing some research into my own diet that this one word…this one fruit…would have so many benefits for building lean muscle mass! 

For starters, a single cup of pineapple contains 50% of your daily requirements of both thiamine and manganese.  These two minerals are responsible for the removal of free radicals that could be detrimental to mitochondria, which we all know from our high school biology class, is the body’s source of energy production.  As GymGeeks, we need every ounce of energy to get a serious workout in!

Another benefit of pineapple in your diet is its ability to aid in digestion of protein.  Thanks to a little-known mineral, bromelain, the body can better digest and break down proteins for consumption in the body.  It has also been studied as an anti-inflammatory, which helps in the recovery phase.

The way I personally get pineapple into my diet is by using a cup of diced bits (by hand, GymGeeks…no canned stuff!) with a cup of non-fat cottage cheese.  This not only gives you something sweet to cut the saltiness of cottage cheese, but it also helps in breaking down the natural casein in the stuff!

Since pineapples are currently in season, you should be able to find it at every supermarket in your area for a good price.  Get out there and cut some up!





Your “Tasty Tuesdays” Briefing (5/22/12)

22 05 2012

Your protein bar sucks.

I learned this a few years ago.  Being in a time crunch on the way to and from Fort Lauderdale,  I’ve pulled over to buy one while gassing up my car.  I also grabbed one on the go when I was working a long shift at the restaurant where I was Kitchen Manager during college.  My thought at the time was that protein bars with high amounts of protein were perfectly fine for consumption, right?

Yes, at one point, this was a good option.

I couldn’t have been any more wrong.  Sure, a bar can promote 32 grams of protein per serving,  but upon further inspection, it’s not the highest quality protein.  Using the MetRX “Big 100” as an example,  take a look at the nutrition label and remove protein content from the equation.

Couldn’t have been ANY more wrong..

That is a meal chock full of fat, sodium and sugar.  While it’s only 5 grams of saturated fat, those three pieces of nutrition each contain 25% of your daily needs!  When you’re eating small meals every 2-3 hours (as you should be),  that’s a recipe for disaster.

Anything with a novel on it’s packaging ain’t worth it!

Also, take a peek at the ingredients list.  I don’t claim to have a degree in biomedical sciences or chemistry, but I can only tell you what purpose a handful of the ingredients serve.  The rest (i.e. xantham gum, brown rice syrup) serve as filler.  Nothing more.  Even breaking down where the protein is coming from, it’s good to see that it’s isolate sources, but soy has been known to be a less stable building block for muscle-building than whey.  The soy crisps in this particular bar are also the source of most of the sodium content in the bar!

What does this all have to do with today’s “Tasty Tuesday,” you ask?  Well, today’s recipe is how to make a protein bar using fewer ingredients (more importantly, that you can actually pronounce).  I’ve always been a big advocate for making as many of your meals as possible, since that means you know what you’re putting in your body.

So I hope you enjoy your “Tasty Tuesday,” GymGeeks!  If you want to share your thoughts on the topic of protein bars (or want to share what’s on your plate today),  feel free to share it here and over at Twitter or Facebook.  I’m up for a lively debate today! 🙂

Jonathan





Great Motivational Moments (…from movies…)

21 05 2012

I’ll admit it:  I’m a bit of a movie fanatic.  In fact, I believe there was a time in middle school when I could do the ENTIRE script of “Dumb & Dumber.”  Even looking back now, I’m kind of impressed with myself!

Aside from music, some movies always get me juiced to give my all.  That doesn’t necessarily mean just in the gym, just overall pumped to be great!  Whether it’s the Herb Brooks speech before the semifinals against the Soviets in “Miracle” or something from a comedy,  there’s always that one scene that can make you want to seize the day.

In fact, just to prove that these speeches don’t have to come straight out of sports movies (automatically means no “Hoosiers” or “Rocky” speeches…sorry guys),  here are a few moments that always get me excited to seize the day (you’ll see why I’ve said that twice a little further down this post…)

“Animal House” – Bluto’s Speech (NSFW, gang)


“Stripes” – Winger (Bill Murray) the night before the parade.

“Dead Poets’ Society” – Oh Captain, My Captain…enough said…I’m going to need a minute…

And how can you NOT have this gem from “Dodgeball” when talking about motivation (props to Lance Armstrong for his acting chops):

So what movie moments get you going, GymGeeks?  I’d love to hear it!








%d bloggers like this: