A Primer On Protein Powders
Between the kidney beans, kale, egg, and cheese, each serving dishes up a solid 28 grams of protein. Get the recipe here.
Craving pasta? No problem, just add tofu, cashews and broccoli and you don’t have to feel bad about indulging. Recipe available here.
Between the black beans, the egg, and mmm… Fontina cheese (7 grams of proteinper ounce), this gloriously stuffed sweet potato will leave both your mother and your trainer equally impressed. Recipe available here.
Combine quinoa with peanut butter, tofu, and broccoli for this powerhouse of lunches. Check out the recipe here.
Give yourself hefty portions (or add some jack cheese) to up the protein in this filling salad. Recipe available here.
I know seitan feels like tofu’s weirder cousin, but with about 20 grams of protein per serving, it’s totally worth trying. Recipe available here.
Every good vegetarian needs a bean chili recipe in their arsenal. Just remember: Do all your eye rubbing before chopping the jalapeños. Recipe available here.
Pinto beans, kale, and jack cheese mean you get all the protein you gave up in beef, without all the heart disease, fat, and ethical implications. Recipe available here.
With 8 grams of protein in every cup, frozen peas can do more for your sore muscles than just ice them. Recipe available here.
Yes, you can make broth out of cheese. Add some kale and white beans and BOOM: protein soup. Recipe available here.
Perfect for impressing the vegetarian you’re waking up next to, the egg (6g), Gruyère (10g), and asparagus (2g), makes this breakfast perfect for fueling up for round two. Wink. Recipe available here.
Lentils (50g/cup), split peas (48g/cup), and barley (23g/cup), all in one easy-to-make, throw-it-all-in-the-crock-pot meal. Can I get an amen? Or maybe just the recipe.
Sick of eggs for breakfast? Oats and corn meal will take care of you. Recipe available here.
Barley risotto: perfect for the ambitious, healthy-ish vegetarian cook. Recipe available here.
Besides the beans, this recipe also uses soy chorizo (9g/serving) just in case you miss the real thing. Recipe available here.
Start your meal with this protein-heavy soup and feel free to indulge in pure carbs for the rest of it. Recipe available here.
This dish is not just high in protein (20g/serving), it’s also gluten-free and vegan, making it perfect for even the pickiest of eaters. Recipe available here.
This is what you serve your carnivorous friends who tell you you’re not getting enough protein. Between the tofu, the quinoa, and the chickpeas, each serving packs in more than 32 grams. Recipe available here.
Tofu, oats, walnuts, and eggs all make this a ridiculously protein-y alternative to boring old meatloaf. Get the recipe here.
Tempeh’s not for everyone, but with 31 grams of protein per cup, the dense, nutty meat alternative is worth trying at least once. Get the recipe here.
OK, so you’ll need to use whole wheat pasta and have a large serving to get the full 18g of protein, but when a country music legend shares a recipe, you do what you gotta do to make it work. Get the recipe here.
By Randy Dotinga
TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — In more good news for those who fill up on bran cereal and quinoa, a new study suggests that older people who eat a lot of whole grains may live longer than those who hardly ever eat them.
Even the obese and sedentary appear to gain a benefit, the researchers added.
People should “eat more whole grains and reduce intake of refined carbohydrates,” said study co-author Dr. Lu Qi, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Qi added that eating more grains may even help people lose weight: “There is no evidence that [a diet rich in] whole grain increases calorie intake, and it may lower it,” he said.
The finding does have limitations — almost all participants were white, for example — and it doesn’t directly prove that eating lots of whole grains caused people to live longer.
In the study, researchers looked at whole fiber — the whole seed of grain that’s used in grain products like bread and cereal.
The researchers tracked almost 370,000 people in the United States from the mid-1990s, when they took surveys, through the year 2009. They were all members of AARP and aged 50 to 71. The study excluded tens of thousands of people with conditions such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, meaning that the results don’t apply to older people as a whole.
After adjusting their statistics so they wouldn’t be thrown off by high or low numbers of certain types of people, the researchers found that those who ate the most fiber were 17 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who ate the least. However, the risk of death during the study was low overall: About 12 percent (just over 46,000) of the people died during the study period.
Those who ate the most fiber were more likely to be educated, less likely to be obese and less likely to smoke than those who ate the least, the study found. They also ate much less red meat, on average. But the life span benefit held up even when researchers adjusted their statistics to eliminate the impact of factors such as obesity and poorer health.
The researchers also found signs that whole grains lowered the risk of premature death from lung disease and diabetes. More consumption of the cereal fiber inside whole grains, meanwhile, translated to fewer deaths and lower levels of cancer and diabetes.
How much whole grain might a person need to reap this benefit? A lot. The researchers defined heavy eaters of whole grains — those with the greatest life span benefits — as those who ate 34 grams of whole grains for every 1,000 calories they consumed per day. For a person on a 2,500-calorie diet, that’s 85 grams: the equivalent of five slices of whole wheat bread or 5 cups of whole-grain breakfast cereal.
Those defined as eating the least whole grain consumed about 4 grams per 1,000 calories per day, or 10 grams for a person on a 2,500-calorie diet. That’s fewer grams than are in half a cup of oatmeal (16 grams).
One expert noted that switching over to whole grains could make a big difference.
“National survey data indicate that the current average intake of dietary fiber is only 16 grams, so increasing dietary fiber intake to the recommended more than 30 grams a day could significantly impact public health,” said Dr. Yunsheng Ma, an associate professor in the division of preventive and behavioral medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass.
“Foods high in fiber are predominantly protective foods high in micronutrient density, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes,” Ma added. “There is no upper limit that has been set for dietary fiber intake per day.”
Ma, who’s familiar with the new research, wrote a study published earlier this year that linked fiber consumption to lower weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Why might whole grains be so good for a person’s health? Study co-author Qi said they may work by lowering three things: food intake overall, levels of “bad” cholesterol, and inflammation.
The study is published in the March 24 edition of BMC Medicine.
WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — People suffering from lower back pain who smoke, drink, are depressed or are obese may be able to ease their agony by making some lifestyle changes, a new study suggests.
“If you have lower back pain that is not explained by a spinal problem but is more of a muscle pain, things like obesity, alcohol abuse, smoking and depression, factors that you can affect, can be contributing to it,” explained lead researcher Dr. Scott Shemory, an orthopedic surgeon with Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.
Of all these risks, obesity is most obviously associated with back pain, he said. “It puts stress on all the joints and the lower back as well,” he said. Also, smoking can decrease blood flow, which can also contribute to pain, he said.
As for depression, it might contribute to the pain. On the other hand, lower back pain might contribute to depression, Shemory said. The same can be said for alcohol dependence, he added.
However, Shemory said that these problems might cause people to be less physically active, which can increase pain.
But altering these behaviors can improve your overall health and may reduce lower back pain, he noted. However, the study only showed an association between these factors and lower back pain, not a cause-and-effect link.
Shemory said there are no really effective treatments for lower back pain not caused by a disk problem or pressure on the spinal nerve.
“That’s why preventing lower back pain is so important,” he said. “In many cases, people just have to live with their pain.”
The findings were to be presented this week at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons annual meeting, in Las Vegas. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
For the study, Shemory and his colleagues reviewed data on 26 million people, 1.2 million of whom had lower back pain. Overall, 4 percent suffered from the condition.
Lower back pain was most common among smokers (16.5 percent), alcohol-dependent drinkers (almost 15 percent), obese people (close to 17 percent) and those suffering from depression (slightly over 19 percent).
Dr. Jason Lipetz, chief of the division of spine medicine at the North Shore-LIJ Spine Center in Great Neck, N.Y., said, “This study of over a million patients with low back pain reminds us of the many interrelated factors which can contribute to this common complaint.”
For example, cigarette smoking is known to accelerate degeneration of the lower spine, he said.
Obesity might reduce a patient’s level of fitness. “What we do not know, however, is if the pain itself is limiting exercise and leading to more weight gain,” said Lipetz, who was not part of the study.
“In addition, the relationship between mind and spinal pain is highlighted by an up to four times increase in lower back pain in patients with a history of alcohol abuse or depression,” he said.
Winter is an incredible time of year in Colorado and is often the main reason so many people choose to live here. World famous ski resorts are less than two hours away. Snowshoers and cross-country skiers have access to amazing scenic trails. Indoor and outdoor ice rinks seem to be popping up everywhere these days. Unfortunately, we tend to see a significant number of injuries from all of these winter sports. Lower body muscle weakness, balance deficits on slippery or unstable surfaces, and poor flexibility are major contributors to injuries. Most commonly we tend to see a significant number of knee and shoulder injuries from winter sports that are result of falling or twisting awkwardly. The rehab for these injuries tends to be costly both from a financial and time perspective. It is not unusual for someone to miss the entire winter sports season from one injury. But these injuries can be prevented. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is designed to identify people who are at risk of injury from all types of winter sports.
The FMS is a tool that was developed in 1995 by physical therapist Gray Cook and his colleague Dr Lee Burton, a certified athletic trainer with a doctorate in health performance and wellness. The screen looks at 7 different integral human movement patterns (i.e lunges, squats, stepping, etc) to identify dysfunctions or imbalances between right and left side of the body. Weakness, asymmetry between right and left side of body, and limited flexibility of muscles are common sources of musculoskeletal injury. Each of these seven movements are graded on a 0-3 scale with 3 being a normal/non-dysfunctional movement pattern and 0 indicating pain during the movement. At the end of the screen a score is calculated ranging from 0-21. The key score that the tester is looking for is 14 or less. Some examples of the movements are shown below.
Several studies have shown that if the FMS score is less than or equal to 14 then the probability of suffering an injury that would cause you to miss time at your sport increases by at least 50%. One study in particular studied 38 female collegiate athletes at the start of their fall or winter sport and found that 69% of the athletes that scored 14 or less suffered an injury during the season that caused them to miss time at their particular sport1. A 2nd study looked at an entire professional football team and again concluded that the key number for prediction of an injury was 14. The likelihood increased from a pre-test probability of injury of 15% to just over 50% when the player scored 14 or less2.
The nice thing about the FMS is that we can use an advanced software program to create a specific home exercise program that is individualized to you based on your specific score and movement dysfunctions . This home exercise program is emailed directly to you with descriptive pictures and videos of each exercise. FMS clients often set up one-on-one physical therapy sessions with our physical therapists to review the exercises and address any pain or dysfunction that was encountered during the FMS. The home exercise program and physical therapy visit is especially important for individuals that score 14 or less on the screen. Our PTs use information from the screen along with a thorough PT evaluation to create a custom workout that is specific to your winter sport. Injury prevention is why the FMS is such a valuable tool for the winter athlete.
Example of Custom Home Exercise Program:
Our physical therapists at Therapydia Denver feel so strongly about the importance of the FMS in preventing injury that we have done over 140 free screens in the last 2 years. We have worked with clients of all types including high school and college athletes, weekend warriors, and sedentary desk jockeys embarking on a new exercise program. The FMS is offered free of charge to all members of our friends at Vital Strength and Fitness gym in which our clinic is located. We are now also offering the screen for free to members of the community when you mention this blog post. Scheduling is easy through our therapydiadenver.com website or by calling 303-482-1540. We have wide range of available hours so you can complete the 20-30 minute screen when it is convenient to you. Don’t wait for an injury to happen this winter. Be proactive and schedule your Functional Movement Screen today.
There are few morning things that have the power to absolutely dictate my mood for the day. A loss in my fantasy league, for example, will pretty much ensure that I’m scowling, even on the nicest of days. More relevant thing to you, my dear reader, is the number that I see when I step on the scale while on a fat-loss diet.
Fortunately the scale reading is only a number. Like all pieces of data, this number may or may not be an accurate reflection of whether or not you are losing fat. Let’s look at problems with over-relying on your scale weight and how we can better interpret said weight.
Let’s say that there were a hypothetical universe where someone’s weight had no variability. In this universe, Joe has 150 lbs of lean mass and 50 lbs of fat mass. That means Joe weighs 200 lbs at 25 percent body fat.
Now let’s transport Joe to our universe. The one where the scale can be a fickle bitch. How much does Joe weigh? Joe would probably weigh somewhere between 196 and 208 lbs. Why the difference? One’s “scale weight” can be broken down into the following formula:
Scale Weight = True Weight + Weight Variance (AKA weight of the annoying little gremlins that mess with your weight)
True Weight: The weight that you would be in our hypothetical universe above (there are ways to get close to this).
Weight Variance: A value that adds or subtracts from your weight, given the conditions below.
Something interesting that I’ve seen from clients is that the upper and lower limits are asymmetrical. The upper limit of one’s scale weight is about +4 percent of his/her true weight, whereas the lower limit seems to be about -2 percent of his/her scale weight. Hence, why Joe’s scale weight is 196 to 208.
Here are a few things that factor into “weight variance:”
Why does the scale seem so erratic when you are dieting? The foremost reason is that glycogen is a much more volatile substrate than fat. That is, fat loss occurs slowly, while glycogen levels can swing wildly.
Let’s see what happens at both ends of glycogen storage.
The High End: Full Stores (i.e. bloat, often from binge eating)
What happens when people go on a binge? Typically they will retain a ton more glycogen afterwards and see a massive increase in the scale. This is only water weight. Too often, I’ll see people defeated because they “gained all of the weight back.”
One thing that you rarely hear about water bloat is that it makes you look fatter than actual fat. Yes, that means that a person whose true weight is 190 lbs and bloats up to 195 lbs will look fatter than if his/her true weight were 197 lbs.
Try this for yourself. When you are on a diet, take weekly pictures of yourself when you adhere to your nutrition plan. After you’ve lost some weight, take pictures again after eating wildly for a day.
Find the two pictures that match up with the same weight. You’ll notice that you will look fatter in your latter pictures, even if your true weight ls lower.
If you find yourself gaining a ton of weight after a bad day of dieting, remember, this is only temporary. Your true weight hasn’t moved much; it’s still subject to the laws of thermodynamics.
(Funny story: As a test I once consumed 1,200 grams of carbohydrates in one day with only trace dietary fats. Research predicts that almost none of this turned into fat. The next day, I looked like the Michelin man and my “skin” felt hurt and bruised. Yes, my skin. Interpret this as you will.)
The Low End: Carbohydrate Depletion
Those who go on Paleo or ketogenic style diets usually cite the rapid loss of weight at the very start, as well as the rapid influx of weight when they cease their low-carb diet.
This isn’t due to some magical powers from copying the diet of pre-historic man. Rather, this is due to the rapid depletion and replenishment of glycogen.
Similarly, the rapid drop in weight that occurs when one starts a diet can usually be attributed to a drop in carbohydrate intake.
Other reasons: Lyle McDonald talks about “the whoosh effect,” in which scale weight will often lag behind true weight loss. If you haven’t read this article yet, I highly encourage you to do so. I take this one step further by showing that you can use certain measurements to determine an impending whoosh, as you’ll read later.
Clients will also often gain lean mass and/or increased glycogen capacity during a diet, especially with a mild deficit. For that reason, scale weight may remain the same even if fat loss is occurring.
The true secret to interpreting the scale is building a story. Most people use the scale as a final number, rather than piece together a story using relevant pieces of data. The scale number alone is useless when you need to troubleshoot.
Instead, we can create a powerful story by pairing scale readings with the following data:
Remember our hypothetical universe where scale weight is equal to “true” weight? We want to replicate this as much as possible. For this reason, you should not interpret measurements when bloat is high. Either wait for it to go away (if it’s caused by your menstrual cycle) or eat normally for a few days (if it’s from a binge).
After that, use the following chart to interpret your data.