My clients often ask me about trending nutrition info that they’ve heard about either from friends, coworkers, or even their facebook newsfeed. And as a personal trainer I feel it is my responsibility to provide them with unbiased and informed answers!
Recently I had a client of mine ask “Why do I keep hearing that peas are bad?”
The information we hear is usually a diluted version that trickles down from academic journals, which gets distorted by the mainstream media. You have to remember the main objective of media is to elicit views. Unfortunately this is the world we live in and the news often spreads faulty information with no actual scientific basis!
Think back over the years of all the nutrition fads you’ve heard about. Remember when pomegranates were all the rage? We can go way back to the ’90’s when fat was the enemy. Or when quinoa made its debut. Flax seeds. Don’t even get me started on artificial sweeteners, you can read more about what’s in these little sweet packets here!
More recently its all things kale related. Coconut Oil. Chia Seeds. Gluten free. Egg yolks are good for you again. I mean the list goes on and on…
So before you are quick to jump on board with the next thing someone tells you – however convincing they may be – remember my rule of thumb is to have your own 3 credible sources (think any .edu’s or pubmed – I’ve listed some additional resources below). Don’t be that guy that jumps on the bandwagon just because everyone else does.
People are always looking for the next “fad food” that’s either bad or good for you, like it will solve all your problems if you accept whatever it is as fact!
Having the capacity to listen to an idea
but not except it immediately
requires a more educated mindset!
1. If you want quality nutrition info that’s a little easier on the ears check out Superfoods
2. Feeling like you want to take it up a notch and get the break down from scientific journals? You can geek out to the latest nutrition-related research with my guy Dr. Greger! He breaks down the information to you in short, easy to understand video segments.
Don’t believe everything you hear! Make your own informed and educated decision’s before getting in line for the next fad food
Treat yourself to these soft n’ chewy gluten-free, vegan, superfood cookies! And don’t worry, I promise they taste delicious!
1/2 tbs organic coconut oil
2 tbs chia seeds
1/3 cup Craisans
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 1/2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used perfect fit protein)
1/4 cup gluten-free granola (or rolled oats, or quinoa flakes)
2 tsp stevia (optional)
1 – 2 tbs organic blue agave (or honey/maple syrup) I usually just eyeball this one. Start with a little and stir in until you get the right consistency! Remember you can always add more but you can’t remove it once you’ve added it!
Form or spoon the batter onto a non-stick baking sheet.
Bake at 230 F for 20 mins (bake for longer if you prefer them to be more crunchy).
Let the cookies cool and store in refrigerator to make em last longer!
Makes about 6 cookies!
As you may know I’m not a practicing paleo but I had to try making this dish after a friend described the ingredients to me! The recipe calls for coriander which I have in my collection of spices but honestly had never used, until now. I got that same feeling when you find a twenty dollar bill in your winter coat from last season…coriander where have you been all my life?! I don’t actually have a grinder (pepper-mill) so I had to make do (aka put coriander into a ziploc, wrap in a paper towel, and proceed to smash with a can). After a few rounds of this, a wonderful aroma will begin to emit from your paper-towel-wrapped-ziploc, that my friends is the sweet sweet smell of coriander!
This dish is so full of flavor, definitely adding it to my favorites! And as a bonus it so nutrient rich – which left my tummy feeling fully satiated! I also ate this with a little bit of quinoa mixed in and a sprinkle of goat cheese!
1 lb 97% lean ground beef
1 whole onion, diced
1 bunch(es) Kale 🔹
1/2 C green olives, sliced 🔹
1/2 of each: red, green, yellow, and orange bell peppers, diced 🔹
2-3 sweet potatoes, boiled and mashed 🔹
avocado slices 🔹
1 TBS Coriander 🔹
1 TBS Oregano 🔹
2 tsp minced garlic 🔹
1/2 tsp cumin 🔹
1/2 tsp turmeric
1⃣ Sauté all veggies in EVO, set aside
2⃣ Brown the ground beef in a large skillet
3⃣ Add veggies and spices to the beef, mix well.
4⃣ Serve over mashed sweet potatoes w side of avocado
IIFYM (If it fits your Macros). Whole30. Paleo. Gluten Free. Vegan. Vegetarian. Keto. Juice Cleanse. Clean eating. Clean food. Dirty Food. Just Eat Real Food (#jerf).
You’ve probably heard of most of these diets or noticed the hashtags on Instagram, Twitter, etc.
I thought I was eating a healthy, well-balanced, clean diet. I’ll set the stage for you. I buy organic local produce as often as I can. I make homemade chia flaxseed crackers on the regular. I eat fresh veggies and fruit everyday. I eat almonds. I drink unsweetened almond milk. I only use stevia to sweeten my drinks. I eat grilled chicken breast. I eat PB2. I drink at least 70 ounces of water per day. I drink green tea daily. I take a multivitamin. I sauté with either EVO or coconut oil. I drink coconut water. I get between 7-8 hours of sleep everyday. I exercise everyday. But reading about these diets make me feel like I am doing something wrong, that I need to eliminate or incorporate certain foods into my diet to be “healthy”.
Sidebar with me here: Is it just me, or has grocery shopping gotten to be an overwhelming experience? The more I research each of these diets the more I overanalyze what I am eating (or not eating). I am currently reading ‘It Starts with Food‘ which spells out the benefits of the whole30 diet. I find this book highly informative even if you aren’t planning to enact the whole30 diet into your life. As a bio major I actually enjoy what they refer to as “sciencey” explanations, but the book has got me thinking…
Am I eating things that are unhealthy for me? Or potentially harmful? Am I actually damaging my body by sprinkling stevia into my coffee with unsweetened almond milk in the morning? Am I over-spiking the perpetual cycle of insulin and leptin, by eating greek yogurt mixed with my perfect fit protein powder? Am I causing irreversible damage by adding a pinch of gorgonzola cheese to my arugula salad?
I find that I have pangs of guilt as I scoop my tricolor quinoa from Trader Joes, into my sautéed veggie bowl. I can’t help but think “you shouldn’t be eating legumes” as I spread organic natural peanut butter onto my jazz apple slices. And then I know I must really be crossing the line with the handful of Cracklin Oat Bran and Kind Granola that I often mix into my greek yogurt – this must definitely be a violation of what it means to be “healthy”.
I’m over-exaggerating here (just a bit). But in all seriousness I know don’t need to lose or gain weight. I am at a perfectly healthy size. Yet I find myself thinking…could I feel better? could my skin be clearer? could I have more energy if I eat this way? It’s all so overwhelming. We all want to feel like we have control over something in this world. I feel like all the before and after photos of people who attest that the whatever-diet is the answer! As if their photo is proof all the proof you need, that whatever diet they are eating is the answer to your problems. If you eat this way you will look and feel exactly like them! They tell you that their skin is clearer than ever, that they have boundless energy, and have lost body fat…etc.
We all want to look and feel our best. I’m exploring this path but I’m not sure I am ready to jump on board with any of these diets just yet. It’s better to measure twice and cut once.
So last week I was experimenting with making a flourless pizza crust. I decided quinoa would make a better base for pizza “dough” (after my failed attempt at cauliflower pizza crust). I was so surprised with the results! It came out perfectly. I’m so glad I wrote down what I was throwing into my mix, and in what proportions. I hope you are just as please with the result. Bon appétit!
Pizza Crust Ingredients:
- 1 C Quinoa
- 1/2 C Black Beans
- 1/4 C Red Kidney Beans
- 1/4 C ground flaxseed
- 1 TBSP Minced Garlic
- 1 TBSP McCormick Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- A few sprays of EV olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Mash the black beans and red kidney beans to form a paste (I used a fork for this)
- In a large bowl combine the bean paste with the quinoa. Mix well – I used a spatula to press/stir the bean paste so that it was evenly distributed with the quinoa
- Add the ground flaxseed, minced garlic, italian seasoning, and baking powder. Mix well.
- Lightly dust a pizza baking pan with flaxseed (Or whole wheat flour if you’re not gluten free) ** This is to prevent the dough from sticking to the pan while baking
- Spread/hand-press dough onto a pizza baking pan (spread the dough to about 1/4″ thickness)
- Lightly brush on a few spritz’s of EV olive oil (this is optional but will help the dough to crisp up, you don’t need much – mostly around the edges)
- Bake at 400 F for 20 – 25 mins
I used what I had on hand for the toppings but you can do whatever you want!
For this pizza I sautéd onion, mushrooms, green and red bell peppers. I sprinkled one half with gorgonzola (for me) and half with parmesan (for my guy).
Once you’ve added your toppings, bake again at 400 F for 8 – 10 mins.