SELF-CARE AND RECOVERY

This week the ADOFitness trainers will be addressing the importance of self-care for recovery in all circumstances.  Coach Tara discusses some important strategies for recovery that everyone should be incorporating into their normal routine.

Recovery and self-care are so much more important for your body than most people think and also one of the most neglected aspects when it comes to health and fitness. Whether you are someone who is trying to build, lean out, or even if you are someone like me who has lost muscle due to an illness and just wants to move easier. Making sure you are stretching regularly, getting massages, foam rolling, seeing a chiro, practicing yoga, and using a fascia blaster are just a few of the tools you can use for recovery and to improve your overall health. It doesn’t matter where you are in your training, self-care and recovery should stay at the top of your todo list and here’s why:

Breaking down scar tissue is one of the top reasons for you to start foam rolling and getting regular massages. Scar tissue and muscle adhesions are the result of previous injuries or trauma that you might not even realize you have. This trauma can affect muscles, tendons, and ligaments that can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury. When foam rolling try to target the pressure points in your fascia and release triggers points where you feel pain. IT band syndrome is a perfect example which can lead to knee pain and injuries if it isn’t continually being released properly.

Another reason recovery is so important is increased tissue permeability. Deep tissues massage, fascia blasting, and deep tissue foam rolling cause the pores in tissue membranes to open which enables nutrients to pass through. This will help remove waste products such as lactic acid and allow nutrients to pass that aid in quicker muscle recovery.

You also have benefits like improving tissue elasticity that is important for all ages and especially as you get older, less mobile, or are just someone who trains really hard! Training puts a lot of strain on your tissues which can make them hard and inelastic. It is important to increase blood flow to these ares and dilate blood vessels so nutrients and oxygen can pass to help repair damage. This can be done through massage or deep tissue foam rolling. This is also going to help with pain reduction by eliminating waste products and releasing the bodies natural endorphins.

Yoga is an amazing way to practice self-care through stretching and myofascial release, but also for the psychological effects as well! As you go through your practice some relaxation is induced and anxiety levels are reduced. Here you are able to incorporate deep breathing exercises and meditation for stress relief and overall well being. You will be able to sweat out toxins, improve your digestion, and also improve your core and posture. These are just a few of the benefits yoga has to offer and the best part is you can do all of these in the comfort of your own home! I love to utilize youtube or yogaglo.com for the perfect yoga session in my living room.

Throughout your fitness journey, whether you are just starting out or at the peak of your training do not forget to incorporate the little things. Even just spending 15 minutes a day on muscle recovery can help improve mobility, mental clarity, and overall well being. Even if you are someone suffering from an illness make it a point to continue to do the little things until you can get back to your regular training. I know at times it seems impossible, but even getting in 15 minutes of light stretching or a 30 minute massage will pay off when you are able to get back in the gym. No matter where you are always make its point to move EASIER and prevent injuries!

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PLANT BASED PROTEIN SOURCES

This week the ADOFitness trainers will be addressing how you can hit protein without eating animal products. Coach Trista discusses a few options for plant based protein sources.

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or just looking into starting more of a plant based diet, there are many options to get your protein in, it just requires a bit more creativity! Here are 10 really great sources of protein dense foods:

1. Lentils- found in a variety of colors and part of the legume family. 1 cup of cooked lentils has 18g of protein and 16g of fiber. The protein and fiber in lentils is also linked to better blood sugar control, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduced risk of heart disease and colon cancer. Lentils
are super versatile and go well in salads, sandwich wraps, veggie burgers, soups, stews/curry dishes, hummus, or eating them as a side dish.

2. Quinoa- often thought to be a whole grain, but is actually a seed, 1 cup of cooked contains 8g of protein. Its gluten-free so it’s a good choice for people who are allergic to wheat. Quinoa goes well into green salads, stir fry, sandwich wraps,or used as a substitute for rice in any dish.

3. Seeds Hemp- contain heart-healthy fats, mainly omega-3 fatty acids. 3 tablespoons of hemp has about 10g protein. You can add hemp to smoothies, in soups/stews, or even bake into your meals/desserts

4. Chia seeds- absorb water and turn into a gelatinous substance which is why they are great for constipation are pure fiber! Along with omega 3’s and 4g protein per 2 tablespoons great addition to oatmeal, and smoothies

5. Spirulina- one of the few sources of plant-based protein that is mostly protein by dry weight (about 70%) 2 tbsp contain 8g of protein. You can mix into a glass of juice, or in a smoothie.

6. Nutritional yeast- a staple food item in plant-based diets for its versatility, high amounts of B vitamins, and protein content. Nutritional yeast contains no dairy or active yeast, and it’s found in a powder/flake form that creates a paste when mixed with liquid, it’s great for making dairy-free sauces and dressings 3 tbsp contain 12g of protein.

7. Beans- all beans ranging from black beans to garbanzo beans are a great source of protein with 12-18g of protein per cup. – also high in fiber, magnesium, and iron. Another versatile option for a meat substitute in burgers.

8. Ezekiel bread- contains all of the essential amino acids. It’s also usually made from sprouted grains, a process which increases the bread’s fiber and vitamin content, as well as its digestibility 4g protein per 2 slice serving.

9. Soy – Tempeh 15g per 1/2 cup, organic tofu 10g per 1/2 cup, edamame 17g per 1 cup- all complete protein sources containing all amino acids. These sources also carry fiber and healthy fats as well as the protein.

10. Organic plant based protein powder, there are several great tasting supplemental plant proteins however I recommend Garden of Life organic meal. Goes great with almond milk or even water. 20g protein per scoop!
You can also incorporate veggie patties, burgers, protein bars, and cereals (especially puffed kamut 6g protein per cup! For only 100 cals)

A common misconception about plant protein is that you will develop a deficiency from incomplete proteins. However the truth is If you eat a variety of nutrient-rich, whole foods, your body will store what it needs to function optimally in regards to essential amino acids. Nearly all whole foods (including greens and veggies) contain protein, and nearly all forms of protein contain all protein-forming amino acids in some quantity.

Think of a 400lb gorilla. What do they eat to grow that strong muscular body? Leaves, stems, roots, seeds and fruit. Relatively, our bodies are capable of doing the same with plant protein. All of the small changes with choosing the right protein rich plant foods will add up, and you may find you actually have no problem getting in protein at all!

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ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

This week the ADOFitness trainers will be addressing the side effects of artificial sweeteners that so many of us consume in our daily diets. Coach Joey Guz  will be discussing the topic this week.

Whether you are tracking your macros, trying to eat less sugar, or watching your caloric intake in any way it may seem like a no brainer to choose to sweeten your meals and drink things with an artificial sweetener added to them. Artificial sweeteners give you the sweetness you are craving and they come at the cost of ZERO CALORIES… why wouldn’t you be using them daily?!

According to Harvard Health, the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) have even made statements that the use of artificial sweeteners (instead of sugar) can help combat the problems of obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and risk factors for heart disease. From the sound of it, there really is no down side to the use of these sweeteners… except there is. I always go with the saying “if it seems like it’s too good to be true, it probably is”, and just like everything else in the world, unfortunately there is always a negative side to things when consumed in excess.

The FDA has only approved five artificial sweeteners for use in the products we buy: accharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. Besides these artificial sweeteners, there are also other kinds of “sugar substitutes” that are used in many of the foods and drinks we consume daily. There are also sugar alcohols (Erythritol, Xylitol, Sorbitol), novel sweeteners (Stevia, Truvia), and natural sweeteners (agave nectar, date sugar, molasses, maple syrup). Even these substitutes, some that claim to be “all natural”, are processed and refined.Your body will respond differently to each of these sweeteners and they have a complex effect on your body and brain. There are a few concerns associated with sugar substitutes:

1. You may replace your calories with other food or drink choices, even if it’s subconscious. It’s the common story you hear of someone getting a large fry because they ordered a Diet Coke… we use this as a way to justify making unhealthy choices just because we made a “healthy” choice, too.

2. Artificial sweeteners may change the way we taste. Because artificial sweeteners are so potent, it only takes a very small amount to create the same amount of sweetness we taste in regular sugar. This could increase your tolerance to sweet foods and cause other foods you eat to taste less sweet.

3. I’m sure you’ve heard before that using artificial sweeteners actually makes you crave sweets MORE! The reason this is a concern is due to the fact that they have sweetness with no caloric intake – your body begins to disassociate sweetness with calories, causing us to choose sweet foods over more nutritious foods, and therefore gain weight.

4. It could be addictive. Certain studies with rats that have been exposed to cocaine have shown that the rats will actually choose oral sweeteners over injectable cocaine! Scary!!

5. Digestive issues, like water retention and bloating, are also common with artificial sweeteners. Depending on your body, you could have digestive symptoms with as little at 10g of sugar alcohol! The majority of people will have symptoms with 50g or more. In these amounts, sugar alcohols have a laxative effects and can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

If you are trying to reduce your intake of artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes, check the labels of your food and drinks for all of the substitutes mentioned above. Watch out for labels that say, “sugar free” or “low sugar”, as these typically have a TON of sugar substitutes in them. Fill your plates with whole nutritious foods to make sure you are getting your macro and micronutrients in. Foods with natural sugars, like fruits, can help fulfill your sweet tooth while feeding your body with vitamins and fiber!

As with everything moderation is KEY. Having some sugar substitutes will not cause you to have all of these negative side effects. But make sure you sure you are mindful with your food choices and not taking in too many of them to cause these effects and you will be just fine!

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