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Tis the season to eat in season!

millions-of-cardiovascular-deaths-linked-to-not-eating-enough-fruits-and-veggies-730x410-2

Blog by-CHLOE FOLENA

You may or may not have heard the phrase “seasonal eating” being used in the nutrition community . If you do know what eating seasonally means and all the positives that are tied to it, kudos to you. If not, that is A-okay because you’re in the right place. This is going to be a short overview of why choosing to incorporate produce grown in-season is beneficial and how you can start doing it. 

Let’s talk first about why seasonal eating is an important concept to be aware of and the benefits that come from it. 

  • When you eat produce that’s grown seasonally in or around your area, you’re getting food that is FRESHER  (think farm to table). There’s no shipping across the country or world, so you’re getting your food faster and cutting out the time that it sits on transportation (and gets old and icky) to get to your supermarkets. So not only is it fresher, but it’s taking up less harmful resources to get to you, meaning its better for the environment. AND the fresher your food is, the more nutrients stay stored within it, which is better for your body. 
  • Another thing to keep in mind is that the less distance it takes your produce to travel, the more you know about the product, i.e. pesticides or chemicals used, farm conditions, ect. That also means you have a better understanding of where your food is coming from, something a lot of people nowadays don’t ever even think about.
  • Seasonal produce also tends to be LESS EXPENSIVE, which is amazing because a lot of healthy options and alternatives to cheap fast food tend to get a little bit pricey. Keeping produce locally and seasonally sourced keeps the prices down, your wallet happy, and your body getting all the good nutrients it needs.

Now that we’ve gone over just a few of the reasons you should try seasonal eating, let’s get into HOW you go about doing that. What produce is even “in season” anyways? Well, here are some of the fruits and veggies that are well sourced in the US each season:

~SummerArugula, asparagus, bell pepper, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, radishes, spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, figs, lemons, limes, melons, mulberries, nectarines, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple, plums, strawberries

~FallArtichoke, beets, bell pepper, broccolini, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, celery root, chard, corn, eggplant, fennel, garlic, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, almonds, apples, chestnuts, cranberries, pears, persimmons, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, tamarillo, tangerines

~WinterBeets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, citrus, kiwi, pomegranate

~SpringArtichoke, asparagus, broccoli, fava beans, fennel, kale, peas, leeks, radishes, rhubarb, turnips, avocado, blood oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple

If you want a more specific guide to what’s seasonal in your area, there’s a great website (https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/california) where you can search for produce by state and specific time of year. Super cool!

Something to keep in mind is that farmers markets and local collectives that sell farm fresh produce will always have locally grown, in-season products. A fun activity to do with friends or fam is to visit your local farmers market to get some seasonal produce you might not have considered before and then make a great, healthy meal! 

 

Sources –https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/why-eat-seasonally

                –https://www.thefarmproject.com/blog/lets-get-seasonal/

                –http://theeverygirl.com/how-to-eat-seasonally/

 

Tuna and Veggies on the Go

tuna-and-veggies

Recipe by-RHONDA RAMIREZ

Are you busy zooming from one place to the next with little time to think about let alone cook up a complex recipe? Well, Coach Rhonda has a super simple and super tasty recipe to share that keeps her feeling energized, light, and lean throughout her jam packed days! It’s got plenty of protein and a heaping serving of veggies to keep you going.

Ingredients-

*5 oz. canned tuna
*2 cups mixed frozen veggies
*2 tablespoons veganaise
*2 tablespoons mustard
* dash of salt
*dash of pepper

-Can use different sources of protein, i.e. other types of canned fish like salmon, or canned chicken, or even shredded chicken. Or, if you don’t eat meat, some blended and seasoned heart of palm can be an alternative!

-Can try out different frozen veggie mixes

-Adjust added seasoning to your liking, or add your hot sauce of preference for some kick

Directions-

  1. Drain canned tuna and empty into bowl.
  2. Warm veggies and add to tuna.
  3. Add veganaise, mustard, and salt/pepper.
  4. Mix everything up and you’re ready to go!

In the Raw or All Cooked Up?

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Blog by-AMBER MEDINA VASQUEZ

We hear all sorts of opinions on how to prepare our foods, veggies especially. A big question that comes up when preparing vegetables is “Is it better to eat them raw or can I cook them and still get all the good benefits?” Well, here’s a little run down of what the difference really looks like.

Benefits of Cooked Vegetables

Cooking vegetables can make the cell walls less rigid, which makes it easier to absorb certain nutrients and digest food better. Compared to raw carrots, cooked carrots, for example, have more beta carotene, an antioxidant that can be converted to vitamin A and improves bone, eye, and reproductive health. Skip the kale salad and opt to cook or lightly steam your kale instead — it contains the compound isothiocyanates, which blocks your body from using iodine (which it needs!) Other vegetables that have beneficial nutrient value when cooked are: Spinach, mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus and red bell pepper. 

Benefits of Raw Vegetables

Water-soluble vitamins such as C and B vitamins are often lost during the cooking process. Minerals like potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc may be reduced by up to 60 to 70 percent. Glucosinolate, the sulfur-containing nutrient in broccoli that may help fight cancer, is also decreased when the vegetable is boiled. The amount of nutrients lost during cooking depends on many factors including preparation cooking methods and duration of cooking. So veggies in their raw form will give you the highest nutrient level. 

Cooking and Preparation Methods to Retain Nutrients

Choose cooking methods that reduce the time that vegetables are exposed to heat to reduce nutrient loss. Steam and microwave produce to reduce cooking time. Once picked, raw vegetables begin to lose nutrients. Store vegetables in the refrigerator and only purchase the amount you can use in a few days. Try produce that is local and in season to obtain the most nutrients.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of how you prepare them, vegetables are full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help sustain your health. Because there are benefits and disadvantages of cooking your vegetables, you should prepare them in the way you are more likely to eat them. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables to reach the recommended five to ten servings of both each day.

 

Shaved Steak Stir Fry

shaved-steak-stir-fry

Recipe by-MELISSA JUDNICH

Looking for something quick, healthy, and delicious but tired of the same ol’ chicken and broccoli? Try this recipe from Coach Mel!

Ingredients-

*1 package of shaved steak (swipe right for a pic-from TJs)
*1 package of baby bok choy
*2 Handfuls (or 3) of kale
*2-3 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
*3-5 TBSP Liquid aminos/ coconut aminos *1 TBSP sriracha (if you like spice 🔥)
*1 TBSP EVOO or coconut oil

-can add any veggies you like

Directions-

  1. Heat up oil in a skillet.
  2. Season steak with seasoning of choice.
  3. Add steak and garlic to skillet and cook till done about 6-9 minutes.
  4. Add aminos (& Sriracha), vegetables and cover for about 5 minutes! Remove from heat when veggies are cooked to your liking.

More Zzz’s Please-Sleep Longer to get Stronger

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Blog by-VICTORIA VEST

Have you noticed lately that sleeping has developed a rather negative stigma? It feels like if you sleep more than 7 hours you’re expected to feel guilty and people who sleep less than that tend to brag about how productive they are on such little rest. Well dream away friends and feel guilty no more! Recent studies have found that sleep is actually the most crucial aspect of recovery, whether it be high intensity training or simply an overly stressful day at work.

 

Every time we exercise we actually are creating microscopic tears in our muscles. When we sleep, these tears are actually repaired, recovered, and rebuilt to be even stronger (according to Dr. Grayson Winderum PT, DTD, CSCS). However, if we do not get the proper amount of rest, our muscles aren’t given enough time to recover and rebuild.  

 

Our sleep cycle is made up of five stages.  These stages last about 90 minutes and then repeat themselves throughout the evening. Human Growth Hormones (HGH) begin to rise around 30-45 minutes after we fall asleep, beginning in stage 3 and then on to stage 4 of our sleep cycle. HGH is crucial for our body in that it regulates the rate of our metabolism. this amino acid produced in the pituitary gland of the brain, is not produced and released until we reach our deepest level of sleep, which is why getting a full night’s rest is so important for recovery.

 

Do you watch nightly reruns of your favorite tv show or scroll through your instagram till your eyes feel heavy and you finally fall into dreamland? Well, according to the “International Review of Neurobiology”, when we expose ourselves to bright lights like those from our smart phones or tv screens, we actually awaken our brains and make it more difficult for ourselves to fall asleep. Studies have also shown that if we do somehow manage to drag ourselves into the gym on minimal sleep, not only do we typically cut our workouts short from lack of motivation (do to lack of shut eye!), we actually falsely perceive our workouts as being more physically exhausting. In other words, we just can’t even! 

 

So how do we finally put this problem to rest??  Here are some easy solutions to get more zzz’s:

  1. Regulate your sleep schedule-try to get to bed around the same time and wake up at the same time daily!
  2. Attempt to average 7-9 hrs of sleep so your body becomes accustomed to it.
  3. Give yourself enough time to unwind before bed time! Especially if you like to work out in the evening, don’t cut those workouts too close to when you’re getting into bed. 
  4. Listen to your body. If you feel like you need more sleep, you probably need more sleep! Don’t feel guilty about much needed rest.

 

Sources-Barbend.com

 

Building Rotator Cuff Strength for Strong and Pain-Free Shoulders

Are you experiencing stiffness, pulling, sharp pains, or any other discomfort in your shoulders when doing overhead movements or certain pulling motions? If you are, you might have weak rotator cuffs. This is a short overview of what the rotator cuff is, why it’s important, and how we can strengthen it.

Let’s start with the “what.” What is the rotator cuff? The acronym SITS will help you to remember the 4 muscles of the rotator cuff in the shoulders. 

unnamedS upraspinatus

I nfraspinstus.

T eres minor

S upscapulari

 

These muscles are responsible for several actions we do with our shoulder, such as rotating in both directions (hence the name), raising your arm to shoulder height, and reaching behind your back. All of these are motions we do in our day to day lives, and especially when we are in the gym. If you have a weak or injured rotator cuff, you will usually notice you can’t do daily activities such as throwing a ball, reaching above to grab something, or itching a spot on your back without experiencing pain. The rotator cuff muscles also have the role of keeping your arm stabilized and in place. This means that weakness or fatigue can cause the arm and shoulder joint to lose position and cause further injury.

 

So, how do we prevent these muscles from weakness and injury? Strengthen and mobilize!

To strengthen the rotator cuff we simply have to perform safe repetition of the action that the muscle does! That means we need to rotate, raise, pull, and carry. Before we go into detail on what exercises to do, we need to talk about how we do them.

  1. The reps should always be slow and controlled. We are not doing these exercises for time.
  2. Go through the full range of motion.
  3. Don’t go as heavy as possible. Use weights that are challenging but not something that is going to cause you to compensate somewhere else.

Now onto the “how.” How do we work on these muscles? To begin the strengthening of the rotator cuff and shoulder as a whole, we highly recommend using The Crossover Symmetry bands and following the routine they provide. We suggest doing each exercise for 10 reps before or after as many workouts as you can, for at least 3 days per week.

Other exercises you can include into your regimen are:

  • Strict pull ups
  • Lateral raises
  • Front raises
  • Scapula pull ups

Another way to keep your shoulders healthy is to stay nice and flexy!  There are many stretches to keep your shoulders nice and loose. Here are a few to try out!

Before workout: perform 10 reps of the following

  • Arm circles
  • Shoulder openers
  • Inch worms

Post workout:

  • Puppy dog pose hold :30 seconds
  • Scorpions with pause: 10 reps
  • Banded lat. stretch :30 sec/ side
  • Banded front rack stretch :30 sec/ side

The best way to strengthen your shoulders and upper body is to keep your rotator cuff strong and healthy. Make sure when we perform these exercises and stretches that you start light and progress your way through them!

 

4.11.17

PERFORMANCE
A.
Every 2 minutes, for 16 minutes (8 sets):
Hang Snatch + Snatch

Build over the course of the 8 sets to something heavy-ish for today.

B.
In teams of two, partners alternate rounds to complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
12 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lbs)
12 Burpees

 

FiTNESS

A.
Four sets of:
Russian Step-Ups x 10 reps each leg
Supine Ring Rows x 12 reps @ 2111
Push-Ups x 15 reps @ 2011

B.
In teams of two, partners alternate rounds to complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
12 Wall Ball Shots
12 Burpees