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Blog Category: General Nutrition

5 Reasons Why Our Flex Plan Is Perfect For You

5 Reasons Why Our Flex Plan Is Perfect For You

Has the summer left you feeling a little guilty? It’s time to put aside the guilt and focus on your goals. As the new school year begins, there’s no better time to start forming healthy habits and routines – for yourself and your family. Well, you’ve found yourself on our website, and that’s a great place to start! But, which program is right for you AND which program will generate lasting results? Let us tell you why the Flex Plan will do both of these things.

Our Flex Plan is a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) approach to reaching lasting results health and nutrition goals. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. 3 Month Commitment

Research has revealed that habits take 66 days to form. That is the equivalent of 2 months and 5 days. By choosing our 3 month Flex Plan, the first two months will allow us to get to know YOU and lead you in the formation of nutritious habits. In the third month, we’ll be able to work alongside you as you navigate a balanced lifestyle and solidify your new habits. 

2. Personal Approach & 1:1 Advising

Everyone loves when things are personalized to them, and with our flex plan, you’ll have just that. The flex plan provides you with 6 one on one consultations lasting up to 40 minutes. This way, we are able to get to know you, your concerns, and your desires so that we can provide you with plans and suggestions that are tailored to your lifestyle and your preferences!

Doing this ensures that we are comprehensive in each of the following topics:

3. Healthie App Access

Healthie is a mobile food and activity diary that will help you stay motivated during your time on our Flex Plan. With this app, you simply take a picture of what you ate, drank and type in any workout you did. This allows us to assess your meals and make sure that they’re balanced. It also allows us to ensure that your food choices compliment your goals.

4. No More Counting Calories!

Think coming to a dietitian is going to involve time wasted looking up calories in ingredients and typing in each one? Think again! Our approach to nutrition removes this tedious task. Research has shown that calories are not reflective of the quality of food that you are eating. Rather, they just reveal how much energy the food can provide. At Eat 2 Perform, we look at the photos you’ve provided through Healthie to help you make sure that you are eating nutrient-dense, balanced meals that work for you.

5. See the Change

Over the course of three months, you’ll see your habits change as you look back on Healthie entries. Eat 2 Perform aims to help active individuals reach their highest level of performance. Since we commit to you for three months, you will also likely see your performance improve. With our help, you’ll establishing healthy habits and routines to ensure that your body is in the best shape for whatever you desire – speed, strength, agility, etc.

There’s no need to wait for Monday or for the new year to accomplish your goals when you could start today. We are ready for you! Send us an email and we would love to work with you as you begin to navigate the changes that will come when you make your nutrition a priority!

Down to the Bone on Bone Health

Down to the Bone on Bone Health

What do we want? Strong bones! When do we want them? Now! How do we get ‘em? Let me tell you!

Bone health is important for people of all ages. We are born with 300 bones in the body, and by the time we reach adulthood, we have 206 bones, each with specific functions that, when combined, allow us to move, bend, and perform the way we want. 

Don’t be concerned about the “lack” of bones in the adult body, though. The reason for this is just that as our bodies grow, some bones fuse together to create longer, denser ligaments that are capable of doing more work. And the large quantity of bones in young children simply means that this is the time to optimize bone density. Bone density increases until about age 25, and decreases from there. So, parents and influencers of young children should be mindful of this when feeding kids, and especially young athletes, who require the use of their bones regularly.

Eating enough food is one of the most important aspects of bone health. When we don’t eat enough, bones are broken down to create energy for the body to use. Luckily, most young kids are quite intuitive so they are able to listen to their body and ask for food when their body signals hunger. But, it’s a parent/guardian’s responsibility to have foods that promote bone health available when their hunger strikes. And what are these foods? These are foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin K such as eggs, dairy products, beans, and green vegetables.

Another bone building element is the outdoors! Being outside provides large amounts of vitamin D, which increases the bodies’ absorption of calcium – a key component of bone formation and maintenance.

As far as bone-building meals go, try offering eggs or yogurt for breakfast, a burrito with beans for lunch, and maybe steamed vegetables with meat or tofu for dinner. “Bone”-appetit!

Sports Injuries Part 2: Recovering from a Sports Injury

Sports Injuries Part 2: Recovering from a Sports Injury

In sports, there are few things worse than being injured. Sitting on the sidelines for competitions you’ve been training for is not fun. But, good news, there are ways that you can help speed up your recovery process to get back in the game as soon as possible! Check ‘em out below!

  1. FUEL

You’ll notice this is a repeating point from my previous post about preventing sports injuries. However, it is equally as important if not more important during recovery from an injury. When an athlete breaks a bone, tears tissue, or gets a concussion, they are left unable to participate in their typical training regimen. Because of this, many think that decreasing the quantity of food they eat is necessary since they’re not training as intensely or as regularly. Incorrect. In fact, the trauma that your body experiences upon injury is immense and the amount of energy required for recovery is larger than you would think. Eating too few calories leaves the athlete’s body underfueled and will actually slow down recovery.

2. Prioritize Protein

Protein is the main component of muscles, tendons, bones, and many other parts of the human body. When you break/tear/strain something, the proteins that were holding it together are lost. So, it is extremely that you are reintroducing high levels of protein in order to allow the body part to be restored quickly and effectively. In general, an injured athlete should try to eat about 0.45-0.55 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. For a 200 pound athlete, that is around 110 grams of protein each day during the healing process.

3. Vitamin “Come Back”

Known to most as vitamin C, an athlete may consider calling this nutrient Vitamin “Come Back.” This vitamin, which is also an antioxidant, is highly regarded for its role in immune function and its ability to speed up recovery rates after physical activity, and is absolutely critical for any healing process. High amounts of vitamin “Come Back” can improve the rate at which the body is able to respond to and heal injuries. For injured athletes, it is necessary to be eating at least the daily recommended intake, 90mg for males and 75mg for females, of vitamin C. Foods that are high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, green vegetables, and bell peppers.

4. Fit in Fats

Both our brains and cell membranes are coated in a protective layer of fat. This allows for efficient communication within our body and improves our resiliency to attackers outside the body. Because of this, increasing the amount of fat consumed during recovery is extremely important as the body begins to rebuild what was lost.

Sports Injuries Part 1: Prevention

Sports Injuries Part 1: Prevention

No one wants to get injured when playing their sport, so what can you do to prevent injury? Here are a few tips!

  1. Eat Enough

Eating enough is arguably the most important measure of injury prevention. Ensuring that you are consuming enough calories to meet daily energy requirements is essential. Without adequate caloric intake, you are underfueling your body, and it is extremely hard to make any athletic improvements without sufficient nutrient delivery to muscles. With a calorie deficit, muscle mass will decrease and if high intensity training continues, the risk for stress reactions and/or stress fractures increases also.

  1. Enjoy the sun

When you aren’t eating a varied diet, nutrient deficiencies occur. One of the most damaging deficiencies is vitamin D because of its role in bone metabolism which is directly linked to muscle and therefore, strength. You can get vitamin D from foods such as eggs and salmon, but you can also get plenty from enjoying some time in the sun. Fun fact: calcium, highly concentrated in dairy products, is also essential for optimal bone and health and by pairing calcium-rich foods with foods containing vitamin D, the body’s absorption of vitamin D increases! So, in these hot summer months, enjoy your next ice cream cone (dairy = calcium) outside (sun = vitamin D) to maximize absorption of both nutrients, cool off a bit, and prevent injury!

  1. Get Enough Sleep

Multiple studies have concluded that sleeping less than 6 hours a night drastically increases an athlete’s risk for injury. Decreased sleep is linked to both decreased reaction times and immune function as well as increased production of stress hormones. When these effects are all combined due to lack of sleep, risk for injury drastically increases. For athletes, 8-10 hours of rest is ideal to best recover from training in order to decrease injury risks. If you have trouble sleeping, eating foods rich in magnesium, such as almonds or spinach can be a natural approach to sleep improvement!

  1. Don’t Fear Fats

Although fat is sometimes thought to have adverse effects on an athlete’s body composition, it is critical in injury prevention. While at rest and during low-moderate intensity or endurance sports such as running, cycling, or walking, the body prioritizes the breakdown of fat to fuel performance. So, avoiding fat will increase risk for injury and can inhibit performance improvements since adequate amounts of energy from fat will not be accessible. Additionally, cell membranes are primarily made up of fat. Having healthy, intact cell membranes greatly decreases risk for injury because healthy cells have better reaction times and greater efficiency at sending and receiving signals within the body.

  1. Stretch!

Stretching before and after exercise is extremely important for injury prevention. Stretching before a workout helps to loosen up muscles and prevent injury during exercise. However, researchers caution against getting “too-loose” prior to a workout and suggest trying dynamic stretches before workouts to best protect yourself from injury. For example, do some walking lunges before starting jumping lunges. Save deep stretching for after a workout to allow for the release of the lactic acid that builds up during your workout and decrease the time it takes your muscles to recover.

Good Food Good Mood

Good Food Good Mood

It’s fair to assume that we’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” And I think most people know not to take it literally – you’re not going to turn into a carrot after eating a carrot, or even after eating several. So how can we translate this?

While I can’t say for certain what the person who coined the phrase meant, I can offer an interpretation of it. I think he or she may have been referring to the mental and emotional effects food can have on the body. Have you ever been irritable, overreactive, or tired for a reason you couldn’t pinpoint? Maybe you proceed to have a snack/meal, and suddenly, the initial problem that seemed like an immovable boulder became just a bump in the road? If so, you’re not alone, and research consistently links nutrition to improved mental and emotional health; in fact, this relatively new field of study is called Nutritional Psychiatry.

Researchers of Nutritional Psychiatry reveal that 95% of serotonin, the hormone responsible for our feelings of happiness, is found in our gut. So, the saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?” can actually be applied to everyone, and is a saying that we should all take literally.

Simply put, when we eat the food our body craves, we feel satisfied, allowing us move on to our next task. The feelings that we experience after eating is regulated by serotonin. There is a signaling pathway that links your gut to your brain. When the food we eat arrives at our gut, serotonin is activated and sent along this pathway to our brain receptors. Once the brain has received the message, a response to the food eaten – satisfaction, nausea, bloating – is triggered… and felt in the body.

Very often, eating what we crave, also know as eating intuitively, triggers the most desirable response. Cravings are the body’s way of telling us that nutrients are missing. So, when a craving is answered, serotonin carries a message of satisfaction and contentment to the brain. Our brains can then focus on something other than food, hunger, or deprivation from certain foods.

This direct connection between our gut and our brain is quite literally felt at gut-level. Feeling anxious may present itself as nausea, depressive thoughts may lead to decreased appetite, nostalgia often causes specific food cravings that can bring you back to a time or place, and trying new foods and eating with other people may increase feelings of happiness.

So, listen to your body! Your cravings are normal and food is important! Enjoy it:)

The Call for Collagen

The Call for Collagen

Nearly everyone, especially as people get older seek out products that will give them more youthful skin, longer and stronger hair and nails, as well as better joint mobility.

Well, your answer to these desires could be right in the title – collagen!

Collagen, the most abundant protein found in the human body, is composed of three amino acids, protein building blocks, and serves as a “glue” that gives pliable structure and strength to our tissues. It allows us to stretch and move as we need. It is concentrated in skin tissue to keep our skin supple, and near our joints and bones, serving as a lubricant. So, how can we make sure our bodies produce enough collagen to prevent unnecessary joint pain or premature aging of the skin?

Collagen is quite accessible. Numerous companies such as Vital Proteins and Dr. Axe sell supplements containing the three amino acids in the form of powders, pills, and lotions. However, collagen supplements are expensive! A 20 oz tub of Vital Proteins collagen powder retails for $43.00, and provides 14 servings per container; that equates to a whopping $3.07 per use! And that doesn’t even include the additional costs of whatever you put it in – smoothies, muffins, oatmeal, etc. Seems pricey…

Thankfully, we can get each amino acid from various whole foods. Even better, eating the whole food version would provide more flavour, variety, and affordability! So here are some ideas for every meal of the day that do just that – provide your body with all it needs for efficient collagen production!

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts/granola

Lunch: Green salad with tofu/beans, seeds, and seasonal vegetables

Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs with an orange

Dinner: Chicken with roasted potatoes and mixed vegetables

** As a delicious, sustainable, and affordable bonus, you can purchase a whole chicken and eat that for the above dinner, then simmer the chicken bones along with celery, carrots, onions, and spices in water to create a bone broth. This collagen-rich broth can be frozen and used to cook anything from rice to chicken soup for future meals! **

You’ll notice that most of the meals above contain an animal-based product, and let me explain why. Since collagen is a protein made only in animals, only animal products contain all the necessary amino acids. However, those following a vegan diet can combine plant-based proteins in order to ensure that each of the three amino acids are consumed. Also, plant products rich in vitamin C, such as green leafy vegetables and citrus, help facilitate the use of the amino acids for collagen production, which is why the animal-centric meals above are paired with one of these.