Friday, June 29, 2012

The Healthy Way to a Birthday!

No artificial sweeteners, no ridiculous amounts of table sugar, no upset stomach after eating the entire gift... A Fruit Gift Basket!  What a great gift to give someone (not to mention inexpensive when you go about it the right way).  Weight loss, fitness, and health are on the front of many people's minds today.  When birthdays and holidays come around, many feel the guilt trip when they receive an endless supply of strawberry infused vanilla cake or a box of Hersey's Deluxe Chocolates.  Substituting cakes and presents with fruit may be the right way to go with someone watching their weight, or trying to be healthy.  Here is a checklist on how to go about making someone's Birthday a healthy one.

Looking for a Present? A Fruit Basket is Beautiful!
Not only is a fruit basket healthy, but when set up properly can show love, care, and thoughtfulness.  Below is a photograph of part the fruit basket I gave my father for his Birthday.  It may look expensive but shop around town.  You may be surprised by some of the prices.  I shopped for this basket at a place called Middletown Farms, all fresh produce and inexpensive.
Fruit Gift Basket by MCT Triathlon - The Healthy Alternative to a Birthday Present
Homemade Fruit Basket - Great for Any Occasion
  • 2 Bosc Pears @ $0.79lb
  • 3 Peaches @ $0.99lb
  • 2 Cameo Apples @ $0.79lb
  • 3 Kiwi's @ $0.20 each
  • 1 Cantalope @ $1.00 each
  • 1 Pineapple @ $2.00 each
  • 3 Plums @ $0.79lb
  • 1 Mango @ $0.40 each
  • 1 Banana @ $0.40lb
 The Entire Bill : $8.18
What a great gift!

Fruitday Cake 
What about the birthday cake with all the high amounts of sugar?  You may want to settle on a smaller sugar cake and substitute in for a Fruitday Cake!  A great way to do this is by buying a fruit sampler from a local grocery store.  (I use Shoprite.  Tip:  Find out when the "manager's special" is.  Stores usually mark down their fruit samplers 50% off for quick sale.  The Shoprite near me usually marks down at 9am).  Now there are several alternatives you can choose at this point.

Fruitday Birthday Cake by MCT Triathlon - The Healthy Alternative to Birthday Cake
Fruitday Cake
  • Stick a candle in the fruit plate and Sing Happy Birthday! (Healthiest Option)
  • Remove the fruit and wash the plate.  Place a homemade crust on the bottom (Cheerios and Granola with a little bit of Natural Peanut Butter is a good option.)
  • Place a Graham Cracker Crust under the Fruit - Hey, it's your Birthday, you have to indulge a Little!
 The Entire Bill : $6.47
What a great cake!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The "Mainstream" Disagreement - Dr. Oz's Eggs - Nutritional Series

Recently Dr. Oz had an article in the June edition of  People's magazine on 15 things you should carry in your kitchen.  There were a few things that carried with them a certain "myth-busting" feeling.  For years, many of these foods have been seen as harmful to the human body and should be avoided at all costs.  It's incredible how slowly the mainstream view on diet changes and what really should be and not be included in our diets.  The following is an explanation of certain disagreements between Dr. Oz and mainstream thinking.

Vitamin Supplements
This debate goes back and forth on the truth about vitamin absorption rates in multivitamins and supplements.  Dr. Oz suggests a multivitamin and calcium be included in our diet, not as a substitute, but just as a way to make sure everything is there.  If you're worried about the mainstream thought that vitamins are a waste of money because the majority never gets absorbed into your bloodstream, try a liquid multivitamin like ReViva.  (I always like buying in Bulk from Sam's Club, saves me some money.)

Skim milk may not be the best choice, go with 1-2%!
1-2% Milk is Great
What's suggested?  Give it a guess!  Whole milk? 2%? 1%? Skim?  Dr. Oz gives the go ahead to buy 2% milk (Organic).  But mainstream always suggests Skim to be healthiest, like blogs and articles like Skinny Chef tell us!  The human body works more efficiently when it has all the vitamins, minerals, structural macro-nutrients (protein and fat), and energy macro-nutrients (carbs) working together at once.  It is said by some experts that calcium is more readily absorbed in the body in higher fat milk than skim and that the higher saturated fat content isn't as bad for you as once thought.  Take your milk experience to the next level and look for Raw Milk (from grass fed cows) which includes higher packed and easily digestible nutrients.

On a side note: Milk is a great after workout recovery snack.  Take a glass and choose a workout from the Fitness Workout Database!

Eggs are Healthy and Great, Eat em' up!
Do Not Avoid Eggs!
Say it!  Go for it!  "Cholesterol in eggs is bad for you."  Well, Dr. Oz says you should keep Eggs (organic/free range) in your kitchen.  "Yes, even the yolk."  Unfortunately, studies from decades ago still rule mainstream thought that eggs lead to heart disease and other "wonderful" illnesses.  Eggs should be viewed as the start of life and therefore bursting with the building blocks for the human body.  Eat plentiful every morning, crack a few open for lunch, and maybe even throw in one with your steak for dinner.  (As an Elite athlete, I eat 4 eggs every morning. 2-3 a day is perfectly safe and healthy.)  While Free Range eggs cost a little more, they tend to be 10-20 times more nutrient packed than regular eggs.  A suggestion for the financial minded: Buy 2 packs, one regular pack, one organic pack, and use 1 of each for breakfast.  Another suggestion:  Use an Egg Slicer on Hardboiled eggs for convenient eating, and wonderful salad presentations.

Well there you have it, myths twisted in a knot.  Take your vitamins, eat your eggs, and drink your milk and you will grow to be strong and healthy!

Workout of the Week
The Brick of Death by Sue Rodgers in MCT Triathlon's Workout Website Wiki

Read Another Article on The Gawors!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MCT Triathlon's Health and Wellness Summer Reading Series

The Health and Wellness 
Summer Reading Series!

It has begun!  The MCT Triathlon Summer Reading Series.  Tune in every Wednesday for a new Article chock full of Podcasts, Videos, and Tips on Health and Wellness and Athletic Performance.  These articles will not only be written for those "crazy" triathletes, but for athletes of all kinds, even if you are just looking to shed a few pounds.  So tune in for motivational ideas, awesome food recipes, and time saving tips. 

The Nutritional Series
This series will take you through, YOU GUESSED IT, Nutrition!  Find yourself knee deep in healthy, nutritious, and tasty recipes.  This series will give you insight into how your body digests and uses nutrients and what could be missing from even the healthiest diets!   
  • June 27th, 2012 - The "Mainstream" Disagreement - Dr. Oz's Eggs
  • July 11th, 2012 - Lifestyle Shifts - Baby Steps

Saving Time& Money Series
This series will sew the hole back up in your pocket and save you the stress of getting that last strength training workout in before bed.  Find out which way is the most efficient way to train.  Find the secret to buying 3 pairs of Asics GEL-DS Trainer Shoes for only $150 And how to find the cheapest and most nutritional foods.
  • July 4th, 2012 - Strength Workouts while Traveling
  • August 15th, 2012 -  Shopping for Vitamins, Drinks, and Shoes
Endurance Performance Training
Find out how to perform at your best each time you race.  You will realize that a schedule is a very important aspect of training and should be taken seriously.  How should you balance peak training with excitement levels?  How can you use caffeine as a training resource?  What are the rules and regulations for USAT and the ITU?
  • July 25th, 2012 - Effects of Caffeine in Training and Racing
  • August 22nd, 2012 - Schedules and Plans - How to make it Customized!

Recovery Series
With training comes an even more important aspect, recovery, and the ability to recover quickly.  Recovery allows an athlete to train harder, but recovery involves an athlete to train smarter.  Find out the easiest steps to recovery and how each one works the body.
  • July 18th, 2012 - The Benefits of Stretching 
    • + The 15 Minute Head to Toe Routine
  • August 8th, 2012 - Lessons from the Chorus Geek
    • + 15 Minutes to Increasing Lung Capacity
Form Training Series
Analyzing the Swim, T1, and all the way to run, find out how to save seconds and even minutes by working on your form.  What drills can be done?  What tips will push you to peak performance?  How can you pull yourself out of a training slump quickly and safely?
  • August 1st, 2012 - Running Form, Why we do Drills (Part 1 of 2)
  • August 29th, 2012 - Running Form, Why we do Drills (Part 2 of 2)