Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How Much Fat do You Need?

Ok. If you've been keeping up with my posts then you know that there are certain fats needed in order to maintain a healthy active body. But when it comes to designing your nutritional program, how much of this stuff do you really need? Most dieticians and government regulated nutritional organizations suggest that 20 to 30% of your total daily calories should come from “good fat” sources.

To help you, here are a couple of tips on how you can accomplish this:

Try adding 2 tablespoons of extra Virgin olive oil to your meal by roasting your vegetables in it. I love this! Place a peeled sweet potato, beets, carrots and celery (all cut into chunks & wedges) in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and toss with a little salt, pepper and roast on a rimmed baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes (or until vegetables are at your desires tenderness). However, do NOT add oil to a meal if you are already planning to eat a fish like salmon which is already rich in good fats.

If you do not like olive oil or oily fish, keep eating your grilled meats and vegetables but try adding another source of good fats (like nuts) to your menu. In this case, about 2 Tablespoons of chopped almonds or walnuts three times a day with each meal should do the trick.

You can also take an essential fatty acid supplement that contains the omega threes (like fish oil tablets). Follow the suggested dose of capsules recommended by the manufacturer, your dietician or personal physician.

Now that we have revealed the truth that healthy fat loss does NOT mean you need to stop eating fat, look for my next posting where I will suggest the kinds of “thermogenic” foods that you can eat in order to reduce body flab….

And always – Enjoy Living,

John Aaron Villarreal

The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Body, Mind and Food Connection

There's no doubt about it; your body and mind are directly linked. What you think about has a clear effect on your health and vice versa. In fact, there’s a fascinating study that suggests that the mind-body connection is quite powerful.

Publishing their findings in the online journal Health Psychology, researchers at Yale University focused on ghrelin levels in the body to determine how thoughts affect the body's response to food.

Ghrelin is also known as the "hunger" hormone. It sends a signal to your brain that makes you want to eat. If your body's ghrelin levels are high, you'll tend to overeat... even if you are already feeling full. Likewise, low ghrelin levels are associated with feelings of satiety and not needing to eat more. Typically, ghrelin levels increase before meals and decrease after eating.

The researchers recruited volunteers and divided them into two groups:

Group 1 - received a milkshake that they were told was a 620-calorie "indulgent" shake.
Group 2 - received a milkshake that they were told was a 140-calorie "sensible" shake.

In reality, both groups got the same exact shake, which came in at 380 calories.

The result? The test group volunteers convinced they had received the decadent, fattier shake had a notable decline in ghrelin levels. Whereas; the group that believed they consumed the healthier alternative showed a neutral ghrelin response.

“This study shows that mindset can affect feelings of physical satiety. The brain was tricked into either feeling full or feeling unsatisfied. That feeling depended on what people believed they were consuming, rather than what they actually were consuming,” said Alia J. Crum, the study’s lead author.

“What was most interesting,” Crum added, “is that the results were somewhat counterintuitive. Consuming the shake thinking it was ‘indulgent’ was healthier than thinking it was ‘sensible.’ It led to a sharper reduction in ghrelin.”

Pretty amazing, right!?

The mere perception of what you're eating has a direct effect on your body. How's that for "food for thought?"

Now, the downside is that you can’t just drink a 600+ calorie shake and “think” it into being a healthy food choice. You must stop eating poor quality, low nutrient foods in favor of better alternatives. However, for your next meal, try this little experiment for yourself. See if you can get yourself to change the perception of what you're eating...

Imagine the possibilities... indulgent chicken salads... hearty protein shakes... and exquisite veggies.

Well, that's all for today. Keep up those good eating and exercise habits... and make sure to use this neat little Jedi "mind trick" this holiday season.

Oh, and a BIG happy early Thanksgiving to you!

Enjoying life,

John Aaron Villarreal
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And by the way... if you're serious about taking your overall health and fitness to the next level before the New Year, why not take advantage of your FREE Fitness Consultation from my guys over at Muscle Mechanics Training Studio? An $87 value, this consult will give you detailed information on how to get fit and trim in a way that's tailored to YOUR body. There's no obligation and it's totally and completely free. To contact them, click this link.

[1] Crum, Alia J.; Corbin, William R.; Brownell, Kelly D.; Salovey, Peter, “Mind over milkshakes: Mindsets, not just nutrients, determine ghrelin response.” Health Psychology, May 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eat Well: Grilled Chicken Breast with Cucumber and Pepper Relish

This recipe is simple, great tasting and makes enough to serve four. You can even save leftovers for a deliciously healthy lunch the next day Give it a try tonight!

Supplies Needed:
1 cucumber - peeled, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/8 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1. In a medium bowl, prepare the relish by mixing together the cucumber, parsley, chopped onion, bell pepper, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cumin and chili powder with the olive oil. Rub the mixture onto the chicken, and place in a shallow dish. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.

3. Prepare the grill for medium heat.

4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken 8 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. Serve with cucumber relish.

Prep: 15 mins / Cook: 15 mins / Ready: 1 hr 30 mins
Amount Per Serving - Calories: 205 / Total Fat: 9.8g / Cholesterol: 67mg / Sodium: 62mg / Total Carbs: 3.2g / Dietary Fiber: 0.7g / Protein: 25.2g

Recipe from: allrecipes.com