When Should You Choose Organic?

when to go organic

If You Choose Organic, Does That Mean It’s Healthy?

“Organic” always means “healthy,” right? Well, sometimes. Choose organic foods and you’ll avoid a lot of toxic chemicals, which is ideal… but think twice before you rely on the “organic” label just to justify that organic pastry or lollipop for your kids.when to go organic

What separates conventional farming from the organic way?

The National Organic Program, a regulatory program within the USDA has established national standards for organically grown foods. To earn the label of “organic” in the U.S., farmers must adhere to certain standards such as: submit to audits conducted by accredited certifying agents, give animals access to the outdoors, make use of crop rotation, mechanical tillage, hand-weeding and other management methods to control weed growth. They must NOT: treat animals with antibiotics, growth hormones, or feed made from animal byproducts, fertilize with sewage sludge, apply prohibited substances to their land for at least three years prior to harvest.

Simply stated, organic produce is grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. “Organic” does not necessarily mean animals are humanely treated, free to roam pastures or grass-fed. And it is not synonymous with healthy, low-sugar or unprocessed food…but, that’s what marketers want you to believe. You know, so they can charge you more. Confused yet?

Be a smart consumer. Here is the organic label lingo to become aware of:

Organic Labels

Many people get caught up on trick labels like “healthy,” “fresh,” “natural.” It’s easy to get confused. Always check the ingredient list and the nutrition-facts panel to see what’s really in your product. If you can pronounce the ingredients, you won’t need a chemistry degree to decipher the label.

  • “100% organic”: This product must contain 100% organic ingredients.
  • “Organic”: This product must have at least 95% ingredients organically produced.
  • “Made with Organic ingredients”: This product must have at least 70% organic ingredients.

 

Choose Organic with the Dirty Dozen

Each year, the Environmental Working Group identifies the fruits and vegetables that contain the most—and least—chemical pesticides. They call them the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen.” The ”dirty dozen” list is a good place to start going organic.

  1. Strawberries (these are the worst offenders hording the most pesticide residues)
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes
  13. *Hot Peppers

NOTE: A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.

Even though it didn’t officially make the list (because it’s processed), the EWG also included a special report about raisins. EWG says that 99% of nearly 700 raisin samples tested positive for traces of at least two pesticides, and one sample had 26 different pesticides. “If we included raisins in our calculations, they would be number one on the Dirty Dozen,” said Thomas Galligan, Ph.D, a toxicologist for the EWG, in a press release. So, go organic with your raisins!

Clean 15

The Clean 15 list, on the other hand, includes produce that is least likely to be contaminated by pesticides. Almost 70% of these food samples had no pesticide residues whatsoever. You can typically go conventional with these fruits and vegetables.

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Onions
  5. Papayas
  6. Frozen Sweet Peas
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Cantaloupe
  11. Broccoli
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbage
  14. Honeydew
  15. Kiwi

Keep in mind, organic foods can cost up to 50% more than conventional products, so do your research first and choose wisely.

Do Your Research

Is there a trick label that often confuses you? Take a moment to look it up, define it and share it.

But, I know, Google can be equally confusing. Here are a couple more reputable sources to consider for your own research:

 

More on our Salus Nutrition Coaching Blog:

How Much Should I Eat? Portions Explained

portions

How Much Should I Eat? Portions Explained

Not sure how much to eat? Portions can be tricky. The best place to start is by using your hand.

Fit in a good balance of protein, veggies, smart carbs, healthy fats by using your hand(s) as your guide to build your plate for each meal.

Use Your Hand As a Guide

Protein

Females: 1 palm (~ 20-30g of protein)
Males: 2 palms (~ 40-60g of protein)

Carbohydrates

Females: 1 cupped hand (~ 20-30g of carbs)
Males: 2 cupped hands (~ 40-60g of carbs)

Fat

Females: 1 thumb (~ 7-12g of fats)
Males: 2 thumbs ( ~ 15-25g of fat)

Vegetables

Females: 1 fist
Males: 2 fists

Females:

Eating like this for 3-4 meals a day put you around 1,200-1,500 calories each day.
Active women do best with 4-6 servings of each food group per day (~1,500-2,100 kcal).

Males:

Eating like this for 3-4 meals a day would get you around 2,300-3,000 calories every day.
Active men respond best with 6-8 servings of each food group per day (~2,300-3,000 kcal).

⚙️ From there, customize by adjusting the number of portions to meet your unique needs and goals.

For example, you may need MORE food because you…

• Are larger in stature
• Are feeling light headed during your workouts
• Eat less frequently throughout the day
• Are very active
• Are trying to gain muscle
• Aren’t getting muscle-gain results

If that’s the case, add the following:
Men: 1 cupped handful of carbs and/or 1 thumb of fat to a few meals every day.
Women: 1/2 cupped handful of carbs and/or 1/2 thumb of fat to a few meals each day.

You may need need LESS food because you…

• Are smaller in stature
• Feel full after meals
• Eat more frequently throughout the day
• Are not very active
• Are trying to lose weight
• Aren’t getting weight-loss results

If that’s the case, remove the following:
Men: 1 cupped handful of carbs and/or 1 thumb of fat from a few meals each day.
Women: 1/2 cupped handful of carbs and/or 1/2 thumb of fat from a few meals each day.

As always, pay attention to hunger cues, emotions that drive decisions, hormones and stress. Then adjust as needed.

For Kids/Teens

One easy way to size up portions is to use your hand as a guide. Kids have smaller hands than adults, so it serves as a reminder that kids should eat smaller portions, but note: athletes may need more than the average child. The purpose is to teach a point of reference for kids. Think of it as a visual learning tool. Without it, they may not have an understanding of portion sizes and end up under or over eating.

As always, pay attention to hunger cues, energy, activity levels and stress. It’s normal for children to have appetites that vary when they’re growing. Adjust as needed. The point of this challenge it to help kids find a good balance of protein, veggies, smart carbs and healthy fats for optimal energy and to prevent deficiencies.

Staying Hydrated

Staying Hydrated

It’s not unusual for people to start their day drinking coffee (which only further dehydrates our bodies). Next think you know it, they’re busy working, homeschooling and doing a lot of other stuff (besides drinking water). Staying hydrated is a thought in the distance.

Distracted Dehydration

We’re all distracted.

That’s why it’s important to pair the habit of drinking one or two cups of water as soon as you wake up (before your first cup of coffee) and continue drinking plenty of non-caffeinated fluids regularly throughout the day. If you keep a full cup of water right by your bed or in the bathroom, it will be easier to get into the habit of drinking it upon waking.

Staying Hydrated to Help Prevent Dehydration

Dehydration can lead to feeling fatigued, which could explain why you might still feel tired when you wake up! It can directly affect  memory, stress levels, attention to detail, performance, and mood. A medical article published by the Journal Sleep Medicine suggested that being dehydrated while you sleep could decrease cognitive performance.

As you can see, if you don’t hydrate after waking up, it could impact your day.

But, there’s more.

If that distracted dehydration cycle continues, it could cause other medical issues such as:

  • Unclear thinking
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes
  • Muscle cramps
  • Constipation
  • Bad breath
  • Food Cravings
  • Dry Skin
  • Kidney stones

And some studies show that loss of fluid equivalent to 2% of body mass is sufficient enough to cause a detectable decrease in performance.

How Much Water Do We Need?

The Institute of Medicine recommends we drink 13 cups (3 liters) of water daily (men); women women should aim for nine cups (a little more 2 liters).

You can also add electrolytes to your water (ex: pink Himalayan salt or electrolyte mixes like the Salt Stick). Coconut water can also be a healthy way to add hydration and electrolytes into your day.

How Do You Know if You’re Dehydrated?

Check the color of your urine.

If you’re staying hydrated, our urine will be mostly clear  maybe slightly yellow.

If you’re dehydrated, you’ll notice darker yellow or even orange urine. This is a “warning” colors to watch for. If you notice those colors, start drinking fluids STAT.

As you may have heard before: “If you feel thirsty, you’re already beyond dehydrated.”

Remember

Healthy bodies are made up of about 60 percent water. Let’s keep that healthy body balance.

Cheers to H2O!

Frozen Watermelon Pops

frozen watermelon pops

Watermelon is just about the most refreshing thing you could possibly eat in the middle of summer. Especially if it’s frozen!

Pick up a farm-fresh watermelon and dig in!

Place watermelon chunks, coconut water and any other fruit, like raspberries into a blender, and blend on high speed until the fruit is smoothed.

Pour the pureed mixture into ice pop molds, and insert sticks or handles.

Freeze until firm, several hours or overnight.

Adult version: add mint and vodka! Enjoy!

3 Nutrition Tips When You’re Stuck at Home

Under a Stay at Home order, a lot changes in your normal everyday activity. You aren’t doing your two-a-day workouts, maybe your parks are closed so you’re not running around enjoying the weather, or maybe your pick-up basketball games have come to a halt. The point is that we’ve all become a little less active than we’d like if we’re forced to forgo all of our normal activities. 

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself..”
-Leo Tolstoy

If your activity has gone way down in the past few months, you may be experiencing unwanted body composition changes. So let’s tackle the best things you can do if you’ve adopted a mostly sedentary lifestyle with a little too much “Netflix and Chill”.

Here are the top 3 nutrition tips when you’re stuck at home:

  1. Replace processed carbs with veggies.
  2. Eat smaller portions.
  3. Keep a food journal.

 

1.Replace Refined or Processed Carbohydrate Sources With Veggies (Preferably Green)

This is an easy one to start doing today. If you normally have cereal for breakfast, think about how you can swap out these refined carbs for a vegetable. Maybe have an egg omelet with spinach instead? Or a smoothie with a scoop of added greens. For Lunch, try replacing the bread of your sandwich with a salad. For Dinner, maybe some steamed veggies with some protein and healthy fats? The point of this is to replace your normal carb sources with vegetable sources because when you’re sedentary more often, you need to keep your fiber and nutrient content of your diet high. 

You are also burning much less energy, and high energy carbohydrates like rice, bread, and cereal will most likely get stored rather than used during this time. Many folks out there count macros, but understand that different sources of carbohydrates do get stored differently in the body. If you’re counting macros, be especially aware of where you’re getting your carbohydrates from when your activity level decreases.

2. Smaller Portions

If you’re eating the exact same portions you were eating before getting quarantined, chances are you’re consuming a bit too much for your energy needs. In addition to switching out your carbohydrate sources for nutrient dense veggies (that will up your immune system by the way) you’ll most likely need to eat a little less per meal. Here’s what your new quarantine plate should look like on a normal dinner plate: Fill your plate with about 70% veggies, 20% protein, and 10% fat. 

3. Keep A Food Journal

Sometimes when we’re home, we tend to snack unnecessarily. By keeping a food journal of everything you eat, you’ll be way more aware of any extra calories you are consuming throughout the day. One of the biggest benefits of keeping a food journal is that it makes you more mindful and in touch with your hunger cues so you don’t eat based on boredom. Getting in touch with the feelings you have when you are eating is a great way to raise awareness and help you improve decision making.

“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”
-Abraham Maslow

Having trouble keeping your nutrition on track right now? We want to talk to you and help you get a plan in place to feel on track and in control!

Nutrition

Set Real Expectations

So, you’re motivated to make some changes and you’re willing to do anything you possibly can to achieve these goals. I would love nothing more! But, anytime you start a journey to make a lifestyle change, it can be tough. You can expect some bumps along the way which is why it’s important to set real expectations. For the long run.

Hey, I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect… and no one expects us to be. Because they’re not perfect either.

Set Real Expectations in the Face of Challenges

Sustainable change is all about learning how to set real expectations in the face of life’s challenges. If there’s one thing you can expect in life, it’s that things will always come up: parties, birthdays, anniversaries, life-altering events, stress, work, travel, sickness…COVID-19. Challenges will always be there whether we like it or not.

Don’t run from challenges. Anticipate them.

Challenges are part of life and unique opportunities for learning more about ourselves.

Research shows that while our behaviors may seem “spur-of-the-moment,” when it comes to over-eating, for example, the groundwork is laid several hours, days, months…years, in advance by our daily rituals, habits, mindset and automatic thinking. Your actions in the face of a challenge are simply the last link in a long chain of decisions.

The goal of today is all about recognizing your actions in the face of a challenge:

  • What is the root cause of those actions?
  • How can you learn from those events?
  • … and most importantly, How can you move forward?

According to James P. Leahy, author of Bridging the Expectation Gap: The Key to Happiness, unrealistic expectations create an expectation gap which leads to unhappiness and feelings of failure.

If you’re in this for instant gratification, don’t expect your changes to last. On the other hand, if you’re in this to embrace life-long, healthy habits that you can learn from, you can expect some amazing things to happen now, next month and even more the following year at your annual physical. That’s why if you make a mistake, it’s important to be nice to yourself.

Don’t let one mistake derail an entire day or a whole week.

Set Yourself Up For Success with Real Expectations

Expectations have an enormous effect on our outcome, energy, drive.

In fact, multiple studies show that the way we manage our expectations can heavily influence our ability to experience happiness in life, work and even health outcomes.

When life gets crazy and you end up making a mistake, the one thing that you can control is how you RESPOND in that moment. Remember, you are in charge of your own actions, choices and reactions, regardless of any circumstance.

Letting emotions control you is the easy way out. It’s easier to do (or say) things in the heat of the moment… that you may regret down the line.

But, it takes internal strength to pause, breathe, and make a sound decision by staying calm under pressure. And that starts with setting realistic expectations for yourself in the face of a challenge. 

“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Viktor Frankl

Rather than focusing on perfection, anticipate challenges to occur and then pour all of your energy into simply committing to doing your very best every day with the hand you are dealt.

Common Mistakes and Their Fixes

Here are a few common mistakes many people struggle with and their common “fix.”

The Mistake:

You deter from your normal way of eating and indulge in something outside of the norm, feel guilty and then proceed to eat everything in sight.

The Fix:

Remind yourself that slipping up a little is not the same as slipping up a lot. Own up to your choices and move forward.

The Mistake:

Eating portion sizes like a 5 year old during the day and then binging at night.

The Fix:

Of course you feel ravenous. ⁣
Of course you feel hangry.⁣
Of course you feel out of control.⁣

Your body is trying to do everything it can to signal to you that it needs to fuel itself.⁣ Instead, by eating balanced meals full of animal protein, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds throughout the day– you will reap the benefits of feeling satiated, full of energy, sleeping sound & through the night, and saying ‘goodbye’ to feeling ravenous late at night.⁣

The Mistake:

Waiting until 9pm to realize you still have 1,000 mL of water to drink.

The Fix:

Plan. Ahead. Do the math based on how much water you need and spread it out throughout your day. Rubber bands on water bottles, water app, giant jug…whatever set up works best for you, embrace it and just be ok with the fact that you’re going to probably be going to the bathroom a lot more than you were before. Just don’t let it interrupt your sleep by waiting until night to chug a liter.

Set Real World Expectations

For the next few weeks, focus on making deliberate choices that reflect reality.

There is so much outside of our control.

Focus on what you can actually control and let go of the things you can’t. Set real expectations for yourself, expect challenges to be there and use them to grow stronger.

Ask yourself these two questions:

What’s one thing that I can expect to get in the way of achieving my goals?

And what can I do today to help me keep going when I face that specific obstacle?

To learn more about making important improvements to your nutrition and exercise program, give us a shout at info@crossfitsalus.com.

 

9 Tips to Boost Your Immune System

Protect Others And Take Care Of You!

Whether it’s a normal flu season or we’re facing the COVID-19 pandemic, our immune system is constantly being exposed to harmful bacteria, new pathogens, and carcinogens from every direction. Protect yourself by learning how to boost your immune system.

A strong immune system is the first defense against colds, the flu, and other virals and bacterial germs. Since prevention is better than a cure, it pays to work on giving the immune system all the help it can get.

Especially this time.

So, let’s dive into immune health and how to boost your immune system so you can not only stay healthy, but also keep working towards your goals!

WHAT IS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?

Immune means to be protected. So, a system in the body that helps fight off sickness is called the immune system (protective system).

Our immune system is essential for our survival and is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body.

The immune system is spread throughout the body and involves many types of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues. When our immune system is working properly, we don’t even notice it. This network of cells, organs, and tissues is always on the lookout for invaders, and when an outside invader is spotted, a complex attack is mounted.Without an immune system, our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. It is our immune system that keeps us healthy as we interact with the world and germs around us.

But when we have an under or overactive immune system, we are at a greater risk of developing infections, getting sick, and other health conditions.

Kids and aging adults are two main groups of people that need to be even more mindful of boosting their immune system as they are more likely to get sick, but right now it should be a focus for all of us.

One thing is constant for all groups of people, no one likes to get sick and that’s why we got you covered. These 9 tips can help you boost your immune system on a daily level and improve your health.

9 Tips to Boost Your Immune System

1) MAINTAIN A HEALTHY NUTRITION PLAN – CONSISTENTLY

Boost Your Immune System

Eating Clean – To maintain a healthy immune system, it needs plenty of micronutrients and essential nutrients to operate effectively.

Therefore, loading up on vitamin and mineral-rich foods is one of the best things you can do for your immune system!

Fruits, vegetables and other plants contain naturally-occurring substances known as phytochemicals and flavonoids. They are what give fruits and vegetables their color and flavor. Phytochemicals are essential to your immune health and protect your body from damage.

But just eating fruits and veggies won’t be enough. You can’t forget about protein because it is a building block for a healthy body and immune system.

You also need to make sure you are simply eating enough to prevent malnutrition. Malnutrition results when the body does not receive enough calories and/or nutrients to promote good health and sustain healthy functioning of your body’s systems.

And let’s face it, many people cut calories or try to “diet” to prevent weight gain because they know they will be less active than normal and they want to look good for summer. While you can certainly keep working to lose weight right now, you just don’t want to drastically reduce calories and food.

2) IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR SLEEP

Boost Your Immune System

Yes, getting more sleep helps… but what really matters is getting good, deep sleep.
By getting into deep REM sleep you allow your body to shut down, de-stress, and produce the proper hormones it needs. If your stress level, cortisol, is elevated for prolonged periods of time, it will suppress your immune function.

A few common and effective ways to improve sleep quality is to avoid the use of electronics like the TV, computer or phone before bed.

Refrain from drinking caffeine and pre-workouts too late into the evening. You can use a supplement like melatonin and magnesium, or other natural ingredients to help your mind and body unwind from the stressful day. Even taking a relaxing shower or bath is another option!

3) AVOID TOBACCO

Pretty straight forward. Smoking undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia.

Cut out smoking and you will instantly increase your immune health.

4) DRINK LESS ALCOHOL

Excessive consumption of alcohol impairs the immune system and increases your chances of getting sick.

I get it, right now a good drink sounds good… but sitting at home drinking because you’re bored, stressed, (or just because) won’t help your immune system.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t drink at all, or need to cut out all alcohol, but we are saying that the more you drink, the harder it is on your immune system.

5) IMPROVE YOUR GUT HEALTH

 

Having a healthy gut, with the right balance of healthy bacteria, and a healthy digestive tract is the most crucial aspect to staying healthy.

A little fun fact that many people don’t know is that the majority of your immune system lives in your gut. Your gut wall houses 70- 80% of the cells that make up your immune system.

Therefore, to increase your immune health, as well as detoxify and nourish your body … your gut must be healthy. Getting your gut bacteria healthy is one of the most important things you can do to boost your immune system and stay healthy.

Probiotics are good bacteria that help you digest nutrients that boost the detoxification of your colon and support your immune system.

Consuming enough vegetables on a daily basis is also extremely important to keep your immune system working at its best. Eating a variety of vegetables gives your body the phytonutrients and antioxidants that help fight off free-radicals, and give your immune system an extra boost!

When your digestive tract is operating effectively with the proper balance of good bacteria, your immune system works at its best, and you will be able to better utilize the vitamins and minerals from your food and supplements.

6) INCREASE YOUR VITAMIN C

Boost Your Immune System

Vitamin C deficiencies are a lot more common than you would think. One major reason is that much of the Vitamin C you get from the foods you eat is not absorbed by the body.

Another reason is because Vitamin C is one of the first vitamins to be depleted in drinkers, smokers, athletes partaking in long, strenuous events, and overweight individuals.

The consequences of being low in Vitamin C are known and documented to bring about a host of unfavorable consequences, including a suppressed immune system, and increased vulnerability to infection.

By addressing this nutritional deficiency, you can boost your immune system.

7) BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

 

Activity improves your immune system and your body’s ability to respond to attacks. At a baseline, you want to shoot for at least 30 minutes of activity a day to reap the benefits for your immune health.

This activity can be whatever you enjoy.

Just make sure that you have at least a moderate level of intensity. Slowly dragging along on the treadmill, putting forth little to no effort does work the same way.

8) SOAK UP SUNSHINE

This time of year it can be harder and harder to soak up the beneficial sun rays! Especially if we are going to have to spend more time at home and indoors.

Sunlight is one of the major contributors to the production of Vitamin D in our body.
Vitamin D is essential for healthy functioning of the immune system, as it helps the body to produce antibodies. Low levels of Vitamin D can also be a major reason for respiratory problems, and low energy levels.

Do you ever notice you seem to have less energy in the winter?

Boost Your Immune System

Because we are spending more time inside, and when we go outside we have less skin exposed to sunlight due to long sleeves and pants … Vitamin D production will go down.

Therefore, making a conscious effort to get outside and soak up some sunshine for 10-15 minutes a day, and proper supplementation of Vitamin D can help keep your immune system strong!

9) REDUCE STRESS

Control stress before it controls you – Living with high levels of stress can lower your immune system and make yourself sick. Stress of any kind—emotional, physical, or psychological—quickly damages the immune system.

Even negative emotions like worry and anger can lower your immune system.Therefore, one good way to boost your immune system, as well as to improve the general quality of your life, is to eliminate these negative thoughts and emotions.

FINAL ADVICE FOR INCREASING IMMUNE HEALTH

Right now, a lot of people are looking to boost their immune health … strengthen their immune system… and simply stay healthy. I know I am as it’s the responsible thing to do for yourself as well as for everyone else around you.

The good news is that we can work to strengthen your immune system in two ways.

One way to keep your immune system strong and healthy is to avoid behaviors that might weaken your immune system like smoking and excessive amounts of drinking.

The other way is to take daily actions to improve and support a healthy immune system. Actions such as fueling your body with essential nutrients every day, improving sleep quality, staying active, and managing stress better!

Simply put… start implementing these 9 easy ways to take care of your immune system and it will take care of you.

References:

Phytochemical – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

Immune Dysfunction as a Cause and Consequence of … – NCBI

What Are Macros?

What are macros? Macros are short for macronutrients. Macronutrients include protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These are three nutrients your body needs to produce, and store, energy to survive, function… and exercise! Each one has a different role in our bodies.

But, with all the conflicting information on what you should and shouldn’t be eating, it can be difficult to navigate.

 

We’ve dished up an overview of macros and why you need to find a balance.

A Quick Overview of Macronutrients aka Macros

There are three essential macronutrients every human needs: carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Each macronutrient contains energy, measured in calories:

  • Carbohydrate: 4 calories per gram
  • Protein: 4 calories per gram
  • Fat: 9 calories per gram

Over the years, they’ve all fallen victim to fad diets. Fat, in particular, was shunned for many years. And now, it seems carb has become the new four-letter word. But, they are all critical components for exercise, recovery and to function in everyday life.

Macro: Carbohydrate

Carbs tend to cause a lot of controversy, confusing a lot of people. They just don’t know why they need them or the best places to find them.

Carbohydrates fuel the body. Our brain, muscles and body’s cells all need carbs to function. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar (glucose) in our body which is either used for immediate energy or stored for later use.

Research has shown that high-fat, very low-carb diets can elevate levels of cortisol which in turn can increase catabolism and harm protein synthesis…in other words, you’re kind of eating away at your muscles and not making more (which is obv. bad for performance).

Carbs can be simple or complex.

Simple Carbs

Simple carbs are broken down (digested) quickly by the body and typically spike (and then dump) blood sugar levels. This would be what you might refer to as the notorious sugar high children experience after eating candy.

Examples found naturally in foods include:

  • fruit
  • honey
  • milk
  • white rice

Simple carbs are commonly found in processed foods such as:

  • table sugar & candy
  • sauces & dressings
  • pasta
  • bread & baked goods
  • cereal & crackers
  • juice & soda

Complex Carbs

Complex carbs are slower to digest (helping us control blood sugar and provide a sustainable source of energy), higher in fiber (helping us maintain a healthy GI tract and control appetite), and have vitamins and minerals (making them a nutrient dense choice).

Some nutrient-dense choices of complex carbs include:

  • vegetables
  • legumes
  • brown & wild rice
  • ancient grains
  • quinoa
  • oats

What About Fruit?

Keep in mind that simple carbs (in their natural state) aren’t always the bad guy. Fresh fruit, such as watermelon and berries, are considered simple carbs. The optimal time to enjoy these foods is pre-, intra- and post workout.

Macro: Protein

Protein seems to take the stage as the dietary superstary. If you are active, want to maintain muscle and lean up, protein is a must. Why? Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks for must stuff in our body. It is involved in repair and rebuilding of tissues, hormones and our immune system.

It’s so important to include in your diet that if we don’t get enough protein, our body will start to take it from our muscles. We need protein to survive and thrive.

You can get protein from sources such as:

  • eggs
  • chicken
  • turkey
  • fish
  • beef
  • dairy
  • protein powder (useful for those who want fast-digesting proteins or need a quick replenishment)

How Much Protein Do You Need?

For sedentary adults who are otherwise healthy, 0.8g of protein per kg of body mass is generally enough to cover basic daily requirements.

Protein needs increase if:

  • You are training frequently or have a physically demanding job
  • You are injured, sick or recovering from surgery
  • You are losing protein for any other reason (poor digestion, stress)
  • You are trying to lose weight and in a negative energy balance

Generally, most individuals do not need more than 2.2g of protein per kg of body mass per day.

Macro: Healthy Fat

Repeat after me: Fat from food does not equal body fat.

That horrible fat restriction provided only to be a disaster. So many products that ditched the fat, only replaced it with sugar and starch (hello nasty low-fat Snackwell cookies). All those “fat-free” salad dressing, baked good and margarine ironically didn’t get us any healthier. Or fitter. It only made things worse.

Fat is an essential macronutrient that protects our organs and allows hormones to function properly. It also helps to preserve our bones and aid in immune and nerve cell function. Because fat takes a long time to break down and transport, it enters the blood several hours after we’ve eaten it.

A little fat makes everything better: flavor, nutritional value, satiety.

Health fats include:

  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • avocado and avocado oil
  • nuts & seeds
  • fish (like salmon)

Fat to Stay Away From

Trans fat, often disguised as partially hydrogenated oils, comes from industrial fat processing to give the product a longer shelf life. Good for commercialized food production. Bad for our bodies.

Finding Balance with Your Macros

It is important to include each macronutrient in your daily diet. Finding the exact balance can be tricky – everybody has unique needs. But a good rule of thumb is to use your hand as your guide.

Here’s how:

  • Portion out a serving of protein equivalent to your palm (men use two palms).
  • Portion out a serving of carbs about the size of your cupped hand (men, use two hands).
  • Portion out a serving of fat the size of your thumb (men use two thumbs).
  • Portion out a serving of vegetables equivalent to your fist (men, use two fists). Dark leafy greens…go nuts!

Read More: Do I Need to Count Macros?

Read More: Macronutrients for Energy Balance

Want More?

Contact Coach Angela or Coach Camilla at foundationnutrition@crossfitsalus.com to find out more about macronutrients and finding the right balance for you.

What Are Macros? | Foundation Nutrition Coaching

What Are Macros?

What are macros? Macros are short for macronutrients. Macronutrients include protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These are three nutrients your body needs to produce, and store, energy to survive, function… and exercise! Each one has a different role in our bodies.

But, with all the conflicting information on what you should and shouldn’t be eating, it can be difficult to navigate.

what are macros

We’ve dished up an overview of macros and why you need to find a balance.

A Quick Overview of Macronutrients aka Macros

There are three essential macronutrients every human needs: carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Each macronutrient contains energy, measured in calories:

  • Carbohydrate: 4 calories per gram
  • Protein: 4 calories per gram
  • Fat: 9 calories per gram

Over the years, they’ve all fallen victim to fad diets. Fat, in particular, was shunned for many years. And now, it seems carb has become the new four-letter word. But, they are all critical components for exercise, recovery and to function in everyday life.

Macro: Carbohydrate

Carbs tend to cause a lot of controversy, confusing a lot of people. They just don’t know why they need them or the best places to find them.

Carbohydrates fuel the body. Our brain, muscles and body’s cells all need carbs to function. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar (glucose) in our body which is either used for immediate energy or stored for later use.

Research has shown that high-fat, very low-carb diets can elevate levels of cortisol which in turn can increase catabolism and harm protein synthesis…in other words, you’re kind of eating away at your muscles and not making more (which is obv. bad for performance).

Carbs can be simple or complex.

Simple Carbs

Simple carbs are broken down (digested) quickly by the body and typically spike (and then dump) blood sugar levels. This would be what you might refer to as the notorious sugar high children experience after eating candy.

Examples found naturally in foods include:

  • fruit
  • honey
  • milk
  • white rice

Simple carbs are commonly found in processed foods such as:

  • table sugar & candy
  • sauces & dressings
  • pasta
  • bread & baked goods
  • cereal & crackers
  • juice & soda

Complex Carbs

Complex carbs are slower to digest (helping us control blood sugar and provide a sustainable source of energy), higher in fiber (helping us maintain a healthy GI tract and control appetite), and have vitamins and minerals (making them a nutrient dense choice).

Some nutrient-dense choices of complex carbs include:

  • vegetables
  • legumes
  • brown & wild rice
  • ancient grains
  • quinoa
  • oats

What About Fruit?

Keep in mind that simple carbs (in their natural state) aren’t always the bad guy. Fresh fruit, such as watermelon and berries, are considered simple carbs. The optimal time to enjoy these foods is pre-, intra- and post workout.

Macro: Protein

Protein seems to take the stage as the dietary superstary. If you are active, want to maintain muscle and lean up, protein is a must. Why? Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks for must stuff in our body. It is involved in repair and rebuilding of tissues, hormones and our immune system.

It’s so important to include in your diet that if we don’t get enough protein, our body will start to take it from our muscles. We need protein to survive and thrive.

You can get protein from sources such as:

  • eggs
  • chicken
  • turkey
  • fish
  • beef
  • dairy
  • protein powder (useful for those who want fast-digesting proteins or need a quick replenishment)

How Much Protein Do You Need?

For sedentary adults who are otherwise healthy, 0.8g of protein per kg of body mass is generally enough to cover basic daily requirements.

Protein needs increase if:

  • You are training frequently or have a physically demanding job
  • You are injured, sick or recovering from surgery
  • You are losing protein for any other reason (poor digestion, stress)
  • You are trying to lose weight and in a negative energy balance

Generally, most individuals do not need more than 2.2g of protein per kg of body mass per day.

Macro: Healthy Fat

Repeat after me: Fat from food does not equal body fat.

That horrible fat restriction provided only to be a disaster. So many products that ditched the fat, only replaced it with sugar and starch (hello nasty low-fat Snackwell cookies). All those “fat-free” salad dressing, baked good and margarine ironically didn’t get us any healthier. Or fitter. It only made things worse.

Fat is an essential macronutrient that protects our organs and allows hormones to function properly. It also helps to preserve our bones and aid in immune and nerve cell function. Because fat takes a long time to break down and transport, it enters the blood several hours after we’ve eaten it.

A little fat makes everything better: flavor, nutritional value, satiety.

Health fats include:

  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • avocado and avocado oil
  • nuts & seeds
  • fish (like salmon)

Fat to Stay Away From

Trans fat, often disguised as partially hydrogenated oils, comes from industrial fat processing to give the product a longer shelf life. Good for commercialized food production. Bad for our bodies.

Finding Balance with Your Macros

It is important to include each macronutrient in your daily diet. Finding the exact balance can be tricky – everybody has unique needs. But a good rule of thumb is to use your hand as your guide.

Here’s how:

  • Portion out a serving of protein equivalent to your palm (men use two palms).
  • Portion out a serving of carbs about the size of your cupped hand (men, use two hands).
  • Portion out a serving of fat the size of your thumb (men use two thumbs).
  • Portion out a serving of vegetables equivalent to your fist (men, use two fists). Dark leafy greens…go nuts!

Read More: Do I Need to Count Macros?

Read More: Macronutrients for Energy Balance

Want More?

Contact Coach Angela or Coach Camilla at foundationnutrition@crossfitsalus.com to find out more about macronutrients and finding the right balance for you.

Congratulations 2020 RESET Nutrition Challenge Participants!

It’s official! The 2020 RESET 6-week partner Lifestyle and Nutrition Challenge is over!

RESET Congratulations Nutrition Challenge 2020

We are so proud of all the hard work everyone put in, and a huge shout-out to our top 3 teams who averaged the most points.

  • 1st Place: Team Kat & Marion
  • 2nd Place: Team Shawn & Brian
  • 3rd Place: Team Kelli & Nicole

The gym is only 1 hour of your day… then you have 23 hours every day full of decisions about how to treat your body and your mind. How you fuel your body, how you recover, sleep, de-stress…it all so important to any goal you want to achieve, whether it be weight loss, muscle gain or overall health markers.⠀

No fad diets here. Our nutrition challenge focuses on education and building lasting habits you can sustain for life!

Thank you again to our sponsors for the amazing prizes!? Vitargo, Pinot’s Palette, Freshii, Summa Love Surf, YOLKED and Wahoos!

Congratulations to everyone who stuck with the challenge – 6 weeks is no joke, but this is just the beginning, right?!

Reach out to Coach Camilla or Coach Angela to find out more about continuing your journey!!

By the way, we simply love these testimonies by our RESET Nutrition Challenge Team Winners!

“6 weeks ago, I felt over my head with this whole eating thing. Many labels later, experimenting with some great (and not so great recipes), and a lot of time in the grocery store, I began to “get it”. As I continued to build on that along with the other pieces (of the challenge), I began to not have the midday crash and my running pace improved.
I’m excited to keep this challenge going in some ways and turn it more into a lifestyle. Thanks Foundation Nutrition Coaching for helping me push myself!” ~Kat

“One thing this challenge really taught me is that healthy HABITS are balanced, long-term, and not absolute. One bad day doesn’t need to turn into one bad week, one bad month, etc. (something I am notoriously guilty of). I loved that each morning was a clean slate. Bring on the next challenge: keeping these habits up without the daily leaderboard motivator!” ~Marion