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The Importance of Nutrition for Athletes: How to Optimize Your Diet for Success in Competition

You may think that all athletes eat is protein shakes and chicken breasts, but that's not the case. In order to perform their best, athletes need to pay close attention to their nutrition. In this blog post, we will discuss the role of nutrition in competition, how athletes can optimize their diets for success, and the most common nutrients that athletes need. We'll also take a look at some tips for eating like an athlete. So whether you're an athlete or just interested in learning more about sports nutrition, this blog post is for you!

1. The role of nutrition in competition

Athletes need to be aware of what they are eating and how it will affect their performance. The right foods can help athletes stay energized and focused, while the wrong foods can lead to fatigue and an unfocused mind. In order to optimize their diets for success, athletes need to understand the role of nutrition in competition.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to sports nutrition. First, athletes need to consume enough calories to support their training. This means eating enough of the right foods to fuel their bodies. Second, athletes need to make sure they're getting enough of the right nutrients. This includes vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Timing is everything when it comes to sports nutrition. What an athlete eats before, during, and after competition can impact their performance. That's why many athletes focus on eating the right foods at the right times.

2. How athletes can optimize their diets for success

Athletes need to consume the right mix of nutrients in order to perform their best. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. By following these guidelines, athletes can optimize their diets for success.

3. The most common nutrients that athletes need

There are a few key nutrients that are essential for athletes. These include protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Protein is important for muscle growth and repair, while carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy. Fats are also necessary for proper hormone production and cell function. By ensuring that they are getting enough of these key nutrients, athletes can stay healthy and perform their best.

4. Tips for eating like an athlete

If you want to eat like an athlete, there are a few things you can do. First, meal prep is key. This means taking the time to cook healthy meals ahead of time so that you always have something nutritious to eat. Second, focus on consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods will give you the energy you need to perform your best. Finally, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. By following these tips, you can eat like an athlete and perform your best.

Nutrition is essential for athletes in order to perform their best. By understanding the role of nutrition in competition and how to optimize their diets, athletes can improve their chances of success. The most common nutrients that athletes need include protein, carbohydrates, and fats. By focusing on these key nutrients and meal prepping ahead of time, athletes can ensure that they are eating like an athlete and performing their best.  Meal prep is key for athletes. By taking the time to cook healthy meals ahead of time, athletes can make sure they always have something nutritious to eat. This will help them perform their best in competition.

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Anti-Inflammatory Foods: What to Eat for Reduced Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Foods: What to Eat for Reduced Inflammation Article

Do you suffer from inflammation? If so, you're not alone. Millions of people around the world deal with inflammation on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are plenty of anti-inflammatory foods that can help reduce inflammation and improve your overall health. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best anti-inflammatory foods to eat, some foods to avoid and provide tips for incorporating them into your diet.

What are anti-inflammatory foods?

Anti-inflammatory foods are those that help to reduce or prevent inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a natural process that occurs when the body's immune system responds to infection or injury. However, chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of health problems, such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Eating anti-inflammatory foods is one of the best ways to reduce chronic inflammation and improve your overall health.

What are some benefits of eating anti-inflammatory foods?

Eating anti-inflammatory foods has a variety of benefits.

including:

-Reduced risk of chronic diseases

-Improved joint health

-Reduced inflammation throughout the body

-Improved gut health

So, what are some of the best anti-inflammatory foods?

Here are a few to get you started:

-Olive oil: Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats that can help reduce inflammation.

-Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients like omega-three fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation.

-Fish: Fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, are high in omega-three fatty acids and other anti-inflammatory nutrients.

-Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that can help reduce inflammation.

What are some foods to avoid when reducing inflammation?

While there are plenty of anti-inflammatory foods that can help reduce inflammation, there are also certain foods that can contribute to inflammation.

These include:

-Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates like white bread and pastries can cause blood sugar spikes, which can lead to inflammation.

-Sugar: Sugar is a major contributor to inflammation. Consuming too much sugar can cause your body to release inflammatory chemicals.

-Dairy: Dairy products can cause inflammation in some people, particularly those who are lactose intolerant.

-Red meat: Red meat is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can contribute to inflammation.

Tips for incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet

If you're looking to reduce inflammation, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're getting plenty of anti-inflammatory foods in your diet.

Here are a few tips:

-Make sure to include a variety of anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. As we mentioned, there are many different types of anti-inflammatory foods, so you'll want to make sure you're eating a variety.

-Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into every meal. Start your day with a healthy breakfast that includes eggs and avocado, enjoy a salmon salad for lunch, and finish the day with a grilled chicken dinner.

-Snack on anti-inflammatory foods throughout the day. If you're looking for a healthy snack, reach for nuts, seeds, or fruits and vegetables instead of processed snacks.

Following tips in mind, you can easily incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet and start enjoying the many benefits they have to offer. If you have any questions about anti-inflammatory foods or how to incorporate them into your diet, be sure to speak with a Registered Dietitian. They can help you create a healthy and balanced diet that meets your individual needs.

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Pros and Cons of a Low Sodium Diet: What You Need to Know

Low Sodium Diet Article

If you are looking to improve your health, then you may have considered a low sodium diet. A low sodium diet can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. However, it is important to understand the pros and cons of this type of diet before making a decision. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a low sodium diet so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it is right for you!

Low Sodium Diet Article

What is a Low Sodium Diet? 

A low sodium diet is defined as a dietary pattern that includes no more than 2000 mg of sodium per day. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming no more than 1500 mg of sodium per day for optimal heart health.  The average American consumes about 3400 mg of sodium per day, that’s over a teaspoon of table salt every day.  A low sodium diet can help to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and improve kidney function.

Pros and Cons of a Low Sodium Diet

PRO: Lowers Blood Pressure

One of the biggest benefits of a low sodium diet is that it can help to lower blood pressure. For people with hypertension, this can be a lifesaving change. Even for people who don’t have high blood pressure, reducing sodium intake can have a positive impact on heart health.

CON: Limited Food Choices

One of the drawbacks of a low sodium diet is that it can be limiting in terms of food choices. Many processed and packaged foods are high in sodium, so avoiding them can be difficult. This can make eating out or traveling challenging.

PRO: Improves Heart Health

As mentioned above, a low sodium diet can improve heart health. This is because reducing sodium intake can help to reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.

CON: Requires Planning and Preparation

Another downside of a low sodium diet is that it requires planning and preparation. This can be time-consuming and may not be realistic for everyone.

PRO: Reduces Risk of Stroke

A low sodium diet can also reduce the risk of stroke. This is because high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke. By reducing sodium intake, you can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of having a stroke.

CON: May Cause Dehydration

One of the potential side effects of a low sodium diet is dehydration. This is because sodium helps to regulate fluid levels in the body. When you reduce sodium intake, you may need to drink more water to stay hydrated.

PRO: Supports Weight Loss

For people who are trying to lose weight, a low sodium diet can be beneficial. This is because high sodium foods tend to be high in calories. By avoiding these foods, you can help to reduce calorie intake and support weight loss.

CON: May Cause Muscle Cramps

Another potential downside of a low sodium diet is that it may cause muscle cramps. This is because sodium helps to regulate muscle function. When you reduce sodium intake, you may experience cramping, particularly during exercise.

Con: Food will not taste the same

Salt is used as a universal flavor improver because at low concentrations it will reduce bitterness, but increase sweet, sour and umami, which is desirable for sweet recipes. At higher concentrations it suppresses sweetness and enhances umami, which is good for savory things.

Pro:  Food will have a more natural flavor

When you eat a diet low in salt, eventually your sensitivity to salt and other tastes gets stronger. As you eventually get accustomed to a diet that stimulates your salt-receptive taste buds less, you can enjoy more flavors in natural foods. This stronger taste ability isn't just limited to the taste sensation of salt.

Foods High in Sodium and how to avoid them. 

First, avoid processed foods as much as possible. Processed foods are often high in sodium due to added preservatives and flavorings. Second, cook at home using fresh ingredients whenever possible. This will help you to control the amount of sodium in your diet. Finally, be sure to check food labels carefully. Some foods that are marketed as "healthy" may actually be high in sodium.

  • Smoked, cured, salted or canned meat, fish or poultry including bacon, cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar and anchovies.
  • Frozen breaded meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza.
  • Canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam and chili.
  • Salted nuts.
  • Beans canned with salt added.

Overall, there are both benefits and drawbacks to a low sodium diet. It is important to weigh these factors carefully before making a decision about whether or not this type of diet is rightfor you. If you have any health concerns, it is always best to speak with a doctor before making any changes to your diet.  If you need a low sodium in any of your meals just let us know in the notes of your order

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The Keto Flu: 4 tips for easing into a low carb diet

We all know that a low carb diet can be great for weight loss. But how do you ease into it? The keto flu is often the culprit, and it’s just one of many side effects of going keto. In this article, we’ll go over how to ease into a low carb diet, as well as tips for dealing with the keto flu if you experience it.

What is the Keto Flu and what are symptoms?

The keto flu is just the name for an adaptation to change in eating habits caused by changes in diet. Symptoms of the keto flu include nausea and migraines, but although uncomfortable are temporary.

The keto flu, which can happen in one of two ways, is marked by headaches and nausea for a few days after going on a low carb diet, even if the person isn’t experiencing any other symptoms. This is known as the keto flu due to its similarity to influenza: “flu”.

It isn't usually serious  The keto flu will not last forever and it does not present any serious danger to your health. It's just a result of an adjustment period when your body adjusts to a new diet. The change from a high carb diet to a low car diet is extremely significant and can result in headaches, nausea, and fatigue for some people - even if they are very active.

Sometimes it's noticeable, other times not.

Although most often the keto flu is just felt as an overall lack of energy, some people do experience additional symptoms that make them more aware that they are sick. The keto flu can also present with gastrointestinal distress characterized by stomach pains and vomiting. These symptoms should be temporary as well but could last from a few hours to a couple of days.

How to avoid the keto flu?

One of the best defenses against the keto flu is to start a low-carb diet correctly. This means making sure you eat enough carbohydrates for energy and electrolytes.

This can be achieved in two ways:

1) Slow Transition - eating carbs all day long but decreasing them slowly, or

2) Fast Transition - immediately going on a low-car diet without any carbs ever.

The two methods will achieve the same results in the end.

If you go on a slow transition, gradually decrease your carb intake over a few days or even weeks so that you don’t experience any keto flu symptoms.

Tips for dealing with the keto flu if you experience it

If you do experience the keto flu, there are some steps to take for relief. The first step is to make sure that you're drinking enough water. The keto flu can cause dehydration and headaches as a result of hormonal changes. So it’s important to drink plenty of fluids and replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.

Some people find that eating salt helps ease the symptoms of the keto flu, but if you want to avoid sodium altogether it's worth trying adding a pinch of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt in with your fluid intake - this way you get some sodium without using any processed ingredients.

The keto flu is also usually made worse by the absence of glucose, so your next best bet is to eat some carb heavy foods. For example, a sweet potato is full of carbohydrates that your body can use to get over the metabolic changes it’s experiencing. This is also a great opportunity to try new low-carb recipes  in order to keep keto meals interesting and delicious!

Lastly, you should expect the symptoms of the keto flu to go away on their own. It’s normal for your energy levels and state of mind to fluctuate as you transition into a low carb diet, but it shouldn't last forever. Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged by a few days of discomfort. If you stick with it, the keto flu will soon become a distant memory.

Stay on track!

If you do experience the keto flu that doesn't mean your diet is failing. You are just going through an adjustment period and should expect things to get better from here on out. But if you are having trouble with the transition to a low carb diet, it might not be right for you.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out my How To Make it Through a Summer Barbecue on Keto.

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Meal Prep: What You Need to Know

Aina Meals, Meal prep

Meal prepping is a great idea for those who want to save time, money, and energy throughout the week. It can be done in as little as a few hours on Sunday or whenever you have some free time in between work and your other commitments during the week. Meal prep saves you from having to make decisions about what you need to eat at each meal which can lead to overeating or skipping meals entirely. It also helps prevent eating out so much because it’s hard not to overindulge when dining out with family or friends. Plus, if you are going through a tough time like recovering from surgery, dealing with chronic pain conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, or just maintaining good health, meal prep can be a great way to help you get back on track with healthy eating habits.

1. Basics of meal prep

  • your meals in advance.
  • Grocery shop on a weekend to buy the ingredients for those meals.
  • Prepare and cook the ingredients for those meals immediately or the day before.
  • Store them in containers or plastic bags in the fridge so you have access to them during the week.

2. Benefits of meal prep

The benefits of meal prepping are saving time, money, and energy because if you make it a habit to cook on Sundays, you will only need to spend less than five minutes making breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. It also prevents you from eating out a lot because it’s hard to overeat when you are in the comfort of your own home. Meal prepping also helps if you have a busy week or weekends and don’t feel like cooking. It really comes in handy on days when you need to eat healthily but don’t have the time to cook or go grocery shopping throughout the week. If you plan on meal prepping for the whole week, be prepared to spend at least a few hours on Sunday going through the recipes, shopping for groceries, and cooking so that your meals are ready each night before you.

3. Why do people meal prep

Those who meal prep are usually looking to save time and money. They also want to make sure they are eating healthy. Meal prepping is a great solution for those people who show up late from work, don’t have time to go grocery shopping, or just need assistance with their diet because it prevents you from overeating on junk food.

4. How to get started with meal prep

If you are not sure how to start with meal prepping but want to try it out, here is a helpful guide:

  • Plan your meals and write down the ingredients needed for each recipe. You will need at least three or more recipes that can be made in advance. If possible, try to include simple and quick meals such as salads and casseroles.
  • Grocery shop on a weekend for all of the ingredients you will need for those recipes. It is better to go shopping a week ahead if possible because then you have plenty of time to prepare them the same day or before you leave work so that they are ready by nightfall. If this seems impossible, at least try to shop for the ingredients a few days before you plan on making them.
  • Prepare and cook the ingredients. If possible, meal prep in batches so that it is easier to store all of your food in containers or plastic bags. For example, if you are preparing a roasted chicken with potatoes and asparagus, use one baking sheet for the chicken and one for the potatoes. You can also separate the ingredients between meal preps so that you are not cooking everything at once.
  • Eat your meals during the week!

5. Tips to make meal prepping easier

Preparing your meals in advance will definitely save time and money but there are some things that you need to consider when meal prepping:

  • Think about snack ideas. If you are using a lot of different ingredients for your meals, it can be hard to find snacks that make sense with those recipes so include at least one snack option in each meal prep bag if possible. For example, if you have broccoli and chicken for dinner one night, the next day you can add chopped broccoli to your salad or mix it in with hummus. This way, you don’t have to spend money on snacks when most of the ingredients are already available
  • Add spices and condiments that go well with your meals so that even if you get bored, you will still be able to enjoy your food.
  • Choose recipes that make a lot of servings so that you don’t have to cook multiple meals every night. For example, if your recipe makes 8 servings and you are only feeding yourself, half or more of the ingredients will go bad before you can use them again. This is not only a waste of money and food, but it is also an inconvenience if you are trying to save time.
  • Label your meal prep bags or containers so that all the ingredients are easy to find. You can use sticker labels or just label them with a sharpie so that you don’t have to search through every bag for the one you need. You could also use different containers and label them depending on the day of the week so that you can easily grab your meals without looking through everything.

I hope you've found this article helpful in understanding what meal prepping is all about. Meal prepping can be a great way to save time and money, but it also helps with ensuring that you are eating healthy throughout the week. If you have any questions or need help implementing these tips into your own life, give us a call!

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How to Make it Through a Summer BBQ on Keto

Intro

It’s summertime, and that means the grill is open for business! Everyone is rushing to have people over for BBQ’s and a good time. While this is no doubt a fun experience, sometimes you may find it hard to navigate with some dietary changes you’ve made. Let’s take the ketogenic diet for example. Keto has some rules to follow when it comes to actually seeing the desired changes. You consume little to no carbohydrates, while eating primarily fats and protein. It’s a great way to lose those extra pounds, but it can be restrictive when compared to the traditional BBQ menu.

So, we’re going to give you some tips for navigating that BBQ. Yes, you can still go and have tons of fun, you’ll just need to approach it a little differently!

Stick to Simple Rules

When it comes to keto, the rules are simple. All you need to do is stick to higher protein, higher fat foods. Stay away from some of the carbohydrates and you’ll be golden. Now, using this at a social gathering or BBQ can be super simple. Check out what they’re making to eat, and you’ll surely be able to find something that fits under this umbrella.

With the grill going, there’s bound to be some sort of protein source available. You can find things like burgers, hotdogs, steaks, and even chicken going at any given time. All you need to do is eat them without the bread. These are perfect options for that keto lifestyle. You may also be able to find some really good grilled or fresh veggies. Vegetables are a great keto food as they contain little to no carbs and tons of fiber.

There’s sure to be something sweet at the BBQ as well, and these are some of the things you’ll need to pass on. They’re full of sugar that can knock you out of rhythm with keto. Now, as a way of hitting that sweet tooth, you could opt out for some fruit. While fruit does have sugar, it’s a little different from added sugar. This may not be enough to pull you out of ketosis, so long as you’re paying attention to how much you have.

Watch Your Fluids

This is where you may struggle a bit. It’s a social setting and this means drinks and cocktails. However, those aren’t the best for someone on a ketogenic eating arrangement. This is due to all of the sugars that are added as mixers or ingredients. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to skip out on a good time. You just need to have an option that is low in sugar. This could mean using a zero-sugar mixer, keeping it “neat” or straight, or drinking in a very small moderation. Being mindful of what and how much you consume is crucial for still enjoying yourself while keeping things healthy.

Conclusion

There are always options that will allow you to have fun no matter what. It may look a little different from everyone else, but it’s what you need to do for you. Stick to your plan and learn to navigate social settings like a BBQ. Eating better for you doesn’t mean you have to give up everything.

Make sure that you prioritize high protein, high fat foods while watching out for added sugars. Pick the things that work for you and your simple rules. In addition, choose a drink that is low in sugar but still allows for a good time.

You do what you need to do with confidence, and you’ll be happy you went!

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3 Extra Ways to Make More Time for your Family

No one wants to spend hours in the kitchen cooking one meal. While I feel it’s important to cook Healthy Food for my family, I also want to spend quality time with said family. So how do I cook quality food and still have time to spend quality time with my favorite people in the world? This article will give you three ways that I cook family meals so that I spend less time cooking and more time creating memories.

Plan Ahead of Time

Some people like to fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to planning family dinners. Personally, when it comes to the dinner table, I’m more of a planner. With work, relationships, and hobbies, I just don’t have time to cook gourmet meals most nights. You probably don’t, either. Even if you’re a planner by nature, give it a try. You’ll notice the extra time you’ll have at the end of the evening. I did, and I’m never going back to my old way of doing things.

When I plan my Family Meals for the week, I try not to fall into the “It’s Tuesday? We’re having pasta tonight” trap. Before I go grocery shopping for the week, I plan 7-9 dinners that we will eat as a family. I give my children a couple of readily available choices so they’re not eating the same thing on the same day of the week. I also look for recipes online and in cookbooks for variety’s sake.

Make More Food Than You Need

When I prepare the meals, I make more than my family could eat in one sitting. By making extra food, I’ll have leftovers that can get saved for a rushed morning or evening meal. I also like the fact that I’m not wasting food. To prevent myself from throwing away excess food, I only make extras of the meals that my family loves to eat on a regular basis.

By eating leftovers whenever we can, I also save money in the process. Because I go to the grocery store less often, I’m not spending nearly as much money. I now put this extra money towards doing fun family activities all over Hawaii.

Keep Cleanup To a Minimum

Who wants to spend time doing a sinkful of dirty dishes? I certainly don’t. What I try to do on a daily basis is cook meals that use a minimum of equipment. Vegetarian pasta and one skillet meals I buy at the grocery store are just two examples of meals that don’t use a lot of pots and pans. When I don’t feel like doing a ton of dishes, I drag out the paper plates and plastic utensils and call it a day!

I don’t have to go the fast food route to cut down on meal preparation time. By following these tips and doing some work before you go grocery shopping, you too can cut down cooking time down to a minimum and use that time to spend with your family and friends.

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Three Hawaiian Cooking Ingredients to Add to Family Dinners

One of the best ways to add some excitement and pizazz to your everyday meals is to enhance your dishes with a few Hawaiian ingredients. Although traditional, there are three Hawaiian cooking ingredients to add to family dinners that will more than satisfy every taste bud.

POI, WE HAD TO START WITH POI

Poi is a traditional staple food in Native Hawaiian cuisine. Not only is this amazing staple food hypoallergenic but it is naturally gluten free. In fact, poi is considered one of the best digestible foods on the planet. According to Nutrition Data, poi is high in vitamins and minerals, is a good source of vitamin B6, high in slow-release fiber, contains vitamin A and C, and is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, thiamin and phosphorus. Poi also offers quite a few possible health benefits like creating strong bones, preventing cavities, reducing gastrointestinal issues and is good for those who are undernourished.

Poi is made from the corm or stem of the taro plant (known as kalo in Hawaiian). Generally it is steamed or baked and then mashed. Traditionally, it is baked for many hours in an imu (an underground oven). During the puree process, water is added to get the desired texture. In regards to consistency, Poi is known as “one-finger,” “two-finger,” or “three-finger”. One finger would be the thickest and so forth. The flavor is very subtle and rich, similar to sweet potato but not as smooth. It has a beautiful purple color that had a nice contrast to many Hawaiian recipies.

Traditional poi recipes include poi banana pudding, crispy poi pancakes, poi noodles with shrimp, peas and scallion, poi fries with chili lime and Poi-machha ( a spinach dish and fish plate that has many popular spices like garlic, chili powder, fennel, mustard seed and turmeric).

PURPLE YAMS

Purple yams are another favorite food in Hawaii. The tubers are typically a bright lavender or intense violet in color. Purple yams are in fact a delicious yam grown locally that add the perfect color and taste too many traditional Hawaii dinner plates. Actually, there are several Hawaiian recipies with purple yams that are quite inviting. Some of the dishes include Hawaiian yam casserole, mashed purple sweet potatoes and purple sweet potato Haupi (a cream pie with shortbread crust, sweet potato filling and rich coconut cream).

LILIKOI GOES WITH JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING

Liliko’I or passion fruit is a delicate tropical fruit that goes with just about anything. It is often used in creamy desserts such as chiffon pie, mouth-watering cheesecake, as a mousse and as a curd (which is very popular), butterfly cupcakes, scones and Liliko’I lemon bars. Liliko’I is also made into a butter which is similar to a curd or fruit butter. It is a common staple found in most every fridge in Hawaii. Liliko’I butter is served on toast, pancakes and crepes.

On the spicier side, Liliko’I is added to many tasty Hawaiian recipies like Liliko’I lemon chicken, chicken and rice with Liliko’I and passion fruit dressing for salads and greens. This tasty fruit is also added to numerous beverages and cocktails. Some favorites include Liliko’I and coconut smoothie, passion fruit and orange soda, Liliko’I mango cocktail and Liliko’I Mai Tai.