Protein Packed Banana Bread

Banana BreadI was never the type of person who had a “sweet tooth”. Growing up, if I was offered sliced apples or candy, I took the apples. Somewhere along the way, especially with dieting, I have developed one. I’m not exactly sure why, but I crave sugar and sweets all the time now.

This can be difficult because I have put in so much work building my body, and trying to live this healthy lifestyle. So, what was I to do in order to feed my cravings and at the same time, not hinder my progress. Well, I had to get creative.

My mom taught me how to cook and bake at a young age and it is a passion that I have continued to grow throughout my life. Ok, now to get to the point. My mom had a recipe for banana bread that I absolutely love. The only issue with it, as with most baking, is that it has far too many carbohydrates. I really wanted banana bread, so I decided to find a way to make it more “macro” friendly. It came out so well, that I have to share it, so here it is.

Protein Packed Banana Bread

Ingredients

½ Cup Baking Blend Truvia

½ Cup Softened Butter

2 Eggs

3 Ripened Organic Bananas

1 ½ cup Oat Flour

1 Tsp Salt

¼ Tsp Baking Soda

1 Scoop Level-1 Ice Cream Sandwich Protein

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 °F

Cream butter, eggs and Truvia

Mix in oat flour, salt, baking soda and Level-1

Mix in bananas

Spray loaf pan with Pam cooking spray

Add batter to loaf pan and bake for 55 min to 1 hour, or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Macros for entire loaf

1874.5 Calories

67g Fat

33g Sat Fat

288g Carbohydrates

28g Fiber

97g Sugar

68.5g Protein

 

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

A Case for Cod

Cod is native to both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. It is part of the Gadidae family along with pollock, haddock, hake and whiting. When it comes to fish Cod is hands down one of my favorites. It is light and flaky and has a very limited “fishy flavor”. As with all fish, there is the fear that we will consume too much mercury in the process. However, there are several agencies that are working hard to ensure that you are educated on the safety of fish choices. Here are the links to them to educate yourselves.

http://www.seafoodwatch.org/

http://www.fishwatch.gov/

Now that that’s out of the way let’s look at the benefits. Cod is an excellent source of Vitamin B12, Iodine, Selenium, Phosphorus, and Protein. Additionally, Cod has several other health benefits. In a large number of studies, fish, such as Cod, have been shown to assist in regulating blood sugar. In one study involving individuals who were already diagnosed with coronary heart disease, lean fish, like Cod, have been shown to improve cardiovascular risk factors when consuming approximately 4 servings per week. Another benefit, that most people look for, is the weight loss benefits of Cod. The consumption of Cod, because of its high protein content, can curb your appetite and leave you feeling full.

There are still a few things that you should look for when you go to make your Cod purchase. If you are lucky enough, I’m unfortunately not, to have a fish monger, then you should get to know them. This will be someone that you can trust when wanting the best quality fish. This will also allow you to purchase the fish that are on display and not prepackaged. When looking at it the fillets should glisten white and have no browning or gaping. You can also smell it and it should smell more like seawater than fish. This is a very perishable product and should be used within the first two days of purchase or vacuum sealed and frozen. If you freeze it be sure to refrigerator thaw it. Don’t leave it on the counter all day to thaw.

So, how are we going to cook it? Cod cooks relatively quick, about 7 min per inch of thickness and should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The fish will become opaque and will flake away with a fork. I usually bake or broil mine and I will include a recipe later in the article. Grilling is near impossible because it is very delicate and will burn easily.

I made this recipe this weekend and I thought that it came out really good. This recipe is courtesy of http://www.morrisonhealth.com/

 

Broiled Cod Fish

submitted by Dr. Morrison

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 x 6 oz. Alaskan cod fillets
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • juice from 1/4 lemon
    • sea salt and black pepper

SERVINGS: 4

PREPARATION

Set oven on broil and allow to heat for 5 minutes. With a fork or spoon, mix extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, dill, and black pepper in a small bowl. Place fillets onto ungreased cookie sheet, brush or spoon sauce on fillets, and place in oven.
Broil 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove once light golden color is achieved. Sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with brown rice or steamed vegetables.

Broiled Cod Recipedrm_recipe_broiledcodfish

If you aren’t consuming fish on a regular basis, I would strongly recommend that you begin to add it to your diet. The health benefits are amazing. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the Adam Delgado Fitness email newsletter by clicking the sign-up button at the top of the page. You can also follow me on Instagram and join my Facebook group by clicking here. Good luck and keep making 2017 your best year yet.

-Adam

Meal Prep, Meal Prep, Meal Prep

img_1490I’ve written previously about meal prepping, but as I read it I realized it was more on meal planning than actual meal prepping. When I say meal prepping, I am talking about the food that we are planning on consuming that day or the next. This is such an important aspect of our fitness journey that it cannot be overlooked. If you don’t prep your meals the night before, you are allowing yourself a chance to fail. I say this because it almost allows too much flexibility when we get hungry. If you go to work and didn’t prep a meal you are prone to go to the vending machine, or if your office has a snack bar, or you end up going to a fast food restaurant instead.

To prevent this, you need to prep what you plan to eat the night before. This gives you time to weigh out your food, a very important process, and get it in the containers that you will carry it around with you. I also suggest that you download an app to track your macros. I use the myplate app from Livestrong.com. Here is the link to see it Link to Website. While you are weighing out your food you can enter it into the app and eliminate the guess work associated with macros. This makes it easier to adjust and make sure you are setting yourself up for success the next day. There are a lot of different ways to go about meal prepping
and the internet is loaded with information on it.

Here is a great article on meal prepping and keeping a food journal. THE IMPORTANCE OF A MEAL PLAN AND KEEPING A FOOD JOURNAL

If you have any questions about meal prep or fitness in general, feel free to send me an email. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and join our Facebook group (AdamDelgadoFitness) for even more fitness and nutrition info.

The Importance of Omega-3s

Whathumbnail_img_1438t exactly is an Omega-3? Why do we need them? How do I make sure that I am taking enough?

These are some of the basic questions that I get when I recommend Omega-3s to anyone. Let’s start with the basics. What is an Omega-3? Omega-3s are what is known as a fatty acid and are part of the polyunsaturated fat group. Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) is primarily found in plant-based foods. Flaxseed, Walnuts and Brussels Sprouts are excellent sources of ALA. Next is Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), this along with its counterpart Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) are found primarily in fatty fish. Sardines, Salmon, Shrimp, Cod and Tuna are all good sources of EPA and DHA.

So, why do we need them? While each one individually provides its own benefit, combined they are the foundation for living a healthy life. Most of the ALA that you consume is stored in your cells as energy. However, it serves a much greater purpose as it is the building block for EPA and DHA. In a way, ALA is not important as EPA and DHA, and in another, it is the most important. Your body relies on

Let’s talk about your body’s internal functions when it comes to Omega-3s. Your body relies on prostaglandins, or messaging molecules, to ensure proper function of our inflammatory system. Why is this important, well, prostaglandins are made from EPA, and foods that are rich in EPA have been shown to have excellent anti-inflammatory effects. While EPA deals with our inflammatory systems, DHA deals with our nervous system, particularly it helps our brain function. According to the book, The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan (2nd Edition), “DHA actually accounts for 9-12% of our brains total weight.” A healthy level of Omega-3s have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, can help with stiffness and joint pain associated with Rheumatoid arthritis. They have also been shown to help with lowering depression, baby development, ADHD, Alzheimer’s and dementia, and have been shown in some studies, when paired with a diet and exercise,  to drop body fat by 25%. WebMD has so good information on how Omega-3s help and what they have been used to assist in. Click this link to go to their website.

So how do you ensure that you are consuming enough Omega-3s a day? Well, I’m glad that you asked. There are two options. Option 1 is consuming 8 oz. of wild caught salmon a day or 6.4 oz. of sardines a day, or eat 16 pouches of Starkist Albacore Tuna a day. Easy enough right? You know, I love fish, but even I am not willing to eat this much a day. Not to mention that there is no way that I could afford to eat 8 oz. of wild caught salmon a day. So, what is option number two you ask? Take a high-quality Fish Oil. Simple, convenient and doesn’t taste like fish. The consensus is that you should be getting at least 2.4 grams (g) per day of Omega-3s. When you purchase a fish oil makes sure that it contains at least that much in Omega-3s, but also that it has at least 400-500 milligrams (mg) each of EPA and DHA. For your ALA, make sure that you are eating your vegetable and enjoy a handful of walnuts.

When it comes to my Omega-3 supplement, I take 1st Phorm Full-Mega. In each 2 soft gel serving, I get 2400mg(2.4g) of total Omega-3s. I get 720mg of EPA and 480mg of DHA. Click here to get your own bottle of Full-Mega. You will not find a better fish oil/Omega-3 supplement on the market.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to answer them. Also, be sure to join our mailing list by clicking the sign up for newsletter button. The emails contain fitness and supplement information as well as healthy recipes and workout tips. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook as well for even more content. Keep killing it and make 2017 your best year yet.

Macros Macros Macros

If you have ever been to a gym or looked at any fitness website, you have no doubt heard the term macros. It was likely something to the effect of, “yeah Bro. I’ve got my macros on lock-down.” I love gym “bro” talk. Anyways, macros and why are they important, or in this instance not so important. First things first. Macros stand for macro-nutrients, or protein, carbs, and fats. Most people involved in fitness focus on these three and pay little attention to anything else, like say micro-nutrients, which we’ll discuss in later articles, and I’ve briefly touched on in previous articles. Anyways, I’m getting off topic again.

Ok, here is the point. If you are just starting a transformation or a fitness routine, I want you to completely ignore these macros. Chances are that your macro count is not the problem. It is more likely the portions of food that are consumed and an imbalance of fats and carbs to protein. What I want you to focus on, like I just stated is portion control and the imbalance that most of us suffer from. To start, your first task is to work on portion control. Don’t get me wrong I love food. I live in Las Vegas and there is no shortage of all you can eat buffets and I love the Cheesecake Factory. However, while okay to indulge some of the time, this is how I got myself in horrible shape. So, let’s look at portions and keep it simple. Protein, one palm size portion. Carbohydrate, one fist size portion. Vegetables, at minimum one fist size portion. Easy, right? No complicated calculations, no weighing each bite, just keeping it simple.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s talk about food. Food is awesome. It is vital to our survival. It’s how we celebrate things, and so many traditions are passed down through the generations while in the kitchen. These alone are reasons not to fear food. I know too many people who, when trying to lose weight, tell me that they are just going to eat salad. You need to eat protein, and not just drink a protein shake that you picked up at Wal-Mart. When I say protein, I’m talking lean beef, chicken, turkey, pork and even buffalo (so delicious). For carbs, we are talking brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole grain pasta, and fruit. Vegetables are basically free game, steam them, put some salt and pepper on them and eat them up. Remember, keep it simple when you are starting. I’ve been doing this for almost two years and have just recently started counting macros because I am training for competition. If not I would still be following the advice I laid out in this article. Have fun and enjoy the journey.

Here are a couple samples of a meal plan and a food list that I put together to give you an idea. As always, if you have questions shoot me an email and I’d be more than happy to help you in reaching your fitness goals.

Building Lean Muscle After You Workout.

shake-vs-foodThe hour after you finish working out is a very important time to ensure that you are getting your body the nutrition that it needs in or to repair itself. There is an old saying the muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen and rebuilt in bed. The irony in all of this is that your time in the gym has basically the least amount of importance when it comes to getting healthy and building lean muscle. We’re going to take a look at some of the important facts that people are missing and hopefully fill some gaps, so let’s get started.

When you lift weights or do high-intensity cardio, you are tearing your muscle fibers. Most of this is common knowledge to anyone who has ever read a fitness article. However, one facet that is often neglected to be mentioned is where did this energy that you used to workout come from? Your body is an amazing machine and runs on Glycogen. The dictionary defines Glycogen as, “a substance deposited in bodily tissues as a store of carbohydrates. It is a polysaccharide that forms glucose on hydrolysis.” In layman’s terms, Glycogen is your energy stores. It is built up in your muscle tissue and utilized by your body when you need it, like when you are weight training. During your training routine, you deplete these levels and they must be replenished. This is where the most important part of your fitness journey comes into play.

So, we just finished our workout and we’re drenched in sweat, we’re exhausted and probably hungry. Our muscles are begging for nutrients and our body is working out how it is going to replenish our energy stores. Now, our body utilizes carbohydrates as fuel, so that is what it craves. This is where we fall into a trap. What do we feed our bodies to ensure that we repair our damaged muscles fibers, while at the same time, replenish Glycogen and burn fat. There are a few different methods we can use. First, we can eat. Food should always be your primary source of protein, carbs, and fat. The only issue with using food after a workout is that it can take our body several hours to break down the nutrients provided by, chicken and rice after we workout and by the time it has been broken down it will be used to replenish Glycogen first and then repair muscle fibers. Remember, our body is only concerned with survival, not muscle development. So, what can we use instead of food? Maybe a protein shake. We have to remember though that not all protein is created equal. If you take a sustained assimilation protein like Casein, it takes a long time for your body to absorb the nutrients. If you take just a basic Whey protein that is high temp processed or ionized, the Amino Acid structure has been changed and you are likely to not get the best results out of it. The best option, in my opinion, is a low temp processed, hydrolyzed whey isolate protein. The low temp process ensures that the Amino Acid profile is kept intact allowing your body to receive all of the macros the protein boasts and the rapid absorption ensures that your muscles are fed.

Now, to make things even more complex. We are looking to replenish Glycogen and rebuild muscle. This is where Insulin becomes so important. After a workout, your body is in what is known as an Anabolic state. It is craving nutrients and will readily absorb them. For this, I use a mixture of a fast digesting carbohydrate with a hydrolyzed whey isolate protein. This ensures that my muscles are fed and rebuilt and while Glycogen is replenished. This aids in the recovery of your muscles and an added benefit, it reduces soreness. Think of Insulin as a freight train, when you take a fast digesting carb you are adding more cars to the train and the fast digesting protein is the cargo. This combo is almost impossible to beat when it comes to recovery. If you take it 30-45 minutes after training and follow it up with a quality meal 30-60 minutes later you are priming your body for optimal recovery and growth. As always there is so much more that can be said about nutrition and recovery, but I want to keep it short for the article. Hope this helps in giving you a basic guide and if you have any questions feel free to email me or leave a comment.

If you are interested, here is a link to the post workout recovery that I use and I have not been able to find a better combo available. Keep working hard and making 2017 your best year yet. Post Workout

To Supplement Or Not To Supplement? That Is The Question.

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When it comes to starting your fitness journey the first question is, “What supplements should I be taking?” Well, I am here to give you the answer, and the answer is “none”. Let’s start by looking at the definition of supplements. Webster defines supplements as, “something that completes or makes an addition.” The best example I can think of is the term supplemental income. You have your main job and you supplement it by doing something extra on the side. Dietary supplements are no different. Your main focus should be your diet to give yourself a solid foundation, and then you add supplements to give you that little extra.

A quick background story. I played High School football and was obsessed with getting stronger and faster than everyone. This mentality caused me to be on a constant search for the next pill or powder that would give me that edge. Unfortunately for me, this led to irresponsible and dangerous supplementing. I never took anything illegal, but the FDA does not regulate supplements and most of the ones I was taking are now banned. I didn’t read the labels and only went by the claims that these supplements made. This was a dangerous way to learn that a proper diet would have been much more beneficial.

The above picture is my kitchen counter and those are my supplements. Now I know what you are thinking, “This guy just told me to not take supplements and he has bottles and bottles of them on his counter.” There is a reason for this. My fitness journey has been going on for two years now. I have a very solid diet foundation and I do not take all of these on a daily basis. I use them for what they are designed for, and that is to fill in the gaps where my diet falls short. I have learned that there is no magic pill or powder that will get me to my weight loss/muscle gain goals. To reach those goals I focus on the whole foods that I eat on a daily basis and try to get all my nutrients from them.

So let’s get to the fun part. Maybe you have been working out for a while now and want to dive into using supplements, to take yourself to the next level. Like with your diet you need a solid foundation and that begins with a quality multi-vitamin. Most of us do not get the recommended 3-5 servings of vegetables a day to cover our micro-nutrient requirements. This is where a multi-vitamin fills those gaps. When looking for a multi-vitamin try to find something in a capsulated form. These are much easier for your body to digest and absorb the nutrients because the capsule breaks down very quickly so your body is not trying to process a hard pressed tablet. Next is a fish/Omega-3 oil. As with not getting enough fibrous vegetables, most of us are not willing to eat 8 ounces of fatty fish a week. Once again this is where a supplement is beneficial to fill the gap. Omega-3s have been shown, when combined with diet and exercise, to increase fat loss by up to 25%. They are also essential in brain function and heart health.

This is by no means all-encompassing and there is so much more that can be said about supplements. But I feel it is a good start if someone asks you about dietary supplementation. Be sure that you check with you doctor before taking anything that may have adverse effects with any other medication you take regularly. And as always if you have questions about nutrition, fitness or supplements, don’t hesitate to get in contact with me. Let’s keep making 2017 our best year ever!!