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No More Excuses: Diet and Nutritional Planning for 2016

17 Apr

Visualize this. You were just chosen to let world famous Fitness Model, Frank Sepe, shack up in your house while he does some local photo shoots in your area. His taxi is dropping him off at your door step step in 5 minutes! And, did I mention, he’ll be relying on your kitchen and food supply…

diet planning

The question is this. Is your kitchen prepared for your guest? Will he look inside your fridge and be impressed with your nutritional choices or will he cancel his photo shoot and call the Extreme Makeover Kitchen Gang leaving you embarrassed and humiliated of your kitchen which resembles the same fridge of the cast from America’s Next Top Model!

In this article, I am not going to tell you what and why to eat. I am assuming you already know the importance and basics of bulking and cutting and have a plan to follow. In the article, we are going to discuss how to action-steps to executing your plan effectively in 2016.

Creating a Safe House

Before the new year gets too far in, we are going to revolutionize your kitchen. The plan is start stocking your kitchen as if you have professional bodybuilders, UFC fighters and professional athletes living in your house. No point in setting the standard low. If you wish to resemble the physique of a champion – then you better start living like one. The plan is to remove all foods not conducive to your goals and replace them with foods and replace them with a variety of better choices.

Let’s face it. If the food is in your possession or located anywhere in your vicinity, you will eventually eat it. Don’t kid yourself otherwise.

The key is to view your home as a ’safe house.’ A place where you are free from all the temptations of fast food, finger food at socials, alcoholic beverages at parties, sweets at the girlfriends house, muffins at staff meeting and salty foods on poker nights. With all this temptation potential for sabotage, you need to create a safe house you can return to each night. Here’s how to do it right for 2016:

The Fridge and Pantry Makeover

Just a few days ago, I bought myself a brand new stainless steel fridge! Compared to the one I bought at a garage sale for $25, this one is beautiful. It’s even more beautiful when it’s stocked to the brim with muscle building ammunition. Why am I telling you this? Because, for some reason, as soon as I owned this new fridge, I felt obligated to put it to good use. When it’s empty, I almost feel inadequate of being called a man’s man! If you don’t plan on buying a new fridge for some extra motivation, my first advice, is to empty your entire fridge and do a complete over haul. Call your mom. Call your girlfriend. Call you wife. This fridge is getting a cleaning.

Don’t be surprised if you are more motivated to parallel the cleanliness of the fridge with the cleanliness of the foods inside the fridge. Little changes can go along by adjusting your personal mindset.

Here’s What to Dump in the Garbage

It would be easy to write out a Top 50 list of foods that you should avoid at all costs. However the reality is that this is rarely the cause for getting fat and not achieving your goals. There are actually very few BAD FOODS. I learned from an old university professor who said, “There’s no such thing as good or bad food; there is only good and bad times to each certain foods.” And yes, there are some foods that you should avoid at all costs but there is not a ‘David Letterman’s Top 10 List.’

However, I will lay down some guidelines that will give you a better chance of seeing your six-pack sooner than later. Eating some of these foods immediately after your workout will do little harm because they will be converted right into your muscles, but you will be better off leaving them on the shelves at the grocery store.

GET RID OF THESE FOODS

SODAS AND JUICES – excluding or including can be the difference between skinny and fat. Go ahead and read for yourself on your next ‘healthy’ fruit juice the amount of sugar. You have two ingredients- sugar and water.

HIGH FAT PROCESSED MEAT – sausage, pepperoni, bacon and related foods are loaded with the type of fat that will shorten your lifespan, and are also loaded with sodium. Don’t confuse these for good sources of protein.

FROZEN DESSERTS AND ICE CREAM – again, more sugar to transform your six pack into a keg.. Sugar and oil-laden sauces – whether it is ketchup, barbecue or horseradish sauce, the majority of nice packaged sauces are quick injections of spiced-up high fructose corn syrup.

You’re better off spicing up your meals naturally without all the sugar and extra empty calories.

MOST PROCESSED FOODS – make sure your warning sirens go off when you see anything packaged in colorful wrappers, boxes, bags or containers. These foods promote ‘healthiness’ but fail to admit the degree of processing it went through. Do your own experiment – next time you are unsure of a processed food just take a look at the ingredient list. If you see more than 5 ingredients that you can not pronounce then you have to wonder what the heck you are putting in your body. Most of these foods have an exhaustive list of ‘fillers’ that preserve the shelf life and have nothing to do with nutrient value. Avoid this stuff at all cost!

CRACKERS – refer to the above but you get to choke down a mouthful of sodium too.

WHITE FLOUR PRODUCTS like white bread and bagels – manufacturers first remove the wheat seed’s bran, its six outer layers, and the germ, which results in more than 75% of the vitamins and minerals being lost and over 95% of the fiber being lost. It gets worse. What little is left gets bleached in chlorine dioxide to give the bread a shelf life. It is further whitened by adding chalk, alum, and ammonium carbonate to make it feel and look more improved for the customer. An anti-aging salt that I do not even know how to spell or pronounce is added to the final stage.

A few synthetic nutrients are then added back into the white flour and labeled ‘enriched,’ but in reality there has been no real ‘enrichment’ of the original product, only deception and destruction. Did you know that rats will die within seven to 10 days after being put a diet of white flour?

BAKING SUPPLIES – more chemicals to wreak havoc on the human body.

POTATO CHIPS – a cumulative batch of chemicals to put an enormous amount of strain on the pancreas, which is forced to protect your body from these chemicals.

MYSTERY FOOD IN ROTTING TUPPERWARE CONTAINERS – even though Aunt Wilma makes a mean turkey dinner and has supplied you with leftovers until next Christmas, there is no reason to test its life span! Do an inventory once a week and chuck any foods that have exhausted their expiration date.

Here’s What to Add to the Kitchen

Since your fridge is probably looking bare like your college days it’s time to stock it up so that even Chef Pasquale would be very happy.

Again, this is not the David Letterman Top 10 list but it is a very good start to being fully prepared to having the ammunition required to build massive muscle.

ADD THESE FOODS

BEVERAGES – Get ready to start drinking a lot of water. Invest in filtered water and avoid tap water if you know your local area comes from poor sources. Also, drink 2-3 cups of green tea a day for its high antioxidant profile and more than a handful of health reasons. Chuck the killer fruit juices and soda!

BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS – If your budge permits, aim for free-range chickens (organically fed) as a the most superior choice. If you can not afford these regularly than go for the grain-fed, store-bought type because they carry minimal body fat.

COOKING SPRAY – Only buy the ones made from canola or olive oil

CHEESE – Typically the cheeses that have a stronger taste will serve more purposes. They have a better protein and fatty-acid profile and they provide more taste to your food. Cheese is higher in fat so use it in moderation and aim for a variety of cheeses, such as Feta, goat, Havarti, aged white cheddar and Parmesan.

DRIED FRUIT – This is a great source of easy calories. Just a small handful of some dried fruit has the same amount of calories as a large apple. If you’re trying to gain weight, then dried fruit can work to your advantage, but if you are trying to lose weight then be very cautious.

Good sources are currants, dates, pears, mango, apples, and banana. Just don’t eat the extra sweetened ones loaded with hydrogenated oils as an additive.

EGGS – Omega 3 eggs should always be chosen because they are laid by chickens that were fed a diet rich in ground flaxseed.

EGG WHITES – Egg whites can be a little pricey if you buy them in the cartons, but can save you the headache and mess of cracking and storing half your fridge with egg carton boxes.

Instead, buy a few cartons of pasteurized egg whites that are a great substitute to top off an omelet with some high quality protein. Egg whites are also great to throw into protein shakes, but don’t be surprised if your significant other runs away because of wicked stink bombs.

EXTRA LEAN GROUND SIRLOIN – Always go for the leanest sources available. Your local grocery store should meet your requirements but feel free to venture down to a farmer’s market and go for grass-fed beef freshly ground.

FRUIT – Always go for an assortment of colors and make sure your fridge is always stocked with fresh fruit. I typically shop for seasonal fruit from a quality perspective and cost perspective. If you can, go for local and organically grown produce.

Examples are apples, grapes, bananas, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, mango, oranges, tangerines, and pineapple.

GREEN TEA – Go for the one with out any extra flavoring or fillers. An organic green tea without any extra herbs is the best.

GRAINS – Here is some safe ammunition on the grain side: oats (not the instant oatmeal loaded with sugar), oat bran, whole flaxseed’s, quinoa, whole barley and wheat bran.

LEAN TURKEY AND CHICKEN SAUSAGE – This is great to mix things up, and while you might not want to buy this all the time there is nothing wrong with the occasional street meat!

LEGUMES – Kidney beans, split peas, chickpeas and lentils are excellent sources of fiber and a great addition to your arsenal.

MEAT, POULTRY AND FISH – There are many exotic selections to choose from and the best advice I can give is VARIETY! Eat a wide assortment and do not limit yourself to one shopping center. Rotate your shopping trips to farmers markets, the super-size grocery store and smaller grocery stores. Each will carry a different selection of meats.

MIXED NUTS – These are easy calories and a great source of good fat to balance out your meals. The best sources are walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans and peanuts.

SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS – There are many options that will enhance your taste buds while not counteracting the nutrient profile of the meal.
Here are some safe bets: pesto, salsa, curry sauce, tomato pasta sauce, balsamic vinegar, white cooking wine, red wine, raspberry vinegar and flavored flax oil.

SALMON -Genuine wild salmon is better than farmed salmon because you will benefit from its higher quality Omega-3 profile and absence of mercury and toxins.

SPICES – Here is where the fun comes in. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to know how to use certain spice combinations but it may take some experimentation. Consider this free food and customize your spices to your dish. Focusing on just some of the basics like salt, pepper, fresh garlic, basil, oregano, chili powder, and cinnamon will bring your food to life.

VEGETABLES – If you know which aisle the chips and cookies are better than where the fresh produce section is then we have some work to do. You should be able to pick your vegetables from your local food market with your eyes closed. This should be the one section in the grocery store you are more familiar with than any other. Here are your staples: spinach, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, cucumbers, celery and carrots. Try and aim for the colors of the rainbow – the more variety the better.

Secret Tip When Grocery Shopping

You will notice that the majority of these foods are stocked on the periphery of the grocery store. While you are at the grocery store you will notice that your trek does not wander into the ‘forbidden aisle.’ These are the aisles full of the present and future physique challenged. Grocery shopping does not get easier than this once you discover that the best foods are located in the produce and refrigerated section. Shop in the ’safe zone’ to avoid the ambush of pre-packaged food and processed carbs, sugar and bad fats.

Don’t forget to buy plenty of meal-sized Tupperware containers, plastic bags, a lunch bag, some 1L water bottles and perhaps some plastic cutlery. This will help you prepare your meals in advance.

Create a Nutritional Plan and Follow It

Have you heard of the saying, “Make your plan and than work you plan.” It’s quite powerful of taken seriously and applied wholeheartedly. Once you have decided on the plan, right for you, stop surfing the Internet, stop chatting on forums, stop trying to ‘perfect’ it and simply follow what you have.

Your biggest obstacle will be keeping a 90% adherence to the program. Commit to following the program for at least 90% of the time. That means if you are eating six times a day, you will be eating a total of 42 times per week. 90% com pliancy means you don’t mess up more than four times in the entire week! Puts a new perspective on why you might have not succeeded the past few years…

One of my nutrition mentors reminded me to not judge a program until I have followed it to 90% com pliancy and for at least 4 weeks straight. Anything less, is too short to come to any conclusions of whether it was a good or bad plan. Don’t play the blame game and try out a new nutrition plan for one or two weeks and then quit and say you didn’t get results because ‘it wasn’t working!’

Replace Old Habits With New Habits

Habits are basically like automatic behaviors. I will be the first to admit that breaking bad habits and forming new habits is not easy at all. If it were, you would have no financial problems, perfect relationships, a healthy body and you would be rocking this world!

The ’sick-cycle’ is the term I use to describe the continuous cycle of poor choices. When we continue to make choices that lead to the same dead end, we are in the midst of a sick cycle.

It’s interesting how you have probably tried to break an old habit by doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. Isn’t is foolish? Why can’t we see that trying to write a different ending to a story by mentally writing a different story in our minds just does not work and it will never work!

Creating new habits to transform your body into a Greek-God or a Greek-Goddess is not easy and will require you to assess which habits in your life need to be destroyed. But you probably already know what habits are destroying your progress. Knowing what to do is not enough. In my opinion, YOU DO NOT TRULY KNOW ANYTHING – you might have talked about it – UNTIL YOU actually EXPERIENCE AND LIVE IT!

“A bad habit never disappears miraculously; it’s an undo-it-yourself project.”
-Abigail Van Buren-

HERE ARE SOME PRACTICAL TIPS TO HELP YOU CREATE NEW HABITS:

  1. Post your meal plan on the fridge. If in 2015, you simple kept your nutrition plan in your ‘head’ then replace this with a new habit – put it in a visible place where you can see it every day and reminded EXACTLY what to eat. Obviously, the kitchen will be the most practical spot.
  2. Prepare your meals in advance. Instead of waking up causally each day without enough time in the morning to take your food to work, set aside a time in the week where you create all your foods three or four days in advance. Make your life as easy as possible. I suggest coming up with a set time each week where you designate a few hours to preparing all your meals and than freezing them until you need them.
  3. Buy a cooler and Tupperware containers. Having the right equipment will force you to eliminate the excuses. Buy enough Tupperware containers so that you can separate all your foods and organize them nicely. Sure this might sound extreme to the general public but I assuming you are sick and tired of looking like the general public! I don’t know any professional bodybuilder or fitness model who does not travel with a cooler. I have no alternate solution to suggest anyways. How the heck are you going to eat three or four meals away from home if you do not pack them in a cooler? Hey, did I mention – get a cooler!
  4. Buy your supplements in bulk. How often have you run out of supplements which results in sabotaging your diet plan for a day or two. Mentally, having a stack of supplements sitting on my counter top reminds me of my goals each day and that I have the tools to succeed. I have no excuses if I am in a rush and need to mix a protein shake. From a financial standpoint, making a commitment to buying a certain volume of supplements in advance tells yourself that you are committed and not going to waste your hard earned money by quitting.

Failing to Prepare Is Preparing To Fail
I could not agree more strongly with the late Benjamin Franklin, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Eating without a program is like building a house with out a blueprint. How will the final product look – if a final product is even achieved?

When I refer to meal plan, I’m referring to all the specific details of an nutrition plan. I’m referring to the overall calories, amount of carbs, amount of protein, meal frequency, food selection etc . These details must be pre-planned before you even start! Yes, this is a true plan. How much easier will it be to maintain your focus every time you wake up each morning? Having a plan to follow leads to one simple task – work it and execute it!

Decide To Be Successful and Take Responsibility.

I learned this philosophy from the Australian strength coach Ian King. It goes something like this:

“You are getting everything you deserve right now based on the person you are being and the decisions you have made. You will continue to get the same thing if you continue doing the same thing. You will not get a different result unless you become a different person by habit and action.”

This philosophy has seriously impacted me – everything you have in life is exactly what you deserve to have and everything you want to have.

POWERFUL!

Jim Rohn, one of the world’s greatest personal development coaches constantly preaches passionately on this topic and has this to say.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of. You don’t have charge of the constellations, but you do have charge of whether you read, develop new skills, and take new classes.”

Brad Sugars, an Australian entrepreneur and wealth/business coach, describes an excellent picture of this philosophy of taking responsibility. It is a very clear and accurate portrayal of the difference between taking responsibility (described as playing above the line), and avoiding responsibility (playing below the line). Observe the words ‘victim’ correlating with playing below the line, and the words ‘victor’ correlating with playing above the line.

Victory:   Ownership, Accountability, Responsibility

Victim:     Blame, Excuses, Denial

Which line do you play in? It is much easier to play below the line, especially when our society reinforces this attitude.

Do you think that the best way to fulfill your potential for 2016 is by blaming someone else? Does this way of living allow you to reach your full potential? Never!

THIS IS A GUARANTEED WAY OF ALLOWING SHORT TERM RELIEF BUT THE DOWNSIDE IS THAT IT LEADS TO A LONG TERM SPIRAL DOWNWARD OF NEVER GAINING CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE AND NOT TRULY REACHING YOUR POTENTIAL.

So whatever body you are living in now – maybe it’s too thin, too big, too soft, too flabby, not tight enough, not strong enough and so forth – you are responsible for transforming your body for the better, if that is truly what you desire.

Make 2016, not only the year that you master your meal plan – but the year that you stick to your resolutions and create a new body and a new life!

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Try Moderation During the Holidays

4 Dec

Exercise moderation during this festive time of the year, and you will sustain all of your present gains.

Now that the holidays are right around the corner, wouldn’t this be a good time to establish some parameters for holiday food consumption? There will be numerous opportunities to overindulge with all the holiday parties, treats and spirits waiting for you. For some of us, holiday eating is akin to holiday spending, it doesn’t take long to over do it but we end up paying for it all year long.

moderation exercise

After devoting numerous hours chiseling your frame to the perfect proportions, do you really want to throw it all away? Ok having said that, let’s look at some preventive measures to safe guard all your hard work.

1. Moderation- remember, most things aren’t bad if consumed in moderation.

2. Keep plenty of healthy snack on hand such as fruits, nuts, whole grain cracker, low-fat yogurts, unsweetened fruit juices, smoothes and trail mix.

3. Eat breakfast and/or lunch the day of the party (depending on the time of the party), this well help to prevent over-eating at the party.

4. Start with fruits and/or vegetables at holiday parties, this will leave less room for the foods with lower nutritional value.

If you can’t maintain your workout routine:

1. Park further from the store/mall to increase the distance you walk.

2. Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.

3 Do house work at a quicker than normal pace (this may be the case anyway with a busy holiday schedule).

4. Try short intense bouts of cardio and strength movements instead of 1 long routine.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one”.James Froude-

Superheavyweight Bodybuilding Diet And Nutrition

18 Nov

superheavyweight bodybuilding

While advanced training knowledge is central to making the gains in size and condition that are essential to advancing in bodybuilding competition at the superheavyweight class level, equally important is the degree of effective nutrition that provides the building blocks for maximum muscle growth.

Gaining Size While Maintaining Proportion

Ty Young is one young superheavyweight on a steep rise to success in his class and on the national amateur level in the U.S. winning first as a heavyweight and overall class winner in 2007 at the NPC Eastern Seaboard Championships, then in 2008 he took on his first national level amateur event, while also moving up into the superheavyweight class, at the NPC Junior Nationals, where he placed a decent seventh place in a tough event. A good deal of the challenge for men in this top-end of the weight classes is to gain the needed extra weight range to advance beyond the heavyweight level, but also ensure the increased pounds is all lean muscle mass in the right areas that will make them just as proportionate as the lower weight classes.

From his first event weigh-in at 215 lbs. in 2007 to his next appearance the following year at the Junior Nationals at 237 lbs., Ty managed to increase his weight by some 17 pounds. Making balanced gains in lean muscle to key areas like his back, arms and then his upper legs allowed him to present not only a bigger but a still aesthetic package. His progress was managed with the help of IFBB pro Johnny Stewart, at whose gym he also does personal training and then also trains himself. The weight gains in lean muscle mass were achieved in pre-contest dieting that included eight meals a day, and which emphasized items such as tilapia, turkey and yams. At the time he spoke, Ty saw his next season’s dieting as “taking some carbs out and doing a little bit more of a higher fat diet.”

Noteworthy in this young superheavyweight’s diet is the presence of tilapia. While fish sources such as tuna and mahi mahi have been competitive bodybuilder favorites for many years, the advantages of relying on tilapia – a freshwater fish now available in many markets around the U.S. – is making this a popular choice for many athletes open to varying their sources of lean protein intake during the final weeks before a show. For one thing, tilapia has the benefit of high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, while also being low in mercury content. In terms of preventative benefits, fish oils also act as an anti-inflammatory. Aside from that, it is a cost-effective lean protein source compared to relying on the same quantity, for instance, of salmon.

Whole Foods in Balance with Solid Supplementation

Although he includes some supplements at key periods during his pre-contest diet preparation, Ty finds it most useful at his weight level and with years of future training cycles ahead to rely on foods as his principal source for protein: “I know I’ll be using L-Glutamine, and my double A’s are very high. I’ll also use creatine, but take off from that about three weeks out from contest time,” he points out. “Whey protein is just about the only protein powder I regularly use – but it’s mostly foods that I’ll be relying on as far as my protein intake.”

Meanwhile, with arms that have measured 22 inches and legs that were 32 inches at contest time, he is already well on his way with a nutritional strategy that he knows how to adjust as needed with each contest season and remaining alert to how his body continues to respond.

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Muscle Bulking Body Building Diets

2 Nov

muscle bulking dietWhen bodybuilders eat a surplus of calories and exercise hard it is referred to as bulking. Body builders use this method to add fat to their bodies which they can then turn into muscle. A high calorie diet is necessary for bulking. That does not mean they are talking about filling up on fast food meals though.

Eat Nutritiously for Muscle Bulk

The best way to bulk diet is not to eat a lot of fast food. When bulk dieting find foods that are high in calories but that are also nutritious. The nutrients will aid in the muscle-building phase as well as in your overall health. Fish such as salmon and tuna are good, as is chicken and lean steaks. Eating a tub of cottage cheese will add calories while supplying valuable nutrients. Oats and brown rice are good foods, and you should eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Bulk dieters eat 6 to 8 times a day whilst building muscle.

Reasons to Bulk Diet

There are many reasons people choose to bulk diet:

  • A person with a fast metabolism that wants to add more muscle. That person would have to eat large quantities of high calorie foods in order to gain the fat needed.
  • A bodybuilder who wishes to move up to the next weight class.
  • A bodybuilder who wants to go on a muscle gaining phase. This is common practice for many bodybuilders during the winter months.
  • Someone such as a football player who might require maintaining a certain weight.

When to Bulk Diet for Muscle Building

The best time to bulk diet is after you have gone on a weight loss diet. This allows your body to soak up all the nutrients that it had been missing out on. Another thing to remember is if your body fat is ten percent or higher, you may want to lose some body fat first. Then when you bulk up your body will be primed to gain more muscle mass.

Muscle Bulking up Basics

The basics to a good bulk up diet is ensuring you get the proper nutrients in the proper amounts. First you should increase your protein intake to about 1.5 grams for every pound of your body weight with every meal. Second, increasing complex carbohydrates is a must. 2 to 3 grams per pound of body weight is recommended. Carbohydrates will increase your energy level. Third you must increase the good fats going into your body. A balance of omega fatty acids 3 and 6 are best.

Supplements for Bulking Up Muscle Building

You should take some basic supplements when bulking up. A multivitamin and mineral supplement, extra vitamin C, fatty acids such as fish oil supplements or olive oil in your diet and a protein powder. The protein powder shakes throughout the day, especially after a workout will help you keep up your intake of protein dispersed through out the day, which is important for a positive nitrogen balance which means that your body has enough protein for its needs and for the needs of building muscle.

Muscle Foods, Italian Style

28 Oct

Combine southern Italian genetics with outstanding degrees of developed muscularity and an advanced formal education in nutrition and fitness and the result is an Italian champion bodybuilder such as Gianluca Daniele. An impressively built professor who has taught at the university in Naples, and operated his own fitness gym in Salerno, after winning Italian national and European bodybuilding titles, Gianluca Daniele is as comfortable talking about the chemical structure of fatty acids as he is about muscular growth.

Add to this the fact that Gianluca’s home home province has an excellent mixture of natural food sources—from vegetables and wheat to fruit and seafood caught along its own coastline—and you can understand why this part of Italy is an ideal nurturing environment for Italian fitness athletes. It’s also the region that has contributed most over the centuries to the national culinary arts, from pizza to lasagna, eggplant Parmesan to spaghetti meatballs. And while many food lovers might think these are all recipes for weight gain, you can in fact easily lower the high fat, cholesterol and sodium content of these dishes by substituting or avoiding certain ingredients. Cheeses, meats (except the leanest cuts) and sausages are items to scale back on, but this restriction still leaves you much to enjoy as far as recipes based on poultry, seafood, pasta, and fresh herbs and vegetables.

What to Leave in, What to Leave Out in the Neapolitan Diet

What then does a bodybuilder educated in nutrition from this region of Italy consider a treat? “In my off-season, I like to eat pizza,” Gianluca admits, “but in Italy you can easily find good foods (chicken, fish, pasta, eggs) for the bodybuilding diet.” Fresh beans and lentils, another popular staple that provides an excellent source of fiber, are prominent in Italian dishes, from the main course to the salad. If you are concerned about the sodium level in canned beans, you can always rinse them. (Lentils don’t require rinsing).

While pasta is a central feature of Italian cooking, you should keep it unadulterated (minus the cream sauces and cheese). A half-cup of plain pasta has only about 100 calories and less than one gram of fat. Olive oil is the other staple to use in moderation. It is low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fats (good for the arteries), but it still contains around the same number of calories as any other fat.

“I find the best combinations of proteins, carbs and fats before a competition is 60% protein, 30% carbs and 10% fats. The best type of food is fish (tuna) and chicken breast, while 100 percent powdered proteins and egg whites are the best proteins. I think potatoes are the best carbohydrates because they have a very slow release of sugar, so they do not turn into fat so readily. Finally, the fats I prefer are the nonsaturated fats, the vegetable ones, because they are easy to metabolize.”

Gianluca summarizes both the first-hand experience he has had himself in dieting for bodybuilding goals — and the insights he has gained in helping others with the right Italian-style nutrition — this way:

On Precontest Dieting

“I find the best combinations of proteins, carbs and fats before a competition is 60% protein, 30% carbs and 10% fats. The best type of food is fish (tuna) and chicken breast, while 100 percent powdered proteins and egg whites are the best proteins. I think potatoes are the best carbohydrates because they have a very slow release of sugar, so they do not turn into fat so readily. Finally, the fats I prefer are the nonsaturated fats, the vegetable ones, because they are easy to metabolize.”

On the Best Regional or National Staples for Bodybuilding

“Italy is famous for its Mediterranean diet. My region, in particular, offers many genuine kinds of food, which are perfect for a bodybuilder’s diet. These are organic chicken and meats, fruits, and extra-virgin oils.”

On the Best Local or Nationally Available Supplements

“The supplements I normally use are from the brand Genesis Nutrition-especially powdered proteins, aminos, creatine and pyruvic acid. These have been superior to any other product I have used because of their high protein content. They are easy to dose for a diet because they come in 1-gram pills.”

Some Nutritional Tips to Follow in Italian Foods

Look for alternatives to cheese-laden dishes like thin spaghetti with red clam sauce. Other healthful low-fat, nutrient-rich national winners: chickpeas and past soup; potato gnocchi with pesto sauce; rice cake; thin spaghetti with eggplant, zuppa di finocchio (fennel soup; mussels marinara; chicken marsala; chicken piccata.

gianluca daniele

Gianluca Daniele

19 Amazing Benefits of Bananas

1 Apr
  1. Depression and Stress. Bananas help fight depression. They have a lot of tryptophan – the substance that is the basis of serotonin – the hormone of happiness. Therefore, eating a banana can easily improve your mood.
  2. Allergy. Bananas is the only fruit that does not give any allergic reaction, even to infants.
  3. Strengthening of bones. Bananas retain calcium in the human body, it does not appear in the urine, but remains in the body and is used to strengthen bones. This is especially important for coffee lovers, that, on contrary, eliminates the calcium from the body.
  4. Improvement of the intestinal microflora. Thanks to the enzymes, which are present in bananas, the nutritive substances that enter the body with the main meal are  absorbed much faster.
  5. Constipation and Diarrhea. Bananas are very useful for those who suffer from constipation. Regular consumption of bananas can fix this problem. It is also advised to eat bananas for those who suffer from diarrhea.
  6. Bananas help to get rid of such problems as heartburn.
  7. Stomach ulcer. Bananas when used envelop the stomach wall and thereby protect it from the acid and aggressive substances in foods, and it promotes the healing of gastric ulcer.
  8. The high content of potassium in the banana pulp saves from leg cramps during training.
  9. Edema. Snacking on bananas significantly reduces swelling in those who suffer from it.
  10. Source of energy. If you eat a banana before a workout, it will be possible to engage more effectively – sugar level will not rise very quickly and you will have enough energy to end the workout process.
  11. Anemia. The high content of iron in the pulp of banana makes it a necessary food for anemia.
  12. Heart disease. Potassium in bananas helps to improve the condition of blood vessels, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, treats hypertension.
  13. Immunity. The composition of bananas includes antioxidants and amino acids, and they are known to protect the body and improve immune system.
  14. Kidneys. Bananas are able to positively influence the work of the kidneys. Its nutrients, trace elements and vitamins improve this organ’s condition and it also helps in eliminating kidney sand and stones.
  15. Nausea. Bananas are a great tool for getting rid of nausea on the road or toxicosis in pregnant women.
  16. Itching from insect bites. Skins of bananas is very good remedy for insect bites – just attach the inside of the banana peel to the site of the bite for a few minutes.
  17. Quit Smoking. In the period of withdrawal from nicotine addiction it is recommend to eat bananas – a large number of vitamins, potassium, magnesium helps to bring the remains of nicotine from the body and adjust to a new life, without cigarettes.
  18. Improving the mental faculties. The high content of potassium in bananas makes a person receptive to new information.
  19. Benefits for women. Serotonin, and other nutrients that are in bananas, relieve symptoms of PMS. If you eat a banana during the period, you can get rid of a bad mood and unpleasant symptoms.

Bananas Benefits

Tips to Improve Your Breakfast

18 Apr

breakfast

When ordering eggs, ask for them to be cooked dry. Chefs often overpour the oil or butter: Save: 250 calories

Slice your bagel lengthwise into thirds. Keep the ends and toss the center and you’ll have the illusion that you’re eating a full bagel. Save: 120 calories

Order Canadian bacon instead of sausage on your breakfast sandwich. Save: 100 to 200 calories

At Dunkin’ Donuts, get a medium iced coffee with skim milk and Splenda instead of a medium Coffee Coolatta with cream: Save 560 calories

Eat half a grapefruit. Its high water content can make you feel fuller and keep you from over­eating at your main meal.Save 100 calories

Make your own parfait instead of buying one. Use a cup of fat-free plain Greek yogurt, a half cup of sliced strawberries or blueberries and a quarter cup of Kashi GoLean Cereal. Save: 151 calories

Share your favorite brunch dishes with friends. Split a 500-calorie waffle and a 600-calorie omelet four ways. You won’t overindulge or feel deprived.” Save: 225 to 325 calories

Use three ounces of sliced chicken breast in your omelet instead of having three ounces of sausage with your eggs. Add veggies and salsa for a little kick. Save: about 120 calories

Stay Healthy with Carrots

11 Apr

What list of health-promoting, fat-fighting foods would be complete without Bugs Bunny’s favorite? A medium-sized carrot carries about 55 calories and is a nutritional powerhouse. The orange color comes from beta carotene, a powerful cancer-preventing nutrient (provitamin A).

chopped carrots

Chop and toss them with pasta, grate them into rice or add them to a stir-fry. Combine them with parsnips, oranges, raisins, lemon juice, chicken, potatoes, broccoli or lamb to create flavorful dishes. Spice them with tarragon, dill, cinnamon or nutmeg. Add finely chopped carrots to soups and spaghetti sauce – they impart a natural sweetness without adding sugar.

The Presence Of Bread In Our Nutrition

4 Apr

Bread could have taken a whole book to itself, there are so many things that could be said about it. Good things, if we are talking about ”good bread”, so rare a commodity these days, but especially bad things when it comes to the unsatisfactory product being sold by most bakeries.

black bread Ordinary bread, being made with refined flour, is totally devoid of anything of use to the normal human

metabolism. Nutritionally, its only contribution is energy in the form of starch. From the digestive point of view, it means nothing but trouble, given that all the elements that would ensure it was well digested have been removed in the course of refining the flour. Moreover, the whiter the bread is, the ”worse” it is, since its whiteness is the result of the flour being very heavily refined. Wholemeal bread, and especially 100% stone ground wholemeal bread, are much more acceptable, being made in the old-fashioned way with unrefined flours containing fiber. They release notably less glucose than white bread and are therefore less ”fattening”.

But good though they are, even these types of bread will temporarily be ruled out, at least with main meals. You should, however, eat them normally at breakfast. We will look at this in detail a little later on. If you are worried about giving up bread, let me reassure you right away. If, in common with 95 % of the population, you consume ordinary white bread, you have nothing to lose but your excess pounds by giving it up. On the conwhite breadtrary, you have everything to gain from such a wise decision, refined flour being so bad for your health. On the other hand, if you normally eat only stone ground or other wholemeal bread, made with unrefined flour (which shows you already have some good eating habits), you may lose the advantages of the fiber in giving it up.

But rest assured, not only can you go on eating it for breakfast, but we shall also be recommending that you consume fibre-containing vegetables, which are of as much, if not more, benefit for good intestinal function.

The Enzyme–Water Link

28 Mar

Truly, the most healthful source of water available to us lies not only within our great water reservoirs but also within the foods those reservoirs allow us to grow. The most natural and most nutrient-rich state of both enzymes and water is their live state.

Although that statement may sound a bit unorthodox or even gross, think of it this way:

water bottleA vegetable has a massive supply of both enzymes and water. Even better than that, those enzymes and water are combined in their most natural and most useful state. When we humans were created, we were given certain vegetation and animals to enable us to satisfy our hunger. Whatever your religious background, you must believe that those things were not given to us in cooked or chemically disinfected form.

Humans were designed to function at their peak level of efficiency, enzymes moleculebut that can come about only when the nutrients they consume are ingested in the proper proportion. Nature takes care of that for us by combining life-giving nutrients inside those pretty packages that we call vegetables, fruits, grains, fish, and meat.

Each of these foods just naturally contains the proper amount of enzymes needed to digest that particular type of food. The problems arise when we cook that food.

What is so wonderful about this whole business of enzymes is that there is a major exception to the rule that each source of food contains virtually the exact amount of enzymes we need in order to digest it. The exception to that rule is the vegetables, which were endowed with a more-than-abundant supply of both water and enzymes. As a matter of fact, vegetables were given so much in the way of nutrients that if we were to consume them only in their raw state, we could get away with digesting quite a bit of the other four categories of foods in a cooked state. Thus, combining fresh, raw vegetables with all other foods is essential to the metabolism-boosting process.

raw vegetables