Oatmeal is extremely versatile and can be mixed with
almost anything for a new taste.
Your body is 70% water and needs new inputs of water to
function. Don't neglect it.
Organically produced food tends to provide more nutrients
than conventional food.
These 10 foods will be in no particular
order, but they are staples in my daily intake for many reasons.
I will explain.
I just keep hearing so many good things and even new things
about these berries. First of all, they are blue, so you know
they are loaded with antioxidants just from the skins.
Next they are low in calories and I have read they are
anti-inflammatory, reduce blood pressure and are rich in
nutrients (Shaughnessy et al., 2009). Not to mention, they
taste absolutely great! I get them fresh and frozen. Frozen
blueberries have a nice crunch and make a nice addition to
cereal, oatmeal or a protein shake.
Even The Skins Of Blueberries
Are Loaded With Antioxidants.
In general, any kind will do (instant, old-fashioned,
steel-cut). But technically, I like the old-fashioned oats
because they are more coarse and thus will have a lower
glycemic index since they are not as small-cut as instant.
Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, in particular, soluble
fiber (Sadiq et al., 2008; Welch, 1994). This fiber is great
for lowering cholesterol by increasing the elimination of the
bad cholesterol (Sadiq et al., 2008; Welch, 1994).
In fact, there was a recent paper that showed a compound in
oats called avenanthramides (AVA) has favorable
anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential (Koenig et al.,
2009). Granted, this was a supplement with a higher dosage of
this compound, however, the compound is still found in oats,
and whether it has this benefit from such a small amount in
one bowl of oatmeal is besides the point. The bottom line is,
it has this compound and this just adds more credence to the
benefits of oatmeal.
I have oatmeal almost every morning and it never gets old
or boring. Here are a few of my recipes:
- Old-fashioned rolled oats, 3/4 cup of boiled water,
blueberries, cinnamon, almonds, strawberries, pineapple,
tamari pumpkin seeds, 1 tsp psyllium fiber, 3 tsp wheat
bran, 1 dried prune (chewed into 4-5 pieces), dried
cherries (rinsed to eliminate excess sugar), canned
- Multigrain hot cereal (rye, barley, wheat, oat), 3/4 cup
of boiled water, blackberries, walnuts, 1/2 banana diced,
2 tsp of buckwheat honey (darker honey higher in
antioxidants), cinnamon, fresh ginger (a small piece
minced), fresh coconut meat.
The Fiber In Oatmeal Is Great
For Lowering Cholesterol.
Too many good things. It is rich in monounsaturated fat, rich
in vitamin E and other minerals and a decent source of fiber.
Studies have shown the beneficial effect of almonds on
lowering cholesterol (Hyson et al., 2002; Kris-Etherton et
Recent research has even shown almonds can even boost
exercise performance and help fight fatigue (Yi et al., 2009).
I enjoy almonds in several ways. I like them whole or
slivered. I even drink almond milk, which has only 40-45
calories per 8 ounce glass! I add almonds to oatmeal, yogurt,
salads, smoothies and I love eating them with grapes!
Here is a fantastic salad with almonds:
- Strawberry-Almond Bliss: 1-2 cups of
organic spinach, 2 tbsp of organic feta cheese (crumble
the cheese in your hand and add), 1-2 navel orange wedges
(squeeze the juice onto the salad and cut the pulp and add
it), 2 handfuls of purple grapes, 2-3 strawberries diced,
1-2 handfuls of slivered almonds.
Rich In Monunsaturated Fat, Vitamin E, And Other
Minerals, The Benefits Of Almonds Don't Seem To Stop.
Just a no-brainer as a staple. It can be enjoyed anytime of
day and is just fantastic! It is loaded with calcium, protein,
vitamin D and good bacteria to aid digestion and even reducing
cholesterol (Ataie-Jafari et al., 2009).
Yogurt has also been shown to augment fat-loss and reduce
abdominal adiposity (Zemel et al., 2005). Calcium, which is
abundantly found in yogurt and dairy foods, has been shown to
not only be great for preventing osteoporosis, but reports
show it can also accelerate fat-loss (Jawadwala et al., 2009;
Zemel et al., 2004).
My favorite yogurts are organic Greek yogurt or any other
fat-free organic brand. An easy way to sweeten yogurt to taste
is by adding the good sweeteners like molasses, honey or dried
Water satiates, lubricates and accelerates us! Water can boost
metabolism (Boschmann et al., 2003). Remember, we are 70%
water by bodyweight, so if we keep our aqueous internal
environment replenished, this will only speed up and expedite
our body's daily functions.
Water also keeps the joints lubricated. So instead of
looking for the next hot joint support supplement, why not
drink an extra glass of water. So often we take little things
like drinking water for granted. Water can also satiate us.
Water has a strong effect on creating expansion or distention
of the stomach (Geliebter et al., 1988).
So next time you eat a meal and are upset that you are
still hungry because you are working so hard towards a
weight-loss goal, drink a glass of water. Better yet, drink 4
glasses of water and wait 10-minutes. You could also eat a
high-water food such as watermelon or soup and these will also
satiate due to their high-water content (Rolls et al., 1999).
9 out of 10 times, you will not be hungry afterwards!
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Fresh grapefruit or even the juice are fine. Why do you think
there is a grapefruit diet? Apparently this fruit has done
something right! Grapefruit is the size of a cabbage ball, yet
on 40 calories for the entire thing!
It is one of the, if not the lowest calorie fruit, ounce
for ounce. It is rich in vitamin C being a citrus fruit.
Grapefruit has also been shown to aid in fat-loss and reduce
insulin resistance (Fujioka et al., 2006).
Grapefruit also has natural testosterone-stimulating
effects (Dib et al., 2009). It also is a good source of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate
(HMB) (Wilson et al., 2008). Also, it is very satiating and
filling being filled with water and having a bitter sweet
taste to satisfy any sugar-craving.
Weight-Loss Real-World Application: No matter how bad your
sugar craving is at night, eat 1-2 slices of grapefruit then
re-evaluate. Again, this will dampen the severity of the
craving and you will likely make a healthier choice or eat
less of what you originally craved. Best case scenario though,
you eat the entire grapefruit!
Remember, this is only 40-calories! Seems like a lot of
sweet sugar, but this is why fruit has been called
"Nature's candy." Fruit never made anyone fat and
even if it did, that would be the world's healthiest fat
Grapefruit Is One Of The Lowest
Calories Fruits, Ounce For Ounce.
Yolks or not, this food also has too many good things to not
include in the diet. One egg has 6 grams of protein and they
contain many positive minerals and vitamins.
There have been reports illustrating how eggs are a staple
in the successful long-term success of people who lost weight
(Vander Wal et al., 2008). Here's why --> First, eggs are
satiating due to the protein content. Protein has an effect on
the hormone ghrelin, which is involved in influencing appetite
regulation. Too keep things simple, protein will satiate one
I eat organic eggs for various reasons. First of all,
grass-fed hens will produce healthier lipid profiles in the
eggs they lay. Sometimes we need to think about what we eat.
In other words, you are what you eat, literally. I mean,
think of the lifestyle of the food you are eating. For
instance, eating pork means you are eating from a sedentary
lazy animal that has a high body fat composition. On the
contrary, eating fish and chicken means you are eating from
lean and active animals.
Eating plant foods are very low in fat and loaded with
nutrients. The yolk of an organic egg actually has less
cholesterol than conventional eggs.
If I recall, the daily cholesterol value of one
conventional egg is 71%, whereas with an organic egg it is
only 57%. Plus, organic egg yolks also contain 40% iodine and
host other things like riboflavin, zinc, etc. If you recall,
iodine is important in thyroid function, particular the
metabolism boosting hormones!
Here are some of
my favorite egg creations:
- 2-3 organic egg whites, 1 organic yolk (optional), chives,
salt substitute, black pepper. Shallow fried in pan with
either extra virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil.
- 2-3 organic egg whites, 1 organic yolk scrambled, organic
American cheese, green, yellow, orange or red bell pepper (
I switch it up every other week). Shallow fried in pan with
either extra virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil. I
sometimes add the bell pepper to the egg omelet cold, since
bell peppers are a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin C is
They Say You Are What You Eat. So Why Not Eat
Products From A Lean Active Animal?
Bromelain is what I'm talking about! This is a powerful
anti-inflammatory substance and pineapple is rich in it (Chobotova
et al., 2009)! Pineapple is also rich in vitamin C and has
just a fabulous taste. I sometimes like to make a great
tropical fruit salad with it.
- Tropical Breeze Fruit Salad: Diced
pineapple, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, 1
tsp molasses, coconut meat, cinnamon, 1/4 cup of kefir,
1/4 cup of soymilk.
Or Red Tart Cherries:
These are the same cherries used in cherry pie. Too bad,
because they can be eaten really with anything. I went to
the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Science
meeting in Seattle this year (2009) and sat in on several
presentations of published papers documenting the benefits
of red tart cherry juice (Jones et al., 2009; Kuehl et al.,
The benefits came from the anthocyanins in the cherries (Keuhl
et al., 2009). They promote reduced inflammation and they
seem to be protective against DOMS (delayed onset muscle
soreness) (Kuehl et al., 2009).
I've been eating them ever since and can attest to there
benefits. I seem to recover faster and feel less stiffness
in the mornings. They can easily be found in most grocery
stores in the canned fruit aisle. I get the brand that has
no added sugar, so essentially, I'm eating the cherries
themselves and drinking the leftover juice! I actually had a
recent breakthrough in a little drink concoction I made and
it tasted so good!
- Joint Support Concoction: 1/4 cup of
Montmorency cherry juice from the can, 1/4 cup of
pomegranate juice, glucosamine sulfate powder. I do not
know why, but this just tasted so good when I drank it.
Glucosamine sulfate is kind of bitter and has a funny
taste, but drinking it with this made it taste really
good. Actually, the glucosamine actually added a unique
taste to the fruit juices together!
The Anthocyanins In Cherries Promote Reduced
Inflammation And Help Reduce DOMS.
I'm not a registered dietician, but I know what are the
healthier foods in terms of caloric quantity, carb quality,
fat quality, vitamin/mineral quality and naturalness of the
food. It would take too long to get into this, but I will
gently delve into this a little.
Caloric quantity is the caloric density based on taking
the calories per serving and dividing that by the grams per
serving. This is based off the book, "Volumetrics,"
by Barbara Rolls.
Anything under a 2.5 is considered a lower caloric
density food I believe. Carb quality comes from looking at
total carbs, seeing how many are from sugars (sometimes one
will not know how much is added vs. naturally in the food),
fiber content, and sugar in the ingredients and where it
falls in terms of numerical order in the ingredient list.
Anyhow, tamari pumpkin seeds are incredibly amazing and
by far, the best seeds out there for bodybuilders in
particular (I'll explain later) and really for anyone! Let
me explain this now: This is the caloric composition per
- Fat- 6 g
- Fiber- 11 g
- Protein- 18 g
Do you see anything wrong with this picture?! Most nuts
and seeds have a fat to protein ratio of about 2 or 3 to 1.
For example, a serving of peanut butter would be 15-18 grams
fat, 6-8 grams protein depending on the brand. This goes for
most nuts in general. However, these tamari pumpkin seeds
have the complete opposite dietary composition! So
basically, you are getting a super high protein seed, low in
fat, but high in the good fat and high in fiber!
Tamari Pumpkin Seeds Are Low In Fat,
But High In Good Fat And Fiber.
All in all, these 10 foods are a staple in my daily
nutrition. All 10 of these foods are natural foods with
minimal to no processing and are un-refined. Just the way I
like my food and as close to nature as nature intended.
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