Healthy Recipe: Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

It seems like every decade there’s a new diet craze. In the 90s, it was low-fat, which eventually gave way to low-carb. Now Paleo and keto are the new diet trends in town; but it doesn’t matter how the trends change, there’s always some idea that sticks around, even when the trend is gone. One longstanding belief that has persisted since the low-carbohydrate phase is that white potatoes are bad for you.

potatoes

Benefits of Potatoes

While it’s true that white potatoes are high in carbohydrates, they have a valid place in any healthy weight loss plan. One medium size potato contains only 110 calories, but nearly half your daily needs for vitamin C and more potassium than a banana. White potatoes also contain no fat, sodium, or cholesterol and are rich in fiber, magnesium, vitamin B-6 and antioxidants. Most of the carbohydrates are in the form of resistant starch, a unique type of carbohydrate that functions like soluble fiber and can help reduce appetite, lower blood sugar levels, help with insulin sensitivity, and improve digestion.

Of course, like any other food, it’s important to watch your portions, but adding white potatoes to your diet a couple times a week is not only okay, it’s beneficial.

The Recipe

One of our favorite treats is salt and vinegar chips, and while technically they’re white potatoes, the fact that they’re deep fried makes them less than ideal. We don’t like to have to give up our favorite flavors, so we created this roasted salt and vinegar potato recipe that gives you all the flavor without any of the guilt.

What You Need:
  • 2 lbs red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
What To Do:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks. We like to keep the skin on, but feel free to peel first if you prefer them skinless.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
  4. Add potatoes to bowl and toss until potatoes are evenly coated with vinegar mixture. Spread potatoes out on a baking sheet and put in the preheated oven.
  5. Roast for 25 minutes, remove potatoes from oven, and flip them over with a spatula. Return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes until potatoes are crisp on the outside.
  6. Optional: after the potatoes are done cooking, sprinkle some additional salt or apple cider vinegar on them, to taste.

Morning Versus Evening: What’s the Best Time to Exercise?

There are two kinds of people in this world: people who exercise at the crack of dawn before starting their day, and people who wouldn’t even dream of tying on those gym shoes until evening. Okay, so maybe there are some variations of this, like people who work out on their lunch break or people who don’t work out at all, but we’re going to keep it simple and discuss working out in the morning versus the evening and whether there’s a greater benefit to exercising at a specific time of the day.

exercise

The Bottom Line

We’re going to get right to the point here: there is no good evidence to suggest that working out at a certain time of day is more beneficial for everyone. Morning workouts have specific advantages, while exercising in the evening also has its perks; but if there’s one thing the experts agree on it’s this: the most important thing about working out is consistency. It doesn’t matter what time of day you do it, as long as you do it regularly.

That being said, we’re still going to break down the benefits of morning exercise versus evening exercise to help you decide which choice is best for you.

Benefits of Exercising in the Morning

  • As a general rule, research has shown that exercising in the morning leads to greater consistency. When you get your workout in right away, there is less of a chance that a stressful day, fatigue, or other plans will derail you from your routine.
  • Research has also shown that exercising in the morning can create a domino effect of healthy choices throughout the day. When you start your day with a workout, you’re more likely to eat a healthier breakfast, drink more water, and make the choices that keep you on track to reaching your goals.
  • If you’re hitting the gym to exercise, you may prefer the morning for your workout. Statistics shows that gyms are usually the busiest between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m. Getting there in the morning means that you’ll have easier access to the gym equipment you need, and just a quieter scene, if that’s what you prefer.
  • People who work out in the morning tend to get more sleep than people who work out in the evening because the anticipation of an early wake-up call prompts them to go to bed sooner.

Benefits of Exercising in the Evening

  • Even if you’re a morning person, finding the strength to exercise first thing can be difficult. Research shows that people who work out in the evening tend to exercise at a greater intensity than people who work out in the morning. Evening exercisers also tend to be more alert, making accidents and injuries less likely.
  • Let’s face it, long days can be stressful and working out is a great tool to relieve that stress. Working out in the evening gives you time to release that stress in a healthy way, instead of hitting happy hour or turning to comfort foods.
  • According to research, workouts tend to be more effective when your body temperature is higher; whereas cold body temperatures leave muscles stiff and more susceptible to injury. Because body temperature naturally increases throughout the day, muscle strength and endurance tend to be better in the afternoon and evening.

Exercise Recommendations

Regardless of when you decide to exercise, you have to do it enough to reap the benefits. Of course, depending on your specific goals, you may have to work out harder or longer, or target specific muscle areas, but the American Heart Association set basic guidelines for everyone as a baseline: at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise; or at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise.

Ultimately, the choice on whether you exercise best in the morning or in the evening is yours. The most important thing is consistency, so choose whatever time allows you to stick to your routine. You can even change it up from day to day, as long as you get it done!

Product of the Month! Douglas Laboratories Super HCA (Garcinia Cambogia)

May is here, and that means we’re in our last month before it’s officially summer. Don’t panic at the word though, there’s still plenty of time to reach your goals and a lot that you can accomplish in a month. Even better news? We saved one of our most powerful supplements to include with our monthly special for May.

As always, our monthly special includes:

Physician Consult & Weekly Weigh-ins
Meal Plans
FDA Approved Medications
MetaBlast Supplements
Craveaway Supplements
Weekly Upgraded Injection of B-12
Bi-Weekly Injection of Lipo X
Full Body Analysis on our BODYCOMP Scale

And for the special product for March: DOUGLAS LABORATORIES SUPER HCA

Super HCA

With this special you receive 4 WEEKS of everything listed above for only $295 (that’s a savings of over $200) – and we’ll throw in the Super HCA for FREE!

Of course, we wouldn’t leave you hanging without letting you know exactly what Super HCA is and why you need it TODAY.

Benefits of Super HCA

Garcinia Cambogia comes from a small tamarind fruit grown throughout India, southern Asia and parts of Africa. While the fruit is commonly used as an ingredient in foods like chutneys and curries, its popularity in the United States revolves around an extract removed from its rind. This extract is believed to hold much of the food’s weight loss abilities.

Inside each rind is a substance known as hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, which is extracted and used as a weight loss supplement. One of the primary ways this supplement works is by inhibiting a substance called citrate lyase — an enzyme that turns fats into carbohydrates. This prevents excess carbohydrates from being stored as fat in the body.

Garcinia Cambogia can also help suppress your appetite. The HCA increases serotonin levels in the brain, which can make you feel less hungry. It also reduces stress and anxiety, which can mean less emotional eating.

Supplement Facts

Each tablet of Super HCA provides 1,400 milligrams of Garcinia Cambogia extract and 60% hydroxycitric acid, or HCA. Unlike many commonly used diet supplements, HCA is not a central nervous system stimulant; so it won’t leave you feeling wired or jittery.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of this special offer and signing up for our monthly special, drop in or call us at either one of our locations to find out more!

North Phoenix: 602-374-3374
Phoenix: 602-441-3305
Tempe: 480-968-5673

Healthy Recipe: Beef Bone Broth

Last week we discussed the benefits of collagen and why it’s absolutely vital that you include this protein in your daily diet. Because collagen is mainly found in the bones of chicken, beef, and fish, it takes a little creativity to extract the protein so you can consume it. Our favorite way to get at this health-boosting protein is to make bone broth.

bone broth

This recipe uses beef and chicken feet, which are optional, but make the broth more gelatinous; however, you can use beef, chicken, or fish bones, or any combination of the three. The key is to let the broth simmer for an extended length of time, at least 24 hours if you’re using beef bones. This allows all of the marrow and collagen to come out of the bones and into the broth.

What You Need:

  • 3 lbs beef marrow bones
  • 2 chicken feet (optional)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • Enough water to cover

What To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spread beef bones out on a baking sheet. Once oven is preheated, roast bones for 30 minutes.
  2. Put carrots, celery, onion, garlic, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves on the bottom of a slow cooker and place the roasted bones and chicken feet on top.
  3. Pour apple cider vinegar over the bones and chicken feet and then fill up the slower cooker with just enough water to completely cover the bones.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on low and let simmer for 24-48 hours.
  5. After 24-48 hours, allow to cool and then strain out the solids. Reserve liquid in a separate container and allow to cool.
  6. Store finished bone broth in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Collagen: America’s Next Superfood?

Nutrition is a science; but it’s a dynamic science. Things are constantly changing as experts learn about new foods, or about how old foods affect the body in ways that we may not have previously known about. As a result of this constantly changing nature of nutrition, it may seem like the spotlight is always pointed on a new “superfood”, and really, it is; but that’s a good thing. It gives us the power to choose foods that support our body and our health and that’s the most important thing you can do. Recently, the spotlight has been on collagen and we’ve been getting a lot of questions on it: What is it? What are the health benefits? How can I incorporate it into my diet?

Like always, we’ve got your back. This week, we’ve broken down the science for you to let you know exactly what collagen is and how it can help you. Next week, we’ll share our favorite way for you to incorporate this “superfood” into your diet.

collagen

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, accounting for almost one-third of your body’s protein. It’s one of the major components in your skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, GI tract, and bones. Collagen is also part of your teeth, blood vessels, and eyes. The simple way to think of collagen is as the glue that holds everything together. It gives everything structure.

As you age, your body starts to produce less (and lower quality) collagen. This is the reason that you can see the skin start to age. In addition to advancing age, collagen can also be damaged by excessive sun exposure, smoking, and a diet that’s high in sugar and refined carbohydrates (like white bread and pasta).

Benefits of Collagen

It’s true that your body makes collagen, but because of the wide range of benefits, you can (and should) also get the protein from your diet and from supplements, if necessary.

Consumption of collagen can:

  • Improve skin elasticity
  • Reduce joint pain and degeneration
  • Improve gut health
  • Boost metabolism
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Strengthen hair, nails, and teeth
  • Protect heart health
  • Improve liver function

Sources of Collagen

Collagen comes from four major places: beef, chicken, fish, and eggs. The catch is that most of the collagen found in beef, chicken, and fish is found in their bones, so you have to get creative to figure out how to extract it and get it into your body. Our favorite way to do this is to make a bone broth that we can sip on at any time of the day.

Collagen is also available in supplement form. It’s usually a powder that you can mix into any liquid. Because of the way it’s processed, most collagen supplements are odorless and tasteless and can easily mix into even cold water.

Product of the Month: Integrative Therapeutics 7-Keto Lean

April is here and we’re not fooling: we have a brand new product to highlight with our regular monthly special, which includes:

Physician Consult & Weekly Weigh-ins
Meal Plans
FDA Approved Medications
MetaBlast Supplements
Crave-Away Supplements
Weekly Upgraded Injection of B-12
Bi-Weekly Injection of Lipo X
Full Body Analysis on our BODYCOMP Scale

And for April: INTEGRATIVE THERAPEUTICS 7-KETO LEAN!

7-Keto Lean

With this special you receive 4 WEEKS of everything listed above for only $295 (that’s a savings of over $200) – and we’ll throw in the 7-Keto Lean for FREE!

About 7-Keto Lean

Integrative Therapeutics 7-Keto Lean is an all-natural weight loss supplement that helps boost weight loss mainly by acting on your thyroid gland, which controls your metabolism (among other things)

7-Keto Lean acts on your metabolism by activating certain enzymes called thermogenic enzymes, which help burn fat, increase metabolic rate, boost energy levels, and support your thyroid health – all of which promotes weight loss*.

The Main Ingredient

The main ingredient in 7-Keto Lean, 7-Keto (its namesake), is a form of DHEA, or Dehydroepiandrosterone, a hormone that’s found naturally in the body. DHEA is made by your adrenal glands – the glands that sit right by each kidney – and your brain. As you age, your natural production of DHEA goes down, which can throw off your hormonal balance. Taking DHEA in supplemental form helps restore this balance and can boost weight loss*.

Other Ingredients

DHEA is not the only beneficial ingredient in 7-Keto Lean, though. It also includes L-tyrosine, asparagus extract, choline, inositol, copper, manganese, and iodine, which all have their own, important roles.

Required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which are important in regulating cellular metabolic rate.

7-keto DHEA Acetate A safe and improved form of DHEA that’s shown to enhance weight loss and reduce body fat by supporting healthy thyroid function and fat metabolism.  Also helps increases thermogenic enzyme activity
L-Tyrosine An essential nutrient required for thyroid hormone formation.
Asparagus Extract A potent metabolic detoxifier that supports healthy fluid balance.
Choline A nutrient involved in many important metabolic functions, including fat transport and metabolism.
Inositol Another nutrient which promotes the transport and metabolism of fat.
Copper An essential trace mineral and cofactor of enzymes involved in carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
Manganese An essential mineral required for healthy thyroid hormone metabolism.
Iodine Another essential nutrient found in high concentrations in the thyroid gland.

It DOES NOT Contain any:

  • Artificial coloring
  • Artificial flavoring
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Preservatives
  • Salt
  • Soy
  • Sugar
  • Wheat
  • Yeast

Unlike many other metabolism-boosting supplements on the market, 7-Keto Lean doesn’t raise your heart rate or blood pressure and it will NOT keep you awake at night!

If you’re interested in taking advantage of this special offer and signing up for our monthly special, drop in or call us at any one of our locations to find out more!

North Phoenix: 602-374-3374
Phoenix: 602-441-3305
Tempe: 480-968-5673

Always Up at 3 AM? Your Blood Sugar May be to Blame

We talk about sleep a lot, but that’s because its importance cannot be overstated. Not just for weight loss, but for your health in general. Sleep is nourishing and restorative and when you don’t get enough of it, it can completely throw you off in all areas.

As we started educating our clients on the importance of sleep, we noticed an alarming trend: a large percentage of people admitted that not only do they not get enough sleep, but their sleep is unsatisfying. They toss and turn all night or wake up throughout the night. In addition to that, there was a striking similarity in those who were having sleep trouble. A significant amount of people who admitted to unsatisfying sleep were waking up around 3 AM. We figured that there had to be significance to this time frame, so we dug a little further. We were shocked at what we found.

Why You Wake Up at 3 AM

Your body is a complex organism. Although you probably don’t think about it much, it’s constantly pumping out hormones and balancing these hormones to keep you running like a well-oiled machine. If these hormones are off-kilter, it can cause a number of symptoms – one of which is waking up in the middle of the night. One of the most common causes of waking up around 3 AM is blood sugar imbalance due to stress. Let us break it down for you.

When you’re stressed, it triggers your adrenal glands (which sit right near your kidneys) to pump out a hormone called adrenaline. In response to adrenaline, the liver releases, and your cells use up more, glycogen, the stored form of glucose, or blood sugar. If there is not enough glycogen in your body to replenish the stores in your liver, even more adrenaline is released. As a result, your blood sugar levels drop and you begin to feel alert and ready for action, instead of relaxed and ready for sleep.

So What Do You Do?

Now that you know WHY you’re waking up at 3 AM consistently, the next question is: how do I fix it? The two major goals here are to 1. get your blood sugar balanced and 2. reduce your stress levels.

How to Balance Blood Sugar:
  • Eat 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks per day. Make sure that all meals and snacks include protein, healthy fat, and healthy carbohydrates.
  • Eliminate processed foods and focus only on whole, nutrient-dense foods.
  • Never skip meals.
  • Avoid sugar.
  • Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up.

While you’re working to balance your blood sugar, here’s a helpful tip that can get you on your way to better sleep right away. Before bed each night, eat a teaspoon of raw, local honey. The honey gives your body the glucose it needs to replenish the liver’s glycogen stores. That way, your adrenals won’t cause your blood sugar to drop during the night.

How to Reduce Stress on the Adrenal Glands:
  • Follow a healthy diet.
  • Go to bed before 10 PM and aim for at least 7 hours of sleep.
  • Avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
  • Engage in yoga and meditation, but avoid intense exercise.
  • Get some sunlight. If this is impossible due to weather, supplement with Vitamin D.
  • Make time to play or engage in activities that you enjoy.

An Important Note

Of course stress and blood sugar imbalance is not the only cause of restless sleep. Sometimes the tossing and turning are a result of sleep apnea, consumption of alcohol, age, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It’s always best to check in with your doctor if you’re having chronic sleep troubles.

The Whole30 Program: Can It Change Your Life?

In 2009, Melissa and Dallas Hartwig developed a clean eating program designed to “change your life in 30 days”. In its infancy, this program, which was officially named the Whole30, not only attracted hundreds of participants, but it did, indeed, change those participants’ lives. These participants were not just losing weight, they were losing brain fog, food cravings, high blood pressure, and chronic aches and pains that nothing else seemed to help. Energy was increasing, athletic performance was enhancing, and sleep quality was improving.

whole30 sweet potato enchiladas

Since 2009, the program has exploded in popularity, and lately, it’s gaining more traction than ever. Melissa Hartwig, one of the co-creators, recently appeared on Dr. Oz to talk about the Whole30 and what makes the plan so great.

When we first started digging into the testimonials, we thought that it sounded a little too good to be true; but then we investigated a little further. Although the results from the program seem like a miracle, the premise is actually very simple: eat real food. And that makes sense to us.

The Whole30 Basics

The basic underlying principle of the Whole30 program is to eat real food that our ancestors would recognize as food. This includes meat, fish, eggs, and lots of vegetables, but excludes things like grains (which humans only learned to process during the Industrial Revolution) and processed sugar (which wreaks havoc on the body in many ways). The creators of the program believe, and they have a lot of science to back it up, that when you eat the way your body was designed to eat from an ancestral perspective, it allows your body to function optimally. This leaves little room for chronic symptoms and unexplained diseases and illnesses.

The No Foods

  • Added sugar (real or artificial)
  • Alcohol
  • Grains (including but not limited to wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, buckwheat, quinoa)
  • Legumes (beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Carageenan, MSG, and sulfites

The Yes Foods

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy fats (coconut oil, coconuts, olives, olive oil, avocado, avocado oil)
  • Herbs, spices, and seasonings (check your labels!)

Other Rules

  1. Do not re-create junk food. Technically, there are ways to make whole30 approved pancakes, muffins, and cookies, but this defeats the entire purpose of the program, which is to change your relationship with food. If you have a hard time giving up pancakes, it’s a good idea to use the 30 days to break the habit and eat other foods.
  2. Do not step on the scale or take any measurements for the whole 30 days. Although it’s likely that you’ll lose weight, especially if this food plan is vastly different from the one you’re used to, that’s not the main point of the program. It’s encouraged that you weigh yourself and take measurements before and after the 30 days, but not during.
  3. No cheating. 30 days, no cheats.

Our Take

The Whole30 program focuses on eating lots of real, whole foods and eliminating foods that are processed or inflammatory to the body. Although, it can be difficult to follow for those who are not used to eating this way, we think it’s worth a shot to commit for the 30 days. The point of the program is not to never have the “no” foods again, but to learn how these foods affect your body. If you’re able to pinpoint certain foods that don’t agree with you, you’re better able to make food choices that make you feel good over the long term.

Tried the Whole30 program? Chime in and let us know how/if it changed your life.

Healthy Recipe: Magnesium-Rich Smoothie

Last week we discussed the importance of magnesium and shared the staggering statistic that 68% of Americans don’t get enough of this important nutrient. We know that life gets busy and it can be difficult to always plan well-balanced meals that meet all of your nutritional needs, so we’re here to help. This smoothie takes only minutes to prepare and provides a whopping 156 milligrams of magnesium. That’s more than half of your entire needs for the day if you’re a woman, and 40% of your needs if you’re a man.

magnesium smoothie

What You Need:

  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (42)
  • ¼ cup spinach (6)
  • One-fourth of a medium avocado (14.5)
  • 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder (unsweetened) (26)
  • ½ medium frozen banana (16)
  • 5 frozen strawberries (10)
  • 1 cup almond milk (15.2)
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates (26)

What To Do:

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. If smoothie is too thick, add more almond milk until you reach your desired consistency.

Magnesium: a Mineral that Could Change Your Life

When you hear the word “magnesium”, what comes to your mind? You may know that it’s a mineral and one that you’re supposed to be eating, but do you know how incredibly important this one nutrient is for good health? If you don’t, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. A lot of people focus on carbohydrates, protein, fat, and calories for good health, but there are lots of other vital players, like magnesium, in the game.

magnesium rich walnuts

What Does Magnesium Do?

Every single organ in your body, but especially your heart, lungs, and muscles, relies on magnesium to work properly. The mineral is involved in other 300 different biochemical reactions that range from converting the food you eat into energy to creating new proteins to making your nervous system work. Magnesium does so much for you and yet, according to research, more than half (68% to be exact) of Americans don’t get the recommended minimum daily requirement. To add insult to injury, around 19% of Americans don’t even consume half the recommended amount. So why is this such a problem?

Risks of Deficiency

As we mentioned earlier, having enough magnesium in your body is essential for allowing your organs to function properly. According to research, adults who don’t get enough are more likely to have heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. Low levels of magnesium have also been linked to type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, migraines, asthma, and colon cancer.

Signs of a deficiency can be widespread and non-specific, but the most common include:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation/irritability
  • Low blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia/sleep disorders
  • Hyperventilation
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Muscle weakness
  • Abnormal heart rhythms

I know this all seems like bad news, but here’s the good part: you can get all the magnesium you need by including magnesium-rich foods in your diet every day. The other good news: one of the magnesium-rich foods is dark chocolate.

Magnesium-Rich Foods

The best way to get enough magnesium in your diet is to make sure that you’re eating a variety of different magnesium-rich foods every day. By varying your food choices, you’re not only making sure your magnesium needs are met, you’re also making sure that you’re getting enough of all the another important vitamins and minerals that you need. The current recommendation is 310-320 milligrams for adult females and 400-420 milligrams for adult males per day.

The following foods are especially rich in magnesium:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Spinach, boiled
  • Swiss chard
  • Dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa)
  • Black beans
  • Quinoa
  • Halibut
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Mackerel
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Avocado
  • Salmon

Magnesium Supplementation

Although it’s always best to try to get all the nutrients you need from food, that can be difficult in today’s world. Fortunately, there are many supplements available over the counter. Magnesium supplements come in several different forms, but the forms your body can absorb most effectively are citrate, gluconate, and lactate. Magnesium supplements are generally safe, but always make sure to discuss any new supplements with your doctor before taking them.