Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Incredible Egg

Three yolks from two chicken eggs; one of thes...

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Hello There!

I feel like there are more mixed messages about eggs than any other food out there. The other day I was shopping at Trader Joe’s (buying 2 dozen eggs), when I overheard the person behind the free sample booth dishing out mini servings of egg white salads say to a customer “and it’s made with just the egg whites so you’re not getting all that terrible fat and cholesterol.” Wha what?!? It was all I could do to not interrupt this person and publicly debate him on the nutritional properties of eggs and the misconceptions regarding egg yolks… But that wouldn’t have been fair. He was most likely just repeating what he was told by some other misinformed soul. So, I refilled my free mini coffee, continued shopping and knew exactly what I’d be writing about in my next blog.

Yolk or no Yolk?

Lets first dive into exactly what egg yolks do for us and why it’s so important to eat them. We all know that eggs are high in protein (roughly 6-8 grams per egg), and aside from being some of the highest quality protein found in any food, eggs are also packed with vitamins and minerals. The majority of which are found in the yolk! One of the most powerful is an essential nutrient called Choline that according to incredibleeeg.org “contributes to fetal brain developement and helps prevent birth defects. Two eggs provide 250mg of Choline or roughly half of the recommended daily intake for pregnant or breastfeeding women.” Choline also aids in brain function by maintaining the structure of brain cell membranes and helps relay messages from the brain’s neurotransmitters through nerves to the muscles.

Egg yolks also contain two very important antioxidants, Lutein and zeaxanthin, that help prevent age related blindness through higher bioavailability of these antioxidants than other food sources.

Why the bad press?

It’s amazing to me that after all these years and countless studies proving the benefit of eggs the majority of people still shy away from including them, more specifically the yolks, into their daily diets. A major reason why foods like eggs and meat have been demonized for the last century (despite being eaten by every human civilization for the past 250,000 years) is because the founders of our food pyramid (William K. Kellogg ring a bell?) placed breads and grains as the foundation to a healthy diet promoting a low-fat/high fiber diet as your best defense to reducing your chances of getting high cholesterol and/or heart disease caused by saturated fats.. Nothing could be further from the truth.. Want proof? Just take a look at the rate of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in our country today and then take a look at the abundance of carb laden foods and snacks everywhere you turn especially in our school cafeterias. W. K. Kellogg was a smart business man and knew that people, as we often do, associate a brand with quality. Especially in a time when research in this area was very minimal and information was hard to come by. Fast forward a hundred years and many of us are still hanging on to that old belief that carbohydrates should make up the majority of our caloric intake despite health the epidemics related to processed grains popping up like wildfire. 

Bottom line: The food pyramid is upside down. The fats that come from eggs and meats are essential to our biology. Our bodies use it to make hormones, regulate blood sugar and assimilate proteins to name a few.

What about all that cholesterol?

According to a 2010 study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) the amount of cholesterol in a single egg is 14% lower than previously recorded and the amount of vitamin D is 64% higher. According to the American Heart Association, your genetic makeup determines how much cholesterol your body will produce – not your diet.  Your liver produces about 75% of your total cholesterol which your body needs for digestion and creation of certain hormones, the remaining 25% comes from food.  So, if you’re already genetically pre-disposed to high cholesterol then 4 eggs a day might be a bit much, but the benefits of including 1 or 2 to your diet far out way any risks that may be associated. 

With all the misconceptions about food out there, a good rule of thumb is that if it goes bad it’s probably good for you. Anything with a shelf life is suspect and most likely packed with preservatives and artificial ingredients. When it comes to something as naturally occurring as an egg, I would advise anyone without reservation to enjoy in abundance. So trade in your puffed wheat cereal (a.k.a. poison) and try a couple of eggs for breakfast. It’ll be the best decision you made all day.

To your health,
Justin Schollard


WORKOUT OF THE WEEK

Hello everyone! Here’s this weeks workout:

Warm up: 10 min of any combination of the following: Jog, jumping jacks, bike, jump rope, arm circles, power walk…

3 rounds of:

15 one-legged deadlifts (body weight or with moderate weights if you feel comfortable) both legs. If you’re unfamiliar with the move click this link: http://youtu.be/7eACTTzeh-E

30 seconds of mountain climbers. Click here if you are unfamiliar with the move: http://youtu.be/7SR_AYW8AOA

10-20 standard push ups. Perform “knee” push-ups if you are unable to do standard ones. Challenge yourself!

Next, set the clock for 10 minutes and perform as many rounds as possible for time of:

12 body weight squats

8 pull-ups or machine lat pull-downs with moderate to heavy weight. 

12 full sit-ups with a twist, or 15 crunches if you can’t do a full sit-up.

Thats it! congrats! Take a day or two off then repeat. Don’t forget to spend 5-10 min stretching.

Check back next week for another workout.

To your health,

Justin Schollard


WORKOUT OF THE WEEK

10 min warm up: Run, bike, jump rope, jumping jacks, etc…

30 burpees: If you are unfamiliar with the move click this link: http://youtu.be/c_Dq_NCzj8M

After you complete 30 burpees do 3 rounds of:

8 Pull-ups (if you can’t perform a pull-up do seated lat pulldowns with a moderate to heavy weight)

8 one-arm snatches (Again with a moderate to heavy weight) If you are unfamiliar with the move click this link: http://youtu.be/RmDhQT48bPI

15 body-weight squats

After you’ve completed 3 rounds, do 3 more rounds of:

20 alternating bench or box step ups (Place one leg on an exercise bench or 24” box and step on and off alternating your legs)

20 alternating bicycle crunches. If you are unfamiliar with the move click here: http://youtu.be/RmDhQT48bPI

1 min plank hold (hold yourself in the pushup position)

Thats it! congrats! Just make sure you spend 5-10 minutes stretching out your arms and legs.

Give yourself  a day or two of rest and repeat.

To your health,

Justin Schollard


Cardio: How much is enough?

KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea— Airmen from the ...

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It seems like almost everywhere you go people are giving you opposing opinions on when, how and how long to do cardio. Should you do low intensity for a long period of time? Or should you do high intensity for a shorter period of time? One thing is for certain; we all have our own genetic predisposition that governs how various forms of cardiovascular activities affect us. However, genetics don’t doom or guarantee anything! That is an exercise law.

To help us understand cardio let’s first take a look at the three dominate metabolic pathways. Each one has a purpose and each one affects our strength, endurance, body composition and agility differently.

1) Phosphagen Pathway: This is the first and most powerful of the three pathways. This is the power source of all your explosive maximal efforts: sprints, heavy lifts, or any all-out physical activity lasting less than 30 seconds. At this point you may be saying to yourself  “30 seconds? How the hell is anything lasting 30 seconds considered cardio?” Well, the beauty of this pathway is that the recovery time between intense “bouts” is also very fast because the phosphagen pathway works hand in hand with “ATP” or adenosine triphosphate. Which is just a big scientific word meaning the currency of energy on the body. Basically, we all have a certain amount of ATP cells in our bodies at any given time and after 30 seconds of all-out maximum exertion they’re pretty much depleted, but only for about a minute or two and then our body produces more (of course this varies depending on your current levels of conditioning and could take upwards of 3-5 minutes in the beginning stages of training) . An example of how to put this pathway into action to improve cardiovascular stamina would be a 30 second all-out sprint followed by 1 minute of rest repeated 10-20 times.

Another beautiful thing about this pathway is that in addition to burning fat it does NOT waste muscle but in fact helps to build it! This is due to the intensity of the exercise. Most workouts fall short “waking up” the central nervous system because of their lack of intensity. Intensity is the key because intensity is the signal to your body that a change is needed whether in the form of fat loss or muscle gains. Without intensity (sweating, out of breath, cursing your trainer…) your body happily stays right where it was because it’s already “fit” enough to handle the amount of strength and stamina you require from it. So step it up!

2) Glycolytic Pathway: This is the dominant pathway in intervals of exertion lasting between 30-120 seconds. This is our “mid-distance” pathway and is mainly used in such sports as boxing, 400, 800, and 1200 meter runs or swims, basketball, soccer etc… This pathway also aids in waking up our central nervous system by recruiting a high amount of muscle fibers to complete the task at hand. A two minute on – one minute off approach to running, boxing, burpees, box jumping, rowing etc. about 10 times through is a great way to increase your cardiovascular capacity without having to sacrifice strength and agility. This pathway allows for higher levels of cardio endurance to be reached than the phosphagen pathway through longer intervals of exertion but without all the muscle wasting side affects and the third pathway. Which brings us to…

3) Oxidative Pathway: This, as you may have guessed is the long distance or endurance pathway and the only one that is considered “sustainable”. Meaning that unlike the phosphagen and the Glycolytic pathways which are unsustainable (you can only do em for so long before you fatigue) The oxidative pathway can be trained to go and go. Marathon runners are an example of people who have trained their oxidative pathway to insane capacities. Basically anything lasting longer than two minutes is dominated by this pathway.

So, what is one to do? Which one is the best for me? Answer: They all are. However, here’s something to consider before you lace up your running shoes and set out for that 10k. Although the oxidative (long distance) pathway is conventionally know to decrease body fat it is also considered to be the least functional of the three and wastes the most muscle tissue as well. Studies have shown that high intensity levels of interval training (the first two pathways) burns as much, if not more body fat than long distance training does. Studies have also shown that training in the first two pathways increases ability in the third, however training in the third pathway actually decreases ability in the first and second. Meaning those long runs and bike rides could be the very thing preventing you from getting that sculpted physique we so long for. Need proof? Just compare the bodies of sprinters and long distance runners.

My opinion? Keep the cardio brief and intense (under 30 minutes). Use intervals when you do cardio. Don’t get sucked into the belief that you should be on the treadmill for an hour at the same pace. Warm up, tax your central nervous system, push your limits, and get out. You will get all the benefits of long distance endurance training, all the while expanding and improving your overall strength and ability.

Happy cardioing!

To your health,

Justin Schollard


WORKOUT OF THE WEEK

1. 10 minute warm up: bike, run, jump rope,  etc…


2. Set the clock for 10 minutes and complete as many rounds as possible until time is up:

– 8 hindu  pushups (standard or knee) watch this video if you are unfamiliar with the move: http://youtu.be/NcW61Bb8uOo

– 12 sit ups (if you can’t perform a sit-up then do 12 leg raises or 15 crunches)

– 16 alternating lunges

3. After 10 minutes is up perform 3 rounds of: 

– 20 alternating Single arm raises in plank (push-up) position – hold yourself in the push-up position and raise one arm at a time off the ground. The key here is to use your abs to stabilize your hips from swaying. Your arm leaving the ground is the only thing that should be moving.

– 20 over head shoulder presses (dumbbell) – pick a moderately heavy weight. Women- 5-10lbs. Men 10-20lbs. 

– 15 reverse flys with the same weight as you used for the over head presses. Here’s a video from you to if you’re unfamiliar with the move: http://youtu.be/RnpEWnwUyw4

Once you’ve completed 3 rounds of this spend 5-10 minutes stretching your legs and arms out.

Congrats! You’re done! Give yourself a day or two of rest and repeat. Check back next week for a new workout. 

To your health,

Justin Schollard

Sugar, pasta, bread: Stay away!

Macro photograph of a pile of sugar (saccharose)

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I recently received the following email from a new reader and thought I’d share what I wrote with everyone…



Hi Justin,

My friend forwarded me your blog link. I was wondering when you say to not eat sugar, are you talking refined/processed sugar or also things like bread, pasta, potatoes (carbs)? By the way, what is your take on baked potatoes? Awesome blog!
Thanks,
B


Hi B,
Thank you for the email, its a great question.
No matter what your fitness goal is always remember one thing; sugar is the enemy! Regardless of the form it comes in sugar is going to significantly hinder your dieting objectives. Yes, some sugars are worse than others. Naturally occurring sugars in fruit for example are definitely a healthier choice than say a bag of skittles, but if we really get down to it what are we trying to achieve by eating fruits in the first place? The answer is nutrition. So, if the same if not more nutrition can be attained elsewhere through things like veggies, SuperFood powders and berries(I know its still fruit but berriesare packed with micro-nutrients and have very little calories) then why ingest the extra 20 grams of sugar you’d get through fruits like apples, oranges, bananas etc…? Bottom line, refined sugars are to be avoided at all costs. Fruits should be eaten in moderation.
Breads, pasta, and rice are also dietary enemies with the sole purpose of wreaking havoc on you metabolism. Don’t be fooled by clever packaging that claims to be a healthy choice. The fact is that these forms of carbs are essentially processedand bleached of all their nutritional value. Even if its “organic whole wheat” remember that that’s only a less-bad option from regular white bread or pasta and not to be mistaken as a health food. Yes, it’ll have some fiber and a few nutrients in it, but again it goes back to my earlier statement about getting those same nutritional qualities elsewhere without all the baggage. Your main source of carbs should come in the form of raw nuts, organic beans, veggies, little fruit, and yes, on occasion a potato. Which is a much better alternative than any flower based carb or rice.
The unprocessed starch in potatoes is great for replenishing glucose stores after a workout, and for people acclimating to a low carb diet it can be a great alternative for getting trough bread/pasta withdraws. Potatoes also have a pretty decent amount of magnesium and potassium as well… But remember the goal is to wing ourselves from using carbs as our main energy source and to switch to burning fat as our fuel. We do this by consuming less carbs and more fats. So, although potatoes are a healthier option moderation is still the key.

Thanks again for the email!

To your health,

Justin Schollard

Sample Diet: How I eat (most of the time)

Official seal of the National Organic Program

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7am: One Greens+ protein bar and one serving of KJ SuperFoods.

10am: Two handfuls of mixed raw nuts.

12-1pm: 1 slice of ezekiel sprouted wheat bread with organic peanut butter and 4 RAW, organic, free range eggs

…I know. This may sound crazy but trust me, I’ve been eating raw eggs for years and never once felt the least bit sick. The biggest misconception about raw eggs is that you’ll get salmonella poisoning from them. However, the only way salmonella can get into that air-tight shell is if the chicken that laid the egg had it. So, by making sure you’re getting high quality organic, free range eggs (preferably from farmers markets) you can enjoy all the benefits that eating eggs in the raw provide. For example: DIGESTIVE ENZYMES! However, not everyone can stomach eggs in the raw, so by all means cook them if you must.

Moving on..

3pm: One can of wild salmon in a bowl of lentils with some organic mayonnaise and a big dark green salad. 

Why canned you ask? Well, as long as it doesn’t come from a fish farm, canned fish ain’t bad! I discovered that Trader Joe’s sells cans of wild Alaskan Salmon. Since you can’t technically buy “organic” fish or seafood, the best thing you can do is make sure it’s “wild caught”. The reason being that farmed fish are kept in tanks that severely limit the range the fish can swim causing it to never quit reach muscular maturity. Also, farmed fish are usually fed a corn base feed which is, of course, the furthest thing on the planet from what the fish would eat in its natural habitat. Not to mention there’s a good chance that some genetic engineering was done to give those filets that big, juicy look. YUK!

Wild. Organic. Raw. Period.

POST WORKOUT SHAKE: Half of a organic banana, strawberries, WILD organic blueberries, Organic peanut butter and a serving of KJ SuperFoods protein/green blend

Why wild blueberries? It’s common knowledge that blueberries are pack with antioxidants, right? What’s not so well know is that antioxidants act a a natural pesticide to ward of insects. So, when blueberries are factory farmed, i.e. sprayed with insecticides like DDT, the berry stops producing its own natural insecticides (antioxidants).

6pm: 2 organic, free range chicken thighs, Half cup of lentils. 

Why the thighs? Don’t buy into the belief that chicken breasts are the end-all-be-all of healthy eating. That’s just what the factory farming industry wants you to think. FACT: chickens don’t fly. If you get a chance, take a look at a WILD turkey or chicken breast. You’ll notice how small it actually is. Reason being: if the bird can’t fly, the breast is the most dysfunctional muscle it has. So the next time you’re in the super market and you see that massive chicken breast glistening behind that cellophane remember; genetic engineering is a real thing, and the USDA does not require food manufacturers to label their product if has been genetically altered. Bottom line, they’re in business to make a profit. Don’t be fooled by the happy farmer on their packaging. They know we, as a nation, are infatuated with chicken breasts, so they supply the demand accordingly by dosing the chickens with hormones to accelerate the growth of their breasts at a rate the rest of its frame can’t even support. Go for the dark meat next time. It tastes so much better!

9pm: Half cup of Organic Kidney, Black or Pinto beans, Organic red meat and mixed organic veggies. 

By this point you might be asking yourself; What’s with all the beans, dude? Quit simply, beans are some the most nutritionally dense forms of un-bleachable carbohydrates out there. When it comes to carbs, (which should be eaten with caution) you want to eat the most complex-slow burning ones available. The difference between beans and say, wheat bread or brown rice is that flower and/or rice has the POTENTIAL to become a simple, fast acting carbohydrate by being bleached of its nutritional properties. So, in terms of superior nutrition avoid eating the “less bad” options like whole wheat or brown rice and opt for something like beans or nuts or even sprouted wheats and get the benefits of their nutritional density.

That’s it! If you found this post useful please “like” it and always feel free to leave a comment.

To your health,

Justin Schollard


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