The Best And Worst Low Carb Foods

The Best And Worst Low Carb Foods

You may find a host of low carb foods on the grocery shelf, proudly announcing it on their packaging. Just noting something is low carb, doesn’t mean it’s a healthy addition to the diet. The same is true for high carb foods. People on a low carbohydrate diet often search for those foods that contain the fewest carbohydrates without focusing on other health benefits. Finding the best and worst low carb goods in Miami, FL, can help you achieve weight loss, while boosting your overall health.

What’s the worst low carbohydrate foods you can add to your diet?

You may be eyeing some of those low carbohydrate candies and confections, but you really shouldn’t. Many replace sugar with sugar alcohol that causes bloating and gas. These foods often include inflammatory highly refined vegetable oils and provide no nutritional value—just like other junk foods. String cheese is another favorite, but like many other types of cheese, it’s highly processed. Processed meat is another food that’s known to be unhealthy, yet it’s low in carbs. Various types of bread and low carb tortillas basically are made in the lab, rather than being natural. There’s a plethora of vegetable oils and spreads that aren’t healthy, but low in carbohydrates. Frozen low carb meals and keto fast foods are also filled with ingredients that sound like a chemical equation. Read the labels before buying.

Finding the best low carb foods is easy.

Check the produce section at your grocery and you’ll find some of the best low carb foods. Most vegetables grown above ground are low carb, with the exception of pumpkins. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, asparagus and all those leafy greens are just a few of the excellent choices. Put nuts and seeds on the list, too. They’re a good source of protein and low in carbs. Fermented food, cage free/free range eggs, grass fed beef and other meats are also healthy carbs. Healthy oils and bone broth also top the healthy list.

Even “health foods” like protein bars and protein powder don’t always make the list.

Just like those low carb confections, many of the protein bars contain highly processed ingredients and are loaded with additives you’ll never find in nature. These can often affect your microbiome and lead to inflammation. Always check the label for ingredients. Those with natural ones, such as collagen, coconut oil and almond butter are the best. Protein powder is another that needs investigating. Some have been found to contain everything from heavy metals to pesticides. Rather than add those powders, add nuts or eggs to your diet.

  • Vegetable oils and spreads aren’t nearly as healthy as butter from grass fed cows. Those spreads often have a high amount of Omega 6 fatty acids compared to the Omega 3s. That can cause inflammation.
  • You might think you’re safe by drinking “diet” soda, but stick with the ultimate low carb drink, water. Studies show that diet soda can add inches to your middle, encourage cravings for sugar and disrupt the microbiome of the gut, which leads to glucose intolerance.
  • If you’re hoping for a sweet treat, it’s still available. Dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao that’s sweetened with a natural sweetener like stevia is a healthy option.
  • How slow a carb digests is another indication of its healthiness. Fast digesting sugars and refined carbs are unhealthy, slower digesting ones like melons and other fruit, beans, lentils, berries and beet or other starchy vegetables are also healthy options.

For more information, contact us today at Kirra Collins Fitness

Nutrition For Life

Nutrition For Life

Whether you live in Oklahoma, or any place in this world, you probably have at least a basic concept of how important good nutrition is no matter what your age. In fact, it’s the first thing that needs to be addressed if you want to change your overall health, weight of level of fitness. There’s a saying that a fit body starts in the kitchen. That’s true. While working out will help build muscles, without the right nutrition, you won’t get the results you want.

You need the basic building blocks.

In some countries, starvation is a huge problem for the population. It’s not the case in the United States. In fact, obesity is the leading killer. What’s sad is that both have one thing in common. Both groups, the obese and the starving are often suffering from malnutrition. In the US, over a third of adults are obese and about a sixth of children and young adults under 19 are obese. It all boils down to eating empty calories and making unwise choices when it comes to food.

Healthy eating prevents obesity and that also prevents many diseases.

You don’t have to be overweight to suffer from bad eating habits and the effects they have on your body. Lack of certain nutrients affect various parts of the body. Too little calcium, vitamin k and vitamin D can promote osteoporosis. High amounts of saturated fats and trans fats can lead to cardiovascular disease. You can increase healthy cholesterol and decrease unhealthy bad cholesterol by managing your diet, too. In fact, healthy eating can also improve your mood and build your energy level.

Good nutrition can help to maintain muscle mass as you age or build that cut, competition-ready appearance.

Good nutrition helps build and maintain muscles. For older individuals, maintaining muscle mass is important. It keeps individuals independent longer, keeps bones stronger and helps avoid injuries. For body builders, nutrition is the core of getting that competition ready appearance. You need adequate protein, based on your overall goal. It comes from healthy options like chicken, salmon, cottage cheese, lean meat and nuts. Carbohydrates are necessary for energy for your workout, but make it high quality, like whole-grain, fruits and vegetables. Healthy fat, from sources like walnuts, fatty fish, pistachios, almonds, avocados and olive oil should also be in your diet. It’s necessary to produce the hormones that help boost muscle growth and strength.

  • The best diet for you should contain an abundant amount of vegetables and fruits, plus lean protein and a healthy source of fat. It should have all colors of vegetables, which means a variety of nutrients and be based on your overall health goal.
  • Besides eating healthy, a program of regular exercise is also important. Exercise increases blood circulation to get nutrients to all parts of the body. It builds endurance, strength and flexibility.
  • You’ll reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and other serious conditions when you have good nutrition for life.
  • Not only will it improve your body and keep you healthy, good nutrition is also good for the brain. Studies show that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of dementia and help prevent cognitive decline.

For more information, contact us today at Kirra Collins Fitness

How Exercising Can Be A Stress Reliever

How Exercising Can Be A Stress Reliever

Are you running around Miami, Florida stressed to the max and so busy you don’t have time to workout? That’s exactly the time you need to workout, when there is no time. No matter where you live, if you’re under stress, that’s when it’s time to start working out. Not only is exercise good for your health, exercising can be a stress reliever. It burns off the hormones of stress, like cortisol. Stress exacerbates health conditions and creates ones where none exist. It boosts energy and can help prevent minor injuries that can occur from doing everyday tasks.

It boosts your happy hormones.

You’ve probably heard of a runner’s high, well that’s the way all types of exercise affect the body. It helps boost the production of the feel-good hormones called endorphins. You don’t have to go running to experience it. It’s part of the body’s chemistry to deal with pain or stress. These neurotransmitters interact with the opiate receptors in the brain and act very much like opiate drugs, except for the potential for addiction. There are 20 different types of endorphins found in the brain and throughout the body.

Exercise can function like meditation.

Meditation helps you escape the day and rest your brain, basically thinking of nothing, just being in the moment. Have you ever noticed how your thoughts seem to disappear when you’re running and you’re just hearing the sound of your feet on the pavement or the wind in your ear? Or how your focus shifts from the day’s problems to each individual muscle when you’re doing power lifts? That laser sharp focus on the specific activity, sights and sounds is like meditation in motion.

Stress can cause side effects like anxiety and depression.

Working out not only boosts your mood and self-confidence right after you do it, it can help make long term changes in your mood. Studies show that when exercise was a complementary therapy, depressed and anxious subjects improved more and more rapidly. It helps improve sleep, which is another way to help boost your mood and reduce your stress.

  • Don’t add to your stress, ease into exercise and don’t push yourself to the point of injury. Make sure you check with your health care professional before you start any workout program.
  • Combine working out with having fun. Get a workout partner and make it social. Studies show that people with a healthy social life also live longer. One thing is certain, a workout buddy holds you accountable for your exercise program.
  • If you’re out of shape and can’t do a regular workout, start slowly. Walk before you run. Walking more each day can build your endurance and get your body ready for a great workout. It also burns off hormones of stress.
  • Exercise can strengthen your muscles, build stronger bones, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, help you lose weight and improve your self-image, too. Those changes can relieve a lot of stress.

For more information, contact us today at Kirra Collins Fitness

What Are The Best Workouts To Do In The Least Amount Of Time?

What Are The Best Workouts To Do In The Least Amount Of Time?

People all over the country from Dallas and Denver to Miami and Oklahoma are busy getting back into the groove and looking for the best workouts that can be done in the least amount of time. Business has gotten busier and finding ways to save time, while staying fit is important. If you can take more time for an hour at the gym, go for it. However, most people have days that are simply too rushed. Rather than skipping a workout entirely, they use these time saving ideas.

Break your workout to three sessions.

If you have a half hour workout…break it down to three ten-minute sessions. One study tracked four groups of people. The first group didn’t exercise. The second group did two 15-minute workouts a day. The third group did a solid half hour a day and the fourth group did three 10-minute workouts. Who got the most benefit? Based on weight lost and improved endurance, all three groups that exercised benefited equally. The group that didn’t workout made no progress, as would be expected. If you have small sections of time throughout the day, you can fit in an entire workout and still benefit even if it’s done in sections.

Work out harder.

Increase your intensity and cut your time a little shorter. If you’re working out at a moderate pace or with lighter weights, make it harder on yourself by adding more weight and increasing the intensity. You shouldn’t workout as long when you’ve bumped up your efforts to the max. Push yourself to the limit. Doing interval training with less resting time between sets is another way to get more bang from our exercise time.

Make compound moves part of your workout.

Compound moves involve several muscle groups working at the same time. It can save time when you’re doing strength training, especially. You can combine two exercises in one with a squat that adds a bicep curl or do a lunge as you’re doing a tricep extension. Do a movement that combines several muscle groups in one exercise, like a deadlift or basic squat.

  • Write out your workout, so you don’t have to stop and think or find the video when you have time to workout. You will save time and get your routine done faster when you know exactly what comes next. Having it in front of you, on paper, is one way to do it.
  • Turn off your phone to avoid distractions. Even the best intentions can go by the wayside. If the call is important, they’ll leave a message.
  • Do a four minute nitric oxide dump three times a day. Dr. Zach Bush created it and it includes squats, arm swings, arm circles and overhead presses. It’s perfect when you have just a few minutes to use.
  • Can’t exercise? Sure you can. Instead of driving to the store, walk. If that’s not a potential, park further from the store to get in more steps. Take the stairs not the elevator. Take a walking lunch.

For more information, contact us today at Kirra Collins Fitness

What Is Gut Health?

What Is Gut Health?

We promote a healthy diet for our clients in Colorado, which includes food to eat for better gut health. While many of you may not be eating specifically for improving your digestive tract or elimination system, a healthy diet is one way to improve it. What does gut health entail? It’s about having a healthy environment for digestion. If you’ve found yourself bloated or gassy after eating, it’s time to think about a healthy gut.

You have thousands of microbes inside you.

While the ratio of microbes in your elimination and digestion system has been reconsidered, it was one time believed you actually had more microbes than cells. However, the minute you defecate, that ratio changes dramatically. Even so, there has been an estimation that the body contains about 100 trillion microorganisms. While they’d only account for about a pound or two of weight, many are extremely important for good health. Your gut or digestive and elimination system contains from a low estimate of 300 to a high of 1,000 different species, with just 30 to 40 of them being the most plentiful. The beneficial bacteria and microbes have a symbiotic relationship with humans, providing some of the digestive processes to deliver nutrients we can use. Without them, people would die of malnutrition.

What causes an unhealthy gut and how do you know you have one?

You may already know one of the signs of an unhealthy gut. It’s a combination of bloating, gassiness, diarrhea or constipation. Gas-X and Beano become your best friend. Other signs are more illusive. It may be insomnia, mood disorders, autoimmune diseases, bad breath, skin conditions and even food intolerance. Some studies show that cancer might even be a result of poor gut health. A craving for sugar not only promotes poor gut health, it’s a result of poor gut health. Not eating a diet that provides adequate nutrition, including prebiotic foods with fiber, overindulgence in alcohol, cigarette smoking, stress, lack of sleep and use of antibiotics can tilt the scales from a healthy gut to one that’s not.

Eating prebiotic food and fermented or probiotic food can help.

Anyone that watches television probably has seen the commercials for some brands of yogurt that provide a probiotic boost to the body. Fermented foods also help. These include kimchi, kefir and sauerkraut. However, you can also boost your gut health with prebiotics, foods that encourage the growth of beneficial microbes. Garlic, onions, mushrooms, bananas and apples are a few.

  • Studies are now showing that lack of exercise can tip the scales to poor gut health. In the studies, regular exercise produced a healthier blend of bacteria for digestion. Stress, another factor in poor gut health, is also reduced.
  • If you take antibiotics, always replace the beneficial bacteria killed by eating live bacteria yogurt or other fermented food and hour before the antibiotic or an hour afterward.
  • Staying hydrated also helps gut health. Drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water a day to be at your best.
  • Cut the sugar and the processed food habit for better gut health. Whole foods have more fiber and provide a friendlier environment for beneficial microorganisms.

Remember To Cool Down

Remember To Cool Down

You may be diligent about doing a warm up exercise, knowing you’re preventing injury and making your workout better, but tend to cut your cool down short or skip it entirely to get out of the gym faster and home to supper or on to work. Your cool down workout is just as important as a warm up. That few minutes of cooling down does important things for the body. The few minutes you save might cost you a lot more than you think.

Cooling down can help prevent blood pooling.

When you workout, you’re body’s circulation is running at peak. Your heart rate is high and the movement helps push the blood throughout the body. Stopping abruptly ends the aid of the muscles’ squeezing action that sends the blood back to the brain and heart. It can even be trapped by the valves in the veins. One sign that this is happening is light-headedness and a feeling you’re about to faint. It’s really not dangerous, but can cause falls or mask a true medical condition that is serious. It can be embarrassing at best and scary at worst.

Cool downs prevent DOMS—delayed onset muscle soreness.

DOMS is different from a muscle cramp, which is an abnormal muscle contraction caused by small tears in the muscles. DOMS can start anywhere from 24 to 48 hours of a workout and produces excruciating pain. You can prevent that from occurring, according to a California State University study, with a cool down session. The study showed that just cycling a short time after strength training reduced the probability of it occurring significantly. Cooling down helps the muscles to relax and that helps prevent it from happening.

If you’ve ever felt that jello-like feeling in your muscles after working hard, a cool down is in order.

After a tough workout, the muscle tissue is extremely warm. That means it’s more flexible and pliable. Flexibility is important and the cool down period is a perfect time to do range of motion exercises. You’ll get an increase in your range of motion when you do cool down stretches. That can help prevent future injuries and muscle problems, like back aches, in the future.

  • A cool down session brings the body slowly back to neutral and balanced. It boosts the effect of the feel good endorphins produced during the workout, so you’ll leave in a better mood.
  • Lactic acid builds up in your muscles during a hard workout. The five to ten minutes of cooling down helps clear out this byproduct of exercise and prevents the muscle ache, burning, nausea, stomach pain and nausea that lactic acidosis can cause.
  • You can judge how much cool down time you need by your heart rate. It slows the heart rate gradually, until you’re back to normal.
  • The best type of exercise for a cool down is static stretching, such as brisk walking. Dynamic stretching and ballistic stretching are best saved for warming up.

Relieve Stress With Walking

Relieve Stress With Walking

Walking has a leisurely sound to it. It’s associated with romance, such as long walks on the beach or a walk at sunset. It offers so much more than just a physical workout. It can provide relaxation. You can relieve stress with walking, while boosting your energy. For those just starting a program of exercise, it’s a great addition. Walking puts less stress on the ankles, knees and is a good way to start back if you’re just recovering from an injury.

While regular exercise can reduce depression, anxiety and stress, walking may be better.

There are a number of studies that show that exercise provides relief for patients with anxiety and depression, quickly boosting the feeling of peace and a good mood. While many studies were based on working out for 45 minutes in the gym, some more recent studies show that the effects of a brisk 10-minute walk may

Walking won’t replace a workout for overall fitness, but as a stress reliever, it may be the perfect solution.

You won’t build more flexibility when you walk or upper body strength, but as a stress reliever, walking may be perfect. Stress and anxiety can rear their ugly

selves suddenly. It’s not always convenient to go to the gym, nor is it a good idea to workout for forty-five minutes several times a day. However, walking is always easy to do. There’s no changing clothing and you can reboot that good feeling when you have a few minutes throughout the day.

Want to get a little fancy and get a bit more from your walk?

A HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout is one of the best for getting results. You can get more health and fitness benefits than just stress release from a walk by modifying it to one. Just vary the speed and intensity of the walk, walking at top speed for a while until your heart rate goes up and then moderating the speed in a short recovery period. Once your heart rate returns to normal, walk fast again.

  • Walking may be healthier for you than running, according to a study in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. The study found that people who walked on a regular basis often were healthier than those who ran. If you love running, don’t quit it, but walking is easier on the joints.
  • While walking is something that most people can do without help, there are some things to remember about form. Good posture is important and holding your head high and in line with your body gives the best results.
  • If you’re uncomfortable working out in the gym because you’re too out of shape, start walking. Of course, being out of shape is exactly why you should go to the gym, but some people like to be fitter when they first start.
  • Don’t forget to take longer strides and swing your arms fully. If you’re stepping out with your right foot, your left arm should be brought forward and visa versa. Swinging your arms makes it more of a workout and burns more calories, plus adds to your natural stride.