Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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What Not to Eat Pre-Workout

By: Snap Fitness

What you eat before you hit the gym can make or break your workout. Some foods will weigh you down and make you feel tired while others will give you the energy you need to push yourself that extra mile. We broke down which foods to avoid and which to grab before a workout.

 

Avoid high-fat fried foods:

Cheeseburgers and fries are packed with saturated fats that can upset your stomach and trigger heartburn for some people.

 

Skip high-fiber foods:

Broccoli, beans, peas, and raspberries are all examples of food that are high in fiber. Fiber is essential to maintaining a healthy digestive tract, but it takes time for your stomach to break down these foods. Before a workout, get your energy from fresh fruit rather than fiber-rich carbohydrates.

 

Avoid dense carbohydrate foods:

Dense carbohydrate foods like bagels and pasta weigh you down right before a workout and often can make you feel tired and sluggish. Choose lighter foods that give you energy without weighing you down!

 

Perfect options for pre-workout snacks:

  • A small handful of mixed nuts and dried fruit trail mix
  • One banana
  • A rice cake with a light spread of peanut butter
  • ¼ cup of blueberries
  • Don’t forget to take sips of water before and during your exercise!

Carrot Cake Protein Bites

By: Snap Fitness

A single serving of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is not only loaded with sugar but can contain more than 800 calories. We’ve got a much healthier option with all-natural ingredients that will curb your sweet tooth cravings while giving you a healthy dose of protein!

 

Servings: 12

Prep time: 10 Minutes

Fridge time: 30 Minutes

 

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup plums

½ cup dried apricots

½ cup unsweetened pineapple puree

¼ cup vanilla protein powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground cloves

2 medium carrots, finely grated

½ cup nuts finely chopped (pecans, walnuts, almonds, or a mix)

½ cup raisins

1 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded

 

Instructions

Pulse cashews, oats, plums, apricots, pineapple, protein powder, and spices in a food processor for 1-2 minutes until a sticky dough forms.

 

In a medium bowl, mix the dough, carrots, nuts, and raisins together. Place the coconut shreds in a shallow bowl. Roll dough into balls (slightly wet palms work best), roll each ball in the coconut, and place on a sheet pan.

 

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

10 Ways to Make Your Groceries Last Longer

By: Snap Fitness

Eating healthy means eating lots of fresh produce. Sadly fresh veggies and fruit don’t stay fresh for very long. Here are some easy tricks to give your groceries some extra shelf life.

 

1. Store delicate herbs like flowers.

Put them in a jar with water, cover them with plastic, secure it with a rubberband, and refrigerate. This keeps delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives fresh the longest.

 

2. Use a vinegar solution to make your berries last longer.

Mix together one part vinegar (white or apple cider) and ten parts water. Soak the berries in the mixture, drain, rinse, and put them in the fridge. The solution is diluted enough that you won’t taste the vinegar. Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.

 

3. One rotten apple can spoil the bunch.

It’s not just an old wives’ tale. When apples begin to decay, they emit ethelyne gas. If the rotting apple is mixed in with the good, the good apples start to absorb the gas and rot.

 

4. Don’t store onions with potatoes.

They spoil faster together. Instead store separate in a cool dry place with good air circulation, onions will last 2-3 months.

 

5. Store potatoes with apples.

The ethelyne gas produced by apples prevents potatoes from sprouting.

 

6. Put onions in pantyhose, and tie knots between each onion.

Onions stored in pantyhose will last as long as 8 months.

  

7. Wrap the crown of a bunch of bananas with plastic wrap.

They’ll keep for 3-5 days longer than usual. Bananas also produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit, so keep them isolated on the counter.

 

8. Wrap celery, broccoli, and lettuce in tin foil before storing in the fridge.

It’ll stay crisp for 4 weeks or more.

 

9. Mason jars are your friend.

Produce will keep a few days longer if stored in a jar. Mason jars also provide a healthier and longer-lasting alternative to plastic tupperware, which deteriorates and stains easily. 

 

10. Clean your fridge.

Once something goes bad in your fridge or cupboards, it leaves behind mold that's ready to eat up your new food. Disinfect the fridge, it’ll make everything last longer.

 

What's your favorite trick that helps your groceries last longer? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Where to Start with Nutrition

By: Snap Fitness

I get this question a lot working with people that are new to exercise and eating right as well as people that are lifelong exercisers — "Where do I start?” 

 

This question is critical to get the client started but also very important on framing what their expectations are for what they can do or what they can achieve. Of course I want to tell them to ditch all their old bad habits and routines and start fresh with this “New Year, New You” type of thought process but that doesn’t typically work with most of us that have more than one or two bad habits to break or reverse.

 

This is what I tell them. It’s not so important where you start but just THAT you start. I have them pick something: a meal, a goal, a habit, and start there! Typically it is a diet or eating-related habit, so let’s take that example. I have them typically start with breakfast. Starting off the day right helps most people stay on track better throughout the day and sets the tone for the day. Start with a breakfast that has some carbs, some fat, and a good amount of protein to keep you full longer and avoid the mid-morning crash. An easy example would be your favorite protein shake, an egg or two, and a complex carb like whole wheat toast. This will start fueling your body for the day ahead.  

 

Once breakfast is conquered, I move on to the night time and help them develop a strategy for what to do at dinner or post-dinner snack. I find that if you can bookend the day with good choices then the rest of the day has a much greater chance of falling into place for most people. This biggest thing I try to get across to my clients that are looking to lose weight or get healthy is that THEY need to make it happen. Nothing is going to fall from the sky and magically get them results. THEY need to start. Where or what isn’t the most important thing — STARTING is!

 

Complex Carbs vs. Simple Carbs

By: Snap Fitness

Carbs are either your best friend or your worst enemy. There are two different types of carbs that can affect you differently: complex carbs and simple carbs.

 

Complex carbs (“Good” carbs)

  • Are beneficial from the moment you wake up until your post-workout.
  • Are high in fiber helping you to feel fuller longer.
  • Are high in vitamins and minerals.
  • Give you sustained energy.
  • Examples:

           - Whole grain pastas and breads

           - Brown rice

           - Sweet potatoes

           - Oats

           - Green vegetables

           - Fruits

 

Simple carbs (“Bad” carbs)

  • Are digested quickly and don’t contain vitamins or minerals that are used by the body. If unused, they are often stored as fat.
  • Are nutrient-stripped to make them inexpensive.
  • Are often converted to fat.
  • Make you feel tired due to fluctuations in blood sugars.
  • Contain added sugars to make them more flavorful to consumers.
  • Examples:

            - Treats and candy

            - Refined/white breads

            - Sodas, artificial juices, and high-sugar drinks

            - Any processed foods

 

 

Top Cinnamon Benefits

By: Snap Fitness

Cinnamon is a natural spice that can be added and used in many foods and drinks. Its benefits include treating cramps, indigestion, and colds. It doesn’t take much to absorb the benefits…just a ½ teaspoon a day!

 

 

 Here are the benefits of adding cinnamon to your diet:

 

1.     Lowers blood sugar, which can help treat Type 2 diabetes

 

2.     Lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL)

 

3.     Is a natural food preservative that kills bacteria

 

4.     Is valuable for cognitive function and memory can be boosted by simply smelling the cinnamon aroma

 

5.     Improves energy and circulation

 

6.     Reduces inflammation

 

7.     Is a headache and migraine remedy

 

8.     Helps to prevent blood clots

 

9.     Clears acne

 

10.    Is beneficial for digestion and regularity

 

11.    Is an anti-depressant

 

12.    Is high in manganese, calcium, iron, and fiber

 

 

 

Side note: This is not a “go ahead” for Cinnabon.

Yes or No to Peanut Butter?

By: Snap Fitness

There is some debate on whether peanut butter is good or bad for you. Peanut butter IS good for you assuming:

1. You don’t have a sensitivity or allergy to them (this can be tested by doing an ALCAT test or elimination diet to determine sensitivity).

2. You consume natural peanut butter where the ingredients are peanuts and salt. Examples: Parkers Farms or GoodLife Peanut Butter.

 

 

Compared to other nut butters peanuts contain the most protein per serving:

- Peanuts: 7 grams

- Almonds: 6 grams

- Pistachio: 6 grams

- Cashews: 4 grams

- Walnuts: 4 grams

 

- Peanuts deliver a good balance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol and trans fat-free. They provide a great source of magnesium and are also sodium-free.

Hunger, Hunger Go Away

By: Snap Fitness

You just ate but you're still hungry...why is this?

 

Your Meal Consisted of Canned Food

- Bisphenol- A is a chemical in canned foods that can lead to obesity or food cravings due to abnormal release of leptin (a hormone that helps to regulate fat storage in the body).

 Your Breakfast is Too Small

- Aiming for 500-calorie breakfasts means that you will have decreased rises in blood sugar and insulin versus having a 300-calorie breakfast.
- If you are looking to lose weight, 500- calorie breakfasts are your go-to!

 

You’re Lacking Liquids

- Often people mistake dehydration for hunger. Next time you’re feeling hungry, try drinking water first.

 

You’re Lacking Leafy Greens

- Salads contain a high amount of Vitamin K, which is an insulin-regulating nutrient that decreases cravings.
- Decrease of cravings and fullness off of healthy greens, which are low in calories, also leads to weight loss.

 

You’re Bored

- Many of us are guilty of boredom eating. If you want to test your true state of hunger then visualize different foods. If they all seem appealing to you, then you are truly hungry. If you are selective on what you eat, you are not truly hungry.

Fight the Sugar Cravings and WIN!

By: Snap Fitness

It is human to crave sugar. In fact, it probably is abnormal if you don’t have a sugar craving every once in a while. There are a couple of things you can do to go about your sugar crave.

 

Find a substitute

- Fruits have natural sugars in them that help to fight the urge for sweets.

- Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants along with other health benefits that may lower your cholesterol and help prevent heart disease.

- Peppermint tea is a great alternative to reduce cravings.

 

Hydrate

- Sugar cravings are a sign of dehydration so before you take a bite into a candy bar, drink 8 ounces of water, wait a few minutes, and you will probably find that you no longer are in need of sweets.

 

Wait ten minutes

- Sugar cravings are temporary not permanent. Usually if you wait ten minutes your craving will pass. To have the will power to wait out a craving will improve yourself mentally and physically in the long-run So think of it this way… waiting 10 minutes to become closer to your goals is more worth it than enjoying a candy bar for 5 minutes. Pick your poison.

Peter's "Triple T" Smoothie

By: Snap Fitness

 

The “Triple T” (The Taunton Treat) Smoothie is our CEO’s go-to daily smoothie.  The combination of ingredients makes it both delicious and healthy. 

 

 

Ingredients: 

 

1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

1 C. Ice

1 C. Unsweetened Almond Milk

½ Banana

1 tbs. Natural Peanut Butter

1 C. Spinach

 

Directions:

 

Combine all ingredients in a Nutribullet and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately! 

 

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Posts 1 - 10 of 25