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Top 5 Habits to Embrace this Year

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Top 5 Habits to Embrace this Year

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Bad habits are difficult to break. Let 2015 be the year that you conquer your goals and live the life that’s best for you! Don’t think for one second we are about to begin the new year by emphasizing only the things you should stop doing. Instead, we have put together a list of good habits to start in the new year allowing you to reach the ultimate goal of happiness...  

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

- Leonardo Da Vinci

 

Number 1

Break Free from Consumerism and Live Simply

 

 

polina

Whether it's money, luxury cars, or designer brands serving as status symbols, the accumulation of products and wealth as the primary goal in our consumer society has lead us astray from a culture of humanity and happiness. Imagine what life would be like if we removed ourselves from the comparisons of what others have, rid ourselves of the ideas of ownership, and worked only to provide basic necessities. This year let's look within ourselves and ask: What impacts do our consumerist habits have on our health, our relationships, and our planet. Do things and money really equal happiness? What are we sacrificing to have it all? Listed below are some simple ideas to help you break away from consumerism and live more freely.

 

  • Find comfort in owning less. Living with fewer things will allow you to actually live more freely and with less stress.
  • Avoid the middleman, chain, convenience, department stores, and brand names. Learn to make what you need, borrow or share with neighbors, and buy local. This creates community and relationships as well as a culture of art and individual expression, not to mention saves lots of money!
  • Resist the urge to have the newest and shiniest electronics, toys, and apparel. Ask yourself if this is an absolute necessity or if it’s just a temporary want. You will be surprised how quickly your needless desires will fade.
  • Don't compare yourself and property to those around you. Instead, find happiness in what you already have.
  • Create a sharing economy. Participate in a community garden, build a neighborhood library, or form a children's clothing and toy swap as children grow out of things quickly. This saves a ton of money allowing you more time to do the things you love.
  • Gift experiences instead of products. Nothing is more valuable than creating memories with the ones you love.
  • Buy refurbished, longer lasting reusable products that can be easily upgraded or fixed without creating waste. Invest only in things that will last and not depreciate in value.
  • Place more value in people, experiences, and nature. Without these things life is arguably not worth living.

 

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

-Abraham Lincoln

 

Number 2

Achieve Maximum Productivity

 

mikesnowboardingSome of of us work well under stress, but stress kills. We are all guilty of putting tasks off until that last minute. Buying a gift on the way to a party, staying up all night to finish a project by the deadline, and paying late fees on bills are all different ways that we procrastinate. This is a stress-inducing habit that is both common and hard to break. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with what is in front of us that it’s difficult to see the big picture. Sometimes it’s fear of failure or success that causes us to put things off. This year let’s overcome unproductivity in both life and work. create an environment for success, and reach your goals with these simple steps to overcome procrastination:

 

  • Write it down. Make a to-do list with dates for completion. Set it out in a place that you will see it daily. Let this be your advertisement to yourself.
  • Begin. Don’t set a date to start working on your task, let that be now!
  • Stay positive. Focus on the feelings associated with completion of the task successfully instead of the feelings of failure.
  • Reward yourself. Highlight each step in the process of accomplishing your goal and provide a feel good moment after each accomplishment. None is too small.
  • Prepare for obstacles. Avoid behavior or actions that might hamper completion of your goals, and don’t allow mistakes to bring you down.
  • Stay focused on the big picture. Imagine the benefits of completing your goal on time, and remind yourself what it is all for.

 

“Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not A Lot”

- Michael Pollan

 

Number 3

Celebrate Real Food

 

 

dinner

 

You are what you eat. Yes, this is certainly true, but when you eat, how you eat, and why you eat are nearly just as important as what you eat. In today's society it's rare to find the time to sit down and enjoy a home cooked meal, much less grow the food yourself. The detachment that has grown between us and what we eat, eating poor quality foods, on the go, and always in a hurry affect not only our physical health, but our mental health, and our relationships. With so many crazy diets being marketed today it's difficult to know what to eat as well. Healthy eating guidelines are not one size fits all. It's important to have balance, so start by setting small goals for yourself, and build from your successes with these suggestions:

 

  • Eat real whole foods. Stick to the outside aisles of the grocery store. Avoid processed and packaged foods; It's important to see your food as nature made it.
  • Know your food. Become aware of the origins of your food. Avoid mass produced meats and veggies. Reduce your carbon footprint and gain a higher level of nutrition by eating local foods that are picked fresh or raised healthy without pesticides or antibiotics.
  • We prefer organic. Organic foods are known to contain a higher level of important vitamins and polyphenols (antioxidants) than non organic food.  Nitrogen in the organic soil allows for vegetables to grow at a natural rate, keeping their nutrients in balance.
  • Buy fresh and shop for food often. This cuts down on food waste and helps you save money. Fresh food tastes better, and is healthier!
  • Celebrate your food! Let dinner be the evening. Take the time to cook your meal and enjoy it slowly. Step away from your distractions and sit down at the table when you eat. Invite friends or neighbors over for a healthy dinner and share a bottle of wine with some laughs.
  • Listen to your body. Figuring out what diet suits you best is challenging. Become aware of your body and gut after you eat. Stay away from foods that make you feel less than ideal.
  • Eat often. Don't let yourself get too hungry because this can lead to overeating and bad food decisions. Keep raw nuts and fruits handy when you are on the go and need a snack.
  • Drink mostly water. Avoid sugary drinks and excessive alcohol consumption. Fruit juices are not a whole food. When the fiber is taken out, the sugar is digested differently. Blended smoothies are a better option.
  • Indulge! Allow yourself a cheat meal every now and then. It's important to reward yourself for being good. Try and stick to the 80/20 or 90/10 rule: eating clean and healthy most of the time, and allowing for a small splurge without the guilt.

 

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” - Albert Einstein

 

Number 4

Spend More Time Living

 

ryanallen

It's easy to admit that most of us spend way too much time in front of screens. Over the past 20 years our society has become extremely reliant on technology. Sitting in front of a computer all day attributes to poor posture, muscular imbalances, and a decrease in metabolism. In order to live a healthy life we must be able to balance the real world with our virtual world. This new year, let's turn off the t.v.,put down our smart phones, look up and start living the real life around you! Below is some great advice on how to stay focused in the real world instead of the virtual one behind your screen. 

 

  • Keep technology out of the bedroom and bathroom. Fall asleep after a few chapters of a good book or a nice conversation with your partner. Get a better night's sleep and wake up less stressed.
  • Cut back on t.v. time. Try going a week or longer without watching television. Imagine how much more productive you might be without the distraction. You might even be inspired to get rid of your cable subscription.
  • Remove social media apps from your phone. Build relationships with the people that are around you. Focus on maintaining yourself instead of the image of yourself online.
  • Get rid of those mindless computer and smartphone games. That time is better spent learning a new skill or going outside to enjoy nature.
  • Live in the moment. Instead of constantly updating your facebook status with comments and photos, live each of life's moments when they happen, and enjoy it while it lasts.

 

 

 

“ Great Minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Number 5

Find Greatness in Yourself and the Ones Around YouDCIM100GOPRO

It’s easy to get caught up in a culture of negativity. Gossip columns, political gridlock, and violence on t.v. have the ability to taint our thought processes and poison our minds. We all hold greatness and the ability to spread that positive energy. This year is the perfect time to turn a new leaf by building up your community. Start supporting your peers with encouragement and gratitude, love and respect. Hold positivity within yourself and spread it around with these ideas:

 

  • Open up a judgement free dialogue with your friends. Make them aware that you love them for who they are, flaws included, and that you are not there to judge them.
  • Show empathy. Put someone else's shoes on, acknowledge your shortcomings, and gain the respect of your peers.
  • Practice consent. Some people have different limits to displays of affection and touching. Always ask for permission before reaching out for a hug or giving a kiss. This will establish trust when first meeting.
  • Listen. Invite your peers to share their feelings with you openly and avoid negative reactions.
  • Show honesty and respect. Being clear with your intentions, expectations  and boundaries is vital in forming a solid relationship.
  • Tell someone that you are proud to be their friend. A simple show of appreciation can mean an incredible amount.
  • When out in a social situation, invite others to join your group. Inclusivity is a wonderful trait that carries many possible benefits.
  • Show tolerance for opposing viewpoints and beliefs; your tolerance will beget tolerance in others, leading to a more peaceful community.
  • Do something selfless. You will find great satisfaction in the unintended benefits of helping your community.
  • Become a leader. Bring out the goodness in others by finding it in yourself.

 

Be grateful for what you have, find greatness in yourself and others and share it with the world around you. We only have one life so starting this year let's devote it to simplicity, real food, productivity, real world happiness, and community. Happy New Year!

 

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Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays

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Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays

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With the combo of the lower humidity that comes with cold weather, the tendency for people to stay huddled inside by the fire, higher stress levels, lower sleep hours, and of course the balanced holiday diet of booze, cookies and candies, the cold virus is in its glory during this time of year. So look out Granny! Below, I have gathered the leading ways to successfully fight off the common cold, as well as some key ideas on keeping the symptoms and duration of a cold to a minimum if you are already sick.

Feed a Cold…and Hydrate It

Hands down, the leading way to protect your body from a cold is to provide it with the proper fuel and nutrition it needs to run efficiently while keeping your immune system at full strength. I am personally a fan of feeding your body the correct balance of foods, as opposed to relying on vitamins and supplements to do the job. Our bodies have been digesting and breaking down whole, natural foods for generations and therefore are able to absorb and use more of the nutrients from foods as opposed to processed vitamin pills.

[one_half]"The population of people that were given probiotics in the study showed both a reduced duration of the cold (2 days instead of 4 days) as well as symptoms that were 34% less severe."[/one_half]

What are the best foods to eat when boosting your immune system?

1.   Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

  • Unanimously, every single source I spoke with highly recommends eating a large variety of fruits and vegetables during cold season, especially if you end up catching a cold.
  • For Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD, nutrition coach & registered dietitian at MV Nutrition, her top vote for antioxidant super foods to enhance your immune health are Carotenoids & Beta-Carotene.  “Time to get your colors on!” says Koszyk.  Purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow foods have beta-carotene and carotenoids which boost immune health and prevent free radicals from causing oxidative damage. Carotenes also include Vitamin A, which increases the production of white blood cells. White blood cells make up our immune health!”111

Koszyk recommends including these delicious foods this winter season:

  • Sweet Potatoes (eat them for breakfast with some cinnamon)
  • Carrots (you can mix them into a pasta sauce or soup)
  • Tomatoes
  • Pumpkin (add pumpkin puree to a smoothie)
  • Beets
  • Kale
  • Squash
  • Tangerines

To guarantee a good punch of fruits and vegetables every day, use this recipe and start off each day with a homemade Green Smoothie for breakfast.

2.   Cleansing Foods for your Liver and Kidneys

  • Naturally raised, organically grown fruits and vegetables are key in keeping the liver clean since the liver is the organ that detoxifies these chemicals in the body.
  • Traci Freeman, executive chef and founder of Lilah Belle’s Nutritional and Organic Meals to Go agrees. “A strong immune system is the best way to fight a cold or flu.  Good ol' garlic helps your liver activate enzymes that can flush out toxins. It also has a high amount of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing. Garlic packs the biggest antioxidant punch when eaten raw.  A quick ways to use garlic are put it in your salad dressing, or toss it in last minute with your cooked meal. The heat will release a punch of flavor and immune building compounds.”

[one_half]"To guarantee a good punch of fruits and vegetables every day, use this recipe and start off each day with homemade Green Smoothie for breakfast."[/one_half]

  • Freeman also adds that “ Beets are high in plant-flavonoids, which can improve the overall functions of your liver. Adding more avocados to your diet can help your body produce a type of antioxidant called glutathione, which is needed for our livers to filter out harmful materials.  You can make a wonderful salad with kale, walnuts, avocado, beets and mandarin oranges, with a fresh garlic salad dressing.  This will definitely make your organs healthier and stronger!”

Some other great foods that promote clean kidneys and liver include:

  • green tea
  • grapefruit
  • onions
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • brussel sprouts

3.   Probiotics and fermented foods

  • A study posted in the October 2012 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition studied the effects of probioitic ingestion during the common cold. The population of people that were given probiotics in the study showed both a reduced duration of the cold (2 days instead of 4 days) as well as symptoms that were 34% less severe.
  • For probiotics, Chris Kresser, licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine in Berkeley, recommends, ‘Probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi strengthen and maintain the mucosal barrier system (in our respiratory and intestinal tract), which is our first line of defense against pathogens. What’s more, 75% of our immune system is found in the gut.’
  • Kombucha is also an easy way to get your daily dose of probiotics. Traveling at SFO? You can even purchase a bottle of it in Terminal 2 at The Plant Cafe to drink during your flight home.

4. Bone Broths and Bone Marrow

  • Your Mom was right, that chicken soup and broth are great for beating a cold.
  • Both greatly assist the immune system by carrying more oxygen into the cells of the body.
  • You can easily make your own bone broth at home or Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley is an amazing source for grass-fed beef broths made fresh weekly and delivered to your door.

5.   Avoid or Reduce Inflammatory Foods

Chris Kresser’s worst offenders include:

  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Industrial seed oil
  • Sugar
  • Kresser explains that, “Food toxins provoke an immune reaction that can make us more vulnerable to foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.”

Also to avoid:

  • Junk foods and fried foods with hydrogenated oils (skip those airport food court fries and ask for a piece of fresh fruit or salad instead)
  • Alcohol since it slows down your liver’s detox function while your body is forced to process the cocktail you just drank.

6.   Keep Up with Your Fluids

  • Monitor your urine color to guarantee that you are keeping your body fully hydrated
  • Eating a well balanced diet is just as important as water intake when it comes to staying hydratedIMG_2861

Other than your food, there are a few other useful reminders to assist you in staying healthy this holiday season:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after being in crowded public areas or around people that are sick.
  • Keep your stress levels low. Stress will literally eat you alive if you allow it the opportunity. Check out Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year (LINK) for some good ideas on keeping your stress levels under control this season.
  • Sleep a minimum of 7-8 hours a night, catching even more Zzz’s when time permits. A rested body is a strong body.
  • Stay on track with your workouts and fitness activities. Keeping the body moving and oxygenated will assist with filtration and your immune system.

Follow these simple instructions, keep Grandma from wandering around the yard late on Christmas Eve, and we will all have a healthy and happy New Year!

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go

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Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go

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Tickets? Check. Money? Check. Passport? Check. A delicious, organic carry-on meal and healthy snacks for your flight? Ooops...I knew I had forgotten something. If you are traveling this holiday season, be mentally prepared for those crazy security lines, delayed flights, and sprinting through airports to make tight connections. All of these will leave you with limited time to shop for healthy food at the airport. Even if you do have time, the healthy options are usually going to be few and far between. Trust me, there is nothing worse than eating some airport Chili's To Go meal, then hopping on a coast to coast flight, only to run into your own 'major turbulence' 3 hours in. Add in those damn changes in air pressure and you are carrying a 'bomb' that no security scanner would catch! Remember that these planes are a shared, controlled air environment people. Help a brother out!

My simple advice for food options while traveling, stick to 'Plan and Simple'.

PLAN AHEAD

Once again we return to this same advice. If you are able to just plan a bit ahead, then you should have no problem staying on track with both your food choices as well as your food volume while traveling.  

[one_half]"Trust me, there is nothing worse than eating some airport Chili's To Go meal, then hopping on a coast to coast flight, only to run into your own 'major turbulence' 3 hours in. Add in those damn changes in air pressure and you are carrying a 'bomb' that no security scanner would catch!"[/one_half]

1. BYO MEAL: Headed on a long flight back east into the cold, or for you lucky dogs headed west to Hawaii, pack a small meal to bring with you on the plane. You want to land at your destination feeling healthy and happy, not bloated and uncomfortable. And yes, we are allowed to transport food through security lines. Try these easy carry-on ideas:

     BREAKFAST:

  • 2 hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs and a piece of organic fruit with a homemade Green Smoothie. Smoothies are always a better option than pressed juices because you get all the fiber. Not sure which eggs to purchase or worried about eating egg yolks? Get more information using our blog on Pasture Raised Chickens.   
  • Organic, plain greek yogurt, a piece of organic fruit, some gluten free granola ('Giddy Up and Go' granola is local to SF and delicious)

     LUNCH/DINNER:

  • Bring your own salad with some protein (boiled eggs, ground beef, chicken, etc). I always bring an avocado to mix with meat and greens for dressing.
  • Pack a simple meat and vegetable meal from your leftovers the night before
  • Nothing in the house? Save yourself an extra 20 minutes on the way to the airport and run by Whole Foods hot/salad bar to make your own salad to carry with you.

2. USE YOUR RESOURCES: I realize that time to plan ahead may be tough to find for most busy travelers, so use your resources to assist with the process.  In San Francisco, take advantage of great meal delivery companies like Lilah Belle's or Munchery to pre-order a healthy meal to take on the plane with you. I have been using Lilah Belle's delicious organic food service for over 10 years now to order a few meals a week as back up for when I arrive home from work too exhausted to cook something healthy. These meals have not only kept me on track with my food choices, but they have also helped me continue to introduce a great variety of organic, sustainably farmed foods into my meal plan every week.

[one_half]"From this day forward, remember that packing your food is just as important as packing your underwear when traveling. (Maybe even more important for those of you commando fans.) "[/one_half]

3. SMART TRAVEL SNACKS: Don't rely on processed, prepackaged protein bars or trail mix as your snacks, when it is just as easy and way healthier to make your own by combining raw nuts with a piece of seasonal organic fruit. (Note: Remember that 6 raw nuts = 1 serving of fat, so don't start shoving tons of raw almonds in thinking that you can eat all you want because they are healthy.)

MY VOTES FOR THE BEST TRAVEL SNACKS: DSC_0432-1024x680

  • 6-12 raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc) with a piece of organic seasonal fresh fruit
  • Homemade trail mix: combine raw nuts with unsweetened, dried organic fruit
  • Local, grass fed beef jerky. In San Francisco, The Fatted Calf butcher has delicious varieties for purchase.
  • Hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs are also a great, easy travel snack.

MAKE SIMPLE CHOICES

The travel date arrives and you have been running a sprint for days in advance with no time to plan in any way. Do not fret, there are still some healthy options for food while traveling. In general, my advice is to stick to the most simple options available. 

1. GRAB A BITE ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT: Again, save just an extra 20 minutes to run by your favorite healthy food bar (i.e. Whole Food) or restaurant to pick up a meal to take with you on your flight. Stick to simple salads, meat and veggies, fresh fruit.

2. THE DREADED AIRPORT FOOD COURT: Whether you are dining at Hot Dog on a Stick or

airport

Sammy Hagar's Diner, always choose the most basic items on the menu at airport restaurants. Boiled eggs, salads, grilled chicken breast, basic meat and veggies are your smartest options. This is no time to order the fettucine alfredo. Always look for the lowest fat meats when you are unsure of the quality of the source, since the fat is where any toxins would be stored.  One final option before boarding, you can almost always count on the Protein box from Starbucks. It is definitely better than getting stuck eating the foil wrapped, flattened croissant egg-wich with Jimmy Dean Sausage and cheddar cheese that is being served on your morning flight.

3. SPRINT TO TERMINAL 2: In San Francisco, get down to Terminal 2 and pick up a salad and a kombucha from The Plant Cafe. Then you can also stop by the Napa Farm's Market for some raw nuts and fresh organic fruit. Heck, you can even squeeze in some vinyasa and a little Warrior 2 in the yoga studio in Terminal 2 if you have time. Yeah, we are pretty much spoiled rotten here in San Francisco. Use this link for a full break down of the food options at SFO.

From this day forward, remember that packing your food is just as important as packing your underwear when traveling. (Maybe even more important for those of you commando fans.)  In the end, you will be saving calories, probably saving money, helping to preserve the air quality of your flight, and definitely reducing the stress of staying healthy during your holiday travel.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck

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Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck

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Stressing out about what to cook for your family meal during the holidays? Want to prepare dishes that will have your guests asking you for the recipe? Worry no more. We have attended local cooking schools, phoned in favors with distant relatives and reached out to the most experienced cooks we know in order to gather delicious AND simple recipes that are guaranteed to bring you rave reviews. You have heard trainers and nutritionists say it a million times, but trust me, the selections below are finally the proof. It IS possible to cook healthy dishes that have an amazing taste and are quite easy to prepare.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I was a student in a cooking class called 'Everything But the Turkey' at SF Cooking School back in November and discovered this delicious AND healthy recipe for Curried Butternut Squash soup. Of the 16 dishes we cooked in class that day, it won 'Best in Show' by far.  I then cooked it for my family's Thanksgiving dinner and it was a huge hit there as well. It really is incredibly delicious and healthy and a perfect appetizer for both vegetarians and meat lovers alike.  I hope it will become a new favorite for your next holiday meal. Enjoy it!download (2)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste (recommended brand Thai Kitchen)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lbs) peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium baking potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 1 can (about 2 cups) coconut milk, well shaken

[one_half]"We have attended local cooking schools, phoned in favors with distant relatives and reached out to the most experienced cooks we know in order to gather delicious AND simple recipes that are guaranteed to bring you rave reviews." [/one_half]

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add coconut oil and, when hot, add the onion, garlic, and ginger with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent but not browned, 4-5 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, a minute more. Stir in the squash and potato with another pinch of salt. Add the stock, increase the heat the medium high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low; add the coconut milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until completely smooth. Heat the soup gently, taste, and season as needed with additional salt and pepper. The soup can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated at this point for up to 3 days. Ladle the hot soup into warm soup bowls, add a pinch of scallions and serve. For total cheat meals, feel free to add a bit of crème fraiche to the bowl as well when serving. Serves 4-6.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

Also from the SF Cooking School, this is a fun, unique twist on cranberry sauce or relish. It is super easy and a bright, colorful dish due to the tweak of keeping the rind on the oranges. The best part of preparing the dish is enjoying the scent of freshly ground coriander seeds. DO NOT use pre-ground coriander seeds for this recipe, or ever again for that matter. Also a great recipe to make ahead and store in mason jars, which can be a great gift for friends and neighbors.

  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 2 oranges, coarsely chopped, seeds removed (do not peel, orange rinds stay on)
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Grind the coriander seeds yourself using a mortar and pestle (be sure to enjoy the incredible scent of the ground seeds). Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until the cranberries and oranges are coarsely chopped. The relish is ready to serve (and lasts for approximately 2-3 days in fridge), or it can be stored in sealed, sterilized jars and refrigerated (lasts approximately 1 month in sealed jars). Makes about 3 cups.

Aunt Barbara’s Beef Loin

I tend to prefer simple, high quality meat dishes as the main course. This recipe is incredibly easy IMG_7971but so damn delicious.

  • Whole boneless beef loin.  (Figure 8-12oz per person)
  • Crushed garlic cloves (1 clove/8 oz)
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Let meat sit at room temp for about 1 to 1 ½ hour. Mix fresh crushed garlic, olive oil, pepper and salt. Rub mixture all over meat. Pre-heat gas grill until VERY hot.  Place meat on grill and sear, turning gently until all sides are browned. Do not leave it on the grill too long, maybe 10-20 sec per side. You do not want it to begin cooking. Then place in shallow pan and bake at 400. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to gauge the desired doneness. Let stand about 10-15 min lightly covering with a foil tent. It will cook a little more while standing. Slice and serve.

Brian and Max’s Hawaiian Holiday Bark

[one_half]"Stressing out about what to cook for your family meal during the holidays? Want to prepare dishes that will have your guests asking you for the recipe? Worry no more."[/one_half]

So this combination dessert idea actually comes from 2 of my good friends, Brian and Max. Thanks guys! It is actually two completely separate dishes that when served as simple dessert options, or as party appetizers, will quench the holiday sweet cravings of any guest without sending them away feeling completely bloated and miserable.

Brian’s Dark Chocolate Holiday Bark

Brian’s holiday bark relies on your creativity in designing healthy AND delicious bark varieties from an endless list of possible toppings including nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds, etc), sea salt, orange zest, candied ginger, dried cranberries, etc. Or any combination of these!  You can also choose your own percentage of dark chocolate: (over 85% = Unsweetened, 65-85% = Bittersweet, Semi-sweet 35-65%, Milk 10-20%) Keep in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the darker the chocolate and the healthier they will be.

  • Dark chocolate
  • Coconut oil for pan
  • Whatever toppings you choose

Melt dark chocolate slowly using a double boiler or a steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Usually the higher end chocolates will have less stabilizers and therefore must be handled gently during the melting process.  Once melted, pour onto wax paper or a cooking sheet that has been greased with coconut oil. Pour it out super thin, no thicker than 1/4”. Place toppings on top of chocolate while still melted and hot so that it sinks in. Let cool and break apart to serve.

Max’s Grilled Pineapple

As I said, I always prefer simple, and this idea (it really is more of an idea than a recipe since it only has one ingredient) from Max could not be more simple, yet tasty.

  • 1 whole pineapple (skinned and chopped into large chunks)grilled-pineapple-with-honey

Heat your grill to medium heat. Place the chunks on the grill, rotating them as they minimally char on each side. Allow to cool just a bit before serving.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more. “The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.” Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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4 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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4 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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When it comes to the holidays, do you consider yourself a traveler, party host, chef, or planner? Maybe all of the above? The winter season tends to flood our calendars with multiple events and we're wondering if you're ready to stay on track with your diet with all the crazy fun you'll be having?!

From seasonal eggnog lattes to greasy food on the go, during your travels it can be hard to keep off a few extra pounds. It's certainly difficult to resist all of the temptations surrounding you, but have no fear. DIAKADI has tips and tricks for every personality type so you can maintain your fitness goals and kick start your way into a Happy New Year.

 

the traveler

 

 

Will you be the one traveling from coast to coast this holiday season? Traveling can be such a stressful experience and for many people, this means turning to salty, sugary, high fat snacking to calm down the stress. You might be feeling great in the moment, but two trips later and ten pounds heavier is going to put you on a downward spiral. Prepare yourself this holiday season by bringing your own snacks with you while you travel.

Don't rely on processed, prepackaged protein bars or trail mix as your snacks, when it is just as easy and way healthier to make your own by combining raw nuts with a piece of seasonal organic fruit.

 

BEST TRAVEL SNACKS

  • 6-12 raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc) with a piece of organic, seasonal fresh fruit
  • Homemade trail mix: combine raw nuts with unsweetened, dried organic fruit
  • Local, grass fed beef jerky. In San Francisco, The Fatted Calf butcher has delicious varieties for purchase.
  • Hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs are also a great, easy travel snack.

 

The Host

 

 

To drink or not to drink? That is the question...

As the holidays roll around, you're the one to throw the annual holiday party. You've prepared all of the hors d'oeuvres and have bought enough varieties of alcohol to cater to everyone's tastes. When the party starts and you're ready to have a drink, you panic because you don't know if drinking is such a good idea for staying on track for your fitness goals. Luckily, there is a simple approach to drinking, sparing us from the social exile of not enjoying drinks during this time of year.

DIAKADI Trainer, Zach Scioli, explains how drinking alcohol can benefit your well-being this holiday season. Drinking alcohol in moderation is not so bad for you. It improves endothelial function, reduces post-prandial blood sugar and lipid peroxidation, promotes socializing, and reduces stress hormones. Studies show that people live longer who have 3-4 drinks a week than those who don't. AND YES, it's a bell curve. 6+ drinks a week is not better. The real trick to drinking healthfully is about quantity, quality and purity.

 

BEST ALCOHOLIC CHOICES FOR YOU + YOUR GUESTS

  • Top shelf highly distilled clear spirit (Vodka , Silver Tequilla, or Gin) in soda water (re-hydrate as you dehydrate) with a splash of citrus juice (lemon, lime, or grapefruit) to blunt any insulin response. It's nearly calorie free, strong and refreshing.
  • Dry White Wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño, or Pinot Grigio
  • Dry Sparkling Wines such as Extra Brut, Prosecco or Cava

 

WORST ALCOHOLIC CHOICES FOR YOU + YOUR GUESTS

  • Beer. It's high in calories, carbohydrates, and inflammatory gluten.
  • Dark Spirits
  • Syrupy Cocktails. We remember that night all too well, or should I say, the next morning?

 

The Chef

Are you the one who will be cooking up a storm this holiday season? From appetizers to desserts, family and friends look to you for a spectacular meal. We know how hard it is to try and cook healthfully during the holiday season. Especially with grandma's casserole calling for 4 sticks of butter. However, it you're looking to lighten up this year, check out some of our favorites below to give you some inspiration for trim holiday recipes.

 

THREE INSPIRING RECIPES 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

This soup will make your taste buds go wild! With 100% fresh ingredients and coconut milk substituting heavy cream, this is sure to be a hit as a starter at your next dinner party.

Aunt Barbara's Beef Loin

Use a high-quality slab of beef loin to make this simple recipe into the perfect holiday entree.

Brian's Dark Chocolate Holiday Bark

Get ready for a delicious holiday bark recipe that lets you mix and match ingredients, allowing you to fit this dessert to your dietary needs.

 

theplanner

Are you the type of person that likes to plan your holiday travel weeks, or even months, in advance? Were you the one who sent out the invitations to your holiday party two months prior to it actually happening? You spend so much time planning where you're going to be; why not dedicate some of that time to planning what you're going to eat so you can stay on track this holiday season?

 

FRESH, WHOLE AND SKINNY MEAL IDEAS

These can be eaten in your home or easily be taken on the go.

BREAKFAST

  • 2 hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs and a piece of organic fruit with a homemade Green Smoothie. Smoothies are always a better option than pressed juices because you get all the fiber. Not sure which eggs to purchase or worried about eating egg yolks? Get more information using our blog on Pasture Raised Chickens.
  • Organic, plain greek yogurt, a piece of organic fruit, some gluten free granola ('Giddy Up and Go' granola is local to SF and delicious)

LUNCH/DINNER

  • Bring your own salad with some protein (boiled eggs, ground beef, chicken, etc). Bring an avocado to mix with meat and greens for dressing.
  • Pack a simple meat and vegetable meal from your dinner leftovers the night before.
  • Nothing in the house? Save yourself an extra 20 minutes on the way to the airport and run by Whole Foods hot/salad bar to make your own salad to carry with you.

 

In the end, no matter how hard we try, weight gain during the holiday season may be inevitable. Half the time it is more bloating than fat gain. So don't let the holiday blues bring you down! There is always time to come back and shed that holiday weight with proper diet and exercise. The holidays are a time for enjoyment, so don't let a little weight gain and lack of diet get in the way of connecting and celebrating with friends and family.

Happy Holidays!

 

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We're Reading: The Truth About Carbs

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We're Reading: The Truth About Carbs

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DIAKADI Trainer, Nate Miyaki, named one of Greatist's 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness has just written a new book, The Truth About Carbs: How to Eat Just the Right Amount of Carbs, To Slash Fat, Look Great Naked, & Live Lean Year- Round.  Nate touches upon some of the key misconceptions of carbohydrates such as Paleo low carb diets vs. Atkins no carb diets and Whole Grain Groupies vs. Carb Cutting Cults; emphasizing the differences in diets based on individual physical activity levels. If you're looking to stop fearing carbs, educate yourself on proper nutrition, and understand what foods will work best for you based on your lifestyle, this is the book for you!

Grab the Kindle Edition for $2.99 here: The Truth about Carbs: How to Eat Just the Right Amount of Carbs to Slash Fat, Look Great Naked, & Live Lean Year-Round - Kindle edition by Nate Miyaki. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Love holding a book in your hands? Us too! Purchase the Paperback for $6.33 here: The Truth about Carbs: How to Eat Just the Right Amount of Carbs to Slash Fat, Look Great Naked, & Live Lean Year-Round.

 


 

And now, we break down the first three chapters of Nate's new book with some of our favorite quotes and facts. Take a look.

 

Number 1

THE GREAT CARB DEBATE

"The Carbohydrate Wars--they’re a real doozy. They have been raging in gyms, kitchens, and nutrition conferences for decades, and will continue to do so into eternity.  There's religious-like passion and cult-like followings on both sides of the fence. The pendulum of popularity seems to swing back and forth between the two.

So unless you take a little time to educate yourself, you will continue to be Dazed & Carb Confused.  You’ll keep following the trends, marketing madness, and cookie-cutter diets vs. finding what work best for you.  You will yo-yo back and forth between quick-fix extremes and rapid rebounds instead of living lean year-round by following a customized lifestyle plan.

 

You want the Carb Truth?  Do you think you can handle it?

 

Both sides of the battle can be right.  Both approaches can work.  Real world results and evidence among athletes, fitness models, and physique enthusiasts prove that.  So does a plethora of research.  For the geeks like me, you’ll get to see a lot of this research later.  For the non-geeks, it is separated out so you can skip over it.  The main goal of this book is to get you on a targeted fat loss plan, not to make you fall asleep in a lecture.

Carb confusion in the public and problems in the individual person arise when fitness writers and coaches try to slot everyone into one universal system and proclaim it is the best for everyone, everywhere.

The diet industry has lost the principle of Specificity--matching your plan to your individual situation and goal.  There is no "Perfect Diet" that can claim a throne.  The next time someone claims to be king, punch them in the high-carb breadbasket or kick them in the low-carb nuts.

There are multiple effective diets based on a variety of different situations and goals.  We will get you to the right one based on where you are currently at and where you ultimately want to go."

 


 

Number 2

THE DOWNSIDE OF MISMATCHED DIETS

"When I combined low-carb eating with consistent, intense, anaerobic training, it was a disaster.  I lost lean muscle mass, ended up skinny-fat, caught every cold that came around town, suffered from insomnia, was anxious and depressed all of the time (and I’m normally a laid-back, happy beach dude), and ended up with the testosterone levels of a 70 year-old.

 

It wasn’t until I returned to my Exercise Physiology roots, applied the principle of Specificity not only to my training plan, but to my diet plan as well, incorporated some Sports Nutrition principles back into my plan, and re-integrated some carbs back into my diet that my results took off.

Yes, if carbs are overeaten, they can inhibit the fat loss process. But in the right amounts and situations, they can support it."

 

 


 

Number 3

YOUR SIMPLE CARB SOLUTION

Match your carbohydrate intake to your individual activity levels, metabolic condition, and physique or performance goals.  It really is that simple.

A 300lbs, obese, sedentary, pre-diabetic office worker trying to improve biomarkers of health and save his or her life DOES NOT have the exact same nutritional needs as a 175lbs, lean, fit, insulin-sensitive athlete trying to reach elite levels of performance or physical development, and maybe has the less noble, but equally important goal of getting big guns and a shredded 6-pack. Neither does the relatively fit woman trying to turn it up for the next few months and rock a bikini come summertime.

Yet, that's what you have to believe if you buy into the dogmatic adherence to a one-size-fits all "diet system."

 


Carbs QR Code

You can check out the book’s description, table of contents, and read the first two chapters (The Great Carb Debate & The Downside of Mismatched Diets) for free by visiting the book’s page on Amazon here: The Truth About Carbs. To learn more about Nate Miyaki, visit his website or chat with him on twitter.

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Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health?

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Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health?

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This is a guest post by Laura Schoenfeld, a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Public Health, and staff nutritionist and content manager for ChrisKresser.com. You can learn more about Laura by checking out her popular blog or visiting her on Facebook.

Carbohydrates, and the role they play in a healthy diet, are one of the most hotly contested nutritional debates in the world, both in conventional and ancestral health circles.

On one side, you’ve got folks who say that carbohydrates are nonessential and increase your risk for diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and neurological disorders. On the other side, some say that carbohydrates are crucial for good health and should make up the majority of your calories.

It’s no wonder I have so many clients who come to me completely confused about carbs and whether or not they should eat more or less of them.

is a low carb diet ruining your health

While some people do incredibly well following a low carb Paleo diet, there are many people who crash and burn on this type of dietary plan. So, how can you tell if you’re the type of person who shouldn’t be eating a low carb diet, and how do you figure out how many carbs you should be eating? I plan to teach you just that in this article.

Is your low-carb diet doing you more harm than good? Find out how many carbs YOU should be eating.

Pregnancy

I recently discussed the role of carbohydrates during pregnancy in an episode of The Ancestral RDs Podcast. The most important reason why women need adequate carbohydrates during pregnancy is to ensure adequate fetal brain development and growth. Another reason is because a high protein diet can be dangerous during pregnancy, and when you cut out carbohydrate as a major macronutrient, you usually can’t help but increase protein as a percentage of calories. Protein intake greater than 25% of calories during pregnancy may lead to decreased mass at birth and increased perinatal morbidity and mortality for the baby.

The Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum of 175 grams of carbohydrates per day during pregnancy, which is 29% of calories on a 2400 calorie dietPaul Jaminet advises pregnant mothers to restrict protein to about 15% of calories and to obtain 30% of calories as carbohydrates. Chris recommends a moderate carb approach for most pregnant women (except those with any type of diabetes) in his book, Your Personal Paleo Code.

Like these other experts, I generally recommend 30% of calories from carbohydrates for my pregnant clients, and also for those who are struggling with fertility. Unless you have diabetes or a serious neurological condition that requires carbohydrate restriction, it’s not worth the risk playing around with a low carb diet when you’re pregnant, and these diets aren’t conducive to fertility for many women either. (If you’re interested in more reasons why carbohydrates can affect fertility, read this great post by Stefani Ruper.)

Athletes

If you’re a professional or recreational athlete who trains hard 4, 5, or even 6 days per week (I hope you’re not doing 7 days per week!) and trying to maintain this level of activity on a low carb diet, you may be doing more harm than good to your health and fitness.

While there are athletes who thrive on a well-planned low carb approach (LeBron James most recently!), there are many others who do not. Each athlete is completely unique in their ability to perform well on a low carb diet, and there’s nothing wrong with testing out the diet to see how it affects your athletic ability.

But if you’ve been trying a low carb diet for months now and your workouts are suffering, your weight isn’t budging (or maybe you’ve even gained weight!), and your recovery time is increasing, you’re probably not the type of person who can handle a low carb diet combined with regular intense physical activity.

I’ve had many clients come to me on a low carb diet who, after switching to a more moderate carb approach, found that their energy and endurance significantly increased, and they were able to make quicker strength gains than before. Many also were able to shed some of the stubborn body fat that they’d been retaining despite eating a low carb diet and training hard, which was a result they didn’t expect!

For my athletic clients, I usually recommend a minimum of 20% of calories from carbohydrate, and depending on the person’s health goals, training schedule, and current issues, I may actually recommend more like 40-50% of calories from carbs.

Again, each athlete is an individual and what works for one person, or even a thousand people, may not work for you. So don’t be afraid to experiment and pay attention to how your diet makes you look, feel, and perform! And don’t hesitate to get help if you need it!

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Hypothyroidism and HPA Axis Dysregulation (Adrenal Fatigue)

Hypothyroidism is one of the most commonly cited medical reasons for needing to eat a moderate carb diet. The main reason why carbs affect thyroid function so directly is because insulin is needed for the conversion of the inactive T4 hormone into the active T3 hormone, and insulin is generally quite low on very low carbohydrate diets.

So if you’ve suddenly started developing hypothyroid symptoms on your low carb diet, it’s a pretty good sign that you’d be better off upping the carbs (and getting your thyroid tested if you haven’t already!) For more about how low carb dieting affects your thyroid, listen to this great interview with Chris by Jimmy Moore.

HPA axis dysregulation, also known as adrenal fatigue, is another condition where a moderate carb intake is important for general health. Kelsey and I talked about adrenal fatigue on our first Ask the RD podcast, so listen to it if you’re unfamiliar with this condition. The main hormone that gets dysregulated in adrenal fatigue is cortisol, and cortisol has been shown to increase on a low carb diet. This means that a low carb diet is a potential adrenal stressor in susceptible individuals. Combine that with a stressful job, inadequate sleep, and overexercise, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for adrenal burnout.

So if you have adrenal fatigue, or if your current lifestyle is already high stress in a few different areas, you may want to increase your carb intake until you can get those additional stressors under control, as you may drive yourself into adrenal fatigue by having a chronically elevated cortisol output. Lara Briden has written a great article on the benefits of whole food carbohydrates in lowering cortisol and raising GABA, a calming hormone that is often low in adrenal fatigue patients.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism or adrenal fatigue, you may be worsening them with a well-intentioned low carb Paleo diet. I recommend working with someone to help you figure out if your diet is indeed making these symptoms worse, and how to change what you eat to better support your thyroid and adrenal health.

Gut Health

One of the less discussed downsides of a very low carbohydrate diet over the long run is the potential for alteration of the gut flora. Chris recently covered this issue in a podcast with Jeff Leach, where they discussed evidence that a very low carb diet can lead to gut dysbiosis and a reduction in the diversity of the gut flora. A lot of the information on this topic is new and not fully understood, but it’s reasonable to believe that when you avoid carbs, you’re also avoiding important prebiotics (i.e. food for your gut flora) like soluble fiber and resistant starch.

These prebiotics are essential for promoting the growth of beneficial gut flora. Without them, your beneficial flora can’t produce as much gut-healing substances like butyrate and other short chain fatty acids, and your microbiome composition may even shift in an undesirable direction. And as Chris would say, you’re only as healthy as your gut is: an unhealthy gut contributes to everything from obesity and diabetes, to digestive illness, to autoimmune disease, to skin disorders.

Those who are doing very low carbohydrate diets, and who simply can’t increase their starch intake for whatever reason, should use prebiotic supplements such as resistant starch-rich unmodified potato starch or FOS powder. However, these products must be incorporated slowly into your supplement regimen, as you can experience severe gas and bloating if too many prebiotics are taken all at once, or if there is existing gut dysbiosis or bacterial overgrowth. In this case, it would be wise to work with someone who can help you get the prebiotics you need while on a very low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet to protect the health of your gut microbiota.

How Many Carbs Do I Need?

To determine how many carbs my clients need to eat in a day to reach their health goals, first I decide what percentage of calories from carbs they’d possibly do best with. As an example from above, a woman struggling with fertility issues may benefit from a carb intake around 30% of calories. I then determine her caloric needs using a calculator like this one. If we determine that her daily needs are roughly 2000 calories per day, 30% of calories from carbs is 600 calories. As there are 4 calories in a gram of carbohydrate, this works out to be 150 grams of carbs per day.

Usually I give my clients a target range to hit depending on their activity levels, and we use these targets to re-evaluate their food diaries and see if they’re hitting their goals. Most of my clients are surprised to learn how much carb-rich Paleo foods they have to eat to get up to 150-200 grams per day! But once they start making a real effort to hit those targets, the health benefits are immediate.

These benefits include weight loss, elevated mood, skin improvements, increased energy, normal menstrual function, more satisfying sleep, and more. It’s so exciting to see what a couple of starchy tubers and pieces of fruit can do for a person’s health when they simply need to eat more carbs!

Wondering what foods have carbs in them, and what portion sizes you need to eat of each type to get the carbs you need? Click here for a handy list you can print out!

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Final Thoughts

The purpose of this article was not to bash low carb diets. I truly believe that there are many people out there who get amazing health results from a low carb plan, and there are dozens of health conditions that benefit from a very low carb or ketogenic diet, especially severe neurological conditions. Paul Jaminet has written some great posts explaining when a ketogenic diet may be useful and necessary, so I strongly suggest reading those posts if you’re still on the fence about where you stand with carbohydrates and your health needs.

My hope is that by reading this article, you’ll be able to understand the many factors that play into how a person handles a low carbohydrate diet, and whether or not their health will improve on such a plan. Everyone is different in their ability to thrive on a low carbohydrate diet. If you’ve found yourself identifying with any of the issues I’ve written about in this post, you may be in need of a macronutrient adjustment in your diet.

Helping people optimize their carb intake is a challenge I truly enjoy. As a dietitian, I love to help people evaluate their diet to determine if they’re meeting their health needs with the food they’re eating. If you think you could benefit from a Paleo diet makeover, I’d love to chat with you about where you’re at and where you want to go with your health.

Your carb intake shouldn’t be the major factor that’s preventing you from reaching your health goals. I hope you use the information I’ve shared today to evaluate your own nutritional needs and make the changes that make sense to you.

Now I want to hear your story. Have you experienced health benefits from increasing your carb intake? Share what you’ve learned in the comments below!

Laura Schoenfeld MPH RDAbout Laura: Laura uses her knowledge of traditional and biologically appropriate diets to improve her clients’ health. Growing up with a family that practices Weston A. Price principles of nutrition, she understands the foods and cooking practices that make up a nutrient dense diet.

With her strong educational background in biochemistry, clinical nutrition, and research translation, she blends current scientific evidence with traditional food practices to help her clients determine their ideal diet.

You can find her at AncestralizeMe.com, on Facebook, and Twitter!

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Is All Sugar Created Equal?

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Is All Sugar Created Equal?

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You’ve probably heard it countless times, especially in low-carb circles: sugar is sugar is sugar. This is true in principle – the glucose, fructose, and sucrose found in table sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are the same molecules as the glucose, fructose, and sucrose in honey, fruit, and starchy vegetables. But when it comes to the way your body uses these sugars, these foods are hardly comparable. In this article, I’ll show you why all sugar is not created equal, and why you should care.

Does sugar from fruit and starchy vegetables have the same impact on your health as a candy bar?

Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup Are Not The Same

In my previous post in this series, I compared HFCS with white sugar and concluded that these two sweeteners are more or less metabolically equivalent. In the comments section, a few people brought up research showing that fructose is metabolized very differently from glucose; in fact, it’s metabolized more like alcohol.

I’ll address that research in a second, but first, understand this: high fructose corn syrup is not the same thing as fructose. Fructose is a simple sugar molecule with a specific chemical structure, while HFCS is a mixture of fructose and glucose in a roughly 1:1 ratio.

Now, there are certainly some scary studies about the metabolic effects of pure fructose. In animal models, fructose administration can cause dyslipidemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, and even type 2 diabetes. (1)

But these harmful effects result from animals being fed large amounts of pure, isolated fructose. In this form, fructose does act much like a toxin in the body, and it would be a terrible idea to start sweetening your food with pure fructose. But because fructose isn’t found in isolation in nature or even in our food supply, these studies are largely irrelevant to practical nutrition.

Already, we’re beginning to see that all sugar is not created equal, and that form and “packaging” makes a huge difference in metabolic effect. In this case, pure fructose does not affect the body the same way as fructose in sugar or HFCS. Now, what about fructose in fruit?

Fruit: More Than Just a Hit of Sugar

Although conventional wisdom holds that fruit is unquestionably a health food, the push to avoid sugar and excess carbohydrates has in many cases left people hesitant, even afraid to eat fruit. While it’s typically acknowledged that eating an apple is better than eating a bag of candy, fruit is still often seen as a source of sugar that should be consumed in strict moderation, and the phrase “sugar is sugar” is a common refrain, especially in Paleo or low-carb communities. The problem with this viewpoint is that added sweeteners and fruit have completely different metabolic effects.

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First of all, the fiber and water found in whole fruit increase satiety, which makes it less likely that you’ll go into caloric excess. Studies going back more than forty years have shown that naturally occurring sugars in fruits are beneficial to health and do not promote weight gain, and we can see these effects in traditional cultures such as the Kuna, who obtain a significant percentage of their calories from fruit while remaining lean. (2, 3)

And despite some claims to the contrary, there’s no evidence that we should avoid whole fruit simply because it contains fructose. (4) Far from being a health hazard, like pure fructose or added sweeteners, studies overall suggest that eating whole, fresh fruit may actually decrease the risk of obesity and diabetes. (5) Additionally, randomized controlled trials have shown that eating fruit reduces oxidative stress markers and blood glucose in diabetics. (6) Further, limiting fruit intake has no effect on blood sugar, weight loss, or waist circumference. (7)

For most people, 3-5 servings of fruit per day is perfectly fine, although certain people with insulin resistance, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome may see improvements by restricting fruit intake to one to two servings a day, and by choosing fruits that are lower in sugar. Additionally, some benefits of fruit restriction for digestive issues come more from avoiding high FODMAP fruits as opposed to fruits altogether.

Solid Sugar vs. Liquid Sugar

Another angle to consider is the issue of sweeteners in beverages versus sweeteners in solid foods. Countless studies have demonstrated that drinking your sugar has uniquely harmful effects, primarily because most people fail to reduce their caloric intake to compensate for the extra calories they’re consuming in sweetened drinks. (8)

For example, a study of 323 adults found that subjects who increased the number of calories they obtained from sugar-sweetened beverages didn’t decrease their caloric consumption from other sources. (9)

Another study showed that total calorie intake among sixteen patients was greater on the days that sugar-sweetened beverages were given at lunch than on the days they weren’t. So even when the sweetener used is the same (usually sugar or HFCS), consuming it in a beverage will have different health effects than consuming it in a food.

Real Honey vs. Fake Honey

I’ve already written about the unique metabolic effects of honey, and there have been studies comparing the effects of honey and “artificial honey” on blood lipids, insulin response, and blood sugar. Although artificial honey is a mixture of glucose and fructose in the same ratio as was found in natural honey, its metabolic effects are completely different.

Honey

 

In one study, supplementation with real honey decreased triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, increased HDL cholesterol, and even decreased plasma homocysteine. (10) On the contrary, the artificial “honey” raised triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Other similar studies have found that natural honey results in more stable postprandial blood sugar and insulin response when compared with artificial honey. (11, 12)

There are further examples that I won’t get into, but I hope I’ve demonstrated that the phrase “sugar is sugar” is simply not accurate when it comes to nutrition and “real” food. The source of sugar does make a difference, and we as a community need to be careful about generalizing study results where they may not apply, and demonizing foods that don’t deserve to be demonized.

If you missed any of the previous articles in this series on sweeteners, be sure to check them out below, and stay tuned for the final post where I’ll tie everything up and give you some practical tips on where sweeteners should fit in a healthy diet.

 

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Greek Yogurt vs. Regular

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Greek Yogurt vs. Regular

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What’s all of this hype with Greek yogurt nowadays? It seems like everyone is boasting about how Greek yogurt is better for you than regular yogurt; yet no one can explain why. We want you to be educated on your yogurt decisions so there won’t be any debate next time you’re shopping down that grocery aisle.

Let’s start with the basics: Greek yogurt and regular yogurt are both great healthy sources of calcium and probiotics. They are both made with the same ingredients: milk and bacterial cultures.

The factor that changes everything is the straining process of the two yogurts. Regular yogurt is strained twice whereas Greek yogurt is strained three times. That one extra straining of Greek yogurt makes a significant difference in its nutritional content.

PROTEIN

When straining yogurt, protein is left over in the process. The liquid that is usually left behind in regular yogurt is whey that contains mostly sodium, carbohydrates, and calcium. Since Greek yogurt has less whey left over than regular yogurt after the straining process, it becomes far superior in protein content than regular yogurt.  On average, Greek yogurt contains 15-20g of protein per cup whereas regular yogurt contains around 9g of protein per cup. That protein content is a major contributor to overall fullness and how long that yogurt will keep you going until you’re in need of more food.

CARBOHYDRATES

If you’re trying to cut back on carbs, Greek yogurt is the way to go. With one cup averaging 5-8 grams of carbohydrates, you are saving yourself around 8-12 grams of extra carbs from regular yogurt by going Greek.Yogurtland_Yogurt_High_Res

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FAT

Even though Greek yogurt is lower in carbs, one cup of full fat Greek yogurt has around 16 grams of saturated fat content as compared to full-fat regular yogurt that contains around 5 grams per cup. In no way should you fear saturated fats, but simply be aware of this when deciding your fat intake in the rest of your food and the volume of Greek yogurt to consume, especially when adding nuts or high fat granola to your 'yo cup'.

 NUTRITION LABELS

This brings us to how you should be reading those nutritional labels to get the most bang for your buck. Ingredients are listed on nutritional labels and begin with the most used ingredient. The farther down the list of ingredients you go, the less of that ingredient the product contains. When shopping for yogurt, look for plain and simple ingredients. All you want to see on that ingredients list are milk and bacterial cultures. If you’re looking to cut back on saturated fat, try going for the low fat yogurts instead of full fat.

Yogurts with fruit already added to them are a big no no. They can turn that healthy cup of yogurt into a high calorie dessert that will spike your insulin levels and have you crashing hard soon thereafter. If you want to sweeten your yogurt, try adding honey or putting some fresh fruit inside for some extra filling natural fiber.

Conclusively, yogurt is a fantastic addition to anyone's diet. Just remember to check nutritional labels to see what fits your dietary needs.

Want to help educate others on this yogurt fun fact? Please share this article via Facebook or Tweet #DIAKADIYogurtWars.

#StayintheKnow

 

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Top 5 Meal Delivery Services in San Francisco

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Top 5 Meal Delivery Services in San Francisco

Forget to pack a lunch or are scrambling to find something healthy at the last minute? Food delivery services throughout San Francisco will bring you healthy, portioned, freshly prepared meals right to your door. You can even order a weeks worth of food ahead of time. Now there's really no excuse to be buying greasy take-out for a late night dinner. Here are our top picks for best meal delivery services in San Francisco. [divider] [/divider]

Lilah Belle's

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Organic, low calorie,nutritionally balanced meals that actually fill you up and taste great too!  How is this even possible?! Lilah Belle's makes this happen with meals like pork chops with blackberry port sauce, chickpea vegetable salad with curried yogurt dressing, and teriyaki chicken with tangy apricot sauce. What isn't there to love about this place? Delivery happens twice a week on Monday or Tuesday depending on where you live. If you can't plan that far in advance, you can buy their meals right here at DIAKADI or stop by their shop on Divisadero on your way to work.

Luke's Local

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If you want a food delivery service that provides fresh, organic meals alongside local, sustainable groceries than look no further. Luke's Local has a wide variety of fresh gourmet meals ready for the taking. With prepared meals like marinated hanger steak, confit california yellowtail, and roasted pepper lasagna, who needs to sit a restaurant when you can have a gourmet meal at home? Even better, if you have a family they have family meal bundles to feed your family local, organic food for a few days so it's one less thing you'll have to think about during the week.

 

Munchery

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Want a delicious gourmet meal from a company that gives back to people in need? This community based company donates a meal to someone in need every time you order a meal. That's just one of many reasons why you should be ordering food from Munchery. With a rotating daily menu prepared by gourmet chefs, you can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner that will come to your doorstep at the time you have specified ahead of time. Extra brownie points for free delivery all throughout San Francisco! DIAKADI client's in the past have received deliveries to the gym so right when they're done working out they have a fresh meal waiting for them. Genius!

Square Meals

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Square Meals is awesome. Plain and simple. The menu changes on a weekly basis and items include, but are not limited to, king salmon, pot roast, and a stuffed chicken that is sure to satisfy your protein needs.If you're on Polk street you can check out their cafe that serves fresh seasonal meals from scratch daily. You can even pick up some Batter Bakery's treats for dessert, turning your square meal into more of a pentagon.  Don't worry, it will be our little secret.

Sprig

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Get the most delicious iPhone app out on the market right now. With three taps on your iPhone, you can get locally-sourced seasonal meals delivered right to your door in minutes. They even offer gluten free and vegetarian options to help cater to special dietary needs. At $9 per lunch and $10 per dinner, these meals are quite a steal for food on the go.

 

Do you regularly eat meals from one of our top five delivery services? Post a picture on our Facebook page or Tweet with #DIAKADITop5 and you might just be featured in one of our next blog posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nutrition Q&A with DIAKADI Trainer Christian Pitkin

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Nutrition Q&A with DIAKADI Trainer Christian Pitkin

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Success! DIAKADI trainer, Christian Pitkin, has finished his Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification and sheds light on what means for himself and his clients. DIAKADI trainers are always expanding their learning in order to offer the best and smartest training to their clients. We wanted to interview Christian in order learn more about his educational journey.

DIAKADI: What certification did you just obtain?

C. Pitkin: Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification

DIAKADI: What steps did you have to take to get this certification?

C. Pitkin: I read 17 chapters of The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition and answered workbook questions on all the chapters.  I also watched online videos of each chapter. Then I took a 100 question exam.

DIAKADI: What are some of the key points you learned from obtaining this certification?

C. Pitkin: I learned the following:

  • The Cell structure and Function within the human body.
  • How food is digested and absorbed.
  • The process of Energy transformation and metabolism.
  • The specifics of Macro and Micro Nutrients
  • The practical approach of how to work with clients within an entire life cycle of a training program.
  • (All the way from collecting preliminary client information TO providing a nutrition plan related with their training program and then ON TO monitoring goals and results and modifying/adjusting when need be).
  • Numerous Case Studies are presented with real life examples whom John Berardi and other fitness professionals had experienced first hand.

DIAKADI: How will this certification change your practice and your own life/eating practices?

C. Pitkin: The cert will help me tremendously in knowing what food to recommend to clients, when to eat, and how this relates to their type of exercise (ie, strength vs aerobic vs anaerobic training) ( ie. ectomorph vs mesomorph vs endomorph body types) and so forth. It helps with knowing what essential and non-essential supplementations to recommend. Also, I now have new tools to use when assessing new and old clients from a nutritional viewpoint. I've also learned about how less is actually more in regards to supplements meaning that, as long as we have a sound nutritional game plan for our body type, then there are only a few - if any at all - supplements that we really need.

Christian has 5 very important nutritional questions to ask yourself to ensure that you're getting the proper nutrients in your daily diet:

  1. Are you eating slowly?
  2. Where is the Protein Dense Food?
  3. Where are the Veggies?
  4. Where are the Carbs coming from?
  5. Where are your Fats coming from?

Thanks for the insight Christian.  To earn more about Christian Pitkin and his personal training style, check out his DIAKADI Bio.  

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Inner Spark Radio: Polina Smith, Billy Polson and Gina Gutierrez on the 6 DIAKADI Elements

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Inner Spark Radio: Polina Smith, Billy Polson and Gina Gutierrez on the 6 DIAKADI Elements

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 Polina, host of Inner Spark Radio and DIAKADI Trainer, speaks on air with Billy and Gina  about where holistic health and fitness intersect in the 6 DIAKADI Elements: An all encompassing 'How to' list for clients looking to bring a deeper level of fitness and well-being into their lives.

Billy is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI. He was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America, as well as one of the Top 10 Trainers in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Peers and other fitness professionals look to Billy as he is the fitness advisor and speaker to several national health organizations.  All with good reason - Billy devotes his own life and energy towards helping others learn how to live the strong, healthy, comfortable and happy life they were meant to live.

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Billy puts it all together, and is the rare trainer who has the knowledge to give, the experience to relate, the passion to share, and the natural gift to teach.   Since joining the fitness industry, Billy had the vision to create a cutting-edge training facility exclusively for the Bay Area's best trainers and their clients. DIAKADI is that vision, and recently, it was voted Best Place to Get Fit by San Francisco Magazine as well as the Top Trainers and Gym in San Francisco by SF Chronicle, ABC-7 Baylist and CitySearch. Whether you choose to train with Billy or any of the other DIAKADI trainers, he is confident you will see and feel the DIAKADI difference!  Learn more about Billy's work at www.diakadibody.com

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Eat This, Lose Weight, Build Muscle

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Eat This, Lose Weight, Build Muscle

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10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body: Episode 2

Authors: Gina Gutierrez and Shelby Jacquez

Summer is here and you need to trim down in the smartest and most efficient way possible. Knowing what foods to eat is the most important first step to your success.

In this second installment of DIAKADI's 'Summer School with DB04 - 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body', holistic fitness trainer Shelby Jacquez speaks with DIAKADI Partner/Trainer Gina Gutierrez about the top 3 things to focus on with your diet this summer and also gives some great advice on ratios for macronutrients (Protein/Carbs/Fats) and the advantages of food tracking.

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Jacquez recommends:

1. Stay Well Hydrated Hydration helps keep blood volume high, allowing for better workouts, energy and results. Clients should drink .5 oz of water per pound of body weight, or a minimum of 8 x 8 oz of water throughout the day.

2. Keep Enough Protein in Your Diet to Build/Maintain Muscle Mass Clients should consume .6 to 1.1 grams of protein per pound (body weight) per day.

3. Use Fresh Fruit as your Sweet Treats Try a watermelon and ice smoothie in the blender for a great healthy sweet treat. Watermelon is also high in lycopene which is great for the skin and a natural sun screen.

What percentages of macronutrients are ideal for you? Jacquez recommends trying the different diet plans for a minimum of 6 weeks (i.e. Paleo Diet, Weight Watchers, etc) to find out what is the best plan for your body's needs. There is no one solution for every one.

Lastly, tracking and logging your foods is always a GREAT way to stay on track with your eating. Meal Logger, My Fitness Pal, and EatingFree.com are all great systems for tracking your food online.

Good Luck!

Watch for 'Summer School with DB04 - Step 3: Answering the Cardio for Fat Loss Question' for advice on how much cardio is ideal for fat loss.

'Summer School with DB04 - 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body' is DIAKADI Fitness Performance Life's 10 part series detailing exactly what steps to take for fat loss, muscle building and looking your best this summer.  The series will address nutrition, cardio exercise, and muscle development programs for full body development.

Stay tuned for the entire series on DB04!

DIAKADI's 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body in 2014

Step 1: Avoid These Foods for a Lean Body Step 2: Eat This, Lose Weight, Build Muscle Step 3: Answering the Cardio for Fat Loss Question Step 4: The 3 Best Summer Ready Ab Exercises Step 5: How to Design Your Summer Body Exercise Program Step 6: The Best Exercises for Arm Development Step 7: The Best Exercises for Legs and Butt Development Step 8: The Best Exercises for Shoulder Development Step 9: The Best Exercises for Chest Development Step 10: The Best Exercises for Back Development

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Avoid These Foods for a Lean Body

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Avoid These Foods for a Lean Body

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10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body: Episode 1

Authors: Gina Gutierrez and Kaveh Gorgani

Summer is here and you need to trim down in the smartest and most efficient way possible. Knowing what foods to eliminate from your diet is the most important first step to your success.

In this first installment of DIAKADI's 'Summer School with DB04 - 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body', fitness performance trainer Kaveh Gorgani speaks with DIAKADI Partner/Trainer Gina Gutierrez about the top 3 things to remove from your diet when trying to look your best in your swim suit this year.

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To reduce your body fat and eliminate unnecessary bloating, Gorgani recommends:

1. Eliminate Processed Foods and Refined Sugars Avoid powders, protein bars, crackers, cookies, pasta, chips, tortillas, etc

2. Eliminate Inflammatory Foods Avoid All Dairy, Gluten, Soy, Sugars

3. Limit or Avoid Sodium and Alcohol Especially watch for these when eating out.

 

Watch for 'Summer School with DB04 - Step 2: Eat This, Lose Weight, Gain Muscle' for advice on what foods to add back in to your diet this summer.

'Summer School with DB04 - 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body' is DIAKADI Fitness Performance Life's 10 part series detailing exactly what steps to take for fat loss, muscle building and looking your best this summer. The series will address nutrition, cardio exercise, and muscle development programs for full body development.

Stay tuned for the entire series on DB04.

DIAKADI's 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body in 2014

Step 1: Avoid These Foods for a Lean Body Step 2: Eat This, Lose Weight, Build Muscle Step 3: Answering the Cardio for Fat Loss Question Step 4: The 3 Best Summer Ready Ab Exercises Step 5: How to Design Your Summer Body Exercise Program Step 6: The Best Exercises for Arm Development Step 7: The Best Exercises for Legs and Butt Development Step 8: The Best Exercises for Shoulder Development Step 9: The Best Exercises for Chest Development Step 10: The Best Exercises for Back Development

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Graze Your Way Through San Francisco's Top 5 Salads

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Graze Your Way Through San Francisco's Top 5 Salads

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Ever have the dilemma at lunch time, "Should I eat a salad or go for tacos (again!) that I think will satisfy me during my afternoon slump?" DIAKADI brings you the top five salads in San Francisco recommended by DIAKADI trainers, that are sure to satisfy your cravings and fill you up with all of the veggies and protein needed to finish off your day strong. We go about our days and weekends in search for a healthy and delicious meal when we're not cooking. Once we find what we like, it's noted and we're happy to share with other trainers, clients, friends + family and YOU. We call this the DIAKADI Insider.

Cristian Salad Post

Cristian says, "It is hard to beat the Grilled Corn & Black Bean Taco Salad at Underdogs! This is a power-packed salad with fresh ingredients that will dazzle your senses and fill you up to the brim!"

What's In Salad #1: Fresh romaine lettuce topped with grilled corn,black beans, cilantro, onions, tomatoes & guacamole tossed in a cilantro-lime vinaigrette. The protein and fiber from the black beans along with the monounsaturated fats from the guacamole will be sure to keep you full until dinner time.

Underdogs Location: 1824 Irving Street, Outer Sunset District 

Nicollette Amarilllas Salad Post

Nicollette says, "Yum! Tacolicious is usually known for just their awesome tacos, but when you need a good salad fix...go for the kale!"

What's In Salad #2: We love this salad because it is power packed with kale, nature's super food, along with cabbage, quinoa, apples, persimmons, grapefruit, pickled baby carrots and is finished off with a cider-cumin vinaigrette and pine nuts. It has a great mix of vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, and fiber that will kick your junk food cravings ass any day.

Tacolicious Location: 741 Valencia Street, Mission District 

Elaine Williams Salad Post

Elaine Says, "This is an award winning salad. Need I say anymore? Just awesome! 'The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor.'” - Chinese Proverb

What's In Salad #3: Named Best of the West Winner 2013 by Sunset Magazine, this salad contains Burmese tea leaves, romaine lettuce, fried yellow beans, fried garlic, sesame seeds, fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, and dried shrimp. If you're looking for a "not your everyday" salad, this one is sure to fit the bill.

Burma Superstar Location: 309 Clement Street, Inner Richmond District

Gina Gutierrez Salad Post

Gina says, "I love it because it so fresh and has the protein kick I need with yummy veggies (brussels sprouts and squash!). Split Bread is located downtown on 4th Street and Mission so it is the perfect spot for when I'm downtown running errands and need a healthy bite to eat."

What's In Salad #4: Who would have thought that this insane mixture of little gems, rotisserie pulled chicken, roasted brussel sprouts, toasted pumpkin seeds, butternut squash, shaved pecorino with whole grain mustard vinaigrette would be so darn amazing? The butternut squash is filled with carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease, as well as brussel sprouts with cholesterol-lowering benefits to support an overall healthy diet . I'd tap that any day of the week.

Split Bread Location: 145 4th Street, Yerba Buena District 

Maggie Harding Salad Post

Maggie says, "When I want a delicious filling salad I think of this great California Roll salad at Pacific Catch. It has everything you could ask for in a salad...and crab! Who dosn't like some good fresh crab!?"

What's In Salad #5: Think of your favorite specialty sushi roll, then dismantle it and throw it into a bowl. That's what you get when you order this salad that contains real crab salad, avocado, cucumber, ginger, tomatoes, carrots & shredded nori with soy-wasabi vinaigrette. With heart healthy avocado and ginger that can help with appetite control, this salad will keep your tummy full and insulin levels steady for hours on end.

Pacific Catch Location: 1200 9th Avenue, Inner Sunset District

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What are you waiting for? Stop licking your chops and go eat some greens!

What's your favorite salad in SF? Share this article on Facebook or Twitter with hashtags #DIAKADIInsider and #kickasssalad with your favorite salad in SF and you may just be featured in one of our upcoming blog posts or social media campaigns.[lightbox link="#"][/lightbox]

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Watch | ABC7 Features DIAKADI Fuel Partner Lilah Belle's

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Watch | ABC7 Features DIAKADI Fuel Partner Lilah Belle's

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Since DIAKADI has opened in 2004, we have always strove to give our clients the best possible workouts and the most nutritional fuel to help them with their goals. Eating clean whole foods is how we fuel ourselves, and are always searching for the best organic food choices in the area. DIAKADI immediately partnered with Traci Freeman and her company, Lilah Belle's. "Eating Lilah Belle's meals weekly has saved our waistline and given us the much needed energy to get through our day. It's perfectly balanced with proteins, carbs and fats, that helps to keep us energized to motivate our clients. It's also the perfect meal to reheat in the oven when we get home after a long day of work" says owner Mike Clausen. Many of our clients and trainers take advantage of the Lilah Belle's delivery service here at DIAKADI. Catering to San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula, Lilah Belle's has a retail store at 1207 Divisadero Street where you can drop in and purchase meals. They also will deliver to your house, office, and even DIAKADI. You can order how much or little you want and know that it is delicious, organic and will help with your fitness goals. They offer everything from breakfast to healthy smoothies to dinners as well as cater your parties!

Recently Lilah Belle's was featured on ABC 7 for their ability to help you with your nutritional goals by creating amazing on the go meals. If you are interested in learning more about Lilah Belle's check out their website here. DIAKADI also orders Lilah Belle's meals every week for our clients to purchase through our Pro-Shop. Please see the front desk to purchase your next pre-made meal for your post workout lunch or dinner!

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Experience Organic Food Fresh From The Farm | Outstanding in The Field

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Experience Organic Food Fresh From The Farm | Outstanding in The Field

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Have you ever thought about having a dinner party on a farm?  With the Outstanding in the Field program, now you can!  You can't get more local and fresh than this when sourcing your food.  Outstanding in The Field is an extraordinary dining experience, with farm to table food, gorgeous outdoor settings and some of the best chefs around. With an experience like this, there is only a finite amount of seating so the tickets go FAST!  Don't be the only one left out, standing in the field!

[one_third]"Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure-literally a restaurant without walls."[/one_third]

So what is Outstanding in the Field anyway? "Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure-literally a restaurant without walls." They source local organic food (sometimes from the farm you are visiting) and usually have a local celebrity chef cook for you in a pristine setting that itself will knock your socks off. These guys travel from state to state, and farm to farm to put on some of the most interesting and awesome dining experiences around. Luckily they are coming to California in May. Tickets go on sale on March 20th and I highly suggest you check that day to book since their events sell out so often and quickly.

For more information check out Outstanding in The Field's website and make sure to sign up early if you wish to join them for a fantastic dining experience you will soon not forget.

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Start Your Year Off With The Amazing Lilah Belles Cleanse

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Start Your Year Off With The Amazing Lilah Belles Cleanse

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Happiness is doing an awesome cleanse while eating PURE foods!

For one week Lilah Belle's will bring you a well-balanced, fresh and delicious meal plan. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, one snack and one super food smoothie per day for 7 days. The caloric range is 1300-1500 for women and 1700-2000 for men. This meal plan eliminates caffeine, sugar, gluten, dairy and meat protein.

Benefits of the cleanse include:

Lilah Bellese Salad

  • More energy
  • Remove toxins from your system
  • Better Sleep
  • Overcome bad food habits
  • Establish a better eating plan
  • Learn what a "portion" should be
  • Feel awesome when you eat only PURE, FRESH and UNPROCESSED FOODS.

How it works:

  • You will receive a delivery on Sunday and Wednesday that includes a menu and all your meals.
  • Meals start on Monday morning and will be furnished until Sunday dinner
  •  A goodie bag full of items to help you kick start your cleanse and maintain it throughout the week
  • All participants must register with Lilah Belle's by January 20, 2013
  • $485 per person

For more information visit www.lilahbelles.com/cleanse.

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Local Mission Market | A New Place to Get Your Local Certified Organic Foods

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Local Mission Market | A New Place to Get Your Local Certified Organic Foods

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A new Market opened recently in the Mission. One that believes in Certified Organic Farm fresh foods. The Local Mission Market also has premade food ready for you after your busy work days. You can actually watch the cooks prepare the food at the market while you shop. It seems like everything from the materials to the food is local. They even used the wood from a fallen tree in Laurel Heights to create their counter top! Local Mission Market also prides itself on having "zero waste'. All their packaging is either recyclable or compostable. They use the cheaper cuts and bones for dog treats instead of throwing them away and creating garbage. Check out Local Mission Market which is open from 9am to 9pm every day!
"Local Mission Market is the first locally-sourced and handmade market. Beyond the bounty of exclusively and directly-sourced Central and Northern Californian fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, oil, vinegar, rice and beans, we craft, package, and label every bread, pasta, jam, pickle, cracker, condiment, sausage, cured fish, and more on-site and by-hand. As committed as we are to old-world and from-scratch production, we also pioneered a full webstore for pick-up and delivery and a custom in-store iPad app for weighed items and quicker checkouts. " Owner Yaron Milgrom
For more information check out the reviews in 7x7 Local Mission Market Opens and First Impression: Local Mission Market.

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Photos taken by Naomi Fiss.

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