5 Weird Health Foods That Will Improve Your Performance

Are you staying up to date on the latest health food trends? There really aren’t any “new” foods, but plenty are “new to us.” For instance, kale, Greek yogurt and chia are ancient foods that have become trendy. They went from superfood status to packaged items like cheesy nacho kale chips, sugar-laden Greek yogurt with lots of flavor options and chocolate chunk Oreo chia pudding. Not cool and definitely not healthy.

Below are five health foods that will help you up your game—and have yet to be drenched in sugar and salt and parked in the snack food aisle.

Ketchup Redefined: The healthy way to make your own Ketchup!

Living a healthier lifestyle and maintaining a clean diet isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Some major hang-ups people run into is the misconception that healthy food has to be bland, unseasoned and boring.

That could not be further from the truth.

While traditional sauces and condiments are usually filled with added sugars, artificial ingredients and dangerous chemicals, there are still ways to spice up your meals without it becoming detrimental to your health goals!

The most commonly used condiment is probably ketchup. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen a brand of ketchup without additional sugar added to it, which is obviously something we’d like you to avoid!

Lucky for you, we’ve got a ketchup recipe that is to die for! We first saw this posted on T-Nation.com, then decided to add a little 1 & Only flare! It’s also way healthier than store-bought ketchup and incredibly simple to make. Check out the recipe below.

Ingredients

100% Natural Tomato Paste (12 oz can)

Water

Apple Cider Vinegar

Ground Mustard

Allspice

Cumin

Cayenne Pepper

Paprika

Ground Cloves

Equipment Needed

2 Mason Jars

Spoon

How To Make It

  1. Using a spoon, put 6 ounces of tomato paste in each of your mason jars. About half of the can should go in each jar.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to each of your mason jars.
  3. Add 1/4 tablespoon of Ground Mustard to each jar.
  4. Add 1/4 tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper to each jar.
  5. Add 1/4 tablespoon of Paprika to each jar.
  6. Add a pinch of Cumin to each jar.
  7. Add a pinch of Allspice to each jar.
  8. Add a pinch of Cloves to each jar.
  9. Add about 1/4 cup of water to each jar.
  10. Place the lids on your jars and shake for 30-60 seconds to mix the ingredients.
  11. IMPORTANT: Taste and adjust.
    1. Add water to adjust consistency
    2. Add additional spices or adjust the current spices to enhance flavor.
  12. Store in your refrigerator in mason jars for up to 2-weeks.

If you’re missing your favorite condiment, now you have a healthier version of it that you can add to your food!

The Key to a Longer Life is… Spicy Food?

Apparently the Spice Girls are visionaries because they were certainly on to something when they said we need to spice up our life.

Literally, though.

A recent study published in The BMJ suggests that people who indulge in fiery foods are more likely to live longer, and have lower risk of death from cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.

The study collected dietary data from about 490,000 people, from ages 30 to 79, in China. The study subjects were enrolled in this project between 2004 and 2008, and had their health monitored for an average of seven years per person.

Over the course of the study, more than 20,000 people died. Scientists were able to pull data that suggests people who ate spicy food more than twice per week have a 14% lower risk of death.

To read the entire study, visit The BMJ here.

3 Easy & Healthier Thanksgiving Food Swaps

So you made it through Halloween without overdosing on candy. Congratulate yourself, but get ready, because the next Holiday is one of the biggest dietary challenges of the year; Thanksgiving.

You’ve probably seen the reports that Americans, on average, gain 7-10 pounds between Halloween and New Years. Maybe you’ve even fallen victim to some holiday weight gain. Whatever the case may be, I’m here to help you through the winter months and stay focused on a healthy lifestyle.

Before I get into the 3 easy and healthy Thanksgiving food swaps, I do want to put a disclaimer out there.

Thanksgiving is one day. One day will NOT make you fat and/or out of shape. You won’t deteriorate into a sloppy mess of lard if you overindulge for one day. I can promise you that. This is especially true if you’ve laid the groundwork for the majority of the year by living a healthy lifestyle with a clean diet.

I don’t want this to come across as a don’t enjoy yourself on Thanksgiving type of post, but I do want to offer some assistance so that you can stay on the safer side during this holiday. People tend to fall “off the wagon” and lose confidence. They never get back “on the wagon” and further regress their fitness level.

These 3 Thanksgiving food swaps will fulfill your holiday cravings, keep you closer to your nutritional goals and allow you to easily get back on track after Thanksgiving.

#1: Baked Apples for Apple Pie

apples

Apple Pie is a Thanksgiving staple. Apple Pie is also terrible for you. Assuming you’re no fool, you probably like a little bit of ice cream on top of your warm Apple Pie too, right? That definitely doesn’t help. Coming in around 600 calories, 90 grams of sugar and 30 grams of fat for a moderate slice of Apple Pie a la Mode, you may not want to go that route this Thanksgiving.

Instead, try a Baked Apple. You can even top it with a little bit of raisins, nuts, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and coconut oil to enhance the flavor. Use whipped cream if you’re feeling crazy.

Just cut [in half] and core a large Honeycrisp apple, then spread some coconut oil on the flesh of each half. Top it with your favorite nuts and spices, then bake it for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Throw some whipped cream on top to complete the I miss you, Apple Pie effect and you’ll be good!

#2: Baked Sweet Potato for Candied Yams

sp

Candied Yams; another Thanksgiving side dish that people would die for. I mean, what’s not to like? You’ve got Yams, Marshmallows, Pecans, Brown Sugar and Butter all mashed together into a glorious pile of deliciousness.

One serving of this will probably register at around 500 calories and close to 80 grams of sugar. It’s not even technically a dessert! This is like cheating the system. You add this to your plate with turkey and other side items, finish it, then go eat “dessert.”

A healthier, and in my opinion, tastier swap for this would be baked sweet potatoes. You can get creative with this one. I’ve baked sweet potatoes, topped it with pecans, bacon and cinnamon, and enjoyed that as a food swap. You can enjoy sweet potato fries, spiced up however you’d like. Another option is mashed sweet potatoes, using coconut oil, coconut milk and spiced up to taste.

However you go about this Thanksgiving food swap, you’ll surely save yourself from a sugar-high (and crash) that will ensue if you go with the Candied Yams.

#3: Roasted Veggies for Green Bean Casserole

veg

In theory, Green Bean Casserole seems harmless. If you dig deep into the recipe, you could probably do without the heavy cream and fried onions. Now, if you’re making the Paula Dean version, you’re probably throwing in an entire stick of butter and maybe some cheddar cheese too.

Let’s stray away from ruining simple Green Beans like that. Instead of making a casserole, try roasting a wide variety of vegetables together – you can even drizzle it with a creative sauce if you want.

Roast a pound of the following veggies for 25 minutes at 400 degrees:

  • Carrots (cut to spears)
  • Brussels Sprouts (cut into halves)
  • Golden Beets (skinned and chopped)
  • Butternut Squash (skinned and cubed)

(Drizzle those with Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

With about 10 minutes left to roast, add the following:

  • 4 cups Kale
  • 2 cups Green Onion
  • Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano to taste
  • Apple Cider Vinaigrette
    • ½ cup EVOO
    • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 1 tbsp Honey
    • 2 tbsp Mustard
    • Salt & Pepper

Now you can enjoy a larger spread of veggies that aren’t drowning in Cream of Mushroom soup, cheese and fried onions!

Like I mentioned before, Thanksgiving is just one day. Don’t let it spill over for the next week. Don’t let the host insist on sending you home with all of the leftover beer and an endless supply of holiday food. Enjoy your day, try to stay on track to the best of your ability and continue to make progress toward whatever your goal is!

– Justin Ochoa

5 Food Marketing Tricks Destroying Your Health

Our lives are driven by consumption. Every day, we are faced with decisions on what to consume. We consume information on the news. We consume entertainment from television, movies and music. We consume knowledge from our peers. You get the point.

The thing we consume most is presentation. We make decisions based on presentation. We buy Nike because the Nike model looks incredibly fit and athletic in his Nike gear. We buy Crest toothpaste because the model on the box has one of the most beautiful, pearly white smiles you’ve ever seen. We make completely unnecessary purchases on items that are on sale, because the store presented us with a discount.

Presentation is the lifeblood of consumption.

When it comes to food, this can be a huge issue. Presentation, or marketing, of food paints a vivid picture of a product that will often fall short of your expectations. Everything from the look to the taste to the nutrition of the food can be presented to you in a way that is far more appealing than the truth.

I’ve made tons of poor eating decisions in my life based on presentations of food. I’ve also made just as many healthy choices. I’m sure I’ll make plenty more of each throughout the rest of my life. Over the years, I’ve gotten better at identifying the hidden marketing tricks used to advertise our food and that has helped my health tremendously.

I’d like to share some of those food marketing tricks, so you can continue to better yourself and make informed decisions on what foods you choose to consume.

“Gluten-Free Foods”

Gluten-Free is extremely trendy right now. According to market research done by NPD Group, 29-percent of Americans are trying to cut down on the gluten they consume.

I’ve been gluten-free for 5 years now for medical purposes and have seen the industry grow right before my eyes. I fully support a gluten and grain free diet. I encourage all of my weight loss clients to at least give it a try.

What I DO NOT support is the consumption of gluten-free packaged foods. Just because the label says gluten-free on it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, most foods that have a gluten-free label are just as bad, if not worse, than the original item they mimic.

The whole point of a gluten-free diet is to cut the crappy grains and replace them with real food – not to replace them with even more sugary, starchy, chemically enhanced foods. If you’re going GF, try eating foods with just one ingredient. Meats, fruits, nuts and vegetables are all gluten-free, whether the label says or not!

“Per Serving”

The nutritional facts you see on labels, in commercials and on menus, are almost always going to be the amount per serving. It’s your job to determine how many servings you’re eating of that product.

Every product has a different serving size and different amount of servings per container. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. It’s just so sneaky.

For example, let’s say you buy a nice big bottle of Gatorade and head to Planet Fitness for some vicious treadmill walking. The label says it has 80 calories and 21 grams of sugar – per serving. The serving size is 12 oz. Your bottle is 30 oz. You’re going to drink the entire bottle because you think Gatorade is good for you, because their awesome commercial with colorful sweat and general athletic baddassery told you so.

Well, you just drank 200 calories and 52.5 grams of sugar. Not what you were expecting was it?

This happens all the time with pretty much any food you can think of. I wrote an article on nutritional labeling flaws a while back. You should read that or at least check out this graphic below.

The point is that you absolutely must read the labels of your food products. By labels, I mean the nutritional facts. You need to see exactly what you’re putting into your body so there are no surprises when you do, or don’t, get the results you’re seeking.

“Natural Flavors”

Honestly, if you see the word natural, it may be a good idea to run. Natural food doesn’t need to tell you it’s natural.

What the hell is a natural flavor anyway? Who knows?

Food Scores has a database of over 80,000 foods and their ingredients and natural flavors is the 4th most used ingredient in our food. Salt, water and sugar are the top 3, respectively. All three items you can buy in your local grocery store – at least they have that going for them. You’re not going to find a bottle natural flavors in your local Kroger.

The term natural flavor can contain more than 100 ingredients. Literally, food labels can kill up to 100 birds with one stone by putting natural flavors on the list of ingredients.

Flavoring your food is your job, not the manufacturers. Just buy whole, real food and season it yourself.

“Buzz Words”

This is kind of a general tip, but be cautious of buzz words like:

  • Low-Fat
  • Reduced Sugar
  • Whole Grain
  • Weight Control
  • Low-Cal
  • Naturally Sweetened
  • Antioxidants
  • Made with “Real ______”
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegan
  • Paleo
  • Heart Healthy

Not saying these are always a bad thing, but chances are slim that what you see is what you get when it comes to these claims. Just for fun, let’s see who can create the most buzzworded healthy sounding unhealthy food products. Here’s mine:

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo Low-Cal Breakfast Cookies Baked with Real Cinnamon – And for every box you purchase, we help rescue a Bald Eagle and put it in a Cage-Free Environment to live a long and healthy life!

Your turn below. My favorite answer gets a free personal training session.

Submit Your Buzzword-Filled "Healthy" Food

 “Commercial Advertising”

Generally, food items that have commercial advertising campaigns are not going to benefit your health. There are SOME that are good for you, but for the most part, it’s a no-go.

Think about the purpose of an advertisement. That 30-second television clip’s job is to convince you that you need that product. It’s really tough to think of a healthy food item that has a national ad campaign going right now…

Let’s think.

You have McDonald’s now offering all-day breakfast. Healthy? Nope.

You’ve got Taco Bell offering breakfast, period. Healthy? No. We hear about Cheerios being gluten-free now. Are those benefiting your health? Not really. Crappy food is much more appealing than healthy food, but which produces the most appealing physique?

I’m pretty sure there’s no ads running for broccoli, are there? What about fresh blueberries? Any ads for those?

This is because those are actually FOOD items. They aren’t brands. They don’t have franchises or publicly traded stocks. It’s just food and it’s sad that we don’t get to learn about food as much as we get to learn about Burger King’s “Black Whopper.”

Hopefully these 5 food marketing tricks help you identify some unhealthy foods in your diet so you can eliminate them! As always, reach out to me with any questions and I’ll do my best to help you out in any way that I can!

How to have a FIT Football Season

This is one of my favorite times of year – not because fall is near, but because football season is upon us.  I went to my first college game over the weekend and watched the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame put a hurt on the Longhorns of Texas.  Beautiful day for tailgating, and an even better night for an Irish blow out victory.  As if that’s not enough to make my week, today marks opening day for the NFL, with 15 more games to be played over the following 4 days!  I love the NFL, and all of the energy it creates.  It seems that little else brings people together like professional football, unless of course it’s FOOD!

Whether you attend a game in person, meet friends at a local restaurant/bar, attend a gathering at someone’s house or just watch in the comfort of your own home, there will undoubtedly be temptations to blow your diet.  Football seems to go best with beer and pizza, or beer and nachos, or beer and wings, or beer and brats, or beer and burgers…you get the picture.

But if you’re anything like me, you don’t want your favorite time of year to turn into a series of regrettable diet slip-ups that compromise all your hard work to lose weight, keep weight off and maintain a clean diet.  After all, football season will be with us until February of next year, and with today’s television programming schedule, you can find a game nearly every night of the week!  And with every game comes the temptation to bust your diet “just this one time.”  However, all of those “just this one time’s” can add up, and before you know it, you’ve packed on extra weight that you’ve worked so hard to lose.

The key to being able to enjoy this football season, while remaining committed to your health goals is preparation.  Here are a few simple recommendations, depending on the situation you find yourself in;

If Watching the Game in Person:

Know that healthy food choices, once inside the stadium are hard to come by.  Although increasingly football stadiums are contracting with food vendors that provide healthier choices, they are far outnumbered by the vendors providing pizza, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, deep fried tenderloins, etc.  But rest assured, you do have options.  If you are unfamiliar with the venue and don’t want to go through the hassle of searching out a healthy food vendor, then definitely try and eat before the game.  Even though I’m familiar with Lucas Oil Stadium, I still try to eat something before the Colts kick off – usually something with protein.  For example, before a 1:00 start, I’ll eat a late breakfast of eggs (usually a vegetable omelet), along with fresh fruit.  I’ll also bring along a bag of nuts to snack on if I get hungry during the game.  For the times I don’t have the chance to eat ahead of time, I don’t stress because I’m prepared, in that I know where the healthier food vendors are (e.g. grilled chicken breast).  As for me, I tend to gravitate to the vegetable stir fry vendor, where I can get a healthy serving of broccoli, carrots, and pea pods, minus the rice or noodles – trust me, it tastes just as good without, and the vendor will usually double your veggies at no additional cost.  And if you feel the need for a mid-game snack, remember that a bag of shelled peanuts is a far better choice than loaded nachos.

If Watching the Game at a Restaurant/Bar:

Again, the key is preparation, and once again your best option is to eat a healthy meal before going out, thus mitigating the risk of chowing down during the game on low nutrient  and/or simple carbs (basic sugars that provide little real value for your body).  If it’s not in the cards to eat ahead of time, choose your restaurant/bar carefully.  You’re not likely to get many healthy options at a place that specializes in wings and fries, although naked tenders at Buffalo Wild Wings is an exception.  The good news is that in Fishers, you can usually find a venue with plenty of games to choose from that also offer decent menu items.  I can always find a healthier alternative at places such as Caslers, Bubba’s 33, Chatham Tap, Twin Peaks, etc.

If Watching the Game at a Friend’s House or Crashing Someone’s Tailgate:

This can be one of the more difficult situations, because you have little control over what your host serves.  Again, eating ahead of time is always a good option, but alternatively you can ask your host if you can bring a dish to share.  Lots of times, watching the game at a friend’s house and tailgating means a pitch-in, so it’s not awkward at all to bring healthy food that you know you’ll eat.   Do not be overly concerned with bringing traditional football food (see opening paragraph for definition) – those bases will likely be covered by someone else.  Bring something that you know you can eat that comports with your diet – my go-to’s include a vegetable tray, fresh fruit, chilled shrimp, or veggie chili.  If your manners dictate that you bring something to appeal to the masses, something that arguably goes better with beer, bring that 7 layer bean dip that you know your friends will devour, but bring a healthier option for yourself.

Wrapping up, I’ll remind you of something Justin blogged not long ago – environment is arguably more important than willpower when it comes to eating healthy.  So, regardless of where and how you intend to take in the big game, prepare as much as possible by choosing your foods before the game begins.  And remember, moderation is key – if you do have one of those “just this one time’s,” don’t let it become habitual.  You’ve worked too hard to get your gains.

P.S. You may have noticed I was silent on beer.  Well, I follow the above guidelines so I can drink beer.  After all, it is football for heaven’s sake!!!!!!!!!

3 Foods To Grill At Your Next Cookout

Sweet Potato

What’s everyone’s favorite thing to grill? BURGERS! And, what goes well with burgers? FRIES! Since traditional fries aren’t the healthiest route, put your own spin on the classic combo and go with some homemade sweet potato fries. Simply cook your sweet potatoes, either in boiled water or in the oven, then cut them into fried. Place them on the grill for a nice char and enjoy with your meat and other veggies!

Avocado

With all the health benefits that come with eating Avocado, and all of the flavor benefits that come with grilling food, this combination just makes perfect sense. Cut and de-seed your Avocado, season the inside with some S&P, and spread a light amount of coconut oil on it. Place the cut-side down onto the grill for about 5 minutes, then enjoy your perfectly grilled veggie-fruit-superood!

Kale

Kale is one of the healthiest greens on the earth and everyone should be eating it! Some say the taste isn’t for them, but by grilling Kale, you can eliminate that issue. Don’t purchase bagged or boxed Kale, get the Kale fresh from the produce cooler. You need stems and all! Lightly season and oil the entire stalk and place it on the grill until it’s cooked to your liking. I tend to like mine crispier, liker a chip! Once it’s grilled, you can season again or add some lemon juice/zest for added zing!

Photo Sources

All photos courtesy of BodyBuilding.com

The Simple App To Fuel Your Fitness

My Fitness Pal – Have you heard of it?

Here at 1 & Only Fitness, we are huge fans of My Fitness Pal! Several of our staff members use it and the majority of our personal training clients use it as well! If you’re not up to speed on what MFP is, here’s a quick overview.

My Fitness Pal is a FREE online fitness journal and smartphone app available on Apple, Android and Windows devices. The web application automatically syncs with the mobile data so that you’re always 100% caught up on your journal entries. With MFP, you track your daily nutrition right down to the macro and micro-nutrients! You can also track water consumption, fitness activity and use it as a journal/blog!

The best part? Did I mention that My Fitness Pal is free. There is a paid version, but it’s strictly upgrades. You can get everything you need and more from the free app.

Here’s a list of perks that come from the free version, taken from MyFitnessPal.com:

  • The easiest to use food diary on the web Track what you eat with just a few clicks from anywhere with an internet connection – at home or at work
  • A searchable food database of over 1,000,000 items and it’s growing every day!
  • Your own personal food database add your own foods and recipes at any time and access them from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Free mobile apps for iPhone and Android so you can log your meals and exercise even when you are on the go
  • Support and motivation from people just like you – Our discussion forums let you learn from others, share your own tips, receive and give encouragement, and make friends.
  • A personalized diet profile customized to your unique weight loss goals.
  • Flexibility: Our system can support any diet like Atkins, the South Beach Diet, the Zone, and more. No matter what diet you’re on, we can help.

Sound like something you could benefit from? I think YES!

With My Fitness Pal, you can easily keep yourself accountable. Take it upon yourself to start measuring portions, paying attention to your food intake and fuel your body with the proper wholesome foods you need to make progress towards your goals!

Here’s the deal! 

I would like to offer a FREE 4-week training program, consultation, nutritional counseling session AND 30-minute personal training session to the first THREE people who keep a 7-day food log and show it to me at the gym (or via email).

This deal expires in 14 days. You have until July 21 to keep a 7-day consecutive food log, you can do that! Complete it, show me and we’ll get you set up with a package values at over $400 for FREE!

Peaches & Green Summer Salad

Who said salads have to be boring? Thanks to Greatist.com, here’s a delicious summer-themed salad that features a little bit of every flavor!