Meal Replacement VS Protein Shakes

January 16th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

Protein shakes and meal replacement shakes are not the same.

Protein powders work to provide you with a high-quality protein to help your body recover after working out.

  • Designed to help increase daily protein consumption
  • Low in calories
  • Not packed with carbs and fat (so they don’t contain all of the nutrients your body needs to constitute a complete meal)

Meal replacement shakes do exactly what they say: replace a meal. For instance, instead of eating breakfast, you drink a shake.

  • Designed for weight loss
  • Low in calories
  • Packed with essential nutrients that your body needs for a complete meal (vitamins and minerals, fiber, some carbs, fat, and protein, a good balance of all three macros), but they may also contain ingredients you wish to avoid like added sugars and chemicals.

Continue reading to see why I recommend protein supplementation along with a diet based on clean, organic meats, vegetables, and healthy fats. 

Meal replacements and protein shakes can both support your body composition and athletic performance goals, although they do have significant differences in nutritional profile and benefits. A higher amount of protein will help repair muscle tissue damage resulting from high intensity, strenuous workouts. Try to get your protein from eggs and lean meats (chicken, fish, lean beef, etc.).  Downing enough protein can be a tough task so supplement your eating with protein shakes to reach your protein requirement for the day.

Calories
Meal replacements are intended to be more filling and contain more calories than a protein shake. Although meal replacements are higher in calories than protein shakes, they tend to be lower in calories than actual meals, which can aid in dieting. Whey protein isolates tend to be the lowest calorie protein shakes, with 101 calories per serving, while others may contain about 120 calories. Meal replacement shakes typically contain between 250 and 400 calories.

Protein Content
Protein shakes typically provide about 25 g of protein per serving, while the range of protein in meal replacements differs widely. Meal replacements intended for general health may be lower in protein, with 10 g per shake, while those intended for muscle building and dieting may contain up to 40 g.

A higher amount of protein will help repair muscle tissue damage resulting from high intensity, strenuous workouts. Try to get your protein from eggs and lean meats (chicken, fish, lean beef, etc.).  Downing enough protein is a tough task so supplement your eating with protein shakes to reach your protein requirement for the day.

Carbohydrate Content
Protein shakes typically have less than 5 g of carbohydrates, as they are not intended to be full meals. Meal replacement shakes tend to contain carbohydrates to make the nutritional profile more like a real meal. Meal replacements beneficial for dieting will contain dietary fiber, a nutrient that helps in digestion and makes you feel full, helping you consume fewer calories throughout the day.

Fat Content
Protein shakes are typically low in fat, with 3 g or fewer, while the fat content in meal replacements varies. Meal replacements that are lower in carbohydrates tend to be higher in fat and may be useful for low-carbohydrate diets. Higher carbohydrate shakes tend to be lower in fat. You may wish to find a meal replacement containing omega-3 fats, to aid in fat loss and muscle gain.

Vitamins and Minerals
Protein shakes tend not to contain any added vitamins and minerals other than those provided by the protein source. For example, shakes made from whey protein, a dairy product, provide calcium. Although not all meal replacements contain added vitamins and minerals, many do.

Shakes vs ‘real’ food
In marketing today, you hear people say, “just eat real food”. However, we travel more, we work differently, we have different needs and our nutrition options have changed over the years. If you are not able to eat ‘real food’ or the real food you are eating isn’t getting you the results that you want, then a shake may be an option. Remember that meal replacement shakes and protein shakes are not the same. The typical meal-replacement powder may contain up to half your day’s intake of carbs. Instead, opt for a scoop of regular protein powder after your workout.

I will always advise my clients to plan their meals, prep their meals and always choose organic, clean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. Carbs should come from sources like vegetables, some fruits, and legumes. Be in control of your diet – it is 90% of your fitness program, overall health, and body composition!


Zucchini Egg Nests

December 31st, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

  • 3 large zucchini or 4 small, to yield 6 cups spiralized
  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • Coconut oil, for greasing
  • 6 Farm Fresh eggs
  • Optional: Crushed red pepper, spices, fresh herbs like dill, cilantro, parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Use a vegetable peeler or a spiralizer to slice the zucchini into noodles.
  • Place in a colander over a bowl and toss with sea salt until evenly coated.
  • Let the zucchini noodles sit for 20 minutes so they can sweat.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and use coconut oil to generously grease a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin or 6 ramekins that are at least 3.5 inches in diameter.
  • Use your hands to squeeze the zucchini noodles to release as much moisture as possible.
  • Place in a bowl and add garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper.
  • Carefully separate the egg whites from the yolk. The easiest way to do this is to crack an egg into your hand over a bowl, then pass the egg yolk from one hand to another until the whites drip down between your fingers into the bowl.
  • Place the yolks on a plate, and add the whites to the zucchini noodles and mix together.
  • Divide the zucchini noodles into the prepared muffin tin cups or ramekins. Create a nest and leave an indent in the center.
  • Carefully place a yolk in the center of each zucchini nest.
  • Sprinkle with more salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until the yolks are cooked to your liking.

courtesy of What Great Grandma Ate


This Is What Sugar Does To Your Brain

October 21st, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

We know that too much sugar is bad for our waistlines and our heart health, but now there’s mounting evidence that high levels of sugar consumption can also have a negative effect on brain health — from cognitive function to psychological wellbeing.

While sugar is nothing to be too concerned about in small quantities, most of us are simply eating too much of it. The sweet stuff — which also goes by names like glucose, fructose, honey, and corn syrup — is found in 74 percent of packaged foods in our supermarkets. And while the Word Health Organization recommends that only 5 percent of daily caloric intake come from sugar, the typical American diet is comprised of 13 percent calories from sugar.

It’s easy to see how we can get hooked on sugar. However, we should be aware of the risks that a high-sugar diet poses for brain function and mental well-being.

Here’s what you need to know about how overconsumption of sugar could wreak havoc on your brain.

It creates a vicious cycle of intense cravings.

When a person consumes sugar, just like any food, it activates the tongue’s taste receptors. Then, signals are sent to the brain, lighting up reward pathways and causing a surge of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, to be released. Sugar “hijacks the brain’s reward pathway,” neuroscientist Jordan Gaines Lewis explained. And while stimulating the brain’s reward system with a piece of chocolate now and then is pleasurable and probably harmless, when the reward system is activated too much and too frequently, we start to run into problems.

“Over-activating this reward system kickstarts a series of unfortunate events — loss of control, craving, and increased tolerance to sugar,” neuroscientist Nicole Avena explained in a TED-Ed video.

In fact, research has shown that the brains of obese children actually light up differently when they taste sugar, reflecting an elevated “food reward” response. This suggests that their brain circuitry may predispose these children to a lifetime of intense sugar cravings.

It impairs memory and learning skills.

2012 study on rats, conducted by researchers at UCLA, found that a diet high in fructose (that’s just another word for sugar) hinders learning and memory by literally slowing down the brain. The researchers found that rats who over-consumed fructose had damaged synaptic activity in the brain, meaning that communication among brain cells was impaired.

Heavy sugar intake caused the rats to develop a resistance to insulin — a hormone that controls blood sugar levels and also regulates the function of brain cells. Insulin strengthens the synaptic connections between brain cells, helping them to communicate better and thereby form stronger memories. So when insulin levels in the brain are lowered as the result of excess sugar consumption, cognition can be impaired.

“Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain,” Dr. Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. This is something new.”

It may cause or contribute to depression and anxiety.

If you’ve ever experienced a sugar crash, then you know that sudden peaks and drops in blood sugar levels can cause you to experience symptoms like irritability, mood swings, brain fog, and fatigue. That’s because eating a sugar-laden donut or drinking a soda causes blood sugar levels to spike upon consumption and then plummet. When your blood sugar inevitably dips back down (hence the “crash”), you may find yourself feeling anxious, moody or depressed.

Sugar-rich and carb-laden foods can also mess with the neurotransmitters that help keep our moods stable. Consuming sugar stimulates the release of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. Constantly over-activating these serotonin pathways can deplete our limited supplies of the neurotransmitter, which can contribute to symptoms of depression.

Chronically high blood sugar levels have also been linked to inflammation in the brain. And as some research has suggested, neuroinflammation may be one possible cause of depression. Teenagers may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of sugar on mood.

Research has also found that people who eat a standard American diet that’s high in processed foods — which typically contain high amounts of saturated fat, sugar, and salt — are at an increased risk for developing depression, compared to those who eat a whole foods diet that’s lower in sugar.

It’s a risk factor for age-related cognitive decline and dementia.

A growing body of research suggests that a sugar-heavy diet could increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A 2013 study found that insulin resistance and blood glucose levels — which are hallmarks of diabetes — are linked with a greater risk for developing neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. The research “offers more evidence that the brain is a target organ for damage by high blood sugar,” endocrinologist Dr. Medha Munshi told the New York Times.


Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier

October 15th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Want to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently? Strength training to the rescue! Strength training is a key component of overall health and fitness for everyone.

Use it or lose it

Lean muscle mass naturally diminishes with age.

You’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body if you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose over time. Strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass at any age.

Strength training may also help you:

  • Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Manage your weight. Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
  • Enhance your quality of life Strength training may enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Building muscle also can contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls. This can help you maintain independence as you age.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression, and diabetes.
  • Sharpen your thinking skills. Some research suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise may help improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.

Consider the options

Strength training can be done at home or in the gym. Common choices include:

  • Bodyweight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try pushups, pullups, planks and leg squats.
  • Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing is an inexpensive, lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. You can choose from many types of resistance tubes in nearly any sporting goods store.
  • Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools. If you don’t have weights at home, you can use soup cans.
  • Weight machines. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can invest in weight machines for use at home, too.

Getting started

If you have a chronic condition, or if you’re older than age 40 and you haven’t been active recently, check with your doctor before beginning a strength training or aerobic fitness program.

Before beginning strength training, consider warming up with brisk walking or another aerobic activity for five or 10 minutes. Cold muscles are more prone to injury than are warm muscles.

Choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions. When you can easily do more repetitions of a certain exercise, gradually increase the weight or resistance.

Research shows that a single set of 12 to 15 repetitions with the proper weight can build muscle efficiently in most people and can be as effective as three sets of the same exercise.

To give your muscles time to recover, rest one full day between exercising each specific muscle group.

Also, be careful to listen to your body. If a strength training exercise causes pain, stop the exercise. Consider trying a lower weight or trying it again in a few days.

It’s important to use proper technique in strength training to avoid injuries. If you’re new to weight training, work with a trainer or other fitness specialist to learn the correct form and technique. Remember to breathe as you strength train.

When to expect results

You don’t need to spend hours a day lifting weights to benefit from strength training. You can see significant improvement in your strength with just two or three 20- or 30-minute weight training sessions a week.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends incorporating strength training exercises for all major muscle groups into a fitness routine at least two times a week.

As you incorporate strength training exercises into your fitness routine, you may notice an improvement in your strength over time. As your muscle mass increases, you’ll likely be able to lift weight more easily and for longer periods of time. If you keep it up, you can continue to increase your strength, even if you’re not in shape when you begin.

By Mayo Clinic Staff


Don’t Let Pain Sideline Your Workout

September 24th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Life comes with pain, but that does not mean you have to miss out on the moments that make up your life story. Thanks to Green Roads Muscle and Joint Relief Cream, you don’t have to worry about the minor aches and pains of life holding you back.

If you know me, you know that I am very picky about what I eat and put on my body. I choose organic all the time. I want to use the best and “cleanest” ingredients and stress this to my clients also. When a couple of clients asked me about CBD for pain and muscle soreness, I did my research. A trainer is only as good as their advice and guidance, and their clients’ well-being must come 1st! I chose to carry the Green Roads Wellness product and am happy to offer their CBD Pain Cream in my gym.

Green Roads CBD pain cream is infused with menthol, lavender oil, vitamin E, pure CBD & more. It is the best CBD topical cream for pain relief & inflammation and offers a great solution for aches and pains. Simply rub into stiff, painful joints and muscles for fast, effective relief.

As always, every Green Roads product is infused with hemp-derived CBD, extracted from the hemp plant via supercritical CO2 extraction, then winterized to purify the concentrated CBD and purge all unwanted plant products/cannabinoids from the final product. In addition, their Relief Cream is infused with menthol, chamomile extract, and lavender oil to bring you the relief you need and the pleasant aroma you desire, without leaving a greasy residue behind.

Wow, we have been waiting for this CBD Pain Cream. In the past, there have been pain creams for muscle and joint pain, but they were far too weak to be effective. We couldn’t understand why manufacturers were making these creams too low of a CBD concentration. This cream does the job with the right concentration of CBD with the familiar menthol smell you are already know – highly recommended!

Green Roads’ mission is to offer users a safe, effective alternative to prescription painkillers, other toxic prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs that contain harsh chemical compounds alien to nature’s perfect remedies. Their vision is to bring our customers natural products and understand that, “There’s Always An Alternative!”

Debbie Martilotta, Owner and CPT
DBM Strength Training


Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes, Herbs, and Goat Cheese

September 9th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients:
▪ 8 large organic eggs
▪ 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
▪ ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
▪ 2 tablespoons of filtered water
▪ 1 tablespoon clarified butter or ghee
▪ 1 small tomato, roughly chopped
▪ 2 ounces soft goat cheese
▪ ¼ cup fresh herbs (chives, thyme, parsley, dill, oregano), roughly chopped

Directions:
Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper, and water.
Step 2: In a large nonstick skillet, warm the butter over medium heat until shimmering. Add the egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the eggs form
soft curds, about 3 minutes.
Step 3: Fold in the tomatoes and remove the pan from the stove. Gently fold in the goat cheese and herbs, divide among four serving plates, and serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving: calories 250, fat 10 g, saturated fat 15 g,
cholesterol 359 mg, fiber 0.3 g, protein 16 g, carbohydrate 2 g, sodium 480 mg
Dr Hyman

Roasted Zucchini, Squash, Onions, and Tomatoes

August 14th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchini (1 lb), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 small yellow squash (1 lb), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 med onion, cut into 1″ thick squares
  • 14 oz cherry or small Campari tomatoes, sliced in halve
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning (or your favorite dried or fresh herbs)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded organic Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh or dried parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line an 18 by 13 inch rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic and Italian seasoning (if possible let rest 5 – 10 minutes to allow flavors to infuse into oil).
  4. Place zucchini, squash, onions, and tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Pour olive oil mixture over top and gently toss with hands to evenly coat.
  5. Pour onto the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle Parmesan over the top of each.
  6. Roast in preheated oven 25 – 30 minutes until veggies are tender and Parmesan is golden brown.
  7. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve warm.

Recipe source: Cooking Classy


Zucchini Shrimp Scampi

July 30th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchinis
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • fresh parsley, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Using a vegetable spiralizer or a coarse cheese grater, slide the zucchini down the grater, shaving off long strips. Rotate the zucchini constantly, grating all sides, until you reach the seeds in the center.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, nonstick skillet.
  3. Add the shrimp in and season with the salt, black pepper, red pepper (do not omit), and garlic. Sauté the shrimp evenly until they begin to show a pink color, about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice, and let the liquid come to a simmer.
  5. Add the zucchini noodles and stir until everything is combined and the shrimp are fully cooked.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley leaves and serve.

Enjoy!
Serves 6


Curry Cauliflower Soup

July 30th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups halved and sliced onions
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, about 2 small

Instructions
Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place it over medium heat.

When the oil is hot, add the onion and curry powder, sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the broth, water, and cauliflower, add the salt.

Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a simmer, stirring gently for 15 minutes.

Either blend the soup using an immersion blender or transfer it to a blender or food processor in batches. Blend until smooth.

Return the soup to the pot (if you took it out) and add all but 2 Tbl of the shredded zucchini, stir gently to reheat.

Remove from heat and ladle into 4 bowls and garnish with the reserved zucchini.


Weightlifting Is Better For Your Heart

July 15th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Strength training is better than cardio for reducing dangerous fat in the heart to protect against cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study conducted at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.

The researchers wrote in the journal JAMA Cardiology: Overall, our results suggest that resistance training may be superior to endurance training as resistance training reduced pericardial adipose tissue and improved fitness and strength, while endurance training only improved fitness.

The team found that a type of heart fat called pericardial adipose tissue was reduced among participants who did weighted exercises such as lunges with dumbbells or weighted push-ups, but not among those who did endurance training with aerobic exercise.

In individuals with abdominal obesity, both endurance and resistance training reduced epicardial adipose tissue mass, while only resistance training reduced pericardial adipose tissue mass.

Both types of exercise did reduce levels of another type of heart fat called epicardial adipose tissue, which has also been associated with cardiovascular disease.

Click here for more details at NewsMax.com