Egg And Ham Cups

February 12th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients
1 slice low-fat, nitrate free, deli ham
1 whole, farm fresh egg
2 tbsp organic, reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1 slice, thin/small tomatoes, sliced

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
2. Spray the cups of a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Press the sliced ham into the muffin tin cup, forming a ham cup.
4. Place the tomato slice in the cup.
5. Crack the egg and drop it in on top of the tomato. Repeat this process for as many cups as desired.
6. Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the egg is almost cooked.
7. Top with cheese and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Let cool for a few minutes. Once the cup has cooled, use a spatula to carefully transfer it to a plate.
Eat with your choice of carbs, such as a piece of fruit or low carb oats.

Courtesy of Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.

 


Protein Cracked: Making A Case For The Egg

February 12th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Egg whites are a high-quality protein source, but whole eggs often get a bad rap. It’s time to crack a few myths and showcase the power of the yolk.

Egg whites are often referred to as the perfect protein, due to their amino-acid makeup and the body’s ability to utilize them properly.

The average large, whole egg contains about 72 calories, 6 g of protein, 5 g of fat, about 200 mg of cholesterol, and nearly no carbs. The average large egg white contains only 17 calories, 4 g of protein, and no carbs, fat, or cholesterol.

Egg whites contain as many as 40 different proteins. Of these, ovalbumin constitutes the majority, making up about 55 percent of the protein in egg white. Ovotransferrin is an iron-binding protein in egg whites that provides antimicrobial properties and makes up over 10 percent of the protein content. Ovomucin is another type of protein that makes up less than 5 percent of egg-white protein and provides the jellying property of egg white, as well as antimicrobial properties.

Egg-white protein is rich in BCAAs and arginine, as well as the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine. These amino acids are critical for maintaining the structure of many proteins such as collagen, which is critical for maintaining joint health and levels of certain hormones.

GET YOLKED
Although bodybuilders used to focus on just the egg white for protein and avoided the yolk because of the fat and cholesterol—it’s now known that it’s more beneficial to consume both the egg white and the yolk together. That’s because that golden center contains the majority of the micronutrients in eggs, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K, B vitamins, selenium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.

The yolk also contains all of the egg’s fat and cholesterol, but don’t let that scare you off. Blood cholesterol levels don’t seem to be negatively affected by whole eggs. In fact, one study from the University of Connecticut tested the cholesterol response of 25 males and 27 females to an egg diet (640 mg per day of additional cholesterol) and a non-egg diet (no additional cholesterol). They found the cholesterol in egg yolks does not raise the LDL cholesterol particles that are particularly associated with the development of cardiovascular disease.

We now know that fat is important in a diet. The saturated fat in egg yolks is less than half of the total fat. But saturated and monounsaturated fat, also in egg yolks, are important for maintaining higher testosterone levels. The fat and cholesterol from yolks, which was once thought of as harmful, appears to provide benefits for those who do strength training.

In fact, in a head-to-head egg comparison, consuming more whole eggs was shown to help with muscle gain and strength. The magic number? Three. One study from Texas A&M found that subjects consuming three whole eggs a day while following a weight-lifting program for 12 weeks gained twice as much muscle mass and twice as much strength as subjects eating either just one egg per day or no eggs. Those kinds of benefits may be due to the cholesterol content. After all, cholesterol is converted to testosterone in the body.

Cholesterol also helps maintain the integrity of muscle cell membranes, which helps them function properly and avoid breakdown. Scientists from Kent State University put 47 older adults (ages 60-69) on a 12-week weight-lifting program and tested them before and after for changes in muscle mass and strength. They placed all subjects on a moderate protein diet and divided them into two groups. One group followed a lower-cholesterol diet (1.6 mg per pound of body weight or approximately 150-250 mg per day), while the other half consumed a higher cholesterol diet (2.6 mg per pound of body weight or about 250-450 mg per day). After 12 weeks the group that consumed the lower-cholesterol diet did not increase muscle mass and only increased their strength by about 35 percent. The higher-cholesterol group, on the other hand, had an increase in muscle mass of about 5 pounds and upped their strength by about 90 percent.

DROP THE FAT
Eggs can also help you get leaner. Research from Saint Louis University found that people who ate eggs for breakfast consumed fewer calories throughout the day than those who had breakfast with the same amount of calories from a carb-heavy bagel. A follow-up study by the same team found that when women consumed two eggs for breakfast at least five times per week over a 12-week period, they lost 65 percent more weight and had a 34-percent larger reduction in waist size compared to those who skipped the eggs. The study also found that adding two whole eggs to breakfast resulted in no changes in cholesterol levels.

Consider eating two or three whole eggs each day to take advantage of all the benefits eggs have to offer in regard to performance and body composition. You can bump up the protein intake by adding an extra white or two for each yolk.

While eggs are typically thought of as a breakfast food, you can enjoy them anytime throughout the day. Hardboiled eggs work great in salads or as a stand-alone snack. If you really want to kick your eggs up a notch, try my Egg and Ham Cups; they’re delicious and easy to make.

by Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.


Ground Beef & Broccoli

January 16th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Healthy Ground Beef and Broccoli is a quick and easy skillet recipe that comes together in 15 minutes in just one pan!

Ingredients
• 1 pound lean, grass-fed ground beef
• 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
• 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon fresh minced or grated ginger (OR 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
• 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen broccoli florets
• 2 tablespoons arrowroot (replacement for cornstarch)
• 2 tablespoons cool water
• 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
• Riced cauliflower

Instructions
1. Set a large skillet, saute pan, or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, breaking apart and stirring as the meat cooks.

2. While the beef is cooking, combine the beef broth, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes in a bowl or large measuring cup; set aside.

3. After the beef is cooked, push it to the edges of the pan, dump the garlic and ginger in the center, and stir for a minute or two until fragrant. Drain the grease from the pan. Add the sauce and the broccoli to the pan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for several minutes (using the cooking time on the package of frozen broccoli as a guide) and stir occasionally until the broccoli is cooked to your desired tenderness.

4. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk the arrowroot/cornstarch into the water until dissolved. Slowly pour the arrowroot slurry into the pan while stirring the beef and broccoli. Bring to a boil and cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the sesame oil, if using, and serve hot over cauliflower rice.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


DBM Nutrition Plan

February 1st, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

I’m often asked by clients “What should I eat?” or “How can I become leaner?” or “What foods should I avoid?” Well, here you go:

Remember, your diet is 80 to 90 percent of what it takes to be fit.  No amount of exercise will undo what you just stuffed into your face. PERIOD.

If you don’t eat right, you may become stronger but not leaner. Feed your body with clean, organic, unprocessed whole foods.  Your body will love you and you will love your body and yourself!

Along with clean and healthy eating, make sure to get your strength training in. I recommend two 30-minute strength training sessions weekly with me.  Add a walk or bike ride for fun, to burn a few extra calories, or to relieve stress.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

Just because a label says gluten-free, fat-free, or sugar-free does not mean that it is good for you. Food companies make up for the absence of these ingredients with additional processed ingredients which add calories, cause inflammation and sabotage your efforts to get healthy and stay healthy.

Clean Protein:  Always find clean (antibiotic-free, organic, nitrate-free, hormone-free, grass-fed, free-range or wild caught) protein sources. (beef, pork, fish, wild game, lamb, chicken)

Try to get up to 5 cups of non-starchy (preferably organic) vegetables a day. That may sound like a lot, but with choices of broccoli, leafy greens, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus, bell peppers, green beans, and cabbage, you can vary the veggie(s) and cooking method(s).

Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day (i.e. if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water per day). I recommend filtered/purified water, as tap water contains trace amounts of chemicals that can accumulate in your body and may jeopardize your health.

Consume at least 20 grams of protein per meal/snack throughout the day. Remember, in order to build lean muscle, you should consume about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of your ideal body weight per day (i.e. if your ideal weight is 150 pounds, you should consume 150 x 0.8 = 120 grams of protein per day). 

THINGS TO AVOID:

All grains, highly processed foods, sugar, wheat, corn, starch, and artificial ingredients.

Remember: Sugar is like CRACK to your body!  It is very addicting.  STOP the cycle!!   Sugar is present in many types of foods and products and may be disguised.  YOU MUST LOOK AT THE NUTRITION LABEL CAREFULLY! If you see ingredients like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, and honey, BEWARE.  These are all recognized by your body as SUGAR and contribute to inflammation, weight gain, and trigger your body’s ‘sugar response’, resulting in insulin spikes.

A few shopping tips:

  • Shop the outside aisles of the grocery store. This is where the fresh foods are kept. Inner aisles are mostly processed garbage;
  • If a product has more than 5 ingredients, it’s a sure bet that it contains stuff that you don’t want/need, and that may be contrary to your goals;
  • If a product contains ingredients that you can’t pronounce, AVOID IT;
  • If a product contains ingredients that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize, DITCH IT;

GENERAL MEAL RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Start your day with a protein-based meal such as 3 scrambled/hard-boiled eggs along with a quarter cup of berries. This sets up your metabolism for success for the rest of the day.
  2. 3 – 4 hours later have another protein-based meal/snack such as a protein shake or Greek yogurt. Choose your protein powder carefully. If you want a protein that has no artificial ingredients, soy, or dairy, Ariix brand – Pure Protein, is a great option. If you are looking for a whey protein, Garden of Life offers a grass-fed, organic protein powder that is also very good.
  3. 3 – 4 hours later have another shot of protein such as canned tuna or chicken, along with some veggies.
  4. Repeat this all day.
  5. Stop eating 3 – 4 hours before bedtime. This will give your body adequate time to digest what you have eaten before your metabolism slows for sleep.