Killer Foods for Fitness (part 2) – Super Food Combinations

September 4, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Top fitness foodWelcome back to ‘part 2’ of Killer Foods for Fitness. As you may already know, Killer Foods for Fitness is all about combining already ‘good’ food to make for an even better meal. I have already stated that choosing single good foods for fitness would be a boring way to go about this, but I didn’t choose this direction only because I thought it was boring. I chose this because there simply isn’t one super food out there that one can benefit from in order to maintain a good diet. Obtaining maximum health is about finding foods that are good for group dynamics with other foods, and that is what I am aiming for.

So we have,

1) Identify foods that go well together
2) Super food combination’s

But this week I want to include how to find the best quality foods for those super combination’s.

Cantaloupe wedge and yogurt

cantaloupe for fitnessEat yogurt for fitmess

Why?

The vitamin A in cantaloupe helps ward off viruses, but “enjoying it with foods that are high in zinc, like yogurt, ensures that your body can utilize almost 100 percent of the nutrients.

Choosing the best cantaloupe

You should be able to ‘smell’ a good quality cantaloupe. When selecting them in the store, look for round, creamy-coloured rinds covered with webbed or a netted texture. Ripe cantaloupes should give a little when pressure is applied.

Choosing the best yogurt

Plain non-fat organic yogurt is the best out there for your diet. Look for yogurt with the “Live and Active Cultures” seal, such as Dannon Activia. Yogurt brands like DanActive are rich in vitamin D and contain helpful bacteria that keep the digestive system healthy and help boost the immune system.

Stonefield Farm yogurts

These yogurts are organic/ natural and don’t contain any artificial colours or dyes/

Black Beans and brown rice

black beansbrown rice

Why?

  • Heart help
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Fights obesity

Black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fibre. When combined with whole grains such as brown rice, black beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein.

Choosing the best beans

Dried black beans are the best to go for and are generally available in pre-packaged containers as well as in bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the black beans are covered and that the store has a good product turnover to ensure that the beans they stock keep maximum freshness. Whether purchasing black beans in bulk or in packaged containers, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture or insect damage and that they have no cracks in them.

You can also go for canned beans. Many canned products like vegetables would usually lose their nutritional value being in a can, but this is not the case with canned beans as there is little difference between the two.

Choosing the best brown rice

Rice is available pre-packaged as well as in bulk containers. If purchasing brown rice in a packaged container, check to see if there is a “use-by” date on the package since brown rice, owing to its natural oils, has the potential to become rancid if kept too long.

Spinach, Carrots, Tomato, Tablespoon Olive Oil and Marjoram

Spinach, carrots, tomatoes

This super combination will give you natural glowing skin that will make your toned muscles look extra spicy. It’s also pretty good for your skin and heart too.

Choosing the best spinach

Choose spinach that has vibrant deep green leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing. The leaves should look fresh and tender, and not be bruised. Avoid those that have a slimy coating, as this is an indication of decay.

Store fresh spinach loosely packed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. By doing this it will stay crispy for about five days longer. Do not wash it before storing, as the moisture will cause it to spoil, and avoid storing cooked spinach, as it will not keep very well.

Choosing the best carrots

Carrot roots should be firm, smooth, relatively straight and bright in colour. The deeper the orange-colour, the more beta-carotene is present in the carrot. Avoid carrots that are excessively cracked or forked.

Choosing the best tomatoes

For best quality, select tomatoes that are plump, heavy for their size, and free from bruises. Ripe tomatoes are completely red or reddish-orange, depending on the variety, and give slightly to gentle palm pressure. Avoid tomatoes that are overly ripe and soft.

Green Tea and Lemon

Green tea and lemon

Squeezing a lemon into green tea makes five times more catechin (dye), a heart-healthy antioxidant and your body can use it if you  have sipped sans citrus (Vitamin C slows the breakdown of catechins in the digestive system.)

Choosing the best green tea

To get the best can be pretty hard as the best is usually made in Japan, and usually ends up staying there.

You will find that single-estate green tea is better quality and healthier than other variations of green tea.  This means that the green tea leaves would have been picked from the same estate and harvest.

If you do have troubles finding the best, there is still good quality green tea available on the west side of the world. In general you will pay more for quality, but the best thing is that you can find good prices online. If you do find a quality one, just make sure you actually like the stuff; there is no point in drinking it otherwise.

I recommend
Jasmine Pearls Green Tea

It smells like just like Jasmine flowers (… mmmm).  Jasmine Green Tea goes down very well.  The premium Jasmine Green Tea lies with Jasmine Flowers, with new flowers being brought in 7 or 8 times a season. Watch out for the knock offs though. You can tell if it’s a knock off because it will be sprayed with a Jasmine scent or include some small flower petals in the bag. Fake!

That’s it for this week. For all those that have been asking me about foods to take for a weight loss diet, this was dedicated to you. However, this is only the beginning. Stay tuned for part 3, where I’ll cover more Killer foods for fitness.

See you in the comments.

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Stay-Fit Bug | Killer Foods for Fitness (part 1)

August 27, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug, The Food Bug

In the last few weeks there has been much discussion on and off of stayfitbug.com regarding what’s the best food to eat for fitness when exercising.  We are talking about food that is high in,

  • Carbs
  • Protein
  • Helps burn fat
  • Helps build muscle
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Provides pain relief

Now I could dive straight in and talk about foods that most of you know and that others are aware of. But I won’t! That’s just boring. What we will cover here are,

– Unique food combinations (with uncommon foods and those foods you are familiar with)
– Foods from across the globe

These are foods that some of the top performing sports men and women that you know of are stacking away in their guts, which help them rocket down the runway in their sport leaving their competition at the terminal!

I don’t plan to cover all of these in one week; I think that would be information overload for almost anyone. Besides, I don’t want you to get too excited from feeding you the secret formulas all in one go. 😉

Week by week there will be an update and most of this will come from myself, but also from community members and contributors.

Lets begin

Porridge with bread

Porridge to build muscleEat porridge to build muscle

I’m starting with porridge, as this is an athlete’s favourite. It is made up of rice, wheat, barley and corn and my favourite brands that provide this are Ready Break and Quaker Oats. Eating this every morning will fill you up till lunch for sure, but if you want to really boost your carb intake,

Add Bread

White or wholemeal, both are good. Bread is filled with carbs so you really are packing it in here. But be warned if you do this make sure you wake up early and give yourself plenty of time to digest it. It will take an hour at least. If not, you might just throw it all back up.

Instructions

  • Get 1 or 2 slices of bread
  • Spread butter
  • Slice into medium sized pieces
  • Mix and blend with porridge

Salmon rolls in Nori

Eat fish oil

Good for cardiovascular fitness

The reason for eating fish is because of the oil inside of it. By eating fish, it will lower your heart rate and you will consume less oxygen during intense training or exercise. The fatty acids in fish oil need to become incorporated into muscle and heart cells to have an effect, and that takes weeks of consumption.  So either,

– Take fish oil pills
– Or eat Salmon rolls in Nori

Why salmon in Nori?

Nori is a sushi wrapper made of seaweed. So along with the benefits of the fish oil you consume, you can add seaweed to that. Seaweed is good because,

  • Great for digestive health
  • High in nutrients, low in calories
  • May improve heart health
  • Good for de-toxing your body
  • May help regulate hormones (helps in preventing cancer)
  • Goes well will other healthy foods (like salmon)

Now that’s a mix!

Here’s what you need to make Salmon rolls in Nori

  • 1 pack of Japanese Yaki Sushi Nori (roasted seaweed – .75 oz pack)
  • 3 cups uncooked Japanese sushi rice
  • 1/2 cup Japanese rice wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 1-tablespoon salt
  • 4 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 1 tube Wasabi paste (Japanese horseradish paste)
  • Strips of thinly sliced carrot
  • Strips of thinly sliced peeled cucumber
  • Optional thinly sliced ripe avocado
  • Optional sesame seeds
  • Optional: favourite dipping sauces for the Nori rolls (soy sauce, wasabi sauce)

Chocolate milk

chocolate-milk to rehydrate

Good for hydration

Milk is better than water or sports drinks at re-hydrating the body after exercise, as milk has more electrolytes and potassium.

Add chocolate

The addition of chocolate gives milk the perfect balance of carbs, protein, and fat for a speedy muscle recovery.

Peanut butter and jelly/jam sandwiches

It always is a good idea to eat after a workout. The perfect meal would consist of

  • 400 calories
  • 20 to 30 grams of protein (to build new muscle)
  • 50 to 65 grams of carbohydrates (to repair old muscle)

And Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches contain just that!

This is a favourite in Europe and the UK and I definitely grew up eating it. But I didn’t realise its greatness until I was much older,

Recommended

  • Pepperidge Farm Bread
  • Plain white bread
  • Or toasted if you find it the bread is too soft
  • Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted Creamy Peanut Butter

Peanut butter and banana toast

This is one of my favourites, especially as a pre-workout snack. It works best with by using a proper toast maker as it prevents the filling from spilling out of the sides.

This meal has a good source of fat, protein and carbs.

Ingredients

  • Bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Banana (sliced)

Instructions

  • Toast the bread in toaster
  • Spread peanut butter on toast
  • Arrange banana on top of peanut butter
  • Eat and enjoy!

If you really want to spice things up add honey. That’s it for this week, but I’ll leave you with a picture.

Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Open Faced Sandwich - Food for health

See you in the comments.

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