Protein Powder 101

I used to think that protein powders were meant for body builders or those trying to bulk. I didn’t think I really needed one since my goal is to gain lean muscle and improve my cardiovascular fitness. However, when I started to track my protein intake per day, I realized that I was not getting enough protein. How much protein is enough? Well that can probably be its own separate post, but I like to go by 1 gram of protein per lb of lean body mass as a daily guide.

The first time I walked into the nutrition shop, I felt completely overwhelmed! The stacks of massive cases of powders, supplements, bars and products was a lot to take in. I had no idea where to begin. There are a lot of different powders out there, so I decided to go back home and do some research first. Here is a quick explanation of the different types of protein powders:

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Working during mealtime hours? How to stay on track with Nutrition

Working in the service industry or in any job that requires you to work through mealtime hours without a real “lunch break” can make it really difficult to eat healthy. Your running around like crazy from from 4pm-11pm and surrounded by delicious food the entire time. Ugh. When blood sugar levels start to drop, its really tempting to drink soda or to eat the mozzarella sticks that were ordered by accident. However, snacking mindlessly throughout the shift does not really even satisfy you, and those calories add up. Then by the time the shift is over, your will be craving a carb-heavy meal and devour about anything.

So between a few sodas, mozzarella sticks, a couple soup samples and your actual meal, thats could be around 1200-1600 calories consumed. This seems nuts because you spent most of the night feeling hungry. Yikes!

So how do you work around this? I have worked in the service industry for 3 years and learning to eat healthy during work has definitely been a learning process. Here are five ways to help you stay on track:

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Mud Run/ Spartan Race Guide: How to be race day ready

You have signed up for a race, trained hard and now you are approaching race day. Planning out food and workouts the week leading up to the race can be challenging. The goal is to have peak energy and strength on race day and be as prepared as possible. I completed a spartan race about 2 weeks ago. This is a guide to how I got race-day ready, as well as tips and photos from my experience!

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Yoga, Art & a Live DJ…Sign me up!

There is definitely not a lack of yoga studios and events in Charlotte. I have absolutely loved trying new studios and going to different events since moving here last summer. I have been hopping around taking advantage of new student specials in order to find the perfect studio (annd to save some $$). The yoga presence in Charlotte is great and it has given me something to get involved in. I have also made some friends in the process, which has made Charlotte start to feel like home.

Last night I went to NC Yoga Bars “Balance to the Beat” event. NC Yoga bar is a “pop-up”studio in Charlotte. They hold classes at galleries, breweries, apartment complexes and for private parties. The vibe is really friendly and inviting, without any kind of studio intimidation. The event was held at the Advent Coworking Art Gallery. I got there early to have a look around and there were a ton of cool/unique pieces to check out before class.

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Macros, Macros, Macros!

If you are serious about seeing results from exercise, then you must pay attention to your macronutrients. Many people think that because they workout, they can eat whatever they want. Or that weight loss will happen by restricting calories without paying attention to specific nutrients. So wrong! The breakdown of substrates is so important in order to achieve your fitness goals. There are 6 nutrients that the body needs to function: carbohydrates, fats, protein, water, vitamins and minerals. The macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, protein and water. Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients.

The American College of Sports medicine recommends the following macronutrient breakdown for a balanced diet: 45-65% of calories from carbohydrates, 20-35% of calories from fats and 10-35% of calories from proteins. Note that this is a general recommendation and your macronutrient breakdown will be individualized based on your body composition, activity level, exercise training and your goals. So where to start? Follow these steps to get an idea of how to breakdown YOUR macros to get the results you want!

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Whats the craze: health foods we’ve been hearing about lately

As someone who is invested in health and nutrition, I want to be aware of all the latest products that have major health benefits. There is so much hype in the fitness world about new foods, supplements and drinks. It can get overwhelming at times to decipher between the fads and quality products.

Just take the time to research and find whats best for you. Try new foods to get your own opinion and see what works. Even is your not into it, hey, you gave it a go! Be proud that you took a step to do something better for yourself. On the other hand, you could find your new go-to food that has tons of health benefits.

Four products that I have heard a lot about lately are apple cider vinegar, bone broth, coconut oil and ghee. I have outlined what each product is, the health benefits and how to incorporate them into your diet.

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A B C’s of Y O G A

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I have been actively practicing yoga for three years now. Yoga has always been something I was interested in. Throughout college, I went to a few classes here and there, but never quite reached that mind body connection. After college I was no longer doing gymnastics and I missed feeling in tuned with my body. So I stared practicing yoga, and this time I actually focused on what I was doing rather then just going through the motions. My what a difference it has made. I have grown both physically and mentally throughout my yoga journey. I have tried a bunch of different methods to really find what I like best. Here is a little insight into my yoga experiences and just some fun facts!
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