Shakeology® Is Low-Glycemic: What That Means and Why It Matters to You!

What’s the Glycemic Index?

Simply put, the glycemic index is a way to measure how carbohydrates react in your blood. When you eat carbs, your blood sugar level rises anywhere from a little to a lot. The GI (Glycemic Index) uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher numbers given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar.

What do high-GI foods do to my body? They cause the body to produce higher levels of insulin, but sometimes too much. This gives you an energy burst known as a “sugar rush.” It feels good at first, but then your blood sugar drops rapidly and you “crash.” Eating low-GI foods is a smart way to avoid this, because they stabilize your blood sugar levels instead of spiking them.

What kind of high-GI foods to steer away from and why:

Foods with a high GI (above 70) include white bread, pretzels, potatoes, and most processed foods. Eating these foods triggers a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, which:

  • Encourages the body to store fat

  • Creates a cycle of hunger pangs and feeling unsatisfied

  • Causes an energy crash that leaves you irritated or tired

  • Can lead to high blood pressure, fluid retention and diabetes

In contrast, foods with a low GI (under 55)—like broccoli, oatmeal, peanuts, and Shakeology—help stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels, which:

  • Increases levels of glycogen, a hormone that causes body fat to be burned

  • Helps satisfy feelings of hunger

  • Helps balance moods

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, helps control diabetes, and positively affects the aging process

So you see, eating low-GI foods like Shakeology is good for you! Shakeology’s GI rating of 24 is much lower than most fruits and some vegetables. Low-GI foods keep your sugar levels in check while supplying nutrition that satisfies, energizes, and helps promote good health!

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You Can Find Motivation Oddest Places

Music, as well as health/fitness, is a passion of mine. So when I found out the lead singer of one of my favorite bands Mikel Jollett (The Airborne Toxic Event) wrote an article for Men’s Health back in 2006 I was excited to read it! Mikel Jollett was a freelance writer prior to the band; I already knew he was ridiculously good at writing from his music, but this Men’s Health article is damn good! I’ve attached that article below. I relate to his article so much because as funny as this may sound,  while I was going through my weight loss transformation of 80lbs I was really motivated by the character Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) of the HBO series True Blood.

True Blood - S6E10 - Jason's Abs - 2

Jason had the exact body I always dreamed about since I was a little fat kid. After each episode of True Blood I felt like working out, haha! When I felt tempted to cheat on my diet, I would think of Jason Stackhouse, and as silly as it sounds this kept me on track with my diet. Motivation can come from the oddest places, but whatever that motivation may be, use it! Put up pictures around your house to keep reminding yourself. Constantly visit whatever motivates you, whether it’s a person, a thought, a feeling, a goal; use the heck out of it!

Here’s the article by Mikel

“Brad Pitt Whipped Me Into Shape”
By Mikel Jollett

I was a big fat slob. Then I went to the movies.

You can find the motivation to get in shape in the oddest places.

Some guys find it in a doctor’s office after a sobering chest exam or blood test or biopsy. Others find it at a high-school reunion when That Girl from 10th-grade biology doesnt recognize them through the haze of cheap vodka, male-pattern baldness, and so many forgotten years. As any good Russian novelist could tell you, life reaches a crossroads – and big changes follow – when sex seems less likely than death.

I found my motivation in the back of a movie theatre in Santa Monica, California. That’s where Brad Pitt comes in, but more about him later.

I was 25 years old, working a hundred hours a week in an office. I hadn’t really set out for that life, but you know how those things go. You’d trade a kidney for an extra zero at the end of your paycheck, and so on. My days were filled with 5-year plans, capital-amortization reports, key-performance indices – i.e., the tortured lexicon of the modern office. For the first time in my life, there wasn’t much time for exercise. Hell, there wasn’t much time for anything but sleep and work. And eating.

unhealthy-eating-86534618Why do so many office events involve food? The candy jar on the secretary’s desk. Doughnuts at morning budget meetings. Rubbery chicken lunches at the Yale Club. Steak dinners with board members. It’s like we’re trying to feed some existential hunger, trying to fill a dark void at the center of office life with caramels, Hershey’s Kisses, and muffin baskets. People eat at the office for the same reason they drink at a bar: to forget they’re there.

I don’t know exactly when it got away from me. In college, on the track team, I had been all-Pac 10 in the 10,000 meters, a svelte 148 pounds whipping around the oval at 70 seconds per quarter mile. At that age, those of us on the cross-country team, those of us who ran 12 to 15 miles a day and ate mountains of food at night, felt like wild beasts. Like we were born to leap boulders, like we were panting, pawing, screaming to run. It’s probably mixed up with some milk-toothed adolescent fantasy, but we really felt like we were pushing the limits of mortality. All that pain and strain and exhaustion and exhilaration. How far can we go? How fast can we run? How much can we take? Let’s find out.

But by age 25, after 3 years in office purgatory, 3 years of meetings and dinners and lunches and drinks, I was up to 225 pounds. Sitting there, listening to these middle-aged men make jokes about their wives over two-martini lunches, I felt caged, fenced in, trapped, old, tired, fat, bored.

I would find myself walking the fluorescent-lit corridors of that ungodly building with reams of green-and-white printout paper covered with endless rows of numbers, a big, round gut hanging over the 38-inch waistline of my green slacks, seething about the budget. “Have you seen these numbers, people?” Every now and then I’d catch a glimpse of my reflection in the office glass and wonder who the fat man was.

Then it happened. In that movie theater in Santa Monica. Fight Club. I know that sounds trite. I know it should have been the birth of my first child or something. But it was Fight Club that did it.

Brad-Pitt-fight-club-body

I remember seeing Marla Singer (played by Helena Bonham Carter), with that ragged eyeliner and waifish body. She was so trashy and dirty and hot and broke. And Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) lived in this abandoned house in the middle of nowhere with the anonymous narrator (Ed Norton). All they ever did was get in fights, wreak havoc, work out, and make fun of the automatons. Though it all ended miserably – but triumphantly! – with that Pixies song when those buildings blew up, God, my life just seemed so tame by comparison, so forgettable, so compliant. I thought, What the hell am I doing? I’m 25 years old.

I saw the movie four times in one week. And I cracked. I quit my job. I dumped my girlfriend. I started working out constantly. Running, swimming, lifting weights, drinking protein shakes, eating apples.

My routine was basic. I thought of it as a matter of simple physics: If I burn more than I consume, my body will metabolize fat. It has to. I figured that at my weight, with my metabolism, I burned about 2,500 calories a day. So I kept to a 2,000 calorie diet and worked out like mad. Four runs a week (100 calories per mile), three swims (100 calories per 15 minutes), four weight sessions (300 calories per hour, plus beach muscles). I made sure I never rang up more than a 7,000 calorie deficit (which equals 2 pounds of fat) in a given week, since your body freaks out when you do that.

It was tedious at first. The runs were painful, I was always sore, and it took so much damn time. I had to make a decision: The plan would come first – it was the only obligation I absolutely had to fulfill. Everything else in my life would have to fit in around it.

After about a month, after the initial shock had worn off, once my feet had calloused over and my hair had become ragged from the chlorine, the plan became something else. A dare. Not in the okay-tough-guy, No Fear, come-over-here-and-check-out-my-glutes kind of way. More like it was a daring thing to do.

Because if you think about it, it’s kind of absurd. Grown adults running through fields, unprompted, unchased, lifting heavy objects for no practical purpose, swimming back and forth repeatedly across a rectangle of water and heavy chemicals. It prompts a question in your mind, while you’re pursuing these senseless tasks: What sort of creature does this kind of thing, anyway?

Over time, the answer becomes obvious, even if it’s just something you feel in your bones: Because this is what I was born to do. This is what this body was made for.

As for the desk job, those hellishly vapid budget reports: Was I honestly made for that crap?

When the money that I’d saved ran out, I started working as a carpenter, walking around with a tool belt on all day, driving a 5-ton truck, familiarizing myself with the layout of Home Depot. It was good to be paid to sweat. The guys I worked with couldn’t quite understand why I was doing basic construction instead of the cushy office job I’d left. “Hey, Stanford U,” they’d say to me, “think you could nail this two-by-four in that frame over there? They teach you how to do that in school?”

The work itself had its benefits. At the end of the day, when my back hurt and my hands ached from pounding a hammer or wielding a screw gun for 8 hours, I felt as though I’d earned a drink. And anyway, there is a certain manful pride in knowing your way around a miter saw and a speed square. But it was mostly monotonous and nothing I had aspired to. I wasn’t in it for that.

I was in it for the sense of possibility. For the idea that you can shake your life up like a soda bottle and smack it against the wall. That whatever prisons we construct in our lives – whether it’s an awful job, a gut, an unhappy marriage, an addiction, the things in life that hem us in, that make us wake up in the morning in a cold sweat and think, How did I get like this? and How can I escape? – all these things are transient. For me, and maybe for anyone, the answer was, just leave. Tear the entire thing down.

In 6 months, I was down 55 pounds – to 170 – and had all the accoutrements that so famously go with exercise: more energy, more confidence, better sleep, less stress. In place of the gut, I had the six-pack I’d had in college. I was also broke and single and had squandered what I had once understood to be a promising future. I didn’t care.

I met a girl in Las Vegas. We exchanged phone numbers, and when I got back to Los Angeles, I called her. She invited me over to her place, a real dump in Culver City that was brimming with empty wine bottles and Liz Phair posters. When I walked in, she was sitting on the couch – skinny, big eyes, flat chested, her shirt half unbuttoned, dirty blonde hair, and lots of eyeliner. My own private Marla Singer. I nearly cried.

fight-club-soap

“Have you seen this movie?” she asked, pointing to the television. And I couldn’t even make this up: It was Fight Club – the scene where Ed Norton fakes a fight with his boss to get fired. In the process he destroys the office, cutting his hands and back and face on the shattered galss of a coffee table. He walks out, whistling, pushing a pile of office equipment in a cart, with a smile on his face and blood dripping down his shirt. Fantastic.

I know, I know. Sophomoric. It is, a bit. But whatever the motivation, once I started taking exercise seriously, I felt more alive. I felt that my life had possibilities. I felt stronger. There’s really nothing so basically transformative, nothing so regenerative, as getting in shape. Some of it is simple blood sugar, blood pressure, metabolism, and endorphins. Your high-school P.E. teacher could have told you that. But it’s also the sense that if you can change your body, you can change anything. You feel your muscles working beneath your clothes, you become aware of your heartbeat, and you remember that you’re an animal first and animals do not like to be fenced in.

The fact is, we’re going to be dead someday, and I don’t care how important we are or how much money we make, how refined our taste in wine, music, clothes, literature, art, women. Those things are great, but there’s just no escaping that your life begins and ends in your own body, your health, your ability to talk to That Girl with confidence, smile in the face of sobering news, senselessly lift heavy objects, swim great distances across various geometric figures, test your mortality, shatter some glass, eat an apple, tear across the plains, and run down a bloody gazelle.

It may be absurd, but honestly, you have to fill the void somehow, and you’re simply not going to do it with muffin baskets.

The Number of Superfoods in Shakeology® Is Rivaled by None

via The Shakeology Blog

There are many protein shakes and meal replacements that are less expensive than Shakeology, but none of them have as many quality superfoods as Shakeology does. Usually the “you get what you pay for” logic rings true, and the shake biz is definitely a case where it applies!

Shakeology has 70+ ingredients, 41 of which are defined as “superfoods”—foods that are loaded with essential nutrients that enhance energy, boost immunity, and improve moods. Other shakes may trumpet their number of ingredients too, but they don’t come close to Shakeology. Plus, too often their “magic ingredients” have been isolated from the enzymes and phytonutrients that actually make the ingredients useful when consumed.

In contrast, Shakeology has been formulated in such a way that all the ingredients work together to give you synergistic benefits; they weren’t just slapped together and packaged as an açaí juice or a chia nutrition bar because ingredients like açaí and chia are super hot in the media (even though Shakeology has those too!). Shakeology’s ingredients work together like a symphony, and this combination is so effective that some people report dramatic benefits in the first week!

Here is a list of the superfoods we’re currently using in Shakeology. Try to incorporate some more of these in your diet throughout the day along with Shakeology, and you’ll be feelin’ super, super good!

Acerola cherry

Acai

Amaranth

Ashwaganda leaf

Astragalus root

Barley grass

Bilberry fruit

Blueberry fruit

Brown rice

Camu camu fruit

Cacao

Chia seed

Chlorella

Coconut flower nectar

Cordyceps

Flax seed, sprouted

Gingko leaf

Goji berry

Green tea

Himalayan pink salt

Kamut grass

Konjac root

Luo han guo

Maca root

Maitake mushroom

MSM

Oat grass

Pomegranate fruit

Quinoa

Reishi mushroom

Rosehip fruit

Sacha inchi

Schisandra

Spinach

Spirulina

Stevia

Peas

Tulsi (holy basil leaf)

Wheatgrass

Whey protein isolate

Yacon root

Learn More About Shakeology

Snacks Under 100 Calories

Although some of you may feel guilty about snacking, know this; snacks aren’t necessarily bad as long as you choose the right snack. In fact, well timed healthy snacks helped me reach my weight loss goals. You may be asking yourself which snacks should you eat? Select foods that satisfy your hunger, supply your body with energy and provide important nutrients.

I’ve compiled a list of 30 healthy snacks under 100 calories: *Always buy organic*

  • Grapes: 1 cup (62 calories)

  • Popcorn: 2 cups, air popped. (62 calories)

  • Raspberries: 1 cup (64 calories)

  • Tangerine: 1 (47 calories)

  • Pear: 1 (86 calories)

  • Peach: 1 (58 calories)

  • Mango: 1 cup (99 calories)

  • Apple: 1 (77 calories)

  • Broccoli: 1 cup (58 calories)

  • Cashews: 10 (91 calories)

  • Cherries: 19 raw (98 calories)

  • Watermelon: 2 cups cubed (94 calories)

  • Organic Free Range Egg: 1 hard boiled (70 calories)

  • Almonds: about 14 unsalted, skin on (98 calories)

  • Baby Carrots: 30 pieces (72 calories)

  • Strawberries: 1 cup (77 calories)

  • Kiwis: 2 medium (84 calories)

  • Peanuts: about 20 (96 calories)

  • Cheerios: about 1 cup (99 calories)

  • Blueberries: 1 cup (84 calories)

  • Banana: small/medium (about 95 calories)

  • Cucumber Slices with Hummus: 1 cup cucumber slices, 2 tbsp hummus (98 total calories)

  • Avocado: about 2 ounces (99 calories)

TOP 10 WORKOUT SONGS JULY 2012

Here is my top 10 workout songs as of July 2012, enjoy!

#10 Kings Of Leon – “Molly’s Chambers”: KOL are one of my favorite bands. Here is one of their older tracks; it’s southern rock at it’s finest. Crank this up, and hit those weights.

#9 Blondie – “Maria”: Yes, this song is from the late 90’s, however it still get’s me going. It’s a kick-starter, a hit song that is timeless in my book.

#8 The Killers – “Bling (Confession Of A King)”: Here we have my number 1 band, The Killers. Lyrics such as “I feel my vision slipping in and out of focus, But I’m pushing on for that horizon, I’m pushing on, Now I’ve got the blowing wind against my face” make this a perfect running song. It’s exhilarating, exercising at a high intensity while shouting “higher and higher” along with Brandon Flowers; give it a try you’ll love it.

#7 The Chain Gang of 1974 – “Devil Is A Lady”: This psychedelic/punk/experimental band from Denver has made a few great workout tracks; this one being my favorite at the moment. “Devil Is A Lady” has an incredibly addictive guitar riff and some pretty awesome synths.

#6 Neon Trees – “1983”: This song has a poppy, dancing beat, along with a catchy flow that will get you dancing in between sets.

#5 Kid Cudi – “Day ‘N’ Nite”: As you can see from previous top 10 posts, I don’t mention many rap songs. Kid Cudi is one of my exceptions; I like his style especially in this upbeat song.

#4 The Black Keys – “Gold On The Ceiling”: “Gold on the Ceiling: a serrated organ growl backed up with a SWAT team of hand claps. It’s Sixties bubblegum garage pop writ large, with T. Rex swagger and a guitar freakout that perfectly mirrors the lyrics, a paranoid rant that makes you shiver while you shimmy.” – Rolling Stone

#3 Man Like Me – “Squeeze”: This song is energetic, incredibly upbeat, and so much fun to dance to. Usually awesome dance songs make for good workout music.

#2 The Wandas – “Thank You Note”: Here we have one of those songs that make you think about all the good people in your life; it puts me in a good mood after every listen.

#1 The Killers – “Spaceman”: Yes I know, I already have a Killers song on my list. So what, deal with it. Spaceman is so much FUN; it’s a “proper synth-pop fist-pumper with an arena-ready chorus and enjoyably daft lyrics”. Listen to this song and you’ll be shouting “oh oh oh oh oh oh oooah”

You can view, listen and subscribe to my entire SHREDFAT workout playlist below. How cool is that!

 

My Top 10 Workout Songs April 2012

It’s a new month, which means a fresh top 10 list of workout songs are about to be unleashed on you! If you ever need a “pick me up” or want to make your workout more enjoyable, don’t drink a 4 hour energy, just add these tracks to your music playlist.

Here is my top 10 for April 2012:

10- Black Kids – “I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You”: This upbeat infectious pop song is so much fun to sing along to. It doesn’t hurt that the lead singer Reggie Youngblood has a similar sound to Robert Smith of The Cure. Listen to this song for a nice pick me up during your workout, then dance all night long to it.

9- Kid Cudi – “Cudi Zone”: I started to really get into Kid Cudi after seeing him perform live last November at Orlando Calling. He’s not your typical rapper, his music is not directed toward violence; his music actually makes you feel good! I love working out while singing the lyrics “I’m feelin’ alright..I’m feelin’ alright”.

8- The Strokes – “You Only Live Once”: The Strokes are known for having the most bad-ass guitar riffs; guitar riffs make me go hard in the weight room, this track is no exception. Frontman Julian Casablancas punctuates each line with an “uh-huh” or “uh-oh” in such a way that’s very enjoyable to listen to.

7- Cranberries – “Zombie”: This song is a CLASSIC; it has entered my SHREDFAT workout playlist recently and has gotten several plays.  The bass is vicious, and the guitar really captures the heaviness that The Cranberries want you to experience.

6- The Naked & Famous – “Punching In A Dream”: This song is a superb slice of indie-poptronica; it has euphoric mix of synths and distorted guitars contrasting with the melancholic lyrics that results into something very enjoyable.

5- Grouplove – “Tongue Tied”: You might have heard this song during a commercial for Apple. I saw Grouplove perform live (met them too) a few weeks ago, and man they were so energetic! During the show I was thinking to myself that I needed to add some of their songs to my workout playlist. This track feels like it belongs on the dance floor and is currently my go to song from them when I need a pick me up. Enjoy.

4- Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – “Phenomena”: This song is a fist pumping rocker! I start stomping my feet as if they have a mind of their own. Karen O’s vocals are seductively special, a real pleasure to listen to.

3- The Black Keys – “Howlin’ For You”: This song is an absolute blues rock-infused trip that will keep you coming back for more and more. Catch me singing along “Da da,da da,da” during my workout; it’s fun, you try it!

2- Passion Pit – “Sleepyhead”: This song is the epitome of pop bliss! Anyone who hadn’t heard it before would love it, and anyone who already had would nod appreciatively. The delicious hooks and slabs of melody is exactly what you want to hear when working out.

1- The Naked & Famous “Girls Like You”: This song is on heavy rotation during my workout sessions. I love how it starts off slowly and builds brightly. I love this band because they clearly have an electronic edge but they are approaching its music from more of a rock than electronic angle. The chorus is powerful and catchy, it’s everything you would want in a workout song. Check these guys out, enjoy!

You can view, listen and subscribe to my entire SHREDFAT workout playlist below. How cool is that!

8 Foods to Make Your Intestines Happy

Guest Post By Kim Kash 

The small and large intestines never seem to make it into the spotlight, but they are a pair of hardworking organs. Collectively, they are responsible for completing the digestive process and absorbing the good stuff in food for the benefit of the body, and for absorbing water and eliminating waste. It’s a pretty important job description, but the hot lights of stardom don’t come easy to, well, the rear end of the digestive system.

There are a couple of categories of foods that the intestines really groove on. Broadly speaking, they love pro- and prebiotics, and fiber. Probiotic foods have beneficial bacteria that feed your intestinal flora—the healthy bacteria inside your gut—and prevent harmful microorganisms from disrupting the digestive tract and making you sick. Prebiotics basically feed the probiotics, making this healthy bacterial colony even healthier. Finally, fiber acts like a big scrubber for the whole system.

Intestinal flora and fiber: see? Not so sexy. But before you allow your attention to be diverted by the more glamorous cardiovascular system, or the spotlight-grabbing immune system, remember that it’s the intestines that provide food and water to the whole body. Without them, the other systems wouldn’t be able to do their thing. So let’s take a look at what you can do for the lowly gastrointestinal system. Give your intestines a little love with the following foods.

Yogurt

Greek yogurt in a glass jars

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: when we talk about yogurt, we mean real, unadulterated yogurt with live, active cultures. Skip the sugary, flavored yogurts, and go for plain. If you like yogurt with fruit in it, you can throw some fresh or frozen fruit into your cup of healthy, plain yogurt. A Tufts University review found that yogurt with active cultures can help with lots of gastrointestinal woes, including lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, colon cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease. A daily serving of yogurt is a huge thank you gift to your intestines.

Miso

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Miso paste creates the cloudy part of miso soup, that little bowl of tasty broth with a bit of tofu and seaweed that you get at the beginning of your meal at a Japanese restaurant. Miso is made by fermenting grains or soybeans with salt and a specific type of fungus. That fermentation process yields a helping of the probiotics that your intestines love. There are several types of miso, either brown, reddish, or white. Generally, darker miso has a richer, slightly sharper flavor. It’s a salty, silky paste that you find in little tubs in the refrigerated section of a good grocery store. You can use miso to make soup simply by dropping a spoonful of it in hot water along with a few vegetables, tofu, and/or seaweed. You can also use it as an addictive, salty spread. Try a little bit smeared on freshly cooked, plain vegetables. You won’t need butter or salt. When you’re using miso, add it at the end of the heating process, so that you don’t wipe out all that active culture goodness.

Sauerkraut

sauerkrout

In a case of what’s old becoming new again, natural sauerkraut is enjoying a comeback as of late. We’re talking about real sauerkraut: cabbage that has been fermented with real bacteria, not cabbage that has been marinated in vinegar. It comes with the goodness of cabbage plus the probiotic boost of the bacteria from the fermentation process. It is important to get the right kind of sauerkraut. Avoid the shelved brands that use vinegar to simulate that sour, fermented flavor. Instead, you can try to make your own. (There are plenty of recipes online, and the whole process is really interesting!) Or, look for a natural brand in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Sauerkraut has got some serious history. According to Natural News, “The Roman army traveled with barrels of sauerkraut, using it to prevent intestinal infections among the troops during long excursions.” The colony of lactic acid bacteria that results from sauerkraut’s pickling process is another healthy bacteria source for the gut.

Raw Garlic, Leeks, and Onions

1204-bulbs

Moving from probiotics to prebiotics, we come to the onion and his cousins. These are great on the family dinner table as long as everyone partakes! These pungent ingredients provide nutrition for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. They do their work by altering the colon’s pH level, which your intestinal flora loves, and which helps the body to better absorb minerals. These three stinkers can also help to prevent constipation. True, raw onions and garlic can be off-putting for some people. If you’re one of those, then give leeks a try. They are much milder, and are a good substitute for raw onions in most recipes. (But don’t try to go the other way and add onions where leeks are called for. Onions may overpower a recipe designed for leeks.) Leeks look like gigantic spring onions. Leeks make a nice addition sprinkled on top of salads or even soups. However you prepare them, first slice leeks in half and soak them for several minutes in a bowl of cool water. This loosens the sandy soil that can collect where its strap-like leaves come together tightly near the bottom.

Artichokes

Artichokes-in-Black-Bowl1

Artichokes pack a one-two punch for the intestinal team, being not only an important prebiotics source, but also a great source of dietary fiber, with 10.3 grams in one cooked artichoke. At around 25 calories, a whole, steamed artichoke seems almost too good to be true, intestinally speaking. The potential downfall is the fact that each succulent artichoke leaf is a perfect little scoop for untold hundreds of calories of butter, hollandaise sauce, or other dietary hazards. They’re the whole food answer to dip-shaped tortilla chips, and potentially just as dangerous. If you can talk yourself out of melted butter, you might try a simple, light vinaigrette as a dip instead.

Raspberries

Picked raspberries are pictured in the village of Zeljezno Polje

One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of soluble fiber, which is almost twice as much as a typical apple. (Not that we’re suggesting you shouldn’t also eat apples.) As an added bonus, they are rich in vitamin C, and contain the potential cancer-fighting ellagic acid. According to the University of Illinois Extension, they may lower blood cholesterol levels and slow the release of carbohydrates into the blood stream of diabetics. Add fiber-rich raspberries to your list of intestine-friendly foods. Remember, though, that your body needs a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. If you wanted to get all your fiber from raspberries today, you’d have to sit down and eat about a pound of them.

Split Peas

SplitPea3

Split peas and other legumes are loaded with soluble fiber, which helps in the process that removes cholesterol from the body. A cup of cooked dried peas is crazy with fiber, plus a good helping of protein. Interestingly, split peas are also a very good source of tryptophan, the essential amino acid in turkey that people point to as the reason for post-Thanksgiving dinner drowsiness. (That Turkey Day drowsiness is more likely associated with the giant mounds of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy that sit alongside the turkey on the Thanksgiving plate. But we digress.)

Avocados

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Yes, it’s true that avocados are high in fat. But it’s mostly monounsaturated fat, which is important to the health of your digestive tract for a variety of reasons. One reason is that it helps provide the right environment for converting beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is critical for the health of your gastrointestinal tract’s lining. One medium-size avocado contains 15 grams of fiber. Fifteen grams! So whip up a batch of guacamole (with plenty of raw onions, of course) and dig in.

There you have it: 10 ways to give your intestines a big round of applause. Though they may not get the press coverage of their fellow body parts, it’s important to roll out the red carpet for the intestines, giving them the care and attention they so richly deserve every day.

My Top 10 Workout Songs March 2012

The right music at the right time can shift a negative mindset to a positive one. Music moves your soul/helps get your mind right.

Keeping up with our monthly ritual; I present to you our top 10 workout songs as of March 2012:

10- Of Monsters And Men –  “Little Talks”: This Icelandic six piece resembles a lot of other bands; Arcade Fire, Edward Sharpe, Mumford & Sons, and The XX come to mind. This song in particular has catchy rhythms and happy narrative lyrics. I find myself shouting “Hey!”, give this song a listen and you will too.

9- Wolf Gang –  “The King And All Of His Men”: Their debut album ‘Suego Faults’ has been on my music rotation for weeks now. This track in particular is pop-tastic! It sounds like an instant “radio hit”.

8- The Rapture – “Whoo! Alright – Yeah…Uh Huh”: This indie-rock band from New York City has been making hipsters dance for years now. They have an aggressive guitar/funk sound that’s really fun to listen to.

7- The Airborne Toxic Event – “Missy”: It’s actually kind of funny because when this song comes on during my workout I STOP working out and I START dancing; I just can’t help myself. I’m going to say this once again; if you haven’t heard of The Airborne Toxic Event, give them a listen and thank me later. They are that GREAT.

6- Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – “Zero”: Lead singer Karen O’s voice is mesmerizing. This song is awesome right from the opening line, “Shake it like a ladder to the sun, Makes me feel like a madman on the run”. It’s an electro-rock whoop that will make you shout You’re a zero-ohh!

5- Foster The People – “Helena Beat”: Want some good music to dance to? Quick, play some FTP! These guys get me “pumped up” during workouts! I love the high-pitched falsetto vocals of Mark Foster in this fun, synth-rock track.

4- The Killers – “Read My Mind – Pet Shot Boys Stars Are Blazing Mix”: Truth is, you could never go wrong with a Killers song; no matter what mood you are in they will scratch that itch every single time. This remix has an 80’s vibe to it courtesy of The Pet Shot Boys.

3- Silversun Pickups – “Lazy Eye”: If you didn’t know any better you might mistaken this band for The Smashing Pumpkins, but listen closely and you will see that they have their own unique sound. The guitar riffs alone make this track jump my list. It has an epic build up that makes me want to push harder.

2- Walk The Moon “Anna Sun”: The best way to describe this track would be unique, but easily relate-able. Their sound is an infectious blend of indie rock and indie pop. The hook of this song is gigantic and so much fun to sing along to!

1- Arctic Monkeys “R U Mine?”: It kicks off with a thumping drum intro and a dangerously waving guitar riff. NME magazine describes this song as “a riff-tastic, 70’s-indebted monster”. The music video is really cool, make sure to check that out.

You can view, listen and subscribe to my entire SHREDFAT workout playlist below. How cool is that!



My Top 10 Workout Songs February 2012

To get the most out of my workout I need to be listening to my favorite tunes. Even when I was going through the P90X program (a total of 3 times!), I had Tony Horton guiding me through the workout while my favorite music was blasting in the background. Music get’s me pumped up and makes working out more enjoyable. I’ve mentioned this before; there have been many recent studies that show if you listen to music while exercising, your brain will probably work better too. Our emotional ties to music can also help us perform our best.

With all of that being said, I present you with my top 10 workout songs as of February 2012:

10- Florence & The Machine – “You’ve Got The Love”: This song has become a staple for me as the first song I play during my workout. Florence Welch’s soothing yet powerful voice helps me get through my warm-up/stretching routine, and prepares me for my workout.

9- Neon Trees – “Everybody Talks”: This uptempo song is fun to sing along with especially the part where lead singer Tyler Glenn shouts “Hey honey you can be my drug, you can be my new prescription. TOO MUCH CAN BE AN OVERDOSE, ALL THIS TRASH TALK GETS ME ITCHIN!”

8- M83 – “Midnight City”: This French band lays down a dance-pop song that’s loaded with some awesome synths and stadium-sized drums. It also has a sexy sax solo in it! I like to shout out the line “THE CITY IS MY CHURCH” when I workout to this song.

7- Modest Mouse –  “Float On”: While this song is not new (released in 2004) by any means, it is a classic for me. This indie-pop march is my go to song for cardio. Theres something special about reaching that exhaustive point while “and we’ll all float on” plays in the background.

6- Eminem featuring Royce Da 5’9″ – “Above The Law”: Eminem is the master of lyrics, he’s also my favorite hip hop artist. When I listen to him spit rhymes I can feel the anger in his voice and words, it makes me angry which is definitely a good thing when I’m lifting weights. Try this; sprint during Eminem’s entire verse. I do it every single time, can you last the entire verse?

5- The Killers – “Daddy’s Eyes”: The combination of Brandon Flower’s vocals, Dave Keuning’s awesome guitar riffs, and the rest of the bands near perfect musical talent are enough to put me in a good mood every single time. The lyrics “dreams should last a long time, this is not what I call goodbye” is followed by a euphoric feeling as the entire band plays in harmony; that part always makes me push myself harder.

4- Young The Giant – “My Body”: Lead vocalist Sameer Gadhia increases in tension until the chorus blasts forth with an overwhelming flow of emotions. “My body tells me no!” he exclaims, “but I won’t quit ‘cause I want more.”, what better way to describe my workout?

3- Fun featuring Janelle Monae – “We Are Young”: This fairly new indie-pop band is climbing my list of favorite bands. The chorus is massive with frontman Nathan Reuss’ singing “Tonight, we are young/ So let’s set the world on fire”. It’s a catchy track that leaves you feeling good about yourself.

2- The Airborne Toxic Event – “Innocence”: The build up in the song is epic; it starts out slow paced with the beautiful sound of Anna Bulbrook’s violin, it then proceeds to explode in your face. Lead singer Mikel Jollett is one of the most talented writers in the music industry; I can feel his pain as he shouts “And I tear, I tear, so hard, And I tear, I tear, so hard And I beg and scream, I was wrong. It’s over, she’s gone.” By the end of it I am overwhelmed with emotions, it makes me want to fight for what I want in life. If you haven’t heard of this band, you should really give them a listen, you can thank me later.

1- Gotye featuring Kimbra “Somebody That I Used To Know”: I admit, I am utterly addicted to this song. It’s getting more play than any other song for me at the moment. Gotye’s sound is different than others, this song in particular is haunting, overflowing with emotion. Kimbra’s beautiful vocals explode onto the track. The backing vocals towards the end of the song are a great touch. I dare you to listen to this song and not sing it all day in your head!

You can view, listen and subscribe to my entire SHREDFAT workout playlist below. How cool is that!