Should I Avoid Gluten?

What is gluten? People say it’s bad, so should I avoid it and what are good alternatives?  Kristin Burgess, RD will answer all of your questions about this grain.

What is gluten?gluten
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats.

What foods contain Gluten?
Any product made with wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Gluten is also used as a food additive to thicken various products. For this purpose, gluten is found in many unexpected foods such as ketchup.

What starches do not contain gluten?
Corn, brown rice, potatoes, amaranth, arrowroot, millet, gluten-free oats, quinoa and nut flours. Many believe that one may consume sprouted grains (including sprouted wheat) while following a gluten-free diet. I suggest trying a small amount (one slice of sprouted bread) and see if any side effects occur. Research shows that oats are gluten free, but they do contain a protein called avenin that has a similar structure to gluten.  When dealing with celiac disease, talk to your doctor about consuming oats.

Should I avoid gluten?
Not unless you have celiac. It is best to limit gluten and include many different grains in your diet, besides wheat. The problem with gluten is that too much is consumed; bread, crackers, bars, tortillas, chips, cereals, pasta, etc. Instead of whole wheat bread, choose sprouted grain bread. Instead of whole grain pasta, choose gluten free pasta (not because there is magic in gluten free pasta but to get a variety of grains in your diet). In addition, add more fruit, vegetables and nuts to your diet.

How do I choose products and cook gluten-free?

  • Read food labels and look not only for the words “gluten free” but also read the ingredient list for any gluten-containing starches such as wheat, barley and rye. Never assume a product is gluten free.
  • Any alternative flour (almond flour, brown rice, etc) can be substituted into a recipe.
  • Most grocery stores have a section for gluten-free breads, cereals, bars, pasta, etc.

Are you looking to eat healthier and feel more energized from your diet? Try LEAN, this six-week program to help you eat better and look better at the same time. Contact Kristin Burgess at 303.770.2582 x382 to learn more.

Seven Basics for Fitness

spinThe reason we exist at GATC is for the honor of positively impacting people’s lives. We offer over 130 group fitness classes each week as part of your membership. The types of classes are thoughtfully chosen, the instructors are carefully recruited and the class times are strategically placed with the goal of providing you with the best selection of classes offered at the optimal times that cater to a wide variety of interests and provide ample opportunity for achieving results.

On an average day, approximately 1500 people check into the club. Roughly 30% of those check-ins, or 450 people, attend a group fitness class. So how can you optimize your membership utilizing group fitness to achieve your fitness goals? In this “results-focused” issue, I’m offering Seven Basics for Fitness.

FIND SOMETHING YOU ENJOY AND DO IT
If you’re not having fun or being challenged with your workout, it’s easy to lose interest. Instead of dreading the treadmill, consider one of our many other options. With a nice balance of strength, cardio, balance and flexibility classes to choose from each week, there is great opportunity to find your new favorite. Take advantage of our shorter classes that can be done in combination (ex. Cardiovascular Intervals and CXWORX). If you would like some assistance, we offer complimentary Member Coach services or I’m always happy to help. When you find what you enjoy, you’re more likely to stay consistent and see better results.

SET GOALS
Maybe you want to avoid holiday weight gain, fit into a certain dress size, decrease your body fat percentage, cut your mile time, or set a new lifting PR. Map out your plan of attack setting both short-term (30-day) and long-term (three-six months) goals. That plan will help you stay focused and on the path to success. Share your goals with your group fitness instructor so they can help encourage you and keep you accountable.

DRINK ENOUGH WATER
GATC Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer, Kristin Burgess, recommends drinking half your body weight in ounces every day. This is on top of replenishing fluids lost during your workout. While the reminder to drink water may sound unnecessary and obvious, it is essential to your health.

EAT WELL
No training regimen is complete without the complement of good nutrition. Make sure you eat a consistently well-balanced diet. Dedication to both your training and your nutrition will offer the best results.

GET SUFFICIENT SLEEP
Rest is crucial to our fat-loss and muscle-building goals. Lack of sleep raises cortisol levels and hampers proper recovery. Exercise places stress on your body, and it’s your body’s ability to respond to and rebuild from this stress that creates growth, results and body improvement. This is why nutrition and recovery are essential to achieving your fitness goals.

MIX IT UP
Many dedicated gym-goers fall into a workout rut. Break out of boredom by challenging yourself in new ways. Try new movements, set aside the dumbbells in favor of a barbell or cables, or grab a buddy and try a class. Don’t just set up camp at your usual corner or elliptical. If you are bored with your workouts, chances are your body is, too. Make some changes for a new challenge leading to new results.

STAY CONSISTENT
None of this information will be of much value if it’s not done consistently. No matter your goal, consistent efforts are rewarded with hard-earned results!

Andrea Morris, Director of Group Fitness

How to avoid weight gain… Prepared Meals

prepared_mealBeing prepared for your day and/or busy week can prevent you not only from overeating but also from choosing unhealthy foods. Planning ahead is one of the best ways to enhance your health, achieve your optimal weight and feel great.

Here are a few tips to avoid weight gain:

1)      Plan and pack meals and snacks the night before.

2)      Plan the time you will eat each meal and snack.

3)      Have your daily main course meals planned and prepped.

4)      Always keep a healthy option on hand. Leaving home without one may lead you to make unhealthy choices.

If you find yourself too busy to plan ahead, consider healthy meal delivery services such as Eat Meaningfully for delicious meals catered towards your specific needs. Learn more about Eat Meaningfully here>>

EAT MEANINGFULLY_fbMktg

 

FIVE GUIDELINES TO A HEALTHY METABOLISM

Tips from Kristin, GATC RD.

1) Eat breakfast within thirty minutes of waking and eat every three hours thereafter

2) Limit starch because it is almost always chemically processed. (ex: breads, chips, pretzels, snack mixes, tortillas, pastas, etc). This is especially true when eating out. If you can read the ingredient list and you know you are not eating a chemically processed food, then choose the whole grain in a proper portion.

3) Choose a fruit or veggie plus a protein, every time you eatstockvault-healthy-eating119775_resized

4) Don’t save your calories for one big mealwater

5) Drink half your body weight in ounces of water

For more tips and information regarding diet and nutrition, visit GATC’s Nutrition Services page.

 

Dietary Supplements: To Take Or Not To Take

The majority of adults in the United States take a supplement. A supplement includes: vitamins, minerals, herbs, protein powders, shakes, amino acids, enzymes, probiotics, and the list goes on and on!

Do wsupplementse really need to be taking these? In my opinion, yes, many of us can benefit from a multivitamin, vitamin D or even a protein shake, for example. However, supplements are just that…a SUPPLEMENT. They do not replace food. Some experts think that if you are eating less than 1600 calories on a daily basis then you can likely benefit from taking a dietary supplement. Taking a vitamin and mineral supplement can insure your body that you are meeting your needs to develop muscles, proper neural function, maintain energy levels, preserve bone and all the other physiologic functions your body performs on a daily basis. Very few of us need a multivitamin that provides greater than 100% of the daily recommended allowance of any nutrient. Again, these supplement your diet. If you are choosing mostly whole, unprocessed foods then you do not need a powerful multivitamin. In fact, high levels of vitamins can enhance the disease process, including some cancers.

Let’s look at protein powders/shakes. There are so many on the market! Mosproteinshake_2t active people can benefit from a protein shake for breakfast, pre- or post-workout. The scary thing about protein powders is that many of the most widely used are loaded with toxic metals, artificial sweeteners, colorings, dyes and other random chemicals that can harm your body. If you are going to purchase a protein powder, why not choose one with added nutrients?  My favorites are whole food powders that are made of real food and free of metals, dyes and other chemicals, such as Vega One or Amazing Grass Raw Reserve. There are some great ready-to-drink products out there as well. My go to is Orgain 25 gram protein.

Much of the food we are consuming is so processed that it isn’t “real.” Chicken breasts at some restaurants are hardly made of chicken breast at all, but chicken parts and chicken flavoring molded into the shape of a breast. Some experts believe that if more than three meals per week are eaten out, you are lacking nutrition and too many chemically processed foods are being consumed. You are what you eat!

For more information visit GATC’s Nutrition Services page or contact GATC RD, Kristin Burgess.

 

Fat Loss Tips: Gluten-Free?

gluten-freeSales of gluten-free foods have soared 68% in the last two years.  Almost 1.6 million Americans are gluten-free. Yet only 1% of the population actually has Celiac Disease, a disorder in which one’s immune system reacts to gluten, a protein in certain grains.

In my opinion, many people look for a quick fix. It is easy to jump at reasons/excuses why we are doing everything right and still not losing weight. Is going gluten-free really a magic pill? Is this the ONLY reason people begin to lose weight?

Let’s look at some facts:

1) Limiting any heavy caloric food will cause weight loss

2) Gluten-free can mean less processed, therefore the product MAY retain more natural nutrients (of course this varies product to product and brand to brand, just like any food)

3) Liming the variety of processed carbohydrates will always yield a healthier body

4) Many of the companies producing gluten-free products are companies who produce organic foods. In order for a product to be labeled “gluten-free” it must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Many large companies cannot control production to this minute fraction, allowing for more mom and pop or organic companies to produce gluten-free foods.

5) Even though gluten-free foods are currently available almost everywhere, they are still not as accessible as gluten-containing foods. Therefore, you might be less likely to choose a pizza, cookie or other traditional wheat product.

Gluten is a protein in grains such as wheat, spelt, rye, or kamut.  Who eats spelt and rye on a regular basis? But who eats whole wheat bread for breakfast, crackers or a granola bar for a snack, a sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner? Most Americans- most days of the week. It might not be pasta for dinner, but it might be a tortilla or even something “healthy” such as a pita.

Let me ask this: would you eat five bananas in one day, on a regular basis, day afteBathroom-scaler day? Probably not. So why would you eat that much wheat in one day? Cutting out gluten does not cause the weight loss for most people.It is more likely that you are now eating a greater variety of foods and food groups. More fruits, veggies, variety of grains, less processed food (let’s face it, the gluten-free bread isn’t the most tasty), more lean proteins, more nuts and seeds and likely less sugar. These things are the likely cause of your weight loss!

Looking for additional information or other nutrition tips? Visit GATC’s Nutrition Services page or email Kristin at kristinb@greenwoodatc.com

Kristin Burgess, GATC R.D.

 

Fat Loss Tips: The Untrustworthy Glycemic Index

glycemic indexHow can it be that a slice of whole wheat bread has a glycemic index of 72 and a Snickers bar has a glycemic index of 41? For those of you who follow the Glycemic Index (GI) Diet, I hope I have your attention. For those of you who do not, the Glycemic Index Diet is one in which you choose foods based on how quickly their carbohydrates enter your blood after being digested.
Low GI = 1-55
Medium GI = 56-69
High GI = 70 and higher

Strawberries have a GI of 40. This means that if you eat 50 grams of carbohydrates from strawberries (three cups of strawberry halves), your blood sugar level would be elevated 40% of what it would be from consuming 50 grams of glucose.

There are several factors that are involved in the amount of carbohydrates that are available to our organs and tissues, post digestion. The amount of protein, fiber, fat and overall nutrient density affect the rate at which the carbohydrate molecules enter our bloodstream. It is not just about how quickly the food is digested, but also the readiness of digestive enzymes; how quickly amylase can access the carbohydrate molecule in the small intestine to break it down.

As you can see, following the Glycemic Index as a primary means for weight loss, diabetes prevention or stubborn fat loss might not be the best way to go. Instead, choose raw, whole foods. Foods that are high in fiber, protein and healthy fat are not only going to keep your blood sugar level in check but will also help with energy and stubborn fat loss.

Need additional information or other nutrition tips? Visit GATC’s Nutrition Services page or email Kristin at kristinb@greenwoodatc.com

Kristin Burgess, GATC R.D.

WEIGHT LOSS

Losing weight is as much about mindset, changing behaviors and staying motivated, as the actual diet and exercise portion. Here are a few tips to help keep the motivation rolling pound after pound and the motivation to change your lifestyle behaviors to keep the weight off for life:

1. Set realistic goals that are achievable

  • Set your long term goal first but without a date. For example, lose twCalendarenty pounds.
  • Set short term goals second. Get the calendar out and look at each week as an opportunity to lose two pounds
  • Some weeks you might lose one, some weeks you might lose three and some you might not lose any. A realistic, attainable goal for most people is six pounds a month.
  • Set dates. For example: by October 1, I will be at blank weight, by October 15, I will be at blank weight, etc.
  • Think about life activities and events, such as vacations, weddings, etc., and take these into consideration when looking at the calendar and setting your short term goals.
  • Each five to six pounds is a short term goal.
  • Focus on hitting the particular short term goal that you are in rather than thinking ahead about long term goals. Think “It’s only five pounds. I can do this.”
  • Reward yourself when you hit each goal with treats such as a massage, a pedicure, new pair of shoes, a round of golf, etc.

2. Go slow

  • Work on one lifestyle change per week. It’s okay if it takes longer! For example: choosing iced green tea at Starbucks instead of cream/sugared coffee/latte.
  • Work on the most significant first: such as eliminating or limiting alcohol, soda, diet soda, white/enriched foods or sugar and baked goods.

3. Expect setbacks

  • Learn from setbacks.
  • Take note of how they made you feel. For example: how did it feel to eat half a cake? Too full, sick, awful, low energy/lethargic. The next time you are in a situation where cake is presented, remember how you felt last time you ate too much cake and choose to not do it again.
  • Life isn’t perfect so don’t expect your weight loss journey to be.
  • See challenges as setbacks not failures.

4. Find supportKristinBandclientatGreenwoodAthleticClub

  • Join a support group or find a family member and/or friend to confide in.

5. Be patient

  • The biggest diet motivation breaker is not losing the amount of weight you think you should in the time you want.
  • Plateaus are going to happen so expect it. There may be weeks of no weight loss.
  • If two to three weeks go by with no weight loss, shake things up a bit. Add ten to fifteen minutes of cardio; if you’ve been consuming a lot of carbs, cut back; if you’ve been short on veggies, get more in; add fat; take away calories; add protein; meet your water needs.

Keep these tips in mind and they will keep you rolling from short term goal to short term goal, all the way to your long term goal!

Visit GATC’s Nutrition Services webpage to read about our programs and services.

Kristin Burgess, GATC R.D.

There are so many different yogurts out there! Which do you choose and why?

Chobani, Dannon, Yoplait, Activia?

Do you pick one with low sugar? Low fat?  Organic?  Greek?  High in probiotics? Or do you look for all of these? There is no perfect yogurt, but there are a few close ones. Here are my tips, in priority order:

– Organic is best
yogurt
– Avoid sugar substitutes: aspartame, acesulfame potassium (or acesulfame K)
– Avoid food dyes and colorings
– Choose one with less than 15 grams total sugar in 6 ounces
– Stick to 4 ounce servings to get the most nutrition with the least amount of sugar

Do you have other questions about making the best food selections? Check out GATC’s Nutrition Services.

Kristin Burgess, GATC R.D.

Fruit and Veggies: More DOES Matter

shutterstock_106456802_resizedEat a veggie THREE times a day and eat them in LARGE quantities. Don’t worry about portion sizes and getting a certain amount of cups in a day. Who is going to count six cups in a day? Just eat them three times and a lot of them!

Eat a fruit THREE times a day.

Think simple: don’t chop, cut or cook if you don’t want to.

Plan ahead and take them with you.

A few easy ideas:
Mix a teaspoon of ranch dressing or guacamole in a sandwich baggie with two handfuls of raw broccoli
Baby carrots or an apple and a tablespoon of all natural peanut butter
1/4 cup ricotta cheese plus a pear sprinkled with cinnamon
Red bell pepper – eat it like an apple
Baby greens for lunch with your favorite protein
Steam a bag of frozen veggies for breakfast and dinner

Fruit fits anywstockvault-healthy-eating119775_resizedhere! Give up your bread, tortilla, pasta, rice, potato, cereal, pancake or waffle for fruit!

 

 

Questions about getting more fruits and veggies into your diet? Check out GATC’s Nutrition Services.

Kristin Burgess, GATC R.D.