Nutrition

What you do in the kitchen is just as important as what you do in the gym. To effectively achieve your fitness goals, proper nutrition is an absolute must!

Are Potatoes Unhealthy?

potato-heart-1“I don’t eat potatoes. I’m trying to lose weight.”

If you haven’t said those words, you’ve almost certainly heard them. For a couple of reasons, potatoes have gotten a bad rap; they’ve become the white bread of the vegetable world. But are they deserving of their negative reputation?

It’s impossible to talk about potatoes’ negative reputation without mentioning the gylcemic index.

The glycemic index (GI) classifies carbohydrate-containing foods according to their potential to raise blood sugar level. Foods are scored on a scale of 0 to 100. Lower scoring foods don’t result in blood sugar spikes and, according to the Mayo Clinic, can help you feel full longer, boost energy and even improve focus. Potatoes can score as high as 80 or above, thus making potatoes a food that dieters tend to avoid.

Though low glycemic foods generally result in better satiety than high gylcemic foods, the potato seems to be a noteworthy exception. In fact, potatoes sppear to be one of the most satiating foods available to us. And unlike other high GI foods like candy or cake, potatoes are nutritional powerhouses. For example, a single potato has more potassium than a banana, lots of fiber and 70% of your daily value of Vitamin C. All with about 160 calories. That’s pretty impressive.

The biggest issue with potatoes isn’t the potato itself. It’s how we prepare them. Potatoes are often fried, creamed, loaded in cheese or covered with unhealthy toppings. Despite the nutritional properties of the actual potato, we turn the vegetable into fries, chips and other indulgences.

In other words, potatoes aren’t the problem; they’re part of the answer. By finding healthy ways to include potatoes in your diet, you can enjoy their powerful and delicious benefits.

P.S. For help losing fat through nutrition, exercise and an improved relationship with your body, download Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program.

Challenge: Drink One Gallon Of Water Per Day For A Month!

WS_FEMAIL_WATER_2.jpgEarlier this morning, I came across an article about a woman who drank a gallon of water per day for an entire month. Not only did she lose weight and an inch from her waistline, but she transformed the way she looked and felt. Blotches disappeared, and her skin became more radiant and less wrinkled. She found it easier to concentrate. By week four, she says she looked ten years younger.

All from a gallon of water per day.

To be honest, the article and the accompany picture sets off my bullshit-ometer. In the before and after photo, for example, you can see a shift from overhead lighting to front facing, more flattering lighting. And perhaps other variables (like diet or exercise) may have been involved.

If it seems too good to be true, it often is. And the dramatic claims made by the woman in this article seem (forgive the pun) hard to swallow. And even if she experienced these benefits for herself, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of us will enjoy the same results.

Of course, water does have many amazing benefits. And the truth is, according to the Mayo Clinic, men should aim for 13 cups of water a day. That’s a mere three cups shy of a gallon. Even with a goal of 13 cups per day, most of us fall short of the mark.

So let’s take this woman up on her challenge. I invite you to join me in this experiment. For the next 30 days, let’s commit to one gallon of water per day. To make this easy, I’ve purchased a gallon water jug from the market. Each day, I’ll refill it with water. By the time I go to bed, I’ll make sure the jug is empty. If you work during the day, you can do half a jug at home and half a jug at work. And in a month’s time, I’ll update you on my experience.

If you’re up for the challenge, let me know in the comments below!

P.S. For scientifically-based tips to increase energy and improve your appearance through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!

My Parents Buy Unhealthy Food – Help!

Dear Davey,

I live at home and I eat what my parents eat. Though I want to live a healthy lifestyle, my parents fill our kitchen with junk food and candy. Because I’m eating so much crap, I’m even getting a belly. How can I convince my parents to buy healthier food?

From,
Katelyn

junk-food-2Hey Katelyn,

As someone who lived at home for eighteen years, I understand your situation completely. When you’re young, you don’t necessarily have the resources to procure your own meals. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have influence or a voice.

This much I know: One of the most important roles that any family can fulfill is support.

Sit down with your family and have a judgment-free conversation. Start with those areas of agreement. For one, your family wants you to live a long, healthy and productive life. That’s a great starting place.

Then, connect the dots. By consuming unhealthy foods, you’re increasing your risk for obesity, a shorter lifespan, heart disease and so much more. Through a healthy diet, on the other hand, you’ll be able to lose weight, enjoy more energy and even have higher self esteem. Parents can be stubborn, so explain to them why eating healthy is so important to you.

Next, present a game plan. The reality is, most people don’t understand nutrition. Many people mistakenly believe that “reduced fat” or “gluten free” foods are healthier options. That’s not necessarily the case. In other words, don’t assume that your family is informed and educated about nutrition. Take initiative by giving your family a list of foods that you’d love to have. This list may include things like fresh or frozen vegetables, unsweetened almond milk, fruits, whole wheat bread, brown rice, beans, chicken, fish, dry roasted unsalted nuts, seeds, peanut butter and so on. It’s a common misconception that healthy foods are overly expensive; be mindful of price when selecting your food choices.

Some of the responsibility falls on you. It may mean accompanying your parents to the grocery store and helping them select foods you want to eat. And just because there is unhealthy food in the house, it doesn’t mean that you need to eat it.

The reality is, diet is a personal decision and your family may not be interested in eating healthier. If your family is cooking something unhealthy, opt for a leaner variation or find an alternative. And simply by keeping healthier foods in the house, you’ll have more options when someone opens a bag of potato chips. Maybe you’ll even be able to inspire change in your family through the example you set.

Love,
Davey

P.S. For help losing weight through nutrition, exercise and an improved relationship with your body, download Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program.

10 Healthy Things To Buy At The Grocery Store.

3555420148_4422399631From good to bad, grocery stores have it all. With thousands and thousands of products, it’s not always easy to determine which foods support a healthy lifestyle.

As a quick shortcut, here are 10 healthy grocery store items that are always on my Davey Wavey shopping list – and why I love them.

  1. Peanut butter. But first, check the ingredients. Real peanut butter has only one ingredient: peanuts. If there is added sugar or oils, don’t be fooled. Peanut butter is great for snacking; the rich, creamy texture is satisfying and helps curb hunger.
  2. Unsweetened almond milk. Did you know that a regular cup of milk has the equivalent of three teaspoons of sugar? Most people don’t. With even more calcium, no sugar and a dramatic reduction in calories, almond milk isn’t just an alternative; it’s a milk replacement.
  3. Chicken. It’s not fancy, but it’s lean, versatile and packed with protein. You can add it to a salad, eat it as a main dish or slice it for a sandwich.
  4. Microgreens. With 4 – 6x the nutrients of their full grown counterparts, microgreens are baby greens picked shortly after germination. They’re flavorful, tender and tasty. I usually opt for baby arugula, sprouts, spinach and kale.
  5. Avocado. Rich in essential fats, avocado is a versatile ingredient that adds life to almost any dish. I use it as a healthy condiment alternative on chicken or turkey burgers, in whole wheat quesadillas or mixed into salads. In many recipes, you can actually substitute butter with avocado.
  6. Apples. Cheap and convenient, apples are nutritionally rich and contain lots of fiber. For me, apples are a great way to snack or to curb hunger before going out to eat. The fiber makes apples slow to digest, which is especially helpful for individuals looking to lose weight.
  7. Berries. Though they can be pricey, berries are a great alternative for traditional desserts and ice cream. A handful or two of raspberries will satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth.
  8. Frozen veggies. It’s a popular myth that vegetables lose nutrients when they’re frozen. In actuality, vegetables are flash frozen at their peak; in many instances, they’re more nutritionally dense than fresh vegetables which slowly travel from farm to table. While french fries or mac and cheese are tempting side dishes, vegetables are always a wise substitution. Moreover, there are so many ways to cook them. Whether you steam, saute or bake your veggies, it’s an easy way to eat smarter. Plus, frozen vegetables last a long time in your freezer – so they’re super convenient.
  9. Eggs. What’s so special about eggs? They’re a cheap and widely available source of protein. Though high in dietary cholesterol, moderate egg consumption will do little to raise actual blood cholesterol levels. I use boiled eggs on my salad, or enjoy a few scrambled eggs for breakfast. Eggs, wheat toast and fruit salad can be a fun dinner, too.
  10. Bananas. My life wouldn’t be complete without bananas; I use bananas for just about everything. With only 100 calories, a banana is a fast, quality source of carbohydrates. As such, I eat a banana before the gym each morning. The carbs give me the energy to power through my workout. I also add frozen bananas to almond milk to create a rich smoothie. For dessert, I blend bananas with quick oats and raisins to create healthy cookies.

What healthy foods are must-haves for your grocery list? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. To dramatically improve the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. Use discount code “youtube” to save 25% at checkout!

Are Watermelon Seeds Edible And Healthy?

watermelon_with_seedsWe know that watermelons provide some great nutritional and health benefits. In fact, National Geographic lists their top five reasons to chomp down on watermelon as follows:

  1. Soothes sore muscles
  2. It helps heart health
  3. Could reduce male impotence…
  4. Many vitamins and minerals; few calories
  5. Could fight cancer

But what about the seeds? Most of us are accustomed to either spitting out the seeds or removing them before consumption. Alternatively, there are many seedless watermelon options available for purchase. But by cutting the seeds out of the equation, are we selling our watermelon experience short?

Yes.

Not only are watermelon seeds edible, their packed with nutritional benefits. Loaded with heart-healthy fats, these seeds are rich in minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous and copper. Moreover, a one ounce serving has a respectable 8 grams of protein. The only downside to watermelon seeds is that they’re relatively high in calories. But with just a slice or two of watermelon, it won’t be a problem.

I’m not sure who started the watermelon spitting rule, but now is a good time to break tradition. Next time you opt for watermelon, treat yourself to the seeds. Just make sure that you chew them to ensure nutrient absorption.

When it comes to watermelon seeds, don’t spit. Swallow.