Monday, May 28, 2012

Nutrition 101, Part 1: What and How Much?

This is the first of a series of blog posts related to nutrition. It seems to be the hardest piece of the puzzle, the most difficult thing for people to make lasting, lifestyle changes with. We'll start with the basics in this post: how much to eat, what to eat, the make-up of your meals, and the timing of what you eat.

How Much to Eat: Finding Your Caloric Range

This process starts with determining your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This number is how many calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day; the number of calories your body uses just staying alive. Age makes your BMR go down and not eating enough food makes your BMR go down. There are tons of calculators online that you can use, like this one here. For any mathematicians or scientists out there who get off on numbers, here are the actual formulas:

BMR calculation for men (metric)BMR = 66.5 + ( 13.75 x weight in kg ) + ( 5.003 x height in cm ) – ( 6.755 x age in years )
BMR calculation for men (imperial)BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.76 x age in years )
BMR calculation for women (metric)BMR = 655.1 + ( 9.563 x weight in kg ) + ( 1.850 x height in cm ) – ( 4.676 x age in years )
BMR calculation for women (imperial)BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )

As we mentioned, BMR is just what your body burns being at complete rest. Obviously, even really inactive folks do more than just stay in bed all day and night, so you need to add in an "activity factor" to your BMR. You can do that with these numbers: 

Little to no exercise Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.2
Light exercise (1–3 days per week)Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.375
Moderate exercise (3–5 days per week)Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.55
Heavy exercise (6–7 days per week)Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.725
Very heavy exercise (twice per day, extra heavy workouts)Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.9
If you are unsure where you fall with activity factors, go with the lesser one. More often than not, you don't burn as much/aren't as active as you think you are. Once you have your BMR plus activity factor, that's the number of calories you would need to maintain your current weight. If you want to lose weight at a healthy rate of 1 pound per week, you would need to reduce your magic daily number by 500 calories, either by increased exercise or cutting it from your diet/caloric need. 

What To Eat & The Makeup of Your Meals

While how much to eat is just a simple numbers game, what to eat is a wee-bit more complicated. People choose to utilize various nutrition and dietary guidelines: some prefer vegetarian/vegan, paleo, etc. The USDA puts out this as a guideline:

This isn't "horrible" and is certainly better than the old pyramid; BUT - for our nutrition, we'd make a couple tweaks: make the grains much smaller, less dairy (or at least organic, grassfed, hormone-free dairy only) and increase the protein. Unless you have specific dietary guidelines (like vegan and the others we mentioned before), this is definitely a good place to start! 

You should try to have the makeup of your meals the same throughout the day: a good amount of protein, some wholesome carbs (vegetables are the preferred!), and a little bit of healthy fat. 

Timing of What You Eat

Hmmm....tricky. For the lay-person, someone just getting started, or someone just wanting to live a more healthy lifestyle, it can be pretty simple: eat the bulk of your carbs early in the day, eat when you are hungry, and try to have smaller meals more often rather than just one or two humongous meals. Pre and post workout nutrition is also important (Pre: slow digesting, fibrous carbs and lean protein; Post: fast digesting proteins and carbs). Now the reason we say tricky is because this is an area we are still researching ourselves, mostly about the concept of intermittent fasting. More to come on that in the future, but for now, just K.I.S.S. with the basic rules! 

Okay - how ya feelin? Don't get overwhelmed - it really is not that scary! Figure out your caloric intake for either maintaining or losing weight, eat the good stuff, and taper what you eat throughout the day. 

If you are interested in discussing this information on a more individualized level, let us know! We'd be glad to consult with you and develop a plan based around your personal goals and needs. Email: or message us on Facebook!

Part 1 of Nutrition 101 is done! Keep an eye out for Part 2!!

In Health, 

Timothy and Lindsay 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Vega One Nutritional Shake

We love Whole Foods....there is so much amazing yummy goodness in that place....cannot get enough! Going every week typically elicits a response similar to this:

One thing we always do is get a little sample of something we've never tried before. Our bellies *usually* love it, our wallets don't....le sigh :-)

This week's grocery trip was no exception. We picked up Vega One's All-in-One Nutritional Shake samples, one Berry and one Chocolate. Important to note: we've tried Vega's Sport Pre-Workout drink, and oh mylanta was it disgusting!! Gritty, gross, all around nasty. (In our humble opinions, of course!) But, we didn't completely write off the Vega brand based on that we decided to see how the shake samples would go.

You can tell by the information here that the shakes are full of a lot of the good stuff: protein, fiber, digestive enzymes, etc. Neither of us are vegan (must.have.bacon.) but we like that it means this product is dairy, soy, and gluten free (particularly the last two!)


Timothy tried the Chocolate flavor and Lindsay used the Berry flavor sample.
  • For the Berry sample, Lindsay put frozen blueberries and strawberries and Trop 50 Orange Juice and blended to perfection. The taste was good - very berry (like the name suggest) and the OJ gives it an extra punch of sweet/tart. It still had that mildly gritty, aftertaste/residue like their Pre-Workout drink did, which kinda sucked. Overall rating = B+
  • Timothy made the Chocolate sample with frozen blueberries and mango, almond milk, and a sprinkle of PB2. His incredibly poetic description of it was "It was fine; okay, B+" 

According to the website, it is $69.99 (not including S&H) for a tub (assuming it is made to last you 30 days). The flavors are: Berry, Chocolate, Vanilla Chai, and Natural. That being said - we think Shakeology wins this battle, not only nutritionally, but if we're going to spend that much money, we want to LOVE the taste and we want top-of-the-line everything....Shakeology gives us both. Sorry Vega One - but thanks for playing!

In Health,

Lindsay and Timothy

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Breakfast Cookie

Seriously - does anyone get tired of the recipes?? Hope not because we've got another one for you!!

This marvelous creation comes from the beautiful and fun Gina at The Fitnessista! We spend most of our internet time reading health and fitness blogs - there is SO much good stuff out there, seriously....take a look around sometime! And when a recipe like this is found, your eyeballs tell your tummy "MUST. HAVE. NOW"

The Breakfast Cookie is pretty simple, but after Gina posted the creation, it swept the blogsphere! And after having one this morning, we see why.

First, you start out making this the night before....might we suggest when you are preparing/packing your meals for the next day :-)

In a small bowl, add 1/3 cup oats, 1 tbs nut butter of choice, and 1/2 scoop protein powder. We used quick oats, no salt natural peanut butter, and chocolate egg white protein powder. Stir to combine and use the spoon to break up the nut butter until you have a nice crumbly mixture. Actually, your hand combines it much better, if you don't mind a little messiness!

Add 1/8 cup milk of your choice (For us, unsweetened plain almond milk) and mix until fully moistened. Then, pick the mix-ins! You can get creative with this one – banana, raisins, pumpkin, chocolate chips, ground espresso beans, etc. We did dark chocolate chips - duh.

Stir together with some seasoning (Cinnamon and a pinch of stevia was in ours). Plop the mixture onto an appetizer-sized plate and with the back of your spoon, flatten it into a round shape with equal thickness throughout. Put the cookie in the fridge overnight. It will harden slightly from the nut butter and the oats will soften from the milk.Next morning, grab ya a spoon and DIG IN! If you want it to be harder, more like an actual cookie texture, Gina recommends putting it in the freezer for 10 minutes before you eat!

Not really too different than regular oatmeal; however, we found it to be much more moist (guessing from the oats having all night to soak up the almond milk). Next time - might do the freezer trick so we could eat this giant cookie with our paws! YEAH!

This is a good meal to start your day - a lot of fiber and good carbs from the oats, which will keep you full. Also, adding in the cinnamon helps regulate your blood sugar. And lastly, a little bit of protein from the protein powder!

In Health,

Lindsay and Timothy

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Never-Ending Quest That is Explaining Human Behavior

Hi everyone! Lindsay here….

I have no idea why – but I have some of my most profound thoughts and/or realizations while I’m driving. I know I certainly cannot be alone in this – what is it about driving that does this to us? The quiet? The focus? Hmmm....
I had one of these moments the other day, on my way home from work. I was reflecting on a couple different things and they collided. I was thinking about how Timothy and I have been “living the lifestyle” for a few years now, so the negative comments about what/how we eat, our exercise habits, etc. don’t really phase us anymore. But then I got to thinking about a friend who is starting his own journey, and how I was already seeing people react negatively to that person’s changes, and how fragile this person was and could fall back into old ways because of the lack of support.


What the?!?! People react SO positively when someone breaks a habit, like smoking or drinking, or when someone makes a good and much-needed change in their life (leaving a bad relationships, finding a good partner, finding religion, whatever). People say “I’m so proud of you” “Good for you” “That’s amazing.”


When you make the changes to eat clean, to exercise regularly… are most often greeted with negativity. “Oh, don’t invite her to dinner, she’ll only complain about not having any healthy food” “Ugh, I hate working out, why on Earth do you do that?” “You spend WAY too much time caring about what you eat and how often you work out, don’t you ever just relax” 

Seriously……W…T…F. Why would people praise someone for quitting smoking, but berate them for quitting McDonalds? Where is the logic in that? 

I posed my question to Timothy last night, “Why do people do that?” He promptly responded in one word “Jealousy.”

Ok, yeah – I get that. People might not be jealous that you quit smoking, but they could be jealous that giving up Mickey D’s and working out on the regular gave you a healthy body and confidence. But that can’t be the only reason….

Being that I’m a scientist by nature – I began to think of other reasons, besides jealousy.
  • People are uncomfortable with your changes because they are worried you aren’t the same person, at your core, you were before.
  • People are preoccupied with the idea that you might be judging them for engaging in behaviors you have chosen to leave behind (not working out, eating crappy food, etc.). 
  •  Your change intimidates them.
I/We would love to hear about what the rest of you think, your personal experiences, etc. We certainly aren’t the be-all-end-all with regard to ANYTHING, so if you think we are totally backwards on this, let us know!

Also, if you are in the midst of making a life change with your eating and exercising and finding yourself on the receiving end on a lot of this negativity and criticism, reach out to us. Message us on our Facebook page here or email us at have been there, hell – we STILL hear all this non-sense, and we can help you find ways to deal with it (or my personal favorite – just remove those people from your life! :-)Clean house, baby!!)

Well – that was a bit of a heavy post….to lighten things up, some Pinterest faves.

 In Health,