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Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog

  • Some Sneaky Bad Foods To Avoid..and some good ones too.

    By Captain Vitalyte

    It seems the health trend is here to stay (shock gasp) and while I think we've made some pretty solid strides toward educating the American public at large...we still have a long way to go. Recently, laws passed requiring restaurants and fast food joints to post the calorie counts in plain view. While I was both excited and disgusted by the reality of the food on those boards, most people were visibly upset. This boggled my mind and was further proof of the massive blinders that evolve over people's eyes. Wouldn't you want to know that the Blueberry Banana Bran muffin has 200 more calories than the large slice of lemon cake? I would. There's nothing worse than making what you consider to be a consciously healthy food decision only to find out you did the exact opposite. You would think people would want to know...and I hope you do because I found some sneaky unhealthy super market foods that you might want to think twice about.

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    1. Marie Callendar's Chicken Pot Pie -  while you might glance at the nutrition information and see that it's 520 calories and 800 mg of sodium...which is high anyway...look again...that serving size is HALF the pie. The whole thing is 1,040 calories, 22 grams of saturated fat (more than a day’s worth), and 1,600 mg of sodium (an entire day’s worth). Yea..think twice.

    2. Fostering the Fat. Sorry that might be blunt but come on Olive Garden. Their Tour of Italy special includes lasagna, chicken parm and, you guessed it, fettuccine alfredo capping off at 1,450 kcal in addition to dressed salad for 350kcal and finally 1 breadstick for 150kcal. That meal is yea..more than your daily 2,000 and a ridiculous amount of sodium. Gross.

    3. Chipotle Chicken Burrito. I'm actually really upset about this and still don't really understand. Beans are good for you. Chicken is good for you. Lettuce, tomato and avocado (in moderation) are good for you. Heck, cheese is even good for you in small doses. I know this burrito is big but 970 calories and 2,200 mg of sodium?? How is that even possible? What did they bathe the bird in grease? Well it is and I'm bummed about it... maybe it's because McDonalds owns them. Better option? Burrito bowl, no cheese, no sour cream and even then...it's not great.

    4. Just don't get it. Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake at the Cheesecake Factory. It has 1,670 calories and nearly 3 days of sat fat. Just don't.

    5. Again. Just don't. Cold Stone's Gotta Have It Oh Fudge! Shake tops off at 1,920 calories. For perspective... eat 2 16oz steaks and a buttered baked potato instead.

    6. Granola. I'll say it, it tastes amazing but for a food so high in calories...it really should wear a disclaimer. Without the milk, 1 cup can quickly ad up to over 640 calories...and that's no health food if you ask me.

    I think I've grossed you all out enough for one day but take the time to read next time you're out. You might think twice about ordering the chicken burrito over the chicken salad if there's a 500 calorie difference...just a thought. We'll close this off with some healthy foods in which you can indulge.

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    1. Sweet Potatoes- a versatile food to say the least. From Thanksgiving to Summer- these puppies can be baked, grilled, steamed, you name it. Rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium and fiber, you could even cut them in the shape of fries, bake with some light olive oil and pepper and enjoy.

    2. Mangoes- are rich in Vit C, A, Potassium and Fiber. Eat plain, with yogurt, in sushi or even frozen!

    3. Wild Salmon - shocking. You've heard it for years but it's still true. Salmon is a super food, chalk full of omega 3s and other awesomeness. Eat it. Eat if often.

    4. Garbanzo beans - here's one I didn't know but I'm glad about it. Throw these into salads, quinoa, currys, soups, you name it. They're high in protein, fiber and iron to name a few.

    5. Butternut Squash - steam, slice, bbq, bake, even put it on pizza, this squash is an awesome squash. Full of vitamin A and C in addition to fiber, they're sold cubed at almost all grocery stores for your convenience. Bake with pepper and a little olive oil and you'll be set to go!

    6. Broccoli- this classic vegetable is full of awesome from vitamin C and carotenoids to folic acid. Eat it steamed to keep max nutrients and top with a dash of lemon or red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

    That's all for now folks. You know what to do.

  • Quinoa. Superfood Extraordinaire.

    By Captain Vitalyte

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    I like to think of myself as a pretty healthy eater. I bring my lunch to work, stray away from fast food, try to think of food as fuel for my body.. you get the gist. Everyone talked about Quinoa and I've been feeling left out in that I don't cook it. Sure, I eat it; I actually really like it, but something in me has made me nervous about making it. Well, nervous no more...I'm going to do it. Before I do though, here are some fun facts and recipes I've found in preparation for my Quino-a-dventure.

    In the words of the Wiki, Quinoa is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

    Now that you know that integral nugget of knowledge, I'm excited to report that Quinoa can be consumed at all times of the day in many shapes, flavors and forms. That said, here's a great breakfast Quinoa recipe where you cook the quinoa in apple juice and milk, gradually stirring in cinnamon and dried fruit, topped off with yogurt. Sounds like a super food to me.

    If you're looking for a side dish or salad or even a bed upon which your main dish can perch, here's a red quinoa with spring herb tabuleh recipe that is a whopping $1.25 per serving (a solid perk). Another one I found is a lovely fruity, summery twist called the Superfood Salad complete with strawberries and blueberries, sunflower seeds and beets..now you know why it's called superfood. Finally one that might very well be my first project is a summery quinoa salad with summer squash and black beans. Until my cooking challenge comes to fruition...enjoy the aforementioned ways to rock your quinoa right.

  • My Story Back to Good Health... by Bill Lightner

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    After leaving our Desert home temporarily in 1997 due to poor economy/work, spending 4 years in Missouri (misery, no disrespect to Missourians, just a city boy in the country) and 2 years in So. Florida, we finally made it back to our Desert home where we belong. While away and during the first 3-1/2 years back home, I had been doing a lot of traveling, sitting in a plane or car, entertaining clients, eating out a lot and just generally “porking it up”!! The tennis a couple times a week with my wife just wasn’t cutting it for enough exercise!

    Of course I was in denial about my weight gain……….."No honey, I’m just retaining some water! It’ll go away”, LOL!!! Then I started going to the Doctor for physicals……. I was told that while I wasn't terribly overweight and could stand to lose a few pounds, my cholesterol and triglycerides were dangerously off the charts!!! Although I don’t like taking medication, I was placed on cholesterol reduction medicine. When I asked what I needed to do to avoid being on medication for the rest of my life, the Doctor told me to lose about 10lbs, start exercising more and to change my diet. I thought, “Gosh, what do I do? Work is so demanding and I love to eat……!”

    My sister-in-law and her husband are personal fitness trainers and are into cycling big time. With their encouragement I thought I’d get back on my 20 year old Schwinn and see how it goes. Well, after nine months of riding by myself and building up the mileage on the bike, I went out a purchased a new, 'real', light weight, carbon fiber bike. I finally felt that I could attempt riding with the local Bicycle Club without embarrassing myself. Wow, what a RUSH that was!! I started out slowly and in the back of the pack until I learned what I was doing and slowly got used to riding in a large group. I quickly found that it was GREAT!! I had been bitten by the “cycling bug”!

    Now, almost 5 years later, I continue to ride 4 times a week, booking 150 to 175 miles a week (other than my long distance challenges….blog to come), play tennis with my beautiful wife (though while I’m moving way better on court, she’s still kicking my butt!) and walk 1.5 to 4 miles 5 to 6 nights a week.

    I’m reaching the ½ century mark this month (turning 50 years old) and I’m proud to say that I’m 35 to 40 pounds lighter. I have reduced my medication to every-other day (in the process of things, I found out that the cholesterol thing is also hereditary. That means the best I can hope for on the medication is every-other day), my cholesterol and triglycerides are well within the proper range, and my resting heart rate is down to about 50bpm! The Doctor said if my heart rate went down anymore, I’d be dead, LOL! I also altered my diet a bit without hurting my love to eat and I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel. It’s truly an AWESOME feeling!!! I feel like I’m finally ready for the second half of life!! Who wants to join me?? It’ll be a great ride, I promise!!

  • Welcome Brand Ambasadors!

    By Captain Vitalyte

    I'd like to extend a warm welcome to our first batch of Brand Ambassadors: Bill Lightner and Jenna Novotny! The applications were numerous, the competition was fierce but these two rockstars shone bright and brilliant and we're proud to have them as part of a the Vitalyte team. Their bios are in progress so I won't spoil all of their surprises but here's a bit about them.

    Jenna is a San Diego native who is currently loving the Grape Vitalyte Flavor. She's into marathon running, triathlons, swimming, biking, tennis, yoga, standup paddleboarding, volleyball, soccer, rock climbing..long story short, this lady is active. She longs to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, is lactose intolerant and says, "If running shoes and workout clothes were appropriate attire for every occasion I would be a happy girl." Finally, she loves to chat, in person and online, so you should definitely follow her on twitter @runjrun screen-shot-2011-06-30-at-100153-am

    Bill is a cycling junkie from Palm Desert who just got his Triple Crown, which is a huge deal. He, like Jenna, is loving Grape Vitalyte and said pasta is his go-to meal the night before a race. He says he doesn't feel his age and he certainly doesn't look it at 50 years young. He rediscovered cycling 4 years ago and hasn't looked back. He says, "the bike and the road, really help to clear my mind" and he's also very involved in his local biking club, The Desert Bicycle Club. screen-shot-2011-06-30-at-100311-am

    Stay tuned for their profile pages, blog posts and more - and congratulations to our Vitalyte Brand Ambassadors again!

  • Ice Baths & Cheeseburgers by Milena Glusac

    By Milena Glusac

    I saw the return of irritable Milena today. I used to know her well. Usually she only appeared after a hard day of training back in the day when she was running 90 miles a week ice_bath2_smpreparing for a marathon. I used to deal with her by having her take an ice bath to cool off the burning muscles, eat and then crash in bed for a few hours. Usually that did the trick.

    Well this time irritable Milena is working and has other responsibilities so time isn’t as bountiful as it used to be. Ten years ago the old trick might have worked but it is dated and irrelevant to the life I lead today.

    Yep, today instead of relying on the archaic methods of 2001, I centered myself by taking my dogs, Parker and Mala, for a walk in the beautiful summer weather, rocked out to Rhianna in my car and then thoroughly enjoyed a cheeseburger that was strategically followed with a slice of cheesecake. Let me just say I am enjoying Milena of 2011 and I am enjoying my training a lot more.

  • RAISING A GLASS...I MEAN VITALYTE WATER BOTTLE, TO THE PRE-RACE ROUTINE

    By Jenna Novotny, Brand Ambassador

    So here I am, Friday morning, two days out from race day. I will be racing in the San Diego International Triathlon -and it's on Sunday. The miles have been logged, the ice baths endured, the neapolitan tan fashionably sported (neapolitan tan is what happens when you wear 2-3 different length bike shorts on separate rides and wind up with a progressive tan up your thigh- hot) and now it’s time to think about my pre-race routine. Every athlete takes a different approach to the pre-race routine; and some can take years refining what works best for them. And just as I tell every friend venturing into their first competitive race, I will once again emphasize that what “works best” is different for everyone. I have a good friend who literally eats a pint of Hagen Daz the night before her longer distance races. Now me personally, even if I wasn’t lactose intolerant, that much dairy pre-race would probably have me spending more time in the porta potty than on the road. But I digress...

    My pre-race routine typically starts two days before a race. I start to taper my workout routine and spend some extra time using my foam roller and stick to working out my tight muscles. I personally do not like to work out the day before a race aside from some active stretching; and I will do a short, easy run and bike two days out.

    For nutrition I start making sure I’m drinking more fluids than usual two days out. When I first started racing, I wasn’t very good at monitoring how much I was drinking.  I would count out how many 12oz water bottles I wanted to drink throughout the day and take them to work with me to make sure I drank them all. Now that I’ve gotten better, I can be greener and continually fill up my water bottle at work and add my only electrolyte replacement drink, Vitalyte, which is conveniently stored in my drawer. After competing in a good amount of half marathons and triathlons I noticed two post-race symptoms that I consistently experience. I either get a splitting headache (alluding to dehydration) or my stomach would get the gurgles and I would be running to the bathroom the rest of the day (meaning I didn’t have enough sodium to retain the water I was drinking, and instead the water was flushing out of me). I have practiced Bikram yoga for 4 years, so I sweat A LOT while exercising. So I need to remember that because I sweat more, I need to replenish more. You don’t just lose water when you sweat, so why would you only replenish with water? Drinking Vitalyte before a race has really helped me in two ways – 1) It tastes great so it’s easier to drink my goal amount of fluids, and 2) it provides the perfect amount of minerals and sodium so I’m not suffering after a race.

    And with that (raising my Fruit Punch Vitalyte filled water bottle) here is to race day; I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Jenna

  • Metabolic Effect...Crushing It

    Brought to you by Captain Vitalyte screen-shot-2011-06-22-at-24021-pm

    I was first introduced to Metabolic Effect nearly a year ago and loved it. After a near 6 month hiatus due to life and location, I took it up again on Tuesday evening. It's now Friday and I'm finally less sore but happy to report that I missed it terribly and as such, want to share the wonder with you all.

    Workout stereotypes run a muck in the fitness world. From girls not lifting weights for fear of getting bulky and preconceived time expenditure expectations, to yoga being a waste of time and the shake weight as the answer to your mid sections troubles, there's a lot of information out there. How do you know what the best approach is to get out of your workout rut? Good question. I found my answer in the new mindset that lies at the core of Metabolic Effect.

    According to the Metabolic Effect website,

    The Science behind the Metabolic Effect (ME) incorporates the latest understanding in endocrinology, health, fitness, strength and conditioning research. ME is a science-based program focused on changing the fat-burning hormonal response to exercise and diet. By changing hormones, rather than simply eating less or exercising more, the body naturally regulates fat burning, appetite, and mood so that motivation for exercise is enhanced while cravings for food are reduced.

    In a nut shell, this 30 minute workout is designed to inspire you to work so hard that you physically need to take a break. All you need are: dumbbells, a matt, some motivation and you're set. Nicole Pizzi, ME trainer, fell in love with the workout and is now a full time trainer. Metabolic Effect challenges you to work harder than you think you can and the results are clear. Work your face off for 30 minutes including warm up and cool down with breaks only when you absolutely need them and kick your metabolism into high gear. Trainers encourage students to drink plenty of water, consume lots of protein and vegetables and to stray away from sugar and alcohol for 48 hours. Why you ask? Toxins like the aforementioned only slow down the effects of ME and once you work that hard, who would want to hinder the results?

    With moves like squats, pushups, burpees, bicep curls, chest presses, the list goes on...this workout is no joke. What I found is that the gym can become hum drum, if you will. Running, spinning, biking etc can all lose their spark - oft times, you stop pushing yourself and fall aimlessly into monotony - sending you deep into a workout rut. This kicks the rut right out from under you, making your body work harder than it ever has. It's short time period makes it okay for you to push because the minutes go fast and it's over before you realize how much butt you've kicked. That's my kind of workout. Add on an accelerated metabolism for 48 hours? Sign me up.

    Keep an eye out for ME (Metabolic Effect) near you and give it a shot! Side note, I took tri phase endurance, the ultimate endurance drink before tackling this beast and felt awesome throughout the 30 super intense minutes. More info to come about ME as they open their own studio in Bird Rock, CA in a few months.

  • I'm Milena Glusac & I'm Back in Action

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    In about an hour I will head out for my run. Simple, average maybe even boring statement...until you know the backstory. See it’s been five months since I have been able to run and prior to that it’s been a decade of illness, personal strife and clawing myself back into the light. Between the several years of spending most of my days bedridden due to a genetic disease, financial hardship due to my health condition, a failed business and the demise of my family unit, life was challenging to say the least. Ironically, it was my belief that one day I would get healthy and be able to return to competitive athletics that kept me from wallowing in a well of depression and self-pity that I could have easily fallen victim to. I had once been one of the top-ranked distance runners in the world and I was determined to step back on the podium again!

    So here I am and yep my BFF has been the eliptical trainer at World Gym in Pacific Beach, CA. We’ve had our ups and downs just as any relationship does. You know how it goes, “I’m so dedicated to you I will be here faithfully,” and of course the explanations “Well it was a holiday weekend so I had to take a little time away,” and who can leave out the “A little time apart will do us some good.” But all in all I spent an average of four days a week with my cross-training partner. Just 30 minutes a time to maintain my fitness (ummm....really my sanity because honestly who the hell can stand looking at those little flashing lights 27:12, 27:11, 27:10 for more than a half hour at a time before cocktail hour can’t come fast enough and you are using all your strength to prevent yourself from bludgeoning the guy next to you who insists on blurting out loud every word to Lady GaGa’s Born This Way!)

    Yes I am VERY happy to be back on the roads!

    I was, to say the least, a little sore the day after my first run. Yep walking down stairs was amusing but I thought things would be a little more trying than they were. I attribute my mini-victory to two things...

    1) I used the five months to gather myself in all aspects of my life-emotional, physical, mental, financial...yep I cleaned house and over-hauled. Anything that wasn’t serving my higher good went out the window and I made room for the good things that were already in my life but were being suffocated by the lack of space.

    2) Vitalyte-I faithfully used my electrolytes replacement drink, Tri-Phase endurance before my workouts and during and when it came time to hit the ground running again I had maintained my fitness and my body had a chance to recover. Honestly, those first few days back would’ve been a nightmare of epic proportion if it hadn’t been for Tri-Phase...I wasn’t crying or up pacing in the night due to lactic acid overload and muscle fatigue.

    So as I get ready to head out down Harbor Drive for a little 40 minute run I think about how far I have come, in just a week and a half I am up to a 5.5 mile run. Hmmm, maybe there is something to this recovery thing after all. My mind, body and emotional self are less attached to what I can do physically and my priority lies on my entire self. It’s a lifestyle.

    Follow my journey back to competitive running and join me in creating a healthy lifestyle. It’s what Vitalyte is all about, it’s what I’m all about and it’s about what’s best for you.

  • Milena Glusac signed by Vitalyte.

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    Milena Glusac, California native and recent inductee to the CIF Top 50 athletes of all time Hall of Fame, has been hired to manage sales and promotional events for the Southern California region. In addition, Milena will also be a large part of Vitalyte’s social media campaign with her weekly blogs about her road back to competitive running. “We are truly excited to Milena as part of the Vitalyte family. Her passion for sports and commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle make her a perfect fit. We look forward to being a part of journey back to competitive running” says Evan DeMarco, CEO of Vitalyte

  • Pilates Perks

    I'll say it. I'm a yogi -  not a Pilates Person-  but recently, this hype around "the other core workout" has gotten me curious. I just went through yoga teacher training while a good friend of mine went through Pilates Plus instructor training and all this talk of reformers, rings and the infamous hundreds has inspired me to do some digging. So here we are to uncover the truth about this workout people swear by, from one Pilates virgin to another.

    Again, to preface, I know nothing about Pilates so forgive me if I post incorrectly. I thought it might be interesting though to take you with me along my journey as I research, then actually do Pilates, and then report my findings.

    And so it starts: What is Pilates?

    Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movement.

    What kinds of Pilates are there?

    As it turns out, all Pilates forms derive from the form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates, who passed away over 40 years ago and only now is reaching his height of fame. I also found out that there are SO many types of Pilates. After doing my research I still don't know what kind uses the reformer, the rings etc but there is Classical Pilates (recommended to start), Winsor Pilates (remember those infomercials back in the day?), Stott Pilates, Power Pilates, the list goes on. There's also Yogalattes, which they offer at my studio so I'll blog about that soon.

    The long and the short of this ambiguous blog post is that there's a lot of Pilates out there and I'm going to uncover this mystery...even if it means I force my Pilates instructor friend Kristen to guest blog. Until next time.

    Captain Vitalyte

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