Which protein powder is best for you and your goals? Find out now!

protein

Protein is one of the most important nutrient sources for building and recovering lean muscle. In order to build lean muscle you have to supply your body with enough protein throughout the day. Protein is made up of amino acids which happen to be the building blocks of your muscles and body! There are many different brands and types of protein supplements on the market today making it difficult and confusing for beginners. Below is a list of some of the most popular proteins and what they can offer you.

Find out which protein is right for you and your fitness goals!

  1. Hydrolysate Protein
  • Most expensive protein you will find on the shelves
  • Highest quality protein
  • It is easily absorbed by the body and is easy- going on the stomach.
  • This protein would be great for people with stomach sensitivity.
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout
  1. Whey Isolate
  • Not the most expensive, but still quite pricey.
  • One of the quickest absorbing proteins on the market
  • Great for low carb diets; very low/if any carbs or sugars.
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout
  1. Whey Concentrate
  • Least expensive protein
  • One of the most basic forms of protein
  • Great for those of you who are just being introduced to protein supplementation/beginners
  • Some people will find that this protein source is not easily digested and may leave you feeling gassy and bloated.
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout; as a snack during the day; not a preferred source at night.
  1. Casein Protein
  • Slow digesting protein; takes about 5 – 7 hours to fully digest
  • Can be used as a meal replacement to stay full throughout the day
  • A preferred source at night before bed
  • Your body enters a state of starvation while you sleep. Casein protein allows your body to absorb and utilize the nutrients throughout the night avoiding this period of starvation.
  1. Milk Protein Isolate
  • Contain both casein and whey
  • Used mostly in blended protein sources
  • Not a preferred source to be used at night
  1. Soy Protein
  • Great vegetarian source
  • Contains many beneficial nutrients like glutamine (aids in recovery), arginine (helps dilate blood vessels to help with absorption of nutrients into the muscles), and BCAA’s (aids in recovery).
  • Helps support healthy cholesterol levels
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout or anytime throughout the day
  • Not a preferred source to be used at night
  1. Tri-Blend Protein
  • A tri-blend consists of three different sources of protein.
  • Clinical Sports Labs offers an ultra premium time released protein that blends together whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and milk protein concentrate (60:40 ratio whey protein to milk protein).
  • Studies have shown that proteins blended with this ratio allow for greater results than just whey protein alone.
  • Most other proteins allow for digestion and absorption for only about an hour or so after consumption.
  • Clinical Protein by CSL offers slow absorbing and fast absorbing proteins that allow the body to take in nutrients over the course of about 3.5 hours!

3-protein-powders

Seeing as how protein plays such a huge role in building lean muscle, getting the right amount of it is important. If your diet and lifestyle don’t allow you to consume the amount of protein you need, you might want to look into supplementing with protein shakes. They are a quick and easy way you get the nutrients you need while living your active lifestyle.

I am a huge fan of supplementing with protein because I work long hours and may go periods of time without eating. This makes it difficult to get the nutrients my body needs for recovery through my diet alone. It’s easier and time efficient to put water and protein in a shaker bottle, shake it and drink. Boom! Instant protein.

Not sure what brand to start with? Check out Clinical Sports Labs’ ultra premium tri-blend clinical protein!

http://clinicalsportslabs.com/product/clinical-protein-chocolate-milk-delight/

-mk

Does fitness have a positive or negative impact on your relationship?

I am putting together some ideas for a future blog post and I need YOUR help. I have actually seen a couple posts about relationships and fitness but I really wanted to find out for myself from all of you!

Here is my question:

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  • Does health and/or fitness have a positive or negative impact on your relationship? Whether it is yes or no, can you explain why?

Fitness and health play huge roles in my relationship. My boyfriend Joey trains in Jiu Jitsu about 4 – 5 days a week. I weight-lift about the same amount of days. We both encourage and motivate each-other to work hard doing what we enjoy. He is okay with the time I take to weight-lift and I am okay with the time he takes to train. Two people in a relationship should be able to take time to do what they enjoy even if it involves being apart. Don’t get me wrong we workout together too! 😉

Please comment and leave me your thoughts and opinions. Your comments will help me write my next blog post on Fitness and how it impacts relationships!

-mk

Diet or Exercise – Which one is more important? – Part. 2

Dieting-vs.-Exercising-Which-Works-More-For-Weight-Loss

Not only is nutrition vital in living a healthy lifestyle but so is exercise. Exercise should be as much of a necessity as good nutrition for many reasons. One of the most important is that it helps to treat and prevent bone diseases like Osteoporosis.

Exercise also helps build and improve:

  • Muscle strength
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Overall health

Exercise is my absolute favorite part of my day! It’s all I think about when I am at work all the way up until I walk through my gym’s doors. But not everyone enjoys exercise like I do. Below are a few statistics I found on www.fitness.gov about Americans and exercise:

  • Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
  • More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.
  • Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, video games, computer).

http://www.fitness.gov/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/

I don’t know about you, but I am appalled! I am pretty sure I scared my mother with the sound my jaw made when it hit the ground (okay, not really, but it was a pretty good visual!) I can and can’t believe the percentage of adults that participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day: 5%! That’s it?!

Did you know that by participating in 30 minutes of cardio vascular training and weightlifting you can:

  • Help prevent heart disease and stroke, the #1 and #5 killer of Americans.
  • Achieve greater peak bone mass
    • Bone is living tissue, like muscle, that gets stronger as a result of being put under pressure. Bone mass typically peaks in the third decade of life. After this time, bone deteriorates
    • The best exercise for building strong bones is the weight-bearing kind (i.e. weight lifting, hiking, jogging, tennis, and dancing). Swimming and bicycling are not weight-bearing forms of exercise although they are great for cardiovascular training.
    • Improve balance, coordination, and muscle strength.

Remember: always consult your doctor before starting any form of training, especially if you have high blood pressure, heart issues, diabetes or obesity.

A great example as to why diet and exercise go hand in hand is bone diseases like Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the deterioration of the bones where they become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium and vitamin D. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help prevent and/or manage osteoporosis. Also, regular physical activity strengthens the bone as a result of being put under pressure (weight bearing exercise).

Nutrition alone cannot help prevent and manage bone disease and vice versa. Both exercise and nutrition are needed. Physically active people hold calcium in their bones, while sedentary people tend to lose calcium. Weight bearing exercises are recommended for people at any age.

As you can see both exercise and nutrition are needed to successfully help prevent and manage not only Osteoporosis but your over-all health.

Now that you know why you should exercise, maybe you don’t know where to start. Below are some recommendations I came up with to help you get started:

  • Join a gym: A sense of community can be very motivating.
  • Get an accountability partner: It’s easier to stay motivated when you are held accountable.
  • Do your own research: There are various kinds of exercise tutorials all over the internet. Check out bodybuilding.com, you-tube, and instagram for help with learning new exercises or diet tips.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/training.html

https://www.youtube.com/

https://instagram.com/fitlife.mk/

  • Begin with a personal trainer. Personal trainers can be a huge help or can be a huge disaster. Be picky in choosing who you work with, and trust your gut. If you are not comfortable with the way he/she trains, ask for someone else. Do not ever put your well being on the line. You can learn a lot from personal trainers. If you start out training with a personal trainer for a few months, chances are you will learn some knowledge that will give a foundation to build upon and get you started on your own. For example, I started training with my brother. He was certified at the time and knew much more than I did. That was three years ago. Now, I workout on my own. I do my own research and put together my own workouts.
  • Utilize Technology: we live in a very technologically advanced world. Apps like MyFitnessPal can help you track nutrition and exercise. You can also use fitness bracelets like FitBit. The only warning I give with utilizing apps and bracelets is that they should not be the sole form of tracking your physical activity/nutrition. They should be supplemental, or used along with tracking your fitness manually. They are not 100% accurate and are likely to malfunction at any time (psh, technology, right?).
  • Keep a fitness journal: This was another thing I used to get started in fitness. All you need is a blank notebook and a pen. Jot down the date and what muscle group you are training. Underneath this you simply write down the exercises you want to do along with how many sets and repetitions. Also, write down the weight you did for each exercise. The reason for this is so that you have something you can refer back to in the future. In order to get stronger you have to move up in weight. Having a visual record helps you judge how much to bump up your weight.

Below is an example of how you would write out your routine:

6/9/15 – Back and Bis

  1. Lat Pull Down – 10 x 4 (10 repetitions for 4 sets) – 50lbs (the weight you used)
  2. Barbell Row – 10 x 4 – 45lbs
  3. Close Grip Row – 10 x 4 – 40lbs
  4. Pull-ups – 10 x 4 – body weight

Nutrition and exercise are vital to living a healthy lifestyle. I truly believe you cannot have one without the other unless you are a person with disabilities that hinder you from participating in physical exercise like people who are paralyzed. In this situation, nutrition would be most important.

If living a healthy lifestyle is a goal of yours or if you are looking to turn your life around only YOU can make that decision. Only YOU can take that first step. No one is going to do it for you. It will be hard, it will be frustrating. You will have days where you want to give up, but guess what? You will have many more days of feeling successful; Days where the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it. The overwhelming feeling of accomplishment truly trumps the feeling of failure.

It’s time to make your move towards living a healthy life!

Follow my blog to help inspire and motivate you towards living a FitLife.

-mk

What does fitness and exercise do for you?

What does fitness and exercise do for you? Does it provide a place of solitude from our less than perfect world? Has it taught you how to self motivate and have discipline in all areas of your life? Fitness has changed me as a person in more ways than I can count.

In the beginning it was all about looking good, am I right? I mean, there are always those problem areas everyone suffers with or so WE think. We want to get in the gym and fix them. Now, when I go to the gym I am constantly working on molding my body, building my muscles to look how I want them to look. I am also working on myself inwardly, teaching myself patience with my body in the gym and with my life outside of the gym.. You see, in the beginning looking good was largely about my presentation to the world. How does the world view me? Do they like what they see? Those thoughts consumed my mind as I was growing up. I think that is pretty much the “norm” for any teenager growing up in a superficial world.

Point blank: that doesn’t matter. Yes fitness and exercise is all about changing your appearance but, it should be deeper than that. You shouldn’t be working solely on your appearance you should be working on who you are as a person; growing stronger not only physically but mentally as well. Think about Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nicole Wilkins, or Ashley Kaltwasser… they all train day in and day out not only in the gym but outside of the gym as well. They have to maintain the highest level of self-control, self motivation, discipline, persistence, and determination to make it to where they are now. Those are characteristics that fitness and exercise has taught me.

I have learned self-control with my diet and have learned to listen to my body when it needs something like any nutrients I may be missing or craving. I listen to my “junk” cravings and control them as well. When I first started analyzing my diet and meal prepping it was hard, stressful, and frustrating. Now, it is like second nature. I cannot have a balanced day without the meals I prep OR without the exercise my body craves.

Self motivation is one of the most difficult characteristics for any person to learn. We can all find motivation through someone who is successful and who can offer wise words of wisdom because they have been where we are now, at the bottom. It takes a very strong person to get up in the morning and go to the gym because they know the goals they have set forth for themselves and they know that they want it more than they want to breathe. That is self motivation. You are motivated by what you want and not by what you see others have achieved.

Discipline, persistence, and determination I place in the same sort of category. I feel each of these characteristics are links in a chain. Without one or the other, there would be a missing link and an incomplete chain.

“It takes true determination to be persistent enough to learn the discipline it takes to achieve your goals.” – Me 🙂

Make sense?

Dig down deep and find your determination.

Be persistent and don’t give up.

Discipline yourself, don’t show up and do less than your best, ALWAYS work hard and success will follow.

I may not be where I want to be, but I am closer than I was yesterday.

M.

“Abs are made in the kitchen”

How many times have you heard the saying,” Abs are made in the kitchen”? I know I have heard it many times and I see it all over Instagram! It is honestly one of the truest sayings out there. No matter how hard you workout in the gym you cannot out-train a bad diet. It catches up to you eventually.

Over the past year I have been experimenting with meal prepping. I always do my best to prepare nutritious food to eat during the week when I am at my busiest. I tend to keep my meal preps very basic and I add small ingredients here and there to spice it up a bit before I eat. I always choose the following to prep:

  • Lean protein choice: chicken, salmon, turkey
    • Lean protein helps repair muscle tissue and aids in muscle growth. It also helps with the development of skin, hair, and nails.
    • Check out the following link for more information on specific protein sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/91587-four-major-sources-protein/

  • healthy carbohydrate: sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa,couscous, vegetables,etc.
    • Carbs are your body’s energy source; think of it as fuel to the fire. One of the most common misconceptions is that “carbohydrates make you fat”, this is just simply not an accurate statement! Think about it, too much of any food even healthy can cause weight gain. Carbohydrates can help you lose weight and help promote healthy weight loss. Moderation is key.
    • Check out the link below for six reasons why you should eat carbohydrates!:

http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/6_reasons_you_should_be_eating_carbs?page=3

  • Vegetables (a complex carb):I choose dark leafy green veggies like spinach, kale, or field greens. I also eat a lot of broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and asparagus. Even though vegetables are technically carbs because they have carbs, they still provide important vitamins and minerals that other carbs like brown rice or sweet potato may not provide.
    • Dark green, leafy vegetables are excellent source of fiber, folate, and carotenoids. They contain important vitamins and minerals that act as antioxidants in the body. Visit the link below for further information on how to choose these vegetables and how to store and prepare them:

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/fcs3/fcs3567/fcs3567.pdf

  •  Fat: I choose cooking oils such as olive oil or vegetable oil and I choose foods high in healthy fats like almonds, almond butter, avocados, etc.
    • Despite its name, fats are very important when it comes to a healthy diet. Fats are very important for energy and provide storage spots for your body’s energy. It also helps transport vitamin a, d, e, and k throughout your bloodstream and helps absorb them into your body.
    • Visit the link below for more information on fat and it’s functions in the body:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/43948-fats-important-diet/

mealprep

The picture above is from my meal prep today 🙂 I cooked quinoa for the first time. It came out bland. I am going to research some recipes to help season it up a bit. If anyone has any recipes you would like to share with me that would be so very helpful!

I also chose to cook broccoli because it is one of the easiest veggies to cook and one of my favorites!

For my protein source I almost always go with chicken. I add garlic powder, black pepper and this time I added a European Basil blend. It came out absolutely delicious and I did not need to add any salt. 🙂 I like bland/earthy flavors so you can obviously season your chicken with anything you prefer!

A couple of great low sodium or zero sodium options are:

  1. Mrs. Dash: you can get this seasoning at your local grocery store
  2. Flavor God: http://flavorgod.com/

Meal prepping doesn’t only have to be for the person who is a body builder or woman/man who is prepping for a show. Meal prepping can be applied to anyone’s weekly routine! It helps to have that food readily available when you’re tight on time. It is already prepared and cooked, just heat it up and chow down!

Happy Prepping!

M.