The Ola Ka Ola Fitness Community Facebook Group is celebrating National Nutrition Month! Celebrated each year during the month of March, the National Nutrition Month campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and physical activity habits. For this reason, we asked our fitness instructors to provide us with the best nutrition tips they've ever received.
Protein - A Game-Changer Anyone who has ever experienced taking one of my classes will know that I always stress the importance of protein. About 10 years ago, I didn’t realize the importance of protein and what a game-changer it really is. I would go to the gym and work out with a friend of mine, and every night she stopped at the front desk of the gym and ordered a protein drink. I would never order one. Why? Because I felt that it was extra calories that I didn’t need after just burning so many lifting weights. As the months went by, she was seeing amazing results. Her abs were cut, and her arms were so sculpted. I was seeing results, but not nearly as much as her. I started counting macros (carbs, fat, and protein) a few years after that and upped my protein a lot. I started eating a gram of protein for every pound that I wanted my body weight to be. So, for example, if I wanted to weigh 125 pounds, I ate 125 grams of protein. This is when I started to see true results from all of the hard work I did at the gym. I let my carbs and fat fall wherever they fall, but I always keep an eye on my protein. I make sure that every single day I get that 125 grams or more of protein. I do keep an eye on my calories during the week too, and try to stay within a certain amount for me. On the weekends I do splurge, but I still hit my protein goals. By doing this, I changed my body composition along with lifting weights daily. If you want to make it simple try to hit your calorie and protein needs before anything else, and you’d be amazed at how your body responds and changes. This is exactly what I do, and I have seen amazing results. I just wish I did it sooner than later. (Aggy Sapienza)
Healthy Snacks Need ideas for healthy snacks between meals? I tend to reach for almonds (plain) and dark chocolate. I also recommend fresh cut-up veggies with hummus (homemade), or an apple. Are you a dipper? then try plain fat Greek yogurt or natural peanut butter with your veggies or fresh fruit. Having a snack will provide the energy you need between meals, or before your workout. These healthy choices will also prevent you from overeating at mealtime. (Lisa Wellington) Bananas Though high in calories, bananas are a great flat belly fruit. They are rich in healthy fibers that help curb appetite and make the body burn fat. One to two bananas per day is considered a moderate intake for most healthy people. But, it's best to avoid eating bananas for dinner, or after dinner. It may lead to mucus formation and indigestion. Have a banana before workouts to get some energy, but never at night. They are high on potassium, so they help in lowering blood pressure as well and should be consumed without any fear of gaining weight. **HOT TIP: The biggest risk from a banana peel might really be slipping on it. Banana peels are not poisonous. In fact, they're edible. They contain high amounts of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium. They also contain some fiber and protein. Personally, I have a banana a day usually in the morning, and love it! (Ada Luz Coonerty-Vazquez)
Avoid The White Poisons It is simple to understand. It is easy to remember. It's possible to carry out. it's about the white poisons in nutrition. Substances that we all call food, but in reality can be harmful - I am talking about sugar, white flour, salt, and milk. Here is the rule: 1. Avoid white sugar and white flour. 2. Limit intake of salt and milk. The best part of this tip is that you can find replacements for all 4 substances almost everywhere. Try other, natural sweeteners like stevia, honey, or maple syrup. Substitute white flour with non-processed wheat flour. Use natural sea salt and spices instead of the salt sold in most supermarkets. Choose your favorite non-dairy milk, there are plenty and delicious out there. (Sabrina Marr) Water! We can't finish without the liquid of life. We all know the importance of drinking water, but did you know that you need to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces, and add more when you exercise? According to the organizers of the National Nutrition Month, small changes can lead to significant improvements in our health. If you wish to celebrate with us and explore the different recipes that will be offered during the month of March, join our Facebook group HERE