Thursday, September 3, 2015

around the web 090315

I've read a few articles this week that were interesting enough to share..

Caffeine Crisis

Caffeine has been the stimulant of choice around the world for thousands of years. Now, suddenly, Americans are overdosing on caffeine in record numbers.

Here's the full story:

How America’s love affair with caffeine has sparked a crisis of overdoses — and what the FDA is trying to do about it


More calories end up in those "bring your own grocery bags."

A study of thousands of grocery store shoppers found that those who brought their own "good for the environment" bags purchased more organic foods. They also bought more cookies!

Here's the full story:



Omega-3 fish oil supplements do not boost brain activity

After studying 4,000 elderly subjects over a 4-year period, researches have determined that any perceived benefit from taking fish oil supplements is only a myth.

Per the article: "It is possible that eating foods rather than taking any specific single supplement may have an effect." Further study on this is needed.

Here's the full story:



Have a great Thursday,

- Chris Butterworth

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Monday, August 31, 2015

keeping a food journal

The only way to be sure you're eating fewer calories than your body burns is to know exactly what you're eating (and how many calories your body burns at rest). And the only way to know exactly what you're eating is to keep track of it.

This is especially true when you are just starting out on your road to losing weight. Your internal, "gut feeling", of how much to eat is out of balance - writing down what you eat and paying close attention to it will help you re-calibrate your gut feeling.

It doesn't matter what format you use; it only matters that you know, with absolute certainty, that you've eaten fewer calories than your target number.

Here are a few types / options to consider:

Spiral ring notebook. It's a little old fashioned, but it still works great. Boot-up time is zero; just open it and start writing.

Computer program. Your computer may not be portable and always at your side, but if you sit in an office all day this can be a great place to keep your food journal.

Spreadsheets, word processing programs, or a note taking application like Evernote or Onenote all work equally well.

Many of these programs are easy to integrate with your phone, so you can use your phone as well as your computer.

Smartphone app. Your phone is always with you, just waiting to do your bidding. You can input the details of your lunch as soon as you've finished eating, wherever your are.

Most of the apps I've sampled also come with a food-lookup option, so you can determine how many calories your lunch had from within the app itself.

Many of the apps have online access as well, so you can view and edit your food journal from your computer, and keep track of your history, from that larger screen in your office.

Bottom line

There are many different methods you can use to keep track of what you're eating. It doesn't matter which one you use, only that you use one.

Can you splurge a little bit at dinner, or have a brownie for dessert? Guessing at the answer could be the difference between losing weight and not.

- Chris Butterworth

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

mediocre is the opposite of excellence

Terrible seems like it would be the opposite of excellence, but terrible is easy to fix.
  • You didn't workout last week? Pick yourself up and get back on track.
  • You've been eating everything in sight? Stop. Take a breath. Regroup. Re-assess your plan. And get back on track.


Mediocre is much more difficult, in part because you might not even notice it.
  • You've been working out, but maybe not with your desired level of intensity. Or maybe you're getting to the gym sometimes, but not as often as you had planned.
  • You're eating pretty well, paying attention to what you order, where you eat, and how often. But you're not losing any weight. Maybe you're rounding up on your calorie counts, or you might be grabbing a handful of snacks without even realizing it.


It's hard to get down on yourself when you're trying, and mediocre masks how hard you're trying.

Mediocre is frustrating. It robs you of your results. It fills you with hopelessness, and makes you want to give up, because you think you're doing the work but you're not seeing the results.

Changing your habits, and your body, and your health, is hard. It takes commitment, and it takes excellence.

Pay very close attention to your actions, and to your results. Keep a journal. Be reflective. Are you reaching excellence, or merely mediocre?

- Chris Butterworth

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

fruit juicee - orange banana blueberry watermelon

Here's a summer fruit juicee with some ingredients you might not think to combine, but which tastes surprisingly refreshing together:

Ingredients:
  • Orange Juice - 8 oz
  • Banana - 1, peeled
  • Blueberries - approx 2/3 cup, fresh or frozen
  • Watermelon - approx 1 cup, sliced into chunks
  • Ice (optional) - just a couple-few cubes


Directions:
  • Put all the ingredients into a Magic Bullet cup. (or any other blender device.)
  • Screw on the blade cap.
  • Blend until juicee'd.
  • Enjoy!


orange banana blueberry watermelon fruit juicee


orange banana blueberry watermelon fruit juicee


Nutritional Information:
  • Approximately 300-350 calories, depending on the amount of each fruit.
    • 110 calories from Orange Juice
    • 121 Medium Banana
    • 57 Blueberries
    • 46 Watermelon
    • Calorie counts for fruit provided by calorieking.com



A fruit juicee makes a great whole-food-ingredient replacement for a breakfast or "snack-aisle" snack. It's also terrific for refueling quickly after a good workout.

Give this one a try and let me know what you think!

- Chris Butterworth

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Friday, August 21, 2015

getting great results on days you don't want to workout

Some days you just don't want to work out, and there are dozens of reasons why:

  • You're too tired.
    • You went to bed too late.
    • You didn't sleep well.
    • You got up too early.
  • You don't have time.
    • You're too busy at work.
    • You woke up too late.
  • You'd rather go to bed early.
  • You're too sore from yesterday's workout.
  • You don't feel well.
  • You just can't get motivated.
  • You're battery is almost dead, and you can't workout without your music.
  • The weather's no good.
    • It's too hot outside.
    • It's too cold outside.
    • It's raining / snowing / windy outside.


These are all legitimate, yet none of them should be enough to stop you. Sometimes the very best workouts are the ones you didn't want to do.

When you can motivate yourself to get a workout in on the days that you don't want to - even if it's not one of your best workouts, you get very powerful results:

  1. Physically, you get a workout in. From a fitness standpoint, this beats the heck out of sitting on the couch or laying in bed.
  2. Mentally, you get a huge victory over that lazy devil sitting on your shoulder - you get to prove to yourself that you're more awesome than you thought you were.
  3. Surprise yourself. Sometimes once you get started, you end up having a great workout. I've broken a few PRs on days I didn't really feel like running when I started out.
  4. Illness remedy. Sometimes when I'm not feeling 100%, getting a good sweat on helps shake off whatever's been bothering me. On the other hand, if you're really sick, with a high fever and all those other bad symptoms - maybe that's a good day to skip the workout and stay in bed...
  5. Muscle stretcher. When you're really sore from a previous workout, doing a light workout can help stretch out your muscles and ease their recovery.


Missing a workout once in awhile isn't going to change your life. But getting into the habit of not workout unless conditions are ideal will - it'll rob you of your fitness. Let's face it - conditions are rarely ideal, and once you start giving yourself permission to skip workouts, it gets easier and easier to do.

Tell that lazy devil on your shoulder to shut up, then get up and get moving. (before you change your mind!)

- Chris Butterworth

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Monday, August 17, 2015

delaying breakfast for good effect

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" - at least that's what I've been told my entire life.

I'm an early riser, and rising early usually means eating breakfast early. It also means, if you're a high energy person, that you're ready for lunch early. Or more to the point, that by the time lunchtime rolls around, you're starving (and ready to eat gigantic portions!)

Recently I made a conscious effort to delay eating breakfast, eating closer to mid-morning rather than earlier in the morning. And it's had a dramatic effect...

Early Breakfast
  • 6:00 - Eat breakfast shortly after waking up.
  • 9:00 - Get hungry. Either eat a mid-morning snack, or fight off hunger the rest of the morning.
  • 12:00 - Lunchtime! By now I'm really hungry, so it's easy to over-order, or to lick my plate clean and start searching for what to eat next.
  • Afternoon - Since I've over-eaten lunch, the same problem is going to persist between afternoon snack and dinnertime; I'll be hungry but I've already eaten too many calories to justify a snack. Then I'll probably over-eat at dinner...


Late Breakfast
  • 6:00 - Drink a small glass of juice, and some water. Let my body start working with whatever energy is still available from yesterday, or it can start converting fat into energy if I'm tapped out of reserves.
  • 9:00 - Eat breakfast, usually a fruit juicee. Plenty of easy to digest carbo calories to give my body a boost of energy.
  • 12:00 - Lunchtime. I'm starting to get hungry again, but not enough to make bad choices. Now it's much easier to order a reasonably sized lunch and be satisfied with it.
  • Afternoon - Since I stayed within my calorie budget, I can eat a small mid-afternoon snack, which should hold me over until dinner.


The golden rule of calorie counting is: "3,500 calories = 1 pound".

The corollary of the golden rule is: "Every 1 pound of fat in your body is 3,500 calories' worth of energy, just waiting to be released."

Give it a try. Delay your breakfast and let your body use all that extra energy being stored as fat. Then see how much easier it is to get through the rest of the day..

- Chris Butterworth

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Friday, August 14, 2015

small. consistent. big.

Small, done consistently, becomes big.

We see it everyday, without even realizing it.

  • That guy in your office who used to be a lot bigger? He didn't just drop 60 pounds one day last year - he lost those 60 lbs a little bit at a time over the course of the last year. You just didn't notice it right away because each week's change was so small.
  • That friend of yours who's been posting on Facebook about her first marathon? She didn't just decide last week to run in the race next month - she's been training for it, running a little bit further each week than the last. Heck, she probably couldn't run a full 3 miles without walking on her first training session.
  • Those giant-sized, high school aged people living in your house and emptying the refrigerator daily? They used to be those cute little kids who looked so grown up ten years ago when you dropped them off at their first day of school. Turns out they've been growing and maturing, a little imperceptible amount each day, for a long time.


Today is probably not the day you're going to achieve your goal - your end goal will be the accumulation of lots and lots of tiny victories compiled over a much longer time period.

But today could be the day you lose your goal. Apathy, laziness, and just "not doing it" are the enemies of actions achieving goals.

Keep your eye on that big goal way out in front of you. And keep moving forward, one small step at a time.

- Chris Butterworth

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