These days my personal training textbook doesn’t leave my side. I really wish it was lighter! I’ve been studying wherever and whenever I can-on the subway, at home. In fact, I’m at work right now. My shift starts in an hour and I’m taking a break from studying to write this post.
I’m not worried about passing, but I know the more prepared I feel, the less nervous I will be come test day.
I came across some interesting information while studying that I thought I’d share with you. Apparently exercise only accounts for 20% of our daily energy expenditure. About 70% goes to resting metabolic rate, which is energy expended during rest and used for things like circulation and tissue repair and the last 10% goes towards digestion.
I find this interesting because it goes with my motto of living by the 80/20 rule. In this case, 80% of your weight-loss comes from diet and 20% comes from exercise.
I think a misconception that a lot of people fall victim to is the notion that if they work out hard then they’ve burned off a huge amount of calories and they have a free pass to eat a ton later.
The fact is that no amount of exercise will make up for a shitty diet. Think about it this way: a pound of fat consists of 3,500 calories. Running a marathon burns approximately 2,600 calories. Would you rather run a marathon or eat a little cleaner? Which seems easier?
Another 80/20 rule I subscribe to is eating healthy 80% of the time and leaving 20% wiggle room for treats and unplanned indulgences. For some people, this means eating clean all week and treating themselves on the weekend. I personally can’t wait for the weekend. For me, it means the majority of my meals are squeaky clean and I enjoy a cookie or piece of chocolate with my coffee in the afternoon, or some ice cream for dessert.
It’s all about finding what works for you.
Now, onto the first installment of Good~Better~Best
Today we’re talking milk!
In recent years there has been a big shift away from cow’s milk because of its health implications. The majority of people cannot digest cow’s milk properly and it is one of the top food allergens along with wheat and corn. If you notice you get bloated or gassy after eating dairy products you may have a problem digesting it. There is also evidence that milk actually leeches calcium (which is alkaline) from our bones to balance out its acidic structure. It’s been shown that nations with the lowest cow’s milk consumption also have the lowest osteoporosis reports. Go figure!
As an added bonus, many people who quit the cow’s milk lose the bloat around their middles!
Nowadays there is a plethora of cow’s milk alternatives. For the sake of this segment I’m going to focus on three.
Soy milk~Almond milk~Hemp milk
Photo credits (almond milk): Fitnessista
*Go with unsweetened, unflavored for all milk alternatives
Good: Soy milk is a creamy delicious alternative and not too intimidating a leap from cow’s milk. I drank it for years before finding my new favorite (spoiler alert: it’s the one in the “Best” category)
Benefits of Soy Milk:
- Lower in sugar than cow’s milk (7g vs 12g)
- Contains good plant fats. Mostly unsaturated with zero cholesterol. Soy milk has been shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol and raise HDL (good cholesterol)
- Good bit of protein and fiber (8g protein and 2 g fiber for a 1 cup serving)
- Controversial-some studies state that soy milk contributes to breast cancer and others say it prevents it
- On the “Big-8” list of top 8 food allergies
- 94% soy in USA is genetically modified. Look for a non-gmo label and organic to avoid this
Better: Almond milk has become very popular in recent years. I love almond milk for it’s nutritional profile and use it everywhere I would normally use milk except in my coffee. I find that almond milk alters the taste of coffee in a weird way. I mention it because that is my experience, but a lot of people don’t find that to be the case so its worth trying for yourself.
Benefits of Almond Milk:
- Even less saturated fat than soy (none!)
- Supplies 25% of your vitamin D and 20% of your calcium daily recommendations
- Supplies 50% of your vitamin D and 100% of your B-12
- Also on the “Big-8” food allergen list under “Tree nuts”
- Less protein and fiber than soy (1g each per 1 cup serving)
- Tastes funny in coffee (personal experience ;b )
Best: Hemp Milk has my heart forever. Nuts are nutritional stars, but seeds are superstars and hemp seed is the Whitney Houston of the nut and seed category. It also tastes just as creamy and delicious as soy milk minus the controversy!
Benefits of Hemp milk:
- Contains all 10 essential amino acids
- 46% of RDA of calcium and 25% of RDA of vitamin D
- 5 g of protein and 1 g of fiber per serving
- Ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (3:1)
- Contains vitamins A, E, B-12 and folic acid, and is rich in magnesium, potassium, iron and magnesium
- Contains anti-inflammatory agents
- Allergen free! no soy, dairy or tree-nuts
- Tastes great in coffee! 😀
So there you have it. Any of these milks are great alternatives to cow’s milk, so pick one that intrigues you and try it out. My goal with this segment is to encourage small steps towards overall healthy habits and to make certain foods seem more approachable. Case in point: I’m an adventurous eater and I was afraid to try hemp milk! I only recently gave it a try and was surprised to find I absolutely love it! So start where you feel only slightly uncomfortable and go from there.
Have you tried any of these milk alternatives?
Which one would you be willing to try?
Is there a milk alternative that you think trumps hemp milk!?
Let me know in the comments below!