Local Health and Fitness Tips… Delicious Summer Dishes and Busting Exercise Myths

By Kyle Arsenault CSCS

Its Summer Time!

It is definitely that time of year again. The time of year when the sun is blazin’, the pools are hoppin’ and the air conditioners are roarin’. And it is that time of year when you can really take advantage of the season to get yourself in the best shape of your life! After all, who doesn’t want to look good in their bathing suit?

And guess what, you can achieve the healthy, performance based and aesthetically pleasing body you want a little easier than you think. And just how? With the help of Prezo Grille and Bar and Momentum Physical Therapy and Performance Training!

Prezo’s has taken some classic dishes that are great in the summer time (and really all year round) to another level and Momentum PT has put together a list of five exercise myths you need to know about so you are no longer left spinning your wheels in the endless pursuit for health and fitness…Let’s begin.

Cold, Crisp and Absolutely Delicious

Everyone knows that salads are a classic staple when it comes to healthy nutrition. But the problem with most salads is that they are boring and tasteless and leave little to be desired.  And for this reason many of us tend to pass up the amazing health benefits of the vegetables and fruit that are the base of the salads.

With summer upon us, you should be taking advantage of the season by consuming more local fruits and veggies that will provide you with the nutrients to achieve optimal health and performance…and your taste buds should loving every second of it. And lucky for you, Prezo Grille and Bar has made this EASY!!

Prezo’s does an outstanding job supporting local farms with challenges such as their recent “Farm to Forks” challenge where they challenged the chefs to create dishes using local ingredients…and the chefs more than delivered. At Prezo’s you will also find Weekly Specials and a Summer Sea Food Menu that highlights dishes comprised of local ingredients…great tasting dishes that are healthy and support local businesses, YA, it doesn’t get much better. But back to the salads…

At Prezo’s you will find an enormous array of salads that feature only the freshest of ingredients that are perfectly combined to provide you with ample nutrients as well as a taste that is second to none. From the classic Caesar Salad (a classic that has been taken to new heights at Prezo’s) to the new Baja or Asian Noodle Salads, Prezo’s has it all. And even better…

When you go to Prezo’s Grill and Bar Tuesday through Friday starting at 11:30, you have the opportunity to order the ever changing, amazingly creative, and seriously delicious lunch buffet. Although it is impossible to pick just one dish that is the best on the menu (especially since they change each day!), the one thing you can count on is that there is always an incredibly fresh and tasty salad.

Just some examples of a few that I have had from my numerous visits…The Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Salad, Ranchero Salad, Mixed Green Steakhouse Salad, Mixed Green Fruit Salad and the El Morocco Salad…ya, I go quite a bit as I know I can always count on a high quality meal!

And every time I go I can’t wait to see which salad is waiting for me to dig into. With Prezo’s talented kitchen staff, finding out which salad is there to help me ensure my health and fitness, as well as satisfy my flavor cravings, is like waking up on Christmas morning (I really enjoy good food if you couldn’t tell).

Discovering which salad is on the menu is half the fun…

Knowing that there is always a healthy, delicious and locally supportive dish with Prezo’s salads, makes it is easy and extremely enjoyable to go out for a great meal and incredible time!

Salads have been, and always will be a classic health dish, but only after you have had one from Prezo Grille and Bar (or in my case, almost a dozen!) can you say that you have truly experienced a healthy and refreshing salad that exemplifies the perfect summer time meal.

And after you are done with your health bolstering salad, you can get to work on your body with some efficient, results and goal driven exercise (or as I like to call it…performance training!). But you can only train efficiently and correctly if you know what efficient and correct is…so let’s bust a few common exercise myths to help you get started.

 

 Five Exercise Myths You Need to Know About

 And Performance Training

1)      Cardio is the best form of exercise for health and weight loss

I am sure you have heard about this one but it still amazes me just how many individuals think they must hop on the bike or elliptical or go out for a long, slow run in order to burn fat and get healthy. Cardiovascular training simply means you have to raise your heart rate to a level that causes the body to adapt (grow stronger and healthier) in order to meet the demands of the training. For a more effective training session that will provide you with cardiovascular benefits as well as allow you to burn more fat and gain a more athletic body, try a few resistance training exercises. Check out this article for more info…Get Off the Cardio Wagon

2)      It doesn’t matter what you are doing as long as you are moving and sweating

Although it is important to get your heart rate up (as just discussed) if you are exercising and moving incorrectly you actually may be doing yourself more harm than good. Anyone can get out and sweat, but if you are to “Get Your Head In the Game during training and focus on what you are trying to accomplish, you will better prevent yourself from being injured as well as burn more calories and shift your body towards better looks and performance. An individualized exercise program designed for YOUR needs is crucial to ensure that you are getting the most out of your training session and time…you don’t want to continue to spin your wheels and miss out on the results you want and deserve (if you need help simply contact me at kyle@momentumpt.com).

Stop Wasting Time on Generic, “Pull-out” and “Bootcamp” Exercise Routines…Get on a Program Built for  YOU!!!


3)       Bootcamps and other group training classes are the best!

In line with the last myth, in order for you to achieve YOUR individual goals, whether they are to simply get healthy and lose a little fat, or to prevent athletic injury and be the best athlete on your team, taking part in generic “bootcamp” or “fitness” classes will never be the best solution. These classes are not designed to address your specific needs and therefore will not produce optimal results…not to mention they may actually increase your chance for injury! What works for one individual may not work for another…don’t get caught up in the latest and greatest, one size fits all “solution.” (Check out this article for some more information on why this method of training is not ideal…What Everyone Can Learn From Crossfit.

4)      Machines are the safest form of resistance training

Although it may seem that machines are the safest form of resistance / weight training because they lock you into position, it is exactly for this reason that they are not as safe as many think. When your body is locked into unnatural movement, the muscles and joints are forced to work in inefficient planes of motion. Not only will this most likely cause injury, but it reduces the amount of stability and core control needed…which decreases muscle activity and results. Properly utilizing bodyweight and free weight training will provide for better results. (To see what kind of results you can achieve with proper training using bodyweight, medicine ball, free weights and more, check out the video below and this link for some before and after pictures.

 

 

5)      If you are not sore you did not work hard enough

I love it when my athletes and clients are concerned because they are not as sore as they were the week before. What this means is that your body is adapting to the training…this a good thing! When the body adapts, it becomes stronger, grows healthier and soreness is reduced. Just because you are not sore does not mean that you didn’t work hard enough. Don’t get me wrong, you should never leave a training session feeling the same as when you started, and you should always be looking to progress, but you also don’t need to be so sore that it is nearly impossible to get up and down stairs the next day. The body does need to have different training stresses to continue progress, but not every session has to be different and cause massive amounts of soreness to be effective (in fact this will actually cause subpar results…check this article out to see why…Confused?).

There they are. Five exercise myths you need to know about. Of course there are many more (such as females will get big by lifting weights, you need to train for at least an hour to make it an efficient training session, etc.) but these five exercise / training myths are some common myths that I encounter on a regular basis.

 

The Wrap Up

 

Now that you know more about some delicious summer meals, and we have busted some common exercise myths that may be preventing you from achieving optimal health and performance, all you have to do is SHARE. Share this article with your friends and family and make sure to LIKE US so you don’t miss out on important information and happenings (click on the names to like us…PREZO GRILLE AND BAR and MOMENTUM PT). Leave any comments or questions and enjoy a healthy start to your summer!


Get Your Head in the Game

By Kyle Arsenault CSCS

Whether your training goal is to prevent injury, enhance strength, power, speed or agility (overall athletic performance), or to simply get and stay healthy and look better, there is one component that you MUST implement to achieve optimal results…FOCUS!!

Without focus, your training and subsequent results will suffer. You will simply be going through motions that do not correct your weaknesses but actually feed into them. Your body is an amazing assembly of highly complex systems that are all built to work together for two main purposes…to survive and to breed (YUP, make some babies!). And because our body is constantly trying to survive in order to stay around long enough to produce “mini-you” (or 8 as Octo-Mom has shown) it is always looking to accomplish tasks (daily/recreational activities, sports, training, etc.) with as little energy or calories as possible…not good if you let it!

 

When it comes to training, if you are to work in the most “calorically efficient / least calorically demanding” way, you will constantly fall victim to poor movement. It is easier and requires less calories to squat with your knees caved in and back rounded or to do a push up with your head and hips hanging to the floor. And although this may be less calorically demanding on the body, it is more demanding on the joints and passive stabilizers (ligaments, bones, etc.)…never a good thing if you are looking to stay healthy and pain free.

“Pop goes the”……knees, hips, back, neck…..

Not only will the poor movement take a toll on your body and eventually lead to overuse injuries, but the inefficient movement will prevent you from maximizing force (strength), power, speed, agility, etc. All important components to becoming a more successful athlete, as well as more functional so you can better enjoy daily/recreational activities and overall life…believe me when I say hobbling around on crutches for 6weeks is not the definition of a fun time.

But even if the body is always “working against you” and your goals with regards to training and movement, there is one thing you can do to make sure that you are not allowing the body to simply “do its thing.”

 

With Focus You Will Succeed

 

80% of training (and life for that matter) is mental…get your head in the game!

The first consideration to being able to focus on the training task at hand, is actually knowing what you should be focusing on. This is where a quality program and performance coach come into play. Once you know how the movement or exercise should look (how the body should be aligned) and feel (where you should feel the work / movement taking place) you can then MAKE SURE that with every repetition you are focusing on those aspects. Do this and you will experience drastic athletic improvement, a healthier and pain free body, and a body composition shift (more muscle and less flab) that would leave the 300 Spartans tucking tail and running the other way. And here is why…

One BA dude…focus and you’ll be BA too.

1)      Proper Movement: At one point or another around Momentum, our athletes and patients will undoubtedly hear us explain “You get what you train.” This is a simple yet incredibly important statement that comes from Shirley Sharman (the Goddess of human movement who the team and I travel to St. Louis every year to learn from). Quite simply this means if you train crappy movement you are going to move like crap and get crappy results. That’s a lot of crap and no one likes crappy results, especially those that end in acute or chronic injuries. So focus on the movement, train right and “get what you train.”

2)      Enhanced Athleticism (strength, power, speed, agility, etc.): When you are moving right and focusing on the areas of the body that should be producing most of the movement (for example during the squat, the hips, glutes, core and upper back should be doing most of the work instead of the low back and quads) you are working on skills and neuromuscular connections (mind muscle connections) that actually activate more motor units, or the engines that contain the pistons (muscle fibers) of the muscles. With more motor unit recruitment, you have the ability to produce more force and power (become stronger and more explosive), stabilize joints more efficiently (prevent injury), react quicker (enhanced agility) and basically switch on BEAST MODE…which athlete would forgo BEAST MODE?!

If you weren’t aware, Marshawn Lynch has been known to perform in BEAST MODE!

3)      Better Body Composition (less mushy stuff and more muscle): We have all heard that muscle burns fat, and it is true. Muscle is an anabolic tissue that requires energy to work and fat supplies a lot energy. The more muscle you have AND WORK, the more fat you will burn. You may have lots of muscle, but from above, you notice that when you focus on using more of that muscle, you can actually “turn more on,” which requires more energy (fat). So even if you goal is to simply shed some flab and get a bit sexier in your birthday suit, if you “just get through” the movements without focusing on the form, technique and muscles that should be working, you are cutting yourself short of tons of fat burning potential.


Conclusion

So as you can see, without focus on proper movement, technique and form, your training will suffer and the results you so tirelessly work towards will be harder to come by. A body that is pain free and functionally efficient, at the top of the athletic game, or simply more pleasing to the eyes (I know this is a big focus with beach season upon us…don’t lie) is much easier to achieve with greater focus. Don’t let anyone tell you that it doesn’t matter how you are moving as long as you are moving, because moving without focus will produce less than optimal results…and all too often, detrimental injuries. Know how the training / movement should look, which areas of the body it should be working, focus every repetition of every set on those components, and get after it! Proper movement, technique, form and FOCUS is king and will provide you with the greatest chance of achieving all of your training goals.

Now that you know, don’t be selfish…share this information with your friends on Facebook, email it to your family and get your tweet on! Leave any questions or comments below.

Chocolate and Cinnamon French Toast…It Can’t Be Healthy?!

By Kyle Arsenault CSCS

 


About to change this!

 

Food has always been a passion of mine…mainly for the fact that I love to eat!! So this weekend  I finally decided that I am going to attempt to try and pick at least one of my favorite, and usually not so healthy meals, and make it a bit healthier. And my goals are first and foremost not to gag myself in the process, and second, I want to share the ideas with you to provide you a little insight on a tasty and healthy dish. So for my first attempt, I chose a childhood favorite. The classic French Toast!

In my book The Other 23 Hours I wrote extensively about how we can make healthier choices and easy substitutions that will help boost the nutritional value of meals as well as knock out some of the garbage we don’t want.

 


Click the image to see how you can obtain your very own copy

 

Just because the meals are prepared with healthier ingredients and methods doesn’t mean that taste has to be sacrificed…quite the opposite actually. You have to have a little sense of what flavors go well together, what flavors you enjoy, and a little spice of creativity.With this and a little help, you can make almost any dish a bit healthier and just as tasty.

So let’s see how I was able to indulge in some of my favorite dishes, and do so guilt free…and I must admit, my tastes buds were having a dance party in my mouth as a result! Maybe a culinary degree in the future?!

 

  Chocolate and Cinnamon French Toast with Scrambled Eggs, a Breakfast Salad, Banana and Coffee

 

To create your healthy French Toast, first preheat your oven to 200 degrees to keep the Chocolate Cinnamon French Toast warm while you construct the rest of your breakfast. Next, in a bowl mix 1 egg, 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk, 1.5 Tbsp Chocolate Protein Powder and ½-1 Tsp Cinnamon (depending on taste preference). Dip 1 slice of Ezikiel (or other sprouted grain or at the very least, 100% whole wheat bread) in the mixture covering both sides. Place in a heated frying pan that has been lightly coated with healthy oil (olive or coconut) and let cook until golden brown on both sides (roughly 2 minutes / side but it depends on heat…you can figure that out). And that’s it for the French Toast. Place it in the oven to keep it warm. Serve with a little natural maple syrup and…

…either mix another 2 eggs in the left over mixture and scramble them up (Chocolate Cinnamon Scrambled Eggs…sounds weird but it was quite tasty) or scramble a couple eggs like you would regularly. And the final touch…

…to get in your vegetables and fruit (two critical components to healthy nutrition), try throwing together a breakfast salad (I actually did this the night prior to save time)!

“Huh, a breakfast salad?!” Ya, I know this sounds unusual, but in the picture below I have a put together a spinach based salad with chopped sweet peppers, sweet onion, carrots and mixed berries covered in a raspberry vinaigrette. This was an extremely healthy and sweet combination that complimented the French Toast and scrambled eggs. I also added a banana which I treated as desert with my coffee! (If you noticed the banana is brown and are wondering why, read this quick article…it will help you maintain your perfect banana ripeness).

 


CHECK IT OUT…maybe a future chef, but not a photographer!

 

And that was my morning concoction. I was more than satisfied and actually felt like I had a cheat meal. But in reality, all of the components of this meal are healthy and are properly portioned…so it wasn’t much of a cheat meal, except for the little bit of maple syrup.

If you have a sweet tooth attack, or just want to mix up the morning routine a bit (as you should have a morning routine that will set you up for success…read more here) try the Chocolate Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast and leave a comment to let me know what you think and pass it on to your friends and family…they enjoy delicious food too!

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