Monday, August 29, 2011

BT Likes Green Tea!

What makes green tea so powerful and why do we think it makes such a great companion for training? Recently, green tea has been getting A LOT of recognition for being a powerful metabolism booster and fat burner; however, the true powers of green tea are far greater than just a tool for fat loss. Green tea is also used as a powerful tool in disease prevention and in maintenance of optimal health. Here are 5 reasons why we regularly use this beverage as a powerful antioxidant and immune booster:

1. Green tea boosts the immune system: The antioxidant compound in green tea known as "catechins"have been shown in various research studies to have a profound impact on immune function. Specifically, green tea contains something called "theanine" which has been shown to have an impact on boosting T cell activity which helps to strengthen adaptive immunity. This is important to people engaged in intensive training because high stress workouts can cause an inflammatory response in the body. As a result, drinking green tea can help support immune function and thus speed recovery.

2. Green tea fights allergies in the body: The highly acclaimed "EGCG" (epigallocatechin gallate) is in green tea. This compound has been shown to help block the two compounds that are responsible for allergic reaction in the body: histamine & immunoglobulin E. This means that drinking green tea can help to reduce reactions such as watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing that occur from allergy to external stimuli.

3. Green tea lowers risk of cardiovascular disease: Research has shown a reduced occurrence of death from cardiovascular disease amongst people who drink green tea regularly. This is in part due to green tea's ability to help stabilize cholesterol levels. Green tea does this by reducing the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed by the digestive tract and increases the rate in which it is excreted from the body. Green tea also helps prevent LDL cholesterol from being oxidized which prevents it from turning into the sticky plaque that adheres to artery walls which increases risk of heart attack or stroke.  
4. Green tea promotes fat loss: Green tea is very beneficial for metabolizing fat. Specifically, the polyphenols in green tea help to dissolve triglycerides (substance made up of mostly fat and sugar) in the intestines and liver. Another benefit in aiding fat loss is the combination of EGCG with caffeine as this combination stimulates the central nervous system to release fat into the bloodstream to be used as fuel.

5. Green tea helps prevent tooth decay: Green tea has antibacterial properties that can help to reduce the accumulation of plaque on your teeth. Green tea has been shown to lower the risk of gum disease due to the ingredients responsible for improved immune function and also it contains fluoride which is helpful in preventing cavities. Preventing gum disease and tooth decay also has a two fold effect as periodontists are now beginning to find links between gum disease and other health disorders like heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

So we say when it comes to green tea - drink up! It's a simple way to integrate a powerful and healthy addition to your current dietary strategies.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Spice Rubbed Mahi Mahi

This meal is great for summer! It is super easy to make, very healthy and great for recovery from a tough workout - not to mention delicious! We used a (wild caught) Mahi Mahi fillet with the skin left on (most of the healthy oils in fish that are great for your skin, cholesterol, and managing inflammation are found in the skin so we recommend leaving it on). The fillet was rubbed with a spice blend containing salt, pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, chili powder, and lemon zest. When preparing your rub don't get caught up in exact measurements add the ingredients and then put a dab of the rub on you finger and adjust until you reach your desired taste. We let the rub sit on the fish for about 30min before searing the fish on a very hot grill. Depending on the thickness of the fillet, fish is usually good for about 5-6min on each side as you want the center to be slightly opaque and tender. While the fish was marinating we cooked the corn on the grill (in the husk), steamed some long grain organic rice, and made a fresh guacamole using avocado and a freshly made salsa which included diced tomato, red onion, garlic, jalapeno, a little lemon juice, and salt. All you need to do is mix these ingredients with your mashed avocados and BAM you have an amazingly fresh guacamole to serve as the perfect cool compliment to the spice rub on your fish. All in all this meal is only about 400 calories and has a perfect blend of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrate, and best of all it only takes about 45 minutes (tops) to make. Give this a shot - we know you will love it!    

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Perfect Breakfast

This breakfast has all of the components to fuel your body, give you adequate nutrients, and help to stave off hunger for at least a few hours. This meal is also super easy to make and really doesn't have to be eaten strictly for breakfast as it would also serve as a perfect POST workout recovery meal as well. The oatmeal is steel cut organic oats that we cooked for about 10min in some organic soy milk (about 1/2 cup oats per cup of milk) and a tablespoon of brown sugar. The eggs are sunny side up cooked in a little bit of vegetable oil and seasoned with some salt and pepper and then sliced strawberries gives you a great burst of sweetness and vitamin C. This meal contains about 300 calories and about 20g of protein and some serious complex carbohydrates and fiber to keep your blood sugar steady and to keep you adequately fueled for intensive training. Start your day with a breakfast like this and you are sure to ramp up your metabolism, feel energized, and avoid any unwanted morning snacking. Enjoy!