A Great Snack That Helps Keep Fat Off

A Great Snack That Helps Keep Fat Off

Kale Chips

Kale chips are a healthy alternative to typical potato chips. They provide the same great taste and similar to all chips and snacks, most people find it very difficult to have just one. The great thing about kale chips is you can have more than a handful without stuffing yourself with empty calories from processed white flour or potatoes, unhealthy oils,  and salt.

Benefits Of Kale

  •  Kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, delicious flavor, and  is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
  • One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
  • Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K
  • Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
  • Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

Comparison Of Kale Chips With Other Popular Chips

Kale (1 ounce, 28 grams) 

  • Calories-15
  • Fat-0 grams
  • Fiber-2 grams
  • Sodium-12 grams
  • Carbs-3 grams
  • Protein-1 gram
  • Sugars-1 gram

Lays classic original (1 ounce, 28 grams)

  • Calories-150
  • Fat-10 grams
  • Fiber -1 gram
  • Sodium-180 grams
  • Carbs-15 grams
  • Protein-2 grams
  • Sugars-0 grams

Tostitos original tortilla chips (1 ounce, 28 grams)

  • Calories-140
  • Fat-7 grams
  • Fiber -1 gram
  • Sodium-120 grams
  • Carbs-18 grams
  • Protein-2 grams
  • Sugars-0 grams

How To Make them

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and put 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on baking sheet

2. Wash 1 head of kale and let it dry completely before putting it on the baking sheet.

3. Strip the kale from the stems into about 1-2 inch square pieces and rub in the oil from baking sheet. (Keep in mind kale will shrink when cooked.)

4. Lightly season with pepper and garlic powder

5. Cook for 20-25 minutes (Optional: Flip the kale halfway through)

6. Serve as you would chips, with or without the stems.


The nutritional comparison between kale chips and standard snack chips is a little bit ridiculous when you look at the calorie and carb difference alone.  Obviously when you take into account the processed ingredients involved in making generic chips the gap continues to widen. Yes, extra virgin olive oil will add some calories but it will also provide you with healthy fats that are a great alternative to the “vegetable oil” and “sunflower oil” found in generic chips. Anytime you can substitute natural ingredients/whole foods for processed/packaged foods is always a smart choice and will help you on your journey to achieve optimal body composition.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,


The 10 Commandments of Good Nutrition

The 10 Commandments of Good Nutrition; According to Katrina Evans.

This week I had a guest blogger, Katrina Evans, write an article in order to provide readers with a different vantage point of certain health and nutrition points that are vital to a healthy lifestyle. This is important in understanding that not everyone is going to agree on every aspect of health, nutrition, and exercise. For example, Katrina lists “no red meat” as commandment #4. As an athlete, I would say 1-2 servings of red meat a week is actually beneficial because the combination of iron, zinc, and amino acid complex. While small details like this will surface in some research, the foundation and guidelines in the most effective programs are generally the same. Thanks again Katrina.

Good nutrition and activity are both key to maintaining a healthy life. Keeping a balanced diet is important in weight control and can provide energy to stay productive. Not only that, but it can also greatly affect emotional and mental health, providing a balance in most areas of life. Regular exercise can even prevent conditions and disabilities like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and even certain types of lung cancer.

With all the facts about the links among nutrition, fitness, and good health, there is no excuse to have an unhealthy diet or inactive lifestyle. Whether it’s walking two miles a day or following work-out videos, a good diet will always make the difference in any workout plan. Keeping these key concepts about nutrition in mind while devising a custom diet plan is a great starting point towards a healthier lifestyle:

1. Eat vegetables: Nobody wants to listen to their mom, but dark greens, garlic and mushrooms are full of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants that not only boost your immune system, but have the right fire power that slows or even prevents the development of cancer.

Diet Tips

2. Eat fruits: Fruits are delicious, sweet and refreshing. By loading up on fruits instead of pastries or baked goods, dieters can feel better about themselves while enjoying a sweet treat. Fruits like blueberries and grapes are also linked to the prevention of cell damage caused by cancer.

 3. Switch to whole grains: Whole grains are full of antioxidants and fiber which is a dieter’s best friend normalizing bowel integrity and health while optimizing weight loss as well.

4. No red meats: Red meats, as delicious as they can be, are loaded with saturated fat and “bad” cholesterol offering no fiber.

5. Eat it raw: Raw foods offer more antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber than they do when cooked, the same kinds of antioxidants found to prevent colon cancer.

6. Drink water: Drinking just eight cups of water is not as hard as it seems. Substituting other drinks with water will cleanse the body, replenish organs, and keep the immune system at its best. according to Discovery News, scientists found that obese dieters who drank two cups of water before each meal lost 5 pounds more than a group of dieters who didn’t increase their water intake.

7. Enjoy immune-boosting spices: Spices like garlic, turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, basil, cilantro, curry powder and parsley are not only terrific ways to dress up healthy ingredients but are also full of anti-oxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties that boost the immune system.

 8. Don’t burn it: Recently, carcinogens in overcooked meat made it to the National Toxicology Program list of potential cancer causers from ScienceNews.com so, watch out!

 9. Stop overeating: By drinking more water and eating fiber-rich foods, it’ll be easier to control cravings and overeat. It doesn’t hurt to over-indulge in lots of water every now and then.

10. Quit the other habits: This one is huge. Bad habits like smoking and drinking too much will be counterproductive to good nutrition and exercise. We all know that they cause cancer and other diseases, so why even risk it?

 Pie chart [see text description below.]

Katrina Evans is a recent graduate from the  University of Central Florida writing to fully support health and wellness for all. She wants to be a difference in people’s lives seeing how devastating cancer can be for people and their families. Katrina also is a fruit junkie who reads all the time, works to stay fit, and listens to cool podcasts.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions or comments.

From Naples,



Essential Vitamins and Supplements

Essential Vitamins and Supplements

Beginning the search for adequate supplements is undoubtedly overwhelming. The first question one should ask when considering what to potentially take is “what am I trying to accomplish?” There is an array of over-the-counter supplements on the market claiming to cater to a variety of individuals. It is important to note that there are still many different needs among individuals.

The best way to approach one’s personal needs is by adjusting food intake rather than attempting to make up for deficiencies through supplements. By following the advice posted in past blogs, it is relatively easy to develop an idea of how an optimal athletic diet should look. With that being said, there are a few basic supplements that are beneficial to most people.

I conducted a survey using 50 people and asked them what supplements they took on a daily basis to identify trends, beliefs, and ideas, about the health/wellness and performance market.

Demographics of the survey

-30 professional athletes between ages of 20 and 30 years old (NFL, NHL, AHL, Professional Golf, were some of the individuals surveyed)

-20 physically active people or fitness enthusiasts ranging from 20 to 60 years old (Both men and women)

-Most of the athletes were in-season and mentioned that the amount of performance enhancers they take (such as protein and creatine) were generally increased in the off-season. Here are the results.

  • The difference in vitamin/supplement intake was extremely widespread 
  • I had 3 Responses that indicated ZERO vitamins/supplements were taken on a daily basis.
  • Here is the other end of the spectrum for a typical day:

Example 1:

  1. 1 multi vitamin,
  2. 2 kre alkalyn 1500mg,
  3.  1 fish oil 1000 mg,
  4. 1 vitamin D 5000 IU,
  5. 1 b-12 1000 mcg,
  6. 3 zinc liver chelate,
  7. 1 protein shake

Example 2:

  1. 3,000 mg fish oil
  2. Multi vitamin
  3. 500-1000 mg green tea extract
  4. 800 iu vitamin D
  5. 1000 mg acetyl-L-Carnitine
  6. 400 mg alpha-lipoid acid
  7. Beta-Alanine-about 3000 mg-ish
There is no right or wrong answer here. I just wanted to show you the difference in the entire spectrum.  Below is a synopsis of the most abundant vitamins reported in the survey.


A well-balanced multivitamin will probably seal up any cracks in one’s diet, provided the individual is consistently getting proper nutrition. Reportedly, 35% of people in the U.S  use  some sort of multivitamin-multimineral supplement. However, some of the most important nutrients like fiber and omega 3 fats are not present in any multi-vitamins. Even if you have an extremely healthy diet, you are likely missing out on some things depending on the time of year and foods available at your store/market.

Remember that less is more when choosing which multi-vitamin to take. You can probably get a high quality vitamin by purchasing something like a USANA multi-pack vitamin which is 130$… or get nearly the same contents by paying 10$ for a generic brand. It is hard enough for our body to break down and effectively use the contents of any pill. Some multi-vitamins are flawed on the side of having more nutrients in a single pill than the human body is capable of breaking down and effectively using. With that being said, I strongly suggest everyone take a multivitamin every day. The following guidelines will help one find the most effective daily vitamin:

  • Look for a vitamin that is formulated around 100% DV(daily value) for most nutrients
  • Most B vitamins may be higher than 100% DV
  • Make sure it has at least 100% DV for Vitamin D
  • Avoid vitamins with more than 100% DV for Vitamin A, Zinc, and Iron
  • Don’t be lured by added herbs. There is little evidence multi-vitamins with added herbs have any benefits
Here is an example of a generic daily multivitamin. (You can basically get 2 year’s worth for 10$)
Centrum multivitamin ingredients

Protein/Recovery Shake

The other supplement that would be beneficial, barring the right product and serving size is being used, is a Whey Protein/BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids)/Carbohydrate replacement shake. It is hard to say exactly which brand is the best because each product caters to different individuals. A shake can beneficial for helping to restore muscle fibers, ensure adequate protein levels, or refuel after exercise. I don’t want to get too specific on this subject because I will be doing a separate blog on recovery where I will go more in depth in a couple weeks. In general, evidence supports that the faster an athlete consumes a shake after a workout, the faster the supplement can begin to help muscles recover. Those that were surveyed drank some sort of protein/carbohydrate/glutamine/greens combination post exercise. So again, this is highly recommended, but more on the specifics to come later this month.

Fish oil

When choosing a fish oil, add up the EPA/DHA portion of omega 3’s, as these are the most important. At a minimum, you should be getting 500 mg/day of EPA/DHA, and several studies and people I surveyed had up to 4000 mg of DHA/EPA per day. Some studies show that too much fish oil can increase LDL (bad cholesterol levels) and If you have a diet filled with foods like salmon, flax seeds, walnuts or kale, you may not need a supplement. However, most people can greatly benefit from a fish oil supplement. It seems like the list is never-ending, but here is a list of the most important potential benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil.

#1 – Improves Mental Health

#2 – Lowers Cholesterol

#3 – Lowers Triglyceride Levels

#4 – Reduces Inflammation In The Body

#5 – Eliminates Joint Pain

#6 – Improves Your Skin

#7 – Promotes Weight/Fat Loss

#8 – May Prevent Schizophrenia

#9 – Improves Brain Function In Babies

#10 – Increases Your Focus

#11 – Reduces Post-Partum Depression

#12 – Improves Vision

#13 – Reduces Soreness From Weight Training

#14 – Reduces Risk Of Heart Disease

#15 – May Slow Breast Tumor Growth

#16 – Improves Cardiovascular Health

#17 – Eases The Effects Of Alzheimer’s Disease

#18 – Improves Cognitive Function

#19 – Stabilizes Mood

#20 – Decreases Blood Pressure

Vitamin D (focusing mainly on Vitamin D3)

In the winter, Vitamin D deficiency is a world-wide epidemic, with recent estimates indicating greater than 50% of the global population is at risk. Some studies show that up to 75% of the US had an insufficient amount of Vitamin D. Reportedly, two sessions of 15 minutes of sunlight each week is adequate for your body to naturally produce the necessary amounts of vitamin D. However, in the winter(especially here in Norway) the body cannot absorb these natural levels of vitamin D from the sun. In this case, a supplement is needed. Recomended intake: between 500 and 5000 IU’s (international units). I take a 3000 IU supplement in the winter.

Vitamin C

Probably the “best known” vitamin and most popular in the health and wellness market. The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 50-60 milligrams per day, but higher levels can strengthen your immune system even more. Vitamin C helps form collagen and maintain such body parts as bones, cartilage, muscle, veins, capillaries, and teeth. Here is a list of some of the benefits.

  • Repairs tissue
  • Heal bones and wounds
  • Maintains health skin
  • Fights infection
  • Helps your body absorb iron
  • Building strong bones and teeth
  • Acting as an agent to hold new cells together
  • Supporting various metabolic processes
  • Boosts immune system
  • Potent antioxidant
Foods high in Vitamin C

If you are consuming these foods, a vitamin c supplement is not necessary. However, during cold and flu season, aiding your immune system with a vitamin C tablet could be beneficial.

B Vitamins

A Vitamin B-complex is used for ENERGY PRODUCTION and increases your metabolism.  Vitamin B is needed to help convert the carbohydrates we eat into glucose and eventually to usable energy.  Deficiencies in Vitamin B can lead to lethargy and fatigue. The best forms of B vitamins are from natural/unprocessed foods such as meat, turkey and tuna, whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, and beans. Because there are several Vitamins the make up a B complex, recommended daily allowance is tough to pinpoint. If you have a healthy diet filled with these foods, you are most likely reaching your recommended Vitamin B levels. With that being said, if you feel lethargic or fatigued, give a vitamin B-complex a shot to see if it aids in your energy levels.


Calcium’s best-known role in the body is strengthening your bones and teeth. But, it also facilitates muscle activities including lifting, pushing and pulling, and plays an important role in the circulatory system by keeping blood moving efficiently. The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,000 mg daily. Like calcium, magnesium supports bone and tooth structure and plays a role in muscle contraction and relaxation,  as well as helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Recommended daily amount is between 300 and 400 mg. Paired calcium and magnesium supplements are a powerful combination of minerals that complement one another. For instance, calcium primarily causes contraction of muscles and vessels while magnesium primarily causes relaxation. If your intake of any of the foods below are adequate you can probably do without a calcium/magnesium supplement.

Foods high in magnesium


There is no “correct” universal supplementation plan. Supplement intake should be based on what areas you think you are lacking in your diet. I strongly encourage everyone to take a daily multi-vitamin because as discussed before, it can help seal up any cracks in your otherwise, well-balanced diet. Other than that, each daily supplement regiment is very individualized. My general recommendation;

  • 1 Daily Multi Vitamin
  • 1 Fish oil supplement (aim for at least 800 mg DHA/EPA)
  • 1 Recovery Shake (post exercise)
  • 1 Vitamin d supplement (in the winter only)

Special thanks to all those who took part in the survey and Ben Ryan for helping with the blog.

From Norway,