Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Amazing Egg, and some great recipes...

The Amazing Egg

Boy I love eggs. For those of you who know me well you know I eat up to one dozen a day. Yep, that’s pretty easy for me to do. Of course only two of those eggs get to keep their yolk – the rest are egg whites. I most typically scramble them at a 1 whole egg: 5 egg white ratio. That is only 145 calories for my ½ dozen serving and 28 grams of uber quality protein. Why do I eat so many eggs? They are versatile cooking-wise, all natural, low calorie, packed with vitamins and minerals and have the highest protein efficiency ratio (PER) of any food on the planet. And even better they cost an average of just 16 cents an egg. I am also a big advocate of a mixed diet for most people. That means the diet should be 1/3 lean proteins, 1/3 healthy fats, and 1/3 unrefined grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables (carbohydrates). Eggs are one of my easiest and best staples for the protein portion of that diet type. They also have a strong filling capacity – i.e. an egg with a few whites will go a long way for making you full compared to equal calories worth of carbohydrate foods or fats – This is essential for fat loss and staying lean. Let’s review more benefits of eggs, crack the cholesterol myth and show you some of my favorite easy-to-make egg recipes.

Packed with Nutrients

Here are some other points from the Incredible Egg Website (www.incredibleegg.org)

The nutrient package of eggs aids in the following:

  • Weight management: The high-quality protein in eggs helps you to feel fuller longer and stay energized, which contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.1
  • Muscle strength and muscle-loss prevention: Research indicates that high-quality protein may help active adults build muscle strength and help prevent muscle loss in middle-aged and aging adults.2
  • Healthy pregnancy: Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects. Two eggs provide about 250 milligrams of choline, or roughly half of the recommended daily intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women.3
  • Brain function: Choline also aids the brain function of adults by maintaining the structure of brain cell membranes, and is a key component of the neuro-transmitter that helps relay messages from the brain through nerves to the muscles.4
  • Eye health: Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in egg yolks, help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness. Though eggs contain a small amount of these two nutrients, research shows that the lutein from eggs may be more bioavailable than lutein from other food sources.5
The Cholesterol Myth

One of the big concerns with eggs is their cholesterol content. Although most current research links increased cholesterol and the potential for heart disease to dietary saturated fat when compared to dietary cholesterol – it is still important to be aware of. Like I said earlier I recommend doing scrambles with 1 whole egg : 3 or more egg whites (which have no cholesterol). You can go with a single egg too, but you will be only getting 7 grams of protein. Mixing the whole egg with more whites increases the protein while maintaining the rich flavor that eggs offer.

The American Heart Association says that it is absolutely safe for all individuals to consume 1 egg a day. 1 whole large egg supplies 185 mg of dietary cholesterol. Here are some more recent studies on cholesterol and egg consumption:

A 2008 study from Surrey University published in the European Journal of Nutrition provides evidence that increasing dietary cholesterol intake by eating two eggs a day does not increase total plasma cholesterol when accompanied by moderate weight loss. The study authors concluded that cholesterol-rich foods should not be excluded from dietary advice for weight loss.1

In 2006, Nutrition Bulletin published a review of scientific studies from the past 30 years showing that eating eggs daily does not have a significant impact on blood cholesterol or heart disease risk. The authors noted several benefits of egg consumption – including the high-quality protein eggs provide – and argued that consumption of one to two eggs a day should be actively encouraged as part of a calorie-restricted weight-loss plan.4

A review of more than 25 studies that appeared in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2000 showed that eating an egg a day isn’t associated with increased risk of heart disease in healthy men and women, even after taking into account other aspects of their diet that may increase the risk for heart disease.6

A 1999 Harvard University study that collected data from more than 100,000 men and women found no significant difference in heart disease risk between healthy adults who ate less than one egg a week and those who ate more than one egg a day, and that eating up to one egg a day is unlikely to have a significant overall impact on the risk of heart disease or stroke.7

My Three Favorite Egg Recipes

One thing that is perplexing to me is why eggs culturally are considered a breakfast food in America. I have traveled to Japan and found that it was a part of many lunch and dinner options. And I have been told that in Australia it is a major addition to many things as well. Since I am such a radical, I often have eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My following three favorite recipes are quick and easy to make, low in calories and sugar and packed with protein and fiber.

Spinach Scramble on Sesame Toast

  • 1 whole egg : 3 egg whites scrambled
  • 1 cup of baby spinach leaves added to scramble
  • 2 slices of toasted Ezekiel Sesame bread
  • 2 tsp of light butter with canola oil for toast
  • Favorite spices and salt as needed

Cook/Prep Time: 5 min Calories: 320 Protein: 26 grams Carbs: 36grams Fats: 9 grams Sugars: 0 grams Fiber: 7 grams

Black Bean Scramble on Corn Tortillas

  • 1 whole egg : 3 egg whites scrambled
  • 1/3 cup of Trader Joes organic black beans added to scramble (at the very end)
  • 3 small corn tortillas (heat on skillet, not the microwave, to keep them moist and flexible)
  • 1/3 of avocado
  • 3 tsp of salsa
  • Favorite spices and salt as needed

Cook/Prep Time: 5 to 8 min Calories: 444 Protein: 28 grams Carbs: 54grams Fats: 14 grams Sugars: 3 grams Fiber: 13 grams

Quick Fried Rice (to be used as a good recipe for leftover brown rice)

  • ½ cup of organic frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 tsp of olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 whole egg : 3 egg whites scrambled
  • Favorite spices and salt as needed

Add olive oil and peas and carrots first (1 min), add leftover brown rice second (2 min), finally add egg mix.

Cook/Prep Time: 5 to 8 min Calories: 412 Protein: 24 grams Carbs: 53 grams Fats: 11 grams Sugars: 4 grams Fiber: 6 grams

2011 © DEREK HEINTZ EDGE FITNESS CONSULTING www.yourfitnessedge.com 619-920-5452

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bodybuilding.com - Quadriceps-SMR - Male

Stiff back after sitting at your computer or a long commute?
Here is a good basic foam roller video for releasing tension in your hip flexors and quads - which indirectly does a great job at releasing tension and stiffness in the lower back.

Bodybuilding.com - Quadriceps-SMR - Male

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bodybuilding.com - One-Legged Cable Kickback - Male

I am going to start a series of exercise video links from a good website www.bodybuilding.com. Don't be intimidated by the name of the site or the many products they sell. Overall this website has a good database of effective exercises.
Glutes, glutes, glutes.... some of my clients are tired of me talking about our wonderful 'backside' muscles, but they are just so important. Not to mention the nice asthetic benefit of strong, toned glutes. Even 30 minutes of desk work shuts down our glutes. When this happens, not only does the muscle look saggy, it is not able to do its job well: Support the lower back and work as a major driver in hip extension (walking, running, squatting, lunging, to name a few activities). If your glutes are shut down from a day of sitting then typical exercises like I just mentioned end up requiring help from the hamstrings and lower back muscles. This can lead to chronic pain in the hamstrings and lower back. There are many exercises that can 'fire up' and activate the glutes before your workout so that you are able to recruit them correctly. The Cable Kickback is one of my favorites. Do this corrective exercise before you move on to your cardio or other traditional leg and glutes exercises - you will feel the difference when you do, and you will see better results in training the glutes.

Bodybuilding.com - One-Legged Cable Kickback - Male

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Breakfast 101, by EDGE trainer Justin Allen

This is a great topic on my partnering trainer's blog regarding breakfast.

Justin's E.D.G.E Fitness Blog: Breakfast 101: "What's For Breakfast? Over the last couple weeks one of the questions I have gotten is 'So, what do you eat for breakfast?' Breakfas..."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Exercise and Your Mood

When I view the world I often view things in terms of fitness and wellness. Go figure. So when I hear in the news that people are becoming more stressed or when I see reports on depression I often think of how that relates to exercise and good nutrition - or America's lack of it. There is no doubt that stress plays a legitimate role in our life these days, its just part of life. Researchers have found that life without stress can be just as harmful as life with too much stress. A happy medium is the key - but just as important is how we handle that stress mentally, physically and emotionally. Going back to the way that I see things I feel that part of the problem for so many people is that we are not training the 'fight or flight' system. Exercising at the adequate intensity, between 65 and 85% of your maximum heart rate, is a great way to train the 'fight or flight' system. My clients who have made some big changes in their fitness by exercising correctly and consistently often mention that they feel more 'stable', handle work and life stresses better, they feel quicker and sharper mentally, and they simply feel great for hours after a great workout. All of these can be validated in study after study. Often the release of neurotransmitters (specifically endorphins, dopamine and acetylcholine) are cited as one of the main reasons for this. I find that one of the best motivators for getting your daily workout in is the mental aspect. If you put too much focus on goals like fat loss you might be disappointed. Obvious physique changes like losing weight take time - whereas the mental and emotional changes from exercise are immediate. I can tell you that there have been many workouts throughout the years where I was not in the best of spots mentally when I started - but as I left the gym I was reminded how powerful exercise is on my mood and mind... and even though I know this, each and every time I am reminded how powerful the effects are. My wife humorously and intelligently knows me well... if I ever seem to be a bit crabby she kicks me in the butt (figuratively most the time) and tells me, "go workout!"
The key thing is that the workout has to be challenging. It does not have be long in duration though. To get all the mental benefits you should stay within your recommended training zone. With our EDGE programs we set an exact and personalized training zone, but you can use a basic formula to get an idea of whether you are training adequately:

Subtract your age from 220 (220 - age)
Multiply that result by 70 and 85%
Example: 40 years old
220 - 40 = 180 beats/per minute
180 x 70% = 126 beats/per minute
180 x 85% = 153 beats/per minute
Training Zone = (126 to 153 beats/per minute)
And just as I have recommended in the past with interval training (for accelerated fat loss) you would use intervals: bouts of exercise that gets your heart rate to it's upper range followed by bouts of exercise that allows it to recover back down to its lower range.

Remember this when you are feeling too tired to hit the gym. Just think 30 minutes and get in your training zone. Think about how it will wake you up and 'lift' you up. Remember this whenever you are feeling out of sorts or when you feel the world seems to be coming down on you. In 30 minutes, with the right training intensity you will feel focused, directed and successful. Powerful stuff I know - and it works.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sprints : An Efficient Way to Lose Fat

Here is a summary by Ryan Halverson (IDEA Fitness Association which I am a member of) of a recent published study. The first thing I will say is you need to make sure your body is ready to sprint and that you your muscles are properly activated and balanced (email me derek@yourfitnessedge.com if you have questions). But beyond that these findings and the following summary of them are pretty amazing. Six 30 second sprints produced more fat loss than roughly 35 min of jogging?... I'm in! read on:

Time-crunched individuals interested in fat loss may want to cut running workouts short. Results from a study published in
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2011; 43 [1], 115–22) suggest that repeated maximal-intensity sprints yield greater fat loss than longer-duration, moderate-intensity running. The 20 study participants were split into two groups: sprinters and runners. Each group ran three times per week for 6 weeks. The first group performed all-out sprints, 30 seconds in duration, six times per session. They were given a 4-minute rest between sprints. The second group ran for 30–60 minutes per session at 65% VO2max. By the end of the 6-week study, fat mass had decreased by 5.8% in the moderate-intensity group and by 12.4% in the sprint group. Both groups experienced improvements in 2,000-meter run time and VO2max.


Edge Fitness Outdoor Event:
Cowles Mountain Hike via Barker Way
try a new approach!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stand-up paddleboarding offers killer core workout

Been meaning to try paddle boarding and finally got to do it thanks to my brother, Brian, getting me out on the water this past Sunday (see attached article for more on paddleboarding). I loved it - and based on what I heard and read I can confirm the potential core and leg workout. And hey Kate Hudson swears by it - not too shabby of a body on her. Even though I was only out on the water for about 20 minutes (I made it a little late to my bros rental time period), I got a good sense of the workout. What I liked most was that I can see that it has the potential to be beneficial across a spectrum of fitness levels and ages. It required less balance than I thought (although I am pretty balanced) and I think as long as you can swim you can do it (you can always wear a life jacket). And as I often preach nothing beats getting a workout or two outdoors during the week - especially in San Diego. You always get a sense of training your soul along with your body when you are outdoors. And assuming you don't have a ton of wave runners motoring by paddle boarding can be quite peaceful. I noticed most of the work in my feet, glutes and core (particularly my obliques). I highly recommend paddle boarding for outdoor fitness. The learning curve is quite small (compared to most board sports like surfing and wakeboarding) and I feel that it will be much better on your body and spine compared to kayaking. The seated posture of kayaking (and rowing) can add to the fact that we are on our butts too often anyways. The standing position is such a plus for your body's alignment. Definitely give it a try and feel free to contact me if you have any questions: derek@yourfitnessedge.com

Here is a good article on paddleboarding that I found:

Stand-up paddleboarding offers killer core workout

Here are two locations in San Diego to try out and rent paddle boards:
Mission Bay

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Healthiest Meal Replacement RTD Ever

At some point during my day you might notice me sipping on a Ready-to-Drink (RTD) meal replacement drink. It has been one of my biggest keys for keeping my metabolism revving and not skipping meals - and ultimately staying lean throughout the years. As I always stress there is nothing like the real thing.. real food that is. A meal of lean protein, slow digesting carbs and vegetables is how you should eat regularly if you want to lose fat or stay lean. But during our busy lives it is often not possible to always have that type of meal - especially in a work environment. Doesn't look very good when you are trying to teach a class or attend a meeting while chomping on your healthy meal! And because of this, busy individuals often skip meals and wait to eat until it is practical. At this point your metabolism has lowered and your appetite is through the roof. This is a nasty formula for hitting the fast food drive-thru on the way home. RTDs do the trick and help prevent you from doing this.
The only thing that has always been on my mind in regards to RTDs is what is really in them. Yes they have the proper ratio of protein, carbs and fats - but what about the preservatives and artificial sugars? Well finally a company, Orgain Nutrition, has got the formulation right. Their RTD, Orgain RTD meal replacement drink, is USDA certified organic and it has no artificial sugars.

I highly recommend this product if you tend to go longer than 3-4 hours with out a totally balanced meal (source of protein, carbs and fats). You will notice a difference in your energy and especially with your appetite and cravings?
Here is the company website for more information on the product:
Here is the website that I use for purchasing most our supplements and their link for Orgain:
It is also sold at all Whole Foods Stores.
Give it a try, great product.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cowles Mountain—East Approach Trail | Grossmont California Hikes | Trails.com

Cowles Mountain—East Approach Trail | Grossmont California Hikes | Trails.com

My son and I are off to try out a different approach to Cowles Mountain on our Sunday morning hike. Most of you know the great workout the standard South Cowles Mountain trail offers - problem is that so does the rest of San Diego (especially on the weekend).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Is It Bad to Cook Your Vegetables?

We all know the powerful benefits of regular vegetable consumption. Vegetables of all types are packed with vitamins and minerals, cancer fighting phytonutrients and a good amount of essential dietary fiber. And they are a great way to fill you up without packing on the calories – i.e. great fat loss tool. You may have also heard that certain cooking methods affect the ‘active’ content of nutrients in vegetables. I have been asked before, “You’re a trainer and you cook your vegetables?” What…. Are you kidding me? Cruising the aisles of Whole Foods I have even heard some hardcore raw foods advocates say that cooking vegetables is the equivalent of murder,... “you take the life out of them”. Seriously?, Am I a bad person for torturing vegetables in our Stir Fry pan? But I digress. Me personally, I can handle a good salad with raw vegetables (thanks to the fatty dressing), but you will not find me snacking on good, old raw vegetables like it was a handful of my favorite salted nuts. I definitely like to cook my vegetables, especially stir frying them. So what is the effect of cooking on vegetables and is one cooking method better than others?

There have been many studies on the effect from cooking vegetables. And although there is some reduction in nutrients, especially from boiling and crock potting, the good news is you are not ‘killing’ the value of these foods.

Boiling vegetables or making your favorite soup loaded with vegetables can cause about an average 30-50% reduction in nutrients. For example, boiling broccoli has a 38% reduction in Vitamin C. The longer you boil or ‘crock pot’ the vegetable the higher the percentage loss. And the more you reheat these vegetables the more the percentage loss. I suppose if you make a good vegetable soup and let it sit for hours on the stove top (I wonder if my wife is reading this… she makes a ‘mean’ soup) you could potentially kill all the nutrients in the vegetables. I think the bottom line is to try and not boil your vegetables, and if you are going to make a soup try to consume it near its completion and not allow it to sit for hours.

Steaming and quick stir frying with a moderate amount of oil were shown to be the best choices. Steaming retains about 90 to 100% of the nutrients. Stir frying retains about 80 to 95% of the nutrients. Baking retains about 60 to 75% of the nutrients. Sautéing, which typically uses more oil than stir frying, retains about 60 to 75% of nutrients.

So yes there is some reduction in nutrients when cooking vegetables. But I look at all this cooking stuff in a different way, kind of the same way that I have always looked at everything related to good health and wellness choices. Consistency is king… Not perfection! If cooking your vegetables makes you enjoy them that much more and if cooking allows you to make them part of your diet more often - then do it. If adding a little bit of oil and spices and stir frying works better for you – then go for it. Yes, you might not want to consider the vegetables in a soup the best way to get them, but that doesn’t mean it is a horrible food choice.

So go ahead, torture those little guys. You are going to eat them anyways!

What is a Greens Supplement and Why Should You be Taking One?

I have to admit something… A couple of years ago I started talking to all of you about a supplement/nutraceutical company that a very close friend of mine started. What I have to admit is that although I was very proud of the three products he had formulated (a Joint formula, Multi-vitamin-mineral-omega pack and a Phytonutrient Greens formula) I really didn’t stick with the Greens product. My friend Travis convinced me of its benefits, but I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. I have stuck with his multi-vitamin-mineral-omega daily pack, but I just let the Phytonutrient Greens sit in our fridge. Only recently have I been researching the explosion of Greens products in health food stores and their proposed benefits.

The bottom line is this: Although I eat a pretty good diet and take a high quality mulit-vitamin-mineral-omega (fish oil) I still don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables. As a matter of fact, I work hard to keep my sugar content down to stay lean and that naturally limits my fruit intake. Nevertheless, what I am missing is a huge array of phytonutrients (nutrients beyond vitamins and minerals found in food) that nutrition scientists are just starting to learn about. The main benefit of these phytonutrients is their ORAC value. ORAC value is the National Institute of Health’s way of measuring a particular foods ability to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals within our body, which increase with age and within the conditions we live (pollution, toxins, etc..), cause oxidative damage and can contribute to cancer, age related degeneration and other diseases. Some high ORAC valued foods are blueberries, spices like cinnamon and pecans. Although I will continue to try and get high ORAC valued foods in my diet I am going to get back with the Greens formula (DC Greens) my friend Travis formulated. There are also plenty of other great Greens powders sold at stores like Henry’s and Whole Foods. Some of the ingredients in the DC Greens formulation are carrot juice, blueberry leaf, spirulina, red wine extract… I simply mix the powder in water and drink. My wife says she is not very fond of the taste, while I love how it tastes…..you say, “Tomahto” and I say, “Tomato”… Again you can try many different brands out there, hopefully you get it right on the first try. Pretty much most of what is sold at Whole Foods is a good product. And yes I highly recommend that you all work to try and get your disease fighting foods up (fruits, vegetables and nuts), yet I now recommend using a Greens formula as an insurance policy for high ORAC valued foods.

I do carry the DC Greens product at the gym so you can ask me about it. I do this because for one I think Travis made a great product (www.DCnutra.com ), and secondly it creates a level of convenience for my clients. But again there are plenty of other good brands out there. One other high quality brand is NanoGreens by Biopharma Scientific (www.biopharmasci.com) I think it is a no brainer now that we should all be taking one. Better late than never!