"MEATUP" to Eat Up

Hey, Hey CCSC Beasts and Beastettes, we've got some great new products centered on convenient AND healthy eating coming into the CCSC community! "Meat-Up" is the name of the company that creates convenient AND Paleo-friendly. The company also provides its distribution centers with a freezer to keep the meals frozen until you pick them up. These meals taste great and are packed with the nutrients necessary for being beastly! But, are all the meals equally appropriate for your health-based goals? (Hint: the answer is NO!)

If you're having trouble deciding which savory 'Meat-Up' products to order, it might be helpful for you think about your meal selections in terms of the "Anytime Meal Plate" and the "Post-Workout Meal Plate".  Also, make your meal decisions based upon your personal health goals.

Remember, if your goal is fat loss, then you're trying to save most or all of your starchy carbs for after your workouts. If you're trying to gain mass, then you can and should eat carbohydrates more often throughout the day.  If your goal is weight maintenance with enhanced performance, it may be appropriate for you to have carbs at 2 out of 4 meals around your workouts, such as the meals before and after your workout. 

If you're trying to stay fairly low carb or are using the meals as "Anytime Plate" meals, then, I'd suggest the Breakfast Sausage and Sweet Potato Home Fries or the Beef Chicana which both have fewer than 20 carbohydrates for the entire meal. 

All of the other meals being offered by 'Meat-Up' at this time are appropriate for a "Post-Workout Meal" and range anywhere from 30-50 carbs with the Sweet Potato and Beef Chili ranking highest in both carbohydrates and protein.  If I was an athlete looking to bulk up, I'd definitely invest my money in some chili. The Pecan-Crusted Meat Loaf is both high carb and high fat and therefore, is more appropriate as a bulking meal, or as a "once-in-a-while" meal if your goal includes weight maintenance or fat loss. 

While this nutritional information is publicly displayed on the "Meat-Up" website, I've simply gathered it all into one document and categorized it based upon "Anytime" and "Post-Workout Meal Plates," in order to help you make informed choices when ordering.  

▪️ APPROPRIATE FOR ANYTIME MEALS

~ Beef Chicana

Nutrition info: 350 calories, 38g protein, 14g carbs, 10g fats

~ Breakfast Sausage and Sweet Potato Home Fries 

Nutritional info: 370 calories, 40g protein, 19g carbs, 12g fat

▪️ APPROPRIATE FOR POST-WORKOUT MEALS

~ Sausage-Stuffed Bell Pepper

Nutrition info: 300 calories, 34g protein, 29g carbs, 8g fats

~ Chicken Curry

Nutrition info: 410 calories, 40g protein, 30g carbs, 15g fat

~ BBQ Chicken

Nutrition info: 354 calories, 38g protein, 31g carbs, 8g fat.

~ Sweet Potato and Beef Chili

Nutrition info: 544 calories, 50g protein, 52g carbs, 15g fat

▪️ APPROPRIATE FOR BUILDING BULK OR AS A 'CHEAT' MEAL  (POST-WORKOUT)

~ Pecan-Crusted Meat Loaf

Nutrition info: 525 calories, 42g protein, 38g carbs, 28g fat

So, when you're ordering your "Meat-Up" meals, try to plan out how many meals you might need as well as the types of meals that are most appropriate for your individual goals. 

See you around the meat locker!  - Amber

CARBS! SUGAR! and FAT! Oh My!

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet;" -William Shakespeare 

Relax, relax: I know it's summer; and this isn't Freshman English class! But, it is an informative article regarding the widely known, yet highly controversial, topic of carbohydrates, and their role in your health. 

Simple vs Complex Carbohydrates

When referencing carbohydrates, we often hear that "complex carbohydrates" are better for us than "simple carbohydrates". Is this true? If so, why? ...and, what ARE the similarities and differences between simple and complex carbs, anyway? 

Role in the Body: provides energy for the body to perform both its cellular and physical work

Simple Carbohydrates: single, (unbound) glucose molecules (example: white sugar)

Complex Carbohydrates: single, bonded glucose molecules that are strung together by chemical bonds; those bonds first must be broken by the body in order to access the energy in those single glucose molecules (example: oatmeal)

Similarities: all carbs--simple and complex--come from plants. All carbs--simple and complex--are basically sugars. Because complex carbs must first be broken down into single, unbound glucose molecules (simple sugars) before they can be used by the body, they play the same exact role in the body as simple sugars play. 

Differences: because, as single glucose molecules, they are already in their simplest and smallest form when you ingest them, your body doesn't have to expend energy (calories) breaking down simple sugars, such as white sugar or honey, for use. And if they aren't needed, they are shuttled off to the fat cells and stored for later use.

However, when you consume complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potato or oatmeal, in order to be used for energy, your body must first break the connections between those bonded glucose molecules creating single glucose molecules, which are...you guessed it...simple sugars!!!  

Thus, when we eat complex carbs, our body must USE some of its own stored energy (in the form of stored calories) to break the carbs down into their usable, simple form. Because body uses more calories to process complex carbs, they are considered healthier than simple carbs for your body.

In addition, unlike simple, refined, and processed carbohydrates, whole food, complex carbs have added benefits such as a host of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-angiogenic compounds (anti-angiogenic compounds help prevent blood supplies to abnormal cells helping them to die and be released by the body before they build up as cancer).

Thus, when we eat complex carbs, our body must USE some of its own stored energy (in the form of stored calories) to break the carbs down into their usable, simple form. Because body uses more calories to process complex carbs, they are considered healthier than simple carbs for your body.

In addition, unlike simple, refined, and processed carbohydrates, whole food, complex carbs have added benefits such as a host of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-angiogenic compounds (anti-angiogenic compounds help prevent blood supplies to abnormal cells helping them to die and be released by the body before they build up as cancer).

Thus, regardless of which type of carbohydrate enters your body, if you eat more carbohydrates than your body needs for its daily energy functions, the excess is stored as fat and can provide the body with energy in the future...if extra energy is ever required. This is why, if you consistently ingest more carbs than you use, you can end up with any number of metabolic disturbances such as Type II diabetes and obesity. 

Carbohydrates: 'Good vs Bad'

"Good carbs," unrefined and unprocessed, are eaten in their original, whole form. Examples include vegetables, fruits, brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat berries. Your body works hard expending energy breaking chemical bonds so it can access the glucose in theses carbs. 

"Bad carbs" are already broken down, via machinery and sometimes chemical processes, into a simpler form for you. This means your body doesn't use as much of its own own energy to process them for utilization; and unless used rather immediately, they are quickly shuttled off to fat storage for energy use in the future. 

Processed carbs range anywhere from white, table sugar to simple starches like dextrose (often found in workout and recovery beverages); from pasta to the wheat flour in your bread. During the refinement process, most nutrients are removed from the carb resulting in what we've termed "empty calories." These calories are "empty" of any other beneficial nutrient besides pure energy and thus labelled as "bad."

A Sugar By Any Other Name? 

"What's in a name? That which we call a sugar, 

By any other name, is the same!" -Amber St. Claire 

Ha!!! Take THAT, Billy Shakespeare!!  

Hidden sugars can be found in several products without our awareness. Sucrose, fructose, glucose, maltose, dextrose, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed starch, cane juice, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, molasses. These are all names for the same ingredient: SUGAR; and yes, they taste just as sweet as regular sugar and all are processed in the same way by your body...either used for energy or stored as fat. 

When Carbs/Sugars Are Appropriate: During and/or After Exercise

Carbohydrates, even simple sugars, are not inherently bad for you...as long as you use them. If you are happy with your weight and body fat levels and want to maximize your performance in the gym, utilizing simple carbs during and/or immediately after your workout is appropriate. The general formula is to calculate 20% of your body weight, and ingest that amount of both both protein and carbs per hour of exercise. For example, 20% of 150 lbs is 30. So, a 150-pound individual might consume 30 grams of carbs and 30 grams of whey protein for recovery during and/or after a workout. 

For example, you could use powdered Gatorade, waxy maize powder, dextrose, or coconut water mixed with whey protein. 

If you're participating in an endurance event or you're looking to gain mass (weight), an appropriate ratio is to utilize the same formula but then to quadruple the carbs to a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein per hour of exercise. 

If you eat low carb during most of your day (see the Anytime Meal plate), and wait to ingest your carbohydrates during and/or after exercise, your body can better partition the carbs for recovery (partitioning means sending nutrients to the places they're needed the most...in the case of during and/or after exercise, that place is the muscles). This means that, if you're trying to gain mass, you'll likely gain less fat with the muscle gained by using this nutrient timing strategy.

If you're looking to lose body fat, then simply eating a meal with protein and some complex carbohydrates within the three hours after you exercise is appropriate; you don't need the extra, simple carbohydrates found in a recovery drink because you want your body to utilize more of its own fat for energy and recovery (see the Post-Workout Meal Plate). So, if you're looking to lose fat, and you currently eat a lot of carbs (yes, even complex carbs) throughout your entire day, start subbing out those carbs for more veggies and hit up the carbs and sugars after you've exercised, choosing more complex carbs over simple sugars.

- Amber St. Claire

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