Put more power in your plate!

Five of our favourite food and drinks and why CrossFitters need them in their lives!

Coconut Oil - the healthiest way to cook

Yes, all nut oils are good for you, but mostly only when unheated. Sesame oil, for example has unstable molecules which mean that, when heated at high temperatures (frying your breakfast bacon, for example) it virtually becomes as unhealthy as using vegetable oil. This process doesn’t occur with the medium chain fatty acids of coconut oil, which are more stable. Another fabulous thing about coconut oil is that it is converted into instant energy in a similar way to carbs or sugar but it doesn’t spike insulin levels (which is your fat storage hormone)! This means you are less likely to crash and grab something sugary after eating it. Not all coconut oils are made equal however; raw, virgin coconut oil is best because it is extracted from the coconut milk of fresh coconuts. We’ve tasted quite a few different types of virgin coconut oil (and, sadly for us, we’ve tasted the unrefined kind too, which isn’t so great), and our favourite is Takamaka, all the way from the Indian Ocean island of Praslin in the Seychelles: www.coconutology.com

coconutoil

Buffalo - hunter-gatherers loved their game

Our ancestors didn’t just eat chicken, cows and sheep like most of us carnivores do these days. Gamier meats like buffalo (as well as ostrich, venison, and rabbit) are worth searching for; not only are they lower in fat than beef, but they are also a valuable source of Omega 3 and pretty tasty too.

“I’d always choose a game meat from my butcher over meat from any supermarket,” says Matt Hodges, owner and founder of MPH Method Personal Training (www.themphmethod.com).“It’s the obvious choice, when 100g of Venison meat yields around 22g of protein with around 1.5g of fat as opposed to that of Chicken, which yields only 12.5g of protein and 1g of Fat per 100g.”

As with many other awesome ingredients (see raw cacao, below), these meats are not so easy to find. Try your local butcher first, or search the internet for high quality meat delivery services.

Progenex Flow - Salmon Protein drink

Yes, we know: we don’t usually blow smoke up our own backsides in this blog and (have you noticed?) we rarely mention our own products here… But this time we can’t help it: Progenex Flow is one thing you need in your store cupboard, in your gym bag or at the office, all the time. Of course, we agree that “real” food is generally better than supplements but Progenex’s new Flow product is about the cleanest protein injection on the market (and nobody wants to be caught chomping on a fillet of fish in a business meeting anyway). Each serving of Flow contains around 300g of high-quality, sustainably-sourced salmon, hydrolysed for rapid absorption. This completely dairy-free form of protein drink (great for those who don’t like, or can’t handle, whey protein) will help your muscles through midday lulls and traffic jams. Thank goodness there’s no fishy aftertaste either; somehow we’ve managed to make it taste like tropical island punch… (www.progenexeurope.com)

flow

Kale - the inexpensive, green giant

If there’s one vegetable that needs to be a big part of your weekly meal plan, it’s Kale. Yes, when boiled it can taste a bit sour, but cooked right - shredded, steamed or pan fried and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar - it can be delicious. Not only is this green giant seriously good value, in comparison to other cruciferous vegetables like purple sprouting broccoli, but it’s also stuffed full of antioxidants, iron, magnesium and Vitamins C,K and A. It is also very alkaline, which helps to offset the acidity of coffee, fast foods and alcohol, and apparently contains the types of compounds which, when digested, help to fight off cancer.

kalediet

Raw Cocao - the big daddy of chocolate powders

If you are one of the few people who genuinely doesn’t like chocolate, you can skip this bit. But for the rest of you chocaholics out there, great news! All you need to worry about is avoiding the processed kind of chocolate, because ‘raw cacoa’ - that’s cacao in its purest, most natural form - is actually really good for you. It is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans so that the awesome, health-giving little enzymes in them remain, unlike with the ordinary, cheap version which has been roasted at high temperatures and much of the goodness lost.

“It’s an amazing ingredient” says British nutritionist Madeleine Shaw, who has a wealth of recipes incorporating this brown powder available on her website (www.madeleineshaw.com): “It energises the body and provides it with a good dose of magnesium which help relieve tired muscles and ease sleep.”

Yes, we know: raw cocao isn’t always readily available in supermarkets (though, sadly, these days, this is usually a good sign), but don’t give up just yet - online whole food suppliers and health food stores stock it by the pound! They should also sell the natural sweetener, Xylitol, which makes it a whole lots more palatable. Originally from natural tree-bark sap, xylitol is a third less calorific than regular sugar and doesn’t have the same negative affect on insulin levels. Try using xylitol or coconut sugar to sweeten hot chocolate made with almond milk and raw cacao.

Tagged with: Crossfit Progenex Nutrition Health

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