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Should You Be Eating Spicy Food?! (This might change your mind!)

Should You Be Eating Spicy Food?! (This might change your mind!)

I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY - The chicken wing capital of the world.  And yes, They are called chicken wings in Buffalo (not buffalo wings). 

So you would probably just assume that I love hot wings and spicy food right?  Wrong! In fact, it was quite the opposite.  Growing up, I would sometimes dare to eat the medium wings and even then I would load it up with blue cheese just to turn down the heat a little bit. 

It wasn't until I got dared by Branch Warren to eat his Wicked Cutz-Carolina Killa beef jerky that I started to change my mind about spicy food.

I was two(small) pieces in when I broke out sweating and was begging for some water-glad I had my 36oz Beast Ice Shaker on hand!  But, for some reason after the burning sensation went away, I wanted to eat some more...Was I just a glutton for punishment or, was there more to the effects of extreme spiciness taking place? 

I got home that day and started to read a little bit more about spicy and food to try and figure out if it was healthy or harmful for your body.  I figured that if I was sweating from eating it, it had to be increasing my body temperature and possibly helping to burn body fat and increase my metabolism, right?

So I immediately started to think about my diet.  If I could add something to my diet that was super high in protein, with little or no carbs or fat and could help burn fat then I needed to implement it asap!  So It was time to do some research and this is what I found:

The Benefits of spicy food:

1. Weight Loss: I was on to something here! Spicy food may jack up your metabolism. Studies show that the main compound in chilies, called capsaicin, has a thermogenic effect and may cause the body to burn calories for 20 minutes post chow-down.  I would say that I was sweating for a good 20 minutes after eating the carolina killa jerky.

2. Heart Health: Studies suggest that people that eat the most spicy food have much lower incidence of heart attack and stroke. Potential reasons: Chili peppers can reduce the damaging effects of LDL (bad cholesterol) and capsaicin may fight inflammation, which has been flagged as a risk factor for heart issues.

Vitamins A and C strengthen the heart muscle walls, and the heat of the pepper increases blood flow throughout your body. All of this equals a stronger cardiovascular system and could lower blood pressure as well.

3. Cancer Prevention: According to the American Association for Cancer Research, capsaicin has the ability to kill some cancer and leukemic cells. 

4. Mood Booster: Spicy foods boost production of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin. So they may help ease depression and stress. When your body detects the spice(capsaicin) it raises it's defense mechanisms to offset the burn-in this case, seratonin.  That is why, from a psychological standpoint, even though your mouth is on fire, your mind is telling you it wants more.

 

Not a fan of crazy-spicy food?  The carolina killa may not be for you, but, I have found that the volcanic jalapeno is the perfect amount of heat for me.  I still get a good sweat going and still enjoy the experience. 

 AND for everyone that read this whole article and is thinking "What the heck is carolina killa?" - I talked to CEO of Wicked Cutz and convinced him to send me over his best coupon code from our readers so that you can try it out as well.  Will you dare try out the carolina killa?  Or will you join me and stick with the volcanic jalapeno? Either way, you're going to get a healthy serving of protein with a little(or big) boost in your metabolism.

Get 20% off of your order from Wicked Cutz Jerky by using code GRONK20

PLEASE NOTE* Be smart about consuming extremely spicy foods. If you have a condition that is affected by spicy foods, we recommend that you DO NOT TRY the spicy jerky referenced in the above post.  Instead, opt for one of Wicked Cutz more sweet and mild options.

 

 

 

Best Fruits and Vegetables to Mix with Protein Powder

Best Fruits and Vegetables to Mix with Protein Powder

Drinking a protein shake is one of the best ways to monitor your calorie intake and ensure that you get sufficient amounts of proteins in your diet. In your quest to find the best unflavored protein powder, it is important to look at other ingredients such as fruits or vegetables to incorporate in your protein shake recipe. You can check the Nutrisystem review by Total Shape for list of foods that will fit your nutritional needs to achieve your ideal shape.


Most protein powders have a chalky taste to them and would be hard to drink on their own. You can jazz it up by adding other ingredients to your shake. Not only does the addition of fruits and vegetables add flavor, but they can also increase the nutritional value of your protein shake recipe.


Below is a list of the best types of fruits and vegetables you can add to your protein shake mix. 


Coconut

coconut

Best ingredients to add to protein powder shakes (Image Source: Unsplash)


Coconut is one of the most popular ingredients used when making protein shake recipes. One reason for its popularity is that coconut complements just about any protein powder mixes. It is also available in different forms, giving you more flexibility with its use. You can add coconut milk or blend coconut water into your protein powder shake. You can also use coconut shavings to add texture to your drink. 


Aside from adding flavor and texture to protein shakes, it is a good source of beneficial nutrients. Coconut is rich in B vitamins, dietary fiber, iron, and unsaturated fat. It also adds a sweet taste to your protein shakes that does not overpower any other ingredients you use. 


Banana


Like coconut, banana is another popular ingredient or fruit used for protein shakes. You can add banana on its own or mixed with other fruits for more flavor and nutritional content. Bananas make an excellent addition to protein shakes because they add a creamy texture, as well as the right amount of sweetness. 


The best part is that bananas are packed with nutrients such as vitamin A that promotes good eyesight. It also has vitamin B6 that helps convert food into energy while reducing the risk of cardiovascular conditions. Bananas are also rich in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. 


When choosing bananas for protein shakes, opt for the riper ones as they have more nutrients and are sweeter. The mushy texture of ripe bananas also makes them easier to blend and incorporate into your protein shake. 


Berries

Berries

Top health foods to add to protein shakes (Image Source: Unsplash)


Berries are commonly referred to as a superfood because they are naturally rich in nutrients and other beneficial properties. When you add them to your protein shake, these berries will also provide robust flavor to your shake. There are a variety of berries that are available in the market and you can choose ones that you like most. You can even try using different types of berries in one protein shake recipe to make it more exciting and flavorful, not to mention healthy.


The most common types of berries used for making protein shakes include raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, blackberry, and more. You can use fresh or frozen berries since they can offer the same benefits to your protein shake recipe. Berries are also easy to mix with other fruits and vegetables. They go so well with bananas, chocolate, and matcha, to name a few. This will make it more fun to experiment with different recipes so you always have something new to try. 


Spinach


When it comes to incorporating vegetables in your protein smoothie or shake, spinach is among the most popular choices available. It is the ideal option when you plan on making a green smoothie because it comes with a neutral taste so it does not affect the overall flavor. It also blends easily and does not create a lot of chunks in your protein shake, which is a good thing for those who like a smooth blend. 


As a bonus, spinach is a good source of vitamins and antioxidants. If you want to ramp up the health benefits of your smoothie or shake, then you definitely need this in your recipe. Some of the best combinations of ingredients you can add with spinach for making protein shakes include banana, flaxseed, coconut, berries, yogurt, and more. 


Carrots

carrots

Add carrots to your protein shake (Image Source: Unsplash)


A carrot protein smoothie or shake is another popular recipe, especially among health buffs. Carrot juices are known for their benefits due to being packed with protein and fiber. You can add carrots to your protein powder shake and it would make a complete meal replacement ideal for breakfast or a light lunch.


You can also blend carrots with other fruits and vegetables such as orange, pineapple, mango, and berries to add flavor. It is a great choice of protein shake recipe for a post-workout recovery drink, too! 


Variety is the name of the game here. Make sure you incorporate different fruits and vegetables in your protein shake recipes in order to get a variety of nutrients, too. Plus, it makes your protein shake recipes more exciting and delicious. Make it a habit to stock up on healthy foods so you can easily incorporate them when making protein shakes.

Top 7 Healthy On The Go Snacks

Top 7 Healthy On The Go Snacks

When we are hungry, it's so easy to grab the first thing that you see.  A lot of times it doesn't matter if it's healthy of unhealthy, you are going to eat it.  So instead of keeping junk food laying around, try out some of these easy, on the go, healthy snacks!

1. Jerky(Beef, Turkey, Pork)

This is always a good choice for anyone looking to add some protein to your diet.  Jerky is super high in protein and low in both fat and carbs.  Our pick for best jerky is Wicked Cutz by a mile.  Their jerky is made of only the quality ingredients and will be evident when you take your first bite.  They are also one of the more creative jerky brands out there as they offer unique seasonings like Orange Teryaki, Korean BBQ and for those who love HEAT, the unforgiving yet delicious Carolina Killa.  Oh, and if you're a bacon lover like we are, you have to try their Maple Bacon Jerky! 

2. Protein Cookie

You read that correctly...a healthy alternative to the sugar packed morsels that you love so much.  Thing is, most protein "cookies" you see are really just protein bars made into the shape of a cookie.  NOT ANYMORE! 5Pro Nutrition has recently launched their Protein Cookie and people are raving about how much they actually taste like real cookies.  Each cookie includes at least 16g of protein(some flavors have more), 10g of fiber, and use only high quality ingredients.  5Pro Protein Cookies are all gluten free and kosher. 

3. Protein Pancakes

You are probably looking at this one thinking how is this an on the go snack?  I like to make Kodiak cakes with egg whites and skim milk and pack them as a snack.  They taste good enough to eat cold and without syrup. It's almost like eating a muffin.

Pro Tip:  Mix the batter using a 26oz Ice Shaker bottle.  Seriously.  It mixes the batter up to a smooth texture and makes it easy to pour the exact amount you want into the pan.  Best part is...cleanup is a BREEZE. Simply wash your shaker and you're done!  Sure beats cleaning a bowl, whisk, measuring cup, etc.  

4. Hard Boiled Eggs

This is always an easy on the go snack.  Packed with protein, no carbs and a good source of fat if you eat the yolk.  Plus they are super simple to make. 

5. Banana and Peanut Butter

When we need some extra carbs and healthy fats, this is a go-to, all natural snack.  Grab some of the single servings of PB and toss a banana in your bag and you are all set.  If you are looking to increase your protein intake, then try out Nuts-N-More. Their spreads are delicious and loaded with protein.  

6. Protein Shake

Obviously, we're going to include this one...but, not just because we love shaker bottles! Proetin shakes are a super easy way to boast your protein intake for the day and also keep track of exactly how much protein you are getting.  Protein shakes are so easy to make and you can take them just about anywhere.

Just make sure you have your Ice Shaker with you and you can blend a shake anytime, anywhere.  Pair it up with protein coffee or an all natural whey and you are all set! 

LIMITED TIME OFFER: We're making it easy for you to step up your snacking game by bundling up 5Pro Natural Whey and 5Pro Protein cookies!  PLUS, we want to make sure you're shakes are smooth and ice cold...so we're throwing in a 16oz Ice Shaker bottle for FREE.

 

7. Overnight Oats

This has quickly become a new favorite thanks to Mush.  If you see them in your local grocery store, or want to order online, they are a great healthy, on-the-go option.  Or, you can make your own overnight oats! Just grab some oatmeal and some of your favorite ingredients and create your own masterpiece. Don't be afraid to get creative with it! 

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