A Day In The Life

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

My Day In The Life posts are some of my most popular, and I get requested regularly to put up more of them.

I will again emphasize that I don’t count calories or grams of anything. My intake tends to follow the PN hand-size portion guidelines, as you will see below.

Wake @ 5:30 am

  • 12 oz black coffee

Breakfast @ 6:00 am

  • 5 whole eggs (salted)
  • at least 1/2 of a bell pepper (varied colors) and a bunch of scallions
  • 1 handful of roasted potato mixture from previous night’s dinner (see Dinner below)
  • 1 banana
  • ~1/2 tbsp Kerrygold butter for eggs
  • 1 glass water
  • 1 multivitamin, 1 gram curcumin, 1-2 probiotics

IMG_0103

Super Smoothie @ 10:00 am

  • 12-16 oz water
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach (or lately, a baby kale, baby spinach and swiss chard mix)
  • 1 handful frozen blueberries
  • 1 handful frozen strawberries
  • ~1 tbsp chia seeds
  • ~2 cups Stonyfield whole fat plain yogurt (1/2 container)
  • 2-3 Athletic Greens fish oil pills
  • I also usually have a cup of green tea between here and Lunch

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Lunch @ 2:00 pm

  • 1 Ezekiel English muffin
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • some dijon mustard
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 gourmet cucumber, sliced and salted
  • 10 baby carrots with a little hummus
  • 1/2 oz mixed nuts or almonds
  • 1 apple
  • 2 glasses of water
  • I also usually have a cup of green tea between here and Dinner

IMG_0107

Dinner @ 6:00 pm

  • ~8-10 oz wild salmon
  • ~1/2 tbsp each honey, brown sugar, and dijon mustard (I use 1 tbsp of each to make the full mixture, and spread over 1 lb of salmon)
  • 1-2 fists of roasted butternut squash, with extra virgin olive oil and a little salt and pepper
  • 2 handfuls of roasted potato mixture: red potatoes, purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, mixed peppers, onions, with a little extra virgin olive oil and Montreal chicken seasoning
  • 1 glass red wine (yes, this time it is in a juice glass, as that can go in the dishwasher)
  • 2 glasses of water
  • 1 serving dried fruit and 3 squares of 88% cacao Endangered Species dark chocolate for dessert (which ConsumerLab just found to have the highest levels of flavanols of any dark chocolate tested)

IMG_0105 photo

 

I hope you get something out of seeing a snapshot of my intake. And as usual, would love to hear your thoughts, questions, and comments!

Posted on November 17th, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

6 Comments »

Great Deal on Fish Oil

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

I have written in the past about the health benefits of fish oil, and even about my favorite fish oil product – Athletic Greens Omega3. I will admit, it can be a little bit pricier than some other fish oils on the market. But that’s because it’s quality is second-to-none.

Well now the crew over at Athletic Greens has put together two limited time offers for Omega 3:

Buy 2 Bottles and get One Free - a 47% savings!

Buy 4 Bottles and get Two Free – a 61% savings!

Sounds like a perfect time to stock up on some fish oil!

Athletic Greens Omega3

Posted on September 2nd, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

No Comments »

Elite Athletic Development

Filed under: General Health, Training

I just returned from providing some continuing education to high-level Equinox trainers in NYC. This is something that I do 4-6 times per year – providing 11 hours of continuing ed over the course of two days on each trip to major cities all over the US.

And it always reminds me of the power of extended presentations like that. Having continuous access to a speaker/presenter for a couple of days allows for a more intimate and effective coaching setting. As the presenter, I get to be more comfortable, and really try to teach a big-picture perspective (because I now have the time). As as attendees, the trainers get to really absorb a lot of my thoughts and experiences, and ask innumerable questions over those 2 days.

With that idea in mind, I wanted to introduce you to two world-class coaches…Joe Kenn (NFL Strength Coach) and Mike Robertson (who I have talked about many times).

A few months ago, they put on an exclusive seminar called the Elite Athletic Development Seminar. Over the course of 2 days (15 hours) they pulled back the curtain to show exactly how they write programs and coach their athletes. And much like those private Equinox talks I give, that amount of time really allows for some unbelievable material to be shared, and to really see their big-picture approach to coaching.

The seminar already happened so you can’t sign up for it now, but I wanted to let you know that they recorded that seminar and are making it available.

Elite Athletic Development

Here’s a small sampling in what’s in the course:

  • Critical approach to make sure all of your programming bases are covered
  • How to develop programs that address multiple physical qualities (i.e. speed, power, strength, conditioning, etc)
  • Where most programs fail miserably – and what you can do to avoid it
  • A “behind-the-scenes” look at real programs, designed by real coaches, No theory and conjecture here, just the good bad and the ugly behind real world programs
  • A step-by-step process on how to build complex programs. Chasing one physical capacity is easy, but how do you address multiple factors without killing your athletes?
  • How to organize daily and weekly training sessions for maximum success
  • The evolution of Joe Kenn’s Tier System, and how he’s using it today to build elite athletes
  • 6 factors for coaching success

If you’re serious about becoming the best coach possible, the Elite Athletic Development seminar is a must-have resource in your collection, so I highly recommend you check it out.

Posted on August 19th, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

No Comments »

Does Nutrient Timing Still Matter?

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

A few months ago I wrote a controversial article for PN called Is nutrient timing dead?: And does “when” you eat really matter?

It generated some buzz, to say the least. The answer to the question is of course both yes and no. It all depends on the context.

Some people loved it, as they felt it provided some newfound freedom into their diet. No longer did they have to worry so much about meal timing. Now they could just focus on how much they are eating, and the quality of that food, and not stress about exactly when they are eating it.

Other people were furious, as they felt that the PW/AT distinction had come to define PN, and that we were just sweeping that away. This actually was not true. We were just adding more flexibility.

If the PW/AT distinction and framework  works for you, then by all means please continue with it. YOUR results are ultimately what matters, not my theoretical meanderings. To me, that is what defines PN – that it is all about what works for YOU, not what we think will work for you. It is only the outcome that matters to us.

However, if you were someone who felt constrained by the PW/AT framework (as I did), then we offered a new set up for you (our hand-sized portion guidelines) that was equally as effective physiologically, and that many found to be much easier to implement and manage.

Neither approach is definitely right or wrong. It all depends on what works best for you.

And the exact importance of timing your meals also depends on the context, as I alluded to earlier. This is especially true in respect to timing your intake around your training (which I covered here). This is a great visual depiction of what I am talking about:

Nutritient Timing Continuum

As you can see, the need to worry about timing around activity all depends the conditions of that activity, and your goals. For most of us, it is not terribly important. For others, it is far more so.

This is true even for having a protein shake post-workout. You could, as it is not going to hurt, but it isn’t really necessary in most cases. You are ok to wait until you drive home to have something. It could be a Super Shake, or it could be a whole food meal. The choice there is yours.

That was one of the most research-heavy articles I have ever written for PN, and I worked on it for weeks to get it all right. In a similar vein, Examine.com has just released an incredible new resource for people, called their Stack Guides.

They recognize that things are not always strictly black and white – that there is nuance and many shades of gray. To that end, they created these tremendous resources for people who are looking to take supplements for specific contexts – say to increase muscle mass, lose fat, or improve cardiovascular health or blood sugar control. Rather than trying to research individual supplements, they have put together resources for the best combination of options to help you reach your goals.

stackbooks-300x238

They are an  independent, 100% transparent and unbiased source. They don’t sell any supplements, so their recommendations are all based on sound science, not them trying to make a quick buck.

Each stack also includes:

  • Stacks catered not only to a goal (ie. fat loss) but also demographics (ie. for people who cannot easily tolerant stimulants)
  • Nonsupplemental tips to help maximize efficacy
  • Practical considerations when dealing with the components, like how to easily avoid minor side-effects of inconveniences
  • Safety information on possible drug-drug interactions (although not all could be mentioned, referring to your medical doctor is still mandatory)
  • Tips to help future supplement additions
  • Free lifetime updates – as new research comes out, the stack guides will be updated accordingly

This will be a great resource for anyone looking to take supplements, or any fitness professional who has clients asking about what supplements to take. These resources are absolutely fantastic, and I really could have used these in my early days of training myself and coaching others – it would have saved me some serious money on supplements, and helped me give better direction to my clients. Click here to learn more.

Posted on July 1st, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

No Comments »

Workout Nutrition Infographic

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training

A few weeks ago I wrote a comprehensive article for Precision Nutrition on appropriate nutrition protocols for working out and competing in athletic events. It was incredibly well received and gave general and specific outlines on what YOU should eat around your specific training and needs. Read it here.

Now, this was like a 4,000 word article. It went into great depth, and covered a lot of ground. But I also realize that not everyone is interested in reading 4,000 words. They just want to know what to do, and how to do it. The most practical takeaways.

So with that in mind, we came up with an awesome infographic that distills those 4,000 words down into an easy to understand and apply format. Here is a small screen shot of what it looks like:

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 9.15.33 AM

It is based both on your body type (which is a general proxy for genetics, metabolism and carb tolerance) as well as your goals (which tends to cover your activity levels). Now clearly this can’t be entirely comprehensive, but it does give you a fantastic starting point for how to eat around your training and competition to give you the best results possible.

Go here to see the full infographic.

We also provide a fully printable version of the infographic to boot!

Before I take off to Winnipeg for the weekend (I am presenting at the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association 48th National Conference), I wanted to also let you know that Mike Robertson’s fantastic Bulletproof Athlete is $50 off until midnight this Sunday.

I don’t endorse too many products, but Mike consistently puts out top-notch content, and this product is his best yet.

Bulletproof Athlete

In case you’re unfamiliar with the product, here’s a brief overview of what you’ll find in the Bulletproof Athlete training system:

  • 16-weeks of done-for-you training programs. Mike has written all of your workouts for the next 16-weeks. All you have to do is show up and train!
  • 3 Programs for 1 Price! This is not a one-size-fits-all training program, so he created three workouts that you can choose from to determine which is best for you given your needs, goals, and time available to train.
  • 160+ Exercises in the Video Database. Mike also coaches and cues every exercise in the program to make sure you’re doing things right. No guessing on how to perform movements – just follow along and you’re good to go!
  • Weekly Nutrition and Recovery challenges. Every week you get a nutrition and recovery goal to help you build solid habits. After all, it’s not how hard you train, it’s how fast you recover that’s important!

Save $50 on Bulletproof Athlete HERE.

Posted on May 30th, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

3 Comments »

How Many Carbs Do You Need?

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training, Weight Loss, Youth Training

A few months ago I wrote a somewhat controversial article for Precision Nutrition entitled Carb controversy: Why low-carb diets have got it all wrong.

The purpose of the article was to show that people’s carbohydrate needs vary depending on several factors, most importantly your activity level.

Many took the article to be bashing a low or lower carb approach, which it really was not. The title might make it seem that way, but the piece itself made it clear that there is a time and a place for a low carb approach. It’s just not all the time, for everyone.

In fact, here is how I think people’s carb needs fall:

Bell Curve for Carb Needs

As you can see, most people would do best with a more moderate approach, as it provides:

  • ample protein and fat to meet needs and prevent deficiencies;
  • adequate carbohydrates to meet needs and prevent problems of inadequate intake (testosterone dropping, cortisol rising, etc); and,
  • the greatest flexibility and freedom in food and meal choices, allowing for the greatest long-term consistency (the real key to sustained success).

To me, there are 3 very distinct populations that I was speaking to with this piece:

1. The general population (of which about 70% tends to be overweight).

2. The fitness crowd.

3. Insulin resistant and/or sedentary individuals.

The goals of the general population tend to be fairly modest. They often just want practical and reasonable approaches to help them find a sustainable path to their goals. The approach I provided will do just that.

The fitness crowd tends to be a little carb-shy, much to their detriment. It is something that the Paleo/Crossfit crowd has discovered. They have been recommending people up their intake of carbs lately (generally from things like sweet potatoes) as they have discovered that long-term intense training combined with a low carb diet generally does not turn out well. People in the fitness industry, or who just love fitness, should match their carb intake to their genetics, goals and activity levels. They might be surprised what they find when they do.

Insulin resistant and/or sedentary individuals would do better with a reduced carbohydrate intake. Probably in that 1 standard deviation less than the average. In this case, the average carbohydrate intake that I was advocating for was only about 40% of calories. Assuming you eat about 4 times per day, this equates to ~2 cupped handfuls of carbs for men and ~1 cupped handful of carbs for women per meal. We generally recommend that insulin resistant and/or sedentary individuals cut carbs back to about 25% of calories. This equates to ~1 cupped handful of carbs for men and ~0.5 cupped handful of carbs for women per meal. People who are insulin resistant simply do not handle carbs well. And people who are sedentary simply do not need as many since they are not as active.

To put the final nail in the coffin, here are a few studies you may find interesting.

Overfeed study of fat vs carbs. They actually found overfeeding of fat to lead to greater fat accumulation than overfeeding of carbs - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7598063

Overfeeding of fat vs carbs #2. No significant differences were found between eating 1200 excess fat or carb calories - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11029975

And a review study that ultimately concluded that a moderate approach is generally the best approach to start most people on - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15867892

And finally, a cool new site I have come across provides some fantastic information. I have no idea whose site it is, but their take on the low carb/high fat vs. high carb/low fat debate was fantastic and thoroughly referenced - http://fitnessrealitycheck.com/2014/04/30/high-carblow-fat-vs-low-carbhigh-fat-the-debate-to-end-all-debates/

I hope that provides a little clarity on the topic for everybody.

And if you pick up a copy of my Nutrition Guide to Kevin Neeld’s new Ultimate Hockey Transformation, you will now have an even better idea of why I make the carbohydrate recommendations that I do.

In this new program Kevin provides incredible in- and off-season programs for players at the U14, U16, U18, and Junior/College levels. He also provides a comprehensive video database of every exercise in the program. Along with a great manual describing why the programs are designed the way they are and exactly how to use/adjust them based on time, space, equipment, etc. It has everything you would ever need to make yourself into the best hockey player you can be.

Ultimate-Hockey-Transformation-Pro-Package-small

Posted on May 19th, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

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Ultimate Hockey Transformation

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training, Youth Training

I had the pleasure to write the Nutrition Guide to Kevin Neeld’s new Ultimate Hockey Transformation.

Ultimate-Hockey-Transformation-Pro-Package-small

 

Ultimate Hockey Transformation is the follow-up training program series to Ultimate Hockey Training, and features year-round hockey-specific off-ice training programs for players at the U-14 age level and above.  The Ultimate Hockey Transformation system includes:

  1. In- and off-season training programs for players at the U-14, U-16, U-18, and Junior/College levels totaling 120 weeks of programming!
  2. 228 high quality videos demonstrating how to perform every exercise in the program with perfect technique
  3. A 65-page manual outlining everything you need to know to successfully use the Ultimate Hockey Transformation system!
  4. Specific warm-ups, corrective exercise, and cooldowns to help you maximize your training preparedness and recovery
  5. A Performance Profiling Sheet so you can track your progress over time
  6. The UHT Recovery Monitoring Log so you can prevent overtraining before it occurs!

Simply, following the RIGHT training program can completely alter the course of your career. Propel your game to the next level by following training programs proven to deliver game-changing results!

Simply choose the Pro Package and you also get access to my brand new Nutrition Guide, which is unlike anything I have ever written. In this Nutrition Guide I take an entirely new and improved approach for athletes to improve their nutrition and boost their health, body composition, and performance.

Check it out ===>>> Ultimate Hockey Transformation

Posted on May 12th, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

What’s The Deal With Bulletproof Coffee?

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

Bulletproof Coffee introduced the world to “coffee hacking” and the novelty of butter in one’s morning brew. As a result, it’s become something of an internet sensation. People are talking about it. People are trying it. Many even claim it works wonders for them.

But what is it about this magical concoction that has people pimping their cup of joe? More importantly, do the results actually match the hype?

To find out the answers, check out this piece I just wrote for PN that delves into the research, the clinical outcomes, and my own personal experiment with Bulletproof Coffee

===>>>http://www.precisionnutrition.com/bulletproof-coffee

On a related note, I wanted share a cool coffee tip with you.

As you may or may not know, you should wash your coffee maker on a semi-regular basis – say every 3-4 months. I usually recommend people run a pot of white vinegar through their machine, followed by 3-4 pots of water to remove any vinegar remnants.

The vinegar will kill any mold or mildew growing in your machine, as it is haven for them due to the moist and enclosed conditions.

However, it has recently come to my attention that this may not be enough. A biofilm often accumulates in coffee makers, preventing the vinegar from reaching the bacteria underneath. The best approach actually appears to be to use a stiff-bristle brush to scrub the biofilm, and break it down. Then put the pot of vinegar through, so it can do its work on the mold and mildew. Followed by the 3-4 pots of water.

Posted on May 8th, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

A Day In The Life

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

It has been a long time since I published a Day In The Life piece. These were always some of my most popular posts, and since my nutrition has evolved over time, I thought it was only time to post a new one. These were candid pictures of meals that I eat regularly. Nothing staged or added for effect. My breakfast, shake and lunch are pretty standard and don’t change much. Dinner time has the most variety in general (and they tend to be meals that my almost 3 year old daughter can eat, so our customary salad is out for now).

But before I get into that I wanted to share something else that is pretty cool. Dr. John Berardi, or JB, as he’s known around PN, was nominated for Men’s Health “Ultimate Guy” contest.

According to the website:

“Men’s Health and Kenneth Cole are searching for “The Ultimate Men’s Health Guy” to appear on the COVER of the November issue. This guy is physically fit, confident, stylish, career driven and a pillar of his community…the voting will help us select winners in four categories: Most Physically Fit, Most Healthy, Most Giving, and Most Successful.”

He had to upload 3 photos and 4 short 100-word essays about himself, which you can see HERE.

If you think he is worthy of nomination, it would be fantastic if you gave him your vote. Just click the link above, hit “Vote,” and follow the prompts. Takes 2 seconds.

JB is an awesome boss, and a better friend, so I encourage you all to check it out and see what you think.

Back to nutrition.

Since working for PN my eating habits have mildly changed over time. These days I eat even more vegetables than I used to, and I actually have a more linear intake. Meaning I don’t intentionally eat more on some days than on others. I just prefer the simplicity and consistency, and it flat out works for me.

My intake tends to follow our hand-sized portion meal guidelines that we teach at PN (assuming you eat 4 meals per day):

  • 2 palms of protein
  • 2 fists of veggies
  • 2 cupped handfuls of carbs
  • 2 thumbs of healthy fats

Wake @ 5:00am

  • 10 oz coffee

Breakfast @ 6:00am

  • 5 whole eggs (salted)
  • a bunch of mixed veggies (broccoli, peppers, scallions, tomatoes)
  • 2 Ezekiel toast (with locally made wild blueberry spread)
  • 1 handful raspberries (usually a banana, but we were out)
  • ~1/2 tbsp Kerrygold butter for eggs
  • 10 oz coffee
  • 1 glass water
  • multivitamin, curcumin, probiotic, and vitamin D (vitamin D only in non-summer months – see here and here for my supplement recommendations)

100_0670

Super Smoothie @ 10:00am

  • 12-16 oz water
  • 2 scoops vanilla or strawberry protein powder
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 handful frozen blueberries
  • 1 handful frozen strawberries
  • ~1 tbsp chia seeds
  • ~2 cups Stonyfield whole fat plain yogurt (1/2 container)
  • 2 Athletic Greens fish oil pills

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Lunch @ 2:00pm

  • 1 Ezekiel English muffin
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • some dijon mustard
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 slice swiss cheese
  • 1 gourmet cucumber, sliced and salted
  • 10 baby carrots with a little hummus
  • 1/2 oz mixed nuts
  • 1 apple
  • 2 glasses of water

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 Dinner @ 6:00pm

  • ~8 oz haddock
  • some Ezekiel bread crumbs and butter
  • ~1 handful of mashed potatoes, salted
  • ~2 fists of asparagus, seasoned to taste
  • ~1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for asparagus
  • 1 glass red wine (yes I realize it’s in a white wine glass)
  • 2 glasses water
  • 1 serving dried fruit and 3 squares of 88% cacao dark chocolate for dessert

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photo

I would love to hear your thoughts, questions and comments!

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

10 Comments »

How Much Vitamin D?

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

As I have stated in the past, people often get suckered into “if some is good, more must be better” mentality. Especially when it comes to supplements. This is often due to supplement companies and their marketing tactics, but it is also due to experts in the health and fitness world looking for something cool and exciting to promote.

We see this all the time.

“Well if 5g of fish oil is good, then 15g must be awesome!”

“Vitamin D has lots of health benefits, and I don’t want to be deficient, so I should ‘optimize’ my levels with 5,000IU.”

Unfortunately, these approaches are inherently flawed. And often lead to more harm than good.

With that in mind, here are two great articles that delve into why high-dosing with vitamin D might not be the best idea, and what an appropriate dosage range is for most people. They provide an objective and balanced big-picture view.

Is your vitamin D supplement helping or hurting you? – Precision Nutrition

The Truth about Vitamin D – Examine.com

Posted on February 13th, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

4 Comments »

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