What’s the Deal with Kefir?

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes

Kefir seems to be the popular new kid on the block in the nutrition world. I have received several emails from readers asking my thoughts on it, and several big-name types in the fitness industry have featured it lately. For those who are unaware kefir is a fermented milk product made with a kefir grains. Think of it essentially as an effervescent liquid yogurt. Just like yogurt it is loaded with beneficial probiotics, bacteria that line your digestive tract (mainly your colon) and confer a plethora of health benefits to you.

Just like plain yogurt plain kefir is a little sour, however that can be easily remedied with a little protein powder and fruit in a deliciously healthy smoothie. In fact I think this is one of the best ways to consume kefir if you choose to do so. I generally don’t recommend sweetened versions as their sugar content is too high. I prefer to add flavor myself.

A big brand-name brand that also gets excellent scores (4 out of 5) from the Cornucopia Institute is Lifeway. They produce an organic whole milk kefir that I think is absolutely top-notch. The nutrition facts are more or less equivalent to regular whole milk though the protein is a teeny bit higher because of the addition of some non-fat milk in the second fermention process.

You can replace the unsweetened vanilla almond milk in any of my smoothie recipes with 1 cup of this kefir if you so desire, though do be aware it will increase the calorie content. In fact I think this recipe works the best:

  • 8oz organic while milk plain kefir
  • 1 scoop Jay Robb vanilla protein (though strawberry or tropical dreamsicle also work)
  • 1/2 cup wild frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh organic raspberries or strawberries
  • 1 tbsp milled flax seed
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • ice cubes if using fresh fruit

This will provide 39g of protein, 33g of carbs, 10g of fiber, 20g of fat and 468kcal.

While there are a lot of claims about kefir and its abilities to improve heath, don’t be sold on it being a miracle food. It is simply another healthy addition to your intake and your digestive tract will thank you for its consumption due to its abundance of probiotic bacteria, many of which are different than those in yogurt, which could provide a nice complement to your yogurt consumption.

Posted on February 6th, 2012 by Brian St. Pierre

3 Comments »

Eating Pizza – BSP Style

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes, Training

There aren’t many things more American than pizza. While yes it may hail from Italy, I would be so bold as to say it was America who took it to the next level. Unfortunately most pizza is not we might consider to be a physique-friendly food. It tends to be very calorie dense and eaten in large quantities. It also tends to be incredibly high in sodium and often loaded with low-quality high-salt processed meats. Not a winning combination.

Fortunately there are some fantastic pizza recipes out there that allow us to enjoy this fantastic food and improve our health in the process. One recipe in particular is the Chicken Pesto Pizza from Gourmet Nutrition. It is utterly delicious and is my personal favorite recipe from the entire book.

I have also come across another recipe that is absolutely amazing as well. It is much more like a traditional pizza than the one from Gourmet Nutrition, which is nice.

BSP Chicken & Cheese Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 Ezekiel or Alvarado St sprouted grain burrito size tortilla
  • 1 pre-cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
  • 1/4 cup Organic Valley Italian Blend organic shredded cheese or cheese of choice
  • 1/2 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water to rehydrate, drained and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Place tortilla onto pizza stone. Arrange chicken, garlic, cheese and tomatoes on top of the tortilla. Sprinkle basil and thyme evenly over pizza.

Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the tortilla turns brown and the toppings are hot, about 15-20 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

On another note don’t forget that tomorrow night at midnight is your last chance to get the Show and Go Training System at 50% off. Eric also added an additional bonus for anyone who purchases Show and Go before midnight tonight!

This new Bonus is called ‘Warm Ups 2011′ and it goes behind the scenes at Cressey Performance and shows you how he prepares some of the top athletes in the world to prevent injuries and maximize performance.  Tim Collins, one of EC’s professional baseball players even demonstrates it. Pretty sweet.

Even if you can’t purchase it before tonight, the 50% off sale only lasts until midnight on Friday so don’t let it pass you by. Between EC’s training, soft-tissue work, warm-ups, and conditioning and my nutrition and supplementation, Show and Go will make you fitter, leaner, more muscular and healthier while improving mobility, flexibility and performance all at the same time!

—> Show & Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better <—

Posted on October 27th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

2 Comments »

Apple Chicken Curry

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes

A friend sent me a great recipe that I thought you would all love. It combines a delicious combination of chicken, apples, curry and raisins. Absolutely fantastic stuff. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 6 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 Cup curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Cups whole-fat grass-fed milk
  • 2 Cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1 Cup raisins
  • 2 apples, chopped

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on October 14th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

No Comments »

Quinoa with Spinach and Feta Cheese

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes, Training

Before we get started today I just wanted to remind you guys that today is the last day to get $100 OFF the Fitness Business Blueprint. If you own your own fitness business, or are thinking about one day owning one, then this is a must-have resource for you. It is by far the most comprehensive resource on the market, written by guys you have built incredibly successful facilities from the ground up.

Get a copy of the Fitness Business Blueprint today before the sale ends!

The wife of my best friend sent me a new recipe that they tried and loved. It is incredibly simple and looks so good that I wanted to share it with you guys. It combines delicious and nutritious foods into an explosion of awesomeness.

Quinoa with Spinach and Feta Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1oz feta cheese

Directions:

Rinse the quinoa in a strainer. (Use a sifter if you don’t have a strainer that’s small enough.) In a small saucepan, add the quinoa and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to simmer until water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic in the oil until the edges of the garlic turns very light brown, being careful not to burn the garlic (reduce heat to low if necessary). When the quinoa is done cooking, add it to the skillet along with the spinach. Stir it together until the spinach wilts. Add the crumbled feta cheese and stir to combine. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories – 233
  • Fat – 8.5g
  • Carbs – 32g
  • Fiber – 3.5g
  • Protein – 8g

Now this can either be a side dish, or you can incorporate your protein source of choice with it. She added local grass-fed steak, cilantro and tomatoes and actually put it all into a wrap. Sounds extra delicious to me!

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Posted on August 12th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

Country Dijon Chicken Sandwich

Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes

When you think of chicken what do you think of? If you are like most health-conscious people you probably think of chicken breasts. Boneless, skinless and lean these are an excellent source of protein. However, no one is claiming that chicken breasts are the tastiest protein sources on earth, so I recommend that a little variety is in order – boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Chicken thighs are made up of darker meat than chicken breasts, have a slightly higher fat content and taste so much better than chicken breasts it is not even a comparison. The real kicker is that chicken thighs are generally significantly cheaper than their breast counterparts, which is always a nice bonus.

In celebration of the wonder of chicken thighs I have a simple and delicious sandwich recipe for you guys today.

Country Dijon Chicken Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 4-8oz (raw weight) of boneless, skinless chicken thighs cooked as desired
  • 1 Ezekiel english muffin
  • ~1 tbsp expeller pressed canola oil mayonnaise
  • ~1-2 tsp country dijon mustard
  • 1 small handful of baby spinach
  • 10 baby carrots
  • 2 tbsp hummus

Directions

Cook the chicken thighs as desired (serving size as you desire). I simply cooked a bunch on a George Foreman grill. Toast the Ezekiel english muffin. Spread mayonnaise on both sides of the english muffin once it is done. Place spinach on both sides of the english muffin, on top of the mayonnaise. Place chicken on top of spinach. Spread mustard onto chicken. Enjoy!

The carrots and hummus are a simple vegetable side I like to have with my sandwiches. It provides a nice crunch and a slightly salty flavor. You could also do other simple things like lightly salted cucumber slices, bell pepper slices and hummus, celery sticks, etc. Th choices are nearly endless.

This is a simple and delicious sandwich that requires minimal prep, provides quality protein, healthy carbs, healthy fats and veggies while also tasting awesome. Eating healthy does not have to be difficult or bland, and for more great recipe ideas like this check out Dave Ruel’s Metablic Cooking cookbook, providing over 250 amazing recipes and on sale through this Friday at midnight for 52% OFF!

Posted on April 7th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

5 Comments »

Metabolic Cooking and 18 Minutes to a Leaner You

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes

I hope you all enjoyed that butter article yesterday. It is absolutely delicious, and so wonderful to know that as long as you get it from a quality source (ie – grass-fed) it is actually good for you too!

In continuing with that theme I wanted to let you all know about an amazing new cookbook being released by Dave Ruel. It is called Metabolic Cooking, and it rocks. As you all know I am absolutely all about not only eating well, but actually enjoying what you are eating. To many people believe that eating healthy equates to eating bland, and that could not be further from the truth, and Dave provides over 250 amazing recipes to prove that previous statement dead wrong!

If you like my recipes I post or Gourmet Nutrition style recipes, you are going to absolutely love this! Dave makes tons of tasty meals, including breakfast options, a wide variety of meats (chicken, poultry, fish, seafood, beef, pork, etc), sides and snacks as well as vegetarian options (which is a nice bonus).

In addition he also provides nutrition information for each and every recipe, and similar to Gourmet Nutrition, he tells you if it is protein and fat meal, protein and carb meal or a mixed meal, which just adds a nice touch.

To be perfectly honest I think many of the recipes are too low-fat with too great of an emphasis on egg whites and low-fat versions of foods, but that is easily remedied with whole eggs and full-fat versions! Overall there are just TONS of recipes I am going to put to use, especially a chicken liver recipe I really want to try.

Metabolic Cooking is brand-spanking-new, so it is currently on sale for 52% off the introductory price through midnight this Friday. You can never have too many healthy recipes at your disposal, so do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Metabolic Cooking and get cooking!

There were some unbelievable content put out by some other great writers within the past few days that I thought would be great for you guys to read, so check them out!

18 Minutes to a Leaner (and Healthier) You – Jay Bonn. Jay has struck again, with another gem that I think EVERYONE should read. For people who can never “find the time” or who claim to not have time for food prep, this article is for you. This might be one of my favorite blog posts ever, it is that good, and that important. Read it.

Back from Kansas City: A Tim Collins Update – Eric Cressey. EC and Pete went out to KC to watch Tim pitch on Opening Day, where he did very well. They went out to dinner after the game with Tim and his family and not one person recognized them until they were about to leave. Lo and behold it was Torii Hunter, the 13 year MLB veteran who had hit a 461 foot homer in that game against Kansas City, but whom Tim had struck out. He told Tim he was impressed with his stuff, and wished him the best. Just good stuff all around.

Posted on April 5th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

5 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas

Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes

I will admit, I have been absolutely swamped today, so I wasn’t able to pull together the awesomeness that was going to be my blog post today. However, it will be done for tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled!

I guess that is the one downside to going on vacation – the absolute mountain of work to tackle when you get home.

Anyway, I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging, so check out this new article I had posted over at getprograde.com!

5 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas

I pulled together some of my very own original recipes, as well as tips and ideas on how to give yourself the quickest and easiest ways to have a healthy lunch every day. I know I say it all the time, especially to my clients, but food prep is king!

While I wouldn’t recommend spending hours per day preparing your food, set aside 5-10 minutes everyday to make and or pack yourself 2 quality meals. It is amazing how much more consistent your intake will be when you do this, and consistency is key to long-lasting results. Period.

So check it out.

Plus don’t forget Prograde is having a 14% off sale on ALL of their products. Just a small reminder for those interested.

Posted on March 24th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

3 Comments »

Fage Vegetable Dip

Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes, Training

While looking over an online client’s food log recently, I came across a mention of a homemade vegetable dip (he wasn’t a fan of hummus). I asked for the recipe, it was his wife’s by the way, and he was gracious enough to send it to me. I must say, it looks delish!

Another big plus for those of you who may lack serious kitchen skills, it is as simple as it gets. Without further ado, here is the Fage Vegetable Dip.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on February 15th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

No Comments »

The BSP Training & Nutrition Newsletter Is Here!

Filed under: General Health, Movie Review, Nutrition, Recipes, Training, Weight Loss, Youth Training

I am very pleased to announce the newly available BSP Training & Nutrition Newsletter!

To sign up simply fill in the info on your right, and you will have immediate access to some cool stuff. I plan on this newsletter functioning as my RSS feed, as at the end of each week I will provide a small recap and link to each blog post so you can catch up on anything that you may have missed. This will also allow me to see which content and blog posts people read the most, and the least, allowing me to greatly improve what I write and cater the content better to you guys!

It will also provide exclusive content and cool new updates that may not appear on the blog itself. In addition by signing up I will send you my 20-page report “The Truth About Saturated Fat & Cholesterol.” In this report I really dig into the data and showcase how off-base the mainstream recommendations truly are.

All of that combined will clearly make you so much more awesome, how could you not sign up! This is a completely FREE service, and you can unsubscribe at any time if you wish (though who would want to?), so feel free.

If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. Enjoy!

Posted on February 9th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

You Asked, I Answered

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes

Q. Hey Brian,

Love your blog. I have it bookmarked and I check it every other day. I was wondering if you could do a blog post on cycling supplements. If you have already done this then I apologize. If you haven’t done a blog on this, any chance you could? If not, what’s your take on it? I know it’s a common question and a lot of folks are divided on it.

A. First off, thanks for the kind words, I am glad you like the site!

As for cycling supplements I think this is a totally personal choice. I don’t really think it makes much difference if you do or don’t. People make the argument that if you eat or supplement with a particular item on a daily basis, that you will develop an intolerance to that item. Is this a possibility? Sure. Is it definite? Absolutely not.

Many cultures consumed many of the few same foods nearly year round. Many consumed rather large amounts of potatoes, sweet potatoes or coconut for the majority of their lifetimes without developing any issues. On the flip side of that, intake often varied by season and availability so it can go either way.

I would say that I am not opposed to either option, and I leave it up to the individual. If you find that a certain protein powder bothers you after a period of consumption, then maybe it is best to rotate that. If not, then do not worry about it. I firmly believe that these decisions are best made on an individual basis and there is no “right” or “wrong” answer.

Q. I got an idea for you, could be a bit of a challenge for you too. Maybe you could write about nutrition for hiking the Appalachian Trail. The curve balls would be…
-Pack-ability
-Calorie density per 1 oz of weight
-Overall Weight
-Ease of cooking ( IE; dehydrated etc)
-Many meals are really processed, EasyMac, Ramen etc. It would be cool to see idea’s if you could come up with healthy, little to no process for meals!

A. Well this is an excellent question. To some degree it would depend on how long you are hiking, but I will answer this based on it being a multiple day journey. As an interesting aside, my wife hiked the Appalachian Trail for 5 days while in college, so she helped me out with this one a little bit.

For snacks you have lots of options, but like you mentioned we are looking for foods to be nutrient and calorie dense, as well as portable. I would highly suggest these options:

These are all highly portable and offer high-quality carbs, healthy fats and quality protein.

Meals are a little tougher but here are some options that I think travel well:

  • tuna in pouches on whole-wheat wraps
  • natural peanut butter (or almond butter) on whole-wheat wraps
  • oatmeal with dried fruit and peanut butter
  • muesli
  • or you can use some of the snack foods and make a larger meal out of it

I would also recommend that you consider bringing along some herbs and spices for meals (at least some salt and pepper for the tuna for example). Aim to pack about 700g-1kg of food per person per day. It can definitely help if you pre-plan your meals and most of your snacks. While there will probably be some unplanned snacking, it can prevent you from bringing too much or too little food.

As a final note, don’t forget the most important item of all – Water! Remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I hope that helps!

Posted on January 3rd, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

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