I Can’t Believe I’m Trying Plexus

farmto table

Anyone who knows me knows I am a traditional fitness girl. I believe in healthy eating and exercise. That’s what gets results. Period. There is no easy fix, no magic pill, no snap of the fingers that get you from point A to point B overnight. Any “fix” product that does make such a claim, I would be inclined to label as dangerous anyway.

So what is the hype of Plexus? I’m on a week long mission to find out. This is NOT a Plexus promotion. I have no affiliation with the company. I am making no money from writing this post or trying the product. This is my curiosity in action, for myself and anyone else who is interested in what I might find, and my findings STILL aren’t going to push you to buy, or sell, or avoid this product.

NO BIAS.

Stay tuned for a day by day, play by play of my experience…

Macros

Macronutrients, commonly referred to as macros, are the nutrients we eat in large quantities that provide us with energy. There are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein, and fat.

The first macronutrient is the carbohydrate. Carbs are commonly believed to be the enemy when it comes to weight loss. This is not true! As someone who exercises, carbs are an essential part of your diet. Carbs serve as the main fuel source when our muscles are working hard. If you don’t provide your body with carbs, it will breakdown other chemical compounds (like protein) to use as a fuel source, which can hinder your ability to achieve weight loss or weight gain goals.

There are, of course, some carbs that are better than others. Good carbohydrates mainly fall in the class of vegetables and fruits. Most people don’t even realize these healthy foods are actually carbs. Eating multigrain or whole wheat options when it comes to bread and rice is better than eating white. Similarly, oatmeal or bran cereals are healthier carb choices than colorful cereal brands. Carbs to avoid include pastries and desserts, sodas and artificial syrups, and thick and doughy white breads or grains.

The next macronutrient is protein. Meals or snacks that contain protein are great choices to feel satisfied for longer amounts of time. This ensures that snacking or overeating is kept to a minimum, and intense hunger won’t strike as often between meals.

Eating all your protein in one meal is not as effective to your diet as getting your protein in smaller portions throughout the day. Since eating high protein snacks in small portions throughout the day is ideal, try a handful or two of trail mix in a Greek yogurt and later on have hummus with vegetables. Don’t just limit your protein intake to dinner like most people do. Eating two hamburgers for dinner and calling that your total protein for the day is not going to help your body get to your set goals. In fact, doing that may hinder you from reaching your goals because you then force your body to process excess protein. Eating too much protein at once can cause your body to have a higher nitrogen balance and work harder to expel the waste.

Aside from lean meats, like chicken or ground beef, foods that are healthy and good sources of protein include eggs, Greek yogurts, legumes (such as beans and peas), hummus, and a variety of fish (salmon, trout), so try to mix things up!

The last macronutrient is fat. Don’t be scared by this! Fat should also be an essential part of your diet. There are such things as “good” and “bad” fats. Fats you want to avoid are usually solid at room temperature, like butter. These are the fats associated with poor cholesterol levels and higher risk of heart disease.

“Good” fats are in foods like avocados, seeds (like flax), almonds, pecans, yogurt, and fish like salmon. These fats help keep your cholesterol levels healthy! The best part about “good” fats is that if you are conscientious of the protein and carbohydrates you consume as mentioned above, these fats are, for the most part, already included in your diet and you don’t need to add them. Eating eggs, fish, legumes, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and the other sources mentioned above all contain the “good” fats you need.

A fourth, but no less important, component to any healthy diet is water. Water is crucial to all of our body’s functions and most people don’t even drink it! Water helps us stay alert, energized, and helps every other body process stay normal. When it comes to diet, most of the time when we feel hungry, we are actually just thirsty. Try to have at least 8 glasses per day, or more, depending on how much you are sweating during your workouts, how active you are, your size, and other health considerations.

Try cutting back as much as possible on drinking carbonated sodas, as they contain empty calories, lots of sugar, and have no nutritional value. Even juices that you think are healthy, like orange juice, should only be had in light moderation, since they contain lots of sugar and empty calories. To see more reasons on why you should drink more water, refer to this article here.

Now that you have more knowledge on what essential nutrients your diet should consist of, try to incorporate a variety of the good foods mentioned above into your daily meals. Eat responsibly and see how smoothly your body will function when it’s getting what it really needs.

What’s the Deal With Fish Oil?

Do you research the vitamins and supplements you consume before you put them into your body? Protein powders, multivitamins, concentrated vitamins, fish oil… all supplements largely consumed by people who know little or nothing about them.

One common supplement people take is fish oil. Fish oil capsules contain fatty oils that come from the tissues of certain fish. These fatty oils contain Omega-3’s, which are necessary and beneficial to our health. Since our bodies don’t make Omega-3’s, we have to consume them in our food in order to obtain them.

We need Omega-3’s for a normal metabolism, normal development, healthy brain function, and they’re great for reducing inflammation. If someone’s diet has a serious deficit of Omega-3’s, this can cause real health issues, like cardiovascular disease, cancers of various types, and more.

Omega-3’s are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and can be found in a variety of fish (salmon, mackerel and more) as well as in other sources. Eating walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or flax seed provides these Omega-3’s as well, but not in as concentrated a dose as a fish oil supplement found at any pharmacy or vitamin store.

There’s been a lot of confusion over what health benefits and risks fish oil actually poses. While I’ve done some research and have formulated my own opinion, I still encourage you to look into this yourself!

The Pros: Supposed Benefits

High levels of triglycerides in the body are linked to coronary heart disease and strokes. Since Omega-3 PUFAs work to lower the amount of triglycerides the body produces, it’s been suggested that taking supplements containing Omega-3 (like fish oil) can reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Some research studies that have been conducted over time have claimed that taking fish oil supplements have helped reduce the risk of some cancers, like prostate cancer.

There is little to no published research on this, however, it should be noted that some studies have been done regarding fish oil and mood disorders such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression. Benefits from these studies haven’t been scientifically proven as of yet, but are still underway and look promising.

The Cons: Supposed & Potential Risks

It’s still unclear as to whether or not fish oil is safe to take while pregnant. A nursing mother could potentially pass some of this substance to her child while breastfeeding, however there hasn’t been enough research to say if this actually happens, or if it is detrimental to the baby if it does indeed happen.

Various studies on fish oil and Omega-3’s have suggested that diets high in fish oil/fatty fish can actually lead to an increased chance of developing cancer. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that subjects in their testing who took fish oil supplements or maintained a diet high in fatty fish had a 40+% chance for developing prostate cancer.

Other studies show absolutely no link between fatty fish diets or fish oil and cancers or heart disease.

Conclusion

Clearly, the jury is still out on this. We’ve gone back and forth with certain studies showing one finding and another study years later contradicting those results. So, only time will really tell.

Regardless, some things hold true:

Firstly, look to your diet when a change needs to be made. The wealth of nutrients and vitamins found in plants and animals cannot be duplicated. If you aren’t getting enough Omega-3’s, try consuming them naturally by eating fish once or twice a week. If you don’t like fish, adjust your diet by adding nuts and seeds to your breakfast meals, like yogurt and oatmeal. Always try going the natural route first before turning to a concentrated, over the counter supplement. Of course, if your doctor has prescribed a fish oil supplement for you to take, listen to his or her expertise on usage frequency and dosage.

Secondly, any time you decide to take a supplement that you think you need, do yourself a favor and look into it or ask your doctor before you put it in your body. You want to know how it interacts with any medications you take, what the possible side effects are, and if it’s really worth the “benefits” it claims to give you. Most of the time, you really don’t need supplements if you are maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet, so if you want to make a change, start there.