A Calorie Is Not A Calorie

Yesterday, while chatting with a long term client about nutrition, we came to the controversial topic of whether or not the calories from fruit effect our bodies the same way the calories from grains do. Our conversation got me thinking and I’ve come to this stance: a calorie is not a calorie. Let me repeat that again, a calorie is not a calorie. Stop counting them, stop trying to understand them and stop rating your workouts by how many you burn. In fact, from here on out, forget you’ve ever even heard of calories. Calories aren’t worth your time. This may sound shocking, but I never count calories and neither do many others who understand nutrition. Without counting calories I hover at around 12% body fat (that’s far above average). One of my colleagues eats over 3,000 calories a day from fruit alone and maintains himself at 5% body fat (that’s professional athlete level)! He’s not concerned with his calorie intake either. There is a lack of understanding in the health and wellness world which tries to sell everyone on the ole “calorie in, calorie out” lie. The amount of calories in a banana effect you differently than the same calories in ice-cream because they are bio-nutritionally built differently. If this weren’t true then “calories in and calories out” would be correct and we could all maintain healthy body weights by limiting calories . If you’ve ever dieted before (and who hasn’t) you know this doesn’t work. So let’s take some time today and look at how calories effect us and how calories are not calories.

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Fad Foods and Diets

Fad foods and diets- we’ve all heard of them, we’ve all followed them and we’ve all found that many of them are, well, simply fads. With so much information and marketing out there around health and wellness, it is hard, if not nearly impossible to know what (or who) to listen to or follow. Depending on where the marketing dollars are coming from, that’s usually what we are told to eat and what society begins to follow. First it was milk mustaches, then complex carbohydrates, then low-fat foods (which can be argued to have created our current obesity epidemic) and now we hear gluten-free and bacon is all the rage. Whatever it is, it’s not working and is mostly a bunch of crap. Why do I say that? Simple. Two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese and our rate of preventable diseases is at an all time high. A shift must be made and it is not in the form of a “magic-bullet” or the newest fad.
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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Detox to Retox!

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been hungover… It sucks, I know, we’ve all been there and the older we get, the more it hurts. Let’s be honest, part of living a modern lifestyle involves being healthy and active while the other half includes being social and drinking. We all work hard  and sometimes we need to blow off some steam. I’m not here to tell you to drink less, you’re a grown up, do what you want. I am here however to share my “extensive” field research in bars (yes, yoga teachers get just as drunk as the rest of us) and help you get over that Saturday morning hangover so you can get out there and take on your weekend like a champ. So here it is, The Big Yogi’s time-tested way to “Detox to Retox.”

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Carrot-Ginger Chicken Soup a la Trader Joe’s

Today’s culinary adventure was inspired by the left over groceries from last week’s Trader Joe’s run. It was one of those days when you look in the fridge and wonder what you can throw together before everything goes bad. I have the  tendency to spend $100 on groceries and then let half, if not more go bad and to waste. It’s frustrating, especially with food prices these days, but sometimes I just get to lazy to cook and opt for a quick chicken salad or burrito bowl after a long day of work. Sound familiar? I know the food in my fridge is healthier for me and that cooking for myself is one of the best health habits one can create, but I honestly just don’t enjoy cooking. So knowing this about myself, I try to create quick hacks to make sure I eat my groceries and cook more often than not. For me, this comes down to being efficient with food prep and cooking times. Here’s how I hack my food prep time…

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Paleo Balls

A few years ago I really began to dial in my diet and got turned on to “Paleo eating.” For me it has drastically improved my physique, strength and most importantly, my mood. I find that limiting my processed carbohydrate intake allows me to think clearer and stay leaner at the same time. One issue I run into though is finding new and tasty foods to eat, as a result I find myself experimenting in the kitchen a lot and creating quick/healthy versions of some awesome traditional dishes. Today I messed around and let the Italian in me shine and created what I’m gonna call “Paleo Balls.”

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Four Big Nutrition Rules

At the end of 2013, I planned to gain 20 pounds over a three-month span; I would attempt to do so by drinking calories and adding grains and dairy back into my diet. My point was to show how much diet regulates our mental health and physical appearance.  I managed to gain 10 pounds in under one month before throwing in the towel. I started to break out in pimples, my energy levels were shot, I was irritable as hell and I generally just felt like crap. The picture below shows the results  of switching back to my regular diet of lean proteins, veggies and healthy fats with no dairy or grains, A.K.A.“The Paleo Diet”.  In three short months (without changing my workout routine or doing cardio) I dropped back down to my previous physique and feel better than ever. The way I did it was actually quite simple and only involved a few nutritional guidelines.  Here they are:

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Yogis Don’t Eat Tacos II: Drop The B.S.

In this addition of “Yogis Don’t Eat Tacos,” I’m going to do something I normally don’t do while writing a blog; rant. A few weeks ago The Huffington Post released an article written by a yoga teacher admitting to “6 things she does.” In this post, the teacher admits to drinking alcohol, swearing, enjoying forms of exercise besides yoga, not practicing yoga everyday and even eating meat!Read more

Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Flirting with Raw-Food Veganism

The mere thought of veganism is something I usually laugh at, let alone being a “raw-food vegan,” but last week I decided to give it a try. With the help of Cyrus Khambatta, Phd (www.mangomannutrition.com), I set out to accomplish being a raw foodie for 21 days. Having a eating style myself which is more in-line with the “Paleo” diet, I have to admit, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. My main goal was to try a different way of eating and to experiment with my own body to move from “understanding” a theory to experiencing one through direct knowledge.

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.