|Q: Tracy, I don’t feel I'm getting the intensity I need in my workouts as I suffer with chronic pain from training injuries which interferes with my progression. Any suggestions?
A: I know what it's like to have training injuries and just plain wear and tear on muscles and joints as we age. Pain and stiffness is often caused by spine misalignment. I suggest that you visit a chiropractor. Chiropractic is an art, science and philosophy of health care with a focus toward the spine, the muscles and the nervous system. The role of the chiropractor is to diagnose and treat imbalances of the musculoskeletal system, in a gentle and non-invasive manner. Try it; you don't have to live with chronic pain anymore.
Q: Cory what's your take on this Carb revolution? It seems like everywhere I go someone is talking about eating less carbs or cutting back on things like bread and pasta.
A: I think it's definitely a step in the right direction. As a competitive natural bodybuilder I have learned to master my ingestion of carbs to the point where the quantity I consume is pre-determined, well understood and directly relative to my percentage of body fat. To stay lean as you age you have to pay close attention to carbs! As a competitive hammer thrower in track & field, I also understand their significance not only for generating the velocity required to throw the hammer as far as possible, but also to sustain my ability to endure long workouts in the gym and on the field.
The first and most important issue with carbs by far is quality. Anyone still eating white rice, white bread and white sugar as food staples definitely needs to update their knowledge. They also need to 'grow up' if they care at all about their body composition and health. I can't believe how many people in the health food industry still don’t get the connection between the consumption of 'white death' and degenerative disease. The same goes with anything made from processed white flour, like most pasta, bread, bagels, buns and muffins.
Organic greens, colored vegetables and fresh fruits should be first on everyone’s carb list, but only after protein requirements have been determined and met. Protein literally means 'to come first'. After high-water volume fruits and vegetables come starches like yams, squash, beans, peas, lentils, wild rice, brown rice and potatoes with skins. Black dense bread should be last on the list for everyone with a metabolism that allows them to gain body fat relatively easily, which is 80% of the population.
The next issue is glycemic index and the influence that carbs have on blood sugar and insulin chemistry. Timing is everything. After that the key point is quantity. Man does not live by bread alone. Carbs do not enter into our composition, they fuel the machine but we are not built out of them like minerals, fatty acids and protein. Carbs are 'biological gasoline'. So eat them with respect and not beyond your biological threshold.
Q: Tracy, I've just joined a gym and was told I should buy some whey protein isolate to make a protein shake but I don't know how to make one. Can you tell me how to make a shake that tastes good?
A: My pleasure and congratulations for joining a gym, I guarantee it will be the best investment you'll ever make. Protein shakes should be the anchor of your diet. First you'll need a blender. Start with 1 cup (250 ml) of cold filtered water and a couple of ice cubes then add 1-2 servings ( 25-50 gm) of whey protein isolate, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of a liquid sport oil rich in EFAs and 1/2 cup (125 ml) of your favorite fresh or frozen fruit and blend at high-speed till smooth and creamy. You can also add a variety of powder form supplements such as calcium ascorbate (Vitamin C), green mix, creatine, D-ribose, L-glutamine, and the list goes on. Embrace the protein shake as a staple in your diet. Done right you can look forward to your shakes with great anticipation because of the delicious satisfying taste and the multiple health benefits.