Me & Latia

Me & Latia
Partners @ Attitude = Performance

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Garlic and Summer Vegetable Kelp Noodles

Serves 2-4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large summer squash, cut into . rounds
2 handfuls mushrooms (any kind, white, crimini, shiitake, etc.)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh chopped basil (or any herbs you have on hand)
1 bulb of fennel, green ends discarded and the white bulb sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 package kelp noodles

Remove the kelp noodles from the package and rinse well under cold water. Drain and set aside.

Slice all vegetables. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and when it’s warm, add the sliced garlic.

Cook until the garlic becomes slightly browned and fragrant, then toss in the sliced squash, mushrooms and fennel. Continuously shake the pan, or keep stirring with a wooden spoon, to prevent the garlic from burning.

Add the kelp noodles and stir for a few more minutes, using a pair of tongs to toss all the ingredients together. Add the basil, letting it wilt, which should be just about when the noodles are perfectly warm.

Remove from heat and season to taste with sea salt. Garnish with any additional fresh herbs and pine nuts. Serve and enjoy!

Slow Simmered Chicken With Chard, Mushrooms and Onions with Cherries

Serves 2

1 lb free-range, grass-fed, boneless chicken breast
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch slivers
6 medium white mushrooms (or any kind you want: wild, shiitake, crimini)
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped into small pieces
1 handful cherries, pitted and sliced

Steam the chard until tender and remove from heat, setting aside. Save the water at the bottom of the steaming pot. Slice the chicken breast into small pieces, roughly 2 inches, saving any juices in the package.

Place (along with any juices) into a large cast iron pan and begin to cook over medium heat. Add the onion slivers and mushroom pieces along with 1/4 cup of the water the chard was steamed over (it will be infused with minerals, vitamins and flavor from the chard!)

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until everything is cooked, but retains the juiciness, about 20-30 minutes.

Serve warm over plated swiss chard and garnish with sliced and pitted cherries (a small handful for each plate).

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The 5 Foods for Better Health

1. Cooked Asian Mushrooms (Serving size: Unlimited) 
Mushrooms contain immune system boosting compounds, helping to prevent illness. At less than 100 calories per cup, they’re good for your diet too. But be careful, you’ll lose the benefits if they’re not cooked well. Here are some varieties to try: shitake, maitake, oyster and enoki.

2. Whole Soy Foods (Serving size: 1-2 servings a day)
When you’re shopping, look for whole soy foods over isolated soy protein powders like fake meats with soy isolate. Try eating tofu, tempeh, soy milk, edamame and soy nuts. They’re good sources of protein and help guard against hormonally driven cancers, such as prostate cancer and breast cancer.

3. Cruciferous Vegetables (Serving size: Unlimited)
Cruciferous vegetables belong to the cabbage family. What’s great about these greens is that they protect against cancer. Look for cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, kale and brussels sprouts.

4. Healthy Fats (5-7 serving a day; 1 serving is equal to 1 teaspoon of oil)
Not all fats are bad for you – some types actually protect your heart, like omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re looking to increase your intake of good fats and cut out the bad ones, make sure you add these to your grocery list: hemp seeds, flaxseeds, walnut oil, olive oil, hazelnut oil and omega-3 eggs.

5. Whole and Cracked Grains (3-5 servings a day; 1 serving is 1/2 cup cooked)
The good types of whole grain products are ones where you can actually see the grain or large chunks of grain. These foods won’t raise blood sugar the way products made with flour and sugar do. Stock up on basmati rice, wild rice, brown rice, buckwheat, barley, groats and quinoa.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wrap

Serves 4

1 lb ground turkey
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 carrots, finely chopped or grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
2 tbsp wheat-free Tamari
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp coconut nectar
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
1 head Boston, bibb lettuce or endive
Chopped cilantro
2 green onions, chopped

Melt coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add carrots and saute for several minutes.

Add garlic, ginger, turkey and Chinese 5 spice to the pan and saute until turkey is cooked through - about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add water chestnuts and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in tamari, vinegar and nectar. Cook for a couple more minutes, stirring well to thoroughly combine.

Put one scoop of turkey mixture into lettuce leaves. Top with green onions and cilantro.

Sweet And Sour Chicken With Mixed Greens

Serves 2

1/2 cup wheat free tamari or nama shoyu or coconut aminos
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or balsamic
1/4 cup coconut nectar
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
A knob of fresh ginger (roughly 1 1/2 inches), peeled and minced or 1 tsp ginger powder
2 chicken breasts, sliced into long strips about 3” long and 1/2” thick
1 tsp sesame seeds

Over low heat in a pan mix the first five ingredients until you have a smooth and thick sauce, roughly 12 minutes.

Lay chicken pieces in the sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through (about 12-15 minutes).

Add pieces to bowls of mixed greens, pour the remaining sweet and sour liquid equally over each bowl.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve. This works well warm or chilled.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Miso Glaze Salmon

Serves 2

2 wild salmon fillets
3 tbsp gluten-free miso
2 tsp coconut nectar
Olive oil

In a small bowl mix the miso, coconut nectar and enough olive oil to make it into a thick liquid.

Cover the fillets and broil or pan fry until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Serve warm.

Serve with Roasted Parsnip Fries and Steamed Bok Choy.

Steamed Burgers with Kimchee

Serves 4

1 lb ground meat (you can use ground lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, water buffalo, bison or venison)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
5-8 white button mushrooms (or any kind you want)
Lettuce leaves
Dijon mustard
Empty tuna cans
Large pot
Steamer basket to fit in pot

Pulse the ground meat, mustard and parsley in a food processor until well combined and sticking together.

In the empty tuna fish cans, pack a small handful of meat into a burger shape and place them on the steamer basket (you can stack them in a pyramid shape, as long as there’s some air flow around each can) over boiling water and cover the pot. It takes about 10-15 minutes, but check the insides with a fork or knife until they’re cooked to your liking.

Slice the mushrooms and saute in olive oil until tender and brown. Remove from heat.

When the burgers are done, drain the excess liquid from each can (be careful, the steam and cans are hot!).

Use the lettuce leaves as your buns, and layer the condiments with the cooked burgers.
Kimchee is a great addition not only for taste, but the enzymes and alive nature of the fermented food helps digest anything cooked or with meat!

Serve with a Hearty Salad.

Monday, January 28, 2013

5 Foods That Starve Cancer

Disturbing new research suggests that microscopic cancer, small cancer cells that can only been seen under a microscope, is widely prevalent. A recent study of women in their 40s indicated that 40% of them had microscopic breast cancer. Even more shocking, almost 100% of people in their 70s will have microscopic cancer in their thyroid glands.

A microscopic tumor can grow up to 16,000 times its original size in as little as 2 weeks. But new groundbreaking research from The Angiogenesis Foundation proposes that you can stop cancer before it begins to grow. This new preventive approach is called anti-angiogenesis. To learn more about anti-angiogenesis and the groundbreaking research at The Angiogenesis Foundation. Anti-angiogenesis encourages that, by changing the way you eat, you can change your “internal environment,” thereby depriving cancer cells the opportunity to grow and multiply.

Certain foods, eaten in the correct portions and frequency, can provide cancer-starving benefits. Below are 5 foods to eat that can prevent cancer growth:
  1. Bok Choy This type of Chinese cabbage contains brassinin; a powerful cancer-fighter, also found in broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Bok Choy should be eaten 3 times a week, in 1/2 cup servings to obtain its full benefits.
  2. Cooked Tomatoes have more cancer-fighting properties than raw tomatoes. Both contain the molecule lycopene, but heating the tomato changes its chemical structure and makes the benefits more readily available to your body. You should eat 2-3 (1/2 cup) servings of cooked tomatoes a week.
  3. Flounder This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury. Three 6-ounce servings a week is ideal.
  4. Strawberries The antioxidants in this berry help fight cancers. You should eat 1 cup a day, including the juice.
  5. Artichokes contain 3 different cancer-fighting molecules. Enjoy ¼ cup of hearts per day.

Hummus Chicken

Serves 2-3

2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (local and free-range)
2 lemons (1 sliced into rounds and 1 juiced)
1/2 cup hummus
4 fresh rosemary sprigs or 2 tablespoons dried
Generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp tahini
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat to 450°F. Blend all the hummus ingredients together in a food processor.

Place the chicken breasts in a small roasting pan, covering all exposed meat with the hummus (use a spoon or your hands, just make sure it’s layered quite thick, about 1/4”). Scrunch each lemon half in your hand and then loosely arrange them over the chicken with the rose­mary sprigs, broken into smaller pieces.

Serve With Brown Rice Pilaf

Fish Tacos...A Health Lunch

Serves 2

2 tsp unrefined virgin coconut oil
2 8-oz halibut filets
4 large leaves dark green lettuce leaves
1/2 cup shredded cabbage

1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raspberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup finely chopped bok choy
Salt and pepper to taste

Salsa: in a small bowl stir all ingredients together and set aside.

Tacos: Cook the Halibut in the coconut oil about 3 minutes per side, remove from the pan and gently break up into large bits.

Top each lettuce leave with a fish portion, sprinkle with some shredded cabbage and finish off with some salsa.

Serve with a wedge of lemon on the side.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Can You Help Me Convince My Parents Supplements are Safe?

teenage supplementationSupplements are safe for teens! (or are they?)
I am 18 years old.  I've been weight lifting for about a year now.  I want to take a few supplements like:
  • glutamine
  • creatine
  • NO-explode
  • or animal pump instead of creatine and NO-explode
  • a multi vitamin
  • whey protein
My parents are claiming that for my age all of this is totally unsafe and would destroy my liver and kidneys!
I can't convince them so I need to know are they safe if they are taken by the recommended dosage! If they are safe will you send me what I can tell them to convince them.  I have tried every which way to say it is totally natural and completely safe if used according to the recommended dosage.  If they are safe, I need the medical and chemical speech to convince them so help me please.
If there's one lesson I've learned in my own 20 years of bodybuilding and the last 10 years of being online helping as many people as I can it is this:  Recommending supplements and trying to convince people they are safe is just the wrong approach.  I know this isn't what you probably wanted to read but before you close your browser, hear me out please.
Recommending supplements to somebody without knowing the intimate details of your health situation is irresponsible.  Think of it like a peanut allergy.  Peanuts are great!  They are totally safe.  I tell you to eat them.  Then we find out you have an allergy to them and oops!  My bad!  A bit extreme but I hope it proves the point.  Getting supplement advice off the Internet can be a bad idea unless you put forth the effort to do your own research.
As a teenager, your frustration is understandable.  You think your parents are totally misinformed, and maybe they are, but I'd venture to guess, you may not have all the information you need either to understand the situation.
And that's what the rest of this answer is about!  While I won't tell you or your parents that supplements are safe (that would be irresponsible of me), nor will I say they are not, I'll do my best to give you some resources you can use to understand them better and make informed decisions.
In order to make the best supplement decision for you, several factors need to be considered.  Two of the most important are:
  • You want to first understand how important your nutrition is to your overall goals before taking any supplements.
  • You should understand how a supplement becomes a supplement.
Warning:  Just because a supplement is on the shelves being sold, does not mean it is automatically safe to take.  Even taking it at the manufacturer's recommended dosage does not mean it will work nor does it mean it is safe.
How Important is Nutrition?
"You can't out train a bad diet."  I forgot who said that but it's 100% true.  If you do not have your nutritional house in order, no supplements will save you.  In reality, supplements are about 3% of the overall picture anyway.  (I got that figure from years of personal observation and some guess-work; don't bother looking it up)
Most teens I know are sporadic when it comes to nutrition.  They could improve on it greatly.  Maybe that's you and maybe it's not, but the point is ... if you can improve, you should.  It will make more of a different that say.. glutamine (which I find useless for bodybuilding).
When I was a teenager, I thought not having supplements were really holding back my progress.  Let me be blunt...
That is total bullshit.  What really held me back in my youth was:
  • No Proper nutrition for muscle building
  • No Workout consistency
  • No Focus on big lifts
  • Too much focus on supplements
I tried all kinds of useless crap.  I'd take amino acids faithfully and skip meals all the time.  I'd take some stuff you put under your tongue every day but miss workouts and maybe hit the gym (at this time it was a Soloflex) three times a week at best.
Supplements were not my answer.  But I fell prey to the marketing hype and promises like everybody does.
As pointed out to me ... does anybody know what good nutrition is anymore?  Here's some resources I want you to read.
Must Read Nutrition Resources
  1. Basic Nutrition - A Quick Guide
  2. Why Nutrition is Important
So you get nutrition is way more important right?  You get that down along with working out, and you'll surpass anybody short of steroids in the gym.  That creatine, those protein powders, that BSN (Bull.Shit.Nutrition) aren't worth it in the long run.
Now don't get me wrong!  There are some supplements worth trying, but that's not necessary now, and at your age it won't make a difference.  Your youth (testosterone) is far more potent than anything you can buy legally.  Use it now to your advantage!
You Need to Know How Supplement Become a Supplement
To answer this question, what better place to get the information then the FDA’s own website.
“The FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering “conventional” foods and drug products (prescription and Over-the-Counter). Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the dietary supplement manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement is safe before it is marketed. FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market. Generally, manufacturers do not need to register with FDA nor get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements. Manufacturers must make sure that product label information is truthful and not misleading.
FDA’s post-marketing responsibilities include monitoring safety, e.g. voluntary dietary supplement adverse event reporting, and product information, such as labeling, claims, package inserts, and accompanying literature. The Federal Trade Commission regulates dietary supplement advertising.”–Source: The FDA
As you can see, just because something is sold, does not mean it's automatically safe.
  • How to Evaluate Any Supplement - What my mom didn't tell me about buying supplements and what I’m about to tell you could save you hundreds of dollars in worthless purchases or worse yet.. an ineffective and potentially dangerous supplement!
All this means to you is ...
Just because a supplement is sold on the shelves of the United States, does not mean it's automatically safe to consume.  Even taking the recommended dosage does not ensure safety.
  • is the dosage safe in such amounts?
  • is the dosage recommended what any studies show to be effective?
  • where is the material coming from?
  • has this company ever received any warnings?
  • is this product even effective?
That's just a tiny list of questions you have to ask yourself.
When it comes to Creatine, it's a different answer than 99% of the junk on the shelves today simply because of the amount of information available on that particular supplement.  But regarding the rest, it's unknown unless you dig deep to find the answer and even then, you may not get the full story unless the company opens up the exact amounts in the product.
Ever hear of a Proprietary Formula?  It means the company must list what's in the product but it does not have to list each amount.  So some ingredients may be effective but maybe not in the amount that's in that product, but you'll never know.   Maybe they put in too much of the ingredient that is said to make a difference (opening up a case for overdosing) or maybe they didn't put in enough for it to be effective.  In some cases, a study will show X amount of Y ingredient showed some promising results but Y ingredient is very expensive, so much so the average consumer won't pay so they use very little of Y.  It still lists Y on the label so you buy it thinking that all these studies say Y works (but what you didn't realize is that the studies say X amount of Y works and sadly, the product you purchased contains just a little bit of Y).
At this point, you might think I'm totally against supplementation.  Not at all!  I'm for the consumer making informed choices and understanding the landscape.
  • Taking supplements are neither automatically safe or automatically dangerous.
  • Because it's on the shelf being sold doesn't make it safe or dangerous.
You, the consumer needs to make that choice based on available information.
Here are some excellent resources to further your research on a particular supplement:
My favorite but not totally free site is  They routinely evaluate various supplements for safety, they list out what the claims are, what dosage is necessary and then independently test supplements to ensure what's on the label is what is in the bottle.
The bottom line is ... a supplement isn't automatically safe because it's sold.  There's quite a lot that goes on behind the scenes.  The more information you can gather from reputable sources, the better information you will have to start a conversation with your parents.  Focus on nutrition and training above all as that will make much more of a difference than any supplement.  I understand your frustration, I truly do.  But reassured, if you don't take a single thing off that list, your muscle building goals will not be in jeopardy. Your youth is by far the best supplement you'll ever have so do not waste it!