IS THE KETO DIET DANGEROUS?

Jillian Michael's recently went on a rant about the ketogenic diet and how she feels it is dangerous. The Ketogenic diet is a safe and healthy way to reduce your body fat and help all sorts of chronic medical conditions.

The Fire Team Whiskey nutrition plans walk our participants into a ketogenic lifestyle safely and gradually...avoiding the pitfalls of a sudden drastic drop in carbs and calories.

Keto is a form of eating that uses your body's natural ability to burn fat as energy. This state in the body is called KETOSIS. In order to burn fat as energy, you must greatly reduce the amount of carbohydrates and sugars in your daily diet. When your body runs of sugar to burn - it burns fat. This fat burn then creates the superfuel called KETONES. Ketones can not be stored as fat (unlike carbs) and are a super efficient energy source for your skeleton, muscles, heart and brain. Ketones produce almost endless energy and focus and have a ton of health benefits.* The Fire Team Whiskey® Caliber Nutrition Protocols, the FuelRation™ Keto Bars and SpecOps™ Shakes are all designed to support a keto lifestyle and keep your body burning and not storing fat

After years of struggling with her weight, Fire Team Whiskey® Founder, CPT Stephanie Lincoln, discovered this way of eating and it changed her life. In fact, her body fat, fitness and health changed so dramatically thanks to the keto lifestyle, that she was inspired to share this way of life with Veterans, Military Members and First Responders. Why? Because Keto was the one way of eating that didn't require a lot of sacrifice and calorie cutting. Who wouldn't want to lose weight and still be able to eat bacon, cheese burgers, and steak?! 

The Fire Team Whiskey .22 Caliber Program starts you on your journey to ketosis. Unlike may other keto style eating plans, the .22 Caliber Protocol helps a person gradually transition into this way of life. No matter how busy you are, what shift you are on, or how much you travel, you can stay on your Caliber Eating plan. How is this possible? Not only can you get foods anywhere that follow the Caliber Eating plan guidelines, but you have the Fire Team Whiskey® FuelRation™ Bars and SpecOps Shakes™ to have on hand just in case you need a healthy keto snack or meal, right now

Join the FTW Keto Army and stop the yo-yo dieting, counting calories and worrying about the fact that you keep gaining weight as you get older. With the Fire Team Whiskey Nutritional Protocols, you will lose weight, burn fat, have endless energy and focus, never worry about weight gain again, all while LOVING WHAT YOU EAT! Learn more here

A "healthy" foods that is actually are NOT healthy!

There are all sorts of marketing schemes you are exposed to every single time you walk down a grocery aisle. Claims that this is “heart healthy” or “lowers cholesterol” or “a fat free food”, etc. Did you know that almost all of these labels are actually just purchased by the food company to be allowed to be placed on their packaging and actually require NO nutritional or scientific data to support this label (case and point, the “hearth healthy” label, sugary cereals have this label yet they are made up of over 50% sugar, which is actually inflammatory and directly linked to heart disease related medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes). Here is a food that you may have always believed to be “healthy” but actually is not:

OATMEAL

Most oatmeal that people consume is processed, instant, oatmeal, so many of the healthier properties have been stripped away by this processing. Most of the instant, boxed oatmeal you purchase at a grocer has added sugar, and because of these two things, oatmeal happens to be a high glycemic index food, meaning it spikes your blood sugar (Here is a study with these findings http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/103/3/e26). HIgh glycemic foods create a fat storage reaction in the body and a sudden drop of blood sugar, which sends signals to the body that you are hungry …even though you may have eaten as soon as a few minutes ago! Along with making you hungry sooner, the study found that people who consume oatmeal instead of eggs for breakfast were found to eat 81 percent more food during the day (those who ate steel cut oats ate 51 percent more, than those who ate the omelet, this being a less processed version of oatmeal). What was also found is that those who ate the oatmeal were found to have higher levels of insulin, blood sugar and stress hormones (cortisone and adrenaline), all of which wreak havoc on our metabolic systems and create inflammation (which, guess what, is NOT heart healthy).

Bottom line is, just because a food is labeled with a claim, doesn’t mean this is actually true or that the food manufacturer has to meet any standard to meet this claim. Stick with foods that mainly don’t have any labels at all or need to make a claim (like meat, produce, and dairy). Things in a box or a package have to make claims to get your attention and to convince you that it’s food, when you should be sticking to eating mainly foods that don’t need fancy labels or health claims.

FTW Beef With Basil Recipe

The other day I was craving one of my favorite Tai dishes- beef with basil. I haven’t had it in a very long time. The reason why is that I have never been able to find a Tai restaurant that uses gluten free soy sauce. I recall ordering this amazingly satisfying dish countless times in New York City (this was me pre-gluten free). So I decided to take a stab at making a gluten free version at home (with fingers crossed because this was certainly an experiment). To my utter surprise, it was delicious!!! Actually, I think my beef with basil was better than any time I have ever had it before! So, Asian dish lovers rejoice, you can make keto and gluten free friendly Asian food at home! The recipe below serves 4. Takes about 20 minutes to cook. Easy one skillet meal!

P.s. Traditionally this dish is cooked with chili peppers. I prefer not to do this because of different taste levels of spiciness. You are more than welcome to cook the vegetables with chili peppers. We prefer to add a side of garlic sriracha so you can spice it up to your own taste.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound flank steak, sliced in thin strips against the grain

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 1 whole red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 1 whole green onion, sliced (green and white parts)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup basil leaves

    Sauce Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce

    • 2 tablespoons fish or oyster sauce (make sure it’s gluten free)

    • ¼ cup water

    • 2 tablespoons of raw honey or agave

      SIDE DISH SUGGESTIONS

      Instead of rice, we suggest getting a bag of cauliflower or broccoli rice to serve this dish with. An awesome protein packed side veggie is edamame. Both sides can be bought frozen and steamed in the microwave in minutes.

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. In a medium bowl add beef, water, cornstarch and soy sauce. Toss to coat.

    2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat.

    3. Remove the beef from the marinade and sear the beef until just browned, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

    4. Add the red pepper and green onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender.

    5. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.

    6. Add the beef back to the pan along with the sauce. Cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes.

    7. Fold in the basil and cook until it’s just wilted.

    8. Serve immediately with green onions and sesame seeds and a side of garlic sriracha if desired

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What is the keto flu and how do you cure it?

The Fire Team Whiskey eating plans and supplements transition our participants to a ketogenic lifestyle. We designed our nutritional programs to slowly walk a person to a keto lifestyle over the course of 90 days. Taking a slower approach can help you avoid the dreaded “keto flu” and this is why we designed our nutritional plans in this manner. It is important to be vigilant and to make these adjustments in your lifestyle by adding supplements and paying attention to potential signs of the keto flu. If you would like to take a slower approach to starting a keto lifestyle and try the Fire Team Whiskey Keto nutritional Programs, chech out your options by clicking on the button below.

This article was republished on the FTW Blog site with the permission of HVM

Authored by Dr. Brianna StubbsAarushi Bajaj and Nate Martins • December 14, 2018

You've decided to try the keto diet. The low-carb, high-fat diet can be great for performance and decreasing body weight, but the body needs a little bit of time to adapt to fat as an energy source. Often, there are some symptoms involved during this period of adaptation.

It's called the "keto flu," a commonly-experienced set of side-effects associated with carbohydrate withdrawal. This may sound like withdrawal from substance abuse; interestingly, recent studies have compared the effect of carbohydrates (particularly sugar) on the brain to that of addictive drugs like cocaine.1 Reported symptoms include: mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and dizziness. It can last anywhere from a day to a couple weeks.

Shortsighted dieters may allow keto flu knock them off the diet altogether–but after a period of metabolic adaptation, the body adjusts to the change and will reach a state where it's burning fat as a fuel source, a largely-stored, but for many, a largely untapped bodily energy source. There are several ways to reduce, prevent or manage symptoms of the keto flu. We'll discuss some of the most common symptoms, the science behind them, and offer some solutions to nascent keto dieters.

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Science Behind Keto Flu

Carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source. When those are restricted, the body responds through a series of changes to transition from using glucose (stored carbs) for energy to using fat. This gear-switching is a good thing; but it's also the reason for keto flu. First, blood sugar drops and causes hypoglycemia,, which is low blood sugar < 55 mg/dL.2 In response, the body changes both the fuel it uses for energy and how neurons in the brain function. Second, changes occur in other bodily systems that alter electrolyte, water and hormone levels–this can lead to dehydration from following the ketogenic diet.


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Falling Blood Glucose

The physical consequences of sudden carb removal, we must first understand that our body generates energy using two main mechanisms: glycolysis (converting glucose to energy) and beta-oxidation (converting fat to energy).

Complying with a low-carb ketogenic diet means forcing the body to switch from using carbs as energy (via glycolysis) to using fats as energy (via beta-oxidation). After a period of adaptation, the body usually begins to generate energy from the breakdown of ketones (via a process call ketolysis) instead of glucose. This switch occurs because the body breaks down fatty acids into ketones so the brain can use them for fuel.3 

What happens when the body hasn't yet learned to burn fat and produce ketones? That's where hypoglycemia comes it. The result is a temporary energy deficit and low blood sugar. Remember: this is a transient period of adaptation. Switching to using fats and ketones as energy varies by person, depending on a mix of genetics and habitual diet; some individuals demonstrate a greater metabolic flexibility than others. These lucky individuals may show far fewer symptoms or experience the flu for a shorter duration.

Research has found the same pathways of the reward system in the brain are activated in both high-carb foods and cocaine or heroin. Both cause the release of dopamine (a "feel good" hormone). Regular carb consumption modifies gene expression and dopamine receptor availability in that reward system over time. This translates to a need for even more carbohydrates to have the same effect on those brain receptors. So the sudden removal of carbohydrates can lead to withdrawn symptoms, both physical and psychological.

Electrolyte Imbalance and Dehydration

Electrolytes are the minerals in the body that are derived from salts, e.g. calcium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and sodium. Electrolyte levels, controlled by the kidneys, are crucial for maintaining bodily functions such as heartbeat regulation and muscle contraction.4 

Why does the ketogenic diet cause these imbalances? Carbohydrate restriction, and thus insulin release. With a lower carb intake, insulin levels drop.

Insulin signals cells in the body to absorb glucose in the bloodstream, and signals the kidneys to store more water.5 Lower insulin levels (as a result of decreased carb intake) means the kidneys now store less water. This results in dehydration and the flushing out of electrolytes in the process.6 Stored carbohydrates (glycogen) trap three grams of water per gram of glycogen–so this also causes a depletion while on keto, further contributing to the reduced amount of water and electrolytes in the body.

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Hormonal Stress Response 

A poorly-formulated ketogenic diet (one too low in calories or deficient in micronutrients) can trigger a starvation response in the body, thus raising levels of cortisol (stress hormone). 7Cortisol release is the body's attempt to product the brain by raising blood sugar, trying to compensate for the now low blood sugar caused by carb reduction. If excess cortisol is released, stress response and blood sugar stability can become deregulated.

Thyroid hormones are also something to consider. They have several function, including the maintenance and regulation of carbohydrate/energy metabolism. The T3 (or euthyroid) is the most biologically active form of the hormone, and is linked to dietary carb consumption. T3 levels have shown to decrease in response to carb restriction below a certain threshold (which varies from person to person).8 The result may be fatigue or difficulty focusing through the adaptation period. Conversely, lowered T3 is also hypothesized to bring several benefits if thyroid function is normal. This includes improving longevity and preserving muscle mass.

While discomfort may result during the transition, you can rest assured that lowered T3 does not appear to be indicative of hypothyroidism.9  

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Solutions to Common Symptoms

Symptoms of the keto flu vary from person to person. But there are easy solutions one can leverage to help combat these symptoms.

If you're looking for a supplement to help with keto flu, try HVMN Ketone, our flagship product. HVMN Ketone can give you an energy boost without the need for carbs, while keeping your blood ketone levels elevated. Try it here.

Headaches

In ketosis, headaches can occur due to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. With low insulin levels, the kidneys go into a diuretic state, so potassium, water, and sodium are excreted. A silver lining here is the loss of excess water weight (and thus weight loss) with the decrease in stored water. Conversely, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance are the reasons for many keto flu symptoms. Monitor salt and water intake while on keto, and consider supplementing with electrolytes.

The necessity of electrolyte management is underestimated on low-carb diets. Even if macronutrient intake is monitored correctly, maintaining the correct balance of electrolytes often goes overlooked. The cause of electrolyte imbalance? Usually, it's eating too few mineral-rich fruits and vegetables when transitioning to the keto diet. Removing salt-laden, processed foods means the body is now cut off from the sodium or electrolyte sources it once had. While many keto dieters are weary of increasing sodium intake and raising blood pressure, removing processed foods from the diet and reducing carb intake already has a significant blood pressure-lowering effect.10

Supplementing other minerals is also vital. Magnesium is important for the body, contributing to muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and protein synthesis.11 Potassium is also helps proper functioning of the heart, digestion and muscle function.12 Foods rich in potassium and magnesium include tomatoes, avocados, salmon, nuts, leafy greens, and animal protein. Bouillon cubes, homemade stocks (like beef broth or chicken broth), and sea salt are all rich in sodium and minerals. One should consume these to minimize the risk of headaches. 

Cramps

Cramping is the most common sign that electrolytes are out of balance.

The common mistake is not drinking enough water to compensate for water during the keto transition phase, which may result in low blood pressure and constipation, other than just cramps.6 Causes for cramps can also be caused by low potassium or low magnesium. Animal protein is an excellent potassium source, and the juices from cooking meats should be retained for this purpose. For magnesium, seek out leafy greens; the darker the better!

Constipation 

This may be a result of the digestive system transitioning on keto. Any dramatic lifestyle changes impact gut microbiome, inevitably altering bowel movements. Dehydration can worsen constipation (because of the increase excretion of fluids by the kidneys). Eliminating high-carb fruits and vegetables can also reduce dietary fiber and contribute to constipation.

Eat plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, exercise and drink plenty of water every day. But be warned–eating excessive fiber can also lead to constipation, so finding a balance is necessary. That balance is something that can only be determined from personal experience.13 MCT or medium-chain triglyceride oils are a solution. This may help to relieve constipation, as fat can help push bowel movements through. Finally, care should be taken to ensure your calorie intake is adequate, as not eating enough calories can also contribute to constipation.

Bad Breath

Some keto dieters experience bad breath, discerningly fruity or similar to nail polish remover. Besides the oder, this might be positive–it's an indicator of a body in ketosis. However, it's usually reported to go away within a week or two, once the body adapts to the new metabolic state it is in. Maintaining good oral hygiene, increasing water intake, and using gum or breath freshener can help mask or reduce the smell in the interim while the body is still adapting. 

Fatigue, Low Mood, and Cravings 

As the body adapts to ketosis, decrease in energy levels and weakness are often reported, which can impair physical performance. Fatigue can last anywhere from three days to weeks as the body prepares new enzymes for the diet.

The tiredness may be caused by thyroid hormone and cortisol changes; the body is trying to compensate for the lowered carbohydrate intake by releasing more cortisol, which raises blood sugar. The possible result? Irritable mood and reduced sleep quality. Since cortisol levels are likely to reduce again when the body becomes keto-adapted, these symptoms should be temporary. To lessen fatigue, water and mineral intake should be carefully monitored (and likely increased). B vitamins, particularly B5, are vital for helping with fatigue and lethargy. It's crucial to eat enough calories from fat for sustenance, as being under-fueled can also cause fatigue.

Removing glucose from the diet can affect mood and cause cravings. Replacing foods you crave with low-carb alternative or removing food "triggers" can help reduce the psychological (and thus physiological) symptoms of carb withdrawal. While there are low-carb recipes for some of your favorite treats, many people who have successfully transitioned to the ketogenic diet say that just going “cold turkey” on sweet-tasting things and refined sugars helps to get rid of those nasty cravings sooner.

You may be doing keto wrong.

The ketogenic diet is difficult to maintain–there’s a ton of misinformation and pseudoscience out there about the best ways to burn fat. Subscribe to receive the latest facts and techniques (backed by science) for executing keto properly.

Summary

Keto flu systems are often transient, disappearing completely after keto-adaptation.

Lifestyle determines length and severity of the keto flu for the individual, with symptoms likely greater for individuals who ate a high-carb diet previously. Even during transition, the symptoms can be alleviated if treated smartly. A well-formulated low-carb diet can progress without significant symptoms if the common mistakes of poor mineral intake, lack of fiber, electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration are addressed.

Avoid falling into the common trap of assuming your body is not suited to the low-carb diet after just a few days, and instead, consider careful monitoring of water and mineral intake particularly for the days/weeks it takes your body to adapt. Have a look online for some keto support groups if you have questions, and perhaps think about trying exogenous ketones, like HVMN Ketone. Exogenous ketones can give you an energy boost as beta-hydroxybutyrate without the need to take in carbs.

Have you experienced keto flu symptoms while transitioning onto the keto diet? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Scientific Citations

1.Ahmed SH, Guillem K, Vandaele Y. Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care. 2013; 16(4):434-9.2.Desimone ME, Weinstock RS. Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia. [Updated 2017 Sep 23]. In: De Groot LJ, Chrousos G, Dungan K, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK355894/3.Manninen AH. Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood “Villains” of Human Metabolism. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2004;1(2):7-11. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-1-2-7.4.Balcı AK, Koksal O, Kose A, et al. General characteristics of patients with electrolyte imbalance admitted to emergency department. World Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2013;4(2):113-116. doi:10.5847/wjem.j.issn.1920-8642.2013.02.005.5.Rubenstein AH, Mako ME, Horwitz DL. Insulin and the kidney. Nephron. 1975; 15(3-5):306-26.6.Artunc F, Schleicher E, Weigert C, Fritsche A, Stefan N, Häring HU. The impact of insulin resistance on the kidney and vasculature. Nature reviews. Nephrology. 2016; 12(12):721-737.7.Waldman HS, Krings B, Basham SA, Smith JW, Fountain BJ, McAllister MJ. Effects of a 15-Day Low Carbohydrate, High-Fat Diet in Resistance-Trained Men. (1533-4287 (Electronic)).8.Pasquali R, Parenti M, Mattioli L. Effect of dietary carbohydrates during hypocaloric treatment of obesity on peripheral thyroid hormone metabolism. Journal of endocrinological investigation. ; 5(1):47-52. [pubmed]9.Fontana L, Klein S, Holloszy JO, Premachandra BN. Effect of long-term calorie restriction with adequate protein and micronutrients on thyroid hormones. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. 2006; 91(8):3232-5.10.Chen L, Caballero B, Mitchell DC, et al. Reducing Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Is Associated with Reduced Blood Pressure: A Prospective Study among U.S. Adults. Circulation. 2010;121(22):2398-2406. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.911164.11.Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, NIH12.He FJ, MacGregor GA. Beneficial effects of potassium on human health. Physiologia plantarum. 2008; 133(4):725-35.13.Ho K-S, Tan CYM, Mohd Daud MA, Seow-Choen F. Stopping or reducing dietary fiber intake reduces constipation and its associated symptoms. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. 2012;18(33):4593-4596. doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i33.4593.

FTW Egg Muffins

Need a quick, low carb, on the go breakfast idea? Check out this super easy recipe for egg muffins! Add any ingredients to customize this quick, healthy and easy snack!

Why HIIT is still a top fitness trend

The Fire Team Whiskey Caliber Fitness programs are all based on High Intensity Interval Training. Every year, new fitness trends come and go. One style of working out has gained and maintained speed for the last three years. We’re talking about high intensity interval training (HIIT). This year, the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends named HIIT as the number one trend for 2018. Since 2014, HIIT has consistently rained in the top three slots of the survey. So what is HIIT? A HIIT workout typically alternates short intervals of high-intensity exercise and low- intensity or no exercise (aka rest). Whether you alternate sprints and walking, super fast jump roping with slow jump roping, or jump-squats and marching in place, the goal is to bump up your heart rate and then recover just enough to bump it right back up again. Rather than spend an hour a day walking, jogging, or running, the major appeal of HIIT is that you can get more done in less time. Interested in adding HIIT to your routine? Read on for our tips to stay safe, see results, and have fun.

Article used with permission form quill.com

Lactate threshold is misunderstood

Article used with permission from hvmn.com

If you want to start a debate in a group of runners, mention lactic acid and lactate threshold. The topics are two of the most confused and misunderstood in the running world. For the last few decades, lactate was presumed to be all bad–causing only muscle soreness and dashing dreams of personal records.

But that’s only half the story.

Lactate threshold is the exercise level at which lactic acid builds up in the blood. This accumulation of lactic acid is associated with fatigue, and most people assume the burning sensation of hard exercise is caused by lactic acid.

Endurance athletes specifically focus on lactate threshold as a measure of efficiency and fitness. For many, the goal of training is to maintain increased power and speed without crossing over this threshold. Most athletes want to stave off blood lactate accumulation, training so they clear it faster and produce less.

That’s why lactate is generally considered a four-letter-word, thought to be a waste product linked to muscle fatigue.

Research on the issue makes muddy waters more clear: producing and burning lactate provide essential fuel for cells throughout the body when oxygen is depleted.1

Lactate & Lactate Threshold Basics

There’s a nuance to lactate responsible for its bad rap.

Lactate: More Protons, More Problems

Also known as lactic acid, lactate can be produced throughout the body naturally.2 It’s a result of rapidly burning carbohydrate when the demand for energy is high, and oxygen availability is low, such as during sprinting or other high-intensity workouts.

Glucose is the body’s most readily available fuel, easily transported around the body and broken down to support short bursts of intense exercise. Glucose gets metabolized by a process called glycolysis, resulting in pyruvate. There are two possible uses for pyruvate: anaerobic or aerobic energy production.

When there is plenty of oxygen, pyruvate is turned into energy in the form of ATP through the aerobic pathway. Without enough oxygen present, pyruvate has another fate: anaerobic conversion to lactate. So all that huffing and puffing during intense exercise is used (among other things) to fuel the metabolic reactions that make our muscles work.

The majority of lactate released into the blood is mopped up in the liver where it can be converted back into glucose via a process called gluconeogenesis, and then released back into circulation.1 For example, the brain can directly use it as fuel (along with other parts of the body).

Lactate itself isn’t at all that bad for the body. The bad part is the acid associated with it.

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Lactate caries a proton (an acid) when it’s released, and the build up of protons decreases the pH of the blood. When the body gets more acidic, function becomes compromised because the protons interfere with energy production and muscle contraction.

All this time, athletes have been blaming lactate like it’s a referee. But they should be blaming those protons.

Still, generally, lactate is pretty much always associated with protons, so there is a strong relationship between high lactate and fatigue.

As speed increases, lactate production reaches a point where it increases exponentially

Lactate Threshold: Recycling is the Name of the Game

Blood lactate levels rise gradually as one exercises. The harder the exercise, the higher it climbs; this is an indicator of a shift in our energy production from aerobic (lots of oxygen) to anaerobic (less oxygen).

Before reaching the lactate threshold, blood lactate concentrations increase gradually. But upon arriving at the lactate threshold, the blood concentration of lactate begins to exponentially increase. Usually that intensity hovers around 80% of an athlete’s maximum heart rate, or 75% of their maximum oxygen intake–but you can also link it to speed or power.

Recycling lactate is true north of endurance training, which aims to maintain an intensity below the lactate threshold. When the recycling process can’t keep up, lactate produced by the exercising muscles begins build up in the bloodstream.

Well-designed training programs target both sides of the lactate threshold; there should be some training sessions working at or above LT. These sessions are harder on the body, but this forces adaptations that ultimately increase speed on race day.

Why Does Lactate Build Up Happen During High Intensity Exercise?

Lactate buildup is a result of the rapid anaerobic breakdown of carbohydrate.

Cells break down carbs and fats from our food to produce a molecule called ATP (the body’s energy currency), which is then used as energy by exercising muscles. ATP is produced from carbs through a three-step process: Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle and Electron Transport Chain (ETC). Products from Glycolysis feed Krebs which feeds ETC.

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ETC is what generates most of our ATP. Energy generated from ETC is effective enough to sustain moderately-intense exercise...but the process doesn’t happen fast enough to keep up with the energy demand of high-intensity exercise. This means rapid-release energy from glycolysis is required to keep going. Glycolysis increases to supplement the difference but, as we know, this leads to lactate production.

Oxygen delivery rate also becomes limited during high intensity exercise. The ETC absolutely relies on oxygen for its function. We can’t breathe enough, or pump blood fast enough to our muscles when they are in overdrive to keep the ETC going. This necessitates oxygen-free energy production via glycolysis and lactate production.

That extra lactate (along with its acidic proton) ends up in the blood and decreases our pH. Our brains aim to keep a steady state of pH, and sensing this imbalance in pH, cause us feel nauseous. This leads to a feeling of fatigue, then a decrease intensity, then decreasing ATP demand, then glycolysis slows, leading to a better match between oxygen demand and oxygen delivery. Ultimately, this match allows lactate clearance from the blood.

Exercise above the lactate threshold can only be sustained for a limited amount of time: the body runs out of glycogen (stored carbs) to convert into lactate, and the increasing acidity of the blood causes fatigue.

Better athletic performance comes from training with LT in mind, geared to a higher production of speed or power at the lactate threshold.

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How to Figure Out Lactate Threshold

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Testing protocols to determine lactate threshold are sport-specific. Many consider the running speed at lactate threshold (RSLT) to be the best indicator of running fitness and the most reliable barometer of endurance performance.

In cycling, step-tests (where power is increased at regular intervals until you are exhausted) are the gold standard for measuring physiological performance markers, such as lactate threshold.

Upon completing the test and finding a personal lactate threshold, one can begin incorporating lactate threshold training to target specific adaptations for the body to make.

There are a few different ways to test for a personal lactate threshold, and factors to consider when doing so. It’s important to remember everyone is different, and lactate threshold changes in response to training (or sadly, de-training).

Lab Testing: Accurate But Expensive

The most concrete way to determine lactate threshold is to take a series of blood samples as exercise is conducted at increasing intensities. This type of lactate testing occurs at an exercise physiology laboratory, and tends to be expensive (but worth it).

In a lactate threshold test, athletes exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike while increasing intensity every few minutes until exhaustion. A blood sample is taken during the each stage of the test–similar to testing for ketones, through the fingertip or earlobe–illustrating blood lactate readings at various running speeds or cycling power outputs. Results are then plotted on a curve to show the speed or power at which the lactate threshold occurs.

However, lactate threshold changes as more training is done to build your aerobic base. So in order to maintain an updated understanding of your lactate threshold, you’d have to visit the lab again after a block of training.

During her time on the Great Britian Rowing Team, HVMN Research lead, Dr Brianna Stubbs, did lactate threshold testing every 2-3 months. She recounts the collective effort to find lactate threshold.

"The gym even got gory on step-test days, with athletes dripping blood from the testing holes in their earlobes."Dr. Brianna Stubbs

"Seeing results change over time was interesting," she said. "I recorded my highest power at lactate threshold toward the end of the winter training block, which made sense because that’s when we did most of our endurance work."

Do-it-Yourself Field Test: You Have a Few Options

Many endurance athletes choose to estimate their lactate threshold by measuring heart rate and/or VO2 max at different training zones (there’s even a portable lactate blood analyzer some use to further cement results).

There are several different methods to estimate running speed at lactate threshold:

VDOT (or VO2 max) Chart

  • VDOT chart is an adjusted VO2 max chart (created by esteemed running coach Jack Daniels) that uses some of your most recent run times (at max effort) to identify training pace that will maintain your lactate threshold. There are two corresponding chats that work together to illustrate max effort and training paces for different distances (we've simplified it above)

  • For example, running at a 7:49 mile pace at max effort corresponds to a VDOT number of 36. That VDOT number illustrates the pace at which training should be done to maintain lactate recycling: 8:55. For a more in-depth analysis of interval training and different distances, refer to these charts here

Conconi Method

  • Using a heart rate monitor set to a five second recording interval

  • Begin running and increase speed every 200 meters until exhaustion. The goal isn’t to maintain a steady state of exercise, instead increasing incrementally to test yourself

  • Plot heart rate against speed; the deflection point in the graph (where your heart rate goes up much more than your speed) roughly corresponds to speed at lactate threshold

Time-Trial Method / 30-Minute Test

  • Research has shown that doing a 30 minute flat out time trial is one of the most accurate ways to find your lactate threshold without using fancy equipment3

  • Start by warming up

  • Then, on a track or treadmill, run for 30 minutes at the fastest sustainable pace. 10 minutes into the run, obtain and note your heart rate. Then, after the final 20 minutes of the test, obtain and note your heart rate again

  • Add your heart rate at the 10-minute mark to heart rate at the 30-minute mark–that's your lactate threshold heart rate. And your average pace for the entire 30-minute test (assuming it was steady) is your lactate threshold pace

Both elite athletes and weekend warriors can benefit from understanding personal lactate threshold to maximize results. However, lactate threshold is impacted by training and changes over time. So keeping regular on these types of tests will indicate an improving lactate threshold through focused training.

Optimizing Lactate Metabolism

Lactic acid gets blamed for muscle soreness, but the production of lactate is an important metabolic process. The idea that lactate is pure waste and leads to fatigue is somewhat outdated. Nevertheless, a higher speed or power at lactate threshold is still one of the key goals of aerobic training.1

Different strategies can help minimize lactate buildup during exercise.

Warming Up: As Important as Cooling Down

Warming up is important to reducing risk for injury and minimizing potential lactate buildup. During a warm-up, heart rate increases, and blood vessels dilate, meaning there is more blood flow and more oxygen reaching your muscles.

When exercise intensity picks up the pace, there’s less mismatch between oxygen needs of the muscles and blood. Therefore, you don’t need to do as much anaerobic respiration, and you don’t build lactate early in the run.

Equally, cooling down and stretching immediately after a workout is especially important. Gentle exercise (slow jogging or spinning on a bike) or using a foam roller can help clear lactic acid buildup from the muscle by stimulating blood flow and encouraging lymphatic drainage.

Nutrition and Supplements: Replenishment is Key

The key to dealing with high lactate production is dealing with the acid associated with it (that pesky little proton). Two “buffer supplements,” sodium bicarbonate and beta-alanine, work by mopping up that proton. This means lactate levels can go higher than before without triggering fatigue because the proton is taken care of.

Beta-alanine works inside the muscles to clean up protons before they affect muscle contraction. Compounding effects of beta-alanine powder (~5g per day) happen after several weeks, but studies show around a 2-3% performance boost.4

Sodium bicarbonate is better for short-term boosts in proton buffering. Bicarbonate is the main buffer usually binding protons to stop blood from becoming too acidic. About an hour before exercise, taking bicarb powder dissolved in water, at 0.3kg per body weight, has shown to improve performance.5 Be weary of stomach aches when first introducing bicarb. But there are bicarbonate gels that provide the same buffing effect without the side-effects.6

Lactate can only be produced by breaking down carbs. Sustaining an exercise intensity that is producing lactate means the depletion carbohydrate stores (glycogen). When the glycogen gas tank reads empty, we hit a wall.

Exogenous ketones can lower lactate production. By drinking pre-workout exogenous ketones, like HVMN Ketone, your body can use the ketones for energy instead of carbohydrates–glycolysis decreases and therefore, so does lactate production.

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Having ketones as a whole new source of fuel means the body doesn’t need to dip into its existing carb and protein stores: athletes using HVMN Ketone show a decrease in the breakdown of intramuscular glycogen and protein during exercise, compared to carbohydrates alone.7

Exercise: Training Toward Adaptation

Regular training forces the body to adapt; what once felt like an unsustainable pace becomes easy. And adopting a training plan helps accelerate how that adaption will progress.

Looking at the whole body, the heart muscle gets stronger, building more small blood vessels. These small blood vessels mean more oxygen-rich blood can be transported to the muscles, requiring less demand for anaerobic respiration and lactate production.

On a muscular level, cells can produce more mitochondria, which are the site of aerobic respiration. This helps increase reliance on that energy system. Muscle cells also express more of the transport proteins for lactate, so lactate doesn’t build up inside the cells and compromise their function.8

Lactate threshold training switches up workout intensity, optimizing the body’s lactate response.

Peter Broomhall, who has been running ultramarathons for seven years, started incorporating lactate training into his regimen with his coach.

"I’ve trained with lactate threshold in mind this year more than any other year. It takes time to build up that threshold, but things like recovery become quicker. It compliments every aspect of training."Peter Broomhall

For runners, one way to work on lactate threshold is to breakdown a run into mile sections: the first mile or two should be run at a pace just below lactate threshold, while the proceeding mile section should be slower, thus allowing the body to process the lactate. Active recovery is more effective at clearing lactate than passive recovery.9 This allows a high volume of miles without going overboard.

Lactate, A Misunderstood Villain

Next time your running club gangs up on lactic acid, maybe you can remind everyone of its important role in helping our bodies produce energy quickly when oxygen is short.

We do know the combination of high lactate (and the associated increase in protons in the muscles and blood) can impact our ability to maintain peak athletic performance. But we now have a deeper understanding of blood lactate (and how to optimize it), thanks to monitoring tools outside the lab, structural training regimens and recovery techniques.

We’re altering how the body responds to lactate with nutrition supplements like HVMN Ketone and bicarb gels. And in the process, we’re rewriting the old story about lactic acid.

Train smarter for better results

Scientific Citations

1.Patrizia Proia, Carlo Maria Di Liegro, Gabriella Schiera, Anna Fricano, and Italia Di Liegro. Lactate as a Metabolite and a Regulator in the Central Nervous System. Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Sep; 17(9): 1450. Published online 2016 Sep 1.2.Matthew L. Goodwin, M.A., James E. Harris, M.Ed., Andrés Hernández, M.A., and L. Bruce Gladden, Ph.D. J. Blood Lactate Measurements and Analysis during Exercise: A Guide for Clinicians. Diabetes Sci Technol. 2007 Jul; 1(4): 558–569. Published online 2007 Jul.3.McGehee JC, Tanner CJ, Houmard JA. A comparison of methods for estimating the lactate threshold. J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Aug;19(3):553-8.4.Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Authored by Nate Martins • 

October 5, 2018

WHY YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FAIL AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

As a health and fitness business owner, I am well aware of the majority of Americans who make a New Years Resolution to "Lose weight", "Eat healthier" or to "Get in shape".  I cringe every time I hear someone say this. Being a Licenced Mental Health Counselor, an Eating Psychology Specialist and a Certified Personal Trainer, I know that any person saying one or all of those phrases is doomed. They will not "lose weight", eat healthier" or "get in shape" next year. How can I be so certain? Because of the way they are stating their goals. These kinds of general goals are never achieved. Defining your goals by following the SMART rule is very important for new years resolutions. 

S- Specific: How many pounds can you reasonable and realistically lose? A safe way to estimate is to assume an average loss of a pound a week. Is it more realistic to have a body composition goal instead of a pounds lost goal (highly suggest this for those over 40!). Be specific: "I plan to reduce my body fat from 48% to 30%." 

M- Measurable: How will you measure this? Do you have a body composition scale or another way to measure it? How often will you measure it? How will you track it? What is the rate of change you are looking for? For example "I want to lose a pound a week at a minimum." 

A: Attainable: Again, setting a pie in the sky goal may make you feel hopeful and fill your brain with visions of you looking amazing in a swimsuit, but we need to bring you back to reality. To safely lose weight in a way that is sustainable (i.e. permanent) you may have to drop your standards a bit. I had a client ask me if she would ever have arms like mine. I said yes, but you may be looking at achieving this a lot further down the road than you may be willing to work at it for. Be realistic. That fad "30 pounds and 30 days" diet may work short term, but guess what, I have a roster full of clients who did those programs (some even several times over) and gained all the weight back plus some. Why? Because that 30-day lifestyle was not sustainable, and I argue, the methods used just are not safe for your health in the long run. Add to the A an accountability partner...actually several accountability partners. Research shows you are up to 90% more likely to achieve your goals if you make them public and regularly update and check in with your accountability partners. So yes, announce it on social media and ask people to hold you to it. And dont get mad at them when they call you out when you post a picture of the 3rd slice of pizza a bucket of fries you are having for dinner. 

R: Relevant:  One of the best excuses I received from a participant for not following the nutrition plan was "The nutrition plan is not conducive to my lifestyle." I had to do a double take and conceded that he was right. Some people just live a lifestyle of drinking beer and eating hot wings. It's their thing and they wouldn't be "them" without this. Look at your goal to fit into that size 2 dress and ask yourself, "Am I willing to give up the specific lifestyle that I have that keeps me from being able to fit into that size?" If the answer is "no", then you need to change your goal. How about a goal of eating on the plan from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm and have a chat window from 7:00 to 8:00 pm and not worry about making a goal to be a certain size, rather, eating healthy most of the time. 

T: Time:  This is a big problem with Americans. Everyone says they don't have time to workout or to meal plan and prep, yet they binge on 6 hours of Netflix on a Friday night. If you dont give yourself a time schedule to achieve your small goals that lead up to your big goal, time will fly by and that goal will stay just as far away as it was a year ago. Schedule time in your day, every day to be active. Schedule time every week to meal plan, grocery shop and meal prep for the week. Your time reflects your priorities. Take a week and just monitor how much you spend watching TV or on social media. I bet its much more than you thought. If you would just cut back on a few hours each week on those sedentary activities and replace them with the activities that will get you closer to achieving your goals, no time is lost. You dont have to "fit in" anything extra in your life, you are just getting rid of some of those time-sucking behaviors that are getting in the way of your goals. 

Copy Right 2018 Fire Team Whiskey LLC All Rights Reserved

FTW Suspension System Workout

FTW Founder and CEO shows us an awesome suspension system workout.

Equipment needed: Suspension system straps

FTW HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL STEP WORKOUT

FTW Cadre Cory Sanden leads us through a high-intensity interval step workout.

Equipment Needed: Step or plyo box

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey 2018. All rights reserved.

FTW 5 Minute Yoga

Evolve Fit Wear - Best brands in Yoga &amp; Activewear

FTW Cadre SGT Sanden leads us through a quick yoga-inspired stretch routine. All you need is a mat! We recommend the yoga mat from Evolve Fit Wear, they have some pretty awesome and unique yoga mats!

All rights reserved. Copyright Fire Team Whiskey 2018. All rights reserved. Copy Right 2018. Fire Team Whiskey, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

STRENGTH TRAINING WOD: 15x15

CPT Lincoln takes you through a strength training workout that works both upper and lower body. All you need is a set of light and heavy dumbbells. 15 exercises, 15 reps each (15x15) Make sure to properly warm up first before doing this workout. FIT TO FIGHT!

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE DUMBBELL WEIGHT SETS

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE DUMBBELL WEIGHT SETS

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey 2018. All rights reserved. Copy Right 2018. Fire Team Whiskey, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

FTW Super Set and Drop Set Workout

FTW Cadre SGT Cory Sanden shows us how he pushes past plateaus by adding super set and drop sets to his workout routines. This workout requires either a resistance band (we recommend having a couple sets with different resistance) or a couple sets of dumbbell weights.

CLICK HERE TO GET HOME FITNESS RESISTANCE BAND SYSTEM

CLICK HERE TO GET HOME FITNESS RESISTANCE BAND SYSTEM

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE DUMBBELL SETS

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE DUMBBELL SETS

Copyright 2018 Fire Team Whiskey LLC All rights reserved.

The best time of day to run

Experienced sprinters recognize that warming up with breathing exercises, lengthy runs, tempo runs, and speed work are all crucial to enhancing performance. What's more perplexing, perchance, is arranging these sessions so you get the maximum out of every work. "It's significant to phase your exercises appropriately, and a proportion of runners do it incorrectly," states Jason Fitzgerald, a Washington, D.C.— centered trainer, 2:39 marathoner, and creator of StrengthRunning.com.

Receiving the precise extent of a break in the middle of quality exercises and prior to races aids the body get better and adjust while knowing the perfect time of day to do particular runs can produce a more fruitful session. Evidently, at whatever time you can go out and run is when you have to run—but if you've got choices, here's exactly how to time everything accurately.

EARLY RISER

Early morning exercises are performed between 5 am and 7 am. For a lot of us with steady 9-to-5 careers and hectic family lives, physical activity needs to be done as the lark rises.

Advantages

•        Feels excellent in the summer while the dawns are bright and warm.

•        There are functional benefits to exercises in an abstained condition

•        Feels great to know you’ve already done your workout and now can face the day.

•        Forms mental strength: if you can do it as soon as you wake up, you can do it any time you want.

•        Less traffic, foot-travelers and other roads/path users.

Disadvantages

•        Tough to do in the winter when it’s icy and murky.

•        Can be pressed for time fitting it into a taut space.

•        Necessitates an early bedtime to make it for the morning routine

LUNCHTIME LEGEND

This is in the middle of 1 pm and 2 pm. For a lot of us, a mealtime run is an excellent chance to take a rest from the place of work, get some fresh air and bank some miles.

Advantages

•        Gets your run done during office hours so you can unwind after work.

•        Offers chances to run with other people if you can breed some eagerness at work.

•        Studies have revealed those who work out at lunchtime pay attention more and can be more useful at work in the afternoon.

Disadvantages

•        Restricts you time-wise as lunch normally takes an hour.

•        It may be that you have to hurry your lunch, and could possibly miss it.

•        If your place of work doesn’t have a decent shower, you could rapidly become very disliked by your colleagues.

MID-MORNING MAN

This is in between 10 am and 11.30am. Even though we may be at our maximum attentive mid-morning, it may not be practical for a lot of us to plan a run at this period.

Advantages

•        By this time, your body has completely awakened and you feel more equipped and primed.

•        Your muscles function and lung performance are up to the mark.

•        You’re emotionally at your daily peak.

Disadvantages

•        challenging to fit into a regular work timetable: Unless you’ve got a very considerate supervisor or are self-hired, you can’t merely down gears and go off for a swift run

EVENING EXERCISER

This time is from 5 pm to 8 pm. Evening running is good for a lot of folks. Can this be the ideal hours for nailing your exercise?

Advantages

•        It’s been scientifically revealed that athletes do an improved job when body temperature is higher. This characteristically rises early evening.

•        Lung function has been revealed to be healthier in the afternoon than at other times of the day.

•        It feels physically easier to run more rapidly, which means that your exercises quality is enhanced.

•        Your work day has ended, which means that you have dedicated time to devote to your exercise.

Disadvantages

•        It can be a tussle to find the enthusiasm. It’s easy to ignore and skip it if work runs over, children need picking up or life, in general, gets in the way. Once the window of running chance has left, it's left.

•        If you live in built up or city regions, roads/paths can be full of traffic and pedestrians.

NIGHT OWL

This is in the middle of 9 pm and 11 pm. For those working shifts or with very hectic work and domestic obligations, this may be the only time likely to plan a run.

Advantages

•        If this is the only time you can run, it’s still a lot better than not running at all.

•        Streets more expected to be silent.

Disadvantages

•        Your body might be exhausted, which means that you are not as open to exercise or possibly as adaptive to the profits.

•        You’re not certain when to eat: afore your run or subsequently? If later, this can mean that you’re going to bed late on a bursting stomach.

•        Perceptibility will turn out to be an issue.

Author Bio:

This guest post was written by Hassan Khan Yousafzai, he is passionate about Digital marketing. Along with educational background in Software Engineering he is bridging gap between marketing and development department. At Techvando, he has been consulting brands all over Pakistan to gain online traffic and profitable leads.

Keto Pumpkin Spice Fudge

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Just in time for Thanksgiving! We love this festive Spiced Collagen Fudge from MHS Speakers, and food bloggers, Matt & Megha of KetoConnect, we just had to share. It's super simple, and makes a perfect keto-friendly holiday treat!
 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2c almond butter

  • 1/2c collagen

  • 1/4c pumpkin puree

  • 50 drops stevia (1/2 tsp liquid stevia)

  • 1/4c coconut flour

  • 1/4t salt

  • 1/2t nutmeg

  • 2t cinnamon

Instructions: 

  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl using a spatula.

  • Once fully incorporated transfer mixture to your mold/tray and spread out evenly.

  • Refrigerate for 2 hours prior to slicing and serving. Best stored in an air tight container in the fridge/freezer up to 1 month.

Copyright 2018 Fire Team Whiskey LLC

EATING LOW CARB AT THANKSGIVING...IS IT POSSIBLE?

Many of us who are watching our weight, or just really care about staying on plan struggle around the holidays. Every holiday party is packed with carbs and sugar. We fear being judged or having to deal with the backhanded comments from fellow gathering attendees “You are not fat, you need to eat” “It’s the holidays, can’t you just enjoy yourself?” or the lovely “Well if you think your fat and shouldn’t eat this stuff…then you must think I am a whale!” (yes, all said to me at holiday gatherings).

There is a way to enjoy the Thanksgiving gatherings and actually get to eat! There are plenty of traditional foods that are low carb friendly already found on the tables of most American Thanksgiving gatherings! Here are just a few:

Turkey

Ham

Deviled eggs

Side salads (minus croutons, those are easily removed)

And cooked green side vegetable (as long as it is not a casserole, those usually include flour)

Sliced meats, cheeses, olives and raw vegetables from traditional appetizer trays

Alright, feeling a little better? No? Our next suggestion is to bring 2 -3 things that fit your diet that you can share! Who knows? You may inspire someone to follow your lead and switch to a low carb lifestyle! We suggest bringing an appetizer, a side and a desert. Combine with the turkey and you have all the bases covered.

What is great is that you can take any traditional thanksgiving recipe and with a couple of changes, make it low carb (and just as good).

For example, lets take the traditional green bean casserole. Take the traditional recipe that uses cream of mushroom soup (that commonly has flour in it and also canola oil) and make your own cream of mushroom soup instead. Here is how to make your own cream of mushroom soup.

Ingredients:

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  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

  • 3 tablespoons almond flour or arrowroot

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. When foaming subsides add the mushrooms and season generously with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms have released their moisture and the edges begin to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and stir constantly until incorporated, about 1 minute. Gradually add the chicken stock and then the cream, whisking constantly to avoid lumping. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens, 5-6 minutes.

Replacing the breaded and fried onions are easy as well!

Slice 1 whole red onion and skillet fry them in ghee or coconut oil and coat them with almond flour or pulverized pork rinds. Add salt and pepper to taste. This will make the perfect “breaded” (not breaded) onions for your casserole.

Lastly, make sure to get 2 pounds of fresh green beans (not those sorry soft canned ones) and boil them for 6 minutes. Put the green beans and home made cream of mushroom soup in a casserole dish, top with your onions and bake until bubbling at 375 for about 20 minutes.

For desert, substitute pretty much any traditional baking recipe flour for almond flour and sugar for swerve or stevia (whatever your preference is).

Here is a recipe for a low carb pumpkin bread:

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cup almond flour

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3/4 cup stevia or swerve

2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp Sea salt

3/4 cup Pumpkin puree

4 large Eggs (lbeaten)

1/3 cup Butter 

1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil or line with parchment paper so loaf doesn’t stick or use a disposable aluminium loaf pan.

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, stevia, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and sea salt.

  2. Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, and melted butter. Mix until well combined.

  3. Transfer the batter into the loaf pan and press evenly to make a smooth top. Sprinkle the top with pumpkin seeds and press them lightly into the surface.

  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing

Bringing your own low carb options that are delicious will not only make you feel great about sticking with your plan, but will impress your skeptical friends and family and possibly convince them that this low carb thing may be a great way to live!

Copyright 2018, Fire Team Whiskey, LLC All rights reserved.

How to grocery shop for 5 minute meals

Fire Team Whiskey Founder is BUSY! She runs two businesses, is a mom to 5 fur animals and has to keep herself and her Fire Team Whiskey Participants fit and in shape (which means she has to do the same for herself). Here is what CPT Lincoln does most weeks to ensure that her meals take less than 5 minutes to make, so she can get back to her day!

By the way we love these meal prep bento boxes to get everything prepared for every meal of the week. These are perfect for busy families and people who want everything prepared and ready to run out the door each day.

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey, LLC 2018 All rights reserved

HOLIDAY TRAVEL: 5 TIPS TO STAY ON TRACK

According to AAA, 107.3 million Americans will travel over the holiday season. We all have had our experiences with holiday travel. Some good, some bad, some UGLY. What we all have in common is the interruption of our health and fitness efforts during this holiday travel season. We are out of our routine, we may not have access to a gym, Grandma keeps giving you seconds (and thirds) of her delicious banana pudding. We end up arriving home bloated, exhausted, lethargic, and feeling oh so very far away from those health and fitness goals we were so committed to before we left. Here are 5 tips to keep you on track during the holiday traveling season.

1. DO A RECON: In the military, a unit normally doesn’t enter enemy territory without some sort of recon. This means someone took a look at the area, gathered information and made a smart plan of attack. Treat your travel in the same way: do a recon. Know where you are staying? Do a google search and check if there is a grocery store near your hotel. Contact the hotel and ask to have a room with a refrigerator. Find out if the hotel has a gym, and if so, what type of equipment. If not, what gyms are nearby or are there other workout options in the area such as running trails, crossfit gyms or yoga studios. Make sure to pack your workout clothes and running shoes!

MPG Black Friday Event

2. MAKE A PLAN: Make a plan in advance to swing by a grocery store on your way to the hotel and pick up healthy snacks and drinks for the room. Contact the gyms ahead of time and inquire about drop in rates or temporary memberships. Or, use your Fire Team Whiskey subscription to do workouts from your hotel room, because no equipment is required! Schedule your workouts for each day of your vacation so that it will not interfere with your other plans. Plan out your meals and snacks to ensure that you always have something available that falls within your eating plan.

3. PRACTICE YOUR ASSERTIVENESS SKILLS: Nothing is more awkward than being put in a situation to refuse a person’s hospitality. We suggest that you contact the family members you may be visiting ahead of time and politely ask that food that complies with your eating plan needs be a part of what they are offering. Or better yet, offer to bring a dish (that happens to be a healthy choice that you can eat) for everyone. When pressed to have something you do not want to eat, say politely but firmly “Thank you, it looks delicious, but I am just so full I couldn’t eat another bite.” Some may be more insistent than others, be firm and just say no thank you.

4. GET REINFORCEMENT: It is very hard to be the only one in the room not chowing down on mac and cheese, cake, pie and bread rolls. You may even get some snide remarks about you needing to eat “because your so skinny”, “you don’t need to lose weight” , or “you should live a little, it’s the holidays”. Ahead of time, ask someone who will be at the event to be your battle buddy. Ask them to stand with you and help support you during these attacks on your willpower. Your family member can say “Joe Schmo has been working so hard and looks fantastic. I can really tell that this new way of life is making him/her feel great. We should support Joe Shmo and not push her/him to violate that commitment that means so much to him/her.”

5. THE ONE CHEAT RULE: We are certainly not suggesting that you not enjoy anything “off plan” during your holiday travels. The trouble is, it is easy to completely annihilate weeks of hard work in a period of a few days. Make a goal of having ONE CHEAT per day during your holiday travel that would be normally considered off plan for you at home. One means one. Not my cheat today is having beer and you drink 7 beers. If you normally limit yourself at home to one drink, then your cheat would be an additional drink. If you normally don’t have desert at home, have a small desert. Be strategic about it so you truly enjoy it. This means you may have to pass up on a potential cheat earlier in the day in order to have a treat later that you were looking forward to having.

We hope these tips help you stay on track during your holiday travels. Don’t have plans yet? If you haven’t already heard, you can get free vacations for military families at Westgate Resorts during their upcoming Military Weekend Giveaway. Also, check out Westgate’s portfolio of military discount hotels if you’re looking for a deal on your next getaway. They have awesome deals on Orlando Vacation getaways! Have you ever been to Disney during Christmas? It’s amazing! Plus, it’s Florida, the place to be in the winter. Check out their hotel deals for Military Families!

Copyright 2018 Fire Team Whiskey LLC

Pumpkin Spice Latte Shake

Fall is in the air and pumpkin spice everything is EVERYWHERE! The problem is, almost everything with pumpkin spice in it, has a ton of sugar and carbs in it. If you are a pumpkin spice latte lover, you are going to love this “spiced up” version of the Fire Team Whiskey SpecOps® Shake! Wave as you pass up the Starbucks run and make your own ZERO added SUGAR version at home or at work! This recipe does require a blender. We recommend the Ninja Blender (CPT Lincoln owns two, she has one at home and one at work).

Ingredients:

One packet of Fire Team Whiskey SpecOps® Shake

1/2 Frozen or fresh ripe banana

2 TBS of pumpkin puree (make sure to get the canned pumpkin puree with no added sugar)

A dash or two of organic cinnamon (we promise you it’s way better than regular cinnamon)

1 TBS of raw pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS:

Place all the ingredients in the blender with 8-12 ounces of water. Add ice if you want to make it “milshakey” in texture. Blend. If you want to get fancy top off with a dash of cinnamon and a few pumpkin seeds. ENJOY!

Copyright 2018 Fire Team Whiskey LLC, All rights reserved.

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Bench or Box Cardio Workout

Here is a great cardio workout using just a bench, step or box. To progress, carry dumbbells in your hands or wear a weighted vest. To modify, use a lower step or box. Always Ready!

We recommend the Reebok Deck! It can be used as a cardio step and a weight bench!

We recommend the Reebok Deck! It can be used as a cardio step and a weight bench!