The 12 Days of Fitness

The gift of health is one you can’t go wrong with for Christmas. Over the next 12 days, we’ve got the must-have items for anybody who has a single reason to go to the gym — and they’ll all come in handy after New Year’s, when people are making new resolutions.

Whether you know someone who already is a fitness enthusiast or someone who could use the boost, any one of these items is great for both beginners and seasoned gym rats alike. Stay tuned throughout the week to see all 12 — we promise we’ve got much better ideas than turtle doves.

12. NATURE’S FUEL: Everyone can use a good multivitamin to fill in the cracks in their nutrition. This goes beyond “good” — NATURE’S FUEL is one of the most complete, easily absorbed multivitamin formulas available, provides an amazing energy boost and is one of the very first steps in rounding out a complete, healthy diet.

11. NATURE’S EFA: Fatty acids are essential to the body’s health, particular the skin, sex organs, hair and nails, not to mention a smart way to keep body fat levels low. The studies and research done on fish, seed and nut oils are overwhelmingly positive, and NATURE’S EFA is a powerful blend of each.

10. BCAAs: Branched-chain amino acids are a must for anyone trying to make a transformation to lean and strong, or trying to maintain the gains they’ve already achieved. The building blocks of protein, BCAAs are rapidly absorbed and not only prevent catabolism (muscle breakdown for energy), but they also aid in fat loss by helping use body fat stores for energy more easily.

9. NUTRISHOP Shaker Bottles: This one goes hand-in-hand with the previous one — having a handy shaker bottle on hand throughout the day is an excellent way to make sure you get not only enough water every day (most experts recommend you have 64 oz. of it daily), but also the easy access to both BCAAs, protein shakes and other mix-in supplements that we’ll get to later on this list. One for the gym bag, one for the office, one for the car — you really can’t have enough shaker bottles.

8. NUTRISHOP Gear: Paying top dollar for many things can be a wise investment — a car, a house, good shoes, etc. Overpaying for gym shirts is ridiculous! Why not support a local business and look good in the process? NUTRISHOP shirts are well-designed, comfortable and they look great.

7. NUTRISHOP Supplement Stackers: Convenient and useful, you can take your pre-, interim- and post-workout supps with you without lugging around the entire package or messy plastic baggies or Tupperware. Screw-on lids and easy-access openings on the sides make them both easy to fill and easy to pour into a shaker bottle — plus, a separate compartment for pill supplements.

6. NATURE’S FRUITS: The vitamins and minerals we miss out on can be alarming. Ever since we hunted and gathered, people have needed the energy acquired from fruits and berries — today, the need isn’t so immediate, and in fact the abundance of sugar makes it even less so. NATURE’S FRUITS is a perfect way to bolster the immune system without having to eat a bushel of apples every day.

5. NATURE’S GREENS: Like its fruity counterpart, this blend is formulated to help you fill in some of the most critical dietary gaps in the Western diet — vegetables. Because of veggies’ low calorie and sugar count, you actually could eat as much broccoli, spinach or kale as you wanted every day. Of course, very few people would want to do this. Proven disease-fighting minerals and vitamins are what make veggies so important — NATURE’S GREENS delivers it all in a delicious drink.

what make veggies so important — NATURE’S GREENS delivers it all in a delicious drink.

4. CREATINE. One of the most-researched supplements around, creatine has proven to be a stimulator of strength and muscle gain, and comes in many forms, from the ever-popular creatine monhydrate to “micronized” creatine to buffered forms of creatine. We recommend you check out N’FUZE, a KreAlkalyn blend that is a buffered creatine designed to reduce the amount of wasted byproduct created when consumed.

3. NATURAL HORMONE PRODUCTS: For men over the age of 30, testosterone begins its freefall and strength, muscle mass and libido dips while body fat decides it would like to hang around a while longer. Help the man in your life fight this process with 1-XD, HGH-191, ARABOL, ANITEST and more of NUTRISHOP’s top-of-the-line natural hormone replacement products.

2. FAT-BURNERS: The top goal of just about everyone around the holidays is fat loss, and it happens to be one of our specialties. If you know someone who is trying to lose body fat, whether it’s that extra 5 holiday pounds they put on or something much more significant, HYPERCOR, THERMOVEX and LIPOCOR, among others, make great gift options to help get them on their way to a leaner body.

1. PROTEIN: We’ve said it before; we’ll say it again: Protein intake is probably the most critical aspect of gaining muscle and burning fat there is. It’s our No. 1 supplement for anyone — if you were to get just one supplement product for someone and didn’t want to risk getting something they couldn’t use, protein is the answer. PRO7 and FORZA PRO are our top sellers and are highly effective, great-tasting powders that make building muscle and burning fat that much easier.

No-Excuses November: How to Eat to Beat the Holidays

A buddy of mine recently got excited when he remembered it was November.

“Oh, yes — this is the month where you just eat pie the whole time!”

And he’s not totally wrong, is he?

Yes indeed, November — with Thanksgiving and winter feasts and warm comfort meals — does signal the beginning of some ultimate food temptation. Not to worry: We’ve got a road map to guide you through it all, from foods you can feel free to chow down on to treats you should avoid. And, you might even be surprised at a few of them.

Follow this blog throughout the week for a few of our best tips to holiday eating. If you think you just won’t be able to get through it all, and will definitely have a few “letdown” days, check out our guide on Preparing for the Holiday Health Apocalypse. But if you’re feeling up to a challenge, keep it right here.

CHOW DOWN

Ham, turkey, chicken. These are probably going to be on every table in abundance during the holiday season. And that’s a good thing. Lean meats should be the basis of a muscle-building, fat-burning diet, and assuming you don’t go crazy with gravy or mashed potatoes on the side, you can generally eat to your heart’s content when it comes to lean meat. And if your family likes, for some reason, to involve fish with the feast, that’s even better.

Pumpkin/pumpkin spice: Let’s not get nuts here — we are not recommending you eat nothing but pumpkin pie. However, cooked pumpkin is actually an amazing source of fiber and vitamin K, and you could do much, much worse than a slice of pumpkin pie (especially if you’re comparing it to, say, a chocolate mousse pie). Use Splenda, even, to make an even more guilt-free dessert, and don’t be shy with the cinnamon. Some studies suggest it’s a legitimate, powerful fat burner and good for blood pressure, too. Tell those pumpkin spice haters to get a new hobby.

Beans: Green beans, soups, chili, bean salad — there’s plenty of opportunities to work these hearty winter favorites in to any meal, especially in the holiday season, and we all know how effective they can be at, um…getting things moving. Without getting too gross, the fiber that allows beans to do their magic is essential to flushing unnecessary waste and toxins from the gut, and that means a more efficient digestive system. Bonus points if you can come up with a great baked bean recipe that’s not loaded with sugar, but really, there are endless possibilities.

Sweet Potatoes: Just don’t load them up with butter and that gross marshmallow cream. That’s nasty. Otherwise, bake them or make them into fries, and go to town.

STEER CLEAR

White Potatoes: Mashed, au gratin, whatever — these waistline-enemy spuds usually come with gravy and a second helping, not to mention butter, cheese or whatever else you may find smothering them. With no discernible health benefits and plenty of tasty, healthful alternatives, feel free avoid white potatoes at all costs.

Pecan Pie: Like pumpkin pie, this treat has a healthful, natural food in its name. But this one is absolutely loaded with sugar and butter, making it a calorie bomb that’s nowhere near as friendly as our pumpkin dessert. Shame on you, pecan pie, for using a perfectly good natural food against us.

Gravy: It’s not just the butter or calories that you should be worried about with gravy, but the sodium. One of the most overlooked nutritional downfalls is eating too much salt — it forces your body to retain water, bloating you up and causing discomfort. If you need to douse your food with something, try to cook more flavor into it in the first place with a dry rub or, post-cooking, get your hands on a dijon mustard, or a vinaigrette with olive oil.

PORTION CONTROL

Just about every piece of “eat this, not that” advice we’ve given above can be ruined if you, like so many others on Thanksgiving, decide that your plate must be completely covered and stacked high enough to block the view of your relatives around the table. No, not all calories are equal, but the fact remains: Even if you choose the “healthy” options at your holiday feast, it won’t matter if you’re eating twice as much as a normal meal.

The important thing to remember is that this particular meal is about family and visiting, not the food — that’s just a bonus (a really huge, delicious one). Take your time, enjoy your company, have a little of everything instead of a lot of some things and pay attention to your own gut. If you’re content, stop eating. If you’re full, DEFINITELY stop eating. And if you can’t follow any of that advice, well — enjoy yourself. And then get ready for a killer workout the next day.