Author: iyp_admin

19 Nov


Favorite Nut Butters


My wife and I have become nut butter connoisseurs as of late and here are a few of our favorites:

Nuttzo-Omega-3 Multi Nut Butter

This is an awesome blend of different nuts and seeds and is a great source of ALA – alpha-linolenic- acid/Omega 3’s.  The ingredients list says it all:Organic Peanuts, Organic Cashews, Organic Almonds, Organic Brazilian Nuts, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Flax Seeds, Organic Hazelnuts, Kosher SaltMy own take is that I don’t like the flavor as much because I’m not a fan of hazelnuts, but my wife loves it!

Here’s a link:


PB2 – Powdered Peanut Butter

 PB2 is a powdered form of Peanut Butter.  They don’t just dehydrate the Peanut butter, but they remove most of the fat in the process.  The result is something you can add water to and get something that tastes a lot like peanut butter, but with these stats:
Serving Size: 2 Tbs (tablespoons)

Total Calories: 45

Total Fat: 1.5g

Saturated Fat: 0g  !!!

Protein: 5g

Carbs: 5g

Sugars: 1g

So with 75% less calories than the equivalent two tablespoons of regular peanut butter, you can see why this would be attractive!  How does it taste?  Well, I don’t think I’d replace peanut butter with this in a sandwich or eating it straight but it’s perfect for smoothies, protein shakes, and baking.  I use it to make some low cal, high protein peanut butter cookies, and in that recipe I change out half of the peanut butter for this stuff, and you don’t notice the difference at all, yet it cuts 50 calories out of each and every cookie!

Highly recommended!  Here’s a link:

Naturally More Peanut Butter

This is my favorite Peanut Butter in the world!  It’s not just straight peanut butter- look at these stats:
Total Fat: 14g
Sat Fat: 2g

Protein: 9g

Carb: 7g

Sugars: 2g

The above doesn’t show this, but you are getting some Omega-3’s in this serving as well.  Not enough serving for the day, but definitely more than you get in peanut butter (which is none!).   That extra protein and reduced total saturated fat from from the fact that they are replacing some of the peanuts with flax seed and soy protein.  I have to admit, I was disappointed when they replaced egg whites with soy protein in their recipe a few months back.  I’d much rather have the egg protein than soy protein (which is said to boost estrogen levels in men 🙁   ).  But nowadays, soy protein is used in everything from protein cereals (eg, GoLean) to protein bars.

Looking at the ingredients:

Roasted Peanuts, Soy Protein, Flax Seed, Evaporated cane juice, Salt, molasses

You can see it’s all natural, but there is some sugar in the form of Evaporated Cane juice and molasses.  Still, when you consider peanut butter ground from just peanuts naturally has 1-2g of sugar in it- this has the same amount overall, so there can’t be too much added if any!

And I just love having this stuff mixed in cottage cheese.  It’s the perfect before bed snack with minimal carbs and sugar, and lots of protein, especially the slow digesting casein protein.

NOTE: The company that makes Naturally More was part of a recall on peanut butters a few months ago.  There were no cases of anything bad reported for this particular peanut butter, but since one of their other peanut butter brands had some type of E.coli or Salmonella they recalled everything to be safe.  Thus it is very hard to find on the shelves right now and I’ve been going through withdrawals waiting for it to come back.  Will update this with a link when it’s available again!


So what about you?  Do you have a peanut butter or nut butter you’d like to share?  Sound off in the comments below!



31 Aug


Add Life To Your Years, Not Years To Your Life




Once in a while my family and I watch the Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss show on TV.  Without fail the person being coached is in the extreme category- they likely will never feature a person needing to just lose 20 lbs, by the nature of the show itself!  When people are extremely obese, the threat of their weight to their health is much greater than the average individual.  They almost always state that they want to be around for their kids or loved ones, because if they don’t do something about it, they’ll likely die young of obesity caused illness or disease.

But for the average individual watching or just going about their life, the extra pounds they carry are not likely a matter of life and death.  Very few people diet down fifteen pounds to live longer- they do it to look better in a bathing suit, or to be able to run that 5K a few minutes faster than before.

A lot of talk and research is going into the field of life extension- that is, figuring out what we can do, eat, or take in order to live more than the average 70-80 years that seems ordained for us for many generations.  What a concept it would be to have another 40 years to live on this earth- imagine all the other things you’d be able to do if you lived to be 115 on average… wait, what?! Continue Reading

28 Aug


Be Careful Little Eyes


We all know that children are impressionable and lack the wisdom to make educated choices in certain aspects of life.  For example, most of us know that if we drink and party, our kids watch and learn.  And as a teenager when presented with a similar situation, their behavior will emulate or even exaggerate what they saw us doing for the years before that very moment.   And we know that they are not old and wise enough to handle these situations intelligently in most cases- heck, neither are most of us and we’re adults!

The truth is that this applies even to our eating and fitness lifestyles.  Our children watch us eating and exercising and they are having one of two likely reactions to it:

Read More

21 Aug


What’s In My Refrigerator? Part IV


This is Part IV of this series- Part I is here, Part II here, and Part III here.

What’s that, you say?  You mean Low-Carb Tortillas don’t HAVE to taste like cardboard?

I can’t take credit for finding this one.  I had all but given up on finding a tortilla or pita style wrap that I loved, and went back to eating my favorite bread- Publix Whole Wheat Italian 5 grain bread.  That was fine for sandwiches, toast, etc, but never a good choice for a burrito!   That’s when my wife brought home Joseph’s Flax,Oat Bran, Whole Wheat Pita Bread..

60 calories, 4 net grams of carbs (8 total with 4g fiber)!

Continue Reading

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20 Aug


What’s In My Refrigerator? Part III


This is Part III of this series- Part I is here, and Part II here.

It’s been called the salad killer in some circles as it negates most of the positive aspects of a healthy greens salad with its tons of saturated fat.  It also blows the calorie count through the lid.  Yes, you’re right- it’s the salad dressing.  Without a dressing, salad can be pretty hard to eat, but with most of them that taste rich and creamy, you might as well have ordered that burger instead!

Of course, you can opt for something like a small amount of Olive Oil and vinegar, or even Coconut Oil- both healthy options and they are a nice fresh change, but there are those times when you just long for a thick, rich, and creamy dressing atop your salad, sandwich, etc.  Bolthouse Farms to the rescue!

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16 Aug


What’s In My Refrigerator? Part Deux


Continuing the new series with Part II (Part I here), let’s take a look at another item in my fridge that may be of interest to you.. bacon!

bacon, Bacon, BACONNNN!

“Bacon?”, you say.  “That greasy, salty, filled with saturated fats kind of bacon?  The stuff that is filled with Nitrates and Nitrites and MSG?”   No, not that kind of bacon!  This is Turkey Bacon.

“Turkey Bacon?”, you say.  “That lame attempt at making a healthy bacon alternative, without the taste and with most of the same Nitrates and Nitrites as before?”  No, that kind of bacon either!  This is Applegate Naturals Uncured Turkey Bacon.

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15 Aug


What’s in my Refrigerator? Part I


When I watch YouTube videos from bodybuilders and fitness pros, my favorite submissions are usually the ones where they share some new idea for a recipe or even an ingredient to consider that I haven’t been using.  It’s in that spirit that I bring you this new series.

This is not a series of everything that is in my refrigerator.  That may get pretty boring!  I have 4 young kids in the house and my wife as well so there is a lot more in there, and not all of it is worthy of this post!  Rather, these posts will highlight some of my favorite finds over the past few years, and items you may not have heard of.

SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia


Sweet is probably the hardest flavor to fake naturally.  There are so many choices in sweeteners and they always seem to have a downside.  While some sweeteners have a multitude of studies that underscore their dangers (eg, Aspartame), most often, that downside is the process by which the sweetener was made.

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15 Aug


Be Careful What You Wish For!


For the last two years as I have tried to eat only healthy foods, a huge challenge has been wrestling with the fact that I did not want to drag my family along with me.  I saw a commercial the other day for Eggo waffles (of all things!) where the kids said ‘Uh Oh, Mom’s on a health kick again.  When Mom’s on a health kick, we all are!’. Then they are happy to discover they can still eat Eggo waffles.  I’m not endorsing Eggo waffles as a healthy breakfast (can you say Carbolicious 😉 ), but I think we can all appreciate the sentiment when someone who is healthy makes it almost a religion and feels required to preach it to all around them all the time.  I don’t want my kids and wife to resent eating well but to desire it for themselves, so I recognized early on it may take some time for them to come around.

A bigger challenge that soon surfaced was that they were constantly chiding me for missing out on some delicious dessert or treat, or trying to get me to cheat and enjoy a particular meal.  This is especially hard when you’re out with friends or extended family- they just don’t understand why you don’t want to eat the same as you did before and think you’re depriving yourself!  When my Mom learned I count calories and macros, she figured I was trying to starve myself or am headed towards an eating disorder, and not that I am trying to keep macros to optimize my health and particularly my muscle growth.

The biggest surprise however came a few months ago when my wife suddenly started to eat clean along with me.  This was something I had hoped for as long as I have been eating this way.  I wished for the day when I didn’t have to cook myself a chicken breast since the family was eating baked ziti, or the day I could try a new dish my wife made since it was using all clean ingredients!  But what I didn’t anticipate was the missing cottage cheese in the refrigerator (“Sorry, I finished that last night”) or the two extra strips of bacon (uncured Applegate farms Turkey bacon that is) I cooked up for later that have seemingly walked their way out of the refrigerator and onto her plate (next to a veggie egg white omelette)!  I’m now wondering what I was doing wishing for this in the first place 😉

All kidding aside, I’m actually super excited Michelle is now eating well and I have really enjoyed some of the healthy recipes she’s found, concocted, etc. for both of us to share.  And it’s funny (in a strange sort of way) to be the one on the other side when I’m ready to have a cheat meal of pizza and she says she’s going to just grill up some veggies and chicken!  I am so proud of her for the steps she’s taking to not only eat healthy, but take great care of herself.  Doesn’t hurt that she looks fantastic either 😉 !!



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15 Aug


Eating Healthy Can Be Delicious!




When I see people suffering through diets with boring, tasteless food, I can see why most people view healthy eating as a sacrifice, not a passion.  For me it started that way- when I wanted to burn off a bunch of fat before I started trying to build muscle, I admit it was an adjustment.  But over time I found myself being excited about eating, and especially cooking and creating new meals and snacks that were delicious to me, yet helped me achieve my fitness goals.  And now I can’t imagine going back to eating all the junk I did before- my kids can’t believe how I can pass on things like Easter Candy and the Halloween basket, but truthfully I have no desire for it any more!

This blog comes from that growth and enthusiasm- a passion for eating healthy and enjoying it too.  It’s my hope that you’ll find some new ideas, share some new ideas, and we can all benefit from this together.  I could really use your help and input whether it’s from commenting on articles, emailing ideas, or even writing some yourself!  If you’d like to submit an article or being a regular writer for this blog, please contact me at

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