May 2017 - Conscious Muscle
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May 2017

Vegan Strawberry Cheezecake Smoothie: Vegan Macro Coach

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Finally! It’s finally strawberry season here in the United States. Team Conscious Muscle members know we are big fans of berries. They pack a huge macronutrient and micronutrient punch providing lots of nature-made vitamins and fiber for relatively few calories. Strawberries contain high amounts of folic acid, flavonoids, iron, and Vitamin C.¹ On top of that, they taste so incredibly delicious. While we love all berries, strawberries have a special place in our hearts. Many of us grew up loving strawberries so they have a nostalgic tendency to bring out the kid in us. Additionally, strawberries are incredibly versatile. We love them on salads, in smoothies, and all by themselves. Yum!

With the abundance of fresh strawberries in local stores, we could not resist the urge to create a delicious smoothie recipe celebrating this delicious aggregate fruit. Yes, it’s true! Strawberries aren’t botanically berries but often are lumped in with other ‘official’ berries. Mind-blowing, right? We added some plant-based cream cheese to make a dessert-like, macro-friendly, rockin’ vegan shake!

Vegan Strawberry Cheezecake Smoothie

41 grams Vega Sport berry-flavored Performance Protein

8 ounces cashew milk – We used this one

14 grams plant-based cream cheese – We used this one

400 grams strawberries – We used fresh organic; frozen organic work too

1 tsp organic lemon juice

Optional: 2-3 drops liquid stevia extract

Directions: Put all ingredients in a regular or high-speed blender container. Blend on high or on smoothie preset until well-blended. Add 3-4 ice cubes  for a thicker consistency.

 

Vegan macro coach

Calories: 336

Protein: 34 grams

Carbohydrates: 38 grams

Fat: 8.9 grams

 

Team Conscious Muscle Macro and Coaching clients may use this recipe as their ‘Meal 1’ macros, making this a perfect breakfast shake! Not a Team Conscious Muscle client, click here to sign up or learn how we can help you.

Please note: Strawberries and most berries are on the dirty dozen list of the most ‘sprayed’ produce. For that reason, we strongly recommend purchasing organic berries.

Reference

  1. Fuhrman (2005). Disease-proof your child. New York, St. Martin’s Griffin.

Conscious Muscle Donation Recipient: Rancho Relaxo

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Followers of Team Conscious Muscle know we donate 10% of proceeds from all products ( apparel and supplements) to animal rescues and sanctuaries. Since day one, our mission included giving back to others who help animals and who work to stop animal cruelty. We also strive to weave gratitude and abundance into our work at Conscious Muscle, and it is an amazing experience to share our success with awesome organizations with similar missions. Yes, Coach Jordan is continuing his efforts to expand his current animal sanctuary. But, on top of that, we believe it is important to give back and help the collective community of animal activists out there.

As a result, we are starting a regular feature on the Conscious Muscle blog to highlight the organizations that have received a Conscious Muscle donation. We’ve been watching these organizations do such wonderful things and realized we want others to know about them too. Our first highlighted recipient is Rancho Relaxo. We’ve been involved with Caitlin her organization for a few years, and wow, do they work hard and do incredible work for animals. After you read this feature, head over to social media and give them a like and a follow!

 

vegan macro coach

 

Name of sanctuary / rescue: Rancho Relaxo

Location: Southern New Jersey

Website: RanchoRelaxo.org

Date of origination: September 2015

Why was your sanctuary founded? It was truly an accident. A beautiful accident. But our sole mission at this point is to give every animal a voice.

online vegan macro coach

Number and types of animals: Multiple. And it changes every day. We rescue horses, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, dogs, cats, … you name it.

Favorite story about one of your animals: Britney Spears is a mini horse! She came from a severe abuse and neglect case in PA. She was a big score of 1/10 – which is close to death. She was 23 years old when we rescued her and she surprisingly made a miraculous recovery.

What have you done with the Conscious Muscle donations? We have been able to do SO much. We have paid off thousands of dollars in emergency vet bills!!!

What is one simple way our vegan audience can do more to help animals? Get involved! Volunteer at a farm sanctuary. REPOST SANCTUARY PICTURES AND VIDEOS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Donate!!!

Where can people find you on social media?

 

vegan diet training coach

Thank you Caitlin and all the volunteer and donors at Rancho Relaxo. We are proud to support you and have enjoyed watching you grow and save increasingly more animals. Keep up the great work!

And, thank you, supporters of Conscious Muscle. Because of your support, we are able to help others committed to a cruelty-free lifestyle. Together we are changing the world!

Drop It Like It’s Hot: Why This Vegan Training Coach Uses Drop Sets

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Members of Team Conscious Muscle know we are big fans of drop sets, a weightlifting technique where, after doing an exercise to near-failure, you reduce (i.e., drop) the weight you’re lifting and continue doing the exercise until you cannot continue. Talk about intensity! Arnold Schwarzenegger often completed drop sets when doing bicep curls. You can use drop sets when training nearly any body part such as deltoids, calves, triceps, back, etc.

While drop sets have been around for decades, a recent study showed support for their use to build muscle. The study was spearheaded by Brad Shoenfeild, PhD, a well-known exercise scientist and researcher who has authored several popular fitness books and countless peer-reviewed articles on exercise. In this study examining the use of drop sets as a technique to build muscle, young men trained their tricep muscles using either drop sets or a traditional ‘one-set’ method. After six weeks, the people in the drop set group showed nearly double the muscle growth in their tricep muscles compared to the people in the traditional one-set group. The researchers attributed the increased muscle growth to the increased stress placed on the muscles due to the drop sets. Makes sense! The sample size for this study was quite small, and more research is needed. However, this study provides positive initial support for the use of drop sets to accelerate muscle growth.

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Our paper showing a potential muscle-building benefit for drop sets has been pubbed ahead-of-print in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. The study showed that the drop set protocol for the triceps brachii increased muscle growth by almost double vs a traditional routine (~10% vs ~5%). Note that the results did not reach "statistical significance," which may be related to the small sample size and thus resulting in a type II error (i.e. false negative). Also note that it was a relatively short trial (6 weeks) so unclear how findings would pan out over the long-term. These results contradict those of the recent well-designed study by Angleri et al, who showed similar growth increases between drop set and traditional training, so the jury is still out on whether drop sets have a benefit for hypertrophy. That said, there are many ways to integrate the approach into a program. Using exclusively drop sets considerably shortens the time spent working out, so it can be a good strategy for those who are time-pressed. Also, selectively adding drop sets, perhaps on the last set of an exercise, can at the very least increase volume, which is known driver of hypertrophy. Until we get more clarity through research, it's a technique that is worth experimenting with based on needs/goals. I'll be writing a blog post shortly of the study to discuss in detail.

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Indeed, the study showed no negative impacts of using drop sets so why not give them a try? Even better, sign up for a Conscious Muscle training package, and we’ll help you incorporate drop sets for maximum results.

Coach Jordan’s newest training video shows how to add drop sets when doing shoulder presses. Give them a try next time you’re seeking to change up your routine! What are your favorite exercises for using drop sets? Let us know in the comments.

Good vibes and gratitude!