spices/supplements/life hacks

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
hey all

I am curious to hear about what sort of "life hacks" people use in their cooking to help with optimum living. I am highly active and anything that helps keep my body in tip top shape I love learning about. My overall nutrition is dialed in 90-95% of the time, I am very lean, quite happy with my muscle/lack of fat. I rarely eat processed food, do eat lots of veggies, protein, fat. I don't necessarily limit carbs (I have an every meal) but I'm very mindful of added sugars. Really try to not go over the recommended 35 grams a day. I tend to do a 16/8 diet 2-3 days a week, which usually involves skipping breakfast. Rarely do I find hunger an issue when I do this. I did the warrior diet for a while, as well as a 20/4 fast for a little bit, but I find with my lunch workout schedule its best for me to get that post workout meal and a large dinner later in the 8 hour window.

I love cinnamon in coffee, partly for the taste but also due to its reputation for helping with insulin resistance and anti inflammatory properties. I have an interest in testing out the coconut oil and coffee theory, especially on days I skip breakfast, as well as using coconut oil as a replacement for olive oil( I never use the corn syrup).

I have done tons of reading on benefits of other spices; I regular use thyme and basil which is said to help cognitive function. I've read turmeric is fantastic for cognitive function as well. Fennel is supposed to be great for the immune system; I sporadically have it in salad but also find it goes good with certain seafood. There seems to be evidence and cooking meat with rosemary helps lower the risks involved with certain cooking processes but I haven't read too far into that.

I have been debating trying out some Krill oil or fish oil and have done lots of reading on the benefits of it. Seems like it is universally considered a very good supplement. Am considering buying some soon - what is the general opinion on gels or liquid ?

Anything else people use?
 

MattM

SFG1
Certified Instructor
Lots of coconut oil, cinnamon, honey and apple cider vinegar in my diet

I love coconut oil in my coffee but I have no clear info on if it will break a fast. I don't use it when I'm fasting.

Gelatin seems to be the new thing but I haven't hopped on that train yet.
 

Wesker11

More than 300 posts
Sardines baby. The nutrition profile on these things are outstanding. I just got my first case in off Amazon the other day. I am one to choke down whatever if there is benefit, but they were actually pretty tasty.

In a couple weeks I'll be trying raw liver, frozen into little pills. So stoked...
 

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
@MattM I think the idea behind coconut oil and the weight loss crowd is that the saturated fat has a satiating effect, thereby using it with coffee helps people with those good fats as their breakfast calories

@Wesker11 I have read tons about the benefits of sardines but can't say I've tried them. Are you eating them for the EPA and DHA, or for other reasons?
 

Snowman

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
The only thing I tend to be a little anal about is trying to lower the glycemic index of whatever carbs I'm eating (thus lowing the insulin response blah blah blah). The two best ways I'm aware of are adding cinnamon and fat (the fat slows digestion). Acids (vinegar, lemon/lime juice) are supposed to help too, as is vegetable fiber, turmeric, and ginger. My go-to's are fat and cinnamon, though. If it's savory, I put fat on it, if it's sweet, I use both.
 

Antti

More than 2500 posts
Lots of herbs and spices are used in my kitchen. I also try eat lots of berries for their health benefits. I don't know if something as usual as oatmeal counts but it's something that I try to take every day as well.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
I love cinnamon in my morning coffee. I found myself thinking about taking the cinnamon shaker with me on an upcoming trip, and I just might do that.

-S-
 

MikeMoran

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Same as most of you guys. Cinnamon,Coconut Oil and also Gelatin. I do two 24 hour fasts a week (Mon&Thurs) and some mornings I also don't break my fast till Lunch. This is mostly so I can stay pretty lean but also save up calories for delicious craft beer. ;)
 

Steve W.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
My "life hack" is to not spend much time or thought on this stuff.

Not criticizing those who do. But for me personally, not stressing over optimizing my diet is very liberating and, IMO, a big big net positive tradeoff of a theoretical benefit for a definite one.
 
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wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
Interesting. For some reason I had many people pegged as using fish or krill oil
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
I take fish oil every morning, along with a multi-vitamin and potassium.

I started putting cinnamon in my coffee because my wife did and I tried it and I liked it. Neither of us had any idea of a health benefit.

-S-
 

elli

More than 2500 posts
Fish oil, Vit D, MSM powder and curcumin with my veggies :)
Vit B complex every few days, more often during stressful times.
Flaxseed oil, 1Tbs/day.
 

ali

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Every herb, spice, veg has some medicinal/health benefit, well maybe poisonous mushrooms, belladonna not so much but you know, generally. Just chuck it all in in varying amounts in so many varied ways. I really don't approach cooking with them for specific health goals. There is great value in using food/herbs for any health issue but if you are healthy then specificity isn't really necessary. Just eat the lot and get all the benefits of each and every one of them. So my take on herbs for cooking is taste, smell and lighting up my senses to the joys of eating good food.
A well placed herb or spice can turn a bland dish into a delicious one, a delicious one into a work of art that feels almost embarrassing to eat and ruin. I'm fortunate too that I have my own herb garden and love cooking so I have an arsenal of herbs and cupboards of spices for a variety of dishes. Don't doubt and have no reason to doubt cinnamon may improve insulin sensitivity but my personal remedial intervention for insulin sensitivity at this time is the total tension complex! Chuck some on some sweet potato, sprinkle a little smoked paprika, pop in the oven.....game on. A really good culinary hack for herbs......chop up the stalks of chosen herb to use in the dish and garnish with the leaves. Nicely fragranced with a more subtle taste and textural balance ie no soggy herbal leafy mush. Bon appetit!
 

Kit Meyer

Double-Digit Post Count
Sauerkraut. I don't mean that stringy, boiled cabbage drowned in vinegar. I mean real, lacto-fermented sauerkraut.
1. Vitamin C of the cabbage is made easily accessible which helps immunity
2. Lots of happy active probiotics, which has its own host of benefits
3. A study has found that sauerkraut encourages testosterone production
4. Virtually nil in calories and filling.

When I get into a sauerkraut eating kick, I'm in a good place.
 

Harry Westgate

More than 500 posts
To all those who mentioned cinnamon in coffee, how much do you use? Say a teaspoon? Half? I love my black coffee and adding cinnamon sounds tasty! :)
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
A sprinkle or two of cinnamon for me, not by the spoonful, more like what they'd put on your cappuccino at a restaurant. I'm not saying you couldn't have more, but that's what I do and I do it because I like how it tastes primarily.

I drink espresso long shots, not cups of American coffee, so my portion size is smaller. (A "lungo" is basically twice as much water/steam put through the espresso puck as is usual for a normal, single shot of espresso.) It's probably half the size of a small American cup of coffee.

-S-
 
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