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    The New Snack Down: Meet the Food and Drink Trends of 2021

    Say goodbye to whipped coffee and banana bread, and hello to the latest food and drink trends of 2021. The future of our pantry shelves are good for you and the environment. Ryan Andrews, RD, principal nutritionist and adviser at Precision Nutrition says he sees a pull toward more sustainability in our food practices and our choices overall, from pasture-raised animal products to eco-friendly packaging. Meanwhile, thanks to a year of waking up to health reminders, Robin Foroutan, RDN, integrative medicine dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says we’re also putting our well-being at the top of the grocery list. Here are the food trends blowing up—and the best ways to taste them.

    Earth-Friendly Upcycling
    The World Food Program World Food Programestimates that one-third of the planet’s food is lost or wasted every year. (The average American trashes 20 pounds each month.) Andrews says a new wave of forward-thinking snack brands are upcycling undesirable and leftover food byproducts into irresistible munchies. For example, addictingly crunchy ReGrained Super-grain+ Puffs are made from the spent grain of brewed beer.
    [$20, 5-pack; regrained.com]
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    Legumes Reimagined
    First kimchi was all the rage, now good ol’ reliable beans are joining the alternative snacks party. “Legumes are sustainable, health-promoting and tasty,” says Andrews. Plus they’re part of another major movement: plant-based eating. Fiber and protein keep you full longer, while powerful nutrients ward off disease. Brami’s pickled lupini beans have 50 percent more protein than chickpeas and 80 percent fewer calories than almonds.
    [$17, 4-pack; bramisnacks.com]
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    Punchy Spice Blends
    Herbs and spices will take you to Flavortown without torching your taste buds like some hot sauces can. Bonus: Most of these blends are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, says Foroutan. A big trend for 2021 is artisanal fusions. Try Asian-influenced umami mixes. Or Mexican-inspired adobo spices, like SpiceWalla Al Pastor Rub, in which ancho and guajillo chilli powder lend a slow burn that’s mellowed by pineapple and citrus.
    [$11; spicewallabrand.com]
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    Diversified Grains, Seeds and Greens
    Go all-in on trendy whole grains like teff, spelt and sorghum; seeds like chia and sunflower; and while you’re at it, swap kale for collards. To achieve variety that yields superfood levels of vitamins and minerals, reach for Go Raw’s Sprouted Organic Mixed Seeds. The pumpkin, sunflower and watermelon seed medley is nutrient-dense due to the sprouted germination process, which breaks down some starch.
    [$80, 6-pack; goraw.com]
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    Premium Coffee
    Prioritize fair-trade beans; they’ve met standards that help the environment and ensure workers are treated well and paid fairly. Also, expect to see more coffee products mixed with adaptogens—plant compounds thought to armor the body against biological and physical stressors. Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee boasts ashwagandha, chaga mushroom and more adaptogenic ingredients known to lower stress and spike immunity.
    [$20; foursigmatic.com]
    Get it

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    Tony Horton's New Supplement Line Might Be the Secret to Building Muscle Over 60

    Unless you were a hardcore convert, you probably know Tony Horton from the frenetic commercials that came out in the late aughts. The ones where he’s hawking his workout series in a dark room full of sweaty, shredded people. His 90-day “extreme” workouts presaged the era of high-intensity exercise programs (think: CrossFit and F45 Training) and helped thousands of people experience what a truly grueling workout can do for you, mentally and physically.

    Now, a bit older and a little humbled by recent illnesses, he’s back with a new line of supplements called Power Life. These heavily researched formulations helped him bounce back into almost-P90X shape, and he hopes they can help you achieve your fitness goals too, no matter your age. The line-up includes protein powders, wellness supplements, digestive aids, endurance and performance boosters, and a lean-muscle builder.
    We recently talked to Horton about his new line and what he has in store for the future of his fitness empire.

    Men’s Journal: After over a decade of success with your P90X workout program, you recently went through some pretty bad health issues. What was that like for you?
    Tony Horton: I got Ramsay Hunt [syndrome] about three years ago, in October 2017. I got really sick, lost about 25 pounds, then it took about six months for me to come out of that. I got shingles in my ear. One out of 100,000 people who get shingles, get it in their ear—and those people usually get Ramsay Hunt syndrome. [It] just describes the inability to walk and it affects smell, taste, vision, hearing, and balance. There are a lot of nerves that go into my brain that got fried—the fifth, sixth, and seventh facial nerves—so I had Bell’s palsy for about a month. I had terrible balance issues, nausea, vomiting, couldn’t eat, couldn’t drive, couldn’t work out, couldn’t get out of bed. It was just horrible.
    Courtesy ImageThat sounds like a nightmare—especially for someone so fit and active like yourself.
    It’s not fun… It goes on for weeks and weeks and weeks. And a lot of people who aren’t physically fit become recluse because the after-effects of Ramsay Hunt syndrome include something called bilateral vestibular hypofunction, which is vertigo that lasts forever for a lot of people who get it.
    Aside from overcoming this illness, what spurred you to create a supplement line?
    When I left Beachbody [who helped develop P90X with Horton], I was looking for new ventures. I always wanted my own supplement line for some of the things I thought I was missing. And as somebody who was getting older, it was [starting to get] really difficult to maintain my muscle mass. So I met with a great team of scientists and I explained my situation—that I still struggle with bouts of vestibular hypofunction that will probably never go away. I said, ‘What can you guys formulate for me to get me feeling better?’ There are a lot of boomers, which is what I am at 62 years old, that all suffer from sarcopenia—age-related muscle loss. It’s very hard to find a 75-year-old body builder because muscle mass is hard to maintain.

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    Did they create a solution?
    It was really a combination of looking at the research, seeing where the issues were, then looking at the formulations out there. [Most supplements] are subpar and don’t really do what they say. We started out with just whey and plant-based protein powders first. Studies were showing people weren’t getting enough decent protein. And this one formula they put in both the whey and plant-based proteins—with HMB [hydroxymethylbutyrate], vitamin D, and chromium—had made a huge difference in studies for people coming out of surgery and struggling with maintaining their muscle mass and strength. HMB and vitamin D help boost something called leucine. Leucine is one of the branched-chain amino acids, which is an important part of muscle building. These studies were done in older folks—older than me—who were coming out of surgery—and their recovery times were shortened by a ton. I remember when I first met with them, I was like, ‘Come on, is this for real?’ These were studies from very reputable places, so I thought, what happens if I actually started to really exercise hard too? I said, ‘Hey, I’ll be your guinea pig. Before we do anything, let me just try this stuff out.’ And it made a huge difference for me, especially after my illness. I was getting strong again.

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    Did you start to see and feel a difference?
    After a ski day in Jackson Hole, I was looking in the mirror going, holy crap, man—this was after taking it for two months. And I posted a picture, and I just was amazed. I definitely looked more jacked. I had gone up and stayed up in weight, and it was obviously some muscle weight. I noticed a difference in the gym and on the slopes. I’m not going to lie to you, I was in the gym working out three days a week, and I was skiing four or five days a week. I was also at altitude and running around town, but when I usually do that, I have to take days off of skiing. I get tired and I can’t perform as well in the gym. But I had this protein powder with me, going back and forth between the whey and the plant-based.
    Do you still take the protein powder regularly?
    Every day, without fail. Sometimes before and after exercising because my workout schedule changes. If I have an early 7 or 7:30 a.m. workout, I’ll just do the pre-workout formula and maybe a little creatine. If I’m doing cardio—I don’t do the creatine of course—I’ll have it immediately after the workout. And then days where I have a workout scheduled later, I’ll start those days with a bigger protein smoothie with blueberry, strawberries, pecans, walnuts, ice cubes, unsweetened flax seed milk, and protein powder.

    What other supplements did you develop to specifically address your problems?
    Based on some blood work, I found out I had a leaky gut. I didn’t even know what that was until I found out I had it. So we made Foundation Four, which is a great formula to help me deal with that. It’s a combination of prebiotics, probiotics, magnesium, fiber, and two servings of vegetables. From there we just keep on growing and got a great pre-workout formula called Performance, which has low amounts of caffeine—it doesn’t make you feel jittery and jacked up, which a lot of pre-workout formulas do.
    What else is in store for an aging-but-dedicated-to-fitness Tony Horton?
    Power Nation, a streaming fitness platform based on 90-day programs. We went through the first beta group with about 1,500 people from around the world, which was cool. We got really great feedback from different people and we completed Beta One. Now we’re in the middle of Beta Two. This is the start. There are four components, called the Power of Four. So it’s food, fitness, mindfulness, and supplementation—these are the four things I try to emphasize. We have mastermind groups, coaching offers, cooking videos, and live workouts. Those focus around dumbbells, bands, and a pullup bar. If you don’t have a pullup bar, which I know a lot of people don’t, we come up with alternatives. I also shot my first five workouts with Tonal back in October of last year. And now I’m in rehearsals this week and shooting next week for six more, which is really a blast. That’s keeping me pretty busy right now. I got rid of a bunch of [home gym] stuff I don’t need any more because Tonal does everything. The arms go every possible direction imaginable. So you can do goblet squats, biceps curls, military press, and triceps kickbacks…it’s just an amazing piece of technology. It’s something you think would have come out in 2050, and it’s already here.

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    The Best Portable Grills for Barbecuing Outdoors Like a Pro

    One of the most satisfying rituals of being in the outdoors is scouring the woods for downed branches and logs to build a fire. Flames that you brought to life are then only naturally followed by grilling up a succulent meal, whether that’s on a skewer of charred veggies or a few links of split-open sausages. But making a fire to cook up some vittles is sometimes tough to manage—the forest may have already been cleaned of fallen wood, you’re in a parking lot after a long day of skiing, or camping in area where open fires are strictly forbidden. That’s where portable grills come in handy.

     
    Portable grills can mean the difference between a ho-hum bagged meal rehydrated with boiled water and a meal of flame-licked meats, starches, and veggies. Whether fueled by wood, charcoal, or gas, we tested the top portable grills for outdoor lovers, from super slim, packable options to big, rowdy cookers that can satisfy a crowd.

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    1. Primus Kuchoma
    This handsome, lightweight propane-powered grill has modern Scandinavian design cues like a wood-faced handle, stainless steel folding legs, and boxy lid with triangular vent holes. The 16×9-inch grilling surface is made from a non-stick ceramic and rests over a stainless drip tray, both easily removable for washing. An integrated Piezo ignitor blasts off a powerful 8,500 Btus of indirect, hot dog-roasting heat.[$190; primus.us]
    Get it
     
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    2. Solo Stove Grill
    Solo Stove has mastered building fire pits that use managed air flow for efficient burning of combustibles like wood and charcoal. Its beefy new grill brings that design to a cheeseburger near you in a sleek stainless steel drum-like form that rests on a 13-inch high aluminum frame. It’s a fairly big unit, with a generous 480 square inches of circular grilling area, so is ideally suited for outings like group camping or tailgating. The kit comes with grilling tools, heavy-duty cover, carrying case, plus 4 pounds of briquettes and four fire starters.[$775; solostove.com]
    Get it

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    3. Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill
    Crafted out of solid and sturdy stainless steel, the Takibi grill is an investment you’ll end up owning for years. The fold-up design makes stowing and deploying this mighty mite a cinch, and the strategically placed air holes and bottom vent create the optimum environment for efficiently burning your fuel, whether wood or charcoal. The burly mesh grill grate—with 290 square inches of cooking area—has adjustable legs to maximum heat levels for ultimate grilling goodness.[$320; snowpeak.com]
    Get it

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    4. UCO Flatpack Grill & Firepit
    This is the grill you’ll want to pack for any trips where light and versatile are the key words. It only weighs slightly over 3 pounds and folds down to the size of a thin three-ring binder, making it easy to slip in a pack or leave in the back of your truck for impromptu burger sessions, or any on-the-go fire pit opportunities. The durable stainless steel grill is a bit small though, as it only gives you 130 square inches of grill space, and the grate is a little flimsy, but it’s the perfect solution for two- or three-man trips into the backcountry.[$50; ucogear.com]
    Get it

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    5. NomadiQ Portable Gas Grill
    The clever, folding suitcase-like design of this propane grill makes deploying it up in front of BBQ buddies a neat trick. Even cooler are all of the trick features like integrated electronic ignitor, cast iron grill grates that give you 226 square inches of cooking room, and almost 10,000 Btus of flame power. Made from powder-coated steel, with stainless burners, the NomadiQ is a bit heavy at 12 pounds but the included carrying strap helps manage the load.[$400; nomadiqgrills.com]
    Get it

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    6. HitchFire Forge 15
    One annoying thing about toting along your grill when out and about in the outdoors is that inevitably, after a few grill-downs, your trusty appliance will become coated with grease. Which is not something you want to toss in your rig. But with the HitchFire, you get portability outside of your vehicle, plus the convenience of having a swing-out grill that’s ready to go and at a back-friendly, waist height. It uses two of the green 1-pound propane camping propane canisters that nestle neatly under each side, and the grill is removable so you can use it on a picnic tabletop.[$449; hitchfire.com]
    Get it

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    Scientists Investigate: Is a Low-Fat, Plant-Based Diet Better Than Keto?

    It can be supremely frustrating trying to figure out what type of meal plan works best for you. There are so many fads and trends, all battling against solid advice and reputable research. Finding the right nutritional balance can be overwhelming—fast. It’s enough to make a guy give up and revert to continuously snacking on bags of baby carrots. But a recent study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shed a little more light on this diet dilemma by pitting perennially dueling macros—carbs and fats—against each other. What’s better: keto or a low-fat, plant-based diet?

    In the small but controlled four-week study, researchers analyzed 20 diabetes-free adults and found those who ate a low-fat, higher-carb plant-based diet consumed fewer daily calories—550 to 700 fewer—compared to subjects on a low-carb, higher-fat animal-based plan, or a ketogenic diet. And, even though the subjects on the low-fat, high-carb diet consumed less overall, they ended up with higher insulin and blood glucose levels. Possibly a result of three-quarters of their meals containing carbohydrates.

    None of the subjects gained any weight even though all had access to three meals a day, plus snacks, and could eat as much as they wanted. There were also, between the two diets, no differences in hunger, enjoyment of meals, or satiety. And though both groups also lost weight, only the participants on the low-fat diet burned off a good amount of body fat (plus the high-fat subjects didn’t gain any fat).
    The study macro breakdown for the plant-based, low-fat diet folks was 10 percent fat and 75 percent carbs, while the animal-based, low-carb people ate 10 percent carbs and 76 percent fat. Each meal included about 14 percent protein. All meals were minimally processed with about the same amounts of veggies.
    Chelsea Kyle for Men’s Journal

    “Interestingly, our findings suggest benefits to both diets, at least in the short-term. While the low-fat, plant-based diet helps curb appetite, the animal-based, low-carb diet resulted in lower and more steady insulin and glucose levels,” said study lead Kevin Hall, Ph.D., a senior investigator at the NIH.

    “Despite eating food with an abundance of high-glycemic carbohydrates that resulted in pronounced swings in blood glucose and insulin, people eating the plant-based, low-fat diet showed a significant reduction in calorie intake and loss of body fat, which challenges the idea that high-carb diets per se lead people to overeat. On the other hand, the animal-based, low-carb diet did not result in weight gain despite being high in fat,” he said.
    Though the study doesn’t provide a solid answer to whether or not you should eat carbs over fat or vice versa, it does help show that consuming too many carbs daily can mess with your insulin levels, which over the long term, could lead to pre-diabietes or worse. And that, as has been shown before, eating high levels of fat doesn’t neccssairly lead to weight can or increase in fat stores.
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    56 ways to burn belly fat faster

    It’s pretty common for men to pack some extra poundage around their midsection. In fact, the average man is about 24lbs heavier today than men in 1960, according to stats from The State of Obesity—and the figures are rising. We’ve seen slimmer days, but don’t think this is a grim sentence, dooming you to eternal chubbiness. […] More

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    The 8 Best Muscle-building Foods for Vegans and Vegetarians

    You can still maintain strong bones as a vegan or vegetarian and gain muscle. What’s key, says Leslie Bonci, R.D., L.D.N., director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is packing in calcium-rich dairy subs while following this simple formula for successful muscle protein synthesis: Weight training plus adequate protein—that is, getting enough […] More

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    10 Healthy Snacks to Fight Midday Munchies

    As a kid, snack time was always something to look forward to—usually because it meant fruit snacks, granola bars, or salty chips. Snacks equaled fun. If that’s the remained a constant through adulthood, it’s time to make some adjustments to your diet. Noshing on snacks that have little to no nutritional value when you’re trying to […] More