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Benefits Of Meditation Walks

Benefits Of Meditation Walks

What are meditation walks? They’re more than just walking. They’re mindful walking. Getting outside is part of the benefit. Slowing your mind and meditating is another part, just as the very act of walking helps relieve stress. Meditative walking is the act of being aware of all parts of your body as you walk and making each movement with intention. Just like meditative eating, where you savor each bite, with meditative walking you appreciate every physical movement you make.

Like a dancer, you become in tune with each muscle.

Professional dancers, boxers and people in other sports, are often very aware of each muscle as it heads toward perfection of the movement. You become more in tune with your body, how it feels when your foot touches the soft earth and even the sun against the top of your head or on your back. You learn to enjoy the feeling of your muscles working together to walk, while enjoying the great outdoors, breathing in fresh air and absorbing the vitamin D of the sun.

Walking, like running or other exercise, can help lift depression and reduce anxiety.

It’s not just good for reducing stress, walking is also heart healthy. It can help lower blood pressure, aid in weight loss by burning calories and lower your risk of diabetes and high cholesterol. Best of all, unlike traditional walking, since you’re focusing on each movement of your body, the time seems to pass quicker and you don’t constantly wonder how much longer you have to exercise. The increased circulation also helps boost your brain power and may prevent some of the damage from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

You don’t walk fast when you take meditation walks.

You need to pick a place where walking slowly and with intention is feasible. It needs to be peaceful and somewhere you won’t interrupt the flow of walking of others. As you walk, focus on your breathing and the movements of your arms and legs and how you feel when you walk forward, turn corners or the terrain under your feet. Feel each part of your body, from the movements to the sun on your head and back.

  • You’ll improve digestion and aid the movement of food through your digestive system, plus boost circulation of the blood.
  • A small study on this type of walking showed it helped people improve blood sugar levels more than more traditional styles of walking.
  • Not only do meditation walks help relieve stress and lift depression, they can help improve the sense of well-being, particularly when you walk in a park, garden or area where there are trees and a lot of greenery.
  • When you practice meditation walking, you’ll improve your sleep. Walking is a weight bearing exercise, so you also reduce the risk of osteoporosis. For older individuals, it improves balance and for all others can inspire creativity.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training


Chickpeas Vs Garbanzo Beans

Chickpeas Vs Garbanzo Beans

If you workout in Stamford, CT, you know building stronger muscles is important. That takes adequate protein. Today, with prices rising, people often look to alternative plant sources that are less expensive. I get a lot of questions from people trying to find the best type of plant source. One reoccurring question is, “Which is best, chickpeas or garbanzo beans?” The answer is simple. They’re the same thing. It’s like the difference between children and humans. All children are humans, humans but not all humans are children. All garbanzo beans are chickpeas, but not all chickpeas are garbanzo beans.

Garbanzo beans are a type of chickpea.

The US has their own names for various types of food that even vary from state to state. Soft drinks are called coke, soda and pop depending on where you live. Garbanzo beans are a variety of chickpeas officially named Kabuli chickpeas to the rest of the world, but not here in the USA. If you’re looking up the nutritional value of garbanzo beans, you’ll be finding the nutritional value of chickpeas and vice versa. You can use them interchangeably in a recipe, too.

Stock up on protein and keep it ready.

You can buy meat ahead and freeze it, but it only stays good for about four to six months. Dried chickpeas can be kept on the shelf for about two to three years. That makes them a great staple for those busy weeks you didn’t have a chance to make it to the grocery. You can use them to make hummus for a snack, add them to a salad or soup and use them for a main protein source in the entree. Unlike meat, they also add fiber to your diet.

Chickpeas can help you stay healthy and lose weight, too.

When you eat chickpeas, whether or not they’re called garbanzo beans, they contain fiber and protein, both of which fill you up without adding a lot of calories to your diet. A cup of chickpeas is 269 calories and contains 14.5 grams of protein and 12.5 grams of fiber. They also contain manganese, folate, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, thiamine, B6, selenium and potassium.

  • Chickpeas aid in managing blood sugar levels with their fiber, slowing the absorption of carbs into the bloodstream. They have a low glycemic index. Eating a 10.5 oz can of chickpeas a week lowered fasting insulin levels significantly in one study.
  • The fiber in chickpeas is soluble, which can increase the beneficial microbes in the gut. It can reduce the risk of colon cancer and reduce the potential for IBS and other digestive issues.
  • Chickpeas can lower the risk of heart disease, due to their nutrients and cholesterol lowering fiber. Eating them can also lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer, too.
  • The choline, selenium, magnesium and zinc in chickpeas promote brain health and provide nutrients essential for producing neurotransmitters. They’re also a good source of iron to prevent iron deficiency.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training


Why Pushups Are So Good For You?

Why Pushups Are So Good For You?

If you want exercises you can do anywhere, even if you’re on vacation or on the road for business? Calisthenics are a good option. Most exercise programs include them in one form or another. One of the most well-known and often used is the pushup. Not only can you do pushups anywhere and it doesn’t require equipment, it’s good for you. It helps strengthen your upper body and your core. You’ll burn a lot of calories and tighten the abs, burning belly fat in the process.

Pushups care versatile.

You can modify pushups to focus on different muscle groups or work muscles in a different manner or on a different plane. If you’re doing the traditional method, the results are a stronger back, toned abs and a great upper body workout. If you widen the distance between your hands, it activates the pecs and triceps more than the standard or wide version. You can also modify the pushup for all fitness levels or modify your body position like doing incline or decline pushups.

Pushups are heart healthy.

It doesn’t take many pushups to make your heart pump faster, even if you’re doing a simpler, modified type. That extra work the heart has to do can increase the strength of your cardiovascular system. It also works large muscle groups, which triggers the body to make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide opens the blood vessels, which in turn, lowers blood pressure. When you do them on a regular basis you’ll have a stronger heart, better circulatory system and lower blood pressure.

Improve your joints, muscles and bones.

You’ll work so many joints in the body when you do a push up. It builds the ligaments and muscles that surround the shoulders, elbows, ankles and wrists. Those help support the joints and prevent wear and tear. Pushups are weight bearing exercises that increase muscle strength. Those muscles tug on the bone, which makes the bone increase its calcium intake. Including pushups in your exercise program can help prevent osteoporosis and even improve your bone density.

  • Don’t give up cardio, but don’t make it the primary way you burn calories. Strength building exercises not only burn tons of calories, it builds muscle tissue. The more muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolism and the easier it is to lose weight.
  • Women often forgo pushups because they worry about getting too bulky. Due to hormonal differences, it’s extremely difficult for a woman to bulk up. Instead, pushups tone arm muscles.
  • Good posture not only improves your health, it makes you look better and gives a boost to your confidence and how people view you. Pushups improve posture.
  • If you want to get faster results, boost the intensity of the training. You can do that when you use pushups as part of a high intensity interval program. Doing that also cuts workout time.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training


Are You Exercising Too Much?

Are You Exercising Too Much?

At Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, we help people with all types of fitness problems. Occasionally, someone comes to our gym almost in despair. They’re not getting fitter, and they’ve boosted their workouts to several hours a day, seven days a week. We know the minute we learn their workout schedule, they’re exercising too much. Getting fit is more than exercising. It’s doing the right kind of exercises, with the right form, for the right amount of time.

Doing too much and not allowing your body to heal impedes your progress.

When you workout, especially when you do strength training, you’re taxing your body. That’s the whole idea of working out. You push your body hard. It causes micro tears in the muscles, which take time to heal, but when it does, it makes the muscle stronger. If you’re working out too much, you don’t give the body time to repair those muscles and recover. It leaves you more prone to injury and even illness. If you’re doing strength training, you need to give the muscles you stressed at least 48 up to 72 hours to repair.

Your body will give you signals when it’s time to cut back on exercise.

The signals your body sends can be quite clear or really frustrating and confusing. They may show up as chronic soreness or illness, which tend to be easier to spot. However, the first signs are even more elusive. It can affect your performance, whether it’s about the amount of weight you can lift or how far you can run without getting winded. You simply don’t do as well as before and start losing ground, then often workout harder, which makes it worse.

What other signs tell you that you need a rest?

Your friends and family will probably notice the other signs quickly. Your mood will change dramatically. That’s because your body is fighting hard to heal itself and you’re not letting it. If you’ve been around someone who is really sick, you know they’re often more emotional than usual. The body is fighting back hard and it can cause depression, anxiety, irritability, confusion and anger. Over-exercise also causes the body to fight for survival, so you may experience those same mood swings. You may feel fatigued, have delayed recovery time and be more prone to illness.

  • Getting adequate sleep, eating enough calories and staying hydrated are an important part of recovery. If you exercise every day, don’t do strength training on the same muscle group two days in a row.
  • Check your heart rate. If it suddenly jumps higher even when you’re not working out, it’s a sign you’re overdoing it at the gym.
  • When you overwork your body, you may actually lose muscle mass and gain fat. That makes it counterproductive. You may have insomnia, which also impedes muscle healing.
  • We’ll help you with a program that provides just the right amount of exercise, without overdoing it. Spending long hours in the gym or doing too intense workouts every day isn’t necessarily the way to a better body. Work smarter, not harder.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training


Green Juices We Recommend

Green Juices We Recommend

You may have heard about green juices/ If you haven’t, they’re a drink made from vegetable—green ones—that is healthy. The veggies include spinach, wheatgrass, kale, cucumbers and even herbs like parsley and mint. If you’ve ever consumed blended greens, you probably know they are a bit bitter and not too tasty. That’s why fruit is often added to make it sweeter. Apples, oranges and other fruits high in sugar are normally the choices. Most people like to make their own, rather than use commercial varieties. They can control the ingredients that way and don’t have the negative effects of pasteurization.

Supplementing a healthy diet with green juices has its benefits.

While green juices won’t provide the fiber you need daily, which is why it’s a supplement, it does supply a lot of nutrients in a glass. Leafy greens also can help reduce inflammation, which is good for the heart, brain, immune system and joints. Some compounds in green juices are prebiotic to support healthy bacteria and is an easy way to get a lot of nutrients at once.

You need a juicer to make this recipe but can use a blender and strain it for the green juice.

Combine one and one-fourth apple with one and one-fourth cucumber, a cup and a third of kale with a third of a lemon that’s quartered. Put it in a juicer or juice press and enjoy. It helps reduce inflammation, contains antioxidants, aids in lowering blood pressure, promotes healthier skin and reduces the potential for cancer and heart health. If you don’t have a juicer or press, put in a blender and strain through cheesecloth into a container.

This antioxidant rich green juice improves digestion and supports your immune system.

This delicious green juice also helps prevent certain types of cancer, provides increased energy and cardiovascular support. It contains two cups of pineapple chunks, 2/3rds of a cucumber, a half a medium apple and 6 mint leaves. Just put in the juicer or press and enjoy. If you don’t have a juicer, you can blend it and strain it through cheesecloth into a container. Twelve ounces contains 150 calories.

  • You can create your own favorite recipe based on your taste and the nutrients you want present. Adding kale to your mixture will increase vitamins A, C and K. It’s been shown to reduce bad cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease.
  • You don’t always have to add fruit to make your juice sweet and delicious. Carrots can do that job and increase vitamin A, biotin and potassium content, while providing antioxidants. They’re linked to reducing types of cancer, the risk of eye disease and heart disease.
  • You can use both the roots and leaves of beets to add sweetness and nutrients like manganese, potassium and folate to your green juice. It provides nitrates that help lower blood pressure, improve brain health and athletic performance.
  • Add spinach, broccoli and cabbage. Cabbage is high in vitamin K and C, plus reduces inflammation, fights diabetes and heart disease. Spinach provides more benefits, plus adds an antacid effect, while the nutrients in broccoli can help prevent mental decline.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training


Good Fruits For Weight Gain

Good Fruits For Weight Gain

At Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, we focus on individuals and each person’s goal. While a lot of people just want to lose weight and get into shape, some actually have a problem gaining weight that is just as frustrating. These people often eat junk food and avoid exercise in hopes of adding a few extra pounds. You don’t have to do that. In fact, it’s counterproductive to do that. There are healthy foods you can add to your diet, like these fruits for weight gain, which will aid you in reaching your goals.

When you think of fruit and weight gain, bananas are often the first that come to mind.

There’s really no food in particular that will make you gain weight. It’s all about caloric input and output. If you eat 3500 more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. However, bananas are both nutritious and easy to combine with high calorie additions like nut butter. They contain vitamin B6, manganese, protein, fiber and micronutrients that aid in digestion, like resistant starch. They’re also easy to carry with you.

Coconuts are a fruit and their meat is high in healthy fat.

You don’t normally think of coconut as a fruit, but it is. Each ounce of coconut contains a gram of protein, 9.4 grams of fat, 4.3 grams of carbs, fiber, manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium and other minerals. It can be combined with other higher calorie foods, like dipping in dark chocolate. You can also add it to smoothies, fruit salads and even stir-fry to increase the calorie count.

Another fruit that doesn’t seem like a fruit is the calorie dense avocado.

A half an avocado has 161 calories. That means it’s calorie dense. It offers two grams of protein, 15 grams of healthy fat and 8.6 grams of carbs. It contains many nutrients like vitamin K, folate, potassium, vitamins, C, B5 and B6. You can slice them on salads to add more calories, make a dip, use as an alternative to butter for toast or slice and top them with hot sauce as a side dish for extra calories.

  • Cube a mango and top it with goat cheese for a delicious treat. You can even sprinkle on nuts and coconut to add calories. A cup of mango contains 99 calories, vitamin C, A, E and several B vitamins.
  • If you want to gain weight without feeling full, take the water out of fruit and then eat the fruit. Dried fruit is energy dense, meaning it’s high in calories. It contains all the nutrients the fresh fruit contains.
  • You’ll get more calories per serving by drinking the juice. Fruit juice contains no fiber, so one serving is also higher in calories. No matter what type of fruit, you won’t feel as full drinking a glass of juice compared to eating the fruit.
  • Tamarinds aren’t found in everyone’s kitchen or even at every grocery. They’re tropical and used in cooking and even in Worcestershire sauce. It’s rich in nutrients, but also extremely high in calories.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training


Do Portion Sizes Matter When I'm Eating Healthy?

Do Portion Sizes Matter When I’m Eating Healthy?

If you’re eating a giant salad filled with lettuce, onions and other fresh veggies, you can eat all you want, but still pay attention to how much dressing you’re using, because for most dressings, portion sizes do matter. Eating healthy does mean you can consume a lot of raw veggies and still not worry about whether you’re overeating. In fact, the recommended portions of non-starchy vegetables is five or more servings. So, for non-starchy vegetables, eating enough servings is the only reason to track portions.

Sometimes, you need a treat.

It’s always good to understand portion size, since you’ll be eating more than just non-starchy veggies and fruit. However, sometimes, you want a snack or treat. Nuts are a healthy option, but they’re also loaded with calories. You have to pay closer attention to the amount you eat. Even if you’re eating healthy, there are still temptations and special occasions that can throw you off the healthy eating track. You don’t have pass on a piece of your own birthday cake or say no to other special treats if you keep portion size in mind and do it infrequently.

Peanut butter can be a beneficial snack, so can veggies and dip.

If you use your vegetables as a carrier for mountains of dip or slather the apple slice with so much peanut butter you can’t recognize it, you need to learn portion control. You can use your hands to judge snacks on the go. One serving of peanut butter is two fingers worth. One serving of nuts is a level handful. How much dip you consume depends on how it’s made. If you’re putting cottage cheese in a blender and adding herbs and spices, ¼ cup of cottage cheese is one serving.

Let your plate be your guide.

While eating healthy is extremely important, portion size still plays a role. A good way to measure your portions is by using your plate. Half your plate should be salad and vegetables. A fourth of the plate should be your protein option, whether it’s vegetarian or meat. Complex carbs should also have a fourth of the plate, while high fat foods should only be a teaspoon and a half.

  • Starchy foods, such as potatoes, corn and peas use a fist as a measurement for one portion. Use your thumb as your guide to measure fats. For men, it’s two thumbs of butter or other fat. For women, one thumb is a portion.
  • It’s hard to stick with portion size when eating in restaurants. Too often, restaurants have larger portions. If it’s offered, ask for a child’s meal or use appetizers, like shrimp cocktail and side dishes, to create a meal.
  • Pay close attention not only to portion control and food, but how that food is served. Instead of drinking a ½ cup of fruit juice, you can eat a whole cup of fresh fruit and it’s better for weight loss.
  • Always read labels. It’s a great way to see how portion control can affect even healthier diets. Check out how many calories per serving. For potato chips, one serving is 160 calories and is 15 chips. So it’s approximately 11 calories per chip. Most people don’t stop at just a few.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training


Why Should I Consider Going Dairy Free?

Why Should I Consider Going Dairy Free?

What you eat and don’t eat or drink does make a difference. That’s one reason the potential for going dairy free has been more frequently discussed. Some clients at Revolution Training in Stamford, CT know they’re lactose intolerant or have milk allergies, so the decision is simple for them. They avoid dairy to prevent a negative reaction, which can prevent digestive issues that include gas and diarrhea or for milk allergies, can actually be life threatening.

Everyone is different.

Your ethnicity plays a role in how dairy affects you. People from specific geographic areas or certain ethnicities tend to have more problems with dairy than others do. For instance, people with an East or Central Asian heritage or ancestors that are indigenous North Americans have between an 80 to 100% chance of being lactose intolerant. It’s also at approximately 70 to 90% for African heritage or African Americans. On the other hand, French, German, Italian, Finish and British backgrounds have a very low, approximately 15-20% potential. If you suffer from diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, gas or nausea 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating it may be from milk products.

Weight loss and clear skin may be a benefit of going dairy free.

With dairy, weight gain doesn’t come from a reaction to the dairy, but to the calories the dairy products contain. Think about the options dairy offers. There is ice cream, butter, cheese and several high calorie foods that contain dairy. If you’re counting calories or trying to lose weight, cutting out those products may help. Some studies show that there’s also a link between acne, eczema, and psoriasis and dairy. Giving up dairy can help clear the skin.

Dairy has many nutrients and using it wisely may help you lose weight.

If you eat cottage cheese or drink milk, but avoid consuming ice cream, butter and other high calorie options, you’ may actually lose weight by consuming dairy, particularly if you drink the full fat option. The reason is simple. Both milk and milk products contain healthy fat and protein. Both fill you up and keep you feeling full longer. Dairy products contain calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamin D & A, pantothenic acid, potassium and niacin.

  • If you aren’t sure whether dairy is causing a problem, try an elimination diet. If you suspect that dairy is a problem, remove it from your diet for 5-6 weeks. It the problem disappears, then reintroduce it to see if the problem returns.
  • If you find dairy bothers you, make sure you read all labels. You might be surprised at how many contain dry milk solids, such as ranch dressing, pancake mix, candy—like caramels or milk chocolates, instant cereals and even the breading on fried foods.
  • There are non-dairy alternatives. You can choose almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, cashew milk, oat milk, hemp milk, macadamia milk and quinoa milk with more added every year.
  • Some people find that dairy can cause headaches, but it also may boost healthy bacteria in your gut that boosts your immune system. Others find that giving up dairy improved their energy and overall mood. Find what works for you.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training


Celebrate The Small Wins In Your Journey

Celebrate The Small Wins In Your Journey

Everyone understands it’s time for celebration when you reach a major goal, but that success came with little achievements along the way. It’s why long term goals are broken down to short term goals. You can see success sooner and celebrate the small wins. That can keep your motivation running high and put you steps closer to the ultimate goal. There’s nothing wrong with a pat on the back when you’re sticking with a program and scoring success.

Maybe you’re just starting a program of fitness.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Some people are fitter than others, either due to nature’s blessings or are just naturally active. If you’ve been a couch potato for years and it shows, you might feel intimidated by the gym. That shouldn’t discourage you from starting, just aim you to a different direction. Give yourself a month or two of alternative exercise to get fitter. Start walking. As you progress, alternate your speed from a fast walk to a recovery or slower pace. Add in some exercise after a few weeks and before you know it, you’ll be ready for the gym.

Do you want to lose weight?

Celebrating small victories can also include what you eat. Focus on giving up one healthy food at a time and eating more healthy ones, like vegetables. Some people cut out food with added sugar for several weeks before they remove another food from their diet. Cutting out highly processed food, food made with processed flour and fried foods are just a start. Increase fresh fruits and vegetables and discover how tasty healthy can be. Don’t forget to make healthy snacks ahead of time, so they’re ready when you’re hungry.

Practice mindful eating.

There are some tricks and tips that can help you lose weight, so you’ll have more small celebrations. For instance, mindful eating is one way. When you eat food mindfully, you savor the few. You should also chew your food longer. The longer it takes to eat something, the more time your body has to signal your brain it’s full and the less you’ll eat. Make it a goal to increase the time it takes you to eat by an extra five, ten or fifteen minutes using those techniques. You’ll get full faster. Celebrate your accomplishment.

  • You don’t have to start out with a full half hour of exercise every day. You can break it up into three ten minute sessions. Celebrate when you can do 15 minutes twice a day and again, when you can do a straight half hour or longer.
  • When changing your diet to a healthier one, remember, every change you make is a victory when it becomes a habit. While some people start by removing added sugar, you can start by increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you eat or cutting out fried foods.
  • Switching out soft drinks and replacing it with water can be a victory that will make a big difference. Drinking more water can also increase the lubrication in your joints, so they don’t ache, help you be more alert and prevent kidney stones.
  • When you’re starting your program of exercise, don’t try to do too much at once. Learn to do each exercise correctly. Set a goal for a certain number of reps and sets, performed to perfection, then celebrate when you achieve it.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training


What's The Best Plant Based Protein?

What’s The Best Plant Based Protein?

More and more people are aware of fitness today, and some choose a more plant based diet to help them get fit. In order to do that and build lean muscle mass, a good source of protein is necessary. Animal protein is complete, meaning it contains all the 9 essential amino acids our bodies can’t make. It’s a little more difficult to get that in a plant based diet, since many of the sources are incomplete. Finding the best plant based protein can be difficult, even in Stamford, CT.

There are some complete sources of protein from plants, but just a few.

You have to search for complete sources of protein, since they’re rare for vegans. Buckwheat is one of those sources. It’s versatile and can be made into noodles. Quinoa is another complete protein. Tofu and Tempah are complete sources of protein. While soy, from which tofu is derived is not complete, the processing of the soy to tofu makes it that way. Pumpkin seeds, spirulina, chia seeds and hemp seeds are also complete sources, just as nutritional yeast is. Nutritional yeast is also flavorful, giving a cheesy, yet nutty type flavor. Tofu and whole grain pita,

Even though most vegetable sources aren’t complete, they can be combined.

To qualify as a good and complete protein source, the food has to have an adequate amount of each essential amino acid with a minimum percentage of each. Aside from the aforementioned foods, most plant sources of protein don’t. The good news is that you can combine sources and it doesn’t even have to be at the same meal. However, some combinations often found together are brown rice and beans or hummus and pita are examples.

Most often, vegetarian protein lacks lysine and methionine.

Two essential amino acids most often missing in plant protein sources are lysine and methionine. Good vegetarian sources of these two can be combined with other vegetable protein sources that are incomplete. Food sources for lysine include whole grains, like oats and buckwheat, and most types of seeds. Lysine is found in leafy greens, whole grains and also seeds. You can combine these with beans that tend to lack methionine or nuts that lack lysine and methionine to get a complete protein.

  • Ezekiel bread is a flourless bread made from sprouted grains and beans. It’s considered a complete source of protein. The sprouted grain makes all the nutrients more bioavailable.
  • Lentils are a good source of protein, just as chickpeas and beans are. If you want to increase your protein intake, toss them in salads and soup. You can add seeds and nuts, as well.
  • If you make your PB&J with whole wheat bread it’s a good source of vegetable protein. Peanut butter has 7 grams of protein for two tablespoons. Other nut butters also contain protein, but the amount varies.
  • Choosing plant based protein can save you money. Compared to red meat, chicken and pork, it’s far cheaper per serving. If you aren’t strictly vegan, combine it with milk products or eggs to increase the protein.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training