Beginners Nutrition Guide

By Dr. Jimmy Steger

How many calories? How much protein? Low carb or low fat?

Questions like these often swarm about the heads of beginner weightlifters, body builders and first time trainees in the local health club. The intricacies of balancing protein, carbohydrates, fat and water can be a little puzzling at first, however if you understand what each of them can do for you and stick with a few basic rules, you’ll find eating healthy and smart to be a pretty painless process.

To gain muscle you have to eat more calories than you burn. If you train regularly, you will burn between 15-20 calories per pound of body weight per day, depending on your workouts and daily activity levels. If you shoot for about 20 calories per pound of body weight, or 3,000 calories for a 150-pounder, you will be eating enough to keep gaining muscle, but no to much so that you are also adding extra fat to your frame.

All four macronutrients are vital to life, but protein plays the largest role in helping your body recover from strenuous exercise. Protein comprises elements called amino acids, which are used for everything from building muscle and connective tissue to the formation of enzymes. I recommend that the beginner body builder consume a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for maximum benefit. As you become more advanced, in your training, then you will add more protein to your diet. Good quality sources of protein include organic chicken breasts and turkey, white fish, protein shakes, and egg whites.

Carbs serves as a quickly accessible form of fuel for the body during your workouts. To maximize muscle growth, beginners need to take in about 2 g. of carbs per pound of body weight or about 300 g. for a 150 lb. guy. The majority of these should be slow-digesting or what is known as low-glycemic carbs (a measure of how fast these carbs get their sugar into your blood stream). Low-glycemic carbs provide longer-lasting energy and don’t spike insulin levels, which could enhance fat gain at the wrong time of day. Fast-digesting or High-gylemic carbs rapidly raise blood-sugar levels and spike insulin. Sounds bad, but this is actually what you want immediately after workout to better replenish your muscles and boost muscle growth. Insulin will help get blood sugar and amino acids into your muscles and will also jump-start your muscle growth process. Below is a chart that will help you see the difference in high-glycemic carbs vs. low-glycemic carbs.  Remember I do not suggest the use of white rice or white flour for anyone.


  • Plain bagel
  • Rice cakes
  • White bread
  • White rice
  • Baked russet potatoes
  • Pasta


  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat-grain breads
  • Whole wheat pastas
  • Oatmeal – All
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Apples
  • Apple juice


If you’re serious about getting results from your training, you need to consider not just what you eat, but when.  The most basic rule to gaining good quality muscle is to eat 6-7 small meals a day rather than 2-3 large ones. This will keep your body stocked with a steady flow of high quality nutrients and will also help maintain a steady metabolism to ensure your gains are muscle not fat. Approximately 30-45 minutes before training you should have about 15-20 g. of fast-digesting protein, such as a whey protein isolate shake, and about 30-40 g. of slow-digesting carbs. Within 20-30 minutes after your workout, you should take in 40-50 g. of fast-digesting protein (whey protein shake) and about 60-80 g. of fast-digesting carbs. Besides your pre- and post workout meals, you’ll want to space out another 3-4 meals at 3-hour intervals, finishing your last (which should be made up of almost entirely protein) approximately 15-30 minutes before bed.

For the beginning body builder trying to add more muscle mass, we typically recommend keeping fat intake under about 30% of your total daily calories. You do not want to drop your fat intake to low: this macronutrient is vital in cushioning and lubricating your body’s cells, and also has an exercise-related function. Exercise is fueled by both carbohydrates and fat, the longer you exercise, the more your body will depend on fat, since the body can store only a limited amount of glycogen in muscles and in the liver. In addition, very intense exercise relies more on carbohydrates, while low to moderate  exercise relies more on fat for fuel. When you are resting between sets, you’re burning fat to replenish the energy systems that you will need to be up and running for your next set. The kind of fat you eat is every bit as important as the amount. You should work toward reducing your intake of animal fats, which are saturated (the kind most closely associated with arterial and heart disease), instead concentrating on more helpful fats from sources like extra virgin olive oil, avocados, almonds, walnuts and seeds, and fatty fish such as salmon.

Water, by far is the most important substance we put into our bodies. Babies are approximately 85% water and adults are usually in the 45-55% range, which is one of the primary reasons most American’s age too fast. If we keep our water levels up our skin and body will stay properly hydrating offsetting the aging process.  Water is a colorless, odorless liquid made up of molecules containing 2 atoms of hydrogen and 1 atom of oxygen, however with out it, we wouldn’t be here. It’s as essential to our existence as air, and our bodies are about 70% water. The point is, water is vitally essential nutrient, one you shouldn’t be without for very long during the day, especially as a hard training athlete. The old recommendation for drinking 8 glasses of water per day is no more accurate than most old wise tales. I suggest to all my patients and clients in the gym that you consume 1/2oz water for 1lb of body weight on a daily basis. Yet, being a body builder makes you more than just the average man or woman, as training increases your need for water. If you drink about 1 gallon of pure bottled water a day, you will take in adequate amounts of fluids, as you will also get fluid from the foods you eat and from other beverages. The most important thing is to never feel thirsty.  It’s a sign that your body is already dehydrated.

Until next time, stay healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger

The Aspartame/NutraSweet Fiasco

The Aspartame/NutraSweet Fiasco
James S. Turner

Many health-conscious people believe that avoiding aspartame, found in over 5000 products under brand names such as Equal and NutraSweet, can improve their quality of life. The history of this synthetic sweetener’s approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including a long record of consumer complaints and the agency’s demonstrated insensitivity to public concern, suggests they’re right.

In October 1980 the Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) impaneled by the FDA to evaluate aspartame safety found that the chemical caused an unacceptable level of brain tumors in animal testing.  Based on this fact, the PBOI ruled that aspartame should not be added to the food supply.

This ruling capped 15 years of regulatory ineptitude, chicanery and deception by the FDA and the Searle drug company, aspartame’s discoverer and manufacturer (acquired by Monsanto in 1985), and kicked off another two decades of maneuvering, manipulating and dissembling by FDA, Searle and Monsanto.

In 1965, a Searle scientist licked some of a new ulcer drug from his fingers and discovered the sweet taste of aspartame. Eureka! Selling this chemical as a food additive to hundreds of millions of healthy people every day would mean many more dollars than limited sales to the much smaller group of ulcer sufferers.

Searle, a drug company with little experience in food regulation, began studies to comply with the law — but which failed to do so. Its early tests of the substance showed it produced microscopic holes and tumors in the brains of experimental mice, epileptic seizures in monkeys, and was converted by animals into dangerous substances, including formaldehyde.

In 1974, however, in spite of the information in its files, the FDA approved aspartame as a dry-foods additive. But the agency also made public for the first time the data supporting a food-additive decision. This data was subsequently reviewed by renowned brain researcher John Olney from Washington University in St. Louis, and other scientists.

Dr. Olney discovered two studies showing brain tumors in rats and petitioned FDA for a public hearing. Consumer Action for Improved Foods and Drugs (represented by the author of this piece) also petitioned for a public hearing based on the approval process having been based on sloppy science and the product’s having reportedly caused epileptic seizures in monkeys and possible eye damage.

Dr. Olney had already shown that aspartic acid (one aspartame component) caused microscopic holes in the brains of rats after each feeding. Aspartame also includes phenylalinine, which causes PKU in a small number of susceptible children, and methyl, or wood, alcohol which is neurotoxic in large amounts.

Faced with this array of possible health dangers, FDA granted the hearing requests. In lieu of withdrawing its aspartame approval, the agency prevailed on Searle to refrain from marketing the sweetener until after completion of the hearing process. it then proposed that a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) review the matter.

In July of 1975, as the FDA prepared for the PBOI, an FDA inspector conducted a routine review of the Searle’s Skokie Ill., testing facilities and found many deviations from proper procedures.  This report led the FDA commissioner to empanel a Special Commissioner’s Task Force to review Searle’s labs.

In December of 1975 the Task force reported serious problem with Searle research on a wide range of products, including aspartame.  It found 11 pivotal studies conducted in a manner so flawed as to raise doubts about aspartame safety and create the possibility of serious criminal liability for Searle.

The FDA then stayed aspartame’s approval.  It also contracted, over serious internal objection, with a group of university pathologists (paid by Searle) to review most of the studies, set up a task force to review three studies and asked the U.S. Attorney for Chicago to seek a grand jury review of the monkey seizure study.

The pathologists paid by Searle only reviewed failure to properly report data and not the study’s  design or conduct.  They found no serious problems.  The FDA task force found Searle’s key tumor safety study unreliable, but was ignored. The U.S. attorney let the statue of limitations run out, then (along with two aides) proceeded to join Searle’s law firm.

While these committees met, the FDA organized the PBOI.  Searle, the petitioners and the FDA Bureau of Foods each nominated three members for the board and the FDA commissioner selected one member from each list.  the board, which convened in January of 1980, rejected petitioners’ request to include the commissioner’s task force information in its deliberations.  Still, in October 1980, based on its limited review, the board blocked aspartame marketing until the tumor studies could be explained. Unless the commissioner overruled the board, the matter was closed.

In November 1980, however, the country elected Ronald Reagan President. Donald Rumsfeld (former congressman from Skokie, former White House chief of staff, former secretary of defense and since January 1977 president of Searle) joined the Reagan transition team.  A full court press against the board decision began.

In January 1981 Rumsfeld told a sales meeting, according to one attendee, that he would call in his chips and get aspartame approved by the end of the year. On January 25th, the day the new president took office, the previous FDA commissioner’s authority was suspended, and the next month, the commissioner’s job went to  Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes.

Transition records do not show why the administration chose Hayes, a professor and Defense Department contract researcher.  In July Hayes, defying FDA advisors, approved aspartame for dry foods — his first major decision. In November 1983 the FDA approved aspartame for soft drinks — Hayes’ last decision.

In November 1983 Hayes, under fire for accepting corporate gifts, left the agency and went to Searle’s public-relations firm as senior medical advisor. Later Searle lawyer Robert Shapiro named aspartame NutraSweet. Monsanto purchased Searle. Rumsfeld received a $12 million bonus. Shapiro is now Monsanto president.

Shortly after the FDA soft-drink approval, Searle began test marketing, and complaints began to arrive at the FDA — of such reactions as dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, and seizures. The complaints were more serious than the agency had ever received on any food additive, At the same time, scientists began looking more closely at this manufactured chemical sweeetner.

In 1985, the FDA asked the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to review the first 650 complaints (there are now over 10,000).  CDC found that the symptoms in approximately 25% of the complainants had stopped and then restarted, corresponding with their having stopped and then restarted, either purposely or by accident, aspartame consumption.

The CDC also identified several specific subjects whose symptoms stopped and started as they stopped and started consuming aspartame. The FDA discounted the report. The day the FDA released the CDC report, Pepsi Cola — having obained an advance copy — announced its switch to aspartame with a worldwide media blitz.

Former White House Chief of Staff Rumsfeld owed a debt of gratitude to former White House confidante and Rumsfeld friend Donald Kendal, Pepsi’s chairman. The Pepsi announcement and aggressive marketing (millions of gumballs, a red and white swirl, tough contracts) made NutraSweet known in every home.

At the same time, according to data released in 1995, human brain tumors like those in the animal studies rose 10% and previously benign tumors turned virulent.  Searle and FDA’s deputy commissioner said the data posed no problem. Two years later this same FDA official became vice president of clinical research for Searle.

From 1985 to 1995, researchers did about 400 aspartame studies.  They were divided almost evenly between those that gave assurances and those that raised questions about the sweetener.  Most instructively, Searle paid for 100% of those finding no problem. All studies paid for by non-industry sources raised questions. 

Given this record, it is little wonder that many health-conscious people believe avoiding NutraSweet improves their quality of life. If and when a scientific consensus concludes that aspartame puts some, if not all, of its consumers at risk, it will be much too late. The point is to eat safely now. Remember: the brain you save may be your own.

James S. Turner, Esq., is a partner in the 27-year-old Washington, D.C. consumer-interest law firm of Swankin and Turner.  He is the author of The Chemical Feast: The Nader Report on the Food and Drug Administration, Making Your Own Baby Food, and a number of law journal and popular media articles.

Exercise Is Critical For Detoxification


By Dr. Jimmy Steger

Exercise Is Critical For Detoxification

Exercise can benefit you in more ways than one!  Incorporated into a positive lifestyle, exercise improves oxygen intake, muscle definition, and overall metabolism.  It also has a very important role in the elimination of toxins by stimulating sweat production and improving lymphatic circulation. 

Your skin is the largest organ of the body.  Its glands secrete sweat to eliminate toxins and regulate body temperature.  Many people do not allow their bodies to breathe and properly sweat.  This is due to a lack of exercise, use of antiperspirants, restrictive clothing, and the use of products that clog skin pores.  Exercise is a simple effective way to stimulate sweat, sweating flushes out toxic metals, lactic acid, urea, and other toxins that circulate within the body. 

The lymphatic system helps the body defend itself against disease.  It transports infection-fighting cells and removes cellular debris.  The circulation of lymph is different than the circulatory system in that the lymphatic system does not have a central pump.  The circulation of lymph tissue is dependant upon the movement of skeletal muscle.  Improving the body’s ability to remove cellular waste is enhanced with exercise.  Exercise promotes full-range of motion in joints and strengthens muscles to improve lymph flow. 

Don’t forget in addition to stimulating sweat production and improving the function of the lymphatic system, exercise increases oxygen intake.  An oxygenated environment inhibits the growth of bacteria, fungus, viruses, and even cancer cells.  Improve your bodies natural defense against toxins by committing to an active lifestyle of strength training and aerobics.  The benefits of exercise are limitless. 

Few Tips For Detoxification

Eat foods high in fiber- adding bulk such as whole grains, to your diet promotes bowel movements to eliminate waste and toxins.

Eat foods that are nutrient dense- Nutrient dense foods contain a combination of nutrients that will help to naturally detoxify the body daily, such as fruits, vegetables, and organic greens.

Avoid toxins from foods- Many commercialized foods contain toxins such as preservatives, additives, artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors.

Drink plenty of water- Aids in tissue hydration, elimination of toxins via blood, kidneys, and urine. Dividing your body weight in half equals the minimal amount of recommended daily intake.  Avoid tap water.

Eliminate excess body fat- Many toxins are stored with fat tissue. 

Exercise- Reduces fat, increases blood circulation, and promotes breathing.

Breathing exercises- Promotes the intake of oxygen and promotes the release of carbon dioxide. 

Support your organs of detoxification- The liver and kidneys can become overwhelmed with internal toxins. Nutrients such as barberry, dandelion, and milk thistle, help to nourish these vital organs.

Eliminate heavy metals- Nutrient such as chlorella, encapsulate and transport heavy metals from the body via the bowel.

Until Next Time, Stay Healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger 


Cloned Meat and Milk

Cloned Meat and Milk 

WASHINGTON, October, 2006 – The Food and Drug Administration first proposed that it might permit the sale of milk and meat cloned animals in 2003, resulting in a public reaction that has run the gamut from interest to horror. Now the FDA, citing new data, expects to give its stamp of approval by the end of this year. Stephen R. Sundlof, the FDA’s chief of veterinary medicine responsible for the agency’s risk assessment, maintains that “food from cloned animals is as safe as the food we eat every day.” But the FDA has never published the complete scientific studies it says support that claim. Proponents claim that cloning will improve upon the consistency and quality currently available. However, there is significant concern that the public will reject such products. According to the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, a nonpartisam research and education project, surveys show that more than 60 percent of the U.S. population is uncomfortable with the idea of animal cloning for food and milk. Concerns for safety are built on the assertion that genetic changes seen in some clones may alter the very nutritional nature of meat. The FDA itself acknowledges that clone pregnancies result in more miscarriages, deformities and premature deaths than do other technologies. But the agency dismisses this fact, saying the problems aren’t unique. The Washington-based Center for Food Safety has filed a petition with the FDA asking that cloned animals be classified as “transgenic animals” – animals that have been engineered by adding specific genes. This means they would be regulated the same way as new pharmaceuticals, under a category called “New Animal Drugs”. The petition states, “The available science shows that cloning presents serious food safety risks, animal welfare concerns and unresolved ethical issues that require strict oversight.” Consumers aren’t the only ones concerned. Dairy companies fear that association with cloning will undermine their carefully-maintained image of wholesomeness. In fact, confidential documents from the International Dairy Foods Association obtained by The Washington Post show that the group has been instrumental in slowing the FDA’s approval.

Candida Can Kill Your Vitality

Candida Can Kill Your Vitality 

Bacteria, fungi and yeast can start a toxic chain reaction in your body with devastating effects. Invisible to the naked eye, these silent assassins are linked to many health problems that often go misdiagnosed. The late Dr. Bernard Jensen, noted natural authority, believed that “unfriendly” bacteria, fungi, yeast and viruses added highly poisonous wastes to the colon and bowel. Left unchecked, they can build up a toxic “pit” in your gut and create serious problems. This toxic buildup can be the root cause of some of the most common health complaints today. It is critical that these invaders be destroyed and removed in order to restore health. This process, however, can release toxic residues that may, in the short-term, worsen a person’s condition. These symptoms are only temporary and will go away. Once populations of malicious visitors are reduced, symptoms will dissipate and the road to good health should be a much smoother ride!

One of the most toxic inhabitants in our bodies is candida albicans. Candida is a yeast that is normally present in the intestines. Infection or overgrowth begins in the digestive tract, resulting in a population explosion that can cover the intestinal wall. Candida overgrowth can spread to the esophagus, colon and genital tract. It can cause a range of digestive problems including constipation, diarrhea, colitis, gas and heartburn. Overgrowth can also chemically and mechanically interfere with the breakdown of foods and the absorption of nutrients. This yeast may destroy enzymes needed for cell energy and cause the release of free radicals that encourage the aging process. Candida albicans infection is suspected as a major contributor to chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, immune deficiency, allergies, depression and a variety of other systemic problems.

You May Actually Feel Worse Before You Get Better

People suffering from a range of illnesses including chronic fatigue, digestive disorders or other systemic problems may not make the connection between their symptoms and candida overgrowth, but it may become evident once they experience “candida die-off.” In reversing the yeast overgrowth, it has been suggested that for one in five people, symptoms may worsen. That’s because a yeast cell can produce over seventy-five known toxic substances, among them alcohol and formaldehyde, which can poison the body. When the yeast cells rupture and spill their toxic contents into the bloodstream. Symptoms can include a range of flu-like maladies such as headaches, fever, chills, rashes, nausea, vomiting, sweats, bloating, abdominal pains, body aches, muscle weakness, diarrhea and constipation. This reaction has sometimes been called “the healing crisis,” although more specific terms are used depending upon the organism involved; the term “die-off reaction” is used for candida, and “Jarish-Herxhiemer reaction” refers to herpes infection.

Chlorella Can Assist in Reversing Candida Overgrowth

Overgrowth of candida albicans can stem from lack of dominance of friendly bacteria in the intestines. Often, it’s foothold can be fueled by the over use of antibiotics. This kills competing populations of benign bacteria, clearing space for candida to set up colonies. Chlorella may promote the growth of friendly bacteria, while its beta glucan content may enhance the effectiveness if antibiotics – helping to reduce the need for multiple prescriptions or large doses of antibiotics.

A second cause of candida infection is a weakened immune system that is unable to control the yeast’s growth. By taking chlorella, and in particular the extract, you may be activating immune cells stationed within the intestines to attack. Macrophages are the immune cells that destroy these little beasts. Studies suggest chlorella enhances the growth and activity of these immune cells. Additionally, chlorella may increase production of chemicals that can contribute to the destruction of candida: interferon and tumor necrosis factor. It has also been suggested that pesticides and industrial toxins are a major contributing factor because they weaken the immune system. Chlorella tablets are supreme detoxifiers that may “unwedge” stored toxins such as pesticide residue, heavy metals and other poisons.

When You Start Taking Chlorella…

Because chlorella simultaneously addresses numerous suspected root causes of candida infection, it might be concluded that it reduces the yeast population. When yeast are killed off and their poisons are released into the bloodstream, your organs must process them in order to eliminate them from the body. As a result, individuals who have unknowingly become host to rampant populations of candida, and are sensitive to the release of these toxins, may temporarily experience a range of uncomfortable side effects. The length of this reaction is unique to each person and will depend upon factors such as diet, the person’s overall health, the extent of candida infection and the rate of detoxification. According to Dr. Steenblock in his book, Chlorella, Natural Medicinal Algae, “These reactions are most prevalent in those persons who need chlorella the most since these people have the weakest bowels and have greater toxicity to neutralize.”

Recommendations for the “Road to Recovery”

If you experience discomfort while taking chlorella, reduce your intake to less than one gram a day. If that is still to much, try taking it every other day. Slowly increase the serving size if symptoms have lessened.
Constipation or diarrhea is common during die-off. One Japanese study suggests that tablets actually help alleviate constipation. If this is your only side effect from taking chlorella, a lager serving of tablets may help. Paradoxically, the process of detoxification may cause diarrhea. In this instance, it may be advised to reduce your serving size o lessen this effect.
Take both chlorella extract (CGF) and tablets, the chlorella extract is concentrated source of the immune-enhancing substances that may help activating “yeast killing” macrophages. The tablets contain smaller amounts of CGF, but are rich with chlorella’s fibrous cell walls and chlorophyll that can help hasten removal of toxins.
Avoid over-consumption of yeast’s favorite foods: sugar and alcohol.
Rest as much as possible and drink lots of purified water.
Note: The symptoms of candida die-off can be identical to an allergic reaction; it is possible that reactions to taking chlorella can be caused by either condition. If there is an intolerance to chlorella with a serving size of less than one gram, it can signify an inability to take this product due to a food allergy, and should be discontinued.