MAX Protein Pina Colada

Yield: 1 Protein Shake
Serving Size: 1
Protein: 1/3
Fruit: 1

1 cup fresh Pineapple
1 scoop Max Vanilla Protein Powder
1 cup unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk
Drop of Stevia & drop of Coconut extract (optional)
Little bit of crushed ice

Add all ingredients to blender and mix and ……Voila

Pina Colada



Here is Dr. Jessica Miller addressing another topic that so many of us have thought about.


As an individual either new or returning to exercise it is very common to sustain injuries. Most often injuries occur in the joints such as knees, hips, feet, low back, neck and shoulders. Although there are numerous reasons for injuries, the most frequent injuries are a result of poor body alignment, overuse injuries, increasing exercise duration or intensity too quickly, unequal strength that develops in opposing muscle groups, and improper shoe wear.

The warm up before exercising is very important because it allow for an increase in blood flow to the muscles. Red blood cells carry oxygen, a requirement for muscle function. As you become more “fit” your muscles get better at extracting oxygen from the blood. In addition to carrying oxygen, the increased blood flow to the muscles helps to “wash away” hormones and neurotransmitters that can build up in the muscles and cause irritation and pain.

Pain is an adaptive mechanism that the body uses to prevent injury. For example, if you put your hand near a fire you will sense instant pain and reflexively pull your hand away to prevent a burn and limit further damage. In this case the sensation of pain in beneficial.

The pain pathways are very complex and the body has a remarkable way of increasing and decreasing pain sensation. When you bang your leg and develop a bruise, the bruise and the surrounding areas become exquisitely sensitive. Due to the release of certain substances, the body is able to up-regulate the sensation of pain. Over time, as the bruise heals and the swelling decreases, the sensitivity in that area returns to baseline. However, sometimes the pain system can go awry.

In some cases, there is an acute injury that causes increased pain sensitivity, but instead of the pain receptor sensitivity returning to normal over time, they remain ultra-sensitive. Even though there is no longer a reason for the sensation of pain to be generated, the body gets “confused” and can interpret sensations of light touch, heat, cold, or pressure as pain. In this instance, the pain is no longer adaptive nor beneficial. This malfunction is often seen in individual with chronic pain.

In my mind, there are two types of pain, “safe pain” and “dangerous pain”. Safe pain to me, is pain that does not indicate worsening damage, cancer pain, or harmful injuries. Safe pain is pain that often gets better during exercise and mobility. In contrast, dangerous pain is pain that indicates a significant issue that needs prompt attention. Some examples of dangerous pain include but are not limited to:

A fall or high-speed injury resulting in immediate severe pain and the inability to bear weight. This pain can indicate conditions such as fractures, ligament injuries, or instability.

Chest pain or heaviness which occurs during exercise should never be ignored. Typically, cardiac pain is described as chest tightening or pressure which often radiates down the right arm or into the jaw. However, in individuals with diabetes, chest pain can be atypical and present like indigestion. Chest pain is a medical emergency and should be evaluated immediately.

Neck or low back pain with associated numbness, tingling, or weakness should also be evaluated promptly. In addition, any neck or back pain associated with bowel and bladder symptoms such as difficulty controlling urine, loss of sensation or funny sensation around the buttocks, and/or constipation and loss of bowel control needs to be addressed by a doctor.

The general rule of thumb is that pain which worsens incrementally with activity, persists despite rest, or is associated with numbness, tingling, radiating pain down arms or legs should be evaluated by a trained medical professional. Pain that improves after a few minutes of exercise and is not associated with the above mention symptoms will often improve in its own. Again, it is most important to listen to your body. If you feel that “something isn’t right” or your symptoms are not improving you should go with your gut and have your symptoms evaluated

Disclaimer. The information provided here is not intended to substitute for medical care and should not be used for treatment or diagnosis. If you have, or suspect you have a problem concerning your health please consult with a licensed healthcare professional.

Yield: 1 Serving

Roasted ChickenServing Size: 1

Protein: 1 Protein

Fruit: 1/ 2 Fruit

Fat: 2 Fats



  • 2 Chicken breasts, medium


  • 1 cup Bell pepper
  • 1 cup Broccoli florets
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/2 cup Tomatoes, chopped or plum/grape
  • 1 Zucchini

Baking & Spices

  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Oils & Vinegars

  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 500 degree F.
  2. Chop all the veggies into large pieces. In another cutting board chop the chicken into cubes.

    Place the chicken and veggies in a medium roasting dish or sheet pan. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, italian seasoning, and paprika. Toss to combine.

  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until the veggies are charred and chicken is cooked. Enjoy with rice, pasta, or a salad.

The MAX Challenge is excited to announce its first published edition of THE MAX Challenge Newsletter, MAXIFY Your Life! Click on the link to access it from the official MAX Blog page.

http://conta.cc/1r3eWz1Newsletter picture


Need some new breakfast changes to your routine? Here is a simple recipe for you to try this weekend.
1 Fruit
1/3 Protein
1/3 Fat
1 Banana
1 Whole Egg
1 Egg White
1/2 Scoop of MAX Vanilla Protein
MAX Protein is available for purchase at your center.


In this week’s Protein Recipe Contest, winner Katie Belko shared and won 1 tub of MAX Protein in with Vanilla or Chocolate.

Yield: 1 Filled MAX Shaker cup

cherry vanillaServing Size: 1

Protein: 1/3

Fruit: 1/ 2 Fruit.


  • 1.5 cups of cashew milk.
  • 1 Scoop of MAX vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries.


Add all ingredients to blender and blend to desired consistency.


Dr. Jessica Miller is back to after answer your question….

Our bodies primarily run on two sources of fuel, carbohydrates and fats.

Carbohydrates provide us with readily available energy and are used as our default fuel. Carbohydrates fuel our workouts and allow for muscle growth. In addition, carbohydrates cause a spike in insulin levels which in turn promotes fat storage. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen by the liver and in the muscles. When your carbohydrate intake is high, these stores fill up. In this case, carbohydrates are converted to fat and stored by the body as potential energy.

The ability for the body to store excess energy is endless. Your body will simply continue to store fats in the fat cells if there is an excess of energy intake. Fat cells release leptin. As was stated in a previous article, leptin is a hormone that regulates energy expenditure and appetite. When circulating levels of leptin are high, your appetite will decrease and your energy expenditure will go up. Conversely, when leptin levels are low (as with a high carb, low fat diet), your body increase your appetite and decrease your resting metabolic rate to store energy.

The caveat to the above statement is that in people with significant obesity, their leptin sensitivity decreases. Because circulating leptin levels are directly proportional to the amount of fat or adipose tissue present, obese individuals have consistently high circulating leptin levels. The constant elevation of leptin results in decreased sensitivity to leptin, or leptin resistance. The result is that despite high levels of fat, these individuals are still hungry and continue to store fat.

Fat metabolism is turned on by the body when glycogen stores get low or circulating levels of leptin decrease. Compared to carbohydrates, fat provides the body with a more sustainable form of energy. About 100 grams of glycogen is stored in the liver and the rest is stored in the muscles. These glycogen stores in the liver can be depleted in just one day of fasting. When glycogen levels drop, it takes different individuals varying amounts of time before their body can efficiently metabolize fat to makes ketone bodies. Ketone bodies can then be used as a form of energy.

The theory behind carb cycling is to provide the body with the beneficial effects of carbohydrate intake (i.e. muscle growth, fuel workouts, gut health) without the drawback of increased fat storage due to elevated levels of circulating insulin.

By eating a low carb diet, insulin sensitivity is increased and glucagon (a hormone which increases the synthesis of glucose from glycogen) production is increased as well. The ultimate result is more efficient fat burning for energy. In theory, a prolonged low carb diet can lead to decrease in thyroid hormone production, elevated cortisol levels (a stress hormone), loss of periods (amenorrhea), bowel dysfunction and immune dysfunction. According to Paul Jaminet, PhD, low carb diets can also cause the body to decreases production of certain proteins and molecules resulting in symptoms of dry eyes, dry mouth, and decreased healing times in superficial wounds. Persistent low carb diets also can stress the liver. When needed, the liver synthesizes glycogen proteins (or fats) in a process called gluconeogenesis.

Carb cycling is used to allow the beneficial effects of low carb dieting, but to offset or prevent the above mentioned potential side effects. In individuals consuming a consistently low carb diet, the body becomes very efficient at burning ketone bodies(fat). Often these individuals reach a plateau or stall with their weight loss attempts. By adding in a higher carb meal or “cheat meal” this essentially jump starts your metabolism and up-regulates the fat burning process through the effect of leptins.

It is important to note that using complex carbs such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, slow cooked oatmeal, yams, etc. is more beneficial than using simple carbs such as breads, sugary foods, candies etc during your high carbohydrate days. This is because complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly and do not cause as much of an insulin spike. Complex carbohydrates that are not processed also contain vital vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body requires. In addition, it is felt that the undigestible (resistant) starches found in certain plant-based complex carbohydrates may have a beneficial effect on gut flora and increase mucin (one of the main parts of mucous, which helps to lubricate/ moisten body surfaces) production to offset symptoms of dry eyes or dry mouth.

The timing of carb cycling is very important. For example, eating a meal high in carbohydrates before bedtime will promote fat storage due in increased insulin levels and decreased energy demand. At this time, research indicates that the best time to increase carbohydrate intake is after a heavy training, lifting or sprinting day when the glycogen stores are depleted. The carbohydrate influx will be used by the body to refuel the glycogen stores instead of stored as fat. This increase of carbohydrate intake will also raise the leptin levels transiently. The rise in leptin levels will result in a decrease in hunger cravings and prevent down-regulation of hormones which would otherwise decrease the overall metabolism.

The reason for fat cycling or decreasing fat intake on the high carb days is to allow an individual to maintain a fairly consistent calorie intake. On the lower carb days, high quality fats can be eaten to increase calorie intake and stimulate satiety. On higher carb days, fats should be limited so that overall calorie intake for the day remains constant. In addition, the combination of high carb and high fat intake can result in an unfavorable changes in the type of fats found in the blood stream.

In summary, carb cycling is a way to allow an individual the benefits of eating a low carb diet, without the potential drawbacks of a persistently low carb diet. Intermittent carb “refeeding” helps to prevent “stalls” in weight loss, refuel glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, regulate leptin levels and prevent possible thyroid or immune consequences of continuous low carb diets. If one suffers from symptoms of worsening hypothyroidism or adrenal fatigue, it may indicate that more complex carbs should be added into the diet. In those individuals with significant obesity, carb cycling is often not as effective in “jump starting” the metabolism due to persistently high levels of leptin, or leptin/insulin resistance. To help decrease insulin resistance and increase leptin sensitivity, a low carb diet coupled with adequate sleep, routine exercising and stress relief is recommended.

Disclaimer. The information provided here is not intended to substitute for medical care and should not be used for treatment or diagnosis. If you have, or suspect you have a problem concerning your health please consult with a licensed healthcare professional.


protein crepe

Yield: 2-3 crepes

Serving Size: 1

Protein: 1

Fruit: 1


  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 ½ scoop of MAX vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup favorite fruit sliced


Place a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. In a bowl combine egg whites and MAX protein powder and whisk until protein powder is dissolved. Scoop about 1/2 of the mixture (if using an 8-inch pan) or 1/3 of the mix if using a smaller pan, into the pan and rotate pan around so the batter spreads thin. Cook until the bottom is lightly browned and flip it over to cook through.


Gluten is one of the proteins found in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, faro, KAMUT ®, Khorasan wheat, and einkorn) as well as rye, barley and triticale.   Gluten is commonly found in breads, baked good, sauces, salad dressings, cereal, pasta, soups and sauces.  Barley is commonly used in malt, food coloring and beer as well.

Gluten has been around for only about 10,000 years.  Its use in food dates back to the Industrial Revolution where it was used as a type of food glue to help foods maintain their shape.  Because gluten was not part of our evolutionary diet, our bodies are not equipped with the proper enzymes to fully digest this protein.  There are no nutritional benefits derived from eating gluten.  In addition, though the quality of the gluten in our foods has not changed significantly over the past few centuries, the quantity found in foods has increased significantly.

Approximately 70-80% of the population are able to tolerate gluten with no problem.  Because we all lack the enzymes to fully digest gluten, gluten is only partially broken down by the GI tract.  According to studies done by Dr. Alessio Fasano, the head of the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Mass General Hospital for Children, the undigested fragments of gluten and gliadin cause transient intestinal inflammation and can release a molecule called zonulin.

Zonulin causes an opening in the barrier of the GI tract.    Essentially the spaces between the cells lining the gut wall open up and allow foods and other toxins to cross into the blood stream, which would not normally get through.  In 70-80% of the population this is not a problem because the immune system works properly and can remove any offending bacteria, toxins, etc.

The immune system is remarkably complex, however essentially it is composed of two branches.  The innate and adaptive immune system.  The innate immune system is the first line of defense in the GI tract.  The innate immune system is immediate and is not very specific. It will release molecules that destroy or eliminate anything it thinks is foreign.  For example, when the innate immune system is exposed to gluten and gliadin fragments, cytokines (small proteins released by cells that are important in cell signaling and can affect the behavior of other cells) are released in an attempt to breakdown these gluten andgliadin fragments.  Cytokines can induce an attack on the gluten, but can also cause a local inflammation in any tissues nearby.  This can cause very microscopic damage to the gut wall which is not always seen on biopsy because repair occurs fairly quickly.

If the innate immune system is unable to handle the “foreign invader”, then the adaptive immune system takes over.  This branch of the immune system is much more specific, sophisticated and takes more time.  The adaptive immune response can lead to either an antibody-mediated attack or to a cell-mediated attack.

In the case of the antibody-mediated the body customizes antibodies to attack the gluten and gliadin protein fragments.    Occasionally, the immune system malfunctions and the antibodies customized to attack the gluten and gliadin can cross-react or get activated by cells in our body.  When this happens, in addition to destroying the gluten fragments, these antibodies also destroy important tissues in our bodies. Depending on which tissue is being attacked will determine a person’s symptoms.  For example, if the antibodies cross-react with joint tissue, a person can develop arthritis.

According to Dr. Fasano, there are three scenarios which could occur when you eat gluten.

  1. The gluten is eaten and partially digested. The undigested gluten causes the release of zonulin which opens up the spaces between the gut lining and these protein fragment breach the intestinal barrier.  The innate immune cells respond appropriately and eliminate the fragments and the tiny amount of local inflammation is repaired quickly and the person has no consequences from eating gluten.
  2.  A person eats gluten and the partially digested fragments activate the immune system as above. However, the innate immune system is unable to eliminate the protein fragments and the adaptive immune system gets activated.  There is a miscommunication between the two branches of the immune system.   The adaptive immune system builds antibodies (or cells) to attack the gluten and gliadin fragments which cross-react with the cells found in the intestinal tract.  The immune cells stay locally in the gut and inflammation persists.  In this scenario the person will develop celiac disease.
  1. The third possibility is that the scenario 2 occurs, except that instead of the antibodies (or cells) staying the in the gut and cross-reacting with tissues in the GI tract, the antibodies and/or activated cells travel throughout the body and cross react with different body tissues. In this case, there will be minimal damage in the GI tract, but the personal will have chronic inflammation elsewhere in the body.  Depending on the tissues which cross-react with the antibodies or activated cells,will determine the person’s symptoms.   This scenario is termed non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity can cause multiple symptoms.    Symptoms can often be vague, such as abdominal pain, headaches, foggy mind, chronic fatigue, and depression.

People can live for years without any issues with gluten intolerance.  However, it appears that a change in gut flora (as was addressed last week) can be one of the inciting event which can activate gluten intolerance.    Due to the fact that there are no nutritional benefits from ingesting gluten, and the fact that it causes inflammation in the gut and the release of zonulin leading to increased intestinal permeability, it is not recommended on the MAX diet.   Of note, it appears that zonulin also causes an increase in permeability of the blood brain barrier and may be associated with inflammatory disorders of the brain.

Disclaimer.  The information provided here is not intended to substitute for medical care and should not be used for treatment or diagnosis.  If you have, or suspect you have a problem concerning your health please consult with a licensed healthcare professional.