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    Recipe: Brisket Baked Sweet Potato

    The 4th of July around these parts means brisket. Combine Texas’s favorite cut of meat with a baked sweet potato and you’ve got a dangerously delicious and easy meal. Make it even easier by having us ship the brisket and seasoning directly to your door.

    The Recipe

    Prep time: 45 minutes (mostly baking the sweet potato)

     

    Ingredients

    • Large sweet potato
    • 1 lb brisket
    • ¼ cup ICON Tennessee Whiskey Flavor
    • 2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh if possible)
    • 1 cup water
    • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese (more to taste)
    • ¼ cup green onions (more to taste)

    Instructions

    1. Wash and dry all fresh produce.
    2. Drizzle olive oil on sweet potato, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees until tender.
    3. In a large saucepan combine brisket, water, tomatoes, and ICON Tennessee Whiskey Flavor. Mix until thoroughly combined. Cook on high until simmering, then drop to medium low heat for 15 minutes.
    4. When the sweet potato is done baking, remove from foil and place on serving plate. Cut one deep slice lengthwise and slightly squeeze ends to create a hollow “canoe.”
    5. Fill sweet potato canoe with brisket mixture. Top with cheddar cheese and green onions.

     

    Click here to buy 1lb of brisket

    Click here to buy Tennessee Whiskey Seasoning

    Growing Muscle Faster by Optimizing Protein Synthesis

    Growing Muscle Faster by Optimizing Protein Synthesis

    Building vs Breaking Down

     

    Throughout the day your body switches between synthesizing and breaking down protein. To build muscle you want your muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to exceed protein breakdown rate (PBR).

     

    When you are fasting your PBR rises, and if PBR is higher than MPS the result is muscle loss — negative protein balance. When you eat protein MPS goes up, and when MPS exceeds PBR the result is muscle gain.

     

    The Basic Formula

     

    PBR > MPS = muscle loss

    MPS > PBR = muscle gain

     

    How To Do It

     

    The most important part of growth/retention is consuming enough protein, and you can optimize synthesis rates with numerous high-quality protein feedings during the day. These also ensure you retain muscle while you’re in a deficit.

     

    For example (and I’m generalizing): whey protein elevates synthesis rates for 4 hours while casein does so for 6. The idea is to re-spike MPS rates when they begin to fall so MPR doesn’t exceed them. That’s one good reason whey is preferred during the day, while casein is better for sleeping/longer periods between feedings.

     

    It’s About Speed

     

    This isn’t to say if you decide to fast most of the day muscle starts “falling off” your frame. The body stubbornly holds onto muscle and fat. But, if you want faster progress in strength, size, and energy, numerous quality feedings is the way to go.

     

    I don’t find myself hungry during the day and prefer to bank calories until my last meal. However, ensuring I consume protein several times a day makes a huge impact on my progress, especially when I’m trying to build muscle and strength.

     

    Get them feedings in!

     

    Michael Mastrucci (Follow on Instagram)

    The Macro Diabetic, Host of Diabetically Speaking

    When Should You Eat Carbs? By Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

    When Should You Eat Carbs? By Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

    You may have heard about “protein timing,” — but if you haven’t it refers to the distribution of protein throughout the day, and before/after training sessions for optimal muscle protein synthesis (the process by which cells make proteins).


    There are different studies and philosophies on how this should be accomplished depending on your overall goals. If you train regularly, then you probably have a system down pat already.


    But are you paying attention to “carb timing?”


    If you’re not, you might be putting yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to your health, physique, and losing those last 5-10 lbs


    The research for carbs and high-intensity exercise is very clear; however, the research about meal distribution for metabolic flexibility and body composition is not as well-established and definitely not widely-recognized.


    So why should you pay attention to how you distribute carbs throughout the day?


    It primarily has to deal with “metabolic flexibility,” or your body’s ability to adapt to different metabolic demands (aka the stress you put on it through eating and training).


    We know that the consumption of any carbohydrates requires an insulin response so that our cells can absorb the sugars from the macronutrient for energy. Eat too many carbs, though, and your body might not be able to keep up.


    Research studies have shown that the body can use (burn or store) about 40 grams of carbs after a meal (assuming you’re not exercising while digesting the meal). Meals that exceed 40 grams require more and more insulin to shut down fat metabolism and force the extra carbs to be converted into fat for storage.


    This limits the body’s ability to burn fats, increases fluctuations in blood glucose, and increases hunger.


    For the average person trying to lose weight - keeping carbs lower at the beginning of the day and higher towards the end of the day.




    Stay connected with Team ICON Member Emily Hayden:

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook! 

    10 Foods That Lower Stress

    10 Foods That Lower Stress

    By Team ICON Contributor Shawn Wells

     

    Modern life can be full of stressors — money and relationships are two of the most obvious ones, but smaller-scale worries like the morning commute or making sure your home is in order when guests arrive can add up to significant stress.

     

    The good news is many healthy foods can actively fight stress! Here are 10 of my favorites:

     

    Chamomile Tea 

    Warm drinks make us happy and relaxed. Chamomile is known to reduce anxiety, possibly due to the antioxidant apigenin.

     

    Eggs

    Nature's multivitamin! Eggs are rich in nutrients like choline, providing a healthy stress response.

     

    Blueberries

    These delicious blue treats are high in flavonoid antioxidants, which may reduce stress-related inflammation and improve mood.

     

    Greek Yogurt

    Probiotic foods like yogurt may promote better mental health and brain function. They may also  ease symptoms of depression and anxiety.⁣

     

    Dark Chocolate

    Besides satisfying your sweet tooth, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that eating dark chocolate with 70% cocoa content or higher may reduce the stress hormone cortisol*.

     

    Fatty Fish

    Don’t be dissuaded by the name — these fats are excellent for you. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish like salmon and tuna may ease depression and improve mood⁣.

     

    Milk

    We all know milk is a great source of calcium, which may ease depression as well as the symptoms of PMS.

     

    Avocado

    Like the fatty fish mentioned above, this amazing fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) is loaded with stress-reducing omega-3 fatty acids.

     

    Pumpkin Seeds

    These taste amazing when roasted, and they’re rich in magnesium and tryptophan which calm your sympathetic nervous system and prepare the body for sleep.

     

    Leafy Greens

    Swiss chard, spinach, and similar leafy veggies are good sources of magnesium, an important mineral that plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions including the body's stress response.⁣

     

    *https://www.acc.org/membership/sections-and-councils/cardiovascular-team-section/section-updates/2014/11/28/19/48/dark-chocolate-a-cure-for-stress

     


     

    Stay connected with Shawn Wells:

     

    Instagram @shawnwells

    Facebook /shawn.zhr

    shawnwells.com

     

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!

    4 Tips For a Better Relationship With Food

    4 Tips For a Better Relationship With Food

    2 minute read from ICON Meals collaborator, Meal Prep On Fleek! 

    In a world where New Year's Resolutions mean “lose a ton of weight”...we want to share with you a different way to do your resolutions.

    While losing weight and getting stronger is a wonderful way to kickstart your path to a healthier life, we also want you to focus on your emotional well-being, including the relationship you have with food.

    If you are one of those people who struggle with food, like many of us, just know you’re not alone, and that there are a couple of things you can do to have a better relationship with food in 2021.⠀

    ---⠀⠀

    • Don’t judge yourself anymore if you overeat from time to time. It happens to all of us.
    • Start keeping the food you love in the house. Treat yourself a bit and enjoy the things you really like. Life is too short not to!
    • Allow all different types of food. Carbs are not evil...give yourself grace, and enjoy them too!
    • Let go of the idea that you have to be perfect. Just do things that will make you feel better, do more for yourself, and try to let go of whatever is holding you back from loving yourself to the fullest.

     

    Stay connected with our friends Meal Prep On Fleek:

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!