The Super Foods | Gracie PAC MMA

Secure your spot & get started today with our FREE EXCLUSIVE online offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Gracie PAC MMA to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.

Secure your spot & get started today with our FREE EXCLUSIVE online offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Gracie PAC MMA to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Maria Vega reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

My wife and I were looking for a friendly, family oriented MMA classes for our son (10) and daughter (12). They love martial arts and have been doing it for years, in an after school program (TKD). Well, after looking around, we joined Gracie PAC MMA. Let me tell you, this place is perfect. Their staff and coaches are incredible; friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and experience on everything MMA. Professor Cris Rodriguez is great with kids, amazing teacher. We are extremely happy with Gracie MMA, their staff is great, they are very organize and their curriculum (bjj, muay thai, kick boxing, etc....) has everything we were looking for. Great place for the entire family.

Tiffany Teal Montague Simmons reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

Come train with the BEST! This is NOT your normal after school karate class. We were amazed at the amount of technique even the youngest students pick up after just a few classes. Coach Cris is awesome with the kids. She expects more then just good fighting from them. She stays involved with how they are doing in school and at home, giving her students the incentive to be the best at everything they do.

Dana Fields reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

I have been looking for a great exercise program to get involved in and finally found it here. I have learned so much in the two months I have been here and can't wait to continue to get stronger. Love This place!! Coach Cris is the best at making me not want to give up.

DorothyandMark Winter reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

PAC MMA is fitness for the whole family. Kids programs, adult classes and even the best woman's fitness and self defense around, this is the place to go. Make your family a part of the PAC family.

Amanda Fletcher Moyer reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

Best place ever! My daughter attends the after school program there and she loves it. I just started taking the kickboxing class & it's the best class I have ever taken. Everyone there is awesome.

Gina Lopez Fernandez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

I can't say enough about how much I love this place! My son is learning so much and he LOVES going to class. There's something so rewarding in watching your child learn and grow so quickly :) Coach Chris, Coach Dan and Coach Rich have all been amazing! I couldn't ask for a better environment for my son. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and so much of yourself - we truly appreciate it!

Erica Ramirez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

Heard thru word of mouth. Then checked it out and noticed great character in their students and the attentive staff. The coach had noticeable rapport with the kids in the class. My daughter loved it. She can't wait to get back. She even cleaned her room! Huge plus.

Dan Martinez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

Gracie PAC MMA has been one of, if not the best, mixed martial arts gym I have been a part of. The kids program/instruction is second to none, and offers world class BJJ instruction for adults as well as one of the most promising striking programs in the US, Bang Muay Thai. Countless kids and adults have competed at the highest level under the GPAC banner, with even more discovering what martial arts can do for them. Whether you want to compete or get in great shape, this facility has the program for you

Nicole Dunn reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

Our family has been coming to Gracie PAC Tampa for nearly two years. We began sending our son first. Our main goals were for him to experience the physical and mental benefits derived from regular physical exercise. Instantly we realized how special this place is, and how amazing Coach Cris is with the kids, as well as adults. She is fair but firm, and as she commands respect, she encourages these kids to rise to their full potential, also providing valuable discussions on character, sportsmanship, and leadership, as part of her curriculum.

My husband takes some of the adult jiu jitsu and kickboxing classes, from which he has benefitted greatly, and I truly enjoy being a member of the ladies' bootcamp group. These ladies represent a wide range of fitness levels and ages. Each class, we all get together to kick butt, do our best, and encourage each other in a true team environment. I never leave this class disappointed.
Gracie PAC Tampa MMA - best place EVER for your anyone in your family to train at.

Lynzie Johnston reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

Well it's about time I write a review! My boys joined Gracie PAC as little Ninjas about 4 months ago. They absolutely love it! Professor Cris is an amazing teacher! She's very enthusiastic about teaching and she is very patient. My boys love going to class. They are 4 &7 . They never want to miss a class. They have learned so much and continue to learn with each class. They love earning strips on their belt. This is a really great positive atmosphere for kids and families. I'm very satisfied with our experience.

Jesse James Maldonado reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

I took Jiu Jitsu a few years back at another facility and decided to give this one a try. I took my first lesson last night and could not believe the content. Very structured and professional. Easy to learn and everyone was eager to assist me being the new guy. Other places teach you a couple of moves. Each involving many steps and you still won't understand it. Garcia PAC teaches you a technique and teaches you other techniques that involve some of the same steps. It made me confident that if I try something and am not able to secure the submission, then I can roll into another technique just as easy and It gives you options and makes you think. I liked that approach rather than what I was given in the past. A+ school and is 100% legit. I am confident this time around I will take it all the way with my training. When you find a place like this you take advantage of the opportunity to train there.

Meghann Thacker reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

We love it at Gracie PAC! They focus on fitness, strength, form, and most importantly they work hard every lesson to help teach my children how to effectively defend themselves against bullies and other attacks. It's easy to see this group of educators clearly loves kids and have a passion for sharing their vast knowledge with their students! Best MMA in the Bay for kids!

Chandra Ahrendt reviewed Gracie PAC MMA —
via Facebook

I took my first class tonight. As soon as you enter, you are greeted by smiling faces who are just as excited to have you there as you are to be there. The coaches there were phenomenal. They were so incredibly encouraging and patient, it was a breeze picking it up because there was no pressure. Great job at creating such an inviting atmosphere.

Gracie PAC MMA Tampa Martial Arts & Fitness for All Ages!
Call us today to get started 813-244-1293
Request Information


Our latest news & thoughts

The Super Foods

When talking eating, most nutrition experts talk in terms of calories, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This habit has trickled down to non-nutrition experts as well. This is unfortunate because one important lesson we try to teach all of our clients is this – we don’t eat calories, proteins, carbohydrates and fats!

So then, what do we eat? Although we sometimes get wrapped up in the technical terms, we usually forget the fact that we still eat plain ol’ food. Why make this point? Well, one problem associated with the calorie and macronutrient focus so popular in the media today, is that a big disconnect between knowledge and practice easily develops.

For instance, it’s all fine and good to know you should be eating a diet that’s 30% fat. But what good is that information if you don’t even know how much fat is in your current diet? How useful is that percentage if you couldn’t even calculate how much fat is in your current diet if you wanted to? That’s right, we’ve seen too many athletes (non-athletes too) speak pseudo- knowledgably about proteins, carbs, and fats only to completely miss the boat when it comes to actually eating the macronutrients they know they’re supposed to be eating. It’s important to know both which macronutrients are important and which foods contain these macronutrients.

Using the 10 habits discussed in the last chapter as a guide, presented below is a food list for each category of habit. This list will help you better categorize which foods should be eaten and when.


Lean, Complete Proteins (Eat with each feeding opportunity)

Lean meats (ground beef, chicken, turkey, etc.); fish (salmon, tuna, etc.); eggs (egg whites); low fat dairy (cottage cheese, yogurt); milk protein supplements (whey, casein, milk protein blends).


Simple Sugars (Eat only during and after exercise, if at all)

Soda, fruit juice, table sugar, sports drinks, breakfast cereal (some varieties), etc.

Starchy Carbohydrates (Eat mostly after exercise)

Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, oats, cereal grains (wheat, rye, etc), etc.

Fruits and Vegetables (Eat with each feeding)

Spinach, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, oranges, avocados, berries, etc.

Saturated Fats (About 1/3 of total fat intake)

Animal fats (fat in eggs, dairy, meats, butter, etc.), coconut oil, palm oil, etc.

Monounsaturated Fats (About 1/3 of total fat intake)

Olive oil, nuts, avocado, etc.

Polyunsaturated Fats (About 1/3 of total fat intake)

Vegetable fats, flax seeds/oil, fish oil, etc.

The 20 Superfoods

When some people think of eating well, they often use words like “watching what I eat.” The idea of “watching what you eat” however, has become synonymous with eliminating foods from your diet. If you want to achieve the optimal intersection of health, body composition, and performance, this is a mistake. The best nutrition programs offer additions, not subtractions. In other words, they teach you which foods you should be eating more of. Spend most of your feedings eating from the “good foods” list and you won’t have much time for those on the “bad foods” list.

To give you a head start, listed below are 20 great foods you should absolutely include in your daily plan. These foods fit nicely into the 10 Habits above.

  1. Lean Red Meat (93% lean, top round, sirloin)
  2. Salmon
  3. Omega 3 Eggs
  4. Lowfat, plain yogurt (lactose-free if you can find it)
  5. Supplemental Protein (milk protein isolates, whey protein isolates, or
    rice protein isolates)
  6. Spinach
  7. Tomatoes
  8. Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower)
  9. Mixed Berries (a variety of different types of berries including
    strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc)
  10. Oranges
  11. Mixed Beans (a variety of different types of beans including kidney, navy, white, etc)
  12. Quinoa (Ancient grains)
  13. Whole Oats (large flake)
  14. Mixed Nuts (a variety of different types of nuts including pecans,
    walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, etc)
  15. Avocados
  16. Olive Oil (extra virgin)
  17. Fish Oil (salmon, anchovy, menhaden)
  18. Flax Seeds (ground)
  19. Green Tea
  20. Liquid Exercise Drinks (quickly digested carbohydrate and protein)

If you’re curious as to why these foods are so super, check out the list below.

Protein Foods

Lean Red Meat (93% lean, top round, sirloin)

In addition to being a great metabolism boosting protein source, red meat is full of B-vitamins, the most absorbable iron, CLA (a fat-burning fatty acid), and creatine (for muscle building).


Salmon offers the dynamic duo of fat burning – protein and fish oil. At this point, you should know all too well that protein does a great job of revving the metabolism. But what you might not know is what fish oil can do for you. According to numerous research studies, the right amount of the kind of omega 3 fats found in fish oil can boost metabolism by a whopping 400 calories each day. It does this while fighting diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Better eat your fish.

Omega 3 Eggs

Omega 3 eggs pack a similar one-two, protein, omega 3 punch. Protein plus the heart-healthy, disease fighting, metabolism boosting omega 3 fats is a hard combo to beat. Don’t fear the yolk, that’s where the omega 3s are.

Low-fat Plain Yogurt (lactose-free if you can find it)

Yogurt is a smooth and creamy way to boost the protein and calcium content of your diet. You already are wise to the benefits of protein. Eat yogurt and you also get some great calcium. Research from the University of Tennessee shows that increased calcium intake speeds the metabolism and promotes fat loss. That’s right, calcium is not just for bones and teeth.

Supplemental Protein (milk protein isolates, whey protein isolates, or rice protein isolates)
Supplemental protein powder powers up your metabolism in a quick, easy, and convenient way. Can’t get a feeding? No problem. Whip up a shake and get the muscle building, metabolism boosting power of protein without having to cook food. For an extra calcium and antioxidant boost throw in some yogurt and berries.

Carbohydrate Foods


Spinach ranks top of the veggie list because of its strong base content. A spinach salad or some cooked spinach can neutralize nearly any dietary acid-forming food and that’s good for the bones and the muscles. Spinach has also got fiber to improve gastrointestinal health and promote fat loss. It’s also got folic acid for reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and memory loss with aging. Popeye was right; you’d better eats your spinach!


In addition to being good tasting, full of fiber and vitamin C, cooked tomatoes (even those in tomato sauce) are rich in lycopene. Increase your lycopene intake and enjoy a 50% reduction in heart disease risk and risk of prostate cancer.

Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower)

These veggies contain a special class of nutrients called indoles that have been found to protect against a variety of cancers, balance hormonal status, and offer antioxidant benefits. When mother nature made these veggies, she also added in some fiber for good measure. Next time you sit down to a feeding; put aside your salad in favor of a vegetable medley.


Avocados are actually fruits, not vegetables. Surprised? Well how about this, avocados are probably the healthiest fruits on the block. Avocados contain a heaping portion of B-vitamins, fiber, folic acid, and zinc (among other nutrients). And of course, let’s not forget the monounsaturated fats in avocados. These are the same healthy fats we find in olive oil. While it should be obvious these are darn good for you, here’s a hot tip. The zinc thing is big for men, since zinc status is related to testosterone production.

Mixed Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, etc.)

Berries are one of the best antioxidant foods around. In fact, they rank highest in their ability to soak up those nasty, cell-damaging oxygen free radicals. If you want to reduce the signs and symptoms of aging, berries are one of your best choices.


Oranges are best known for what? Their vitamin C content, of course. But they also happen to be great sources of fiber as well as folic acid. An orange a day may keep the doctor away.

Quinoa (Ancient Grains)

The nutritive properties of quinoa have given it the title of super grain. Even back as far as the Incan empire, Inca warriors fed themselves quinoa to make them strong for work and battle. This is due to the fact that quinoa is rich in a variety of energy-producing vitamins and minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and B-vitamins. In addition to these benefits, quinoa is one of the only grains that provide complete protein. Finally, since quinoa contains no gluten, it’s the best grain for those with gastrointestinal problems with other grains.

Whole Oats (Large Flake)

Oats and quinoa run neck and neck for the title of healthiest grain, so make sure you include both of them in your diet. Oats have a low glycemic index therefore they control blood sugars well. They are also rich in the B-vitamins and vitamin E, are hypoallergenic relative to wheat and other grains, and contain more soluble fiber than any other grain. Just remember, though, you’ll want to save your grains for the post-exercise period. That’s when your body best tolerates carbohydrates.

Fat Foods

Mixed Nuts (Pecans, Walnuts, Cashews, Brazil Nuts, etc.)

While nuts used to be considered bad news because of the fat, we now know nuts are one of the healthiest foods around. Eating nuts regularly has been shown to decrease the risks for several diseases (including heart disease) and to promote weight loss. This is due to the fact that nuts are rich in dietary fiber, magnesium, copper, folic acid, potassium, and vitamin E. In addition, they’re loaded with healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats to speed up metabolism. You’re nuts if you don’t eat your nuts.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It should come as no surprise that this cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet is on our healthy foods list. The monounsaturated fats that come from olive oil play a role in reducing the risk for all sorts of diseases. In addition, they speed up metabolism. Prepare your feedings with olive oil and pretend you’re dining on the coast of the Mediterranean.

Fish Oil (Salmon, Anchovy, Menhaden)

The specific fats (EPA and DHA) in fish oils are considered, by some experts, a cure-all. Fish oil supplementation has been shown to reduce depression, protect against virtually every disease of modern society, boost muscle mass, reduce body fat, and to speed up metabolism. Taking 6-10grams of fish oil (via supplements) per day is the best way to fast track yourself to all of these benefits. So swim upstream with the salmon for a lean body.

Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil

Flax seeds and flax seed oils should be a daily part of your diet. These products contain the heart-healthy omega 3 fats you keep hearing so much about. As mentioned, these oils have been shown to have benefits in disease reduction, improving intelligence, reducing depression, boosting metabolism and increasing muscle building. Heck, they’ve even been shown to reduce the symptoms of menopause in women. Flex those muscles with flax.

Liquid Drinks

Green Tea

There’s an old Chinese saying that goes “Better to go without food for a week than green tea for a day.” And those Chinese were onto something. Green tea offers too many benefits to name: from cancer prevention to fat loss from improved blood sugar, to better blood circulation. Live longer and better by drinking your green tea.

Liquid Exercise Drinks (Quickly Digested Carbohydrate and Protein)

Liquid recovery drinks offer more than just muscle recovery. They also improve bone mass and immune function. These quick digesting, targeted nutrition drinks make it much easier to reap all the rewards you deserve from your exercise program. When it’s time to go workout, make sure you don’t leave home without them.


  • We eat food, not calories, proteins, carbs, and fats. So rather than speaking in nutrition science terms, speak in food terms – meat, oranges, oats, and other foods.
  • Nutrient timing strategies are important as the body handles different nutrients best at different times of the day. If you pay attention to how much you eat, what you eat, and when you eat, you can more easily control your body composition.
  • Some foods are better than others and a great criterion for evaluation is this one –the micronutrient to calorie ratio. Those foods with a higher micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) to calorie ratio offer more nutritional bang for your buck.

    Excerpt from The Grapplers Guide