Monday, July 31, 2017

5 Reasons Why You Should Stretch Every Morning

 
 
 
  As we get older certain things happen to our bodies. We may become less flexible, we may experience back and joint pains and we may start suffering from bad posture, but these things aren’t a guarantee. If you’re determined to stay flexible, reduce pain and remain upright into later life then there are things you can do to make that happen. Something as simple as stretching every morning before work can do wonders for your posture and ensure you remain subtle and flexible into old age, so what are you waiting for?
Read on for 5 reasons why you should start stretching every day starting from right now!
 

MY Health Coach Help:

stick to your stretches and you can’t expect everything to improve straight away, but if you keep at it you’ll reap tons of benefits in the long run.

1. Improve Your Posture

In today’s sedentary world, it is easier than ever before to develop bad posture. If you spend most of your days sitting behind a desk and/or slumped in front of a computer then your back muscles are going to tighten and your body is going to start remembering this position, making it harder to maintain good posture in your free time. Bad posture makes you appear less confident, it can lead to back pains, it may make certain tasks more difficult and in the long term it can alter your stance and slump your shoulders.
Good posture, in contrast, has loads of unexpected health and well-being benefits. Good posture can make you appear more powerful and confident and even helps alleviate anxiety as a result, it makes you appear thinner and taller, it can actually help you burn around 350 calories a day just by standing up straight, it helps keep your airways open and allows more oxygen to flow through your body to ensure proper breathing, it can help you tone up your abs and strengthen your core, it can alleviate stress and it can even make you more productive!
And you can have all of this and more if you just incorporate some simple stretches into your morning routine! Of course in order to see lasting results you will have to

2. Less Pain

Doctors say that morning stretches can help get rid of those pesky aches and pains in your joints and muscles. These pains are often attributed to inactivity, bad posture and morning stiffness so it’s a good idea to spend a bit of time every morning warming yourself up for the day and ironing out strains or aches before you start your day.
If you suffer from back pain, then stretching in the mornings can be particularly effective. Not only will the stretching reduce the pain which is already there but it will prevent future pain by reducing tension in your back muscles and spine.

3. Improves Energy Levels

When you wake up in the morning you may feel too tired to stretch, but if you power through you may well find that your morning stretch gives you enough energy to make it through the rest of the day! Stretching increases blood flow and moved more oxygen to your muscles and brain, which results in more energy and improved concentration, and it will also help you relax and get mentally prepared for the day.
Stretching can also increase vitality and remove more waste from your muscle tissues. A simple stretch when you wake up can help you support and maintain energy levels throughout the rest of your day so you feel more rested, more alert and ready to take on whatever life throws at you!

4. Improves Flexibility

When you spend the majority of your time sitting down it tightens your muscles and decreases your flexibility. This is obviously a problem is you enjoy gymnastics and want to be able to do high kicks and/or do the splits into your eighties, but even if flexibility isn’t on the top of your list of concerns it is still very important for your health and well-being. Low levels of flexibility and tight muscles can make you far more susceptible to injury later in life and may therefore limit your mobility and freedom, and improved flexibility provides a number of benefits including preventing back pain, balance problems and improving fitness levels and co-ordination.
A simple stretch in the morning relaxes your muscles and slowly improves your flexibility over time so without even realizing it you will be able to avoid many of the problems associated with every day wear and tear.

5. Improves Mood

You may think that an extra ten minutes in bed would do much more for your mood than all the stretching in the world could ever hope to achieve, but in reality stretching can do wonders for your mood levels and happiness. Stretching is physical activity and like many other forms of exercise it accelerates the release of
endorphins. Endorphins are sometimes referred to as natures ‘high’ and for good reason; they improve your mood and make you happier, they relax you and make you calmer and they help take your mind off all your worries so you are better able to start your day on a positive note.
Stretching also releases muscle tension and can help you get your Zen on before you’ve even had your coffee! If you have a stressful job and tend to sweat the small stuff, then stretching in the morning can really make a difference for your mood and general well being

Getting Started

Start with this simple relaxation exercise: Slowly roll down your spine head first until you are bent over your legs as if you were trying to touch your toes. Once you are down swing your arms and gently shake your back, and then slowly roll up vertebrae by vertebra until you are in an upright position again; your head should be the first thing to go down and the last thing to go up. This simple exercise will gently exercise your spine, help straighten you out and improve relaxation at the same time!
READ NEXT ARTICLE
References:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/430886-what-are-the-benefits-of-stretching-in-the-morning/http://goodrelaxation.com/2012/02/health-benefits-of-stretching-in-the-morning/http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/importance-stretching-after-waking-up-4495.html

 

How to make a smoothie bowl

 
 
 
Smoothies are quintessential summer drinks. With the right ingredients, they can be healthy, portable and convenient — drinks you can feel good about slurping. While you may enjoy them for their refreshing, delicious flavors, some days you just might crave more texture and crunch. Enter the smoothie bowl, which swaps out the straw and cup for a spoon and bowl.

Instead of paying a hefty price for a store-bought bowl, make one at home with ingredients you already have on hand. If you haven’t dabbled in the smoothie-with-a-spoon concept (but have been inspired by extensive posts on Instagram), never fear. It’s super simple! You can transform your favorite smoothie by using less base liquid or adding a thickener like avocado, chia seeds or even dried dates. If you don’t have a favorite go-to smoothie recipe, this is the perfect time to experiment.
 
1. Pick your base. You'll need 1 1/2 cups frozen fruit and 1/4 cup liquid (water, O.J., milk), plus 1/4 cup of yogurt or peanut or almond butter, if you'd like. (If you're using fresh fruit, add a couple of ice cubes.) For me, the brighter, the better.   blend blueberries to make a super-bright canvas for less colorful sunflower, pumpkin, and chia seeds 
 
2. Blend. The mixture might be thick, but that's a good thing. The key here is to create a foundation that will hold up to the stuff you're about put on top of it. (Soupy smoothie bowl = bad.) If the blade is having trouble moving, add one tablespoon more liquid until it's able to blend. 
3. Pour. There's no secret. Put it in a bowl.
4. Top! This is where the fun comes in: Choose a colorful combo of fruit (diced pineapple, pomegranate seeds, strawberry slices), then raid the pantry for nuts (shelled pistachios always a good choice), seeds, toasted coconut flakes, chopped dark chocolate, whatever you're in the mood for. Have you ever seen anything more artful than   It's museum-quality.

5. Grab a spoon. 
6. Wow your friends. Get creative,   and post it to Instagram—#smoothiebowl currently has a cool   Because what's the point of making something so beautiful if no one's going to see it?  

 strawberry acai smoothie bowl




Ingredients
  • 1 large frozen banana, peeled
  • ¾ cup frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp acai berry powder
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional, I used Vega Performance Protein)
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • ½ cup water (use 1 cup if you're also adding protein powder)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • extra fruit and toasted coconut, to garnish


Instructions
  • Place all ingredients except chia seeds in a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Stir in the chia seeds
  • Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes. This will allow the chia seeds to absorb some of the water and make the smoothie thicker.
  • Blend one more time, then pour it into two bowls.
  • Top with fruit of choice and toasted coconut if desired.

Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl

Yield: 1 smoothie bowl
Ingredients
    for the smoothie
  • 1 cup chopped frozen mango
  • 1 cup chopped frozen pineapple
  • 1 packet of frozen pitaya (dragon fruit) puree
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach (or other green)
  • 1/2 kiwi, peeled
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop Tropical Tango Vega Protein Smoothie Powder
  • for the bowl
  • granola (  Lemon Blueberry Granola)
  • chopped fresh fruit of choice: strawberries, banana, kiwi, mango, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
Instructions
  1. Combine the smoothie ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour about 1/4 cup of granola into the serving bowl. Top with the smoothie. Top with more granola and fresh fruit of choice. Serve immediately. Enjoy!



Vegan Berry Crunch Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped kale or baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1½ cups frozen mixed berries
  • ½ frozen banana (Yes, you can use a regular banana, but then you may have to add some ice to your smoothie bowl.)
  • 1-2 teaspoons light agave (depending on how sweet you like things)
  • Suggested Toppings:
  • ½ banana, sliced
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2-3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut shavings, raw or toasted
  • ¼ cup granola of your choice
Instructions
  1. Place the kale or spinach, chia seeds, and milk in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. (This will ensure that you don’t have any gross, chewy greens in your smoothie bowl.)
  2. Add the frozen mixed berries, banana, and agave to the blender. Puree, scraping down the sides of the blender periodically, until relatively smooth. Don’t be crazy about getting it completely smooth, people. You won’t be drinking this through a straw, so a little texture is good!
  3. Pour smoothie into a bowl and garnish with toppings of your choice. Serve immediately.
READ NEXT ARTICLE
from Domesticate me

Omega-3 vs. Omega-6

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for many aspects of health, and many of us are not getting enough of them. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we should just start chugging the fish oil. Source matters and there are some big problems with certain types of fish oil supplements. More on that below, but Omega-3s (from high quality sources) have many benefits.
The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that Omega-3 fatty acids from fish may be useful for:
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease and causes of death associated with heart disease
  • Decreasing severity of symptoms associated with diabetes
  • Alleviating pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reducing risk of osteoporosis and bone loss
  • Improving health and reducing symptoms for those with autoimmune disease
  • Helping those with anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder
  • Reducing risk of various types of cancers
  • Improving cognitive function
 here are two main types of Omega-3s:
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in certain vegetable oils, walnuts, and some green vegetables.
  • The other type, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is found in fatty fish.
The body can convert some ALA to EPA & DHA but is not very efficient at this process, so it is important to also consume sources of EPA/DHA. These nutrients are especially recommended during pregnancy and nursing (and are in most prenatal vitamins) because only certain forms of DHA are transferred across the placenta.

Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 = Ratio Matters

Omega-3s are important, but what is even more important, is consuming a healthy ratio of Omega-6 (n-6) and Omega-3 (n-3) fats. In fact, I suspect that we will find over time that this ratio is the confounding factor in fish oil research.
Both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats are considered polyunsaturated fats because they have many double bonds. In general, we need much smaller amounts of these fats than we do other fats like saturated and monounsaturated fats, but they are still vitally important. Our bodies aren’t able to produce polyunsaturated fats so we must get them from diet (this is the reason they are called “essential fatty acids”).
Omega-6 fats are found in many processed foods, vegetable oils, processed grains, and soy. Omega-6 fats increase inflammation while Omega-3 fats can help reduce inflammation. Since n-6 fats are present in many processed foods, it is easy to understand why most of us get plenty of these in our diets. In fact, many people get way too much in their diets! (source)
The ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats is thought to be around 1:1 (and not higher than 4:1). Most people are consuming much higher amounts of Omega-6 fats (up to 30:1). Higher amounts of Omega-6 can contribute to inflammation within the body and to disease.
Of course there are two ways to change this ratio: increasing Omega-3 consumption or decreasing Omega-6 consumption.

he Sourcing Matters… A Lot

Omega-3s (like all nutrients) are best obtained from food. In fact, the research documents a strong inverse relationship between fish consumption and heart disease and death. In other words, generally, the more fish a population eats, the lower its rates of heart disease and all causes of death.
The same unfortunately can’t be said about fish oil supplementation. In fact, this is where the controversy starts.
I have read studies that indicate that fish oil reduces heart disease. Other studies show it has no affect or may be harmful to the heart.
Some studies show that fish oil supplementation is good for the brain. Others show a negative effect.
Studies claim that fish oil helps improve insulin sensitivity and reduces diabetes risk. Other meta-analysis results show no benefit over the long term.

Ratio and Source of Fish Oil

In my opinion, the abundance of conflicting info indicates three things:
  1. A strong genetic component to fish oil needs between populations and people
  2. Lack of differentiation among types and qualities of fish oil in studies
  3. Not taking into account the Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio in the body
I strongly suspect that further research will indicate that the ratio is a critical key in understanding Omega-3. Getting the benefits won’t just be about taking a fish oil supplement, but also reducing Omega-6 consumption. This is one of the reasons I avoid vegetable oils and margarine at all costs. These are very high sources of Omega-6!

Best Fish Oil Source? Fish!

This may be shocking, but the best source of fish oil is fatty fish! Consumption of quality sources of fatty fish (like sardines) is the most well-studied beneficial source of Omega-3.
I’ve always said that food should come before supplements as a priority and never is this more true that with fish. If the budget is tight or you aren’t sure about fish oil supplementation, eating fish is a great way to go.
Our family incorporates fatty fish like sardines at least a couple times a week as a source of Omega-3. I order high-quality sardines in bulk from about once a month. We also order high-quality low-mercury fish and incorporate them into our diet.
That said, some people don’t like or don’t eat seafood. In these cases, fish oil supplementation may be helpful, depending on source, genetics and dose. Fish oil supplements are increasingly popular with concerns about environmental toxins and heavy metals. We still prefer whole-fish sources whenever possible and make sure to order high quality fish where metals and radiation aren’t a concern.

Fish Oil Supplements: What I’ve Used

This is where the waters get murky. I highly recommend doing your own research on any supplements, including fish oil. All fish oil supplements are not created equal. Certain forms of fish oil contain altered forms of Omega-3s and can actually contribute to inflammation in the body.
Here’s why:
Many Omega-3 supplements are in ethyl ester form, which is an altered form created when ethanol is fused with the fish oil. This creates an extremely pure fish oil concentrate, but not one that is very bioavailable. These types of fish oils are often hard to digest and can oxidize easily. The real difference, however, is in the digestion of these different types of fish oils. The natural triglyceride form breaks down in the small intestine and can be easily absorbed. Fish oils in the ethyl ester form are much more difficult for the body to break down and are not absorbed as easily once broken down. (source)
The natural triglyceride (TG) form is purified but still in a form that the body recognizes and can easily digest. It can be taken without food and doesn’t go rancid or smell strongly.

My Fish Oil Criteria

Searching for an Omega-3 supplement should always meet the following criteria:
  • Natural Triglyceride form of Omega-3
  • Concentrated doses of EPA and DHA
  • Sustainably sourced (krill oil populations are declining so I prefer sources like anchovy or sardine which are more sustainable)
  • Free of contaminants and heavy metals
  • At least 2 grams of concentrated Omega-3s without having to swallow a handful of pills
This Omega-3 supplement meets those criteria and doesn’t have a fish aftertaste. This is the one I take when I need extra Omega-3s.

Fish Oils & Omega-3s: Bottom Line

We know fish is healthy. Studies show a strong link between consumption of fish and longer life and reduced heart disease risk. Most doctors have suggested seafood consumption for years and the research backs this up. In the light of recent concerns about heavy metal toxicity and radiation, it is important to choose high quality seafood. Sardines are a great food source of Omega-3 and are inexpensive and easy to eat on the go. In fact, most fish oil supplements use sardines as the source. So skip the pill and eat some real fish! Cod liver oil has traditionally been considered a whole food way to get the benefits of fish oil as well. Our family has taken this in the past, but it has been the subject of some recent controversy as well.
It is also important to pay attention to Omega-3 and Omega-6 ratios in the body. Instead of only focusing on consuming more Omega-3, we should pay attention to the amount of Omega-6 we consume and work to get those numbers to a healthy ratio.
At the end of the day, more fish, more veggies, and less processed foods (with vegetable oils) are the way to go!

 

 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

3 Healthy Meal Replacement Shakes

Blueberry Bluster Shake

 

his shake is perfect for breakfast! It's refreshing and tasty. To avoid getting clumps of powder in your shake, add wet ingredients to the blender first.

Then add the remaining ingredients (except ice). Blend on medium for one minute, and leave it out for a while if you want it to be thicker. Add ice cubes as desired. Makes 2 cups.
 

Ingredients:

  • - 18Shake vanilla, 2 scoops
  • - Water or milk, 8 oz
  • - 6 ice cubes
  • - Blueberries, 20-30

Minutes to Prepare: 5

 

 

Super Green Smoothie


Green smoothies are so delicious, we think they might be addictive!
Add all ingredients to blender except spinach.

Press "pulse" several times. Next, add the spinach and blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.
Makes approximately 2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • - 18Shake vanilla, 2 scoops
  • - Filtered water ,8 oz
  • - 1 banana, peeled
  • - Strawberries, 8
  • - 1 large mango, peeled
  • - 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • - 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

Minutes to Prepare: 10

 

Apple Pie Shake

 

This is one of the best healthy shake recipes we've found! It's great for lunch or a late dinner.
Combine all ingredients in the blender. Crush 4 ice cubes in blender. Add milk and then all other ingredients.
It's a delicious, thick, healthy meal replacement shake!
Makes approximately 2 cups.


Ingredients:

  • - 18Shake vanilla, 2 scoops
  • - Milk, 6-8 oz
  • - 4 ice cubes
  • - Applesauce - 0.5 cup
  • - Sliced almonds - 1 tbsp
  • - Ground cinnamon - 1 tbsp
  • - Natural sweetener or sugar

Minutes to Prepare: 10

 

 
post signature

Monday, July 17, 2017

Watermelon "Pizza"

 

 

 

With no added sugar! 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

Watermelon
Coconut Cream (whipped)
Strawberries
Kiwis
Apricots
Blueberries
Coconut Flakes
Granola
Mint

PREPARATION

1. Cut a ripe watermelon into round discs about 1-2 inches thick.
2. Scoop 8 ounces of coconut cream into a bowl.
3. Use a mixer to whip the cream until it reaches a soft consistency.
4. Cut 2-3 strawberries into thin slices.
5. Cut 1-2 kiwis into thin slices.
6. Cut 1 apricot into thin slices.
7. Spread the mixed coconut cream around the top of the watermelon disc.
8. Place the cut strawberries, kiwis and apricot slices on top of the coconut cream.
9. Add in blueberries, coconut flakes and granola.
10. Sprinkle a few sprigs of mint across the top the dessert.
11. Enjoy!
post signature

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Naturally Suppress Your Appetite

 
found on Caroline Apovian, M.D.website
 
Do you find yourself constantly snacking throughout the day? Do you feel cravings no matter what you eat? Does your hunger distract you from your work and weight loss goals? Try these eight simple interventions that help to reduce hunger pangs, cut calories, and banish cravings.
 

1. Eat Protein for Breakfast

Protein is the most satiating of the macronutrients, meaning that it helps you to feel full the longest. Protein also guards and builds up lean muscle mass, which is a key component in maintaining a healthy, efficient metabolism. A popular study comparing weight loss breakfasts divided overweight participants into two groups. The first group was fed a low protein bagel breakfast, and the second was given a high protein egg breakfast containing the same amount of calories. Over the eight-week study period, the egg group had lost 65 percent more weight and a 34 percent greater reduction in waist circumference. 
Need an easy and fast way to power up on protein in the morning? Try my protein powder for weight loss and dozens of free smoothie recipes.

2. Pay Attention to Fiber

Foods that contain high amounts of fiber take longer to digest than other foods, increase feelings of satiety, and raise our metabolic rate, meaning that we will burn more calories following a high fiber meal. Consuming enough fiber in the diet also reduces blood sugar and insulin levels. As an added benefit, most high fiber foods are naturally low in calories and high in nutrients—the most effective combination for weight loss. High fiber foods that are especially good at keeping appetite under control include:
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Whole Grains
  •  
  •  

3. Have a Cup of Decaf

Coffee drinkers have a slight weight loss advantage as compared to those who abstain. While drinking non-caloric liquids in general helps dieters to feel full longer between meals, coffee stimulates the release of a hormone called peptide YY, which is associated with greater feelings of satiety. In one study, decaf coffee seemed to produce this feeling more strongly than caffeinated coffee.
Want to turn your coffee into a high protein weight loss meal? Try my hot base mix. It’s the only protein powder designed to dissolve in hot liquids, and it makes your coffee taste like a latté!'


4. Drink That Water!

Most Americans aren’t getting the prerequisite 8-12 glasses per day. Water keeps the metabolism running smoothly, stops hunger pangs, and is necessary for every function our body performs. Last year, a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. asked 84 individuals with obesity to drink two full glasses of water half an hour before each of their meals for 12 weeks. On average, the group lost nine pounds each during that time without making any other weight loss interventions.
Moreover, the body registers calories much more effectively when they are chewed as opposed to consumed in liquid form. The exception to this rule is drinking high protein smoothies made with whole fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water will help to limit calories from juices, sweetened teas, sodas, and other empty calories that do not translate into satiety.

5. Think Big

If you are like most Americans, you are accustomed to large portion sizes. When starting a new diet, the very thought of cutting back on calories may trigger hunger pangs. Use visual tricks to help your body to feel full by using smaller plates and loading them up with foods that are low in calories, but high in volume. Some foods that are high in volume and low on calories include:
  • Celery
  • Arugula
  • Watermelon
  • Bok Choy
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Honeydew melon
  • Broth-based soups
  • Romaine lettuce
  •  
  • 6. Move for 10 Minutes

    Short intervals of intense exercise help to decrease levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and increase levels of the satiety hormone PYY. Exercise also helps to reduce stress, which is a leading cause of sudden hunger pangs and cravings. Before every meal, try a brief 10-15 minute bout of aerobic exercise.


    7. Play Tetris!

    Many times during the day, cravings come from a desire to alleviate boredom, or to experience a reward, rather than actual homeostatic hunger. Quash these sorts of cravings with a brief game of Tetris or Candy Crush. Even a few minutes of playing an online game helped participants to reduce cravings in one study.

    8. Sniff Some Peppermint

    Different studies have shown that certain fragrances, including peppermint, suppress the appetite. In one study from Wheeling Jesuit University, participants sniffed peppermint essential oils every couple of hours over the course of two weeks. They reported decreased cravings, less overall feelings of hunger, and significantly lower daily calorie intake than when they did not use the peppermint essential oil. Try using an essential oil yourself, or recreate the effect with unsweetened peppermint tea.

     
   post signature

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rice and Chickpea Salad With Cherries


 Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post


This simple, summery salad gets texture and tart-sweet flavor from fresh cherries.
If you can't find fresh cherries, use dried instead: Add 2 tablespoons boiling water to 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries, let them stand for 10 minutes, then drain and chop them.
Where to Buy: If you don't want to cook your own brown rice, look for pouches of precooked brown rice, such as Uncle Ben's brand, or cooked/frozen brown rice, available at Whole Foods Market.
 ested size: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, warmed (see headnote)
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (may substitute white wine or sherry vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 32 fresh cherries (about 9 ounces), pitted and quartered (see headnote)
  • 1 3/4 cups home-cooked or no-salt-added canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (from one 15-ounce can)
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or in pinches (about 1/2 cup)

    Directions

    Combine the brown rice, scallions, basil, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cherries and chickpeas in a mixing bowl, stirring to incorporate. Taste, and add more salt and pepper, as needed.
    Divide among individual bowls, sprinkle each evenly with the goat cheese, and serve.
post signature

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Knee Pain Smoothie

 
Your knees are among the most important joints in your body. They play an integral role in proper posture and all movements of the legs, from walking and running to standing and jumping. However, injury, wounds and aging can cause the ligaments and tendons in the knees to lose their lubrication and flexibility over time.
While this process is natural, it’s important to do what you can to protect your knees from damage so they can stay strong, healthy and flexible. Maintaining strong muscles and a healthy weight are key to healthy joints. Your muscles help support your joints and can lower the risk of wear and tear and help prevent damage and injury. Maintaining a healthy weight is equally important, as extra pounds apply excess weight and stress on your knees when you walk. The knees need to remain strong and flexible so they can support your body and help you maintain your mobility and live a happy and healthy life.
Whether you have bad knees or want to maintain healthy ligaments and tendons, this amazing smoothie recipe can help. Featuring three powerful ingredients of pineapple, cinnamon and oats, this smoothie can help strengthen ligaments and tendons, as well as facilitate the natural lubrication of the knees.
Pineapple contains three powerful vitamins that play an integral role in joint health. Bromelain helps reduce pain and inflammation, while vitamin C helps produce and repair collagen, the protein in connective tissues that keeps the joints strong. Pineapple is also rich in copper, which promotes healthy joints.
How to Use Pineapples to Help Strengthen Your
Cinnamon and oats are also key ingredients for healthy joints. Cinnamon is prized for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and the avenanthramides in oats help reduce inflammation.
Along with strengthening the knees, this nutrient-packed smoothie can boost your energy and strengthen other parts and systems of the body. The smoothie also contains a variety of other vital nutrients, including magnesium, silicon, potassium and calcium, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties, alleviate pain and swelling, and promote strong bones. Best of all, this smoothie is absolutely delicious!
Pineapple, Cinnamon and Oats Smoothie Recipe
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup natural oatmeal, cooked
  • 1 cup water
  • 40 g honey
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh natural orange juice
  • 7 g cinnamon
  • 40 g crushed almonds
Directions:
Squeeze the juice from the pineapple chunks into a cup or bowl. In the blender, add the orange juice, honey, almonds and cinnamon and blend well. While the blender is still running, add the pineapple juice and oatmeal. Once mixed and smooth, add some ice cubes and blend again. Enjoy!
  post signature

Sleep in Cooler Bedroom. and lose fat

 




Here's Today's Tip... Sleep in Cooler Bedroom.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the optimal temperature for sleep is between 65 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit (F). The body naturally decreases temperature to initiate sleep, and sleeping in a room that’s set at a cooler temperature can help facilitate this process. Interestingly, research suggests that some instances of insomnia may be related to poor body temperature regulation.
In addition to optimizing sleep, new research also shows that sleeping in a cooler bedroom may also have a positive impact on metabolism and metabolic health. In a recent study published in the journal Diabetes, a group of researchers affiliated with the National Institutes of Health assessed the effects of varying bedroom temperatures on brown adipose tissue (BAT), metabolic rate, and insulin sensitivity in a group of healthy young men.
Before continuing, it’s important to note that BAT is a very distinct type of fat and drastically different than unwanted body fat (i.e., white adipose tissue, WAT). The function of BAT is to burn calories as heat in order to keep the body warm when exposed to cold temperatures.  However, BAT levels seem to decline with age and appear to be lower in individuals with higher levels of WAT. Activating BAT and tapping into its ability to increase thermogenesis (and burn WAT) is a novel, cutting-edge angle of the anti-obesity equation.
During the first month of the crossover study, participants slept in a climate-controlled research facility set at 75 degrees F. During the second month, the temperature was set at 66 degrees F. During the third and fourth months, the temperature of the rooms was set at 75 and 81 degrees F, respectively.
The results of the study were striking. During the second month when the young men slept in the moderately cooler room (i.e., 66 degrees F), they experienced significant increases BAT amount and activity. In fact, their amount of brown fat nearly DOUBLED. What’s more, sleeping in the colder room also led to significantly increased metabolic rate, improved insulin sensitivity, and beneficial changes in the hormones leptin and adiponectin.
According to the study’s senior author Francesco S. Celi, “These were all healthy young men to start with, but just by sleeping in a colder room, they gained metabolic advantages” that could add up over time. By lowering the temperature (to 65 – 67 degrees F), you may not only sleep better, you may effortlessly tweak your metabolism for the better. To Solid ZZzzzzz...
I hope you are enjoying your weekend, Change That Up.
One more quick thing before I go... if you have not already taken advantage, make sure you grab a copy of the book below... its a good one!
A good friend of mine, Dr. Mark Wiley, one of today's most respected pain relief experts, has just released a brand new book - ARTHRITIS REVERSED.

Even if you don't have arthritis (but certainly if you do, or want to avoid it!)  the unique and powerful insights in this book WILL change your health and life...

Best of all, today the first 1,000 to respond have the opportunity to get this boo
 post signature

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Accurately evaluating how hungry you are


The most helpful healthy-eating tool: Accurately evaluating how hungry you are




The most helpful healthy-eating tool I know is not about what or what not to eat — it’s about tapping into how hungry or full you feel.
Learning (or, I should say, relearning) how to listen and respond to your body’s hunger and satisfed or fullness (satiety) cues is an invaluable key to nourishing yourself well and avoiding overeating. It can help you find balance in any situation, from an ordinary Wednesday night to a weekend beach party.
Healthy babies are born with fine-tuned hunger-satiety mechanisms. Whether they accept food and how much they eat are internally motivated — they feed when they are hungry and stop when they are satisfied.
  But as we grow up and begin to interface with the world, we are influenced more and more by external forces. We are praised for cleaning our plates; we are given candy as a reward for good behavior; we learn to expect a snack during a 45-minute mommy-and-me class; or perhaps we are teased for having a voracious appetite. Before long, these messages take over, and decisions about when and how much to eat become increasingly detached from our physical feelings.
By the time we are adults, we are well-practiced at ignoring our internal cues of hunger and fullness. We eat because we are compelled to finish what is heaped in front of us, because we “deserve” that doughnut after a long day’s work, because plowing through a bucket of popcorn is just what you do at the movies or because a TV ad sparks a chocolate craving.
On the flip side, we also learn to ignore our genuine physical hunger as we accrue years of practice

  with restrictive diets that tell us our appetite is a beast we have to fight.
When I was in private practice as a dietitian, I developed a tool called the Hunger Continuum to help my clients reconnect with and honor their internal sense of hunger and satisfaction, and it proved to be immeasurably helpful. Many have told me it was the one thing that helped them the most — that no matter the circumstances, they were able to stay on a healthy track if they kept the Hunger Continuum in mind.
All it requires is that you stop, check in with yourself, and assign a number to how hungry or satisfied you are on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “famished,” 10 is “painfully stuffed” and 5 is a neutral point of balance. The goal is to stay toward the middle of the scale, between 3, where you have strong but not overwhelming feelings of hunger, and 7, where you are full, but not very full.
To do this, you need to listen to your body, eat when you feel genuine physical hunger — not bored hunger, lonely hunger or stressed-out hunger — and stop eating when you are satisfied but not stuffed.
What number would you say you’re at right now? If you can’t quite tell, don’t worry. It might take some practice, given the many years spent hushing that internal voice. But even if you are not exactly sure where you are on the scale at a given time, merely stopping to check in can help.
It’s best to eat when you reach a 3 — letting your appetite build a little past those first stirrings of hunger but satisfying it before you become ravenous. It’s not always possible to hit that mark — sometimes you don’t have control over when you are able to eat — but you can set up your routine to make it easier to achieve.
Although it sounds contrary to eating according to your appetite, establishing a regular eating pattern helps by getting you into a predictable daily rhythm so you become hungry around the same times each day and can plan your meals and snacks accordingly. That pattern can be three squares a day, mini-meals or something in between — whatever works best for you.
nce that is established, you’ll be better armed to listen to your body and more inclined to pass on the oversize muffins that show up in the break room at work, because you realize you are comfortably at a 5 on the continuum from breakfast earlier. And when you listen to your body’s cues, you will also have the wherewithal to eat something when you are genuinely hungry, even if it is not on the official schedule.
The other side of the spectrum, perhaps more critical for most of us, is knowing when to stop eating. How often do you push back from the dinner table overly stuffed or realize you are beyond full when your spoon scrapes the bottom of the pint of ice cream? You can avoid that kind of overeating, ultimately improving your digestion and keeping your weight in check, by using the continuum.
To use it effectively, make sure you eat slowly, savoring each bite, to give your stomach a chance to tell your brain it has had enough. As you eat, pause to check in periodically to recognize how your satiety is building, and stop eating when you reach a seven on the continuum — comfortably full but not very full. By stopping here, you harness the most personalized and self-nurturing method of portion control, one that responds to your physical needs. Unlike scales and measuring cups, it’s a tool that is with you wherever you go.



Monday, July 3, 2017

Healthy bones for a lifetime

 
 
Throughout life, bone health is especially important for women, who face a higher risk of osteoporosis than men do. Get savvy about what makes your bone bank strong.
Your bones do more for you than you realize. Certainly, they give you the structure and support you need to breathe, walk, carry a heavy bag or ride a bike. And they also protect your organs, anchor your muscles, and store and supply calcium, a mineral that all body cells need. But in recent years, researchers have also discovered that the skeleton plays an important role in the endocrine system, helping to regulate your body's metabolism and sensitivity to insulin.
Throughout life, bone health is especially important for women. Osteoporosis — a disease that causes bones to become more fragile and prone to break — is twice as common in women as in men. About half of white women will develop an osteoporosis-related bone fracture at some point. To put this in perspective, that's more than the risks of breast cancer, heart attack and stroke combined. The risk of osteoporosis and fracture is somewhat lower for black, Asian and Hispanic women.
Think of your skeleton as a bone bank. Just as your financial health benefits from funds that you put aside and can draw on in times of need, your bone health can benefit from a fund of calcium and other minerals stored in your skeleton. Good bone health depends on keeping your bone bank account amply supplied with minerals that can meet your body's needs.

Your bone bank

 Lots of transactions take place in your bone bank account. That's because your bones are living, growing tissues that are constantly changing. Throughout life, bits of old or worn-out bone are broken down and removed, and new bone is formed. This process, called remodeling, is akin to deposits and withdrawals in your bone bank account. Through this process your skeleton refurbishes and maintains itself.

During childhood and adolescence your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and the skeleton grows in size and density. Bone density refers to how much calcium and other minerals your bones contain. The amount of bone tissue in your skeleton (bone mass) increases rapidly. For girls, maximum bone growth takes place in the years between puberty and age 18, and peak bone density is achieved by the early to mid-30s.
But in your early 30s, things begin to change. That's when most people reach their peak bone mass — the maximum amount of bone mass achieved. After that, withdrawals begin to exceed deposits. You gradually start losing bone density in the spongy type of bone tissue (trabecular bone). Although this is normal, what's not normal is when withdrawals exceed deposits at such a rate that portions of your skeleton become weak and brittle.
How likely you are to develop osteoporosis will depend on how much bone mass you attain during your youth and how rapidly you lose it after that. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have in the bank and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.
Some aspects of bone mass aren't within your control. Genetic factors influence how strong and large your bones will be. And in general, women have a lower bone mass than men do. But you can take steps to ensure a healthy bone bank account. While it's important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, the same steps will also protect your bones during adulthood.


What does it mean to have strong bones?

Here are some terms related to bone strength and the bone bank concept.
  • Bone mass is the total amount of bone tissue in your skeleton. Think of it as the total assets in your account at any time.
  • Bone density refers to how tightly that tissue is packed — how mineral-rich your bones are. Envision dollar bills crammed into a safe deposit box. The higher your bone mineral content, the denser and stronger your bones are. When bones contain fewer minerals than normal, they eventually lose their internal supporting structure.
  • Bone strength refers to the ability of bone to withstand stress and is dependent on bone quality, including mass and density. You might compare this to your bank account's ability to handle large daily transactions. In other words, the more bone you have and the denser it is, the stronger your skeleton is — the more plentiful your bone bank account.
Having strong bones make it less likely that you'll develop osteoporosis or experience fractures.

READ NEXT ARTICLE



  post signature