The world of food can be a dangerous place. We are constantly bombarded with messages of what is healthy and what is not. Food marketers are always looking for ways to get us to eat packaged food. A recent trend has been labeling food “natural” or “low fat” and “low sugar”. You can commonly see this with foods such as candy. A high sugar product is marketed as low in fat to trick consumers into thinking it is a healthier food.
Sometimes the worst foods for us are the most delicious. The key to eating healthy is having these treats in moderation. If you totally restrict foods, you may find you crave it even more.
Here are the 10 worst foods that you may want to consider never eating again. These are very unhealthy products that won’t help with nutrition. Check out these unhealthy foods and read our recommendations on what foods to enjoy instead.
1. Theater Popcorn
One of the worst products you can buy at the theater is the popcorn. Unfortunately it is also delicious and addictive. It seems like you can go through a whole large bag of it before the previews are even over. A medium bag of popcorn, with butter topping, has more than 50% of your daily recommended calories. Popcorn can be an amazing snack, if you cook it right. Use an air popper and don’t add any buttery toppings. This treat will be low in calories and much cheaper than buying it at the theater.
2. Fried Chicken
Many people say that fried chicken doesn’t absorb the oils it’s cooked in. It is true that cooking in very hot oil can prevent the chicken meat from getting greasy. Unfortunately the breading on the chicken will be full of fat and calories. Restaurant and store bought fried chicken is even worse, because it can contain saturated and trans fats. Instead of frying the chicken, try baking it instead. You will still get a crisp coating but you can cut the calories in half.
3. Fettuccine Alfredo
This classic Italian American restaurant dish is packed full of calories and extra fat. The original dish is just Parmesan mixed with butter, but modern versions are filled with heavy cream too. Pasta doesn’t have to be an unhealthy meal. Opt for tomato based sauces to cut calories and get more vegetables in your diet. Whole grain pasta will fill you up faster and keep you full for longer. Add in cut up vegetables like peppers and mushrooms to make your meal more filling.
4. Fancy Coffee
Many people enjoy their morning coffees, but you could be packing on the pounds with this seemingly innocent drink. Black coffee has 0-5 calories per glass, making it a smart choice. As soon as you start adding in cream and sugar, the calories go up. Fancy cafe coffees are much worse. They add shots of flavored sugars, top with whipped cream, and drizzle on caramel or chocolate sauce. This can raise the calories to over 300 for one drink. Instead, take your coffee black or with milk.
5. Delivery Pizza
Pizza is a weekend favorite for many families. Not only is this tradition expensive, it could be expanding your waist lines. Adding on extra cheese and fatty meats like pepperoni is a delicious, but unhealthy choice. One slice of pizza could be an entire meal worth of calories. Deep dish pizza is a particularly bad choice. You get extra carbohydrates and calories but eat less of the delicious toppings! Your best bet is to make your own thin crust pizza and top it sparingly with cheese and meats. Add on all the roasted vegetables your heart desires.
6. Fully Loaded Baked Potatoes
This popular side dish is packed with extra calories and fat. Potatoes themselves are high in calories, as they are a starchy carbohydrate. Topping them with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, and more can be heart attack inducing. The good thing is that it is easy to turn this unhealthy food into a smart choice. Skip the butter and use low fat sour cream. If you want to add cheese, use a low fat variety. Add on salsa, green onions, and other low calorie toppings.
While delicious, poutine is one of the most unhealthy foods you could eat. Fried potatoes are topped with artery clogging cheese curds and coated in thick fatty gravy. This Canadian favorite is packed with fat. If you love topping your fries with layers of delicious foods, then try this healthier combination. Baked your potato wedges instead of frying them to cut back on the saturated fats. Top them with chili or a thick ragu. Sprinkle on low fat cheese and enjoy this treat.
8. Beer Nuts
Beer nuts, honey nuts, and chip nuts are all unhealthy snacks. These peanuts are coated in breading, spices, and sugar. They are then fried, amping up the calories even more. Nuts are a great snack if they are dry roasted or left raw. Beer nuts are a popular snack for watching sports, but it could be hurting your health by eating a lot of this treat. Instead, enjoy the baseball favorite of peanuts in their shell. This will keep your hands busy, making you eat less of these high calorie nuts.
9. Mixed Drinks
A mixed cocktail is delicious, but it may contain hidden calories. A gin and tonic could contain close to 200 calories per glass. Tonic water is surprisingly high in sugar. Opt for soda water instead. Many mixed drinks contain simple syrup, which is just sugar and water. Also look for extra calories in added soda and juices. Blended drinks can be particularly bad. A pina colada could be an entire meals worth of fat and sugar in one drink. Instead, look for drinks mixed with diet soda.
Milkshakes are a popular diner beverage, but they are a massively unhealthy drink. A large milkshake could contain 5 cups of ice cream, plus added syrups and cream. Ice cream parlor milkshakes are just as bad. Certain brands can contain over 3000 calories in one drink! If you enjoy a creamy cold drink, then try an ice cream float. Scoop low fat ice cream into a tall glass and pour diet soda over top. You’ll get your delicious milkshake flavors but save a ton of calories.
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Do You Have Back Pain? Here are the 10 Ways to Treat It…
The back is literally the foundation, or control center, of your body. Holding the upper and lower portions together, it’s is subject to a lot of stress and tension just holding everything together. Add a sedentary lifestyle, improper bending and lifting techniques, inadequate sleep, poor hydration, and injuries to the mix and you can end up with serious, life-debilitating back pain.
However, you can do a few easy things at home to ease the pain and prevent further damage. Here are ten easy ways to treat back pain…
1. Take breaks from work
Sitting on you duff for 8 or more hours a day and staring at a computer is not good for your back health. That’s why frequent breaks are important to get up, stretch and walk around to get your circulation flowing.
2. Walk whenever you can
Make a point to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunlight as much as you can. If you have an errand to run, and it’s nearby, do it via a brisk walk to ease any overexertion, or stress, in your nervous system (where back pain often originates).
3. Get some rest
Adequate sleep is vital for back health. When your body feels sore or tired, listen and give it some much needed rest so you don’t fatigue or injure back muscles.
4. Do yoga
Daily exercise is vital for a healthy back, particularly to strengthen the core area of your body—such as your hip flexors, abdominals, obliques, and lower back—so these muscles can better support the body. Start with a gentle activity such as yoga to stretch, align, and strengthen your body.
5. Stay hydrated
Hydration is vital to the supple elasticity of your muscles and the synovial fluid surrounding and protecting your bones and joints. That’s why drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day is needed to keep the body adequately hydrated.
Mediation works to ease both the body and the mind, and it brings about much deeper clarity and awareness of what ails the body. The deep breathing in meditation also encourages fresh oxygen to the muscles that need it.
7. Get a massage
If sore muscles are a real problem, a massage can help ease inflammation, improve blood flow, and relax muscle tightness to aid in the repair of injured cells.
A lot of muscle pain originates from stress. If you’re feeling tense, take 10 minutes to relax your entire body (even your jaw and tongue) and breathe deeply. If stress is overwhelming you, it may be time to take a mini break or vacation.
9. Don’t overdo it
One way to combat stress and the mental and physical pain that comes with it is to know your limits—both physically and mentally. For instance, try to avoid strain on your body, such as heavy lifting. And if you experience back pain, stop what you’re doing immediately.
10. Unclutter your life
Clutter—both physical and emotional—can be the source of a lot of overwhelming stress. That’s why it’s cleaning to clean that garage, your car, your diet, and your surroundings so you can make room for new healthy habits and healing.
Source: Anna Fleet on Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
END OF YEAR BLOW OUT SALE
Working out at home is becoming one of the most common ways people go about getting into shape and loosing weight. The are many advantages to working out at home, for instance, its comfortable, private, and everything is yours. One of the keys to having a good, successful workout is the type of products you are using to work out. Also, depending on what area of your body you are targeting, you want to make sure that you have exactly what you need in order to get the job done.
Listed below are five MUST have home workout Products.
How you use them and when you use them are completely up to you, but in order to get a successful and rewarding workout you will need these items, at least.
Product #1 – Exercise balls, also known as stability balls, are used for many different workouts and exercises. Those include aerobics, balance, flexibility, strength rehab, stability, and toning. All of these exercising come down to core training and with the many different types of exercise balls, such as medicine balls and weighted balls, you will be sure to get in a good core workout.
Product #2 - Resistance bands can be used as a substitute for all kinds of expensive home gym machines. These bands come in all shapes and sizes and go by many different names including stretch bands and resistance cords. You can work on all different muscles groups from your upper body to your lower body. Another object that these resistance bands substitute for are pull up bars. All though you cannot actually lift yourself off of the ground with these bands, you can simulate the exact same back and chest workout that you would get from a pull up bar.
Product #3 – Weights are a must have. Whether you have them in the form of kettle bells or dumbbells, they are a requirement for upper and lower body success. Although the kettle balls allow for swinging moves that you cannot easily do with regular dumbbells, they both come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Find a set that fits you, because having your own set will allow you to make progress weekly or daily depending on how often you work out.
Product #4 – Plyometric boxes are key for the success of an awesome leg or lower body workout. Simple routines that are performed by using these boxes or steps prove amazing results. Plyometrics steps and boxes come in different heights for different people. It is about challenging yourself to the burning repetition of a leg workout and looking forward to the end reward.
Product #5 – Cardio, everyone needs a little cardio love. Whether you prefer a treadmill or an elliptical, you need to get your cardio workout in no matter what. Both machines are commonly used and it is more a personal preference. Regardless, they can be used for a therapeutic workout, a warm up, or a cool down.
Remember, these are only five of many different workout products. These are simple and will get the job done especially for being at home. They also won’t cost you an arm and a leg like many of the big home gym machines out there.
By possessing these must have products, you can significantly get into shape and loosing weight and bettering your health is what it is all about. Bettering your health not only includes medical conditions, such as blood pressure and metabolism, but also personal conditions such as getting rid of acne and improving your physical appearance. Whatever the reason may be, having these five workout products can improve you health tremendously.
10 Ways To Control Low Blood Pressure
Hypotension, or low blood pressure, occurs when your blood pressure drops below the normal range, which is around 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic) for the average person. Hypotension is treatable; however, if left untreated, it can weaken the heart and cause symptoms of lethargy, weakness, lightheadedness, fatigue, and even fainting due to inadequate blood flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs.
Common causes of low blood pressure include poor diet and malnutrition, loss of blood, and emotional disorders (i.e., bulimia, anorexia). Here are 10 tips for controlling your low blood pressure…
1. Consume a Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet—made up of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables will help keep your blood pressure stable. Also, eating smaller, more frequent meals will encourage digestion and absorption better than larger meals.
2. Stay Hydrated
A key to keeping blood pressure levels from dropping is to stay hydrated. So make sure to drink lots of fluids—including water, herbal teas, and even Gatorade for the electrolytes in attempts to avoid dehydration.
3. Avoid Heat Exhaustion
The heat can wreak havoc on patients with low blood pressure and cause you to faint. So stay out of the heat whenever possible to avoid heat exhaustion in places like saunas, hot baths, showers, during exercise, and outside on unprotected sunny days.
4. Avoid Alcohol
Drinking Alcohol can intensify low blood pressure and dehydration due to the drying affects of booze. So either avoid alcohol entirely or drink only moderately to avoid becoming parched and fatigued.
5. Take Rest
You have to remember that those with low blood pressure have less blood flow to vital muscles, joints, and organs. That’s why it’s important to take it slow, and when you feel fatigued to take frequent rest breaks—particularly when physically exerted, or getting up from a lying or sitting position too quickly.
6. Know the Symptoms
If you feel nauseated or faint (common symptoms of postural hypotension) make sure to get to a safe place and sit or lie down, should you become faint or dizzy and fall.
7. Increase Sodium Intake
Oftentimes, doctors of patients with hypotension may recommend an increased salt intake to the diet via sodium supplements, electrolyte drinks, etc., to safely increase blood pressure levels. However, keep in mind that no more than 10 grams of sodium per day is recommended, as too much of an increase can have the opposite affect and lead to hypertension (or high blood pressure).
8. Wear Compression Aids
You doctor may suggest compression garments—such as socks or stockings—to help reduce the pain and swelling associated with varicose veins (painfully swollen veins in the thighs and calves). The compression aids will prevent blood pooling in your legs, which stifles blood flow.
9. Encourage Blood Flow
You can do your part naturally to encourage blood flow throughout the body by doing some light exercise (like yoga) and by avoiding crossing your limbs (i.e., sitting with legs crossed, sitting cross legged, folding your arms) and by leaving limbs loose to avoid blocking blood flow.
10. Talk to your Doctor
Keep your doctor posted on how your feeling, frequency of symptoms, and diet. And be sure to read up on the hypotension medications he or she prescribes so you eat a complimentary diet and choose complimentary lifestyle aids to help control your low blood pressure.
Anna Fleet on Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
Health experts, I’m looking at you personal trainers, doctors, and nutritionists, all agree that we should be squeezing at least 30-minutes of exercise into every day. However, for most of us that doesn’t seem possible…until you think about being sneaky about it.
Here are ten sneaky ways to cram in moments of exercise into your day. And believe me; even 3 minute intervals here and there can quickly add up to 30 minutes devoted to activity—without you really even missing the time.
1. Do Jumping Jacks During Commercials
Each time your favorite television program breaks for commercials, try to fit in as many jumping jacks as you can before the show resumes. After all, you don’t want to miss the action. You can even alternate jumping jacks with push-ups.
2. March For Your News
Do you go outside to the curb to pick up your morning paper? Well set the coffee pot on before you do and take a brisk walk around the entire block before coming back to pick up your news. It’ll wake you up and get your metabolism going, and you’ll be back before the coffee is percolated.
3. Schedule Your Own “Practice”
When you drop your son off at hockey or your daughter off at ballet, don’t perch in the stands and watch. Instead, do laps around the rink or work your way up to jog around the building. You can even change and shower at the same time after so your kids aren’t waiting for you.
4. Walk to Work
Do your part for the environment and for your body by choosing to leave the car parked and walk to work. Or spend more time with the kids in the morning and walk them to school.
5. Do a Mini Counter Workout
Making dinner or waiting for the roast to cook? Do standing pushups exercises against the counter. For pushups stand facing the counter at about an arm’s length distance. Let gravity lean you towards the counter bending at the elbows and then push yourself back to standing using your arms.
Amazing Core Fitness End of The Year Blow Out Sale!!
6. Break for Activity
Instead of lunching out, eat at your desk and then take the usual break to go for a walk or a fitness class. You can even drag one of your co-workers along for motivation.
7. Multi-Task Errands
If you have If you have errands to do, walk if you’re close enough or leave a bit early and park further away so you can get in 15-minutes of walking between the car and store.
8. Take the Stairs
One trip up the stairs in the morning might not seem like a lot of steps, but if you take the stairs in the morning, at lunch, for your afternoon coffee break and when you leave, you’ve suddenly added 50 extra steps to your day.
9. Exercise During Naptime
Just because the kids are napping doesn’t mean you have to take it easy. Put in an exercise DVD and do the workout in your basement or put on the news or a cooking show and do leg lifts while you watch. You can bring the baby monitor in case junior needs you.
10. Don’t Wait for Transport…Walk to It
Waiting for the bus, a train, subway, or at the airport? Don’t just stand there and wait between transport, walk around the concourse at the airport or race to the next closest stop—I bet you can beat the train.
Anna Fleet on Monday, December 23rd, 2013
Amazing Core Fitness End of The Year Blow Out Sale!!
Teeth Grinding, Here are some Effective Tips To Help You Stop
What is Bruxism?
Chronic teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a condition characterized by the clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth, usually during sleep.
If you sleep alone, it’s often difficult to tell if you suffer from bruxism. However, there are telltale signs and symptoms that can help you identify yourself as a teeth grinder as well as a few effective tips to give your poor jaw and teeth a good night’s rest…
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
If you wake up with a sore jaw, sore gums, or sensitive teeth, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. Upon waking up, you will often notice the following telltale symptoms of bruxism:
- You may catch yourself in the act or wake to the sound of grinding teeth.
- Your jaw or teeth may be sore and tender in the morning.
- You may notice extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or feel pain when brushing teeth.
- You may notice torn tissues inside your mouth and on the inner linings of your cheeks from teeth gnashing
- Your gums may be tender, inflamed, or bleed.
Ask Your Partner to Observe You While You Sleep
If you sleep in the same bed as a spouse or partner, or even share a room with a sibling, ask them to observe you while you slumber to confirm that you grinding your teeth during the night.
Record Yourself During Sleep
Don’t fret; if you live alone, you can still confirm a case of bruxism by recording yourself while you sleep. Use a pocket tape recorder or smart phone and press record as you’re falling asleep and then listen to the recording in the morning for signs of grinding and teeth gnashing.
Visit Your Dentist
Another way to diagnose bruxism is to call on a professional. Your dentist can examine your mouth and jaw for symptoms such as jaw tenderness, ground-down teeth, and damage. Your dentist can also prescribe a mouth guard to prevent future grinding and protect your teeth and jaw.
Break Bad Chewing Habits
To help you break bad teeth grinding habits, look at your go-to stress habits in daily life. For instance, do you chew on pencils and pens when stressed at work? This daytime bad habit can transfer to a nighttime bad habit. So be conscious of bad chewing behaviors during the day to ensure you are only chewing on food.
Reducing your stress level is another way to combat bruxism. Most teeth grinding cases are linked to further stress during sleep. So be sure to avoid using backlit electronics like smart phones, tablets, and laptops at least 3 hours before bed. Also, get adequate exercise, take regular yoga classes, meditate, listen to soothing music, take baths before bed, and work on banishing stress from your life.
Examine Your Diet
What you eat when you’re awake can have a lot to do with your mood and sleep patterns. For instance, those who lack certain essential vitamins and nutrients in their diets are prone to restless slumber and teeth grinding. If you are calcium or magnesium deficient (2 vitamins that prevent muscle spasms while promoting healthy muscle function and nervous system support), take a daily multivitamin or supplement with meals.
Skip the Caffeine at Night
Caffeine from coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate are culprits when it comes to sleep deprivation. So do yourself and your jaw a favor, skip the stimulants in the evening hours to ensure a more restful night’s sleep.
Create a Relaxing Environment
Stress reduction is mental as well as physical (i.e., exercise and diet). And creating a relaxing environment at home, particularly before bed, will promote a more restful sleep with less risk of teeth grinding during the night. Impose nightly activities that promote a relaxing environment before bed—such as baths, drinking herbal tea, mediation, massage, and use a heating pad or hot cloth on your jaw to keep it supple during rest.
Catherine Roberts on Friday, November 8th, 2013
New Year’s Blow Out Sale…Going On Right Now!
It seems like North America is obsessed with losing weight, but what happens if you want to gain weight? Some people are naturally quite small and they too feel the effects of bullying. It can be very hard for a person with a fast metabolism to gain body weight. For these individuals, even a few pounds can make the difference. Having too low body weight can cause organ damage, loss of menstruation in women, and bone density loss.
Individuals who are recovering from eating disorders may also be interested in learning how to gain weight a healthy way. It is certainly true that drinking sugary sodas and eating french fries all day will make you gain weight, but your body will suffer greatly. The best way to gain weight is by eating natural, whole foods and paying attention to the caloric intake.
Here are 11 healthy foods that when eaten right can help you gain healthy weight.
1. Red Meat
If you are trying to gain weight, enjoy some red meat. Steak contains a ton of protein and iron. Not all steak cuts are made equal though. You want the fatty cuts where the meat is marbled. These cuts of meat will contain more calories, but they’ll also be way more delicious too! Look for rib-eye, t-bone, New York strip, and beef tenderloin. Red meat is high in cholesterol, so enjoy it with a healthy diet. Combining it with an unhealthy diet high in saturated fats could cause health effects.
2. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is packed with protein and fats, making it a great choice for people trying to gain weight the healthy way. One tablespoon contains around 100 calories and has 4 grams of protein. Peanut butter is also high in folate, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B3. Enjoy peanut butter mixed into oatmeal, topping a slice of whole grain bread, or as a dip for apples. When picking a brand of peanut butter, try to find varieties that are all natural, meaning they don’t have a ton of sugar and other ingredients added.
3. Whole Fat Milk
One simple substitution you can make when trying to gain weight is swapping your skim milk for whole milk. It’s only 60 calories more a glass as the fat is left in. When you keep the fat in milk, the vitamins and nutrients stay in the solution. Whole milk is high in vitamin D and A. Add whole milk where ever you would use skim, such as in oatmeal, cereal, sauces, or just as a glass of milk. If you enjoy milk in your coffee, you can also use cream here.
4. Tropical Fruit
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but tropical fruit can help you gain weight. Fruits like mango, papaya, bananas, and pineapple are amazing choices. They are full of natural sugars and can give you great energy. Adding in servings of fruit into your diet is a great step to gaining weight. No one ever became fat by eating fruit, so don’t worry about eating too much! If you find it difficult to eat enough fruits and vegetables in a day, try blending them to make a delicious smoothie.
These delicious green vegetables are an excellent way to add healthy fats to your diet. One half of an avocado contains 140 calories, but also contain high levels of potassium, folic acid, and vitamin E. Avocado also are filled with B vitamins. Enjoy avocado added to salads, cut up on meat, or even spread on toast. Mash half a ripe avocado onto bread and season with salt and pepper. Delicious!
Granola is a great cereal to enjoy if you are trying to gain weight. This tasty snack is made from rolled oats, sugar, and butter. Dried fruit and nuts can be added. You can buy granola pre-made, but it’s easy to make at home too! Enjoy granola topped with thick yogurt, fruit, and a drizzle of honey. This breakfast will be high in protein from the yogurt, filled with fiber from the oatmeal, and sugar from the fruit.
7. Whole Wheat Bread
Eating healthy bread products is a great way to start gaining weight. If you’re adding bread to your diet, look for whole grains. While white bread is what we all grew up with, it’s not the best for your health. By refining the wheat so much, we strip the nutrients out of it. Instead, opt for whole grain varieties. These contain a fiber and minerals that are missing in white bread. It will help you stay full for longer, and give you sustained energy.
Nothing beats the taste of butter for cooking. It is full of flavor and good calories. Butter does have saturated fats, so enjoy it in moderation. A good option is to incorporate ghee into your diet. This Indian ingredient is ultra clarified butter. It is safe to use when cooking at high temperatures, unlike butter which will burn. Ghee also has concentrated flavor, so you can use less when cooking. Enjoy eggs fried in butter or ghee for a tasty and nutritious breakfast.
Nuts are a great snack for gaining weight. They are full of fat and nutrients, but also contain a great deal of fiber. Eating only a few nuts can keep you full for hours. Not all nuts are equal for fiber though. Almonds are a great choice, while macadamia nuts are very high in fat. Mixed nuts are a great option because you can get the nutritional benefit of many varieties in one snack. Add nuts to your salads, on top of Asian dishes, and in your breakfast cereals and oatmeal.
Cheese is one of the favorite foods in North America. You can add cheese into almost any dish. It has all the nutritional benefits of milk products. Most cheeses are high in fat, making it a good product to have if you are trying to gain weight. Cheese comes in many delicious varieties, so pairing a cheese to your meal is a fun experience. Try goat cheese with eggs, Swiss with roasted chicken, and Parmesan on top of asparagus. On its own, cheese also makes a great snack because it’s high in protein.
One of the first things people cut when trying to lose weight are carbohydrates. Thus, add them back to your diet when you are trying to gain weight! The key is choosing carbohydrates that have nutritional value. Potatoes are a great choice because they’re high in protein (really!), full of fiber, and contain a ton of vitamin C. Eat potatoes with the skin on for optimum nutrition. Once they’re peeled, the protein is cut in half.
By: Angela Ayles on May 2nd, 2013
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We could all use a little self-control. Maybe it’s your holiday wish or your New Year’s resolution to enact a little more willpower in 2014.
I know; I know most of you will jump to the conclusion that I’m referring to the self control needed in the wake of all of those Christmas treats you’ll be tempted with. However, when you really think about, willpower filters through all aspects of our lives—from health eating and weight management to healthy personal relationships and triumph over lacking finances.
That’s why I’m tucking these nine tips to exercise a little self control into your stocking…it’s alright, you can open this gift now!
1. Avoid Bringing Temptations Home
Think of your temptations as a lively 20-year-old at a bar. Sure, they appear all shiny and perky, but the passion sure dies down after a brief 15-minute fling. My temptations are red wine and dark chocolate, both of which I don’t bring home to avoid those weaker moments in my week. So if I really want them, I need to make the effort to go out and get them.
2. Aim to Understand Your Motivation
No one would ever deprive themselves of the things they loved without a practical explanation. It’s like saying, “stop eating junk food for no reason at all!” What I mean, is that while you keep your eye on your larger goal—to lose weight for your wedding—let your eyes catch understanding glimpses of why—to live a longer, healthier life with the person you love.
3. Start Slow and Stay Steady
The worst thing you can do is to take on too much, too soon. Undue stress will ultimately stifle any well meaning fitness, health, or financial self-control attempts. So pare down your larger effort to make the time to focus on one goal at a time with focus and you’ll have greater success and motivation to continue.
4. Keep Things Positive
A little positive thinking can go a long way in the face of temptation. So rather than focusing on how difficult and downright terrible it is to go for a morning run—consider how great you feel and how much newfound energy you have after doing so all week.
5. Sabotage Your Enticements
If you have a tendency to spend money and you’re looking to rein in your finances, do what I do and leave your purse at home. Or, for example, if I’m going on a run to grab a coffee and know I’ll pass my favorite book store (tempting), I only bring enough money for that single coffee to avoid a spending spree.
6. Penalize Lack of Self Control
No one likes to be punished, but if there is no penalty for negative behavior, how will we correct that habit? If I curb to skipping the gym, I discipline myself with a motivating penalty—for example, no gym = no lunch out on Friday with my girlfriends (which I always look forward to).
7. Set Rewards as Motivation
Of course there’s a flip side to that penalty coin. After all, we would never deprive ourselves of any temptation if there were no upside. So as reward for my self-imposed acts of self-control, I will get a prize for my effort—for example, a spa day for eating better or remaining steadfast in going to the gym.
8.Rein In Your Glucose
You know what a mid-day snack attack feels like—it has you high-tailing it to the nearest vending machine for a Crispy Crunch. However, you might not know exactly why. You can blame those hard-to-ignore cravings on low blood glucose, when it plummets you’d practically kill for a sugar rush. So get your glucose under control by eating a high-glycemic breakfast (i.e., oatmeal) to help satiate and stabilize out of control cravings.
9. Practice Self-Care
You won’t get anywhere by constantly beating yourself up. So enact self-care as you practice self-control. If you’re working out be sure to get plenty of sleep. If you’re eating better be sure to not to deprive yourself of nutritious foods. Proactive self-love will support and give you an energized, replenished, fresh-faced outlook on your own success!
Anna Fleet on Monday, December 16th, 2013
Protein is one of the three macronutrients the body requires (the other two are fat and fibrous carbohydrate). Protein aids in repair of muscle, tissue and bone, and is essential for proper healing after an accident or strenuous workout.
Although many individuals associate it with muscle building, the benefits of protein go beyond bulking up. Protein contributes to brain health, improves blood sugar levels and even protects against age-related cognitive decline.
Before you consider taking a high-protein supplement, make sure you are already consuming a diet of essential and non-essential amino acids. Eggs, meats, and vegetarian sources like quinoa and avocados contain protein with all of the essential amino acids. Nuts, seeds, legumes and even grains are sources of protein, but should be complemented with other proteins to complete a well-rounded amino acid profile.
Here are some reasons to make sure you get enough protein in your diet.
Protein boosts your immune system.
Glutamine and arginine are two protein building blocks that stimulate the immune system, helping your body heal faster and ward off colds and flu .
Protein improves your blood pressure.
Epidemiological studies suggest that an increase in plant proteins can reduce blood pressure.
Protein can increase antioxidants.
Whey protein has been shown to stimulate the body’s natural production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that protects DNA and may trigger production of human growth hormone (HGH), which aids in muscle building, repair and healing. HGH may also be helpful for maintaining energy and endurance. High-intensity exercise also aids in the production of HGH.
Protein helps your body repair.
Glutathione and HGH are important for healing and repair of muscle tissue. HGH is also helpful for the repair of bones, cells, skin and even hair.
Sources: Field, CJ, I. Johnson, and VC Pratt. “Glutamine and arginine: immunonutrients for improved health.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 July 2000. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.  Appel, LJ. “The effects of protein intake on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 Feb. 2003. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.  Kent, KD, WJ Harper, and JA Bomser. “Effect of whey protein isolate on intracellular glutathione and oxidant-induced cell death in human prostate epithelial cells.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. Department of Food Science and Technology, 17 Feb. 2003. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.  Komninou, Despina; Leutzinger, Yvonne; Reddy, Bandaru S.; Richie Jr., John P. (2006). “Methionine Restriction Inhibits Colon Carcinogenesis”. Nutrition and Cancer 54 (2): 202-8.
Brandon Miles | October 1, 2013
New Year’s Resolutions
#1 for New Year’s 2014
We all do it, putting off big goals because sometimes it’s scary, whether it means trying to getting better grades, making the softball team or just learning to be on-time, use January as a jump start to completing all of last year’s dreams.
Organized and Awesome
#2 for New Year’s 2014
Your room is a mess, right? Maybe this year, it can change. Buy containers to down and clutter and a calendar to make sure you never miss a thing and your homework’s in on time. Trust us, being organized will let you sleep better at night.
#3 for New Year’s 2014
The holidays are expensive, once you’re done buying presents for friends and family (as well as a few for yourself) you’ll probably find that you have the empty-pocket blues. Don’t fret, January and February are a great time to reign in your spending and start saving for summer fun.
Health and Fitness
#4 for New Year’s 2014
Another great part of the holidays? All the treats and big dinners. But a whole month of candy and eggnog can leave you feeling a little less than great. Getting healthy and fit in the winter can be hard, but your body will thank you (and you’ll feel better, believe us).
Foes to Friends
#5 for New Year’s 2014
If you have any old grudges, consider this the time to settle it and work it out. New Year’s is a clean slate for everybody, so make sure you feel like you’re getting a fresh start by settling any arguments you have with friends, family and schoolmates. Remember, they want this year to be better just as much as you do.
Learn Something New
#6 for New Year’s 2014
Have you always been interested in Martial Arts? Cooking? Art? Make 2014 the year that you act on it! Take a class, buy a book, or create a group with you and your friends so you can learn something new together. You can never have enough skills in life, and the New Year is the perfect time to start becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be!
There has been a lot of interest in concurrent training in scientific literature lately. Concurrent training means developing your cardio and strength goals within the same week, instead of breaking them up as you would with many classic periodization models. The literature usually focuses on the effect of strength training on running, but the results of these studies are of interest to other athletes as well, especially those who do a jack-of-all-trades type of program like CrossFit.
One such study came out this month in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning. The research was the first of its kind to compare muscular endurance protocols and strength protocols through a full training program and through a detraining period as well.
The routines were simple enough. All of the runners were already doing a simple endurance workout with resistance bands. This routine was a circuit run twice through with 25 reps each of four leg exercises. The control group kept doing this normal routine. The strength group did supersets of a strength lift and an explosive exercise for 3 sets each, with either 70% of their max for the strength lift, or their bodyweight for the explosive exercise. The muscular endurance group did a few basic leg exercises for 3 sets of 20 reps with 40% of their max. All of the runners kept up with their normal running routine.
Of particular interest to runners and anyone else doing relative load exercises like pull ups, dips, and push ups was the focus of the routines. The workouts were designed to avoid weight gain but still improve strength and performance. Indeed, after twelve weeks of doing each of the three programs, there was no change in bodyweight doing any of the protocols.
Despite no change in body mass or body fat, both the muscular endurance and strength training groups improved strength, running economy, and peak velocity. Even more importantly, the strength training group improved their actual 3km time trials, indicating an actual transfer of these results to performance. Additionally, the benefits obtained during these programs were maintained by their normal routines for five weeks after ceasing the programs.
There were a few unique aspects of this study that made it interesting. First, the program the athletes did normally was similar enough to the muscular endurance protocol that it might have stunted their results. If there had been more of a difference between the muscular endurance routine and the few leg exercises that the runners regularly did, the results might have been even more significant. Even more interesting was the examination of the effects after a five-week detraining period in which the runners returned to their normal routines. Many of us wonder how much our normal routines maintain any results we gain, or if we just lose them as soon as we stop.
Before this study, it was fairly well established that concurrent training is the way to go, not just for people with varied goals, but also for endurance athletes. This study provided further evidence that muscular endurance training combined with strength and power training is effective, although the latter seems like it might be more useful. Perhaps the most important result is that so long as we can keep up some form of training, our hard-earned results will probably stick around, even if we need to take time off.
1. S Sedano, et. al., “Concurrent Training in Elite Male Runners: The Influence of Strength Versus Muscular Endurance Training on Performance Outcomes,” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 27(9), 2013.
Doug Dupont | December 26, 2013
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
As a fitness coach I am constantly talking to my clients about the importance of stretching and working on mobility. These are not necessarily the “fun” things to practice when it comes to your health and fitness, but they are important not only for your athletic performance, but for your ability to be an independently functioning human being for as many years as possible. Things like having full range of motion in your joints, the prevention of soft tissue injuries, and even just being able to touch your toes could mean the difference between living on your own and living in a nursing home.
Maybe you are new to working on your flexibility or maybe you understand the importance of it and you have even been stretching regularly, but you want to take it up a notch – what are some tools you can use to help you stretch and become more mobile? Here is a list and be forewarned, these tools may not feel good while you are using them, but you will feel better afterward!
Have you ever had a massage from a therapist who just dug in and pressed hard on one spot at a time? Or maybe you have been to a therapist who specializes in “myofascial release?” You can accomplish the same thing at home with a lacrosse ball.
Fascia is the layer of tissue in our bodies, between the layers of muscles and other connective tissues, which can get gummed up over time and with lack of movement. These sticky spots feel like tight areas and painful spots. Pressing a lacrosse ball into those spots, laying on it, or rubbing it into those areas can be helpful in releasing the fascia. I use my lacrosse ball to rub out tension in my neck and trapezius muscles. You can also tape two of them together and lie on them to work on the muscles in your lower back on either side of your spine.
Five years ago, if I offered you a Cronut, kale chip or sriracha sauce, you probably would’ve turned your nose up or said, “What is that?” But by 2013, these foods—along with a handful (mouthful?) of others—saw their popularity reach a fever pitch. People now wait in lines that wrap around New York City blocks for a Cronut. You can get sriracha sauce at Subway. People voluntarily eat kale. It’s a whole new world.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a good one.
Yes, some food fads were worth lauding in 2013, but the year also saw some edible atrocities rise to prominence. Here, we grade some of the best and worst food trends to emerge in 2013. Happy eating.
The Cronut is described by its creator, Chef Dominique Ansel, as a “unique pastry creation.” Her website says the Cronut has been described as “a croissant-doughnut hybrid.” The official Cronut can only be found at her bakery in New York City, and the Cronut craze has prompted people to travel from all parts of the country (and perhaps the world) to get their mouth around one. Although I’ve never had one, it’s safe to say that, if all the reviews are even remotely true, they are delicious.
But here’s the thing: the Cronut has no official macronutrient numbers. A report by the Huffington Post says it is filled with “loads and loads of butter, along with cream injected through multiple layers with a syringe-like pastry tip and a glaze on top that encircles the hole in the middle. [The chef] fries each Cronut in grapeseed oil for 30 second.” Well, that’s enough, isn’t it? Sometimes you don’t need to know the whole story to pass judgment. This is one of those moments.
Low in calories, loaded with iron, alpha linoleic-acid (a type of omega-3), vitamin A and vitamin C, kale is actually one of the best things to come to prominence in 2013. It’s a versatile food, too, lending itself to baking, frying and just plain old raw consumption. Just make sure you have some in your fridge.
Here today, gone tomorrow—or the spicy nectar of the gods? The jury is out on whether or not sriracha will become a permanent staple of American dining, but from a nutritional standpoint, this condiment is a good choice. A single serving only clocks in at five calories. The only thing is, it’s fairly high in sodium (100 mg per serving). Other than that, it’s just a spicy paste that makes everything taste better.
Note: You might disagree with our grade if you’re living in Irwindale, California. The city filed a suit against Huy Fong foods, the company behind the popular sriracha sauce with the rooster on the bottle, because production of the sauce created odors that permeated the town.
Dorito’s Locos Taco
Taco Bell introduced two new flavors of its monumentally successful Locos taco this year, and the “food” earned the chain over one BILLION dollars. Adding a cheese-like dust to a taco-like-product has to be one of the smartest moves in the history of the company. The crunchy creation certainly won’t further your fitness goals, but if you can limit yourself to a single taco, it won’t derail your diet either. The Cool Ranch version packs only 160 calories (compare that to 340 calories in a Whopper Jr. with cheese), and requesting it Fresco (with pico de gallo salsa instead of cheese, dairy based sauces, reduced fat sour cream and guacamole, according to the Taco Bell website) slashes the fat by 25 percent.
What, you didn’t know that 2013 was The International Year of Quinoa? It was, and if you haven’t tried this potent power-food yet, you’re missing out. Besides being an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, quinoa also delivers a complete protein, unlike most other grains (which, by the way, it’s not—it’s a seed). Swap it in for rice whenever you want to change things up a bit.
This one isn’t a food but a trend—juice trucks, at-home juicers, and juice “bars” seemed to pop up on every corner. Even LeBron James’s wife opened a juice spot (which is actually named The Juice Spot) in Miami. While the ingredients themselves are actually quite healthy—mostly fruits and veggies—the extreme measures some people take when juicing are not. Juice cleanses can call for practitioners to consume nothing but juiced foods for a few days or weeks. Not a good idea.
Taking the juice craze in moderation and having one or two glasses a day, on top of what you’re already eating, probably won’t do you any harm. And it just might sneak a few more veggies into your diet, which is never a bad thing.
GRADE: Incomplete. Depends how you use it.
Sam DeHority | December 26, 2013
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Is your hot and steamy love life feeling more lukewarm these days? You might think you’re doing everything right, but there are sneaky sensual snafus that could be destroying your sex life. While most of them are easily fixed or avoided, you need to identify where you went (or are going) wrong. These five things could be ruining your sex life, so sit down, read up and get ready to light that fire once again.
1. Getting Grossed Out – Let’s face it – the human body doesn’t always produce the sexiest smells, areas of hair or secretions. If you flinch at the hint of a little B.O. down there, an untrimmed bikini line or the thought of bodily fluids touching you anywhere, you could be turning your partner off, or even worse, offending him or her.
There are a few ways you can overcome the “ick” factor – only have intercourse in or right after a shower, turn the lights off to avoid looking at things you don’t like and keep plenty of towels or tissues on hand for liquid mishaps. Remember, sex is messy, so you should work on embracing the fact that you’re going to get sweaty, squished and crumpled, and move on.
2. Being Afraid to Experiment – Instead of laughing in his or her face the next time your partner suggests a sexy cowgirl getup or edible underwear, give it a try. You could find it silly, but it may increase the pleasure your partner experiences and rejecting him or her could kill the mood. Unless it’s something you morally object to or might cause you harm, go for it. Who knows — you might even discover that being “Nurse Betty” is your thing.
3. Not Knowing What You Want – If you don’t know what buttons to push or what gets you in mood, it can be nearly impossible for your partner to do so. If you have a hard time reaching orgasm, spend some time solo exploring yourself and experimenting with toys to learn what works for you. Pay attention during sex and take a mental note of what moves or positions you like best and what you dislike. Plan a lesson for your dude and see if he does his homework.
4. Being Embarrassed – What woman hasn’t almost screamed in horror when looking at her thighs in the mirror, or had an absolute mental breakdown when passing gas in front of someone? When these things happen in the bedroom, it can feel like the end of the world. It’s important to realize that once men turn on their sex-brain, very little can turn it off.
They are so focused on wanting you and getting down to the dirty deed that they’re unlikely to be fazed or even notice that little jiggle under your arm or that you forgot to do laundry and are wearing your granny panties. Sometimes the human body will get the best of you, and your period will start early or you may let out a noise closer to a “moo” than a moan. Laugh it off instead of freaking out, and your man will too. If you’re so focused on what he could notice, you won’t be able to enjoy the task at hand.
5. Falling Into a Boring Routine – Do you have a standing calendar appointment for getting naughty? While it’s important to make time in your schedules for sex, arranging a set day and time for it is one of the quickest ways to squash your sex life. Not only is it boring, but you also may find that you aren’t in the mood at that time or have to “cancel” your appointment and wait a whole week for the opportunity again.
Come home early from work and greet your partner at the door in lingerie or arrange for a sexy night under the stars and camp out in the backyard. Anything out of the ordinary, even if it may seem simple, can pump up the pleasure factor.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for decades or just started seeing someone, these phobias, fears and oversights can begin to cause serious problems for your relationship if not addressed. If you can relate to one or more of these sexual slip-ups, there are things you can do to turn your situation around and get back in the saddle.
Spend time looking at yourself in the mirror or photographs of yourself and focusing on the things you see that you like. The more comfortable you are with your own body, the more you can relax during sex.
Talk to your partner. Most men aren’t mind readers, and if you’re struggling with a sexual issue, he may not notice until you tell him. Be open and honest about what you are feeling, what you want, what you dislike and how you can both work together to improve the situation.
If these issues seriously affect your relationship or marriage in a negative manner and you cannot seem to tackle the problem on your own, consider professional help. Modern sex therapists are a far cry from Dr. Ruth and can work with you discreetly to improve your bedroom bumbles, and, in turn, the health of your relationship.
Not sure where to start? Stumped on new ideas? Visit a sex shop or rent an adult video to get new ideas and supplies for experimenting. Nothing should be off limits.
Don’t worry if you experience a sexual slump. It’s normal for couples to go through different stages of sexual enjoyment and frequency. If you realize you may be committing some of these sexual sins, don’t worry — there is still time to repent. By recognizing that there is a problem, you can be more proactive and tackle it head on.
mydailymoment.com | December 23, 2013
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Think about jumping as high as you can. Before you jump, you dip at the knees to create a slingshot effect. This is called the stretch-shortening cycle.
The following explosive leg exercises target the stretch-shortening cycle to build power. They are intense exercises, and they are taxing on your legs. Do them only once a week and in the off-season. Rest between sets and keep your repetitions to no more than six.
- Stand facing either a 24- or 36-inch box.
- Dip your knees and explode up onto the box, landing with both feet together and your knees soft.
- Lock out your hips on top to stick the landing.
- Use the momentum of your arms to propel you upward.
- For an added challenge, do a Depth Jump: start on one box and drop to the ground before exploding back up to the next box. Remember to land soft.
- Sets/Reps: 3×6 with 2 minutes between sets.
The Clean part of the Olympic lift Clean and Jerk is the most explosive movement you can do in the weight room.
- Stand over a bar with your shins resting against it. Your feet should be pretty narrow, inside your hips, but point your knees out.
- Grip the bar outside of your legs and tighten your back. Visualize squeezing your lats and pulling the bar into your body.
- Take a deep breath in and take the slack out of the bar.
- Slowly raise your hips and shoulders at the same rate until the bar is just above your knees in the power position. At this point, violently extend your hips, knees, and ankles, while shrugging your shoulders upward.
- The bar should feel weightless for a split second while you drop underneath it and catch it in the front rack position. The bar should be resting on your anterior deltoids, and your elbows should be up.
- Extend your hips and knees before bringing the bar back to the ground.
- Sets/Reps: 3×6 with 2 minutes between sets.
The Snatch is the other Olympic lift. The Clean represents power. The Snatch represents speed.
- The start of the Snatch is exactly like the Clean, except your hands are wider on the bar. This drops your hips lower to the ground and gives you a more vertical torso.
- Remember to push your knees out. Think of a frog about to jump.
- The key to the Snatch is being able to quickly pull yourself beneath the bar and catch the weight with your arms extended as if you were doing an overhead squat.
- During the second pull from the power position, keep the bar as close to your body as possible. Think of the bar taking off your shirt. The straighter the bar path, the more weight you will be able to lift.
- After the catch, extend your hips and stand upright before returning the bar to the ground.
- Sets/Reps: 3×6 with 2 minutes between sets.
The Push Jerk is the second part of the traditional Olympic Clean and Jerk.
- Start from the rack position. The only difference is that your elbows should be a little more vertical than they would be at the end of the Power Clean. If you have flexibility issues with your wrists, you should hold the bar more in your palms as opposed to your fingers. This allows greater control when you overhead press the weight.
- The counter movement is a dip from the knees followed by a quick extension and an Overhead Press. You should feel as if the bar is weightless very quickly. Your shoulders should not handle the brunt of the weight until the catch position.
- While the bar is weightless, bend your knees and pull yourself under it to catch it with your arms extended.
- Extend your hips to finish the exercise.
- Sets/Reps: 3×6 with 2 minutes between sets.
Most sports require unilateral explosiveness. Most athletic movements are single-leg in nature. Therefore, you should perform single-leg exercises as much as possible.
- Start in a standard lunge position. Your chest should be upright and in line with your toes. Your back leg should be almost fully extended with your knee just off of the ground.
- Start with a small counter movement and explosively jump up and switch your legs in the air.
- Land with soft knees by catching yourself before your back knee hits the ground. Use your arms to help propel yourself up.
- Sets/Reps: 3×6 with 2 minutes between sets.
Joe Lopez | October 17, 2013 | Stack.com