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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Good Foods for You

Veggies

Your mom was right; vegetables are essential for building a healthy body. The earth provides us with a huge assortment of delicious vegetables that should be the basis of your healthy diet. As a rule, you should eat no less than 2 cups of fresh vegetables every day. Choose a variety of vegetables, including dark, leafy varieties like broccoli and spinach. Sweet potatoes are a delicious alternative to white, and carrots make an excellent snack. Chickpeas and dry beans including kidney, lima and pinto beans are packed with beneficial nutrients. Meeting your daily vegetable requirements is easy when you reach for a fresh spinach salad instead of French fries, or grab a bag of baby carrots instead of chips.

Eating Grains

Our food guide suggests that we eat six ounces of grains on a daily basis. The average slice of bread contains just one ounce. Cereal is an obvious choice, with about one ounce of grain per cup. If you want to boost your grain intake and eat less, choose whole grain products. Rice, pasta and crackers are also healthy grain choices to incorporate into your daily diet.

Favor Fruits

Sweet, delicious fruits make choosing healthy foods so easy. Try to eat two cups of fruit each day. That’s about the equivalent of an apple and a banana. Toss a handful of grapes into a salad, or slice a banana over a bowl of cereal. Fruit salad is a great way to get a variety of flavors in one sitting. Fruits can be canned, frozen or dried, but fresh is always the best choice. A glass of fruit juice can also count toward fulfilling your daily intake, although fruit juices should be consumed in moderation.

Dairy

People of all ages need calcium for healthy teeth and bones. Kids from two to eight years of age require the calcium equivalent of about two cups of milk per day, while older kids, teenagers and adults need about three cups per day. At snack time, reach for calcium-rich yogurt and cheese. Watching your weight? Choose low-fat milk and dairy products. Even if you’re lactose intolerant, you can still reach your calcium requirements with lactose-free and calcium fortified food choices.

Meat and beans

Protein is a cornerstone of a healthy diet, and the food guide suggests no less than five ounces of protein-rich beans or meat every day. Remember, you’re making healthy choices, so avoid big fatty steaks and double quarter-pounders at the burger joint. Grill or bake your meat to reduce your fat intake. Enjoy nuts for a high-protein snack or salad garnish. Peas, beans and fish are other great ways to boost your protein.

Fat

Fat is an important part of your daily diet, but you can certainly have too much of this good thing. You can use butter and other high-fat foods, but do so in moderation. Too much of this type of fat can send your weight and cholesterol levels soaring. Rather than frying your foods in butter, margarine, shortening or lard, try sauting them in vegetable or chicken broth. Pass the butter, and reach for seasonings and fruit juice to add flavour to vegetables.

Processed foods are packed with salt, fats and additives, so try to limit your shopping to the fresh meat and produces aisles. If you must choose some pre-packaged foods, make sure to read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels before you buy. This is an important step to limiting your intake of sodium as well as saturated and trans fats.

Once you begin to make healthier food choices, you’ll begin to notice a change in all aspects of your lifestyle. Fueling your body with a nutrient-charged diet will give you energy and a brighter overall outlook. Those evenings of lying on the couch after consuming an eight-slice pizza will be behind you, as you begin to enjoy evening strolls after your healthy dinners. It’s not always easy to choose healthy foods, but your efforts will be rewarded with a lifetime of good health.

 

Know This Supplement Checklist

Foundational Supplements:

* Multi-vitamin
* Essential Fatty Acid complex

The multi-vitamin will act as an insurance policy. Variety in your diet is great and you should strive for it, but not all of us get everything we need for optimal performance. And with the debates on food quality, it’s just a decent idea to take a multi- vitamin.

An EFA complex gives you so many benefits to fat burning and muscle building by increasing your metabolism and the heart healthy benefits, it’s just a must. Eating plenty of fish will help ensure you are getting your Omega acids but again, insurance policy and a decent foundational supplement.

And that’s it!

Performance/Muscle Building Supplements:

* Whey protein
* Creatine

Why isn’t protein a foundational? Because I believe that if you wanted to, you could get all your protein needs from whole foods. It’s not a foundational to take a shake even after a workout. And while you can argue that the body will absorb it better and such, it still doesn’t make it a must even as an insurance policy.

But it sure as heck does help. I think most bodybuilders will take some form of whey shake at some point during the day. My guess is in the morning upon waking up and after a workout.

Good old creatine. It’s proven in over 300 peer reviewed published articles on it’s improvements to the bodybuilding athlete.

Optional Supplements:

* Beta-Alanine
* Glutamine
* Casein
* Other proteins

An up-coming major player in coo hoots with creatine is beta- alanine. From my own research and experimentation, it’s a fine supplement and not a bank breaker. I do stack this with my BCAA supplement that has creatine in it. One to watch at the least.

Glutamine is something that gets a lot of attention but rarely do we find studies that show it’s clear link to bodybuilding. Needless to say…

You can try it out if you want.

Casein is just a slower digesting protein. Many people are firm believers in mixing proteins especially at night when you want a slower digesting protein. Some products have protein combinations in them already. Dairy proteins like cottage cheese have casein in them and make a very good nighttime snack.

Other proteins like egg white protein or vegetarian proteins might be something optional if you find it necessary or beneficial.

Experimental Supplements:

* BCAAs
* Caffeine
* CLA

Branch Chain Aminos are great. Especially in a pre-workout formula. At the moment, I’ve had great personal success using a BCAA powder with creatine mixed in it. Not something for everybody but if you are looking for that extra edge, BCAA style supplements sure do have a lot of valid research behind them to suggest a performance enhancement.

Caffeine for weight loss or a metabolism boost or maybe you just like your local coffee shop. I don’t experiment with it at all but I do like my coffee. Many people find that caffeine in coffee or green tea make good herbal weight loss products that are safe.

CLA is an old school healthy fat that get press every now and again. Lately there’s not much promise in terms of human weight reduction but again, something to consider. Don’t expert miracles. I tried it once. Interesting. Not a supplement that you’ll find in my closet though.

Remember, there are hundreds of supplements out there and the list is growing daily. These few are really all you’ll need in addition to your 5-6 meals a day.

If you were to stick just with the foundational supplements, you would still make fantastic progress and spend under $30 a month on supplements.

 

Anti Aging Vitamins, Dangers and Its Benefits

The benefits of taking vitamins is still being debated by scientists and doctors; however the general consensus seems to be that, when taken properly, they at least are not generally harmful. Some of the vitamins can build up to toxic levels in the human body. Any of the fat-soluble vitamins can reach dangerous levels if taken in excessive amounts. For example, Vitamin A is stored in the liver and fat cells of the human body and can reach toxic levels. DO NOT take more than the recommended dosage of Vitamin A.

Water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin B and Vitamin C are not stored in the body and the excess amount ingested will be passed in the urine. In fact you can see and smell excess Vitamin B being passed after taking a large dosage of it.

The shelves of vitamins offered in many different types of stores today are full of many different types of supplements including multivitamins and vitamins sold on their own (i.e. vitamin E or vitamin A supplements), or a few different supplements similar in nature being sold in one pill (i.e. vitamin B complex).

Since the body will not store the water-soluble vitamins it would be a good idea to take these supplements if your dietary habits are not well balanced. Some type of diets will restrict certain type of foods, which could also reduce your intake of vitamins, and minerals that your body requires for optimum health.

The danger of taking vitamin supplements occurs when the fat-soluble vitamins and certain minerals are contained in different pills that you may be taking or if you are on the supplements for an extended period of time. This overlapping of intake and length of time can lead to an overdose, which can cause damage to some of the organs in the human body such as the liver when taking to much Vitamin A.

To prevent injury from this type of situation, consumers should check with their doctors before starting any medications, even over the counter anti aging supplements, or supplements of any kind.

As we get older certain vitamins are no longer available to us in the required amounts. This is caused by the reduction of food intake and because our bodies are no longer as efficient in process all of the foods that we ingest. Up to one-third of older people can no longer absorb Vitamin B from their food. Vitamin B is needed to form red blood cells and keep nerves healthy.

If you are going to start some type of diet, or if you just feel that you need vitamins and supplements then find a good health care professional prior to starting any type of home treatment.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.