This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 3 title
This is default featured slide 4 title
This is default featured slide 5 title
 

Monthly Archives: January 2017

Step to Following a Healthy Diet

VEGETABLES

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. It also contributes to a healthy weight, reducing your risk of obesity and the conditions associated with it. There are a multitude of vegetables to choose from, the healthiest being dark green vegetables like broccoli, lettuces, and kale, orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash, and red vegetables like red peppers and tomatoes.

FRUITS

Eat a variety of fruits each day, canned, dried, fresh or frozen. Stay away from fruit juices as they can be high in sugar. (Unless you make the juice yourself.)

WHOLE GRAINS

Choose whole grain cereals, breads, rice, and pasta. Read the food label and make sure the grain that is listed such as wheat, rice, oats or corn is referred to as WHOLE in the list of ingredients. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber. Fiber can help reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

LEGUMES

This class of vegetable includes beans, peas and lentils. They are low in fat, contain no cholesterol, are high in protein, and have phytochemicals, compounds that help prevent heart disease and cancer. They are also a good source of fiber. Add pinto, kidney, black and garbanzo beans, split peas and lentils to your daily diet.

LEAN PROTEINS

Choose lean meats, poultry, and fish. Bake, broil, or grill it. Do not fry! Beans, nuts and seeds also provide protein.

LOW-FAT MILK PRODUCTS

Eat low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese or low-fat milk every day. Dairy products can lower your risk of diabetes and help build strong bones, reducing your risk of osteoporosis.

There are a variety of foods that should not be present in your diet except in very small amounts. These foods, such as sugars, alcohol, and some fats, contribute to diseases and poor health.

SUGARS

Avoid foods containing sugar. You know what they are! Always check food labels to see how much sugar is present as some foods contain sugar that may surprise you.

ALCOHOL

Avoid alcohol. If you must drink, limit intake to one drink a day. Alcohol can increase your risk of many conditions including some types of cancers.

FATS

There are different kinds of fat in our foods. Some are detrimental to your health and others are very healthy.

1. Monounsaturated fats (olive oil, flaxseed oil, peanut oil and avocados)

2. Polyunsaturated fats (safflower, sesame, sunflower seeds)

These fats raise your good cholesterol levels. To stick to a healthy diet, choose foods with these fats.

3. Saturated fat and trans fatty acids raise your bad cholesterol levels, contributing to your risk of heart disease. Limit your intake.

Saturated fats are found in beef, veal, lamb, pork, lard, butter, cream, whole milk dairy products and can be present in processed foods like frozen dinners and some canned food. Always check food labels before purchasing.

Trans fatty acids, the kind of fats that increase the risk of heart disease, are formed during the process of creating cooking oils, shortening, and margarine and are found in commercially fried foods, some baked goods, and crackers. When checking food labels, make sure the ingredients do not include hydrogenated fats.

Following a healthy diet is a necessary step for the improved health of you and your family. It is not difficult to make the simple changes necessary to change an unhealthy diet to a healthy one. The advantages, better health, longer life, and more energy, far outweigh any inconveniences you may experience.

 

About Vitamin E

These stories all centred on a single study, which was not new research but a meta-analysis of 19 previous reports focussed on subjects already identified as suffering from chronic diseases. The applicability of its findings to the usefulness or otherwise of vitamin E in helping to prevent disease and maintain optimum health in the well population must therefore be open to serious doubt. And this one study must also be considered alongside the many which have reported the different health benefits of vitamin E since its discovery in 1922.

Numerous of these studies have demonstrated the benefits of vitamin E to cardiovascular health in terms of protecting against the onset of heart disease, in restricting the advance of the disease, and in reducing the risk of second and further heart attacks in those already affected. In common with other anti-oxidants, vitamin E also appears to protects against atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries which is the common precursor of serious heart problems. In fact vitamin E appears to have a general blood thinning and anti-coagulant effect similar to but much gentler and more natural than drugs such as warfarin. Vitamin E thereby helps to protect against highly dangerous clots forming in the arteries serving the brain and heart; clots which can lead to stroke – still one of the main causes of premature death and disability in the western world.

But the benefits of vitamin E reach far beyond the heart and circulatory system. Being fat-soluble, vitamin E is also needed in large quantities by the brain, the trillions of cells of which are particularly rich in fat. Brain function is highly dependent on the efficient functioning of cell membranes, largely formed of fatty tissue, to allow transmission of messages between cells. Free radical damage to cell membranes, worsening rapidly with age, is therefore regarded as one of the principal causes of impaired cognitive function and may even be implicated as a contributory factor in Alzheimer’s disease. As an anti-oxidant, vitamin E is an important protector against free radical damage and it’s not surprising, therefore, that numerous studies have reported superior cognitive function and memory as consequences of vitamin E supplementation.

As cancer is well known as predominantly a disease of degeneration, it is not surprising that powerful anti-oxidants such as vitamin E should offer a degree of protection against it. And indeed, numerous studies have clearly linked enhanced levels of vitamin E in the body with a reduced incidence of common cancers, particularly that of the prostate. As a powerful anti-oxidant vitamin E may also protect against the damage to healthy cells that is an inevitable accompaniment of necessarily aggressive chemo and radio cancer therapies.

And as if all of this wasn’t enough, vitamin E has also demonstrated possible benefits in the treatment of diabetes, in combatting the pain of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis and in maintaining good vision, particularly in old age. Vitamin E is also regarded as a general immune system booster.

But for all these identified benefits, concerns persist in some quarters about the potential dangers of vitamin E, and are generally focussed on the possible toxicity of very high intakes. And it’s true that being fat-soluble, vitamin E can be stored in the body, giving rise to a potential for toxicity if ingested in excessive quantities over time. But there are good grounds for thinking that these concerns are probably misplaced.

Rich dietary sources of vitamin E are foods such as leafy green vegetables, certain types of nuts, vegetable oils and whole grains. The typical modern, highly processed, Western diet, high in fat and refined carbohydrate, and produced from intensively farmed, poor quality soils, is unlikely to provide even an adequate, let alone an excessive supply of the vitamin.

Moreover, both the Institute of Medicine and US Dietary Guidelines have identified a regular daily intake of 1,500 IU as the maximum at which no risk should arise to the health of healthy individuals. To put this in context: most commercially available supplements will provide only between 200 and 400 IU.

So with the ever increasing danger of free radical damage as the body ages, and the difficulty of obtaining adequate supplies from diet alone, it appears that any problems arising from vitamin E are far more likely to be those of deficiency rather than excess.

Common Questions about Post-Workout Meal

1. Aren’t post-workout meals only important for muscle building? Do they matter at all for fat loss goals?

2. Is it best to use one of the fancy post-workout drinks or shakes that you see in the magazines or is a whole food meal better? What’s the best combo of carbs to protein to fat in a good post workout meal?

3. How soon after a workout is best to have my post workout meal?

Answers:

1. Post-workout meals are actually important for BOTH muscle building and losing body fat!

Always remember that one of the most important considerations of long term body fat loss and maintaining a lean body for life is raising your overall metabolic rate by building and maintaining adequate lean muscle mass throughout your entire body.

By consuming a good post workout meal after every workout, you assist your body in repairing and building lean muscle throughout your whole body. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate (even when resting)… hence, you lose fat easier and faster, and it is MUCH easier to stay lean in the long term.

2. Are whole foods or supplement shakes best? This can actually be done either way, but I am going to show you some guidelines why some post-workout shakes are better than others and some whole foods are better than others. Either way, it can work.

First, keep in mind that your goal throughout the majority of each day is eating small whole food meals frequently that digest slowly with high fiber and a controlled glycemic response (blood sugar). These normal daily meals should also contain healthy fats and slowly digested proteins to maintain a steady supply of amino acids.

When it comes to post-workout meals, you can just about use the exact opposite strategy of your normal meals. With post-workout meals, you actually want a faster digesting carb source to stimulate an insulin response. This helps to push nutrients and glycogen back into your muscle cells for repair. Remember, this is not just important for building muscle, but also for losing fat.

So while I always preach high fiber for most of your meals, with post-workout meals, you actually want lower fiber, higher GI carbohydrates, and quickly digesting protein as well to kick start muscle repair.

Another consideration to keep in mind… while I always preach healthy fats at most of your meals… with the post workout meal, you actually want almost all carbohydrates and protein, and very little fat. Fat in the post workout meal just slows the absorption and glycemic response which is not what you want at this key time.

What about the best ratios of carbohydrates and protein?

I have reviewed dozens of studies on this subject and most seem to agree that a ratio of approx 2 to 1 carbs to protein is optimal. This seems to be the best combo to maximize muscle repair to boost that metabolic rate for long term body fat loss.

I usually make my post-workout shakes using a frozen banana, whey protein, water, and some real maple syrup (not the cheap high fructose corn syrup based maple syrups at most stores) and aim for about a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein in the shake.

If you want to make things a little simpler, one of the best post-workout shakes that I’ve found that is already mixed in a 2:1 carb:protein ratio is Prograde’s Varsity Post-Workout mix. You can find it at the bottom of this page.

3. How soon should you eat (or drink) your post-workout meal once your done working out?

As soon as you can after your workout (the sooner the better)!

Studies have shown that the sooner you consume your post workout meal following your intense workout, the better your muscle recovery will be, and a higher quantity of the carbohydrates ingested will be used for muscle glycogen replenishment instead of other uses.

 

Tips to Help You To Grab Some Well Deserved Sleep

1. Don’t drink caffeinated drinks late at night. To avoid insomnia it is good to remove the caffeine from your system before you sleep. In reality it is right to avoid all caffeine from early evening on wards. And because some teas and chocolate contain caffeine you should be careful of any secret sources of caffeine.

2. Get in the sleep habit. Create a specific and systematic bedtime routine. Begin the relaxation process some time before you actually get into bed. Do whatever you seem is right for you, for example you might get yourself a warm drink, and curl up with a good book. The secret is to do things that don’t need lots of movement and if possible avoid spending time on the computer or being stuck in front of the television as both can keep you awake.

3. Avoid alcohol. It is a misconception that a late night drink can help you unwind; alcohol is proven to inhibit or in some cases prohibit deep, relaxing sleep. That said, the occasional glass of wine will not make a great difference, it is right to avoid all alcohol whist you attempt a routine to induce consistent sleeping patterns.

4. Make your rest systematic. The majority of sleep professionals concur that having a planned and consistent time to go to rest is an aid to sleeping well. To begin with, if you have a problem sleeping your normal instinct is to go to bed early, when the most useful way to get a good night’s sleep is to go to bed later. Whilst you might sleep for less you will be more rested. Then once your sleep patterns have stabilised and you body readjusted you may then begin to retire earlier and rest for longer.

5. Relax to calming music. To aid your journey to peaceful sleep consider listening to calming music, natural sounds, self-hypnosis or suggestion audio for a deeper more untroubled sleep. These treatments are actually created to help you relax and calm down. Some are even based on successful therapy practices and designed to solve the root cause of your sleep insomnia. When developed by sleep professionals rather than marketing people out for a fast buck, these natural sleep therapies have been proven to be remarkably effective.

Decide to use any of these five techniques and they could give you a peaceful night’s rest. My goal with these quick fire techniques is to help you find some respite from the problem so that you could then begin to tackle the real cause or the specific underlying problem that is the real cause of your insomnia. To stop the problem once and for all you’ll first need to resolve this true cause, then the sleep problems will become a thing of the past.

Should you use all of the suggestions and still find no change with your sleeplessness, perhaps you should seek some help from a sleep specialist. Wherever possible you should try to avoid sleep medication, as this could give short term, temporary respite it only masks the symptom, the sleep problem instead of the underlying cause. Without dealing with the root cause of the insomnia any kind of medication could make the problem worse.