The early days of nutrition dealt mostly with what we needed to survive by focusing on diet as prevention of visible diseases. Today, because of the advancement in technology, we are able to dig deeper into the body and see how nutrition works on a cellular level. As a result we are better able to understand how nutrition can affect energy, attitude, aging, mood and many diseases. So what exactly is a cell? A cell is a fundamental unit of life. The average adult has about 75 trillion cells, within our body, with millions replicating and constantly replacing the old worn out cells. It is the smallest living organism of the body. Our cells are in constant communication with each other. Cells allow nutrients to pass in and out via their outer membrane. It is within the cell that food and oxygen combine to produce energy. They in turn react to how all our senses respond to our environment. Of all the different functions that our cells perform, providing energy and keeping our DNA safe from damage are their primary roles. Your DNA is stored in the nucleus of each cell. Proper nutrition and limiting exposure to toxins can prevent the cells from dying prematurely and causing unnecessary inflammation in the body. Although not all cells resemble each other, their composition is basically the same while each has a specified task in the body. This in turn means that there are at least 200 specified functions of different cell groups performing their actions simultaneously. Cellular health is greatly affected by how much physical, emotional and energetic stress we endure. Since our bodies have a great capacity to self heal, learning how to manage stress levels is of utmost importance. In so doing our cells can repair, regenerate and rebuild as opposed to becoming dysfunctional. Proper nutrition is of prime importance. Including a sufficient supply of good quality protein, whether it come from animals or vegetarian sources, is greatly needed since protein is the main source for recovery and repair. Checking with your physician to see if you are deficient in any vitamin may call for changes in diet or as a last resort, supplementation. This is easily determined through a blood test. Learning to listen and become aware of our bodies and what they are saying can help us determine if our cellular health is suffering. Low energy, aches, skin irritations, digestive issues, disruptive sleep, infection are some of the indications. If this is the case try eliminating some of the sugars and unhealthy fats from your diet. Are you using to many strong chemicals in the form of cleaning supplies or personal hygiene products? Are you exercising enough so as to encourage deep relaxing sleep? Take the time to check in with yourself and make sure you are feeling physically, mentally and spiritually healthy.
-1/4 cup slivered almonds
-1 roasted red pepper
-1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
-1 tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- Put all ingredients in a food processor
- Add slowly to your cooked pasta along with some of the water from the cooked pasta (for thinning and for spreading evenly
- Never cook it
- Add it to pasta right before you are ready to serve.
Alternative use: Try it as a topping for fish or chicken or use a grain to replace pasta
Recipe courtesy of Kate Sherwood from Nutrition Action Newsletter
If you enjoy strength training with weights as part of your fitness regimen, try this suggestion. Take your normal routine and do it in reverse. After you have properly warmed up take what you would do as your last exercise in your normal routine and begin with it. You will be stronger while performing these exercises because you will not be pre-fatigued. This will enable you to target new muscle strength in these parts of the body exercised first allowing you the ability to work these muscles in a way they are not usually accustomed to. As a result this will stimulate the growth of new muscle fibers. This is beneficial whether strength or size is what you are aiming for.
The Idea of using glue as a replacement for stitches or staples has long been explored. However up to now there is no adhesive that has been found to be strong enough. Researchers are now considering snails and slugs as a possible answer. It seems that the sticky goo, a combination of calcium and iron that is excreted, can be converted to a powerful adhesive. The fact that this residue from both slugs and snails is able to resist being pried off of rocks by birds even when they are underwater has attracted the attention of scientists. Creating a glue with this amount of strength can be extremely useful in healing since it would be able to accommodate both movement as well as any liquid that might come in contact with the skin.
Put quite simply fatigue is a weariness brought on by either physical or mental exertion or both. Is it good to feel fatigue? What is the purpose of fatigue and can it be a beneficial warning sign? Not to be confused with weakness, fatigue is a totally different sensation. Weakness may be a lack of physical strength whereas fatigue is more of a feeling of exhaustion resulting in lack of energy. So what are the benefits of knowing if you are suffering from fatigue? First it is of utmost importance to determine whether it is the result of something physical or mental. Lifestyle factors can be responsible for physical fatigue. Physical fatigue is a way of the body putting the brakes on things. If we have exercised to our limits it is a sign that we need to step back and let the body rest and recover which is classified as muscle fatigue. This type of fatigue is the failure to maintain the required and expected force of multiple muscle sites during physical exertion. It is your central nervous system kicking in to prevent you from causing yourself injury. Warning signs can be either soreness, burning or a tingling sensation. This brings us back to the importance of having a night of sound sleep. Sleep being the most beneficial way of restoring the body back to a feeling of vitality. Although the symptoms for mental fatigue are identical to physical fatigue the causes are totally different and can be completely opposite. Psychological problems can be the cause of mental fatigue. Unlike physical fatigue from exercise, mental fatigue can be brought on by lack of exercise. Mental fatigue is a little more challenging. The root can be as simple as worrying, boredom or overwork but can in some cases occur from depression, anxiety or grief. Of course depression, anxiety and grief are severe medical problems that require a doctor’s care. I, however, am writing about the feelings of fatigue that you can take simple steps and recover quickly from. If you feel it might be physical, try to determine if you are exceeding what your body is capable of in the form of exercise. Then determine if you are taking in sufficient nutrition especially electrolytes to accommodate your needs. Evaluate the amount of alcohol, caffeine and sugar you are consuming. If you feel it is more of a mental fatigue start moving. Most symptoms of fatigue will disappear quite quickly if you listen to your body’s needs but if it is long term you should definitely talk with your physician.
Warn Up and Down Properly: Before any exercise or sport it is imperative to warm up properly. Regardless of the weather but especially in winter it is necessary to move blood into the muscles to prevent injury. Dynamic Stretching which involves simulating the range of motion of the exercise you are about to preform is an excellent way to attain this warm-up. It entails working with momentum and not holding at the end position. Static Stretching which involves elongating the muscles through extensions is most productive after finishing your work out. It stretches the muscles to the point of slight discomfort in an effort to relax the muscle after an exercise has been preformed.
Eating Healthy while Traveling: Eating healthy for those of us who travel can become a challenge. Don’t expect to find all the snacks and foods you prefer while you are on your way to your destination. Airports have upped their food stands to a degree. It is now possible to find yogurt, salads and wraps that are a little more healthy than airport food has been in the past. However these foods can still contain a more sugar and bad fat then you may wish to consume. Try to prepare by taking along a healthy sandwich, trail mix or a few of the better nutrition health bars. The same holds true while traveling by car, bus or train. The additional advantage being that you are permitted to carry liquids which means that you can possibly mix yourself up a healthy protein shake.
Za’atar is a versatile mid-eastern blend of spices that can be used on meats, fish, bread and grain. It enhances most foods because it is made up of so many different spices. A combination of sumac, thyme, marjoram, oregano, sesame seeds and salt give it a unique flavor. It gained notoriety in the 12th century for its medicinal properties and even the physician Maimonides is said to have prescribed it to his patients. Since these spices are chock full of flavonoids they can aid in reducing cell damage due to their anti-inflammatory abilities. Spread it over pita with a little olive oil, add it to yogurt as a dip or just sprinkle it as a spice when preparing to bake chicken or fish. It will expose you to an entirely new taste sensation.
I recently had the pleasure of doing a children’s workshop on nutrition. The group ranged from ages 4 to 6. It was amazing how focused and captivated they were. What was also interesting is how nutrition was a topic they found important to discuss and questioned me in detail about specific concerns they had.