If the Shoe Fits…Fitness Tip

Having the right shoe for the right activity can mean so much to performance. We are all so differentSneaker basketball physically that so many aspects have to be taken into account. Whatever shoe you choose should be comfortable when you begin your exercise routine. More importantly it is advisable to try shoes after you have completed your workout because feet expand and you could possibly go up as much as a size. Fitness experts suggest a shoe that has heavy soles, cushioning and good support for your arches. First decide if you are looking for a shoe that is specifically for running, walking, cross-training or basketball. Most important before you make your purchase, know your feet. The height of your arches, the flatness of your feet, do you have a tendency to supinate (put weight on the outside of the shoe or pronate (put weight on the inside). If you are unsure work with a good salesperson and remember to replace your shoes at least every 6 months.


Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…

Bones boaSevere bone loss (Osteoporosis) now affects 25 million people in the U.S. Is this condition inevitable as we age or can lifestyle changes stop its progression? Most of the growth of our bone mass happens in our 20’s and 30’s. Afterwards, it is necessary to take steps to prevent bones from becoming fragile and porous. Should we wait until an unexpected fracture occurs warning us that we have weak bones or should we take steps to ensure that we have strong bones until old age? There is great competition for calcium between the blood and bone marrow. An unhealthy diet can cause the body to become too acidicbones ladder causing it to excrete too much calcium. A great deal of emphasis has been placed on consuming dairy to increase our supply of calcium. Is that true? In fact there are more bone fractures in countries that consume large amounts of dairy. What if you are lactose intolerant? Are we overlooking other foods that may be as significantly important for bone health? Let’s look at the structure of bones. They are composed of 65% calcium phosphate salts for strength and 35% collagen for flexibility. With this in mind both factors of the equation need to be nourished. A good supply of calcium, vitamin Bones aerobicsD, as well as magnesium are all important since they support each other. So what steps should we take? We depend on our storage of vitamin D from our summer supply, which by now is depleted, especially for those who live in the northern hemisphere. Green leafy vegetables are an excellent supply of both calcium and vitamin D. Broths made from vegetables, bone or fish combined with seaweed are abundant in necessary minerals. Canned sardines and salmon along with their bones are another source. Healthy fat to help absorption of our mineral intake shouldBones beach chair not be overlooked. Vitamin K, necessary for blood clotting, has been found to stimulate and work well in combination with vitamin D. A good source would be all of your blue and purple fruits and vegetables. When weather permits taking 15 minutes a day of sunlight to increase storage of vitamin D should be part of a daily routine. What about exercise? Low impact running and aerobics but especially weight training have an extremely positive effect on bone strength at any age. In fact tests show that taking up these exercises even late in life can have a reversal effect. So don’t sit back and let life pass you by, but instead take the time to enjoy eating or exercising whenever possible in the sunshine.

DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging)…

   DTIDTI is proving to be more effective in determining brain abnormalities then CT or MRI scans as a result of concussions. There are over 300,000 adults and children that suffer concussions yearly and not all of them exhibit the same symptoms. Researchers are concerned why some people have no lasting effect from concussions while others exhibit signs years later. Although DTI scanning is not new, researchers have found another way of reading the information. This new approach known as functional anisotropy (FA) can reveal whether there is any swelling in the brain. Since everyone has a unique special pattern of a brain abnormality, it is possible to determine which injury will be long lasting. Hopes are that it will be especially useful in helping soldiers returning from battle with blast concussions. If an abnormality is determined early there is a better chance of helping with recovery.

Rainbow Vegetable Dish…

 Indian Eggplants, Sweet Potatoes & Red PeppersIndian eggplant                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Ingredients:                                                                                                                                      -10 small Indian Eggplants (cut in 4-6 sections each)                                                                           – 1 medium sweet potato ( cut in 1/2 inch pieces)                                                                                – 3 large cloves garlic (diced)                                                                                                               – 1 large red bell pepper (diced)
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/4 teaspoon of salt
– 1/2 can tomato sauce
– Hot pepper to taste
– Generous amount of Turmeric
– 3/4 cup low sodium veggie broth

Directions:                                                                                                                                          - Saute garlic for 2 minutes in olive oil in a large skillet                                                                         – Add  all the above ingredients cover                                                                                                                            -low to medium flame-for about 40 minutes.

Nutritional Facts:
-Red Peppers rich in Lycopene-support for our urinary tract
-Purple Eggplants provide Vit. K important for blood clotting
-Orange sweet Potatos -Vit. A necessary for eye health
-White Garlic is a strong antioxidant
-Turmeric one of the best spices for fighting inflammation

Cooked or Raw?

cooked veggiesHaving a good amount of raw foods in our diet is important to replenish digestive enzymes. Certain foods, although we have eaten them raw may be more beneficial if eaten cooked.

*Tomatoes-the phytochemical lycopene is 35% stronger when cooked-important for urinary tract health.
*Spinach is loaded with oxalic acid which blocks calcium absorption. However this barrier is broken down by heat.
*Carrots when steamed or cooked increase the potency of carotenoids by 14%- important for eye health.
*Asparagus-6 of the main nutrients were increased by 16% after cooking, one of which is a cancer-fighting antioxidant.
*Mushrooms-potassium,magnesium and zinc were increased twofold when cooked.



How to Deal with Stress…With Stress!

Stress RopeStress surrounds our lives daily. Everything from our job to relationships to financial concerns can be sources of stress. This constant bombardment can in the long term cause great bodily harm. Let’s look at the different types of stress. Here is how they would be abbreviated if they were texts. IS (immediate stress) sudden immediate danger ex. being chased by a bear. LLS (long, lasting stress) a prolonged period of stress ex. stuck in a traffic jam for hours. PS (psychological stress) a period of days or weeks thinking of an upcoming stressful situation with either a person, place or event. ICS (ingesting caffeine stress) deliberately putting the body under stress by either energy drinks, excess coffee or tea. Although all these types of stress are totally different, the body is not able to recognize this andStress runners in turn will respond in the same manner by releasing adrenaline to cope. Allostatic load is the term now being used for how the body responds to these repeated bouts of stress, especially the psychological type which can be the most damaging. What we should strive for is the state of allostatis–the point when we are able to favorably deal with stress. So how can we turn things around and make stress work for us? The answer is exercise. Pushing the body to its limits is another form of stress. The only difference is that we are in control. We can stop the stress whenever we feel it is becoming too much to handle. Just as all the other forms of stress, exercise also forces the body to release cortisol in response to the release of adrenaline. In so doing, Stress dogwhen we increase our level of activity we increase the level of cortisol our body is able to endure. This will prepare us to handle future rigors and stressful situations. In other words pushing the body to its healthy limits. Following a period of exercise we more then likely will find ourselves in an enhanced mood. Maintaining this enhanced mood will make it easier for us to handle a stressful situation when it occurs. So go ahead, stress yourself out deliberately with an intense exercise session. Just remember to fortify yourself with proper nutrition so you will have the stamina to keep up with whatever you are attempting to achieve.



     clove dryCloves make that sweet aromatic smell that you find emanating from ginger bread, pumpkin pie and so many foods around the holidays. They are a great addition to pea soup, ham, baked beans even chili. Cloves are the unopened buds of the evergreen clove tree. They are originally pink and turn brown afterclove flower they are allowed to dry. Besides adding a unique taste to food, they have an abundance of antibacterial and germicidal properties. They have been used for centuries to fight infection, relieve digestive problems and help with some forms of arthritis and gum disease. Traces of their use go back as far as 300 AD in China. Their are at least 36 different ingredients contained within cloves which is why  they are considered a strong antioxidant.



Hemp…A Sustainable Fabric

  There seems to be confusion as to whether hemp for clothing, oil, food etc. is grown from the same hemp3plant as that which is smoked. There is a difference. There are different variants of the plant. The high amount of psychoactive drug compounds in the plants that are used commercially is extremely low. However just connection to the word “Cannabis ” has made it illegal to grow here in the states. This is not so in other countries where the fabric made from hemp is considered extremely environmentally friendly. It has no need to be grown using pesticides or insecticides and is drought resistant while improving soil conditions. It is not necessary to use toxic chemicals or sophisticated technology when fabric is produced from its stalks. Hemp has been used for thousands of years and is great for local economies as well as being a great sustainable fabric.

Glymphatic System…

  One mystery that has always puzzled scientists is how does the brain cleanse itself?  The lymphatic brainsystem is responsible for sucking up waste and toxins but does not extend to the brain and the spinal column.  The glymphatic system was discovered last year and attributed to how the brain is able to rid itself of toxins. However it can only happen during the period of deepest sleep. It is during this period when our brain cells actually shrink and the space between the cells enlarges enabling them to be washed by cerebral fluid in turn beginning the cleaning process. The fluid then washes the waste into the veins and out through the liver. One of the proteins thought to be circulated is that which is responsible for developing amyloid plaque. This plaque is now thought to be a marker for later developing Alzheimer’s disease.


Whey Protein…

Whey Oatmeal
Whey Protein Powder – not just for Shakes…                                                 
     By now most of you have heard of Whey Protein Powder. It has been shown to preserve muscle mass as we age, increase strength, build our immunity and encourage weight loss. In choosing one try to stay with an isolate which has most of the carbohydrates and fat removed. A Whey Yogurtgood portion of the American diet consists of too many carbohydrates, that is why it is necessary to increase the protein portion for better balance in your diet.  Protein powders do not contain empty calories like most fast food and processed snacks.  Their origin is from real foods. Vegetarians especially can benefit greatly from whey protein.  This is because vegetarian sources of quality protein are limited. As for the rest of us, instead of only using it as part of a protein shake before or after a workout, add it to those foods that you feel need an extra boost of protein.  Add it to oatmeal, stir it in plain yogurt, blend it in pancake mix or mix a little with your milk and pour it over dry cereal.