Movement and Our Gut Microbiome…

How different is the gut makeup of that of an athlete as opposed to that of an inactive person? In a new study the gut microbiome of marathoners was given to mice and the result was an increase in activity. There has been an increased interest by scientists on how the huge population of gut flora affects our health and well-being but now this study takes it even a step further. How intertwined is our outside with the inside of our bodies? Until recently scientists have been studying the effect of transferring gut microbiome from thin to obese mice and people and the results have been varied. A new study published in Nature Medicine which was done by the researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard University is focused more on the flora of active as opposed to sedentary subjects. In studying runners, they discovered a high number of a certain microbiome called Veillonella. They all had a different diet, but activity was the only common thread. Veillonella is a microbe that is responsible for metabolizing lactate in our gut and can influence blood sugar levels, oxygen consumption and inflammation. If the transfer of this microbe is successful it may be a new way of attacking the obesity problem. That is in combination with the motivation to be more active.

How to BBQ Safely

Summer is for grilling and eating outdoors. Here are some tips that might help in making barbecuing a healthier way of eating.


1} Stay with chicken, turkey or fish since it does not take as long to cook. If you prefer beef, precook the meat to cut down on the amount of time it must spend on the grill

2} Try to marinate first. The sugar and oil will form a barrier and will prevent the meat from     getting seared.

3) Alternate with grilling fruits and veggies, they will not form hydrocarbons when heated.

4) Clean the grill thoroughly before you begin. This will eliminate any additional old char from being consumed.

6) Hard woods such as hickory or maple burn at a lower temperature, as opposed to a soft wood such as pine.

7) Trim fat and flip the meat often. This will decrease the amount of dripping which will discourage burning and blackening of the meat.

p.s. it’s not only for summertime, we have friends who grill all year round.


Working around Busy Schedule

It is easy to talk about eating well and how important it is. A good many of us know what we should be doing but are so busy that it can make it extremely difficult to stay on track. How do you simplify meals while maintaining good nutrition? Here are some tips. Electric and slow cookers make it easy to just dump a bunch of ingredients into them and come home to a good meal. Mixers, such as the Ninja, make it easy to combine leftover veggies and some beans and come up with some great soups and purees. Some mixers even have the option of heating the soup if you so desire. Don’t forget cooking extra and freezing. Omelets make a great alternate dinner. They are quick and almost any ingredient can go inside them. Putting on the oven is not always necessary. Fish and chicken can be poached in a skillet over a layer of vegetables. Try not to get caught up in the fact that cooking is too time consuming. There are easy ways to cut down on unnecessary sugar, salt and fat which is usually a component of take out. A little planning and some good appliances can keep you on track.

A Brighter Future…

We give a great deal of attention to protecting our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. There are sunscreens that go as high as 100 SPF. Are we neglecting our eyes? Sunglasses come in all shapes, patterns and colors. Some of them can even make us look extremely cool. They may be the best way to protect our eyes as we age. Besides protecting us from the suns’ rays, they can protect our eyes from dust, dirt, bugs and drying winds of all temperatures. Although there have been few warnings about the dangers of exposing our eyes to the sun, sunglasses can prevent a host of many dangerous eye diseases including melanoma. Glasses, no matter what the price, should have at least (400 mm) UVA protection. Color does not matter but darker is better. Wrap around is a good choice. There is also an anti-reflective coating that can be on both sides of the glass which protects rays coming from behind. Children’s eyes are extremely susceptible to the suns’ rays since they are still in development. Check with your optician if you want to be sure of what you are buying. Think of how cool it would look if the whole family went out wearing shades. I wonder if I should consider a pair for my pooch.