If you’ve ever let a batch of bananas go bad, you’ve probably lamented over the waste of both food and money. Those bright yellow peels covered with so many brown spots make for an unappetizing, overly sweet and squishy mess. Better to just toss them and be done with it, right? Wrong! You may think upon looking at an overripe banana that it’s past it’s prime, but that’s the very best time to eat it.

We don’t eat oranges when they are green, and we wait for avocados to be brown or even black. We do these things because we know the fruit is not yet ripe, and not only does that affect the taste, it makes the fruit much harder to eat. So why is it that we are in such a hurry to eat bananas when they aren’t ripe yet?

This practice most likely has to do with appearance and texture. Brown spots look unsightly, and when it comes to fruit, most of us have generally been taught that squishiness or the presence of spots typically indicate that the fruit is past the point of safe consumption. However, while a brown and black spotted banana may not look all that appetizing, the truth is, the ripening process activates a lot of the nutrients of the banana that aren’t ready, or at their highest levels, when it is green, or even pure yellow.

Of course, bananas are well known for their potassium. Potassium is a mineral the body needs to help protect and strengthen the heart. It works to counter sodium in that it reduces heart disease by making blood vessels more flexible. This cuts down on blood pressure, because the heart can more easily pump blood through the body. Potassium also prevents buildup in the arteries, which decreases the odds of a blockage.  What you may not know about potassium is that it is also beneficial for preventing muscle cramps. These are all good things, but bananas are beneficial for so much more than just potassium.

Consider, for example, tumor necrosis factor(TNF). This essentially does exactly what it sounds like. Essentially, it is a protein that helps to regulate the immune response, which allows it to contribute greatly to the destruction of tumors and other harmful entities in the body. Those black and brown spots you find on ripened bananas are indicators the strong presence of TNF proteins. Why not give your immune system a boost?

Bananas provide many other benefits as well. Consider the following:

Bananas, like many fruits, have high levels of antioxidants, which as the name might suggest, help to protect cells from damage caused by oxidation. Put simply; antioxidants limit the damage your cells take, which also reduces the odds of cancer and similar complications.

Bananas are also an effective source of energy. The average banana contains just over 100 calories and roughly 27 grams of carbohydrate. This makes it the perfect snack for ongoing energy.

You might read that previous note and think that those carbohydrates, along with the sweet taste of a ripened banana makes them a blood sugar nightmare. This, however, is not the case. Bananas are something of a diabetic friendly food. This is because, upon consumption, the types of sugar in bananas help to regulate the carbohydrate digestion, which allows the blood pressure to remain stable.

Bananas also contain around three grams of fiber, which helps with digestion; somewhat unique to bananas, however, is the type of fiber they possess, called pectins. Put simply, this form of fiber is digested later at the bottom of the digestive tract, which helps to better balance the bacteria in your gut (re: more ‘good’ bacteria). A better balance of bacteria leads to better digestive health, and a better you.

Vitamin B6 is also well supplied by bananas. Essentially, B6 facilitates the metabolizing of various bodily processes, perhaps most notably the production of energy. It’s necessary for cardiovascular, muscular, nervous, and many other systems, to function properly. It is essential for healthy skin, hair, and organs.

Bananas, like most fruits, also are a good source of Vitamin C. In addition to its commonly praised (and true) role in boosting the immune system to defeat the common cold, Vitamin C is necessary for tissue growth and repair. It also helps prevent heart disease!

One benefit of bananas that may surprise you is the effect they have on your mood. Thanks to an amino acid known as tryptophan, bananas are a great way to improve your mood. Tryptophan does this by boosting the serotonin (one of the four ‘happy’ chemicals) in the brain, which can have you feeling brighter and more confident in no time.

Combined with calcium, manganese is a nutrient that helps the body build sturdy and healthy bones. Bananas are a strong source of manganese, as well as B and C Vitamins, which also contribute to bone health.

All of these beneficial nutrients are present at their highest levels when the banana as at its ripest; that is to say, the fruit is at its prime when covered in brown or black spots, packed full of healthy vitamins and minerals. You may not be used to eating bananas at this stage, which can make it difficult to do so. Consider these recipe ideas to make the most out of your ‘bad’ bananas!

After reading all of this, are you excited to reap the rewards, but your bananas aren’t quite ripe yet? Try putting them in a tightly rolled paper bag! Bananas stems have a ripening agent called ethylene that they release into the air — keeping bananas in a paper bag confines the ethylene, causing the bananas to absorb more of it faster, speeding up the ripening process. You can also use bananas to ripen other fruits, such as tomatoes, avocados, or apples in this manner, which means you’ll be getting the very best in nutrient potential from both fruits!

Original Article: Click Here

All Made Simple – by: S.George

Contact: [email protected]

“If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to be who you have always been…you must change to change…”


Of all the seasonings in the world, there is one to rule them all: salt. However, too much of this good thing can lead to some very serious negative health problems.

Salt (NaCl ) is also known as table salt. It is a chemical compound made of sodium and chloride ions. All animals on our beautiful planet depend on ingesting salt to stay alive.

Ancient people knew that salt made food taste better. They also used the ionic compound to preserve food for consumption when it was out of season and to transport food over long distances. It is thought that salt was fundamental to the creation of human civilization – that’s how important it is.

In many parts of the world, salt is very hard to come by. In other places, it is abundant. Because of this, salt became a highly-prized trade good. There is a salt road which leads to Rome, Italy, called the Via Salaria that dates back to the Bronze Age.

If you noticed that the Italian word for salt – salaria – looks a lot like the word “salary,” go to the head of the class. Here’s the back story:

Salary comes from the Latin word salarium, which also means “salary” and has the root sal, or “salt.” In ancient Rome, it specifically meant the amount of money allotted to a Roman soldier to buy salt, which was an expensive but essential commodity.”

Nowadays, salt is easy to find in grocery stores and quite inexpensive. A 26-ounce container of iodized salt costs around $5. The same amount of sea salt sells for a bit more.

There are several kinds of salt, including some you that are probably quite familiar:

Table salt is usually mined from underground salt deposits. It is then processed to eliminate unwanted minerals and often has an additive to prevent clumping. Natural table salt contains no iodine.

Sea salt comes from evaporated water from oceans or saltwater lakes. Typically, it is not highly processed. Trace minerals and elements are left behind on purpose, as nutritional supplements.

Iodized salt is any salt that has iodine added to it. The thyroid gland needs iodine to produce thyroid hormones that control many functions in the body, such as growth and development. Your body can’t make iodine so it is imperative to include an iodine source in your diet.

Kosher salt contains no bitter-tasting iodine and its texture is coarse compared to table salt. It is used in cooking rather than table-side. Chefs like it because it handles easily and sticks to food. A Jewish Rabbi doesn’t have to bless salt to make it kosher – the name comes from the koshering process, where blood in meat must be drawn out with water and salt (or broiling) before cooking.

All salt contains 40 percent sodium. Nearly every processed food item available commercially has some sodium – it is everywhere and hard to avoid – even if you add salt sparingly at the dinner table.

New Jersey nutritionist and fitness guru Mandy Enright explained it this way:

“The general rule of thumb is that any processed or man-made food most likely contains sodium – and high levels of it. If it comes in a can or is pre-made and frozen, there’s salt present.”

Intaking too much dietary salt is linked to bloating, water retention, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

How much salt is too much? A mere teaspoon (2300mg), according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC says we Americans eat about 3,400mg of sodium daily. That’s about 1/3 teaspoon too much – and that can add up fast. Part of the problem is that we typically don’t even know when we’re eating food laced with sodium. From the CDC:

“And don’t let your taste buds fool you. Foods like grains, baked goods, and meats may not taste salty, but they add up to major sources of daily sodium because they are eaten so often.”

These numbers might shock you:

  • One slice of bread can contain anywhere from 80 to 230 mg of sodium, and a slice of frozen pizza can contain between 370 and 730 mg.
  • Some breakfast cereals contain 150 to 300 mg of sodium.

Among the signs that you’re eating too much salt are:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Belly bloat
  • Swollen fingers or toes
  • Headache
  • Food loses its taste

Salt makes your body retain water. The extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. The heart races and feel the bloat.

High blood pressure strains the heart, arteries, kidneys, and brain and can cause heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease.

If you suspect you’ve eaten too much salt, here are some tips on how to feel better:

  1. Drink a lot of water to dilute the salt and flush it from the kidneys.
  2. Sweat it out by vigorous exercise, a hot sauna, or blanket sweat.
  3. Take some potassium to counteract the sodium. Bananas, white beans, leafy greens, and potatoes are all high in potassium – or take a supplement.
  4. Ask your doctor to examine you and check your blood sodium levels. African Americans over the age of 51 and anyone with a cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure are at risk of further complications.

There is a fine line between not getting enough salt and overdoing it. The best thing to do is read the nutritional labels on packaged foods and adjust your diet to stay within the recommended limits. You might want to eliminate extremely high-sodium foods such as pop-open biscuits and canned soups.

Original Article: Click Here

All Made Simple – by: S.George

Contact: [email protected]

“If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to be who you have always been…you must change to change…”


Protein consumption is an important part of any diet, especially for those who exercise regularly and need protein to repair muscles and build energy. Eating the proper portions of proteins like chicken, fish, meats, milk, and eggs in proportion to your weight can be incredibly nutritious for the body and can help body tissues, blood vessels, hair, skin, and nails. However, it is possible to get too much of a good thing, especially when you’re on a high-protein diet like Atkins or Paleo. How do you know if you’re eating too much protein? The following seven signs can help you decide if you should re-think your diet.

1: You’re in a Bad Mood

Being in a bad mood from time to time is normal; however, constantly being in a bad mood might be due to excessive protein. By eating too much protein and not enough carbs, you don’t get enough sugar for your brain to run on. Try to take a closer look at how much protein you are actually eating compared to carbs, and try to even out the difference. Try reaching out for a piece of fruit or yogurt, brown rice, and whole grain oatmeal.

2: You’ve Got Brain Fog

Feeling fatigued lately? Can’t seem to shake off the afternoon slump? It might not be due to a long day or loads of work, it might be due to your high-protein diet that is causing you to have incoherent thoughts. A sugar deficit can cause the brain to shrink, and carbs (which have sugar) are the brain’s main source of energy. Make sure your diet includes some sugar that balances out carbs and proteins in order to avoid brain fog.

3: You’re “Hangry”

Feeling restless and not eating for extended periods of time can ultimately lead you to feel like you’re “hangry” (angry and hungry), but nutritionists argue that it might be that you have eaten too many grams of protein and not enough carbs in your day. By not consuming the necessary amounts of carbs, the body’s blood sugar drops and doesn’t produce enough mood-regulating serotonin, thus causing “hangry” signs. When you start feeling those old familiar symptoms creeping up, try grabbing a snack or side dish like Greek yogurt with berries, string cheese with fruit or hummus with whole grain crackers to stabilize your blood sugar.

4: You’re Gaining Weight

If you find yourself drinking a few protein drinks a day or eating excess animal protein, keep in mind you are consuming extra fat and calories. No matter where these calories are coming from, sugar, protein, or fat, it will undoubtedly cause weight gain. Shift your meals towards a healthier direction and aim to properly balance your diet by eating lean proteins, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. Always remember that half your plate should be filled with fruits or vegetables, one quarter should be protein, and the other should be starch or whole grains.

5: You’re a Little Backed Up

Regular digestion cycles not only make you feel good, but also keep you healthy by minimizing potential stomach issues. However, if your protein intake is too high, you may struggle to stay regular. By replacing the majority of your diet with protein, you don’t eat enough fiber, grains or vegetables. Fiber plays an important role in the digestive system and regularity, and without it, you can experience constipation. Try to eat 25 grams of fiber daily from foods like whole grains (like oatmeal and quinoa), vegetables, and fruit.

6: You’re Always Thirsty

A constant desire for water is an indicator of too much protein. In fact, eating too much protein can cause mild dehydration, as the kidneys are being overworked to remove the excess protein as well as the nitrogen waste from metabolizing the protein, causing you to urinate too much and eventually wreck your kidneys. The solution? Water! And of course, reducing your protein intake.

7: You’ve Got Dragon Breath

As it was found to be a common complaint about those who participated in the famed Atkins diet, bad breath can be caused by eating too much protein. Since the body and brain run on carbs, the lack of them in the body cause it to use fat as fuel and produce ketones, which are responsible for the foul smell in your mouth. This can be especially dangerous for diabetics.

Original Article: Click Here

All Made Simple – by: S.George

Contact: [email protected]

“If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to be who you have always been…you must change to change…”


Every time you stand before a mirror and feel embarrassed by your pot belly, you wonder how you can burn that excess fat and build at least a well-toned abdomen, if not six-pack abs. Well, it is not as insurmountable a goal as you think.

Men typically tend to carry an excess amount of fat deposits in their abdomen. According to a study, the average weight of a man today is estimated to be around twenty-four pounds more than the average weight of men during the 1960s. People with an excess amount of fat in the belly are more prone to diseases even though they are otherwise slim and fit.

The fat which is accumulated inside the tummy area is medically known as visceral fat, which can contribute to life-threatening diseases. It is a type of fat which could increase the chances of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Most healthcare professionals and organizations utilize Body Mass Index (BMI) instead of overall body weight to forecast the risk of metabolic diseases.

Once you have recognized that you have excess belly fat, and you wish to get rid of it, here are some safe, proven, and effective ways to achieve your goal.

1: Consume Plenty of Soluble Fiber

Having a sufficient amount of soluble fiber in your food will help in the proper functioning of your digestive system. It gradually absorbs water and creates a gel which helps in slowing down the food as it enters through your digestive system. Studies have revealed that consuming this type of fiber significantly promotes fat loss.

2: Avoid Foods Containing Trans Fats

In order to reduce belly fat and safeguard your health, it is advisable to stay away from products such as margarine and packaged foods which contain trans fats. Trans fats could lead to inflammation, heart disease, and excessive fat accumulation in the abdominal cavity. No one wants that! No one wants a belly like Megan in Bridesmaids!

3: Drink Your Morning Coffee

The presence of caffeine in coffee helps to reduce the excess amount of fat present in your waistline. It is a prudent idea to drink a cup of coffee early in the morning before exercise. But you have to make sure that sugar or additional cream is not included because it contains excess calories. Consuming 200 to 330 mg of a caffeine supplement every morning can help in burning the extra fat present in your stomach.

4: Avoid or Minimize Alcohol Intake

Excessive alcohol consumption may increase the risk of central obesity. You can reduce your waist size by lowering your intake of alcohol. A recent study revealed that about two thousand people who limited themselves to no more than one drink a day showed no signs of belly fat.

5: Switch to a High Protein Diet

A high protein diet such as meat, eggs, fish, whey protein and nuts helps in decreasing your appetite, and it is a major nutrient for weight control. It also helps in boosting your metabolic rate as well as preserves your muscle mass, especially during weight loss.

6. Minimize Your Stress Levels

Frequent bouts of anxiety or stress may trigger the adrenal glands to create cortisol (a steroid hormone), leading to unwanted weight gain. A higher level of steroid hormones in the body could increase your appetite and abdominal fat storage. Yoga, meditation, and hobby pursuits can help you combat stress.

7. Include Grapefruit in Your Diet

Eating a half a grapefruit thrice (three times – yes – this could be excessive – you do not want to eat too much of anything so it is up to you if you want to eat half a grapefruit three times a day) a day can help you lower your weight within three months. It is also capable of reducing your insulin levels because it is a rich source of Vitamin C.

8. Eat Oatmeal

Oatmeal is indeed one of the top fat burning snacks because it contains plenty of fiber. Fat loss experts recommend that you eat at least one cup of cooked oats daily. However, make sure that the snack is free from any kinds of flavors.

9. Consume Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a solid source of protein. It is slow digesting casein, which helps in reducing muscle breakdown.

10. Reduce the Intake of Sugary Items

A higher intake of sugar which contains fructose could lead to chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fat accumulation and fatty liver disease. Even if you choose healthier sugars such as honey, they should only be consumed in small quantities.

11. Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking adequate amount of water frequently during the day helps in enhancing your metabolic rate. Diet and fat loss professionals often recommend people to drink two cups of cold water between meals as it helps in maintaining metabolism at a higher rate.

12. Consume Green Tea Extracts

Green tea extracts, which contain caffeine and catechins, help in burning your belly fat. Consuming 500 mg of green tea extract three times a day is highly recommended.

13. Replace Refined Carbs with Unprocessed Starchy Carbs

Excess intake of refined carbs could lead to undesirable fat pockets in the abdomen and elsewhere, and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. You may replace refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs which will help to enhance your metabolic health and bring down your belly fat. No one wants to look like White Goodman at the end of Dodgeball!

14. Replace Cooking Fats with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is regarded as one of the rare refined fats, which is safe to consume. Studies have revealed that the medium-chain fats present in coconut oil help in boosting metabolism as well as reducing the amount of fat content in your body. Another study has shown that obese men who consumed coconut oil on a regular basis lost a large amount of fat at an average of about 1.1 inch from their waistline.

Make these simple tips integral to your everyday life, and stay committed until enforced discipline turns into a natural, healthy habit. In no time you will have the physical figure you have always wanted, and it will also boost your self-image and dramatically improve your quality of life.

Original Article: Click Here

All Made Simple – by: S.George

Contact: [email protected]

“If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to be who you have always been…you must change to change…”

 


Chances are, even if you’re trying to eat healthy, occasionally, you consume food that has been exposed to pesticides. As the name implies, pesticides kill harmful organisms, such as insects, rodents, and weeds, so they do not eat the crops that the pesticide is sprayed on. However, many people are wondering just how safe these pesticides are for people who eat the food. There is some evidence to suggests that pesticides, in the wrong amounts, can be harmful and even fatal to humans. Therefore, finding ways to cleanse food after the ‘necessary evil’ of pesticides is a top concern.

While the recognition of pesticide ingestion as a problem is clear, what is less so is the best way to clean off pesticides to make the food they once protected safer for human consumption. As with many other situations, there are some partially effective solutions and some that make absolutely no difference at all. When it comes to protecting your health, it’s important to be as informed as possible. With that being said, when it comes to getting harmful chemicals off of your fruits and vegetables, there are many things you need to keep in mind.

Water Isn’t Enough

More than likely, you rinse off your apples, pears, and such before you eat them. This will undoubtedly help get the wax off, as well as remove any harmful substances that happen to be on the fruit in question. There’s some truth to this. That being said, it is unrealistic to expect even a thorough washing of three to five minutes or more to remove all of the pesticides present on fruit. Water cannot remove every trace of pesticide from fruit on its own. It’s an excellent place to start, but generally, effectiveness is dependent on the fruit being washed.

So, if water isn’t enough, then what is? Perhaps you have heard of veggie wash? There are some mixed reviews about it as well. While it is effective at taking care of dirt and wax, there is little to be said about their effectiveness regarding pesticides. Neither the FDA nor USDA recommends switching to veggie wash use. If you decide to change to a veggie wash, however, you’re better off making your own; not only is the effectiveness questionable, the commercial versions costlier, and may seep into the fruit itself, defeating the purpose of washing at all.

Natural Alternative?

If water is not enough, and commercial vegetable washes are no good, what is the solution? Well, to listen to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the answer is to use sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda, in conjunction with water. The most significant drawback is that it may take longer than one is willing to wait; in one study, soaking fruits in a water and baking soda solution caused the pesticides being used in the study to break down. While about ten minutes made a significant difference, this process took approximately fifteen minutes for the most significant effect.

While that’s well and good, it may be a little early to celebrate. This particular study covered one type of fruit, Gala apples, against the two pesticides phosmet and thiabendazole. While the solution may have proven effective under these circumstances, there is no guarantee that this will be the result regarding all fruits and vegetables when it comes to removing all of the different types of pesticides. Still, this suggests some very promising things when it comes to the world of healthy eating. Keep in mind that pesticides can sometimes seep into fruit too, where washing solutions can’t always reach.

Results

While the fruit may not be 100% clear because the harmful chemicals end up leaching into a fruit’s skin and flesh, you can still rest assured that the food is at least somewhat safer than it would be otherwise. After all, there is only so much room for harmful substances inside a given piece of fruit; there is a limit to how toxic they can become. While this may seem like cold comfort, again, you’re still better off rinsing your vegetables, because at the very least you can do away with the surface germs and pesticides.

Organic Solutions

Generally, organic is another word for ‘healthy’, and it’s easy to see why: when it comes to the treatment of food, producers of organic food supplies tend to use fewer chemicals or controversial methods. Organic is the way to go if you’d like to minimize your exposure to pesticides and other potentially harmful substances. Strict regulations prevent the use of conventional pesticides; as a result, organic produce generally is protected by more vigorous, interventionist style pest control. Still, there are other vectors by which pesticides can end up in organic produce- these are simply less direct most of the time.

Regulations for organic food mean ‘less’ pesticides and “safer” ones. While this translates into less pesticide residue, it is by no means ‘no pesticide residue’. Even if this were the case, there is another factor to consider. All crops need water to grow, and sometimes pesticides get into the water supply. In this case, pesticides get fed into the crops, as opposed to being sprayed on; unfortunately, that’s not something you can just soak out, or wipe away. Chances are unless you grow your own food from scratch, you won’t get away from pesticides completely, and maybe not even then.

If you’re stuck relying on shopping, as most of us are, there are still some smarter choices you can make in regards to your purchases. For starters, you can make it a point to avoid the “Dirty Dozen.”. This list of food refers to a list of foods that are most commonly found with significant levels of pesticides in them. Essentially, if you have to buy these foods, it is imperative that you buy the organic versions of them to minimize your risk, something that is somewhat less necessary for fruits and vegetables that are not on this list.

The Danger of Pesticides

You might be wondering if pesticides are serious enough to be concerned about at all. There are, after all, some scientific advances that fall prey to rumors and panic. However, the case of pesticides, there is recent evidence that suggests we ought to look into a better means of pest control. They are not only thought to be harmful to human health (especially in the case of the workers who handle them) but can also harm the environment. Currently, its thought pesticides cause delayed effects on human health, which suggests they may be a significant threat only in high doses.

Ultimately, at this time, it’s up to you to decide what’s best. Organic foods are usually more expensive, but they are thought to be cleaner than standard fare; that being said, the risk of pesticides has yet to be fully evaluated, though there is strong evidence of adverse health effects. While the levels for such are way above the amount of pesticide used, there are still margins for both error and risk. If you’re worried, shop local, or grow your own food. The closer you are to your source of produce, the more information you have to make good choices.

Original Article: Click Here

All Made Simple – by: S.George

Contact: [email protected]

“If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to be who you have always been…you must change to change…”

 


Sleep is something that we spend a third of our life doing. It would seem only natural for us to be excellent at it, but as it turns out, we still make a lot of mistakes when it comes to achieving quality sleep. Not everyone sleeps the same, and some people just have trouble sleeping at all. It’s quite possible that you haven’t even noticed the 8 Things You Do That Ruin Your Sleep.

Using the Wrong Pillow

As everyone’s body isn’t the same, neither are the pillows that you need to achieve quality sleep. Take account of the position you normally sleep in. People who sleep on their side need a firm pillow to support their head and neck, while people who sleep on their stomach or back need a softer pillow to stay level with the bed. Luckily, many newer pillows indicate which type of sleeper they are for nowadays, making it easier for you to pick out the right one.

Sleeping at the Wrong Temperature

For many of us, sleeping in the summer can be a grueling ordeal. You’re sweaty, uncomfortable, and hot as you constantly change positions before you fall asleep. In order to get a quality night of sleep, it’s recommended to keep your room at a cool temperature. As you fall asleep, your body temperature begins to decrease and a cool room will help your body go through the process. The National Sleep Foundation recommends setting your thermostat to 65 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.

Your Phone is Too Bright

As we become more attached to our cell phones, it becomes harder and harder to put it down before going to sleep. Many of us check social media or read articles on our phone or tablet in our beds. The problem with this, however, is that electronic devices emit blue light which can block your body from producing melatonin. Melatonin helps us fall and stay asleep, so this is a crucial hormone to have. To fight this, try setting your phone to its night mode settings or consider not using your phone for at least ten minutes before bed.

You Snooze Too Much

Some people hate getting up early in the morning. Not all of us are morning people and it’s hard to get up for things you most likely have no interest in doing, like going to work or school. As a result, many people set their alarm clocks ten minutes early and hit the snooze button until they eventually wake up. Unfortunately, snoozing can actually cause a negative effect on your sleep quality. When you snooze, your sleep is broken down into fragments and the body never truly reaches the state of rest, leaving you groggy for the day.

You Drink Too Often

After work, you probably just want to relax for a bit, binge watch your favorite show on Netflix and sip down a few glasses of beer or wine. While this will relax you at the time, it can have a very negative effect on the quality of sleep that you are getting if you drink too close to bedtime. Alcohol can disrupt your brain waves and stress your body during digestion, causing your body to work hard during sleep and make you feel terrible upon waking. Try limiting your daily alcohol consumption to occur a few hours before bed for decent results.

Your Feet Are Cold

While many people prefer to warm their naked feet inside their blanket and sheets, some would have better luck sleeping if they tried something else. Wearing socks while you sleep can have some positive effects, and would keep your significant other happy for not having to feel cold feet as they sleep. Keeping warm feet and other body parts will allow your blood vessels to dilate, meaning that it is easier to fall asleep faster. Be sure to air out your feet sometime during the day, though, as constantly wearing socks could possibly lead to skin problems.

Too Much Caffeine

Many people go through their whole day drinking coffee, tea, or other caffeine-heavy beverages so they can get important tasks done like driving long distances, working, or just staying awake in general. While the caffeine in these beverages will help you stay awake when you need it, it can also prevent you from going to sleep later when you are just trying to rest. It is estimated that drinking coffee as far as 6 hours from bedtime can shorten your sleep by an hour and make you restless during sleep.

Sleeping on a Bad Mattress

Sleeping on a bad mattress can cause you a great deal of sleep-related stress. There are many different types of mattresses for the different types of body shapes out there, and having the wrong type could be the difference between a good night’s rest and a terrible day. Experts recommend that people should change their mattresses at least once every ten years. Mattresses are not built to last forever and a bad mattress can do a great deal of harm if you are prone to pain.

Original Article: Click Here

All Made Simple – by: S.George

Contact: [email protected]

“If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to be who you have always been…you must change to change…”


Do you still do that Crossfit thing?  

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been asked this question or one very similar to it.  What does this question really mean anyway? My thoughts usually go straight to, “I must have gained weight.”  With some hesitation and awkwardness, I let them know I do still do that Crossfit thing. While the question is somewhat curious, my answer is not.

These are my people.  My Crossfit family is the biggest reason I keep coming back for more.  In the wee hours of the morning, we visit about our families, jobs, celebrations and the struggles of daily life.   We miss each other when someone is on vacation. We notice when someone isn’t showing up. We hold each other accountable. We rally in silent support and drag each other to the finish line on days when the workout is getting the better of us. We spend the first hours of the day together. In fact, my 5 am crew sees me as no one except family ever would – no makeup, messy hair, sheet marks still on my arm.  These friends get the rawest, truest version of me. I adore these people. I admire their strength and perseverance. They are my family. They are my friends.

 

We have a running joke…are you here for fitness?  Do you want to get better? The honest answer is a resounding YES!  I am always in the gym for the fitness. I am extremely hard on myself, and I fight with my inner-voice on a daily basis (as we all do).  The good news is that I have come a really long way. When I started Crossfit Boot Camp in my neighborhood park (yes, that used to be an option), I couldn’t do a sit-up or push up.  With dedication, time, persistence and the encouragement of many great coaches along the way, I can do those movements and much more. I know myself, and I know I’ll never be satisfied.  Each big win, like doing consecutive pull-ups or double-unders for the first time, makes me want to keep pushing toward the next goal. Luckily we are blessed with amazing coaches at Crossfit Round Rock who not only have the skill and patience to take us to the next level but who also bring their “fitness A-game” every single day.  A special thank you to Coach Kali for seeing things in me I can’t begin to see in myself!

A moment of clarity hit me about a year and a half ago.   Even though I had been a Crossfitter for a long time and participated in many initiatives, it didn’t really click for me.  A potential health situation forced my hand. My nutrition and fitness goals aligned, and suddenly it all made sense. Fine-tuning in a few areas not only changed my perspective but also the ability to step up my game.  My health issue completely disappeared after 3 years of worrying. I feel better than ever, and I am excited to see what the future holds. I am determined to age gracefully with fitness and health at the heart of it all.  

I am a 43-year-old mother of three.  I started Crossfit 7 years ago with some very simple goals in mind.  I wanted to fit into my clothes, and I wanted to make sure my arm would stop waving when I did.  While these same goals still make the cut, I’ve come to appreciate so much more about my personal Crossfit experience.  I have more goals than I can count, some of which I am not ready to say out loud.

So, back to the original question.  Yes, I still do that Crossfit thing and I intend to keep on doing it.  I hope you are asking because you notice my fitness and not the lack of it.  Keep those questions coming. I’m learning to take them as a compliment

 

-Beth Wilhelmi

 


Nearly 2 billion people around the world are overweight and roughly 600 million of them are obese. A healthy weight leads to more energy, better sleep, and a longer life. If you’d like to get your weight in a healthy range, you need to stop doing these 13 things.

Eating Sugary Foods

If you have a severe sweet tooth, you could be sabotaging your weight loss before you even begin. Whether white, powdered, brown or liquid, sugary foods and drinks are a no-no when you’re trying to lose weight. If you absolutely must curb your sweet tooth, try a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar. Pure honey or stevia works well to sweeten coffee and tea.

Trying Every Fad Diet

Stop choosing eating and exercise plans based on what celebrities, TV doctors, commercials or even your friends and family claim will work. In a lot of cases, these diets are only a “quick fix” that cause you to lose water weight. Unfortunately, the water weight will come right back as soon as you start eating like you usually do again. Even if the eating plan is one that works for others, it may not be right for you. To find the plan that’s right for you, you’ll need to talk to your doctor and consider your dieting history and medical background.

Drinking Soda

Put a stop to your soda habit right now if you want to lose weight. It’s just sugar water with no nutritional value. Moreover, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of thinking it’s acceptable to drink diet soda instead. In many cases, people see no calories or carbohydrates and assume they can drink as much diet soda as they’d like. However, the drink still includes ingredients that will prevent you from slimming down.

Setting Goals That Aren’t Realistic

While motivation is one of the most important keys to losing weight, it can also be detrimental if you aren’t careful. Seeing the results other people have had with losing weight, especially if they have lost a significant amount in a short time, often causes people to set unrealistic goals while they’re motivated. When those goals aren’t met and motivation dwindles, the result can be weight gain. Set small goals and remember that most people only lose about one pound per week.

Having Bagels for Breakfast

Bagels, doughnuts and other types of bread are a staple around most American breakfast tables, but if you eat them regularly, you may as well be stapling them on your waist. Bread has high glycemic indexes, which cause your blood sugar to spike and make you feel hungrier. Opt for eggs, vegetables, fruits and other lean options in the morning to help you stay energized until lunch.

Claiming You Don’t Have Time

More than 40 percent of people say they don’t eat healthy foods because they don’t have time and a whopping 73 percent give lack of time as a reason for not exercising. Unfortunately, weight loss takes effort, which means you must take it seriously and make time. Choose one day a week to prepare healthy meals that you can toss in the microwave or eat right out of the fridge for the week. Take a walk during your lunch break or even do cardio exercises on commercial breaks if you just can’t give up your nightly TV time.

Eating Too Many Carbs

Avoid foods that come in a box or a bag. Crackers, potato chips, cookies, and many other items are laden with refined carbohydrates that offer no nutritional value. Also, they increase your blood sugar, which leaves you feeling hungrier and can make you feel tired or lacking in mental alertness. Stick to fruits, vegetables, and other healthy options when you need a quick snack.

Underestimating What You Eat

Most people don’t realize how many calories and grams of fat they are consuming in a given day. You might think that bite-size candy bar doesn’t count, but if you have five of them in a day, you’re looking at an additional 150 calories or more. Even eating too many healthy foods can cause you to gain weight. Instead of guesstimating your food intake, use a tracking app or website, so you’ll know exactly what you are consuming and be armed with the knowledge to make better choices.

Falling Into the “Healthy Food” Trap

Just because the package claims the food is healthy doesn’t mean that it is. “Organic” doesn’t mean it uses healthy ingredients. Fat-free items are often laden with other chemicals to improve the taste and these chemicals usually slow weight loss. Instead of relying on the front of the package, look at the back. Focus on the calories, carbohydrates and fat grams. It’s also important to understand that even truly healthy foods should be eaten in moderation. Avocados are healthy, but they are also high in calories, so eating them multiple times per day can slow weight loss.

Sitting Around All Day

Between work, school, meals, driving and relaxing in the evening, you probably spend most of your day sitting down. Sitting for most of the day makes it difficult to lose weight and can even lead to other health problems. If your boss will allow it, set up a standing desk or even one that is wired to a treadmill. If you absolutely must sit for most of the day, get up and stretch at least once per hour. Take the time to refill your water bottle, walk a flight of stairs or do a quick lap around your office. This extra movement will add up throughout the day and may even make you feel more energized.

Keeping Your Goals to Yourself

Weight loss often takes teamwork. If you find that you struggle to stay on track when you work out or eat healthy alone, enlist a friend or family member to do it with you. Exercise can be more fun if you have a partner to play sports or walk with and losing weight with a friend helps you stay accountable when it comes to the food you’re eating.

Restricting Yourself Too Much

While many people are too lax when it comes to the food they eat, other people go too far in the other direction. If you restrict yourself only to certain types of food or if you do not eat enough calories and fat throughout the day, you are setting yourself up for failure. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist to determine how much you should be eating. Stick to mostly healthy foods, but if you do feel the need to indulge, try a small square of dark chocolate or another healthy but yummy treat. Completely prohibiting your favorite foods means you are more likely to binge on them and undo your progress in the future.

Giving Up

Losing weight is not a linear process. You will likely plateau and stop losing for a while on your journey. You may even gain a few pounds here and there. This is entirely normal, and you can’t allow yourself to become discouraged and give up when this happens. If you stay the course, the weight will come off, even if it doesn’t do it as quickly as you’d like.

By following these tips, you are more likely to be successful on your weight loss journey. You’ll feel healthier and more confident in no time.

Original Article: Click Here

All Made Simple – by: S.George

Contact: [email protected]

“If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to be who you have always been…you must change to change…”


Do you constantly check the expiration dates on food items inside your fridge? Do you then toss it out immediately? If so, you’re not alone. Most U.S. citizens throw out almost a pound of food a day, according to a 2018 PLoS ONE study. But you might be throwing out food that is still edible.

“Food waste drives me crazy even in my own household,” said Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, a dietitian based in New York City, creator of BetterThanDieting.com, and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table. “I can’t tell you how many times my kids have said, ‘Is this still good?’ about something that had an expiration date for the day! (And of course, they want me to taste it first.)”

Although the lingering question of whether or not food is still edible is constantly on everyone’s mind, first there needs to be a clear definition of what an expiration date is.

What Does an Expiration Date Tell You?

Shockingly, the truth is that the FDA doesn’t mandate expiration dates on foods. “The FDA does not require manufacturers to place expiration or use by dates on food products except for infant formulas,” said Deborah Kotz, press officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Some state and local agencies require expiration dates on certain food labels, but most often manufacturers voluntarily include expiration or use by dates.”

In fact, according to a Harvard researcher, the non-regulated dates can be compared to the “Wild West”. So what do these terms ultimately mean? Here is a debrief from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service:

  • Best by: For consumers; a sign of when flavor or quality is at its peak. This has no relation to food safety.
  • Sell by: For the store; a sign of how long to keep a product on shelves. This has no relation to food safety.
  • Use by: For consumers; a sign of when to use a product by for the best quality. This has no relation to food safety.

Notice the repeating theme? We do, and yes, it’s still a bit confusing.

According to a Food Marketing Institute survey, confusion over these dates causes 90 percent of Americans to throw away perfectly safe food. The common culprits are known to be soup, eggs, dairy products, cereal, and bread.

Can You Eat Food After the Expiration Date?

Since there is no clear and set rule to define an expiration date, New York City-based dietitian, Brooke Alpert, RD, author of The Diet Detox, explains that you should ultimately trust your instincts. “A good rule of thumb to follow is to use your sense; if something smells, feels, tastes, or looks bad, it probably is,” said Alpert. “If you are not sure, always err on the side of caution to avoid foodborne illness.”

In order to extend the shelf life of your food, Taub-Dix suggests the key is to know how to store it. “If a product is stored properly, it should last beyond the date listed on the package. There is so much food waste in this country; it’s sad how much good food gets thrown in the trash,” she said.

How to Extend the Lifespan of Food

“There’s new legislation being proposed that will create nationwide rules for labeling food, clearing up the confusion between a date that might mean the food may not be at its optimal quality (taste wise) versus the date that means a product is unsafe to eat,” Taub-Dix explained.

Try using the USDA’s Foodkeeper App to maximize the lifespan of your groceries. Keep their food safety and storage charts in your kitchen and refer to these five pointers from Alpert the next time you’re thinking of tossing out food.

  1. “For prepackaged items and canned goods, six months to one year is the average shelf life if foods are kept in cool, dry storage.”
  2. “Buy fresh goods like produce and dairy in smaller quantities on a more regular basis, such as weekly, so you can use them up faster to avoid spoilage.”
  3. “Meal plan to minimize food waste. That way, you’ll buy only what you need for the meals you are going to prepare.”
  4. “Purchase frozen fruits and veggies to avoid throwing away produce that goes bad before you are able to use it.”
  5. “Stock your pantry with healthy dried products like quinoa, black rice, dried lentils, and low-sodium beans so you have meal staples on hand whenever you need them.”

Scientists and researchers alike are continuing to explore better strategies to help consumers reduce waste. Brands in the U.K. are also looking to keep products fresh and edible. Arla Foods, a dairy company, is testing out new sticker labels called Mimica Touch that go from smooth to bumpy when products or temperatures change to signal actual expiration. However, although these technologies are advancing, until they move stateside, always keep food safety guidelines in mind and when in doubt, stick to the tried-and-true smell test.

Original Article: Click Here

All Made Simple – by: S.George

Contact: [email protected]

“If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to be who you have always been…you must change to change…”


JOIN THE #800gCHALLENGE

WHAT IS IT?

This challenge was designed by OptimizeMe Nutrition. Eat 800 grams (g) or fruits and/or vegetables, by weight, per day.

No foods are eliminated, but only fruits and veggies count toward the 800g. Eat the fruits and veggies or your choice. Hit the macros you want.

Raw, cooked, canned, frozen; doesn’t matter!  If you can weigh it as a standalone and unprocessed fruit or vegetable, you can count it. Yep, that’s it! Pick up a one-sheet at the gym for all the rules and scoring details. Or get a copy here.

 

So why 800g? It’s associated with increased health and is a simplified way to hit those recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Read more here.

 

DATES

The 800g challenge will run from November 5th – December 1st

SIGN-UP

Registration runs from October 16th – October 31st. Fill out the form below to be contacted when registration opens.  This challenge is NOT limited to CrossFit Round Rock members. CrossFit Round Rock members’ spouses, significant others or roommates can play along, too (must be 18 years old). Get the whole house onboard to stay motivated throughout the challenge.

MEETING

We will host a meeting at the gym to go over all the challenge rules and answer your questions. Be sure to be there!

  • November 3rd at 11:00am at CrossFit Round Rock

COST

$50/athlete

SCORING

We will be using SugarWOD to log scores, leaderboard, and fist bump throughout the challenge. More info on scoring and logging can be found here.

PRIZES

1st place wins a FREE month of Unlimited classes

2nd place wins a $50 membership credit towards dues

3rd place wins a free CFRR shirt

 

Let’s get started!