Tag Archives: lifestyle

Self Myofascial Release

1 Jul

Myofascial release is a great way loosen tight muscles and alleviate muscle pain. The use of foam rollers, sticks, and balls can help restore muscle function. What is myofascial release?

  • A technique of applying pressure to myofascial connective tissue to relieve pain and restore function.

I am a big fan of using foam rollers to ease tight muscles. In the past 9 months I have been working, interning, and going to grad school, so I have had less time to dedicate to stretching and using my traditional foam roll. I used to stretch and roll every night before going to bed. Since I haven’t had time for that, I noticed my muscles are much tighter than they used to be and it has negatively impacted my exercise performance. I decided to get a rumble roller which gets deeper in to muscle and connective tissue, in order to get my muscles back to where they were before. Pictured below are a traditional foam roll and a rumble roller.

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  Traditional foam rollers with smooth surfaces compress soft tissue as you roll on them. This improves blood flow and tissue flexibility. There are now rollers available that have uneven surfaces that work like a deep tissue massage. The bumps knead and stretch soft tissue. This helps to breakdown knots, which restores flexibility and relieves muscle pain. Using the rumble roller has definitely been a new experience. I have only used it a few times but I can already feel the difference. There are may products available, do your research to find out which myofascial release tool is right for you. Myofascial release tips

  • Start slow breaking down soft tissue is a gradual process.
  • Keep muscles relaxed as you roll.
  • Move slowly, rolling back and forth quickly is not as effective.
  • When you find a painful point stay there for a few seconds to release this spot.
  • It can be painful, but stick with it! As you do it more your muscles will become more supple and it will hurt less.

 

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Eat The Rainbow

20 Jun

To get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs it is important to eat a balanced diet and have variety within that balanced diet. Variety is important because different fruits and vegetables provide different nutrients.

eat-the-rainbow

Red

  • Nutrients: lycopene and antioxidants
  • Properties: Anti-inflammatory, reduce the risk of cancer, and heart health
  • Foods: Tomatoes, strawberries, red bell peppers, cherries, raspberries, watermelon,  pomegranates, and goji berries

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Orange/Yellow

  • Nutrients: Beta carotine, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium
  • Properties: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, eye health, immune function, skin health, heart health, and cancer prevention
  • Foods: Oranges, lemons, carrots, bananas, butternut squash, mango, apricots, nectarines, pumpkin, summer squash, sweet potato, pineapple, orange and yellow bell peppers, and cantaloupe

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Green

  • Nutrients: Lutein, indoles, folate, and vitamin K
  • Properties: Eye health, cancer prevention, cell regeneration, anit-inflammatory, heart health, skin health
  • Foods: Spinach, kale, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, kiwi, honeydew, green beans, artichoke, Brussels sprouts, celery, cucumbers, swiss chard, and avocado

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Blue/Purple

  • Nutrients: Antioxidants and Anthocyanins
  • Properties: Anti-inflammatory, cancer prevention, and cognitive health
  • Foods: Eggplant, red grapes, blackberries, blueberries, purple potatoes, plumbs, cabbage, red onions, and figs

Blue-purple-Fruits-Vegetables

White

  • Nutrients: Antioxidants and potassium
  • Properties: Anti-inflammatory, cancer prevention, and heart health
  • Foods: Cauliflower, parsnips, potatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, mushrooms, shallots, and coconut  

White-Color-Vegetables-Packed-with-Vitamins-Nutrients-and-Proteins

 

 

 
Last Updated: 04/06/2011

Preservative Free Peanut Butter Cups

13 May

Today convenience foods reign supreme, but what many people do not realize is that consuming too many preservatives can have a negative effect on health. Packaged processed foods don’t only have more fat, sugar, and salt they also contain ingredients that prevent them from spoiling, give them a certain appearance, color or texture, and flavor. As great as it is that a food item will stay good for 6 months sitting on the shelf, it’s important to remember why we need something to last that long. In emergency situations or when you are unable to prepare fresh foods. Though convenience foods are inexpensive, most do not provide adequate nutrition. Consuming too much processed packaged convenience foods can lead to weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure, allergies, difficulty breathing, nausea, headaches, and cancer. Below is a recipe for organic peanut butter cups. You can satisfy your sweet tooth without the preservatives, extra fat, and sugar. They only have 4 ingredients and are quick and easy to make. Talk about convenience!

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Ingredients

Makes 6 big peanut butter cups or 12 mini peanut butter cups

Peanut Butter Bottom

3/4 cup Organic Peanut Butter

1 Tbs Organic Maple Syrup

2 Tbs Organic Coconut Oil, melted

Chocolate Topping

1/4 cup Organic Cacao Powder

1 Tbs Organic Maple Syrup

1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted

Method

1. Mix peanut butter, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil in a medium bowl until well combined.

2. Fill silicone muffin cups 1/2 way full with peanut butter mixture. Place cups in freezer for about 15 minutes or until hardened.

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3. Mix cacao, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil in a medium bowl until well combined.

4. Top the hardened peanut butter cups with chocolate mixture. Place back in the freezer for another 15 minutes or until hardened.

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5. Store peanut butter cups in freezer until you are ready to eat them. If left out the coconut oil may begin to melt and peanut butter cups can lose their shape.

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Other considerations

– For a sweet, salty, and savory flavor combination sprinkle a little salt on top

– For a crunchy texture add chopped nuts to the peanut butter mixture or sprinkle on top.

– For extra coconut flavor add shredded coconut to the peanut butter mixture or sprinkle on top.

Yoga

12 Nov

Yoga is one of my favorite forms of exercise. It has many benefits and is a great compliment to strength and cardiovascular training. There are also many types of yoga, providing something for everyone.

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I have been practicing yoga for the past 8 years with power yoga being my method of choice. I love it because it engages your mind, body, and spirit and never fails to make me feel great or put me in a better mood. When practicing it is one of the only times I am able to fully clear my mind and let go of every thought.

Benefits of Yoga

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased strength
  • Improved posture
  • Improved lung capacity
  • Stress reduction

Types of Yoga-these are just a few, there are many more

  • Hatha- The foundation of all yoga styles. It incorporates postures, breathing, and meditation.
  • Bikram- Practiced in a heated room, which promotes flexibility, detoxification, and the prevention of injuries.
  • Kundalini- Thought to be the yoga of awareness it focuses on the breath and movement to awaken the energy at the base of the spine to travel up through the 7 chakras.
  • Power- A faster paced practice where one pose flows in to the next, creating an aerobic workout.
  • Restorative- A method to passively let muscles relax buy using/lying on blocks, blankets, and bolsters

As with all activities there is the risk of injury when practicing yoga. It is important to listen to your body and know your own limitations to prevent injury when doing physical activity. In yoga there is the potential to over stretch or strain muscles.  Also if you have a preexisting condition such as severe osteoporosis or are pregnant consulting your doctor before beginning a yoga practice is advised.

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NAMASTE

Winter Hydration

30 Oct

During fall and winter we do not have as many cues for hydration. When the temperature drops we do not sweat as much or feel thirsty as often compared to when it is warm. We also lose more water due to respiratory fluid loss through breathing. When exercising our bodies are working hard and sweat evaporates quickly in cold dry air. All of these factors make it easy for someone to become dehydrated.

Deniz-water-hydration-tips

Tips for staying hydrated this winter:

  • Carry a refillable water bottle with you
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol-which act as diuretics
  • Drink warm beverages-warm lemon water or herbal tea will also help keep you warm
  • Drink water before, during, and after exercise-dehydration can negatively effect performance
    • Depending on the activity have a sports drink to replace electrolytes
  • Monitor the quantity and color of you urine
  • Good fluid sources include water, sports drinks, soups, fruits and vegetables (whole or juiced)

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Seasonal Eating

16 Oct

In recent years there has been more emphasis on eating locally grown produce and the concept of farm to table eating. A central idea within these concepts is seasonal eating. Seasonal eating is eating foods that are in season, harvested at their peak.

When you eat foods that are currently in season you get more nutrients compared to eating foods that are out of season. This is because the foods are picked when they are at their peak.  Foods that are made available in their off season have less nutritional value because they are picked before they ripen so they can be shipped without spoiling. Eating foods at their peak also means more flavor! Seasonal eating also impacts the environment. Shipping foods long distances creates more fuel emissions. Food that is grown locally or regionally does not have to travel as far to get to you, with fewer emissions. Finally each season brings different fruits and vegetables to choose from adding variety to your diet.

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What is in season for fall?

Apples Artichoke
Asian Pear Asparagus
Avocado Beets
Broccoli Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage Carrots
Cauliflower Celery
Chard Cherimoyas
Collards Corn
Cucumber Dates
Eggplant Figs
Grapes Grapefruit
Green Beans Ginger
Guava Kale
Kiwi Kohlrabi
Leeks Lemons
Mushrooms Mustard Greens
Okra Onions
Ranges Passion Fruit
Peppers Persimmons
Pineapple Pomegranates
Potatoes Raspberries
Sapote Spinach
Squash-Summer and Winter varieties Tomatillos
Turnips Yams

Pizzadilla

12 Sep

When I’m craving Mexican food this is my go to recipe. It is incredibly easy, tasty, and satisfying.

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Ingredients

1 Ezekiel Whole Grain Tortilla

1 oz grated Manchego Cheese

2 oz Chicken Breast Lunch Meat (or your preferred protein)

1 handful of Kale (or another leafy green)

1 medium Tomato, chopped

1/2 small Avocado, chopped

Optional garnish: cilantro and sriracha sauce

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Method

1. Heat tortilla in a pan over medium heat and sprinkle half of the cheese on it.

2. As cheese melts top with meat and greens. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover pan with a lid.

3. Once cheese has melted transfer tortilla to a plate and top with tomatoes, avocado, and any additional garnish you choose.

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ENJOY!