Monday, May 27, 2013

Raw Food Diets: What's True, What's Not? -- Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.

Another recommended resource. Want to learn more about what good and bad things are in your food? Eating raw/healthy seem overwhelming? I found this video to be very instructive!

Dr. Esselstyn on a Plant-Based Diet- Recommended Viewing

I recommend watching the following video. Dr. Esselstyn talks about a ground breaking concept for a plant based diet. This information goes into depth about the down side of the typical American diet, as well as provides information as to a plant-based diet- one that could literally turn your life around. Part of happinizing is eating right, so I hope all these resources help you make more informed choices as to how you choose to live your life. May you happinize and thrive!

The 7-Minute Workout- source: Livescience


Adults should do 150 minutes of moderate exercise (or 75 minutes of intense exercise) weekly, and do muscle-strengthening exercises two days a week, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who follow these recommendations get two kinds of exercise:

• weight bearing (aka strength training), involving muscle contraction to build strength
• aerobic (aka cardio), meaning exercises meant to boost the heart rate and oxygen use

But a new workout plan from researchers at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., recommends a seven-minute exercise regimen. The high-intensity workout combines both kinds of exercise, using body weight to provide resistance. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds, with a 10-second rest before going on to the next exercise (with breaks included, the routine totals eight minutes). The entire sequence of 12 exercises can be repeated two or three times if desired

The order of the exercises is:

• Jumping jacks
• Wall sits

• Push-ups
• Abdominal crunches
• Step-ups onto a chair
• Squats
• Triceps dips on a chair
• Planks
• High knees/running in place
• Lunges
• Push-ups and rotations
• Side planks

7-Minute Workout: Fact vs. Fiction
Bahar Gholipour, MyHealthNewsDaily Staff Writer

Date: 22 May 2013 Time: 05:53 PM ET

CREDIT: Workout photo via Shutterstock
The "seven-minute workout" is getting a lot of attention these days, and it sure sounds enticing. But experts say the express exercise routine is not as effective — or as short — as it sounds.

The workout consists of 12 high-intensity exercises that use only body weight as resistance. It is an efficient way to lose weight and improve cardiovascular and muscular fitness, according to a study on the workout published in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine's Health & Fitness Journal.

The article was covered by the national media, emailed among friends and discussed in the blogosphere. There are already apps available to help keep track of the time and the order of the exercises.

However, after taking a closer look at the workout, experts have clarified some of the questions surrounding the exercise routine.

Is it really 7 minutes?

A closer look at the original article reveals that the authors suggest repeating the routine two or three times in a row, to achieve at least 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise, as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine's guidelines.

Seven minutes is a very small amount of exercise, said Cris Slentz, an exercise physiologist at Duke University. "Researchers have consistently shown that some exercise is better than none, but that more is better," he said. [Infographic: How to Do the 7-Minute Workout]

Slentz said he would expect minimal health benefit from a seven-minute workout, but perhaps a modest physical-function benefit. "Someone who does this workout will not burn enough calories to actually get metabolic benefits," he said.

Who should do the workout?

The authors don't recommend this program to people who are overweight, previously injured or elderly. Some of the exercises are not recommended for persons with hypertension or heart disease.

The workout can be dangerous for people whose bodies are not prepared, said Elsbeth Vaino, an Ottawa-based strength and conditioning specialist. "It is a good, quick option for an individual who is already really fit, and has other physical activities planned," she said.

The workout’s wide appeal seems to be based on how quick it is; according to the authors, it was designed for time-conscious individuals, such as busy professionals.

But Vaino noted that many of these professionals spend a lot of their time seated. "This means they would need a different set of exercises" than what the seven-minute workout provides, she said, adding that more attention should be paid to the upper back muscles and glutes.

Is it scientifically tested?

The workout is based on science, but it hasn't been tested on a group of people to measure its benefits. The authors reviewed studies comparing high-intensity exercise with less-intense exercise, and used the findings to design a workout routine that needed minimal equipment and time.

But there are differences between the protocols used in the previous research that makes the researchers’ claims about the benefits of the seven-minute workout sound far-fetched to some. Adam Bornstein, a fitness and nutrition author, wrote in his blog that "the studies used to 'prove' the concepts don't mirror the workout that is being lauded as the seven-minute fix for your body."

For example, in the previous studies, people used additional weights while exercising. And more importantly, the exercises were not done in seven minutes; in fact, they took three times that time to complete.

Is it difficult?

The seven-minute body fix is not supposed to be a pleasant experience. The authors write that "proper execution of this program requires a willing and able participant who can handle a great degree of discomfort."

This might sound discouraging. But for those who turn the workout into a habit, the discomfort may become less noticeable, said Wendy Wood, a professor of psychology and business at the University of Southern California.

"The trick with this — or any other exercise program — is to make it habitual … an unthinking part of your daily routine," she said. Although the workout may seem difficult at first, its short duration may ease some of that pain. "Once habits form, then the discomfort becomes relatively unimportant," Wood said.

Follow Bahar Gholipour @alterwired. Follow MyHealthNewsDaily @MyHealth_MHND,Facebook& Google+. Originally published on LiveScience.

Forks over Knives- Recommended Viewing

Here's another documentary that I highly recommend watching. If you have Netflix, you can just watch it as you cook or when you have some time to kill. Believe me, it's well worth the time! Happinize on!

Feat, Sick, and Nearly Dead- Recommended Viewing

For those that are not convinced about juicing, I highly recommend that you watch this documentary. All I know is that if Phil could go from weighing around 400lbs, having sleep apnea, being on all kinds of medication to shedding a crazy amount of weight as well as becoming much healthier overall, anyone is capable of doing the same. I can also add that since I started juicing and having more of a plant-based diet, I have loads of energy, am getting closer to having a completely flat tummy, and have never felt better in my life!

Now it's all on you to commit to adding more greens, and generally a plant-based diet to you life.

What are Super Foods- source: livescience

Source: livescience
So-called 'superfoods' — such as spinach, beans, sweet potatoes, salmon, fruits, nuts, whole grains and berries — are said to be rich in nutrients.
CREDIT: Robyn Mackenzie | Shutterstock

Superfoods are foods — mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy — thought to be nutritionally dense and thus good for one's health. The term has no set scientific meaning, however, and any list of "top" superfoods is purely subjective.
Superfoods are healthful, for the most part, aside from possible contamination, added sugars or over-consumption of them.

Lists of superfoods are extensive on the Internet. Some websites list as many as 50 or 100. At this point, the term "superfood" becomes largely meaningless or, at best, synonymous with just about any fruit or vegetable. Another problem with the term is that some so-called superfoods fall in and out of favor with dieticians, such as coffee or eggs.

CREDIT: Stephanie Frey | Shutterstock
A generic list of superfoods
At a very basic level, superfoods are said to be rich in particular nutrients. This could be an antioxidant, thought to ward off cancer; a healthy fat, thought to prevent heart disease; fiber, thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems; or phytochemicals, the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colors and smells, which can have numerous healthful benefits.
Blueberries often top many lists of superfoods. This is because blueberries are rich in vitamins, phytochemicals and soluble fiber. While blueberries are indeed healthful, so are about any kind of (non-poisonous) berry. Blueberries aren't necessarily better than cranberries or raspberries, but they are usually more readily available and are quite palatable as is.
Kiwifruit also tops many a list. Its benefits are similar, for the most part, to berries, melons, citrus fruit, apples and pears. Kiwifruit is labeled a superfood perhaps because it contains a wider range of nutrients compared to some other fruits.

Beans and whole grains are standard additions to the superfood lists. Beans are a source of low-fat protein. Beans have insoluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol; soluble fiber, which provides a longer feeling of fullness; and loads of vitamins and trace minerals largely absent in the typical American diet, such as manganese. Whole grains have similar benefits, although they are inferior in regards to protein. Quinoa is not a grain, but it cooks up like one, and this too is a remarkable source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
Nuts and seeds contain high levels of minerals and healthy fats. Although these are common additions on superfood lists, the downside is that they are high in calories. Portion control is key. Shelled nuts and seeds, in this regard, are ideal because they take time to crack open and slow you down. A quick handful of shelled nuts or seeds could contain more than 100 calories. [Related: Reality Check: 5 Risks of Raw Vegan Diet]

Kale lives up to the hype of a superfood. But so do most dark, leafy greens: Swiss chard, collards, mustards (including radish greens), spinach (and others in the amaranth family), and cabbages. Add broccoli to that. It's in the cabbage-mustard family; the modern version is merely grown for its floret instead of leaves. These dark vegetables are loaded with vitamins A, C and K, as well as fiber, calcium and other minerals.
Sweet potato and squash also usually make the superfood list, for similar reasons. Both kinds of food are generally excellent sources of fiber, vitamin A, and much more. They are also naturally sweet and don't require the butter, cream, or salt typically added to potatoes.
Salmon, sardines, mackerel and certain other fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, thought to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Most doctors say the benefits of eating fish far outweigh the risk of harming your health from the mercury these fish contain. If you worry, eat lower down on the food chain, such as sardines, smelt, and anchovy.

The "exotic fruit of the year will surely be on any superfood list, too. This might be acai berry, noni fruit, dragon fruit, rambutan or pomegranate. These might be healthful but there is no reason to believe they are any more super than blueberries. They might be rich in one particular nutrient; pomegranate has ellagitannins, which have anti-cancer properties. But so do red raspberries.

One could just as easily include green tea, coffee, dark chocolate, yogurt, and olives to the superfood list for a variety of reasons mentioned above.
Criticism of the nomenclature
As healthful as superfoods might be, the use of the term is largely a marketing tool. Scientists do not use the term. For example, a search for "superfood" on PubMed, the repository of most peer-reviewed biomedical journal articles, yields fewer than a dozen results. And several of these studies actually warn of dangers of superfoods, such as arsenic and pesticide residue in imported foods.
The first general criticism of the use of the term "superfood" is that, while the food itself might be healthful, the processing might not be. For example, green tea has several antioxidants. But green tea sold in the United States is generally cut with inferior teas and brewed with copious amounts of sugar. The Japanese and Chinese generally do not drink green tea with sugar. Many kinds of super-juices — acai berry, noni fruit, pomegranate — can be high in added sugar.
Similarly, many whole grains are processed in a way to be more palatable and less healthful. According to research by David Ludwig at Harvard University, instant whole-grain oats is as unhealthy as overly processed white bread in that it quickly spikes the sugar levels in the bloodstream once consumed and promotes insulin-resistance, obesity and diabetes.
A second criticism is that, because the term "superfood" is not scientific, it can mean very little and prompt some consumers to eat one kind of food over another. Is broccoli really that superior to asparagus?
Research has shown that the ideal diet is one that is largely plant-based with a wide, wide, wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthful animal products. Superfoods might be a good entry into healthy eating, and understanding their nutritional value is enlightening, but other whole foods can be just as healthy.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Vegetarian Feijoada

Ingredients: -black beans
-yellow zucchini
-salt to season

This is my version of vegetarian feijoada. The dish is inspired from the Mexican idea of frijoles charros (which, my dad can make some amazing frijoles charros). 

Steps: boil the beans (you can add garlic if you wish), once they are soft (you may need to add more water as they boil) add all the chopped vegies and season to taste. I just heard of tofu cheese for the first time today, so next time I make my vegetarian feijoada I plan on adding some tofu cheese which promises to be amazing! 

#Happinize on