Friday, June 29, 2018

Fresh Summertime Peaches

It's summertime and peaches are ripe. Stop by the farmer's market, pick up some local fruit and try these combos for fresh flavor.

Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Reduction

Wash and halve peaches. Grill on a hot, oiled grate for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, simmer about 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar for 20 minutes or until desired consistency. Drizzle vinegar over grilled peaches and top with a few basil leaves.

Grilled Stone Fruit Salad

Wash and halve peaches (can add plums &  apricots, too). Grill on a hot, oiled grill 12 - 15 minutes. Cut cooled fruit into smaller pieces and place on a bed of arugula. Drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette and top with crumbled feta cheese.

Peaches and Blueberries

This classic combo can be a breakfast treat topped with Greek yogurt. Use them to top a waffle made with Power Cakes flour. or combine them for a light dessert topped with a dollop of mascarpone cheese and dusted with cinnamon.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Peaches This Week

Friday, June 22, 2018

Everyday Solutions for Everyday Pain

Most of us have some sort of pain now and then. Extra-hard workouts, a lumpy bed or trying a new sport can all give us the twinges and soreness that make us feel uncomfortable and stiff. But if the pain is due to a chronic condition, everyday pain can be tough to deal with. Seek medical help for your specific ailment but try these tips for pain relief on a daily basis.

Avoid overexertion
Exercise helps manage pain, but don't overdo. Intense exercise creates a painful build-up of lactic acid and carbon dioxide in the muscles. Start slow and boost each session by a little bit. Be sure to stretch and drink plenty of water to flush the toxins from your muscles.

Maintain a healthy weight
Excess weight puts more pressure on joints and lower back muscles. Visceral, or intra-abdominal, fat triggers inflammation. Add a minor trauma, such as twisting your knee or tripping over a pet, and you have a perfect storm for creating pain. Sprinkle flaxseed on your salads and cook with ginger & turmeric for their anti-inflammtory properties.

Meditation, including prayer, is a proven tool for quieting the mind - and the fears that can actually prolong suffering. You can meditate to quiet music or with mindful movement. Try focused breathing or practicing gratitude.

Get seven to eight hours of restful sleep each night - an often overlooked remedy for pain. Sleep is essential for health. If you're constantly tired, your anxiety levels increase, making it more difficult for your body to heal. Choose an electronic screen-free zone about 60 minutes before you turn in to help you drop off to sleep more easily.

Consider homeopathic remedies
Homeopathic medicines have a low risk of side effects and don't interact with other medications. Try arnica to relieve muscle pain and swelling from injuries. Gel or cream can be applied directly to the sore spot. Try tablets for generalized pain.

Check out these previous blogs for more info on relieving workout pain through meditation , knee pain strategies, and foam rolling.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, June 8, 2018

What's The Big Deal With Sugar?

Last week, I pointed out some hidden sugars in the typical American diet. But what's the big deal? Why is sugar so bad for us? Consuming excess sugar has been linked to a host of ailments.

High sugar diets have been associated with obesity, increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. A 2015 study found that a regular intake of sweetened drinks was tied to a greater incidence of the disease.

Heart Disease
In a 2014 study, Dr. Hu and his colleagues found an association between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of dying from heart disease. Over the course of the 15-year study, people who got 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with those who consumed 8% of their calories as added sugar.  High-sugar diets increase levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and decrease levels of good HDL cholesterol.

Visceral Fat
Drinking sweetened beverages daily is associated with visceral fat, or the fat around internal organs. This type of fat, also called belly fat, may play a role in insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.

Chronic Disease
Sugar is a culprit for obesity, liver damage and cancer. Microbiologist Johan M. Thevelein says, "We all know that when you eat a lot of sugar, you have a tendency -- that has been clearly shown -- to become more obese. And obesity is linked to a higher risk of cancer."

Refined sugar messes with the hormones that make you feel full. When you eat too much sugar, you don't get feelings of satiety and can end up eating more of every kind of food.

Choose whole foods packed with nutrients that include protein, high-quality carbs and good fats to keep the amazing machine that is your body functioning at it's optimal level. For more information on sugar, check out my four-part blog from July of 2017.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your (low sugar) Food

Friday, June 1, 2018

Secret Sugar Bombs in Your Diet

There’s a good chance that you’re consuming more sugar than you should on a daily basis. The sweet stuff hides in everything from the dressing you put on your salad to the almond milk you pour on your breakfast cereal. That’s not even counting all the places we know it’s lurking — like soda and ice cream.

Sugar can hide in some unlikely places, even in foods that seem healthy. We should aim for about 6 teaspoons of sugar each day. Becoming aware of hard-to-spot sugars in your daily diet can help you make better choices for your body and your health. 

Oatmeal - that's good for you, right?
one packet instant cinnamon oatmeal

Yogurt - good for gut-health, right?
8 ounces fruit flavored yogurt

Pasta Sauce - tomatoes are veggies, right?
One and a half cups jarred pasta sauce

Iced Tea - way better than soda, right?
16 ounce bottled sweetened tea

BBQ Sauce - it makes the "healthy" chicken much tastier
two tablespoons of bottled sauce

As you can see, it is very easy to reach the 6 teaspoon limit of sugars each day, even without eating any "sweet" foods such as cookies, coffee drinks or sweetened breakfast cereal. Becoming aware of the secret sugar bombs in your day can give you the tools you need to make nutritious choices to fuel your body for vitality.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your (low sugar) Food