Fact Friday: Antioxidants

I am driven by FACTS (as a scientist) and I have been feeling that there is so much fluff out there, people never know where to go for information, and is that information true? Then, what does that information mean to ME? So, what I have decided to do is create a FACT FRIDAY post where I will highlight a different ingredient in food or skincare as or class of chemicals and give YOU facts from reputable sources and be as clear as possible without expressing my opinion, just the facts.

 

Please feel free to request what ingredients you are curious about.

For my first Fact Friday: I was going to talk about chia seeds, BUT I realized you may not know WHAT Omega-3 fatty acids or antioxidants ARE or WHY you should even care?! So our first fact Friday is going to be about: ANTIOXIDANTS, what they are, how they work, and why they are important.

ANTIOXIDANTS:

Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals….HOLD UP.

What are free radicals? What kind of damage can they do to your body?
“Free radicals” are unstable atoms, or molecules, in your body. They are missing important components that would make them more stable. So they rob other cells of those components to meet their needs. This causes injury to previously healthy cells. Over time, this damage can lead to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s disease.

Your body produces free radicals through its NORMAL processes. Your body also contains ITS OWN antioxidant molecules, which deactivate harmful free radicals. But things like cigarette smoking, pollution, and excessive alcohol consumption can create SO many free radicals that your body has a hard time defusing them on its own.

aap-antifreestop

Antioxidants- What they do
• stabilize those free radicals and can help minimize the damage to your cells
• Help decrease inflammation
• Help maintain the immune system
• Potentially decrease the risk of degenerative diseases

Antioxidants include
• vitamins (such as vitamins C and E
• some minerals (such as selenium)
• flavonoids, which are found in plants
• The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables

antioxidants

Antioxidants in Shakeology:
• Camu-Camu
• Acerola Cherry
• Bilberry
• Goji berry
• Green Tea
• Luo Han Guo
• Pomegranate
• Rose Hips
• Vitamins A, C, E

 

Resources: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/antioxidants-topic-overview

http://www.webmd.com/diet/antioxidants-directory

ACE Health Coaching Textbook

Fact Friday- Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Don’t be scared of the word “fat.”  Fat is essential in our diet for our cells to function properly in our bodies.

I am going to throw some serious science at you guys today!  As always my takeaway message is eat in moderation.  Here try to eat foods high in Omega 3s (list below) and try to minimize Omega 6 rich foods (processed foods, certain oils etc)

What is the Difference?

Omega-3 and Omega-6 are a chemical class called fatty acids.  The # corresponds to which carbon has the first double bond (Start counting from the right, and each point is a carbon)

Omega fatty acids UK

Your body does not produce Omega-3 fatty acids, so you need to obtain them from your diet.  Two crucial ones — EPA and DHA — are primarily found in certain fish. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds. Not only does your body need these fatty acids to function, but also they deliver some big health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis.

How do they do this?  They set off signals in our bodies to reduce INFLAMMATION.

Omega-3s curb inflammation in the blood vessels (and the rest of your body), this especially helps your heart.  At high doses they also make abnormal heart rhythms less likely and lower your level of blood fats called triglycerides. Finally, they can slow plaque buildup inside the blood vessels.

Omega 6 vs Omega 3

This may seem like a scary crazy image- but the takeaway message here is Omega 3s set off your metabolic pathway to release anti-inflammatories in your body.  How cool is that?!

Where to Get Omega 3s

When possible, try to get omega-3 fatty acids from foods. Aim to eat fish high in DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids two to three times a week.

These include:

  • Anchovies
  • Bluefish
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon (wild has more omega-3s than farmed)
  • Sardines
  • Sturgeon
  • Lake trout
  • Tuna

Good food sources of ALA are:

  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil

While foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have health benefits, some — like oils and nuts — can be high in calories. So eat them in moderation.

 

So I threw a lot of complicated stuff at you-  takeaway message….  Live in moderation.  Try to eat foods high in Omega 3s and minimize your intake of processed foods and oils.

Happy Friday!

Any requests?

Don’t Skip the Stretching!

I got a wonderful email today from my health care provider (Aetna) and there were so many great little nuggets of information I am going to dedicate a blog post to each one.

Stretching… don’t lie, I know when the video is over and there are 3 minutes left of stretching, you turn the video off and go put in a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher.  Don’t!  Stretching is just as important as the workout both to warm up your muscles and cool them down.  This prevents injury.

Experts say the best way to do this is to go at a slower pace for 5 to 10 minutes. So if you’re jogging, you should walk for a few minutes to warm up. And then again to cool down.

Stretching’s important, but bouncing is for balls
While stretching is important to remain flexible, if you don’t do it right, you risk injury. You should stretch your muscles a couple times a week.  Hello yoga!

yogakids

Avoid the following:

  • Stretching cold muscles
  • Holding a stretch for more than 15 seconds
  • Bouncing (don’t do that)

Other ways to avoid injury include using the proper equipment. And having the proper form. No matter what the exercise warriors on television advise, don’t overdo it. If you push yourself too hard, you could go from warrior to war torn.

For more on how to avoid injury from exercise, visit the National Institutes of Health Medline Plus website.

Find your strong

I could start this with “beach weather is around the corner… Blah blah blah.” No.   Strong is not always about your body.

This NOT about looking good in a bathing suit.


This week has been really horrible. Social media always makes it seem like life is sunshine and rosy all the time. That everyone is doing everything and they’ve got their sh%# together and everyone is all smiles.

So not the case. No one wanted to wake up this week, I was a horrible mom and yelled most mornings, no screamed. I got to work stressed out, I missed 70% of my workouts, I picked the kids up late every day, I think they got a bath twice.

My current exercise group had an amazing week though, they felt stronger, more empowered, lost weight, got more done at work, had patience for their families. I just was not my best self.

We made up for it with ice cream Friday and some Saturday workouts.

The eternal debate… Hard or soft ice cream. Hard coffee ice cream is my weakness!

Felt better after sweating on Saturday.  Don’t have a weight bench for decline push-ups? Use the stairs!


Anyway, I am reaching out if you want help reclaiming your inner self. I need YOU to keep me accountable. I will be expanding April 4th and participating in #summerstrong with my coach.

I am going to share what I learn with you. I’ll recommend a workout you enjoy (from boot camp, cardio, weights to yoga/Pilates), I’ll provide motivation, support, a meal plan and friendship.

I have high interest already so comment below if you want in. I’m accepting 10 new clients only. We’ll chat and I’ll give more details.

Just visualize yourself 30, 60, 90 days from now. Where do you see yourself?   A faster runner?   Getting into that yoga headstand, or maybe succeeding at work, or having more patience for your family.   Let’s get you there.   It’s worked for me every time, now I want to share the feeling with you.

Nutrition, Exercise, Support…Success

Reclaim your strong.  Regain your happy.

Mental Resolve

Last Friday, as my blog post mentioned, I was pretty devastated. It did affect my weekend a bit which I am not proud of. During my workout this morning I had an epiphany, so I am writing this with my heart rate still recovering because we all know, if we don’t write it down immediately, the thought is lost forever.

Basically what I came to was, no matter what happens today I am not going to quit coaching. It has had so many positives in my life. The first is that I have reconnected and met so many amazing people. People doing it all against all odds. People who push through adversity. Everyone has their own story and I have loved learning about each persons life.

Secondly, a huge part of coaching is personal development. If I hadn’t started coaching, I would not have started listening to books in my car. I would have never picked up a success or motivational book and those books have advanced my career and helped my marriage.

Coaching is not about the money. It is about helping others (as well as myself) unleash the strong amazing person that is inside each and every one of us. The only way I can do that is to continue to reach out to more people. This blog, and instagram may become a bigger platform for me. The negativity on facebook is staggering sometimes. It is sad that with such a huge networking platform where we can reach the world people choose to complain about the weather or traffic. There are so many beautiful things we can share.

Plus fitness and nutrition are a passion of mine. It is FUN to see what the human body can do and even more fun to watch someone else realize it when their transformation begins.

Each person is going through something, and I am going to be there if they need a friend.

  

Be Intense

As a health coach, I run a private group on facebook providing daily motivation, tips & tricks, support, recipes, and inspiration to those looking to live a healthier lifestyle.

The other day, a woman in my group inspired me.  She runs her own kickboxing studio outside of Philadelphia.  She is training a group of students and shared with me the following:

Intensity is a real way of being, and super positive when put in to action in the right ways. No one wants an intense boss, but an intense fitness partner is always wanted and appreciated. Plus, intensity gets YOU to your goals. You know the student that you think is “psycho”? They’re intensely working out – and they’re getting shit done and getting results.

Challenge: your next fitness endeavour (doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, running, crossfit), be intense. Be 100% present and give every move 100% effort. See what that feels like (because it’s amazing) Awaken your inner beast. We all have one.

intense

This really got me thinking.  Am I being intense enough?  Have I been pushing to my max?  I really had to think about it.   The answer was no.  Even though I exercise every day, I wasn’t always doing so with intensity.    I started challenging myself to dig just a little deeper, squat deeper, use heavier weights, push harder, move faster.

Think about this the next time you exercise.  Are you being intense enough?  Dig Seriously Deep (as Shaun T would say) you may find something within you that you didn’t even know was there.

 

 

Post courtesy of Master Joanna @ Palangi Kickboxing If you leave near Philly, check her out.  You won’t be disappointed.