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

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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.

A running & steak kind of day

I needed to get some fresh air.  Work has been totally hectic and I’ve been spending so much time at meetings and conference calls I needed to step away so I took my lunch break to go for a wonderful run outside.   There were so many people out!  I think we all had the same idea.  I made sure to pack my clothes just in case the opportunity presented itself!

I love my bridesmaid gift from my sister in laws wedding.  The perfect tote for sneakers and a change of clothes!
  

Running has such a transformative power.  You are outside, the sun is shining, you are pushing your limits, and all the stress from your brain starts melting away and you are able to really think.   I came back in totally refreshed and with new ideas for how to innovate in the lab.

run

James came home with some Chinese food but I already had dinner cooking.  I still took my fortune cookie though!  I agree with this sentiment whole heartedly!

   

I don’t know about you but I just love steak.   I’m super happy to report I made this recipe by winging it and it was delicious!  

1 package skillet steak ($6.50 at ShopRite).  I used 3 slices

Montreal Steak seasoning, lift coating

1 onion

1 pepper

1/2 cup quinoa.

Softened the onion and pepper in olive oil in a cast iron skillet, cooked the steak on high heat about a minute or so each side. Had a side of quinoa for carbs.  

Quick, easy, inexpensive, and delicious.
  

My favorite dessert is a container of yogurt topped with fruit.  Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and kiwi.

 

No Excuses

I am going to get so REAL. I hate excuses. The number one thing I hear ALL THE TIME is “I don’t have time.” Guess what, That’s BS. What you are really saying is “This isn’t important to me”.

We are all given the same 24 hours in a day. If you want time, you need to MAKE it. We are all capable of anything we set our minds to. What sets you apart from that guy over there who runs marathons, runs a company, travels for business, and still spends time with his family? NOTHING. They MAKE the time.

Think about it, if you wake up at 6 and go to bed at 10, that is 16 waking hours!

  • Full Time Job (9 hours)
  • Hour commute (2 hours)
  • Free time: (FIVE HOURS!)

What are you doing with those FIVE extra hours???? Cooking? Cleaning? Spending quality time with your partner, kids, pets? I hope so.

My guess is you are watching TV, Playing on your ipad, Scrolling through fb, surfing the internet…

I want YOU. If you are reading this and want a change in your life. Get OFF YOUR BUTT. I need you to give me 22 minutes. YES, just 22 minutes of those 5 extra hours you have when you aren’t working or commuting. That is less 1 TV episode.

I want a group of MEN and WOMEN, committed to changing their outlook on life, sick of making excuses for themselves to join me on March 28th to start a new fitness program. Do it from home, only 22 minutes and start taking control of your life.

Is it you?

Contact me now. No excuses.

no_excuses_by_luvataciousskull-d71ffvy

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.