Way to Burn Calories in the City

Way to Burn Calories in the City.

I know I usually focus on nutrition, but fitness is the other half of the puzzle. I try to workout everyday – usually a jog, bike ride around the park or to an errand, pilates, yoga or weight training. And for me this article hits close to home. Both times I’ve moved to NYC I immediately dropped 5 pounds from all of the walking.

  • Take the stairs: No need to schedule time on the Stairmaster, take advantage of the real deal! Instead of using the elevator to go a few floors up, use the stairs. As tempting as escalators may look, do the moving yourself. You’d be surprised by all the leg-toning opportunities.
  • Bike around town: Spending 20-30 minutes on your bike will burn off your morning breakfast, and chances are that is just about the time it takes to get to work! Use your bike the next time you run errands to avoid the hassle of parking and save yourself the headache of traffic. Worried about the safety of your bike? Follow these tips in properly locking up your wheels.
  • Avoid shortcuts: You may have mastered the quickest way to get from point A to point B in your city (like those secret alleys) but stick to the main path. Going the longer route will have you walking more, thus burning more. It might take a little extra time, but it won’t be that bad when you start to see results.
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Simple tips: how to reduce pesticides..

  • Do not select fruits and vegetables that have holes.
  • Trim fat from meat and remove skin (residues concentrates in animal fat)
  • Wash fresh produce in warm water and use a scrub brush
  • Use a knife to peel an orange. Do not bite/push into the peel as you’ll push dirt in
  • Discard outer leaves of leafy vegetables
  • Peel waxed fruits and vegetables. Waxes trap pesticide residues
  • Peel vegetables when possible

How To Store Fruits and Vegetables to Keep them From Rotting | by My Thirty Spot

Here’s a great list on How To Store Fruits and Vegetables to Keep them From Rotting | My Thirty Spot.

a sampling:

Asparagus  place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)

Avocados  place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening place an apple in the bag with them.

Broccoli  place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.

Carrots  cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.

Celery  does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter. If you want to keep it in the refrigerator, like I do, wrap it in tin foil. It will stay crisp for weeks.

Eggplant  does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it; eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage place loose, in the crisper.

Onion  store in a cool, dark and dry, place good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.

Mushrooms – Keep mushrooms in the refrigerator in its original wrapping. If you are using some of the mushrooms, try to open a corner of the plastic wrap and just take what you need. Then, cover with a paper towel and cover with more plastic wrap and place back into the refrigerator. 

Peppers: Sweet/ Hot/ Bell – Store in a plastic bag before placing in crisper or refrigerator. Green peppers stay fresh longer than orange or red peppers. Will last 1 – 2 weeks in refrigerator or up to 10 months in the freezer. To freeze cut into slices and place on cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen, then place in air-tight container or freezer bag and return to freezer.

Potatoes  (like garlic and onions) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.

Tomatoes  Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.

Chylo..wha? HDL, LDL and what are.

Science lesson time!

Here’s how you absorb lipids – and the end products.

Larger fat molecules are mixed with bile and become micelles. This allows fats to be moved to the intestinal cells. In intestinal cells, cholesterol and lipids are packed with protein. These are chylomicrons. Chylomicrons are released into the lymphatic system. They enter the bloodstream near the heart and then blood carries these lipids to the rest of your body for immediate use or storage.

As you know, fats and water don’t mix. Because proteins are surrounding the structure, these chylomicrons allow fats to be transported through the watery blood.

As the chylomicron goes through the body cells snatch up triglycerides from the chylomicrons and as it floats around it gets smaller and smaller. Eventually it gets back to your liver.

Here lipids your liver has been assembling and ones collected from the smaller chilomicron are packaged with more proteins as VLDL or very low density lipoproteins. This configuration is then shipped through the body again and cells again remove triglycerides, causing it to shrink. As triglycerides are taken up, the VLDL becomes mostly cholesterol. Now this is LDL (low-density lipoprotein). This continues to float through your body and pieces are taken up by cells.

Your body makes HDL (high-density lipoproteins) to remove cholesterol from cells and bring it back to the liver to be either recycled or to be disposed of. If you read my previous post you can see an instance where your body would need to collect some cholesterol.

For ways to raise your HDL levels, here’s a great article from about.com.

The incredible, edible… lentil!

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In an effort to lower the amount of BPA I consume (and to NOT pay $4.29 per Amy’s Organic Lentil soup can, which still contains BPA. Thank you NYC for that price hike.) I made my first soup yesterday. It’s still bubbling along this morning and I have to say I’m sold!

Here’s why you should consider adding lentils to your diet too:

  • Low Cost: I bought a huge bag of green lentils for under ten dollars at Costco.
  • Protein: Lentils have the largest amount of protein per weight of any plant based food.
  • Easy: to both digest and cook. Because of their smaller size they cook faster than other legumes.
  • Fiber: They contain both soluble and insoluble types.  (Which keeps you fuller, lowers cholesterol, … More on fiber to come soon.)
  • Nutrients: They’re a good source of Folate, Iron, Vitamin B and Potassium, among others.
  • Blood Sugar Stability: thanks to fiber they help to maintain balanced blood sugar levels

In a crock pot I added about 7 cups of water to two (soaked overnight) cups of lentils. I added a couple of stalks of celery, a couple of carrots, corn, some tomatoes, broccoli – really any veggies I had on hand. I also threw in some salt, pepper, olive oil, and basil and parsley from the garden. It’s been simmering away for about 8 hours. The recipe I found online said it should be done by now but I’ve noticed the lentils seem a bit too tough and the longer I’ve let it sit the yummier it gets.

Let me know if you try it or if there’s anything else you think I should add to it! About to help myself to another bowl.

Why soluble fiber lowers cholesterol… (ya always hear it does but here is why)

I thought this was a cool fact. You always hear that fiber lowers cholesterol, but the why seems like a mystery. Here’s the scoop –

Bile helps you digest food. Basically in your stomach fat forms a layer on top and doesn’t mix in with the water soluble areas. Bile is an emulsifier and helps mix that up. After leaving the stomach, bile is reabsorbed by the small intestine and recycled. BUT if it sticks to some soluble fiber it continues on down and into your toilet. Your body needs bile so it makes more – and has to take from cholesterol in your body to make it, which lowers your overall levels of cholesterol. Voila!

Also to note – not all cholesterol is bad. It makes sex hormones, adrenal hormones, and vitamin D (as well as, obviously, bile). It’s also essential for the structure of our cell membranes.

Some easy sources of soluble fiber:

  • oatmeal/oat bran
  • lentils and beans
  • fruits and veggies
  • nuts
  • flaxseed

Top 7 Supermarket Foods to Avoid

Pardon my summer hiatus – be back in a day or two!

I found this article really interesting –

By Emma Sgourakis, Certified Nutritional Therapist

In a recent article, seven experts in the fields of both food and the environment (scientists, doctors and farmers) were asked just one simple question: “What foods do you avoid?” Their responses had nothing to do with calories or nutrient-density, but all to do with their insider knowledge on how certain seemingly “healthy” foods that they closely work with are produced and packaged. The findings are scary.

If the farmer who grows the food won’t eat it himself, then I won’t touch it either.

Here’s a summary of the findings. You can add these seven to your ‘Foods to Avoid‘ list:

1. Canned Tomatoes

An endocrinologist and expert on the topic of the synthetic oestrogen bisphenol-A (BCA), linked to heart disease and infertility, won’t go near canned tomatoes. Tin cans are lined with a resin containing BCA which is especially a problem with canning tomatoes, as the acid in tomato breaks this down in dangerous amounts. This is a serious health concern for everyone who loves a Spag Bol, especially children. My advice: if you still want the convenience of stored, ready-to-cook tomatoes, opt for sauces and passata in glass bottles.

2. Conventional Beef

For fat cows (and fat people) feed them grain, corn and soy. This is what farmers do to increase profits. The end product is meat that is nutritionally inferior. Cows were meant to eat grass. Studies show that grass-fed beef (compared to corn-fed) is higher in important vitamins, minerals and the heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory fats. Then there’s also the issue of all the antibiotics used on those inappropriately-fed, sick cows… My advice: Look for “grass-fed” or “pasture-fed” organic beef from strong healthy beasts.

3. Microwave Popcorn

Another poisonous packaging issue: Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) lines the bags of those popcorn bags, and the heat in the microwave leaches this straight onto your movie munchies. The UCLA links this compound to infertility. My advice: Corn kernels + butter + sea salt + plus a big pot (with a lid!) Simple.

4. Conventional Potatoes

More than any other vegetable, non-organic potatoes are heavily sprayed with herbicides, pesticides and fungicides throughout every stage of their growth, harvesting and storage. So much so that potato growers never eat the potatoes they sell and grow their own separate plots without all the chemicals. My advice: Organic or Bio-dynamic potatoes only.

5. Farmed Salmon

This is particularly scary considering that in Australia, the only fresh Salmon we have access to is farmed; all farmed, this includes “Atlantic” Salmon. These fish are crammed in pens and fed all manner of junk from soy and hydrolyzed chicken feathers and pellets. A scientific study on fish contamination showed high levels of DDT and PCB’s (carcinogens). So serious were the findings that the director for the Institute for Health warns that any more than one salmon meal every 5 months increases your cancer risk. Not to mention that fact that the levels of Omega 3 and Vitamin D are devoid in these poor factory-versions that their wild, up-stream-swimming ancestors contain. My advice: For fresh fish, choose small & wild varieties wherever available. For salmon in Australia, your only wild option is out of a tin. Look for brands like Paramount Wild Alaskan Salmon, or other brands form Norway and Canada are often wild too. Even still, eat these only occasionally.

6. Conventional Milk

Dairy cows today are fed growth hormones to maximize milk production. Not only does this make for a potentially breast/prostate/colon cancer milk shake, but it also leads to increased incidence of udder infection for the poor cow, leading to pus in the milk. My advice: if you do drink cows’ milk, make sure it states clearly on the label that it is produced without artificial hormones, and ideally choose organic whole milk from pasture-fed cows.

7. Conventional Apples

There’s no coincidence that farm workers have higher rates of many cancers. Of all common fruits, apples are the most heavily and frequently doused with pesticides. Pesticide reside on conventional fruits is also linked to Parkinson’s. To limit exposure, be wary of apples especially. My advice: Organic. Or at the very least, wash and peel.

Source: www.thenutritioncoach.com.au/blog…

Salad Dressing for the Healthiest Salad – via Women’s Health

Salad Dressing for the Healthiest Salad 

Salad is right up there with diamonds on a girl’s list of BFFs. But drizzling it with fat-free dressing could be drowning out your good intentions. A new Purdue University study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research shows that eating fat—theright kind of fat—can drastically increase how many nutrients we absorb from food.

What Can Fat Do For You?Combining dietary fat with foods that contain certain fat-soluble vitamins and other essential nutrients help our bodies absorb those nutrients, says study co-author Shellen Goltz. Without fat, all the good stuff in lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and other salad staples can’t get into your bloodstream and go to work warding off cancer, eye disease, and other ailments. A 2004 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that our bodies absorb essentially none of the carotenoids (a natural pigment and potent antioxidant found in vibrant-colored veggies) we eat when we don’t wash it down with fat. So while our muffin tops may not need calorie-rich, fat-laden dressings, the rest of our bodies do. The question is: How much?

When to Say WhenThe Purdue University study found that people who ate salads dressed with as little as 3 grams (a little less than a teaspoon) of monounsaturated fat (the good kind that’s found in food sources such as olive oil and nuts) absorbed just as many nutrients from their food as those whose dressing had more fat. Even better, far smaller amounts of monounsaturated fats were required to boost nutrient absorption, compared with all other kinds of fat (including polyunsaturated fat, the kind found in fish oil).

My new favorite summer treat!

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Yummmm – I’m excited about a new summer treat that I swear tastes almost as good as ice cream!

I threw some strawberry kefir into a magic bullet with some frozen strawberries, chia seeds, a couple of ice cubes and a little bit of sf strawberry jam. Oh and a splash of lime juice. (I have no idea, but it seemed like a good idea at the time and it does seem to have added something.)

I’m shocked at how tasty it is.

Super healthy treat – all under 200 calories. Getting calcium and probiotics from the kefir, omega 3s and fiber from the chia and vitamin c from the strawberries.

Off to enjoy!