Are you meeting the minimum?

 

Note to self: Be as active as you are physically able. Physical activity (PA) is movement that engages the skeletal system and requires energy above basal (resting) levels. In other words, PA can be a large variety of tasks from gardening and shoveling to walking or biking. PA must be apart of your regular schedule to have lasting positive effects on your overall health. Truth is PA isn’t only important for adults. Establishing habits and maintaining them from childhood through older adulthood maintains a low risk of health problems. The health-enhancing components of PA, aerobic and strength training are equally important as cardiovascular and muscular strength are necessary for daily life.  Although something is always better than nothing, meeting the MINIMUM recommendations listed below have shown to provide additional health benefits including weight gain prevention, decreased risk of stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, and improved cognitive function.

Federal Recommendations (https://health.gov/paguideline)

  1. Aerobic: 150 Minutes of Moderate-Intensity; 75 Minutes of Vigorous
    • At least 10 minute bouts
    • Increase to 300 minutes weekly (5 hours a week) moderate; 150 minute vigorous
      • E. Moderate = Brisk Walk; Vigorous = Running/Jogging
  1. Strength: 2 sessions for each major muscle group

Remember, above are the MINIMUM recommendations. Start by building a foundations and continuing increase the frequency, intensity, and durations of PA.

The American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association support these recommendations made by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recommendations may differ for those currently diagnosed with hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.

 

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Spiralized Vegetable Soup

This low calorie, quick vegetable soup uses spiralized vegetables instead of pasta; this adds flavor, texture and disease-fighting nutrients to your bowl! Enjoy it as a vegetable side dish or add some grilled chicken breast to create a one bowl main dish.

Ingredients:

2 medium potatoes

2 large green zucchinis

2 medium carrots

Celery root piece

1 onion, finely chopped

3 Tbsp. olive oil

4 cups water

Salt & Pepper to taste

½ tsp. Paprika

 Instructions:

  1. Peel and spiralize the carrots and celery root and place in a bowl. Spiralize the zucchinis. Peel and spiralize the potatoes, rinse in cold water and drain well. Place all in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large pot heat up the oil, lower the heat and fry the onion for about 3 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and paprika and stir.
  3. Add the spiralized vegetables and continue cooking for 3 more minutes.
  4. Pour in the hot water, cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Nutrition Information: Serves 4 Calories: 170, Total Fat: 7g (Sat. Fat 1g), Carbohydrate: 25g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 3g, 100% DV Vitamin A & 25% DV Vitamin C

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5 Products to Boost your Fiber Intake

We’ve all heard that fiber supports digestive health & heart health and most of us know the basics…that fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains are good sources of fiber. But, even when we eat these “basics”, some of us still fall short on meeting our fiber needs of about 28 grams per day. In this post, we’d like to highlight some unique, yet simple products that you can incorporate into your diet to boost your fiber intake!

  1. Explore Cuisine Organic Black Bean Spaghetti: With just black beans as this pasta’s ingredient, this nutritious and tasty spaghetti provides 12 grams of fiber in one serving! Top this pasta with your favorite tomato sauce, broccoli and some grilled shrimp for a quick meal! Available at most supermarkets like Shop Rite as well as online.
  2. The Good Bean Crunchy Chickpeas Sea Salt: Have a handful as a tasty snack or throw some into a salad as a crouton-alternative! These roasted chickpeas provide 5 grams of fiber per serving. Available at health food stores, online and at Wegmans.
  3. Kashi Cocao Nib, Almond & Coconut Overnight Muesli: With high fiber grains and seeds, this easy-to-make breakfast (or snack) packs 9 grams of fiber into your morning! Simply add unsweetened coconut milk to the single-serve cup and let it soak overnight for a portable, tasty meal. Available at most supermarkets.
  4. Nugo Nutrition Fiber D’Lish bars: With a wide variety of flavors to choose from, Fiber D’Lish bars pack 12 grams of fiber into a satisfying, tasty snack! These bars are found in health food stores, supermarkets and online
  5. Wasa Fiber Whole Grain Crispbread: These crunchy crackers have 5 grams of fiber per 2 “slice” serving. Top them with hummus, guacamole or nut butter for a nutrient dense snack. Available at most supermarkets.

 

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Recipe: Sweets, Beans & Greens

This recipe is quick and easy, and makes a great lunch or dinner option to meet increased iron needs during altitude training.

Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes

Massaged Spinach:

1 8-ounce bag of baby spinach

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

½ juice of lemon

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp. salt

Roasted Chickpeas:

2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 tbsp. honey

1 tsp. salt

Tahini Sauce:

¼ cup sesame tahini

½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

1 tbsp. maple syrup

½ juice lemon

¼ tsp. salt

1 garlic clove

½ – 1/3 cup water

Directions:

Sweet Potatoes:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. With a fork, pierce sweet potato skins 5-6 times. Place on baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you are in a hurry, you can microwave the potatoes as well.

 Roasted Chickpeas:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss chickpeas with oil, honey, curry powder, and salt on a rimmed baking sheet until coated. Spread in an even layer and bake for 15-20 minutes. Sitr chickpeas and bake another 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.

Massaged Spinach:

Place spinach in a gallon plastic bag with lemon, olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Massage in the bag until the spinach has reduced in size by ½.

Tahini Sauce:

With an immersion blender or regular blender, blend all ingredients, adding more water if you desire a thinner consistency.

Assemble Your Potato:

Half sweet potato and fill with 1 cup of massaged spinach and ½ cup of roasted chickpeas. Drizzle with 2 tbsp. of tahini sauce to finish.

Nutritional Information per Serving:

Calories: 420; Fat: 10.5 grams; Sat fat: 1.5 grams; Carb: 71 grams; Fiber 13 grams; Protein: 13 grams.

*Source: https://mcdanielnutrition.com/posts/sweets-beans-greens—the-meal-i-cant-get-enough-of

 

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Winter Sports Nutrition Tips

Whether you ski, run, hike, or snowboard, it’s important to note several key nutrition concerns when training in the cold or altitude. Fluid, energy, and iron needs are all increased at altitude and below freezing temperatures. Follow these simple nutrition practices during winter sports training to optimize health and performance.

Maintain Proper Hydration

Fluid requirements are increased in colder climates as greater respiratory water loss occurs, increasing urinary output. Yet, we tend to consume less fluids to prevent frequent bathroom breaks, and as a result of lack of sweat for a visual reminder to stay hydrated. Some tips to keep you hydrated for long days outdoors in the cold include setting a phone alarm for a reminder to consume fluids, as well as storing a re-usable water bottle in your backpack, and making frequent water breaks to ensure proper hydration.

Increase Iron Intake at Altitude

Training at altitude increases iron needs, especially if iron deficiency anemia is already a health concern. Even if anemia does not present a problem, diets rich in iron help carry oxygen to your working muscles which is a great performance enhancer regardless of altitude. Try including iron rich foods like beef, eggs, lentils, tuna and beans in your daily eating and pair with citrus foods to enhance iron absorption.

Fuel Up with Nutrient Dense Foods

Winter sports are physically demanding, and your body requires extra energy to stay warm. Consume small, frequent snacks to fuel metabolism and generate body heat and try hot drinks like tea and hot cocoa to stay warm while out in the cold. Bananas, trail mix, nuts, jerky, and protein bars are great portable snacks to pack for the slopes. Look for high protein bars with less than 12 grams of sugar per serving.

Maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated is important as ever when training in cold weather and at altitude. Be sure to follow these simple tips to maximize your performance and optimize health when participating in winter sports.

Sources:

https://thefeed.com/blogs/the-feed/cold-weather-and-winter-sports-nutritionhttp://www.shape.com/lifestyle/fit-getaways/10-ways-make-your-ski-trip-healthierhttp://blog.nasm.org/nutrition/winter-sports-and-cold-temperature-nutrition/

 

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Get Away From Your Desk and Stretch

It is time to push yourself away from your desk, stand up, and stretch. Many Americans spend OVER 8 hours a day sitting and may I add with terrible posture. You are sitting all day and then you get up with an achy back, tight neck, headaches that never seem to go away, and truth is you didn’t do anything active! Our bodies were made to move so get up and reset yourself.

Sitting all day creates the forward head, rounded shoulders, hunched over posture with tight hips. For all those that have a FitBit or some sort of fitness watch will get that little buzz on their wrist to get up at least once an hour. During that time take 5-10 minute to walk around and 5 minutes to stretch. The stretches below do not take much time or space so whether you are in a cubicle or lucky enough to have your own office, take the time throughout the day (preferably every hour) to reset your posture from toe to head, in that order.

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Can Exercise Really Help Reduce Stress? by Hayden Riley, M.S.

Unfortunately, stress is often an inevitable part of life. With nearly 7 out of 10 adults in the US stating that they experience stress or anxiety daily, most feel that it moderately interferes with their lives as well. Even though it is impossible to avoid all stress in life, the goal is to learn ways in which you can handle, reduce, and avoid stress. Reducing stress is important because chronic stress can often lead to the following: heart disease, anxiety and/or depression, headaches, digestive issues, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory and/or concentration impairment.

So what do we do about it? Well, exercise has been shown to have a multitude of positive cognitive effects, which include: reducing anxiety, stress, and even depression. Exercise and/or physical activity produce chemicals called “endorphins,” which are known to relieve pain and trigger positive feelings. In addition, exercises can reduce stress and tension, improve sleep, elevate and stabilize your mood, and improve overall self-esteem. Thankfully, just 5 minutes of aerobic exercise has been found to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. With than being said, let’s discuss a few ways in which you can replace the stress in your life with exercise!

Sweat it out. After 30-40 minutes biking, using the elliptical, or taking a nice run outside, I guarantee you’ll feel like a whole new person. Don’t have the time? That’s fine! Take 10 minutes out of your lunch break on those busy, stress-filled days and take a little walk! Not only will this help to keep you calm, but it will keep you productive…and healthy!

Tired of cardio? Why not try yoga? Yoga is a mindful approach to exercise that incorporates breathing, meditation, and relaxation. Find a style of yoga you like, take a class, and use this time to center yourself – leaving the stress of work behind you. Practicing yoga not only helps reduce stress and enhance your mood and sense of well-being, but it has also been shown to elicit the following benefits:

  • Decreases blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate
  • Improves muscle tone, flexibility and strength
  • Improves concentration
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Improves immunity
  • Enhance balance, posture, and coordination
  • Improves sleep patterns
  • Enhance digestions
  • Can reduce or alleviate pain
  • Provides tools and techniques for coping
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