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Food Is Fuel – Eat Like A Marathon Runner

It’s a great time of year for runners! The New York City Marathon is just around the corner and proper nutrition and hydration can make or break your success in this 26.2 mile endeavor. Here are some tips and techniques to help fuel performance. More »

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Category Archives: Exercise

Food Is Fuel – Eat Like A Marathon Runner

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It’s a great time of year for runners! The New York City Marathon is just around the corner and proper nutrition and hydration can make or break your success in this 26.2 mile endeavor. Here are some tips and techniques to help fuel performance.

Getting Started
Runners’ success relies on smart sports nutrition in conjunction with a well-established running program.

Timing

Regular meals and snacks are vital to optimal performance. While training, eat regularly throughout the day; never go more than three to four hours without eating. Before a workout (including race day) eat a light, easily digestible breakfast that’s high in healthy carbs for energy. Oatmeal and a banana or a bagel with a light spread of peanut butter — and don’t forget the fluids!

During the race
During the race, runners should opt for some quick fluids and other grab-n-go options to help keep energy levels high. Choices include sports drinks and other carbohydrate-rich gels and chews. Runners are strongly encouraged to try these foods out while training to gauge tolerance – no new foods on race day!

Recovery
Every workout session (yup, race day too) needs to wrap up with a combination of carbohydrates and protein to replenish energy stores and promote muscle growth. Replenishing fluid and electrolytes are also a must. Chocolate milk, Greek yogurt with granola, or a simple turkey sandwich are all powerful recovery foods.

Runner-Friendly Foods
Runners rely on many foods to help fuel their performance. Fuel up on foods stocked with nutrients such as B-vitamins, iron, zinc, healthy fats and inflammation-fighting foods.

Healthy carbs
Whole grain cereals, breads and pastas, plus fruits, veggies and dairy provide energy producing carbohydrates, plus B-vitamins, zinc and even some iron.

High quality protein
Red meat, fish, poultry and eggs as well as plant-based options like quinoa, beans and soy are packed with protein to get tired muscles back in action.

Omega-3 fats
Fatty fish like salmon as well as flax seed and walnuts are filled with heart-healthy fats that help promote circulation and keep skin and nerves healthy.

Antioxidant-rich fruits & veg
Berries, tomatoes, grapes, broccoli and beets are just a few of the foods filled with cell-protecting photochemicals that help fight inflammation.

Have a great race!

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

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Top 15 Diet Add-Ons for Perfect Skin

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The skin is considered the body’s largest organ. We can definitely say that the foods that help to keep your body feeling great on the inside will also contribute to helping you look your best on the outside.

Add these healthy but delicious foods to your everyday diet, and you’ll be well on your way to looking and feeling amazing, perfect skin included.

1. Water
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll tell you again: Fruits and vegetables both tend to be high in water content, but it’s always helpful to simply drink more water, particularly with lemon, says Marie Delcioppo, owner of Lush Vitality. Water keeps the skin well-hydrated and “dewy,” and adding lemon to water boosts detoxification and antioxidant intake.

2. Green Tea
There have been a number of encouraging studies showing the skin benefits of green tea, says Dr. David Bank, dermatologist and Founder & Director of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. “Animal studies showed protection from skin cancer [as a result of green tea consumption].

Both animal and human studies have credibly demonstrated that topical green tea formulations reduce sun damage.” He adds, “Green tea appears to exert sun damage protection by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays. Therefore, green tea may synergistically enhance sun protection when used in addition to a sunscreen.”

3. Coconut Oil
As an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredient, coconut oil will help clear up skin flare-ups, moisturize, and boost antioxidant activity, which slows down the aging process, says Delcioppo.

4. Pomegranates
To boost the efficacy of your favorite sunscreen, arm yourself with fruits that contain nutrients that can protect from the inside out, says celebrity dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad. Pomegranates are a great source of polyphenol and ellagic acid, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, which has actually been proven to improve the SPF of topical sunscreens. Because free radical damage affects every cell in the body, polyphenol is a great way to prevent damage from occurring from the inside out to protect against premature aging.

5. Sweet Potatoes and Carrots
Vitamin A can help with signs of premature aging, says Rene Ficek, RD, LDN, CDE, the lead nutrition expert for Seattle Sutton‘s Healthy Eating. Vitamin A is a very popular, well-known skin topical treatment, but consuming it can also help protect skin. Super foods like carrots and sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidant beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A.

6. Berries
Berries are an excellent source of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which helps repair damaged body tissues and has been linked to skin cancer prevention, says Ficek. ”In my studies of collagen, vitamin C emerges as very important for beautiful and healthy skin. It helps protect skin, fights oxidation, encourages collagen synthesis and more,” says Kathy Heshelow, founder of Sublime Beauty. Be sure to include berries, citrus, kiwis, leafy greens, and peppers in your daily diet for gorgeous skin!

7. Dark Chocolate
Some of the most obvious signs of the aging process can be found in the appearance of our skin. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation ages the skin more quickly, but eating dark chocolate has been shown to help protect the skin against the harmful effects of ultraviolet exposure, says Ficek.

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7 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight at the Gym

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If you’ve made it this far of going to the gym every day, give yourself a pat on the back. However, if the scale doesn’t seem to be showing any results, it might mean you’re unintentionally sabotaging your own progress.
We asked two local personal trainers what common mistakes they see gym-goers falling prey to during their weight loss journeys. From over-exercising (yes, it’s possible) to falling into a workout rut, here’s why you’re not losing weight.

1) You’re being an overachiever
We’re all a little gung-ho the first time we make it to the gym after a long hiatus. But Grant Hill of My Bootcamp cautions, “Exercising too much ends up being counterproductive.” The more you work out, the more cortisol your body produces. Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced when the body experiences high-stress conditions—it causes the body to retain water, and thus, weight.
Hill recommends spending just 30 to 45 minutes at the gym, three days a week.

2) You’re overeating
Being overall healthy and maintaining the ideal weight involves just 20 percent exercise and 80 percent nutrition. But “you can never out-exercise poor nutrition,” says Lance Breger, head trainer at Mint DC. Adds Hill, “Calories in and calories out is oversimplistic.” Just because you’re working out a lot doesn’t mean you can binge on pizza and burgers afterward.

3) Your workout is boring
Spending an hour on the elliptical every single workout is not very engaging, and it can get old pretty quickly. “You want to shake up your workouts,” Hill says. Do something you actually enjoy, like trying that Zumba class you keep meaning to sign up for.

4) You’re not lifting
Low-intensity training like lifting weights is just as important as high-intensity exercise. And contrary to popular belief, strength training actually does burn fat, Hill says. Of his own clients, Breger says individuals who spent more time strength-training than logging miles and miles on cardio equipment saw more positive body changes.

5) You’re dehydrated
We should be drinking half of our body weight in ounces, but most of us are walking around in a state of chronic dehydration, Breger says. Just 2 percent of water loss in our bodies can decrease our athletic performance, so you’re less likely to get the most of your workout the less you drink.

6) You’re not sleeping
“Sleep is absolutely the most critical part of losing weight, building muscle, and getting rid of injuries,” Breger says. Our bodies repair physically between 10 PM and 2 AM. So if you’re going to bed at midnight, you’re missing 50 percent of ideal body repair. If your body can’t fully recover from your workouts, it’s more difficult to develop muscle mass and burn fat quickly.

7) The glass is half empty
This should go without saying, but if there are no positive thoughts in your mind, there will be no positive results. Self-deprecating thoughts (“My muffin top is awful! I’m awful!”) are what Breger calls “stinking thinking.” Before taking on a weight loss journey, it’s important to get your mind in the right place.

Source: washingtonian.com

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