Eat Your Vegetables!

  • By P S
  • 07 Aug, 2012

Many people complain that healthy foods are boring to eat. Lots of people really want to be able to eat healthy food like broccoli but they want them to taste like chocolate. The foods that are good for us never seem to taste as nice as foods which are unhealthy. The first time you bite into a rice cake instead of a cookie your taste buds may protest, but before you chuck that rice cake out the window – hang on! Give yourself time to adjust to your new healthy lifestyle and the new and exciting healthy food that you are discovering. Soon you won’t be able to imagine your life without celery sticks and water bottles!

Adults find it difficult to eat healthily, so why should children find it any easier? Eating some vegetables instead of potato chips takes some real determination and most kids simply don't have that kind of determination. Not to mention, a lot of kids simply don't understand how much more healthy something like a snack of carrots is compared to potato chips.

 

As a parent though you need to behave how you tell them to behave, you can't tuck into chocolates while you are forcing your kids to eat their veggies if you want them to take you seriously.

If you want to make yourself healthy and lose some weight then you do need to eat up all your greens. Vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals but low in calories and they also contain lots of fiber which will keep your bowels moving properly.

Convincing your children that they should eat broccoli and other vegetables is a real challenge, particularly if you don't like the taste yourself. To get around this you need to give your taste buds some training. Your taste buds have been spoiled for years and are used to processed foods. They are in love with fat but all of these things are bad for us. Because we eat so many artificial flavoring, things like vegetables are not as tasty as they should be. The truth is that all these healthy foods are packed with natural flavors of their own, but our preference for processed foods has really impacted our ability to taste the natural goodness.

If you start eating the healthy foods and completely stop eating unhealthy stuff then you should see that it's not really as bad as you thought. Nature does provide some fantastic flavors but these are lost on most of us because of the use of flavorings. If you stick it out for a while then you should be able to understand that the good foods are wonderful, you don't even need to worry about missing the unhealthy foods because you will forget all about it.

Kids can get involved by helping parents prepare the vegetables so that they can be cooked. Most of the artificial flavors are derived from nature and it's actually possible to add the flavoring to your veggies. Add onions, garlic, pepper and vinegar to your vegetables so that the vegetables taste of something that you like. If you're a fan of spicy foods then you can even add some chili pepper to your vegetables for that extra kick. Whatever it is you like to eat you can add it to your vegetables for some extra flavor.

Why not give it a go? You haven't got anything to lose and you might end up loving vegetables

By Dawn Evans 16 Jun, 2017

Tyrosine, an important amino acid you may not know about

Like almost any nutrient, be it a vitamin, mineral, or botanical extract, amino acids are best introduced to the body via whole foods. In this way, they typically come packaged along with complementary and accessory nutrients that facilitate their absorption and fulfillment of their biochemical destinies. (It’s so nice of nature to do that for us, isn’t it?) But in just the same way that certain disease states, both acute and chronic, can increase the body’s need for particular vitamins and minerals above the levels someone would reasonably get from food alone, certain conditions may warrant supplemental amounts of amino acids.

There’s branched chain amino acids for potential skeletal muscle growth, tryptophan (and its metabolite, 5-HTP) for lifting a low mood or helping to promote sleep, and  glutamine  for gut health and tissue healing and repair after trauma.

What about tyrosine?

Like its aromatic amino acid brethren (phenylalanine and tryptophan), tyrosine is a building block for neurotransmitter synthesis. Unlike phenylalanine and tryptophan, however, it is not technically an essential amino acid, since it can be synthesized from phenylalanine. (For individuals with phenylketonuria [PKU], tyrosine  is  essential, as they lack the enzyme that facilitates this conversion.)

Tyrosine readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and is the starting point for producing L-DOPA, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It is also the building block for thyroxine (a.k.a. T4, or thyroid hormone), but inadequate tyrosine is usually not the limiting factor in thyroxine synthesis. Individuals with suboptimal thyroid function might benefit from supplemental tyrosine, but likely only if hypothyroid symptoms are due primarily to insufficient tyrosine availability. Owing to its role in neurotransmitter and catecholamine synthesis, it has shown benefit for alleviating depression, acute stress, narcolepsy, and cocaine addiction. (With regard to cocaine addiction, tyrosine and tryptophan may be an effective combination, with these amino acids blunting the cocaine “high,” and reducing the depression that may result from drug withdrawal.)

Tyrosine competes with other large, neutral amino acids (phenylalanine, tryptophan, leucine, isoleucine, valine, and methionine) for transport across the blood-brain barrier, so for optimal efficacy supplemental tyrosine is best taken on an empty stomach, or perhaps with a carbohydrate-containing meal or snack that is low in protein. Taking vitamin B6 along with it may facilitate the conversion of tyrosine to dopamine, as the vitamin is a cofactor for the aromatic amino acid decarboxylase enzyme that catalyzes the reaction.

The Brain and Mood Link

Considering tyrosine’s role as a precursor to dopamine and thyroid hormone, it would seem that tyrosine supplementation would be a slam dunk for improving depression. Yet,  results are mixed . Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have  failed to show efficacy for tyrosine with regard to depression ; nevertheless, anecdotal evidence indicates there may be a role, so it’s possible it depends on an individual patient’s presentation. Depression is multifactorial, so there may be cases where supplemental tyrosine will help alleviate symptoms, and others where the issue is unrelated to inadequate levels.

On the other hand, tyrosine may be helpful for supporting cognitive function in acutely stressful situations.  A  review looking at the effects of tyrosine on behavior and cognition  found that “tyrosine loading acutely counteracts decrements in working memory and information processing that are induced by demanding situational conditions such as extreme weather or cognitive load.” Most likely this is due to the influence of tyrosine on restoring healthy brain catecholamine levels. Other researchers had similar findings—that it does enhance cognitive performance, particularly in short-term stressful and cognitively demanding situations.  One study’s authors caveated this  by saying that it “is an effective enhancer of cognition, but only when neurotransmitter function is intact and DA [dopamine] and/or NE [norepinephrine] is temporarily depleted.”

Final Words

Fortunately, it is an inexpensive compound to supplement with, so patients may be inclined to give it a try if their health care professionals suspect some of the symptoms they present with may be related to suboptimal tyrosine and/or reduced levels of hormones and neurotransmitters that come from tyrosine.

Note that tyrosine should not be supplemented in pregnant or lactating women, nor in individuals taking MAOIs for depression. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease may benefit from supplemental tyrosine, for the production of dopamine, but it should not be taken at the same time as levodopa, due to possible reduction in the drug’s efficacy.

By Dawn Evans 13 Jun, 2017
When your grip strength  improves, less neural drive is needed for the forearm and hand  muscles to perform other exercises. That is why many trainees report breaking training plateaus ranging from dead lifts to curls. Charles Poliquin discusses how you can instantly increase your strength grip through Posturology.
By Dawn Evans 13 Jun, 2017
Correcting posture can have a huge impact on sports performance and injury prevention. Here is a short video of a chin up preformed by   Allan McVaughn   of the men’s Basketball Team, before and after postural correction.
By Dawn Evans 13 Jun, 2017

Weight lifting is important to begin to building muscle mass and size, however it isn’t the only key element of shoulder training.

Posture is essential if you want to be injury free and want to start adding serious size to your shoulders.

Visual feedback and equal weight distribution are important to ensure that your muscles contract accurately.


By Dawn Evans 09 Jun, 2017

New study demonstrates omega-3 fatty acids increase blood flow to regions of the brain associated with cognition

According to a new study published last Thursday in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, by using neuroimaging, researchers were able to demonstrate increased blood flow in regions of the brain associated with memory and learning in individuals with higher omega-3 levels.

Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are a group of conditions that cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These conditions affect one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. It’s important to recognize that   Alzheimer’s disease begins long before symptoms start , just like many other conditions. There is evidence that simple prevention strategies can reduce the risk of ADRD by as much as 50%.

This new study included 166 individuals from a psychiatric clinic in which Omega-3 Index results were available. These patients were categorized into two groups: higher EPA and DHA concentrations (>50th percentile) and lower concentrations (<50th percentile). Quantitative brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 128 regions of their brains and each individual completed computerized testing of their neurocognitive status.

SPECT can measure blood perfusion in the brain. In addition, performing various mentally stimulating cognitive tasks will show increased blood flow to specific brain regions. (Previous research has demonstrated that mentally stimulating activities reduce the risk of new-onset mild cognitive impairment even when performed later in life.) As a result, researchers identified significant relationships between the Omega-3 Index and regional perfusion on brain SPECT in areas that are involved with memory and neurocognitive testing.

This study demonstrated the positive relationships between omega-3 EPA and DHA status, brain perfusion, and cognition. This is significant because it shows a correlation between lower omega-3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

See Strength Sensei for more information.

By Dawn Evans 08 Jun, 2017
One of the muscles responsible for adduction upwards rotation and elevation of the scapula is the upper trapezius. The upper is innervated by the XI cranial nerve and shares a direct relationship with the eye muscles (III, IV and VI cranial nerve) located in the brainstem. Optimal eye tracking is essential and should be considered when looking at shoulder movement and to avoid possible injuries. A very easy exercise to perform prior to a shoulder workout is an eye workout.
By Dawn Evans 08 Jun, 2017

Fix Your Knee Pain in 2 Easy Steps

Tip Number 1 – Fix Your Feet Fix Your Knee

The movement of the knee joint is influenced by the movement of the ankle joint. To make sure you have proper biomechanics of your knee, you should first ensure that your foot has optimal movement. Start by testing your shoes. Position your foot on top of your shoe. You’ll want to make sure that the width and length of the shoe is big enough to accommodate the size of your foot and toes. If your toes are sticking out, then the shoe is too small. Change shoes.

By Dawn Evans 07 Jun, 2017

Fix Your Low Back Pain (Two Tips)

When talking about lower back pain, we’re not inclined to think that the clenching of our teeth could have a negative repercussion. Our jaws (maxillary and mandible) is linked to our anterior and posterior muscular chains. As such, it would be impossible to display an outburst of strength without having our jawbones in contact.

Tip Number 1 – Red Dots
Use six red dots that you will alternate every six weeks. Position them in different areas of your house and working area at the level of your eyes. The red dots are meant to be used as a visual cue, so that when you see the dot, you become aware that your teeth are in contact. Immediately stop and move on to tip number two.

By Dawn Evans 18 May, 2017

Is magnesium deficiency halting your gains?

To be valid, every hormone or mineral evaluation must be tested in the right compartment. Even if it is commonly prescribed, the serum magnesium test is a poor indicator of magnesium levels as serum magnesium represents only 1% of the body’s stores . Low serum magnesium indicates severe deficiency.

Red blood cell magnesium is the way to go. The optimal range is 6.8-7.2 mg/dL .

Most people hover around 2 mg/dL. Magnesium deficiency is a concern for 50-80% of the population depending on the source.

Continue reading on here...

By Dawn Evans 12 May, 2017

Here’s what you need to know…

1. Bad posture increases muscle strain and tension, as muscles that are not aligned are forced to work harder to fight gravity.

2. Bad posture increases risk of back pain, nerve impingement and slipped disks, because the spine does not have the right curves and balance. While training, this imbalance of curves could lead to injury.

3. Bad posture increases the wear and tear of all joints because they are not moving in the way they are designed to and because the muscles stabilizing the joints do not receive the correct activation from the brain. This breaks down the cartilage and weakens ligaments leading to increased risk of injury such as ligament tears and muscle pulls.

4. Bad posture (and the above mentioned factors) can increase the production of stress hormones and inflammation in your body. This can lead to lowered immune system function, decreased sleep quality, digestion and energy levels.  

The Brain Muscle Connection

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