Looking for an alternative to soda? Are you learning about its negative health benefits ? Here is a healthy alternative and is becoming a new health craze. Kombucha. It is a fermented tea drink that has been around for centuries and is gaining traction because of the health benefits that it has to offer. Kombucha is an “ancient fermented tea beverage” also called the “Immortal Health Elixir" by the ancient Chinese that has a natural effervescence (carbonation-like) and loaded with probiotics, antioxidants, B vitamins. I have to say that I'm hooked on it. After drinking water for most of the day, it's nice to switch over to something with a little flavor! My favorite is the Synergy Organic & Raw Raspberry Chia. It contains 150 calories per 16 fl. oz and 8g of fiber! The back of the label claims that it is "Often called 'runner's food', chia is a nutrient-rich superfood that provides sustained energy for your body. Packed with more than 8 times the omega-3s found in salmon, this small seed has big nutritional value. With more antioxidants than blueberries and more fiber than oatmeal, see for yourself how chia brings new life to our GT's Kombucha." This flavor offers the chia seeds floating in the Kombucha and gives it an interesting texture, but claims to have very high nutritional value.
According to www.foodrenegade.com, "In the first half of the 20th century, extensive scientific research was done on Kombucha’s health benefits in Russia and Germany, mostly because of a push to find a cure for rising cancer rates. Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called “tea kvass” there, was the cause. So, they began a series of experiments which not only verified the hypothesis, but began to pinpoint exactly what it is within kombucha which was so beneficial."
There is limited research on Kombucha, but you can't argue with foodrenegade.com's statement that "Regardless of the “lack” of scientific evidence, the fact remains that this beverage has 2,000 plus years of tradition behind it and an ardent and addicted following." Also, "As is typically the case in the U.S., no major medical studies are being done on Kombucha because no one in the drug industry stands to profit from researching a beverage that the average consumer can make for as little as 50 cents a gallon."
So, there ya go! It's popping up on shelves in most grocery stores. It's a little pricey at $3.69/bottle.
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Impressive Presentation About Our Country And The Direction We Are Taking Regarding Food And Our Health.
It's 5:30 on a Monday evening at the local gym, raining outside and everyone in town is trying to get in shape for beach season. I can't seem to do everything I had planned so I compromise and work with what I can. In the meantime, one guy is texting his girlfriend while standing in front of the squat rack, another guy is performing "super sets" on the bench and bicep curl machine while the other guy is flexing in the mirror. What is going on?! Starting in a gym or fitness center can be an uncomfortable experience, but if you go into it knowing what to expect ahead of time, you may feel a little more at ease. For those of you who are comfortable in the gym, well maybe you're too comfortable and need to be a little more aware of your surroundings.
First of all, put your weights back on the rack when you're done using them! It's not the college kid's job that is working the front desk to go around and pick up after you. You're at the gym lifting weights, pick the weight off of the machine and put it back. Going to the gym to be lazy is like "jumbo shrimp", makes no sense! Besides, some people using the equipment after you may not be able to lift what you put on the machine in the first place!
If you're one of those guys that sweats all over the place, wipe the machine down after or use a towel between you and the equipment. Most gyms give out towels when you walk in.
When it is busy, don't use the power/squat rack to do bicep curls or shrugs when there is a thousand other places to do them! That is the safest place to squat and somebody is probably waiting to use it! Also, when it is busy, super-setting may not be the best idea! Tying up two pieces of equipment just leaves me at one of them wondering who is using it!
Who thinks grabbing the jump rope and doing a couple sets in the middle of the free weight area is a good idea?! Do I need to explain why?!
Why are you dropping your weights when you're done with your set? Any idea how much they cost? Probably around $2-3 per pound! A 90 pound dumbbell is not cheap, so don't drop it and let the handle snap off!
Another courtesy is to avoid working out in between somebody and the mirror, especially during heavy lifts. Just wait until they're done with their set and then move into that area if need be. Watching yourself in the mirror helps to maintain proper form and nobody wants to stare at the back of your head while performing a heavy lift.
If you need to use the machine that I am on, please don't stand there and stare at me. Ask to work in or find another way to perform the exercise, I'm sure there is ten other ways of doing it! If I'm taking too long, asking to work in or how many sets are left usually speeds things up.
Cell phones, cell phones, cell phones. Don't text at the gym while sitting on a machine when someone else could be waiting for you to finish!
Oh, and don't ask someone if they're using something in the middle of an exercise! Wait 30 seconds for them to finish and then ask.
The bottom line is to just be aware of others in the gym and respect that others are sharing the same equipment that way we can all have an enjoyable experience!
I'd love to hear any other tips you may have!
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The majority of golfers that come into our clinic for complaints of low back pain and other forms of injury lack flexibility through the hips, spine and ankles, all of which are heavily relied upon during the golf swing. Most professional golfers have incredible flexibility combined with excellent strength allowing them to compete at such a high level. For the weekend golfer who spends most of their day sitting at a desk, this can be a challenge.
I spend most of my time working with golfers to increase their hip flexor mobility that shortens from prolonged sitting. These muscles are located on the front of the hip and have a major influence on the curvature of the low back and how it behaves during the swing. The therapists at Nike Golf placed great emphasis on improving hip extension and rotation through a series of stretches that target the joint in 3 planes of motion. Most of us stretch in one direction and forget that we move in 3 dimensions and therefore must stretch in 3 dimensions to achieve the maximum benefit. Through the use of these stretches, I have been able to witness golfers drastically improve their follow through while resolving their back pain in a matter of 1-2 visits. Unfortunately, a lifestyle that involves sitting for 7-8 hours/day will require greater effort on your part to overcome.
The only equipment you need to perform a highly effective hip flexor stretch is a chair. Start by placing one foot on the chair and having the other foot grounded and turned inward. This is important because it really locks in the hip flexor. Lean forward at the hips until you feel tension at the front of the hip. Do not come off of the stretch and begin to gently rock forward and back for 10 repetitions, then move the hips in a side to side motion to stretch the frontal plane for 10 repetitions. It is important to also keep the back leg straight because the knee will want to bend. After those 2 motions, incorporate the transverse plane by doing a circular motion and remember not to come off of the stretch at any point for 10 repetitions in each direction, clock wise and counterclockwise. Now, switch legs and repeat. You should feel immediate relief and greater ease with the follow through of your golf swing!
This plant has received a lot of attention lately after the CDC recently announced that it is the most nutrient dense food on the planet.
"Researchers at William Paterson University in New Jersey have done all of us a big favor by producing a list of 41 “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” ranked by the amounts of 17 critical nutrients they contain. In a study published Thursday in the CDC journal “Preventing Chronic Disease,” the foods are scored by their content of fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and other nutrients, all considered important to public health." (Washington Post) Guess what topped the list? Watercress! Have you ever heard of it? I'm on a green smoothie kick now and have been experimenting with different recipes and vegetables. If you know of any good ones, please share! Anyways, watercress is sold at Publix for $2.99/bag. If you would like to find out how different vegetables and fruits ranked click here.
The benefits of watercress are pretty remarkable. For instance, watercress is strong at cancer prevention and may counteract certain processes by which cancers proliferate and spread. It may help regulate thyroid hormones, regulate the gallbladder, help with hair and skin health among many other benefits. Give it a Google and you will find a plethora of other benefits!
Check this article out:
Eat your way to a facelift: Watercress is the latest wonder food in battle against ageing
"Given this wealth of health benefits, it is not surprising that Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, built his first hospital in close proximity to a stream where watercress grew so that his patients would have ready access to this life-sustaining green." (www.lef.org)
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Not familiar with turmeric root? It is one of the most researched foods known to man and has been around for centuries because of its healing properties and health benefits. Its medicinal properties have been involved in over 5600 research studies and has comparable properties to several big name prescription drugs. Turmeric root has been used for thousands of years in India. According to AuthorityNutrition.com, turmeric root is a natural anti-inflammatory, dramatically Increases the antioxidant capacity of the body, boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, linked to improved brain function and a lower risk of brain diseases, lowers risk of heart disease, helps to prevent and treat cancer, fights arthritis and depression while fighting age related illnesses. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and is found in low doses in the root, but can be supplemented. Please follow this link to find out how it compares to common pharmaceuticals. You may be surprised!
I have a secret, something that only a few people know.
I sometimes workout at another gym besides the one I own.
I know, it's crazy.
I've been involved in a specific type of athletic training and strength and conditioning for so long that I've forgotten there is another world of exercise out there. One I actually came from when I started this journey years ago.
This world is populated by a group of people who aimlessly wail on machines and free weights, pulling movements they've learned from magazines and websites, in an effort to look something like the videos they see online and in print. They work for the sake of work, and while admirable, it is a gerbil wheel. Doomed to forever spin and get nowhere.
That, in essence, is the difference between training and exercise. Exercise gives you something to do. It makes you hot and sweaty, and it can be fun. Truthfully, there are a lot of people who have gotten in good shape by exercising. Training, however, has one key difference: direction.
The first day I train with a new client I ask "what is your goal?" Most of the time I get responses along the lines of getting fitter or losing weight. Occasionally I get a more specific answer; "I want to do a pull-up" or "I want to run a 5k in under 30 minutes". It's those quantifiable goals which distinguishes training from just "working out".
Attached to this distinction are the trainers and coaches of the world. You see them leading groups of men and women. Engaging their clients and classes to do movements they wouldn't normally do, leading them outside their comfort zones, and helping them discover something within themselves. This is a very important interaction.
When you exercise you just need someone with a clipboard and pre-written routine to walk you around the gym and make small talk.
When you train, you need someone to objectively evaluate your performance, offer improvements in technique, and provide "tough love" when you need it most. You need someone who can speak to you from experience, someone who provides insight not only into the bio-mechanical aspects of training, but also the mental and emotional states of motivation and training. You need someone you feel comfortable around, trust, and is invested in your success.
That, brings us to the second key difference, between a coach and a trainer.
A coach will see in you the best person you can be, and will work together with you to achieve that goal. You will see in you something you've never seen in yourself.
A coach will be supportive, and realistic. Whatever your goal, is their goal. At the same time if it is unrealistic or unsafe they will call you on it or work to make an appropriate adjustment.
A coach will know their passion and their limitations. If a goal is outside their limitations, they should have no problem bowing out and directing you to someone more appropriate.
Lastly, a coach should empower, and bring up the people around them to the highest of levels. Bettering the world with every movement, and word of encouragement.
The subtle differences between trainers and coaches, exercising and training are elusively obvious, and run through the under current of the entirety of the exercise world. Learn the distinctions now, to provide a better path in the future.
Evan Chelini is the owner of Sand Dunes CrossFit and Strength Coach in Miramar Beach, FL. He is also the owner of a great spirit and passion for helping others.
Please visit his page at Sand Dunes Strength and Conditioning
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Dr. Mark Giovanini
Scott Rusin is the Director of Physical Therapy at the Sandestin Executive Health & Wellness Center in Sandestin Resort, Miramar Beach, FL. He has a degree in Physical Therapy, is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Nike Golf NG360 Performance Specialist Powered by the Gray Institute.