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7 New Super Foods

By: Matthew Kadey

Maqui
Maqui berries are a dietary staple of the Long-living Mapuche Indians of Chile. Brimming with age-avenging antioxidants, this deep purple super fruit is not shipped fresh to the United States. Instead, look for the freeze-dried power, processed to retain all the health-giving properties of its natural form.

Maqui Vinaigrette
Serves 4

•1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
•2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
•1 Tbsp. macqui powder
•1 Tbsp. honey
•1/2 lemon, juiced
•1 garlic clove, minced
•1/4 tsp. sea salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined. Drizzle over your favorite greens.

Chia Seeds
A staple of the ancient Aztecs and famously hawked as a novelty product to the tune of “Ch-ch-ch-chia!” the seeds are experiencing a renaissance. They are now a mainstay in the health food aisle for their copious amount of calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber a whopping 11 grams per ounce.

Coconut Chocolate Chia Pudding
Serves 4

•2 tsp. instant espresso powder
•1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
•1 large banana
•5 Tbsp. chia seeds
•3 Tbsp. maple syrup
•2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
•1 tsp. vanilla extract
•1/2 tsp. cinnamon
•1 8 tsp. cayenne (optional)
•1 8 tsp. sea salt
•Raspberries (optional)
•Dissolve espresso powder in 2 Tbsp. of hot water.
Combine this mixture with all ingredients, except for the raspberries, into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour puree into a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator for two hours to thicken. Divide among serving bowls and top with raspberries if desired.

Hemp Oil
Don’t worry; this stuff is legal. The earthy-tasting oil, made from pressed hemp seeds, has 25 times more omega-3 fatty acids than olive oil. Hemp oil is too delicate for heating, so keep it out of the frying pan and store in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.

Hemp Cilantro Pesto
Serves 8

•1 1/2 cups cilantro, packed
•1/3 cup walnuts
•1 3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
•1/2 lemon, juiced
•2 garlic cloves, chopped
•1/4 tsp. sea salt
•1/3 cup hemp oil
In a food processor, pulse together cilantro, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, garlic and salt. With the machine running, pour the hemp oil in through the feed tube and process until well mixed but still slightly grainy.

Black Rice
Brown rice may be a healthier choice than white, but black rice trumps them both. Also called “forbidden rice,” as it was once reserved only for the plates of Chinese emperors, black rice contains a payload of antioxidants. Scientists have found that a diet rich in antioxidants may help with exercise recovery by reducing muscular damage.

Scallops with Rice Puree
Serves 4

•1/2 cup black rice
•2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
•1 shallot, chopped
•2 garlic cloves, chopped
•1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
•1/2 lemon, juiced
•1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
•1 lb. sea scallops
•Salt & pepper (to taste)
•1 Tbsp. olive oil
•2 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
Place rice and chicken broth in a medium-sized saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered until rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Place cooked rice as well as cooking liquid along with 1/2 cup water, shallot, garlic, ginger, lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add additional broth if the mixture is too thick.

Rinse scallops under cold water, pat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear scallops until just opaque in center, about 90 seconds per side. Spread the black rice puree on serving plates and place scallops on top. Garnish with chives.

Cacao Nibs
Cacao trees bear football-shaped fruit pods filled with large seeds (called beans) that are processed to make chocolate. By smashing these seeds into bits, you end up with crunchy cacao nibs. The nibs’ nutritional perks include stellar amounts of fiber, antioxidants and magnesium. A recent Journal of Physiology study suggests that antioxidants in cacao may help bolster exercise endurance.

Cacao Nib Fruit Salad
Serves 4

•2 Tbsp. honey
•1/2 lime, juiced
•1/2 tsp. lime zest
•1 cup strawberries, sliced
•1 cup pineapple, diced
•1 cup blueberries
•1 banana, sliced
•1/4 cup cacao nibs
•1/3 cup unsalted almonds, sliced
•2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
Place honey, lime juice and 2 Tbsp. water in a small saucepan. Warm over low heat until honey has dissolved into liquid. Stir in lime zest and let cool. Place strawberries, pineapple, blueberries and banana in a large bowl. Add cacao nibs and honey syrup and toss to coat. Serve garnished with almonds and mint.

Matcha
Green tea, meet your matcha. Matcha is derived from the Chinese phrase mo cha, meaning “to grind tea.” In this practice, the drinker ingests whole tea leaves, which provide a giant dose of disease-thwarting antioxidants and brain-boosting L-theanine.

Matcha Smoothie
Serves 2

•2 cups low-fat milk
•1 tsp. vanilla extract
•1 Tbsp. honey
•3/4 cup silken tofu
•1 tsp. matcha powder
•1/2 tsp. ground ginger
•1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
•1 cup frozen mango cubes
Place ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.

Teff
Indigenous to Ethiopia, teff is the world’s smallest whole grain, with each grain no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence. It’s also a nutritional dynamo replete with impressive amounts of fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron. Blessed with a rich, nutty flavor, teff is also gluten-free.

Teff Porridge
Serves 4

•3/4 cup teff
•1 tsp. cinnamon
•1/4 tsp. ground cloves
•2 Tbsp. brown sugar
•1/3 cup ground flax seed
•1/2 cup hazelnuts, sliced in half
•1 cup blueberries
•1/4 cup pure maple syrup
In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add teff, cinnamon and stirring often to prevent lumping. Mix in sugar, flax seed and an additional 1/3 cup water. Heat for another five minutes, or until teff is tender. Add more water if mixture is too thick. Divide teff among serving bowls and top with hazelnuts, blueberries and maple syrup.

5 “Bad” Foods You Should Eat on a Diet

By Liz Vaccariello

The Real Secret to Lasting Weight Loss
Here’s some not-so-great news for people trying to lose weight: Your body loves to cling on to fat. You know the feeling—you look down and out of nowhere, there’s a muffin top rolling over your pants, or back fat bulging out of your bra. Or at your annual physical, that big chunky slide on the scale moved over a whole notch. How did that happen?

The answer: It’s usually a series of little things—walking a little less, eating a little more, gaining a pound here or there that never goes away. Whatever the scenario, inch by inch, this gradual fat creep snuck up on you. And the world we live in—the foods we’re exposed to, the way we exercise, how we sleep, and where we work—is making it harder than ever to let go of that fat.

50 Habits of Naturally Thin People

Now for the good news: Many of the habits we follow to fight creep are actually making it worse—and this means that simply reversing or rethinking them can make it easier than ever to lose that stubborn, elusive weight gain.

It turns out that many of the “fattening” foods you avoid while trying to slim down actually have unique fat releasing properties that—in moderation, of course—can help you lose weight more quickly. And I love that you don’t need to deprive yourself: these are foods we all love to eat, and now there’s no reason to avoid them!

1. Red Wine
So many people have asked me if it’s OK to have a drink when you’re trying to lose weight. Listen up—this glass is for you! Many studies show that a small glass of wine a day is good for your heart, and cutting-edge research suggests that resveratrol, a potent anti-aging chemical found in red wine, is a fat releaser too.

In one study of more than 19,000 women of normal weight, light to moderate drinkers had less weight gain and less risk of becoming overweight than those who drank no alcohol. An animal study found that resveratrol improved exercise endurance and protected against obesity and insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

2. Chocolate
If you’re like me, you welcome any new excuse to add more chocolate to your life. You probably know that cocoa is packed with antioxidants, but recent research reveals that they may also help you release fat. A 2011 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that obese, diabetic mice that consumed a diet high in epicatechins, the antioxidants found in cocoa lived longer. The cocoa reduced degeneration of the arteries in their heart and it blunted fat deposition.

3. Cheese
Raise your hand if dairy is one of the first things to go when you start a diet. How can you lose weight and eat pizza?! The fantastic news here is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. One University of Tennessee study showed that eating three servings of dairy a day significantly reduced body fat in obese subjects. And dairy is one of the best sources of calcium, another fat releaser. Research shows that people who don’t consume enough of this bone builder have greater fat mass and less control of their appetite.

7 Light Options for Cheese Lovers

4. Coconut Oil
Saturated fats are usually considered no-nos for dieters, but you shouldn’t shun this sweet, rich oil. It was shown to do some nifty things for abdominally obese women in a 2009 study out of Brazil, including decreasing waist circumference and improving the ratio of their good “HDL” cholesterol to bad “LDL.” In populations where coconut oil is commonly eaten, high cholesterol levels and heart disease are uncommon.

5. Nuts
I’ve known about the power of MUFAs—monounsaturated fatty acids—to help reduce belly fat since 2006. They’re found in certain nuts and seeds (as well as olives, avocados, and dark chocolate). But after diving into the most current research, I also discovered the power of PUFAs—polyunsaturated fatty acids, found in fish as well as in many nuts and seeds—to boost metabolism and calorie burn.

Basically, when it comes to a healthy, filling snack, you can’t go wrong with nuts—they’re packed with fat releasing unsaturated fats, filling fiber (another fat releaser), and a host of other healthy nutrients. Although the benefits of nuts are becoming increasingly well known, I’m surprised that people still avoid them because of their fattening reputation. I’m here to tell you that you’re far better off munching on nuts than pretzels or any fat-free packaged, processed food.

Why Carbohydrates are Good for You!

By Dana Ellis, RD. UCLA Clinical dietitian

Believe it or not, despite the fact that there are many diets, which preach low-carb eating as the golden ticket to weight loss, the truth is that your body actually needs carbohydrates to function at its optimal level. Carbohydrates are a component of foods such as breads, grains, cereals, fruits, and vegetables that break down into glucose. It is this glucose, which directly feeds your muscles and cells allowing you to sustain an active life-style.
An important fact to know is how many carbohydrates your body needs to function at its peak level. If you are diabetic for example, you may need to take extra care in how you spread your carbs throughout the day or at any one time. This is to prevent drastic peaks and valleys in your blood sugars. Contrastingly, if you are a long-distance marathon runner you have a different set of issues to contend with, such as how not to run out of carbohydrate fuel for your muscles on a long 26 mile run.
It is also important to understand that carbs in and of themselves are not evil and do not make you gain weight. To lose weight you must use more calories than you take in through food or drink. Clinical studies have shown that for long-term weight loss, low carbohydrate diets fare no better than traditional diets where 50-60% of calories come from carbs. Therefore, it is not the source of calories that makes the difference in body weight, but rather the total intake of calories.
Additionally, in studies where participants were divided into two groups where one group followed a traditional diet and the other followed a low-carb diet, more of the participants completed the study when consuming a calorie-controlled traditional diet versus the same calorie controlled low-carb diet. The reason may have been due to having fewer restrictions on what they could eat, leading to an easier time of maintaining the diet and thus weight loss!
Another benefit to carbs? Fiber—a portion of the carbohydrate food that your body cannot break down and use for energy. Currently 25-35 grams of fiber are recommended each day. Fiber has been found to decrease incidence of cancer, decrease total cholesterol, and increase sensations of satiety. When a food is in its natural form, there will be more fiber in it.
For example, a piece of whole fruit such as an apple has 3-4 grams of fiber and about 80 calories, a good source. Yet, if you drink 1 cup of apple juice you will only be obtaining the concentrated sugars of the fruit, without the filling fiber, and thus would be drinking about 120 calories and 0 grams of fiber. Therefore, it is important to eat whole fruits and vegetables for wholesome and filling nutrients and fiber.
Finally, you know how when you watch an elite athlete and think about the amazing ways they can use their body and how healthy they look? Well, I promise you they did not get that way by eating a high fat, high protein diet. They would never be able to train as hard as they do day in and day out to become the Olympic athlete they may be! To achieve their goals, their bodies required glucose from carbs to sustain their lengthy and difficult training regimens. Hence, it is important to give your body the right balance of nutrients including carbohydrates to perform at your very best. Happy eating!

Is Diet Soda Addictive?

By Lisa Collier Cool

Insights from Brain Science
Another plausible explanation is habit: diet soda becomes part of daily rituals – a break from work, lunch, watching the news, you name it. And sipping a zero-calorie beverage may not seem to have downside to curb the urge to overindulge.

More persuasive, perhaps, is the notion that artificial sweeteners trigger the brain’s reward system. In a study of women who drank water sweetened with sugar or Splenda, the women couldn’t taste the difference between the two, but functional MRIs showed that the brain’s reward system responded more strongly to sugar.

Study author Martin P. Paulus, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego suggests that diet soda might be addicting because “artificial sweeteners have positive reinforcing effects – meaning humans will work for it, like for other foods, alcohol and even drugs of abuse.”

Is diet soda making you fat?

Is Diet Soda Harmful?
Beyond the addiction issue, diet soda has been linked to increased rates of heart attack and stroke, kidney problems, preterm deliveries, and, yes, weight gain. While not yet carved in scientific stone, the emerging evidence is a bit disturbing. Here’s a rundown:

•Heart Attack and Stroke: Drinking diet sodas daily may increase the risks for heart attack and stroke and other vascular events by 43 percent, but no such threat exists with regular soft drinks or with less frequent consumption of diet soda. These results come from a study including more than 2,500 adults published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on January 30, 2012. So far, no one knows what it is about diet sodas that could explain the added risk.
•Kidney Trouble: In 2009, researchers at Harvard found that drinking two or more diet sodas daily could lead to a 30 percent drop in a measure of kidney function in women. No accelerated decline was seen in women who drank less than two diet sodas daily. The drop held true even after the researchers accounted for age, high blood pressure, diabetes and physical activity.
Read more facts about diet soda.

•Preterm Delivery: A Danish study including more than 59,000 women found a link between drinking one or more diet sodas daily and a 38 percent increase in the risk of giving birth to preterm babies; the risk was 78 percent higher among pregnant women who drank four or more diet sodas daily. No such risk was seen with regular soda.
•Weight Gain: Wouldn’t it be ironic if instead of helping you lose weight, diet sodas had the opposite effect? A study at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found that compared to those who drank no diet sodas, study participants who did had a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference; worse, drinking two or more diet sodas daily led to ballooning waist circumference that was 500 percent greater than those who drank none. This doesn’t prove that diet soda is to blame since the study was observational – it could be that participants began gaining weight and then started drinking diet sodas.

The Difference Between Personal Training & Exercising

In order to achieve an average level of fitness, you have to significantly increase your level of exercise from what has become the norm. This can be achieved by running a few miles each week and then performing some moderate strength training 2 days per week, or attending a few bootcamp style classes with no specific structure, programming or progression.

However, if you want to actually train for a race or train to get in your best shape, you need to approach your “exercise program” with a well designed, comprehensive approach that gives you the opportunity to get consistently stronger, more powerful, and better conditioned.

If you want to get in the best shape of your life and feel 10 years younger, then you have to set goals and do the things it takes to get there. A colleague once said it best, “You can’t just get up, do your 30 minutes on the treadmill at the same level you’ve been doing for the past year, go to work, eat like crap, go home, watch tv, go to bed, get up and repeat. You need to adopt a lifestyle that will affect your ability to meet your goals.” I couldn’t agree more.

There’s nothing wrong with achieving an average level of fitness….more Americans need to do at least that much, but if you really want to change the way you feel and look, then frankly it’s going to require your adopting a lifestyle that will allow you to reach that goal. Planning what you eat, getting adequate sleep, and exercising with a purpose is the only way to train to get better at a sport or activity you want to improve in. It’s no different in achieving a healthy life.

When asked, “Why do you exercise, or why do you want a personal trainer or coach?” the goals people typically state are “I want to get in shape”, or “I want to lose weight”. These are not goals. Stating instead, “I want to bench press 100 lbs for 10 reps or I want to lose 30 lbs in 8 months is a goal. See the difference?

If you have a goal, I can get you there, if you are willing to do your part. We have a staff of trainers that are all equipped to get you there. Many of our trainers are training for something whether it is a fitness competition, a biathlon, a triathlon, or some other event. We understand training…not just exercising. Let us help you train for your next event (life), and let us help you set and reach your next goal.