Coconut water has gained a lot of interest in the past few years and you can now find it bottled and boxed in almost every supermarket and convenience store. Although most coconut waters have fewer calories, more potassium, and less sodium than many sports drinks it may have ingredients that you did not expect to find depending on the brand you buy. Continue reading Your Guide to Buying Coconut Water
Festivals are a lot of fun, but so exhausting! The biggest problem is, the various options of food can be far from nutritious. You know you’ll expect to find the usual suspects: french fries, hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, milkshakes, tacos, ice cream, and gyros. While these may seem like a good way to fill your belly after dancing in the heat for the past 4/5 hours, they are some of the biggest culprits for slowing you down. Fortunately, you can eat before it starts, and if you plan properly, your body will not have to suffer.
Let’s lay down a few simple guidelines for making balanced and healthy choices for your pre-festival and post-festival meals.
Without the signs at the super markets or the stickers on the fruits and vegetables it would be very difficult to know which are organic and which are not. The Environmental Working Group recently released their annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides. There are new culprits out in produce sections of the supermarket so be sure to keep clear of their non-organic versions. Keep a pocket version of this list in your wallet or purse to reference when you head to the market.
Do you ever feel a crash, hunger pang, or the feeling like your tummy is going to explode around 4pm? It’s really important to feed yourself as soon as you have those feelings because your metabolism will start to slow down. Your body will seek out the energy it needs to keep going firstly from the glycogen stores and then after that, fat sources. These bites can also be a great boost for you pre-workout. I know these can be easy to eat, but be sure to stick to having three at most because the dates do contain more sugar than you might think. I’ve got just the snack for you!
Finally, spring time has arrived, the weather is warming up, and eating fruits and vegetables have become a routine. When temperatures rise, it’s important to stay hydrated whether you are exercising, out in the sun, or traveling. Doctors and health practitioners recommend drinking 8 glasses of water per day (some even suggest more!). Drinking water may not be second nature to you, but you can also quench your thirst with these 10 super hydrating foods, which are all at least 90% water by weight. Here are the top 10 most hydrating foods:
Last week, I listened to a TED Talk by David Wolfe on raw chocolate and the amazing benefits and properties of this fruit. His research and findings have really changed how I view chocolate.
Raw chocolate contains many important minerals and nutrients including:
- Magnesium, and other essential minerals including calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese
- Polyphenols called flavonoids, with antioxidant properties
- Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E
- Essential heart-healthy fat: oleic acid a monounsaturated fat
The above nutrients have been linked to a number of health benefits:
- Neutralize Free Radicals – High levels of antioxidants protect the body from a build up of free radicals from pollution, cigarette smoke, and sun exposure which can damage healthy body tissue leading to cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Improves Digestion – Cacao may help to keep your bowel movements regular. A 1 oz serving of cacao nibs contains 36% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber, or 9 grams.
- Enhance Physical & Mental Well-Being – Magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium are important for healthy bones and teeth, sulfur for healthy hair and skin, iron for healthy blood, potassium for kidneys, heart, and adrenal glands.
- Promote Cardiovascular Function – The antioxidant power of flavanoids and essential minerals found in raw cacao can support healthy heart functioning by lowering blood pressure, and in turn lowers your risk for a stroke or heart attack.
- Lower Blood Pressure & Improve Circulation – The fiber and polyphenols work together to control your blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
Today, I want to share with you why bananas are so great for you. At the end, I sneak in my all-time favorite banana recipe. With a creamy and sweet taste and perfect yellow packaging, bananas are a fantastic snack that can be enjoyed all year round. One medium sized banana contains about 105 calories and are a very good source for Vitamin B6, manganese, Vitamin C, Fiber, Potassium, Biotin, and Copper. For a more in-depth nutritional profile of a banana: click here.
Why I love Bananas:
1. They improve your mood – containing high levels of tryptohpan, which converts into serotonin (aka the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter)
2. These bad boys lower your blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke with the high content of potassium and low sodium amounts.
3. Bananas can help you become more “regular.” They contain a soluble fiber called pectin that can help normalize movements through the digestive tract.
4. With 25% of your daily vitamin B6, which allows your body to make nonessential amino acids to create healthy cells.
5. Super versatile and easy to transport. I have included these in all kinds of recipes from smoothies to breads to desserts.
6. Bananas are the perfect fuel for athletes because they provide the carbs that your muscles need and contain antioxidants that help speed up your recovery.
7. They help you feel full longer. The 6 grams of resistant starch in the banana is a carb that resists digestion, functioning like fiber. The greener the banana the more resistant starch it contains.
Yummy Banana Cookies
Ingredients: 3 ripe bananas, 2 cups gluten-free oats, 1 cup dates (pitted and chopped), 1/3 cup apple sauce, & 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Feel free to add in 1/4 of walnuts or chocolate chips!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in oats, dates, apple sauce, and vanilla. Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated over, or until lightly brown.
** If you want your bananas to ripen faster, just put them in a closed paper bag with an apple, pear, or tomato. The more ripe the bananas the sweeter they taste! I know how easy it is to eat these once out of the oven, but try to resist and be careful not to over eat these sweet treats.