Monday, February 29, 2016

5 Kettlebell Drills to Add Real Function to Your Fitness

These lesser known kettlebell movements will expose and challenge your weak areas.
In the thirteen years since I received my RKC certification as a kettlebell instructor, I have seen some interesting evolutions in kettlebell training. When I started the RKC program, probably at least 70 percent of us had never touched a kettlebell before. We went through a wide variety of different drills back then, and I was amazed by the incredible versatility and effectiveness of such a simple instrument.
 

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5 Kettlebell Drills to Add Real Function to Your Fitness

These lesser known kettlebell movements will expose and challenge your weak areas.
In the thirteen years since I received my RKC certification as a kettlebell instructor, I have seen some interesting evolutions in kettlebell training. When I started the RKC program, probably at least 70 percent of us had never touched a kettlebell before. We went through a wide variety of different drills back then, and I was amazed by the incredible versatility and effectiveness of such a simple instrument.
 

read more

Build Your Movement Tribe With Partner Practice

A tool to enrich your health and wellbeing is at your fingertips.

For the most part our training is a solitary endeavor. Although we may train with others, we’re separated, with little interpersonal physical contact. It’s far from a stimulating sensory environment. But a richer, more playful physical practice has tremendous benefit for overall health and wellbeing.

 

read more

3 of the Best: This Week's Top Articles, Vol. 19

These pieces have caught your attention throughout the week. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

Welcome to our brand new weekend roundup, Three of the Best! Every Sunday, we'll post up Breaking Muscle's top three articles of the week. These pieces have caught your attention throughout the last seven days. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

 

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Why There's No Such Thing as Flat Feet

Orthotics won't cure weak arches. Perform these two drills to strengthen your soles and train your co-ordination.

It is likely you or someone you know, be it a family member, friend, or client, has been struck down with a case of flat feet. "Flat feet" is a term used to explain anything from plantar fascia pain, Achilles injuries, shin splints, knee, hip, and back pain. In other words, almost any physical ailment between the ground and your head. So what, exactly, does flat feet mean? Is it a diagnosis? Is it terminal? And does it even exist?

 

read more

5 Kettlebell Drills to Add Real Function to Your Fitness

These lesser known kettlebell movements will expose and challenge your weak areas.
In the thirteen years since I received my RKC certification as a kettlebell instructor, I have seen some interesting evolutions in kettlebell training. When I started the RKC program, probably at least 70 percent of us had never touched a kettlebell before. We went through a wide variety of different drills back then, and I was amazed by the incredible versatility and effectiveness of such a simple instrument.
 

read more

Build Your Movement Tribe With Partner Practice

A tool to enrich your health and wellbeing is at your fingertips.

For the most part our training is a solitary endeavor. Although we may train with others, we’re separated, with little interpersonal physical contact. It’s far from a stimulating sensory environment. But a richer, more playful physical practice has tremendous benefit for overall health and wellbeing.

 

read more

Build Your Movement Tribe With Partner Practice

A tool to enrich your health and wellbeing is at your fingertips.

For the most part our training is a solitary endeavor. Although we may train with others, we’re separated, with little interpersonal physical contact. It’s far from a stimulating sensory environment. But a richer, more playful physical practice has tremendous benefit for overall health and wellbeing.

 

read more

Sunday, February 28, 2016

GGS Spotlight: Ivonne Ward

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Meet Ivonne!

  

Name:   Ivonne “Bon Bon” Ward

Age: 40

Location: Seattle, WA

 

What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?

A Girl Gone Strong is a woman who has not only “gone strong” physically by embracing strength training, she has also developed a strong sense of self, a strong mind, a strong character. This girl creates a life she loves and takes full ownership of it. She is confident. She speaks and acts with intention. She strives to live in alignment with her values. She doesn’t try to “fit in.” The only approval she needs is her own, and she’s got it. She trusts her instincts. She lets her guard down because she knows that opportunities for meaningful connections and personal growth exist in moments of vulnerability. She mostly lives her life as one big “YES!” (to new experiences, adventures, feats of strength), except when she really wants to say “no.” Then she says “no,” and that’s that. Sometimes, this girl is not so strong—and she’s cool with that, too.

 

How did you get introduced to strength training, and how long have you been training?

After a lifetime of not ever exercising on purpose, in my 20s, I dipped my toe into the fitness waters with a Pilates DVD program from an infomercial. From there, I started reading about fitness and got this crazy idea that what I really needed was to lift weights. So I got down to business.

I got started on my own, with a book, in a small local gym around the corner from my apartment in Miami Beach. I was too embarrassed to talk to anyone or make eye contact, but I was so determined to make some changes that I braved the discomfort of looking like a fool in front of a gym full of “fit, pretty people” where I didn’t quite feel that I belonged.

I’ve been showing up consistently since mid-2003, though my “training” has gone through many phases, interests, shifting goals, and philosophies. Figure competitions (though I never got on stage because it just doesn’t align with my values and what’s important to me), obstacle courses, dragon boat racing, 5Ks, 10Ks, a marathon, a ballroom dancing competition, a powerlifting meet… all of these things have all motivated me to stay active and fit along the way. I was even a personal trainer for five minutes (nah, just kidding, more like three years), before deciding that fitness was more of a lifestyle choice and personal interest than a career path for me.

That’s the tl;dr version.

The long version goes like this: In my 20s, a person who used to teach and choreograph for a group of us salsa-dancing high school students saw me at a nightclub. It was my first time out dancing very soon after the end of a long-term relationship. Instead of saying something polite like, “It’s so nice to see you,” she blurted out something like, “Wow! You’ve gotten so fat! But you have kids, right?” In the next breath, she complimented my friend, who looked exactly the same as she did when we were 14 and 15 (dainty and petite, like the Latina actress and singer, Thalía, in fact).

If you can believe it, I had made it through my childhood, teens, and into my 20s having never felt ashamed of my body or bothered by my shape or weight.

 

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Less than a year old, ~2 years old, mid-teens

 

In fact, that night, I had been feeling pretty good in my maybe-a-little-too-tight jeans and a halter top. Her comment was unexpected, and that moment shattered my self-confidence, which was already fragile after the recent break-up.

I immediately fully identified as “fat,” which just minutes before was a completely foreign identity. Looking back now, I think what I really meant wasn’t “fat,” but “failure.” It wasn’t that I felt she insulted me or that “fatness” was a bad thing. It was her judgmental and negative tone, the way she looked me up and down incredulously, and her immediate attempt to find an explanation for my appearance (“but you have kids, right?”), and yes, her immediate positive comments about my friend and how well she had maintained herself. She made me feel like I had just been evaluated and did not meet whatever the acceptable qualifications were. My reaction had little to do with my physical appearance, though, but I got kicked when I was down, and that one comment is what I fixated on. Her comment changed my life.

Fueled by some pretty negative emotions, I was determined to “not be fat anymore” (read more deeply: “not fail at life anymore”). My first attempt at a consistent fitness habit arrived in small packages at my doorstep, rush-shipped from two late-night infomercials that were popular at the time: Slim In 6 (a resistance band program) and Winsor Pilates.

I also started following the nutrition guide that came with the Pilates DVD set because it had a nice calendar and checklist. If you’ve ever worked with me, you know how much I savor the experience of crossing things off of lists. The guide was nothing more than an outline of meals that consisted of real food in sensible portions. By the way, learning to shop for, cook, and eat real food–and unlearning to eat fast food three times a day–was a bigger challenge than the workouts.

Despite losing pounds, my physical progress didn’t look the way I envisioned: fit and athletic with muscles, which I associated with being strong and confident, unbreakable even. All I accomplished was a smaller and still un-muscular appearance. Up until then I believed that I could look the way I envisioned without lifting weights. Weights were for men. I started reading about fitness on the Internet and one thing was very clear: If I wanted to look “fit and athletic”, I should be lifting weights. Fine. I reluctantly bought my first strength training book (The Body Sculpting Bible for Women by James Villepigue and Hugo Rivera) and joined a small no-name neighborhood gym that seemed to cater mostly to older, old-school body-builder dudes and impossibly petite, fit women with large breasts and perfect hair, whose age was hard to guess. This was in Miami Beach, so, totally normal. All of it. I stood way out next to my new gym friends.

Fast-forward a few years, through 48 sessions with a personal trainer of questionable intentions and qualifications, the development and subsequent resolution of an eating disorder (getting into fitness brought about the onset of major eating and body image issues), the pursuit and subsequent abandonment of my own brief career in personal training, plus years of “inside work” both self-guided and with the help of a counselor, and here we are today—about 14 years after the first time I exercised on purpose. Like I said, that woman’s comment changed my life.

 

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What does a sample workout look like for you?

I’m a morning person, and training early is my favorite way to get the day started. It puts me in a positive frame of mind for the rest of the day and helps me become present. Some people need their morning coffee. Movement is my morning coffee.

I train in three places: at home (kettlebells and bodyweight), at a big box gym, and with my friend Allison Tenney who’s a strength coach, in her awesome garage gym. I’m currently following a full-body strength training program three days a week, which also includes some interval cardio.

 

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Home Sweet Gym

 

On days when I don’t lift, I do 45 to 60 minutes of some kind of moderate-intensity activity: walking uphill, rowing, stair climber, brisk walking outside if it’s nice enough. I like to watch a lot of shows that typically start when I’m about to go to bed or already sleeping, so I watch some of them in the morning during these moderate-intensity cardio sessions.

There are days when I don’t feel like doing the workout I was “supposed” to do, so I might just go to the gym and do a bunch of sets of heavy squats or deadlifts because that’s what I really feel like doing, and then do a few other things like pull-ups, get-ups and overhead presses, some ground force or animal flow stuff, or just play around, and then call it a day.

 

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Favorite Lift:

Just one? I like lifting all the things! Ok, but seriously…

  • Deadlifts in general, and Trap Bar Deadlifts specifically. It’s my strongest lift, and I like feeling strong. I also like the way my body feels with a trap bar better than a barbell.
  • Pull-up, though that one isn’t because I’m so great at it, but because it’s challenging and no matter how many reps (one or five) I always feel like a bad-ass.
  • Anything with kettlebells—swings, snatches, Turkish getups, presses. Last year I cancelled one of my gym memberships and invested in outfitting creating kettlebell and bodyweight gym area in our house.

Like I said, all the things.

 

Most memorable PR:

Without a doubt, the most memorable PR of all time happened when I was starting out lifting real weights. A few months in I was finally brave enough to try back squats with the “big plates”–135 pounds! I didn’t know I was that strong. Seeing myself in the mirror with the big plates on the bar… wow! What a feeling! I was flying high that day! Honorable mention goes to a PR that happened in 2015: five pull-ups! I’ve eeked out six, seven or even eight reps after that, and my pull-up strength ebbs and flows depending on how much I continue to train that exercise, but five pull-ups was a milestone I won’t soon forget.

Neither of those PRs were caught on film. However, I have a deadlift PR of 204 pounds (which I’ve since surpassed). What’s special about this is that it was at the one and only powerlifting meet I’ve ever done. I had no real goals for it. I just showed up and did the thing. In fact, other than buying a singlet that made me look like a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld, I didn’t even come prepared with long socks, or the right shoes. I thought I could do it barefoot, the way I’d been training.

 

 

Top 5 songs on your training playlist:

As much as I love music while I train, I don’t have a training playlist. I usually turn on Pandora on one of three playlists I’ve been curating for a few years:

  • Dancy Pantsy—includes anything I like to dance to that isn’t swing or salsa music. It could be Pitbull, Missy Elliott, Pharrell, Bruno Mars, Young MC, Daft Punk, OK Go, Santigold, Jessie J, Beyonce (of course), Mika, Scissor Sisters, and a wide variety of other dancy tunes by random artists across many decades.
  • Swing Out—strictly swing/big band jazz music (Bennie Goodman, Count Bassie, Duke Ellington, Glen Miller) with some electroswing (Caravan Palace, Parov Stellar) that sneaks in there once in a while.
  • Vamos A Bailar—one great salsa song after another, old school like Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco, Gran Combo, Los Van Van, as well as newer stuff like Isaac Delgado and NG2. I’m pretty proud of this station. I’ve been curating this one the longest and it’s nonstop awesome.

I’m often dancing, singing, and acting like a fool between sets when I should be resting.

 

Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym or in your gym bag:

  • Reusable water bottle
  • Gymboss timer
  • Lip balm

 

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?

I mostly train alone and sometimes have a workout with a friend, but more for the purpose of spending quality time with that friend than for any other reason. I love my friends. I like training alone for spoiled-brat reasons: I don’t like waiting for other people, and I don’t like listening to other people’s music (unless their music is also my music, in which case, high-five, training buddy! You have excellent taste in music!). Plus, I think my dance breaks between sets get old for everyone except me.

 

 

I must admit though, that even though when I train with others it’s mostly for the social aspect, when I have a “witness” to my workout, I tend to get after it with a little more fire than when I train solo. I might go for that extra rep, or try for a little more weight on the bar.

 

Best compliment you’ve received lately:

I can’t say that this was recently, but I replay it in my head so often that I feel like I’m hearing it every day. Several years ago, I went through a period in which I was second-guessing all my life choices, feeling like I hadn’t really accomplished much in life because I was bouncing around from “thing” to “thing.” I was convinced that I was a huge disappointment to my parents, and a terrible sister, friend, and wife. Then my mom said something to me that immediately quieted all that noise. We were just talking on the phone, like we do almost every day, about mundane things mostly… I was yapping about a dance class or some fun event downtown at which I was volunteering that week. Who knows.

She was quiet for a moment and then said something to the effect of, “You love life. Sometimes I envy how strong and brave and adventurous you are. I worry about you because that’s what moms do, but not because I have a real reason to worry. I hear you talk, and I see you live, and I know I don’t have to worry about you, because wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I know you will be just fine.” She had no idea how I had been feeling. I swear I hadn’t wanted to tell her and well, worry her. But it’s that Mom instinct maybe. Hearing my mom say those words (someone who I thought was forever disappointed in me, but too kind to ever say it) made me realize a shift in perspective was due.

 

Most recent compliment you gave someone else:

Last year I met a guy who had come on as a sponsor for an event I help to organize. He and his wife started a business a few years ago. I’ve stayed in touch with him little bit over the past year, and have watched them hustle to grow their business, to connect with their community and customers, and to bring their dream to life. They’ve accomplished so much over this past year. It’s amazing! I’m sitting here on the sidelines just feeling super proud of these people who I don’t even know very well. I love their energy and their story, and also they’re just plain adorable. Anyway, I was messaging with him about sponsorship for this year’s event, and in the middle of this process, it just really hit me how hard they work and how much good stuff has come about from all their hustle, so I said just that: I have mad respect for how hard you both hustle.

 

Most embarrassing gym moment:

A few years ago, I was getting ready to do some deadlifts during a workout. My husband and two of his clients were also training, and as I bent down over the bar with my mouth open, I drooled like a St. Bernard, resulting in a sizeable puddle on the floor in front of the bar. Almost immediately I heard a chorus of, “Did you just drool? What is that?!” I didn’t know I could make that much drool. I mean, WTF?!

 

Favorite meal:

Thin crust, Neapolitan style, margherita pizza. I could eat this kind of pizza every day and never tire of it. I also love a good Cuban dinner of ropa vieja (shredded, stewed beef in a thin tomato sauce with onions and peppers), white rice, black beans and tostones (twice fried green plantains). Oh, and my Italian mother-in-law’s meatballs and sauce. I die. So good.

 

Favorite way to treat yourself:

I love having pretty hair, but I don’t enjoy the process of blow drying and styling my hair. So once in a while, I splurge on a wash and blow-out at the salon. I loooove having my hair washed. I relax so hard during the blow-out, that I can almost go to sleep in the chair.

A Netflix or OnDemand marathon once in a while. I am always doing stuff, go-go-go, working on multiple things at once. It’s a most delicious treat to wake and decide that it’s going to be a “no-pants, veg-on-the-couch-and-watch-movies/shows” kind of day.

Cook up a full Cuban meal—this is a treat when I’m feeling homesick sometimes and a phone call with my family won’t cut it. I’ll take the whole day to shop, prep, cook, and then sit down and eat the meal. (You want to cook some good Cuban food? Check out this cookbook called The Cuban Table by Ana Sofia Peláez, with photography by Ellen Silverman—gorgeous book and delicious recipes).

 

Favorite quote:

“Everything you do makes a difference. You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall

also…

“Why not me?” — Me.

 

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“Why not me?” fuels me to try new things, from obstacle courses, to powerlifting, to marathon running, to rowing, to dance competitions… and so much more.

 

Favorite book:

I have a book problem. I almost always feel like whatever book I just finished is my new favorite. I love short stories more than long novels, though, and my all-time favorite book continues to be My Life In Heavy Metal, a collection of short stories by Steve Almond (you may know him from the Dear Sugar column and podcast with Cheryl Strayed). Heavy Metal was his first book, which I read when it was first published, and I’ve been a fan ever since.I love his way with words. It’s got some sex, so if you’re not into that, don’t read it.  Anyway, whenever I meet someone else who loves his writing, I know we’re meant to be friends. He also wrote a nonfiction book about small US chocolate companies, appropriately titled Candyfreak, and most recently Against Football, a book on his position regarding American football from the point of view of a lifelong fan.

A more recent favorite, on the opposite end of the spectrum, is S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst. It’s a novel that tells three stories simultaneously. It’s more than a book. It’s an experience. You can’t read this as an e-book (though it exists in that format). It has to be a book book because it has “handwritten” notes all over the margins, plus all sorts of loose items tucked into it, like post cards, photographs, and documents relevant to the characters and storylines. You need to hold this book and its innards in your hands and immerse yourself in the experience. There’ve been a lot of books before, between, and after these two mentioned that all felt like temporary favorites. But it’s these are two that I want more people to know about.

 

What inspires and motivates you?

So much.

On a whole-life scale, sometimes I’m overcome by a deep sense of hopelessness. There’s so much crappy stuff going on in the world that it can make me feel like I am small and powerless against huge obstacles. But when I take the time to refocus my gaze, I see people doing good and kind things, acting with compassion, lifting each other up, solving problems for a neighbor or a whole community. There is good happening around me every day, and it inspires me to be part of the good in the world. We’re all in this together.

My husband challenges me to think more deeply and keeps me on my toes. He inspires me on a daily basis to flex my critical thinking muscles and not settle for getting (or giving) half-assed answers to any questions (can you tell from the length of this spotlight interview?). He inspires me to always mean what I say and to be thoughtful about my words and actions.

Any talk about inspiration and motivation would not be complete without mentioning just how much I value and look up to Molly Galbraith, Erin Brown, Jen Comas, Neghar Fonooni, and the rest of the women on the GGS Advisory Board, as well as Jen Sinkler and Jessie Kneeland. In moments of self-doubt, or when I don’t know what to do, I might ask myself, “What would she do?” or “How would she advise me?” This community of women not only inspire me to show up authentically and with compassion every day of my life and to applaud and lift other women up, they challenge me to think more deeply about everything from feminism to whether or not I really need to wear pants today.

As for fitness motivation specifically, I don’t really look to anyone for that, at least not on purpose. Though there are certainly strong women and incredible dancers who keep my fire lit! I’m mostly motivated by how good I feel when I’m active and taking care of myself. It feels damn good to be strong, capable, and sharp. It feels good to move my body. I am motivated too, by the desire to remain able-bodied and independent for as long as possible as I get older. (There’s no denying that I’m not as young as I feel!). The delight of conquering a feat of strength or “stupid human trick” (or just the delight of being able to try and see if I can do it) is also a huge motivator.

 

I just like being silly, and I’m constantly thinking, “I wonder if I can do that?” when I see someone do something cool. So I try it.

 

What do you do for work?

Everything. Ha! But seriously. I work with Girls Gone Strong, mostly behind the scenes. A little of this, a little of that: website content management, article sourcing, Spotlight interviews (Hey! Like this one!), some editing, graphic design and production, some social media stuff, some newsletter stuff, and generally figuring out things that need to get figured out.

In addition to my work with GGS, I also work with a professional sports team a few months out of the year as the event manager for an annual three-day learning event, handling everything from registration to catering, and many of the details in between.

 

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What else do you do?

A lot! I dance—lindy hop and salsa mostly these days, but I have also explored ballroom dancing, beginner tap, modern dance, lyrical, hula hooping, pole dancing, burlesque, African dance.

I cook regularly and like to take culinary classes once in a while. Currently I’m learning to make chocolates and confections, mostly on my own, though I sign up for any chocolate-specific class that pops up around town.

I am learning to sew because I want to make and fix my own clothes. I’m working with an amazing sewing teacher on my first dress (which I intend to wear this summer when I go on a Lindy Hop cruise in Alaska!).

I’m teaching myself the ukulele with some online videos. Progress has been slow because my fingers hurt! I have incredible respect for guitarists and their perseverance to make it over this phase and become great at their instrument.

I hike (but not seriously enough to actually own any hiking gear). I kayak and do stand-up paddle boarding.

 

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Chocolate and dancing… two things that make my heart sing.

 

What does a typical day look like for you, from waking up to bedtime?

630ish—Wake up, brush my teeth, make the bed, get dressed, and wait to poop. Seriously, yes. It may be TMI, but it is important. I can’t train until I poop. While I am waiting for that to happen, I’ll check some email, play with and feed our cat, go over my to-do list and prioritize what I’ll be working on that day.

Some time between 730-8ish—Work out for about an hour in my little home gym if it’s kettlebells and bodyweight stuff, or go to the big-box gym down the street if I need a barbell or want to use the rower.

8:45ish—Get home, eat breakfast, shower and get ready to start working.

9/9:30ish to about 6:00ish—Mostly work. I work from home, and that can be a big distraction if I let it, but I am pretty organized and manage my time very efficiently for the most part. Because I like to do a lot of things, I have to be good at time management so that I get my work done and have time for hobbies, social activities, and volunteer commitments. In addition to work, during this chunk of the day, usually while I’m taking a break for a meal, I have my almost-daily phone call with my mom and/or my dad who live on the East coast.

6 to 8:30/9:00—Somewhere in this time frame, a few things could happen. If it’s a low-key, stay-at-home night, then just have dinner with my husband.* We’ll catch up in person, though we have been texting and emailing throughout the day. While he does some reading or studying, I’ll work on some personal projects, practice my ukulele, or watch something on TV. Then we’ll settle in to watch a little bit of Shark Tank, or do some side-by-side reading in bed. Or, you know, spend some …ahem… quality time together. And then it’s lights out. Other nights, I may go to a dance class or a culinary class, or go for dinner or drinks with a girlfriend. Or I might have not trained in the morning so that I could join a friend for a workout, a walk, or a bike ride in the evening instead.

*If my husband gets home from work early, we might go to our favorite coffee/chocolate/wine café, and I’ll finish my workday from there while he reads for a little while, or we’ll have a mid-week movie and dinner date.

 

Your next training goal:

I currently don’t have—or want—any specific training goals. It would have freaked me out a few years ago to not be constantly working toward something, but goal-free training is what feels good to me right now. I’m lifting simply because I like moving my body and feeling strong. Sure, I want to increase my pull-up total, make my deadlifts and kettlebell swings prettier, and I am closer than ever to getting a (very wobbly but legit) pistol squat, but I’m not proactively/methodically working on any of it.

Overall, I’m just happy that I get to do this stuff and that it’s part of my life. I love playing around with bodyweight movements (I can’t resist some of the “circus tricks” I see on Instagram). It feels good to not be super serious about any of it. In fact, the only thing I’m super serious about is continuing to enjoy training and enjoying being in my body, whether that means lifting something heavy, or dancing, or feeling victorious at the top of the steepest hill in our neighborhood (it is crazy steep).

 

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Oh! Speaking of bodyweight stuff, I registered for the StrongFirst Bodyweight (SFB) User Course led by Karen Smith here in Seattle this summer! I don’t have a professional interest in the certification, but am thrilled to get a whole day of coaching from Karen in person!

 

What are you most grateful for?

My whole life.

I spent the first half of my life envying other people, undervaluing any of my accomplishments by saying I just got lucky or that I could have done it better, feeling like what I had or did was never enough, thinking that I wasn’t smart enough or successful enough. I was angry all the time. Everywhere I looked I could find a reason to be unhappy.

I’ve spent this second half of my life so far deciding that that story line was bullshit and reframing all of those ideas. The truth is, I have been lucky and I have worked hard, and I’ve created an incredible life. From this new perspective, I am constantly finding moments of awe and gratitude, both in the present and in the past.

I’m also grateful for my relationships – with my brothers and my parents, with my friends, with my husband and with his family. How did I get so lucky to be surrounded by this amount of love and support?

 

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When I think about all that I enjoy in my life, what I feel most grateful for are my parents, for all the sacrifices they have made, day in and day out, since they left Cuba and started a new life in this country. Nothing they’ve ever done to give their kids a better life and more opportunities to grow, prosper and savor that life, has been in vain.

 

What life accomplishment are you most proud of?

This. Being. Thriving. Creating and living a life I love.

 

Three words that best describe you:

Curious. Kind. Optimistic.

 

What’s a risk you’ve taken recently, and how did it turn out?

Does 11 years count as “recently” maybe? Hahaha! To this day, my biggest risk was to pack up my stuff and move to New York because I fell in love with a guy I met on the Internet. He was the only person I knew in NYC. I wasn’t sure I’d even find a job when I got there, though there were some promises made over the phone (thankfully that job panned out, and I started the very next day after my arrival in the Big Apple). I had no friends. No network. No neighborhood. No family. I had lived in Miami for 29 years—my whole life at that point! My family and friends thought I was crazy, but didn’t stop me. I thought I was crazy, but I didn’t stop me either. My instinct said, “GO!” And wouldn’t you know it? It has turned out pretty great!

 

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The other risk I’ve taken recently is putting so much about my life out on the Internet again (here!). I haven’t done that in a long time. I used to have a blog, when blogs were first a “thing.” It definitely became a TMI situation with a lot of over-sharing, because as you can probably tell by now, I love to write and tell stories. I can’t help myself. One day I got tired of so many people being all up in my business (which was my own fault in the first place!), and decided to shut it down and not blog anymore. Now I try to keep details of my life somewhat contained to people I know, and share snippets on social media, but not everything. Not because I have anything to hide, but because I just really prefer that people get to know me (and I, them) the old-fashioned way: over time, by having conversations, spending time together, and growing to care about each other. So, you could say that doing this spotlight is a risk I’m taking, but I genuinely want other women to know how much strength training can add to your life, beyond physical strength and physique changes. You’ll see what I mean below.

 

What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from strength training?

I’ve become fearless. That is, I have become someone who fears less. I love the confidence boost that comes from knowing I can do something that I originally thought was impossible or that was not accessible to me. It’s the coolest and most valuable bonus.

 

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I’ve been working on this one for a long while.

 

Another bonus has been seeing the incredulous reactions some people have when I have volunteered to move heavy objects (at work, at someone’s house, at Target). It feels good to shut someone up who doubts this little body can do something. Later on it’s all… “Ask Ivonne. She’s really strong!” Damn right, she is.

 

How has lifting weights changed your life?

Lifting weights has helped me to appreciate my body and what I can do in it and because of it. Through strength training I gained personal empowerment. Being able to overcome the physical (and often mental) challenge of lifting something I thought was too heavy and therefore impossible to lift has helped me to become stronger, more persistent, and intentional in my life outside of the gym. As I mentioned for my coolest side effect, it has made me a person who fears less. My answer to the next question further illustrates what I mean.

 

What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start strength training?

If you are nervous, that means you’re thinking about it, and a part of you wants to give it a shot. So why not? And why not you? Whatever is holding you back is nothing compared to what will move you forward once you start.

Do you want to see how strong you are? Do you want to see if you can even lift this thing up off the ground, or put that thing over your head, for no other reason than because it’s there, and you’re curious about your own strength? Are you the least bit curious about what potential you hold inside? The longer you wait to get started, the longer it will take for you to get to the awesome part. Trust me, you will get to that part and wonder why you ever hesitated in the first place.

That’s the part where you feel powerful, and strong, and capable. And this isn’t restricted to the weight room. This seed of empowerment that a loaded barbell can plant within you will take root and grow into every other area of your life. At times where you may have been nervous to speak your mind, you will stand up and share your ideas and thoughts. At times when you wanted to jam out to that great song but feared people might laugh, you will get up off that uncomfortable chair and boogie like the fate of the planet depends on it. In situations or relationships where you didn’t think you were worthy of love and respect, you will recognize your own worth, and the dynamics will change because you will change. You’re not going to just start lifting heavy and be physically strong. You are going to tap into a kind of strength you may not even realize you already possess. Just get in there and start lifting. Ask questions. Be excited. Be curious. Make mistakes. Hit PRs. Have fun. Learn something. Teach something. Get stronger every day. Above all, appreciate and celebrate yourself, your body, and your strength!

 

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(What? You thought I wasn’t going to include a picture of my cat? Saved the best for last.)

3 of the Best: This Week's Top Articles, Vol. 19

These pieces have caught your attention throughout the week. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

Welcome to our brand new weekend roundup, Three of the Best! Every Sunday, we'll post up Breaking Muscle's top three articles of the week. These pieces have caught your attention throughout the last seven days. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

 

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3 of the Best: This Week's Top Articles, Vol. 19

These pieces have caught your attention throughout the week. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

Welcome to our brand new weekend roundup, Three of the Best! Every Sunday, we'll post up Breaking Muscle's top three articles of the week. These pieces have caught your attention throughout the last seven days. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

 

read more

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why There's No Such Thing as Flat Feet

Orthotics won't cure weak arches. Perform these two drills to strengthen your soles and train your co-ordination.

It is likely you or someone you know, be it a family member, friend, or client, has been struck down with a case of flat feet. "Flat feet" is a term used to explain anything from plantar fascia pain, Achilles injuries, shin splints, knee, hip, and back pain. In other words, almost any physical ailment between the ground and your head. So what, exactly, does flat feet mean? Is it a diagnosis? Is it terminal? And does it even exist?

 

read more

Why There's No Such Thing as Flat Feet

Orthotics won't cure weak arches. Perform these two drills to strengthen your soles and train your co-ordination.

It is likely you or someone you know, be it a family member, friend, or client, has been struck down with a case of flat feet. "Flat feet" is a term used to explain anything from plantar fascia pain, Achilles injuries, shin splints, knee, hip, and back pain. In other words, almost any physical ailment between the ground and your head. So what, exactly, does flat feet mean? Is it a diagnosis? Is it terminal? And does it even exist?

 

read more

Friday, February 26, 2016

5 Stretches to Unlock Your Weightlifting Potential

Lack of mobility can spell the difference between a miss and a big new PR.
Most athletes below the professional level lack the flexibility to reach their full potential, or even make consistently successful lifts. Here are five flexibility exercises to perform before and after your training sessions that can help remove that roadblock. All exercises do not need to be performed every single session, but they should be rotated so they all are performed multiple times in the course of a week of training. 
 

Front Squat Stretch

read more

A 12-Week Fat Loss Plan: Phase One

The first four weeks of this plan involve creating habits and mindfulness around food and exercise.

You’ve spent hundreds of dollars on programs, books, and workout videos. You’ve stuck to plans for 2-90 days, only to burn out and resort to old ways. Maybe you’ve stopped believing fat loss is possible for you, but you’re ready to try something different that might actually work.

 

You’ve come to the right place.

 

read more

Feel Great By Eating Cleaner

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Eating clean has never been more important or popular than today. The topic is popping up behind every blade of grass; at the gym, supermarket even when dining out someone is talking about how cleaning the diet is good for the health.

But what is all this chatter about “Clean Eating”, my food is as clean as the next guy’s!

Cleaning up the diet, or Eating Clean, is not about effecting a change in your diet to drop some holiday pounds in time for Aunt Edna’s wedding in March. Those who truly clean their diets are beginning a lifestyle.

The “Eating Clean LifeStyle” is all about eliminating certain products from the diet that can harm the body, foods that have been processed even minimally or treated with additives, artificial flavour enhancers and sweeteners.

This would be all about eating corn on the cob rather than cornflakes or a grass-fed homemade hamburger rather than tossing your bucks at Ronald McDonald for some meat-like products that tabloid magazines are still writing stories about.

This is the kind of diet our great grandparents would eat back when they walked a mile and a half to school and back, uphill both ways — and it’s good for the health.

Advocates of a cleaner diet can’t stop talking about the numerous benefits of adjusting your diet towards better health rather than sweet indulgence or convenience. Women have noticed fuller healthier hair and many have experienced a reduction and loss of unpleasant skin conditions they thought they would never be rid of after eating healthier.

Then of course there is the loss of weight that comes by fine-tune the fuel consumption in regards to the output required each day. Then their are the improved blood sugar levels and cholesterol profiles that have become a major concern for public health in recent year which can also be reduced by eating in a more natural way.

Eating clean is not a difficult or unpleasant task of giving up your pleasures in exchange for a life of strict monastic rations and grinding down on hard packing nuts and tree bark.

Quite the contrary; with all the emphasis on healthy eating currently in importance there are more delicious options than ever for delicious meals and tasty desserts.

Following are 6 simple rules to getting started on eating healthy. Try this for a few weeks and you will never want to go back to those crispy tasty treato’s ever again.

Guide to Clean Eating in 6 Easy Steps

1. Try Foraging

There was  time when three hots and a cot were enough to live off; today we know that it is healthier to eat smaller meals and more of them. 5 to 6 smaller meals in a day will keep your body fuelled well and keep your blood sugar from dipping at the most inopportune time, which often leads to the need for a sugary donut or coffee to give the kick to finish the day.

Healthy eating means  that each snack or meal contains the proteins and healthy fats and complex carbs that will keep your body running well and balanced without times of excessively high energy and other times when all stores are depleted.

2. Drink Up that H2O

Water is highly important and in today’s consumer driven society it is often overlooked for sugary soft drinks, caffeinated power drinks and flashy sports drinks. But even tea with all its benefits can’t replace the body’s need for a minimum of 2 litres of water each day. Think of this, the body will survive for a couple of weeks with no food but only a matter of days without water.

Set a quota, get one litre before lunch and another before dinner. Have a refillable bottle in your car, at your desk and on your kitchen counter. Improve your water by slicing cucumbers and lemons into your water; throw in some mint leaves for a refreshing all day drink.

3. Plan to Succeed

It is not a problem at all to keep your clean eating commitments with a well stocked fridge at arms length, but when commuting and rushing on the job the terrible convenience of the processed food industry sometimes just wins out against our better judgement.

The only way to beat out the convenience store and snack machine is by preparing against them. By planning out your meals and snacks you can be sure you will always have a bite to eat right when you need it most.

Pack the food you will eat throughout the day the night before. By setting up regular times for food preparation you will find the convenience store has nothing over little organization. Saving time, money and health is what this guide to clean eating is all about.

4. Be a Label Reader

Most of the foods that are clean are the kinds of foods that look like they just fell of the tree or are otherwise in a neutral condition. It is additives that improve shelf life or contain flavourings that should be avoided.  When you are in a store selecting products read the labels.

Beware of veritable poisons like HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) that can show up in just about any food stuff from crackers to dairy products. Trans-fats are taking their leave of the food industry, but hydrogenated oils are still there and should be avoided. 

There has also been some concern about the amount of GMOs that have been included in the food production industry. Although the research has produced divided results, most proponents of clean eating will suggest they be left out of the diet altogether.

Although it may not be in everyone’s budget, this guide to clean eating highly recommends eating organic food products whenever possible. As often as you can, choose the organic varieties of tomatoes, apples, berries and cucumbers. Organic milk and free-range chicken is worth the extra cost.

5. Don’t Be Pompous about your Healthy Choices

The choice to take the healthy route is a decision you make with yourself, this does not imply that your friends and family should follow suit. When you are invited to eat and go out to dine as a group avoid making a big deal about your choices; most places have healthy alternatives on the menu or are willing to make substitutions — try to be unassuming about making your requests known.

Eat salads topped with grilled chicken and leaner proteins even fish. Don’t worry about it being organic or not, unless you are forced to eat out regularly. When eating salads dip the fork in the dressing before grabbing a bite of salad, this way you enjoy a little “harmful” dressing along with each bite of salad.

6. Remember, It’s Ok to Indulge every once in a While

On a related point to the last point, the body is a strong living machine; if you maintain it well and keep clean eating as your default program, your health won’t go berserk after the occasional pizza or splurge on fancy desserts. 

The point of all this healthy eating is  to shift the balance to primarily healthy choices so the body has no problem ridding itself of the occasional Red No. 5 or Chocolate Bear Paw Delight. The best thing about it, you will enjoy the occasional indulgence far more if they are few and far between.

3 FOOD TRAPS

Some of these may sound like clean eating, but be warned there are toxic substances lurking in the aisles of your local shopping mall.

Trap No. 1: Energy or breakfast bars

What a healthy way to start your day with a fruit and cereal bar. The only thing is, there probably isn’t a natural product inside, or it has been thoroughly processed as to be stripped of nutrition and then fortified artificially, another food trap.

Trap No.2: Sports Drinks

These are full of artificial colours and sweeteners and many other additives that your body would do far better without. Besides, the body was made for water and water is all you need. Drink water !

Trap No.3: Flavoured Yogurt

Often carrying enough sugar to sweeten the MidEast Crisis, these yogurt products are rarely the health food many people assume they will be. Opt for the unsweetened variety and add a tablespoon of natural honey.

The post Feel Great By Eating Cleaner appeared first on NUTRITION CLUB CANADA.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2016/02/feel-great-by-eating-cleaner.html

5 Stretches to Unlock Your Weightlifting Potential

Lack of mobility can spell the difference between a miss and a big new PR.
Most athletes below the professional level lack the flexibility to reach their full potential, or even make consistently successful lifts. Here are five flexibility exercises to perform before and after your training sessions that can help remove that roadblock. All exercises do not need to be performed every single session, but they should be rotated so they all are performed multiple times in the course of a week of training. 
 

Front Squat Stretch

read more

A 12-Week Fat Loss Plan: Phase One

The first four weeks of this plan involve creating habits and mindfulness around food and exercise.

You’ve spent hundreds of dollars on programs, books, and workout videos. You’ve stuck to plans for 2-90 days, only to burn out and resort to old ways. Maybe you’ve stopped believing fat loss is possible for you, but you’re ready to try something different that might actually work.

 

You’ve come to the right place.

 

read more

5 Stretches to Unlock Your Weightlifting Potential

Lack of mobility can spell the difference between a miss and a big new PR.
Most athletes below the professional level lack the flexibility to reach each their full potential, or even make consistently successful lifts. Here are a five flexibility exercises to perform before and after your training sessions that can help remove that roadblock. All exercises do not need to be performed every single session, but they should be rotated so they all are performed multiple times in the course of a week of training. 
 

Front Squat Stretch

read more

A 12-Week Fat Loss Plan: Phase One

The first four weeks of this plan involve creating habits and mindfulness around food and exercise.

You’ve spent hundreds of dollars on programs, books, and workout videos. You’ve stuck to plans for 2-90 days, only to burn out and resort to old ways. Maybe you’ve stopped believing fat loss is possible for you, but you’re ready to try something different that might actually work.

 

You’ve come to the right place.

 

read more

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Healthy, Easy, and Delicious: Meat and Two Veg Burgers

Level up your burger with a boost of micronutrients from two delicious vegetables.

Word on the street is that vegetables are good for you. Of course they are. But are you eating enough?  At Fitter Food, we're always coming up with innovative ways to add more vegetables to your diet, and one of the tastiest is to whack them into a meat-based burger.

 

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The Kettlebell Swing: Mindful Prescription for Low-Back Rehab

There is no best back exercise. But the swing can be highly effective for the right athlete, at the right time.

Low back pain and problems exist in a variety of forms, and diagnosis is critical to knowing what the best exercise is to create the best outcome. After diagnosis, there is still a skill in knowing what to prescribe and why to prescribe it. 

 

read more

Better Ways To Lose Fat: Embrace Inefficiency?

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Often times finding a better fat loss method means going against what seems like common sense or common knowledge. After all, you just want whatever works. So what does it mean to embrace inefficient exercise to burn more fat and most importantly does it work?

The more effort your body has to put into doing an exercise, the more fat your body actually burns. Because of this, if you are looking to burn fat you actually want to find exercises that you are terrible at doing and then as you improve you switch to something else. This keeps your body constantly burning fat, and although different than what you would do to become athletically proficient this is something that works for fat burning.

This is the reason that many new cardio exercises seem to work so well for the first couple weeks and then you always plateau or have to do twice as much for half of the previous results. This is great for getting healthy and being athletic, but having your body adjusts makes it harder to burn fat. This is how you can see people with a beer belly who can still run 3 to 5 miles at a time.

Better Fat Loss Methods: Push Ups & Kettlebell Swings

better fat loss methods

This inefficiency helps to explain why kettle bells are so effective. This is a full body movement that takes a time of energy and is not especially efficient for moving that weight. You can constantly add more swings or more weight and because of the type of movement it is extremely hard to become very efficient at the swings.

If you really want to bump up the fat loss ad push-ups to your kettle bell swings and then add in some goblet squats. Doing that in combination is extremely powerful and if you just can’t to kettlebell swings do goblet squats and push-ups. The fat will just melt off.

The post Better Ways To Lose Fat: Embrace Inefficiency? appeared first on NUTRITION CLUB CANADA.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2016/02/better-ways-to-lose-fat-embrace.html

The Yolk’s on You: 2 Eggs Myths You Need to Bust for Better Health

 

We previously debunked 5 common nutrition myths, but when it comes to nutrition, there is never a shortage of confusing (or just plain bad) information going around. Our goal is to help you navigate this vast sea of nutrition information with strength and confidence.

 

Some persistent egg misconceptions definitely need to be laid to rest. (Get it?) These are some pretty common questions, and perhaps you’ve been wondering the same things:

 

Are brown eggs healthier than white eggs?

What about cholesterol—should I only have egg whites?

Is it safe to eat eggs every day?

 

We’ve got the answers to those questions, and more. No tricky language; just solid, research-backed information that all women need to read.

 

Myth #1: Brown eggs are healthier than white eggs.

 

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Considering how often we choose foods, like rice or bread, by color for better health, it’s reasonable to assume that brown eggs are also more nutritious. Plus, just like a lot of other “healthy” brown foods, brown eggs often cost much more than white eggs. In fact, at my local grocery store, a dozen large white eggs are currently about a full dollar cheaper than the brown eggs sitting right next to them!

 

Sadly, here is no nutritional difference between brown eggs and white eggs. They’re not more, or less, healthful. The only difference between a brown egg and a white egg is the chicken that laid it. Some chickens lay white eggs and others lay brown, which is totally independent of the diet they eat (grass vs. grain) or the nutritional makeup of the eggs. The color of a chicken’s feathers also doesn’t determine the color of her eggs. (But, wouldn’t it be cool if chickens with black and white feathers laid cool-looking black and white eggs? I’d totally buy those!)

 

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In truth, the color of a chicken’s earlobe is what determines the color of the egg. Yes, seriously! Brown-egg laying hens have red earlobes, and white-egg laying pullets have white earlobes. Pretty simple once you know! However, since chickens don’t have ears that visibly stick out from the outside of their heads, this difference isn’t obvious to the untrained eye.

 

Despite this simple difference, the idea persists that brown eggs are somehow healthier than white eggs. If you have always believed brown eggs are healthier, you’re not alone in that belief, and it’s not your fault.

 

In one Brigham Young University study, researchers found that, by and large, women who commonly purchased eggs (no matter the type) believed that brown eggs were healthier and higher in omega-3 essential fatty acids. They also believed that brown eggs were more likely to come from non-intensive farm environments and eat exclusively organic feed.(1).

 

Now that you know about the earlobes, these misconceptions might sound pretty strange, huh? In fact, the only added benefit brown eggs offer might be their extra profits. In the end, the hype amounts to nothing more than marketing.

 

Researchers speculate that misconceptions surrounding brown eggs might be due in part to how differently retailers present white and brown eggs, as well as other marketing practices. For example, while most white eggs are sold in generic, plain, store-brand cartons, brown eggs are often sold as specialty eggs, packaged in colorful cartons using labeling flags, and eye-catching pictures and script to bring their unique feature (cage-free, omega-3, or organic) to the attention of the consumer.

 

So, why do brown eggs often cost so much more? Again, marketing plays a part. All of those fancy containers cost money, after all. The higher cost is also due in part to the size of the hen. Brown egg-laying hens are slightly larger and require more feed than the white egg-laying breeds to lay the same amount of eggs. These costs make their way down from the farmer, to the retailer, to you, the consumer.

 

If you do want to buy eggs that offer better nutrition, specialty eggs (brown or white, it doesn’t matter) are the way to go, particularly those with enhanced omega-3 essential fatty acids.

 

Side note: Have you ever noticed little blood spots (called “meat spots”) when cooking with brown eggs? It can be off-putting for some people, but it’s perfectly normal. There’s nothing to worry about; it isn’t dangerous, nor does it affect the flavor of the egg.

 

Myth #2: Egg yolks are bad for you.

 

Eggs, especially their yolks, are extremely nutritious. Eggs are one of the only zero-sugar, zero-carb breakfast foods you’ll find out there. One large egg delivers 70 calories and six grams of high-quality protein, and inside each yolk you will also find choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

 

Photo Credit: Ivan Walsh on Flickr.com: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanwalsh/4389412220

 

Wondering what the heck those are? Choline, a very underappreciated nutrient isn’t found in many other foods, helps your body build cell membranes and signals molecules throughout the brain. It is associated with the energy-producing benefits of B vitamins. Plus, if you’re pregnant, choline can help protect your baby from developing NTDs (neural tube defects), just like folic acid (2). Each egg yolk contains a little more than 100 mg of choline. Research has shown that a daily intake of 200 mg of choline is ideal for a healthy pregnancy.

 

Meanwhile, lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants that play a prominent role in eye health. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Ophthalmology showed that consuming adequate amounts of these nutrients can significantly reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two very common eye disorders (3)

 

But what about cholesterol?

 

While the common belief is that dietary cholesterol causes your arteries to harden, dietary cholesterol from natural sources does not increase your risk of heart disease. In the numerous studies conducted on egg yolk consumption, none have found that eggs have a negative impact on blood cholesterol levels in healthy people, or people with metabolic syndrome (4, 5, 6). In fact, consuming eggs in normal quantities (one to two per day) actually improves your blood cholesterol levels by making your LDL “bad” cholesterol particles less atherogenic (likely to promote the formation of fatty plaques in your arteries) and by increasing the number of HDL “good” cholesterol molecules in your bloodstream. It’s also important to remember that dietary cholesterol is the building block of testosterone, estrogen, and vitamin D—all important for numerous functions in your body.

 

The bottom line on eggs

  • Eat eggs, brown or white. Both are good for you and are an excellent way to include protein and healthy fats in your diet. Eating one to two eggs a day is recommended. (1, 4, 5, 6)
  • For a true added benefit, choose eggs with enhanced omega-3 fatty acids (shell color doesn’t matter).
  • It’s OK to eat the yolk. In fact, the yolk is packed with several important nutrients that support eye health and healthy pregnancies. (2, 3)
  • The cholesterol found in eggs does not raise your body’s cholesterol and does not harden your arteries. (4, 5,6)

 

Now that you’re armed with the truth about eggs, go forth, eat eggs, and be strong!

 

References

 

  1. Acceptance of brown-shelled eggs in a white-shelled egg market. Johnston NP, Jefferies LK, Rodriguez B, Johnston DE. Poult Sci. 2011 May;90(5):1074-9
  2. Dietary intake of choline and neural tube defects in Mexican Americans. Lavery AM, Brender JD, Zhao H, Sweeney A, Felkner M, Suarez L, Canfield MA. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2014 Jun;100(6):463-71. doi: 10.1002/bdra.23236. Epub 2014 Mar 12.
  3. Intakes of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Other Carotenoids and Age-Related Macular Degeneration During 2 Decades of Prospective Follow-up. Wu J, Cho E, Willett WC, Sastry SM, Schaumberg DA. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015 Dec 1;133(12):1415-24
  4. Effects of eggs on plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations. Fernandez ML.Food Funct. 2010 Nov;1(2):156-60. doi: 10.1039/c0fo00088d. Epub 2010 Oct 19. Review.
  5. Exploring the factors that affect blood cholesterol and heart disease risk: is dietary cholesterol as bad for you as history leads us to believe? Kanter MM, Kris-Etherton PM, Fernandez ML, Vickers KC, Katz DL. Adv Nutr. 2012 Sep 1;3(5):711-7. doi: 10.3945/an.111.001321.
  6. Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men. Ratliff J, Leite JO, de Ogburn R, Puglisi MJ, VanHeest J, Fernandez ML. Nutr Res. 2010 Feb;30(2):96-103. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.01.002

 

 

When Is The Best Time To Change A Toothbrush?

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Dental health is one of the primary considerations to promote better health and brushing the teeth is as important as taking a shower or nutritional supplementation.

Toothbrushes are a necessity, however, it needs to be in its best shape to work effectively and consistently and so the question is, ““how often do I need to toss my toothbrush?”

Dental experts agree that the standard is once every 3 months or when the bristles are already frayed. Toothbrushes are critical to maintaining good dental health and the risk for dental disorders increases when toothbrushes do not provide optimum cleaning for the mouth and teeth.

There are mainly two types of toothbrushes in the market today; manual and electric.

Manual toothbrushes are the usual run–of-the-mill brush and handle type – portable and can be used anytime.

Electric toothbrushes are more convenient to use, however, may be a bit cumbersome for traveling and requires a power source like batteries to power it. Electric toothbrushes also cost more than the manual type.

Dental problems can often take people off-guard and lead to very embarrassing situations. So brushing no less than twice a day and flossing once daily is necessary to help maintain good dental hygiene.

It is important to be aware of the common dental problems related to poor dental hygiene so that preventive measures can be taken.

Halitosis or bad breath. Dental research reveals 85% of those having bad breath are due to a dental condition. These include gum disease, dental cavities or caries, dry mouth and bacteria in the tongue- in worst cases oral cancer.

The use of mouthwash will only mask the effects of bad breath, but is not a cure.

Rotten teeth or tooth decay. Also known as cavities, which tops the list as the most prevalent health condition among children and ranks second among adults next to the common cold.

Gum disease and tooth infection. These are often caused by selling tissues surrounding the tooth, often associated with infection or inflammation. The most common of which are gingivitis and periodontitis.

Tooth sensitivity. Not to be mistaken with gum disease, these are pain or discomfort caused by factors like cold weather, eating sweets, cold drinks, ice cream or cold air.

Generally these issues are addressed by proper dental hygiene and good oral care – brushing the teeth regularly and visiting the dentist at least once a year.

Image Credit: That nasty cold (or flu) is finally over. Do I need to toss my toothbrush? – NBC News

The post When Is The Best Time To Change A Toothbrush? appeared first on NUTRITION CLUB CANADA.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2016/02/when-is-best-time-to-change-toothbrush.html

Addiction Counsellors Are Getting Scarce In The U.S.

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Drug-related deaths have seen a rise in statistics in the United States and as addiction-related treatments are needed, America is faced with the problem on the shortage of addiction counselors.

Recent findings on research for substance-abuse treatment facilities concluded that one of every four staff members quit their jobs every year to seek better job and pay opportunities in the same field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average salary for addiction counselors is only about $40,000 a year, which poses as a big factor for the shortfall.

In a 2006 report released by the Institute of Medicine, they documented a long –standing shortage in the number of substance and drug- addiction treatment workers for a couple of decades, notwithstanding the fact that the demand for these workers continue to increase year after year.

Federal laws, including the Affordable Care Act, continue to give out insurance claims to millions of people to pay for treatment and rehabilitation services, but have to be turned down by institutions due to the lack of addiction counselors and health workers to attend to them.

One former counselor,  who worked as a social worker for 10 years and a Master’s degree holder, said that the main reason she quit the job was due to burnout, stating that the stress ‘just got too heavy.’

Among the major factors that contribute to this burnout situation is that they always take in the pains of their patients and without the proper support structures or outlets, they get too difficult to burden.

Another concern raised by health experts is the lack of capability-building support like institutionalized education and training for addiction counselors, as well as proper funding and support from the health and public sectors.

Statistical data from the National Institute on Drug abuse (NIDA) that the impacts of substance abuse have proven to be very costly for the United States.

In a recent report, NIDA claimed that more than $700 billion is lost annually in relation to crime, health care and productivity, broken down as follows;

  • Tobacco – $296 billion
  • Alcohol – $244 billion
  • Illicit Drugs – $193 billion

Experts agree that with the proper funding and support, there still is a great opportunity to fill the demand to address the shortage of addiction counselors in the U.S.

 Image Credit: Shortage Of Addiction Counselors Further Strained By Opioid Epidemic – NPR News

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from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2016/02/addiction-counsellors-are-getting.html