Happy National Pistachio Day!!! (Jan. 26th) – Health Benefits of Pistachios

5

pistachios-600x330

Heart Health
 – Pistachios have been shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol after only a short period of regular consumption. High in antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, they fight inflammation, protecting blood vessels and reducing risk of heart disease. Even a moderate intake of pistachios has been shown to increase levels of lutein, an antioxidant well known for protecting against oxidized LDL, reducing heart disease.

Diabetes Help
 – Eating pistachios may help to prevent Type 2 diabetes. 60 percent of the recommended daily value of the mineral phosphorous is contained in just one cup of pistachios. As well as breaking down proteins into amino acids, phosphorous aids glucose tolerance.

Healthy Blood
 – Pistachios are an incredibly rich source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is essential to make hemoglobin, the protein responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood stream to cells, and is also shown to increase the amount of oxygen carried.

2013-03-20-8-most-nutrient-dense-foods-on-earth-pistachio

Nervous System
 – The vitamin B6 so abundant in pistachios has wide-ranging effects on the nervous system. Messaging molecules called amines require amino acids to develop, which in turn rely on vitamin B6 for their creation. Furthermore, B6 plays a crucial role in the formation of myelin, the insulating sheath around nerve fibers that allows optimal messaging between nerves. Furthermore, vitamin B6 contributes to the synthesis of serotonin, melatonin, epinephrine and gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, an amino acid that calms the transmission of nerve impulses throughout the nervous system.

Eye Health – 
Pistachios contain two carotenoids not found in most nuts. These carotenoids, called lutein and zeaxanthin, function as protective antioxidants, defending tissues from damage from free radicals. They have been linked with a decrease in the risk for developing age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of visual impairments and acquired blindness in the United States.

Immune System – 
A healthy immune system requires adequate intake of vitamin B6, which pistachios abound in. A surfeit of vitamin B6 can retard brain activity as well as decrease the effectiveness of the immune system for fighting infections. Vitamin B6 found in pistachios also helps the body make healthy red blood cells, and helps maintain the health of lymphoid glands, such as the thymus, spleen and lymph nodes, ensuring the production of white blood cells that defend the body from infections.

Skin Health
 – Pistachios are a great source of vitamin E, a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, essential for maintaining the integrity of cell membranes and often recommended for healthy and beautiful skin. Vitamin E does an excellent job protecting the skin from UV damage, providing daily defense against premature aging and skin cancer.

iHealth BP5 Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor for iPhone and Android

Motivation Monday – The Many Benefits of Push Ups

3

Don’t have time to go to the gym?

Do some push ups then!!! #GetitIn #NoExcuses

Push-ups are one of the oldest and most basic of exercises for a simple reason. They work.

The exercise positions all the muscles in our upper body and builds optimal strength in the forearms, shoulders, chest. And for the ladies, they will “get rid of the jig” by targeting the upper arms. And when done properly, also put emphasis on building a strong core by stabilizing the abdominals and back.

There is even some benefits to your quads and hammies.

Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Tangerine [Amazon Exclusive]

Survival of the Fittest – Are you Vitamin D Deficient? Symptoms & Reasons why you need Vitamin D

8

Screen-shot-2012-09-29-at-11.25.05-PM

Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common in the US, but many Americans mistakenly believe they aren’t at risk because they consume vitamin-D-fortified foods (such as milk).

There are very few foods that actually have therapeutic levels of vitamin D naturally and even fortified foods do not contain enough vitamin D to support your health needs.

Despite its name, vitamin D is not a regular vitamin. It’s actually a steroid hormone that you are designed to obtain primarily through sun exposure, not via your diet.

Signs You May Be Vitamin D Deficient

  1. You Have Darker Skin

African Americans are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, because if you have dark skin, you may need as much as 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a person with pale skin!

As Dr. Holick explained, your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen, so the more pigment you have, the more time you’ll need to spend in the sun to make adequate amounts of vitamin D.

  1. You Feel “Blue”

Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure. In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly patients and found those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses.3

  1. You’re 50 or Older

As mentioned, as you get older your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure. At the same time, your kidneys become less efficient at converting vitamin D into the form used by your body and older adults tend to spend more time indoors (i.e. getting even less sun exposure and therefore vitamin D).

  1. You’re Overweight or Obese (or Have a Higher Muscle Mass)

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin, which means body fat acts as a “sink” by collecting it. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re therefore likely going to need more vitamin D than a slimmer person — and the same holds true for people with higher body weights due to muscle mass.

  1. Your Bones Ache

According to Dr. Holick, many who see their doctor for aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

“Many of these symptoms are classic signs of vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia, which is different from the vitamin D deficiency that causes osteoporosis in adults,” he says. “What’s happening is that the vitamin D deficiency causes a defect in putting calcium into the collagen matrix into your skeleton. As a result, you have throbbing, aching bone pain.”

  1. Head Sweating

According to Dr. Holick, one of the first, classic signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. In fact, physicians used to ask new mothers about head sweating in their newborns for this very reason. Excessive sweating in newborns due to neuromuscular irritability is still described as a common, early symptom of vitamin D deficiency.4

  1. You Have Gut Trouble

Remember, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. This includes gut conditions like Crohn’s, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease.

image_Vitamin-D-deficit

Vitamin D also fights infections, including colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. In this interview above, Dr. Holick expounds on these and many other health benefits of vitamin D. For instance, optimizing your vitamin D levels can help protect against:

  • Cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D is very important for reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. According to Dr. Holick, one study showed that vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of heart attack by 50 percent. What’s worse, if you have a heart attack and you’re vitamin D deficient, your risk of dying from that heart attack creeps up to nearly 100 percent!
  • Autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases, like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Infections, including influenza. It also helps you fight infections of all kinds. A study done in Japan, for example, showed that schoolchildren taking 1,200 units of vitamin D per day during winter reduced their risk of getting influenza A infection by about 40 percent. I believe it’s far more prudent, safer, less expensive, and most importantly, far more effective to optimize your vitamin D levels than to get vaccinated against the flu.
  • DNA repair and metabolic processes. One of Dr. Holick’s studies showed that healthy volunteers taking 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day for a few months up-regulated 291 different genes that control up to 80 different metabolic processes, from improving DNA repair to having effect on autoxidation (oxidation that occurs in the presence of oxygen and/or UV radiation, which has implications for aging and cancer, for example), boosting your immune system and many other biological processes.

Credit: Mercola

Healthometer 349KLX 2-Piece Scale (400 lb x 0.2 lb)

Train, Eat, Rest & Repeat – UFC Fight Night Workout

1

Try my UFC Fight Night Workout
20 mins Total:

– 10 mins As Many Reps As Possible
Double Unders (No Rest)
– 10 mins (AMRAP) Burpee, Clean/Jerk 50 lbs dumbbells (No Rest)

Happy National Peanut Butter Day!!! – A History of Peanut Butter

5

pb-lovers-day

It’s National Peanut Butter Day! Peanut butter is a staple in over 90% of American households and the average person consumes more than six pounds of peanut products each year. Women and children prefer creamy peanut butter, while most men go for the chunky variety. 

George Bayle, a St. Louis snack food maker, started making peanut butter in the 1890s. For many years, manufacturers struggled with the oil separating from the grainy solids of the peaut butter. In 1923 Heinz became the first company to homogenize the peanuts into the spreadable butter we know and love today. Before long peanut butter was a classic American food.

Did you know that it takes 550 peanuts to make a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter? Peanuts are cholesterol free and an excellent source of protein. In fact, it’s the high protein content that causes peanut butter to stick to the roof of your mouth.

To celebrate National Peanut Butter Day, bake some peanut butter cookies, spread some tasty peanut butter on toast, or enjoy a spoonful right out of the jar!

Priority Chef Knife Sharpener, 2 Stage Knife Sharpening System, Black

Happy National Pie Day!!! (Jan.23rd) – Tell us what’s your Favorite Pie?!!

9

1baked-pie

It’s National Pie Day! Pies have a long and illustrious history, but the sweet filled treats we enjoy today are a relatively recent innovation. The Greeks and Romans made some of the first pies in history. People filled pastry shells with different kinds of meat or seafood, flavored them with a variety of spices, and served them as part of the sweet course of the meal.

When the Pilgrims made their voyage to the New World in the late 1600s they arrived with English pie recipes for beef, lamb, duck, or pigeon. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the first sweet pies emerged. These featured the ingredients we’re accustomed to today, and by the 1940s, pie had become the iconic American dessert.

lard1

Whether you prefer apple, berry, pumpkin, or sweet potato, bake your favorite pie recipe tonight in honor of National Pie Day!

Wisdom Wednesdays – The Writing is on the Wall

1

image

Happy New England Clam Chowder Day!!! – Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

2

20130109-clam-chowder-34

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 celery stalks (reserve tender leaves) trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice

1 cup heavy cream

2 bay leaves

1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pan Toasted Croutons:

2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Pan Toasted Croutons:

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.

For the Pan Toasted Croutons:

Melt the butter in a large skillet and toss the bread cubes in the butter until browned and toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.

KitchenAid Classic 17-piece Tools and Gadget Set, Black

Train, Eat, Rest & Repeat – Front Squats, Do them!!!

3

Want to make people jealous of you in the gym? Then do front squats!!!! Not also does it makes you look like a beast but it improves your flexibility, forces good technique, helps your legs & glutes while saving your knees and back!

NASA Has Released The Largest Picture Ever Taken, this will put your problems in perspective (Science is Awesome)

8

Have you seen the largest picture ever taken? For the record, it’s a mammoth 1.5 billion pixel image (69, 536 x 22, 230) and requires about 4.3 GB disk space. Oh, and it’ll take your breath away.

On January 5, NASA released an image of the Andromeda galaxy, our closest galactic neighbour, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The full image is made up of 411 Hubble images, takes you through a 100 million stars and travels over more than 40,000 light years. Well, a section of it anyway.

Prepare to feel extremely tiny and insignificant as you marvel at this fly-through video created by YouTuber   daveachuk and make sure you stick around till the end. Seriously. 

Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope