I thought about this the other day. If we are not supposed to look into the microwave when it’s going because of the danger to our health, what is it doing to our food? Are microwaves dangerous? Let me say this; With 2 young daughters, I am definitely in favor of convenience and saving time when preparing meals. It just got me thinking and now I prefer to heat my meals up on the stove or in the oven. Here is why I prefer to reheat my meals in the oven or stove instead to the microwave:
1. Food Quality: Let’s take a slice of pizza for example (I am using pizza because it’s okay for us to enjoy pizza. Just not eating 5 slices at a time). If you typically reheat your leftovers in the microwave, I challenge you to reheat a slice of pizza in the oven at 400 degrees for about 5 to 7 minutes. The difference in taste and texture will blow your mind in comparison to using a microwave. You’ll get crispy and delicious instead of soggy and “meh”.
2. Nutrition: Typically I try to eat as healthy as possible (when I am not eating pizza, of course..). Getting healthy ingredients is one thing, but making sure your food retains its nutrients is another. Now I am not an appliance technician, but I can imagine that if your food can go from cold to ready in just a minute, you’re “cooking” at some pretty intense temperatures. When this happens (overcooking), you are killing the nutrients in your food. By cooking on a stove top, grill, or oven, the process is slower and locks in the flavor and nutritional value of the meal.
3. Health: I have seen the arguments that say it’s a “safe” radiation that come from microwaves. I guess I am just not buying that. I just know that it’s not natural to have full meal prepared in just minutes (although with a busy schedule it’s necessary sometimes). It can’t be as healthy as preparing a meal on the stove, grill or oven without the radiation. Here is a quote from an actual doctor:
“I *am* a medical doctor and don’t mind providing some free, evidence-based advice: throw away your microwave. Very briefly, here is some objective data. I won’t even bother to list all the studies citing leakage of BPA and other carcinogenic chemicals into foods microwaved in plastic containers or covered with Syran wrap. But there is also data that food loses 97% of its antioxidant properties vs. 11% by steaming (Vallejo et al, J of Sci of Food and Agric 15 Oct 2003, vitamin C content (Kidmose U and Kaack K. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica B 1999:49(2)), anticancer compounds (Song K and Milner J A. “The influence of heating on the anticancer properties of garlic,” Journal of Nutrition 2001;131(3S):1054S-57S), and can cause potentially harmful unfolding of proteins (George D F, Bilek M M, and McKenzie D R. “Non-thermal effects in the microwave induced unfolding of proteins observed by chaperone binding,” Bioelectromagnetics 2008 May;29(4):324-30). You have a simple choice here: convenience of quickly preparing empty and harmful calories vs. waiting a few minutes longer to heat up healthy, healing food. Hippocrates said “Let Food be thy Medicine.” Why not love yourself and eat healthy? Sean McCloy, MD, MPH, MA
I will not lie to you and tell you that I don’t use my microwave because I certainly do, but I do feel confident that a 5 to 10 minute investment of time spent reheating my food in the oven or stove will result in better health and nutrition for me and my family.
Weight loss is not the only reason some of us workout and stay active. Some people just want to know how to get muscle definition. I would fall into this category. I don’t necessarily want to bulk up, so my goals are more geared towards maintaining muscle definition. If you are not looking to lose or gain weight and you want to tone up, follow these steps:
1. More Reps, Less Weight: When you are lifting weights, form is everything. This is especially true when you are trying to get muscle definition. Each movement must be precise in order to get the results you desire. For best results, take whatever weight you would normally use and lower it. To counter this, simply do more reps than you would normally do. For example: When doing bicep curls, if you normally do 12 reps with 25 lb dumbbells, you would change it to 20 reps with 15 lb dumbbells (or something close). This will give you those “cuts” and definition that you are looking for. Conversely, if you were trying to bulk up or build mass, you would lift more weight, but do less reps.
2. Plyometrics: By adding plyo to your routine, you will get the muscle definition that you are looking for. The constant cardio, jumping, and isolating of body groups will get you ripped in no time. It’s a great full body workout. I have added the plyometrics routines of Insanity and P90X to my regimen and it’s become one of my favorite workouts of the week.
3. Nutrition: If you follow my posts on a consistant basis then you already know what’s coming…muscles are defined in the kitchen as well as the weight room. Eating healthy is such a major roll in building muscle definition. Your body needs the proper nutrients in order to recover from workouts so that your muscles can heal and strengthen properly. If you are killing it in the weight room and cardio, but you are not seeing results, check your diet. It may be time for a tune up in that department. Eat clean (mostly organic and cut out the junk) and it will compliment your workouts.
Sometimes it not about losing a ton of weight or bulking up. You may just need to tone up and get some muscle definition. These 3 steps should yield results rather quickly depending on where you are currently. I hope this helps and keep pushing until you reach your goals!
If people do not get amazing results with P90X, it is usually because they did not have the proper expectation of what they would need before they began the program. In my opinion, P90X is one of the best workouts around, but even though you do save money since you do not have to go to a gym, you will need to spend some money if you do not have all of the necessary equipment. Here is what you need for P90X:
Pull-up Bar: You can buy one through Beachbody, but I got mine at Wal-Mart to save some extra money. It was about $15. One of the best exercises you can do for your back are pull-ups. This is a must have for the back portion of the video.
Free Weights or Resistance Bands: Some people prefer dumbbells and some like resistance bands better. Get whichever works for you. They both yield amazing results! You will need these for almost every disk. I personally prefer weights so I can always increase. You can always change the resistance on bands, but at some point you max it out.
Push up bars: I have these and they really help with push ups on chest day. You can get away with using dumbbells though so if you don’t have them, no biggie.
Yoga Blocks: I do not personally have these, but they add another dimension in some of the stretches in the Yoga video. Again, a nice to have, but not a need.
Yoga Mat: I was lucky on this one since my wife has one, but you can substitute a towel instead of purchasing a yoga mat if you are on a budget.
Shakeology: I will scream this from the mountain tops from now until forever: Great bodies are made in the kitchen, not the weight room. In order to get results, your nutrition needs to match your fitness. I recommend Shakeology because it is a full, nutritious meal that is under $5/meal. If your diet is outstanding, you do not need Shakeology. If you can’t stand vegetables, I would look into it.
Beachbody Meal Planner: Again, you do not need to purchase this meal planner to be successful with P90X, however, if you struggle with what to eat and how to eat healthy, it’s a nice thing to have at your fingertips.
Anytime someone orders it from me, I like to be crystal clear on the expectations of what you need for P90X. I run challenge groups each month with people doing P90X and other Beachbody programs to help everyone support and motivate each other. If you would like to join one of my groups, please let me know. If you know someone that would benefit from this post, please share it with them. Also, please feel free to leave a comment if I left out anything or you would like to chime in. I hope you have a healthy day!
It’s that time of year. Cold and flu season! Obviously we would all like to avoid being sick, but even those of us that are normally very healthy come down with something every now and then. I got struck by the sickness bug last week and it inspired me to share some remedies with you on how to cure a cold naturally. Usually I would take something like Zicam (which has been very effective for me), but we are on a really tight budget so I wanted to see what I could do for my health without having to spend that much money. Here is what i did:
1. Sleep: Yep, good ole fashioned shut eye. My wife and I have 2 young, beautiful daughters so sleeping in is not really an option for us. What we do to compromise is trade off who will get up with the girls and who will sleep a little longer. When I was under the weather last weekend, I took full advantage of my “sleep in” days to ensure that I gave my aching body plenty of rest that it was lacking from earlier in the week. This really helped cure my cold naturally because it helped give me some energy that was drained from the sickness.
2. Eat Oranges and Soup: To help cure my cold naturally, I stopped by the grocery store and picked up 3 cans of generic chicken noodle soup and 3 oranges. Total cost was around $3.50. I figured instead of buying vitamin C, I could get it right from the source: The oranges. When I got home those were my 3 remaining meals. Soup and an orange….soup and an orange…then for my last meal, I had soup…and an orange. My throat felt amazing from the soup and I was feeding my body the vitamin C it was craving.
3. Drink Water: Without getting too much into bathroom talk, I greatly benefited from the end result of drinking a ton of water. I basically flushed my system by drinking about 10-12 tall glasses of water to rehydrate myself. My reward of curing my cold naturally was well worth the many trips to the bathroom.
4. Rest: The last thing that I did that can help you cure a cold naturally is to do nothing at all. That’s right. I basically put my feet up and rested. I am usually a busy body and love to stay active and workout, so this was difficult for me. I am not going to lie though, it was nice to just take a load off and watch some tv for a change in order to feel better.
Like i’ve said before, I am not a doctor. That being said, I do believe, based on my experiences, that there are things that we all can do naturally to feel better without having to spend a lot of money. If, however, your symptoms do not improve, please see a physician. If this helped, or you think it could help someone else, please share it with them. Have a healthy holiday season!
Being healthy today just isn’t about how we feel anymore. It can actually effect our bank accounts now. Health and money are linked together like peanut butter and jelly. Day to day and over the long run, people that are healthy save more money than people that are unhealthy. I came up with a few reasons on why I believe this about health and money based on my personal experiences.
1. Health Care: This is a very touchy subject currently so I will not attempt to dive into the Health Care Reform Act, but everything that I read does indicate that the healthier we are the more money we will save on premiums (compared to unhealthy individuals). Of course there are health issues that we cannot control, but eating healthier and exercising could help in reducing risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and other problems that would lead to more money out of pocket. You can also save money by being healthy, simply by…well… being healthy. Copays, prescriptions and over the counter medicine can really add up. Not to mention when you are sick, you cannot work, and therefore, cannot earn money.
2. Life Insurance: I can only speak on my experience as I am not an insurance agent or expert, but your health can determine how much your monthly premiums are. Since I was in good health, I qualified for lower rate than someone my age that was in poor health. My health saved me money. How cool is that? Maybe I should think my mom for reminding me to always eat my veggies and to get some exercise
3. Food: I have had this debate before with many people, but I stand firm that eating healthier saves you more money than eating junk. Please let me clarify that I consider junk to be fast food, soda and processed foods and I consider eating healthy to be organic fruits, veggies, and meats (basically eating clean). Now, I am not saying that I eat healthy all of the time or that you should, but if the majority of the time you are cooking your own food, drinking water and eating fruits and vegetables instead of fast food, you will spend less money and feel better. The average fast food meal costs about $6 now. If you were to prepare your own healthy lunch, I would imagine it would cost much less than that per meal, and the nutritional benefit would be far greater. If time is a crunch, you can take a meal replacement shake like Shakeology. It is $4 a meal and all the nutritional value of a healthy meal.
4. Overall Production: When we are healthy and active and full of energy, we tend to be happier and more productive as well. Being more productive at your trade usually translates into making more money. Think about it. When is the last time you saw someone that was truly successful (not in entertainment) that did not take their health seriously. They go hand in hand.