Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Exercise: In Women, Training for a Sharper Mind

Older women who did an hour or two of strength training exercises each week had improved cognitive function a year later, scoring higher on tests of the brain processes responsible for planning and executing tasks, a new study has found.

Researchers in British Columbia randomly assigned 155 women ages 65 to 75 either to strength training with dumbbells and weight machines once or twice a week, or to a comparison group doing balance and toning exercises.

A year later, the women who did strength training had improved their performance on tests of so-called executive function by 10.9 percent to 12.6 percent, while those assigned to balance and toning exercises experienced a slight deterioration — 0.5 percent. The improvements in the strength training group included an enhanced ability to make decisions, resolve conflicts and focus on subjects without being distracted by competing stimuli.

Older women are generally less likely than others to do strength training, even though it can promote bone health and counteract muscle loss, said Teresa Liu-Ambrose, a researcher at the Center for Hip Health and Mobility at Vancouver General Hospital and the lead author of the paper, which appears in the Jan. 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Honey Glazed Drumsticks

The kids won't be the only ones licking their fingers! This is such a good recipe and again you can incorporate anything you like. I used Agave Nectar & Honey. Brittany my daughter loved this one! Great left-over as an after school snack too!

1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Honey (Immune System Booster, Anti-Oxidant & Anti-Bacterial Properties)
2 Tablespoons Organic Molasses unsulphured (a good source of Potassium, Calcium & Iron)
1/2 Cup Turbinado Raw Sugar
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
5 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs (Potent Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Agent)
5 Garlic Coves, halved (Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Bacterial Agent)
10 to 12 Organic Chicken Drumsticks
2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
1/4 Cup Flat-Leaf Parsley Leaves

Combine all ingredients in ziplock bag, dissolve the honey & brown sugar. Add chicken to bag and seal. Marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Remove chicken from bag, reserve marinade. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Bake until the skin is caramelized and very dark in spots, 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, the reduce heat to a simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes. Use a pastry brush to baste chicken. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chopped parsley, and serve! Bon Appétit!

Honey Glazed Dumsticks on Foodista

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kid's Fitness

Workout in front of your daughter and she'll want to workout too! In a study from the University of Albany, girls whose moms and dads were active logged an additional 13 minutes of daily exercise compared to peers with less active parents. To keep your child fit get her involved in physical activities. Kids whose moms signed them up for sports became even more active in their teens- a time when girls often stop exercising. Skip movie night and take your child for a walk, a bike ride or to the gym instead.

I have been training Sofia's mom & dad since she was born (6 years ago). She has always watched our sessions. When I tell you she runs to the door when I get there, changes into her nike shorts, grabs her water, then joins us in the gym downstairs. She sets up her mat, uses her small weights and does whatever we do, squats, lunges, push-ups, etc. Her gym teacher calls her "muscles"! Whenever I tell her I want to take a photo of her she belts out this pose, not something we ever do, but she takes yoga in gym! Too funny! She loves our training music too! Between sets she throws in some of her dance moves!

Sofia enjoys skiing, tennis, dance & theatre, but most of all enjoys weight training and it shows! She is so strong, a little powerhouse! Oh yeah, she loves chocolate too! Sofia will be part of my children's cooking class this week.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pumping Iron with Lentils & Kale

Pumping Iron with Lentils & Kale © is a recipe that our family loves! If you’re looking for a power-packed entrée or soup to spice up your life, look no further than the lowly lentil. Organic Green Lentils & Kale are highly nutritious as well as delicious! Try this simple recipe for yourself. Be sure to pick through and then wash lentils before cooking. Also, avoid overcooking.

Pumping Iron with Lentils & Kale ©

1 Onion Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic Chopped
3 Strips Bacon Chopped (optional)
1 bunch kale
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
6 cups water, plus more while simmering
16 oz. Green Organic Lentils
1 tablespoon fresh Thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Grated Cheese to Garnish (optional)

Dice Onion & Garlic. Remove the stems from the kale. Stack the leaves on top of one another and slice them crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the Garlic, Onions and Bacon cook for 3 minutes, I didn't use bacon in this recipe, but it does add lots of flavor. Add the can of whole tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes.
Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the Kale, Lentils, Thyme, Salt, Pepper. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes, adding water as soup begins to thicken. Spoon into individual bowls. Sprinkle with Grated Cheese (if using).

Bon Appétit!

Lentils contain high levels of proteins, including the essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine, and are an essential source of inexpensive protein source. Apart from a high level of proteins, lentils also contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. Red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils (11% rather than 31%).
Lentils are one of the best vegetable sources of iron. This makes them an important part of a vegetarian diet, and useful for preventing iron deficiency. Iron is particularly important for adolescents and pregnant women, whose requirements for it are increased.

Kale is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties; kale is considered to be anti-inflammatory. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium.
Kale contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties.

Pumping Iron With Lentils & Kale on Foodista

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ultimate Lean Chicken Soup

This time of year most people are trying to start eating healthier and make better choices when it comes to their meal planning. My Ultimate Lean Chicken Soup © recipe is the perfect addition to your new clean eating program. I prepare this recipe in a large stockpot and then divide in mini containers for the freezer and glass jars for the fridge for future use during the busy work week.

Ultimate Lean Chicken Soup © is one of my special recipes I prepare for my clients. Unlike some dishes, most soup recipes don't have to be followed precisely. You can add a little more or a little less of an ingredient, or you can make substitutions. Children most often prefer pasta like acini de pepe, pastina or egg noodles.

I keep brown rice or whole wheat orzo (shown) cooked in a container so it is ready to use whenever I am hungry. I keep the grains in a separate container, sometimes I want to enjoy the soup plain with chicken and the mixed vegetables. I top it off with a small amount of grated cheese and fresh chopped parsley. Soup is a great addition to your afternoon salads or to enjoy as a mini meal.

Soup is so comforting and really satisfies a large appetite, try incorporating soup into your meal plan. It's so easy and so versatile. You can add anything you like, chopped escarole, baby spinach, chopped zucchini, mini sirloin or turkey meatballs, etc.

Fill a large stockpot with water and a Whole Chicken or Chicken parts (I used just split breasts in this one for less fat content). Bring pot to a full boil and skim the top off. Add tons of Carrots, Celery, Onion, Salt & Pepper to taste, and simmer a few hours. That is usually what I start with and then add other vegetables I have on hand, anything goes! When soup is done and totally cooled off I remove the chicken and separate from bones. Place chicken back into soup, then store in your containers.

Bon Appétit!

Ultimate Lean Chicken Soup on Foodista

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sauna Health Benefits

Most athletes don't have to worry about working up a sweat. They sweat profusely every time they exercise as the process of calorie burning generates heat, and the body responds by cooling it down with perspiration.

Sweating is one of the body's healthiest reactions. For optimal health and athletic performance capabilities, athletes should be especially aware of the benefits of infrared radiant heat.

Heat, however, has been shown to be an extremely important therapy over millennia of time. Sweating in a sauna room is one of the oldest folk remedies in the world. "Give me a chance to create a fever, and I will cure any disease," said Paraenides, 2,000 years ago. Ancient Greeks & Romans had their hot baths, and Native Americans built "sweat lodges" for both health enhancement and treating illness.

Sweating by overheating the body produces these effects:

*Burns calories and therefore assists in fat loss programs.

*Speeds up metabolic processes of vital organs and endocrine glands.

*Places demands upon cardiovascular system, making the heart pump harder and producing a drop in diastolic blood pressure.

*Creates a "fever" reaction which kills potentially dangerous viruses and bacteria and increases the number of leukocytes in the blood, thereby strengthening the immune system; important for fighting colds, flu, cancer and bolstering resistance to infections.

*Excretes toxins from the body, including cadmium. lead, zinc, nickel, sodium, sulfuric acid and cholesterol.

*Stimulates vasodilation of peripheral vessels, which relieves pain and speeds healing of sprains, strains, bursitis, peripheral vascular diseases, arthritis and muscle pain.

*Promotes relaxation, thereby lending a feeling of well being.

*Promotes release of growth hormone from the anterior pituitary gland.

Source: FITNESS The Complete Guide, Frederick C. Hatfield , PH.D

I find that taking a 20-30 minute sauna after intense training sessions has the potential of doing a lot of good, I really enjoy it. Try incorporating it into your program, I highly recommend it.

**Always consult your doctor or other practitioner knowledgeable in sauna use before beginning a sauna therapy program. Saunas are powerful devices and monitoring your progress by a professional trained in sauna use is always advisable.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Spinach Soufflé

Start the New Year off right with this totally fabulous recipe! Make ahead of time and enjoy it for your breakfast, lunch or a quick clean mini meal. I am using a smaller plate and I lined it with baby Portobello's. I changed my original recipe I used for my retreat guests Forte Fitness Retreat ©

Spray your plate with Olive Oil Mist. Slice around 5 Baby Portobellos, very thin and place at the bottom as a crust in your plate. Meanwhile mix your chopped Spinach with Egg Whites a few ounces of shredded Low-Fat Mozzarella, some fine Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper.

Pour mixture on top of mushrooms. Slice a few Vine Tomatoes and place on top, with a tablespoon of Grated Cheese and some Mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden on top. You can add what you like to it, like potatoes or bacon. It replaces making individual omelets for guests.

1 1/2 Cup Egg Whites or 5 Large Eggs
1 box Frozen Birdseye Chopped Spinach (cooked and drained)
Five Baby Portobello's Sliced Thin
Vine Tomatoes 3 or 4 Sliced
5 oz. Shredded Mozzarella
Grated Cheese 1 or 2 Tablespoons
Fine Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper to taste

Bon Appétit!

Spinach on Foodista