March 17, 2012

What Motivates YOU to Mooooove??

If you look at the leading cause of death in the USA and the UK, you will find ailments such as cancer and heart disease at the very top of the list with most of the reason behind their existence tied to  stress, poor diet and lack of exercise.   The number of deaths by these two leading causes have also increased by much in the last two decades.  To the point of being alarming.  So what can you do?

Besides eating a nutrient dense meal and keeping your stress levels in check which is something we most often talk about here, it is equally important to get in regular physical activity.  Yes, that means scheduling in time to get your body working out and your heart pumping.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the top 7 benefits of regular physical exercise of 30 minutes a day are:

  1. Controls your weight
  2. Combats health conditions and diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
  3. Improves your mood
  4. Boosts your energy levels
  5. Promotes good rest and more peaceful sleep
  6. Positive effect on sex life
  7. Fun way to spend time and unwind

This may seem like a simple list but it illustrates how crucial exercise is to your overall health and wellness.  Yet, for such an obvious solution, it can be the hardest activity to incorporate into your day.

Through moderate to vigorous movement, you are directly targeting 3 specific aspects of your heart health that are key to your overall wellness: cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.  Any time you exercise, your heart has to pump 10 times more blood to a muscle group that is being exerted.  Through repetition, your heart muscles get stronger and that supports your blood flow.  This effect also prevents buildup of fat on your artery walls which is a dangerous result of being sedentary.  Exercise lowers the bad cholesterol and raises the good which has positive effects on people with high blood pressure or any kind of coronary artery disease.

As you can see, there are many motives for exercising that are mostly obvious but not often taken seriously until it is too late.   The best way to create a reason to exercise is to think of it in terms of what really matters to you most. The meaning of the word Motive as stated in the dictionary is “something that causes a person to do a certain thing; incentive” So whether your incentive to move is to live a pain free life, to see your grandchildren grow up, to have more energy, or to live happier in this moment, you can bet that if you create a motive that really means something to you and your health, you will more likely commit to that workout becoming a part of your life – for life!

March 8, 2012

{Raw} Energy Brain Food!

Prep Time: Minimal
Servings: 6 or more

INGREDIENTS: Use organic and {raw} where possible for this recipe.

In a large bowl, mix the following ingredients and serve as a healthy snack:

  • 2 Cups Prunes – Contain the unique phytonutrients neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid two very powerful antioxidants that help protect the cells and brain. Good source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, fibre.
  • 2 Cups Raisins – Phytonutrient research on raisins reveal the unique phenol content that help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells in the body. One of the top sources of a critical mineral to your health – boron. (Especially important for women’s bone health and osteoporosis) Boron is needed to convert estrogens to vitamin D to their most active forms. Positive impact on energy levels.
  • 2 Cups Cranberries – Contain Vitamin C, fibre, and an array of phytonutrients such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, tripterpenoids, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins all of which have positive effects as an antioxidant, contain anti cancer properties and are anti-inflammatory. Protection against urinary tract infection. (UTI)
  • 1 Cup Goji Berries – One of the most nutrient rich superfoods you can find. Contain unique cartenoids, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. High antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food. Protects DNA from damage from free radicals and radiation.
  • 1 Cup Raw Almonds – High in monounsaturated fats (good fats), which are associated with lowering risk of heart disease. Contain Vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.
  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts – Great for your heart health by positively affecting blood quality, vasomotor tone. Contain omega-3s, alpha linolenic acid. Good anti-inflammatory nutrient source, good for bone health and the brain.
  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews – Cashew nuts are actually seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple. Lower in fat content than most nuts. Same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Very good source of monounsaturated fats and copper and good sources of magnesium, tryptophan and phosphorous.

It is important to remember to read the labels when buying raw or dried fruits and nuts. Do not buy any products that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners or any chemical preservatives such as sulphur dioxide.

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