Healthy Recipes

Miso Soup with Sea Greens


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If you’ve even gone out for sushi — or any traditional Japanese restaurant in that matter — you’ve probably come across miso soup. It is a tasty, hot, umami-flavour salty soup that embraces you with its warmth and comfort. It is a great palate cleanser and starter to your meal. We will explore that in this post!

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Wellness

Fermentation


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20181202_111841Fermented drink has remained popular over the years.  Fermented food however has apparently less  appeal, however it has recently made a comeback.   Quite possibly it is due to the health benefits rather than the taste and convenience of these foods.    There is more interest in these foods and the impact on gut, brain and overall health.   Helpful bacteria are an important and essential part of our lives.  Every culture in the world includes traditional dishes that rely on bacteria for their preparation.   The diversity of bacteria in fermented foods has become more limited.    Industrialization has resulted in standardized productions using less bacterial species and heat and often vinegar in fermentation process doesn’t offer the same benefit potential.

Health benefits cited  involve every aspect of the body.   A highly functioning digestive system will enable the other bodily systems to optimize their performance as well.

Many of the fermented foods are plant based  and offer a good source of probiotics.  The process of fermenting allows a breaking down of the food particles and makes digestion easier.  In your gut they also help to keep the harmful bacteria from doing damage.

Fermented foods can include water based kefir, tea based kombucha,  dairy based foods such as yogurt, soybean based such as natto, tempeh, miso, vegetable based such as cabbage based sauerkraut, kimchi,  and other pickled vegetables.  There are fermented foods throughout history through different countries and cultures.  Different regions would use fermentation as a way of preserving the food for future use.

I have had success with simple recipes for yogurt, water kefir, sauerkraut, beet kvass, kimchi and assorted pickled vegetables and kombucha in the past.

My current favorite is kombucha – which involves using a “SCOBY”.  A Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.   Kombucha’s health benefit is glucuronic acid which helps the body to detox by pulling out environmental and metabolic toxins.

You will need to follow instructions exactly as to the ingredients, amounts, equipment to use (glass not plastics etc.), and the temperature and time.

If you are just starting to add these foods to your diet, I suggest that you purchase the store bought plain versions first before you make them.  That way, you have an idea of what to expect from what you make.

Healthy Recipes

Creamy Ginger Carrot Gazpacho


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Originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, gazpacho has risen among the ranks as a chilled soup. Gaining its notoriety, it is widely eaten in Spain and neighboring Portugal, particularly during the hot summers, since gazpacho is refreshing and cold. We’ll be sharing this recipe for those warmer days and you want something quick and delicious to make!

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Fitness

Marathon Guide for Beginners


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World Health Day is just around the corner – perfect time to pick up health habits. If you are thinking of signing up to a marathon, or already have, but  never run more than a 100-meter dash, don’t despair, we have you covered

marathon-training

Make sure to set realistic goals

In excitement for this new adventure, it might be tempting to get out there and start running straight away. But this will only lead to injury and disappointment. Bodies adapt at different rates, and  you’ll find that it can take up to six weeks for your body to feel comfortable with this new exercise. The best way to get, and keep, on track when marathon training is to set yourself small, achievable goals leading up to the run date.

Increase your step

When you set your goals, aim to increase the distance you run each week by 10%. This will help your body adapt to its new training regime, and the demands being placed on it. Every third or fourth week should be your ‘cutting back’ week, which means you can take it a little easier. Again, this will help reduce the chance of injury and also give you time to reassess your next month of training.

Eat right for your run

What you eat is just as important as how you train. Around three to four hours before you run eat a high-carb, low-fiber meal, such as a peanut butter sandwich, or two eggs. If you’re running for more than 60 minutes, top up your energy levels with a high-carb energy snack such as a packet of raisins. And don’t forget about energy-boosting and recovery foods post-workout. Consider Holistic nutrition.

Jewel picking pepper
Jewel is a certified Nutrition & Wellness Specialist

Stretch it out

A sore muscle is guaranteed from all this training, which can put many people off continuing their training program. Avoid this by using a foam roller, which helps to loosen up muscles and improve your range of motion. Schedule in some relaxation time too, in the form of a yoga, stretching or Pilates class to help support your body during this time.

 

Wellness

Body Fat Breakdown


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The two types of fat in the body are essential fat and nonessential fat,  or storage fat.  Essential fat is needed for normal physiological and biological functioning.  It is placed throughout the body from the internal organs to the brain and spine.  The level of essential fat is approximately 3 % for men and 12% of total body weight for women.  Women have gender specific deposits of fat and a drop below the essential can impair the bodily functions. Women generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men do, here are gender difference in where the fat is stored as well.  Different body types are characterized by higher fat storages in different boy parts.  For example the gynoid or pear shaped body type in women with more fat storage in the hips and thighs. Males and females have different receptors in different areas that are more or less responsive to mobilizing fat. the female hormone estrogen has several roles in resting and exercise fat metabolism. One of the methods that is used to determine the use of fat as fuel is the respiratory exchange rate.   (RER)  A lower RER is an indication of a greater at metabolism and a higher RER is an indication of a greater carbohydrate metabolism. There are gender differences in exercise metabolism during different exercise intensities. Without specific equipment to test, one can have an estimated level of intensity by determining their rate of perceived exertion and  heart rate levels.    The different fat distributions is determined  by differences in hormones, hormone receptors and enzyme concentrations and other variables.  A persons body type ( and fat deposition patterns)  will also be a factor in predicting different health risks.

Non essential fat is storage fat or subcutaneous,  below the skin fat.  Storage fat that surrounds the organs is referred to as visceral fat.  Age is also a factor as to where  a persona will have more fat storage.  Thus when doing your body composition testing the numbers of ideal body fat percentages will increase as you age.  Nonessential fat has three main functions: an insulator to retain body heat, padding against trauma, and as an energy substrate during rest and exercise. 

Fat Mass is the absolute amount of body fat, the relative fat is the amount of fat expressed as a percentage of total body weight.  Body fat accumulates in two ways: increasing the size of existing fat cells and the formation of new fat cells.  Fat in the body is in the form of triglycerides (TG) (three fatty acid molecules held together by a molecule of glycerol.  During exercise, TG in fat cells, muscle cells and in the blood can be broken down (lipolysis) and used as fuel by the exercising muscles.

Fat mobilization refers to the process of releasing fat from storage sites.  there are two main enzymes that regulate the mobilization of free fatty acids.  The breakdown of fat, or oxidation of fat into energy that the body can use, occurs primarily in cardiac and skeletal muscle and the liver.  A metabolic training effect of aerobic exercise is an enhanced ability to mobilize and break apart TG for energy use.   Additionally it is possible to increase the response of the body to be activated by lower concentrations in a trained individual compared to a non-endurance trained individual.

What exercise burns the most fat?

During low -intensity exercise the majority of energy comes from fat.  As the exercise level increases the percentage of energy derived from fat decreases.  However, the absolute amount of energy increases.  Therefore expressing energy derived from fat as a percentage without considering the total is misleading.  When you are doing your cardio training on a machine you do not necessarily want to stay in the somewhat misleading fat burn zone.  One must also consider the effect that the exercise will have on energy expenditure after the exercise session is completed.   Your program should be individualized for fitness level, health, age, goals, risk factor profile, medications, behavioural characteristics, and individual preference.  Strength and flexibility training will also have an impact on aerobic and cardiovascular training.  There are some specific periodization suggestions from which to individualize the recommendations for optimizing fat during aerobic exercise.

Stanley P, Brown, Wayne C. Miller, Jane M, Eason, Exercise Physiology : Basis of Human Movement in Health and  Disease