Archives for June 2012

Freaky Food Facts

This is worth a read.  It has been reposted from Socially Fit

Learn and Grow

Ever found a hair in your sandwich?

Oddly the more I learn the fewer items I eat, and the more I move closer to a raw diet. I’m not complaining but after watching the movie “Food Inc.” and hearing all that Michael Pollan had to say no one can blame me. I’m going to suggest that you do the research yourself, because when it comes to a lifestyle of fitness and well-being that’s part of the journey. Some pages in life you simply must turn for yourself.

Talking about freaky food facts though, did you know that fruit flavored snacks are made with the same wax found in car wax? Or, have you ever found a hair in your bagel? It might belong to a rodent, and according to Health Canada, that may not be a food safety infraction!!  What about jellybeans?? Did you know that their shiny coating was made from bug feces? Don’t believe us?

Well you don’t have to take our word for it, just check out the link attached and see for yourself! You’ll thank us later!!

Please be sure to check back with us on Friday we have a motivational true story for you from Brian Schwartz. He’s lost 165lbs to date, and he’s still going! You don’t want to miss this!

Your friends at “Socially Fit”

Fruit or Vegetable?


We’re told to eat our fruits and vegetables, but exactly what is a fruit and what is a vegetable? The grocery store definition of  fruit is that it is sweet and typically eaten raw but not typically cooked or used in salads–these would be vegetables. This definition classifies tomatoes and cucumbers as vegetables.

However, the botanical definition of fruit is: the sweet ripened ovary of a seed bearing plant.

There is no botanical category of vegetable. The dictionary definition of vegetable is: a general herbaceous plant grown for its edible part namely the seeds, stalks, roots, stems, leaves, or bulbs. And so, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, avocados, and peppers are actually fruit!

We don’t think of these things as fruit because they aren’t sweet or as sweet as things we consider fruit — apples, grapes, oranges, melons. Most fruits are sweet because they contain fructose, vegetables are less sweet because they have much less fructose. The sweetness of fruit serves a purpose. It encourages animals to eat it and thereby spread the seeds.


Plant Based Diet and Joining a CSA

I have been eating a lot of vegetables lately.  I am following my own advise that I’ve been sharing in this blog and eating mostly a plant-based diet.

My objective is to eat for health, avoiding meat (except the occasional organic free range chicken and/or grass-fed beef), cutting out dairy products, and eliminating processed sugar as much as possible .

It really isn’t so hard when your motivation is avoiding diseases such as cancer,  heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  I have lost 8 pounds since February and even more important — I feel great!

To make sure I’m getting fresh, organic vegetables, I joined a CSA this summer.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  It is a way to share in the harvest of a local farm.  You pay the annual fee up front, giving the farmer needed cash for seeds, fertilizer, etc, and then each week throughout the summer, you get a box of fresh vegetables and fruits.

I’d like to thank Heron Pond Farm for letting me be a part of their community.  This week I got a pound of potatoes, a pound of snap peas, a bunch of beets, a bag of spinach, a head of lettuce, 2 tomatoes and a quart of strawberries — yum!  I eat fresh vegetables all week.

Whatever is left at the end of the week goes into my juicer!

photo by Julie Schneider of Heron Pond Farm

Interval Training

 One of the “benefits” of being in a running club is the weekly track workout.  Tonight was track night.

This year I have gone to 100% more workouts than I did last year.  This isn’t saying too much as last year I only  went once!

Tonight’s workout was “mystery intervals”  What that meant was that rather than knowing ahead of time the length of each interval that we were going to run, we found out right before each interval.

Our first interval was a 400 followed by a 400 light jog.  As we finished the 400 “rest”, the coach called out our next interval — 1200 (3 laps around the track), followed by a 400 rest lap.  After that, an 800 interval/400 rest, another 800 interval/400 rest, and lastly a 400 interval, a 400 rest and DONE!

The workout was tough but I managed to pace myself and I felt good.  I think my mostly plant-based diet and yoga practice is having a positive impact on my running!



The Incredible, Edible … Avocado

I saw this post on one of the blog’s I subscribe to, Socially Fit  and wanted to share it with you.  Great information on a delicious and healthy food!

Undressing the avocado

Our rich and creamy little green friend, the avocado, is often given a “bad rap”. However, we’re here to tell you that this fruit has been underestimated and we’d like to clear things up and show you that underneath that thick alligator green skin, lays a soft textured filling, enriched with nutrients that will benefit you and your health. It’s time to dive in and see what this green goddess looks like naked.

Why the Avocado is beneficial for our health

1. It’s Fat, but a Good fat!
2. Optimizes absorption of carotenoids, making it important in eye care
3. Supports the immune system
4. Promotes heart health
5. It’s an anti-inflammatory
6. Anti-cancer fighting action
7. Promotes blood sugar regulation
8. Helps lower cholesterol
9. Helps in eliminating toxins from the body
10. Great source of fiber

How the Avocado Provides these Benefits

We’re not going to lie to you; yes the avocado consists mostly of fat. In fact, the fat content is roughly 85% of its total calories, which is pretty high for a fruit source.

Now the good news! This fat source is at least 50% oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that is also found in olives and other food sources such as peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts. Oleic acid is a fatty acid that helps our digestive tract form transport molecules for fat. This in turn helps increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as carotenoids, which is also a nutrient found in the avocado.

Carotenoids are mostly found in root vegetables such as carrots and nightshades like red peppers and tomatoes. However, surprise surprise, avocados also contain this important nutrient, which helps with eyesight. The list of carotenoids found in avocados includes beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and more importantly lutein and zeaxanthin. These are important in eye care for those who suffer from degenerative diseases like Glaucoma.

Avocado is also high in selenium and zinc, which are important for the immune system. Furthermore, they contain important antioxidant nutrients, vitamin C and E, which are important in heart health.

Another amazing thing about avocados is that they contain phytosterols. The phytosterols are found in the green creamy part inside the avocado. These include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol. These guys are all key nutrients that help keep inflammation under control and may help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and prostate enlargement.

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions of avocados may also help fight against cancer forming cells. The anti-inflammatory power of the avocado seems to push out cancer cells caused by oxidative stress and replenish our cells to protect them from further damage. Amazing!

Lastly, did you also know that one avocado contains 7.3 grams of fiber? Isn’t that amazing! Fiber is a big deal in a healthy diet as it does many jobs like regulating blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, as well as getting rid of those pesky little toxins that accumulate in the wrong places.

Avocado’s Nutrient Contributions

Half of a medium avocado contains roughly 138 calories. Keep in mind, calories are not bad if they come from healthy nutrient-rich whole foods. They are bad when we eat too many of them and get them from low quality, nutrient-depleted, processed foods. As for every day eating, you should generally stick to a maximum of ½ an avocado daily to avoid excess fat intake. To avoid browning of the other half of the avocado, squeeze fresh lemon juice on it and store it in the refrigerator in saran wrap or in a glass jar along with its pit.

The recommended daily fat intake depending on your metabolic profile is 40-65 grams daily. Half an avocado contains about 14 grams of fat, which is roughly one-third or one-quarter of your daily fat intake. It also contains 2 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber.

As for vegans and vegetarian, avocados are a helpful way of getting adequate amounts of healthy fat in the diet. Since you are minimizing or eliminating animal products, you will not be getting fat from these sources and therefore need to ensure you get fat from the plant kingdom. Fat is an essential macronutrient and it is unhealthy if we do not consume appropriate amounts. Avocados are a great way to do this.

Pregnant women who do not consume meat can consume at least 1 avocado daily because it is a higher source of healthy fat and it is excellent for new mommies as some swear it helps with morning sickness because of the vitamin B6, which helps curb nausea. It also contains a great amount of folate, which is essential for brain development and vitamin E, an important antioxidant. Its texture makes for a great nutritious sandwich spread during lunch, that’s easy to digest.

As part of your diet, avocados can ensure the benefits of a healthy diet and help protect you from diseases. It looks like Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she planted that avocado tree!

Your friends at “Socially Fit”