Friday, January 23, 2015

Frozen berries vs Fresh

Hello everyone!

As you know, I have been making smoothies every morning out of fresh berries.  I have decided to start using frozen instead.

Why?  Isn't frozen produce less nutritious?

Actually, it can be MORE nutritious because the freezing process is done right after picking and locks all the nutrients in.  Fresh produce loses nutrients as it sits.

Here's why I decided to change to frozen.

1. Cost.  $9 for 3 pounds of mixed berries (strawberry, blackberry and raspberry) is cheaper than buying fresh counterpart, considering how 1/4 of a pound of raspberries can be 2$ or more.

2. Freshness.  Fresh berries rot. Really quickly, and that rot infects the whole package very fast.  Frozen berries are frozen, I have never seen properly frozen berries (or any food for that matter) rot, so with frozen I will have fresh berries whenever I want.

3. Efficiency.  No washing, no rinsing. Just scoop out some berries and put them right in the blender from the bag.  Also a bonus is since the berries are frozen, they make my smoothies colder. 

Frozen isn't appropriate for EVERYTHING berries are needed for, but for what I need them for (smoothie making) they are perfect!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How Carbs Make Us Fat- a Visual!

Hello everyone!

You hear it all the time- don't eat carbs! They make you fat! But how? For us visual learners out there, I came across this nifty picture which explains it all- why fat doesn't really make you fat and carbs do.

A direct link to this photo so you can see it better: Bigger version!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Thinner in the City?

Hello everyone!

I recently went to downtown Chicago, right in the busiest part of the city, and something struck me.  I noticed that there were hardly ANY overweight people there.  Why is that?  The answer may not be what you think.

While it is GENERALLY true that poorer people are fatter, income is likely NOT the reason that city people are thinner than others.  Studies have shown that people of the same income level living in different areas of the country vary in weight, the rich in the city are thinner than the rich of the suburbs. 

More likely to see this in the city than the suburbs, but why?

Maybe it's the food these people are eating.  Wrong again.  Surveys taken show that city dwellers actually eat LESS fruits and vegetables than those in the suburbs, or about the same - between 74-79% of Manhattan residents and neighboring suburbanites do not eat enough vegetables.

So if it's not income or nutrition, then what?

Here's my guess:  People in the city drive less in general than those in the suburbs.  People who live in the city don't really NEED a car. I should know, I used to live in the city myself and yes, I was considerably thinner then.  I walked everywhere. Walked to the grocery store, walked to the train, walked from the train to work, oh- and did I mention that not all train stations had escalators and elevators? That means stairs.  Climbing 2 floors worth of stairs to catch a train, for example. 

So, this further motivates me to keep up my walking program.  It's the most natural exercise humans can do, and apparently, it works!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

Hello everyone!

First, I would like to take a moment to wish everyone a happy New Year!  2014 seemed to be a rough year for so many people, myself included.   Here's to making 2015 better than last year!

With the new year here, I have a new plan for my workouts and 2 new DVDs. I got the 2 latest Tracy Anderson DVDs - Mat Workout for Beginners and Cardio Dance for Beginners.  I will review them in the next post. 

As for my plan - I am starting the new year in not so great shape.  I tried to do PiYo last month, and it irritated my knee really bad - something TAM has never done - so I decided to go back to what worked without knee injuries. 

My first phase of workouts is going to be doing the very introductory Method For Beginners DVD (Includes both MS and Cardio, very basic and focuses on building strength to go forward) and then move on to the Mat Workout for Beginners and Cardio Dance for beginners.

Here's a little preview of what Mat and Cardio Dance for beginners are: Mat is 3 workouts, a beginner mat routine, then a chair routine, then finally an intermediate mat routine.  Cardio Dance is 4 15 minute segments, each one getting more progressively intense.

As for now, I want to build my strength back up with the Method for Beginners DVD, and when I master that, when I can do all of the reps of the mat work (20) easily, then move on.  After the Mat/Dance Cardio for Beginners I am going to do one of the following (not sure which is best)

1. Precision Toning > Perfect Design Series > Metamorphosis

2. Precision Toning > Metamorphosis

I did do a review on Precision Toning a few months ago ( that can be read here: Precision Toning Review ) 

As for my cardio progression, I am thinking starting out with just one fifteen minute segment, then when that gets easy, add another, and build up until I can do the whole DVD.  At this time I have not watched all four segments, so I do not know how hard it actually gets.   

So, I hope all of you had a wonderful New Year Holiday, there will be more to come from me too.