Tea: the importance of different kinds of popular teas

Nutrition tip: The importance of some popular teas:

  1.  Green tea is made from the plant Camelia sinensis. Boosts metabolism and contains antioxidants. It comes in the decaf form.
  2.  White tea has antibacterial and antiviral properties.
  3.  Black tea made from the plant Camelia sinensis. Can help lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. For some people it might be a bit stimulant or more stimulant than green tea. Comes in the decaf form.
  4. Mint tea helps treat bloating and aids digestion.

Burrito bowl recipe

Alternative for lunch or dinner:
Burrito bowl
– 1/4 cup black beans (if in a can, drained and rinse)
– 1 tsp chicken broth
– Pinch of cumin
– Pinch of garlic powder
– Pinch of oregano
– 1/2 cup thin sliced red cabbage
– 3 ounces thin sliced precooked grilled chicken breast
– 2 tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt…
– 2 tbsp fresh salsa
– Fresh cilantro for garnish
– Sliced green onions for garnish
Microwave black beans with chicken broth, oregano, cumin, and garlic powder on high for 30-45 seconds until heated. Set aside. Add red cabbage to your bowl and spoon black beans on top. Later add sliced chicken, Greek yogurt, salsa, and cilantro and green onions, and enjoy!

Simple meditation benefits and cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease is a top killer in this country. But do you know that new data suggests that one of the keys to life-long cardiovascular disease doesn’t come from the outside, but inside. Yes. Research had shown that simple meditation practice can be beneficial for our hearts on every level: physical, mental, and emotional.

Do you know that simple meditation provides many benefits? These are:
– Enhance immunity
– Alleviate depression and anxiety
– Boost cognitive function
– Reduce pain
– Control inflammation

Ways to increase metabolism

Ways to increase your metabolism while you lose weight:

– Hydrate with water. At least 8 glasses of water a day.
– Say goodbye to processed foods such as cheeses and ham or turkey meats. These are high in salt and other ingredients. Ask for the quantity you want in the deli.
– Go out and walk outside to give your mind and body a boost. Connect … with your surroundings.
– Move your muscles! Go to the gym and do the machines, free weights or other resistance exercises to keep your body burning calories.
– Perform cardiovascular exercise in the gym, home or outdoors.
– Drink green to boost your metabolism.
– Occasionally uses spices, like picantitos, in your meals. Spices contain Capsaicin and increase metabolism.
– Eat Calcium. Whether in milk or other products to boost your metabolism.
– Eat the carbohydrates that will stimulate your metabolism like: flour and brown rice.
– Look at the Nutrition Facts of the products.

Chicken Pesto wrap recipe

Chicken pesto wrap recipe:
– Multigrain wrap
– Springmix
– Broccoli sprouts
– Tomato
– Cucumber with Dill weed
– Avocado
– Bell Pepper
– Feta cheese
– Cooked grill chicken
– Pesto
Prepare wrap with all ingredients. If you want a dressing inside, combine mustard with olive oil. Listo!

Powerful ELIXIR for cravings!

Powerful ELIXIR for cravings:
1/2 cup of purified water
1/2 cup of coconut water
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp fruit juice like blueberry or pineapple juice
Juice of half a lime
In a blender, soak the chia seeds in the coconut and purified water for 15 mins. Add the fruit and lime juice and blend. Drink immediately. Voila!

The importance of Magnesium in men and women

Do you know that one of the reasons you are not losing belly fat could be due to a shortage of Magnesium in your body? According to the Journal of Nutrition (2013) high Magnesium intake is associated with lower levels of fasting glucose and insulin. So, this means…eat more Magnesium rich foods: leafy vegetables, beans, and nuts.

Nutrition tip: The recommended amount of Magnesium(Mg) in women under 30 is 310mg and over 30 years old- 320mg. Mg reduces fluid retention during menstrual cycle which means, less bloating.

The important numbers in fitness and exercise

Measuring Your Progress: The Important Numbers
A.   Confusing or misleading numbers
1.    Total body weight
Your body weight is composed mainly of the weight of your internal organs, your bones, your muscles and your body fat.  The number that you see on the scale is the sum of the weight of all of those.  When we measure the body composition fitness level, we are mostly measuring the person’s muscle mass and body fat, not the internal organs and bones.  The weight of your internal organs and bones is out of the equation to measure your fitness.  In any case, there is not much you can do about their weight.  Note then that your total body weight includes two components that do not measure your fitness level.  What we want to focus on is the weight of your muscle mass and your body fat.  However, total body weight does not distinguish between muscle mass and body fat.
Let’s say John weighs 170 lbs.  Is he fit?  We don’t know.  First, we don’t know how tall he is.  The weight of the bones is the largest contributor to total body weight.  Therefore, the height is the most important factor to interpret the total body weight.  Gender is also another factor, but we already know that one.
Now, let’s say that John is 5’9”.  Is he fit?  We still don’t know.  John may have a huge beer belly or he may be an athlete with a lot of muscle mass and almost no fat in his body.  But we don’t know from the total body weight and his height.
Now, let’s say John takes some laxatives and diuretics one day.  The next day he weighs five pounds less.  Is he in better shape now?  Definitely not.  He just lost weight due to the effects of the laxatives and the diuretics.  He will gain it all back as soon as he gets back to normal eating without the laxatives and diuretics.  In fact, John may be in worse physical condition now.  Boxers use laxatives and diuretics to fool the scale the day before a fight, with the risk of being in worse condition at the time of their fight.
Therefore, total body weight does not provide us with a great deal of information on the fitness level of a person unless we also know his or her gender, height, and body composition.  Total body weight is not that useful and not the best measurement of the fitness level of a person.

 

2.    BMI
There is a ratio called the Body Mass Index (“BMI”) that is generally used to determine whether someone has a normal body weight.  The BMI is a statistical measure of healthy weight.  There are different statistics for men and for women.  Therefore, it also takes into account gender.  Generally, a person with a BMI of less than 18.5 is considered underweight.  Between 18.5 and 25 is considered to be normal.  From 25 to 30 is considered overweight, and over 30 is considered obese.
However, BMI has a huge limitation: it does not distinguish between lean muscle mass and body fat.  Therefore, people with low levels of body fat and a lot of muscle mass, like athletes, appear as overweight using the BMI.  On the other hand, a person with a lot of belly fat may appear as having a normal BMI.
As an example, the following celebrities are classified as “overweight” using the BMI:
Name
Height
Weight (lbs)
BMI
1
George Clooney
5’11”
211
29
2
Tom Cruise
5’7”
201
31
3
Denzel Washington
6’0”
199
27
4
Will Smith
6’2”
210
27
5
Keanu Reeves
6’1”
223
29
6
Brad Pitt
6’0”
203
28
7
Lebron James
6’8”
240
26
8
Johnny Depp
5’7”
190
27
9
Dwayne Johnson (“The Rock”)
6’5”
275
33
According to the BMI, The Rock is obese and Lebron James is overweight.  That proves that the BMI is not a reliable measure of fitness.
Now let’s take a look at the important numbers.  The following numbers will provide you a better idea of your physical and cardiovascular fitness level.

 

B.   Numbers that provide you with a better measure of your fitness and cardiovascular level

 

1.    Body fat percentage
The body fat percentage is a ratio of the total fat in your body divided by the total weight.  It tells you how much of your body weight is fat.  This is the only measure that provides a direct indication of physical fitness because it measures your body composition excluding the height and total weight factors.  It tells you how much fat you have in your body independent of your gender, height and total body weight.  This is the number you should be looking for to measure your physical fitness level and your progress.
According to the American Council on Exercise,[1]your physical fitness level is classified by your percentage of body fat as follows:
Description
Women
Men
Essential Fat
10-13%
2-5%
Athletes
14-20%
6-13%
Fitness
21-24%
14-17%
Acceptable
25-31%
18-24%
Obesity
>32%
>25%
            There are different methods to measure your body fat percentage, but the most popular and commonly used is the skinfold method.  You can find a body fat calculator and the explanation of the skinfold method in the American Council on Exercise website link on the footnote below.  You can measure your body fat every month to track your progress.

 

2.    Body measurements
Another set of numbers that is useful to determine your physical fitness level and progress are the body measurements.  These include the circumference of your chest, waist, hips, arms and thighs.  Most of us are familiar with the measurement of our waist, and most women are also familiar with the measurement of their hips.  This is what we see every day in the pants size and the dress size.  Physical fitness condition is correlated with the size of the waist and with the ratio of the waist to the hips.  You can take these measurements every week or every month to track your progress.

 

3.    Difference in density of muscle and fat
When we are measuring physical fitness it is important to note that there is a difference in density between muscle mass and body fat.  Density is the ratio of the mass of a substance per unit volume.  It will tell you how much a specific volume of a substance will weigh.
Muscle has a density of 1.06 g/ml, or 0.038 lbs/in3.  Body fat has a density of 0.9 g/ml, or 0.033 lbs/in3.  Therefore, muscle mass is 18% more dense than fat.  That means that a person with a low body fat percentage will weigh more than a person of the same size but with a higher body fat percentage.  It also means that a person with a low body fat percentage will be a smaller size than a person of the same weight but with higher body fat.
This is important to keep in mind, because it means that if you are working on getting fit, you may stay at the same total body weight or even increase it a little bit while you drop your pants size.  This may probably happen at the start of your plan to get into shape.  During the first few weeks exercising, your muscles may start to develop and grow, while you may not lose fat as quickly.  In that case, you may stay at the same weight, or even gain a little extra weight, while at the same time your clothes will start to feel loose.

 

4.    Resting heart rate
The resting heart rate is a good way to measure your level of aerobic or cardiovascular fitness.  When you do aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, like running, swimming, cycling or other kinds of exercises for long periods, you are exercising your heart.  As with any other muscle, the more you exercise your heart, the stronger and more efficient it will get at its job.  Therefore, aerobic exercise will make your heart more efficient.  Your heart will pump the blood your body needs with less beats per minute (“BPM”).  For most people, the resting heart rate will be between 60 and 90 BPM.[2]  Athletic training can lower your resting heart rate by 10 to 20 BPM.[3]
Therefore, before you start your fitness program, measure your resting heart rate to establish your baseline.  After that, measure it periodically to find out the progress of your cardiovascular fitness.
C.   Conclusion
To measure your physical fitness level, take a close look at your body fat percentage and your body measurements.  To measure your aerobic or cardiovascular fitness, take a close look at your resting heart rate.  Don’t get obsessed with your total body weight.  What you read on the scale every day is not the best indicator of your physical or cardiovascular fitness or your progress.  It is another number to look at, but not the most important one.