Monday, May 24, 2010

Soccer Sunday: Can you feel it?

My co-ed team lost its final game... our unfortunate win-less season is over but I could care less, I enjoyed every minute on the field, I loved playing with my team, despite the heart breaking losses we gave it our all every game and I don't think anyone gave up on encouraging each other to keep trying. Sadly my soccer seasons are over for a few weeks, but I'm not fretting or going into a panicked state of loss and denial clutching my cleats against my chest crying because there are no more games. In fact I think I'll be ok, more than ok actually, because there's a little bubble of excitement returning that's been dormant for four years...

Can you feel it too? That little twinge of anticipation...The feeling of wanting to jump up on your desk and shout "come on already!"...

I've had that feeling for a while...The anxiousness of following the qualifying matches, the fear or relief when the groups are announced, then the waiting, oh the agonizing wait...but all of a sudden there's little glimmers of hope... magazine covers start talking about it... you're friends want to know your predictions... you spend an evening at the bar with beers chatting about it...afternoons reading your magazines...

Are you confused? Can you not guess what I'm talking about?

I'll give you a hint.

It's not eclipse.
(I'm a blasphemer I know)

Just click play and watch the GREATEST commercial EVER! ;) you know you want to...

fdjakeioafneaio earu39a9!*!&*!&!^^~!!!!!!!!!!

*throws fist in the air!*

Are you still breathing?!?!

Maybe you're just watching it on repeat

And it's STILL 17 Days away!

*bangs head against desk*

Do you understand how many levels of awesome that commercial is?!?

Do you feel what I feel right now??

fanboys and girls...Imagine having to wait 4 years for the next favorite LOTR/comicbook/starwars/startrek film... now do you understand my level of excitement? This is bigger than all of that, this is bigger than anything, ever. Period. For one month the entire world is watching, cheering, crying, rejoicing...

Maybe you don't get it, maybe you're not into the beautiful game like I am...but maybe you should just give it a chance. There's no other sport out there as universal and uniting as soccer. All you need is one ball. So tune in it all starts June 11th, 2010!!

p.s. The video didn't feature one of the greatest players in the world...probably because he's not sponsored by Nike... but I will pay homage...

My hero... Lionel Messi

Watch out for him and the Argentina squad! Very eager to see how they do.

(call me crazy twi-fans but I *might* chose him over Robert Pattinson
if given the choice to meet both but I could only pick one--although I'm sure maybe Rob might want to meet him too and we could just go together, so it would all work out in the end ;))

image from Sports Illustrated

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Foods for Fat Loss

So yesterday I went to a seminar on Fat Loss. We learned more about foods for fat loss and charted our weight and measurements and set up a one month goal. The seminar was really helpful for me because I learned more about foods that help aid the body in weight loss and I learned a few motivational things to help me work on reaching that goal.

The nutrition part of the seminar I found the most fascinating... there's SO much I want to learn about nutrition! They went over a list of 10 foods that are very healthy for you and help aid in fat loss... so I'm going to share the list with you! (Note: I include lots of links in these for further reading if you want :))

1. Cold water fish... Salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna etc.
recommended 3 servings a week (from different sources) or supplement with fish oil.
Benefits: Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Raises good to Bad Fat Ratio...for heart health, brain health, joint pain, healthy skin and weight loss

2. Walnuts
High in Omega 3 fatty acids. The average American diet has an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of 15:1. It should be 1:1. Therefore, large amounts of other types of nuts (Omega 6 fats) are not a good thing. For most Americans nuts are not your best choice if you suffer from high blood pressure, excess weight, high cholesterol or diabetes. Omega 6 fats also cause inflammation and are found in a lot of corn based products.

3. Olive Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Coconut Oil (Medium Chain Fatty Acids - MCT)
(TSP Note: remember all things in moderation! coconut oil is used in large quantities in movie theater popcorn which we know packs a lot of calories, BUT small amounts are ok!) Essential Fatty Acids: Overall the best oils for improving heart health, and boosting metabolism. Coconut is quite nutritious (unless your primary source is macaroons). MCT's have many health benefits including raising your body's metabolism and fighting off pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Coconut Oil
Flaxseed Oil
Olive Oil

4. Green Leafy Vegetables/ Dark Vegetables
Leafy veges are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium; and they provide natural digestive enzymes.

5. Berries/ Pomegrantes
A rich source of anti-oxidants to help in reversing damage from free-radicals, high in fiber, phytochemicals, and bioflavonoids - [TSP Note: My new favorite snack is 6 oz of plain non-fat yogurt with 1 cup of healthy berries].

6. Red Wine/ Resveratrol
Good for improving heart health, reducing inflammation. (TSP Note: Well... they say that women should not have more than 1 glass a day... anything beyond that is not considered healthy... lets just say that when I do enjoy my wine I make up for all the days I don't ;))
Resveratrol is found in red wines.

7. Garlic
Aside from keeping vampires away and making Italian food delicious garlic is really healthy for you.. here's some benefits: Anti-microbial; helps reduce cholesterol levels, fight inflammation and enhance immunity, protects from hypertension and osteoporosis. More on garlic!

8. Lean Protein/ eggs
Lean proteins found in chicken breast, turkey breast, beans and eggs provide energy for cells and help in metabolism of fats. A diet with plenty of high-quality protein may promote weight loss by increasing the amount of leucine, an amino acid, in the diet. In turn, this will help a person reduce body fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss. If you're trying to lose weight you should increase your intake of protein. Protein is also important for fueling your work outs and recovery!

9. Quinoa
A super duper whole grain! Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies can’t make on their own.

10. Avocados
High in essential fatty acids and vitamin C and lets face is guacamole with a quirt of lime, some diced tomatoes and red onion is freakin' delish! Read more about avocado health benefits.

11. Red Pepper/Curcumin/ Cinnamon (Spices)
Capsaicin found in peppers may help curb appetite and hinder the storage of fat; curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory; cinnamon helps boost metabolism, and is an aphrodisiac and helps prevent sugar cravings.

Foods to Avoid!
-High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Hydrogenated Oils
-Soy... I know what you're thinking... I thought soy was healthy for me? Well kind of like corn its another mass produced product that's used as filler in a lot of prepackaged foods, but it could also cause food in-tolerances and hormonal issues.
-Fruits should be limited to 2 a day to keep blood sugar levels even.

Another key thing we touched on was accountability. If you have no one to hold yourself accountable to your actions, chances are you won't stick to your goals. They wanted us each to find a motivated accountability partner and also to tell as many people as possible what your goals are whether is weight loss, toning, training for a marathon...what ever that goal may be tell as many people as possible... Why? so they can harass you and keep track of your progress :) Chances are you're going to stick to your goals if you do this because how many of us are going to want to explain to all your friends and family that we failed? Not me! So I'm telling you all...

My goal is to weigh 183lbs by June 17th (6-8lbs of loss).

If I don't reach my goal I'm not allowing any sweets for 30 days.

If I do reach my goal I'm getting a new bathing suit and pool cover up :).

Look at this super cute cover up from anthro!!

Hope it's still in stock/on sale by June 17th!!

I plan on spending many Saturday afternoons (after running) laying in the sun with my kindle by our community pool. I love my kindle, I just got it for my birthday and I've already downloaded all of Jane Austen's books, ...and some new books for summer reading such as Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, On the Road, and Water for Elephants.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Refined Carbs Aren't Good for You! *Shocker!*

I hope you sense the sarcasm in my title. I was skimming through the health section on the New York Times website and I found a link to an article that stated refined carbohydrates may be worse for you than saturated fats!

America Runs on Dunkin' my ass!

The states:
Eat less saturated fat: that has been the take-home message from the U.S. government for the past 30 years. But while Americans have dutifully reduced the percentage of daily calories from saturated fat since 1970, the obesity rate during that time has more than doubled, diabetes has tripled, and heart disease is still the country’s biggest killer. Now a spate of new research, including a meta-analysis of nearly two dozen studies, suggests a reason why: investigators may have picked the wrong culprit. Processed carbohydrates, which many Americans eat today in place of fat, may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease more than fat does—a finding that has serious implications for new dietary guidelines expected this year.
Lets take a look at products that are considered "refined" or "processed" carbohydrates:

Any white bread product, including bagels, english muffins, hamburger or hotdog rolls etc.



Donuts (yes even the little munchkins too!)







Pizza Crust

White Rice

Pie Crust


Any product made with "Enriched Wheat Flour", "Wheat Flour", or "Durum Wheat Flour"...essentially these are not Whole Grain flours. Now after looking at this list a light bulb should go off in your head and you should be thinking "well, duh... I know those foods aren't good for me... they are loaded with sugar and fats."

However, even if you don't eat most of the sweets on that list, you can still be eating poorly if your diet consists of plain white bread or pasta products which can eventually be turned to sugars and fats if not burned off. What happens in the body that turns even something as plain as white bread into sugar? Here's a segment from the book "You are What You Eat" that I posted in my Skinny on Sugar post:

When you eat food, glucose from the digestive breakdown of the food is absorbed into your gut and blood. The body takes what is requires and then produces insulin to lower glucose levels back to normal, converting the excess glucose into a compound called glycogen which is stored by the liver.

On a healthy diet this process works perfectly, but excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, particularly sugary foods, upsets the balance and everything starts to go haywire. Your body has to produce increasing amounts of insulin to break down the sugars. Eventually you become resistant to the insulin, and instead of converting excess glucose into glycogen, it turns into fat. You are then caught in a vicious cycle where the more unstable your blood sugar levels, the more prone you will be to craving sweets and unrefined carbohydrates like bread.

An imbalance of the hormone insulin can often be the root cause of overweight. Too much sugar causes glucose intolerance in the body, and when you are overweight you break down sugar less effectively. It's a Catch-22 situation.

Now, don't freak out and start thinking that ALL carbohydrates are bad for you.

The truth is, the right kind of carbs are quite good for you.

The right kind of Carbs provide energy, help keep you fuller longer and are loaded with Vitamin B and other essential nutrients! So what are those "right kind of carbs"?

They're whole grains...YUM!!! :)

You need to look on your food label to find out if a product contains whole gains, sometimes an advertisement on the front of the package can be misleading...(and the product often only contains a small percentage of whole grain flours instead of being 100% of the good stuff)

Here's some info from the Whole Grains Council on what to look for on your nutrition labels!

YES-- If your label says any of these names the product contains all parts of the grain, so you're getting all the nutrients of the whole grain.

* whole grain [name of grain]
* whole wheat
* whole [other grain]
* stoneground whole [grain]
* brown rice
* oats, oatmeal (including old-fashioned oatmeal, instant oatmeal)
* wheatberries

MAYBE -- These words are accurate descriptions of the package contents, but because some parts of the grain MAY be missing, you are likely missing the benefits of whole grains.

* wheat flour
* semolina
* durum wheat
* organic flour
* multigrain (may describe several whole grains or several refined grains, or a mix of both)

NO -- These words never describe whole grains.

* enriched flour
* degerminated (on corn meal)
* bran
* wheat germ

Note that words like "wheat," "durum," and "multigrain" can (and do) appear on good whole grain foods, too. None of these words alone guarantees whether a product is whole grain or refined grain, so look for the word "whole" and follow the other advice here.

But don't just limit yourself to wheat products there's an entire world of whole grains out there that you should try!!

Rice (Oryza sativa)
(image from fat free vegan kitchen blog... check out the recipe for that dish!!)

White rice is refined, with the germ and bran removed. Whole-grain rice is usually brown – but, unknown to many, can also be black, purple, red or any of a variety of exotic hues. Around the world, rice thrives in warm, humid climates; almost all of the U.S. rice crop is grown in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

Converted rice is parboiled before refining, a process which drives some of the B vitamins into the endosperm so that they are not lost when the bran is removed. As a result, converted rice is healthier than regular white rice, but still is lacking many nutrients found in brown rice. Brown rice is lower in fiber than most other whole grains, but rich in many nutrients.

Health bonus: Rice is one of the most easily-digested grains – one reason rice cereal is often recommended as a baby’s first solid. This makes rice ideal for those on a restricted diet or who are gluten-intolerant.
Wild Rice (Zizania spp.)

Wild rice is not technically rice at all, but the seed of an aquatic grass originally grown by indigenous tribes around the Great Lakes. Today some commercial cultivation takes place in California and the Midwest, but much of the crop is still harvested by Native Americans, largely in Minnesota.

The strong flavor and high price of wild rice mean that it is most often consumed in a blend with other rices or other grains. Wild rice has twice the protein and fiber of brown rice, but less iron and calcium.

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa)(Image from NYTimes <-- click for recipes! I think you'll love this grain it's light and delicious!)
Quinoa (keen-wah) comes to us from the Andes, where it has long been cultivated by the Inca. Botanically a relative of swiss chard and beets rather than a “true” grain, quinoa cooks in about 10-12 minutes, creating a light, fluffy side dish. It can also be incorporated into soups, salads and baked goods. Commercially, quinoa is now appearing in cereal flakes and other processed foods. Though much of our quinoa is still imported from South America, farmers in high-altitude areas near the Rockies are also beginning to cultivate quinoa.

Quinoa is a small, light-colored round grain, similar in appearance to sesame seeds. But quinoa is also available in other colors, including red, purple and black. Most quinoa must be rinsed before cooking, to remove the bitter residue of saponins, a plant-defense that wards off insects. Botanists are now developing saponin-free strains of quinoa, to eliminate this minor annoyance to the enjoyment of quinoa.
Quinoa is the Grain of the Month in March. Learn more about quinoa.

Health bonus: The abundant protein in quinoa is complete protein, which means that it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies can’t make on their own.

Oats (Avena sativa)

Ah oatmeal, remember when mom made you a bowl of piping hot oatmeal on a cold winter day... wasn't it the best!?? Time to rekindle that love!(image from Sherman Heart and Vascular Blog)
Oats have a sweet flavor that makes them a favorite for breakfast cereals. Unique among grains, oats almost never have their bran and germ removed in processing. So if you see oats or oat flour on the label, relax: you're virtually guaranteed to be getting whole grain.

In the U.S., most oats are steamed and flattened to produce "old-fashioned" or regular oats, quick oats, and instant oats. The more oats are flattened and steamed, the quicker they cook – and the softer they become. If you prefer a chewier, nuttier texture, consider steel-cut oats, also sometimes called Irish or Scottish oats. Steel-cut oats consist of the entire oat kernel (similar in look to a grain of rice), sliced once or twice into smaller pieces to help water penetrate and cook the grain. Cooked for about 20 minutes, steel-cut oats create a breakfast porridge that delights many people who didn't realize they love oatmeal!
Oats are the Grain of the Month in January. Click here for more information on oats.
Health bonus: Scientific studies have concluded that like barley, oats contain a special kind of fiber called beta-glucan found to be especially effective in lowering cholesterol. Recent research reports indicate that oats also have a unique antioxidant, avenanthramides, that helps protect blood vessels from the damaging effects of LDL cholesterol.

Bulgur (Triticum ssp.)

(image from fat free vegan kitchen go to their site for the recipe)
When wheat kernels are boiled, dried, cracked, then sorted by size, the result is bulgur. This wheat product is sometimes referred to as “Middle Eastern pasta” for its versatility as a base for all sorts of dishes. Bulgur is most often made from durum wheat, but in fact almost any wheat, hard or soft, red or white, can be made into bulgur.

Because bulgur has been precooked and dried, it needs to be boiled for only about 10 minutes to be ready to eat – about the same time as dry pasta. This makes bulgur an extremely nutritious fast food for quick side dishes, pilafs or salads. Perhaps bulgur’s best-known traditional use is in the minty grain and vegetable salad known as tabbouleh.

Health bonus: Bulgur has more fiber than quinoa, oats, millet, buckwheat or corn. Its quick cooking time and mild flavor make it ideal for those new to whole grain cooking.
Read more about whole grains a to z on the whole grain council website! (The link is also added to my side bar for future use :))

I hope you ladies found this post informative, don't be afraid to introduce a new tasty grain to your dinner table!! Or start out small and switch out that white bread for some whole grain wheat bread... you'll be glad you did! There's so much more flavor (try whole grain bread french toast with the family for breakfast one morning... omg mouthwatering! and so much more filling.)

Soccer Sunday! Finally! We Tied!!

Just a short post today...I just have to say I am SO happy for my co-ed team... we FINALLY FINALLY TIED!!! Our record is 1 tie 6 or 7 losses and no wins... well now we have 2 ties!!! YES! We didn't win but we didn't lose, it was a 0-0 game but who cares, they didn't score against us!!! All of our defenders should be brushing their shoulders off and big props to our center mid who was constantly dropping back or running to the outside to help us out!

There were a few close calls with shots on goal, one guy ran past me when I thought our keeper had the ball and it was like I was watching it all happen in slow motion, ball bounced up off keepers fist, I thought it went out of bounds so I didn't do anything, other teams forward (my mark) starts running towards the ball that was still in play, our keeper is on the ground and me like an idiot was just standing there with a delayed reaction, but fortunately our keeper got up in time to save the ball again... *whew* THAT was a close call!! Another one was from a header from one of our team mates but again the keeper was there to recover...A good keeper is invaluable!

We have 2 games left in the season, our last game is the first round of play offs so if we save all our wins for the play offs ;) then our season will be even longer.

My women's team has it's last game next Saturday... super duper sad face!! BUT Summer session is just around the corner!