Love Notes by Jari Love

Plants That Fight Disease

by Jari Love

It all started one day when Elizabeth Millard was feeling tired and worn out from working the farm she cofounded near Minneapolis, MN. She grabbed a couple of leaves of holy basil off a nearby plant and popped them into her mouth. Moments later, she says, she felt surprisingly energized. “That’s when I really started to recognize the potency and medicinal potential of herbs and other plants,” says Millard, who went on to write the book Backyard Pharmacy. “We can grow our own medicine.”

 Brian Hetrich sees firsthand the healing power of plants. His job is to grow many of the fruits and vegetables served at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, FL, which emphasizes food as medicine. “Nature has provided some very powerful tools for boosting your body’s immune system, which is ultimately what keeps you strong and healthy,” says Hetrich, who was trained as a naturopathic doctor. “There’s no better way to harness the healing potential of food than by growing it yourself in your own garden.”

 Fortunately, you don’t need a green thumb to turn seeds or small plants into robust herbs and vegetables. (And worst case, there’s always the farmers’ market!) Here, Hetrich and Millard list their top picks for easy-to-grow plants with documented healing abilities. For best results, eat your produce whole, fresh, ripe, and raw.

Garlic

 Superpowers: It’s antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal, and it reduces inflammation. Studies show garlic can lower the risk of lung cancer, prostate cancer, and osteoarthritis and can destroy certain cancer cells. Preliminary findings suggest that it may also lower high cholesterol and blood pressure in people with hypertension.

 Everyday perk: Eating garlic regularly could help you avoid the common cold, according to a study in the journal American Family Physician. Millard likes to mince fresh garlic, let it sit 15 minutes for the active ingredients to “develop,” and then swallow it like a pill if she feels like she’s getting sick. “It’s not great for personal relationships, but it’s incredibly effective,” she says. “I haven’t had a cold in 10 years.”

 Growing guide: In spring or fall, buy “seed garlic” online or from a local farmer or gardening supply store. (Don’t bother trying to plant bulbs from the supermarket, which have been sprayed so they won’t sprout.) Plant individual cloves, sharper side facing up, about 3 to 4 inches below the soil and about 18 inches apart. If you’re planting in the fall, cover the soil with some type of mulch (straw, hay, leaves, or grass clippings) to keep it warm in winter. When the ropey tendril that is the flowering stalk of the plant grows in spring, snip it off to keep the nutrients going down into the garlic instead of into flowers. Wait 2 weeks; then harvest the bulbs.

Broccoli Sprouts

 Superpowers: With concentrated stores of the compound sulforaphane, broccoli sprouts mobilize the body’s natural cancer-fighting resources, inhibiting tumor growth. Johns Hopkins University researchers call broccoli sprouts—which also deliver a full profile of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals—the single most powerful cancer-fighter around. The sprouts have also been shown to lower blood sugar and cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. (Learn how you can get your blood pressure under control sans pills with Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally.) They’re 10 to 30 times more potent than fully grown broccoli because they’re baby plants in their prime.

Everyday perk: Sulforaphane may reduce symptoms of asthma and other respiratory disorders, according to two separate peer-reviewed studies, because it tamps down oxidative stress and inflammation in the airways.

 Growing guide: At any time of year, place 1/2 cup of broccoli sprout seeds in a mason jar with a sprout lid (or cheese cloth secured with a rubber band). Add 2 cups of room-temperature water and soak for 8 hours. Drain. Rinse again and repeat the process twice a day for 3 days. Your sprouts are sweetest, most tender, and most nutritious when the tails, or the roots, are about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch long. Yields approximately 2 cups in just 72 hours! Sprouts can be dried and stored in the refrigerator in a covered container, where they will keep for up to 5 days.

Mint

Superpowers: Mint may beat back prostate and liver cancer using the compound peryllyl alcohol, along with carotenoids and retinoids, according to two 2012 studies. Another compound, rosmarinic acid, scavenges free radicals and lowers inflammation, reducing seasonal allergy symptoms significantly, according to other findings. Preliminary lab tests suggest that peppermint oil may also boost the effectiveness of medications used for yeast infections.

 Everyday perk: Mint can ease digestion. It works by relaxing the muscular lining of the digestive tract to quiet cramps and gas and reduce abdominal pain—even in people with irritable bowel syndrome, according to a 2010 study. “Mint is a good thing to have when you realize that you shouldn’t have eaten all that food on a stick at the state fair,” Millard says.

 Growing guide: In the spring, buy a starter plant and grow it in a pot (lest it take over the rest of your garden because it’s so invasive). Give it partial sun rather than full sun—plants are always growing and expending energy when exposed to sunlight, so taking it into the shade for some of the day gives it a break. Err on the side of dryness. Herbs hate soggy roots!

Asparagus

 Superpowers: This slender stalk has one of the all-time highest levels of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that removes poisons, including carcinogens and free radicals, from the body. It’s also anti-inflammatory, making it a top fighter of common chronic health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Asparagus is also rich in B vitamins, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.

 Everyday perk: Asparagus could be your hangover helper. Korean researchers have found that its extracts boost levels of enzymes that are key to breaking down alcohol.

 Growing guide: Plant this perennial once and you’ll have stalks for 25 years. In early spring, buy 1-year-old Jersey Knight or Jersey Giant crowns and plant them in an area of your yard that is well drained and gets full sun. Plant asparagus crowns 6 inches down in rich or sandy soil. Place them in 4 rows, 12 inches apart. Cover them with 3 inches of soil. After 2 weeks, add more soil so it’s slightly mounded above ground level. Cover with plenty of mulch to keep out weeds, and water regularly (at least once every 3 days if it’s not raining). Hetrich suggests not harvesting any spears in the first 2 years so that all the plant’s energy can be used for establishing deep roots. When you do harvest it, use a sharp knife to cut the spears at ground level. Make the most of your bounty with these 8 delicious asparagus recipes.

Basil

 Superpowers: Antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, not to mention beta-carotene and magnesium, give basil a key role in protecting cells against a host of diseases, including heart disease, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Everyday perk: It may help soothe headaches. A component of basil called eugenol has been shown to work in the same way as over-the-counter remedies such as aspirin and ibuprofen to block the activity of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX). Millard recommends chewing on basil leaves to dull headache pain.

Growing guide: There are more than 60 varieties, but Millard prefers Sweet Italian, Luscious, Thai basil (which has a licorice taste), and purple basil (because it’s pretty). Buy a starter plant in the spring and transplant it outside immediately, using standard outdoor gardening soil—make sure it’s not too compacted. Water the soil instead of the leaves, because they can be susceptible to disease. Expect your basil to grow to about 5 inches tall, depending on the variety.

Red Cabbage Microgreens

Superpowers: USDA researchers in 2012 found that red cabbage microgreens—the super-baby version of red cabbage, less than 2 weeks old—have a sixfold higher vitamin C concentration and 69 times the vitamin K of the mature vegetable. Vitamin C is a superstar antioxidant, fighting inflammation and guarding against cell damage to help prevent chronic conditions, including heart disease. It’s also a key ingredient in collagen, strengthening muscles, skin, bones, and other connective tissues. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting and bone building, keeping osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and cancer at bay, according to another 2012 study.

Everyday perk: Help prevent colds and flu. Vitamin C boosts the immune system by stimulating production of white blood cells—the body’s first line of defense against bacteria and infections.

Growing guide: Start with red cabbage seeds—or special microgreen seeds. Fill a seeding tray (or even a baking dish) with about 2 inches of organic potting soil or seed-starting medium. Sprinkle the seeds around and add a light layer of soil on top. Water thoroughly just this one time; then set the tray on a sunny windowsill and use a spray bottle to mist with water a few times a day. In a little over a week, you should have a lush mini field of microgreens. Harvest at the 10-day mark, when greens are about 2 inches high.

Chamomile

Superpowers: This antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial herb is one of the most well documented medicinal plants in the world, according to the National Institutes of Health. Preliminary findings suggest that it may deactivate cancer cells, but proven benefits include speeding wound healing (especially burns), preventing and treating colds, protecting against bacterial infections, calming muscle spasms (great for menstrual cramps), easing stomach upset, and promoting sleep.

Everyday perk: Chamomile tea is the ultimate chill-out tonic, soothing frayed nerves. German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may relieve anxiety and even reduce symptoms of mild depression, according to a 2012 study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Growing guide: Buy a packet of seeds and plant them inside initially because the roots like to be warm. (Or invest in a germination heat mat, about $20 at gardening shops.) After 6 to 8 weeks, transplant chamomile to a sunny spot outside with good airflow. Water it about once a week, or when it looks dry. (Chamomile is happiest when somewhat neglected.) In a couple of months, harvest the little yellow-and-white daisylike flowers. Dry them on a screen or a rack. Crumble the flowers and place them directly in a tea ball. Add boiling water, steep, and enjoy!

h/t prevention.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

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Stupid fitness questions you’re too afraid to ask

by Jari Love

We all have fitness questions, especially with all the information there is out there on the internet. But who do you ask? How do you know what is the right answer? You need to find a reliable source that will provide you the answers to the fitness questions you have, and stick with that trusted person. Let me be that trusted person, since I have over 20 years experience in the industry and have worked with scientists to find out the best ways to lose weight. So here you go…

 The Debrief: Real exercise advice. No BS!  Now on to stupid fitness questions… WHY ARE YOU NOT DOING THIS?

 As a female working in the magazine industry, I know this generally isn’t what people want to hear, let alone pay to hear. It’s a sign of the times that we want get rich quick, get famous without working hard, look-like-JLO-in-a-week type spiel. He’s always loved me for who I am and whilst he wants to share his knowledge for my well being, has never pressured me to look/feel a certain way as you’d maybe think, or have experienced super fit people do. 

But I realized that women need real advice, from someone who isn’t trying to sell them something. So, I asked him for genuine advice, because a lot of people (me included) just don’t know what to believe after reading countless diet stories in trashy magazines. 

I would love to say there’s going to be an easy revelation ladies… but I wouldn’t hold your breath. The truth? We ladies can handle the truth… or can’t we?

‘Help! I've never exercised 'seriously' before, where do I start?’

 The important thing to remember here is that you can only start from where you’re at! 

As a complete beginner the best thing to start with is the basics. For the average person with fairly typical fitness goals, more often than not the most effective routine is going to come down to a mixture of compound resistance exercises (squats, lunges, presses, rows etc) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT, short). 

To get there it’s a case of building up your aerobic fitness (whether from jogging, cycling, CrossTraining etc, I’d be lying if I said it mattered which) and learning the compound movements (remember doing movement properly and safely comes first! If you can’t squat low and your lunges make you look like Bambi on ice then there’s no point adding weight yet!) 

To a point the details don’t matter, it’s much more important that you start with realistic expectations (if you’ve had 3 years of takeaways and beer then you’re not going to transform in a matter of weeks), consistency and dedication. If you can’t bring those things then you need to ask whether or not you genuinely want it. 

That magazine told me I could drop 5 pounds in 5 days, sorted, right?

Remember that ‘weight’ applies to everything, not just fat. You’re not going to lose 5lb of actual fat tissue in 5 days. What you will do by crash dieting for 5 days is lose a ton of water and deplete the glycogen from your body (carbohydrate which is mostly stored in your muscle cells). Being dehydrated and glycogen depleted is not the same as burning fat! I can tell you from first-hand experience after I ‘lost’ 12lbs of sweat and glycogen after doing a 24 hour boxing circuit for charity and then put it back on the next day after eating and drinking again.

 Once your body has depleted water and glycogen, you’ll find the ‘weight’ loss stops. There’s no magic workout, magic diet or quick fix… just patience, hard work and CONSISTENCY is key. 

How many times have you seen a ‘D-list Celeb’ on the front cover of a magazine telling you how she’s lost 2 stone in a month, only to see her in the same magazine a couple of months later and 3 stone heavier? 

I can't afford a gym membership, I can't get fit.

You already own the most effective piece of exercise equipment out there and that’s your own body! You can walk, run, jump, press, dip and pull. You need little more than a floor to get fit. Try a 3-4 Tabata Circuits (20 seconds of all-out effort, 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds) of movements like squat jumps, thrusters, skipping or burpees every other day for a month and then try and tell me that you haven’t gotten fitter! 

If you’re against getting tied down to a gym membership then why not shell out as a one off on a few bits and pieces for the house? Some dumbbells and an aerobic bench won’t set you back much and jogging is free. More and more budget gyms are opening up everywhere for little more than a tenner a month and I’m sure if you really looked you’d be able to save £2.50 a week somehow. 

I want a butt like Kim Kardashian!

Go back in time and pick different parents. Or failing that get implants (as it is alleged she has.) 

I’m half-joking here, but you have to be realistic. Everybody can improve and build upon what they’ve got, but we’re all born with a particular body shape. I’m built more like a swimmer, I can get leaner, I can build my muscles to look a certain way, but no amount of training, food or *ahem* ‘supplements’ is going to make me the size of a World’s Strongest Man competitor, nor could I starve myself enough to get into a pair skinny jeans without ripping them when I sat down. There is no ‘right’ body type, everyone is valid. 

How do you feel about ‘cheat days’ is it the best way to stick to a diet, or do I have to always deprive myself of stuff?

If it works for you then it works for you! Some people can be strict 100% of the time, but anything too restrictive probably won’t work in the long run for most people. 

Just make sure that you don’t confuse cheating with binging. 

Ok, what's the secret?

There isn’t one. In an online and instant age were we’re used to effortlessly getting everything when and where we want it, is it any surprise that telling people they need to be patient, dedicated and hard working to get even close to what they want is a something that even Jordan ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ Belfort couldn’t sell? 

The reality is that anybody promising you something easy or something quick is simply trying to flog you something. 

If I was to do one thing to get fitter, what would it be?

Something that you enjoy, I can program something scientifically to stimulate the adaptations your body needs to make to meet your goals, but if you hate it then you’re not going to do it consistently or for very long. 

Try stuff; cycle, swim, run, play tennis, dance, box… it doesn’t matter. Anything done with consistency and enthusiasm will serve you better in the long run than something you do infrequently and halfheartedly. 

I get bored in the gym and don’t like any sport, what can I do?

You’re either going to have to want the results badly enough that you can produce the discipline to overcome that or you’re going to have to try harder to find something that you like. Maybe you need to change your gym routine more often? Have you tried group fitness classes? Training with a friend can make things enjoyable and makes you feel accountable when you don’t show up. 

Sometimes you might just need to force yourself for a while, write a note and stick it in front of your bed ‘I will exercise 3-4 times a week for a month’, keep it up and eventually this forced routine will become just another habit. 

I don’t have time to train/go to the gym but want to get fit?

The best thing you can look to do is to boost your metabolism so that your body is burning more calories even at rest. It makes sense that although you can spend an hour or two in the gym, you’re always going to use more calories in the 23 hours that you have away from the gym, so use that time well! 

If you really don’t have 2 hours a week then start looking at ways you can keep active, clichés like taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the shops etc, it all counts for something. 

I am naturally slim and happy with my weight, why should I exercise, I feel fine!

Exercise can have benefits other than weight and body composition control, everything from balancing your hormones, fighting stress and depression, lowering your risk of osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease (to list just a few illnesses) and there’s also a great social side to it. Above all exercise can just be an enjoyable and cathartic activity, challenging yourself to set and meet goals can be immensely fulfilling. 

But if your health and appearance aren’t something you care about and you simply don’t enjoy exercising then nobody is going to force you to! 

Do I need protein shakes? I’m confused? I don’t want to get big Madonna arms?

Whilst protein shakes definitely won’t give you ‘big Madonna arms’, they’re also not something that you need, per say. Protein supplements are there to supplement (the clue is in the name!) your diet, if you either don’t get enough of a nutrient or your body requires more of it due to being physically active etc then supplements have their uses but most, if not all, nutrition should come from food. 

It’s key to understand that protein doesn’t make you ‘big’, testosterone, a lot of calories and genetics will (and if you weren’t built like a female Olympic shotputter in school then it’s probably not going to suddenly happen now). The great thing about protein is that it isn’t very high in calories and also takes more calories to digest and metabolize than carbohydrates do. And unless you’re using testosterone and HGH like half of the woman over 40 in Hollywood do, you probably won’t get arms like Madonna anytime soon.

Via thedebrief.co.uk

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

The Fight for Food

by Jari Love

Toned, flat abs are what you desire but why hasn’t it appeared yet? Foods, eating habits and other issues can lead to your belly to be bloated and not achieving the results you deserve.

First things first, I am not critiquing you on having a health binge! But, that handful (or two…okay, three) of trail mix each day could be a real saboteur. Dried fruit is good, nuts are great, but combined into a tempting treat they pack serious calories. A single cup of typical "gorp" or trail mix can have 500 calories and more than 15 grams of fat. Granola bars, whole grain muffins, smoothies...these can all be part of your weight problems.

Surprise, surprise, you could also not be consuming enough carbohydrates. Glycogen and water are stored in the muscles of the body and when you allow it decrease, the body triggers a stronger sense of hunger in order to get you to restore it. Such as, not have enough carbs during the day and delaying the time you refuel yourself. This can easily allow you to gain weight.

Are you filling yourself up with a fibre frenzy? Trying to improve your diet by adding in all the extra fibre to shed the extra weight? You could be adding too much fibre too fat for your digestive track to catch up. Slowly take in more fibre, drink more water and get plenty of exercise. The waiting period will only take as little as two to three weeks before you can free up room for full fibre.

Forbidden foods for the body can also be the reason for the unexplained bloating. Your body may not be able to tolerate some of the foods consumed. An issue like celiac disease can cause irritation and an inability for the intestines to absorb nutrients, leading to bloating.

These are things that you might just not realize when you are wondering why you aren't getting the results you want. Don’t give up know that when you work hard and become more educated you’ll understand and know how to change that. Especially when it comes to the habits we can work on getting rid of.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Secret Ingredients Every Vegan Should Have

by Jari Love

When you first start cooking vegan food, you know that beans, veggies, fruits and grains are your best friends.

 But what about those secret ingredients that make everything taste just a little bit better? These are my favorite flavor-packed, workhorse, vegan pantry items that I turn to again and again in my quest to make the best cruelty-free, vegan food possible. 

  1. Dried mushrooms

When you’re craving that umami flavor you used to associate with meat, dried mushrooms are your best friend. You can steep them in hot water and use the liquid as the base of soup broths, add it to pan sauces or use it as the liquid when making couscous or risotto. The rehydrated mushrooms can be chopped and added to any dish in which mushrooms are called for or can be subbed in to take the place of beef in many recipes. Shiitake mushrooms are especially flavorful. 

  1. Ground flaxseed

Baking without eggs can be tricky at first, but ground flaxseed is all you need to make the magical “flax egg.” Add 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed to 3 tablespoons of water. Stir, and let sit for 5 minutes or until gelled. This “flax egg” works in any recipe calling for eggs as a binder, like pancakes and cookies. 

  1. Miso

Some people complain that vegan food is bland, but it doesn’t have to be. The trick is to replace the savory flavors that come from meat with something equally flavorful. Miso, a salty, sweet and slightly funky fermented soy paste, is just the ingredient. You can add a tablespoon to soups just before serving to add a new layer of depth (and give a healthy dose of probiotics to your meal). It makes salad dressings sing, marinades more merry and a glaze that will make mild tofu or eggplant star entrées. There are different types of miso; try white or yellow for a milder flavor or red if you’re feeling bold. 

  1. Cashews

Isa Chandra Moskowitz, vegan culinary superstar and cookbook author, has one rule all vegans should always follow: ABS, as in “always be soaking” cashews. Cashews soaked in water overnight can be blended in minutes into a luscious cream. Use it as the base for vegan jalapeño poppers, sour cream, ice cream — basically anything that calls for a rich and creamy base. 

  1. Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is a great ingredient, and not just for flavor alone. It contains vitamin B12, which vegans usually have to take in supplement form. Luckily nutritional yeast is a vegan source of this important nutrient. Better yet, it has a cheesy flavor that can accent a wide array of dishes. Use it to make vegan mac and cheese, sprinkle it over pasta, add it to casseroles — the options are endless. 

  1. Chickpea flour

You can use tofu to make a breakfast scramble, but what if you’re craving a classic omelet? For that, you can turn to chickpea flour, also known as besan. You create a sort of pancake out of the chickpea flour that is a super-close approximation of a folded omelet. Stuff it with your favorite veggies or vegan cheese, and get ready to break that fast. 

  1. Aquafaba (chickpea brine)

Aquafaba, the water that’s in a can of beans, is all the rage in vegan baking. Strain the beans, then beat the liquid until it forms stiff peaks. You can use the fluffy mixture in any recipe that calls for meringue. 

  1. Vital wheat gluten

Veggies are great, but sometimes you just want something more substantial. Vital wheat gluten is the key. You can use it to make seitan, which you can then marinate and use in everything from vegan French dip sandwiches, vegan “beef” and broccoli and more. You can also use it to make vegan “chicken.” It’s the perfect cruelty-free and cholesterol-free way to sate your cravings for the foods you grew up with. 

  1. Canned, full-fat coconut milk

Coconut milk is a real lifesaver. Not only can it be used for classic vegan Indian and Thai curries, but it’s great for baking too. Use it to make the frosting for your favorite cake, or refrigerate it overnight, skim off the solid cream, and beat it until it can be used as a whipped cream. You can also use canned coconut as a base for vegan ice cream, or add some to make your next smoothie taste more like a shake. 

  1. Nut butter

Nut butter is so versatile. You can schmear some onto apple wedges or celery sticks for a quick snack, spread it over hearty toast and drizzle with agave and sea salt for breakfast, or you can use it as the base for more complex things like almond satay sauce, creamy cashew butter sauce or peanut salad dressing. 

 

via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Obesity Prevention: Screen and Sedentary Time

by Jari Love

In today’s age electronics and screens surround us. T.V, ipads, computers and smartphones are part of our daily lives. But more and more studies are linking the amount of time we spend with these screens and the associated “sit time” with obesity. In a recent article published by Harvard, researchers found that higher amounts of screen and “sit” time negatively impact both Body Mass Index (BMI) and overall health.

There is strong evidence to suggest that cutting back on T.V time can help with weight control in both children and adults.

  1. Early TV habits have long lasting effects. The more TV children watch, the more likely they are to be overweight. This tendency is particularly apparent in children who have T.V’s in their bedrooms. Not only this, but children who watch a lot of television are at a higher risk for obesity well into adulthood and mid-life.
  1. Trials designed to reduce children’s TV use, have found improvements in body mass index (BMI), body fat, and other obesity-related measures.
  1. In The Planet Health trial, for example, students assigned to receive lessons on the benefits of reduced TV time had lower rates of obesity in girls. While another trial found that third- and fourth-graders who received an 18-lesson “TV turnoff” curriculum cut back on TV time and on meals eaten while watching and had a relative decrease in BMI and other measures of body fatness.
  1. There is also evidence that the more television adults watch, the more likely they are to gain weight or become overweight or obese. Related to T.V linked obesity issues is evidence that too much TV watching also increases the risk of weight-related chronic diseases.
  1. The Nurses’ Health Study, as one among many similar studies, followed more than 50,000 middle-age women for six years. A summarized analysis of these studies found that for every two hours two hours spent watching TV, the risk of developing diabetes, developing heart disease, and early death increased by 20, 15, and 13 percent, respectively.
  1. A small pilot study in 36 men and women found that adults who cut their TV viewing time by half, compared to a control group with no limits on TV, burned more calories each day, and had a greater reduction in BMI than the control group.
  1. Screen and TV watching may contribute to obesity and poor health in several ways: by displacing physical activity, promoting poor diets, enabling poor snacking choices and by interfering with sleep.
  1. Many studies show that TV viewing is associated with greater calorie intake or poorer diet quality: food-related TV ads often promote high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and drinks; TV shows and movies frequently feature Branded products which are overwhelmingly for unhealthy foods; TV food ads influence food consumption, shows that feature food ads saw an increase of 45 percent in snack consumption than in shows with non-food advertising
  1. TV food and drink advertising to children ages 2–11 decreased from 2004 to 2008; however, advertising to adolescents (12–17) and adults (18–49) rose substantially in the same period. A recent review of the sugary drink advertising market found that children’s and teens’ exposure to sugary soda ads doubled from 2008 to 2010, with Coca Cola (a CFBAI member) and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (not a member) leading the way.
  1. There are no overarching nutrition standards for what constitutes a “healthy” food or drink—and the future of such standards is a matter of hot political debate. Proposed standards, released in April 2011, have been met by strong resistance from the food and beverage industry and have been stymied by Congress.
  1. Game playing, sitting at work, driving, and obesity—have not been studied as extensively as TV watching. But there is evidence that these other forms of “sit time” can contribute to obesity
  1. There’s evidence that spending too much time sitting—at work or at home—increases the risk of becoming obese, and may also increase the risk of chronic diseases and early death. It is unclear whether sitting itself is the culprit, or whether sitting is just a marker of another unhealthy aspect of lifestyle. It’s also possible that other types of modern sedentary behaviors promote overeating in different ways: Reading or working on the computer, for example, may increase people’s stress and lead to overeating, while listening to music may distract people from noticing whether they are hungry or full.
  1. Overall, there is little doubt that time spent watching TV is an important risk factor for obesity—and a modifiable risk factor. There’s evidence that excessive marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages on television contributes to the TV–obesity link.
  1. Ways to curb exposure to TV and media: limit children’s screen time to no more than two hours per day–The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends no screen time for children under the age of 2; Make children’s bedrooms TV-free and Internet; advocate for stricter regulations on TV/media food and beverage advertising to children.
  1. Staying active helps with weight control, as does limiting sedentary activities—recreational computer time, driving, and the like. Replace “sit time” with “fit time”—walking or biking for part or all of a workday commute, instead of driving, or playing in the park instead of playing video games. Help creating an environments that supports active lifestyles, and be aware of media and advertising’s influence on your food intake and choices.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

How to Eat an Avocado Seed for Weight Loss

by Jari Love

Eating the meat of the avocado and throwing away the pit is a lot like going for a jog but skipping your weight-room session: It’s bound to slow your weight loss results.

 Thanks to its metabolism-boosting oleic-acid content, noshing on the mighty green fruit can help shrink your waist. But eating the meat and the pit may bolster your results. How? The pit is filled with calcium, soluble fiber, magnesium and potassium, four nutrients that have been shown to support total health, fitness recovery, and weight loss. And once you crush the seed with a meat mallet and grind it in the blender, there are tons of tasty ways to eat it. Here are a few of our favorites:

 The easiest way to consume an avocado seed is through a straw. To make a smoothie with the oft-overlooked superfood, combine:

  • two apples
  • a peeled lemon
  • half a banana
  • a half-cup of spinach
  • ginger to taste
  • half a ground avocado seed

and blend until smooth.

 Believe it or not, a grated avocado seed is a perfect ingredient to balance the flavor of spicy mole recipes. Since the pit is quite bitter and has a strong flavor, we suggest using no more than one ground pit per batch.

 Invest in a tea ball infuser and throw a chopped avocado pit inside (a pulverized seed will seep out through the holes). Toss the infuser into a mug and then pour boiling water over it. Since avocado seeds are a bit bitter, you may need to add a bit of sweetener or honey to make your drink more palatable.

 h/t eatthis.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Celery Root Bisque (Dairy Free!)

by Jari Love

Here’s a deliciously creamy (yet dairy-free) way to enjoy your veggies. This wholesome, tasty soup is perfect as a light meal.

Celery Root Bisque 
Servings: 8 

Here’s what you need…  

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • dash of sea salt plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1.5 lb celery root
  • 32oz organic chicken broth
  • 1 (13.66 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, thinly sliced
  • black pepper

 Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot, place the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add the scallions, onion, and dash of salt. Cook for 15 minutes, until tender.
  2. Peel the celery root, then chop into small pieces. Add the celery root pieces, 1/2 cup of water and the remaining 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the pot. Cover and cook until the celery root is tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk then cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. Use a hand blender to puree the soup into a very smooth consistency. Garnish with chives and black pepper. Enjoy! 

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 154 calories, 11g fat, 430mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 4g protein.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Habits to Keep You Fit Forever

by Jari Love

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy. It’s not something you figure out once and forget about it. It requires an immense amount of discipline, adaptability, and patience, spread over years and years of everyday life.

 As you get older, maintaining your level of health and fitness gets trickier. There are injuries — or simple wear and tear — to take into account. As your body chemistry changes, you’ll need to adapt your diet to get the vital vitamins and minerals you need. You’ll even need to adjust your schedule to get enough sleep, which becomes hard if kids are in the picture.

 Simply put, maintaining a level of fitness, over the course of a lifetime, is a monumental task. But you can tackle it — with a set of established habits and routines, as well as resolute willpower. 

To help get you there, we’ve compiled a list of six things you can do today to help you get fit, stay fit, and take your fitness seriously. Things will change with time, so be ready to adapt. But these habits will give you a baseline, and hopefully keep you fit forever. 

  1. A solid sleeping schedule 

It’s really hard to understate the importance of sleep. Sleep is when our body recovers — whether it is from exercise, stress, or something else entirely. Getting a solid amount of sleep every night has been linked to higher productivity, increased ability in the gym, and higher levels of mental activity. In short, sleep is important. 

Do your best to establish a solid sleep schedule. You’ll ideally need between six and eight hours per night, which can be more difficult as family obligations mount, or if you’re spending more time at work or school. But get in the habit of making sleep a priority. Your body will thank you. 

  1. An easy morning routine 

The morning — or whenever you wake up — may be the most important part of your day. That’s why you need to develop a routine, keep it, and use it as a springboard to set you off for another round of victories. 

A morning routine can be simple — shave, shower, eat a healthy breakfast, make your bed, and you’re off. Maybe mix in some meditation. The point is, develop a healthy routine that works for you, and stick to it. It may be the only constant in your life during stressful times, so let it be a comfortable, therapeutic process. 

  1. Drop the sugar 

Sugar is linked to all kinds of negative outcomes. So, your best bet is to kick your sugar habit now, and never look back. Start drinking your coffee black, your tea without any sweetener, and opt for a piece of fruit instead of having a bowl of ice cream or reaching for a Snickers. 

Sugar is addictive; but if you can crush the habit in your early years, you won’t even crave it after a while. And if you can save yourself years of sugar intake by kicking sugar now, you’ll live a longer, healthier life. 

  1. Concentrate your diet 

Many of us struggle to control our diet, but one easy way to do so is to concentrate the things we eat. That is, centralize your diet around a select group of foods, and only occasionally stray from your plan. By all counts, you’ll want to construct a diet that is vegetable-based — not necessarily vegetarian or vegan, but heavy on the greens — and not so dependent on meats, breads, and fats. 

Pick some foods, such as eggs, fish, and vegetables, and build a diet around them. These will be your dietary staples, although you can obviously add some variety to the mix, and adapt as time goes on. By concentrating your diet, you’ll be healthier and more knowledgeable about the caloric and nutritional content you’re consuming. 

  1. Stress relief 

You’re going to need to find a way to decompress, or blow off some steam. Some guys like to go to the shooting range or play pickup basketball or soccer. A great habit to get into is weight lifting or running to relieve stress. Other fantastic, stress-relieving habit to pick up are meditation and yoga. 

Whatever gives you peace of mind for a brief amount of time, you’ll want to adopt it as a ritual. Everyone needs some solace from time to time, so find a way to let your daily frustrations go. Again, this is something that changes with time, so don’t be afraid to strike out of your comfort zone. 

  1. Learn to love exercise 

Finally, you’ll need to exercise. And learn to love it. You may be a runner, lifter, swimmer, or hiker. Regardless, it’s important to develop a love for physical activity, and to make it a mainstay in your life in some form or another. 

Some people make gym trips a centerpiece of their day — no matter what, they make sure they get their workouts in. For some people, it’s a daily run, a weekend hike, or a camping trip. No matter what it is, you’ll want to get “addicted” to some kind of physical activity. 

In the long-run, you’ll set yourself up for success. Just teach yourself to view exercise and the rest of these habits as simple parts of your day; something you enjoy rather than a chore to be completed. 

via cheatsheet.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Workout Excuses You Cannot Use Anymore

by Jari Love

Being in shape and looking great makes our lives as women so much easier and more enjoyable. Working with many moms, young women, and even high school girls, I hear the same excuses over and over about why they can’t work out. 

Guess what? I’m about to blow away five of the biggest excuses we hear. No more excuses! You can do this — immediately. 

  1. I’m too out of shape to go to the gym 

With Clickbank, YouTube, the Internet, DVDs and outdoor yoga, you do not have to go to the gym to get in shape. In fact, you can get into good shape at home! Then, if you so choose, you can join a gym when you feel more comfortable. 

If you’re like me, you’ll work out at home forever — and love it! I exercise at home everyday with a kettle bell, medicine ball and dumbbells. Granted, I have some background knowledge, but with technology, you can follow along with online programs in the comfort of your own home every day. 

I blow everyone away with this fact from my physical therapy days: My oldest patient was 108. She did awesome booty squeezes and leg kicks, and excelled at riding the stationary bike. As we age, our bones become more brittle, and one way we can prevent fracture is exercise. Get started now. Within a few days, you’ll see a difference — you will! 

  1. I don’t have anyone to exercise with me 

When I hear this excuse, I know you’re grasping at straws. Someone in your circle of friends feels just like you do. The difference between your friend and you is that they are afraid to ask around… but I know you are motivated, strong-willed and ready to get healthy. Ask around and see who’d like to join you on your morning walk. You’ll be surprised at how many women will take you up on it! The bonding and exercise together will make your soul so much happier. 

  1. I don’t look good in workout clothes (or I don’t have anything to wear)!

There are so many cute exercise clothes out there, but seriously? Your fashion statement should not be a reason to stay out of shape. All those new yoga pants are adorable and comfortable, and I’m guilty of wearing them every time I get a chance. You do not have to look like a celebrity to start getting in shape. Throw on some old pants, a cozy top and tennis shoes, Google “yoga for beginners” and get moving. You’re exercising in your cozy clothes in your cozy home. Boom. 

  1. I don’t have time 

I hear this one more than all the others, but no one is ever “too busy” for 10 minutes of exercise. It’s not a lack of time, but a lack of planning and prioritizing. Ouch. Yes, that may have stung a little, but I was guilty of that excuse once, also. It doesn’t fly when you realize taking away 10 minutes of your morning show, 10 minutes of your evening show or 10 minutes of gossiping with a neighbor could be spent exercising.

The common myth is you must exercise 60 solid minutes every day or it doesn’t count. That’s simply not true. Any physical activity is better than zero, and popping in 10 minutes here and there throughout the day really adds up. Truly look at your schedule, and see where you can carve out time. Jog while the kiddos practice ball, get up 10 minutes earlier, do lunchtime yoga or go bike riding on the weekends. Finding time is possible with creativity, planning and dedication.

Regardless of your reasons to avoid exercise, there is a way to squeeze in time for yourself. You need exercise, you deserve exercise and you will love yourself once you get into a routine. Try some little changes for at least a month, and before you know it, they will become habit. Love your body, and your body will love you back!

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

When Heavy Weight Lifting Pays Off

by Jari Love

Weight lifting isn’t just for body builders. Everyone can benefit from adding resistance weight training to their exercise regime. 

Here’s why: 

#1: Stronger Bones

No I don’t mean your muscles! While of course your muscles will get stronger by lifting weights, your bones will get stronger too. Since weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation, bones, like muscles become stronger and denser when demands are placed on it. This is great news since it means that weight lifting reduces the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. 

#2: Improved Balance

Strength training strengthens and tones your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. Increased strength and tone aids in better body mechanics resulting in better posture, balance and coordination. Improved balance can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent, which is a crucial benefit especially as you age since elderly people who lose their balance can often wind up with life-altering broken bones. Lifting weights can help you stay mobile and strong throughout your life. 

#3: Improved Brain Function

Strength training helps us grow more muscle and bone cells and helps make the ones we have more powerful and effective. However, it is not just our body cells which receive these benefits. The same signals which increase muscle and bone cells also encourage growth, power and efficiency in our blood vessels and brain cells. Stronger blood vessels coupled with a stronger heart can also improve blood flow to the brain and has the potential to improve memory, slow the onset of dementia and boost overall cognitive performance. 

#4: Prevent Disease

Strength training not only improves the look of your body, but can also help you stay healthier. Studies have shown an overall improvement in your body’s ability to fight inflammation, including inflammation associated with colds and flu, as well as the body’s increased capacity for glucose control good news for those at risk for diabetes. Increased heart strength reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure, while strength training has also been found to ease the pain of osteoarthritis and reduce depression.

 #5. Improved Mood

Lifting weights elevates the number of endorphins (your brain’s natural mood boosters) which makes you feel great, not to mention the self-esteem boost you receive when you look and feel strong.

 #6: Burns More Calories:

Lifting weights does so much for your physique. Strength training is crucial to weight control because increased muscle mass corresponds to an increased metabolic rate. Muscle burns calories even while at rest while stored fat uses very little energy. Strength training can provide up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate, which is enormously helpful for weight loss and long-term weight control.

 #7: You Eat and Sleep Better

Regular weight-lifting can make you more aware of what you put in your body. Better self-awareness makes it easier to say “no” to temptations, while people who lift weights regularly fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often, and sleep longer. Improved overall sleep quality is also key to maintaining weight loss.

 Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

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