Wednesday, March 25, 2015

5 Minute Breakfast: Muesli

In this day and age we are constantly running out the door when morning rolls around, not even taking enough time to grabs breakfast. We think about our time deadlines more than we think about our health sometimes. That's why this recipe is perfect for busy people. It only takes 10 minutes to make it, and you make it the night before. Then just before you rush out the door you grab some from the fridge and go.
Not only is this a quick recipe, but it is absolutely delicious. It has since been my favorite breakfast meal ever since I first tried muesli. I'm sure it will become one of your favorites as well.

1 cup oats
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup soy milk (or other milk alternatives)
2 Tbsp agave nectar
pinch of salt
1-2 ounces of nuts
1/2 apple, chopped
a bunch grapes, sliced in halves
1 banana, sliced

Add all the ingredients into one bowl and mix well. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge overnight or for a few hours until chill. Serve the next day.

Oats are a great source of nutrition and very healthy. They help to fight against diseases of the digestive system, nervous system, metabolic disorders, and disease of the arteries. It is beneficial for people with diabetes, high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, and high blood pressure to add oats to their daily diet.
They are the most nutrient-rich of any grain. They are a great source of phosphorus, iron, vitamin B1, protein and fiber.
A regular consumption of oats in any form, helps with nervousness, fatigue, mental exhaustion, insomnia, and depression. For stressed out students, adding oats is a brilliant move.

Monday, March 9, 2015

12 minutes to stronger arms

Whether you're a runner or just wanting to get fit, this exercise is for you. Running is a great form of exercise, however it's always a good idea to do more weight lifting for the arms. A couple times a week I will do these arm exercises to help tone and strengthen my arms. It's a quick workout, and all you need is a pair of weights and a chair. 

Strong arms actually benefit your runners because it helps to propel you more. It helps to give that boost of speed and final burst of swiftness as you are approaching the finish line. Strong arms help with balance which helps us to move at a faster pace. Strengthening the shoulders and back are especially beneficial since it helps with posture, which will help to prevent unnecessary injuries.

There are many benefits to strong arms, so give this workout a try. It's only 12 minutes to improve your running, health, life, and the way you look in tank tops. 

Perform 6 different arm exercises for 30 seconds each. Rest one minute, and repeat 2 more times. This will take a total of 12 minutes. 
1st: Basic bicep curl
2nd: Shoulder press
3rd: Tricep press
4th: Back flies
5th: Tricep dip
6th: Chest press
Rest 1 minute. 
Repeat 3 times total

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Calcium in a Plant Based Diet

Calcium in a Vegan Diet
As most of us are aware and have been told over and over, milk is an excellent source of calcium. But is that it? What are the other sources of calcium for those of us who do not drink milk?

Other excellent sources of calcium are green vegetables, legumes, tofu, calcium-fortified fruit juices, almonds, soy milk, and rice milk. By eating these foods would we get the daily amount of calcium we need, or would we need to take supplements as well?

Why is Calcium Important for the Body?
The most abundant mineral in the body is calcium. Most of the calcium is found in our bones and teeth. The other is found in the blood and extracellular fluids, which helps to regulate metabolic functions.

Calcium is what helps keep our bones and teeth nice and strong throughout our lifetime. Consuming too little calcium can lead to loss of bone density, which increases our risk of breaking or fracturing our bones. Too much calcium also has its consequences.

What is the Recommend Dietary Allowance for Calcium?
Since calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, it is important to make sure we are getting enough in our daily diets. For most people over the age of 50, the recommended amount of calcium is 1,200 mg per day. For those under 50 it is recommended to consume 1,000 mg per day.

There is an upper tolerable limit when it comes to calcium. You do not want to exceed greater than 2,500 mg per day, because too much can lead to hypercalciumia. This can lead to calcification in soft tissues, mostly in the kidneys, which can be life-threatening. Constipation may occur in high levels of calcium intake as well.

1-8 years200-260 mg200-260 mg
9-18 years1,300 mg1,300 mg
19-50 years1,000 mg1,000 mg
51+ years1,200 mg1,200 mg
Pregnant or Lactating

1,000 mg per day
1,300 mg per day if 14-18 years

What Enhances Calcium Absorption? 
On average, only 30% of calcium is absorbed in adults, so it is important to make sure we are increasing the opportunity for our bodies absorption of calcium There are certain foods and nutrients that can help absorb calcium in the body. Those include: vitamin D, lactose, protein, sugar and xylitol.

What Inhibits Calcium Absorption?
Some inhibitors of calcium absorption include phosphorus, high levels of salt, zinc, and magnesium. Also unabsorbed fatty acids, and also diets too high in fiber can inhibit calcium absorption. Dietary fiber may case a decrease in calcium absorption when the dietary intake of fiber is greater than 30 grams per day.

Some other factors affecting calcium are sodium, protein and caffeine. These enhance the urinary calcium excretion.

Signs of Calcium Deficiency
If you think that calcium may be lacking in your diet and you're wanting to know how to figure it out, there are certain signs and symptoms of deficiency. Hypocalcemia results in tetany. Tetany is muscle cramping, which occurs mostly in the arms and legs. Deficiencies can lead to osteoporosis, which is the weakening of the bones, which leads to fractures and breaks more easily. Low calcium levels can also lead to high blood pressure when the calcium intake is less than 500 mg per day.

Calcium plays an important role in our bodies, so it's crucial to make sure we are consuming foods rich in calcium. The body is able to absorb calcium much easier when it is found in the foods we eat. The body is less able to absorb the calcium from a supplement. Some people who are lacking in calcium may need to take a supplement. If you are needing calcium supplements, make sure you take it twice a day in the form of 500 mg each. It is most beneficial eating it with other foods that can help to absorb it, such as calcium-fortified orange juice. Just remember, when we eat foods in a natural form, the body is able to use it more properly.

Foods containing Calcium
Calcium (mg)
Blackstrap molasses
2 Tbsp
Collard Greens, cooked
1 cup
Plant milks, calcium fortified
8 ounces
Tofu, processed with calcium sulfate
4 ounces
Orange juice, calcium fortified
8 ounces
Soy yogurt
6 ounces
Turnip greens, cooked
1 cup
1 cup
1 cup
Soybeans, cooked
1 cup
Bok choy, cooked
1 cup
Navy beans, cooked
1 cup
Almond butter
2 Tbsp
Almonds, whole
1/4 cup
Broccoli, cooked
1 cup

Mahan, Escott-Stump, Raymond. 13th edition. Food and the Nutrition Care Process. Pg 92-95, 359. 
Winston J. Craig, PhD, RD. 2nd edition. Nutrition and Wellness. Pages 196, 197.