3 Basic Yoga Poses Everyone Can Practice

Daily stretching is essential for your overall health. Everyone, regardless of your age, weight, or fitness level, can benefit from yoga practice.

Here are three simple poses that will help increase circulation, physical, and mental flow.

yoga pose

Stretch!

Legs on the wall

Find a quiet, peaceful room. There can either be carpet or hard floor, but make sure there’s nothing hanging up that you can knock over with your feet. Lie on your back and shift your legs to rest flush alongside the wall. This pose immediately relieves the tension in your feet and lower body. Also take note of the slight hamstring and glute stretch, releasing the muscles in your lower back.

Balance

How often do you find yourself stumbling and falling throughout the day? Hopefully it’s not too much, but our body often falls out of balance without regular maintenance. Did you know that your ability to balance suffers as we age?  As the body ages, once a fall occurs, it can have a downward spiral effect on your health. There is a higher and higher chance you will fall again!

If you can stand straight up on two feet, then you can try to balance. In yoga, the main balancing pose is known as Tree Pose. Stand with your feet two-fists-width apart. Then, start with your foot resting your ankle. If you can stand confidently like this, move your foot up to your calf or thigh. Do not place your foot on your knee- this will cause you to buckle out! Focus on breathing – count three seconds in, three seconds out.  If you have trouble steadying yourself, look straight ahead at the wall and focus on one area straight ahead of your eyes.

Downward Dog

As funny as it sounds, and as uncomfortable as it feels in the beginning, this whole-body poses works to strengthen the shoulders, arms and legs. Additionally, it lengthens out the spine an relieves pain in the entire back. How do you get into it? Start at hands and knee. Your hands should fall directly underneath your wrists and elbows, falling in a straight lines from your shoulders. Then, push up,  launching your hips over your knees and skyward and toes pointing forward.  Only extend the backs of the legs only as far as the hamstrings comfortably allow. To balance, spread your fingers wide and encourage balance in the padding of all of your fingers while gazing at your feet.

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Building the Perfect Breakfast Shake

protein shake

 

A nutritional shake is a great alternative to a big breakfast meal in the morning. Many of us are far too rushed in the morning to spend too much time preparing meals in the kitchen. Some of us skip breakfast altogether because of this rush. Now, skipping the most important meal of the day can have a variety of consequences for an individual’s physical and mental health. Failing to eat breakfast can make you groggy, tired, and fatigued until your next meal. Some studies even suggest that skipping breakfast can directly contribute to obesity within adults. If you don’t have the time to make yourself a proper breakfast in the morning, make yourself a shake instead. Mentioned below are a few tips you can use build yourself a hearty and nutritious breakfast shake before that early morning commute.

Adding the right ingredients to your breakfast shake can bring with it a ton of nutritional value. Adding certain fruits and vegetables can add an extra boost of antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins to keep you energized throughout your day. Make sure to measure your ingredients appropriately though, and make sure your shake is strategically built to help you address a specific need. As a base liquid for your shake, make sure to add water, or coconut or almond milk. Do not add sugary fruit drinks into your shake, as it will add loads of necessary sugars that will undermine the nutritional value of your drink.

Another good base to add to your smoothie is low fat greek yogurt. Not only does it add a much-needed creamy texture to your drink, it also adds a boost of protein to your daily nutritional value. Also unless you’re bulking up, don’t put protein powder into your shake. Instead if you’re looking for another source of nutritional protein into your diet, add flax seeds, or nut butters.

Greens are a necessary component to any nutritional shake, however you should stick to ingredients you know when you’re first starting out. If you’re not accustomed to the texture and taste of juiced greens, Grace Elkus of CookingLight suggests starting with spinach. Eventually, you can add more bitter greens to ensure a healthy blend. Avocados are also a great ingredient to add to any shake. Avocados and Oatmeal are both great sources of healthy calories and fiber. Both ingredients can add just the right amount of heartiness to turn your shake into a true meal. Of course, fruits and berries will add a great deal of vitamins and antioxidants to your body’s daily diet. This nutritional boost will boost your immune system in the more frigid winter months.

Found this post useful? Follow me @JonGloberman for more nutrition news and info. Thanks for reading!

 

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How Can You Get Your Friends and Family to be Healthy?

Family Eating Together

Salad at family dinners is a great way to start.

 

There is no better time than now to live a healthier lifestyle. Because our daily choices are influenced by the people we spend our time with, a healthy lifestyle includes encouraging loved ones to also live healthier.

Think about how hard it can be to get yourself motivated to change your daily habits. It isn’t easy to get others motivated either, but their is a communal spirit in being in the boat that can encourage you to stick to a diet and exercise plan.

The following five tips were originally featured on  the Biostation blog. Jonathan Globerman explains that small changes will help guide you through the challenging task of encouraging health throughout your friends and family. It can be difficult to engage in conversation about change without sounding offensive and inflammatory, so take note of the following tips.

1. Dream big, but start small.
Good habits take time to form; the healthier they are, the harder they are to maintain. This is why crash diets are so popular. After a week or so, we fall back into our old patterns. Encourage loved ones to focus on two or three small goals. Once the positive effects from these milestones are realizes, it will be possible to keep adding on new habits.

2. Avoid making it a point of contention.
Has someone ever told you, “Are you sure you want to eat that?” when you’re about to grab a burger instead of a salad? Saying something fiercely judgemental can come off argumentative and cruel. It becomes a personal attack; you’re now the enemy, not the support that they need. What will also make this dynamic worse is if you consistently nag someone to eat better or exercise. We all know that people are motivated by positive affirmation, not negative criticism.

3. Action is more important than words.
Naturally, this one works for more than just healthy eating.  Seeing someone else succeed by dieting and exercise one of the best ways to motivate others; they see real results and know it’s worth trying it out.  Be a healthy role model!

4. Be a cheerleading squad!
Starting a new health-focused life is terrifying for some people. There will be hungry days, grumpy days, and angry days. It’s your job to stay positive and supportive and be the role model throughout the entire process.

5. If necessary, seek professional help.
No matter how hard we try, we can’t always provide the answers and help our loved ones require. When dealing with problems like eating disorders and obesity, it is a slippery slope. In cases like this, turning to a medical practice like the biostation™ can guide patients toward an individualized path toward wellness.  The results of comprehensive medical tests through the help of a professional give our loved ones the information necessary to help them achieve their goals.

 

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What Is Protein?

Protein is an essential part of everyone’s diet.  Most of us are raised with parents who tell us to eat meat and drink lots of milk, because we’ll grow up big and strong.

But what exactly is a protein?

Protein

Let’s break it down.  The digestive acids in our stomach “break down” (no pun intended) the protein consumed when we eat into  units called amino acids. These are restructured in unique sequences throughout the body to make the proteins necessary to keep you going. Protein is a “macronutrient.” This means the human body needs plenty of it; protein keeps your immune system healthy, repairs tissue, and grows nails and hair.

There are 22 amino acids that scientists agree are essential to human health.  Out of these 22, the human body produces 13 of them without additional intake. We receive the other 9 essential amino acids by ingesting protein-rich foods.

Types of Proteins

Different foods provide different types of protein – such as animal, dairy, and plant.

Here’s a brief list of the proteins provided by various foods:

 

Meat

Meat, fish, and poultry: Collagen and myosin

 

 

Beans

Beans: Proteins and legumins

 

 

EggEggs: ovalbumin and avidin

Animal-derived proteins are considered complete because they contain all of the essential amino acids, while plant-based proteins are missing a few.  Vegetarians can still find the remaining amino acids by eating a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods.

 

Are you getting enough protein?

The amount of protein you should eat depends on age, sex, and exercise levels. Most healthy adults consume enough protein without calculating it, but vegetarians and vegans need to be aware that they eat enough protein.

Don’t be fooled: extra protein doesn’t give you extra strength.

Be aware of sodium levels in packaged meats.  Plus, additional fats will count against healthy eating if you eat too much protein.

 

This article was originally posted on my website, JonathanGloberman.net.  Stay tuned for more.  Thanks!

5 Foods All Nutritionists Eat

“Eat this!” “Eat that!”  You may hear a great deal of different recommendations when it comes to the best thing for you to eat in order to maintain your health. Whether it be advice from doctors, articles in newspapers, or recommendations from friends, it feels like the consensus about the best foods to eat is constantly changing.

Nutritionists advise individuals to make healthy eating choices. As the experts in the field of food, we can look at their pantries and refrigerators for guidance on what are the best foods for us too.

Here are the foods that made nutritionist’s lists:

Eggs

Nutrition Egg

Research doesn’t show enough evidence to link egg consumption to heart disease, despite eggs’ negative reputation due to their cholesterol content. Eggs actually have a quite low calorie count (70 calories per egg) and are loaded with protein, 13 vitamins and minerals, and an anti-inflammatory nutrient called choline.

Cinnamon

Jennifer McDaniel, a registered dietitian nutritionist in St. Louis, claims cinnamon is “one of those powerhouse spices every R.D. tries to work into her diet. Research shows that just half a teaspoon a day can help regulate blood sugar.” Plus, cinnamon can help curb your appetite when your blood sugar drops. Try adding it to your coffee beans!

coffee

Avocados

avocado jonathan globerman

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats. They also are cholesterol-free and high in Vitamin K. Plus, they are easy to eat on the go, especially in salads, sandwiches, and burgers.

Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt (try brands like Fage and Chobani) help keep your immune system strong. It’s high in probiotics, high in protein, and low in sugar.  Plus, you can utilize it in recipes for every meal.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

olive oil jon globerman

Olive oil is pressed from real olives from olive trees, and the best types are extracted using natural methods.  These varieties are standardized for purity and sensory qualities. Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fats as well as antioxidants.  It’s great to sautée vegetables with or use as a salad dressing.

You can find the complete list at Red Book Magazine

This article was originially featured at Jonathan Globerman‘s website.

Count Nutrients, Not Calories

There is a misconception among people striving to eat healthier that foods with less calories are better for you.  This can steer you in the wrong direction.  You can become misguided in your diet, seeking out meals that may leave you cranky and dissatisfied.  This is because many diets require you to count your calories without considering the nutritional value of your food. Many diets promise quick weight-loss solutions through restrictive corner-cutting alternatives such as no-carb diets.

Food is rarely both nutrient-dense and calorie-dense.  Beware of options like the “Cookie-Diet,” which promises to serve all of your daily nutrition through a few servings of delicious cookies.  Consider everything you’re leaving out of your diet when you exchange it with a meal replacement.  The best way to get your nutrition is through fruits, vegetables, grains, in their natural form.

apple

So how can we reduce caloric intake without sacrificing the benefits of healthy intake?  I can provide some basic guidelines.

Vegetables and fruits are great for nutrient-density because they are full of fiber and water, but dieters often shy away from them because of their sugar content. However, these organic sugars have benefits.  Plus, they are high in fiber.  This is necessary for out digestive functioning and gives us only two calories per gram.

However, you can lower your caloric intake by watching how much fat you eat.  Fat has nine calories per gram while carbs and protein have four. This isn’t necessarily the best nutritional decision, because some fats, such as the ones found in nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and olive oil have great health benefits.

Here are some tips to get you thinking in a nutrient-counting mindset, instead of calorie-counting:

  • Eat fruit in between meals or as a component of meals.  For example, eat a banana and fingerful of almonds instead of a handful of almonds.  Or, compliment a salad with apple slices or strawberries.
  • Replaces starches with veggies.  Skip the rice by making a large stir-fry of mostly vegetables and protein (either meat, tofu, or seitan). Also, mushrooms have a meaty flavor and can be used to replace meat in burgers.  You can even purchase a spiralizer and consider making pasta out of your vegetables.
  • Remember – always fill half your plate with vegetables.  Start crafting some savory salad recipes, and soon your meals will be looking green, nutritious, and even low-calorie.

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Control Group in GMO Animal Studies Not Actually Controlled

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Caen in France is slated to be published in the journal, PLOS ONE. This study reveals that most rodent feed that is used for control groups in laboratory studies is actually contaminated with GMO’s, pesticides and toxic metals, even the studies on the safety of GMO’s.

The researchers analyzed 13 separate dried rodent chows produced on five continents and tested for traces of 4 heavy metals, 17 dioxins and furans, 18 PCBs, 22 GMO’s and 262 pesticides. They found that every feed had numerous toxins, toxins at high enough levels to cause diseases. If consumed over a long period of time, all of these diets could be expected to pose a high risk to health. The researchers found that 11 of the 13 diets contained GMO’s engineered to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate), and nine of the diets contained detectable levels of glyphosate.

 

Lack of Control:

These findings immediately call into the question the validity of all diet-based research conducted in rodents, especially that on potentially toxic substances, like GMO’s and PCB’s. If the control diets are actually high in toxic substances, a number of rodents in the control group are then expected to develop serious health problems. This means that the toxic effect of the substance in test would have to be exceptionally high in order to stand out from the control. If a group of animals being fed one potentially toxic substance is compared to a group being fed a cocktail of substances known to be toxic, there is essentially no control group.

With no control group, the results of these studies essentially undermine any time regulators have declared that pesticides or chemical are safe for use. Our level of “normal” at which we believe animals develop health problems is inaccurate. The high rates of “spontaneous” illness found in historic control data are not spontaneous at all.

Read more about the GMO industry here.

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Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is terrific!

Turmeric is a perennial plant native to southwest India. A member of the ginger family, turmeric is cultivated most commonly for it’s rhizomes. The rhizomes are boiled, dried and ground to produce a fine orange-yellow powder. That powder is how most people consume turmeric, especially in America. The spice is commonly used in Indian cuisine, especially in curries. It is high in vitamin C, vitamin B1, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and other vital nutrients and minerals.  Aside from it’s culinary applications, turmeric has many holistic health benefits. Turmeric is used heavily in Siddha medicine — a traditional medicine system related to Hinduism.
Let’s explore a few ways that people use turmeric to improve their lives.

Digestive and Respiratory Problems

Turmeric extract has been used to treat digestive tract problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, for centuries. This long used treatment was proven effective during studies among otherwise healthy results. The turmeric extract improved symptoms. The plant has also been used to treat respiratory issues. The essential oil can relief coughs, reducing wheezing and even treat asthma.

Anti-inflammatory

The most important active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is what creates the earthy, peppery flavor and smell, as well as it’s yellow color. Under clinical settings, curcumin has been observed to reduce post-surgery inflammation. Turmeric has also been recommended by medical professionals to treat sports injuries. The discomfort of back pain, sports injuries or whiplash is caused by inflammation, which turmeric is known to do.

Totally Topical

Another great benefit of turmeric is it’s ability to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, brighten skin, and treat acne. Turmeric can be applied topically to the face and neck as a mask. It’s anti-inflammatory properties are compounded by it’s anti-bacterial and antioxidant qualities.
These are just a few of the ways people use turmeric to improve their health. With so many applications, it’s no surprise that turmeric has been used medicinally for so long.

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Popular Fruits and Vegetables Ranked by Nutritional Value

Jonathan Globerman

Many fruits and vegetables can help prevent chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers. Scientists call these kinds of fruits and vegetables “powerhouse fruits and vegetables,” or PFV’s.

Dietary researcher Jennifer Di Noia, Ph.D., of William Paterson University decided to quantify the nutritional benefits of some of the most popular fruits and vegetables. Of the 47 foods she tested, only 41 were good enough for her to deem them “powerhouse” foods. Her findings were then published in Preventing Chronic Disease, a peer-reviewed journal managed by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

PFV’s have previously been described as green leafy, yellow/orange, citrus, and cruciferous items, so Di Noia decided to look at the densities of key nutrients in these kinds of fruits and vegetables.

The point system she devised is a nutrients-to-calories ratio. Using guidelines provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine, she looked at nutrients considered important to public health, including potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and zinc, as well as vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. Basically, the higher ranking the food, the more nutrients-per-calories it provides.

A few key foods notably not included in the study were raspberries, tangerines, cranberries, garlic, onions, and blueberries. Though most people would expect to see these somewhere on the list, Di Noia explains that they didn’t make the cut because they were not rich enough sources of the nutrients she was looking at. These popular foods get their health benefits from phytochemicals, which she was not measuring for this study.

The goal of this study is to provide a guide for consumers to make sure they are focusing on the most nutrient rich foods possible when shopping. Here is a complete list of the powerhouse fruits and vegetables in the study with their corresponding scores:

Watercress: 100.00

Chinese cabbage: 91.99

Chard: 89.27

Beet green: 87.08

Spinach: 86.43

Chicory: 73.36

Leaf lettuce: 70.73

Parsley: 65.59

Romaine lettuce: 63.48

Collard green: 62.49

Turnip green: 62.12

Mustard green: 61.39

Endive: 60.44

Chive: 54.80

Kale: 49.07

Dandelion green: 46.34

Red pepper: 41.26

Arugula: 37.65

Broccoli: 34.89

Pumpkin: 33.82

Brussels sprout: 32.23

Scallion: 27.35

Kohlrabi: 25.92

Cauliflower: 25.13

Cabbage: 24.51

Carrot: 22.60

Tomato: 20.37

Lemon: 18.72

Iceberg lettuce: 18.28

Strawberry: 17.59

Radish: 16.91

Winter squash (all varieties): 13.89

Orange: 12.91

Lime: 12.23

Grapefruit (pink and red): 11.64

Rutabaga: 11.58

Turnip: 11.43

Blackberry: 11.39

Leek: 10.69

Sweet potato: 10.51

Grapefruit (white): 10.47

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Nourishment from More Than Food

This month I’d like to take a moment to examine a school called Institute for Integrative Nutrition. The school explores over 100 different dietary theories and a huge point of focus is that each individual is an individual. Different methods work for different people and it’s important to examine your own biological and chemical makeup when finding the proper foods for you. The idea is that IIN provides a yearlong health coaching course and at the end the student receives a certificate, in addition to a plethora of information.  To my understanding, the three main sections included in their teachings are: different nutrition and dietary information, the ability to listen to what someone is really saying and identify what they actually need, and then the ability to market themselves as a health coach going forward.

I strongly identify with the idea that each individual has his or her own makeup and it is important to cater to the individual to achieve optimal nutritional health. Another idea they bring up is interesting to me.  This is the idea that nutrition is more than just the food on your plate or the food that enters your body. In order to effectively improve our diets, we have to improve the experiences that feed us on a daily basis and these include interactions with our peers, co-workers or family, exercise experiences, experiences that cause us to challenge ourselves, and then experiences that align with our personal beliefs of our identity.  If we can feel satiated with our relationships, satiated with our cardio and satiated with our spiritual beliefs as well as feeling like we are challenging ourselves and constantly growing, we won’t turn all our energy to food for nourishment.

Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of IIN, recently published a book about this exact topic called “The Power of Primary Food” and I plan to check it out!

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