Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Where will you be this weekend?

If you live close to Rancho Cucamonga, or if you happen to drive by this Saturday or Sunday, stop by Viva La Vegan Grocery Store between 10am-8pm!  They will be celebrating their store expansion and Grand Opening (Re-Opening!) There will be food, there will be drinks and there will be give aways!!

 I will be there with A2O Water Co., We are really excited about sharing our products in Viva La Vegan, we really hope you can pay us a visit and try our Alkaline Ionized Water, you will be soo glad you did! Click here for directions!  We hope to see you there Saturday or Sunday!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Secrets of Running!

What better way to exercise than to run? It's free and it's easy!!...EASY!!??? Yeah Right!!! Although running is supposed to be really "easy", I really struggle with it!  I always start the same way, very motivated and then I begin to run and then I begin to struggle with my breathing and before I know it I get this terrible side pain that makes me want to give up running all together.  I did some research and this side pain is known as a "Side Stitch", apparently it's very common with novice runners.  I've always thought to myself, if only I didn't get this terrible pain, I might actually be able to complete my run!  Well, I guess there are ways to not get the "side stitch" and now I am motivated to give running a chance once more!

After my reading from several sources I have found that they all conclude on simple steps to avoid these side stiches.  Here's what we need to do:

  • Let's stretch before we begin to run. We can stretch our sides by reaching up to the sky and holding, repeating on both sides.
  • Let's not just jump into running, lets begin by walking briskly, switching to a power walk and finally running.
  • Let's BREATHE the right way!! Personally I had been doing this the wrong way every time in the past and it's the most important part of our run, if we are not breathing the right way we are destined to end our run frustrated! The right way to breathe is through our belly, not our chest.  We need to fill our belly with air instead of our chest, so when we run our belly should be expanding and deflating instead of our chest!  Also, the "breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth" is a huge mistake I was making! We need to breathe in and out through our mouth and our nose, it's easier to use our belly to breathe when we breathe in through our mouth.
  • Let's check our form! We have to stand up straight and not slouch, I do this a lot too!! If we are leaning forward when we run, we need to lean back and keep our back straight, however for some runners it does help to lean forward a little bit, it's just a matter of experimenting.
  • Let's take sips of water rather than gulping down our water before or throughout our run.  We need to drink the most water once we are done with our run, but throughout it is best to take small sips to avoid dehydration.
  • If the side stitch does occur during our run, DON'T GIVE UP!!! We can do this!! A way to ease the pain is by slowing down, or walking for a bit, putting our hand under our ribcage where we feel the pain and focusing on our breathing.  Once the pain seizes, let's keep on running! Eventually we will strengthen our body and this will not happen anymore, but we have to keep going and be patient with ourselves!!
I really hope this helps all the novice runners out there that are frustrated with running like myself!  I am going to put these steps to the test and I am going to be patient with myself.  I often get discouraged when things don't work out the way I want them to, and when I see no results as immediately as I want them, I get even more discouraged.  But I really have to learn to change this terrible habit, because I will never see a change unless I do!

Good luck my dear readers! I hope you can show that run who's boss this time around!!

See you next time!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hello Summer Time!!!!

I love Summer, but during this time I don't really eat that much... that of course is not a good thing.  During Summer we specially need to stay hydrated and eat.  I think part of the reason why I don't really eat that much during Summer is because  I don't really feel like cooking that much when it's too hot.  The good thing is that during Summer we can make really simple and quick meals that taste delicious, are light, and are very low in calories!  Salads are excellent summer meals!  Don't just stick with Ranch dressing or Blue Cheese... EXPERIMENT!!

 I found this amazing sesame dressing from Feast from the East that I purchased at Costco that tastes superb!! I mix salad greens cut up a yellow mango or a tangerine, purple onion, add crunchy noodles or wontons, add shrimp or tuna and mix it all with a little bit of sesame dressing!! this is super easy to make and it tastes amazing!!  You can also make it with chicken or any other type of meat!

There are of course many other salads out there! We can add nuts and fruits to our salads to give them an extra kick, like walnuts, cashews, pecans, dried cranberries, strawberries, grapes, mango, and citrus fruits! There are so many variations that we can try, we just have to experiment with our ingredients!

To avoid all those extra calories, stay away from dairy based dressings like Ranch, Blue Cheese, Caesar and Thousand Island...yes, I know those are very delicious but they are also very high in calories.  Try Vinaigrettes instead or non-dairy based dressings, you might be surprised with the flavor of these dressings, they really are something else and they're very light! You can also make your own dressings if you are feeling bold.  you can use lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil or vegetable oil to make your own dressings!Try this!!  Blend avocado with olive oil and pumpkin seeds (pepitas), cilantro, lime/lemon juice and add a hint of garlic salt in your food processor or blender for a delicious avocado dressing!!

I hope you all have fun experimenting with salads during Summer, I know I will!

Happy Summer Everyone!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Let's talk about FIBER!!

Sure, most of us have probably heard that fiber is good for us, But what does it do?

Let's begin by learning a little more about fiber itself!  There are two different types of fiber.  Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.  Soluble fiber is more gel-like and can be found in foods like oatmeal, peas, pears, apples, beans and many other foods, this type of fiber helps regulate blood cholesterol and glucose levels.  Insoluble fiber has a rougher texture, this is the stuff that helps all of the nasty buildup in our digestive tract get scraped off so that it exits the body as it should.  Insoluble fiber can be found in nuts, seeds, skins of fruits and vegetables, and whole wheat.  Insoluble fiber ensures that you have soft stools and no constipation!

Although this is a difficult topic to talk about, especially in a blog that talks mostly about food! We should know the reasons why fiber is so good! No body likes to be constipated or irregular.  Also did you know that being constipated or irregular can significantly affect your mood as well?  That's why instead of getting mad at that cranky person that's giving you a hard time, you should instead think to yourself (or out loud) "is this person getting enough fiber in their diet?"  Odds are they're probably not.  But on a serious note, consuming fiber is very very very important for our health! According to Mayo Clinic, fiber not only normalizes bowel movement and maintains bowel health, but it also regulates blood cholesterol, glucose levels and assists in weight loss!!  What else can we ask for?!

With the increased consumption of fast foods and chips, candy, and all of the wonderful tasty "bad for you" foods out there, we really aren't getting too much fiber in our diets.  We've become a nation that shuns vegetables and fruits and instead chooses a bag of chips or a cupcake, and this significantly affects our bodies.  Not only are fats, sugars and sodium an issue but the lack of fiber!  Fiber is essential to help all of the waste in our bodies exit with ease. (AND WATER IS ALSO ESSENTIAL, OF COURSE!!)  Without fiber we are at risk of getting high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, and/or irritable bowel syndrome! Why wait for these to happen when the solution is as simple as eating more fiber?

You don't have to buy that fiber supplement at the vitamin store, all you need is to eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, nuts and seeds!   Just like the saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor a way, which is definitely true, but it will definitely take more than 1 apple to make a significant difference!

Challenge yourself and better your health.  My personal suggestion is to not see these changes as dietary changes, but rather, a lifestyle change!  You are doing this for YOU and it shouldn't be unpleasant.  Have fun and explore with different whole real foods, you might be amazed to find that being healthy is not as difficult as you thought if would be.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Almighty Sweet Potato!!

Sweet potatoes are so delicious! I absolutely love to eat them.  But besides the fact that they taste amazing, did you know sweet potatoes are really good for you?

According to an article by Sweet Potatoes have 9 amazing health benefits!  Let's explore!!

Sweet potatoes have Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Natural sugars that are slowly released into our bloodstream, High amounts of Carotenoids and they are Very Versatile!!

Sounds like sweet potatoes are not only delicious but also very nutritious!  And there are so many ways to eat them too!! We can roast them, grill them, mash them, toast them, fry them, puree them, bake them or steam them! There is no limit for the Almighty sweet potato!!

We should include this wonderful vegetable in our diets, it is a great source of vitamins and it just plain delicious!