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Delicious & Protective: Smoothies

Smoothies

Building blocks to a nourishing smoothie….

By Marti Wolfson

Dr. Geo and I love to make healthy smoothies in the morning because it’s a quick way to get essential nutrients in a glass, sustain your energy, and maintain a healthy body.

Instead of giving you a recipe this week I thought I’d give you the building blocks to what makes a great tasting and nutrient dense smoothie. All you have to do is mix and match from the essential categories and you’ll understand how to put together a well balanced breakfast or mid day snack. Enjoy!

Best to use organic fruits and vegetables. Plus, the Vitamix brand is the best smoothie blender in the market in my opinion (Dr. Geo).

Essential Ingredients

Protein:
1 cup Organic Yogurt (if tolerable)
1 serving protein powder (hemp, pea, or rice protein)
1 cup Organic Kefir (non dairy is available in some stores)

Liquid:
1- 1.5 cup water, coconut water, or non dairy organic milk like almond, coconut, rice, or hemp

Fruit:
1/2-1 banana
1 cup mix of berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
or other fruit in season

Greens:
1 cup spinach, kale or swiss chard

Other add-ins:
1 T. ground flaxseeds
1 T. hemp seeds
1/2 T. organic cacao powder or nibs

Mix and match. Enjoy!

Staying on your Health Program During the Super Bowl

 

About the Super Bowl, you are either excited to watch the game and root for your favorite team, looking forward to watching the halftime show with Justin Timberlake or you couldn’t care less about the whole thing.

Oh yes, the commercials are a big draw too.

Some of you may not even know what the Super Bowl is.

Funny enough, at our office an email was sent out with an attachment of the filled out box pool and good luck wishes to whoever wins – one of the physicians replied to all, “Go Pats!”

Shortly after a nurse asked in an email reply, “Who’s Pat?” and “Did I win.”

LOL!

Regardless the reason, more than one hundred million people around the world watch the Super Bowl. That’s why a 30-second commercial cost about $5 million.

Chances are there will be plenty of food choices for you to eat at the Super Bowl party this weekend. Six-foot long sandwiches, chips and salsa and beer are common in such occasion, right?

During events like the Super Bowl, it’s key to keep your eye on the long-term and short-term prize;

 

  • Maintain discipline with what you eat to lower your risk of disease.

 

  • Don’t overdo it so you can still perform at the highest level on Monday in whatever you do.

 

  • Keep your immune system strong to prevent getting the flu. Chances are someone at your Super Bowl event has it. AHCC, zinc,  vitamin C and vitamin D are the main things I take during flu season. Other things too, but that’s for a different blog post, maybe next week.
[This year’s flu (influenza virus) is stronger than ever. Many Philadelphia Eagles players have it, which is one of the numerous reasons why I think they will lose to the New England Patriots. But I digress]

Now, here’s the deal. I know you want to have a good time without having to think much about ‘eating healthy.’ You just want to live the moment, eat and be merry. I get it.

But let’s be mindful as we have a good time with family and friends.

That’s all I’m suggesting.

Maybe these seven tips will help you do just that.

7 Health Tips to Enjoy the Super Bowl

  1. Don’t lose sight of the primary goal – which is to share good times with family and friends. Talk a little smack and laugh. Food and beer is a small component of that.

 

  1. Have a good breakfast on Super Bowl day. I’m talking high octane foods, for example, a suitable protein breakfast like a veggie omelet (no bread), a power smoothie (tips here). This type of breakfast keeps satiety.

 

  1. Train on Super Bowl Day. Act like you are playing in the super bowl and physically as such. I am half joking here, but if you get yourself in a “bad ass” state of mind, your workout can feel awesome.

 

  1. Eat right before leaving your home or before everyone comes over if your hosting. And eat clean. No junk. This will avoid the danger of starting the party while being hungry. All bets are off if you go in hungry.

 

  1. Be mindful during  the Super Bowl party. It is very easy to overeat and overdrink simply because you are not paying attention.

 

  1. Have a veggie platter with hummus dip if you’re hosting. Or bring such dish to the party if you are not. Don’t eat raw broccoli though; it is hard to digest when it’s not steamed. Also, raw broccoli contain goitrogens which are chemicals bad for your thyroid – did you know that? Carrots and celery are ok to eat raw – easy on the creamy white dip though.

 

  1. Easy on the booze. Overdrinking at night interferes with sleep quality which then makes your Monday a doozy. It’s not worth it.

 

Lastly, I am going for the New England Patriots. I “drank the Tom Brady Kool-aid” after watching his Tom vs. Time documentary. His commitment to his craft and his family is inspiring. Plus, he’s a very old player for football – I have to root for the older guy as I am now part to that club when I train in Krav maga, grapple or play pick up basketball.

Look out for the Amazon commercial (below), it’s hilarious.

Enjoy the game!

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Aging Successfully is a Sport. So Train Like it.

 

How to Eat for Teenage Boys to Get Big Safely

I started lifting weights at thirteen years of age. I remember the Christmas when I got my first weight set. They were vinyl with sand in them, about 110 pounds for the set.

Remember those?

All I did back then, every day, was bicep curls and military presses. EVERYDAY. No legs. Crazy right? I seriously thought that having big arms and chest was the way to attracting more girls, look tough and play better football. That was retarded thinking at it’s best.

This approach was an attempt to get huge. That was the term used back then and still used I hear.

“ I’m gonna get huge!”

The reality is that most teenage boys want to get muscular and they want to learn how to sustain muscle growth. There’s no shortcut for that knowledge. And many take desperate measures to get there including the intake of anabolic steroids.

Quick fact:

Teenage boys can’t build muscle until the age of 14. Their testosterone is way too low, not that different from girls at that age. Training before this stage should focus on body weight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups and less on weight training.

Some kids want to desperately weight lift before 14 years of age. I did. That’s OK. The focus should be on light weight training and to master the form and technique of the movement.

Let me repeat, if you influence your teenage son, and I hope you do, make sure they master form and technique before they increase the weight on their lift. This is crucial to avoid injuries and get the most from their training.

And don’t worry; your teenage son will not stunt his growth by lifting weights. That’s a myth.

How can teenage boys get big safely

The first thing is that you and your child need to understand his body type.

There are three basic human body types:

  1. the endomorph, characterized by a preponderance of body fat, especially around the waist, even with normal eating habits and physical activity.
  2. the mesomorph, marked by a well-developed musculature, often with little effort. This body type is the one we love to hate as guys in this category naturally have broad shoulders and chest.
  3. the ectomorph distinguished being long and lanky with very little fat or muscle. It’s all

By the way, if you know American football, wide receivers are typically ectomorphs, linemen are endomorphs and middle linebackers and running backs are mesomorphs. This can provide an image of what each body type looks like.

Ectomorphs are hard gainers and need to eat A LOT. I am talking about at least six to eight meals a day, including protein shakes, regular meals, and snacks. Some experts think they should get up at 2 o’clock in the morning and have a snack. Crazy. But true.

Nutrition for teenagers to get big

Eating right is the most important part of gaining muscle. You can lift until the cows come home, but eating properly fuels the muscles to grow after training.

Eat good food and leave out the crap. When I was a teenager, I ate everything in site, good and bad, and that was foolish. I always felt sluggish though I was getting bigger. So was my waistline. It wasn’t good.

Protein, or more importantly, the metabolites of protein, amino acids are most essential for muscle growth.

How much protein should a teenage boy eat?

Roughly a teenage boy should eat about one gram (1g) of protein per pound of body weight.

Note: I mistakenly said 20g a day on the Thrive Child Summit. What I meant was that protein coming from egg and whey could only be absorbed at about 20 g at one time to get 1.8g of leucine, an important amino acid for muscle growth. Eating meat would take over 100g to get 1.8 g of leucine. (Reidy & Rasmussen, 2016)

The timing of protein intake can be within 2 hours after weight lifting. Most people think one should have a protein shake immediately after a workout to get as much amino acids and leucine in the muscle. That is not true. After a workout, you have about a 2-hour window where muscle feeds on protein for growth. (Joy et al. 2013)

How about those protein powders in the nutrition stores? Are they worth it?

First of all, kudos to those sport nutrition companies with the big tubs of protein powder for their marketing skills. You feel like your growing just by looking at those labels with enticing names like Carnivor max big steer and Nitro tech whey gold.I feel my muscle growing out of my shirt just by thinking about it now.. 🙂

Again it’s all about the amount of leucine you get from a protein source.

Whey is a good one. Pea protein is also good as 25 g of yield 1.8g of leucine and it’s a good option for vegans or people on a plant-based diet.

A note on Creatine to help teenage boys

Creatine is in many sports supplements and protein powders. It’s also one of the most studied nutrients for athletic performance.

Here’s what you need to know…

Creatine is relatively safe to take and does not cause kidney or liver damage. (Kreider et al. 2003)

A review found creatine to have no effects on the liver or kidney function in over months of supplementation in both young and old population. Still, teenage kids with liver and kidney problems should stay away from creatine just to be safe. (Kim et al. 2011)

Creatine does not stimulate muscle but it can help you get an extra rep or two, say , on a bench press,  or help sprint faster, not longer. In other words, creatine help improves anaerobic movements but does not benefit aerobically. (Bemben & Lamont, 2005)

The safe amount to take is 5g a day. Some athletes take a loading dose of 5g / 4x / day during a loading dose period for one to two weeks and 5g / day maintenance after that.

The Takeaway on How Teenage Boys Should Eat to get Muscles

Teenage boys should eat a lot of fruits and vegetables along with lean meats and fish for muscle growth. Six meals a day may be required. No junk food.

Protein powder’s are safe. Teenage boys trying to get big consume smoothies with protein powders anyway, so might as well direct them in the right direction.  It’s better than the alternative (‘roids). Whey protein is good; this is my favorite whey protein powder as it is one of the cleanest in the market with vanilla extract as a sweetener. It is also made from grass-fed cows.

Pea protein for vegans or vegetarians is also good as it delivers 25g of leucine per serving.

Creatine is safe to consume at about 5 g / day. The loading dose of 5g/ 4x / day for one to two weeks is also safe and moderately effective. Kids with kidney problems should NOT ever do a loading dose of creatine at 5g/ 4x / day.

Ectomorphs have to eat more and work hard to gain size and muscle. But it can be done.

Endomorphs should eat about 4 meals a day as they get big easily , mostly fat if this group of animals are not careful

Mesomorph can eat 4 to 6 meals a day as this group muscles up quickly.

Lastly, the focus of this post is 100% on nutrition to gain muscle. Every situation is different. For example, some people have dairy and whey allergies, so whey protein is not an option for that person.  And this is a blog post not an article in a scientific journal so there might be one or two things missing I’m sure, but not much.

Also, there are no training tips here as this is only on nutrition to get big. Teenage boys can’t grow if they don’t eat right.  I am working on an e-book that will come out soon on training kids to get big without steroids. Stay tuned.

One last thing with regards to training… don’t forget leg days! 🙂

 

Reference:

Reidy, P. and Rasmussen, B. (2016). Role of Ingested Amino Acids and Protein in the Promotion of Resistance Exercise-Induced Muscle Protein Anabolism. Journal of Nutrition, 146(2), pp.155-183.

Joy, J., Lowery, R., Wilson, J., Purpura, M., De Souza, E., Wilson, S., Kalman, D., Dudeck, J. and Jager, R. (2013). The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance. Nutrition Journal, 12(1), p.86.

Kreider, Richard B.; Melton, Charles; Rasmussen, Christopher J.; Greenwood, Michael; Lancaster, Stacy; Cantler, Edward C.; Milnor, Pervis; Almada, Anthony L. (2003). “Long-term creatine supplementation does not significantly affect clinical markers of health in athletes.” Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. 244 (1–2): 95–104.

Kim, Hyo Jeong; Kim, Chang Keun; Carpentier, A.; Poortmans, Jacques R. (1 May 2011). “Studies on the safety of creatine supplementation”. Amino Acids. 40 (5): 1409–1418.

Bemben MG, Lamont HS; Lamont (2005). “Creatine supplementation and exercise performance: recent findings”. Sports Medicine. 35 (2): 107–25.

 

 

Your Parents Were Right All Along: Why You Really Should Eat Your Broccoli

Boy-eating-broccoli

Your Parents Were Right All Along: Why You Really Should Eat Your Broccoli

The Takeaway First

In 2010 researchers discovered that sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli, reduces the risk of prostate cancer. The latest research adds that this broccoli-derived compound actively kills cancer stem cells. This and other research shows us that the powers of leafy, green vegetables extend further than we think.

The Details

According to a leafy greens review (Royston & Tollefsbol, 2015) published a few months ago in the journal Current Pharmacology Reports, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have incredible powers as preventive medicine. Diets high in these vegetables significantly decrease the risk of death from cancer and the risk of developing cancer at all.

This same article explains that eating broccoli is one easy way to create cancer-fighting chemicals in the body. Broccoli turns into glucosinolates, which turn into the sulforaphane. Sulforaphane attacks cancer stem cells and stunts them before they can even begin to metastasize.

On top of all this, eating leafy greens in the same family as broccoli has been found to reduce inflammation (Royston & Tollefsbol, 2015).

The authors of another recent article on sulforaphane (Labsch et al., 2014) recommend a high-sulforaphane diet for cancer-prevention and cancer-suppression.

Related to all this, a brand-new Korean study (Hwang & Lim, 2015) found that broccoli stems and leaves actually have a lot more sulforaphane than the florets (the tiny green buds that bloom from the stalk).

My Take On This

Remember when you were a kid, and the only thing left on your plate after dinner was a dark-green pile of stalky vegetables? If you still avoid these greens, now is the time to stop. Broccoli is one of those powerful, natural preventive medicines that I have come to love in my years of practice. I think of it alongside turmeric, pomegranate, and green tea as a major component to maintaining a cancer-unfriendly body.

And that is why I recommend eating broccoli and all cruciferous vegetables.

These are not exactly groundbreaking studies, but they do confirm the findings of a growing body of research that is uncovering the huge benefits of eating cruciferous vegetables—especially for men like you. In my last post on this topic, I mentioned a study where eating cruciferous vegetables decreased men’s risk of prostate cancer by 32% (Steinbrecher et al. 2009). Even after diagnosis, cruciferous vegetables knocked down another group of men’s risk of prostate cancer progression by 59% (Richman et al., 2011). These are not small numbers!

What You Should Do

OK, so chances are your parents did not know that broccoli had such an ability to decrease your risk of cancer, let alone prostate cancer, and I’m 99.9% sure they didn’t know that broccoli directly targets cancer stem cells by flooding your body with sulforaphane—but you have to admit: they were right.

I know you know what to do, but I’ll say it anyway: eat broccoli. Don’t just eat the thinner stalks and the florets; eat the big, chunky stems and the leaves, too. My juicer friends sometimes tell me they add kale and broccoli leaves to their morning smoothies. Make sure to steam them well, however. Raw broccoli contains chemicals called goitrogens which can cause thyroid problems down the road. Also, broccoli is tough to digest when raw. Skip the raw broccoli from the veggie platter at the next party. The carrots are fine to eat raw—and easy on the creamy dip! (I digress.) Personally, I prefer colorful fruits in my smoothies (pomegranate is powerful and delicious) mixed with leafy greens. I do not like broccoli in my smoothie, but you might. Supplements made out of broccoli extract also seem to help – I recommend them often. For your health and your gustatory pleasure (trust me, it’s a word): try one of my favorite recipes:

Creamy Cruciferous Soup by Marti Wolfson – Culinary Nutrition Educator
  • This luscious emerald soup is surprisingly rich sans the cream which many pureed soups contain. I especially love to make this soup transitioning from winter to spring. The liver reaps great benefit from the broccoli, cabbage and as well as aliums such as onions and garlic. You can swap your favorite greens like spinach, kale or dandelion greens or herbs like parsley, thyme, and rosemary.

    Serves 8

    Ingredients:

    • 1 T. olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 1 tsp. ginger, minced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 4 celery stalks, chopped
    • 3 cups chopped broccoli, florets and stems
    • 1 head, fennel, chopped
    • 2 cups chopped savoy or napa cabbage
    • 6 cups water or stock
    • 1 tsp. sea salt
    • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

     

    Procedure:

    Heat the oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until the onions are translucent. Next, add the ginger, garlic, celery, broccoli, fennel, cabbage and a generous pinch of sea salt and continue to cook another 2 minutes. Add the water or stock, remaining sea salt and pepper.

    Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat, simmering for 20 minutes. Place the soup in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste for salt.

     

References

Hwang, J.-H., & Lim, S.-B. (2015). Antioxidant and Anticancer Activities of Broccoli By-Products from Different Cultivars and Maturity Stages at Harvest. Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, 20(1), 8–14. doi:10.3746/pnf.2015.20.1.8

Labsch, S., Liu, L. I., Bauer, N., Zhang, Y., Aleksandrowicz, E. W. A., Gladkich, J., . . . Herr, I. (2014). Sulforaphane and TRAIL induce a synergistic elimination of advanced prostate cancer stem-like cells. International Journal of Oncology, 44(5), 1470-1480. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2014.2335

Richman EL, Carroll PR, Chan JM.Vegetable and fruit intake after diagnosis and risk of prostate cancer progression. Int J Cancer. 2011 Aug 5.

Royston, K. J., & Tollefsbol, T. O. (2015). The Epigenetic Impact of Cruciferous Vegetables on Cancer Prevention. Curr Pharmacol Rep, 1(1), 46-51. doi: 10.1007/s40495-014-0003-9

Steinbrecher A, Nimptsch K, Husing A, Rohrmann S, Linseisen J. Dietary glucosinolate intake and risk of prostate cancer in the EPIC-Heidelberg cohort study. Int J Cancer 2009; 125: 2179–86.

7 Easy Tips to Stay Healthy During the Super Bowl

7 Easy Tips for a Healthy Super Bowl Party

 SuperBowl

Odds are there will be a lot of crap for you to eat at the Super Bowl party this weekend. Six-foot long sandwiches, chips, salsa, and beer are the usual grub, right? Those are the “manly” things to eat after all, aren’t they? No. They’re not.

Now, here’s the deal. I know you want to have a good time without having to think much about ‘eating healthy.’ You just want to live the moment and enjoy the awesome super commercials, eat and be merry. I get it.

But eating an excessive amount of toxic foods during the Super Bowl is not worth it. It never is. I am not suggesting to be neurotic and fanatical, but only to be aware. You have one life. Live it right.

OK, I will step off my soapbox now and give you seven good tips that I personally will apply this weekend to enjoy the Super Bowl without paying the price.

7 Health Tips to Enjoy the Super Bowl

  1. Don’t lose sight of the main goal, which is to share good times with family and friends. Talk a little smack and laugh. Food and beer is a small component of that.
  1. Have a great breakfast on Super Bowl Sunday. I’m talking high-octane proteins like a veggie omelet (no bread) or a power smoothie (tips here)
  1. Work out on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s what the football players are doing, after all. Act like you are playing in the super bowl and workout as such. I am half joking here, but if you get in the right state of mind your workout can feel awesome.
  1. Eat right before leaving your home or before everyone comes if you’re hosting. Again, eat a top notch meal. No junk! This will prevent the dangerous situation of starting the party in a hungry state. All bets are off if you start on empty.
  1. Be mindful. It is easy to overeat and over-drink when you get caught up in the moment and eat simply without thinking, so think about it!
  1. Have a veggie platter with hummus dip if you’re hosting. Bring one to the party if you are not. Don’t eat raw broccoli though, it is very hard to digest when it is not at least steamed. (Also, raw broccoli contains goitrogens which damages your thyroid – did you know that?) Carrots and celery are OK to eat raw. Easy on that white creamy dip though.
  1. Root for the Seahawks! Actually, I just want to see a good game. But I really like Russel Wilson. For a relatively short quarterback, that level of talent is an aberration. And I like aberrations. Plus, he is a Wisconin Badger, my favorite college football team. (Don’t discount the rest of my advice if you’re rooting for a different team.)

Who are you going for? Or do you not care? Share your thoughts on the comments section below.

Lastly, here is a sneak preview of this years Budweiser’s super bowl commercial.  It’s a bit of a tear jerker so grab your handkerchief.

Be safe.

Delicious & Protective Recipe of the Week: Kale Salad

 

KaleSalad

Created by Marti Wolfson
www.martiwolfson.com

Kale Salad

Kale has been the comeback kids of the vegetable kingdom over the last few years. No longer garnish on catering platters, this king of the cruciferous family is loaded with cancer fighting properties as well as high in calcium, Vitamin A, C and K. Kale is a wonderful vegetable to bring into your weekly  repertoire since it goes well in salads, soups, sautees, and green smoothies. Kale salad is easy to make and lasts in the fridge up to 5 days.

Serves 4-6
Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, de-stem the leaves and chop into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of red pepper
  • 1 oz. grated Parmesan or Drunken Goat cheese (optional)
  • 3-4 T. olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds.

Procedure

Wash the kale and drain.  In separate bowl combine the garlic, lemon, pepper, olive oil salt and pepper, and whisk.  Pour the dressing onto the greens and massage for about 5 minutes. Gently mix in the cheese and tomatoes. Refrigerate a few hours to marinate the greens. When ready to eat garnish with nuts or seeds.

Bon Appétit !