This post is a bit more upbeat than the last – no curse words, cranky complaining, cynicism or sarcasm. Writing down your thoughts is, in itself, therapeutic. But when you post it on the web and lots of people read it and give you all kinds of thoughtful feedback, well, that’s free therapy. I’ve learned a lot. THANK YOU!!!
Since it’s impractical for me to drop everything right now and run off to an Ashram to find myself, I had to see how I might be able to conduct the search locally. How do I do this, in my “spare” time? What spare time? How do I find solitude in New York City for some good self-awareness? And when? This has been an ongoing exploration. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I’ve eaten flax before and thought it tasted like the sawdust that covers the floor at the circus. But as it is a superfood, I’m determined to unearth all of its amazing health-giving properties and attempt to talk my palate into trying it again. Because, filled as it is with unique nutritious qualities, flaxseed certainly deserves its superstar status.
Flaxseeds are full of lignans — “up to 800 times the amount as in any tested plant food” — which is a promising cancer fighting agent (especially breast and colon cancer). Flax consumption can help reduce total cholesterol, including the bad kind and triglycerides. Which makes it good news for the heart as well. As flax is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, it can help diabetics reduce their blood sugar levels and ease the painful inflammation associated with arthritis.
In addition to athletes, this program is ideal for anyone who’s struggling to maintain muscle tissue. Those of you who’ve transitioned over to a raw or largely raw diet will benefit from performing these exercises. While I devised the program to help myself become a better endurance athlete, it’s what enabled me to maintain muscle mass throughout my shift to a mostly raw diet about four years ago. It works exceptionally well for creating mobility and fluidity of movement.
A few decades ago, endurance athletes were encouraged to avoid “gym training” for fear that they would develop heavy, bulky muscles. The reasoning was that extra mass without function would inhibit endurance performance. Which makes sense. However, the reason “gym training” was adamantly shunned by the endurance culture was primarily because it was lumped together with the body building culture. Of course, the main reason bodybuilders lift weights is to build bulk. They also weight train for symmetry and definition, but the vast majority of their time spent training is working to get bigger.
In the early eighties, some endurance athletes began supplementing their regular endurance training with weight training in the hopes of improving endurance. The results were mixed. While the athletes generally gained some strength, they also gained weight. Therefore, their strength-to-weight-ratio showed only very modest improvements and not enough to justify the energy expenditure in performing the extra workout. In other cases, strength-to weight-ratio dropped. Why? The problem was that these endurance athletes were doing body-building-style workouts that were designed to grow muscle size with little or no improvement in functional strength. Which resulted in a reduction in the endurance athlete’s most valued attribute: strength-to-weight ratio.
When it was realized that various training principals and techniques could be reworked to make bulk-less strength gains, gym workouts for endurance athletes were revisited.
Eating a raw food diet is still considered alternative. On the fringe. People don’t understand it. What is so hard to understand? Food that naturally grows from the earth, fed by sunlight. No one disputes that fresh fruits and vegetables are full of good things, and that generally, people should be eating more of them. Everyone seems to know now that nuts are good, full of “good” fats. Flax, sesame, hemp and more… most would recognize that these are also good foods. Yet, if I went on a road trip across the U.S., I know that there would be long stretches of driving where I would be hard pressed to find places where I could conveniently find and purchase natural and clean food. I would likely encounter a lot of people who would find my eating preferences unusual and odd. But I wonder, if I eat a raw food diet, does that mean that so many others out there are on a processed food diet? Are there enthusiastic processed foodists? For these people, is there an inspiring magazine called “Get Processed”? Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Angela Stokes knows a lot about weight loss. 160 pounds worth, to be exact — which is amazing, if you ask me. (As Margaret Cho would say, “that’s like getting a divorce.”) Stokes, an award-winning raw food author and lifestyle consultant achieved a seemingly impossible feat by reversing morbid obesity. And along way, she made the dramatic shift from a lonely, angry and defensive overeater to a person who loves life and feels balanced.
Does this sound like someone you know? (No finger pointing, here… just asking.) If so, you might want to check out Angela’s book Raw Emotions. In it, she writes that most weight loss programs fall short by focusing solely on the weight. Angela’s theory is that some overweight people (the ones she refers to as “comfort eaters”) need to examine more than their diet. Because for many, overeating is not just about too much food – it’s a very real lifestyle brought on by deeper issues. Stokes examines what can bring the weight on — and offers tips on how to free yourself from those patterns.
There are a lot of bars out there. Food bars, energy bars, protein bars, nutrition bars, diet bars, fiber bars, raw bars… bars bars bars and more bars!
A quick search on Amazon yields 2,759 different varieties. Think about it: 2,759 different kinds of neatly packaged little edible rectangles. It’s like space food… except on earth. (I think half of them are chocolate peanut flavor, too.)
Obviously not all food bars are created equal. So, what makes a good one?
Since reality TV does such a good job of selecting “winners,” we’ll just call our selection process Dancing with the Bars. Nifty, eh? In this case, the bars are the dancers, and we’re the expert judges. Oh, and just so you know: I’m totally wearing my fuchsia sequined flamenco mini dress with 4” heels and a tiara — not necessary for judging bars, but always a good touch.
The last time I went to a personal trainer, he tried to talk me into buying one of those big medicine balls. He said it was one of the most versatile exercise tools around. All you needed was a wall to balance on / bounce off and you could work on your six-pack, improve core strength and build up your legs.
I didn’t buy one. Instead I bought a treadmill. I wanted something that basically did the work for me. All I had to do was turn it on and walk on it. No bouncing or balancing required.
A lack of energy is a common complaint for many of us. It can hit hard in the afternoon — that no man’s land after lunch and before clocking out, which seems to stretch on forever. We’ve all reached for chocolate or another double espresso to get us through. Fitness experts would suggest exercise to fight flagging energy (but then again, that’s their solution for everything — nutters). But from experience, when you’re feeling tired, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym.
Which brings us back to food. What healthy dietary fixes are out there? Thankfully, that’sfit has complied a list of the five most energizing foods.
Warning: This post is really long, and gets really personal, with lots of curse words, and is all very self-serving. But kind of entertaining, hopefully?
I just finished reading a book – yes, I’ve been reading lately. It was by the British chef Marco Pierre White, “Devil in the Kitchen – Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef”. It’s a good title… because who doesn’t want to read about sex? From a hot chef? And pain and madness? Well yes, that too. It’s inspiring to read about people who know what they want and go through a lot to get it. But pain and madness? Is that what it really takes to achieve greatness? Does everyone have to toil tirelessly, sacrifice health, get hurt, worn down, and knocked down over and over, feel pain, and teeter on the edge of madness? If so… I’m SO on the right track! YAY!
I’m being convinced, however, that maybe I can step away from that edge and still get where I’m going, and probably much faster. After all, I’m supposed to represent the brand – One Lucky Duck and Pure Food and Wine, we’re all about raw food and feeling great. When I first went raw the contrast was amazing. So much of the time I felt like I could do anything – life was a dance party. As I pointed out in Raw Food Real World, it can feel a bit like being on ecstasy – maybe not quite, but still it’s amazing. It’s been four years now – did I get used to it and/or is it stress and pressure that just put a damper on it all? I want the dance party back!
My name is Rory Freedman, and I’m a food addict. There. I’ve said it. Granted, I’m half-kidding. But only half.
A few months ago, I started to feel a little under the weather. And that pretty much never happens to me because I generally take such good care of myself. But I had a few nights that I didn’t get enough sleep, and a couple of days that I didn’t eat well and I smooched a boy I later found out was sick. I’m not blaming him if I was in my usual healthy state, it wouldn’t have mattered. I take full responsibility for having a compromised immune system. (But I do have to say: What kind of an asshole kisses a girl without telling her he’s sick?! Douche bag. Blah, blah, blahI was sick. I didn’t want to take antibiotics; I haven’t taken them in forev. But my body was taking a long time to get well. So I made the decision then and there to do a juice fast. When we eat, our bodies’ energy goes to work on the food, breaking it down and sorting it all out. When we don’t eat, our bodies energy goes to work on us, getting around to all the shit it stored while we were eating. A juice fast would keep me nourished and satisfied, but would allow my body to tackle whatever that dirty boy infected me with.
So I picked a date to start the fast. And then I moved it back. And I set another date. And moved it back. And again and again and again. I always had a good reason: I’m gonna be in a seminar this weekend. I won’t have access to fresh-squeezed juices. I’m gonna have so many leftovers from Thanksgiving. And those are my favorite foods. I have too much food in my fridge. I can’t stand to waste. I came up with so many excuses, that finally my reason was, I’m all better now. I don’t need to fast anymore.
Looking to lose the spare tire that’s sitting uncomfortably in your gut? Or simply wanting to curb a little bit of belly fat? Sure, adding a few crunches to your exercise routine can help – but that’s working mainly on a muscular level, which only helps to a certain extent. A physical trainer I once had likened fat and muscle to a popsicle. The frozen part is your fat and the stick is your muscle. You can build up the stick all you want, but unless you lose some of the frozen part, you’re not going to see it.
So, what’s my suggestion for shedding some frozen? Try adding whole grains to your diet.
New research suggests that filling up on whole grains is not only good for your heart, but good for your gut. A recent study of obese adults revealed that a dietary increase in whole grains helped lower blood levels of C- reactive protein (CRP) and shed more body fat.
>With zero calories and the ultimate in refreshment, there’s no denying that H2O is delicious and essential for human life. However, there are some common misconceptions about water that need addressing. Beloved broadcaster NPR has busted five major myths about water that are sure to set tongues wagging Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos