Pamela Hernandez owns Thrive Personal Fitness in Springfield, MO where she focuses on weight training for weight loss. She writes a blog for her web site, www.thrivepersonalfitness.com, sharing vegetarian recipes from her kitchen, exercise strategies, lifestyle tips and stories from her own journey. You can also follow Pamela on Twitter @ThriveFit or pick up more tips on Facebook, www.facebook.com/thrivepersonalfitness.
In the fitness world whey protein is king. Everyone’s post-workout shake is whey. Everyone’s pre-workout shake is whey. Everyone is cooking and baking with whey. You would think it was the only kind of protein powder out there.
While whey protein is the most popular, it isn’t the only protein powder on the block. In fact, you may be missing the boat if you aren’t including some other protein powders in your nutritional arsenal. Depending on your lifestyle and goals, there may be a better fit for your nutritional plan.
Soy: A non-animal derived protein powder that is also a complete protein. Soy may be a better fit if you’re a vegetarian or avoiding dairy. A 2004 study at the University of Ohio indicated that soy could be better at protecting against oxidative stress than whey, making this easily digestible protein an alternative for your post workout shake.
Hot flashes. Night sweats. Mood swings. With recent studies showing the dangers of hormone replacement therapy, women are looking to natural remedies for relief from symptoms of menopause.
Menopause is a natural, gradual process that ends ovulation. This means no more Aunt Flo visits once a month. The average woman begins menopause around age 51, but this can vary. Procedures like radiation can cause menopause to occur sooner and smokers are also more likely to begin menopause early.
Menopause has officially begun when your periods stop for 12 consecutive months with no other possible explanation. Here are some of the most common herbal supplements used for relief of symptoms during perimenopause, which is the gradual transition to menopause.
High nutrient and whole foods: FOR THE WIN! A recent study was conducted to evaluate the effects of diet on cholesterol. It was observed that people who ate food such as nuts, soy, avocado, olive oil, and oats saw a greater drop in cholesterol than those who maintained a low-fat diet.
A 6-month study was conducted in four different locations in Canada. Two groups of participants were selected and all had elevated cholesterol levels. One group was put on a diet that included foods believed to improve heart health, yet were high in healthy fats. The other group was placed on a diet that emphasized low-fat foods, including whole grains and high-fiber options.
The first group obtained their food list from a US Food and Drug Administration list. This list contained approved suggestions for better heart health. Foods on that list included olive oil, avocado, oatmeal, soy, tofu, beans, lentils, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Many of these foods contain high fat levels. However, they are natural and healthy fats.
Ever since research has come out about soy and its inherent properties that allow it to act like extra estrogen in the body, thereby possibly increasing the risk of breast cancer in women, I’ve been somewhat cautious about adding too much soy in my diet. While I’ve never suffered from breast cancer myself, it does run in my family, so I don’t like to take any chances. I know a lot of women who feel the same way, and I know some breast cancer survivors who are very limited with the amount of soy they consume for these reasons as well. Although the research of late on soy and cancer have been a little back and forth, new research presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011 that was held in early April has found that soy foods do not increase the risk of cancer recurrence or death among breast cancer survivors.
To understand the study, it’s helpful to know why soy foods have been suspect. Soy foods contain large amounts of isoflavones that are known to bind to estrogen receptors and have both estrogen-like and anti-estrogenic effects, according to the study. Scientists have been particularly concerned that the isoflavones in soy could compromise the effect of the breast-cancer-treatment drug Tamoxifen because both the drug and isoflavones bind to estrogen receptors.
February is American Heart Month, but that doesn’t mean you should only worry about having a healthy heart for 28 days out of the year. Heart health is incredibly important; if you take care of your heart, you’ll be less likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke, the most common killer in the USA.
The foods that you eat can have a great impact on your heart’s health. Think of your heart as a high performance sports car: if you put super-premium fuel in, you’ll get better results. Here are nine super-premium foods to keep your ticker in tip-top shape:
Oatmeal Oatmeal is good for your heart because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and folate. The fiber in oatmeal is very beneficial for your heart because it can lower levels of your bad cholesterol (LDL), which can clear up your arteries.
Avocados Like oatmeal, avocados will help lower your LDL cholesterol levels; they will also raise the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. They also make it easier for your body to absorb other nutrients that are good for your heart, such as beta-carotene and lycopene.
With the thousands and thousands of individuals suffering with food allergies, it can be hard to navigate menus or even find a restaurant where you can safely eat. I remember when I first learned that I had to avoid wheat, dairy and eggs. I was convinced I would never eat out again and avoided dinner parties with friends and family, not knowing what I would be able to eat. Many years have passed since that diagnosis and I have learned how to navigate foods to ensure I eat yummy, wholesome foods without feeling like I’m missing out. (more…)
Got milk? What about chocolate soy milk? Or vanilla almond milk?
I love almond milk, and while I’ve been a devotee of Blue Diamond’s unsweetened vanilla almond milk, Whole Foods’ new refrigerated line of soy and almond milks are giving my usual stand-by some stealth competition.
Made from flavorful American-grown organic almonds, the new 365 Organic Everyday Value Almond milk is the first-ever private label organic refrigerated almond milk. (There is also a shelf-stable version, if you prefer.) Naturally free of saturated fat and cholesterol, Whole Foods Market’s Almond milk contains as much calcium and Vitamin D as dairy milk and is an excellent source of Vitamin E. The new line boasts a fresh, rich taste that comes in Original, Vanilla and Unsweetened flavors. (more…)
You can breathe a little easier now… that is, if you start eating soy. Researchers have found that if you consume soy products, such as tofu and soy milk, on a regular basis you can improve your lung function and lower the chances of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Ninety percent of the time, COPD is caused by long-term smoking. The condition is characterized by a progressive decline in lung function which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. (more…)
They are plenty of ways to meet your protein needs, without having to eat meat. The food industry has made leaps and bounds in terms of offering nutritious and delicious vegetarian options for helping you get the protein you need. However, these products are not just for the vegetarian, even you meat lovers can sample these foods and incorporate them into your diet to switch it up and add some spice to your meals!
Soy (soy nuts, edamame, tofu)
- May help reduce calories, saturated fat and cholesterol when substituted for meat.
- Provides your body with isoflavones that have been proven to work wonders on your body and health
- Soy milk, but check that it’s fortified with calcium and B vitamins (more…)
Foods rich in soy protein serve as a good alternative to meat, poultry, and other animal-based products, but did you know that incorporating soy into your diet is great for your health? This would make sense because soy is much leaner and healthier than meats and meat products. Studies have shown soy to be beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels, building and helping with bone integrity, preventing certain cancers, and helping with hot flashes! Now that you know the health benefits of soy, you should be adventurous and branch out and try to add soy in your diet. (Note: It’s recommended to consume 25 grams of soy daily to reap the health benefits.)
Here are a few soy products to consider and try out:
Found in the frozen foods aisle, all you have to do is cook in water, either stove top of microwave, and then lightly salt to taste if needed, and enjoy!
Eat them alone or thrown into salads.
Normally found in the health or organic aisles of the store. (more…)