Two friends train for a marathon. They follow the same training plan and meet for long runs on Saturday mornings, keeping each other accountable to their goals. When the big day arrives one crosses the finish line with a smile on her face and arms raised in triumph. The other hobbles across, much later, ready to collapse in pain.
Our late finisher didn’t get injured. She trained hard but she neglected to pay attention to her fuel and her rest. Rest and recovery are THE difference makers not just in race training but also in fat loss, fitness and overall health. Giving your muscles time to recover and rebuild is key to a healthy and strong body that will carry you wherever you want to go. Getting plenty of quality sleep and including scheduled rest days gives the body time to recharge, repair and be ready for the next workout.
Finding the right calorie balance to meet your training level is just as important as finding the right running shoe. A balanced plate MUST be part of the training and recovery plan. Lean protein, smart carbs, and healthy fats provide fuel to replenish energy stores and rebuild muscle. Eating too little can leave you drained, while eating too much of the wrong things (like over carb-loading or surviving off fast food) can also leave you feeling sluggish.
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A recently aired special on CNN by famous doctor Sanjay Gupta discussed the possibility of using food as medicine. I was intrigued by this idea and thought I would look into the foods and flavor ingredients that have dual purposes mentioned in the special: yogurt and turmeric.
Turmeric is a spice mainly found in Indian and Pakistani dishes often used in making curry with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and possibly anti-cancer properties. Curcumin is a component in turmeric that some studies have found can stop the growth of different kinds of tumors.
It couldn’t hurt to add this spice to some of your cooking, especially if you’re into hot and spicy foods. Some stomachs may not be able to handle turmeric. You’ve probably seen movies spoof people having diarrhea after going to an Indian restaurant- turmeric is spice to blame. Most girls will remember a certain episode of Sex and the City when Miranda goes on a date and udders the phrase “You’re just not that into me” after her dates cuts things short after dining on Indian cuisine.
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By Steven V. Joyal, MD, VP of Medical & Scientific Affairs at Life Extension.
Spices add delicious flavors and tantalizing aromas to food, but many people don’t realize that spices offer a variety of beneficial, potentially lifesaving, health benefits. Consider your spice rack as a kind of natural medicine cabinet, and unleash amazing health benefits while you spice up your life with the following five spices!
Cinnamon: Derived from the bark of the tree bearing the same name, cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity. Clinical studies show beneficial changes in blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes dosed with cinnamon spice from one to three grams daily. Experimental research suggests that cinnamon may reduce the likelihood that cells in the colon undergo cancerous changes. Essential oils of cinnamon have antimicrobial activity, too, and this helps provide a scientific basis for cinnamon’s traditional use as a natural treatment for diarrhea.
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