Thursday, June 30, 2011

10 Thoughts on Whole Living

1. Rather than try to fix your body, focus on how you want it to feel.

2. The mark of true confidence is the ability to look someone in the eye.

3. Let the seasons guide your diet. The Earth grows what you need, when you need it.

4. Respect your feet. They’ve mastered the art of staying grounded while moving forward.

5. Take charge of your own reflection: Stop letting the mirror win.

6. Enlightenment doesn’t always make a grand entrance. It slowly transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.

7. Change happens somewhere between the acceptance of now and the anticipation of what’s to come.

8. Don’t obsess over weight loss. Wellness is about making your life bigger, not smaller.

9. Surprise yourself: Push past your physical limits.

10. Nothing connects you to who you are quite like the people who knew you when.

Check out more tips, information and inspiration for your body and soul on Whole Living Magazine or visit Whole

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Top 8 Reasons to Warm-Up Before a Workout

Warming up before a workout doesn’t require a lot of time or effort, and yet delivers tremendous benefits for your body and your overall workout session.

Try to incorporate at least 5-10 minute overall body warm-up before executing any workout program. It can be as simple as light jogging on the treadmill, or using the elliptical, recumbent bike, or ergometer (rowing machine). Ideally, you want to perform a warm-up that mimics the moves in your workout session.

No equipment? No problem! You can have fun warming up using your own body weight like the example shown in the video above:

- 3 minute light jog (jog on the spot or around the gym or outside)
- 1 minute of toe taps (on a step or on anything that provides a platform higher than ground level)
- 30 seconds of slow push-ups (done on your knees or on your toes)
- 30 seconds of burpees (you can walk or jump when performing burpees)
(If time permits, repeat this sequence another round for a total of 10-minute warm-up)

Important reasons why you should warm-up:

1. Reduce chance of injury
Warming up increases the body temperature, which warms up the muscles, improves the elasticity of the muscles, thus reduces incidence and likelihood of musculoskeletal injuries (getting pulls and strains).

2. Improve performance and endurance
Warmed up muscles ensures that you are able to perform a quality workout session. Your metabolic rate increases as you warm-up, so the blood flow traveling to the muscles increases raising your blood temperature, thus speeding up energy production in the muscles.

3. Promote changes in hormones for energy production
Your body increases its production of various hormones responsible for regulating energy production. During warm-up, this balance of hormones makes more carbohydrates and fatty acids available for energy production.

4. Gain efficient cooling
The heat dissipation mechanisms in our body are activated with a warm-up exercise. This allows you to efficiently cool and avoid getting overheated in the initial stages of your workout routine.

5. Assist in mental preparation
Warm is the best way to mentally prepare for an exercise session. It clears your mind, increases your focus towards the workout session, increases alertness and readiness for training or activity.

6. Improve range of motion
Range of motion around joints is also improved during a warm-up. The joints get lubricated and the range of motion around a joint is increased, helping you move with more ease during exercise.

7. Reduce stress on cardiovascular system
Warming up allows a gradual increase in oxygen requirements and lowers stress on the heart. 

8. Prevents early onset of fatique
Warming up allows the body time to deliver oxygen to working muscles which helps prevent early lactic acid buildup and fatigue that could shorten your workout.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Never stop dropping pebbles in a pond

Our decisions have a rippling effect
For the past few weeks, I've been having dreams of being home in Malaysia spending time with my relatives. I didn't realize how much I miss them until I started having these reoccurring dreams. But…perhaps it's more accurate to say that I’ve been distracting myself so I wouldn't miss them.

Now my subconscious is nudging me to face the truth. So I admit, I’ve been feeling a little off lately. I strive to live a balanced life as best as I know how, and right now, I don't feel balanced. The last time this happened, I got through it and had this to share… a part of me…

Please read and enjoy: Never Stop Dropping Pebbles In A Pond
(This was shared six years ago. So much has changed since, but the lesson and experience remains strong in my heart...)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What's in this 500 calories of healthy yumminess?

Prepped a client's meal for his weight loss program: Rotini pasta in spicy tomato sauce, mixed vegetables and wild salmon. Easy to make, delicious, nutritious and filling. All for only 500 calories. 

1 serving (meal) consists of:
- 3/4 cup of cooked whole grain rotini pasta
- 1 cup of pasta sauce (cooked with diced tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, spinach and cayenne pepper)
- 4 oz baked wild salmon lightly seasoned with ponzu soy sauce, pepper and cajun spice
- Add steamed broccoli on the side for more healthy greens (optional)

Quick Tip: 
Add vegetables to the sauce.
Let it simmer.
Today, there are so many healthy options readily available when it comes to adding flavor to your cooking. Look for low sodium and zero fat. Herbs and spices are the best way to go. Try the Mrs. Dash brand of spices; great variety of choices all sodium free, zero fat, and tasty!

Healthy weight loss is dependent on many factors; one of them being your daily calorie intake.

The very "general" rule for weight loss (based on light physical activity, three meals and two snacks per day) is to keep your meals at approximately 500 calories and snacks at 100 calories. To get a more specific read based on your height, current weight and level of physical activity, use this Calories Per Day Calculator.

For more healthy weight loss meal tips, click here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Health Benefits of Drinking Matcha Green Tea

This was my cheat day so I ate very badly...please do not follow! I try to eat clean most of the time and I cheat roughly twice a week, depending on events I attend. But here's my favorite daily drink—especially after I cheat! Remember: When it comes to meals, it's what you do most of the time that matters, not what you do some of the time ;)

Matcha is renowned for numerous health benefits. It is rich in vitamins and minerals such as A, B-Complex, C, E and K, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll. It is sugar-free (an ideal drink for diabetics), and also helps in reducing LDL (bad cholesterol).

The health benefits of matcha exceed those of other green teas because matcha drinkers ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. One glass of matcha is equivalent to ten glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.

Contains antioxidant, immune-boosting and cancer-fighting properties
Matcha is exponentially higher in antioxidants than blueberries and spinach. It is also
known for its cancer-fighting antioxidant, catechins.

There are many types of antioxidants; not all antioxidants are created equal. However, the class known as catechins, only found in green tea, may be the most potent of all.

And of the catechins, EGCg (epicgallocatechin gallate) is the catechin with the most potent cancer-fighting properties. 60% of the catechin content of matcha tea is EGCg. One gram of matcha contains 105 mg of total catechin content, or roughly 61% EGCg.

Cleanses the body of toxins
Rich in chlorophyll, matcha is also a renowned detoxifying agent. Chlorophyll, the pigment which gives leaves their green color, helps to remove heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.

Because matcha powdered tea is fully ingested when consumed (unlike tea leaves which are infused then discarded), and because matcha is shade grown (a process which increases the chlorophyll content in the leaves), matcha tea is a chlorophyll-rich food. 

Contains mood enhancing amino acids
Theanine improves mood and concentration. Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to relax the mind. For this reason, matcha is also known as a mood enhancer. 

Buddhist monks drank matcha to assist in meditation, as matcha’s amino acids, combined with caffeine, offer a sustained calm alertness over time without the jittery effects of coffee. Amino acids are also what give matcha its distinctive taste. 

Helps with weight loss
Matcha green tea contains three major components that promote fat loss, such as catechins, caffeine and theanine.

These components together can help prevent fat from being stored in the body adipose (fat) cells. As such, matcha can help prevent the accumulation of fat in our body and assist with weight loss efforts.

Important tip when buying matcha green tea powder
Don't be fooled by clever marketing such as, "Now with EGCG!" or the overused, "Contains green tea antioxidants!"

All this makes it sound like anything containing a microscopic amount of low-grade green tea extract is going to give you the kind of health benefits that true high-quality, whole-leaf, shade-grown, matcha green tea can provide. It’s not even close…no contest.

So do your research, look around, ask questions and choose a reliable source before you purchase.