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Enjoy the Peace of 8 New York Parks

 Often a loud and bustling metropolis, New York City may surprise you with its peaceful corners and serene landscapes. If you like to run, picnic, frolic, cloud-gaze, or just relax and read a good book, Siobhan Wall has done the legwork for you and listed out the top parks in the Big Apple, where you can go and have a few minutes of tranquility.

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Bruce Reynolds Garden

Community Garden

Dias y Flores Community Garden

New York Chinese Scholars Garden

Snug Harbor

Socrates Sculpture Park

Wave Hill

 

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New York is the city that never sleeps, but many visitors to the Big Apple want to enjoy its quiet side – to discover places off the beaten track, to explore enticing small museums or enjoy peaceful gardens. Busy New Yorkers often look for places to relax and recuperate – to find somewhere to have coffee and cake or a restful spot to unwind, away from the hustle and bustle. This is a guide to over 120 quiet places to meet, drink, dine, sleep, read or browse. Covering all five boroughs and with evocative photographs and a short description for each location, including travel, access and contact details, Quiet New York reveals the hidden, tranquil places in one of the world’s liveliest cities.

 

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It’s funny how often we hear something and assume it to be true without taking the time to break down what it means.

For example, we’ve known for a long time that certain fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, and we know that this is a good thing, but we didn’t know how antioxidants worked or what made them so good for us.

Luckily, Color Me Vegan author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau takes the time in her book to help out those who are uninitiated to the power of antioxidants and aren’t quite sure how to get them. See below for her explanation of how antioxidants work and how to go about getting them.

(Please note that the food recommendations below come from us here at the blog and not from her. We thought it would be helpful to give you some examples of each, but didn’t want to put words in her mouth. Thanks and happy antioxidating!)

How Antioxidants Work

We often hear that antioxidants are a good thing, but we don’t necessarily understand why. To understand the benefits of antioxidation, we first have to comprehend the effects of oxidation. It’s a phenomenon we witness every time we cut into an apple or potato and the flesh begins to brown or when bicycle spokes turn rusty or a copper penny turns green. Oxidation occurs in everything from living tissues to base metals.

In short, oxidation occurs when oxygen interacts with a vulnerable surface (such as exposed fruit flesh). It’s not always a bad thing, but it can be destructive.  For instance, free radicals promote beneficial oxidation that produces energy and kills bacterial invaders.

However, in excess, free radicals produce harmful oxidation that can damage cells. Antioxidants, such as those found in plant foods, fight free radicals and prevent them from causing damage.

The degenerative diseases we’re grappling with today, such as cancer, cataracts, arthritis, and heart disease, to name a few, are in many ways caused by oxidative damage. The research being done on phytochemicals, particularly those with antioxidant properties, suggest that the more antioxidants we consume (i.e. through fruits and vegetables), the more we increase we increase our chances of repairing the damaged cells and thus preventing and treating certain diseases.

Antioxidant Recommendations

Although there is still much research to be done on the benefits of antioxidants, two things are certain: they are best obtained from food (not pills), and there is no upper limit for consuming them through food.

Avocado

Avocados are a great way to boost your natural intake of Vitamin E, a known antioxidant. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Because antioxidants as a group aren’t considered nutrients, except when they’re vitamins or minerals, there are no specific recommendations for daily requirements. Although there are troublesome finding in research conducted on antioxidant supplements, experts agree that there is no upper intake level for antioxidants in food.

In other words, it is not recommended that people take vitamin E supplements (in addition to the small amount of vitamin E found in most multivitamins), but it is recommended that people take in vitamin E through food.

(Foods rich in vitamin E include spinach, nuts, almonds and avocados, according to the website healthaliciousness.com

It is not recommended that people take beta-carotene supplements, but it is recommended that people take in beta-carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A) through food.

(Fruits and vegetables high in beta carotene include sweet potato, carrots, dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce, squash, cantaloupe and sweet red peppers, according to healthaliciousness.com)

So pile on the fruits and veggies and begin reaping the benefits, in both taste and health.

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Color Me VeganEat by color for more flavorful meals and extraordinary health!

In “Color Me Vegan,” author and vegan extraordinaire Colleen Patrick-Goudreau brings an edible rainbow of plant-based cuisine to your kitchen table with 150 flavorful recipes designed to boost your health and perk up your palate.

With color as the guiding principle behind each section, Colleen shows vegetarians, vegans, and everyone in between exactly how phytonutrients—the most powerful, pigmented antioxidants on earth, found in everything from select fruits and vegetables, to grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds—can be expertly incorporated into your meals for the greatest nutritional punch.

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Do You Know These Three Running Terms? A Pro and an Amateur Give Their Thoughts

Tom Holland is a nationally recognized fitness expert who has competed in more than 15 Ironman Triathlons, which makes him a great candidate to explain some common running terms and what they mean to him. In fact, Holland has a second edition of the 12-Week Triathlete, which is a complete training guide for anyone who wants to take on the triple threat of swimming biking and running. Holland is an expert when it comes to endurance training, and no one would argue with the advice that he gives. But since some of our readers may not end up competing in 15 full length triathlons (slackers!), we thought that it would be good to share the experiences of a regular runner as well. In this post, we’ll first take an excerpt from the “12-Week Triathlete” where Tom introduces a common running term and explains his take on it, and then we’ll have Brian chime in with his thoughts as an “average Joe” runner. Also be sure to pre-order Tom’s newest book, “Swim, Bike, Run — Eat” available July 1st.

Running economy: Namely “how” you run. While individual differences do exist, there is such a thing as “good running form.”

Tom Holland

National fitness expert and author Tom Holland

Tom says: Great runners require less energy to perform at high speeds, and part of this has to do with the manner in which they run. Speed training not only improves overall speed by making physiological changes to your body, it also forces you to become a more economical runner, making you faster as a result. I also believe that running long distances over time also forces us to become more economical runners. Our bodies are incredibly smart machines, and as we get more and more fatigued during a long run, we simply can’t afford to waste energy and our body adapts in order to survive. Chances are you won’t see someone running with too much bounce at mile 22 of a marathon.

Brian says: I couldn’t agree more. As someone who walks my dog at ponds and parks that are frequented by runners, I have a chance to observe a wide variety of running styles and like to think that I can tell when someone’s form is working for them, and when it is working against them. I’m not going to claim that I have perfect form (I could be equally unaware of my flaws), but I like to think that I am not doing anything too bad to slow myself down. I also feel more comfortable when I use an economy of form on long runs, where it is crucial to preserve energy for later miles. I try to stay light and loose for as long as possible, because once I start hitting miles in the late teens and early 20s, it becomes a lot harder to get the job done. The best form on those early miles is the one that conserves the most juice.

Brian

Local running newbie and blogger Brian

Negative Splits: Essentially getting faster as the run progresses. You might start your half marathon running 9-minute miles and slowly pick up the pace until you finish running at 8:30 or even faster pace.

Tom says: I personally follow this race strategy and believe it is a smart way approach longer running races, especially longer distance triathlons. You run conservatively at the start and finish strong rather than go out too fast and end up walking the final miles.

Brian says: I also agree with this strategy. Even though I have run a fair amount of races, I always go into the race with a seed of doubt as to whether I can complete the distance required. So it feels good to keep some energy in the tank at the beginning of the race. The burst of adrenaline you get at the starting line can convince you to come out fast, but that will wear off and you don’t want to blow out early. For me, the most important thing is establishing my pace and my breath on long runs and making sure that I can get as many miles out of the way without straining too much, so I have enough in the tank for the challenges ahead.

Bonk: Quite simply, to run out of gas during your race.

Tom says: Symptoms may include (but are not limited to) being lightheaded, dizzy, and having legs that feel like lead. Some say that it is the result of running out of glycogen stores, some say it is from the lack of adequate endurance training, and others content that it is a combination of the two. Quite often it happens at around mile 20 of a marathon, and for good scientific reason if you haven’t adequately fueled yourself.

Brian says: Because I tend to run on the conservative side (as outlined above), I have been mostly fortunate to avoid the dreaded bonk. That’s not to say that I haven’t been miserable during the last six miles of a marathon, or that I finish with tons of energy left in reserve. There was one marathon where I did experience the bonk–and unfortunately for me, it was at mile 13. That means I was only halfway towards my goal, and I knew I was in for a grueling grinder of a finish. The reason I bonked is that I had foolishly run a half marathon the weekend before and didn’t give myself enough time to recover. My body just didn’t have the energy I needed. As I trudged through mile after painful mile I used every mental trick in the book to keep myself going. I managed to finish, but I found the experience humbling to the point of being embarrassed. I wanted to run the race on my own terms, not push myself through it by any means necessary. When I finished, I was genuinely surprised that my knees were not damaged because I felt like I was grinding on my joints for hours. Since then, I have been more careful about spacing out my runs prior to big races to keep my legs fresh and avoid the dreaded bonk.

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The 12-Week TriathleteIt takes only 12 weeks to train to compete in a triathlon—no matter what level you’re at now! Imagine being able to successfully compete in a triathlon in just three short months! You can, with fitness expert Tom Holland’s all-encompassing, easy-to-use training manual, “The 12-Week Triathlete.” This completely revised and updated edition gives fitness enthusiasts the most exciting, encouraging, and up-to-date exercise information, including 12 brand-new training plans that outline exactly what you need to do every day up until the big event for ultimate triathlon success. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned triathlete, training for a Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman, or Ironman event, this book offers a complete, step-by-step program that will help you strengthen, tone-up, and both physically and mentally prepare for the big day. You will learn how to:

Swim – Start your race confidently, swim strongly surrounded by others, and transition easily from a wetsuit. Bike – choose the right bike, transport it safely to the race, and fuel yourself properly while you ride. Run – Don’t bonk, improve your speed, and see your race through to the end. Put It All Together – Eat right through the 12 weeks, train for each segment of the race, gather your equipment and transport it safely to the race, plan for and avoid last-minute emergencies, and, most of all, have fun and continue to compete in the future.   In addition all this, you’ll also find insider information on weight-training, endurance training, and speed work, as well as answers to questions like “Can you eat during a race?,” “How do you line up your bike so you can jump right on it?,” and “What is the best way to quickly shed your wetsuit?’ The 12-Week Triathlete is your secret weapon to triathlon triumph—start training today!

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It’s race day and you have your quick-closure running shoes, sleek suits, bikes, goggles, and watches, but if you haven’t been training with the proper nutrition, you’ll be left in the dust in the third mile.
 
Enter Swim, Bike, Run­—Eat to guide you through day one of training to the finish line and help your body perform at the 240x4009781592336067peak of fitness. In this book, an ideal companion to author Tom Holland’s The 12-Week Triathlete, he will join sports dietitian Amy Goodson covering race-day essentials, food choices to complement your training regimen, as well as recovery nutrition.
 
Learn how to determine what to eat; what to drink; how many calories to consume each day; whether or not to carry snacks while training; the difference between taking in calories from solid foods, semi-solids, and liquids; and whether or not to take electrolyte or salt tablets. Casual and core triathletes alike require a nutrition guide that is easy to understand with expert advice that is easy to implement. Look no further and get ready to take your triathlon to a new, healthier level.

 

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Five Listening Barriers that Prevent You From Being a Better Flirter

Have you ever been flirting with someone and found your mind wandering, even though you were interested in the person you were talking to?

Or have you ever started thinking ahead to what the next step in the flirting process will be and missing something that the other person was saying at that moment?

Flirting is stressful, and listening takes concentration. Those two things don’t often go hand in hand, but the irony is that the more we learn to relax and be a better listener, the better of a flirter we can be. So what to do? Give up all hope? Join a monastery?

Don’t panic just yet.

It’s a good thing that we have dating expert Fran Greene to help us become a better listener, and by extension, a better flirter. In this excerpt from her book, The Flirting Bible, Greene explains why good listening is key to good flirting, and what the common barriers are that prevent us from being a good listener.

“Listening is one of the most valuable parts of the flirting communication process because it creates an interpersonal bond. When you feel that someone has heard you and that he/she truly understands your feelings, you connect with that person and you want to continue the conversation.

What is there to learn about listening? All you have to do is sit and do nothing, right? No, it’s much more than that! Listening is not a passive process. It is as active and alive as talking, and certain rules accompany it.

Good Listening

Being a good listener is key to being a good flirter.

It’s no biological accident that we have two ears and one mouth. It means you should listen twice as much as you talk. This may seem hard for some of you, but it is essential.

Before you can uphold this rule successfully, however, make sure that no barriers—no listening pitfalls—stand in your way. Once you are familiar with these common obstacles, you can easily overcome them and move one step closer to listening enlightenment.

Five main types of barriers get in between people and their ability to listen intently. Let’s review each:

Listening Barrier #1: Emotions

It can be exciting and scary when someone you’ve had your eye on approaches you. Your mind races, your heart beats quickly, and anxiety makes listening difficult. Likewise, if something unrelated to your flirting encounter has you preoccupied or worried, you diminish your ability to listen with clarity.

Listening Barrier #2: Outside Distractions

Because so much is going on around you when you flirt, it can be hard to zero in on your flirting interest. Some of the most common distractions include other conversations, loud music, other people, or even the room’s light and temperature. Tuning out the distractions is challenging but necessary.

Listening Barrier #3: Mind Wandering

Our minds wander for a myriad of reasons. Maybe you can’t stop thinking about your bad day at work, your to-do list, the homework your child still needs to do, or even dinner. No matter the issue, when your mind wanders, you are not in the present and you can’t listen attentively—a serious roadbloack for flirting banter. Your small talk loses its spontaneity. When your mind takes a temporary vacation, flirting is impossible.

Listening Barrier #4: Comprehension Difficulties (a.k.a. Pretending to Understand When You Don’t)

We are often afraid to admit when we don’t understand or know what someone is talking about, such as a sports or political figure, an unusual cocktail, something trendy, a word or expression, or a piece of history. We often nod in agreement, afriad of appearing stupid or out of touch. But is this the best course of action? Will that make a better impression, or will others like you more if you pretend to hear or understand something your flirting interest has said.?

Listening Barrier #5: The Next Rather Than Now Focus

Focusing on what to say next rather than listening now turns super flirts into flirts who fall flat. Do not waste your flirting moments figuring out what to say next—it never works.

OK, now that you know what the barriers are to being a good listener, isn’t it time to learn some solutions? Be sure to check out the Flirting Bible for lots of tips for being a great listener, and a full range of flirting advice that will have you flirting like a pro in no time at all.

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The Flirting BibleBecome the People Magnet You’ve Always Wanted to Be!

Want to make an unforgettable first impression? Or learn how to speak in a way that makes you stand out in a crowd? Or find out what signs a love interest might give if they’re attracted to you?

You’ll learn all of these flirting secrets and more with The Flirting Bible, your definitive guide to using and reading body language and other social cues to find instant adventure, friendship, fun, and romance.

Nationally renowned relationship expert Fran Greene, former advice columnist for Match.com, will walk you through her thirteen tried-and-trusted techniques for becoming the most confident and attractive person in the room (no matter if you think you are or not!). You’ll learn how to:

Make the perfect amount of eye contact to establish trust and intimacy Use the “flirtatious handshake” to make a memorable impression Listen in a way that makes you a people magnet Get conversations started and get noticed by using the props of flirting And so much more!

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Try This Rainy Day Activity: Soap Carving

We love Joey Green’s book “Rainy Day Magic” because it is packed full of creative projects that you can do at home using common household items. As an added bonus, each chapter of suggested activities ends with a list of strange facts that we find irresistibly  interesting.

Here is an activity from Green’s book that we tried out during a recent rainy day. Carving soap is harder than it looks, mostly because the surface that you’re working with isn’t that stable. If you’re not careful when you go in to get fine detail, you get sculptures like the ones you’ll see in the images below.

Maybe our soap sculptures won’t end up in the Louvre, but they were a lot of fun to try. Who knows? The next time it starts raining we might bust out the Ivory soap and give it another shot.

P.S. After the sculpture lesson and our cringe-inducing sculpture photos, there are some fun facts that also come from Green’s book. Enjoy!

Products Used: Ivory Soap and Forster Toothpicks

Unwrap a bar of Ivory Soap. For best results, let the bar of soap dry for 24 hours before carving. With adult supervision, use a paring knife to cut away the raised edges and scrape off the lettering.

If you know what shape or design you intend to carve, you can carve directly in the soap, or use a Forster Toothpick stick to outline a rough sketch on the soap,. You can also sketch your idea on a piece of paper and then transfer it to the soap.

Using the paring knife, cut off the small pieces of soap that will not be a part of your design, leaving roughly a one-quarter-inch margin around your outline to allow for more detailed work later. When you finish carving, let the soap dry for a day or two.

Then polish the sculpture by rubbing it with a soft paper napkin. Your carving will float in a bathtub full of water, so consider carving boats, turtles or other sea creatures for more fun.

Soap Carving First Attempt

My first attempt at carving soap. Not quite white I was looking for.

 

soap skull two

My second attempt now that I am older and wiser (OK, a week later). Better, I think, but still kind of messy.

STRANGE FACTS ABOUT CARVING

♦ Seattle, Washington, holds a yearly SPAM carving contest. Each contestant is given one can of SPAM and fifteen minutes to carve it into anything they like (cars, animals, people’s faces, etc.)
♦ The statue of Ecuador’s renowned poet José Olmedo in the city of Guayaquil is actually a statue of English poet Lord Byron. The city of Guayaquil, unable to afford to commission a sculptor, purchased the statue of Byron from a London junk dealer and changed the plaque to read “José Olmedo.”
♦ The word bones is slang for “dice,” which were originally carved from bones
♦ Around 800 B.C.E., the Etruscans (the people living in the region today known as Tuscany, Italy) invented dentures, carving individual teeth from ivory, molding bridgework from gold, and extracting teeth from the dead to make dentures for the wealthy
♦ In 1935, during an exhibition of Van Gogh’s paintings at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, prankster Hugh Troy hung on the wall a velvet-lined shadow box that contained a piece of dried beef that he had carved into the shape of an ear with a sign that read, “This is the ear that Van Gogh cut off and sent to his mistress Dec. 24,1888″

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Rainy Day Magic Make your own Play-Doh! Make toy rockets from Alka-Seltzer! Create candles with Dixie Cups and Crayola Crayons! All parents have gone through the horror of bored kids trapped inside on a rainy day. They’re desperate to find fun things their kids can do to avoid that unending chorus of “I’m bored!” Now, the irrepressible Joey Green comes to the rescue with “Joey Green’s Rainy Day Magic“—a compendium of irresistible projects and games kids can make free from stuff you already have around the house!

Joey Green, the guru of offbeat uses for brand-name products, is the author of Supermarket Spa. He has been dubbed “a modern-day Heloise” by the New York Times and “The Pantry Professor” by People magazine. He is also the author of Polish Your Furniture with Panty Hose, Joey Green’s Amazing Kitchen Cures, Joey Green’s Gardening Magic, and more than twenty-five other titles. He is a popular guest on major television shows like The Tonight Show, The View, Today, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Dateline NBC.

 

 

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A “Down and Dirty” Interview with Obstacle Course Race Expert Matt Davis

As you may have gathered from some of our previous posts on Body Mind Beauty Health, we are big fans of obstacle course races here on the blog.

That’s why we were so excited last fall when we heard that Matt B. Davis, obstacle racer and writer extraordinaire, was coming out with a new tell-all book about the world of obstacle course racing.

The only downside to the initial news was that the book wasn’t going to come out until the summer of 2014. Last October, that seemed like a long ways away.

But guess what? Last time we checked, the summer of 2014 is almost here!

At that means that we are only a few short weeks away from the release of Matt’s book, “Down and Dirty: The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Course Races and Mud Runs.”

We haven’t felt this many butterflies since, well, the last time we were standing at the starting line of an obstacle course race.

To get you as pumped up for the book as we are, here are five quick questions that Matt was kind enough to answer for us.

P.S. “Down and Dirty” comes out on July 1, so make sure to mark your calendars (or even preorder today). You’re not going to want to miss it.

Body Mind Beauty Health: What motivated you to try your first obstacle course race?

Matt Davis: Towards the end of 2011, A friend of mine put “Run A Tough Mudder” as a bucket list item for 2012. He was in worse shape than me, so I thought if he could do it, I could to it.
Shortly after that, I began running with a neighbor friend of mine to train for the 10-12 mile obstacle race. I had not run more than a mile in over 15 years so I had no idea how I was going to do it.
Once I started running, I could not stop. I got so much out of it, physically, mentally and spiritually that I began to look forward to my training runs every day. Now it’s such a part of my life, I could not imagine not doing it.

BMBH: What is the one obstacle that has given you the most trouble? Why?

The monkey bars used to always give me trouble. I began practicing at a local park on real monkey bars and this has helped me greatly to overcome this obstacle. I put a chapter on monkey bars in the book specifically because I know it is one that people may struggle with. It is common in so many obstacle races. The contributor that I chose, Anthony Matesi, is a former gymnast and gives readers several ways to practice and tackle this obstacle.

BMBH: How does obstacle course racing differ from traditional running?

MD: Traditional 5 and 10ks can get boring. You run by some houses, then some more houses, then you make a left.

Obstacle races are always different. Each location offers different terrain that becomes an obstacle. Even races put on by the same company have different obstacles in different orders at every venue so it’s never the same race twice.

There also isn’t much interaction with other runners at street races. A huge percentage of the participants have their iPod headphones in their ears and aren’t looking to talk to anybody.

In obstacle racing, working with others is part of the event. You bond with people along the course as you help each other over and through obstacles.

Even if you don’t specifically help someone over a wall or up a rope, you and that person have the shared experience of doing something challenging and that bonds you in a way a street race can’t.

When you are rolling around in mud, you will probably find yourself saying “I haven’t done this since I was a kid.” That’s another experience a street race just can’t give you.

BMBH: Has obstacle course racing helped you in tackling challenges in other parts of your life?

MD: “Absolutley. OCR can be such a great metaphor for so many things apply to every day life.
Learning how and when to ask for help. Accepting lessons from shortcomings. Overcoming obstacles that are real or imagined.

In addition, OCR has become a lifestyle for me and countless others. By participating in these race, new friendships are formed. Those friends are typically into eating healthy, exercising more, and getting more out of life. So my whole life is different. I don’t enjoy being around people who are satisfied with the status quo or people who want to focus on what’s negative.”

BMBH: What new OCR challenges are on your “to-do” list for this year?

MD: “After 50 plus obstacle races, I want to take on new endurance challenges. I will be participating in a 12 plus hour GoRuck, the 24-hour World’s Toughest Mudder, and the 2-3 day Peak Summer Death Race. These events are going to push me in ways I have never been pushed and I am looking forward to them.”

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Down and DirtyObstacle course races and mud runs such as Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, Rugged Maniac, and Muddy Buddy are all waiting for you to get “Down and Dirty.”

Author Matt B. Davis offers an overview of the most popular races before tackling the most important concerns for any racer: preparation and training. Each obstacle-focused chapter will feature a leading obstacle race athlete who will offer expert advice on how to get prepared for your next race—whether it’s your first or you’re a recent devotee who wants to try them all. Because each race is different, this book will supply training advice for a variety of obstacles and races.

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Try This Food If You’re Pregnant: Aged Cheddar Cheese

When you’re pregnant, sometimes it seems like all the advice you receive revolves around what you shouldn’t eat and what you shouldn’t do.

That’s why we like “The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy,” by Jonny Bowden and Allison Tannis. The book is packed with helpful advice about the right kind of foods to eat when you’re expecting.

Bowden and Tannis not only identify foods that are safe to eat, they also let you know what foods provide a much needed boost to help your body cope with the demands of pregnancy.

Here is what the authors have to say about aged cheddar cheese.

“Cheddar cheese—mmmm: a tasty hunk of cheese is one of the best snacks in the world. Plus, you can eat it knowing that it’s a healthy choice for your baby. Cheese contains some of a pregnant woman’s most needed nutrients: calcium and protein.

Choosing aged cheddar ups its flavor and safety.

Looking for aged cheddar will help you stay away from the processed cheeses that are lower in nutrients. Plus, if you reach for aged cheese, you’ll find you eat less: its potent buttery flavor can help satisfy your cravings before you eat more calories than you need. Add some cheddar cheese to your diet and eat your way through leg cramps, backaches and digestive complaints.

Wrapped Cheddar

Cheddar cheese photo courtesy of PDPhoto.org.

BUILDING BLOCKS

Cheese may not spring to mind as a good source of protein, but it is: one cup of cheddar cheese: (an easy amount to eat on a plate of nachos) contains 33 g of protein. That’s a lot of protein. And protein is an essential part of a pregnant woman’s diet.

Most women don’t eat enough protein even when they’re not pregnant, it’s especially important to eat plenty now.

Here’s why: Your body breaks down protein into its building blocks, the amino acids. Then it can use these amino acids to build enzymes, hormones and muscles as needed. Right now, your body is producing a lot of hormones, and you’re also building a baby, so you need more protein.

Plus, as your pregnancy progresses and your weight increases, there will be more stress on your muscles. Strained muscles require more protein to repair and rebuild. Backaches and other muscle aches can be relieved with a healthy diet that contains a good source of protein like aged cheddar cheese.

CALCIUM FOR MUSCLE CRAMPS

Cheese is a great-tasting source of calcium. Aged cheddar cheese is packed with calcium–one cup contains all the calcium an adult needs in a day.

But as a pregnant woman, your needs are higher, which is why most prenatal supplements contain calcium to augment the calcium you’re getting from a healthy diet. We all know that calcium is needed for healthy bones and teeth. But did you know that calcium plays a role in preventing muscle cramps?

Eating foods that are rich in calcium, like cheddar cheese, may help prevent leg cramps, a common pregnancy complaint.

DIGESTIVE HEALTH

Cheddar cheeses is a source of the good bacteria called probiotics. Probiotics may be one of the most important foods for your body.

The work done by probiotics in your digestive tract in a day is equivalent to the work done by your liver. It’s amazing!

Probiotics help you digest and absorb food, they make vitamins, they prevent infections like diarrhea, they boost your immune system, and they can fight those plagues of pregnant women– constipation, gas and bloating.

Keeping your digestive system healthy during pregnancy will keep you feeling great.

Grab some cheese and eat your way through your digestive pregnancy complaints.

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Healthiest Foods PreganancyEat the best foods for your baby’s development!

Nutrition is never more critical than during pregnancy. What you choose to put on your plate affects you and your baby’s health not just in utero but for years to come. However, many nutritional guidelines for pregnancy are complex, confusing, and offer an uninspiring list of things to eat for the next nine months.

Backed up by the latest nutritional research, this guide debunks pregnancy food myths and uncovers a number of surprising food choices that are superfoods for expectant mothers.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He’s the author of five acclaimed books, including “The Great Cholesterol Myth” and “The Great Cholesterol Myth Cookbook,” “The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy,” “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” “The Healthiest Meals on Earth” and “The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth.” A board-certified nutritionist with a masters degree in psychology who has earned six national certifications in exercise and personal training, his work has been featured in over 50 magazines and newspapers ranging from the New York Times to Men’s Health and he has appeared as a nutrition expert on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, NBC and CBS. He lives in Woodland Hills, CA. http://www.jonnybowden.com

Allison Tannis is a nutritional scientist and educator of nutrition and food. She is the author of “Vitality: Quest for a Healthy Diet” and “Probiotic Rescue: How You Can Use Probiotics to Fight Cholesterol, Cancer, Superbugs, Digestive Complaints and More” and host of the radio sensation Healthy Living in southern Ontario, Canada. Allison is dedicated to making the science of health easy to swallow. She writes for numerous national health magazines and can been seen as a guest on health-related television and radio shows across Canada. Allison is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with a practice based in Newmarket, Ontario. Her specialty is helping people discover how to arm themselves with the tools they need to live healthier. http://www.allisontannis.com