Archive for nutrition

The Juice and Blending Craze,… I’m In!

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous, Nutrition with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2013 by chencenter

“I am firmly convinced that juicing is the final key to giving you a radiant, energetic life, and truly optimal health.”

Dr. Joseph Mercola

surpriseISN’T IT ALWAYS THE CASE ?

you’re beginning to really enjoy something and then you find out that it’s “bad” for you?

First off, juicing and/or blending your fruits and veggies are not bad for you – but there are some pros and cons.

Let’s take the main reason for juicing and just come out and say it- Most people are not going have the time and appetite to eat the amount of fruits and veggies, the micronutrient-rich foods that our body needs.  When we juice, we can get the burst of nutrients in one (or several) tasty glasses – what my friend Joe Cross calls, “Freebasing Mother Nature.”  You might remember Joe from his movie, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.  Watch as he runs you through some of his reasons for juicing.  |Joe Cross Video|

WHAT DISAPPOINTED ME

After I fell in love with juicing, I read a Q&A with Dr. Caldwell Esselsyn Jr.  and when asked about juicing, he said, “Do not juice. You lose all the fiber and its benefits.”  And in regard to what makes vegetable juice tasty- adding fruit; he said, “Drinking fruit juice is like pouring the sugar bowl down your throat. It is fine to eat the whole fruit. Do not drink the juice.”

Instead of relaying on this all-too-strict, until-kale-comes-out-my-ears version of nutrifying (my new word) my body – I’ve decide to pool my research to other leading physicians, scientists and dieticians and see what they had to say.  One of the views I prefer most on the subject of juicing is Dr. Joseph Mercola, a daily juicer himself. |Mercola video|

WHAT KEEPS ME GOING

It’s important to understand what these doctors are saying, and to also put each in their perspective category.  Drinking high amounts of any juice isn’t healthy, and may play havoc with your blood sugar levels – especially if we are talking about fruits.  This, in smaller quantities, can and should be a delicious treat (or desert).  However, the drinks that (although less tasty) give people the most benefit are going to be the juices/blends done with vegetables.  Two-thirds of your juice should be vegetables!  Drinks with this ratio is what will help to keep the weight off, or maintain.  It will also give you the micronutrients that many of our bodies are deficient in.

IT COSTS TOO MUCH

Poppycock! We all know how much a meal would cost us.  Even fast-food is draining on our finances.  If you take the cheapest meal; and instead of the burger and fries, bought vegetables and fruits to juice or blend – you’d be much better off and for a fraction of the cost.  Yes, it may take more time and that’s what most of us go on and on about… but did you know that you could get a 24 oz. organic Veggie Blend at Whole Foods for only $6?  Just something to consider.

A FEW RECIPES

wheatgrass smoothieWHEAT GRASS SMOOTHIE: My absolute favorite drink to make is my “Can’t Beat the Wheat” Smoothie.  How I make it is this: 1 packet of powdered Wheat Grass, 1 frozen banana, 1 handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen), and 1 cup of apple juice (Simply Apple).

Perfect for the individual with the sweet tooth.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of wheat grass, the Hippocrates Health Institute has a nice list: click here.

Sun WarriorTHE SUN WARRIOR: Kale is one of the most beneficial vegetables that we can consume.  Too bitter for most, the easiest way to get the benefits of the amazing plant is to blend it.  The “Sun Warrior” is by far my favorite, balanced (low sugar) health drink.  This is how I make it: 1 Mango, 1 Bannana (frozen), 4 Leaves of Kale, 1 ts of Spirulina, 1 ts Vanilla Extract, 2/3 Water.

*Sometimes I’ll add a handful of Spinach to the mix, for a bit more “balance” and added nutrition.

If you like… I’m listing more of my delicious recipes here: click here.

MICHAEL JOYCE

CombativeCorner Founder  |  ChenCenter  | OutFoxxed

SOURCES

Esselsyn, Caldwell Jr. M.D. –HeartAttackProof –Q & A Interview [link]

Mercola, Joseph M.D. –Article: Juicing –Your Key To Radiant Health [link]

Calbom, Cherie –Author. Interview w/ Dr. Mercola [YouTube] [link]

Hippocrates Health Institute.  Website [link]

* This article was originally published on Coach Michael Joyce’s website YourTherapy.Info, re-published here to share with the CombativeCorner family.  Remember, when it comes to any health and diet information, use your own judgement and consult your physician, dietician or other health professional.

The Rhinocerus in the Living Room

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous, Nutrition with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2013 by chencenter

DISCLAIMER: Everyone’s dietary needs are different based on a number of factors including lifestyle, diet, medications and more.  To find out if these* (i.e. diet, etc.) needs are met/need changing, consult your doctor – and better yet, read the scientific studies and make an informed decision regarding your personal health & wellness.

lunas-living-kitchenThis article was originally published on my YourTherapy website to introduce my friends, family and clients to the changes I was (and still am) making with my diet.  It has been a couple of months since then, and now, I’d like to share it with my CombativeCorner family.  I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to “convert” anyone to a particular diet, because I am also a believer that “variety is the spice of Life.” However, I do wish to fuel your brain and stoke your awareness to “healthy, nutritional eating” and to reinforce what you already know- that “greens are good” and the majority of people are not getting enough.

THE RHINOCEROS IN THE ROOM, whether at a dinner party, family function or even posting on Facebook, seems to be diet & nutrition.  Especially here in The South (which really isn’t any different from any other U.S. state), they look at you like you’ve got a spike growing out of your face when they find out that you don’t eat animals.  When they find out that you don’t eat dairy either, [which is what veganism IS]- most just laugh and wish you well on your insane quest.  Some people stamp you as “holier than thou” crusaders, while others think you either made up the term or just really into science fiction.

It’s pronounced “vee-gan.” And although Jenny and I have chosen this lifestyle & diet, we understand that it’s not for everyone and certainly, everyone is entitled to their own opinions – especially when it comes to health.  A problem remains, however, that a lot of opinion is based on myths, years of mis-education & conditioned eating habits.

As someone who cares about his students, clients, family and friends… As someone who is concerned with the state of the World (North America, in particular), I’d like to offer this article as an insightful reference for anyone interesting in improving their health and happiness through diet.

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION…

helped greatly in the direction of our diet and we hope that it will help illuminate the importance of a plant-based diet for you.  We’re not saying that you can never have meat, dairy or oils ever again – but it is important that everyone has a firm understanding of the benefits and risks associated with any form of health choice.  Each statistic, research finding, quotation will be cited at the bottom of the article. And remember,

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” (James S. Gordon, MD, 1)

HITTING SOME HIGH POINTS

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

-Thomas A. Edison

foodplate-large“…We have an unpresidented opportunity in history to live happier than ever before.  We don’t have to become demented, have a heart attack, get strokes and we can dramatically reduced the risk of cancer… Permanent results only come from permanent changes in lifestyle and diet style.” (Dr. Joel Fuhrman, 2)

“The same foods that inhibit fat on your body, stop cancer in their tracks… It’s not just calories in, calories out, either – it’s the bio-chemical effects that these foods have to prevent cellular growth… When you eat a lot of animal products, it promotes insulin factor 1 (IGF-1) and that promotes fat storage, dementia, aging, and cancer.”  (Dr. Joel Fuhrman, 2b)

WAS MANKIND MEANT TO EAT MEAT?

Irrelevant. Anybody can go back and forth with this question.  What did God, nature, evolution intend? When it comes to health, longevity, and overall wellness, we need to look at recent scientific evidence and make an informed, personal decision – period.  If you continue to eat meat after reading this article, I would hope that you opt for meat like: salmon, talapia & haddock which are have some of the lowest levels of mercury as well as beneficial Omega-3; and deer meat (venison), organic chicken, or bison, which are some of lowest in saturated fats.  If you’d like to dive more into this question, here’s a link I enjoyed. | Powered by Produce | Another interesting link examines the digestion of cellulose.  | Dartmouth Journal of Science |

“Every 30 seconds on this continent, Canada included, someone grabs their chest and falls over with a heart attack… When you send this (the report) over to a pathologist and you get them to analyze it, the report always comes back ‘saturated fat & cholesterol.’  It’s animal fat.  The pathology report never ever ever contains the words ‘remnants of broccoli, rice & tofu.’…The good thing is that when you stop eating animal fats, this stuff (plaque) melts away, off the artery walls and the arteries can open up.”

“Animal fat comes in 3 flavors in the N. American diet.  It comes in the form of red meat, the yoke of hen’s eggs, and it comes from cow’s milk…(regarding cows milk) There is absolutely no reason to run butterfat through your bloodstream at any time… cow’s milk is for baby calves!  You have no more need for cow’s milk than you do for giraffe’s milk, horse’s milk or rat milk.”

(Dr. Michael Klaper, 3)

WHAT IS THE DIFF. B/W PLANT & ANIMAL PROTEIN?

Plant-Protein-VS-Animal-Protein“While the precise mechanisms need to be elucidated, animal and epidemiological studies, as well as the brachial artery tourniquet test, confirm that animal protein accelerates both atherosclerosis and cancer, whereas plant protein does not.” (Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., 4)

“I don’t especially like dwelling on the finer structural and functional characteristics of animal and plant proteins as being of great importance. Rather, my views are more along the lines of asking what are the consequences–both biologically and socioculturally–of our enormous reverence for protein, especially our unreasonable reverence for ‘high quality’ animal protein. It is on this path that I find some unusually significant gems.”  (Dr. T. Colin Campbell, 10)

DO VEGETARIANS/VEGANS GET ENOUGH PROTEIN?

“Ignorance sickens and kills people.  Misinformation leads to disastrous outcomes.  People with serious health problems like heart disease, type-2 diabetes, MS, and inflammatory arthritis that can be easily resolved by a diet based solely on plant foods.  However, advice to make this dietary change may be withheld from you or a family member because of the erroneous fear that such a diet will result in a greater catastrophe, like a nutritional collapse from protein deficiency.”

“Since plants are made up structurally sound cells with enzymes and hormones, they are by nature rich sources of proteins.  In fact, so rich are plants that they can meet the protein needs of the earth’s largest animals: elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, and cows.  You would be correct to deduce that the protein needs of relatively small humans can easily be met by plants.” (Dr. John McDougall, 5)

DOES THIS DIET GIVE ME ENOUGH VITAMINS?

134992626-1024x759“A multi-vitamin is a reasonable way to be sure to obtain the full spectrum of vitamins, but my preference, especially if one is easting copious amounts of green leafy vegetables, is to limit supplements to Vitamin D as needed to maintain blood level in the normal range and Vitamin B12.”  (Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., 4)

“[Esselstyn’s Recommendation] for those with a plant-based/vegan diet comes from Vit. B expert (Dr. Neal Bernard) at the Cleveland Clinic: Take 1000 mcg of Vit. B12 a day.” (Dr. Neal Barnard, 6) Preferably sublingual and before meals/on empty stomach (for better absorption).  (Dr. Ralph Carmel, 11)

“Vitamin D (the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’) assists in the absorption of calcium and promotes bone mineralization, which may prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis. It also helps to strengthen the immune system and protect against a number of serious diseases, including rickets and osteomalacia. Research suggests vitamin D may also provide protection from hypertension, psoriasis, several autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis), and reduce the incidence of fractured bones. In addition, growing evidence has demonstrated its important role in defending against cancer (studies link a deficiency of vitamin D to as many as 18 different cancers).” (Dr. Andrew Weil, 7)

“…Another concern is that many vegetarians may not have ideal levels of all essential fatty acids. Fish supply two conditionally essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) that have been shown to have beneficial effects, offering protection against both heart disease and aging of the brain. To assure that vegetarians get sufficient levels of these omega-3 fats, people on vegetarian diets need to consume foods such as flax seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts on a regular basis…  Some individuals may still not have optimal levels of long chain omega-3 fats, even with the consumption of a well designed vegetarian diet utilizing these seeds and nuts, therefore I recommend vegetarians and those not eating fish regularly consume a DHA+EPA supplement.” (Dr. Joel Fuhrman, 2c)

MORE ON VITAMIN D

“The sunshine acts on the skin and converts cholesterol into this very essential vitamin called Vitamin D.  That’s where you get the vitamin D; the sun… admittedly too many people have low vitamin D levels – this is because people often wear too many clothes, they stay inside an office building, more dark-skinned people have moved North, like New York or London – so their skin requires a greater intensity of ultraviolet light because their skin has adapted to the Equator environment.”

“50-90% of people (vegans-carnivore’s alike) ‘flunk’ the vitamin D level test…. Most people flunk because of current standards.  The response of the doctor should be ‘You should get more sunshine!’ – but that’s rarely communicated to the patients.”  (Dr. John McDougall, 5b)  |video link|

GOOD EATING REQUIRES DEEP POCKETS

Eating well costs more.  This is both true AND false.  It has been my observation that the majority of Americans have horrible habits: fast-food, emotional, and television eating (to name a few).  I’m guilty of this also (just the last two!).  However, consider the price of a burger combo at any of the various fast-food chains; an average of $5.50.  Preparing food at home might require more time, and the price may be comparable, but the true cost is in the calories, fat, and sodium which takes approximately 4 hours for your liver to “clean up”.  This, on a continuous basis will leave you feeling sluggish, cause weight gain and possible digestive issues – not-to-mention it paves the way to illness and disease.

An interesting thing I picked up while watching the documentary film Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, is the body feels satiated much easier with less (calories) when it comes from foods that are micronutrient-rich.  Micronutrient-rich being: vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans & legumes.  Macronutrient being; everything else. (see image to the right) food comparison stomach

Remember that fast-food average of $5.50?  With that amount, you could swing by any grocery store and pick up the ingredients to make a juice, smoothie or salad.  Cut out fast-food for the month, take the money saved and put it towards your health.  Yes, it takes some forward planning, but as my mentor, Rener Gracie says, “…unless they (people) actually feel the impact and translate it into their own Life, they don’t fully understand… Technique, patience, control – efficiency on the highest level… People always say ‘It takes too long, it takes too long.’ NO! You’re not patient enough.” (Rener Gracie, 8)

“Spend more, eat less. Americans are as addicted to cheap food as we are to cheap oil. We spend only 9.7% of our income on food, a smaller share than any other nation. Is it a coincidence we spend a larger percentage than any other on health care (16%)? All this “cheap food” is making us fat and sick. It’s also bad for the health of the environment. The higher the quality of the food you eat, the more nutritious it is and the less of it you’ll need to feel satisfied.”

“Shop at the farmers’ market. You’ll begin to eat foods in season, when they are at the peak of their nutritional value and flavor, and you’ll cook, because you won’t find anything processed or microwavable. You’ll also be supporting farmers in your community, helping defend the countryside from sprawl, saving oil by eating food produced nearby and teaching your children that a carrot is a root, not a machine-lathed orange bullet that comes in a plastic bag. A lot more is going on at the farmers’ market than the exchange of money for food.” (Michael Pollan, 9)

WHY SHOULD I CHANGE? MY HEALTH IS GREAT

“No one escapes in the end – eventually the traditional western diet guarantees some form of disease in all of us.  While it may not be heart disease at the moment, eventually it will be or hypertension, diabetes, stroke, obesity, gall stones, diverticulitis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, or a greater likelihood of breast, prostate, colon, ovarian and uterine cancers.  Even erectile dysfunction and dementia.  The world famous Framingham Heart Study now approaching its 60th year looked at 1,000 people at age 50 who had normal blood pressure.  They looked at the same group at 70, and 90% now had high blood pressure.  But there is something you can do now to stop the cascading events that occur in the body and lead to disease.  You can change your diet and begin safeguarding your health for the future.”  (Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., 4)

APPEARANCES: DO YOU LOOK HEALTHY?

On this subject, I do not have to defer to the experts.  Looks can be deceiving.  We know this!  Someone who looks healthy might kill over with a heart attack at any point.  How can someone who drinks bourbon and eats pork bellies live to 109 and a fitness guru like Jack LaLanne can only make it to 96?  There are too many factors to consider here and everyone’s body is different – inside and out.  Now for the ‘out’, the exterior, the view that the world sees and to which they respond – external ‘beauty’!

Of course ‘beauty’ is subjective, but if we were to go with what society deems attractive, it would just so happen to be that those celebrities most devoted to a plant-based diets are high on the ‘Hot List.’  In no particular order: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Portia de Rossi, Olivia Wilde, Orlando Bloom, Alyssa Milano, Anne Hathaway, Emily Deschanel and Kristin Bell.  Some do it for health reasons, like Bill Clinton (who went vegan after heart surgery) and others did it well before it became the ‘trendy’ thing to do, like Betty White (currently at age 91) – she’s been vegan for over 30 years.  But whatever the reason, I think it is insanely wrong to link a vegetarian/vegan diet with poor appearance – if anything, it aids in their appearance and youthfulness.  For a massive list of celebrities musicians and athletes, here’s a link. |HappyCow|

HOW DO YOU KICK THE HABIT?

“With any habit, three weeks is a magic period. It allows you to feel a bit of the benefit. You might doubt it at the beginning, but after three weeks, you notice your weight is coming down, your energy is better. It also gives your taste a chance to change. For example, when people change from whole milk to low fat or skim milk, they hate it at first—it tastes watery. But then after some time, they taste whole milk again and it tastes like heavy cream.”  (Dr. Neal Barnard, 6b)

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

Changing your diet, especially ‘radically’ changing your diet is obviously going to be difficult at first.  The ‘magic period’ is a transition period and some people will conquer this phase easier than others.  You’ll certainly have cravings, and there will be social pressures imposed on you – but remember “permanent results only come about by permanent changes in lifestyle and diet style.”  Another obstacle that you may encounter is gas, bloating and diarrhea.  This is natural!  As your choice of diet changes, it’s only realistic to imagine that the internal environment of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract will change as well.  Once you get over this hump, your body will be more efficient and you’ll truly be able to FEEL the difference.  I lived a relatively health life before switching to a vegan diet and even I could notice a major difference – particularly in my mental clarity, muscle/pain recovery time* and energy levels.

Written, Researched & Compiled by:

MICHAEL JOYCE

*Stay tuned for my upcoming article relating nutrition & lifestyle with pain management and muscle recovery.

Michael Joyce is a licensed massage therapist (NC#6096), self-defense instructor (Out-Foxxed™) and is a health & safety enthusiast.  He has a BS in Exercise & Sport Science and stays on top of the current research; particularly nutrition and exercise performance. He and his wife Jenny went vegan in February of 2013 after watching several great documentaries including Forks Over Knives, Vegucated and Food, Inc.

Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Sources:

Gordon, James S. MD. 1 – Quotations Page. Motivational 5/15/2013.  website [link]

Fuhrman, Joel PhD.  2 – Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Documentry Film. (2010)

Fuhrman, Joel PhD.  2b – The Dr. Oz Show. Originally aired Sept. 18, 2012

Fuhrman, Joel PhD. 2c – Online Library. What You Need To Know… [link]

Klaper, Michael PhD. 3 – Foods That Kill.  Lecture/Documentry (1993)

Esselstyn Jr., Caldwell B. PhD. 4 – Interview. HeartAttackProof.Com

McDougall, John, PhD. 5 – Newsletter vol.6, no. 4 (2007) [link]

McDougall, John, PhD. 5b – MCD Sunshine & Vitamin, YouTube video [link]

Bernard, Neal, M.D. 6 – (PCRM) http://www.nealbarnard.org/ [link]

Barnard, Neal, M.D. 6b – Article: SmartPlanet by Melanie Kaplan [link]

Weil, Andrew, M.D. 7 – Supplements & Herbs. http://www.drweil.com [link]

Gracie, Rener 8 – Renergy Sandwich 2.0 video. [link]

Pollan, Michael 9 – Six Rules For Eating Wisely. Time June 2006

Campbell, Colin T. PhD. 10 – Animal vs. Plant Protein.

Carmel, Ralph PhD. 11 – HappyHealthyLongLive.Com

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One-On-One with Sifu Lee: Nutrition

Posted in Health, Nutrition with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2011 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Nutrition and sleep are more important than concentrated exercise or martial arts. If you did not eat or sleep, you would not be able to function or live very long. But if you did not exercise or practice martial arts, you would obviously still survive. This goes to show the importance of getting good rest and eating healthy. Depending on the individual, it is ideal to receive 6-10 hours of sleep a night. If one has not received adequate sleep for the day and has the option to either get sleep or exercise, one should always choose sleep. As sleep is what supplies the body with energy in which to exercise and it is also during sleep that an athlete’s muscles will be able to repair.
As far as nutrition and eating habits are concerned. Similar to exercise, people know what is healthy to eat but many simply do not follow healthy eating habits. First and foremost we should stop consuming obvious foods that are unhealthy and stop practicing obvious unhealthy habits. We should never smoke cigarettes or ingest any harmful substance into our bodies. We should never drink alcohol, not even in small amounts, as this does not serve any healthy benefit to the body. We should not take any harmful drugs. We should not take any muscle enhancement supplements such as steroids, creatine, etc. Those are some of the obvious substances that we should not consume for any reason, as they serve no health benefit in anyway.
Here is a list of some of the basics of nutrition:

  • We should eliminate our consumption of soda. Soda has absolutely no nutritional value. We should drink pure filtered water for most of the day. There may be times that our bodies may crave for some sugar. In order to fulfill this need we can drink 100% Pure Juice with a mixture of filtered water in order to lessen our consumption of mass amounts of sugar.
  • We should not drink anything that contains caffeine or consume energy drinks. These drinks supply superficial energy boosts that train your body to become dependent on this superficial energy boost. Rather you should eat healthy foods and drink natural juices or water to gain the energy you need.
  • We should not intake powdered protein shakes. The money spent on powdered protein shakes can be better used towards purchasing real healthy foods that provide us with the energy that we need for the day. If we eat correctly, the food that we consume will provide us with more than enough protein for the day. Purchasing powdered protein simply is a waste of money.
  • We should eat 5-6 small portion meals throughout the day rather than 3 large portion meals a day. In this way your metabolism will be trained to burn more calories during inactivity resulting in optimal fitness.
  • You should never force yourself to eat more food when you are no longer hungry. You should simply eat enough food so that you are satisfied.  Never overindulge.
  • 90% of your meals should be healthy home cooked meals. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle it is a necessity to learn how to cook healthy foods or to at least live with another individual that can cook healthy foods. This is cost efficient and also the healthiest way of eating. Mostly all restaurants serve food that contains more oil and fats than necessary, resulting in unhealthy eating habits if consumed too frequently.
  • Fruits are a very good healthy snack that should be preferred over unhealthy snacks such as donuts, cookies, cakes, and candy bars. Apples, oranges, bananas, pears, grapes, etc, are all good fruits to consume for snacks.
  • Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, and various other nuts are also very good for snacks. Although they do contain a high percentage of fat, they contain the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that are actually very good for the body.
  • Sweets such as candy bars and cookies can be consumed in small amounts. Sometimes our bodies crave for sweets. During this time we can have a couple of cookies or a candy bar, it’s ok but there is a problem when you start eating 10 cookies a day or 5 candy bars everyday.
  • Ice cream is ok but we should purchase ice cream that has a lower fat content. Slow churned ice cream or light ice cream containing half the normal fat content is ok as long as we consume 1 serving every couple of days or longer. Sometimes our bodies crave for this kind of sweet.
  • If we do need to eat fast food we should prefer sandwiches rather than hamburgers. We should rather prefer Jimmy John’s, PotBelly’s, Subway, or any other sandwich fast food restaurant as these sandwiches are usually much healthier than the normal burger joint.
  • A good daily snack is a self-prepared sandwich with 100% whole wheat bread, the usual veggies, meat, cheese, etc.
  • Potato chips when moderately consumed are ok for a little snack or to supplement a meal.

We are never on a strict diet. We are not on a diet at all. We train our bodies to eat healthy and find joy in eating healthy. We have made eating healthy a lifestyle, a habit. When you begin to live this lifestyle, your body will not feel good when you consistently eat unhealthy. Your body and mind will respond in ways that motivate you to only put quality foods inside of your body. There are times when your body craves for junk food, such as hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, gyros, hotdogs, etc.
It’s ok to eat these types of foods once every couple of weeks or maybe even once a week but when your body has become accustomed to eating healthy it will not desire to eat those types of foods more than just a few times every couple of weeks. Once you have become accustomed to the healthy way of living all you simply do is listen and pay attention to your bodily functions. You then simply eat whatever you wish to eat and naturally your body will only crave the healthy. Therefore, remember that this is never a diet, this is a way of life, a lifestyle, a habitual way of living that is geared towards the healthy way of living, you eat whatever you want but truthfully it is your body that only wants the healthy.
A day’s example of a food plan while drinking water throughout the day:

  1. Eat cereal in the morning with milk.
  2. Take a daily multivitamin if desired.
  3. 2 hours later eat a banana
  4. 1 hour later eat a self made sandwich
  5. 2 hours later eat your lunch meal such as a stir-fry with veggies, meat, and rice.
  6. 1 hour later snack on a few cookies, some chocolate, or mixed nuts
  7. 30 min. later eat an orange.
  8. 1 hour later eat an apple.
  9. 1 hour later eat your dinner meal such as veggie soup, stir-fry with veggies, meat, and rice.
  10. 30 min. later eat some light ice cream if desired.
  11. Drink some 100% juice mixed with filtered water

Sifu Freddie Lee

Freddie’s Modern Kungfu

NOTE: As anyone will tell you, always consult a physician when concerned about your health, diet and direction of your wellness plan.  As for ANY nutritional and dietary information on this site (or ANYWHERE), please use your own good judgement.  The authors of this website, are not registered dietitians, but have a strong background in health, wellness & exercise.  Proper nutrition just goes with the territory.

The Food Connection

Posted in Health, Nutrition with tags , , , , , , , on March 14, 2011 by mindbodykungfu

Growing up in a restaurant family, I’ve always been surrounded by good food and good cooks.  Even after I left the restaurant life to pursue my education, food has been an important theme in my life.  I’ve always felt it important to eat well and that food plays a pivotal role in our lives.  We must eat regularly to nourish our bodies and thrive. What food we eat determines what nutrition we receive and how well we can maintain our health.

You are what you eat

We obtain the nutrients we need to live from the food we eat; food is an integral part of our being.  Our health and well being is intimately tied to the food we eat.  Unfortunately, what we choose to eat sometimes (perhaps too often) only loosely qualifies as food.

The hectic pace of modern life has made fast, convenience, and junk foods a fixture in our lives.  Unfortunately, these industrialized foods are not designed for providing the highest quality and most nutritious foods.  Rather, they are geared towards minimizing costs and maximizing profits.  Achieving those goals means sacrificing flavor and nutrition in favor of transportability, shelf life, and lower cost (i.e. lower quality) ingredients.

The industrialization of our food has been a mixed blessing.  Our food is now cheaper and more readily available.  On the other hand, our food choices are now often less nutrient dense, higher in calories, more homogeneous tasting, contain artificial additives, and less like actual food.  We do less food preparation ourselves than our parents and grandparents, and have become disconnected from our food.  We have instead come to rely on the black box of large scale commercial, agri-industrial production for our dietary needs.  This has given us a host of undesirable consequences:

  • the prevalence of highly processed products full of high fructose corn syrupand all manner of industrial ingredients (preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, partially hydogenated oils, etc.).  These “food” products are calorific and shelf stable, but otherwise nutritionally void.
  • grain fed, antibiotic pumped meat unnaturally high in saturated fat and low in several nutrients (omega-3, vitamins, and various antioxidants).
  • hormone injected dairy cows producing high estrogen content milk.  Commercial dairy products are implicated in disrupting normal endocrine function and promoting cancer.
  • industrially farmed and imported produce which is unripe, insipid, less nutritious, and more monocultured than locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Combine suboptimal dietary choices with increasingly sedentary lifestyles, and it’s unsurprising that health problems are rising.  We’re seeing high rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and food sensitivities among other disorders.

Healing power of food

Fortunately, positive changes in diet can be readily implemented and effect significant health improvements.  Just as eating poorly throws a wrench into your system’s gears, eating well returns your body to the well oiled machine it was meant to be.  Properly fueled, the human body has an amazing ability to heal itself.

Many of the diseases we suffer in the modern developed world are preventable with simple lifestyle choices–most notably diet and exercise.  Just eating well has positive effects on digestive tract health, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, bone health, body weight, immune system function, mental alertness, and energy levels.

How do we go about eating well?  There is already a cornucopia of available material on the subject, but I think a quote from Michael Pollan summarizes the general strategy nicely: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Eat food

Minimally processed whole foods are superior to the cardboard and plastic packaged convenience food.  Finding these foods means shopping on the perimeter of a grocery store where the fresh foods are instead of towards the center where the processed, prepackaged, and artificial stuff usually is.  If possible, it is even better to shop at a local farmers’ markets or grow some of your own food.  With real food in hand, do as much meal preparation yourself as you can.  By reconnecting yourself to the creation of your food, you will enjoy healthier, more nutritious, and more flavorful meals.

Not too much

Fast and prepackaged foods are designed for parting consumers with their money.  They are nutrient sparse and designed to encourage overeating.  They do not fully sate you or adequately nourish you, but they addict you to eating them; consequently, you become programmed to crave and eat more.  That’s wonderful for corporate bottom lines, but not so great for your bottom (or midsection as the case may be).

In contrast, eating high quality, nutrient dense foods satisfies your body’s needs, requiring less consumption for satiety.  After a few weeks of eating a nutritious dietof fresh, whole foods, portion control becomes more natural as you deprogram the commercial food cravings and truly satisfy your body’s nutritional needs.

Mostly plants

Humans are omnivores with an amazing digestive tract that can derive our nutrition from a multitude of flora and fauna.  However, we still need to remember to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; just because we can survive on a carnivorous diet doesn’t mean that we should.  The human digestive tract works optimally with plant food sources (e.g. fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, etc) and can be supplemented by animal sources (e.g. meat and dairy).  A diet rich in plant foods provides essentials like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which help us stay healthy and thrive.

We cannot remain unaware of the source of our food, how it is grown and processed, and how it is prepared.  To disconnect ourselves from the creation of our food means paying a hefty long term nutrtitional and health price.  We must instead strive to be mindful of our food choices.  Paying attention to our food reconnects us to the vital process of nourishing ourselves building strong, healthy bodies.

Johnny Kuo

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NOTE: As anyone will tell you, always consult a physician when concerned about your health, diet and direction of your wellness plan.  As for ANY nutritional and dietary information on this site (or ANYWHERE), please use your own good judgement.  The authors of this website, are not registered dietitians, but have a strong background in health, wellness & exercise.  Proper nutrition just goes with the territory.

The Warrior’s Diet

Posted in Health, Nutrition with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by Combative Corner

As a teacher… as someone who truly cares about not only what he puts into his body, but what his students put into their’s… I’ve decided to write a short post on nutrition.  A post on diet and nutritious foods is seldom a popular one, unless it has something to do with something tastily unhealthy.  But you know what actually prompted this article?  Well, the Dixie Classic Fair is in town, as it is every October around this time.  Can you guess what the hot, new item on the menu was?  It’s the Krisby Kreme Doughnut Cheeseburger!  (easily 1,000 calories each)

Listen people! America is home to the most obese people in the world.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 33% of Americans are obese (a 60% increase within the past twenty years).  Do we blame the fast food industry?  Do we blame our jobs for its demands and having us “eat on the go?”

Point the finger at yourself!  I did.

To the left are pictures of items from my last visit from the grocery store.  After going “semi-vegetarian” (4 months ago) I have regained a fondness for things living… and welcome the challenge of making new and interesting dishes while keeping a few things in mind – limit these : saturated fats, refined sugars, high sodium.

My personal method is that I allow myself 3 indulgences; usually these: 12 pack of Soda, Mozzarella cheese, & yogurt.

As individuals looking to get the most from our bodies – As teachers looking to give a good impression, I hope you give a second thought to improving your own grocery list.  Remember, it’s WE as the consumers that are setting the pace.  If our money says that we want healthier choices – that’s exactly what these large companies are going to start producing.  Find out for yourself just how much you can stretch the ol’ dollar when it comes to shopping.  I was able to get all you see pictured for just over $15.00.  These items will provide numerous meals & snacks for the upcoming week.  Last month, I only spent $95.00 total for the month.

Next month, I’ll give you guys a glimpse & recipe of my own tasty, yet healthy, creation.

Anyone out there with any advice on saving money, and eating right?  Drop us a comment!

Michael Joyce

ChenCenter.Com

A Day’s Lesson [9/14/2010] : Coach Joyce

Posted in Day's Lesson, Nutrition, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2010 by chencenter

A Jedi’s skill flows…

“When I envision a proper martial artist, behold! I see a Jedi warrior, someone who not only has discipline enough to stay the course of rigorous physical training but also [and not emphasized enough] the understanding that “The Force” (Chi, Qi, Ki) flows; as Master Yoda said, ‘Its energy surrounds us, and binds us.’  We should take a serious look into what energy we are fueling ourselves with these days.

In a very serious way, we ARE what we eat, and this should seriously concern us.  After recently becoming vegetarian (90-95% at least) you should see the looks I get when I tell people my new, (healthy) lifestyle.  You would think that I had said or done something horrible.  They turn away and say something like, ‘I don’t know how you do it’ or ‘I could never do that.’  They (the ‘Norms’) go around eating what they want, playing the slave to their taste buds, to those pleasure centers in their brain, and worse off… they are reenforced by a society that tells them that they are F.I.N.E.,… as if eating in this ‘normal way’ IS fine.

Many Americans (that I’ve witnessed) take pride in being different.  Just the other night at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), Lady Gaga walked out on stage in a dress made entirely of animal flesh.  Whether she was trying to make a statement or not, she did make headlines.  In many teenager’s minds ‘different’ is ‘creative.’  It IS if you’re already famous enough that people go along with it.  Many health conscious people can show you another way to be ‘different’… examples: turn your back on fast food establishments, nicotine, alcohol, meat… or maybe the entire lot!

Yoda also said that ‘We must unlearn what we have learned,’ and I think this is an important step for the true martial artist, someone who sees beyond what he can do (i.e. how much he/she can bench press) but moreso, what he/she is made of.  We all know (at least we should know) that energy, not protein and animal fat, powers our physical body and helps us to grow.  My message is to seek a Jedi’s nutition by exercising control (meats, refined sugars, saturated fats & portion size).  Going green should not just be a recycling movement… it should be a shift in our thinking.  Yoda is green for a reason (and he lived to be 900 years old).”

Coach Michael Joyce

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