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fruitWhat is the cost of eating healthy? A couple of studies looked at answering this question and found that it depends. It depends on your income, if you can cook, and how you measure your food.

The first study was conducted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). They found based on weight and serving size, fruits, veggies, low-fat milk and grains cost less than foods that were high in fat and sugar as well as fish, chicken and meat. Their message was that eating healthy costs less than eating junk foods.

A conflicting study by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found the opposite. However, they took another approach to analyzing the data by studying the cost of food in relation to its nutritional content. They found that foods that were higher in essential nutrients coast more per calorie than foods poor in nutrient content.

Even though these studies do not agree when it comes to cost of food there are some things they do agree on. They agree that people who know how to cook are able to eat healthier without blowing the budget. For many, cooking healthy is a new skill and many would have to change the way they view food. They could also make their dollar stretch further if they opted for more nutritious options over foods high in sugar and fat.

Here are some tips on how to eat healthy on a budget:

  • Take a cooking class and add a few more healthy recipes to your list
  • Visit a nutritionist, naturopath or dietician for advice on healthy and affordable eating
  • Do some shopping at farmers markets. They often cost less than supermarkets
  • Shop on a full stomach and you are less likely to fill your cart with junk food
  • Plan your meals. The more you plan the easier it is to eat healthy and stay on a budget

 

RunningSThe anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is important for the proper movement of the knee. Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can be a debilitating injury to the knee. Injuries range from a small tear to completely torn and happen mainly during sports like basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, and skiing. These sports have a lot of hard and awkward landings or abrupt shift in directions which can lead to tears. In addition to the physical and psychological impact it has to your body, it also takes financial toll. However, a new study show that how teams warm up before practices and games can lower the risk of an injured knee.

Because of the growing number of these injuries, researchers have been developing programs to reduce the number. These programs are known as neuromuscular training and use a series of exercises to teach athletes how to land, change directions, plant their legs etc. These programs have been found to reduce the number of ACL tears by 50% or more.

Despite these findings, few leagues and schools across the country have adopted neuromuscular training. Not completely sure why, Dr. Eric Stewart decided to figure out what the monetary savings might be in ACL injury prevention. He and his colleagues gathered clinical trials related to neuromuscular training and used them to create a model of what would happen in a hypothetical sports league of athletes ages 14 to 22. He compared the monetary impact if they did and did not practice neuromuscular training.

First they found the average cost for surgery and rehabilitation on an ACL tear was $15,000. The incidence for those not practicing neuromuscular training was 3% which equated to about $500 per player.

They then calculated the incidence of injury dropped to 1.5% with neuromuscular training. Because many programs for this training are on-line for free the cost of training was negligible. Based on calculations they found the cost of starting a neuromuscular training program was about $1.25 per player. . . .much cheaper than visiting an orthopedic surgeon.

To give you an idea, most programs consist of 15 – 20 minutes of exercise to include marching, jumping, squatting and side-to-side shuffling. The purpose is to wake up the brain and nervous system. An example of this training is Prevent Injury, Enhance Performance (PEP) program and the FIFA 11 program. Both are free and no training is needed to teach athletes. Easy to follow videos of workouts can be found on-line for free. Below are links to their respective sites:

http://health.usf.edu/medicine/orthopaedic/smart/pep/index.htm

http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/footballdevelopment/medical/playershealth/the11/index.html

rollITWhen you want some of the benefits of a sports massage but don’t have the money you may want to try foam rolling.  For various reasons including disuse, not stretching, and injuries, the fascia and underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together.  This adhesion of the fascia to the muscle restricts muscle movement.  It can also cause pain, soreness and reduced flexibility.  Foam rolling stretches muscles and tendons and breaks down the soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue.

To foam roll all you need is a cylindrical foam roller which you use your own body weight to perform a sort of self massage.  There are several website with instructions and videos on various foam rolling exercises.  An example of one of these sites is at the link below:

http://rumbleroller.com/foam-roller-exercises.html

If you are still not sure if this is for you, here are some benefits you may experience when foam rolling:

  • Help prevent injuries:  One of the most important reasons for a regular foam-rolling routine is to prevent exercise-related injuries. Foam rolling every day ensures you are massaging away fascia buildup in your muscles, in order to help prevent those areas from becoming injury trigger points.
  • Help distress:  Foam rolling helps releases tension that is built up in the connective tissue which also keeps you less stressed.  Even sitting all day at the office puts stress on your body.  An all-over body routine can help you distress after a long day at work.
  • Helps with flexibility:  Breaking down the soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue while stretching the muscles will build up your flexibility.  This will also help in any fitness routine.  It can also help combat tightness from sitting as well as lower back pain.
  • Improves blood circulation:  Foam rolling improves blood circulation in the skin, fascia, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.  With improved circulation comes more efficient exchange of nutrients and wastes at cellular level.

The use of foam rollers has increased over the past ten years and will likely continue to grow.  It is a low-cost investment for a potentially great return towards your overall health.

thCADXAK06Aztecs and Mayans began using chia seeds as early as 3500 BC.  They were ground into flour, pressed for oil and mixed into water for drinking.  They were considered “magical” because of their ability to increase stamina and energy over long periods of time.  After the Spanish conquered Latin America, the seeds faded away as the Spanish introduced their own foods.

Chia seeds contain fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin zinc, antioxidants and protein.  In fact, they have more omega-3 fatty acids than even salmon and deliver more calcium than skim milk (18% of daily intake value).  Chia seeds are also known to reduce caloric intake since they absorb up to 12 times their own weight and expand.

They can be eaten in breakfast cereals, yogurt, salad, baked goods, water, juices, and smoothies.  It is now also being added to chicken and cattle feed for more enriched eggs and milk.  I expect the popularity will only continue to grow for chia seeds because of their numerous benefits.

df0d3c2abcdeaa0c_fruit_xxxlarge_1I found this article on www.fitsugar.com written by Jenny Sugar.  I thought this was insightful so I wanted to share it with you.  I agree with Jenny Sugar. . . what you keep in your kitchen and how you keep it can make or break you with your weight loss quest.  Maybe you can incorporate some of these tips into your kitchen. . . .

http://www.fitsugar.com/Kitchen-Weight-Loss-Tips-18543636?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

This handy infographic guide to leafy greens was posted by One Medical Group.  It includes nutrition facts and great cooking tips.  Use this guide to figure out how to inlcude these benefical greens in your life.

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menI recently read a post by Cynthia Sass in the Huffington Post Healthy Living section on 5 mistakes people make with food and exercise that I thought I would summarize and share.  I have seen these same issues with people who I know.  Fix these missteps and the author feels you can better reap the rewards of all of your hard work.

  • Eating Too Little Fat – It seems like people these days are super fearful of fat.  Despite recommendations to include good fats in diet, people stay clear of any fat, often reaching for fat-free options.  Cutting back on fat too much can lead to fatigue, hunger, irritability, depression, weak immune system, and can increase risk of injury.  It is more of the most important nutrients in your diet.  Even if you are trying to reduce body fat, including good fats in your diet is essential to your health.  Look to add things like almond butter, avocado, or olive oil to get the fats you need.
  • Using A Sports Drink When You Really Don’t Need One – As a rule of thumb, if you are exercising less than 90 minutes in a climate controlled gym, water is all you need.  Sports drinks are for folks that work out for more than 90 minutes in hot or humid conditions.  They are meant to keep you going when you can’t stop to eat.  Sports drinks contain a lot of sugar so unless you are really pushing it, stick to water.
  • Not Eating After A Workout Because You’re Afraid To “Eat Back” What You’ve Burned – You may not want to over eat after a workout but you do need some nutrition to heal the body from wear and tear that you put on your body.  Again, you don’t want to overdo eating after a workout but eat with a goal in mind of delivering nutrients to your body to aid in recovery.
  • Only Eating Protein Post Workout – Protein is only one of the key nutrients for recovery.  You also need your share of healthy fat, whole grains and produce.  These help do things such as replenish nutrients, supply antioxidants, help muscles heal, replete glycogen, and optimize circulation.
  • Doubling Up On Recovery Meals – The author recommends eating something like a natural bar or shake 30 minutes before the end of a tough training or game to start the recovery process.  This has shown to maximize healing.  However, she recommends this for your pro athlete clients.  For the average person this can be overkill if it is followed by a full recovery meal.  As a tip she recommends that if you are going to eat within an hour after leaving the gym, skip the snack and wait for the meal.
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