It's that time of year again, when the leaves change to vibrant hues and the air turns crisp. It's also time to pick your perfect pumpkin for carving, painting, baking or whatever else you can think of. So head to a local pumpkin patch to find your perfect pumpkin and get a little exercise in the process!
Choose what ever type of pumpkin you like for carving! Some people want one with an even color and a perfectly round shape, while others prefer something with an interesting shape and some bumps and other things that give character. When on the hunt for your perfect pumpkin, just make sure to choose one with a flat bottom – though most of them are bred that way these days – to ensure it doesn't tip over!
Carving pumpkins have been bred to be very large. Thus, their flesh isn't always the best for eating as it's typically a bit watery and bland. For baking, choose a small pumpkin that is specifically called a "baking pumpkin," such as the sugar pie variety. You can make pumpkin pie or roast it for use in pasta with these small, dense baking pumpkins. They're good for your health – provided you don't pair them with too much sugar! You can also roast the seeds of carving or baking pumpkins for a healthy snack or addition to your trail mix.
Football season is in full swing, and if you're a fan, you're probably doing some serious tailgating, either at home or at a game. But tailgating doesn't have to be all about the chicken wings, brats and burgers! In fact, there are plenty of meatless options that are excellent pre-game snacks. So whether you're a vegetarian, just looking to curb your meat addiction or trying to add some variety into the tailgating fare, here are three awesome vegetarian recipes that everyone will love:
Caprese salad skewers
- Grape or cherry tomatoes
- Mini fresh mozzarella balls
- Fresh basil leaves
- Balsamic vinegar
- Toothpicks or plastic party picks
These are so easy and quick to make! First, cut your tomatoes in half width-wise so they will have a flat surface to sit on. Skewer a tomato, flat side down, followed by a basil leaf and a mini mozzarella ball. Set each skewer on a sheet or serving plate with wax paper. When you're done, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top of them, et voilà!
Vegan potato salad
Ingredients (for 10 to 12 servings)
- 12 medium potatoes
- 1 cup eggless mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Every American party needs a good potato salad, and this one happens to be both vegan and delicious! Cut the potatoes in cubes before boiling them – the smaller the cubes, the quicker they will be done. Drain them and let them cool before mixing them with all of the other ingredients in a bowl. Season with paprika, salt and pepper, and refrigerate until tailgating time!
Easy celebration chili
Ingredients (for eight servings):
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeños, chopped
- 16-ounce can of black beans
- 16-ounce can of pinto beans
- 16-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (for thickening)
- Chili powder to taste
- Salt to taste
If you're in the mood for something heartier, you can whip up this quick and easy vegan chili in no time. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large pot until the onions become soft – about five minutes. Add the peppers to the mix and saute for a few more minutes. Then mix in the tomatoes, black beans, chia seeds and chili powder, simmering it for 30 minutes. Salt to taste and serve with vegan sour cream and cheese.
Appetite suppression isn't something people should do frequently, but when you're taking the leap and making drastic changes to your diet, those cravings for potato chips and chocolate cake can be strong.
One thing that people swear by to make them fuller is drinking more water. In fact, many people don't take in as much water as their bodies need everyday, so this can be a good way to drink more. And H20 for appetite suppression isn't just an old wives' tale! In a 2010 clinical trial by the American Chemical Society, which was funded by the Institute for Public Health and Water Research, all participants were on low-calorie diets, but one group drank 2 cups of water before eating. After 12 weeks, the group who drank water before meals lost an average of 15.5 pounds, while the other group lost only an average of 11 pounds. Researchers think that the water made them feel more full, causing them to consume less calories.
Appetite suppression foods to try
Some good options are those low in fiber and/or high in fiber, including:
What are compression pants? If you love running, hate treadmills and plan to exercise outside even in the frigid winter temps, compression pants are your best friend.
Compression pants or tights fit very close to the body and are made of spandex-like materials that remove moisture – including sweat and wetness from rain or snow – away from the skin. This is very important for cold-weather running because it keeps you dry, and thus warm. Pants made of cotton will soak up moisture, making your body cold and trapping moisture against your skin, which can cause chafing. Choose pants that have minimal seams and aren't baggy.
Here are some other quick tips for cold weather running:
- Layer up so you can remove clothing if necessary.
- Buy layers with zippers at the neck and armpit areas so you can vent those spots and keep yourself dry.
- If it's raining, sleeting or snowing, wear an outer shell that keeps moisture out. Some people even recommend putting plastic baggies on your feet before putting running shoes on to keep your toes dry.
- Keep as much exposed skin covered as possible - wear a hat or headband and gloves.
- After your run, change immediately so your body can warm up. It's not good to sit around in damp clothing!
Maybe you started out as one of those people who never looked at food labels – you worked out frequently, had a stellar metabolism and ate what you liked. But now, your metabolism is catching up to you and you're pretty sure you eat too much sugar, so it's time to start checking out food labels.
Food labels can be a bit daunting, and they can be a lot of work to read every time you buy something new. But if you know the basics and focus on the ingredients you're most concerned about – which will be different for each person – you'll get a better idea about what processed products contain. Here are the basics for reading and interpreting a food label:
First, not the serving size. The calories, fat, cholesterol, sugars, protein, fiber and everything else are all based on one serving size as detailed by the Food and Drug Administration. So, for example, you might grab a bag of chips and skim down the fat and sodium levels and think "Hey, that's not bad!" But when you look at the serving size, you notice that the bag contains 2.5 servings … and you were planning to eat the entire bag of chips in one sitting.
The rest of the numbers can be deceiving if you don't first read the the serving size and notice how many servings are in each container of food.
Percent of daily value
Each aspect of the food measured on the label is expressed in grams and also percent daily value. The food labels are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, but some people need as many as 2,500 calories per day while others can eat less – or plan to eat less to lose weight.
Other measurements to note
Many things are measured on a food label, but here are other important ones to pay attention to:
- Calories and calories from fat
- Total fat, which also shows saturated and trans fats
- Various vitamins
At the bottom of the food label, the ingredients are also listed. Generally, the more ingredients a food item has, the less healthy it is for you. If you have food allergies, it's especially important to read this list carefully. Although the FDA requires that below the ingredient list, products state if they contain – or are produced in an environment with other products that contain – the most common food allergens, like wheat, soy, dairy, milk, eggs and nuts. Ingredients that many people believe should be avoided are high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, sodium nitrate and nitrite, BHA, sodium benzoate, food colorings and various others.
Athletes and everyone even marginally interested in fitness knows that it's important to consume protein after working out. Research by exercises scientists and others has shown that ingesting protein after a workout, in any form, is important for muscle synthesis and the prevention of muscle breakdown. In fact, some people believe that if you don't consume protein after your exercise, you're almost defeating the purpose. But how much protein is enough? And what is the optimal form of protein?
Most nutritionists and exercise scientists seem to agree that as long as you're consuming enough protein every day – which is up to 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight for adults looking to maintain muscle, and up to 0.8 grams for hardcore athletes consistently involved in strength training to build muscle – the amount you consume post-workout isn't too important. Generally, between 20 to 40 grams of post-workout protein is enough.
You should consume protein within an hour after working out for maximum benefits. It's important to eat varied protein sources, but whey protein powders like Naturade 100% Whey are optimal for post-workout protein as they work more quickly than whole food sources.
Simply put, candida is a dirty word. Candida is actually the scientific name for the fungus yeast, which can live everywhere – including in your body. Candida is most commonly found in the gut and mouth, and the natural flora – the good bacteria – in our bodies are good at keeping it in check.
However, when there is too much candida albicans – the most common type of this yeast - in the body, the overgrowth can cause infections known as candidiasis, which causes yeast infections in women (and less commonly, men) and thrush in the throat. Candidiasis can also cause itching and rashes on the skin. Invasive candidiasis is a very serious but less common infection that occurs when candida yeast enters the bloodstream and the fungus spreads to other parts of the body.
What causes candidiasis?
It can be caused by various things, including:
- Taking antibiotics
- Prolonged stress
- A diet high in sugar and refined carbs, which actually feed the candida
- Overuse of alcohol
What are some potential symptoms?
- Digestive issues like constipation, bloating and diarrhea
- Skin issues like eczema, hives, rashes and psoriasis
- Vaginal infections and itching, urinary tract infections
- Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
- Feeling worn down and having constant fatigue for unknown reasons
- Itchy ears and severe seasonal allergies
- Cravings for sugar and refined carbs
What can you do?
As candidiasis is caused by an imbalance in the digestive flora for various reasons, it's important to regain balance in the digestive tract by reducing the amount of candida there. One product to try is Naturade's Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Candida Formula, which promotes growth of healthy bacteria and helps the body maintain normal levels of candida albicans through the use of colostrum, lactoferrin and the probiotics lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Colostrum is full of immune factors to support your overall health, and the probiotics support improved digestioni. Lactoferrin takes the iron from candida, which is vital to its growth.
Kids are a tricky bunch. Sometimes they're really picky eaters and you're not sure if they're getting all of the vitamins and nutrients they need. Luckily, because many of our foods are fortified today, most kids do get all of the essentials, according to the Mayo Clinic, and there's really no need for a multivitamin. However, if children are on restricted diets, have food allergies, suffer from chronic diseases or have been diagnosed with failure to thrive, they could need a doctor-recommended multivitamin. Here are the main nutrients in vitamins important for child health, along with their functions:
- Vitamin A: Supports bone growth and vision, protects the body against infection
- Vitamin D: Supports growth and bone mass, builds strong teeth and bones, helps the body absorb calcium and other minerals
- Vitamin E: Limits free radical production
- Vitamin C: Keeps gums healthy, boosts immune health and healing, helps repair and form cells in the body
- Zinc: Aids digestion and metabolism
- Iron: Makes hemoglobin that brings oxygen to the cells, prevents anemia
- Potassium: Helps control water balance in body and maintain blood pressure
- Magnesium: Keeps heart beats steady and supports immune system, muscle and nerve functions
- Calcium: Supports growth of strong bones and teeth
- Fatty acids: Support healthy brain function, vision and the cardiovascular system
Even the healthiest kids are prone to viruses going around, especially during flu season as they spend eight hours of their day in classrooms in close proximity to other kids. One great product to boost immune health is Symbiotics Colostrum Chewables by Naturade, which are made just for kids and come in three kid-friendly flavors: wild cherry, orange creme and pineapple. It uses Colostrum Plus® that is from the first milk of new mother cows, a nutrient-packed ingredient that may improve the immune system, along with other natural ingredients.
With our increasingly busy modern lives, it's often difficult to fit everything we'd like in to all of our days. Getting exercise is of course very important, especially if you drive to work and spend most of your days sitting at a desk. But, luckily, consensus from the experts is that short workouts really do work.
Though it's recommended that adults get 30 minutes of cardio exercise a day, this is very difficult when it's necessary to balance work, raising children and taking care of one's home - not to mention getting enough sleep each night so you can start the day refreshed. But it turns out that mixing interval training into one's schedule can help. For example, though a 30-minute, moderately paced walk burns 112 calories, mixing just eight 30-second speed-walking sprints into the 30-minute walk – for a total of four extra minutes – will enable you to burn 165 calories.
In a recent Oprah.com article, Dr. Martin Gibala said that doing short, intense workouts actually helps us get fitter in less time:
"Your body thinks, 'Whoa! That was hard work,' and it responds by increasing your ability to use oxygen and burn fat," Gibala said.
This is because intense, short workouts work fast-twitch muscle fibers – those responsible for speed and power. In contrast, during a brisk walk, we typically use mostly slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are built for endurance.
In a study Gibala led at McMaster University, half of the participants engaged in 20- to 30-minute cycling workouts with six 30-second "sprints," while the others engaged in a 90 to 120 stationary bike workout at lower-intensities. After two weeks, the people who worked out in intense intervals were just as fit as those who worked out up to four times longer.
So you've got a big conundrum: Your favorite show is on TV tonight – and come to think of it, there are shows you've been dying to see tomorrow and the next night, too. But you've committed to hitting the gym at least four nights a week to get in tip-top shape, even though it puts a squeeze on your busy schedule. So, should you miss your shows or suck it up and head to the gym? Turns out, you hardly have to leave the couch to get a workout, so do both! Here are some tips for exercising while you watch TV:
- Triceps dips: Using the couch for support, place your hands on the edge and walk your feet out. Bend your elbows to "dip" down toward the ground and come back up. Complete two sets of 15.
- Couch push-ups: Kneel on the floor 2 feet away from the couch but facing it. Put your hands on the edge, shoulder-width apart, and do a push-up, lowering your chest until it just touches but does not rest on the couch cushion.
- Boat Pose: Sit on the floor with bent knees and hands by your side. Lean back onto your tail bone and slowly lift your legs until they are at a 45-degree angle with the floor. Lift your arms at the same time so that they are parallel with your knees in a way that helps you keep balance. Keep your back straight and hold the pose for 30 seconds. This is a great core-builder.
- Sit-ups or crunches: These are self-explanatory and are a great workout to do anywhere that will tone your core. This is a good exercise to do during commercial breaks as it's hard to focus on the TV when your head is bobbing up and down and you're focusing on your abs.
- Planks: Get in the push-up position, pull your stomach in and make sure your butt is in line with the rest of your body, rather than sticking straight into the air. Hold this position for 30 seconds then lower slowly to the ground.
- Baby Cobra Pose: This one gives you a good stretch and – even better – you can do it while watching TV. Lie on your stomach and put your hands flat on the ground next to your chest. Use the tops of your feet and your hands to lift your upper body, keeping your elbows close and your hips downward pressed flat to the ground. Hold it for 30 seconds to get a good stretch in your lower back.