VeganSmart sponsors Vermont Sun Triathlon Series throughout the summer at Lake Dunmore in central Vermont. Nestled against the Green Mountains, just below Rattlesnake Point is Branbury State Park. The lake region is a most spectacular and pristine place to swim, bike and run. Novice and advanced athletes alike marvel the beauty of our courses and enjoy the mountains, lakes and streams of Central Vermont. This is the 29th year of running the Vermont Sun Triathlon triathlons and a vegan-friendly race it is! There is plenty of vegan-friendly food and snacks throughout the race including everything from fruits, vegan pizza and our VeganSmart included in the racing bags given out to the racers. Read more of Treading Lightly in Vermont’s detailed blog about race day.
While both of these physically and mentally relieving forms of fitness provide therapeutic values, choosing whether yoga or Pilates fits you best typically depends on a number of factors. For starters, you should know what kind of health benefits you are striving for. Are you someone who is looking for more of a strength and flexibility training program, or are you searching for more mentally focused exercises that can work to relieve stress? Knowing which areas yoga and Pilates focus on as well as what their workouts entail are key when deciding which one will accommodate your fitness needs.
If you already haven't figured out whether fish are friend or foe when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, it's time for you to make a new companion. Seafood is always an excellent addition to any meal, bursting with a wide variety of nutrients that can also account for a remarkably high protein meal. Fish are typically rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, and, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating multiple 3 ounce servings of fatty acid fish per week can reduce the likelihood of cardiovascular complications by 36 percent. So, where should you look for a health dinner?
One of the more incredibly abundant seafood options when it comes to healthy benefits, chowing down on some salmon a few times a week can offer you everything from boosting your brain to helping your heart. Salmon is packed with a long list of nutritional amenities, such as vitamins A, B, D and E, high quality protein as well as being loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. The good types of fat contained in a serving of salmon can reach up to three times the minimum recommendations for omega-3 fatty acids, which will in the long run provide better overall heart health, boost your immune system and strengthen your synapses in your brain.
Often marketed as a luxury seafood of delicacy, oysters can be just as rich in health enhancing qualities. First off, they are low in calories, which means that you can eat a greater portion with less calorie consequences and feel full quicker, which can help boost your metabolism. They are also an excellent low fat-high protein combination, with servings containing anywhere between 10-16 grams of protein with only 3-4 total grams of fat per 3 ounce serving.
While most tunas are often found to have the highest levels of mercury among the different kinds of seafood, albacore tuna are mainly caught in northern waters which generally tend to have lower mercury levels and more omega-3 fatty acids counts than other types of canned tuna. Albacore tuna is also a great low fat entree choice, with just one can only amounting to 8 percent of your total fat recommendation.
There's a rule of thumb when it comes to seafood: the smaller the fish, the lower the amount of mercury, which is good news for lovers of these small little guys. Sardines are often overlooked for their abundance in health benefits, and each can includes 35 percent of your daily recommendation of calcium, 15 percent for iron and 10 percent for potassium.
Fish to avoid
There are plenty of other types of fish that might taste just as delicious, but are nowhere near as healthy for you as the other types of seafood listed above. Mercury levels are one dynamic to look out for when it comes to choosing seafood, and fish such as grouper, marlin and swordfish might be considered more expensive and appetizing choices. However, it's strongly suggested that you don't eat more than three servings of these fish per month. Other types of seafood to keep an eye on are fish that tend to live for a long time, which leaves than more susceptible to mercury exposure and other diseases from the sea. Orange roughy is often included on many seafood restaurant menus, but this is a fish that can more often than not be found to live for more than 100 years! Bottom dwellers such as monkfish and catfish are also documented to live long lives while eating scum at the bottom of the sea, so be sure to limit your monthly servings of them as well.
We all tend to have the same misconceptions when it comes to cholesterol. It is produced by your body and the food that you eat and there are both "good" and "bad" kinds. But does all that really help us get any closer to understanding cholesterol? Knowing why maintaining cholesterol is important, the difference between "good" and "bad" as well as the lifestyle changes needed to achieve the adequate levels of it within your body are the only ways to comprehend the significance of cholesterol.
Why watch your cholesterol?
If you were holding cholesterol right now in your hand, you would be carrying a fat and waxy substance resembling the aftermath of a candle burning. Putting cholesterol into this perspective can help understand why having too much of it in your arteries and bloodstream is not a healthy idea. This is not to say that you don't want cholesterol in your body. We use it in a variety of ways:
- To produce testosterone, estrogen and vitamin D
- To strengthen the outer coatings of cells
- To help break down food and nutrients during digestion
The thing to remember is that your body produces all the cholesterol it needs by itself, which is approximately 1,000 milligrams a day to effectively function. When you start to add up all the cholesterol you obtain through eating food, the levels can get a little crowded. Too much of this fatty substance being ingested will produce too much plaque to start building up between layers of artery walls, which in turn makes it more of a challenge for your heart to circulate blood to the rest of your body. This is why you are constantly being bombarded with urgent messages to lower cholesterol.
Good versus bad
First thing to remember with this battle between good and evil is that HDL (high-density lipoproteins) cholesterol is the "good" kind and LDL (low-density lipoproteins) is the "bad" type. According to Harvard Health Publications, 60 to 70 percent of the body's cholesterol is carried in LDL particles. While these LDL specs work to take cholesterol to parts of the body that need it, eventually they will continue to build up excess cholesterol in arteries when you are consuming too much of the substance. HDL on the other hand essentially works as the opposite of LDL, by sucking up extra cholesterol and taking it to the liver so it can in a sense by recycled for other usage in the body. If you're trying to get more HDL in your system than LDL, it's important to note that lifestyle factors have more of an impact than dieting does.
Factors that lower cholesterol
When it comes to finding a cholesterol-effective diet, there are a few solid suggestions that can make an impact on limiting LDL and raising HDL. First off, eliminating trans fat from your diet is an effective measure toward reducing total cholesterol. This means being able to distinguish the difference between "fat-free" and "trans fat-free" on the product labels. Consuming nutrients that are found in whole-grain foods is another key source for limiting cholesterol intake, and eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids will help lower LDL cholesterol. While you might think that exercise is easier said than done, there are plenty of simple ways to get a sufficient workout in that doesn't require a gym membership. Changing your morning commute is one of the easiest ways to get the 30 minutes of daily exercise you need. Instead of making that drive, why not ride your bike or rollerblade to work? When you're on your lunch break, don't just sit on the computer or watch television while chowing down. Instead, pack a light lunch and go for a quick walk around town while you finish your meal.
When you make a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle, the affects can do wonders for your cholesterol levels. Thirty minutes of exercise each day can not only help you lose weight, but help stimulate HDL cholesterol in your body to work harder to remove unwanted fatty substances from your arteries. Other lifestyle choices that are attributed to raising cholesterol levels are smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. According to the Mayo Clinic, your blood pressure decreases after just 20 minutes of sustaining from cigarette use, which also improves your HDL levels. The Mayo Clinic also recommends that those who are under the age of 65 should never exceed two drinks a day.
We often hear about the importance of men maintaining efficient testosterone levels the older they get, but do we really understand how critical of a health dynamic low amounts can be? Not only do insufficient levels of testosterone impact a variety of emotional and physical elements, but testosterone inefficiency can also be the result of a number of other severe ailments. To truly take into account what the symptoms and risks of low testosterone levels can mean for your body, learn more from this analysis:
There have been several medical studies exploring how insufficient amounts of testosterone in a man's body can impact other health conditions. In one examination, researchers from the University of Sydney tested the correlation between elderly men with low testosterone levels and their risk of age-related functionality. The professors rounded up 1,318 male participants who were aged 70 or older to measure their ability to function independently while also having their blood tested to see how much testosterone they were still producing. The researchers discovered that the subjects with lower levels of testosterone were twice as likely to experience a decline in physical function than those with higher testosterone amounts, while also encountering the reduction in ability at a quicker rate.
Another study performed by doctors in Belgium aimed to link low testosterone levels to cardiovascular problems. In addition to discovering that inadequate amounts of the hormone could lead to an increase in body fat, loss of body hair and muscle bulk deterioration, the researchers concluded that there is a moderate connection between low testosterone and heart problems, specifically pertaining to blood clot developments and irregular heart beats. Other recent studies have indicated relationships between insufficient hormone counts being tied to a more rapid development of joint pain.
How low is too low?
Testosterone production in a male's body typically peaks during puberty and adolescent years, which means that getting tested to see how much of the hormone you are producing becomes more important the older you get. A typical adult male should be producing anywhere between 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter, essentially depending on age, height and weight. The typical procedure for testosterone testing revolves around a blood test, which doesn't take long at all and can help you identify various health factors such as how much more testosterone do you need to be producing, and what are the best ways to receive sufficient levels.
How to gain testosterone back
There are plenty of natural ways to produce testosterone, but they all take a little bit of hard work and determination. Being overweight is a common proponent of low hormone counts, so proper dieting and exercise is the simplest way to help gain some testosterone back. Consuming a diet that is rich in zinc is a great way to see a boost in hormone levels, and some foods that possess high quantities of zinc include poultry, fish, beans, nuts and lean red meat. Vitamin D levels are also known to affect testosterone amount, and the easiest solution to receiving more vitamin D is through getting more sunlight outside.
Another great way to feel and look younger is through Ultra T Gold, a supplement that is a natural free testosterone booster, formulated based on extensive scientific research and clinical studies. Taking just two capsules a day on an empty stomach will support free testosterone levels, thereby helping to increase libido and promote muscle health naturally.*
Implementing a high protein meal diet has always been a top priority for those looking to add a little lean to their muscle and burn some belly fat. While the daily recommendation for protein intake equates to 60 grams, determining how to spread out your protein consumption throughout the course of the day can get tricky. For those who often find themselves guessing on which meal to incorporate protein to, a recent study suggests how to properly distribute your intake so that you see the results you're looking for.
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston analyzed how consuming the majority of your protein intake either at the beginning or end of your day may not be doing your body justice. The importance of protein ranges on a number of levels, such as promoting efficient weight control, strengthening bone density and, of course, adding a little mass to your muscle.
In order to find out how your protein intake should be distributed throughout the day, the researchers took two separate groups of healthy adults to settle this health inquiry once and for all. Two diets were established that featured different portion sizes of protein being provided with each meal. One of the groups was given a diet that consisted of 30 grams of protein at each meal, while the other subjects were administered a meal plan that pertained to 10 grams at breakfast, 15 grams at lunch and 65 grams at dinner.
Muscle protein synthesis rates were then measured for all the participants every 24 hours after their daily diets were completed. The researchers decided to give all of the volunteers a 90 grams a day, because a meal plan that is significantly higher in protein content can provide an actively healthy adult with better muscle metabolism. After analyzing the daily protein synthesis rates provided by the subjects, the colleagues determined that those who exercised an evenly distributed protein diet of 30 grams per meal were able to achieve 25 percent greater muscle protein synthesis rate than those who had their meals slowly progress in protein content throughout the course of the day.
The study was led by Dr. Doug Paddon-Jones, a scientist whose expertise resides in muscle metabolism for the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Paddon-Jones called out the typical protein diet that is commonly used by people today, explaining that equality is everything when it comes to dividing up your protein content for the day.
"Usually, we eat very little protein at breakfast, a bit more at lunch and then consume a large amount at night," Paddon-Jones said in a statement. "So we're not taking enough protein on board for efficient muscle building and repair during the day, and at night we're often taking in more than we can use. We run the risk of having this excess oxidized and ending up as glucose or fat."
Alternative ways to get protein
While everyone can help pump up their muscle mass by increasing their protein intake, sometimes you don't have time to sit down and eat a hearty protein meal to get the daily recommendation that you need. That's why Naturade Pea Protein is a simple and effective method to consuming 40 percent your daily protein requirements, all in an 8 ounce glass of your favorite beverage. By adding two scoops to a glass of water, you will be packing a healthy plant-based protein that can offer your body all the essential qualities of protein, such as building muscle, maintaining proper metabolism and lowering blood pressure. If you need protein in a hurry, Naturade Pea Protein will have you covered.
Summer is finally here! Time to take advantage of all the glorious sunny weather, plethora of spirited activities and ideal vacation destinations before it's too late. While this is definitely the season to cherish the outdoors, it's also important to remember that all that time spent outside will leave your immune system more susceptible to allergens and unwanted germs. Here are a few tips on keeping you healthy and active this summer instead of spending the season bedridden and fatigued.
Adjust your diet
It's no coincidence that the healthier you eat, the better you will feel. Knowing which foods you consume to help boost your immune system is the ultimate weapon in avoiding certain ailments, and it all starts with ingesting essential vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are the key toward eliminating reactive oxygen species, free radicals and other damaging molecules from entering your body and prompting infection. Your best source for antioxidants come from colorful fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, carrots, cherries, tomatoes and blueberries. All these foods possess beneficial phytonutrients that can break down and devour invading germs. In addition to receiving excessive sunlight, implementing more vitamin D through the foods you eat is another component of achieving a healthy immune system. The best ways of getting adequate levels of vitamin D besides being out in the sun include:
- Canned tuna
- Low-fat milk or yogurt
- Fortified tofu
Summer is when you essentially have no excuse not to receive plenty of physical activity and exercise. With indoor and outdoor access available, summer is the ideal time to finally achieve that New Year's resolution and get back in shape. And if you need any more motivation, exercise is a strong companion for a healthy immune system. While you're out there running around, stimulating blood flow and cardiovascular activity as well as flushing out excess bacteria from your lungs, all this activity is sending antibodies and white blood cells traveling throughout the body at a quicker rate, leading to better prevention of illnesses. On top of increasing immune ability, exercise leads to more effective sleep and stress reduction, two other traits that can keep you feeling fresh and lively. Some easy summer activities that can keep your heart pumping and immune system thriving can include:
- 30 minutes of walking
- 18 holes of golf
- An hour long bike ride
- Rollerblading or biking instead of driving to work
- Jogging with your pet to the park
- Partaking in a few hours of tennis per week
Get your eight hours
As advocated by the National Sleep Foundation, eight hours is the magic number when it comes to getting an efficient night's rest. Besides avoiding waking up on the wrong side of the bed, sleep is essential for aiding your line of defense against disease. While you are asleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, which work to fight against symptoms of infection or inflammation. When you are consistently not receiving the recommended quantity of sleep, cytokine production is reduced, making it easier for you to become sick. Frequent exercise during the day will help your body achieve quality sleep at night for those who tend to endure restless nights of tossing and turning.
Symbiotics Colostrum Plus
An efficient and easy way to provide your immune system with proper assistance is by taking two capsules of Symbiotics Colostrum Plus a day. Colostrum Plus boosts immune factors with Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs) which serve as an immune system stabilizer.* Colostrum's dual action—in the bloodstream and in the GI tract, helps maintain healthy intestinal flora in a normal GI tract.* Symbiotics Colostrum Plus is a uniquely helpful supplement providing Lactoferrin, Immunoglobulins and Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs).
When we think about bacteria, we tend to associate it with negative connotations. This simply isn't the case, as bacteria is a crucial factor for boosting our immune system, manufacturing essential vitamins and assisting in improving our overall digestion process. There are already millions of living bacteria cells lined up along the walls of our stomach and intestine that work to break down nutrients for our bodies. Specifically, probiotics are a form of bacteria that are key components for aiding digestion, and while certain foods such as yogurt, pickles and tempeh are solid solutions to providing more of these small organisms to your gut, there are more efficient and faster ways to receive the proper amount of probiotics you need.
How probiotics work
When your digestive system endures an unstable balance of healthy gut bacteria, your intestines can experience pain and the entire metabolism process may slow down. When you consume probiotics, these microorganisms work to help build and strengthen the lining of your gut and intestines, so unwanted bacteria that can provoke nauseating symptoms such as upset stomach and diarrhea can be eliminated. They also help regulate the speed and processing of food being broken down within your intestine, making sure that all the quality vitamins and minerals are being properly absorbed. Essentially, the main functions for probiotics are as follows:
- Boosting your immune system by increasing production of antibodies
- Destroying toxins generated by "bad" bacteria in the intestines
- Producing B vitamins that quicken the metabolism process
- Preventing infection within the gut and intestinal lining
- Sending signals to cells to provide relief against potential illnesses in the intestines
Benefits of probiotics
There are many lifestyle factors that play into how "bad" bacteria or an imbalance of "good" organisms within the gut and intestine can develop. If you are not eating nutritiously, breathing in polluted environments or not receiving enough sleep, you are putting yourself at risk for poor digestion and possible infection within the intestines. Fortunately, probiotics are safe and easy way to increase the presence of "good" bacteria in the body, which can prevent nauseating symptoms such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome as well as the common cold and flu.
Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU
If you are looking for immediate digestive relief, try using Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU to give your immune system the help it needs while letting you feel better in no time. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU contains billions of good bacteria forming colonies with every capsule, that will work to strengthen the lining of your intestines, maintain healthy intestinal flora and leave your stomach feeling refreshed and free. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU is completely allergen and dairy free, and is recommended for anyone experiencing symptoms of bloating, gas and general digestive discomfort.
For those who have yet to experience the immunity supporting properties of colostrum, it is time to get acquainted. Colostrum is the pre-milk produced in the mammary glands of all mammals to give their newborn the support to transition from the protected environment of the womb into our biologically active world. Colostrum possesses a number of essential components: immunoglobulins, lactoferrin and proline-rich polypeptides work to balance your immune system and at the same time, keep you feeling like being active after intense exercise. Of all the incredible qualities of colostrum, it is the naturally occurring growth factors that can provide support that athletes seek – prolonged stamina and strengthened muscles. Here are a few reasons why the growth factors make colostrum a must-have supplement for your body:
What they are
Growth factors are essentially naturally occurring hormones abundant in colostrum. They serves to stimulate cellular growth within the body. Activating cellular activity is important because it provides an opportunity for the body to maintain a balanced immune defense. Some of these factors can include smoothing out muscle cells and promoting communication between immune cells to support a normal, healthy body. They also assist with the maturation of cells, specifically helping bone morphogenetic proteins.
How they work
In a nutshell, growth factors act as chemical messengers that provide quicker communication between various cells within the body. Let's say that your skin is irritated. Growth factors will act as the body's messenger service, issuing signals to skin cells to work together with fibroblasts to return to a normal functional state.
Why you need it
As we continue to age, it is harder for our bodies to continuously produce or obtain growth factors. Everything from the immune system, to energy levels, to skin starts to show signs of wear the older we become, which is why adding colostrum to your diet will help keep your body feeling and looking younger. Steady contribution of growth factors may help ease early aging side effects.
An excellent source of growth factors is Symbiotics Colostrum Plus. Symbiotics Colostrum Plus has been tested in laboratories to verify the absence of artificial hormones, pesticides and antibiotics, so you can rest assured your body is receiving a full-on natural product. It is never too late to start seeing and feeling the effects of the natural growth factors in colostrum.
One of the most loathed aspects of aging is that the number of ways to lower your libido seem to increase the older you become. While some of these factors are essentially inevitable, there are still plenty lifestyle elements that you may not realize are taking the spark out of your love life. In addition to taking the right libido supplements, eliminating a few of these sex drive lowering components to your day will help you get your desire back and feeling vigorous in no time.
All the pressure and tension endured throughout the day can more often than not be enough to wipe anyone out. Stress will also accumulate if you continue to focus on all the weighing issues of your job or home life even when you are not partaking in them. To rid this distraction from your libido, there are a few alterations to your day that you can easily achieve. First off, try engaging in frequent daily physical activity, which is a great way to free your mind of all your problems as well as stimulate your libido. Meditation is another attribute that can provide the brain with clarity through various breathing and stretching exercises. Finally, nothing will loosen you up like receiving a quality massage, a practice that has been alleviating stress in people for centuries.
If you continue to endure consecutive evenings staying up all night staring at the ceiling, the odds are that being intimate will be the last thing on your mind the next night you come back to bed. Exhaustion is a huge proponent of low libido, and frequent lack of rest will also elevate your cortisol levels, a naturally produced steroid hormone that is commonly associated with low libido qualities. Simple remedies for a solid night of eight hours in total slumber can include eliminating late night snacks or alcoholic beverages, avoiding watching television or electronic devices before bed and even exercising for at least 30 minutes at some point during the day. Your libido and your spouse will thank you after receiving a sufficient night's rest.
While this can go without saying, what you put into your body will definitely have an impact on what's inside of it. Poor nutritional habits such as frequent fast-food dinners or too many trips to the cookie jar can produce poor health symptoms, such as reduction and blood flow or receiving lack of essential nutrients. These are factors that play a big role in decreased libido, because all your energy is being used up to burn empty calories. Eating healthy is never a bad idea when it comes to trying to get back in the mood.
One of the leading libido supplements available, Naturade Vitali-T-Aid Energy is a safe and healthy way to boost your sex drive and increase satisfaction in your performance and energy. Containing a blend of stimulating ingredients such as L-arginine, Asian ginseng and caffeine from natural coffee beans, your stamina and libido will be the last thing you will worry about after taking just two capsules of Naturade Vitali-T-Aid Energy!