Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Tips For Healthy Travel


Staying hydrated is always important, traveling or not. However, it should be the first thing on your mind when you travel, especially if you’re on an airplane because the humidity inside the cabin is lower than normal. Your body will also be acclimating to a new climate, and between finding your way around and enjoying your trip drinking water can be easily forgotten.

Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and loads of other issues. It can also cause hunger, so bottoms up! When you arrive at your location find a convenience store and purchase at least 60-70 ounces of water for each day that you’re traveling.



Find the closest grocery store to where you’re staying. You may or may not be able to find a health foods store, but at least find the nearest market or grocery store to grab some fruit or fresh food. Dining out is a wonderful part of the travel experience, but try to have one meal a day from the grocery store. Think whole/real foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and salads. (This is better on your pocket book, too!)


This doesn’t need to be anything fancy, you can even just use a quart size ziplock or a small travel pouch. Add herbal teas, raw nuts and seeds, low-sugar/healthy bars, extra vitamin C, probiotic stick packs, and your supplements in an easy to access small bag in your carry on. You can also keep a few small packs of almond butter on hand. 


Like we mentioned above, carry a few healthy snacks with you. You don’t have to bring your entire pantry, just grab a piece of fruit that keeps well (apple, banana, orange), some almond butter, your own healthy trail mix, and/or a good-quality, low sugar bar. These types of healthy snacks will tide you over in a pinch and can prevent you from needing that pastry at the airport or chips from the gas station.

Save your indulgences for a fun local restaurant, not the cheap preservative-laden food you’ll find in terminals and convenience stations. Another tip that will save you from processed travel food it to eat a big, healthy, protein-rich meal before you leave your house. If you leave the house hungry, the candy bar isle might get the best of you.



Nothing good comes from this cart except for asking for water with no ice (the ice on airplanes is often not clean and full of germs—ew!). Ask for hot water for the herbal tea you brought on board or just sip a plain water no ice to stay hydrated. The snacks are full of white flour, sodium and preservatives, and all of the drinks are full of sugar. Bring your own plane snacks to start your vacation off right.


Not only will you have a better dining experience, you’ll be able to make sure you have good-quality food. Use TripAdvisor (app and website) to find places with good reviews and view menus to find a place that looks equally healthy and delicious. Traveling or not, when you look at food ask yourself if you’re respecting your body before you eat it.

No matter where you are try to stick to the following:

·       Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with veggies, or fruit with a low-sugar nut bar.

·       Lunch: Some type of salad with a lean protein.

·       Dinner: Anything that sounds good. This is the time to enjoy local cuisines! 

The 90/10 way of eating allows us to enjoy these types of experiences guilt-free. Rules and structure with a little bit of wiggle room. 


You may or may not have control over where you stay. If you’re able, stay in a highly walkable neighborhood and walk to most destinations. You’ll get to experience more of the city and add in extra movement, too. 

Quick tracking tip: The Health app that is built into the iPhone automatically tracks your steps if you have your phone on you. It’s a fun way to see how far you’ve gone (a FitBit or pedometer of course works great too.) Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day, traveling or not.

Along the lines of choosing where to stay, consider renting a condo or apartment with a kitchen instead of staying at a hotel. Preparing a few of your own meals in a kitchen, especially breakfast, will help you stay on track and probably save a little money, too.


Dry locations in the US like Utah and Arizona can give you a sore throat if you’re not used to the climate. A small travel humidifier is usually less than $20 and can make a huge difference when you sleep. Also, if you’re staying in a hotel ask the hotel if they have any extra humidifiers. Most dry places stash a few at the front desk and make a world of difference for your eyes, nose and throat when you wake up in the morning.


Just like when you’re at home, a dark sleep space with no extra light will help you get better rest. Turn the alarm clock light off or unplug it, and use a towel under the door if light is pouring in from the hallway. Eye masks look funny, but if all else fails use one. Any light in your sleep space can disrupt your good night’s sleep.


Hopefully you’re already walking a lot, and the hotel gym is always an option if you’re not getting enough movement in. Also try to incorporate movement into your vacation to enjoy the sights. Swimming at the beach, hiking to see the views, and other types of built-in exercise make the trip even more enjoyable.


It’s easy to forget simple things when you’re out of your routine, so be extra mindful that you stay on your high-quality multivitamin and supplements. You’ll be exposed to even more germs that you’re not used to, and if you’re on a plane you’re exposed to a lot of radiation just from being so high in the atmosphere. Extra antioxidants are of the utmost importance!


For the most part  business travel isn’t a vacation, it is important to stick to your daily routines and habits. When traveling for pleasure plan ahead using the tips we gave you above, and then go with the flow when you arrive!



Friday, July 22, 2022

Benefits of Eating Organ Meats


Organ meats, also known as “offal,” are the consumable organs of animals. Organ meats include livers, hearts, brains, and intestines, to name a few. There are many health benefits to eating organ meats, but there are also some downsides. 

Today in the U.S., livestock is generally harvested for its muscle meat. However, in many countries, certain animal organs are consumed as popular dishes, including duck liver in France, beef tongue in Latin America, and pork liver in Germany. Asian cuisine often includes many parts of an animal’s body, including kidneys, stomachs, and intestines.

Interestingly, during WWII, American consumption of organ meat greatly increased. This was due to a concerted effort by the government to sway people to eat organ meat, as much of the country’s muscle meat was going to the troops. 

According to Jake Young of the journal Gastronomica, meat organs are again experiencing a resurgence, this time in the world of fine dining.

Nutrition Information

Four ounces of raw beef liver contains: 

  • Calories: 153
  • Protein: 23 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams

Four ounces of raw beef heart contains: 

  • Calories: 127 calories
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams

Organ meats are full of nutrients, and are often pound-for-pound more nutritious than muscle meats. With the notable exceptions of tripe (intestines) and brains, most organ meats are good sources of numerous vitamins and minerals, including many of the B-Vitamins, iron, and zinc. 

Potential Health Benefits of Organ Meat

Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Thiamin ,also known as Vitamin B1, is present in liver. Studies have shown that thiamin can help prevent risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease,  including memory loss and plaque formation.

Increased Energy

Animal organs, especially the liver and kidneys, contain iron. Many people suffer from iron deficiency, the condition affects approximately 10 million people in the U.S. One of the main symptoms of iron deficiency is fatigue and lack of energy. Eating organ meat will increase your blood’s iron count. People with iron deficiencies can eat organ meats (especially liver) to increase their energy levels.

Reduced Risk of Cancer

Riboflavin, also known as Vitamin B2, is an important member of the B-Vitamin family that appears to protect the body against certain types of cancer. Riboflavin is found in organ meats, particularly the kidneys and livers. Studies have shown that riboflavin helps reduce the risk of lung and colorectal cancer.  A riboflavin deficiency has been shown to be a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

All meat organs (except intestines) contain high amounts of Vitamin B12.  In combination with folate (also present in meat organs), Vitamin B12 helps moderate homocysteine levels in the blood. High levels of homocysteine are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease

Stronger Immune System

Many organ meats are high in zinc, including the liver, kidneys, and heart. Zinc is essential for your immune system to work properly. People with a zinc deficiency are more susceptible to infection.

Potential Risks of Organ Meat

Cholesterol Levels

While organ meats are highly nutritious foods, they also contain a lot of cholesterol (especially the liver and heart). High cholesterol levels raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, it’s recommended that organ meats be eaten in moderation.

Gout Concerns

People with gout should avoid organ meats, as they contain high levels of purine. Foods rich in purine can contribute to the progression of joint damage for those with gout.


People diagnosed with hemochromatosis, also known as an iron overload disease, have too much iron in their blood and should therefore limit their intake of iron-rich organ meats.


Saturday, July 9, 2022

Amazing Foods You Should Be Grilling


We’ll bet the foods we’re about to suggest have never touched your grill before, and once you’ve tried them, you’ll never do a cookout without them again. Not only are they delicious and unlikely to be found at your neighbors’ parties, they’re healthy, and perfectly complement the more conventional grill foods your friends and family will bring over. And by “healthy” we don’t mean another chicken breast—we’re talking good nutrition with full flavor: smoky guacamole, potato kebabs, peaches and cream, and more.

1. Avocado

Yes, seriously. This beautiful green fruit is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats (which reduce the risk of heart disease), fiber, and many other nutrients. You’ve certainly had it raw on salads or with eggs, but avocado can be grilled for a unique, fire-roasted flavor. Use it to make a smoky guacamole that can top burgers, or as a dip for chopped vegetables.

Smoky Guacamole Recipe
Serves: 4


½ red onion, sliced into rings with balsamic vinegar drizzled on top
2 whole avocados, cut in halves and pitted
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp smoked black pepper (optional)


1. Preheat the grill to medium and, when hot, place the sliced onion onto the grill grates (or use a grill basket if you have one). Cook 3–5 minutes.
2. Place the halved avocados on the grill, flesh-side down. Now return to the onions, tossing them and cooking until tender and caramelized.
3. Carefully remove the avocados and onions from the grill and place on a cutting board. Remove the avocados from their skin and add to a bowl. Chop the grilled onions and add to the avocados, along with the cilantro, lemon juice, and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together to form guacamole.

2. Wild Salmon

Salmon is meaty, like a great burger, so unlike other fish it holds up well to the high heat of a grill. With only some balsamic vinaigrette to season it, you have a quick and filling meal that’s packed with omega-3 fats.

Salmon Fillet Recipe
Serves: 4–6


1–2lb wild salmon fillet with skin
balsamic vinaigrette dressing (to taste)


1. Preheat grill to medium and brush the flesh side of the salmon with the dressing. When the grill is hot, place the salmon on it, skin-side down. Close the grill lid and cook for about 10 minutes per inch of the salmon’s thickness.

3. Potatoes

Grilling a potato results in that fluffy, all-American baked-potato consistency, but takes less time to cook and offers that unique grilled flavor that your oven can’t. Keep the skin on to boost the fiber content. Also, don’t fall for low-carb propaganda claiming that potatoes are only starch—they provide more potassium than bananas and are also high in vitamin C.

Potato Kebabs with a Lemon Herb Drizzle Recipe
Serves: 2–4


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, rosemary, marjoram, and sage)
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lb potatoes (any type), scrubbed clean
2–4 grilling skewers
12 oz package precooked chicken sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal
2 ears fresh corn, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal


1. Place a saucepan over the stove on medium heat. Add the olive oil and, when it’s hot, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the garlic.
2. Let the oil cool, then stir in herbs, salt, lemon juice and pepper and set aside.
3. Place the potatoes in a medium-size, microwave-safe bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Note: if using plastic wrap, make sure the plastic does not touch the potatoes and poke one small hole to vent.
4. Microwave potatoes on high 10–12 minutes, or until tender. Carefully remove from oven. When they’re cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes into chunks. Preheat the grill to medium and thread the potatoes, sausage, and vegetables onto the skewers.
5. Grill the skewers about 10 minutes, turning frequently and brushing with some of the herb mixture during the last few minutes of cooking.
6. Remove skewers from the grill and place on a platter. Drizzle the remaining herb mixture on top.

4. Asparagus

These green spears have natural diuretic properties, which can come in handy in reducing the bloat you get from salty foods and booze. Furthermore, the Journal of Food Science reported that the amino acids and minerals in asparagus extracts can reduce hangover symptoms and protect your liver cells from toxins.

Lemon Asparagus Recipe
Serves: 4


¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 lb asparagus, stems trimmed


1. Preheat grill to medium and mix the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt together in a bowl.
2. Lay out the asparagus on a plate or platter and drizzle the dressing mixture over the asparagus. Place the asparagus on the grill. Note: position the spears perpendicular to the grill grates so they don’t fall through, or use a grill pan. Asparagus cooks fast, so toss every minute or so until tender.

5. Peaches

The heat of the grill softens a peach and maximizes its sweetness to the point where it tastes like candy. In fact, grilled peaches with Greek yogurt can offer the flavor of a decadent pie with a fraction of the calories, more protein, and no processed sugars.

Peaches and Cream Recipe
Serves: 1


1 peach, halved and pitted
1 tsp honey
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped


1. Preheat the grill to medium and, when hot, add the peach halves flesh-side down. Cook 3–5 minutes.
2. Carefully remove peach halves from the grill and place in a bowl. Add the yogurt and drizzle the honey over the top. Garnish with mint and serve.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Electrolytes For Better Athletic Performance

What Are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals that are transported through your body fluids and carry an electric charge. They play important roles in generating energy for cells, transporting signals to and from the brain, muscle contractions, and more. The main electrolytes are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.


What Is an Electrolyte Imbalance?

When you sweat heavily, due to heat exposure, physical activity, or a combination of the two, your body loses water and the electrolytes it carries. For athletes in the middle of a training session or competition, especially in summer time, this loss can be disastrous. In its position stand on exercise and fluid replacement, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) states that losing as little as two percent of your body weight in water can compromise performance and health.


But drinking water by itself isn’t enough to undo the damage. Not only does it not contain electrolytes, but drinking too much without taking in an appropriate amount of electrolytes at the same time will lead to an imbalance—read: you can drink water well past the point of quenching your thirst, but it won’t recharge you.


You see, when you chug plain water, you dilute the electrolytes you have left in your system. This makes it even harder for them to serve the body processes they play such a critical role in. What’s more, it actually results in some of the same problems as those caused by not getting enough water, and other challenges as well.  Research shows that an inadequate electrolyte imbalance can cause blood pressure changes, confusion, fatigue, lightheadedness, muscle weakness, and decreased muscle control. In other words, drinking too much water is just as bad as not drinking enough!

The New England Journal of Medicine analyzed runners in the Boston marathon. Thirteen percent of the competitors tested were found to have an inadequate electrolyte balance during the race. In fact, the runners who drank the most water—at least three liters of fluid over the course of the marathon—had the worst finish times (greater than four hours). All that water actually resulted in them gaining weight—over the course of a four-hour race!


The amount of water and electrolytes you need is highly dependent on your size, the activity you’re doing, the time you spend exercising, and the weather conditions, so it’s impossible to give a blanket recommendation on how much to consume. But experts say the smartest strategy is to drink a water and electrolyte mix periodically throughout your workout—even before the first sign of thirst. The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine suggests downing about one and a half to three cups of water per hour of activity, and the Institute of Medicine recommends that your beverage include sodium and potassium, in particular, to sustain performance during prolonged exercise in hot weather.


Benefits of Electrolytes

Supplementing with electrolytes has been found to have a positive and significant impact on two main measures of performance. It can…


1. Support Endurance  

Sodium, in particular, has been shown to support lasting energy for long-duration endurance exercise. A 2016 study found that triathletes who supplemented with sodium during a half-ironman finished faster than a control group, and lost less body mass from water depletion along the way. The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports reported that cyclists taking sodium improved their finish times by 7.4% over a control group, which researchers credited to greater cardiovascular function. Another study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine discovered that sodium bicarbonate helped to stave off fatigue in swimmers, improving their finish times in the 200-meter freestyle race—most likely by assisting with the athletes’ acid-buffering capacity.


If your athletic endeavors are limited to your backyard or garage, sodium works for anaerobic exercise too. A trial from 2014 found that basketball players maintained sprinting performance into the final quarter of their games better on sodium bicarbonate than a placebo. Meanwhile, Amino Acids published a study showing that sodium promoted increases in the total work performed by experienced judo and jiu-jitsu competitors, as well as anaerobic power. That means the potential for more throws and submissions in the same amount of time.


2. Stimulate Strength Gains

Magnesium has long been linked to force production. A 2015 study found that it promoted max bench-press strength by 17.7%. (Good news for the impatient: it only took one week.)


Furthermore, a Magnesium Research study concluded that the mineral was directly associated with maximal core, leg, and grip strength—and jumping performance—in basketball, handball, and volleyball players. The researchers wrote: “The observed associations between magnesium intake and muscle strength performance may result from the important role of magnesium in energetic metabolism, transmembrane transport, and muscle contraction and relaxation.” They also noted that, in general, athletes’ magnesium intakes are “often below recommended levels.”


Do I Really Need Carbs For Energy?

Don’t get us wrong. Electrolytes are an underrated and essential nutritional element for high performance, but carbs are also important for keeping your energy up during exercise. You just don’t need them by the barrel full.

The ACSM recommends consuming no more than 60 grams of carbs per hour of activity. More than that can delay the rate at which your stomach empties of food, causing you discomfort in the gut that can affect your performance.


Furthermore, solutions made with a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose seem to offer more benefit than just slamming carbs in any form you can get them.  The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutition reported that this glucose-to-fructose combination aided performance in an array of activities, including sprinting, lifting, jumping, and shuttle runs. Meanwhile, a study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that it helped cyclists improve on timed trials by eight percent. The pairing of glucose and fructose appears to help the body absorb carbs faster than consuming either type alone, making them more readily available during exercise.