Thursday, May 29, 2014

Alaska Super Smoothies!

~A healthy body is the most precious possession any human will own~

The health benefits of participating in sports is the major take away from daily exercise - eating healthy is synonymous with this lifestyle to supports the body's functions & durability, especially since it will require more nutrients.

Regardless if underweight or overweight - recreational or professional - eating habits are often a window into one's personality. What, when, how much, with who & importantly, our mood when we eat will sum our faith.

Nowadays, it's almost impossible to eat healthy @ all times - it's best to follow basic parameters, accept compromises & aim for balance. Eating the 'sinful foods' should be done out of occasion or opportunity, not according to emotions...


~We are what we eat~

A big cliché, but not very accurate, as modern society evolves, WHAT we eat is becoming less important versus what FORM we eat it in.

To me, this is a loosing battle, sustainable sources of fresh, wholesome & organic products that's available and affordable for everybody or anybody.

As an example: fresh pine-apple & canned pine-apple are essentially the same - so is fresh tuna & canned tuna - as well to brewed coffee & instant coffee.

But of course, one is in its NATURAL & RAW FORM, but the other has been manipulated by man or machine & added preservatives or stabilizers to extend it's shelf-life, as well to enhance the natural taste by over saturation = more calories.

Un-fortunately, due to the hustle & bustle of daily life, we eat out convenience, price-point & taste...Making way for an un-healthy precedent in future generations...

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Having lived in Asia for almost 8 years, I have seen first had the effects of calcium deficiency can affect negatively. The most vivid, was during my trips to China & Taiwan, where the shockingly poor dental health, rapid generation of the skeleton & seemingly wire thin body's...

This I have seen on each of my visits to China & Taiwan.
While I'm sure there's a few factors involved, a few studies & movements over the years have indicated that a sparse intake of dairy products has lead to a prevalence of Osteoporosis, Rickets & Hypocalcaemia in these region's.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15225826

http://taiwaninfo.nat.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=83929&CtNode=103&htx_TRCategory=&mp=4

While spending most of my time in The Philippine "The Land of The Smiles" it does make me believe that the dairy company's are doing a better job in promoting, supplying & educating locals about the important of dairy products.

But of course - there's always room for improvement, especially since many Asian's tend to be & lactose intolerant, of which makes it's important they start early, slow & with smaller portions.

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I'm a smoothie kinda guy, they re-hydrate, re-fuel & I control what goes in - there's generally 3 types that comes out of my kitchen:

#1) For protection
#2) For rebuilding
#3) For pleasure (weekends & adults only)

This following is about the REBUILDING smoothie =)

After blogging: My Favorite Post Workout Fruits Shake 2 years ago, which fits in the 'protection smoothie', I eventually felt the need to have a smoothie that will last in my stomach longer/further post workouts. The fruits smoothie only only lasted for ~30 min before I wanted to eat again!

So I played with 2 ingredients: Flax seeds & Rolled Oats. They add protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, ect. all the while giving it a thicker texture & making it more palatable - the bonus is making me ‘regular’ the following morning in the toilet - hehehehehehe!

And importantly, it's filled me up to 1 hour after training.

I never mix both, it's either Flax or Oats so it feels like I'm taking 2 different smoothies; alternating each day or morning & evening on the busier days!

The flax seeds are usually found in health food stores & best to get the pre-grinded since it’s simpler to prepare & pretty much impossible for the human body to absorb whole seeds. They may help to reduce overall inflammation inside the body & contain valuable omega 3 fatty acids.

The Oats, proper rolled oats are the better option, they will burn longer than the quick cooking oats & they will digest fine, but slower, no need to be cooked - that's is the point, burn longer in the stomach for a more even & extended distribution of insulin to the blood stream.

Here’s the complete list of ingredients for 1 serving:

-2 cubes of ice
-2 Banana
-1 Avocado
-1/2 cup of flax or quick-cook oats
-1 Tea spoon of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
-1 Table spoon of Alaska Choco Power
-Top it off with water

Ready - takes about 2 min to complete with clean up!


If you have read my blog in the past, you know I loved my Magic Bullet, but I was recently given a new device called the Oster blender that’s similar but better for those with an on the go lifestyle!

Flax on the left - oats on the right!


Done & ready!
I generally encourage my athletes to have 2 shakes per day, 1 in the morning after training & 1 in the afternoon between lunch & supper. They help to SUPPLEMENT the extra nutrients an active body needs, all the while making sure it's taken in a form that will be absorb properly & feasibly by the digestive tract.

Joyette off to teach Barre3 right after a run workout - the 'heavy' shake is a critical part of her morning!
Not all smoothies are the same - there's a difference between my smoothies, the ones with Whey Protein or the commercial ones such as Jamba Juice.

Many nutritionist will or should discourage their clients with weight control issues from drinking their calories as it does not ‘register’ in the brain like regular food -  it's far too easy to over-eat...

Furthermore, since it’s not chewed a.k.a. masticated, it will not be properly broken down as there's little to no enzymes created by the jaw & tongue, of which facilitates the swallowing, digestion & absorption process.

IMHO: The majority of ‘protein shakes’ can fit in the category of: FAST FOOD! It's cheap, quick to make, contains many modified ingredients & includes preservatives or stabilizers that may or may NOT be written on the label.

This can be the difference between loosing those final few pounds or not...plus of course, everybody know's Whey Protein gives sticky farts ahahahahahaha!

I'm personally surprised when the citizen's of a tropical country that produces in abundance, some of the best fruits on earth, would actually line up & spend money at a place like Jamba Juice!

Not only those it leave a hole in your wallet, it left a bitter aftertaste in my throat from the syrup they slipped-in, the overly sweet-frozen-fruits that's packed with calories & synthetic 'booster' they push.

This would be the equivalent to a Canadian paying more for Corn Syrup at the grocery store than he would for pure Maple Syrup @ the sugar bush or a Frenchy paying more for a loaf of sliced bread @ the epicery than he would for a bagette at the local boulangerie or an Italian buying those expensive frozen pizza at the american store instead of at one of those hole in the wall slices stores that tourist flock too when visiting Italia!

Joyette in Venice during our Euro trip in 2010.

While this makes no sense to some, convenience, marketing & chemically enhanced flavors attract the masses, because once you're accustom to eating processed food on a day-to-day basis, you're bound to get addicted to it & rarely 2nd guess it until health issues arise.

In certain cases, after extended periods of eating synthetics & modified foods, there's a flawed perception that 'normal food' that's organic & raw, is simply be tasteless or bland.

Like a drug addict off drugs...

Experiment: eat a fresh piece of your choice fruit first thing in the morning, analyze the taste, then have it again later in the day after drinking a can of soda, it's more than likely that the fruit will taste-less sweet, because your mouth & brain is building an immunity to sweeter foods...


ANYWAY - I'm of the belief, the more organic/pure your diet is - the more sensitive our pallets, stomachs & bowl movements become to processed foods, which are either overly sweet or overly salted or overly processed, thus making us more aware of what we eat & how our body's respond to it.

In the end, this comes back to my original point: WHAT we eat is not the end-all-be-all quantifier to judge the quality of our diets, but rather the FORM it was served or preserved in, which maybe the difference between a long healthy life or a long un-healthy life...