Posts Tagged ‘drink’

Daryl Malden (Left 2013 Right 2014)

Daryl Malden (Left 2013 / Right 2014)

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” ~ Bob Marley

My name is Daryl Malden and I am currently a Digital Marketer.  My other interests include cooking, health, fitness and most importantly family.  Growing up in Trinidad, I had an amazing childhood.  I enjoyed many outdoor activities and healthy eating was simply a way of life. That being said, I was always considered to be a chubby guy (not fat).  As I got older and headed into my teen years I became more self-conscious about how I looked; I never actually thought about how I felt physically or mentally. I always looked at “other guys” and wanted to be just like them. So I watched what I ate, exercised and did my best to look like them – the perceived healthier, happier guys. This would go back and forth for many years; my weight up, sometimes down. Finally mid 40’s I decided I wanted to be me.  Whatever that was; so I started a journey of self-discovery. I wrote down what I wanted to change in my life to become closer to my authentic self and here is what worked for me:

#1 (This is the most IMPORTANT)

I changed my mindset (focus) from where I was in life to where I wanted to be in life.

#2

I started reading books that interested me about wellness, self empowerment, meditation, religion etc.

#3

I made a promise  (to myself) that I was going to find that place within where I was most at peace in a happier, healthier, drug/alcohol free body.

The turning point in my life came when I hit 245lbs; I was taking all kinds of meds for health related issues that stemmed from being overweight and not exercising. As I started to read and research more about the food that I ate I began to realize that the processed food and even the stuff that I thought was actually healthy, really wasn’t all that good for me. Initially I stopped eating meat. I also stopped smoking and having the occasional drink.  I also started to exercise. Then I decided to try a juice cleanse. This is where the magic happened.

For me juicing organic vegetables and fruits of all kinds work best for me. I have never felt so energized about life as I do right now. I am now at 5’9’ 170 lbs and loving it. This has become my new lifestyle. At 54 I am proud to say that I am off my meds and heading upward in all aspects of my life. I wake up every morning at 4:30am, make a cup of green tea,  wash up and head to my quiet space where I meditate and give gratitude for all that I have and what’s coming. When I am finished I head into the kitchen to start breakfast for my family. Breakfast consists of protein and fruit or 32oz of green juice and it’s freaking amazing. Then I head to the gym or stay at home and work out for about 45 minutes. After my work out I have another green juice and then I head to my home office for a 3-4 hour work day. I keep hydrated with lots of green tea and fill up on hearty salads as often as I can.  I throw in some almonds and dried fruit (with no sugar added) at different times of the day.  In the evening I head to my quiet space to meditate and give thanks for the day. It’s the most amazing feeling any human being can imagine.

In order to stay focused I’ve surrounded myself with positive people and positive thoughts. Every breath that I take; everything that I see, touch, smell or taste I am thankful. For my strong arms, legs, heart, lungs, kidney and brain, I am thankful.  For my ability to walk, talk, breathe and experience life on a daily basis I am thankful. For the family, friends and mentors that have stood by me throughout this process, I am eternally grateful.

Sometimes as you try to find your way you lose friends and family members and that’s ok. You have to change for you and no one else. If you are in a relationship let your partner know what your intentions are and where you’re headed; if they love you they’ll be supportive, they may even join you and the journey becomes more fulfilling.

Find your motivation and above all else, stay true to self.

Daryl

Namaste

 

Friend or Foe?

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Although I’m a firm believer that the only true and healthy path to sustained energy levels is through the combination of adequate amounts of exercise and rest while eating a balanced amount of real whole foods, sometimes our fast paced lifestyles don’t make that very practical and require us to use ‘alternative’ means to temporarily boost our energy levels. And, since the readers of this article are coffee lovers, I’m assuming that I won’t be convincing anyone to retire their coffee mug to the pantry forever anytime soon.So, allow me to explain how coffee can impact your health and fitness so that you can utilize your love of coffee in the healthiest way possible.

Aside from tasting good (and smelling even better), coffee is believed to have a number of health benefits. You may not need a man in a white coat to tell you that your daily dose of caffeine counteracts fatigue and improves alertness and concentration, but did you know that research suggests coffee can lessen the risk of heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and gallstones as well as act as a powerful antioxidant? So, is caffeine a health booster that actually tastes good? Well, not necessarily. For every researcher or health expert downing a double latte, there’s another ordering green tea. What are we to think?

Coffee gets its kick from caffeine, one of a group of naturally occurring plant-derived compounds called methylxanthines. Caffeine is a drug, pure and simple. It’s addictive. Too much can be toxic. Withdrawal causes side effects such as headaches and dizziness. When ingested, caffeine has a ‘global’ effect, meaning it influences all body tissues, including muscle.

‘Drinking a cup of coffee stimulates the central nervous system and prompts the adrenal glands to release adrenaline, one of two hormones released in response to stress. Your heart beats faster, glucose is released into the blood stream and you feel energized,’ explains Anthony Haynes, a nutritionist at the Nutrition Clinic in London’s Harley Street. ‘In the short-term you feel revived, but over time this repeated stress response frazzles the adrenal glands, while the liver becomes conditioned to metabolize caffeine more quickly, meaning you’ll need even more cups of coffee to get the same lift.’

In fact, even if you drink only one cup early in the day, caffeine is still at work on your system hours later. A recent study at the Duke University Medical Center, found that levels of adrenalin and noradrenaline remained elevated at night even when subjects had slurped their last cup of coffee at lunchtime – in effect, mimicking 24-hour stress. And that’s not the only charge Haynes levels at the world’s second favorite drink, after tea. ‘Coffee is an anti-nutrient,’ he says. ‘It hampers the absorption of essential minerals including iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium, as well as the B vitamins.’ So, for example, drinking a cup of coffee while eating a hamburger can reduce the amount of iron you absorb by 40 percent, while zinc absorption is reduced if coffee is drunk within an hour after a meal. Even more sinister links have been made between coffee and ill health. Various studies have concluded that avid coffee drinkers are more at risk of miscarriage and birth defects, osteoporosis, arthritis and heart disease. So, is our daily cup doing more harm than good?

‘The findings thus far on coffee intake and health are inconsistent,’ says Dr. Wendy Doyle from the British Dietetic Association. ‘In my mind, the evidence against coffee drinking is poor, unless you’re talking about an exceptionally high consumption. In moderation, coffee doesn’t appear to cause health problems.’

This was the same conclusion as the authors of the Nurses’ Health Study, an epic 25-year study of disease and women’s health and lifestyle habits. They reported that drinking coffee in moderation appears to have few, if any, adverse consequences. The study also failed to find evidence to support the link between coffee and increased risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as any difference in the risk of heart disease among women who drank six cups a day compared to those who totally abstained.

But experts like Anthony Haynes are highly skeptical about many of the recent positive findings. And in spite of unfounded evidence on the negative effects of coffee, the Nurses’ Health Study did note that coffee’s effect on calcium absorption could make excessive caffeine intake a bad idea for post-menopausal women at risk of osteoporosis. In fact, nutritionist and best-selling author, Carol Simontacchi has stated that caffeine ‘bleaches’ the bones of calcium over time.

Dr Doyle agrees that the evidence relating to a high caffeine intake and miscarriage is worrying. ‘It’s wise to keep caffeine from coffee and other sources – such as tea, energy drinks and chocolate – to a minimum if you’re pregnant,’ she says.

So, despite being one of the most researched beverages around, no one has come up with a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to the question of coffee and health. Dr. Doyle and Anthony Haynes agree on one thing, however. Smoking, lack of exercise, and excess alcohol are more serious issues than having a few cups of coffee. ‘A daily cup isn’t going to do you much harm, but if you want optimum energy and health, you’ll be better off without it,’ says Haynes. While Haynes might be adamant about the detrimental effects of coffee, the rest of the jury is still out – most likely getting a nice, frothy cappuccino.

So, having said all this, can coffee improve your fitness? It does seem that the ingestion of caffeine can enhance exercise and sports performance, and this area of research has produced quite compelling results. In a landmark study by American doctor Dave Costill in the 1970s, a group of cyclists were able to ride for 21 minutes longer post-caffeine ingestion.

In fact, caffeine’s efficacy as a performance-enhancing drug has led the International Olympic Committee to consider urinary levels of caffeine exceeding 12 micrograms/ml as worthy of a ban. You’d have to knock back eight cups of coffee to achieve such a target, however. Assuming you’re not competing at the top level, a strong cup of coffee an hour before that fun run or charity bike ride might just help you through. Even if it isn’t physiologically easier, studies have shown that people perceive their effort to be less intense after caffeine ingestion. In other words, you’re trying as hard but you don’t feel as if you are. However, caffeine can also dehydrate you, so don’t overdo it and be sure to drink water regularly during your workouts.

So, these previous studies show that caffeine can boost your endurance, particularly during exercise lasting between thirty minutes and two hours. Because of its high caffeine content, many people drink coffee in the belief that it has the same effect. Unfortunately, it doesn’t according to a recent study.

A Canadian research team compared the effects of coffee and caffeine on run time to exhaustion. A group of nine men took part in five trials. Sixty minutes before each run, the men took one of the following.

  • Placebo (a “dummy” supplement).
  • Caffeine capsules.
  • De-caffeinated coffee.
  • De-caffeinated coffee with caffeine added.
  • Regular coffee.

Performance times were up to 10 minutes longer in subjects using the caffeine capsules. There were no differences in run times among the other trials.

These results are somewhat surprising, especially when you consider that caffeine absorption was similar during all three caffeine trials. The only explanation is that something in the coffee interferes with the effects of caffeine.

This isn’t surprising, especially when you consider there are hundreds of compounds dissolved when coffee beans are roasted, ground and extracted in hot water. In fact, when one of these compounds was injected into rats, it actually slowed heart rate and lowered blood pressure. The bottom line, then, is that if you plan to use caffeine to boost your exercise routines (particularly your endurance times), pure caffeine (such as in the form of capsules) might prove to be more beneficial than coffee.

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Clearly, coffee has some health benefits, but also has very real risks and it’s role in the improvement of fitness levels is questionable. So, in light of these facts, I highly recommend being balanced to your approach to coffee ingestion as it relates to your health and fitness. One great way to achieve that balance is to enjoy your coffee in moderation while following a proper exercise routine. And, if you aren’t sure how to best do that, consult with a clinically certified nutritionist and/or fitness expert. After all, the longer we live, the longer we can enjoy coffee!

Your friends at Socially Fit

This article was written by Matt Pitcher a Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT)

If you’re not, you could end up with excess body fat, poor muscle tone, digestive complications, muscle soreness — even water-retention problems. Next to air, water is the element most necessary for survival.  A normal adult is 60 to 70 percent water.  We can go without food for almost two months, but without water only a few days.  Yet most people have no idea how much water they should drink.  In fact, many live in a dehydrated state.

Without water, we’d be poisoned to death by our own waste products.  When the kidneys remove uric acid and urea, these must be dissolved in water.  If there isn’t enough water, wastes are not removed as effectively and may build up as kidney stones.  Water also is vital for chemical reactions in digestion and metabolism.  It carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells through the blood and helps to cool the body through perspiration.  Water also lubricates our joints. We even need water to breathe:  our lungs must be moist to take in oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide.  It is possible to lose a pint of liquid each day just exhaling.

So if you don’t drink sufficient water, you can impair every aspect of your physiology.  Dr. Howard Flaks, a bariatric (obesity) specialist in Beverly Hills, Calif, says, “By not drinking enough water, many people incur excess body fat, poor muscle tone and size, decreased digestive efficiency and organ function, increased toxicity in the body, joint and muscle soreness and water retention.”

Water retention?  If you’re not drinking enough, your body may retain water to compensate.  Paradoxically, fluid retention can sometimes be eliminated by drinking more water, not less.

“Proper water intake is a key to weight loss,” says Dr. Donald Robertson, medical director of the Southwest Bariatric Nutrition Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.  “If people who are trying to lose weight don’t drink enough water, the body can’t metabolize the fat adequately.  Retaining fluid also keeps weight up.”

The minimum for a healthy person is eight to ten eight-ounce glasses a day,” says Dr. Flaks.  “You need more if you exercise a lot or live in a hot climate.  And overweight people should drink in an extra glass for every 25 pounds they exceed their ideal weight.  Consult your own physician for their recommendations.

At the International Sports Medicine Institute, they have a formula for daily water intake: 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight if you’re not active (that’s ten eight-ounce glasses if you weigh 160 pounds), and 2/3 ounce per pound if you’re athletic (13 to 14 glasses a day, at the same weight).

Your intake should be spread throughout the day and evening.  You may wonder:  If I drink this much, won’t I constantly be running to the bathroom?  Yes.  But after a few weeks, your bladder tends to adjust and you urinate less frequently but in larger amounts.

By consuming those eight to ten glasses of water throughout the day, you could be on your way to a healthier, leaner body. Cheers to good health!

Your friends at “Socially Fit”

http://www.naturodoc.com

What is Green Juice?

The answer to this is a simple one! Green juice is any juice that is made mostly with or completely with green vegetables to produce a juice that is green in color. Some of the most used green vegetables for making green juice are:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Collard greens
  • Green cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Wheatgrass
  • Chard
  • Cucumber
  • Green pepper

It is common to add a fruit such as an apple or a lemon, or sweeter vegetables like carrots and cucumber to the mix to make green juice a little more tasty. However when you start juicing, it is important to stick with green juices which have no fruit (or added sugar) at all.  In the body, natural fruit sugar is still recognized as sugar and for so many of us with health challenges (diabetes, cancer, inflammatory diseases, extra pounds), we simply do not need a juice full of sugar.  All green veggies are good for you and while they contain a small amount of sugar, they are the true powerhouse ingredients in your green juices.  So, while things such as fruit, beets and carrots certainly have nutritional value, we want you to strictly limit or completely refrain from adding them to your daily juicing experience!

“So the essence of green juice benefits is you get all the goodness of antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, without the concern of overdoing it with sugar. Green juice is just pure concentrated liquid nutrition – pure health benefits”

Green vegetables are green because of the chlorophyll they contain. The darker green they are the more chlorophyll they contain. Kale and spinach are therefore greater sources of chlorophyll than celery. It is the benefits of abundant chlorophyll content then that are unique to green juice, and these benefits are powerful. Here are some known benefits:

  • Wound Healing. Research dating back to the 1940′s discovered that chlorophyllin (a component of chlorophyll) helps wounds to heal faster.
  • Powerful Antioxidant. Chlorophyll and chlorophyllin are both potent antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties and help prevent our cells from oxidative damage.
  • Detoxification. Chlorophyll attaches to toxins, especially heavy metals, and removes them safely from the body. Chlorophyll also cleanses the liver by protecting it from cancer-causing cells.
  • Blood Building. The chlorophyll molecule is almost identical to that of the heme part of our red blood cells. Although not yet confirmed, chlorophyll is believed to help increase red blood cell count, and may help with anemia.
  • Alkalizing. One of the most potent benefits of chlorophyll is its alkalizing effect on the body. Because of its chlorophyll content, green juice is one of the most alkalizing foods that we can consume. The benefits of reducing the amount of acid in the body (given that over acidity is an epidemic) cannot be understated. The more acidic the body, the more prone it is to illness and disease. Acidity is a breeding ground for bad health.

The Everything Else Factor

Just because green juice is green because of the chlorophyll it contains, doesn’t mean that is the only antioxidant it contains. The list of antioxidants in green juice are mind-blowing. You will be receiving the antioxidant benefits of beta-carotene, sulphorane, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeazanthin, kaempferol, quercetin, and many others with long unpronounceable names. In addition to this your green juice is a great source of many trace minerals, including calcium and magnesium, and a great source of vitamin K and living enzymes.

 

This all adds up to one of the most nutrient dense health promoting drinks that exist. Yep, juice of other colors are important too to get a diversity of antioxidants and other nutrients, but if there is one juice that contains more nutrients than all others, it is a juice that come in the darkest green. Start incorporating green juice into your lifestyle today!

Your friends at “Socially Fit”

http://www.learnhowtojuice.com

Silence the Call of the Couch

There’s a totally legit reason you always seem to fall off the workout wagon: The conventional approach to exercise almost forces you to bail out. So we did a  little research, and we found an article where the experts who specialize in the science of motivation explain how to keep your butt in gear. As it happens, just a few simple behavioral tweaks can silence the call of the couch.

Why People Quit
Research shows that 50% of people who start a new workout program drop out within six months. That’s because the most common reasons given for exercising— have very little to do with you, says Edward Deci, Ph. D., a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, who has studied motivation for decades. In fact, working out to make others happy is the least successful way to compel you to break a sweat. One study found that people who signed up for exercise classes because they wanted to feel good were more likely to attend than those who did it to look good.

Curing the motivation problem is at the crux of a theory developed by Deci and his colleagues called Self Determination Theory (SDT ). It boils down to this: The more you do stuff you like to do and not what you think you should do, the more you’ll keep doing it. The benefits of this intrinsic motivation have been proven in studies across the board, from education to health care to parenting. In exercise research, intrinsically motivated exercisers were more likely to continue than those who were nagged by friends or family to continue working out for six months or more.

Experts say three subtle shifts in your outlook can keep you on track and here are their fitness tips:

Step 1: Take charge
Appoint yourself CEO of your fitness decisions. Don’t let well-meaning friends (or mothers or spouses) force you into another gym membership you won’t use. Psychologists call this autonomy, and it’s one thing you must develop if you want to harness intrinsic motivation. “People who feel as if they’re making their own decisions report feeling higher levels of self-worth,” says Philip Wilson, Ph. D., an associate professor of psychology at Brock University in Ontario who studies SDT and exercise. “And that leaves them feeling more motivated.”

How do you take the wheel? Start by asking yourself why you want to exercise at all. If the answer is that your partner casually dropped the phrase “muffin top” when you were jeans shopping, your efforts are probably doomed. But if you decide to get fit because you want to feel stronger or healthier, you’re more likely to be successful, because the end result means something to you.

Next, find a form of exercise you enjoy so much you’d do it even if it weren’t good for you. If the mellow vibe of Hatha yoga brings you bliss, light up some incense and roll out a mat. If slamming a tennis ball is more your thing, join a league or sign up for lessons. Perhaps most important: If you truly despise running on the treadmill (or doing crunches or taking spin class), don’t! If you’re invested in what you’re doing, your performance will improve—and that will feed your desire to go back for more.

If you honestly can’t equate exercise with fun, flex your take-charge muscle by setting specific personal goals. Working your way up to three no-cheating-allowed pullups? Finishing your first 5-K? Whatever your goal, it can help you stay motivated for the short-term and the long.

“People thrive on feedback, and having goals provides that,” says WH contributor Rachel Cosgrove, co-owner of Results Fitness, a Santa Clarita, California-based gym. Eighty percent of the clients there renew their memberships every year— double the industry standard.

Cosgrove helps clients create meaningful goals by getting them to focus on tangible accomplishments, like completing an hour-long workout twice a week, doing five pullups or 10 pushups. At the same time, she discourages them from stepping on the scale.

“Goals should be based on feeling good—that’s what keeps people coming back to the gym,” she says. Deci’s research supports Cosgrove’s approach. Physical accomplishments give you positive feelings about yourself and increase motivation because they’re intrinsic; looking for validation via external motivators, like the scale parked in your bathroom, does not.

Step 2: Give yourself props for progress
How many times have you said to yourself during a workout, “I’m getting nowhere”? Nothing evaporates motivation faster than feeling like you’re not making any noticeable improvement.

The problem: When it comes to working out, people are notorious for seeking a comfort zone. Once we master a new skill (like holding plank position for 60 seconds or running at a 10-minute mile pace), we stick with it because, hey, we know we can do it. But it also impedes progress and breeds big-time boredom.

“The less interesting something is, the less motivated we are,” Wilson says. Some of his earliest SDT studies showed that humans have a basic need to feel engaged—take away the novelty, and motivation vanishes. And Groundhog Day-style monotony isn’t just bad for your head; eventually your muscles stop responding and you really hit a wall.

The solutions: Mixing things up and pushing yourself. “Changing the intensity and type of exercise trains the muscles differently, and you’ll start to see improvements more quickly,” Wilson says. For example, increase the weight you’re lifting and the number of reps and sets by 10 percent every week. The same goes for your cardio—increase the amount in 10 percent increments each week. Do this for three weeks, and then drop back down to where you started on week four to let your body rest, Cosgrove says.

Next, write everything down. A workout log functions not only as an exercise checklist but as a concrete record of how far you’ve come—a way to motivate yourself if you become frustrated. In researcher-speak, this is called establishing competence, and it’s at the core of the second step in fueling motivation that lasts. To make it work, keep the focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t, Wilson says. And don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Once you start focusing on you, your confidence will grow and ignite a cycle of positive reinforcement that will keep you hooked.

Step 3: Make it social
Besides the dirty martinis, there’s a reason you go to happy hour every week. You get to socialize, laugh, and hang with friends. It makes you feel connected. According to the principles of SDT, making your workouts more like happy hour will put you well on your way to stoking your inner motivator.

Start by finding like-minded workout buddies. A study by Canadian researchers found that a congenial atmosphere, rather than a competitive one, helps people stay motivated by providing a source of encouragement. In Cosgrove’s gym, clients work out in small groups of three to five people with similar fitness goals. “The group provides built-in support, and its way more fun than working out alone,” Cosgrove says. Members push each other to reach goals and cheer each other on. And when someone has a bad day, the group is there to lift spirits and sympathize.

If you go to a gym, get to know a few trainers—even if your relationship is limited to their giving you pointers on form. If you don’t love gyms, Wilson recommends hooking up with a friend with a similar fitness level or searching the message boards of local leagues or clubs to find people who share your definition of fun. If you’re a lone ranger at heart, don’t sweat it. Just focus more on taking charge of your fitness and feeling good about your progress, Wilson says.

The ability to stick to a workout—and get the body that makes you happy—isn’t the sole domain of professional athletes and Type A exercisers. You already have what you need within you: It’s just a matter of tweaking your perspective so you can tap into what really gets you going. Find your focus.

Your friends at Socially Fit

http://www.womenshealthmag.com

Do It Yourself Solutions

Yes, the cucumber is a creeping vine that roots in the ground and grows up trellises or other supporting frames, wrapping around supports with thin, spiraling tendrils. The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit. The fruit of the cucumber is roughly cylindrical, elongated with tapered ends, and may be as large as 60 centimeters long and 10 centimeters in diameter. Having an enclosed seed and developing from a flower, botanically speaking, cucumbers are classified as fruits. However, much like tomatoes and squash they are often perceived, prepared and eaten as vegetables. Cucumbers are usually more than 90% water.

AND according to http://www.facebook.com/#!/HomesteadingSelfSufficiencySurvival here are some other things that you may not have known:

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day. Just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
 
2. Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
 
3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror. It will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
 
4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
 
5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite (fatty deposit causing a dimpled or uneven appearance, around the thighs and buttocks.) before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes. The phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!
 
6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!
 
7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and are often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
 
8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe. Its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
 
9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone! 
 
10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
 
11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath. 
 
12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean. Not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won’t leave streaks and won’t harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean. 
 
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing. This also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the wall.
 
Can’t wait to try some of these!!
 
 
Here’s an easy to prepare recipe for Cucumber Water:
 
We infused our cucumber water in a quart size glass pitcher. To the water we added about a third of a sliced cucumber, half a lime cut into four wedges, and two sprigs of mint. Then, simply cover and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to infuse into the water. If you’d prefer, replace the lime with lemon.  Zero calories and very refreshing!! 
 
Your friends at “Socially Fit”

Why All the Hype

The coconut is commonly associated with beautiful tropical beaches. Towering coconut palms at the fringe of a beach makes the scene picture postcard perfect. The coconut, however, has much more than aesthetic value: it is a valuable commercial resource as well as an important source of nutrition and medicine for many communities in the world.

The coconut is not a nut; it is in fact a drupe. The coconut palm can withstand salty water conditions and can thrive without pesticides and fertilizers.  Typically one palm produces over 100 coconuts a year. It does so for over 70 years and then it becomes a ‘senile palm’. At which point it can be chopped down for its timber. The timber can be used for construction and for making  coconut flooring. Using coconut as an alternative to hardwood is one of the methods for creating a sustainable society.

Coconut water is remarkable for being an exact replica for human blood plasma. For over 50 years coconut water has been used for emergency blood transfusions (in certain parts of the world) when no safe blood plasma is available. It is also totally sterile and thus safe to drink straight from the husk.  Coconut Water is the nutritious clear liquid inside the coconut fruit which is packed with vitamins and minerals. There is usually more water in a young coconut, since the water is replaced by the white coconut flesh as it matures. Therefore, for drinking purposes, coconuts are harvested off the trees when they are still young and green. Later, the outer green husk is removed and the coconuts are wrapped in plastic to keep the moisture.

For best results, the water from a fresh coconut should be consumed shortly after being exposed to air due to the possible loss of important nutrients. A single coconut usually provides an 11 ounce serving of water, and it is low in calories and fat but rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. A few key nutrients in Coconut Water include Lauric acid, Chloride, and Iron, as well as important electrolytes such as Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, and Phosphorous. In fact, the potassium content in Coconut Water is close to twice the amount in a banana. A healthy balance of electrolytes is important for the optimal health of our muscular, cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems, as well as to help with the absorption and balance of the body’s internal fluids.

What are the Benefits of Coconut Water?

Many studies have shown that the antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of Coconut Water may help with a number of minor to severe health conditions. This nutrient rich drink has been used to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, and it has been found to boost energy levels and increase metabolism in the human body. Other conditions that it has been found to be effective at treating include stomach flu, dysentery, indigestion, constipation, intestinal worms, cholera, urinary abnormalities, urethral stone, malfunctioning kidneys, dry and itchy skin, age spots, and wrinkles.

Uses of Coconut Water: Age Spots, Wrinkles, and Other Skin Problems

Researchers have found that Cytokinins help regulate the cell growth and their divisions. Coconut Water contains these cytokinins and lauric acid which can minimize the aging of skin cells, balance PH levels, and keep the connective tissues strong and hydrated. Therefore, simply applying Coconut Water onto affected skin areas every night before going to bed may help with acne, age spots, wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite, and eczema.

Boosting Energy

Abundant in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, Coconut Water makes a wonderful energy drink. In particular, coconut water has less sugar and sodium content compared to most sports drinks, while packing more Potassium, Calcium, and Chloride, which makes it a better choice to rehydrate, replenish and boost the body’s energy levels after any strenuous activity or workout. For example, in every 100ml of Coconut Water there is approximately 294mg of potassium compared to 117mg in an average energy drink, 25mg of sodium compared to 200mg in energy drinks and 41mg in most sport drinks, 5mg sugar compared to 20-25mg, and 118mg of chloride compare to 39mg in average energy and sport drinks.

Cardiovascular Health

According to researchers, individuals with high blood pressure usually have low potassium levels. Therefore, drinking coconut water on a regular basis can be quite effective at regulating blood pressure due to its high concentration of potassium and lauric acid. Similarly, some recent studies have found that coconut water can help increase HDL (good) cholesterol, which makes it a wonderful natural treatment for maintaining good cardiovascular health.

 

Dehydration

Rich in Potassium and other minerals, Coconut Water helps to regulate our internal fluids and replenish and rehydrate the body. It has been used to treat dehydration caused by dysentery, cholera, diarrhea and stomach flu, and the electrolyte balance and plasma in Coconut Water has been found to be similar to that of human blood. Therefore, drinking one cup of Coconut Water twice daily during digestive tract abnormalities, hot temperatures, and after strenuous workouts can help rehydrate the body quickly.

 

Digestive Problems

Coconut Water contains Lauric acid which our body converts into monolaurin. Monolaurin has great antiviral, antiprozoal and antibacterial activity which helps fight against intestinal worms, parasites, lipid-coated viruses and other gastrointestinal tract infections in children and adults. Additionally, the water from coconut may not only act as an antibiotic but it can also rehydrate the body. Therefore, a simple remedy for Intestinal Worms is to mix one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil into a cup of Coconut Water and drink it daily for at least three days. For constipation, diarrhea and other common digestive problems drink one cup of Coconut Water twice daily.

Weight Loss

Coconut water is a natural electrolyte and isotonic beverage which help increase the body’s metabolism. Therefore, it can greatly benefit people who are struggling with weight issues.

 What are the Side Effects of Coconut Water?

Fresh Coconut Water is one of the best natural drinks on the face of the earth. It doesn’t have any known side effects unless somebody is prone to having allergic reactions or have severe nut allergies. It is considered to be safe for children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women. If you are taking potassium supplements it is recommended to regulate your potassium levels since Coconut Water is high in potassium.

 Where and How to Buy Coconut Water

Coconut Water is readily available in cans or bottles from many grocery stores or online retailers. Fresh plastic wrapped coconuts can also be purchased at many Indian and Asian grocery stores during the summer. When buying fresh coconuts with green husks, look for those with some light brown spots as well since these are considered to have the greatest water content. Generally, the water from Indian and Bangladeshi coconuts tends to be sweeter than Thai and Brazilian coconuts. When using fresh coconuts, try to drink the water as soon as possible since the nutrients can begin to dissipate after being exposed to air. However, the water can also be refrigerated for 10 to 12 hours if it is sealed in a tight container. Enjoy a glass of coconut water today!

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