Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Color of Health

So you already know you should be incorporating a variety of fresh fruits and veggies into your menu, but are you having a hard time trying to figure out which ones you should add to your diet? Well, something that I have done personally is to plate my food with color.

Different colored pigments in fruits and vegetables have different and varying phytochemicals. In fact, research has shown that these components can not only help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer; but, exciting new studies show that they are also extremely important in protecting the delicate cells of the nervous system (something very important as we age).

For a better handle on what you should eat for improved health in specific areas, try the following “color” tips.

Orange foods, as well as yellow foods, are jam-packed with lycopene, vitamin C, flavonoids, beta-carotene, and potassium. These are helpful in countless ways, including lowering your cholesterol levels.

Blue and purple foods contain vitamin C, fiber, and flavonoids, and these foods improve your immunity and retinal health, while helping your body make the most of other vitamins and minerals you consume.

Red foods are filled with lycopene and more nutrients that help keep your blood pressure at healthy levels, prevent prostate cancer, and potentially improve arthritis symptoms.

Green foods have fiber, folate, calcium, and beta-carotene, helping you chop down your bad cholesterol and blood pressure, improve your digestive health, give your immune system a boost, and fend off various cancers.

White foods, though often considered the bottom of the food chain, can have a substantial effect on your good health. With a variety of nutrients, white fruits and vegetables reduce your risk for a variety of cancers and increase your immunity to illnesses and diseases. Just remember: white potatoes should NOT be considered a vegetable. Because of their sugar makeup they should be considered a starchy food like white rice or bread.

Until next time – Live Life Well,

John Aaron Villarreal

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Foods Incorporated

So, this really isn’t rocket science, I know…
Most of you are more than likely already incorporating summer foods into your diet without needing any assistance. But sometimes getting a little reminder on how you can add a few more fresh summer fruits and veggies into your favorite meals really helps.

The key to remember is that a little goes a long way. I used to think that bringing home a container of berries meant that I had to eat the whole carton in one sitting to get the benefits of the fruit. However, if you spread your intake from breakfast to lunch to dinner and beyond, you can add some fresh summer foods easily.


In the morning, grab your favorite fruit and toss it on top of your cereal. Only have half a banana left over from the fruit smoothie you made last night? Great: toss it in! But you don’t have to stop there.
Other good choices are blueberries, strawberries, and even raisins or dried cranberries.

For lunch you can try a fresh tomato and cucumber sandwich served with hummus spread and a slice of cantaloupe on the side. When dinner time rolls around, consider grilling some chicken breasts and toss them in a salad made with fresh lettuce, carrots, tangerine & grapefruit slices, and cubed avocado. Put it on the table next to a fresh glass of homemade lemonade (or favorite white wine) and enjoy!


Until next time – Live Life Well,


John Aaron Villarreal
johnaaron-massage.com


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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Summer Food Advantage

During the summer, you have a lot of things to do. You've got to stay well hydrated, soak up some sun to get all that precious vitamin D, build a few sandcastles, and catch some waves. However, if you don't take advantage of the many great foods that grow in abundance during the warmer months, you're missing out.

But, if you are like some of my clients and friends, you may need some convincing in order to go off and buy those summer foods. In that case, try out these reasons to see how they taste.


They're Colorful: Nothing says summer like bright, fun colors! With that in mind, remember that color is the part of the vegetable or fruit that holds phyto-nutrients and antioxidants in abundance.


In fact, if you want to boost your diet's health rating, you should be looking to ass a wide variety of colors to your meal. Aside from being pretty on the plate, they’re pretty healthy for your body & mind, too!


Speaking of Healthy: Because fruits and vegetables grow in such great abundance during the summer months, they are extremely convenient to find and easy to prepare. Heck, forget about cooking! Most fruits and veggies taste their best in the raw! Seriously! Have you ever tried a red bell pepper cut in strips and a side of hummus? It makes a great and tasty snack!


They're Cheaper: Sure, while globalization makes it possible to get oranges and tomatoes any time of the year, those same foods are much cheaper when they're in season. And, in case you haven't noticed, they're also much tastier when in season, too. : )


Look for my next posting where I’ll review great ways to incorporate these summer foods into your diet!


Until next time – Live Life Well,
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John Aaron Villarreal

johnaaron-massage.com
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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Always Exercise

I’ve often been asked, “How many times a week should I exercise?” Well, the truth is that we should be doing “something” physical every day. This is especially true for us forty (and older) year olds.

The great thing about your body is that it was designed to move, whether or not you're in the gym. One great exercise to improve the strength of your lower body is to perform wall sits. With your feet about a foot from the base of a wall, push your back against the wall and let your body slide down the wall until you are in a sitting position (like you’re on an invisible chair). Be sure to stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground.


Hold this position for as long as possible. Some of my clients have made it to a full 3 minutes!


Another smart way to stay in shape is to skip the elevator and escalator and go for the stairs when shopping, making your way through an airport, or whenever the opportunity presents itself.


And, a good third exercise would be to begin sitting in a chair, only to stop in midair right before landing in the chair (try doing this without using the chairs’ arm rests). Hold that position for as long as possible, then plop down in the chair, and smile knowing you are getting stronger and thinner as a result of a few small changes.


If you want to try an added thigh-strengthening boost to that last exercise, try raising yourself out of that chair and back to your standing position. Remember; try not to use your arms to “assist” you in your attempt to return to a standing position.


Until next time – Live Life Well,


John Aaron Villarreal

johnaaron-massage.com

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Go Cardio Crazy

Okay, so you don't want to go completely “crazy” over your cardiovascular routine, but if you are looking to improve your health and energy levels (maybe even shed a few extra pounds), you'll probably need to alter the amount of cardio you subject yourself to on a regular basis.

How much cardio should you be getting each day? I usually say “shoot for an hour, but get at least 30 minutes.” If you are in a part of the country where the summer heat can be overly oppressing, try doing your walk indoors at your local gym, shopping mall, or church recreation hall.


While you may want to push yourself to your limit the entire time, you may be surprised as what alternating between fast and moderate-speeds can do for you. Try doing this; walk as fast as you can manage for about one minute (pretend you’re playing a race with someone – but don’t run!), then walk at a more relaxed rate of speed for up to two minutes.


Doing this will not only increase your energy, cardiovascular strength and stamina, but can also keep your legs toned and your waist smaller!


Until next time – Live Life Well,


Joh
n Aaron Villarreal
johnaaron-massage.com

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Don't Eat Late

Seems everyone has heard this little tip before, but no one seems to take it seriously…

However, if you want to see improvement in your body, you must make improvements in your actions. So in order to cash in on your new, lean, & shapely body try this; cut back on late-night snacks.


A good rule of thumb is to stop eating after 7 p.m. In fact, many of my clients see positive results just by doing this alone. Failing to do so only causes your body to fill up on calories right before bedtime. This is the worst time to stock up on extra calories because you won’t be awake to work them off


Instead, those calories will go wherever they want. And yes, this includes going to your belly, butt and thighs. If you’re a “night owl” and simply must eat something late, be sure to make it something light.


A salad (with a small portion of lean protein and go light on the dressing) works nicely. But before giving in and eating something late in the night, grab your discipline and go to bed.


And I leave you with the words of Joan Rivers; “I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them. “


Until next time - Live Life Well,


John Aaron Villarreal

johnaaron-massage.com

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bye-Bye, Beer Belly

For many, alcohol is a part of life. While it might not cause you to lose control, and make poor decisions that you may greatly regret, it still has the power to increase the amount of calories you consume on any given day. With that in mind, it is important to have a good game plan to turn the keg that has developed in your abdomen into a flat-belly six-pack worthy of pride.

If you are ready to fight for your healthy shape, you'll need to do the hard thing. You'll have to learn to drink less alcohol… I know it may seem self sacrificing but it is a challenge you CAN overcome. For example, whenever you go into any potential drinking situation, plan to have no more than one drink. It sounds difficult, I know - but it can be done. Simply order a glass of water to go with your alcohol and drink your alcohol slowly and surely.


In addition, you can trim your wine-induced love handles the old fashioned way. Get to the gym and work up a good sweat. When you're there, remember that you can do all the exercises you want to try and hone in on your trouble spots, but they won't do any good until you're getting full-body cardio.


Also, once you get home, you aren't off the hook. If you're serious about warding off alcohol-related pounds, be sure to maintain a well-balanced diet all of the time, swapping out high-fat foods for low-fat options and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.


And, one more thing: Never be afraid to ask for help. I'm only a post, email, or "tweet" away and I want to see YOU succeed!

Until next time – Live Life Well,


John Aaron Villarreal

johnaaron-massage.com

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.