Thursday, June 8, 2017

Can You Bring Home The Bacon !!

Now That We're Not Afraid Of Natural Fats Anymore,Right ?

Feel free to bring home the bacon, since we all know now that trans-fats (hydrogenated oils) high fructose corn syrup, and sugar are the culprits behind clogged arteries, and the obesity epidemic in the US. So let's talk Bacon. If you aren't a Jew or a Muslim you're gonna love this one ! (if so my apologies, see you next week with a new tip.) Now let's get started. Bacon is a cured meat, meaning that you use a natural way to prevent the meat from spoiling by way of salt, and often nitrites. Bacon traditionally comes from a pig. Although fake bacon recently has appeared made from turkey and other products. Which may have less saturated fat but is questionably healthier than good ole pork bacon. Pork bacon consists of both the meat of the pig, plus the fat, known as lard. Bacon usually comes from either the belly of the pig, the back or the sides. The amount of fat or lard in bacon depends on how fat the pig is, with the belly usually being fattier than the back, especially in America.

There are bacon beers, bacon bikini's, bacon martinis, bacon burgers, bacon ice-cream, bacon coffee, bacon candy, bacon toothpaste, bacon condiments, bacon, oh well you get the idea. We as Americans LOVE bacon ! By now you should be over the turkey industry telling you their product is healthier than pork bacon. Because if you actually spent time reading the label of turkey bacon, you'd see it contains a laundry list of ingredients, many of which are not good for you such as hydrolyzed corn gluten, soy protein, wheat gluten, disodium inosintae, silicon dioxide and nitrites. Well today you're going to learn how to find your way around pork bacon. First a little history. In ancient times, whenever man found wild boar, he domesticated it, kept it, cared for it, and looked upon his pigs like a flock of little refrigerators with feet, they were future dinners waddling around the pen. From Europe to Asia to New Guinea, wherever wild boar were found, they were quickly turned into captive pork-making machines You are probably familiar with the phrase "bring home the bacon." In the twelfth century, a church in the English town of Dunmow promised a side of bacon to any married man who could swear before the congregation and God that he had not quarreled with his wife for a year and a day. A husband who could bring home the bacon was held in high esteem by the community for his patience. Bacon or bacoun was a Middle English term used to refer to all pork in general. The term bacon comes from various Germanic and French dialects. It derives from the French bako, Old High German bakko, and Old Teutonic backe, all of which refer to the back. Now there are special breeds of pigs particularly raised for bacon, notably the Yorkshire and Tamworth, and...FYI
  • Bacon is one of the oldest meats in history dating back to 1500 BC.
  • In the 16th Century, European peasants would proudly display the small amount of bacon they could afford.
  • 70% of all bacon in the US is eaten at breakfast.
  • Over 2 billion pounds of bacon is produced each year in the US.
  • Until the first world war, bacon fat was the cooking fat of choice in most US households.
The first large-scale bacon curing business was set up in the 1770's by John Harris in Wiltshire, England. Today, Wiltshire remains the main bacon-producing area of Britain. Columbus liked bacon. He brought pigs to the New World. John Harris liked bacon. We celebrate Columbus day every year. I think we should start celebrating Harris Day, too. At the very least, the man should have some statues raised in his honor. It took until 1924 before we had pre-packaged bacon, arranged in slices, the way we most commonly see it today. The Oscar Mayer company is responsible for that, and for the shingled arrangement of bacon in its package. It's not as if Americans didn't eat bacon before 1924. We ate plenty. But we are a lazy people, and the minute that bacon became a convenience food, and we didn't have to slice of a slab ourselves, we went crazy for it. 25 years later, 3 million companies were producing pork products in the United States, and most of those were makin' bacon. At this point in history, bacon was merely a food. It was eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was a survival protein during the Great Depression, because it was cheap and kept a little bit longer than other meats, and was as common as dirt. No one talked about bacon. No one obsessed over bacon. Bacon was just was an indestructible element of the American diet, as common as air.

Sadly some people still think saturated fats are evil, and as a result have banned bacon from their homes. However, fatty acid experts today emphasize that saturated fat from natural sources like meats, dairy, and tropical oils like coconut, and palm are not detrimental for our health, but instead much better than the polyunsaturated and hydrogenated substitutes we've been recently using. Sure, maybe it's confusing to try and tell yourself that saturated fat isn't bad like we once thought. However, it's important that you realize that we were fed lies and deception that only made us fatter, sicker and more unhealthy. We need to change this way of thinking. 
The bottom line is that saturated fats, like that found in bacon CAN and SHOULD fit into a healthy diet. A  healthy diet is low in sugar, processed carbohydrates, and synthetic chemicals, artificial sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup, but high in fresh organic low-pesticide fruits, and vegetables, organic grass fed meats, wild caught fish, and organic nuts and seeds. To understand why bacon, and the fat it's rich in, (lard) is a healthy choice for us to use in our diets along with other beneficial fats and proteins, let's look at the nutritional science of this food.

Stay with me now, if we take 1 tablespoon of pure lard, we see that is consists of an even balance of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, with some polyunsaturates and cholesterol (all animal fats contain cholesterol), but no trans fats. Specifically, it contains*:

• 5.9 grams of saturated fatty acids
• 6.4 grams monounsaturated fatty acids
• 2 grams polyunsaturated fatty acids (mostly omega-6)
• 14 mg cholesterol
* analysis from Mass Spectrometry at Univeristy of Alberta, 2003



If you compare lard to vegetable shortening, you get**:
• 3.8 grams saturated fatty acids
• 6.7 grams monounsaturated fatty acids
• 3.9 grams polyunsaturated fatty acids (mostly omega-6)
• 2 grams trans fatty acids (man-made)
• 0 mg cholesterol
**anaylsis from ESHA Food Processor


The trans fats, this man-made, fake lard substitute, has now been linked directly to heart disease morbidity and mortality, and there is a strong move to rid our shelves of this dangerous fat as soon as possible. As recently as this Friday the FDA is announcing it is moving to ban trans-fats. If your label reads hydrogenated oil those are trans fats !

According to about.com packaged sliced bacon can be kept in its unopened vacuum-sealed package in the refrigerator up to a week past the expiration date. Once opened, keep it tightly wrapped in a zip-top bag and use within one week. Sealed packages of bacon can be frozen up to one month before the fat begins to go rancid.  Consumers these days are in a non-fat mode. As a result, pork is about fifty percent leaner today than it was 30 years ago. A three-ounce portion of lean pork is only about 200 calories. For those on high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets, bacon makes a great snack when fried up crispy. It supplies that crunch that is often missed on these diets, while most of the fat is rendered out. A standard cooked slice of bacon contains about 30 to 40 calories per slice, and even less if you cook it slowly until very crisp and drain well on paper towels. When cooking bacon, do not cook at high temperatures for long periods of time. High heat can turn the nitrite curing agents into nitrosamine. Nitrates are used to not only preserve color but also as a preservative agent to retard rancidity in the fat and kill botulism bacteria. Nitrites have been the subject of controversy as a potential cancer-causing agent in some animal experiments. There are nitrate-free bacon products on the market. Which I highly recommend. Check labels. 


Cured vs. Uncured
Curing is the process of preserving the meat and leeching out the moisture. Usually this is done by a mixture of salt, sugar, and sodium nitrates.

Uncured bacon, or bacon that does not have added nitrates, is derived from pork bellies. Uncured bacon is a misnomer because manufacturers still cure the bacon, but use other types of natural brine. The USDA defines bacon as cured pork bellies with added synthetic nitrates or nitrites, so bacon without added chemicals is considered uncured. Bacon, either cured or uncured, is soaked in a brine to prevent botulism and to provide a recognizable flavor to the meat. Nitrates, which are naturally occurring compounds from plants, mix with certain bacteria to form into nitrites. Traditionally, bacon is cured in a mixture of salt and water with synthetic sodium nitrite added as a preservative. Uncured bacon uses a type of natural nitrates, found in celery powder or juice and sea salt, to obtain a similar bacon taste without using potentially harmful chemicals such as sodium nitrite. Uncured bacon is also known as nitrate free bacon and organic bacon. Unless it says "nitrate free" or "uncured" on the label, it will have sodium nitrates. Because of the difference in curing processes, uncured bacon is generally considered safer to eat. According to Applegate Farms, nitrites can potentially cause cancer in some situations. Under high heat, nitrites mix with amines, a compound naturally present in meat, to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen. A large-scale 2011 study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that participants who consume dietary nitrites had higher levels of gastrointestinal cancer. Other research have also confirmed that nitrosamines are human carcinogens.

Smoked vs. Unsmoked

Smoked bacon is the type generally consumed in the United States. The differences come in the type of wood used to smoke the meat. This is where the unique flavors come into play, as hickory smoked bacon has a different flavor from applewood smoked bacon, which is my personal favorite. While those two, are the more common woods used to smoke bacon, there are numerous others, depending on the chef and the locale.
According to ehow.com the differences between the two bacon types come from the way in which they are cooked. The smoked bacon is just that, smoked over a specific type of wood to give it a distinct flavor, unsmoked bacon is cooked to whatever specification the chef would like, with no flavor initiated into the meat before it is sold commercially. Geography also plays a role here, as unsmoked bacon is rarely consumed in the United States.

BACON GLOSSARY:

Pancetta
Pancetta is an Italian-style bacon that is cured with salt, peppercorns and cloves. Traditionally, pancetta is not smoked. Usually, pancetta is packaged in a roll like a sausage, and is sold to order by the slice.

Irish Bacon
This smoke-cured bacon takes on the appearance of a boneless pork loin roast. Irish bacon is lean meat obtained from the "eye" part of a piece of pork loin. This bacon can be sliced to any thickness desired.

Canadian Bacon
Similar to Irish bacon, Canadian bacon is also obtained from the pork loin. It contains less fat and calories than American-style bacon. This bacon is also sometimes referred to as "back bacon" because the meat for the bacon comes from the back of the pig.

American-Style Bacon
Virginia hickory smoked bacon is one of the most common types of American-style bacon. This type of bacon comes from the stomach of the pig. American-style bacon is cured in salt and then smoked; before slicing, the rind is taken off.

Slab Bacon
Slab bacon is a large, single piece of bacon with the rind left on. This type of bacon receives additional flavor when it's smoked.

Peppered Bacon
The name of this bacon says it all: The bacon receives a spicy coating of coarsely ground black pepper.

Apple Wood-Smoked Bacon
My personal favorite is smoked from burning pieces of apple wood which is the key to curing this bacon and infusing it with a apple sweet, rich flavor.
 

If you are concerned about your health, talk to your doctor before changing your diet. People with certain conditions, such as hypertension, maybe should avoid most bacon because of the high sodium content. Make sure you buy uncured bacon from a reputable company that uses natural ingredients. Good Luck...




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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Think your Way To A Better Body...

        The way you think could boost your muscle strength 

Increasing your performance. This is according to the British Psychological Society. The research carried out by Dr David Marchant and his team at Hull University has been presented at the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference at the City Hall Cardiff in March 2006. In the study, 30 people performed bicep curls using a weights machine that measured how much their biceps were working. They tried to produce as much force as possible under three conditions: (1) thinking only about their muscles and how they were working, (2) thinking about the weight they were lifting and (3), thinking about whatever they wanted. There was much more muscle activity when people thought about their arm muscles and how they moved compared to when they just thought about the weight they were lifting.

This is a breakthrough in sports research because until now there has been confusion about what to think about when exercising. Focusing on the weight, or the task at hand , or  focus on the efficient function of the body. Basically the weight you're pumping or how your muscles are working. Studies up till now have shown that thinking about your muscles makes performing skills, like throwing a ball, more difficult and less successful. This research shows when it is helpful to think about your muscles, when you're exercising to improve strength. Sports coaches and trainers would benefit from tailoring their instructions depending on what they want performers to achieve. 

When they want people to improve their performance, thinking about outcomes such as targets or goals is best. However, when they want athletes to exercise their muscles or recover from injury, thinking about the movement of their muscles during exercise is helpful. Stronger in your mind maybe, but to make a muscle physically stronger we have to overload the muscle by exercise, provide adequate nutrition primarily protein, and rest. Thinking about a muscle may increase action potential, the electrical discharge that travels along the membrane of a cell, but can only lead to increased strength if the muscle moves, becomes overloaded, and is repaired.

So how does mental imagery work to make you stronger?  Mental imagery helps to increase your strength by making the best use of  your neuromuscular system, the "chain of command" that transmits signals from the brain to the muscle. Allowing you to be more efficient at recruiting muscle fibers that would otherwise not be used. This, in turn, increases the amount of weight, time or intensity, you can use in a given exercise. Then over time, these increases will aid you in building better muscles. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger was a big fan of mental imagery, and credits it with helping him build his massive steroid fueled Mr. Olympia biceps.

Now here's some food for thought. This is not a large standardized study but here's what they found. Guang H. Yue of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and his colleagues, who asked volunteers to think about contracting a finger or bending an elbow but not to perform the task. Over a 12-week regimen, in which volunteers did 50 mental contractions 5 days per week, the muscles powering the finger and elbow strengthened by 35 and 13.5 percent, respectively. The muscles didn't actually grow in size, so Yue proposes that the mental practice strengthened the brain's signals to the muscles. He plans to test such mental flexing on people otherwise unlikely to exercise, such as stroke patients or the elderly

So the next time you're working out give some more thought and focus on the muscles you're going to be working before your workout. See yourself in that workout doing great things, and see if it doesn't work for you. Good Luck...






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Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
 
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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Prickley Pear Cactus / " Nopal "

          Desert dwellers know the prickly pear cactus.

This time of year, in the desert, when magenta colored fruits begin to replace yellow blossoms on top of green cactus pads. Even though you will see these prickley pear or nopal cactus as far away as Israel, it is not a native. It's only native to the southwestern United States down through Mexico. It was spread to other hot and dry parts of the world during the colonial age. On it's home turf, North America, the plant was really important to ancient Native American cultures. Aztec legend states that Aztec civilization, started at the foot of prickly pear cactus stand. The story goes that a group of Aztec men saw an eagle perched in a prickly pair cactus with a snake in it's beak. The eagle had overcome the snake.

They took this as an omen that they too would overcome their adversaries, and in reverence for the vision they built their capital on the site of the vision. The prickly pear fruit is a rich source of magnesium, and the amino acid taurine, nutrients important to brain, and heart health. Prickly pear cactus is a rich source of flavanoids. These flavanoids are responsible for its health-enhancing benefits. Traditional Indian tribes have used prickly pear cactus as a food item, and a medicinal plant for centuries. The desert climate makes agriculture difficult in the absence of irrigation technologies. Out of necessity, prickly pear cactus was used as a food item by ancient Indian tribes. It has been used to make jellies, soups, pickles, and even cheese type products. Medicinally, prickly pear cactus has been used to heal superficial wounds, like cuts, and scrapes. Like Aloe Vera, it is usually applied topically.

Fast forward to 2017 and you'll find that modern science has uncovered the reasons for the many health benefits of prickly pear cactus. Studies show that in addition to being able to heal minor cuts and wounds, prickly pear cactus can protect the immune system, and prevent oxidative stress by acting as a scavenger of free radicals. This tough fruit is high in antioxidants, and may contain the highest amount of betalains known in the plant kingdom. Betalains are phytonutrients that can kill destructive free radicals in the body and stimulate the immune system by supporting the formation of stress recovery proteins. The free radical fighters in prickly pear also support the liver with detox abilities. It's antioxidant action will protect cells, and organs, slow the aging process, and help prevent disease. Recent studies the scientific community have also validated traditional uses. For example, a prickly pear extract was traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory. In tests with rats, the extract inhibited experimentally induced joint inflammation. Researchers found that this anti-inflammatory effect was at least partly due to a potent inhibition of white blood cell migration into sites of inflammation and the suppression of white blood cell release of inflammation causing compounds. Looks like the Aztecs, followed by the Spanish missionaries, and then the cowboys, were all smart users of various parts of the prickly pear to cure both chronic joint problems, and out on the range accidents. A French research scientist, Gilles Gutierrez, believes that prickly pear is much more than a remedy for arthritic joints, and thrown out backs. He feels it is the ideal supplement for anyone leading an active life. At his institute in Malta, Gutierrez established that professional athletes were able to go longer and harder while using a prickly pear extract. Even more importantly, they recovered from strenuous exercise more rapidly when taking the pear. According to Gutierrez, the key to this action is prickly pears ability to stimulate the production of the bodies natural restorative compounds. During stressful exercise the body produces compounds known as heat shock proteins. These compounds help the body heal itself after a work out. The researcher has established that the body synthesizes more heat shock proteins when dosed with his prickly pear extract.

Additionally, prickly pear cactus can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and this will help lower blood pressure and the workload placed upon the heart, and strain on other organs like your eyes. A 2003 medical study published by Nuclear Medicine Review: Central and Eastern Europe demonstrated that ten patients with high blood cholesterol levels were given dietary counseling for six weeks, then asked to eat prickly pear cactus for six weeks. The scientists found that these patients' livers were able to handle the regulation of LDL cholesterol significantly better by eating prickly pear cactus. A 2004 clinical study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences states that the betalains in prickly pear were clearly demonstrated to protect vascular endothelial cells from the free radical effects of redox alteration from cytokines, the "signal" proteins that regulate the immune system.
Not surprisingly, recently athletes have turned to prickly pear cactus to get more energy in the gym, to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness, to speed recovery and to reduce the chances of getting DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Prickly pear extract has proven remarkably useful as an ergogenic recovery aide. In addition to its effects on exercise and recovery, prickly pear cactus has shown promise as a diabetes treatment. Clinical trials have shown that it helps stabilize blood sugar levels, and is effective for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. The effects of prickly pear cactus on alcohol consumption are equally impressive. I see also that research has shown that it can help reduce the effects of excessive alcohol consumption because of it's ability to cut inflammation. Anyone can benefit from supplementing with prickly pear cactus, but especially diabetics, the obese, and athletes. You can buy the pads at small markets, and cut them up for your salads, or eat the fruits or jellies made from them. The fruit of the nopal cactus, tastes like a cross between bubblegum and watermelon. As always if under a doctors care or prescription medications check with your doctor. Otherwise give this ancient plant a try, and power up a workouts, speed your recovery, and detox your body. Good Luck...




 Doc's Fitness Tip's Publishes Twice Weekly.

Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
 
Flex -Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special that allows you to enjoy a one month personal training program. This is the perfect opportunity to get personally trained and bring a friend or spouse for FREE! Or Split The First Months Cost !! 



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Or you may be interested in trying A NO COST Introductory personal trainer workout or diet consultation by phone, Skype or in person!        



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Friday, April 7, 2017

" And Saffron's Mad About Me"...

As Pricy As Gold, The Most Expensive Spice In the World

I'm just mad about Saffron, and Saffron is mad about me. This is one spice that slips by most everyone's cooking radar. That's a BIG mistake. Saffron is a hand harvested pistil of a flower. How would I describe the taste of saffron, well it's semi-sweet mellow in food but bitter to taste. It smells like hay, the
ocean, burnt embers. It's aroma is distinct, as delicate like a surgeon, but sharp like a bitch-slap. I know because I'm chewing on some right now. It dominates the dishes it appears in, but delicately acts as a companion to other ingredients. Nothing in the kitchen is as full of paradox, and subtlety as this singularly elegant, and justifiably expensive spice.

Saffron was first documented in the 7th century. The history of saffron spice tracks back over 4500 years and traverses many civilizations, countries, and cultures. Zeus in Greek mythology slept on a bed of saffron. The spice appears in the verses of the Song of Solomon and in Chinese writings dating to 1600 BC. It's said that Cleopatra used it "before encounters with men" I haven't been able to find out how, so use your imagination on that one. A dye from these stigmas colors a 50,000-year-old cave painting in Iraq. Saffron began being used in the middle east and then was used worldwide as a food seasoning, medicine, perfume, and as a dye for clothes. In the middle ages, and unscrupulous dealers would, under law, be burned alive for selling a phony saffron spice. Those people took their spice trading seriously. Make no mistake though since it's initial use at the beginning of its history, right up to today, saffron spice has remained the most expensive spice known in the world. It's native to Asia Minor. The red and gold threads were also highly prized by pharaohs, and kings as an aphrodisiac. Saffron has been used medicinally to reduce fevers, cramps, enlarged livers, and to calm nerves. Also to calm babies during teething. It has also been used externally to for bruises, and rheumatism. Although the majority of the world's saffron is produced in Iran, Spain is the world's largest exporter of saffron.

Saffron, is derived from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus (crocus sativus) a small plant about a foot tall. Approximately 50,000 flowers are needed for 2 pounds of dried saffron. Each flower has three female parts (stigmas) two male parts (stamens) each stigmas is red or dark red in color towards the top and yellow towards the bottom of the stigma, where it is attached to the flower. There are other several plants that can give a yellow orange color to your food but none of these has the hypnotic fragrance of true saffron. You can fool the eye, but not the taste buds. Saffron has a bitter flavor and strong sharp penetrating scent. The flavor, aroma and coloring capability come from the red part of the stigma. The yellow part has no value as a spice. The crocus sativus is in bloom only for about three to four weeks. The stigmas have to be harvested by hand, when the stigmas are dried, they are called Saffron.

The brighter the coloring, the better the strength of the saffron, the less you have to use in a dish to achieve the required effect. Saffron has its own unique taste that is indescribable and really there is not anything else that can be used as a substitute. The flowering period of saffron starts during middle of late October, and lasts until the second week of November. However, the number of saffron flowers, and the time of blooming in any year are dependent upon the temperature, and on the amount of rainfall. The flowers that bloom in October, pushing out two or three fragile, wispy stigmas. Since they can only be harvested by hand, pickers work through the night to collect these shy little wisps.

Professor Silvia Bisti led a study at Italy's L'Aquila University, through the university's ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science. It appears that saffron may protect, and correct vision in individuals who have retinitis pigmentosa, or muscular degeneration related to age. The study found that saffron is a powerful antioxidant, affecting the genes that manage fatty acid levels in the membranes of the cells. Vision cells become stronger, and more apt to heal with the support of the antioxidant. The effects are impressive, also with human subjects with age related muscular degeneration experiencing restored sight with the help of saffron. Their next endeavor is to determine which components in saffron contain the vision repairing elements. As the specific ingredients are not readily apparent, although the spice has enjoyed much acclaim for eye health for many centuries. Saffron is full of surprises. Health problems that have been treated with the spice include:

• Digestive problems
• Asthma
• Insomnia
• Menstrual problems
• Common colds
• Inflammation
• Depression
 
Saffron is known to have helped relieve kidney stones. It also improves circulation of blood. In days past, grandmothers used to mix a few sprigs of saffron in hot milk as a night cap for their grand children, to induce sound sleep, and good health. It's been scientifically proven that saffron contains carotenoids which play a vital role in inhibiting skin tumors. Saffron also contains a compound by the name crocin which is helpful in promoting learning, memory retention and recall capacity to a great extent. Several studies have shown encouraging results that saffron might be great in the treatment and management of age related mental impairment, due to saffron's unique compounds like crocin and safranel which belong to the same family of carotenoids.

Saffron contains certain active ingredients also which produce positive effects in patients suffering from neuro-degenerative disorders. Saffron along with being a  good remedy for insomnia,it's been used for coughing, indigestion, and even baldness. The compounds of crocin, and safranel have anti- tumor effects as well. Saffron greatly boosts immunity by aiding in the maturation of white blood cells, as well as accelerating the levels of enzymes that help the body to track down, and eliminate toxins.
 
For those guy's suffering from acute premenstrual syndrome, saffron could be an answer to your girl's prayers. It eases irritability, depression, and mood swings, symptoms typical to this syndrome. Saffron is a great blood purifier and displays anti-inflammatory properties too. For those afflicted with severe inflammatory arthritis, taking saffron can provide relief from joint pains. Saffron is also  great for athletes as it can ease fatigue, and muscle inflammation by helping tissues to get rid of lactic acid, that gets stored in joints after a hard workout. It's mild sedative properties can be safely used to provide  rest after a workout or even when you're sick with cold's or the flu. Saffron helps us by increasing oxygen content in blood, promoting over all health and well being.

So saffron does more than just add flavor, and color to food. When buying saffron, to find out whether it is fake or adulterated, immerse a tiny piece of it in warm water or milk. If the milk or water colors immediately, then it is adulterated (phony). Genuine saffron takes about ten to fifteen minutes of soaking in warm water or milk before it can turn a deep red color, and release it's wonderful aroma. Some people may be tempted to try saffron in supplements but from what I've read this may not yield very good results. Be wary saffron supplements are notorious for having inferior ingredients and additives. Pregnant women should not take saffron, don't know why, but I've read it in more than one place. Because of it's expense, intense flavor, and strong dying properties, very little saffron is required for your cooking purposes. The key is to distribute it evenly throughout the dish being prepared. I like adding it to jasmine rice as a complement to a fish dish. It can be crushed to a fine powder with a mortar and pestle. Always opt for whole saffron threads instead of powdered saffron, as the threads tend to have more medicinal properties and the powder can be adulterated or dry or contaminated. Grind it yourself. It is always a good idea to purchase any spice or food product through a reputable source. Remember if the price seems too good to be true, chances are it isn't, and that the spice isn't really saffron. Good Luck...



 Doc's Fitness Tip's Publishes Weekly.

Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
 
Flex -Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special that allows you to enjoy a one month personal training program. This is the perfect opportunity to get personally trained and bring a friend or spouse for FREE! Or Split The First Months Cost !! 


But, hurry fast, this offer will end soon! 


Call - (949) 443-0133 for details on how to receive Orange County's premier personal trainer experience!  


Or you may be interested in trying A NO COST Introductory personal trainer workout or diet consultation by phone, Skype or in person!        
  
For the best Personal Fitness Training in Orange County, California:

PLEASE CONTACT ME; DOC MASTERS, at flexappealdoc@hotmail.com









Wednesday, March 29, 2017

It's Spring !! Let's Look At That Cellulite...

 
Say cellulite loud enough, every women's heads will turn

Most woman either "have cellulite" or know at least one other woman who suffers from this beauty crippling concern. If you have it, I'm sure you've heard many opinions, and read many articles on the subject. Today, I'm not going to look at the thousands of topical solutions, but rather I'm here to give you some helpful info from a different perspective. One that is sure to help you or anyone you might know who is looking for help with a plan for reducing or completely getting rid of cellulite. First things first. You don't have cellulite, cellulite is not a thing. It's simply a word, derived from French and Latin roots, that is used to describe the bumpy/dimpled appearance of skin. (the roots are cellula and -itis)

Now, there are women who are thin with the appearance of cellulite, and there are women who are plump with no signs of cellulite at all. So what gives? Well lets back up a little to help us put this into perspective. First let's take two overweight women one without the appearance of cellulite, and one with the appearance cellulite. We have to first ask the question why, and second what causes the appearance of cellulite skin. Well if we were to analyze the fat from the 2 overweight women mentioned above we would find no physiological or biological difference in the fat, in their lower bodies. What we would find are some structural differences in their musculature, and connective tissue. Along with several other factors that are affected by lifestyle habits.
  
factors of cellulite skin Here's what we would find structurally. In the woman without the appearance of cellulite, the muscles beneath her fat are firmer, and more toned. The connective tissue that sits between the deepest layers of the skin and the outermost layers of the fat is tighter and smoother. Therefore the fat deposits themselves are more evenly distributed. In the second woman with the appearance of cellulite. The muscles beneath her fat are most likely very soft, and in appearance most likely droopy, or jiggly. The connective tissue that sits between the deepest layers of the skin and the outermost layers of the fat, will also be looser and not as taught. Giving the fat deposits opportunity for uneven distribution.

In addition to these differences in structure there are, most likely differences in lifestyle habits like:
Proper Exercise- improper exercise or no exercise causes muscles and connective tissue to go slack allowing fats to maneuver themselves  into a bumpy texture under your skin.
Nutrition- besides calories, and quality of foods you eat, several other factors can have a substantial impact on the appearance of cellulite, mainly sodium intake levels, and levels of hydration.
Smoking, excessive alcohol, or prescription drugs, all help to lessen the elasticity of the collagen in your skin.

Cellulite is always an outward symptom of a much larger problem. You lymphatic system is not draining, and relieving itself of triglycerides, fats, and toxins. Look at the factors above, and the factors that you, have control over. It's safe to assume that women who are affected by the appearance of cellulite, can reduce the appearance of that cellulite by incorporating habits of proper, and specifically targeted exercise, combined with healthy nutrition habits that take into account proper hydration, and reduced sodium intake.
Eating water-rich fruits and vegetables is an efficient way to consume the water that skin cells need to maintain healthy structure. The constant up, and down of yo-yo dieting also strains skin's elasticity. Keep your skin in shape by maintaining a consistent weight.  Lemon juice, water, and cayenne pepper, for breakfast helps metabolize those fat's too.

Now, lets go back to our original question about the thin woman with cellulite and the plump woman with no cellulite. It should be clear to you now that the appearance of cellulite in the thin woman has nothing to do with her size or having a different kind of fat under her skin but rather several structural factors that result in the dimpled and bumpy texture of the outer layer of the skin. It is also very likely that these structural factors are in addition to poor health habits and the lack of proper exercise. So these are the real reasons, and how this cellulite appearance, this adjective of a noun that doesn't exist, can be reduced or removed completely. The map to change the appearance of your skin, that's the easy part. The map to change you and your bad habits, well that's going to take a little work. Exercise is always the catalyst that drives change in the structural components, that make up the layers behind the surface of the skin. So exercise a little, and improve your diet, and loose that cellulite for summer.   Good Luck...


                                                                                


 Doc's Fitness Tip's Publishes Twice Weekly.

Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
 
Flex -Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special that allows you to enjoy a one month personal training program. This is the perfect opportunity to get personally trained and bring a friend or spouse for FREE! Or Split The First Months Cost !! 

But, hurry fast, this offer will end soon!
Call - (949) 443-0133 for details on how to receive Orange County's premier personal trainer experience!


Or you may be interested in trying A NO COST Introductory personal trainer workout or diet consultation by phone, Skype or in person!     


For the best Personal Fitness Training in Orange County, California:
PLEASE CONTACT ME; DOC MASTERS, at flexappealdoc@hotmail.com









Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Agave, Could Be A Bad Choice...

 
We continue our never-ending search for a healthy sweeteners.

So blue agave nectar has been sniffing around the health food scene for a few years now trying to convince us it's safe alternative to sugar, especially for diabetics. Well I do know one thing blue agave is great for, but we'll talk about that later. Let's take a look, at this relatively new to the market sweetener and see if it is all that they claim. Agave syrup/nectar, good, or bad?


First a little history. In the valleys that lie beside a volcano in the heart of the Tequila region, was the home of a complex society. It reached it's peak between 200 BCE and 350 CE. Archeologists estimate more than 50,000 people may have lived within 15 miles of the Tequila volcano. There are many accounts of agave nectar, widely used among the Pre-Columbian cultures. It was used as a flavoring for several desert type dishes, and as a sweetener when drinking cocoa. These specialty foods were prized because the raw materials had to be moved over long distances, very slowly. So items like these were highly valued and traded extensively throughout Mesoamerica. Archeologist have found evidence that sweet dessert-like substances made with toasted squash seeds or popped amaranth seeds and boiled agave syrup or honey were made and given as gifts and used as ritual offerings. Agave nectar (aguamiel) is harvested primarily in Southern Mexico from the agave varietal maguey shawii and from other members of the agave family, most related to the Blue Agave and other maguey species from which mezcal and sotal are made. However, there is a big difference in the harvesting process to obtain agave nectar as opposed to the production of tequila. Agave Nectar is NOT a natural sweetener, words like, raw, and all natural, should mean something. FYI, truth is agave nectar is neither truly raw, nor is it all natural. Based on the labeling, I could picture native peoples creating their own agave nectar from the wild agave plants. I mean, this was a traditional food, eaten for thousands of years. Nope, it is not. Native Mexican people do make a sort of sweetener out of the agave plant. It's called miel de agave, and it's made by boiling the agave sap for a couple of hours. Think of it as the Mexican version of authentic Canadian maple syrup.

This is not what agave nectar is. Agave nectar is a newly created sweetener, having been first developed in the 1990's. Agave "nectar" is not made from the sap of the yucca or agave plant but from the starch of the giant pineapple-like, root bulb. The principal constituent of the agave root is starch, and a complex carbohydrate called inulin, which is made up of chains of fructose molecules. The starch is similar to the starch in corn. Inulin is a highly indigestible fiber, that does NOT taste sweet, it comprises about half of the carbohydrate content of agave. The process by which agave glucose and inulin are converted into "nectar" is similar to the process by which corn starch, is converted into High Fructose Corn Syrup. The agave starch is boiled at high heat and subjected to an enzymatic chemical process that converts the starch into a fructose-rich syrup, they also use caustic acids, clarifiers, filtration chemicals. To produce anywhere from 70% to 90% fructose according to the agave nectar chemical profiles posted on agave nectar websites. Compare that to the typical fructose content of high fructose corn syrup which is very unhealthy at about 55%. Those levels we already know can cause significant liver damage, by causing insulin resistance, known as Syndrome X. Insulin resistance prevents the efficient conversion of food into energy by desensitizing the walls of your cells to insulin. Your insulin acts like "a key in a lock", allowing glucose (sugar) to pass through the cell wall and be converted to energy. Insulin Resistance prevents glucose passing through the "energy door" into the cell. As a result, the rejected glucose floats freely in the blood stream, causing elevated levels of blood sugar, which are sent to the liver. Once there, the sugar is converted into triglyceride fat and carried via the blood stream throughout the body in a process that can lead to plaque in your arteries, runaway weight gain, and obesity.

You may be thinking, "Hey, isn't fructose found in fruit?" If you are, you're right. Small doses of fructose with the accompanying enzymes and fiber found in fruit will never damage your health no matter how much fruit you eat. Drinking HFCS by the quart, like some people do in diet soda, is another thing all together. Concentrated refined fructose is not found in fruit, or anywhere else in nature. Concentrated fructose, is a man-made sugar created by a  refining process. Refined fructose lacks amino acids, vitamins, minerals, pectin, and fiber found in fruit. The body doesn't recognize refined fructose. So refined fructose is processed in the body through the liver, rather than digested in the intestine. Fruit sugar is digested in the intestine. Because fructose is digested in your liver, it is immediately turned into triglycerides or stored body fat. Since it doesn't get converted to blood glucose like other sugars, it doesn't raise or crash your blood sugar levels. Hence the claim that it is safe for diabetics, but it isn't. That's because fructose has another trick it inhibits leptin levels. Leptin is the hormone your body uses to tell you that you're full. In other words, HFCS and even worse agave syrup, makes you want to eat more. Besides contributing to weight gain, they also makes you gain the most dangerous kind of fat.


In my opinion from everything I've researched Agave Nectar is not good for you. It's not traditional, not natural, it's highly refined, and contains more concentrated fructose than high fructose corn syrup. Modern Agave nectar syrup is a triumph of marketing over science. True, it has a low-glycemic index, but so does diesel fuel, that doesn't mean it's good for you to eat. If you simply must have some sweets once in a while, a small amount of agave nectar isn't going to kill you, right away. Just don't buy into the idea that it's any better for you than cane sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup, and it will make you fat.




Now I do know one thing for sure Blue Agave is good for, and that's for making Tequila. The Mexican government controls the tequila brand and regulates production to protect quality. Premium tequila has a 100% agave label meaning that it only contains sugars from the blue agave, was bottled at a distillery in tequila country and has an alcohol content of 70 to 110 proof. The town of Tequila, Mex. has ultra-modern distilleries of the largest Tequila companies, and small family-run estates where tequila is still produced using artisanal techniques.

  

Know Your Tequila:

Tequila Blanco or white tequila is bottled immediately after being distilled. Sometimes colorants such as caramel are added to produce Tequila oro.
Tequila Reposado: is white tequila that is kept in white oak casks for more than two months and up to a year. The result is a mellower flavor and bouquet.


TequilaƱejo: is aged in white oak casks for more than a year, acquiring an amber color and distinctive smooth flavor. Some aged tequilas are stored in oak barrels for up to eight years and are known as Reserva.


Tequila aside from what it's detractors have to say has many quality attributes not the least of which are, in small doses it can be a relaxing way to end the work week, it can aid in your socialization skills, it can make your cloths fall off rather easily. Also it is a rather dependable sleep aid. So there you have it Blue Agave Nectar= BAD... Blue Agave Tequila GOOD !!!


         









Doc's Fitness Tip's Publishes Twice Weekly.

Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
 
Flex -Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special that allows you to enjoy a one month personal training program. This is the perfect opportunity to get personally trained and bring a friend or spouse for FREE! Or Split The First Months Cost !! 


But, hurry fast, this offer will end soon!
Call - (949) 443-0133 for details on how to receive Orange County's premier personal trainer experience!


 Or you may be interested in trying A NO COST Introductory personal trainer workout or diet consultation by phone, Skype or in person!  
   

For the best Personal Fitness Training in Orange County, California:

PLEASE CONTACT ME; DOC MASTERS, at flexappealdoc@hotmail.com











Saturday, February 25, 2017

Gey Your "Pucker" On With Lemons !!

   Lemons are one of those sexy "can't live without" fruits

Lemons have long history of health, and cosmetic benefits, and a kitchen without a lemon is a sorry place indeed. These yellow gems are culinary superheroes, that brighten the flavor of everything. From salad, to main course, to desert, and cocktails. The Ancient Egyptians believed that eating lemons, and drinking lemon juice was an effective protection against a variety of poisons. The two biggest health benefits are lemons strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers, and their use as a weight loss aid, because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain many substances. Citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene, that promote immunity, and fight infection. It's widely presumed that lemons first grew in Southern India, northern Burma, and China. In South and South East Asia, it was also used as an antidote for various poisons. Lemons entered Europe near southern Italy around the 1st century AD, during the time of Ancient Rome. However, they were not widely cultivated. They were later introduced to Persia, and Egypt around 700 AD.

The lemon was first recorded in literature in a 10th century Arabic essay on farming, and was also used as an ornamental plant in early Islamic gardens. It was distributed widely throughout the Arab world and the Mediterranean region between 1000, and 1150. The first substantial cultivation of lemons in Europe began in Genoa in the middle of the 15th century. It was later introduced to the Americas in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola on his voyages. Spanish conquest throughout the New World helped spread lemon seeds. It was used as ornament, and medicine. It was in the 18th and 19th centuries, when lemons were first used widely in cooking and flavoring, they were first planted in Florida and eventually moved west to California. In 1747, James Lind's experiments on sailors suffering from scurvy involved adding vitamin C to their diets with lemon juice. The average lemon contains approximately 3 tablespoons of juice. You should allow lemons to come to room temperature before juicing them it makes the juice easier to extract. Remember that lemons left unrefrigerated for long periods of time are susceptible to mold. In one of the most comprehensive scientific studies, researchers at Ohio State University revealed lemon oil aroma used in aromatherapy may enhance mood and reduce anxiety. I know a few people that could use that tip, don't you. Check out these additional benefits:


  • Lemon contains citric acid, which can be effective in treating acne. The vitamin C found in citrus fruits is vital for that healthy glowing skin while it's alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne.
  • Research has shown that lemon balm has a calming effect, and therefore may be able to help with fatigue, exhaustion, dizziness, anxiety, nervousness, and tension. It is also believed that inhaling lemon oil helps with concentration and alertness.
  • The proven antibacterial, and antiviral properties of lemons can accelerate the healing process of mouth sores.
  • At the first indication of a cold, like a runny nose or sore throat, you should try to give your body as much immune-boosting vitamin C as you can so that the virus is eliminated before it gets a chance to take hold. Try drinking the freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon in a glass of lukewarm water every 2 hours.
  • Experienced travelers know that when they add lemon juice to ordinary drinking water, in various localities, it acts as an antiseptic, and helps to prevent illness due to allergy to different water supplies.
  • Lemons can help freshen breath that has gone sour after consuming certain spices, alcohol, cigarettes, or that is caused by insufficient salivation.
  • Several studies have found that lemon balm combined with other calming herbs (such as valerian, hops, and chamomile) helps reduce anxiety and promote sleep.
  • Even though it makes you pucker, lemon juice has a powerful alkaline effect in the body, and is therefore a natural agent to relieve excess acid.
  • Lemon oil has vessel-strengthening properties that can help fight varicose, and spider veins.

Also:

  1. Lemon being a citrus fruit, fights against infection. It helps in production of antibodies in blood which attacks an invading microorganism and prevents infection.
  2. Lemon is an antioxidant which deactivates the free radicals preventing many dangerous diseases like stroke, cardiovascular diseases and cancers.
  3. Lemon lowers blood pressure and increases the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) .
  4. Lemon is found to be anti-carcinogenic which lower the rates of colon, prostate, and breast cancer
  5. Lemons also blocks the formation of nitrosamines in the gut.
  6. Application of Lemon juice gives a glow to the skin.
  7. Grandma says a few drops of lemon juice in hot water will clear the digestive system and purify liver as well.
  8. Lemon juice acts as a natural hair lightener and skin bleach which reduces the pigment melanin and prevents the risk of chemical allergic reactions which is common with hair dyes and bleaches.
  9. In your mouth lemon juice will relieve gingivitis, stomatitis, and inflammation of the tongue.
  10. Lemon juice is given to prevent or treat urinary tract infection.
  11. Lemon juice is applied to the sites of bites and stings of certain insects to relieve its poison and pain.
  12. Lemon juice soothes the dry skin.
  13. Lemon juice used for marinating seafood or meat kills most bacteria and other organisms present in them, thereby prevents many gastro-intestinal tract infections.
  14. Lemon juice is the best drink to prevent dehydration in case of diarrhea.
  15. Lemon juice removes plaque, whitens the teeth and strengthens the enamel.
  16. Grandma says table spoon of thick lemon syrup everyday helps relieves asthma.
  17. Gargling lemon juice relieves sore throat.
  18. Lemon juice is an excellent treatment for dandruff and greasy hair.
  19. Lemon applied over the face removes wrinkles and keeps you young.
  20. Lemon juice helps to prevent and treats osteoarthritis.

Whew! The lemon is quite the little powerhouse. Not to "beat a dead horse" but lemon also freshens the air, lemon oil is used to condition wood products, and the acid in lemon juice will break down the alkaline minerals found in hard water, that ends up on glasses or windows. The juice of one lemon will also neutralize the chlorine in your bath water, and it's also great for getting odd smells out of your microwave. What WOULD we do without lemons indeed, the distinctive pucker taste of lemon makes it a key ingredient in many main dishes, and desserts around the world. It's great for our health, has many non-culinary uses, and fresh squeezed lemonade isn't a bad drink either.  So give fresh lemons a bigger place in your diet. Good Luck...

And... once again it's the weekend so I must confess one of my all-time favorite uses of the lemon is in in the:

Lemon Drop:

 Ingredients:


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1/4 sugar cube
  • crushed ice
  • 1/4 lemon, sliced
  • 1 sprig fresh mint


In a hand shaker, combine lemon juice, vodka and sugar, and ice. Shake till chilled, then pour into sugared rim martini glass. Garnish with a lemon slice a mint sprig. Enjoy!!


...And For Your Skin




 Doc's Fitness Tip's Publishes Weekly

Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
 
Flex -Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special that allows you to enjoy a one month personal training program. This is the perfect opportunity to get personally trained and bring a friend or spouse for FREE! Or Split The First Months Cost !!
  

But, hurry this offer ends Soon!

Call - (949) 443-0133 for details on how to receive Orange County's premier personal trainer experience! 
   
Or you may be interested in trying A NO COST Introductory personalized training workout or diet consultation by phone, Skype or in person! 
     

For the best Personal Fitness Training in Orange County, California:


PLEASE CONTACT ME; DOC MASTERS, at
flexappealdoc@hotmail.com