Cooking Shows

Acai Berries Are More Than a Fancy Buzzword!

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of Cooking with Fey! On this dreary rainy day I thought we could remember the splendor of summer by talking about acai berries!

Why acai berries? Because these last few years they have become a buzzword food that few of the clients I work with actually know why. So today I thought I would set the record straight about why people consume acai berries– other than for their delicious taste! Acai berries, powders and juices are more than just a fancy new talking point for health enthusiasts, they also have health benefits to add to your diet such as: protecting our heart, improving cognitive function and slowing down certain cancers.

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Acai berries also contain these helpful nutrients:

  • Vitamin A
  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytochemical- Anthocyanins

Vitamin A is necessary for human growth and development, cell recognition, sight, proper immune system function, sexual reproduction, as well as helping the heart, lungs, and kidneys to function normally. While Vitamin A sounds like a miracle, be careful how much you take. If you ingest too much it can be harmful to the body. Most doctors recommend that adult men consume 900 mcg per day, and women take 700 mcg per day to stay within healthy levels.

Now, you may be thinking, “why on earth do I care about fiber?” But worry not, I am about to explain about the different types of fiber, and why you should care.

Soluble Fiber is like the police force of the body. This type of fiber attaches itself to cholesterol particles in the body and helps them to be removed when we visit the restroom. This is very important because it helps to reduce the body’s overall cholesterol levels, which can be a contributing factor to heart disease.

Insoluble fiber can be thought of like a massive sponge in the large intestines. This type of fiber draws in water and helps regulate the movement of food through our intestines. So if you are having problems going to the restroom, then the insoluble fiber in prunes can help.

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Calcium is the essential mineral everyone was taught as a kid would help us build strong bones. And you are right in remembering that from 3rd grade science. Calcium is vital for the health of our bones, and for slowing down bone density loss as we age. The mineral calcium also impacts the muscle that surrounds blood vessels, causing it to relax. Which is important for blood pressure and muscle contraction. Just remember, it is difficult for the body to effective absorb calcium without the presence of Vitamin D in the body, so be sure to have an adequate source of Vitamin D in your diet to maximize the effects of calcium.

As you may know, acai berries contain a fantastic source of antioxidants to fight off free radicals in the body. As you may remember from a previous blog on strawberries, antioxidants have been shown in studies to delay cognitive issues like memory less, fight some cancers and decrease your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes. These same antioxidants also keep our skin looking young and beautiful. Science is starting to show that consuming antioxidants can help slow the onset of wrinkles, age spots or decreased elasticity in our skin.

Science is also starting to show that diets rich in antioxidants have a positive effect on cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases. While these illnesses currently have no known cure, diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds can lower the risk of developing these diseases later in life.

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Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants that have disease-fighting properties when ingested by humans. This is just a complicated way of saying that phytochemicals are an important part of a healthy diet to prevent certain diseases.

The phytochemical, anthocyanin, found in acai berries, has been shown to lower oxidative stress and inflammation, which can promote brain health and function. Anthocyanins are also being shown by scientific research to enhance and improve memory. Scientists think the compound works by reducing neuro-inflammation, increasing synaptic function and improving blood flow to and in the brain. But the amazing benefits of anthocyanin don’t stop here. This phytochemical has been shown by other studies to reduce the risk of heart attacks in young or middle-aged women when consumed as a part of a daily diet, and acai berries also work to decrease the levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the body. Furthermore, laboratory studies are starting to show that anthocyanins have anti-cancer properties that prevent certain cancers from spreading, they induce cancer cell death and inhibit the growth of some tumors! Thank goodness for anthocyanins!

 

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Fitness Videos

Reverse Mermaids for Core Strength and Flexibility!

Hello and welcome everyone to another edition of Fey Fitness! In this video we are exploring a beginner level core exercise/stretch that is called a Reverse Mermaid. It’s a fantastic exercise that I’ve been loving lately and incorporating into the end of my client’s core workout days. The Reverse Mermaid is the sister move to the traditional Mermaid we learned about last week.

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Why Do a Reverse Mermaid?

  • A strong core also helps us with the rest of our fitness lives. A well-conditioned core helps keep us steady and our posture safe during weighted squats, during an Arnold Press, or when performing back exercises.
  • Our transverse abdominal muscles are located deep within our core to assist us with breathing, and to keep our internal organs stable inside our abdominal cavity. These muscles also help protect our spine during movement.
  • The rectus abdominis muscle is our main showcase muscle when people talk about wanting sexy, toned abs. This muscle sits at the surface of our core and is what gives that “six pack” abs look to athletes. But our rectus abdominis does more than make us look like Grecian Gods, it allows us to flex our spine (bring our ribs closer to our hips), and stabilizes our core during movement or bending motions.
  • This movement helps you work on lateral obliques by lengthening and strengthening them. The lateral obliques are the the muscles that form our waistline. For most people, the lateral obliques don’t get used as much as they should, which causes the dreaded “love handles” for women or the “spare tire” around the middle for men.

 How to Perform a Reverse Mermaid:

  1. Sit with your right leg parallel to the wall beside you and the other leg parallel to the wall in front of you.
  2. Place your right hand on the floor, foot bar or other stable surface beside you. Keep the right hand about a fists width in front of your shoulder.
  3. As you exhale, bring your left arm up and over your head while your core muscles bend you over to the side as far as they can. Don’t use your right arm to support your body weight, keep the core engaged and let your ab muscles stabilize you. PRO TIP: Imagine your torso is between two sheets of glass. The goal is to bend to the side without leaning forward or backward.
  4. Pause for a second or two, then inhale as you slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat this motion 12-15 reps on each side of the body for 3 sets.

My goal is to empower you to feel confident and informed so you can get the most satisfying workout possible. So please let me know how I can better help you achieve that goal. As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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Cooking Shows

Professional Development Opportunity! Training Weekend.

Hello and welcome everyone to what would normally be another article in my nutrition series! Today I’m starting my monthly three day training program, so there won’t be any nutrition article today.

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In case you missed my first post on the topic, I’ve been awarded an opportunity through the studio I work at to take a professional Pilates instructor course! I am thrilled and feel so blessed to be given this amazing experience to progress my professional career as a trainer. This scholarship is only presented once a year to employees who show merit and a passion for fitness, so it was a dream come true to be given such a rare gift. It’s an amazing feeling, and one I am currently finding hard to put into words.

The only downside to this program is that one Friday a month I won’t be able to post my normal nutrition blog because I’ll be away from the internet and in training.

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Not to worry, the rest of the month will remain unscathed, and you can expect blog entries on the regularly scheduled time and format.

Thank you for your patience with this wonderful growth opportunity I’ve been blessed with, and I look forward to posting another entry next week as life returns to normal.

Cheers,

Fey

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Fitness Videos

Mermaids for Core Strength and Flexibility!

Hello and welcome everyone to another edition of Fey Fitness! In this video we are exploring a beginner level core exercise/stretch called a Mermaid. It’s a fantastic exercise that I’ve been loving lately and incorporating into the end of my client’s core workout days.

Why Do a Mermaid?

  • A strong core also helps us with the rest of our fitness lives. A well-conditioned core helps keep us steady and our posture safe during weighted squats, during an Arnold Press, or when performing back exercises.
  • Our transverse abdominal muscles are located deep within our core to assist us with breathing, and to keep our internal organs stable inside our abdominal cavity. These muscles also help protect our spine during movement.
  • The rectus abdominis muscle is our main showcase muscle when people talk about wanting sexy, toned abs. This muscle sits at the surface of our core and is what gives that “six pack” abs look to athletes. But our rectus abdominis does more than make us look like Grecian Gods, it allows us to flex our spine (bring our ribs closer to our hips), and stabilizes our core during movement or bending motions.
  • This movement helps you work on lateral obliques by lengthening and strengthening them. The lateral obliques are the the muscles that form our waistline. For most people, the lateral obliques don’t get used as much as they should, which causes the dreaded “love handles” for women or the “spare tire” around the middle for men.

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 How to Perform a Mermaid:

  1. Sit with your right leg parallel to the wall beside you and the other leg parallel to the wall in front of you.
  2. Place your left hand on a ballet bar, foot bar or other stable surface beside you. Keep the left hand about a fists width in front of your shoulder.
  3. As you exhale, bring your right arm up and over your head while your core muscles bend you over to the side as far as they can. Don’t use your left arm to support your body weight, keep the core engaged and let your ab muscles stabilize you. PRO TIP:Imagine your torso is between two sheets of glass. The goal is to bend to the side without leaning forward or backward.
  4. Pause for a second or two, then inhale as you slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat this motion 12-15 reps on each side of the body for 3 sets.

My goal is to empower you to feel confident and informed so you can get the most satisfying workout possible. So please let me know how I can better help you achieve that goal. As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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Cooking Shows

Ward Off Bad Health With Oranges

Hello and welcome to today’s installment of Cooking with Fey! With flu season sneaking up on us, I thought we should talk about the first fruit that comes to mind when we think about boosting our immune system- oranges.

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Why oranges, you say? Because oranges boost your immune system, reduce free radicals in the body, ward off some forms of heart disease and keep our skin looking youthful. That’s a lot of benefit from one little fruit!

So with all that in mind, let’s break down how oranges are able to make such wonderful boasts about helping us live a healthy lifestyle.

But before I forget, oranges are also an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Thiamin
  • Antioxidants

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As you may know, oranges are a fantastic source of Vitamin C, which is an important nutrient linked to immune system health. Having a strong immune system helps the body ward off illness or recover faster from sickness. Which is especially important now that cold weather seems to be here to stay for most parts of America.

Vitamin C is also great for the heart. In a research study published by the Harvard School of Public Health, the diets of 126,399 adults were examined over the course of many years to reveal that for every serving of fruits and vegetables a person consumed, there was a 4% reduction in their risk of developing coronary heart disease. The study also pointed out that leafy green vegetables and foods high in Vitamin C, like oranges, had the largest positive impact.

Other studies have found that activities such as daily walking, combined with orange intake, can reduce blood pressure. So if you are concerned about your heart health talk to your doctor about adding oranges to your diet.

Vitamin C also increases iron absorption in the body, so if you suffer from an iron deficiency or anemia, then oranges might be the answer you’ve been looking for.

If you suffer from frequent kidney stones, then try reaching for oranges to help minimize the chances of getting these uncomfortable stones in the future. The citric acid found in oranges can increase urine volume and decrease calcium levels in urine- which leads to less buildup to form kidney stones.

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Fiber is necessary in our diet for improving how the digestive system functions, and fiber feeds the good bacteria that live within our digestive tract. I know, not the prettiest thing to think about, but a healthy digestive system means a healthy you. And on the bright side, a diet with healthy levels of fiber can aid in weight loss and lowering our cholesterol levels!

Folate, which is one of the B vitamins, is important for tissue growth and normal cell function. Further, folate is especially important for pregnant women and our active aging populations.

Meanwhile, potassium helps the body maintain a normal blood pressure and nerve function. This means that oranges can help the nervous system regulate muscle movements more effectively. This is important for weightlifters such as myself, as it maximizes all that hard work we put in at the gym each week.

The potassium and vitamin C in oranges also combine to protect our heart. Heart health is important for me since I live with Atrial Fibrillation. So when I read studies like the one from Vanderbilt Medical School stating that a daily intake of potassium can lower the risk of developing heart disease, I definitely made sure to start eating oranges so my own heart condition doesn’t worsen.

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Another B vitamin found in oranges is Thiamin. Thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, is responsible for converting the carbohydrates we eat into energy. Which is fantastic for gym goers, as this means more energy to lift weights! The B vitamin Thiamin also helps our muscles to contract and our nervous system to send signals throughout the body.

Oranges also contain antioxidants that fight off free radicals in the body. As you may remember from a previous blog on strawberries, antioxidants have been shown in studies to delay cognitive issues like memory less, fight cancer and decrease your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes.

These same antioxidants also keep our skin looking young and beautiful. Science is starting to show that consuming antioxidants can help slow the onset of wrinkles, age spots or decreased elasticity in our skin.

 

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Fitness Videos

Stronger Back Series: Parallel Grip Lat Pull Down

Hello and welcome everyone to another edition of Fey Fitness! Today we are continuing with the Stronger Back Series by learning how to properly strengthen our back muscles with a Parallel Neutral Grip Lat Pull Down. This is another variation on the traditional Wide Grip Lat Pulldown, so you’ll still get a great back workout, we’re just gripping the hand bar in a different way.

 

Additionally, this exercise is perfect for those of us with Atrial Fibrillation, as it will not spike our heart rate during the movements. Just be careful getting down onto the ground and back up again if you have severe AFib, or problems with your blood pressure. Remember, slow and steady wins the fitness race!

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Why Do a Parallel Neutral Grip Lat Pull Down?

  • A Parallel Neutral Grip Lat Pull Down will work a majority of back muscles, with a focus on the Latissimus Dorsi (also known as “lat” muscles. The lat muscles are vital to back health because they connect the spine, pelvis, ribs, scapula and upper arm. These muscles work by adducting, rotating and extending the arms through a full range of motion. They are also responsible for moving the arms back and down towards the hips.
  • The lat muscles act as stabilizers in many other exercises such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses. Our lats also protect our spine during exercises such as these.
  • By performing this exercise you can work: the Teres Minor, Infraspinatus, Teres Major, Posterior Deltoid, middle and lower Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi, Biceps Brachii, Brachialis and Brachioradialis. That’s a whole mouthful of muscles! So put simply, the Lat Pull Down will work almost all back muscles and some muscles in your arms. Working all of these muscles at once will give you a fantastic workout in terms of maximizing the efficiency of your upper body workouts and making sure you are hitting many different muscles during this compound movement to improve your holistic fitness lifestyle.
  • By increasing our muscle mass and lowering our body fat we reshape our back’s landscape. Reshaping the upper body in this manner can make us appear slimmer because the “V” shape starts at the back by being widest near the shoulders and tapering in at the waist. This is useful in creating that hourglass shape so many women want; and that “V” shape creates the desired shape so many men are after.

 

How to Perform a Parallel Neutral Grip Lat Pull Down:

  1. Sit on the machine with knees hips width apart and feet firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Grab onto the parallel handle with your palms facing each other and in front of the body.
  3. Sit up nice and straight with your shoulders rolled back and down, away from your ears.
  4. As you exhale, engage the lat muscles and use them to slowly bring the handle to your chest. PRO TIP: It’s perfectly normal to feel tension in your arms, they are working to grasp the handle and the biceps are secondary movers in this exercise.
  5. Once the handle is at your chest, slowly raise the handle until your arms are straight and back in the starting position.
  6. Repeat this motion 12-15 reps for 3 sets.

My goal is to empower you to feel confident and informed so you can get the most satisfying workout possible. So please let me know how I can better help you achieve that goal. As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to my website at FeyFitness.com .

 

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

 

Cheers,

Fey

 

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

 

Cooking Shows

Portable Nutrition with Bananas!

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of Cooking with Fey! Today I thought we would cover an iconic fitness fruit you commonly see in gym bags or on websites telling you to eat better- the portable banana!

Dainty bananas are a popular addition to any nutrition site or fitness regimen because of their nutritional benefits and portability. I mean, they already have a travel friendly wrapper included! But bananas are more than just the lazy person’s travel food, they also have health benefits to add to your diet such as: protecting our heart, strengthening our bones and boosting our mood. These health benefits are wonderful for those of us with Atrial Fibrillation,as we can use all the help we can get to help our hearts function better and safer.

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Bananas also contain these helpful nutrients:

  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Tryptophan (an amino acid)

As you may know, bananas are a fantastic source of Vitamin C, which is an important nutrient linked to immune system health. Having a strong immune system helps the body ward off illness or recover faster from sickness.

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Vitamin C is also great for the heart. In a research study published by the Harvard School of Public Health,the diets of 126,399 adults were examined over the course of many years to reveal that for every serving of fruits and vegetables a person consumed, there was a 4% reduction in their risk of developing coronary heart disease. The study also pointed out that leafy green vegetables, and foods high in Vitamin C, had the largest positive impact.

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Meanwhile, potassium helps the body maintain a normal blood pressure and nerve function. This means that bananas can help the nervous system regulate muscle movements more effectively. This is important for weightlifters such as myself, as it maximizes all that hard work we put in at the gym each week.

The potassium and vitamin C in bananas also combine to protect our heart. Heart health is important for me since I live with Atrial Fibrillation. So when I read studies like the one from Vanderbilt Medical School stating that a daily intake of potassium can lower the risk of developing heart disease, I definitely made sure to start eating bananas so my own heart condition doesn’t worsen.

 Magnesium works with Potassium for bone health in the body. Potassium works hard to protect us against osteoporosis and Magnesium is a powerhouse for bone formation. These two minerals combine to ensure that our bones are strong for the long run.

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Boost your mood with the amino acid Tryptophan! Science is showing that tryptophan may help prevent cognitive decline and boost our moods. While more research needs to be done in this area to uncover how much of an impact bananas and amino acids can have on our moods, it can’t hurt to munch on a banana the next time you are feeling grouchy!

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