Brand Review: TribeSports

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ImageYou know when you randomly follow people on Instagram because you dig their photos and attitude ( just admit you do it!)? well, that’s how I came across TribeSports initially. This UK performance apparel brand started a KickStarter campaign to create functional fitness wear that is community sponsored. Something about a grassroots movement always impresses my entrepreneurial spirit so I happily said yes when they asked me to join their #RunWithMe campaign. To get me started, they sent me the lovely Performance Tech Tee & 2 in 1 shorts that you see in the photo. Unfortunately Mother Nature’s weather tantrums  don’t want me in shorts, so this review is mostly about the top ( I will add the shorts info later).

The charcoal grey and yellow color scheme are really flattering and not too “girly” which I really liked and the reflective racing stripe down the back of the top is just plain bad ass 🙂  Not one to be outdone by rainy, cold Spring weather, I used the top as the bottom layer under my hoodie and headed out for a run over the Williamsburg Bridge. 

Results: I cannot say enough about how soft, light and COMFORTABLE this tee is!! It was like I was wearing nothing, albeit  a cushy, cozy nothing. The fit is snug but flatteringly so and the hemline hit just above hip level which I’m a fan of. More importantly,  the armpits didn’t pull against my muscly upper body and let’s face it: all girls like that. My 3.5 mile run did work up a little sweat although there was little evidence of that with the wicking power of this sexy but functional top. So much so that I ended up wearing it under the rest of my gear ALL DAY. So yeah, I’d say Tribesports has a winner here: it is definitely a “must buy” and I cannot WAIT to try out these shorts!

The apple cider vinegar craze: is it for you?

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An apple a day keeps the Dr. away!

An apple a day keeps the Dr. away!

Let’s just admit it: we are a nation of wellness gluttons who will binge on any new trend that we think will make us “perfect” in a jiffy. Knowing thyself is important so let’s just get that out of the way, shall we? Take Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV to those in the know), for example: it has been touted as the holy nectar of all things healthy for a hot minute now: wash your floors, wash your face, wash your HAIR with it!  DRINK IT! It solves world peace!! (okay, I added that last one). Is this is all meaningless blog content, marketing ploy or does the stuff work? Personally, I like to know the why’s before I jump on bandwagons so let’s break  it down.

First things first: as with most natural remedies, the claims made about what ACV abilities don’t match the amount of viable research  available. In short, a lot of these health claims don’t have the support of science BUT our grandparents and their parents can’t all be wrong and science sometimes has to catch up; After all, research IS expensive.

Acetic Acid: the magical ingredient

All vinegars contain acetic acid (when ethanol is fermented by acetic acid baceria, acetic acid is born; Wikipedia it!) . You will hear the term “Mother of Vinegar” used and that just refers to the bacterial culture used to spawn the vinegar.   ACV has a high amount of acetic acid (usually 5%) which makes it too strong to use on your skin or to ingest if undiluted. However, the theory is that adding diluted acetic acid to your gut will lower blood pressure and improve the absorption of certain minerals while slowing the digestion of carbohydrates and thus preventing spikes in blood sugar. There is also the premise  that adding an acid that is weaker than gut acid to your system increases the alkalinity of your blood.  Three things are important to note here:

  1. The blood pressure lowering effects was found to be true in rats but hasn’t been tried in humans yet.
  2. The hydrochloric acid (HCL) you already have in your gut is powerful and usually does a fine job of helping you absorb the minerals from your food by breaking down the proteins they are attached to. Does ACV overpower the enzymes that cause you to quickly break down carbs in the gut? the jury is still out. BUT:  you DO start to make less HCL with age (and with stress);  people with chronic or stress related digestive issues might have impaired gut function overall. Some alternative practitioners contend that low HCL can lead to  anemia and an overgrowth of yeast in the gut which can then lead to skin and dental issues (eczema, dermatitis, gum disease, thrush etc) 
  3. A balanced, healthy diet low in simple carbohydrates won’t cause spikes in blood sugar OR lower blood pH like a junk food diet that relies on refined carbs (think white flour, quick oats, white rice) will; common sense says to NOT eat a meal that will spike your blood sugar rapidly. BUT: people with prediabetes (insulin resistance), diabetes or a family history of diabetes have abnormal insulin levels so their blood sugar levels need additional help. A diet high in simple carbohydrates can ALSO lead to candida aka. yeast overgrowth. WARNING: Be careful with ALL natural remedies if you’re already taking medications since there might be interactions. Chat with your Dr. about what you intend to do and the meds you’re on.

Apples, Apples a wonderful fruit

As the name implies,  ACV is made from fresh apple juice that includes all parts of the apple i.e the seeds, stems etc; this concoction is called the apple must. Why should you know this? well, since conventionally grown apples  have high pesticide levels, it’s worth it to buy organic, unfiltered (the cloudy kind) ACV since all parts of the apple are used to make it. So guess what’s in apples and vegetation that grows from the earth? phyto-chemicals, that’s what! Your body loves phyto-chemicals because they act as natural antioxidants that protect your cells from rapid deterioration.

So there you have it! Sure, apple cider vinegar as a nontoxic house cleaner is a no brainer because of its acidic action and minimal ingredients. Heck, it’s even been shown to serve as an excellent pet friendly pest repellent ( spray it on your pesky neighbor to make sure). Should you ingest it daily some have suggested? maybe if you fall into any of the categories mentioned that have trouble with low HCL, insulin and/or skin issues. The good news is: ACV IS nontoxic so if you want to try it and see what happens then it likely won’t harm you (again, be careful if you’re on meds). Just don’t rely on it indefinitely (take breaks here and there if you decide to pursue it as a remedy). Balance in life is key!

 

 

References

  1.  ” Antihypertensive Effects of Acetic Acid and Vinegar…”, Kondo et al (Pubmed.gov); 2001
  2. “What the Research Really Says about Apple Cider Vinegar” Dr. Mercola (Mercola.com); 2009
  3. “Apple Cider Vinegar”, Cathy Wong ND (About.com/Altmedicine)
  4. “Phytochemicals”, American Cancer Society (cancer.org);
  5. A Review of Mineral Absorption…”, Dr. James Gerber MD (IntegrativePractitioner.com)

How to stay fit when injured

What to do when your body is hurt.
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What to do when your body is hurt.

What to do when your body is hurt.

Sedentary living is one of the biggest culprits for unwanted weight gain and declining fitness levels, aside from overeating and related lifestyle issues. What causes you unexpected sedentary behavior? well, injuries and  surgeries are a couple of things that can do it. Even formerly fit people complain that the weeks spent recovering from injury or surgery is often catastrophic to their waistlines. Here are some strategies to minimize the damage.

 Planned Surgery or sudden Injury

It is best to begin improving your fitness level before the date of your planned surgery. If your limbs are functional and you’re mobile, focus on building/keeping your lean muscle with more resistance training. That way, you can use the first week to two weeks of your healing period as planned rest without too much muscle loss. If your injury is sudden, then focus on the functioning muscles and joints surrounding your injury. For example, if your ankle or knee has been injured you can do seated leg lifts using just your boot or cast as weight. Aim for a couple sets of 10 repetitions and work up from there.

Low impact activities like swimming and Pilates  are good choices for folks with injured joints and biking indoors or outdoors is a good cardio option for injured knees. Biking strengthens the small muscles surrounding the knees without much of the shock associated with running. Use both the recumbent and upright bike and aim for a moderate mount of knee flexion and resistance.

Mental Health Check: Being in chronic pain is debilitating regardless of the reason and feeling like your body is malfunctioning only makes it worse. Sure, depression might seep in and that is natural, don’t despair. Try refocusing on what your body CAN do now.

Focus on your food choices

Since you will be less mobile while you heal, it is smart to take control of you eating habits at this time. Aim to eat mostly wholesome foods found in nature instead of snack foods and be aware of portion sizes. As your body tries to comfort itself it might want to turn to food. Understandable but dangerous. Depending on your injury, boost your fitness with short walks or bike rides, yoga, Pilates and swimming – activities which have been proven to boost both fitness AND mood.

14 Ideas for your #Change1Thing Checklist

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Sometimes the smallest tweaks yield the biggest results which is what the Change1Thing Campaign is all about. Instead of doing  major overhaul on your body and life, it is probably more manageable to take small steps towards your goal. As innocent as that sounds, it can be overwhelming so enter moi with this handy list for you to try out.

  1. Add sprints to your running routine
  2. Take your run outside
  3. Change the weights in your lifting routine
  4. Try a new class
  5. Try a sport you’ve never tried before
  6. Walk more than you drive & take the stairs more than the elevator.
  7. Train for a race (5K run/walk or obstacle race, anyone?)
  8. Eat one salad per day for either lunch or dinner
  9. Drink at least 24 oz of water each day
  10. Have a bigger breakfast and a smaller dinner
  11. Bring your own lunch
  12. Cook most meals yourself
  13. Quit your soda and chips habit!
  14. Get more sleep during the week

Un-Pasta Bolognese

Low Crab option to your favorite pasta!
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Image Did you know that substituting grated/shredded carrots for bread crumbs and adding tomato paste in meat makes it perfect for a meatballs AND Bolognese? Yeah, me either until now! This recipe was born because my local market sells these awesome giant meatballs that I enjoyed until I found out they had rice and breadcrumbs in them. That and each if them costs about $2 a piece and who needs that when I can make them?? So I roasted some spaghetti squash and cooked this up fully intending to make my own Giant Bawls. Sheer laziness turned this into the Un-Pasta Bolognese you see here. Hey, at least I’m honest!

*Heat oven to 400 degrees, cut spaghetti squash in halves or quarter and sprinkle with salt, olive oil and maybe a tsp of vinegar (optional); roast in ben for up to 25 mins.

1Tbsp oil ( I used Olive)

1 Tbsp onion, chopped

1 lb lean ground turkey

1 4-6 p can of tomato paste

1 tsp garlic, minced or grated

1/2 grated carrot

sea salt & cayenne pepper to taste.

Heat oil in heavy skillet then add onion and sautĂ© until onion is translucent. Season meat  and cook on medium to high heat until brown. Add the garlic and cook for another 3-5 mins, add carrots then cook another 3-5 minutes. Make sure meat is fully cooked and then add tomato paste and mix thoroughly. The paste will soak up all the liquid from the skillet so turn down heat to low so it doesn’t  burn.

* To make meat balls, add all ingredients together while meat is uncooked and cook from there.  When squash is finished roasting, scoop flesh out into a bowl and top with a hearty scoop of the meat mixture. Enjoy!

High protein muffin: version 3.0 (has dairy)

The latest FabU high protein, low carb muffin.
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The latest FabU high protein, low carb  muffin.

The latest FabU high protein, low carb muffin.

Eureka! This is one version of my muffin adventures that turned out moist and yummy. The catch? This one is NOT dairy free BUT the batter has 30 grams of protein and 20g of carbs. It serves 4 so each has 7.5 grams of protein and 5 grams of carbohydrates.

FIRST:

*Grease muffin cups with non stick spray & heat oven to 375-400

1/4 cup almond meal
2/3 cup coconut flour
2 whole eggs
2/3 cup cottage cheese (I used full fat)
1 tsp ghee (coconut oil/butter works too)
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt and either 1.5 tbsp of coconut sugar for sweet version OR herbs for savory.
Mix together in blender and pour mixture into 4 cups and bake for 20-25 mins.

Meet Karl, my new Keurig! #BrewItUp

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Meet Karl, my new Keurig! #BrewItUp

Sometimes (often) the universe gives you exactly what you ask for and this case: I asked for a Keurig! It’s been one long year of envying my friends and family theirs and the kind folks at KHQ (Keurig Headquarters) decided to end that nonsense and gave me my own. Can’t wait to break it in. I might go to bed early just to get started!

Tacopie – Swedish style!

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Gluten free crust for taco pie? Yes, please! Will be trying this too 🙂

Sofia HĂ€ger

Made taco-pie with Lina the other day and it actually turned out well! Tasted almost like when I used to make it back home in Sweden! 😉 it’s easy to make it’s just that it takes a lot of time because it has to be in the oven for a while..
Since I’m not eating gluten we made a gluten free crust of 5dl almond flour, 1tsk baking soda, 2msk sesame seeds, 2 eggs, 30g butter and 1 msk psylliumseedshusk. Mixed everything in a bowl and then pressed it put in a pie form. Put it in the fridge for 20 minutes while making the filling. Started with chopping one big onion and then put it in the pan until it gets a golden color and then add the beef (600g) until that’s all brown and then add one can of corn and 1-2 bags of taco seasoning and some


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Stir-Fried Chicken with Hot Basil over Sticky Rice, Thai Brussel Sprouts, & Papaya Salad

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Adding this to my “Must Try” List!

What They Made

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All of these dishes are some of our most favorites from the Pok Pok cookbook (see previous post “Stir Fried Thai Chicken & Brussel Sprouts”), so when we have all three in one meal it’s just like Thai heaven to us. The papaya salad has been mentioned a few times on the blog already (see previous post “Thai”), so I won’t go into too much detail on that except that it is definitely an easy, healthy, and super tasty (& hot!) dish to enjoy anytime. I’m sure it will be showing up even more now that the weather is getting warmer.

The Thai stir fried brussel sprouts are another blog regular
. they are so easy, and a nice twist on the typical steamed or sautéed brussel sprouts we have. Just chop, steam for a minute or two, then throw in a hot oiled pan and sauté for a few minutes


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