Thursday, May 23, 2013

What’s in Your Green Tea?

For many, no drink is more synonymous with good health than green tea, the ancient Chinese beverage known for its soothing aroma and abundance of antioxidants. By some estimates, Americans drink nearly 10 billion servings of green tea each year.
But a new report by an independent laboratory shows that green tea can vary widely from one cup to the next. Some bottled varieties appear to be little more than sugar water, containing little of the antioxidants that have given the beverage its good name. And some green tea leaves, particularly those from China, are contaminated with lead, though the metal does not appear to leach out during the brewing process.

The report was published this week by, an independent site that tests health products of all kinds. The company, which had previously tested a variety of green tea supplements typically found in health food stores, took a close look at brewed and bottled green tea products, a segment that has grown rapidly since the 1990s.
It found that green tea brewed from loose tea leaves was perhaps the best and most potent source of antioxidants like epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, though plain and simple tea bags made by Lipton and Bigelow were the most cost-efficient source. Green tea’s popularity has been fueled in part by a barrage of research linking EGCG to benefits like weight loss to cancer prevention, but the evidence comes largely from test tube studies, research on animals and large population studies, none of it very rigorous, and researchers could not rule out the contribution of other healthy behaviors that tend to cluster together.

Green tea is one of the most popular varieties of tea in the United States, second only to black tea, which is made from the leaves of the same plant. EGCG belongs to a group of antioxidant compounds called catechins that are also found in fruits, vegetables, wine and cocoa.

The new research was carried out in several phases. In one, researchers tested four brands of green tea beverages sold in stores. One variety, Diet Snapple Green Tea, contained almost no EGCG. Another bottled brand, Honest Tea’s Green Tea With Honey, claimed to carry 190 milligrams of catechins, but the report found that it contained only about 60 percent of that figure. The drink also contained 70 milligrams of caffeine, about two-thirds the amount in a regular cup of coffee, as well as 18 grams of sugar, about half the amount found in a can of Sprite.

Another phase of the study looked at green tea in its more natural forms – loose tea leaves sold by Teavana and tea bags sold by companies like Bigelow and Lipton. A single serving of Teavana’s Gyokuro green tea, about one teaspoonful, was chock-full of antioxidants, yielding about 250 milligrams of catechins, a third of which were EGCG. It also contained 86 milligrams of caffeine, slightly less than a regular cup of coffee.

A single bag of the green tea sold by Lipton and Bigelow contained somewhat smaller amounts of antioxidants than Teavana’s green tea and generally minimal amounts of caffeine. But Teavana’s recommended serving size was large, and the tea was also far more expensive, resulting in a higher cost per serving. The report calculated that the cost to obtain 200 milligrams of EGCG ranged from 27 cents to 60 cents with the tea bags, and $2.18 with the Teavana loose tea leaves.
But the most surprising phase of the study was an analysis of the lead content in the green tea leaves.

The leaves in the Lipton and Bigelow tea bags contained 1.25 to 2.5 micrograms of lead per serving. The leaves from Teavana, however, did not contain measurable amounts.

“Lead can occur in many botanical products because it is taken up from the ground,” said Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of “The green tea plant is known to absorb lead at a higher rate than other plants from the environment, and lead also can build up on the surface of the leaves.”
Dr. Cooperman said the tea leaves containing lead probably originated in China, where studies have found that industrial pollution causes the leaves in some regions to gather substantial amounts of lead. The Teavana leaves came from Japan, where that is less of a problem, he said. The decaffeination process also helps remove lead.

Still, the study found that there was no real prospect of a health concern from the lead. The liquid portions of the teas that were brewed and tested contained very little if any of the metal, Dr. Cooperman said.

“The majority of the lead is staying with the leaf,” he said. “If you’re brewing it with a tea bag, the tea bag is very effectively filtering out most of the lead by keeping those tea leaves inside the bag. So it’s fine as long as you’re not eating the leaves.”


Friday, March 22, 2013

To Buy Organic or Not to Buy Organic: Fruits and Vegeables Guide

"People don’t like pesticides on the food they eat or in the water they drink. The most recent government pesticide tests establish the widespread presence of pesticide residues on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables and in tap water. " 

 Here is some great information I found on the EWG's website. 

This year's Dirty Dozen

  • The most contaminated fruits, in alphabetical order, are apples, domestic blueberries, grapes, imported nectarines, peaches and strawberries.
  • The most contaminated vegetables are bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes and spinach.
  • Every sample of imported nectarines tested positive for pesticides, followed by apples (98 percent) and imported plums (96 percent).
  • The average imported nectarine had much higher total weight of pesticides than any other food crop.
  • Grapes had 15 pesticides detected on a single sample. Blueberries and strawberries both had 13 different pesticides detected on a single sample
  • As a category, grapes have more types of pesticides than any other produce, with 64 different pesticides.
  • Some 96 percent of celery samples tested positive for pesticides, followed by potatoes (91 percent).
  • A single bell pepper sample was contaminated with 15 different pesticides, followed by a single sample of celery with 13.
  • Bell peppers had 88 different pesticide residues, followed by cucumbers (81) and lettuce (78).

 The Clean Fifteen

The Clean Fifteen – the produce least likely to test positive for pesticide residues were these fruits -- domestic cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, pineapple and watermelon --  and these vegetables -- asparagus, avocado, cabbage, eggplants, mushrooms, onions, frozen peas, sweet corn and sweet potatoes.
Notable findings:
  • Fewer than 10 percent of pineapple samples had detectable pesticides.
  • Some 78 percent of mango, 75 percent of kiwi, 67 percent of watermelon and 60 percent of domestic cantaloupe had no residues,
  • No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen had more than 5 types of pesticides detected.
  • Avocado, sweet corn and onions had no detectable pesticide residues on 98 percent or more of the samples tested.
  • Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen vegetables. No samples of sweet corn and onions had more than one pesticide. More than 90 percent of cabbage, asparagus, sweet peas, eggplant and sweet potato samples had no more than one pesticide detected..
  • Of the Clean Fifteen vegetables, no single sample had more than 5 different chemicals
For more informantion please visit the EWG's website. They provide up to date information on

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How to Get Omega’s 3, 6, & 9 Without Eating Fish

What do they do, and how do I get them if I don’t like fish?

These are questions I get nearly everyday.

There is always the option to supplement. But, some people don’t like the dreaded “fish burp.” I have found a couple of ways around it; first keep them in the freezer and take them right before you eat. Second, they sell Enteric Coated omegas and most vitamin stores that will not break down until they are way past your stomach so there is no risk of having a “when did I eat fish?” moment.

Even though supplementing is an option, whole foods are always a healthier choice. And for those of us who can only handle so much fish in a week, here are some other options that I found on the livestrong website.

Omega 3: A few functions that our bodies utilize omega-3 fatty acids for include: forming cell membranes, eye health, nerve cell development, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, prevention of menstrual syndrome and postmenopausal hot flushes.

3 Sources:

1. Flaxseed
2. "omega-3" eggs
3. Edamame (Soybeans)

Omega 6: Omega-6 fatty acids are much more prevalent in the Western diet. They are also critically important to our body's proper functioning. A short list of omega-6 fatty acids role in the body includes: brain function, healthy skin, muscle growth and repair.

3 sources:

1. Walnuts
2. Cashews
3. Avocado

Our body is capable of manufacturing omega-9 fatty acids. Therefore, it is not as critical that we get them directly from the diet as it is for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-9 fatty acids are derived from monounsaturated fats, whereas the omega-3 and 6 are derived from polyunsaturated fats. Health benefits of omega-9 fatty acids include: improving cholesterol levels, proper heart health and improving immune system functioning.

3 sources:

1. Olive Oil
2. Almonds
3. Pistachios

Monday, February 4, 2013

Stretching: Focus on flexibility



 Here is a great article I found on the mayo clinics website about proper stretching. 

Stretching may take a back seat to your exercise routine. You may think that stretching your hamstrings and calves is just something to be done if you have a few extra minutes before or after pounding out some miles on the treadmill. The main concern is exercising, not stretching, right?
Not so fast. Although studies about the benefits of stretching are mixed, stretching may help you improve your flexibility, which in turn may improve your athletic performance and decrease your risk of injury. Understand why stretching can help — and how to stretch correctly.
Benefits of stretching
Studies about the benefits of stretching have had mixed results. Some show that stretching helps, while others show that stretching has little if any benefit. The main benefits of stretching are thought to be:
  • Improving athletic performance
  • Decreasing the risk of activity-based injuries
Stretching can help improve flexibility. And better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion. For instance, say your Achilles tendon is tight and lacks flexibility. If you do a lot of hill walking, your foot may not move through its full range of motion. Over time, this can increase your risk of tendinitis or tendinopathy in your Achilles tendon. Stretching your Achilles tendon, though, may improve the range of motion in your ankle. This, in turn, can decrease the risk of microtrauma to your tendon that can lead to overload and injury.
Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle. And you may come to enjoy the ritual of stretching before — or better yet, after — hitting the trail, ballet floor or soccer field.
Stretching essentials
Before you plunge into stretching, make sure you do it safely and effectively. While you can stretch anytime, anywhere — in your home, at work, in a hotel room or at the park — you want to be sure to use proper technique. Stretching incorrectly can actually do more harm than good.
Use these tips to keep stretching safe:
  • Don't consider stretching a warm-up. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. So before stretching, warm up with light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Or better yet, stretch after you exercise when your muscles are warmed up. Also, consider holding off on stretching before an intense activity, such as sprinting or track and field activities. Some research suggests that pre-event stretching before these types of events may actually decrease performance.
  • Focus on major muscle groups. When you're stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play. And make sure that you stretch both sides. For instance, if you stretch your left hamstring, be sure to stretch your right hamstring, too.
  • Don't bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. These tears leave scar tissue as the muscle heals, which tightens the muscle even further, making you less flexible and more prone to pain. So, hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat each stretch three or four times.
  • Don't aim for pain. Expect to feel tension while you're stretching, not pain. If it hurts, you've pushed too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Make stretches sport specific. Some evidence suggests that it's helpful to do stretches tailored for your sport or activity. If you play soccer, for instance, you're more vulnerable to hamstring strains. So opt for stretches that help your hamstrings.
  • Keep up with your stretching. Stretching can be time-consuming. But you can achieve the best benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week. If you don't stretch regularly, you risk losing any benefits that stretching offered. For instance, if stretching helped you increase your range of motion, and you stop stretching, your range of motion may decrease again.
  • Bring movement into your stretching. Gentle movement can help you be more flexible in specific movements. The gentle movements of tai chi, for instance, may be a good way to stretch. And if you're going to perform a specific activity, such as a front kick in martial arts, do the move slowly and at low intensity at first to get your muscles used to it. Then speed up gradually as your muscles become accustomed to the motion.
Know when to exercise caution
In some cases, you may need to approach stretching with caution. If you have a chronic condition or an injury, you may need to adjust your stretching techniques. For example, if you already have a strained muscle, stretching it may cause further harm.
Also, don't think that because you stretch you can't get injured. Stretching, for instance, won't prevent an overuse injury. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the best way to stretch if you have any health concerns.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Institute of Medicine says adult men need about 13 cups (3 liters) per day of fluid; adult women need about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of fluid. (You get about an additional 21/2 cups of fluid from foods.) “But one size doesn’t fit all,” says Leslie Bonci, R.D., C.S.S.D., director of sports nutrition at the Center for Sports Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Your size and activity level affect your fluid requirements. Simply put, the larger and more active you are, the more you’ll need. “The easiest thing that anybody could do on a daily basis is monitor their urine color,” says Douglas Casa, Ph.D., A.T.C., who studies hydration at the University of Connecticut. “Lighter urine color—like lemonade—means you’re generally well-hydrated. If it’s darker, like apple juice, you are most likely dehydrated.” Older adults’ fluid needs don’t change, but they’re more likely to become dehydrated because their sense of thirst declines. Pregnant women and nursing mothers need slightly more water. Some medications, such as antihistamines and certain antidepressants, increase your fluid needs too.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dont Give Up

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. - Thomas A. Edison

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Enoy Your Summer!

Getting ready for summer involves a lot of things; making sure you have enough sunscreen, planning trips, buying swimsuits, preparing for outdoor barbeques. The one thing we often forget is to prepare is ourselves.

Being healthy and fit involve a level of selfishness and people often get caught up in caring for other people. (There is nothing wrong with that) But, by not taking time to care for ourselves, we do have an effect on those around us. No one wants to feel tired, worn down, and abused. So this summer, I propose we all plan for some  alone time. Head to the gym, put on your headphones, and remember that you are important.  Here are a few things you can do to improve your quality of life.

1. Start your morning with a short burst of cardio. - It doesn't have to be intense, or long. But there is nothing that will wake up your mind and body more that getting your flowing first thing in the morning. Running up and down the stairs, jogging around the block, doing jumping jacks while you watch the news. It doesn't matter what you do, just be active for 15 mins right when you get out of bed and before you eat your breakfast.

2. Start your day with a hearty breakfast. - Never underestimate the fact breakfast is the most important meal of your whole day. Whoever said that first was either a genius, or didn't know the power behind his words. This will set the pace and energy level for the rest of the day. Don't be stingy, eat healthy and eat up.

3. Take personal breaks throughout the day.  -Exhaustion comes from a whole combination of things. But it all leads to the lack of taking a break between tasks. Sit down, breathe deep, and focus on nothing. The more you flood your mind with whats on your to do list, the less you let yourself focus on you. It's a lot easier to organize your mind when its not constantly moving.

4. Schedule your Gym time before the week starts. Most of us have good intentions when it comes to getting your exercise in, but our lack of planning allows for us to let interruptions in. Something will come up. If you are not planning on going till the last minute, you will always find a valid (or not valid) reason for putting it off. The more you respect your own time, the more other will respect it as well. Most of those last minute interruptions will start to look like they can wait and don't need your immediate attention. 

5. Listen to your body. If you are physically or emotionally drained. If you are sick and recovering from a cold or other bug, REST. Exercise is good, don't get me wrong. You need to remember to let yourself properly heal before pushing yourself.  You will lengthen your recovery time if you get back to it too soon.

Your ability to care for others greatly depends on your ability to care for yourself. Too many people work around others schedules.

It's time to truly prepare for an enjoyable summer !


Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Web Address

Welcome friends!!!!

I wanted to announce that we have recently changed our web address from to You can still access all previous post through this new website.

Thanks for following!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

23 1/2 Hours! A great place to start!

I friend of mine posted this video on Facebook the other day and it is something everyone can do to improve their health.

I am often asked by my clients "How much should I be doing?" Well, if you are not doing anything you should start with this!

To your continued health and wellness!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Years Resolutions--How to succeed the SMART way!

It's that time of year again when we are all making our grand New Year's resolutions. (Hopefully they are not already forgotten). Whether you are setting a weight loss goal or not, just remember to be SMART about your goal setting. Let me explain:






Is your goal specific? If your goal is to lose weight this year, take off your shoes and Ta Da you lost weight this year. Specific means it is something that you can gauge or test and know when you have reached it.

Measurable- If a goal is measurable you have a specific end point in mind so you will know you have reached your goal once you get there.

Attainable-- Is this goal really possible for you to achieve given your resources, know how and motivation?

Realistic-- Can you realistically reach your goal? Can you make a plan of action and step by step reach your goal?

Timely- Can you reach your goal in the time that you have allotted yourself?

Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Steady determination wins the race. Step by step, day by day, with a plan you CAN achieve your goals!

Happy New Year! And Happy Goal Setting!

To a year of health and well being


If your goal is to lose weight this year come in and see me for your free evaluation and goal assessment. I provide the plan and accountability to get you the results you want. Call 801-755-6689 today!

No gimmicks, No games, just solid fitness & nutrition principles.

We build healthy lifestyles one person at a time!