The Best Fitness Articles of the Week #76 – Smoothie Perfection, Homemade Sandbags and a Vegan Pepperoni Recipe

Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.

5 Easy Ways to Get Even More from Your Smoothie

I’ve been working on perfecting how I do smoothies so I’ve already incorporated most of these tips into my regular smoothie making routine. I love the tip on using veggie scraps in the smoothie. I usually toss mine in the compost bin. The gross-looking smoothie in the picture at the top of this post is my first smoothie using scraps. Most of it’s regular stuff like spinach, celery, lemon and peaches, but I also threw in some kale stems.

Vegans Will Destroy the Planet: Why an Animal-friendly Lifestyle Will be the Death of us all…Maybe

This is a funny article mocking the claims made by omnivores to vegans on why veganism is a bad thing for the environment. It’s funny because it’s true.

The New Pill That Lets You Eat Gluten Without Problems…Or Does It?

I’ve been hearing about the drug Glutenease recently too, and I had the same thought about it as the author of this post does. The pill doesn’t really prevent the damage that gluten causes, it just covers up the symtoms.

Does Your Pre-Workout Supplement Suck?

The title of this article is misleading, but the content here is good. This is basically a huge list of supplements and explanations of how they work.

Injury Nutrition and Supplementation: How to Get Back in the Game Sooner

If you spend any amount of time exercising or lifting weights, eventually you’re probably going to suffer an injury. When that time comes, refer to this article to get speed up recovery and get back to it quicker.

How to Build a Mobile Gym in 30 Minutes

Working out with sandbags sounds awesome! I would love to put a couple of these together to take to the park to do an outdoor routine with some friends. It’ll only cost about $50 to build one bag, but you might already have a few of these items at home, dropping the cost considerably.

The Scientific Power of Naps – YouTube

Everytime I see something about day napping, I try to think of ways that I can sneak in naps at work, but I never actually try it. There’s just no good place to nap and my truck is way to hot during the summer. Here’s the video

Invisible Bike Helmet Keeps Riders Safe, Looking Cool [VIDEO]

I love this idea because I know several people who won’t wear a helmet because they think they won’t look cool. Such a stupid reason! I’m not really sure this helmet looks much cooler though, lol, and it’s definitely not affordable. Maybe in the future they’ll come up with something cheaper.

Lapka β€” Personal Environment Monitor

Lapka is a monitoring kit with four sensors that connect to your iPhone; each sensor testing something different. There is a sensor to test radiation, one to test if your food is actually organic, one for testing electromagnetic fields and one sensor to test humidity to help you adjust your climate for optimal comfort. It’s currently in the production stage and will cost only $220. I think that’s a hell of a deal for everything this thing does.

Compact hydroponic unit can grow 10,000 vegetables a year

I like this idea, but I wonder what the nutritional value of the plants are since they aren’t grown in natural soil. It costs about $4,500 US per year in electricity to run and a one time purchase of the unit at about $70,000 for the base model or $108,000 for the upgraded model. It’s not something the average person will buy, but it sounds like a great idea for restaurants.

I Hate Grocery Shopping; This Is How I Fixed It

I don’t really mind grocery shopping but I know there are plenty of people who hate it, so this article is for them. There are also some cool tips mixed in. For example, you should always choose the line with the least amount of people in it, no matter how many items they have because it’s the checkout process that takes the most amount of time, not the scanning.

Avoid Rookie Cooking Mistakes: Use The Right Pots and Pans for the Job

I admit that I use the wrong pots and pans to cook everything. I’m just not very picky and I want to minimize dishes. Good tips here though. I’ll try to clean up my act in the kitchen a little bit from now on.

Vegan Pepperoni

I don’t eat meat and I’m not a fan of the highly-processed vegan pepperoni, so this sounds like a neat idea. I’ll give this one a try the next time I make a pizza.

A Surgical Oncologist Speaks Out on the Perils of Alternative Cancer Therapies

Great interview and a very interesting back and forth in the comments section.

Do Power Bracelets Work

I’ve tried a power bracelet before and felt absolutely no change at all in my performance, but if you believe, maybe it’ll work for you. Check out this in-depth article on various types of bracelets from Ben Greenfield. He believes in the one that he wears. A couple of quantum physics experts in the comments don’t though.

Strategies to enhance performance

What I like best about Ben Greenfield is that he’s always testing new things. The things I think are most interesting are the PEMF unit, echinacea tincture, superslow training and chinese adaptogenic herbs.

Conscious Box

These sound fun! For $20 a month, Conscious Box will send you a small package full of new and interesting eco-friendly products. The link I’ve posted is directly for their vegan version.

The Best Health & Fitness Articles of the Week #75 – CrossFit From Home, a Veggie Burger Template and Self Testing Your Body

image courtesy of Crossfit Kandahar

Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. It’s sort of a big issue this week because I’ve been working on catching up on articles that I’ve been saving up to read later. I hope it’s not too much. πŸ™‚

16-Days of Beginner CrossFit Workouts You Can Do From Home

I’ve been doing CrossFit workouts for years, but just to break up my usual routines with something new. I think I technically qualify as a beginner, but I’m thinking about changing that. I’ve decided to take a short break from my normal weight training to do a lot a more CrossFit, at least for a week or two, and this workout plan is one that came up in my search for workouts that I can do at home. Looks good!

*Level 1* 30 Day At-Home CrossFit Challenge Workouts

I also came across this post in my research for CrossFit workouts to do at home. There’s a whole 30 days planned out here.

Easy Veggie Burger Recipe

Most people love burgers every now and then. What makes this recipe so cool is that it’s based on a formula which allows you to create all different types of burgers by simply switching out ingredients. They also have a smoothie and energy formula linked in the first paragraph of the article.

Free Video: How To Deadlift With Proper Form

This is a really helpful video. Proper form is shown perfectly. I think I’ve even learned some tips from watching this. I think what will benefit beginner lifters the most in this video is the way Mehdi lowers his butt and flattens out his back before picking up the weight.

Vegan Dairy Free Homemade Yogurt Recipe

I really want to start making my own yogurt because I don’t like reading the label of the yogurts at the grocery store and not knowing what the ingredients are. Homemade yogurt actually doesn’t sound too difficult. I’ll probably try a variety of different coconut yogurt recipes until I get it just right.

Intelliskin – Performance Posture Apparel

Intelliskin sells sports bras, tank tops, and t-shirts that are similar to compression clothing but which also incorporates an internal structure that adds support for your posture. Usually with products like these it’s hard to find local dealers, but I was surprised to see that there were so many local sellers in my neighborhood. The shirts are bit pricey at $95 and $100 each, but the technology sounds really cool.

How to use algae

Chlorella and spirulina are super-foods that are just now starting to reach popularity. I put spirulina powder in my protein shakes every morning. It doesn’t taste great, but it’s not all that bad. The best information in this article are the tips at the end on choosing the best algae supplements. It’s stuff I didn’t even think about.

Fruit-On-The-Bottom Protein Peanut Butter + How To Make Homemade Peanut Butter

I bought peanuts specifically to try this easy peanut butter recipe. I have a high quality food processor should be able to do this. I’m just making the nut butter first though. I might try the fruit at the bottom recipe later. I can’t wait to see what it tastes like. Mmmmm.

Substitute for 1000 meter row – CrossFit Discussion Board

I’ve been doing CrossFit at home all week and one of the workouts called for 1000 meters on the row machine. I don’t have a row machine so I found an alternative; “shin to chin” Sumo Deadlift High-pulls (SDHP), 45-lb bar for men or 30-lbs for women, 1 rep per 10 meters. You could probably also do standing resistance band rows at high intensity for the same amount or more strokes as the SDHP.

Non-Dairy Coconut Whipped Topping

I love recipes that are so simple that you barely even have to think πŸ˜€ This is one of them. Making full-fat coconut whipped topping requires only placing a can in the fridge overnight, skimming the cream off the top the next day and whipping it up with 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp Stevia with a beater until it’s the right consistency.

The Ultimate Vegan Energy Snack: Chocolate Turtle Energy Bites

WOW! These look delicious! If you’re looking for a pre-workout snack or just something to cure your sweet-tooth cravings, these would do the job. I’m definitely making these πŸ˜€

50 Cool and Helpful Tips For The Kitchen

There are so many great tips here on things like fixing overcooked foods, cleaning tips, conserving water and most importantly, keeping foods fresh.

How to make fresh rice noodles

Eventually I want to remove wheat from my diet, and that means no more noodles πŸ™ Or does it? I don’t know why I didn’t know this, but there’s such a thing as rice noodles. I’m gonna try to make my own to see how it goes. I might considering buying some kelp noodles from the asian grocery store too, but a lot of people claim that they’re kinda gross. We’ll see I guess.

Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!): Banana Cream Pie

This sounds really good, but I’ve made a recipe similar to this before and it just didn’t work out well for me. I guess I’ll give it another try though. I didn’t have the right tins for the crust so maybe that’s key.

The Garage Gym

If you haven’t already noticed from my previous posts in the this week’s update, I’m on a CrossFit kick. If you want to build a CrossFit gym in your own garage, basement, barn, whatever; this PDF explains it all. I’m not here yet, but I have no doubt that one day I’ll be doing this. I’ve been really wanting to buy some bumper plates and I hope to buy some soon. Next will probably be some olympic rings.

Prescription Cycling Eyewear From

A few months ago I stopped wearing my contacts and decided to wear my prescription glasses full-time. It’s much easier on my eyes since I work on a computer all day. The one thing that really sucks though is that I like to ride my bike to work a couple times a week and I like to ride with sunglasses on, so I put in my contacts for my ride and take them out when I get to work. It’s annoying, so I’m probably going to order a pair of this in the future. They look cool too πŸ˜‰

An Interview With Vegan Ironman Triathlete Brendan Brazier.

I randomly came across this article from 2005, back when Brendan Brazier was still competing I believe. It’s cool hearing about how ridiculous his training regimen was because I don’t remember him mentioning it any of his books or recent interviews. I couldn’t imagine training like that. If you wonder why pro triathletes are skinny, take a look at their training routine.

10 Tricks To Fall Asleep Faster

If you want to build muscle, recover from workouts and feel like a million bucks in the morning, you need to get your beauty sleep. I actually sleep pretty well and it’s probably because I follow a most of the advice in this article.

How To Self Test Your Body

I wish I had the cash to fork over to do these tests. I’d love to know more about the foods that my body doesn’t react well to. The tests actually aren’t all that expensive, but they aren’t in the budget at the moment. I plan on doing these test at some point though.

The Best Fitness Articles of the Week #74 – Protein From Juicing, What to do Between Sets and Using Avocado Instead of Butter to Bake

Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.

Protein & The Reboot – Setting The Record Straight

Can you get enough protein while on a juice “feast?” Of course you can and it’s pretty easy! If you’re mostly sedentary, you only need 0.36 grams of protein per pound of weight and if you’re active you should get 0.55 grams per pound. If you’re weight training or doing intensive exercise, you’ll need about 0.68 grams per pound, but you probably shouldn’t be doing much exercise at all while on a juice fast.

Healthy Recipes: Natalie Hodson’s Death By Garlic Roasted Asparagus

I’m not really a big fan of asparagus, but I know a lot of people like it a lot. This recipe is so simple that it would make a great quick snack. I’m thinking about making these for my fiance, because she absolutely loves asparagus. Baking these in the toaster oven would probably be much easier than using the full-size oven.

Is Coconut Oil Healthy

Coconut oil is definitely one of the latest fad “super-foods” and I admit that I’ve been pulled in too. I’ve been using coconut oil regularly for probably about six months or so. I use it every morning in my oatmeal and if I cook with oils, I use coconut oil. This article explains quite a bit about coconut oil if you want to learn more.

Ask The Macro Manager: Should I Drink Protein Before Or After A Workout?

I found this article interesting because I was just thinking about starting to use a pre-workout shake. The recommendations seem to be protein and carbs or just taking BCAA’s alone 15-30 minutes before working out. I’ll probably do BCAA’s and dextrose.

The basics of foam rolling and myofascial release

I’m still a beginner when it comes to foam rolling so the tips here are new to me. For example, I didn’t know that I should roll firmly towards the heart and then lighter on the way down. I also didn’t know that I shouldn’t roll over injured areas for a minimum of 72 hours. Good stuff to know for sure.

What to Do Between Sets

I particularly like the point made right in the first paragraph. You should only be taking a break long enough to accomplish whatever needs to be done, such as soft tissue work or recovering energy. You don’t need to stick to rest periods as they are laid out in a workout plan if you don’t need to. Their are some good ideas here for some things you can do to stay productive during rest periods too, such as posing. I’ve never tried that, but I will now.

Max Capacity Training

This looks really cool! The whole workout plan is laid out for you – 16 minute workouts, 3 days a week for 12 weeks. Each day has its own page which as a video timer for you to follow along with and descriptions of the exercises you need to complete. There are also fields where you can track your results and then post to Facebook to keep yourself motivated. There’s an iPhone app too.

Eating Gross Food Because It’s Good For You

I thought this one was funny because the foods she mentions are just a regular part of my diet. I’ve been eating these things so long that I don’t even remember being afraid to try them. Well actually I do remember sorta being nervous about juicing. While on the topic of scary/strange foods, just a couple of weeks ago I tried natto and durian fruit. Those are scary, lol. They weren’t delicious, but they weren’t all that bad either. I might eat them again πŸ˜‰

Finished my 2 month juice fast! A photo comparison of before and after

If you think you have what it takes to consume only juices for 2 months, these are the kind of results you can expect. If I was overweight, I’d definitely try it.

New findings break tanning misconceptions: There is no such thing as a safe tan

Skin melanoma is the most lethal of skin cancers and now this study shows that you risk getting it no matter what method of tanning you do. Looks like you need to use tanning sprays or creams instead. That is if those aren’t toxic too. Ha!

Solving the mystery of how cigarette smoking weakens bones

I actually didn’t know that cigarette smoking weakened bones. I’m glad I quit smoking a couple years ago. It was the one thing really holding me back from being as healthy as I wanted to be.

Bulletproof video: Get stable energy & perform better by avoiding these

Here’s an excellent video all about how molds and toxins affect your body, what foods they are commonly found in, and how you can remove them from your body.

Foam Rolling Exercises for a Better Body: Your Foam Roller Guide

I agree with Srdjan when he says adding foam rolling into your routine is a game changer. It really is. I’ve been doing it for a couple weeks now and it’s having a huge impact on my recovery and I do it before I workout, so it gets my muscles ready to whatever exercises I have planned. There’s a good video here with lots of examples. I already do all of the leg examples shown, but I learned some new upper body moves. I usually use tennis balls on my chest and back. I would really like to get a rumble roller at some point. That’s definitely gonna hurt. πŸ˜‰

Fish Isn’t The Best Source Of Long Chain Omega-3’s

Now this is an in-depth look at omega 3’s – what they are, where they come from and how they work. Take some time out of your day to read this and the two prior omega 3 articles in the series.

The Ultimate 30 Min MMA Conditioning Workout (Advanced Only)

I’m pretty sure that I can’t do this workout. It looks tough. There’s a 30 min. YouTube you can watch to follow along if you want to try. I’ll probably give it a shot, but I’m nowhere near as flexible or conditioned as this guy.

Substitute Avocado for Butter to Cut the Fat from Baked Goods

I hope I can remember this tip the next time I bake something that calls for butter. I’d much rather use avocado instead of butter replacement (I’m vegan, remember?). Avocado is interesting. I’ve used it various types of mixtures and you can never taste it. I’m sure it’s the same when baking with it.

The Best Fitness Articles of the Week #73 – Hot Sauce To Get Lean, The Truth About Sports Drinks and Why Salt Might Not Be So Bad After All

Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.

Getting leaner with Brown Fat, Thermogenisis and Chilli Sauce?

Hot sauce may help you burn more fat, although it’s effect varies depending on the person. It’s so delicious though so why not use it anyway? Mmmm, my favorite is Tapatio!

Is Sunscreen Healthy?

I’m not as paranoid about things like as Ben Greenfield is, but maybe I should be. My biggest problem is that I never use sunscreen, even when I really need it. I just forget to use it. I might make some of the homemade sunscreen mentioned here if I can find all of the ingredients.

Weighty Matters: The BMJ’s Amazing Shock and Awe Assault on Sport Drink Science

There are a lot of myths about sports drinks busted here. I’m not a fan of sports drinks myself, but I admit that I do drink a gatorade occasionally because it just feels refreshing sometimes. When I say occasionally, I mean maybe 2 or 3 times a year, so I don’t worry about it all that much. Anyway, read this article and the studies mentioned so that you can decide for yourself how you feel about using sports drinks.

Science of the Squat – Depth & Load – and How They Impact Your Squatting Muscles

The gist of this one is, either lift heavy for speed and power or squat super-deep to develop quads like a powerlifter.

Does Everyone Need to Squat?

Need? No. Should? Yes. The key is finding the proper squat variation, form, depth and weight that works best for you. If you feel pain, you’re probably not using the best option for your body.

Caffeine: A User’s Guide to Getting Optimally Wired – Developing Intelligence

“At doses of 600mg, caffeine’s effects on cognitive performance are often comparable to those of modafinil, a best-of-class nootropic.” Wow! This is an excellent article. Interestingly, this article talks only of caffeine and not coffee, which means if you use a supplement you’ll be missing out on the antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that high-quality (not Starbucks or grocery store bought) coffee provides.

The 7 Minute Ab Workout From Hell

This looks killer, but it just seems like too many exercises. I guess all of those exercises would keep things interesting though. Remember, no matter how many ab exercises you do, if you’re body fat percentage isn’t low enough, you’ll never so those abs.

The Fear Of “Bulkiness” and CrossFit

This article doesn’t just apply to crossfit, but to weightlifting in general. If you’re a female who is afraid of bulking up because of lifting weights, and all you’re doing is cardio, you’re really short-changing yourself. Include some weight training in your routine and you can really do some good to your body. If you think you’re genetically predisposed to bulkiness, you’re not. Read this article to learn why.

EFS Classic: How to Cut Maximum Weight for Competitions with a 24-Hour Weigh-In

Holy crap this sounds miserable. Could you imagine trying to drop 30 lbs. of weight within a 24 hour period? I guess it all a part of competing, if that’s what you want to do.

How To Do A Swim-Run Workout

None of the suggestions here really work for me since I don’t live near a lake or river and I don’t have a gym membership, but the tips are really handy for the next time I go to the Boulder Reservoir to do a little swimming. I’ll make sure to turn my next trip there into a swim-run workout.

Why Medicine Might Be Wrong About Salt, Fat & BMI

If you’re looking for some scientific reading that may dispel commonly-held beliefs of the medical community, you’ve found exactly that. This is a long one, but it’s really interesting.

The Best Fitness Articles of the Week #71 – Rocket Energy in the Morning, The Myth of the 5 Second Rule and a 15 Minute Warmup Routine

image courtesy of Erik Charlton

Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.

How to Feel Like You’re Running on Rocket Fuel

I already exercise and eat a healthy breakfast to start my day off right, but I also hydrate right out of bed. I drink 32oz of water with the juice of a half lemon as soon as I wake up. It really helps. There are two other tips in this article that I’d really like to include in my daily routine – meditation, which I’ve been working on, and replacing my alarm clock with a wakeup light. I’ve never heard of a wakeup light before but it seems like such an awesome idea. I’ve got one in my Amazon cart right now.

A Pretty Life in the Suburbs: Kitchen Kapers: DIY Fruit & Veggie Wash

I hate washing my fruits and vegetables because it takes soooo long. It looks like that will be a problem no more! Thank you vinegar πŸ˜‰

Five-second rule has plenty of bugs, says expert

Do you live by the 5-second rule? I don’t because I’m a bit of a germaphobe, but I see people quickly picking up dropped food from the floor all the time. According to this article, it doesn’t seem like there’s much to worry about, since the amount of germs picked up isn’t typically enough to cause infection, but if you have a sensitive system, you probably shouldn’t eat off the floor.

Where do vegetarians get protein?

I hate when people ask me this question. I don’t get it all that often, but maybe once every couple of months. What I think is really funny is that this question always comes from people who know little to nothing about nutrition or health, and sadly, sometimes even physicians. I’ve known all about my protein requirements even before becoming a vegan. I know how easy it is to get the protein I need and I have no worries of being deficient.

Fitness Mythbuster: Squatting with Knees in Front of Toes

I’ve heard bad advice from personal trainers in the gym before too. This one goes on to explain a little more about why restricting knee movement when squatting may or may not be a good thing for your body.

Good News for Alcohol Consuming Bodybuilders

You learn something new everyday! Right in the first paragraph of this article I learned that bone is a living organism. I feel a little silly not knowing that, now that I know. Anyway, the good news here is that if you drink in moderation, it could be good news for your bones, but it’s definitely not a reason to start drinking if you don’t drink and alcohol still has many negative effects on building muscle.

You Can’t Get Jacked if You’re All Jacked Up: How to Warm Up Your Clients (or Yourself) in 15 Minutes or Less

Wow, this is a great article! There’s a video showing all of the exercises you need to do to warm up your entire body and explanations beneath the video which discuss each movement in-depth. A must-read (and watch)!