April 2012

This is another great quote/image.  I must just be on a roll this week!  But all of this stuff is so so so true.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Your health WILL become a priority at some point.  It can be voluntary, or not, but it will.  Pick your poison, exercise or medicine.  I know where my loyalties lie.


This is something that was posted by an old friend of mine, but I thought was overly pertinent (Thanks Nicki).  It’s something to keep in mind no matter where you go, or what you do.

It goes along with the old adage:

“When the diet is sound, medicine is of no need.  When the diet is poor, medicine is of no good.”  Scary, but oh so true.

Liar, liar, pants on fire.  That’s what you should be chanting every time you go down the aisles at your store.  That’s what you should be stating to the USDA.  These are the people in charge of approving the labels on food.  A noble concept, to be sure.  However, appearances, as you know, can be deceiving.  Your labels are lying to you, and you probably know it.  I’ll jabber about some of the most egregious examples, and leave the rest to you.

Lie #1 – Natural.  Products that claim to be “natural”, often times aren’t.  For example, “natural” cheetos, doritos, etc.  Yes, they are based in corn, which is a natural substance.  But when was the last time you tried to grow maltodextrin or disodium phosphate?  The fact is that the corn and the product are so processed, that they are barely recognizable as food, much less corn.  Another example is tortillas.  Whether they be spinach, tomato or whatever.  You’d be hard-pressed to find an actual vegetable in them.  They look nice.  Green, red, but that is all thanks to our friends red and yellow dyes.

Lie #2 – The second label lie, has to do with juices that claim to be full servings of fruits and vegetables.  Now, where as they may have many of the vitamins and minerals that fruits and veggies do, they lack something very important….dietary fiber.  This substance gives food bulk and helps to fill you up.  It also aids in digestive health.  The juices simply take the concentrated part of the fruit and put it in a bottle.  Some juice is fine and good, but keep it limited, and do NOT rely on it as a suitable replacement for real food.

Lie #3 – 0 Trans Fat.  This has been the real buzz stuff recently.  With all the concern about trans fats and how bad they are for us, it’s a legitimate concern.  So much so that they have been showing up on our labels since 2006.  However, when you read 0g of trans fat, be wary.  There could still be up to 1/2 gram per serving.  As long as they can round the total down to zero, then it counts as zero.  Sneaky, huh?  Look for ingredients like hydrogenated (or partially-hydrogenated) oils.  These are the biggest culprits that lead to the development of trans fats in a food.  Avoid whenever you can.

So watch what you eat, because you ARE what you eat.  The CDC reports (and we’ve stated in this humble blog before) that the majority of chronic disease is nutritionally related.  If you eat well, you will be well.  If you eat poorly, your health will suffer.  BE WELL!!!

So, we’ve all heard the saying “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Well, I have anyway.  Although, I could probably write a book with sayings that I’ve heard that my wife hasn’t.  She thinks I just put words together.  But that is another discussion for another day.  In the gym, we are all about “functional” exercises.  That word is thrown around more than anything.  It means exercises that apply to daily activities (The more things change….).  Yet, the basic measure of strength is still the basic bench press (The more they stay the same).  Now, to preface this, I have nothing against the bench press.  I like the exercise and perform it.  Not as often as most, but I do.  But really, what does my bench press tell me about my overall strength?  Much less what does it tell me about how I am better at living my life.  The answer is very little.  What the bench teaches is how to apply force against resistance.  OK, fine.  But when was the last time that you had to move something?  Furniture, appliances, small children, etc.  Did you take that object with a super wide grip and try to lift it that way, by only using your upper body?  Probably not.  Or, did you center it on your body (probably within your shoulders) and push the hell out of it?  I’ll bet that’s the way.  I know, because I’ve done it dozens, if not hundreds of times.  So even if the bench teaches us to, and helps us apply force, there is a right way and a wrong way.  And it kills me to see the wrong way done time and time again in the name of nothing more than vanity and pride?  The fact is is that most of us are NOT competitive lifters and have no real need for a maximal level bench press that tears the crap out of the shoulder when done improperly.  We need to apply force in the most efficient manner possible to aid us in our daily activities, which occasionally include moving heavy objects.   How much ya bench?  Just as much as I need to, thank you very much.

So, lately, one of the more popular diet trends has been the Cleanse.  Or the Detox, as it is called.  Everyone is doing it.  From your average John or Jane Doe to celebrities in the lime light.  Now, while detoxifying our system every now and then may be a good thing.  Ridding of the toxins and garbage that we put into our bodies on a daily basis, we here at The Truth About Exercise, feel that there is a better way (who thought that I’d have an opinion, right?). Anyway, a cleansing or detox shouldn’t be something that you have to do for anywhere from 7 days to 3 weeks (depending upon your choice), but rather  something that should be included in your regimen on a daily basis.  And, as usual, Mother Nature has not let us down.  There are foods out there that will not only help keep your system clean AND are delicious to boot.

Red and purple Grapes:  Not only delicious and will help to quell that sugar craving, but also are bursting with Antioxidants and reservatrol, which will also lower the risk of diabetes and cancer.  Food, not juice, though.

Kale:  This has been popping up in more and more of my research.  Kale is now even being listed as a super-food.  Not only high in fiber, but also vitamins A, C and K.  Not only that, but kale is also super alkaline, which helps to reduce the acidity in the body, which we know is HUGE for disease prevention.

Red and Black Beans:  High amounts of fiber, and a huge dose of protein.  Also big in iron (good for those who may border on or be anemic).  Black beans (a staple in our home) also are high in B-vitamins and flavonoids that benefit not only cardiovascular health, but also are essential during pregnancy.

Brussels Sprouts:  Here, we deviate from the deliciousness issue.  Blech!  Good for you, though.  Containing fair amounts of Vitamin C and other anitoxidants, they can help keep your system clean and help to prevent cancer.

Papaya:  OK, back to reality.  Papaya has good quantities of Vitamin A and C, and substances known as chymopapain and papain complexes help to promote colon health.

The other nice thing about these is that they are totally available.  These are foods that you don’t have to shop around for, but are abundant, inexpensive and available at any grocery store.  So promote your own health.  A little a day, and you’ll never have to do a 3-week juice cleanse or anything silly like that.

First off, I’m sorry about the absence last week.  Busy, busy, busy in the Sabino household.  Today, I’m going to encourage you not to plant seeds in your garden, but in your diet.  Believe it or not, seeds are super-foods.  They contain so much good stuff in them, and yet no one eats them.  I will be picking up some in particular on my next grocery runs.  With that said, you want to get raw seeds that you can roast and treat yourself.  Commercially roasted seeds and nuts are done so at an extremely high temperature, which de-natures proteins and destroys nutrients.  Roast them yourself.  Put them on a pan and set the oven to 375 for 10-15 minutes.  Done and done.  OK, without further adoo, here are your seeds:

Sesame – Huge levels of Calcium (bones), Iron, Copper and Magnesium.  Things people need for strong tissues (including blood cells) and bones.

Pumpkin – High levels of Magnesium  which protects the muscles from breakdown due to oxidative stress.

Chia – The newest super-seed.  HUGE levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as Calcium, Phosphorous, Potassium and Protein (4g per ounce).

Sunflower – Contain 3 of the most powerful anti-oxidants around.  Copper, Selenium and Vitamin E.

Flax – Whole or milled contains a bunch of Omega-3 fatty acids as well as Lignans, which bind to estrogen receptors to help lower the risk of breast cancer.

So get some seeds, plant them in your diet and be well!