More Good Reasons to eat Bananas – Infographic

I love bananas. If the average American eats 28 pounds a year, I eat 70 pounds. I have posted about them several times. (Check below for links.)

I put one in my breakfast smoothie every day. Check out the neat facts in this infographic.

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To read further on this neat fruit:

6 Super Facts About Bananas – Infographics
55 Healthy Snacks Under 200 Calories – Infographic
6 Reasons You Should Eat Bananas – Infographic

Tony

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5 Reasons to Spend More Time Outside—Even When It’s Cold

Tony:

Consider this as a companion piece to the post I filed two minutes ago on Exercising in Nature.

Tony

Originally posted on TIME:

Studies show that a stroll outdoors can actually improve brain function and mental focus. Walking not only results in increased physical activity, it also promotes the free flow of ideas, according to Stanford University researchers.

Another study by psychologists from the University of Utah and University of Kansas​ found that backpackers scored 50 percent higher on creativity tests after spending four full days in nature without any electronics. “Burying yourself in front of a computer 24/7 may have costs that can be remediated by taking a hike in nature,” co-author David Strayer said in a statement.

Research also suggests that time outside can improve focus. Children with ADHD are likely to score higher on concentration tests after time outdoors. Those children who strolled through a park saw a greater increase in focus than those who walked through a residential neighborhood…

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6 Benefits of Exercising in Nature – Infographic

I was happy to discover this infographic as it meets a bias of mine. For some reason being cooped up in the health club really turns me off. That is not to say that I have anything against exercise. I just don’t like doing it cooped up in the health club. When there, I always feel like I am a prisoner forced to do these many reps. It is hard to enjoy being there.

On the other hand, just being outdoors feels good to my soul.

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Last but not least I am lucky enough to live by Lake Michigan, so I have the magnificent body of water as a backdrop for my bike riding, walking, running, etc. Check out A Beginner’s Guide to Blue Mind to learn more about the benefits of being around water. Also, if you related to this post, check out Reasons to Spend More Time Outside which I filed minutes before.

Tony

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Super Bowl Sunday Snacking

What are you going to be snacking on during the big game?

According to The Supermarket Guru, “It’s estimated that on Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will consume more than double their average daily snack amount; and the average “armchair quarterback” will consume nearly 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat from snacks alone- not counting meals. To burn that off, you’d have to run for about an hour and 45 minutes!”

Pigs in a blanket – One of the top five fan snack choices

Bing.com says the top five game day snacks are Buffalo wings, pizza, nachos, chili, and pigs in a blanket. I hope for your sake that you are not going this high calorie count empty nutritional value route.

I have written about snacking here before. There was Targeted Snacking in June and Smart Snacking in March. Click on the links for some positive ideas on snacks for the big game.

WeightWatchers suggests, “You can still enjoy some football fare: a chicken wing or two, some chips and dip, a slice of pizza and a cold one. Just don’t overindulge — eat and drink reasonably, keep track of what you chow down on ….

“Consider parking a few blocks from the party or heading outside for a walk instead of watching for the next wardrobe malfunction at halftime (that’s what DVRs are for anyway).”

Tony

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6 Fun Super Bowl Snack Suggestions from CSPI

“This Sunday, Americans should be more concerned with over-inflated bellies, not under-inflated footballs,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. 

As far as food consumption goes, Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving for the amount of food eaten, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

WASHINGTON–There’s no rule that your Super Bowl party has to feature boring sporting-event staples like chicken wings, pizza, chips, and soda.  With that in mind, the food detectives at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, publisher of Nutrition Action Healthletter, are recommending delicious recipes and packaged foods for Super Bowl entertaining that offer a break from the same old high calorie, salty, fatty, sugary, and over-processed party fare.

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“This Sunday, Americans should be more concerned with over-inflated bellies, not under-inflated footballs,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.  “Consider making at least half of the food you serve on the healthier side of the spectrum, including generous amounts of fresh vegetables or fruit.  Not all of your guests will want to eat like a linebacker, anyway.”

If you put anything before your guests to mindlessly nibble on while watching the game, vegetables should be the default option, says CSPI.  Fresh veggies contribute to lower rates of heart attack and stroke, especially if they’re replacing higher-calorie salty snacks like pretzels or potato chips.  CSPI’s recommendations for Sunday include:

• Veggies  Hummus. Make your own hummus.  Or buy a packaged brand like Sabra, Tribe, or Athenos.  Serve with platters of baby carrots, red pepper slices, cherry tomatoes, or snow peas.  A typical hummus has about 50 to 70 calories per two-tablespoon serving.

• Roasted Chickpeas.  Chickpeas aren’t just for making hummus.  Roasted, they make for a snack that’s high in fiber and a good source of protein.  The Good Bean Roasted Chickpea Snacks come in seven flavors, including Cracked Pepper, Thai Coconut, and Smoky Chili & Lime.  Saffron RoadCrunchy Chickpeas is another good option, which offers Korean BBQ, Falafel, Wasabi, and other flavors.  A quarter cup serving has around 120 calories

• Chipotle Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  Need a substantial finger-food?  The recipe, developed by Nutrition Action culinary director Kate Sherwood, is a great alternative to wings. Flavored with garlic, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, and orange juice, these lettuce wraps are garnished with scallions and slivered tortilla chips.  400 calories per serving.

• Cannellini Beans & Chorizo.  Instead of a big vat of chili con carne, consider Sherwood’s 5-ingredient, 20-minute recipe for white beans and chicken or turkey sausage.  This dish keeps sodium under control (370 mg) and packs 6 grams of fiber for just 300 calories.

• Clementines.  Put out a big bowl full of sweet, easy-to-peel, and kid-friendly clementines (or other variety of mandarin orange).  Halos and Cuties are two brand-name varieties of these little seedless, citrus gems, typically sold in bags or small wooden crates.  Each has around just 40 calories and a gram or two of fiber.

• Flavored waters.
 Instead of soda, consider seltzer water spiked with fruit juice, or if you’re more ambitious, pitchers of spa water flavored with slices of citrus fruits, cucumbers, herbs such as basil or mint, and berries.

Snacking aside, CSPI also criticized the National Food League for letting PepsiCo sponsor the halftime show, and celebrities like Katy Perry, Kid President, and Danica Patrick for promoting sugary drinks, which cause diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other serious health problems.

“Soda companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo claim not to market to children, but kid-friendly celebrities like Katy Perry and Kid President have great appeal to tweens and younger children,” Jacobson said.  “Years from now, these celebrities will likely look back with regret that they promoted a product that causes so much preventable disease and misery.”

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Healthy Snack Ideas for Adults

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Healthy snacks are an important part of balanced eating. Snacks are foods that are eaten between meals. They have a very important job: they keep energy levels up and provide nutrients that our bodies need. A healthy snack can also help control your appetite and make you feel less hungry between meals.

Not all snacks are created equal

For many people, the word “snack” makes them think of chips or chocolate. However, these are not the type of healthy snacks that give us important nutrients that the body needs.
The key to healthy snacking is to follow Canada’s Food Guide and include foods from at least two of the four food groups in each snack. Ideas include fruit, whole grain crackers, cheese, hummus and vegetables.

Watch your portions

A healthy snack should have between 85 and 250 calories. One way to control portion size is to serve yourself a single…

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5 Ways Your Diet Affects Your Mood

Tony:

While exercise is also an important factor, eating a diverse diet of healthy, wholesome foods can have an incredible impact on how you feel each and every day. Be the best you can be by following a healthy, fun, well-rounded lifestyle filled with good, healthy foods.

How we handle stress is also key in keeping us healthy and happy. To learn more about keeping positive, check out:

What are the top habits of healthy, happy, productive people?
What is the Secret Ingredient to a Healthy, Happy Life?
How Exercise Makes You Happy – Infographic
75 Years In The Making: Harvard Just Released Its Epic Study On What Men Need To Live A Happy Life
Why happiness is healthy
Super Tools for Handling Stress

Tony

Originally posted on Our Better Health:

Jordyn Cormier     January 25, 2015

While your mood sometimes dictates what foods you eat — hello ice cream – what you choose to eat can conversely affect your moods. While it may seem harmless enough, what you choose to eat for lunch could impact how you feel all afternoon. We all know about the “hangries” — being so hungry that you become cranky and angry — but once you’re fed, your meal can actually enhance or detract from your mental state. Here are 5 ways in which the foods you eat (or don’t eat) rule your moods.

Sugar levels. Most obviously, fluctuations in your blood sugar levels can have an incredible impact on mood. Low blood sugar can cause crankiness. On the other hand, a sharp spike in blood sugar can provide a sense of feel-good before sharply crashing into the pit of despair. A good idea to…

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10 Foods to Eat at Least Once a Week – Infographic

In case you didn’t know it. Here are 10 really great foods that you should include in your diet. Luckily, they happen to taste great, too. So, we aren’t taking hardship of any kind here.

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Tony

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8 Nutritional Tips for Cyclists – Infographic

Must confess I couldn’t resist this infographic. Superheroes riding bikes!? It doesn’t get any better than that. There are also  some good nutritional ideas to boot.

Enjoy!

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If you are a bike rider, you may enjoy the following posts:
Favorite Facts About Bicycling – Infographic
Is Cycling Past 70 Different Than Cycling Past 50?
One of the Secrets of Safe Cycling
cyBicycling vs Driving a Car – Bike Snob
Safe Cycling … the value of common courtesy
Exercising Outdoors in Cold Weather
7 Things I Love About Biking
The Agony and The Ecstasy of Summer Biking
The Joy of Spokes
The Joys and Benefits of Bike Riding – May is National Bicycle Month

Tony

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I am 75 and Happy to be Alive

I often get ideas for blog posts while riding my bicycle and today was no exception. While I got in 15 miles this morning in chilly (28F) Chicago, I was thinking about how happy and lucky I am to be enjoying such good health on my 75th birthday. I can honestly say that although retired for 15 years, I am healthier and happier than I was 20 years ago when I was in the midst of an active and exciting career.

A friend of mine decorated this shot of me and Gabi last year for my birthday.

A friend of mine decorated this shot of me and Gabi last year for my birthday.

One of the main reasons I feel like I have things so together is this blog. I started writing it in March of 2010 with a partner who has since left for other pursuits. From the beginning, I discovered a focus. At first it was simply trying to keep my weight down. I learned portion control and serving size. This Italian was surprised to learn that a “serving” of pasta was not a 10 inch plate heaped with spaghetti noodles and covered with sauce. No, a serving of pasta is about the size of a baseball. Incredibly, that was a revelation to me. But I learned and reduced my portions accordingly. I am not going to recount all the lessons I learned in the past nearly five years, but if you want to get control of your weight, check out my Page – How to Lose Weight – and Keep it Off.

Regular readers know that the blog now covers a far broader scope than just losing weight. That is a simple problem easily dealt with once you put your mind to it. I have expanded to include the understanding that healthy eating is healthy aging. And, if you do it right, you can live a long healthy and happy life with your mental faculties intact. I have Alzheimer’s and dementia in my family, so my brain continuing to work is something I am very concerned about. I am proud to say that I have one of the few blogs that ties exercise to a healthy brain. Check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain – and Exercise to learn more.

I’m sorry if the following paragraph is going to sound like bragging, but that is not my intention. I just want to document that I not only talk the talk, but I walk the walk. My resting heart rate is under 50. My cholesterol under 200;  the HDL (the good cholesterol) is around 85. I am 5 feet 9-1/2 inches tall (vs 5 feet 11 inches 10 years ago). I weigh around 155 pounds and have a 32 inch waist. That is about the same as when I was a senior in high school in 1957. At present I take no medication except Flomax for my prostate.

I wanted to share this information with you because so many people I run into who are in their late 50’s and 60’s seem to be giving up on their health and conditioning. They act like it’s over. The phrase I’m gettin’ old comes out of their mouths regularly. A lot of the posts I write for this blog are meant to demonstrate that by focusing on your eating and making sure you get adequate exercise you can continue to enjoy yourself for many more years.

It’s up to you now. I have to go get ready. My girlfriend is taking me out for a fancy dinner tonight.

I wish you all good luck!

Tony

Postscript: Since I mentioned my birthday dinner, I thought I would share the following with you. Here is a link for the restaurant – 16 at Trump Tower. This may have been the first Michelin graded restaurant I ever dined in.

Below is a shot of the first course, Laugoustine in its shell with Seville Orange, pine nuts, Avocado and Chorizo. It tasted as beautiful as it looks.

Life is good.

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The Best Foods for Body and Brain – Infographic

Although this is ostensibly for the student, the principles of what to eat for better brain function are relevant to all of us. In the real world, we have pop quizzes every day of our life. They just don’t affect our grade point average any more.

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To read further on sleep check out:

Making Sleep Count
How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep?
16 Things You Didn’t Know About Sleep – Infographic
Defeat Insomnia and Sleep Easy with These Top Foods
How About 30 Insane Facts About Sleep? – Infographic

Stress is another subject I have written posts on:
Stress Will Kill You
9 Ways To Avoid Killer Stress
It’s Not Stress That Kills You: It’s How You Handle It
Stress: It Should Never be Ignored!
Super Tools for Handling Stress
Tony

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How Sitting Too Long Affects Your Body – Infographic

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Some commentators call sitting the new smoking because of its deleterious effects on the body. I have posted on the physical effects of sitting too long previously. You can read further:

Sitting Too Much is Killing Us – New York Times
Sitting is the New Smoking
Areas of the Body Affected by Sitting too Long – Infographic
Sitting Is Killing You – Infographic
Exercising More, Sitting Less Reduces Heart Failure Risk in Men
Too Much Sitting can be Hazardous to Your Health and Longevity

Tony

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Age Is Only A Number

Tony:

I found this on one of the blogs that I read and thought you might enjoy it as much as I did.

Regular readers know that I have strong feelings about aging and keeping one’s mental and physical faculties intact. To read further on successful aging, check out: Exercise, Aging and the Brain as well as my Page- Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits).

Tony

Originally posted on Rite 2 Run:

“I’d rather be dead than singing Satisfaction when I’m forty-five.” – Mick Jaggar

Aging - Finish Line

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I’d tell people I planned to run a marathon when I turned sixty. I don’t make such ludicrous statements anymore. Instead I simply say that I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing for as long as I can, because quite frankly, age is only a number.

Hemingway referred to surges in energy that drove him to write for days and weeks and months until he finished one of his epic novels as the “juice.” I get my “juice” from people, especially people who treat age for what it is–a number, like your height or mailing address. I’ve run with people in their seventies, and have more than a few writer friends pushing eighty. I met a wind surfer at Lake Galena in Bucks County, Pennsylvania who was in his late sixties. A week or two later I met his son, also a wind surfer, who…

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What Are Zero Calorie Foods? Infographic

According to Fitbie, “So-called “zero-calorie” foods, like celery and cucumbers, contain fewer calories than the body uses to break them down. And although nutritionists account for the energy it takes to chew and digest them when they calculate how many calories we need, these eats deserve prime spots on our plates. You can eat them in large quantities without busting your gut, and low-calorie doesn’t mean low nutrients.”

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Tony

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by | January 24, 2015 · 12:07 am

McDonald’s – One Picture is Worth 1000 Words

This picture is one of those Pinterest gag posts that people put on their ‘Funny’ pin boards. An ironic juxtaposition of two billboards. The top one warning about childhood obesity and the lower one trumpeting that king of burgers – McDonald’s.

As the billboard says, “Don’t take it lightly.”

Obesity is not a joke. I don’t know how many times I have written “60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese.” This is twice as many as 20 years ago. Even our children are getting fatter. Among young people, 15 percent of those ages 6 to 19 are seriously overweight. That’s nearly 9 million, triple the number of cancers that a person is vulnerable to.

 

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Also, a study published in 2013 by the National Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reported that the total number of knee replacement more than tripled between 1993 and 2009 more than tripled. They said the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the U.S. accounted for 95 percent of the higher demand for knee replacements, with younger patients affected to a greater degree.
So, if  you feel you ‘deserve a break today’ you might either miss McDonald’s or pick from their salad menu.
Tony

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16 Things You Didn’t Know About Sleep – Infographic

Regular readers know that I feel strongly about a good night’s sleep. If you want more info, check out my Page – How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep?

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Tony

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