Spice Up your Life – Open Sesame Seed

Spice Up Your Life

There are all kinds of ways that we can spice up our life. Some of it comes from tree bark, others come from various roots, beans, and other plant matter. Some of them even require a level of processing to make it edible. So, we are going to talk about a few herbs and spices that can upscale your nutritional and cooking needs. So, let’s look at the interesting spice that made its debut as an entryway password…

Open Sesame

Sesame seeds, when left alone to grow into a crop becomes a sesame plant with the scientific name Sesamum Indicum.  The stalk of these sesame plants makes their own sesame fruit which in turn produce more seeds.

Normally, they grow throughout the tropical and subtropical areas in Asia, Africa, and South America.  They are rich in oil, protein, mineral ash, crude fiber, oxalates, and soluble carbohydrates and phytate. They have a plethora of both nutritional, medicinal, and cosmetic benefits, which has motivated many civilizations to cultivate and utilize the seeds in practically any field that they can. Also, it is a little on the nutty side, making them not as noticeably drastic in comparison to spices that have “heat” to them.

But what makes them highly sought after? What is it about them that makes them so important in our daily lives? And why do we only use the seeds?

sesame seed plantHistory of the Sesame Seed

The sesame plant is one of, if not the oldest oil crop known to human history. Its recorded history and significance go as far back as Ancient Babylon and Assyrian empire, over 4,000 years ago. To put that in perspective, they are the second and third oldest empires in the history of mankind. Even then, the age of the crop somewhat overlaps with the oldest empire in human history, the Akkadian empire. In the Hindu religion, the seeds were part of sacred ritual and worship. In Egypt, people would grind them up to make flour for bread. It even made its way to China during the Han Dynasty in 200 CE. There can be no overstatement made in just how important sesame seeds were throughout the ages in the Middle East and Asia.

This is because the seeds both hold a botanical and nutritional significance to these civilizations.

The Botany of Sesame Plants

The interesting thing about the sesame plant is that it is a plant of contradiction and unpredictability. It is adaptive to a lot of different soil types, but at the same time cannot be at its best with exposure to colder temperatures or a waterlogged climate. While they can grow in abundance and technically be cultivated, the plants do not have a specific time table for maturity. They are a plant that grows well under the supervision and intervention of small farms but does outright terribly with machine farming.

sesame seed pod


Even drawing the line between which seeds are wild or domestic are somewhat difficult for scholars because of how the plant matures. “Identifying wild from domestic sesame is somewhat difficult, in part because sesame isn’t completely domesticated: people have not been able to specifically time the maturing of the seed. The capsules split open during the maturing process, leading to varying degrees of seed loss and unripe harvesting. This also makes it likely that spontaneous populations will establish themselves around cultivated fields.”

If I were to describe the plant as a personality type, I would say that it very much marches to the beat of its own drum.  So, what makes all this difficulty worth it? What does it do to benefit us nutritionally?

Sesame Seed Nutritional Advantages

The first interesting thing that should be addressed is that sesame seeds have a good amount of oil and fiber. This, in combination with the vitamins and minerals that are inside each seed, it is no wonder why it is still a staple. The long term benefits of sesame seeds in the daily diet include but are not limited to:

  •  Vitamin E, something that can, “reduce the appearance of burns and marks on the skin, as well as signs of premature aging.”
  • Zinc, a vital component in the formation of collagen, which strengthens the muscle tissue, hair, and skin.
  • Antioxidants, micronutrients which help fight chemical reactions that may damage your cells and increase your risk of many chronic diseases.
  •  Selenium – Sesame seeds have this nutrient in them, which is responsible for thyroid hormone production.

If you want to hire a nutritionist or read more blogs like this one feel free to check out http://www.beksbites.com

Tantalizing Turmeric

Spice Up Your Life

There are all kinds of ways that we can spice up our life. Some of it comes from tree bark, others come from various roots, beans, and other plant matter. Some of them even require a level of processing to make it edible. So, we are going to talk about a few herbs and spices that can upscale your nutritional and cooking needs. This week, its a little known spice in the US with incredible value and a hard name to pronounce: turmeric.

TurmericTantalizing Turmeric

This golden spice is a staple of Asian cuisine that has been around for thousands of years. It has a beautiful shade of yellow, a peppery taste that adds dimension to things like curry, cheese, and mustards and an amazing inspiration for various clothing and cosmetic dyes.  But how much do we know about it? Just how do we know hold old it is? What makes it nutritious and why is it so brilliantly yellow? Let’s find out.


Traces of turmeric along with ginger and other spices and in archeological sites in NewDehli, India. The traces of spices dated back as far as 2500 years.  Which is very consistent with the prevalent historical records that India’s spice trade was a very valuable part of the European and Asian economy for a very long time.

Turmeric, along with saffron and ginger, were so highly sought after that so many world-changing events revolved around their existence. The southern half of India avoided assimilation by the Mauryan Empire by becoming its own smaller triumvirate nation. All made possible through the spice trade.

These spices were so sought after that even hundreds of years later (around 1450 AD) Europe kicked up a lot of fuss when the Ottoman Turks banned them from the spice trade.  It is also the main source of several wars. There were even empires dedicated to taking over the spice trade altogether. That is an insane amount of popularity.

But what makes these spices in such high demand that is lasted for over a thousand years?

Medicinal Properties

India has a very old culture possibly home to one of the oldest civilizations known to man. This meant the combination and assimilation of practical knowledge adapted to the Hindu religion. This kickstarted the recording of medicinal properties that herbs and spices.  According to PBS.org “.” Inhaling fumes from burning turmeric was said to alleviate congestion, turmeric juice aided with the healing of wounds and bruises, and turmeric paste was applied to all sorts of skin conditions – from smallpox and chickenpox to blemishes and shingles..”

And, there is some truth behind it.

Turmeric is a great pain reliever, according to some sources, “almost as good as Advil.”In fact, it has other medicinal properties that fall in line with Advil. For instance, it has the same blood-thinning properties, which can sometimes be a good or bad thing, depending on if there is a need for it at the time. The root also has anti-inflammatory properties, making this useful for people who are suffering from arthritis or some form of chronic joint pain. There is also evidence from testing that it decreases bad cholesterol levels as well as triglycerides in overweight patients.

However, there are some things that people will claim that it can do where there is no evidence to back it up.  For instance, while it is good for pain management, there is no sufficient evidence that it can cure Rheumatoid Arthritis completely. There is also no evidence that it can cure upset stomachs, different types of cancer, and depression.

Still, while it certainly is not a cure-all for all conditions, it can be helpful in a lot of ways. If you think about it, it’s still a pretty powerful spice. No wonder it is something so sought after.

Nutritional Properties of Turmeric

Turmeric has a combination of antioxidants, as well as other micronutrients that are good for a daily diet. They have a 20% daily value of manganese, a nutrient responsible for both blood sugar control and bone production. It also helps retain betacarotene, a type of antioxidant in food. Also, you don’t need a lot of it to get any health benefits of it. While its a dietary staple in places like India, 1/50th is enough to get the health benefits from it in several months time.  That is pretty amazing!

So, try some mustard with it in your dishes. Or learn to make some curry. Spice up your life and see what sort of benefits you can reap from it!


Oh Horseradish!

Spice Up Your Life

There are all kinds of ways that we can spice up our life. Some of it comes from tree bark, others come from various roots, beans, and other plant matter. Some of them even require a level of processing to make it edible. So, we are going to talk about a few herbs and spices that can upscale your nutritional and cooking needs.

Oh, Horseradish!

horseradishThe interesting thing about horseradish is that it is technically a member of the Brassicaceae family. The same family that I mentioned was responsible for things like cabbage and broccoli. One would not think that these were all connected with one another. However, once you realize that horseradish has the word “radish” in it, you start to see a clearer picture.

Horseradish is a root based plant that is often utilized as a spice for multiple condiments. It can grow practically in any cold climate with a hardiness range from 2-9 out of a range of 1-12. This plant is a perennial, and are known around the world for its culinary and medicinal benefits.

But what makes people like it so much? What gives it that specific flavor? Where does it come from?


The “roots” ( I apologize for that easy pun) of this vegetable go all the way back to Eastern Europe. Its ancestry is traceable all the way back to Russia and Hungary. The earliest written information about them dates back to Ancient Greek mythology, stating that their value is worth its weight in gold.  The sentiment of its value carried onward through the middle ages. This time, it had its uses as a medicinal herb and a condiment in Britain, Scandinavia, and Germany. It even made its way to the new world, mentioned in garden accounts by both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Its had a long history and is still common for a condiment even today.

horseradishFlavor Profile

The compound that is responsible for the pungent taste is a compound known as allyl isothiocyanate. In English, it is a chemical compound that reacts to animals chewing the plant. The minute an animal chews the plant, the spicy chemical is released and it repels the animal.

It also does not give off a smell, thanks to the instability of the compound, which means the flavor will catch people by surprise when unaware.

The spice is so potent that most people only eat small grated amounts, and even then it is cut with something like vinegar or a cream base.

With that in mind, you might not want to handle it too much. Especially do not rub it in your eyes or have too much skin contact.

Medicinal Properties

However, it does not mean that there isn’t to benefit from horseradishes other than some new flavor. In fact, this is one piece of medieval medicine that was more accurate than most people realize.

It can:

  • Boost your Immune System
  • Help Control Pain
  • Improve Digestion
  • Lower Cancer Risk
  • Work as an Antibiotic
  • Clear Sinuses
  • Reduce Water Retention

A lot of these things are typical of a spice profile, like the sinus-clearing, and the pain control. However, to think that most people have already picked it up as something medicinal long before we could look into it really can make a person think about how there isn’t much difference in intelligence between now and hundreds of years ago.


Horseradish is a pretty interesting vegetable when you think about it. It has a top tier defense system, is good for your health, and has a rich history. This will be the first of a series of articles that will help expand your flavor profile outside of salt and pepper.

If you want to hire a nutritionist or read more blogs like this one feel free to check out http://www.beksbites.com

How to Handle Workout Injuries

How to Handle Workout Injuries

Starting or changing up an exercise routine is never easy. Especially if you are not as in tune with your body as people who are better at it. Without any knowledge of proper body positioning for certain exercises, or which pain is acceptable, there is plenty of room to accidentally injure yourself. Injuries are a common part of workouts. They range from a minor annoyance to something that can cause permanent damage to your body. So, it is important, before you change to or start a workout routine, to know what kind of possible injury can happen. The last thing you need to deal with is something that can potentially cause permanent damage or infection, after all.

Blisters While Jogging

Blisters often occur when there is excess heat. This also applies to the heat from friction. According to Wikipedia, “Intense rubbing can cause a blister, as can any friction on the skin if continued long enough. This kind of blister is most common after walking long distances or by wearing old or poorly fitting shoes.”

They appear on the top layer of skin and are often have blood, pus, or the clear part of the blood called serum, inside them. These are common workout injuries because they often crop up from a combination of rubbing from ill-fitting shoes and moisture trapped in socks.

If you have not got one already from a workout, you can prevent them. Mainly by “taping a protective layer of padding or a friction-reducing interface between the area and the footwear.”

If you have one already, however, you want to keep the outer layer of skin intact for as long as possible. Especially, if it has already burst. This will prevent excess bacteria from getting access to the inside of your body.  If it is uncomfortable to the point of inhibiting movement, you can burst it safely or get it done by a doctor.

workoutMuscle Sprains and Strains During Workouts

This one is trickier to identify than most workout injuries. Because of the adage, “no pain no gain” people can easily mistranslate the idea that any kind of pain associated with exercise is temporary. Our bodies move thanks to a combination of ligaments and muscles, so when one of them is out of commission for a little while, it will make it harder for our limbs to move.

Surprisingly enough, there is a difference between a sprain and a strain. And these differences are based on where the tearing occurs.

  • A sprain is an overstretched, torn or twisted ligament.
  • A strain is an overstretched, torn, or twisted tendon or muscle.

Ultimately, when either of those happens, it is enough pain and injury to cause bruising, swelling, and limited movement.

What can you do about it? Thankfully, most athletes know how to handle this workout injury by applying the standards and methods of R. I.C.E.

  • Rest: Stop any exercise or physical activities and avoid putting any weight on the affected limb.
  • Ice: Apply ice to the injury for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. People can use bags of frozen vegetables if they do not have ice packs.
  • Compression: To help reduce swelling, a person can wrap the affected area with a bandage or trainer’s tape. Loosen the wrap if the area gets numb or if the pain increases.
  • Elevation: Keep the injured area raised above chest level if possible

Over time, the muscle or tendon will repair itself. Just don’t try to power through it if the workout injury gets too bad.

Repetitive Muscle Injuries from Reps

According to Columbia Universe, “Repetitive motion injuries, also called repetitive stress injuries, are temporary or permanent injuries to muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons caused by performing the same motion over and over again.”

According to Emedicinehealth, there are two types of injuries that can occur thanks to excess repetition in motion.

  • Bursitis – Common symptoms include pain, tenderness, and decreased range of motion over the affected area. Redness, swelling, and a crunchy feeling (crepitus) when the joint is moved may also be found.


  • Tendonitis – The most common symptom associated with tendinitis is pain at the site involved. Tendinitis can get worse by the active motion of a tendon with inflammation. The skin overlying the inflamed tendon may be red and warm to the touch.

If you experiencing this type of pain, you may want to give your tendons a rest and do something else. Sometimes changing up the workout is all you need to prevent further damage.

However, if you are experiencing things like fever, chills, and nausea, you might be getting an infection from that injury. Get a doctor to check it out when you can.

Workouts should leave you in short spurts of soreness. Not pain.


Ask a Nutritionist: Are Frozen Plant-Based Burgers Better than their Fast Food Counterparts?

Ask a Nutritionist: Plant-Based Burgers Better than their Fast Food Counterparts?

The invention of fast food had a lot of unintended consequences on the diet of worldwide populations. American’s especially. It has become a quick and easy staple of the American diet. So much so,  that it has become the cornerstone of American diets, especially among the impoverished.  And it makes sense somewhat. Our capitalistic business model combined with the addictive substances that are in fast food makes people keep coming back. Even if it created the most dangerous health crisis in North America now.  Because it is so addictive, most people are trying to get that same level of satisfaction, without obesity, horrible nutrition, and heart disease.

But just how healthy are the burger and its substitutes? Is there any sort of certainty that frozen plant-based burgers will actually improve the health of fast-food eaters? Or does it doom you to the same fate? Let’s examine the contents of burgers and their alternatives.

Beef, Fast Food Patties, and Poor Nutrition

It is no secret that the way we fry and process beef is the unhealthiest thing on the planet. The ingredients and the process of making them both have to come and go fast. So, they rely less on ingredient quality and buy low-grade beef for the sake of quantity. The same can be said of the cooking process. Frying/grilling them with quick and compressed heat and little regard for grease. Also, the large serving sizes don’t help.

The caloric range of fast food burgers goes from 720 to 490, based on the average “quarter pounder” size.  The fat content and sodium intake also leave much to be desired.  It also doesn’t help, however, most burgers that make the quarter pounder mark, or higher have too much beef. The average serving size of beef with 80% lean meat is three ounces.  That translates to 209 calories. A number that is lower than the 288 calories of  4 ounces of meat.

So, it goes without saying that if you want a beef burger that badly, you should make one on your own at home if you want to decrease the risk to your health.

But do the veggie and soy patties at the store, or on offer as an alternative, measure up? Not really.

Veggie and Soy Burgers Aren’t that Much Better for Nutrition

nutrition, beef and veggie

If you look at the comparison conducted by Barclay’s research, you will notice that there isn’t much of a difference between beef burgers, and their plant-based counterparts. In fact, if you look for the highest carbohydrate, sodium, and caloric content, it isn’t in the fast-food burgers. It is literally in Beyond Famous Star, a meatless substitute for Carl Jr.’s Famous Star.

And frozen patties for veggie burgers are not much better. A lot of them have lower serving sizes but large amounts of chemical additives.  The most popular veggie burger brand, Morningstar, literally has wood pulp as an additive for their burgers.

The presentation of the nutritional content of these veggie burgers is also deceitful in nature. Here is an example of what I mean.

Compare and Contrast

Dr. Praeger’s All American Veggie Burger
Per 4 oz patty (113 g): 240 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 28 g protein

Gardenburger The Original Veggie Burger
Per 2.5 oz patty (71 g): 110 calories, 3 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 490 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 5 g protein

At first glance, it would look like the Gardenburger would be the better choice. It has fewer calories and only slightly more in sodium and fat.

Then you look at the size of servings in ounces.  The Gardenburger is only 2.5 ounces. If you were to double it to match the same size as the first burger, you realize that you wind up with 6 grams of fat, over 900 grams of sodium, 32 carbs, and only 10 grams of protein.

To put that in perspective, that is just as much protein from a White Castle slider and almost as much sodium as you can get from a Whopper!


Does it mean to avoid all veggie burgers in lieu of beef? Not necessarily. Homemade veggie burgers have more protein and less sodium than the average frozen patty.  All the evidence points to it being a case of processing vs homemade foods.

The preservatives in both fast food and frozen meals are terrible for your health, whether you are trying to eat more health-conscious by giving up beef or not.

The best thing to do for the sake of nutrition is to just avoid things that have excess preservatives in general, beef or not.



News about Health: The CBD Oil Trend

News about Health: The CBD Oil Trend

If you have been paying attention in Huntsville, AL you may have noticed the sudden appearance of stores selling CBD oil in the area. Attitudes regarding cannabis and its properties have changed in parts of America. While the federal government still recognizes it as a drug, most states, are more likely to embrace its regular medicinal use. This is due to recent studies about the confirmed medicinal benefits of cannabis.

In fact, attitudes have changed so much, “About 85% of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana, and it is estimated that at least several million Americans currently use it.”

While this is a good thing for the medical industry, the more exploitative groups in the alternative medical field are likely to use it in order to get ahead in new market profits. Usually with exaggerated and outright false claims.  So, we are going to talk about what CBD is, and what it can or can’t do.

What is CBD?

CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, an element that is a byproduct of cannabis. It is also the main component of medical marijuana.  It is the least controversial part of the marijuana plant because it does not contain mind-altering properties, such as THC. In fact, according to Harvard University, “CBD-dominant strains have little or no THC, so patients report very little if any alteration in consciousness.”

cbd oil, health This much was confirmed by the World Health Organization in a 2017 study. “Neither abuse nor dependence has been demonstrable.”

However, American studies of its effectiveness when it comes to the treatment of various medical afflictions are hardly official. Unfortunately, because of the previously aforementioned federal restriction, there number of departments and volunteers that are willing to conduct and record officials are scarce if at all existent.

This means that most of the data are a combination of self-report records. Records which could contain an exaggerated bias for or against CBD depending on a subject’s motive and personal beliefs.

Luckily, there are other departments worldwide who have studied this subject matter. Isreal, for instance, is the leading department for cannabis research. So, we can at least glean more official test studies from other parts of the world.

What can CBD do?

Seizure Reduction

The most common research when it comes to the medical application of CBD is the reduction of seizures. According to the CDC 470,000 children suffer from active epilepsy in the United States. Active epilepsy means “a patient with a history of doctor-diagnosed epilepsy or seizure disorder or had one or more seizures in the past year or both.”

The earliest evidence of CBD and seizure reduction of dates as far back as 1843 by W.B. O’Shaughnessy. His findings according to the Journal of Epileptic Seizures, “After testing the behavioral effects of various preparations of Cannabis indica in healthy fish, dogs, swines, vultures, crows, horses, deers, monkeys, goats, sheep, cows, and military assistants, he investigated the potential value of extracts of the plant in patients with different disorders, and reported remarkable anti-seizure effects in a 40-days-old baby girl with recurrent convulsive seizures.”

Numerous studies have outright confirmed it through the years.

Anxiety Management

It is also effective with anxiety management. Thanks to studies conducted by neuroscientists in 2015, there has been a consistent and conclusive link between anti-anxiety properties, and CBD oil. Anxiety is a far more common condition which affects roughly 40% of the American population. In fact, this often goes hand in hand with depression and most people seek out medical treatment for it.

The conclusion of the study is “. Human experimental findings support preclinical findings, and also suggest a lack of anxiogenic effects, minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile.”

And it makes sense. CBD structurally is the antithesis of THC, which induces anxiety.

Pain Management

CBD oil, according to Harvard studies, can be useful for mild pain management.  “While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age.”

“Part of its allure is that it is clearly safer than opiates (it is impossible to overdose on and far less addictive and it CBD oil, properties, truthcan take the place of NSAIDs such as Advil or Aleve if people can’t take them due to problems with their kidneys or ulcers or GERD.”

However, there have been exaggerations about it over the years.  It cannot handle every type of pain.  So, if you think you need something for mild chronic pain, then you can take an appropriate dosage. Anything more than that won’t do much, and it does have blood thinning properties so avoid overdependence.


Unless you specifically know the results of a study regarding CBD oil, it is safe to assume it has either mild effects or the claim is highly exaggerated. For instance, if someone is claiming that it will cure cancer, obesity or Alzheimers, chances are it’s false. Either they are either exaggerating greatly or are outright lying to you and are relying on the placebo effect.



Nutrition: Is it One Size Fits All?

How Personalized Can Nutrition Be?

The idea of nutrition has changed over time. From sugar being part of the daily diet in the early 1900s to the MyPlate model of today, America’s main mission is to find the perfect model for nutrition for the entire population.  But what if we are doing it all wrong? What if we are operating under the fallacy of the “one size fits all” model?

After all, everyone is different on a genetic level for the most part. What if we all have different nutritional needs? What would meeting those needs look like?  Today, we are going to talk about personalized nutrition.

How do We Respond to Food?

We all know that food is essential for survival. That is why we cultivate it, create a culture around it, and create philosophies about it. The one that encapsulates the spirit of the current attitude of allergy testnutritionists is the Chinese principle of Daoism. They believed that food was medicine for the body. That each food had a property that solely exists to maintain nutritional balance. So, you needed an ideal balance between things like hot and cold, spicy and bland, bitter and sweet. Aside from external injury, the common belief was that everything internal can be solved by nutritional balance.

And for the most part, scientific data is backing up what centuries of people have been saying. The recent discovery of microorganisms in the stomach, and how they behave bring credence to that theory. Microscopic single-celled organisms thrive or die according to how it reacts to a nutrient. Each microorganism has a strand of DNA in that responds to micronutrients.

If the helpful/neutral ones are thriving you are going to be more healthy. If they are dying, stagnant, or mutated, however, you are much more likely to get sick or suffer from some sort of metabolic disorder.

However, the real kicker each microbiome is different.

How Different Are Our Nutritional Needs?

There are demonstrable differences between various microbiomes. The most overt example is food allergies. Someone can have exposure to something like strawberries for a long time but will suddenly gain an allergic reaction to it. Some people are allergic to just a combination of things. For instance, someone can tolerate raspberries and lemonade but the two of them together can cause a reaction. Some people even lose allergies altogether. There are even cases of pregnant women losing an allergy during pregnancy and getting it back afterward.

The Nutrition Twin Study

This is further explored in the latest study between identical and fraternal twins. The unique twin study, “PREDICT 1”, examines the biological responses of 1,100 participants that ate certain foods over a period of 14 days. They utilized multiple search markers that included: blood sugar levels, triglycerides, insulin resistance, levels of physical activity, and the health of their gut microbiome.

The results were surprising to the research team. Professor nutrition twin studyTim Spector, the man who spearheaded the study stated in Medical News, “(we) found out that identical twins shared 37% of the bacteria in their gut — only slightly higher than the 35% shared between two unrelated individuals.”

The meaning is further clarified by the article, “Despite having the same genes and exposure to similar environments, identical twins often had very different glucose responses to set meals, whether they were high in carbs, fiber, fat, or sugar.”

This demonstrates not only just how different a person’s nutritional needs are, but also how they can drastically change.

Nutrition isn’t only Genetic

So, what could the other variables be for nutrition and health? Well, there is a lot of them. Metabolism, the microbiome, schedules, meal timing, and physical activity combined with nutrition is what makes up the whole of a person’s health.

This level of variance in measurable data in combination with the varieties of microbiomes out there means that the idea of a “one size fits all” dietary guideline is impossibly unrealistic.

No one can come up with the perfect nutrition guide for everyone because everybody reacts to everything differently.


This is the sort of information that changes our attitudes about nutrition and health in general. And if this sort of variance can be applicable to things like medication? That can change the shape of modern medicine as we know it, let alone diet plans.

Nutrition and a healthy outcome are what everybody needs, even if it looks different from one person to the next.

Talk to a nutritionist if you feel the need to start an individual diet plan


Nutrition and Old Wive’s Tales

Old Wive’s Nutrition

You have heard the expression, “old wives tales”, right? It is a term that often means a truism that gets passed on orally as conventional wisdom from one generation to another. However, that truism is usually not so true. This is a social phenomenon when a deeply held belief of one generation transforms into superstitious nonsense of by another. Many myths and old wives tales start out as a form of caution when a way of life is presented with something new. If there is a chance this new thing could be a threat to health and safety,  whether it is grooming, behavior or nutrition, then older generations will react to make sure their young stay away from the potential threat.

Usually, the phenomenon occurs when the latter generation gets bold enough to put those truisms to the test. When there is no discernable evidence to prove it, we write it off in favor of more accurate information. This helps later generations adapt and survive in a changing environment. In the end, older generations are unhappy with younger generations changing their traditional way of life.  Younger generations are more dismissive towards the older generation attitudes towards change as part of a coming of age process.  One of the biggest examples of this sociological phenomenon is our knowledge of nutrition. Even in a time gap as small as 10 years, what constitutes as healthy and nutritional changes.  How does this shape our present, and what do we have to unlearn to move forward? Let’s talk about it.

Hydration – Always Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day


This one is a particularly old truism that runs rampant in today’s athletic circles, as well as parenting groups.  The gist of it is that people need water. At the very least, 8 glasses of day. Or, at least enough to where your urine should come out clear. It is a popular one, but the truism here is exaggerated.  Don’t get it wrong, hydration is indeed important. It makes up at least 60% of your body weight and you need it to survive.  However, if you are peeing clear, it is less about proper hydration and more about overhydration.

This phenomenon is more common among athletes, mainly because sports drink companies tend to push their product for hydration reasons. It is called hyponatremia and even “…some of the healthiest people, such as marathon runners and other extreme athletes—are the ones at risk for water intoxication. Drinking large quantities of water, combined with depleted sodium reserves due to physical activity, have led to fatal consequences in extreme athletes.”

What’s more, we don’t have to worry so much about hydration because we already have a system in our brain for detecting what we need. It tells us we are thirsty, and we drink to satisfy it.  Ultimately, “Don’t ignore itchings for water or confuse them with hunger, and you’ll generally be fine. And don’t worry too much about the color of your urine, either. A light yellow or straw-like color can indicate you’re well hydrated, but darker urine isn’t necessarily a reason to panic.”

100% Fruit Juice is Healthy!

This one was a popular slogan during the height of the Juicy Juice era of the 1980s and 90s. This was a favorite go-to for marketing campaigns and commercial for various commercial beverages. However, the juice alone isn’t exactly all that healthy for anyone.  While it is arguable that it would be useful in times of a sugar crash, or have a boost of vitamins, the truth is that it doesn’t do nutrition, juicemuch else.

In theory, it is something that sounds plausible. As I mentioned before, there is a stress on the vitamins that fruits and vegetables provide, all of which are more preferable than if you were to take a supplement. This stems in the logical fallacy that if something is natural, then it is good.  But it all falls apart when the juice is extracted from the pulp.

The nutrition factor is not in the juice. It is in the fiber of the fruit and vegetables that make up most of the nutrition. Without it to counteract the sugars, it is really no different than drinking a can of soda. Sometimes it is even a little worse.

Granted, if you can preserve most of the pulp or fiber in the smoothies that you drink, and avoid adding extra sugars, then you might be onto something. Even a little bit of dilution with water and ice is a good idea if you still want to drink something sweet. But juice alone is not able to satiate hunger.



Exercise Tips From a Nutritionist

Exercise 101

Not everyone is born with the innate knowledge of how to exercise. While it is true that children often hit an age where running around is more preferable to sitting still, the idea that regular exercise should be a consistent habit is something that needs to be taught.  So, if someone has gone through some unpleasantries during their physical education, or have never had it in the first place from a sport or activity, it is reasonable to assume that they will grow up without the “workout” skillset.  That is why today, we are going to go over the normal biological signs to look out for when starting a workout regimen. Let’s dive in.

Heart Rate and Exercise

One of the things to expect when coming up with a workout is a change in heart rate. Whether it is beating rapidly from a workout or is calm at a regular pace, your heart does a lot of work. Without it, blood can’t flow through our body. We wouldn’t be able to process oxygen, and we wouldn’t have a strong indicator of just how hard our bodies are working. When we work out, our bodies need a lot more energy to push through the intensity of the moment. And if the heart beats are too slow, too fast, or out of rhythm, then something is terribly wrong.

So, what is the ideal heart rate in the average adult?

heart rate, exerciseOn average, the resting heart rate of an adult at rest is from 60 to 100 beats per minute or bpm. This means while you are sleeping, sitting, talking, eating, or doing other low-level activities, that is the rate to expect. The exception to this could be small children and shorter adults. Usually, when an organism is smaller, they have a naturally high heart rate. The same can be said of the opposite. The taller or wider a person is, the more likely the heart rate will slow down.

The active heart rate that someone working out should be aiming for is a 50-70% increase in heart rate for moderate activity. So, if you average about  100 bpm, then you might want to shoot for 130-170 when exercising.

At the most strenuous, you want to shoot for double the rate but only for short periods of time. After all, if you overwork your heart it might give out from the strain.  As long as you aim between the target numbers, you are getting adequate exercise. If you are getting numbers far too high or far too low see your doctor. Something might be terribly wrong.


Another good indicator of workout intensity is your sweat rate. Not many people realize it but the amount of sweating can be measured. Sweat helps remove waste from your body. It is an indicator of proper hydration and can cool it down to prevent overheating. Our sweat production during a workout, or simply through staying in high temperatures.

However, the measurement of how much you sweat is much more complicated than the process of determining someone’s bpm. Precision Hydration states, “Sweat rate varies considerably from person to person and it can also vary quite a lot for any given individual because things like how hard you’re working, the ambient temperature andsweating, meme humidity, your clothing choices, genetics, and heat acclimation status all play a role in determining how fast and how much your body perspires.”

So, what are people supposed to aim for? According to active.com, “An average person sweats between 0.8 to 1.4 liters (roughly 27.4 to 47.3 oz.) per hour during exercise. To help you with a visual, the smaller bike water bottles typically hold 0.6 liters (20 oz.) of fluid and the larger bottles hold 0.7 liters (24 oz.) of fluid.”

There are ways that you can personally calculate it. However, as long as you stay within the range, you should be good to go.

Exhaustion after Exercise

How much fatigue is to be expected after a workout? Should there be hours of exhaustion after a workout, or should it not be present at all? Most people who are not in the habit of exercise often cite pain and exhaustion as reasons not to take it up. And it makes sense. We have busy lives. It is easy to ignore something that sounds unpleasant. Especially, if it is going to cause pain and take up too much time.

However, the amount of fatigue after a workout should not last longer than two or three times in a row. After a while, your body will naturally build endurance. The only thing that could stand in the way of that is either a lack of proper nutrition or a medical issue.




Summertime Safety: Sunburn Prevention

Summertime Safety: Sunburn Prevention

It is important for your health to engage in regular exercise, as well as, a nutritious diet. But there are other elements that can make or break your healthy lifestyle.  Natural elements that can act as an obstacle.  And in summer, one of the biggest obstacles is the sun. The heat of the summer season, combined with the ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause major skin damage in the form of a sunburn. At its least effective, it can cause painfully irritated skin, at its most, it can give you skin cancer. That is why today, we are going to focus on the importance of skin care during outdoor activities for a healthy and happy lifestyle during the summer season. Because if we can’t focus on other important aspects of health combined with nutrition, then you are only taking care of half of your health.

sunburn, healthWhat are the Symptoms of Sunburn?

The more common symptoms of sunburn include reddening of the skin and pain. However, that is the most basic of its effects. That rarely touches on the more severe symptoms, as well as what happens to the skin during recovery.

More extreme forms of sunburn symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, weakness, dehydration, and headaches. It is colloquially called “sun poisoning,” and the combined symptoms oftentimes can make the person feel like they are drunk.

If the burn is severe enough to get into its second degree, then blisters will often form on parts of the skin. They will swell with bodily fluids made up of water and some white blood cells.  Blisters will appear to provide a cool protective layer between the old skin and the new skin that is forming.  That is why it is important to avoid lancing smaller blisters, and if a larger one pops, you want to keep the old skin on there as much as possible to prevent infection, as well as any extra ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Speaking of…

How Do Sunburns Happen?

Well, sunburns are caused by the ultraviolet rays of the sun. There are three types of ultraviolet rays that come from the sun that are classified as UVA, UVB, and UVC.  UVA and UVB are the types sunburn, water blisters, severe, healthof ultraviolet rays that can seep into your skin. UVC, the most dangerous of the bunch, is naturally blocked by the Earth’s ozone layer.  The ultraviolet rays cause a radiation effect and damages skin cells that come into burn contact.

And how powerful is that burn? Powerful enough to take on literal strands of DNA. ”

Invisible ultraviolet light carries more energy than the light visible to humans, and this energy packs a tiny punch.

“When a UV photon strikes the skin, it can damage the DNA in the body’s cells. It does this by breaking the orderly bonds between the four nucleotides, adenosine, thymine, and guanine. So-called thymine dimers form, when two thymine nucleotides bind together, throwing the whole shape of the DNA molecule out of whack.”

It is produced by cells in our skin called melanocytes. Melanin absorbs ultraviolet light and dissipates it as heat.

Our skin can produce natural protection from the sun, in the form of melanin, a type of skin pigment. However, the amount of melanin we have varies from person to person. Darker skinned people, for instance, will have more melanin than someone with fair skin. Even if everyone has the same amount of melanocytes.

However, that does not mean that people with darker skin are completely immune to sunburn. They just need a little less assistance. That is why there is a range of sun care products for the prevention of sunburn.

So, what are some of the things to look for when trying to prevent sunburn?

Sunburn Prevention

Usually, the type of sunscreen that you want will depend on your age, how fair your skin is, and how long you stay in the sun exposure. If you are dark skinned and don’t stay out long, something like SPF30 will do the trick. If you are fair skinned, or you have a fair skinned child planning to stay out in a water park all day, then you want a higher SPF with regular application every couple of hours.  Broad spectrum sunscreen is great for blocking both UVA and UVB rays.

What is fascinating about this part is that these rays are not exclusive to summertime. It just happens more often because people are outside more during the summer season. But the weirdest yet most fascinating thing about sunburns is that it doesn’t have to be the middle of summer for you to get them.  “ 80% of UVB rays can reflect from surfaces such as ice, snow, and sand and increase UV exposure. UVA rays can penetrate through glass, such as your car window.” So, you want to stay covered just as a rule of thumb.

If you are willing to forego sunbathing and skin exposure, you can always use a cover, like a hat or a t-shirt to prevent ultraviolet rays from getting access to your skin. Also, you might want to just avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day, from 10AM-2PM.

Also, it is just important to stay hydrated, whatever outdoor activity you are planning to do.

Sunburn Aftercare

If you were just so wrapped up in your own activities that you forgot about sun care, chances are you are already burnt like a rotisserie chicken.  Thankfully, there are things that can be done for treatment. These treatments include:

  • Pain relief – over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief such as ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can help relieve the pain and reduce swelling. It is best to take these as soon as possible. Some pain relief can be applied as a topical ointment.
  • Hydrocortisone cream – may also help reduce inflammation and itching.
  • Rehydrate – drink water to help rehydrate the skin.
  • Don’t break small blisters – allow them to run their course. If one breaks, clean it with mild soap and water.
  • Peeling skin – do not pick, and continue to apply moisturizer.
  • Cool the skin – apply a damp cloth or towel, or take a cool bath.
  • Do not use butter – this is a false remedy that can prevent healing and damage skin.
  • Apply moisturizer – for instance, aloe vera gel.
  • Stay out of the sun – avoid making the burn worse by exposing it to more UV.

If you see a mole that you are unfamiliar with, then you want to go to a dermatologist as soon as you possibly can to determine whether it is cancerous or not.