A Week In Honduras

A Week In Honduras

After some contemplation and spiritual discovery I decided that it would be a good time for me to embark upon a Mission trip. My week that I spent in Honduras among a church group and fellow missionary’s was really a great opportunity for me to lay my desires down and humble myself.

The week of missionary work that I did was a chance for me to grow deeper in peace and serenity and develop myself through a purification process. In a way I looked at the experience as an opportunity, to start anew with a clean slate and wipe away some blurs of the past.

Spending time in Honduras, away from the materialistically driven culture of America was a great experience for my soul. Getting away from the United States and going to Honduras, I was able to gain some new perspectives on the world and how humanity both suffers and flourishes. Seeing people go through conditions of poverty and living quite happily, made me realize that the most important foundations worldwide are God, family, and community.

The communities that I visited were poor compared to most suburban American town standards, but they were more rich in natural resources and kind sincerity. When I look back I felt like all the children and people I encountered had strong character which was built through their homes and environment.

My trip to Honduras, began after a flight from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Tegulcigalpa Honduras. The flight wasn’t very long, it was merely 3.5 hours of studying Spanish and conversation with neighbor passengers of the aircraft.

After quite a few cups of orange juice and talk with other fellow Americans and missionary’s on the plane, I found myself looking out the window and wondering where in the world was the landing spot? Well following a bit of circling around cliffs and mountains we landed safely on a short landing strip in Tegulcigalpa.

The customs checked my passport along with fellow missionaries and as a result my team and I, all got to successfully make our way through. Outside the airport I could immediately feel the extreme heat. The temperature was in the mid 80’s, but it felt much hotter. One outside we met up with The Missionaries of Christ and placed all our suitcases and baggage on the bus for another journey of travels.

The road trip to Comayagua took about 3.5 hours on the bus through beautiful scenic mountains. Many passengers amongst me passed out after taking doses of Dramamine (the motion sickness tablets). I happened to stay awake and was caught in dismay by all the nature surrounding me outside the bus windows.

I kept myself full by popping some Ricola’s and some cliff bars and eventually after a long first day of traveling I reached the retreat center held by the Missioners of Christ in Comayagua along with a team of missioners.

The center offered feelings of peace and revealed to be a good place, for me to uncover some of my flaws and imperfections of my being. The center which was built by U.S. military officials, was quite a compelling complex. In particular the center spring fountain was my favorite structure, since it helped to offer great reflection and internal revealing to me personally through a combination of prayer and meditation.

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During the few days that were spent in Comayagua at the center, I enjoyed eating good food with fellow group members, listening to speakers, and playing some soccer. After a few days in Comayagua I received the news that I would be assigned to go to Pimientillas.

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The village of Pimientillas took us about 4 hours to drive to in our white Toyota Tacoma. The ride was quite rocky, consisting of many hills and mountains. The drive was definitely one of the most memorable that I’ve ever had. The drive consisted of such an organic landscape as we drove on unpaved roads with pine tree forests, fields of coffee plantations, and  banana farms each accompanying the roadsides. Upon our arrival, the community and the family I stayed with, was very kind-hearted.

Each one of the Hondurans was delighted to see us and happily prepared fresh meals with tortillas, black beans, and queso blanco being the major staple foods. The families were living in conditions that were not necessarily wealthy in monetary terms but the wealth of their hearts and generosity was what made the people and the experience of staying with them so humbling.

The love that I experienced from the Honduran people could cure any sickness. As spoken by the wonderful Blessed Mother Teresa,  “All sicknesses have cures. The only one that cannot be cured is the sickness of feeling unloved.  I invite all those who appreciate our work to look around them and be willing to love those who have no love and to offer them their services.  Are we not, by definition, messengers of love?” I truly felt this love that Mother Teresa speaks of as I experienced this mission.

During my experience in Pimientillas, this sense of love, helped me adjust for survival in the foreign environment as I struggled to communicate effectively with the young children and adults. Despite the language barrier and my lack of speaking efficiency in Spanish, thankfully my fellow missioner and room-mate Rolando happened to be wonderfully blessed in his Spanish speaking abilities, which proved to be quite helpful .

Although my mind wasn’t always able to cognitively filter out good chunks of information during talks, I was still far from completely understanding all local lingo and every bit of content in our presentations. Our course of dramas, music, and testimonial talks were all truly saturated with wonderful messages. I believe that each member of the community who joined us each night of our 4.5 day stay in Pimientillas had some positive takeaways and strong sensations of bonding and trust from our group.

Our mission was to serve, and after being there and walking the neighborhoods house to house, I believe that each member of my group could say that we experienced similar strengthening of the heart and mind. As the father of the delegado in Pimientillas spoke to us on our last nights stay. “Keep moving forward, don’t move backwards”.

As I move on from my mission experience and continue on as a citizen under Gods control I hope that I continue to move forward and not backward. Despite the trials and temptations of the world, it is only through peace, union, and triumph that we help shape our world into a better place for a better tomorrow.

As said by Pope John Paul II, “Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

My first mission trip in Honduras was a real eye opener. I realized the good in the world, and the fragile innocence of the nature of humanity. But something else that I discovered was how far I am from perfection.

I still feel the need to travel more distances as I continue to discover and aim to change the world. One thing that I discovered through Honduras is that we all live in a beautiful world. Overall the experience has helped me step forward to become a better version of myself. I hope my experience continues to help me as I continue to encounter life’s obstacles.

 

Comparing Two Pre-Workout Giants: Razor 8 and C4

Comparing Two Giants

Nowadays it seems like a lot of people take all sorts of supplements whether it be to help with muscle growth, muscle fatigue, muscle recovery, or just general health maintenance. Not to mention more people are using supplements for their health rather than going to the doctor and getting prescription medicine which is a good thing. It is way better to be healthy than to be sick in ill health.

It’s no secret, some people take better care of their bodies, minds, and overall being than others. So the average person may ask, how do I get better at being a healthy person? Or, how can I build my body into better shape so I can be good looking when I’m an old man or woman?

Well one secret step that some people take in order to get into better shape or more fit whether it be Mariusz Pudzianowski style, or just your typical fit person who just looks well all the time, is to take some muscle building supplements. Muscle building supplements are used for both fuel and recovery.

By utilizing muscle building supplements it can help you achieve an edge on your competition, however with that said, I don’t believe that all supplements are completely necessary to maintain a healthy body. A lot of healthy people get really cut and fit by just diet alone and having a strong balance of whole foods.

So with this post, you don’t have to 100% take my advice, but if you would like to become a lean, mean, green machine it helps to take a periodic supplement or go through cycling of certain formulas on and off. Doing so in the correct order can help your body become more sculpted and strong like a piece of art.

The following is a comparison between two Pre-Workout formulas C4 and Razor 8:

Cellucor’s C4

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PROS

With C4 I really feel immediate results as my motivation, endurance, and power is enhanced. I believe this is in large part due to the large amount of Beta Alanine in this product. Beta Alanine is a strong non-essential amino acid that helps with endurance and defeating fatigue during workouts so more repetitions can be accomplished. The main effort in any workout is to become focused and driven towards gaining growth, which I definitely feel with this product. I’ve noticed that, whether utilizing weights or doing resistance exercises Beta Alanine helps me tremendously, and it is extremely helpful if you’re a vegetarian or you fail to eat a lot of meat. The main property Carnosine which works with Beta Alanine is what does the most help in enhancing endurance. Another great non-essential amino acid present in this formula is Arginine AKG, which stimulates more lean body mass, less pain, and less stiffness during a workout. Arginine AKG is also known to help prevent sterility in men. One of the last things I generally love about this product is the high dosages of B vitamins and vitamin C, which add a nice little boost of energy as well to your workout.

CONS

C4, the well-known product sold by the supplement giant Cellucor is a great product as it shows results and helps you perform strongly in the gym. Despite the results it has some cons that I would like to mention. Personally it falls short in a couple of areas, one being that it contains a lot of artificial ingredients and unknown patents that provide a boost within the workout room, but may be hurting the body with the chemicals. I prefer to stick with more natural ingredients and less fillers, so seeing artificial colors like Red 40, and Sucralose (an artificial sweetener) provide some worry. I feel that these particular ingredients sway health experts away from this product, because of the lack of better quality substitutes such as beet red as a color dye, or stevia as a natural sweetener substitute. So for me personally, perhaps if these ingredients were changed I think the product would be substantially better and more appealing. I feel as if C4, would attract a much larger crowd to their already dominant line of products if they took certain ingredients out of their recipe and focused on the more natural whole food culture ingredient wise. Besides those ingredients I don’t have much more critique.

C4 can be bought here!

 All Max’s Razor 8

Razor_8

Razor 8 is a supplement on the market that I like mainly because it has less filler ingredients, artificial colors, preservatives, and unknown secret ingredients.

PROS

With the All Max Razor Eight, you are getting a superior product, with two forms of Creatine and natural body fat trimming ingredients it makes for an interesting blend. The powder is rather easy to mix with water and it tastes more natural with less chemicals involved. There are less filler ingredients in Razor 8 than the counterpart C4, as well as no artificial dye coloring, which is a major plus. Razor 8 also doesn’t include aspartame a dangerous ingredient linked to cancer and brain damage. The use of Green tea, Yerba Mate, and Grapefruit extracts is wonderful, as they are naturally derived and serve a great use in trimming body fat. The Green tea, Yerba Mate, and Grapefruit formula also helps curb appetite in order to help one achieve a more cut and ripped body frame. Another benefit that I’ve noticed is that Creatine in combination with caffeine can help improve focus and overall mental clarity for learning as well. This however, also could be due to exercise in general, which is related to increased neural functioning in the brain and improved academic performance.

CONS

With All Max Razor Eight I do have a few set backs. One set back is due to the use of Synthetic caffeine and the other being the use of some a pharmaceutically derived ingredients which are made in a manner that causes suspicion. The use of Yohimbine for example is both interesting but at the same time, it must be monitored. Yohimbine increases blood flow dramatically through the body, so it should be taken in low dosages, as it can aggravate high blood pressure or aggravate psychological problems. Due to the different side effects depending on the person, I’d advise one to take lower doses in order to figure out how your body may respond to this particular mixture.

Razor 8 pre-workout formula can be bought here!

Overall, these are both formulas that work well, but be careful and assess your tolerance first. Everyone’s body chemistry is different. Also, if you have worries contact your doctor, or medical professional about what supplements support you best.

Works Cited:

Freedman, Lisa. “Supplement Guide: Beta Alanine.” Men’s Fitness. America Media, Inc, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2015. <http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/supplements/supplement-guide-beta-alanine&gt;.

Freedman, Lisa. “Supplement Guide: AAKG Arginine.” Men’s Fitness. America Media, Inc, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.<http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/supplements/supplement-guide-aakg&gt;

“Yohimbe: MedlinePlus Supplements.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 Oct. 2014. Web. 05 Mar. 2015. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/759.html&gt;.

Image found via: http://statusfitnessmagazine.com/supplement-review-razor-8-allmax

Why You Should Toss Your Superiority-Complex

Why You Should Toss Your Superiority Complex

When discussing the subject of superiority it can bring up a lot of sour faces. I’d compare the reaction of superiority to that of a person eating sour-patch kids. Most people prefer not to talk about being better or superior over everyone else at a particular trade, art, or skill.

However with that said, it is something that exists within us all, shown through our ego.

With an overly exhaustive ego, some people can be difficult to be around, simply because it feels like they’re sucking all the air out of the room of a habitable place. When this occurs it usually leaves a feeling of negativity or negative feedback from other people who sense that a person it overly zealous of their superiority.

It’s for this very reason that people get caught astray since they allow their ego to fully control them with too strong of a grip. In order to reach peace and develop stronger relationships with humankind and people of all race, color, religion, creed, and sex it requires a more unified attitude of acceptance and less resistance.

All throughout my life and in competitive sports and the world of media entertainment their have been a host of people who fight and gamble away their lives for the need to be superior. If you dive deep into entertainment, there are Hollywood actors, actresses, models, athletes, directors, singers, MC’s and all sorts of people who battle in the aesthetic world of individuality.

The beautiful thing is that the world is art, and we are all our own composers and directors of our world and surroundings. So as long as we take the proper ethical steps of not throwing the negative label of inferiority at other people it makes the world, much more connected.

When you let go of the need to be right in every argument and the need to be the most superior male or female in your area, you start to develop a more universal relationship with everyone that you encounter and you begin to feel more in tune with the nature of your surroundings.

If you emphasize your entire existence on being superior you begin to attract certain people who think that your a role model for being better and superior. However with that said, once you begin to free yourself from being superior and you no longer allow other people to feel inferior or below you in their abilities and talents, it leads to stronger attraction of kindness, love, abundance, creativity, and harmony.

When you truly improve yourself, you show yourself through improving the world around you, and in essence other people in your environment.

By getting rid of your superiority-complex you begin to become less judgmental, and become more conscious of your surrounding as well as the traits of other people.

“The deeper the self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux.”  -Dr. Wayne Dyer

Leaving the superiority-complex takes time and dedication, however as with any objective it can be done. The greater the effort you focus on self-realization and the more time you spend leaving your ego behind, ultimately the more fulfilled you begin to feel inside.

You can be great, since you were born with greatness, but you cannot be great without mentors and other leaders before you.

You can be a good person and display your potential and show it to the world, but it may take time before the right discoveries are made.

You can fly, but you must first learn the art.

You can dream a thousand dreams, but you must live them and share them with the world through your creativity.

Once you leave superiority, you begin to reach towards infinity. When you reach for infinity, you begin to contemplate what is possible.

What you have within you, shines greater than any gleaming jewel undug from the earth.

When you close the door on your ego, you begin to really view life as a much bigger picture with boundaries that stretch towards infinity.

As Dr. Wayne Dyer boldly states, “Ego and genius are mutually conclusive. Genius is a function of surrendering to the source or reconnecting to it so dramatically that one’s ego is substantially minimized (Dyer 233).”

How will you get what you want, and what do you really want? Whatever it is it won’t be as fulfilling until you release the need to be superior.

Works Cited:

Dyer, Wayne W. The Power of Intention: Learning To Co-Create Your World Your Way. Carlsbad CA: Hay House, 2004. Print.

How You Can Maximize Productivity

Maximizing Productivity

Let’s see here. Let me guess. You’re still at a standstill and you’re trying to figure out how to conquer the next thing on your to-do-list. Well, the good news is, that if you set yourself in the right mindset you can get yourself out of trouble and into a productive state-of mind.

In order to get to a productive state-of-mind, you have get out of your familiar routine and move towards inner purpose.

A lot of distractions are like sharks in this world. These distractions can be technology or habits that serve little purpose. In some ways these sharks can be waiting for you at the top of the water.

The best way to avoid becoming prey for the sharks out in the world is to hold a strong mindset. In order for anyone to be productive it’s important to have strong qualities.

If you carry a driven heart, an audacious mind, and combine it with forward thinking, a bold personality, and a vivacious spirit. You might just be the type of head-strong person who can overcome impetuous tasks with a heart full of passion and gladiatorial drive that sharks cannot handle.

There are multiple ways in which you can maximize your productivity in your life and eliminate the sharks.

Here is a little list:

  1. No Television or movies until you reach your goal for that day, or week.
  2. Count how much time you spend on Social Media. (If you spend too much time limit it.)
  3. Don’t listen to music unless you’re exercising or driving in the car.
  4. Go to sleep by 9:30PM on weekdays.
  5. Work a job or go to school for a maximum of 8 hours. (I accept hobbies too, because hobbies are creative outlets that can lead to a potential business.)
  6. Find an accountability partner or create a group of mastermind friends who motivate you each day.
  7. Share ideas with others and use them to maximize your potential.
  8. Keep a journal and record your progress on each of your goals and endeavors.

Nowadays social media is the ultimate hindrance. It keeps people’s mind in an endless entrapment. Unless you happen to be consuming quality information that may be beneficial for your life goals, most of the time it’s just a non-verbal way of communicating with people and sharing information.

I understand that a lot of people are now stuck in their own worlds so it’s becoming increasingly common for people to just share information in a variety of ways. When you can’t talk to every person that you want to face to face, that’s where social media can be advantageous. The best thing you can generally do, is to spend a few minutes a day on your preferred social media platforms.

A solid way to maximize your productivity is to embrace your inner strength and stay out of the social media fix as much as possible. You can do this by making a list of your successes each night, before you go to bed. It doesn’t really matter how big your successes are, as long as your better today than you were yesterday, you are in the midst of building a brighter tomorrow.

Don’t let others hold you back. Seize open opportunities and give you life hours away in the activities that fill you with satisfaction. Spend your day doing the things that fill your inner purpose.

If you’re trying to become successful in any way, you have to Master Your Priorities. Avoid television as much as possible. I understand that it’s easy to become trapped by sports, and other entertainment. However with that said, if you really have something inside your heart that’s driving you with no end in site, you have to find a way to move around your obstacles.

Whatever you put first in your life are the most important things. If you want to reach your destination or fulfill your wildest dreams, you can do it!

Believe in yourself, keep positive people in your life, stay strong, and maximize your productivity!

How To Upgrade Your Health This New Year

Uprade Health City 2015

If you’re like most people my guess is that you want to make this new year, your year to remember. So let me begin this first post of 2015, with a positive affirmation. “Beginning with each new day, you will create a great year.” What better way to have a great start, than to have a game plan set up on how you’re going to execute your health and fitness goals in perfect fashion.

I have made myself the promise that from this day forward, I am going to dedicate my time and effort to make kind-hearted people become the best versions of themselves.

The majority of people like to climb up the ladder, whether it be in regards to finances, job security,  spirituality, or overall health. I don’t know very many people who wish they were more unhealthy and destroyed their body more with toxins and foreign substances that degrade one’s level of health.

In order to reach a state of optimal health and be well, it will take a high level of discipline and commitment. I have spent a large amount of time studying natural medicine and the topic of holistic health, so I would like to give some valuable advice for start.

To start off the year properly design a list of your favorite foods and what you eat on a typical week. After writing each food down on a list, grab a pen and check off each food that contributes to a healthier life or increases vitality.

Once you have checked off the foods that you feel are helping lead you to an increased state of wellness, begin to divide these check-marked foods into specific categories. Depending upon the food group that the specific food falls into, now ask yourself whether that food belongs on the list of Foods to Avoid.

My List of Foods To Avoid Includes:

  1. Foods Containing Trans Fats. (Mostly Deep Fried Fast-Food.)
  2. Foods With Excess Sugar.
  3. Refined Grains. (White rice, white bread, white pasta.)
  4. Processed Foods.
  5. Foods With Unknown Ingredients. (I call these foods chemical soups. Stay away from MSG, Aspartame, and other preservatives.)

After you have narrowed down your food groups and identified the foods that you eat, make sure you stick with the foods that are helping to contribute to a higher level of vitality. Once you become committed to “saying goodbye”, to your unhealthy foods and bad habits of junk food consumption, you can begin to realize some changes.

The next step towards upgrading your health this year is to get yourself in the right frame of mind. If you are not in the right frame of mind you won’t get fit and healthy. You need to dig deep within yourself, and find motivation to exercise, eat the right foods, find inner harmony, and surround yourself with the right minded people.

If you wake up each day, you must have something motivating you, or someone to live for. Living in the western world most people are fortunate enough to have access to all the tools and knowledge needed to live healthy and successfully.

To reach for higher ground and enhance your life, don’t just look for prosperous health, but make it happen by stretching your mind and body. Make a commitment towards reaching the gym, hitting the workout with drive, and strengthen your body.

Be sure to take these steps this year…

  1. Detox Your Life.
  2. Put Yourself In Situations That Make You Happy.
  3. Exercise With Weights, Sports, or Martial Arts.
  4. Do Yoga or Meditation.
  5. Think Positively Each Day.
  6. Be Realistic With Your Health.
  7. Be Optimistic About Your Health.
  8. Reconnect With Your Inner Spirit.
  9. Take Whole Food Vitamins and Minerals.
  10. Laugh and Spend Time With The People You Love.
  11. Get Enough Sleep Each Night.
  12. Avoid Toxic Media and Television.
  13. Look To Live In A Clean Environment.
  14. Get Enough Fresh Air Each Day.
  15. Manage Your Stress and Cortisol Levels.

In order to make each day better this year, aim to reach a state of natural balance. If you at least become aware, you’re half-way towards entering a state of optimal health.

Sources:

100 Ways to Stay Young. Parragon, 2011. Print.

The Promise of Super Foods

Super Foods

With the growing idea that food is medicine, it is helpful to have knowledge on the specific foods that this idea is referencing. There are a few key questions that should be addressed when thinking about food. What are these so-called “super foods”? Is there a difference between the marketing hype on super foods and the true value of super foods?

Also, how do super foods have the capability to reverse disease and prevent many common illnesses’ suffered by today’s population?

In order for a body to look younger, feel healthier, and ultimately live longer it is important to know how super foods can help a person reach their health goals. Super foods are defined as a food that contains a high level of essential nutrients and other compounds that benefit your health (Reinhard 8). In order to understand super foods it is crucial to realize that the list encompasses a vast amount of foods ranging from fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, legumes, nuts, herbs, grains, meats, dairy, and supplements.

The content of these foods is really what makes them a ‘super food’. Take for instance a chili pepper; a chili pepper contains a compound by the name of capsaicin, a substance that has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells (Reinhard 10). When consuming food, a person should not always just rely on taste, but rather on nutrient rich foods that provide an adequate level of nutrients and calories.

It is important to distinguish marketing hype versus actual truth on super foods and why they are beneficial. Interpreting the meaning of super foods can be hard since there are many different categories that a super food can come from and this makes it hard for some people to understand which foods have the true value of a super food.“According to current scientific understanding, the potential benefits of eating foods that are high in either nutrients or phytochemicals, or both, include the fact that they may help lower our risk of developing certain chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes” (Reinhard 10).

If an individual wants to improve their diet including more plants is a definite must. Whether you like fruits and vegetables or not, by including them in your diet it’s a surefire way to defeat free radicals, immunity problems, along with a host of other diseases and illnesses.

The first class of super foods that should be included in a person’s diet is plants. By including more plants, one’s diet will contain more essential nutrients and other compounds needed for biological activities in the human body.

Many super foods have the capability to reverse disease. Through the use of antioxidants these foods can help the body with DNA repair and detoxification. There are some specific super foods which are beneficial for the process of detoxification including spirulina. “The use of spirulina a blue-green algae is thought ease the side effects of the detoxification process” (Skinner and Wells 2383).  With the inclusion of antioxidants found in plants, nuts, and fruits the body can fight oxidation.

Two particular well known antioxidants found in plant super foods are phytochemical antioxidants carotenoids and polyphenols. “Carotenoids include beta-carotene, which can be converted to active vitamin A in the body, and lycopen, lutein, and zeaxanthin” (Reinhard 11). The other antioxidant, “Polyphenols include flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, and stilbenes; subgroups of the flavonoids include flavanols, flavones, flavonols, flavanones, isoflavones, and anthocyans (Reinhard 11). All these antioxidants along with vitamins and minerals can be found among plant super foods.

Furthermore, herbs contain a large amount of medicinal value and originated in Eastern medicine. It is important to consider herbs in the categories of super foods because they are still consumed even though a lot of times not by themselves but rather an addition to a plate or meal in place. Herbs are also useful in teas and extracts for people to use for their own consumption. One such herb that is known for its properties is nettle. According to the OWC Research Staff, “Nettle which is used in cases of mild anemia since it is said to be one of the highest sources of plant-digestible iron. For this reason, women are encouraged to take in as much nettles as possible during menstruation, postpartum recovery, and lactation. Nettle is beneficial during pregnancy. It is a mineral rich nutritive herb with vitamin K to guard against excessive bleeding. It improves kidney function and helps prevent hemorrhoids” (Top Super Foods for Healthy Longevity-New Comprehensive Nutritional Information).

Another well known herb is garlic which has its own super food nutrient capacity. Garlic has long been talked about for its therapeutic benefits that the plant contains as well as compounds responsible for functions such as fighting disease. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine, “Reports on the use of various agents, one of which was garlic, on markers of heart disease. Some of the markers that were reduced included inflammation and platelet aggregation” (Reinhard 155). Garlic is also used to reduce the risk of certain cancers due to the phytochemicals present in the super food.

To obtain an ageless body, and an ageless mind. Certain super foods present in a person’s diet can aid in this achievement of great health. Although a lot of super foods are conventional regular foods that you might pass by at your local grocery, there are also some of the exotic types that may draw the attention of people who are not well versed in nutrition. One group of super foods which has a lot of foods that are less common; or not such house-hold names belong to the fruits and berries.

There may also be mixed opinions on the implementation of certain fruits.  For instance some scientists may claim blueberries a more common known berry as a super food while another may consider goji berries a super food. It’s not that either claim is on the right or wrong-side, but rather both have great medical properties. For cases like blueberries versus goji berries it may come down more to the consumer and what qualities they are shopping for and what price. “The tiny, dried goji berries are sweet with a zing, like a cross between a cranberry and a cherry” (Hirsch 42). A blueberry contains several phytochemical compounds that can combat diseases because they are among one of the few foods naturally colored blue. “A 2010 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry compared the antioxidant content of several berry fruits and found that blueberries contain a “complex spectrum of anthocyanins” that is responsible for the fruit’s high level of antioxidant activity” (Reinhard 133). Ultimately both have shown to have a place in the nutrition research conducted on antioxidant activity and free radical fighting abilities.

We all know food comes from an abundant amount of sources but the fact is that people must know where their food is coming from and super foods enable this idea since they are whole and unprocessed. “In a recent issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that among more than 6,000 women, those with the highest intake of cruciferous vegetables had a lower breast cancer risk than those of the fairer sex with the lowest intake” (Kadey 113). Time and time again nutritionists have been ranting on about the benefits of whole foods and the good news they bring along to our bodies. The main reason for all the hoopla over vegetables and particularly cruciferous ones are due to their density of good for you nutrients in particular the antioxidants and enzymes. Then if you add to that the high fiber content which keeps your stomach staying full and away from cravings ultimately this leads to the avoidance of unwanted body fat. “Dietary fiber slows digestion and draws water into the digestive tract, causing stomach distention” (Kadey 114).

Dietary fiber is very useful for those who have problems with constipation and can help with weight loss for many people. Not to mention fiber can also be beneficial towards cholesterol levels. “Cruciferous vegetables, such as sprouts, broccoli and cabbage, contain compounds called glucosinolates. When glucosinolate-containing vegetables are chewed, sliced or crushed, the glucosinolates break down and form isothiocyanates, which have been shown in in vitro experiments to induce potentially anti carcinogenic defence mechanisms. Yet the research in this case goes further; as naturally occurring glucosinolates are limited to the cruciferous vegetables, researchers can investigate whether subsets of the population who consume larger amounts of cruciferous vegetables are afforded some degree of disease protection. Thus, there may be science behind the adoption of the super food tag for a vegetable like broccoli” (Lunn 171). With all the wide range of beneficial properties in cruciferous plants like broccoli it is essential to include foods that are commonly known for beneficial health affects. With overeating being a big problem in American society and rising obesity rates who wouldn’t want to look at vegetables and their potential as a super food and combatant to weight gain. When you think about that perspective many questions can be raised.

A common misconception in American Society is that all fat is bad for you. However this myth has been debunked and news is spreading on the benefits of nuts. Nuts are big part of super foods potential because not only are nuts highly nutritious, but they also pack essential fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Take for instance almond butter which, “California researchers reported that after four weeks of almond butter intake, a small group of men and women significantly reduced their dangerous LDL cholesterol levels and slightly raised their beneficial HDL cholesterol” (Kadey 115).

Not only are nut butters filling but they make a great addition to toast or a sandwich compared to just peanut butter. There are many nut and seed butters which are now getting their names out and being put up on the shelves of grocery stores. Some of butters and spreads that are also available include pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, cashew butter, hempseed, and soy butter. Hempseeds are becoming less of a taboo and moving more into the ideal of super foods because of their protein and an ideal 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids. “A recent Harvard School of Public Health study suggests the omega 3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in hemp can reduce the risk of heart attack” (Kadey 116).

Hemp is a super food which can be used in a variety of different ways including in protein powders, shelled seeds, milk, butter, and oil. It is also has good amounts of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and iron as well as a lot of fiber. This particular super food the hemp seed should become more widely used as a substitute for whey for people who develop allergens to lactose in milk.

One common food group that is often overlooked or underrated for its great abundance of energy supply is the grain group which is very much a super food. Grains are relied upon as a large source of carbohydrates and energy for most people. Some well known grains that provide great benefits includes oats, bran, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, barley, brown rice, wild rice, and whole-wheat bread. One such grain although not in fact a grain or cereal but rather a pseudocereal which comes from the dried fruit of buckwheat. Buckwheat has many uses including as a suitable substitute for those who are sensitive to wheat or gluten who may have celiac disease.

According to a 2009 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, “Reports showed that buckwheat extract lowered blood cholesterol in rats with high cholesterol, and exhibited antioxidant activity in the blood. A 2008 study from the same journal reported on DCI in buckwheat extract, and its ability to lower blood glucose and improve glucose tolerance in mice” (Reinhard 172). Another great grain that qualifies as a super food is Oats which have long been endorsed for their ability to lower cholesterol levels and particularly LDL level’s. Oats are a true super food. “Low in calories, high in fiber and protein, oats are a rich source of magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, thiamin, and pantothenic acid. They’re also a valuable source of phytonutrients, such as polyphenols, phytoestrogens, lignins, protease inhibitors, and vitamin E” (Pratt 77).

A common question that may be asked by people in opposition is how can someone incorporate super foods into their diet? Also are super foods even affordable for the average person? While these are questions which may raise concern in some people it is now known that super foods are expanding in category and they are becoming more easily available at some local grocery stores. According to the OWC Research Staff, “You can now take an array of super foods daily for less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee” (Top Super Foods for Healthy Longevity-New Comprehensive Nutritional Information).

The key is that it is possible for many people to afford and buy super foods. A common theme among most people however, is that not everyone may want to be spending their hard-earned cash right on groceries and particularly on the so-called healthiest food on the planet. Ultimately it comes down to how much an individual cares and believes in their own health. If someone is willing to give up or sacrifice certain foods and going out to eat and other food expenses the idea is very much possible.

Ultimately it comes down to an individual’s dedication to their health and how they want to spend their money. If people started spending more money toward their health, or at least put health into the decision-making process of selecting foods, today’s obesity rate might look a little different. But with that not being the case it is time that some people start looking into incorporating a healthier life-style rather than pleasure-seeking fun and foods which add up costs.

Our population in the U.S. would really benefit from the nutritional density that accompanies super foods since these foods are so healthy that they can restore an unhealthy body to a healthy state through dedication and rejuvenation. Eating super foods and super food concentrates are something that really should be added to every person’s diet.

The main ideas of super foods are to help a person dodge the bullets of bad health and the host of indignities that may come with bad nutrition. A healthy lifestyle when used by people may help a person feel better emotionally and physically with the idea, that a person is able to take their health into their own hands based primarily on knowledge.

Through research and reading, many folks can discover foods which may be beneficial to an individual’s needs. Since every food has its own different nutrients it is good to keep an abundance of foods within your reach. Ultimately when asking questions such as do super foods have the capacity to reverse disease and prevent the many common illness’s I believe very much so.

From my research I have found that food can have a great influence on life and healthy living for that matter. Without nutrient dense foods, many bodies would be malnourished and break down by accumulating toxicity from unhealthy substances that everyone gets exposed to. Without essential nutrients and ingredients that the body needs for its composition, it becomes more difficult to achieve an adequate ability to thrive and be an active human being.

Now in an ever expanding industrialization, it can be hard to focus on the basics of food production and incorporation of raw natural super foods. Consumers are constantly bombarded with GMO’s and unhealthy filler ingredients.

However with the right mindset and the right education, people who are willing to dedicate or sacrifice time and their comfort; can regenerate their health in a positive way. Obtaining super foods is becoming easier as the message and knowledge of the qualities of living food spreads. The availability of super foods is now bigger than ever. It is crucial to become aware of the numerous benefits. As Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will give no Medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in the diet and in the cause and prevention of disease” (Pratt).

Whether a person wants to make major improvements in their health or small steps to achieve health and well-being food does make a difference. Ultimately the foods that are consumed have dramatic affects on weight and the internal makings of the body’s functions. Through the use of super foods the potential for malnutrition should become negated and good health should not only become a possibility but a reality and way of life.

Here is a list of some foods that make my list of Superfoods:

  1. Whole Eggs. Cheap and rich source of protein: 7g/egg. The yolk contains most nutrients. Half the protein, vitamins A/D/E and cholesterol to naturally increase your testosterone levels. Don’t worry too much about cholesterol in eggs, dietary cholesterol isn’t bound to blood cholesterol. If you are concerned about bad cholesterol, focus on lowering your body fat levels.
  2. Omega Fish Oil. This reduces inflammation (joints/skin/heart/brain), lowers body fat and increases testosterone levels. You should get 9000mg EPA/DHA per day. Consider getting a supplement it is definitely worth the health benefits!
  3. Wild Salmon. Cedar plank salmon is one of my favorite meals off the grill. Salmon is known as one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. It also provides roughly 20g of protein per 100g serving. Farm raised salmon is usually more deficient in omega-3, since they’re corn/grain fed. If you can, go for wild salmon.
  4. Blackberries. Strong antioxidants that prevent cancer, heart, and eye diseases. Buy it fresh or frozen they make a great compliment to any breakfast item or salad. For a recipe check this out: Blackberry-Peach Energy.
  5. Chia Seeds. Loaded with antioxidants these are also a good source of protein. Not to mention they have a high fiber content that makes up the carbohydrates, and also serve well for weight-loss. They also help you stay full, without being too bloated.
  6. Flax Seeds. Source of fiber, protein & omega-3. Grind the flax seeds in a coffee grinder if you have one to get the most out of them. Take 1tbsp with breakfast oatmeal or a smoothie. Or add it to your pancake batch!
  7. Coconut Oil. One of my favorite cooking oils. Most people freak out about the saturated fat content in coconut oil, however due to the fact that it is derived from a plant source and not an animal, the body breaks it down differently. Contains lauric acid which converts in the body into monolaurin; a great chemical used to combat bacteria and viruses.
  8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Should contain 70% monounsaturated fats, that protect against heart disease and cancer. President Thomas Jefferson also once stated that we should cover all southern states in the U.S. with Olive trees. Make sure you buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it contains more polyphenols and tastes better.
  9. Almonds. A delicious snack for between meals or before bed. Raw almonds, not the roasted type are high in fiber and protein along with antioxidants.
  10. Grass-Fed-Beef. An expensive item that is well worth the health benefits. Due to the careful control of grass-fed cattle, they have a much healthier diet of wild grass rather than corn and grains. If you ever watch the film Food Inc.; you can begin to understand the scary mistreatment of cattle in American.
  11. Broccoli. High in cancer-fighting phytochemicals and anti-estrogenic indoles. Broccoli is also high in soluble fiber and low calorie, helping people with fat loss.
  12. Kale. This cruciferous vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin K. As a result it can prevent heart disease and osteoporosis. It also has many cancer fighting properties.
  13. Spinach. Another cruciferous vegetable, happens to be a good source of calcium, fiber, and chlorophyll.
  14. Quinoa. The South American “king of grains”. Quinoa is higher in fiber and protein than rice or oats. It also tastes good and it is gluten free. Try to buy the whiter quinoa, it’s a little better quality. Quinoa is good whether you eat it pre-workout or post-workout.
  15. Turkey. One of America’s favorite birds to eat, especially on Thanksgiving. This meat is a good source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that the body doesn’t produce. It is great for muscle repair and it can help stabilize mood.
  16. Tomatoes. I personally don’t like the taste of tomatoes but I force them into my diet, because I know that they’re too healthy to leave out. High in lycopene, which prevents cancer. The lycopene in tomato paste is 4 times more bioavailable than in fresh tomatoes. If you include tomatoes in a raw salad or make your own tomato sauce with olive oil, it is great for muscle recovery.
  17. Grapefruit. Helps with skin complexion, energy levels, and can help prevent heart disease and obesity.
  18. Pomegranates. Loaded with antioxidants and a rich red color, pomegranates have a strong ability to help protect the heart against plaque, heart disease, and atherosclerosis.
  19. Ginger. A great food that can be shredded and added to beverages, salads, or stir-fry’s. It’s also great for juicing. Ginger happens to be one of the greatest immunity boosters and it is also great for absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.
  20. Avocado. Full of healthy fats that are anti-inflammatory, thus preventing inflammation. It also has great carotenoid antioxidant capacity.
  21. Wheat Grass. If you are a juicing person, try out wheat grass. It isn’t exactly the tastiest shot you’ll ever have, but it is high in chlorophyll and many vitamins and minerals.
  22. Green Tea. Last but not least on my short list of super foods. Green tea is just a terrific drink of choice for breakfast or lunch. Strong in antioxidants, polyphenols, and a natural diuretic. Green tea is great for those looking for fat loss, cancer prevention, better circulation, and better blood sugar balance. Drink green tea, not coffee. Also, you can buy a nifty teapot and brew some loose leaf green tea!

Works Cited:

“Avocados.” Avocados. The George Mateljan Foundation, n.d. Web. 23 Dec. 2014. <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5&gt;.

Fuhrman, Joel, M.D. “Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate. “Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate. Dr. Fuhrman.com, n.d. Web. 23 Dec. 2014. <https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article19.aspx&gt;

Gunnars, Kris. “10 Proven Benefits of Kale.” Authority Nutrition. N.p., 23 Dec. 2014. <http://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-kale/&gt;.

Gunnars, Kris. “11 Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds (No. 3 Is Best).” Authority Nutrition. N.p., 08 June 2014. Web. 23 Dec. 2014. <http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/&gt;.

Hirsch J. The New Super Foods. (Cover story). E: The Environmental Magazine [serial online]. March 2008;19(2):42-43. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 29, 2012.

Kadey, Matthew G. “Super Foods.” Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine 317 (2009): 112-116. Consumer Health Complete – EBSCOhost. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.

Lunn, J. “Superfoods.” Nutrition Bulletin 31.3 (2006): 171-172. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Mar. 2012.

Masci, D. (2001, February 23). Diet and health. CQ Researcher, 11, 129-160. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/

OWC Research Staff. “Top Super Foods for Healthy Longevity-New Comprehensive Nutritional Information.” Online Wellness Community, 18 Nov. 2011. Web.  29 Feb. 2012.

Pratt, Steven G M.D., and Kathy Matthews. SuperFoods HealthStyle Proven Strategies for Lifelong Health. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006. Print.

Reinhard, Tonia. SUPERFOODS: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet. Buffalo: Firefly Books Inc, 2010. Print.

Vorvick, Linda J. “Tryptophan: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 Oct. 2014. Web. 23 Dec. 2014. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002332.htm&gt;.

Skinner, Patricia, and Ken R. Wells. “Wigmore Diet.” The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Ed. Laurie J. Fundukian. 3rd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 2381-2383. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.

Polish Man’s Hardy Winter Chili

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Some of my greatest food memories revolve around some thick chili soup often made by my pops during the winter months. I like Chili because it is rather easy to make, and it is tremendously nutritious. Chili is also filling, especially if you load up your stove pot with some lean meats like turkey and venison sausage.

I don’t spent as much time in the cold weather as I have in past, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll pass up on a bowl of some hardy chili.

Here are some directions on this recipe:

The ingredients to use are the following:

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  • 1 pound of shredded turkey.
  • 12 ounces of venison sausage.
  • 1 finely diced yellow onion.
  • 2 finely diced green bell peppers.
  • 2 finely diced red bell peppers.
  • 1/2 cup of fine green poblano.
  • 1 minced garlic clove.
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
  • 1 12-ounce lager beer.
  • 2 cans of pinto beans.
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with juice included.
  • 1/2 cup of fresh finely chopped cilantro.
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of paprika.
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder.
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano.
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil.
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme.
  • 1 jar of jalapeno butter.

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In this particular recipe a left over roasted turkey is being used. In order to make this with shredded turkey, the turkey must already be cooked. In a medium sized pan, fry the venison sausage along with onions under medium-high heat. Add half the jar of jalapeno butter. Once the sausage is cooked, in a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, sausage and spices, and cook, stirring, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, and chilies, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt, and cook for 1 minute. Add the beer and tomatoes, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Remove from the heat and add the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Reheat the chili whenever you are hungry. Chili is one of those meals that get’s tastier every time that you reheat it, since all of the flavors and tastiness is reabsorbing and soaking.

Once you have all of your ingredients gathered, get ready for the cooking!

Show a man how to cook and maybe he’ll learn. Teach a man how to cook and he’ll feed himself, his family, and his friends.

Until next time, I’ll get back on my grind and keep writing.