Superfoods for Men

Superfoods, is a wonderful term! A food unlike any other, here to answer all your dietary requirements and solve all your ailments . Recently, Channel 4 (Ireland/UK) have launched a TV documentary centered around so called Superfoods. And I’ve learned something! Most foods are good for us – but at certain degrees, some have almost no benefits at all, others, which are marketed as superfoods, contain less nutritional value than those that have been previously coveted. None the less, it is an interesting exercise to highlight my favorite Superfoods for Men. So, what is the definition of superfoods? Basically – it’s a marketing term. But, we can turn this on it’s head, and give it value!

You could describe a superfood, as a food that offers a substantial nutritional or health benefit, over commonly consumed foods, a food that is often high in anti-oxidants and may offer anti-aging benefits.

Below are Superfoods for Men, which I have found a great benefit to things like general health, good skin, but also tackle other issues like; improve your mood, and supposedly help with depression, among others.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is oil that is pressed from olives, the fruits of the olive tree, A study published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care has  showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50 percent compared to a low fat diet . Olive oil also can help lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise your good HDL levels. Extra virgin olive oil is mostly used as a salad dressing and as an ingredient in salad dressings.

Quinoa

Quiona, I have often supplemented for rice. It is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E. I first heard about it in the United States, where it has boomed in popularity, but  has been consumed for thousands of years in South America.Perhaps the most striking health benefit provided by quinoa is its overall nutrient richness. When the nutrient composition of this food is analyzed in depth, the results are unusual and striking.

Coconut Water

It is said to hydrate better than water after a sports event, and maybe it does, maybe not, it still tastes great and is good for you! Coconut Water naturally low in calories, naturally fat- and cholesterol free, more potassium than four bananas! If you need a boost before and after a workout and plan on having a red bull or something similar – read the ingredients and then read the one ingredient in coconut water. On a recent trip to Asia, I was lucky enough to drink this direct from the coconut! What a treat!

Dark Chocolate

I love dark chocolate, it has a very rich and slightly bitter taste, and goes great with my coffee. Health wise dark chocolate has compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins.

Bananas

I used to have a banana every day. They are nutritious, give me a great energy boost, tasty and filling and contain lots of potassium. Are they a superfood, in my opinion. Yes. Humans share 50% of our DNA with a banana. If that’s not a sign we should be eating them, then I don’t know what is. Bananas are rich in fiber, antioxidants and several nutrients. An average banana contains about 105 calories

Matcha Tea

OK! This is a new one to me, but it looks very exciting, having watched the TV Superfoods on Channel 4 (Ireland/UK) I was very impressed by it’s benefits.  My takings from it’s benefits all come down to this. Matcha Tea, comes from the same plant as green and black tea. This is very surprising, but apparently, the shading of the plant and it’s treatment that gives us Matcha Tea.One of the major health benefits of Matcha tea is that it delivers a mega dose of antioxidants in every sip. According to the latest innovation in antioxidant research, Matcha is packed with exponentially more antioxidants than any other ‘superfood’.

Almonds

I love almonds, almond butter is almost as good as peanut butter. The benefits? Cholesterol reduction is the most celebrated health benefit of almonds, but there are many other health benefits of almonds. Almonds are also  low in saturated fatty acids, rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and contain filling fiber, unique and protective phytosterol antioxidants as well as plant protein.

Sources

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142
http://draxe.com/1almonds-nutrition/

3 Astonishing Things That Happen When You Give up Alcohol

I have picked 3 astonishing things that happen when you give up alcohol. Why these three? Because, these are the three main benefits I found as a result reducing my alcohol intake. In my previous post I discussed 10 tips for reducing alcohol intake and right off the cusp of that post, I thought these 3 astonishing things that happen when you give up alcohol would be the most appropriate. So here we go with number 1. Continue reading 3 Astonishing Things That Happen When You Give up Alcohol

10 tips to quit drinking alcohol

Below I have compiled 10 tips to quit drinking alcohol. I hope you find them useful and remember, that are many other things you can do and many tips you will come across yourself on your journey. Feel free to share them with me in the comments section. So lets begin looking at 10 tips to quit drinking alcohol!

  1. Do not keep alcohol in your house if you really want to quit drinking alcohol. I found over the years, if you do not have a beer in the house, you can’t drink it. DOINK! Sounds obvious, but if you’re anything like me and you have some in the house, you will always say, well there’s some there, I’d love some and why not. In fact you will find your brain will help with this rational very well and will encourage you to have one, sure why not. I say it again don’t keep alcohol in the house if you are easily tempted.
  2. Everyone makes mistakes, and if you have decided to quit or reduce alcohol and somehow feel like you have failed, you went on a bing or have have a few bad days, for whatever reason don’t feel like you can’t pick up the pieces again…. I mean the idea here, at least in my case, was to improve my general lifestyle, and every effort I made, and that you will make, can only have a positive effect on life! Stay positive, hold your head high and simply start again. Everyone makes mistakes during this process!
  3. Drink plenty…of water (…sorry…). You most likely will have heard this advice before, but heed it! Most of us do not drink enough water, and we need it to survive even more-so than food! What I did was – I bought a 1 litre bottle of water and reused it, I keep it at my desk in the office, as reminder of how much I have had that day or had not. It is said, the drinking action is helpful to reduce your desire for alcohol, but I did not find this true for me at all. What I did find however, about drinking more water, is it made me feel more healthy, not just in the ‘I’m doing what I am supposed to’ way but, it also set me in the right frame of mind, and pointed me in the right direction when taking into account a healthy diet. And talking about a healthy diet…
  4. Adopt a healthy diet. You knew it was coming, and yes, here it is! And it can be very hard to maintain, simply do this gradually, find healthy fruits and vegetables that you like and go from there. Make meals yourself from real foods, not foods that ‘may contain what it is supposed to be’ or is flavoured something or other. Start what what your mom used to make or told you to eat, she won’t send you down the wrong path!
  5. Go for a run. Ok! Maybe running is not for you, but what ever is your exercise of choice – do it. But if it is running, google ‘runners high’. Much better than that buzz from alcohol, and it’s healthy, a healthy buzz! Who knew!
  6. Stay out of situations where you will be tempted, until you are ready. I, still have the occasional drink, as I noted on my introduction page, my aim was to enjoy a beverage when I wanted it, but not to rely on it as some sort of solution. While you are still adapting to the process of reducing your alcohol intake or quitting it completely, do not place yourself in a situation where you would be expected to have a beverage, for me, that was certain friends who could not comprehend on any level why I was not having a beer. What was wrong with me? The truth is, for some people, they too feel uncomfortable with their relationship with alcohol and feel somewhat vindicated if you break your pledge and join them.
  7. You are in control when it comes to quit drinking alcohol! Always remember, it may be hard to find the power at times, but it is always there. I have found the ‘physical walk away’ solution worked very well for me. If I was out with friends and uncomfortable about being bothered to have a drink, when I had one, and was satisfied with that, or I was at home and really badly needed a drink, but did not want one, I just went for a walk cleared by head, it does wonders. Remember you have to approve anything that goes inside your body, you are in control!
  8. Remember why you are doing this. It has to be for you! It’s, of course, great to have a reason, for your family, for work, but for me these were the positive impact of reducing my beer intake, but not the reason. You have to want to do this for yourself, if you do not value yourself, how can you expect others to?
  9. Waking up without a hangover. If, like a friend of mine, you’ve had a minimum of one glass (probably closer to two glasses if he was truly honest, and those where large glasses!) per night, you will forget what it’s like to wake up:
    1. On-time for work.
    2. Without a hangover or headache.
    3. Have bathroom trouble – yes no one likes to talk about this one, but it is the free prize at the end of many glasses of beer or wine!
  10. Quit drinking alcohol! Plan your day and move things around, make life interesting and be positive. Little things here and there and a few big things can have a very positive impact on your life, so do them!
  11. Stay tuned to my blog, I have been a little vague here and there on some of my tips on quit drinking alcohol, but I hope to expand many of these tips where possible. I hope these helped, and yes, it was kind of … 11 tips, but 10 is a nice round figure.

Game of Thrones characters can drink their fill

I started watching and enjoying Game of Thrones when it first aired on TV and then abruptly stopped, deciding I would read all the books first. I’m not the fastest reader, it has to be said, it took me 6 months to finish them all. But, reading the books, I got to see, much closer, into all the characters thought-processes and it occurred to me, these characters sure do drink a lot.

Well, perhaps it reflects life, I mean Game of Thrones may be brutal and fantasy. But it can reflect modern society in many ways such as peoples quest for, power, desire, hate, the ups and downs, and through it all, there are flagons of Mead and Arbour Gold.

Tyrion Lannister, one of my favorite characters in the novels, loves to have a drink with breakfast, and then again… well lets just say…most of the day. But, he is a very intelligent character who thinks ahead and sees behind lies and deceit a lesson learned from his harsh life experiences. But is this why he drinks so much? What a million dollar question!

I suspect he is representative of today’s society and our often unhealthy relationship with alcohol. When we drink at home, be it one or two, do we consider this ‘drinking’? Or do we have to be with friends or at a pub for it to count as such. For Tyrion, it was his orange juice in the morning and his beverage of choice with  meals, and he was not alone, all the other characters were ‘social drinkers’. Did they need a vice, living in the world they do? Do we? Living in the different, yet comparable, world we live in. Yes, does it have to be beer or wine? No! But, we do need a vice, and NO I don’t mean drugs… sorry!

I will explore some alternative ‘vices’ or alternatives I used when my mind went to a cool beer, in later blog posts, so check those out when you can. And, I am not alone, by the way, in my Game of Thrones question! Watch this video, below, from seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones characters having some wine.

“Ever watched Game of Thrones and thought sh*t they drink a lot of wine. Well here at The Movie Maniacs we’ve watched every episode and compiled a lovely little video that features every drinking shot from a main character and most of the background characters (I’m sure we missed at least a couple) from seasons 1 to 4. Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, which house drinks the most? Well I guess your just going to have to watch and find out!”

 

5 Best fitness channels to follow, for diet, form and inspiration on youtube

Many of these YouTube publishers have developed their successful channels because they have perfected and worked hard on their form and diet when lifting, and are willing to share.

For us mere mortals, it’s probably a good idea to seek some inspiration before a good workout… time to tell your brain, “I need focus, I need strength, I need to look good”. Along our travels, here are some of  the best we found, but, of course there are others, comment below and I will update this post.

Kali Muscle

With over 500,000 subscribers this guy is a hard act to follow. “I’m here to motivate and inspire those of you that want to be your best in fitness, bodybuilding, and of course life in general. Let’s live life to the fullest while looking incredible at the same time.”

Dominic Munnelly

Useful Irish based fitness inspiration, he just needs to learn to use landscape mode in his phone 😉

Scott Herman Fitness

SHF is dedicated to creating quality content that will get you the results you are looking for! No gimmicks here! Just hard work!

 The Lean Machines

I just started following these lads, there young but seem to know their stuff, with over 250,000 subscribers…

 

PhysiquesOfGreatness

Serious business, here.

 

Hate Protein Shakes? – What to do?

If you find it hard to stomach protein shakes, and we don’t mean lactose intolerance here… we mean physically drinking  protein shakes with milk or water on the daily, we think we have found a simple and enjoyable way to get your protein into your system and actually enjoy the experience.

Of course, if you don’t hate protein shakes, don’t let us get in your way… Move along now…

Our solution?  Greek yoghurt with banana protein.

Three simple steps

1. Crack open a tub of protein, in the picture we have used ON Banana flavour, and take out a flat scoop.

2. Open a tub of low fat greek yoghurt and gently pour on the protein powder. This step needs a bit of prep work. ..You need to place some kitchen paper under the yogurt pot as the protein powder can go everywhere if you’re not careful.

3. It will take a while to stir it all together, but, in about five minutes it should be read to devour and enjoy.

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Short Inspirational Quotes to live by

When you feel down, and everyone feels down at some point in their life, the hope is, at the very least, one of the below inspirational quotes in our list, will not only lift your spirits, but, by way of  a small few words, these inspirational quotes, crafted by someone better than I, help inspire you to live the best life you can. #alist Continue reading Short Inspirational Quotes to live by

8 things that could make Android Wear a must, for any fitness enthusiast

One caveat to this post, getting notifications is a nice feature, but who is the audience for these “wear” devices? Well, fitness enthusiastic people would be a pretty big audience i’d say, but so far watches like the LG watch and the Samsung Gear 2 rely completely on a connected mobile device.

Sometimes you need to cut the cord with the phone & make the wearable device worthy of being worn….

I think Android Wear is really missing the target here, but, they may be taking things slow, testing the market’s reaction… Let’s see what Apple has later in the year. I for one won’t be buying one of these until they are more than a notification center on a watch.

In terms of fitness what do these devices need?

  • Heart Rate Monitor – tracking for runners, that monitors heart rate at various times.
  • GPS without the need to bring your phone.
  • Spotify or equivalent apps for music control – without your phone.
  • A handy flash light, light is always useful!
  • Intelligent tracking – The ability to use your average running/walking pace and distance to detect how long an activity will take, taking into account, weather, incline and decline.
  • Training tools – which comes back to a prominent failure in android wear – 3rd party integration.
  • Bar-code reader for easy calorie counting.
  • Long life battery – goes without saying.

How to detox your body with water

Drinking enough water, as most  people already know is a good way to flush your liver and keep you healthy. Apparently, it helps flush away those toxins*,  and when you think about it humans are basically sacks of water about 60% of us is water! But water is boring, and if you like something with a bit of taste, and will keep you feeling refreshed try these  two water detox recipes.

*We are not crazy on the term detox, so call it a refreshing beverage if you prefer, anyway here are some suggestions.

Cucumber Lemon Mint Water

A couple of Mint Leaves, a few slices of Cucumber and, depending on how lemony you want it a few slices of Lemon. This is very hydrating as well as refreshing and is a drink you can keep in a jug in the fridge, you can top up the water as much as you like and it will still keep fresh. Refresh the whole drink after two days of use.

Morning Lemon Water (wake-up) drink

A morning ritual, this lemon water lets your digestive system recover from the night, and prepares it for the day. Add half a squeezed lemon to a glass of water each day. Cool boiled water is ideal with this too. This is a curious drink too… Because although lemons are acidic in nature they actually have an alkaline  effect in the body! This I find is great if you suffer from acid reflex.

 

 

How to easily clean a juicer?

Once you have had your first healthy fruit and vegetable juice, you will quickly realise you are left with an awful mess to clean up. While extracting juice has been perfected, these days most juicers will give you a tasty sludge free juice, however cleaning the machine has become an nightmare.

Here are a few tips, to clean your juicer in minutes, which will not put you off juicing. Using the juicer once and relegating it to the back of the closet, because you don’t want to have to clean it, while understandable is not forgivable!

Before you being juicing make a rule. “I cannot have my juice until I clean the machine”. Some say it’s best to drink it straight away, possibly true, it will just help you clean the juicer faster!

  1. Place a disposable plastic bag in the waste basket. One less thing to clean when you are finished, you can just throw the log in the waste bin.
  2. Wash every component  straight away after juicing under ice cold tap water – it should rinse clean. If you wait any length of time the pulp will stick into everything and make cleaning much more difficult.
  3. Use a gentle scrubber to clean the mesh strainer avoiding the blades, keep the cold water running to clean same.
  4. Let everything air dry and your done!

You can perfect this so it takes less than 5 minutes -just don’t cut the hands off yourself.