Sunday, December 1, 2013

why go plant based?


One of our newest teachers 
BRIAN MAY 
is sharing his knowledge
on ALPHAWHAT 
explaining his choice to live a plant-based lifestyle

Protein: The Whole Food Plant-Based Difference

The average person's protein requirement is  0.8 per pound of body weight. In the united states the average person is actually consuming around 2 times what their body actually needs. This over consumption is a direct result to Americans heavy intake of protein and fats from meat.  Protein carries the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot create yes, but we are not eating the minimal amount of meat that is needed. 

What makes a Whole Food Plant-Based lifestyle different? 
With a Plant-Based lifestyle you can still eat meat! Just eat 10 times that amount in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains.  Obviously if you have an allergic reaction or really dislike something don't eat it. In the United States there is plenty of food to go around. Every single grocery store is packed full of food and even after major holidays the stores are restocked within days. 

When you are consuming your protein through plant sources not only are you eating food that has protein, all of these different whole food plant sources are different colors, textures, flavors. They will contain macronutrients: Fats, Good Carbohydrates, Complete and Incomplete Protein. 

Example: People will buy supplements like omega 3 fatty acids and the amino acid arginine. Walnuts have a higher concentration of the amino acid arginine, and they also contain the healthy omega 3 fatty acids.  So why would you go spend money on supplements when you can just include walnuts to your diet? 

An easy way to kick off a Whole Food Plant-Based lifestyle is by writing down your top 5 fruits and your top 5 vegetables.(If you love more than 5 feel free to make the list bigger) Every time you make a trip to the grocery store or farmers market make sure that you buy all of the foods on your list. As soon as you find yourself in the "Junk Food" section realize how much your are about to spend ($6.00 for a half gallon of ice cream) and either save that $6.00 or go spend it on more of what was on your list or go crazy with something new that you would like to try.  Go home and make some smoothies, juices, salads, soups, etc. 

notice the rapid increased in consumption since the 1900s
do our bodies require all that meet? is it necessary for survival?

what goes into your beef patty?


Protein:

Proteins are of primary importance in the growth and development of all body tissues. They are the major source of building material for muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails, and internal organs, including the heart and brain. Most of the transmitters relayed by the brain that affect muscular and emotional activity are composed of amino acids. Protein is needed for the formation of hormones which control a variety of body functions such as growth, sexual development, and rate of metabolism. Protein also helps prevent the blood and tissues from becoming either too acid or too alkaline and helps regulate the body's water balance. 

 When a protein food is ingested, the body breaks it down into amino acids.  There are 20 amino and they can be combined in numerous ways, just like the letters of the alphabet. 

Protein that is not needed for construction, maintenance, or repair of the body's structure can be used for energy production. Excess protein in the diet, once broken down into amino acids, is turned into glucose or glycogen, OR PUT INTO STORAGE AS FAT. However, when protein is burned for energy, it does not burn clean like carbohydrates and fat but leaves a toxic residue, Ammonia.  High dietary intake of protein can also exacerbate allergies and autoimmune diseases by aggravating the immune system. 

Amino Acids are synthesized by the body except for eight of them which are called the "essential amino acids". Meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products furnish all eight essential amino acids. All essential amino acids can be obtained in the vegetable kingdom by combining vegetable proteins: serving beans with brown rice, corn, nuts, seeds, or wheat for example. 
- Nutrition Almanac 5th Edition
Lavon J. Dunne




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TRX training WHY & HOW



TRX - Total body Resistance eXercise

A proprietary exercise modality that simultaneously builds strength, balance, flexibility & mobility.  The suspension trainer is a functional training apparatus. It is categorized by a single anchor point using one hand or foot with the opposing part of the body in contact with the ground.  Designed to use only your bodyweight & gravity to work your core during any/every exercise that you could/would do in a seat position on a machine.  It gets you up & moving so you can functionally execute your day to day demands. The TRX Suspension trainer will get your grandma, your spouse, your kids & pro athletes a run for their money while providing appropriate programing for their own specific needs.



5 reasons you need a TRX

1. Stand up to train - studies show that the AVERAGE person with a desk job sits for over 20 hours a day. Why would you want to go to the gym and sit on a machine?

2. All core all the time - due to the instability of being suspended, your core musculature is consistently working to support & stabilize.

3. Body specific & unilateral movements - using the suspension trainer will increase your awareness of the different planes of motion.  When using traditional gym equipment, we are forced to move with the machine's mechanics.  Most machines only function using the sagital plane. As a trainer we know that no two bodies are a like.  We also know that LIFE happens in ALL PLANES of movement. There are many factors that contribute to a persons ability.  Limitations/restrictions can be genetic, caused by injury, or our environmental.  How can we all possibly require the same range of motion?

4. All Levels - plenty of room for improvement.  When using the TRX suspension trainer with clients, we teach them the principals of progression.  The resistance of any given movement depends on the placement of your body in relation to the anchor point.  I can have a 63 year old woman in the same class as a Pro Athlete (which has happened before).  They can both execute the same exercises, BUT at at a different vector resistance. We all have different goals, limitations & needs.  We can all work the same muscles at varied intensities due to the progression & regression options that this technique of training offers.

5. Versatility - fitness anywhere - NO EXCUSES. This lightweight compact apparatus can be used indoors or outdoors. They are found in gyms, in offices, hotel rooms, yoga studios, living rooms as well as at parks, beaches, on boats, in submarines, at the top of a mountains ANYWHERE. It even fits nicely into your carry on bag!

DEMO ALPHA VENICE WORKOUT

WARM UP
 leg swings

 arm circles

 walk out to plank

 side shuffle


 step back lunge, reach & stretch
(always reaching up & over the front leg)

chest press - for better range of motion fully extend your suspension trainer
1st demonstrated exercise

wood chop

                 
row
                                                         

4 point cone single leg hops



mountain climbers  
                                  

curtsey lunge to lateral raise



suspended pushup - for better range of motion fully extend your suspension trainer
2nd demonstrated exercise

dumbbell squat to overhead press 




w delt fly 


REPEAT FOR 3 ROUNDS  
MAKE YOUR BODY YOUR MACHINE!
                                                                 



what happens in the muscle

ok ok
so absurdly i watched a video from a new gym in Santa Monica
during this promo, an "instructor" that clearly has no idea what she is talking about
tried to explain why jumping in those space boots is good of you
(insert so kind of hysterical line here.......oh wait i dont need to)

when you have someone promote a product make sure they actually have
DONE THE RESEARCH
people regurgitating information vs people actually comprehend it
ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT PEOPLE

i believe the line was
"they help lymphatic acid detox"
UMMMMM WHAT?

now lymphatic drainage is detoxing
lactic acid builds up in the muscle when working out
the detox part not too sure

when you recruit muscle fibers to use their source of ATP
the end result from pyruvic acid is LACTIC ACID
stretching, massage & recovery will diminish this, or help recirculate

jumpin up and down can, yes be a source of spreading it around
but if you are & have been jumping on your legs the intire class
the muscles required to jump are still effected by this ACID

the same thing goes for LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
but lymph is not build up doing a workout
lymph is the gunk that is sent to your glands to be circulated out of the bod
this is why when you are sick your glands are swollen
more crapola in your system
massage, rest & slight vibration will help push this all out


Thursday, October 24, 2013

refined SUGAR or a SMARTER alternative

refined vs au natural

anything is at its best in its purest state
the refining process strips things down & in some cases adds unneeded ingredients

your body will sometimes crave sweets
what you need to understand is that is does NOT crave an entire cake
your blood sugar requires things to bring it back up into balance
if your diet is low in carbs this tends to be the case....carbohydrates are sugars/energy
if you are not intaking enough water you might be a salty craver, since salt will hold onto existing water
either way you can learn why if you listen to your cravings
when your diet is balanced & healthy you will not crave as frequently

BUT if on occasion you have the sweet toothed devil on your shoulder.....
satisfy 'em
have something, a bite or two
a healthy life, does not mean a life of deprivation

this is how the ALPHA SWEETS concept came about
allowing a taste of sweet without the regret, without the tummy ache from foreign in "unhealthy" foods
proper portion sizes, natural sweeteners & incredibly satisfying flavors.



AGAVE- has been intriguing to me, but even though it is sweeter to the taste, it has quite a few more calories then the alternatives I use.


COCONUT SUGAR - lowest calorically, not too sweet, just right





MAPLE SYRUP - 400 calories per 1/2 cup which is usually the serving I use per batch MAX.  Meaning it only ads about 30 calories per sweet.  This is acceptable for VEGANS as well




















HONEY - just as sweet as maple syrup but not quite as satisfying in my option and is not accepted by many VEGANS






too much sugar can damage your heart,
it (obviously) promotes belly fat,
will increase bloods sugar spikes that can & will lead to diabetes

sugar feeds the production of bacteria & yeast in the body
causing colds, infections & disease
MAKE SMART CHOICES
isn't that what life is all about?
healthy
organic
pure foods

ALPHA SWEETS
web site coming soon  

Monday, October 7, 2013

I'm DAIRY FREE



WHY WOULD SOMEONE GO DAIRY FREE?
I THINK MORE PEOPLE SHOULD....than do
MY PARENTS USED TO CALL ME "LITTLE MISS PASSING WIND"
now a days these organic type parents would see what was wrong with their child perhaps

Lactose Intolerance Symptoms:  noisey belly, bloating, gas & all around tummy problems
As a Wellness Pro I am very atune to my digiestion. I noticed that dairy as well as red meat slow everything down, so I decided to omit them from my diet.  This took place about 8 years ago. My body changed within the week.  Some stomachs can handle the thicker/harsher things we tend to put in to them.  Alas the tum tum of the dainty LMPW cannot take the heat. You know what they say right? I plan to stay out of the kitchen. Listen to your body.


Furthering my research reading EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR BLOOD TYPE
I found that......
AS A BLOOD TYPE A, I have a sensitive digestive tract so for me, eating dairy will inhibit nutrient metabolism.

DANGERS 
of dairy consumption


Some are more prone than others, my sister has always had a sweet tooth & has always had respiratory problems.  Allergy test can point you in the right direction if you are curious.

Respiratory Problems: dairy encourages mucus production which, added to an exiting congestion is bad new bears

Skin Disorders: adds to inflammation but goat products & yogurt can help

Urinary Problems: dairy is high in calcium so people that have a tendency for kidney stones should stay away from

BENEFITS
 of clean unprocessed dairy 
such as yogurt, feta, goat cheese, kefir & low fat mozzarella

YOGURT - is your digestions best friend
counter balances yeast/CANDIDA due to high population of probiotics/healthy bacteria 
soothes the digestive tract.  also fights the possibilities of CYSTITS/UTIs

GOAT'S MILK/CHEESE
Although goat milk, like cow's milk and human milk, contains lactose, many people with lactose intolerance can drink goat milk. Why? It has been hypothesized that the reason lies in goat milk's superior digestibility. Goat milk is more completely and easily absorbed than cow's milk, leaving less undigested residue behind in the colon to quite literally ferment and cause the uncomfortable symptoms of lactose intolerance.

KEIFR
What if I’m lactose intolerant, and don’t do dairy? Or don’t digest milk products well? Is kefir right for me?

The beneficial yeast and friendly bacteria in the kefir culture consume most of the lactose (or milk sugar). Eat kefir on an empty stomach first thing in the morning before (or for) breakfast and you’ll be delighted to find it can be easily digested — as numerous people who have been lactose intolerant for years have discovered.


MOZ vs YELLOW CHEESE
see for yourself! 


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 100g or 3.5oz

Amount Per Serving

Calories

403
Calories from Fat 291

% Daily Value*

Total Fat

33g
51%
Saturated Fat 21g105%
Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol

105mg
35%

Sodium

621mg
27%

Total Carbohydrate

1g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 1g

Protein

25g
Vitamin A20% · Vitamin C0%
Calcium72% · Iron4%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 100g or 3.5oz

Amount Per Serving

Calories

141
Calories from Fat 0

% Daily Value*

Total Fat

0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol

18mg
6%

Sodium

743mg
32%

Total Carbohydrate

4g
1%
Dietary Fiber 2g7%
Sugars 1g

Protein

32g
Vitamin A10% · Vitamin C0%
Calcium96% · Iron2%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

THE WINNER: WHITER IS BETTER
lower calories, lower fat, lower cholesterol & higher protein
AND LESS processing that usually means less additives

Try to eat products that are closer to the cow/goat, the farther along the processing chain the heavier they tend to be.  I recommending trying a dairy free diet for a week. If you feel the difference continue.  It takes about 4-6 wks for everything to leave your body.  I promiss you a dairy free life if a happy mucus free life.

My Gluten Free Dairy Free baking book will be avail for purchase NOV 2013!
LIKE the fan page for updates & ordering info 







Monday, September 16, 2013

focus on NOW



being the SPIRITUAL GANGSTER that i am 
i jumped on the 1 train this am to attended a YOGAWORKS level 1/2 vinyasa 
my eyes puffy from cat allergies
and my tushie soar from yesterday's BARRE CLASS.
breathing in the damp fall NYC air helped launch me forward

the 4 flight walk up to the 65th street yoga studio
made me question......why am i here again? 
should i just go get a gigantic 450 calorie scone & a pumpkin spiced latte?



COMMIT DAMNIT

i brought myself back to the work i have been doing 
wait just a minute! i know whats going on here!
IT HIT ME
the recognition of fighting what we need intinsticutally because it makes up uncomfortable
PONDER THAT.....can you remember a time you talked yourself out of something good?

the LANDMARK FORM taught me many things
of the most interesting was that when we start to tap into our subconscious our brains will try everything/anything to keep that for happening.  
the most common to almost SHUT OFF.  
during a prominent part of the seminar my teacher stated,
"this is the part where everyone starts yawning & falling asleep.  WHY? because we are getting into it.  we are staring to open the subconscious & unlock the part of your brain that keeps you in your habitual patterns" 

sometimes our brains will start talking to us about why we dont need to listen
we start wondering & making excuses.
has that ever happened to you?
it is MIND BLOWING when you catch yourself
even comical....you wonder if you have control at all.

last wk working with the great STEVEN GRIFFITH 
i caught myself about to yawn.....
WTF, oh no you DONT
then i noticed what my brain started saying to me,
"i dont want to do this anymore"
oh it gets better.....then i started telling myself
 "im not even listening" 
(steven, it only happened for about 15 seconds)
 then i mentally told myself to "F off"
and forced the hyper focus back into play.


the energy surrounding my idea of taking an amazing yoga class was lovely
all of a sudden i found myself fighting every step toward the studio 
my brain was even talking shit to myself during class
the teacher made the intention to focus on the PRESENT.

sitting cross legged on my yoga mat with a cozy blanket tucked under my sore tushie
i decided, if it comes up i will use that good old LANDMARK phrase
"THANK YOU FOR SHARING" and move back into being thankful for the PRESENT.

BRING MYSELF BACK TO NOW
TO WHERE I AM
in yoga, showing my body that i love it 
& will take care of it

it is as easy as being thankful for our breath, 
without it we wouldnt be here
being thankful for our healthy bodies, 
healthy minds & wherewithal to take care of yourself

some days are harder than others, but damn it 

I LOVE MY LIFE
why let a sore butt, a freaking cat, or even my brain change my mind
please dont allow yourself to be anything but thankful
find 5 if not 10 things every morning that you have gratitude for
WRITE THEM DOWN
it will ROCK YOUR WORLD, CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE & BUILD SELF LOVE










Saturday, September 14, 2013

what makes a pancake a pancake?



when baking GLUTEN FREE and/or VEGAN the science behind specific ingredients in very important
with processed & packaged goods there tend to be more ingredients that are harder to pronounce.
these ingredients usually help with the freshness as well as the texture of the cookie/brownie/muffin.  specific ingredients change the texture & shape of baked goods, which is what really defines them

as i break down the recipes for ALPHA SWEETS CHEAT DAY TREATS

there is a flood of ideas & what ifs
this would be much easier if i could bake all the live long day & taste everything when i imagine it
BUT since i cannot afford the extra couple thosands of calories a day, the process takes a little longer


feel free to offer your TASTE TESTER SERVICES....
i always need helpful paletes. 

LEMON FRECKLE COOKIES


tart, sweet & speckled with poppy seeds
these flat silverdollar like morsels are to my liking when slightly browned at the edges

the texture & shape is almost of a pancake
should i rearrange some of the pieces to create a baked pancake?
do we need more delightful breakfast options in this book?

how can i tweak the recipe to keep the taste
but switch texture & prep to that of a pancake?


pan·cake
noun: pancake; plural noun: pancakes
1. a thin flat cake of batter, usually fried& turned in a pan 

WHAT MAKES A PANCAKE A PANCAKE?
PREP:MADE IN A PAN & FLIPPED
WHEN ITS EATEN: A BREAKFAST FOOD
 HOW IT IS SERVED: WITH BUTTER & SYRUP
IT LOOKS: FLAT & ROUND WITH GOLDEN EDGES 
THE TASTE : FLUFFY TEXTURE, MOIST & DOUGHY



RULES OF FLUFFINESS......
1. beaten egg whites added LAST
combine dry & wet ingredients separately, yolks can be added in with wet.  
once combined whites are last to join the whole mixture of ingredients.
2. IF YOU USUALLY USE WATER IN YOUR MIX TRY YOGURT OR BUTTERMILK & BAKING SODA
3. you can sub milk with ginger ale or seltzer for added fluffiness
4. dont over mix.....fold
5. 10-15 min rest period before cooking




most BAKED PANCAKES are referred to as a Dutch Baby, German Pancake or Yorkshire pudding.  I want to #changethegame go figure!

stay tuned for the book & more blogged recipes!

are you drooling yet? what do you have for breakfast?


 
 



















 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

a sweets sweet alternative

when you need something tasty 
& there's not an ALPHA SWEET in sight,
here's what cha do......

go grab some fruit!
nature's most pure form of sugar
will be sure to satisfy your cravings



i have some many found memories of 
popsicles, #OTTERPOPS or even "ice pops" 
as my family called them,
the chilling sweetness will scratch the dessert itch & leave you with a nice clean feeling that ice cream & cookies do not.

 
the Boschen ladies used to make our own with DIXIE CUPS during the hot NJ summers!

SUR LA TABLE as well as many other places have POPCILE MOLDS
you can fill them with fruit juices & berries for an explosion of flavor
you can fill them with sangria for a sweet buzz
you can even fill them with BNRG PROTOWHEY & Almond Milk will for a balanced post workout snack.

the possibilities are endless
get creative!

there is ALWAYS a healthy alternative you just have to be willing to look.

@JOSalphavenice #alphasweets - twitter
@alphavenice #alphasweets - instagram
facebook.com/alphasweets #amazing - the book

Saturday, August 31, 2013

how do DATES effect your BLOOD SUGAR

i am currently putting the final touches on the #ALPHA SWEETS baking book

revising recipes, adding spices & checking baking times
taste testing is one of my favorite parts.......

while enjoying one of my VEGAN banana muffin tops, i wondered what would it do for the taste to add a few chopped dates into the mix. the result was a sweeter, more texturized treat.  i had to stop my self.  if the sweetness has increased that much, what is the effect this treat has on your BLOOD SUGAR?
what i found on my journey of informative reading was
A) most dates i consume are grown locally = BONUS
B) they DO NOT effect your blood sugar levels

DATES are a low glycemic food.  some tests have shown that they do NOT send diabetics into blood sugar spikes!  they are loaded with fiber, so not only do they add to your tastebuds, but dates aid in colon cleansing (had to do it).  fiber definitely keeps nature flowing but also lowers your cholesterol.  it does this because dates are an insoluble fiber, which means they bind to fat & cholesterol to carry it out of the body. #yippie

bring on the DATES!!!!!!
as well as other natural sweeteners i use in ALPHA SWEETS such as 
cranberries, raisins, dried cherries, apples, coconut & maple syrup

for ordering & recipes




Monday, August 19, 2013

Baking Soda vs Baking Powder

I have always wondered the difference.
Both, when mixed with salt cause your baking to rise.
BUENO .....that we understand.
But sometimes recipes call for each of the "baking" products as well as salt
WHAT GIVES (what era is that even from?)


In the case of baking powder or baking soda, they act rising agents via a chemical reactions 
that releases carbon dioxide gas. 
These ingredients are used in QUICK BREADS, 
since other ingredient such as yeasts are used for the same purpose but in a longer baking process. 
I use then in my muffins, scones & cookies.

BAKING SODA is an alkaline, and when you mix in something acidic, like vinegar, it will release gas.  It will work in recipes that include acidic ingredients like buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, yogurt and so on. Molasses is also acidic, as well as honey. Baking Soda is activated when moistened.

BAKING POWDER, is nothing more than baking soda with some sort of acidic compound already included.  This can be considered MORE POWERFUL since it is activated not only by the salt & to expand, but ALSO THE HEAT.

 
FINALLY ANSWERS!!!!
The reason why both soda and powder might be used in a recipe is because you might have enough soda to neutralize the acid, but not actually enough to lift the batter. In these cases, a little baking powder will give the extra lift needed to make the recipe perfect. You could use baking powder alone, but then your finished baked treat might taste too acidic. Meaning, depending of the amount of the other ingredients you might need to add some extra FLUFF!

IN OTHER WORDS......FOLLOW THE RECIPE IF YOU WANT THE END RESULT!



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Spice thangs UP

Does your metabolism need a kickstart?

Spicy is the way to go.........

On top of increasing your water intake, getting your cardio, sleep & healthy snacking in between meals, a mouth full o'fire could do the trick.

According to Penn State, eating foods spiced with hot sauce can increase your body's metabolic rate by up to 20 percent. This increase in your body's metabolism can last for as many as 30 minutes, making spicy meals a viable option for temporarily speeding up your metabolism. Black pepper and ginger have similar effects.

A tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper will get the job done. The effect is likely temporary, but if you eat spicy foods often, the benefits may add up. For a quick boost, spice up pasta dishes, chili, and stews with red-pepper flakes. Add hot sauces such as Tapatio, Tabasco, hot mustards, even wasabi, salsas or my personal favorite ALL SPICE CAFE.



Hot foods activate pain receptors in the mouth, which cause the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals," says Anne Kulze, M.D


Capsaicin in Hot Peppers

A chemical called capsaicin is the key player responsible for the metabolic-speeding effects of certain hot sauces. Interestingly, capsaicin is often also used as the active ingredient in certain ointments for aching muscles due to the "heat" it produces. Although hot sauces often contain many other, non-spicy ingredients such as vinegar, salt and seasonings, it is the capsaicin content of the "active ingredients" in hot sauce--spicy peppers--that causes a temporary increase in body temperature and metabolism.

Hot sauce contains peppers rich in a chemical called capsaicin.

Canadian researchers looked at a group of adult men and found that those who were served hot sauce with appetizers before a meal went on to consume on average about 200 fewer calories at lunch and in later meals than their peers who did not have anything with capsaicin. The researchers suggested that capsaicin may work as an appetite suppressant.

WOULD YOU NEED ANY MORE REASONS TO HEAT THINGS UP?

FOR MORE IDEAS ON A META-BOOST CHECK OUT SOME OF DR OZ'S THOUGHTS