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Molasses Bread Pudding

By Deena Hamza

Bread pudding may be your fondest Holiday memory of decadent treats with so many variations to please everyone’s taste. Here is my favorite recipe courtesy of Tosca Reno, the fittest 50+ year old in the fitness industry!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Ezekiel bread, cubed (or raisin bread)
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • ¼ cup dark sultana raisins
  • ¼ cup slivered raw almonds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • Sea salt
  • 2 cups milk (soy, cow, sheep, almond, rice, oat are alternatives)

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Place bread cubes in the bottom of pan. Sprinkle dried fruits and almonds over bread cubes. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, molasses and salt. Whisk well.

3. Transfer milk to medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk slowly into egg mixture. Pour over bread mixture in loaf pan.

4. Place loaf pan in a shallow water bath and bake for one hour or until bread mixture begins to look brown and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Yogurt and berries or even a sprinkle of powdered sugar will seal this masterpiece. Enjoy!

~Deena

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Holiday Survival Guide

By Deena Hamza

Let`s be honest. All of us are going to indulge in Holiday treats because occasions are intertwined with good food and even better company. Instead of morphing into a royal Grinch and spoiling the festivities by turning down red velvet cake or pecan pie, here are some ways to battle the bulge once the Holidays are over.

Chestnuts roasted on an open fire (2 of them) – 140 calories

  • Sing holiday songs for 60 minutes
  • Light stationary rowing for 40 minutes

Gingerbread man (1 large) – 180 calories

  • Run through the park for 20 minutes
  • Run on the treadmill for 20 minutes

Peanut brittle (1 ½ oz.) – 200 calories

  • Chat with the boss at the office party for 2 hours
  • Stair climber for 30 minutes

Fruitcake – 300 calories

  • Drive for 2 hours to visit relatives
  • Circuit training for 45 minutes

Cranberry Tart (1 slice) – 425 calories

  • Go sledding for 60 minutes
  • Enjoy a moderate spin class – 45 minutes

Pecan Pie (1 slice) – 450 calories

  • Cook a holiday feast for 3 hours
  • One vigorous aerobics class for 45 to 60 minutes

Rum eggnog (8 oz.) – 500 calories

  • Dance for 2 hours
  • Vigorous lap swimming for 60 minutes

Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Enjoy yourselves this Holiday Season but every decadence you indulge in there’s an equal fitness penance waiting!

Body Composition

By Deena Hamza

Hello Everyone! I hope all of my G.O.Ps had a wonderful Thanksgiving and each and every one of you took the time to reflect on the things and people you are thankful for.

Body composition is a measurement that can provide a ratio of body fat to lean muscle mass and can give an indication of how healthy a person is. Here’s a list of the top ways to measure body composition:

CALIPER OR SKINFOLD TEST:

  • Accurately measures the subcutaneous fat (surface level) on the body
  • Calipers are used to grab adipose fat in up to nine sites in the body
  • Sum of skin-folds is calculated and applied to equations to determine fat percentage
  • This measurement does not measure visceral adipose tissue

WAIST – TO HIP RATION:

  • Accurate and simple test
  • Waist and girth are determined with a measuring tape
  • Waist girth is divided by hip girth to provide a ratio
  • Values below 0.85 for men and 0.80 for women are acceptable
  • Strong relationship found between waist and hip relativity and heart disease

HYDRODENSITOMETRY OR UNDERWATER WEIGHING:

  • Very accurate test measuring the density of the body under water
  • This measurement follows the premise that muscle weighs more than fat and will provide a denser measure in healthy individuals

BIOELECTRICAL IMPEDENCE (BIA):

  • Very popular
  • Top of the line Tanita scales cost $80 – $300
  • Accurate test measuring the conductance of an electrical current through the body
  • Fat free conductivity and fat mass conductivity provide percentages

DUAL X-RAY ABSORPTIOMETRY (DEXA):

  • Most accurate test
  • Two x-rays measure body’s mineral mass, fat mass, and fat free mass
  • Amount of s-ray photon absorbed by the type of mass indicates the amount of tissue (i.e. fat, muscle, mineral)

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI):

  • Very accurate but expensive measuring technique
  • Magnetic field is used to excite water and fat molecules
  • Reading provides how fat is distributed throughout the body

AIR DISPLACEMENT PLETHYSMOGRAPHY (BOD POD):

  • Accurate but expensive test
  • Very similar to underwater weighing
  • Air displacement is used as the technique to determine the density of the body

BODY MASS INDEX (BMI):

  • Common but inaccurate measurement
  • Height and weight is used to determine body mass
  • Does not account for muscle mass weighing more than fat mass
  • A lean bodybuilder could have a greater (unhealthier) BMI than an obese individual

COMPUTED TOPOGRAPHY:

  • Accurate but expensive test
  • Cross-sectional scans of the body are used
  • Best used to provide images of intra-abdominal fat versus subcutaneous distributions

I have a Tanita bioelectrical impedance scale and have used mine for over 5 years for personal and commercial use and it’s very enlightening and useful. Which one would you use?

In health, Deena

Dr. Gillian’s Detox Day

By Deena Hamza

As promised, here is Dr. Gillian’s one-day detox diet!

Taken from Dr. Gillian McKeith’s YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: The Plan That Will Change Your Life. For the detoxification process to work properly, you should not starve yourself. You will simply give your organs a holiday from what you normally eat. You will cut out the naughty foods, add lots of good foods that cleanse your organs and facilitate the expulsion of toxins from your body. And as a result you will brim with vitality and energy.

7:00 am WARM LEMON WATER

Squeeze some fresh lemon into warm water as desired. Warm water with lemon allows a gentle start to the day, as it goes straight through to the bowels, helping to expel fecal matter from the day before, (Cold water, first thing in the morning, shocks and stops at the tummy, thus creating gas or bloating.)

7:30 am LINSEED

Choose from:

  • Place 2 heaped teaspoons of organic linseeds in a large glass of filtered water.
  • Soak 1 tablespoon of linseeds in a cup of boiling water the night before. Drink only the liquid in the morning.

8:00 am BREAKFAST

Choose from:

  • Fruit. Your breakfast fruit should be served at room temperature. Eat enough so that you are not hungry and chew it really well. Avoid oranges or orange juice as they are too acidic. If you opt for grapes, don’t mix them with anything else, chooses from: apples, pears, papayas, pineapples, cherries, peaches, plums, watermelons, apricots, berries.
  • Miso soup
  • Vegetable juice, made up of 1 cucumber, ¼ piece of root ginger (peeled), 4 celery stalks, ½ cup alfalfa sprouts, 3 sprigs of parsley, and carrot (peeled)

9:30 am TEA BREAK: DRINK A CUP OR TWO OF HERBAL TEA

During this Detox Day, we will take several tea breaks. After all, what would we do without our tea breaks? So this day is no different. I have built in a number of them for your sipping pleasure. Nutritionally speaking, though, my tea breaks will be nourishing, healing and will enhance the detox. You will need to choose from the list of teas that I tell you, You cannot drink your caffeine-laden black tea, but you can drink: nettle, dandelion, camomile, sage, or Echinacea teas.

10:00 am FRUIT JUICE BREAK

Choose seasonal fruit, freshly squeezed or pressed with your juicer, if it’s winter and/or you feel chilly, and then add some boiling hot water to the juice. If you are getting rather hungry mid-morning, then please make more juices for yourself.

12:30 pm LUNCH

You’ve made it so far. And i bet you’re doing just fine.

  • Now here’s lunch.
  • Choose from the following:
  • Raw salad with sprouts
  • Raw Mint Cucumber soup (juice of 3 cucumbers and 2 celery sticks, ¼ cup chopped mint leaves, ¼ fresh chopped parsley, ¼ leek finely chopped)
  • Raw sauerkraut

Grain such as millet, quinoa, rice, amaranth – After cooking the grain add one or more of the following raw herbs to mix with it: dill, chives, chervil, or dandelion leaves. Serve with a side dish or broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, dark green lettuce leaves, celery or Brussels sprouts.

2:00 pm HERBAL TEA BREAK

2:30 pm DR.MCKEITH’S VEGGIE DETOX JUICE

COOL CARROTMANIA

This is delightful and very nourishing to the liver.

6 carrots, 2 celery stalks and 1 apple.

(Try a version without apple too.)

BEETROOT BLAST

½ beetroot, 2 carrots, 1 celery stalk, ½ small cucumber

COOL CUCUMBER

2 whole cucumbers, ¼ – ½ beetroot, a dill sprig

CUCUMBER MEDLEY

2 cucumbers, 4 celery stalks, ¼ piece of root ginger (optional), sprig of basil or coriander

This is my favourite

GREENS TO GO

A handful of parsley, 1 kale leaf, 5 carrots and a tiny piece of root ginger

CELERY ENERGY

2 celery stalks, a handful of parsley, 1 garlic clove, 5 carrots, ½ cup alfalfa sprouts (optional but great if you do)

3:00 pm HERBAL TEA BREAK

3:30 PM IT’S SNACK TIME!

  • Snack on sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and/or raw sauerkraut.
  • 4:00 pm DR.GILLIAN’S DELECTABLE VEGGIE SMOOTHIE
  • 6 carrots (with tops if possible)
  • 1 soft avocado
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1 apple
  • 1 lemon slice

Juice the carrots and apple through a juicer. Add to other ingredients and blend in a blender or food processor. Squeeze a dash of lemon into the drink.

5:30 pm DINNER

You are almost finished for the day. You can now eat a hearty raw salad with a handful of raw sprouts. Plus, add a small amount of grain if feeling really hungry,

6:30 pm POTASSIUM BROTH BREAK

You are doing very well, keep it up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup red beets (optional)
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup turnips
  • A pinch of cayenne, to taste

Fill saucepan with approximately 1.8 L of water. Slice vegetables directly into water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and cook on a low temperature (a very light simmer) for 2 hours or so. Strain the vegetables and drink only the broth.

7:30 pm WARM WATER WITH LEMON BREAK

Just squeeze fresh lemon into a teacup with warm or hot water and drink.

8:15 pm DRY SKIN BRUSH

Using a dry skin brush [like a loofah, see earlier article on hygiene] smoothly brush the soles of feet, working your way up the legs, then up the arms and down the back. Brush in long sweeping movements towards your heart, as it increases circulation and improves skin tone and texture. Always brush lightly and gently, and avoid broken skin, thread veins and varicose veins

8:30 pm YOUR REWARD: MINERAL BATH

You made it this far; you deserve an accolade. An amazing bath is your reward. Once the bath is filled with water, add the following (all available from health food stores):

  • 2 teaspoons flax oil
  • Some liquid minerals
  • 1 teaspoon liquid silica
  • 2 teaspoons aloe vera
  • 3 or 4 drops each of essential oils of frankincense and myrrh

9:00 pm THOSE LATE-NIGHT MUNCHIES

Munch on lettuce and celery stalks before bedtime. (Celery is loaded with the mineral magnesium, one of the most calming nutrients.) Go to bed early (between 9:30 pm and 10:30 pm) if you can.

Give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose.

I Have No Time to Work Out

By Deena Hamza

Oh! How many times have I heard that time is the ONLY thing standing in one’s way from working out. Never fear my G.O.Ps! I have just the thing for you…

In the fitness world, we call splits divisions of body parts that we group together. Some people like to group push movements together in one workout (i.e. shoulders, chest) and pull movements in another workout (i.e. biceps, back). Other people like to mix push and pull movements in one workout. Splits can reduce the number of workouts required per week to fully exhaust the entire body. Below are three different variations that may suit some of your schedules.

OPTION 1:

  • Sunday: off
  • Monday: Chest/Back/Arms
  • Tuesday: Shoulders/Legs/Abs
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: Chest/Back/Arms
  • Friday: Shoulders/Legs/Abs
  • Saturday: off

OPTION 2:

  • Sunday: Chest/Back/Arms/Abs/Shoulders
  • Monday: off
  • Tuesday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves/Glutes
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: Chest/Back/Arms/Abs/Shoulders
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves/Glutes

OPTION 3:

  • Sunday: Chest/Back/Arms
  • Monday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves
  • Tuesday: Glutes/Shoulders/Abs
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: Chest/Back/Arms
  • Friday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves
  • Saturday: Glutes/Shoulders/Abs

If you’re too busy to work out every day during the week, give one of these training splits a try. There’s never an excuse for not maintaining your health.

In fitness, Deena

Take the DETOX Challenge

By Deena Hamza

I love to read and yes my favorite thing to read about is how to improve one’s health. One of my favorite books is YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: The Plan That Will Change Your Life by naturopathic Dr. Gillian McKeith. You may have seen this tough Scottish femme fatal on The Learning Channel (TLC) on her show You Are What You Eat where she heads to the mall with pig skin, pig eye lids with lashes attached and pig snouts and stops shoppers and informs them that those “goodies” are what’s packed in their beloved deli meats and hot dogs. She has a bed and breakfast clinic within her home where she gives linseed enemas to obese clients, examines their bowel production through smell, texture, and whole food particles to determine how healthy their body is and if they chew their food properly.

Her most famous statement: “Your stomach doesn’t have teeth you know!”

Here’s a detox challenge straight from her book: Answer yes or no to each of the following questions.

  • Do you live in a city?
  • Do you work in an office?
  • Do you use underground transport regularly?
  • Do you frequently jog, run or walk alongside busy roads with traffic?
  • Do you regularly use a cell phone?
  • Do you regularly use a computer?
  • Do you live near high-volume power lines, a nuclear or electric power plant or cell phone tower(s)?
  • Do you regularly smoke cigarettes or other substances?
  • Do you frequently use recreational or prescription drugs and medications?
  • Do you drink alcohol on a daily basis, or binge drink on weekends or at other times?
  • Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle whereby you never exercise?
  • Do you catch more than three colds, flus and/or viruses in an average year?
  • Do you have any mercury fillings in your teeth?
  • Do you drink on a daily basis any of the following: coffee, fizzy drinks, tab water, cows’ milk and/or carbonated sodas?
  • Do you eat on a daily basis any of the following: sugar, sweets, chocolates, white bread, canned food, frozen food, microwaved food, fried food, meats, cured lunch meats, cookies, cakes?
  • Do you normally add what sugar or sugar substitutes in your tea or coffee?
  • Do you regularly add salt to your food when cooking, or add salt when your dish arrives?
  • Is reading food labels for chemicals or preservatives before making selections irrelevant to you?

I don’t know about my G.O.Ps, but I had 7 questions where I answered yes. Let’s check out what the scoring means.

SCORING

If you answered yes to more than 5 questions, then you may be a toxic junkie. I suggest you embark upon my Detox Day Plan at your earliest convenience. This weekend perhaps? Ouch Dr. Gillian McKeith! That cuts like a knife. And here I was thinking I would score totally awesome and knock ‘em dead. Yikes! I’m a toxic junkie….

If you answered yes to more than 10 questions, then you are a toxic dump monster. You are most likely loaded with toxins throughout your organs, cells, blood, and body. You might even have bad breath, flatulence, and body odor. If not, you’ll have it soon enough along with a host of serious ills if you fail to act immediately. Therefore, you must embark upon my Detox Day Plan immediately. And I mean today. I am not giving you a choice here!

The good news is that a detox of any sort need not be unpleasant, undignified or inconvenient. A detox can be gentle, easy, simple and minimal. It certainly shouldn’t be so austere that it makes you want to kill for a doughnut because you are in such desperation.

My next article will detail Dr.Gillian McKeith’s Detox Day. May the detox gods be with us! ~Deena

Exercise: What’s Good?

By Deena Hamza

As usual, the media tends to confuse us with contradictions about exercise, so what’s good? Everything is good. Everything works. Everything can benefit your body. The main idea is to ACTUALLY get into a program! I’m a fond believer in taxing the body through activities that are used in everyday situations. On that same token, challenging your body with new movements can enhance stability and flexibility. In essence, a workout regimen containing variety is very important.

I’d like all of my Precious Gents to make some changes in your way of thinking:

  • Exercise is about health: it keeps your metabolic fire burning for optimal efficiency
  • Food is LOVE. It’s not the enemy.
  • Take a good look at yourself in the mirror (sans clothing) and tell yourself 10 great things about your body
  • Baby steps to longevity: That means, incorporate exercise gradually into your lifestyle to ensure compliance in the long run
  • Weight Training + Cardio not one or the other. BOTH. End of discussion.
  • If you have knee/ hip problems or suffer from osteoporosis, low impact cardio machines like the recumbent bike and elliptical are optimal choices
  • Embrace the outdoors. Cardio will be less taxing/boring while exploring nature.
  • Low calorie or fad diets are not the way to sustained weight loss. Consume a diet high in healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins.
  • New research has found that 30 minutes of exercise is no longer enough for the general public. One hour per day is the new recommendation. Get together with friends for a massive dodge ball game, or go for a late night run. The serenity at night will amaze you.
  • Take these initial steps to heart so when I post weekly diet and exercise plans we’re on the same page.

Until next time My Gents of Preciousness!
~Deena

Creatine vs. Glutamine

By Deena Hamza

For my Precious Gents who are hardcore gym-goers looking to maximize every lift and every protein shake chugged, creatine or glutamine may be a beneficial supplement. The basis of both products is to enhance post workout recovery so when you hit the gym the following day you’re refreshed and moderately healed to make new and momentous gains.

How do these products work?

Well without going into technical jargon, creatine is found naturally in the body with approximately 95% of it stored in our muscles. Since creatine helps supply energy to muscle, supplementing with it after exercise will ultimately help in the repair and rebuilding process. Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid (meaning that it’s produced in the body naturally) but when the body is under stress, supplementing may be necessary. Glutamine contains about 20% of the nitrogen supplied to your muscles and is a major source of energy for your immune system. Individuals looking to increase lean mass usually supplement with creatine or glutamine and amino acids. The main reason for this is that the body will break down already formed muscle proteins and ship them off to other organs (kidney, liver, immune system). To avoid having your hard earned muscle broken down, adding extra creatine or glutamine aids in feeding and repairing your muscles while also feeding your organs and immune system.

Which one’s better?

Point for point, creatine has a slight edge over glutamine but there are supplements that can give you the best of both worlds: they contain both creatine and glutamine. My current favourite creatine supplement is PURPLE * K KING OF CREATINE by Fusion Bodybuilding. I’ve switched from mixing powdered creatine with my OJ (did I ever tell my G.O.Ps that I don’t like juice?) to popping two purple capsules a day. Powdered creatine tastes like death, requires a hefty loading phase and is quickly released out of the body. Capsule creatine is easily swallowed, releases gradually into the body and does not require a loading phase.

Caveat Emptor (or buyer beware): Creatine has been known to give less than 10% of people a negative reaction (vomiting) so be sure to consult with a physician to ensure you’re not allergic to the product. Also, individuals with inhibited liver and kidney function should not use these supplements unless otherwise stated by a medical professional. Remember my Gents of Preciousness; each of you is an individual both internally and externally.

Can Bee Pollen Act as an Energy Stimulant?

By Deena Hamza

I have been curious to find out why young people chug energy drinks and consume energy stimulating products when, really, youth and teens should be naturally active. Through my research and roaming through health food stores, I found that the newest product/trend is ingesting bee pollen in various forms. Although, as you’ll read below, bee pollen has not been proven to enhance energy yet it does carry some influential health benefits that may be of interest to my G.O.Ps.

Excerpt from a research paper I wrote on bee pollen:

Bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly have been shown through clinical trials to lower cholesterol, aid in promoting overall well-being (known as tonic effect), and enhance immune system function (Bee Products-Professional Version, n.d.). Bee products have also shown to have a minor effect in treating or preventing premenstrual syndrome(PMS), herpes, and have been used as a general antibiotic. In the case of PMS, bee pollen and royal jelly reduced PMS related weight gain by 50%; no side-effects were observed (Bee Products-Professional Version, n.d.; Winther & Christer, 2002). Researchers also determined that bee products demonstrate a slow-onset of benefits when added as a dietary supplement. This study however, does not indicate dosage amounts and timings to ensure optimal effectiveness. Another human study found that consuming 50 – 100 mg of royal jelly each day resulted in a 14% reduction in total serum cholesterol levels and a 10% reduction in total serum lipids (Bee Products-Professional Version, n.d.; Vittek, 1995). Further, consuming 800 mg of Royal Peking jelly produced positive results countering malnourishment in individuals by increasing body weight, nitrogen balance, gut proteins, and plasma aldosterone concentration (Bee Products-Professional Version, n.d.; Foppiani, 1984). Bee propolis can be used as an alternative treatment for individuals with herpes (HSV type II). In one study, propolis was compared to acyclovir (herpes medication known as Zovirax) where the propolis group healed faster than the acyclovir group (Bee Products-Professional Version, n.d.; Vynograd et al., 2000). Vaginal flora was also normalized in 55% of women in the group with propolis treatment while acyclovir and placebo groups showed no improvement. Bee products, specifically bee propolis, have also exhibited antibiotic effects however, universal dosage requirements have not been established since the preparation and manufacturing processes for bee products differ (Bee Products-Professional Version, n.d.).

A clinical investigation to propose a universal manufacturing process for bee products could ensure standard dose requirements and serving sizes with equal potency per dose. Bee products are sold in health food and supplement stores as an energy enhancer even though scientific evidence to corroborate this claim has not been established. Individual testimonials cannot equate to solid evidence because multiple variables in one’s diet or lifestyle can contribute to the energy increase. A controlled study specifically examining bee products and subsequent energy increase is needed to ensure claims that bee pollen’s effectiveness is accurate. Some reports show that bee products reduce premenstrual symptoms including weight gain, without side effects. Bee propolis effectively reduces cholesterol levels and can be used as an alternative treatment for herpes (HSV type II) and has been clinically proven to heal subjects faster than with acyclovir. Propolis aids in the healing process and reduction of local symptoms of vaginal infections, all without adverse side effects. But universal dosage requirements in order to see results are necessary for the public awareness. Altogether bee products are not established as energy enhancing supplements like ginseng or cordyceps but bee pollen, royal jelly, and propolis can be beneficial for overall health and treatment of conditions such as PMS, herpes, high cholesterol and malnourishment without potential adverse side effects of pharmaceuticals.

Food: Punishment or Reward?

By Deena Hamza

Each day I work with people of all ages but my favorite age group is children who are between the ages of 5 and 16. I have found that the majority of children or youth between the ages of 5 and 16 are willing to learn new things about the world and are ready to make self-improvements. On the contrary, working with adults is tedious and most of the time I feel as though I am banging my head against a wall that will never yield or chip.

I educate young children and youth on the benefits of having a healthy lifestyle and how healthy food is better for the body and mind. All but a few reject a healthy lifestyle but find it difficult to follow because they are dependent on the choices of their parents. That puts me back to square one: adults.

I have a client who, for the life of him, just can’t eat healthy. He has the mentality that healthy food is only meant to be eaten as a punishment. I dug a little deeper into his thought processes and unraveled a piece of his childhood that may have triggered this point of view. When my client was younger (30+ years ago) his mom would serve meat with potatoes and either broccoli or asparagus for every meal. If he didn’t finish his greens he would receive double the amount the following night. Turns out, he just didn’t like broccoli or asparagus meanwhile his mom must have thought he was a deviant child straight from hell!

The point I’m demonstrating here for my G.O.Ps is that using food as a punishment, or a reward for that matter, is not the way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have clients who reward themselves with a 6-pack of beer after an intense week of training or others who reward themselves after every workout with a McDonald’s value meal or a chocolate bar.

Way to go 1 step forward and 10 steps back!

Here’s the bottom line:

  1. If you’re a parent, be a positive example for your child and eat healthy because monkey-see monkey-do.
  2. Do not reward yourself or your child with food. Try verbal praise or commendation or planning a special activity together.
  3. Do not punish yourself or your child with food. If you fall off the wagon, tomorrow is a new day to start fresh and it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon.
  4. Our habits develop when we’re young and continue to expand and grow unless we’re redirected.

Remember that KNOWLEDGE is POWER! ~DEENA

Shoulders: The Key to a Killer V-Taper

By Deena Hamza

How are my Precious Gents holding up? Anyone feeling the Tuesday Munchies and looking for some feel good (i.e. unhealthy) food to soothe this glorious beginning to another week?

STOP RIGHT THERE! Don’t EVEN do IT….

I always start my workout regimen with my favorite body part. Right now they’re shoulders. Broad shoulders are every man’s desire as it symbolizes power and strength. The shoulder muscles are called deltoids and consist of three heads: anterior deltoid (front shoulder), middle deltoid, and posterior deltoid (rear shoulder).

By developing the three heads of the shoulder, your shoulders will appear broader and your waist will appear slimmer. This illusion is called the V-taper. Here’s a great shoulder workout that can also be done at home given you have a set of dumbbells. The key to choosing the proper weight is to ensure you can complete 8 to 10 solid reps (no cheating) with proper form. Drop the TOUGH GUY ‘tude unless you are up for being injured.

The exercises should be completed through 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Front Deltoid: One Arm Dumbbell Front Raise

Begin: Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with the weight resting in front of your right thigh. Slightly bend your elbow (joints should never be locked).

Movement: Lift the dumbbell in front of you (be sure to focus lifting with your shoulder muscles) until your arm is parallel to the ground. Slowly lower the weight back to resting position.

Middle Deltoid: One Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Begin: Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with the weight resting by your side. Elbow should be slightly bent.

Movement: Lift the dumbbell until your arm is parallel to the ground. Slowly lower and repeat for all repetitions before switching arms.

Anterior Deltoid: Upright Dumbbell Row

Begin: Hold a set of dumbbells, once in each hand. With elbows bent, gently rest the weights on your thighs with your palms facing you. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.

Movement: Lift and bend your arms bring the weights as close to your body as possible, concentrating on your delts. The movement is complete once your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Slowly lower the weight in a controlled fashion and repeat.

With these three moves, you are on the right path to developing stellar shoulders that will cause jaws to drop. Now is the time My Precious Gents and as always, I would LOVE to hear from you. P.S. For my advanced G.O.Ps, try Vince Gironda’s “8×8” technique. That is, 8 sets of 8 reps per exercise to really blast your sarcoplasm into full growth potential.

Until next time, ~Deena

Oat Bran Apple Cinnamon Muffins

By Deena Hamza

I know I nag and drive my point home more than I should but, really my G.O.Ps, I’m here to open your minds and prove time and time again that healthy whole foods are better than pre-made,  pre-packaged foods loaded with salt and preservatives.

I hear you. Healthy food appears boring, stale, and bland and even Rihanna told Ryan Seacrest that healthy food is gross. Rihanna knows all, right? Can I get a HELL NO?! Healthy food is awesome and comes with the long-term reward of longevity. Try these oat bran apple cinnamon muffins as an alternative for meals 1- 3.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 C oat bran
  • 1 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 C ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/3 C applesauce
  • 1/4 C chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together bran, flour, flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and oil until smooth. Stir in applesauce and sugar. Combine mixtures and fold in pecans.
  4. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on a wire rack.

ENJOY! ~DEENA

Blast from the Past: Ode to the Low Carb Peeps

By Deena Hamza

To supplement my article “Apple-Blue” I figured this Blast from the Past would suffice to set everyone straight yet again. G.O.Ps – pay attention this time. God!

Now, there’s nothing more that irks a person than plain ignorance. My Precious Gents are not to blame. But after reading this article, you best not disappointment me and do the right thing.

For the average healthy individual who exercises moderately, the nutritional breakdown that should be followed is:

55-60% carbohydrates
20-30% fat
10-20% protein

To all my low carb peeps: Chew on that! Wonder why you’re highly irritable? Feeling run down and tired mid-morning or can’t quite lose those love handles?

Carbs are what the brain uses for fuel and without them; you’re robbing the world of a potentially powerful mind, and robbing your body of much needed nutrients. Carbs also fuel exercise. Without eating a full nutritional profile your body will constantly think it’s in a state of starvation and all of your food will be stored as fat.

Carbohydrates come from a variety of sources. But for the sake of this entry, I’m going to teach you how to make a healthy Waldorf salad that is sure to satisfy (and yes, it is FULL of carbs).

Ingredients: (Makes 4 servings: That’s right, I’m talking to all my cooler carrying men. If you’re not one of them, get on it!)

1 cup diced crisp apples
1 cup diced celery
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (I like mine whole)
½ cup red grapes, halved
½ cup vanilla or plain yogurt (dressing)
Mix together and enjoy!

Nutritional Breakdown per Serving: 149 calories, 13 g carbs, 10 g fat, 4 g protein

Right on the mark! Try it, and let me know how DELICIOUS you thought it was. It’s quick and easy and tastes just like a decadent dessert.

Until next time My Gents of Preciousness,

D.