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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Avacado Worlds Healthiest Foods


The avocado is colloquially known as the Alligator Pear, reflecting its shape and the leather-like appearance of its skin. Avocado is derived from the Aztec word "ahuacatl". Avocados are the fruit from Persea americana, a tall evergreen tree that can grow up to 65 feet in height. Avocados vary in weight from 8 ounces to 3 pounds depending upon the variety.

What's New and Beneficial about Avocados

Consider adding avocado to salads, and not only on account of taste! Recent research has shown that absorption of two key carotenoid antioxidants-lycopene and beta-carotene-increases significantly when fresh avocado (or avocado oil) is added to an otherwise avocado-free salad. One cup of fresh avocado (150 grams) added to a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots increased absorption of carotenoids from this salad between 200-400%. This research result makes perfect sense to us because carotenoids are fat-soluble and would be provided with the fat they need for absorption from the addition of avocado. Avocado oil added to a salad accomplished this same result. Interestingly, both avocado oil and fresh avocado added to salsa increased carotenoid absorption from the salsa as well. That's even more reason for you to try our 15-Minute Halibut with Avocado Salsaa great-tasting recipe that can help optimize your carotenoid health benefits.
The method you use to peel an avocado can make a difference to your health. Research has shown that the greatest concentration of carotenoids in avocado occurs in the dark green flesh that lies just beneath the skin. You don't want to slice into that dark green portion any more than necessary when you are peeling an avocado. For this reason, the best method is what the California Avocado Commission has called the "nick and peel" method. In this method, you actually end up peeling the avocado with your hands in the same way that you would peel a banana. The first step in the nick-and-peel method is to cut into the avocado lengthwise, producing two long avocado halves that are still connected in the middle by the seed. Next you take hold of both halves and twist them in opposite directions until they naturally separate. At this point, remove the seed and cut each of the halves lengthwise to produce long quartered sections of the avocado. You can use your thumb and index finger to grip the edge of the skin on each quarter and peel it off, just as you would do with a banana skin. The final result is a peeled avocado that contains most of that dark green outermost flesh so rich in carotenoid antioxidants!
We tend to think about carotenoids as most concentrated in bright orange or red vegetables like carrots or tomatoes. While these vegetables are fantastic sources of carotenoids, avocado-despite its dark green skin and largely greenish inner pulp - is now known to contain a spectacular array of carotenoids. Researchers believe that avocado's amazing carotenoid diversity is a key factor in the anti-inflammatory properties of this vegetable. The list of carotenoids found in avocado include well-known carotenoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein, but also many lesser known carotenoids including neochrome, neoxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and violaxanthin.
Avocado has sometimes received a "bad rap" as a vegetable too high in fat. While it is true that avocado is a high-fat food (about 85% of its calories come from fat), the fat contained in avocado is unusual and provides research-based health benefits. The unusual nature of avocado fat is threefold. First are the phytosterols that account for a major portion of avocado fats. These phytosterols include beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol and they are key supporters of our inflammatory system that help keep inflammation under control. The anti-inflammatory benefits of these avocado fats are particularly well-documented with problems involving arthritis. Second are avocado's polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFAs). PFAs are widely present in ocean plants but fairly unique among land plants-making the avocado tree (and its fruit) unusual in this regard. Like the avocado's phytosterols, its PFAs also provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits. Third is the unusually high amount of a fatty acid called oleic acid in avocado. Over half of the total fat in avocado is provided in the form of oleic acid-a situation very similar to the fat composition of olives and olive oil. Oleic acid helps our digestive tract form transport molecules for fat that can increase our absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids. As a monounsaturated fatty acid, it has also been shown to help lower our risk of heart disease. So don't be fooled by avocado's bad rap as a high-fat food. Like other high-fat plant foods (for example, walnuts and flaxseeds), avocado can provide us with unique health benefits precisely because of its unusual fat composition.

This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Avocados provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Avocados can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Avocados, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

Health Benefits
How to Select and Store
How to Enjoy
Individual Concerns
Nutritional Profile
Health Benefits

Promote Heart Health

Before reviewing special health areas in which avocados truly shine in terms of their health benefits, it's worth remembering the big picture. That's exactly what Victor Fulgoni and his fellow researchers at Nutrition Impact, LLC did when they reviewed data from the federal government's National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES 2001-2006) and the dietary intake of 14,484 U.S. adults. Amazingly, only 273 adults participating in this study reported consumption of avocado within the last 24 hours. Amongst the 273 participants who reported recent consumption of avocado, however, nutrient intake was found to be significant higher than other participants for several vitamins (vitamin E and vitamin K), several minerals (potassium and magnesium), and at least one desirable macronutrient (total dietary fiber). Avocado consumers were also determined to be lower in weight and lower in body mass index than non-consumers. Total fat intake, total monounsaturated fat intake, and total polyunsaturated fat intake was higher in consumers of avocado, even though their overall calorie intake was not significantly different from non-consumers of avocado. This nationwide comparison of avocado consumers and non-consumers doesn't prove that avocado consumers get health advantages from avocado. Nor does it prove that avocado consumption makes us lower in weight. But it does point us in the general direction of viewing avocado as a health supportive food that may give us a "leg up" in terms of health and nourishment.

Wide-Ranging Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

The ability of avocado to help prevent unwanted inflammation is absolutely unquestionable in the world of health research. The term "anti-inflammatory" is a term that truly applies to this delicious food. Avocado's anti-inflammatory nutrients fall into five basic categories:

phytosterols, including beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol
carotenoid antioxidants, including lutein, neoxanthin, neochrome, chrysanthemaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, violaxanthin , beta-carotene and alpha-carotene
other (non-carotenoid) antioxidants, including the flavonoids epicatechin and epigallocatechin 3-0-gallate, vitamins C and E, and the minerals manganese, selenium, and zinc
omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (approximately 160 milligrams per cup of sliced avocado)
polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PSA)s
Arthritis-including both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis-are health problems that have received special research attention with respect to dietary intake of avocado. All categories of anti-inflammatory nutrients listed above are likely to be involved in avocado's ability to help prevent osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. One especially interesting prevention mechanism, however, appear to involve avocado's phytosterols (stigmasterol, campesterol, and beta-sitosterol) and the prevention of too much pro-inflammatory PGE2 (prostaglandin E2) synthesis by the connective tissue.

Optimized Absorption of Carotenoids

No single category of nutrients in avocado is more impressive than carotenoids. Here's a list that summarizes key carotenoid antioxidants provided by avocado:

Optimal absorption of these fat-soluble phytonutrients requires just the right amount and combination of dietary fats-and that is exactly the combination that is provided by avocado! Included within avocado are generous amounts of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that makes it easier for the digestive tract to form transport molecules (chylomicrons) that can carry carotenoids up into the body. This great match between avocado's fat content and its carotenoids also extends to the relationship between avocado and other foods. Consider, for example, a simple salad composed of romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. This simple salad is rich in carotenoids, and when we eat it, we definitely get important carotenoid benefits. But recent research has shown that if one cup of avocado (150 grams) is added to this salad, absorption of carotenoids will be increased by 200-400%! This improvement in carotenoid absorption has also been shown in the case of salsa made with and without avocado. (That's even more reason, we think, to try our recipe for 15-Minute Halibut with Avocado Salsa!)

Supports Cardiovascular Health

Avocado's support for heart and blood vessels might be surprising to some people who think about avocado as too high in fat for heart health. From a research standpoint, however, many metabolic aspects of heart health - including levels of inflammatory risk factors, levels of oxidative risk factors, and blood fat levels (including level of total cholesterol) - are improved by avocado. In addition, we know that heart health is improved by intake of oleic acid (the primary fatty acid in avocado) and by intake of omega-3 fatty acids (provided by avocado in the form of alpha-linolenic acid and in the amount of 160 milligrams per cup). Since elevated levels of homocysteine form a key risk factor for heart disease, and since B vitamins are very important for healthy regulation of homocysteine levels, avocado's significant amounts of vitamin B-6 and folic acid provide another channel of heart support.

Research on avocado and heart disease remains in the preliminary stage, with studies mostly limited to lab studies on cells or animals fed avocado extracts. But we fully expect to see large-scale human studies confirming the heart health benefits of this unique food.

Promotes Blood Sugar Regulation

One of the most fascinating areas of avocado research-and one that may turn out to be the most unique for health support-involves carbohydrates and blood sugar regulation. Avocado is relatively low-carb food, with about 19% of its calories coming from carbs. It's also a low-sugar food, containing less than 2 grams of total sugar per cup, and falls very low on the glycemic index. At the same time, one cup of avocado provides about 7-8 grams of dietary fiber, making it an important dietary source of this blood sugar-regulating nutrient. Given this overall carb profile, we would not expect avocado to be a problematic food for blood sugar unless it was eaten in excessive amounts (many cups per serving).

Within its relatively small carb content, however, avocado boasts some of the most unusual carb components in any food. When it is still on the tree, avocado contains about 60% of its carbs in the form of 7-carbon sugars. In sizable amounts, 7-carbon sugars (like mannoheptulose, the primary carb in unripened avocado) are rarely seen in foods. Because of their rare status, food scientists have been especially interested in the 7-carbon sugars (mannoheptulose, sedoheptulose, and related sugar alcohols like perseitol) found in avocado. The 7-carbon sugars like mannoheptulase may help regulate the way that blood sugar (glucose) is metabolized by blocking activity of an enzyme called hexokinase and changing the level of activity through a metabolic pathway called glycolysis. Research in this area is still a long way from determining potential health benefits for humans from dietary intake of these 7-carbon sugars. But it's an exciting area of potential health benefit for avocado, especially since this food is already recognized as low glycemic index.

One final interesting observation comes from this research on avocado and its carbs: after five days of ripening (post-harvest, beginning with removal of the avocado from the tree), the carb profile of avocado changes significantly. The 7-carbon sugars change from being the predominant form of carbs in avocado (60%) to being an important but minority component (between 40-50% of total carbs). With ripening, the 5-carbon sugars-especially sucrose-become the predominant carbs. While it's too early in the research process to draw health-oriented conclusions from this information, these findings may be encouraging us to consider degree of avocado ripeness as an important factor in its health benefits. We already know to stay away from an extremely overripe avocado that has become overly soft and has developed dark sunken spots on its skin. Perhaps off in the future, we'll be able to zero in on exact amounts of avocado ripeness that offers different types of unique health benefits, including carb-related benefits.

Anti-Cancer Benefits

The ability of avocado to help prevent the occurrence of cancers in the mouth, skin, and prostate gland has been studied in a preliminary way by health researchers, mostly through the use of lab studies on cancer cells or lab studies involving animals and their consumption of avocado extracts. But even though this anti-cancer research has been limited with respect to humans and diet, we believe that the preliminary results are impressive. The anti-cancer properties of avocado are definitely related to its unusual mix of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients. That relationship is to be expected since cancer risk factors almost always include excessive inflammation (related to lack of anti-inflammatory nutrients) and oxidative stress (related to lack of antioxidants). But here is where the avocado story gets especially interesting. In healthy cells, avocado works to improve inflammatory and oxidative stress levels. But in cancer cells, avocado works to increase oxidative stress and shift the cancer cells over into a programmed cell death cycle (apoptosis), lessening the cancer cell numbers. In other words, avocado appears to selectively push cancer cells "over the brink" in terms of oxidative stress and increase their likelihood of dying, while at the same time actively supporting the health of non-cancerous cells by increasing their supply antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. We look forward to large-scale studies in this area involving humans and dietary consumption of avocado.


There are dozens of varieties of avocadoes. The rich and creamy Haas variety is the most popular type of avocado in the United States, and 95% of all avocados grown in the United States are produced in California, original home of the Haas variety. They are generally available throughout the year, they are the most abundant and at their best during the spring and summer in California and in October in Florida. During the fall and winter months you can find Fuerto, Zutano and Bacon varieties. While avocados are technically fruits, we have categorized them here as vegetables since this is how they are usually considered from a culinary perspective.


Avocados are native to Central and South America and have been cultivated in these regions since 8,000 B.C. In the mid-17th century, they were introduced to Jamaica and spread through the Asian tropical regions in the mid-1800s. Cultivation in United States, specifically in Florida and California, began in the early 20th century. While avocados are now grown in most tropical and subtropical countries, the major commercial producers include the United States (Florida and California), Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Colombia.

How to Select and Store

A ripe, ready-to-eat avocado is slightly soft but should have no dark sunken spots or cracks. If the avocado has a slight neck, rather than being rounded on top, it was probably tree ripened and will have better flavor. A firmer, less mature fruit can be ripened at home and will be less likely to have bruises. The average California Haas avocado weighs between 165-170 grams (about 6 ounces) and has a pebbled dark green or black skin, while the Fuerte avocado has smoother, brighter green skin. Florida avocados, which can be as large as 3 pounds, have less fat and calories, but their taste is not as rich as California varieties.

A firm avocado will ripen in a paper bag or in a fruit basket at room temperature within a few days. As the fruit ripens, the skin will turn darker. Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Once ripe, they can be kept refrigerated for up to a week. If you are refrigerating a whole avocado, it is best to keep it whole and not slice it in order to avoid browning that occurs when the flesh is exposed to air.

If you have used a portion of a ripe avocado, it is best to store the remainder in the refrigerator. Store in a plastic bag, wrap with plastic wrap, or place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Sprinkling the exposed surface(s) with lemon juice will help to prevent the browning that can occur when the flesh comes in contact with oxygen in the air.

How to Enjoy

Tips for Preparing Avocados

Use a stainless steel knife to cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Gently twist the two halves in opposite direction if you find the flesh clinging to the pit. Remove the pit, either with a spoon or by spearing with the tip of a knife. Next, take each of the avocado halves and slice lengthwise to produce four avocado quarters. The use the California Avocado Commission's "nick and peel" method to peel the avocado. Just take your thumb and index finger to grip an edge of the avocado skin and peel it away from the flesh, in exactly the same way that you would peel a banana. The final result will be a peeled avocado that contains most of that dark green outermost flesh that is richest in carotenoid antioxidants.

You can prevent the natural darkening of the avocado flesh that occurs with exposure to air by sprinkling with a little lemon juice or vinegar.

The Healthiest Way of Cooking Avocados

Many avocado recipes that you'll find in cookbooks and on the Internet include avocado as an ingredient in its raw, unheated form. In my World's Healthiest Foods recipes, I also favor this approach. I simply cannot think of a better way to preserve the health benefits made possible by avocado's unique and delicate fats. If you do plan to use avocado in a recipe that calls for heat, I recommend that you use the lowest possible temperature and least amount of cooking time that will still work with your particular recipe. My purpose in making this recommendation is to help you minimize damage to avocado's unique fats. I've seen one research study showing that approximately 40 seconds of microwave heating on medium heat is a heating method that doesn't significantly change the fatty acid profile of avocados. Sometimes I like to add avocado to a dish that has been cooked. This is a similar approach to some traditional Mexican recipes. For example, in Mexico they add sliced avocado to chicken soup after it is cooked. The avocado warms and mingles well with the soup but retains its nutritional concentration since it is not cooked.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas

Use chopped avocados as a garnish for black bean soup.
Add avocado to your favorite creamy tofu-based dressing recipe to give it extra richness and a beautiful green color.
Mix chopped avocados, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and seasonings for a rich-tasting twist on traditional guacamole.
Spread ripe avocados on bread as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise when making a sandwich.
For an exceptional salad, combine sliced avocado with fennel, oranges and fresh mint.
For a beautiful accompaniment to your favorite Mexican dish, top quartered avocado slices with corn relish and serve with a wedge of lime.
WHFoods Recipes That Feature Avocados

10-Minute Huevos Rancheros
Breakfast Bagel
Poached Huevos Rancheros
15 Minute Shrimp and Avocado Salad
15 Minute Turkey Chef's Salad
Healthy Veggie Salad
Salmon, Cucumber, Dill Salad
15-Minute Halibut with Avocado Salsa
Southwestern Salmon & Black Beans
Romaine and Avocado Salad
Individual Concerns

Avocados and Latex Allergy

Like bananas and chestnuts, avocados contain enzymes called chitinases that are associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. There is strong evidence of the cross-reaction between latex and foods that naturally contain high amounts of chitinase enzymes. If you have a latex allergy, you may very likely be allergic to these foods as well. Processing the fruit with ethylene gas increases these enzymes; organic produce not treated with gas will have fewer allergy-causing compounds. In addition, cooking the food may deactivate the enzymes.

Nutritional Profile

Avocados contain an amazing array of phytonutrients. Included are phytosterols (especially beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol); carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, neochrome, neoxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and violaxanthin); flavonoids (epicatechin and epigallocatechin 3-0-gallate); and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols. Alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and oleic acid are key fats provided by avocado. Avocados are a good source of bone supportive vitamin K and copper as well as heart-healthydietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and copper. Avocados are also a good source of potassium: they are higher in potassium than a medium banana.

Although they are fruits, avocados have a high fat content of between 71 to 88% of their total calories-about 20 times the average for other fruits. A typical avocado contains 30 grams of fat, but 20 of these fat grams are health-promoting monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid.

For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Avocado.

In-Depth Nutritional Profile

In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Avocados is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.
Avocado, slices
1.00 cup
146.00 grams
235.06 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%) Nutrient
Density World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin K 29.20 mcg 36.5 2.8 good
dietary fiber 7.30 g 29.2 2.2 good
potassium 874.54 mg 25.0 1.9 good
folate 90.37 mcg 22.6 1.7 good
vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.41 mg 20.5 1.6 good
vitamin C 11.53 mg 19.2 1.5 good
copper 0.38 mg 19.0 1.5 good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 55 Insanity Core Cardio & Balance

Day 55 Insanity Core Cardio & Balance
Okay it is the end of week7 , I ran 4 miles t the Gym last night so the legs were a bit tired.. Core cardio and balance is a respite from the super tough Insanity workouts and it is a solid method to work on the Core strength as well as the thighs , glutes, obliques and shoulders. Looking forward to a little yoga or skiing , well see.

On to last week (week 8) Monday.
Then we take a week off and start a P90X /Insanity Hybrid on 14 March ,2011

BTW down 18 pounds since X mas and this round of Insanity and a good diet were instrumental feeling great !!!

X Mike

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Straight Dope: Plyocide: Up Close and Personal

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Plyocide: Up Close and Personal

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Seriously, Plyocide is the best name for a workout I’ve ever heard. I’m not sure which one of our crew coined it but I wish it were me. Marcus’ first comment was “I haven’t had a chance to look this over yet but love the name.”

If you've got the One on One dvd you’ve got a pretty good idea of the moves involved but we’ve re-cut the workout so that you’ll hardly recognize it, and not only because Tony’s black eye has healed. Many of the movements to this workout came from a guy nicknamed “the dunkmaster” because he claims that he can teach anybody to dunk. Given that, along with the most perfect workout title ever, we felt a burden of responsibility to create a masterpiece.

I thought we had one on my first run-through, which was brutal. But we kept tweaking until we were sure, and this was confirmed yesterday at our first live showing of the re-mastered, re-edited Plyocide. Beachbody’s own Steph Saunders (Advice Staff Too on the Message Boards and creator of “the Saunders Cycle” in 90X Kenpo) stated, “I’d done the One on One version a few times and found it kind of light, but this utterly destroyed all of us.”

Plyocide, you’re now ready for your close-up.
Posted by Steve Edwards at 10:48 AM

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 52 Max Cardio Conditioning

Okay Day 52 Max Cardio Conditioning- ll days to go!

Nice workout ,I was able to do 2/3 of this really well, seemed to bonk at the end a bit, form was a concern. It is funny that some of the people (in video) are tired during the warmup, it is not that hard.
I have been putting my two pound hand weight gloves on during the boxing stuff. I kept them on during the shoulder sequence of Core cardio & Conditioning on Saturday , my shoulders were screaming!!
I feel strong after a good breakfast, eggs & oatmeal today
Plan to try to go to the kick class tonight they have a new program for 2011, want to check it out. My wife goes every Wed , she loves it!
Cardio Abs after class tonight!

Peace & out

X mike

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

P90X mc2 Core: The Opening Engagement

I’m not necessarily going to post these workouts in sequence but mc2 Core is going to be the first workout on the schedule. This will remind those who’ve done P90X Lean of opening with Core/Syn but this workout is even more applicable to the journey of this particular program.

To talk about what’s right with this workout I need to begin by explaining what’s wrong with us. We are out of balance, which is not just because we watch too much TV and don't exercise enough(I explained yesterday most injuries are due weakness in hip and shoulder stability). Our general lifestyle activities create imbalances because certain muscles in your kinetic chain take over movements that were once done by other, smaller muscles. The longer this goes on the worse it gets, and training can even exacerbate the situation by making the active muscles stronger, thus creating greater imbalances.

To combat this we’re changing the platform that you train on to create instability in order to force these forgotten muscles back into action. When you free these stabilizer muscles to fire it allows the muscles that were doing double duty to work more efficiently and, thus, your performance increases even before you’ve seen tangible muscle strength increase. Furthermore, for those only interested in how you look in the mirror, this forces your body back into the alignment it was born with so that you’re appearance will improve as well.

The keywords you’ll hear in this workout are open and engagement—especially if Steve Holmsen’s cueing rubs off on Tony (and they spend a lot of time together so this only makes sense). In order to keep your body stable you’ll be forced to engage areas that may be foreign to you, which is all designed around getting your body to open up. We tend to get smaller by doing the things that function as life and training the wrong way can exacerbate it more as you force your body to finish exercises without good form. As your muscles contract you get smaller, and our natural tendency is to continually force them at expense of our posture. So a cue you’re going to hear a lot about is staying open during a movement.

To answer a couple of inevitable questions: it’s called a core workout because you are learning to engage your core in every movement that you do. If you learn to properly engage you core, and stay open as you move, your body’s potential for improvement will dramatically increase.

The next inevitable question:is this going to get me pumped and force me to bring it? In a word: yes. While you do spend a lot of time balanced in precarious stances there’s plenty of resistance movement to make you sweat and even have you screaming to finish off sets. At least that’s how it is for me.

vid: boudering legend malcomb smith describes the importance of staying open.
Posted by Steve Edwards at 12:01 PM

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 47 Max Recovery

I love this workout now that we have done it twice. It is a good solid 47 minutes of a Yoga type workout, designed to give us a break from the pounding of Insanity and help to stretch and strenghten our backs, hips ,groin, shoulders and core. I had walked quite a bit yesterday so it took a bit to get my balance in the begiinnign , Itumbled a couple of times, its okay it happens. If you start your week on Mondays, it is on Thursdays just like Yoga X.
I particurly enjoy the up & down on elbows to hands, from low plank, although it does aggravate my right elbow a bit.

Enjoy this workout

Thursday, February 17, 2011

P90X mc2: Buying Into The System

P90X mc2: Buying Into The System

by Steve Edwards

One of my favorite things to do is structure a training program and watch it work. I guess this comes from my coaching days, where you lay out a big picture template for the program you’re in charge of and then try and motivate your players to buy into your scheme. It’s a different challenge from training an individual, where you’ll adjust everything on the fly based on how the training is going. To create an athletic program you need to create a system that works for a group. This is our challenge at Beachbody and I like to think we continue to get better at it.

Creating P90x was somewhat easy, at least from my perspective. Selling it was a whole other can of worms but that’s why my bosses all have marketing backgrounds. As the fitness guy I had enough experience in training different levels of athletes that I knew how the P90x structure was going to work before we tested it.

This doesn’t mean it was all smooth sailing. Our first test group tried to mutiny after 30 days when they weren’t getting the results they thought they should—or even would with more basic Power 90. I had to draw up some periodization graphs to confuse them enough that they’d stop thinking about it and just trust me. Luckily, while they were still harrumphing over it Tony said, “I’m with him,” which sealed the deal. Eventually, all were pretty ecstatic that they decided to buy into the system.

Structure is only one aspect of a training program. It’s the actual workouts that dictate the structure. But good workouts and faulty structure can lead to failure just as easily as great structure and bad workouts. It’s a bit like when you see a talented group of players fail because they’re on a team that lacks a solid system. Programs are all encompassing, which is why Beachbody doesn’t sell diets, workouts, or supplements as one-offs. We make fitness programs.

But mc2 is raising the bar and it wasn’t as simple to me as a basic periodizational structure. To get a handle on we should do this I spent a lot of time at P3, both consulting with Dr. Marcus Elliott, observing athletes and going through their progression charts to learn about common weaknesses that we could apply over a broad base. I also spent a lot of time with various physical therapists, including Mike Swan and my late friend Kevin Brown. Tony’s always working on his game as well and when he fell in with functional trainer/extreme skier Steve Holmsen –a marriage in kick-ass training heaven—he began thinking in the same direction. The resulting schedule came back with an a-ok from Carl and the ultimate typically understated approval from Marcus: “This makes a lot of sense.”

So here’s the overview, with a lot left out lest start thinking that you don’t need the guide.

Phase One: Foundation

Not foundation as in “base training” but as in your attachment to the earth. Working on the “you can’t shoot a canon from a canoe” philosophy the aim of this program is to build you from the ground up. You may think you have a good base from P90X but, I assure you, we are going to find some weak areas and improve them. The two major areas of weakness in the human body, which leads to probably 90% of sports injuries, are shoulder and hip instability. Solve this and non-contact injuries will virtually disappear.

Phase Two: Strength

This will feel more familiar to most of you as it’s similar in structure to P90X. The workouts, however, will keep your body evolving. Functional is the key difference as almost every movement is designed to improve your body’s ability to move better.

Phase Three: Performance

Finally we’ll take what we’ve learned and target your engrams (neuromuscular patterns) to fire efficiently. At this stage we leave “do you best and forget the rest” behind. We’re now walking a razor’s edge of human performance. Push your body to 100% with perfect form. When your form fails, you’re done. The force loads are excessive but the philosophy here is that if you can’t handle force in a controlled situation you won’t be able to handle it when it’s forced upon you. Congratulations, whether you’ve ever played a sport in your life or not, you are now as athlete.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

P90X One on One - The Making of P90X:MC2

YouTube - P90X One on One - The Making of P90X:MC2
Last weekend Tony Horton, Steve Holmsen, and I put the final touches on the mc2 workouts. Today we begin our cast rehearsals, where we’ll make sure we’re not going to kill anybody, leading up to our shoot in March. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to run through each of the new workouts and provide some insight as to what to expect in the new program.

Those of you who subscribe to Tony’s One on One series already have some idea of what to expect. That series gives you a great idea on the movements you’re going to get but the actual workouts have evolved a lot since then. We got quite functional in our warm-up and cool-downs, each movement was tweaked until we felt we were using the most modern applied science approach, and the sequencing is, to quote Arnold from Pumping Iron, “to a point. Wait when you see it.”

Back when we were designing P90X all we were trying to provide was a sequel to our basic training programs, like Power 90 and Slim in 6. We used athletic principles but it never occurred to us that real professional athletes were going to be using the program. Shoot, most people in the home fitness industry didn’t think we had a prayer of selling it to anyone. But with its success we’ve raised the bar of our target audience which, in turn, has allowed us to apply more cutting edge science to the program.

But you needn’t worry about it become sterile training lab. Tony’s leading the show and that means it’s going to be fun. Just because we’re applying some science doesn’t mean we’re checking personality with it. That's not how Tony rolls. Training, even at the highest levels, should be presented with panache if it’s going to breed enthusiasm. And P90X was successful because we, mainly Tony, made it accessible.

As an athlete, and all of you who’ve done P90X (even if you’ve never participated in a sport) are athletes, mc2 (name still pending) is going to greatly raise the bar. You’re going to feel better. You’re going to perform better.

Tomorrow I’ll begin by addressing the structure, and then I’ll take each workout one and one and describe why we’ve made it, what it feels like to do, and what you can expect it to do for you. I hope you’re all as excited as I am. As a trainer, the ability to create things like this for people is pretty much a dream job.

Day 45 Insanity Max Plyo Circuit

Day 45 Done   Plyometric Cardio Circuit
I was able to get down to the workout room and stretch for 10 minutes prior to wo , dog woke me up an hour early. Made a big difference on my tight back and hamstrings.
This was my best workout so Far( ever) , Still have to work on a couple of the moves , but I busted the level three drills perfectly .
Calorie burn back up to 900 !!
Yoga at the gym tonight and Max Recovery tomorrow. Love it !!

X Mike

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


day 44 Insanity Max Interval Circuit

59 Minutes of hard work!
I am currenty on day 44 of Insanity I have lost 12 pounds since Xmas and 1 pants size
Diet is much improved , work ethic is great . I do miss P 90X , I will start a hybrid in March after a week off from the cruel dates with Shaun T. Not really so bad , my endurance is phenominal now and my running times have improved too. I still try to run 3 miles twice a week just to keep it up!

I have done quite a bit of Cross Country skiing here with all the snow we have had (75 inches since X mas).

Okay until later peace and out !

X Mike

The Pudding Story

We have a dedicated guy on our Insanity thread( not P90X) and I will call him D
Here is his story on dedication to his diet :

Hey guys, I'd like to tell you a little story xD Today I was in a supermarket, buying some food...I passed the shelf with pudding and other stuff and there it was....This BIG pot of chocolate pudding with cream on it. It was staring at me and then a little dialogue between the devil and an angel on my shoulders happened: (This is really what I had in mind haha)

"Oh wow, that looks awesome!"
-"Yeah but think of what it will do to your results!"
"It won't do anything... you work so hard every day"
-"And you want to throw that hard work in the bin??"
"You won't throw away anything"
-"Yes you will! You haven't eaten any sweets since christmas!"
"You see...You can eat it, you need some alternatives to your regular eating"
-"No you don't"
"Since Christmas! What should this small (it was really bigxD) pot change??"
-"You might start to like it again, and then what? Eat all the crap you can find?"
"It's just one single cheat, you will do Max Cardio Conditioning AND Insane Abs today. That will shred everything you gain from this"
-"This means you will just do it today for getting rid off what you gain from this, but not work on the things you're working on NOW"
"Oh come on, take a look on the nutrition facts, you will see it's not that bad"

Then suddenly the angel said: "OH LOOK! The line is so short now, that's your chance. You won't have to wait minutes over minutes"

So I listened to the good one and went away, paid my other stuff and now here I am, proud that I didn't buy it xD

Sorry if it bothered you, I just had to tell you because I was standing there for 5 minutes!! In front of a stupid pot of pudding haha

Love the story

Brussels sprouts-Worlds Best foods!

What's New and Beneficial About Brussels Sprouts
  • Brussels sprouts can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will use a steaming method when cooking them. The fiber-related components in Brussels sprouts do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it's easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw Brussels sprouts still have cholesterol-lowering ability-just not as much as steamed Brussels sprouts.
  • Brussels sprouts may have unique health benefits in the area of DNA protection. A recent study has shown improved stability of DNA inside of our white blood cells after daily consumption of Brussels sprouts in the amount of 1.25 cups. Interestingly, it's the ability of certain compounds in Brussels sprouts to block the activity of sulphotransferase enzymes that researchers believe to be responsible for these DNA-protective benefits.
  • For total glucosinolate content, Brussels sprouts are now known to top the list of commonly eaten cruciferous vegetables. Their total glucosinolate content has been shown to be greater than the amount found in mustard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, or broccoli. In Germany, Brussels sprouts account for more glucosinolate intake than any other food except broccoli. Glucosinolates are important phytonutrients for our health because they are the chemical starting points for a variety of cancer-protective substances. All cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates and have great health benefits for this reason. But it's recent research that's made us realize how especially valuable Brussels sprouts are in this regard.
  • The cancer protection we get from Brussels sprouts is largely related to four specific glucosinolates found in this cruciferous vegetable: glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, sinigrin, and gluconasturtiian. Research has shown that Brussels sprouts offer these cancer-preventive components in special combination.
  • Brussels sprouts have been used to determine the potential impact of cruciferous vegetables on thyroid function. In a recent study, 5 ounces of Brussels sprouts were consumed on a daily basis for 4 consecutive weeks by a small group of healthy adults and not found to have an unwanted impact on their thyroid function. Although follow-up studies are needed, this study puts at least one large stamp of approval on Brussels sprouts as a food that can provide fantastic health benefits without putting the thyroid gland at risk.
WHFoods Recommendations
You'll want to include Brussels sprouts as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy Brussels sprouts and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week and increase your serving size to 2 cups.
It is very important not to overcook Brussels sprouts. Not only do they lose their nutritional value and taste but they will begin to emit the unpleasant sulfur smell associated with overcooked cruciferous vegetables. To help Brussels sprouts cook more quickly and evenly cut each sprout into quarters. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out the health-promoting qualities and then steam them for 5 minutes. Serve with our Honey Mustard Dressing to add extra tang and flavor to Brussels sprouts.
Food Chart
Health Benefits
You'll find nearly 100 studies in PubMed (the health research database at the National Library of Medicine in Washington, D.C.) that are focused on Brussels sprouts, and over half of those studies involve the health benefits of this cruciferous vegetable in relationship to cancer. This connection between Brussels sprouts and cancer prevention should not be surprising since Brussels sprouts provide special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body's detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly. Among all types of cancer, prevention of the following cancer types is most closely associated with intake of Brussels sprouts: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Brussels Sprouts and Detox Support
The detox support provided by Brussels sprouts is both complicated and extensive. First, there is evidence from human studies that enzyme systems in our cells required for detoxification of cancer-causing substances can be activated by compounds made from glucosinolates found in Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts are an outstanding source of glucosinolates. The chart below shows the best studied of the glucosinolates found in Brussels sprouts and the detox-activating substances (called isothiocyanates) made from them.
Glucosinolates in Brussels sprouts and their detox-activating isothiocyanates

GlucosinolateDerived IsothiocyanateIsothiocyanate Abbreviation

* Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is not an isothiocyanate. It's a benzopyrrole, and it is only formed when isothiocyanates made from glucobrassicin are further broken down into non-sulfur containing compounds.
Second, the body's detox system requires ample supplies of sulfur to work effectively, and Brussels sprouts are rich in sulfur-containing nutrients. Sulfur is connected with both the smell and taste of Brussels sprouts, and too much sulfur aroma is often associated with overcooking of this vegetable. Sulfur-containing nutrients help support what is commonly referred to as Phase 2 of detoxification. Third, our body's detox system needs strong antioxidant support - especially during what is called Phase 1 of detoxification. Brussels sprouts are able to provide that kind of support because they are an excellent source of vitamin C, a very good source of beta-carotene and manganese, and a good source of vitamin E. Brussels sprouts also contain a wide variety of antioxidant phytonutrients, including many antioxidant flavonoids. Finally, there is evidence that the DNA in our cells is protected by naturally occurring substances in Brussels sprouts, and since many environmental toxins can trigger unwanted change in our DNA, Brussels sprouts can help prevent these toxin-triggered DNA changes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Shakeology -See what 100 Doctors have to say!

Day 43 Max Cardio Conditioning- Not P90X!

Day 42 - Running
Yesterday was rest day from Insanity, so I went out and ran three miles , felt good, actually had an improvement on my "wind"( breathing ),  must be from the HIIT cardio in Insanity.

Day 43  Insanity - Max Cardio Conditioning-  Not P90X!
Holy cow this work out is still a bear , Had a good time though , Love the jumping reps and the squats to pushups reps. It is fun to hold your squats for 60 seconds at the end and do the speed bag simulation, Tough to do for a full minute. back is feeling better not so stiff or sore.

I am finding that I am working harder yet my heart rate and calorie count is lower . It must be because my heart is stronger and more efficient. Burned 650 calories ! What a fitting statement on Valentines day!!

Happy Valentines Day

Saturday, February 12, 2011

INSANITY DAY 41- Plyo Cardio circuit

Day 41 !!-This old warrior completed the first week of phase 2 - Insanity

  That is some humbling stuff there, I will admit I can't quite do the power pushups yet , But I will!!
I feel like it is the end  of a good P90x workout week, for sure. The legs are gone, delts and abs and shoulders are fried. Love this stuff.
Yoga class at the gym tomorrow and maybe a light XC ski ( snow is still 2 feet high here)

Diet is good and the pounds( Fat)  are coming off

X Mike

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Transition Diet - Fitness, Nutrition, Diet, Weight Loss Official Web site

The 8-Week Transition Diet
By Steve Edwards
The 6-Week Transition Diet was one of the first things I ever wrote for Beachbody®, way back in 2001. It's remained popular ever since; in fact, in 2005, I gave it a facelift and increased it from 6 weeks to 8. Five years on, it's time to dust it off and spruce it up for the modern age. We've found over the years that this transitional eating plan is one of the easiest ways to change your eating habits for the better.
It's often said that no one diet works for every individual. While this is true, you may have noticed that all Beachbody eating plans target a similar goal: eating more natural whole foods and less junk. That's because there are no secrets to healthy eating. There are strategies that can lead to various performance benefits, but 99 percent of diet is cutting junk and eating real food. With this in mind, our Beachbody nutrition guides use various strategies, all designed to lead you to the same place.
Steve Edwards
While those nutrition guides tend to be detailed and filled with recipes, the 8-Week Transition Diet is for those of you who are less detail oriented. Conceptually based diets like this can be easier to follow, because they focus on providing you with a short list of "no-nos," leaving you with a fairly wide array of foods that you are allowed to eat. Of course, that isn't the approach you want to have for long-term success. Any diet, no matter how easy it seems, will take some willpower on your part if you want to see results. Your long-range goal should be to eat well, period. If you can accomplish this, your physical transformation will become a natural extension of your lifestyle, instead of something you need to pursue.
As healthy eating becomes a habit, you will find the other intangibles (weight loss, increased energy, etc.) falling into place. For many people, the easiest way to accomplish the healthy-eating habit is to make a gradual transition from food choices that hinder human performance to ones that help you perform better. By making this transition gradually, you'll find that it isn't as difficult as you expected.

Week 1

ChipsNo junk. Eliminate junk food from your diet. That's it, just junk. Other than this, you can eat whatever and whenever you like. Now, how hard can that be? Guess this depends on what I mean by "junk." But all I'm concerned with this week is the obvious stuff like potato chips, candy, ice cream, cake, etc. You may be stricter if you'd like, but for Week 1, don't be too hard on yourself. For many of you, this step alone will reap huge benefits.
Cheat Days: 2
Since no one's perfect, you get 2 days to cheat. That's right, 2 days where you can eat anything you want! A trick on these days (and, yes, this means there will be more) is to listen to your body. At first, it'll probably tell you it wants whatever you've been denying it. However, over time, it'll start to crave nutrients you're deficient in. Learn to read your body's subtleties. If you're craving ice cream, you may be short on essential fatty acids. If you crave a hamburger, your diet may lack protein. This way, you can make better food substitutions. It's a way of getting in tune with yourself that will benefit you for your entire lifetime.
Weekly focus: Water. Not swimming in it, though that's good too, but staying hydrated with it. You should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. Diet sodas and such are no substitute, because they contain a passel of ingredients that live right at the bottom of the junk heap. Drinking a glass of water when you feel hunger pangs coming on will not only keep you hydrated, but will help stave off your hunger to some degree.
As for other drinks, juices and sugary sodas also (obviously) fall into the junk category. And alcohol should be kept to a minimum. We tend to forget (purposely or not) that alcohol has calories. A lot of them: 7 calories per gram. Mixers can be even worse—not only can they add calories, but sugary calories influence the way alcohol reacts with your body. When you do drink, red wine is the alcohol of choice, with natural beer running second.

Week 2

Small MealEach week's rules are cumulative, so the "no junk" rule from Week 1 will apply until the end, as will each subsequent week's rule. Remember that this is a learning and conditioning process. It's like you're in school and the subject is your own body.
Eat small, eat often. Eat four to six small meals a day, and don't eat anything for about 3 hours before you go to sleep. Following these rules will keep your blood sugar levels more static and your energy level will stay consistent. Try to keep each snack or meal balanced. Keep a 30 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrate, and 30 percent fat scale in mind, though you don't need to worry too much about it. Just realize that you need a bit from each macronutrient group. Eat based on what you'll be doing for the next few hours (if you're working out, eat a little more; sitting at a desk, eat a little less). The 3-hours-before-bed rule is important, especially for fats and carbohydrates. By allowing time for all the carbs you eat to get into your bloodstream, your body will sleep in fat-burning mode, rather than in calorie-storing mode. This is important because undigested carbs in your stomach at night are stored as adipose tissue (fat).
Cheat Days: 2
Weekly focus: Carbs are not the enemy. Your body needs them, just like it needs proteins and fats. The trick is to choose the right carbs. As a society, we eat too much refined sugar. Complex carbs, like whole-grain breads, whole-grain rice, sweet potatoes, and legumes are outstanding foods. Even fruits, which have simple carbohydrates wrapped in fiber, are very good for you and hard to overconsume. While you don't want a diet based on nothing but carbs, making the right carb choices will maximize your body's potential. Try to avoid white rice and flours. Read labels, and try to avoid ones that use the word "enriched," because this means these products have been stripped of their natural nutrients, overprocessed, and then fortified with a few random nutrients.

Week 3

VegetablesEat some colorful, low-density food at every meal. These are foods that take up a lot of space without a lot of calories. Veggies are the most obvious example. You can eat a salad bowl overflowing with lettuce and veggies and you most likely won't exceed 100 calories. By eating low-density foods like veggies and fruits, you'll keep your portions under control naturally, because they have very few calories for their size. Conversely, high-density foods, like chocolate and butter, are loaded with calories in even the smallest amounts. So beware of salad dressings and other things you add to salads and veggies. Only add enough for flavor; don't fill up on them. When it comes to live foods, the richer the colors, the fresher the products tend to be. Try to eat a variety of colors in your diet. This simple and somewhat random act will help ensure that you're covering your bases, nutrient-wise.
Cheat Days: 1
Weekly focus: Protein at every meal. This becomes even more important as you eat more low-density food, because protein tends to be high-density. Many veggies have a lot of protein, but the quantity you must consume starts to become prohibitive. Try to get some protein—meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, or legumes—each time you eat, especially when you're working out hard, because you need to repair broken-down muscle tissue. Frequency of protein consumption is even more vital for women, who aren't able to digest as much protein at one time as men are. It's almost impossible to get all your necessary protein at one or two meals, so try to get 10 to 20 grams of protein each time you eat. Reading labels is a simple way to learn how to estimate your protein intake, but if you eat natural foods, most of which don't have labels, you can look at online nutritional information guides to determine the amount of protein each serving contains.

Week 4

Man Cooking at HomeCook at home. One of the best ways to control your eating is to prepare all your meals yourself. Eliminate all fast food (which should have been gone in Week 1) and most other restaurant food. You may still eat food from certain restaurants where you can be sure of the ingredients (most will be savvy enough to make a point of how healthy their food is). But avoid all fast food chains, even ones that claim to be "healthy." Restaurants need their food to taste good, so they'll often use compromised ingredients, even when they list low numbers on fats and/or calories. Fast food can contain many hidden evils in addition to calories. For example, next time you see one of those nutrition charts, check the sodium levels; most fast foods use ridiculously high amounts of salt. Avoiding fast food alone will often bring your body closer to homeostasis (its desired state of balance). This can be hard for many of us because we now have to plan our meals and prepare ahead of time, but try and treat it like vocational school—you don't learn a new "job" without a little retraining.
Cheat Days: 1
Weekly focus: Fat is essential. Remember that fat is a vital part of your diet, not just something that makes you fat. What is not vital is a lot of saturated or trans fats. Trans fats are mainly those that are artificial, and hopefully they've been eliminated from your diet by this point, since they're generally only found in junk. Saturated fats are found in dairy products and meats, and you don't need too much. For cooking, try to use olive oil when possible. Also, the addition of either flaxseed or hempseed can have a pronounced effect on your health. These seeds are loaded with essential fatty acids (omegas 3 and 6). Be careful about that amount of fat. It is dense and has 9 calories per gram, as opposed to 4 for both carbs and protein. A tablespoon goes a long way!

Week 5

PotatoesReduce starchy carbohydrates. Starches include rice, bread, potatoes, corn, beans, and other legumes. While many of these are in no way bad foods, most people tend to consume far too many of them. So what you want to do this week is cut way down on them, if not cutting them out completely. Then add them back in when your body feels like it needs energy, which it will at some point if you're exercising (and why wouldn't you be?). But don't add a huge plate or bowl of pasta; instead, add a small single serving. Starches are great energy food, but if you eat too many, they turn the tables and make you sluggish!
Cheat Days: 1
Weekly focus: Sugar is only beneficial after a hard workout. Your body doesn't need processed sugar. But if you really enjoy it and can't avoid letting some sneak into your daily diet, the 1-hour period after you exercise is the best time to indulge. During this window, your blood sugar is low, because you've used it up to finish your workout (assuming you pushed yourself), and sugar during this time will help you recover faster because it speeds into your system and initiates the recovery process. Adding a little protein, but not too much, will enhance your recovery even further. The best ratio is 1 part protein to 4 parts carbs, as in Results and Recovery Formula®. You should avoid fats during this immediate post-workout period, because they slow absorption—a good thing most of the time, just not during and immediately after working out.

Week 6

FoodIf man makes it, don't eat it. This is likely to be the hardest week of your diet. You want to eat only whole foods and eliminate all processed foods, even good ones, for the week. This includes breads, most salad dressings, all cereal, luncheon meats, cheese, dried fruits, anything with preservatives, and alcoholic beverages. What you can eat are whole foods such as fruit, raw or steamed vegetables, meat (sans any type of sauce), natural whole-grain rice, poached eggs, etc. Since your eating habits have been slowly changing, this shouldn't be that big a shock to your system, but keeping in focus that you only have to do this for 7 days will make it easier. (Although each week's rules are cumulative in the plan, Week 6 is more of a "cleanse" or "reset" week where you avoid all processed food; after Week 6, you can go back to the occasional processed food, but chances are you'll take what you learned this week and tend to make healthier, smarter choices.)
Cheat Days: 1
The "cheat day" mentality isn't a bad one. Rewards like decadent desserts, a night at the buffet, or drinking with friends are good for you as long as you keep them in perspective. These are rewards for a life well lived and you should be able to feel good about doing them. Plus, there's some method to this madness as well, in that you still tend to crave nutrients you lack. So if you're cutting down on the calories to lose weight, allowing yourself a cheat day will give your body a chance to take in what it needs to avoid being malnourished.
Weekly focus: Nuts make great snacks. A handful of raw almonds or cashews is a quick and easy snack that goes a long way. Don't be put off by the high fat count of nuts, because this means it takes fewer of them to satiate you. Nuts are loaded with important phytonutrients, as well as good fats, proteins, and fiber.

Week 7

Woman with Food in Both HandsBe yourself. No rules—just try and eat as healthily as you can and do it by feel. Trusting yourself might seem like a lot of responsibility, but by now you'll be up to it. Learning to eat by feeling what your body needs is an important step in your transformation. Consider the way you've been eating over the last 6 weeks, but don't worry about what you should and shouldn't do. Just fuel yourself. The point is to take a mental break. Relax and allow yourself to eat in a way that feels normal. You may be surprised to find yourself craving something healthy instead of a candy bar or soda. You'll be better at listening to your body because it'll tell you what it needs to eat, as opposed to what you're used to eating. Your body should feel somewhat transformed. Does it?
"Reward for a Life Well Lived" Days: 1
Weekly focus: If you're so hungry at night that you can't sleep, try a protein shake (like Beachbody's Whey Protein Powder) before bed. When it's real, and not habitual, hunger means you lack nutrients your body needs to repair itself as you sleep. You want nothing but protein powder and water. No carbs or superfluous calories. But protein at night, especially whey, will help the body repair damaged tissue and enhance the natural growth-hormone spike that you get while you sleep.

Week 8

Sliced Eggs, Peppers and CucumbersEat a perfect diet. Now it's time for a real challenge—are you ready? The perfect diet is strictly individual, as there's no one diet that suits everybody. So who better to choose the perfect diet for you than you? Our bodies are all different, and the key to your own perfect diet is learning about how your body reacts to different foods under different circumstances. Your journey over the last 7 weeks should have brought you to a new understanding of how food affects your body, both for good and for bad. Now it's up to you to put it to the test. See how well you can eat for a week. In fact, see how well you can eat for the rest of your life. Live and enjoy.
Reward Days: 1, of course!
Weekly Focus: Don't bonk. Bonking is a state where your body runs out of stored blood sugar for energy. If you feel like your workouts are going backward instead of forward, this is a likely culprit. Use your energy level as your gauge. As soon as it starts to drop, start adding carbs back into your diet until you feel energized all day long. When you feel energized during your workouts and not sluggish throughout the rest of the day, you'll know you've found the right balance between carbs and other nutrients. Also, remember that as your body puts on more muscle, you will need to eat more. Muscle weighs much more than fat so as you gain muscle and lose fat, you will shrink at the same weight. You will also require more calories in order to maintain your muscle. So when you're working out hard, don't be afraid to eat more carbs than you do otherwise.
Related Articles
"Can Zigzag Dieting Work for You?"
"Choose and Lose: How to Lose Weight on Any Diet"
"The Carb Lover's Diet: 4 Tips for Losing Weight without Losing Your Mind"
Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development, who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards, Steve Edwards, on Monday, January 24th, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT. Go to the Beachbody Chat Room.
If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at 8-Week Transition Diet.
Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, recently named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the spor

Thursday, February 10, 2011

John Steinbeck quotes

John Steinbeck quotes: "I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.'
— John Steinbeck (East of Eden)"

The Straight Dope: Strange Culture

Good article by Steve Edwards of Beachbody

The Straight Dope: Strange Culture

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 37 Insanity - Max Interval Pylo not P90X !

Wew what a workout. Not as much cardio just tough moves and a lot of different types of Pushups

Good Job Shaun T!!

Here is my post on my Insanity  thread this morning:

"Max Plyo done this morning It kicked my Butt.
I am still a day behind, try to catch up tomorrow.
John ( a guy on my thread)
I am glad you said that some of those moves are tough,
am definitely humbled by them too.
Everyone one here should be proud that you are still here, that is some tough stuff.
Lily, I hope your wrist heals up quick , Rest ICe Elevate...
A lady I coach( Melanie) did Insanity the first time a few months back and I remember her telling us she could not get down stairs with heels on after some of these workouts- LOL
I can relate now
Bond Girl I hear you , I run up my stairs at home (on off days anyways) like a mad man,isn't it great !!![

Rick glad to hear you are doing better, Love the story on your daughter ,
Lifes' memories. Cherish them .
Did anyone see the video on You tube about Mike French carrying the 82 lb kettleball to the ocean ( 7 miles from his house)? Pysco!!"

Workout is 55 minutes long , still along workout !

I burned 850 calories and I was not pushing as hard as I can !

Next time I will bring it!

 X Mike

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 36 Insanity -Max Interval Circuit

Day 36 Insanity- Max Interval Circuit

My fit test was up and down did well on some and so so on others

I will see how it goes in two weeks,

I did all of the workout but the last 5 minutes , ran out of time . I may switch to after work . If I can't push play before 5:30am its too late. So I will try to roll out of Bed 15 -20 minutes earlier, otherwise after work it is!

Omg Ariel was looking really pretty today , they had the light and focus on her for sure. Anna has always worked hard, she belongs front and center I kinda laughed when our friend who can not keep up was dogging it again ( whats his name?) haha

What happened to Tayna?

920 calories , I am wuupped from that for sure!

Okay every one remember what we talked about the last 5 weeks-( Doing Insanity)

-Vitamins-get the extreme athlete vita pak by GNC if you can afford it

-Take extra Vitamin "C" -2 grams /day

-Use your recovery drink during and after.

-Eat your quota, good carbs & good proteins, not too much fat

- Get plenty of sleep 7-8 hours minimum

- Enjoy the results -you deserve it

Peace out

X Mike

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cauliflower - WH foods recommendation

Cauliflower Cauliflower
WHFoods Recommendations
You'll want to include cauliflower as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy cauliflower and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.
As with all vegetables be sure not to overcook cauliflower. We suggest Healthy Sautéeing cauliflower rather than the more traditional methods of boiling or steaming, which makes them waterlogged, mushy and lose much of its flavor. Cut cauliflower florets into quarters and let sit for 5 minutes before cooking. For great tasting cauliflower add 1 tsp of turmeric when adding the cauliflower to the skillet.
Food Chart
This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Cauliflower provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Cauliflower can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Cauliflower, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.
While cauliflower is not a well-studied cruciferous vegetable from a health standpoint, you will find several dozen studies linking cauliflower-containing diets to cancer prevention, particularly with respect to the following types of cancer: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. This connection between cauliflower and cancer prevention should not be surprising, since cauliflower provides special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body's detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly.
Detox Support Provided by Cauliflower
The detox support provided by cauliflower includes antioxidant nutrients to boost Phase 1 detoxification activities and sulfur-containing nutrients to boost Phase 2 activities. Cauliflower also contains phytonutrients called glucosinolates that can help activate detoxification enzymes and regulate their activity. Three glucosinolates that have been clearly identified in cauliflower are glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, and gluconasturtiian. While the glucosinolate content of cauliflower is definitely significant from a health standpoint, cauliflower contains about one-fourth as much total glucosinolates as Brussels sprouts, about one-half as much as Savoy cabbage, about 60% as much as broccoli, and about 70% as much as kale.
If we fail to give our body's detox system adequate nutritional support, yet continue to expose ourselves to unwanted toxins through our lifestyle and our dietary choices, we can place our bodies at increased risk of toxin-related damage that can eventually increase our cells' risk of becoming cancerous. That's one of the reasons it's so important to bring cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables into our diet on a regular basis.
Cauliflower's Antioxidant Benefits
As an excellent source of vitamin C, and a very good source of manganese, cauliflower provides us with two core conventional antioxidants. But its antioxidant support extends far beyond the conventional nutrients into the realm of phytonutrients. Beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol are among cauliflower's key antioxidant phytonutrients. This broad spectrum antioxidant support helps lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells. Chronic oxidative stress-meaning chronic presence over overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules and cumulative damage to our cells by these molecules-is a risk factor for development of most cancer types. By providing us with such a great array of antioxidant nutrients, cauliflower helps lower our cancer risk by helping us avoid chronic and unwanted oxidative stress.
Cauliflower's Anti-inflammatory Benefits
As an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), cauliflower provides us with two hallmark anti-inflammatory nutrients. Vitamin K acts as a direct regulator of our inflammatory response, and ALA is the building block for several of the body's most widely-used families of anti-inflammatory messaging molecules. In addition to these two anti-inflammatory components, one of the glucosinolates found in cauliflower-glucobrassicin-can be readily converted into an isothiocyanate molecule called ITC, or indole-3-carbinol. I3C is an anti-inflammatory compound that can actually operate at the genetic level, and by doing so, prevent the initiation of inflammatory responses at a very early stage.
Like chronic oxidative stress and chronic weakened detox ability, chronic unwanted inflammation can significantly increase our risk of cancers and other chronic diseases (especially cardiovascular diseases).
Cauliflower and Cardiovascular Support
Scientists have not always viewed cardiovascular problems as having a central inflammatory component, but the role of unwanted inflammation in creating problems for our blood vessels and circulation has become increasingly fundamental to an understanding of cardiovascular diseases. The anti-inflammatory support provided by cauliflower (including its vitamin K and omega-3 content) makes it a food also capable of providing cardiovascular benefits. Of particular interest is its glucoraphanin content. Glucoraphanin is a glucosinolate that can be converted into the isothiocyanate (ITC) sulforaphane. Not only does sulforaphane trigger anti-inflammatory activity in our cardiovascular system-it may also be able to help prevent and even possibly help reverse blood vessel damage.
Cauliflower and Digestive Support
The fiber content of cauliflower-nearly 12 grams in every 100 calories-makes this cruciferous vegetable a great choice for digestive system support. You're going to get nearly half of the fiber Daily Value from 200 calories' worth of cauliflower. Yet the fiber content of cauliflower is only one of its digestive support mechanisms. Researchers have determined that the sulforaphane made from a glucosinolate in cauliflower (glucoraphanin) can help protect the lining of your stomach. Sulforaphane provides you with this health benefit by preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori in your stomach or too much clinging by this bacterium to your stomach wall.
Other Health Benefits from Cauliflower
The anti-inflammatory nature of glucosinolates/isothiocyanates and other nutrients found in cauliflower has been the basis for new research on inflammation-related health problems and the potential role of cauliflower in their prevention. While current studies are examining the benefits of cruciferous vegetables as a group rather than cauliflower in particular, promising research is underway that should shed light on the potential benefits of cauliflower in relationship to our risk of the following inflammation-related health problems: Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, insulin resistance, irritable bowel syndrome, metabolic syndrome, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and ulcerative colitis.
All cruciferous vegetables provide integrated nourishment across a wide variety of nutritional categories and provide broad support across a wide variety of body systems as well. For more on cruciferous vegetables see:
Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable, is in the same plant family as broccoli, kale, cabbage and collards. It has a compact head (called a "curd"), with an average size of six inches in diameter, composed of undeveloped flower buds. The flowers are attached to a central stalk. When broken apart into separate buds, cauliflower looks like a little tree, something that many kids are fascinated by.
Surrounding the curd are ribbed, coarse green leaves that protect it from sunlight, impeding the development of chlorophyll. While this process contributes to the white coloring of most of the varieties, cauliflower can also be found in light green and purple colors. Between these leaves and the florets are smaller, tender leaves that are edible.
Raw cauliflower is firm yet a bit spongy in texture. It has a slightly sulfurous and faintly bitter flavor.
The milk, sweet, almost nutty flavor of cauliflower is at its best from December through March when it is in season and most plentiful in your local markets.
Cauliflower traces its ancestry to the wild cabbage, a plant thought to have originated in ancient Asia Minor, which resembled kale or collards more than the vegetable that we now know it to be.
The cauliflower went through many transformations and reappeared in the Mediterranean region, where it has been an important vegetable in Turkey and Italy since at least 600 B.C.
It gained popularity in France in the mid-16th century and was subsequently cultivated in Northern Europe and the British Isles. The United States, France, Italy, India, and China are countries that produce significant amounts of cauliflower.
When purchasing cauliflower, look for a clean, creamy white, compact curd in which the bud clusters are not separated. Spotted or dull-colored cauliflower should be avoided, as well as those in which small flowers appear.
Heads that are surrounded by many thick green leaves are better protected and will be fresher. As its size is not related to its quality, choose one that best suits your needs.
Store uncooked cauliflower in a paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to a week. To prevent moisture from developing in the floret clusters, store it with the stem side down.
If you purchase pre-cut cauliflower florets, consume them within one or two days as they will lose their freshness after that. Since cooking causes cauliflower to spoil quicker, consume it within two to three days of placing in the refrigerator after cooking.
Tips for preparing cauliflower
Cauliflower florets are the part of the plant that most people eat. However, the stem and leaves are edible too and are especially good for adding to soup stocks.
To cut cauliflower, first remove the outer leaves and then slice the florets at the base where they meet the stalks. You can further cut them, if you desire pieces that are smaller or of uniform size. Trim any brown coloration that may exist on the edges.
Cauliflower contains phytonutrients that release odorous sulfur compounds when heated. These odors become stronger with increased cooking time. If you want to minimize odor, retain the vegetable's crisp texture, and reduce nutrient loss, cook the cauliflower for only a short time.
Some phytonutrients may react with iron in cookware and cause the cauliflower to take on a brownish hue. To prevent this, add a bit of lemon juice to the water in which you blanch the cauliflower.
The Healthiest Way of Cooking Cauliflower
From all of the cooking methods we tried when cooking cauliflower, our favorite is Healthy Sauté. We think that it provides the greatest flavor and is also a method that allows for concentrated nutrient retention. Begin by cutting cauliflower florets into quarters and let sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance its health-promoting benefits. To Healthy Sauté cauliflower, heat 5 TBS of broth (vegetable or chicken) or water in a stainless steel skillet. Once bubbles begin to form add cauliflower florets (cut into quarters) and turmeric, cover, and Healthy Sauté for 5 minutes. Toss with our Mediterranean Dressing. For details see, 5-Minute Healthy Sautéed Cauliflower
A Few Quick Serving Ideas
Puree cooked cauliflower, add fennel seeds and your other favorite herbs and spices and serve as soup.
Because of its shape and taste, cauliflower florets make wonderful crudite for dipping in sauces.
WHFoods Recipes That Feature Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Purines
Cauliflower contains naturally occurring substances called purines. Purines are commonly found in plants, animals, and humans. In some individuals who are susceptible to purine-related problems, excessive intake of these substances can cause health problems. Since purines can be broken down to form uric acid, excess accumulation of purines in the body can lead to excess accumulation of uric acid. The health condition called "gout" and the formation of kidney stones from uric acid are two examples of uric acid-related problems that can be related to excessive intake of purine-containing foods. For this reason, individuals with kidney problems or gout may want to limit or avoid intake of purine-containing foods such as cauliflower. For more on this subject, please see What are purines and in which foods are they found?
Cauliflower as a "Goitrogenic" Food
Cauliflower is sometimes referred to as a "goitrogenic" food. Yet, contrary to popular belief, according to the latest studies, foods themselves-cauliflower included-are not "goitrogenic" in the sense of causing goiter whenever they are consumed, or even when they are consumed in excess. In fact, most foods that are commonly called "goitrogenic"-such as the cruciferous vegetables (including cabbage, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower) and soyfoods-do not interfere with thyroid function in healthy persons even when they are consumed on a daily basis. Nor is it scientifically correct to say that foods "contain goitrogens," at least not if you are thinking about goitrogens as a category of substances like proteins, carbohydrates, or vitamins. With respect to the health of our thyroid gland, all that can be contained in a food are nutrients that provide us with a variety of health benefits but which, under certain circumstances, can also interfere with thyroid function. The term "goitrogenic food" makes it sound as if something is wrong with the food, but that is simply not the case. What causes problems for certain individuals is not the food itself but the mismatched nature of certain substances within the food to their unique health circumstances. For more, see an An Up-to-Date Look at Goitrogenic Substances in Food.
Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and fiber. It is a very good source of vitamin B5, vitamin B6, omega-3 fatty acids, and manganese. Additionally, it is a good source of potassium, protein, phosphorus, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, and magnesium.
For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: cauliflower.


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