Monday, November 20, 2017

High School Wrestling: Diet and Weight Loss Options

As wrestling season draws near, wrestlers begin to contemplate the weight class in which they may wrestle. Wrestlers often believe that they will be more competitive at the lowest weight they can reach without sacrificing their strength and endurance. This isn’t always the case. Too often, wrestlers end up dehydrated. They end up starving themselves and their performance suffers greatly.

If you’re looking for an article on cutting weight, this isn’t it. If you’re the kind of wrestler who can lose ten pounds in wrestling practice, this article may not interest you either. I could never sweat off a lot of weight, so I was always more interested in manipulating my diet to lose weight. There are, of course, a myriad of diets to choose from. I simply want to discuss ten diets of which I am familiar. Maybe one of them will interest you and you can research it further. Let’s explore.

1. Low Carb/High Protein Diet

The Atkins Diet is probably the most famous low carb diet. So, what exactly is a low carb diet? A low carb diet limits carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, cereals, grains, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, fruit, and sometimes even milk.

The theory is that carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels which in turn raise insulin levels. Spiking insulin levels is considered bad because the idea is that insulin tells the body to store carbohydrates as body fat and prevents the body from accessing body fat as a fuel source. Supposedly, if you follow a low carb diet plan you can lose excess body fat without having to drastically limit your food intake.

Some low carb diets focus on limiting carbohydrates while increasing one’s intake of fat and protein.

Some low carb diets focus more on the glycemic index. The glycemic index essentially measures how much a given food raises one’s blood sugar levels. For instance, white rice may have a glycemic index of 58 while broccoli may only have a glycemic index of 15. White bread may have a glycemic index as high as 71. The idea is that a diet composed of low glycemic foods will lead to lower insulin levels which in turn may help one lose weight.

Patrick Holford takes the glycemic index one step further and uses a concept called the glycemic load. The glycemic load takes into account the glycemic index as well as the total carbs in a given amount of food. For instance, a bowl of steel-cut oats (1 oz.) has 2 GL while a bowl of corn flakes has 21 GL. In addition, half an apple has 3 GL while a banana has 12 GL. That is quite a difference. Holford is a big fan of oats. He claims in his book The Holford Low GL Diet, “There are specific foods and food combinations that cause rapid weight loss.” He claims that you will never feel hungry on his diet. You limit the number of GLs you eat in a day and you combine carbs and protein at each meal.

Tim Ferriss champions a diet he refers to as the Slow-Carb Diet. On this regimen one avoids carbohydrates like bread, pasta, cereals, grains, potatoes, etc. Then simply choose one protein, one legume, and one vegetable for each meal. For example, breakfast might be scrambled eggs, black beans, and mixed vegetables. Lunch might be beef, pinto beans, and mixed vegetables. And, dinner might be chicken breast, lentils, and asparagus. Eat as much as you want at each meal and eat up to six times a day. But, always avoid carbs and dairy products and always include a protein, legume, and vegetable.

Some low carb diet books include Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, Protein Power, The Zone Diet, The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet, The South Beach Diet, The Greenwich Diet, The No-Grain Diet, and Sugar Busters.

I suppose the main attraction of low carb diets is that one can burn fat and spare muscle while not having to restrict the amount one eats drastically. On the other hand, low carb diets can make one fatigued and irritable until one gets used to the low carb regimen. Keep in mind that there are several different versions of low carb diets.

2. Paleolithic Diet (Paleo Diet)

The Paleolithic (Paleo) diet seeks to replicate what humans ate during the Paleolithic Era. This diet may also be referred to as the Stone Age Diet, Cave Man Diet, or Hunter-Gatherer Diet. The Paleo diet is purported to promote weight loss as well as provide high fiber, protein, and omega-3 fats.

Foods You Can Eat:

  • Lean Meat (skinless chicken breast, turkey, cuts of lean beef like sirloin and extra-lean hamburger, cuts of lean pork, seafood)
  • Eggs
  • Fruits including berries
  • Vegetables including root vegetables like carrots
  • Nuts such as walnuts, macadamia, almonds, pecans, and pistachios
  • Seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil, flaxseed oil, nut oils, fish oil, canola oil, and avocado

Foods To Avoid:

  • Grains
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Potatoes
  • Sugar
  • Beans
  • Dairy Products

The Paleo diet may seem similar to the low carb diet and it is in some ways. For instance, it doesn’t allow grain products. However, the Paleo Diet does allow fruits. In addition, it makes a distinction between lean meat and fatty meat which I think is beneficial. Moreover, cheese can be eaten on a low carb diet but dairy is not allowed on the Paleo Diet because it would not have been a food consumed during the Paleolithic era.

I like the Paleo Diet because it provides fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

3. Anabolic Diet

The Anabolic Diet was developed by Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale. He developed this diet primarily for bodybuilders looking for an alternative to steroids and other drugs. He states, “The Anabolic Diet maximizes the production and utilization of the Big 3 growth producers – testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin – and does it naturally. It also shifts the body’s metabolism from that of a sugar burning, fat producing machine to that of a fat burning machine.” The Anabolic Diet is a high fat/high protein/low carb diet with a twist. The Anabolic Diet employs a method called carb cycling. For example, you eat a high fat/high protein/low carb diet for five days followed by a high carb diet for two days.

A more generic term for this diet would be cyclic ketogenic diet or simply carb cycling. The idea is that you must eat fat to burn fat. You can find specific guidelines about what to eat on low carb versus high carb days online.

So, it’s not as strict as a low carb diet because you can carb up for a day or two. You still need to watch the total amount of calories that you consume because you’re not a bodybuilder trying to gain weight, you’re a wrestler trying to stay lean or even lose weight.

I’ve never tried this diet before and have no idea how it would work for a wrestler. I suppose, in theory, that one could eat low carb during the week and carb up on Saturday when tournaments are usually held. On the other hand, eating a lot of fat seems like a strange idea to most of us. If this diet interests you, I would suggest doing an internet search for anabolic diet or cyclic ketogenic diet to learn more.

4. Intermittent Fasting (IF)

This is a way of eating of that involves cycling periods of fasting (i.e. not eating) and eating. You can fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. The idea is that fasting twice a week reduces the total number of calories one takes in during any given week. For instance, you may have dinner at 6:00 pm one evening and not eat again until 6:00 pm the following evening. If you normally consume three meals a day, then you would simply skip breakfast and lunch two days a week but still have dinner on those days. Sure you might get a bit hungry, but it’s only 24 hours and you’ll only do it about twice a week. You never technically have to go a day without eating. If you eat at 6:00 pm on Monday, you can still eat on Tuesday; you just have to wait until 6:00 pm again. A good book on the subject of IF is Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon.

A somewhat similar fasting routine is called The Warrior Diet created by Ori Hofmekler. On this regimen, you eat one main meal at night and you have the option of eating a small amount of food during the day. You follow this routine every day. You can eat some fruits and vegetables during the day. You can also eat small amounts of lean meats and eggs or a low-carb protein shake. You eat no grains or starches during the day. At your main evening meal, you can consume essentially anything you want but in a certain order. You eat vegetables first, then protein, and then if you’re still hungry you can eat some carbohydrates.

While using the intermittent fasting method, you still want to eat healthy. While you can basically eat what you want when not fasting, you still want to eat fruits and vegetables and healthy sources of protein and carbohydrates. You can eat other foods too (e.g. a dessert) but don’t use your non-fasting period as an excuse to binge on junk food.

5. Body for Life

Bodybuilder and entrepreneur Bill Phillips was the founder of Muscle Media 2000 magazine and later acquired the ESA supplement company. He is perhaps most known for authoring the book Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength. In this book he outlines a workout strategy and dietary strategy to transform one’s body.

The dietary strategy involves eating six small meals a day which is believed to promote stable blood sugar and insulin levels. Small meals are also believed to be easier to digest and assimilate than three larger meals.

What can you eat for each small meal? You can eat a portion of protein and a portion of carbohydrate. You are also encouraged to eat a serving of vegetables with some meals. A portion is about the size of the palm of your hand or your clenched fist. A potato the size of your clenched fist is a portion as is an apple. Two slices of whole wheat bread is a portion. A skinless chicken breast the size of your palm is a portion. You can also use MRP (meal replacement products) shakes and nutrition bars like Myoplex, Met-Rx, Meso-Tech, Muscle Meals, etc. that provide protein, carbs, and other nutrients all in one bar or shake.

Possible Meal Ideas:

  • One omelet and two slices of whole-wheat toast
  • Egg whites and oatmeal
  • Pancakes made with egg whites, oatmeal, protein powder, and fat-free yogurt
  • Combine one portion of low-fat cottage cheese and one portion of fat-free, sugar-free yogurt
  • One serving of chocolate MRP shake
  • Turkey burger on a whole-wheat bun
  • Chicken breast, steamed brown rice, and broccoli
  • Grilled sirloin steak, potato, mixed vegetables
  • One MRP nutrition bar

You are also encouraged to drink 10 glasses of water a day. You can consume one tablespoon of healthy fat a day such as olive, safflower, canola, sunflower, or flax seed oil. You can also consume small amounts of natural peanut butter and avocado.

You are encouraged to take one day off a week and eat whatever you want.

This plan is nice because you don’t have to count calories and you probably won’t get hungry eating six small meals a day. It may be hard to follow if you have a busy schedule.

6. Fit for Life

When Harvey Diamond co-authored Fit for Life, he helped bring the concept of natural hygiene into the mainstream. This way of eating isn’t just about how much you eat but also when and how you eat it. This regimen is based on the principle of proper food combining. The idea is that different foods are broken down differently by the body and therefore should be eaten separately. Harvey Diamond makes a distinction between live foods (high-water-content food like fresh fruits and vegetables) and dead food (e.g. processed foods).

The Guidelines:

  • Fruit is always eaten alone at least two to three hours away from any other food.
  • Never eat more than one concentrated food (i.e. protein or starch) per meal.
  • Never combine starches and proteins (e.g. cereal and milk, bread and cheese, pasta and ground beef, fish and rice).
  • You can combine protein with vegetables or starches and vegetables.
  • Fat (e.g. butter, olive oil) is considered neutral. However, don’t combine fat with protein.
  • Eggs and dairy products are discouraged.
  • Meat is discouraged but should be eaten alone or with vegetables if consumed.

Meal Ideas:

  • Breakfast – Fruit is encouraged because it is the food with the highest water content and is considered to be the best food to consume. So, you could eat two or more oranges or two apples or two bananas or other fruits and fruit combinations. However, if you don’t like fruit you could have scrambled eggs with tomato and broccoli (i.e. protein and vegetables) or toast with butter (i.e. starch and fat). But, do not have eggs and toast or cereal and milk.
  • Lunch – You could have a large vegetable salad with some olive oil and lemon. You could skip the olive oil on your salad and put some pieces of grilled chicken on it. You could have a vegetable salad and some bread sticks. You could have vegetable soup and some bread sticks. Alternatively, you could have avocado slices and other vegetables (e.g. tomatoes) between two slices of whole-grain bread. You could have a large baked potato with butter and vegetables (just be sure to steer clear of bacon bits, cheese, and chili).
  • Dinner – You could have fish (or chicken or beef), vegetables, and a vegetable salad. Or, you could have rice (or couscous or pasta) with vegetables, and a vegetable salad. Or, if you like potatoes, then you could have a big baked potato with butter and vegetables.
  • If you want milk, yogurt, or ice cream then eat it alone at least two or three hours away from other food.
  • If you want fruit for a bedtime snack, then eat it alone at least two or three hours after dinner.

The motivational speaker and self-help guru Tony Robbins is an advocate of food combining. I’ve never tried it before. The good thing is that it focuses a lot on fruit and vegetables. In addition, your calories may be limited (helping with weight loss) when you can’t combine starches and proteins, but at least you can still consume them if you choose.

7. High Carb/Low Fat Diet

Some doctors and nutritionists recommend a high card/low fat diet to lose weight and stay healthy – the exact opposite of the low carb advocates. Some names associated with low fat diets include Walter Kempner, Nathan Pritikin, Dean Ornish, and John McDougall. According to Dr. McDougall, his diet is “a diet of plant foods, including whole grains and whole grain products (such as pasta, tortillas, and whole-grain bread), a wide assortment of vegetables, and fruit.”

The advocates of these diets claim that a person can enjoy unlimited quantities of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains without feeling hungry. These diets contain less fat and more fiber than other diets.

According to Dr. McDougall, “Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred fuel for daily activities and high-intensity exercise performance. Following a low-carbohydrate regime will impair performance.”

A baked potato is only about 160 calories and essentially fat free. An apple is only about 100 calories and also essentially fat free. A slice of whole wheat bread is only about 75 calories and essentially fat free. A bowl of oatmeal is about 165 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 4 grams of fiber.

In contrast, a 3 oz. patty of 85% lean ground beef (broiled) is about 213 calories and 13 grams of fat. And, a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese is about 510 calories and 26 grams of fat. Moreover, a Snicker’s Bar is about 270 calories and 14 grams of fat.

I’m not sure why everyone is so worried about cereals, potatoes, fruits, and breads. You can eat a lot of those foods for few calories if you don’t add condiments.

Martin Katahn, author of The T-Factor Diet, believes that it is mainly fat in your diet that determines your body fat. He contends that protein and carbohydrate calories don’t really matter that much. So, his approach is to count the fat grams in the food one eats and to keep the number low. He does, however, warn people to steer clear of highly processed fat-free desserts and snacks. Get your carbohydrates from fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains. In addition, eat lean meat, chicken, and fish.

8. Satiety Index

The Satiety Index (developed by Susanna Holt, PhD.) measures the extent to which certain foods provide satiety (i.e. fill you up and satisfy your hunger). Certain foods are simply better at filling you up than others.

For the most part, foods that are high in protein, water, and fiber provide the most satiety.

Carbohydrates are also better at producing satiety than fatty foods.

All foods on the index are compared with white bread which is given the rank of 100.

Some Satiety Food Rankings:

  • Croissant – 47%
  • Doughnuts – 68%
  • Yogurt – 88%
  • Corn Flakes – 118%
  • White Rice – 138%
  • Cheese – 146%
  • Eggs – 150%
  • Whole Meal Bread – 157%
  • Beef – 176%
  • Popcorn – 154%
  • Apples – 197%
  • Oranges – 202%
  • Oatmeal – 209%
  • Potatoes, Boiled – 323%

As you can see, potatoes provide a much higher level of satiety than a croissant. Similarly, oatmeal is more satisfying than a doughnut. In addition, eggs are more satisfying than yogurt. Seemingly, a sandwich made with whole meal bread with some lean beef or tuna along with an apple could make a satisfying and filling lunch.

A concept related to satiety is caloric density or energy density. Caloric density is the number of calories in a specific amount of food. Foods high in fat have the highest energy density while foods high in water content have the lowest energy density.

For instance, cucumbers, celery, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, grapefruit, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, oranges, and apples are very low in caloric density. Some other low caloric density foods include oatmeal, grapes, low-fat cottage cheese, peas, corn on the cob, potatoes, rice, and pasta.

In contrast, foods such as French fries, chocolate cake, pretzels, croissants, doughnuts, onion rings, chocolate chip cookies, bacon, milk chocolate bars, potato chips, and peanuts are much higher in caloric density. Even though pretzels are essentially fat free, they are high in energy density because they lack water and fiber.

Fresh corn (e.g. steamed corn or corn on the cob) has a caloric density of 0.92. However, a corn muffin has a caloric density of 4.14 and corn bread has a caloric density of 4.27. So, choose a big bowl of steamed corn if you’re hungry.

Some low-fat cottage cheese and grapes could make a satisfying and filling meal.

9. Food Exchange System

The food exchange system is a dietary regimen most commonly associated with diabetic individuals. However, the food exchange system can be used by any individual as a guide to help them lose weight. Following this regimen can help one to plan balanced and nutritious meals.

The foods in this system are divided up into categories: starches (e.g. bread, cereals and grains, starchy vegetables, beans and peas), fruits, milk and yogurt, meat and meat substitutes, vegetables, and fats.

You need to know what constitutes a serving size. For instance, a serving of starch could be ¾ cup of ready-to-eat unsweetened cereal, 1 slice of bread, or ½ a bagel. A serving of fruit may be one small apple, banana, or orange. A serving of milk may be 1 cup of fat-free skim milk. A serving of meat may be 1 ounce of meat, poultry, fish, or cheese. A serving of vegetables may be ½ cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw vegetables. A serving of fats may be 1 tsp. of butter or 1 tsp. of olive oil. These are just a few of the examples. There are also free foods like 1 tbsp. of fat-free mayonnaise or ¼ cup of salsa. In addition, there are ways of determining exchanges for sweets and combination foods (e.g. casseroles, pizza, and soups).

For a 1,200 Calorie Meal Plan You May Eat:

  • 5 Starches
  • 2 Fruits
  • 2 Milks
  • 5 Meats
  • 3 Vegetables
  • 4 Fats

So, you might have a breakfast that contains 1 starch, 1 fruit, 1 milk, and 1 fat. Then you would divide the remainder of your exchanges amongst lunch, dinner, and possibly snacks. Some people find this easier than counting calories.

A somewhat similar regimen may involve using the original USDA Food Pyramid as a guide for eating. According to Jane Kirby (a registered dietitian) and the American Dietetic Association, one can use the food pyramid to plan a weight-loss diet.

A Possible 1,200 Calorie Meal Plan:

  • 5 Bread group servings
  • 3 Vegetable group servings
  • 2 Fruit group servings
  • 2 Milk group servings
  • 5 ounces total for a day for Meat group (divide up into 2 or 3 servings if you want from lean meats or eggs)

10. Counting Calories

Calorie counting is nothing new.

A Los Angeles physician named Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters published a book entitled Diet and Health, With a Key to the Calories in 1918. She recommended consuming no more than 1,200 calories per day, with somewhat more allowed after one’s goal weight was reached.

Calories in Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat:

  • Carbohydrate = 4 calories per gram
  • Protein = 4 calories per gram
  • Fat = 9 calories per gram

Keep in mind that 3,500 calories = 1 pound of fat. Therefore if you cut 500 calories a day from your diet, you’ll lose approximately one pound a week (7 days x 500 calories = 3,500 calories).

A simple formula for losing weight is to take your current bodyweight times 10 and eat that number of calories daily to lose weight. For example, a wrestler who weighs 150 pounds would eat 1,500 calories daily (150 x 10 = 1,500). To maintain your weight, take your bodyweight times 15. A 125 pound wrestler wishing to maintain his weight would eat 1,875 calories daily (125 x 15 = 1,875).

Calorie counting is becoming popular again. For example, you may have noticed packages of 100-calorie snacks in the supermarket.

You can still find books listing calorie counts for common foods as well as restaurant foods. And, almost every food at the supermarket contains nutrition information including calories.

Calorie counting can be inconvenient. Individuals sometimes get hungry on a calorie-controlled diet. Nonetheless, calorie counting works for many people.

Final Words

The best advice I have to give is to simply wrestle at your natural weight. But, I know that many of will choose not to because you think you’ll be more competitive at a lower weight. Some of you may have to cut weight to reach a certain body weight in order to make the team.

I used to eat a lot of oatmeal and other cereals, whole wheat bread, rice cakes, potatoes, apples, oranges, bananas, carrots, green beans, milk, yogurt, cheese, and lean meat during my high school wrestling career. I counted every calorie and limited my fat intake because that’s what worked for me.

It’s interesting to look back at what I ate. I ate a lot of oatmeal which is low on the glycemic load, low in caloric density (when cooked with water), relatively low in fat, and high on the satiety index. I didn’t know all of that back when I was wrestling. I just knew that oatmeal was low in calories and provided a filling breakfast.

I also ate a lot of apples and green beans. These foods are low in calories and fat, but are high in water content and fiber. In addition, I ate a lot of potatoes which are very high on the satiety index.

You may be different.

Perhaps you’re one of those guys that can lose 5 to 10 pounds of water weight in a practice. Or, perhaps you like meat and, therefore, a low carb diet would suit you better.

Even some of the greatest wrestlers can become disheartened with dieting and cutting weight. Three- time NCAA wrestling champion and Olympic silver medalist Barry Davis cracked once when faced with the strain of cutting weight. He almost missed the Big Ten Tournament in 1982 because of the pressure of cutting weight. Many other great wrestlers have had tough experiences cutting weight as well.

On the other hand, John Smith (two-time Olympic gold medalist and winner of multiple world championships) took a different approach to weight control. He disciplined himself to maintain year-round weight control (according to Wrestling Tough by Mike Chapman). Smith kept near his competition weight throughout the year.

Other wrestlers have had success by working hard and wrestling near their natural body weight and sometimes cutting no weight whatsoever.

If you decide to cut weight for wrestling, please don’t starve and dehydrate yourself. It’s unhealthy, dangerous, and will most likely hurt your performance. Try always to eat balanced and nutritious meals. If you decide to lose weight, figure out what works best for you.



Source by Tharin Schwinefus

5 Foods That Help Boost Nitric Oxide

Are you trying to get that extra "pump" in the gym with Nitric Oxide? You're not alone. Nitric Oxide (NO) supplements have been flying off the shelves of nutrition stores across the country and for good reason. THEY GIVE RESULTS! But do you want to find more natural ways to boost your "NO" levels or even just find ways to naturally "supplement" the nitric oxide supplement you're already taking? The "top 5 list" I've created below illustrates natural foods that contain nitric oxide boosting elements.

1. Watermelon

Probably my favorite food out of the 5 mentioned here. Watermelon is sweet, juicy, and helps you build muscle?!? Absolutely, watermelon contains the amino acid L-Citruline which ultimate increases your NO levels. I love eating slices of watermelon for lunch a few hours before my evening workout. Try sticking a few pieces in the juicer for an all day supply of watermelon juice. It's a grate way to hydrate and supplement your body's nitric oxide production.

2. Eggs

Have you stopped eating egg yolk all together because you see everyone on TV doing it? Well do not follow the herd on that one. Yes, the yolk is high in cholesterol, but the yolk actually contains more nitric oxide boosting nutrients then the egg white. You should leave in 1-2 pieces of yolk. For example, if you're making a 6 egg omelet, you should throw in 1-2 whole eggs (with the yolk) and make the rest egg whites. This will give you the necessary fat you need and will give you added nitric oxide boosting nutrients.

3. Pistachios

The grocery store would always have piles of pistachios laying out near the produce section. As a little kid I would always grab a small handful and eat them (innocently without paying, I swear I did not know what I was doing!) While my mom went shopping. Shh .. do not tell anyone. But who knew that these tasty little guys could actually help you in your muscle building nutrition regimen? Pistachios contain the amino acid L-Arginine that keeps your arteries flexible and ultimately increases blood flow to your muscles which aides repair & recovery. Eat these in between meals not only for their NO boosting effects, but also because they are packed with fiber that helps keep you full.

4. Lentils

For any vegans out there trying to get ripped, you are in luck! Lentils are packed with tons of healthy good stuff. They're high in protein and fiber. They have energy producing carbs and they're low in fat and sugar. On top of all that they are also known to help boost your body's NO production. I guess you can call these things "magic beans".

5. Tuna

What good things have not already been said about eating tuna? It's super high in protein. It's low in fat. The fat it does contain is the "good kind". And you can buy it from the market for relatively cheap. Wait …

There's MORE!

Tuna can also help your body boosts its nitric oxide production. Tuna is a great as addition to any of your "big meals" (ie breakfast, lunch, or dinner), but it also serves as a great snack in between.

So next time you're at the supermarket, make a go for these nitric oxide boosting foods. You will not go wrong with them (unless you're allergic of course. In which case run away from them!). There are a ton of different recipes online to prepare these foods. Utilize them in your main meals as well as snacks for added benefit to your workouts and ultimately your physique.



Source by Jerry Toffle

When Did People Start Using Soap?

Using water as a cleaning agent has been around since the beginning of man. Not long after that, people found out that water couldn’t clean everything. In looking for ways to clean things better, someone figured out that a mixture of ashes and fats cleaned better than water alone.

The earliest origin of soap making isn’t clear. Clay tablets from as early as 2500 BC suggest soap was in use at that time, mainly as a hair styling aid and for treating wounds. Early Greeks cleaned their pots and the statues of their gods with a mixture of lye and ashes.

Cleopatra used milk, honey and essential oils in her bathing. She then scrubbed her skin with sand to cleanse it, exfoliating it as well. After oils were put on the body in ancient Rome, they were scraped off using a “strigil”, taking some of the dirt off with the oils.

The Gauls and Romans used goat’s tallow and ashes from beech trees to make soap. Roman legend says that soap got its name from Mount Sapo. Animal sacrifices were performed on this hill, and the rain washed the fats and ashes down to the clay soil along the riverbank below. Women washing clothes there discovered this mixture cleaned the clothes better than water alone.

Roman baths came into being around 312 BC using water from their aqueducts. Bathing became popular, and by the second century AD, soap was recommended for cleaning and medicinal use. An entire soap making factory was discovered when Pompeii was excavated. After the fall of Rome, bathing and using soap declined in Europe. Perhaps this contributed to the plagues of the Dark and Middle Ages?

The Order of the Bath was instituted by King Henry IV in 1399. To join this order, the knight had to venture into a tub filled with water at least once during his knighthood. Queen Elizabeth is reported to have taken a bath every three months, if she needed it or not!

Marseille, France became a prominent soap making city, due to the plentiful olive oil and vegetable ash in the area. At first soap was imported to America, but settlers soon found that they could make soap for free using the ashes from their fires and the fats from their butchered animals. This lye soap was tough on both dirt and skin.

Palmolive soap, made from palm and olive oils, was in use in the early 1900’s. In another factory, Ivory soap was born when a worker accidentally left the soap mixer running while he went to lunch; incorporating extra air into the soap and creating soap that floats. Soap companies abound around the world, and regardless of how soap first came to be, we can say with surety that it is here to stay.



Source by Jackson Charles Brown

How to Make Popped Quinoa

Over the years I have come across many different ways of cooking quinoa. The most unusual is that of popping. I have also seen this described as toasted quinoa. There a number of things you can do once you have toasted it but first let me describe the best way to pop your quinoa.

Popping Your Quinoa

Take a small amount of vegetable oil and warm it in a pan on the hob. Some cooks say you do not need the oil but in my experience using just a teaspoonful makes all the difference. Once the oil is warm put a cup of quinoa grain in the pan and heat it up. Always keep the grains moving. After a minute or so you will start to see the grains start popping in the pan. They can jump up a couple of inches and make the same sound a popcorn popping.

When the quinoa grains start to turn light brown they are ready to remove from the pan. Take care not to over cook the grains as this can happen very quickly. Cool the grains on a plate for 30 minutes and they are ready to eat. They taste a bit like peanuts and popcorn mixed together.

What To Do With The Popped Grains

I have mixed the popped quinoa with some toasted brown flax seed to make the most exquisite mix of flavours. With popped flax you have to cover the pan with a lid and shake it during cooking. This is because the flax grains jump up high enough to jump out of the pan.

With pop quinoa and pop flax, some added nuts and raisins you have one of the healthiest snacks you could imagine. It also tastes completely delicious. Once you have made a batch you can store it for a few days in an airtight container. I guarantee it won’t last that long because you will eat it.

A second thing to do once you have popped your quinoa is to add 2 cups of water and boil it in the usual way. The seeds will absorb all the water and there is the extra nutty taste to go with whatever recipe you are making.

The final thing you can try is sprinkling the toasted quinoa over your breakfast porridge. It tastes good with quinoa flakes and the traditional oat porridge flakes. It also makes the porridge a highly nutritious and substantial start to the day.



Source by Ken H Jones

Yin and Yang Food – How Does it Affect You?

Did you know that Yin and Yang, the principle at the heart of Chinese philosophy, applies to Chinese food and cooking as well? In Chinese medicine, all food can be divided into four Qis: Hot, warm, cool and cold; or yang, mild yang, mild yin and yin respectively.

In general, yang food improves blood circulation and warms us up, but too much yang food (or eaten during the wrong season e.g. summer) will induce constant thirst, hot flashes, night sweats and constipation. In contrast, yin food quenches thirst, cleanses our systems and cools us down, but if eaten inappropriately it will lower our metabolism and weaken our bodies. In particular, according to traditional Chinese, pregnant women are traditionally advised not to eat yin food (e.g. crab, watermelon) as it may increase the chance of miscarriage.

So what are some examples of yin and yang food?

Grains and Beans

  • Mild Yang (warm food): glutinous rice, black rice, barley, sago, sorghum
  • Mild Yin (cool food): wheat, barley, green beans, buckwheat, millet
  • Right in the middle: Rice, corn (maize), sweet potato, sesame, soy beans, rice beans, oat, long beans, sweet peas, kidney beans, mung beans, lentil, broadbean

Meat and Dairy Product

  • Mild Yang (warm):beef, lamb (mutton), chicken, shrimp, lobster, mussels, goat milk
  • Mild Yin (cool): duck, abalone
  • Yin: duck egg, crab, clam, octopus, squid, escargots, raw food
  • Just Right: chicken egg and egg white, pork, scallop, fish, cow milk, yogurt

Fruits and Nuts

  • Mild Yang (warm): peach, almond, dates, lychee, long yan, lemon, papaya, pine nut, walnut, chestnut, cherry, mango
  • Mild Yin (cool):apple, pear, orange, strawberry, pipa
  • Yin (cold): Persimmon, pomelo, banana, starfruit, kiwi, water melon, sweet melon
  • Just Right: plum, pineapple, grapes, olive, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, peanut, hazelnut

Vegetables

  • Mild Yang (warm): spring onion, garlic, leeks, coriander / parsley, onion, pumpkin
  • Yang (hot): pepper
  • Mild Yin (cool): tomato, celery, egg plant, choy shum, spinach, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, tofu (including soy milk), gluten, lotus root, winter melon, cucumber, mushroom, needle mushroom
  • Yin (cold): bok choy, arrowhead, water spinach, watercress, bamboo shoots, seaweed, straw mushroom, bitter melon, water chestnut
  • Just Right: carrot, potato, taro, mushroom, turnip (very mild yin), black fungus (very mild yin)

Other Food and Ingredients

  • Mild Yang (warm): spices such as young ginger, clove, dill, rosemary, sage, turmeric, thyme, horseradish, cayenne, nutmeg, wild pepper, cumin, star anise; stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, black tea and other caffeinated drinks; red sugar, ginseng
  • Yang (hot): Cinnamon
  • Mild Yin (cool): green tea, honey, beer, chrysanthemum tea, mint
  • Yin (cold): Soy sauce, soy bean paste, salt

How Does This Apply To Us?

According to the Chinese, each of us are born yin, yang or somewhere in between. For example, if you always crave for spicy food you may have a “yin” body; and if you love watermelon anytime in the year you are likely a Yang.

Your health condition can also indicate the yin-yang balance of your body. Constant cold hands and feet? A Yin; Get soar throat easily and have a quick temper? A Yang. Seasonal and geographic variations will also affect our preference on yin and yang foods.

The Advice

  • When cooking yin food (applies to most veggies), add yang ingredients such as garlic, spring onion, ginger and coriander.
  • Eat seasonal food: let the nature guide us how to eat.
  • Balanced diet: if we eat a wide variety of food, the yin and yang will balance out.



Source by Stephanie M Ng

Chinese Food Culture: How Many Meals Per Day?

When I first came to England, I was very confused when people asked me how many meals per day do Chinese people usually have. I would simply reply: “obviously three, but don’t you have the same?”.

Later on I found out that I wasn’t right. Of course, different cultures have different eating habits (in Spain, people usually eat five times a day). Don’t even mention how different each meal could be.

Realizing the differences in terms of food culture between China and Western countries is probably what first made me aware of cultural identity issues. I have been thinking of writing about this for a long time.

The bold statement “three meals per day in Chinese culture” is really not precise, especially considering how many different ethnic groups and different regions there are in China. People belonging to different ethnic groups or living in different areas have slightly different eating habits.

For example, in the very south of China, people would usually have an additional meal in the very late evening, after supper. But in the North, we usually have three meals: breakfast between 6.30am-7.30am (depending on people’s work schedule), lunch at 12pm to 1pm, and dinner around 7pm.

Common Chinese breakfast in Northern provinces could consist of congee with pickles, soya milk with ‘Youtiao’ (a kind of fried pastry), or Chinese steamed ‘bread’. In restaurants that open in the morning for breakfast, you can also get noodles or ‘bao zi’ (steamed bread with fillings).

Lunch normally involves proper dishes and comes with stable food like rice. In Northern provinces, pastries with different fillings are also very common buys for lunch. Students could take lunch boxes and working people would either go home or eat in small restaurants. In any case, lunch is commonly followed by a short nap.

I read an article somewhere a while ago about German businessmen having meetings with Chinese in Shanghai. At 12pm, Chinese people would stand up and said, “it’s lunch time now, let’s go to have lunch, we can keep on talking on the dining table.” Germans were very surprised, because they were in the middle of a meeting. This shows how important food is in Chinese culture.

Dinner is normally prepared properly at home, although, nowadays, with lots of family run restaurants at very reasonable price, people have started buying food or dining out often. Home cooked dinner normally involves a meat or fish dish, and several vegetable dishes.

There is another saying in Chinese: “walking 100 steps after dinner can make you live till 99 years old”. Although this is obviously a metaphor, in China you will see crowds of people having a stroll in the streets or gardens around 7.30pm or 8pm, right after dinner.



Source by Shibin Zhang

8 Low Carb Diet Tips

I was never overweight as a child. In fact I was very, very thin. My nickname was “bones”. When I graduated high school, my life became very sedentary. I gained 20 pounds within a couple of years.

When I reached my 30’s I was 30 pounds overweight but still able to fit into pretty clothes. I then became more sedentary and as I reached my 40’s, I was 80 pounds overweight. I knew I had to do something about it.

With heart disease and diabetes in my family, low carb diets are the only diets that have easily and quickly worked for me.

With a low carb diet, you limit foods high in carbohydrates. By doing so, your body begins to burn fat for fuel.

Following any diet can be difficult to follow but these 8 tips will help you succeed!

1. Eat what you want to eat the night before you start your diet

Cravings are one of the hardest things to deal with when on a low carb diet. Make sure you curb the desire to eat high carbohydrate foods by taking the day before to eat a variety of your favorite foods. This will keep you from dreaming of that one last meal with foods that will be limited on your diet.

2. Have your pantry and refrigerator stocked

Make sure you have all the foods you need in your pantry before you start your diet. This keeps you from cheating. The day before you start your diet, you should have enough food in your house for at least seven days. This will also help you plan meals and keep you from going to the grocery store when you’re hungry.

3. Make a menu

Making menus will help you plan your meals for the day. This keeps you from trying to decide what you’re going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is also a good way for you to stick to your diet.

4. Keep snacks with you at all times

Snacking is practically a rule for a low carb diet. Being able to munch on something throughout the day helps curb your appetite. Cheese, almonds and peanuts make great snacks.

5. Have fast food to break the monotony

There are many foods available from restaurants that can be made low carb. I happen to love taco salads but at fast food restaurants, they normally have at least one or two ingredients that are high in carbs. A taco salad without beans, rice or the shell kept me from cheating the very first day. A little extra beef or cheese didn’t hurt either.

6. Experiment with different recipes

By having a variety of meals to choose from, you will never be bored with your diet. Try chicken with a beef recipe or adding different spices or vegetables to one of your favorite dishes. Having a list of recipes to choose from makes it easy to create meals from any food in your pantry or refrigerator.

7. Make your favorite meal low carb

Take your favorite meal and make it low carb. If you like bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast, leave the toast out and add another low carb food like avocado or cheese. Sometimes a little more quantity is all you need to satisfy your appetite.

8. Start your day with a glass of water

Keeping your body healthy means keeping it hydrated. One any diet, you should drink 8 glasses or more of water every day. The body needs water to function correctly and if you become even slightly dehydrated, you’re cells are not in an optimal state. Start your day with a glass of water, even if you have to have coffee after that.

Losing weight is something a lot of people struggle with. Low carb diets are popular but they’re not fads. They work and they can be made into a lifestyle. Good luck and happy dieting!



Source by Nora Ochoa

How I Lost 25kg in 100 Days

A few years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and Fibromyalgia that has been both debilitating and life changing. Apart from the fact that it took over a year for a diagnosis, I felt like I rattled when I walked with the number of medications I was taking. Apart from becoming inactive after years of regular exercise I was taking medications that contributed to my excessive weight gain.

Over the course of time I put on an excess 25kg, more than a quarter of my total body weight, it was depressing and uncomfortable to say the least and I wasn’t looking like losing any of it soon. After viewing some photos from a holiday with friends I made a decision that something had to change and the weight had to go.

I’m going to qualify this article by letting you all know that I am not a dietician or nutritionist and hold no expertise on the subject of diet. I am simply going to tell you what worked for me, in a remarkably short space in time. The only reason I am even writing this article is because my doctor was so amazed she told me recently that I needed to let people know my secret. I’m here to tell you there are no secrets, just some simple common sense and a dash of will power.

I realized to lose weight I had to combine a change of diet with at least some exercise. You have to understand that with my condition exercise is not an easy thing to achieve. Major symptoms of my condition include fatigue and pain, which restricts my ability to do any physical activity. Both of these facts limit the amount and frequency of any exercise I am able to do, but I didn’t let it stop me from doing what I could.

I started out by walking about 1km a day. That was about my limit as I would get back home from a walk and collapse onto the bed for at least an hour in recovery. As time went on however I managed to slowly increase the distance I was walking to about 4km, which took me about 45 minutes. I would do my best to achieve these walks at least 5 days a week. I had the benefit of an active 25kg American Staff puppy to set the pace and pull me along so I would say the walks were reasonably brisk in nature.

The only other thing that I did to achieve the weight loss was change my diet. I made an attempt to eliminate complex carbohydrates, though I was still consuming small portions in some meals. I even indulged in the odd treat of chocolate on occasion. You don’t have to completely eliminate the simple pleasures of life.

I generally ate breakfast around 9:00am before my walks and it consisted of the same thing every day for the entire dieting period. It was really simple and consisted of one cup of Swiss formula natural muesli with a cup of High calcium, low-fat milk. If I found myself looking for food between meals I wouldn’t starve myself, I would indulge in an apple or similar to overcome the hunger.

Despite the cravings I stuck with the plan and rarely ate again until around 1:30pm. Lunch consisted again of the same meal for the entire period. One thing for sure, this was a boring diet and you can get sick of eating the same thing but when it works like this did it’s easy to stick with the plan. I had spinach and rocket salad with half an avocado, a cup of stripped breast chicken, quarter of a cup of light grated cheddar cheese and a diced tomato with a tablespoon of ranch style dressing. All this was topped off with a soft poached egg that just makes this salad perfect. I promise you, it’s actually really good and was easy to prepare so it was never difficult to maintain the will power.

The little bit of variety in my diet came with the evening meal, and this is where I had the majority of my daily intake of carbohydrates. Three out of seven nights a week I had a Thai based curry, usually chicken or lamb with vegetables. The good thing about a curry is you can make up a large batch and freeze several portions for later in the week. I always made it with light coconut milk and restricted the rice to about half a cup. If your interested in my recipe for the curry just let me know via the website and I will be happy to forward a copy.

Other options for evening meals basically came down to a lean piece of rump or scotch fillet steak (200grm maximum) with steamed vegetables (no potatoes). Simple but enjoyable! I also enjoyed a slice of Atlantic or Tasmanian Salmon (200grms maximum) with steamed vegetables or a serve of the salad I made for lunch.

Okay so variety wasn’t on the menu but you get used to it over a short space of time and it’s easy to stick with the program. Over the first four weeks I was losing on average about 1kg a week and then all of a sudden around week five the kilo’s started to really fall off. By the end of 13 I had lost 25kg total and was back to the weight I had been prior to being diagnosed. Since then I have managed to maintain the weight by simply being sensible and avoiding any complex carbohydrates like those found in cakes and biscuits. The secret is to keep it simple and it will work. If you would like any further information or recipes from the diet plan that worked for me please feel free to drop me a line at the website and I will reply as soon as possible.

So there you have it… it’s that simple and you don’t need any expensive weight loss products to be successful. If you find this helpful and it works for you also, then all I ask is that you consider supporting a struggling new author. Best of luck, I hope this can work for you as well as it did for me.



Source by Richard Connery

Is Hamster Kosher?

Kosher food and kosher cooking seems to be more popular than ever. Many people assume that “kosher” means “healthy.” Actually, the Hebrew word “kasher” means “proper.” The term refers to ingredients and animals that are determined to be “proper” according to the Hebrew Bible or “Torah.”

The three criteria set out in the Torah that define a kosher land animal are 1) they have a split hoof, 2) they chew their cud and 3) they are slaughtered according to tradition with as little pain as possible. For instance, a cow fits this description but a pig only has one element (the split hoof) thereby rendering itself non-kosher. By extension, anything derived from a pig becomes non-kosher, such as ham or pickled pig’s feet.

So hamster contains “ham” but is not kosher to eat because of the split hoof and cud thing. Hamsters are, however, kosher to own and raise as a pet. Other things that may become confused as to their kosher status are “hamstrings,” “pygmalion” and “sporks.”

Fish, according to the Torah, are kosher if they have two elements as well. 1) fins and 2) scales. Sharks are not kosher, but tuna is. Catfish is not kosher, but not because it contains “cat” in the name. Catfish do not have scales.

I myself am a vegetarian, because I don’t like the idea of anything dying if it’s not absolutely necessary. And over the years I have come up with some recipes that are excellent substitutes for meat and meat products.

My favorite vegetarian recipe is “Steak Tartar.” First of all, you should know there is no meat in my steak tartar, but there is tartar sauce. Lots of it. In fact, I usually find a nice ramekin dish and fill it with tartar sauce. That’s it. Garnish with pepper and serve with a spoon. Simple, elegant, and very tasty. If you’re a big meat eater, I guarantee this dish will make you forget why you were drawn to meat in the first place.

Another recipe I like a lot is called “Cheeseburger Extraordinaire.” For this dish, I excise the burger and replace with cheese. So, two buns, two slices of cheese (cheddar or muenster) and cover with tartar sauce.” I can whip this up for company very quickly. It also works as a lunch or mid-afternoon snack. I’ve submitted this recipe to all the big fast food restaurants in America, but none of them have incorporated it into their menus, yet.



Source by Moti Rakia

Paleohacks Cookbook Recipe Review

Are you in search of recipes that promote fat burning and weight loss? Are you in need of a comprehensive guide rich in paleo recipes? The Paleohacks cookbook recipe is one of the simplest and most comprehensive guides when it comes to easy paleo recipes. The idea at the back of paleo weight loss program is pinned on what our predecessors used to eat which consisted mainly of meat. Research into the past lifestyle of our predecessors revealed the lack of modern diseases like obesity, heart attack and diabetes among others. By replicating the same lifestyle, users can finally lead a healthy lifestyle which is what every single person wants.

If you are looking for the best paleo diet guide that will impart a healthier and more fulfilling life, then you need to know about the Paleohacks cookbook recipe.

This is an eBook that teaches you how to prepare a wide variety of Paleo diet meals which are geared towards healthy living and weight loss. As a comprehensive guide, it covers a wide range of meals from snacks like flavored nuts to desserts and the main course. The recipes are formulated to provide meals for breakfast, lunch, snack time and dinner.

You don’t have to be an experienced chef in order to prepare the meals nor do you need several hours to prepare the meals. They suit the modern lifestyle and offer a nutritional balance that is beneficial to the overall growth and strengthening of the body.

Benefits of the Paleohacks cookbook recipe

1. Easy to understand language

The main language used in writing the eBook is English. The sentence structure used is easy to understand and readers are not left hanging. The language is clear plus the recipe is written in a step by step instruction mode making it easy for readers to follow from start to end. No technical terms have been used as this would make the eBook difficult to read.

2. Over 150 recipes

Readers have access to over 150 recipes which are designed for breakfast, lunch, snack time and dinner. The recipes promote the use of ingredients which are rich in protein, a nutrient that not only promotes muscle generation and repair but it also helps with fat burning. These easy Paleo recipes are created for people who have a busy life.

3. Instant access

The eBook is available in pdf format which means once payment has been made and confirmed, the reader will download the eBook and store it in a smart device. Access to the recipe is instant as all you need is to power on the device and open the eBook.

4. Highly valuable product

The easy Paleo recipes have been created by a team of professionals who have years of experience in preparing healthy meals that promote fat burning and weight loss.

5.60 day money back guarantee

Yes, you will receive a full refund in case the eBook is not what you expected. The 60 day money back guarantee helps to make sure that you are protected after purchase.

Cons

a. While it is available as an eBook, no hard copy is available at any store

b. The eBook is only available on the official website.

Final Thoughts

If you were looking for a risk free recipe book that promotes the use of natural and organic ingredients, then you need to seek the Paleohacks cookbook recipe. It’s a great eBook written by a team of professionals who have experience with the Paleo diet. You can never go wrong with the Paleohacks cookbook recipe.



Source by Saheem Al Kindi