SALUTING SUPER DADS AND SUPER FOODS #503 06/06/12
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Father's Day, Father's Way: 6 Great Gifts for 6 Great Dads

By Collette DeBenetello

There are certain moments in life that stay with you forever. The first time you threw a baseball, the first time you rode a bike, the first time you went camping in the great outdoors—and the s'mores that went with them . . . mmm . . . s'mores . . . oh wait. Sorry. For a second, I forgot who I was writing for. Anyway, what do all of these amazing experiences have in common? They were shared with the man, the myth, the legend—your dad!

Man With Family at the Beach

And not only is June 17th the day to celebrate the old boy, but the week leading up to Father's Day is Men's Health Week—the time of the year when we raise awareness of preventable health problems in men. So maybe it's the time to get Dad those golf clubs he's been itching for, and encourage him to have that doctor checkup he's been putting off since the Clinton Administration. That way, you can celebrate Father's Day for many more years to come.

But I can almost hear you dads out there saying, "Hey, get back to the golf clubs part." So let's do it. It's time to give back to Dad and show him thanks for all those years he put up with Slayer's Reign in Blood album blasting from your bedroom stereo. Dads come in all shapes and sizes, so how do you know what the right gift is for your patron? We're here to help!

  1. Father and Son FishingPeter Griffin. Is your dad a real Family Guy whose favorite pastime is sitting on the couch and watching TV? This Father's Day, let him keep the boob tube, but lose the man boobs by pressing play with Power 90®. This home fitness program, Tony Horton's precursor to P90X®, will have your dad losing pounds and dropping inches. And he doesn't have to be Chuck Norris (also a father) to enjoy the program. You're giving your dad the gift of fitness and a positive lifestyle. If 90 days of workouts isn't his thing (yet), give your dad a gentle nudge and take him on a hike, shoot hoops, or play catch. Soon he won't be able to rest his beer on his rapidly diminishing gut, so add some coasters in there for an added bonus!
  2. Mike Brady. If your dad is like Mr. Brady, then he was probably cool in the '70s, but his bellbottoms and perm have since become outdated. Bring him into the 21st century with a heart rate monitor or a pedometer. Always on the go, he'll be able to keep track of his calories and/or steps while staying busy.
  3. P90X®Evel Knievel. Do you have a daredevil of a dad? Is his idea of fun white water rafting, skydiving, or jumping the Grand Canyon? Since he likes to live on the edge, give your extreme dad the extreme home fitness program, P90X. This program is a great way to train for those extreme sports that your dad lives for. Then, when it's time to show off his strength and skills on the mountain bike or the hike of his choice, go with him! You'll share an endorphin high, and some quality bonding time as well.
  4. Jay Pritchett. In your Modern Family, your dad is the ultimate guy's guy. His idea of a great idea is kicking back with his football buddies, watching the game, and enjoying some good old-fashioned bromance time. Give him a set of golf clubs or golf shoes, so that he can spend quality time with his friends and take the trash talking from the living room to the great outdoors. Or perhaps if he's a grill master, you could get him a stainless steel grill set for the summer barbeques ahead.
  5. Father and DaughterMr. Miyagi. Sometimes, important mentors may not be connected to you biologically. Maybe now is a good time to give them props, too. A card or lunch would probably mean the world to them, but a small gift wouldn't hurt, either. With summer here, get him a pair of sunglasses, so that he can stay protected whether he's on the beach, on a bike ride, or waxing the car.
  6. Tony Soprano. Running a crime family is hard work. There are people to be paid, garbage companies to pretend to own, and a great deal at stake. For the stressed out dad, give the gift of Tai Cheng. Maybe if he got his Zen on, he'd mellow out. This workout program will revitalize his mobility, agility, and vitality. While you're at it, throw in the RumbleRoller®, so that your dad can foam roll his worries away.

But more than any of these things, this Father's Day, give the gift you know your dad would love that money can't buy—time with you. OK . . . and the golf clubs.

Related Articles
"Mother's Day 2.0: Making Mom Happy in 3 Easy Steps"
"7 Ways to Save Valentine's Day When—Oops!—It Slipped Your Mind"
"10 Ways to Ward Off Excess Holiday Pounds"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.

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 mailbag@beachbody.com. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!

And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.

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Wake-up Calls: 7 Ways to Boost Your Energy Without Caffeine

By Lisa Palac

For most, it happens in the late afternoon, usually between lunch and 6ish: that feeling of sluggish, low-energy brain-deadness that makes you want to call it quits for the day. Since that's generally not an option, you reach for the next solution: the caffeine pick-me-up. Whether it's coffee or tea or a yerba mate, many of us are in the habit of using caffeine to prop ourselves up during the draggiest part of the day. Of course, some of us—and you know who you are—go one step further and combine refined sugar and caffeine. Nothing like a Frappucino® and double fudge mini-donut to shake things up. It's a slippery slope.

Coffee Beans

But what if you don't want to be a Coffee Achiever? Maybe it's getting in the way of sleep later that night. Maybe you're doing the Beachbody Ultimate Reset or a general cleanse. Or maybe you've done some research, weighed the pros and cons (as laid out in the Beachbody Newsletter a few weeks ago), and decided caffeine just isn't your thing. How to break the cycle? Here are 7 healthy ways to pull yourself through an afternoon.

  1. People ExercisingGet 15 minutes of exercise. Researchers at the University of Georgia found overwhelming evidence that regular exercise plays a significant role in increasing energy levels and reducing fatigue. "A lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise," said professor Patrick O'Connor, co-director of the UGA exercise psychology laboratory. "But if you're physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will help." Take a power walk, take a quick run, do 15 sun salutes. Walk up and down the office stairs for 15 minutes. Jump rope for 3 minutes, then walk. The more active you can be in these 15 minutes, the better. Activity increases circulation, and circulation transports oxygen throughout the body, which in turn boosts our energy level.
  2. Start breathing deeply. Conscious breathing is, perhaps, the easiest way to energize your body and improve mental clarity, among many other benefits. Breathing deeply provides your body with the oxygen it needs to increase energy and alertness. Dr. Andrew Weil, who has written extensively on the restorative power of the breath, suggests "The Stimulating Breath" as an energy booster. (It's basically a mini-version of Kundalini yoga's "Breath of Fire.") Close your mouth, and breathe forcefully and rapidly in and out of your nose for 15 seconds, then breathe naturally. Alternately, you can sit up straight, on a ball if possible, roll your shoulders back and breathe deeply for 10 minutes, pausing on the inhale and then again on the exhale, as a way to simply become aware of your breath.
  3. AlmondsEat some almonds. Here's the amazing thing about almonds: they're rich in protein and they contain magnesium, a mineral that helps convert sugar into energy. Magnesium also helps with immune support, restful sleep, stress relief and heightens mood. The almond is often considered a superfood because it's high in calcium and vitamin E with zero cholesterol. If you can't/won't eat almonds, try cashews, walnuts, or pecans. Nut butters are also a good way to mix up the textures, preferably unsalted. If almonds are too hard on your teeth, try soaking them in water overnight before you eat them. It softens them just enough.
  4. Woman Listening to MusicCrank up the music. Listening to your favorite fast song gets you pumped up and gives you a quick burst of energy, right? The music works on several physiological levels. One, music can raise your endorphin level. Endorphins are the biochemicals produced by our brains that both relieve pain and increase our sense of happiness. They're the same chemicals responsible for "the runner's high," the euphoric feeling you get after a great workout. Two, music boosts your energy level by increasing blood flow. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore concluded that listening to your favorite music has a measurably positive effect on your cardiovascular system by expanding the inner lining of your blood vessels, which increases circulation.
  5. Soak up the sun. Take a break and get out in the sunshine, even if it's only for 10 minutes. The sun is a great source of vitamin D, a nutrient that's essential for healthy bones and teeth, but research now suggests that vitamin D may help in preventing cancer, as well as regulating our moods, cognitive abilities, and energy levels. The sun also plays a huge role in our daily circadian rhythm, our body's natural 24-hour sleep/awake cycle. When this cycle is thrown out of balance, it often leads to sleep loss and stress, which in turn leads to increased caffeine use.
  6. Man and Woman SleepingTake a power nap. Cornell psychology professor James Maas coined the term "power nap" in his 1997 book, Power Sleep. In it, he recommends the daytime nap as a healthy, even necessary activity—but only if you don't have trouble falling asleep at night. He also believes they are most effective when you take them at the same time every day, which is usually about 8 hours after you wake. Maas says 15 to 30 minutes is the optimal amount of time for a nap; any longer and you'll enter a deep sleep which can leave you feeling groggy. He also provides these nap tips:

    • Turn off the lights, close the door, and get rid of other distractions.
    • Lying down on a couch, or chair with your feet up, is ideal, but any position including head down on your desk will do.
    • Set an alarm, so you can nap worry-free.
  7. Take a Scottish shower. It's what James Bond does, and look at the energy that guy has. In the Ian Fleming novels, Bond's showers start out hot but finish with icy cold invigorating water. Commonly known as the Scottish shower, the idea is that alternating between hot and cold water improves cardiovascular circulation, which leads to feeling energized. Beyond youthful vigor, practitioners of the Scottish shower claim it keeps them younger-looking, too. In addition, researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine found that short cold showers might even help relieve depression. If you want to give it a try, it's simple: Spend four minutes in a hot shower, then slowly decrease the amount of hot water, until it's pure cold. Enjoy the chill for at least two minutes.

If caffeine is your habit, it will require a bit of effort to replace it with other ways to lively up yourself. But the first step is simply becoming aware of all the other effective options available to you. And now you know. Welcome to your new, jitter-free, energized, oxygen-rich world.

Related Articles
"The Latté Lowdown: 10 Things to Like and Not Like About Coffee"
"10 Ways to Get Your Butt Off the Couch This Winter"
"Sugar Addiction Detox 101"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.

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 mailbag@beachbody.com. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!

And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.

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Top 10 Seasonal Foods to Summer-Proof Your Body

By Sarah Stevenson

Who doesn't love summer? Wearing bathing suits, playing Frisbee® at the beach, swimming on a warm August night, and the abundance of yummy fruits and veggies that grow during the summer months. There's truly nothing like the flavor of food that's ripe and ready to be eaten from your local farmers' market or, if you're lucky, from your own backyard. Not only does local, seasonal food taste better, but less time traveling from vine to plate means it maintains more vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Seasonal Foods

Here's just some of the produce in season that'll keep you healthy and strong. That way, you can enjoy every last sunset and sunrise this summer.

  1. Melons. Melons are a summer superfood. They're great, low-calorie snacks that give you a nice, fresh pick-me-up. Melons are full of water; in fact, watermelon in particular gets 92 percent of its weight from water, and its cousins, cantaloupe and honeydew, don't fall far behind. You might notice most of the fruits and veggies that bloom in summer are a great source of water, which of course is Mother Nature taking care of us in the hot, sweaty summer months. Melons do a great job at filling your tummy as well. Full tummy but hot body sounds like a perfect combination for swimsuit season, right?
  2. CucumberCucumber. Most of us could use a bit more fiber in our diets. The secret is to also up your water intake, so your food can move freely through your system. Cucumbers have the perfect balance of the two. This veggie is great for those summer months when you get all hot and sweaty. Cucumbers are a tasty, convenient snack food and a refreshing pick-me-up to your salads, sandwiches, and even water.
  3. AvocadoAvocado. This summer fruit often gets a bad rep for its fat content. Too bad, because it's good fat, if eaten in moderation. Fresh, ripe avocados contain non-oxidized monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can lower blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Why do we love this summer fruit particularly in the sunbathing season? It does a great job at filling up your tummy due to its high fat content, so you're not quite as vulnerable to those naughty snacks that keep you begging for more. There's also research that suggests avocados can reverse the aging process by providing plenty of vitamin E to heal damaged skin.
  4. Corn. You can buy this summer BBQ staple year-round, but it really tastes the best and is most cost effective during the summer months because, you guessed, it's in season. It contains a bunch of digestive enzymes that will help metabolize your food once it hits your intestines. Corn is high in antioxidants, which keep your immune system healthy. (Who wants to be sick in the summer?) It is a fantastic source of fiber, and it contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect you from the sun's harmful rays. So throw some corn on the barbie. It's good for you.
  5. LemonLemons. Lemon trees are in bloom year-round, so they aren't actually considered a seasonal fruit. But I always think of the summer days when my sis and I would squeeze a bunch of lemon juice in our hair before we went surfing, so our hair would get lighter. Like cucumber, lemons are a great way to spice up your water. Doing this makes for a natural system cleanser that aids digestion (warding off heartburn and gas) and stimulates your liver, according to many holistic practitioners. Furthermore, when you squeeze a little lemon in your water, you tend to drink more, which is always good. Lemons are also a great exfoliant, which is super helpful for those summer days when you start to look like a lizard shedding its skin from all that baking in the sun. Finally, it can also work as a teeth whitener to make your teeth even whiter against your tan skin for a stunning smile. So when life gives you lemons, sure, you could make lemonade, but why not stay away from all that refined sugar? Instead, make hair lightener, teeth whitener, exfoliant, and yummy water.
  6. Green BeansGreen beans. These crunchy, scrumptious little veggies are great raw for a summer snack. They also taste amazing grilled with garlic and lemon, and are so incredibly good for you. They're rich in manganese, a nutrient that helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Manganese also metabolizes vitamin E, which fights against the signs of aging (an inevitable occurrence that increases when you're exposed to too much sun). This means green beans should be on your grocery list this summer to help keep your skin beautiful and your body fit.
  7. Peppers. Peppers have more flavors and are less expensive during the summer months when they're in abundance. Peppers add vivacious color and flavor to your summer meals and contain a plethora of nutrients. The sweeter bell peppers (red and yellow) are packed with vitamin A, which keeps your skin nice and strong while incidentally fighting off infection. Hot peppers like habaneros, jalapenos, serranos, cayenne, and chipotle peppers are low in calories and have the much-desired benefit of being metabolism-enhancing fat burners. Don't blaze off your taste buds trying to shed pounds, but do add a little heat to your summer plates to help kick-start the pound-shedding process.
  8. TomatoesTomatoes. These easy-to-grow backyard buddies contain many nutrients that serve as allies against summer's negative attributes. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is found to be effective in fighting the signs of aging due to ultraviolet light. So when you cut up a nice, juicy tomato and toss it in your salad, you are actually increasing your chances of keeping the youthful sheen that sun exposure can take away. Lycopene also helps fight against cancer. Tomatoes contain vitamins A and C as well as beta-carotene, which are heavy hitters in the war against free radicals that cause cell damage.
  9. Cherries. If life were really just a bowl of cherries, it would be one blissful life. Why? Because cherries contain some pretty awesome nutrients. For starters, they contain melatonin, a natural hormone produced in our brain's pineal gland that is known to slow the aging process. Increasing your melatonin levels can offer the benefit of a beautiful night's rest, as well as acting as a pain reliever. Cherries also contain antioxidants (a trend in summer produce, apparently). A 1999 study at Michigan State University found that the antioxidant activity of tart black cherries is greater than plain ol' vitamin E. That's certainly not the pits.
  10. PeachesPeaches. Have you ever compared a peach in the winter and a peach in the summer? If you have, you know how obvious it is that this is indeed a summer fruit. Peaches contain many nutrients that your body needs to stay vital and strong, including vitamins A and C, as well as other antioxidants and fiber. Like corn, peaches also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect your eyes from sun damage.

So don't starve yourself of delectable food this season. Summer offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables packed with nutrients to make you as beautiful as you can be. Take advantage of the season. It won't be here forever.

Resource:

  • American Heart Association: www.heart.org
  • Yu Wen Li, Zhao Ya Ping, Xue Zheng, Wang Da Pu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University); Study on Synergistic Effect of Two Antioxidants and Its Anti-ageing Properties [J]; China Oils and Fats; 2002
  • Haibo Wang, Muraleedharan G. Nair, Gale M. Strasburg, Yu-Chen Chang, Alden M. Booren, J. Ian Gray, and David L. DeWitt. Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory Activities of Anthocyanins and Their Aglycon, Cyanidin, from Tart Cherries. Journal of Natural Products 1999, 62 (2), pp 294-2

Related Articles
"7 Colors of the Phytonutrient Rainbow: How Eating a Variety of Colors Can Keep You Healthy"
"Leaf Relief: 8 Awesome Herbs for Your Kitchen"
"Chili Peppers: A Hot Ticket for a Healthy Diet"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.

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 mailbag@beachbody.com. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!

And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.

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Recipe: Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup

(Makes 1 serving)

Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup
So you took our advice, went to the farmers' market, and loaded up on seasonal produce. Nice work. Now what the heck are you going to do with it? Soup, anyone? We know, we know. Soup is generally considered a winter dish, but it's time to break that mold. After all, we're all outliers here, right?

Enjoy this creamy concoction cold or with a fresh, green salad. It's a great "light" meal for a hot summer night.

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1 medium serrano chili, seeded
  • 6 oz. plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  1. Place cucumber, avocado, serrano chili, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and ice cubes in food processor.
  2. Process until smooth; serve immediately.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Nutritional Information: (per serving)

Calories Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Sodium Carbs Fiber Sugar Protein
143 7 g 2 g 0 mg 351 mg 14 g 3 g 9 g 6 g

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 mailbag@beachbody.com.


P90X® and P90X2® Portion Information

Nutritional Information: (per serving)

Vegetable Fat
1 1


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