Two reasons why you should enjoy more Cayenne Pepper in your food:

1.Cayenne pepper is high in vitamin A. It also contains vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese.

2. Cayenne pepper is also known as a male aphrodisiac because it contains capsaicin which can increase blood flow to all parts of the human body. It is known in many cultures to be a potent libido enhancing aid that increases euphoric endorphins in the blood stream.

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If you’ve ever struggled with procrastination (all of us) watch this insightful video. 

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Highly Contaminated Areas

Wash your hands if you touch any of the following places. A new study shows that these areas contain the highest concentration of harmful germs and bacteria.

Gas Pump Dispensers
Mailbox Handles
Escalator Rails
ATM Buttons
Parking Meters
Crosswalk buttons

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5 Less Obvious Tips to Survive Irene

If you’re on the East Coast like me, you’ll want to take these small things into consideration. 

1. Go to The National Hurricane Center’s website. Check the weather every two hours or so to see the progress of the storm and damage reports.

2. Take evacuations very seriously. This storm is no joke. 

3. Prepare to be without power until possibly Wednesday-Friday, depending on when Irene is passing over your residence. This mean you should buy food that doesn’t depend on your fridge or freezer. Canned food, soups, etc. Buy fruit and dry grains as well. Dried meat isn’t the best for you, but it will help in this case as well. Charge all of your computers, phones, etc. before the storm hits. Buy candles, flashlights, and batteries. These things are going fast!

4. You may be without water, if the storm becomes a category 3 or higher. So stock up on some bottled water, depending on where you are. If you’re in NYC or an area with clean drinking water, fill mugs, bowls, water bottles and other large containers with water so that you have enough for the week. Clean out your bathtub and sink and fill them with water for bathing. Also, shave now or forever hold your peace. Clean your toilet and do your dishes because it’s going to be a long week, as far as that stuff is concerned. Wash all veggies and fruit and any other food that needs washing now.

5. In case of flooding, move items off of the floor. Unplug appliances for the walls to prevent shorting.

Keep yourself informed. These are only a few ideas to give you a starting point. Do your research and be prepared. 

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Things I Eat (Pt. 2: Lunch)

In this three part series, I will share with you some of the foods that I eat the most. This canalso be used as a handy guide when you find yourself in common chain restaurants on the road such as Denny’s, Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel and Applebee’s.

Lunch

Grilled Chicken Salad: If the chicken is grilled and the greens are anything but iceberg, you’re in business. Skip the croutons. 

Balsamic Vinaigrette: Low calorie, low fat dressing. Use very little, it goes a long way. Always order this, and every salad dressing, on the side. Most restaurants will give you unhealthy servings of dressing if you don’t tell them so.

Almond Butter: Better for you than peanut butter. Also, cheap considering it will satisfy you like a meal. Spread some ONE SLICE of healthy bread (check out Arnold Grains and More breads) or a banana. Boom!

Seasonal Fruit: If you’re not that hungry, but still need a pick-me-up, grab a piece of fruit that’s in season. Hint: Apples are not currently in season. If you’re eating huge perfect apples right now, they’re probably not grown in a natural way.

Raw Vegetables: High in fiber, and low in everything else. Also, depending on what you choose, they are rich in vitamins. Most menus do not offer this, but you can always ask.

Soup and or Sandwiches: These can be either nutritious or a complete health disaster. Rules to live by when ordering or making these: Low fat or no fat is best in the ingredients (ie meat, cheese, condiments in sandwiches and the broth or base of the soup) Avoid creme based soups, and mayo based sandwiches. Low sodium meats/bases and ingredients is also encouraged. Shoot for high vegetable content, even if you’re making a turkey sandwich. Ham, salami, pepperoni and bacon all are high in fat. Turkey is usually the way to go for a healthy sandwich. Tuna can be good, but places like Subway will include full fat mayo in their tuna spreads. Soup to avoid are any chowders, cream of ____, or cheese based selections. As always, any breaded or fried ingredients are the worst. My favorite soup is lentil and my favorite sandwich is turkey, swiss, romaine, tomato with spicy mustard on whole grain wheat bread (only one slice).

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Hello Breakfast!

Hello Breakfast!

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Love these. Perfect for ice cream freaks watching their weight.

Love these. Perfect for ice cream freaks watching their weight.

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Things I Eat (Pt. 1: Breakfast & Snacks)

In this three part series, I will share with you some of the foods that I eat the most. This can also be used as a handy guide when you find yourself in common chain restaurants on the road such as Denny’s, Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel and Applebee’s.

Breakfast 

Egg whites: I always start my day with this high protein food. It fills you up and has very little fat and zero cholesterol. You can usually ask your server to substitute regular eggs with egg whites for a small extra charge. (Egg Beaters is a common brand name.)

Turkey Bacon: Satisfying and not nearly as fatty as the pig version. They contain good protein that your body can use. Skip the pig. Sorry.

Swiss Cheese: The leanest of the cheeses. Substitute the standard issue American and Cheddar with this to cut down on fat and calories. 

Strawberries, Blueberries: Wash them and eat. Lots of fiber, not a lot of sugar, and very good for you. They’re in season, you know.

Oatmeal: I’ll be honest, I don’t love it, but it’s very good for you and a better alternative to toast or cereal. Get the instant oats, the kind you buy in bulk. Or the Kashi instant stuff. Don’t add sugar. Try different fruit combos, or cinnamon. If you order this at a chain, friends don’t let friends order oatmeal with milk. Get it on the side. I’ve seen a lot of perfectly good oat meal drowned in tons of fatty whole milk. Gross and unhealthy. 

Snacks

Water: Ok. Not a snack. But sometimes when I think I’m hungry, I drink two glasses of water and it turns out I was thirsty. True story. 

Raw Carrots/Celery and Hummus: Eat as much of this stuff as you want. So good, and so good for you. Just wash the veggies first.

Meal Bars: Clif Bars, etc. This is a bit of a slippery slope. Most of these things are packed with bad sugar, along with all of the beneficial nutrients. But if you’re in a pinch, it’s nice to have one handy to keep your blood sugar in check. If you’re crashing, eat one of these guys SLOWLY. That way, your blood sugar won’t spike and crash, and you can sustain the temporary energy boost and get more mileage out of a bar. I’ll eat one a few hours before a meal, usually during a long rehearsal or during a session, when a meal is just too heavy for the moment. 

Greek Yogurt: Packed with protein. Get the 0% so that you don’t get tons of fat with your serving. Sprinkle cinnamon and a LITTLE BIT of sugar/Splenda, etc on and you’re in business. Also doubles as a dessert. 

Fruit: Wash and eat. Some have more sugar than others, but this is better for you than any processed, over priced crap out there. 

Trail Mix: Make your own by going to the bulk food section of your grocery store/COOP. Avoid the salted nuts, too much chocolate/candy stuff, (a little is alright), and enjoy. I like roasted almonds, dried blueberries, sunflower seeds, peanuts, cashews and dark chocolate bits. Eat this instead of pretty much everything at a tuck stop or gas station.

-Next week, we do LUNCH.

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Clear Your Mind

Four simple, yet effective ways to clear your cluttered mind.

1. Make a list: Goals, To Do, Planning, Problems. Just get it all out on paper and number each item. Breaking down your thoughts and organizing them on paper helps you regain your perspective and stay in control.

2. Talk to someone: Call a good listener and vent. Tell them what you’re about to do, and that you don’t need suggestions, advice or solutions right now, and vent. The goal here is to get it all out and release some emotions surrounding your thoughts so that you can move forward.

3. Eliminate clutter: Clean your workspace, apartment, practice space, etc. Get rid of old clothes, things you no longer use and small trivial items. Having too many things around can be distracting in itself. Purging unimportant things will make room for important things.

4. Give yourself time: Allow yourself time to think about what you want and need to do. Don’t jump to solutions and answers. Don’t fire off that email just yet. Make space in your mind to get into the right head space.

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