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    Health and Wellness

    The Amino That We Know

    The Amino That We Know


    What is an amino acid? A class of organic compounds that contains at least one amino group, -NH2, and one carboxyl group, -COOH: the alpha-amino acids, RCH(NH2)COOH), are the building blocks from which proteins are constructed. Wait…did someone say protein?

     

    All chemistry aside, amino acids are the building blocks to life. When protein is consumed and broken down, what is left are amino acids. These amino acids are then used to build new protein for the body to use. There is a reason gym goers are slamming down protein shakes after a workout or the need for high-protein, low-carb diets. There is a reason for this. Protein is used by every cell in the body. Protein is used for hair and nail growth, build and repair tissue, production of enzymes, hormones, body chemicals and used as building blocks for bone, muscle, skin and blood. Pretty much everything. Protein are considered a macro-nutrient. Macro-nutrients are the main nutrients that make up the food we eat: proteins, carbohydrates, and fat. We need 20 amino acids for normal functions of the body.
    Amino acids can be put into three main categories:
    · Essential
    · Nonessential
    · Conditional

     

    ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS
    Essential amino acids are just that, essential. The reason for this is that they cannot be made by the body. Because of this, we must get them from the food that we eat. There are 9 essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, threonine, and valine.
    Foods that have all essential amino acids are considered complete proteins and they include:
    · Meat
    · Seafood
    · Poultry
    · Dairy Products
    · Eggs

    NONESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS
    Unlike essential amino acids, nonessential amino acids are produced by our bodies, even if we do not get it from the food we eat. Nonessential amino acids include: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid.
    CONDITIONAL AMINO ACIDS
    Conditional amino acids are usually not essential, except in times of illness and stress. Conditional amino acids include: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.
    It is easy to achieve the correct amount of amino acids that are needed for the body to conduct its normal functions. A balanced diet with a variety of proteins, fruits, grains, and vegetables should be able to accomplish this. Supplementation could be used for specific needs but a moderately active individual should get all the necessary amino acids with a balanced diet. In fact, supplementation could be completely avoided with the right amount of food consumption. You do not need to eat essential and nonessential amino acids at every meal, but getting a balance of them over the whole day is important so use variety in your protein choices to not only kill cravings but also increase meal enjoyment!
    by Will Del Pizzo, StrongHouse Carlsbad 03/28/2019

    8 Life Hack TED Talks for Meaningful Living

    8 Life Hack TED Talks for Meaningful Living

    8 Life Hack TED Talks for Meaningful Living
    by Niña Alexandra Palmares


    My goal for 2019 is to have a better understanding of myself. When you are your own best friend, life gets easier trust me. You know what you want, you have a better grip of your values, and you know how to avoid things that are not meant to be in your life: like procrastination, low self-esteem, self-doubts, and toxic people.

    TED (technology, entertainment, and design) Talks are a great source of inspiration and enlightenment. It encourages you not only to work on yourselves. The talks also explore interesting topics like minimalism, mental health, physical beauty, meditation, bikes, sexuality, and many others. I have provided you a list of TED Talks that moved me. These will help you manage yourself and your surroundings better. I have also included notes and questions that you can take away from the talk so that the ideas stick with you.

    A little courage and guidance from successful life hackers may be all you need for a significant shift in your life.

    When you feel stuck in the pursuit of your dreams
    "The Power of Believing You Can Improve" by Carol Dweck

    Carol Dweck discusses the "Power of Yet". She tackles the importance of delaying gratification. Do you catch yourself saying "I can't do it." or "I can't do it... yet.". If things aren't working out for you right now, remember that great things take, cliche as this sounds, a lot of time, patience and, drive.



    Notes and Questions:
    The difference between the growth mindset and the fixed mindset.
    Are you always seeking constant validation?
    What it means to be more process-oriented instead of focusing on results
    What happens to your brain when you push yourself out of your comfort zone.

    When you feel like your abilities are not enough
    “The Skill of Self-confidence by Dr. Ivan Joseph

    Soccer Coach and Athletic Director Dr. Ivan Joseph reveals the number 1 skill he is looking for when recruiting for athletes: Self-Confidence. He believes that having the "Can Do" attitude will not only drive you to success in athletics but also in life. In this talk, Self-Confidence considered as a "skill". Find out why.



    Notes and Questions:
    The importance of repetition and persistence.
    How to handle rejection.
    What is your self-affirmation?
    What is the difference between ego and self-confidence?
    Build up other people's confidence by catching and praising them while they're good.
    Confidence is also built through positive self-perception.

    When you feel like Procrastinating
    “How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over” by Mel Robbins

    Mel Robbins is the author of the book The 5 Second Rule. She says that if an idea comes into mind, you must act upon it within 5 seconds because if you put it off, it leads to procrastination or worse, you will never be able to do it at all. She is a life coach that helps people get what they want.

    Notes and Questions:
    Getting what you want is SIMPLE. But not easy.
    Do the science of drafting.
    Why the word "Fine" is dangerous.
    How not to use the snooze button.
    Why motivation is a myth.
    Why our feelings are standing in the way

    When you are stressed
    “How to Make Stress Your Friend” by Kelly McGonigal

    Health psychologist and lecturer Kelly McGonigal sheds light to the common episode that we all go through, stress. In this video, she will show you a different way to look at stress and how looking at it positively can help your heart.



    Notes and Questions:
    How you think about stress matters.
    Stress helps your body rise to the challenge.
    Does stress really make you social?
    How is a stress hormone enhanced?
    How is resilience related to stress?

    When you are discouraged to try something new
    Smash Fear, Learn Anything by Tim Ferriss

    In this TED Talk, Tim Ferriss, a podcaster, author, and entrepreneur encourages everybody to deconstruct things and navigate themselves out of fear so they can achieve the things they want in life. It's amazing how he is able to learn things that interest him so quickly. He reveals tips in this video.

    Notes and Questions:
    Learning from scratch should excite you.
    Effectiveness versus Efficiency
    When to lead and when to follow.
    What is Tim's perception of fear?
    Be a beginner.
    "What's the worst that could happen?"
    When life throws you lemons
    The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong by Amy Morin

    Amy Morin has been through a fair amount of struggles before she became a best-selling author and psychotherapist. And that is putting it lightly. She went through painful experiences that pushed her mental and emotional limits. In this discussion, she tells us what it takes for us to be mentally tough when times are rough.

    Notes and Questions:
    The comparison is a trap.
    Three kinds of destructive and unhealthy beliefs.
    There are things that make us lose our power that we are not aware of.
    Success is not a cosmic reward.
    The long-term benefit of dropping bad mental habits.
    Beat one bad habit at a time.
    What is one simple bad mental habit that you are willing to give up?

    When you think exercise is just all about getting fit
    “The Brain-changing Benefits of Exercise” by Wendy Suzuki

    Exercise is by default, correlated to diet and fitness to achieve a healthier body. But what we oftentimes don't know are the benefits that cardio does to our brains as well. Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a Neuroscientist whose research is mostly devoted to brain plasticity. In this video, she explains the effects of aerobic exercise to one's learning capacity, memory, moods, and overall cognitive abilities of the human brain.

    Notes and Questions:
    Exercise can do transformative things to your brain.
    Is the effect in the brain immediately after you sweat out?
    Can exercise really change your brain's anatomy?
    Neuroscience findings of long-term exercise.
    The brain is like a muscle. The more you workout, the stronger your brain gets too.
    How many times a week do you need to exercise to get all the brain benefits?

    When you want to embrace who you are
    “The Art of Being Yourself” by Caroline McHugh

    Caroline McHugh is an advocate for authenticity and originality. She helps people have the courage to love and be themselves and not in a narcissistic way. In this TED Talk video, she challenges us to be true to ourselves and to learn how to embrace our own uniqueness. There are three things that are highlighted in this talk: What everybody thinks of you, what you want everybody to think of you, what you think of yourself.

    Watch Caroline's breakdown of what it takes to live as yourself.

    Notes and Questions:
    What do you see in a "True Mirror"?
    The thing that people have in common is that they don't have anything in common.
    Life expectancy versus What you expect in life versus What life expects from you.
    What is an "interiority" complex?
    Are you being led by other people's opinion?
    6. We all live with an ego but the challenge is how to tame it.

    These TED Talks have inspired many, including myself. I hope it inspired you too.

    Nina Alexandra Palmares is a Cross-country Mountain bike racer for the Rhinohead Philippines team. Off the saddle, she loves to cook 'real' food and perpetually geeks about music, cult movies, bikes, and Game of Thrones . She graduated with a degree in Information Techcnology. You can follow her journey on Instagram with the handle @winkypalmares and check out her currated bike ride playlist on Spotify.

    6 BOSU Ball Exercises to Try that Will Boost Your Stability and Balance

    6 BOSU Ball Exercises to Try that Will Boost Your Stability and Balance

    Elevate your gains game by challenging your balance. A BOSU Ball is one of my favorite rigs in the gym. BOSU Balls are one of the best tools for developing leg and core strength. Strengthening these muscle groups will improve your posture and help avoid potential trips and falls. Balancing exercises require not only strength and technique, but a lot of patience as well. These exercises will improve your ability to focus too.

    The importance of a strong and stable body in everyday living is oftentimes overlooked. We need balance to do even the simplest things like lifting our heels to reaching for something or just tying your shoelaces. This is why I like to incorporate balancing routines to accompany my fitness lifestyle and diet. Taking the best supplements for women's health is not enough for me to get a great body. I like to couple it with fun and engaging gym routines.

    Here are 6 BOSU Ball exercises you can try in the gym to improve your body balance.

    BOSU Push-ups


    A Push-up is one of the most popular and effective routines on the planet. So let's start with that one.


    • Make sure that the semi-sphere side of the BOSU ball is faced down so you can use the platform.
    • Place yourself in a push-up position with your hands on the sides of the BOSU ball surface.
    • Engage your core and glutes.
    • Find stability first before lowering yourself down like a regular push up by extending your elbows
    • Push yourself to the top as quick as you can.

    Tip: Always engage your core and glutes so your body is more stable as you lower your chest.

    BOSU Burpees


    Burpees give you a total body workout. It is hard, but it is essential.


    • Stand with your feet apart and hold the BOSU Ball at chest level with the platform side facing you.
    • Come into a squat position.
    • Plant the ball to the ground and jump your legs back into a plank position. 
    • Make sure your hands are level and stable against the flat side of the BOSU ball.
    • Do a push-up.
    • Jump both your feet forward and as you do this engage your glutes.
    • Stand while holding the BOSU ball at chest level.
    • Lift the BOSU ball overhead and make sure your core is engaged.

    Tip: This exercise will help you improve your posture so execute this exercise correctly and make sure the spine is long to avoid arching your back.

    BOSU Single Leg Romanian Dead lift


    This exercise will be a test of focus and balance. As you try to master deadlifts on a BOSU ball, your core is being utilized. There is absolutely no waste in trying to learn this routine.


    • Don't use any weights on your first try to make sure your body is in the correct position.
    • Turn the flat side of the BOSU ball up.
    • Step one foot into the center of the BOSU and let the other foot float behind you.
    • Balance yourself on one foot and reach as far as you can to the surface of the BOSU ball.
    • Stand back up with one foot still floating and the other stable into the ball's surface.
    • Repeat on the other side.

    Tip: To add some challenge, hold weights in your opposite hand.

    BOSU Bulgarian Split Squat


    Strengthen your glutes, hip flexors, back, hamstrings, and quads with this workout. Instead of using a bench, use a BOSU ball to add some balance training.



    • Again, don't use weights until you perfect your body position for this routine.
    • Plan the BOSU ball to the ground with the semi-sphere side facing upwards.
    • Balance on one foot and get your rear foot on top of the BOSU ball with your heel raised.
    • Keep your back straight and your spine neutral.
    • Engage your core and glutes.
    • Pull your front leg down while lowering your rear knee towards the floor.
    • Push your heel planted on the BOSU ball to get you back up.
    • Do it on the opposite side.

    Tip: To progress, add some weights.

    BOSU Bridge


    The BOSU Bridge will add more flexibility and strength to your lower back, legs, core, and hips.


    • Place the BOSU Ball flat on the floor. The semi-sphere surface should be facing up.
    • Lie flat on your back and put both feet on the BOSU ball with your knees bent. 
    • Make sure your feet are hip-width distance apart.
    • Place your arms at your sides with palms facing the ground.
    • Lift your pelvis or hips off the ground and extend.
    • Squeeze your glutes while you are extended and hold this position for 3 seconds.
    • Release yourself slowly back into the ground.

    Tip: Lower yourself down with control so your core is challenged.

    BOSU Static Plank


    Add more variation to your regular plank by doing it on a BOSU ball.



    • Mount BOSU ball dome-side down on the floor. 
    • Get on your elbows into a plank position.
    • Check your alignment and make sure your shoulders are engaged and parallel to your elbows.
    • Keep your hips lifted.
    • Hold for a minimum of 30 seconds. You can increase it to a minute or more as you progress.

    Tip: Engage your core as you do this to maximize the workout.

    And that is it for some balance tips. I am sure you will love these exercises. Don't forget to eat right and take some organic vitamins and minerals supplements before or after your workout.

    Writer Nina Alexandra Palmares is a Cross-country Mountain bike racer for the Rhinohead Philippines team. Off the saddle, she loves to cook 'real' food and perpetually geeks about music, cult movies, bikes, and Game of Thrones . She graduated with a degree in Information Technology. You can follow her journey on Instagram with the handle @winkypalmares and check out her curated bike ride playlist on Spotify.

    The Benefits of K2

    The Benefits of K2

    What is Vitamin K2? 

    There are a lot of benefits of Vitamin K2, but what exactly is it? Vitamin K is a huge factor in helping the blood clot. Which in turn helps prevents excessive bleeding. Unlike many other vitamins, it’s not a supplement. It’s actually a group of compounds built in ones diet that help with overall health. Vitamin K1 can be found in plants, whereas Vitamin K2 is taken from meats, cheeses, and eggs.

    Recently, some have researched the effects of K2 and the results have showed that some may use it to treat osteoporosis and steroid-induced bone loss.

    Why Take Vitamin K2?

    A health provider may suggest to take vitamin K if you have a deficiency since low levels can elevate the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. K deficiencies are rare. People who may more commonly have a K2 deficiency are those who:

    • Have diseases that affect absorption in the digestive tract.
    • Take drugs that interfere with the vitamin K absorption
    • Are severely malnourished
    • Drink alcohol heavily

    The Benefits of Vitamin K2

    1. Bone and Dental Health

    K2 may improve mineralization of bones and teeth thus strengthening your overall bone health. It also lowers the risk of fractures and cavities. This is great for people who many suffer with osteoporosis.

    2. Sexual Health

    K2 also increases testosterone and fertility in males. K2 also decreases androgens in females with POCs.

    3. Performance

    K2 may also improve energy that can help with exercise and fitness.

    4. Heart and Kidney Health

    K2 may prevent atherosclerosis and kidney stones.

    5. Metabolic Health

    K2 may also help increase insulin productivity and sensitivity.

    6. Cancer Protection

    K2 may also help turn off cancer genes that make cells healthy.

    There is such a wide variety of benefits of vitamin K2. If you think you’re not getting enough K2 talk to your health care provider. Try increasing your intake with leafy greens for K1 and grass-fed dairy products and fermented foods for K2.

    If you opt to take a K2 supplement, make sure it’s MK-7 (This can be found in our K2+D3+Aquamin F supplement.) unless one is taking drugs that reduce blood clotting by reducing the action of vitamin K, are advised to avoid MK-7 supplements.

    Want to share the knowledge of the benefits of vitamin K2? Save this social media infographic below and share with your loved ones.

    Benefits Of K2

    5 Ways to Tell if Your Vitamins are All-Natural or Synthetic

    5 Ways to Tell if Your Vitamins are All-Natural or Synthetic

    How to tell if a Vitamin is Synthetic or All Natural

    Some people don’t know how to identify if a mineral or vitamin is synthetic or all natural. Let’s be honest, the labels have way too much information that is listed in a complicated lingo only a true nutritionalist or doctor would know. Most commercial manufacturers create synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements to their products. They usually do this to help increase potency, but most synthetic ingredients are made from the same carcinogenics (cancer-causing) found in cigarette smoke. For this reason alone is why we should only be ingesting All-Natural Vitamins and Minerals.

    The absolute best thing for you to do as a consumer is to research and know your ingredients.

    Here are 5 ways to tell if your mineral or vitamin is Synthetic or All-Natural.

    1. Look for “100% Natural” label

    Some products are able to state that they are “natural” if 10% of the ingredients are tested as natural.

    2. Find the “Food Source” list on the product label

    If the product does not list natural food sources, than it is synthetic. Look for sources like vegetables, citrus, yeast, etc.

    3. Identify whole foods in the ingredients list instead of particular nutrients

    Dr. Ben Kim, a chiropractor and acupuncturist with his own radio show, says to look for foods on the list of ingredients that contain a certain vitamin, such as “acerola cherry powder,” which contains vitamin C. If you can identify “vitamin C” in the ingredient list, Kim says you can almost guarantee that the vitamin is synthetic.

    4. Look for salt forms on the product label

    Salt is an additive that is used to increase the stability of the vitamin or mineral. Some of them are: acetate, bitartrate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nitrate, and succinate.

    5. Look for keywords that indicate synthetic ingredients. (Words that end in “ide” or “ate”)

    Just like the salts mentioned before they end with “ate” or “ide.” Also if there is a vitamin that has the letters “DL” in front of it, it is a sure indication that it is synthetic.

    If you need any more help identifying whether a vitamin or mineral is synthetic or all natural you can always ask a pharmacist.