Sunday, March 7, 2010

Healthy Cooking for People with Braces

An easy way to soften your favorite vegetables into a large pot style meal!

Cooking for Braces and Braces Nutrition

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Video - 30 Minute Legs Workout on the Beach

Check out this video for a quick 30-minute ass kicking legs workout that will jump start your fitness goals.

This legs workout focuses on attaining the goals of speed, explosiveness, and anaerobic endurance.

Watch the video and read more information Beach Workout - Legs

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Beat Heat Exhaustion

One minute you're amp'd up playing your favorite sport, the next minute you become suddenly dizzy and out of breath as you feel your muscles start to cramp. What's going on?

Learn about the warning signs of heat related illnesses, how to treat and prevent them from striking you.

Here is a comprehensive article on Heat Exhaustion.

Know Your Body Systems

iHealthyFitness has a new article out that helps us all refresh our memories of Biology 101 with an overview of each of our body systems.

The acronym used to remember all 11 systems: IM NERD CURLS!

Read and learn about your Body Systems.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hydroxycut FDA Recall

If you're one of the many who are using the popular diet and weight loss products by Hydroxycut... cut it out!!! Today, May 1, 2009, the FDA issued a warning advising consumers to stop using Hydroxycut products. This warning comes amid 23 reports of negative health effects in Hydroxycut users consisting primarily of liver related damage.

In a statement put out by the Food and Drug Administration...
"The FDA urges consumers to discontinue use of Hydroxycut products in order to avoid any undue risk. Adverse events are rare, but exist. Consumers should consult a physician or other health care professional if they are experiencing symptoms possibly associated with these products"
Among the reports to the FDA, at least one death of a 19-year-old due to liver failure in 2007 has been associated to Hydroxycut usage. Other health issues reported include jaundice, liver damage, seizures, and other cardiovascular problems. What is jaundice?

Jaundice, or icterus, is a condition that involves the yellowish discoloration of the skin, whites of the eyes, and other mucous membranes. It is caused by a condition known as hyperbilirubinemia, which is an elevated level of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin, the brownish yellow byproduct of the liver found in bile, is what makes human stool its typical brown color. Jaundice and brown urine are some of the main symptoms of liver damage.

The Hydroxycut parent company, Iovate Health Sciences, has issued a voluntary recall of 14 products on the Hydroxycut brand line. But chances are that most people will discontinue the use of any of their products.
  • Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
  • Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets
  • Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets
  • Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets
  • Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
  • Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
  • Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
  • Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
  • Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
  • Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
  • Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
  • Hydroxycut 24
  • Hydroxycut Carb Control
  • Hydroxycut Natural
Please also be aware the the FDA does not have strict regulation of dietary supplements such as Hydroxycut. Dietary supplement products are not required to be registered or approved by the FDA. Therefore, in general cases, manufacturers can produce, market, and start selling their supplement products before FDA review. The FDA does, however, is charged with controlling product information in labeling and claims made by the product.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Outbreak

So, this is the latest health buzz around the world. Swine flu, a type of influenza A (H1N1) virus, is just at its early stages of it's outbreak.

Swine flu is a common respiratory disease among pigs
, but has had a sudden spike in human cases.

Here are the some numbers as of April 27, 2009 evening:
  • 149 possible Swine Flu related deaths in Mexico
  • 42 confirmed cases in the US from California to New York
  • 6 cases in Canada
  • 1 case in Spain
  • 10 highly likely Swine Flu cases in New Zealand
The World Health Organization has raised the pandemic alert level to Phase 4, which is characterized by "... verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.”". The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency.

Common sense precautions, you've heard it over and over... now practice what's preached!
  1. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
  2. Immediately discard tissues used after coughing or sneezing
  3. Wash hands immediately after coughing or sneezing
  4. Wash hands before eating or preparing foods
  5. Avoid contact with eyes, nose, or mouth
  6. Stay home if you feel sick or have illness symptoms to avoid spreading any viruses
  7. Wash hands thoroughly and often!
Here's a cool video showing some proper coughing and sneezing techniques:

Swine flu is spread between humans similar to how seasonal flu and colds are contracted. That is, usually through contact or exposure to contaminated objects (maybe a keyboard that someone sneezed on).

And it's a myth that swine flu is contracted by eating infected pork. Just follow the usual precautions for food safety by cooking all meats thoroughly at the appropriate temperatures and you'll be fine.

Not that I'm eating pork, cause hey, I'm suppose to be a vegetarian by now. Just another reason to stay away from meat!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Turning Vegetarian, Turning Healthy

I have been thinking about turning into a vegetarian to experience the range of health benefits that it will probably provide.

A large part of being fit depends on one's diet. Therefore, I can not provide you with fitness education without talking about diet. I don't want to get into details and fine lines here, but by vegetarian, I will basically be cutting out meats.

So I will be eating foods including:
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • nuts and grains
  • seafood
  • dairy
  • eggs
Ok, so here's the plan. I will be gradually easing into this using the following tentative schedule.

1st Month
Week 1: March 29 - April 4
At least 2 days out of the week vegetarian foods

Week 2: April 5 - April 11
At least 3 days out of the week vegetarian foods

Week 3: April 12 - April 18
At least 4 days out of the week vegetarian foods

Week 4: April 19 - April 25
At least 5 days out of the week vegetarian foods

Week 5 and further
All days vegetarian foods
2nd Month
Tentative plan if I make it this far: Cut out junk foods (e.g. chips, cookies, candies, sugary beverages, etc.)
3rd Month
Tentative plan if I make it this far: Tighten up vegetarian diet in terms of food preparation (e.g. restrict fried foods, cut down on condiment usage and heavy sauces, etc.)
So who's with me? How far will I be able to make it? Will I relapse and crash diet out? Stay tuned to find out! I will be posting my progress and findings here to share with you all as I embark on this journey.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2009 Shaolin Temple Day - San Francisco

Yesterday, I went to check out the China Songshan Shaolin Temple Day Celebration in San Francisco, CA. As you know, martial arts is one of best ways to achieve your fitness goals! (bias) The Abbot of Shaolin, the Venerable Shi Yongxin, was in town for the week long of festivities around California.

External Shaolin kung fu is usually very fast and explosive as you'll see. I got some footage of the demonstrations in Union Square and put together the following video of the Shaolin Kung Fu performances. It was drizzling so the ground was a bit wet. I think that's why they didn't do any acrobatics. Oh well... enjoy! The tong zi gong freaks me out everytime!

Demonstrations include:
  • Nine Section Whip
  • Broadsword (Shaolin Dao)
  • Di Tang Sword (Ditang Jian)
  • Lohan Staff (Luohan Gun)
  • Tong Zi Gong
  • Hard Qi Gong (Staff breaking)
  • Lohan Fist
  • Xiao Lohan Fist
  • Soft Fist (Rou Fist)
  • Two Finger Chan (Two finger handstand)
  • Hard Qi Gong (Spears to throat and breaking stone slabs on back)
Here are some photos I took after the performances of the vendors and exhibits at Union Square:

A congregation of the security detail that was working the event. The guy with the beige jacket looks like Agent Smith!

A couple monks standing around. The guy in the black I assume is one of the local guys from Shaolin Temple USA?

California State Senator Leland Yee being interviewed about the festivities of the day.

A photo exhibit of Shaolin history and culture was setup.

More of the photo exhibit.

Maybe he's thinking about how he used to kick ass back in the day?

More of the photo exhibit.

Some of the Shaolin kung fu weapons on display for the curious.

The announcer lady for the event who was doing some translation.

Some monks talking about the lack of hotties at the event? :)

Food vendor at the event serving up none other than American Chinese food.

Tea sampling from Vital Tea-Leaf.

An exhibit showing some of the typical robes worn by the clergymen of Shaolin.

More of the Shaolin Temple robes.

A bunch of ladies trying to sell trinkets. Looks to me like the same stuff you find on every block in Chinatown!

Some people watching a Shaolin performance DVD.

Some of the kung fu weapons that are used for the demonstrations.

Some of the mallets and trinkets used by the monks for prayer I think.

A couple kids in deep technical discussion about the fundamentals of the drop stance.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Training Video: Explosive Leg Endurance

Here's a short video showing one of the exercise sets that I do for explosive leg endurance training. I use a bar with no weights, but you can add weight if desired. Due to the dynamic nature of the exercise, the more weight you add, the slower your repetitions may become, so I recommend keeping it relatively light. The goal output of this exercise is to develop a more explosive jump and to be able to increase the anabolic endurance of the legs for dynamic movements. For me, I do this type of training for wushu (martial arts).

Barbell pull hops: The pull motion for this is similar to a clean. I start from a hanging position, knees slightly bent. You are using your legs to power you up. Try not to pull the bar up using your back or arms too much. Arms should stay straight for the hop and then the catch motion is as if you're pulling yourself under the bar. You're going to try to keep the bar close to your body on the way up in a straight line. During the hop motion, my feet leave the ground about a couple inches. I catch the bar momentarily at its peak as I land and then lower the bar back to the beginning hang position.

Barbell back squats: This is just like it sounds, the bar is on your upper shoulders, anchored in by your hands on both sides. Back should remain straight with head and chest up. When squatting, your knees should not travel past your toes.

In the video, I'm showing 20 barbell pull hop reps followed by 20 barbell back squat reps. You can increase or decrease the repetitions as needed based on your athletic condition. For the anabolic endurance goal, try for at least 10 repetitions on each. The motion for the pull hop takes some getting used to if you're not familiar with the movement. You may also opt for a full clean if you prefer (i.e. hang clean or power clean).

This is just something that I've been doing and may not be suited for you. Be safe and use caution while exercising of course! See how this feels before you go all out! Good luck.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Watch Before Training #1

Here, here... a Nike China commercial, your Olympic Withdrawal Syndrome medication of the day. Something to add to your "things to watch before training list"!

I especially like that they put a few wushu clips in there. Enjoy!