Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Shake My Head (SMH).

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The controversial pro-GMO vs. no-GMO hysteria has a lot of people talking.  Especially for us here in CornVille (aka Indiana).  Let’s talk food.  Of course it is better to increase fruit and vegetable consumption whether or not it is organic- but think you know what’s on your plate?  Inspired by my Public Health Nutrition Text, pg. 58: “Food is not a constant thing.  Vitamin content can vary… Farming techniques also change our food supply on the most basic level.  A cow fed a corn-based diet is not nutritionally the same as a cow that grazes on grass.  We may think we are comparing the proverbial apples to apples, but in reality often those apples have very different nutrient contents.”  Maybe that’s not the nourishment you think it is… let’s find out!

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What are GMOs? GMO=Genetically Modified Organism.  According to Monsanto’s website, GMOs are plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs. In general, genes are taken (copied) from one organism that shows a desired trait and transferred into the genetic code of another organism.

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Hold up- what is Monsanto? According to the Huffington Post, Monsanto is one of “The Big 6” chemical companies including Dow, Dupoint, Syngenta, BASF, and Bayer.  It was founded as a drug company, and its first product was saccharin for Coca-Cola – a derivative of coal tar that was later linked to bladder cancer.  The Huffington Post describes Monsanto as a company who manufactures the world’s most destructive chemicals, and is a pioneer of biotechnology; their first product being artificial recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), and they have sued companies for labeling their products as “rBGH-free”.

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Why care?  A lot of our food is genetically modified to resist bugs and grow bigger, brighter, and sweeter in all kinds of weather.  In Indiana, most farmland is GMO corn and soy.  The “big 6” companies have a lot of power here.  Our Indiana farmers need to do everything they can to maximize their profits- that means with every new chemically altered seed that comes out- they better invest if they want success.  It is brilliant what these companies have come up with, but there are some adverse outcomes worth discussing.

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Disease and allergies- Fact is- researching health outcomes based on food consumption is difficult.  There are so many barriers and variables.  Studies have been done by the FDA and the CDC that did show allergy and inflammatory responses from people who consumed genetically modified corn products, but they concluded, “These findings do not provide any evidence that the reactions that the affected people experienced were associated with hypersensitivity to the Cry9c protein (a protein genetically modified into the corn). The difficulties of this investigation highlight the importance of evaluating the allergic potential of genetically modified foods before they become available for human consumption.”  Funny thing is about this conclusion, we eat GMOs all the time, and nobody evaluates their allergic potential.  All the evaluations I could find end in questionable conclusions like this.  Nobody even lets you know your food was messed with.  And I won’t go into the science- but you are what you eat, and if you mess with the genes of your food, the potential for mutated genes certainly increases.  #cancer.

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Other Countries, Education, and The Environment:  GMOs are required by law to be labeled in lots of countries including Europe, Australia, and Japan.  Why not America?  Is there something they’re not telling us? Why would they not want something labeled GMO if they are so safe?  GMOs are in almost every packaged food- it’s about time us ignorant Americans actually knew what we were eating.  Might I add the disruption to the soil, and the superbug insects that these technologies could be creating?

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How to avoid GMOs?

  1. Buy USDA Organic certified food and food products
  2. Look for Non-GMO seals.
  3. Grow your own food
  4. Avoid risk ingredients that are commonly genetically modified:
  • corn (as in corn oil, cornmeal, cornstarch, and other corn based ingredients
  • soybeans (as in soybean oil, soy protein, soy lecithin, soy milk, tofu, and other soy-based ingredients)
  • canola (canola oil), cottonseed (cottonseed oil), sugar beets (the “sugar” listed on food labels is almost always derived from sugar cane and genetically modified sugar beets)
  • most Hawaiian papaya
  • some zucchini and yellow squash
  • and beware of dairy products, which may come from cows injected with genetically modified bovine growth hormone, and meats from animals (including farmed fish) that have been fed genetically modified foods.  Look for dairy products labeled No rBGH or rBST, artificial hormone-free, or organic; wild-caught fish; and meat labeled organic or 100% grass-fed.

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This was a hard article for me to write, because I know and love a lot of people in the ag business.  They are kind, whole hearted people, and truly do want the best for the world.  I came to Indiana to see their side of the story.  However, as a dietetics student, it is up to me to educate about exposures to various foods, and the possible outcomes.  There is a difference between a farmer, and a global chemical corporation.  Let’s do what we can.  We can talk to our food providers and parents about starting to grow our own food and consume more local, organic food.  We are the promising future.  Not a science experiment.

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Green Tea Nice Cream

After my first lick of this ice cream I said out loud…

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“I AM A GENIUS.”

Impeccable amount of ginger, sweetness, and green tea.  The absolute palate cleansing dessert or, indulge, like me, in this for a post workout lunch!

I love green tea and have been reading more and more benefits about it.

Green Tea (matcha):

  • is the least oxidized and fermented non-herbal tea, so it contains the most antioxidants
  • contains a nice amount of caffeine (less than coffee or black tea, more than herbal tea)
  • is used traditionally in Chinese medicine to help with immune function, brain cell protection, blood sugar regulation, metabolism, aging, blood pressure, and many other health issues

Ginger is so warm, aromatic, enlightening, and soothing.  The health benefits to ginger are also endless as well.

Ginger:

  • is a powerful digestive aid: In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract), also helps with nausea (hence the ginger ale mom and dad gave you when you had an upset tummy)
  • I sent my sister (who has Ulcerative Colitis) this interesting study with ginger and inflammation of the colon:

    Inflammation of the colon

    A study carried out at the University of Michigan Medical School found that Ginger Root Supplement administered to volunteer participants reduced inflammation markers in the colonwithin a month.

    The study was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

    Experts say that inflammation of the colon is a precursor to colon cancer. Co-researcher Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., explained that by reducing inflammation in the colon a person reduces their risk of developing colon cancer.

    Zick said “We need to apply the same rigor to the sorts of questions about the effect of ginger root that we apply to other clinical trial research. Interest in this is only going to increase as people look for ways to prevent cancer that are nontoxic, and improve their quality of life in a cost-effective way.”

  • helps too sooth migraines
  • warms from the inside out
  • boosts the immune system
  • clears the sinuses (great to make tea out of if you have a stuffy nose!
  • too many benefits- I don’t have all day!!!

Hemp Seeds:

  • incredible vegan source of biologically available and easily digested protein, hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids
  • incredible vegan source of essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
  • rich in plant based phytonutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin E
  • contain an array of minerals like zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron

The Mastermind Mix:

  • 1 heaping Tbs fresh roughly chopped peeled ginger
  • 1-2 Tbs hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 serving packet of matcha green tea powder (like $1.00 each packet at Sunspot)
  • 3 ripe peeled and frozen bananas (freeze for at least 6 hours)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • water as needed to not break your blender or food processor

1. Using a food processor S blade, or high power blender, put in the ginger, hemp seeds, and mango chunks
2. Sprinkle in the green tea powder I like to put this in the middle so it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the container, but no biggie
3. Break up bananas into fourths and throw in container
4. Blend until smooth
5. Take a lick and you are a genius!

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Yoga Flow With Me!

Yoga stretches the body, mind, and spirit

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Guess who’s teaching Yoga Flow at the CoRec on Saturday Mornings!!

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Me! Saturday mornings from 10-10:50am I’ll be teaching a series of 22 yoga flow level one classes! This series is usually $77.00 but I’ll be teaching it for only $38.50 for all 22 classes!! This is an amazing deal!

■■ Registration Opens January 13 ■■ Registration Closes February 3 ■■ How to Register You can register online at http://www.purdue.edu/recsports, by calling 765.494.3110, or by visiting the Purdue Rec Sports Member Services Desk in the CoRec.

In the meantime, I just did this yoga flow to this Michael Franti playlist  :)! Give it a try!  My class will be similar, with more inspiration and quotes and mindfulness ❤ and by the end of the 22 classes, you’ll be able to do all kinds of poses! Gradually building your strength and flexibility!  I also am teaching Dance Mania at 8:30pm on Wednesday nights and Zumba Gold at 8:30am on Wednesday mornings!  Hope to see you there!

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For yoga:

■■ Wait List: Classes fill up fast and class capacities cannot be exceeded. Once a class is full, you will be placed on a waitlist. We will contact individuals on the waitlist, in the order they signed up. Once contacted, individuals will have 24 hours to pay the class registration fee before the next individual on the waitlist is contacted.CLASS DATES

■■ Classes Begin January 27 ■■ Classes End April 20 ■■ No Classes Spring Break, March 15–23 ■■ Make-Up Week April 21–27 ■■ Make-Up Class Week

5 Secrets To Happiness

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Yesterday at our staff training at the CoRec, keynote speaker Marty Green inspired the crap out of me!  He described me to a T- the way I wouldn’t let myself have any fun last semester.  How students procrastinate, are sleep deprived, and have more anxiety than any age group.  Last semester I hated my life.  I was struggling in biochemistry and complaining and  I would feel to guilty to have a little fun, for I should have been spending all of my time studying!

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Well Mr. Green has got be looking on the bright side this semester!  These are my twist on 5 of his secrets to thrive!

1. Pursue Purpose and Chase Meaning

Identify what is worth the effort and understand what is worth the struggle.  Saying “I don’t have enough time to…” should really be, “I have enough time, I just choose to put my time into doing something else.”  This is about dedicating an hour every day to completely goof off doing something that you 100% are choosing to do because it brings you joy.  This is an investment to yourself so you have the capacity to be able to sit down and focus later.  Otherwise, you will cry and die and procrastinate and stay up until 2am like most poor college students.

2. Intentional Choices

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Saying, “I choose to, prefer, want more than I have to” is Intentional Living.  Saying, “I have to, I should, I must” leads us to live miserable lives devoid of fun!!  Know that everything you do, you are doing by choice!  Although I cried in every biochem lab, in reality I did CHOOSE to go to college and to go to class each day!!  Although I would have had negative consequences if I did not go, I should have reminded myself each time that there is no learning without being challenged.  Failure is the best teacher.  I came to school to learn, not to float about- and with the realization that I want to go to class, it all of a sudden becomes a fantastic day! Yay class!

3. Gratitude Attitude

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My new goal: say at least 3 things I am grateful for everyday, and STOP COMPLAINING! Oh my gosh! I am the luckiest girl in the world, it is digusting how conversations turn into complainy vent seshs all the time! And if anyone tries to complain to me I’ma smack a hoe!  Go live as a starving  orphan and then we’ll talk! (haha, complaining about complaining :-/ oops)  If we keep being grateful and positive, positive energy will radiate out of us, and we will be overall happy, loving, rawesome people, spreading goodness :).  A happy girl is a beautiful one ❤

4. Be Involved and Engaged in Something That Is Bigger Than You

To me, this screams VEGANISM. But it can apply to many things, your job, your sorority, any kind of group you might be involved in.  Realize that you are an important person in this incredible life you live, and what you do everyday has an amazing positive impact on a lot of people! So, enjoy it and keep it up!

5. Vitalize Your Vessel

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Participate in enjoyable movement and cultivate a learner’s mind.  Be in the moment and appreciate the beautiful body you were blessed with.  This means paying attention in class, less screen time, and get your body moving and start eating a healthy plant based diet!  You are to beautiful to not 🙂  And quit the negative self talk!

Hope you’re inspired now too!  Have a healthy and happy spring semester everybody! Hydrate, live big, and CARB UP! ❤

Top 5 Finals Fitness Tips

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Don’t even think about gaining the finals 5 pounds!  These 5 finals fitness tips will keep you moving and stress free for the challenges ahead.  You will stay focused, fit, and fresh for whatever college course tries to crush your cool.

  1. Every Hour Power: With every hour of studying, set an alarm to take a break.  This alarm should be set hourly, and heed to its call!  Every hour, get up, go outside, and briskly walk around the building you’re in.  Or, walk up a few flights of stairs.  Knowing that you have these breaks will not only keep you more focused in between breaks, but it will also help to increase your physical activity during long days of sedentary studying.
  2. Nature Calls Challenge: Staying hydrated is very important!  With staying hydrated, comes frequent bathroom breaks.  With frequent bathroom breaks, comes an opportunity for fitness!  After every flush of the toilet, try to do 25 squats.  Chest up, core engaged, legs a little further than shoulder width apart, weight in the heels, try to get low enough to get under a 90 degree angle in the knees.  Squats are a great allover workout, working the largest muscle groups of the legs and glutes as well as the core for balance.  When you get sick of squats, try push-ups instead!
  3. The Cardio Cram:  Bring your notes to the gym and set them in front of you as you cycle or walk on the treadmill.  This is a fantastic way to focus.  Increasing heart rate and blood flow will help engage your thoughts for effective remember and recall.  Reading over notes can be really boring and tedious.  Multi-tasking will increase your physical activity and teach you a thing or two for your finals.
  4. Fruit For The Win: The brain and nervous system run exclusively on glucose.  Study hard, carb up!!  Snacking on fruit is a great way to keep you satisfied so you can focus, giving your brain the sugars it needs, and the fiber and high water content to make you feel full naturally while cleansing the body and keeping you hydrated!  Always have an apple or a banana in your backpack!
  5. Flexibility Focus:  Try reading your books while doing static stretches on the floor.  Sit in a split and stretch while you read.  Relaxing into your muscles with long, deep breaths.  Stretching while studying helps to calm you down, warm up your muscles, and increase your flexibility.

The stress of finals can mix up our priorities.  It is important to remember, without good health, how can we focus on finals/ LIVE!?  Don’t let finals take control of your health and happiness.

What To Eat Pre/Post Workout?!

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What’s the dead-on diet to get it done with ‘em dumbbells? Food is FUEL.  Learn what to put in your body to perform at your best!  And learn how not to be sitting on the couch with the rest of your brothers or sisters waiting an hour to digest!

Pre-Workout:

According to what I learned in nutrition lecture,

  • 4 hours out, balanced meal of familiar tried and true foods
  • Less than 4 hours out, less protein, fat, and fiber
  • Less than 1 hour out, mainly carbs, liquid or semi-solid for nervous stomach

So: 4 hours before you workout, there is enough time to digest a balanced meal.  Within 4 hours of working out, it is recommended to not eat protein, fat or fiber because those take a long time to digest and may cause gas and discomfort during a workout.  Within an hour of working out, eating something high carb like fruit is best.  Easily digestible, sweet sugary goodness with antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and deliciously hydrating, fruit is the best!

Post-Workout:

It depends on the workout!  But no matter what, replenishing those glycogen stores is key.  American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends dried fruit post workout.  For intense muscle conditioning, one recommendation is the 4 : 1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.

Chocolate Milk??  According to Purdue’s Campus Registered Dietitian, Michelle Singleton, a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 4 : 1 is a good goal to eat post workout, and chocolate milk has close to this ratio, (3.25 : 1) so it is a quick and easy go-to, but there are lots of other better options out there!  According to the USDA’s “SuperTracker”, chocolate milk contains 64 empty calories from solid fats and added sugars.  Recommendations are to decrease your intake of empty calories and to take in your nutrients from nutrient dense food like fruits and vegetables, not supplements.

Like carbs yet? 

According to my Health and Kinesiology 368 class’s lecture notes, a high carbohydrate diet consisting of 70% carbs increases muscle glycogen stores and increases aerobic exercise time to exhaustion.  You know why?  Glucose, the sugar that carbohydrates get broken down into, is what every cell uses for energy.  Carbohydrate is stored as glycogen in muscles to fuel muscular work.  Yes sir.  It is glycogen and glucose from carbohydrates that is making those muscles contract, NOT protein.  My notes also state:

  • “Aerobic athletes are in a constant need of carbohydrates, so they should always be consuming a diet high in carbohydrates.
  • Strength athletes also require adequate levels of carbohydrate to fuel the expensive process of muscular work and muscle building.
  • Thus, eating a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fat is good for athletes in all sports as well as to promote better health.”

Don’t I Need More Protein?

I quote directly from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ www.eatright.org:

“Protein is an important part of a balanced diet, but eating more protein will not magically make you stronger. The only way to grow muscles is to put them to work. “Carbohydrates are the best fuel for working muscles,” says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD.

Carbohydrates are partially converted to glycogen, which is stored in your muscles to power your workout.”

People think they need hundreds of grams of protein every day.  It is actually very easy to meet this ratio and all protein needs when eating fruits and vegetables! According to the USDA’s “SuperTracker”, turns out, raw broccoli has a 3 : 1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein, 1 cup of it has only 30 calories, with 41 mg calcium, 278 mg potassium, 29 mg sodium, and 78mg of vitamin C (105% of vitamin C target!).  That’s just one of the many amazing vegetables out there, and it has a higher protein to carb ratio than chocolate milk! Who knew!  And for every 4 grams of carbohydrates, there are 3 grams of protein in raw spinach! Oh yeah, get it Popeye! Ow, ow, and that gorilla’s got big muscles, turns out 10 bananas has 13 grams of protein! When fruits and vegetables are eaten in abundance as fresh, whole, raw, ripe, and organic as you can get them, they will have more than enough protein to go around!

As a dietetics student, fitness instructor, and foods demonstrator, this is one of the most common questions I get.  Purdue’s RD Michelle Singleton says, “In reality, protein contributes to less than 10% of fuel used during exercise.”  So, if I eat a big smoothie for breakfast, a giant plate of fruit for lunch, and an immensely delicious salad for dinner, I can easily, deliciously, vibrantly, without even thinking about it, meet my needs, AND stuff my face :D! Spreading the love from my classroom to your kitchen. Dream big, and CARB UP!

“How to Fuel Your Workout.” The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Eat Right, Apr. 2013. Web. 22 Sept. 2013. <http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442471759&gt;.

Common Barriers to Behavior Change

In my summer course, HK215, health and kinesiology, public health class, i was particularly intrigued by this, check it out:

If you think….      then> try this strategy….

“I don’t have enough time”  Chart your hourly activities for 1 day.  What are your highest priorities?  What can you eliminate?  PLan to make some time for a healthy change next week.

“I’m too stressed”   Asses your major stressors right now.  List those you can control and those you can change or avoid.  Then identify two things you enjoy that can help you reduce stress now.

“I worry about what others may think”  Ask yourself how much others influence your decisions about drinking, sex, eating habits, etc.  What is most important to you?  What actions can you take to act in line with these values?

“I don’t think I can do it”  Just because you haven’t before doesn’t mean you can’t now.  To develop some confidence, take baby steps and break tasks into small pieces.

“It’s a habit I can’t break”  Habits are difficult to break but not impossible.  What triggers your behavior?  List ways you can avoid these triggers.  Ask for support from family and friends.


Cool eh?