In this video I review BN Labs Vegan Protein, which is a very clean, all natural plant-based protein powder. My review is unbiased, and I was only given sample packets to try for the purposes of reviewing the product. This video was shot about 3-1/2 years ago, but I still love this protein!
Please check out this excellent article written by Karen Weeks, which covers healthy habits which seniors can adopt in 2021.
By Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net
A brand new year is ahead of us, making it the perfect time to adopt healthy habits like eating nutritiously, exercising regularly, and spending time with loved ones (whether in-person or virtually). Below, Dr. Stacey Naito offers five senior-friendly habits that can be adopted in the new year — and how seniors can go about incorporating them in their lives.
1. Eat Nutritiously
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, seniors need adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, B12, dietary fiber, healthy fats, and potassium in order to lead long and healthy lives. And fortunately, seniors can get all the nutrients they need by consuming plenty of fresh leafy greens, lean meats, beans, and healthy fats like avocados and fish. Supplementation may also be necessary if calcium, B12, B6, or vitamin D levels are low.
If you’re looking for some ways to eat better this year, try buying a new cookbook or two, purchasing a grocery delivery service, or visiting your local health foods store to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, healthy grains, and lean proteins. If you’re thinking of paying for a grocery delivery service, some of the best options for produce include Imperfect Foods, Misfits Market, and Farmbox.
2. Exercise Often
Like good nutrition, seniors need plenty of physical activity — including strength training activities, exercises for balance and flexibility, and aerobic activities such as walking, biking, swimming, or dancing. And fortunately, there are several things seniors can do to increase their physical activity in the year ahead:
Following along to exercise DVDs or online fitness classes.
Walking or biking alone or with friends (while practicing social distancing, of course).
Parking further away from store entrances when shopping.
Purchasing an elliptical machine, exercise bike, or treadmill.
Starting and maintaining a garden.
If you have a medical condition or you’re experiencing body aches or pains, a physical therapist can help you to select the best exercises for you. Plus, many physical therapists are offering virtual services amidst COVID-19.
3. Socialize With Loved Ones
Socializing is tough in the age of the coronavirus, but it isn’t impossible! With senior-friendly video chat software, online multiplayer games and apps, and safe in-person gatherings (like outdoor activities and walks with loved ones), seniors can safely spend more time with their friends and family members in the new year. Regular socialization keeps seniors physically, mentally, and emotionally well — and reduces their risk of cognitive decline and depression.
4. Keep the Mind Sharp
Speaking of cognitive decline, seniors should also make time for brain games and activities in the new year. Brain games keep the mind young and healthy, fight boredom, and improve overall mental well-being. A few brain training activities for seniors include:
Jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and word finds.
Classes on cooking, foreign languages, dance, or music.
Arts and crafts like knitting, scrapbooking, and upcycling.
Reading, coloring, and drawing.
5. Clean and Declutter
Clutter is harmful for a number of reasons. Not only does it create tripping hazards at home, but excess clutter often triggers anxiety, concentration issues, irritability, and even depression. So, if you’ve been feeling especially negative or depressed as of late, the new year is the perfect time to freshen up your living space by cleaning, decluttering, and letting in as much fresh air as possible. Redfin shares a checklist with some ideas for cleansing your home and creating a happier and healthier living space.
New Year, New You
It’s never too late to adopt healthier habits and take steps to improve your life, and these five tips will help you to tackle everything from changing your diet to eliminating excess clutter at home. No matter your age, the start of a new year is the perfect time to reinvent yourself and improve various areas of your life.
Looking for more health tips and advice? Visit Dr. Stacey Naito’s blog at staceynaitoblog.com.
I’ve always been a fan of online shopping, and have relied on it for many years, way before this crazy year forced us to do the bulk of our shopping online. However, it can be tricky to figure out which brands fit best, especially when it comes to fitness apparel and accessories. For this reason, I turn to tried and true brands like Under Armour which consistently manufacture quality merchandise.
Though I am willing to pay more for good quality items, who doesn’t love a sale? I know that during the holidays, major fitness brands like Under Armour tend to offer deep discounts, coupons, and promos to pump up their sales while also giving shoppers a chance to save some serious cash. But who wants to hassle with visiting each company’s site to check to see if they have holiday deals? With Slickdeals, you don’t have to do that. Slickdeals compiles information and lists all the best discounts which can be found across all major sports related brands, allowing shoppers to build the best strategy while shopping online. Just leave it to the staff editors at Slickdeals, who will make sure that active coupon codes are loaded onto the site for your convenience.
If you want to check out the awesome deals which Under Armour has, go to:
What do I search for when shopping for Under Armour items? Well, I love the women’s ½ neck pullovers, and I am a huge fan of all their socks. Yes, socks. Under Armour makes the most comfortable, moisture-wicking, non-budge socks I have ever worn, and I love them. I also love Under Armour’s backpacks and duffel bags, and may still look at the sale items even though I received an Under Armour backpack as an early Christmas present. Since I love Under Armour socks so much, I might have to jump on the Women’s UA Charged Impulse Running Shoes which I just noticed are on sale. Add a coupon or promo code from Slickdeals, and I am saving major bank!
Whenever I peruse the Under Armour website, I always check out the outlet, because there are great deals to be found on there, and with coupons from Slickdeals stacked on top of the sale prices, I can be sure to find some killer deals. In fact, I just ran across a coupon code on Slickdeals which works for items in the Outlet section of the Under Armour website, so there you go! Under Armour has all kinds of sportswear for different climates and activities, and even has one pull-down menu on their website where you can search for merchandise by the type of sport you are interested in. Sports categories include:
- Military & Tactical
- Yoga & Studio
You can see from the sports categories list that Under Armour has a pretty comprehensive collection of sports apparel and accessories to accommodate different sports.
Whether you are a fan of Under Armour, or a fan of another major sports apparel and accessories brand, make the online shopping experience much easier by checking out Slickdeals. You’ll find excellent deals there which will make your wallet very happy!
I wrote the following article in 2013, and it was published on RXGirl.com
MYTH: You should avoid eating fat.
FACT: Despite the fact that fat carries more than twice the amount of calories per gram when compared with carbohydrates and protein, fat takes longer to empty from the stomach and thus keeps you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Fat also adds flavor to foods and heightens the dining experience. In addition, you must consume some fat in order to maintain proper cellular health. Omega fatty acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, all of which are healthy forms of dietary fat, actually lower LDL cholesterols in the blood.
MYTH: Healthy foods are more expensive.
FACT: Many unprocessed foods such as grains, fresh vegetables and fruit are extremely cheap. Think about it. You can purchase a five pound bag of potatoes for a couple of dollars, or you can buy a bag of potato chips for $3.49 or more. And I don’t need to tell you that the bag of potatoes will provide sound nutrition and far more food bulk than the chips. I am not a big fan of certain natural food markets because they are grossly overpriced, so I visit other markets which have very reasonable prices on their unprocessed foods. Processed and fast foods may be more convenient, but they are more costly over time, especially if you eat them frequently.
MYTH: Late night meals will make you fat.
FACT: Your body doesn’t process food differently once the sun comes down. The problem that many people have is that they restrict their caloric intake too much during the day, usually by skipping meals. By the time they get home from a busy day, they are starving, and will eat an excessive amount of calories to satisfy their hunger. Another issue is the mindless munching on snack foods which people often do while watching TV or sitting at the computer.
As long as you eat a reasonably sized, healthy meal, nighttime eating shouldn’t result in weight gain.
MYTH: You can eat any foods you want as long as you do it in moderation.
FACT: It’s okay to indulge in a calorie dense or unhealthy food item once in a while, but if you make it a regular practice to eat junk foods every day, you are doing your body and your health a huge disservice. Trust me, a chiseled physique can never be built on a pizza diet (I know, wishful thinking, right?). Your body requires high quality protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed or minimally processed carbohydrates to function optimally and to support a healthy metabolism.
MYTH: Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.
FACT: Spacing your meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism running in high gear. It is true that breakfast is an important meal because it provides essential nourishment, regulates mood and energy levels and boosts mental clarity. People who skip meals are notorious for eating excessive amounts of food when they actually do eat, and those meals are usually unhealthy and of poor nutritional value. If you are prone to skipping meals, try keeping a food journal to monitor your meal consumption throughout the day.
MYTH: Carbohydrates will make you fat.
The truth is, carbohydrates are usually consumed in excess by many people. What this does is cause a sharp increase in blood glucose, which triggers insulin release so that the glucose can be converted to glycogen for storage in the liver and muscles. Only a certain amount of this glycogen can be stored, with the excess being stored as body fat. Once the blood glucose level falls below normal, carbohydrate cravings are triggered which many individuals succumb to.
When you cut carbohydrate intake, you will experience a rapid weight loss initially as the body drains glycogen stores for energy. What also occurs is that water is released as the glycogen is utilized, resulting in weight loss from the increased urination which results. But after about two weeks, the increased urination ends, and along with it, the rapid weight loss.
If you’re into fitness, then you probably have encountered elements of the exercise equipment shortage which emerged from the coronavirus lockdown. People began scrambling to pick up all sorts of exercise equipment as soon as lockdown went into effect, and suddenly, dumbbells, kettlebells, weight benches, resistance bands, etc. became as scarce as a 12-pack of Charmin. It turns out that weight training, as an e-commerce category, is the eighth-fastest growing category, even more in demand than toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitizer. Interest in fitness gear is up over 500% this year.
Part of the shortage is due to the fact that a large percentage of the iron used for exercise equipment is forged in China. In fact, every single piece of exercise equipment I have ordered online since March has been made in China. Many factories in China have been shut down as a result of the pandemic, causing production to plummet, and forcing distributors to find other ways to manufacture items like dumbbells, kettlebells, weight plates, multi gyms, and barbells.
Hence the shortage and the inflated prices we have been seeing all over the internet. Bowflex Selecttech Dumbbells have been selling on eBay for grossly inflated prices, jumping from as little as $200 for a pair last fall to as much as $1,500 during the peak of the equipment buying panic a couple of months ago. I have had a Bowflex Selecttech 552 set with the stand for eleven years, and I am so grateful to have it. Never once did I think about jumping on the opportunity to make a ridiculous amount of money by selling the set, because I was using the set every single day, and my fitness and sanity mean far more to me than making a quick buck. Plus, they’re pretty awesome, enabling me to select any weight from 5 to 52.5 pounds, in increments of 2.5 pounds.
There were other purchases I made which were a test of my patience. I ordered a hyperextension bench which took two months to arrive, and I went through so many sites and online searches and apps before I found items like the Marcy Diamond Elite MD-9010G Smith Multi Gym through OfferUp. I also had to pay more than the original sticker price because the demand for such items is so high. However, I swooped in on this item before prices went through the roof. The current lowest price on Amazon for this multi gym is now $2,700.99 and arrives September 25th – October 13th!
If you happen to see a piece of equipment which you want, you had better snap it up immediately, since the demand will not abate any time soon. Gyms have been shuttered, and there’s no telling how long it will be before they will reopen, so we all need to get comfortable with assembling the best home gyms possible.
Marcy Diamond Elite MD-9010G
I wanted to share this post from artofmanliness.com which discusses the benefits prepubescent children can obtain from weightlifting. I was inspired to discuss this topic after three of my nephews and my niece, all ranging from 7 to 10 years in age, invaded my home gym during my dad’s memorial dinner and begged me to show them how to lift weights. I obliged, all the while monitoring their form and also making sure they were lifting a reasonable amount of weight. They enjoyed the session so much, they have asked their parents to let them have a sleepover at Aunt Stacey’s so they can train, and play with the cats, and have fun in an environment other than their own homes.
Original post can be found here: Art of Manliness Article
Maybe you’ve been following a barbell training program for a while now. Maybe you do your workouts in a garage gym at home, and your curious kids have been hanging out with you while you exercise and cheering you on for getting swol.
Maybe they’ve even wanted to imitate you, and would like to start lifting weights just like Dad. You start letting them hoist an empty bar a few times, and they feel like they’re ready for more.
But your wife catches wind of what you and the gang have been up to and starts raising Mom concerns. “Is it safe for kids to lift weights? Doesn’t it stunt their growth?”
Bless Mom’s heart, but she needn’t be worried.
Below we deconstruct the myths about kids and weightlifting and discuss how to safely get your kiddos started with pumping a little iron.
The Myths About Kids And Weightlifting
Weightlifting can stunt a child’s growth. This is probably the most common fear surrounding kids and weightlifting. Supposedly, if a child lifts weights it can stunt their growth in a couple of ways.
First, there’s concern that weightlifting will cause the growth plates in a child’s bones to fuse together prematurely, which will in turn hinder their overall growth.
The other concern is that weightlifting can somehow fracture growth plates, and consequently stunt growth that way.
But no proof exists that either of these worries are valid. According to Jordan Feigenbaum and Austin Baraki, who are both medical doctors and strength coaches, no evidence exists that suggests weightlifting inhibits a child’s growth. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Further, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, a growth plate fracture from weightlifting hasn’t been reported in any research study. In a Barbell Medicine podcast on this topic, Dr. Feigenbaum explained that growth plate fractures are extremely rare and require a severe amount of trauma, more than a child would ever experience lifting weights safely.
So don’t worry about weightlifting stunting your child’s growth. It’s a myth.
Weightlifting is just dangerous. Okay, weightlifting may not stunt a kid’s growth, but doesn’t the activity carry other dangers? Couldn’t children hurt their back, pull a muscle, injure their rotator cuff, damage their tendons, etc.?
In fact, your kid is more likely to get injured playing soccer or baseball than they are lifting weights. Contrary to popular belief, weightlifting is one of the safest physical activities to take part in, for folks of any age.
In my podcast interview with Dr. Feigenbaum, he highlighted research that shows that the injury rate for weightlifting injuries per thousand participation hours pales in comparison to injuries in other supposedly kid friendly sports. For example, one study found that the injury rate for weightlifting was .013 injuries per thousand practice hours. For soccer it was 1.3 injuries per thousand participation hours. So your kid is 100 times more likely to get injured playing soccer than lifting weights. Yet despite the prodigious injury rate for soccer, you don’t see parents keeping their kids from taking the field.
Bottom line: when done with proper form and supervision, weightlifting is an incredibly safe activity for your kid to do.
At What Age Can a Child Start a Serious Weightlifting Program?
So weightlifting is safe for your kids — it won’t stunt their growth, and they won’t kill themselves doing it. That means you should definitely start your eight-year-old on the Starting Strength program, right?
According to Feigenbaum and Baraki, while it’s perfectly fine to let your kids do a few sets of deadlifts or squats with some light weights, you shouldn’t put them on a regimented, progressive training program (where they’re increasing the weight every session) until they’ve reached Stage 4 on the Tanner Puberty Scale. When a teenager is in Tanner Stage 4, they’re basically in full-blown puberty. Pubic hair is adult-like in both males and females. Females have almost fully developed breasts; males have larger testicles and penis, and their scrotum has become larger and darker. Males in Tanner Stage 4 will have underarm hair and the beginnings of facial hair growth, and their voice will also be deeper.
The reason you don’t want to start regularly weight training a child until they reach Tanner Stage 4 is that before then, they just don’t have the hormone levels (specifically, testosterone) to drive progress and recover from session to session.
Generally, children enter Tanner Stage 4 between ages 11 and 17. It’s different for each child. You might have a 12-year-old who’s in Tanner Stage 4 and physically ready to train when they’re in sixth grade. But you also might have a child who’s a late bloomer and won’t be ready to train until they’re a junior in high school. Don’t try to rush it. Let your child’s physical maturity determine when they start a dedicated training program.
My Prepubescent Kid Wants to Lift: What Should He Do?
Until your child reaches Tanner Stage 4, they don’t need to follow a set program; just let them lift weights in a sporadic and playful way.
Research shows that prepubescent children can get stronger following a supervised weightlifting program, but the strength they gain comes from an increase “in the number of motor neurons that are ‘recruited’ to fire with each muscle contraction.” Basically, as your kids practice the barbell lifts, their motor neurons become more efficient, and they’re better able to display strength. Your kids won’t start packing on real muscle from strength training until they reach Tanner Stage 4 puberty.
Here are a few guidelines on how to guide your prepubescent children in weightlifting:
Don’t force weightlifting on your kids. If they express an interest in lifting, encourage it. But don’t force them to do it. That’s a surefire way to instill a dislike for exercise later on. They’ve got the rest of their lives to be serious with their workouts. Most of the professional, super strong dudes I know who have kids have never proactively tried to get them to lift weights. For example, powerlifter Chris Duffin makes his living being strong and teaching people how to be strong. But he has a policy of not actively encouraging his kids to lift. If they want to, he shows them how, and he keeps the session light and fun.
Keep the weight light. Your kids shouldn’t be grinding out super heavy singles when they lift. The focus should be on form, not weight lifted. Most adult-sized barbells will be too large for a child. Get a bar specifically made for kids from Rogue. They weigh about 11 lbs.
Standard barbell weights should be just fine for kids. They probably won’t be using the 25-45 lb plates for a while, but most kids should be able to lift a barbell with 2.5-10 lb plates depending on the lift. My four-year-old daughter, Scout, can press the Rogue kid’s bar with 2.5 lbs on each side 5 times without any trouble. That’s 16 pounds total.
If you’d like to have your kids lift even lighter weights, consider buying some microplates. They allow you to make .5-2.5 lb increases in load.
Keep weightlifting sessions fun and playful. The primary goal when kids start lifting weights or doing any exercise program is help them get the movements down and to instill a love fitness in them. Also, a lot of young children just don’t have the attention span to follow a regimented program yet. Just let them play with barbells and provide feedback on form. With my kids, when they come down to “train” with Dad, they put some weight on the kid bar and bust out a few sets, then they go play with something else, before maybe coming back to do another set. It’s not structured at all.
If your kid wants a program, keep the reps high and increase weight gradually. If your kid really wants a program, create one for them but keep the reps high, and increase weight in small increments over a long period of time. One study that looked at youth weight training found that 1 to 2 sets with 6 to 15 repetitions per set was ideal for young children.
Start kids with a weight that they can lift 10-15 times, with some fatigue but no muscle failure. Then gradually make small increases in the weight. Once your kid can easily do 15 reps of an exercise, you increase the weight by 5-10%.
Your kid should always be able to do 10 reps without much strain. If they can’t, then the weight has gotten too heavy for them.
If the weight is kept light and you’re not increasing it every session, letting your kids do 2-3 sessions a week (on non-consecutive days) should be fine. Even just one a week may satisfy their nascent curiosity and interest.
Even If Your Kid Is Following a “Program,” Mix Things Up
Even if your 10-year-old is following a semi-structured weightlifting program, make sure they mix in other exercises. Kids should be exposed to as many physical movements as possible when they’re young. Specializing at a young age can be detrimental to athletic performance later in life, so make sure they throw medicine balls, swing a kettlebell, do pull-ups, and perform simple bodyweight movements and MovNat exercises.
Bottom line: Weightlifting is perfectly safe for your children to do. It won’t stunt their growth and they aren’t likely to injure themselves doing it. Before your kid hits puberty, let them practice the movements as much as they want with a light bar made for children. Don’t introduce regular training that progressively adds significant load to each session until they hit Tanner Stage 4 puberty. Keep on being a good example of fitness until they’re out of the house (and beyond!).
Here is my home gym as of late June 2020…I have since added a decline abdominal bench which is stored in the closet, and am also in the process of putting up wall decorations which would be appropriate for a gym setting, but I am set on equipment.
I am so thankful for my home gym, because it rivals what I can do in a commercial gym. Who knows when (or if…) gyms will ever reopen and remain open? With my home gym, I can literally get out of bed, go downstairs, and start training, without having to wear a mask or full fingered gloves. And for those who are wondering, I keep my gym VERY clean, and clean the equipment after every session.
For those who are curious about where I purchased equipment, there are links in the video description.
What’s refreshing, comes in a wide assortment of fruit flavors, and is the hottest beverage to hit grocery store shelves in recent years?
If you visit any grocery store canned beverage section, you will see numerous brands and varieties of sparkling water. The new drink trend reveals the changing American palate, with a step away from corn-syrup laden sugary sodas and artificially sweetened diet sodas to calorie-free, sodium free effervescent water with a splash of essential fruit oils. This trend has exploded into a 1.2 billion dollar industry.
Two of the biggest soft drink companies, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have jumped into the ring, vying for the title of best selling sparkling water brand with AHA and bubly, respectively. However, the clear category leader is National Beverage, with its LaCroix line, which commands about 80% of the sparkling water market.
Admittedly, I have become a huge fan of AHA and bubly, and have determined the best flavors after trying the majority of the ones which appealed to me. Apparently, the flavors which captured me the most (AHA Orange-Grapefruit, AHA Blueberry-Pomegranate, bubly Mango and bubly Pineapple) have also appealed to others, because I keep having a devil of a time finding those particular flavors. I’m definitely tempted to check out LaCroix varieties since I have also sampled Spindrift, Waterloo, Perrier, and S. Pellegrino, but have yet to do so. According to some sparkling water aficionados, LaCroix reigns supreme in the flavor department.
Now that summer has hit in all its blazing glory, this is a perfect time to try some of the sparkling water brands if you haven’t yet done so.
Here’s a video review of BN Labs Vegan Protein which I shot a few years back. This protein is DELICIOUS and mixes well. It’s a fantastic option for people who practice a vegan lifestyle.