International Women’s Day

Hey Yall,

Today’s post is for the LADIES!! *Don’t worry guys, it’s nothing scary!*

For busy women of all ages, a major concern is getting enough of the foods which provide a boost of essential nutrients. Adequate amounts of folate, iron & magnesium, calcium & vitamin D, vitamin K, and omega-3 fatty acids, are especially of concern for women’s biological health, as well as being/staying properly hydrated. (Yes… THAT, AGAIN.)

In order to get the proper Recommend Daily Allowance (RDA) for nutrients, or the more modern tables for RDI (US/Aus) or DRI (Can) women should aim to eat some (or all) of the so called “Super Foods” which are readily available sources of these essential nutrients.

Folate (folic acid/folacin)
Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that’s needed for making and protecting DNA, producing new blood, forming new cells, and synthesizing protein Folate has also been tied to a decreased risk of some cancers in adults; including, specifically, breast & cervical cancers in women.

Some great sources include:
Cruciferous Green Veggies – Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts
Black-eyed peas, Kidney Beans
Beef/Calf Liver
Nuts – especially almonds, walnuts

Iron (ferrous oxide) & Magnesium
is an essential mineral used to transport oxygen to all parts of the body. A slight  deficiency in iron causes anemia (fatigue/weakness), and a chronic deficiency  can lead to organ failure.
Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and  nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and  building strong bones; it is also a necessary mineral for the body to uptake & process iron and calcium.

Some great sources of Iron include:
Mollusks – Clams, Oysters, Shrimp, Cuttlefish, Scallops
Animal Protein (esp livers) – beef/calf, chicken/turkey
Squash & Pumpkin (& seeds)
Nuts & Seeds – Sesame, Pinenuts, Hazelnuts, walnuts
Beans & Pulses
Cruciferous Green veggies

Along with these, Magnesium can be found in:
Dark chocolate – high cocoa content >70%
Bran – rice, wheat & oat
Brasil nuts – all nuts, but brasil nuts are highest
Dried Herbs – coriander, spearmint & chives especially

Calcium and Vitamin D
is very important to ensure strong, healthy bones and teeth; especially in women, in preventing osteoporosis. Calcium is also necessary for muscle function and nerve-signal conduction.
Vitamin D helps you to absorb and use calcium.

Best Calcium & Vitamin D sources in food:
Dairy – milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese
NB:  For those who are NOT dairy sensitive; often sources are “nutrient enriched” or “fortified” (*there is a LOT of speculation as to the TRUE benefit of dairy sources of calcium, but I will leave that up to you to explore – no “politics” on my blog)
Cruciferous Green Veggies (*have you noticed a pattern yet? EAT YO GREENS!)
– Okra, seaweed (wakame) and kale are exceptional sources of vitamin D
Egg Yolks
“Fatty” Fish – salmon, mackerel, trout, herring
Legumes – nuts, seeds, beans, pulses – *Soy, Soy products & Tofu are also great sources of calcium/Vit-D, again IF you are not sensitive to these products – consult your physician

Vitamin K
Vitamin K, similar to Vitamin B, is not a single chemical substance but rather a family of chemically related substances that go by the general name of “vitamin K.” They are required in blood clotting (even a simple cut), in bone density maintenance, and are imperative in preventing atherosclerosis (arterial calcification). Vit-K has also been cited in prevention of liver and cervical cancers (*and prostate cancers, in men).

Best sources of Vitamin K:
Cruciferous Green veggies
Dark colored berries – blueberries & blackberries are the best sources
Herbs – sage, oregano, thyme
Cabbage & Romaine lettuces

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (ALA / EPA and DHA)
The Omega-3s (EPA and DHA) can boost heart health and lower triglycerides. And there are studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids may help with other conditions — rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and many morethe fatty acids responsible for brain health and function (*studies have shown EPA/DHA are responsible for prevention of depression and ADHD) & cellular maintenance, especially the myelin sheaths of nerve cells, and with regards to the reduction of inflammation throughout the body.

Best sources of Omega-3s from food:
Fish – Salmon, Tuna, Game fish, mackerel, herring
Fish Oil
Algae Oil

ALA – precursor to EPA & DHA
Flax seed/oil

WHEW!! THAT WAS A MOUTHFUL! (*see what I did there?)
Anywho, you can see that a MAJORITY of the essential vitamins and minerals that are required by the body come from the same, overlapping, sources.
There is a REASON that they are part of the list of SUPER FOODS. Not only do they provide exceptional sources of these essential nutrients BUT they are also helpful in maintaining a healthy weight, and physique, due to their being clean foods. Most of the listed sources are also WHOLE foods – 1. Because they’re unprocessed, but 2. because they provide all the macro nutrients (fat, protein, carbs) required by the body, when combined.

Eating a diet rich in these foods, and therefore rich in these nutrients, will help you live a long(er) and health(ier) life, plus you stand a better chance of that Year-round Summerbody and potential 6-pack, we have been working on these last 6 weeks!
**Clever Segue: Have you done your sit ups & Leg challenge for today, yet?**

Happy Eating
xo – Mia

Lady Issues

Here’s a quick one for the GIRLS…

Guys, take a 5-er, I’ll have a Blitz post (*pun, intended) about the start of NFL 2012-13 season SOON!

LADIES! Do you suffer from PMS? Sluggishness, Soreness, Irritated skin, Mood swings, Memory Difficulty?

To help combat PMS, think of the 3 Bs. Or more specifically, the FIRST 3 B-vitamins :: Thiamine (B1) , Riboflavin (B2) & Niacin (B3).

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, found that women who consumed around 2mg of Thiamine & Riboflavin, were roughly 30% less likely to suffer symptoms of PMS. Thiamine deficiency typically results in  (*less severe) symptoms including malaise, irritability and confusion. By having adequate Riboflavin intake, you aid the body in breaking down foods (fats, carbs, proteins, ketone bodies) & preventing bloat. Niacin is a required compound in energy exchange in the Oxydative system & helps combat that feeling of fatigue often associated with your menstrual cycle.

Quick source for all 3 Bs, another B : BEANS. Eating a cup of beans regularly not only provides a clean source of protein and fiber, but is also a great source of these essential B vitamins.

Bon Apetit!

xo – Mia

UNDER ARMOUR Product Review !!!

I’ve had the opportunity to test out the New UNDER ARMOUR WOMEN : ARMOUR BRA

Can I start by saying it’s wonderful to find a SPORTSbra for MY actual bra-size that doesn’t involve white or taupe, irritating underwire, or a Department store!?

I love the fact that the sizes are color specific, so you never accidentally grab the wrong size in a rush (*we’ve ALL been there!), and you only have to worry about picking the right measurement. Yes, you get it in your ACTUAL BRA SIZE (*get measured, trust me, 85% of women are wearing the WRONG SIZE!)

  • About the Armour Bra (Straight from the UA:Women Info-Booklet) >>
    • Bonded seams eliminate painful rubbing and chafing
    • Removable, molded cups deliver modesty, support, and a streamlined silhouette
    • Straps built with UA’s SuperStretch technology that eliminates digging
    • Ultra-soft, sturdy fabric feels smooth and comfortable against your skin
    • Signature UA Compression fabric lets you concentrate on your moves, not what’s moving
    • Next generation power sling construction cradles for superior support that stays put

Being in the more-endowed half of the female population, I’ve bounced (*pun!) NATURALLY between a C and D (*& DD at my heaviest!) It was nice to have a bra that was not only VERY comfortable, but also extremely supportive, without wires! Even the clasps in the back are stitched in to avoid skin contact/rubbing, during intense workouts.

I used the bra for different kinds of workouts: Weight Lifting, Running, Plyometric/Interval Circuits and Yoga. She was a dream across the board! She was sturdy and shape-holding during my lifts, and during Yoga I didn’t feel as though my movement was being constricted. Through the run & plyo/intervals my girls were cradled ~ they were lovingly held safely and happily to prevent excess movement (*think BOINGY BOINGY BOINGY for the some of the other guys’ bras!).

The Bra really keeps the ladies in CHECK and unlike some other brands, there was no underarm burns, no strap-trapping (*aka: straps digging into the neck/shoulder) and no rib-rubbing from trying to compress the girls to suffocation! True to word, UA’s Moisture Transport System kept sweat away from my body as my temperature started to rise, and the mesh venting down the back was ideal for enhanced breathability.

After four or five washes, and as I lost a little weight (I’m down 18lbs in last month) it’s a little bit looser, BUT still a great fit and holding up (*pun #2) very well! But what I LOVE about the Under Armour brand >> Their satisfaction guarantee! If you’re not 100% satisfied with your gear, return it for a full refund. Anytime. Any Reason. Guaranteed.

Although it is a little bit pricey (*about $60 CAD/USD) the BEST bra’s are WORTH IT (in any brand) and I definitely recommend it! Especially for my ladies who are bigger than an A or B (*no shots, but y’all little bitties, just can not understand how PAINFUL fitness can be, for the bigger girls!)you’ll definitely want to get your girls in to one of these Under Armour bras.

Looking forward to more from UnderArmour and their ladies’ line!

Follow them on Twitter at @uawomen