CrossFit South Rockland

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Ripple Effect


The Ripple Effect

BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters causing ripples to spread as they move outward.
In a world of six billion people, it's easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives, and their reactions in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain. Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make can have far-reaching consequences. You can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world.

Should the opportunity arise, the recipient of a good deed will likely feel compelled to do a good deed for someone else. Someone feeling the effects of negative energy will be more likely to pass on that negative energy. One act of charity, one thoughtful deed, or even one positive thought can pass from individual to individual, snowballing until it becomes a group movement or the ray of hope that saves someone's life. Every transformation, just like every ripple, has a point of origin. You must believe in your ability to be that point of origin if you want to use the ripples you create to spread goodness. Consider the effect of your thoughts and actions, and try to act graciously as much as possible.

A smile directed at a stranger, a compliment given to a friend, an attitude of laughter, or a thoughtful gesture can send ripples that spread among your loved ones and associates, out into your community, and finally throughout the world. You have the power to touch the lives of everyone you come into contact with and everyone those people come into contact with. The momentum of your influence will grow as your ripples move onward and outward. One of those ripples could become a tidal wave of positivity.

Color


Color

BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Color has the ability to trigger our emotions, affect the way we think and act, and influence our attitudes.
When we enter a room or see an object for the first time, our minds register its color before any other detail. The colors our eyes can perceive are like words that form a subtle language of mood, energy, and insight. Color can exert a gentle effect on the mind and the body, influencing our dispositions and our physical health. Color has the ability to trigger our emotions, affect the way we think and act, and influence our attitudes. You unconsciously respond to the color of the walls in your home, your car, your clothing, and the food you eat based on your body's natural reactions to certain colors and the psychological associations you have formed around them. The consequences of the decision to paint a room or wear a specific article of clothing therefore goes beyond aesthetics.

The colors you encounter throughout your day can make you feel happy or sad, invigorate you or drain your vitality, and even affect your work habits. Throughout history, cultures spread over many different parts of the globe have attributed varying meanings to different colors. In China, blue is associated with immortality, while people in the Middle East view blue as a color of protection. There is also evidence that human beings respond to color in a very visceral way. Red excites us and inflames our passions. Too much red, however, can make us feel overstimulated and irritated. Pink tends to make people feel loved and protected but also can cause feelings of lethargy. Yellow represents joy or optimism and can energize you and help you think more clearly. Bright orange reduces depression and sadness. Blue and green are known to inspire peaceful feelings, and people are often able to concentrate better and work in rooms painted in soft blues and greens. The darker tones of both colors can make you feel serious and introspective.

There are ways to integrate color into your life that go beyond picking the hues of your d├ęcor and your wardrobe. You can meditate with color by concentrating on the colors that make you feel peaceful or using a progression of colors to symbolize a descent into a relaxed state. Color breathing involves visualizing certain colors as you in inhale and exhale. Choose to surround yourself with the colors that you are attracted to and make you feel good, and you can create an environment that makes you feel nurtured, peaceful, and uplifted.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

4/29 How to Get the Most EGCG from Your Green Tea

How to Get the Most EGCG from Your Green Tea

Green tea is a known superfood, primarily for its EGCG content. But did you know that there is huge variation between the content of EGCG in different brands of green tea? That how you prepare and drink the tea can significantly change how much EGCG it imparts? And that your microbiome also influences how beneficial the EGCG effects are?
EGCG supplements are a useful tool in functional medicine, packing a powerful punch that can enhance a patient’s therapeutic program. However, we can all reap the benefits of EGCG by consuming dietary sources.

What’s the big deal with EGCG?

EGCG, which stands for epigallocatechin gallate, is a polyphenol (read “amazing plant compound”) with potent health protective effects against the following diseases and more:
It is also a powerful adaptogenic modulator of our epigenetics, which regulate how our genes are expressed.

How to brew a tea that is higher in EGCG

Brewed tea contains the highest concentration of EGCG, and its concentration increases with brewing time.
To maximize EGCG content, pour boiling water (not just hot water) over a green tea bag and let steep for 10 minutes before removing the bag and drinking.
The only trade off with increased brewing time is a slight increase in bitterness. If you want to counteract this, try a little bit of lemon juice or sliced lemon, or add a lemon verbena tea bag while brewing.

Choosing the right brand of green tea

Teavana Green Tea Gyokuro has been found to have the most EGCG but is also one of the most expensive brands.
Amongst other, more readily available brands, Celestial Seasoning and Lipton green tea beat Bigelow and Stash brands.
Decaf, pre-mixed green teas, or flavored green teas contain much less EGCG than freshly-brewed tea, and may also have undesirable extra ingredients.
Organic teas are also a good choice, with good brands being Choice or Traditional Medicinals.

When to consume green tea

EGCG, like other catechins, binds to proteins in our food to form complexes that are less absorbable into our bloodstream. Therefore, to reap the most benefit from green tea, it’s best to consume between meals rather than directly with food.
EGCG can also bind with minerals in our food such as iron reducing its absorption too—yet another reason to drink your green tea separately from other foods.

Will my green tea keep me up at night?

Green tea contains much less caffeine than black tea or coffee. However, it does still contain some caffeine, so if you’re sensitive you may want to limit your consumption to the morning hours. Big bonus, though—if you’re looking to cut back on your caffeine consumption, green tea is a nice alternative that still packs a little caffeine punch.
Here’s how the caffeine content of green tea compares with alternatives:
BeverageCaffeine per 8 oz cup
Green tea35-70 mg
Black tea60-90 mg
Coffee150-200 mg

Alternative sources of EGCG

Did you know that green tea is not the only source of EGCG? While green tea is relatively more potent, you can also find a reasonable amount of EGCG in white tea and oolong tea.
Some other foods such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums, peaches, kiwi, and avocado also contain small amounts of EGCG.

How does this connect with my microbiome?

A healthy microbiome is likely essential for optimizing the benefits of all dietary polyphenols including EGCG. These gut organisms are known to convert polyphenols into many different derivatives that have altered absorption properties and activities in the body.

Summary: top 3 tips for maximizing EGCG benefits:

  1. Choose brewed green, oolong or white tea and steep for 10 minutes
  2. Consume away from other meals
  3. Keep your microbiome healthy with a diet rich in plant foods, avoiding processed and sugary foods

Sunday 4/26




Sunday 4/19

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Relying on Others


Relying on Others

BY MADISYN TAYLOR
A deep feeling of gratitude can emerge, as we open to the experience of being helped.
Most of us pride ourselves on our self-sufficiency. We like to be responsible for taking care of ourselves and pulling our own weight in the world. This is why it can be so challenging when we find ourselves in a situation in which we have to rely on someone else. This can happen as the result of an illness or an injury, or even in the case of a positive change, such as the arrival of a newborn. At times like these, it is essential that we let go of our feeling that we should be able to do it all by ourselves and accept the help of others.

The first step is accepting the situation fully as it is. Too often we make things worse either by trying to do more than we should or by lapsing into feelings of uselessness. In both cases we run the risk of actually prolonging our dependency. In addition, we miss a valuable opportunity to practice acceptance and humility. The ego resists what is, so when we move into acceptance we move into the deeper realm of the soul. In needing others and allowing them to help us, we experience the full realization that we are not on our own in the world. While this may bring up feelings of vulnerability, a deep feeling of gratitude may also emerge as we open to the experience of being helped. This realization can enable us to be wiser in our service of others when we are called upon to help.

It takes wisdom and strength to surrender to our own helplessness and to accept that we, just like every other human being, have limitations. The gifts of surrender are numerous. We discover humility, gratitude, and a deepening understanding of the human experience that enables us to be that much more compassionate and surrendered in the world.

The Energy of Cities


The Energy of Cities

BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Living in large cities can be draining, but there are steps that can be taken to make it all work in harmony.
The cities we reside in have souls. Our cities consume, create, evolve, and breathe much in the same way Mother Nature does. Each city is unique, defined not only by the individuals who call it home but also by the energy it exudes. Some cities are suffused by an aura of unshakable calm while others seem continually frenetic, even during the early morning hours. Many inspire creativity within us or arouse our curiosity. A city's energy is dependent on many factors, including the geography, the people, the industry, and the culture. Residing in a city full of warehouses and factories feels very different than one living in one populated by artists and museums. Some cities elevate the soul while others seem to squash it, and fate may lead us to either.

If the urban center you presently call home feels oppressive or robs you of your vitality, consider relocating to a locale that is more nurturing. You may find that leaving your city is an impossibility, however, if circumstances in your life compel you to remain or the universe has plans for you that involve your staying put. To cope with the stress of working and playing in an environment you have an aversion to, first ask yourself how the city you live in makes you feel. Then take steps to cleanse your home, your work spaces, and your life of the energy that is dragging you down. Try smudging your personal and professional spaces with sage or sweetgrass to dispel negativity. Keeping a quartz crystal on or near your person can ensure that there is always positive, loving energy nearby that you can draw from when you feel affected by your city. And you can do your part to promote widespread good energy by sending love and white light from your heart out into the city each morning and night.

As you become increasingly aware of the way your city makes you feel, you can refine your cleansing efforts to meet your individual needs. If you seek out others who feel driven to purify your city's energy flow, your combined efforts can become a larger movement that promotes healing and goodwill. You may find that, after a time, you are gradually drawn to those aspects of your locale that energize you, helping you come back into balance.

4/22 Insulin Resistance



See the source image

What Is Insulin Resistance?




Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. Over time, your blood sugar levels go up.
Insulin resistance syndrome includes a group of problems like obesityhigh blood pressurehigh cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. It could affect as many as 1 in 3 Americans. You might also hear it called metabolic syndrome.

Symptoms of Insulin Resistance

You can't tell that you have insulin resistance by how you feel. You'll need to get a blood test that checks your blood sugar levels.
Likewise, you won’t know if you have most of the other conditions that are part of insulin resistance syndrome (high blood pressure, low "good" cholesterol levels, and high triglycerides) without seeing your doctor.
Some signs of insulin resistance include:

Risk Factors and Causes of Insulin Resistance

Things that can make this condition more likely include:

Diagnosis and Tests for Insulin Resistance

Your doctor will use these things to diagnose insulin resistance:
  • Questions. She’ll want to know about your family's medical history.
  • Physical examShe’ll weigh you and check your blood pressure.
  • Blood tests. You might get:
  • Fasting plasma glucose test. This test measures your blood sugar after you haven’t eaten for at least 8 hours.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test. First, you'll take the fasting glucose test. Then you'll drink a sugary solution. Two hours after that, you'll take another blood test.
  • Hemoglobin A1c test . This blood test shows your average blood sugar level for the past 2 to 3 months. Doctors use it to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes. If you have diabetes, it helps show whether it's under control. You may need to take the test again to confirm the results.


How Insulin Resistance Progresses to Type 2 Diabetes

When you have insulin resistance, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. For a while, this will work and your blood sugar levels will stay normal.
Over time, though, your pancreas won’t be able to keep up. If you don’t make changes in the way you eat and exercise, your blood sugar levels will rise until you have prediabetes. Your doctor will look for these blood test results:
  • Fasting plasma glucose test: 100-125
  • Oral glucose tolerance test: 140-199 after the second test
  • A1c results of 5.7% to 6.4%
If you aren’t able to manage prediabetes, you’ll be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when your test levels reach:
  • Fasting plasma glucose test: 126 or higher
  • Oral glucose tolerance test: 200 or higher after the second test
  • A1c results of 6.5% or above

Insulin Resistance Treatment and Prevention

You can take steps to reverse insulin resistance and prevent type 2 diabetes:
  • Exercise. Go for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity (like brisk walking) 5 or more days a week. If you're not active now, work up to that.
  • Get to a healthy weight . If you're not sure what you should weigh or how to reach a weight loss goal, ask your doctor. You may also want to talk with a nutritionist and a certified personal trainer.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish, legumes, and other lean protein.
  • Take medications. Your doctor may prescribe a medication called metformin (FortametGlucophageGlumetzaRiomet) to help keep your blood sugar in check.

Complications of Insulin Resistance

If metabolic syndrome goes untreated, it could lead to:

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Seven Quick Fixes to Feel Better


Seven Quick Fixes to Feel Better

BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Anxiety and fear dissipate quickly when countered with conscious breathing.
The signals our bodies use to tell us we need to cleanse ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally are multifaceted and often mirror symptoms we associate with illness. If we heed these signs, we not only feel better quickly but also stave off poor health before it can start. These quick fixes for common ailments can get you started.

1. Applying pressure to the acupressure point between the thumb and forefinger can release blockages causing pain, tension, and fatigue. You can relieve a headache naturally by squeezing for 20 seconds and releasing for 10 seconds, without letting go, four times.

2. To breathe freely, irrigate your nasal passages with a neti pot and warm salt water. As you clear and soothe the sinuses, congestion associated with allergies or infection will gradually disappear.

3. Apple cider vinegar is a powerful purifying and detoxifying agent. Soaking for 20 minutes in a warm bath infused with two cups of apple cider vinegar pulls toxins from the body and can clear blocked energy.

4. The foods you eat can have a profound impact on your outlook and mood. Eating a small yet satisfying meal rich in complex carbohydrates can lift your spirit and help you let go of feelings of anger, irritability, and depression.

5. Anxiety and fear dissipate quickly when countered with conscious breathing because concentrating on the breath enables you to refocus your attention inward. You can ground yourself and regain your usual calm by taking a series of deep belly breaths as you visualize your feet growing roots that stretch miles down into the earth.

6. Though tuning out can seem counterproductive, a few minutes spent lost in daydreams or listening to soothing music can help you see your circumstances from a new angle when you feel frustrated.

7. If you feel ill health coming on, brew a wellness elixir. Simmer three sliced lemons, one teaspoon freshly grated ginger, one clove freshly minced garlic, and one quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper in five cups water until the lemons are soft and pale. Strain a portion into a mug and add honey by tablespoons until you can tolerate the taste. Drinking this potent mixture of antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal ingredients three times each day can ensure your symptoms never progress into a full-blown illness.

Sharing Peace


Sharing Peace

BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Having strangers in our homes can be difficult, but we can choose to treat their energy as an exchange of gifts as well as an exercise in acceptance.
When we have created a sanctuary in our home, it can be jarring to have the outside world come in. It is easy to share our space with those we know well, but often strangers are asked in as household help, contractors, or technicians that help us make our homes more comfortable. Acquaintances of our spouses or children also bring something new and different into our space. If we resist their presence, treating it as an intrusion, we restrict the free flow of energy and may miss the gift they bring. Instead, we can choose to treat their energy as an exchange of gifts as well as an exercise in acceptance.

Before their arrival, we can prepare by envisioning light surrounding our bodies and radiating outward from the core of our homes. We may want to create a calm and welcoming environment by playing meditation music or lighting incense. We can remove tension for all involved by putting away our valuables. Then when they arrive, we claim our boundaries by guiding them through their visit--asking them to remove their shoes, offering coasters or a place to set down tool boxes, and indicating by example to speak softly or not use harsh language. If something still causes stress, we can remember that what begins as an irritation to an oyster becomes a pearl. After they depart, we can burn sage and clear our space if we like but not without first finding the pearl.

Finally, remember that we learn about life by relating with others. People may have been sent to our homes because we ignored some of the universe's messengers outside. Our homes need not be a way to keep people out but can be the place where we are ourselves while accepting and allowing other's choices. When we share the joy of our homes, we radiate our light rather than hide it behind closed doors. The more we do this, the more the outside world can become like the sanctuary we've created inside.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

What are the health benefits of zinc?

What are the health benefits of zinc?


Zinc is a trace element that is necessary for a healthy immune system. A lack of zinc can make a person more susceptible to disease and illness.
It is responsible for a number of functions in the human body, and it helps stimulate the activity of at least 100 different enzymes. Only a small intake of zinc is necessary to reap the benefits.
Currently, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for zinc in the United States is 8 milligrams (mg) a day for women and 11 mg a day for men.
The element is naturally found in many different foods, but it is also available as a dietary supplement.

Fast facts on zinc

Here are some key points about zinc. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
  • Zinc is an important aspect of nutrition.
  • Zinc deficiency can occur if there is not a high enough consumption from diet or supplementation.
  • Deficiency in children can lead to growth impediments and increased risk of infection.
  • During pregnancy and lactation, women may need extra zinc.

Zinc is vital for a healthy immune system, correctly synthesizing DNA, promoting healthy growth during childhood, and healing wounds.
The following are some of the health benefits of zinc:

1) Zinc and regulating immune function

According to the European Journal of Immunology, the human body needs zinc to activate T lymphocytes (T cells).
T cells help the body in two ways:
  1. controlling and regulating immune responses
  2. attacking infected or cancerous cells
Zinc deficiency can severely impair immune system function.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “zinc-deficient persons experience increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens.”

2) Zinc for treating diarrhea

According to the World Health Organization, diarrhea kills an astonishing 1.6 million children under 5 every year. Zinc pills may help reduce diarrhea.
PLoS Medicine study, which “followed a nationwide public health campaign to increase zinc use for childhood diarrhea in Bangladesh,” confirmed that a 10-day course of zinc tablets is effective at treating diarrhea and also helps prevent future bouts of the condition.

3) Zinc effects on learning and memory

Research conducted at the University of Toronto and published in the journal Neuron suggested that zinc has a crucial role in regulating how neurons communicate with one another, affecting how memories are formed and how we learn.

4) Zinc to treat the common cold

Zinc lozenges were found to shorten the duration of common cold episodes by up to 40 percent in a study published in the Open Respiratory Medicine Journal.
In addition, Cochrane review concluded that taking “zinc (lozenges or syrup) is beneficial in reducing the duration and severity of the common cold in healthy people, when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms.”

5) Zinc’s role in wound healing

Zinc plays a role in maintaining skin integrity and structure. Patients experiencing chronic wounds or ulcers often have deficient zinc metabolism and lower serum zinc levels. Zinc is often used in skin creams for treating diaper rash or other skin irritations.
A Swedish study that analysed zinc in wound healing concluded, “topical zinc may stimulate leg ulcer healing by enhancing re-epithelialization, decreasing inflammation and bacterial growth. When zinc is applied on wounds, it not only corrects a local zinc deficit but also acts pharmacologically.”
However, research has not consistently shown that use of zinc sulfate in patients with chronic wounds or ulcers is effective at improving healing rate.

6) Zinc and decreased risk of age-related chronic disease

A study from researchers at Oregon State University have found that improving zinc status through diet and supplementation may reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases. It has been known for decades that zinc has a significant role in immune function. Deficiency has been linked to increased inflammation in chronic disease and triggering new inflammatory processes.

8) Zinc for preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Zinc prevents cellular damage in the retina, which helps in delaying the progression of AMD and vision loss, according to a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

9) Zinc and fertility

Several studies and trials have linked poor zinc status with low sperm quality. For example, one study in the Netherlands found that subjects had a higher sperm count after zinc sulfate and folic acid supplementation. In another study, researchers concluded that poor zinc intake may be a risk factor for low quality of sperm and male infertility.

10) Other possible zinc benefits

Zinc may also be effective for the treatment of:

Adequate zinc intake is especially important for children because even mild zinc deficiency can impede growth, increase risk of infection, and increase risk of diarrhea and respiratory disease.
The recommended intake for children 1-8 years old ranges from 3-5 milligrams, increasing as the child gets older.
Males 9-13 years old require 8 milligrams of zinc per day. After the age of 14, the requirement increases to the 11 milligrams per day that is required for all adult males. For females over the age of 8, the requirement stays stable at 8 milligrams per day, except for ages 14-18, where the recommendation increases to 9 milligrams per day.
Pregnant and lactating women have an increased need for zinc at 11-13 milligrams per day, depending on age.

The best sources of zinc are beans, animal meats, nuts, fish and other seafood, whole grain cereals, and dairy products. Zinc is also added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods.
Vegetarians may require up to 50 percent more than the recommended intake of zinc because of low bioavailability of zinc from plant-based foods.
Foods with the highest reported zinc content are:
  • raw oysters (Pacific), 3 ounces: 14.1 milligrams
  • beef, lean chuck roast, braised, 3 ounces: 7.0 milligrams
  • baked beans, canned, ½ cup: 6.9 milligrams
  • crab, King Alaskan, cooked, 3 ounces: 6.5 milligrams
  • ground beef, lean, 3 ounces: 5.3 milligrams
  • lobster, cooked, 3 ounces: 3.4 milligrams
  • pork loin, lean, cooked, 3 ounces: 2.9 milligrams
  • wild rice, cooked, ½ cup: 2.2 milligrams
  • peas, green, cooked, 1 cup: 1.2 milligrams
  • yogurt, plain, 8 ounces: 1.3 milligrams
  • pecans, 1 ounces: 1.3 milligrams
  • peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounces: 0.9 milligrams
Zinc supplements are also available in the form of capsules and tablets. However, the tolerable upper limit for zinc is 40 milligrams for males and females over 18 years.
It has been proven time and again that isolating certain nutrients in supplement form will not provide the same health benefits as consuming the nutrient from a whole food. First focus on obtaining your daily zinc requirement from foods, then use supplements as a backup if necessary. Zinc supplements are available to purchase in many health food stores and online.

Normally, zinc deficiency is due to insufficient dietary intake. However, it may also be due to malabsorption and chronic illnesses such as diabetes, malignancy (cancer), liver disease, and sickle cell disease.
Zinc deficiency signs include:
  • loss of appetite
  • anemia
  • slow wound healing
  • skin conditions such as acne or eczema
  • abnormal taste and smell
  • depressed growth
  • altered cognition
  • depression (more research needed)
  • diarrhea
  • hair loss
Zinc deficiency during pregnancy may increase the chances of a difficult or prolonged birth.

Zinc has many health benefits, but excessive zinc intake can be harmful. Adverse effects of severely high zinc intake may include:
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach pains
  • headaches
  • diarrhea
Excess zinc may suppress copper absorption, according to a study published in Biological Trace Element Research.
There is also some evidence that increased levels of zinc in the body might play a role in the development of kidney stones. Research into this and other health benefits of zinc are happening now, but we have known for decades that zinc is important to good health.