Green Tea Dilemma

I usually drink green tea like 1 sachet a day every afternoon on my office desk 30 minutes before taking my lunch break. Now, it came to my mind if green tea is good or bad. Well, anything that is too much is bad for you I must say. But, some people that I know will not even try drinking not even green teas.

If you are part of a very big and constantly growing religious organization like The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saint or simply known as mormons, then you will not even dare to drink tea. I was part of the church and know, guess what? I am a Luciferian. Well, I am not going to tell more about the religious dum dum here. I am having thoughts about why you should or should not drink green tea.

Let us take a look at what they call “Word of Wisdom” which can be found at their site (https://www.lds.org/topics/word-of-wisdom?lang=eng)

What is the Word of Wisdom?

The Word of Wisdom is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children. On February 27, 1833, as recorded in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord revealed which foods are good for us to eat and which substances are not good for the human body. He also promised health, protection, knowledge, and wisdom to those who obey the Word of Wisdom.

In the Word of Wisdom, the Lord revealed that the following substances are harmful:

Alcoholic drinks (see D&C 89:5-7).

Tobacco (see D&C 89:8).

Tea and coffee (see D&C 89:9; latter-day prophets have taught that the term “hot drinks,” as written in this verse, refers to tea and coffee).

When people purposefully take anything harmful into their bodies, they are not living in harmony with the Word of Wisdom. Illegal drugs can especially destroy those who use them. The abuse of prescription drugs is also destructive spiritually and physically.

The Lord also declared in the Word of Wisdom that the following foods are good:

Vegetables and fruits, which should be used “with prudence and thanksgiving” (see D&C 89:10-11).

The flesh “of beasts and of the fowls of the air,” which is “to be used sparingly” (see D&C 89:12-13).

Grains such as wheat, rice, and oats, which are “the staff of life” (see D&C 89:14-17).

To those who keep the Word of Wisdom, the Lord promised:

“All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

“And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

“And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

“And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them” (D&C 89:18-21).

The best course is to completely avoid the substances that the Lord prohibits in the Word of Wisdom. Those who have engaged in addictive behaviors can stop and become free from addiction. Through personal effort, strength from the Lord, help from family members and friends, and guidance from Church leaders, anyone can overcome addiction.

So, are you gonna drink green tea or not? Now let us take a look at what a green tea can benefit drinkers (http://www.livestrong.com/article/180974-lipton-green-tea-benefits/) which are Immunity Boost and Healthy Heart:

Immunity Boost

Green tea may boost your immune system, helping to ward off illnesses. In a study published in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” in 2007, researchers gave some participants green-tea capsules twice daily and other participants a placebo. At the end of the three-month trial, 32 percent fewer subjects in the green-tea group experienced cold or flu symptoms. In addition, those taking green tea had higher levels of gammadelta T cells, which help fight infection. While green tea is not a substitute for vaccines or other medicines, drinking it might help you stay well during flu season.

A Healthy Heart

A number of studies link green tea consumption to improved heart health, according to Harvard Health Publications. While more research is needed to confirm these results, scientists have found green tea to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein — the kind of cholesterol that builds up on artery walls — as well as lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Some of these studies were performed using catechin capsules, however, so Lipton green tea may not duplicate the effects.

In addition to that, it can also aid in weight loss as from what I have experienced, from 158 lbs, I am now at fluctuating from 160 lbs to 156 lbs (I guess water retention is affecting the fluctuation), by drinking green tea and of course, you should accompany it with proper diet and exercise. What is good in drinking green tea if you do not have control or discipline in eating foods that contain bad fats? It is up for you to decide if you should or you should not drink green tea. Of course, any thing that is too much is not good for your health as everything needs to be taken at certain moderation. Like what I have said, I only drink it once a day, in the afternoon at my office desk. Again, moderation is the key. Even listening to music is good, can be harmful when you are using your headphones at the loudest settings for long hours.

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So you want to be Fit, Eh?

Myth: If you are fit you are healthy.

Fact: When you are fit it does not necessarily mean that you are healthy. Have you checked if you are getting enough macronutrients and micronutrients from your diet? Check what you are eating and to learn more, you may check this site: http://bonfirehealth.com/micronutrients-macronutrients-food-breakdown/ . Not because you look fit does not mean you are healthy bruh.

Myth: If you are fit, you are flexible.

Fact: I guess this is no brainer. Flexibility comes from a specific training. In BJJ, you are being trained to be flexible as you have to do some rolls and with wrestling as well and I know some people who looks fit yet they cannot even reach their foot while they are standing.

Myth: People who look bulky are strong.

Fact: Who said? I know some who are steroid users and not because you look fit, you are strong.

To be strong:

  1. Do Strength Training. Since I strongly believed that this should not be costly, have time to read more about strength training and there are so many exercises that you can do that does not require you gym membership.
  2. Get Enough Rest. 8 hours sleep a day is advisable and it is science. No need to provide further details about this because I am sure that you have heard or read a lot about benefits of having enough sleep.
  3. Eat Real Foods. Get away from food that contains high cholesterol and those foods that contain bad fats. (You can read more about good and bad fats here: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/good-fats-bad-fats)
  4. Have a Positive Outlook. You know the old saying that what your mind can conceive, the body can achieve? Or have you heard about “Law of Attraction”?

Want to learn more about strength training, I highly recommend this site which I am not affiliated with: Muay Thai Pros

As much as I wanted to add more to this myth and fact thingy and add more information, I cannot think of any other as of this moment. By the way, I found a gym near my place, walking distance from my apartment that would only cost Php 650.00 ($13.94) per month for unlimited visit. Will be posting a review soon…

Leg Power! NO GYM REQUIRED

So, a friend of mine said her legs are weak so she cannot do exercises. I had weak legs too and not to mention, I am flat footed which made it more challenging for me. Luckily, there are so many ways on how to develop strong legs. Thanks for my Muay Thai training but most of all, if you are determined enough to do so, you may try the things that will help you develop strong legs.

Start by walking 15-20 minutes a day (walking your dog is okay) and if you can jog, much better. The more you do, the more you are exercising those legs, the more they will develop. Since I am such a believer that you can achieve your fitness goals without suffering from being broke, here are some exercises aside from walking or jogging that will help you achieve strong legs (Some exercises will not only help you develop legs):

Warm-up

Repeat this light cardio warm-up twice before beginning the main circuit.

  1. March in place for 60 seconds
  2. Run in place for 60 seconds
  • 20 seconds high knees (quickly tucking your knees as close to your chest as possible)
  • 20 seconds with legs wide (slightly wider than shoulder distance apart)
  • 20 seconds butt kicks (as if you are trying to kick your butt with your heels)
  1. Side jacks for 30 seconds

Start standing with your feet shoulder-distance apart. Step quickly to the right and do a partial squat. As you squat, raise your arms above your head. Return to the start position and repeat with the left leg. Repeat for the time duration.

  1. Lunge with alternate arm raises for 30 seconds

As you lunge forward with the right leg, raise your left arm. If you cannot keep your balance with your arm raised, then simply do alternate lunges.

The Circuit (50 seconds per exercise)

Single-leg squat

How to: Begin in a standing position on the left leg. Slowly lower yourself as far as you can. Push back up to return to the start position. Switch legs halfway.

Box incline pushup

How to: These can be done with your knees on the ground if you cannot do them with your legs at full extension. It is more important to have perfect form than it is to have your legs extended. Put your hands on a box and the feet on the ground. Slowly lower the chest until it is even with the hands. Push back up to return to start position.

Basic crunches

How to: The title might say basic, but when these are done correctly, they will pump your abs up! Keep your back flat and try to prevent it arching as much as possible.

Backward lunge

How to: Begin with feet shoulder-width apart and hands on your waist. Step the left foot backwards until the knee makes contact with the ground. Return to the start position by pushing off your left foot and returning to the start position. Switch legs halfway.

Alternate Superman

How to: Lie flat on your stomach, with your arms stretched over your head and your palms facing down. Lift your left arm and your right leg, hold briefly. Switch sides. Repeat.

Box dips

How to: Begin in a sitting position with the hands facing forward on the box and feet on the ground. Slowly lower your body until the arms are at 90 degrees and then return to start.

Single-leg bridge

How to: Lying on the ground with knees bent, take one leg and cross it over the other. Keep shoulders on the ground as you raise your hips up to the ceiling and slowly lower down. Switch legs halfway.

Plank

How to: Start by lying face down, with your forearms on the ground, palms facing flat on the ground. Come up on to your toes and forearms. Make sure your back stays flat with no arch or pike. Keep your abdominals tight. Hold the whole time.

Squat thrusts (aka “burpees”)

How to: Begin with feet shoulder-width apart in a standing position. Descend into a squat position and kick the legs back and bring your hands forward to create a pushup position. Once the legs come into contact with the ground, pull them back under the body and return to the standing position. To increase the difficulty, you can add a hop when you come up to standing position, and/or a pushup when you are in the high plank position.

Bicycle crunches

How to: Lie on your back as if you are going to do a basic crunch. Raise your legs so they are at a 90-degree angle, with your shins parallel to the floor. Place your hands lightly behind your head, not pulling on your neck. Extend your left leg straight and bring your right knee into your chest while bringing your left elbow over to your knee. (They likely will not touch, and that’s not necessarily the goal.) Think about twisting to bring your chest to the knee, rather than your arm to avoid pulling on your neck. Alternate sides continuously for the whole segment.

Alternative Exercises (If you can’t do the list above):

Here’s the leg circuit routine that we did:

Walking lunges for the length of the basketball court

  • 10+ box jumps on a 2 foot high box
  • 10+ vertical jumps starting from a full squat
  • 25+ 1 leg standing calve raises
  • 25+ bodyweight squats on your tippy toes (i.e. aka hindu squats)

Repeat the circuit at least 3 times. If you are feeling extra energetic you can do more, but 3 times through will be a killer workout for most people.

Just to add, daily calcium intake is also helpful in developing leg muscles and avoiding fatty foods that will cause your knees suffer from uric acid which are caused by you know, fatty foods.

Sources:

http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/01/02/60-minute-session-no-gym-required-strength-training

http://leehayward.com/blog/bodyweight-leg-workout/

Quote-IG_Lao-Tzu

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Budget Fitness: Achieving Fitness Goal without Getting Your Wallet into Trouble

Again, English is not my native language so, pardon me. Okay, let me start… when I thought that you can’t be fit and healthy if you haven’t got enough money for your expenses, I WAS REALLY WRONG. When I was starting my way into fitness, I am always finding myself broke before even reaching the next pay day. Why? Should I blame commercialism and consumerism?

Here are the mistakes that I made:

  1. Choosing a local gym. I thought that the more expensive the gym is, the more it gives room to fitness as they have facilities and enough equipments that I thought will helped me reach my goal. Well, being a residence of the biggest city in the capital region (Quezon City) proved me wrong. Based on observation, everything goes back to basic: proper diet and exercise. You can choose a local gym where you can work out, or never at all. Why? Have you heard about some exercise techniques wherein you use your own weight? There’s a lot! Use google or you may try these: http://greatist.com/fitness/50-bodyweight-exercises-you-can-do-anywhere
  1. Supplements. A made a big mistake about taking supplements. Okay, I purchased whey protein and tried two different brands but it seems that they are not effective for me as they did not work. So I made some online researches about taking protein powders and boom! If you have read my previous post about milk, then you know that there are people who are having dialysis because of taking supplements.
  1. Proper Diet. (Blame my television on this so I shut my cable off). Okay, there are so many commercials for example this brand of tuna in can who made people believed that if you will eat the said tuna brand, you will achieve good physique. Hell no! I saw some models of that TV Commercials working out! (Rage Mode On!). You want to achieve your fitness goals? START EATING REAL FOODS AND NOT THOSE CANNED FOODS. Start reading some articles on how to cook real foods that are nutritious and not full of preservatives. (Though the label shows: “NO PRESERVATIVES”, that is a lie).

What form of writing I am doing? As if I am just putting everything that is coming out of my mind? Well, anyway, here are the changes I made:

  • Yes, I have my regular Muay Thai and BJJ training but when it comes to working out, I stick to jogging or walking outdoors and doing bodyweight training outdoors. It is not just saving money but you are having fun and most of all, you are breathing fresh air and not contained inside a gym of people producing CO2 as they are doing their work out. (Stay away from diesel fumes though).
  • I addressed my issue about proper diet by eating real foods and not taking supplements at all. Only real foods.

Holla! In two months from 172 pounds to 158 lbs with 19% body fats which means I have more way to go but at least, I am trying to reach my goals without getting my wallet into trouble. Here is a good read about achieving a fitness goal (ignore the promotions though): http://www.mensfitness.com/training/lose-weight/the-new-rules-for-getting-ripped

Am I really making sense with whatever I am posting? Feel free to leave some comments and feedback. I am not a pro but at least not an obese coach potato. 😉

Which is a Better Source of Protein: Milk or Protein Shake?

When it comes to muscle recovery and building muscles, a lot of people go for protein shakes and only few people will grab a liter of milk as a source of protein. I personally recommend drinking milk as post-work out for health reasons. First, I have not heard of anyone who needs to go to their medical provider for kidney dialysis because of drinking milk, but I have heard a lot of people having to undergo such procedure because of drinking protein shakes. Second, did the ancient Greeks consume protein shakes? I am not aware hahaha but they are symbols of good physique. (Just look at the statues they have made and read the history on how many sports that were originated by ancient Greeks). Lastly, man, have you consider how much money you have to spend by buying whey protein or some other kind (variation or whatsoever) compared when you buy 4 liters of milk which gives you 4 servings per liter? (go on check google).

According to this site: http://stronglifts.com/milk-post-workout-build-muscle-gains/, there are 5 reasons why you should drink (or consider mik) as post workout.

  • Muscle Gains. Research shows a mix of slow and fast digesting protein is superior for lean body mass gains. Milk is 80% casein, 20% whey.
  • Fat Loss. Dairy calcium increases fat loss. The fat in milk keeps you full longer which decreases hunger and thus helps you to lose fat.
  • Recovery. Milk is a fluid and has electrolytes. Research shows milk is superior to water and sport drinks for rehydration post workout.
  • Cheap. When you consider the protein (whey/casein/BCAA) and calorie content of milk, it’s one of the cheapest foods available.
  • Easy. Milk requires zero preparation. 1 quarter (1 liter) milk can be a perfect post workout meal depending on your daily caloric needs.

Also, according to http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-drink/milks-benefits-fit-guys, milk has plenty of protein-about nine grams per 8-ounce glass—and that protein contains all eight essential amino acids, which means it’s complete and can be readily used by your body for repair and growth. For hard gainers, who need to cram down protein every three hours, milk can be a major boon. Drinking an extra, and inexpensive, 30 grams of protein a day won’t leave you feeling too stuffed for one of your regular feedings.

Okay, okay, you might say that you have lactose intolerance. Well, you can buy Goat’s milk which has less lactose and the chemical structure of goat’s milk is similar to that of breast milk. So, let us say, you are considering milk as a post work out drink. Now, which brand is better, if not, the best? (Ah! I really hate commercialism and consumerism but for the sake of giving information, here we go). Check out the table below:

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Source: http://www.chefjayskitchen.com/2014/10/philippine-milk-madness-best-tasting.html

Please keep in mind that most milk brands here in the Philippines are not really fresh from farms but are UHT processed to prolong its life (did I use the proper term). Well, I grew up in a province where fresh cow’s milk is available; I would say that cow’s milk has more distinctive taste than UHT Processed milk.

Are there any Health Risks in Drinking UHT Processed Milk?

Yes, I have said that milk is better than protein powders but let me clarify that not all brands are healthy as there are some brands that have some issues. Though I do not have the list of what brands are tested positive for melamine, please have time to check this link: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/123257/news/nation/we-re-testing-more-than-50-milk-brands-bfad

Also, there are some issues wherein some people found strange contents inside their milk brand of choice like solidified paper, carton, or something. So, better have time to read more about milk.