Healthy Snack Foods

Everyone strives to find those healthy snack foods to hold them over for their next meal without turning to the typical junk food choices that fill you up fast and leave you hungry soon after. The trick is to find meals that are high in both fiber and protein, which allows for a slower digestion. As a result, it leaves you feeling fuller longer.

Snacking is all a part of following a healthy balanced diet, however it is important to stick to low-calorie snacks and to plan them accordingly between meals. It is logical to believe that cutting calories will often leave you still feeling hungry, but with the right choices it is possible to pick foods that substitute the lack of caloric value with higher protein content. When you choose baked snacks such as potato chips, you are adding empty calories to your daily requirement instead of gaining any nutritional value. You are fooling your body that you are filling up when in reality you are eating snacks that will leave you feeling even hungrier afterwards. Oftentimes these poor chosen snacks may even have more calories than a full healthy meal.

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Music and Exercise: A Love Story

Music characterizes many of our modern day activities. We listen to music when we watch television shows and movies, when we eat dinner at a nice restaurant, and when we are relaxing by the pool with our friends. Most vibrantly however, we tend to make a conscious effort to listen to music while we exercise. We all may have different personal justifications for our desire to listen to music while working out.

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To The Beat of Your Own Drum: Pump Up Playlists for Your Next Five-Mile Run

No one can deny the immense power of music. When that nostalgic tune from your childhood fills your ears, do you find yourself day dreaming about your past?  When your favorite song comes on the radio on your way to work, do you get a boost of energy?  Music is a form of expression unlike any other that I have encountered in this lifetime, and it can instill such strong emotions in its listeners, no matter what the genre.  Music is so influential, in fact, that it can increase your energy

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Local non-profit encourages kids to Sprout Up

In today’s age of technology, its likely that a child in elementary school would be more concerned with the preservation of their Angry Birds score on their mother’s iPhone than the preservation of real birds in their community. In fact, the concepts of preservation and sustainability rarely cross the minds of modern children, except perhaps in a few lessons about the environment and recycling during their science units. Fortunately, Sprout Up – a local non-profit organization – is bringing environmental education to our young ones, and giving them the credit that they deserve.

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Ask the Expert—Dr. Izzy Lira

Q: I’m thinking of supplementing my diet with protein drinks. Can you provide some insight into the different types?

A: The types of protein used in protein powders can be divided into two categories: protein from animals and protein from vegetables. Animal proteins include milk protein derivatives like whey and casein, goat’s milk, and egg white protein. Vegetable proteins include soy, rice, pea, and hemp proteins.

Nutritionally and taste-wise, animal proteins are superior to vegetable proteins and far more popular, especially whey protein. Before whey gained popularity, egg white protein was the favored form of protein supplement because

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Ask the Expert—Erin Holt

Q:Do you have any tips for having a positive body image? I have struggled with it for years and I’m exhausted.

A: Self-Acceptance is an ACTION.

Imagine you’re standing in front of a full-length mirror. Naked. You have been asked to gaze at yourself for two minutes.

Now take a quick inventory of the feelings that were aroused by this suggestion. Did you feel curious or afraid? Interested or hesitant? Willing or unwilling? Or did you reject the whole idea as something you would absolutely never do? Imagining the experience gives you an indication of your level of self-acceptance. Actually doing it will tell you even more.

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Food for Mood

A recent survey found that rude behavior is more common now than it was 30 years ago. Another study found 16 million Americans admitting to having occasional explosive outbursts of rage. Although there are inherent mental disorders that are not caused by diet, there are studies that point to the food-mood connection.

Sociologists and nutritionists blame two factors: the mounting stresses of modern life and the deterioration in eating habits. Unfortunately, the more stressed we get (and who doesn’t experience stress in their life), the more our eating habits slide. We skip meals or delay them until our hunger is so strong that the nearest fast food find seems like the easiest and quickest response.

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Caffeine: A Blessing or a Curse?

There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee or tea in the morning and many of us will be the first to admit that we need our daily dose of caffeine to get our day started. Given that about 68% of Americans in 2006 claimed to be addicted to coffee, according to the National Coffee Association, an important question we should all ask is, “How is caffeine affecting our health?” The truth is, there are many pros and cons to which each person should weigh in determining their own answer to this question. In honor of the widespread love for the cup o’ Joe we are so fond of, let us begin with the positive effects that caffeine has on our health.

Benefits of Caffeine

Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant. In addition to giving us an energy kick and a decrease in fatigue, it temporarily increases our mental processes. As a result, it can help boost our short-term memory and reduce the risk for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other memory loss related health problems. Many caffeinated drinks such as green tea also contain anti-oxidants that reduce inflammation throughout our bodies and may reduce the risks for cancer and heart disease. Additionally, nutritionist Rania Batayneh attests that caffeine releases the neurotransmitter Dopamine, which increases productivity and alertness.

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Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller

Paragon Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Founder
Head Instructor, Santa Barbara, CA & Ventura, CA

Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller has being teaching and competing for the last 15 years with many titles in regional, national and international competitions. With his black belt, Ricardo set for himself challenges extending beyond Brazil. In 1996 he came to the United States to compete and to teach. He proved to be successful at both. With American partner Mike Florimbi, the Paragon Academy of Martial Arts was founded in 1998 in Santa Barbara.

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