Strokes of Genius

Long recognized as a low-impact sport that provides cardiovascular conditioning and rehabilitative benefits, swimming also blazes through calories, increases muscle mass, and makes for a stimulating alternative to workouts that have gone dry. But many never bother to learn more than the basics. For those ready to add style to their stroke, masters swimming classes are a must.

Read More

Channel Islands Insight

“Lean back and stow your paddles,” I bark out as our kayaks approach the narrow sea cave entrance. Sunlight reflected in the water, lights the cave from below and creates a majestic emerald glow that glistens off of the volcanic rock ceiling. We’re in the “Green Room.”

Our kayaks enter the main chamber where more than 20,000 years of winter waves have beaten the more erosive rock away. This is one of over 200 sea caves at the Channel Islands National Park, one of the best places in the world to explore these types of rock formations. “Oooohs” and “Ahhhhs,” are all I hear as the kayakers glide through the chamber and back to the exit.

Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Fighting Fit

The sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has become increasingly popular overthe past decade, with dedicated gyms once hard to find, now all over the globe.

This gain in mainstream appeal is largely due to the martial art’s dominating success in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). The roots of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can

Read More

2013 Golden State Championships

Thanks in part to it’s eponymous soap opera from the eighties, Santa Barbara has long been regarded as a haven for hard bodies the world over. While the soap’s bubble burst long ago, the perception

Read More