Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Coconut Milk Vs Almond Milk

More and more people are becoming vegan, "fat" conscious, and sensitive to lactose. At the same time, more people are stirring away from soy milk, because of the rumors that it may lead to cancer (like everything else in the world according to someone somewhere), and leaning more towards coconut or almond milk. So which of these two is better for you? Well that depends on the person drinking the milk and their body. However, it can be said that almond milk is most likely a better for you if you are drinking one of these on a regular basis because it doesn't have the saturated fat that coconut milk does, and in our world today we are getting way more saturated fat than desired! That being said coconut milk does have some great benefits including: being rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6, as well has containing minerals such as iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous (The Health Benefits of Coconut Milk). To decide just how much of each milk you would want to have per week you'd have to figure out your personal vitamin, mineral, and fats levels, but a good suggestion would be: if you are having one of these milks everyday then maybe try to have almond milk five days a week and coconut milk the other two. You could also mix them! A little coconut milk in the almond milk! Again, only you and your doctor can decide what exactly you should be in taking on a regular basis, but this is just a little piece of information for you to consider when making your grocery list.

Source: Jo Lewin,,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cold, Flu, or Allergies?

      A lot of people are getting sick right now and sometimes it is hard to tell what exactly you have because some common illness' share quite a few symptoms. This year has been a big flu year in the U.S., and like any other year we are always faced with colds and allergies. All three of the previously listed can cause congestion, fatigue, and respiratory issues, so which one do you actually have? Below is a chart marking out symptoms and which illness typically occur along side them.

Symptoms Cold Flu Airborne Allergy
Fever Rare Usual, high (100-102 °F), sometimes higher, especially in young children); lasts 3-4 days Never
Headache Uncommon Common Uncommon
General Aches, Pains Slight Usual; often severe Never
Fatigue, Weakness Sometimes Usual, can last up to 3 weeks Sometimes
Extreme Exhaustion Never Usual, at the beginning of the illness Never
Stuffy, Runny Nose Common Sometimes Common
Sneezing Usual Sometimes Usual
Sore Throat Common Sometimes Sometimes
Cough Common Common, can become severe Sometimes
Chest Discomfort Mild to moderate Common Rare, except for those with allergic asthma
Treatment Get plenty of rest.
Stay hydrated. (Drink plenty of fluids.)
Aspirin (ages 18 and up), acetaminophen, or ibuprofen for aches and pains
Get plenty of rest.
Stay hydrated.
Aspirin (ages 18 and up), acetaminophen, or ibuprofen for aches, pains, and fever
Antiviral medicines (see your doctor)
Avoid allergens (things that you’re allergic to)
Nasal steroids
Prevention Wash your hands often.
Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold.
Get the flu vaccine each year.
Wash your hands often.
Avoid close contact with anyone who has the flu.
Avoid allergens, such as pollen, house dust mites, mold, pet dander, cockroaches.
Complications Sinus infection middle ear infection, asthma Bronchitis, pneumonia; can be life-threatening Sinus infection, middle ear infection, asthma

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Making Education Fun

Don't you love when you come across an instructor of any sort that makes what you are learning fun and entertaining the whole time? ME TOO! As technology advances so does the amount of learning opportunities and tools by which to increase our knowledge base. Nowadays YouTube is a great way to learn new skills or information in a fun creative way. My favorite educational videos on YouTube come from "Doc Mike Evans". He talks about various health conditions, health facts, and/or tips, and does it in a creative way, which keeps you interested the whole time. It's been getting warm here in Santa Barbara and that means we all need to stay hydrated, and with the right liquids! Check out Doc Mike Evans' video on water below!

Doc Mike Evans Single Best Drink

Monday, March 30, 2015

No Carbs? No Good!

There are so many different diet fads out there that go in and out of style throughout the years. One that I have heard a lot about throughout my life is a low carbohydrate or no carbohydrate diet. Like many of these fad diets there are some clarifications that need to be made.

1. There are carbohydrates in almost everything. Even fruits and vegetables. So if you are attempting a "No Carb" diet than, you are just setting yourself up for one, failure, and two, many vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

2. Your muscles and your brain use carbs as their primary source of energy for most of their tasks. If you serverly restrict your intake of this source then your body is forced to use other fuel sources such as proteins. If protein is used as a source for all your energy then it won't be able to function the way it is supposed to as your "building blocks". What does this mean? It means if you are injured or sick or get a wound you won't be able to heal like you would if you had a sufficient amount of carbohydrates to use as your main source of fuel instead of your "rebuilding fuel".

3. Low carb diets are fine as long as you are still getting the proper amount of carbohydrates (ask your doctor what they believe you should have per day), AND EATING THE RIGHT CARBS. Carbohydrates get a bad reputation because people only think about starches and sugars when they think carbs. Those are not the carbs you should be heavily including in your diet. The carbs you want to emphasize would be whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. These are full of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly and not all the junk that is in CheezIts and cookies.

It is always a good idea when taking on a new eating regimen to not think of "what I can't have" but think of "what I can have" and in this case, and really in the case of just healthier eating in general, you want to think "more fruits and veggies".

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

5 Tips for Exercising in Warm Weather

We know many of you are passionate about fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and as the weather gets warmer it’s important to know your limits and stay safe in the heat. We've compiled a few tips to remind you of some simple steps you can take to stay safe while still getting a great workout.

1.  Drink plenty of water. This is the most obvious one but it needs to be said. It is crucial to take regular breaks to hydrate yourself during a workout, and it is also important to rehydrate after your workout is complete.
2. Try some fruit or veggies as a snack. They are a great alternative to sports drinks when you need to replenish your electrolytes during a workout.
3.  Time your workouts to avoid the hottest time of the day. This ‘peak’ heat period will vary from day to day so make yourself aware of the forecast and plan accordingly. It will make a huge difference.
4.    Wear loose, light-colored clothing. This is especially important if you will be doing any exercise outside. The darker your clothing is the more heat it will absorb and it can dramatically affect your body temperature. It’s really amazing the difference a white shirt can make. The ‘loose’ part of this equation is important too, tight-fitting clothes and absorbent fabrics will absorb your sweat instead of allowing it to evaporate, disrupting your body’s natural method of regulating its temperature.
5.    Listen to your body and be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Confusion, dizziness, cramps, nausea, and headache are just a few warning signs to look out for. When in doubt, don’t risk it. Get yourself in the shade and rehydrated if you start to feel weak. Be smart and don’t push your limits.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to staying safe in the sun. There are plenty of other precautions you can take, some of which can be found in the links provided below. Please take care of yourselves and be aware of the risks when you choose to work out in the heat. Here are a few links from around the web with some additional tips on ways to beat the heat and stay safe now that it’s getting warmer.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mythbusters About Food and Your Body

Throughout our years we all hear certain things about eating habits, and the effects of certain foods on the body. Most of which say "eat this product at this time of day and you will get this result" or "don't eat these products and you'll get this result". Well here are a few myths you might have heard throughout the year's and their truths from

Myth: As long as I skip a meal, I can eat whatever I want at my next meal.
Fact: It's never a good idea to skip a meal, and it won't make up for eating unhealthy foods, or eating too much, the next time you eat. It's important to eat three normal-sized and healthy meals a day, and even a few snacks in between, so your body has energy when it needs it.

Myth: As long as a food package says "all natural" on it, it's healthy to eat.
Fact: Even if something is labeled "all natural," it can still contain tons of sugar, unsaturated fats, or other things that can be bad for you. Some snacks labeled "all natural" can contain just as much fat as a candy bar! It's important to read the BACK of the package, where the Nutrition Facts label and ingredients list will spell it all out for you.

Myth: If I'm not overweight, I don't have to be careful about what I eat.
Fact: Even if you've never had a problem with your weight, it's important to choose healthy foods every day. If you think of your body as a machine, then you'll want to use the very best fuel to keep that machine going strong, and that means staying away from junk food. Also, if you develop poor eating habits now, you could have a lot of problems with your weight and health in the years to come.

Myth: I can sweeten my food as much as I want, as long as I use honey instead of sugar.
Fact: Chemically, honey is almost the exact same thing as sugar, and honey can even have more calories than regular sugar. Just like with sugar, try to use honey only in small amounts.

Myth: As long as I take a vitamin pill every day, I don't need to be careful about what I eat.
Fact: Some nutritionists say that it's a good idea to take vitamin pills, but these pills can't give you everything you need-not by a longshot! Eating healthy foods gives you fiber, protein, energy, and lots of very important things that vitamin pills don't give you. So a vitamin and a bag of chips is still a terrible lunch. Instead, you've got to eat a balanced and nutritious meal.

Myth: Sugar gives you energy. If you need a boost mid-afternoon or before playing sports, eat a candy bar.
Fact: "Simple" sugars like those found in chocolate, cookies, candies, and cakes definitely cause spikes in your blood sugar level, which may make you feel a quick shot of energy in your system. But after that first rush, blood sugar drops sharply, and you'll suddenly feel like you have less energy than when you started!

Myth: Energy bars are a good way to get needed vitamins and minerals.
Fact: Energy bars can be a good source of carbs, protein, and fat, but they can be abused like any other food. Eat too many, and you're doing as much damage to your body as you would eating lots of candy, cake, and cookies. They're no substitute for low-calorie, no-fat snacks like fruit and vegetables, and should only be used occasionally if you're in a pinch.

Myth: Carbs make you fat.
Fact: You may know someone who's on a "low-carb" diet-after all, it's the biggest weight-loss trend out there. These diets try to make people believe that carbs are just plain bad, but the truth is this: carbs, just like sugar and fat, will make you gain weight if you eat too much of them. If you eat them in average, balanced amounts, they're the best source of energy your body can find.