Easy to Prepare a Healthy Meal

Kids are a big inspiration sometimes. Lara (my 7 years daughter) wanted spinach, while Cora (my 5 years old kid) is hungry for eggs. And my time is limited. What to do? Go out and eat at a fast food restaurant? Or cook individually for each one of them? I don’t think so. And as I search my own library,  I founded many inspirational dishes, which can be served anytime: at Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. They are healthy, easy to be prepared and not so much time consuming.

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Cora and Lara tasting my Italian Frittata Spinach Omelette.

There are many good and tasty recipes to choose from, and the internet is full of knowledge and choices. But as a nutritionist consultant, and particularly as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, my search is for only healthy but nutritious foods. Same is true for nutritional supplements. The market is full of baloney, and products that claim to do miracles.

Don’t believe them all. Since I am always interested in healthy foods and proper nutritional supplements, for me and for my family, I become my own experiment. And I decided to share with everybody the best of my personal experience, and the great tasting of nutritious foods.

Recently, I was inspired by the famous cook George Mateljan, who has had a lifelong devotion to using the power of food as a key to controlling and maintaining vibrant good health and longevity. s original recipe: Mushroom, Tomato, Basil, and Frittata. I called my meal:

The Italian Frittata Spinach Omelette

Since I didn’t plan in advance for my meal, I eliminated from the original recipe: the broth, the crimini mushroom and the fresh basil, and I improvised with other ingredients including spinach. Me and my kids love it and from now on, this meal will be part of my family healthy eating. For your convenience, I will post the Original George’s Recipe: Mushroom, Tomato, Basil Frittata, so you can adapt the meal to your convenience.

Preparation and Cook Time: approximated 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 TBS +1 TBS chicken broth
  • 1 cup thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium tomato diced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mince onions and press garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health benefits.
  2. Heat 1 TBS broth in a 10-inch stainless steel skillet. Healthy Sauté onion over medium low heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1 TBS broth, tomato, salt, and pepper and cook for another minute. Stir well, and gently scrape pan with a wooden spoon to remove any slight burning.
  5. Beat eggs well, and season with salt and pepper. Mix in chopped basil. Pour eggs over vegetables evenly and turn heat to low. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until firm. Cut into wedges and serve.

And now I want to give the right credit to the right people, who inspired me. As I mention before, today’s meal was a variation of George Mateljan’s healthy recipes. After George studied the cuisines of over 80 countries to learn the secrets of healthy, flavourful cooking, he created the George Mateljan Foundation and the Healthiest Way of Eating, as a non-profit organization dedicated to help make a healthier you and a healthier world. And indeed George’s organization helped many folks, (including me) not only to prepare easy and healthy meals, but also to educate them on the power of foods and their healing properties. You can learn more about George’s organization visiting his foundation website: ttp://www.whfoods.com

For more interesting articles and information on fitness, nutrition, healthy choices and top quality nutritional supplements, visit my webpage: www.mariofit.ca and subscribe to my e-newsletter.

Omega 3 Fish Oil and Inflammation

Acute or Chronic Inflammation?

url1[1]While acute inflammation is the short term “normal” response to protects and heals the body after an injury or infection, chronic inflammation, also known as low-grade or systemic inflammation is the long term internal irritation that leads to many degenerative and chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, obesity-related diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases, and many types of cancer including breast and prostate cancers.

In the past was demonstrated omega-3 fatty acids to have a number of potentially heart-healthy effects, including reducing triglyceride levels, slightly raising levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, “thinning” the blood, reducing levels of homocysteine, and reducing blood pressure. But now, a new review of the last 60 years of medical data (from 1950 to 2013) confirmed that long-term supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA – from marine sources) reduce blood markers of inflammation and the risk of many chronic inflammatory-related diseases. The study was published in the PLoS ONE, on February 05, 2014, and involved in total 4,601 participants from 68 randomized, controlled trials of healthy subjects with chronic autoimmune diseases, and subjects with chronic non-autoimmune diseases (ie. cardiovascular disease).

Markers of Inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP), Tumour Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6)were analyzed and strong evidence has been provided for the association of C-Reactive Protein, IL-6 and TNF-α with obesity, CVD, diabetes, many forms of cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and ulcerative colitis.

  • C-reactive protein (CRP) – a reactant protein produced by the liver, which could increase 100 times within 24-48 hours during an inflammatory process and is an important market for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), diabetes obesity and cancer.
  • Tumour Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α) – is a group of cytokines (proteins like molecules) produced by the macrophages (involved in the in the regulation of immune cells, and when a disruption of TNF occur, can cause cell death (apoptosis), cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Interleukin 6 (IL-6) – is another class of pro-inflammatory cytokines, produced by the T-cells and macrophages, (a type of white blood cells) in response to inflammation.

Researchers also separated studies using omega-3s from supplementation as active treatment with those using omega-3s from dietary intake (fish consumption) and included them into different meta-analyses. The researchers founded that that omega-3 from supplements, decrease considerable the CRP, TNF-α and IL-6, while dietary fish was effective in lowering only the IL-6 but did not appear to lower CRP or TNF-a.

Problems with Fish or Supplements

515px-MercuryFoodChain-01[1]Consuming fish more than twice per week, may increase the risk of mercury contamination. Same is true with most omega-3 fatty acids supplements, which are obtained from natural sources (fish oils). Levels of omega-3 (DHA and EPA) in supplements can vary, depending on the source and method of processing.  Contamination has also been an issue, because fish can accumulate toxins such as mercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Mercury can damage the nervous system — particularly in a fetus. Dioxins and PCBs may be carcinogenic at low levels of exposure over time and may have other harmful effects.

Recently ConsumerLab.com selected 35 omega-3 products, for review of the freshness, purity, and the amount of omega-3 fatty acids claimed. Unfortunately eleven products didn’t pass their testing. So be careful what supplement you choose.

My Recommendation:

Eat fish no more than twice a week and take a high quality purified fish oils daily, additionally to a high quality multivitamin supplement that has antioxidants and natural plant extracts.

To ensure purity and potency, I usually recommend products from USANA Health Sciences and in this particular case, the BiOmega-3. Manufactured in a state-of-the art facility, USANA’s BiOmega is virtually free of contaminants, which are eliminated through a double-molecular distillation process that ensures the highest possible purity. Through this process, heavy metals, PCBs, pesticides, and organic residues are effectively eliminated. Also free of trans-fatty acids, each capsule contains 2 mg of mixed natural tocopherols (vitamin E) to minimize oxidation of the omega-3 fatty acids and maintain product quality during storage. In short, BiOmega is one of the purest, highest quality products available on the market today.

POM BiOmega Rotation[1]You can buy USANA Health Sciences products at the preferred client status, in more than 20 countries around the world, including Romania, and many other European countries. Visit my USANA business page, http://www.mariofit.usana.com/ click Change Market (on the right top corner) and choose the country. Then click on the PRODUCTS, and follow instructions. You can also choose to do your FREE Health Assessment, without any obligation. For additional information please contact me.

Vitamin D & Athletic Performances

1249325954_aerobic-exercises_1004107[1]If you are an athlete who is planning for good performances, you probably are developing in advance your training. You are also preparing in advance your pre and post -workout meals such as proteins, carbohydrates, water and electrolytes and you are probably trying to get enough sleep to recuperate. But are you also preparing the right micronutrients before and after an intensive workout for your fast recovery?

Multivitamins and minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and joint support nutrients should be also part of an athlete’s nutritional program. I will write more articles on this subject. But, now, I would like to focus on the newest research, which demonstrated that higher level of vitamin D in the blood can protect muscles from damages and speed up recovery after an intense workout. There is no doubt that vitamin D supplementation is a health promoting nutrient, but how this “sunshine vitamin” may improve athletic performances?

Athletic Performances?

In my opinion, there is no athletic performance by taking any supplements. I cannot take vitamins, minerals and other supplements (including vitamin D) and wait to become a champion. Athletic performances are gained only by training hard, smart and by planning your workouts. But specific nutrients such as essential fatty acids and antioxidants can protect the muscle from free radical damages. And now it was demonstrated that also higher concentration of vitamin D BEFORE an intensive workout will speed even more the recovery to the working muscle. If this proved to be true, then your next workout can be more rewarding leading to better performances.

The Clinical Study

body-solid-leverage-horizontal-leg-press-lvlp-1[1]A recent study by The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH), in collaboration with USANA Health Sciences, revealed that increased levels of vitamin D before an intensive plyometric workout can reduce skeletal muscular weakness. The Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation (Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, UT, USA) and the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology (Salt Lake City, UT, USA) approved this study and the results were published in the journal: Nutrients. Apr 2013; 5(4): 1253–1275.

The Protocol

Fourteen active non-smoking subjects participated in this study, doing specific plyometric exercises (stretch shortening contraction – SSC – with one leg) to induce peak isometric force deficits that would persist for several days. The SSC protocol consisted of 10 sets of 10 repetitive jumps (using a horizontal Plyo-press machine) at 75% of body mass with a 20 seconds rest between each set.  The primary objective of this study was to identify if vitamin D (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D ) concentrations predict muscular weakness after intense exercise. During the procedure, different blood tests were performed, including the blood vitamin D level, and serum enzymes (AST and ALT) which are all indices of skeletal muscle damage.

The Results

The researchers concluded that that maintaining an adequate vitamin D serum concentration in the blood, could attenuate muscular weakness after intense exercise. In other words, taking vitamin D before you exercise can help you recover more quickly afterwards, making it the perfect supplement to pair with your workout.

My Recommendation

Vitamin D can be picked up from the sun during your outdoor activities.  But just because it’s sunny out doesn’t mean you’re getting the proper amount of “the sunshine vitamin.” In fact, deficiency is common during the summer months when people use extensively “protective” sunscreen, and neglect vitamin D supplementation.

Don’t fall into the trap—make sure you maintain your vitamin D levels all year long to ensure you are getting the proper amount of nutrients for your body, especially when you exercise.  And make sure that the vitamin D you take is from a trustable manufacturer, who guarantees the potency and purity of their supplements.

usana_vitamin_d__80043.1353690555.1280.1280[1]Usually I recommend supplements from USANA Health Sciences, which is the only one company in the world, who has an Athlete Guarantee Program backed up by a Million Dollar. They manufacture their products in state of the art facility approved by the FDA, and in accordance with the pharmaceutical grade standards, which is superior to the food grade standard (cheaper) used by most of the other manufacturers of nutritional supplements. This is why USANA can guarantee that their products are potent, safe and free of contamination.

You can buy USANA Health Sciences products at the preferred client status, in more than 20 countries around the world, including Romania, and many other European countries. Visit my USANA business page, http://www.mariofit.usana.com/ click Change Market (on the right top corner) and choose the country, then click on the PRODUCTS, and follow instructions. You can also choose to do your FREE Health Assessment, without any obligation. For additional information please contact me.

Stay Fit and Healthy for Life

Team USANA Great Performance @ Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

With 88 countries and more than 2800 world class participating athletes, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, officially known as the XXII Olympic Winter Games, was a major international multi-sport event held on the beautiful city of Sochi, Russia, located on the Black Sea coast.

Team-USANA-Crest_VR5[1]Among them were 190 top athletes from the USANA Sponsored Team, who competed to bring the gold, silver or bronze medals to their respective countries, (Canada, United States, Great Britain, South Korea) but indirectly also for USANA Health Sciences who sponsored them.

With an impressive 30 medals (13 gold, 7 silver, and 10 bronze), Team USANA surpassed its 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games medals where they earned in total 22 medals (6 gold, 8 silver, and 8 bronze).

If Team USANA was a country, it would have placed second in the overall medal count with a solid 30 podium appearances:  – 13 gold – 7 silver – 10 bronze  and tied with Russia for the most gold medals of the Games!FINAL-MEDAL-STANDING[1]

Usana’s Sochi Champions Review:

  • The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association scored 17 medals (8 gold, 3 silver, 6 bronze) during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
  • Speed Skating Canada captured 5 medals (1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze) during the Games, two of which were earned by long tracker Denny Morrison, from Fort St. John, British Colombia- Canada
  • Ambassador Meaghan Mikkelson-Reid from the Canada’s Women’s Hockey Team, secured gold for the second consecutive time after Canada’s women’s hockey team defeated the USA 3–2 in overtime.
  • Five USANA-sponsored athletes of South Korea’s Speed Skating team brought home 5 medals, three of which 2 gold and 1 bronze were secured by their world champion Park Seung-Hi!
  • U.S. Speedskating Short-Tack athletes (J.R. Celski, Eddy Alvarez, Chris Creveling, and Jordan Malone) took home for their team’s silver medal in the 5000m relay.
  • Erin Hamlin of U.S. Luge secured bronze in the women’s single event, becoming the first American luger to medal at any Winter Games.

Although they didn’t reach the podium, I would like to congratulate also Biathlon Canada, Cross Country Canada, U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping Team and Great Britain Short Track Speed Skating athletes on their tremendous achievements.

We all know that Athletes are always working and training hard to break records and to push limits. For them recovery time and proper nutrition is vital for their performances. So, it’s no wonder that more than 600 world-class athletes trust their Health and Performances with USANA’s Health Sciences top quality products. From being the official nutritional sponsor for the Women’s Tennis Association and to many Olympic teams, USANA provides a One-Million dollar Guarantee that their products are safe and effective.

But USANA doesn’t make products for athletes only but for everyone seeking a better health.

images6A0BYB5GIn fact: USANA Health Sciences (NYSE:  USNA) is the top rated nutritional company in the world who received the 2014 NutriSearch Editor’s Choice Award.

Usana manufactures high-quality supplements, personal care, energy, and weight-management products in their FDA-registered facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. USANA’s products, tested by NSF International and used by more than 600 professional athletes, are developed by the company’s award-winning team of scientists and sold directly to Preferred Customers and Associates in 18 international markets (including also Romania). Named one of Outside magazine’s “Best Places to Work” for four consecutive years, USANA has received more than 100 state, national and international accolades, including Utah Best of State, Stevie Awards, Australian Business Awards, and others.

To learn more about USANA and how to become an independent associate or a USANA Sponsored Athletes, visit my USANA business page http://www.mariofit.usana.com/ and contact me to join my team.

Subscribe to my e-newsletter and get the most updated information on fitness, nutrition, health and self-protection. E-Newsletter: http://teccrab.us5.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=eeefd036ccbe60061e371ed43&id=19190c8bfd