Top Sources for Yer Omega-3

There has been no end to the number of articles being published over the last little while regarding the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. From the heart to the brain, Omega-3 seems as essential to the protection and maintenance of our important organs as other important vitamins and minerals. And while some drug and food administrations are still weighing in on it, most professionals will agree that whether or not to get your daily dose of Omega-3 should be a non-argument.
While the amount that should be taken daily isn’t established by any regulating bodies, some organizations suggest that males get at least 1.5g per day, while females are well off with at least 1.1g. However, some individuals suggest higher levels. Dr. Sears, the author of “The Zone Diet”, suggests a regular intake of 5g per day.
But how does one get the “required” amount of Omega-3’s into their diet? Here is a list of the top sources of Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Flaxseeds or Flaxseed oil supplements (2tbl/3.51g)
  • Fatty fish or fish oil supplements (ex. salmon or cod liver) (4oz/2.09g)
  • Walnuts (0.25 cup/2.27g)
  • Boiled cauliflower (1cup/0.21g)
  • Soybeans (1cup/1.03g)
  • Steamed broccoli (1cup/0.2g)
  • Omega-3 fortified eggs
  • Omega-3 fortified bread
  • Loads of other omega-3 fortified foods at the grocery store

For more information on Omega-3 fatty acids, check out WHFoods.

Great Reasons to Drink Water

Dumb Little Man has a good little article giving some good reasons why drinking enough water throughout your day is important and discusses some valuable tips to help make water drinking a habit. For most of us, water isn’t the greatest tasting drink around and when faced with the options, more than not, we will choose pop, coffee, tea or juices instead of the clear natural H2O. However, there are many health benefits to choosing water as your fave beverage. The article cites weight loss, heart health, clear skin and cancer risk reduction as just a few of them.


Although I’ve had my fair share of protein and nutrition bars, I have never had a Zone Perfect bar. However, the ZonePerfect Nutrition Company claims that their bars “contain an ideal balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat to keep you satisfied longer.” They seem to mimic the Zone diet philosophy. Coincidentally they’ve named their brand after the diet. Beyond the usual product claims and boasting that can be found on one’s own company website, the ZonePerfect site offers a bunch of other neat fitness and nutrition related things… for free… They have a healthy living page and a nutrition program page that both offer some nice bits of info. In particular, I found their recipes to be worthy of an actual attempt to be made by me. Perhaps not all companies are about the bottom line after all. Ok. Sure they are. ZonePerfect also has shakes in case you’re on the liquid diet.

How to get a good six pack

The six pack - a quest to achieve the ultimate look in the mid section. Unfortunately, also probably very very difficult for most of us and probably impossible for some. Truth is that we all have a six pack in there somewhere. And if you incorporate some amount of abdominal exercises into your weekly workout, it’s probably near as good as it gets. However, you can perform zillions of crunches and hanging leg raises and still have nary a one pack. Like most muscle definition, the six pack comes through diet. In order to get that muscle out from hiding, you will have to lose the fat surrounding it. Plain and simple… er… perhaps not so simple. But take it from Tom Venuto, author of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”. He says,

It takes training to increase strength, build endurance and DEVELOP the abdominals, but to SEE the definition in your abdominals - or any other muscle group for that matter - is almost entirely the result of low body fat levels.

And if you’re concerned about his credibility, just take a gander at the pic above.


Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, has been gaining in popularity lately as a more healthy grain substitute. Similar to other grains, quinoa has a long history. For thousands of years it has been a staple food in South America. According to wikipedia, “the Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as “chisaya mama” or “mother of all grains”, and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season.”

Unlike ordinary rice and wheat however, quinoa has more essential fatty acids and much more protein (12%

Fish Oils and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

For some, the phrase, “take your cod liver oil”, may bring back disturbing memories of a mother feeding them a spoonful of some of the most vile tasting liquid known to man. I never had to deal with it, but I can only imagine how evil it must have felt as a child - almost punishing. However, what may have once seemed absolutely disgusting beyond words has only recently had a light shone on it, showing why taking your cod liver oil may, in fact, be something that we all should continue to do on a daily basis.

Once upon a couple generations ago, fish oil was a daily given. It was thought that because of the rich vitamin A and D found in it, fish oil helped keep people healthy and prevent the contraction of some diseases. More recently, it has been discovered that it’s not necessarily the vitamins that help, it’s long chain the omega-3 fatty acids that are the wonder component. You may have noticed how grocery stores are getting stocked with milk, juices, eggs, all fortified with omega-3, but why? What is it about omega-3 that is so important?

There are two omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil in particular, that are key - eicospentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

EPA is important to controling insulin levels. EPA is also beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer, arthritis and other chronic diseases. In March 2007, Dr. Mitsuhiro Yokoyama at Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine performed a study that showed that “long-term use of EPA at therapeutic doses is effective for prevention of major coronary events in high cholesterol patients.”

DHA may be even more beneficial than EPA for the human body. DHA is a major fatty acid found in the retina, sperm and brain. DHA can reduce the levels of blood triglycerides in humans and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Low levels of DHA have also been associated with Alzheimer’s, depression and ADHD. Most importantly, however, is the effect that DHA may have on the brain. No other organ in the body has as high a concentration of DHA than the brain. The fact that human breast milk is loaded with DHA may account for why one study indicated that children fed breast milk tended to score 10 percent higher on IQ tests.

Nutrition expert, Udo Erasmus includes omega-3 fatty acids as an essential part of his “Udo’s Choice Food Pyramids”, saying that omega-3 fatty acids (and slightly omega-6) “help reduce fat production in the body” and “increase fat burning and heat production, and shift the body from burning glucose to burning fats.”(*)

Fish oil may taste nasty, but fortunately no longer needs to be taken in the putrid liquid form. The supplement section of the local grocery or health food store or pharmacy will contain a whack of fish oils in capsule form. Dr. Barry Sears, the creator of the Zone diet, suggests a daily intake of 5 grams of fish oil.

Cooking healthy is easy

Why is it so difficult to maintain a healthy diet, when it’s easier to cook a healthy meal than it is to cook a high fat\carb meal?

A chicken breast and a side of cooked frozen veggies takes practically no effort. Even throwing a frozen pizza in the oven takes as much effort (take it out of the box and struggle with the cellophane wrapper). Yet, I guess on those lazy days, it just seems more appealing to eat a cheesy pizza than some bland, semi-dry chicken and veggies.

My suggestion, however, is to cook a bunch of stuff up on Sunday - several chicken breasts, some turkey bacon or maybe even a pot of turkey chili. Throw some in the fridge and some in the freezer. Make your meals microwavable and you’re gold.

Frozen veggies go a long way too - throw a couple cups of frozen green beens and a couple cups of frozen broccoli in a tupper-ware container with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a couple slices of cut-up deli meat and bring that to work for lunch. Throw it in the micro for a minute (don’t make it too hot - it’ll stink the office up) when you’re ready to eat and give it a stir. Tastes pretty good, takes no time and is incredibly healthy. Lots of fiber, some protein and the good kind of fat and carbs. Gold.

How not to get your post workout protein

Sure this guy is cut and looks extremely badass, but this is certainly not the way to get your protein after a workout.

For more info on this crazy dude, check out his myspace page.

The Negative Calorie

Of course, all food has calories. Some vegetables have very little, true, but they’re still there. Wouldn’t it be nice, however, if there existed a food that by eating it, calories actually came off? But if all food contains calories, how on Earth is it possible to get a decrease in daily caloric intake simply by consumption?

There is some controversy about this, but some research indicates that there is a small list of foods that require more energy from the body to digest than the foods themselves contain, resulting in a net negative caloric effect. Celery is one example of a food that may require more energy to absorb the nutrients than the energy contained within. This may be because the energy in celery is sealed, which requires the digestive system to work harder to obtain the energy. However, other vegetables and fruits may also have the same or similar effect. Some of these “negative calorie” foods include asparagus, cabbage, cucumber, tomato, melon, rhubarb and lettuce. As you can see, regardless if these foods actually do have a negative caloric effect, this food list contains some extremely healthy items that would definitely already be part of a good diet or weight loss plan.

The moral of the story is that negative calories or not, eat lots of veggies and fruit and you are well on your way to shedding unwanted weight.
For more information on negative calories, check out

Book Review - A Week in the Zone

So what is this Zone thing? Is it another fad diet to drop into the South Beach or Atkins bucket? For ages, people have searched far and wide for the secret diet that will shed their pounds and rid themselves of evil fat. Unfortunately, as many professionals would tell them, there is no secret. To get desired results requires work, motivation and to some extent, will power - will power to not cave into cravings. This is one thing that all of these diets share - the necessity to have the will power to not cave for the sweets and high carb foods. There is a major difference with the Zone diet though. Instead of forgoing carbs and relying on protein or fat for nutrients and calories, the Zone diet just says that for every gram of carbs eaten, make sure that protein is consumed in a specific amount to make the ratio of carbs to protein always 40-30. And instead of telling readers what to eat and what to watch out for, in his book, “A Week in the Zone”, Dr. Sears (the creator of the Zone diet) instructs the reader about how the relationship of carbohydrates, protein and fats plays an important part in the regulation of insulin and ultimately how the pounds pile up. Dr. Sears says that keeping an insulin balance is the key to not only shedding the weight, but to maintaining a healthy body. He cites many advantages to the Zone diet including weight loss, disease prevention, graceful aging, blood sugar control to name a few.

“A Week in the Zone” also gives the reader sample eating plans for a full week, for both males and females. Included with these plans are the grocery shopping essentials and tips on how to shop. Other recipes are also included so that if the reader wishes to continue the Zone beyond a week, the meals won’t get boring. Beyond the eating information, in “A Week in the Zone”, Dr. Sears also defines what he believes are the important elements of a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle (and an essential part of losing and maintaining weight) includes exercise and Dr. Sears also presents basic exercising techniques to use in conjunction with his diet. Besides the exercise aspect, meditation is also a part of his plan and is also briefly discussed.

Overall, “A Week in the Zone” is a fairly good book that has actually helped me choose what and when I eat and if nothing else, has truly made a noticeable difference in my blood sugar levels. It’s a short book, but it lays out the basics for a healthy lifestyle in which a good diet is the key to success.

For more information, check out the Dr. Sears website.

Almonds… mmmmm….

A hint of sweetness, a little bit of chewiness with a side of crunch. That’s how I’d describe the Almond and lately it’s been a staple food for me, particularly for helping to curb those spontaneous snack attacks.

Fortunately, Almonds are an incredibly healthy nut. Not only are almonds low in carbs, high in protein, fiber and essential vitamins and nutrients, a handful of almonds a day has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) while not contributing at all to body weight or glucose levels (*). In fact, studies in which participants were put on diets with moderate fat from almonds show that the group eating the almonds had the greatest weight\BMI reduction (*).

For more information about the almond, check out

Fruity Chocolate Protein Shake Recipe

Protein - a body builder’s ticket to muscle, a dieter’s key to weight loss. Our muscles crave it after a good workout and researchers have found that “increasing the protein content of the diet [helps] to reduce hunger and aid weight loss.” Within 40 minutes of a workout, a protein boost is essential to help the muscles recover. Here’s my recipe for what I call the “Fruitychocoproteini”. It’s fast, tasty and it’s what the doctor ordered.

1 scoop of chocolate flavoured whey protein
1 cup of 1% milk
1 fat free Silhouette yogurt (flavour of your choice - I like banana strawberry)
1 ice cube

Put ingredients in a shaker with an ice cube. Shake, shake, shake, like you’re making your mama a martini. If you don’t have a martini shaker, a travel coffee mug with a fairly tight lid will do just fine. The more you shake, the more you’ll disolve the protein. Pour in a glass and add some water if you’d like to fill the glass up. Drink and be merry. Note that the picture on the right is absolutely no indication of what this will actually look like.

Nutrition Info
Calories: 262
fat: 4.4g
carbs: 21.2g
protein: 39.6g