Health and Fitness Tips

Every week over on CurlyNikki.com I’m featured as a guest blogger serving up health and wellness tips. I also answer health and wellness questions on the CN.com forum.  When I moved from NH to SC I suspended the weekly posts (was just too darn busy) and now that I’m settled and ready to rock and roll, I’ve started up the series again with a few changes. In the past I presented a healthy food of the week and fitness tips, and included a few question and answers sessions.  Now that I have my own blog up and running again on a more consistent basis I’ve decided to feature the articles here.  I’ve made a couple of changes to the articles.  I’ve decided to alternate weeks with a specific  food of the week and a recipe to follow-up with the next week. Hopefully it will help someone reading this or if not at least I have a database of all my favorite healthy recipes. So here is this week’s installation.

Healthy Recipe of the Week:

 Green Grapes with Feta Cheese and Honey (from www.eatingwell.com)

 This teaming of grapes, feta, and pears can be served as a dessert, side salad, or a snack.

 Ingredients:

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (can opt for fat-free feta cheese instead)

2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons raw honey

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 ½ cups green grapes (about 1 pound)

1 ripe but firm Bartlett or Anjou pear cut into ½-inch wedges

6-8 basil leaves, thinly sliced

 Directions:

  1. Place feta in a small bowl. Drizzle with oil and honey. Add pepper and toss gently.
  2. Shortly before serving, cut grapes in half lengthwise. Gently toss grapes and pear slices. Sprinkle feta over the fruit and garnish with basil.

 Nutrition:

Per serving: 162 calories, 7 g fat (4 g sat, 3 g mono); 20 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber; 255 mg sodium; 211 mg potassium.

 Fitness Tip of the Week: Q and A

 Q:  During a recent meet up a naturopath (sp?) spoke about how we lose minerals when we drink water and exercise. I would like to understand it better. I kind of get it but more information would be useful. What minerals are we subject to losing and how can we reintroduce them into our system?

 A:  The minerals the speaker mentioned are called electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. Electrolytes exist in the blood as acids, bases, and salts (such as sodium, calcium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, and bicarbonate). It is important to keep the balance of electrolytes in your body as they affect the amount of water in your body, blood acidity (pH levels), muscle action and other important processes. When you exercise, you sweat,  and when you sweat you lose electrolytes. Electrolytes are one of the many substances that make up sweat. The longer or more intense the physical activity is or the more you sweat the more electrolytes are lost. Over enough time, if electrolytes are not replaced electrolyte levels in the blood begin to fall and create an imbalance. This imbalance can lead to muscle cramps or more sever situations such as hyponatremia, a potentially life-threatening condition.

So, how can electrolytes be reintroduced into the body? Drinking water is certainly a good beverage choice when doing physical activity, but water doesn’t contain carbohydrates or electrolytes. If you’re participating in high intensity or a prolonged physical activity (like a prolonged run, a boot camp style class, or high impact aerobics) or if you’re the kind of person that sweats a lot, then water certainly won’t replace the electrolytes lost. However, water the next best thing if there is nothing else available and we should be drinking water or other fluids though out the day to start off our physical activity properly hydrated. To replace the electrolytes a low-calorie sports drink would be the way to go. Properly formulated sports drinks will have the ability to help bring your body’s electrolytes back into balance during or after participating in high intensity or prolonged physical activity. There are certain foods that do contain electrolytes, but by drinking a properly formulated sports drink (during and following physical activity) you meet the goal of rehydrating and balancing electrolytes.

Peace and Love,

KinkySheaPT

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