Thrive Chocolate Almond Smoothie

I did a home Boot Camp workout this morning and sweated my buns off! Then I drank this Thrive Chocolate Almond Smoothie afterward. Really easy to make. A lot of the ingredients are the same as his energy bars (see last post).

According to the recipe, "This is a satisfying smoothie that will keep the hunger away for hours." Well we'll see about that! I drank it at 9:15am, and I have a class to teach at 12noon, a 1:30pm appointment, 4:00pm class to teach, and 5:30 class to teach, then a 7:00pm meeting. Let's see how long this smoothie will last me!

Recipe: Thrive Chocolate Almond Smooth (antioxidant-rich)
From: Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and in Life, B. Brazier

1 banana
2 fresh or soaked dates
2 cups cold water (or 1-1/2 cup water plus 1 cup ice)
1/4 cup almonds (or 2 tbsp raw almond butter)
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp hemp protein (I used Living Harvest, Original Organic Hemp Protein with Fiber)
1 tbsp roasted carob powder (or cacao nibs to make smoothie 100% raw)

Makes about 3-1/2 cups, or 2 large servings

Emily's Comments: I drank all 2 servings! It was really refreshing and very satisfying. Not super sweet at all, like when drinking a Jamba Juice. Some of the dates and nuts were left at the bottom of the blender, so make sure to blend completely. I will definitely make this one again tomorrow.



Thrive - 2 Energy Bar Recipes!

Chocolate Blueberry Energy Bars
(this bar is shown at the top of this plate of ingredients, the darker-bluer one of the two)

High in antioxidants and flavonoids, these bars help reduce free radical damage in the body and improve cellular recovery.

Makes approximately (12) 1-3/4 ounce bars

1 cup fresh or soaked dried dates
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup roasted carob powder (or cacao to make 100% raw) (this was about $8/container)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (I just used them whole, too lazy to grind)
1/4 cup hemp protein (this was about $19/tub)
1/4 cup unhulled sesame seeds
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
sea salt to taste
1/2 cup sprouted or cooked buckwheat (optional, I didn't use)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
(Sorry! Disregard the banana in this picture, it was used for the next Energy Bar recipe)
(Also, the picture just shows samples of the ingredients, they are not really measured out according to the recipes)

In a food processor, process all ingredients except the buckwheat and blueberries. Knead buckwheat and berries into mixture by hand.

Emily's comments: I only have a blender, so I used this to process instead. Just kept speed on Low and Stir. Also, to form the bars, I scooped (12) small bits into an ice cube tray. Pressed firmly with a narrow spatula. Then let the bars sit for 5 mins. While still wet and soft, I used the narrow spatula to wedge the bars out of the tray, one at a time. It's cool, because they come out in a shape of a triangle. Then I used wax paper to wrap each one.

To store bars: Since these bars are live and raw, store them in the refrigerator or freezer. You can take them on the go with you and the consistency is very soft and moist, but if they are wrapped, they will maintain their triangle shape!

Banana Bread Energy Bars
(this one is to the left of the Chocolate Blueberry bar, the lighter-hazel colored of the two)

Cinnamon and nutmeg combined with banana give this bar the taste of traditional banana bread, in a healthy, convenient form.

Makes approximately (12) 1-3/4 ounce bars

1 small banana
3/4 cup fresh or soaked dried dates
1/2 cup Popped Amaranth* (not shown, but they look like little cous cous pellets)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup ground sesame seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
sea salt to taste

*Popped Amaranth - Light and fluffy, popped amaranth adds texture to energy bars and crunch to salads. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks (because of its natural oils, it needs to be refrigerated)

Use a hot air popcorn popper and pop amaranth as you would corn. You can also you a frying pan: heat a small amount of coconut oil (I used olive, I don't have such specialty oil in my kitchen), just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, over medium heat. Add a small amount of amaranth, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. As it pops, remove it from the pan with a spatula and add more grains for popping

Emily's comments: I didn't know what the heck Amaranth was, but I found it at Down to Earth, our local health food store in Honolulu. Actually I got all the ingredients, especially the bulk food items, there. I am sure you can find them also at Whole Foods. Anyways, let the amaranth heat and bubble up in the oil for a good 8-9 minutes. I did not know what to look for or expect. I thought each grain might explode like popcorn kernels do, but they didn't. So as they started to turn brown and as I heard tiny popping noises, I turned of the heat and removed them from the pan. It was kinda weird and really makes the bars crunchy. But I figured it's safe to eat since all of these ingredients are raw anyways.

Overall, I really enjoyed making these bars. I did invest in a couple of key ingredients (hemp protein and carob powder), but it was worth it! I spend anywhere between $1.75 - $2.50 for each energy bar I buy at a convenient store.

I have been eating 2-4 each day, and I feel great! I think it's because there is no refined sugars or hydrogenated fats. I've had enough energy to get me through 60 - 90 minutes of working out a day!

Resources: "Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life" by Brendan Brazier
For his book and other recipes: http://www.brendanbrazier.com/book/recipes.html


What builds more muscles - weights or repetitions?

Straining and groaning under a heavy weight to pump those muscles might be unnecessary, according to a study released from a Canadian university.

While body builders and muscle fanatics may load up their weights, it could be just as useful to use a lighter load, but do more repetitions until the muscle becomes tired, kinesiologists at McMaster University suggested.

The findings are published in PLoS ONE.In the study, the authors had 15 men perform leg extensions by kicking their knees against a weight while seated. They were randomly assigned to either lifting their legs using a weight that was 90 percent of their best lift or 30 percent.

The participants with the heavier load could lift about five to 10 times. Those who lifted at 30 percent of the load could lift about 24 times. A sample of their muscle was taken.

While both exercises produced proteins that help build muscles, the people who lifted at 30 percent to the point of fatigue (where the limbs start to jiggle and tremble) produced slightly more muscle than those who lifted at 90 percent, said Stuart Phillips, associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University.

“We had a strong idea based on the understanding on basic muscle physiology that your muscle can’t tell the difference between 30 percent or 90 percent of the load- all it knows is there is a load or fatigue,” said Phillips.

This small, initial study showed that even at a lesser weight, the muscle-building proteins developed at a slightly faster rate. These proteins stack likes bricks, to produce muscles - the more proteins there are, the larger and more pronounced those muscles become.

This doesn’t mean that pumping a two-pound barbell a thousand times would give you guns of steel.

“Clearly, there’s a threshold of fatigue you need to achieve,” Phillips said. “With very low loads, we have yet to see how low you can go.”

This could benefit people who might be older, who are not able to pick up heavy weight. It could save the wear and tear and relieve muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and bones. Longer-term studies will be conducted to test these initial results, Phillips said.

“Instead of going to the gym, working and lifting some heavy weight that you grunt and groan to get off the ground, you can pick a lighter weight until the last repetition is still hard,” he said. “It’s still hard work.”

CNN Health



Can 1 1/4 tsp of sugar/day make you diabetic?

Whenever I give a talk and make the statement that a normal blood sugar represents less than one teaspoon of sugar dissolved in the blood, I’m often met with scepticism. It really is true, however.

Let’s go through the calculations so we can see exactly how this plays out.

First, we need some basic measures.

one liter (l)= 10 deciliters (dl)
one gram (gm) = 1000 milligrams (mg)

one teaspoon = 5 grams

According to the American Diabetes Association the line between a healthy fasting blood sugar and a pre-diabetic fasting blood sugar is set at 100 mg/dl (pronounced 100 milligrams per deci-liter). A fasting blood sugar of between 100 mg/dl and 125 mg/dl earns a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, and a fasting blood sugar of over 125 mg/dl is diabetic.

So how much sugar is 99 mg/dl, the highest fasting blood sugar you can have and not be diagnosed as pre-diabetic? Let’s figure it out.

We know that a typical human has about 5 liters of blood, so we need to figure out how much sugar dissolved into this 5 liters of blood will give us a reading of 99 mg/dl.

Since one liter contains 10 deciliters we multiply 99 mg/dl by 10, which gives us 990 mg, the amount of sugar in one liter. Multiply the 990 mg in one liter times 5, the number of liters of blood in the human body, and we have 4950 mg of sugar. If we divide the 4950 by 1000, the number of mg in a gram, we get 4.95 grams of sugar.

Since one teaspoon contains 5 grams, the 4.95 grams of sugar in the blood of a person just short of being pre-diabetic equals a little less than one teaspoon.

If you run all these calculations for a blood sugar of 80 mg/dl, which is a much healthier blood sugar than the 99 mg/dl one that is knocking on the door of pre-diabetes, it turns out to be about 4/5 of a teaspoon.

If you run the calculations for 126 mg/dl, the amount of sugar in the blood of someone just over the line into the diagnosis of diabetes, you find out that it is 6.25 grams, or 1 1/4 teaspoon. So, the difference between having a normal blood sugar and a diabetic blood sugar is about a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar.

What really gets kind of scary is when you look at the amount of carbohydrate in, say, a medium order of McDonald’s fries compared to the sugar in your blood. Remember, it is the job of your digestive tract to breakdown the starch and other complex carbohydrates, which are nothing more than chains of sugar molecules, into their component sugars so that they can be absorbed into the blood. An order of medium fries at McDonald’s contains 47 grams of carbohydrate. 47 grams of carbohydrate converts to about 47 grams of sugar, which is almost 10 teaspoons. So, when you eat these fries you put 10 times more sugar into your blood than that required to maintain a normal blood sugar level. If you figure, as we did above, that one quarter of a teaspoon is all the difference between a normal blood sugar and a diabetic blood sugar, the 10 full teaspoons would be 40 times that amount.

Since your metabolic system has to work very hard indeed to deal with the sugar load from an order of fries, imagine what it has to do when you add a large soft drink, a hamburger bun, and maybe an apple turnover for dessert.

When you see the long lines of cars in the at the drive-through window and the long lines of customers at the counter inside, you can see why the incidence of type II diabetes is skyrocketing?

Article by: Dr. Eades of "The 6-week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle"

For more info go to: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/sugar-and-sweeteners/a-spoonful-of-sugar/


Winner of 10-week Fitness Challenge

Seline Williams - Winner of 10-week Fitness Challenge
May 3 - July 24, 2010

Before Photo

After Photo

Lost 19 pounds, 3.2% body fat, 23 inches, 2 sizes!

Congratulations Seline! You are an inspiration!


ESPN 1420 Sports Festival Success! July 17, 2010

Mahalo to the ESPN 1420 Sports Festival, Boot Camp Hawaii Volunteers, Hi Life and ButiGroove!

We had a wonderful opportunity to show case Boot Camp Hawaii at this great outdoor community event. Volunteers showed exercise demonstrations, talked about health and fitness programs, and most of all had tons of fun!

Boot Camp Hawaii is dedicated toward making a healthier Hawaii one person at a time!


Travis's Birthday Boot Camp Workout

Travis's Birthday Boot Camp Workout!
You're getting old, but Boot Camp keeps you young!

Warm up: 2 laps around life guard sand

Stretching: quad pull and reach, lunge with stretch, flamingo walk, high kick

Set 1:
15 lateral should raises (up 1, down 3 counts)
15 jump squats
(repeat set 1, 3x)

100 m Suicide (run 25 m, 50 m, 75 m, 100m)

Set 2:
15 push-ups (1. 15 tricep, 2. 15 off-set w/R arm, 3. 15 off-set w/L arm)
16 plyo-lunges or 20 lunge with knee raise
(repeat set 2, 3x)

100 m Suicide (run 25 m, 50 m, 75 m, 100m)

Set 3:
15 or 20 biceps and back
1. single arm inside R bicep curl followed by dbl weighted single R back row
2. single arm inside L bicep curl followed by dbl weighted single L back row
3. inside back rows, both arms, palms face forward

(2) 100 m Suicide (run 25 m, 50 m, 75 m, 100m)

25 sits ups pressing R arm with weight overhead
25 sit ups pressing L arm with weight overhead
25 V-ups


What a way to end class today with a gorgeous double rainbow!
Happy Birthday Travis!