Friday, June 8, 2012

Blueberry Grape Protein Smoothie

1 cup frozen blueberries
8 ounces of 100% grape juice
1 cup low fat plain Greek style yogurt
2 tbsp of egg white protein (I recommend Jay Robb Egg White Protein Vanilla)

Preparation Time: 1 minute

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend for approximately 30 seconds. Serves 2 to 3.

12 Ways to Naturally Raise Testosterone

One of the biggest “unrealized” health problems facing men today is low testosterone. Testosterone is a vital male sex hormone responsible for sex drive, energy, mood, muscle building, lowering body-fat and building strong bones. As men age, healthy levels of testosterone may diminish leading to depression, weight gain, lack of energy and decreased sex drive. It is recommended that all males over the age of 50 have their testosterone checked regularly, earlier if they become symptomatic. If testosterone levels are low (<350 ng/dl), then measures should be taken to remedy the problem, one of the most common remedies being hormone replacement treatment (HRT). This must be done under medical supervision and involves testosterone injections, ointments, and pills or patches.
  1. Lift Weights - Research shows that lifting moderate weight 3 to 4 times weekly can drastically elevate testosterone. For best results, do compound movements like squats, presses and dead lifts, incorporating 3 to 5 sets of 5 to 10 reps. Resting 60-90 seconds between sets boosts post- workout T levels the most.
  2. Do Sprints - Studies show that doing short burst of sprints (6 to 20 sec) with moderate recovery helps to raise T levels. Sprinting on a bike, stationary bike, treadmill, Elliptical or running sprints all yield the same positive results.
  3. Minimize Negative Stress - One of the main culprits in suppressing testosterone is a high level of cortisol resulting from negative stress. Deal with negative stress by practicing prayer and meditation, doing deep diaphragmatic breathing, getting plenty of rest and embracing regular exercise
  4. Get Plenty of Vitamin D - Low levels of vitamin D are directly related to low T. Get plenty of indirect sunlight and take a quality vitamin D supplement. Also, consume foods high in vitamin D, which are cold-water fish, mushrooms, eggs, fortified dairy products and Tofu.
  5. Avoid Dietary Dioxins - Dioxins are toxic substances found in conventionally raised animal products and in fruits and vegetables sprayed with pesticides. Always choose grass-fed beef, free- range poultry, and hormone-free dairy, animals that are free from antibiotics, and organic fruits and vegetables. If organic fruits and vegetables are not available, then wash thoroughly.
  6. Eat Monounsaturated Fat and Avoid Polyunsaturated Fats - A diet high in monounsaturated fat (20-30 % of calories) and low in polyunsaturated fat promotes healthy testosterone production. The best sources of monounsaturated fat are olives, olive oil, avocado, fish, fish oil, flaxseed, walnuts and almonds. Minimize or avoid foods high in polyunsaturated foods like corn oil and soybean oil.
  7. Avoid Processed or Refined Carbohydrates - Foods that spike blood sugars suppress testosterone. To enhance testosterone, avoid refined pasta, refined breads and cereal, soda pop and sugary beverages, and any food containing white or refined wheat flour. Always choose whole grains instead.
  8. Get Adequate Zinc Intake - Zinc deficiency is directly related to low T. Choose foods high in zinc like pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, garlic, sesame seed, wheat germ, chickpeas, oysters, salmon and peanuts.
  9. Get Plenty of Sleep Every Night - One of the leading causes of low T is lack of sleep. Sleeping less that 7 hours nightly is a contributing factor to low testosterone. Achieve at least 7 hours of sleep every night!
  10. Reduce Estrogen - One of the major culprits to low T is elevated estrogen in men. One of the best ways to minimize estrogen in men and thereby elevate testosterone is to consume plenty of cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips and cabbage. Eating other leafy green vegetables may limit estrogen production and should be considered. Also, eliminating plastic containers made with bisphenol A (BPA) can reduce estrogen. Drinking from plastic containers that have BPA increases unhealthy levels of estrogen in men
  11. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners and Monosodium Glutamate - Avoid artificial sweeteners and MSG at all costs, as these chemical additives adversely affect testosterone. Artificial sweeteners include Saccharin (Sweet 'N Low & Sugar Twin), Aspartame (NutraSweet & Equal), Acesulfame-K (Sweet One & Swiss Sweet, Sunett) and Sucralose (Splenda).
  12. Eliminate or Reduce Alcohol - Excessive alcohol consumption can reduce testosterone production. Research shows that limiting alcohol to no more than 4 to 6 drinks per week can have a positive effect on testosterone.
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