Coach Alicia Fong

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Health tip for week Oct 24th

  • Eat a good variety of meat. Try Bison meat.

Clients and people often tell me that they can’t think of anything else to eat besides chicken and beef.  How about bison, lamb, wild boar, snake, ostrich, alligator.  There are so many wild, game meat out there available to everybody.  I personally haven’t try snake but I have everything else.  My personal favorite is wild boar.  I also like bison.  It takes just like beef.

Bison, or American Buffalo, is very accessible now.  You can buy it at the supermarkets, farmer’s markets and online.  Bison has changed little since the days when it roamed the Great Plains of North America in massive herds and was hunted by native Americans.  They are no longer in extinction.  Bison’s herd populations have been making a comeback in recent years and sustainably raised by numerous small family ranches throughout Western North America.  Bison meat is naturally lean and higher in protein (by weight) than beef.  And because they are grass-fed, they have an excellent ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

You can buy any of the meat mentioned above at US Wellness Meat and Fossil Farms for a cheaper cost than buying it at Wholefoods or farmer’s market.  There is a link to their websites at AF Performance’s website.

Here is a good recipe I found for bison meat:

“Bison Chili”

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 slices of uncooked bacon, chopped or 24 ounces of finely chopped pancetta (Italian bacon)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds ground bison (grass-fed beef maybe substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh minced oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2-2 cups water (or beef broth)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can finely chopped tomatoes with liquid (28 ounce can maybe used also) or 3-4 medium size tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 peeled carrots, cut into 1/2 inch dice or smaller (optional)
  • Optional garnishes: finely chopped avocado, chopped cilantro

Servings: 6

Instructions:

In a large saucepan (at least 4 quart size) or Dutch oven, over medium-low heat, cook bacon or pancetta a few minutes until slightly brown and some fat is rendered out.

Add chopped onion to the pan and stir into bacon.  When the onions are semi-translucent, add garlic and stir.  Cook a few minutes longer.  Add ground meat to pan and cook over medium-low heat until brown (cooked) throughout and no pink remains.  If fat seems insufficient, add some saved bacon drippings, lard, or olive oil to keep bison meat from sticking to the pan and drying out.  If higher fat ground beef is used, it might be necessary to collect some fat in a large spoon and remove it.

Add spices, water or broth, tomatoes and carrots and stir well to combine.  Cover and simmer over low heat for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so to prevent sticking (adjust temperature up or down a bit as necessary to keep chili simmering, but not sticking to the bottom of the pan).

Add vinegar and cocoa powder and stir well, adding additional water if necessary, then simmer uncovered another 20 minutes.  Taste and season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste.

If more spicy “heat” is desired, add hot peppers sauce to the pot or to individual servings at the table.

Enjoy!

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October 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Oct 18th

  • Activate your glutes before you work out

This week is an exercise tip.  Our glutes or butt muscles are one of the most important muscles for movement and foundation.  Whenever you walk, run, get up and sit down, your glutes have to work.  If they don’t, then you are compensating with other muscles.  If you ever have knee, back  or ankle pain, 90% of the time your glutes are not working.  If you sit down for long hours, there is a high possibility that your glutes are sleeping.  It’s like the saying: “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”

So, how about if you exercise already?  Is that mean your glutes are strong and working properly?  Maybe and maybe not.  Our bodies learn very quickly to compensate.

So here is an exercise to activate your glutes, to wake them up.   The exercise is called “Lateral Side Step”.  For those people who glutes are very weak or have no glute muscles, this exercise will be a strength exercise.  All you need is a mini-band.

  1. Place the mini-band around your ankles.
  2. Stand up, feet apart, bend the knees a bit, drive your hip back and hands on your hips.
  3. Step one side and keep going for 10 steps one way and then reverse it, 10 steps back.
  4. Make sure your feet are straight forward and not pointing outwards when you are stepping.
  5. And most importantly, put most of your weight on your heel (about 70%).   If you don’t shift your weight to your heel, you will be using your quads and knees instead.
  6. You should feel your glutes or butt muscles burning.  If you don’t, review the previous steps and make sure you do it right this time.  Watch the video below for reference.

This activation exercise is good for everybody even if your glutes are already strong.  Use it as a warm up exercise, a way to wake up the glute muscles prior to any training routine.  Enjoy.  Email me at afperformancecenter@gmail.com if you have any questions.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Oct 10th

  • Do static stretching before working out.

There are lots of talk in the market about don’t do static stretching before working out because static stretching shuts down the muscles and it gets you weaker and slows you down.    Let’s think about it.  Martial artists have been doing static stretching forever and you don’t ever hear that they get injured from doing that or that it affects their performance.  In fact, they do better because they have full range of motion and ultimately they can train hard, perform better and get stronger.

Here are some reasons why you should do static stretching:

  • Improve muscle length tension
  • Improve posture
  • Reduce injuries
  • Improve other aspect of training by improving range of movement
  • Reduces stress (physical and emotional)
  • Eliminate joint pains (including back pains)

Here is a video of one of the top coaches in the world, explaining the myth of static stretching. Enjoy!

October 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Oct 3rd

  • Get a young, healthy skin in a natural way.

This week’s blog is for all of the ladies out there.  Do you know that most of cosmetic products even the most expensive ones contain “harmless” oil which destroys your skin, disrupts your hormones, clog your pores, and is suspected cause of cancer.

Here is a list of the dangerous ingredients:

Ingredient Use Dangers
Parabens Heavily used preservatives in the cosmetic industry; used in an estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products. Studies implicate their connection with cancer because their hormone-disrupting qualities mimic estrogen and could disrupt your body’s endocrine system.
Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum These petroleum products coat the skin like plastic – clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They can slow cellular development, creating earlier signs of aging. They’re implicated as a suspected cause of cancer. Plus, they can disrupt hormonal activity. When you think about black oil pumped from deep underground, ask yourself why you’d want to put that kind of stuff on your skin…
Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) Found in over 90% of personal care products! They break down your skin’s moisture barrier, potentially leading to dry skin with premature aging. And because they easily penetrate your skin, they can allow other chemicals easy access. SLS combined with other chemicals may become a “nitrosamine” – a potent carcinogen.
Acrylamide Found in many facial creams. Linked to mammary tumors.
Propylene glycol Common cosmetic moisturizer and carrier for fragrance oils. May cause dermatitis and skin irritation. May inhibit skin cell growth. Linked to kidney and liver problems.
Phenol carbolic acid Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma, and even death from respiratory failure.
Dioxane Hidden in ingredients such as PEG, polysorbates, laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Very common in personal care products. These chemicals are often contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane that’s easily absorbed through the skin. Its carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965, and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages are considered extremely vulnerable, making it, in my opinion, a really bad idea to use these things on your face.
Toluene May be very poisonous! Made from petroleum and coal tar… found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage…May affect a developing fetus.

Your skin is not only your largest organ but it’s also the thinnest. Only 1/10th of an inch separates you from all sorts of toxins. Your skin is highly permeable, allowing what you apply to your skin access to your bloodstream (and thereby to the rest of your body).  Therefore, don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t be willing to eat.

Here are some recommendations you can do to create young, healthy skin without having to use unsafe ingredients:

  • Hydrate your entire system with lots of water and high anti-oxidant green tea. During winter there’s a tendency not to drink as much due to cool temperatures. You may want to bring your water to room temperature to encourage drinking more.
  • Avoid or minimize damage from hot water and chlorine. Although taking baths and showers may seem like it’s health-promoting and relaxing, your skin may disagree – especially if you have chlorinated water, which is almost certainly the case (unless your water comes from a well). Chlorine causes oxidative damage. The hotter the water, the more potential for damage, because the rate of chemical reactions increases with temperature.  Hot water may cause your skin to age faster. So shower with warm water temperature, limit your showers to one per day, and decrease your soak time in the bath.  You can take a revitalizing bath in warm water and using Himalayan salt baths.  It helps dry skin to slough off.
  • Use gentle and safe skin care products – organic whenever possible. Moisturize daily with non-clogging organic moisturizers such as coconut oil or body butter. These nourish your skin instead of clogging it, as many toxin-impaired moisturizers do.
  • Be very sure to remove your makeup each evening. It’s a really bad idea to flop into bed, leaving makeup – not to mention environmental grime – on your face while you sleep.
  • Sleep on your back. Gravity creates a downward drag on your skin all day. Give your skin a break at night. By sleeping on your back, you reduce gravitational pull on your face. If you press your face to your pillow, you will likely experience increased puffiness in the morning.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Foods of high in omega-3 fatty acids which produce a hydrating effect from the inside out, and antioxidants which help fight signs of aging. Winter might be a good time to increase your intake of Krill oil also, for its omega-3s — and antioxidants such as Purple Defense and Turmeric.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking causes free radical production, which is one cause of the signs of aging.
  • If you will be in the sun for extended periods of time, use sunscreen with safe and effective ingredients, such as Mercola Natural Sunscreen.
  • Limit exfoliation to twice per week and use a gentle exfoliator. Exfoliation refreshes your skin’s surfaces and brightens your appearance as it removes dead cells from the surface of your skin. But if you exfoliate too often or too aggressively, you risk damaging living cells.
  • Apply your skin care products to warm skin in order to help your skin appear healthier. This maximizes absorption. If your skin is cold, use a warm towel to warm your skin.
  • Never pull or rub your skin. Apply your skin care products gently, and lightly tap for a few moments to help your skin absorb them. Rubbing stretches your skin and can promote sagging and wrinkles.

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment