Health & Wellness

Outdoor Yoga: New York’s newest crave.

August 21st, 2012   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

Yoga in the park.
Yoga on the rooftop.
Yoga on the pier.
Outdoor yoga has been practiced for ages now and New Yorkers have made it their business to reintroduce it and make it a trendy activity.
Want to know where you can do outdoor yoga for FREE in NYC? Before the summer is over stop by one of these places & try it out:

Bryant Park Yoga and Prospect Park Yoga

FREE
Make use of those $98 Lululemon yoga pants you just bought with these free vinyasa classes organized by the funky yoga-apparel line. Mats are provided at the Bryant Park sessions (42nd St at Sixth Ave; 212-768-4242, bryantpark.org. Tue 10am–11am, Thu 6–7pm; free. Through Sept 27.), which are taught by more than 15 instructors from various studios including Pure Yoga, YogaWorks and Sonic Yoga. Hundreds of people take part in the hour-long practices, so arrive early to stake out your favorite spot on the park’s picturesque westward-facing lawn. Lululemon has also partnered with Bend & Bloom Yoga to organize the weekly classes in Prospect Park’s expansive Long Meadow (enter at 9th St and Prospect Park West, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 347-987-3162, bendandbloom.com. Thu 7–8pm; free. Through Sept 6.), which draw 60 to 80 participants to each session as well as instructors from studios such as Yoga Sole, Park Slope Yoga and Abhaya Yoga. Though the sessions are considered open-level, beginners might have a tough time keeping up—it’s no walk in the park!

Bryant Park and Prospect Park
Sunset Yoga in Fort Tryon Park

FREE
Salute the setting sun at these open-level twilight classes on Abby’s Lawn. The free sessions are led by seven rotating instructors from studios including MindBodySoul Yoga and Beloved Yogi Harlem, so expect a variety of styles and practices. BYO mat or towel, and follow @nancercize on Twitter to keep abreast of weather-related cancellations. (212-795-1388, forttryonparktrust.org).

Wed 6:45–8pm. June 6–Aug 29
Cabrini Blvd, (at Fort Washington Ave)
Yoga in Socrates Sculpture Park

FREE
With programming that includes capoeira, film screenings and Shakespeare performances, Socrates Sculpture Park has come a long way since its days as a landfill. Show up to the earlier 9:30am class for a smaller, more intimate group (and a better chance of hearing the instructor) than you’ll find at the 11am session. Monique Schubert, who taught the same series last year, leads the group through a gentle flow and always takes time to demonstrate the poses; she focuses on the Kripalu system of hatha yoga, which incorporates postures, breathing, relaxation and meditation. (718-956-1819, socratessculpturepark.org).

Sat 9:30–10:30am, 11am–noon. Through Sept 30
32-01 Vernon Blvd at Broadway, Long Island City, Queens
Yoga in Community Gardens

FREE
The New York Restoration Project, which has successfully beautified 52 community gardens across the five boroughs, offers intimate open-air workouts every Saturday in two locations. Instructors hailing from Harlem Yoga Studio and Brooklyn Holistic like to incorporate the bucolic setting; Harlem Yoga Studio’s Erica Barth says that they “call students’ attention not only to the union between body and breath, but also to the union with nature, incorporating the feel of the sun and breeze on their skin, and the earth beneath them.” Target East Harlem Community Garden, 415-417 117th St between First and Pleasant Aves • Garden of Hope, 392 Hancock St between Sumner and Throop Aves, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. (212-333-2552, nyrp.org).

Sat 11am–noon. Through Sept 29
Target East Harlem Community Garden and Garden of Hope
Laughing Lotus beneath the High Line

FREE
On Saturdays, Laughing Lotus Yoga Center leads a family-friendly version of its signature Lotus Flow vinyasa class in the Meatpacking District’s unsung 14th Street Park, situated beneath the High Line. Bring the whole family and your own mats (or just stretch out directly on the grass) to enjoy the upbeat, music-accompanied teaching style of LLYC’s staff, all of whom have youth training experience. Seasoned practitioners should not expect to be challenged; instead, consider it a chance to introduce your passion to the uninitiated yogis in your life. (212-414-2903, laughinglotus.com).

Sat 9–10am. Jun 9–Aug 25
14th Street Park, 14th St at Tenth Ave

Article by:
Samantha Johnson

6 different ways exercise makes your brain better

August 15th, 2012   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

  1. Fitness Training:as we get older, the birth of our brain cells slows and tissue of our brain shrinks. Study shows that people ranging from 60 to 79 that do six month of aerobic fitness training, the brain volume makes a significant increase.
  2. Exercising boost brains building hormones:The chemical in the brain known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF stimulates the growth and proliferation of brain cells. The more you exercise, the more BDNF you produce.
  3. Helps fight depression and anxiety:Exercising can help the body’s production of serotonin and dopamine, brain chemicals crucial to a happy mood(which you get once it boost endorphins levels)
  4. Reduce Stress:Exercise lowers cortisol levels, helping you to think straight as well as believed to help generate new nerve cells in the dentate gyrus of the brain.
  5. Improves brain functionality:People who work out for 30 to 45 minutes a day for 6 months, the brain improves on memory, ability to focus on complex tasks, organize and to think abstractly.
  6. Sensitivity to insulin:Regular exercise can reverse insulin resistance. Insulin sensitivity increases, stabilizing your blood sugar levels after you eat can help prevent type 2 diabetes. The better your blood sugar control, the more protected you are against age-related cognitive decline.

Article by:
Bryan Vallejo

Start your day off with a deliciously healthy smoothie!

July 31st, 2012   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

Smoothies are a healthy and convenient way of starting your day. This berry-licious smoothie will provide you with Vitamin C, fiber, protein and potassium. All of that in one drink! All you really need for this nutritious drink is:

  • 1 ¼ cups of orange juice
  •  1 banana
  • 1 ¼ cups of berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries –your pick!)
  • ½ cup of low-fat plain yogurt
    (Optional:  1 tablespoon of sugar)

Once you’ve collected all your ingredients, put them in a blender and make sure to mix for a couple minutes until smoothie becomes creamy. Once it reaches its creamy point, stop blending and serve it. Make sure to try out this quick and healthy berry smoothie, you won’t be disappointed! Not let’s sit back and enjoy!

Written by:
Paulina Zarate

How to get a grip on your mental health

July 24th, 2012   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

STEP 1: Consider what’s really bothering you.

Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint the origin of your stress, but it is important to find that source of negative energy for you to be able to overcome it. When you begin to feel stressed, take a deep breath and ask yourself: “What is bothering me?”

 

STEP 2: If you don’t like something, change it.

There’s so much you can do, so don’t be disappointed when you find yourself unable to fix things. You must learn to focus on what you can do, rather than on what you can’t. Consider the things you can do to ease your stress and once you’re ready, follow through with them.

 

STEP 3: If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

Push away those negative thoughts; all they really bring is trouble. At times all you have to do to turn your day around is to think positively.  Negative thoughts can often put a limit on your abilities, by changing the way you think you’ll see a drastic change on your daily performance, making tasks which once seem impossible much more reachable and less daunting.

Written by:
Paulina Zarate

3 essential steps to a healthy mind and body

July 17th, 2012   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

  1. Practice a healthy diet and start exercising. Yes, we know you hear this all the time, but that’s because it’s crucial for our physical health.  It only makes sense that eating the right type of nutrients will give you enough energy for you to function to your full capacity. Stop putting off your visits to the gym; your body needs movement! Studies have shown that enough exercise can lead to a longer life. These things are the key to a healthy body.
  2. Take a break. No matter how busy your life is at the moment, you must remember to take the time to rest. Your body needs to recover and sleeping is often the best way to recharge batteries. Besides sleeping another way of getting rest is by doing activities which require minimum physical activity. Check out some new hobbies, catch up on your summer readings or take a walk in the park. Try something that will allow you to break away from your current problems and will release stress.
  3. Think happy thoughts. A healthy body is nothing without a healthy mind. So if you want to feel and look great you must think positively! Studies have shown that smiling can change your mood and that laughter can keep people healthy, and can often heal sick individuals. This will keep your mind healthy and it will allow your body to feel better.

Written by:
Paulina Zarate

Healthy Do It Yourself Popsicles!

July 9th, 2012   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

That summer heat is here and you want something to cool down or did you just finish an insane workout and you want a rewarding treat?  Ice cream? Maybe.  A popsicle? Sure. But aren’t popsicles unhealthy, loaded with calories and sugar? Here is a solution, there are delicious popsicles that are low calorie and full of healthy vitamins and nutrients, they can be made in the comfort of your own home using ingredients that you already have!

To make any popsicle, you will need a 3-ounce Dixie Cup to hold the mixture and a craft stick to place in the mixture when it is partially frozen!  Or you can use ready-made molds like the Tovolo Groovy Freezer Pop Molds ($10 from Bed Bath and Beyond).

You can choose your favorite 100% fruit juice and pour into the mold!  To be more creative, you can mix your favorite fruit juices!   Or make your favorite smoothie and place into the mold!

After placing the mixture into the mold, place it into freezer and leave it until the mixture is completely firm. It should take approximately 5 to 6 hours.

To take the mixture out of the mold, briefly dip the molds into hot water.  Then you are set to enjoy this refreshing and healthy treat!

Written by:
Amanda Pun

Stylish Lunching For the Health Conscious

July 3rd, 2012   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

 

The new hip way to bring lunch from home is in a mason jar. Now, I don’t know if you like going out for lunch or bringing it from home but here are some options which will make you think twice about shelling out the big bucks on a pricey meal from the restaurant down the block. If you like salads, bring one from home, with all of the ingredients arranged neatly in your hipster carrying container.

Why mason jars, you ask? Besides the fact that they’re BPA free, dishwasher safe, colors don’t bleed onto the sides, and they’re really damn cute, they also keep greens fresher than fresh and are travel friendly. You can even make a few at once and store them in the fridge for up to a week without fear.

Of course, you have to think about how to stack the ingredients of your handmade salad; liquidy and heavier ingredients on the bottom please! And then place your leafy greens right on top and you won’t have to worry about the salad becoming too soggy. So dressing on the bottom, ladies! Here are some options for all you lunchers out there:

 

Caprese Pasta Salad

 

2 tbsp basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 ½ oz fresh mozzarella, chopped into bite sized pieces

2 oz cooked penne pasta

½ cup fresh spinach leaves

½ cup fresh basil, chopped

 

Greek Pasta Salad

 

2 tbsp easy lemon vinaigrette (see below)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

¼ cup red onion, chopped

1 cup cucumber, chopped

½ cup feta, crumbled

2 oz rigatoni, cooked

½ cup mixed greens

½ cup fresh mint, chopped

 

Enjoy healthy lunching!

 

Article  by:
Krystal Lau

 

 

Dieting on Ice Cream?

June 25th, 2012   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

Recently, Self Magazine has come out with a revolutionary diet idea: you can still eat ice cream and lose weight! According to Self, ice cream can be part of any healthy diet as long as you control the portion size and bear in mind the saturated fat content.

For example, the new Burger King Bacon Sundae packs a total of 510 calories, 18 grams of saturated fat and 61 grams of sugar. Eating too many of those would add unwanted inches to your waistline. Instead, you might want to try a smaller portion (a kiddie cone perhaps?) and limit your intake to under 200 calories and less than 5 grams of saturated fat. That way, you can have your sweet treat without going overboard.

Ice creams containing trans fat are definitely ones you want to avoid because they can be detrimental to cholesterol levels, heart health and waistlines. Artificial ingredients aren’t good for you either and nutritionists recommend eating only ice creams which have ingredients you would normally find at home (like Haagen Dasz’s new five ice cream which only uses five ingredients: skim milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla). Looking for lower fat milk options means less calories and a trimmer waist as well. Full fat ice creams are generally made with heavy cream while gelato uses only 2% milk and sherbets use only 1%.

One last tip: slow churned ice cream is better for you! The slow churning process creates more air volume in your ice cream, meaning fewer calories and fat per spoonful. A cup of Edy’s Slow Churned Vanilla Light Ice Cream will only cost you 100 calories and 3.5 grams of fat. If vanilla is too bland for you, load it up with healthy toppings. Fresh fruit and crushed nuts with a bit of chocolate sauce is enough to make anything delicious.

Article by:
Krystal Lau

 

Eat and Look Radiant!

June 19th, 2012   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

 

In a recently compiled list on www.good.is, they named the 10 best foods to improve your appearance. They really didn’t need to tell us twice because if we can eat AND look good doing it, that’s reason enough for a dietary change.

And the awards go to:

  1. Organic Tomatoes – Loaded with Vitamins A and C, organic tomatoes are rich with antioxidants that help fight all sorts of illnesses. So no more need to shell out the big bucks on exotic antioxidants like goji and açai because you can just pop into your nearest Whole Foods and pick up a few ripe tomatoes.
  2. Green Tea – There has always been a lot of hype over green tea and its health benefits, some of which include better skin and even cancer prevention (to an extent). Grab some organic green tea in bulk at your nearest grocery store or have your local café brew you a cup at any time of day!
  3. Broccoli – Either you love it or you loathe it, broccoli has become a health food staple with its anti-inflammatory properties which help with arthritis, eye health, and even sun damage. It’s easy to cook up too; just steam some broccoli with some olive oil, salt, and garlic and you will have a delicious side to any meal!
  4. Salmon – Don’t underestimate the power of salmon! Fish have always been a source of lean protein (and lauded as “brain food” because of its brain stimulating properties) and salmon is the source of anti-inflammatory Omega 3s, healthy fats, and vitamin B12. Eat some and you’ll get glowing skin. Yum!
  5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or in the words of Rachel Ray, EVOO) – If you’re going to use oil, make it extra virgin! Not only does it prevent heart disease and cancer, but it lowers cholesterol and has antioxidants. And in case you didn’t know, you can also use EVOO as a budget friendly eye makeup remover (it won’t clog your pores, promise) which will leave your eyes feeling moisturized and alleviate symptoms of aging.
  6. Dark Leafy Greens – Loaded with vitamins and iron (think Popeye), these greens can be snuck into any variety of meals. My favorite is spinach salad with cucumbers, grilled chicken and a dollop of hummus instead of dressing.
  7. Walnuts – These shelled suckers are packed with good fats (the monounsaturated kind), which is great for heart health, lowering cholesterol, boosting brain function, and reducing inflammation. You don’t need many of these to reap the benefits, though. Go easy.
  8. Blueberries – These fruits are low in calories and very high in Vitamin C and E along with fiber. And they’re tasty.
  9. Dark Chocolate – Do we really need to convince you? It’s packed with antioxidants and it even protects skin from UV damage. So swap out the milk chocolate for some dark chocolate and your body will thank you.
  10. Avocados – Known as the healthy man’s butter, avocados have a deliciously creamy consistency (and they are the core ingredient of guacamole, yum!) They’re also loaded with cholesterol-lowering power, potassium, folate, carotenoids, vitamin E, and happiness-inducing monounsaturated fats. Who needs butter now?!

So now you have another reason to eat healthy. It doesn’t even feel like a diet when everything is so delicious…

Article by:
Krystal Lau