Here’s an interesting video by nutritionist Keri Glassman that’s worth a look

Do you skip meals… or would you rather snack? If you’re into healthy snacks… Did you notice the difference in energy levels and an improved figure?

M. Jamal

P.S. Here’s another one with some on-spot tips…

The plane lands. A look at the countless people lining up at customs tells me it’s gonn’a take a while. Next, I rush to grab my luggage and exit. I take a breath and spot a fresh juice shop.

“Ahh what could be better than some fresh juice after 8 hours atStarbuks Energy Drink! the mercy of the air hostess!”

I skim through the menu; Berry Blitz, Berry Deluxe, Mango Madness, Passion Knockout.

Sounds interesting.

I quickly request the juice with the most interesting name I could find and whisper “… with Energy Boost please”

That scenario is quickly becoming a habit every time I travel to lovely Thailand. I mean, can you really help avoid some fresh juice after a long 7 or 8 hour flight? I can’t. (Here’s a photo sample from last year’s trip)

Anyways, this place has a list of so called “Boosters” they add to fresh juice.

Things like ‘Energy Boost’, ‘Digestive Boost’, ‘Skin Tonic Boost’. I spotted Ginseng and Vitamin C among the list of ingredients that make up these Boosters.

Surprisingly, I recently came across an article that spells Starbucks plans to enter into this type of thing.

I mean, if you’re big on Starbucks, next time you order your latte you can say “Plus Energy” and they’ll mix in B-vitamins, Guarana and Ginseng into your drink. (Here’s the news article)

(Now, depending on the heat and whether Starbucks cooks these “Energy” ingredients… it could result in partial or complete loss of those vitamins. It’s like cooking an apple, eating it fresh is always better.)

Regardless… would you be tempted to have this “+ Energey” with your latte?

And… while we’re talking apples and fresh juice… how about some recipes?

Here are over 8 fresh juice recipes, see them here.

Best wishes,

M. Jamal

P.S. In case you’re interested in smoothies and juicing, here are 3 things worth checking out:

1) Clear any myths about ‘juicing’, things like: Does heat damage the juice? …Do all juicers produce oxidation? …What about juices purchased in the store? Are they “cooked”… plus… 9 tips to increase the quality of your juice. You can see all that by going here (scroll down to get to those 9 tips)

2 & 3) Two great video with an interesting perspective on juice and making it part of your daily routine. He runs over some key concepts, pay attention (especially when you consider that most shelved juices aren’t half as good as freshly made juice)

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this whole “Juicing” activity ‘-)

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Way before the introduction of Viagra, there was ginseng. It is a perennial plant from the family Araliaceae, and its roots have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years.

There are actually two major types of ginseng: American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Chinese ginseng (Panax ginseng or Asian ginseng).

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosis), although similar in appearance to the first two, is not considered ginseng because it has a different active ingredient.

All three, though, are “adaptogens,” or herbal products that increase the body’s resistance to anxiety, fatigue, and trauma.

The genus name Panax is derived from the Greek words “pan” and “akos”, which mean “all” and “cure”.Panax Ginseng

Indeed, ginseng has come to be thought of as a “cure-all” for various types of bodily stresses and ailments not just in Asia but in the Western world as well.

This may be an exaggeration of ginseng’s efficacy, because just like many medicinal herbs, it is recommended for the maintenance of good health rather than for the treatment of diseases.

The plant has five leaflets, with tiny greenish-white flowers growing at the base of the leaves.

Ginseng stands about 8-27 inches and is also easily identified by its glossy red berries.

Its fleshy roots should be carefully harvested, as only whole roots are acceptable in the market.

Due to its appearance and other attributes, ginseng is also known by several names: redberry, five fingers, divine root, and root of life.

This plant’s roots contain several active components, including vitamins, minerals, sugars, fatty acids, proteins, amino acids, and other substances, but the ingredient to which its therapeutic effects are attributed are its ginsenosides.

These are compounds with structures similar to steroids and thus provide ginseng’s energy-enhancing effect.

How Ginseng Is Taken

This widely used medicinal herb can be taken in various ways:

Ginseng tea

It’s easier to directly eat the leaves, but the taste is extremely unpleasant.

This is why people prefer chopping up the leaves and soaking them in hot water to make ginseng tea. Dried red ginseng placed in a teabag can also be consumed this way.

There are a lot of stores selling ready-to-use teabags, and this is a boon for consumers who do not reside in ginseng-growing countries because fresh leaves don’t last very long after harvesting.

Soup

You won’t be able to order this in ordinary Chinese restaurants, but if you have a Chinatown near you, you’ll surely encounter a restaurant that prepares this dish. It is prepared by steaming ginseng and chicken together and serving it piping hot as soup.

Tablets and creams

These are easily sourced from health food shops under various brands, dosages, and forms.

It is said that they are less effective than the leaves themselves since these preparations are already mixed with other substances, and because experiencing the taste and aroma of the ginseng leaves provided an added relaxing effect.

Energy drinks

In this form, ginseng is usually mixed with other ingredients that work together to provide energy.


Ginseng’s Medicinal Value
Chinese Medicine and women

In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang are the two opposing yet complementary forces said to be present in all processes and non-static objects in our universe.

It is said that our bodies should have a balance of these forces in various functions such as energy, blood pressure, and blood sugar.

The two types of ginseng create opposing effects on the body – the American variety stands for the yin, giving a cooling effect. On the other hand, Asian ginseng provides a heating effect and thus represents the yang.

Some of the health benefits that ginseng is said to provide are:

  • Protection against stress
  • Lowering of cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • Strength and immune system enhancement
  • Promotion of relaxation
  • Increase in energy
  • Protection against disease (infections, heart disease, cancer)
  • Enhancement of mental and sexual performance
  • Protection against harmful effects of aging
  • Acts as an antioxidant

In ancient tribes, American ginseng was used by natives as an eyewash for the treatment of sore eyes in young children.

The root was also ground into a powder and smoked for the treatment of asthma.

It was also steeped in warm water and ingested for the treatment of body sores. Of course, its use as a tonic was popular among tribal women who desired to enhance their fertility.

In China, ginseng is a cure-all for ailments such as dyspepsia, vomiting, nervousness, and sexual impotence.

More and more benefits are discovered each year, and researchers are even combining ginseng with other herbs to come up with even more cures. In combination with ginkgo, for instance, ginseng has been found to be useful in the treatment of ADHD.

This medicinal herb is one of the most widely researched plants in traditional Chinese medicine, yet many studies still have to be undertaken before it can be unconditionally accepted in the world of professional medicine.

According to the National Centre for Health Statistics, Americans spend approximately 36 to 47 billion dollars a year on alternative therapies, proving that the need for more research is present.

A study conducted by Debra Barton and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota showed that a considerable percentage of cancer patients given different doses of ginseng in capsule form showed improvement in their fatigue symptoms, and it’s just one of several studies that need to be conducted on a larger scale for a more conclusive determination of the herb’s potential.

The Side Effects Of Ginseng:

Overdosing on ginseng is possible, as is dangerous long-term use.

An overdose may cause headaches, allergies, insomnia, nervousness, increased menstrual bleeding, and stomachaches. Long-term use may lead to menstrual abnormalities or a hypoglycemic effect in diabetic patients.

To prevent this, avoid taking ginseng with anticoagulant drugs or NSAIDs that may cause bleeding (i.e., Naprosyn, Indocin, Aleve).

To avoid hypoglycemia, always take ginseng with food.

You must also refrain from taking ginseng with products containing caffeine to prevent overstimulation.

When considering ginseng as an alternative form of treatment or simply as a tonic, remember to always consult your healthcare professional.

M. Jamal

Gym rats call the abs and the back muscles the “Core Muscles.”

When these muscle groups are in good shape, back pain caused by back muscle strain or soft tissue injuryLady Doing Ab Workout can be prevented. The body is also supplied with the needed strength to keep it upright.

Oftentimes, we tend to focus too much on ab crunches and exercises for the chest, shoulders, and biceps – the so-called “show muscles” – and pay little attention to the back muscles.

This is unfortunate because the muscles are partly responsible for helping keep us upright, and when they’re properly toned, we’re less likely to be injured from bending or lifting heavy objects.

The abs, as another core muscle, also supports your body.

When the abs are weak, your posture can be affected, imposing undue stress on the other parts of your body. When your abs are too weak to do its job of holding your body up, the neck and back muscles step in and do the job. This is why both muscle groups have to be in a healthy condition.

Simple Exercises For The Back…

These routines won’t give you impressive bulges, but they’re essential for good posture and support.

Lower back exercises

Superman:
Woman Doing Back Extension Exercise
Lie face down on the floor with your hands at your sides. To lift your face off the floor, use a small bolster pillow or a rolled towel.

To support your back, tighten your abs; and with the feet still touching the floor, slowly “float” your head and chest off the floor, keeping your neck in line with your spine.

Extend your arms to the sides, and then overhead, to increase resistance.

Return to starting position and repeat 10 to 15 times.

Arm and Leg Raises:

Start with your knees and hands on the floor and your hips flexed at a 90-degree angle.

Raise your right arm and your left leg at the same time while keeping your balance with the abs and the back muscles. Your raised extremities should be level with your back.

Return to the starting position. Do the same with the opposite extremities – the left arm and the right leg this time – and repeat 10-15 times.

Upper Back Exercises:

Dumbbell Raises.
Using a bench, position your body parallel to it and put your right knee on it. Place your right hand on the bench as well, and hold a dumbbell with your left hand.

Next, slowly pull the weight up to your abdomen and stop for a second or two.

Now gently lower the weight back to its starting position. Do about 10-15 reps. Afterwards, shift positions and do the same thing for the other side of your body.

Reverse Fly.
With your feet together, bend forward at the waist while keeping your back parallel to the ground.

Don’t overdo it and use large weights. Remember, the shoulder muscles are small and should not be overworked.

Next, raise the weights up to your sides until your elbows are in line with your shoulders. Pause for a couple of seconds, and return to the starting position. Do 10-15 reps.

An orthopedic surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Angela Smith, recoomends standing up straight to keep our backs in its optimal position.

M. Jamal

P.S. What kind of core exercises do you normally perform? Any favorites?