Category Archives for "Diet News"

September 26, 2018

7 Benefits of Pine Pollen

Pine Pollen Benefits

One thing I’ve tried to do here at the Healthy Comic is always give sound advice when it comes to helping people be energized, sleep well, and become healthier individuals through nutrition and fitness. A bonus is having an increased libido, right? What if I told you that taking a a pine pollen supplement would have massive health benefits?

Today I’m going to outline the top seven benefits of pine pollen, which is perhaps the most natural solution when it comes to increasing testosterone levels.

How Pine Pollen Can Help Your Body

First off, this is a more natural approach in comparison to what I spoke about earlier in this product review. Literally, an apples and oranges difference. You’ll find that even though you may have never heard of this magical herbal supplement, it has the ability to really have an impact on your every day life. Below I’ve outlined the top seven benefits of taking pine pollen.

Prostate

Containing Gibberlins, which is a derivative of the naturally made plant steroid, this natural supplement can target prostate problems. Depending on the situation, it can either enlarge or reduce the prostate.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

These same Gibberlins can help fight inflammation.

Cleanses the Liver

Brassinosteroid brassinolide is also in pine pollen, and this has been very effective at aiding the liver in eradicating xenobiotics, which are chemicals built up in our bodies.

Boosts Your Immune System

Acting like a food and improving the immune system is a role played in this natural herb. The immune system can NEVER be too strong!

Testosterone Levels

Perhaps my favorite part of the whole herb, the good old boost of testosterone! Full of androgens taht raise our hormone levels, it’s a great boost for anyone who may have low testosterone due to aging or whatever else the case may be. Middle age men are starting to glob onto the idea of taking these herbs to help raise t levels in a much more natural way.

Anti-viral Properties

If you are worried about herpes 1 and measles this may be enough reason for you to get on board with this supplement. Containing castasterone and bassinolide, you’ll have the bonus of having these natural occurring steroids assisting you to the tune of 15 times stronger when compared to the antiviral drug ribavirin.

Fertility

Let’s boost that sperm count! If you have had issues with fertility, have a look at pine pollen. You’ll also get the added bonus of getting some help with ED (erectile dysfunction). An amino acid that increases the blood flow to the penis and sperm count called Arginine will do just that. Additionally, the ingredient helps fight hypertension (very high blood pressure) and anxiety.

To me, the benefits are obvious. I like that it’s a natural supplement as well. I’m currently looking for a solid product I can recommend, and will be sampling various branded pine pollen herbs in the short term with the hopes of coming back and being able to confidently recommend one.

September 25, 2018

Health Benefits of Lime Juice With Water

Lime

Limes are much more than a garnish to an ice cold Corona. They have many health benefits, and are really an amazing fruit. In fact, they are the only fruit I consume more than my beloved Kiwi fruit. Today I’m going to talk about the health benefits of lime juice with water.

How Flavoring Your Water With Lime Can Help You

Lime Water

The top reason I suggest that you flavor your water with lime is simple: it will make you consume more.

Water is an essential key to our bodies running properly, and I try to consume at least 100 oz of filtered water every day. The problem is, it’s so bland and boring that I have a hard time getting it down without feeling a little awkward. Adding some citrus, like lime, makes it more palatable. It’s a fact that since I started making my own “spa water” – I’ve been housing water like never before. I switch it up with lemons, cucumbers, and limes, but the root of it is that I immerse fruits into my water jug and it makes it much more appealing to consume, and consume frequently.

When you drink water, you keep the body hydrated. You can also do this by consuming foods with high water content.

You’ll need to drink a varied amount of water, depending many factors, including:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Activity levels
  • Are you a nursing mother
  • Climate and surroundings
  • Illness or diseases

What’s become a problem in the USA is the abundance of sugary beverages that line our shelves. You can find no shortage of sweetened drinks like Snapple, Gatorade, and other drinks inside your favorite grocer or convenience store. Most consumers opt for these because they have flavor, but forget about the effects of sugar and the need for water.

Why are Limes Good for You?

Here is just a sampling of the nutrients that limes offer:

  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C

Additional Benefits of Lime Juice

#1 Promotes the consumption of water

Water is essential for healthy skin and a properly functioning system.

#2: Helps improve diet

We could all eat better. Especially us Jerky Snobs.

#3: Aids digestion

Gut health is key. I speak about this here.

#4: Reduces Cancer Risk

Boom!

#5: Weight Loss

Other than eating right and staying active, this is the best you can do for next to free.

#6: Enhanced Immune System

Nobody likes being sick.

#7: Improves quality of Skin

This means I can spend less money on under eye products!

#8: Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

Always a good thing. Heart attacks are no joke.

#9: Lowers blood sugar

Which is nice.

#10: Prevents growth of micro-organisms

Always solid to combat these pests!

#11: Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Especially important if you are active.

#12: Helps Prevent Kidney Stones

Haven’t had one, don’t want one. I’ll stick with the limes.

People who don’t consumer nearly enough water in a day should think about adding a hint of lime to the drink. Not only will it help the taste improve, but you’ll also benefit from the many amazing things this magical fruit can provide.

Limes. They aren’t just for Coronas.

September 21, 2018

Leanest Cuts of Beef

Porterhouse

It’s Friday, and that means I’m probably going to indulge a bit and enjoy myself a bit of some red meat tonight along with an extra dirty Martini. I’ve been sampling the world’s best steaks for about twenty years, and I’ve gathered a lot of facts about the various cuts of beef. Today’s update will explain which cuts of beef are the leanest.

What are the Leanest Beef Cuts?

Today I’m going to push aside all of the negative effects of red meat and really focus on what’s important. To me, it’s a well marbled slab of beef that provides me with a blast of protein to help me build muscles as well as get some iron, B-12, and even keep the red blood cells working properly. Yep, those on the carnivore diet, this post is for you.

Source: Men’s Journal.

(In this example we’re using a 3.5 ounce slab of beef.)

#1: Sirloin Tip Side Steak

Derived from the sirloin tip, otherwise known as the top of the round. Lean and flavorful.

Fat: 5.4 grams

Sirloin Tip Side Steak

#2: Top Round Steak

Part of the round (cut from the hip), this is also flavorful but in comparison to other similar cuts, it’s more tender.

Fat: 7.6 grams

Top Round Steak

#3: Eye of Round Steak

This will have a similar taste to the cuts taken from the tenderloin, but it’s a bit tougher without as much juice.

Fat: 7.0 grams

Eye of Round steak

#4: Bottom Round Steak

Outer round, this is a tougher meat that is normally marinated. (I use this type of steak for fajitas.)

Taken from the outer park of the round that is a well exercised area of the animal. The meat tends to be tough and typically needs marinating.

Fat: 11.0 grams

Bottom Round Steak

#5: Top Sirloin

Flavorful, but tough, you’ll also want to marinate this cut.

Has good flavor, but can be tough, so typically needs marinating.

Fat: 10.6 grams

Top Sirloin

#6: Flap Steak

Chewy, but with flavor. Normally a very cheap to purchase cut.

Fat: 12.0 grams

Flap Steak

#7: Filet Mignon

One of my favorite cuts, this is tender and highly sought after.

Fat: 16.0 grams

Filet Mignon

#8: Porterhouse

Cut from choice tenderloin, this is another expensive cut that is highly sought after with a ton of flavor.

Fat: 16.4 grams

Porterhouse

#9: Skirt Steak

Some places will call this a flank steak. Taken from the cow’s chest, it’s known for it’a tasty flavor yet isn’t very tender.

Also known as a flank steak. Taken from the plate or chest of the cow, it’s known for its flavor over tenderness.

Fat: 17.2 grams

Skirt Steak

#10: New York Strip

Another choice steak of mine if I want something on the tougher side, this is taken from the T-Bone.

Fat: 18.0 grams

New York Strip

#11: T Bone

This is taken from below the porterhouse and is very fatty, which means it’s a very tender steak.

Fat: 25.6 grams

T-Bone Steak

#12: Ribeye

My all time favorite, the ribeye steak is highly marbled and flavorful that as the name implies, comes from the rib area.

Fat: 37.6 grams

Ribeye

If you are looking for any of these fine cuts, I recommend checking out this vendor.

How to Get Shredded Naturally

bodybuilder

There are many theories out there about how you can get shredded naturally, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be up to you to execute a lot of the simple things in life that are going to allow you to get that lean, mean, muscle machine of a body. I’m going to separate theory from fact, and let you all know just what you need to do to get the body you dream of.

How to Get Ripped The Natural Route

Getting in shape is different from getting absolutely shredded to the bone. Few people actually get to the point where they have a physique that “pops” or features “rock hard abs.” Being ripped is having a very low body fat percentage. For women, that rate is usually considered having a body fat percentage of lower than 14%. For men, it’s about 10% and lower. When you get that low, your abs will start to show. It’s not easy to get there, but when you do, it’s highly rewarding.

Steps to Getting Shredded

1) Lift Heavy

Heavy Lifting

If you are looking to get chiseled, you need to build up your muscles while retaining muscle so you can get that lean look. If you are doing weight training, you need to know that to get your body fat this low, you need to do it about 5 times per week. 3-4 times will help, but may not be enough. Look for 45 minutes to an hour for each session. Of course, depending on which workout routine you follow, they will have you on different programs. I like to follow the shortcut to size program.

You’ll need to focus on muscle growth, which will mean you need to work out like I outline below:

  • Rep count – look for the 6-12 rep range.
  • Number of Sets per specific exercise – you’ll need four sets to really grow muscle depth. Five to six will only help.
  • Volume – this will vary from person to person, but it’s the way to describe the amount of work put in per body part.
  • Rest – important as anything, you need a good 60 to 90 seconds of rest between heavy lifts.
  • Time Under Tension – your muscles will develop to the best of their ability if you are able to get this time frame to about 40 to 70 seconds. Slow your reps down and use control. You don’t want to risk injury working too fast. Bad form also happens when you rush your sets.

2) Being Your Day’s Intake with Protein and Fat

Everyone harps on the notion that you need to have carbs in the AM to get energy. That’s simply a falsehood. We have a solid amount of energy residing in our fat, and if ideally if you are looking to get lean you want to burn that off. Limiting carb intake in the AM can help you use fat for fuel, which will help get rid of it.

Look to start your day with eggs and other lean proteins. Yes, even a sirloin steak or other slab of lean beef (I hear the carnivore dieters howling) along with some nuts and an avocado is a great way to kick off your day. You’ll also stay full for a longer period of time, so you’ll eat less over the course of the day.

See also: starting your day with a healthy breakfast.

3) Too Much Cardio Can Reduce Muscle Mass

Sometimes the hours of jogging around is actually hurting your ability to lean up and get shredded. You’ll want to make sure you don’t burn too much muscle mass with cardio that will do that. Look at long walks and other simple cardio if you are on the final cutting phase and want to keep your muscle mass.

4) Your Carb Intake Must Vary

To lose weight in the early stages, cutting carbs is a solid idea. However, science shows that as you get leaner, you actually need them more for recovery. Add 50 grams of carbs to your post-workout and see if you become leaner. If you do, you can add more carbs incrementally.

5) Boost Your Protein Intake

This is needed to build muscle as well as repair broken down fibers in your body due to heavy training. One gram per pound of body weight is ideal.

6) Address Lifestyle Factors

sleeping well

Getting a good night's sleep is uber important to getting in shape.

Sleep well! This is very important and is often overlooked. Stress is also another factor you can’t look past.

Conclusion

We all want to get ripped. The truth is, there are no short-cuts. Women, you can jack yourself up with pre-workouts supplements, eat clean, and exercise daily and you will have a hard time reaching 14%. Men, you can boost your testosterone levels as high as you want, but at the end of the day if you aren’t on a clean diet, your work is all for naught.

September 14, 2018

What is a Healthy Breakfast?

Breakfast

What is a healthy breakfast? this topic is debated quite a bit. I turned to none other than Harvard Health, where a PHD chimed in on the topic of eating breakfast. Today I’ll curate some of that content as well as provide my own take on the topic in my own smart alec ways.

What Exactly is a Healthy Breakfast?

According to Monique Tello, PHD, it’s not really what we put into our system first thing in the morning, but it’s more about how we break our overnight fast.

People eat at different points of the morning, and some, even into the afternoon. Tello suggests that if you aren’t hungry, you don’t need to eat right away. She also adds that eating right away to “rev up your metabolism” was an old myth made up by pesky cereal manufacturers. (I blame Mikey, from Life.)

Why Overnight Fasting Helps Weight Control

Fasting for weight loss is becoming the norm. Ask around, and you probably know someone who does some sort of intermittent fasting. It’s proven to help with weight loss and metabolic health.

For most people, this means you stop eating at 8 PM the night prior, and wait a full 16 hours until you eat again. This will bring you until noon if you stop at 8 PM. You can eat stuff like broth, (but not an entire dish of Pho) but your liquid intake should be confined to coffee, water, seltzer, and tea. Stay away from sweeteners and creamers for full effect.

If you can do this, you’ve fasted 16 hours. Most of it was while you were having wet dreams, so how hard was it really? If you follow this plan, you can eat for the next eight hours. Further, if you can keep that healthy by eating vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins along with healthy fats, you’ll be full blown operating under the circadian rhythm intermittent fasting program. This means you can expect lower blood sugar and insulin levels along with losign a few pounds. Once you get started, it’s easy to maintain.

I’ll be doing an entirely new page on intermittent fasting in the near future. I’m going to record myself doing this program so you can all follow along.

Why Low Glycemic Foods Help

No matter when you eat, the article continues, research shows that we function better when we don’t spike our blood sugar levels.

This means eating a lower glycemic load.

For breakfast, this means eating fruits, (I knew my fascination for kiwi fruit would be rewarding) vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.

Breakfast Ideas

Whole wheat toast with nut butter is an example of a low glycemic food.

If you are looking for more ideas, they suggest whole wheat or rye toast with nut butter, black beans with tortillas, oatmeal, fruit, nuts, and yogurt.

September 13, 2018

How We Ruin Our Diets

Hamburger

Chances are, you are sabotaging your diet and you don’t even know! This morning I read a piece in the local Sun Sentinel that talked about the many ways people are blindly wrecking their weight loss attempts. It was eye opening, and I found myself guilty of making a few mistakes myself. What, me? No, I’m perfect.

It doesn’t matter which diet you are on. It could be the Atkins, the Paleo, or one of the popular diets on social media. People fall off for numerous reasons, and they are cited below.

Which reason is your reason you fail at dieting?

Ways We Ruin Our Diets

#1: Not Eating After a Workout

Smoothie

A basic smoothie or protein shake will go a long way after a workout.

The number one way we ruin our dieting is not eating directly after a workout. According to science, this is when your body needs nutrition! Dieticians will cite two items that you need to consume immediately after a grueling workout: carbs and proteins. Your workout will have more impact if you do this.

#2: Skipping Breakfast

All the intermittent fasting peeps are certainly going to argue this point, but how many times have we heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Eating breakfast actually jumpstarts your metabolism after you’ve fasted all night, and if you skip breakfast you are more prone to diabetes and high blood pressure. I literally just talked about my struggle with this in yesterday’s update.

#3: Eating Like Crap

Chips, candy bars, and all the other processed garbage needs to be replaced with healthy snacks like beef jerky, nuts, fruit, and vegetables. There is no room for bad foods if you are taking this seriously.

#4: Resisting Cravings

cheesecake

Let yourself have that slice of cake on the birthday of your co-worker, they say. This way you won’t have an all out meltdown and eat an entire cheesecake next time you crave something sweet.

#5: Counting Calories

This is important – you need to have an idea of how many calories you are consuming, especially if you find yourself eating out a lot. There are apps that actually have estimated calorie counters for many of the major restaurants out there, so get one, download it, and start counting. Chances are, you are over eating.

#6: Relying on Reduced Calorie Foods

These typically come processed, which means there are many potentially deadly chemicals abundant.

#7 Avoiding Fats Entirely

Definitely avoid eating crap, but don’t skip out on fats. Nuts and avocado are my primary sources of healthy fats.

#8: Diet Soda

I used to live on diet soda. It’s better than soda, right? Maybe not, it’s full of chemicals and sodium, which are obviously awful for you. They are also responsible for acne breakouts as well as mood swings and dehydration. I have made the move to seltzer water and never looked back.

#9: Cutting Carbs

Pizza

Sure, low carb diets are all the rage, just see this all beef diet plan. But long term they may have some serious side effects. Your body demands energy from carbs, so feed it!

#10: Gluten Free Diets

These are also a fad, but are they worth doing? Many people are saying NO. You should only do this if you have an allergy causing you to eat this way.

#11: Making Foods off Limits

Don’t do it, you need that pizza. Seriously, cheating isn’t bad for you and if you don’t do it, you may suffer from mood swings. It’s good to have limits, but also have some concessions.

#12: Skipping the Water

Spa Water

Water runs your body, if you don’t consume water it’s like not putting fuel into your motor vehicle. Besides, it’s super easy to do and it is tasteless. If you want taste, make some of my spa water. I use lemons and cucumbers to make any water taste much better.