Category Archives: Health

Chia Seeds

Nutritional Value | Chia Seeds

Serving 10 g (~1 tablespoons)

Calories 179 calories
Protein 1.65 g
Carbohydrates 4.2 g
Fiber 3.4 g | M: 38g (10%) | W: 25g (13.6%)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids 3.3 g
Fatty acids Saturated 0.33 g
Fatty acids Monounsaturated 0.231 g
Fatty acids Polyunsaturated 2.366 g
Fatty acids Trans 0.014 g

Calcium 63 mg | 6.3% | 1 cup of milk = 299 mg
Iron 0.77 mg | 5.9%
Phosphorus  86 mg | 12.3%
Potassium 41 mg | 0.9%
Sodium 2 mg | 0.1%
Magnesium  34 mg | 9.4%
Manganese  0.27 mg | 13%
Zinc 0.46 mg | 4.8%

Vitamin C 0.2 mg | 0.2%
Thiamin 0.062 mg | 5.4%
Riboflavin 0.017 mg | 1.4%
Niacin 0.883 mg | 5.9%
Vitamin A 5 IU | 0.7%
Vitamin E 0.05 mg | 0.3%


History | Chia Seeds

I recently returned from the grocery store with my father, who was astounded and flabbergasted about what I bought as supplements to my diet. It was hard for me to explain to him the benefits of eating chia seeds without being able to recite the nutritional facts listed above. After all, without facts we’re just talking about a study we read somewhere, sometime. So, I started digging.

Chia seeds have been used as food and medicine for a good number of years, we’re talking proof of its usage as early as 3500 B.C. in the native tribes of Central & South America. It was actually used as currency! Apparently the conquistadors disliked the chia because it was used heavily in tribal ceremonies, so this led to the slow decline of its use.

It is also interesting to note that because of it’s high anti-oxidant levels, the chia seeds can last almost 2 years without refrigeration.

Benefits | Chia Seeds

It is reported that chia seeds can increase endurance and resistance to heat and thirst. Apparently botanist Edward Palmer – an explorer of Mexico in 1891 – reported 1 tsp of chia seeds would sustain a foot traveler for 24 hrs. So, a high endurance is expected.

Chia seeds improve the balance of healthy fats in the body. These are the Omega-3 fatty acids that ease inflammation reducing cardiovascular diseases, enhance cognitive performance, and reduce high cholesterol. They are one of the richest plant-based sources of fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

The seeds also have a high antioxidant content, which protects the body from free radicals, aging, and cancer. It’s been shown to regulate serum glucose levels. Given that they effect blood flow, please consult a qualified doctor about consuming chia seeds and continuing medication for the blood flow.

“The Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center cites a study that showed that chia seed supplementation significantly reduced several risk factors for cardiovascular disease in 20 subjects with Type II diabetes. Effects included decreased blood pressure and fibrinogen and C-reactive protein levels. However, the center also states that these results indicate that chia seeds may increase the effects of medications to lower blood pressure. If you are currently taking anti-hypertensive drugs, or have other risks for heart disease, please consult with a qualified health care practitioner before using this dietary supplement.” ~Karyn Maier @ Livestrong

“A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity.” ~Jen Hathwell @ SF Gate

Do you have any favorite chia seed recipes that you’d like to share? I have it daily in my blend.

Note: if you are on any medication please consult your doctor about changes to your diet and any possible conflicts with your medication.


Earth, Fast Food, Pills, then Earth: A Return

It’s a circle.

We started with eating fruits and vegetables, and maybe some meat if we sharpened our spears effectively (and trained our eyes). Then fast food came out, and waiters delivered them on roller skates, in boxes or bags, with plastic spoons… And the substance of those products came from far away lands in mass quantities, all mish-mashed all together. Then the effectiveness of the salts applied to the mish-mash became tastier, and we became more and more entranced with the microwavable, instant gratification (of stuffedness).

Of course, as this was developing, as we were moving away from our natural sources of essential vitamins and minerals from raw vegetables, fruits, and nuts, great developments in ‘one-a-day’ pills for him and her came out. So now we could eat all the cardboard we wanted to, and take a magic pill once a day and it would give us all the nutrients we were lacking. I guess the sailors wouldn’t have to worry about scurvy anymore…

Or kind of.

My word of the decade seems to be awareness. Being aware of why we’re doing the things we’re doing, being aware of how one action has a rippling effect, can go a long way to help reduce the clutter in the world (and our minds).

It’s a thought. I guess I’m trying to encourage a full circle return to roots (for some things).

Nobody’s going to grow their own tablets or smartphones, but some seeds in the ground is another thing.

Concentration Trainging from the Art of Manliness

I’m a very big fan of the Art of Manliness. Not only does this blog promote being manly, it also promotes very positive humanity things to benefit ourselves and our loved ones. I highly suggest reading some of their articles, or subscribing to their maillist and starting there.

This article I really appreciate because it touches on a few subjects I am very concerned with here at Exercise and Mind.

Exercising the body is a very important practice for us humans, it increases our abilities as humans to withstand much more stress, not to mention increases our well being. But the same practices are often overlooked with exercising the mind.

Hopefully you’ll gather some great tips from this article.


Your Concentration Training Program: 11 Exercises That Will Strengthen Your Attention

You’ll never get big muscles from sitting on the couch all day, and you’ll never develop amazing powers of concentration from exclusively reading Buzzfeed and watching Tosh.O. Your mind muscles, just like your physical muscles, need resistance; they need challenges that stretch their limits and in so doing, grow their focus fibers. Below we outline exercises that will beef up your focus so that you can start lifting heavier and heavier cognitive loads.

1. Increase the strength of your focus gradually. If you decide you want to physically get in shape, but are starting at ground zero, the worst thing you can do is to throw yourself into an extreme training program – you’ll end up injured, discouraged, or both, and you’ll quit before you even really get started. Continue reading

Fasting, not Cleansing

You see, I’m a faster. I do fasts once or twice a year as I see fit.

I don’t cleanse, or that is to say I haven’t put myself onto a cleanse yet. They fascinate me, and I value the.. flushing they do, but my reasoning for not doing a cleanse rather than a fast is because I eat healthy and try to keep myself fairly free of toxicity in the first place, all year long, for life…

But fasting is a different bird, in a way.

Fasting for me isn’t about physically cleaning my system, though it does more or less force my system to tap into any resource my body has available to it.

Fasting is about mental strength for me. Fasting makes me release the desire of hunger from my mind. Fasting forces me to walk down the path or street (because it’s important to stay a bit active) and repeatedly tell myself that the strength I require to continue walking comes from my mind first and foremost. Fasting encourages me to be aware of every ounce of energy that my body uses, which also encourages me to be very aware of how I am spending the energy that my body does have. It’s kind of the same feeling one gets when they start a long hike; the feeling of pacing yourself.

Another thing that makes me appreciate fasting, is it encourages me to fully recognize every ounce of anything I’m consuming as a human in my day to day: from paper to garbage to heating the house. I like being aware of this. These are important things to me.

I feel, in the end, being aware of all of these things makes me a stronger human. This inner dialog that would otherwise sit dormant is entirely necessary for exercising the mind.

Have you ever fasted, or taken on a cleanse? Do you feel the same as I do? What is important for you to focus on while fasting? And also, are there any tricks, rituals or special practices you do for yourself while on the fast, like find meditation multiple times a day?

I’m very interested to hear.

Oh, and today is day two of a five day fast. 🙂

Gluten and Its Badness

Gluten Protein: hordein
Wheat Protein: gliadin
Rye Protein: secalin

The last few people I’ve told about starting a gluten free diet have responded saying: “I have so many friends doing that right now, hardly any of them lasted a month when they tried.” Well, I have a handful of friends who are heavily effected by gluten, and have taken it completely out of their diets for at least a few years now.. so…

I challenge you to try it. Go gluten free for 2-3 weeks. See how you feel afterwards?

The positive effects of removing gluten from your system are very subtle for some, and strong for others. It is reported that 1% of Americans have diagnosed celiac disease – abnormal immune response to gluten that damages the lining of the small intestine. It is also estimated that 99% of celiacs do not know they have it, and are walking around in pain because of it. Symptoms include: diarrhea, anemia, bone pain, and a severe skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis, weight problems, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue or weakness, canker sores, lactose intolerance, headaches or migraines, gas, depression, respiratory problems, hair loss, acne, infertility, miscarriages, lupus, irregular stool, acid reflux, muscle cramping, joint pain….



The only way to really know if you have celiac disease is to get tested, so if you’re concerned, see your Dr.

It’s reported that gluten causes gut inflammation in about 80% – 95% of the population, and another 30% of the population develops antibodies against gluten proteins in the gut. Typically this is good news to have the antibodies in the gut to help react with the gluten proteins and break it down to avoid letting it enter the bloodstream, however, because gliadin is remarkably similar to the proteins found in the heart, thyroid, or pancreas, these antibodies can end up attacking these important proteins found in your organs, instead of – or as well as – the gliadin. This is bad, obviously.

Celiacs mainly have the problem that their small intestine – the villi – is damaged which prevents the body from absorbing nutrients. Further, it can promote toxins and gluten fragments to pass through the damaged intestine wall and enter the bloodstream. When your body sees these toxins, and proteins in the blood stream it attacks. A celiac then becomes malnutritioned.

To top it all off, gluten is strongly associated with cancer, and is known as cancer promoting.



More negative effects? Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) can irritate and cause premature cell death in the gut, which in itself can lead to a leaky gut condition which is of course not good. This can lead to bacterial overgrowth and with it a host of digestive issues like ulcers.

If the lectin ends up getting into the blood stream, and circulating through the body and brain, it can cause a leptin resistance that promotes obesity – not unlike insulin.

WGA causes vitamin D stores to deplete abnormally, which means weakening of bones and a weakening of the immune system.

Opioids peptides are found in wheat which is heavily addictive – they are of the opiate family. Some people experience withdrawals when removing wheat from the body, this is from the opioids peptides. These opioids are also associated with Schizophrenia, and when wheat has been removed from Schizophrenics diet, they have found symptoms reduced.

Not all people have enough effects to be labeled a celiac, but many people are effected by gluten. Many people who remove gluten from their diet will say they feel lighter, more energy. For myself, I feel less like my ass is dragging around on the ground all day!

So, if I’ve made you think about removing gluten or wheat from your diet, you must be aware of a few things.

If you remove any food which you’ve been eating for a long time from your diet, you risk becoming deficient in certain vitamins that that food has provided you. Gluten provides stores of: Vitamin B, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and fiber. So make sure you’re introducing other foods that are high in these nutrients.

As always, it’s highly suggested that you’re wary of food, gluten free or not, that you eat. Do not feel that just because it’s gluten free it’s good to eat. There are a lot of foods that are marked gluten free, but are high in saturated fats, calories, and little nutrients. Your best choice is always fresh natural foods.


Gluten free grains:

  • quinoa
  • amaranth

Within a few days of removing gluten from your diet, the healing process will start. Intestinal damage may take much longer to heal. But, it is known that the more you stick to your diet, the faster the recovery.

wheat rye flour

What to avoid:

  • bread
  • wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, oats
  • sauces
  • cereal
  • crackers
  • pasta
  • cookies
  • cakes
  • soups
  • candy
  • pizza
  • processed foods
  • lipstick
  • stamps & envelopes
  • medications

A good rule is to always read labels.

And one last sad note: there is gluten – hordein – still present after the brewing process of beer. So, no beer.

I challenge you to try it. Go gluten free for 2-3 weeks. See how you feel afterwards?

Sites referenced in this article:


Water is the most important thing for a human body, and any animal for that matter, hands down. Without water our body can only survive for about 5-7 days, depending on the individual. With studies showing that approximately 70% of your muscle, 85% of your brain, and 80% of your blood is water, it is very evident of how much our body requires good clean water.

There is truth to what your mother has been telling you for years; drink lots of fluids when you have a cold, for it helps in flushing all the bad toxins in your body away, replacing it with healthy, clean body fluids.

Water is also a body temperature regulator, which is evident when your body sweats. The sweat is released to your skin to help cool it down.


Water also helps in the bodies metabolism. Without the juices needed in your system, things start to dry up and seize up, which clearly is no good.

I know a lot of people say that water is boring, but it is mother nature’s biggest and greatest blessing to her animals. Personally, a cold glass of water is one of the best things in the world, but adding a bit of green tea to a boiled cup, or some lemons to a cold cup give you the necessary water as well as provide a little bit of variety to the water which can make it more interesting. On top of this, green tea is supposedly a stimulant for the brain, and lemons pack a tonne of nutrients for the body to enjoy.

It is necessary to point out that, while drinking your orange juices or grape juices is a great way to get your fluids, it’s also not the most effective and healthiest choice to pick. These juices or drinks come jam packed with sugars and other random chemicals that actually harm your body rather than help it. So, if you’re really concerned about helping your body sustain for the long haul, get used to drinking water.

Personal trials have proven to me that drinking water stimulates my mind and body, somewhat similar to coffee, plus I’m not feeding my body caffeine and there is no ‘come down’ after drinking a few glasses of cold water like there is with sugar products.


On top of all of this, drinking water can work as a natural appetite suppressant. So next time you’re hungry, to get a nice glass of water and drink it down. I find it best to keep on me, at all times, a big bottle of water to drink from. It makes it so much more convenient to get the required water necessary to keep me living strong and healthy.

I cannot stress more that you simply must DRINK WATER!

Vitamin B5

Pantothenic Acid, Pantethine, or otherwise known as Vitamin B5 is a very beneficial vitamin for the human body.

Some benefits are:

  • clear up acne.
  • increase stamina
  • helps create red blood cells
  • helps properly utilize all other vitamins
  • reduces some forms of anemia
  • cures and prevents arthritis
  • helps the gastrointestinal tract
  • heals wounds
  • helps create adrenal hormone
  • lowers cholesterol
  • lowers triglyceride
  • slows biochemical process, which means extends your life
  • converts fats, carbs, and protein to energy
  • improves immune system
  • helps treating depression
  • helps treating anxiety
  • helps prevent hair loss and graying

One may wonder then, how can I recognize that my body is low in B5.

Some signs are:

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • tingling or numbness in hands
  • tingling or numbness in feet
  • headaches

Realizing that one may want some vitamin B5, one would naturally wonder how do get get B5 naturally from foods.

Some sources are:


  • beef (organic)
  • fish
  • poultry
  • pork

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

  • broccoli
  • mushrooms
  • cauliflower
  • split peas
  • lentils
  • legumes
  • sweet potatoes
  • oranges
  • strawberries


  • yeast (brewer’s and torula)
  • brown rice
  • whole wheat
  • whole rye flour
  • buckwheat flour
  • oatmeal
  • sunflower seeds
  • soybeans


  • dairy
  • eggs
  • molasses
  • pecans
  • peanuts

As noticeable, a lot of foods are rich in Vitamin B5, but taking supplements are also an option. One should be weary though, for to much can cause harm. Take heed of the following warnings:

  • doses over 300mg per day should be supervised by a practitioner
  • several grams a day can cause diarrhea and upset stomach



Taken directly from  A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. A pesticide may be a chemical substance, biological agent (such as a virus or bacterium), antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest. Pests include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, molluscsbirdsmammalsfish, nematodes (roundworms), and microbes that destroy property, spread disease or are a vector for disease or cause a nuisance. Although there are benefits to the use of pesticides, there are also drawbacks, such as potential toxicity to humans and other animals. According to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 10 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are pesticides.

So, I think this pretty accurately describes what they are, now how do they effect us produce eaters?

For the answer to this question, I’ve consulted my friend over at Bodies4Life Training, Beki. She tells us in her article on Going Organic, that the only way to avoid all these pesticide treatments is to go organic with all our produce purchases.

Personally I feel that some of this organic hype might just be a brilliant sales scheme, since the prices in the organic section is ALWAYS higher than the regular section, but Beki states there are added benefits to going organic.

You not only stop feeding your body chemicals made for killing things, but you also support farmers who make an effort to make animal lives more compatible with nature. Also, pesticides that are used on the produce fields eventually need to be washed away, drained away into either the earth below the fields, but also the drainage system which eventually feeds back into our drinking water.

The question is, is it already to late? Have our fields already been contaminated for so many years with bad pesticides that have seeped so deep into the earth below these fields of produce that no matter what is done, were still getting the after effects of them?


To make sure that you’re informed of at least the top 12 most pesticide rich produce in the store, so you can selectively buy organic, Beki has produced the following list:

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Sweet Bell Peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Grapes (imported)
  10. Spinach
  11. Lettuce
  12. Potatoes

Beki also suggests to go check out Environmental Working Groups Health/Toxins: Our Food page for some more very informative and official research papers on the harmful effects of pesticides.

local_organicsAre you an organic shopper?

Organic Food

Organic food has its perks and pitfalls, each weigh their own and differently to the individual.

For me, myself, I only buy specific food organic, and mostly try and support local growers, rather than organic growers.

What organic claims is that the food is grown pesticides and only natural fertilizers which increases the nutrient content of the food and reduces the chemicals that we humans are ingesting.

Organic food also doesn’t use genetically modified organisms (gmo), that will give us our larger than natural vegetables that we sometimes see in the stores.

This revolution is also known as the Green Revolution, which is also an attempt to separate ones life from plastics, or synthetic compounds that we now have infiltrating so much of our lives.

A great way to go organic, is to create your own garden! This way, you are absolutely certain of what will be in your vegetables because you fed it to them, and can make sure that no pesticides or even fertilizers will be used that you don’t want.

This also helps prevent being tricked by greenwashing, which is what nearly all the companies that sell items in any store are doing.

Company TerraChoice does yearly studies on grocery stores that they walk into and put green marketed products through their tests to see if they really are green. Over the years, the number has gone from less than 1% pass, to about 4% that now pass this test.

So, keep in mind that you may be being mislead with actual products that claim to be organic, or green.

To me the best bet is to grow your own vegetables and fruits, and this way you know it’s 100% organic. For the rest, buy local!4.2.7