#TASTYTUESDAY: MATCHA TEA ALMOND MILK

WHAT:
1 teaspoon Matcha Tea Powder
1 teaspoon Maca Powder
1 cup soaked raw almonds ( I soak them for 4 hours)
4-6 pitted dates
1 handful spinach
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups of water
a blender
a nut milk bag

HOW:
– Add everything to blender and blend on high for about 2 minutes.
– Pour everything into a nut milk bag inside a large bowl.
– Squeeze out all of the milk
– Pour the liquid into mason jars and store in fridge up to 4 days.

BENEFITS OF MATCHA TEA:
What is Matcha?
Matcha or maccha is a finely ground, bright emerald-green tea powder. It is a natural, organic green tea which has been the heart of the famous Japanese tea ceremony for over 900 years. The Buddhist monks honored matcha tea as the ‘health elixir’ for its potential to heighten the concentration and enhance the metabolism.
Originating in China in 9th century, matcha was used as drug for curing various ailments. However, its word somehow got elapsed in China. It was only after the Zen Buddhist monks from Japan realized its true potential at the end of twelfth century, the perfection in the cultivation of matcha picked up. Matcha is still scarcely grown accounting for just 0.6% of total tea yield.
Matcha is prepared from a high-quality shade-grown leaf known as tencha. The tea bushes are sheltered to avoid the exposure of direct sunlight which reduces the pace of photosynthesis and slows down the growth of the plants. This provides the leaves with a darker shade of green and stimulates the production of chlorophylland amino acids.
Harvesting of matcha is done by hand to ensure selection of youngest and smallest leaves for the finest quality tea. Unlike other green teas, leaves used for matcha are briefly steamed to protect them from oxidation and preserve its flavor and nutritional content. This is followed by ultra-fine milling of the tencha leaves by using granite stone mills resulting in a beautiful green powder which is the raw material for matcha tea. After being prized in Japan for scores of years, recently matcha has been gaining recognition in the western world attributing to its unique flavor and remarkable therapeutic qualities.

Nutritional Value of Matcha
Matcha is a time-honored beverage which is source of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin K and trace minerals. Matcha is rich in components with super antioxidant activity including polyphenols, catechins and chlorophyll. Presence of amino acids such as L-theanine and theophylline in the matcha tea makes it a multi nutrient-packed drink.
Health Benefits of MatchaHealth benefits of matcha tea for medical conditions have been discussed as under:

Stronger immune system: As mentioned above, matcha contains various antioxidants, polyphenols, EGCG, L-theanine which collectively contribute in boosting the immune defense of the body and helps provide protection against various antigens.

Antioxidant power: Matcha stores a wealth of natural antioxidants and polyphenols. A research study assessing the antioxidant power of matcha tea has revealed that as compared to other green teas matcha has the highest amount of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an extremely healthful component with numerous benefits. These antioxidants seek out for the oxygen free radicals and neutralize their harmful effects thereby, protecting the body from the occurrence of disorders or inflammations associated with the oxidative stress.

Type-2 diabetes: Matcha tea may prove valuable for maintaining healthy metabolism in diabetic individuals. Antioxidant rich matcha tea aids in reducing the levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and hepatic glucose content in the diabetic individuals. An investigative research conducted on diabetic subjects administered with matcha tea has shown that matcha exerts inhibitory action against the renal and hepatic damage by restraining the accumulation of advanced glycation end products in the kidneys.

Cardiovascular health: Another valuable action exerted by epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) present in match is the maintenance of cardiovascular health. Richness of this component in matcha tea makes it a potent potion to keep cholesterol levels low. A research study has suggested that EGCG helps in reducing the accumulation of lipids and promotes autophagy in the vascular endothelial cells.

Energy enhancer: Matcha contains a healthy form of caffeine not to be mistaken with the one present in the regular coffee. This unique form caffeine known as theophylline sustains the energy levels without any adverse effects. The slow release of energy due to theophylline helps in supporting the functionality of adrenal glands and maintains optimum hormonal levels.

Detoxification: Chlorophyll present in matcha tea accentuates its effectiveness in cleansing process of the body. Chlorophyll is an excellent detoxifier which helps in cleansing the blood. It aids in maintaining the alkalinity of blood and tissues. Chlorophyll also helps in preventing the association of harmful toxins with colon walls and flushes them out of the body.

Mental alertness and calming effect: Matcha tea works wonderfully well in providing a calming effect to the body. L-theanine, a unique amino acid present in matcha green tea possesses anti-anxiolytic properties and which assists in boosting alpha waves in the brain. These alpha waves encourage relaxation and induce a profound feeling of mental clarity and more alert state of mind just as is imparted by the yoga techniques. A study conducted on theanine suggests that theanine acts as neurotransmitter which exerts calming effect on the brain without causing any drowsiness. This soothing effect provided by matcha helped the Buddhist monks in maintaining deep concentration during their meditation sessions and was the main reason behind its popularity. Another study has revealed the anti-stress effects of theanine present in matcha which assists in reducing the physiological and psychological stress responses by inhibiting the neuron excitation.

Protection from infections: As stated above, matcha tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is also effective in fighting against various bacterial, viral and fungal infections. An investigative research has suggested that EGCG binds to the lipid membrane and exerts inhibitory action against growth of various important human pathogens including influenza A virus, hepatitis B and C virus, herpes virus, adenovirus Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and Candida albicans yeast.

Protection against HIV: Epigallocatechin present in matcha is also efficient in the prevention of HIV. Along with this, consumption of matcha tea may also help in protecting the brain of HIV patients. This defensive act attributes to the penetration power of epigallocatechin through the blood brain barriers which is not feasible for the commercially available anti-retroviral drugs.

Gastrointestinal health: Match tea is useful for treating gastrointestinal disorders. A research study conducted in this field has revealed that consumption of matcha stimulates the fecal excretion and helps the body to get rid of harmful chemicals and toxins.

Cancer prevention: Matcha assists in the prevention of cancer attributing to the presence of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has chemopreventive properties. Multiple studies have shown that polyphenols present in matcha tea prevents the proliferation of malignant cancerous cells, promotes induction of apoptosis and assists in the reducing the risk of developing various cancers including bladder cancer and colorectal cancer. EGCG exerts inhibitory activities and works against the progression of human breast and prostate tumors as well.
Culinary usage: Apart from healthy gains, matcha is widely popular as an ingredient in a range of food items. Matcha is used to add flavor to a variety of western-style confectionary items including chocolates, cakes, candies, cookies and green tea ice-creams. Recently, a number of famous cafes in North America and around have introduced matcha based drinks such as smoothies, milk shakes, lattes and alcoholic beverages.

SOURCE: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/matcha-tea.html​

Every day is Green At SculptHouse with Human-Powered Machines

Although you may have not thought about it, SculptHouse’s workouts are completely GREEN! Both the M3 Megaformer and the Woodway Curve Treadmill are completely human-powered, making the workout not only earth-friendly but more effective for calorie and fat burn!

SculptHouse has the newest version of the Megaformer machine called the “M3.” The M3 is a strength training machine that uses a spring system to control resistance on hundreds of muscles in each move. Exercises are done slowly and with control to work the slow twitch muscle fibers. You are in total control of moving the machine and its unstable “carriage” surface. The carriage moves back and forth between the front and back platform, using the springs to pull or push against resistance. The resistance comes from choosing a number of spring combinations, ranging from around 5-180 lbs. This machine combines strength training with stability, core, flexibility, balance and cardio training all at the same time.

Unlike most treadmills, our treadmills are NOT plugged into a wall. The Woodway Curve is a human-powered, curved cardio machine that is endorsed by the NFL for its low-impact design and materials that provide an unparalleled cardio experience. Because there is no motor, you are in control of your speeds. There is no max speed on the Curve! When trying the Curve for the first time, you will feel the difference in the machine and the muscles you are using right away. Speeds, distance and calorie burn isn’t the same as a regular treadmill since you have to make it go. More muscles have to work since it relies on you! When we developed our method, we decided to build the Curve workout on Levels of exertion instead of speeds to make it a more personalized workout – making our CardioSculpt classes beneficial to walkers, joggers, runners and people of all ages and abilities.

SculptHouse prides itself on making each workout as effective and efficient as possible in just 50 minutes. Our signature CardioSculpt class combines slow twitch muscle fibers with fast-twitch muscle fibers for a lethal combination powered by your hard work. SculptHouse is the only studio in the world to combine these 2 state-of-the-art machines under one roof. GO GREEN at The House!

Happy Earth Day!
The SculptSquad

#TastyTuesday: Oodles of Noodles

OODLES OF ZOODLES
WHAT:
Serves 2-4
10 zucchini
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 cup maranara sauce OR your favorite pesto sauce
1/2 cup grated parm cheese (optional)

HOW:
– If you have a spirilizer, then spirialize the shizzle out of your zucchini. If you don’t have one, get one because they are awesome (or just chop up your zucchini however you like.) 🙂
– Add zucchini into large pan on medium heat and add in tomatoes & sauce. Cook for 5 minutes.
– Serve in bowl and top with parm (optional). So good!

Source: http://www.gobeyondcapacity.com/tasty-tuesdays/oodles-of-zoodles

#TastyTuesday: Pineapple Delight

Since it’s getting warmer out I have been craving more fruit. I love lime and pineapple reminds me of the beach so why not put the two together! It’s awesome for a refreshing snack or a light dessert. Either way, you won’t be disappointed!

WHAT:
1 pineapple
1 lime

HOW:
– Cut pineapple up into bite size pieces. Serve in small bowls and squeeze fresh lime over the top!

FUN FACTS ABOUT PINEAPPLES:
Health Benefits of PineapplesArthritis Management: One of the most celebrated uses of pineapple in terms of health is its ability to reduce the inflammation of joints and muscles, particularly those associated with arthritis, a truly debilitating disease that affects millions of people around the world. Pineapples contain a relatively rare proteolytic enzyme called bromelain, which is primarily associated with breaking down complex proteins, but it also has serious anti-inflammatory effects, and has been positively correlated with reducing the signs and symptoms of arthritis in many test subjects.
Immune System: A single serving of pineapple has more than 130% of the daily requirement of vitamin-C for human beings, making it one of the richest and most delicious sources of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is mainly associated with reducing illness and boosting the immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and acting as an antioxidant to defend against the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can damage various organ systems and disrupt function, as well as cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous ones. The vitamin C content of pineapples defends against this.

Tissue and Cellular Health: One of the commonly overlooked benefits of vitamin C is its essential role in creating collagen. This is partly the reason why it is seen as a healing vitamin, because collagen is the essential protein base of blood vessel walls, skin, organs, and bones. High vitamin C content helps you heal wounds and injuries to the body quickly, along with defending against infections and illness.
Cancer Prevention: In addition to the antioxidant potential of vitamin C in the battle against cancer, pineapples are also rich in various other antioxidants, including vitamin A, beta carotene, bromelain, various flavonoid compounds, and high levels of manganese, which is an important co-factor of superoxide dismutase, an extremely potent free radical scavenger that has been associated with a number of different cancers. Pineapple has directly been related to preventing cancers of the mouth, throat, and breast.

Digestion: Like most fruits, pineapples are a rich source of fiber, but they are special in that they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. This means that eating a healthy amount of pineapples can protect you from a vast amount of health conditions, including constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, atherosclerosis and blood clotting, as well as blood pressure. Fiber can bulk up stool, which promotes the passage of food through the digestive tract at a normal rate, and also stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to help food dissolve. Furthermore, it bulks up loose stool, which helps with diarrhea and IBS. Fiber also strips the blood vessels clean of excess cholesterol and eliminates it from the body, thereby boosting cardiovascular health.

Coughs and Colds: The normal immune system boosting power of vitamin C is well known, but that special enzyme, bromelain, is also connected with the reduction of phlegm and mucus build up in the respiratory tracts and sinus cavities. It therefore prevents the illnesses that cause phlegm and mucus build-up, while also treating them by loosening those materials and helping you eliminate them from your body if you’ve already contracted an illness or infection.
Bone Health: Although pineapples are not famous for having a strong calcium content, which most people immediately associate with bone health, it does have an impressive amount of manganese, which is another trace mineral that is essential in the strengthening of bones, as well as their growth and repair. Manganese is the most prominent mineral in pineapple, and a single serving can deliver more than 70% of your daily requirement of this essential mineral.
Oral Health: Along with the antioxidant compounds that protect against oral cancer, pineapples also have astringent properties, which strengthen gums and make sure that your teeth do not become loose. Astringent agents help to tighten up tissues and tone the body so things like tooth loss, hair loss, and muscle weakness or skin loosening does not occur. Pineapples are very powerful astringents and are often prescribed as a natural remedy to fix loosening of teeth or the the retraction of the gums.

Eye Health: Vision is one of the most important senses for human beings, and pineapples have been directly connected to boosting eye health and preventing the age-related deficiencies that so often occur. Macular degeneration affects many elderly people, and beta carotene can help to delay this vision problem. Keeping proper amounts of beta-carotene in your diet from fruits and vegetables is essential if you want to properly see the world well into your old age.

Blood Pressure: Pineapples are a valuable source of many minerals, and potassium is among them. This is one of the most important minerals in our body, and potassium deficiency can result in a wide array of health hazards. One of the most important functions of potassium is as a vasodilator, meaning that it eases the tension and stress of the blood vessels and promotes blood circulation to various parts of the body. When your blood vessels relax, your blood pressure is reduced and the flow of blood is less restricted. This can prevent clots from blocking the flow of blood and reduces the accumulation of plaque in the arteries and vessels. This helps people prevent conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. So eat your pineapples for a healthy heart!

Blood Circulation: In a related benefit to the vasodilating potential of potassium, pineapples also provide the body with copper, another essential mineral that functions in a number of enzymatic reactions and compounds in the body. Most notably, copper is a necessary element for the formation of healthy red blood cells. High red blood cell count increases oxygenation to the various organ systems and makes them function at optimal levels. It also increases cognitive abilities and can maintain neural pathways to prevent neural disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease!

source: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/pineapples.html

My website: http://www.gobeyondcapacity.com/tasty-tuesdays/pineapple-delight

#TastyTuesdays: Super Salad

WHAT:
Serves 4

SALAD
6 -8 cups of spring mix lettuce
2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped bell pepper
2 cups chopped cucumbers
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup roasted cashews

DRESSING
1/4 cup olive oil
2 squeezed lemons
salt and pepper to taste

HOW:
Add all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together and divide up into individual containers. Add dressing upon eating. Store in fridge for up to 4 days. ( I personally put the quinoa in a separate container and add in when I eat each salad)

BENEFITS
Here are seven health benefits of quinoa:

1. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.

2. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.

3. Quinoa contains Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.

4. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.

5. Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

6. Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.

7. Quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.

Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html