Last week I gave three of the simplest ways to get the most nutrition from what you eat: eat as many vegetables and fruits as you can, preferably fresh local, but something is better than nothing and store them correctly.
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This week things get a bit more complicated, but just follow some of these suggestions and you will be getting real value from your produce.
1. Let the animals eat the veggies:
Studies have shown that vitamins and minerals are better absorbed by the body when they come from animal sources. For example, iron from a vegetable such as spinach is altered when it comes into contact with other nutrients in the digestive system, meaning that you probably won’t get the full amount otherwise available.
Many other vitamins and minerals are more readily available from animals. It would be much better than to eat grass-fed, preferably organic animal produce. Vegetarians have to work a bit harder, but there are ways using food pairing in the case of iron, as illustrated later on.
2. Eat some foods raw:
Heat destroys some vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C, B1, B5 and folate. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, peppers, peas, beet greens, green beans, cabbage and spinach should be eaten raw sometimes so that you get the most from the vitamin and minerals content.
Spinach is a good example here: you will get around three times more vitamin C if you have a nice raw spinach salad.
3. Some are better cooked:
Overcooking will destroy the nutrition in your food by up to 50 per cent, so take care and try to steam when possible or blanch, sautee or roast. But some nutrients actually increase in value when cooked.
Beta carotene, found mostly in the yellow/orange/red coloured vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes increases due to cooking breaking down the cell walls of the plant.
Avocados, raspberries, broccoli, almonds, spinach, salmon are among the healthiest foods on the planet.
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Cooking animal products makes the protein more easily digestible. Lycopene, linked to the prevention of heart problems and bone health, increases significantly when you cook tomatoes.
Iron is better absorbed when food is cooked as it destroys oxalates which bind minerals together. It is a good idea to have some vegetables both raw and cooked like spinach which is a good source of vitamin C but also contains oxalates.
4. Combine foods:
Vegetables high in vitamins A, D, E and K (fat soluble) go well with dietary fats as they help break down the vitamins, making them more easily absorbable.
Spinach, kale, asparagus, eggs, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli and squash go well with nuts, avocado, olive/coconut oil and butter. It’s worth noting that some food sources high in healthy fats contain fat soluble vitamins such as oily fish, liver and eggs.
I mentioned earlier that iron from animal sources is more easily absorbed than from plant sources, but with the correct pairing, you will have a better chance of getting your daily dose of iron.
For example, foods high in vitamin C helps plant foods release iron. A spinach, kale and quinoa salad with a squeeze of lemon juice will give you the iron you require in a readily available form. A complex subject, but food for thought.
Josie is a health, fitness & lifestyle adviser & a Pilates & yoga instructor with 30+ years experience. http://www.bodysoulwell.com Follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Josie.McKenlay/ & Twitter https://twitter.com/JosieMcKenlay
Get ready to run and bike in the second race of the Giant Duathlon Series, challenging athletes from across the UAE.
Starting from Hamdan Sports Complex on Friday, the race will be held in a run/ bike/ run format, perfect for all runners, cyclists and triathletes to test their mettle.
Participants will take to a completely safe course with no vehicular traffic to deal with and compete against athletes of all abilities and ages.
Whether you’ve raced in the event before or are a newcomer, there are plenty of distance to choose from to suit your level.
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Each race is open to individuals and teams of two and participants can take part in as many races as they would like. Kids aged 12 and younger can go for the quarter distance, consisting of a 750m run, 6km bike and 750m run.
A slightly longer version will be available for “Tweens and Teens” aged 10 to 14, distancing a 1.5km run, 12km bike and 1.5km run.
The full distance offered for ages 15 and older will be a 3km run, followed by a 24km bike ride and finally a 3km run to close out the course.
Team categories, meanwhile, are for ages 13 and above and can be made up of all-male, all-female or mixed pairings.
Points will be awarded to the top five male and female finishers in each age group, as well as the top five teams.
At the conclusion of the series, trophies will be given to the first, second and third-place overall finishers in each age group and team category.
Even if you’ve missed a race on the series, points will be accrued for your four best races out of the six, with the final race featuring a double points option. Included in the entry fee is a medal, goody bag and refreshments.
The next race of the series won’t take place until January 8, 2016, so make sure you get a head start on racking up points this weekend.
What: Giant Duathlon Series race two
Where: Hamdan Sports Complex, Dubai
When: Friday, December 18, with race pack collection at 06:45 and races beginning at 07:15
Contact: Visit www.premieronline.com to register and www.raceme- events.com for more information.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the biggest fitness competition in the region, Dubai Fitness Championship, wrapped up the fourth edition of the annual event with another memorable show of fitness at Dubai Mall Ice Rink.
Following three days of competition on Weekend 1 (more on that here), the final 25 male and female athletes competed in another three days this past weekend to finally determine who takes the ultimate prize.
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At the end of the six day competition, the international CrossFit athletes took the podium spots. In the men’s competition, Noah Ohlsen (USA) was 1st, Frederick Aegidius (Iceland) 2nd (following up his 2013 first place spot) and Rasmus Anderson (USA) 3rd, while in the women’s division Annie Thorisdottir (Iceland) came first again (she won the 2013 event as well), Julie Abilgaard was 2nd and Brooke Ence (USA) third. Click here for the overall points and leaderboard.
On the women's side
Annie Thorisdottir regained the title she won back in 2013, and she did it in style with a dominant performance over the finals weekend. Annie's results over the final seven workouts were as follows : 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 1st and 1st in the final workout which was worth triple points and AED 45,000 for the win! Annie takes home over an astonishing AED 300,000 in prize money from this year’s competition.
Defending champion Jamie Greene did very well by winning a couple of the events over the course of the competition and finished as the highest ranked UAE-based athlete with a 4th overall.
For workout 10A & 10B Brooke Ence lifted and amazing 92kg on the Snatch and 112kg on the Clean.
On the men's side
Noah Ohlsen may be a rookie to the Dubai Fitness Championships but he is no stranger to fitness competitions after coming 8th in this year’s CrossFit games competition and taking a big leap forward by winning this year’s Dubai Fitness Championships. Noah lead the competition from start to finish by being consistent through all 15 workouts and then topped it off by winning the final workout. Taking home over AED275,000 in prize money!
Fredrick Aegidius, the 2013 Men's champion and partner of Annie Thorisdottir, finished this year’s competition in 2nd place just 6 point ahead of Rasmus Anderson after a strong showing in the final workout worth triple points.
Last year’s 2nd place male athlete Mikko Aronpaa was the best of the UAE based athletes finishing in 5th place.
There were two masters divisions in this year’s competition the 34+ and 39+. In the 34+ the men’s winner was Majid Khalifa and the women’s Mari Waagan, and in the 39+ division, Chris Bourke took the top spot for the men, and Tracy Potaka took the women’s title.
It may have been the internationals that took the top spots, but the UAE based athletes did an incredible job throughout the event faced with some serious competition. Mikko Aronpaa placed 5th overall in the men’s competition and last year’s winner, Abu Dhabi-based Jamie Greene placed 4th overall. Among the Emirati athletes, Mahmoud Shalan placed 12th overall in the men’s, and Amnah Bin Bahar placed 13th.
This year’s competition had 15 workouts over 6 days of competition and saw a wider variety of skills tested as it included events such as a one rep max lifts, a 4000m run for time, and an underwater pool event. It was held at Al Wasl Football Club and Hamdan Sport Centre for the first weekend, and Dubai Mall Ice Rink for the finals.
Thousands tuned in to watch this year’s competition via the live stream on You Tube; the first year the event has had live streaming online (with FitnessLink co-founder and DFC regular Grant Goes providing the English commentary).
Congrats to everyone that took part in the event – until next year!
If you’re interested, here are all the workouts of the second weekend:
1 Rep Max with Barbell Snatch
1 Rep Max with Barbell Clean
4 Rounds of:
10x 20m Sandbag Carry and 20 GHD Sit Ups
NOTE: Workout 12, 13, 14 happened one after the other on a running clock. 10min time cap, 10 min rest.
Ski Erg 50/35 calories
Then 3 rounds of: 15 Overhead Squats (70kg/45kg barbell), 20 Toe to Bar
(10 minute rest)
Indoor Rower 100/80 calories
Then 2 rounds of: 30 Flying Push Ups, 30 Wall Balls (20lb/16lb)
(10 minute rest)
Assault Bike 50/35 calories
Then: 50 Box Jump Overs and 50 Pull Ups
Workout 15 – FINAL WORKOUT
Time Cap = 45 minutes
Part One: 10 x 20m Farmers carry with two 90lb/65 dumbbells
Part Two: 2 Rounds – 2x 20m Lunges with Tsunami Bar weighing 80kg/60kg, then 20 Burpee into press with two 20kg/15kg Dumbbell
Part Three: 4 Rounds – 5x 5m Rope Climb, then 15 Burpee Box Jump Over
Part Four: Lift an atlas ball over the shoulder – 20x 180lb ball for the men, 10x 140lb ball for the women