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Hack the Holidays

The holidays are approaching  and many will indulge, skip workouts, be stressed and gain weight during this jolly season. You don’t have to be one of them. Instead of denying yourself the fun of holiday treats, or beating yourself up for indulging in them afterward, allow yourself to splurge when it’s really worth it. Here are some strategies to hack the holidays.

Pack in the Protein

Be sure to always have some protein at a meal, especially if your splurge food is sugar or really any high carb based foods. This will help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you full for longer. Keep track of what you’ve binging on and make it up in your workout the next day. Start your day with a protein-packed shake. This will help stabilize your blood sugar, as well as getting a dose of probiotics that will aid in digestion and keep your stomach from bloating.

Plan to get some burn, baby!

Plan to get some exercise in on the morning of a big holiday, like Christmas or Boxing Day. Go for a run, take an Aerobics, Zumba or Spinning class .. just get moving!
Plan it as something you have to do, not just something you may or may not have time for.

Combat the Food Coma

Go for a walk after a big meal to speed up digestion and avoid the crash. The dishes can wait and you can PVR the rugby or cricket game. What will really help you feel better after a big meal is a nice brisk walk around the neighbourhood. Rally your family and make it fun group activity.

Preempt the Party

Make yourself a protein shake full of nutritious ingredients, before you head out to a holiday party. It is a great way to avoid hunger and overindulgence when you arrive. Watch as everyone else dives into the appetizers while you just calmly wait for the main course.

Drink Cleaner Cocktails

The amount of sugar in most store-bought mixers is a sure-fire way to spike your blood sugar and set you up for a hangover. Stick to cocktails that only use clean ingredients like freshly squeezed lemon, lime, or other citrus fruit juices and/or club soda. When choosing clean-burning alcohol, put tequila, vodka and organic wines at the top of your list. Don’t forget to put a limit on your drinks and stick to it, while including a glass of water between every drink you have.

Ask for New Workout Threads

Put some new fitness gear on your wish list for Christmas. Not only will this keep you motivated before you get them, it will be a big motivation to get to the gym before the New Year’s resolutions begin. New workout clothes, a gym bag, lifting gloves —what will motivate you most?

Meditate

The hustle and bustle of the jolly season can tire one out.
Download a meditation app and squeeze in a 10- or 20-minute meditation to help focus and relax your mind. After all, the holiday season is better for you and everyone around you if you are relaxed and gracious.

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What to Eat Before a Workout

 
WhatToEatBefore
 
 
Just as you put fuel in your car before driving, you want to put fuel in your body before you work out. Eating the right type of fuel at the right time before your workout will help motivate and energize your workout. Pre-exercise fuel has many functions—it prevents low blood sugar, fuels your muscles and helps to ward off hunger. By selecting the right foods before your workout you can watch your performance excel!
 
1 to 3 Hours Pre-Workout
Preparing for your workout doesn’t just happen; there are many things to consider. Selecting a well-balanced meal containing all of your macronutrients (carbs, fats, protein) and even fibre, 1 to 3 hours before your workout will help to ward off hunger and top up muscle glycogen levels. A great pre-workout meal would be a gluten-free quinoa bowl with mixed berries, topped with slivered almonds and your favourite plant based milk-alternative.
Tip: When preparing your meals, be sure to choose food that are easily digested and can settle comfortably. This will help your body to use energy during your workout rather than in digestion!
 
20 to 30 Minutes Pre-Workout
It’s game time. You’re heading out the door, and you’re in a slight rush. Whether you’ve just woken up, or just finished work, it’s time to quickly prepare your body for your workout. Two main things to consider: holistic stimulants (such as yerba maté or green tea) and easily digestible, fast-acting carbohydrates (to top up your energy levels). If you’re up early and have no appetite, consider a liquid boost such as a vege/fruit protein smoothie to enhance mental focus and provide both immediate and sustained energy.
 
Sugar-free Fuelling vs. Functional Sugar Fuelling
Different workouts have different fuelling requirements. Length and intensity are two main considerations when fuelling your body and preparing for your workout. Functional sugars (sugars or carbohydrates your body needs for energy and stamina) are used wisely when engaging in intensive workouts like weight training, Cross-fit, endurance runs or bicycle rides, especially those that last an 30 minutes or longer. Before any of those activities, drink a pre-workout smoothie (have a look at some of the options at Hemptons – Recipes). If you are engaging in a less-intense or shorter workout such as yoga, pilates or walking, a fruit – like a banana – prior to workout is a suitable option to have 20 minutes pre-workout to give you an extra-boost without the added functional sugars your body doesn’t necessarily require for a less-intense workout.
 
Food vs. Liquid Fuel
If you’d rather eat 20 to 30 minutes before you work out, a simple piece of fruit will do! If you’re bored of fruit or want to try something new, try a level tablespoon of coconut oil blended with your favourite tea or on its own! Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are converted by the liver into energy source (much like carbohydrates) but contain no sugar or carbohydrates!
If you have a sensitive stomach, liquid foods tend to leave the stomach faster than solid foods do. Try a fruit and/or vege smoothie or fresh fruit juice before your workout. You can even try drinking a shot of Hemptons Hemp Protein powder and 250ml, instead of a full drink. If you know you’ll be jittery and unable to tolerate any food before your event or workout, be sure to make a special effort to eat enough carbohydrates the day and night before.
 
Hydration
Preventing dehydration before exercise is one of the keys of maintaining exercise performance (especially in hot/humid environments). Leading up to your workout, be sure to drink plenty of fluids. If possible, drink extra fluid leading up to your sport or workout, until your urine is a pale colour. Drink about 2 to 3 glasses, 2 to 3 hours before exercise and around 1 glass, 10 to 15 min before exercise for optimal hydration and energy.
 
If you are hoping for success in the gym or at your game and results in the mirror, planning your pre-workout meals and hydration is crucial. There are many things to consider when fuelling for your workout but the quality and selection of the right food at the right time and proper hydration is paramount. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just be sure to schedule your pre-workout nutrition just as you schedule your workouts.
Happy fuelling!
 
References
 
Kreider et al. ISSN exercise & sport nutrition review: research & recommendations .Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:7 http://www.jissn.com/content/7/1/7

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So, what is Hemp? And why should I include it in my diet?

Many people may react cautiously to the notion of hemp as food, based on its connection to the harmful illegal drug, marijuana. Upon further exploration, however, one will discover that although hemp is family of marijuana, it is in fact a different plant – like broccoli and cauliflower are of the same family, but different plants. So, not only is the hemp seed completely THC free, it is also nutritionally superior to most other sources of protein and essential fatty acids.
 
So What Make The Hemp Seed A Super Food?
Hemp seeds contain complete protein. They are a highly digestible balance of all 20 known amino acids (both essential and non-essential) and in higher quantities than most other plant sources of protein. Hemp seeds are 33-35% protein. A mere 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds contain approximately 11g of protein!
Hemp seeds contain the globular plant proteins Edestin (65-67%) and Albumin (33-35%). Globular proteins are responsible for enzymatic functions in the blood plasma and for antibody formation, making them critical for strong immune function. Edestin is considered the most easily digestible protein and is very similar to protein in the human body. Albumin is another highly digestible and quality source of plant protein. Hemp contains the highest known levels of Edestin in the plant kingdom, making it a superior source of protein. Hemp seed is also free of trypsin inhibitors and oligosaccharides, two factors that affect the absorption and digestibility of other plant sources of protein i.e. soy.
Hemp seeds have a near perfect ratio of Omega-3 (Alpha-Linolenic) to Omega-6 (Linoleic) essential fatty acids (EFAs). The ideal ratio is considered to be 4:1 (Omega-6: Omega-3) ; hemp  seeds have a ratio of 3.38:1.
These fatty acids are required by our body via our food; we cannot synthesize them ourselves, thus the term, “essential.” Most westerners consume far more Omega-6 and not nearly enough Omega-3; this imbalanced ratio seems to go hand in hand with the common degenerative diseases of today. EFAs have a critical role in growth and development, inflammation response, mood regulation, immune strength, cardiovascular and neurological health, cellular respiration and more. Hemp also contains the fatty acids Gamma-Linolenic Acid (Omega-9), Stearidonic Acid and Oleic Acid.
The fat in hemp seed oil is 75-80% polyunsaturated fat (also known as EFAs) and less than 10% saturated fat. Hemp seeds contain approximately 44% fat. This overall fat percentage is lower than most nuts and carries with it the extremely desirable abundance of EFAs.
Hemp seeds are a good source of iron and also contains significant levels of the antioxidant vitamin E.
Hemp seeds and Hemp Seed Oil contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is nearly identical in molecular structure to our blood and is thus extremely beneficial to building the blood, nourishing and detoxifying the body. While the quantity is not nearly as high as the chlorophyll content of other blatantly green foods, like wheatgrass or leafy greens, the more we can increase our intake of chlorophyll the better. Chlorophyll’s presence in the hemp seed is another testament to its amazingly balanced nature.
You are probably now wondering; “Does it taste good?” My conventionally trained culinary taste buds can honestly give you a resounding, “YES!”
Hemp seed is unique in its culinary compatibility and flavour. It has a deliciously nutty and rich, yet delicate nature. Unlike what most of us know as “nuts,” hemp is a tiny, cream-colored flat disk comparable to the size of a sesame seed. Its texture is soft and creamy, not hard and crunchy. In my opinion, the taste is akin to that of a peanut or sunflower seed, yet somewhat richer and more complex. I can taste the hint of chlorophyll that dots some of the seeds; it reminds me ever so slightly of the taste I perceive when chewing a mouthful of chlorella tablets. Hemp, however, melts in your mouth. This property lends itself extremely well to blending the seeds to create smooth and creamy sauces, shakes and soups.
Besides the hemp seed, other forms of hemp food are now more widely available. Powders, often marketed as protein powder, are quite popular, as are hemp seed oil, nut butter and milk forms. Hemp is even ground into flour and used in baked goods. The red flag gets thrown here, however and we need to apply our knowledge of the fragility of essential fatty acids and proteins before we dive head first into the hemp food market.
Essential fatty acids are very susceptible to the effects of light, heat and oxygen (as most plant foods are). This means that any hemp products (or any EFA rich food) should be stored in the refrigerator, in sealed. Light-impermeable containers and not heated in any way. Some products recommend refrigeration only after opening. And that is most likely fine; however shelf life is generally increased when these products are kept cooler. EFAs and proteins change drastically when they are heated. And can transform the fats and proteins from being extremely healthful. To extremely harmful. Any temperature over the enzyme threshold temperature of 115F will initiate these harmful changes. Here is the lowdown on the most popular forms of hemp available and how to use them:
 
Hemp Seed
This is the best form currently available to us and is the hemp seed in its most whole state. Hemp seed are widely available in health food stores, raw food product stores and on the Internet. Sprinkle them on your salads, eat a handful alone, or blend them into a creamy sauce, smoothie, or soup. Keep in mind that blending causes rapid nutrient destruction and oxidation, so you won’t get as much from them by blending them as you would eating them whole.
You can also make your own hemp milk by blending the seeds with three times as much water as nuts and then straining it (optional). Most people prefer to slightly sweeten their hemp milk by adding a few drops of stevia or honey. Without any sweetener, this milk makes a delicious base for a creamy dressing or soup. Because I’m a big believer in consuming the most whole form of a food in order to benefit from the synergistic nutritional effect it has to offer and to minimize nutritional losses and modifications caused by processing, this form is my favourite and comes most highly recommended.
 
Hemp Seed Butter
This is the finely ground form of the hemp seed, similar in consistency to almond or peanut butter. lt has a green tinge to it due to its chlorophyll content. While nut butters are delicious, with a consistency that makes them quite versatile and enjoyable, there is always a question that weighs on my mind: “How hot did the commercial grinder get?” Anyone who has attempted to make nut or seed butter in their own home, whether using a homogenizing juicer, food processor, or other equipment, knows what I mean when I say that homemade nut and seed butters are never as oily and smooth as commercially made ones, unless you process the butter for lengthy periods of time until it gets quite hot.
While I have no doubt that makers of “raw” nut and seed butters do not intentionally heat their product, the heavy and quick work of commercial grinders naturally generates a considerable amount of heat. That heat releases a lot of the oils causing a commercially ground nut or seed butter to seem much more creamy and oily than one made at home. What’s wrong with this deliciously creamy spread? Heat and oxidation can easily equal the damage of fats and proteins. There is no practical definitive way that we, as consumers, can tell how much damage was done in this process.
My suggestion has always been that if you aren’t going to make it yourself, look for the brand with the least amount of oily separation in the jar. This is not to say that all raw nut and seed butter are bad, just use caution and use whole hemp seed as more of a staple, saving the nut butters for more recreational use. They too can be used in smoothies or dressings/sauces and as a spread. Check ingredient labels; salt or other ingredients may be added.
 
Hemp Seed Oil
This is the oil which is obtained by pressing the hemp seed and it can be used in dressings / sauces, drizzled on your meal, in a smoothie, or ingested as a supplement. Again, the importance of cold-processing is extremely critical. This oil is should always be refrigerated. Like flax oil, it is highly perishable and should be purchased in small bottles so that it will not remain opened and unused in storage for a lengthy period of time. Never use hemp seed oil for cooking, as the healthy fats will be transformed into harmful fats. While this oil is certainly high quality, keep in mind that oils bring pure fat to the table and whether good or bad, too much causes distress in the body. Again, my first choice is always the whole hemp seed, because you get the whole balanced food and not just one aspect of it and in a less processed state. Use all oil sparingly and it can be a healthy addition to your daily intake.
 
Hemp Protein Powder
In a purely hemp form, this powder can be useful for boosting a blended mixture. Look for cold-milled brands, such as that from Hemptons, to ensure that processing has had minimal detrimental effect on the nutritional quality of the powder. My opinion is that the shelled hemp seed nuts blend in to a shake just as easily and are tastier, so unless you are looking for other ingredients that might be contained along with the hemp protein powder, it is better to just use the nuts.
 
Hemp Flour
Most of these products do not have a place in a raw food diet. Hemp flour is usually incorporated into baked goods using flour and other processed ingredients. While it is healthier than wheat flour, as it does not contain gluten, cannot be used as a substitute – as the baked goods won’t rise. It is good if you want to increase the protein percentage.

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Soy Protein is an Anti-Nutrient

By : Dr. Jockers – 6 April 2015
Soy protein is an anti-nutrient that should be avoided for several reasons.  Soy contains phytic acids that bind and pull major minerals such as calcium, magnesium, & zinc from the body (4, 5, 6).  High processed soy consumption is linked with deficiencies in these major minerals.
Soy also contains enzyme inhibitors that turn off natural enzyme’s needed to perform critical cell functions.  Goitrogenic substances that block thyroid hormone are highly prevalent in soy foods as well.
Animal protein that comes from animals raised in conventional factory farms is extraordinarily toxic.  These animals are pumped full of dangerous hormones and antibiotics while eating genetically modified, pesticide laden grains.  This combination causes massive amounts of toxic bio-accumulation within the animal tissue and animal by-products.
 
The Best Vegetarian Proteins
hemp-protein-powderThe best vegetarian proteins are from brown rice, peas, & hemp.  Pea protein is considered the most hypo-allergenic protein which is especially important for individuals with chronic food allergies and leaky gut syndrome.   When mixed with a high quality pea or hemp protein they form a complete protein source with all essential and branched-chain amino acids.
Hemp protein is one of the very few plant based complete protein sources.  Hemp is a great source of sulphur containing amino acids methionine and cysteine which are necessary for cellular detoxification and the production of vital enzymes.  Additionally, it is rich in branched chain amino acids that are needed for muscle growth and repair.
Your protein powder should also contain medium chain triglycerides from sources such as coconut oil to improve bioavailability and aid in digestive comfort. This should never contain artificial flavourings and preservatives of any kind.  This source should be sweetened with natural sources such as stevia and/or xylitol.   Certain individuals may feel inflamed using a grass-fed, non-denatured whey protein.  They should switch to a high quality vegan protein such as hemp, pea, or brown rice and monitor results.

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Hemp Seed Nutrition and Medicine

 
hemp-wellnessFACT: Hemp Seed Nutrition a complete mineral content indicates that hemp is especially high in the most needed minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Sulphur. It is also low in heavy metals like Strontium, Thorium, Arsenic, and Chromium.
 
The vitamin content isn’t that high, but compares favourably with other grains – but then, you can eat your veggies and get in all the needed Vitamins.
 
Hemp’s Benefits For Nutrition and Medicine:
 
• contains 6 immune-boosting essential fatty acids found in perfect ratio for human consumption
• protein content consists of 65% of the most digestible form of protein, allowing the protein to be easily assimilated by the human body, making it a great source for vegans and vegetarians
• contains 9 essential amino acids, 19 in total
• contains carotene, vitamin C, E, B1, B2, B3 and B6
• mineral content includes phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, silica, and iron
• outer shell is a form of insoluble fibre, which, when broken down, becomes a cleansing agent for the digestive tract and is an effective intestinal lubricant
• stimulates growth of hair and nails
• improves health of skin
• reduces inflammation
• carries toxins to the surface of the skin, the intestinal tract, kidneys and lungs where they can be expelled
• used in the treatment of glandular atrophy, gallstones, kidney degeneration, acne, and menstrual irregularity
• reduces blood serum cholesterol levels
• lowers blood pressure
• helps to reduce fever
 
PROTEIN
Hemp seeds contain up to 24-28% protein. A handful of seed provides the minimum daily requirement for adults. Hemp lab testing confirms that hemp has a high quality protein content that contains all eight essential amino acids in the correct proportions that humans need. I have found in my own research that hemp has actually nine essential amino acids but there seems to be a debate in the scientific community how many essential amino acids there actually are. Some say eight, others say nine. The basic proteins in hemp are easy to digest. They are composed of 80% edestine, the most digestible of all protein types. Soybeans contain a higher total percentage of protein, but these are complex proteins that many people find difficult to digest and Soy contains inhibitors that stop humans from easily digesting and assimilating the protein.
 
A relativlely unknown fact, when scientists developed the base vegetable protein model they called it “Edestine” – one wonders why .. not!
 
And they taste great! A win, win all the way ~

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Edestin, a globulin protein found only in Hemp Seeds…increases DNA repair!

hemp-protein-2Almost two-thirds of hemp protein is made up of Edestin, a globulin protein found only in hemp seeds. This makes hemp the superior source for this protein in the plant kingdom. Edestin is a type of plant protein that is similar to protein found in the human body and thus is perfectly suited to aid in meeting the body’s cellular needs such as DNA repair. Since much of hemp’s protein resembles that found in human blood, hemp protein is very easily digested and assimilated. In addition, another one-third of hemp’s protein is albumin, another high quality globulin protein also found in egg whites.
With a protein structure of 66% Edestin and 33% Albumin, hemp seeds contain all 8 Essential Amino Acids plus 2 conditionally Essential Amino Acids. In addition to its surprising protein profile, it also contains the perfect ratio of Omega Fatty Acids researchers recommend for good health
Why Are Amino Acids Important?hempseeds
A human being needs 21 Amino Acids to survive:  Eight are essential and must be obtained from food; two are conditionally essential and can be synthesized if all the eight essential amino acids are consumed. No other plant or animal source, aside from Hemp, contains the first ten amino acids necessary for health. Nor do any of them contain the balanced fatty acid ratio essential for life.
Hemp seeds are not unique among plant seeds in having all the essential Amino Acids. However, they are unique in that they have them in the correct ratio and they are in the form of Globulin Edestin at 65% of the protein content. The other 35% of the protein content is Albumin.
The globulins contained in hemp seeds are one of the seven classes of 100% pure Amino Acids. Globulins make up the portion of seed between the embryo and the seed coat and they are a fraction of all animal and human blood. Edestin globulin comes from seed;  globulin is in blood plasma. Globulin and Albumin are classified as globular proteins. All the enzymes, antibodies, many hormones, hemoglobin and fibrogin are made from globular proteins.
Albumin, Globulin and Fibrogin make up the fluid part of blood plasma. The protein portion of the blood answers the call of tissues in need by providing nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
When purchasing a hemp protein powder you should be looking for a brand that supplies at least 50% protein by weight, supplying 15 grams of protein per 30 gram serving.

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Hulled Hemp Seed .. little known facts

hempnut_thRaw hemp seeds provides great energy, permits weight control without hunger, reduces cravings for inappropriate foods and promotes extensive health benefits, Realize that it’s just that easy to BECOME your own health authority, the benefits instantly eliminates any need to be a “food fanatic”, it’s a no brainer for what’s in store for you by simply adding these powerful little seeds to your daily regime. Consume the essential nutrients each morning when your body needs “fuel”; Reduce your daily consumption of non-essential sugars, saturated fats and carbohydrates.
Blend Hemp Seeds into your morning protein shakes for an extra boost of energy, protein, essential fats and antioxidants!
A must have in any gym bag!
Add it to your favorite yogurt, or soups to give your meal a boost of Omega & Aminos!
Take your hemp seeds with you when you eat out in restaurants. Simply sprinkle generous amounts of hemp seeds over your meal to quickly enhance the nutritional value of the meal … even in the restaurant.
Take a small zip lock or spice jar filled with hemp seeds, next time you have a craving or hunger pang at your desk… grab it kinda of snack, really good for brain function, stabilizing blood sugar, and energy.
If you are making yourself a wrap or pita, lettuce wrap… don’t forget to add your hemp seeds before you close it up.
Make Hemp milk, super easy check out our recipe section… then make your favorite milkshake using your hemp milk, ice cream or yogurt, a cup of your favorite fresh (or frozen berries) 2 oz. of hemp seeds and blend. Add ice if desired before blending.
Mix it in with your vegan patties for extra protein & fats to make it more complete as a non-meat delicious hemp burger patties.
Add the hemp seeds to your favorite soups, chilli or stir fry!
No matter how you use them, hemp seeds are a quick and convenient way to add flavor and instant nutritional value to most anything ..  so go ahead… time to make Hulled Hemp Seeds part of your daily regime!!