Zika Virus and Men…

Article by: Brittany Smith – Men’s Fitness | Picture by Day Donald

News coverage has been saturated with reports and updates on the Zika virus as of late. But what does that mean for the average guy living in the U.S.?

“Anyone living in or traveling to an area where Zika virus is found—who has not already been infected with Zika virus—is at risk for infection,” says Lucileia Johnson, an infectious disease doctor from the Cleveland Clinic. Her suggestion: “All travelers check with their primary care provider for travel recommendations and visit the CDC Travelers’ Health site for the most updated information. There isn’t a vaccine to prevent Zika; the best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to avoid being bitten.”

We’ve compiled the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the following pages so you don’t have to. Here’s everything you need to know:

What it is and how it’s spread:
Zika virus is, yes, a virus spread from person to person through mosquito bites, and there has been one case in Texas where the virus was sexually transmitted, CNNreports. During the first week of infection, the virus is present in the blood.

What the symptoms are:
About one in five people infected with the virus actually become ill. But the most common side effects are fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes (conjunctivitis), muscle pain, and headache, which are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya (diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transfer Zika). These symptoms should appear within a few days to a week after exposure—but the CDC says the incubation period isn’t known exactly—and should last for several days to a week as well. Deaths are rare.

The biggest concern is the potential impact on babies developing in the womb. Since October, there have been around 3,500 reported cases of microcephaly, a condition where babies are born with very small brains in Brazil alone, according to the BBC.

How it’s diagnosed:
Zika virus can be detected and diagnosed through blood tests. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we mentioned above, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. If you’ve recently traveled to a country or area where Zika is prevalent, make sure this is known. (More on this in a bit.)

How it’s treated:
There is no cure for the Zika virus, and no medications or vaccines can prevent the infection. To treat your symptoms, however, you can do the following, the CDC says:
– Rest.
– Prevent dehydration with plenty of fluids.
– Relieve fever and pain with acetaminophen, BUT do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen; anti-inflammatory and non-steroid drugs can increase your risk of hemorrhaging if you have dengue instead of the Zika virus.
– Avoid mosquitoes for the first week of illness and symptoms (i.e. stay indoors) to prevent spreading the virus.

Zika-affected areas:

*No locally transmitted Zika cases have been reported in the continental U.S., but there have been cases of returning travelers, which means the virus can (and likely will) spread through the nation.



In the Americas…
Barbados
Bolivia
Brazil
Colombia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
French Guiana
Guadeloupe
Guatemala
Guyana
Haiti


Honduras
Martinique
Mexico
Panama
Paraguay
Puerto Rico
Saint Martin
Suriname
U.S. Virgin Islands
Venezuela

In the Pacific Islands…
Samoa

In Africa…
Cape Verde


Lemon-Drop Chicken Wings

Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching and the calories are climbing!  According to the U.S. Calorie Control Council, the average person consumes a day’s worth of calories during the big game.  Today, we are featuring a staff favorite baked chicken wing recipe – with a twist.

Ingredients:

  1. Vodka, red wine, or rum (any brand is fine) – 1/2 cup
  2. Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed is best- avoid seeds) – 2 tablespoons
  3. Honey –  5 tablespoons ho
  4. Olive Oil (rosemary infused is great) – Baron’s Market – 1/3 cup
  5. Garlic (fresh preferred – powder okay) – 3 table spoons (fresh) or 1 table spoon if using powder
  6. 4 lbs Chicken Wings (clean with cold water, lime and white vinegar prior)
  7. Thai Basil (powder is okay) – 2 tablespoons worth

 

Prep:

  1. Pre-heat oven to420 degrees
  2. Clean your chicken (very important) – use a large bowl, soak for 10 min, wash off until water is somewhat clear (no blood) Drain all liquids completely.
  3. Prep a bake and roast pan with wax paper or foil
  4. Mix your ingredients in a separate large bowl and whisk
  5. Dip your chicken in the liquid mix bowl
  6. Transfer chicken to your bake and roast pan
  7. Insert your pan in the center of the oven
  8. Bake for 20 min., check and turn your wings, insert for another 20 min or as desired

 

Note: This is not crispy chicken wing recipe.

Cashew Nut Butter

Brought to you by Shira Bocar | Martha Stewart

Nutrients
Cashew butter contains 3 g of protein per 1-tbsp. serving. It offers 4 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for iron and 1 percent for calcium. It also has 18 percent of the RDA for copper and 10 percent for magnesium. Both of these minerals help with bone, muscle and joint health. Cashew butter is also a source of riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and vitamin E.

Healthy Fats
Seventy-five percent of the fat in cashew butter is oleic acid, the type of heart-healthy unsaturated fat found in olive oil. Substituting unsaturated fats for saturated fats found in animal products and tropical oils can help improve your cholesterol levels, notes the American Heart Association.

Reference details: LivingStrong.com 

Garlic Chili Salmon

Salmon With A Twist

By: MyFitnessPal | Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons chili sauce with garlic (such as Hokan; certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onions (about 3 green onions)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sugar orange marmalade
  • 3/4 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • Coconut Oil

Side of String Beans

  • You can use frozen string beans, but we prefer fresh string beans from the farmers market
  • Pinch off end stems or sharp points and discard trash (fresh string beans only)
  • Clean them using cold water
  • Pre-boil water, and add string beans  (sauce pan or wok is perfect)  – 5-8  mins. or as desired.

Note: The gravy from the fish will work well with the greens.

Directions

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; brush half of chili sauce mixture over fillets. Place fillets, skin sides down, on a baking sheet coated with coconut oil. Broil fish 5 minutes; brush with remaining chili sauce mixture. Broil 2 more minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Now Plate Your Food – Eating time!

Nutrition Information

Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 1 fillet

Per serving: Calories: 282; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 94mg; Sodium: 315mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 34g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 847mg; Iron: 9%; Vitamin A: 5%; Vitamin C: 3%; Calcium: 2%

Warm Artichoke Dip

Ingredients
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 cloves garlic
1 (9-ounce) package artichoke hearts, defrosted, rinsed and dried
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, excess liquid squeezed out.
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Neufchatel cheese (reduced-fat cream cheese)
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions are light golden but not browned. Remove from heat and cool.

In the bowl of a food processor combine artichoke hearts, spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, Neufchatel, mozzarella and salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Add cooled onion-garlic mixture to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

Transfer mixture into an 8-inch glass square baking dish or 9-inch glass pie plate which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve with pita wedges or crudites.

Cranberry Turkey Roll-up

Cranberry Turkey Roll-Up  | Recipe and Photo By MyFitness Pals

Ingredients

  • 4 (10-inch) 100% whole-grain tortillas (about 190 calories each)
  • 1/2 cup (140 grams) canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 12 thin slices (12 ounces or 340 grams) deli turkey breast
  • 2 medium (240 grams) tomatoes, halved and sliced
  • 12 small lettuce leaves, washed
  • 4 slices (4 ounces or 115 grams) Swiss cheese, halved

Directions

Lay out 1 tortilla on a large plate, and microwave for 10–20 seconds. This will soften it, making it easier for you to roll.

Spread 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce in the center of the tortilla wrap. Layer turkey slices, tomatoes, lettuce leaves and cheese on the wrap. Leave 1–2 inches on the sides of the tortilla.

To create your roll-up, fold in the sides of your tortilla, then tightly roll toward the top.

Top with deli sliced turkey, sliced tomatoes, lettuce leaves and cheese. Fold in the sides of the tortilla, then roll tightly toward the top. Repeat to create 3 more rolls. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and slice into 46 roll-ups.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 1 roll (makes 4-6 roll-ups each)

Per serving: Calories: 392; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 50mg; Sodium: 862mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 30g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 531mg; Iron: 18%; Vitamin A: 29%; Vitamin C: 46%; Calcium: 28%

Are You Baking Those Granolas?

No Bake Granola Bars | Recipe and Pictures by MyFitnessPal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup Rice Chex (or other cereal)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds (or your favorite nut)
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, optional

Directions

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

Microwave honey and nut butter in a separate bowl for 45 seconds and stir to combine.

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until well coated.

Press into an 8×8 or 9×9 pan (line with parchment paper for easy removal) and freeze for 30 minutes.

Cut into 8 bars and store in the fridge.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 8|  Serving Size: 1 bar

Per serving: Calories: 263; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 32mg; Carbohydrate: 31g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 12g; Protein: 9g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 92mg; Iron: 16%; Vitamin A: 1%; Vitamin C: 1%; Calcium: 10% 

Spinach Dip Remix

Spinach Goatichoke Dip | Photo and Recipe by MyFitnessPal

Serves ~ 10-12
Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 12 ounces fresh, baby spinach
  • 5 ounces Goat cheese, Chevre
  • 3/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

Directions

1. In a large skillet, wilt spinach over medium-low heat, covered and stirring every few minutes. When wilted, remove from heat. Gently press excess water from leaves and set aside.

2. Blend up the artichoke hearts using a food processor, reserving one small heart for a garnish if you like. Add goat cheese, spinach and pulse until incorporated.

3. Combine everything into one bowl, add Greek yogurt and mix well. If you prefer to serve it warm, simply heat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until warm and melted, about 5 minutes. Serve with bagel or pita chips, crackers or baby carrots.

Note: This recipe can be prepared ahead of time if stored in the refrigerator. If serving cold, let it sit out for 20 minutes and give it a good stir before serving to allow it to soften.

Why Should You Try Pilates

Erin-N

Like most, I had tried Mat Pilates at my local gym. Coming from a very athletic background, I felt pretty confused around 10 minutes in. Not really grasping the concept or fully understanding the buzz behind it all.   After my first class I left feeling nothing, a little disappointed and to be honest, bored. 

I was a non-believer,unconvinced on the whole thing.  It seemed too “slow for me.” I’m used to challenging workouts, heavy lifting,pushing the limits and fast speeds. This to me, didn’t seem challenging enough or beneficial for an athlete, or so I thought…
I didn’t really get involved too much in Pilates until I was severely injured years later. I sustained a life altering injury to my leg, which nearly resulted in amputation.  I didn’t walk for two years.  I needed some form of exercise and rehabilitation, and decided to research Pilates. What I discovered, along with the personal physical benefits I saw, amazed me.  I decided to further pursue it and become trained in “Stott Pilates” myself. Pilates, when done the right way, reaps major physical and mental benefits. The science and functionality makes sense, it works, and it creates some killer abs!
 
BENEFITS OF PILATES
·     Improved Flexibility
·     Better Balance
·     Muscular Endurance
·     Improved muscular activation
·     Spinal Mobility
·     Mental and Body Awareness
·     Ability to properly engage the Deepest stabilizing muscles (Transverse Abdominis, Multifidus, Pelvic Floor,QFL)
 
WHAT PILATES DOES NOT DO
·     Not a cardiovascular workout, it will generally not reach an aerobic level
·     Not a replacement for strength or traditional weight training, it is however a great addition
·     Not a big calorie burner, on average a Mat Pilates class will burn approximately 150-250 calories.
 
Research shows (Fitness journal 2014)
 
Better Dynamic Balance with 5 weeks of Pilates equipment training,dynamic standing balance improved in healthy adults (average age 27) compared with control subjects (Johnson et al. 2007) Women over 60 who took Pilates mat lessons for 12 weeks made gains in dynamic balance and reaction time had fewer falls (Irez et al.2001)
 
More life satisfaction woman who participated in twice weekly, 1 hour Pilates mat classes for 6 months enjoyed greater life satisfaction (Cruz-Ferreira et al.2011a)
 
Improved psychological well-being. In addition to being more satisfied with their lives, these women improved their physical self-concept and health perception, contributing to an improvement in overall psychological well being (CruzFerreira et al.2001a)
 
Enhanced brain function. An analysis of five case studies showed that the brains neural networking activity increased over ten weeks of intensive Pilates training. (Bein et al 2013)
 
What’s with all the inhales and exhales you say?  Like most you probably attended your first class didn’t pay attention to the breathing left and felt nothing.  I promise you give it a shot and do it correctly you will reap the benefits ten fold.   Pilates helps to engage the Deep Stabilizing muscles like no other exercise. Particularly the transverse abdominis, which acts almost, like a corset for the body wrapping horizontally around.  It targets these muscles every exercise and every direction you move with the added breath to help further engage.
 
Lets test the breath. Inhale deeply through your nose and into the deepest part of the lungs. Be sure to expand your ribcage back and sides. Now place your hand on your abdomen and blow all of your air out through your mouth with a little force as if you were blowing through a straw. You should feel your muscles contract.  Now all you have to do is put that all together while practicing the specific exercise and you are set. When done the right way, with the correct technique, Pilates is not easy no matter how strong or how much of an athlete you think you are.
 
Pilates has been around for over 100 years. The science is there it just works.  As Joseph Pilates said himself ” you will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions.