Saturday, January 12, 2019

Take A Hike !!

                                               Anytime, is the best time to take a hike

Here in California the crisp air, and winter colors and lack of tourists just bring out the hiker, adventurer in me. It's so popular around here the local junior college has a class in it. Sightseeing, teaching technique, and utilizing the many state, and national park trails.

Hiking can be a great workout, and a relaxing "head clearing", and bonding experience. It also reminds me that fitness isn't only achieved in the gym. Recreational activities can also lend greatly to ones overall fitness. Now me, I've always hiked with a walking stick as it helps me with uphill as well as downhill walking, also it provides a little protection, in case you surprise a predator. More and more I've noticed hikers on the trails with what looked like, ski poles. I asked a few questions, and also did some research for you. Now the folks I encountered had only just bought their poles, and were just trying them out so they didn't have a lot of feed back. So this is what I found out on the web. Researchers from the UK took 26 men and 11 women who were physically active to the highest peak in England and Wales for a day hike. The study appears in the January issue of the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & ExerciseAbout half the study participants used trekking poles on the ascents and descents, while the rest used no poles and acted as a control group. Otherwise, the groups were similar they hiked together, so times were comparable. Everyone also carried a day pack and ate the same food. Average heart rates for the two groups on the ascents and descents were about equal.

The differences showed up for "Rates of Perceived Exertion", a measure of how hard people think they're working, based on monitoring functions such as heart rate, perspiration and breathing. Those with the trekking poles had significantly lower RPE than the control group on parts of the ascents, while there were no differences in RPE on the descents. Those with poles had less muscle soreness than those in the control group. The pole group also showed a reduced loss of strength and a speedier recovery right after hiking, as well as one and two days afterward, compared with the control group. In the study the authors speculated that the lower RPE scores in the trekking pole group may be chalked up to the fact that the poles provided more stability and less load on the lower limbs during the ascents. Less muscle soreness might be attributed to the poles redistributing the load on the lower limbs to the upper body.

 The "Pro" Side: Advantages of Trekking Poles

So obviously, poles reduce the impact of hiking on knee joints and leg muscles. Arm and shoulder muscles support and relieve the leg muscles. With the basic "hands above the heart" position necessitated by the poles, circulation is improved and heart rate is reduced. The "rhythm" created by walking with poles leads to relaxed, more regular breathing and increased stamina. A landmark study published by Dr. G. Neureuther in 1981 proved that use of "ski poles" while walking reduces the pressure strain on the opposite leg by approximately 20%. Furthermore, while walking on level ground, poles reduce the body weight carried by the legs by approximately 5 kg every step. Move to an incline, and that reduction increases to 8 kg. This translates into tons of weight yes, tons for even a two hour hike. Jacquie Hunt, editor of a popular hiking newsletter, weighs in with additional health benefits: "An advantage that I found once I started using poles is that my hands no longer swell up when it is hot. Keeping your arms moving so the blood doesn't pool in the hands is a lot safer than keeping hands high on pack straps and risking a smashed face if you trip. "Finally, poles help many people with balance issues. We all have different comfort levels when balancing along trails, crossing streams, etc.; for some hikers, trekking poles are worth their weight in gold. They can certainly aid when crossing soft ground, and can be indispensable for tasks like stream crossings.

The "Con" Side: Problems with Trekking Poles

First, using poles increases your total energy expenditure. Your arms were not designed to prop up your body, nor to distribute weight. Even Peter Clinch, whose "Pete's Pole Page" is long recognized as an on-line authority, says, "If you have tired legs and knees then poles can be a winner, but if you have a tired body, with your cardiovascular system at its limits, then poles may be more of a hindrance than a help." Those "tons of weight" that poles save the knees aren't carried up the hill by themselves. Many hikers with good legs are unaware that they actually may run out of gas more quickly by using poles. Not only do poles make hands and arms do what they aren't designed to do, they prevent your hands from being hands. Try to open the map, check the GPS, eat a snack, wipe your brow, grab a rock, snap a photo, or read a compass... all of that becomes more clumsy and time consuming with poles in hand. Without proper technique, poles are simply in the way. 

So, hiking or trekking poles can be useful tools for backpacking and hiking. However, while many outdoor enthusiasts swear by them, other avid hikers   prefer trekking without them. Take a look at some of the advantages of hiking poles to decide if they could benefit your next backpacking or hiking trip. Poles help reduce the weight on feet and legs because they act like additional appendages, distributing weight among the four "legs." While walking on level ground, poles reduce the body weight carried by legs by approximately 11 pounds. The reduction increases to about 18 pounds when you move to an incline. Hiking poles help maintain your

balance and prevent falls when you lose your footing, and they can be beneficial in crossing soft ground, rivers and streams, and other difficult terrain. Poles can also be used to clear away brush, spider webs and other obstacles, and they're useful in probing snow or ice to see if it's safe to cross. Certain types of trekking poles can double as tent poles, or you can use them to support tarps and other types of shelters. In fact, many tents are designed to use hiking poles, which lightens your load and leaves more room in your backpack for other supplies. So like anything else that requires unfamiliar equipment get some qualified instruction.

Myself I have the homemade single pole piece of tree type. It's what works best for me. It doesn't matter which you choose, or where you choose, just get out in nature, and take a hike. You can even hike naked if you like, not kidding I found many naturalist hiking organizations on the web while researching this article. I've done it myself at seven falls in Tucson,Arizona, and it was a very exhilarating experience. Now, I shouldn't have to say this but, always leave word with a responsible person, mapping out your day when heading out on the trail, and don't forget plenty of water and always pick up a little trash on your way. So what do you say, get out and take a hike, poles no poles, cloths no cloths. The great outdoors awaits you. You absolutely never know what you'll find, around the next tree. Good Luck...

Doc's Fitness Tip's Publishes Weekly. (mostly)

For your entertainment and education, "Flex-Appeal" Personal Training Service, publishes Doc's Fitness Tip's Located In Dana Point, California. We also serve the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. We specialize in body sculpting, and adventure sport; balance, core, and endurance training.

Flex-Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special that allows you to get personally trained, and bring a friend for FREE

Get off your butt, this offer will end soon!
Call - (949) 443-0133 for details of a premier personal trainer experience
 in Orange County, California:
Contact us at, 
or (949) 443-0133 M-F 9am-4pm


Doc Masters

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year !!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Xmas !!






Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving !!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Time To Pop Your Cherries !!

                          Cherry Fairy Says, "Cherries aren't a fruit they're a prize"...

A friend recently reacquainted me with some better places to eat cherries and whip cream other than just on food, and once again I'm a firm believer that, there isn't any treat worth having that doesn't have a cherry on top! Cherries contain single stony seed, like plums and prunes. People have been using cherry fruits as a decoration, ever since the first bakery opened it's doors.

Cherries also seem to have a very erotic quality. You'll never forget the girls who can tie a cherry stem in a knot with their tongue, will you! Now the native range of the wild cherry extends through most of Europe, western Asia and parts of northern Africa, and the fruit has been consumed throughout it's range since prehistoric times.

A cultivated cherry is recorded as having been brought to Rome by Lucius Licinius Lucullus from northeastern Anatolia, modern day Turkey, also known as the Pontus region, in 72 BC.. Bing Cherries were First Cultivated in State of Oregon in the early 1870's, and quickly became the top ranking of all north american cherry varieties to date. This delicious, bite-size fruit is much more than a whip-cream topping. While rich in vitamins, cherries also contain melatonin a naturally occurring hormone. Produced by the pinealocyte within the penial gland, melatonin plays a major role in regulating a persons biological clock. Cherries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, and of over 150 flavonoids found in plants, anthocyanins have the greatest antioxidant capacity.
Scientists have concluded many successful studies with melatonin on treatments of cancer, migraines, cluster headaches, mood disorders, fertility, ADHD, autism, bi-polar disorder, insomnia, and preventing memory loss in alzheimer's patients just to name a few.

One cup of cherries contains 27mg of melatonin, an antioxidant which guards against the breakdown of collagen. This results in a slower rate of wrinkle formation and fine lines within the skin. Cherries are also rich in vitamin A (beta carotene) and provide 88 IU's per serving. Vitamin A has been known to increase collagen production and can help soften facial lines. Cherries have 19 times the amount of beta carotene than blueberries and strawberries. Well this little powerthouse can even help prevent and fight cancer. They also contain queritrin which is a potent anticancer agent, and they contain ellagic acid, which some experts now believe is one of the most useful compounds for cancer prevention. Cherries also are a rich source of healthy antioxidants, helping to repair free-radical cells in the body. Another compound found in cherries is perillyl alcohol (POH), which is very effective in reducing the occurrence of all types of cancer. It stops the spread of cancerous cells by depriving them of the crucial proteins they require in order to grow. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have found that Bing cherries, consumed consistently over time, may help defend the body against inflammation tied to arthritis and heart disease.

At the Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California, their research published in the Journal of Nutrition, showed healthy volunteers consumed about 45 Bing cherries each day for 28 days. Then blood samples revealed that levels of nitric oxide and C reactive protein dropped by 18-25 percent. Why should you care? Nitric oxide and C reactive protein are two of several indicators which measure inflammation in the body. According to the researchers, the cherries  contain natural properties which help suppress some of the compounds linked to inflammation. This is their second study, corroborating such findings in humans. Sometimes those headaches seem to be never ending, but new research from Michigan State University 
suggests eating cherries can be just as effective as aspirin. In fact, eating just 20 cherries can be 10 times more effective than taking aspirin. Anthocyanins present within the fruit deconstruct enzymes which cause inflammation and relieve pain associated with headaches at a more rapid rate. Potassium removes excess sodium within the bloodstream and calms the blood-vessel walls. It is not a surprise that cherries loaded with 306 mg of potassium per serving can have a positive impact on blood pressure.
  • Sweet cherries are a great source of potassium, which is important for maintaining normal blood pressure, and contain a number of potent anti-cancer agents
  • Tart cherries have been shown to improve athletic performance, endurance and recovery, reducing post-exercise pain and inflammation. Tart cherries also help relieve and prevent arthritis and gout.
Recent studies suggest blood pressure can be lowered by 25% when eating this potassium rich fruit. When you are looking for something to rid  yourselves of belly fat, remember cherries are rich in pectin, a fiber which converts to a slow-digesting gel in your stomach, blocks fat storage and increases fullness by up to 32%. New research suggests increasing pectin-rich foods in our diets may enhance weight loss by up to 38%. One cup of cherries provides about 2.7g of dietary fiber. Fiber is essential for intestinal health and helps to prevent constipation. Fiber also helps to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Your body can't digest fiber, you absorb fewer calories when you eat it.

Eating cherries or drinking cherry juice after a workout can speed up your recovery, according to a study conducted at Northumbria University in England, reports ScienceDaily. In the study, athletes who drank Montmorency cherry juice, recovered more quickly after running a marathon than participants who took a placebo. Throughout the 48 hours following the marathon, athletes in the cherry juice group suffered less inflammation and oxidative stress, which is a potentially harmful side effect of long-distance running and
strenuous physical activity in general. The deep red color of the cherries was our first heads-up that the fruit is special, and now science is taking that a step farther, and finding thru research a link between food, and medicine. Now it isn't all about health 24/7 so don't forget all the great deserts that are made with cherries. Like pies, tarts, cheesecake and girls! If you can't get fresh cherries where you live, try dried cherries, they're like raisins. For a change of pace, swap dried cherries for your usual after-workout energy bar. A 1⁄2-cup serving of dried cherries has 200 calories and about 49 grams of carbohydrates, about the same as an energy bar. Remember tart cherries are pumped full of melatonin, which can positively impact sleep patterns, and who doesn't want to sleep better. If you eat enough (about a handful) you may sleep better. Good Luck...

Doc's Fitness Tip's Publishes Weekly. (mostly)

For your entertainment and education, "Flex-Appeal" Personal Training Service, publishes Doc's Fitness Tip's Located In Dana Point, California. We also serve the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. We specialize in body sculpting, and adventure sport balance, core, and endurance training.

Flex-Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special that allows you to get personally trained, and bring a friend for FREE

Get off your butt, this offer will end soon!
Call - (949) 443-0133 for details of Orange County's premier personal trainer experience!

For the best Personal Fitness Training in Orange County, California:
Contact us at, 
or (949) 443-0133 M-F 9am-4pm


Doc Masters

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween !!

Through the ages, various supernatural entities , including fairies and witches came to be associated with Halloween, and more than a century ago in Ireland, the event was said to be a time when spirits of the dead could return to their old haunting grounds.Though few people realize it as they're slapping creepy holiday address labels onto their scary party invitations and carving jack-o'-lanterns to look like bats or witches, the Halloween we celebrate today is a curious combination of the old and the new. 

Its roots are ancient, beginning with traditions celebrated by the pre-Christian Celts who once inhabited the British Isles. Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve, can be traced back about 2,000 years to a pre-Christian Celtic festival held around Nov. 1 called Samhain (pronounced "sah-win"), which means "summer's end" in Gaelic, according to the Indo-European Etymological Dictionaries. Because ancient records are sparse and fragmentary, the exact nature of Samhain is not fully understood, but it was an annual communal meeting at the end of the harvest year, a time to gather resources for the winter months and bring animals back from the pastures. Samhain is also thought to have been a time of communing with the dead, according to folklorist John Santino. Back then, it mostly involved eating a lot, cleaning the household, extinguishing the hearth fires and restarting them in a gesture of renewal, commemorating those who had passed away during the year, and dancing around a communal bonfire. 
Many Wiccan groups still practice these types of celebration rituals today during Samhain festivals. Some evangelical Christians have expressed concern that Halloween is somehow satanic because of its roots in pagan ritual. However, ancient Celts did not worship anything resembling the Christian devil and had no concept of it. While many Wiccans do refer to themselves as "witches", they do NOT worship the Devil or any other evil deity for that matter. The vast majority of Wiccan practices can be characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings which they derive from nature oriented practices derived from pre-Christian religions. 
The history of Halloween we know today is actually a Christian creation. It all started in the 800s, when the Catholic Church merged two existing Roman festivals called Feralia and Pomona's Day with Samhain, in a successful attempt to replace all three. Pomona's Day was originally a harvest festival in honor of the Roman goddess of fruits and trees and Feralia was a day for mourning and remembering the dead.
Christians began celebrating All Saints Day on November 1, with observances beginning at sunset the night before. Among other things, people dressed in costumes as Christian saints to scare away evil spirits, and then went door-to-door, begging for food. Sound familiar? Later on All Soul's Day (a holiday commemorating the dead who were not saints) was added to the mix on November 2. Celebrants took to going from house to house asking for little soul cakes (currant buns) in exchange for praying for the souls of a household's dead. By 1500 AD, All Saints and All Soul's Days had evolved into Hallow Time (October 31-November 2), with most of the celebrations occurring the night before All Hallows Day  on All Hallows Eve. 

It wasn't long before "All Hallows Eve" evolved into "Hallowe'en." So every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world.Gourd-like orange fruits inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns” the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack. 

The Legend of “Stingy Jack”

According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years. Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out pumpkin and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.” In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o’lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.
Tricks and games
These days, the "trick" part of the phrase "trick or treat" is mostly an empty threat, but pranks have long been a part of the holiday. By the late 1800s, the tradition of playing tricks was well established.
 In the United States and Canada, the pranks included tipping over outhouses, opening farmers' gates and egging houses. But by the 1920s and '30s, the celebrations more closely resembled an unruly block party, and the acts of vandalism got more serious. Some people believe that because pranking was starting to get dangerous and out of hand, parents and town leaders began to encourage dressing up and trick-or-treating as a safe alternative to doing pranks. People began dressing up as ghosts or gouls. It became fashionable, as the holiday became more widespread and more commercialized and with the arrival of mass-manufactured costumes, the selection of disguises for kids and adults greatly expanded beyond monsters to include everything from superheroes to princesses to crooked politicians, and witches...

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

It's All About Pumpkins This Month !!

                                It's Fall and so our lives are consumed with the color orange

The images of Halloween Jack-O Lanterns are everywhere, but what about pumpkins are they really healthy? Well, if they weren't you could bet I wouldn't be writing this article! Let's see, how about some history. Pumpkins are believed to have originated in North America.

Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico dating back to 5500 B.C. So references to pumpkins date back many centuries. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for "large melon" which is "pepon." "Pepon" was changed by the French into "pompon." The English changed "pompon" to "Pumpion." American colonists changed "pumpion" into "pumpkin." All the while Native American's were using pumpkin as a staple in their diets centuries long before the pilgrims landed. They also dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. Native Americans would also roast long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and eat them. When the European settlers arrived, they saw the pumpkins grown by the natives, and pumpkin soon became a staple in their diets. The early settlers used them in a wide variety of recipes from desserts to stews and soups, and even made beer out of it.

The origin of pumpkin pie is thought to have occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and then filled it with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in the hot ashes of a dying fire. Pumpkins are a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers. Pumpkin flowers are also edible. The pumpkin blossoms can be eaten, batter-dipped and fried. Pumpkins range in size from less than 1 pound to over 1,000 pounds. The current world record holder is  Tim Mathison. On October 11, 2013, Tim brought his now world record 2032 pound pumpkin to the Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park Weigh-off at Morgan Hill, Ca. For cooking purposes, you should pick the smaller sizes, they will have more tender, tasty flesh. Select pumpkins which are free of blemishes, harvested with their stems intact, and pick the ones that feel heavy for their size. There are so many roadside pumpkin stands this time of year, pull over and see what they have to offer. Unless they are waxed by the grower, a shiny skin indicates the squash was picked too soon. Look for a dull finish. For extended storage, you should wash the skin in a solution of about a tablespoon of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water to disinfect the skin and discourage mold or rot. Then dry your pumpkin immediately because dampness encourages spoilage. If you find mold, wipe it with vegetable oil to remove the mold and seal the spot.

The Orange Bulldog pumpkin, is resistant to the wilt, and viruses that would plague more traditional-looking varieties. These pumpkins are generally more squat than round, and can range in size up to 30 pounds. It's open-pollinated seed so there's a pretty wide variation in the fruit. If you don't carve it, it will last forever you can treat it like butternut squash, storing it in the pantry through the fall and winter. So if we have a zombie apocalypse, you can survive on this pumpkin.

Now while pumpkins are a tasty source of vitamins, and minerals, particularly beta-carotene, vitamin C, A, and potassium which helps prevent arteriosclerosis, that can lead to strokes or heart attacks. The real fun is in the seeds. While pumpkin seeds are available year round, they are the freshest in the fall when pumpkins are in season. The health benefits of eating pumpkin seeds are well known. Let's look at some. The high content of zinc makes them beneficial for the prostate. They reduce inflammation. They can also protect against the parasites in the intestines, and their anti-inflammatory properties, and can help lower blood cholesterol too.

The seeds are also good sources of protein, as well as iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium. About a quarter-cup of seeds can provide over 20% of the recommended daily iron intake. According to the USDA, one gram of roasted seeds contain 5.69 mg L-tryptophan and one gram of seed protein contains 17.2 mg of L-tryptophan. (One cup of milk contains 183 mg.) This high tryptophan content makes pumpkin seeds interesting to researchers studying the treatment of anxiety disorders.  So it stands to reason you could eat the seeds as preventative measure against onset of anxiety attacks, mild depression and other mood disorders. About 100grm. of pumpkin seeds, about a handful, contains 30% protein.
The carotenoids found in pumpkin seeds, and the omega-3 fats found in pumpkin seeds are also being studied for their potential prostate benefits. Men with higher amounts of carotenoids in their diet have less risk for BPH (enlarged prostate). Zinc in pumpkin seeds might also impact prostate function. In animal studies, the addition of pumpkin seeds to the diet has compared favorably with use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in reducing inflammatory symptoms.

However the pumpkin seeds did not have any of the side-effects of the drug indomethacin. Pumpkin seeds do not increase the level of damaged fats in the linings of the joints, a side-effect that actually contributes to arthritis. In a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers published the amounts of phytosterols present in nuts and seeds commonly eaten in the United States. Phytosterols are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers. Pistachios, and sunflower seeds were richest in phytosterols, followed by pumpkin seeds. They keep fresh for a long time, If you keep them in a quality, food storage container. Not only do they taste good, they are packed with alpha and beta carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A and E and other nutrients with only 15 cal per 100 grams. Pumpkin's and their seeds are without a doubt, one of nature's wonder food's.
Try some pumpkin deserts, and breads at your local bakery this season. If they aren't part of your regular diet now, try some seeds this season too. You certainly can't knock the benefits. You can buy them in the shells, and shell them yourself, or buy them already shelled. I suggest you don't buy them out of huge bins at the health food store, because they don't stay fresh, and a little moisture can ruin the batch. Sprinkle them on  over grilled fish, in salads, or eat them by themselves. Use your imagination. I even mix mine with  a little chili powder, for a change up. It's always better to buy your seeds or nuts unsalted, if you don't like them unsalted, add your own quality sea salt.

Also if you are old enough, and you like beer, try a Pumpkin Ale this year it's seasonal, and tastes great, and by all means if you spot a pumpkin maiden at a farm stand on the side of the road this year stop and sample her wares. Good Luck...

Doc's Fitness Tip's Publishes Weekly. (mostly)

For your entertainment and education, "Flex-Appeal" Personal Training Service, publishes Doc's Fitness Tip's Located In Dana Point, California. We also serve the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. We specialize in body sculpting, and adventure sport balance, core, and endurance training.

Flex-Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special that allows you to get personally trained, and bring a friend for FREE

Get off your butt, this offer will end soon!
Call - (949) 443-0133 for details of Orange County's premier personal trainer experience!

For the best Personal Fitness Training in Orange County, California:
Contact us at, 
or (949) 443-0133 M-F 9am-4pm


Doc Masters

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fall Means Apples !!

                                        Ever since Adam and Eve, it's been associated with sin

In the story of Adam and Eve, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, and the vehicle of man's falling into sin. Today, we refer to something we prize as, "The apple of our eye" Historically, carbonized remains of apples have been found by archeologists in prehistoric lake dwellings in Switzerland, dating back to the Iron Age. There is also evidence to show that apples were eaten and preserved by slicing and sun drying them during the Stone Age in Europe.

The first remains of apples that were found, are from around 6,500 B.C. in excavations at Jericho in the Jordan Valley. Also around 5,000 B.C. Feng Li, a Chinese diplomat, gave up his prestigious government position when he became consumed by grafting apples as a commercial venture according to "The Precious Book of Enrichment." Greek and Roman mythology referred to apples as symbols of love and beauty. Jump ahead to 1665 Sir Isaac Newton watches an apple fall to the ground, and wondering why it fell in a straight line, is inspired to discover the laws of gravity and motion. Robert Prince in 1737 established the first commercial apple tree nursery in America called William Prince Nursery in Flushing, New York. One of America's fondest legends is that of Johnny Appleseed, a folk hero and pioneer apple farmer in the 1800's. Well there really was a Johnny Appleseed, and his true name was John Chapmen.

His dream was for the land to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. Most historians today classify him as an eccentric but very smart businessman, who traveled around the new territories of his time, leasing land and developing nurseries of apple trees. It is estimated that he traveled 100,000 square miles of frontier country. 

 Here's some fun Apple facts:
  • There are 7,500 different apple varieties worldwide, and 2,500 grow in the U.S.
  • Apples can be as small as a cherry or as large as a grapefruit
  • Apple trees don't grow from seeds, they are grafted or budded
  • Apple trees can live to be 100 years old
  • 61% of apples are eaten fresh and 39% are processed into juice and sauce
  • Red Delicious is the most widely grown followed by Golden Delicious
  • Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
  • A medium apple is about 80 calories.
  • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. That is why they float.
  • The largest apple picked weighed 3.2 pounds.
"An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away"

In the past five years, no area of apple research has been more dynamic than the area of apple polyphenols. The balance of  phytonutrients in apples is more unique than many researchers previously suspected. In terms of flavonols, quercetin is the primary phytonutrient found in apples, and it's far more concentrated in the skin than in the pulp. You might wonder why apples end up with such an amazing array of polyphenols. The recent research studies show polyphenols to be the favorite mechanism used by apples to protect themselves from UV-B sun radiation. Multiple studies have shown apple intake to be associated with decreased risk of asthma. French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones. A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer's disease.

Another Cornell University study found that rats who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17%. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39% and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44%. The pectin in apples, supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes. Since most of the polyphenols in apples function as antioxidants, it's not surprising to see so many health benefit studies focusing on the antioxidant benefits from apple. Particularly strong is the ability of apples to decrease oxidation of cell membrane fats. This benefit is especially important in our cardiovascular system since oxidation of fat in the membranes of cells that line our blood vessels is a primary risk factor for clogging of the arteries.

The cardiovascular benefits of apples are well-documented in research studies, and they are closely associated with two aspects of apple nutrients, their water-soluble fiber, pectin content, and their unusual mix of polyphenols. Total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol are both decreased by eating  apples. Preliminary reliable health benefits of apples have  been established for several age-related health problems, like macular degeneration of the eye. According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50% lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples. Researchers also claim lung cancer, and anti-asthma benefits. The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin, and may help in the management of diabetes.
The apple is actually a member of the Rose family, Golden and Red Delicious apples are mild and sweet, while Pippins and Granny Smith apples are notably tart. Tart apples, that keep their texture during cooking, are preferred for cooked desserts like apple pie. Delicious apples, and other sweeter varieties like Rome and Fuji apples are usually eaten raw. Whole apples are a much better nutritional choice than apple juice. Not only are whole apples richer in dietary fiber, but the current processes of juicing seem to drastically reduce the polyphenolic phytonutrient concentrations originally found in the whole fruit. You've no doubt heard the saying, "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch." Well, research studies agree. An apple that has been bruised from being dropped, or  damaged in some other way, it will start to release ethylene gas. Ethylene gas can damage the other apples. So handle your fruit with a little TLC, and remove any damaged apples from groups of apples that you are going to store store.
  • Popular varieties for eating are; gala, granny smiths, golden delicious, pink ladies, fujis, jonathons, mutsu, red delicious and spartans.
  • Other eating varieties are; cox orange pippins (very popular apple in England), braeburns (popular New Zealand graft variety), lady williams and gravensteins.
  • Apples that are good for cooking; granny smiths, cox orange pippins, gravensteins, lady williams and golden delicious.

Now, to diffuse an urban myth, apple seeds  do contain a small amount of cyanide, which is a lethal poison, but you are protected from the toxin by the hard seed coating. If you eat whole apple and seeds, they pass through your digestive system relatively untouched. If you chew the seeds thoroughly, you will be exposed to the chemicals inside the seeds, but the dose of toxins in an apple is small enough that most adult's can easily detoxify it, but possibly not children.So tell the kid's don't eat the core, where the seeds are. Aside from eating raw apples there there are the deserts. I don't think many of us can ignore the captivating aroma of a fresh out of the oven warm, but cooling apple pie, tarts, or fritters.

Or maybe the mouth watering delight of a caramel dipped, or candied apple on a stick rolled in your favorite chopped nuts. Or a warm mug of apple cider, by a cozy fire after a long day of skiing. Or apple sauce with our turkey on Thanksgiving. Is there anything funnier than watching a bunch of kids bob for apples? You see apples aren't only good for us, they are just plain good. FYI according to the Environmental Working Group's 2013 report "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides," conventionally grown apples are among the top 12 fruits and vegetables on which excessive pesticide residues have been most frequently found.

Therefore, to avoid pesticide-associated health risks, avoid eating apples unless they're organic. If you want to roll the dice, and purchase non-organic apples, you may want to ask your grocer about the kind of wax used to protect the apple's surface during storage or shipping. Carnauba wax (from the carnauba palm tree), beeswax, and  shellac (from the lac beetle) are preferable to petroleum-based waxes, which contain solvent residues or wood resins. Eat them raw, eat them cooked, or another favorite have them with your favorite vodka. It's no secret apples are one of the truly great foods we could always add more of, to our lives. Good Luck...

Appletini / Apple Martini

It's best to chill both the vodka and the apple pucker. 
2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Apple Pucker Schnapps or, 
1/2 oz. Apple Juice or Cider  

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  
Garnish with an Apple Slice

Chocolate Dipped Apple Slices

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