How important is portion control?

You may think you know what a serving size looks like, but it can be easy to eat more than you should because restaurants are in the habit of serving “super-sized” meals. The best way to be sure you’re eating the right amount of calories — and to be confident you’re getting the nutrition you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle — is to learn about the recommended serving sizes.


Developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, the serving size defines a specific amount of a particular food that represents the recommended portion for one sitting. The serving size creates a standard reference used on food labels.


The standardized serving size is one tool you can use to be sure you’re following a healthy, balanced diet. The United States Department of Agriculture determined that nutritional values be contained in the defined serving size. This information must be placed on food packages in the form of a Nutrition Facts label for easy access to information about the calories, fats, protein, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in one serving. Getting into the habit of reading the label helps you adjust your daily intake to meet your needs.

Serving Sizes:

The first line on the Nutrition Facts label tells you what the serving size is for that particular food item, followed by the number of servings in that package. If you haven’t paid attention to the defined serving sizes, you might be surprised to discover that they are smaller, or possibly larger, than you realized. If you’re concerned about weight gain, compare the serving size with the portion you normally eat. You may discover you’re eating twice the number of calories you need each day. At the start, it may seem like a lot of information to compute, but serving sizes remain consistent. For example, one serving of meat is 3 oz., a serving of fruit is 1 medium-sized piece, a serving of bread is 1 slice, and for drinks and cooked vegetables, it’s 1 cup.


Some guides are available online that provide visual examples of serving sizes so you don’t have to worry about weighing or measuring your portions. One cup of cooked pasta is about the size of a tennis ball; one serving of hard cheese is 1 oz., which is the size of four dice; and a 3-oz. serving of beef, chicken or pork is the size of an adult’s palm, according to Loyola Marymount University.

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume, which inevitably means one thing: portion control.
Remember your body can only utilize 30 grams of protein within a 2 1/2 hour period of time. Anymore will be stored as fat, and for carbohydrates – your body can only utilize 300 calories or 75 grams of carbs within a 90 min. Period of time. Anything more will also be stored as fat.

-Peter N Nielsen

High Antioxidant Foods

Are substances that help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation.

When certain types of oxygen molecules are allowed to travel freely in the body they cause what is known as oxidative damage which is the formation of free radicals.

Free radicals are very dangerous to the body’s tissues and have been connected to cancer and premature aging. The body uses antioxidants to prevent itself from the damage caused by oxygen.

Oxidative damage plays a major role in disease today and has been linked to health conditions like heart disease, cancer and dementia.

Some of the benefits of consuming antioxidant rich foods include:

Slower aging
Healthy glowing skin
Reduced cancer risk
Detoxification support
Longer life span
Most fruits, vegetables, and herbs contain antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids and lycopene. There is no RDA or Daily Value set for antioxidants.

The levels of antioxidants is evaluated by ORAC Score (oxygen radical absorption capacity) and tests the power of a plant to absorb and eliminate free radicals.

These measurements were developed by the National Institute of Aging and are based on 100 grams of each food or herb.

Top 10 High Antioxidant Foods List

1) Goji berries
25,000 ORAC Score

2) Wild blueberries
14,000 ORAC Score

3) Dark Chocolate
21,000 ORAC Score

4) Pecans
17,000 ORAC Score

5) Artichoke
9,400 ORAC Score

6) Elderberries
14,000 ORAC Score

7) Kidney Beans
8,400 ORAC Score

8) Cranberries
9,500 ORAC Score

9) Blackberries
5,300 ORAC Score

10) Cilantro
5,100 ORAC Score

Other antioxidant rich foods include: pomegranates, strawberries, kale, red wine and wild caught salmon. Try and consume 2-3 servings daily of these high antioxidant foods for optimal health.

Also, along with food, herbs and essential oils of plants are extremely high in antioxidants. Here is another list of the herbs and essential oils highest in antioxidants.

Top 10 Antioxidant Herbs List

1) Clove
314,446 ORAC Score

2) Cinnamon
267,537 ORAC Score

3) Oregano
159,277 ORAC Score

4) Turmeric
102,700 ORAC Score

5) Cocoa
80,933 ORAC Score

6) Cumin
76,800 ORAC Score

7) Parsley (dried)
74,349 ORAC Score

8) Basil
67,553 ORAC Score

9) Ginger
28,811 ORAC Score

10) Thyme
27,426 ORAC Score




Leg day is the easiest session to skip in the gym. Leg training is tough — no doubt about it — and it can be tempting to forget your leg workouts in favor of easier training sessions or missing the gym altogether. Many guys and girls prefer to focus on the showier muscles — arms, abs, shoulders and chest — but leg training has many benefits that go beyond aesthetics. No matter how big your upper body is, Not training your legs will stunt your potential for your overall body. Having small legs will make your physique look odd at the least, if not ridiculous too. I was called chicken legs by a man who was like a second dad to me, my Brooklyn manager Dr Julie Levine who owned R & J Health studio. Those words were rocket fuel for me, it motivated me to prove him wrong, which thank God I did. In bodybuilding contests, judges don’t look at muscle mass in one area — they look at your whole package. This includes proportion and symmetry criteria, so if your legs are lacking, you won’t get far in the bodybuilding game. Even if you’re not looking to compete, small legs don’t look good when you’re at the beach or strutting your stuff in shorts.As you get older your legs become your best friend, helping you get out of a chair or car or bath tub.

For sport and athletic performance, working out your legs is vital, according to a 2013 study. A bigger squat, dead lift and power clean will translate to running faster on the sports field and jumping higher on the basketball court. Even endurance athletes can benefit from stronger legs. You’ll also build strong knee, hip and ankle joints leg training, reducing your risk of injury.

Think you need cardio workouts to burn fat? Think again. Training your legs, particularly with multi-joint compound exercises, burns a higher number of calories than easier upper-body moves such as biceps curls or lateral raises. This leads to increased fat loss, which is also partly caused by the release of hormones you get when training legs. Your leg muscles are so large that this hormonal response can even help you build upper-body muscle mass.

Weight-bearing exercises and resistance training are crucial components in the prevention and management of osteoporosis and arthritis. If you’re using weight training purely to keep bones and joints healthy later in life, do front squats, stiff-legged dead lifts, calf raises, leg presses and any other challenging leg moves that take your fancy. If you’ve been diagnosed with a bone or joint condition, however, and are looking to training to manage your condition, consult with your doctor and a fully qualified trainer before starting a routine.

-Peter N Nielsen


Fitness During the Changing Seasons

The changing seasons can wreak havoc on your work out routine. The milder weather draws us outside for walks, biking, or running, but that can be interrupted by a rainy day. The heat can seem insurmountable, making it harder to get started, or surprisingly chilly — so try having some alternative options in mind. Continue reading Fitness During the Changing Seasons …