Every Accomplishment Starts With The Decision To Try

April 30, 2012

I love this quote by Gail Devers, a three-time Olympic champion in track-and-field.
It’s great because it perfectly points out that in order to achieve something you must believe in yourself, and you should give it a shot.
Once you started, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication will actually get you there.

Everything and anything that seems impossible can easily become your reality, it just depends on how determined you are.
If you’re doing everything you can to achieve it; all your crazy and unreachable dreams can get closer, within reach; and ultimately they become reality.
And once you reach them, set new ones and start again.
There’s really nothing you can’t do if you just set your mind to it!

Double Chocolate Protein Muffins

April 29, 2012

Double Chocolate Protein Muffins
I’m very picky when it comes to chocolate muffins. I almost like only those that my friend Matt’s Nanna makes. They’re truly unbelievable: fluffy, comforting, decadent and (of course) packed with calories. Nanna still lives in Tennessee, hence I can have her awesome muffins only when we go visit.
However, I wanted to create an “IronYou” version of them. That’s why I called up Nanna and kindly asked her for the secret recipe. She gave it to me but made me swear that I would not reveal it. I’m planning on honoring such promise. What you’ll find below it's the healthier version of Nanna’s double chocolate muffins.

Greens Help Repairing Damages Caused By Strenuous Workouts

April 28, 2012

Working out is one of the best things we can do for ourselves, we all know that. And if moderate exercise is good for us, high-intensity training increases dramatically the demand on our bodies and this can cause damages to our DNA.
In other words if you’re an Ironman, a triathlete, an otherwise endurance athlete or just a workout junkie that enjoys putting his body to test quite often (such as myself) you want to be extra careful in addressing the “DNA issues” related to strenuous exercise.
How? According to a new study, published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, from scientists at Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Ulster, eating green leafy veggies (such as watercress) can prevent some of the damage caused by high intensity exercise and help maximise the benefits of a tough workout.
In other words, the more you workout the more green leafy veggies you want to include in your daily eating regimen.

Green Coffee Beans: The Next Miracle Weight-Loss Food?

April 27, 2012

Whenever I hear of a miracle weight-loss food my usual reaction is: “Whatever...” Losing weight entails too many variables in our body for just one single food to work the magic. Eating less, eating better and exercising is what usually works when one wants to drop a few pounds.
But, my beliefs can be wrong, as scientists have just reported striking new evidence that green coffee beans can produce a substantial decrease in body weight in a relatively short period of time.
So that might be it? All we need is to chew some green coffee beans and all our fat-related problems will suddenly disappear?
As usual, it’s not that easy, but there might be something going on here.

Book Review: The Ghost Runner - The Tragedy of the Man They Couldn't Stop

April 26, 2012

This is one of those books you just can’t stop reading once you started. The story is well written and I was so involved I stayed up into the night to finish it. I liked it so much that I keep talking about it to everybody.
In other words, if you really want to read a true inspiring story: that’s your book.
Because this is one of the most moving, engrossing, and tragic, tales in the history of athletics I’ve ever heard of.

The Heath Benefits Of White Button Mushrooms

April 23, 2012

I always considered white button mushrooms as some kind of neutral food. Very light taste, almost calories free but, from a nutritional standpoint, not that relevant.
Boy I was wrong. Not as to taste or calories wise, but nutritionally; as they’re in fact quite special.
And if you think that white button mushrooms represent around 90% of the total mushrooms consumed in the US, well, we can be happy with our eating choices, at least for once.
White buttons mushrooms are said to be a wonder for our immune system, according to a research conducted by scientists funded by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

I Must Eat Slowly, I Must Eat Slowly, I Must Eat Slowly!

April 19, 2012

I don’t know what’s up with me these days. I sit at the table and engorge food as fast as I can. I just can’t help myself.
I know that this is a wrong thing to do. It’s a bad habit. One that I want to break before it’s too late.
In that effort, I did what my elementary school’s teacher forced me to do when I did something wrong at school. I grabbed a piece of chalk and wrote “I must eat slowly” over and over again on the chalkboard...until I became nauseated.
The same way Bart does in the opening sequence of every episode of “The Simpsons”.

Cold-Water Bath: Does It Really Help Recovery?

April 18, 2012

Taking an ice water bath after a strenuous workout is a common practice not only among elite athletes but also with amateurs; in an effort to try to recover faster, and reduce (if not prevent) muscle pain and soreness.
From Ironman World champion Craig Alexander, to professional rugby players and marathoners, the after-workout ice bath has become a standard practice routine.
Before embarking in this rather “unpleasant” experience it's important to know the benefits and the side effects of it.

The Best Tofu Burger

April 17, 2012

Until recently I never bought into the whole tofu burger thing. I mean, can two words be that far apart?
Burger: not very healthy, but delicious, juicy, tasty...in a word, AWESOME.
Tofu: healthy, but blunt, crumbly, tasteless...in three words, NOT REALLY awesome.
Yes, I must confess it: I’m struggling quite a bit with tofu. I mean, great nutrition facts but the taste takes out all the fun from eating (...and for this statement I truly apologize with all you tofu-lovers).
Try asking to a friend/colleague: “Shall we grab a burger for lunch?” -> reaction: smile and probably a “I’m down for it!
Now try asking him/her instead: “Shall we have some tofu for lunch?” -> reaction: puzzled face and probably a “Really? Tofu?
I believe that time has come to reverse this train of thoughts, and prove that tofu can be a good and fun thing to eat. And nothing works better in accomplishing such task than creating a tasty tofu burger.
Now, I’ve tried at least 20 different recipes (I’m not kidding) and, none was up to par with the real thing. Fortunately, I found this one on myrecipes. I tried it and it was pretty damn good.
However, I did made some changes, not only to make it more “IronYou” proof, but also to give it a more meat-like taste.

How Sodas Affect Your Body

April 16, 2012

I haven’t had a soda in years. It’s been so long I can’t actually remember when I had the last one. Thing is I don’t care about sodas. I don’t enjoy the taste, it’s either too sugary or chemical.
Plus the fact that they’re packed with extra calories, colorants, and other stuff, makes them even less appealing to my eyes.
Anyway, I just found this awesome poster on Diet-Blog, on the effects of soft drinks on our health.

Have You Ever Tried Black Garlic?

April 13, 2012

Until 48 hours ago I wasn’t aware that there was a thing such as black garlic. How provincial of me. I used to believe that garlic was just garlic, white cloves wrapped in a white peel. People either love it (me) or hate it (a bunch of my friends). It’s healthy and...it’s white.
Well, now I know that it’s white but it can also be black, like the Oakland Raiders’ uniforms (minus the silver).
Surprisingly, black garlic has even more health benefits than regular white garlic. Oh yes, and it doesn’t give you bad breath.
I bought two small bulbs at Kalustyans on 28th & Lex. I peeled one, looked at the black cloves in amazement, and tried it...it was good, nothing of what I expected but definitely good.
Let’s talk a little bit about it!

Can You Be Addicted To Ice Cream?

April 9, 2012

With the warmer months ahead of us, ice cream will become a preferred sweet treat for many. However, you might want to be careful on eating too much of it, as a recent study conducted by a team of researchers of the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene, Oregon has discovered that ice cream can be addictive in a way similar to drugs.
As per the researchers words:The more you eat ice cream, the more you need to eat in order for your brain to sends signals that it’s enjoying the treat!

Ice Cream Cones

Book Review: You Are An Ironman

April 8, 2012

Today, I want to suggest a very good reading, Ironman-related. You Are An Ironman” by New York Times journalist Jacques Steinberg.
Let’s start by saying that you don’t need to an Ironman nor a triathlete to love this book. This is not one of those run of the mill human interest stories.
The author is not an Ironman finisher, this gives him a valuable outside view and allows him to picture an objective portrayal of this sport.
However, where Mr Steinberg really succeeds is in perfectly pointing out all the life lessons to be learned from the individuals that seek to make their dream come true (i.e., finish an Ironman competition). What they go through: sacrifice, pain, struggle, and joy.
The writing is captivating and reads like a suspense novel; depicting perfectly the emotions and inspiration of an Ironman.
Ultimately this book really inspires one to achieve its own goals, and ultimately become “TheIronYou” (which is what really this blog is about!)

Flourless Protein Chocolate Cookies

April 6, 2012

Dark chocolate is my go-to treat, as long as it’s +70% I can’t resist it.
So you can imagine how excited I was when I came across a recipe for Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies @DivineBaking. The original recipe calls for no flour, butter or oil; just egg whites, cacao, chocolate and sugar.
It’s a pretty genius recipe to begin with, but from an IronYou prospective maybe a bit too high on sugars. That’s why I made few tweaks to ease up on that. I also threw in some protein powder to make it more compatible with my “eating standards”. Few attempts were needed but in the end I was able to come up to a pretty good balance.
Making these cookies is not hard, but it does get messy. The cacao powder flies everywhere in the kitchen, and you should be also willing to get your hands dirty. I baked them together with my girlfriend and we did have a lot of fun (for all the above reasons).
They’re really good: dense, fudgy and delicious. As long as you love dark chocolate these cookies are a no-brainer.

Curious About Triathlon? Give It A Try Indoors

April 2, 2012

People ask me all the time what it’s like to do triathlons. Such as what are the sensations that go through your body while doing it, how tired you are at the end, what is the mental side of it, etc...
A triathlon is quite a unique experience, and I would advise anyone to try at least once in their life.
However, I’m aware that not everybody is willing to buy all the necessary apparel, enter a race and actually compete, just for the sake of giving it a try.
Fortunately there are other ways to try it and get a sense of what it’s like, if you’re interested. My favorite one is to do an indoor triathlon at the gym.
I’ve done it several times with my friends that wanted to give triathlon a try, and it has always been a lot of fun.
In order to do an indoor triathlon all you need is to have a membership at the gym that: has a swimming pool, offers spinning classes and is equipped with treadmills.
I’m aware that not all gyms have indoor swimming pools but, for instance, here in NYC there are quite few that have (located all around the city). If yours doesn’t have it, ask for a complimentary pass to a friend/colleague if their gyms does.

Munching Raisins Helps Lowering Blood Pressure

April 1, 2012

I have an unhealthy addiction to raisins. If I know that there are raisins sitting somewhere in the kitchen I have to eat them. I just can’t help it. 
In an effort to restrain myself, I buy them only once a week. Usually the package doesn’t last during the 12 blocks walk between Whole Foods and my apartment. No kidding, I eat them one after the other like if I was in some sort of raisins withdrawal.
I can’t even claim that I’m some sort of raisins gourmet. No matter if they’re California Golden, Thompson, Red Flame or the more classical Sultanas, as long as they’re raisins I have eat them until the very last one.
Now, I’m aware that raisins are an healthy snack food, a bit packed with sugars, but healthy.

Fortunately for me, today I have one more reason to rejoice of my raisins addiction. According to a study presented on Monday March 26 at the American College of Cardiology's 61st Annual Scientific Session, daily consumption of raisins (i.e., three times a day) may significantly lower blood pressure, especially if compared to eating other common snacks.
This study’s findings become even more exciting if you think that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly one in three American adults (28%) suffers from prehypertension...pretty soon my "raisins addiction club" will have new members!