- Drink at least 1 gallon of water
- Pack or buy some mixed nuts, especially almonds and walnuts, to snack on between main meals
- Walk around the town you are visiting as much as you can
- Squeeze in some plank, crunches and pushups routines for 15 min when you get up in the morning.
- Keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum. (Suggested amount: 1 drink a day)
- Sleep at least 7-8 hours
- Do not use the TV in your room, get out in the city and walk, run, window-shop, people watch, etc.
- Carry an exercise rubber band with you and use it
Why is it that so many people report that travel throws off their fitness routine?Should your travel schedule stop you from being active, fit and healthy? Absolutely not!These are some of the questions I will be addressing in this brief article to help you stick to your wellness and fitness routines even when your busy travel schedule gets in the way. Don’t miss some of the helpful tips on how to keep on moving and exercising when you are traveling.The key word that gets a lot of people discouraged is ROUTINE. Just because we are creatures of habit, does not mean that we cannot create new adaptable routines. While a predictable schedule may help you stick to a routine, when it comes to your wellness and fitness, what matters most is the “FEELING” of being active. So, whether you are at your gym, in your city, or away somewhere in the world, blocking the time to feel good and active is key.Exercise should not be just a physical activity; mentally you need to disconnect to enter a ZONE meant to unplug, let go, reduce stress, and re-energize. By putting greater emphasis into your ZONE (the psychological and emotional space you enter when exercising), you can re-create that space no matter where you are.
Some people will say that eating healthy is their main obstacle when traveling. While it may be a challenge, I know that there are ways to control what you eat and how much you eat. The equation of how many calories you eat vs how many you burn is still under your control and it becomes that more relevant when you travel.Another key aspect to developing an adaptable workout routine is to start thinking of exercise as movement and to move in as many different ways as possible. Variety in movement and exercise translates into joy, and the sense of joy and enjoyment trigger your parasympathetic nervous system and helps create new routines. This is why engaging in a number of exercises makes it easier to stay fit while traveling. Keep movement the ONLY constant during travel. Long walks in parks or city streets, a run first thing in the morning, a hike on the weekend, or movement and stretching exercises in your room, on the rooftop, or in the park. All of these options can be implemented with ease helping you to stay committed to your healthy routines.It is also very helpful to STOP associating being fit with going to the gym and lifting weights. Wellness and fitness are about strength, cardiovascular conditioning, core strength, balance, motor ability and control, flexibility, proprioception all of which can be practiced in the comfort of hotel rooms, nearby parks, or recreational areas where your travel takes you.Movement is not a choire, like going to the gym is often for some people. You need to find types of movement that you enjoy and then practice them wherever you are. It is that simple.As you begin to plan your wellness and fitness routines for your next trip, here are some helpful tips and activities that can help you stay relatively fit while traveling all over the world:NO MORE EXCUSES:I am overwhelmed with work; I need to call home after work; I cannot eat well when traveling; it’s too humid; too cold. Let’s be frank, these types of excuses are just obstacles you are creating for yourself in your life. Wellness and fitness are lifestyle options, and you control them, regardless of where and how much you are traveling.Read More »
Most leaders who work in a complex organization (often a matrix) have had the opportunity to attend leadership development seminars or have received coaching to support their work and performance. Many have used personality assessments such as MBTI, DISC, Firo-B and others in order to address self-awareness, personality preferences, and to better understand their strengths and identify areas for improvement.
However, to truly build leadership capacity requires understanding one’s energy. The paradox in today’s world is that we all wish we had more productive energy in spite of all the tools, gadgets and technology (whistles) that are available to us. Constant technological changes and demands are fragmenting our focus and possibly impacting negatively our behaviour and ability to lead effectively. It’s time to shift focus on an important resource that we could take greater advantage of and actually learn to use wisely – our own energy.
To build energy and develop leadership, we’ve designed and have been delivering a 3-day leadership retreat. We’ve been able to help leaders from all around the world grow their energy and become better leaders and in anticipation for our 3-days Leadership Retreat, we have answered these most frequently asked questions:
How does a leader know if he or she could use a re-boot?
Deep in their gut all leaders know when they are under too much pressure, have a big workload, and their leadership is suffering. Quite possibly if they have a Driver energy pattern, their ego gets in the way or they are too blind to recognize that simple things such as unplugging can make the difference.
It is not uncommon that leaders under these circumstances opt to work harder, longer hours, on weekends and even on vacation. Many end up burning the candle at both ends with, repercussions on their personal relationships, health, and performance. In a lot of organizations today, Human Resources and Talent Management groups will come to the rescue offering personal coaching to support their top performing leaders. However rebooting is something that is done to you or for you, it is something that leaders must commit themselves do doing for themselves. Ultimately, it is up to the leaders themselves to accept the support and commit to making the “Self” a priority. So if you are a leader who has a hard time coming up for air these days, who is often working on weekends and you struggle to regain your own energy, you may be ready for a reboot.
Why can’t leaders just re-boot on their own?
Our habits are ingrained within us and difficult to change. Many efforts from leaders to re-boot fail because frankly, it’s just too hard to change. This is why we have created a 3-day experience with experts in change to break current habits and provide guidance on how best to regain not just any energy but the right energy for what they are seeking to create in their leadership. If you believe you are too busy to re-boot, or are convinced that re-booting is only a band aid approach, then all the more reason why you cannot do it on your own. Because of how busy and demanding your job is, leaders tend to sacrifice themselves and power through day in and day out. A coach, or a well-structured workshop can assist them, increase their self-awareness, reinforce and support the need for guidance.
Why 3 days?
Re-booting needs to be a regular part of a leader’s professional life – not a drastic measure used when you are too miserable and overly stressed. Being able to unplug for three days to prioritize yourself is the first step in a process that will teach you how to understand your energy and tap into the various patterns connecting the body and the mind in meaningful ways. During the three days you have a chance to slow down, introspect, find commonalities with other leaders and practice assisted by experts in leadership coaching, wellness and movement.
What is leadership energy and why is it important?
Leadership energy in “superhero” terms is that special gift that motivates others to follow us, or allow us to guide them, to encourage, and to inspire them. That energy needs to be cultivated, protected, respected and regenerated.
During our retreat, we utilize FEBI, an exceptional tool that allows leaders to make the connections between mind and body and ultimately affect their behaviour consistently. Each energy pattern (Driver, Organizer, Collaborator & Visionary) can be explored with kinesthetic movement that will allow leaders to access and harness the most conducive type of energy to the task on hand. It is like having a tool kit or a specialized team that comes to your rescue, especially during critical times when your team looks up to you for leadership. Once these energy patterns have been embodied it is much easier to make shift happen.
Picture used with permission from FEBIassessment.com website
How do you assess a leader’s energy?
FEBI is a validated psychometric assessment that measures four energy patterns. It is easily completed online answering 144 questions, a report will identify and explain your “Home Pattern” along with the other patterns that you are less dominant in. With the help of a certified coach great insights can be obtained along practice of all four energy patterns, how to tap into them, how to use the right energy for the right situation, as well as how to recognize energy in others.
What is the best way to grow/develop your leadership capacity/capability?
When you look at how fast-paced our world and work environments are, it is even more crucial to go back to the basics, pull the plug to go inside and assess the what, how and why. But of course going back to the basic doesn’t not always mean that is the easiest thing to do. Leadership capacity and capability need to be cultivated and practiced, much like full deep breathing and meditation. A much needed start is to assess and understand your energy patterns. The FEBI (Focus, Energy, Balance, Indicator), unlike other assessments which are mainly accessible and understood cognitively, uses the body and movement to harness its energy. If, as leaders, we can recognize that we work as a very complex system, than we can appreciate that its functioning depends on the quality and quantity of leadership energy available to us.
Energy is produced and expanded and in order to reproduce it we have to take careful necessary steps. This is where a leader, much like an athlete, needs to keep practicing to keep fit, capable and performing at the top of his or her game. A leader needs to develop a SELF ROUTINE, a time and space where he or she is the only focus. We have found that practicing movement in all of the four FEBI patterns keeps us centered, motivated, relaxed, agile, and fuelled.
Now is the time to get back in control of your own best renewable resource – your energy. We’ve designed a two and a half day retreat that uses FEBI as the starting gate to getting leaders back in the driver’s seat and ready for our increasingly volatile, complex, high pressure world.
The Leadership Gym: An Urban Retreat
Join us in Munich on May 11-13, 2017
Facilitators: Antimo Cimino & Susanne Taylor
For more in depth information about the FEBI assessment, please check http://febiassessment.comRead More »
Travel + Italy + Wellness + Nature + Healthy Food + Culture
If you are traveling to Italy this summer and would like to join me for four incredible days in one of Italy’s most beautiful region consider getting in touch. I will be leading a Wellness Retreat in Abruzzo, a region east of Rome in the very heart of Italy also known as the Gran Sasso National Park. Nature at its best with rolling hills and mountains, centuries old medieval towns and castles, incredible genuine organic food and outstanding wines, this region is the perfect destination to unplug and relax!
Imagine being able to travel to Italy and see the most popular cities you always wanted to check out and then escape the touristy crowds to immerse yourself in nature, mingle with locals and learn about their wellness and healthy lifestyle. In collaboration with our on-the-ground partners Wolftour, I will be leading these four days starting every morning with healthy breakfasts, mediation and movement around the swimming pool while enjoying breathtaking views. I will be guiding the group through breathing, meditation and movement exercises that will facilitated internal peace and focus as well as create an environment suitable for grown and transformation.
The four days can be attached before or after your vacation to Italy. Every day we will be eating the most incredible food often cooked with your own hands, with produce right outside your room. Throughout these four days we will meet wonderful locals who will teach us how to make pasta or bake an Italian pie all within a wellness framework that focuses on total wellness, Mind, Body, Emotions, and Spirit. We will adventure for hikes along rivers to check out waterfalls and ancient ruins and much more.
What is included:
• Accommodation in B&B on the hills + Swimming Pool + Meals
• Transportation on site (Pick up and drop off service available at additional cost)
• Guided Meditation + Breathing exercises + Movement + Yoga Flow
• Hiking adventures + Nature Trips
• Healthy cooking class
• Organic produce/ingredients
• Tips and framework about Wellness & Healthy lifestyle
• Candle light Dinner
Wellness Retreat Details
Where: Penne, Italy When: September 2-6th 2016
Day 1 – September 2nd
Arrival + Check-in
Welcome drink – Preparing your body & mind for wellness
Day 2 – September 3rd
Juicing + Breakfast
FEBI Energy & Yoga Flow by the pool
Hiking to Waterfall + Cheese Tasting
Gratitude & Meditation
Cooking lesson + Dinner
Day 3 – September 4th
Juicing + Breakfast
Stretching + Yoga Flow around the pool
Nature trip to Farindola
Lunch at “La Spiaggetta”
Meditation and Art – Painting with nature in Collalto
Day 4 – September 5th
Juicing + Breakfast
Core – Stretching – Breathing
Trip to Campo Imperatore
Nordic Walking to Rocca Calascio
Cooking class + closing dinner
Day 5 – September 6th
Juicing + Breakfast
Closing: Meditation and Gratitude
10:30 AM – END OF RETREAT
For further information or to book your spot, please contact me at: Antimo@voomago.com
To preview the video of the region click the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wil6PqRHUoQRead More »
Today more than ever before, people who love to travel are concerned with visiting crowded cities especially in Europe. The current political landscape should not prevent you from traveling and enjoying life, if anything it should force you to make better choices when it comes to WHERE TO TRAVEL, and maybe even HOW TO TRAVEL.
Anything can happen no matter where in the world you are, but it does help to spend time in places that are far from being a target for attacks. Have you ever trusted a local to show you their hometown, introduce you to locals, prepare meals for you and take you to places that one could never find online?
For years I have been showing my region (Puglia) to tourists from North America mainly, who have enjoyed it well beyond their expectations. Take Kirk for instance, a first timer to Italy, who decided to skip the typical touristy circuit and spend two weeks (one in the South and one in the North) immersed in the culture.
“I must first begin by saying the sum of the parts of our 2+ week experience in Italy was simply beyond any expectation I could have held. Antimo is the archetype of a person following a passion, even a calling. That he is so eager to share his world in Italy, and his experiences in many other amazing destinations, with interested travelers is not necessarily unique. What is unique is his dedication to the overall experience. Antimo is not merely importing tourists to places and people important to him and to his clients. He is also importing their experiences to those destinations.
It is called experiential travel for a very good reason. We shared moments, meals and a measure of humanity with so many people he choose to connect us with on this journey. Of course we took hundreds of pictures and saw some marvelous, ancient pieces of our history as humans but that was not the magic for me. The magic was the connection in those shared moments.”
My interest, joy, and passion is to create emotional moments and exchange between two or more cultures, to have people experience one another as people, interacting authentically and with pride, sharing their know-how and cultural heritage. By putting human interaction at the center of the travel experience, lives can be transformed and those unable to travel, end up traveling vicariously through those who can.
If you wish to join one of my upcoming trips in September 2016 or would like to have me plan your future travels, feel free to drop me a line (Antimo@voomago.com).
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This blog is an immediate reaction and reflection on the subject of Movement and Fitness after reading “This is It” by Alan Watts. Below is a brief thought-provoking opening from his book, Chapter 2:
“From the moment of birth it is only a matter of weeks for little birds to fly, ducklings to swim, kittens to hunt and climb trees, and young monkeys to swing in the branches. Though these creatures live much shorter lives than men, proportionately it takes them only a fraction of the time required for the civilized human being to learn the essential arts of life. For them the mere fact of existence seems to guarantee the skills for survival, and one might almost say that its techniques are built into their bodies. But for human beings, survival in the context of a civilized community demands the mastery of an art of thinking, learning, and choosing which takes up about a quarter of the average span of life….The difference is roughly that action by instinct is spontaneous, whereas action by intelligence involves a difficult process of analysis, predictions, and decision.”
It is now 2016, and in spite of all the advances in technology that have increased life expectancy, I cannot help it than ponder often on the fact that the quality of life has likely decreased. Think about it! A baby immediately outside the womb of his caring mother screams and moves as he or she enters the world, and much like the animals Alan mentions in Chapter 2, he or she learns instinctively to move about the world each and every day kinesthetically. But then a few years later, the reverse happens. So I am here to challenge you by asking: What is it that gets in the way of your kinesthetic learning?
The answer is very simple, only You. Your priorities switch only to regret it years later when you are unable to move effectively, not aging gracefully, or living as a couch potato. We are either too absorbed in our work routines or our social media life that we sacrify constantly our need to move, stay fit and healthy and unavoidably realize that it is too late when you reach your 50’s or 60’s. Your neuromuscular and skeletal system cannot thrive when you are inactive, to keep it healthy you just have to move in different ways. I invite you to think of movement as nourishment essential to your bones, nerves, and muscles. Add vitality, passion, and creativity to your fitness routines.
Movement is for life! To be fit and healthy one has to move in functional ways that keep your body flexible, strong and able to adapt. The best athletes are those who integrate all sorts of movement into their specialty, increase their movement repertoire, are driven, and have a low injury incident. It should be no surprise to learn that succesful tennis players or boxers have studied dance, martial arts, capoeira and other forms of movement that have only made them into complex, adaptable, and agile athletes. You don’t need to be an athlete, all you need to do is MOVE.
Our body is often only stopped by our mind. Always remember that the body and the mind work in unison, one cannot exist or function without the other. Learning new movement on an ongoing basis keeps your motor skills sharp, increases brain function, and creates efficiencies in our body. It is unfortunate that functional movement, mental focus, passion, and creativity are often underrated in mainstream fitness and performance, but trust me, a fit mind yields a fit body. Make a paradigm shift, think of movement as nourishment. Your body is more than energy drinks, reps, protein powder and calories, it is about vitality, passion, balance, and adaptation.
I would be happy to work with you and help you reach a new level of fitness and wellness.
Ask anyone who has travelled extensively in their lives, regardless of budget, if they would trade a vacation in another country with a valuable gadget or object, and almost everyone will anser HELL NO!
Instant gratification is a widespread need in our society and so is peer pressure and the constant comparison to who has more than us. Sadly, however surrounding ourselves with more materialistic things is not healthy nor is a synonym of happiness. Imagine, how many trips in various parts of the world you could buy if you resisted the temptation of buying more things you really can do without. I personally, have manage to go on two international trips a year even on a modest salary.
Life is about experiences that stimulate all your emotions and play over and over in your subconscious bringing you unparalleled happiness, contentment, and growth. What would you like your legacy to be? The one of a trendy person who always had the best of the best or one of countless friends spread all over the world who have many memories and stories about how you made them feel.
Don’t be deceived though, life is not a popularity contest, life is a tapestry of happy moments that you accumulate over time. What you have, does not follow you, who you are remains with you for eternity! I don’t mean to brag, but with little means and A LOT of hard work, by age 34 I spoke 6 languages and lived in 5 countries and I have myriads of friends I stay in close touch with. I would not replace that with anything and If I had a choice I would go through the adversities that I had to overcome all over again!
If you want to adventure to a foreign country and immerse yourself with the culture, values, traditions, and the people in the most authentic ways, www.voomago.com is a fantastic start.
If you are planning to travel to Italy in the future and your language repertoire only includes Grazie, Buongiorno, Arrivederci, Bella, and Pizza you may want to consider learning more Italian, here is why.
- Italians LOVE it when you try to speak in their language mostly because to us you sound incredibly sexy and charming with an accent that screams ” So cute….oh my God adorable”.
- The fact that you are trying immediately implies sensitivity and shows respect for the culture.
- Your ability to say a few things literally opens up people’s hearts and transforms your experience opening the door to better richer interactions.
- If you adventure outside of touristy cities such as Venezia, Firenze, Roma into small towns, it will be much harder to find people who speak English.
- Learning some basic Italian adds spice and adventure to your trip.
- Easy your stress and have fun
- People in general will treat you even better than they normally would
While there are many ways you can learn Italian (CDs, classes, online etc), nothing will replace learning from a Native. I have personally taught Italian for the past 20 years both in College, for continuing education programs, to businesses and privately and absolutely love it. I speak 6 languages and this ability helps me teaching Italian to foreigners even better.
Have you ever thought of learning Italian from the comfort of your office at lunch break, or in the evening from the comfort of your couch, or on weekends while having coffee? On Skype we can do that and you will be amazed how much you can learn. I am happy to discuss a program for individuals, couples, families or even group of friends who want to learn Italian with me on Skype.
The benefits of learning a different language extend well beyond being useful while traveling. It is incredibly good to keep your brain sharp and healthy, in fact medical studies show that learning a second language delays brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer. Another common benefit, that most don’t even think about it, is the improvement of your first language. When we speak our first language we no longer think of grammar, rules, unlike when you learn another language, so by default in the process of learning Italian you also improve your mother tongue.
Finally, think of what a great achievement it would be to learn even just a little bit of another language and travel to that country and experience it with greater joy mingling with locals and building more confidence in your newly acquired language ability.
I would be proud to teach you Italian, please let me know if you have any questions by reaching me at: Antimo@voomago.com
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Let’s face it, you don’t have to be rich to eat well and healthy. You simply have to make smart choices. While tight budgets can force you to make poor choices sometimes with a little creativity and by relying on your abilities and intelligence you can come up with amazing meals you can be very proud of. Oh and one more thing, this year stop thinking about food and start thinking about nutrition instead!
To help you eat well on a budget I have put together the tips below to inspire you and guide you. I have done this times and times again in my own life. In fact, I am following all of these tips right now as I build my own business as a fitness, wellness and nutrition coach and after loosing my corporate job. Trust me, and above all, trust yourself, it works!
1. Cook on weekends
Life can get very busy while trying to fulfill a number of obligations, but eating healthy and staying healthy should be pretty high on your list. Not everyone has the time to prepare meals from scratch but let’s be real, cooking at home can definitely stretch your food dollars. Shop on friday night and cook a few of your work meals (if not all of them) on the weekend. If you make it fun and creative it will not feel like a chore. Restaurants and takeout while convenient, are NOT an economical way to eat NOR is it healthy.
2. Shop for fresh produce at Asian Markets
Scour your town or city for Asian markets, or ask your Asian friends and colleagues where they shop. You will find out not only how affordable they are, they also offer a very large variety of fresh veggies, fruits and ingredients that are either hard to find in your regular store or cost a fortune. I personally, drive 20 minutes away from my house to go to a Vietnamese store on the other side of town (Portland, OR) to shop for my veggies, herbs, fresh fruits, and frozen fish from New Zealand, Thailand or Vietnam. I typically spend $50-60 dollars but I walk out with 4-5 bags of groceries that last me for two weeks.
3. There are always items on sale
Who cares if you use coupons to get discounts on the food you buy. Why not shot for specials and on sale items? Every local grocery store has weekly specials, sign up to receive their coupons in the mail. Every week, peruse the flier for deals and the go shopping for the foods and produce you need.
4. Buy food from the bulk section
Don’t be brainwashed so easily by brand advertising. Take some green options and buy certain nutritious foods in bulk, especially those you eat a few times per week, for instance, rice, oats, cereals, nuts, flower, spices etc… Buying in bulk can save significant money and just so you realize the amount of savings, just run a price comparison next time you shop.
5. Visit your local farmer’s markets
Farmer’s markets, especially from April to October, are the perfect place for super fresh, in-season and cheaper produce. Over the years, I have gone always to the same 2-3 stands hence developing a great relationship with the farmers. The result? Better quality, better prices, and always something extra thrown into my back because of the return business and trust in them.
6. Healthy alternative and affordable protein
You don’t have to shop for cheap meat that normally is low in quality and not that good for you. While good meat, poultry and fish are great sources of complete proteins and are usually expensive, you do not have to deprive yourself completely. You can cut back and save some cash and explore alternative healthy protein such as eggs, yogurt,cottage cheese, beans, legumes, nuts, and whey protein.
7. Transform you leftovers into tasty breakfasts
It is always a good idea to have leftovers, but what I suggest you is, find way to create a new dish with them rather than just having the same food the next day. So for instance, lets say you made risotto with some italian sausage and mushrooms, the following morning beat two eggs with some fresh parsley, grated parmesan cheese and some cream and add it to a sauce pan with your leftover risotto. Enjoy a pretty incredible and tasty frittata for breakfast or lunch.
I hope you have found some motivation and inspirations. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Happy Cooking Everyone!Read More »
Every year around this time, everyone starts thinking about a New Year’s resolution. A time of the year when that desire to improve the self kicks in and opens the door to an opportunity to change your life for the better. Some of us look back to evaluate what we need to improve or do differently in the next year. Others will think of something completely new that adds quality to their life. Well we all know how it is easier said than done, right? Likely, I am here to help you with that challenge!For example, take the usual new years resolution about improving your fitness and wellness and getting into shape. Have you ever read statistics about New Year’s resolution? I did a search when I thought about writing on this topic to find out that one in three Americans plan to better themselves in the next year somehow. Turns out that 75% of people stick to their resolution only for about a week and approximately 45% of them are sticking to it six month later.
We all know that making a Fitness & Wellness new years resolution is not easy and that most struggle to make it stick past 2-3 weeks. Regardless of your specific goal here are a few tips to help you commit to your Fitness and Wellness and truly change your life.
- Choose a personal trainer that is well-rounded in his/her knowledge of movement, the body, and fitness
- Sign up and commit to at least a three months program to help you build new routines and stick with them
- Write down your goal and make it very clear to your personal trainer that you want him/her to hold you accountable, not the other way around
- Above all make sure that the time with your trainer is fun and rewarding at many levels (Body, Mind, Spirit)
- Immerse yourself with enthusiasm in your fitness practice
- Choose a partner or a friend to join you on some of your personal training session
- Create a positive conducive environment by surrounding yourself with people who inspire you to stay positive and motivated.
- Celebrate every tiny achievement and progress toward your final goal
- Finally make sure that your personal trainer has the knowledge and experience to coach and help you through behaviour adaptation and change
Lets not forget that your Fitness & Wellness extend well beyond your body. A healthy, focused, and free of stress mind can only positively contribute to your ability to sustain your efforts and reach your goal.
Finally, eating well and healthy is another essential part of this equation. So treat your body right, only feed it healthy, natural foods, cut out sugary treats, sodas, and junk that will set your goal back and affect negatively your Fitness and Wellness.
Let me know if you have questions, I am here to help you succeed!
If you choose me as your personal trainer, I promise I will help you create a new lifestyle that can make the difference you are seeking, putting your body, mind, fitness, and wellness back in the center.
There are many readers out there who want to know more about superfoods and what constitutes good nutrition. If you are one of them and are looking into improving your nutrition lifestyle, know that it is totally fair to be wondering how a fitness nutritionist goes about his or her own nutrition, personally I would expected to be asked.
As a certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition I have decided to stir away from indoctrination and stay true to the roots when it comes to my nutrition choices. My entire life, due to my upbringing on a farm, I have always gone to the source when choosing the types of foods and ingredients I put into my body. That source you may wonder? Simple, NATURE. I consider marketing messages very carefully when making decision, so I read, research, and test things on my own. My slogan when it comes to nutrition is Fresh, Natural, Clean, Nutritious and Tasty.
My habit of selecting foods from nature have grown stronger especially after meeting people such as Mose, the Herbalist and Medical Herb doctor who lives in the heart of the jungle on the island of Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean, and most recently Linda, a medice woman in a small village nestled in the jungle in Mexico. Moses is often visited by researchers from major pharmaceutical companies who I am sure could not find a better source of knowledge when it comes to natural herbs and their healing properties.
What I have learned from Moses, Linda, and other humble locals around the world has only solidified my belief about cooking with fresh ingredients, herbs, and produce as well as healing and preventative care. The knowledge from locals who inherited their traditions from several generations back is priceless, knowledge one could never buy from any school or institution. All of these locals happily share their knowledge and gift and now it is my turn to share it with you. Below are some tips and health benefits about each of the produce, fruits, herbs or roots. (On the side: Muntingia Calabura or Jamaican berry)
Both the fruit and the leaves are incredibly beneficial in preventing and fighting cancer. Eating fresh soursop and drinking tea made from simmering the leaves boosts your immune system like no others and help get rid of infections in your body. The cream obtained from mashing smoothing soursop leaves is excellent to treat eczema and rheumatism and is also a great natural analgesic and anti-inflamatory. Many locals I have personally meet in Indonesia, Dominica, and Mexico have shared these healing properties with me. (Soursop can be found in Asian stores, fresh or frozen)
I have harvested and eaten dandelions endless times when I was back at home in Southern Italy with my parents (I still do when I visit) and yet here in the USA, sadly, all that people think of them as an invasive, pervasive, and threatening weed that kills lush green loans. Dandelions are very rich in vitamin C, B6, A, D, calcium, phosphorus, thiamin, riboflavin, iron (critical in the generation of red blood cells), potassium (great regulator of heart rate and blood pressure) and protein (more than in spinach). Consider this annoying weed a super food that can help your kidneys purify your system, stimulate appetite and promote digestion, improve liver functions, great antioxidant and HDL booster, also effective in fighting cancer. (Dandelions are okay to be harvest in the wild away from pesticides)
(R & L: Tumeric )
When I travel to tropical places coconut water is the number one liquid I use to hydrate myself with. Not only it is fresh (as opposed to processed and canned) it is delicious and super cheap. Last month in Mexico I paid $1 for a fresh coconut, drank the water and enjoyed the coconut meat knowing that I was getting the following benefits: rich font of potassium, sodium, manganese, calcium, selenium and magnesium. It is also the best skin topical you can consume, facilitates digestion, gives you a boost in energy, regulates blood pressure, and most incredible of all, it is the purest isotonic solution that can be found, in fact in case of emergencies, it can be given to humans intravenously to rehydrate the body the fastest way possible. (Buy only fresh coconut water at your Asian stores)
MoringaOn my last trip to Mexico, while interacting with a medicine woman at a local farmers marked in the jungle, I discovered and learned everything about the nutritional and healing properties of this incredible plant. Many people, especially old generations eat a seed every day to keep healthy, infection and disease free. This is perhaps the most amazing power and storehouse of nutrients in the world as well a well sought-after natural medicinal chemical in the world. The leaves, roots, flowers and seeds of this plant are all edible, all very rich in healthy antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds, vitamin C, A, B2, B6, iron, potassium, calcium and protein. (Shop for it online)
Noni (See picture below)
Another fruit found in many Asian, Latin countries and Islands around planet Earth often referred as cheese fruit because its taste and smell is much like a pungent blue cheese . The juice from the Noni fruit, wether extracted or derived from fruit fermenting in the sun for 3 months has amazing healing properties as an immune system booster, infection and inflammation fighter, pain reducer (especially good for hacking joints), keeps your gut, intestines and colon healhy, anti-depressant, and anti-bacterial. I have met many native elderlies who take a dose of Noni juice every day as it rich in phytochemicals and because it stimulates the production of nitric oxide critical for the fight against cancerous cells.
I have been using Maca for a few years now since learning about its use in South East Asia. Maca is a root from Peru’ rich in vitamin B, C, and E also rich in zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and amino acids. It is most popular for its libido stimulating properties in both men and women, it increases endurance, balances hormones and increases fertility especially in women. It is also an energy booster and mood enhancer as well as beneficial for clearing skin acne. (Found in mady naturepath stores)
Finally, I hope you find the information of great use. I use on a regular basis all of the ingredients above especially anytime I can find them in natural form. However, when I am not able to find them fresh, I look for very good clean supplement products that contain all of these superfoods. The one I trust and use daily is Royal Jelly from Revivify along with other products they have as they are very clean, gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, and GMO free. Check their products out, I am a firm believer! Use the following code(Nutrition@Revivify) and you will get an additional 10% off.