Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's About Time! Company and Products Review!



Company Spotlight- ABOUT TIME

Anyone who is a fan of protein powders can understand the excitement of finding new flavors and trying new brands. There is much variability across brands and flavors (as anyone that has tried at least 2 different chocolate flavors can attest to). It is so exciting  finding a brand that emphasizes quality and uses ingredients that aren't full of chemical additives. Therefore, you can imagine how excited I was to try the About Time's products!

ABOUT TIME make a variety of amazing whey protein products that taste great. Besides being chemical, additive and SUGAR FREE, all their products are also 100% cold pressed, micro-filtered whey isolates, and they use stevia as a sweetener! This is great for anyone that is opposed to using artificial sweeteners, doesn't want the empty calories that come with sugar, has medical issues, wants something that is natural, or are watching blood glucose (blood-sugar) levels.

First up, their Protein Powder! These come in a variety of 'styles'-- from a tub, individual packets with 1 serving in them (so convenient and portable), to their pre-portioned "Shake, Fill, and Go" version.

Protein 2 lbs tubs
Whey Protein Isolate
The tubs are 2 lbs, and come in 11 delicious flavors:
- Peanut Butter
- Banana
- Chocolate Peanut Butter *NEW FLAVOR
- Unflavored Whey Isolate * New Flavor
Birthday Cake?! I was so excited to see this flavor, along with the Peaches and Cream, Banana, and Peanut butter! I love cooking/baking with protein- and these made amazing protein cakes, protein pancakes, loaves, muffins, shakes, protein pudding, protein frosties, protein ice cream, protein frosting... I could go on and on. Mixed into rtd sugar free pudding, Greek Yogurt, Cottage cheese, Ricotta... amazing

Fill, Shake, and Go
Shake N Go Bottles

The "Fill, Shake, and Go" containers have individual servings already portioned out in a ready-to-drink container. All you do is add you liquid of choice! These only come in 7 flavors (no peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter, or unflavored).

 Single Serve Packages
Single Serve Packets

These are also a fantastic way to try the product, and they are so convenient to carry around in your purse/bag etc! These also come in the 7 flavors, and what I LOVE about these is that you can mix and match flavors, or get a multi pack!
Meal Replacement Bars
These bars are made fresh and as all of their products, contain no artificial ingredients. They are sweetened with Agave Nectar, and are therefore low glycemic. So far these only come in two flavors:
- Carob and Coconut

Each bar contains 21grams of whey isolate and 4 grams of fiber:
I have been trying to suggest they make some smaller "snack" bars around 120-200 calories, and add more flavors.

Lastly, they also have little black athletic t shirts, which I think are adorable.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Protein Basics: The Building Block of the Body

I get a lot of questions regarding the function and significance of protein, and how it affects the human body. I decided to do a basic protein 101 for this reason. Please keep in mind this is just the basics of protein; it has myriads of amazing applications and benefits in the body

Protein: The Building Block of the Body

With all the rampant misinformation that has been presented--from diet books to talk shows, there is much confusion regarding "protein" in general. Proteins are the building blocks of our body, and they are one of the major macronutrients essential to our functioning and survival (the others are: fat and carbohydrates; vitamins, minerals and water). In this short article, I hope to provide information about protein: what it is, why it is so important, what it does, and why we need it.
What is its function?
The main job of protein is building, maintaining, and repairing tissue; synthesizing (creating) hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters; carrying out most metabolic and physiological functions, and providing us with energy. Getting enough protein is vital to our bodies for repair and recovery of all functions. In fact, we are made of protein-- our hair, ligaments, nails, muscles, organs, and every part of our body are made of protein and depend on it to function. Without protein, we could not grow!
What is a protein? Getting down to the basics!  [1]   [2]

]   [2]

[1] Protein amino acid chain.
[2] The primary structure of a protein, comprised of a chain of amino acids.

Protein comes from the Greek word "protas", meaning of "prime importance". A protein is made up of complex chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. There are 20 amino acids (some believe there are 21, and there are 2-3 more not in humans), nine of which are considered "essential". What this means is the body cannot make these amino acids by itself and needs to derive them from outside sources. Non-essential amino acids are the amino acids your body can manufacture; however, when we are under severe stress or experiencing rapid growth, six of these non-essential amino acids cannot be created by our bodies. Many people confuse the term "non-essential" to mean that you do not need these for survival. All this means is that your body can create these amino acids (non-essential), and therefore it is not essential that you obtain them from other sources. The quality of a protein is determined by whether or not it is complete. The degree to which a protein can be used by the body to perform one of its functions is based on the amounts of essential amino acids it contains, and by how complete it is.
A protein is called complete when it contains all nine essential amino acids. There are two types of proteins: animal protein and vegetable protein. All animal protein is considered "complete" protein because it has all nine essential amino acids. Vegetable protein, with the exception of soy foods, is considered an incomplete protein. This means that it doesn't contain all the essential amino acids, and thus isn't "complete". However, you can combine various vegetable proteins with each other or with animal proteins and create a complete protein if they contain adequate amounts of the complementary missing essential amino acids! Some examples of animal proteins include meat (all meat, whether from fish, poultry, beef, turkey, lamb etc), dairy (cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, whey protein), and eggs (in fact, egg whites are one of the only foods that are 100% pure protein, and do not contain one of the other macronutrients, such as carbohydrates or fat). Some examples of vegetable proteins include soy foods (soya, edamame, Tempeh); Quinoa (this is an ancient grain that contains a high percentage of protein), chick peas; legumes and pulses (lentils, black eye peas); nuts, seeds and some cereals. Although some of these vegetable proteins do contain all the essential amino acids, the amounts are not sufficient to properly perform their functions, and therefore must be combined with other proteins to become complete.


Why do we need protein?
Protein is the only macronutrient which provides us with Nitrogen, without which we could not exist! As mentioned previously, protein serves many important functions in the body, and is essential for every type of cell in our body. These functions can be distilled into either "catabolism" of proteins (breakdown), or "anabolism" (building up) of protein. Protein is necessary for all structure and building, and is considered the "body tissue nutrient". Anabolism occurs when amino acids are put together to build a protein, and all the amino acids needed are present. If the required amino acid is not present, then the protein cannot be formed. Catabolism takes place when we break down a protein into its constituent amino acids. Proteins are our bodies' last source of energy, and they are broken down only in the event we do not have sufficient stores of carbohydrates or fats to properly fuel us. When we break down proteins (catabolic action), we release energy.
How much do we need?
Protein needs vary vastly by age, growth rates, activity level, lifestyle, genetics, metabolism and biological factors. If we are more active, we require more protein to adequately repair the tissue we have broken down in the process. We also need more protein when we are sick, because it helps boost our immune health, while helping recover and repair our weakened bodies. People who are undergoing surgery, recovering from illness, trauma, or disease all require higher amounts of proteins as well. Although official 'government health' institututes point to a lesser amount, the general consensus is 1gram of protein to 1 lbs of body weight (more if you are active). So if you weigh 120lbs, you should ingest 120g of protein from all sources a day.
As you can see, protein truly is of "prime importance" to us, and it serves several extremely important functions. Protein enables cellular growth and repair, and is necessary for every single cell in our body.

[1] Protein amino acid chain.
[2] The primary structure of a protein, comprised of a chain of amino acids.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New hope for brain tumor sufferers? Research looks at Glioblastomas and Indirubin

The statistics on the pervasiveness of cancer and its effects are devastating. Unfortunately, not knowing someone who has been effected by cancer has become the exception. I am posting the following article in its entirety. Although we know of no cures, I believe there is hope and that we must never stop looking. Knowing that research is constantly being done may not provide much comfort and solace to those who are currently suffering --nor to their family members who suffer along with them, but it may provide hope that one day we may uncover some answers, or better yet, a cure. The more theories we put out there, the more theories we disprove, the more information and knowledge we gain. Hopefully this we eventually lead to a cure. I am posting this article because I have long believed in alternate forms of medicine, and believe that they are definitely worth exploring just as viably as pharmacological forms of treatment. I believe that information is critical to empowering yourself. Glioblastomas are especially insidious as they can 'migrate' to other areas of the brain. This new possible treatment may block the spread of these malignant cells while concurrently stopping the formation of blood vessels that feed the tumor.
Ohio State University Medical Center

Indirubin -- Component Of Chinese herbal remedy might block brain tumor's spread

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The active ingredient in a traditional Chinese herbal remedy might help treat deadly brain tumors, according to a new study by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).
The researchers discovered that the compound, indirubin, both blocks the migration of glioblastoma cells, preventing their spread to other areas of the brain, and the migration of endothelial cells, preventing them from forming the new blood vessels that the tumor needs to grow.
Glioblastomas occur in about 18,500 Americans annually and kill nearly 13,000 of them yearly. Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and lethal form of the malignancy, with an average survival of 15 months after diagnosis.
The research is published online in the journal Cancer Research.
"We have pretty good methods to stop glioblastoma from growing in the human brain, but these therapies fail because tumor cells migrate from the original site and grow elsewhere in the brain," says co-principal investigator Dr. E. Antonio Chiocca, professor and chair of neurological surgery and co-director of the Dardinger Center for Neuro-oncology and Neurosciences.
"Our findings suggest that indirubins offer a novel therapeutic strategy for these tumors that simultaneously targets tumor invasion and angiogenesis," Chiocca says.
"This study shows for the first time that drugs of the indirubin family may improve survival in glioblastoma, and that these agents inhibit two of the most important hallmarks of this malignancy – tumor-cell invasion and angiogenesis," says co-principal investigator Dr. Sean Lawler, senior scientist and group leader of the Translational Neurooncology Group at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine.
Indirubin is derived from the Indigo plant. It is the active ingredient in the Chinese herbal remedy called Dang Gui Long Hui Wan, which is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia.
Chiocca, Lawler and their collaborators used multiple glioblastoma cell lines and two animal models to examine three derivatives of indirubin. Key findings include the following:
  • When human glioblastoma cells were transplanted into one brain hemisphere of mice, indirubin-treated animals survived significantly longer than controls and showed no migration of tumor cells to the opposite hemisphere.
  • In a separate experiment, indirubin reduced the migration of tumor cells by 40 percent in treated animals versus controls.
  • Treated tumors showed a lower density of blood vessels, and new blood-vessel growth was reduced up to three-fold in intracranial tumors, depending on the tumor-cell line.
  • A laboratory assay showed that indirubins reduced endothelial-cell migration by 52 to 41 percent compared with untreated controls.
"Overall, our findings suggest that indirubins reduce tumor invasion and tumor vasculature because of their antimigratory effects on both tumor and endothelial cells," Chiocca says.

Indirubin -- Component Of Chinese herbal remedy might block brain tumor's spread

Friday, July 8, 2011

In the mean time, try this....

Take a scoop of protein powder (I used Cookies and Cream, Chocolate Fudge, Rich Vanilla or Cake Batter), and mix it with unsweetened Cocoa Powder, oat fiber, or something like Fibersmart of 4Fiber and sweetener of choice. You can add Peanut Flour, fitnutz or PB2/Coconut Flour or Almond meal as well!
 Mix this with some melted 70% dark chocolate with a bit of sugar free syrup of flavor drop /extract added and cinnamon.
This can set/freeze into fudge. Add Almond butter if you want.
This will microwave/bake into a flourless dark chocolate cake/brownie (you can add a bit of baking soda or powder if you want and wheat bran.

Also optional, add Genesis Today's Coco Cacao.

If you want to make 'Haystacks', add this to a lot of coconut shreds, fiber one cereal, rice crispies, shredded wheat or wheatabix(SO GOOD-  Barbara's Bakery have no added sugars! Just 100% whole wheat kernels! Kashi makes some called Autumn Wheat and Arrowhead Mills have no added sugar either).

I personally love mixing it into GG SCANDINAVIAN BRAN CRACKER SPRINKLES OR CRISPBREAD. I love this with Millet or Kamut puffs, Nature's Path cereals (Organic O's and Smart Bran are fun! as is their granola, crispy brown rice, Optimum etc), and granola (low fat granola, sugar free granola - you can even crumble up bars, organic), DIXIE DINERS low carb granola or their oatmeal, for crunch, try this with SMAPS or Nutlettes; HI LO cereal, Kay's sugar free cereal, Barbara's Bakery Cereal; living granola; Enjoy Life gluten, dairy and nut free granola or cereal (especially the chocolate crunch granola), LOVE GROWN FOODS (seemingly every Bloggers' obsession) or any sugar free/NSA cereal.
This is so good in oat bran (you can make it into patties/cookies), millet, quinoa

You can pretty much make this into what ever you want, depending on the thickness, and what you mix in! Whatever you do, this is AMAZING!!!