Our Love of Avocados, Football and Fall

Our Love of Avocados, Football and Fall

Some 10,000-plus years ago, according to archeological evidence, an extraordinarily forward-thinking Mayan, Olmec or Incan native in what is now the Mexican state of Puebla saw a pear-shaped, wrinkly fruit hanging from the boughs of a leafy green tree and plucked it. While those early tribes undoubtedly celebrated what we now call avocados for their hearty, creamy flesh, humankind wouldn’t start calling it a superfood for at least a few more centuries. Since that initial discovery, the fruit (technically a berry, believe it or not) has been cultivated in tropical climates all over the world and is one of Mexico’s biggest exports. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s time to celebrate the world’s most versatile fruit and learn more about why it’s earned the moniker “super” in the first place. So, Are They REALLY that Super? In a word: yes. Because they are fat soluble, avocados help the body absorb other fat soluble nutrients like Vitamins D, K, E and A. Compared to other fruits, avocados rank the highest in lutein, a powerful antioxidant that could help fight off heart disease. Eating 1/2 an avocado provides almost half your daily allowance of Vitamin C and Folate and gives you a whopping 8-10 grams of fiber, roughly 1/3 of your daily requirement. Avos are also full of healthy fats but don’t have any cholesterol, which makes them a heart healthy substitute for cheese or mayo on a sandwich. Just in Time for Football Season As fall approaches and your favorite teams take to the gridiron, pick up a few humble avocados to prepare healthy and delicious snacks for your friends and...
Stay Visible: Cycling Tips for a Safe Night Ride

Stay Visible: Cycling Tips for a Safe Night Ride

For die-hard cyclists, an evening ride is a great way to get in a good after-hours workout and unwind after a long hard day. There is no high like feeling the wind at your back and the blurred lines of the pavement fly beneath your feet. Something about night riding makes it feel like you’re riding on air. But a word of caution: a night ride is not for everyone. You need to be more aware of your surroundings, error on the side of caution and follow a few basic ground rules before you take to the streets at night. Lights When you ride your bike at night, most state laws require you to have your bike properly equipped: a white headlamp is required. Be sure to get one that is super bright and produces at least 800 lumens (how light intensity is measured) with a range up to 200 feet. You may also want to equip your bike with a red rear reflector, white or yellow pedal reflectors and white or yellow reflectors on each side of the bike, generally in the wheel spokes. A flashing rear reflector is even better as it will stand out amongst all the solid taillights. Nowadays, they even sell head torches for bike helmets, which is also a great idea to light up the night. Just make sure you have the front headlight in place as well. As much as you want to illuminate the road in front of you, the most important thing for a night ride is to make yourself more visible to cars and drivers. Reflective Gear Reflective and high...
Ready, Set, Hike: How Non-Fans Can Enjoy Football Season

Ready, Set, Hike: How Non-Fans Can Enjoy Football Season

Are you ready for some football? What do you mean, no?! Sure, to an outsider, the sport might appear to be little more than a bunch of giant men who run into each other, fall down, get up and do it again. But that doesn’t mean your friends don’t love to watch it every weekend. If your idea of fall fun has nothing to do with a pigskin, don’t despair. Here are five coping mechanisms to get you through football season with your sanity intact. Who knows, you might just grow to love it. Space Out Your Exposure to the Game Just because you’ve decided to indulge in a bit of football, that doesn’t mean you have to become a superfan overnight. Start with Monday nights — check out a prime-time game at a friend’s house. If you find yourself bored, you can use the plausible excuse of an early start to the next work day to get out of watching the whole game. Besides, Monday Night Football tends to feature the best teams, which means more action in most cases. Smile and Nod Once you show a glimmer of interest in what’s happening on the field, your friends may try to engage you in actual sports talk. Resist the urge to quiet their jargon. Instead, smile, nod and let them keep talking. You can learn a little about the game as they ramble, and if you happen to be at happy hour at the time, you can start a clandestine drinking game to pass the time. For example, every time they say, “did you see that play?”, you can take...
End Summer Right & Make Time for Play this Labor Day Weekend

End Summer Right & Make Time for Play this Labor Day Weekend

It rolls around every year. Many people see it as the end of summer and the transition to fall. It’s the time of year when school swings back into session and you and the kids have one last three-day weekend to enjoy before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Labor Day Weekend is more than just a relaxing time to crank out one more backyard barbecue. Its roots extend back to the beginnings of the organized labor movement and signify the importance of rest, health and family. A Brief History of Labor Day In the late 19th century, the labor movement was disrupting the 7-day workweek. The weekends that so many of us take for granted are the direct result of the protests and union organizing that was happening mostly in the northeastern factories. September 5, 1882 marks the date of the first Labor Day Parade in New York City. The then burgeoning unions chose this day as a “workingman’s holiday” because it fell halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. The idea of a singular day off in late summer caught fire with the states quickly, but it wasn’t a nationally recognized holiday until 1894 when President Grover Cleveland signed the bill passed by Congress, making Labor Day Weekend official law of the land. Put Away The To Do List Labor Day, and your right to celebrate was a hard-won battle fought well over a century ago by foundry workers and machinists who believed that everyone needed more time to chill. While it’s a given that the words “Labor Day Sale” are filling up your inbox, and you likely have a laundry...
How Drinking More Water Improves Our Health

How Drinking More Water Improves Our Health

Have you ever taken a look at one of your wilting plants an hour or so after they were watered and noticed how much they had perked up? Petals are greener, leaves are plumper and what was once drooped over is now reaching for the sky. Imagine how our bodies must respond when we douse our thirsty cells with water. Hippocrates was quoted to say: Water contributes much towards health. Historians regard him as the founder of medicine and his ancient wisdom holds very true today. As it turns out, many of us are walking around in a mildly dehydrated state, unaware that our small aches and pains may be due to plain and simple dehydration. Water is key to our health: it keeps our internal organs functioning, our digestive tract moving and our joints lubricated. Take note of the following red-flag dehydration indicators and find out why water is so vital to our health. Headache Relief Next time you have a headache, try drinking a large glass of water and wait 30 minutes before you reach for the aspirin bottle. More often than not, the headache may be due to mild dehydration. Be sure to keep a water bottle with you at all times. A reusable insulated stainless steel water bottle keeps water chilled and is always at an arm’s length. Healthy Skin A hydrated body shows in our skin and in our eyes. The loss of hydration can show up in form of dry skin, flakiness and a dull pallor. All the lotions in the world we lather on top of our skin won’t do much if we...