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20 Great Foods for Slimming Down this Winter

Winter is coming, but so is Xmas. Which means you will likely be eating lots of sweets during the Holiday season.

But what if you want to lose weight this Winter instead of gaining it?

Well we do have some suggestions. The following foods are good for slimming down - even during Winter! Many of the following foods are an excellent source of nutrients, contain chemicals that help your body slim down, high protein, anti-oxidants, and/or are very low on calories. The precise reasons vary for each food, but we recommend all of them. For organizational reasons we have separated the foods into different categories.

CEREALS
Hot Oatmeal

DAIRY
Coconut Milk
Greek Yogurt
Kefir

FRUITS
Guava
Pomelo
Prickly Pears (aka pear cactus)
Starfruit
Tangelo

MEAT
Liver

NUTS / SEEDS / BEANS
Chia Seeds
Cocoa Beans or Dark Chocolate
Macadamia Nuts
Sunflower Seeds

OTHER
Honey (use as a sweetener instead of sugar)
Maple Syrup
Red Wine or Red Grapes

SEAFOOD
Oysters

VEGETABLES
Shiitake Mushrooms
Watercress

Gift Vouchers for Archery Lessons and More

November 16th 2014

It is snowing outside which means I am done teaching archery for the season.

Winter for me is time meant more for teaching ice skating, boxing (indoors) and personal training. So if you are looking to learn ice skating, boxing or are looking for a personal trainer feel free to contact me.

Prebooking Archery Lessons

For people who want to get into archery and are looking for archery lessons in Toronto, you can prebook lessons for Spring and Summer 2015 right now.

And by right now, I mean contact me right away because people started prebooking for 2015 back in August 2014 so some of the time slots in April and May are already fully booked.

When Prebooking Archery Lessons I require a 30% deposit for the total sum, payable via Interac Email Transfer from your bank.

Gift Vouchers

If the lessons are not for you but are for your friend, significant other, child, parent, boss, colleague, etc. and you are not sure when to schedule them then I also offer Gift Vouchers. The prices of the Gift Vouchers are the same as my regular rates so browse my Archery Lessons page to see my rates, and learn more about my services.

Payment for the Gift Voucher is done via Interac Email Transfer from your bank.

Please be advised that Gift Vouchers have an expiry of 18 months after the day of purchase. So if you purchase a Gift Voucher in December 2014, it will expire by June 30th 2016 if it is not used during 2015 or Spring 2016. (I figure 18 months is ample enough time for people to use a voucher.)

Lost voucher? Email me with your contact information, who purchased the voucher and the value of the voucher and I can send you the voucher number. All you need is the voucher number to redeem it.

Tip: Aim in the corner if the target butts are damaged.
Winter Archery Lessons

Ideally I would prefer to teach archery lessons indoors during the colder months but we have to make do with what we have. Last year I made an exception in February to teach a single archery lesson to a student who wanted to get into bowhunting. So it is not impossible for me to teach archery lessons during the winter, but it is a case wherein I prefer to wait for the weather to cooperate and I do prefer to teach only those students who are unwilling to wait for Spring because they have a dire urge to learn immediately.

I add an extra $20 surcharge for Winter archery lessons because the probability of lost arrows is much higher and because I want to discourage people who are less than serious. All lessons are dependent upon cooperation from the weather. If the weather is too foul / blizzard-like, we will reschedule for a nicer day using the 14 day forecast and confirm the weather conditions the day before the lesson.

For tips on doing archery during the Winter please read Guide to Winter Archery in Toronto.

Contact

To contact me regarding prebooking archery lessons, purchasing a Gift Voucher, or scheduling a Winter archery lessons you can email cardiotrek@gmail.com.

Enjoy the Winter!

Archery - What to do if you are Cross Dominant

Q

Hello!

I am cross dominant (right handed but left eye dominant). I find it very awkward to pull back and shoot using my left arm. Is there anything to do to rectify this problem? I have tried shooting with my right side instead, but my accuracy that way is horrible / worse. Help?!

- Gerry W.

A

Hey Gerry!

First, for my readers I am going to clarify what it means to have a dominant eye and to be cross dominant. Your dominant eye is the one people aim with. It doesn't necessarily match up with which hand is dominant. Roughly 15% of people are left eye dominant, and while some of them are left handed, quite often there is a percentage of people who are right handed and left eye dominant (or the reverse, left handed and right eye dominant, although that is more rare).

To check which eye is your dominant one please read the Eye Dominance Test page and follow the instructions listed there.

Second, the reason it feels awkward for your left arm is because you are not used to using your left arm for pulling exercises and it is physically weaker than your right arm. There are two ways to rectify this:

#1. Practice, practice, practice. The act of doing archery will make your left arm / left side stronger and you will eventually be able to pull the bow with ease.

#2. Complement your archery practice with weight lifting. Devote 10% to 15% more repetitions to your left side. Over time your left side will become stronger and more used to the act of pulling the bow. Both arms, shoulders and back muscles will get stronger, but your left arm

Third, a common problem with cross dominant people is that their left hand is both weaker and less dextrous because it isn't used for tasks requiring manual dexterity / gripping tasks. Making your hand stronger is relatively easy - buy a pair of hand grips and do hand grip exercises with them. (See Hand Grips for Beginners.)

How you increase the manual dexterity in your off hand is a matter of debate. I recommend juggling with three balls or juggling two balls right-to-left because it forces you to be catching/throwing the balls with your left hand instead of just your right. If you only juggle with two balls then use your right hand to be catching the balls and your left to be throwing them. Usually most right handed people shift the ball left-to-right when juggling two balls because they are catching with their left hand, shifting the ball to the right and then the right hand is throwing the ball up again. By reversing the process, you are forcing your left hand to catch the ball being shifted to the left, and to be tossing the ball accurately in the air. This will take a lot of practice to master. Days, weeks, maybe even months.

It takes time for people to work their way up to juggling three balls (which requires that both hands be equally dexterous), so juggling right-to-left will be a good stepping stone to eventually learning to juggle 3 at once.

However once mastered juggling with your left hand, it should have dramatically more manual dexterity and won't feel so clumsy when you are trying to shoot with it.

DIY Archery Equipment on a Frugal Budget

If you have read some of my past topics about Frugal Exercises then you know I am a big fan of people exercising without having to spend a lot of money on the activity they are doing. People should not have to spend oodles of money on a "Bow Flex", "Shake Weight", etc.

eg. In 2014 one of the biggest exercise gadgets being promoted is bracelets and watches that estimate how many calories you are burning, your heart rate, how fast you are jogging, etc - often with attachments or Blue Tooth that attach to your phone. But do these gadgets actually get you exercising? No. Do they allow you to miraculously lose weight more effectively? No.

All such gadgets seem to do is remove money from your wallet in an effort to nerdify your workout (assuming you actually have a workout and the gadget doesn't end up collecting dust in a shoe box).

For example if you browse a list of such gadgets you are just as likely to see "Bicycle Helmet Camera" or "Earbuds for listening to Music" on the list of gadgets, as if the camera will cause you to actually go out and bicycle, or the earbuds will cause you to jog and listen to music while you jog. More likely the camera will get used once, and the earbuds will be used more often on the bus or subway en route or coming home from work.

But enough ranting. Lets talk about archery equipment.

Buying archery equipment is expensive right from the get go. Expect to spend anywhere from $120 to $350 on your first bow if you go into an archery store and ask to buy their cheapest bow. Then you also need arrows, bow stringer, finger glove (or tab or thumb ring) to protect your shooting fingers and a bracer to protect your bow arm. Quiver, store-bought targets / target butts, spare bow strings are optional.

If you want the really nice equipment, expect to be spending $400 to $900 - or $1,000 to $3,000 on the super expensive equipment.

However expensive equipment does not make a better archer. Case in point, my cousin Ken won three Canadian National Championships back in the early 1990s using a Hoyt traditional recurve that in today's prices would only be about $600 CDN. But that isn't the bow doing the work. It is the archer. (Because apparently archery skill is part of our Scottish family history, going back centuries. Although to be fair, many families have a dose of archery in their family line.)

I have seen many archers using homemade bows and performing shots that would make their ancestors proud. So you don't need a store bought or expensive bow to do archery.

But I should say however that bow making is not easy. Bow making is both a craft and an art form, because it relies on knowledge of the materials - but also on an understanding of how to make a bow which shoots effectively.

So the question then becomes, how do you do archery on a frugal budget?

Well, it depends on how frugal you want to be.

For example, I know it is possible to make a trilam bamboo bow for only $20 worth of materials - but you will end up spending closer to $60 just on tools, and making a trilam bamboo bow requires a degree of woodworking skill that is beyond most first time bow makers (and even moderately good woodworkers).

You can even buy kits for making your own bow (see http://basicallybowsarchery.com/Bow_Building.html) for roughly $120, but I think we can find a style of bow that is even cheaper and easier to make.

Which brings us to the topic of PVC. There are plenty of videos on YouTube about making PVC longbows, PVC recurves and many other styles of PVC bows. They're all super cheap, costs you about $5 to make the simplest designs, or closer to $50 if you want to make something more complex. A good YouTube channel to watch on the topic of PVC bows is BackyardBowyer.

But I have an issue with PVC bows. I have seen many people at the archery range using PVC bows, and they all inevitably break. Often in a spectacular way, which is to say a horrendous cracking noise as the PVC splinters and explodes in different directions. I have yet to see an injury from an exploding PVC bow, but they do happen.

Bhutan man using a homemade bamboo bow.
Archery is the National Sport of Bhutan.
Thus my recommendation for a frugal bow is going to be a different material entirely: Bamboo.

Now I did mention trilam bamboo bows further above, but what I am talking about here is in Indian-style Bamboo bows (Indian as in India, not Native American). People in India cannot always afford to buy a bow in stores, but archery is quite popular there and bamboo bows (and bamboo arrows) are easy to make and cheap since both bamboo and cheap labour are both very plentiful in India. (I should also note bamboo bows are also popular in Bhutan, in parts of China, and other countries in south-east Asia.)

But let us pretend you want to make your own bamboo bow. Here is what you do...

STEP ONE

Get a thick 6 foot long piece of bamboo in Toronto's Chinatown. Approx. cost $5 to $10.

STEP TWO

Using a saw, hack saw, band saw or whatever kind of saw you have handy cut the bamboo lengthwise into 3 or 4 flat pieces. Once you have the three or four pieces you need to smooth down the bamboo so it is nice and flat on the interior side (how you do this is up to you, I recommend rasps and sandpaper).

STEP THREE

Find the middle of each piece of bamboo and mark it with a pencil. Next mark the three quarters point on both ends of each piece of bamboo. Mark lines on the bamboo from where the tip of the bow will be down to the 3/4 marks on the bamboo. The triangle parts on the corners of the bamboo you've just drawn should then be removed with a saw. (Try to make sure each bamboo piece is identical in terms of where they are being cut, so when finished cutting and stacked together they look like perfect copies of each other.)

STEP FOUR

Now comes the tricky part, because you have options here and you have to decide which method suits your needs. The trick here depends on how strong you want your bow to be, how durable

Option 1 - Laminate 2 or 3 of the bamboo pieces together using wood glue or epoxy. Epoxy works best as filler, whereas glue needs to be pressed between two tight surfaces. For best results get the bamboo super flat and then use TiteBond 3 wood glue. Note - You probably don't need to use more than 3 pieces of bamboo to make your bow, using 4 pieces might make your bow too strong and impossible to pull. Use your own judgement and realize there may be some experimentation.

Option 2 - Skip laminating the bamboo together and instead wrap it tightly together using sinew, rawhide, or even duct tape... Duct tape is your cheapest option.

Option 3 - Laminate with glue AND wrap it with sinew.

Option 4 - Don't bother using multiple pieces of bamboo to make the bow, use a single piece - the bow will be very weak but functional.

STEP FIVE

Cut notches into the tips for a bow string + make a bow string out of twine, linen, silk, sisal, B55, B52 Dacron, etc.

STEP SIX

String your bow and give it a few tries with an arrow in the safety of your garage/basement/etc. The great news about working with bamboo is that you can basically skip the normal tillering process of making a bow. Bamboo has amazing tensile strength and flexibility - making it ideal for bow-making.

The end result is a bow which is functional and which will work better than any 'stick bow' you could make using found materials. Made well it will work just as good as a PVC bow, but without the danger of the PVC breaking / exploding into sharp pieces.

You will also need arrows, a bracer, a fingerglove (or tab or thumb ring) and possibly a bowstringer (although for a homemade bamboo bow, a bowstringer might be unnecessary).

If you feel you would prefer to try making a wood bow instead (out of yew, osage, ash, hickory, oak, elm, lemonwood or any of the other quality bow woods) then I recommend you purchase the following book:

The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volume I

Volumes II, III and IV are also good, but Volume I is the most important book because it covers all the basics of selecting/seasoning wood, design, tillering, arrow making, glues, etc.

If you are remotely good at making things with your hands you can probably figure out how to make a wood, bamboo or PVC bow. It doesn't take a genius to make something that works, but it will take several tries before you can make something you are truly proud of.

But hey, learning is a journey and you only get there when you take the first step.

Food Deficiences and Mood / Anxiety Disorders

Food can have dramatic side effects on the body. Caffeine, alcohol, chocolate for example each distinct side effects on the human body.

But a lack of certain types of food can also result in metabolic or nutritional deficiencies which can lead to psychological disorders - including side effects like depression, mood disorders and anxiety disorders - to say nothing of eating disorders.

Unfortunately many doctors don't even check for metabolic or nutritional deficiencies that may be the real cause of a person's depression or disorder. Instead they just like to prescribe anti-depressant pills when in reality what a person just needs is a healthy diet and perhaps some vitamin/mineral supplements. (We should also note that regular exercise also boosts self esteem and self-image, so healthy diet combined with regular exercise would garner the best results.)

Patients have no idea why they are feeling so awful or where to start looking for the answer. They expect their doctor to give them real solutions, and doctors end up pushing pills on them as a bandaid solution. Drugs are the easy fix, but they're often not the final solution because there are serious side effects that come with taking powerful anti-depressants.

Doctors prescribe anti-depressants using information they get from drug sales reps and every time they prescribe an anti-depressant they get paid a commission (even though you collect your prescription from the drug store). The side effects and dangers of these drugs are down-played so that patients don't realize all of the pros and cons of the medication. The problem is doctors are prescribing these medications without first ruling out dietary deficiency as a cause. Some doctors have realized that many patients refuse to change their diet and thus go straight to prescribing pills because they think the patient is unwilling to change their diet.

Every winter millions of people get the "Winter Blues", a depressing funk from being inside all the time and not getting enough vitamin D. People can get the "Winter Blues" any time of the year however. All they have to do is avoid sunlight for 2 or 3 months and barely eat any vitamin D, they will get depressed quite easily.

If you suffer from depression or mood/anxiety disorders it is possibly you may simply be deficient in one of the nutrients below. Scientific researchers have determined that many people who suffer from depression and mood disorders are deficient in not just one nutrient but several, all contributing to the symptoms. So pay attention because it is possible you are missing out on several key ingredients for your happiness.

#1: Junk Food Diet = Common Nutritional Deficiency

Does your diet contain too much sugar, junk foods, sodas, or processed foods? Do you often skip meals? If you suffer from depression or mood disorders, one solution is to start a food diary of the foods you eat every day and then compare the results at the end of the week with what you should be eating. Chances are you are not eating enough fresh vegetables or fruit and this is extremely common in North America for people to have a nutritional deficiency from lack of veggies and fruit.

#2: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Deficiency

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found in foods such as fish, fish oil and Flax Seed Oil. A deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids or an imbalance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids could be the cause of your problems. Omega 3 Fatty acids are important to brain function and your mental outlook on life, a lack thereof results in a feeling of sluggishness and uselessness. Omega-3 Fatty Acids also help people who suffer from inflammation and pain problems. Researchers have found that the vast majority of patients with depression and mood disorders are deficient in Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

Conclusions from #1. and #2: Eat more fish, salad and veggies.

#3: Vitamin D Deficiency

I already mentioned Vitamin D above, but Vitamin D is also important for your immune function, bones, and brain health. Sunlight is the richest source for the human body making its own natural Vitamin D, but during winter months you need to be eating more Vitamin D in order to compensate for the lack of sunlight. A 2013 study determined that Vitamin D deficiencies are present in patients with depression, panic disorders and especially Alzheimer's. So to combat this you can go outside more, take Vitamin D supplements, or eat more foods containing Vitamin D like fish, eggs, milk, and cheese.


#4: B-Vitamins Deficiency:

In recent years Neuropsychiatry has proven the link between B-Vitamin deficiencies and mood disorders including depression. But there is a solution for this. Take a vitamin pill that contains 25 mg of each of the different B-Vitamins included in the pill. Vitamin B rich foods include fish, meat, nuts, dairy products, leafy greens, carrots, tofu, eggs.

#5: Zinc , Folate, Chromium, Iron and Mineral Deficiencies

Patients with depression are often found to be deficient in many minerals. Many modern processed foods contain almost no minerals or only trace minerals. Whenever possible, eat normal non-processed meat, veggies and fruits.

#6: Iodine Deficiency:

Iodine is necessary for your thyroid to work properly. The thyroid is part of the endocrine system and is one of the most important glands in your body. The thyroid gland affects every function of the body including body temperature, immune function, and brain function. Iodine is found in foods such as potatoes, cranberries, Kelp, Arame, Hiziki, Kombu, and Wakame.  Decades ago people used to eat Iodine enriched salt, but these days iodine deficiency is again becoming a problem with salt free diets. So if you're not a fan of the veggies mentioned above, try eating some salty foods instead (eg. salt-water fish).

#7: Amino Acids Deficiency

Amino Acids are used to make neurotransmitters in order speed up brain function and control emotional stability. There are 9 necessary Amino Acids that cannot be manufactured by your body and can only be attained by eating food. The Amino Acids you need are found in meat, eggs, fish, high quality beans, seeds and nuts. You also need to eat a variety of different foods to furnish the body with all the amino acids needed to be healthy - you can't just choose one and eat only that because not all foods contain all nine amino acids. A great source for amino acids is Moringa Oleifera leaves.

Overwhelmed neurotransmitters caused by an Amino Acids deficiency results in an imbalance between emotions, resulting in many different kinds of mental disorders. Dopamine, noradrenaline, and GABA are three important neurotransmitters often deficient in depression. You can test for this deficiency by visiting an Orthomolecular doctor who will test your blood and urine to check your amino acid levels. Unlike regular doctors who just prescribe anti-depressants, Orthomolecular doctors treat the base cause of the deficiency and can tailor make a treatment program for the person. Thus if they notice a deficiency, they will recommend you eat the appropriate foods or take supplements.

CONCLUSIONS AND SOLUTIONS

There are tests that prove nutrient deficiencies. You just have to ask your doctor for a Nutrient Deficiency Test. The problem however is most medical doctors in the USA will not give clearance for the tests, nor will your insurance pay for them - so if you are American and want this test done you have to pay for it yourself. In Ontario (and the rest of Canada) however the test is covered by OHIP (because the Canadian government knows they save money in the long run if people make the choice to safeguard their health and have the test so they know how best to do this).

So huzzah! Isn't Canada awesome?
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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