Month: November 2014

UFC GYM SOHO grand opening celebration

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The world leader in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and one of the world’s most recognized names in sports entertainment, UFC©, is holding events throughout the week until Thursday, Nov. 13 for their official grand opening celebration for the public from 5-10PM at UFC GYM SOHO. Food, demonstrations, & special guests will be provided. Located at 277 Canal Street, 3rd floor between Broadway and Canal Street, UFC GYM SOHO in New York City hosted a media day, exclusive for press and media last night.

Under UFC’s 10,000 square foot gym, it also features a 24 foot Octagon, specially designed room with 30 heavy bags, customized UFC© free weights, top of the line strength training and cardio machines and TRX suspension training. We were given an opportunity to participate in group fitness classes in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu technique driven and UFC FIT training classes, led by professional fighters, Levi Lalonde and Ramsey Nijem. Not to mention, we were given access to amenities such as hand wraps, punching gloves and more, in addition of receiving official UFC Goodie bags to kick start our fitness endeavors.

According to how UFC’s training methods are different from other high-end gyms in the city, UFC Gym’s “TRAIN DIFFERENT” approach attracts a diverse crowd of gym goers, especially who are UFC enthusiasts, people interested in self-defense or people who simply want to get more out of a gym besides machines. UFC GYM’S “TRAIN DIFFERENT” approach “fuses together the multi-disciplined approach of mixed martial arts with state-of-the-art equipment and traditional fitness. Members can access as many tools and resources as they need to reach their goals and develop a healthy lifestyle.” The manager of UFC GYM SOHO, Tiffany “TK” Keaton did an amazing job in ensuring that we got the full UFC experience, whether if you trained in martial arts or never touched a bag before.

The workouts are not only fun and very intense, from rounds punching the heavy bag with weighted gloves to learning essential grappling techniques in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, but also fuse real-life fighting techniques in helping you maximize your fitness potential. With an enlarged poster of Ronda Rousey’s smiling in the girl’s locker room, you can be ensured that the fighter in you is waiting to come out. Overall, the gym deserves five stars for overall staff, atmosphere, venue, organization and likeness to the UFC Franchise. This is truly a dreamland for anyone into UFC and martial arts with top notch equipment, staff and gym.

For more information and special opening rates, visit, call 212-858-9880 or email UFC GYM NYC SoHo joins over 115 UFC GYMS in 28 states in the U.S. and one in Sydney, Australia.

Benefits in hard-boiled eggs


Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day for numerous reasons, including increase in metabolism, prevention of binging (especially late night snacking), and positive moods and energy. This means choosing the right foods that will not leave you sluggish and lethargic such as bacon, baked goods (e.g. donuts and muffins) and fried foods. Eggs has a bad rap as being very unhealthy due to their high content in cholesterol since one egg contains over 200 mg, which is over 2/3 of the recommended daily intake of 300mg. Not to mention, cholesterol contributes to a lifetime of medication, early death and heart disease, right? Not necessarily. The truth is that cholesterol is a structural molecule that is an essential part of every single membrane and used in to make steroid hormones including testosterone, estrogen and cortisol.

Meaning, we wouldn’t be here with cholesterol. It’s important to keep in mind that liver produces large amounts of cholesterol and when we eat a lot of eggs (which has a lot of cholesterol), the liver produces less. You should also know that there are two types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. You want to increase your HDL (High Density Lipoprotein), the good cholesterol, which lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and others.  Unless you are vegan or vegetarian, still not convinced that you should eat more eggs? What if we told you that hard boiled eggs are one of the world’s most nutrient dense foods to consume? Hard boiled eggs has countless amount of nutrients, complete source of protein, aids in weight loss, can help with brain development and memory, protects your eyesight and of course, it is very affordable.

You can ditch eating that donut and buttered toast for breakfast since eggs can keep you feeling full for a longer duration, which is good for busy, on-the-go types. This article gives you a closer in-depth insight on the benefits of hard boiled eggs, so let’s take a look.
According to, a single large boiled egg contains:
• Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
• Folate: 5% of the RDA.
• Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA.
• Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.
• Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.
• Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA.
• Selenium: 22% of the RDA.
• Eggs also contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.

Not to mention, a large egg has around 90 calories, 7-8 grams for protein (protein addicts, rejoice!) and less than 6-7 grams of fat.  Speaking of protein, eggs contain all the essential amino acids that humans need in addition of being loaded with high quality animal quality without much calories. Eating a good amount of protein aids in weight loss, increase muscle mass, bone mass optimization and lowering blood pressure. Need a little brain boost the next time you study for an exam? Choline is an essential nutrient in eggs which simulates brain development, function and has been linked to memory retention and mental alertness. Lastly, they say carrots are good for your eyes, so are eggs too! The antioxidants, Lutein and Zeaxanthin are crucial to eye health and can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Extremely easy to make and portable, make eggs your go to food for your health!

The benefits of coconut water

Endorsed by celebrities, fitness personals and commercials, coconut water has made a huge impact on the American food supply demands due to its health benefit claims. Coconut water is low in calories, fat, cholesterol free and has more potassium than four bananas, in addition of being super hydrating. From hangover fixes to ailments in kidney stones, is coconut water is just hype or the next big thing with all of its promises? Naturally refreshing clear liquid from the young green coconuts, coconut water has a sweet nutty taste and contains plenty of electrolytes. They are not to be confused with coconut milk, which are high in fat and derived from older coconuts.
Getting the right balance of electrolytes could replenish your energy, help lower your blood pressure and help rebuild lean muscle, for those who often work out. Compared to sugary drinks such as soda, sport drinks and fruit juices, coconut water have much less sugar and can be a better alternative for children.  As for the adults who consume alcohol, coconut water helps settle the stomach and replace essential when experiencing frequent vomiting and urination.  No one likes to wake up with nasty headaches.
“Unlike any other beverage on the market, coconut water contains five essential electrolytes that are present in the human body. These include: calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. Because of its unique composition, coconut water can be enjoyed by individuals with varying medical conditions.” according to Lifehack. In addition, coconut oil has been featured in many hair and beauty products such as facial creams, lotions and shampoos. For those with facial imperfections such as acne and blemishes, coconut water has the ability to clear up and successively tone the skin. It can eliminate large amounts of oil in the skin and provides a good source of moisture, when consumed orally.

According to Dr. Oz, here are some great tips in choosing the right coconut water:

  1. Check labels to make sure there are no added sugars
  2. Choose plain, unflavored coconut water
  3. Make sure it has no more than 50 calories per serving
  4. Limit yourself to two servings a day
  5. Drink it in the morning for some extra energy or to rehydrate you after a long night’s sleep
  6. Drink it in the afternoon to get you out of a slump or after working out to replenish lost electrolytes
  7. Talk about a hype worthy to stick around for the long run.

coconut water

The truth about Carrageenan


If you’ve ever purchase almond, soy, and/or coconut milk at your local grocery store, you may have noticed a common ingredient called Carrageenan on the carton. There is a lot of confusion recently on the news of this little known ingredient, so this article gives you the skinny about Carrageenan. According to Google, Carrageenan is: “a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.”

If Carrageenan is apparently made from natural plants such as seaweed, kelp and nori, then what is the hype about the ingredient? Carrageenan not only has NO nutritional value but it has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve and preserver the overall texture of ice cream, yogurt, creamers and other processed foods such as Nesquik Chocolate Milk. In addition, although the ingredient is derived from a natural source, Carrageenan is actually destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to the invasive pathogen, Salmonella.

This is known to have caused vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, cramps, headaches and much more. Even worse is that “carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding,” explains veteran Carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Chicago. In other words, you are going to have an incredibly bad time with your stomach with intestinal irritation, colon ulcers and intestinal permeability. Not good.  The best thing one can do for their nutrition and their stomachs is to be on the lookout with food that contains this ingredient.

In addition, you can also sign the Carrageenan Petition to the FDA to stop this ingredient in your food supply. Lastly, for those who drink almond milk and other milk alternatives with Carrageenan, it has been highly recommended to make your own almond milk instead.

Balega’s commitment in building a better global community

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Nowadays, international brands such as McDonalds or Coca-Cola give back to the communities in order to prove their immense contributions to the world. The question is that do many global companies key in the legitimacy of charity as its core values or it’s just a selling tactic in order to win the hearts of more consumers, regardless of the types of products sold? While this article doesn’t attempt to look into the politics of global brands and how they are contributing to our society, we were impressed with a brand that was introduced to us at the TSC Marathon Fitness and Health Expo last week. Balega is a leading performance sock brand in the running, fitness and outdoor specialty markets, which one of its core values is focused on supporting local communities.

Balega, which translates as “To Move with Speed” in the Zulu language of South Africa, prides itself for having its products developed and tested in their South African production facility in Cape Town, South Africa. They utilize the best performance yarns made in the USA, where their distribution facility is in Hickory, North Carolina. They are involved in many charities spanning from both the US and South Africa and they have their own non-profit charity organization established in 2003 called the “The Lesedi Project”. Lesedi, which means “light and enlightenment” in Zulu, shows Balega’s optimal charitable efforts in education. The project supports South Africa’s Ethembeni School, offering education, life skills and training to over 300 impoverished and disabled youth.

Balega raises its money for the school through the Balega sock sales, fun runs throughout US Retail partners such as Fleet Feet Sports and the sales of the students’ commissioned beadwork. Balega is able to donate to multiple funds because the proceeds are solely run through the Lesedi Project. Balega has also contributed to the Breast Cancer Fund (BCF) by releasing their limited edition Words of Grit and Grace Enduro Sock. For every sock sold, one dollar per pair has been given to BCF, in hopes of raising awareness of breast cancer risks and prevention from chemical exposure. In addition, Balega will donate 5,000 pairs of socks to SoldierSocks, a registered 501©(3) non-profit organization dedicated to serving men and women who are currently serving and/or had recently served the United States Armed Forces this winter.

According to Tanya Pictor, Balega’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, “We have an urgent need to help as much as we can to better the lives of these courageous men and women. They sacrifice their lives for our safety and this seems like the least we can do. The military loves our socks, but cannot wear them with their uniforms as the logos showed. We took one of our top selling favorites amongst military personnel and removed all visible logos so that they could wear high performance socks with their uniforms.” Lastly, in Hickory, North Carolina, Balega’s headquarters, the company also commits to donate 500 pairs of socks to the Catawba County United Way, a community non-profit organization to assist with the Point in Time Count of homeless people living in the area.

“Point in Time Count serves as the primary source of data locally and nationally to understand homelessness trends and to track progress on efforts to prevent and end homelessness for all communities” according to Balega. Balega’s charity work aims to make a difference in the lives of many people, regardless of where in the world their contribution lies. Their selfless acts of giving back highlight their South African roots, coined in the word, “Ubuntu”, roughly meaning “human kindness.” As Tanya comments, “It is our passion and absolute need, to live it every day”. We look forward in doing a review of the socks itself in a future article.

TCS NYC Marathon Health and Fitness Expo

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The world’s premier community running organization is back as marathon runners from all five boroughs geared up before the big race, which took place on Sunday, Nov 2. The TSC New York City Marathon Health and Fitness Expo was held from Thursday, Oct. 30 through Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.  The expo features the Marathon Store presented by ASICS, NYRR and more than 100 vendors and exhibitors.

Tens of thousands of registered runners picked up their race bibs, collected souvenirs and gained valuable pre-race advice from exhibitors and competitors. Admission to the Expo was free and open to the public as exhibitors offered free samples, demonstrations and sold merchandise to help prepare for the big race and other athletic endeavors.  Not to mention, the expo included an exhibit that included touchscreen technology from Tate Consultancy Services (TCS).

This allowed marathoners, spectators and running fans a journey through the five boroughs’ finish line arches in order to receive a commemorative prize. The NYRR Intelligent Race Predictor, presented by TCS provided marathoners a chance to get the most accurate finish-time prediction. Lastly, spectators created signs in order to show their neighborhood pride, via borough-specific signs to support their loved ones who competed.

The media was given opportunities in both interviewing and photo-ops with the top female marathoners and others.  TCS Fitness and Health Expo deserve five stars for overall presentation, atmosphere, venue, organization, and timeliness. Almost all of the vendors are very innovative, passionate and committed in their contributions to the health, wellness and fitness world. The marathon is a huge movement in bringing inspiration to runners and spectators alike. From high performance socks including Balega to self-administrative massage products like Bellacore, this Expo is heaven for fitness enthusiasts, competitors and spectators who want to get in shape someday to run the New York Marathon.

For more information:
TCS New York City
New York Road Runners-

Champion athletic-wear teams up with CMJ 2014

champion mj

The 34TH Annual CMJ Music Marathon concluded on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 after taking over different venues of New York City with live performances, panels from music professionals and interactive media of emerging musical performers.  As one of the most important platforms for the discovery of new music, CMJ offers over 1,400 live performances throughout October in more than 80 of New York City’s top nightclubs and theaters, including Webster Hall and the Highline Ballroom.
Champion athleticwear, the official apparel sponsor of this year’s CMJ Music Marathon had announced their official CMJ showcase at the NYC’s  on Thursday, Oct. 23. “The show features some of Marathon’s most exciting acts playing one of the city’s most iconic venues, and promises to be one of this year’s many highlights.” Champion’s CMJ Showcase included The Kills, Slothrust, Moon Duo and Nuns. In addition, Champion gave out tons of cool apparel to speakers, CMJ artists, press, and fans like including limited-edition Champion x CMJ 2014 tee-shirts and Champion DuoFold Pullover hoodies.
CMJ Marathon ran from October 21-October 25, 2014

The mental benefits of weight-training

The admiration of toned bodies of models, athletes and fitness enthusiasts are the products of rigorous strength training. Society recognizes that lifting weights and eating a balanced diet provides countless physical benefits. However, people don’t realize is that strength training can also provide a significant change in mental health. Good evidence shows that strength training alone can tackle a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, chronic pain (lower back, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis), self-esteem, sleep, and cognition. Here a few things that weight training can help you gain some brain power.

1) Improved Brain Cognition

Lab studies on mice shows that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells called neurogenesis and improve overall brain performance. In addition, tougher workouts can increase levels of a brain-derived protein called BDNF (Brain-derived neurotropic factor), which is correlated with decision-making, higher thinking and learning.

2) Improved Memory

Regular weight lifting sessions can boost memory and learning new skills. This is due to the increased production of cells in the hippocampus, responsible for memory retention. According to a study from George Tech, compared to any other exercises that can yield similar results, significant increases in memory can occur within 20 minutes of exercise as a “single bout of resistance exercise performed during consolidation can enhance episodic memory and that the effect of valence on memory depends on the physiological response to the exercise.”

3) Fight Depression

There are times where stress, personal issues and life can lead us into depression. People dive into different outlets to curb depression such as counseling. However, weight training can reduce these symptoms. A Harvard study once found that “ten weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than counseling. This is particularly important for women since they are more than twice as likely to experience depression and only one out of three actually seek care.” With weight training, it will give an instant release of “feel good” hormones called endorphins. Anything can be achievable if you can get through your grueling workout.

With more energy to complement your new body in workout, you can tackle just about anything life throws at you.