health

Five Reasons Why The Banana Keeps the Doctor Away

 

banana 

Adding a banana or two has a great variety of benefits in your body. Besides being of the most widely available fruits in the world, bananas are high in potassium, alleviates your mood, and give you energy you can utilize immediately for a pre-workout. A 9 inch banana is about 105 calories, which sure beats 250 or more calories for a candy bar and often in similar pricings. So it’s best to stock up on bananas at your arsenal by your desk or shelf, especially if you are really busy. Here are some interesting facts about why bananas are amazing.

 

  • Eye Health-
    1. One Banana has a small amount of Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for protecting your eyes and retaining normal vision. Vitamin A includes both Beta and Alpha Carotene which preserve the membranes that surrounds your eyes. Daily Vitamin A intake improves night blindness and it’s crucial for everyday vision, keeping your eyes strong and healthy.
  • Fights Depression and Mood Swings
    1. Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which converts to serotonin, known as the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter. No wonder monkeys are quite happy.
  • Aid in Quitting Smoking
    1. It’s no fun that people do want to improve their health as smokers. Luckily, bananas have high levels of B-vitamins, potassium, and magnesium to speed up the effects of the nicotine withdrawal.
  • Reduces Morning Sickness
    1. Bananas, when eating in between meals, helps stabilize blood sugar and reduces nausea from morning sickness. You might want to have a banana by your side to make sure mornings can be less sickly.
  • Builds Strong Bones and aids in Weight Loss
    1. Bananas have a good amount of calcium, which aids in building strong bones and fiber, which aids in bowel movement. It also absorbs water and slows digestion which makes you feel full longer.

 

Sources: http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/25-powerful-reasons-to-eat-bananas

 

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My Internship at Ashtanga Yoga

Eddie Stern and I

Eddie Stern and I

Wouldn’t you believe that I went from taking a class from Modo Yoga into doing a summer internship in Yoga? Remember, I only had one experience in taking one yoga class at Modo Yoga and that’s really it. Sure, I did met Yogis on my journey, but it wasn’t until I offered a chance to intern at a Yoga studio, why not LEARN Yoga instead of relying on apps or online? I have the privilege of interning with the Urban Yogis at Broome Street with Eddie Stern, one of the best yoga teachers as a Summer Intern Urban Yogi. The internship comprises of learning different poses such as Sun Salutations A and B, Tree Pose, Crow Pose to harder ones including the oh-so difficult handstand pose. For someone who boasts about great upper body strength, you need much more than arms to balance your body. (Disclaimer: I am really still working on my abs and want to see how far I can get there without any supplements, yet.). The second part of the classes are group discussions from the book, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. Each week, we would read at least one chapter to discuss our thoughts about what was read. I found the Law of Detachment to really hit home for me the most, especially as someone who is more into the Entertainment/Media industry of things. (In case, this is your first post you read from this post, I am a photographer, http://www.chiomaozuzu.com) Don’t expect the results of your labor to be automatically, everything really does happen for a reason.

For six weeks, I learned alot about myself and how I perceive my reasoning of what I am met to do. I mean, I don’t have the perfect body yet, but I am giving my best each day. And when I do, I still want to push myself to exceed amazing limits. Career wise, I may  not have the perfect job (and yes, I have done alot of red carpet celebrity portraiture) but I hope its something that embraces my talents and not only empower people but also give them enlightenment in the most entertaining way possible, as my “Dharma”. Yoga is something that I still consider a whole different ballpark. I never learn how control of my breaths, patience, and listen to my body when it comes to what I put inside my body. There are times where the people I surround myself or have to deal with on a daily basis throw me off balance and discourage my goals in both fitness and media, most importantly, my spirits and well-being. Its beyond the poses, “I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.” (By: Rumi).  I admit, dear Yoga, I don’t know why we met so many times before, but I like to get to know you better, you seem to touch my heart and I hope we can spend more time together.

Concept of F.I.T. is Mind, Body, Spirit.

 

My Fellow Yogis

When Yoga and I met the first time.

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This is an interesting post to me because I am still learning lots about Yoga, but I find the practice one of the most life changing experiences I had. Its not something I would not have got into on my own, until the opportunities to practice the discipline frequently hits me. It was a rainy day when I first tried Yoga for the first time at Modo Yoga in NYC and I love trying out new things so to speak. I was two months into my personal training in Circuit Training and I figured why not try Yoga. I mean, I have a clue that I need flexibility and balance, but never was the kind of person who remembers to breathe when I go into my workouts. I walked inside the hot room with my towel and black whitebeater shirt and lied down. I haven’t experienced hot indoors since the summer heatwave in 2008 and there was no electricity. I waited for my instructor to teach the class.Shit, I am sort of sweating here.

Surrounded by a sea of attractive bodies of people lying on the mats and doing their own thing, the instructor gave us some drills I am no where familiar with. To me, that is stretching. I can’t remember the name of the poses, but I know I was nowhere near the level of flexibility, as I suspected. I struggled to maintain my balance, no, to even catch up with the class as I continue to sweat out alot more. However, despite the fact I am new, I learn one thing from this experience, the stress and muscle aches I felt from my circuit training class were relieved. Knowing me, I done an array of sports that are bound to get you sore, especially cross country, track, karate, and rugby. For the first time, I am not competing to achieve a goal, I am pushing myself for me. Of course, I would get in a world of hurt if I try all the poses in haste and inexperience. I thanked the instructor for his time and asked for last minute advice. Something about patience, change, and growth was something I got out of him. This is not the last experience I have in Yoga. Next post is actually a followup. 

Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”  Caroline Adams

Mankofit’s Inspirational Journey

Mankofit

Mankofit

I originally started this blog with the intention of giving more spotlight to personal trainers that not only have just amazing bodies but can tell motivational stories to inspire you, and help you put down those French Fries in a heartbeat. A lot of people with the most glamorous looks and lifestyle aren’t really born into it. They work hard for it, as we all know. Confidence is not something you are automatically built with, it’s often something you have to build up each and every day. Sometimes being bullied takes in more than just insults. It humiliates you, devalue your worth and your reason why you are here today. Circumstances also take a heavy toll on your mind, body, and spirit. So how does one get rid of all that negative energy? Sure, there are focus groups and recreation centers to help you, but I find that exercise is really one of the most effective ways in reversing all of those shitty things. I had days I felt not good enough to wear really cool clothes or dress sexy, but you know what; I am as fit now as I was back in high school, maybe more.

If it wasn’t for my personal trainer, I wouldn’t be able to push myself as hard as anything I could imagine. The more times I pass through the pain to finish a set or hit a certain number in a rep, the more I can understand myself for me to transform as a person. I admire personal trainers because of how dedicated they are to their bodies and can manage to help others achieve their goals. To lead a better life, one should be physically active and are willing to expand their horizons. Personal trainers are people I respect; they are their own celebrities. Today, I bring you a woman that I’m truly inspired by (besides my personal trainer) .Her quirky fitness Instagram posts and her moving story pushes me to do something groundbreaking in the time I have here, hence this blog. Massy “Mankofit” Arias is one of the most celebrated personal trainers in the business and she deserves every bit of recognition. You might recognize her from outlets including VIBE and INKED, was featured in the Trey Songz music video “Na Na” and a lot more. From her killer 6 pack abs and body decorated in cool tattoos, her seamless performances in pistol pushups and 200+lbs leg squats, and killer smile, Mankofit isn’t just some pretty face with a godlike body. She is someone I can truly relate to as if she is one of my friends that overcame the challenges and wanted me to do the same.

Born in the Dominican Republic, she moved to the United States at the age of thirteen, without speaking English fluently. She had a very draining relationship with her ex-boyfriend on top of taking care of her family members all at once. Depression was constantly beating her up left and right and worse lived a life that seemed all the more unbearable. And her name, in case you were wondering what does Mankofit means, you’ll be surprised to learn that the word “Manko” is a Japanese derogatory term for women’s genitalia after some foolish Japanese woman often called her Manko in insult. Her mom suggested for her to join a gym, which eventually became her dose of medicine to overcome depression and beyond. She went on doing swimsuit competitions and everything else fell in place. She turned those name callings and depression into fuel and exercise transformed her into an activist for women’s rights and motivational speaker as well.

You can watch the link to her mini documentary here, directed by Eliu Cornielle of EC Media Studio (Link: https://vimeo.com/93605497). The moral of the story is that anyone can be anything, but with great determination, dedication, and appreciation for what you have, you deserve what you earn.

 

“I am not a body builder, I am not an athlete.  I am not the strongest, nor the fastest. What I am, is dedicated. I am passionate. I am committed. I want to show the world that ordinary can become extraordinary.”

– Massy Arias (AKA MANKOFIT)