Archive for April, 2012

April 29, 2012

Going to the Gym? Spike Your Energy Levels.

Energy, Work Out, Gym, Fitness, Health

Isaac Hinds Photography

By: Dana Baardsen

Carbs are…Good?

Strength and Conditioning Journal reported the benefits of eating complex carbohydrates prior to light or intense exercise. Our bodies first take energy from carb sources in the body, and then begin to take energy from protein. By eating a small amount of complex carbs before working out, your body will actually still burn energy from fat, but continue burning energy from the complex carbs rather than stealing protein from your muscles. By consuming complex carbs in moderate amounts you are protecting your body’s protein stores. Even though you might want to refrain from eating to decrease body fat percentage, you are doing your body a disservice by not providing yourself with enough power and energy (through food) to endure a full fat-burning work out.

Electify Your Cells.

Aside from complex carb consumption, it is important to remember your electrolyte balance and more importantly the Sodium Potassium Pump. The Sodium Potassium Pump works on a cellular level, allowing our muscles to contract properly. To see if you are maintaining adequate nutrient levels, check out the Super Food Tracker on

Sodium and potassium are major electrolytes in our body. Remember when you sweat, your electrolytes are pouring out from the surface of your skin. Maintain your electrolyte balance by sipping on a sports drink or try coconut water for a natural electrolyte-packed drink. There are several home-made electrolyte drink options available as well.

Can you say B?

If you aren’t getting enough B vitamins, you can kiss an energizing workout goodbye. Consider the B vitamins best friends to your metabolism. Though preferably obtained through food sources, but you can reap the benefits from supplements. The B’s are water soluble, so whatever your body doesn’t need…will be removed as waste.

B1 (Thiamin) : A large proportion of the thiamin consumed in the United States comes from enriched grains used in foods such as breakfast cereals, breads, and other baked goods. Pork, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, are also good sources.

B3 (Niacin) : Meat and fish are good sources of niacin. Other sources include legumes, mushrooms, wheat bran, asparagus, and peanuts. Niacin added to enriched flours used in baked goods provides much of the usable niacin in the North American diet.

B5 (Pantothenic Acid) : Pantothenic acid is particularly abundant in meat, eggs, whole grains, and legumes. It is found in lesser amounts in milk, vegetables, and fruits . Pantothenic acid is susceptible to damage by exposure to heat and low- or high-acid conditions.

B6 : Animal sources include chicken, fish, pork etc. Good plant sources include whole-wheat products, brown rice, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and some fruits and vegetables such as bananas, broccoli, and spinach.

B12 (Cobalamin) : Animal sources include chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs, and milk.

Inhale…and Exhale.

Air! Only.

If you’re serious about maintaining your energy levels and stamina, then get rid of those stinky cigarettes. Not only will ciggies give you lung cancer, but they will slow you down tremendously. Ick.

Oxygen, carried by our red blood cells, is one of the most important factors in upping energy levels. Don’t smoke up your oxygen supply, rather practice slow breathing exercises prior to working out.

Whether your busting moves on the dance floor, pumping iron, or running a marathon you will have a greater shot at getting more from the workout if you practice controlled breathing.

So remember, breathe– don’t wheeze. NB

April 29, 2012

Sun-Protective Foods

My piece in Great Skin! Magazine, Published by:, NBCUniversal

Source: via Dana on Pinterest


Source: via Dana on Pinterest

April 2, 2012

Those Little Screaming Voices. Shhh…

By: Dana Baardsen

Willow Tree, Vassar College: Photo taken on road trip

When I was seventeen I never would have dreamed of my life going in the direction it so effortlessly did. I was so naive and reluctantly I am now admitting that amidst the knowledge I have gained over the past years I still remain just as naive as I was, at seventeen.

See the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. The more people you meet, the more you realize you have no idea who you are and what your place in this world really is. It’s kind of startling and sad to watch years sneak past you…and people move in and out of your life.

So this photo was taken on a little road trip I took, at the know-it-all age of seventeen. I was sure I wanted to attend Marist University and study Child Psychology. Since I was in the area I made stops at other schools like Vassar College, and the Culinary Institute of America. I never would have imagined I would have no choice but to attend a state school. That was unheard of in my high school, especially for an honors student.

But of course like other things in life I had swallowed my pride and entered my first state school with the same hopes: Child Psychology. This is how I would somehow change the world…or so I thought.

Did I mention I loved that little road trip I took? Talk about freedom. Driving hours and hours from where you live to discover something so incredibly fresh and new…and beautiful. But how foolish was I to ignore the fact that the most inspired I felt was actually at the Culinary Institute of America.

That’s right. The Culinary Institute of America, and I had never taken a cooking class in my life! It’s been years since and I remember it just like it was yesterday. I must comment on how beautiful the actual campus itself is. If you are a reader in the Greater New York Area I would absolutely recommend taking a trip to the CIA.

At the CIA, gorgeous fountains and plants rest upon the exterior of the main building. But you can’t admire the scenery for too long, as the fragrant breeze toying with the sensitivities of your nostrils will draw you inside one of the most magnificent buildings in our country. Once you enter-forget the world. Just breathe, observe, indulge, and laugh.

The CIA has some of the most amazing food concoctions you may ever run into in your life. I may have shed just a single tear for the french pastries which sat snuggling perfectly together in flawless display arrangements. How beautiful were they! But the pastries were just the beginning. You see anything you could imagine was here, right in this building.

And what was I to eat in this amazing museum of food? I must have spent nearly ten minutes gawking at the menu. Finally a decision was made, I was going to order something I wasn’t even sure if I could pronounce it and when the young waiter with an accent asked me my selection I naturally said: Mac n’ Cheese. Yep…Mac n’ freakin Cheese. Well I guess my nerves got to me and I blew it but, common now. What do you expect of a naive seventeen year old girl? I didn’t know what half the stuff on the menu even meant, and even if I knew what it meant I had never tried it and certainly wasn’t about to.

Off I went to Marist, staring out of the car window at one of the most beautiful places I had ever known. It kept getting smaller and smaller, until it vanished. Haven’t seen it since. Marist was lovely, just like the pictures I had seen online of it.

Here I am, a junior in college with all the naivety in the world yet harboring just a little more direction. I know my passions now. They lay within the ever wonderful realms of food. Everything from the science and nutrition behind food, to the craft and creativity in inventing dishes, to educating others about the power of food through journalism. This is my dream-along with graduating with an associates from the CIA.

Sometimes, I have little voices inside of me screaming their lungs out at me-but I still ignore them. I quiet them for what I think is right. Had I listened to those voices inside of myself on my teenage road trip, I may of evaluated my decisions at the time. But honestly I’m thankful I didn’t rush into anything. I made amazing friends at the first school I attended and had the experience of a lifetime. I have no regrets, only a reminder to follow my heart and listen those damn little voices when they are screaming violently at me. NB

April 2, 2012

Check this press: Great Photos From Cusco

Day 5 – Crazy colorful culinary Cusco.

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