Understanding Sleep for Optimal Recovery & Productivity By: Travis Cooper
Sleep is the most important part of recovery when it comes to illness, depression, stress and especially training. In regards to weightlifting, without quality sleep, weightlifters cannot properly recover and reach their full potential. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about sleep and sleep cycles, so hopefully this article will clarify a few things so you will be able to get the most out of your sleep, which will result in optimal training.
As seen in the included graph, there are several different stages of sleep: Stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM. Most people seem to think that a typical sleep cycle consists of only one cycle through the stages. As you can see in the image above, the stages of sleep actually cycle throughout the night depending on the duration of asleep.
When you initially go to sleep, you soon dip into stage 1. Over the next hour.......read the rest here
I have to admit that despite growing up in Maine I have a love/hate relationship with this state. It's taken me this past decade to really start to value some of the great things about living here and to accept and even find some beauty in the things I hate (like the friggin winter!). This article is just one more little pebble on the love side :)
The 10 Best (and Worst) States to Eat Local
“Eat local,” they say—but where is local eating the easiest?
A Vermont-based group has released its annual ranking of states based on the availability of local food to the average citizen. It’s the third annual Locavore Index to be compiled by Strolling of the Heifers (here's a hint for the complete story on where thatquirky name came from: It’s a play on Pamplona’s running of the bulls).
How does a relatively small nonprofit tally the availability of local food nationwide? It’s pretty clever, really. The index comprises four publicly available statisticsper state:
• Number of food hubs (i.e., “facilities that handle the aggregation, distribution and marketing of foods from a group of farms and food producers in a region”)
• Percentage of school districts with farm-to-school programs
The first three are divided per 100,000 residents. Farmers markets and CSAs are weighted at 30 percent each, while food hubs and farm-to-school programs are weighted at 20 percent.
That gives you a pretty decent idea of which states are most convenient when it comes to buying and eating locally grown and raised food, although it’s worth noting that the model doesn’t measure per capita consumption (that is, ranking access to local food doesn’t equate with ranking how much of it is being bought—a difficult thing to evaluate, to be sure).
So which states make it easiest to eat local? Here are the top 10:
1. Vermont 2. Maine 3. New Hampshire 4. Oregon 5. Hawaii 6. Rhode Island 7. North Dakota 8. Wisconsin 9. Montana 10. Iowa
That Strolling the Heifers’ home state of Vermont ranks No. 1 for the third year in a row might raise some eyebrows (though I guess the numbers don’t lie), but there are some other surprises here too. You go, Rhode Island and North Dakota! For all the lament that the nation’s farm belt has been given over to mega crops of transgenic corn and soybeans, it’s also heartening to see Iowa make an impressive showing.
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”
Taking on a mindfulness practice has long been known to have a huge impact on our mental health. In actuality the effects go much deeper than than, all the way to our very gene expression. Take a minute to check out the full article.....good stuff.
Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes
With evidence growing that training the mind or inducing certain modes of consciousness can have positive health effects, researchers have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body. A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of intensive mindfulness practice.
The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.
Ingredients: 2 bulbs fresh fennel 2-3 lbs grass-fed beef short ribs 7-8 garlic cloves Water (see amount, below) Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Chop the fennel into thick chunks Layer the fennel, garlic and short ribs in a crock pot, as shown below (garlic and beef: fennel: beef)
Add just enough water to cover the top layer of beef Cook on low heat for 3-4 hours, depending on the (low) temperature and size of your crock pot (you can cook faster on high (1-2 hours) although the meat is more tender with slow cooking)
After it is cooked, season with sea salt and black pepper, stir well