Does Coffee Boost Metabolism?

By Chef K.T.Murphy Ph.D

Coffee has been used for years by athletes and normal people to increase performance, and boost resistance to fatigue, but can coffee boost your metabolism as well? The answer to this is a resounding yes, as it boosts metabolism by several mechanisms.

After all, it should come, as no surprise that there is a reason caffeine is included in most popular weight loss supplements, as it has proven itself to increase the rate at which weight loss occurs. Interested to learn how coffee can help boost your metabolism? Read on to find out!

Coffee Helps To Release Stored Fat

Though increasing caloric expenditure is good, unless stored fat is in a position to be released and burned, significant weight loss cannot be experienced. There are two ways in which coffee does this, and both are attributed to the presence of caffeine.

  1. Caffeine Stimulates The Nervous System – caffeine affects the sympathetic nervous system by increasing release of adrenalin and its actions of neurons. The result is increased firing and more rapid nerve transmission (which equals stronger muscle contractions).
  2. Caffeine Makes The Adrenal Glands Produce More Epinephrine – epinephrine is the fight or flight hormone, which is released in blood and signals fat cells to release fatty acids into circulation. Upon release of these fatty acids, they can then be burned for fuel.

Coffee Increases Metabolic Rate

Your metabolic rate is considered the amount of calories burned at rest. It is sometimes also known as basal metabolic rate or resting metabolic rate, and differs based on lean muscle mass and other factors. What if you could found something that could raise your metabolic rate, while doing absolutely no extra physical activity? That salvation is coffee.

A study conducted as far back as 1995 and published in The Annals of Nutrition & Metabolismi (Koot et al.) analyzed the effects of coffee consumption of metabolic rate, with and without caffeine. Subjects given coffee enhanced with 200mg caffeine were found to experience increases in metabolic rate ranging from 3-11%, with much of the increased burning of calories coming from oxidation of fat in blood.

Another study published in the American Journal Of Physiology found differences in the metabolism boost to be as high as 29% in lean individuals, while in obese persons the increase in metabolic rate stands at about 10%.

 

Finally, another study published by the American Journal Of Physiologyii compared differences in metabolism between younger and old men, and found that both groups of men experienced similar thermogenic outputs following consumption of caffeine, but the group of younger men experienced increased release of free fatty acids, translating to higher metabolisms.

 

Coffee Boosts Physical Performance

While this is not a direct increase in metabolic rate, what is interesting is the fact that by increasing your physical performance, you indirectly improve your metabolism. Especially if weight training, muscle cell mitochondria become more efficient in burning fat for fuel, which in turn keeps us leaner year round.

This explains why many athletes supplement with caffeine (or drink black coffee) prior to working out, as the increased firing and improved contractility of muscles leads to greater calorie burning and can translate to improved metabolism long term.

Conclusion

Coffee does favorably influence metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories while even at rest. Coffee also increase thermogenesis, which is calories used for heat, as evidenced by raises body temperatures while using caffeine.

Just be sure to have your coffee black, or as close to black as possible, because loading with sugar and creamer adds unnecessary sugars to this super beverage and can blunt the fat liberating effects since insulin gets involved.

 

i https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7486839

ii http://ajpendo.physiology.org/content/268/6/E1192.short

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10 Reasons To Drink Coffee

 

When it comes to their morning beverage of choice, many people do not have to think twice before picking up that cup of coffee. And that may not be a bad thing, after all, coffee possesses a variety of benefits, giving you plenty of reasons to drink it. Added bonus: it’s cheap, widely available and tastes good. So, do you need any more reasons. You’re in luck, because after reading this you will make coffee a part of your daily ritual, and do so guilt free.

Coffee Can Reduce Pain

If you work out often, coffee can do wonders to reduce pain afterwards. In fact, a study published in The Journal Of Paini (Maridakis et al, March 2007) found that up to a 48% reduction of pain could be expected. This is significant as it speeds up recovery and will allow you to train sooner once again.

Coffee Can Help You To Burn Fat

There’s a reason that almost every single weight loss supplement on the market contains caffeine, and that is because it has been proven to promote fat loss of up to 29% in lean people. This is in conjunction with a general metabolic rise of between 3-11%, which is significant when trying to lose weight. There’s just one drawback. The effects may diminish over time as tolerance to caffeine occurs. If weight loss is your primary goal, you should restrict coffee intake to just before workouts for optimum effect.

Drinking Coffee May Prevent Development Of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious global health concern currently that affects more than 300 million people, and that number is only set to increase. Although the exact mechanism behind coffee’s actions on preventing diabetes is unclear, a review of several studies demonstrated that, on average, it reduced the risk by up to 50%. That indicates a significant change. One of these reviews was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, led by researcher Huxley et al, and it found that drinking coffee each day reduces the risk by at least 7%ii.

Coffee Consumption May Reduce Incidence Of Neurodegenerative Disorders

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease fall into this category; being two diseases that are incurable, and get progressively worse over time.  Though the normal prescription of healthy diet and exercise is always advised, caffeine may also prevent development of the conditions, up to 60%, according to a study published in the European Journal Of Neurologyiii (Maia et al. 2012).

Coffee May Reduce The Risk Of Developing Certain Cancers

Coffee may reduce the risk of liver and colorectal cancers in persons who consume 4 or more cups of coffee daily, lowering risks by up to 40% and 15% respectively.

Coffee Can Protect Your Liver

Coffee can help keep your liver functioning optimally, being able to prevent the likelihood of cirrhosis. Drinking four or more cups per day can reduce the risk of cirrhosis by up to 80%.

Coffee Is Rich In Anti-Oxidants

This may come as a surprise to many, but coffee is in fact the primary source of antioxidants in the Western diet, surpassing that received from daily consumption of fruits and veggies combined. This alone is an excellent reason to drink coffee on a daily or near daily basis.

Coffee May Prolong Life

Coffee can reduce the risk of several diseases, and observed over an 18-24 year period, reduced relative mortality rates in men and women by 20% and 26% respectively. These effects are especially pronounced in diabetics.

Coffee May Reduce The Risk Of Depression

A study conducted By Harvard Universityiv in 2011 (Lucas et al.) found that women who consumed 4 or more cups of coffee every day had a 20% reduced risk of developing depression, and a 53% decrease in suicide rates.

Coffee May Reduce Stroke Risk

Though coffee may transiently increase blood pressure, it does not negatively affect heart health. Blood pressure normally returns to baseline after a few days, but along with this is a slightly reduced incidence of stroke.

Final Thoughts

The millions of people who love and drink coffee everyday can rejoice, as not only do they get to drink their favorite brew, they also gain a mountain of great benefits. Keep in mind that coffee has no calories, but overdoing it on the sugar and creamer or choosing high calorie coffee drinks like Frappuccinos, can quickly turn a good thing bad.

Check out my new book coffee

Enjoy Chef Murph

i http://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(06)01023-6/abstract

ii http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/773949

iii http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1468-1331.2002.00421.x/full

iv https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/coffee-depression-women-ascherio-lucas/

 

5 Ways Drinking Water Improves Your Health & Wellness

By Chef Murph K.T.

Your brain is 90% water, your blood is over 80% water, and your bones are over 50% water. And that’s not even taking into account all the cells, tissues, muscles and organs.

Water really is the miracle drink. You can’t go wrong with water. It helps cleanse the body from harmful toxins. Water regulates our body temperature and plays a crucial role in every single chemical reaction inside our cells. It also lubricates our joints, promotes healthy skin, and helps keep the digestive system functioning smoothly.

One of the great benefits of drinking water regularly is that it boosts your energy levels and lifts your mood. And another important function of water drinking is that it strengthens the immune system by helping prevent heart diseases, cancer and even the cold and flu.

When the amount of water you drink daily doesn’t match the amount you excrete, then problems start occurring – starting with dehydration. Most people are chronically dehydrated, causing impairments in attention span, memory, and motor skills.

Dehydration can also cause brain tissue to shrink. When we don’t drink enough water, our brains have to put in a whole lot more effort to perform at the same level. There have been studies carried out on students during exams, and overall the ones who did better had brought in water bottles with them to the exams. Drinking allows us to think more lucidly, as well as focus and concentrate better.

When you’re dehydrated, your skin looks sullen and feels dry because your body’s top priority is to hydrate your organs, and the first place to suffer is the skin on your face. Severe dehydration results in dizziness, weakness, fatigue, headaches, and sometimes even unconsciousness.

Water For Your Health

 

  1. Helps your Bowel Movements

When we don’t drink enough water, our large intestines, the colon, takes the hydration it needs from our stool, making it hard and prickly – a clear sign of constipation. The good news is that drinking plenty of water will help eliminate all these problems. It will aid the digestive system, prevent constipation, and help regulate your bowel movement.

 

  1. Works as a Detoxifier

Our kidneys have the important job of eliminating toxins from our bloodstream, especially the main one in our bodies called BUN (blood urea nitrogen), then get rid of through urination. Yet if our water intake is less than what it should be, your kidneys will have a hard time eliminating these toxins. Toxins are like the leftover junk that’s unused and needs to be removed, like urine, stool, and sweat. Drinking enough water helps your kidneys expel these toxins with ease.

 

  1. Powers Muscles & Joints

According to Shape Fit, a mere 2% loss in water weight can cause fatigue, weakness, and can decrease your ability to think lucidly. It also has a negative effect on your athletic performance, so much, so that if our muscles don’t get enough fluids, they start to feel tired and can actually start to shrink.

 

On the flip side, drinking lots of water allows muscles to be more elastic, it provides our muscles with the energy they need and helps them perform at their highest level. In addition, water helps hydrate and lubricate the joints in the body, which helps reduce joint pain and prevents muscle cramps.

 

  1. Satiate your Hunger

Any good dietician will tell you that drinking water, or eating foods that contain high water content, makes us feel less hungry. In addition, taking that a step further, water keeps us feeling full longer than other drinks because it’s such a high volume liquid.

 

Water also helps boost your metabolism, as well as increases your body’s ability to burn fat. Drinking 2 glasses prior to a meal will help you more pounds in less time.

 

  1. Keeps Skin and Hair Soft

Water helps hydrate the skin and improves the flow of healthy blood throughout the body, which gives you shiny, bright complexion. It also helps rejuvenate skin cells and boost skin suppleness.

When it comes to your hair, knowing that each hair strand is comprised of almost 25% water will shine a brighter light on how much water is crucial to maintaining healthy, shiny hair. Therefore, when you’re constantly replenishing your water intake, this helps stimulate hair growth, as well as helps keep hair shaft strong, giving that shiny, glossy look.

How much is enough?

We’ve been told too many times to count that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day. However, the truth is, that’s an average guideline, and it’s not set in stone. How much you drink depends on your body and how much water will sustain it and provide it with ample nourishment. To calculate just how much water you really need, multiply your bodyweight (lb.) by 0.55. Then divide the result by 8. What comes up is the number of cups you need to drink on a daily basis.

Here are a few ways you can sneak in those recommended glasses of water in your daily routine:

  1. Have a glass of water before each snack and meal.
  2. Keep a bottle of water on you at all times, in your car, in your bag, or at your desk.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. About 20% of our daily fluid intake comes from what we eat. So let their high water content add to your hydration.

 

How to Avoid GMO When Shopping

Choosing to avoid genetically modified foods is a decision to take better care of your health and the health of your loved ones. It’s also a smart way to do your part to tell manufacturers what you are willing to spend your money on. Money talks and consumers really do drive the market. Avoiding GMOs protects the environment and it makes a difference in the local economy.

 

While making the decision to avoid GMOs may have been an easy one, sticking to it can be a bit more difficult. It can be difficult to find foods that are not GMO-free. This guide will help by taking a look at several different approaches. Armed with knowledge and a plan, your shopping trips and meal planning will be easier. You’ll be able to realistically commit to your decision to keep genetically modified foods out of your body and out of your home.

 

Avoiding the Big 5 Contaminants

 

The first and easiest way to avoid Genetically Modified foods is to avoid foods that contain:

 

  • Corn
  • Soy Beans
  • Canola
  • Cotton
  • Sugar Beets
  • Squash
  • Hawaiian Papaya

 

These seven crops are produced primarily by genetically modified seeds. In fact, over 80% of soy, corn and cottonseed are now genetically modified. From soy sauce to the bread you eat, even your taco shells, they’re all made from genetically modified organisms.

The ingredients can be deceptive or difficult to identify. For example, corn syrup in your ketchup is likely made from GMO corn. Even honey often comes from bees who have visited GM canola plants.

This generally means avoiding all processed foods, which isn’t necessarily a bad idea if you’re striving to improve your health. It also requires you to become adept at reading labels. If a product contains any of the above ingredients then it’s likely to be genetically modified. The Non-GMO project identifies the following ingredients as ones to look out for when you’re reading labels and trying to avoid GMO foods.

 

Common Ingredients Derived from GMO Risk Crops

 Amino Acids,

  • Aspartame,
  • Ascorbic Acid,
  • Sodium Ascorbate,
  • Vitamin C,
  • Citric Acid,
  • Sodium Citrate,
  • Ethanol,
  • Natural and artificial Flavorings,
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup,
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein,
  • Lactic Acid,
  • Maltodextrins,
  • Molasses,
  • Monosodium Glutamate,
  • Sucrose,
  • Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP),
  • Xanthan Gum,
  • Vitamins,
  • Yeast Products.

 

If you’ve looked at the label of a simple can of soup or a bottle of tea then you have likely read these ingredients. So the first step to avoiding GMOs is to become proficient at label reading and avoid the largest GMO crops.

 

Buy Organic

 

The next step that you can take is to buy organic. This step opens up a few doors for you because it does enable you to buy things like bread and soymilk without worrying about eating genetically modified foods.

According to the Organic Trade Association, in order for a product to be certified organic, “The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs, and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.”

However, it’s important to be keenly aware of the certification on the product versus other labeling and packaging. For example, a loaf of bread might say, “made with organic wheat.” That doesn’t mean the other ingredients in the loaf of bread are organic or non-GMO. It has to be a certified organic product and go beyond using some organic ingredients.

 

When shopping in the produce isle at your supermarket you may notice that the organic section is quite small. This is because some crops are entirely produced as genetically modified and cannot be organic. Hawaiian Papaya is an ideal example, 98 percent of the papaya grown in Hawaii is GMO. It’s also important to know that organic isn’t always necessary. You can find tomatoes for example that have been crossbred with other tomatoes. They’re not organic but they’re not GMO either.

 

You have to learn which producers are non-GMO and that can take time. For example, if you want non-GMO tomatoes it’s helpful to learn that AMCO Select One tomatoes are GMO free and have been verified by the Non-GMO project as are BackYard Farms Brand, Carmelina, Dassi Family Farms and Double Diamond Farms.  You’ll want to learn what brands your supermarket stocks and which ones are on the approved list. You can visit the Non-GMO project list of verified products

 

Additionally, you can rest easy when buying the following fruits or vegetables:

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes
  • Avocadoes
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Leafy greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Cucumbers
  • Peas
  • Celery
  • Melons
  • Apples

As of 2013, these crops have not been planted from GMO seeds.

 

Buy From Retailers Committed to Non-GMO

In addition to buying organic and learning which food producers provide non-GMO produce, you can shop at retailers who have made a public commitment to make sure consumers are making informed buying decisions.

They may have non-GMO sections in their market or commit to reducing the GMO products on their shelves. These retailers are generally natural foods markets or health food stores. It’s important to know that stores like Whole Foods do still have some GMO foods. Whole Foods recently released the following statement:

We’ve committed to labeling all food products in our US and Canadian stores to indicate whether they contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) by 2018. Many are already labeled and much more will be labeled ahead of this deadline.

Currently, we offer over 25,000 certified organic products and about 8500 Non-GMO Project Verified products in our stores.

The Non-GMO labeling takes us to the next piece of information you can take with you to the supermarket.

 

Non-GMO Labeling

Look for products labeled with the “Non-GMO Project Verified seal.” Manufacturers have to go through a rigid process to earn this seal. The “Non-GMO Project” Requires:

Ongoing testing of all at-risk ingredients—any ingredient being grown commercially in GMO form must be tested prior to use in a verified product.” (Source: http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/understanding-our-seal/)

At risk ingredients change from year to year and presently include:

      • Alfalfa
      • Canola
      • Corn
      • Papaya
      • Soy
      • Sugar Beets
      • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash

Monitored risk foods include:

  • Chard and table beets
  • Rutabaga
  • Siberian kale
  • bok choy,
  • mizuna,
  • Chinese cabbage,
  • turnip,
  • rapini,
  • tatsoi
  • Acorn squash
  • delicata squash
  • patty pan
  • Flax
  • Rice
  • Wheat

The “Non-GMO Project” uses an action threshold that matches that of the European Union. It means that any product containing more than 0.9% GMO cannot be considered for certification. You’ll also be happy to know that they maintain verification with an annual audit and onsite inspections so certification can be lost.

What About Meat and Dairy?

When eating meat and dairy it’s important to look for organic and grass-fed labeling. Presently there is no genetically modified livestock available in the supermarket. That’s not to say they aren’t working on it. They are.

However, most livestock including cows, pigs, and chickens are fed genetically modified crops. If you’re trying to stay completely free of GMO ingredients you’ll want to buy organic dairy, organic and 100 percent grass-fed meats as well. Note: some livestock is “Grass Finished” this means they ate regular feed when they were young and developing and then fed grass at the end before they were sent to slaughter.

 

Fish and Seafood

There will likely soon be genetically modified salmon in your supermarket and the FDA is looking at several other genetically modified fish. Unfortunately, farmed fish, like farmed livestock, are often fed genetically engineered food. Buy wild caught fish instead. And avoid can fish that is packed with genetically modified oils like cottonseed, rapeseed, and canola oil. Look for fish packed in water or 100 percent olive oil.

 

There’s An App for It

Both the Center for Food Safety and the Non-GMO Project offer applications that help you avoid genetically modified foods when you’re shopping. The Center for Food Safety App is called the “True Food Shoppers Guide.” If you have either an iOS phone or an Android Phone you can add this app to your list of resources. You can learn more about it here.

The Non-GMO project’s application is called the Non-GMO Project Shopping Guide and is only available for iOS phones. You can download the application here.

In Summary

  1. Buy whole foods and avoid the top 5 most common genetically engineered crops.
  2. Learn to read labels and look for hidden GMO ingredients
  3. Buy organic
  4. Look for products labeled with the “Non-GMO Project Verified seal.”
  5. Learn which brands and retailers support and provide non-GMO foods.
  6. Buy organic and grass-fed meat and dairy.
  7. Learn which crops are considered safe and which crops are almost always genetically modified
  8. They say buy wild caught fish and fish packed in water. That comes with other problems. As a fish farmer. I think and feel that buying fish from the farm is safer because we are regulated. Look for non-GMO raised fish. 97.3 percent of fish eaten in the US comes from China. I would only source US fish. Give US Catfish a try.

Hope it helps

Chef Murph

xoxox

http://www.chefmurph.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Tips When Cooking Italiano

by Chef K.T. Murphy

Caring is preparing but serving is Love.

If you mess up its family style.

I live in South Philly East, AKA Washington TWP NJ. I have cooked in 2 Italian Resturants professionally in Philadelphia and South Jersey. I laugh that people still go to Olive Garden and call that Italian food when the live in an area of some of the best restaurants’ for international food. I would only go to Olive Garden if I was stuck in Dallas TX .        ITsAllGood

Chef Murph

  1. When buying Prosecco to make Peach Bellini cocktails, don’t worry about picking the most expensive bottle available. The natural fruity sweetness from the peaches and the simple syrup (if used) give this cocktail its distinctive taste.  An average $10 – $15 bottle will work just fine.
  2. When it comes to making minestrone, there are endless variations you can try. This soup is traditionally made using whatever vegetables are locally available and in season. Let your local farmers’ market or your own seasonal garden be your guide.
  3. The key to making delicious soups is to “layer” the flavor. For example, if adding bacon to your minestrone recipe, brown it in your stockpot or Dutch oven first, then sauté the chopped vegetables such as garlic, onions, celery or carrots in some of the pan drippings to impart extra flavor.
  4. Never throw away the outer rind from fresh Parmesan cheese. Instead toss one into your soup pot to add yet another flavor “layer” to your recipes. And, yes… freshly grated Parmesan cheese is ALWAYS a better option than the stuff you find pre-grated in the store.
  5. Although it didn’t originate in northern Italy, ribollita is a very popular Italian dish you can make with leftover minestrone soup. Simply brush some ciabatta or other crusty bread with olive oil and toast in your oven until golden brown.  (Set under the broiler, but watch carefully so it doesn’t burn).  Place the toasted, crusty bread in a soup bowl and ladle warm minestrone over it. Top with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
  6. When made correctly, gnocchi should be oh-so-light and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Unfortunately, the dough is easy to over-knead and the end result is tough, dense, and chewy.
  7. One trick to avoid this? Use a pastry scraper to combine your wet dough with flour instead of your hands. Chopping and turning the dough with a metal blade – instead of kneading it with your warm hands – won’t activate the gluten in the flour, which is what makes the dumplings so tough and chewy.Not sure what texture your gnocchi dough should be? Just squeeze your earlobe. The dough should be soft and ‘giving’ to the touch, not overly thick and dense.
  8. Can’t find official “polenta” in your grocery store (other than the premade packaged rolls)? You can use regular cornmeal, but look for medium to coarse ground for the best results.
  9. The type of rice you use to make risotto is very important. While it may be tempting to try whatever rice you have on hand – don’t. Common long-grain rice lacks the proper starch content to yield the creamy results you’re after.
  10.  Most modern pesto recipes call for using a food processor to the blend the ingredients. There is no question this method is much faster and easier than doing all that chopping by hand.

    However, when you finely chop the ingredients by hand, some natural variation in particle size occurs. This creates a less homogenized and paste-like final product that adheres to the nooks and crannies of pasta or gnocchi differently.

    The result? More distinct flavors from one bite to the next. Give it a try sometime.

“B”s of Italy’s Piedmont Wines:

by K.T. Murphy  “Chef Murph”

Without question, Italy is one of the most esteemed wine producing countries in the world and the Piedmont (Piemonte) region in northern Italy ranks near the top in terms of the quality of wines it produces. Any discussion of Piedmont wines would be incomplete without shining a spotlight on the 3 “B”s of this region – Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera.

A Tale of Two Grapes

Barolo and Barbaresco are produced from the same grape: Nebbiolo. This grape is a true diva. She is fussy and demanding and among the most difficult to grow. In fact, she refuses to flourish just about anywhere else in the world. (She even takes her name from the Italian word ‘nebbia’ for the fog that settles over the Piedmont region during the fall harvest). However, she delivers the goods in terms of the quality and complexity of wines produced from her. As a result, she is highly prized by winemakers in the Piedmont region and the best growing areas and winemaking equipment are devoted to her. It’s not surprising, then, that her most famous offspring – Barolo and Barbaresco – are so highly revered. Born of privilege and prestige, they are content to make you wait, and wait, and wait, until they are ready to be savored and enjoyed.

On the other hand, the Barbera grape (also the name of the wine) is much more laid back and easy to accommodate. She is planted much more widely, but almost never on the highly coveted southern facing slopes that brought such prominence to the Piedmont region. Traditionally, the Barbera grape was planted for quantity, not quality, so her offspring became known as everyday drinking wines.

Barolo vs. Barbaresco: Wine Royalty

 Although both hail from the rustic, yet sophisticated Piedmont region and are produced from the same grape, there are distinct differences between these two powerhouse wines.

Both are reigning monarchs of Piedmont’s most well-known wines. (In fact, Barolo has been referred to as the ‘king of wine’). In general, Barolo is the more robust, complex and masculine of the two. It has been called “stern and imposing,” but that is open to interpretation. It is, however, weightier and more like a French Bordeaux than its counterpart. Barolos tend to cost more and age better, as well.

Like Barbaresco, Barolo is not a wine you’d want to drink while young because it is too severe. By law, it must age for a minimum of 3 years between barrel and bottle; 5 years for Barolo riserva. Many require significantly longer to reach their prime. Barbaresco, on the other hand, is the more graceful of the two. She is softer, more balanced and matures earlier. Aging requirements for Barbaresco are 2 years between barrel and bottle and 4 years for Barbaresco riserva. Non-riserva wines require only one year of oak aging, resulting in its smooth, soft, and more feminine finish.

Both Barolo and Barbaresco pair well with foods that offer big flavors that can stand up to them. Robust meats, wild game, rich pastas and creamy risottos are all worthy partners.

Barbera: Piedmont’s Traditional Every Day WineImage may contain: food

Remember, Barbera is the name of both the grape and the wine. Historically, both have been treated more like ‘commoners’ when compared to their more royal Piedmont counterparts. Unlike the fussy Nebbiolo grape, Barbera is so adaptable it can thrive just about anywhere. In fact, it can now be found in wine growing regions all around the world.

It’s not hard to see why Barbera has long been referred to as the ‘people’s wine.’ The adaptability and high yield of this grape made it easy to cultivate for people of all social and economic standing. It has earned its reputation as a common wine, suitable for every table. Not surprisingly, Barbera is a wine that has graced the tables of hard working Italian families for generations.

Barbera is no shrinking violet, however. With its acidic, full body and deep rich color, it is a good match for the hearty flavors you’ll find on the average Italian family table. However, thanks to its laid-back character – and the fact it can be enjoyed young – Barbera has gained more widespread appeal. It can now be found in the finest restaurants, as well as in the average family home.

No matter what you’re serving for dinner tonight, when it comes to choosing a bottle of wine to grace your table, look no further than the wines of the Piedmont region of Italy.

Enjoy

Chef Murph

Lowering Blood Pressure With Deep Breathing Exercisesh

cropped-image0021.pngby Chef K.T. Murphy

High blood pressure is a very common condition afflicting thousands of people. Things like genetics, diet, lack of exercise, and unhealthy lifestyle choices are contribute to this illness.

The good news is that if you are willing to put in a little effort you can help lower your blood pressure. Along with a healthy diet, some exercise, and eating less sodium, deep breathing is another option that can really help.

What is High Blood Pressure?   

Blood pressure is the flow of blood running through the veins thanks to the beating of the heart. There is a normal flow and too much pressure. High blood pressure is a force of blood on the walls of the veins with too much pressure.

The only way to measure blood pressure is through a special monitor that measures the systolic pressure over the diastolic pressure: number/number. The systolic pressure is a number that identifies the rate at which the heart is pumping blood and the diastolic is the rate of blood pressure when the heart is resting, or between pumps.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is defined as a reading above 140/90, and is diagnosed as severe when it is above 180/120.

This condition does not present any symptoms, but when left untreated can cause heart disease and stroke. Additionally, the Cleveland Clinic and the Baylor College of Medicine lists heart failure, heart attack, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease as comorbidities of hypertension.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is a result of many things. Genetics, bad diet, high stress lifestyle, smoking, drinking, and lack of exercise are some of the main causes.

As the heart is made to pump faster, and harder and needing to process more and more blood though small veins; it puts undue pressure on this vital organ, so it is important to get this pressure under control.

Treatment Options

It is important to keep fat and salt to a minimum, as they clog the arteries and cause blood vessels to weaken.

Lack of exercise and physical activity causes everything in the body to weaken which increases blood pressure, so a healthy low sodium diet, medication, and exercise are often used by doctors to treat hypertension.

Deep Breathing And Lowering Blood Pressure

Practicing deep breathing regularly throughout the day can also help lower blood pressure and reduce stress, which makes it worse. The body needs a balance of calm, relaxation, proper diet, rest, and exercise to run efficiently.

Deep breathing allows the body to help maintain this balance. Stress can cause your blood pressure to go up which weakens the blood vessel walls. Deep breathing helps to maintain a more natural and lower blood pressure keeping the strain off the blood vessel walls.

Deep breathing is a very simple task you can perform anywhere and at any time.

How To Deep Breathe

  1. Let go of all thoughts
  2. Breathe in through your nose
  3. Hold that breath for about 3 seconds
  4. Exhale through the mouth, exhale at twice the speed it took to inhale

Repeat several times per day, and as needed during times of heighted stress. You can do this anywhere, but of course, fresh clean air surroundings are always best. Meditation is another great practice that includes mindful breathing and a deep focus on the breath.

Bottom Line

The benefit of lowering your blood pressure with deep breathing is one that you cannot afford to miss. High blood pressure can creep on you anytime in your life, but risk factors increase with age, specifically in people age 40 and older. The difficult thing is that you cannot really detect it.

There are no symptoms, so it is important to be tested regularly, especially if your lifestyle is not so healthy or you are overweight.

One of the best ways to not get high blood pressure is to take preventative measures. When you deep breathe and practice deep breathing regularly, you are preventing yourself from getting sick and also boosting many other aspects of your health associated with deep breathing.

When you put in a little preventative effort, it can really pay off in the long run.

http://www.chefmurph.com/holistic-wellness-series.html

Be well.

Chef Murph

 

6 Mind Body Exercises Include Deep Breathing

by Chef Murph K.T.

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Check out the videos PDf at ChefMurph.com

Balancing your mind and body supports your overall health and deep breathing, which you can do on its own or in mind-body exercises like yoga, Pilates, meditation, Tai Chi and QiGong can help.

Deep breathing included with mind and body exercises can help you lose weight, feel great, reduce stress, and be strong in body and mind. The oxygen that you bring in through deep breathing from your abdomen and the toxins that you release when you exhale help to generate new cells keep you feeling great and maintain an optimal level of health both physical and mental.

Yoga

The ancient practice of yoga continues to be one of the most popular practices in the modern world. In today, hectic modern world, it is easy to get lost in stress and all its side effects. Yoga and the deep breathing that goes along with it helps you stay present, calms the mind and provides more than a hundred different health benefits for mind, body and spirit.

Yoga helps keep your body strong, your mind focused, and your soul peaceful, and balanced. An integral part of yoga is structured breathing, which includes a high level of mindfulness in conjunction with taking deep breaths. The breath is an important part of yoga, and not only induces a state of calm in the mind; it also supports the poses that promote physical health.

Pilates

The deep breathing used in Pilates is similar to yoga, but is more rapid and typically increases the heart rate more so than yoga does.

If you would like a more intense workout, yet still enjoy the mind and body connection in your workout, then Pilates is the thing to do.

Meditation

Whereas yoga and Pilates both involve deep breathing and strengthening the mind and body with a more physical effort behind it, meditation is breathing in stillness, without movement.

Meditation is a less strenuous approach to deep breathing and mind body balance. Meditation uses deep breathing to help focus the mind towards calm and peace.

In a world of stress, mediation is a very valuable mind-body practice for balance and sanity.

Whether someone has physical limitations or other reasons why they cannot perform yoga or Pilates, meditation offers a great way to include deep breathing and all its benefits.

Tai Chi And QiGong

These practices that feature slower moving variations of martial arts movements, involve slow meditative movement that is synced with the breathe. Imagine a slow dance, where you flow from one move to another.

Like yoga, the breathing patterns and methods in these practices are very specific and thoughtfully crafted to yield a state of calm, peace, and balance between the mind and body.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is used in all of the above practices, and they include the process of inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. This provides oxygen for positive cell regeneration and the elimination of toxins in the body.

Simple deep breathing exercises can be done anywhere, and at any time and require no special equipment or physical effort, here is one example of a simple deep breathing exercise.

How To Deep Breathe

  1. Let go of all thoughts
  2. Breathe in through your nose
  3. Hold that breath for about 3 seconds
  4. Exhale through the mouth, exhale at twice the speed it took to inhale

Typically, it is suggested to use a 4:7:8 pattern: 4 seconds to inhale, 7 seconds to hold, and 8 seconds to exhale.

Do It Everyday

Deep breathing practiced every day in the form of any of these mind and body exercises, or by simply taking the time to repeat the above sequence several times a day can greatly improve your physical health and mental and emotional wellbeing.

You will never bored with all the choices in mind-body exercises, and when used with a healthy diet, and regular exercise you can achieve a high level of internal balance and balance is a known key to longevity.

Check out the mp3 to go along with this series at

http://www.chefmurph.com/holistic-wellness-series.html

Enjoy

Chef Murph

10 Ways to Relax

by Chef Murph K.T.

Complete Series Includes 5 manuals, 2 videos and 4 mp3 meditation and 4 mp3 for Quiet Series both are over 20 minutes in each series. I had some great help from Trisha and Mike at Team Chef Murph. My goal is to give you the tools for nutritional but also for your mind and body.   http://www.chefmurph.com/holistic-wellness-series.html

We live in a world where people seem to compete to have the busiest lives and don’t like to say no when people ask them to do anything. We work, join clubs and teams, and also balance our family and home lives.

It’s no wonder people are under more stress today than ever before. There are articles all over the place about the many ways we can relax, but how do we make time to do them? This article is going to cover ten practical ways to take time out of your busy life and relax more often.

  1. Rely On Breathing Exercises: Breathing exercises don’t take much time out of your day to complete. They are a fast and effective way to relax your body. You can do this while waiting in line, on your break at work or even while you are in the car driving.
  2. Create A Routine: By setting up a routine where you can take even five or ten minutes before bed to stretch, do yoga, meditate or even write about your stresses in a journal you are going to feel more relaxed which will lead to you having a better sleep and feeling better rested in the morning.
  3. Focus On The Present Moment: When you can be present in the moment you are about to reduce your stress levels and truly relax. Notice all of the little sounds and sights that are around you when you are going about your day instead of dwelling on the next thing on your to-do list.
  4. Find A Hobby: If you are going to join a club or a team, choose one that is geared towards something that you already enjoy doing and relaxes you. It is great to learn to do new things, but there is a comfort that is found in finding people who also enjoy doing the things, you enjoy doing.
  5. Treat Yourself As You Treat Your Family: Many people give and give and give to their families and forget to treat themselves with the same ideals. Instead, they tend to put their needs on the backburner and not indulge in self-care. When you treat yourself well, you are much better for everyone else in your life.
  6. Distract Yourself: Read a book, or go out to a movie. These activities require you to pay attention, which will allow you not to think about all of your stresses for a while and get lost in an alternate plot. After the movie or book, you will find that you feel more relaxed and ready to take on your problems. Turn this into a weekly outing, or join a book club.
  7. Use Your Senses: Your sense of smell is connected to the amount of stress you are feeling. Choose a scent such as rose, peppermint, or lavender and light a candle or use a nicely scented body lotion and give yourself a massage.
  8. Take A Real Break: Don’t spend your lunch hour and your breaks at your desk, or even in your office. Instead, get out and take a short walk. Taking a walk and allowing your mind to focus on other things is a great way to reset your mind and forget about your stresses.
  9. Visualize: When you need to relax, and you can’t get away, close your eyes and imagine you are somewhere else. Imagine a beach with waves crashing. Be as detailed as you can in your visualization and before you know it, you will find yourself relaxing as if you are there.
  10. Find What Works Best For You: Everyone is different, what allows your friends to relax may not be what leads you to feel relaxed. Experiment with some different relaxation techniques and figure out what makes you feel the best.

As you can see, there are many different things you can do during the day to help yourself relax. Relaxing doesn’t need a huge chunk of time carved out of your day to be effective. Using the tips above you are going to be able to bring relaxation into your daily life and feel less stressed out almost instantly.

Enjoy and all the best

Chef Murph

Making a Sauce

1146319_408635712575998_800061535_oWhen I am making a sauce. I will use the drippings and add white wine for chicken, fish, and pork, Red wine for beef or game or Cream when something is delicate. Use the spices and herbs from the table below tailoring it to the persons, adding a dash of cayenne and emulsify. I thicken mostly with arrow root. It is clear adds no flavors, not pasty like cornstarch or flour. My goal is to give you ideas to go forth and spread your love of cooking,

Cuisine Popular Herbs, Spices & Seasonings

Italian: basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, parsley

French: thyme, French tarragon, rosemary, basil, sage, mint, marjoram

Greek: dill, lemon, oregano, fennel

Spanish: saffron, smoked and regular paprika, rosemary, thyme

German: mustard, rye, caraway seeds, borage

Mexican: cilantro, chili powder, cumin, Mexican oregano

Indian: curry powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric

Chinese: five-spice powder, star anise, fennel seed, cloves, cinnamon, ginger

Thai: Thai basil, cumin, turmeric, lemon grass, cinnamon

Of course, this is far from comprehensive, but it can serve as a good reference point for assembling your own collection of must-have herbs, spices

Always temp your sauce to the protein 140 F or 180F Commercial

Enjoy

Chef Murph

Good Food Makes for Better Decision's!!!