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Got Almonds?!

Just a guy and his puppy!

Just a guy and his puppy!

Almond milk that is….

Victoria and I usually have at least 96 ounces of almond milk ready to go. Not kidding. We love the stuff! This is a great option for those that are lactose intolerant and it’s low in fat. 

Fun fact: it also contains minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Woohoo!

Ingredients:

Almonds

Water

Dates (Optional) 

Vanilla extract (Optional)

Salt

Tools:

Blender

Strainer

Cheese Cloth (If you don’t have one, paper towels work perfectly) 

Large bowl

Step 1: Soak a cup of almonds in a bowl of water for 8-48 hours. Make sure the almonds are completely covered by the water.

Step 2: Pour the almonds into the strainer and get rid of all the water. You may notice that the almonds look bigger. 

Step 3: Put the almonds in the blender. Measure out 4 cups of water and pour in (for every cup of almonds, you would use 4 cups of water).

Step 4: Technically, those are the only ingredients you need but I like to sweeten it up a little. If you do too, add two dates and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with a pinch of salt (Don’t forget to remove the pits from the dates).

Step 5: Blend on low for 1 minute. As that is blending, grab your large bowl, strainer, and cheese cloth (or paper towels). Put the strainer on top of the large bowl (this will catch any almonds that might slip out of the cheese cloth) and lay the cheese cloth on top of the strainer. 

Step 6: Once the almonds are all blended, take the blender over to your station and slowly pour the almond milk onto the cheese cloth (the cloth or paper towel should catch all of the chopped almonds). Pick up the corners of the cloth and squeeze out the milk and throw away the almonds. You might have to do this a few times to get all the almond milk out.

Step 7: My favorite step! Enjoy the frothy almondy goodness. Maybe, even with a puppy. Haha! Just kidding! I promise we really don’t give him almond milk.

The Difference Between Knee and Hip Dominant Exercise

When it comes to exercise selection, lower body movements can for the most part be split into two different categories: knee dominant or hip dominant. Some exercises can be a little trickier to categorize. No worries, I have an idea that might help.

Look at a lower body exercise from the side; you can see which joint is flexing the most (either the knee or hip). You would choose knee dominant if you are working on quad development. For example: squat, lunges, front squats, etc. You can also check out the angle of your torso versus the angle of your tibia (shin) to tell the difference as well. All of these knee dominant exercises will have your torso more vertical and your tibia more angled. Below are a few videos to help.

Hip dominant (glute dominant) will allow your hip to flex more in the exercise. You would choose this if you are working on glute development. For example: deadlifts, 45 degree raise, Romanian deadlifts, etc. But if you look at your torso and tibia, the torso will be angled more and the tibia will be more vertical. Check out the videos below to understand a little bit more. 

Now, could you make some knee dominant exercises more hip dominant and vice versa? You bet! Examples: lunges, step ups, hip extensions, etc. Always use your hips to angle the torso and keep an eye out on your shin to see if its vertical or not. Take a look at these videos to differentiate.

Normally a split squat is knee dominant. If you notice, Christine, is using the rings to make it more hip dominant by pushing her hips back and make her shine more vertical.

Walking lunges tend to be more knee dominant. As you can see here, angling my torso and keeping the shin more vertical can allow the movement to be more hip dominant. 

I hope this helped. If you are looking for more lower body videos, check out our youtube channel. Now, go get your lower body on! It will thank you. HAHA!

“Is Sitting the New Smoking?”

Come on! Really? Could this statement possibly be true? A lot of recent research has been done to evaluate the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle. Well…here is the jist of it. 

 

Let’s start with the body position. About 80% of americans have desk jobs or a job that requires you to sit for a long period of time. And when I say long time, I’m talking close to 12 to 14 hours a day. HOLY MOLY BATMAN (in the Robin voice)! Due to gravity pushing you down onto the chair, your spine is experiencing more compressive force than if you were standing with your muscles engaged to hold you up. Leaning over to type on the computer is exaggerating the kyphotic curve in your upper back which adds unnecessary pressure to your organs and limits lung capacity for breathing. And last but not least, increased tightness in your hip flexors, glutes, quads, upper back, and chest, which can lead to discomfort and injury. This is just a look from the outside.

 

What about the inside? Ok! Lets get geeky! “According to science writer Gretchen Reynolds, a recent Swedish study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that when you sit all day, your telomeres (the tiny caps on the ends of DNA strands) get shorter, which, you can imagine, is not a good thing. As telomeres get shorter, the rate at which the body ages and decays speeds up. Conversely, the study found “that the telomeres in [those] who were sitting the least had lengthened. Their cells seemed to be growing physiologically younger.” The shortening of DNA strands could lead to diabetes, heart disease, and possibly shorten your life span. 

 

So how do you prevent this from happening? Here are a few simple tips to try during the week:

 

  • Set an alarm every 30-60 minutes to get up and move (the more you move, the less compressed your joints will be and the happier your body will feel).
  • If your company can supply it, request a stand up desk. This is a great alternative to a regular desk. There are tons of unique options.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Optimally we would all average 10,000 steps per day. Use those two legs!
  • Arrange your desk so you can sit in the correct anatomical position. Move your desktop/laptop high enough so you’re not rounding forward towards the screen and close enough to you that so your spine remains neutral while you type.

 

These are just some simple changes to your everyday work-life that could add years to your life.