Diet + Exercise
We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, but being healthy is about more than just eating right; it’s also about exercise. Many of our bean tubes are being hosted by gyms and fitness facilities during their current Denver stay, so we’ve found seven great reasons from the Mayo Clinic to get your body moving:
No. 1: Exercise controls weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. You don’t need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can’t do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways — by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.
No. 2: Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.
No. 3: Exercise improves mood
Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
No. 4: Exercise boosts energy
Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.
No. 5: Exercise promotes better sleep
Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.
No. 6: Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life
Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there’s more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.
No. 7: Exercise can be fun
Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.
The bottom line on exercise
Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any health concerns.
The Bean Tube Experiment Has Arrived in Denver and Boulder
Our Denver and Boulder partners welcomed The Bean Tube Experiment with open arms yesterday when the 5-foot tubes filled with Garbanzo beans were delivered to their locations. From gyms to cancer-related nonprofits to museums and apartment complexes, there are 14 bean tubes around Denver and Boulder, and we encourage you to find each one! Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for location hints.
The bean tubes hung out in Fort Collins these past three weeks, and we can’t thank our partners in that area enough who hosted them:
Team Fort Collins - 201 South College Avenue
24 Hour Fitness - 2208 East Harmony Road
Inner Strength Rock Gym - 3713 South Mason Street
Cambridge House Apartments - 1113 West Plum Street
Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce - 225 South Meldrum Street
Recycled Cycles - 4031 S Mason St. and CSU Campus, 500 University Avenue
EPIC - 1801 Riverside Avenue
Northside Aztlan Community Center – 112 Willow Street
And now to leave you with five very persuading reasons to try Middle Eastern food - which plays a large role in Mediterranean cooking. According to Saad Fayed of About.com, the top five reasons to try Middle Eastern food are:
1. Middle Eastern Food is Healthy!
You won’t find a lot of fat like butter and lard in Middle Eastern cooking or food preparation. Many recipes use only olive oil, and in very small quantities. Very few dishes are fried, also. You will find many foods are grilled and baked.
2. Middle Eastern Food is a Vegetarian’s Paradise.
Middle Eastern food is a natural choice for vegetarians. Veggie only kebobs, appetizers like hummus and baba ghannouj, and meatless soups and stews give vegetarians so many options. Middle Eastern salads are filling and served with many types of veggies and spices.
3. Eating a New Food Starts Your Journey to Learn More.
In college, I had a friend who had never eaten any type of ethnic cuisine. I took him to a Middle Eastern restaurant and although he was wary of trying something new, he did and loved it. Today, my friend speaks enough Arabic to carry on a conversation and has visited the Middle East three times. All because of a little kibbeh…
4. A New Food Can Bring Your Family Closer Together.
Don’t believe me? Try it. So much can be said and learned over a 45 minute meal. Learning about a new culture can be such a family building exercise. Each week, one of my children cooks a meal from another country. Under my supervision, they chop vegetables, set the table and serve the meal. This time allows me, as a father, to interact with my children productively.
5. Cooking Middle Eastern Food Requires Very Little Skill.
You don’t need a degree from the Cordon Bleu to cook up some kebabs or tabouleh. Middle Eastern cooking is about improvisation, using whatever cooking skills you have. Veggies and meats don’t have to be perfectly sliced or served a certain way. It’s all about what you know how to do!
Garbanzo Beans = Olympic Gold
In the spirit of the Olympics, we wanted to share this fun article with you about the mighty power and versatility of the garbanzo bean. We all know how healthy it is, but in Huffington Post writer Varu Chilakamarri‘s article, “Garbanzo Gets the Gold in the Food Olympics”, she expounds on this little bean’s many uses.Chilakamarri writes:
“Known as ‘Chickpea’ to her friends, Garbanzo has been around for a long time. She secured a spot in the American salad bar years ago, but that didn’t really showcase her talents. Nonetheless, she’s thrived on the international stage, feeding mouths across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. I first noticed Garbanzo when she partnered with Tahini to bring us hummus. But Garbanzo has also proven that she can hold her own in any curry. And when it comes to the triathlon of texture, flavor, and nutrition, Garbanzo is an all-around champion. Be it dried or boiled, whole or pureed, sweet or savory, Garbanzo can do it all.”
Continue reading her article to find a couple tasty treats and healthy recipes using garbanzo beans.
The Bean Tube Experiment has officially moved to Fort Collins! The tubes are in 10 different locations throughout the city. If you’ve found your way here, we can assume you’ve already located at least one. But keep hunting! Each tube has a different wellness message, and each time you visit this website you can print off the coupon for a yummy Garbanzo offer. The tubes will soon be in Boulder and Denver, so head out now while they’re still in your area. Happy bean tube hunting, everyone!
Dietitian Encourages Mediterranean Diet
A recent article on TBO.com features a registered dietitian who touts the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. She says research shows people in the Mediterranean “don’t suffer from the lifestyle diseases that Americans do” because they eat “a lot of fresh food…and lots of fruits and vegetables.” She also explains that the Mediterranean diet is a natural anti-inflammatory. Research shows that “obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease can be linked to chronic or “silent” inflammation.”
Very interesting information all around! At the end of the article, the dietitian adds that there are no “inherently ‘bad’ food” as long as it’s in moderation. Good to know for all of us chocaholics!
But overall this is one more reason to follow a Mediterranean diet – or as close to it as possible – in order to live a longer and healthier life.
Fighting Wrinkles, One Vegetable at a Time
We hope everyone had a fun, safe and active 4th of July holiday! If you’ve been following The Bean Tube Experiment for awhile, you may have noticed that the tubes did not move up to Fort Collins and Boulder as initially planned. Due to the wildfires across the state, we decided to keep the tubes where they are for a little longer. Now that things seem to be settling down, the bean tubes will be arriving in Boulder and Fort Collins late next week. Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for hints as to where they’re located around those areas.
Wrinkle Fighting Foods
We came across this study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition a few years back and have been referencing it ever since: http://ht.ly/c9286. It essentially says that a Mediterranean diet can help prevent wrinkles by increasing the skin’s natural defenses against sun damage. With the intense sun and heat we’ve had here in Colorado lately, we thought this tidbit of information would be interesting to share. According to the study, some of the most beneficial foods for your skin include:
- Green leafy vegetables (e.g., spinach and kale)
- Legumes (e.g., broad and lima beans)
- Olives and olive oil
- Fruits (e.g., cherries, melon and apples)
These are all foods found in a Mediterranean diet! So, what’s the take-away here? Eat your veggies! Stock up on fruits and nuts! And don’t forget the olive oil! Happy chowing down, everyone!
More Tips We Love:
- A healthy skin diet: http://www.mediterraneanbook.com/2011/03/08/mediterranean-diet-menu-maintain-healthy-skin/
- Foods that fight aging: http://www.befitbefull.com/?p=9020
- Super foods: http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/foods-that-give-you-a-health-do-over
Big Thanks for Our Supporters
If you’ve found our bean tubes around town, you know the amazing organizations that are hosting them. We’d like to give a big thanks to the locations listed below for recognizing the importance of eating healthy, exercising and staying active. They have played a huge part in The Bean Tube Experiment and we thank them for their support:
All Pikes Peak Library District Locations:
9475 Briar Village Point
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
- East Library
5550 N. Union Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
- Rockrimmon Library
832 Village Center Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
- Monument Library
1706 Lake Woodmoor Drive
Monument, CO 80132
- Palmer Lake Library
66 Lower Glenway
Palmer Lake, CO 80133
- Fountain Library
230 S. Main St.
Fountain, CO 80817
- Falcon Library
7035 Old Meridian Rd.
Falcon, CO 80831
- Cheyenne Mountain Library
1785 S. 8th St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
- Sand Creek Library
1821 Academy Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
- Penrose Library
20 N. Cascade Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
- Ruth Holley Library
685 N. Murray Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80915
- Old Colorado City Library
2418 West Pikes Peak Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
- Ute Pass Library
Cascade, CO 80809
First and Main Town Center (Find two bean tubes here)
3650 Center Point
Colorado Springs, CO 80922
The Promenade Shops at Briargate
1885 Briargate Pkwy.
Colorado Springs, CO 8092
The bean tubes will now stay in Colorado Springs for the next two weeks before moving to Fort Collins and Boulder. Keep your eyes peeled for them when visiting these locations as our Garbanzo offer changes regularly.
Mediterranean Cuisine: A Healthy Eating Plan
You may have heard a lot lately about the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Research has shown it can help reduce the risks of heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. But what is it about this eating plan that makes it so beneficial? We turned to the Mayo Clinic to help us get to the bottom of this!
They say the key components of a Mediterranean diet consist of:
- Getting plenty of exercise
- Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
- Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
- Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
- Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
- Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
- Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
The Mediterranean diet even has its own food pyramid.
There is so much more to explore about the Mediterranean diet – the types of foods, healthy fats and living the lifestyle – and we’ll get to that in different posts. But for now, let’s just take a look at this food pyramid. It may be making our mouths water and our tummies growl, but it also makes a lot of sense to us. We can certainly see why this Mediterranean diet craze is catching on!
Until next time, happy bean tube hunting!
Welcome to the Bean Tube Experiment!
You found your way here, which means you must have seen our bean tubes around town. Congrats on tracking us down and on the tasty Garbanzo offer you’ll find here on our site.
We hope the bean tubes got you thinking about living and eating healthy. Both Garbanzo and LiveWell Colorado are dedicated to helping our fellow Coloradoans lead their healthiest lives possible, and this project is one more step we’re taking in that process. We couldn’t be happier to have you along for the ride.
There are several bean tubes placed around Colorado Springs, all with different healthy living messages. They will be in your area for the next three weeks before they move on to Fort Collins, so we challenge you to find a few more and visit us again. We’ll continue to post healthy lifestyle tips and more information about the Bean Tube Experiment.
Happy bean tube hunting!