Canola Oil. To eat or not to eat?

I was recently researching the health benefits of Canola Oil, since it is very popular among us. And here is what I have found. I advise you to read it, and decide for yourself.

At first I thought that name came from some kind of wonderful seed named “CANOLA”.But actually it stands for “Canada oil, low acid”.

Where does Canola Oil come from and what it's made of?

Well, it comes from rapeseeds, which grow widely in Canada.

Rapeseeds produce natural oil extremely high in erucic acid – toxin. In order to lower erucic acid, in 1968 Dr. Baldur Stefansson had Genetically Modified original rapeseed and came up with variety  “suitable for human consumption”.

Is canola oil healthy?

I think to myself “if Nature created rapeseed such high in toxin, then humans and animals not suppose to eat it!” Canola Oil is not wholesome natural food!

Canola oil has many non-food uses – such products include candles, lipsticks, newspaper inks, industrial lubricants and biofuels. Do you still want to cook your lunch with Canola Oil?

So, what are the alternatives to Canola Oil?

  1. Do not fry your food at all.
  2. Coconut oil.
  3. Old-fashioned butter that comes from Non-Genetically Modified Organic Grass-Fed Cow (for non-vegan readers).

What else? What do you suggest? Write comments so we can come up with something else:)

Like Russians say, “One brain is good, but two is better”

Love, VAL


breakfast

How to really start your morning

We should think of our body as a miracle machine that does everything to keep us healthy and happy.

While you sleeping at night, your body is going thru detox process - it is getting rid of old toxins and waste that you receive thru polluted air, unclean water, unhealthy food ... You name it.

To me , the most important meal of the day is breakfast. How you will feel the whole day is simply depends on what you have first thing in the morning.

breakfast

My advise to everyone is to start your day with glass of warm water and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Lemons are very alkalizing on your body, so you will have stronger immune system. Besides, lemons are very cleansing for your intestines.

Wait 30 min and then you can have your breakfast, It is very important to have fruit as a first food entering your body. Try to keep is simple - chose one fruit that you enjoy most and have it as much as you want till the lunch time.

My favorite breakfast is melon smoothie!

I take one cantaloupe melon - split it in half - spoon out the seeds. Then I take my blender and put ripe flesh into it. I blend everything well and thats it! Sometimes I add almond milk and it tastes even better!

Love, Val


Interview with Gui Valente by Valentina Zelyaeva

I had a chance to interview a black-belt in brazilian jiu jitsu - Gui Valente. He is well known jiu jitsu teacher in Florida. At "Valente Brothers Jiu Jitsu" he teaches  law enforcements and military among other students. I personally, never tried jiu jitsu before, but after interviewing Gui, I think I might want to take a couple of classes next time I'm in Miami :)

Who is Gui Valente?

Firstly, thank you for the invitation and for the opportunity to talk about our lifestyle. I am from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and for the past 13 years Miami Beach has been my home. I moved to South Florida as soon as I graduated from high school in Rio to attend Barry University. I chose Miami mostly because of the warm weather and the beaches. Coming from Rio, I felt that it would be a lot easier to adapt, especially because of our diet. In Miami, you can always find a great variety of fruits and vegetables all year round. Also, Rio and Miami share many other similarities; the Latin influence and the ability to practice water sports all across the city are just a few. Another reason why I chose Miami was because my older brother Pedro already lived here and had started his own Jiu-Jitsu school. Growing up, Jiu-Jitsu was always part of our lives and coming to Miami made it easier not only to train with my brother, but also to help him with the school as well.

How did you get involved into jiu-jitsu

Actually, I do not even remember the first time I trained Jiu-Jitsu. In our family lifestyle, training starts when you are still an infant. I was fortunate because my dad was already a black belt and got me started before I could walk. When I was two years old I began taking classes from Grandmaster Hélio Gracie, the founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (also known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) and continued to be his student until he passed away in January of 2009.

 Who is your inspirational figure

My father, Dr. Pedro Valente and my teacher, Hélio Gracie. Together, they taught me valuable lessons about the mind, the body and the spirit. Through their teachings I learned how to protect myself physically and intellectually. I learned that there is no better investment than in our own health. I learned to understand and respect the laws of nature and that everything happens for a reason. I learned we should always try to better ourselves in every thing we do and that we should always continue to learn.

What does Gui Valente eat?

My diet consists primarily of fruits and vegetables and follows three basic elements:

  • Food selection,
  • Food combining,
  • Spacing between meals.

Gui's favorite beverage

I am still not a full vegetarian, but I stopped eating red meat in 2007. Growing up, I learned that a good avocado and some Brazil nuts are much healthier sources of protein than beef.  I also learned to respect food and to only eat what is healthy. In a normal day I'll have a fruit smoothie for breakfast; a nice green salad with plenty of raw vegetables, legumes, cashews and a plate of whole grain and fish, and my carrot juice, for lunch; and for dinner, another fruit smoothie – and, if I am hungry, a couple pieces of whole wheat toast with honey or dates.

My favorote beverage is coconut water, from the actual coconut and fresh watermelon juice from my juicer.

What is “Gracie” diet?

My diet is based on what is known today as the “Gracie Diet”. Growing up we called it "O Regime" (The Regimen). In simple terms, it is a method of eating based on naturalist and hygienist philosophies and developed during 65 years of research and first-hand use by Grand Master Carlos Gracie, my teacher's older brother. It is based on selecting natural foods that do not poison the body and combining them in ways that allow for an efficient digestion.

Tell us a little bit about your academy.

Even though my brothers and I were brought up in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu tradition we never expected to have a Jiu-Jitsu school. We all graduated from American universities and the plan was to pursue our own careers as businessmen. However, as I learned, everything happens for a reason; and the school that my older brother started, just to have a place to train as he completed his studies, has in fact become our lives’ focus.

Today, I work with my two brothers, Pedro and Joaquim, doing what we love, Jiu-Jitsu.

Our system has three main objectives:

  1. First, the system teaches the most powerful self defense method in the world, as proven in the original Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC),
  2. Second, our system constitutes one of the most complete forms of exercise in existence,
  3. And third, it represents an incalculable moral and educational value.

Our headquarters is located in North Miami Beach. The school is just a few miles from the beach and right across a beautiful park, which makes us feel very much in contact with nature.

Valente Brothers Jiu Jitsu Academy in Florida

Who are your students? Do you have women- students?

The motto of our school is “Jiu-Jitsu for all”. Men and women, girls and boys, regardless of age, may safely experience the benefits of learning Jiu-Jitsu.  The techniques we teach at our schools are based on natural movements that can easily be performed by anyone. Currently, our eldest student is 74 years old and our youngest is 23 months old.

Interestingly, women usually learn better and faster than men.  This is because they are less inclined to rely on muscular power and tend to adapt to the efficient techniques of Jiu-Jitsu very quickly.

 What’s the best to eat before and after workout session?

One of the main objectives of our diet is to provide our bodies with a constant and balanced energy level throughout the day. As Carlos Gracie often said, we teach and train almost the whole day and we cannot afford to feel weak or too full. Following any workouts we always try to drink coconut water, as it provides a natural way to replace the electrolytes lost in sweat.

Are you involved in any charity organization?

We really enjoy working with children. Recently, we designed a program to offer Jiu-JItsu in public schools in Miami. Also, in partnership with one of our students, we created a scholarship program called “Jiu-Jitsu For All”.  This program provides the opportunity for a number of underprivileged kids to enroll in any of our schools.

 What is your motto?

The famous latin saying, Mens sana in corpore sana (A healthy mind in a healthy body).


Links

Visit our website at ValenteBrothers.com
Like us on Facebook.com/ValenteBrothers
Follow us on Twitter.com/ValenteBrothers
Youtube Channel Youtube.com/ValenteBrotherstv
Like us on Instagram.com/ValenteBrothers


Japanese Skin Care Products

Hello! I know its been a while since I've uploaded a post. Hope you all are doing great and enjoying this gorgeous summer weather.

Today I want to share with you some of my new beauty products that I've brought with me from my resent trip to Japan.

As you might know , I LOVE beauty products and I LOVE to discover something new. When I'm traveling, I always visit a local pharmacies and department stores, just to wonder around the aisles and to see what kind beauty products locals like to use.

While shopping for a beauty products in Tokyo, I've discoverd that Face and Body soaps are HUGE in Japan! I mean, some departments stores has the whole aisle dedicated just to face soaps!

"Japan Organic" Aloe lotion, face brush to exfoliate, cotton face masks, hand creams and face soap

I was pleased to see a lot of brands using only natural ingredients such as clay and charcoal. It gently washes pores while moisturizing and pulling out toxins.

I also discovered that the main and key ingredientes in most of the Japanese skin care products are green tea and rice! I've got a couple of hand and eye creams with such ingredients.

When it comes to convenience and saving space, Japanese are the leading experts. Check out this super cool "RelaThera" face mask (see the picture below). It is no bigger then an inch, but once you moisture it with a toner, lotion or Evian water, it becomes the size to perfectly fit your face. I like to moisture it with simple Evian water, apply it on my face, lay down and relax for 15 min. It works as a moisture face pack.

Rela Thera Face mask, Face soap, face towel

Face towls are also a "must" in skin care routine of a japanese women. So, I've got one for myself made of bamboo. I use it to remove make up at the end of the day. I usually apply creamy makeup remover on my face, including eye area and lashes. Next step is to moisture face towle with warm water, then gnetly pressing toawle over your face, remove makeup and dirt.

What are your favorite beauty products and tools? Please, share with us some of the most intersting beauty products from your country.

Japanese Juice Bar in Tokyo
Japanese juice bar in Tokyo

LOVE, VALENTINA


Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden

People come down to Miami to enjoy a sunny weather and a beautiful beach. But if you can’t imagine what else to do here, I highly recommend visiting Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden. It is about 1 hour drive from South Beach toward Fort Lauderdale.

I went there couple of days ago and I was so amazed! It is beautifully arranged landscape filled with lots of different gardens. Each one of those gardens has it own theme but all of them has a significant touch of a Japanese culture. Take a look at the pictures I took from there:

Me and my sister giving food to turtles

"rock garden" :

structure made of rocks:

bonsai tree:

me,  eating fake soba, made of used elastics (now thats recycled or what?!!)) at the Japanese museum that located on the territory:

PS. ofcours i didn't swallow it, otherwise i wouldn't be writing this post

This is japanese farmer who, after his death, donated his land to Florida State. The land eventually became what it is today:

LOVE, VAL

visit  www.morikami.org for more info


Sea Salt

Sea Salt

Sea SaltToday, everyone is well informed about danger of excessive amount of Table Salt in your diet: high blood pressure, dehydration, table salt lacks of minerals that body needs etc.

Salt is essential to human and animal life. Salt is a dietary mineral, composted mainly of sodium chloride. It regulates fluid balance and is absolutely essential for movement, nerve impulse, digestion and healing of wounds.

It is important to choose the best and healthiest salt. Stay way from regular Table Salt. Instead, look for a healthier alternatives. Like Himalayan Pink Salt or

Celtic Sea Salt

(comes in grey color, because it is natural unprocessed salt).

Also, quick healthy recipe tip: add sea salt to your meal after you are done cooking, so all minerals and vitamin s doesn’t get destroyed while cooking.


Healthy Foods

Valentina Talks Healthy Foods

Healthy FoodsI'll share with you some tips and tricks how to choose right food that will leave you satisfied, without bloating or putting on extra pounds. Just a few ideas that you can do at home or when you have time to eat out in the restaurants with your friends.

My tips:

  • Start your day with big glass of warm water with fresh squeeze lemon juice.
  • Always have green salad before your main course.  Ok, honestly, who wants salad after a bowl of pasta?!
  • Have fruits for breakfast and try to snack on fruits until the lunchtime.
  • Drink your water!  The moment you think you are hungry, drink a glass of water and then ask your self, "Am I still hungry?"  It happens to me all the time when my body is just asking for water.
  • Replace cow milk with almond milk.  I make my own almond milk at home, and I add it to my raw granola for tasty breakfast, I add almond milk to my smoothies and many other recipes.  It is delicious vegan alternative to animal or other milks.
  • Replace white sugar, brown sugar, all kind artificial sweeteners with stevia, Agave, yakon syrup or coconut palm sugar!
  • Snack on RAW nuts and seeds: when you snack on roasted nuts (or baked or in any other way cooked) they can cause acne.  Nuts are very dense and highly fatty food. When you eat them in raw state, those fats are extremely healthy for us, but once nuts been heated above 105F they become rancid - not a beauty food you want to put in your body!
  • Choose sweet yam potatoes over regular white potatoes.
  • Choose vegetables and fruits that are still attached to there roots and vines, because they have more nutrients: for example tomatoes on the vines, fresh herbs in pots, carrots and beetroots with their tops attached etc..
  • Eat whole foods rather than pre packed, pre cut, preserved, pre made... Avoid frozen ready-to-eat microwave dinners, avoid those canned corn, beans, tuna..  Buy whole watermelon and cut it fresh at home rather then get it already cut in pieces (and think of the waste you create when you get your sliced fruits in plastic wraps).
  • Always have a (protein) bar with you in case of emergency. Idea is to choose the right one; I like Vega Whole Food Raw Energy Bar.

I wish you a happy meal!

Love, Val


Raw food recipe - Chia seed pudding

I love chia seeds*! If you have never try chia seeds, you are missing out on something nutritiously important!

Chia seeds full of fiber, antioxidants, reach in essential omeg-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, manganese, potassium and calcium!

Ill give you an easy recipe, so you can start to incorporate chia seeds into your diet.

I prefer have it for a breakfast, instead of oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 3 T spoons chia seeds
  • ½ cup of almond milk (or your choice of milk)
  • ½ cup of blueberries
  • 1 banana cut in pieces
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla

Put chia seeds into a bowl. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well.  Pour almond milk on top. Mixing it from time to time, in about 10 minutes you will see chia seeds absorbing almond milk: it’s no longer a liquid, but looks like a pudding.

Add blueberries and banana. Enjoy!

LOVE, VAL

*NOTE:

  • A research done by the St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada has indicated that chia seeds are potentially capable of lowering diastolic blood pressure to alarming levels. So, low blood pressure patients should steer clear of it.
  • Chia should be consumed in short phases followed by break periods as some cases have shown people getting addicted to it.
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers should keep away from chia seeds as not enough researches have been conducted to check for its effects on them.

Coconut water, Capoeira and Juice - Greeeeeeeen Coco

Last night I met my friend at the job, and we both decided to go to capoeira class, because it's been too long since we saw each other plus we both needed a good work out!

After an hour of an intense class, I was craving for coconut water. It is one of the best post-work out drinks because it supercharges your metabolism and promotes weight loss.

Also:

  • Contains more Potassium then bananas and other sport drinks
  • Contains perfect amount of sodium. Enough to replenish electrolytes.
  • Contains high level of Calcium, Chloride and Magnesium
  • It re-hydrants better then water
  • Contains ZERO cholesterol

Unless you are in Brazil, it is kind hard to find a great tasting coconut water in the City. I have tried a few different brands, but the one that I particular like is from company “Exotic Superfoods”.

Another way I use coconut water is I mix it with a green juice. For example, this morning I made a juice from collard greens and pineapple. To make it taste good I mix it with coconut water and it was absolutely delicious!

LOVE, VAL


Immunity Booster - Juice with cucumber, oranges, celery, pepper

Made this juice the other day, and it tasted so good! I called it “immunity booster” cause this juice is full of vitamin C, which helps us to fight colds and flu. Drink this when u feel a little “off”. No medicine ever tasted as good as this recipe :)

  • *1 large cucumber
  • *3 oranges
  • *3 stalks of celery
  • *1 red bell pepper

yamm!

LOVE, VAL


The Green Smoothie

I want to share another great recipe.  It's super easy to make and very beneficial for your health; I have to tell.  The ingredients you'll need for this recipe Im sure you have in your fridge right now, but you'd never think to combine them all together.  So, let' see:

  • 1 or 2 bananas
  • 1 Gala apple
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 2 cups of fresh water

Put everything in blender and run for 30 sec, or until everything blends very well.  That's it!  The Green Smoothie is ready.

It's so yummy, you wouldn't believe it!  Don't worry about the spinach; you will not taste it at all.  All you taste are bananas and apple!  The spinach adds so many vitamins and minerals to this drink!

You can have it for breakfast or dinner or as a snack in between the meals.

If you like this recipe, later you can experiment with different greens: kale, arugula, mint, romaine, etc.  As with fruits, you can use blueberries, pears, melons, or mangos.

This smoothie contains so many nutrients your body craves that by drinking it, you will loose your cravings for unhealthy food.

Love, Val


Asian Pear Fennel Juice

My favorite kitchen equipment is, by far, my Juicer! I use it every single day, sometimes twice a day. Since I first got it couple years ago, I have been experimenting with different veggie/fruit combination. Now I much prefer veggie juices to sweet sugary juices, but they all superior to your health.

I think everyone should make his or her habit to make freshly juice every morning. You will benefit greatly from doing this!

I’m going to start sharing juice recipes that I make for myself. They are all different from what you expect, but trust me, it is so delisious!

 

Asian Pear Fennel Juice

  • ½ fennel
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 tangerine
  • 1 Asian pear

Run thru juicer. Enjoy!

love, VAL