Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Alex and Ashley visit Rainbow Springs in order to learn more about our water and what is in it!

 

How to choose the right fruits and vegetables for OPTIMAL JUICING!

We all have our idea of “health” and what is best for our bodies. How many times have you seen someone who wants to lose a lot of weight do the WRONG thing? It happens quite a bit. They are trying to produce a positive result in the wrong way.

The same thing holds true for juicing. If you are going to take the time to juice for HEALTH there are a few basic things to get down FIRST before beginning. These are things that will help you to work “smarter” not “harder”!

If you are going to choose fruits and vegetables for juicing be sure that they are ORGANIC fruits and vegetables. There will be objections from those saying that this is NOT necessary however, it IS. There will always be the waging war on ORGANIC vs. NON ORGANIC.

Here is our reasoning behind it. If you choose organic – you are limiting your intake of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides! This is not good for your body to absorb and while you can wash of SOME .. there are others which cant be washed off. These are known as systemic pesticides which are in the soil and CANT be washed off of fruits and vegetables.

Ok – NO FLUFF here. Is organic more expensive. Well, how much is your health worth? Truly, I would say it would be worth skipping ONE meal out per week or limiting your blah blah blah “latte” to afford this crucial part of health.

Do a little test one day – buy an organic cucumber, apple and grapefruit. Buy a NON ORGANIC cucumber, apple and grapefruit. Eat them and tell me you do not taste a difference. The ripeness, texture, and TASTE are ALL different!
This is not the main topic of the blog posting here so reach out if you have more specific questions.

Moving on. It is key to gently pick up your fruits and vegetables to feel for thickness, softness, mushiness or over ripened fruits and veggies. You want to put nutrients in your juice that have not been sitting for too long but likewise, are not too firm either. This can be a sign that they were not able to fully ripen.

Sometimes, you can even find local farms or community Co-op’s to get involved in! This way, you can get your veggies and fruits at a lower cost.

It is always recommended to wash all of your fruits and veggies (whether organic or not) to rinse away any dirt, residue or germs from others touching them.

Look up online for fruits and vegetables that are “in season” as this will save you money too and give you new ideas for making “seasonal juices”.

Remember, this is about YOUR HEALTH, and YOUR TASTES. Experiment with different fruits and vegetables until you find concoctions that you (and your tastebuds!) love.

Try to opt for lots of GREENS in your juice. Pick out lettuces, chards and kale that are packed with nutrients and enzymes. These foods are truly LIFE GIVING!

Lastly, when you choose your fruits and vegetables… do NOT buy bulk. Depending on your day, your routine or your specific protocol… you dont want to waste your money by letting fruits and veggies go bad. We go every day to every other day to ensure our fruits and veggies stay their freshest. This is key to extracting the potent enzymes and nutrients these magical foods hold.

We also recommend purchasing the The BLU Apple! (We bought 2 from our local Nutrition Smart) they absorb ethylene gas. This is a gas that plants, veggies and fruits omit while decomposing. This makes your produce and fruits last longer!  There are also produce bags that we suggest purchasing to store all of your produce properly.

Get ready for some great posts in 2011!~ We are going to break down the various fruits/veggies and their benefits as well as many other awesome topics!

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The beginning of my RAW FOOD lifestyle

There was a time in my life where I would have stared you straight in the face and laughed had you ever told me I would turn a raw foodist. I was always used to being called by names such as BIG GUY, TOUGH GUY…. you name it. It became a chore for me to keep up with this image. It started to become my identity. I was always into health and wellness and for many many years I thought I was in the top 10% of healthy individuals. I was involved heavily in competitive bodybuilding, Powerlifting and Olympic style weightlifting. The latter having been my favorite. I held the assumption that the bigger I was, the better I would be at all three.

Well, I was wrong. MANY signs started to pop up letting me know this and for a while… I was in denial. I had nagging aches and pains, annoying injuries  and I was irritable all the time. My energy was literally non existent and I began to rely on 2-4 Black eye (double shot) Venti coffees from Starbucks PER DAY. This became an every day ritual just for me to be able to get by.

I blamed these happenings on other things. I was tired. Overworked. Perhaps slightly stressed. Last year and the year before were difficult on all of us with the economy and I passed it off as “NORMAL”.

August of last year I suffered a non training related back injury that resulted in me stopping my Olympic Style weightlifting training. I made the decision to let my back rest and heal and opted for a Bodybuilding show to keep me involved in my sports. The training is not nearly as intense and I could easily work around my injuries while it healed … well, so I thought.

I began to hurt myself in another way… here is the beginning of my journey to RAW food nutrition.

My wife and I competed in the Tampa Bay Classic. Again, it was a sign of health to body build and I wanted to do so for myself and to give our clients something to strive for. I felt as if I was being healthy by ingesting literally pounds a week of chicken in prep for this show. I ate cooked meat every couple of hours, all day long for WEEKS on end. I was literally stressing my body out with an over consumption of meat and little nutritional value as I was (unbeknownst) to me COOKING it all out! I was also cooking out all of the nutrients and enzymes from the vegetables I was ingesting everyday. In addition to stomach upset, bloating, gas and constipation (UGH but true) I was becoming increasingly irritable.

I managed to get through the prep stage for this show and literally a day after walking off stage – my body just shut down.  While I looked “amazing” based on societys standards at a lean 4%, I felt like I was dying inside. My joints ached tremendously and my mind finally clicked that my body had enough! I was dehydrated – my digestive system was not functioning properly taking nearly a week to have a bowel movement. I was even taking herbal supplements to try to help with this and my body would not respond. I was beyond exhausted. No stimulants or coffee would do the trick. I literally remember laying in bed, not being able to get up to workout or do anything. I remember clearly thinking – if this is the price of health… it is not worth it. After much research looking for an answer to my dilemma it literally smacked me in the face. THIS WAS NOT HEALTH. I, being a fitness professional for 16 years failed to see that health was far beyond the shell- it starts at a cellular level.

It starts with feeding your body the nutrients and enzymes that it so clearly needs. I began to dive into books, studying for hours on end, researching on the internet and contacting (and spending hundreds of dollars) on phone consultations with some of the worlds leading experts in true natural health, vitality and longevity. I was able to extract the answer to my problem. I was adrenally exhausted and feeding my body way too much MEAT and dead food.

I began to set a plan in place to reverse the effects of the damage I had done over the years. You must understand especially if you are currently in the position I was in that it takes time. This is a process of rebuilding and repairing your body back to health. After much research on food, enzymes and nutrients it was clear to me that FOOD was going to be my medicine. This is the only true medicine there is. How and what you feed your body will determine if you will live a life zapped of energy and little zest with disease looming in your future or if you will flourish and be vibrant, and FULL of energy! I went through this very process myself and I am a living testament to the fact that this does work if initiated properly.

My plan that I aggressively followed was as such:

After reading and researching the countless benefits of NUTRITIONAL JUICING I began to research (for almost 2 months) what the best juicer on the market was. I purchased this machine that would be an integral part of my healing.

In the morning, upon waking I would go straight to my juicer to make fresh wheatgrass juice. Second, I would pull out about ten to fifteen different kinds of vegetables (ALL ORGANIC!) and make a liter and a half of juice per day. Depending on your body, your level, your goals and your toxicity level- this will determine the best juicing recipe for you. There are countless combiniations.

I would drink about 1/3 of this juice and store the rest in a glass, airtight container for later use throughout the day.

Third, after drinking my juice I would make my superfood smoothie. This is a combination of a special recipe I created that includes a blend of superfoods and the highest quality plant based protein. The smoothie provides the nutrients needed to help sustain my muscle mass and my training style along with excellent recovery.

For the rest of the day, I would make large “LIVE” salads with nuts, seeds, sprouts, vegetables and healthy oils.

The first 2.5- 3 months were the hardest. Within days after starting my program I began to experience the heavy detox effects such as breaking out, several lethargy, blisters (YES!) around my lower spine which I later found out from my Holistic doctor was a sign of viral and bacterial infections from over the years. Mind you, I never had any sickness or infections besides the regular flu/cold that would hit once or twice per year. This did not stop here. I also got bad breath (never had it) headaches, body aches and so on. You get my point. It was not pleasant. What is more shocking however, is that I am considered ABOVE AVERAGE on the health spectrum. What do you think is going on inside the body of someone who drinks regularly, using drugs (ANY KIND) or smokes… not to mention the countless people out there with horrible eating habits or illnesses?

Towards the end of the second month during the last week, I started to hit rock bottom. I had so little energy I could not get out of bed. The blisters on my lower back were getting larger and growing in number to the point that I almost went to a Dermatologist… they looked like cancerous moles. Just when I thought something was incredibly wrong- and all of this good I was doing was going unaccounted for – the most amazing thing happened.

I remember waking up one day – after a restful nights sleep (unlike any I had in years) and I was full of energy! My complexion was amazing – the spots on my back were almost gone and had completely disappeared after 2 days! At this point I weighed 218 pounds down 52 pounds since the beginning of this journey. I have not weighed this little since Jr. high but it felt natural! My joints stopped aching like they once did – nothing ached! You must remember I was floating between 270-275…. ! This was not the weight my structure was supposed to support. It was an overabundance of muscle fueled by DEAD food.

At 218 lean pounds and with a fresh start on life – it was time to rebuild… the truly healthy way! I have been in the “rebuilding” phase for the past three months. My weight is up to 225 and my strength is climbing steadily as well however, my energy, my workouts and my recovery from workouts are unlike anything I have experienced before! AMAZING!

This is a type of transformation that not many have experienced. Usually people who embark on this journey are very sick or terminally ill. Pretty much, this type of healing is their last resort. For me, I was blessed to recognize the signs and symptoms before my body responded with heavy disease. Basically, from what I have gathered from those similar to me, it takes about 6 months to one  yearfrom the time you start to detox to completely rebuild and reach peak performance. Stay tuned for videos, blogs posts and updates on my journey.

Today – I see the ultimate benefit of RAW FOOD nutrition and juicing … it is a part of my life and from this point on always will be. I have experienced in a short period of time and journey and transition to ULTIMATE HEALTH that everyone should experience!

PS- watch the video below to see my performance in my first (in TWO years) Olympic Weightlifting competition on the platform! This was my best performance yet with more to come – all done on a RAW/ORGANIC FOOD and nutritional juicing diet! Just amazing!

Thanks for being a part of this journey with me!

In RAW health,

Alex

Welcome to the RAW ORGANIC FOOD BLOG!

I first want to take a moment to introduce myself and thank you for taking the time to read this blog! My name is Alexander Poptodorov. I am owner of AAP Fitness in Tampa, FL and  founder of http://www.raworganicfooddiet.com!
This is a new consulting website that will serve to inform and consult people A-Z on how to attain the next level of health through RAW Organic Food nutrition and nutritional juicing.

Recently,I underwent my own amazing journey by taking my health and fitness to the ultimate level through a RAW organic food diet and nutritional juicing. I experienced more energy and vibrancy than I have  in years thus resulting in the creation of my new web based consulting website (www.raworganicfooddiet.com) This site will boast everything that you need to do (step by step) to transition to a RAW food diet and juicing. I will offer consultations on Raw food diet transitions for the beginner, intermediate or advanced levels, step by step nutritional juicing programs, and also very important step by step detoxification programs custom to the individual. I will also be custom creating programs for Athletes (I am an Olympic Weightlifter myself) and fitness enthusiasts to take their sport to the ultimate level of health, recovery and performance.

WWW.RAWORGANICFOODDIET.COM will serve as a platform to gain tips, suggestions, recipes and feedback which will also boast a members only section to come and converse with others just like you!

The best part? This site will be accessible anywhere in the world so now the knowledge and power of AAP Fitness can be experienced anywhere! It is truly amazing to see this dream of helping others anywhere in the world come to fruition.

I look forward to the journey and the experiences that lie before me. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments, I welcome them.

In health,

Alex Poptodorov

RAW ORGANIC FOOD, NUTRITIONAL JUICING Enthusiast and Coach.