Cutting down on salt

Everyone knows that cutting down on salt is advisable. Men’s Fitness has a good article on the subject with 5 helpful tips. Here’s two of them:

- Always ask for the sauce on the side: For example, 1 tablespoon of Teriyaki sauce contains 1/3 of the daily recommended amount (1 tsp of salt). One portion of Chinese takeout often has over five times this amount

- Stay away from frozen meals: One Lean Cuisine has about 500 mg of sodium (about 1/3 of the daily recommended amount)

Check out the rest of the article for more, along with previous posts on low sodium diets.

Analysis of the House Edge

One of the big challenges many individuals have when taking up online casino betting is accepting the fact that there not only is a house edge but that it must be respected and taken into account as part of a players overall action. Too many players are blindly irrationally about the “house edge” and believe in such idiocy as “this is my night” or “I am due” or “my luck is bound to change.” Only players that accept the fact that the math is against them have a shot at coming away with a profit. With that in mind let’s take a look at the different gaming options and the house edge that comes with them.

Roulette offers two different versions, the European and American style of play. The European game is far friendlier to a player’s bankroll with a house edge of just 2.63% compared to 5.26% on the American style of play. The reason for this is that the European style of Roulette has just one green zero compared to two green slots in the American game of zero and double zero. This means that on even money bets such as red or black, high or low, you stand a much better chance when you play on the European wheel.

Blackjack is among the most favorable of games to a player if the traditional basic Blackjack strategy is employed as the gamer will face what is a comparatively miniscule 1% house edge. Where the house makes its money is on the lack of discipline from most players who simply cannot help themselves from breaking beyond the basic strategy and into “binge” or “tilt” bets based on “intuition” and “feeling.”

Slots games have a much more varied house edge depending on what the payout structure is. It is important to study the payout structure of slots and to always bet the maximum amount so that if you hit the progressive jackpot you get the full payment.

Video Poker actually can offer gamers a plus side edge in which they are up a little bit on the house. The problem is, of course, just as is the case with Blackjack, too many people do not know what they are doing or play with a lack of discipline.

Craps can offer gamers a similar small house edge to Roulette as long as they stay away from prop bets and play with discipline.

Always keep the house edge in mind as you play online casino betting games and your chances of winning will be improved.

Get in shape for golf season

If you’re looking forward to the upcoming golf season and are planning a trip to a luxury golf resort, you might want to think about whether you’ll be in good enough shape to really enjoy it. Many of us eat to much and do too little exercise over the holidays, so there’s a reason why people start thinking about fitness when they make their new year’s resolutions.

But think about how much golf you’ll be playing on a golf vacation, and you’ll want to get in shape before you go to maximize your endurance and also help your scores. Think about hitting the treadmill for endurance, and think about some weight training to get your muscles in shape.

Of course you don’t need to build serious muscles like Tiger Woods did. For the casual player that will probably hurt your game, as Tiger has professional help making sure that he also gets in the proper stretching so he keeps his range of motion. But strength can be very important, especially if you want to hit the ball well off the tee. Do some research and look for exercises tailored to golfers.

There are so many great golf trip ideas out there, from US masters golf packages to European travel to American golf holidays at spectacular courses. If you put the work in ahead of time, you’ll have so much more fun as you blast off on the tee shots and then keep your energy for the later holes. Get in shape and win the golf bets with your friends!

Power and defense still matter in the NFL

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (L) is tackled by New York Giants Michael Boley (C) and Corey Webster (R) in the third quarter during their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in Green Bay, Wisconsin, January 15, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Hauck (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

This has been the year of the quarterback and the passing game in the NFL. Speed and precision were the sexy characteristics this season as the NFL altered the rules to take away some of the more physical aspects of the game that were causing serious sports injuries like concussions. Drew Brees was setting records, while Aaron Rodgers was drawing comparisons to Joe Montana.

Yet this weekend seemed to be a reminder that power and defense still matter as the Giants upset the Packers in Green Bay and the 49ers stopped the pass-happy Saints. Everyone seemed to be questioning the old NFL axiom that defense wins championships, but now we have a reminder that even with the new rules power and defense are very important.

That should please all our readers out there who love getting to the gym and pumping iron. Football has always beena bout strength. The Giants put on a display like they did in 2007 as they put a pounding on Rodgers and the Packer offense. Then they also hit them with their power running game.

The only pass-happy team still in the hunt is New England, so perhaps the speed and precision people will get the last laugh. Yet you have to look at how the Patriots play, with two huge tight ends in their passing game. Strength and power are still important ingredients to their success.

It will be a great weekend of football as we hash out who will face off in the Super Bowl. You can check this website for online betting sites as you get ready for all the fun this weekend. Hopefully you can host a great party or make it out to Las Vegas. After a bitter offseason, the NFL has provided some great entertainment for us all this season.

Diet and supplements for the new year

As you’re looking to the new year, like most people you’re probably thinking about some resolutions, and that will almost certainly involve diet and fitness. It’s only natural, and you should take advantage of this impulse. Yet try to make this something permanent. Don’t jump on a fad diet. Instead, if you’re going to try a diet, try one that can transform your lifestyle without a radical, unsustainable approach.

With rankings of the best diets of 2012, the Dash Diet got the nod for the best overall diet for 2012 according to U.S. News and World Report. There’s a reason for this. Basically, this isn’t a fad diet. It’s a diet built around lowering blood pressure, but the essence of the diet is overall health. It’s really about a common sense approach to eating, and if you can work towards this type of diet, you can accomplish many things from lowering blood pressure to improving your overall health.

The diet starts around the premise of lowering sodium intake. This is harder than you might think. You would be shocked to find how many foods in America are loaded with sodium. Start reading labels. Basically, most processed foods at the supermarket are loaded with sodium. Things like soup and lunch meat are also big problem areas.

The other premise is a significant increase in the fruits and vegetables you will be eating every day. This dovetails with the point above about processed food. Look, we’ve become lazy in this country. Most of the food we eat is fast, whether it’s from a drive-through or a processed meal from the grocery store. Go back to the basics – REAL FOOD.

Do your research and you’ll see if this diet is for you. Of course there are many other things to consider along with your basic diet. Workouts are critical, and you might find yourself shopping for a drugstore in Canada to get the supplements and vitamins you want to use as part of your fitness and health strategy.

The key is to get motivated but avoid the quick fix. Build up and get healthy for the long term. You’ll build good habits that are hard to break!

Is Angelina Jolie too skinny?

Angelina Jolie at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards. (Beverly Hills, CA)

With the Golden Globes last night, everyone is commenting on the various celebrities as they prance around the red carpet and present awards on the stage. Everything from celebrity fashion to fitness is discussed, and everyone has an opinion. Usually, overweight celebrities get a ton of attention as that’s a very common problem in the country. But with actresses, we often have issues come up around actresses who get too skinny. This often happens as young starlets get older, and the try to get super fit and super cut in order too keep up their looks. Madonna and Demi Moore come to mind.

Last night it was Angelina Jolie’s turn to get the scrutiny. Tons of comments came through on Twitter suggesting that poor Angelina needed a sandwich. Judge for yourself, but she looks fantastic to us. Yes, she’s definitely gotten thinner, and none of us want to see Angelina’s curves go away, but the thinner look works well on her at this stage of her career.

This is the time of year when everyone is obsessed with weight, fitness and appearance as people face the new year and contemplate all sorts of New Year’s resolutions. The concerns tun the gamut from angst about waistlines or dry skin to concerns about hair loss for women. We project onto celebrities our own concerns and insecurities.

The key is to be comfortable in your own skin, while also being self-aware enough to be honest about areas where you can improve your appearance and your health. That’s really the first step, and then you have to be willing to make the changes to achieve your goals.

Ray Lewis and the importance of diet in sports

Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

USA Today has a great profile of Ray Lewis leading up to this weekend’s playoff game. Lewis has had an incredible NFL career, and in this article we see why. He’s always been known as a workout warrior, but here we see how obsessive he is about his diet as well.

Stamped “P.M.,” the bag is filled with multicolored vitamin supplements. Before noon, the iconic Baltimore Ravens linebacker already had consumed a protein shake, egg whites, an apple, 2 gallons of water and a similar bag of “A.M.” supplements.

Lewis, 36, is explaining why he believes he has survived 16 NFL seasons — and still is playing at a Pro Bowl level as the Ravens prepare for Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans— in such a physically demanding sport.

In addition to a relentless year-round conditioning regimen and aggressive therapy for the toe injury that sidelined him for four games this season, Lewis estimates he swallows 50 pills a day.

Then the veteran, hardly ready to declare this playoff run a prelude to retirement, reaches into the briefcase to show off his afternoon snack — another apple.

“I’m watching these guys, with their cheeseburgers and stuff,” he says. “And you’re going to compete against me? Even if you’re younger and faster, your fuel won’t let you beat me.”

His obsession for healthy eating is, well, notorious in the Ravens locker room.

“His diet is so ridiculous, even the people around him have to adjust,” linebacker Terrell Suggs says. “It’s crazy. Last week, I’m eating a bag of chips, and he throws ‘em away.”

Lewis is a fish-and-vegetable man who hasn’t touched pork in 12 years and has eaten beef twice during that span. He also doesn’t drink soda or eat bread or sugar — except for scant exceptions. Like his cheat snacks, Twizzlers and Gummy Bears. “To keep living life,” he says.

I remember watching Chad Ochocinco several years ago describing how he ate mostly at McDonald’s. He was young and he could easily burn the fat and calories. Now he’d be wise to read this article and start emulating Lewis, as Chad isn’t the same player he was several years ago. Diet is a critical part of health and performance!

As we get older, we have to be more careful about what we eat. We don’t need to be obsessive like Ray Lewis since most of us aren’t pro athletes. But if you really was to get ripped, then you have to have the same devotion. Match your diet to your goals!

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