When you bite into a fruit or vegetable, you’re probably not expecting to get a mouthful of chemicals.
The produce items included on this list contain many health benefits and are part of a well-rounded diet.
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Athletes from all sports from soccer to hockey to basketball base their training on improving the strength of their core using compound movements.
Everyone is different; some may get a flat stomach from solely working the belly to exhaustion while others may get their abs to pop without a single situp. Regardless of where you fit on the fitness spectrum, these 10 abs exercises will be the last guide you’ll ever need.
This is the sort of move that looks so wonky, you sure hope your roommate doesn’t catch you doing it — unless she also gets to see you look stellar in a bathing suit, in which case she just may pull up a chair. Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair (or step with four risers) and place your hands on the edge with your fingers pointing toward your knees. A deceptively difficult move, the side crunch tests your balance while it teases your oblique muscles. Kneel on the floor and lean all the way over to your right side, placing your right palm on the floor. Next, slowly lift your leg to hip height as you extend your arm above your leg, with your palm facing forward. Try to keep your lower back pressed in toward the floor and keep your lower abs pulled in toward your spine. Done during a workout warm-up, this move makes you feel longer, steadier, and seriously balanced. Begin on all fours, aligning your knees under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders. For a bigger challenge, touch your opposite elbow to your knee as you pull your arm and leg in. Hold here for 30 seconds, with your abs contracted and your arms and legs extended and your head aligned with your spine.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms in front of you at shoulder height. Begin by squatting down, bending your knees 90 degrees, and twisting your upper body to the left.
Keep your weight in your heels and don’t allow your knees to jut forward away from your toes. Crunchier than most of the lying-down crunches, this move also makes the cut simply because it’s novel.
Start by lying on the floor with a 3-foot-long scarf or towel wrapped around the ball of your right foot, knees bent, left foot on the floor.


Do two sets of 8 to 10 reps on each sides Be sure to keep your head neutral — don’t tuck your chin or tilt back.
Repeat the movement, keeping your left arm on the floor, and keeping your butt and heels on the floor. Contract your abs to support your spine as you return to center, bringing both arms overhead. The top of your abs burns at first when you do this move consistently, and after a few days you whole six-pack feels engaged.
Inhale as you draw your left knee in toward your chest, placing your left hand on your ankle and your right hand on your knee.
Switch hand positions each time your switch legs, placing your right hand on your right ankle and your left hand on your right knee. After doing a series of regular crunches and other lying-down exercises, getting into cobra pose is a welcome change. Lift your head, shoulders, and chest off the floor, pulling your shoulder blades down and together. In training to become a natural science illustrator, one quickly learns that an accurate illustration begins with good references.
For my pen and ink illustration of Epilobium ciliatum I worked primarily with specimens from my own container garden. As is often the case in natural science illustration (NSI for short), I needed to use magnification to get a really good look at the plant’s structures. One aspect of working with botanical specimens that might surprise the inexperienced is just how much plants change as you draw them.
This is a long post, but it’s a very small piece of the wide world of plant illustration.
Last winter I planted red clover seeds in my veggie containers, planning on turning the plants into the soil come spring.
However, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), many of the produce items that we consider to be healthy, and consume regularly, rank high in pesticide residue. Their exact impact on human health when ingested from produce is a topic of concern; the results from research into potential health impacts is mixed, which is enough to merit caution.
But to train the core effectively, it comes down to the three planes of motion: frontal, sagittal, and transerve.
When you first try this move, perhaps have a buddy hold your feet still at first until you get the motion down — it is helpful to have her watch your form and correct the angle of your back.
It will make you feel like you’re lengthening the front of your rib cage, too, which is a sweet reward. Illustrators will work with whatever solid resources they can get their hands on, sometimes traveling to sketch and photograph specimens on their own, sometimes working with specimens provided by a client, and sometimes working with scientific collections like those found in Natural History Museums. This little weed sprang up all over the place in my pots, and I thought it would be a shame not to take advantage of it!


A 10x loupe is enough to reveal quite a bit that you can’t see with the naked eye, but for this project I took advantage of a 45x dissecting scope available to me in my illustration classroom. We expect flowers and leaves to wilt, but they also turn with the light and their buds open and close.
I could always draw them and let them remain mysteries, but it’s much more satisfying to have a name for my subject. I hope that this and further posts about the processes involved in NSI will help people understand what goes on behind the illustrations in textbooks, science journals, field guides and other places where we find science illustration.
The many species that winter there seem to have moved on for the summer, but the year-round Mallard residents have adorable new ducklings.
You can always keep up-to-date on the latest in health and fitness on our Instagram and Facebook pages as well. Doing abs exercises in a circuit style keeps the intensity high and will likely lead to more fat loss. I sketched, measured and photographed the plants in a few sittings over a number of days in order to catch them with the flowers open and to observe changes in the seed structure.
Under that scope the 1mm seeds had a surface texture almost like corduroy and I could clearly see individual specks of pollen in the flower.
It’s a good idea to be prepared with multiple specimens when working with something very changeable. One handy tool that I’ve used for plant identification in Washington state is the University of Washington Herbarium Image Collection.
I also used this Herbaria collection to learn more about the plant and to see pressed specimens which have been photographed and cataloged online.
If you think tiny little flowers are boring, you just need to look at them really close up! Even pine cones can become unrecognizable within hours if subjected to a change in environment! This useful site includes a plant identification key that can help narrow down your search. The sloth bear cubs were out too (also adorable), but Gavin the porcupette could not be convinced to wake up and come out to say hello. It’s also possible to buy conventional produce and wash it thoroughly with a mixture of rinsing and gentle scrubbing. While this won’t completely eliminate pesticide residue, it goes a long way to making your produce safer.



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