Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Fountain of Youth - Right in Front of Us All This Time!

The Fountain of Youth - Right at Your Fingertips

Can we really stop the aging process, slow it down, or even reverse the effects of aging on our skin and body? It is an enigma for which so many have searched the answers to for years. Now, with advanced modern science making breakthroughs and discoveries every day, the answers have become apparent to the age-old quest for the proverbial fountain of youth.

In large part, your everyday lifestyle choices contribute to the way you age, and at what rateyour body ages. Diet, environmental factors, exercise and the topical skincare products and skin care regimen you choose, all affect the way you are going to appear now and ten, twenty, and thirty years down the road. It's no surprise your lifestyle plays a pivotal
role in how your body and skin age over the years, since we've always known diet and exercise affect our energy levels, appearance, moods, and fitness level.

However, several key foods have been found to be very effective weapons not only against aging in general, but also against skin disorders ranging from acne, rosacea, thin skin, and photo aging (sun damage). These foods can even help reverse and repair sun and other environmental damage done to theskin. This powerful weapon is a goup of chemical compounds called antioxidants, and what they accomplish in high doses, along with adequate exercise, can mimic a surgical facelift over a relatively short period of time!

Think about all of the damage your skin is exposed to on a daily basis. It is your largest and most vulnerable organ, exposed to toxins and other damaging elements, like the sun, every day. These elements will actually accelerate the aging process by producing harmful compounds called free radicals, which can damage cells and in turn damage the skin. Antioxidants actually fight free radicals, and reverse some of the damage already done by them in the body.

Precautions to be taken to prevent these nasty little free radicals from wreaking havoc on your skin include wearing sunscreen every day, getting regular moderate exercise, using preventive skin care (cleansers, lotions, gels, creams, etc.) formulated with powerful antioxidants like Vitamin C and Alpha Lipoic Acid, and making sure your get an abundance of
antioxidants in your every day diet.

Some examples of foods high in antioxidants include berries (strawberries, bluberries, raspberries, etc.),citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, etc.), and vegetables rich in color, such as broccoli, zuccini, spinach, and summer squash.

While there are many foods to be enjoyed while living by the
"anti-aging" diet, there are also foods that need to be either avoided all together, or strictly minimized. These are refined sugar, caffeine, and all starchy and white flour products. The resulting surge of insulin created by these foods produces more free radicals and breaks down the cell's defenses against damaging elements, leaving you wide open to more skin damage
(ie. wrinkles, skin disorders, and other premature aging effects).

These foods are highly inflammatory by nature, and while they may taste good going down, know that they are destroying good cells and allowing for future damage by weakening the cell's defenses further. Eating these foods results in less tone and definition. The skin "droops", hence the creation of fine lines, wrinkles, and dull color. You will know a person that has a high sugar and high carb diet by looking at their face. They may have almost a "doughy" appearance to their skin, lacking the sharp definition and tone enjoyed by those who follow a healthy diet based on the anti-aging principles.

So, there you have it, some of the core concepts that will get you started to minimizing and even reversing the affects of aging. This is really just the tip of the iceberg. There is actually a lot more information on these concepts available that would be well worth your time to learn. What
you do with these principles is up to you, it's just a matter of making some minor changes for a longer, happier and healthier life. I'd say that is definitely worth the investment!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Great Exercises That Build Muscle Fast

There are many reasons why a person would want to build muscle fast. For some people, it is the physical appearance they are after. Other people may want to build muscle fast for a career that requires it, like a firefighter or police officer. Whatever your reason, there are certain exercises that are more effective than others for building muscle.
Free weight exercises are the best possible exercises you can do if you want to build muscle. Machine weights can be great, but there is a limited range of movement so half the work is being done for you. With free weights, you are forced to use your muscles not only to lift the weight, but to keep it in the right position as you go through the exercise. Because of this, free weights are more effective in building muscle mass when compared to machine weights.
Some other great exercises that you should be doing are bench presses, which are great for the shoulders, triceps, and chest. Another good one is the overhead press which also helps build the shoulders and triceps. Bar dips increase muscle mass in the shoulders, arms and chest. Squats are the number one exercise for working out your lower back, legs, and buttocks. Pull ups are amazing when it comes to your shoulders and triceps, and barbell rows will do the same thing.
If you have too much body fat, it is also important to incorporate some cardio into your workout. Treadmill running, jump rope, or aerobics are all great for your heart, and for removing fat from your body.
When you want to build muscle fast, following the above tips will help you get the body you want in minimal time. Remember to always eat healthy and drink plenty of water as you work out.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How Can Fat Be Essential?

Did you know that some fats are essential to the body? Yes, there are some fats that our body cannot produce which means that we must get them from our food. Perhaps you’ve heard of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. These are both considered essential and must be supplied by the foods we eat.

What do they do? Well, the omega-3 fatty acid, for example is used for the production of healthy cell membranes and for the production of a class of hormones called prostaglandins. You know how aspirin and acetominophen are anti-inflammatories? So are the prostaglandins that our bodies produce from omega-3 fatty acids.

Now, we need the omega-3’s and the omega-6’s to be in the proper combination to be most effective to us. Empirical evidence shows that the proper ratio is about 4:1 between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. What do you suppose our average diet gives us? About a 20:1 and up to a 40:1 ratio; not even close to the optimal ratio.

Why is the balance so out of whack? Well, our normal diets are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. We get them from meats, dairy products, and processed foods. We eat a lot of those foods on average. We get omega-3 fatty acids from certain vegetable oils such as flaxseed, canola, and soybean. And we get omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon, and tuna.

Eat more fish! You’ve heard that said before, and now you know why.

Especially the salmon. It is especially rich in the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon , or any of the other omega-3 rich fish (but what tastes better than good salmon?) should be consumed at least once a week.

In order to get the omega-6 vs. omega-3 ratio in order, decrease your consumption of the saturated fat from meats and dairy products and increase your consumption of fish such as salmon.

Do you know how else you will benefit from increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids? Your cholesterol level will improve. You see, the essential omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to help decrease your total cholesterol and your LDL cholesterol level. The LDL cholesterol is the so-called bad cholesterol. So you will improve your cholesterol levels by adding a better balance of omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.

Not surprisingly, the omega-3 fatty acids can be heart healthy. Several diseases show improvement when patients increase their intake of these essential fats. Check out Dr. Ray Strand’s important book for citings of clinical studies of omega-3. The book is titled, “What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You.” It’s a wonderful book and should be a standard reference volume in your nutrition library.

Eat well, take appropriate supplements, and stay healthy.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Muscle Confusion - What is It?

The literal meaning isn't that hard to figure out. Muscle confusion is confusing your muscles. That's the easy part. But what is the point behind it? How does it work? Why would you want to do it? These are the questions I'm here to answer.
I want to stress muscle confusion isn't actually working out. Instead, it is a way of working out and customizing your routines to constantly change and not become stagnant with your body's transformations.
A common situation people find themselves in when they are new to working out and set up a solid exercise regime is instant results (don't feel yourself, this is possible). MOST of the programs that provide the hype and evidence for losing 10 inches in 7 days and 15 lbs in 15 days are legit. In fact it's not that hard when it comes to it. They provide you with everything you need: your diet, your exercises, motivation, when to go to sleep, when to go to the bathroom! The problem with these is after the initial phase (losing 10 inches and 15 lbs or whatever they claim) is that is all you ever lose. You're caught in a stand still, and dead lock, checkmate!
Because your body has adapted to these routines that these people have set out for you. They aren't nearly as effective as they were in the first 2 weeks of adopting your new program, especially if it's your first exercise/workout program. So you can lose that 15lbs in the first 15 days, but after that it will take you months, if not years, to lose another 15lbs with the same workouts! This is where muscle confusion comes in.
We are creatures of habit, and your body is smart enough to realize what your routine consists of if you're rotating the same 3 workouts every week, month after month.
So what's the solution?
The conclusion is generally unanimous: switch your exercise routines. However, the range after when you switch varies, some say after 3 weeks, others say after a month or 5 weeks.
That in itself won't help you. You need to understand what exercises stimulate the muscles that aren't being targeted in your current routine to extremely benefit from muscle confusion and switching routines.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Is Health Food Really Junk Food in Disguise?

Walk into any health food store, grocery store, or mass merchandiser store and you'll surely find a vast assortment of healthy nutritional bars somewhere in the store. They claim to pack a nutritional punch and give you the necessary nutrition and nutrients you need when you are on the go. But is it really that good for you? I say 'NO!' Especially if you stop to read the ingredients in some of these.
Now let's look at one of the more popular bars. A bar that is aimed mostly at women who are trying to eat healthy and trying to lose weight. The Slim Fast Bar. You don't have to go very far in the ingredients list to see that this bar is junk! The first ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup! Next was a special syrup, which is just a way to cover up that they put more sugar in it. Add in some partially hydrogenated oils which equals one thing-Trans Fats, and then just a bunch of artificial flavoring and sweeteners. Seriously, I would rather you ate a Snickers Bar. At least then you'll be getting peanuts, skim milk, and egg whites as well as the junk. And it will taste a lot better.
Then, of course, are the bogus claims by the manufacturers: 'The Slim Fast Plan cuts your calories and helps provide the nutrition you need to stay healthy while you lose weight and keep it off...' I'm sorry, nobody needs High Fructose Corn Syrup, Trans Fats, and Artificial Sweeteners in their diet. Period!
And this is just one company. I'm telling you right now, read the nutrition labels and ingredients list. Even if you think it is healthy, or it says it is healthy. 95% of Food and Supplement Companies have one thing in mind-To make more money! They will cut costs however they can, even if it means deceiving you and putting crap in their products.
So how do you tell what nutritional bars are good for you? Well here are some general guidelines to follow if you are looking for a Meal Replacement Bar or one for weight loss:
- Needs to have at least 175 calories. Anything less won't be enough calories to get you to your next meal.
- Should offer 4 grams of protein or more. Protein mixed with carbs and fat are better at filling you up and giving the satisfied feeling. Plus protein should be eaten every 2-4 hours regardless.
- Minimum of 3 grams of fiber. Fiber also has the tendency to make you feel full longer. You should be shooting for 24-36 grams daily. -Stay away from ingredients like High Fructose Corn Syrup, added sugar, partially hydrogenated oils (Trans Fats), and added artificial sweeteners.
- Limit saturated fats. No more than 4 grams per bar.
Hope this helps. Organic ingredients are also a big plus in a bar. Health food stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods offer some excellent choices. Some good bars out there are Lara bars, Prograde Cravers, Perfect 10, and Organic Food Bars.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Six Pack Abs For Women - Lose Unwanted Belly Fat

Flat stomach, six pack abs -- they're not just or guys. More and more, women are looking for proven ways to get rid of stubborn belly fat. Not only are six pack abs for women the ultimate symbol of sex appeal, researchers have found that losing belly fat is one of the most important steps women can take to stay healthy.
Abdominal obesity has been linked with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, a cluster of health problems known collectively as metabolic syndrome. In a recent study by the French National Institute for Health, a positive relationship between belly fat and lung function impairment was also found.
To avoid the health risks associated with belly fat, women should maintain a waist circumference of less than 35 inches. If you want to invest in your future health or put your favorite celebrity to shame with your own flat stomach and six pack abs, you need only commit to battling your belly bulge. With a combination of good nutrition, exercise and at training, you'll soon have a lean midsection. You can get started using the following guidelines.
Healthy Eating
Garbage in, garbage out. What does this mean? Basically that processed and fast foods produce an unhealthy body lacking in nutrients. However, good food choices lead to a leaner you. Thus, you should focus on increasing your consumption of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts and whole grains.
Six pack abs are not a myth as some would lead you to believe. But, it does take some discipline. To start, you need to lose the belly fat that covers up your abdominal muscles. Exercises to accomplish this goal include squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, pull-ups, dynamic rows and bench presses.
You should also incorporate cardiovascular training in your exercise routine. Whether it's running, walking, cycling or taking a dance class, cardio exercises can help burn the fat.
Ab Training
While you can't "spot- burn" belly fat, you can firm up your abdominal muscles and get a flatter belly. Exercises such as crunches, plank holds, abdominal bicycles, hanging leg raises and wheel rollouts are a good place to start. These should be performed two to three times a week.
Six pack abs for women can be achieved through proper nutrition, exercise and at training. If you follow a workout program incorporating these elements, you'll notice a significant difference in the strength and tone of your entire torso within six weeks. The link below provides free access to the 55 fastest fat burning foods and over two dozen unique workout ideas to start your journey toward a leaner, sexier body, including six pack abs.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ryan Reynolds Workout For Wolverine X-Men's Origins

Ryan Reynolds has been chosen to play the role of Deadpool in the latest Marvel X-Men film called... X-Men Origins Wolverine. Along with Hugh Jackman, Reynolds has done an incredible job of getting in shape for this movie. In this article, I will discuss the... "Ryan Reynolds Workout Wolverine," as it is now being referred to.
Most fans of Marvel comics agree that the choice of Ryan Reynolds for the sarcastic and smart Alec... Deadpool character, was right on the money. Reynolds, who did not disappoint any of his fans with the physical conditioning he showed in the Wesley Snipes movie... Blade Trinity. Ryan displayed incredible muscularity and amazing 6 pack abs, for an actor who has made his money from acting silly. After all, he is just a goofy comic!
Comic or not, Reynolds has been getting some interesting roles lately. (In fact, he is on the shortlist for the DC comic character -- Flash.) Whether that film is made or not, one thing is for certain, he definitely paid the price in the training room.
Ryan Reynolds Workout for Blade
For Blade Trinity, Reynolds supposedly gained 20 pounds of muscle and lost 33% of his body fat. According to some sources, his body fat was as low as 3%. (Although, for most men anything below 8% body fat and your six pack abs will start showing ) Jessica Biel and Reynolds personal trainer during that film was Buddy Strom.
Who was Ryan Reynolds Trainer?
Ryan Reynolds selected Strom again, as his celebrity trainer. Strom, is not new to the celebrity training business, having trained... Jennifer love Hewitt, Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez, and even Britney Spears for her VMA appearance. He is currently training Scarlett Johansson for her upcoming movie role of Black Widow in Ironman 2. However, let us get back to the Ryan Reynolds Wolverine Workout.
Ryan Reynolds Workout Secrets
Strom is a big believer in "functional fitness" which combines traditional weight training with core and stability exercises. Again, for this workout program he had Ryan Reynolds train one body part per day over a six-day period. Reynolds who appears to be an Ectomorph probably has a hard time putting on muscle size.
That is why Strom went to a one body part per day workout. The rep range was kept low, 6 to 8 reps per set. Reynolds was pushed on each and every workout to use as much weight as possible. Lifting heavy weights became his mantra!
Here is Ryan Reynolds Diet
Here is a sample the diet that Ryan Reynolds was on during the filming of X-Men Origins Wolverine.
* Breakfast: 2 eggs a slice of avocado and 1 cup of oatmeal
* Snacks: a protein Bar
* Lunch: tuna wrap or chicken salad
* Snacks: a whey protein shake, protein bar and an apple
* Dinner: broiled fish or chicken, brown rice and vegetables
* Snacks: protein shake
In order for Ryan to put on some muscle size, he had to train heavy and eat 5 to 6 times per day. The diet he followed was probably like this... 40% protein... 40% carbohydrates... 20% fats. Strom would probably had him taking flaxseed oil in order to get the proper type of fats in his body. Looking at some of the still shots of Reynolds as Deadpool it is obvious that this... "Ryan Reynolds Wolverine Workout" got the job done!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hugh Jackman Workout - Discover How to Get Ripped Using the Hugh Jackman Workout

Hugh Jackman is back bigger than ever for his role as Wolverine... in X-Men Origins Wolverine . In this article you will discover the secrets of how to put on some serious muscle size while getting ripped at the same time using the Hugh Jackman workout. If you have seen the trailer for the movie then you know that he has put on some serious muscle size! And you may be wondering what was the Hugh Jackman diet and training program like. Continue reading this article and get all the details.
In this the latest film X-Men Origins Wolverine, (the first chapter in the X-Men saga,) in this film Wolverine unites with several other legends of the X-Men universe. The stunts on this film are amazing and you can easily see why Jackman needed to be in incredible physical condition to put up with the rigors of the filming. (Jackman also is one of the producers and was paid as an actor... approximately $20 million for the film.)
The Hugh Jackman Wolverine Workout
For this workout his personal trainer, Michael Ryan, focused on bulking up and so the work out was a high intensity weight training program. He woke up each morning at 4 AM to eat one of several small high-protein meals, that he would eat during the day. (Six meals a day and they used a whey protein isolate as a supplement)
His workouts started at 6 AM and he stayed in Australia during the entire period. Liev Schreiber, who plays the role of Victor Creed/Sabertooth... (Logan's half-brother) also followed an intense training program putting on almost 40 pounds of muscle for his part. The program that Ryan used applied the principle of muscle confusion, constantly mixing the Jackman's program to continuously shock the muscles into growing. Medium levels of cardio were used to ensure that he would also have six pack abs.
Although Jackman is almost 40 now, he certainly proves the point that age has no bearing on bodybuilding success. Try the Hugh Jackman workout and perhaps you'll have a body you will be proud to show off.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Delicious Ways to Cut Calories

I recently joined Weight Watchers and their plan has made me see where I was going wrong in my diet. Each day I learn new ways of cooking and eating that trim calories from the foods that I eat so that they will fit into the plan. I'm one who loves all the fattening foods and a lot of the non-fat things don't work for me... like non-fat sour cream, non-fat cheese, non-fat mayonnaise or non-fat salad dressing... yuck! I have found a lot of things that work though, so there's hope! Here's some tips I've learned along the way:
1. Trim some calories from fried chicken by taking the skin off first. Yes, it's still fried chicken, but at least you've taken off some calories. Also be sure to drain the chicken well on a paper towel when finished frying; this will also help with the calories. Lastly, eat just one piece. Portion control can be a powerful way to control how much you eat, resulting in calorie reduction. If you eat it slowly and savor it, it will be a much more satisfying and enjoyable experience than gulping down multiple pieces. This applies to any food.
2. If you're an ice cream junky like me, you can still have it! Just buy ice cream bars instead of ice cream that you can dish up yourself. This way you limit how much you have. For me, it's impossible to dish up only a little ice cream, but an ice cream bar treat is great and I know it's only 1 serving. A word of warning: be sure to look at the calories of the bars before buying... some premium bars have more calories than your big dish of ice cream.
3. Another tip for ice cream junkies is to switch to popsicles, juice bars, sherbet or Italian ice. These all have a lot less calories than ice cream but are delicious alternatives.
4. One last tip for ice cream junkies. A delicious treat that is very similar to an ice cream sandwich, but has VERY LITTLE calories: Take 2 chocolate graham crackers and sandwich 2-3 Tbsp. fat-free whipped topping between them... these are so good, you won't believe there's hardly any calories! By the way, I mentioned earlier that a lof of the fat-free stuff I don't like... well, fat-free whipped topping is one that I do like.
Can you tell my biggest downfall was ice cream?
5. Here's a recipe for a delicious salad dressing that's almost fat-free:
Chinese Salad Dressing
1/4 cup lemon juice, canned or bottled
2 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
Mix all ingredients together unitl sugar dissolves. Delicious!
6. Think of all the healthy things you like and play up on them. For me, I love Sushi, Shrimp, Stir-Fries, Salsas, Fruit, Soups, Roasted Vegetables, Salads and Smoothies. You can also get your family members' opinions on the healthy foods they like so there's more options. I made a list of these items to keep my memory fresh, and when I make meals, I try to focus on these types of meals.
7. If you like French Fries, I have found a delicious alternative! Simply slice potatoes, put them on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, spray the potatoes with the spray, season and cook at 400F for 40-60 minutes, until lightly browned & crisp. These are better than the ones drenched in oil... honestly! I tried this same method with sweet potatoes and they are even better, in my opinion; my family prefers the regular potatoes.
8. If you like chips, switch to pretzels. To me, pretzels are just okay, but when I dip them in mustard or salsa, they are much better!
9. Of course there are times when we want to splurge and have an indulgent meal or treat. A great way to do this is to cut back, exercise and eat well for a week or so, then have your indulgence, but still try not to go way overboard. Eat slowly and savor it, this way you will know when you are satisfied, rather than eating through it.
A huge factor in eating well and losing weight is planning, regardless of what plan you are on. If you take time each day to plan out a strategy to keep your eating within limits and create more activity in your life, you will be much more successful than if you don't take time to think about it. If you don't plan, it is too easy to fall into the 'I'll-Start-Tommorrow' trap and eat too much.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Liquid Cleanse Diet - A Rapid Experience in Losing Weight

The liquid cleanse diet has gained consequent popularity when detox diets became popular. This though is an extreme form of dieting yourself to losing weight. Subscribing to this takes a lot of discipline and sacrifices and the benefits are not worth half the pain and suppression experienced. It is a test of endurance and will.
To understand this better, a liquid diet rely heavily on liquid food to get the person through each day. As far as a rapid experience to losing weight is concerned, it is good, except that it robs you of the nutrients to keep you fit and healthy. In fact, if a nutrition expert advices you to go trough this experience, it would be temporary if ever. It is only appropriate under certain conditions, otherwise it is not advisable.
After the condition in which a liquid cleanse diet will serve its good, the person must eat solid food again. When that happens, all the sacrifices and the pain will be as nothing as the body will again gain the weight it lost. Often because of the suppression it suffered, the body will tend to demand more.
Conditions though that are advisable to undergo a liquid cleanse diet is when a person has just undergone a bariatric surgery, a sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy. The purpose here obviously is to relieve the digestive tract of too much strain. Obesity could also benefit from the this for a certain duration but always under the supervision of a physician or a medical weight loss team.
A liquid cleanse diet may be a rapid experience to losing weight but it is never advisable for individuals when the main purpose for undergoing this is purely on reasons of weight loss alone. There is a host of alternatives that are healthier out there.
Now you want to have more energy, be Healthier, look Younger, lose weight, and cleanse your body, right?

Why Digestive Enzymes Are Vital To Good Health!

Most digestive disorders develop because of the body's inability
to produce sufficient enzymes for health-enhancing digestion and proper nutrient absorption. Enzyme depletion results in improper digestion and absorption, leading to chronic disorders

Malabsorption is the inability of the cells of the body to obtain nutrients from the foods consumed. This inaction causes loss of vitamins, minerals, fiber and the caloric value (energy) of foods, resulting in cellular deprivation. Digestive malabsorption can occur as a result of the following condition:

1. Insufficient time for large food molecules (protein, starch, fat) to be broken down by specific digestive enzymes.

2. Improperly-functioning Pancreas, not capable of delivering enough digestive enzymes to the small intestine to break down large molecules; thus, nutrient absorption becomes minimal or nonexistent.

3. The development of a condition known as Cleaky gut syndrome in which the membrane walls of the intestine lining become permeable, allowing undigested food to be leaded into the bloodstream.

The work of digestive enzymes is to break down food materials into components that are absorbable and, in addition, produce substances that assist in emulsifying fats into forms that can be readily absorbed into the blood.

Enzymes are necessary for life!

Everything that lives requires enzymes including humans, plants and animals.

Enzymes are a protein-based substance found in every living cell.

Important Life-Enhancing Functions of Enzymes:

  • Aids digestive functioning
  • Anti-wrinkle properties.
  • Assists healing abilities.
  • Assists respiratory function.
  • Assists glucose balance.
  • Dissolves blood clots.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Immune stimulator to build-up natural resistance to disease

The actions of enzymes facilitate all of lifes processes and molecular integrity.

Another effect of low enzyme activity is fermentation, the basis for intestinal disorders. This process is encouraged when the diet contains carbohydrates and sugars that remain in the intestinal tract rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream. These unabsorbed substances constitute the most common source of intestinal gas and discomfort.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Macrobiotics: Diet and Lifestyle for Long-term Health

A frequent misunderstanding about macrobiotics is that it
is a diet sick people use - cancer patients especially - in
order to heal. While it is true that a macrobiotic
approach has helped a great many people get well,
macrobiotics is much more than a mere diet, and it is for
everyone. Whether you're recovering from illness or simply
interested in having greater vitality, macrobiotics is a
wholistic, natural system for good health and long life.

"Let food by thy medicine, and medicine thy food," is a
saying from the ancient Greek philosopher Hippocrates, who
also coined the term "macrobiotics." In Greek, "makro"
means long or large, and "bio" means life. A macrobiotic
approach to good health begins with food and cooking,
extending to include lifestyle and exercise. Daily walks,
a grateful state of mind, and meditation for centering
oneself are among the practices of the system. Its purpose
is to create a state of health that supports rather than
prevents a full and vibrant life.

Since Hippocrates coined the term, we know that the
principles of macrobiotics have been around a long time.
They're the same concepts that you'll find in any modern
day nutrition or fitness class: high fiber, low fat, plenty
of vegetables and grains, limited meat. Going beyond these
basics, macrobiotics also includes healing foods such as
sea vegetables and ginger root.

To bring balance to one's physical and emotional condition
through utilizing food is the macrobiotic focus. Foods
that have nutritional and energetic balance - yin and yang -
are used: legumes, beans, whole grains, and vegetables
dominate. Red meat, dairy, refined sugar, and coffee are
examples of foods without balance and they are eliminated.
For flavor, variety, and seasonal virtue, some oils, nuts,
and fruits are used in small amounts. The variety adds
interest and also increases the nutrient range. The end
result is food both wholesome and delicious.

It is critically important that the food tastes good
because food is sensual, and if it doesn't appeal to our
senses, we won't eat it in the long run. It might take a
bit of time to develop the taste for macrobiotic cuisine
because it is light and elegant in its simplicity.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My first post

This blog is for providing tips to people who need help eating right, exercising, dieting, what products are good or not, and my daily experience with fitness programs, diets, and supplements. I will provide at least 2-4 tips everyday, also log my current fitness program.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

If you want to lose weight, there is one thing you ought to eliminate from your diet…sugar.

Sugar is a villain in your quest to lose weight. You are probably thinking, “Of course, everyone knows that sugar is fattening.” Well, there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s important that you understand exactly why you ought to avoid sugar.

First, let’s define sugar. Sugar takes many more forms than the white table sugar with which you are familiar. Sugar includes corn syrup, maltose, lactose, fructose, sucrose, brown sugar, honey, molasses.

When you ingest cakes, cookies, chocolate, cereal, etc.—in other words, simple carbohydrates—you flood your bloodstream with sugar. (You need to begin to read ingredients labeling to determine if there is sugar in the food. You’ll be surprised at just how many foods contain sugar in one form or another.) The pancreas then produces insulin, a hormone designed to pull sugar out of your bloodstream and deposit it in your cells and your liver.

Because the pancreas does such a good job, your blood sugar rapidly drops lower than it should. (That explains your swings in your energy level.) Your brain then gets the message that your body requires more sugar to return the level to normal. As a result you feel a need to eat more sugar. And the cycle begins again.

Many people believe they are “addicted” to sugar. I guarantee you that, if you didn’t eat sugar for three or four days, that feeling of “addiction” would pass because your blood sugar levels would be stable and you would no longer feel the craving for sugar.

In addition, the pancreas releases another hormone called glucagon that helps to release fat from your cells. When you eat sugar all the time and the pancreas has to constantly release insulin, it is prohibited from releasing glucagon. As a result, you are literally locking fat in your body.

You might ask, “What about fruit?” Many people think of fruit as a great diet food. How often do you see someone having a plateful of fruit for lunch? Remember that fruit contains fructose, a natural sugar responsible for the sweetness of the fruit. It’s important to know that just because it’s natural, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s alright to eat it. It works the same way as any sugar. Now, we know that fruit contains many vitamins and minerals and should be a part of your food plan. However, if you are trying to lose weight, you need to keep your fruit consumption low, focusing on those fruits that contain less sugar, such as apples, pears and most berries.

Now, I don’t want to leave you thinking that you can never again have sugar. Even while you are losing weight, there is one time that, if you must, you can give yourself permission to eat sugar. That time is immediately following an INTENSE training session. But be sure the session is intense because working hard will deplete your body of its glycogen stores (that’s the name for sugar stored in your cells and liver for energy). Your body can store only a small amount at a time so it is possible to deplete it during an intense workout.

But don’t overdo it. Remember, while you are in a weight-loss mode, you need to be particularly careful with what you put in your body.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Obesity in America -- The Growing Epidemic!

Obesity is a disease that affects approximately 60 million people in the United States, where women are especially affected. Over one-third of women between the ages of 20 and 74 are obese, the majority of them being African American or Mexican American. With more and more pre-packaged food and less and less activity, the number of obese people in America has steadily increased since the 1960’s.

But what is obesity? Many people think obesity means that a person is overweight, but that’s not exactly true. An overweight person has a surplus amount of weight that includes muscle, bone, fat, and water. An obese person has a surplus of body fat. Most health professionals concur that a man is obese if he has over 25 percent body fat, and a woman is obese if she has over 30 percent. Women physiologically have more body fat than men, so that why there’s a difference in percentage.

It is difficult to determine the exact percentage of body fat a person has, but estimates can be made in a number of ways. First, using a tweezer-like tool called a caliper, you can measure the thickness of skin folds on different points of your body and compare the results with standardized numbers. You can also use a small device that sends a harmless electrical current through your body and measures your body fat percentage. The most commonly used method to determine if a person is obese is to look at his/her Body Mass Index (BMI). A person with a BMI over 30 is considered to be obese, and a BMI over 40 is considered to be severely obese. It’s important to remember though that BMI could be misleading in pregnant or lactating women and in muscular individuals. There are some free tools to find your body fat percentage at

With obesity, comes the increased risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, and breast, colon, and prostate cancer. In addition, obesity has been linked to mental health conditions such as depression or feelings of shame and low self-esteem. Health experts say that even losing 10 to 15 percent of your body weight can dramatically decrease the risk of developing these serious conditions. In addition, many obese people are discriminated against and targets of insults and other verbal abuse. Find out if you are at risk for health disease using the health calculators at

A number of factors, such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, genetics, and certain medical disorders, cause obesity, but it can be conquered. One major obstacle to being more physically active is motivation and accountability. Find a friend with similar fitness goals and begin a simple exercise program together. It takes time to see the results, but your health is worth it!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Diet, Your Health & Your Life!

Because I believe diet and exercise are so important, I'm often frustrated with the recommendations I receive. Nutrition and natural health ideas are often so negative (don't eat this, watch out for that) or so rigorous (be sure to eat some raw, natural, organically grown vegetable I've never heard of) or so complicated, I end up ignoring them. And yet, I know diet is critical to my health and well-being, so I made up my own rules. My objective was simplicity, so all of you with greater will-power and more discipline, cut me some slack, OK? For the rest of us, I hope you find them useful.

1. Eat less. I used to eat until I was full, and then snack as a hobby. And, sometimes I still do. But, more and more, I decide when I've eaten enough, leave room for a treat later, and simply choose to eat a little less. I think it helps.

2. Drink more water. I used to try to drink 8 glasses a day, but I usually ended up either losing count…or just going to the bathroom a lot. Now, on my way to the table I stop by the sink and grab a glass of water. I figure that's more water than most people drink, it probably helps me eat less (see Rule #1), and sometimes it reminds me to drink even more. Close enough.

3. Eat more fruit. Benjamin Franklin said, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." I just know apples, a banana, some grapes or something "exotic" like a mango or a kiwi tastes good, and it's the fastest, most portable and convenient food I've found. A handful of those little baby carrots beats a sandwich by a good 90 seconds!

4. Eat your vegetables. Yeah, still listening to my mother. But on the positive side, they're so easy! No sauces, no mixing or blending or nothing! Raw, steamed or microwaved, they're great for adding color to a meal (greens, yellows, and beans in all sorts of colors). I know fresh and organically grown is best, and sometimes I buy them that way….

5. Eat more rice and baked potatoes. I score points with my doctor, my "significant other" and again, it's about the easiest cooking I've figured out.

6. Stretch when you feel like it. I used to follow a routine that recommended stretching and yoga for about 30 minutes every morning. Wonderful stuff! Very healthy. And someday I'm going to give it another try! For now, every morning, and several times during the day, I stand up and try to reach the ceiling. I bend, twist, shake my shoulders, breath deep, whatever seems to feel good at the moment. Then I get back to work.

7. Avoid exercise and elevators. OK, I believe jogging and sweating and lifting weights are good for me. And I do some of it. But I also find it useful to walk around the block to get the mail (the box is across the street) or take the stairs instead of the elevator. I walk the dog, push the lawnmower and play tennis and golf with my friends. That way I figure I'm exercising and leaving the gyms open for the rest of you.

8. Spend time with friends. Talking, sharing dreams, giving and receiving support, solving life's great mysteries and debating politics or religion with a friend does wonders for the soul. And, hugs are good. And if you have a life-partner, I find talking regularly seems to avoid a number of other problems, as well!

9. Laugh every day. Tell a joke, wrestle with your dog or play with the kids next door, but have some fun! Life's short.

10. Plan for dessert! At the end of the day, I really like something special to top it all off. So, I plan for a bite of chocolate or a cup of low-fat pudding or yogurt or a handful of fresh grapes. It sure seems to beat restlessly searching the cupboards and refrigerator for "something" and ending up with a big bowl of ice cream!

Finally, a few words of experience. It's OK to "slip" once in a while. At least it better be OK...I seem to do it periodically. Just get up again tomorrow, make the rules simpler, more fun or more appropriate for your situation and get right back on! I don't think the objective is perfection -- there's no point in having a heart attack getting all stressed out about the rules! Just go have some fun!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Nutrition, Evolution, and Having a Healthy Diet By Judith Schwader

Nutrition has everything to do with health. This isn’t news, exactly, but looking around at the crazy information on the market, one wonders if anyone actually makes the connection: what you eat affects how you feel. It’s that simple. Your health depends on the food choices you make in both the short and long term.

Take a pill, and all you’ve done is treat a symptom. Change your eating habits, and create a lasting change in your well-being. There are so many approaches to eating, however, and so much conflicting information that it’s come down to this simple question: does whatever you’re eating right now make sense?

Well, sense isn’t common, and it does depend on some good information. So here is something to consider: what kind of foods are humans evolved to eat? Cheetos? Don’t think so. That’s a no-brainer, but what about some others that we counted as healthy staples until recently, like bread and pasta. Go way back in your imagination, to hunter gatherer days – before agriculture and the obesity which followed for the first time among humans – and consider what would be part of our ancestors’ normal diet. If you’re about to pop something into your mouth that wasn’t around before agriculture, (a relatively recent development in human history), then eat it knowing it’s not considered a ‘normal’ food by your body. Foods your body considers ‘normal’ contribute to your health, other foods are either neutral or harmful. How simple is that?

A well-known exploration of this concept that certain foods help our bodies thrive is Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s book, “Eat Right 4 Your Type,” in which he bases his lists of what to eat and avoid on blood type. D’Adamo asserts that type O is the oldest type, and the newer A type didn’t show up on the scene until agriculture. So, Os should eat lots of meat and veg because that blood type doesn’t know how to handle too much grain. Type As can eat grain, but not dairy. Dairy is a category reserved as a ‘normal’ food only for the yet more recent human blood type, AB. (Maybe we’ll evolve a new type that can handle Cheetos and red licorice, my personal favorite abnormal foods).

D’Adamo supports his blood-type theory with all kinds of careful research, and so what? Does it make sense that humans should rely primarily on foods that occur naturally? Absolutely. If you’re going to eat a grain like wheat then, eat it whole, or don’t eat it at all, and don’t eat much of it anyway because humans pretty much made wheat up! I’m not going to take the, “Does it occur naturally?” debate too far, because it’s time to look at another researcher’s take on the food and evolution connection.

Dr. Phillip Lipetz wrote “The Good Calorie Diet,” a book for the weight loss market, but he also has supported his theories with all kinds of careful research. His describes how the human response to starvation that was developed during the ice age carries on today. Ironic, isn’t it, that the food available to us today - rich and sweet and abundant - causes our bodies to behave as though starvation is at hand.

The short story for how this works is that up until the ice age, humans ate whatever was readily available, like roots, plants, fruit, and a little tasty carrion now and then. Along came the ice ages, and those foods became scarce. Now humans were forced to hunt, but it was dicey and the weapons were primitive, so spans of time occured between kills. The result: our ancestors evolved ways to make the most of the conversion of excess blood sugar into stored nutrition in the form of body fat. When they starved, they lived off stored fat.

Today’s diet mimics the ice age diet: high fat and high protein, and our genetic programming says, “Uh oh, we’re facing starvation again. Better store up some fat.” Lipetz goes into convincing detail about food combinations in his book. He describes some that cause the creation of excess fat, such as butter on bread. More useful are his combination's that actually inhibit fat formation, like lean meat with most vegetables. In a society where obesity and its attendant health issues are rampant, these food combination's are helpful places to focus our attention. Yet the single most useful bit to remember from his research is that foods which cause our bodies to create excess fat all have one thing in common: they weren’t part of our ancestors’ normal diet.

Armed with this overview, next time you’re about to pop something in your mouth - whether your focus is health or weight – you don’t need to have a bunch of rules and whacky information in mind. Just use common sense. Ask whether it’s a food that was around before the advent of agriculture. If it was, go for it. If it wasn’t, then consider that your body won’t consider the food ‘normal,’ and in both the long and short run, that’s got health consequences.

Friday, June 1, 2012

South Beach Diet - Ready to be a Loser?

The South Beach diet is a way that many people are shedding the pounds. Miami cardiologic Arthur Agatston started this diet. It got its name when it became a very popular diet in South Florida. This diet is unique from many diets because it evolves. Instead of simply having a diet list that remains the same throughout the course of the diet, your requirements change in stages.

When you first start the south beach diet, it is much like every other diet. You cut out all those things in your diet that most people live for. Sweets, breads, carbohydrates, alcohol, and even fruits are forbidden. Unlike most diets, however, this phase is only supposed to last for two weeks. This is why it is usually seen as healthier than a no-carbohydrate diet. While no carbohydrates will certainly make most people lose weight, it isn't healthy for the long run. You need these for energy and a healthy body.

After two weeks of torture with a south beach diet, you are allowed to have your forbidden foods back, but not in the same way as before. The hope is, that as you go through this diet plan, you will learn what foods are truly good for you. There are some fats and carbohydrates and even sweets that your body should have. A healthy body is well balance. The challenge is to find that balance.

When you add your foods back into your diet, you are supposed to do this step in a slow and healthy way. When you get through adding all of your loved foods back into your diet, hopefully you will have learned how to eat normal size portions. Many people eat otherwise healthy foods, but in too large of portions.

You will also have learned how to balance your diet so that you take in everything you need without overdoing anything. Advocates of the south beach diet conclude that you don't go without anything your body needs.
You only get rid of those things such as carbohydrates and fats that are bad for you. The fats and carbs that are deemed good will stay in your long-term diet.

The south beach diet is supposed to become a lifelong way of eating after you make the steps to eat this way. And if it gives you the body image that you are seeking, who would really quit it? And on top of a positive body image, your doctor will also be proud of you for adopting a healthier lifestyle.


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