Success Stories Abdul













First of all I’d like to tell you how much I appreciate and enjoyed David’s books ‘Get Fit, Stay Fit’ and ‘The Best You can be’ Before I was serious about bodybuilding, I spent a lot of time reading books and articles, looking for information on fitness and nutrition. Then I came across David’s book. Right then I knew one day I would be a champion, because I found the one-stop, information resource that I was looking for.

David’s books ‘Get Fit, Stay Fit’ and ‘The Best You can be’ have an approach that is simply awesome. He takes all the guesswork out of training. I have had great success, avoiding the plateaus, staying motivated and actually making the improvements that I work so hard to achieve, and it feels great knowing all my hard work is now paying off.

As a personal trainer and champion bodybuilder, ‘Get Fit, Stay Fit’ and ‘The Best You can be’ are the only manuals you will ever need.

Success Stories Lisa

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As an IFBB Pro Bodybuilder, I’ve put a lot of time and energy into creating my success, and I must tell you that David’s book ‘Get Fit Say Fit’ is for winners.

His Philosophy on nutrition and weight management is fantastic and definitely manageable.  The Idea of not dieting, but making lifestyle changes is very refreshing.  He actually teaches you the amount of calories, fat, carbs, and proteins that are right for you.

I’ve checked out many fitness books in stores and online, and there is nothing that comes close to David’s book.   You have probably heard this before, but I will say it again ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’ is the best money you will ever spend and the best part of it all is that it will help you to become the best you can be.

Success Stories Jan

JAN1 JAN2Becoming a Champion takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and it’s not easy. But with the help and guidance of David’s book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit‘ it makes weight management almost a science. His book gives you the knowledge and a solid base for which you can grow. Once you understand how your body works, and what it needs, it then becomes easy to shape your body into the image you desire.

The Principles behind ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’ helped and worked for me, and I know they can work for you.

Success Stories Leah

beforeThere are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. This is the way I felt, a little over a year ago and as a single working mom, by the time I did get everything done, it was time to collapse on the sofa and just veg. Because of this hectic lifestyle I began to gain weight and before I knew it I found myself in a vicious circle. I always knew or felt I could lose the weight I was gaining whenever I wanted to, but I didn’t have the time to go to the gym and workout for hours and I wasn’t prepared to give up my true love...’CHIPS AND DIP.’

Then one day when I was out for lunch with an old girlfriend, i saw how great she looked. I asked her what her secret was and she told me she had gotten a personal trainer and began to learn about health and fitness. She suggested (in a nice way) that I should do the same. I said that I didn’t have the time or the money to hire a personal trainer. She reached into her purse and handed me David’s book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’and told me here was her personal trainer and that I should read the book.

David’s plan made a lot a sense. Now I still didn’t have a lot of time but his approach doesn’t take alot of time. It’s just knowing afterwhat you are doing and why. By making simple and easy lifestyle changes you can accomplish your end goal.

I got to tell you, it didn’t happen overnight and now I feel I’m in the best shape of my life…..and I can still eat my Chips and Dip.

If it can work for me I know it can work for you. With the new me, I feel I’ve got a lot more energy to take on whatever comes my way.

Today whenever anyone asks me what my secret is…I simply tell them to check out David’s book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit.’It’s the best advice I have ever gotten and could ever give.

Success Stories – Brooke

brookeI’ve always had an active lifestyle from dance classes to being chased by my two brothers. One of the things that has always worried me was if I would be able to stay fit as I grew older. Would I gain weight? Would I still be active? What would I do and How would I handle it?

All of my concerns where put to rest when I read David’s book‘Get Fit Stay Fit’. They should really teach David’s approach in school. We know more about geography and history then we do about our own bodies. If we don’t take care of ourselves, who will?

David shows you how to make the changes that will best help you. Putting you in charge of you.

Now as a working mom and Professional Football Cheerleader, I feel I am in better shape today then I was when I was a teenager. And it was all me!!! (With the help and guidance of David’s book, Get Fit Stay Fit)

There’s nothing more frustrating then giving your all to get in shape and seeing no results. If you honestly take the time to get to know your body and take responsibility for yourself, then David’s book will work for you, just as it has for me.

Success Stories – Tania

taniaHi…My name is Tania and I just wanted to tell you that I have tried just about every program, gadget and fast fix product on the market and that’s just what they were, gadgets and temporary solutions.

When I got introduced to David’s book, it was like a light went off. It made so much sense. I didn’t need temporary fast fixes, what I needed was a way to adjust my lifestyle and in return stay in shape. David’s approach has allowed me to do this but I had to be prepared to want to change my lifestyle and not to rely on gimmicky diets and potions.

David’s book showed me the simple things I could do and gradually changed my way of thinking. He taught me just what to do and why I should do it. He taught me a balance between exercise and nutrition. It’s really a refreshing approach that has given me the positive results that I’ve always tried to achieve.

As a promotional model you can understand how important it is for me to always look and feel my best at all times and with the help of David and his great book, I’ve been able to accomplish this.

Tania Lamanna – Miss Hawaiian Tropic 1997

Fruit-Infused Water

no-belly-fat-girlThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Take a 2 quart container and put ingredients of your Fruit infusion.  Then add 6 cups of ice. Fill the jar with water. Then stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let flavors infuse.

  1. Strawberry Basil Blast


Scrunch 8 fresh basil leaves to let their flavor come out. Combine with 3 cups halved strawberries and gently mixed with a wooden spoon or spatula.

  1. Slightly Spicy


Mixed together 2 seeded and sliced jalapeño peppers plus 2 thinly sliced cucumbers

  1. Strawberry Kiwi Cooler


Combine 3 cups halved strawberries, 2 thinly sliced lemons, and 3 thinly sliced kiwis. Gently mix all of the ingredients.

  1. Sweet-Tart


Mixed 1 cup pitted and halved fresh cherries, 3 cored and thinly sliced granny smith apples and 2 cups pineapple chunks.

  1. Mango Mojito


Scrunch 6 mint sprigs to let their flavor come out. Then combine with 2 thinly sliced limes and 3 cups cubed mango (fresh or frozen); gently mixed with a wooden spoon or spatula.

  1. Orangeberry


Gently mixed 5 thinly sliced oranges and 2 cups raspberries.

  1. Cucumber Quencher


Scrunch 6 mint sprigs to release flavor. Combine with 4 thinly sliced limes and 2 thinly sliced cucumbers.

  1. Zesty Herb

Soak for at least an hour before serving 3 tangerines sliced, 2-3 sprigs of thyme, 2-3 sprigs of fennel, 1 quart water and ice.

  1. Perfect Thirst Quencher

Mixed 1 cup sliced strawberries, 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 cup sliced cucumbers, 2 limes sliced, ice cubes, and water.

  1. Sweet Cantaloupeberry Surprise


4 Cantaloupe cut in long wedges, 12 Strawberries cut in half, 1 quart ice and water. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes before serving. Then you can also add AuthenTea or Oolong Tea to have another zest of iced tea.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

More Things To know

knowledgeAre stevia and agave syrup healthier sweeteners than sugar?

Many health-conscious people are steering away from refined white sugar, and opting for agave syrup (agave nectar) or stevia to sweeten their foods. These alternative sweeteners are often perceived as more natural, or less highly processed, than table sugar and artificial sweeteners. Yet, both are derived from multistep processing methods.

Agave syrup comes from the same plant that produces tequila, the blue agave plant that grows primarily in Mexico. The core of the plant contains aguamiel, the sweet substance used to produce agave syrup. While processing methods can vary, most involve enzymes, chemicals and heat to convert aguamiel into agave syrup. Organic manufacturers use low heat and no chemicals.

Agave syrup has either a dark or light amber colour and it’s slightly thinner in consistency than honey. It contains 60 calories per tablespoon, versus 48 for table sugar but because it is about 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, you can use less of it.

Nutritionally, agave syrup is similar to high-fructose corn syrup. Depending on processing, it can contain anywhere from 55 to 97 per cent fructose. (High-fructose corn syrup, by comparison, consists of 55 per cent fructose; the rest is glucose.) Its fructose content results in a sweetener with a glycemic index (10-20) much lower than plain sugar (65). The fact that agave syrup doesn’t spike your blood sugar and insulin has led many manufacturers to market it as “diabetic friendly.”

Yet, according to many experts, agave’s high fructose concentration makes it an unhealthy sweetener. That’s because research has linked high- fructose sweeteners to obesity, diabetes, high triglycerides (blood fats), metabolic syndrome and fatty liver.

Stevia is a no-calorie sweetener that’s made from the leaves of a plant, Stevia rebaudiana, native to South America. Stevia leaves get their sweet taste,  about 10 to 15 times sweeter than sugar, from natural compounds called steviol glycosides.

Stevia leaves and stevia extracts are sold as tabletop sweeteners in natural food stores. They have not, however, been approved for use as food additives in Canada and the United States because animal studies have suggested stevia could cause genetic mutations and male infertility. Health Canada considers the available safety data on these products insufficient.

A highly purified stevia extract , sold under the brand names Truvia and PureVia, has been deemed safe and given the green light to sweeten foods in Canada and the U.S., including breakfast cereals, salad dressings, chewing gum and beverages. This purified stevia extract is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar so it takes only a minuscule amount to sweeten foods.
Vitamin supplements helpful for children with ADHD
Lacking in energy in general affects mental energy. Providing the brain with the right fuel will go a long way in optimizing your child’s learning ability.

Look at them as a whole and consider all factors that can take away from their well-being such as digestive discomfort, allergy symptoms, recurring infections, headaches, vision problems, hearing difficulties, poor sleep, too much sugar, not enough protein and nutrient deficiencies.

B vitamins include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folic acid and B12. Deficiencies in B3, B5, B6, folic acid and B12 are especially common. Adequate B3, B6 and B12 are particularly important in producing brain chemicals. Vitamin B6 assists in the production of dopamine and adrenaline from tyrosine and serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan.

Starting with a multivitamin mineral formula that has at least 10 mg of B6 which is a general indicator that the other nutrient doses are also good. Higher doses of Bs can be used therapeutically under supervision.

Magnesium deficiency can manifest as poor sleep, hyperactivity, anxiety, restless legs, muscle cramps and constipation along with many other signs and symptoms.

Magnesium in an amino acid chelate form in powder or capsule is the preferred form due to absorb ability and magnesium citrate would be a second choice. Vitamin D is very important for overall health and growth so I do recommend 1000 iu per day for children-under-12.

Low hemoglobin, that which carries oxygen in the blood, delivering it to your tissue, also affects mental energy, sleep, immunity and growth. This makes sense because the whole body needs oxygen to produce energy and support all functions in your body. It is best to have hemoglobin and ferritin (iron stores) checked before supplementing as some can have a genetic tendency to excessively store iron and therefore it would be dangerous to supplement iron. Telltale signs are very pale individuals without pink in their cheeks, complaints of being tired and cold and dull eyes with darkness underneath. But a child can also be purple under the eyes, which is allergies, although this is not to say they couldn’t have both problems.

If you determine your child is one of the estimated 40 per cent of children who are iron deficient then taking an iron amino acid chelate and nothing else as iron’s absorption is inhibited by many dietary factors and this form ensures maximum absorption.

Omega 3 from fish oil contains EPA and DHA. A randomized, double blind, study in Sweden of 82 children with ADHD ages seven to 12 years showed significant teacher evaluated improvement in ADHD symptoms, with the use of Minami Plus EPA 500 mg 1 capsule per day. Serum and red blood cell levels of EPA were measured and improvement was seen in those who were deficient in EPA. This type of EPA is processed without damage from oxygen and 400 per cent less heat both of which can damage fish oil. Fish oil companies who do not use this process cannot apply the results of this study to the use of any source of EPA.

All of the previously mentioned supplements are available in powders or liquids for children who cannot swallow capsules or caplets.
7 supplements women over 40 should take
It’s common for some women over 40 to experience a sputtering sex drive, sluggish metabolism, lethargic energy levels, fluctuating moods and other cruel machinations of the aging process.

But life after 40 doesn’t have to be left to Mother Nature. Consider getting plenty of exercise, modifying your diet and taking these seven best supplements for women over 40:

  1. STRONTIUM: Women over 40 with a family history that includes osteoporosis, or risk factors associated with bone loss should take 340 mg a day of this mineral. Strontium has been shown to be almost twice as effective as osteoporosis medications in improving bone density,  without the side-effects. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that postmenopausal women who supplemented with strontium increased bone mineral density of the lumbar spine by nearly 15 per cent over a three-year period.
  2. RIBOSE: Another “under-the-radar” nutrient, largely ignored in the supplement market, ribose can help increase energy by an average of approximately 60 per cent after three weeks.  Two-thirds of the subjects who supplemented with ribose experienced more restful sleep and energy, mental clarity and less pain. Another small study on ribose concluded that this simple sugar helps diastolic blood pressure in congestive heart failure patients.
  3. VITAMIN D3: The benefits of vitamin D3 are numerous, and so many people are deficient, even in areas with ample sunshine. Research has shown that adequate levels of vitamin D3 can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce risk of osteoporosis and even ward off depression.  Deficiency in vitamin D can also lead to pain in various areas of your body. Supplementing with vitamin D3, in addition to receiving adequate amounts of sunlight, also may help elevate mood, according to several studies (such as this review of different studies on the link between low serum levels of vitamin D and seasonal affective disorder, also called SAD).
  4. FOLATE: One of the B vitamins, folate may also help prevent or improve episodes of depression. Birth defects, more prevalent for post-40 expectant mothers, may be prevented with adequate folate levels. And folate, also is vital to long-term brain health, along with fish oils. Sufficient levels of both fish oils and folate have been linked to a reduced risk of cognitive decline associated with aging, including dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  5. CALCIUM: When taken in conjunction with adequate levels of vitamin D, calcium absorption is maximized. Just be careful not to take your calcium supplements with iron or caffeine. Both bind calcium in your gut and impede absorption.
  6. HYDROCHLORIC ACID: Hydrochloric acid (a.k.a. HCL or betaine hydrochloride) is the main digestive juice in your stomach, along with pepsin. Levels of HCL taper off after age 40, so women who experience bloating or indigestion may want to supplement with HCL. Can maintaining adequate levels of HCL also help with healthy-looking skin? A medical study published in 1945, in the Southern Medical Journal, suggested that lack of HCL can lead to poor absorption of B vitamins, and consequently, acne and eczema and other skin disorders can develop.  In skin diseases associated with B complex deficiency, there is also a deficiency of hydrochloric acid.

Five Ways to Get Protein Without Eating Meat

There are many ways to get protein without turning to meat! Many people think that just because you are a vegetarian that you are not getting enough protein. In fact, you are actually getting better quality protein than you did eating animal-based foods.

Plant protein is often deemed inferior to animal protein because it is labelled as an incomplete protein. Combining even a few plant proteins creates a complete protein that the body easily digests. Plant based proteins unlike animal proteins do not place a burden on your kidneys or liver. They are easy to assimilate and help to build muscles and tissues readily and efficiently.

There is an assortment of high protein plant sources available including: hemp, sprouts, protein powder, tempeh, and quinoa. Similar to animals, humans may also get adequate protein from plant sources. The good news is that these proteins are easy to digest and the body uptakes them very well making them an efficient and effective source of protein.

Here are my top five types of protein sources:

Quinoa – Quinoa is not only a high source of protein, but it is also considered a complete protein as it contains all of the essential amino acids. Quinoa is an amazing option for breakfast porridge, lunch salads or dinner pilafs. Try this refreshing Quinoa Tabbouleh salad.

Hemp – Hemp seeds are also considered a complete source of protein, which is easily digested and absorbed by your body. Hemp’s nutritional profile is remarkable containing 36 per cent protein. In addition to its great source of protein, hemp also contains the exact ratio of healthy fats that the body needs for optimal health. Try this hemp seed salad for an extra boost!

Protein Powder – A plant-based protein powder is an easy and delicious way to get a healthy intake of protein. Chose a sprouted brown rice powder for maximum grams of absorbent and digestible protein. You can include protein powder in a morning smoothie, berry bowl, or even a power shake post workout.

Tempeh – Tempeh, increasing in popularity, is a fermented version of tofu. It has a unique nutty flavour, and is much denser than tofu resulting in a more satisfying meal choice. Tempeh adapts the flavours of other foods and marinades making it easy to incorporate into many dishes. Check out how you can grill tempeh just in time for summer BBQs here!

Sprouts – Sprouts are full of essential nutrients that support optimal health. When something is sprouted its nutritional value doubles. The process of sprouting seeds increases the quality of nutrients such as protein. Sprouts are an amazing item to incorporate into your diet. Not to mention they are low in calories and fat, and they are rich sources of vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and protein.

Five Reasons You Can’t Lose Those Last 10 Pounds

If the scale hasn’t budged in several weeks you may want to reassess your diet and exercise regimen, more specifically, some of the beliefs you hold that may be stopping you from shedding the last 10 pounds.

You’re eating until you’re full: Hunger is something that we’re taught to avoid. A bit of hunger in between meals may, however, just get you to your goal faster. Aim to eat every 3-4 hours (no more, no less) and allow yourself to get a little hungry from time to time before giving in.

Be careful, boredom is often mistaken for hunger. Secondly, you don’t have to finish everything on your plate. The people of Okinawa, Japan practice something called “hara hachi bu”, which translates to “eat until you are 80 percent full.” Instead, slow things down at the dinner table. A good exercise in mindful eating is to take 10 almonds and time yourself so you eat one almond a minute (without any other distractions such as TVs or laptops). This will help your mind and body adjust to slower eating habits.

You’re not drinking enough liquid before/during a meal. While some people believe that too much water with a meal can dilute your digestion, a glass of H2O can go a long way towards blunting your appetite and helping your weight loss goals. One clinical trial confirmed that just two glasses of water before a meal can help you consume between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal. Over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about five pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake. We could all benefit from more water, this is a great motivation to ensure you’re getting your daily requirement.

You aren’t eating enough fibre. A fibre supplement is probably the quickest way to a flatter stomach. On average North Americans only take in 16 grams of fibre a day, while Europeans consume around 22. In a 2011 study researcher from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center examined the link between dietary fibre and visceral fat (the fat that sits deeper in the abdomen, protecting the organs). Too much visceral fat can cause high blood pressure, diabetes and liver disease so it was good news when the study found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fibre added to the patients’ diets, there was a 3.7 percent reduction in visceral fat over five years.

While beans, veggies and fruits are great sources of soluble fibre, the Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends 21 to 38 grams a day for a health adult, and most aren’t getting that. Sprinkling ground flaxseed or chia seeds onto your salad or yogurt are a great place to start to boost your fibre intake as they have four grams of fibre for every tablespoon (45 mL). Ensure that you drink enough water when consuming a fibre supplement since fibre expands in the stomach. Start slowly in order to avoid bloating and gas (as your body adapts to the increase in fibre) and increase as needed.

You think cardio burns more calories than weight training. Although you may be more inclined to hit a spin class over the weight room to shed pounds, sweat isn’t always an indication of calories (or the amount of fat) being burned. A study published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation compared the effects of a 4-month strength training program versus aerobic endurance training on muscle control, muscle strength and cardiovascular health in subjects with type 2 diabetes.

The results of this experiment may give all you cardio burners out there a big surprise: the participants in the weight room lost more than 9 per cent of their body fat, while their counterparts on the treadmill lost an average of just 3 per cent. The metabolic equation is very simple: the more muscle tissue you have, the better your insulin sensitivity (which aids in the reduced risk of diseases from type 2 diabetes to heart disease), and the more calories you will burn, even while at rest. If you love cardio why not split your time between that and weight training the next time you’re at the gym?

You aren’t supplementing with omega-3s.
When we eat fatty acids, like those in fish or fish oils, our cell membranes become more receptive to insulin. The more insulin receptors we have on the surface of our cells, the lower our insulin levels. The lower our insulin levels, the less belly fat you have. In general, one three-ounce serving of fatty fish provides one gram of omega-3s, which is roughly the amount in one fish oil capsule. Preliminary research also shows that taking six grams daily of a specific fish oil supplement significantly decreases body fat when combined with exercise.

Considering that to achieve the therapeutic benefits you want to consume 2-3 capsules twice daily, you can imagine how much fish that would amount to. If it didn’t increase your risk of heavy metal exposure it would certainly turn you off from fish for a while. So try combining a regular fish intake with supplements to help your decrease stomach fat and increase health.

The ABCs of vitamin D-3

This vitamin is important to protect you from heart disease, cancer, type-2 diabetes, immune problems and high blood pressure.

Ten minutes in the sun,  without sunscreen, will help ensure you get enough vitamin D-3. But be sure to put your sunscreen on after those 10 minutes are up.

Vitamin D-3 is part vitamin, part hormone and completely essential to protect you from heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, immune problems and high blood pressure. Your body need sunshine to kick-start its production, or you can get a leg up from supplements. Getting enough cuts a woman’s risk of developing fibroids by 32 per cent, protects against pneumonia, helps preemies build bones and post-menopausal women avoid osteoporosis.

Around 60 per cent to 80 per cent of North Americans have low levels of vitamin D-3 and half of those are so low they’re at immediate risk for heart problems. So what should YOU do to get enough vitamin D-3?

  1. Bask in 10 minutes of sunshine (no sunscreen) daily. Added bonus: Sunlight releases nitric acid into your bloodstream, keeping arteries supple. Then apply SPF 30 sunscreen.
  2. Enjoy salmon, mushrooms and D-3-fortified tofu or non-fat dairy.
  3. Take a vitamin D-3 supplement (1,000 IU) daily. Tip: Have your vitamin D blood level checked every year. A study of more than 1 million people found that the optimal blood level for heart health is 20 to 36 ng/mL. For cancer prevention, the level is 50 to 80ng/mL.

While we all know that supplementing vitamin D in the winter can decrease your chances of catching a cold or flu, many may not realize that the first rays of spring sunshine should not come as a cue to put your vitamin D away with your winter jacket. Although more sunlight means you’ll make more vitamin D, I still recommend taking at least 2,000 IU daily. And here’s why:

  1. It improves muscle function if you have chronic pain you may want to reassess your vitamin D levels.

New research shows, for the first time, a link between vitamin D and muscle function, including recovery from exercise and daily activities. It also explains why lower levels can lead to physical fatigue. Similar research done with adolescent girls found that vitamin D is positively related to muscle power, force, velocity and jump height.

And while you may not be too worried about your jump height, this research is relevant if you find it hard to even get to the gym.

  1. It blunts your appetite. Beyond the clear impact on our mood, gloomy pre-spring weather can indeed make you fat. You produce vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in bright sunlight. Beyond the established immune-enhancing benefits, rising vitamin D levels are also known to activate the production of leptin, which helps us slim down by signalling our brain and our stomach.

A study found that adequate levels of sunlight can significantly reduce obesity. After monitoring more than 3,100 post-menopausal women living in northeast Scotland over a two-year period they discovered that women who had the highest BMI also had the lowest amounts of vitamin D in their blood.

  1. It can protect lung function. The sunshine vitamin will not only help you feel better, you’ll breathe easier too. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with worse lung function and more rapid decline in lung function over time in smokers.  Research suggests vitamin D may protect against some of the effects of smoking on lung function. The number one protector? Not smoking!
  2. Vitamin D has been proven to lower insulin, improve serotonin levels, enhance your immune system, control appetite and even improve fat-loss efforts.

A study showed women who were given a daily dose of 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 showed improvements in their insulin resistance after six months of supplementation.

If that’s not enough, research also found that higher vitamin D levels in your body at the start of a low-calorie diet improved weight-loss success. Scientists determined that as vitamin D increased in your blood, subjects ended up losing almost a half-pound more on their calorie-restricted diet.

  1. Vitamin D supplementation can help lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Similarly,additional research found that vitamin D deficiency in premenopausal women may increase the risk of developing high blood pressure even 15 years later.

Despite all the health benefits, heading to the supplement store and picking out a vitamin D supplement blindly isn’t enough. You have to choose wisely.

vitamin D3 supplements could provide more benefit than their close relative vitamin D2. The researchers analysed the results of 10 separate studies, involving more than 1,000 people, comparing the health benefits of vitamin D2 and D3, and found a clear favouring of vitamin D3 supplements in raising vitamin D serum levels.

If you flip the label around, you can look for it to say D3 versus D2. If you prefer liquid, place the drops directly under your tongue for best absorption.

Five Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Burn More Calories

Get your energy back up with these five tips for boosting your body’s thermogenic rate:

  1. Choose thermogenic foods: Thermic or “thermogenic” foods literally heat you up and speed up your metabolism in what is called thermogenesis. The thermic effect happens as your body burns calories simply by digesting and absorbing the food you’ve just eaten. The very act of eating stimulates your metabolism and this is especially true when you eat protein, which has the highest thermic effect of any food group.

The typical thermic effect of protein is 20 to 35 per cent of energy consumed whereas for carbs, this number usually falls between five and 15 percent! If you’re looking for ways to boost your level of thermogenesis, opt for cruciferous veggies like broccoli and other greens that burn calories during the digestion process. Spices and condiments like cayenne, mustard and even hot salsa will also keep your metabolism revving. A recent study also found that ginger enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of fullness in overweight men. Similarly, eating whole foods encourages a 50 per cent higher thermic effect than processed foods, meaning you’ll boost your metabolism by opting for these healthier options.

  1. Keep to a regular schedule: Eating at the same time every day, and in regular intervals, will keep your metabolism running like a well-oiled machine.

The great news is that shedding a few pounds will help increase the thermic effect of food (basically how many calories you burn) in processing each meal. Irregular meal frequency has been shown to increase insulin resistance and produce higher fasting lipid (aka cholesterol) profiles. I recommend eating every three to four hours with three meals and two snacks daily.

  1. Learn to increase your thermic effect in the gym: Another metabolic benefit of protein is that eating it helps to metabolically support active muscle growth, especially if you’re strength training. Essentially this means strength training can increase thermic effect.

The thermic effect of the same meal was 73 per cent greater after even a single bout of resistance training. This certainly helps to illustrate why strength training is so important for optimal calorie burning. Those who do regular cardio, and in turn have a high aerobic capacity (known as VO2 max), burn more calories after eating, particularly after a large meal, than individuals with a low VO2 max. Keep this in mind – if you have more muscle your resting metabolic rate is higher, which means you burn more calories at rest. So get in your protein and your workouts.

  1. Boost your internal thermostat: The thyroid controls your metabolic rate of every single cell in the body and also maintains body temperature. Without enough thyroid hormone, all your bodily functions slow down. You feel tired and lethargic, gain weight, experience constipation, feel cold and are prone to depression. Nutritional deficiencies may prevent the proper function of thyroid hormone in your body. Iodine and tyrosine are necessary for the formation of thyroid hormone, while selenium is necessary for the normal function of it. Many individuals with decreased thyroid hormone levels also have a zinc deficiency. Both low iron and vitamin D will contribute to reduced thyroid levels as well.

Ensure you’re taking a comprehensive multivitamin daily to avoid any deficiencies. Of course, following the above points to eat balanced, high protein meals in regular intervals will also keep things running smoothly.

  1. Keep your liver happy: While muscle is your primary fat-burning tissue, your liver is the master fat-burning organ. Compromised liver function not only interferes with your body’s ability to burn fat, but it also hinders the elimination of toxins. To keep your liver healthy be sure to get in eight glasses of water a day (preferably from an alkaline filter) adding freshly squeezed lemon for a cleansing effect and a dash of cayenne pepper for an enhanced thermic effect.

You can also add a liver support product from your health food store that includes any combination of these nutrients: artichoke extract, milk thistle, cysteine, methionine, curcumin and N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC). Since both alcohol and many medications, such as Tylenol, are processed through the liver, keep these to a minimum when possible.

As always in science, more research is necessary and always changing with improvements to keep you and help you to become the best you can be.

Check out: MY BOOK to find your guideline for protein intake and many other stats, tips and tricks to help you to become the best you can be.

This information is not meant to treat or diagnose. It is meant to educate readers and be used as a resource when talking to your healthcare provider

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit myONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

10 Things To know

knowledgeWhat to Look for When Buying Fish Oil Supplements

Taking fish oils (aka omega-3 essential fatty acids) can be incredibly beneficial for your health. Fish oil is anti-inflammatory, benefits your skin, protects vision, boosts mood, lowers cholesterol, and boosts IQ. The typical Canadian diet, however, is deficient in omega-3’s and packed full of omega-6’s. Several sources suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6:omega-3 of approximately 1:1. Currently Canadian diets have an approximate ratio of 15:1. The typical diet promotes the pathogenesis of disease including heart disease, cancer, inflammatory disease, autoimmune diseases, etc. If eating increased amounts of fish is not an option, taking a fish oil supplement is an easy way to increase omega-3‘s in your diet. Unfortunately most fish oil supplements on the market don’t contain enough ‘medicinal ingredients’ in their recommended dose. I’m here to clarify any misconceptions you may have about dosing your fish oil.

Source: Fish oil companies should use a sustainable source of fish, with low mercury and PCB content. Eg. sardine, mackerel, anchovy.

Form: Liquid is almost always better than capsules. First off, fish oil capsules are HUGE! Secondly, capsules also require a healthy digestive system to break down the outer wall and release the contents. Thirdly, you must take many capsules to equal the dose in 1 tsp of fish oil.

Medicinal ingredients: The label on your fish oil supplement should list, not only the quantity of fish oil/dose but it should also list the quantity of (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).EPA supports heart health while DHA supports mental health. It is important to dose your fish oil high enough in one or both of the ‘medicinal ingredients’ in fish oil to benefit from taking the supplement. If you are preventing a deficiency of omega-3’s your dose of EPA should be 700-1000mg/day and DHA should be 200-500mg/day. If you are treating a disease/condition (heart disease, ADHD, high cholesterol, inflammation) with fish oil you need a higher dose. Your daily dose, depending on the disease/condition should be: EPA 1200-2000mg/day, DHA 300-1000/day. Both components aid in absorption of the other, so taking them together is important.

Other things to look for:

  •  Third party test results for purity.
  •  Smell and taste. If the fish oil smells or tastes fish, it has most likely gone rancid (oxidized) from being exposed to oxygen. Oxidized fish oil does not impart the benefits of fresh fish oil.

When to not take fish oil: It is always important to consult a health care provider trained in natural health products before starting new supplements. Even something that seems benign, fish oil for example, should not be taken in some instances. Here are a few examples of when to consult your healthcare provider or when to stop taking fish oil:

  • Surgery
  • Blood clotting disorders
  •  If you are on blood thinning medications

Pull your fish oil out of the fridge and read the label. Find out how much EPA and DHA you are actually taking!

How do I know if I need to take vitamin supplements? Are there some I should take every day to be healthy?

There are a few reasons you might need to take a supplement. Depending on your diet, you may need to take certain supplements to cover off nutrients you aren’t getting from food.

Or, if a blood test shows you are deficient in a certain nutrient (e.g. iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D), a supplement will be required to replenish your body’s stores.

In some cases, nutritional supplements are used to help treat certain health conditions. Vitamin C, for example, is often used to reduce cold symptoms. Fish oil is also taken to lower elevated blood triglycerides (fats).

There are four daily essentials you might need to bridge nutritional gaps in your diet: a multivitamin, vitamin D, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil). I routinely recommend a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement to my clients. For menstruating women, who require 18 milligrams of iron each day, a one-a-day supplement helps boost iron intake.

It’s recommended that people over age 50 take a multivitamin to ensure they’re getting B12 in a well-absorbed form. Older adults are more vulnerable to B12 deficiency because they’re more likely to have decreased production of stomach acid, which is needed to release B12 from proteins in food. It’s also a good idea to take a daily multivitamin if you’re following a low calorie diet.

To keep your bones healthy, adults aged 19 to 70 require 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day and older adults require 800 IU. But some people will need more to maintain a sufficient level of vitamin D in their bloodstream. Sun exposure, skin colour, obesity, age and diet all have an impact on the body’s vitamin D stores. To account for individual differences, most experts recommend taking 1000 to 2000 IU of vitamin D each day to maintain adequate stores.

When it comes to calcium, I encourage people to meet daily needs through their diet. Calcium plays a role in maintaining healthy bones, keeping blood pressure in check and guarding against colorectal cancer. Adults aged 19 to 50 need 1,000 milligrams each day; older women require 1,200 milligrams. Calcium requirements for men don’t increase to 1,200 milligrams until after age 70.

One cup of milk and 3/4 cup of yogurt delivers roughly 300 milligrams of calcium as does 1 1/2 ounces of hard cheese. Calcium-enriched beverages such as soy, rice and almond milk and orange juice also provide about 300 milligrams per cup. Cooked green vegetables, legumes, almonds, tofu and canned salmon with the bones also provide some calcium.

If you need to supplement your diet with calcium, I typically recommend products made from calcium citrate, which provide 300 to 350 milligrams per tablet.

Consider taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement if you don’t eat oily fish (e.g. salmon, trout, sardines). Higher intakes of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) – the two omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil – are linked with a lower the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Getting too little DHA may also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Aim for a daily intake of 1,000 milligrams of DHA and EPA (combined), the equivalent of eating 12 ounces of salmon per week. The dose of DHA plus EPA in fish oil capsules is typically 300, 500 or 600 milligrams. Per teaspoon, liquid fish oils contain a higher dose.

My advice: Get your nutrients from foods as much as possible. Along with vitamins and minerals, a healthy diet delivers fibre and hundreds of protective phytochemicals. That’s something a supplement can’t do.
Advice to protect your skin from the sun
While many of us look forward to the sunshine and sun tanning, we can easily forget to protect our skin.

The same rays that tan us also age our skin, causing wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and put us at an increased risk for skin cancer.

When we burn, we damage our skin. Our skin cells (melanocytes) produce melanin to protect our cells from sun damage.

This is what a tan is, the melanin is the tan. So the less melanocytes you have (the more fair your skin is), the higher your risk of sun damage, and therefore skin aging and skin cancer.

The good news is that there are ways to reverse this premature aging and reduce your risk of sun damage and skin cancer.

Here are some simple, scientifically proven, natural ways to do this: high dose antioxidants!

The top five antioxidants to add daily:

  • Vitamin E—found in almonds, avocados, and sunflower seeds. As a supplement use mixed tocopherols. Dosage: 400 IU/ day
  • Vitamin C—found in tomatoes, red/green peppers, melons, citrus fruits, broccoli. Dosage: use a vitamin C without sugar: 1000 mg/day.
  • Resveratrol—found abundantly in the skin of red grapes, and red wine. Dosage: 200mg/day. In addition to skin protection, colleagues at the University of South Australia found that 75 obese men and women with mildly elevated blood pressure had improved vasodilation (improved blood flow throw the vessels) after six weeks of taking Resveratrol extract.
  • Green tea—at least two cups per day. Studies clearly show that the polyphenols in green tea help to prevent skin tumors and skin damage.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)—in a phase II, double-blinded, randomized-controlled trial, oral niacinamide in a dose of 500mg twice a day for four months was found to significantly reduce the number of actinic keratosis (precancerous lesions) by one third. Compared with placebo, niacinamide decreased the incidence of new skin cancers (basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma) by 76 per cent, and decreased the number of patients who developed at least 1 skin cancer by 86 per cent.

All patients were encouraged to use daily sunscreen during the trial.

Oral niacinamide and other nutrients can interfere with medications.

Please consult with your health care provider before starting any new supplement program.

Below are five nutrient-rich foods for sun protection:

  • Betacarotene—research shows that eating five servings of foods that contain Beta-carotene for one month is enough to protect your skin from sun damage. Foods high in beta-carotene are often orange and include apricots, cantaloupe, mangoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, as well as, dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli.
  • Broccoli sprouts—at John Hopkins University, mice fed broccoli sprouts twice a week for 17 weeks and saw a 70 per cent reduction in the formation of skin tumurs. So add broccoli sprouts to your diet! Sprinkle 1⁄2 cup daily on your salad or as a side dish.
  • Lycopenes—found in tomatoes and watermelons are excellent skin protectors.
  • Turmeric has excellent antioxidant properties. Use in cooking. Great in Indian dishes.
  • Dark chocolate. Choose chocolate with greater than 70 per cent cocoa. Enjoy two squares per day.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live micro-organisms that are known for helping to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. They are found naturally in some foods, such as yogurt and cheeses, but they are also becoming a growing part of the supplement market. As more and more of these products pop up on health food store shelves who should be using probiotics?

Everybody. Probiotics are just the normal things you have in yogurt and fermented milk. But then there are designer probiotics that we have identified have special qualities that go beyond just being food and can help treat certain disorders. So those are for people who have those disorders. The common one is that we use probiotics to treat irritable bowel syndrome. You change your diet, you introduce probiotics and you will eliminate the symptoms.

So if someone doesn’t have digestive problems, do they need to take probiotic supplements? You want to create an underlying healthy gut bacteria by eating a diversity of foods, and then if you’re still having some problems, you need to start looking at individual probiotics to treat individual problems.

Can probiotics treat problems outside of the gut? Probiotics, are for digestive health. There are some that are being looked at to treat other disorders, but those are still really investigational. There are some probiotics people have been using to treat canidida [yeast infections], but the probiotics that are being put out there on the Internet for hair growth and increased muscle mass are false. So you need to be really careful of the claims they make.

There has been talk of a connection between probiotics and obesity. Is there any substance to that? Probiotics cannot help with obesity. The line of research that’s being explored is that the bacteria in your gut, called the microbiome, played an important role in how your body functions. There are animal but not human experiments that show that obese mice, when you change the bacteria in their gut, can become thin. Whether all of that will help humans, we don’t know, but research has shown us that the bacteria in our intestines are incredibly important in how we live and how we function. But giving you a probiotic is not going to make you thin.

How do you know what to look for in a probiotic? You should be doing some research on your own, but being very careful to look for credible sources, and working with your dietitian or nutritionist who has much of this information at their fingertips.

Since probiotics are live, how do you know they’re still fresh when you consume them?Look at expiry dates. So in general, the longer a probiotic is on the shelf, the less probiotic there is there. Probiotics ultimately die out. And so you want the freshest product possible.

Are there any risks involved in taking probiotics? If you’re going to use probiotics to treat a disorder or disease, check with your doctor. And in general, people who are on immune-suppressing drugs or young children and infants shouldn’t be given extra probiotics unless, again, you check with your doctor.

Should you take probiotics when on antibiotics? Most people can take antibiotics and they can recover their own bacteria naturally because they’re eating good, diverse food. But those people who might be elderly, might be a little sick, might be on antibiotics for longer, they may need to supplement with a probiotic. You can take them at the same time as the antiobiotics and for a week after you’re done.

What’s all the fuss about COCONUT WATER     

Want to hang with all the hot celebrities? Consider coconut water. At least that’s the public image of this massively popular pseudo-sports drink at this point. It’s even popping up as an add-in for gourmet coffee as an alternative to dairy. But what’s the real nutrition story behind this buzz-worthy beverage?

In a world increasingly focused on ultra-healthfulness, where do sports drinks fit? With announcements like those made by the U.S. Agriculture Department, which declared that sports drinks, along with other foods high in sugar, salt, or calories, such as candy bars, would be removed from school vending machines and cafeterias as soon as next year, sports drinks have taken another step down the health food ladder

If you popped a straw inside an immature (green) coconut, the liquid you would be sipping would be coconut water, the mega drink that has enjoyed the backing of the likes of Madonna and Rihanna. While coconut water can be enjoyed straight from a coconut, the image of getting on the subway with a large brown-husked fruit lacks a certain convenience; hence, the introduction of cans and tetra-packs, which have become vehicles for sales that have been said to have exceeded US$350-million a year. Coconut water can now be found in health food, grocery, and convenience stores alike.  It’s everywhere.


The affection for coconut water comes from several areas: Not only is it a low-calorie beverage, usually ranging between 30 to 70 calories per serving, but it is also said to be rich in potassium (providing approximately 17%, or 600 mg, of your daily value for this key nutrient that plays a role in blood pressure control and possibly athletic performance). In a world where added sugars, artificial colours and sodium are the norm, many athletes like to feel that they are fuelling their bodies with something natural.


In the first known study to compare a traditional sports drink to coconut water, coconut water proved just as effective for rehydrating treadmill runners who had undergone a 90-minute run designed to cause dehydration vs. a traditional sports drink or plain water, while another study suggests coconut water may be better tolerated (meaning it causes less nausea and stomach upset), when consumed after intense exercise.

Unfortunately, that’s the extent of the research to date, and when it comes to prolonged activity (two hours or more), the carbohydrates in coconut water fall short. While it’s recommended athletes aim for four to eight grams of carbohydrates per 100 mL of fluid, coconut water provides just nine grams of carbohydrates per 250 mL, or 3.6 grams of carbohydrates per 100 mL. In other words, its sugar content is less than an athlete would need to keep them from running out of gas during a marathon, soccer tournament or long day of cycling. Its sodium content is also relatively low, which could also be an issue for heavy sweaters or for athletes exercising in hot weather.

In August 2011, a published a report that, among three major U.S. brands of coconut water — Vita Coco (distributed through the Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc.), O.N.E. Coconut Water (purchased by Pepsi in 2010) and Zico Natural (scooped up by Coke in 2009 for $15 million) — only Zico Natural lived up to its labelling claims for sugar, sodium, potassium and magnesium. VitaCoco, which boasts Demi Moore and Madonna as investors, contained only 64% of the magnesium claimed on its labels, while O.N.E. contained only 77%, and both were off the mark for their sodium content. As a result of the report, a class action lawsuit was launched against Vita Coco, who agreed, in a settlement, to change its packaging, improve quality control and remove comparisons to sports drinks, including statements claiming that Vita Coco contains 15 times the potassium found in leading sports drinks.


While coconut water’s taste qualities vary by brand, its taste is distinct, and not always well-liked. As a result, an increasing number of coconut water blends are available, often with higher amounts of sugar, and diminishing amounts of coconut water. So reading the fine print is essential here, and that includes the ingredients list.

If coconut water actually contains what it is supposed to, then it can be used as a sports drink for shorter bouts of activity. Unfortunately, the research on coconut water for health or performance is extremely limited, and when combined with the industry’s spotty labelling history, this is still a case of buyer beware.

Do Liver cleansers really work?

The death rate from liver disease in Canada is rising up 30 per cent between 2000 and 2007, according to a report from the Canadian Liver Foundation. And judging by the number of cleanses on the market, Canadians’ concerns for their livers is growing as well.

Unfortunately, they don’t work.  There’s nothing you can do for a week that’s going to make up for a year or 10 worth of bad habits.

Here are some top tip for keeping your liver healthy:

EAT YOUR VEGETABLES:  Dark leafy greens, deeply coloured fruits and cruciferous vegetables are particularly good for your liver, as are beans.. These also aid weight loss, which reduces the risk of fatty liver disease.

DROP THE SUGAR: People often think of alcohol as most harmful to your liver, but in fact, sugar and sugar-filled drinks like pop have a similar effect.

Some of the studies that are coming to the forefront now talk about the impact of sugar on the liver being exactly the same as alcohol. A can of soda does the same thing as a shot of tequila.

GET VACCINATED FOR HEPATITIS: Hepatitis A and B are both liver diseases and both are preventable with a vaccine. Ask your doctor if you need a shot. Also consider getting tested for hepatitis C.

WATCH YOUR MEDS:  Tell your doctor everything you’re taking combining herbal medicine, vitamins, over the counter drugs and prescription medications can be harmful for your liver.

People don’t realize taking too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can damage your liver. During cold and flu season, it’s easy to accidentally take too much by popping an all-purpose pill and taking acetaminophen after.

Combining acetaminophen and alcohol by taking a pill at night to prevent a morning hangover is also damaging.

Eco Friendly:  Your liver’s job is to process toxins and that includes those in the environment that you breathe in or ingest.  For so long we kind of ignored it, but now we know with those toxins, they actually have to be filtered out by your liver.

Using eco-friendly products in your home is a simple way to reduce your toxic load. Go environmentally friendly or DIY as much as possible.

An Unlikely New Ally in the Fight against Acne

Pimples on your skin can be a frustrating experience for the majority of adolescents and up to 5% of the adult population that suffer through them. Research has focused on these sudden and for the most part unwanted uprisings, yet only in the last few years has a true cause and potential cure been found.

Not surprisingly, germs play a distinct role.

The formation of acne is a complicated process and may involve several factors such as overproduction of hormones, an imbalance in the amount of oils on your skin, and even diet. But the actual trigger has been shown to be a bacterium known as Propionibacterium acnes. The bacterium is actually a part of our normal microflora but can overgrow in hair follicles when there is an overabundance of a specific type of molecule known as a triglyceride. The bacteria are then able to grow to large enough numbers to trigger the immune system.

When that fight initiates, the skin and surrounding areas become inflamed, the immediate surroundings are filled with bacteria fighting white blood cells, and the normal process of skin peeling is halted. The overall effect is a bump that continues to grow until the battle is won or the person decides that enough is enough and uses a combination of pressure and friction to push the mass out from under the skin, better known as popping the zit. The latter however is not a recommended choice as damage from the pop may then lead to scarring or worse, other skin infections.

With the cause and process of acne elucidated, there have been a number of solutions marketed to help prevent and also remedy the affliction. Most have been chemically based, however other more involved procedures have been explored including lasers and light therapy as well as chemical peels. Yet in the last few years, there has been a different approach to controlling acne through a natural process of using good germs to control bad ones.

There have been several studies looking at how probiotics can help improve the look and feel of the skin and hair. A rather unique paper looked at how mice appeared to have shinier fur after eating yogurt; another examined the relationship between the gut, brain, and skin health. In light of these studies and others, the cosmetics market has become inundated with products for the face and skin featuring an array of different probiotics. Yet a group of researchers based out of UCLA published an article in Naturethat took the use of probiotics to an entirely different level.

In this study, the researchers took a closer look not at the usual species of good bacteria, but instead at the different types of P. acnes to see if there were any strains that could be used to help keep the skin safe. They found 10 different categories, known as ribotypes on the skin and of those, three stood out from the rest.

One ribotype, denoted RT6, was associated with healthy skin whereas two others, RT4 and RT5, were heavily involved in the formation of acne. The researchers went on to show that RT6 contained specific elements, awkwardly named Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs), which are known to help the immune system fight off infections. Overall, the results suggested that an imbalance of RT4 and 5 might lead to higher incidences of acne while RT6 might be a prime candidate for topical use to help prevent blemishes.

The research is preliminary at best and there needs to be more work on the different ribotypes to learn whether or not acne can be prevented by a probiotic. The authors even state that there are many other factors involved that need to be taken into consideration. But to provide backing to this theory, another paper published has shown that P. acnes might be useful as a probiotic to prevent other skin infections such as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Over the coming months and years, probiotic creams to improve the look of skin will undoubtedly grow in numbers and reputation. There will be the usual array of adopters and detractors who will either bring a clearer light to the picture or, as with other natural health products, muddy the waters such that no one knows where to turn. However, thanks in part to the Nature study, there is hope that in the not too distant future, medically proven treatments will become available to help those who suffer and perhaps put an end to acne forever.

Here are some tips:

Never Squeeze: No doubt, you’ve heard this one before, but it bears repeating. While it’s tempting to pop whiteheads and blackheads, overzealous picking can lead to scars and marks on your skin (and remember aging skin takes longer to regenerate, so those tell-tale, picked over marks are likely to hang around for weeks or even months). Popping also spreads bacteria from your fingers to your skin, causing even more pimples to form

Beware Drying Out Skin: Teenage acne accumulates around the oily T-zone area (forehead, nose and chin) so alcohol-based astringents are a teen’s treatment of choice. In contrast, adult acne clusters along the jawline (which isn’t typically oily), so you’ll want to stay away from that bottle of Sea Breeze. Skin generally becomes drier as we age, so harsh exfoliating and drying ingredients found in most acne medications are far too aggressive. Use a salicylic acid-based cleanser and to avoid irritation, keep your product numbers low. You wouldn’t want to use a face wash for oily skin and then layer an anti-aging medication that deeply exfoliates over top.

Steer clear of Pore-Clogging Markeup: Breakouts caused by makeup are so common there’s even a name for it — acne cosmetica. If you’re suffering from spots, use a non-comedogenic, mineral-based makeup line like Jane Iredale. These products are oil-free, so they don’t exacerbate acne but offer full coverage. And be sure to wash makeup brushes each week to rid them of acne-causing bacteria. Fancy cleaners aren’t necessary: A mixture of water and baby shampoo will do the trick.

Don’t Skip the Sunscreen:  Slathering on a thick, creamy sunscreen may seem counterintuitive, but sun protection needs to be an important part of your daily skincare regimen to help prevent both acne and wrinkles. The sun’s rays break down collagen, causing lines to form. They also dry out your skin, which prompts the sebaceous glands to overcompensate by pumping out more pore-clogging oils and causing breakouts.  Use a lightweight formula designed for acne-prone skin.

What you should know about Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential part of life. It plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and for the formation of blood. More than that, B12 is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation.

This vitamin, so essential to healthy bodies, is found in many foods including eggs, meat, dairy products, poultry and shellfish as well as in fortified foods like soy milk and cereals. The amount of B12 needed to stay healthy is minute, just 2.4 micrograms per day (that’s 2.4 thousands of a gram).

While abundant, getting B12 from food involves a complex chemical process which may not be sufficient in some people. For example, a person who consumes no animal products will be susceptible to a deficiency of the vitamin. Older people may have changes to their digestive tracts that affect their ability to absorb vitamins leading to incomplete absorption. Poor diet and excessive drinking can also contribute to deficiency of B12.

Another at-risk group are people with diseases of the intestinal track like Crohn’s or celiac disease, those who have had chronic pancreatitis and anyone taking certain drugs for gout, seizures or diabetes (metformin).

B12 works in conjunction with other B vitamins such as folic acid and B6 to keep an aging brain healthy. Getting too little B12 it risks pernicious anemia, a decrease in red blood cells that occurs when your intestines cannot properly absorb the vitamin.

Initially, low B12 levels may show no symptoms or very subtle ones that are easily ignored or missed. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, as it worsens, may causes symptoms such as weakness, tiredness or light-headedness, rapid heartbeat and breathing, pale skin, sore tongue, stomach upset and weight loss, diarrhea or constipation.

Not corrected, the next stage will damage nerve cells leading to tingling or numbness in fingers and toes, difficulty walking, mood changes or depression, memory loss, disorientation and dementia. We may well dismiss the early symptoms as “just getting old.” Don’t fall for it!

How much B12 does the body need? Microscopic amounts, actually. A healthy body requires about 2.4 micrograms (that is 2.4 one-thousandths of a gram) per day easily available from most diets. The value to the body is emphasized by the liver’s ability to store B12 for long periods, months’ even years’ worth.

Most people over 50 do not have to worry about B12 levels if they eat animal products. However, should there be any of the symptoms mentioned, it would be wise to discuss the possibility of B12 deficiency with your doctor. Ignoring the signs will do no good and may lead to much greater problems.

For someone who is getting too little B12, or not properly absorbing it, supplements are an option. Before making that decision, find out if you really need it. All it takes is a simple blood test.
4 Food Combinations That Will Boost Your Health and Productivity
Sometimes two is better than one, especially when it comes to nutrition. While we all know there are certain food combinations that taste good together (think fries and ketchup), nutrition experts have discovered that certain food combinations can also make us healthier. When certain foods are combined, the nutrients in one food help you better absorb the nutrients in another food.

Called “food synergy,” these pairings of nutrient-rich foods can help boost your energy and long-term health. Try these 4 food combinations to supercharge your health and productivity:

Support brain health and boost energy with iron + vitamin C: Iron is a very important nutrient for thinking, memory and also for energy. If you’ve ever suffered from anemia an iron deficiency, you know that low iron can make you feel like you’ve been run over by a freight train. Your muscles aren’t oxygenating properly when you’re low on iron.

Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale or arugula are a great source of iron, but plant-based iron is better absorbed when consumed with vitamin C. Add blueberries, raspberries or strawberries to a salad with spinach leaves to boost your iron consumption.

Support heart health and reduce stress with green tea + lemon: Antioxidants called polyphenols in green tea are better absorbed when combined with vitamin C. Polyphenols promote heart health by helping to lower cholesterol and help prevent cancer.

Vitamin C has another benefit for entrepreneurs, helping to keep adequate blood flow to the brain, something commonly affected by stress. You may notice if you’re stressed, your short term memory is weaker. Lemons have a high concentration of vitamin C and combined with the antioxidants of green tea, packs a powerful health punch.

Boost your immune system with vitamin A + healthy fats: Busy entrepreneurs don’t have the time to get sick. Keeping your immune system strong is essential to protecting your business from illness. Vitamin A is very important for your white blood cells which keep your immune system strong. Orange-colored foods such as carrots, squash, cantaloupe or orange peppers are good sources of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in your body until needed, and is best absorbed when eaten with healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds or fish.

Boost your brain power with vitamin D + calcium: Calcium is an important mineral for strengthening the brain’s neurotransmitters. When a chemical signal arrives at a brain cell, it’s the job of calcium ions to deliver that signal from the outside of the cell to the inside. Strengthening your brain’s neurotransmitters means you’ll be better able to think on your feet.

Sources of calcium include dairy products, green vegetables such as broccoli or leafy greens, and seeds or nuts. But eating these foods alone won’t give you the brain-boosting benefits of calcium. Add a hard-boiled egg to your salad for optimal brain power as calcium is best absorbed with the aid of Vitamin D-rich foods such as eggs, sardines and salmon.

Melatonin Can Do Much More than Help You Sleep

There’s a reason melatonin is on many doctors must-have anti-aging list and touted by celebrities like for its powerful ability to encourage sleep and slow aging.

While melatonin is produced during deep sleep, its benefits are not reserved to the midnight hours, however. From reducing PMS and migraines to slimming waistlines and boosting thyroid, this little magic pill does more than just put the ‘beauty’ back in sleep.

More melatonin, less PMS: If your monthly PMS symptoms have you pulling out your hair or send your partner running for the hills, you may want to look at your sleep habits. Researchers have shown that low melatonin levels play a role in premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), or good old fashioned PMS. This doesn’t, however, just affect one week in the month. Compared to their counterparts, PMDD sufferers had a further reduction in melatonin levels during their symptomatic luteal phase the second half of their menstrual cycle when progesterone is at its highest. If this sounds familiar, try taking melatonin on days 12-28 of your cycle with day one being the first day of bleeding to see if takes the edge off your mood, and provides a restful slumber back into your nights.

Age in reverse: If you didn’t worry about it in your first 30 years, you will in the next 30…aging. The great news is melatonin has been shown to slow down the aging process. A research team in Paris found melatonin-based treatment can delay the first signs of aging in small mammals by at least three months considering the animal lives just to 12 months, this is quite substantial! While it may not get you carded while buying your favourite bottle of red wine, it will keep people thinking there are substantially less candles on your birthday cake.

Keep your belt a little tighter: We all know that the morning after a poor night’s sleep can leave you veering from your diet and craving high-sugar foods. Well, low melatonin levels are actually a risk factor for diabetes.  Melatonin receptors have been found in many tissues of your body, including the pancreas which produces insulin the fat-storing hormone. Participants with the lowest melatonin levels faced two times the risk of developing diabetes, compared with those with the highest levels. It certainly poses the question: does pre-diabetes begin with insomnia?

In a separate study, researchers found that melatonin can even control weight gain without reducing food intake showing that sleep is indeed a required weight loss remedy.

Manage your migraines: My bet is that if you suffer from migraines, you would likely try anything to put an end to the discomfort and get a good night’s sleep. Low levels of melatonin have been linked to a variety of headache types and have been shown to alleviate the pain. Results from one study, presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th annual meeting showed that, “Three mg of melatonin was more effective than the placebo and had efficacy similar to that of 25 mg of amitriptyline, a common sleep aid and antidepressant. Furthermore, it was better tolerated than amitriptyline, with lower rates of daytime sleepiness and no weight gain.”

Supporting research published found that two thirds of patients taking 3 mg of melatonin nightly experienced a 50 per cent reduction of headaches per month. Additionally, the intensity and duration of headaches decreased. Adding this to the arsenal of migraine prevention techniques such as magnesium supplementation or a gluten-free diet may be your ticket to living headache-free.

Wake up a sluggish thyroid: As we age, night levels of melatonin also decline and with it comes an overall decrease in quality and quantity of sleep not to mention a reduction in many hormones and thyroid, your metabolic master is one of them. Researchers from the Menopause Center in Italy found that among peri-menopausal and menopausal women ages 42-62, administering 3 mg of melatonin at bedtime caused most of the women to report a general improvement of mood and a reduction in symptoms of depression, and highly significant improvement of thyroid function. This makes melatonin another powerful tool in the fight against the dreaded belly fat of menopause.
Finding the right balance of proteins and carbs
Gaining muscle for some athletes goes like this:

Breakfast: A protein drink made of Greek-style yogurt, protein powder (two scoops), frozen berries, honey and hemp, eaten three times a day, plus vitamin supplements for muscle building.

Lunch: Two grilled chicken breasts, steamed vegetables, cottage cheese and fruit.

Snack: Protein drink and a protein bar after his workout.

Dinner: Two steaks, broccoli, salad, grilled vegetables, one small potato.

Snack: Protein drink or protein bar.

Why so much protein in your diet?  What about carbohydrates and fats?  They are just as important and have a valuable role in building muscle and growth. Don’t you miss breads, noodles and rice dishes?  They are important for energy, like gas is for a car.  Have you felt fatigued after a week of working out and taking in so little carbohydrates?

How long he could stay on such a program?

Here are the “pros” of eating protein:

* Building and maintaining tissue.
* Hormone and enzyme production.
* Building block for bones, muscles, skin and blood.
* Requires less insulin for digestion and metabolism.  This may result in improved satiety and lead to less food intake to support weight loss.

Unlike carbohydrates and fats, the body cannot store protein to draw on when in need of a new supply, so we need to incorporate some protein-rich foods into our diet throughout the day.

These are the “cons”of eating too much protein:

* Taking in protein will not build more muscle. Any extra protein is broken down and converted, partially, to ammonia where it is passed through our kidneys. Long-term high intake of protein causes the kidneys to work excessively hard.
* Can cause dehydration.  This in turn compromises muscle efficiency and increases the risk of muscle injuries.
* Can cause bone loss.  Too much protein in the diet causes the body to excrete excess calcium in the urine due to an increase acid production.
* Can increase cardiovascular risks. Animal protein foods are also high in saturated fats.
* Can cause weight gain. Extra protein is converted to be stored as extra fat if we take in more calories than we need.
* Poor source of energy. Protein is converted to ketones as a source of energy if the intake of carbohydrates is low.
A compromised intake of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre occur if there’s an inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables.

Recommended guidelines for protein intake vary with age, gender, activity level and health status.  The average protein intake ranges from 0.4 -1.2 grams/lb. of body weight.  Thus, a 170 lb. athlete would aim for around 136 grams of protein a day.

Check out: MY BOOK to find your guideline for protein intake and many other stats, tips and tricks to help you to become the best you can be.

This information is not meant to treat or diagnose. It is meant to educate readers and be used as a resource when talking to your healthcare provider

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit myONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Fact or Fiction

The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

A bowl of onions in a room wards off the flu

Fact or Fake? Fake!

In the 1500s – before the discovery of germs – people believed onions could absorb the “noxious air” they attributed to diseases such as the bubonic plague. Onions were reputed to absorb the air and keep it from infecting people. Truth is, the only way onions may ease cold and flu symptoms is if you add them to chicken soup.  Hot beverages and soup produce beneficial effects on clearing the nasal passages.  Chicken soup has shown benefits in several investigations beyond its benefit as a hot beverage. The latest study focused on a specific small protein (carnosine) in chicken soup which was shown to protect against viral injuries to the immune system.

Baking soda reduces the pain of urinary tract infections

Fact or Fake? Fact!

The discomfort of urinary tract infections can make you miserable if you can’t see a doctor right away. A simple baking soda mixture can ease pain in the meantime.  Baking soda helps make the bladder environment more alkaline, reducing the bacteria’s ability to multiply. You’ll still need to see a doctor, however, since it does not kill the bacteria associated with the infection. Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water and drink all at once. This can be repeated 10 hours later if needed – only if you are still in severe pain. (Continued use can cause low potassium levels and should not be used by seniors.)  You can also try sitting in a warm bath to ease symptoms.

Honey helps heal wounds

Fact or Fake? Fact!

More than just a sweet idea, a lot of research supports the use of honey as a healing agent. Honey is most likely effective as a wound healing agent due to its antibacterial properties. Honey reportedly has an inhibitory effect to around 60 species of bacteria.  Honey not only produces a high osmotic effect (this refers to shifts in water content in bacterial cells which lead to cell damage or death), but it can produce low levels of hydrogen peroxide, a free radical that is toxic to bacteria at this low concentration but safe to human cells. Ideally you should use medical-grade honey products for wound healing purposes, such as New Zealand manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey and Australian Leptospermum honey, also known as Medihoney.  Apply liberally and cover with a no adherent dressing; change once or twice a day.

Ice packs under the armpit bring down a high fever

Fact or Fake? Fact!

Most of the time it’s not necessary to bring down a fever. Since most viruses and bacteria thrive at our normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, fever plays an important role in fighting infection.  However, in cases involving a young child or in an adult with a fever over 103 degrees, ice packs under the arm may be recommended. The area under the arm possesses a large blood supply close to the skin, so an ice pack decreases the temperature of the blood that runs through that area, decreasing the body’s core temperature.  Ask your doctor before trying this. If your doctor gives the go-ahead, put ice in a large resealable plastic baggie and wrap it in a towel before placing it under the arm for no longer than 20 minutes.

A copper penny over a bee sting provides relief from pain and swelling

Fact or Fake: Fake!

Save your money. There is no credible research to show that taping a penny over a bee sting relieves the pain or swelling. You’re in luck, however, if you have an aloe plant nearby. A study published in theAustralas Medical Journal (June, 2012) showed that aloe vera gel possesses antibacterial properties.  Bees inject a local toxin that creates an inflammatory reaction, and aloe helps it calm down. Typically found in a gel form (sold in drugstores and health food stores), apply the aloe liberally and leave it on until it’s completely absorbed; apply four times a day.

Licorice helps heal sore throats

Fact or Fake? Fact!

Licorice does help sore throats, but don’t run out for a bag of candy licorice just yet. The licorice flavor in drugstore candy comes from anise oil, not the real deal.  There’s no licorice in licorice candy.  Glycyrrhiza, the active ingredient in licorice root, has been shown to soothe sore throats, as well as ease digestive complaints.  Licorice helps slow down the breakdown of the stress handler hormone called cortisol.  Clinically, inadequate cortisol levels are associated with increased sore throats, and supporting your body’s own natural cortisol helps decrease symptoms and makes the sore throat go away more quickly.  Get licorice teabags at your local health food store and drink a cup of licorice tea twice a day. (Note: Avoid licorice if you have high blood pressure, and do not take it after 6 p.m., as it may cause sleeplessness.)

Duct tape gets rid of warts

Fact or Fake? Fact!

As the handyman’s default fix for nearly everything, duct tape for healing warts may sound like a joke, but studies show it actually works.  Duct tape …  is a highly effective, nonpainful, cheap treatment for warts. Caused by the human papillomavirus, the virus camps out in your skin’s upper layers, hiding from your body’s immune system. The tape appears to work by irritating the skin and stimulating the body’s immune system to attack the virus that causes the warts.  If you would like to try this, do so only under the supervision of a physician . Cut the duct tape approximately a quarter-inch larger than the actual wart(s). After six days, remove the tape, soak the wart, then gently remove it with a thick emery board or pumice stone and leave uncovered overnight. Use a new piece of duct tape and repeat until the wart resolves or for a maximum of two months.

Toothpaste takes the itch out of bug bites

Fact or Fake? Fact!

The same product that keeps your teeth pearly white may also help take the sting out of bug bites, although not all toothpastes work equally well. Most insect bites may be treated initially with a compress after cleaning with soap and water to minimize the possibility of infection.  Toothpaste containing peppermint oil can be useful in patients who do not have known allergies to this ingredient. Its cooling effect can obscure the nerve transmission of itch.  Toothpaste containing propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate may cause an allergic skin reaction, however, and should be avoided. Apply a small amount to the affected area no more than twice a day.

Chewing fennel or caraway seeds eases indigestion

Fact or Fake? Fact!

Instead of reaching for an over-the-counter remedy for indigestion, turn to your spice rack for a natural approach.  Chewing fennel or caraway seeds eases digestion, as both offer carminative (gas reducing) effects.  The seeds reduce gas formation and cramping, which may well be due to their high mineral (especially magnesium) content. If you have ongoing issues with digestion, however, it’s important to get to the bottom of what is causing the complaint. For occasional indigestion, chew fennel seeds (up to a teaspoon a day) after meals or between meals. Fennel can also be used in the tea form: Boil a half teaspoon of seeds in a cup of water for five to 10 minutes; cool and drink

Sprinkle white flour on a minor burn to help it heal

Fact or Fake? Fake!

Even a small burn can cause considerable pain, but no research supports the use of white flour as a quick first-aid fix. However, a number of other homemade remedies can help. Diluted apple cider vinegar (with equal parts water), for example, is often recommended but should be used with caution. Vinegar contains acetic [acid], which is antimicrobial, and alpha-hydroxy acids which are  known cosmetic peeling agents.  Honey works well as does tea bags, milk and oatmeal.  Apply wet, cool teabags to the area or soak a cloth in milk and apply to the burned area for 15 minutes or so and repeat every few hours for pain relief.

Tea bags help ease the pain of cold sores

Fact or fake? Fact!

Nasty cold sores (also called fever blisters) caused by a contagious virus called herpes simplex form on the lip or edge of the mouth and can be incredibly painful. Tea bags may help ease the pain. Flavonoids found in tea, along with caffeine, have both been shown to  inhibit the growth of the herpes simplex virus. Green tea in particular contains several ingredients that may help heal cold sores. Antioxidants called catechins found in green tea have been shown to have pain relieving properties and anti-HSV (herpes) activity. Hold a wet, cool tea bag on the cold sore every hour. Applying ice at the first sign of a tingle of the cold sore also eases pain and reduces inflammation, as well as a cotton ball soaked in milk for 10 to 15 minutes a day.

Chocolate eases coughs

Fact or Fake? Fact!

When you have a cough, chocolate not only makes the medicine go down easier but it may actually be the medicine.  Chocolate contains theobromine, which acts very effectively as a cough suppressant. Theobromine works by suppressing the firing of the vagus nerve, which is a key feature of a chronic cough. Since it’s found in cocoa beans, theobromine is present in all chocolate products but is higher in dark chocolate, unsweetened baking chocolate and cocoa powder than in milk chocolate. An exact amount of chocolate has yet to be determined, but 2 ounces of dark chocolate for adults and 1 ounce for children may help.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !