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 !

Your Perfect Weight

CountingCaloriesThe 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.

According to a 2012 Gallup Poll, the average American woman is heavier than she was 20 years ago-and her “ideal” weight is heavier, too.

Researchers asked a random sample of 1,015 American adults about their current weight and related attitudes. Then they compared the results to data collected from a different sample in 1990. On average, women weigh 14 pounds more than the women polled 22 years ago and their average ideal weight is now 11 pounds heavier than it was back then. One weight-gain culprit could be sleep deprivation, which can seriously slow your metabolism.

If you always see people who are overweight, you begin to think that’s normal and when you see someone at a normal weight, and you think they look thin.”

Which makes sense: 60 percent of the people polled said their weight is about right. That’s in spite of the fact that 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. Some people are content with being overweight but it’s also likely that many people don’t realize that their perceptions of normal-and healthy-are skewed.

So how can you be sure that your ideal weight is as ideal as you think? Surprisingly, Body Mass Index (BMI) isn’t a good predictor-BMI measures ignore factors such as body type, genetics, and muscle mass.

Your best bet is to think in terms of health and happiness, not numbers. Just think about the time that you felt your healthiest, when you were eating well without starving yourself. If you need a number to latch onto, make it your goal to return to what you weighed then. But be realistic: weighing what you did in high school or on your wedding day might not be attainable.

If you can’t recall a time when you felt healthy, begin with the standard formula for calculating the ideal weight for women: Allow 100 pounds for your first 5 feet, then add 5 pounds for every extra inch. To account for muscle mass, body shape, size, and genetics, add and subtract 10 percent. This is your healthy weight range. So, if you’re 5-feet 3-inches tall, your healthy range is between 103.5 to 126.5 pounds. It’s still a very generic number, but the range makes it a little more accurate and a good guideline. If you want more accurate calculations in my book,‘get fit stay fit’ and ‘the best you can be’ there are many calculations to help you analyze your physical features to achieve accurate weight and weight loss goals.

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 !


bannerWhat soap is to your body, laughter is to your soul.

Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it’s gaining status as one that’s too good to ignore. 

Don’t you feel good after you’ve laughed? A belly laugh increases the ability of your immune system to fight infections.
Laughter is also a major weapon against stress. Recent research shows that laughter causes the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels to relax or expand, increasing blood flow. Mental stress causes the opposite, making vessel linings constrict, thus reducing blood flow. Another study, found that laughter at dinner cuts blood glucose levels in diabetics.

Many studies have found the stimulation of laughter increases circulation, because of its effect on blood pressure and your heart. It also increases respiratory exchange, with more oxygen coming in and more carbon dioxide going out. Cardiologists report that about 70% of the population are shallow breathers. When you laugh, you breathe better, anxiety is reduced, and relaxation results.

brainLaughter can ease pain. You use energy focusing on pain when you’re ill. When distracted by laughter, your focus shifts away from pain, you relax and your body gets a few minutes of relief. That doesn’t mean that therapeutic laughter has become mainstream medicine. It’s accepted as music is accepted.

Do you know that positive, optimistic people live longer and healthier lives? Laughter is the power of positive healing and you can fake laughter to stimulate the positive effects within your body.
Cardiologists believe that one minute of laughter is worth 40 minutes of deep relaxation; and that 100 laughs a day are equal to a 10-minute jog. A real belly laugh, exercises not only your heart and lungs, but also your shoulder muscles, arms, abdomen, diaphragm and legs. And exercising the major muscle groups is only the start. Studies have shown that laughing pumps pain-relieving, stress-freeing endorphins into your bloodstream. Five minutes of giggling could give you up to two hours of pain relief.

Though the process is not fully understood, the production of laughter involves various areas of your brain and by studying your brains activity in response to humor, researches are able to determine the following.

The way your brain processes Laughter is also different from how your brain processes emotional responses.

Click on the links beside this to get your daily giggles, and if you have a good belly buster you would like to share, please e-mail me and I would love to post it on my site and help others enjoy the laughter.

Nutrition Myths

fad-diets-1The 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.

Is organic always healthier? Are oranges the best source of vitamin C?

The supermarket is rife with less-than-accurate reporting, and not just in the checkout-lane newspaper racks. Walk the aisles scanning food labelsand you’ll see the fallout from millions of lobbying and advertising dollars spent to post faulty claims about health and nutrition. You’ll find row upon endless row of foods that promise to improve your life, flatten your belly, and make you a happier person. The fact is many of these foods do just the opposite. When you learn how to separate fact from fiction you might finally shed the habits that are silently sabotaging your chances of losing weight.

MYTH #1: High fructose corn syrup is worse than table sugar

Whether or not added sugar is bad for you has never been in dispute. The less sugar you eat, the better. But whether HFCS is worse than plain table sugar has long been a matter for debate. Here’s what you need to know: Both HFCS and table sugar, or sucrose, are built with roughly a 50-50 blend of two sugars, fructose, and glucose. That means in all likelihood that your body can’t tell one from the other, they’re both just sugar. HFCS’s real sin is that it’s super cheap, and as a result, it’s added to everything from cereal to ketchup to salad dressing. Plus it may be affecting your health in ways not yet fully understood by the scientific community. Is it a good idea to minimize the HFCS in your diet? Absolutely! It’s best to cut out all unnecessary sugars. But HFCS’s role as nutritional enemy #1 has been exaggerated.

Bonus Tip: Eating fiber and protein-loaded snacks between meals can help you control hunger and avoid overeating at mealtime

MYTH #2: Sea salt is a healthier version of regular salt

Everyday table salt comes from a mine and contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon. Sea salt comes from evaporated seawater, and it also contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium. That makes them, well, roughly identical. Advocates point to the fact that sea salt also contains other compounds like magnesium and iron, but in truth, these minerals exist in trace amounts. To obtain a meaningful dose, you’d have to take in extremely high and potentially dangerous levels of sodium. What’s more, traditional table salt is regularly fortified with iodine, which plays an important role in regulating the hormones in your body. Sea salt, on the other hand, gives you virtually zero iodine. The bottom line is this: If switching from table salt to sea salt causes you to consume more salt, then you’ve just lost any health benefit you hope to receive. Plus you’ve wasted a few bucks. Be Careful, excess sodium in food can be surprisingly sneaky

MYTH #3: Energy drinks are less harmful than soda

Energy drinks attempt to boost your energy with a cache of B vitamins, herbal extracts, and amino acids. But what your body’s going to remember most (especially around your waistline) is the sugar in these drinks where a 16-ounce can delivers as much as 280 calories of pure sugar, which is about 80 calories more than you’d find in a 16-ounce cup of Pepsi. What’s more, a University of Maryland study found energy drinks to be 11 percent more corrosive to your teeth than regular soda. So here’s the secret that energy drink companies don’t want you to know: The only proven, significant energy boost comes from caffeine. If you want an energy boost, save yourself the sugar spike and drink a cup of coffee. Whatever you do, don’t confuse the dessert-in-glass offerings at coffee houses with real java.

MYTH #4: Diet soda is harmless

The obesity research community is becoming increasingly aware that the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda, aspartame and sucralose, for instance, lead to hard-to-control food urges later in the day. One study discovered that rats took in more calories if they’d been fed artificial sweeteners prior to mealtime, and another study found that people who consume just three diet sodas per week were more than 40 percent more likely to be obese. Try weaning yourself off by switching to carbonated water and flavoring with lemon, cucumber, and fresh herbs. If you must get your carbonated fix, make an educated choice that is less fattening and minimize your consumption.

MYTH #5: Low-fat foods are better for you

As it applies to food marketing, the term “low fat” is synonymous with “loaded with salt and cheap carbohydrates.” For instance, look at Smucker’s Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. To replace the fat it skimmed out, Smucker’s added a fast-digesting carbohydrate called maltodextrin. That’s not going to help you lose weight. A 2008 study found that over a 2-year span, people on low-carb diets lost 62 percent more body weight than those trying to cut fat. (Plus, the fat in peanut butter is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat—you’d be better off eating more of it, not less!)  The fact is, America’s restaurants and supermarket aisles are bursting with foods making false claims of benefits to your body

MYTH #6: “Trans-fat free” foods are actually trans-fat free

The FDA’s guidelines allow companies to claim 0 grams of trans fat, even broadcast it on the front of their packages as long as the food in question contains no more than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. But here’s the deal: Due to an inextricable link to heart disease, the World Health Organization advises people to keep trans fat intake as low as possible, maxing out at about 1 gram per 2,000 calories consumed. If your cupboard’s full of foods with almost half a gram per serving, you might be blowing past that number every single day. Until the FDA rethinks its lax regulations, , you should avoid all foods with “partially hydrogenated oil” (meaning, trans fats) on their ingredients statements.

Bonus Tip: Keeping up with the latest scientific research and food industry shenanigans is a full-time job and who has time for that? That’s why my books ‘Get fit Stay FIT’ and ‘The best you can be’ as well as my audio cd’s are a great resource in helping you to become the best you can be.

MYTH #7: Foods labeled “natural” are healthier

The FDA makes no serious effort to control the use of the word “natural” on nutrition labels. Case in point: 7UP boasts that it’s made with “100% Natural Flavors” when, in fact, the soda is sweetened with a decidedly un-natural dose of high fructose corn syrup. “Corn” is natural, but “high fructose corn syrup” is produced using a centrifuge and a series of chemical reactions. Other “natural” abusers include Natural Cheetos, which are made with maltodextrin and disodium phosphate, and “natural advantage” Post Raisin Bran, which bathes its raisins in both sugar and corn syrup. The worst part is, you’re likely paying a premium price for common junk food.

MYTH #8: Egg yolks raise your cholesterol

Egg yolks contain dietary cholesterol; this much is true. But research has proven that dietary cholesterol has almost nothing to do with serum cholesterol, the stuff in your blood. Researchers reviewed more than 30 egg studies and found no link between egg consumption and heart disease, and another study found that eating eggs for breakfast could decrease your calorie intake for the remainder of the day.  Check out my Audio cd and get the facts on cholesterol and how to best lower your risks.

MYTH #9: Eating junk food helps battle stress

You’ve been there: Stressed out and sprawled across your sofa with one arm elbow deep in a bag of cheese puffs. In the moment, it can be comforting, but a study in a recent study it was  found that people who consumed the most highly processed foods were 58 percent more likely to be depressed than those who ate the least. Your move: Find a healthy stress snack. Peanut butter and Triscuits do the trick.

MYTH #10: Chocolate is bad for you

Cocoa is a plant-based food with flavonoids that increase blood flow and release feel-good endorphins. Plus, it contains a healthy kind of saturated fat called stearic acid, which research has shown can increase your good HDL cholesterol. But here’s the rub: When most people think of chocolate, their minds jump immediately to milk chocolate, which contains far more sugar than actual cocoa. Instead, look for dark chocolate, specifically those versions that tell you exactly how much cocoa they contain. A bar with 60% cocoa is good, but the more cocoa it contains, the greater the health effects.

MYTH #11: Granola is good for you

Oats are good for you, and the same goes for oatmeal. But granola takes those good-for-you hunks of flattened oat, blankets them in sugar, and bakes them in oil to give them crunch. The amount of fat and sugar added to each oat is at the discretion of food processors, but you can bet it’s going to far sweeter and fattier than a bowl of regular cereal. Example: A single cup of Quaker Natural Granola, Nuts & Raisins has 420 calories, 30 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of fat. Switch to a cup of Kix and you drop down about 90 calories, 2.5 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of fat.

MYTH #12: Bananas are the best source of potassium

Your body uses potassium to keep your nerves and muscles firing efficiently, and an adequate intake can blunt sodium’s effect on blood pressure. One 2009 study found that a 2:1 ratio of potassium to sodium could halve your risk of heart disease, and since the average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, your goal should be 6,800 milligrams of daily potassium. You’re extremely unlikely to ever reach that mark and never with bananas alone. One medium banana has 422 milligrams and 105 calories. Here are the sources that earn you roughly the same amount of potassium in fewer calories:

* Potato, half a medium spud, 80 calories
* Apricots, 5 whole fruit, 80 calories
* Cantaloupe, 1 cup cubes, 55 calories
* Broccoli, 1 full stalk, 50 calories
* Sun-dried tomatoes, a quarter cup, 35 calories

MYTH #13: Oranges are the best source of vitamin C

Far more than a simple immune booster, vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a host of important roles in your body. It strengthens skin by helping to build collagen, improves mood by increasing the flow of norepinephrine, and bolsters metabolic efficiency by helping transport fat cells into your body’s energy-burning mitochondria. But since your body can neither store nor create the wonder vitamin, you need to provide a constant supply. An orange is the most famous vitamin-C food, and although it’s a good source, it’s by no means the best. For 70 calories, one orange gives you about 70 micrograms of vitamin C. Here are five sources with just as much vitamin C and even fewer calories:

* Papaya, ¾ cup, 50 calories
* Brussel’s sprouts, 1 cup, 40 calories
* Strawberries, 7 large fruit, 40 calories
* Broccoli, ½ stalk, 25 calories
* Red Bell Pepper, ½ medium pepper, 20 calories

MYTH #14: Organic is always better

Often, but not in every case, organic produce is almost nutritionally identical to its conventional counterpart. The issue is pesticide exposure.  Pesticides have been linked to an increased risk of obesity in some studies. But many conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are very low in pesticides. Take, for example, the conventional onion: It’s got the lowest pesticide load of 45 fruits and vegetables tested by the Environmental Working Group. Also in the safe-to-eat-conventional group are avocados, sweet corn, and pineapple. In general, fruits and vegetables with impermeable skins are safe to buy conventional, while produce like celery, peaches, apples, and blueberries are better purchased organic. The rise of organic products is one of many complex new developments in food.

MYTH #15: Meat is bad for you

Pork, beef, and lamb are among the world’s best sources of complete protein, and a study found that diets with 25 percent of calories from protein can help you lose twice as much weight as diets with 12 percent protein. Then there’s vitamin B12, which is prevalent only in animal-based foods. B12 is essential to your body’s ability to decode DNA and build red blood cells, and researchers found that adequate intakes protect against age-related brain shrinkage. Now, if you’re worried that meat will increase your risk for heart disease, don’t be. A Harvard review last year looked at 20 studies and found that meat’s link to heart disease exists only with processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli cuts. Unprocessed meats, those that hadn’t been smoked, cured, or chemically preserved, presented absolutely zero risk.

Bonus Tip: You don’t need to make big changes to your diet to lose 10, 20, or even 30 pounds. You just need to make the right small tweaks. Change how you look and feel and get all the Tips and tricks from my books and Cd’s that will help you obtain your fitness goals and help you to become the best you can be.

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 STOREwhere you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Weight Loss Myths

Weight-Loss-MythsThe 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.


THE TRUTH: Most get-thin-fast plans revolve around the idea that restricting your intake of one particular nutrient, usually carbs or fat, is the best way to lose weight. But the results of recent studies suggest otherwise. For two years, participants followed one of four calorie-restricted diets with varying amounts of carbs, protein, and fat. After 2 years, all participants lost about the same amount of weight (just nine pounds).  This study proves that calories are the most important factor for weight loss.  To lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than you burn regardless of what percentage of carbs, protein, or fat you’re eating.  Gimmicky diets just distract you from this simple truth. Here’s how you can learn to reduce your total calorie intake to kick start weight loss and still have energy.

To estimate the number of calories you use during daily living and exercise, go to my website and click on diet and fitness calculators and  than click on calories for men calformales or calories for women calsforfemales Plug in your sex, age, weight, height, lifestyle (meaning, you’re deskbound, or you’re always moving at work), and exercise regularity. This will give you the number of calories you need to eat daily to maintain your body weight.  There are also several metabolism formulas in my books.

Trim 10 to 15 percent off of that calorie total but don’t cut more than 500 calories per day.  This is conservative compared to most diets, but it’s realistic.   Record what you eat, and tally your calorie intake. You can use the food data base that is in my book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’ or there are others available on line.

A recent study reported that subjects who cut calories or cut calories and exercised lost the same amount of weight. But the diet-and-exercise group improved their aerobic capacity, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol, and blood pressure without having to go into starvation mode.

A healthy weight-loss goal is one to two pounds a week. Trying to drop more than this can eat away at muscle, leave you fatigued, and slow your metabolism, making weight loss more difficult.

A smart weight-loss plan

CARBS: 50 to 55 percent of total calories
Why You Need It: Your body prefers carbs as your main fuel source, so they should be the cornerstone of your diet.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lentils are rich in complex carbs and fiber (both slow digestion and supply a steady stream of energy), as well as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that speed recovery and protect against diseases.

FAT: 25 to 30 percent of total calories
Why You Need It: You need this nutrient to absorb fat-soluble vitamins; foods high in fat also keep you satisfied, so you eat less.
Nuts, seeds, and avocados are rich in heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Olive oil contains oleic acid, and may help suppress your appetite. Other healthy choices include canola, grape seed, flaxseed, and hempseed oils.

PROTEIN: 15 to 25 percent of total calories
Why You Need It: Protein speeds muscle repair and recovery. High-protein foods are satisfying and take longer to digest.
Cuts of beef and pork labeled “loin” and skinless poultry have a healthy protein-to-fat ratio. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3s. Tofu is a lean protein source, while low-fat dairy like milk and yogurt provide calcium. Eggs are loaded with vitamins A, K, and D.


THE TRUTH: The “fat-burning zone” lies between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. When you exercise at this low intensity, your body draws energy from fat. As your heart rate goes up, more energy comes from carbs. So it seems logical that to lose fat you should keep your heart rate low, but this is not the case.

Exercising at higher intensities causes you to burn a lower percentage of fat calories in favor of carbs, but you use more total calories, and that’s the key to slimming down. Plus, since you burn more total calories, the absolute amount of fat burned actually increases, too. So it pays to pick up the pace.

Of course, lower intensity exercise still has its place. Long, slow runs build aerobic fitness and endurance. But to kick start a slow metabolism, you need intensity. Interval training (condensed runs that mix in intense efforts with recovery) have found these workouts burn more calories during and after exercise.

High-intensity intervals will help you win the battle of the bulge.

ON THE TRACK: Warm up for 10 minutes. Run 800 meters, aiming to finish the interval at 90 to 95% of your max heart rate. After a two-minute recovery jog, repeat two more times, and then cool down for 10 minutes. Add an 800-meter interval every two weeks until you reach six.

ON A TREADMILL: Warm up for 10 minutes. Run for five minutes with treadmill at 1% incline at a speed that hits 90 to 95% of your max heart rate. After a two-minute recovery jog, repeat two more times. Cool down for 10 minutes. Add one interval every two weeks until you reach six.

ANAEROBIC CAPACITY: Warm up for 10 minutes. Do six 400-meter runs (or about 90 seconds on a treadmill) at your mile race pace or slightly faster. The interval should be considerably faster than the previous workouts. Between each interval, complete a two-minute recovery jog.

TO GAUGE MAX HEART RATE: Run four laps on a track with each lap getting faster. On last lap, sprint as hard as you can. Check your heart-rate monitor. The highest number will be close to your max.


THE TRUTH: Many dieters believe eating several small meals a day is a guaranteed way to quash hunger. But scientists have not turned up substantial evidence that eating frequency really matters. In fact, a 2009 study with more than 10,000 subjects reported that between-meal nibblers were 69 percent more likely to pack on pounds over five years. Frequent eating only works if you choose nutritious foods and control portion sizes, after all, it’s not hard to turn six small meals into six large ones. It all comes back to calories.  You can eat three times a day or 10, as long as you have the same calorie intake that will induce weight loss.

Eating something small pre workout followed by a post workout snack or meal can improve performance and recovery. If you workout at lunch, nibble on some dried fruit or yogurt before, and eat a mix of carbs and protein afterwards like a turkey sandwich. For the rest of the day, let your hunger be your guide when to eat.


THE TRUTH: Most think that to look lean and toned you have to skip heavy barbells in favor of lighter weights with lots of repetitions. But that won’t give you the physique you are looking for. To get toned, you need larger muscles and less fat and challenging your body through heavier lifting is a big part of this equation. Lifting 85 percent of your maximum ability for eight reps burns about twice as many calories in the two hours post workout compared with 15 reps at 45 percent your body max. Don’t worry, lifting heavy weights won’t transform you into a bodybuilder.  Achieving that look requires eating a high-calorie diet and a long-term power-lifting regimen. If you’re creating a calorie deficit, you simply won’t bulk up like a bodybuilder.

You don’t have to give up lighter weights with high reps because they do a better job at improving your muscular endurance. Your program should include both high and low reps. Doing higher reps (12 to 15) and lower weights for about four weeks and then switch to lifting heavier weights for fewer reps (8 to 10) for four weeks, will keep the stress on your body constantly changing.  Remember muscle responds to resistance, so if it’s too light, you won’t see good results.


THE TRUTH: The weekend represents about 30 percent of the week, and in a recent study dieters who dropped pounds during the week, but stopped losing weight by feasting on whatever they wanted on the weekend, would cancel out five days worth of healthy eating

When it comes to shedding pounds, consistency is the key.  Aim to consume a similar number of calories on Tuesday as you would Saturday. If you weigh yourself Friday and again Monday any weight gain is a sign you shouldn’t have eaten the extra slice of pizza.

Here are some tips to help you survive the weekend

When traveling to events bring your own healthy edibles like oatmeal and trail mix.

Keep a food journal which can help you lose almost double the weight of non writers.


Eat a hearty morning meal daily and you will eat fewer calories later in the day.

Have a few treats during the week so once Saturday comes, you won’t feel the desire to binge.


THE TRUTH: People trying to slim down often try to cut out all indulgent foods, but eventually, this approach usually backfires. If you’re following an overly restrictive diet, you’re more likely to go overboard on your vices. Flip-flopping between a diet that includes sweet treats and one that banishes them (in other words, yo-yo dieting) activates your brain’s stress system, making you want to gorge even more.

So before you cut out your favorite foods, ask yourself: Can I live without cheesecake (or potato chips) forever? The answer is probably no.  Losing pounds and keeping them off, depends on learning to balance your diet without depriving yourself, and eating in a way you can maintain.  Eat great 80 percent of the time, and allow room for small treats the other 20 percent. As long as you’re reducing your overall intake, you don’t need to stop eating any one food from your diet.

Here’s how to gauge what your diet should look like.

35 years old, 150 pounds
Lifestyle Sedentary desk job
Exercise Runs about 20 miles per week and strength trains about two hours per week
Maintenance Calorie Needs 2,387 calories per day
Goal Calorie Intake 2,029 calories (15 percent reduction)

2 slices whole-grain toast; 2 teaspoons almond butter; 1 kiwi; 1 hard-boiled egg
A breakfast containing a balanced mix of carbs, protein, and healthy fats prevents overeating during the day.

Morning Snack
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1/2 cup raspberries; 1 ounce sunflower seeds
Have a midmorning snack to hold off hunger while providing energy for your lunchtime workout.

Lunch Workout
30- to 40-minute interval run

Post workout
1 cup low-fat chocolate milk
It provides an ideal mix of quick-digesting carbs and protein to promote recovery. Plus, the chocolate helps satisfy occasional sweet cravings.

1 serving (2 cups) Pasta Bean Toss; 1 medium apple
Make this no-fuss recipe (below) for dinner the night before and pack the leftovers for lunch.

4 ounces chicken breast; 1 cup cooked quinoa; 1 cup multicolored salad of an avocado; 1 tablespoon extra-virgin-olive-oil-and-vinegar dressing
The healthy fat in olive oil and avocado slows digestion (keeping you satisfied) and boosts the absorption of antioxidants in veggies.

Evening Snack
3 cups air-popped popcorn
When air-popped, it makes a tasty and healthy whole-grain, low-calorie snack for the evening.

TOTAL CALORIES: 1,991; CARBS: 252g; FIBER: 47g; PROTEIN: 113g; FAT: 67g

35 years old, 175 pounds
Lifestyle sedentary desk job
Exercise Runs about 20 miles per week; strength trains about two hours per week
Maintenance calorie needs 3,033 calories
Goal calorie intake 2,578 (15 percent reduction)

Pre workout Snack
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1/3 cup blueberries; 1/4 cup raisins
To recharge your muscles following an overnight fast, have a small breakfast that’s easy to digest.

Morning Workout
45-minute run

Post workout Breakfast
2 hard-boiled eggs; 1 1/2 cups plain oatmeal mixed with: 1 medium banana (sliced), 1 ounce walnuts, 2 teaspoons maple syrup
Eggs are an easy way to get protein to speed recovery after a morning run. A bowl of oatmeal with a banana and maple syrup helps reload muscle glycogen stores.

Sandwich made with: 2 slices 100 percent whole-wheat bread, 2 ounces sliced turkey breast deli meat, 2 slices tomato, 1/2 cup baby spinach, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard; 1 apple; 1/2 cup sliced red pepper; 1/2 cup baby carrots
Make sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables with lunch to make it more filling, which will prevent overeating later on. Also, choose higher fiber whole grain bread.

Afternoon Snack
1 cup grapes; 6 whole-grain crackers; 1 ounce low-fat cheddar cheese
An afternoon snack will keep your energy high during a post work out exercise session.

After work
45 minutes weight training
Split workouts can boost intensity, make exercise more fun, and help you fit it into a busy schedule.

Post workout Shake
1 cup skim milk; 1/2 cup plain yogurt; 1/2 cup frozen strawberries; 2 teaspoons natural peanut butter
Make the shake in the morning and bring it with you. And pass on “reduced-fat” peanut butter. Most have similar calories and more sugar than regular PB.

1 serving Lentils with Grilled Salmon; 2 cups multi-colored salad; 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil; 1 medium orange
Salmon is packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3s. An orange provides a healthy, sweet dessert.

Evening snack
1 ounce dark chocolate
Have treats, such as dark chocolate, once in a while to avoid feeling like you’re depriving yourself.

Total Calories 2,544; Carbs 336g; Fiber 50g; Protein 121g; Fat 93g


THE TRUTH: Many believe their metabolism plummets later in the day, which is when we often over eat nutritionally corrupt foods. But a calorie is a calorie no matter when you eat it.  As long as you don’t take in more calories than you burn in a day, you won’t gain weight. Overeating at 9 p.m. is essentially no worse than overeating at 9 a.m.  You may have a slightly higher metabolism earlier in the day, but the impact on weight loss is likely trivial.

And if you train in the evening, eating at night is a must:  You have to eat a well-balanced meal to encourage recovery no matter how late it is. As long as you don’t gorge, you’re not in danger of gaining weight. But if you routinely spend too much time with ice cream at night, you’re going to sabotage your efforts.

How to ward off night time over eating

A lot of people don’t eat enough after lunch, leaving them ravenous at night. Eat whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese, or plain yogurt with fruit mid afternoon to avoid getting intimate with Haagen-Dazs later.


Try low-fat popcorn for nighttime finger food. It’s a high-fiber whole grain, and one cup has just 31 calories.

you are more likely to overindulge when parked in front of the boob tube, which distracts you from noticing how much you’re eating so eat at a kitchen table.

a 15-minute walk after eating weakened chocolate cravings in people who abstained for three days. Make an after dinner stroll routine.

Coming home famished after a workout without a dinner plan can lead to grabbing the nearest bag of Doritos. Having a meal made ahead of time you can easily heat up or a few quick go-to recipes can ensure you make healthy choices.


THE TRUTH: Eating low-fat foods has helped make the nation look more like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Reason being, a low-fat or reduced-fat item may have nearly as many calories as a higher-fat version because ingredients like sugar often replace the fat to make the product taste better, Low-fat foods can still contain unhealthy saturated or trans fats both of which may increase your risk of heart disease.

People also eat 28 percent more treats when they were portrayed as “low-fat” rather than “regular.” Low-fat labels (like those on cookies and fruit-flavored yogurts) cause people to underestimate calorie consumption, increase the amount they eat, and temper the guilt of polishing off a box of reduced-fat Oreos.  Some people see the term ‘fat-free’ and use it as a green light to eat as much of it as they want. This leads to over consuming calories and that, leads to weight gain.

Diet Busters

adults who drink diet sodas often are more likely to be overweight and develop diabetes.

It has health benefits, but also packs lots of calories. If you’re trying to slim down, keep it to one drink daily.

It’s low in fiber and nutrients. Choose whole-grain versions most often.

They contain added sugar (i.e., empty calories), so scale back.

A single ounce has about 160 calories. Limit yourself to that much (and choose dark varieties) per day.


THE TRUTH: Many people blow off weights for cardio, a bigger calorie burner. They’re also afraid of getting bulky while trying to slim down. But if who want to slim down you need to pump iron.  It makes you stronger and builds endurance, so you can run longer and harder, burning more calories for weight loss. Since muscle is denser than fat, you’ll also shave inches off your body and look leaner.

Plus, cutting calories can lead to losing lean body mass, and weight lifting helps preserve muscle, which is more metabolically active than fat.  It takes extra calories just to keep muscle.   Strength training may boost resting metabolic rate by as much as seven percent. And you don’t need to live at the gym to get results. Just 11 minutes of weight training three times a week will boost daily energy expenditure.


SPEED WEIGHT LOSS, build strength, and improve running performance with this workout.  Do the routine two to three times per week with at least one rest day in between. Begin with two to three sets of each exercise with 15 reps, using a challenging weight. After four weeks, switch to a heavier weight and complete three sets with 8 to 10 reps.  Every four to six weeks, alternate between less weight, more reps and more weight, fewer reps.  As you build up stamina, reduce the rest period between exercises to increase calorie burn.

Stand on one leg, holding a set of dumbbells by your side. Slightly bend knee with your back straight; bend forward, keeping weights by your sides. Slowly stand up, keeping a straight posture. Once completed, curl your arms into a shoulder press. Bring weights back to your sides. Repeat on the other side.

Stand in a lunge position holding one dumbbell overhead with both hands. Keeping your elbows shoulder-width apart, bend them and lower the weight behind your head as you lunge down. Lift the weight up as you straighten your legs. Do half the set with one leg in front and then switch sides.

Roll forward on a ball so that your arms are in a pushup position and the ball is under the tops of your shins. Then, lift your hips up and bring your knees into your chest. Ideally, your hips will be directly over your shoulders. Bring your legs back to the starting position, and then do a pushup. Keep alternating pushups and jackknifes

Place the stability ball in the curve of your lower back, then lean against a wall, holding dumbbells in both hands. With feet about hip-width apart, squat down (using the support of the ball and the wall behind you) and simultaneously do a biceps curl. When you squat down, your legs should form a 90-degree angle. Hold for a moment, and then return to the starting position.

Position yourself on a stability ball with your head and neck supported on the ball like a pillow and your body in a tabletop position. Your feet should be under your knees, hip-width apart. Keeping arms straight, as if you’ve just completed a chest press, lower arms behind you and over your head until your upper arms are even with your ears. Slowly bring them back to the starting position. Then, lower your hips toward the ground and back up. Keep alternating pullovers and hip raises. You can also balance a dumbbell on your hips for an extra challenge.

THE TRUTH: In theory, because your blood sugar and muscle carbohydrate levels are low after an overnight fast, running before breakfast forces your body to use fat as its main fuel.  But exercising on an empty stomach is like trying to run your car without gas.  You need carbs in your system to start your engine and to keep it going strong to burn more total calories.  Not only do muscles prefer to run on carbs, but so does your brain.  Exercising with brain fog reduces intensity and increases injury risk.  Fueling up with 100 to 200 calories (of easily digestible carbs like fruit juice, yogurt, or dried fruit) about 30 minutes before a morning workout will cut down on post exercise hunger and curbs overeating.


THE TRUTH: Many people spend too much of their gym time doing a bazillion crunches in pursuit of rock-solid abs or banging out hundreds of reps on the inner and outer thigh machines to melt away stubborn fat pockets. But the only way you can spot reduce is with liposuction.  When you exercise, your body taps into energy stores from everywhere, not just one place.  By over exercising one area of your body, you raise the risk of suffering an injury.  It’s good to have a strong core, but too many crunches can over tighten abdominals and lead to back problems. Targeting a particular body part no more than three times a week, and focusing on a balanced full-body program will help create a calorie deficit, and ultimately that’s the only thing that’s going to slim those thighs and trim your belly.

The Burning Question: Just how many calories did that workout burn?

Many people think running burns 100 calories per mile but this is only true if you weigh 139 pounds. To calculate your burn per mile, multiply your weight in pounds by .75. A 150 pound runner burns 112 calories per mile; a 120-pound runner burns just 90. And if you run faster, you don’t burn more calories per mile but you do burn more per minute.

The number this formula yields is your “gross” calorie burn. But it can be deceptive: Even if you didn’t run at all, you’d still burn calories. A 150-pound person burns about 68 calories an hour doing nothing. This is your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. When you subtract your BMR from your gross burn, you get your “net” burn. If you’re trying to maximize your burning efficiency, compare the net burn per minute of various activities. Walking burns far fewer calories per minute than running because it doesn’t require as much effort. But cyclists can go so fast that air resistance becomes a factor. Thus, cycling 24 mph burns much more than double the calories of cycling 12 mph. 150 pound runner burns 112 calories per mile. Now if he runs 5 miles in an hour his total burn would be 560 calories.  Minus his 86 calories BMR his net calorie loss is 474 calories.

You can use the formulas below to determine your calorie-burn while running and walking. The “Net Calorie Burn” measures calories burned, minus basal metabolism. Scientists consider this the best way to evaluate the actual calorie-burn of any exercise. The walking formulas apply to speeds of 3 to 4 mph. At 5 mph and faster, walking burns more calories than running.

              Your Total Calorie Burn/Mile   Your Net Calorie Burn/Mile

Running       .75 x your weight (in lbs.)           .63 x your weight
Walking        .53 x your weight                       .30 x your weight

On my site there is a calculator that suggests calories burned per activity.
THE TRUTH: Running for an hour straight is a great calorie burner and will undoubtedly help shed pounds. But you might actually accrue more fitness and fat loss by occasionally breaking that hour-long workout into two half-hour runs or three 20- minute sessions.   A person may run at a harder pace if tackling two shorter runs instead of a single longer one, so the cumulative calorie burn could be greater.  Those who performed two separate 30- minute aerobic sessions burned more calories post workout compared with a single 60-minute trial.

Same-day split sessions to help overcome time constraints and boredom, and accumulate the same training volume with less injury risk. Doing a steady-pace, moderate-intensity run for one session and a more intense calorie burner, like interval training or hill running, the second time. Conversely, try a high-intensity morning run followed by an after-work weight-training session.


THE TRUTH: some people are more predisposed to have a slower metabolism. Others put on weight more easily or carry extra pounds in certain areas. Staying slim is not a hopeless battle. You can outsmart your genes and maintain a healthy weight. Case in point, 16 same-sex twin pairs (chosen because they had the same genetic makeup) where studied for decades and found that the twin who had been more physically active over a 32-year period accumulated 50 percent less belly fat than the twin who didn’t exercise. By running and exercising regularly, you’re already a step ahead in winning the battle against the bulge.

In my book ‘Get fit Stay FIT’ I give many options for working out combinations.


THE TRUTH: Many people think maintaining weight loss is easier than losing it in the first place. But you have to be diligent. Researcher has discovered that overweight subjects who had slimmed down over two years required an average of 40 minutes of exercise per day just to sustain a loss of 10 percent or more of their initial body weight. And that was in addition to closely watching what they ate. Those who committed less time to sweating it out or none at all were more likely to be back where they started.  Weight loss is not something that happens and then you’re done with it, that’s why quick-fix programs hardly ever work long term.


THE TRUTH: High-fructose corn syrup (or HFCS) has been singled out as a main cause of America’s obesity crisis. But both HFCS and sucrose better known as table sugar are very close in chemical composition, and neither type of sweetener offers any nutritional value apart from empty waist-thickening calories.  You’d likely become just as pudgy from eating an excessive amount of foods that contain regular sugar as you would from eating foods that contain an excessive amount of high-fructose corn syrup.   You should read labels carefully and scale back your intake of highly sweetened foods, including sodas, energy drinks, baked goods, cereals, and even sports drinks.  If you need to satisfy a sweet tooth, you should do so shortly after a workout when your muscles quickly soak up the sugar to replace spent energy stores.


THE TRUTH: Both can be equally damaging to your weight-loss efforts.  People consistently underestimate the calorie content of foods served at restaurants they see as “healthier” and in doing so are more likely to order calorie bomb sides such as large sodas and cookies. But eating out in general not just at fast-food places can put a damper on your weight-loss efforts.  Dieters will often consumed up to 253 extra calories and 16 additional grams of fat on the days that they ate out. Trade in eating out for more home cooking.  Preparing your own meals gives you a better shot at controlling calorie intake, and it lets you choose more nutrient-rich ingredients.  Many chain restaurants put nutritional information on their Web sites, so if you do plan on eating out, check out their nutritional stats to find the healthiest choices.


THE TRUTH: Taking extra steps every day can have an important cumulative calorie-burning effect.  Adults ages 19 to 30 who were car-happy gained up to 15 pounds more over a 15-year period than those who used their own two feet more often to get around. To motivate yourself to walk more, invest in a pedometer.   Using a pedometer can lead to significant decreases in body-mass index and blood pressure.  Aim for 10,000 steps daily.  That’s two and half miles of walking, which means you’ll burn an extra 250 calories every day. You can boost your chances of reaching the 10,000-step goal by walking to a coworker’s cubicle instead of e-mailing, trading in the elevator for the stairs, and parking at the farthest corner of the mall lot.


THE TRUTH: If you run on a treadmill, sway on an elliptical, or pedal a stationary bike, the number of calories you actually burn can be 10 to 15 percent lower than what’s displayed on the screen. That’s because most machines don’t take into account percent body fat, height, sex, age, resting heart rate, or if someone is holding onto the handles, which reduces workload.  Also, the mechanical assistance of machines allows your body to do less work. That doesn’t mean you should totally ignore an exercise machine’s stats. Use the calorie readout as a barometer of your progress. If the number goes up from one session to the next for the same workout, you know you’re working harder toward your weight loss goals.

       The 10 Rules of Weight Loss

  1. To lose 10 pounds of body fat a year, you need to eat 100 calories less per day. Cutting too many calories from your daily intake will sap your energy level and increase your hunger, making you more susceptible to splurging on high-calorie foods.2. Don’t skip breakfast. Eat within two hours of waking.3. In fact, eat more breakfast than you think you should. Trade in some of your dinner calories for more calories at breakfast.4. Don’t allow yourself to get hungry. Eat at least every four hours, and split a meal in half to make sure you properly fuel up pre- and post workout For example, eat part of your breakfast before your morning run (a banana) and the rest of your breakfast afterward (a bagel with peanut butter).5. Eat at least three kinds of food each meal from these four categories: breads, cereals, and grains; fruits and vegetables; low-fat dairy and soy; and lean meats, fish, and nuts. Breads, cereals, and grains should be the foundation of each meal, with protein as an accompaniment.

    6. Shoot for a gradual loss of body fat. You’re more likely to put the weight back on (and more) if you drop weight too quickly.

    7. Liquid calories add up fast and can lead to weight gain. Minimize the amount of sodas, juices, store-bought smoothies, sports drinks, coffee drinks, and alcohol you consume.

    8. Eat closer to the earth, enjoying fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Minimize the amount of processed foods you eat; they tend to offer less fiber and are less satiating.

    9. If you can’t resist fast food, ask for nutritional information before you make your choices (or check in advance via restaurant Web sites). Avoid any menu items with the words fried, crispy  and special sauce, which are guaranteed to be high calories.

    10. Remember that the calories in the energy bars, sports drinks, and gels you consume during a run add up, even though you’re running. Consume them only as needed.

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 !

Health Myths

mythsThe 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.

Years ago, both true and false health information would spread slowly.  Not today. The Internet and social media has given people the ability to send everyone on their email lists wild stories that end up mushrooming around the world in a matter of hours.

Most of those health scares are a misreading of facts or a deliberate twisting of the truth.  The following are a few examples and their truths.

Drink eight glasses of water a day

In 1945, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board told people to consume eight glasses of fluid daily. Before long, we believed we needed eight glasses of water, in addition to what we eat and drink, every day.

The Truth:  Water’s great, but you can also fulfill your daily needs with juice, tea, milk, fruits, and vegetables. Even coffee quenches your thirst, despite its reputation as a diuretic. The caffeine makes you lose some liquid, but you’re still getting plenty.

Stress will turn your hair gray

In today’s crazy world with stress and deadlines, who doesn’t believe that stress can shock your locks?

The Truth:  Too much stress does age you inside and out. It ups the number of free radicals, scavenger molecules that attack your healthy cells, and increases the spill of stress hormones in your body. So far, though, no scientific evidence proves a bad day turns your locks gray.

Reading in poor light ruins your eyes

It’s the commonsense refrain of parents everywhere that reading under the covers or by moonlight will ruin your eyesight.

The Truth:  Reading in dim light can strain your eyes. You tend to squint, and that can give you a headache. But you won’t do any permanent damage, except maybe cause crow’s-feet. Your overtired eyes can get dry and achy, and may even make your vision seem less clear, but a good night’s rest will help your eyes recover just fine.

Coffee’s really bad for you

108 million Americans crave coffee each morning. Could something so many crave possibly be good for you? Wrong.

The Truth:  Too much may give you the jitters, but your daily habit has a lot of positives. Coffee comes from plants, which have helpful phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. Drinking coffee gives your brain a boost, too. And, despite the jolt of energy it provides, coffee has no effect on heart disease.

Feed a cold, starve a fever

The old wives’ tale has been a staple since the 1500s when a dictionary master wrote, Fasting is a great remedy for a fever.

The Truth:  Colds and fevers are generally caused by viruses that tend to last seven to 10 days, no matter what you do. There is no proven evidence that diet has any effect on a cold or a fever. Even if you don’t feel like eating, you still need fluids, so put a priority on those.  If you’re congested, the fluids will keep mucus thinner and help loosen chest and nasal congestion.

Fresh is always better than frozen

Ever since scientists and health care professionals realized the benefits of antioxidants, they’ve stated “eat more fresh fruits and veggies” which implied that eating frozen fruits and vegetables was second rate.

The Truth:  Frozen can be just as good as fresh because the fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of their nutritional content, taken from a plant, and frozen on the spot, locking in nutrients. Unless it’s picked and sold the same day, produce at farmers’ markets, though still nutritious, may lose nutrients because of heat, air, and water.

Eggs raise your cholesterol

In the 1960s and 1970s, scientists linked blood cholesterol with heart disease and eggs (high in cholesterol) were carefully eliminated from most diets.

The Truth:  Newer studies have found that saturated and trans fats in a person’s diet, not dietary cholesterol, are more likely to raise heart disease risk. And, at 213 milligrams of cholesterol, one egg slips under the American Heart Association’s recommendation of no more than 300 milligrams a day.  Eggs offer lean protein and vitamins A and D, and they’re inexpensive and convenient.

Get cold, and you’ll catch a cold

It must be true because your mother always said so.

The Truth:  Mom was wrong.  Chilling doesn’t hurt your immunity, unless you’re so cold that your body defenses are destroyed and that only occurs during hypothermia. You can’t get a cold unless you’re exposed to a virus that causes a cold. The reason people get more colds in the winter isn’t because of the temperature, but it may be a result of being cooped up in closed spaces with more people and exposed to cold viruses.

Your lipstick could make you sick

In 2007, an environmentalist group, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, had 33 lipsticks tested for lead. Although there’s no lead limit for lipstick, one third of the tubes had more than the limit allowed for candy.

The Truth:  The reality is that lead is in almost everything.  It’s all around us. But the risk from lead in lipstick is extremely small. Lead poisoning is most commonly caused by other environmental factors like pipes and paint in older homes.

I lift weights, so osteoporosis isn’t a concern

Your twice-weekly weightlifting sessions contribute to bone health, but it’s not the whole bone-building picture. Weightlifting alone does not offer much protection if your diet lacks certain nutrients.  You also need to address nutritional factors, such as calcium and vitamin D intake, smoking cessation, individual bone health and other factors.  For strong bones, the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends (in addition to weight training two to three times a week) that women under age 50 and men under age 71 take in 1,000 mg of calcium a day; women 50 and over and men 71 and over need 1,200 mg a day. Women and men under 50 require 400 IU of vitamin D a day, and those 50 and older need 800 to 1,000 mg.

I eat only 1,000 calories a day and still gain weight, so I must have a slow metabolism

If you track your calories and still can’t lose those last 10 pounds, your problem may lie more with your math than your metabolism.  It’s easy to underestimate calories, especially if you eat a lot of restaurant meals. Large amounts of hidden fats, mainly fats used in cooking the food, add hundreds of calories per dish. Added butter, milk or cream cannot be seen, which makes it harder to track calorie intake.  In addition, chronic dieting without exercising can slow metabolism, especially as you age. Women should eat between 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day, depending on activity level, and men should take in between 2,000 and 2,800 calories a day.

I eat only “natural” beef and chicken, so I’m safe from antibiotics and pesticides

Reading labels as a way to eat healthier only works if you know the lingo. Choosing foods with a “natural” label, for example, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear from added chemicals. ‘Natural’ has almost no legal meaning.  The USDA’s legal definition of ‘natural’ only means ‘minimally processed and without artificial preservatives.’ Virtually all conventional meat qualifies. To stay clear of pesticides, antibiotics and other chemicals, look for the green-and-white USDA organic label. It’s the gold standard of labeling for meat, dairy and eggs.

Longevity runs in my family, so I’m destined to be healthy to an old age

Just because grandma lived to age 95 doesn’t automatically mean you’ll also live to see your 90s. Various studies (involving identical twins) suggest that only about a third of the variation in longevity is accounted for by genes. The rest is lifestyle and chance. Many things that seem like chance are really not random; to a surprising extent you can make your own luck by getting on a healthy pathway.  Many people have the capacity to live well into old age, but most do not. Generally speaking, though, knowing how long your parents lived is not a very good indication of how long you will live.

I don’t need a second opinion; I trust my doctor completely

No matter how well you trust your doctor, seeking a second opinion when you’re diagnosed with a serious ailment or are considering surgery is simply smart. It helps you make an informed decision. The decision to have surgery is a serious one. Many nuances and subtle differences exist in surgical approaches, including technology and surgical procedures.  It’s always a good idea to understand the differences, and a second opinion may prove to be a meaningful investment.

I take vitamins, so I can eat what I want

It sounds like an easy fix, but popping vitamins does not give you dietary carte blanche to eat junk food and skip fresh fruits and vegetables. Taking vitamins can provide a false sense of security. Isolated nutrients found in a pill do not have the same effect on your body as when they are consumed as part of a whole food.  For example, taking a vitamin C supplement can’t compare with eating oranges or berries, which contain antioxidants, phytochemicals (natural chemicals which often act like antioxidants) and fiber, which all work together synergistically. Vitamins can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but they certainly do not counteract the negative effects of unhealthy foods.  Check with your physician before starting any new vitamins or supplements.

I don’t need to work out — I chase around my kids all day long

Running around taking care of kids can certainly burn calories and be physically exhausting. But all that activity is not specific enough to produce the results like weight loss, muscular definition and improved energy levels , you’d get from a structured exercise program.  However, those calories burned during daily activity (called NEAT for non-exercise activity thermo genesis), are an effective add-on to an exercise program. To get the best results from an exercise program include cardio respiratory exercise to improve function of your heart and lungs, resistance training to boost muscle strength and bone-mineral density and some flexibility exercises. At least two days a week of dedicated exercise can have a significant impact on managing body weight and experiencing other beneficial results from exercise.

I can still lose weight if I eat what I want on the weekends and diet all week

You eat healthy all week long, so you should be able to splurge on weekends and still lose weight, right? Not exactly. If you have been restricting calories during the week, you may find yourself extra hungry come Saturday morning. As a result, you may end up making up for the calories you limited during the week and then some.  By Sunday night you’re sluggish and bloated. A better bet is to eat healthfully throughout the week and allow yourself a little extra leeway on the weekends.  It is still important to eat mindfully even on the weekends. If you’re going out to dinner on Saturday night, eat a healthy, high-fiber breakfast (such as oatmeal and fruit) and lunch (such as salad and sandwich on whole-grain bread), and then allow yourself to indulge in an entree, a drink and a dessert in the evening.

I don’t need a primary care physician

Annual visits to your gynecologist or other specialist throughout the year are important, but they don’t make up for a primary care doctor. Specialists focus only on a particular body system. A primary care doctor is trained to view the whole person, which differs from a specialist’s focus. A primary care doctor treats the majority of all health conditions, from skin care to chest pain and everything in between. In addition, your primary care doctor acts as a health care advocate if you develop a serious illness, referring you to one or more specialists and acting as the coordinator of all the care you receive (e.g., making sure medications from one specialist doesn’t conflict with another). The better your care coordination, the better your long-term outcome.

I vent my anger, so I’m less likely to have a heart attack

Primal scream therapy and punching pillows as ways to vent anger are a thing of the past for a reason. They don’t work. In fact, this type of venting may actually worsen the health impact of anger. People who are chronically angry have more health problems than people who are less angry.  Anger is connected with surges in blood pressure, and venting anger may actually make it worse. It’s also not very effective in terms of solving life’s problems.  Instead, look at problems more realistically and develop a more forgiving and flexible outlook. Also you need to develop good communication skills so you can negotiate in a reasonable way that considers the other person’s perspective.

It’s over-the-counter medication, so taking a little extra can’t hurt me

If you’re of the mind that since two aspirin are good then three must be better, you may be gambling with your health. Taking more than the recommended amount of any medication can cause health issues.  Over-the-counter does not mean harmless. In fact, OTC drugs can and do cause significant side effects, often due to inappropriate use. For example, acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) is one of the most common causes of acute liver failure, often due to unintentional overdose. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen) can cause stomach ulceration and bleeding, especially when used for prolonged periods or in high doses. . Your best bet is to follow the labeled dosing. If you need something more, check with your pharmacist or physician before increasing the dose.

I save up my one-drink-a-day allowance for the weekends and enjoy it all at once instead

Numerous studies show the health benefits of a glass of red wine a day. Abstaining fromalcohol all week and over-imbibing on weekends, however, is not advisable and could even prove dangerous. All things in moderation and that particularly means drinking alcohol.  Even studies that say one drink a day is good for your heart also mention that the one drink a day may also increase your risk of other conditions like cancer. The one-drink findings were based on the fact that some alcohol may thin your blood a bit and may reduce your risk of blood clots.  Drinking to excess is not good for your heart or any other part of your body and may even increase the risk of a cardiac event.

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 !

Cough Remedy

coughThe 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.

Have a cough that just won’t go away? Try this Natural remedy!  It will work…and save you money.

1 cup grapes (with seeds)

2 tablespoons honey*

2 tablespoons lemon juice*

1 dash cayenne pepper*

*Adjust proportions to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix in a blender. Serve warm, as the warmth of the liquid will not only soothe the throat and lungs, but also help break down mucus buildup.

The ingredients in the cough remedy work in the following ways:


  • The seeds contain high levels of proanthocyanidins, natural chemicals packed with powerful antioxidant properties.
  • They fight against lung cancer and promote positive lung cell growth.


  • The texture can help soothe and protect the throat from irritation.
  • Naturally fights bacteria and is helpful in attacking germs that colonize in the nose, sinuses and lungs.
  • Infants under the age of 1 should never be given honey, as it can cause serious digestive complications or even death.


  • It is a natural cold expectorant.
  • Soothes inflamed throat membranes
  • Makes the throat less vulnerable to irritation, which can cause coughing.

Cayenne Pepper

  • Capsaicin, which makes the pepper spicy, exhibits antioxidant powers, which can prevent bacterial infections. It also makes mucus thinner, which helps move it out of the lungs.

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 !