BKWERM   89,137
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5% 2011 Fall Challenge Commitment

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Exercise - I promise to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week, which will include exercise DVDs incorporating strength-training and cardio and lunchtime walks.

Food - I promise to eat following the Weight Watchers Points Plus system and I will eat within my points for a minimum of 6 days a week every week.

I also promise to drink at least 6 cups of water every day that I'm not traveling or in meetings (for obvious reasons). Traveling shouldn't be a problem as I have no plans to go anywhere but I do have 4 scheduled meetings during this 8-week challenge and since I take the minutes, I need to be there for the duration of the meetings. But, I will bring my water bottle with me to the meeting and will drink as much as I can.

I promise to eat lots of fruits and veggies and minimise my bad fats/junk food.

I promise I will check in with my team daily and leave a comment on the Discussion Board a minimum of 4 times a week.

I promise that I will read and comment on team members' blogs when I have time.

I am committed to this challenge and I promise to do the best that I can and my hope is that I lose my 5% permanently!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IBEES10 9/23/2011 6:43PM

    How do I join this challenge??? Ahhhh!!!! Good luck, I know you will do just great :).

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MARYLEE56 9/20/2011 6:33PM

    Love your goals!

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MTULLY 9/18/2011 1:29PM

    I am also in the 5% Challenge. You have a great plan. I can see you are in it to win it! We can do this!!!

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NIKI778 9/18/2011 11:22AM

    Great goals!!! I am also in the 5% challenge, YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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Nine Supplements to Avoid

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This article is in Arthritis Today and since the first two supplements claim to be anti-inflammatory, I thought I should share it with others:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BKWERM 9/16/2011 12:26PM

    I provided the link in a blog rather than just on our team so that it would reach more people. But, I suppose I could post the link on our team as well.

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_LINDA 9/16/2011 12:23PM

    Why not provide these links on the RA team? I had never heard of some of these supplements...

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Eight Ways to Boost Weight Loss (from the Chatelaine website)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Have your weight-loss efforts hit a wall? These tips will help you figure out why you've hit a plateau, and what you can do to move past it.

By Dr. Natasha Turner ND Thu Aug 25 2011

When we change our diet, cut our calories and begin a fitness plan, we typically alter our energy expenditure by taking in fewer calories than we burn. At first, this imbalance helps fat loss because it makes the body tap into fat stores for fuel. Our body prefers balance, though, so it gradually adjusts to our changes by burning fewer calories in order to protect its fat reserves. This is usually when we stop seeing the same results, and hit a weight-loss plateau.

A weight-loss plateau may occur because:

- Your body simply needs a "rest" period to adapt to calorie reduction.

- Your current calorie intake may be in balance with your calorie expenditure.

- You have reduced your calorie intake by too much. Excess calorie cutting prompts your body to respond by slowing down your metabolism in order to conserve calories. You're also at risk of losing muscle with excessive caloric restriction.

- During weight loss, water is generated in the body as a normal part of fat metabolism. This process can lead to water-related weight gain.

- A hormonal imbalance is interfering with your body's ability to burn fat.

- For women, fluctuations of a few pounds may also be related to their menstrual cycle or water retention.

What can you do to break through a plateau?

The two most important steps in getting your weight loss moving again are altering your eating habits, and changing your exercise program to challenge your body and shake things up. You must also honestly evaluate your lifestyle and any negative symptoms you may be experiencing to determine why you've hit a plateau.

Here are a few ideas to help you power past a weight-loss stall:

1. Take tyrosine to boost your dopamine: Tyrosine is an amino acid a building block of dopamine and thyroid hormones in the body - and a supplement available at most health-food stores. It takes four weeks to reach its full effectiveness; sometimes starting this at the beginning of a weight-loss program is a good idea since studies show levels of dopamine decrease after a few weeks. As a brain chemical, dopamine influences pleasure, alertness, learning, creativity, attention and concentration -- and naturally suppresses appetite and aids weight loss.

The trouble is, as you lose weight, dopamine (your fat-loss friend) tends to take a dip. It's just one of the ways your body works against you by attempting to maintain the status quo. But you can wake up your metabolism by supplementing with 1,000 mg of tyrosine each morning on an empty stomach. Since tyrosine increases the production of both dopamine and thyroid hormone, it could give you just the boost you need to push past your plateau.

2. Mix up your workout: Fire up your metabolism (and calorie expenditure) by increasing your activity level. This simple step can "reboot" your metabolism and restart your weight loss. For example, if you usually exercise for 20 minutes each day, try 25-30 minutes daily. If you are already exercising for a sufficient length of time, increase the intensity. Do 15-20 minutes of interval training instead of 30 minutes at a slower pace. Varying your workout routine can also help.

3. Try cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach: If you can manage it, try doing a 30-minute cardio workout (no longer!) first thing in the morning before breakfast. Why? In some cases, this technique may be just the trick your body needs to kick-start your metabolism.

4. Pump some iron: Remember, muscle is metabolically active tissue. Muscle mass determines our basal metabolic rate (i.e., the number of calories we burn daily while at rest). The more muscle we have, the more fat we can potentially burn, even while sitting around or sleeping. If your fat loss continues to stall, boost the intensity of your strength-training routine by increasing the amount of weight you lift. A personal trainer may be an excellent investment at this point, even for just a few sessions to get you back in gear.

5. Be sure to rest and recuperate: Recovery is an essential part of your exercise program. Proper rest allows your muscle fibres to grow and prevents the elevation of cortisol and other stress hormones that can happen when we over-train. Track your resting heart rate immediately after you wake up for about a week or two. An increase from one week to the next could be a sign of overtraining. Remember, excess cortisol tears down the muscle tissue you've worked so hard to gain, which will ultimately cause your metabolism to slow down.

6. Keep a food diary: If you feel your nutrition is off track but can't figure out where you're going wrong, try keeping a food journal. You may start to recognize dietary saboteurs, which can help you get back on track. Have a professional nutritionist or naturopathic doctor assess your diet if necessary.

7. Ensure your weight loss expectations are realistic: Safe weight loss is one to two pounds of fat per week. During the first few weeks of a weight-loss program, you may lose more than that, although most of it is water. After losing this initial weight, people tend to lose an average of one pound a week, which is still considered good progress (even a few pounds a month is good).

8. Drink plenty of water: As fat cells begin to shrink, they release toxins that need to be removed from our system by our liver, kidneys and digestive tract. If we don't take in enough water to support these processes, the toxins may interact with our hormones and cause increased fat storage or inability to burn fat. Water can also help make us feel full and regulate our appetite, as many of us mistake thirst for hunger. To calculate how much water you need, multiply your body weight by 0.55. Divide the result by eight to determine the number of cups you need to drink each day.

~ Natasha Turner, N.D. is a naturopathic doctor and author of the bestselling books The Hormone Diet and her newest release, The Supercharged Hormone Diet, now available across Canada. She is also the founder of the Toronto-based Clear Medicine Wellness Boutique.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOLLIEMAC 9/15/2011 3:33PM

    Thanks for sharing Joanna, some really excellent points made.

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Jack Layton's Final Letter Written to Canadians on His Death Bed

Sunday, September 04, 2011



The Day of Jack Layton's Funeral

Sunday, September 04, 2011

I know I'm late on posting this but for those of you who couldn't or didn't attend, you may find The Toronto Star coverage of the event interesting. It's quite long but I thought it was worth going through. Lots of good photos and nice messages:


And, for those of you who don't know who Jack Layton was, he was the leader of the federal NDPs (New Democratic Party) and the head of the Official Opposition in Canada's House of Parliament where the NDP was the Official Opposition party for the first time in Canada's history. And, I have been a strong NDPer for most of my voting life as my parents were. And, I'm very sad that he died because I believe that it's because of him that the NDP got so many votes in our recent federal election.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEILIE2 9/6/2011 9:32AM

    Thank you for sharing the link.
We did watch Jack's funeral but the pictures give everything a personal touch.

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MOLLIEMAC 9/5/2011 1:13PM

    Thanks Joanna.

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_LINDA 9/5/2011 10:14AM

    As I don't watch TV or read newspapers, I didn't know this until I was in the living room with my step dad who always watches the news channel. They just showed the same brief clip over and over again. It was nice to get an in depth look at it all. I am the only one votes NDP in my family, which I have done all my life. He was the best thing to ever happen to the party, Its really a tragic blow for Canadians to have lost him. But his courage in fighting his disease and his legacy to the party will live on. I just don't know if they will find another leader that has his charisma and drive :(
Thanks for the links.

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CANDOK1260 9/4/2011 8:55PM


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CAPTHAMMER 9/4/2011 5:40PM

    Very moving stuff. I've been impressed with the outpouring of love from my Spark Friends to the North. He must have been a wonderful man to bring out that kind of support from citizens.

Thanks for sharing.

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