Monday, September 12, 2011
Just a little sorry to everyone that I haven't been able to comment on many blogs, etc. Very busy with my teams and life. Hope to get back to everyone soon and send some goodies.
Have a great day and hope you have a wonderful week! Donna
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I guess my low carb eating has kicked in. Yesterday my hubby brought home licorice from the store when he went shopping. Licorice is the only carb I have been craving. I had some and my stomach felt awful and I just felt like crap for the next few hours. So I guess I am running on fat now, not carbs. I sure don't want my licorice any more.
Hope you all have a blessing, safe 9/11. to you all. Donna
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Our society has an obsession with healthy skin. We hate wrinkles, acne, & blemishes. Your skin is an outside indicator for your internal health. When we have skin based disorders those are very often outside manifestations of toxicity, mineral imbalances, oxidative stress, and inflammatory processes that are taking place within the body.
Many natural food sources rich in anti-oxidants and minerals help to balance this internal stress and promote radiant skin.
The most important nutritional considerations for healthy skin is to eat a diet loaded with raw vegetables and a smaller quantity of raw fruit. The fruit and vegetables will provide the three most important nutrients for healthy skin: water, trace minerals, & anti-oxidants.
Water is the arguably the most important thing we consume everyday. It provides the medium for all chemical reactions in our body. Additionally, it helps to cleanse and purify toxic debris and wash away rancid oils from the skin.
Three critical minerals for healthy skin include silica, zinc, & sulfur. These minerals are found in many plant based foods. Foods rich in anti-oxidants are very important for the body to balance the oxidative stress is encounters each day and protect the skin cells from free radical damage. Here are 5 foods that will help you build beautifully radiant skin.
Cucumbers are rich in water, vitamin C, and silica. Silica is a trace mineral that is critical for strong connective tissue and amazing for skin health. Silica deficiency's lead to reduced skin elasticity which promotes wrinkles & age spots.
Radishes are loaded with water and the sulfur containing amino acids cysteine and methionine. Sulfur is known as a beautifying mineral that helps our body detoxify. Radishes are known for their ability to help the liver process toxins and produce bile. Additionally, radishes also contain zinc, vitamin C, phosphorus, and b vitamins that are critical for skin health.
Eggs are one of nature's most incredible skin enhancing superfoods. They are loaded with sulfur containing amino acids, zinc, fat-soluble vitamin A & E, biotin, selenium, and methyl donating B vitamins. Zinc helps control the oil content of the skin and reduces the androgenic hormonal effects that produce acne. Zinc is also critical to the formation of collagen which is a protein molecule that forms connective tissue and skin. Selenium is an anti-oxidant mineral that helps promote normal tissue elasticity and protects the skin from ultra-violet damage. Biotin is a B complex vitamin that helps promote healthy skin and vitamin A & E are critical anti-oxidants that helps protect the skin from oxidative stress.
The Indian herb Tumeric is amazing for the skin and body. Tumeric is loaded with powerful polyphenol anti-oxidant phytochemicals called curcuminoids. Many experts have suggested that curcuminoids have 5-8 times stronger anti-oxidant properties than Vitamin E and other more well-known anti-oxidants. Tumeric also helps to cleanse, purify, & nourish the skin to maintain its elasticity. Additionally, it helps to support the natural flora that protects the skin from dangerous microbes.
Spinach is very rich in water, vitamin C, magnesium, folate, and chlorophyll which help booster the skin. Additionally, spinach is loaded with the anti-oxidant carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are powerful at scavenging free radicals and protecting the skin from oxidative stress.
Tips for Healthy Skin Nutrition
1. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of pure, clean water.
2. Eat a big salad with raw spinach and hard/soft boiled eggs
3. Snack on radishes or add them to your salad.
4. Slice up some cucumbers and add Apple cider vinegar and herbs
5. Add turmeric to hummus, brown rice, meat dishes, & shakes
Source: Dr. David Jockers email
Hope today is a very safe day for all! Donna
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Burn fat faster while sparing muscle tissue — and potentially live a longer, healthier life — by looking to the past for a new approach to performance nutrition.
Author: Jeb Roberts, MA; Illustrations: Mark Collins
Fat-loss diets are hardly known for their staying power. While bodybuilders have spent the past century carving out a slow, steady path to building muscle and cutting fat through eating clean, unprocessed foods, the rest of society has scrambled from one fad to the next, taking its nutritional cues from greedy gurus and Special K commercials, all while getting fatter, slower and more disease-prone with each passing year. But one “trend,” called Paleo by its diehard followers, is cutting a swath of long-term fat loss and enhanced muscle building through the fray of useless dietary fads, and its secret is that it’s not new at all. In fact, it’s as old as our genes.
According to current anthropological evidence, the human genome has remained fairly steady for the past 120,000 years. That means that if you travelled back in time to the last ice age and carved a caveman out of a glacier, he’d be pretty much genetically identical to us. He’d have the same capacity for language and advanced mathematics, and he’d have the same dietary needs. If you think of those 120,000 years of human existence as a 100-yard football field, for almost the entire length of the field, humans were Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, eating primarily meat, with some vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. In fact, it’s only in the last 10,000 years (less than the last 10 yards of that field) that humans have become reliant on modern agriculture and its Neolithic staples of grains, legumes and dairy. And according to the latest anthropological research, it’s also during these last 10,000 years that we’ve become significantly shorter, fatter, less muscular and more prone to disease.
Paleo in a Nutshell
In the simplest sense, the paleo diet cuts out grains, legumes and dairy, each of which purportedly contains toxic elements that fatten our physiques and shorten our lives, and encourages consumption of meat — lots of it — along with plenty of vegetables and some fruits, nuts and seeds. In other words, if you can kill it or forage for it, bon appetite. But while many see the Paleo diet as a way to live longer and avoid modern scourges like obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiac disease, athletes in particular have been experimenting with Paleo nutrition as a way to lean out and build muscle with greater efficiency.
Given these tendencies, it should come as no surprise that the Paleo diet offers benefits for the bodybuilder. And no Paleo proponent is better equipped to customize this ancestral diet for the bodybuilder’s needs than former research biochemist Robb Wolf, CSCS, author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Paleo Solution (Victory Belt, 2010). When Robb isn’t traveling the globe promoting performance-enhancing nutrition or giving talks at NASA to help astronauts combat the muscle-wasting effects of space travel, he’s training world-class athletes, including MMA fighters and pro football players, at his Chico (CA) gym, NorCal Strength and Conditioning, which was recently named one of America’s top 30 gyms.
“You can look at the Paleo diet in two ways,” Robb says. “One is that it’s a diet completely focused on unprocessed or very minimally processed foods. And the other piece is that when we look at foods that we theoretically co-evolved with over millions of years — lean meat, seafood, roots, tubers, fruits and vegetables — relative to Neolithic staples like grains, legumes and dairy, we tend to get much more nutrition per calorie.”
Scratch any notions you may have of weak, scrawny evolutionary ancestors cowering in caves and scrounging for root vegetables. While our ancestors may have shared our genes, paleo advocates point to evidence of them being significantly taller, leaner and beefier than us because of the foods they ate. “Our Paleolithic ancestors were very fit, very strong, and carried good amounts of muscle,” Robb says. So why are we and our Neolithic brethren shorter and chubbier by comparison? Most of that answer, according to Robb and other paleo adherents, boils down to a protein called gluten, which is found in many of our staple grains.
Against the Grain
While animals may be armed with natural defenses — from teeth and claws to heightened senses and the ability to outrun most predators — it’s easy to assume that the plants we consume are docile, harmless and eager to be eaten. But the truth is, most plants — including grains — have chemical defenses that are just as dangerous as any pair of claws, and most are constantly engaged in chemical warfare with one another and with anything that hopes to make a meal of them.
While this is no secret to people with a gluten-based autoimmune disorder known as celiac disease, you may be surprised to learn that all humans are at least mildly susceptible to the damage gluten causes. The perpetrators of this damage are lectins, phytates and protease inhibitors, and together they limit protein and mineral absorption while inflicting a severe inflammatory response, which Robb likens to poison oak in your intestinal lining. “Because of the gut-inflaming elements found in grains, they tend to cause inflammation in the digestive tract that gets transmitted to the rest of the body,” Robb says. “Whenever we have inflammation, we tend to retain water. That’s why you see a lot of contest-prepping bodybuilders instinctively migrating away from wheat-containing carb sources and opting more for potatoes and rice. And when we pull out the rice and the corn and we stick with yams and sweet potatoes, we find that people have much less inflammation throughout their bodies and retain less water in total.”
As you might imagine, all of this gut irritation severely limits the amount of nutrients you’re absorbing, and that holds especially true for protein, says Robb. “When you’re putting a premium on literally every gram of muscle that you have, digestive efficiency is going to be huge. It’s not just an issue of how much food you stuff down your pie hole — it’s a matter of how much nutrition you actually get into your body. And if we remove these gut-irritating foods, we tend to get much better absorption.”
And if that’s not enough, inflammation also impacts your immune system, subsequently impairing your ability to recover from heavy training and build muscle, to say nothing of its relationship to modern-day diseases. “This systemic inflammation and the resulting overactivity of the immune system throughout the body is an issue in everything from Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s to cardiovascular disease,” Robb insists. “And it’s especially important for bodybuilders because their recovery is predicated on immune function. The better functioning your immune system, the better you can recover, and the quicker you can get back in the gym and lift heavy again.”
The Other Offenders
While grains and their lectin weaponry may be the main culprit, other Neolithic staples — namely legumes, dairy, sugar and processed vegetable oils — have the same kind of gut-irritating and inflammation-promoting properties. “Legumes have similar anti-nutrients — similar lectins — to gluten, and all of them affect different people in different ways, but in general we find that people tend to do better without them,” Robb says. Naturally, that means all soy products and peanuts — yes, peanuts are a legume — are off the table.
While no one will question the importance of cutting sugar, eliminating processed vegetable oils may raise some eyebrows. After all, they’ve been touted by government guidelines for the past four decades as healthy cooking alternatives because of their high polyunsaturated fat content. The problem is, the bulk of that fat comes from omega-6 polyunsaturates, and humans evolved to eat an approximately 1:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. Throw off this ratio too far in favor of omega-6s and the results, yet again, are systemic inflammation and reduced recovery.
Ditching dairy may be another hard sell — particularly for hard gainers. But Robb thinks there’s a way around it. “The dairy is kind of a gray area,” he explains. “If you can get grass-fed dairy, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. But because we grain-feed our cows, we concentrate the lectins from those grain sources in the milk, so it tends to be just as pro-inflammatory.” Cows, we’re finally realizing, evolved to graze on grass, and they’re just as intolerant of gluten as we are, which is an issue that extends well beyond their milk and right into the meat we rely on to build and maintain muscle.
The Meat of the Matter
Go back to our evolutionary history, when there were no 24-hour produce markets brimming with brightly colored fruits and vegetables gown hundreds of miles away and ripened on trucks before making their way to your table. The bottom line is that most of what we think of as dietary staples are purely seasonal, and we didn’t have constant — if any — access to them while our genotype was being hammered out. So what made up the bulk of our year-round diet? Meat, say most anthropologists.
The problem is, the meat sources we co-evolved with were drastically different from the cellophane-wrapped cuts at your local supermarket, and what our food eats is just as important to our health as what we eat. Grass-fed beef, it turns out, contains the ideal 1:1 ratio of omega-3s and omega-6s, not to mention plenty of CLA, which helps with fat loss and can decrease insulin resistance. The polyunsaturated fat in grain-fed meat, on the other hand, comes mostly from omega-6 fatty acids, meaning it’s another sure-fire recipe for inflammation.
None of this should suggest that our ancestors ate nothing but meat, of course, but protein played a major role in our evolutionary development. As Robb points out, “The reconstructed human diet looks a lot like what bodybuilders would typically want, which is very high protein, anywhere from moderate to high fat, and carbohydrate filling in the rest.” If the words moderate to high fat set off an alarm, you’re likely not alone. But Paleo isn’t necessarily a high-fat diet. In fact, Robb claims that it’s “macronutrient agnostic,” as it focuses on food quality rather than food quantity. So long as you avoid gut-irritating Neolithic foods, you can customize your macros (protein, fat and carbohydrate) according to your body’s needs. That said, Robb insists that, based on what he’s seen in his athletes, a higher-fat approach leads to better results both in terms of performance and body composition. “When people step outside of the mainstream and start playing with their macros, they find that if they eat more fat, they feel better, they look better, they perform better and they recover better. It’s kind of a scary proposition when they’re counting calories [fat has 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbs have around 4 calories per gram], but inevitably they end up with better body composition,” he says.
And in case you’re worried about the saturated fat in many meat sources that we’ve been warned to avoid, Robb urges you to revisit the science. “As for the whole demonization of saturated fats, there have been several huge studies recently, and they just can’t pin anything on saturated fat and cardiovascular disease, saturated fat and cancer, or anything else. They’ve tried and tried and spent billions of dollars attempting to prove that saturated fat was a problem, and it’s just not penciling out to be the case.” The authors of a recent meta-analysis of 21 studies published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition are in full agreement with Robb on this last point, as they recently concluded that no study could associate saturated fat with increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke or coronary vascular disease.
Putting Paleo into Practice
As mentioned, paleo is a diet that emphasizes food quality over quantity, and many of its followers find that once they kick agricultural staples — mainly grains — to the curb, they’re too satiated to overeat and they lose fat without ever thinking about calories. But Robb isn’t saying you should throw out the scale in your kitchen. “This is the appropriate place for someone to weigh and measure with paleo,” he says of the diet’s application to bodybuilding. “When we’re talking about an extreme level of leanness, we can keep people leaner during the offseason because they no longer have a binge-and-purge kind of scenario. We clean up their food and keep them within striking distance of their contest prep, and then when it comes time to really shrink-wrap them down, we bring in the additional attention to detail of weighing and measuring food and monitoring total caloric intake, and it’s easier because they’re already 5–10 pounds out of shape rather than 30–40 pounds out.”
For bodybuilders who are leaning out, perhaps the best part of using a Paleo approach is that you’re less likely to lose muscle as you shed fat. “We’ve worked with some NFL football players who have some really impressive body composition — guys who are anywhere from 280–310 pounds running sub-10% bodyfat — with almost world-champion powerlifting totals, and we’ve been able to keep more muscle mass on them using a Paleo-type approach than with anything else we’ve tried.”
So whether you’re prepping for the stage or you’re just looking to sport a six-pack this summer, Paleo offers some pretty striking benefits, from maintaining more muscle while leaning out to faster, long-term fat loss with less cardio, not to mention better nutrient absorption and improved overall health. But even after they hear about these advantages, Robb admits that many people — especially bodybuilders who’ve seen slow, steady success with standard bulking and cutting phases — aren’t motivated to give up the grains, claiming they’ve never experienced the gut irritation and inflammation that drive the Paleo approach. “Some people say they’ve never had a problem with these foods, but what they’ve never done is pull them out of rotation for a good 30 days to see how they actually do getting their carb sources from yams, sweet potatoes and maybe a little bit of post-workout fruit to refill liver glycogen.”
For Robb, this 30-day window is critical. Whereas few bodybuilders will agree to give up whole-grain pasta forever, once they’ve seen how much better they feel and look after just one month eating Paleo, they usually refuse to go back. “If they’ll go with a 30-day run and get their carbs from yams, sweet potatoes, squash and even regular white potatoes in lieu of the bread, rice and pasta, they definitely notice less water retention and being less puffy, and this is true regardless of where they are, whether they’re contest-prepping or they’re in a mass-gain cycle. In total, they have less inflammation, so they retain less water and recover better, and everything they’d want goes in a favorable direction.”
According to Robb and other Paleo adherents, whether you’re a bodybuilder, an elite athlete or simply someone who still wants to be bounding up stairs when they’re 90, Paleo is your best chance for getting a leg up. “Bodybuilding is definitely pushing the human genetic potential to the outer edges of hypertrophy expression,” he says. But the ancestral diet can still support that process. You may need to tweak and fiddle with the details, but it’s doable.” And even if your only immediate goals are to build a physique that’s composed of as much muscle as your frame will allow while dipping into low-single-digit bodyfat, Robb insists that your physique goals don’t need to override your overall health. “Let’s push that human performance element as much as we can, and let’s do it in a way that’s not completely messing us up” he adds.
I eat this way and love how I feel, have more energy, better workouts, healthier...
Hope you get something out of the article.
Friday, September 09, 2011
Coping With Social Anxiety
Does the thought of speaking in public, eating or drinking in front of others, or changing into your gym clothes in the locker room freak you out? If you often feel anxious and excessively self-conscious in everyday social situations, you may be experiencing a disorder known as social anxiety.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder may include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking. You may worry for days or weeks before a dreaded situation, fearing impending embarrassment. The disorder is also characterized by an intense and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others.
Approximately 15 million American men and women are affected by social anxiety, so if you have this condition, you're definitely not alone. One of the dangers of social anxiety is that it makes you susceptible to depression and substance abuse. If you think that social anxiety disorder is taking a toll on you and your lifestyle, you should seek help from your physician or therapist. Tackling your emotional challenges will put you back in control and help you achieve your maximum potential!
From Jillian Michaels email
This is probably stopping some of you from getting out there and exercising, but really, from my point of view, we don't notice - if you are at the gym or wherever, we are focused on what we are doing not you. So get out there and help yourself get healthy.
everyone! Happy Friday, have a good one!
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