Eating a variety of foods (specifically – organic whole foods) is important to every diet. There are a variety of fruits and vegetables available that you may have never tried or even heard of. Eating a wide assortment of foods enables you to take in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. So I thought I would do a series on colors – eating the rainbow! Phytochemicals are the elements in plant foods that give them their color and distinctive flavors. Phytochemicals aid in disease prevention and treatment, and can help in such conditions as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure.
Every week I plan on buying fruits and veggies based on a certain color and cooking some unique meals. It is winter now so may not be able to get everything I want, but will do my best with what’s available during this season. We will start with red. Here are some organic red foods I was able to find: beets, tomatoes, red grapefruit, red wine, red pepper, pomegranate, red pear, radishes, apples, red onions, cranberries, raspberries, and gogi berries.
What is it in red food that is beneficial to health? Lycopene (found in tomatoes and grapefruit) is linked to prevention of heart disease and prostate cancer. The flavonoid anthocyanidin is found in raspberries, grapes, red cabbage and red wine and is a powerful antioxidant. Cranberry contains proanthocyanidin which helps keep the elasticity of our skin and blood vessels. Resveratrol is found in red grape skins and red wine and has been found to prevent progression of cancer and blot clots. It has also been shown to raise HDL (good cholesterol) and promote longevity. Pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants and may help lower blood pressure. Beets contain a phytonutrient called betalain which has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties. Red bell peppers are packed with vitamin C and A along with a bunch of other nutrients. I challenge you to try one new red food this week! Mine was gogi berries – very tasty too! If you are interested in recipes or cooking tips/ideas, leave me a comment!
By: Dr. Christine Arseneau
Have you ever been one of those ruts where you just can’t seem to lose weight? You are sacrificing those yummy cinnamon rolls in order to maintain a healthy diet, you exercise 5 times a week blending in strength exercises with plenty of cardio…but you seem to have just hit a plateau and can’t lose weight. The answer may be right under you nose….actually a little further down…right on the top of the kidneys where your adrenal cortex is found.
Adrenal cortex is responsible for the production of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for regulating blood sugar, inflammation, energy production and the regulation of the immune system.
Too little cortisol can lead to problems such as fatigue, exhaustion, and disease of the endocrine system called Addison’s disease. The problem in our society lies in conditions that arise from having TOO MUCH cortisol. Problems such as:
· Weight gain, especially around the abdomen area
· Depressed immune system
· Stomach ulcers
· Accelerated aging
Here is a fun fact for you….diets have a failure rate of about 93-97%. There are several reasons for this, a major one being that we live in a society where time is limited and bad foods are readily available, so we tend to connect the two…quite often actually…leading to a bad habit in diet. Another major factor which you may not know is cortisol….a hormone that is often released in our body in response to stress…..yup, stress…something we experience way too much of. A drastic change in eating habits causes anxiety and stress which releases cortisol.
Its important to know that the release of cortisol is essential to our survival, in fact it’s a defensive mechanism our body has. Our brain is hard wired with automatic responses to protect the body from harm and stress.
Stress=release of cortisol=too much cortisol= fat storage.
Stress can be physical (fatigue), environmental (pollution, drugs), chemical (nutritional deficiency, refined sugar comsuption) or physiological (fear, worry)
An interesting form of physical stress is the “Fight or Flight” response. Imagine your child getting caught in the bottom of the car during an accident. The stress caused on your body is enough for you to have an immediate nervous breakdown, but because of the release of hormones, your body is able to capture an amazing amount of strength to be able to move that car and save your child. During the stress period, the body's self healing mechanisms are held off (healing diverts energy and raw materials away from immediate survival) the immune system is suppressed, glycogen stores in the liver and muscle tissue are mobilized to raise the blood sugar level and digestion. The stomach lining becomes thin and ulcerated and the thymus gland and lymphatic tissue shrinks….Basically what this all means is that all of your body’s energy is put forth to address the stress at hand.
This “Fight or flight” worked well for our ancestors while chasing for their dinner, or running away from becoming dinner. Unfortunately, it does not work so well in today ‘s world of battling traffic, competing for parking spaces, meeting deadlines, watching depressing news. All those things produce the same physiological responses as running for your life. So if the stress does not go away, neither will cortisol.
If you don’t learn to eliminate stress from your life, it will slowly eliminate you! Take a look at the 4 stages that your body goes through while dealing with stress:
(1) REACTION…your body experiences the symptoms from the trauma, infection, cold, heat, chemical irritation, etc. The adrenal glands responds with the release of cortisol and other hormones to neutralize the caused trauma. The heart rate along with your blood pressure goes up, and pupils dilate.
(2) ADAPTATION… after the adrenal glands have enlarged and released large quantities of adrenal cortical hormones (ie cortisol), the symptoms disappear and the individual feels good, is able to regain energy, and is able to function in the presence of the stresses he/she is under. This is one of the most overlooked steps which most people don’t take care of…. which leads to the next state…… exhaustion.
(3) EXHAUSTION…. after an extended period in stage two, your body's reserves of nutritional elements is depleted. The symptoms return and there is now no relief. You may collapse physically, suffer a nervous breakdown, or experience an organ failure (heart attack or stroke.)
(4) DEATH. When the accumulated stress is bigger that the amount of hormones that the body is able to release, the body is no longer able to adapt, rest, or rejuvenate. The consequence is death.
OK--- HOW DO WE CONTROL CORTISOL?
(1) REST---the obvious one, but the very important one. Find the time to take relax, go for a walk outdoors, perform some breathing exercises (see last post) and get a good nights sleep.
(2) EAT---Maintain a low glycemic diet. Sugar handling stress increases cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol, in turn, aggravates the sugar handling situation contributing to the development of high insulin levels and ultimately diabetes.
(3) EXERCISE releases hormones, but within those hormones are happy hormones (endorphins) which neutralizes the cortisol. Exercise also teaches the body how to control hormones naturally. You can literally exercise your stress away.
(4) RELAX….just like number 1, but worth repeating.
(5) SUPPLEMENT YOUR BODY:
Some supplements to control cortisol levels are:
A multi Mineral Supplement once daily.
Mag-C. This is a source of buffered vitamin C and a source of absorbable magnesium.
Advanced Essential Minerals. Mineral absorption and assimilation can be impaired by stressed adrenal glands. Minerals are essential for energy metabolism.
Herbs such as Adaptogens assists the body in coping with stress by restoring hypothalamic cortisol receptor sensitivity. They are a natural combination of Siberian ginseng, Manchurian Thorn Tree extract, Hawthorn extract, Echinopanax elatum and Schisandra.
In summary….it all comes down to lifestyle in order to control that cortisol and get out of that rut. Don’t depend on set workouts, always add a variety of different exercises to every workout. Don’t settle for diets, just remember moderation. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses…learn to relax, meditate, and breathe. You life depends on a healthy lifestyle…so going back to my motto….learn to “Invigorate Your Health, and Upgrade Your Lifestyle.”
By: Kendrick Alexandre Ribeiro (Coach K)
Written by: Katie Skalla
_It's been a long time coming, learning to over come my fears! Since I turned 30 in September I have accomplished and started new journeys that I probably would have never done or questioned myself and talked myself out of doing. This has been all about me! Not anyone else. I have decided that it doesn't get me anywhere trying to please the world, or co-workers, friends, and family that aren't willing to give back!
I have started a business, www.shabamfitness.com Yes, I have had my doubts about it but I'm jumping in! Once again it's all about ME not what others are saying!
I also started a blog! For me mainly to get my thoughts on paper of sorts ;) and help others that have been down the same paths etc.
I also created a Facebook page to help jumpstart my business along with helping others get and stay motivated with their everyday lives!
Biggest part of all, not holding back when trying to help others with their weight loss journeys! I'm going to push them until they tell me to back off!
I wish I would have had someone like myself when I was at my lowest point and needed a jump start or that support to move forward!
It makes me smile and makes my day when I know I have done something to help change someone's life!
Check out more from Katie's blog: http://shabamfitness.blogspot.com/
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Most people know that omega-3 fats are good for you. Do you realize that it’s the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 that is really important? Omega-6 and omega-3 are inversely related, so the more omega-3 you eat, the less omega-6 you have available and vice versa. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory and the typical American consumes too much in his/her diet. The proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 should be 1:1 (it was in our ancestors’ day anyway); however, in the American diet it is closer to 20:1, or even as high as 50:1, depending on the source.
An overabundance of omega-6 leads to inflammation, which can cause or contribute to a slew of chronic conditions such as arthritis, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. I believe this shift in the omega 3:omega 6 ratio is a huge contributing factor to many of our modern diseases.
Which foods contain omega-6 and should they be limited? A diet high in omega-6 would be high in grains and refined oils (safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, sesame oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, and soybean oil). Nearly all processed/packaged foods contain these vegetable oils and these are commonly used in restaurants since they are cheap. So if you eat out of a box and in restaurants regularly, you are probably getting too much omega-6 in your diet.
Omega 3 has been found to decrease inflammation. There have been studies of using omega-3 for pain instead of anti-inflammatory medications. It is also associated with lower risk of heart disease, strokes and heart attacks. Omega-3 is associated with better brain function, especially in the development of newborn’s brains when given to pregnant women, and lower incidence of depression.
Fish and fish oil are good sources of omega-3. (There is also a prescription fish oil on the market. Of course it is name brand only and quite expensive, but drug companies are hoping you will think it is better and safer since it is a prescription and spend the money on it). Currently, I take a teaspoon of liquid fish oil daily (the taste grows on you), but plan on switching to krill oil once I’m all out. I recommend krill oil in place of fish oil because there is less risk of contamination with mercury and it is a more sustainable food source.
Other sources of omega-3 include certain nuts (chestnuts, macadamia, acorn, and hazelnuts), algae, pumpkin seeds, and flax (although flax contains ALA which is broken down to EPA and DHA and many are not able to convert appropriately to get the EPA they need).
Tips to help balance the ratio: limit carbs, replace corn oil and soybean oil with olive oil (best not to cook at high temperatures though), and coconut oil and Ghee butter which are great for cooking.
Written by: Dr Christine Arseneau Check out her blog at: http://www.tinaspharm.com/
Although I remind my clients to eat small meals every 3 hours in order to keep the metabolism going...some still struggle with eating too much.
For those of you that have a hard time controlling your hunger and are contantly overeating during those small meals, here are the best tactics that I have found to work over the years:
1.) CARRY A TOOTBRUSH WITH YOU. Thats right! Leave one at the office, one in the car, and one in your purse. Brushing your teeth will prevent you from overeating or eating when you are really not hungry. Since we are so used to brushing our teeth after a meal, we can trigger or "confuse" the brain into not eating right when you feel hungry, at least not right away.
2.) ALWAYS CARRY A WATER BOTTLE WITH YOU. Wherever you take your cell...or Iphone...take a water bottle. Chemical processes inside the body works best and fastest in an aqueous or wet environment. That includes the metabolic process!!!
3.) CHEW A PIECE OF SUGARLESS GUM. This gives you an oral satisfaction of chewing and can help prevent trigger that false hunger.
Remember, it takes baby steps to achieve your ultimate goal. We don't want to have a start and finish to your fitness program, we want a complete change in your lifestyle, so it takes small changes to achieve your ultimate fitness goals. So include those 3 things in your everyday life in order to get one step closer to your goal. STAY DISCIPLINED!
Got a chance to catch up with Dr. Arseneau (aka Tina) this weekend and got some good insight on some of the topics affecting nutrition for us today. Tina will be writing for the K-Tip Fit Club on a regular basis.
How did you get interested in natural medicine topics?
I have been interested in health since I was young and have always stayed active with sports and dancing. A few years ago I heard about the ‘eating for your blood type diet’ and my mom gave me a book called Eat This and Live. I really began to think about where my food comes from. Then I saw Food Inc. and Food Matters and my passion for food and natural health topics really took off. I started reading and watching everything I could find on these topics and couldn’t believe how much sense it all made, and that I had learned nothing about these topics while in pharmacy school.
What do you want readers of your blog to gain?
I am hoping to spark interest in the topics I discuss in people who did not know they had an interest. I feel like this is information I had to seek out on my own and was not readily available to me, so I want to ensure others have access to this information. I really hope my blog will be able to help people.
What are some topics you may think differently about than the general public/health care field?
There are many of them – Lyme disease, use of fluoride in drinking water, mercury fillings, cancer (use of CT scans, mammograms, Gerson diet, chemotherapeutic agents), artificial sweeteners, genetically modified ingredients, importance of organic eating, MSG, gluten, autism, and controversies with vaccines.
What are some of your other interests/passions?
Traveling, dancing, cooking, spending time with my dogs, and being involved in volunteer work
What are the biggest challenges facing our food supply?
Big corporations like Monsanto taking over and threatening the business of smaller farmers who are trying to do the right thing. I think pesticides and genetically modified crops are a big problem and hope organic farmers can continue to prosper in the current environment.
You are a pharmacist, don’t you endorse medications? Where do you draw the line between the need for modern medicine and being a naturalist?
I would say I am not your typical pharmacist! I think that there definitely is a time and place for medications; however, they are overused in our medical society at this time. Instead of asking why a patient has a certain problem and fixing the actual problem, we give a medication for the symptom. This doesn’t stop the source of the problem so the patient needs to be on the medication long term or the problem comes back. However, it is not solely the fault of physicians – many patients find it easier to take a pill every day then to make lifestyle modifications, so it is a vicious cycle. This leaves people who are seeking to fix the actual problem and to use natural options with very limited information and support.
For more info and exciting topics on nutrition be sure to check out Tina's blog: www.tinaspharm.com
Here is an easy and delicious way to get all your veggies and fruits for the day (and more!)
With a splash of ZICO pineapple coconut water, you get a nutritious, and electrolyte boosting drink. Perfect for runners!
Here's how to make yours: -2 green apples
-1 thumb nail size of Ginger
-7 leaves of Kale
-3 handful of spinach
-1 large carrot
-1 regular size ZICO pineapple flavor
Put it all in the juicer and you'll get about 5 cups of Juice! Enjoy =)
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