5 Tips for Healthy New Years Resolutions

Well, that time is upon us once again where the world goes fitness crazy, health food flies off the shelves and sporting goods stores have a hay-day. New Years is upon us! I remember when I worked in a corporate setting, we used to “joke” about how the gym would be packed January through March and empty April 1st..

All joking aside, every moment you spend working on your health is a positive in the overall span of your life so if you’ve made a commitment to fitness in the past and have since failed, TAKE HEART! The time you spent focused on it will have benefited your overall life!

So as we come in to this new year, I would like to give you some tips to aid in your success, and to help make 2014 the healthiest, fittest year yet!

HEALTHY TIP #1: Write Down Your Goals and Be SPECIFIC

Don’t let yourself get away with vague things like, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get rid of this chicken wing”. Really get down to the nitty-gritty and give yourself a time-line!

For example, if you say, “I want to lose weight”, ask yourself “How many pounds?” then ask yourself, “Is that realistic”? then ask yourself, “How long do I Think this will take”? (Healthy weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds a week). Set short-term goals (5-10 pound increments) and long-term goals and set up rewards that aren’t food along the way.

HEALTHY TIP #2: Pick One or Two Elements of Your Life to Change and Master Them

The biggest way to set yourself up for failure is to overcommit to a drastic change that you have to beat yourself up to follow. Now, there are a very few people who can make a complete life change in a moment but I have found those people are already millionaires so unless you’re a millionaire, take it slow! For example, commit to making it to the gym 5 days a week for an hour. During that time, you do some form of workout, but your commitment is just to get your butt there. Do this with sleep, exercise, diet, etc.

HEALTHY TIP #3: Get More Protein

Though I’ve tried to fight being a meat-head, I have to say that I consistently find protein to be one of the most beneficial elements of your diet to aid in fat loss and muscle gain. I have used my own body as a lab rat and found that if I want to gain mass, I shoot for 2 grams per pound of lean body mass. If I want to lean out, I shoot for 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight. A fat loss person may want to shoot for 1.5 grams per pound of body weight by finding their weight, then their body fat percentage. Calculate what percent of your weight is fat. The other portion of your mass is lean body mass. Multiply this number by 1.5 and aim for it every day.

HEALTHY TIP #4: Get More Veggies

I don’t care if you like them, if you want to succeed, suck it up. Seriously, it’s that easy. I know of many, many people who have had “diseases” cured, lost weight, increased energy and mood, etc. simply by upping veggie intake. If you hate veggies, start juicing. No excuses. Veggies with every meal.

HEALTHY TIP #5: Pick Up a New Active Hobby

Play is the best form of exercise. The less you are inactive, the more you are active, the greater your chances to be physically fit. Besides, nothing is a greater motivator than seeing your gym work pay off in your physical activity. Can you skate faster? Jump higher? Crochet quicker? Whatever it is, incorporate fun in to your life.

Here’s to a happier, healthier, better, more well, fitter life in 2014!!

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I’m Speaking at Better Health!

The date is set and it’s official, I’m going to be giving a seminar at Better Health in Novi!

The date is set for Feb 23rd at 1:00 pm! I’ll be speaking on Paleo style eating and how it can help you reach your new years resolutions. I absolutely love Better Health markets. Their fruits and veggies are incredibly fresh and they have a selection of preservative-free foods that are both unique and exotic. If you haven’t had a chance, stop by a Better Health and check them out, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Anti-Inflammatory Eating: An Easy Way to Check for Food Allergies Part 2

This is part two of the anti-inflammatory eating style. The first, which you can read here, bases on the total clearance of possible inflammatory foods. This one talks about how to start adding back in. Again, besides just a few changes, the following information and all credit belongs to Isabel.

Most people who commit to the plan will see a five to 15 pound weight loss in the first 14 days. Approximately 80 percent of the time people will ask to stay on the meal plan because they now feel so great and are seeing great results! You can stay on this plan until you have reached your goal weight and/or their health conditions have greatly improved.

After 14 days, start adding the following foods back in the order they are listed.  Pay special attention to how you feel after bringing each food back into your meal plan. If previous symptoms come back or if weight loss plateaus, it may be too soon for the introduction of that particular food.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is one of the least inflammatory grains and is well tolerated by most people. It is best to stay away from “instant” rice as it has been heavily processed. There are now breads available that are made from brown rice and crackers and hot cereals as well. The following serving sizes can be added to your Allowable Carbohydrates List:

• ½ cup cooked brown rice

• 1 slice brown rice bread

• 5 small brown rice crackers

½ cup cooked, hot rice cereal

If you are still in a weight loss phase or are continuing to control symptoms of diabetes and/or heart disease, keep your brown rice portion to one per day and choose fruits and vegetables as their carbohydrate choices for other meals.

Sweet Potatoes and White Potatoes

Since potatoes are technically a vegetable, you may have already incorporated these into your meal plans. The glycemic index gives us an idea of how a certain food will affect a person’s blood sugar: if the food is high on the glycemic index, it will cause a quick and large rise in blood sugar. If you are seeking to continue to lose weight or control their blood sugar, potatoes should be kept to the following servings.

• 4 oz sweet potato or white potato (sweet potatoes being lower on the glycemic index)

Potatoes can be added to the Allowable Carbohydrates List and should be kept to one serving per day.

Raw Cheeses

People who can tolerate dairy products do really well on raw cheese (some people because of ethnicity and/or digestive problems do not feel well consuming dairy).

Buying cheese that is “raw” means that it has not been pasteurized or changed in form in any way. This is the best way to consume dairy and the best way to consume cheese (for more information on raw cheese and milk, go to http://www.realmilk.com).

Cheese is not a strong enough protein to be added to the Allowable Proteins list and eaten as a protein choice without being accompanied by another protein (a meat, fish or eggs). Cheese should be kept to the following servings:

1 ounce raw cheese (2 servings per day, maximum)

Remember, the body always knows best, and if a client begins suffering from digestive discomfort, fatigue or a plateau in weight loss, he or she may not do well on cheese and/or dairy products.

Raw Dairy

If your clients have continued to show great progress after the inclusion of raw cheese, they will most likely tolerate raw milk and raw milk products well. Because our society has been led to believe that raw dairy is dangerous, it is best to educate yourself and your client on the benefits of raw dairy and the dangers of pasteurized, homogenized dairy. The truth is the pasteurization process does not provide heat temperatures high enough to kill the dangerous pathogens in the milk, but the heat is high enough to kill off the necessary enzymes in the milk necessary for its digestion. So in essence, pasteurization will kill off the good and leave the bad, just the opposite of what we have been taught.

The topic and benefits of raw dairy have consumed numerous books and web sites.

Dairy can be added alongside another protein choice (as with cheese) in the following servings:

• ½ cup raw organic milk or cream

• ½ cup raw organic cottage cheese

Start your clients on no more than one serving of raw milk, cream or cottage cheese per day. If their health continues to improve, increase the number of servings.

Millet, Quinoa and Spelt

Similar to brown rice, millet, quinoa and spelt are grains that do not tend to cause inflammation in most people. These grains are gluten and wheat free and are well tolerated by most. There are now many breads, crackers and hot cereals that are made from the above mentioned grains and can be great additions to your Allowable Carbohydrates list. If you are still in a weight loss phase or still in the process of control diabetes, hypertension and/or symptoms of heart disease, too many servings of grains can stop progress. Assess your progress and determine if the addition of more servings of grains is appropriate for them and their current state of health. If you are doing very well, they may be able to tolerate more grains in their meal plans in the following servings:

• ½ cup cooked millet, quinoa, or spelt

• 1 slice spelt bread

• ½ cup cooked millet, quinoa or spelt hot cereal

To start, only allow two servings of grains per day (remember this already includes brown rice)

Ezekial bread and Ezekial based products

Ezekial bread belongs to the family of “sprouted grains” bread and is better tolerated by most people than regular “whole wheat” bread. In Paul Chek’s book How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!, he explains that the process of sprouting grains changes a grain’s composition in numerous ways to make it more beneficial as a food. It increases the content of vitamins and breaks down certain mineral blockers that make the bread much more digestible. Sprouting also breaks down the complex sugars responsible for intestinal gas, and considering how many Americans are suffering from indigestion, irritable bowl syndrome and constipation, this is extremely important.

If your clients continue to feel well, they may be able to incorporate one to two slices of Ezekial bread into their daily meal plan.

The above mentioned serving sizes are not set in stone and, of course, will be individual from client to client. It is your goal and the goal of your clients to let their bodies dictate which foods make them feel well and which foods make them feel lethargic, bloated and do not allow for weight loss to continue. This will be a learning process for both you and your client for some time, but the results will be phenomenal. It is our goal to help our clients create a meal plan that is realistic for them to maintain for a lifetime, so that they may enjoy and maintain their weight loss and a new level of health for a lifetime!

References:

1. Chek, Paul. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!, San Diego, CA: CHEK Institute, 2004

2. De Los Rios, Isabel. The Diet Solution: Start Eating and Start Living. Florham Park, NJ: New Body, 2008.

3. Fallon, Sally, with Mary G. Enig. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, 2nd Edition. Washington, DC: New Trends, 2001.

4. Mercola, Joseph, with Alison Rose Levy. The No-Grain Diet: Conquer Carbohydrate Addiction and Stay Slim for the Rest of Your Life. New York, NY: Dutton, 2003.

5. Schmid, Ron ND. The Untold Story of Milk. Washington, DC: New Trends, 2003.

Anti-inflammatory Eating: An Easy Way to Check for Food Allergies Part 1

Click here for part two of this article.

Inflammation is sneaky…as an often overlooked component of health, inflammation is the starting point for heart disease and a major reason why i believe people have issues losing weight or increasing muscle.
So what the heck is it?

Think of the last time you got a cut and the area got red and puffy. That’s inflammation. The difference between the inflammation inside and outside your body is that you don’t feel the stuff on the inside…at least, not directly. As your skin reacts to attack from foreign objects, so your organs will react to inflammatory foods. The effects of inflammation can be felt in the forms of allergies, problem weight loss, cold symptoms, fatigue, mid-day crashes, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, etc.
It’s possible that you are allergic to certain foods and don’t even know it.
Its been my experience that most people who initially come to me for help are functioning on about 50% of their natural energy levels. They are usually relatively unmotivated to change because they believe what they feel as 50% is actually 100%. Imagine their shock when I help them get double the energy!
Much of the information below (with a few edits) is an excerpt of a 2008 article written by Isabel De Los Rios and published n PT on the NET. The info has helped me solve nutrition issues for many of my clients and yielded incredible results.

The following approach will make it easy to learn exactly which foods you can eat and which foods to avoid.

In order to find exactly which foods may be irritating, they must eliminate all possible culprits for 14 days. Almost every client can agree to 14 days. And after they have seen dramatic results in just two weeks, they are now more inclined to stick with the program!

FOODS TO EAT
1. For every meal you eat, choose one food from the A column and one from the B column.

A. Proteins –Whole Organic Eggs• Free Range Chicken, Duck, Pheasant (white and dark meat)• Free Range Turkey (white and dark meat)• Grass Fed Beef, Buffalo, Lamb, Venison• All Wild fish (no canned tuna)• Raw almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, filberts, pecans, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seedsRaw Nut Butters from the above mentioned nuts

B. Fruits and Vegetables – All vegetables (except for Iceberg Lettuce and Corn)All fruits (except for dried or canned)

Can be used at each meal –Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (preferably raw)• Butter (no margarine or any other fake butter)Coconut Oil (Organic, Extra Virgin)

Unlimited – All Spices• Only Celtic Sea Salt (no other salt is permitted)• Stevia (as a sweetener)Herbal Teas

2.  Sample Menu:

Breakfast: 3 organic eggs, spinach and peppers, cooked in butter or coconut oil1 banana

Snack: 1 green apple2 TBSP Raw Almond Butter

Lunch: 5 oz Salmon• Over large salad (Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Celery)• 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon JuiceStrawberries or Blueberries

Snack: 2 TBSP Raw Walnut ButterBaby Carrots

Dinner:  Chicken Legs• Sautéed Broccoli cooked in butter• Large green salad with Olive Oil and Lemon dressing.

3.  “If it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t eat it!” It’s that simple.

FOODS TO AVOID

Inflammatory Foods – Wheat, Gluten and Grains 

“But I eat whole wheat bread instead of white.” Regardless, the human body was not designed to eat the breads we have in this country today. Just a quick glance at the health condition of our population and the amount of breads, cereals and grains we all consume, and it’s quite obvious that it is a poor choice for most of us. Whereas five years ago, it may have been more difficult to explain to clients to stay away from wheat and grains (bread, pastas, cereal, crackers), most of them now know how harmful it is to their health.

1. Dairy – “But I drink skim milk instead of whole.” or “Where will I get my calcium from?” Regardless of the variety of milk you consume, dairy in this country is not in the form nature intended. Because of pasteurization, the high heat kills off all the necessary enzymes in the milk that we need to digest (thus the high prevalence of lactose intolerance and irritable bowl syndrome in this country). You can argue pasteurization is necessary to kill off bacteria, but in reality, the high heat temperatures of pasteurization are actually not high enough to kill off the pathogens most people are worried about. So this practice kills off the good and leaves the bad. You will absorb more calcium from green leafy vegetables than any amount of milk you can consume. When I take clients off of dairy, the results are phenomenal. Once they have seen a significant amount of weight loss and improvement in health, I talk to them about incorporating raw dairy into their meal plan. If they are not open to it, then dairy is not an option.

2.  Sugar and foods containing sugar – Sugar, by far, is one of the most abused drugs in this country (and yes, I did call it a drug). It causes everything from rotting teeth to diabetes to most cancers. Even if you are not a candy or dessert eater, there is a ton of sugar in most food! If you were to total up the amount of sugar from their daily juices, sodas, processed foods and dressings, it could add up to 20 teaspoons of sugar a day!
any word ending in “-ose” on a package usually means sugar (i.e., sucrose, maltose, glucose).

3. Artificial Sweeteners and Packaged Foods – If they can’t pronounce it, they are not allowed to eat it. So NO diet foods of any type (Jell-O, Diet Coke, frozen dinners, etc.).
In Part 2 of this article series, I will list the most common questions I get from clients during this two week period and exactly how I transition them out of this preliminary phase.

References:

1. Chek, Paul. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy. San Diego, CA: CHEK Institute, 2004

.2. De Los Rios, Isabel. The Diet Solution: Start Eating and Start Living. Florham Park, NJ: New Body, 2008.

3. Fallon, Sally, with Mary G. Enig. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, 2nd Edition. Washington, DC: New Trends, 2001.

4. Mercola, Joseph, with Alison Rose Levy. The No-Grain Diet: Conquer Carbohydrate Addiction and Stay Slim for the Rest of Your Life. New York, NY: Dutton, 2003.

Tip 4: What Makes us Fat: Calories or Hormones?

One of the hottest battles is waged between the ideas that 1- fatness is caused by eating too much and  2-fatness is caused by chemical issues within the body. The first will say that fat people simply lack the will-power to exercise and eat right while the latter will say that fat-people are mere victims of their metabolism.
Because many are familiar with the calories in vs. calories out concept, I’ll write about hormonal weight loss and summarize my stance at the end. When you exercise, you expect to lose weight. The equation seems simple until you realize that exercise doesn’t make you lose weight.
Thats right, i said it. Exercise doesn’t make you lose weight.
Exercise simply forces your body to increase or decrease the production or use of hormones, proteins and enzymes. These chemicals, once increased or active, cause a chain of reactions that make your body use (burn) fat tissue, sugar or muscle for fuel and repair. If calories can be equated to bricks, another way to understand this may be to say; regardless of the quantity of bricks, you will never shape the house you want without appropriately placed cement. This chemical process is the cement of your body.
Lifestyle and nutrition choices create and shape the cement that makes your body work. For example, magnesium and chromium play big roles in the body’s ability to burn up the sugar you eat…make sense? It makes sense to the supplement industry. These two minerals, along with caffeine, are found in almost all “fat-burning” weight-loss supplements and drinks and companies are making a fortune off of simple science. Fish oil, in the right amounts, increases Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) to help use stored fat and absorb sugar. Getting appropriate amounts of sleep will help lower fat-storing stress hormone and boost the function of immunoglobulins in the blood to boost your immune system. Strength training boosts growth hormone, sex hormone and IGF-1 which increases fat and sugar use and builds muscle..the list goes on and on…
All of these examples further my statement…exercise, on its own, does not make you lose fat or gain muscle.
If you think I’m crazy for saying hormones are largely responsible for fat gain or loss, consider people you know who take anti-depressants, steroids, long-term antibiotics or insulin. Most of these people will begin to gain copious amounts of body fat, despite burning calories and eating very little. Now you can tell them why.
The takeaway: Chemical processes in the body which are stimulated by exercise, nutrition and lifestyle are responsible for body composition, NOT exercise. Some of the above tips may help with fitness.

On the other hand, hormone regulation is not the only answer. We can’t simply gorge ourselves on good food. Understand that eating causes a temporary boost in endorphins (feel-good chemicals) which is why many eat when they are bored or sad. Gorging yourself on chicken, fish, nuts, etc. etc, will make you gain weight.
My personal experienceI gain body fat really quickly. Though I maintain a body fat of 6- 11%, I can give none of the credit to an overachieving metabolism. Before I believed in anything other than calories in vs. calories out, I would have to eat a diet of beans, spinach, a couple triscuits and a protein shake a day. So I would consume roughly 1000 to 1200 calories a day and then work out 12 hours a week to stay that low. That activity didn’t include walking to college classes and playing volleyball/basketball 3-4 hours a day. Since adjusting my lifestyle, I consume 2000 to 2500 calories of meat, veggies, full-fat foods and work out about 4 to 5  hours a week. The difference is astounding and I feel fully satisfied. I try to reserve my “cheat days” to one day a week but I fail often with a few select friends!
My point is this: since changing my eating to revolve around hormonal balance, not just the calories in vs calories out, My cravings are fewer and my body fat stays lower. It’s so much easier…maybe this could be your answer, too.
The takeaway: Aligning your lifestyle will help you feel more satisfied and allow you to choose your food rather than fighting it because your body is starving on a chemical level.

So what do I do now? Dont get me wrong, you have to exercise. But knowledge about the way your bosy works will keep you from purely doing MORE MORE MORE. Exercise the right way to stimulate an internal response. Eat, sleep and line up your life to do the same. Stay tuned for more advice on HOW to exercise and what to do to change your body from the inside out.
Wakutsu, et al. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors

Tip 3: Easy Steps to Lose Weight Without Starving

You should never starve yourself to lose weight.  If you are, something you are doing is wrong.
I know you have carefully researched the USDA food pyramid and eat exactly according to your calories in vs. calories out goals, you have the right magazine advice and eat low-fat everything but listen to me.
If you’re starving, you’re wrong and I’ll tell you how to fix it.

1. Take 3 to 6 grams of omega 3 from fish oil a day. 

This is ground zero and the type you take matters. Forget the amount of fish oil written on the front and look for EPA and DHA on the back. Take enough to get as close to 6 grams as you can for a couple weeks, then taper off a bit depending on your body. The stuff increases peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, which aid in using fat on a molecular level.  It also helps rebalance your Omega 6 to omega 3 ratio, which will help lower inflammation within the body

2. Take a multivitamin
Dump the centrum. Search consumer labs.com for a quality multi you can afford. Without enough vitamins and minerals, your body can not function properly, which means no matter how much you exercise, your body won’t use the fat you want it to and you stay fat.

3. Eat meat with every meal
Try to move toward exotic, grass-fed and free range animals like elk, grass-fed beef, kangaroo, buffalo, etc. these meat have far higher levels of Omega 3 and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). CLA will decrease your body’s production of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that makes your body store fat. You can also get CLA in milk and eggs.
Don’t worry about the saturated fat…I’ll write on this later but it’s carb and trans fats that are the real enemy. While saturated fat raises bad cholesterol a little, it raises good cholesterol a LOT.

4. Eat seeds and nuts as a snack
Pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans and walnuts are some of the best choices around Pumpkin seeds have a tremendously high magnesium count, which is good if you want your sugar absorbers to work well. Yes, they are high fat but the fat is mostly Omega 3 and the snack will make you really satisfied.
5. Eat tons of raw veggies
This is your carb, devour them! You can also cook them lightly in olive or coconut oil but make sure they stay bright…less cooking time equals more nutrients.

6. Drop gluten, all sweets and dairy for two weeks
You may have an allergy and not know it. If you hop back on after two weeks and notice fatigue, swelling, lethargy, itching or bloating and gas, you’re probably allergic or intolerant and it could be slowing your weight loss and killing your body.

7. Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night
No tv or computer right before. Think about melatonin if you can’t sleep.

8. Only eat when you feel hungry and stop when you feel satisfied
Break your emotional attachment to food.

9. If you can’t kill it with a spear or it isn’t bright green, yellow or orange, don’t eat it.
Easy enough.

There’s your starting point. You will not starve, you WILL drop fat and you will be healthy  if you do this. Remember, this is not a diet, its a lifestyle. Good luck!