Category Archives: articles

Indulging in Treats and Napping Just May be Your Key to a Healthy Holiday Season

download

The holiday season is full of celebrations. From office parties to family events, everyone gathers to spread a little extra cheer. While people may be wary of what all of the holiday treats will mean for their health, avoiding all of the revelry could cause more harm than good.  Creating a balance between restraint and indulgence will help sustain physical, mental and emotional well-being. Come out of the holiday season feeling just as good as you did when you went in with these easy tips.

Choose wisely.

During the holidays there are tempting treats everywhere you turn. From cookies at the office to fondue at the holiday party, your favorites can be hard to resist. But if you choose your treats wisely, you can guiltlessly enjoy every bite.

Browse the buffet line for healthy options like veggies or fruit, shrimp cocktails or chicken skewers so you won’t have to skip dessert. You can always share a sweet treat with someone else to keep you accountable. And if you’re worried about not having the will power, it’s a good idea to eat 1.5 ounces of healthy protein before an event to keep you feeling satiated.

Don’t deny yourself.

Food is connected to family, culture, tradition and celebration, and it should be a source of enjoyment. Avoid creating a list of items you cannot have. “When it comes to tempting foods, forbidding them only makes you want them even more,” says Debbie Swanson, registered dietician, and nutrition and healthy-cooking tips instructor at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Colorado. She suggests eating smaller portions of your favorites, such as a bite of pie instead of the whole piece. “My friend makes the best apple pie. I always have two bites,” Swanson says.

Work it off.

The best way to prevent the extra pounds from sneaking up on you is to engage in a regular exercise routine. Doing something as simple as parking farther away from the office or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help increase the number of steps you take each day.

Individuals typically gain around two pounds during the holidays, according to the Mayo Clinic. “The problem is that we don’t lose the weight,” Swanson says. Rather than adding weight that you have to work off later, maintain a workout regimen or find other ways to burn the calories you consume throughout the busy day.

Make “me” time.

Research over the past two decades has begun to demonstrate the strong connection between mental health and the strength of the immune system, which affects overall physical well-being, according to Jim Wasner, dean for the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University | Schaumburg. Wasner says that the strength and resilience of everyone’s overall immune system, feeling depressed or overly anxious, often correlates with poorer physical health and vulnerability to illnesses. “Relax and schedule time for yourself,” he says.” Go easy on the alcohol and sugar. Catch up on your sleep.” Maintaining this overall balance will keep you physically and mentally healthy during the holiday season.

Allow yourself to enjoy the celebrations, just maintain the balance between health-conscious and indulgent decisions so the holidays don’t get the best of you.

Seriously though, be more like this otter images (omg this little guy is so cute and really just wanted a reason to put this somewhere lol) and just chillout a little. The effects of stress and stressing out about a pound or two or and inch or two :p will do you more harm than the laughter and enjoyment you will experience from the little bit of indulgence with good friends and family 😉

Four Flu Fighting Foods

As the saying goes, the best offense is a good defense. In terms of your health, this means prevention  prior to treatment. With the cold and flu season upon us, you want to arm yourself with the right arsenal of weapons to ward off the ills and blahs.

th

To get your immune system warriors on their guard, incorporating some of the following foods may help to fight off what could mean a week or two of feeling sluggish, stuffed up wheezy:

1. Whey Protein – the benefits of whey go far beyond simply helping you to build and maintain muscle mass (along side training of course!). Quality whey protein may help to reduce inflammation by means of reducing cytokine secretion (1) which is a major factor in health.  Whey is rich in substances called immunoglobins like bifidobacterium and lactoferrin,  and is an excellent source of the amino acid cysteine which is a precursor to the powerful antioxidant glutathione (3).

2. Stank foods aka Garlic and Onions – These two foods (or spices if you may) may act as natural antibiotics due to their compounds called allium cepa L, antioxidant (flavonoid) called quercetin, and allium sativa (4,5). Basically, the horrible stink that these foods give your breath is actually really good for your gut health and immune system. Bite in and ward off vampires AND cold and flu 🙂

3. Hard boiled eggs – I don’t know why foods that stink have to be so good for us but they just are! Whole eggs are rich in fatty acids, choline, B vitamins and sulfur (hydrogen sulfide). Sulfur (which is one of the reasons hard boiled eggs stink) is something often overlooked as being of importance in our diets. This nutrient can actually help to boost our bodies ability to fight off inflammation as well as to help produce the health promoting vitamin/hormone D and the ridiculously powerful immune promoting n-acetyl-cysteine (6,7) .

4. Sprouts – Whether it be alfalfa, clover or soybean, this family of food or herb, is a great addition to soups, salads and sandwiches for their immune promoting, cell protecting polyphenols, antioxidants and flavones. We often get sick in the first place because of too much mental, physical and oxidative stress and this group of foods may help to battle that damage off (8).

Summary

This can be a tough time of the year for many in terms of colds and flu. If you start incorporating these foods into your diet now before getting fully into the sickness season, you just might be able to fully enjoy the holidays this season with your loved ones instead of with a box of tissues and prescriptions. Seriously though, punch sickness in the face!

References:

1. Cross, M. L., & Gill, H. S. (1999). Modulation of immune function by a modified bovine whey protein concentrate. Immunology and cell biology, 77(4), 345-350.

2. Kau, A. L., Ahern, P. P., Griffin, N. W., Goodman, A. L., & Gordon, J. I. (2011). Human nutrition, the gut microbiome and the immune system. Nature,474(7351), 327-336.

3. Keri Marshall, N. D. (2004). Therapeutic applications of whey protein.Alternative Medicine Review, 9(2), 136-156.

4. (ok so we are not chickens but I digress) Goodarzi, M., Landy, N., & Nanekarani, S. (2013). Effect of onion (Allium cepa L.) as an antibiotic growth promoter substitution on performance, immune responses and serum biochemical parameters in broiler chicks. Health, 5, 1210.

5. Dash, P., Yadav, S., & Sahoo, P. K. (2014). Immunoadjuvant effect of garlic (Allium sativum)–mineral oil suspension on immunity and resistance to Aeromonas hydrophila infection in rohu, Labeo rohita. International Aquatic Research, 6(3), 167-173.

6. Santus, P., Corsico, A., Solidoro, P., Braido, F., Marco, F. D., & Scichilone, N. (2014). Oxidative Stress and Respiratory System: Pharmacological and Clinical Reappraisal of N-Acetylcysteine. COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

7. http://www.elizabethpavka.com/nutrition-articles/nutrient-articles/NAcetylCysteineforDepression,Fibromyalgie,IBS,Cancer%20Prevention,DetoxificationandMore.pdf

8. Sharma, G., Prakash, D., Gupta, C., Prakash, D., & Sharma, G. (2014). Phytochemicals of nutraceutical importance: do they defend against diseases?. Phytochemicals of Nutraceutical Importance, 1.

The Not-So-Sexy Side of Sexy Results

Stop lying to yourself if you keep saying, “Pfft I don’t train to look good that’s for narcissistic shallow people. I train for performance. I train movements not muscles”, and on it goes. You lie and we all do sometimes. GET OVER IT! WE ALL WANT TO LOOK SEXY. When did that become a bad thing anyways?

Sexy is subjective and goes hella far beyond the exterior physical crap but don’t deny yourself that you do want to look a certain way or you will never get the results you actually do want. Looking, feeling and “being good” is ideal absolutely, but the first step in recognizing what your true heart desires most will help you to stop wasting precious time, money and energy on things not serving you.

It is an unfortunate truth that first impressions, ahem, how you look, will get you farther faster (faster being the key word because I promise you that part does not sustain anything!) so instead of poo-pooing things that might not be trendy right now, embrace what truly needs to be done to get the results you want. You want to feel better, look better, have more and better sex, feel energized, succeed faster in getting your foot in the door? I thought so.download (1)

The not-so-sexy side of sexy results means that a. you need to train with your real goal in mind or the one that best serves your entire life, b. you need to train with intensity, c. oh yes you need to body build (see below as to why this is deemed the not-so-sexy side).

Did I freak you out there ladies thinking that you are going to get manly and huge (ha! good luck with that!) and guys did I make you think you will get immobile with a distended belly and more veins on your forearms than on your ummm you know 😉 No that is not what body building is. What you are thinking of is the sport of UNNATURAL bodybuilding and that, at least to me and many like me, is not so sexy. Do not get me wrong there is nothing wrong with what you like as that person or as the likee of that person, it is just not for me physically just as I am not for everyone either lol.

By the way ladies, for over a decade I have been trying to put on and more importantly hold onto muscle (I did a lot of activity and feeding for refuel and recovery sufficiently is tough with that) and believe me it is not as easy as you believe it to be. Read that again…I actually try to gain size in certain areas so you who doesn’t want size, don’t worry about it!

So you want the sexy side now right? Well that is going to mean a few things. You will need to drop your endless cardio, bootcamp training and huff-puff, sweat it all out, ouch my joints hurt type of workouts and you will need to eat. There is a place for those types of workouts and temporarily “not eating”  aka the kids call it intermittent fasting these days :p but right now no.

If you have been slaving away for months doing those types of things and you are only softer and more miserable, let it go, change your mindset to gaining vs losing and tax your muscles other than your heart muscle. Lifting weights in the 6-12 rep range is a great range to play in while also gaining some strength. Rest a little between sets.  Oh and p.s. most of those people you see who only do those types of activities did not build themselves that way. Truestory that there is more to those stories.

Focus on the rep range above, compound movements like deadlifts, squats, rows and presses until your muscles burn, eat a lot of food with protein being a big factor and some level of rest is required. Women tend to be able to take and get better results with more volume (closer to the higher end of the rep range) and men with more intensity less volume although this varies on body types, genetics etc.

 download

Every body is different but those are some pretty solid guidelines to go with for results. Is this post a sexy post? No, but sometimes truth is not so sexy and fancy “add ons” and crazy ish is not what will get you sexy sustainable results. You still need to train hard no matter what you do, but choose wisely on what you do and keep the add-ons as add-ons.

Quit Arguing

untitled 

If you are passionately involved in the health, fitness and performance field, which clearly you are if you are reading this, you no doubt have come across some argumentative aspects on various training modalities. I want to shed some light on two of the most popularly argued protocols/modalities. Thinking one is horrible or being best is not only absurd and a waste of energy, but it may be holding you and your clients back from progressing.

Let me first start with the popular “muscle confusion” form of training and Crossfit. I put these two together because many stake them with several commonalities, similarities that will prove my point of neither being “bad” per se as many will adamantly argue. First of all, Crossfit is a SPORT and secondly, along with the term muscle confusion, is a marketing term for a concept of pretty much “random activity” by definition of what has been accepted as majority. This does not mean that that is true because a lot of the coaches actually do have great ways of tracking and have methods to their “madness”. I will say this, neither concept was invented anytime recently as athletic forms of various training and cross training in general has been around for decades. So don’t argue that. The sport is new(er).

The somewhat randomness is not necessarily a bad thing if your goals are to simply lose some fat, gain some conditioning and if you are a newbie, potentially gain some lean mass. Or is you are advanced, you can get jacked too due to the high loads and volume. Is there a rhyme of reason for doing 30 snatches at high speed with no rest followed by kip-ups and 50 box jumps? No, unless you are training for the sport of Crossfit. That is where I believe people lose sight of things.  Is it bad to confuse your muscles each time you train with different movements and modalities like lifts with HIIT? No, absolutely not unless you are training for a particular sport and need to have the proper movement patterns and nervous system adaptations. Will your joints and nervous system pay for things later? Yeah probably but if you go in knowing that and are willing to stake that claim, that’s your decision. Live and let live.

There are actually some similarities between conjugate and contrast training as well as undulating periodization to these two highly ridiculed forms of training. In fact, the somewhat “randomness” of these types of activities can actually be more helpful to many who have hit  a fat loss plateau or have several years of training under their belts.  You must have a good coach as well as be gradually introduced to these methods but in terms of fat loss, efficiency is something you do not want and to become efficient, you must have repeat behaviors. You also want to keep these to shorter not longer and more frequent bouts unless it is solely your job to do this.

Next up is another two concepts that often has trainers or trainees confused or arguing. The debate of slow and moderate cardio versus balls to the walls HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio or HIRT (high intensity resistance training circuits) for goal attainment is one that I’m sure will not die anytime soon.  If you are looking for performance enhancement, fat loss and muscle retention, HIIT and HIRT seem to be the surefire winner. Does this mean that slow or moderate cardio should be demolished? Absolutely not. If you or your clients have joint issues, injuries or an already stressful lifestyle plus hit the weights with good intensity, further adding to the already high levels of stress with HIIT/HIRT can make them feel rundown, sick and even make them lose muscle and gain fat over time. Some people just cannot get the physiological response safely with certain types of activities.

Slow to moderate cardio work is a great tool for not only burning off some calories, because they DO ultimately count in terms of fat loss, but it also serves as a mental stimulator and a form of movement meditation for some, as well as it helping your clients to recover from their training. Neither form of cardio should be relied on solely or dismissed as they can greatly compliment each other.

There are so many methods of training, schools of thought that many will waste time arguing on. Having an open mind to various protocols and seeing them for what they are as well as the potential within the methods, will greatly enhance your ability to help your clients and yourself.  If you are looking to improve at a sport, you will want to become efficient in movements, neurological and physiological aspects, but if you are looking to just have some fun with training to be healthy, fit and maybe shed some fat, you will want to be inefficient.

While I firmly believe in getting the basics down first, I am not here to dictate to you my opinions on your best ways to achieve goals and outcomes. I am just here to shed some light and make you think for yourself in an industry so filled with those wanting to lessen critical thinking for their own agendas. The main thing is to prevent injuries and to help make people better in their lives. This means finding the methods and modalities your clients enjoy and respond well to even if it goes against what some may say.

When it comes down to it, you want to continually educate yourself on all sides of an argument in terms of training methods. Don’t fall into the trap that you need to have yourself or your clients doing it all because it is the hot thing right now. There are far too many factors involved and it is supposed to be about making people better at life isn’t it? (Again, we are talking non-sport specific as that is a whole other game).

You must also remember that these are your clients so who should really be dictating your goals, programs and outcomes? You and your client that’s who! Find the fit for them based on what their lives, needs and bodies can do and handle, yourself included. Do what makes you and/or your peeps happy, healthy and feeling good. Don’t tell them, educate them. Help lead them. To that there is not argument.

 

 

 

My Protein Shake Brings All The Boys To The Yard

In case you haven’t gotten the gist of the title, it is a play on this:

…and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, protein rocks for a rocking figure. If you are a foxy lady trying to bring more sass while tightening up your ass, get some more protein in your diet…seriously. BUTT (lol see what I did there) you must also put in the work by lifting some weights or you can forget about really changing your body composition and shape.

How can protein help you feel better AND give you more game ladies? Well let me give you a quick 411 on some of this macronutrients macro superpowers (FYI macro means large, big, major).

  • Protein will help to rebuild and maintain the sculpted muscle you have been working on for shapeliness.
  • Protein will help you to have more balanced energy for the things you love to do, or have to do.
  • Protein can provide you with amino acids that help with mental health and focus.
  • Protein will help to keep you satiated which means less hunger pangs and less of a chance of overdosing on your calories.
  • Protein will help to give you strong and lustrous hair, skin and nails.

So what are some solid sources of protein you ask? There is a difference between animal sources and vegetarian sources where animal sources are always complete, only some vegetarian sources are.

  • Chicken, turkey, fish, ostrich, beef, eggs
  • Complete : Soy, tempeh Incomplete but complimentary: beans, nuts, seeds, legumes (complete means that the source provides all of the amino acids that make up a full protein. The incomplete yet complimentary mean that individually the source does not provide all of the amino acids to make a full protein but if you consume them together, you can get the complete range of aminos.)
  • Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, low fat cheeses (Allegro makes the lowest fat highest protein source I have found)
  • Powders like whey, casein, vegetarian versions with things like pea and hemp combos

How much protein should you get in a day?

This is very individual but an idea would be between 1-2g/kg depending on how much you train and the types of activities, how YOU respond to a higher protein diet, as well as what your goal is at the time.

If you want have more energy, look better (yes we ALL do so enough already), and even perform better at school, work, sport, sex…up the ante by upping your protein.

 

Artichoke Water Chokes Out Coconut Water?

It is really no surprise that with the overwhelming success of coconut water over the past few years, someone would want to take it on with a new hot ticket. This hot new ticket seems to be artichoke water.

Artichokes are well known for their good gut health prebiotic inulin content, their antioxidant and immune promoting caffeic and chlorogenic acid (1), as well as their ability to help reduce the damaging effects of oxidation of the “bad” low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (2).  Well we know how artichokes themselves can benefit us but water about artichoke water and will this new product hold its weight in a battle up again coconut water?

thFG2WN0SW

Coconut Water:

  • Closest fluid to our very own blood plasma. This means our bodies “welcome” it better than  other sources for properly balanced rehydration.
  • Has fewer calories, sugar, sodium and more potassium than most sports drinks.
  • There is some evidence showing it can help reduce oxidative stress while also being a good source of phytohormones which may help to protect and strengthen cells (3,4).
  • Excellent source of enzymes, electrolytes, good source of B vitamins

logo-hdr

Artichoke Water:

  • Protective effects on the liver (5,6)
  • Good source of electrolytes and B vitamins
  • Rich in phytonutrients like quercetin and cynarin
  • Promotes good gut health, blood sugar and possible aid in reducing inflammation(7)

Neither of these drinks are miracle cures for anything but both do offer their own kick ass benefits. Drinking straight up water for the majority of your hydration and health needs should be your first priority but if you are just someone looking to improve their health with the occasional alternative beverage, both are great choices. If you are an athlete or consistently train for over an hour, you will want to add some sodium to these beverages to facilitate the best rehydration. Salt is our friend sweaty people :).  I think the artichoke water has a way to go in knocking out coconut water as the competition in your health arsenal but really, I feel they don’t need to as they can be complimentary.

P.S NOPE I am not pushing a product or otherwise just giving you some deets on some new product hitting the market 🙂 Watch the sugar content in BOTH and be mindful of how and why you are consuming EITHER beverage. If you want a different taste sensation or other health promoting benefits, try the new kid on the block (no not Donnie, Joey, Danny, Jordan or Jonathan 😮 ) th7MKIM4WC

References:

  1. Perez-Garcia, F., Tomas, A., & Canigueral, S. Activity of artichoke leaf extract on reactive oxygen species in human leukocytes. Free Radical Research, 33, 661-665. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from http://informahealthcare.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10715760000301171
  2. Brown, J. E., & Rice-Evans, C. A. Luteolin-rich artichoke extract protects low density lipoprotein from oxidation in vitro. Free Radical Research, 29, 247-255. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from http://informahealthcare.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10715769800300281
  3. Manna, K.; Khan, A.; Kr. Das, D.; Bandhu Kesh, S.; Das, U.; Ghosh, S.; Sharma Dey, R.; Das Saha, K.; Chakraborty, A.; Chattopadhyay, S.; Dey, S.; Chattopadhyay, D. Protective effect of coconut water concentrate and its active component shikimic acid against hydroperoxide mediated oxidative stress through suppression of NF-κB and activation of Nrf2 pathway. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2014.
  4. Ma, Z., Ge, L., Lee, A. S., Yong, J. W. H., Tan, S. N., & Ong, E. S. (2008). Simultaneous analysis of different classes of phytohormones in coconut (< i> Cocos nucifera</i> L.) water using high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry after solid-phase extraction. Analytica chimica acta, 610(2), 274-281.
  5. Gebhardt, R. (1995). Protective antioxidant activity of extracts of artichokes in hepatic cells. Medizinische Welt, 46(7), 393-395.
  6. Kim, M., & Shin, H. K. (1998). The water-soluble extract of chicory influences serum and liver lipid concentrations, cecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations and fecal lipid excretion in rats. The Journal of nutrition, 128(10), 1731-1736.
  7. Rumessen, J. J., Bodé, S., Hamberg, O., & Gudmand-Høyer, E. (1990). Fructans of Jerusalem artichokes: intestinal transport, absorption, fermentation, and influence on blood glucose, insulin, and C-peptide responses in healthy subjects. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 52(4), 675-681.

 

Mind Muscle Connection

It is a given that in order to reshape your body and change your body composition, you must put on some lean muscle. This can mean different amounts to different people but having a good foundation of muscle will help with adding shape, the repartitioning of nutrients for fat loss, energy and health, as well as preventing injury, making you stronger, and helping “tighten up” your body.images

There are many different styles of resistance training out there. None of them are flat out wrong per se, but very often there is a major factor missing that will hold you back regardless of the method. This factor is the mind to muscle connection, the ability to actually create tension in the muscles.

Truly concentrating on creating tension aka putting stress on the muscles you are working, be it in lifting weights or with calisthenics, you will facilitate greater strength, movement ability and a better level of body composition due to the awesome muscle you can build with focus. This mind to muscle connection prevents you from just going through the motions and putting all of the stress on your nervous system or joints

images1

From learning how to properly brace, to being able to put actual tension on your muscles instead of using momentum, it takes a lot of practice, focus and intention. This particular practice is so often ignored but is one of the most important for preventing injuries as well as for developing a body that is healthy, lean, athletic, agile and functional. You must also realize the importance of being in that moment and focusing on your goal instead of just checking out the hotties in the gym 😉

Our minds are our most powerful weapons when it comes to our bodies. They must work together to be optimal. To simply focus on dieting, cardio, circuits and throwing weights, is shortchanging yourself from being your best. The ability to focus and work with intent should first be the goal as it will make the more superficial things like losing fat, building a booty, become that much simpler. Control your mind and you can control your body.

 

This is Your Brain, Your Fat Loss and Your Performance on Creatine NOT Drugs

I have been too busy writing for others hence my ignoring of my own bloggerooni. Did you miss me? I hope so 🙂 Yet again I am revamping things and this blogs randomness will soon be less random and arbitrary and just more awesome (I hope lol). I was prompted to write this recent post as the sexy vixen Shannon Crane  saw a post I made on Facebook about creatine aiding fat loss and was like, “wassup wit dat”? Okay so that is not exactly how she said it but I digress.

untitled

This post is nothing ooh la la super new and cutting edge as most everyone knows of creatine. To be honest with you as I always hope to do (always learning!), the ooh la la supplements that come out every week promising you magic, are mostly BS and good ole creatine is NOT. Boring? Maybe, but LEGIT. There are enough posts out there delivering info on this stuff in a complex manner. This is why I will keep it simple and yes will include for you a few references. There are a TON on its efficacy in various areas I will cover though with my primary focus on how the eff this stuff can help fat loss.

Hopefully at this point in time you understand that training hard but smart and not just longer and more is better. Hopefully you also understand this means intensity is key for transforming your body as well as your health and performance. This is where you will realize that you should befriend and totally BFF creatine.

This is your brain on creatine:

Supplementation with creatine has been shown to help reduce oxidative (damage) stress in our brain while also improving our mental function/health and even memory (1,2,3,4)

This is your performance on creatine and thus fat loss:

Supplementation with creatine has been shown to increase the ability to lift higher loads, to train at a higher intensity, train with greater volume and output and thus increases your ability to put on fat burning, body reshaping, metabolically active, fat burning muscle mass (5,6,7). Due to its ability to aid recovery and reduce excessive catabolic hormones, fat loss is enhanced in that regard too by means of muscle preservation (8).

So the short version of all of this is drumroll puhleez….

In order to rock at all things in life and be a lean mean speed demon agility machine, you want to have muscle and a solid bit o grey matter between your ears. Creatine supplementation along with nutrition, training at the proper intensity and frequency with a balanced lifestyle may help you with the rockage ;D Wooooooooh to you!

References:

1. Rae, C., Digney, A. L., McEwan, S. R., & Bates, T. C. (2003). Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double–blind, placebo–controlled, cross–over trial. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 270(1529), 2147-2150.

2. McMorris T, Mielcarz G, Harris RC, Swain JP, Howard A. Creatine supplementation and cognitive performance in elderly individuals. Neuropsychology Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2007 Sep;14(5):517-28. Retrieved June 24, 2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17828627

3. Roitman, S., Green, T., Osher, Y., Karni, N., & Levine, J. (2007). Creatine monohydrate in resistant depression: a preliminary study. Bipolar disorders, 9(7), 754-758.

4. McMorris, T., Harris, R. C., Swain, J., Corbett, J., Collard, K., Dyson, R. J., … & Draper, N. (2006). Effect of creatine supplementation and sleep deprivation, with mild exercise, on cognitive and psychomotor performance, mood state, and plasma concentrations of catecholamines and cortisol. Psychopharmacology, 185(1), 93-103.
5. Volek, J. S., Duncan, N. D., Mazzetti, S. A., Staron, R. S., Putukian, M. A. R. G. O. T., Gomez, A. L., … & Kraemer, W. J. (1999). Performance and muscle fiber adaptations to creatine supplementation and heavy resistance training. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 31, 1147-1156.
6. Becque, M. D., Lochmann, J. D., & Melrose, D. R. (2000). Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body compositioin. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(3), 654-658.
7. Olsen, S., Aagaard, P., Kadi, F., Tufekovic, G., Verney, J., Olesen, J. L., … & Kjær, M. (2006). Creatine supplementation augments the increase in satellite cell and myonuclei number in human skeletal muscle induced by strength training. The Journal of physiology, 573(2), 525-534.
8. Passaquin, A. C., Renard, M., Kay, L., Challet, C., Mokhtarian, A., Wallimann, T., & Ruegg, U. T. (2002). Creatine supplementation reduces skeletal muscle degeneration and enhances mitochondrial function in< i> mdx</i> mice. Neuromuscular Disorders, 12(2), 174-182.

 

Psychology of Eating

Being over a HEALTHY weight or unfit or miserable in anything in life really boils down to, as my friend would call it, “your story”. It REALLY isn’t quite this simple as there are often physiological/biological matters involved but for the most part, the things you are not facing and dealing with or the story you are telling yourself or worse yet, BELIEVING, is what is holding you back. Everyone has this in some area of their lives it is just the courageous ones who will admit it and own it and try every damn day to do something until it sticks-YOU are superheros in my books! I am not going to blast her name or story out to the world but I want to give a pseudo-shout-out to this amazing, beautiful, driven girl (you are, you just need to believe it N xox ) who is and has been battling certain things every day for a long time, and thank her for bringing a really cool site to my attention. The site is called Psychology of Eating  and they offer a certification program which I am thinking of taking but other education is taking up my brain space right now lol (who doesn’t offer one these days but whatever:p). I hope for those of you reading this and can relate, that you find some solace in knowing you are totally normal and not alone and oh yeah…you are incredibly awesome!!! Find and focus on your talents, gifts and achievements by making a daily, nightly or weekly gratitude list as well as an overall list of the above. Read it every day and absorb it. Wait, scratch that, read it and re-read it every second,  minute, hour if you have to and in a present tense as it OWN IT NOW! As painful or difficult as it may seem, you will probably have to ditch some people in your life who are trying to bring you down or are just not encouraging or supportive. Trust me, it may sting at first but the end reward is un-freaking-real!

Here is the article she sent me and please share if you know someone who can use it 🙂

A while back I wrote the following piece on “Getting Real About Weight.” So many of our readers loved it, shared it, and commented on it. I wanted to say some provocative and clear words about a topic that deserves some fresh thinking. That’s why I’m sharing this piece about weight and it’s loss for a second time, just in case you missed it. As always, I’d love to know what you think.

I find that whenever I read about weight loss in the popular media or watch people on reality TV trying to fight off the pounds, or listen to the latest strategies from the experts – be it a drug, diet, or the promise of some genetic breakthrough – I’m left feeling empty, used and uninspired. It seems to me that we’re collectively stuck in the same limited conversation around weight that keeps playing itself back and landing us in the same place – nowhere. With obesity rates at an all time high and continuing to rise, I’m stunned at how these anemic messages about weight never change, and never truly work:

  • Eat less, exercise more
  • You’ve got to have more willpower
  • Try the latest weight loss drug
  • This new diet book is the answer
  • Staple your stomach
  • Count your calories
  • Some day, soon, we’ll simply just change your DNA
  • If you can’t lose weight, you must be a loser
  • What’s your problem?

Science has failed us in the weight loss department.

It literally gets an “F.” The culture has failed us as well. Far too many people have intense moral judgments towards anyone with excess pounds, which contributes to the hidden epidemic of social disconnection, apathy, and plain old sadness. Let’s face it: when it comes to the subject of weight gain and weight loss, we’re clueless. And from that place of cluelessness we tend to flail around, we try our hand at the most inane weight loss strategies, we diet for decades, we consume diet foods and ingredients like synthetic fats and artificial sweeteners that are, if you care to closely study the scientific literature – toxic. I’d suggest that if you’re not outraged at how all of us have been handling the issue of weight, than it’s time to pay more attention. It’s time for a more enlightened conversation. It’s time to strap your gear on, pack a few snacks, and take a good, long, deep dive into the rabbit hole called weight. Before we can “fix” the problem, it’s best to see the problem through new eyes. So rather than go into the specifics of what to do and not to do – no article is big enough to honor such a powerful and epic discussion – here are some thoughts around what some fresh thinking around weight might look like:

  • Weight is a richly complex, multi-dimensional phenomenon. Most often, there are no simple black and white solutions. It’s time to honor the depth and the psycho-physiologic complexity of weight and it’s loss
  • Excess weight is a symptom, and every symptom we experience under the sun has a divine message, a wise teaching, and has lessons that we are being asked to learn. We need to honor this sacred symptom rather than attack it
  • Extra weight can be related to an unlimited number of nutritional and metabolic factors
  • Extra weight can be caused by an unlimited number of emotional factors
  • Extra weight is fast becoming an issue of genetic inheritance
  • Extra weight can be directly connected to deeper and more profound soul lessons that we are being asked to learn. Some of these lessons might include patience, humility, getting present, embracing our sexuality, forgiving others, forgiving self, learning how to nourish ourselves, loving what is…
  • Extra weight can be a mix and a swirl of any or all of the above factors
  • Extra weight, often times, doesn’t even belong fully to the person who has it. Meaning: humans often “carry” the symptoms of others, of parents, of the collective. The most obvious example – few obese children have “a problem” – it’s all about the parents, or their surroundings, their peers, the media…
  • Extra weight is not a personal issue, it’s collective – meaning, if over 200 million individuals in the USA are overweight, then weight is about the entire tribe. We need to heal the culture as much as we need to change individual habits
  • Women suffer in a unique way, and in a more intense and poignant way when it comes to excess weight. We need to ask why, and to understand that men and women though equal, are rather different
  • Eating disorders have skyrocketed. Eating disorders have absolutely nothing to do with food per se. They are not food issues. They are LIFE issues, expressed via the vehicle of food. Once we listen to these sacred dis-eases more deeply, we can hear how they are calling us to grow, and how they are pointing to the ways our families and communities are failing to hold and love one another in a good way
  • Our relationship with body fat, even for those who have very little of it, is clinically bonkers. Too many of us assume that any body fat is demonic, unworthy, unnatural, unappealing, and deserving of our contempt. Body fat has a brilliant biological purpose. If you could truly suck all the fat out of your body, you’d be dead in an instant
  • We project our shadow – our unconscious judgments, our negative mind chatter, our prejudices, our hate, our moralism – onto people who carry too much weight. As a culture, we secretly love to hate fat people. Who’s issue is that?
  • From the standpoint of science, we really don’t even know how much any given person truly ought to weigh at any given time. So many people walk around claiming, “I need to lose 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 20 pounds.” Says who? By what scientific criteria can anyone assess ideal weight?
  • According to the sum total of all the research on weight, science cannot say with any certainty that extra weight is a symptom, a disease, a risk factor, a positive indicator of health, a genetic issue, a psychosocial one – because it can be any of these
  • The scientific community still can’t wrap its’ head around the simple fact that weight is a mind, body, heart, soul, psychological, cultural and spiritual phenomenon. How we “do” science as a nation is rather immature, and often primitive. It’s time for the scientists, doctors, dietitians, and researchers who hold the collective power to counsel others – to heal their own inner wounds and expand their vision so they can serve from a deeper and more humane place, and a truly scientific/holistic place.

I’ll pause here for now.

I’ll remind you that the emotional and psychic issues around weight are far heavier for people than the weight itself. The amount of pain and suffering we carry around body fat is tremendous. Imagine what would happen in society if all of us were in love with our own human form, and in love with our own humanity. We’d be powerhouses. We’d be free to do our work, our mission, our truest purpose in life. So much energy would be liberated. We’d be more creative, more confident, more connected to one another. Our hearts would feel better. The sex would be better. We’d have no reason to hold ourselves back.

But being in love with our own human form doesn’t mean: “First I lose the weight, than I love myself.” It means we begin the journey of love now. Would you tell your own child “I will love you once you are skinnier.” Sounds terrible doesn’t it? Well, that’s what so many people are saying, internally, to themselves. Love only exists in the moment, and in the present. Vitamin L – Love, has long been the key missing ingredient in the weight loss recipe. But the love needs to be guided by a healthy dose of Vitamin W -wisdom. We need to not just be kinder, but to smarten up. It’s time to let go of our limited scientific and emotionally charged beliefs about weight that are stale and outdated. How would love and wisdom guide you to a deeper understanding of this powerful challenge of our times? Where would it ask you to go, and how would it ask you to be an agent of change and transformation?

By Marc David

Training Through Pain with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories

My back hurts. My muscles hurt. My joints hurt. MY head hurts at the thought of what far too many people do. They mask these issues with anti-inflammatories to deal and train through the pain. I have one particular client that I work with who is, or I should say was, so guilty of this and would not even tell me until after the session that he was having pain and that he had taken a painkiller. He had fairly recently had surgery so it is legit but he was fearful that we just wouldn’t train if he let me know but we just learned to work around things with his honest communication now. He now understands why what he was doing is not the solution and that it could be dangerous and also the importance of telling me more openly about things he is taking. He is an awesome client and I worry about him so I always try to not just tell him but to educate him on the importance of telling me as drugs and even naturally derived supplements can affect his training, health and recovery as well as that “training through the pain” is not the way he is going to get to his goals. To be honest, I think I may have taken one ibuprofen in my life and I often get punished or punish myself with training so I do know what it is like to be in pain, not take painkillers, and also know what needs to be done to stop that pain from getting worse. I am not talking about surgical pain or the like because I have been lucky enough not to have endured that but other areas, yes, yes I have.

Aside from the general population who tend to pharm up too quickly and too often, it is actually quite rampant in professional and recreational athletes. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used by athletes to reduce existing or prevent anticipated musculoskeletal pain related to physical exercise, especially in the competitive season (1,2). While it may seem like a normal thing for these athletes to do due to their rigorous training regimes, taking these NSAID’s are actually doing these athletes more harm than good in the ways of not only their health, but on their performance as well. These anti-inflammatories, if used frequently and for extended periods of time, cause gastrointestinal complications such as mucosal ulceration, bleeding, perforation, and the formation of diaphragm-like strictures (3). Basically, this stuff can make your insides full of holes, can make you bleed internally in areas that you shouldn’t, as well as creating a whole new kind of pain for you to feel. The constant usage can also cause a decrease in your bodies natural ability to heal as well as having a negative effect on your immune system. This can end up simply making your inflammation and pain even worse than it was prior to extensive usage of the NSAID’s (4). With athletes or even those who just train like athletes (I mean a pretty heavy intensity with fairly high volume), taking these anti-inflammatories prior to training can facilitate an even greater level of gut damage than what occurs from JUST training or JUST taking the NSAID. That’s right, there is a level of intestinal injury and short-term loss of gut-barrier function that occurs from even one hour of exhaustive training. Couple that with the GI damage from the usage of the NSAID’s and you have yourself in quite a pickle-of-a-dilly (3)!

If you train like with high intensity, are an athlete or even just an every day person, the answers to the pain equation are not to mask it with drugs, but to treat what is causing it (poor form, poor posture, lack of mobility and flexibility, myofascial trigger points, mental stress, poor recovery methods or lack thereof) as well as resting and eating an anti-inflammatory diet rich in veggies, fruits, lean proteins like chicken and fish and healthy fats like fish oils, flax and olive oil.

References:

1. Alaranta A, Alaranta H, Heliovaara M, Airaksinen M, Helenius I. Ample use of physician-prescribed medications in Finnish elite athletes. Int J Sports Med. 2006; 27 (11): 919–25.

2. Garcin M, Mille-Hamard L, Billat V, Imbenotte M, Humbert L, Lhermitte Z. Use of acetaminophen in young subelite athletes. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2005; 45 (4): 604–7.

3. Allison MC, Howatson AG, Torrance CJ, Lee FD, Russell RI. Gastrointestinal damage associated with the use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. N Engl J Med. 1992; 327 (11): 749–54.

4. Bjarnason I, Takeuchi K. Intestinal permeability in the pathogenesis of NSAID-induced enteropathy. J Gastroenterol. 2009; 44 (19 suppl): S23–9.