Deanna's Blog

Saturday, 29 April 2017 19:14

Top Foods for Tissue Health

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Top Foods for Tissue Health
 
If you're pretty active like I am, you want to protect your tissues.  
 
Did you know that the most abundant tissue in the body, which is also extremely important for anyone who works out, is none other than “connective” tissue?
 
Connective tissue “connects” things in your body to help maintain structure.  It basically supports and anchors parts together.    
 
For example, your joints have ligaments (that attach bones to each other), as well as tendons (that attach muscles to bones).  These are examples of “dense” connective tissue made mainly of collagen.  
 
Your joints also have cartilage and fluid to “cushion” the ends of the bones when you move so they don't rub against each other and cause pain or “wear and tear”.  Cartilage and fluid are also part of your connective tissue.
 
Basically, connective tissue is composed of collagen and elastic fibers (elastin), cartilage, other specialized cells, with a healthy dose of cushioning fluid too.
 
All connective tissue is super-important for a well-functioning body, and of course, there are certain key foods and nutrients that support optimal tissue health!  And because some parts of your joints don't have a huge blood supply, they can take months (or longer) to heal after an injury.  
 
So, let's make sure that you're constantly supplying your joints (and the rest of your body) with ample nutrition to make them as robust as possible!
 
Let's go over a few top foods for your tissue health.
 
PROTEIN
 
You heard me mention collagen and elastin above, and you probably won't be surprised to know that they are made of protein!
 
So, of course protein is incredibly important to optimal tissue health.
 
Protein itself is made up of a bunch of amino acids strung together. When we eat them, our digestive enzymes break down that “string” so that you can properly absorb and digest the individual amino acids. Your body uses those amino acids to create the myriad of proteins that it needs. Yes, things like muscle, bone, and skin; and also important connective tissues like collagen and elastin. Eating enough essential amino acids is key.  
 
Examples of protein-rich foods:
 
Eggs, legumes, and minimally processed meats
 
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FATS (omega-3s)
 
We all know that omega-3s are good for you. They are “essential” for good health and have been researched quite a bit for their potential to lower the risk of many heart and brain issues.  One way omega-3s help us is because of their anti-inflammatory properties.
 
The problem is that most people simply don't get enough essential omega-3s.
 
What foods should you eat more of to get your daily supply of omega-3s?
 
Fish, shellfish, algae, nuts (particularly walnuts), & seeds (especially flax, chia & hemp)
 
ANTI-OXIDANT AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PLANTS
 
You totally know that eating plants is good for you!  
 
One of the many reasons why is that they contain anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.  Not to mention the fact that many are vitamin and mineral powerhouses as well. 
 
You know that inflammation is part of so many short-term and long-term health concerns, including joint pain.
 
Which plants have the most anti-oxidants?
 
Colourful ones! Eat the rainbow by choosing from a variety of colourful plants (think: red, orange, yellow, green, and purple)
Blueberries, grapes, green tea, & cocoa (yes, you read that right...unsweetened cocoa of course!)
 
FOODS RICH IN VITAMIN C
 
You remember that collagen is a critical part of your connective tissue, especially in joints.  You also remember that you need protein amino acids as building blocks to make the collagen.
 
Vitamin C is a critical “assistant” that helps your enzymes make the collagen from those amino acids that you get when you eat protein.
 
So, vitamin C works hand-in-hand with protein for healthy collagen in your tissues.
 
Vitamin C is also an anti-oxidant, and since exercise can cause increased production of free radicals, anti-oxidant nutrients are extra-important for tissue health.
 
Foods rich in vitamin C include:
 
Guava, red bell pepper, broccoli, green bell peppers, strawberries, grapefruit, kohlrabi, papaya, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, mango, & oranges
 
WATER
 
Of course, since your connective tissues and joints need enough fluid to cushion them, water is another essential “food” for tissue health.
 
When you're exercising, slight dehydration (from sweating) can cause you to become too hot, and reduce your performance, so water is obviously super-important when exercising.
 
Always drink when you're thirsty.  And if you want (or need) a bit of sweet flavour for your water, throw a handful of frozen berries or chopped fruit into your water bottle.
 
SUMMARY
 
Tissue health is important for everyone, and especially people who exercise.  Eating a variety of nutrient-dense, minimally inflammatory foods is key.  Foods that contain enough high-quality protein, omega-3 fats, as well as plants that are rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin C.  And don't forget to stay hydrated.
 
REFERENCES:
 
Katz, D.L. & Meller, S. Can we say what diet is best for health? Annu Rev Public Health. 2014;35:83-103.
 
Screen, H.R., Berk, D.E., Kadler, K.E., Ramirez, F. & Young M.F. Tendon functional extracellular matrix. J Orthop Res. 2015 Jun;33(6):793-9.
 
Simmons, K. Multicellular organization of plants and animals. Connective Tissue.  Cells and Cellular Processes, Lab #4, Fall 2007. University of Winnipeg.
 
Tempfer, H. & Traweger, A. Tendon Vasculature in Health and Disease. Front Physiol. 2015; 6: 330.
 
Tipton, K.D. Nutritional Support for Exercise-Induced Injuries. Sports Med. 2015; 45: 93–104.
 
USDA Nutrient Database
 
Williamson E. Nutritional implications for ultra-endurance walking and running events. Extrem Physiol Med. 2016 Nov 21;5:13.
 
Wysoczański, T., Sokoła-Wysoczańska, E., Pękala ,J., Lochyński, S., Czyż, K., Bodkowski, R., Herbinger, G., Patkowska-Sokoła, B. & Librowski T. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and their Role in Central Nervous System - A Review. Curr Med Chem. 2016;23(8):816-31.
Monday, 24 April 2017 20:50

Tips for Choosing Supplements Wisely

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We all know the vast array of supplements on the market today. It seems that new ones are launched every day and there is more and more marketing lingo that promises to save your health.
 
But you are a savvy health-conscious consumer. You want to make sure you're making wise choices with your health (and money).
 
Here are eight expert tips for you when choosing supplements:
 
Tip #1: If you’re in a country that licenses or pre-approves supplements (like I am in Canada), then make sure you’re getting the real thing, and not some illegally imported bootleg of a product.
 Why?
 

This is your health, and it’s important enough to make sure you’re getting a product that at least meets the minimum requirements in your country. There are always recalls and safety alerts issued for contaminated supplements or products that don’t even contain what they say they do.

  Don't get me wrong! This health authority approval is not a perfect gauge of quality, but it does have some benefits worth considering.
 
How?

In Canada, you would check its approval by making sure it has an 8-digit “NPN” number on the front label. This number means that the company meets the required standards (including quality standards and truthfulness of their labeling). And, if something does go wrong, there is someone who you can complain to (the company or Health Canada's MedEffect program) and who is responsible (the company).

If you’re not in a country that pre-approves supplements, make sure what you buy meets the regulations of your country. If you have to look up the company or product online or call them, please do it – don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions before you use any health products. If the only address or phone number is not in your country, then steer clear, because if something goes wrong it’s possible that nothing can be done about it.


 
Tip #2: Read (and heed) the warnings, cautions, and contraindications. 
Why?
 
You don't want a reaction, right?
 
How?
 
Check the label for things like:
 
To consult a healthcare practitioner if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, or
If you have certain medical conditions (e.g. high blood pressure, auto-immune disease, diabetes, ulcers, etc.), or
If you are taking certain medications (e.g. like blood thinners or immune suppressants, etc.) or
If you are taking other supplements, or
If you shouldn't take it for more than a certain length of time (e.g. 6 or 8 weeks).
 

Tip #3: Look at the medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients for things you might be allergic to or have reacted to in the past.
 Why?
 
Just as you would do this with foods, do this with supplements. Again, you don't want a reaction, right?
 
And even if you've used a product before, check it each time you buy it. Manufacturers may make changes to ingredients from time to time.
 
How?
 
Any credible supplement company will list every active ingredient, as well as the inactive ingredients. The print may be small, but worthwhile.
 
Info not there? Give them a call. Most reputable companies have a toll-free number on the bottle or at the very least their website address.
 
PRO TIP: You can look up any Canadian NPN number on Health Canada's database here:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tip #4: Read the labeled “Indications” or “Uses” (a.k.a. How can this product help me?).

Why?
 
Bullshit alert. What is the company claiming that their product can help you with? Beware of people  who tell you that this product can help you beyond what’s on the label. If they heard about it, or found it in a book, that may or may not be reliable information.
 
How?
 
Ask for scientific studies, or look it up on credible websites that don’t make money from selling supplements (such as Examine, or the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements).


 
Tip #5: What “dose forms” can you get (i.e. tablets, capsules, powder, liquid, etc.)?

 Why?
 
I personally prefer capsules. This is because tablets and caplets are not very easy to absorb because they’re compacted into a hard rock-like form that sometimes doesn't break down in your digestive system.

Powders and liquids are easier to swallow and to absorb, but they can go “off” quicker because every time you open the bottle, you’re exposing all of the contents to the oxygen, moisture and microbes in the air. They can also be difficult to get accurate dosing (especially if they need to be shaken well).

Capsules (my preferred form) are powders placed into tiny dissolvable...capsules. You can get vegan capsules or gelatin capsules. They’re not compressed, so they're more easily absorbed (they're still loose powder), and the capsule itself provides an extra layer of protection from oxidation and contamination from the air. 
 
How?
 
The front label should mention this loud and clear. Along with how many are in each bottle.


 
Tip #6: How much/many do you need for a recommended dose?

 Why?
 
This is important to keep in mind because you may not want to take several capsules per day in order to get the recommended dose. Plus, many (but not all) bottles contain a 30 day supply. This helps you see how much you need to take, as well as the real cost per serving/dose.
 
How?
 
Read carefully.
 
Is the label information based on one capsule, two...maybe six? The amounts of each nutrient listed on the label may be based on each dose, or the entire daily dose. 
 
For example, if a label recommends you take 2 capsules per day, the active ingredient amounts listed may be the total amount in those 2 capsules, unless it says "per 1 capsule".
 
Yes, for this one you do need to read carefully.
Tip #7: Check the storage requirements and expiry date.

 Why?
 
These two go hand-in-hand because the expiry date is based on how that supplement degrades over time at certain temperatures, humidity and light exposure.
 
How?

If the bottle says that it should be refrigerated, make sure it’s in the fridge at the store, or shipped in a refrigerated truck. 
 
If it says to refrigerate after opening, then make sure once that seal is broken, you keep it in your fridge.

If it says to keep out of sunlight, make sure the store/shipping company is doing that, and that you do that too. This is sometimes why supplements are in dark or opaque bottles – to prevent sunlight from degrading it before the expiry date.
 
And, of course, I wouldn't recommend taking supplements past their expiry date. After this date the manufacturer does not guarantee the quality or dose of the product.

Tip #8: If you’re trying a new supplement for the first time, start slow.

Why?
 
Keep an eye out for both positive and negative reactions, and act accordingly.
 
How?
 
You don’t have to dive right into a full daily dose on day 1. Try starting with half-doses, or skipping days for a week or two before ramping up to the recommended dose. 

I hope these eight tips serve you well!
Saturday, 15 April 2017 14:17

Why we should all be lifting weights

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I know you may not want to be a body builder (it's awesome if you do, though), but that's not what I'm talking about here!

Nor do you have to join a gym.

Nor buy super-fancy equipment.

Want to know why I recommend lifting weights (a.k.a. “resistance training”) for people of all ages?

If you're under the age of 50 it's important to have a good muscle mass because we start to lose up to 1% muscle mass per year after that. That's up to 30% loss by the time you're 80!

And you can lose your muscle strength even faster than 1% per year.

So, the more muscle mass you have before age 50, the better off you'll be.

If you're over the age of 50, the more you lift weights, the slower your rate of loss will be. Why settle for 1% loss, when you can keep your strength even longer?

So you can have more muscle AND slow down the rate of muscle loss by lifting weights at all ages.

Lifting weights is not just about muscle “mass” and “strength” though. It's a great way to maintain good health for just about everyone at any age, whether you're athletic or not.

What exactly do I mean by “good health”?

Here are five key health factors that are improved with increased muscle mass.

REASON #1 – BOOST YOUR METABOLISM

Yes! We all want a nice, healthy metabolism, don't we? We want to have energy, and be able to burn the right amount of calories from our foods.

Guess what your muscles can do, even when they're not working...burn calories!

And with healthy, strong muscles (like the kind you get from lifting weights), the more calories they burn. Even while you sleep!

(Who doesn't want this?)

Not only that, but less muscle mass is associated with increased fat stores, as well as increased inflammation.

So, lifting weights can build up your muscles so they become more efficient metabolism-boosters, calorie burners, as well as less fat storage and inflammation.

REASON #2 – STRENGTH TO DO EVERYDAY THINGS

Lifting your groceries.

Mowing your lawn.

Carrying things up from the basement.

All of these are everyday things that help us maintain our independence. They're things that we can do on our own without needing extra help when we have healthy muscles to rely on.

Lifting weights can help reduce our risk of becoming dependent on others for everyday tasks, because, hey, 'I can do this myself - thankyouverymuch.'

REASON #3 – MANAGING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR

Diabetes.

Insulin resistance.

You've heard of them, and they don't sound healthy.

When your body has trouble maintaining healthy amounts of sugar in your blood (not too much, and not too little), this can cause both short- and long-term issues.

Short-term issues can include things like fatigue and brain fog. And, of course, long-term issues are the potential for insulin resistance or even diabetes.

And, you'll never guess what can help your body maintain proper blood sugar control…healthy strong muscles!

They do this because they can store and burn excess blood sugar, therefore helping to keep blood sugar levels in just the right place.

REASON #4 – MAINTAINING BONE HEALTH

Do you know anyone who has broken a bone?

What about someone who broke their hip?

As you may know, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men end up with osteoporosis. Bones that break easily, from a simple slip on soft grass or even carpet.

But did you also know that your bones can stay strong when your muscles stay strong?

When your muscles pull on the bones to move you around, the bones get the message that they're important, and so your friendly bone-building cells actively keep making strong healthy bones.

This doesn't happen so much when muscles aren't pulling on them. When the muscles get weaker from lack of use, the bones follow suit.

Not to mention the fact that weight lifting improves balance and reduces the risk of falling, both of which reduce risk of breaking bones.

REASON #5 – LONGER LIFE, BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE

If none of the above reasons resonate with you (but they probably do…), then this one will surely get your attention.

Fact: More muscle mass and strength as we age is directly associated with longer life AND better quality of life.

Seriously!

What do I mean by “quality of life”? I mean lower rates of heart disease, cancer, mental disorders, etc. I mean being healthy, independent, and keeping your mental sharpness. All of those are huge factors when it comes to quality of life.

And lifting weights can help stave off all of those, so you can truly have a healthy, long life.

CONCLUSION

You can (and probably should) lift weights to maintain good health. And when I say “good health”, I mean things like maintaining your metabolism, strength to do everyday things, and keeping your blood sugar and bones healthy. Not to mention living longer...and better.

So let's lift a few soup cans, shall we?

REFERENCES

Ciolac, E.G. & Rodrigues-da-Silva, J.M. (2016). Resistance Training as a Tool for Preventing and Treating Musculoskeletal Disorders. Sports Med, 46(9):1239-48.
LINK: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26914266

McLeod, M., Breen, L., Hamilton, D.L. & Philp, A. (2016). Live strong and prosper: the importance of skeletal muscle strength for healthy ageing. Biogerontology. 2016; 17: 497–510.
LINK: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4889643/

Perkin, O., McGuigan, P., Thompson, D., & Stokes, K. (2016). A reduced activity model: a relevant tool for the study of ageing muscle. Biogerontology. 2016; 17: 435–447.
LINK: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4889637/

Rudrappa, S.S., Wilkinson, D.J., Greenhaff, P.L., Smith, K., Idris, I. and Atherton, P.J. (2016). Human Skeletal Muscle Disuse Atrophy: Effects on Muscle Protein Synthesis, Breakdown, and Insulin Resistance—A Qualitative Review. Front Physiol. 2016; 7: 361.
LINK: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997013/

Wullems, J.A., Verschueren, S.M.P., Degens, H., Morse, C.I & Onambélé, G.L. (2016). A review of the assessment and prevalence of sedentarism in older adults, its physiology/health impact and non-exercise mobility counter-measures. Biogerontology. 2016; 17: 547–565.
LINK: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4889631/

Xu, J., Lombardi, G., Jiao, W. & Banfi, G. Effects of Exercise on Bone Status in Female Subjects, from Young Girls to Postmenopausal Women: An Overview of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Sports Med. 2016 Aug;46(8):1165-82.
LINK: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26856338

Thursday, 23 March 2017 16:14

Maple syrup – a seasonal sweet treat

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Enjoying the sugary sap of a maple tree is a springtime ritual for many Canadian children. During the long winter, the maple tree has the unique characteristic of producing a supply of starch that acts as anti-freeze for its roots. When the snow starts to melt, water trickles into the roots and thus begins the flow of “sugar water” that will eventually be tapped. By mid-March, after the first thaw, the sap is freely flowing and will continue flowing through April. 
 
Families who make a day of visiting the sugar bush during the annual Maple Syrup Festival can go on a nature hike through a maple grove and learn about how trees are tapped to obtained this natural sweetener. Many tree farms also have wagon rides, a petting zoo and a gift shoppe to entice and amuse visitors. Then, after working up an appetite, people can enjoy a short stack of fluffy pancakes drizzled with maple syrup from the trees they just walked past!
 
Maple syrup is not only a local food, it's a natural wonder. Going on a guided tour of a sugar bush, one quickly begins to appreciate the laborious treat that is maple syrup. Amazingly, to make one bucket of grade A or grade B syrup that's good enough to eat, 40 buckets of clear sap need to be boiled down for several hours. 
 
It's this large-scale boiling process which produces the distinctive maple flavour. Straight out of the tree, the sap itself is actually rather bland and resembles spring water, making the sweetness of the final product even more awe-inspiring. The steam pouring from the large caldrons of boiling maple sugar water drift through the woods is enough to entice anyone to the sampling table. 
 
Maple syrup is a natural and nutritious alternative to refined white sugar or honey. Teaspoon to teaspoon, maple syrup contains fewer calories than honey and is a source of zinc, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and antioxidant manganese. 
 
Maple syrup is lower in calories than honey (only 17 calories per teaspoon) because it's only 60 percent sugar. Though calorie wise it's about the same as white cane sugar, the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in maple syrup makes it nutritional superior. It's far from being “empty calories”. 
 
Maple syrup products can be purchased in most local grocery stores in Canada or from your local farmer's market.
Sunday, 12 March 2017 21:14

Do I need to cleanse?

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The Benefits of Cleansing

In this day and age, everyone is searching for a better way to a healthy lifestyle, through exercise and a healthy diet. Body cleansing is one of the best methods that you can rely on to deliver on its promises because it not only works a great deal on your body, but on your mind and spirit as well, especially for people who are struggling with the Inability to lose weight, Chronic pain, and Fatigue.

What is Cleansing?

Cleansing is the process of ridding the body of toxins, heavy metals, and parasites that are present in our body. It mainly addresses the detoxification of the body’s vital organs that are responsible for the absorption of nutrients and the removal of waste byproducts such as the liver, kidneys, the gallbladder, and digestive tract. These organs play a major role in our body’s operating system as follows:

  • The Liver is the largest organ in the body and hence has the most work such as excretion of toxic waste in the form of cholesterol and drugs, it metabolizes fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, stores vitamins and minerals and detoxifies and purifies the blood.
  • The Kidneys control the production of red blood cells, removes waste products from the blood, balances the body’s fluids, and regulates the body's acid contents, salt, and potassium levels.
  • The Gallbladder stores bile, produced by the liver and it is important for the digestion of food, 
  • The Digestive Tract is responsible for the breakdown of food into molecules which are then absorbed into the body in the form of nutrients and minerals.

Why we need to cleanse:

Due to the unhealthy consumption of processed foods, fatty junk foods, low-fibre foods, microwave depleted meals and carbonated drinks, depletes the body’s mechanism and it can no longer function at its best when it comes to digestion and absorption of nutrients. 

That is why many people suffer from an inconsistent bowel movement, indigestion, bloating, food allergies and sensitivities, irritable bowel syndromes, heartburn, and obesity because the body is incapable of ridding itself of all the accumulated toxic waste. This not only poisons the gut, it damages the other vital organs too.

A body cleanse helps this overworked organs of the body return to their normal working capacity.

Benefits of a Cleanse:

  1. Rid the body of harmful toxins, metals, and accumulated waste in the form of fecal matter in your gut.
  2. It is fantastic for anyone struggling with the inability to lose weight because a cleanse will kill the bad bacteria that causes toxicity and weight gain.
  3. A cleanse will maximize your body’s intake of healthy nutrients and minerals that are important for the production of energy and you will feel invigorated and energized.
  4. The effects of a cleanse will leave you feeling less bloated.
  5. You will have an improved digestion.
  6. Inflammation is your body’s reaction to unnatural substances that invade it. Chronic inflammation can lead to Chronic pain such as migraines, autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases. A cleanse will rid your body of these toxins responsible for inflammation.
  7. A number of lifestyle choices and factors such as smoking, drinking, pollution, stress, lack of exercise to name a few can contribute to excess Fatigue and Lack of sleep. A body cleanse will flush your system clean and you will feel rejuvenated and your sleep patterns will be restored.
  8. People who suffer from Brain fog often feel confused, forgetful, and lack focus due to an imbalance in your body which can be a medical or lifestyle related. A healthy brain is the first line of defense against mental disorders and depression. A cleanse will get rid of the toxins in your body accumulated through an unhealthy diet. Within no time, you will feel lighter and well focused.
  9. Infections such as Candida, such as vaginal yeast infections, fungus infections, skin rashes are very common in people who are overweight, people with weakened immune systems, people with Inflammatory disorders, and diabetes. With a cleanse, your body will be able to remove the Candida colonies responsible for this infection.

 

You need a Cleanse now:

Your body has a way of letting you know when something is amiss. Unfortunately, most of the times these signs go unnoticed or completely ignored, which can be detrimental to your wellbeing. In many known cases, one might suffer from recurring symptoms of the same illness and even a trip to the doctors and copious amounts of medicine do nothing to help or alleviate the symptom. Very many people have ignored minor cold symptoms by thinking it an allergic reaction or hay fever. This is an indication that your immune system is low if not non-existent. You know your body best and you are in the position to help yourself. You need a cleanse if you are exhibiting the following physical signs or symptoms:

  1. You are moody or constantly fatigued.
  2. You suffer from insomnia and often disturbed sleep patterns.
  3. You are constantly bloated or suffer from Irritable bowel syndrome.
  4. You are overweight and resistant to weight loss.
  5. You have constant infections such acne, itchy skin conditions and Candida
  6. You are retaining fluids.
  7. You are suffering from gallbladder issues.
  8. Autoimmune disease.
  9. Congested sinuses or repeated sinus infections.
  10. Bad breath, especially if your tongue is covered white or yellow coating.
  11. Excessive overheating and sweating.
  12. You have an explained craving, especially for sugar.
  13. Excessive urination.
  14. Dehydration.
  15. Yellowing of the eyes due to excessive drinking

If you are showing more than five signs on the above list, this means that your liver needs a cleanse, your gut is backed up with toxins and needs a flush and your system has slowed down and needs a boost. A good body cleanse is as good as giving your insides a thorough scrub. It is filled with essential minerals, nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that your vital body organs need for an optimum functionality.

Always beware of cleansing products or programs that are promising unrealistic results. A good body cleanse must never have a negative response in your body. You will know that it is a bad cleanser if you have the following adverse reactions:

  1. You were fatigued before but you are showing even more serious signs of chronic fatigue.
  2. You frequent the bathroom more than normal. A normal toilet break consists of 3 – 5 visits. Be wary if you go over that.
  3. Water retention will be a sure sign that the cleanse is not working. You will notice that you have excessive swelling on your face, feet, and hands.
  4. Skin rashes or darkening certain parts of the skin. Increases hair dandruff and itching.
  5. Pain passing stool and urine. In severe cases, passing blood. Too much diarrhea
  6. Constant headaches and nausea.
  7. An unhealthy weight loss or not losing weight at all.

A healthy cleanse program is matched with a healthy diet and a regimented course of exercises. It is meant to rid your body of all unpleasant toxic materials, give your body the boost it needs and rev up your metabolism. Anything less than that is not advisable.  
For personalized recommendations, book your initial appointment with me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday, 02 January 2017 14:05

3 Ways to Get Back on Track to Healthier Eating

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3 Ways To Get Back On Track To Healthy Eating
 
 
Feeling bad about overeating on the holiday? Don’t worry about it! It’s good to indulge every once in a while – everything in moderation, including moderation! The trick now is to get back on track as soon as possible and return to your normal healthy routine.
One day of over doing it can send your hormones and metabolism into a tizzy as it tries to process the onslaught of calories. This can directly affect the hormone insulin because the pancreas goes into overdrive to break down the excess blood sugar. This can leave you with a food hangover- and with symptoms like drowsiness, dizziness, and an unsettled stomach.
Another hormone that becomes messed up is leptin. When you overeat, your body is unable to recognize when it is legitimately full and it is harder to feel satiated. Occasionally, this can actually work to your benefit because higher leptin levels lead your body to think it is lacking food and can cause the release of fat from cells to provide energy.
We should see how many calories there are in a holiday meal.
May I present the average Christmas dinner- turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, pie, ice cream, and wine- you are looking at about 2,500 calories and more than 100 g of fat! And that is without going for seconds!
Like I said, it is okay to overdo it from time to time, if you know how to get back on track. Here are some “day after” tips for you to try:
 
1. Eat some Salad
Do yourself a favour and buy a large package of the pre-washed baby lettuce greens and whip up a large batch of salad dressing. If you make it easier on yourself, by having the ingredients on hand and ready to go, you might feel more compelled to eat a healthy lunch and dinner. To complete the meal using the greens, add a hard-boiled egg or some lean protein – like white turkey meat or chevre (goat cheese). Top your big salad with some grated carrot and then sprinkle on some pumpkin seeds.
 
2. Drink some tea
Holiday meals, though delicious, can also be salty. High-sodium foods can cause weight gain and register as increased poundage on the scale – all because of water retention. Weight gain from water retention is temporary because your kidneys can flush excess sodium from your body. One way to jumpstart this process is by drinking a detox tea that is designed to get things moving. I like the effect of dandelion tea because it flushes out the excess sodium and also improves transit time – meaning your colon will also be flushed – and then you can flush the toilet! Healthy elimination is the first step to getting rid of toxins and losing excess fat.
 
3. Go for a walk
Chances are your exercise routine was put on hold over the holiday too! While you might not want to get out and move it after dinner (what with the turkey coma and all), going for a walk the next day can give you the motivation you need to get back on track with your exercise program. It is a wonderful time of year to get out to see the snow covered trees and hear the crunch of the snow beneath your feet, de-stress, and appreciate nature with its fresh crisp air.
 
That’s it – 3 simple steps to return to healthy eating– salads, tea, and walking. Getting and staying on track is important in balancing hormones, losing weight and feeling great. 
Saturday, 31 December 2016 16:05

The Hormonal Effects of Crash Dieting

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Let me ask you a couple of questions:
Have you ever been on a diet?
Have you ever restricted calories in hopes of losing weight?
If you have been on a diet before how long does it take you to gain the weight back?
Do you find yourself more hungry after a crash diet?
Are you happy with your current weight?
Yo-yo and crash dieting is serious business. People want results quickly. They can starve themselves for a short period of time to get results.
There are very real consequences to crash dieting; rebound weight gain, a slower metabolism, horrible digestion, an unhealthy relationship with food, intense cravings, binges and the worst offender…the inability to lose real fat later on.
If you have crash dieted in your life do you find it much harder to lose weight now?
I bet you knew somewhere deep down that crash dieting isn’t the best or healthiest way to lose weight. I’m sure that when you were depriving yourself of nutrients you had a very good reason.
Even if you’ve never dieted in your life but have days where you instinctively eat less you NEED to read this study. You don’t need to have dieted to feel the hormonal effects of hunger.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at the long-term persistence of hormonal adaptations to weight loss. The results were simply unbelievable.
The study looked at what happens to appetite hormones after 10 weeks of a calorie deprivation diet up to 1 year later.
 
The Calorie Deprivation Diet (Crash Dieting)
The study involved 50 people overweight or obese people, without Diabetes who had BMI’s between 27 – 40. They were put on an extremely low-calorie diet for a period of 10 weeks. They were followed from the beginning of the study up until 1 year after study completion.
Extremely low-calorie diet means they were consuming approximately 500 – 550 calories per day (same as you would on a specific Doctor supervised weight loss program).
The average weight of the participants was 209 pounds. They were consuming about one-third of their basal metabolic rate. 
 
Mathematical Weight Loss
On average the subjects were burning 1200 more calories than they were consuming. Since 1 pound of fat is equal to about 3500 calories they should be losing about 1 pound of fat every 3 days, which adds up to about 23 pounds over the 10-week period. 
 
The Results
The subjects lost on average 20.7 pounds of fat and 9 pounds of lean muscle… but the results didn’t last over the next year. As the year went on they gained back half of the weight they lost. At the very least they were still ahead of the game but their hormonal profile showed a very different story! 
 
Short Term Hormonal Effects
The study revealed that there were problems with the hormones that regulate hunger like leptin, ghrelin and peptide YY.
After the 10-week starvation diet the subjects had less leptin and peptide YY (makes you more hungry) and more ghrelin and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (helps to store food eaten as fat during periods of under nutrition).
The backlash of the low-calorie diet was that participants felt more hungry after the study than before they started it. This was not psychological or emotional…this was clearly hormonal.
Yes, it would make sense that people coming off a crash diet are signaled to be hungry but until this study no one knew that those hormonal effects lasted up to a one year or potentially longer. 
 
Long-Term Hormonal Effects
When the subjects were tested one year after they finished the 10-week starvation diet they still reported the same level of hunger they felt immediately after the diet. The subjects were STILL more hungry 1 year later than they were before they crash-dieted.
The hormonal profile proved this to be accurate.
Let me repeat this again…1 year after a 10-week crash diet the subjects still felt hungrier causing them to eat more during the day than they did before they went on the crash diet. These effects happened after just a 10-week crash diet. 
 
How many times have you crash dieted? 
 
Take Away Message
Don’t crash diet! There is a limit as to how low you can drop your calories without it messing up your metabolism and hormones. The magic number has been proven yet.
A better idea is to get rid of the known offenders in your diet like the refined and processed foods. If you’ve already done that and are still having trouble reaching your health and weight loss goals then it’s time to get serious and seek out professional help. I am just a phone call or email away.  519-270-1889
Saturday, 31 December 2016 15:47

Are You Getting Enough Fibre?

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A general recommendation for adults is 25-35 grams of dietary fibre per day. Children need fibre too, different amounts depending on the child's age and how much they eat.
 
When increasing the fibre in your diet, start gradually. Too much fibre too quickly can cause discomfort.  
 
Remember to drink plenty of fluids daily with a high fibre diet, fluids help your body to use fibre properly.
 
Here are some quick and easy ways to boost your fibre intake:
 
1. Start your day with a fibre-rich cereal: oat bran, bran flakes or oatmeal.
2. Top off your high-fibre cereal with a scoop of raisins, a sliced banana or some orange sections.
3. Take a high-fibre bran or oatmeal muffin to lunch. It's even better if it contains fruit like apples, apricots, raisins or dates.
4. Fibre-boost your salads with carrots, apple slices, dried fruit, raw broccoli and cauliflower pieces, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and kidney beans. You can also add ground flax seed or chia as a topper.
5. Choose whole grain breads as often as possible.
6. Load up your plate with extra vegetables.
7. Work some beans and peas into your meals; try split pea soup, baked beans, three-bean salad or chili.
8. Try hummus (chickpea spread) in a pita pocket; have lima beans for dinner.
9. Add green peas to casseroles, stir-fry meals, rice or noodles.
10. Boost the fibre in casseroles and mixed dishes by tossing in a handful of oat bran, wheat bran or a crunchy high-fibre cereal.
11. Snack on fibre-filled fruits: pears, raspberries, apples, oranges, nectarines and bananas.
12. Have a sweet tooth? Cookies such as sultana raisin cookies or fig bars offer some fibre. A real winner is a homemade oatmeal and raisin cookie.
13. When a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, use whole grains like Spelt, Kamut or whole wheat 
14. Whenever possible, for maximum fibre, eat the whole fruit or vegetable (including its skin).
 
Remember:
* Increase the fibre in your diet slowly. Eat fibre often to reduce gas and bloating.
* Drink at least six to eight cups (2 L) of fluid such as water, juice, milk, or soup each day. Fibre holds fluid, which keeps stools soft.
* Eat regular meals and snacks to keep food moving through your bowel.
* Establish a routine and allow enough time for bowel movements.
* Exercise - physical activity promotes regular bowel function.
 
Fibre is important to eliminate constipation and increase our feeling of satiety so we don't eat as much.  It will also aid in sweeping the colon of toxins. 
Saturday, 31 December 2016 15:41

Good Nutrition on a Budget

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You don’t have to spend a lot of money to eat nutritionally.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Packaged, prepared, brand-name, imported, out of season, and convenience foods will eat up your grocery budget in no time.  Here are some healthy shopping tips to get you well on your way to a healthier lifestyle no matter what you dietary needs are.
 
  • Grow your own – cherry tomatoes, herbs, lettuces, and small peppers can be grown in pots on your deck during the summer months.
  • Buy the whole chicken and cut it up yourself. 
  • Eat more vegetarian meals – meat is very expensive and unless you’re buying free range, you should be questioning the quality.
  • Buy in bulk, avoid packaging
  • Cook more – eat out less
  • Cook/Prepare in quantity – invest in a slow cooker (Cost is approx. .50¢ to operate for 8 hours)
  • Buy in season and buy locally – to avoid transportation costs
  • Take your lunch to work/school
  • Make your own coffee – or better yet, drink green tea instead
  • Eat nutrient dense food – you’ll be less hungry
  • Stock up on sale items
  • Shop late on Saturday night or early Monday morning and take advantage of the marked down meats and produce
  • Check out the reduced bins and racks (Example: SuperStore, Zehr's)
  • Avoid luxury items – reserve these for “treats” only
  • Join a food co-op like the Good Food Box
  • Check out weekly grocery store flyers
  • Avoid brand names and choose generic brands instead
  • Be aware of the “unit” price.  A less expensive product may also be a smaller quantity
  • Use coupons - but remember, coupons are usually for name brands. Even with a coupon the generic brand often still costs less
  • Ask the butcher for bones for your dog and use them for soup stock – Fido will have to find his own bones.
  • Don’t throw out wilted veggies – these make beautiful soup stock that can be frozen and used later
  • Don’t spend too much time in the grocery store – you’re apt to spend more
  • Be aware that foods at eye level in the grocery store tend to be more expensive
  • Don’t succumb to advertising – taste the samples but don’t buy – these are rarely sale items.
  • Avoid “ready-to-eat” foods.  Buying basic food items will save you money and will be healthier for you and your family.
  • Read labels – be sure you’re getting the best nutrition for your food dollar.
  • Foods that have a Nutrition Facts label will also have an "ingredients" list. The ingredients are listed from "most" to "least" -- in other words, if sugar is the first ingredient, you know that the food is mostly sugar!
  • Shop wisely by using a shopping list, compare prices, and look at labels
  • Shop alone if you can, and be sure that you aren't hungry when you go - hungry shoppers find it hard to stick to the list!
  • Be flexible -- if you see an unadvertised special that is too good to pass up, change your plan -- add that food to your list.
  • Plan meals ahead, know what you have on hand and think about what you would like to cook
  • Make a food budget, and stick to it!
 
Every time you think of inflammation, the obvious thought that runs in your mind is how it helps to fight harmful bacteria or heal from an injury. Well, it’s not wrong to think in this line because that’s good inflammation trying to keep you healthy. But, if your immune system is very active, it can make you sick.
 
Most people already know that chronic illnesses such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease are somehow linked to weight gain. Have you ever tried to know how inflammation is intertwined with these diseases?  Understanding bad (chronic) inflammation will go a long way in explaining the link.
 
Chronic inflammation
Probably you already know that heavily processed foods should be avoided. But, do you know how such foods hurt your health? For people with sensitivities, allergies, including other health issues, some certain foods could be problematic. Experts agree that there are foods that often work against you such as:
Trans fats (donuts, fries, donuts)
Added sugar (juice, soda)
Alcohol
Processed meats (hot dogs, cheeseburgers, sausages)
Refined carbohydrates (pasta, white bread, pastries)
 
If the fat cells cause chronic inflammation, then it’s expected that weight gain could also cause chronic inflammation. While gaining weight, some of the fat cells tend to expand beyond their capacity as they try to store the extra calories as fat. As they do this, they add to the inflammation that is already present in the body. If this happens, the cells are not just storing fat – they are turned into tiny inflammation factories that keep sending signals for activating the immune system. Losing weight will help in shrinking the fat cells and shut down those signals that activate chronic inflammation.
 
So, how can you reduce chronic pain? Losing weight and changing your diet are the two main ways to handle inflammation. These tips will guide you:
 
Take polyphenols and antioxidants
Polyphenol- and antioxidant-rich foods are great when it comes to fighting inflammation. Drink green tea and take as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Suitable vegetables include kale, asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, beets and sweet potatoes. Fruits you should look out for include avocado, blueberries, and grapefruits.
 
Add spices
Studies have shown that spices like garlic, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger and pepper have anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure not to overdo it. Sprinkling the spices liberally will work just fine.
 
 
Eat essential fats
Omega-3 and Omega -6 fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation when added into your diet. Many people take fewer omega-3 and more omega-6. The key is to balance both. Foods rich in omega-6 like nuts and seeds (including their oils) and refined vegetable oils can stir up inflammation. Omega-3 high foods like flax, salmon, avocado, walnuts and chia seeds will dampen it.
 
Exercise often
Exercising helps in releasing anti-inflammatory proteins from cells to the entire body. The best way to approach this is by working out moderately.  Examples of moderate exercises are jogging, walking for 45-60 minutes, at least three times a week.
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