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What are Probiotics and why do you need them?

Beachbody-blog-probiotics
What are Probiotics and why do you need them?

The short answer:
Your gut is filled with bacteria, good and bad. Good bacteria aids digestion, boosts immunity, and combats a number of gut-related illnesses. Emerging research shows it may also impact weight loss and influence mood. Bad bacteria hampers good bacteria and can make you sick in an assortment of ways, oftentimes involving repeated trips to the bathroom.

The two fight constantly.

Probiotics contain good bacteria. You’ll find them either in supplement form or through real foods like yogurt, tempeh, kimchi, miso, and kombucha. By taking them, you’re fortifying the troops. While they’re generally an excellent idea, they’re particularly important after you’ve had an infection or you’ve taken a round of antibiotics, because these things tend to wipe out the populations in your gut.

The long answer:
The therapeutic use of probiotics is an excellent example of ancient wisdom existing long before Western science could pull its head out. There are references to curdled milk in the Bible (Genesis 18:8 and Isaiah 7:15 if you’re keeping score), but the party really got started around the start of the 20th century when Nobel Prize–winning scientist Dr. Elias Metchnikoff reported that Bulgarian shepherds tended to live almost twice as long as urban Parisians where he was living. He pinned this on the formers’ intake of fermented milk, which he felt contained “good” and “anti-putrefactive” microorganisms.

It’s unclear how Metchnikoff made the connection between these two rather disparate groups, but it gave birth to the modern investigation of probiotics, so let’s not complain. For the last hundred plus years, science continues to discover more and more good things about the bugs living in our intestines.

The 100 trillion (give or take a trillion) bacteria that live in your gut can be divided into over 500 types. Many of the important ones fall into one of two genera, Lactobacillus andBifidobacterium. Under that, there are several species, many of which have specific benefits. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to be especially effective in combating lactose intolerance and Montezuma’s Revenge (or “traveler’s diarrhea” if you want to be boring about it). However, unless you have a specific issue that you’re trying to address, you probably don’t need to stress about all the species.

Fun fact one: the bad bacteria you’re working to keep in check include Helicobacter pylori,Escherichia coli (E. coli), and salmonella.

Fun fact two: we’re born without bacteria in our guts, but the populating begins when we pass through the birth canal. Our first gasps of air provide yet more bacteria, as does breast milk, which is especially rich in probiotics.

It’s well-established that probiotic consumption helps with almost any intestinal issue you can think of, including constipation, lactose intolerance, GI infections, gas, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, IBS, and IBD. It’s been shown to be effective in treating vaginal and urinary tract infections and atopic eczema. There’s also research showing probiotics may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

There are a few theories as to how this all happens. One is that good bacteria simply take up the space in the gut that the bad bacteria would take over. There’s also the fact that some good bacteria stimulate the immune system by promoting the release of various white blood cells that kill pathogens. A third idea is that many bacteria use the same fuel sources. For example, Clostridium difficile, which causes diarrhea and inflames the colon, is dependent on sugar—but so are many good bacteria. It all comes down to balance. If you have plenty of good bacteria in your gut, they’re going to dominate the monosaccharide buffet.

Look beyond GI issues, and current science on gut bacteria and probiotics gets even more amazing. A Washington University study on identical twins—one overweight and one thin—showed that they had entirely different gut microbiota, suggesting certain bacteria in your system promotes weight gain. (A separate UC Berkeley study suggests the evolutionary reason for this is that people in northern climates need more body fat, so their gut bacteria actually shifts to promote weight gain.)

But if you think popping the right probiotics will soon be the key to dropping pounds, don’t get too excited. Yet another study on mice shows that “weight loss bacteria” doesn’t seem to thrive on a high in saturated fat, low-fiber diet. However, they tend to propagate when fed a diet filled with fruits and veggies.

Researchers are also looking seriously into the gut-brain axis. In other words, those little bugs in your belly might actually have a say in your decision-making process. For instance, gut bacteria produce 95% of your serotonin, a powerful “feel-good” neurotransmitter.

And a Texas Tech University study on mice found that feeding mice the bad bacteriumCampylobacter jejuni drove up their anxiety levels.

So, yes, you should consume probiotics. How many depends on your situation. Antibiotics wipe out the microbes in your gut, so a supplement is an excellent idea after a round of those. Beyond that, if you have a gut-related issue, it’s worth researching which probiotic might help and supplement thusly.

Quality probiotic supplements can be pricey though. For most people, a solid diet filled with probiotic foods should do the trick. (For the record, Shakeology contains Bacillus coagulans, an especially hearty probiotic that can survive at room temperature when many probiotics require refrigeration.)

Yogurt is also a great source. However, it’s important to read the label. The bacteria that make the flavor and texture that Western society considers yogurt can’t survive the voyage through our GI tract, so manufacturers enhance the stuff with other strains, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.

Kombucha, or fermented tea, is another great probiotic food that’s especially trendy right now. It may take a while to learn to appreciate its tangy taste, but it’s worth it. Another benefit of kombucha is that it’s incredibly simple to make.

Beyond that, there are tons of other foods out there that are technically probiotic, including tempeh, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, and various cheeses. Unfortunately, these foods are often heated or pasteurized in such a way that kills the bacteria, so check on the label to verify if the probiotics are still active. Another option is to seek out a boutique producer who deliberately maintains the bacteria in their foods. Or you might want to make them yourself.Sandor Ellix Katz’s The Art of Fermentation is an excellent resource for your bacterial DIY needs.

On a final note, remember that fruit and veggie thing a few paragraphs up? Well, it applies to all the benefits of probiotics. Gut bacteria thrives on certain foods called prebiotics, so it’s crucial to make them part of your diet. Foods especially high in prebiotics include asparagus, onion, leek, garlic, artichokes, oats, and bananas. Yacon root, which you’ll find in Shakeology, also contains prebiotics.

So make prebiotics and probiotics a cornerstone of your diet because if you’re good to all those little bugs in your gut, they’ll return the favor tenfold.

Ready to try adding some amazing probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, and whole-food nutrition to your diet? CLICK HERE!

Microfibers…what are they?

4 Folded Microfiber cloths, assorted colors

What is it?

At only 1/200th the size of a strand of human hair, Norwex Microfiber is one of the most innovative products in the cleaning industry today. When combined with the unique Norwex knitting process, Norwex Microfiber becomes a highly effective cleaning agent and can hold up to seven times its weight in matter. Unlike cotton cloths that will simply spread the dirt, grease and other particles around, Norwex BacLock® * Microfiber lifts these particles up into the cloth and away from the surface. Once inside the cloth, the Norwex micro silver in the cloth goes to work with self-purification properties against mold, fungi and bacterial odor within 24 hours, so that it is ready to use again.

Get your own MICROFIBER here!

When a traditional cotton cloth is used to wipe your surface, dirt and moisture are pushed around and into the surface crevices, leaving it moist and unclean. Norwex Microfiber attracts dirt, grease, and moisture, leaving the surface clean and dry. Once these particles are inside the wet cloth, the micro silver in the cloth goes to work with the self purification properties against the mold, fungi and bacterial odor within 24 hours, so that is is ready to use again.

How to use it:

Work with eight clean sides

  1. Fold the cloth in half.
  2. Fold it again. You now have a total of eight clean sides to work with. For the Window Cloth and Car Cloth, fold it again and you have 16 sides.
  3. Place your whole hand on the cloth and wipe with even strokes. The cloth should be flat against the surface being cleaned.

Use it Wet to Clean

Dampen your cloth with water to loosen dirt and debris, leaving surface free from everything.  Used wet, the microfibers work together to provide superior cleaning results. Simply wet the cloth, wring, and wipe away dirt and debris from all washable surfaces. For spot cleaning use the Norwex Spray Bottle to apply water to the surface before cleaning.

Use it Dry for Dusting

Use dry to pick up and hold dust.  Used dry, the Norwex Microfiber produces an electrostatic charge that attracts and holds dust particles. The electrostatic effect created enhances the cloths’ ability to attract dirt and dust particles. As you lightly wipe the surface the microfiber attracts and draws up even the smallest particles of dust, trapping them in the fibers until the cloths are rinsed or laundered.

How to take care of it:

    • Wash slightly dirty microfiber cloths with Norwex Dishwashing Liquid under warm, running water. Rinse thoroughly, hang to dry or drop into the dryer.
    • Launder microfiber cloths separately or with other lint-free laundry. Dry completely.
    • Use Norwex Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent for best results.
    • For deep, stubborn stains or odors, microfiber can be boiled for 10 minutes to allow fibers to swell and release the debris.
    • Between launderings, use our Rubber Brush to remove dirt from dry Mop Pads and Entry Mat.
    • Do not use bleach, fabric softeners or dryer sheets when laundering microfiber as these additives coat the fibers and reduce their ability to clean effectively.
    • Do not use microfiber (except Norwex Optic Scarf ) on anti-glare surfaces.

Microfiber Warranty:

At Norwex we are proud of our unique, high quality microfiber and want you to be as thrilled as we are with the product.  We are happy to assist you with any item that did not meet your expectations. Our two-year microfiber warranty covers any problem you may encounter outside of normal wear and tear. If you are not pleased with how a microfiber product has worn or performed you may contact your Consultant to have the item replaced, at no additional charge, through Norwex Customer Service Returns.

Products with BacLock® 

BacLock regThis graphic is noted throughout the catalog to differentiate those products that contain an antibacterial agent for self-cleansing purposes only. The agent is solely designed to inhibit bacterial odor, mold and/or mildew growth within the product.

 

CLICK HERE to try a cloth out.  

Get #SummerStrong

 

summer health

It’s time to get #SummerStrong! Starting April 4th, Beachbody is challenging you to get Strong for Summer. In this 60-day contest, you’ll choose your workout(s), get support and motivation in private Facebook groups, and have a chance to win up to $5,000! Here’s how to join:

Click here for Beachbody information!

1. Choose a program below to commit to! You can choose between 22 Minute Hard Corps, The Master’s Hammer and Chisel, 21 Day Fix (or 21 Day Fix EXTREME), CIZE, or #BOD Exclusive: Brazil Butt Lift CARNIVALE

2. Commit to your fitness track by choosing a program below and joining the corresponding Summer Strong Facebook group.

3. Take your “before” photos before you start your program and submit your “before” and “after” photos between May 1, 2016 and June 7, 2016. Links will be provided in the Facebook groups.

Summer-Strong-22-Minute-Hard-Corps

TAKE YOUR BEFORE + AFTER PHOTOS AND WIN UP TO $5,000!

Summer Strong Contest | BeachbodyBlog.com

How to Lose Weight, Not Muscle

 

If you’re ready to join the 14 day FREE clean eating group, click here!

If you’re ready to jump in with a Challenge Pack…go HERE!

 

Losing weight and gaining muscle can often seem at odds. You’ve heard the classic advice: If you want to shed pounds, you have to eat fewer calories while burning more of them. If you want to gain muscle, you have to do just the opposite, increasing your caloric intake while working your muscles hard. So is it possible to attack the two most popular fitness goals at the same time? The answer is an unequivocal yes. Just follow these three simple rules.

 

Skip the Long Runs
If you want to lose fat, don’t go the aerobic route, say researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Louisiana. Their study comparing the weight-loss results of people who did aerobic workouts while dieting with those who only dieted found that steady state cardio (think: jogging, stationary cycling, rowing) added almost nothing to the weight loss equation. When it comes to shedding pounds, you want to be the hare, not the tortoise: A 2011 Australian study found that shorter, tougher workouts (e.g., sprints, intervals, high-intensity strength circuits) consistently resulted in significant fat loss. Added bonus: Working out at a high intensity specifically targets abdominal fat—the most insidious kind that wraps around your internal organs, increasing the size of your belly and your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

 

Don’t Starve Yourself
If you want to lose fat, you have to cut your caloric intake. But if you also want to also maintain (or even build) muscle, cutting a little works better than cutting a lot, according to Norwegian scientists. Their study found that strength-training athletes who cut calories by 30 percent saw no change in muscle mass, but those who cut calories by just 19 percent were able to increase their muscle mass while also leaning out. Shoot for losing no more than 1 percent of your bodyweight—or roughly 1 to 2 pounds—per week, suggest the researchers.

 

Prioritize Protein
You need protein to build muscle. If you want to lose fat at the same time, you may need even more: A 2016 study found that overweight men on an intense fitness routine and a calorie-restricted diet were able to gain muscle over a 4-week period—but only if their protein intake was high. Protein should make up slightly more than one-third of your total caloric intake. Don’t want to do the nutritional math? Eyeball it: Meat, fish, poultry, and other protein should take up about a third of your plate at each meal.

If you’re ready to join the 14 day FREE clean eating group, click here!

If you’re ready to jump in with a Challenge Pack…go HERE!

Authors

Andrew Heffernan CSCS, GCFP

Will alcohol keep me from reaching my fitness goals?

 

Ready to start on YOUR fitness journey? CLICK HERE.

 

Want to clean up your eating? Click HERE for a FREE 14 day meal planner.

Ask the Expert: Will Drinking Alcohol Hurt My Results?

By Steve Edwards

When it comes to getting fit and healthy, alcohol is one of the first things you’re told to eliminate from your diet. Yet studies regularly show that those who drink live longer and healthier lives than those who don’t. So, what’s the deal? Is alcohol a magic potion for a long and healthy life, or is your fitness the only thing it’s going to take the edge off?


Woman Sunning Near a pool with a Glass of Wine


The consumption of alcohol in some form or another has been around since the first caveman left some fruit in the sun too long, causing it to ferment (what a crazy night around the fire that was). Since we’ve always had it and, if history is any indication, we always will, we should have a strategy about how to use it.

What is alcohol?

Alcohol starts out healthy enough, as a plant, where it’s the byproduct of the decaying process (fermentation). Although it’s technically a depressant, its effect on the human body manifests as making you feel giddy, powerful, and awesome on the dance floor. And because it’s natural, you know, like tobacco and opium, it’s got to be good, right? Oh, wait. Maybe not.

And just like other natural things, the food industry has found unnatural ways to create alcohol that tend to be cheaper and even less healthy. But, I’m nitpicking because ultimately alcohol is alcohol. You’re going to get hammered whether you drink Night Train or single-malt Scotch—although all the chemicals in the rotgut might give you a worse hangover.

Glass of LiquidAnd for you out there who think you’re beating the system with your Diet Coke® and rum, alcohol has calories. A lot of them. At 7 calories per gram, alcohol has more calories by volume than both carbs and proteins and slightly less than fats. (Plus, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine,1 drinking diet soda with alcohol could get you drunk faster.)

More importantly, these calories have no food value. That’s right. Nada. Zilch. You’re adding calories to your diet, the only performance enhancing quality of which is to help you brag about yourself down at the pub.

The big question people usually ask me is whether or not they should drink alcohol while doing P90X®, INSANITY®, or one of our other boot camp–style programs. When you’re trying to change your body, the crux is making the nutritional switch from high-calorie/low-nutrient foods to low-calorie/high-nutrient foods. Since alcohol is a very high-calorie/no-nutrient food, you can see why it never ranks very high onMichi’s Ladder.

Keep in mind that we’re not telling you to abstain from alcohol forever. We’re advising you cut down on it—or completely cut it out—while you’re trying to transform your body.

What about all the studies showing alcohol is good for you?

The lifestyle studies that show up on the wires almost ubiquitously champion alcohol consumption because moderate drinkers always outlive everyone else. In fact, one major study showed that even excessive drinkers lived longer than teetotalers. There is no scientific surface explanation as to why this would be the case, so most experts chalk it up to lifestyle. Those who drink tend to be less stressed about life, in general, and stress is intricately linked to shorter life spans.

This is why our nutrition guides also generally give parameters for moderate drinking. If it makes you happy then, by all means, don’t quit. Just learn to be a healthy drinker.

But as I said above, when you’re doing one of our programs, the rules of nutrition shift slightly. You’re pushing your body harder, so it behooves you to keep nutrition tiptop. Furthermore, if you can’t go 90 days without a drink, you might want to consider your relationship with alcohol. It is, after all, an addictive substance.

The Dark Side of Drinking

And on that topic, alcohol has a dark side beyond calories. It can easily lead to an excessive path. If you’re a clever writer, you might make a nefarious career out of being a boozer, but it wreaks havoc on most of us.

Behavioral issues aside, let’s take a quick look at how alcohol can add up from a dietary perspective. A 12-ounce beer is about 150 or so calories. Ditto a 5-ounce glass of wine. One shot (1.5 oz) of the straight stuff has between 85 and 115 calories, depending on what proof it is.

Man Lying on the Floor next to a Glass of LiquidUnfortunately we tend to have more than that one serving. Often a lot more. Those longevity studies give the best numbers to folk who have 1–2 drinks a day, not those taking the Silver Bullet Express to every sporting event on TV.

When you pound a twelver during a weekend double-header, you’ve done serious dietary damage. Factor in that in our tendency to offset a drunken state-of-grace with greasy indulgences and it’s easy to see how Monday Night Football® at Cheers might result in unnecessary roughness. And despite the advice you’ll get on Good Morning America®, a quick jog the next day is not going to fight the beer belly you’ll get from those binges.

So the short answer here to whether it’s okay to drink when you’re working out is, “Sure. In moderation.” If you don’t already drink, I don’t think you need to start, but if you’re already a drinker, limit your intake and take the occasional time off, especially if you’re into a serious training cycle.

Do that, and I’ll raise a glass to you!

 

Want to clean up your eating? Click HERE for a FREE 14 day meal planner.

Nine foods that aren’t as healthy as you think!

 

Beachbody-Blog-9-Healthy-Foods-Dont-Eat

Are you ready to get your veggies and fruits in one healthy, whole-food shake? Get your servings HERE!

If you have a cheat meal or eat unhealthily every so often, that isn’t so bad (we try and follow the rule of eating an 80% clean diet). But, what if you’re eating badly and don’t know it? Sure, you stay away from deep-fried Oreos, but is your favorite “health food” snack keeping you from reaching your goals?

Here are nine foods that have successfully disguised themselves as “diet-friendly” foods. Don’t let them fool you.

Granola
Shocked? Granola is often touted as an outdoorsy health snack. Yet, it’s super high in calories and many variations are loaded with sugar and saturated fat.
Solution: Go raw. Muesli is basically just raw granola and it tends to have less sugars and oils—but just in case, always read the label. If you are trying to lose weight, make sure to measure to keep your portion size reasonable.

Frozen Diet Meals
Frozen dinners are not as healthy as they advertise. Though many are low in calories (most range from around 240–400 calories), they are highly processed, lacking in nutrients, and brimming with sodium. Although they may seem convenient, you give up a lot in exchange for the convenience of a three-minute microwaved meal.
Solution: Prepare healthy meals in bulk at the beginning of the week to deter you from having to choose these unhealthy convenient options. Or, if you absolutely must, read the labels. Some brands are better than others. Amy’s Kitchen, for example, does a better job than most.

Sports Drinks
Note the word “sports” in the title. These drinks are specifically designed to replenish carbs, electrolytes and other nutrients during long, hard efforts. In any other situation, they’re just sugar water. You might as well drink soda.
Solution: Generally, sports drinks are only useful for hard exercise going longer than an hour. Otherwise, you’re probably better off with water. However, if you’re eating at a calorie deficit and you’re having a hard time making it through your 30–60 minute workout, a little extra blood sugar might help, so experiment with a diluted sports drink. And again, read labels. High fructose corn syrup or artificial dyes won’t give you the fitness boost you’re looking for.

“Fat Free” Products
“Fat Free” might look good on paper, but your body actually needs fat! Plus, as Nutrition Expert Denis Faye explains, in most of these products “they just replace the fat with carbs and salt, so you’ve basically gone from pouring a little unsaturated fat on your salad to dumping on a pile of sugar.”
Solution: Stick with simple homemade dressings, like balsamic vinaigrette, and, if you’re out, ask for them on the side to control how much you’re using.

Muffins
American-style muffins first came into popularity at the end of the 18th century…and never went out of fashion again. But, this sweet quickbread is hardly healthy. Take those tempting blueberry muffins you see at some classic coffee chains. They’ll pack on about 460 calories and 15 grams of fat. Not to mention they’re usually made with refined flour, tons of sugar, and goodness knows what preservatives.
Solution: Almost all store-bought muffins should really just be avoided. If you’re really craving a muffin, try this flourless chocolate muffin that’s lower in calories and higher in fiber and other good-for-you components. Or, this plum bran muffin if you’re looking for a real fruit and fiber boost.

Sushi
As far as proteins go, fish deserves a high place in your diet and sushi can be a great way to enjoy it. However, most sushi is more rice than fish, and sometimes, it’s been deep fried (we’re looking at you, spider roll) or coated with mayonnaise (cue the dynamite roll and almost any sushi that has “spicy” in the name). While it’s never a complete junk food, like many items here, you can’t chow down without restraint and expect to see nothing but benefits.
Solution: If you do rolls, try to choose rolls made with brown rice or those that are low-carb (in other words, rice free). Or, stick with sashimi.

Pretzels
Don’t confuse these travel-friendly little bites that are low in fat, for a “healthy” snack. This carb-heavy, calorie-laden treat is almost completely devoid of nutrients and is often high in sodium. For instance, you’ll get an entire day’s worth of sodium in one cup of Rold Gold pretzels.
Solution: Stick to nutrient-dense snacks like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds. Just keep an eye on the serving size if you’re watching your weight.

Veggie Chips
Just because something contains the word “veggie” in the name doesn’t mean it’s healthy. High in fat and sodium, Veggie Chips are often extraordinarily high in fat and sodium and, honestly, not much better for you than potato chips.
Solution: When snacking, eat your veggies raw—and dip them in hummus if you want to add flavor.

Tea
What’s the problem with tea today? It’s mainly not tea! Most mass-produced teas come bottled with preservatives and designer drinks like chai lattes pump the sugar and additive content through the roof.
Solution: Try Tejava (which is all-natural and just contains brewed tea), stick to unsweetened teas from your local coffee shop, or brew your own. It’s easy!

Authors

 

Are you ready to get your veggies and fruits in one healthy, whole-food shake? Get your servings HERE!

Leptin, Hormones, Hypothalamus, and Resetting Your System

 

What is Leptin?

So…this might be a lot for you all to take in: Leptin, hormones, hypothalamus, immune system, thyroid, weight loss / gain, energy levels, nutrition, health, fitness. Yes, it’s all intertwined.  I believe that most people know this to be true, yet few are willing to do much about it.

I’m taking part in a 6 Day Reset – where I am addressing my health at a hormonal level.  It’s more than just being healthy on the outside (weight, muscles, endurance and such). It’s also about being healthy on the inside (energy, mental state, and brain function).

Click HERE to get more information on the 6 day reset.

leptin, hormones, energy, hypothalamus, brain function, weight loss, hormones, thyroid

What is Leptin?

The short answer is: it’s a hormone that comes from your hypothalamus.  If you remember, the hypothalamus is something that I’ve been researching and teaching about for over two years now.  It’s what regulates your hunger, thirst, mood, relationships, and sleep.  That’s sums up who we are, doesn’t it? The hypothalamus is regulated by glucose and sends out hormones to the rest of our system.  Leptin is created there…in the hypothalamus.  Read more about my findings and beliefs concerning the hypothalamus here.

Read more about Leptin herehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptin I’ve spent most of my day researching this for you. Basically – it’s the hunger hormone. It tells us when we are full.  It regulates appetite to achieve energy homeostasis. In obesity, a decreased sensitivity to leptin occurs, resulting in an inability to detect satiety despite high energy stores.

The purpose of Day 2 of the 6 Day Reset is to fix this imbalance or decreased sensitivity.  We need to reset our brain…don’t think “I have no will-power” or “I just can’t seem to put the fork down,” think “what’s going on in my brain that is making me keep eating?”  The thing is, it’s an addiction.  It has to do with dopemine and our nutrition.

What peripheral systems (non-Hypothalamus) does Leptin effect?

Circulatory, reproduction, bone, brain (hippocampus), and the immune systems are affected by Leptin in a variety of ways. Wikipedia says, “…, chronically elevated leptin levels are associated with obesity, overeating, and inflammation-related diseases, including hypertensionmetabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.”  

Thyroid, gut, heart, brain…what else is there? This stuff is for real, and it’s important to not develop a decreased sensitivity to Leptin…and if you already have, there’s a chance to reset!

You need to RESET your relationship with FOOD

How? If you specifically fight belly fat, it very well could be something as simple as too much fructose in your diet.  Fructose? That’s the stuff in FRUIT.  That’s what makes fruit sweet.  Can you get too much? Yes and no. The interesting thing I just discovered is that about 60% of adults have difficulty processing sugar from fruits: FRUCTOSE.  And the thing is, it’s added to a lot of processed food.  First: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Yes, that’s right. That’s why people were taught to believe that HFCS was “good” for you – the sugar comes from fruit, so it can’t be all that bad, right?  Well, if you’re not burning off that extra fructose, or if you have trouble processing it on your own, it WILL turn to fat.

Here’s how to reset your sensitivity to Leptin:

  1. Stop eating fruit for three days.  No sugar, no fruits, no added fructose, no sweets.  Try to keep your fructose levels to less than 20 grams per day.  Some veggies (true veggies, not tomatoes) will still have some fructose.  That’s okay.  But stick to true veggies.  True veggies are foods without seeds (this is debatable, but just for now, humor me).
  2. Eat protein with your first meal.  Eggs, meat, tofu, etc.  Give it a go.  If you need ideas of high-protein foods, just Google it!
  3. Eat at least one pound of vegetables eat day…for three days. Again, real vegetables are key here.
  4. Increase the good fats: coconut oil, fish, avocados, olives.
  5. Eliminate alcohol for three days.

You can always look into Leptin food lists, hormones in the body, and fructose intolerance.  The findings are interesting.  You can get lost in the research, but if you believe that you have these issues…it’s worth the look.

It is important to know that everyone is different. While some will respond very well to this reset, some will need an extra boost.  Ask me for more information on Leptin, the hypothalamus, and how nutrition can reset your entire system.

Here are some new ways to get rid of toxins in your body and environment: CLICK HERE!

Check out our free program to help you reach your goals:

GOAL TRACKER

 

The Blog is Live! Free menus, recipes, grocery list, and more!

Welcome to our new, improved fitness and nutrition blog.  This is about more than a diet- this is life-changing!  This is about teaming up with others in a supportive, sharing environment to establish positive, lifelong habits that will lead to better health for both your physical and mental well-being.

Where to start?  There is so much in the world of fitness and nutrition to be excited about right now.   We look forward to sharing it all with you, from fitness programs, to nutritional supplements, to workout gear.

But first things first! You’ll only get out of your body what you put into it.  Having a nutritious, well-balanced diet is fundamental to physical and mental health.  But it can be so confusing- especially when you consider that 80% of the food sold in our grocery stores contains added sugar, processed carbs, and other unhealthy ingredients.

So what now?  A wise person once said that the longest journey begins with the first step.  So we are here to help you with that

single…

but oh so important…

FIRST STEP!

Click on the link below to get access to our free Clean Eating menus, recipes and grocery shopping list It’s everything you need to eat a healthy, nutritious, well-balanced diet.  And it is absolutely FREE!

And its not just a document, you can also join our Facebook fitness and nutrition support page.  Join others who have embarked on the same life-changing journey.  It’s additional support to help you stay on track!

Yes, it is all free.  Always!

Click here now and take your first step!

healthy eating, eat healthy, clean eating, heathy diet plan, nutrition, diet
14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

 

Juicing Vs. Blending

 

What’s The Difference Between Juicing and Blending?

Juicing and blending are buzz words in healthy living lifestyles – from weight loss and energy boosters to micronutrients and cell health.

What is the verdict: Juicing vs. blending?

juicing vs blending, juicing, plexus slim

JUICING

Juicing is a process which extracts water and nutrients from produce  and discards the indigestible fiber.  

The goal of juicing is to let your digestive system have a rest from breaking down all the food…and be able to absorb more nutrients. Without the body’s need to sort through the fiber – you will actually be absorbing more nutrients than eating all of the food whole.

On that note, it’s very difficult to eat as much vegetables as necessary to begin with – but, having the nutrients delivered to your gut in ready-to-absorb form is one way to ensure that you DO get all you need.

For those with a sensitive digestive system or illness – this is extremely helpful. 

Fresh vegetable juices provide healing, detox, nourishment, and restoration at the cellular level.


A word of caution:   If you are juicing only or mostly fruits, a rapid spike in blood sugar and unstable blood sugar  levels can lead to mood swings, energy loss, memory problems and more! Be sure to juice mostly vegetable and low-glycemic fruits if needed.

Fiber is also something that helps with feeling full, and it slows the digestion process – so you might feel hungry again soon. However, once you get used to juicing, your body won’t be sending “eat” messages out, since you’ll be getting way more nutrients.

juicing vs. blending, plexus slim

BLENDING


Smoothies or blended foods consist  of the whole fruit or vegetable (skin and all) and contain all of the fiber from the vegetables.
The blending process breaks down the fiber – but provides a slow, even release of nutrients into the blood stream and avoids blood sugar spikes. Smoothies from a blender are more filling, since the fiber is included.  For some, blending is faster to make than juice, making them a better choice for on-the-go snacking or breakfast. 


Equipment and “rules” are next…but, if you’re serious about your health – it might be that you want to do both. Juicing and blending are excellent methods of delivering a nutrient-rich food source to your body.

More on juicing…here

Diet Pills

 

The truth about diet pills

I’m coming from experience in wanting to shed some unwanted weight quickly.  I gained 75 pounds with my first pregnancy…and eventually lost most of it.  I got all but 5 or so off.  That being said – I had started off at 103 pounds.  At 5’2″ – that’s a good weight for me.  So…I got up to 178ish. AND… that was in 1997! So, I was in my early 20s, worked out 5 times a week, lived off of popcorn and margaritas, and just lived life.  After getting pregnant, I ate everything I could. Five or six slices of pizza was not an issue. I was pregnant, for Pete’s sake! I was eating for two! I kept peanut butter and jelly mixed together in the fridge for a quick fix.  I kept melted ice cream and peanut butter mixed together in the fridge for a midnight snack. I drank juice like it was going out of style. And – I ate a lot of everything! But – that was 17 years ago.  Fast forward to pregnancy number two: I was almost 30 now, weighed in at about 110, and was determined not to balloon up to 180. However…although I ate fairly well, got some exercise, and tried to not indulge…I STILL got up to 180! 180 on a small frame is a lot! I was in pain. My hips and legs kept me from every being comfortable.  Still, I lost most of it…getting down to about 112.  Not to shabby.  Then…I turned 35.  I started gaining without being pregnant! With two kids and a full-time job, I didn’t have time to exercise (or so I believed) and I was stress eating all of the time.  So, I got up to 140.  Otherwise healthy, the weight just wouldn’t come off. I had all of my systems tested…and they seemed to be working fine.  I was just getting fat.

Then…baby number three at 39 years old.  And yes…I got up to 180 again! Even though this time, I knew I would have trouble getting it off – I gained weight like it was nothing!  After the baby…I was determined to get back to 140 – at least. So I did. Then I got down to 130ish. But – I could not lose any more.  I looked at diet pills – but my husband wouldn’t let me try any.  I thought about sneaking them, but if something bad were to happen, no one would know. I needed to get my blood sugar, my weight, my moods, and my sleep back under control.

My husband and I decided that I wouldn’t take any fad diet pills. That I should stay away from all of the dangerous options out there:

Concerning ingredients to watch for in diet pills:

Ma huang/ephedra/ephedrine/pseudoephedrine – Ma huang, a species of ephedra, frequently contains ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which can affect the nervous system and result in high blood pressure, increased heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, heart attack, stroke or death. Ephedra has been banned in the U.S.

Bitter orange/synephrine – Bitter orange contains a chemical called synephrine, which is similar to ephedra and can cause increased heart rate, headaches, vomiting, insomnia, high blood pressure, fainting, heart attack and stroke.

Sibutramine – Sibutramine is a powerful stimulant that may significantly increase the risk of heart attacks, arrhythmias or strokes, in addition to causing a long list of side effects. It was removed from the market in 2010. Several weight-loss drugs have been found to be illegally spiked with sibutramine.

Fenproporex – Fenproporex is a stimulant not approved for use in the U.S.; it is converted to amphetamine in the body and may cause heart arrhythmias and possibly even sudden death. It may also be addictive.

Phenolphthalein – Phenolphthalein is an ingredient that was in some laxative products until 1999, when the FDA declared that it was “not generally recognized as safe and effective.” It has been found to be a hidden ingredient in several weight-loss pills.

There are lots of scary stories out there: people die!

Best diet / Quick weight loss

What is the best diet for quick weight loss? No such thing.  Think of diet NOT as a way to lose weight, but as a way of eating. Eat for nutrition…eat for energy…eat for health.  With healthy eating, hard work, exercise, and some will-power, I did it.  I might not ever get down to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I’m happy where I am right now.

I work out for 30 minutes a day, I juice, I eat right, I feed my family right, and I occasionally cheat with chocolate and peanut butter…but that’s okay.

Fast weight loss diets don’t work…they won’t last…you can’t sustain the requirements.  Think of the best diets to lose weight fast as the best way to gain back fast…the best diets to set yourself up for failure.  Rethink diet! Eat real foods, exercise, and stop eating sugar.

As for diets that claim to work fast…for real. I challenge you to stop eating sugar, processed foods, and junk for two weeks.  See how much weight you can lose.  Stop eating chips, fast food, restaurant food, cheap breads, snacks, and soda…even diet soda…for two weeks.  You’ll drop pounds. I promise.

Thankfully, a well balanced diet requires none of those ^^ ingredients.  If you are looking for quick weight loss, the best diet… join us on our next Clean Eating Challenge.

You can do it, too!

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14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!