Tag Archives: candida

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!

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!

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!

 

Candida Overgrowth Self Check List

 

Checklist for Candida Albicans

This is a great tool to check if you might have Candida Albicans yeast infection overgrowth (CO). Candida overgrowth is a serious issue. Poor diet, fungusy foods, antibiotic use, and consumption of meats that were injected with antibiotics lead to Candida overgrowth.

 

Candida Albicans yeast infection symptoms which are numerous and seemingly unrelated, can lead to confusion and mis-diagnosis.  Most people who have Candida overgrowth won’t be diagnosed…they will end up receiving prescriptions for symptoms…not the cause. Candida yeast steals nutrients from the food that you eat, and it poisons the tissues with waste material containing over 75 known toxins. Candida albicans is linked, directly or indirectly, to the following list of conditions and symptoms.

Review the 80 likely symptoms listed below to see if any apply to you. Give yourself ONE POINT for each of those which you have had persistently (for a month or longer, either currently or at anytime in the past).

Candida Symptoms

Digestive Troubles

  • Bad Breath,
  • Gas/Bloating,
  • Indigestion,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Constipation,
  • Intestinal Pain,
  • Low Blood Sugar,
  • Food / sugar cravings,
  • Mouth or stomach ulcers,
  • Allergies (Air or Food),
  • Food Sensitivities,
  • Heartburn,
  • Dry Mouth,
  • Receding Gums,
  • Hemorrhoids, rectal itch
  • Irritable bowel.

Behavioral

  • Anti-social Behavior,
  • Suicidal Tendencies,
  • Insomnia,
  • Depression,
  • Anxiety, high strung.
  • Irritability.

Skin & Joint Problems

  • Thrush, Diaper Rash,
  • Acne, Skin Rash or Hives,
  • Dry Skin & Itching,
  • Finger, toe or foot Fungus,
  • Athlete’s Foot,
  • Liver Spots,
  • Water Retention,
  • Joint Pain,
  • Muscle Aches,
  • Numbness.

Troubles

  • Hyperactivity
  • Attention Deficit Disorder,
  • Lack of Impulse Control,

Female Problems

  • Infertility,
  • Vaginal Yeast Infection,
  • Menstrual Problems,
  • PMS Symptoms,
  • Bladder Infections,
  • Endometriosis,
  • No Sex Drive,
  • Hormonal Imbalance,
  • Iron Deficiency.

Mental & Emotional

  • Dizziness,
  • Mental Fogginess, (Confused, spaced-out, blank stares, day dreaming)
  • Inability to Concentrate (Having to re-read the same thing twice)
  • Poor memory (Where are my car keys? or, Why did I come into this room?)
  • Mood Swings,
  • Headaches.

Immune Problems

  • Lethargic/Laziness,
  • Chronic Fatigue,
  • Asthma, Hay Fever,
  • Colds & Flu,
  • Puffy Eyes,
  • Respiratory Problems,
  • Chemical Sensitivity,
  • Epstein Barr Virus,
  • Adrenal/Thyroid Failure,
  • Cold/Shaky,
  • Ear Infections,
  • Chronic sore throat,
  • Post nasal drip,
  • Hair Loss,
  • Stuffed sinus (sinusitis),
  • Overweight,
  • Underweight,
  • Diabetes,
  • Burning Eyes,
  • Premature Aging,
  • Autism

YOUR ADDED SCORE IS _____ (one point per symptom)

0-4 points – Indicates variations of normal living (unless persistent and severe).
5-9 Points – Indicates a Clear Pattern shows likely development of CO.
10 or more - Indicates Strong Pattern and almost certain CO.

What’s the next step? There are medical tests to evaluate the levels of Candida in your system. You could start there.

Additionally, diet will help control the additional growth of Candida.

Candida Diet:

Click here for foods to avoid for Candida overgrowth.

Here are some great menu ideas from Pinterest: CLICK HERE

Besides a diet that will reduce the growth of Candida, a top-of-the-line probiotic will help kill the bad yeast. It’s important to use a probiotic that includes enzymes and follow that up with a magnesium supplement to prohibit the re-absorption of toxins.

Read here for more information about Candida Overgrowth detox.

Ready to take steps toward whole-body health?

What are the benefits of Coconut Oil?

benefits of coconut oil, coconut oil

What are the benefits of coconut oil?

We’ve all been hearing about how amazing coconut oil is for our body, mind, skin, and overall health.  I’ve heard that it can cure cancer, obesity, thyroid disease…etc. But, really? Is any of that true or is it just another band wagon that health and even food chains love – as sales seem to pick up dramatically with any new “discovery”.

 

The first thing to look at is clinical trials vs. testimonials. There are few clinical trials that would support (or really spend the money to find out) the truth behind these types of health claims.

 Continue reading below…

What Is Coconut Oil?

Pure virgin coconut oil, containing no hydrogenation (the process of adding hydrogen to make a liquid fat hard), contains 92% saturated fat — the highest amount of saturated fat of any fat.

Coconut oils are saturated fats that are technically oil – but can be liquid, a mix between liquid and solid, or solid – depending on room temperature.  The oils that we are most familiar with are animal products and also contain cholesterol. Coconut oils do not contain cholesterol.

One interesting difference between coconut oil and other oils is that coconut oil has an unusual blend of fatty acids – which might offer some health benefits. But, just because coconut oils comes from plants does not mean that they are healthier than other oils.

Another fact that many people may not realize: all fats have the same number of calories per gram.  Oils don’t contain any vitamins or minerals.

Is Coconut Oil Better Than Other Fats and Oils?

Coconut oil is better for us than butter, but it is still a saturated fat that needs to be limited.

All Fats are not Created Equal

Many believe that the short-term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil is a more “healthy” form of saturated fat compared to trans fat. Depression and increased cholesterol is linked to trans fatty acid use. It could be that the liver will immediately convert these types of fat into energy opposed to storing it as fat.

What Do People Claim that Coconut Oil Does?

Does Coconut Oil Controls Weight?

Some testimonials show that with coconut oil use, a reduction in abdominal weight occurred. Since coconut oil is easier to digest and is claimed to protect the body from insulin resistance – working one to four teaspoons into your daily diet may have some benefits.

Does Coconut Oil Ease Digestion?

Digestive issues and bloating have also been shown to improve with coconut oil. Candida, parasites, and bacteria all cause digestive disorders – and since coconut oils are said to have anti-microbial properties, you might find relief.

Does Coconut Oil Manage Type 2 Diabetes?

Manage might be a strong word…but a recent study by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research discovered that insulin resistance might be avoided through the use of coconut oil since the fats in coconut oil are easily absorbed into the cells where they are converted to energy instead of stored as fat. Fat can increase insulin resistance – which leads to Type 2 Diabetes.

Does Coconut Oil Support the Immune System?

Coconut oil  is a healthy fat (including lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid) which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral properties. These of course boost the immune system. Interesting to note that many products also contain healthy acids.The body turns this fat into monolaurin –  which is claimed to help heal viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, helicobacter pylori and candida.

Does Coconut Oil Boost the Metabolism?

There have been some reports of studies done that concluded the increase of metabolism with the consumption of small amounts of coconut oil. I couldn’t really find information that supported these claims – as far as any science-based facts…just that those who consume coconut oil seem to be thinner than those who don’t.

Does Coconut Oil Slow the Appearance of Wrinkles?

I’ve used coconut oil for a moisturizer and hydrating treat for my skin, too. Hydrated skin is less likely to sag and wrinkle – just a little goes a long way with this moisturizer. I would recommend that you stick with virgin organic – with nothing added.

Does Coconut Oil Stop Sugar Cravings?

Since coconut oil tastes very coconutty – it’s a nice little treat instead of hard candy, candy bars, or other sweets (cookies, jelly beans, etc). High quality fat is more satiating than carbs, so by cutting down on sugar you will feel less sugar cravings. Something yummy to try is one teaspoon of coconut oil mixed with a high-quality Dutch Cocao.  It’s super yummy and good for you – better than processed sweets.

What are Uses for Coconut Oil?

What are some of the other uses for coconut oil? Share! I’d love to hear what else you all have come up with for this amazing “new” product.

 

 

What are Probiotics

 

What are Probiotics?

What is a Probiotic?

Certain yeast and bacteria are healthy organisms that can improve health. These are commonly known as probiotics.

probiotics, plexus slim, probio5, biocleanse, detox, candida, fungus, anti-fungal, diet help, bloating, yogurt candida image

How do we consume probiotics?

Supplements and food sources are two ways that we ingest probiotics. Yogurt, cheese, fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are ways that humans have been consuming probiotics for centuries. Recently, we have started consuming probiotics via supplements.

You should always supplement your probiotics with prebiotics and enzymes! Did you know that? What are prebiotics and enzymes – fuel and carriers for the probiotics. You can get them all naturally in one healthy shake…combined with 70 superfoods…shop HERE!

What do probiotics do?

Over 500 different types of bacteria and yeasts live in the digestive system.  They keep the intestines and colon healthy. Also, probiotics (these organisms) assist in digesting food and help the immune system function.

How do probiotics work?

Science is showing that some digestive disorders occur when the balance of bacteria becomes uneven: when there is more bad bacteria and less good bacteria. Infections, poor diets, and antibiotics can lead to this problem, but also any damage done to the intestinal lining – like after having a virus or pH issue. Probiotics help restore the proper balance.

Probiotics and the Immune System

The immune system is another delicate part of our body. The immune system is what fights viruses, bacteria, infections, “bugs”, and disease. Probiotics help maintain a healthy, strong immune system by offering challenges to the system in healthy ways. With extremely good hygiene (like we have in The United States), the immune system is never truly challenged. That leads to an increase of autoimmune and allergic diseases. Introducing friendly bacteria may help challenge the immune system without compromising the person’s health.

Probiotics could help with many health issues

Science is discovering that gut health is the root of multiple diseases and issues – and that with a quality probiotic regimen, these issues are / might be helped if not “fixed” all-together.

  • childhood diarrhea
  • eczema associated with cow’s milk allergy
  • diabetes
  • antibiotic-associated diarrhea and infectious diarrhea
  • necrotizing enterocolitis, a type of infection and inflammation of the intestines mostly seen in infants
  • immune system
  • pouchitis, an inflammation of the intestines that can follow intestinal surgery
  • ulcerative colitis
  • migraines
  • thrush
  • cradle cap and dandruff
  • vaginitis and yeast infections in women
  • “jock itch”
  • athlete’s foot and toe fungus / including nail and nail bed issues
  • the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  • bacteria related diarrhea
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • food and environmental allergies
  • gas
  • constipation
  • weight loss
  • acne
  • psoriasis
  • brain “fog”
  • candida
  • asthma
  • heartburn
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • bloating
  • bad breath
  • sweet cravings
  • joint pain
  • sinus congestion
  • ear infections
  • strep throat
  • colds
  • itchy ears
  • itchy eyes
  • hair loss
  • vision problems
  • Autism
  • leaky gut
  • Celiac
  • indigestion
  • PMS and menstrual issues
  • cavities
  • blood sugar issues
  • as a supplement to HIV, cancer, MS, Lupus, etc. treatments

Can you believe that list?!?

Now do you see that your total health begins within the gut?

By starting a simple supplement…these issues might be helped or eliminated from your life.  Please ask me if you have any questions!

Cautions About Probiotics

Few people experience side-effects from taking probiotics. Humans around the world have been eating foods with probiotics for centuries.  If you do have any side-effects from probiotics, it’s more likely than not to be die-off symptoms. Die off symptoms are an increase in the effects of candida and an imbalanced system as the bad yeast and bacteria die off.  For example – if you suffer from eczema, as you kill off the yeast that causes eczema – that yeast will work its way out of your system.  As the yeast dies, it will release toxins that will make the eczema worse for a little while.  Using a detox is useful to lessen these symptoms.

Making it Right…how to get a child to actually “be” sorry / apologize

 

For years, it has been debated on whether or not to have a child say “I’m sorry” to someone who they have wronged.  I’ve seen parents and caregivers have 12 month olds say “I’m sorry” to peers – when obviously there is no feeling behind it.  I have always felt that when we do that, we are actually demoting the sincerity of the apology and creating children who don’t really care about their actions.

My history of being sorry and apologizing

I’m a firm believer in not ever apologizing for something more than once.  If I wrong you, repeatedly, then it means that I have a character flaw and can’t or won’t do anything about it.  For example, if I cheat on you after a night of drunkenness – then I will feel regret. But, when I get caught, and say “I’m sorry” what am I sorry for? Getting caught? Cheating? Getting drunk? Breaking the rules of relationships? Hurting you?  So – to say I’m sorry that one time…yes, that’s understandable as long as it’s sincere and NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. If it happens again, then that’s not a fluke. That’s a character flaw.  Okay – so drunken cheating is a bad example….let’s say that I have a texting relationship with someone far away. Texting something inappropriate one time…then thinking about it….realizing it was inappropriate and NEVER DOING IT AGAIN – that’s something to be sorry for. But carrying on a texting relationship for years? That’s a character flaw. It’s premeditated. It’s just wrong.  Okay – so that’s another strong example. Stealing? Same thing. Heat of the moment – not thinking straight.  Feeling regret and making it right and never doing it again… that’s feeling sorry about something.

An adult should never have to apologize for something twice.  If it’s who you are, you can’t change that. If you’re a cheater, drunk, thief – that’s no reason to apologize. That’s a reason to get help.  Also, don’t ever apologize for how I feel: “I’m sorry you’re mad” is not an apology. Think about that for a bit.

A less extreme example?  I don’t know – being an adult is complicated and extreme by nature. Let’s talk about how to do “sorry” with kids.

How to get a child to say “sorry” and mean it

Let’s say that two children are playing nicely in the sand box.  Bobby has a blue shovel;  Katie has a red shovel. Katie takes the blue shovel from Bobby and makes him cry.  Now she has two shovels. What now? The caregiver (parent, nanny, babysitter, teacher) goes over and talks to Bobby first.

Adult: Bobby, tell me what happened. Why are you crying? (don’t infer feelings by asking “why are you sad?” He might not be sad…)

Bobby: Katie took my shovel.

Adult: Oh Bobby, you go talk to Katie and tell her how you feel.

Bobby: Katie, I don’t like that. I’m not done.

Katie: But, but, yadda, yadda…

Adult: Katie, you took that shovel without asking for your turn.  Tell Bobby that what you did was wrong.

Katie: Bobby, I shouldn’t have taken that shovel from you. It was wrong to not ask first. I won’t do it again. Do you forgive me? May I have a turn when you are finished?  (with lots of coaching)

Adult: Bobby, do you forgive her? Can she be next?

Bobby: Of course! (Hugs Katie) I forgive you, here’s to blue shovel!

Yeah, right!

Okay, so you get the point:

The “victim” gets the attention first.

Don’t assign feelings to either one. Just make observations about behavior.

Help the “victim” address the “attacker” by using his or her words.

The “attacker” needs to say that what they did was wrong, why it was wrong, that they won’t do it again, and ask for forgiveness.

There must be a resolution of some sort with closure or further action needed.

Here’s another example of getting a child to apologize

Sara and Mike are riding tricycles. Their wheels get tangled up and both are screaming mad. Mike gets off his trike, bites Sara on the hand, and pushes her off the trike.

Adult: Sara! Are you okay? That looks like it hurt. What happened?

Sara:  He…he…he…MY TRIKE!!!!

Adult: Mike, you get off the trike and come make this right with Sara, do you understand? You bit her and that is not okay. Talk to Sara and see if you can help her feel better.

Mike: Sara, I shouldn’t have bitten you. It was wrong for me to get so angry and hurt you. I won’t do it again. Do you forgive me? (of course with lots of adult help to say these things when the children are so young)

Sara: No, I don’t. I’m very hurt and angry right now. Maybe I’ll talk to you again soon, but my hand really hurts…

Anyway – so you get the idea. It’s not ever going to happen like this, but this is an example of where you’d like it to go eventually.  Getting the children to just say sorry – that’s a piece of cake.

What if the child won’t apologize?

Then the child needs to go sit out until he or she is ready to at least make an attempt. By 24 months old, a child should be able to offer hugs. Then, the adult needs to role play the situation for the children – saying the words, getting the children to look at each other, nodding and hugging – that sort of thing. It will become increasingly more elaborate and self-regulated as the children age and have more exposure to this routine.

I have 30 month olds in my care that can do this on their own with very little coaching from an adult. They are able to complete the cycle from beginning to end – even putting themselves in “time-out” until they are ready to start the apologizing process.

Now…getting adults to apologize –  that’s a different story! If people would just stop screwing up, there’d be no need!

 

 

 

 

What is Gluten, anyway?

 

Did you know that gluten comes from the Latin word for glue?

So, honestly – I research a lot.

I love to Google things. I am addicted to my smart phone – as I can Google anything.

For example:

of what continent is Greenland a part?

what is the population of Death Valley?

who is the real Ethan Allen?

show me all the satellites orbiting the earth

what is the average rain fall in Dublin…on September 15?

what is … Well, you get the point. I could go on.

They call me Google Sr. But, in all my Googling and researching and talking about healthy diets and nutrition, I never REALLY understood what gluten does. I even…several years ago…was tested for Celiac’s. It came back negative, but I believe that I do have a sensitivity to gluten. But why? I have no idea. I mean, of course I don’t really know why I might have a sensitivity to gluten. But, the point is – I’m not sure what makes me THINK I have a sensitivity to gluten. What reactions? don’t know. What adverse affects? don’t know.

Then I realized that maybe I was jumping on a bandwagon just because.  I had become that person. So…in complete awe of my lack of knowledge, I finally Googled it AFTER my husband asked me…

What is Gluten, anyway?

Basically, gluten is a protein in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, farro, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale. I only understand what wheat, faro, rye, and barley are for sure. The other names … I’ll get to them eventually. But for now, I’m focusing on what I already know (wheat, rye, barley, and faro. I’m afraid to go any deeper. I get lost easily). So – gluten is like a glue of sorts. It’s what holds a lot of bread-type foods together. Wheat is commonly found in:

  • breads
  • baked goods
  • soups
  • pasta
  • cereals
  • sauces
  • salad dressings
  • roux

Barley is commonly found in:

  • malt
  • food coloring
  • soups
  • malt vinegar
  • beer

Rye is commonly found in:

  • rye bread, such as pumpernickel
  • rye beer
  • cereals

Oh! and then I found it: Triticale is a newer type of grain that has been formulated to be easier to grow in different environments and conditions. Again, I’m not going to get into that TOO much…but now I’m wondering if that means it’s a GMO grain. I did discover that it’s found in cereals, pastas, and breads. I wonder if I’m looking for wheat and rye – in order to avoid those ingredients – if I would even know to look for triticale? Probably not. And gluten is in salad dressing? I didn’t know that either. So – I’m learning a lot as I go.

What all has gluten?

I’m not going to get into all the obvious things that have gluten: normal breads and pastas, pastries, cereals, and crackers…etc. Basically, anything that has flour of any type has gluten. But, something that I didn’t even really think about is all the hidden stuff that has gluten. Fortunately, these days, most things that are gluten-free are labeled.  But, that wasn’t always the case. Here are some big surprises for me: beer has gluten! rice cakes can have gluten! corn flakes can have gluten! soy sauce can have gluten! anything made with a thickener / roux has gluten! Of course this is true…but I just didn’t think about it.  I sometimes use a cornstarch to as a thickener…not flour. But – there you go!

Other possible sources of gluten:

French fries, potato chips, processed lunch meats, candy, candy bars, brown rice syrup, scrambled eggs from restaurants, sauces, milk shakes, cheesecake filling, meat substitutes (like veggie burgers and tofu). Even some medicines have gluten. Again…these MIGHT have gluten, but WOW!

What are gluten-allergy symptoms?

gluten-free, what is gluten, what is gluten-free, what are the symptoms of gluten allergy, what are the symptoms of celiac's There have been more than 250 symptoms of gluten sensitivity reported: bloating, abdominal discomfort or pain, constipation and diarrhea being the most common. Other symptoms besides the intestinal kind might also be present: muscular disturbances and bone or joint pain. Apparently, ingesting gluten – if you are allergic or sensitive – can cause major inflammation and nutritional absorption issues. These two things alone can be the cause of a multitude of other issues including migraines, depression, ADHD, moodiness, acne, fatigue, sleep disorders, congestion and mucus / coughing, aches, pains, and some believe also very serious diseases – like rheumatoid arthritis.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Celiac’s – Coeliac disease is caused by a reaction to gliadin, a prolamin (gluten protein) found in wheat, and similar proteins found in the crops of the tribe Triticeae (which includes other common grains such as barley and rye).[5]Upon exposure to gliadin, and specifically to three peptides found in prolamins, the enzyme tissue transglutaminase modifies the protein, and the immune system cross-reacts with the small-bowel tissue, causing an inflammatory reaction. That leads to a truncating of the villi lining the small intestine (called villous atrophy). This interferes with the absorption of nutrients because the intestinal villi are responsible for absorption. The only known effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet.[5] While the disease is caused by a reaction to wheat proteins, it is not the same as wheat allergy.

That’s a lot of information and sciency stuff – but, now we know what Celiac’s and gluten is and why we might be sensitive. What do I take away from all of this? I think I’m going to go gluten-free for just a few weeks. I’m going to continue on with my Plexus stuff, but taking away gluten is my next big step toward health. I know that hypoglycemics shouldn’t have flours and processed carbs, anyway. So this will be super great for me! I’ll report back, but do you all have any thoughts on this? Experience with gluten-free? Connections with other diseases or disorders? Inform me! [contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form] Here’s my product page, if you’d like to get started on a healthier you! Here are some links to other pages / posts about: IBS and Crohn’s Skin issues related to Candida Auto-immune Allergies and Asthma