Tag Archives: natural health care

What are Probiotics and why do you need them?

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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!

Chemicals of Concern Quiz:

 

 

Our Global Challenge:

We realized early on that household pollutants negatively impact our health and our environment. Most of the chemicals in products in our homes have never been assessed for their impact on human health. Indoor air pollution is one of the top five highest ranking environmental health problems in America with chemical levels up to 70 times higher than outside. Research and information on the health effects of manufactured chemicals has not kept pace with their development and use.

  • In the last 50 years, the global production and use of manufactured chemicals has increased substantially. More than 80,000 new chemicals have been created.
  • Indoor air pollution is one of the top five highest-ranking environmental health problems in America.
  • Evidence shows homes have chemical levels up to 70 times higher than outside.
  • Most of the chemicals that people are exposed to every day have never been assessed for their impact on human health.
  • Parabens utilized in personal care for decades have been shown to have potential harmful effects.

What we do know is the harm chemicals have on humans is extensive. Most concerning are the growing links to chemicals that surround us in everyday life. They are linked to serious diseases such as birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities. Many today believe the extensive use of chemicals indoors contributes to many of our ‘modern’ diseases such as allergies and asthma.

Our Mission at Norwex is to improve quality of life by radically reducing chemicals in our homes. In addition, the Norwex products make cleaning faster and more cost effective than traditional cleaning products.

Beautiful Globe (Earth) resting on a vibrant green leafThe Norwex Solution

  • With Norwex Microfiber System, you will not breathe, touch or ingest chemicals – you simply create a cleaner, healthier indoor environment.
  • Naturally Timeless personal care products offer cutting-edge technology coupled with organic and natural ingredients – without harmful parabens or preservatives.
  • SAVE Time – the Norwex Cleaning System decreases cleaning time by 75% or more.
  • SAVE Money – An average household spends $600-$800 a year on chemical cleaning products and supplies. By using Norwex products you can realize up to a 90% savings!
  • Norwex helps make cleaning fast,fun and easy and teaches your family how to improve their health and environment!

At Norwex, our Purpose is simple but powerful: The idea that working together, with trust, integrity and honesty as our Core Values and radically reducing chemicals in our homes as our Mission, we can improve the world around us. The Norwex Purpose touches many facets of life with the end result being the ability to collectively make a powerful and positive difference in the world we live in and the lives we touch.

Go get yourself some great toxin-free cleaning supplies for your home and body – and for those you LOVE. Click HERE!

How to Lose Weight, Not Muscle

 

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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!

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Authors

Andrew Heffernan CSCS, GCFP

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.

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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

 

Self-Sabotage

 

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Self-sabotage.

What is it? Seriously, what does that even mean? Does it really mean that people would actually stop themselves from being the best they can be?  How does something like that even get a name?

If we were created to be amazing, awesome, and fabulous…why would WE be the ones to stop ourselves from reaching that potential? Why do we self-destruct? How are we so good at procrastination when it comes to our hopes and dreams? Our goals?

I would think (hope) that no one would intentionally self-sabotage, that no one would consciously make that choice. But, what IS it? What causes those habits and inner voices to take over our will-power and natural instincts to be great?

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How is self-sabotage creeping in?

Mostly, self-sabotage comes in the form of procrastination and talking yourself out of reaching goals. It undermines our potential. We believe these acts to be helpful – to be saving us from some disaster, but in the long-run, these acts lead to us wanting more, being discouraged, and losing ourselves.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

You imagine yourself being healthier. Not even losing weight or body-building…but just being healthier because it’s good for you. It’s the right thing to do. Perhaps you would like to stop eating sugars, or maybe it’s processed food that you want to cut out. Dairy? Alcohol? Something as simple as chips?

Of course there is always one more event, one more birthday party, one more holiday that’s just around the corner.  For me, every Wednesday at work is treat day. Every. Single. Wednesday.   There are doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies, Chex Mix, bagels and cream cheese, more cookies, pita chips, hummus, dips, crackers, banana bread…oh – and the occasional fruit and veggie tray (and those all come with dips and sauces).  But seriously, it’s every Wednesday. Then, there are the staff birthdays.  It seems like we might go a month or two with no birthdays, but then (like April) there are five in a row…almost every other day we are having special treats.

And, it’s not just healthy habits that I’m talking about.  I am talking about finding the perfect relationships (just when you find a good one, you do something stupid that causes it to end before it ever really starts). Or maybe it’s your job…you know, staying where you are even when a GREAT offer comes along; it must be too good to be true, you’re comfortable where you are, you’ve made such good friends, it’s close to your favorite bar…

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Here’s what I’ve learned about Self-Sabotage and Self-Destructing behaviors:

1. The first step is to recognize it. Spot it.  Call it out: why am I thinking this way? Is there really a lot of risk involved, or am I just being a chicken? Why am I procrastinating? What are the effects of procrastination?

2. Try to understand the message. What is your conscience trying to tell you? Is it throwing up a red flag of “OMG, you better stop right now!!!”  or is it just a yellow “hey, use a little caution here, friend” type of flag?

3. Perhaps you are experiencing the “upper limit problem.”  Are you getting comfortable with your current level of success? Are you afraid of failing? Are the risks not worth the possible outcome?

Once you figure out the why of that negative self-talk…it’s easier to start on the why not?!

I encourage you to Google images for self-sabotage.  I keep trying to think of words to describe all of the Google images that come up – but that’s just it…a picture is worth a thousand words. Just go Google it.

This website is an amazing source of information. Check it out!

Here is another great article about self-sabotage and how it can ruin a perfectly good plan.  Click here.

If you are looking to better yourself, reach your goals, be the amazing person you were meant to be…follow this blog, friend me on Facebook, comment below. I’m here to be your encourager!

Low Fat Diet

 

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I’ve written about Low Fat Diet trends before, but I think this topic warrants a second visit.

When did the low fat diet become trendy?

For many decades now, the health authorities have told everyone to eat a low-fat diet. Doctors, nutritionists, dietitians…they claim that a diet low in fat will keep people from getting fat.

At the time the low-fat dietary guidelines were conceived (1977), people thought that saturated fat was a significant cause of heart disease. Saturated fats are the fats that are solid at room temperature (yes, like coconut…THE health trend of this decade). Here is some great information about saturated (and other) fats…that may or may not be interesting to you. I guess it depends on your family history and current health / medical recommendations.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp

Basically, low fat has been the cornerstone of healthy eating for several years.

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Why are we getting fat while eating low fat?

With the recommendation of staying away from fats, many people and organizations have also moved away from meat, eggs, and full-fat dairy products (high fat) and moved towards grains, legumes, fruits (low fat, high carb)…and vegetables (always a good choice).

These low-fat  guidelines were based on weak evidence, and many respected scientists objected. They believed that moving to a low-fat diet could have unforeseen consequences.

Recently, the “science” behind these ideas have been disproven.  Many high quality research studies show that there is, in fact, no association between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. If you REALLY want to see the science behind these studies, this is a good place to start:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract

Here’s another study summary:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9635993

Chances are, you won’t read (or even click) those links, but yes, they are official studies that say…there isn’t much correlation between fats and heart disease.

AND…of course, there are still studies and such that claim that saturated fats ARE harmful.  Here’s one that leans toward limiting fats: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp 

 

So…what does that mean for you?

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Low fat or high fat diet?

I’ve seen pictures of my family in 1977: there were some heavy people.  There were some “big” people. However, it was nowhere near what we see today.  When did the obesity epidemic start? Around 1977.

Here’s the bottom line:

When you stop eating “fats”, you often stop eating proteins. Proteins are important. More on that next time.

When you eat low-fat foods, they are made to taste better with sugars and artificial flavors.

If you stop eating animal fats, you often replace that with vegetable oils…these are thought to be much worse for your overall health. Processed seed- and vegetable oils ar unhealthy, loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids and trans fats that can contribute to disease. And, they are often GMO…also not good.

Moderation is key!

I know that you know that already.  Eating pounds of butter is terrible. Eating pounds of grapes is also terrible. Eating a diet that you can’t maintain is terrible.  Eating Fettuccine Alfredo (2 cups) and a slice of garlic bread at 54 grams of fat isn’t going to kill you.  Eating that every day is terrible.   Taco Bell’s Supreme Chicken Fajita and Bell Grande Nachos: 64 grams of fat.  That might be too much even on a good day. Terrible. But, we still do it.

Eat vegetables, eat some fruit, eat some whole grains…everything in moderation!

Side note: Trans fats resemble saturated fat in consistency and shelf life, but the chemical composition is still very different. While saturated fats are possibly harmless, trans fats are highly toxic and should be avoided.

Here is some more information (mostly the same, but a little different…)

 

Do I Need to Avoid the Sugar in Fruit?

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Is Fruit Sugar Bad?

The Short Answer:

No, you don’t need to avoid sugar in fruit , even if you are going for a sugar-free diet.  Fresh fruits that come from the produce section opposed to the bagged or canned section should be a major part of most healthy diets. Fruits will generally provide more calories than vegetables, but there are essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients found primarily in fruits that mean those calories are going to good use. Yes, fruits contain a lot of sugar – but they are also high in fiber content. Fiber helps slow the absorption of the sugars so there isn’t as much of a spike in blood glucose. So, no, you don’t need to worry about fruit sugar.

That being said…if you are a binge eater, it won’t matter what you eat, too much is too much.

The American Diabetes Association recommends, “Having a piece of fresh fruit or fruit salad for dessert is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and get the extra nutrition you’re looking for.” If you are looking for ways to avoid sugar – fruit is not a good place to start.

 

The Long Answer: Is Fruit Sugar Bad?

Some say that when first starting a healthy diet – you will need to stop eating all sugars. This will boost your fat-burning process (using stored energy / fat since there is no new input of fast energy / sugar).  Also, some believe that in order to cut out bad sugars (processed and added sugar) that cutting out all sugars and sweet tastes will curb your appetite for more.  There is a lot of merit to these beliefs.  And, I have to say that I agree – for some, cutting out all sweets, including fruits, might be a good boost to your new, healthy eating plan.  But, you need the nutrition found in fruits and shouldn’t go without for long periods of time. Vitamin C, electrolytes, anti-oxidants, fiber, Vitamin A, iron, folate,  potassium…fruits are important to our overall wellness.  Even fruit sugar is needed to operate our body – so to cut it out completely for long periods of time wouldn’t promote a healthy lifestyle.

 

And, don’t forget about phytonutrients.  Nutritional science discovers something amazing about phytonutrients every day. One thing we know, though, is that they tend to be more effective when they are allowed to function synergistically with the other compounds in fruits and veggies. As Cornell University Professor of Food Science Rui Hai Lui points out in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Food provides not only essential nutrients needed for life but also other bioactive compounds for health promotion and disease prevention… Consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as grains, has been strongly associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and age-related functional decline”

 

But, if you’re looking for ways to avoid sugar…

Currently, nutrition and fitness experts are touting the evils of sugar. Since fruit has sugar – people are assuming that fruit also needs to be avoided.  All sugar isn’t terrible for you.  This brings us back to binge eating and our sweet tooth.  When you are wanting a sweet – go for an apple…not a candy bar.  You don’t need to avoid fruit sugar, you need to avoid added sugar.

If the ingredient lists sugar, raw sugar, honey, molasses, agave, maple syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, malt, lactose…there are at least 57 other names for added sugar – that is what you need to avoid.

How Your Body Processes Carbs and Fruit Sugar

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Our body really likes carbohydrates as a fuel source. When we consume carbs, enzymes in our digestive system break them down into their simplest possible form: sugar.  Starches, or complex carbs, take some time to break down. Sugars, or simple carbs, are easy to break down, if they need breaking down at all. Either way, the carbs you eat all become sugars called glucose and fructose.  At this point, your pancreas releases the hormone insulin, which does a few things with this blood sugar. If you’ve eaten fruit or complex carbs, insulin delivers sugar to the liver and muscles for use as fuel. If you’ve eaten simple carbs…or straight sugar, insulin converts the sugar to adipose tissue (body fat) to be broken down for energy at a future time.

If you continue to abuse this system – and consistently consume more sugar than your body can handle, insulin will not be able to do its job properly.  Insulin resistance might occur – your body could start creating more insulin – but, eventually, your system will begin to fail.  This leads to Type 2 Diabetes.  Cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and obesity can develop.

Fats and proteins will help avoid blood sugar spikes, but the most effective way to temper your carb intake is with fiber.  Fiber is extremely complicated and can’t be digested – so carb digestion is also slowed.

Fruits are generally rich in fiber – which makes the sugar content irrelevant.  An apple has 25 grams of carbs – 19 of those are sugar.  But – it also has 4.4 grams of fiber, which will drastically slow the sugar absorption down to a trickle.

Something else to consider – this works both ways.  Even something with low sugar content – like a slice of bread that also has low fiber content – will result in a spike in blood sugar levels much higher than with an apple.

Fruit Sugar and Weight Loss

Obviously, you can overeat fruit.  Eating six bananas or an entire bunch of grapes isn’t a good idea.  But, you can overeat (or over drink) all kinds of healthy items: water, seeds, fish, watermelon.

Like most things in life, moderation is the key.  The only exception to that rule is veggies…real veggies. Leafy greens.  It would be extremely difficult to over-eat kale or spinach.  But, I guess anything is possible.  I believe that for the most part, we way under-estimate the serving size of veggies, much like we over-estimate the serving size of sugary / processed foods. For the average person, 2-3 servings of fruit per day is perfect. If you’re highly active, that number might double. Keep in mind, that variety is also key.  Eating a well-rounded offering of fruits will bring you the most benefits.

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Ways to Avoid Sugar

Basically – you  should stay away from anything with sugar listed as an ingredient.  Here is a link that lists all the different names that sugar is called…they are getting creative.

Click here for ways to avoid sugar hidden in your foods.

Click here to have access to our clean-eating menus and grocery lists. IT’S FREE!

So, the bottom line is: no, you don’t need to avoid sugar in fruit.

 

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14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!
14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

To get started down the path to a healthier you, click on the image above to get immediate access to a meal plan and grocery list.  It includes great-tasting recipes from our 14 day Clean Eating Challenge.

Get yours today.  It’s FREE!

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We hate spam as much as you do.  We will not send you unsolicited e-mails or sell your e-mail address to others.

Clean Eating Challenge Coming Up!

If you weren’t able to join in out last 14 day Clean Eating Challenge, take heart.  We will be hosting another one starting Monday, February 23rd.  Look for the event on Facebook starting next week.

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14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

If you are ready to join now, you can ask to join the Facebook Group at http://facebook.com/groups/fitnessandnutritionsupport

or friend us at http://facebook.com/dennis.m.dalton

 

Natural Remedies for Headaches

 

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Low-blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can trigger migraines.

There are many, many health benefits of using health and wellness products – including discovering natural headache remedies. I started using some high-quality health supplements last year – and overall eating “right” (little sugar, no fake sweeteners, little processed / canned foods). A nice surprise is that my headaches and migraines are gone. If you are looking for natural cures for headaches…there is a simple thing you can try: stop eating unnatural foods and sugars.

The 6 Day Reset with Shakeology was the first step in getting my headaches under control.  Check out the sampler kit here…

The truth about headaches and blood sugar levels

What causes headaches?  Truth is, lots of things.  But a main culprit to your headache pain might be what you eat. Our body is regulated by blood sugar. Our organs and brain function – including hormones – are run by glucose levels. Once your blood sugar is level, other things start working better. Cravings go away, nutrients are actually absorbed, pain and general lack of energy disappear, and health improves in multiple ways. It’s important to stop eating so much sugar so that your glucose levels aren’t going up and down so drastically.  We are only equipped to process two teaspoons of sugar at a time.  TWO TEASPOONS!

Headaches and blood sugar

Seriously…truly….my headaches are completely gone. I had migraines and regular headaches often.  Headaches almost daily / migraines almost weekly.  GONE! I haven’t even had one headache since the day I started controlling my blood sugar.

I will say that there have been a few times that my brain registers the triggers.  I honestly felt like there were times that I would most definitely be getting a migraine…but the feelings never progressed.

What triggered my migraines?

Different things, really.  Hormones, lighting, smells, sounds, foods, weather, stress, and lack of sleep.  But, they would always start with a funny little feeling IN my eyes…then the peripheral shimmers would start. They would continue on until I had very limited vision…and then…the throwing up would start. Pain would come after that and last for about 5 – 8 hours.  I know some people have much worse migraines. I can’t imaging those who suffer for days or weeks, or even chronically.  I was lucky enough to have mild migraines that were mostly controllable with medicines.

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Now – I no longer need prescription or over the counter headache or migraine relief. I found the most natural relief for headaches…eating well.

What are the best natural remedies for headaches?

Stop eating processed foods. Stop eating artificial sweeteners. Stop eating so much sugar. Get a little exercise. Eat a balanced diet. Get enough sleep. If you truly want to find headache remedies, ones that are truly natural and safe, try to do this first: try a 14 day clean eating challenge. You’ll be amazed at the changes you go through getting sugar and processed foods out of your system.

Here are some more tips to relieving your migraine or headache.