Tag Archives: probiotics

Help others by helping yourself!

 

DO WHAT YOU LOVE

summer health

What does it mean to be a Team Beachbody Coach? It means earning an income while you help yourself and others live healthier, more fulfilling lives. It’s being passionate about helping to end the trend of obesity in this country. All by doing what you love—staying fit and healthy, while inspiring others to do the same.

The inspiration doesn’t stop at helping others: you can become a leader – but you are also lead by your team.  You are held accountable when you hold your team accountable.  If you have trouble staying on task – what better way to stay the course than to have others look to you for motivation and encouragement?  I don’t have time to work out every day. I don’t always eat right. But, by helping others get started on their path to a healthier life, I keep myself going.  I can relate. I can empathize.  I can sympathize. I can help others get through their challenges AS I get through mine.  We do this together.  I rely on my team as much as they rely on me.  When I see someone struggle – or fall off track – or give up, I help them get started again.  And, with that, I also start over. I am encouraged by my team’s success…and I am motivated by my team’s failures.

Whether you’re already a “product of the product”—someone who’s found success through one of our world-class fitness solutions or products—or whether you were inspired by watching a friend or family member transform their lives the same way, becoming a Coach will reward you in ways you never thought possible—physically, personally, and financially.

Think you’re up for the challenge? Click below and start creating change—in your life and in the lives of others—today. You can be part of something so big, it’s changing the world, one healthy decision at a time. How cool does that sound?

Sign up here!

Here are some quick pictures of where I’ve come from in the last few years:

weight loss diet
Here’s another…I dreaded having my picture taken!

 

Six months…down 25 pounds

 

DennisAndStacyInFrontofHill1260x840FINAL

 

 

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

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!

History of New Year’s Resolutions

 

People have been making resolutions for generations. Thousands of years, literally, humans have been making promises to themselves about ways to improve their lives, turn over a new leaf.

Babylonians used to make promises to the gods that they would return borrowed objects and repay debts.

Romans would make promises to their god, Janus (January).

Knights would re-affirm commitments to chivalry and the land at the end of the Christmas season.

Current religions still have parallels to this tradition. Reflections, atonement, fasting, sacrifice, improvement…all common themes among year or seasonal transitions.

In the 1940s, about 25% of Americans made New Year’s resolutions. Currently, about 40% make them. Question is: how many last?

What are some current examples of New Year’s Resolutions?

Donate more to the poor.
Become more assertive.
Be more environmentally responsible.
Improve physical well-being
Lose weight
Exercise more
Eat better
Drink less
Quit smoking
Get rid of clutter
Career improvements
Start or finish school
Learn something new (hobby or language)
Read more
Become more organized
Manage time more efficiently
Watch less TV
Play fewer video games
Volunteer to help others
Spend quality time with family
Pray more

What is the success rate of New Year’s Resolutions?

Despite the fact that 52% of people are confident of success at the beginning of the year, about 88% of those who set New year resolutions fail.

Goal setting seems to be a key factor in success.

Set up a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”).

Also, make the goals public so friends and family can offer support and accountability.

What are your goals and resolutions?

How are you going to hold yourself accountable?

Are you going to be rewarded for maintaining your resolution for small increments?

What have been your past goals?

Were you successful at those? Why or why not?

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?

Basic Juicing Tips

 

If you think you might want to try juicing – here are some basic juicing tips.

Juicing Tips

1 – Be sure to wash your produce thoroughly

Organic or not – there is all kinds of stuff on your veggies and fruits.  I wash my fruit before I peel it as well – cutting through a grapefruit or lemon rind that is covered with crud just pushes the germs and grime right through the fruit.  I soak my veggies in a tub of water and baking soda.  It saves water, allows for thorough inspection of the leaves, and helps retain freshness during storage (I wash, cut, and bag 5 – 7 days worth of juicing produce).

2 – Line your pulp basket

Line your basket with a plastic or paper bag if you want. I don’t as I generally either re-use the pulp for sauces and such…or compost. In Austin, we don’t use plastic bags at the grocery stores – we have to bring our own re-usable ones – so plastic bags are a valuable item around here.

3 – Size the produce for the juicer

Once you cut the produce – it starts to lose nutrients.  I usually just chop off the bottom of the stalks of the leafy things, peel the beets and cut into small pieces, and leave everything else whole.

4 – You can re-juice your pulp

If your pulp still seems moist or if you happen to get big chunks of produce in the basket – you can re-juice. Sometimes, I’m amazed and how much that second round can get out of the produce.  The first round chops it up pretty small so that the next pass will get every last bit of liquid.

5 – Drink up your juice

You’ll want to drink it as soon as possible to get maximum benefit.  Juice can be stored for up to two days…MAX! Try to fill the container up to the top for storage. Oxygen in the container will cause more breakdown of nutrients.  Keep it in the fridge and remember that this juice has no preservatives – so it will break down and go bad much quicker than you are used to.

6 – Cleaning your juicer

For me, this is the worst part of juicing.  That’s why I’ve passed this job on to my husband.  After spending time preparing the produce and juicing…and fixing dinner for everyone else in the family, I don’t want to do any cleaning. My husband cleans out the juicer. It’s something you’ll want to do right away. And, the smell of fresh juice is fairly strong. Not bad – just strong. However, the smell of produce pulp that is not taken out of the house within a few hours…that can be pretty pungent in a yuckier sort of way. Compost or freeze the pulp soon after juicing.

 

More on Juicing here!

Organic or not for juicing?

 

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.

What is the best diet…Paleo Diet

 

What is the best diet?

This is the…fifth diet review in this series.  I’ve discovered that I might be able to write diet reviews for the rest of my life…writing one per day…and never, ever run out of topics.

paleo diet, caveman diet, stone age diet, diet help, best diet

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Promise

The idea behind the Paleo diet is that if you eat like a caveman, you will lose weight.

Loren Cordain, PhD, who penned the book The Paleo Diet, believes that if we eat like our prehistoric ancestors, we will lose weight, be thinner, and also be less likely to get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems.

Other names for the Paleo Diet include the Caveman Diet or the Stone Age Diet.  The basic premise it to it’s basically consume a high-protein, high-fiber eating plan that promises you can lose weight without cutting calories.

What You Can Eat and What You Can’t

With aPaleo Diet, you should eat a lot of fresh meats (not lunch meat or canned meats), and lots of fish, fruit, and vegetables. Some fats are also a choice withPaleo dieting.

 

Besides real meats, fruits, and vegetables, you can also eat:
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthier oils, including olive oil and coconut oil

You should avoid all processed food on the Paleo Diet. Processed foods are anything in a can or box.

Additionally, since our ancestors didn’t farm…they hunted and gathered, you should not eat dairy or wheat products. Not to say that they didn’t come across some wheats and dairies – they might have happened upon some wild oats and such – but over all, those should be avoided.

Other foods to avoid while on the Paleo Diet:

  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils, such as canola

Is the Paleo Diet hard?

One good thing about the Paleo Diet is that there is no need to count calories.  Dairy and carbs are the bulk of our non-junk food diets, so cutting those will reduce your calorie intake.

Cheating on the Paleo Diet:

While on the Paleo Diet – there is some wriggle room. In the beginning, “they” recommend eating what you’d like for up to three meals every week.  Challenge yourself to cheat less as time goes on.

Preparing / Shopping for the Paleo Diet:

 There is definitely more shopping and food prep than normal “out of the box” diets. You’ll have to get fresh foods and wash them well. Ideally, you will buy non-GMO and organic foods.  This will add to the cost as well as shopping time (GMO-free and organic choices are slim in the “normal” grocery store – so to get a full menu, you might have to make several stops).

Are Packaged foods available for the Paleo Diet?

No – if it’s processed, it’s not Paleo. If it is in a box, it’s not Paleo.

Exercise while on the Paleo Diet…

I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read this…the guy that wrote the book on The Paleo Diet says that exercise isn’t necessary, but recommended for overall health. This to my is funny because if you think about it – being a hunter / gatherer society, they were constantly walking and working and chasing down food.  In order for any diet to really work, you should also get some physical activity. But if you are going to eat like a Caveman, you should work like a caveman.

Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

Can a Vegetarian or Vegan do Paleo?

If you don’t eat meat, this diet would be difficult to follow – since Cordain says that beans and other legumes are not allowed.  You would be severely lacking in protein if you don’t consume eggs, seafood, or meat.

Is Paleo Low-salt?

You don’t add salt to this diet – so the only thing you have to watch is the sodium level on your cheat days.

What Else You Should Know

Eating a lot of organics, non-GMOs, meat and fish can raise your grocery bill.

Check out the other types of popular diets:

VLCD

No-Carb

Small Frequent Meals

Raw Food Diet

Leave me some comments on what you think – ideas – questions – feedback… [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]