|Posted on January 11, 2020 at 1:03 PM||comments (2)|
Our kids are eating too much junk.
And who can blame them?
Junk food tastes great.
The good news is that healthy food also tastes great. Here are 10 simple ways to help your kids eat healthier:
1) Choose Whole Foods Processed foods are the biggest problem with our modern diet. Packaged and refined food products are devitalized and filled with empty calories that quickly lead to weight gain. Unfortunately, processed foods make up a large portion of the diet of many children.Offer your kids whole foods, rather than packaged ones. Whole foods are foods that are in their natural state. An apple. A piece of sprouted grain bread spread with natural peanut butter. A piece of hormone-free chicken. A bowl of beans. You get the idea.
2) Add Color Adding bright and colorful fruits and veggies to your child’s plate will get their diet on the fast track to health. Fresh fruits and veggies are filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health.Make it fun! Cut fresh fruit in the colors of the rainbow and place them on a skewer. Serve a color themed meal – all green, all red or all orange. Use your imagination and you’ll come up with an endless number of ways to make fruits and veggies fun to eat.
3) Make Smart Substitutions Kids love pizza and pasta and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Rather than fight your kids on their favorites, try making smart substitutions to make their favorites more nutritious.
4) Ban Sugary Drinks One of the best things that you can do for your child’s good health is to instill in them a love for water rather than sugary drinks. Soda pop, juices, smoothies, and blended coffee drinks are filled with empty calories that cause weight gain.The easiest way to do this is to stock your house with lots of pure, filtered water. Don’t have fruit drinks or soda pop readily available so that they grow accustom to drinking only water.
While I presented these tips as improvements to be made to your child’s diets, these tips will also do wonders for your diet. Practice these tips for 30 days and I guarantee you’ll look and feel better.
Parents all want good things for their children. Now how about doing something good for yourself as well?
You are your child’s biggest role model on how to live, for better or worse.
|Posted on December 10, 2018 at 1:19 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on July 19, 2018 at 3:30 PM||comments (0)|
What is the perfect healthy poop? “An ideal stool looks like a torpedo – it should be large, soft, fluffy and easy to pass,” says Dr. Foxx-Orenstein, the president of the American College of Gastroenterology.
Please check out the chart at the bottom of this blog to see what your poop says about you :)
Let’s face it: bowel movements aren’t the most popular topic and chances are you aren’t chatting about your bathroom habits with friends and neighbors. And yet there are an increasing number of researchers who have chosen to study poop and its importance to overall health. Why?
Science is discovering that when it comes to not just your digestive system, but pretty much your whole body, the characteristics of your stool and your daily elimination habits can be MAJOR INDICATORS for disease risk – both now and down the road.
Knowing what to look for in your bowel movements can put YOU in the “driver’s seat” about what you may need to change – including adding vital probiotics to your diet – to turn your pooped-out, stressed-out, and burnt-out body into one that is energized and “in the flow”… in more ways than one!
The Scary Statistics: Young People Feeling the Strain
Here’s a reality: Americans aren’t healthy when it comes to their colons. How can we say this? Because of the sad new statistics concerning colorectal cancer amongst young people.
A February 2017 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that although rates for colon and rectal cancer have been dropping in recent years overall, this mostly reflects the situation for older people. When the study looked at adults ages 20 to 49, they found that those born in 1990 have double the colon cancer risk and quadruple the risk for rectal cancer compared with people born in or around 1950.
In 2017, an estimated 135,500 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and about 50,200 individuals will die from the disease. Most of these cancer deaths will be people under the age of 50.
“Trends in young people are a sign for the future disease burden,” says Rebecca Siegel, MPH, Strategic Director of Surveillance Information Services in the Intramural Research Department at the American Cancer Society. “Our finding that colorectal cancer risk for millennials has escalated back to the level of those born in the late 1800s is very sobering.”
When It Comes to Health, It Really IS a “Gut Feeling”
Of course, young people aren’t the only ones who have to worry about keeping channels of elimination clean and clear. We all do.
This is because gut health (including how healthy your stool is) is directly related to immune system health. As you may already know, the immune system is the first line of defense against pathogens and about 70% of the immune system is located in the gut area. Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue or GALT (part of another system called MALT, Mucosal-Associated Lympoid Tissue) is where most of your immune system cells come from.
According to a 2008 Italian investigation that focused on the connection between the gastrointestinal system and allergies, upwards of 80% of the plasma cells that wind up in your bloodstream and lymphatic pathways are produced in the GALT. Plasma cells are immune system cells whose main job is to hunt out antigens (i.e. foreign pathogenic substances) and destroy them.
Constipation: An American Epidemic
So, how can you tell if your own elimination habits are working for you or against you?
For an increasing number of individuals, trouble with poop comes when none comes at all. That is, in the very direct and often painful form of constipation. If you would like to read more on Constipation please download my book "Constipation Causes & Remedies" .
A 2004 systematic review published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that about 63 million people in North America suffer from constipation. Over three million doctor visits occur each year by individuals whose main complaint is constipation, and many of these individuals (close to 89% according to the above review) have not received lasting relief over a year later.
Ideally, food should pass through the body in less than 24 hours. Today’s processed foods, including many restaurant foods, are lacking in probiotics, enzymes, and natural fibers. These are all substances which assist in allowing food to not only be assimilated nutritionally but also in allowing food to pass with ease.
What’s more, processed food is often high in sugars, simple carbs, and gluten. These factors combined with low water intake and a sedentary lifestyle means that it is not uncommon for the digestive system to take 70 hours or more for “transit” to occur. And this is just not acceptable if you are trying to achieve optimal health.
And for some individuals, food does not pass at all. Many experts believe that a person leading a lifestyle such as the one described above may have up to 20 pounds of accumulated waste in their colon. Accumulated waste could mean fermentation in the gut, which can create gaseous substances that become toxic to the body and the brain.
Constipation can also lead to Leaky Gut, which has been connected to autoimmune disease, autism, and cancer. A quick search on the National Institute of Health database yields over a thousand studies that make the connect between imbalances in the colon and various forms of autoimmune disease, such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
Take the Test: Stool Analyzer Can Help You Determine if You Have Healthy Poop
If you have constipation or other digestive discomfort, you can take expensive and sometimes invasive tests that can help you determine the state of your stool, and thus the state of your health. Professional testing is certainly recommended if you have severe symptoms such as constipation that lasts more than a week or blood in your stool. Also, if you have been exposed to harmful pathogens like E. coli or Salmonella while traveling or by some other means.
If you have mild or occasional constipation or moderate digestive discomfort, however, there are other ways that are fast, easy, and some are even free!
In the age of the internet, Doctor’s Data is one site that is filled with helpful information. To learn more about the Stool Analysis test by Doctor’s Data Click here.
In the meantime, do you want to know what makes a healthy bowel movement in general? According to nutritionist Brenda Watson, author of eight books on the subject and the person that actually taught me colon hydrotherapy, a good, healthy poop can be determined by four factors:
Healthy elimination is when your poop “barely makes a sound when it hits the water,” is long and easy to pass, is “fashionably golden brown,” is soft and slowly sinks to the bottom of the toilet. “If it sinks like a rock,” warns Watson, “it’s a sign that something is not quite right.”
The Power of Probiotics for Healthy Poop
Constipation, Diarrhea, Bloating, Cramping, Gas and Acid Reflux - - These annoying and sometimes downright painful conditions could be caused by a whole host of factors. But for most individuals, the underlying reasons for them all has to do with gut imbalance in one way or another. Actually, this is very good news, because it means that you can DO something about it!
Gut imbalance is when a person has more bad bacteria (think Candida albicans or pathogenic forms of E. coli) than good bacteria (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two examples) in their gut overall.
A good quality Probiotic Supplement is probably the best thing you can do to help balance your “gut microbiome,” restore the correct balance of both bad and good bacteria in the digestive system and help to ensure that all the mechanisms which depend on a healthy gut (including immune system function), are back on-line.
Researchers at King’s College in London conducted a meta-analysis of 14 other clinical studies and found that probiotic use increased the number of weekly bowel movements (i.e. helped with constipation) and slowing the “gut transit time” by roughly 12 hours (i.e. balanced out diarrhea). They also found that probiotic use helped to soften stools, making them easier to pass.
Many foods have probiotics as well as powerful enzymes and other substances in them that help the digestive system break down and assimilate nutrients. Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented veggies, and raw pickles, as well as organic raw or lightly-steamed non-starchy vegetables are just a few examples. For many individuals, however, simply consuming foods that contain probiotics is not enough. Many need extra help, and that is where a high-quality probiotic supplement can be essential, and I believe that Advanced Naturals line of Probiotics are by far the best (click here to learn more)
5 Ways to Have Perfect, Healthy Poop!
Of course, the main thing you can do to improve how food moves out of you is to change what goes in. This includes dietary changes such as taking in more fiber, drinking more filtered water, cutting back on gluten and, most importantly, adding healthy, organic probiotic-rich foods or probiotic blends to your daily routine.
There are also other ways you can significantly improve your elimination pathways in addition to probiotics and diet. Here are 5 that can help:
#1. Squatting and/or using a bidet when you go. The body is designed to eliminate waste while in a “squat” position. Sitting on a modern toilet unfortunately does not allow for complete elimination because it puts the body in a squished, unnatural position. Having a small stool under your feet while sitting on the toilet allows you to put yourself in a more natural position so that total elimination can occur.
#2. Getting more exercise. If inactivity encourages constipation, then getting yourself moving will encourage your bowels to move as well. Makes sense, right? According to a study published in the journal Gut, aerobic activity such as jogging can significantly help constipation, cutting “whole gut transit time” by a third to one-half. We can help you with this too, just click here to grab a 3 FREE Visits to our Group Training Sessions.
#3. Staying away from laxatives and stool softeners. According to Harvard Medical School, nearly half of the individuals who use these products are not satisfied with the results. This is either because they do not work or because of the short term or long-term side effects. In addition, some experts suggest that taking these products on a regular basis will cause the gut’s natural muscle movement to weaken over time.
However, there are some products on the market that are mild with specific combinations of food substances that you can incorporate into your daily supplement regiment. Colon Max by Advanced Naturals is one of the best.
#4. Taking probiotics with and after antibiotics. If you have already added a high-quality source of probiotics to your daily routine, then gut imbalance may not be a problem if you ever need to take antibiotics. If you aren’t, then make sure you at least do so during your antibiotic treatment. A 2012 meta-analysis by the RAND corporation found that taking probiotics during a course of antibiotic treatment reduced the incidence of Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea (AAD) by 42%. My pick for the best probiotic is Advanced Naturals (click here).
#5. Taking other pro-active measures such as colon-cleansing colonics, castor oil packs, as well as avoiding opioids, artificial sweeteners, and taking steps to lower stress are also great measures to ensure optimal digestive health.
So that’s the “scoop on healthy poop.” Not so bad after all, right? The important thing to remember is that the condition of your stool is an indication of the condition of your health in general – so take a minute the next time you go and check it out!
But seriously, keeping track of the condition of your bowel movements (or lack thereof) and making corresponding changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you and your processes of elimination stay in the “flow” and, more importantly, significantly decrease your risk for disease. If you would like to learn more about Constipation and Natural Remedies, please feel free to download my book (click right here). You can pass it along to friends or family that may suffer from constipation.
|Posted on June 23, 2018 at 9:37 AM||comments (0)|
Many people carefully tend to the skin on their face, regularly exfoliating, cleansing, and moisturizing. But when's the last time you tended to the skin on the rest of your body?
Your skin is your largest organ, after all, and there is one simple step you can add to your morning routine that can greatly improve its health – dry skin brushing.
I'm not only referring to your skin's aesthetic appearance, either (although many would agree this is important to). The benefits of dry skin brushing go beyond skin deep, offering whole-body benefits to your health.
Dry Skin Brushing: 7 Key Benefits
Your skin is a complex system made up of nerves, glands, and cell layers that, when healthy, serves as a buffer that helps protect your body from extreme temperatures and chemicals.
It also produces antibacterial substances to protect you from infection and enables your body to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Your skin even contains densely packed nerve cells that act as messengers to your brain, making your skin a crucial part of your interactions with the world around you.
Another crucial role your skin plays is supporting optimal detoxification. But if your skin is overrun with toxins or dead skin cells, it will not be able to eliminate wastes from your body efficiently.
This is where dry skin brushing can be invaluable, not only in brushing off dead skin cells but also in activating waste removal via your lymph nodes. Beyond this, dry skin brushing offers multiple benefits including:
1. Stimulate Your Lymphatic System
In your body, your lymphatic system is the system responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage.
When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid.
Dry skin brushing removes dead dry skin, improving appearance, clearing your clogged pores, and allowing your skin to "breathe."
3. Increase Circulation
When you dry brush your skin, it increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste.
4. Reduce Cellulite
Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.
Dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue, although some believe the effect is temporary.
"When we heard dry skin brushing was an effective method for reducing cellulite, we knew we had to include it in our anti-cellulite road test. Sure enough, it was indeed one of the more successful ways to smooth away less-than-perfect spots on your legs." - Huffington Post -
5. Stress Relief
The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative (especially if you do it in a quiet space) and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage.
6. Improve Digestion and Kidney Function
Dry skin brushing may go even deeper, helping to support your digestion and organ function. According to one skin care and spa expert:
"…many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins. One of the immediate effects of dry brushing is smoother skin, but it can also help improve digestion, kidney function, and more."
7. It's Invigorating
Many people become "addicted" to dry skin brushing (in a good way) because it simply feels so good. Along with glowing and tighter skin, regular dry skin brushers report feeling invigorated after a quick session.
|Posted on June 21, 2018 at 9:21 AM||comments (0)|
Confucius said, “Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”
And Aristotle noticed that, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
It’s pretty clear that the habits you adopt will shape who you are.
What are your habits?
Do you eat the same thing for lunch, go through the same exercise routine, and fall into bed at the same time each night? Or maybe you’ve made a habit out of eating something sweet before bed, avoiding the gym, and staying up as late as possible.
When it comes to your fitness, the two habits that define you are your eating and exercise habits. In fact, everyone that you know who is in great shape and feel healthy has dialed in these two important habits.
If you aren’t happy with your body and the way you feel, then simply adjust your eating and exercise habits.
Here’s how to adopt a habit:
Decide on the ONE habit that you would like to develop. It’s tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits but choosing just one new habit is realistic and doable.
Here are some healthy habit ideas:
1) Do not eat after 7pm each night. Bring your lunch to work instead of eating fast food. Exercise 4 times a week before or after work for at least 45 minutes. We can help you with that - try our 3 Day FREE Fitness Pass (click here).
2) Only eat fruits and veggies as your afternoon snack.
2) Write your new habit down on paper. Also include your 3 main motivators for developing this new habit, the obstacles you’ll face, and your strategies for overcoming these obstacles.
Here’s an example:
My new habit is to eat healthier meals and stay away from processed foods.
My 3 main motivators are:
1) to feel confident in my bathing suit this summer
2) to have more energy
3) to fit into my favorite clothes
The obstacles I will face are:
1) not having the energy to cook at home
2) not having enough money to pay for healthier food
3) not having my spouse’s and or family's support
I will overcome these obstacles by:
1) meal prep more food during the weekend so it is ready during the week
2) cutting down on frivolous spending to ensure that I can afford it
3) asking my spouse and family to join me so we can get in shape and eat healthy together
Commit fully to your new habit, in a public way. This could mean posting it on social media, or simply announcing it at the dinner table. Put yourself in a position where you’ll be embarrassed to give up on your new habit (this one always works for me).
Keep track of your progress. You could keep a detailed journal or simply make a check mark on each calendar day that you successfully exercise your new habit.
Once your new habit becomes second nature, usually in about 30 days, feel free to add a second habit by going through the same steps.
|Posted on March 26, 2018 at 8:57 AM||comments (0)|
There are a few things that all of us do from the moment that we are born. We all breathe and eat and sleep, and we all pee and poop.
Despite the fact that going to the bathroom is such a shared experience, talking about it is strangely uncomfortable.
What comes out of our bodies when we move our bowels gives us a lot of good information about how well we are eating and our overall health.
That is because our stools are what is left of the food that we eat.
The color, texture and smell of our poop not only tells us about whether we are eating right but also about how our body is digesting it.
Even though it may be interesting, most people are not in the habit of paying that much attention to what their poop looks like – at least not ‘til something changes. Poop that suddenly becomes soft and watery or hard captures our attention, and the same is true when its color changes.
Here are some of the things that your poop color, size and texture are telling you – and what you can do about it.
What Color Your Poop Is Can Tell You A Lot
Most of the time, notable changes in the color of your poop are caused by the food that you have eaten. Who hasn’t done a double take at the color of their poop after eating beets?
But if your poop changes color and stays different for a while, it may signal a health issue. Here are some examples:
The size and texture of your poop are also very telling.
Normal poop is shaped like a snake, and is soft and looks smooth. The drier, smaller and rougher it is, the more constipated you are. The more water it holds, the more your body is telling you that it is trying to get rid of what’s inside – and fast.
The best solution to make normal poop is to eat plenty of fiber and drink plenty of water.
Experts say that you should take in 25 grams of fiber per day and drink about 8 glasses of water too. I would even go as far as to say we need 35 grams of fiber a day to keep our digestive system running tip top. And be sure you are drinking alkaline water.
If you have diarrhea, you should check to see if you are having a reaction to dairy, fructose or artificial sweeteners.
When your poop is abnormal for a long time, you should check with your doctor to make sure that there is nothing medical going on.
|Posted on February 14, 2018 at 4:57 PM||comments (0)|
When you stop to think about all the little tiny organisms you can’t see, and how many millions...billions...of them there are, it’s pretty mind-blowing.
While many are floating around in the air, there are also hundreds of them inside your body.
No, this isn’t a new version of the movie Alien - none of them are going to try to take over your body - but in a sense, this really is a symbiotic relationship.
You thought your unique fingerprint is pretty cool, right? What about your unique microbiome?
You have bacteria living throughout your body, but there are 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria in your gut: especially in your intestines and colon. When paired with other tiny organisms like viruses and fungi, you get the microbiome.
And your mix of microorganisms is different from everyone else’s. It’s partly due to your mother’s microbiome that you were exposed to at birth, and partly due to your personal diet and lifestyle.
These bacteria affect everything from your metabolism to your mood to your immune system.
In fact, scientists now know that the bacteria in healthy people are different from the bacteria in people with illness and disease.
Bacteria affect your metabolism by determining how many calories you get from food, and the nutrients you can extract from it. If you have too many gut bacteria, they may turn fiber into fatty acids, leaving fat deposits in your liver. This can cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Too-low levels of anti-inflammatory gut bacteria can cause bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, as the bacteria get off track and attack your intestines.
People with colon cancer usually have higher levels of disease-causing bacteria, and people with arthritis may have greater numbers of bacteria associated with inflammation.
And don’t forget the connection between your gut and your brain. When certain gut bacteria are off track, it can lead to anxiety or depression.
OK, what do you look for to see if you should check your gut health? These are some of the symptoms of an unhealthy gut:
As you may imagine, to affect your gut bacteria, you should change the way you are eating!
Start by eating prebiotics - plant fibers that act as a kind of fertilizer for the good bacteria in your gut. These include pistachios, bananas, garlic, onion, wheat, oats, and ancient grains like quinoa, millet, or chia.
Also add fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, and kefir, which naturally contain probiotics (the good bacteria).
Eat a lot less (or even eliminate) processed foods, breads, and pastas, as well as foods that are high in fat and sugar, and low in fiber.
I’m sure you can guess what you should eat, right? :-) Of course: plants, fruits, seeds, and nuts.
Exercise may encourage the growth of a variety of gut bacteria, which will reduce your risk of disease.
You may want to read my blog "The Gut-Brain Connection" for information :)
Finally, if you need to take antibiotics to fight illness, consider taking a probiotic supplement so you don’t kill off all the good bacteria, and cause more problems than you solve.
|Posted on November 3, 2017 at 4:14 PM||comments (0)|
As you might know, sweating is a great way to burn calories and rid your body of unwanted toxins. But how do you sweat when you’re injured, or unable to exercise?
I like to sweat in an infrared sauna. Infrared saunas help your body release a number of toxins, including heavy metals like mercury and lead, and environmental chemicals. The benefits don’t stop there. With infrared sauna technology, you can also lose weight, relax, relieve unwanted pain, increase your circulation, and purify your skin.
6 Benefits of Infrared Sauna
Sweating is one of the body’s most natural ways to eliminate toxins, making it a crucial part of detoxification. When compared to traditional Swedish saunas, infrared saunas allow you to eliminate about seven times more toxins.
Infrared sauna therapy promotes relaxation by helping to balance your body’s level of cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone. The heat generated by the sauna will also help to relax muscles and relieve tension throughout the body, allowing you to relax and de-stress.
3. Pain Relief
If you suffer from muscle aches or joint pain, infrared saunas can relieve this form of inflammation by increasing circulation and relaxing your muscles.
4. Weight Loss The heat generated by an infrared sauna will cause your core temperature to increase, which can also lead to an increased heart rate — the same increase in heart rate that you experience when exercising. When your body has to work harder to lower your core temperature or keep up with an increased heart rate, your body will burn more calories, resulting in weight loss. An article, titled Effect of Sweating, in the Journal of the American Medical Associationconcluded that a 30-minute infrared sauna session could burn roughly 600 calories.
5. Improved Circulation
As the heat from infrared saunas increases your core body temperature, your circulation will increase along with it. Consistent infrared sauna sessions, especially in the middle-infrared level, can stimulate blood flow, improve muscle recovery, and decrease pain and inflammation after intense exercise.
6. Skin Purification
Infrared sauna technology can help purify your skin by eliminating toxins from your pores and increasing circulation, resulting in clearer, softer, and healthier-looking skin.
Infrared sauna treatments may be available at different levels: near, middle, and far.These different levels represent the different sizes in infrared wavelengths and refer to the intensity of the treatment. Most people find that:
If you’re new to infrared saunas, I would recommend starting out with 10-minute sessions at 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit and slowly working your way up to 15- to 30-minute sessions.