Strong Happy Healthy

Health, Fitness, and Nutrition; Resource for Women

Category: Scientific Research

Are You Deficient In Vitamin B12?

Depression and Anxiety could be due to lack of micronutrients; B12.

Did you know that our ability to absorb vitamin B12 decreases with age? In fact, research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that 4-percent of females between the ages of 40 to 60-years old suffer from a B12 deficiency. Combine age with certain prescription medications (i.e., for heartburn), drinking too much alcohol, certain GI disorders that affect absorption, and a lack of meat in your diet, and you could find yourself deficient in vitamin B12. B12 is not found in plants, so people who avoid eating animal products (I’m talking to you Vegans and Vegetarians) need to supplement with B12.

Vitamin B12 benefits your mood, energy level, memory, heart, skin, hair, digestion and more. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin in treating adrenal fatigue, multiple metabolic functions — including enzyme production, DNA synthesis and hormonal balance, as well as maintaining a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system. B12 is also required for the production of serotonin and dopamine, the feel good chemicals.

10 Signs of B12 Deficiency:

  1. Cognitive Issues; memory loss, “brain fog”,  dementia
  2. Dizziness/Balance Issues; with standing, vertigo walking or going up stairs
  3. Neurological issues; Pins and needles/tingling
  4. Lack of Energy; even after resting, often due to anemia associated with B12 deficiency. (lack of oxygen/lowered red blood count)
  5. Visual Issues; retinal damage, difficulty adjusting to light, blurred vision.
  6. Muscle Weakness; due to poor protein synthesis and lack of oxygen in the blood (lack of oxygen/lowered red blood count)
  7. Smoother tongue; less bumps on the tongue, which lead to decrease in taste. Food losing taste can also lead to weight loss (not the good kind)
  8. Mood Changes; anxiety, depression.
  9. Digestive Discomfort; nausea, diarrhea or constipation
  10. Pale Complexion (again, due to decreased red blood cell production).

Change Will Happen; Grow with it or Grow Bitter

The beauty of life is change.

Change is inevitable. You must change to grow.
Thank goodness for hindsight, because now I realize that one of the best things about being a military spouse, for me personally, has also been one of the hardest things; the constant uncertainty and constant changes. Making vacation plans can be a challenge, finding employment in your trained field each time you relocate (licenses in one state, living in another etc), handling moves, selling/buying property with power of attorney and taking care of the kids on your own while your spouse is deployed/in the field or TDY (Temporary Duty away from , moving and leaving friends; All come with their share of hardships. Finding housing each time, in the right school district, right price, in a community where you feel at home, but not having the luxury of time to go check out the housing and the area in advance; yes…yes…it can be very  stressful.
Change and challenge are good.
As challenging and as stressful as these things have been for me,  they have also taught me that I am not in control of the situation. Taught me that I have to make the best of the situation or it will get the best of me, so be prepared but don’t resist. It may have taken a long time to realize it, but I see the benefit now. 
I can’t live in the past or stress over the uncertainty of the future. I enjoy the moment; certainly not every single moment, because we have to have contrast or life becomes boring. Change, and letting go of the need to control the outcome, has made me stronger. I appreciate the lesson in the change and the new experience. I enjoy meeting  new people, seeing new places. Come to think of it, that’s what made being a teenager so exciting; everything was new and exciting as we gained independence. But somewhere along the way, some people tend to dig in and get set in their ways, resisting change, blaming others or the next generation for changes that make them uncomfortable. They get bitter and complain. They are a victim of this un-welcomed change. 
I remember when my husband poo poo’d the idea of having a cell phone; “If someone wants to call me, they can wait until I’m at home or at work. They don’t need to reach me in the car.” Then he got used to the cell phone, but was sad that people weren’t calling him on it more often. “Nobody ever calls me on my cell phone.” Fast forward a few more years, he poo poo’d the idea of texting; “If someone wants to tell me something, they need to talk to me, not text me. The kids need to quit texting so much.” Fast forward a few more years, we text all the time. It doesn’t take the time or the privacy to conduct a phone call. So, yes, there is a definite benefit to it.  He has embraced it. Resistance was futile in a house with teenagers. 😉
The next generations are expanding our world, and we can either learn and grow, or be stressed and overwhelmed, wishing for life as we once knew it. That’s the way it’s always been, and always will be. It’s called progress, and for those who resist change, it will always make them uncomfortable and even bitter at times.  
 Lifting weights also stresses the muscles, even makes you sore, but later you’re able to do more, you’re stronger and feel great about your progress. As an avid weight lifter, I enjoy the challenge and changes it creates in my body. Changing the routine can be a challenge at times, but doing the same thing day in and day out also can be a drag. After implementing a new workout routine, the soreness wears off in after the first few days, and the changes start to appear in a few weeks. I’m more focused in the moment and not just going through the motions with no enthusiasm. No change is mind numbing. 

CHANGE WILL HAPPEN FOR EVERYONE. You can’t take things back the way they were and complain about how things are different. If you want to be happy, learn from the change, grow with it, and for God’s sake, quit complaining!! You’re taking away your own joy, and possibly a little bit of the joy from people who spend time with you….unless, however, you’re with a group of complainers who like to sit around and b***h about everything. If that’s what brings you joy, then have at it, at least you’re getting joy about complaining (but don’t spread that type of joy to those of us who don’t want to participate, please!). Learn and grow from changes. It stimulates you. Appreciate the moments of your life! Enjoy your journey…. because you are creating it! 

Change is Always Ahead

Slow the Aging Process With Intermittent Fasting

SLOW THE AGING PROCESS WITH INTERMITTENT FASTING

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Youthful Aging, Using Micronutrient Supplementation Support

There are already several studies showing that caloric restriction can extend the lifespan of  many different species, including mammals. Since these studies have proven to work so well on animals, many people are trying to do the same.

Results based on more that 70 years of research show that people who reduced the calories they consumed by just 20% during a period of 2 to 6 years, were able to lose weight and promoted many anti-aging mechanisms in the body.

But just restricting your calories, won’t provide you with the best results.

Cornell University researchers, back in 1934, studied a similar diet on rats. Their diet was severely reduced in calories but maintained micronutrient levels. The results showed that the rats lifespan were twice than what would normally be expected.

And this research is the base to what you probably already heard: “intermittent fasting”, works better than just reducing calories.

There are two different methods for  Intermittent Fasting:

* A “Daily Fast”

With the “Daily Fast”, you will stay without eating for 14 to 16 hours a day, and you’ll eat, for example, only dinner and brunch. You need to make sure not to eat anything at least 3 hours before going to bed. When you do this, you’re giving your body the 6 to 8 hours it needs to metabolize stores of carbohydrates and glycogen (the energy in your muscles). When your body finishes the process, it will start burning fat.

* The 5:2 Diet:

With the 5:2 diet, you should fast one or two days, per week. On the other 5 days, you should eat normally.

On the days that you fast you can choose to simply not eat anything or you can reduce your caloric intake to just 500 to 600.

Research has shown that a back to back, 2day fast, burns more visceral fat; the fat that is internal and surrounds the organs. Visceral fat may not be visible to the naked eye, but it’s more of a health concern than subcutaneous fat, and can cause serious health issues. When you see a distended abdomen on a male that appears hard and rounded, almost like a pregnant belly, that is due to visceral fat.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

* weight loss

* improved brain function

* increased blood sugar control; resets insulin sensitivity

* reduced inflammation

* increased energy

* optimized metabolism

* improved blood pressure

* long-term appetite control

* increased beneficial intestinal bacteria

* better focus

* slower aging

* increased human growth hormone

* more lean muscle mass

* great heart health and endothelial function

Look to Food for Health and healing; not emotional comfort

Look to Food for Health and Healing; not emotional comfort

To achieve optimal results with Intermittent Fasting, you can implement micronutrient support. These foods, besides having a lot of benefits for your health, should be included in your diet. Make sure you add the following:

* Any supplements that include quercetin, pterostilbene, resveratrol, grape seed extract, and black tea extract.

* Omega-3 fatty acids

* Fruits

* Dark chocolate

* Soluble fiber

* vegetables

* black or green tea

By adding these supplements to your Intermittent Fasting, you’ll be able to reduce systemic inflammation as well as improve overall health. Plus, the right supplements can allow your body to fight diseases like cancer, heart disease, obesity, or diabetes, by boosting your immune system.

How to Turn on Your Fat Burning Machine

The hormones insulin and glucagon are both produced in the pancreas and work in balance. When one goes up the other goes down and vice versa. This was ideal when food wasn’t always readily available.  But now it is, for most of us, and that’s where the problem starts. 

These two hormones serve opposite functions. Insulin is secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas when your blood sugar levels are high. So, following a meal that contains mostly high glycemic/high sugar carbohydrates, your blood sugar level shoots up quickly past the normal post meal level of 140 mg/dl. This will facilitate storage of glucose (blood sugar) in the muscle tissues and especially fat cells.

 Glucagon is secreted by the alpha cells of the pancreas when blood sugar is low. This primarily occurs between feedings (fasting) and while exercising. Glucagon causes the liver to release stored energy into circulation.

 Insulin promotes storing energy and manufacturing proteins while glucagon promotes the release of stored energy, both glucose and fatty acids.

 If you want to convert your body to a perpetual fat-burning state, it is essential that you keep your insulin and blood sugar levels low. That’s because burning sugar always takes precedence over burning fat. The more carbohydrates in your diet, the higher your blood sugar and insulin levels will be. If you are consistently burning more sugar, that means you end up storing more fat.

If your body is accustomed to burning sugar for energy, as soon as it is out of the bloodstream, your body will start begging for it again. You will have cravings and even experience a “high” from eating sugary foods. As your blood sugar rises and subsequently crashes, you will become edgy, depressed and fatigued until those cravings are fed again. This constant process reduces insulin sensitivity, causing your body to need more. You may call it a sugar addiction.


The ideal way to start burning body fat, instead of storing it, is eating foods with a lower glycemic index and exercising with high intensity. Eating more protein and less carbohydrates. When eating fast burning (high on the glycemic index) carbohydrates, one needs to include fiber, protein or healthy fats, to slow down the digestive process, and in the process making it lower glycemic index.

Exercise, especially intense exercise, is very effective at burning the glycogen stores in muscle tissue. Your glycogen (the storage form of glucose in your muscles and liver that your body can burn as fuel when necessary) is depleted during sleep and fasting, and will be depleted even further during intense exercise. This can further increase insulin sensitivity, which means that a post workout meal (within an hour window of exercise) will be most efficiently utilized. Protein should be consumed at this time to help with muscle recovery, and the body is able to utilize more protein following exercise. 

Interestingly, exercise and intermittent fasting can both achieve some of the same benefits, so why not double up and do both? Some of the things both can achieve are:

  • Decreases blood glucose
  • Decreases insulin level 
  • Increases glucagon
  • Increases growth hormone
  • Increases insulin sensitivity
  • Promotes lipolysis and free fatty acid mobilization
  • Promotes cellular fat oxidation.

Intermittent fasting (IF) has tremendous benefits for burning fat, and getting off the vicious sugar burning cycle. During the fasting process, the body isn’t fed sugars and burns off its glycogen stores. This forces the body to go into fat burning mode for energy.

A few of the additional proven benefits of intermittent fasting are:

-Promotes Fat Loss, longevity

-Starves bad bacteria in the intestines

-Improves; brain function, immune system, allergies, cellular regeneration and repair

-Reduces; inflammation, cravings, blood pressure

-Fights glucose dependent cancer cells

So… as a recap, to start burning fat instead of sugar, you want to increase glucagon production and insulin sensitivity by increasing quality protein consumption, while eating fewer carbohydrates (low GI), keeping blood sugar levels low. Also  including exercise and IF into the plan would be the ideal way get the fat burning machine going.

Fit vs Healthy

You can be fit without being healthy

You can be fit without being healthy

When I first started exercising in the early 80’s, I was hooked on the overall feeling it gave me: energetic, athletic, and strong. I remember feeling like I wanted to stay moving all day. I was in my early 20’s then, so…there was that youth thing in my favor and those endorphins were addictive. As I got into competitive bodybuilding, my mindset somewhat shifted to obtaining “the look”. My nutrition wasn’t for overall health, it was for looking and being lean and muscular. My workouts were primarily geared to build muscle or lose fat, depending on whether or not it was on or off season (ie; prepping for a contest or not). I was still very adamant about maintaining flexibility and never got the “puffy” off season look.  I didn’t understand the huge swings in weight then, and I don’t understand it now. You have to eat more to gain muscle, sure, but some people take that to the extremes and find it difficult when it’s time to get ready for a contest. Up and down, up and down….the yo yo effect is not healthy…but I digress…

Although I never had huge weight swings and typically only started my contest prep 9 weeks out, I still could have gone about it in a much healthier fashion. During contest prep, I would get excessively lean, as expected, but my skin and hair would dry out and my face would look gaunt, even at such a young age. I would eat far too little fats. Back then we thought of all fat as the enemy. There was no such thing as eating “healthy fats” during contest prep. The mindset was, eating fats will make you fat, period.

But competitions came to an end for a long time due to some life changes and being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  At times it was debilitating and I never imagined I would be able to compete again, and honestly it wasn’t a huge concern because I had far more pressing issues to do deal with at the time. Having an autoimmune disease made me question where I was focusing my efforts. Was I doing everything to look fit, or to be healthy? Was I eating just for the macronutrients or was I also getting in the necessary micronutrients; vitamins and minerals? I hadn’t really considered true nutrition for my overall health. I had always thought by staying active and lean, meant I was healthy. With experience comes wisdom, and I have realized health has to come first and that being “fit” is NOT the same thing as being “healthy”.  After-all, there have been some pretty fit looking bodybuilders who have dropped dead due to what they have put their bodies though for the sake of getting big or getting shredded for a show.

I appreciate and respect the fine balance of health. I have to be very proactive to maintain that balance. When my nutrition is off and/or I miss workouts (or overtrain), it undeniably  has a negative effect on my health, and I have to chase away inflammation and pain. Through extensive research, trail and error, I’ve found specific nutrient support, coupled with intermittent fasting, gets everything back on track much quicker. My rheumatologist was amazed that my condition has actually improved. I can’t stress the importance of nutrition enough. It’s not just about macros!! So many fitness competitors only worry about their macros. I see post on social media #IIIYM meaning; if it’s in your macros you can eat it. Basically to hell with the micronutrients needed for overall health and any other additives hormone or toxins that may be in your food that adversely affect your health.

While most of us want to look in shape, being truly fit has several components, and they are not just aesthetic; strength, body fat composition (which is the most visually obvious) endurance, flexibility and balance are all important. And being healthy has far more components. I would advise any people just starting their fitness journey to consider the balance of being both healthy and looking fit. Be patient and take on daily healthy habits. It’s not just a sprint to “look fit”. Be consistent, be smart, be proactive about overall health/wellness.  Being healthy versus being merely fit, includes having energy and a good immune system. But true health goes beyond just the physical; it reaches into mental, spiritual and social realms. Be Strong, Happy and Happy for LIFE!!

Can Women Slow the Aging Process With Free weight training?

Building strength for quality of life.

Building strength for quality of life.

Can Women Slow the Aging Process with Free Weight Training.

As we age, the significance and various advantages of free weight training, turns out to be progressively critical. Interminable exploration has been done on this particular topic, and as an aftereffect of these studies we now have hard proof that as we age our bone thickness density declines or weakens and we lose muscle (sarcopenia), however unlike some degenerative conditions, there is something we can do to fight both of these widely recognized negative impacts of aging.

Medical research has demonstrated, that by keeping weight on the bones and keeping the joints moving, we can keep up healthy bone density and more joint flexibility as we age. Why weight training? Basically, the process of  lifting weight causes the muscles and ligaments to pull against the bone, this procedure empowers various cells in the bone to produce more bone, therefore increasing bone density; the vast majority of the people don’t understand that bone is living – developing tissue and reacts to the stresses of weight training, by becoming stronger/denser, just like the muscles.

Unfortunately, there was old fashioned misguided judgment with respect to lifting weights that has kept much of our aging population of women from ever considering lifting weights. Until the 1980s, there were not very many health and fitness clubs, and the ones that were around, usually catered to bodybuilding men and athletes.  Women looked at weight lifting as something reserved for bodybuilders, athletes and manly looking women. Fortunately, the younger population in Western Society it’s very common to see women working out with free weights and embracing the strength and power it achieves. But sadly, many older women are aging even faster due to a lack of any form of strength training. 

There are a variety of ways to train for strength. The most simple, is using your own bodyweight against gravity, which can be done nearly anywhere. Most health clubs have machines that are built to facilitate your ability to lift the weight at the point where your joints and ligaments need the most assistance. Starting out, it is important to strengthen these joints and ligaments before overloading them with force and machines are wonderful at achieving this, whilst also allowing you to build ample muscular hypertrophy. But after building up some strength, it’s more beneficial to advance to incorporating more free weights and doing exercises in a standing position as much as possible. Free weights require your stabilizer muscles, or ancillary muscles, to come into play far more, while balancing and controlling the weights through the range of motion. Unlike machines, where the weights are balanced for you, and only force is needed to move the weight.  When ancillary muscles are used, it helps with overall proprioception/balance. With improved balance and increased strength, there is less likelihood of falls. And in the event of a fall, with increased bone density from the weight training, there is less chance of breaking a bone. 

Concerning seniors, grown-ups 65 and more seasoned, weighting training assists with bone density issues, as well as expands muscle quality also, in this way enhancing scope of movement and parity, furnishing them with a more secure and higher personal satisfaction. Like clockwork, a senior has a fall. At regular intervals somebody in this age group kick the bucket as an immediate aftereffect of their injuries brought on by a fall. Falls are the main source of harm related deaths. If they don’t die, typically they age faster and become dependent on family or caregivers, unless they change their course of action. 

In one year alone more than 1.8 million individuals 65 years or more were treated in emergency rooms, 20-30% of seniors who fall endure moderate to serious injury; wounds, hip breaks and other trauma. Quite a bit of this could have been avoided with increased senior physical conditioning through weight training and other exercise. Exercise and nutrition are so vital to remaining strong and healthy as we age. 

Natural Treatments for Stress

how adaptogens workAdaptogens – What Are They And What Do They Do?

The term adaptogen is used as a part of natural medicine to allude to herbs that is reported to build the body’s resistance to stress, injury, nervousness, and exhaustion. The idea of adaptogens goes back many years to old India and China, yet cutting edge research did not start until the late 1940’s. In 1947 Nikolai Lazarev characterized an adaptogen as an agent that permits the body to counter unfriendly physical, substance, or natural stressors by raising nonspecific resistance toward such stress, along these lines allowing the organism to ‘adjust” to the unpleasant circumstances.

There are almost one million recorded plants, herbs and botanicals on the planet. Of these exclusive 30 have been recognized as adaptogens-nontoxic with the capacity to help the body oversee stress and come back to a feeling of wellbeing.

Pure herbal adaptogens are actually occurring substances contained in a few plants that can help the body restore itself. They have been utilized as a part of Asian societies for a huge number of years to protect against anxiety, weakness, uneasiness and help resistant working, having already been called “rejuvenants”, “tonics”, “qi herbs”, “restoratives”, and “rasayanas” by natural health professionals around the globe.

Stress is a reality of regular life for those around the globe yet especially so in America. Day by day, we are shelled with stress and pressure from each bearing including work, family and the environment. Utilizing pure natural adaptogens may give some protection, relief and escape from day by day pressure experienced by everybody living in the modern world.

Herbal medication guarantees that adaptogenic herbs are distinct from different substances in their capacity to adjust endocrine hormones and the. They help the body accomplish ideal homeostasis. Adaptogens have a normalizing impact on the body and are able to do either toning down the activity of hyper functioning systems or fortifying the action of under-active systems.  These herbs are different from other substances in their capacity to adjust endocrine hormones and the immune system. They are the only natural substances able to help the body keep up ideal homeostasis.

More recently, adaptogens were used widely as a part of the training regime of the previous Soviet Union’s competitors. By considering the effects of training on the athlete’s body and giving them adaptogens to supplement their ordinary eating regimen the competitors performed better and their bodies recouped all the more quickly. Take a look at the medal counts from the Olympics during the 1970’s and 1980’s. The outcomes speak for themselves!!! Today numerous top competitors keep on using adaptogens to help them acquire peak performance.

From my point of view, the thing I like most about adaptogens is that they optimize physiological functioning.  Along these lines, we can create wellness versus treating disease. That, to me, is a better way to live.

IS YOUR HIGH SUGAR DIET AGING YOU?

sugar Oh!

If you are eating a diet that has a high sugar or carbohydrate content, then the answer to this question is likely, YES !!!

Too much dietary sugar (in a variety of forms) is the culprit for many health conditions that are prevalent in the U.S. , but did you know that it also ages the skin?

If there is too much sugar in the body, protein molecules can cross link with
sugar molecules, creating advanced glycation end products (AGEs). This is called the glycation process. Once AGEs are formed, they tend to gravitate towards the dermal collagen and elastin in the body. The body doesn’t recognize the new molecule and will produce antibodies against them, causing an inflammatory process. Inflammation becomes problematic when it is chronic.
Americans causing our own premature aging by our sugar consumption more sugar in the body, the more AGEs are formed. The collagen then becomes compromised. Effects of glycation may result in premature aging of the skin; wrinkling, loss of elasticity, stiffness, increased rate of aging, and reduced abilities for the skin to repair itself, resulting in thin fragile skin.

In addition to reducing the amount of sugars or other carbohydrates that convert to sugars rapidly (foods with a high glycemic index), foods and supplements that have an anti-inflammatory effect and rich in antioxidants need to be added to the diet; Vitamin A: carrots, kale, spinach, cantaloupe; Vitamin C: broccoli, brussels sprouts, guava and citrus; Vitamin E: olive oil, walnut oil, wheat germ oil, oats, tomatoes, carrots; Bioflavonoids and Polyphenols: citrus, berries, tea, red wine dark chocolate, pomegranates.

Some of these same anti-inflammatory ingredients are also being used for topical applications as well: Arnica-speels wound healing, Peptides-activate growth factor and collagen production, Glucosamine HCI-provides anti-inflammatory and antiglycation support, Omega 6 essential fatty acids-provide anti- inflammatory skin-building effects, Glycine soma-promotes collagen and elastin synthesis, Vitamin C-potent antioxidant and collagen-builder that protects against photo-damage and facilitates wound healing.

So, not only does your diet affect your weight and your health, it also affects your aging process. It make take longer in some individuals than others, but be proactive in life, and don’t wait until you see the adverse affects from bad habits before you change your habits. Start now. If you are already experiencing some of these affects from glycation, then modify your diet! Our nation overall has become too dependent on high sugar or starchy foods and, as a nation, our health is suffering due to our diet. We must make changes and teach our children to do the same. We may have the ability and right to eat what we want, but we need to harbor the responsibility to do it wisely, and to educate our children to do the same.

 

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