As a reforming artificial sweetener addict, I can attest to the damage it did to my gut. Not only was I putting it in my coffee every morning, but I was also ingesting it in other products, most notably my whey protein. Initially, I had no idea why I was having such digestive issues. After all, I ate very healthy.
While it is good to cut back on sugar consumption, the alternative sugar substitutes, specifically artificial sweeteners, may be wreaking havoc on your health. Popular artificial sweeteners, such as Sucralose, may increase blood glucose and insulin levels: Sucralose may negatively affect the very people who are using it to decrease sugar consumption and stabilize blood glucose levels. A study found that Sucralose increased blood glucose levels and insulin levels while decreasing insulin sensitivity. This could negatively affect people, especially those with diabetes, who consume Sucralose to try to manage their blood glucose levels.
Sucralose and gut health: Gastrointestinal health, gut health, has become a topic of great interest. It’s no surprise that our bodies and gastrointestinal (GI) tract are home to more bacteria than we have cells in our body. We tend to think of bacteria as something to avoid but bacteria also play a beneficial role in our health. A large portion of our immune system is located in the GI tract and beneficial bacteria play a major role in a healthy immune system. A study on Sucralose and the GI microbiome found that Sucralose altered the gut microbiome by decreasing beneficial bacteria by up to 50%. Additionally, they found that 12 weeks after the study the beneficial bacteria in the GI tract had not recovered. Which means that even after Sucralose was no longer being consumed the GI tract was still negatively affected. The study also found that Sucralose may limit the bioavailability of certain orally administered medications which may make medications less effective.
Cooking and chloropropanols: One of the proposed uses of Splenda is to reduce calories when cooking and baking. Splenda was considered to be heat resistant but research is finding otherwise. When heated, Splenda was found to degrade and release harmful chloropropanols at high temperatures.7/8 Chloropropanols are toxic and may lead to cancer and infertility in men.
Choose sugar substitutes such as stevia and monk fruit and other natural alternatives that do not elevate insulin levels or have adverse health effects. Check your labels for aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin and avoid such products, especially if it’s something you’re consuming on a daily basis.
Xenoestrogens are found in a variety of items that we have grown accustomed. Most of us don’t think twice about the makeup we wear, the lotion we slather on each day or the plastic container we use to pack our lunch…or worse, the plastic container we use to reheat something in the microwave. We know organic food is supposed to be better for us, but sometimes we just don’t want to pay the extra money. Unfortunately, all of the above may be altering the way our body naturally functions because they all contain endocrine disruptors called, xenoestrogens.
Endocrine disruptors are a category of chemicals that alter the normal function of hormones. Normally, our endocrine system releases hormones that signal different tissues telling them what to do. When chemicals from the outside get into our bodies, they have the ability to mimic our natural hormones; blocking or binding hormone receptors. This is particularly detrimental to hormone sensitive organs like the uterus and the breast, the immune and neurological systems, as well as human development.
Xenoestrogens fall into of the endocrine disruptor group that specifically have estrogen-like effects. While estrogen is a natural hormone in humans that is important for many important bodily functions in both men and women, when we add outside chemical sources mimicking estrogen, it can be disruptive to normal body functions. When xenoestrogens enter the body they increase the total amount of estrogen resulting in a phenomenon called, estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are stored in our fat cells because our bodies cannot readily eliminate them. Some of the build up of xenoestrogens have been indicated in many conditions including: breast, prostate and testicular cancer, obesity, infertility, endometriosis, early onset puberty, miscarriages and diabetes.
Fasting nutritional cleanses can help eliminate some of the fat soluble toxins such as the xenoestrogens, that are stored in the fat cells. Eliminating these toxins can often make it easier to lose fat and reduce inflammation in the body.
You also want to avoid
Avoid Xenoestrogens by limiting exposure to:
Avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
Choose organic, locally-grown and in-season foods.
Peel non-organic fruits and vegetables.
Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products to avoid hormones and pesticides.
Reduce the use of plastics whenever possible.
Do not microwave food in plastic containers.
Avoid the use of plastic wrap to cover food for storing or microwaving.
Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food.
Do not leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun.
If a plastic water container has heated up significantly, throw it away.
Don’t refill plastic water bottles.
Avoid freezing water in plastic bottles to drink later.
Use chemical free, biodegradable laundry and household cleaning products.
Choose chlorine-free products and unbleached paper products (i.e. tampons, menstrual pads, toilet paper, paper towel, coffee filters).
Use a chlorine filter on shower heads and filter drinking water
Health and Beauty Products
Avoid creams and cosmetics that have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens and stearalkonium chloride.
Minimize your exposure to nail polish and nail polish removers.
Use naturally based fragrances, such as essential oils.
Use chemical free soaps and toothpastes.
Read the labels on condoms and diaphragm gels.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive system to burn fat and cleanse your cells of toxins you can find synergistic systems here.
At 55 years old (as I write this), I’ve been dealing with chronic inflammation for over half my life. Debilitating pain and swelling started in my mid 20s and went undiagnosed for years, until eventually being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as Hashimotos Thyroiditis. At times, by being very proactive about my health with intentional nutrition, exercise and effective medication, I have been in remission. But after menopause, the familiar pain and swelling started again, which sent me back to the drawing board, and being more determined than ever to rid myself of this chronic inflammation. While bloodwork still indicates things are fine, ultrasound to several joints revealed otherwise.
Health is a fine balance, and learning what ignites the fire of inflammation and what can douse it out can mean the difference in living a vibrant life or a life constantly trying to chase away pain and/or disease. Medication can surely help, but it doesn’t heal. So I suggest if you’re experiencing these or any autoimmune issues, you don’t just rely on a medication prescribed by your doctor, and for you start being proactive about your holistic health.
Inflammation is your body’s protective response to injury or damage. It helps your natural healing and repair processes. While this is process is critical for repairing injuries, major health issues can arise when your body is chronically inflamed. Many modern stressors, such as pollution, food sensitivities and carrying extra weight, can lead to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation not only can lead to a variety of diseases, to include cancer, Alzheimers and more, but it also accelerates the aging process and this is commonly called “inflammaging”.
Not only do we need to avoid the triggers and purge toxins, we need to also include nutrients that help our bodies combat inflammation. Our bodies are miraculous and we have been given a beautiful planet full of what we need for optimal health, but our society over the years has turned to pharmaceuticals and food has become more of an indulgence and source of entertainment than a fuel source for our body’s health.
Nutrients known to reduce C-reactive protein (CRP;a measurement of inflammation)
Prevented exercise-induced rises in CRP in athletes49
Lowered CRP more than control in patients with toxin-induced skinirritation50
Lowered CRP by a huge 6.4 mg/L in a meta-analysis of 6 studies of patients with elevated CRP51
Reversed elevated CRP levels in rats with experimental arthritis52
Reduced hs-CRP in diabetic adults47
Green Tea Polyphenols
Lowered CRP in a rat model of systemic inflammation53
Reduced CRP by 1.1 mg/L in postmenopausal women when combined with exercise54
Lowered CRP in end-stage renal disease patients on dialysis55
Higher serum magnesium correlated with lower CRP in overweight middle-aged women56
Lowered hs-CRP in diabetes patients57
Omega-3 fatty acids
Low omega-3 in blood correlated with higher CRP in patients with peripheral artery disease58
Lowered hs-CRP and depression scores in depressed shift workers59
Lowered CRP and CRP/albumin ratio (beneficial) in colorectal cancer patients60
Lowered CRP when given with vitamin C61
Red yeast rice
Lowered hs-CRP by nearly 24% in people with moderately highcholesterol46
Reduced plasma CRP 24% in active or passive smokers48
Lowered hs-CRP in hemodialysis patients62
Higher vitamin D levels correlated with lower CRP in humans with rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory condition63
Reduced serum CRP in pregnant women by 1.4 mg/L while controls rose by 1.5 mg/L (400 IU daily dose)64
Lowered CRP in humans and animals65
Lowered hs-CRP from more than 10 to 7.7 mg/L in diabetics with kidney disease66
Lowered hs-CRP in young obese women67
Mixture of resveratrol, pterostilbene, quercetin, delta-tocotrienol,and nicotinic acid reduced CRP 29% in healthy seniors68
There are many different herbs that can help you reduce or prevent inflammation in your body.
1. Turmeric (Curcumin)
The anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric is its yellow pigment called curcumin. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines have long used turmeric and curcumin to reduce inflammation as well as treat digestive disorders, wounds and infections.
Studies have shown that curcumin also acts as an antioxidant and may combat cancer. Fresh or powdered turmeric is excellent in curries, soups or other dishes. Fresh turmeric can be added to fresh vegetable juices. Supplements of curcumin are also available.
2. Green Tea
The preventative effects of green tea against cardiovascular disease and cancer are well established. More recent studies have shown that green tea can be an effective anti-inflammatory, particularly in the treatment of arthritis. It can also reduce inflammation of the digestive tract potentially helping conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
It’s recommended to drink 3 to 4 cups of tea daily. Green tea extract can also be found in pill form. And for those who don’t want the caffeine, decaffeinated green teas are available.
3. White Willow Bark
White willow tree bark has been used as a treatment for pain and inflammation since ancient Egyptian and Roman times. Many studies have shown that white willow bark has a similar effects as aspirin, but with fewer side effects than aspirin.
The usual dose of white willow bark is 240 mg per day for ongoing conditions. There are also herbal blends that contain white willow bark which can be used for an acute event, such as a headache.
4. Maritime Pine Bark (Pycnogenol)
Bark from the maritime pine tree (Pinus maritima) can be processed into pycnogenol. This extract has been used for more than 2,000 years to help heal wounds, scurvy and ulcers as well as reducing vascular inflammation. It is one of the strongest antioxidants known today.
Studies have shown that pycnogenol is 50 to 100 times more potent than vitamin E in neutralizing free radicals in the body. It has also been found to reduce blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. A typical dosage is 100-200 mg daily.
5. Chili Peppers (Capsaicin)
The countless varieties of hot peppers we have today began as one small shrub (Capsicum annum), native to tropical regions of the Americas. The chemical capsaicin is what makes a pepper hot. And it’s capsaicin that’s been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effectin your body.
Any type of chili pepper, such as cayenne or jalapeno, contains capsaicin. You can use chili peppers fresh or powdered in a wide variety of dishes, including desserts. Supplements containing capsaicin are often mixed with other herbs to create natural anti-inflammatory blends.
6. Frankincense (Boswellia serrata)
Boswellia is a tree variety native to India, Somalia, Ethiopia and the Arabian Peninsula. Frankincense is a resin extracted from the trees. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and pain-controlling properties. Boswellia resin is currently used to treat degenerative and inflammatory joint disorders
One study showed that a combination of Boswellia and curcumin was more effective for treating osteoarthritis than a commonly used synthetic drug. It’s recommended to take 300-500 mg of Boswellia extract two or three times a day for ongoing inflammatory conditions.
7. Black Pepper
This unassuming spice actually packs an anti-inflammatory punch. The distinctive flavor of black pepper comes from the chemical piperine. Even at low doses, piperine has been shown to reduce inflammation. It can inhibit the spread of cancer and has been shown to suppress the feeling of pain and arthritis symptoms.
This is an antioxidant found in many plants. The highest amounts have been found in Japanese knot weed (Polygonum cuspidatum) and in the skins of red wine grapes. Resveratrol has been shown to be a strong anti-inflammatory. It also protects against DNA damage and mutations. You can find resveratrol as a common supplement in natural food stores. A typical dosage is from 50 to 500 mg per day.
9. Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
This herb is derived from a woody vine native to Peru. The bark of cat’s claw has traditionally been used to treat arthritis, bursitis and intestinal disorders. Studies have shown that it can reduce inflammatory responses in the body and it has a protective effect against gastrointestinal inflammation.
You can make a tea from cat’s claw from either a prepared tea or use 1000 mg of the bark to 8 ounces of water. It is also available as a dry extract in a capsule. It’s recommended to take 20 to 60 mg daily.
In one study, participants were given small amounts of various common herbs and spices for a period of 7 days. Rosemary showed one of the strongest protective affects against inflammation and oxidation.
The other top spices were turmeric, cloves and ginger. The researchers noted that the amounts given of each herb were no more than what someone would normally eat in a seasoned soup, sauce or other dish.
Clove oil can be applied directly to the gums to help with a toothache or for pain control during dental work. Cloves have been shown to reduce mouth and throat inflammation. Cloves can also be used to treat diarrhea, nausea, hernia, bad breath and as an expectorant.
The powdered or whole dried flower buds are delicious in many savory dishes as well as in desserts and hot drinks.
Research has shown that ginger has a better therapeutic effect than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat pain and inflammation. Ginger also inhibits the activation of several genes involved in an inflammatory response.
This popular spice is made from the bark of cinnamon trees native to China, India and Southeast Asia. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, cinnamon has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-cancer and lipid-lowering properties. It has even been found to act against neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
In addition to the nutritional component, it is important to keep the body moving. Exercise will keep the blood flow to get the micronutrients to their targeted tissues remove toxins with the lymphatic system, and keep the joints stable with muscle support.
Last, but most definitely not least, meditation will help reduce pain as well as stress (which is known to increase inflammation) so that can stop the constant cycle. It’s not “woo woo”, it’s actually science.
If you would like more information on coaching please reach out to me at Suzie@StrongHappyHealthy.com
Thank you to EcoWatch and Chatelaine websites for information used to write this article.
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.
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!
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 ofmany 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 forIntermittent 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.
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
* Dark chocolate
* Soluble fiber
* 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.
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 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. Alsoincluding exercise and IF into the plan would be the ideal way get the fat burning machine going.
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.
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 oflifting 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.
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.