Category: Health

The Benefits of Going Gluten Free…

Cheers to a Gluten Free Lifestyle!

As many of my readers know, I have been gluten intolerant for 8 years, and I seen the amazing benefits from going gluten-free. I have watched it help many of my closest friends all the way from ulcerative colitis to seeing those long-lost muscles that we all knew that we had!

I found this article on yahoo.com. It really explains the true benefits of going gluten-free, and what exactly gluten does to our bodies.

The Benefits of Going Gluten-Free

People at risk for celiac disease ought to be screened for the disorder, even if they show no symptoms, a new study suggests.

Celiac disease is a disorder that causes digestive problems in the small intestine when the person consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. The number of U.S. residents with the disease has grown rapidly in recent decades, but, according to the study authors, an estimated 2 million people have the disease but do not know it.

For the study, researchers screened 3,031 healthy people who were related to someone with celiac disease, but had no symptoms themselves, and selected 40 people who tested positive for antibodies specific to celiac disease. By random selection, members of that group were either put on a gluten-free diet or told to continue with their normal diet, containing gluten.

People on a gluten-free diet reported improved gastrointestinal health as well as an overall improvement in their health-related quality of life, compared with the others, according to the study.

“We found that regardless of the clinical presence of celiac disease, most screen-detected patients benefitted from early treatment of a gluten-free diet,” Dr. Katri Kaukinen, from the gastroenterology department at Tampere University Hospital and School of Medicine in Finland, said in a news release from the American Gastroenterological Association.

“In addition, the results showed that endomysial-antibody positive patients had an evident gluten-dependent disorder and, therefore, it could be argued that detection of antibody positivity could be sufficient for the diagnosis of celiac disease,” she explained.

After the study, 85 percent of the participants were willing to maintain a gluten-free diet, and 58 percent viewed their screening for celiac disease in a positive light, the researchers said.

“Based on our results, an intensified serological screening of at-risk populations of celiac disease is encouraged,” Kaukinen said. “However, more research needs to be done before expanding screening to the general population.”

Kaukinen was scheduled to present the findings Monday in Chicago at the Digestive Disease Week conference. Experts note that research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary because it has not been subjected to the rigorous scrutiny given to research published in medical journals.

Here is the link to the article:

http://health.yahoo.net/news/s/hsn/morepeoplemaybenefitfromgoingglutenfree

Think twice now before you decide to eat gluten, and think about all of the benefits that a gluten-free diet has on you and your health!

Fit Chic

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus in Regards to Nutrition Too!

We all know men and women are different in many ways, and a number of us obsess over nutrition and specifically what to eat right after a workout.

Did you ever wonder if men and women might be different in this area, too?

A recent article in the New York Times highlight some research done on the topic of post-workout nutrition and the differences between the sexes.

Traditionally such studies on nutrition and athletes are done with all male groups, but this recent work included female athletes, too. The study was done with cyclists, but opens the door for considerations for athletes in all sports. It turns out women had a different response to post-workout proteins and carbs and the absorption rates of nutrients before and after workouts differs between the sexes.

Here is the article, check it out!

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/30/phys-ed-what-exercise-science-doesnt-know-about-women/

Fit Chic

Junk Food Could Trigger Diabetes

I found this blog from NYC Endurance www.nycendurance.com and the article is taken from www.newsscientist .com.

It is a very informative article about junk food, what it does to your body, and how it could lead to possible diabetes in the future.

Check it out:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20369-junk-food-inflammation-may-trigger-diabetes.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=health

Think twice the next time a bowl of ice cream is calling your name!

Fit Chic

Yeah Burpees!!!!

A recent study that I came across in the NY Times, asked a dozen physiologists … what is the single best exercise for your body?

Low and Behold it was everyone’s favorite exercise…. The BURPEE!!

So rest assured when you do these wonderful exercise movements you are really doing a body good!

Here is the link to the article in the NY Times …. Check it out!

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/whats-the-best-exercise/?ref=health

The next time you dread doing these wonderful exercises, remember your body is actually thanking you!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np2UpsPF9k8]

If you don’t know what a burpee is, here is a demonstration from a guy who liked them so much he did 100 in a row!

YEAH BURPEES!

Fit Chic

What’s So Bad About Beer?

I found a similar blog related to this topic on crossfitla.com and I thought it was very appropriate to show you how beer truly affects our body in a negative way.

I have a lot of clients wonder what is really so wrong with beer? Especially now with the 55 calorie beer and the ultra’s, we are under the impression that because it is low-calorie it is ok …. WRONG! Beer causes two major problems that make your body dislike you and the beer greatly! First is inflammation and second is spiking insulin. Read on how your body reacts and think twice before grabbing a cold brew from the fridge!

Problem 1: Inflammation. Ever had a stomach-ache after drinking beer and wonder why? I would put money on the grains. Many grains contain a special protein called lectin, also referred to as gluten. Gluten is not easily broken down in your stomach. If not broken down, it travels into your intestines and there causes damage to cells, often resulting in tiny holes. These holes allow bacteria and other substances to leak into the blood stream (they don’t belong there). This is where autoimmune (inflammation) response comes in.

Problem 2: Spiking Insulin. Whatever your beer of choice, it’s going to spike your insulin levels. Here’s what happens. Insulin is released in response to consumption of sugar (beer is mostly carbs, aka. sugars). Insulin is the messenger that tells your cells to absorb glucose so you can use it as energy. Like anything else, your cells have a max glucose capacity, and when full, the excess sugars are then converted to fat. If you are consuming too much sugar, your body over produces insulin. Sustained insulin production over time will cause your cells to desensitize; leading to a host of other problems like increase in fat stores, and ultimately diabetes.

I am not saying stop drinking for the rest of your life. I am saying make smarter decisions for your body i.e grab a glass of wine or a vodka soda.

See how much better you feel in the morning after drinking vodka sodas compared to beers!

Fit Chic

Why Building Muscle Should Be Your Top Priority!

AMac definitely knows the importance of building muscle!!!

This is a great article from gubernatrix on the importance that building muscle has on your body!

When you mention muscle building or muscular hypertrophy to someone – male or female – they generally picture big, bodybuilder-type muscles. So for anyone who doesn’t want to be ‘big’ (and that’s most people, to be honest), they will claim not to want muscle building or muscular hypertrophy.

But that’s a mistake – understandable but nevertheless, a mistake. Everyone, from Johnny Teenager down the road to your old mum, needs muscular hypertrophy. And here’s why. Peak muscle We need our musculoskeletal system in order to do, well, anything. Sit down, stand up, take the stairs, carry things.

When we are young, our bodies build muscle well, without us having to do much about it. By adulthood, about 40 per cent of our total body mass is muscle. Without any particular training or dietary strategy, muscle mass peaks at around 16-20 years old in women, and 18-25 years old in men.

Muscle strength peaks a bit later, around age 20 in untrained women and around 30 in untrained men. Muscle decline After the age of 25, muscle loss is around 10 per cent per decade! In fact both bone and muscle mass decrease with age.

Bones become less dense and therefore frailer (osteopenia) and muscle mass decreases (sarcopenia). But weight tends to increase with age – which can only mean that the extra weight is fat!

Well I don’t know about you guys but I’m in my mid thirties and I am not happy about the idea of it being downhill all the way after age 20! We are surviving longer than ever before – do we really want to ‘peak’ having run only 20-30 per cent of our lifespan?

Do we want to spend most of our adult lives fat and weak?

So the truth is that after our early twenties, muscle building is what we have to do to stop the otherwise inevitable decline of strength and ability, and the increase in fat and weight. Muscular hypertrophy needs to be at the top of everyone’s fitness agenda.

Here’s an illustration of what I mean.

Diagram showing muscle building scenarios

This diagram shows what muscular hypertrophy really means for the normal person who just wants to stay in good shape for as long as possible. The red arrow is the ‘do nothing’ scenario: no weight training and bad diet results in steady loss of muscle and bone mass and increase in body fat and frailty. The blue arrow is the ‘regular resistance training and decent diet’ scenario, staving off the decline of muscle and bone mass for as long as possible.

Now I usually try to avoid giving personal examples since they don’t necessarily apply to everyone. But I think my own example does illustrate this process well.

I’m 35 years old and I’m stronger, slimmer, with less body fat and more muscle than 10 years ago. In other words, I’ve been able to reverse that trend by taking action. I’ve not done it through ‘cardio’ or by starving myself. I’ve done it through regular weight training and a good diet.

This is not about how great I am or what sacrifices I made. I’m not a professional athlete or bodybuilder, just a regular person who has committed to being in good shape for as long as possible. So this is about how blimmin’ easy it is once you’ve figured out how to do it. Muscular hypertrophy along with fat loss is the strategy that will get you and keep you in shape.

By the way, I have Dan John to thank for putting this strategy in such simple terms, making it so easy to communicate (read more of his wisdom here as he answers readers’ questions). The way forward It is taking a while to get this message across. It is not just women who are not getting the message; I hear plenty of men in the gym who are reluctant to do any weight training for fear of getting too big and bulky.

As my friend Allyson Goble from Bodytribe Fitness puts it, people “deserve to have strong muscles and bones and ligaments and tendons, etc. AND look good in their undies too!” Rest assured there are many different techniques in resistance training, to meet many different goals (just have a browse around this website!). But if you don’t build it in order to maintain it, you’ll lose it.

Fit Chic

Death by Sitting …..

We have become such a chair born society, most of us have desk jobs, that confine us to sitting for at least 7 hours a day. Then we come home from a long days work, and either sit at a computer desk, or on a couch!

Most of us sit more than we sleep! So what’s so bad about that?

Here is a great informative video from Mobility Specialist Kelly Starrett. He shows you stretches and great mobility exercises for those of us who are stuck sitting all day!

http://www.mobilitywod.com/2011/03/episode-187365-death-by-chair-how-much.html

These exercises are so easy, you can even do them at your desk!

Fit Chic

Why Fish Oil is SO Important to Your Health ……

Chocolate Fish Oil … Who Could Ask For Anything More!

I have had several clients recently ask me why taking fish oil is  so beneficial to them?

So Here is a list that is very helpful on explaining the “Why” in Fish Oil…..

Here is a link to a tremendous fish oil that not only tastes good, it is the best fish oil I have ever used!

http://strongerfasterhealthier.com/product/1

Thirteen reasons to use fish oils:

1.      Cell membrane health: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), insure that cell membranes remain healthy. The membranes are flexible and contain larger numbers of insulin receptors that are more receptive and responsive to circulating insulin. This results in decreased fat storage in the adipocytes (fat cells)

2.      Fish oils turn on the lipolytic genes (fat burning genes)

3.      Fish oils turn off the lipogenic genes (fat storage genes),

4.      Fish oils diminish C-reactive proteins, a newly identified risk factor associated with various inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis, angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure and diabetes. The D.H.A. fraction of the fish oil seems to be one most responsible for that protective effect. DHA also has best ability to reduce blood pressure.

5.      Increase utilization of fat stores from the adipocytes.

6.      Preferential utilization for energy production once stored in the Adipocytes.

7.      Reduced inflammation from physical training.

8.      Pain management from the reduced inflammation.

9.      EPA regulates blood supply to the brain that is essential in maintaining focus in weight training sessions. DHA is important in brain membranes, memory and cognitive function.

10.  Fish oils increase serotonin levels (the happy neurotransmitter). Therefore, fish oils will decrease incidence of depression, anxiety, panic attack and reduce carbohydrate cravings.

11.  Fish oils will improve your cardio-vascular risk profile by lowering VLDL, triglycerides, homocysteine, fibrinogen and increasing HDL levels. Combining fish oils with plant sterols will improve lipid levels even more than either alone.

12.  Fish oils can also decrease blood pressure by several mechanisms.
These include increases in the vasodilatory compound, nitric oxide, reducing vascular inflammation, blocking the constrictive elements in the vascular wall such as the calcium channels reducing blood viscosity, and inhibiting a blood vessel constrictor (thromboxane). Lipoprotein (a) is another CVD predictor that can be lowered by fish oils (a 19% reduction was seen with natural, stable fish oils and just 4% with a highly purified fish oil).

13.  Fish oils are a great stress fighter. Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids inhibits the adrenal activation of steroids, aldosterone, epinephrine and norepinephrine (catecholamines) elicited by a mental stress, apparently through effects exerted at the level of the central nervous system.

Fit Chic