All About Minerals

All About Minerals

Absolute deficiencies are rare and relative deficiencies a little more common.

1. Sodium and chlorine fall markedly after copious perspiration, protracted physical effort and in hot weather, thus causing fatigue, cramps, and insomnia. Under these circumstances previous taking of salt increases endurance. sLosses of potassium must also be compensated by administration of that element, which is also indicated in hypoglycaemic conditions following intense muscular fatigue.

2. Magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, and iodine are found in normal quantities in a balanced diet.

3. The trace elements

Fluorine, zinc, cobalt and other substances, including copper and manganese, are also found in normal quantities in a balanced diet.

4. Calcium

Young persons whose calcium requirements are large may find a deficiency if their intake of dairy products is inadequate.

5. Iron

This is indicated in cases of inapparent anaemia, which are more common than is generally believed, and also when sport is practised at high altitudes, and sometimes in women during their menstrual periods.

Medicaments affecting the cardiovascular and respiratory systems

1. Respiratory tonics such as camphor and its substitutes, lobeline, Micorene, etc. are used with a view to stimulating the respiratory centre. It is extremely doubtful whether they are of any value.

2. The bronchodilators, such as adrenalin and isoprenaline, often produce untoward reactions such as palpitations, arterial hypertension and hypotension, etc.

3. Cardiotonics, particulary the digitalis heterosides, only have an effect in incipient heart failure.

4. The cardiac stimulants (camphor, nikethamide) have a stimulating effect on the heart through the bulbar centres. They are of no value for athletes.

5. Vasoconstrictors, such as adrenalin and its derivatives, are primarily used in cases of general hypotension and collapse. Their hypertensive effect will hardly be of any value during or after physical exhaustion in an athlete. In normal individuals they are altogether inadvisable.

6. The vasodilators (nitrites and derivatives of nicotinic acid) are inadvisable because of their hypotensive effect, and their untoward indirect effects on the heart may bring about circulatory collapse.

7. Beta-adrenergic blocking agents reduce exercise tachycardia and stress in ski jumpers.

Is salt intake necessary during the fitness efforts?

Is salt intake necessary during the fitness efforts?

Since the work of the Scandinavians, Hermansen and Saltin, we have known that water loss by perspiration leads to a significant loss in muscle power. Habitual long-distance athletes are no longer unaware that the intake of water during effort, thanks to refreshment stations along the course, enables them to struggle effectively against the effects of dehydration, especially if it is hot, there is little wind, the hygrometer reading is high and the pace particularly sustained.

In contrast, however, the intake of mineral salt supplements, either in the form of tablets or salt, added to drinks, is recommended more on the basis of empirical data than truly scientific studies. Often, in manuals, it is suggested that we “salt the soup” to guard against cramp, fatigue and even heat-stroke. It is also difficult for the athlete to distinguish between serious medical information and mere publicity. On the other hand, knowledge in this field is advancing rapidly and numerous discoveries and studies have considerably modified the conventional wisdom.

Bearing in mind the implications of this issue, it seemed to us desirable to study the problems which arise from overconsumption of salt either during effort or outside racing. A number of studies agree in showing that people eat too much salt and that this can have negative effects on the arteries and even cause cramps if a race takes place in great heat.

Is salt intake necessary during the fitness efforts?

Professor Philippe Meyer, a French specialist in salt and high blood pressure, has just published his thoughts on the subject as a whole in his book, Editions Fayard, “L’homme et le sel” (man and salt). The individual, he believes, is not aware of how much salt he needs. For this reason, salt consumption is erratic, but always higher than it should be. The average requirement is 1 to 2 g every 24 hours. The average intake, however, is always around 10 grams.

Numerous studies have shown to what extent blood pressure is influenced by food intake. It will be observed that populations with a very low-salt diet tend to have much lower levels of blood pressure than those who regularly overindulge. Professor H. Bour, another well-known specialist, in a recent article entitled “cardio-vascular risk factors and nutrition”, is also concerned with the role of salt. “There is an undeniable correlation between blood pressure and salt consumption.

In populations with a low rate of salt consumption (4 to 6 g/day), blood pressure does not increase with age. This rise is therefore not physiologically determined as we were taught, but is linked with diet. Interesting studies have shown that in Japan salt consumption per head per day varies considerably between the north (30 to 50 g per day) and the south (15 g per day). In this racially homogenous population, the difference in mortality rate due to heart and arterial disorders varies from 1 to 4 ; in all other respects, their diet is comparable.”

A further example : among the Eskimos of the Great North, the intake is 3 g/day ; only 2% of the population has high blood pressure. Specialists have calculated that if current salt consumption levels were at least halved, the number of people suffering from high blood pressure would also be reduced by 50 %. There seems therefore to be a general consensus in pointing out the dangers of excess salt to the arteries. Does the same apply when the muscles become active for long periods as is the case with long-distance races ?

The physiology of effort teaches us that a hyperactive organism needs salt. Salt deficiency can lead to dehydration, muscle cramps and chronic fatigue. However, it is not useful to “salt the soup” too much ; our normal food intake provides us with enough salt. Excess salt consumption, encouraged by certain publicity articles which advise use of extra salt at the least little effort, can lead to problems incompatible with prolonged physical activity.

In hot weather, excess salt causes dehydration, diminishes the blood flow and tires the heart all these things can lead to a serious sickness: heat stroke. Too much salt furthers the elimination of potassium by the kidneys, with its corollary chronic fatigue. Salt tablets abuse the taste buds and the kidneys. Numerous authors have observed better performances in hot weather by athletes on a low-salt diet. Gabe Mirkin, a medical practicioner, cites the case of Tom Osler, marathon-runner and mathematician at Glassboro State College, a self-taught expert on foot-racing “Lou Casagnola was, in 1967, the great favourite to win the National AAU championship (a 30 km race).

On the day of the race, it suddenly became very hot. To everyone’s amazement, it was Tom Osler who won the day… Osler imputes his remarkable performance in hot weather to his diet, which contains almost no salt. I had read so many things about the risks of salt deficiency that I was sceptical. But this mathematics teacher had acquired knowledge which doctors did not possess. By observing the reactions of his body, Osler had noticed that, he was in much better form in hot weather if he eleminated salt from his diet.

Dave Costill performed tests on Osler, comparing the results with those of tests carried out on runners who did eat salt. Osler’s temperature, heart rhythm and quantity of sweat were comparable with those of the other athletes. His blood contained the same amount of salt. There was one difference, however. Osler’s sweat and urine contained much less salt, because his sweat glands were accustomed to retaining it.”

Gabe Mirkin himself stopped salting his food ten years ago “My sweat no longer tastes salty and does not sting when it falls into my eyes.” Variations in quantity and composition of sweat depend on acclimatisation, training, physical condition and the individual himself. Thus, sweat is more dilute during the race than in times of repose, and it becomes more and more dilute the higher the air temperature, the greater the intensity of the exercise and, in consequence, the more abundant the perspiration. The concentration level of mineral salts in sweat varies a great deal from athlete to athlete. It is much lower in athletes acclimatised to the heat. The difference may be as great as 48% between a specialist and a beginner. This low-salt perspiration has a further advantage, in that it causes the drops of sweat to evaporate more quickly.

Thanks to these advantages acquired in the heat, the trained athlete loses proportionately more water than mineral salts. Paradoxically, this explains the fact that during effort, the sodium concentrations in the extracellular fluid, i.e. the fluid in which the cells float, increase rather than decrease. The fact that dehydration takes place proportionately faster than demineralisation means that the extra-cellular fluid becomes more concentrated… and it is this concentration that gives rise to “heat cramps” and other symptoms such as headaches, nausea… etc. in athletes who have lost large quantities of fluid and whose bodies contain too high levels of mineral salts. Because, when we sweat, we lose more water than mineral salts, it is necessary to take in liquids more rich in water and less rich in mineral salts than the extra-cellular fluid. Ideally, the salt concentrations in the liquid drunk should correspond to the salt concentrations in the sweat, that is about 2.5 to 3.5 grams per litre.

In practice, 1 gram per litre proves adequate insofar as the kidney, in a rest situation, lets sodium pass, whereas under effort, this filtering organ puts up a “block” to restrict its elimination. If the athlete eliminates between 3 and 4 litres of fluid during a training session or a competition, it is not useful to take in salt tablets during effort to compensate for the loss of sodium, especially as this loss is usually very small in comparison with the overall “mineral capital” of the body. Generally speaking, in the climatic conditions of our regions, the addition of a little salt to our food is sufficient to make up for excessive losses.

However, liquid drunk during effort should contain a small quantity of sodium (1 per litre). This “supplement” is designed to facilitate the passage of glucose drinks from the stomach to the intestine, where they are rapidly absorbed. The point of an energy-giving drink is to deliver the glucose it contains to muscles in action. To fully attain this objective, the drink should not remain in the stomach, but should pass rapidly into the intestine. To clarify a little, it is nevertheless necessary to recall that the prescription of salt tablets to be taken during effort goes back to studies undertaken at the time of the African Campaigns when a man marched in the desert carrying heavy equipment and could lose as much as 11 litres of fluid an hour by perspiration.

In certain sports disciplines, dehydration can be considerable. At the Ohio State University, fluid-losses of up to 7 litres an hour have been noted in players of American football. In such conditions, the replacement of lost minerals is imperative. By way of comparison, we should point out that it is extremely rare in our latitudes for fluid loss via perspiration to reach levels higher than two or three litres an hour during extreme effort. Francesco Moser, when he set his then world record on the track in Mexico at an altitude of 2,200, had not even lost three litres.

Food Choices at Social Occasions

Food Choices at Social Occasions

Do you feel your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to follow healthy eating guidelines? Do you seem to have less control over your food choices at social occasions? Help is on the way. It is possible to diet in all social situations. But remember, no one can do it for you; you must do it for yourself. Make these promises to yourself to enhance your social-situation savvy:

. Be aggressive. Do not allow people to talk you into eating foods you know you shouldn’t have.

. Eat a light meal or snack before attending a special function where food is plentiful. By fasting before such a gathering, you tend to eat too much.

. Do not feel obligated to join the “clean plate dub.” Rid yourself of food guilt; you will be doing yourself a favor by helping to make your heart healthy.

Restaurant Remedies

. When at least one of your daily meals is eaten away from home, you may wonder how you can “stick to” your healthy menu plan. The good news is that many restaurants, even fast food restaurants and airline food service, offer a wide array of choices.

. If possible, contact the restaurant in advance. Ask about the foods available, and ask if special requests will be honored. Many restaurants will prepare dishes with margarine instead of butter; trim fats from meats; and broil, bake, steam or poach entrees. Airlines usually have dietetic meals available. Simply call and reserve yours.

. Read menus carefully and question the waiter or waitress if you have any concerns about a method of cooking or ingredient. Here are some tips on reading menus:

-Look for words that indicate low-fat preparation: “steamed,” “garden fresh,” “broiled,” “roasted,” “poached,” “in its own juice.”

-Be wary of high sodium terms: “pickled,” “smoked,” “cocktail sauce:” “cured,” or “in broth.”

-Avoid: “buttery,” “buttered,” “in butter sauce,” “fried,” “sauteed,” “panfried,” “crispy,” “creamed,” “in cream,” “hollandaise,” “au gratin,” “escalloped,” “Parmesan.”

. Choose an appetizer such as seafood cocktail, raw vegetables or fresh fruit. Avoid salty tomato juice and soups.

. If you wish to have a cocktail, remember that alcohol adds empty calories. Order your drink with water, juice or low-calorie soda rather than presweetened mixes. Choose a wine spritzer or, better yet, sparkling water with a twist of lime.

. Choose raw or steamed vegetables and salads to increase your fiber and complex carbohydrate intake.

Avoid creamy dressings, bacon, croutons and egg toppings on salads.

. If you cannot possibly turn down a favorite dessert, eat only half.

What foods have no carbohydrates?

What foods have no carbohydrates?

When deciding to follow a low carb diet, dieters often want to know what foods have no carbs. For those who count carbs, foods that have low or zero carbs are precious commodities.

What Are Carbs?

“Carbs” is a shortened version of the word carbohydrates, which are macronutrients containing sugars. Carbohydrates are further broken down into distinct categories.

Simple carbohydrates – Examples of simple carbohydrates include dairy products, candy, baked goods, fruit, and processed sugars.
Complex carbohydrates – Examples include rice, corn, flour, whole grains, and legumes.

Fiber and sugar alcohols are also considered carbs, but they are usually not restricted as part of a low-carb diet.

Foods with No Carbs

Low-carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins diet, limit the amount of carbohydrates you can eat in order to exert insulin control. In general, most low-carbohydrate diets recommend eating fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, and some suggest eating as few as 20 to 25 grams per day. When you consider that one cup of white rice has 151 grams of carbohydrates, and a slice of bread contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates, eating carbohydrate-containing foods adds up quickly. Foods with no carbohydrates can help you eat adequate amounts and still limit carbohydrate intake.

Meat and Animal Protein

All naturally-occurring meats contain no carbohydrates; however, pre-packaged and deli meats are often processed with a sugar and salt solution or seasoning blends, conferring carbohydrates to the meats. Processed and cured meats, such as sausage, ham, bacon, and frankfurters regularly contain small amounts of carbohydrates. Eggs also have a trace amount of carbs (about .6g per egg). Reading package labels is essential to learn if pre-packaged products contain carbohydrates. In their natural state, the following contain zero carbs:

Beef
Veal
Organ meats (including brains, liver, and kidneys)
Lamb
Pork
Tongue
Chicken
Turkey
Fish (such as salmon, trout, and halibut)
Duck
Goose
Fish
Shellfish (such as crab, shrimp, and lobster)
Mollusks (such as oysters, mussels, and clams)
Game meats (such as venison and elk)
Exotic meats (such as ostrich and emu)

How Low-Carbohydrate Diets Work

While your body utilizes carbohydrates for energy, many diet experts suggest minimizing carbohydrates is an effective form of weight loss. Multiple studies support this assertion. When blood glucose rises in response to dietary intake of carbohydrates, your pancreas releases insulin, which is the key to losing weight on a low-carbohydrate diet. Health journalist Gary Taubes explains why this happens in an article for the New York Times, What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie. Insulin is a storage hormone.

It is responsible for both escorting fuel (food) into fat cells as body fat storage and keeping it there. In some ways, insulin acts as prison guard, making sure fat finds its way into cells and keeps it locked inside. When you limit carbohydrate intake, your body releases very little insulin. As a result, stored body fat escapes and exits your body. This is the mechanism of low-carbohydrate weight loss.

Finding Zero Carb Foods

Finding foods with zero carbohydrates is not difficult, especially if you read package labels carefully. Many health professionals express concerns about the health effects of low-carbohydrate dieting, so it is always best to check with your doctor before pursuing such a diet.

The 8 Crazy Diets All Over the World

The 8 Crazy Diets All Over the World

Over the years, people have tried some pretty crazy and downright ridiculous things in the pursuit of weight loss. But just when you thought that things couldn’t get much worse than drinking cabbage soup all day, they most definitely did. Check out our round-up of eight crazy diets people actually do, which we are most certainly not suggesting you try!

1. The Baby Food Diet

Owing perhaps to the fact the baby food is totally repulsive to adults and therefore probably makes you not want to eat at all, the baby food diet relies on eating…yes! you guessed it: jars and jars of baby food in a bid to keep trim. Supposedly, this diet is a winner because most baby food is strictly calorie-controlled, portion-controlled, crammed full of wholesome goodness and veggies (albeit in mush form), and free from preservatives.

The diet is reported to be the brainchild of celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson. Celebrities who have given up chewing in favor of baby gruel include the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

2. The Kangatarian Diet

A diet for the ethically minded, Kangatarianism involves eating only vegetables and excluding all other meat except kangaroo meat, based on environmental and ethical grounds. Some people like to think Kangatarian is essentially a vegetarian diet with the addition of kangaroo meat.

Heralding from Australia, where kangaroos are the unofficial symbol of the land, this diet is all about extolling the virtues of eating sustainable meat. Believers maintain that kangaroo meat comes from animals requiring no extra land or water for farming and which, unlike cows, produce little methane (greenhouse gas). If Australia has Kangatarians, maybe next up for us is Eagleatarianism?

3. The Sunlight Diet

Otherwise known as the Breatharianism Diet – or living off thin air and sunlight – this diet is based on the assumption that it is possible for a person to live without consuming any food. At all. Ever. Some Breatharians even claim that water is not necessary for survival. Instead, they believe that humans can be sustained solely by prana, the vital life force in Hinduism, of which sunlight is one of the main sources.

As a young Hollywood hopeful, Michelle Pfeiffer was reportedly a follower of the Sunlight Diet, before realizing, not surprisingly, that she couldn’t sustain herself on it. And she clearly was not the only one, as the Sunlight Diet has been known to claim lives.

4. Cotton Ball Diet

Incredibly, some people in search of a slimmer waistline will go to any lengths in the name of weight loss – including ingesting cotton wool balls! Yes, cotton wool balls soaked in juice are apparently just the ticket when it comes to keeping hunger at bay.

Another lightbulb trend we have the fashion industry to thank for, apparently the logic here is that eating cotton balls soaked in juice will help you to feel full without consuming food. The diet broke into the public domain after Eddie Murphy’s daughter, Bria Murphy, claimed to have seen models eating cotton balls dipped in juice to stay skinny. Diet or eating disorder? You decide.

5. The Urine Diet

Yes, as disgusting as it sounds, for some, urine has been reinvented as a weight loss miracle. Being thankful for small mercies, the urine diet doesn’t require drinking urine – just injecting it on a daily basis. And if it helps soften the blow, it doesn’t mean drinking your own, but in fact, that of a pregnant lady. But why? Apparently, the trick is not about the urine itself but a hormone called human coriogonic gotrophin (HCG) which it contains. Theoretically, this fools your brain into thinking you are pregnant, thus speeding up your metabolic rate.

The urine injections have to be accompanied by a very strict diet of 500 calories a day. Followers of this diet swear by its success, which has been reported to result in people losing a pound a day.

6. The Tapeworm Diet

Be warned – this is another diet with serious ew! factor. This drastic method of weight loss involves ingesting…yes ingesting an actual tapeworm cyst in a bid to fight the fat. In the United States and many other countries, the tapeworm diet is strictly prohibited. However, in some countries like Mexico, it is still offered as a short cut to the figure of your dreams.

Reportedly, the tapeworm grows within and interferes with your digestion and absorption of nutrients, enabling you to consume more calories and still lose weight. Some even report a loss of one to two pound per week. But the flip side of this is that the paraside also interferes with the absorption of important vitamins and minerals, which can lead to nutritional deficiency.

Frighteningly, those who dare to try this method of weight loss are also looking at some pretty gruesome and life-threatening outcomes. These can include intestinal blockages and malnutrition, not to mention the formation of cysts in the liver, eyes, brain, and spinal cord. However, thankfully, once the target weight loss is reached, a de-worming treatment is all it takes to kill the tapeworm.

7. The Blue-Tinted Glasses Diet

Forget about rose-tinted glasses – in the dieting world, it’s all about blue. The idea of this trend, which heralds from Japan, is that dieters wear blue-tinted glasses to eat. The theory is that the blue tint makes food look less appealing, owing to the fact that few foods are naturally that color. Those sporting the glasses are supposedly subconsciously turned off from eating when faced with calorific foods.

Another diet with a big placebo question mark hanging over it, this regime is currently receiving mixed results. That being said, we can’t help but wonder whether this could really be the reason for Johnny Depp’s love affair with blue-tinted glasses?

8. The Clay Eating Diet

“Yummy! Let’s eat some clay,” said nobody ever. If the mere thought of eating clay alone isn’t enough to help you shed those pounds, then actually ingesting it apparently will. To participate in the Clay Detox followers drink one or two clay drinks per day for a few days, or in some cases, weeks. The clay swells to 12 times its original volume in the stomach, curbing hunger pangs and reportedly sucking away toxins and boosting metabolism.

Some experts say the dangerously high levels of arsenic in clay could cause kidney failure, brain and nerve damage, and cancer. Celebrities who have eaten clay include Elle Macpherson and Zoe Kravitz .

Hmmm, these diets are definitely weird, crazy, and for the most part, totally beyond what we are willing to put ourselves through to shed a few pounds. Think we will just stick with Paleo.

Is a big bum better than a belly?

Is a big bum better than a belly?

True, muscle consumes around three times as much energy as fat, but the cells of our other organs are even hungrier. Fat people have larger organs and more cells overall to keep running, compared with their slim counterparts. This means that their overall energy consumption – or their resting metabolic rate – is larger. Source: Journal of Nutritional Sciences.

Are you an apple, who carries weight around their tummy, or a pear, who loads it onto their bottoms, hips and thighs? In the past, “apples” were generally considered at higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, because their abdominal fat secretes chemicals that boost inflammation, raise blood pressure and cause insulin resistance.

In contrast, the fat that sits on your buttocks was thought to be relatively benign, but recent research from the University of California at Davis suggests that this so-called “gluteal” fat also releases these harmful substances. In other words, whatever your body shape, too much excess fat could be bad news. Source: University of California, Davis.

Although many women like to think of themselves as “hourglass-shaped” (or a pear with a couple of apples on top) 3D body-scanners tell a different story. When Manchester-based researchers used these machines to scan 240 British women, they found that 63% of them had similar bust, waist and shoulder measurements, and little waist to speak of – making them “rectangle-shaped”. Only 13% were an “hourglass”; the rest were “pears” (8%); “spoons” (a top-heavy hourglass shape) (7%); “inverted triangles” (6%), and “triangles” (3%). Women also become more rectangular as they age: 80% of women over the age of 56 fell into this category. Source: Manchester Metropolitan University.

Though “man boobs” – aka gynaecomastia – often go hand in hand with a beer belly and a double chin, they’re not as flabby as they look. In fact, in most cases they are caused by the growth of breast tissue. Overweight men sometimes develop them because fat cells produce the female hormone, oestrogen, which stimulates breast growth. And while testosterone would usually inhibit such growth, levels of testosterone decline as men age. Source: UK National Health Service.

When Turkish researchers surveyed 200 men, they found that those with a higher BMI and an obvious belly lasted an average 7.3 minutes in bed; men in the slimmer group lasted just 2 minutes, and were more likely to suffer from premature ejaculation. The reason is probably reduced testosterone, which often goes hand in hand with obesity. However, while large men may last longer, they may struggle to get it up in the first place: being overweight is also associated with erectile dysfunction. Source: International Journal of Impotence Research.

How much exercise offsets a hamburger?

How much exercise offsets a hamburger?

How much sex is equivalent to a slice of cheese? And how hard is it to make up for a donut? Let’s examine just how much exercise is needed to offset your favourite snacks.

The gym bunny’s equation is simple enough: calories in versus calories out. After you’ve worked up a sweat in the gym, you should have gained the licence to treat yourself to a snack afterwards.
In practice, the maths is difficult to get right: it’s all too easy to overestimate how much we’ve burnt in a session, and underestimate the calories in a snack. The depressing result is that many people (up to 68%, in one study) hoping to shed pounds actually put on weight during their exercise regime.

Fortunately, BBC Future has scoured Harvard Medical School’s comprehensive table of the calories burned during everything from sex to long-distance cycling. Using this information, we equated exactly what it would take to burn off your favourite snacks. (The exact figures will vary from person to person – all the data here assumes an 11-stone, or 70kg, frame.)

Compared to sleeping (which itself burns some calories), even something as simple as sitting at a computer, chewing gum or reading a book is equivalent to eating some modest nibbles. You may be surprised, however, by just how little you have earned during seemingly energetic everyday activities, such as sex – or how far you have to travel before you have burnt off a burger and chips. Exercise offers many benefits besides weight loss, of course. But if you are aspiring to a trimmer, more toned figure (or simply want to remain a stable weight), it’s worth knowing the facts before you hit the gym or raid the pantry.

Chest Workouts for Bikini Season

Chest Workouts For Bikini Season

It may not seem like it but warm weather is just around the corner. Don’t wait for the last minute to get the bikini cleavage of your dreams. Your chest is made up of two muscle groups the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. When enhancing chest muscles you want to formulate workouts that include these muscles.

Concentrating on back muscles are key as well, improving your posture is one of the best ways to enhance the appearance of your bust line. Below you will find simple workouts to help you naturally improve your bust without the help of a wonder bra bikini top.

Bikini Season Push-Up

This strengthening exercise works multiple muscle groups and easy to accomplish at home or in the gym. Not only will this workout give your bust a boost but it help you maintain strength for performing everyday tasks. Get into traditional push-up position with one hand on a step, medicine ball or kettlebell (laid down on it’s side) to create an uneven dynamic. This workout creates lean muscle mass and can be done 3-5 times a week. Perform this move with 4 sets for 8 reps.

Works shoulders, triceps and chest

Chest Pass: Grab a medicine ball and get to work! While lying supine on the floor throw a 6-8 pound medicine ball up in the air with force catching it each time at chest level. Repeat this for 25 reps.

Works the chest, shoulder and triceps

Single Arm Chest Press: This move can be performed lying either on the floor or with your back on a stability ball to increase the difficulty. When performing this move on a stability ball raise your lower body until it’s parallel with the floor and in a straight line with the knees and shoulders. With a dumbbell in one hand push upward bringing your shoulder blades down and together. Do this for 3 sets for 8-12 reps

Works the chest, shoulder and triceps

Rear Lateral Raise: While standing hip width apart bend at the waist until your parallel with the floor. Grab a challenging weight with a slight bend in the knees. Keeping your spine aligned and core engaged slowly raise both weights to shoulder height.

Works the shoulders and back

Standing Pull Up with Kettlebell: Standing with your feet hip width apart hold the kettlebell with both hands. Slowly raise the kettlebell up towards your chest keeping your elbows pointed outward. Lower the weight to starting point and repeat for 15 reps.

Toxic Food in Your Diet

Toxic Food in Your Diet

What do we mean by toxic food? In his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, journalist Michael Pollan shares a simple manifesto: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Why should we be advised to “eat food?” Because, he says, most of what we consume today is not food. Instead, we are consuming “edible foodlike substances” – no longer the product of nature but of food science.

These toxic food substances contain many ingredients that are known carcinogens (cancer causing) and neurotoxins (toxic to the brain). It’s interesting to note that many of these additives, which are popular in colorful kids’ foods and convenient packaged foods, have been banned in European countries.

The Modern Industrial Food Supply

Do you find it hard to believe that any western government, including those in the US and Canada, would allow this toxic food into our food supply and encourage us to feed it to our children? As hard as it is to believe, it’s true. Powerful corporate interests and food industry lobbyists have gone so far as to rewrite nutritional findings and the resulting governmental recommendations – you can read about this in the New York Times article, in Pollan’s book, and other news sources.

To protect your health and prevent diseases, it’s essential that you take responsibility for your own health by being an informed consumer. Of course, this may not be as easy as it sounds. Companies who market toxic food offer a wide array of fake foods touting health claims on their packaging. Pollan suggests that if a food product is labeled with a health claim (all-natural, healthy, low fat) it’s a good indication that it’s not real food.

Toxic Food in Your Diet

Shelf life can be another indication of fake food. The World Famous Burger Museum, inspiration for the Bionic Burger movie, reveals the true story of a man who created a burger museum after accidently leaving a Big Mac in his coat pocket for one year. His collection of burgers has lasted two decades retaining their original look and smell. What did he do to preserve them? Nothing – they are already made of immortal chemicals – “chemicals that create the illusion of food.”

You may also be surprised to find out that many of the popular foodlike items on supermarket shelves include petroleum based ingredients. When author Steve Ettlinger’s daughter asked him “Where does Polysorbate 60 come from, Daddy?” he decided to find out. He discovered that Polysorbate 60 is a gooey mix made of corn, palm oil and petroleum that can’t spoil and now replaces dairy products in Twinkies and other processed foods. To discover the true origins of each ingredient on the Twinkie label and take a peek into the major industrial complex that supports our food supply, read his book Twinkie, Deconstructed.

Where does this leave us as shoppers? What is there left to eat? Pollan’s solution is to shop as though your great grandmother were looking over your shoulder. Would she recognize the items that you put into your cart? Does it look anything like food in its natural form?

Fake Foods are not meant for Real People…

Here is a list of the cocktail soup we can commonly find in processed toxic food:

High Fructose Corn Syrup contributes to type II diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Trans Fats) cause high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Petroleum Based Ingredients (such as Polysorbate 60 and TBHQ) are known to cause cancer and endocrine disruption.

Artificial Colors (like Blue #1 & #2, Red #3, and Yellow #6) have been shown to cause tumors in the brain, adrenal glands, thyroids, and kidneys of lab animals. They are also linked to nervous system disorders and ADHD.

Propyl Gallate, BHA and BHT have been shown to cause cancerous tumors in lab animals.

Potassium Bromate which has been banned in Europe, Canada, China, and many other countries, not including the USA, is a known carcinogen.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) contributes to heart disease and nervous system disorders and often causes noticeable symptoms of toxicity such as nausea, headaches, and vomiting.

Olestra is a synthetic fat that is not absorbed by the body so it can cause diarrhea, loose stools, abdominal cramps and flatulence, as well as other effects. Further, olestra reduces the body’s ability to absorb beneficial fat-soluble nutrients, including lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene.

Sodium Nitrite (Sodium Nitrate) is used to fix artificial colors in cured meats and has been linked to colon cancer and lung cancer.

Artificial sweeteners – like Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), Sucralose (Splenda), Saccharin (Sweet’N Low, SugarTwin), Acesulfame Potassium (Sunett, Sweet One), Neotame, Cyclamate, Sorbitol or Mannitol, are linked to nervous system disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and auto immune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) as well as many forms of cancer.

Time to change our relationships with food

Time to change our relationships with food

Eating disorder is a serious problem. So what about to examine our eating habits.

Part of the journey to recovery from an eating disorder involves healing the relationship with food. Let’s talk about how every one of us has a relationship to food and what a healthy relationship might look like.

Everybody eats. The way we eat is shaped by many things. When I asked people to reflect on all the things that influence how we eat and what we eat, some common themes emerge:

taste
culture, traditions, religious beliefs
celebrations, birthdays, parties, etc.
emotions, happy and sad
habit or what we are used to
raised to eat a certain way
budget
diets
sustainability
environment
animal welfare
because we are hungry!

It’s interesting that most times nutrition and health come up last or not at all! When we hear about food in the media, often we only hear about health and nutrition. That’s one reason why food and eating can be a challenge for many – when we only focus on nutrition and health, we leave out so many other reasons why food is important in our lives. It might help to talk about food by talking about the relationships we each have with food and with our bodies. Our relationships to food and eating involve so much more than just nutrients, vitamins and minerals!

When we think about being in a relationship with another person, what are some things that would be part of a healthy relationship?

Things that come to mind may be:

communication
trust
respect
love
fun
comfort
caring for, being there for another

Let’s return to thinking about relationship with food and our bodies. Our bodies want us to communicate and listen. When we’re hungry, our body wants to be fed. Our body wants to trust that we’ll nourish it regularly with food in order to care for it. At other times, we may not feel hungry and our bodies want to enjoy food just for fun or just for comfort. Paying attention to our body’s cues for food is part of having that healthy relationship.

Many people think that dieting is part of being healthy or having a healthy relationship with food. That’s the opposite of the truth. Weight loss dieting can actually interfere with having a healthy relationship to food, both physically and mentally (click here to see our blog post on this topic). Not everyone who diets develops an eating disorder, but nearly all of those with an eating disorder have dieted. Weight loss dieting is rigid and doesn’t allow flexibility with eating.

Just monitoring calories or nutrients doesn’t honour all the other reasons we need to eat. It’s common for people who diet to consider foods as either being in “good” or “bad” categories. This is called the diet mentality and it hurts us more than it helps us. When we connect our feelings and self-esteem to our food choices, we might feel good about ourselves when we eat the food we put in the “good” category and feel bad about ourselves – like we’ve failed or lack will power – when we eat food we think of as “bad”.

This can lead to cycling on and off diets. It can also take away the fun and joy of eating. Our bodies have an innate ability to know how much to eat. When we eat fairly regular meals and snacks, we can use our own internal cues for hunger and fullness to guide us to eat the amount of food that is right for us. This is called intuitive eating.

So what does a healthy relationship to food look like?

It is important to understand that we cannot know someone’s relationship to food or if they have an eating disorder by just looking at them, their body type, or their food choices. For each of us, our healthy relationship with food will look different from day to day. In general, a healthy relationship with food is one that is flexible with some regular structure, includes a variety of foods, is nourishing rather than punishing, and something to be enjoyed and not dreaded. A healthy relationship with food is possible for everyone!