Friday
Aug032012

Anti-aging Foods!

Here are some anti-aging foods to try and include in your meals and snacks:

Colorful berries. The antioxidant anthocyanin is what gives berries their blue, red, and purple colors. To get a healthy dose of this potent antioxidant, eat plenty of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, pomegranate, cherries, acai berries, and blood oranges, to name a few of the best choices. Each of these foods has a variety of other powerful antioxidants that repair and protect your skin’s cells.

Dark chocolate-This is rich in supernutrients epicatechin and catechin. When experts gave women a cocoa drink extra-rich in these things for three months their skin quality improved, showing better hydration and reduced roughness and scaling.

Red peppers & Spinach. -In Italy, researchers have shown that having 10mg of the yellow pigment lutein, which is found naturally in red peppers, can improve our skin’s elasticity. In theory, this makes it less prone to fine lines and wrinkles by giving additional antioxidant capacity to your skin and enhancing skin hydration. Aiming to have one lutein-rich food a day may help to slow down skin aging.

Kale-Just one 80g portion of kale gives 17mg of lutein!  Some find it hard to enjoy eating kale.  Try this recipe for Baked Kale Chips, it’s a real winner-even with the kids!

Tomatoes- These are bursting with their own special red pigment, lycopene. When people were given 40mg of tomato paste daily, which provides 16mg of lycopene – skin showed a definite reduction in redness triggered by the sun’s UV rays.

Carrots-Contain orange pigment beta carotene, which scientists believe can help to protect against sun damage. The supernutrient is also found in mangoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins.

Wild salmon- All wild oily fishes such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies give us omega-3 oils. These essential fats may be especially helpful for anyone who suffers from dry, red and itchy skin due to conditions such as psoriasis. Fish is also a great source of collagen-producing protein.

Prawns- These give us copper, needed to make melanin – the natural dark pigment that helps to protect us against sun damage. It is also needed for collagen and for elastin which allows our skin to stretch and ping back into place without leaving any lines.

Fuji pears — or Asian pears – were used by Chinese courtesans to get rid of dark circles under the eyes,” says Dr. Mao. Fuji pears are chock full of vitamin C and copper, which can help protect the delicate skin around the eye from free radical damage. Dr. Mao suggests adding a tablespoon of honey to a peeled, cored pear and then steaming for 15 minutes. Not only is it a delicious dessert, but the copper in the pear contains superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that helps mop up free radicals that enter the body via air pollution, says Dr. Mao.

Jicama is a crisp root vegetable that can help fight crow’s feet by boosting collagen and fighting wrinkles. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C. Try it either raw or cooked.

Garlic. Allium is an antioxidant that packs a punch. Garlic, onions, and scallions are loaded with this free-radical fighter that is good for your skin and your immune system. Black garlic helps to repair age-damaged skin. Uniquely colored due to its fermentation process, black garlic contains double the antioxidants as regular garlic and can be eaten raw. It strengthens and restores skin cells damaged by the aging process. Use it in place of regular garlic in most recipes.

Sunflower Seed Butter works to unclog your arteries. It’s rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids including one that lowers your cholesterol. Try it instead of peanut butter.

Broccoli and broccoli sprouts. Quercetin is another powerful antioxidant that is found in broccoli, along with other foods including cranberries, onions, and apples. It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent as well, fighting the No. 2 cause of aging. Broccoli sprouts have 30 times more isothiocyanates (yet another antioxidant) than regular broccoli.

ShakeologyThe convenience of a meal  replacement shake cannot be beat!  I am much less concerned about getting my servings of veggies in since Shakeologypacks such a whallop of potent super-foods, anti-oxidants and essential nutrients.  Even eating the recommended serving of fruits and vegetables every day won’t give you this much nutrition.   

In a 90 day study participants who replaced one meal a day with Shakeology reduced oxidative stress, a risk factor for degenerative diseases, by as much as 90%.  Oxidative stress is also what makes you look and feel old. Click on the link above to read more about this all natural, ultra premium nutritional shake.

Thursday
Aug022012

Exercise Can Make You Look Younger

Turns out that exercise can get deep in your body, even into your DNA.  Researchers have found that people who exercise have younger DNA–by up to 9 years.  That is an incredible benefit!  

So exercising may do more than help prevent illness, it may actually make you younger.

Thanks to modern research we now know one of the best ways to look younger is through exercise and that strenuous workouts are one of the most effective strategies.

That doesn’t mean you have to be super-fit to reap the benefits.  It just means you need to find your fitness level and exert yourself accordingly.  

So, for example, complete beginners can go from walking to power-walking and intermediates from power-walking to  walk/run intervals. *Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

 WHAT IS STRENUOUS?

 To gauge the intensity of your workout, you can use the Talk Test.

This is a scale of one to ten for describing how hard you’re working – one being extremely easy and ten extremely hard.

If you’re doing a moderate workout, this would translate to a level five on the scale – at this point you should be able to easily hold a conversation as you exercise.

If you’re breathing hard and it’s harder to hold a conversation, you’re working out at a harder pace of around level eight to nine. This is the level you are aiming for to achieve strenuous exercise.

DO THIS: Two to three times per week do high intensity interval training-strength exercises and cardio intervals with no rest between exercises.  Join us at Small Group Fit Club or join a boot camp style class near you.

 Two to three times a week, using the cardio of your choice – such as walking, running or cycling – complete the following workout: After a five to ten-minute warm-up, speed up until you are at around level eight to nine on the Talk Test and hold that for 30 seconds. Recover at an easy pace for one minute. Repeat for a total of five to eight intervals.

CELL REJUVENATION

Telomeres, the biological clocks of cells, get shorter as people age, yet research on 50-year-old marathon runners, recently published in the journal Circulation, showed that the middle-aged runners had telomeres that were as long as 20-year-olds.

And in a long-term study involving 913 pairs of twins, Danish scientists found the twins who looked younger than their true age had longer telomeres.

DO THIS: Using your cardio choice (try running, walking, swimming, skipping or cycling), warm up for eight minutes. Speed up to a comfortably hard pace (around level seven to eight on the Talk Test) and hold for ten to 15 minutes. Recover at an easy pace for five minutes. Repeat once or twice. Do this four times a week.

MUSCLE REJUVENATION

Researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School Of Medicine looked at how exercise affects ageing in muscles and bones. The results, published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE, demonstrated that endurance exercise unlocks the stem cells in muscles, helping to prevent muscle deterioration and make you look younger. 

DO THIS: Five days a week, do 30 to 45 minutes of easy to moderate-intensity cardio (use the cross trainer, hike, bike or swim – anything that keeps you going for at least 30 minutes). Mix up your routine – swim one day, run the next – to train different muscles and beat boredom.

SKIN REJUVENATION

Strenuous exercise makes your heart work harder, pumping more blood throughout your body to all of its various arteries, veins and capillaries, including those just underneath the skin. 

Clare Muir, head of training and education at the International Institute For Anti-Ageing, says this increase in your body’s circulation can improve the look of skin, as well as boosting detoxification and skin cell renewal.

DO THIS: Circuit-training every other day. This is an exercise technique that utilizes a series of moves in swift succession, with no rest in between.

For example: Push-ups into squats, followed by jumping jacks. This allows your workouts to strengthen while burning fat at the same time.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The best way to engage in strenuous exercise is under the watchful eye of a professional trainer.  A trainer can design and modify your workouts to suit your fitness level, goals and limitations.  

I often hear....” I can’t afford a trainer”.  So the question is….. can you afford to be sick or injured?  Would you rather spend your money on prescriptions with side effects?  Is it cheaper and easier to have a stroke?  Or spend time in the hospital?

Tuesday
Jul172012

The Case Against Soy

I frequently discuss soy and urge you to stay away from it.  Since most folks are shocked by this…I decided  to post for you some very compelling information that supports why I feel the way I do.

This is based on many articles though I must reference Dr. Joseph Mercola, award winning author and “wellness game changer” and  Dr. Kaayla Daniel author of “The Whole Soy Story”

The Case Against Soy

Dow Chemical and DuPont, the same corporations that brought misery and death to millions around the world through Agent Orange, are now the driving forces behind the promotion of soy as a food for humans. They are financing anti-meat and anti-milk campaigns aimed largely at those concerned about animal welfare and the environment, trying to convince them that imitations such as “soymilk” are not only healthier than the real thing, but better for the earth too.

There is no evidence that consuming soy products can improve health, reduce environmental degradation or slow global warming. In fact, the evidence suggests quite the opposite.

If you were to carefully review the thousands of studies published on soy, I strongly believe you too would reach the conclusion that any possible benefits of consuming soy are FAR outweighed by the well documented risks.

 

Now, I’m not against all forms of soy. Properly fermented products like natto and tempeh have been consumed for centuries and do not wreak havoc in your body like unfermented soy products do. For example, the enzyme nattokinase—derived from natto–is a safer, more powerful option than aspirin to dissolve blood clots, and has been used safely for more than two decades.
Unfortunately, many Americans still believe that unfermented and processed soy products like soy milk, soy cheese, soy burgers and soy ice cream are good for them.

What’s So Wrong With Soy?

Unlike the Asian culture, where people eat small amounts of whole soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities–protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about these products.

Says Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story,

“Today’s high-tech processing methods not only fail to remove the anti-nutrients and toxins that are naturally present in soybeans but leave toxic and carcinogenic residues created by the high temperatures, high pressure, alkali and acid baths and petroleum solvents.”

Dr. Daniel also points out the findings of numerous studies reviewed by her and other colleagues — that soy does not reliably lower cholesterol, and in fact raises homocysteine levels in many people, which has been found to increase your risk of stroke, birth defects, and yes: heart disease.

Other common health problems linked to a high-soy diet include:

  • Thyroid problems, including weight gain, lethargy, malaise, fatigue, hair loss, and loss of libido
  • Premature puberty and other developmental problems in babies, children and adolescents

Most soy, perhaps about 80 percent or more, is also genetically modified, which addsits own batch of health concerns.

Despite these findings, many people still want to believe the hype, thinking that these studies must somehow be wrong. But the content of soy itself should be a clue. For example, non-fermented soy products contain:

  • Phytoestrogens (isoflavones) genistein and daidzein, which mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen
  • Phytates, which block your body’s uptake of minerals
  • Enzyme Inhibitors, which hinder protein digestion
  • Hemaggluttin, which causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits oxygen take-up and growth
  • High amounts of omega-6 fat, which is pro-inflammatory

You’re Consuming Soy Whether You’re Buying “Soy Products” or Not

Even if you know better than to gulp down large amounts of soy milk, slabs of tofu, and other soy snacks, you are still consuming soy if you’re eating processed food, in the form of soybean oil and lecithin. So depending on your dietary habits, your (unfermented) soy consumption could really add up.

In fact, Dr. Joseph Hibbeln at the National Institutes of Health told CNN.com he estimates that soybeans, usually in the form of oil, account for 10 percent of the average person’s total calories in the United States! When you consider that 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food goes toward processed food, this amount of “accidental” soy intake is not surprising.

Which Soy Foods Should be Avoided … and How do You Avoid Them?

Because soy is so pervasive in the U.S. food supply, avoiding it is not an easy task.

The best way to completely avoid soy in the food supply is to buy whole foods and prepare them yourself. This may also be your only option if you’ve developed a soy allergy and need to eliminate soy from your diet entirely.

If you still prefer to buy readymade and packaged products, for whatever reason, Dr. Daniel offers a free Special Report, “Where the Soys Are,” on her Web site. It lists the many “aliases” that soy might be hiding under in ingredient lists — words like “boullion,” “natural flavor” and “textured plant protein.”

Which Soy Foods DO Have Health Benefits?

The few types of soy that ARE healthy are all fermented varieties. After a long fermentation process, the phytic acid and antinutrient levels of the soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties — such as the creation of natural probiotics — become available to your digestive system.

The fermentation process also greatly reduces the levels of dangerous isoflavones, which are similar to estrogen in their chemical structure, and can interfere with the action of your own estrogen production.

So if you want to eat soy that is actually good for you, following are all healthy options:

  1. Natto, fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavor. It’s loaded with nattokinase, a very powerful blood thinner. Natto is actually a food I eat regularly, as it is the highest source of vitamin K2 on the planet and has a very powerful beneficial bacteria, bacillus subtilis. It can usually be found in any Asian grocery store.
  2. Tempeh, a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor.
  3. Miso, a fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture (commonly used in miso soup).
  4. Soy sauce: traditionally, soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes, however be wary because many varieties on the market are made artificially using a chemical process.

 

85 Percent of Consumers Believe the Lies About Soy

The rise of soy as a health food is in large part due to highly successful marketing to otherwise health conscious Americans who set the trend. According to the surveyConsumer Attitudes About Nutrition 2008 (by the United Soybean Board), 85 percent of consumers now perceive soy products as healthy.

The survey also found that consumers:

  • rank soybean oil among the top three healthy oils, with 70 percent recognizing soy oil as a healthy oil, and
  • depend on soybean oil, commonly sold as vegetable oil, as one of their two most frequent cooking oils

This is a tragic case of shrewd marketing of misinformation and outright lies taking root among the masses, which will likely take some time to undo.

Ever since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a health claim for soy foods in 1999 (which said diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease), soy sales have skyrocketed. In the years between 2000 and 2007, food manufacturers in the U.S. introduced over 2,700 new foods with soy as an ingredient, including 161 new products introduced in 2007 alone.

This has resulted in a booming multi-billion dollar business. From 1992 to 2007, soy food sales increased from a paltry $300 million to nearly $4 billion, according to the Soyfoods Association of North America.

However, the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit nutrition education foundation, submitted a petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January of this year, asking them to retract its heart-health claim from soy in light of the inconsistent and contradictory evidence showing benefits, and its many proven health risks.

More on Soy

The studies below regarding the effects of soy on health are eye-opening, particularly the review by the American Heart Association — which no longer supports the health claims about soy endorsed by the U.S. government.

Overall risks and benefits of soy assessed

Latest review by American Heart Association

Soy inhibits iron absorption

Poor iron bioavailability

Poor calcium bioavailability

Calcium and zinc absorbed better from milk than from soy — even without phytates

Soy provides no benefits with respect to heart disease risk

Soy causes bladder cancer

Soy isoflavones during pregnancy increase breast cancer risk in female offspring

High levels of cadmium in soy formula

Soy linked to peanut allergy and increased risk for asthma

Whole milk vs. soy beverage — asthma risk

Persistent sexual arousal syndrome associated with increased soy intake

Genistein: Does it prevent or promote breast cancer?

Tuesday
Jan312012

Increase Your Energy Level!

More energy is the one thing I think most of us could use more of.  The good news is that there are ways to increase your daily energy level.  Here is a perfect article with 5 easy  steps you can take today for increased energy.  These things may seem basic when you read them.. and they are, which means they are easy to accomplish.  Remember consistency is key for results!


5 Easy Steps for Maximum All-Day Energy
I often hear people say...
"I just wish there were more hours in the day so I could get more done."
But I don't think more time is what most people need.
I think what many people could really use to get more accomplished
each and every day is... ENERGY
Often I talk to people who really do have more than enough hours in
the day; they just don't have enough energy to accomplish all of
life's constant To Do's.
As a busy mom of 2 small children and owner of my own business,
having enough energy to accomplish the many tasks required of me
each day is "mission critical".

 

Without energy, there's no way I'm going to be able to exercise, work
all day, take care of my children and my home, and still find some time
for activities like reading and outdoor play.
Here are the 5 things I do DAILY to ensure that I am always
functioning at top speed. And no that does not mean I'm constantly
running. But it does mean that I'm maximizing the time I have each
and every day by keeping my energy levels high all day.
1. Include a healthy protein source into every one of your meals
(this includes snacks as well).
Healthy sources of protein and good fat slow down the conversion of
carbohydrates into glucose (sugar) in your blood stream, keeping
your blood sugar stable throughout the day.

 

Many times the "crash" people feel after lunch or breakfast is their
blood sugar spiking high and then "crashing" real low because they ate
a meal that was carbohydrate dense and not balanced with enough protein.
Adding in a healthy protein source like organic eggs, natural meats
or poultry, wild fish and raw nuts can ensure your blood sugar
doesn't go on a rollercoaster ride every time you eat.

 

Instead of grabbing pretzels from the vending machine in the afternoon,
go for some raw almonds and a fruit and that will keep your energy
levels sustained for the rest of the afternoon.
2. Stay hydrated all day.
Most people know they should be drinking water, but what they don't
know is that it directly affects their energy levels throughout the day.

 

Consider this: your brain is approximately 80% water.

 

Staying hydrated helps you maintain mental energy while avoiding fatigue
and headaches. Water also plays a vital role in your body's ability
to flush toxins. Organs have to work harder when you don't have
enough water, thus, causing fatigue.
3. Be cautious with caffeine intake.
I am not suggesting you completely eliminate your morning java or
your breakfast tea. But many people take their "cup of joe" and
turn it into "way too many cups of joe". Yes, caffeine will give
you a quick boost in energy, but will almost always send you
crashing just a few hours later.
Caffeinated beverages will also dehydrate your body, and
dehydration will cause you to feel fatigued (tip #2). Try to keep
your caffeine beverages to a maximum of 1-2 per day. I would also
suggest drinking those before 1pm as drinking caffeine any later
than that can disrupt your ability to fall asleep that night.
4. Beware of "white" carbs.
"White Carbs"(breads, pastas, cereals, baked goods) break down
quickly causing a fast spike in blood sugar. You'll feel a quick
rush of energy, but then a big drop...causing your energy (and your
mood) to drop along with it. Also, when too much sugar floods the
system all at once, your body can't use it all for energy and
converts it to stored fat.
While it is correct that carbs give you energy, too many carbs at
once will actually lead to fatigue and lethargy. I would highly
suggest keeping the "white carbs" to a minimum and eating
healthier, fibrous carbs like oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes and a
variety of fruits and vegetables.

 

And always be sure to eat those carbs alongside a healthy protein (tip #1).
5. Do a quick 5-minute mini-exercise circuit at any point during the day.
Yes, even a quick 5-minute exercise routine is enough to get your
blood circulating, sending more oxygen to your muscles and brain
and giving you a boost in energy. Quick bursts of exercise will
also increase your metabolism, not only helping you keep the excess
pounds off, but giving you a burst of energy as well.
If I start to feel the "afternoon energy crash", I will get up from
my office chair and do 1 minute of body weight squats, 1 minute of
pushups over my desk, 1 minute of jumping jacks, and 2 minutes of
lower and upper body stretches. It may not sound like very much,
but I assure you that in less than 5 minutes, I am "pumped" and
ready to get back to work.
Give the above 5 suggestions a try and you will see firsthand that
you do have more than enough hours in each day when you energy
levels are at their maximum all day long.
Isabel De Los Rios is world-renowned health and fitness
expert specializing in holistic nutrition for fat loss, energy, and
wellness

Tuesday
Jan312012

Increase Your Energy Level!

5 Easy Steps for Maximum All-Day Energy
I often hear people say...
"I just wish there were more hours in the day so I could get more done."
But I don't think more time is what most people need.
I think what many people could really use to get more accomplished
each and every day is... ENERGY
Often I talk to people who really do have more than enough hours in
the day; they just don't have enough energy to accomplish all of
life's constant To Do's.
As a busy mom of 2 small children and owner of my own business,
having enough energy to accomplish the many tasks required of me
each day is "mission critical".

 

Without energy, there's no way I'm going to be able to exercise, work
all day, take care of my children and my home, and still find some time
for activities like reading and outdoor play.
Here are the 5 things I do DAILY to ensure that I am always
functioning at top speed. And no that does not mean I'm constantly
running. But it does mean that I'm maximizing the time I have each
and every day by keeping my energy levels high all day.
1. Include a healthy protein source into every one of your meals
(this includes snacks as well).
Healthy sources of protein and good fat slow down the conversion of
carbohydrates into glucose (sugar) in your blood stream, keeping
your blood sugar stable throughout the day.

 

Many times the "crash" people feel after lunch or breakfast is their
blood sugar spiking high and then "crashing" real low because they ate
a meal that was carbohydrate dense and not balanced with enough protein.
Adding in a healthy protein source like organic eggs, natural meats
or poultry, wild fish and raw nuts can ensure your blood sugar
doesn't go on a rollercoaster ride every time you eat.

 

Instead of grabbing pretzels from the vending machine in the afternoon,
go for some raw almonds and a fruit and that will keep your energy
levels sustained for the rest of the afternoon.
2. Stay hydrated all day.
Most people know they should be drinking water, but what they don't
know is that it directly affects their energy levels throughout the day.

 

Consider this: your brain is approximately 80% water.

 

Staying hydrated helps you maintain mental energy while avoiding fatigue
and headaches. Water also plays a vital role in your body's ability
to flush toxins. Organs have to work harder when you don't have
enough water, thus, causing fatigue.
3. Be cautious with caffeine intake.
I am not suggesting you completely eliminate your morning java or
your breakfast tea. But many people take their "cup of joe" and
turn it into "way too many cups of joe". Yes, caffeine will give
you a quick boost in energy, but will almost always send you
crashing just a few hours later.
Caffeinated beverages will also dehydrate your body, and
dehydration will cause you to feel fatigued (tip #2). Try to keep
your caffeine beverages to a maximum of 1-2 per day. I would also
suggest drinking those before 1pm as drinking caffeine any later
than that can disrupt your ability to fall asleep that night.
4. Beware of "white" carbs.
"White Carbs"(breads, pastas, cereals, baked goods) break down
quickly causing a fast spike in blood sugar. You'll feel a quick
rush of energy, but then a big drop...causing your energy (and your
mood) to drop along with it. Also, when too much sugar floods the
system all at once, your body can't use it all for energy and
converts it to stored fat.
While it is correct that carbs give you energy, too many carbs at
once will actually lead to fatigue and lethargy. I would highly
suggest keeping the "white carbs" to a minimum and eating
healthier, fibrous carbs like oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes and a
variety of fruits and vegetables.

 

And always be sure to eat those carbs alongside a healthy protein (tip #1).

5. Do a quick 5-minute mini-exercise circuit at any point during the day.
Yes, even a quick 5-minute exercise routine is enough to get your
blood circulating, sending more oxygen to your muscles and brain
and giving you a boost in energy. Quick bursts of exercise will
also increase your metabolism, not only helping you keep the excess
pounds off, but giving you a burst of energy as well.
If I start to feel the "afternoon energy crash", I will get up from
my office chair and do 1 minute of body weight squats, 1 minute of
pushups over my desk, 1 minute of jumping jacks, and 2 minutes of
lower and upper body stretches. It may not sound like very much,
but I assure you that in less than 5 minutes, I am "pumped" and
ready to get back to work.
Give the above 5 suggestions a try and you will see firsthand that
you do have more than enough hours in each day when you energy
levels are at their maximum all day long.
Isabel De Los Rios is world-renowned health and fitness

expert specializing in holistic nutrition for fat loss, energy, and

wellness.