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Diet and Exercise… Will Never Cure the Obesity Epidemic

After years of proclaiming that “diet is 85% of the game”, this title might leave you thinking that I have just fallen off the turnip truck. But if you sit with me for a few minutes, I will explain why I believe that the current protocol for addressing obesity is doomed to failure.

Diet and exercise: there are two distinct problems in this equation. The first one comes from the inherent limitations of language and misunderstandings around the word ‘Diet’. Secondly, we have adopted a view of physical fitness that does not reach the vast majority of the population. Throw both of those into a solution for combating obesity related degenerative diseases, and the byproduct is a catastrophic fiasco. Does that mean that you should just resign yourself to ‘genetics’ and a future predetermined by forces out of your control? Of course not! Let’s break it all down for a better understanding of what-fails-where, and then we can look at a better solution.

The dictionary definition of the word ‘diet’ does not vary much. Merriam-Webster describes diet as:
a. food and drink regularly provided or consumed
b. habitual nourishment
c. the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason, and
d. a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight.

In our current culture, D-I-E-T is a four-letter word in every sense. Nobody likes being on a diet. When people talk about diets today, it is almost always in reference to that last definition. Being on a diet is all about denial, limitations, bland foods, and becoming a bit of a social outcast. Dieting has become synonymous with a collection of aberrant prescriptions outlining good and bad foods. Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and a host of other diets over the decades claim to be the ideal solution for health and weight maintenance.

The real problem is that nobody eats this way as a natural course, so diets are always temporary. That means that eventually, you are going to be back in the same predicament debating which ‘diet’ to put yourself on next to help you lose the extra weight. And, that extra weight will return given that scientific studies show that when individuals diet to lose weight, they rebound by gaining all of the weight lost plus additional weight when they return to a ‘normal’ diet. This is a direct response to the traditional calorie restricted diet.

Focusing solely on calories, or calorie restriction, also affects the thousands of micro and phytonutrients in our food chain. Weight gain after dieting is the byproduct of nutrient depletion and the body’s need to replenish those nutrient stores. In addition to your immediate needs, you necessarily have to consume in excess to create stores — hence, the yo-yo effect.

Now lets talk about exercise.

From the perspective of language, “exercise” has a lengthy history as well. I used to say that before all of the big-box gyms started popping into our culture, exercise was called “work”. That is true to a point, but in fact, exercise goes back at least as far as soldiers have been preparing for battle.

Another angle on exercise is the concept of “play”. Children inherently use play to develop strength, muscle coordination, and strategy … as is true throughout the animal kingdom as well. The problem with play is that we inherently grow out of it. This is in part due to adult responsibilities such as work, and in other part due to the increased risk of injury. So if we look at the statistics for our youth, we can use this data as an upper limit for physical activity among US adults.

Diet and Exercise… Will Never Cure the Obesity EpidemicThe Physical Activity Council (PAC) has published their participation statistics among US youth ages 6 and above in sports, fitness, and recreation.# They track 119 sports and physical activities. People considered inactive are those who do not engage in one or more of those 119 activities. Substantiating our earlier assumption, the following inactivity rate graph published by PAC displays inactivity trends related to age groups.

The University of Chicago Divinity School published similar data utilizing participation rates among US individuals ages 18 and above.# Their analysis of survey data from 2003-2005 showed that approximately 25% of American adults participated in any sport, exercise, or recreational activity on a random day. Referring back to the PAC study, we also know that inactivity rates among adults have increased over the last three years by nearly 8%.

Summing it all up, we see that our contemporary definition of a diet necessitates a vicious cycle of malnourishment if not outright failure. Roughly 45 million Americans spend 33 billion dollars on weight loss products, yet nearly 70% of the US population is at least overweight. Additionally, on any given day of the week roughly 75% of the American population is not motivated to engage in any type of sport, exercise, or recreational activity. As people gain excess weight, the likelihood of inspiring physical activity of any sort declines. I think it is overwhelmingly safe to say that the “Diet and Exercise” message has missed its target market outside of sponsoring a thriving diet industry.

THIS IS NOT HOPELESS!

Lets go back to the beginning and look at a simple breakdown.

We started by pinpointing a problem with the popular definition of the word diet. Shifting our focus from definition ‘d’ to definition ‘b: habitual nourishment” is the first step towards setting the right equation. Habitual Nourishment implies nothing about punishment, drudgery, tasteless, or unnatural protocols. Now the concept of a diet is about lifestyle. Developing habitual behaviors around eating sets the stage for consistent outcomes. It is also easier to make small changes that result in sustainable outcomes. Dieting is now about a dynamic relationship between foods, your health, and you.

  1. http://www.physicalactivitycouncil.com/PDFs/2012PacReport.pdf
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19211953

The culture of physical activity is presently wrapped too tightly around athletics. Honestly, not everyone wants to spend precious hours in a gym watching television from a treadmill. It is also true that a significant percentage of the population does not get into team sports. Our message over the last few decades has been that in order to be fit, one needs to become an athlete. Changing our perception around exercise towards ‘physical activity’ allows for the separation. Physical activity encompasses household chores, family outings, leisure activities, and a wide array of other possibilities. Just getting people to park the car and walk in for their coffee is a significant improvement over the drive-thru. There is so much more to physical activity than high-intensity training. The first step is to allow the largest possible population to engage in ways that compliment their interests and needs. Although this does not in any way negate the activities of athletes and weekend warriors, the goal is health rather than marathons.

Diet and Exercise as we view it today will never produce results different that what we are already seeing. This article presents a strong argument around culture and the implications of language. Our relationship with food and physical activity IS THE KEY to reversing the obesity epidemic.

“Diet is king, exercise is queen, but put them together and they make a Kingdom.”
Jack LaLane

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Sporting events, Sports Heroes, Cheating…is it All About Winning?

Sporting events, sports heroes and cheating is in the news all the lately because of the Lance Armstrong and Penn State controversy. Not only that look at the NFL story about the Saints and the coach being suspended.

Have we lost our way in sports … life, is wrong the new right?

Sporting events, Sports Heroes, Cheating…is it All About Winning? This article started out a commentary about cheating and sports but the more thinking and research I did the more I thought about how all of this goes deeper. It’s not just the fall of Lance Armstrong or the fact that the beloved Joe Paterno and most of his Penn State staff failed to stop something they all knew was wrong. My question is what the motivating factor is for making those choices that they knew were wrong. Choices they knew at some point would most likely have fallout. Their choices caused harm to either themselves or others.

Sports are important to us, not just Americans but all countries love their sports heroes. In February of this year 79 people were killed in a soccer riot in Egypt. What’s even worse is sporting events are the leading cause of riots … really? Why? Aren’t they supposed to be fun relaxing events? How did fun and relaxing become deadly? What is it about sports and sporting events that cause normal humans to behave like they are fighting for their lives? I have a few thoughts.

First of all there is tribalism. We are fundamentally social creatures, and in a time of social turmoil, humans take great comfort in the support of that. Anyone that has spent any time on a team or in a group of human beings can see how we bond as a group and will even do battle with other groups that threaten our group. This happens even if we barely know the people in our group. I saw this happen on the Inca Trail in Peru. At one of the ruin sites another group yelled at one of our group members for accidentally walking through their meditation group. Every person in our group was ready to rumble to protect our group mate. The funny thing is most of us didn’t know each other well. Yet 2 days on the Inca Trail made us a tribe willing to fight for one another.

In his book The Social Conquest of Earth, legendary sociobiologist E.O. Wilson argues that it is mankind’s predilection for forming altruistic groups that has allowed our species to wipe out all the other upright-walking apes and dominate the planet. While this once helped our ancestors form effective groups of hunters and warriors, today it plays out in our passionate and utterly arbitrary devotion to sports teams. Sports and sports heroes speak to us about strength, speed and endurance we will never have. Perhaps they even speak at a deeper level of survival, a safe showing of epic battles that our comfortable lives will never touch. Perhaps the willingness to let things slide and do things that are wrong are all about that primal urge to survive at all costs. Or…maybe it’s just about simply winning.

Bad behavior in our culture extends beyond sports. Let’s take for example the fascination with Toddlers and Tiara’s Alana Thompson also known as Honey Boo Boo. She first came to my attention when the media posted that her mother gave her 6 year old a combination of Red Bull and Mountain Dew, a combination she called Go Go Juice. The thought that a mother could so compromise her child’s future health with such a toxic concoction of kiddie speed just floors me. Her mother does this so she could give a hopped up stage performance. Is this really cheating? No, but is it in the best interest of the child, I don’t think so. Is it about winning or even better getting that ever valuable 15 minutes of fame? Maybe it’s not about winning but just getting famous.

I have to admit my guilty pleasure does include a little bit of reality TV. I have watched Survivor from the first show. Unfortunately Survivor has opened the door to a genre of TV that promotes insanity over talent. I am still mystified that I even know who the Kardashians are. They should be no more famous than the fact that Robert Kardashian was one of the defense attorneys in one of the best crash and burns of a sports hero of all time. Shall we talk about OJ?

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No Excuses Not To Eat Right or Exercise | From Drab to Fab Healthy Recipes

Looking for healthy recipes to start the year off right? this AMAZING healthy recipe for a fab topper will leave your mouth watering!

The following are the top 10 reasons why people don’t exercise, but you could just as easily apply the very same excuses to just about any form of change such as diet.

1. Fear
2. No Time
3. Negative Image of …(Exercise)
4. Slow Results
5. Expense
6. Lonely
7. No Motivation
8. Too Many Other Things to Do
9. Too…. Hot, cold, rainy, sunny, hazy
10. I Hate to …(Exercise)

Healthy Recipes - Fab Pumpkin Seed TopperWhen it comes to a better diet, #2 “Time” and #5 “Expense” definitely comes into play. Sure, some of those savory old fashioned recipes only taste right when somebody spends the entire day preparing them, but that shouldn’t stop you from treating yourself like a King or Queen within what might feel like limiting constraints. You can change recipes from drab to fab with just a few ingredients to make a great tasting topping.

Here, I used some pumpkin seeds, herbs, salt, and the heal of a loaf of bread to turn my quick bowl of soup into a real treat. You can use the same technique to dress up casseroles, veggie side-dishes, and the like.

Fab Pumpkin Seed Topping – Healthy Recipes

  • 1 tsp butter
  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds (or sunflower)
  • some breadcrumbs – fresh (this recipe was created from a very small heal piece)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp fresh parsley chopped fine
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 +/- Spice Blend (I used Rogan Josh by Savory Spice Shop)*

Melt butter in a small sauce pan. Add garlic and seeds. Cook on medium heat until seeds start to brown. Add breadcrumbs and spices. Stir until evenly coated. Serve immediately over soup or whatever you are dressing up.

*Don’t freak out about my spice choices. Use what you have and like. Just know that you need to spice this accent a little heavier to carry through the dish.

Is Stress at the Root of Degenerative Health Conditions?

Degenerative conditions such as obesity, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension, and congestive heart failure are modifiable. What that means is that there exists a lifestyle modification that alleviates the stimulus for these conditions – primarily if those stimuli are addressed before irreparable tissue damage occurs.

But in a culture focused on ‘portion control’ and physical activity, we may be missing something: STRESS.

What is stress?

StressIn its most pure definition, stress is a physical or emotional state ‘out of homeostasis. Everything about operating the human body runs on maintaining acceptable margins such as temperature, blood levels of calcium and so forth. Throwing such a wide net on the definition of stress, we can begin to see that stressors can come from a wide range of stimuli.

Origins of Stress

Physical

- can range from injury and physical exertion to immobility and repetitive use syndrome

Emotional
- is most easily defined as “mental strain”. Psychological stress stems from five different stimuli or conditions:

  • Pressure
  • Loss
  • Frustration
  • Conflict
  • Threat

Environmental
- includes climate, air pollution, airborne allergens, etc.

Infectious
- the constant scenario whereby your body is dealing with foreign invaders

Inadequate or Poor Nutrition
- Poor nutrition, or malnourishment, can occur in cases of insufficient calories or excessive calories. Poor nutrition is the condition whereby at least one nutrient required for any one given metabolic process is absent or available in supplies insufficient to complete any given metabolic process (eg: Magnesium is needed in over 300 metabolic reactions). Excess amounts of sugars and refined foods, for example, can diminish thiamine, niacin, B12, magnesium, and calcium. Low levels of these nutrients increase nervous-system reactivity, irritability, and nervousness. But even more serious is the realization that poor eating habits in general lead to low concentrations of nutrients in the blood, which can impair brain function

As you can see, your body is under stress all of the time from one or more ‘stressors’. This is not a problem until we start operating outside of our natural ability to adapt to stress: out of homeostatic balance.

Repeated stress from any one stressor or combination of stressors places a great deal of demand on our adrenal glands. The adrenals are the endocrine glands sitting on top of the kidneys and produce the stress hormones that essentially respond to every kind of stress. Regardless of the stressor, the adrenal glands always respond in the same way. By engaging the sympathetic nervous system, the adrenal hormones are fundamental in activating the ‘fight-or-flight’ response.

An interesting note here is that your body does not know the difference between a real physical threat and a long string of upsetting emails. The same chemistry is created in your body as a stress response in either case. Because we spend far more time in the stressed state of fight-or-flight, our bodies are exposed to chronically elevated blood sugars, elevated blood pressure, and all of the other symptoms of ‘threat readiness’. Over time, our bodies become depleted and critical resources become exhausted.

When this occurs, we start seeing the onset of degenerative conditions.

  • Insomnia
  • Eating Disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Colds and Viruses
  • Circulatory Problems
  • Systemic or Local Infections
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Problems
  • Cancer, … just to name a few!

Stress is one of the primary complaints among employees.

Stress Related Statistics

  • 75% of time lost from work is associated with stress
  • 60 – 80% of accidents on the job are stress related
  • 75% of visits to the doctor are due to stress

In fact, it is not hard to find a stress component in any of the major modifiable health risk factors. The problem becomes a focus on alleviating stress with various stress management skills and modalities as a complement to medical treatment for a sustainable recovery.

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A Primer on Weight Loss: Stop Focusing on Calories

Weight loss – focusing on calories is NOT the way to lose weight info on counting calories, calorie restriction, and the overemphasis of ‘energy’ ratios (carbohydrates, fats, and protein grams).

So you may be one of those FitRightTM participants who received the news that the weight you lost on the scale was mostly from your precious lean tissues (bones and muscle!!). If so, you may have also heard that you need to “eat more in order to lose weight”. But how can that be? It makes no sense, right?

A Primer on Weight Loss: Stop Focusing on CaloriesNow you have first hand experience to understand the true limitations of a ‘Calorie-Centric’ diet. What do I mean by Calorie-Centric? I mean counting calories, calorie restriction, and the overemphasis of ‘energy’ ratios (carbohydrates, fats, and protein grams). Even though the calorie concept is where all the media information is – and has been for decades – there is a better way.

Lets talk about ‘Nutrient Density’.

For our purposes, the best definition of ‘Nutrient Density’ is

“…the ratio of nutrient content (in grams) to the total energy content (in kilocalories or joules). Nutrient-dense food is opposite to energy-dense food (also called “empty calorie” food). According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, nutrient-dense foods are those foods that provide substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals and relatively few calories. Fruits and vegetables are the nutrient-dense foods, while products containing added sugars, processed cereals, and alcohol are not”

Two Pieces to the Basic Equation

Part I: Whole Foods

Before you start reaching for your calculator, let’s look at some examples. The first rule of thumb comes from the idea of “Whole Foods”. A whole food is just about any food that you can buy that doesn’t have a label and an ingredient list. Now we are talking about the produce section, the butchers counter, and bulk grains. If you look at the list below, you will see that these foods include foods that are higher in fats, natural sugars and starches, and animal proteins. The key comes from the fact that they are complete in their natural form and bursting with a synergistic complement of nutrients that your body understands and can assimilate.

Asparagus
Avocados
Beets
Bell peppers
Broccoli*
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Collard greens
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Fennel
Garlic
Green beans
Green peas
Kale*
Leeks
Mushrooms, crimini
Mushrooms, shiitake
Mustard greens
Olives
Onions
Potatoes
Romaine lettuce
Sea vegetables
Spinach*
Squash, summer
Squash, winter
Sweet potatoes
Swiss chard
Tomatoes
Turnip greens
YamsApples
Apricots
Bananas
Blueberries*
Cantaloupe
Cranberries*
Figs
Grapefruit
Grapes
Kiwifruit
Lemon/Limes
Oranges
Papaya
Pears
Pineapple
Plums
Prunes
Raisins
Raspberries*
Strawberries*#*
WatermelonCod
Halibut
Salmon
Sardines
Scallops
Shrimp
Tuna
Eggs

Black beans
Dried peas
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Kidney beans
Lentils
Lima beans
Miso
Navy beans
Pinto beans
Soybeans
Tofu and Tempeh
Spirulina*

Beef, lean organic
Liver*
Chicken
Lamb
Turkey
Venison
Almonds
Cashews
Flaxseeds

Olive oil, extra virgin
Peanuts
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
WalnutsBarley
Brown rice
Buckwheat
Corn
Millet
Oats
Quinoa
Rye
Spelt
Whole wheat
Hemp Seeds*
Chia Seeds*

Basil
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Chili pepper, dried
Cilantro/Coriander seeds
Cinnamon, ground
Cloves
Cumin seeds
Dill
Ginger
Mustard seeds
Oregano
Parsley
Peppermint
Rosemary
Sage
Thyme
Turmeric
Cocoa (chocolate nibs)*

Blackstrap molasses
Honey
Maple syrup

It is important to remember that just because it is on the list, does not means that it is good for you. For example, if you have an allergy to almonds, don’t eat them.

Part II: Variety

The reality is that you cannot pick your favorite three items from the list above and expect to achieve the full benefits of a nutrient dense diet. You have to get a diverse variety across the board. Reiterating what we discussed in the “Food and Stress” lecture, an apple contains 500 nutrients, but there are somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 plant-based nutrients in our food chain. Without trying to manage 30,000 nutrients manually, it is safe to assume that variety in your diet is the key to achieving a healthy balance of all those nutrients.

Benefits of a nutrient dense weight loss diet include:

  • Elimination of the “yo-yo” effect
  • Increased energy
  • Improved ‘healing’ in cases of degenerative conditions like diabetes
  • Lower risk for developing degenerative conditions like cancer
  • Reduced toxic load on your body
  • Naturally reduced appetite
  • Fewer cravings

www.fitnutsource.com
jalynn@fitnutsource.com
303-955-8049

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Body Fat Measurement- Body Mass Index (BMI) or Body Composition

If you and your doctor are evaluating your overall health, chances are that one of the numbers you are looking at is your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your BMI is the ratio between your height and weight. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. But at best, that body fat “calculation” is more of a S.W.A.G (silly wild … artistic guess).

BMI Categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal Weight = 18.5 – 24.9
  • Overweight = 25 – 29.9
  • Obese = > 29.9

Although BMI is a quick and easy way to create some perspective about weight and identifying increased risk for degenerative conditions, it definitely has its limitations.

  • It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
  • It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle.

The short story is that BMI does not take weight composition into consideration.

Body Fat Measurement- Body Mass Index (BMI) or Body Composition

 

Body composition (or Body Fat Percentage) tests provide a way of measuring current ratios of lean tissue (muscles, bones, organs, water, etc) to fat tissue components and for determining changes over time. There are many different ways of measuring the amount of body fat or body composition, which vary in accuracy, ease of measurement, costs and equipment requirements. Some of the more popular tests for analyzing Body Fat Percentage include:

  • Skinfold measurements
  • Hydrostatic weighing
  • Girth measurements
  • Bioelectric Impedence
  • Whole-body Air-Displacement Plethysmography (BodPod)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

As you might expect, there are a lot of ‘opinions’ as to what constitutes the ideal percentage of body fat. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is one of the most commonly used body fat charts. As you can see, women have a higher body fat percentage relative to men for a given level. Women have more fat because of physiological differences such as hormones, breasts, and sexual organs. In addition, women need a higher amount of body fat for ovulation.

“Essential fat” is the minimum amount of fat necessary for basic physical and physiological health. There is a lot of controversy over what amount of body fat is optimal for overall health. We all have different shapes, sizes, and fat distribution profiles, but I think the chart above is a good starting point.

The limitation of the ACE chart is that while it takes into account gender differences, it does NOT take into account your age, which is exactly why I included the next two charts. As we get older, there are physiological changes in our bodies that promote an increase in fat deposits.

This can be extremely useful information as you target a new health goal. It is also very useful in understanding your progress as you lose weight, gain muscle, or become more physically fit.

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Can You Win the Tour de France without Cheating?

The Tour de France and doping was a big topic on our Fitnut Fitness Facebook page not too long ago. The big news in cycling is Lance Armstrong’s choice to stop fighting the USADA’s case against him. On his website, Lancearmstrong.com, Lance responded with a well written, well thought out response. In simple terms he was tired of fighting and felt it was a fight he couldn’t win, it was a witch hunt that would ultimately end with a guilty verdict. For a while I almost felt bad for him.

ALMOST, I’ll admit it I am not a Lance fan. I think he is arrogant and he treats people badly and uses his fame and foundation to justify it. I have known a handful of world class athletes that were genuine down to earth people that were truly dedicated to helping other people.

Can You Win the Tour de France without Cheating?My opinions on Lance aside, the real question is can an athlete who is committed to not doping win the Tour De France?

To answer this question let me give you a Tour De France history lesson. For as long as the Tour has existed, its participants have been doping themselves. The strongest drug in the early Tour de France was strychnine. Other than that, riders would take anything to survive the tedium, the pain and the exhaustion of stages that could last more than 300 km. Help that included alcohol, ether and cocaine. There are photographs of riders holding ether-soaked handkerchiefs to their mouths, or leaving them knotted under the chin so the fumes would deaden the pain in their legs.

In the early years of the Tour, many felt it was only possible because there was doping. For 60 years this was allowed. It wasn’t until 1966 that the first anti doping tests occurred. During that year over a third of the cyclists tested positive for amphetamines due to the pain, tedium of the stages etc. In the 1970s, cycling moved into the steroid era. During that time steroids were not used to build muscle bulk, but rather to improve recovery and thereby let competitors train harder and longer and with less rest. There is also a secondary stimulant effect. When other drugs became detectable the 90’s introduced EPO, a drug to increase red-cell production in anemia sufferers. EPO’s problem for testers was that like testosterone and, before that, cortisone, they couldn’t distinguish it from what the body produced naturally. For a while EPO was widely used without being detectable. Once a test was developed for EPO, the practice changed, almost overnight, to blood doping, which was also very difficult to detect. It was only with the introduction of the biological passport that it became possible to detect mostly because they were looking for the effect of the drug rather than the drug itself.

Stress Free Corporate Wellness ProgramsDespite the fact that doping is illegal for the last 20 years, professional cycling has had a very ugly record when it comes to doping. In 2006 9 riders including the winner of the Tour in 2007,2009 and 2012 Alberto Contador and the winner from 2000, 2001 and 2003 Tour winner Jan Ullrich were banned from competing in the Tour. That was the same year that Floyd Landis lost his jersey for testing positive for testosterone.

Since 1999 only three tour winners have not tested positive for a banned substance. They are this year’s winner Bradley Wiggins, last year’s winner Cadel Evans and 2007 winner Carlos Sastre.

The Tour is a brutal race no doubt. Over the last 109 years have shown that is a hard race made easier by drugs. That being said, cycling has also made vast technical improvements over that last 109 years. Bikes are lighter and more responsive, what we know about training, nutrition and hydration have vastly improved performance and recovery. Three riders have won the tour without drugs in the last 10 years, against riders with a history of performance enhancing drugs. So it is possible. Hopefully as bad and painful it is to both Lance and his supporters maybe his fall proves something. The bigger they are the harder they fall and cheaters never win. Maybe the fall of an icon will finally clean up the sport. Only time will tell.

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How Old is Your Skin | 5 Tips On How To Have Younger Skin

Hmmm…”how old is your skin”? You can find out and work at making it look younger and more supple with 5 tips on how to have younger skin!

Dr DicQie Fuller-Looney of Transformation Enzymes has a cool little test to find out “how old is your skin”.

How Old is Your Skin | 5 Tips On How To Have Younger Skin“Pinch the skin on the back of one of your hands between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand for five seconds. Then let it go and time how long it takes to return to normal. If it takes five seconds or less, the biological age of your skin is less than 50. Ten to fifteen seconds indicate an age range of 60 – 69. Time exceeding fifteen seconds shows a biological age of your skin as seventy or more.”

She goes on to tell us that it takes longer as we age and draws a correlation between ‘age-related’ degeneration with inflammation. Of course, you can subscribe to enzyme therapy, but you can also reduce inflammation through the foods that you eat.

Here are 5 things you can do for no more than you are already spending on groceries:

Avoid processed foods as much as possible, if not entirely.
The chemistry lab found in most processed foods is a long list of inflammatory agents that range from neurotoxins to processing agents that don’t actually belong in our food chain. Just think of the question “how old is your skin” and it will motivate you not to eat processed foods.

Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables.
Get your enzyme therapy for free by consuming them in your foods. Raw foods always contain enzymes, but those are lost when that same food is cooked. You can also get both your enzymes and probiotics in ‘fermented’ foods! Again think of the question “how old is your skin” and you will be ready to reduce inflammation by eating healthy raw fruits and veggies. It’s great that enzymes are a part of healthy foods.

Eat healthy fats.
A healthy fat is any of the natural fats – be that plant-based, or animal-based. Unhealthy fats are the synthetic varieties like hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, and all the other ‘trans fats’. Fats serve as the building blocks for lipid-based tissues like your skin around your cells (plasma), and the skin that holds all of the rest of you together.

Hydrate properly.
Although your skin is primarily lipid based, it shows when you’re not getting enough water. Be careful though; gallons of fresh water can throw off your electrolyte balance. You will always drink plenty of water if you keep the question “how old is your skin” in mind because, let’s face it, we all want skin that is younger looking and less wrinkled.

Do an honest survey of your physical and emotional stress.
Stress depletes your body of vital nutrients at accelerated rates. Learn techniques to step out of ‘fight-or-flight’, and make an effort to create between the demands and rejuvenation. Reduce inflammation and have younger looking skin by keeping in mind the question “how old is your skin”.

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Corporate Wellness Programs FREE EvaluationResearching Corporate Wellness Programs?

The FitNuts are in the field RIGHT NOW helping companies develop and increase participation in their corporate wellness programs.

Using a comprehensive planning formula, we make sure that your employees have effective options for exercise, eating and mindset! If you would like to find out more, check out our 2 Hour Corporate Wellness Evaluation offer!

The Pursuit of Health and Happiness

The pursuit of health and happiness go hand in hand with fitness and nutrion. While many talk about wanting to be healthy and happy, what are you willing to do to actually achieve this state?

Some things I have discovered:

When I was just a math geek, ‘socially popular’ status was about as much of a reality for me as runway ‘super model’. That changed when I got my certification in nutrition. I have some of the most interesting conversations with strangers and have had the opportunity to learn an awful lot about health from my clients – far more so than from the books.

The Pursuit of Health and HappinessThe pursuit of health and happiness go hand in hand. When someone comes to me about the health piece, more often than not, the resolution doesn’t stop with finding the right ‘diet’. That reality has been the most difficult for me to embrace, and the absolute most challenging for me to council others through.

The bottom line is that people have a dependence on food ideas much deeper than energy and hunger pangs, and the majority of people I see value their freedom of choice over their health.

People have a complex psychological network of beliefs that they have a right to ‘be normal’ and eat whatever everyone else is eating. They think that sacrificing foods that are making them sick violates their rightful autonomy as independent adults. They have a ‘right’ to convenience and convenience foods. They have a right to draw the line on just how many foods they will sacrifice regardless of the outcome. (This is a big one among my gluten intolerant folks).

Then again, I can get someone to commit to a short-term trial — have it succeed – and watch them turn around and go back to their old ways. It is so much easier to accept illness over a life without … Chocolate!, or Cheese!, or Coffee!, or .. .whatever.

The pursuit of health and happiness is more complex than you might think. Will you be happy if you don’t have your health? Is it worth it not to sacrifice some foods that make you ill? You have to decide just what your happiness is and what degree of health you want.

So ask yourself, “What do I want?” And then more importantly, “What am I willing to change to make that happen?” More often than not, your willingness to allow change and sacrifice will dictate being able to live that “want”. Otherwise, you live the life that comes with less health and ultimately less happiness as a result.

Corporate Wellness Programs
Corporate Wellness Programs FREE EvaluationResearching Corporate Wellness Programs?

The FitNuts are in the field RIGHT NOW helping companies develop and increase participation in their corporate wellness programs.

Using a comprehensive planning formula, we make sure that your employees have effective options for exercise, eating and mindset! If you would like to find out more, check out our 2 Hour Corporate Wellness Evaluation offer!

Finding Your Movement

Finding your movement is an important element of your fitness and health. For many of us, we have a predetermined idea of what working out is and should be. When we visualize ourselves working out, we envision color-coordinated shorts and tank tops with an over priced, under used gym membership to match. While a gym may offer a wide variety of benefits to your health, it is not the only solution to increase the amount of physical activity you engage in. So what’s the first step to freeing yourself of this cultural classification? Change your definition of “workout”. A workout can be done anytime, anywhere, and in any outfit (okay not any outfit, but most).

Finding Your MovementLet me start with a quick story about a research study analyzing hotel maids and their exercise habits. At the beginning of the study, 67% of the maids reported that they didn’t exercise regularly, and more than a third said they didn’t exercise at all. The researchers then gave half the maids the remarkable news that they were already exercise superstars. Picture a typical day for a hotel maid. They clean around 15-20 rooms, which encompasses a constant blend of walking, bending, lifting, pushing, carrying, and scrubbing.

This group of maids (group A) received a document with the benefits of exercise, and was told that their daily cleaning routines were enough to get those benefits. They also received estimates of how many calories they burned in various activities (changing lines, vacuuming, etc.). The other group (group B) received the same document with benefits of exercise, but was not told they were achieving these. They also did not receive the calorie breakdown. Four weeks later the researches came back for a follow up, and the group A maids had lost 2 pounds on average! The researches ruled out any external factor that may have contributed to this loss such as diet, smoking, additional exercise, or stress. After much deliberation, researchers concluded that the maids in group A were jolted and inspired by this information.

They felt that they were already half way to exercising, and therefore seized the opportunity to optimize their daily routines to turn it into exercise. What can we learn from these hotel maids? First, a calorie burned is a calorie burned. Our bodies don’t make location distinctions; it doesn’t know you’re not in a sweaty gym.

Second, think of yourself as being half way there. You already walk from your car to the store or office. This is a start; now just go out of your way to take the extra step, literally. Group A maids had no trouble finding their movement!

It’s important to first change your mindset; working out doesn’t have to be painful or long. You can find your movement by fitting several short and easy “workouts” in throughout your day in a variety of manners. For example, simply park further from the entrance everywhere you go. Wear a pedometer and see how quickly those extra steps add up. When you go to the grocery store, grab a basket instead of a cart. You’ll utilize more of the muscles in your upper body, and because you’re carrying the weight you’ll be less likely to grab that bag of Oreos.

At the office, make a few extra trips to the water cooler, you’ll benefit from the movement and the extra hydration. Turn your chair into a triceps dip bench, or use your desk for standing inclined pushups. Squats are also great because they can be done anywhere, just be careful to not rip your jeans. When you’re at home, join the maids exercise routine and clean your house. Just 30 minutes of vacuuming can burn 100 calories! It’s a win-win, your house will benefit and so will your body. And of course, take the stairs every chance you get. If you’re in a tall office or apartment building, take the stairs for a portion of the trip and then take the elevator. Slowly work yourself up to climbing the whole trip.

These are just a few examples of ways to burn extra calories and work your muscles throughout the day without the help of exercise equipment. If you want to maximize your potential benefits, there are a variety of affordable, assessable, convenient tools you can buy. Things such as resistant bands, hand grippers, and stability balls are great ways to further increase your amount of physical activity you do in a day. Don’t be afraid to find your movement by getting creative either, exercise can be anything that requires you to move your muscles in a way that burns calories.

Corporate Wellness Programs
Corporate Wellness Programs FREE EvaluationResearching Corporate Wellness Programs?

The FitNuts are in the field RIGHT NOW helping companies develop and increase participation in their corporate wellness programs.

Using a comprehensive planning formula, we make sure that your employees have effective options for exercise, eating and mindset! If you would like to find out more, check out our 2 Hour Corporate Wellness Evaluation offer!

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