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Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Skin

Having polled a few people to get their take on the efficacy and usefulness of using Hemp Seed Oil topically, here are the results. We spoke with dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD; Dr. Raymond Schep, the Chief Chemist of Colonial Dames Co. and a Member of the CA Association of Toxicologists; Jennifer L. MacGregor, MD, at Union Square Laser Dermatology and estheticians Tammy and Amity Spiegel (CAP Beauty) and asked them to break down the benefits of Hemp Seed oil, from how great it is for dry skin to why we should mix it into a salad.

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp Seed Oil—not to be confused with Hemp Oil, which is a blanket term for all oils that come from hemp and can include cannabidiol (CBD) oil—is made by pressing the seeds to extract their oils .. hence, Hemp “Seed” Oil.

What makes is good for the skin?

It locks in hydration: According to Amity Spiegel, Hemp Seed Oil is high in Omegas (Essential Fatty Acids 3, 6, and 9 CLA, GLA and more –  all of which help repair the skin barrier and form a seal over the skin to keep moisture trapped inside.

It also works as a humectant, attracting moisture from the environment onto the surface of your skin.

Anti-inflammatory: Those same omegas and natural vitamin e in the oil also helps lower inflammation in the skin.

Dr. Zeichner was impressed that the oil helps to soothe the skin: “Hemp Seed Oil is rich in fatty acids, which help hydrate and soothe inflamed skin” and can act as an anti-acneic. Which means that  it “may modulate skin oil production, which is huge for people with skins prone to acne or overly oily skin.

How to Use It

Naturally, Hemp Seed Oil is being integrated into plenty of beauty products as a hydrator and anti-inflammatory. In particular, we love to use it with retinoids or after acids because it’s so effective at staving off inflammation. It works wonders for redness and acne, too.1 It’s pretty easy to know how much to apply—just use as much as you would any other oil. However, we would be remiss if we told you hemp seed oil’s effects ended at skincare.

Lisa Bronner, author of the blog Going Green with a Bronner Mom, wrote for the Huffington Post that because of the Amino Acids found in Hemp Seed Oil it is a good idea to apply it on and around your nails to help keep them supple, but also to build up the proteins in the nail. Which over time, helps to strengthen nails.

We are also a huge fan of incorporating hemp seed oil into your diet because its nutrients are so good for your body. We especially like to use raw hemp seeds in cooking, because they are in their natural state, so the body can absorb all the nutrients they offer more easily. Hemp seeds are great in salads, granolas, smoothies and mixed in with grains, deliciously delivering vitamins A and E, but also essential fatty acid, amino acids and trace minerals and a wealth of antioxidants.

It has a distinct, nutty taste and can be used on salads as a replacement for olive oil. “It is high in omegas and full of essential amino acids that help make younger, smoother-looking skin and reduces inflammation in the body.” says Tammy Spiegel, However, due to its high EFA content, it is a highly volatile oil, so it must be kept refrigerated never used in heating or cooking.

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Baby Massage

Although your newborn seems so delicate, don’t be afraid to start a massaging routine shortly after birth. Routine massage helps you grow your bond and leads to his happy, healthy development.

Touch is a powerful way to communicate your love to your baby. In fact, 25 to 120 minutes of skin-on-skin contact immediately after birth can positively affect interactions between you and your little one up to a year later!

In the first few weeks, use slow and positive strokes, not spending too much time on one area. Newborn babies may find their senses over-stimulated and most will seek solace in the arms of their parents for the first few weeks; some may just want a gentle stroke down their backs, over their clothes.

 

 

Resting Hands

If your baby says ‘yes’ to massage, begin with a resting hand. This resting hand technique is used before massaging any area of the body. It can also be used when your baby needs a break during the massage. This is a good way for your baby to feel secure and enjoy touch.

 

 

Legs

Check you have enough oil on your hands before you start. Begin on the legs with a newborn because it is an area that is usually accepted by babies. Downward strokes are more relaxing.

Legs “Milking”

With one hand, gently hold your baby’s ankle. Place your other hand at the top of your baby’s thigh, moulding it around the leg, then slide it to the ankle. Repeat with firm yet gentle rhythmic strokes, one hand after the other.

 

 

Feet

Babies usually love having their feet massaged. Watch your baby’s reactions in case of sensitivity. A little foot massage can have a positive effect on the whole body.

Gently squeeze and roll each toe between your thumb and index finger. Using alternate thumbs stroke the top of the foot from toes to the ankle. Repeat several times..

 

 

Tummy

When your baby’s umbilical cord is healed, a gentle massage on the tummy can help with digestion and tummy troubles.

Start by making contact with your baby’s tummy with a reassuring relaxed hand. If your baby is happy, make gentle paddling strokes, with one hand following the other.

 

Back

Skin-to-skin contact can enhance the bonding experience between baby, mom and dad.

Holding your baby close to your chest, massage your baby’s back beginning at the neck, swooping down to his bottom.

Through massage, you can gain increased awareness of how your baby communicates and ideas on ways to support your baby in his first few months. You and your baby will discover what is best for you both. It is important to be mindful that massage is something you do with, rather than to, your baby.

Postnatal Depression and Using Touch to Communicate and Bond

After the birth of their baby, many mothers and some fathers may suffer from some form of depression.

‘Baby Blues’ is common and can leave mom feeling elated one moment and very emotional the next. This usually disappears after a few days. Depression is a more serious and long-lasting condition and can show signs anytime from straight after the baby’s birth or later.

Research into postnatal depression shows that massage can enhance parent and baby attachment, through encouraging eye contact, skin contact, voice and sensitive interaction

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Direct Selling

Many people are scared away from network marketing, also known as direct sales/distribution, because of all the myths and misunderstanding about this type of business. Part of negativity comes from reported low direct sales success rates.

However, a direct sales business isn’t destined to fail any more than any other business. Regardless of the home business you start, success comes from putting in the effort and the work to build it.

For some reason, many people don’t view their direct sales business as a business, like they would if they opened a franchise or started a business from scratch. One of the most important things you can do to ensure your success is to treat your direct distribution venture as the business it is.

Here are a few other tips to help you improve your direct sales business and recruiting efforts within the world of direct selling:

Brush Up on the Realities of Direct Sales Networks

To stay safe from pyramid schemes and MLM scams, arm yourself with knowledge. Learn about the direct sales industry as a whole, research direct sales/distribution companies carefully – and determine if you’re a good match with your sponsor. The truth is, while you can get rich in direct sales, statistics show that less than one out of 100 MLM representatives actually achieve MLM success or make any money. However, that’s not necessarily the MLM business’ fault. Most athletes never make it to the Olympics, but that’s not the sport’s or the Olympics’ fault.

Any great feat requires knowledge, action, consistency and dedication.

Find a Company with a Product You Love

Too many people get caught up in the hype of potential big income from direct sales, that they don’t pay enough attention to what the product message is they are asked to sell. You can’t sell something or share your business if you don’t genuinely have knowledge of or pride in, what you are representing.  

Be Genuine and Ethical

One reason that direct selling gets a bad rap is that many representatives use hype and sometimes deception to lure in new recruits. This leads many to believe that the direct distribution companies themselves encourage this behaviour when in truth, they don’t.

Legitimate direct distribution companies want you to be honest in your dealings with customers and potential recruits. If you love your product, your enthusiasm is enough to promote it. Just make sure you’re not over-the-top or making exaggerated or false claims.

Good business conduct will ensure that your customers and recruits don’t feel duped and as a result, will stick with you.

Don’t Barrage Your Friends and Family

Nothing will annoy your family and cost you and friends, more than constantly pestering them about your business. There’s nothing wrong with letting them know what you’re doing and seeing if they have an interest, but if the answer is “no,” let it go.

Many companies suggest making a list of 100 people you know, and while that’s not wrong, you should consider that most successful direct sellers have very few people from their original list of 100 people in their business. And, in most cases, friends and family who are in the business often come AFTER seeing the direct seller’s success.

Success in a direct sales business comes from treating it like any other business in which you focus on the people who want what you have to offer. That means deciding who the target market is for your products / services, as well as the business opportunity.

Identify Your Target Market

One of the biggest mistakes new direct sellers make, is looking at everyone (including friends and family) as a potential customer or recruit. This is one area where the MLM industry gets it wrong. Like any other business, you’re going to have greater success and efficiency if you identify your target market and focus your marketing efforts at them.

Someone who doesn’t care about vitamins or health and wellness isn’t a good person to pester about your business.

Make an Effort to Share Your Product//Business Plan Everyday

Many direct sales sponsors will have you focus on recruiting new business builders; however, your income, in legitimate direct sales, comes from the sales of products or services (whether through you or your recruits). Further, customers who love the products or services can more easily be converted into new business builders.

So, engage with customers daily about the products. Tell them about it, answer questions. Stay engaged.

Just like any other business (home-based or otherwise), getting the word out about your product or service can benefit your target market is the key to generating new customers and recruits. Some ideas include sharing a product sample, inviting a neighbour to host a product party, or starting a website or social media account.

Sponsor, Don’t Recruit

One of the benefits of direct selling is the ability to bring in new business builders and profit from the sales they make in their business.  While some see this as “using” others, the reality is that you’re being rewarded for helping others succeed. But for them to succeed, you need to see your role not as racking up as many recruits as possible, but in being a leader and trainer. The focus then is on the success of those you help in the business, not on you.

That means you need to take time to train them, answer questions, celebrate their successes, and be a support when things are tough.

Set a Goal for Parties or Presentations

Direct selling is a person-to-person to business. While many people don’t like that aspect, especially in the digital age, the reality is that it’s the personal touch that sells the products and business and retains customers and business builders.

Based on your compensation plan and goals, determine how many people you need to show your products or business to, to reach your goals in the time you want. Doing so will ensure you grow your business rather than just sustain it.

Listen and Sell the Solution

Really understand the benefits of the products you are selling. Then listen to customers so that you can identify their needs and match your products, to their needs.   

Learn How to Market

Direct distributors often stick to the three-foot rule (everyone within 3-feet of you is a prospect) and other traditional marketing tactics. But direct sales is like any other business.

It can and should be marketed in a variety of ways that take into consideration your target market, what it needs, how you can help it, and where it can be found. To that end, you can use a variety of marketing tools including a website (check the company’s policies about websites), email and social media to increase product sales and interest in your business.

Stand Out from Other Distributors

One of the challenges of direct distribution is convincing prospects to buy or join with you as opposed to the other reps that live in the neighbourhood or they know online. You’re selling the same stuff as thousands of others, meaning consumers have a choice. You need to do something that makes you unique compared to everyone else. Give people a reason to choose you over other people. Some options include more personalized service, starting your own rewards program, or something that offers greater value.

Develop a System for Following Up

While you don’t want to pester and annoy people, in many cases, with good follow up, you can make the sale or recruit at a future time. Sales are often about timing and ‘no’ in sales doesn’t always mean ‘never.’

If someone tells you no, but there was something in the dialogue that suggested they might be interested in the future, ask if you can put them on your mailing or email list, or if you can call in six months to follow up etc. Many will give you their email or phone number just because they want to be nice.

Even so, use your calendar or contact system to remind you when to call.

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The Benefits of Maca and Cacao

Maca

Here are a few reasons why I use raw maca root powder every day!

Lepidium meyenii (maca) is a Peruvian plant of the Brassicaceae family cultivated for more than 2000 years, which grows exclusively in the central Andes between 4000 and 4500 m altitude. Maca is used as a food supplement and also for its medicinal properties described traditionally.

Experimental scientific evidence showed that Maca has nutritional, energizer, and fertility-enhancer properties, and it acts on sexual dysfunctions, osteoporosis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, memory and learning, and protects skin against ultraviolet radiation.

Clinical trials showed efficacy of Maca on sexual dysfunctions as well as increasing sperm count and motility. Maca is a plant with great potential as an adaptogen and appears to be promising as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases.

It contains over 20 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids, vitamins B1, B2, C and E, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and manganese.

Maca has been shown to be effective at increasing fertility and libido in both men and women, decreasing levels of anxiety, mood swings, stress, and depression, regulating estrogen levels in the body, and improving energy, stamina, and overall mood. Maca has also been shown to improve glucose tolerance (aka insulin sensitivity), which is especially important for diabetics and/or those with metabolic syndrome.

Maca is no joke. Many people who regularly use maca report increased energy, stamina, and endurance levels within the first few days of its use. This may be why many athletes use maca for optimal performance. Supplementing our regular workout regime with maca may preserve our muscle mass.

 These benefits help to explain why maca has appropriately earned its status as a superfood and adaptogen.

Cacao

Cacao is “The Amazonian Antioxidant King.” So what exactly happens when you regularly use raw cacao?

You take in 40 time the antioxidants of blueberries. With an ORAC score of 98 000 per 100 g (vs. 2 400 per 100 g of blueberries), raw cacao powder is impressive. ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals, which are unstable molecules that wreak havoc on our bodies.

You take in more calcium than if you were drinking cow’s milk. 160 mg of calcium per 100 g of cacao (vs. 125 mg per 100 g cow’s milk)!

You take in one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium, which is one of the most deficient minerals in North America. VERY important for energy production, brain health, and healthy heart

You take in a great plant-based source of iron (molasses may be the best source), which is incredibly important for the health of our red blood cells and allows proper carrying of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Cacao contains 7.3 mg of iron per 100 g while beef and lamb contain only 2.5 mg per 100 g. The important thing here is that plant sources of iron are Non-Heme iron, meaning they should be combined with a source of vitamin C for better absorption (oranges, kiwi, dark leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, and berries, among others).

You get your blood pressure in check. Cacao is rich in flavonoids and its antioxidants stimulate nitric oxide production, which aid in lowering blood pressure and improve blood vessel elasticity.

The most important thing though? No negative side effects.  It’s a powerful food, so throw some in your coffee and/or smoothie….right now!

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9 Great Ways to Use Hemp Protein Powder

For over 12 000 years, humans have cultivated Hemp for both food,  fibre and oil.

The seeds of the hemp plant were used by ancient cultures as a source of nutrition and healing, a practice now catching on in the western world following multiple scientific studies confirming hemp’s benefits.

Hemp protein powder is made by grinding hemp seeds, into a fine powder. This makes incorporating hemp into the diet easy and convenient.

What Makes Hemp Protein Powder So Good For You?

Let’s start with its pure nutritional facts. It’s called a protein powder because of the incredibly high protein content found in hemp seeds.

Hemp Protein contains all 20 known Amino Acids, including the 9 Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce. Proteins are considered complete when they contain all 9 Amino Acids in a sufficient quantity and ratio to meet the body’s needs.

Hemp Protein is free of Tryspin inhibitors that block Protein absorption and oligosaccharides which cause stomach upset and gas.

Approximately 65% of the Protein in Hemp Seed is made up of the globulin Protein Edestin which is found only in Hemp Seed. Edestin aids digestion, is relatively phosphorus-free and is considered the backbone of the cell’s DNA. The other third of Hemp Seed Protein is Albumin, another high quality globulin Protein similar to that found in Egg Whites. Moreover, hemp protein contains a litany of vitamins and minerals that promote good health, including:

Chlorophyll, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Riboflavin, Folate,  Phosphorous, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Beta Carotene and more.

If you wish to learn more about the benefits of hemp as a food and food supplement, please read this post.

Now that you know all the good things hemp protein can do for you, let’s talk about nine great ways to use hemp protein powder.

How to use Hemp Protein Powder – click on the links to take you to some recipes that include Hemp Protein Powder

Smoothies and Shakes

Incorporating hemp protein powder into your favourite blended drink is a straightforward and portable option for any time of the day.

Cereal

While cereal can make a quick and easy meal at any hour, there’s no doubt that it provides a much-needed boost at breakfast time.

Hemp protein powder can be mixed into any traditional cereal to provide extra protein for your busy day, but here is a home-made cereal that packs a real nutritional punch.

Protein Bars

Protein bars are another convenient way to get nutrition on the go. Unfortunately, too many processed protein bars you find in the stores have ingredient lists more like candy. The good news is that making your own healthy energy bars is straightforward and doesn’t even require baking.

Oatmeal/Porridge

Few things can hit the spot like a bowl of warm oatmeal porridge on a cold morning. The heat and the health benefits both flow throughout the body, providing comfort and nutrition. By adding hemp protein powder, this wholesome traditional meal offers even more goodness.

Muffins

Perfect for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or even parties, muffins are some of the most versatile baked goods you can make. This recipe provides a tasty way to get some extra protein, fiber, vegetables, and fruit.

Ice Cream

Sometimes you just crave a sweet treat, and ice cream is as smooth and tempting as it gets. By adding some healthy ingredients, you can dive right in without any guilt. The best part? You don’t even need a fancy ice cream machine.

Brownies

Ice cream isn’t the only sweet treat that can be transformed with hemp protein powder. Hemp protein can replace flour in baked goods since flour is just ground grain protein. Unlike regular baking flour, hemp protein retains its other nutrients.

Pancakes

Pancakes have made a huge comeback in recent years. Once quaint breakfast relics of small town diners, or cursed frozen toaster blocks, pancakes and flapjacks have grown up and become a welcome addition to any meal. And now, they can even be healthy.

Cooking With Hemp Protein Powder

If you’ve never used hemp protein powder before, one of the first things you’ll notice is that it tends to give foods and drinks a slight green colour. This is due to the rich amount of chlorophyll present. This green tinge is completely natural, so don’t let it scare you off.

Hemp protein powder has an earthy and nutty flavour .

Like anything, some people like it more than others. If you don’t particularly care for its taste, there are a couple of ways you can still take advantage of it.

The first is to use it in recipes alongside ingredients with intense flavours, like those above that use chocolate, dates, and bananas.

All the recipes provide using unflavoured, original flavour Hemp Protein Powder.

Summary

As you can see, hemp protein powder is a remarkably versatile ingredient. It can be added to raw foods and beverages or used in cooking or baking. It’s an all-day companion that goes as well with breakfast as with dessert and is ideal for portable energy snacks or smoothies.

Hemp protein powder can be a valuable ally for your health, for basically every part of your body from your skin to your inner organs, your digestive system to your brain.

We hope you enjoyed these recipes and that they got your imagination fired up thinking of other tasty things you can make with hemp protein powder.

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Why Am I So Hungry All the Time?

Why am I so hungry all the time? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Sometimes it’s real hunger and we need to eat but other times we are ravenous just 30 minutes after eating! What’s up? Today we’re taking a look at hunger, what causes it and what we can do to manage it.
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WHY AM I SO HUNGRY ALL THE TIME?
It’s crazy, right? You just ate a huge meal and an hour later, you’re starving. What gives? Why am I so hungry all the time?! You might feel like you’re always hungry, or maybe you’re not hungry at all until you eat, and then you’re ravenous, or maybe y0u just ate a huge meal, feeling totally stuffed, only to be hungry again shortly after. Your hunger is always there and often in charge of your whole day.
FIRST OF ALL, YOUR HUNGER ISN’T IN CHARGE
I’ve been there, guys. My hunger used to be in charge, big time. The slightest sensation of hunger and I was in a panic that I needed to eat and I needed to eat now. I’ve since accepted that my hunger is not an emergency. Hunger isn’t in control and you have the power to decide how to respond to it.
AM I REALLY HUNGRY?
If you’re reading this, chances are you aren’t starving. We are lucky enough to live in a part of the world where we have access to as much quality food as we need. Your body will be just fine if you don’t feed it at it’s beckon call.
I’m not saying don’t listen to your body. Often, we’re legitimately hungry and it’s time to re-fuel. However, sometimes what we’re experiencing isn’t true hunger. If we can develop a better understanding of hunger and use our common sense, we can determine if we’re truly hungry and need to eat.
Our bodies are highly intelligent and complex but they don’t always know exactly what’s best for us, so next time you find yourself “starving” when you recently ate a meal, it’s time to look a little further. In addition to feeling hungry, sometimes our brains come in with an appetite and ask for things we really don’t need. Say hello to cravings!
It can be challenging to make quality food choices if you’re always hungry. You arrive home from work ravenous and it’s tempting to grab the first thing you see rather than preparing a healthy meal. You ate a sugary breakfast that left your stomach asking for more just 30 minutes later so you decide to hit the vending machine. Feel too hungry, too often and it’s almost impossible to consistently make good food choices.
If you’re constantly battling hunger, eating quality food in the right amounts becomes difficult to maintain, so we end up making poor choices and so continues the cycle.
What might be missing in your diet and what aspects of your lifestyle could be improved to help manage hunger?
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WHAT CONTROLS HUNGER
Hunger is primarily controlled by hormones and hormones are affected by the what and how much we eat. There are a number of key hormones that affect hunger. Leptin and ghrelin are considered to be the “hunger hormones” but serotonin, dopamine, neuropeptides and glucagon also play a role.
Understanding how ghrelin and leptin work can help us get hunger under control and reduce the frequency and intensity of hunger sensations. Today, we’re just going to look at ghrelin because it’s the bad boy responsible for making you feel so damn hungry all the time.
WHAT IS GHRELIN?
First of all, I think ghrelin is an appropriate name for this hunger hormone, don’t you think? It reminds me of gremlin, or some pesky, little monster that lives in our bellies, always freakin’ hungry and demanding that we feed it. Rawr!
Ghrelin is secreted by the stomach and is responsible for causing feelings of hunger, hanger and “I might die and/or kill someone if I don’t eat.” Ghrelin also encourages the body to store fat, particularly around the liver and abdominal area. Just what we’re looking for, right?
Luckily, we can tame hunger by controlling ghrelin levels though food and lifestyle choices. Ghrelin is affected not only by what we eat but by everything from stress to sleep, so approaching nutrition from a total wellness perspective can go a long way.
AGAIN, WHY AM I SO HUNGRY ALL THE TIME?!?
We know that ghrelin is responsible for causing us to feel hungry and that ghrelin levels are affected by our food and lifestyle choices. What is it exactly that we’re doing and eating that’s affecting ghrelin? Let’s look at how we can manage ghrelin, then look at what else can increase hunger.
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5 WAYS TO CONTROL GHRELIN LEVELS

  1. Avoid very low calorie diets.Heavily restricting calories (we’re talking 1000 calories per day or less) increases ghrelin production and abdominal fat storage. Your body is like, hey I’m starving over here! I’m gonna store every little bit of food I get, just in case I need it. This doesn’t mean you can’t reduce body fat though a slow and steady calorie deficit but extreme restriction of calories is dangerous for both your physical and your mental health.
  2. Eat fibre and high-volume foods.When the walls of the stomach experience stretching or pressure from high-volume, fibrous foods, ghrelin production is suppressed. Keeping the belly full of high-volume foods can go along way in managing hunger. I find including a few servings of vegetables at breakfast really helps keep me full throughout the morning.
  1. Eat more omega-3s. You can use an omega-3 supplementwith EPA and DPA and/or include plenty of foods in your diet that contain them. When we don’t get enough EPA and DHA, it can increase ghrelin production and thereby fat storage around the abdominal area. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has also been shown to boost leptin and reduce inflammation in the body.
  2. Support healthy digestion.A healthy gut can help control hunger and body weight. To promote healthy digestion, enjoy fermented foods and beverages, digestion-supporting foods, spices an d herbs and consider a probiotic supplement.
  3. Eat less fructose.Fructose raises ghrelin levels and suppresses hormones that trigger fullness. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat fruit but you try to avoid processed foods which typically have a high amount of fructose in them, often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. There’s nothing good in there. Eat real food.

Ghrelin is also affected by stress, exercise and sleep, so always remember that total wellness is key!
Okay, we looked at how we can control ghrelin production but what else has an effect on hunger? Well, there’s one huge factor that not only causes hunger but neglecting to manage it can have a number of negative impacts on the body. Did you guess what it is? Yep, blood sugar!
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HOW BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS EFFECT HUNGER
Maintaining stable blood sugar is one of the most important jobs the body does for us and we don’t always make it an easy one. We sometimes overeat or eat too much sugar, creating spikes in blood sugar that our body has to scramble to correct. This is tough on the body and is at the root of diabetes, obesity and a number of other health concerns.
BLOOD SUGAR PEAKS AND VALLEYS
Hunger is triggered by low blood sugar and this triggering can happen whether you actually need re-fuel or not. If our blood sugar gets too low, our energy levels drop and we experience hunger sensations. Alternatively, high blood sugar can be toxic and dangerous for the body. Big spikes in blood sugar cause big crashes in blood sugar, which causes hunger, leading to overeating and poor food choices. Maintaining stable blood sugar through a healthy diet can go along way in reducing hunger.
WHAT CAUSES SPIKES IN BLOOD SUGAR
Well, it’s pretty simple. Eat foods primarily made up of sugar and you’ll experience a spike in blood sugar and consequent crash. High blood sugar can also be caused by overeating. When we overeat, our bodies go into overdrive to deal with an abundance of sugar.
As the body deploys insulin and quickly compensates to bring blood sugar levels back down, we experience low blood sugar shortly after eating. That’s your body sending you a message that you need to bring your blood sugar levels back up ie. hey, I’m hungry, feed me!
When we experience this kind of hunger it’s pretty clear we don’t need to eat again.We just ate. Don’t add fuel to the fire. Let your body deal with the effects of overeating before you give it more to handle.
HOW TO PROMOTE STABLE BLOOD SUGAR
There are plenty of ways we can assist the body in maintaining stable blood sugar. Blood sugar levels are always going to go up and down but the key is preventing big peaks and valleys. Eat a bunch of sugar on an empty stomach, spike your blood sugar, the body compensates, crashing blood sugar levels, the body sends you a hunger message, you eat again, the cycle continues.
You don’t need to immediately react to that hunger!
Ideally, we’d prevent these blood sugar spikes in the first place. Lets look at a few ways we can help promote stable blood sugar levels.
10 WAYS TO BALANCE BLOOD SUGAR

  1. Include healthy fats at every meal.Fats have the lowest impact on blood sugar levels and help increase satiety by slowing down the absorption of glucose into the blood stream. Get those avocados and nuts into your diet!
  2. Eat enough protein. Compared to carbohydrates, protein is digested more slowly and when it’s consumed on it’s own, doesn’t create the spike in blood sugar that carbs do. Remember, low-sugar protein powder and bars are okay to help supplement protein but it’s important to include whole food protein sources in your diet.
  3. Eat a balance macronutrients at each meal to help slow down the digestive process. Carbohydrates are essential and typically make up somewhere between 40 and 60% of a healthy diet. The key is to include a balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein with every meal to help slow down their digestion and keep you full. That being said, sometimes we want quick digesting carbohydrates, for example, when we’re weightlifting or performing high-intensity exercise but we’ll look at that another day!
  4. Eat more non-starchy vegetables.These high-volume, fibrous veggies are digested more slowly than starchy vegetables and have a low impact on blood sugar.
  5. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can cause an immediate rise in blood sugar and then a large drop a few hours later. If you do consume alcohol, do so in moderation and with some food in your stomach.
  6. Include fibre with every meal.Similarly to fat and protein, fiber can help to promote satiety and help slow digestion, preventing spikes in blood sugar. Fiber also provides a range of other health benefits and is a very important part of a healthy diet.
  7. Excercise. Exercising on a consistent basis lowers your blood glucose and helps keep blood sugar levels stable.
  8. Start the day with a balanced, higher protein meal.Even though I love oatmeal and smoothies at breakfast, it’s important to include a balance of fats and protein. A good choice for vegans and vegetarians is a non-starchy vegetable scramble with tempeh or quinoa porridge with nuts and hemp seeds.
  9. Don’t skip meals. Eat balanced meals and snacks every 3-4 hours or so to help keep blood sugar stable and prevent overeating.
  10. Eat ceylon, or true cinnamon.True cinnamon has been shown to help balance blood sugar levels. Try mixing it into tea or coffee, using it in baking and other recipes, sprinkling it on hot and cold cereal and even using it to spice curries. There are a number of benefits to including ceylon over regular cinnamon in your diet, so while it’s a bit of a splurge, if you can get your hands on some, I think it’s worth it.

LIFESTYLE CHOICES AFFECTING HUNGER AND BLOOD SUGAR
Stress, exercise, dehydration and sleep all play a roll in hunger.
STRESS MANAGEMENT
Not managing our stress levels can cause cortisol levels to remain high in the body, effectively increasing our appetite. We’ve all been there. Stress eating, emotional eating, whatever you want to call it. High stress levels can effect our appetite, which is psychological drive that causes us to crave particular foods, not to be mixed up with real hunger. Mindful eating and bringing awareness to times you overeat can distinguish between appetite and true hunger. A food journal is often helpful in this case!
EXERCISE, HYDRATION AND SLEEP
As for exercise, daily movement promotes a healthy metabolism, proper digestion, helps to manage stress and of course, has wide range of other health benefits. Do it. Every day!
Dehydration is huge too, and you’ve probably heard it 100 times. Drink more water! As for sleeping, a lack of quality sleep may have a direct effect on how hungry we feel. Sleep duration has been found to reduce levels of leptin, an appetite suppressing hormone and increase levels of ghrelin, stimulating hunger. Not only that, a lack of quality sleep effects mood, recovery, memory, blood sugar and energy levels. I’ll be talking about my routine for a great nights sleep in an upcoming post. Don’t miss it!
NOW WHAT?
Alright! That was really fun to chat about. We talked all about ghrelin, how to manage it to control hunger and what we can do to promote stable blood sugar. Where to go from here….
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
When it comes to nutrition and fat loss, knowledge is power. Arm yourself with the tools you need to succeed. Read, listen to podcasts, surround yourself with people who share similar goals and that you can learn from. The more we understand about our bodies and how powerful the food we eat is, the easier it becomes to consistently make quality food choices. That chocolate chip muffin might not be as appealing when you know it will cause a spike in blood sugar, causing you to crash and leaving you feeling hungry shortly after eating it, creating an endless cycle.
WHERE TO START
If that all seems overwhelming to you, don’t worry about it! Pick one thing to focus on. Maybe you start by including one omega-3 rich food in your diet every day. Or maybe instead of a whole chocolate chip muffin, you eat half along side a big tofu and vegetable scramble. Maybe you focus on getting to bed an hour earlier this week.
Improvement over perfection, guys. It’s a lifelong journey and it isn’t a linear one! These aren’t the rules and they certainly aren’t set in stone. Sometimes we’re going to eat the damn (vegan) doughnut. These are simply some steps you can take to help get a hold of your hunger. One step of a time, you don’t have to do all these things at once. Perfection only sets us up for failure.  Consistency and steady improvement are the golden ticket.
It’s never to late to educate yourself, improve your diet and keep striving towards your best self. When we feel good, feel comfortable in our skin and have plenty of energy, everything in life gets easier, so keep after it, guys!
Strive to be the best version of yourself, at any given time, with what you have.

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3 Reasons You Need To Change Your Protein Powder

Protein powders are as synonymous with fitness as tough workouts, competition and the need for recovery.

Even though the protein supplement market has been oversaturated and misunderstood, the reality is that: Human beings are protein machines.

All the way down to our DNA, you’ll find instructions for building our brain, digestive system, muscles, immune cells and so much more out of protein building blocks.

To build new structures, we must provide our bodies with the raw materials it needs to make it happen. You can’t build your muscle out of cheese fries and Doritos (believe me, I tried). And if your body is deficient in the protein building blocks it needs, you will breakdown faster and live a poorer quality life as a result.

The big issue in our world today is that we live in abnormally stressful conditions where our bodies have to work on high gear more often. More stress to fight, more infections to defend against and more need to build new brain and nervous system tissue than ever before. And don’t even get me started on how you need protein to build a sexified lean body… You already know that!

Though many people are adamant about getting in their protein supplement today for some of these reasons, many are unaware that the protein they are choosing may be doing more harm than good.
Here are 3 reasons you need to change your protein powder:

Digestion
The conventional go-to for protein powders for the past couple decades has been whey protein. For some people, this has worked out fine, but for many others this has been a stinky situation.
In the health & fitness field, whey protein is often referred to as “Gas & Blast” due to the unfortunate effects of causing more bloat, digestive distress and gassiness.
halleberry_catwoman
I remember hearing an interview from Halle Berry back in the day when she was getting in shape for the movie Cat Woman (bad movie, but great body). She said to the interviewer that she’d be glad when she could back off on all the exercise and whey protein shakes she had to drink because of all the gas she was kicking out. (Wait, whaaat? Halle Berry farts?)

There are actually many reasons for these digestive woes. Unfortunately, many whey protein producers claim that their products are safe for those who are lactose intolerant because there is little to no lactose found in it (especially if it’s an isolate).

The problem with this is that even a small amount of lactose (milk-sugar) can be enough to set off a chain reaction of health problems. For those who are lactose intolerant (which you probably are if you’re not a baby and if you are a baby and reading this, great job!) just that small amount of lactose found in whey will go undigested in your digestive tract and trigger excessive activity with bacteria in your gut.

As a result, you end up experiencing the bloating, distended stomach and gassiness that are definitely not the sexy part about getting into shape.

Some people will hop to vegan proteins like soy to avoid this, but end up jumping into another problem. Many soy proteins, for example, are hexane extracted. That’s hexane, as in gasoline, as in that’s explosive stuff, as in that’s just crazy!

So whether you are unknowingly choosing the conventional whey, or the typical soy alternative, you are not doing your digestion any favours. And the truth is, it’s not “You are what you eat”, it’s really, “You are what you digest.”
To wrap this digestion point up, internal distress, denatured amino acids and the potential immune response can lead to an increase in mucus production and hormone dysfunction. This can translate to an increase in allergies and asthma symptoms, skin breakouts (especially back acne aka bacne) and more frequent colds and infections. More than enough reasons to leave these lower quality protein sources behind.

The solution
The most digestible protein source that you’ll find for the human body is hemp protein. Hemp protein contains a unique blend of two soft, highly digestible proteins called edestin and albumin.
Globular proteins like edestin are regarded as the most bioavailable, usable sources of protein for the human body. The word edestin is actually from the Greek word “edestos” meaning edible. Hemp is actually the only known source of the powerhouse protein edestin.

Edestin has also been found to contain higher levels of essential amino acids than soy and you’ll also avoid the harsh extraction process used to turn the soy bean into a protein powder.

Toxicity
A Consumer Reports study found that several of the major whey protein powders on the market exceeded the safety limits for heavy metals recommended by the USP.

Heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury were found in surprisingly high amounts in protein powders and drinks you’d find on your local store shelves.

The most alarming were the amounts of arsenic and cadmium. Exposure to arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver and prostate. It’s a strong immune system depressant and shown to damage blood vessels and other cardiac tissues.

Cadmium is also a known carcinogen. It’s proven to damage DNA and also disrupt DNA repair systems that help prevent cancer in the first place. These heavy metals are bad business. But the question is, how did they get into the protein powder in the first place?

This goes back, again, to the misinterpreted saying, “You are what you eat”.
Not only is it deeper than ‘you are what you eat’, but when it comes to the animal proteins you consume, it’s really, “You are what you eat ate.”

The health of the animals that provide you with the protein you consume is of the utmost importance. Toxicity becomes more concentrated as you move up the food chain, accumulating in the tissues of the animal and transmitting over to the animal’s meat, organs and bodily fluids. In this case, it’s the whey made from milk.
If the animals themselves are eating an abnormal diet, then the milk they produce will be far less safe to consume. Did you know that only a small fraction of a whey proteins on the market are from cows that actually eat grass?
The vast majority of whey protein products are from cow’s who’ve been given a diet of soy and/or corn. Not sure if I’m the only one that noticed, but cows can’t shuck corn… And I’m pretty sure that they can’t cook beans either. It’s just those pesky hooves that they have… They’re just not that graceful in the kitchen.

Bottom line is, when you give cows food that they have not evolved eating, they get sick just like humans do. This is also the reason that most conventional whey products are from cows that have been treated rigorously with antibiotics. This destroys their immune system and leaves them susceptible to every disease under the sun. But hey, that won’t affect you when you drink their milk… Nah, I’m just kidding. Of course it will!

Add to the mix that you are consuming the whey from potentially hundreds of different cows in one jug of protein powder, you can imagine the not-so-pretty number it can do on your immune system.

You are what you eat ate. If the cows are consuming GMO corn and soy grown in soil that is saturated with unnatural fertilizers (which contain dense amounts of heavy metals) it’s no wonder that studies are finding the heavy metals in the whey. It’s just how the system works.

The Solution
To get out of that system and get a protein supplement that’s exceptionally more safe, it’s a good idea to shift over to a plant-based protein. There’s going to be less toxicity because it’s lower on the food chain, but you want to get one that still packs the protein punch that you would find in an animal source.

Hemptons utilizes a rich and complete protein derived from organic hemp seeds. You’re no longer going to have to be concerned about nefarious pesticides and heavy metal laced fertilizers making their way into your body. Hemptons’ Hemp Protein contains all of the essential amino acids and all three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), making it one of the most potent sources of plant protein in the world. You’ll get the protein that you need and none of the stuff you don’t.

Dense Nutrition
The protein you choose should never be deficient in the co-factors that actually make it work. Protein doesn’t function by itself in the human body.

Nothing functions independently in nature. Everything depends on something else to give it life and make it work.
Most protein powders on the market are so heavily processed that they give no regard to this fact. Vitamins and minerals found in the food, blah, who needs ’em! Antioxidants and neurotransmitters, please, who said any of that stuff is important?

The vitamins, minerals and immune factors that would be found in a cow’s milk (intended to give to its baby) are all but destroyed in the processing practices of most whey protein companies.
You are not left with anything close to a complete food… You are left with, well, protein and none of its friends (and protein is definitely not a shy little introvert … it likes friends)

Soy, on the other hand, has been found to absorb plenty of nutrients from its environment, but an abnormal amount of the wrong stuff. One study on protein-rich soy infant formula found that it contained up to 200 times more manganese than natural breast milk. You probably know that manganese is an essential nutrient for the human body, but consuming it in excess has been linked to reduced brain function and even Parkinson’s Disease.

Soy is a plant that has this unique affinity to absorb excessive manganese. This could be a good indicator that it’s not an appropriate human food. Add to the mix that it’s extremely high in estrogen compounds and trypsin inhibitors that actually block the uptake of proteins and the case is pretty clear that soy is not the standard that we want to subscribe to.

The Solution
Hemp protein provides a safe variety of minerals and trace minerals that make the protein more useable by the human body.

Hemp contains healthy amounts of magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium as some of the highlights. All with critical roles in brain function, blood building, the immune system and muscle function as well.
In nature, hemp contains nearly the exact ratio of omega 6’s to omega 3’s that are ideal for the human body. Research indicates that we need a 3:1 to 4:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 respectively.

In our world today we are bombarded with foods that contain extremely high levels of omega 6’s (the pro-inflammatory fatty acids) and not enough omega 3’s (the anti-inflammatory fatty acids). Hemp contains a ratio of approximately 3.38:1 of Omega 6 to Omega 3 and no other food is this identical. This is yet another reason why hemp looks to be an amazing food for human beings.

At 35 percent protein by weight, hemp is a naturally high protein food that provides the most useable source of protein for the human body. It’s a food that we all need to incorporate as we move forward in our health and becoming the best version of ourselves.

So to answer the question: What is the best protein powder? Clearly, hemp protein stands head and shoulders above all other conventional protein powders in digestibility, assimilation, safety and nutrient density.
Here’s to a better protein, better performance and better health for years to come!

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Does Nutella cause cancer? A deeper look

Written and published By Kamal Patel at examin.com

Last week was abuzz with headlines ranging from …
“Nutella causes cancer!” to …
“Don’t worry, Nutella doesn’t actually cause cancer!”
Which one is correct?
Neither. Here’s what the research actually said. If you’re in a rush, read the blue boxes or the end of the post. If you’re curious, read the whole thing. It’s super interesting, we swear!

What did the research say?

A report came out in May of 2016 from a European food safety agency. Under review were some potentially carcinogenic compounds found notably in refined palm oil. And Nutella contains refined palm oil.
So why did all the buzz happen seven months after that report? Because the Italian maker of Nutella, Ferrero (which invented the chocolate-hazelnut spread in the 1940s and currently uses about a quarter of the world’s hazelnut supply), decided to start fighting back this month, responding to outcry and proposed regulations in Europe. And the media took note.
Anyway, back to the report. It focused on three specific compounds:
GE (Glycidol Ester) is the compound that gets most of the press. The GE content of palm oil is much higher than that of other oils.
3-MCPD and 2-MCPD can both be produced alongside GE, and can be harmful on their own.
The report found that GE is bad news, at least in animal studies. As a “genotoxin”, it can damage DNA, which is a causative step in the formation of cancer cells. 3-MCPD harmed the kidneys and male reproductive organs of the experimental animals. Data on 2-MCPD were scarce, so we won’t talk more about it.

A report from May of 2016 was revisited by the media in January of 2017, after the makers of Nutella launched an ad campaign defending its use of palm oil — a campaign spurred by Nutella being pulled off the shelves of some Italian supermarkets, and by potential regulations in Europe. The report looked at three potentially harmful compounds in palm oil, with the media especially focusing on GE (Glycidol Ester).

It turns out that babies are at the greatest risk of consuming too much GE, because some babies rely on infant formulas as their sole food source. And guess what can be quite high in GE? Yup, infant formulas. This is yet another reason why breastmilk is pretty great, though in some cases formulas are the only option to feed a baby.
The below chart, copied from the European agency’s report, shows two important points:
● Babies and children tend to consume much more GE (and 3-MCPD) than adults.
● Babies who drink formulas have it the worst off, with more than twice the average intake.

Hold on a sec! This whole Nutella scare may actually apply more to babies (particularly those fed formulas) than to adults. That’s because adults eat a variety of foods, whereas babies don’t. Older children aren’t off the hook, since they often eat a lot of snacks that can contain GE, and also eat a lot in proportion to their bodyweight in order to grow.

How serious is this cancer risk, exactly?

People absolutely love shrugging off cancer reports. Either that, or letting the report scare the heck out of them. We like to take the middle ground, as in the case of last year’s big red meat and cancerreport. So … how important is it for you to cut down on Nutella?
The full paper is massive (159 pages) and contains one little line that isn’t mentioned in the abstract:

The report looked at animal studies, mostly in rats and mice. None of the studies were in humans. This severely limits the conclusions that can be drawn from the data, for two reasons:
● We aren’t exactly like rodents. For example, they can make their own vitamin C out of glucose; we can’t, so we have to eat it. More to the point, cancer studies in rodents often don’t translate to humans, partly because rodents seem to be more susceptible to cancer.
● When you lack human data, you end up with really rough risk estimates. For GE, the report’s authors took the dose that caused cancer in rats and divided it by 25,000, then used that number as the “safe” level in humans. Without human data, though, it’s hard to know if this really, really large (and somewhat arbitrary) number isn’t overly cautious.
Finally, one should remember that, in real life, people don’t consume steady supplies of isolated compounds. Nutella is composed of several ingredients, and we eat it in combination with other foods, in different and varying amounts over time.

We lack human data on those compounds, so nobody knows how dangerous they really are. Given the discrepancies that can occur between rodents and humans with regard to cancer, the report might not apply all that well to us. That doesn’t mean you should eat refined palm oil or Nutella all day every day; it just means that the report was really just an initial step in the research.

Nutella versus other foods

The report was not a study of Nutella, and that’s what scaremongers don’t seem to understand. GE is formed at processing temperatures above 200ºC (nearly 400ºF). Nutella is processed at much lower temperatures specifically so as to reduce the production of contaminants like GE.
Plus the report explicitly states that between 2010 and 2015, GE levels in palm oils and other fats went down by half due to changes in manufacturing.

Nutella is produced at fairly low temperatures that minimize the production of GE. The report is of greater concern for people who eat refined palm oil that isn’t known to be produced at safe temperatures.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore the report, though. At the very least, you should ask yourself this question: Why was refined palm oil targeted? The answer: Because it is rich in a type of fat called DAG (diglyceride), whereas other oils have more of the normal stuff, triglyceride. And as far as the research group could tell, refined oils are the only direct source of GE in the human diet.
Smelly oils, like palm oil, often need higher heats to deodorize them, otherwise people wouldn’t use them as cooking oils and in food products. And while vegetable oils are somewhat low in DAG when fresh (around 1–3%), once stored and transported they can have double that amount even before refining.
Purified DAG oil was actually studied for genotoxicity back in 2005, with no link being found. Which may seem confusing, since purified DAG oil has around 80% DAG and palm oil around 10% — but genotoxicity tests can differ, as can refining processes. Anyway, purified DAG cooking oil was a big hit in Japan, under the name of Enova, and there’s been a decent amount of research into purified DAG potentially helping with weight loss and metabolic syndrome.
But wait, why don’t you see Enova on supermarket shelves anymore? Because it was voluntarily discontinued in 2009 due to potential toxicity concerns! In other words, it was a canary in a coal mine.

The high DAG content of palm oil is part of what makes it potentially harmful. People don’t use purified DAG oil anymore, but high-DAG oils could be a concern. If you don’t eat refined oils, nor foods that contain them, you don’t have to worry about this report.

DAG can’t produce GE without reacting with chlorine. In fact, 3-MCPD fits under the category of CHLOROpropanol, so chlorine is crucial to this story. Therefore, to be safe:
● Don’t cook your oils in chlorinated pool water (joke).
● Be careful when heating Splenda/sucralose (not a joke).
Splenda, a.k.a. sucralose, is a polychlorinated artificial sweetener. So it’s got chlorine in spades. While Splenda is safe according to current evidence, not much of that evidence is on heated Splenda. It turns out that heating Splenda could generate substantial amounts of the potentially harmful compounds we talked about above.
Other ways chlorine might figure in the equation aren’t that well researched. For instance, it’s possible that fertilizers containing chloride could make the problem worse, but there’s been very little research.

Heating Splenda (e.g. baking with Splenda) may generate chloropropanols. Researchers don’t know much about this, but keep it in mind if you’re a Splenda junkie.

Although palm oil has an especially high GE content, other oils can be a concern, too. Moreover, most people eat foods containing refined oils (e.g. potato chips and baked goods) more often than they eat isolated refined oils (e.g. sunflower oil), so those foods are the greater practical concern. The charts below (copied from the report) show GE levels per kilogram of foods and isolated oils.

Although palm oil has been singled out, other refined oils, whether in isolation (e.g. sunflower oil) or in foods (e.g. potato chips and baked goods), can also be a concern.

The bottom line

You probably just want to know the answer to this question: Should I worry? Luckily, the answer is similar to our takeaways from other reports.

If you eat a diet of mostly unprocessed plants and animals, you’re fine. Carcinogens are everywhere; it’s the dose that makes the poison. But if you eat foods containing refined oils on a daily basis, especially high amounts of refined palm oil, you may want to lower your intake.

High-heat processing is not very healthy, especially for oils; it can produce a variety of potentially toxic substances, from the ones mentioned in this report to other scary initialisms like PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Again, of course, it’s the dose that makes the poison, so the occasional junk food or fried food isn’t a deal breaker.

Humans may eat unhealthy foods and live unhealthy lifestyles, but we’re not lab rats. The report covered only animals studies, which often don’t apply all that well to humans. We don’t know if humans detoxify these compounds differently from rats. We do know that, in our bodies, some of these compounds are conjugated to glutathione in order to neutralize them, and that glutathione is one of our bodies’ powerhouse antioxidants — the production of which is also supported by a healthy diet. So eat your greens!

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5 Things to know about weight-loss

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There’s so much information/misinformation about losing weight. Here are the things nobody told me; the things that I wish I’d known when I started losing…
Throw Away Your Scale
No, seriously. Throw it away. For me (and I think for many people), the scale was just a way to torture myself and continue my cycle of treating myself poorly. Gain a Kg? I thought I was awful and should just stop eating at all. Lose a Kg? I’m great and should celebrate by eating a pizza. The natural up-down fluctuation of our body weight shouldn’t drive us crazy, but it can and for a lot of us, it will.
Still want to use the scale as a tool and not a crazymaker? Use a scale at the gym, or that one at the supermarket. Just don’t keep one in your house. It can be very addictive and it’s frankly a bad way to rate your progress. I can fluctuate up to 2 kgs in a given day due to water/food, glycogen retention and a lot of other issues. Weigh yourself at the same time of day in the same clothes, no more than once a week. Buy a tape measure and measure every two weeks. (Taking pictures once a month is something I really wish I’d done!) Rejoice when your pants fall down …  and, throw away your scale.
Fitness is a three-pronged approach.
You need to do cardio, weight training and flexibility training. Just do cardio and you’re on your way to skinny-fat. I see plenty of women who just do cardio and they look alright in street clothes, but when they come into the spin room, they’re just as jiggly as someone who could stand to lose a few. Just do weights and don’t incorporate flexibility training and you’re on the way to bunchy town: short, tight muscles that don’t feel or look good. Just do flexibility training and you won’t burn many calories. I do cardio, yoga and weights. This also goes a long way in preventing workout burnout. I shudder at the mere thought of just doing an hour on the treadmill every day. Boring. Mix it up. Your body and your sanity will be better for it.
What you eat is really, really important.
Remember, you cannot out exercise a bad diet … ever!
You can lose weight eating packaged, processed food with little nutritional value. But, yuck. You’ll be hungry. The portions won’t be large, the nutrients will be lacking and you’ll feel deprived.  Most nights for dinner, I have an enormous salad. Ten cups of greens, a homemade dressing with olive oil and lemon juice (or balsamic) and sometimes I throw in some chicken or seafood, or nuts or a bit of white goats’ cheese. I struggle to get that enormous bowl up to 450 calories. It’s huge.
Moral of this story? Eat your vegetables, eat your lean protein sources (and occasionally not so lean—good fats in moderation are a good thing). Eat a handful of nuts. A teeny-tiny ounce of nuts takes the edge off your hunger for hours. Remember, moderation – a handful only because just 28g of nuts is nearly 200 calories. But, nuts have it all going for them: They’re portable and they keep you full. Keeping those nuts handy will save you from many a low-blood sugar induced eating frenzy.
Calories equal energy. That’s its definition. Choose calories that are full of energy and nutrients, not full of chemicals and rubbish. Anything that’s marketed as “good for you” (I’m talking to you, 100-calorie packs) most likely isn’t. If it needs marketing (when was the last time you saw a TV commercial for an apple?), it needs to be sold. Don’t believe me? Just Google around and find some cigarette ads from the 1940s, when those were marketed as healthy and natural. The 100-calorie pack is the low-tar cigarette of our generation. Be smarter than the food industry. Eat foods with one ingredient. That’s my best diet/health advice in one sentence.
The diet and fast food industry want you to stay fat.
Any “get-thin quick” scheme is just that. They want you to “get results” and then pack the pounds back on and come back because “it worked so great the last time.” Any diet that you can’t be on the rest of your life is a bad one. You can’t repent for a month and suddenly never gain weight again.
Any industry depends on repeat business to keep afloat. The diet industry is no different. If diets worked, everyone would go on one, lose weight and keep it off and never have to shell out any money ever again. The same holds true for the processed/fast-food/chain-restaurant food industry. They want you addicted to their food, craving more and coming back. They don’t care that what they’re selling can make you fat and kill you. They just want your money.
Now, I’m not perfect. From time to time, I indulge in junk food. But it’s rare and it’s an indulgence. I hardly ever want it anymore, though, because it makes me feel awful. I can’t believe sometimes that it used to be the cornerstone of my diet.
You will go into mourning for the old you.
I’ve saved this for last because it was the most shocking to me. I lost 25 kgs, became a fit and healthy person and then got really, really depressed and didn’t know why. On some level, I finally realized, I missed my old life. I missed going out and not caring what I put into my body (it was fun at the moment). I missed feeling bad about something and knowing that as soon as I got that ice cream home it would all go away. I missed being invisible once I started getting more attention (especially from the opposite sex).
After I lost the weight, my life as I knew it was over. I got divorced from food as a coping mechanism. Food was, for a period in my life, my best friend. I had to mourn that loss. I had to spend time figuring out who this new person, who would rather go for a walk than for pizza, was. I lost friends in the process (I made new ones after a while). I had to re-learn how to cope with emotions. I had to learn that it was okay to cry rather than eat. I had to learn that it was alright to say I was upset about something out loud, using words rather than food. I had to learn that it was perfectly well and good to stand up for myself rather than eat. I had to learn how to do a lot of things rather than eat. If your change is true and lifelong, you will most likely go through this process, too.
Accept it as part of the journey you’re taking.

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Best Testosterone Boosters That Build Muscle Faster

 
besttestosteroneboostersman550
Testosterone is the most important hormone in your body for building muscle and getting stronger.
If you want to get jacked and make your training count, you should be doing everything you can to support your testosterone levels. The best testosterone boosters can be a good way to do it.
Some guys are genetically gifted, they will grow and grow, year on year. Other guys can drink tons of protein shakes, eat loads of steak and potatoes and switch up their workout and they still can’t grow.
A testosterone booster is designed for guys like this, hard gainers. It can be the secret to pushing past the barrier and activating new muscle growth.
Okay, so what do they actually do?
Some guys seem to think the only real way to raise your testosterone level is with steroids or pro-hormones.
However, the best way to boost testosterone safely is to take a combination of natural supplements.
 
This will help with :

  • Aiding Testosterone Production – This relies heavily on processes in the brain and the endocrine system. The needed components to accomplish this aren’t necessarily included in everyone’s diet.
  • Increasing Free Testosterone – About 60% of the T-Levels in a man’s body are bound to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). When bound, this testosterone loses it’s anabolic potency and can no longer be directly used. T-Boosters decrease the production of globulin, freeing up testosterone availability.
  • Decreasing Estrogen – In the body, an enzyme known as the aromatase is responsible for the production of estrogen, even if it means converting testosterone to produce it.

This is the highest form of bullshit. Getting real for a second, testosterone boosters are not as powerful as the synthetic stuff, but that doesn’t mean they’re ineffective.
Research over the last few years has discovered a number of natural ingredients that have been clinically proven to raise and support testosterone levels. Without the dangerous side-effects of steroids or pro-hormones.
We’ve dug deep and found the most effective ingredients available right now, all with real clinical studies behind them:
daaD-Aspartic Acid
An essential amino acid to the testosterone boosting process – through a reaction with the brain, D-AA helps the body release a multitude of hormones. These include the luteinizing hormone (regulator of the testes), follicle stimulating hormones and perhaps most importantly, growth hormone – a key muscle builder.
There have also been studies that believe D-Aspartic Acid to be an effective component for removing rate-limits of testosterone synthesis1.
Oyster Extract
Potentially one of the most effective testosterone increasing ingredients out there. Oysters hold a lot of zinc, up to 10 times more than the amount you’ll find in a steak. Zinc, like D-Aspartic Acid is great for releasing those luteinizing hormones and help out with raising serum testosterone levels.
That’s not all, Oyster Extract also holds 59 elements of essential bodily nutrients such as vitamins, amino acids, Omega 3 & 6 and Taurine. It has also been seen to raise IQ, help out with strength gains and raise the immune system2.
Stinging Nettle
Working closely with Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, the nettle’s ‘lignans’ which make up part of the root binds with the SHBG in place of the testosterone. This allows more testosterone to be free in the body. It has also been seen to have aromatese inhibitor qualities to lower the estrogen production rate3.
Vitamin D3
Called a vitamin, but actually a hormone. D3 is 1 of the only 24 nutrients we need to stay alive. Vitamin D3 is absorbed from the sun, but usually, we don’t get enough of it.
As modern living keeps us constantly indoors – our supply to this hormone is limited.
D3 helps release luteinizing hormones which help release testosterone, follicle stimulating hormones and growth hormone. 5 to 10 Minutes of direct sunshine a day will help raise the amount of Vitamin D in the body4.
Ginseng
This extract has been rocking the testosterone world. Ginseng has the ability to boost Nictric Oxide levels in men. In doing so it allows blood flow to massively improve giving fantastic pumps during a workout.
It also decreases the body’s glucose levels, eliminating any worries about insulin interfering with the testosterone production process. The saponins in Gingseng also improve testosterone levels and the luteinzing hormone.
It’s the Asian Red Panax Ginseng form that is the most effective5.
 
Ingredient Warning
Stay away from a product with a proprietary blend in them. This is a group of ingredients all mixed together in various amounts. It’s bad because you don’t know how much you’re getting of each ingredient.
 
Are there any side effects?
These products are not steroids. They are completely natural supplements designed to deliver nutrients that the body needs to produce the most testosterone. They don’t cause any side effects. They will not give you the usual side effects experienced by guys taking steroids.
That said, check if you allergies to any of the above. Be responsible – if you are allergic to shellfish, use your noggin and don’t go scarfing down Oyster supplements.
As with all things make informed decisions by researching the products before embarking on a course.
 
Studies

  1. Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19860889
  2. Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8875519

           Study: https://www.asep.org/asep/asep/BrillaV2.PDF

  1. Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074486/
  2. Video: http://www.nsca.com/videos/expert_tips/the_vitamin_d_and_testosterone_connection/

           Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21154195

  1. Study: http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/Ginseng_Helps_Regulate.shtml

            Study: http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/9063034/reload=0;jsessionid=dnM5Kwqx09ut7hFOaNIQ.0