Detoxification involves harmful toxins being flushed from the body. Interestingly, historians possess documented proof that detox in one form or another was used dating back to ancient Egypt and Greece civilizations. Although many new ingredients and processes are currently used to achieve much the same results, there are some professionals that use older methods.
A natural detox provides an array of health benefits but only if done correctly. For this reason, it would be essential for a person to choose the right in-home product or visit a high-end spa or clinic. That way, there would be a level of confidence in the detox process cleaning out harmful gunk that builds within the body. The detox process might sound invasive or even embarrassing but in reality, it can be done comfortably and privately.
Recognizing the Need for Detoxification
Before choosing any type of cleansing, it would help to know the signs of an impending problem. With age, different systems in the body accumulate toxins that can have devastating effects on the body. These harmful toxins actually build up in tissue, blood, cells, and organs although the biggest problem area is the colon where a sludge type substance accumulates.
While living a clean and healthy lifestyle is certainly beneficial, unfortunately everyone faces a problem of toxin buildup because of food choices, air breathed, environmental conditions, drinking water, and various lifestyle choices such as drinking alcohol, smoking, prescription medications, and much more. Unless the body is thoroughly cleansed, these toxins will continue building, eventually leading to significant health problems.
Some of the symptoms commonly associated with toxins in the body have been provided below:
- Weight Gain
- Extreme Fatigue
- Chronic Pain
- Diarrhea and/or Constipation
- Skin Conditions
- Poor Stamina
- Lack of Concentration
- Low Blood Sugar
If someone notices the development of one or more of these symptoms, appropriate action should be taken. The human body is amazing and capable of taking care of itself for the most part but as toxin levels build, it is no longer able to do all the work. At this point, the body gives off signs as a way of screaming out for help. In addition to living with unpleasant symptoms, these dangerous toxins could develop into bona fide illnesses unless eliminated.
As an example, the buildup of toxins has been shown to play a major role in the development of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, among others. In fact, experts have been able to prove that toxic waste can have such a horrific effect on the body that unless cleansed, a person would be at risk for developing several types of cancer. All of these reasons combined show the true value of detoxification.
Eating for Success
Regardless if choosing an in-home product or having the detox process performed by a professional, proper diet is critical to success. By choosing the right foods, an overload of toxins could be prevented and an existing problem of buildup eliminated. The goal is to choose foods that do not contain preservatives, flavorings, or artificial colors. Some of the best foods for overall health include:
- Green and Herbal Teas
- Mineral or Purified Water
- Fresh Organic Fruits and Vegetables
- Organic Meat, Poultry, and Dairy Products
- Unrefined Oil
- Whole Grains
- Foods High in Fiber
Just as there are good foods for keeping the body clean there are also foods that should be avoided such as:
- Refined Sugars
At no time should a person feel nervous or self-conscious about having the body cleansed. The value of detoxification is so great that it is a real shame more people do not go through cleansing. There are many excellent detox products available on the market for someone who prefers the comfort and privacy of home but also spas and clinics where true professionals work with people on an individual basis in helping them achieve health and wellness. It may be necessary for you to start using a certain detox product, and with the aid of a trainer or nutritionist, they can help lead you in the right direction.
I hope you’re home for the day and seated comfortably, what I am about to share with you may shock you to learn. There is a reason that permanent weight loss is so difficult that is widely unknown. Basic physiology explains why diets don’t work and though a lot can be achieved in a short period of time unfortunately lifelong habits and attention are required to maintain weight loss results.
During our youth and adolescence our body continually grows and changes. All of our tissues, organs and bones grow until maturity at which point growth plates for bones close and most cells stop multiplying. It’s true over the weeks and months of every year our body replaces every cell in our body in a state of continual renewal; but it does so with rigid accounting practices.
From year to year we have the exact same number of cells to make up our organs, the exact same number for bones, and particularly for muscles but here’s the bad news; your fat cells can continually divide.
Fat cells are storage containers, ones that can continually increase in capacity and ones that our body can even manufacture more of. The more body fat we gain the bigger the containers and the more of them there are. It get’s worse, once we have them we can’t get rid of them. Good habits, exercise, proper nutritional intake can all lead to shrinking fat cells but there is nothing we can do short of surgical removal (aka liposuction) to actually get rid of the cells.
This is one of the challenges of effective permanent weight loss and one of the many reasons why there is such a great deal of rebound in traditional weight loss programs. The next unfortunate truth in this story is that once we have all these extra cells it’s also easier to refill them, meaning if we work hard to lose the weight but don’t continually maintain similar lifestyle habits it’s much easier to refill those containers than it was when more needed to be created.
Over the years I’ve even had a handful of clients who’ve tried liposuction and unfortunately for most of the people I’ve encountered, combined with the burden of the cost, the results just didn’t meet their expectations and it was still easier than they anticipated to gain the body fat again.
It just goes to show you there’s no easy way out when it comes to weight loss but it’s not all bad news. Traditional weight loss with all the tips, tricks and gimmicks for massive results in a short period of time leaves many people frustrated, frightened or feeling like there’s no way they can live like that. The truth is you don’t have to. Our need for instant gratification often has us willing and desiring to make rapid progress, forcing us into situations that can’t be maintained long term nor would anyone want to. Yet I’ve never met anyone that wasn’t satisfied with losing as much as 30-50lbs permanently in a year, which is entirely possible because the habits needed to lose only ½ lb to 1lb a week are much more comfortable, enjoyable and for most become a welcomed addition long term to lifestyle.
When it comes to diabetes and exercise, there is no secret that exercise is a very important part of controlling type 2 diabetes. One of the major reasons that so many individuals are developing diabetes is due to a large increase in fat deposits stored on the body, and decreases in lean body mass to fat mass ratios. One of the major causes of becoming overweight is the poor diet and lack of exercise that majority of North Americans are falling victim too. Both of these things lead to a chemical imbalance in the bodily hormones which in turn can lead to poor digestion, weight gain, and eventually insulin resistance.
While maintaining a diabetic friendly diet you should also be engaging in a regular exercise regimen. Sometimes it may feel difficult to find time in daily life to exercise, but it is an essential part of in the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes. For someone already falling victim to diabetes, regular cardiovascular exercise can help to increase total caloric expenditure and aid in overall weight loss. Simple exercises to get started are fine such as walking, hiking and biking, but eventually it may take a more adventurous challenge to give your body the kick start it needs! Considering kickboxing, Zumba, or even personal training has proven effective in shedding weight and increasing lean body mass.
Exercise offers a variety of benefits for people with type 2 diabetes aside from its effects on weight loss. Most notably, exercise increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin which decreases the amount of insulin an individual would need to keep going on a daily basis. By lowering blood sugar levels, it can sometimes even eliminate the need for medication! Exercise also aids in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Of course exercise is also critical in reducing the risk of heart disease and circulatory issues. Combined with a balanced and nutritious menu, rich in whole foods, exercise can drastically increase the effects of type 2 diabetes on the body as well as treat the overall symptoms and possibly stop the disease all together.
The aid of a nutritional expert is crucial and they can help you plan a nutritious and balanced menu that combines the proper types of carbohydrates, taking into account a glycemic index scale as well as staying away from artificial sugars and processed foods that can further hinder digestive and hormonal patterns. Using healthy fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains combined with essential fatty acids and proteins help to manage and reduce the prevalence of diabetes.
Anaemia can be classified as a blood disorder that is created when the blood in the body lacks sufficient red blood cell necessary to transport oxygen to body tissue. If there is a deficiency in such cells, it can be assumed that there is also a deficient amount of haemoglobin that in turn means the body does not receive an adequate amount of iron.
Anaemia is usually detected by a Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC). There are also different types of anaemia, while the causes for each one can be very different. It can be classified in an array of ways depending on the morphology of the red blood cells and is typically found in individuals whose RBC count is below normal. Symptoms of anaemia can be as follows:
- Restlessness, fatigue and energy loss
- Unusual fast heart rhythm
- Shortness of breath
- Headache during exercise
- Lack of concentration
So What’s Going to Help?
Many individuals believe that anaemia is mainly caused due to a deficiency in iron in the blood; however, anaemia is shortage in the haemoglobin of the erythrocytes (red blood cells) deteriorating the capacity of the blood to transfer oxygen to the cells and remove carbon dioxide. The following are ways in which anaemia can be dealt with:
Eat More Raw Vegetables – cooked vegetables lack folic acid, and because most folic acid in the vegetables is lost while cooking at high heat it is important to leave them uncooked. Folic acid is also very essential for women who are pregnant, and can be taken in supplement form.
Moderate Exercise – exercise helps boost the blood circulation as well as oxygen levels in the blood, thus it is important for persons with nourishment deficiency as it helps to promote carbon dioxide recycling from the bloodstream and provide proper cell nutrition.
Vitamin C – Iron and various other metals like copper and zinc are required for the production of erythrocytes and increasing oxygen in the blood. They are important metals for people suffering from anaemia. Vitamin C can help with the absorption of these nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract.
Iron Rich Foods – eating iron rich foods will help to increase red blood cell production and replace old cells that have been broken down. As well as strengthening the bodies immunity systems.
Reducing Junk Food Intake – poor quality food choices contain high amounts of sugar and saturated fats that cause cholesterol to build up in the blood stream. This can cause interference of normal functioning of the entire circulatory system.
Our doctors are overloaded, they have a more difficult job than I could possibly imagine. However I believe if they asked these three questions at the beginning of every appointment we might see the waiting rooms less crowded? This is not a criticism toward our doctors, I can’t think of anyone more passionate about helping people, I also can’t think of anyone more overworked. Can we help them, and each other by helping ourselves?
Regular physical exercise aids in improving your health, and means you can lose fat and gain lean muscle mass faster! While exercise is important for healthy living, exercise recovery is equally as important. To understand why exercise recovery is so important it is important to understand what happens to the body during exercise.
During physical exercise, small tears occur in muscle tissue. This is actually a by-product which results from the strain put on muscle tissue during times of weight training and cardiovascular training. The more you exercise, the more you stress tissue in your body and the greater your possibility of catabolising your tissue. In order for hypertrophy to occur (lean muscle mass gain, and exercise recovery) the process of muscle tissue repair must out-weight the rate of catabolization. For this to happen, various processes need to take place:
Adaptation to exercise stress – recovery time provides the body time to become accustomed to the stress caused during exercise. Equally, adaptation is like learning a new skill. Whenever you attempt something for the first time, it usually difficult; however, the more you practice the easier it becomes. Exercise recovery can be the same!
Replacement of energy stores – while exercising your muscle glycogen (energy) is depleted. To boost your body for future workouts the body requires time to replenish its reserves before you can perform again. This is aided by consuming nourishing simple carbohydrates.
Repairing damaged tissues – for this, proper sleep is crucial! When you sleep, various growth hormones are released and the bodies main function is to replace and repair tissue that has been torn throughout the course of the day. Therefore, if you deprive yourself of proper sleep, you are actually denying your body the opportunity to repair naturally.
There is a lot of evidence that points to the fact that a lack of sleep can have many adverse effects on the body, and thus it is important for exercise recovery. If you have ever paid attention to your own sleeping habits you know that it takes a different amount of rest for everyone to recover fully. Eight hours may be appropriate for some people, while six may be more appropriate for others. Sleeping helps to develop this routine and is a quality habit to engage in.
Sleep is usually divided into time cycles called REM cycles (rapid eye motion). In an ideal scenario an individual would have 3 complete REM cycles over the course of the night and this would result in ample exercise recovery and energy for the next day. It should also be noted that an individual can never “catch up” on sleep, and rather it is important for regular sleep habits to occur to make sure the body is ready for anything the following day may bring!
Menopause is something that no woman looks forward to experiencing yet it is a natural change that occurs in women between the ages of 40 and 58. Commonly called “the change of life”, a woman will go through a period prior to this called peri-menopause, which is a precursor for what is about to come. During the menopausal period, a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs and the monthly menstrual cycle stops. Some women get through this time of life without a great deal of trouble but for most, life becomes miserable because of symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, dramatic mood swings, insomnia, weight gain, and more.
These and other symptoms have a huge impact on a woman’s daily life but unfortunately, family members and close friends often get in the line of fire. Without doubt, this transition period in a woman’s life is very difficult, but to make the matter worse symptoms typically last for years. Listed below is information about how a woman can get through this period without having their world turned upside down.
Some women choose a more conventional approach for treating the various symptoms but more and more women are discovering the benefits associated with alternative medicine. One of the great things about treating menopausal symptoms with natural remedies is that the majority of herbs, essential oils, and plant-based substances are considered both safe and effective. This means a woman would not face additional unpleasant side effects along with menopausal symptoms. Keep in mind that all symptoms can be devastating but hot flashes are the biggest complain.
For many years now, soy has been considered one of the most effective natural substances for reducing the effects of hot flashes. In fact, according to the latest reports, soy reduces the occurrence of hot flashes by an average of 40%. This is wonderful news for women with mild to moderate menopausal symptoms but for those suffering from severe or frequent symptoms it is a godsend. However, for soy to work an individual must take the right type.
The key to success with soy is choosing one of two forms, isoflavone and daidzein. Soy is comprised of phytoestrogens, which are compounds much like estrogen produced in the female body. Therefore, as natural levels of estrogen diminish while going through the change of life, phytoestrogens found in soy kick in. With this, hormone levels become balanced, which in turn reduces hot flashes.
In fact, an extensive study was performed by Harvard University in 2008 that identified a compound found in soy called daidzein. In this study, it was found that this ingredient actually provides even more relief, on average 52%. Whether choosing soy comprised of isoflavone or daidzein, it is imperative to purchase a soy product in purified form.
Another natural ingredient that works amazingly well for treating symptoms of menopause is called Black Cohosh. This particular herb has been a part of Native American medicine for hundreds of years and used to treat several different health conditions but today, it is one of the primary solutions for treating menopausal symptoms naturally. Derived from the plant’s black roots, Black Cohosh must be of high quality and purity to achieve the desired results.
Black Cohosh works by dramatically reducing a hormone called the Luteinizing Hormone or LH produced during the change of life. The problem is that LH is the very hormone that causes hot flashes. By lowering the amount of hormone produced, the level of intensity and number of occurrences for hot flashes would diminish. For the best relief, the Black Cohosh supplement chosen must contain 2.5% Triterpenes, which is one of the root’s active components.
Fats and Fatty Acids
Many women are surprised to learn that healthy fats and fatty acids are also beneficial. Of course, there are many different types that could be considered but the most effective include olive oils, black currant seed oil, and flaxseed. Foods rich in healthy fats and fatty acids help by reducing a variety of symptoms to include tender tissue, cramping, irritability, anxiety, and abdominal bloating.
Along with this, omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids are crucial when going through the change of life. Many of the changes a woman goes through can be properly regulated by taking these two types of fatty acids. For instance, a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 would improve the production of a stress and ovarian hormone, regulate metabolism, and distribute nutrients more efficiently. In addition, a hormone-like substance known as Prostaglandins needed to reduce symptoms is produced.
It is also worth mentioning the importance of taking vitamin E for both peri-menopause and menopause. Medical experts have been aware of the healing properties found in vitamin E for years. However, ongoing research has also revealed that vitamin E lessens the severity or frequency of hot flashes. Other benefits of this vitamin include fighting free radicals that cause damage to the cellular structure, lowering risk of heart disease, and stopping the developing of non-cancerous breast tissue.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring compound found in animals, plants and microbes. In animals, circulating levels of the hormone melatonin vary in a daily cycle thereby allowing the regulation of an individual’s circadian rhythms, which help to regulate many biological functions. Melatonin also acts as a powerful antioxidant, with a particular role in the protection of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA which is necessary for proper cell duplication and replication.
In animals and humans, the production and synthesis of melatonin is affected by the variability of sleeping habits and differing seasons. This can have an affect on the ability of an individual to reproduce as well as regulate sleeping patterns and the release of additional hormones necessary for adaptation and human growth.
In humans, melatonin production typically decreases with age, and thus it is believed that the nightly schedule of melatonin is delayed which can lead to later sleep and wake times as a person ages. Melatonin has been called the “hormone of darkness” due to the fact that the release of melatonin is directly correlated to the amount of light available to an organism or human.
A typical does of melatonin would be approximately 3 milligrams; however it should be noted that the tablets/capsules that are typically sold often contain higher melatonin levels than are truly necessary for a more rapid sleep onset. Larger doses of melatonin have been shown to have counterproductive results. Regardless, it is a matter of finding what amount works for a specific individual.
Valerian was initially used as a perfume; however in modern day pharmacology it is the name of an herb or dietary supplement prepared from roots of the plant, which after maceration and other processing, can be packaged and used to help with an individual’s sleep patterns due to its sedative patterns. Valerian has a history as a sedative, anticonvulsant, migraine treatment and pain reliever.
Valerian is used for insomnia and other disorders as an alternative to harsher drugs, and as a sedative for nervous tension, hysteria, excitability, muscle cramps, stress and intestinal colic/cramps. Dosage is difficult to determine due to the lack of standardization and variability in available forms (such as tea, pills, oil, etc.). Typical dosages of the crude herb vary from 2-10 grams per day. Valerian root is nontoxic, but may cause side effects, such as disorientation when taken in large excessive doses.
Take out a piece of paper and draw three, equally interlocking circles. Notice that all three circles only overlap a small amount in the very middle, and that any two of the circles overlap a little more. Now that you have that done I’d like to explain how this relates to your health, fitness and weight loss goals.
The three main reasons that many individuals might seek out someone like a personal trainer are these:
1) Vanity – Admit it, we’re all vain, we all want to look and feel amazing to our peers and in that silly thing we call a mirror. For most people, pertaining to fitness, this means weight loss. Please write weight loss in the uppermost of your three circles.
2) Health – Many people have experienced, or have family that has experienced a major health event, ranging from diabetes to heart disease and beyond these instances are often frantic motivators to improve your own habits. Please write health in one of the two remaining circles.
3) Performance – Finally there are these crazy people called athletes and a whole lot more of us that just wish we were athletes or simply want to perform better when chasing the children, grandchildren or other life activities. Please write performance in the final circle.
You now can see that these three reasons to improve your nutrition and fitness are all very important, they also interlock and are very related to one another, and likely make up your end goal. But what may not be immediately clear is notice that the largest space within our interlocking circles is in each individual area. The point I’m trying to make is that you cannot be 100% focused on all three of these things, at any given time (unless you currently, look, feel, and perform exactly how you want) if you want to maximize your progress you must focus on one of these areas; and each is uniquely different.
Weight loss is primarily a mathematical equation and some of the things that make weight loss faster and easier are certainly not going to ensure that you are as healthy as possible. That’s not to say that it is unhealthy, there is substantial overlap between losing weight and improving health (illustrated in our circle image) but if you want the fastest best result you cannot maximize your health at the same time.
For example certain foods when consumed in abundance provide everything from essential fats to antioxidants but by simply consuming the required volume for optimal health you will mess up the delicate mathematical equation that ensures steady, consistent weight loss.
And finally I think we all know that to truly perform to your utmost potential you must be walking the line of risk and injury, if this wasn’t true injury in sport wouldn’t be the prominent topic that it is in the world today.
Now you know if you’ve been trying to reach your weight loss goal and you’ve worked hard to alter your habits by controlling your portions, eliminating bad foods and are eating “healthy” there may be a very big difference in eating for health and eating for weight loss.
You start off a new diet plan with the best of intentions, you are motivated and determined you are going to reach your goal. During the first week people note and mention “the change in you” you’re fired up, you’re feeling great, and the scale is dropping like a boulder tumbling down a mountain. Then a weird thing happens, you get tired, you feel lethargic, you dread your next meal and you begin to develop feelings of resentment about the things you now feel like you have to do. You wind up feeling discouraged because your goal is in jeopardy, you started off so strong and felt so good, and even worse the scale is now coming to a grinding halt.
If this sounds eerily familiar I’m not surprised, I’ve heard this from countless people, and I’ve even experienced it myself. It’s a very challenging thing to go through, but reaching your goal and living and feeling the way you want depends on it.
Here’s some of things that are happening, knowing and understanding them may help you stay on track.
Blood Sugar Fluctuation – Whenever you change your eating habits you experience a change in your blood sugar fluctuations. Insulin is a super hormone; it’s involved in so much more than just the regulation of blood sugar. Changing habits for weight loss or better health generally produces smaller, less dramatic blood sugar spikes. These changes in turn not only have an effect on our immediate amount of energy but are greatly enhanced by the corresponding hormonal cascades which produce the corresponding feelings of elevated or decreased mood. From the jitters to anxiety anything is dramatically possible when changing daily nutritional habits. As personal trainers this is one of the reasons we really push for absolute consistency, meaning eating at the same time, eating the same or similar foods, in the same amounts for a duration. It may be boring but it eliminates numerous variables allowing for better management of the symptoms and a much increased chance of success.
Detoxification – Especially with a weight loss goal, change usually means more frequent or consistent exercise, a greater attention to the regular consumption of water, and regular food intake. All of these things are great at stimulating the metabolism. As you increase body temperature and circulation more fuel starts moving and burning throughout the system and much like chemicals or toxins in our environment as energy is released in your body so are the toxins that had been residually stored along with. These toxins once re-released within our body work their way through our kidneys and lymph system and ultimately out of the body through sweat and waste products. Unfortunately along the way they can exude their effects on our well being, the sluggish lethargy some people feel in the second and third weeks of a new exercise program can be the effects of toxins working their way out of the body.
North American Psychology – I wouldn’t know how else to summarize. We’re seriously wired in North America, every day we’re bombarded with carefully crafted messages, ideas, and social interactions. TV, radio, Facebook, billboards you name it, thousands of messages per day ultimately have shaped our culture and ideals. For example I remember once hearing that if a parent spoke to their child at every meal (assuming the standard 3 meals per day) a parent would have about 1000 opportunities a year to influence their child’s eating habits. Yet by comparison they would be competing with an average of 10,000 messages a week from fast food outlets alone. When our enthusiasm for a new goal wanes we may begin to feel self-doubt about our objective. A process of validation now begins because we’re so heavily bombarded with the message of convenience and instant gratification. The rigors of change to reach a weight loss goal easily translate to inconvenient, different, and restrictive. These three words in their very being carry a negative meaning or impact upon our subconscious mind. Even though you may wish to reach your goal more than anything it places our cultural ideal of instant gratification and convenience in jeopardy through your period of change. Because this translates to a negative message to the subconscious our mechanism of self-preservation kicks in leading that negative association to validation as to why you should return to old habits and abandon your goal. The same is true of anyone trying to overcome any form of addiction; the action of the bad habit is often associated with a positive feeling (take smoking for example, people smoke to take a break or relieve stress, a positive feeling), where the change initially feels negative by the way of hard, difficult, or restrictive (for example I “can’t” eat that pizza it’s not on my diet, it’s negative because you are actively avoiding something you enjoy.) In order to effectively change the behaviour you must deal with the subconscious perception of the action.
Each journey consists of numerous roadblocks, the greater your understanding and acceptance of them the easier they become to identify, navigate and avoid.