I don’t know about you but I dread going to the grocery store, I don’t know why but I have never enjoyed grocery shopping. What’s worse it seems these days the checkout numbers can be nerve racking, food in general is expensive. Organic, whole, unprocessed food is even more expensive. These costs tend to become a focal point and often a point of discouragement for some embarking on the road to better health. It’s a common concern for a new client to say, “It’s very expensive to eat right, I don’t know if I can afford to buy organic foods.”
Like most things in life we pass a judgement or place a value on something based upon what we are used to. When it comes to food I would argue you can’t afford not to buy the best quality food available to you. Let me try to demonstrate. In recent years young developing girls often begin their menstrual cycles far sooner than they did only 25 or 50 years ago. This early menstruation has been linked to the increased use of hormones and antibiotics in domestic farming. In addition the continual consumption of trace amounts of antibiotics within our food puts our immune system to work. Unfortunately not in the way we want, rather than the antibiotic working to reinforce our immune system as we would hope it would in a time of illness, our body now becomes desensitized so we either need to consume a lot more or they are just ineffective altogether. It’s my belief that examples like the above are strong contributors to health outbreaks like the recent H1N1 pandemic. Sit down for a moment and think about how many sick days you’ve taken in the last year that either caused you to miss work or pass up on something personally that held high value to you. Consider the lost wages and assign a value to the missed experiences, in this example alone I bet you will find the dollars needed to improve the quality of your next filled grocery cart.
A quick google search indentifies: Heart Disease, Cancer, Lung Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Diabetes as Canada’s 5 deadliest diseases. Cumulatively these diseases currently do or will effect the majority of the population. Let me describe that in a way that might be more meaningful. If you have a family containing three people (mom, dad and a single child) it’s expected that mom and dad WILL develop one or more of the above diseases and the child has a 50% chance to also develop one of the above diseases. In all cases Canada’s five deadliest disease’s share another thing in common, regular exercise and quality nutrition are recommendations for reducing the risk of developing these diseases.
The next time you’re at the grocery store contemplating how expensive high quality food is consider the cost of consuming anything else, truly none of us can afford not to consume the best foods available.
In my last column I began to discuss the concept of Metabolic Typing. The premise being that even though we are all generally the same we are all uniquely different. An example, around the home or in the office, within family or friends, you see unique differences in their bodies that may make you curious for an explanation. Take the common cold for example; some people hardly feel the ill effects of it at all. For some the physical symptoms of a cold manifest and disappear in a brief period of time, for others they may seemingly last forever. Now there are a lot of variables but at the root of it if we took a group of very like people with very similar lifestyle habits we would still see variations in their symptoms. Nature, each person so similar and yet so perfectly unique.
All the recent research I have been reviewing leads me to believe that nutrition in many aspects is similar. Good habits are essential, using whole unprocessed foods are of paramount importance, and understanding the relationship between protein, carbohydrates, fats and total calories is very important. But even with all of that many people will still struggle to make changes physically from their current form to what they feel would be their ideal form. Enter our uniqueness.
Even when everything is in place and on paper it makes sense sometimes things don’t work. Like you, I demand to know why. Unfortunately there is no clear answer, and that’s likely the worst news someone trying so hard to make positive change could ever hear. But where answers are lacking, hope still exists. Beyond the understanding of the physical concepts of nutrients and calories we now have to grasp our body systems and how they relate to us on a physical, chemical, and emotional level. Our physical characteristics are determined by our genes, our genes are influenced by our internal biochemistry and that does not stop at birth. The habits you employ today will affect your physical appearance in years to come. Our internal biochemistry greatly influences hormone production, which will not only be a factor in our physical appearance but also our emotional state, today, tomorrow and years to come.
One such aspect of this is the role and rate of oxidation within our bodies. Just like rust that forms on the surface of iron oxidation or cellular breakdown occurs heavily in our bodies in every area from the digestion of our food to the tissues of bones, organs, blood vessels, etc. Not only does oxidation occur but the rate of oxidation is very different for everyone and also influenced by a number of factors. Some real strong factors of oxidative rate include: exposure to pollutants, radiation and chemicals (exhaust fumes, sunlight, second hand smoke etc), damaged nutrients in primary foods (from cooking to processing we are missing loads of anti-oxidants, enzymes, etc), personal uniqueness(genes, internal biochemistry).
This is what has attracted me to Metabolic Typing, it does not preach that there is an answer to fit everyone but rather acknowledges that our life and environment dictate strong adaptation. So through testing and reasoning we can begin to make decisions about our own needs and altering habits to nudge the body in the right direction. In regards to oxidation the foods we eat can have a profound effect. For instance I am categorized as a fast-oxidizer. Generally my body breaks things down at a very fast rate, and if I don’t slow it down I burn out and wear out physically and emotionally. This is very relevant to some of my characteristics physically and emotionally. A perfectionist attitude, a person that is a little more uptight or faces additional stress, I typically have a hard time gaining weight and yet losing all the body-fat I want is also difficult, I often show the signs of adrenal fatigue and increased cortisol production and gravitate to caffeine to keep me going at the tough times. These are all conducive to fast-oxidation. Food wise my bodybuilding years had me consuming a lot of white proteins, especially chicken. Well chicken is not a very dense food for a fast oxidizer, and I know first hand that when using a lot of chicken I am constantly hungry and miserable. My metabolic type testing has educated me on the role of fats, even saturated fat, and how important denser red meats with fats and saturated fats can be important to slow down oxidative rate. Well the proof is in the pudding, or maybe the lack of pudding, in the last 2 months during my preparation for the 2008 Canadian Nationals I had been much more comfortable using primarily bison, beef and even bacon in shedding body fat without starving. In the best shape of my life I was happier and less hungry than I had ever been through the rigours preparation process. Now understand this is a very limited look of one aspect of our oxidative system but it may stimulate some interest and curiosity in your own body and why it may not have been responsive to what were seemingly good habits in the past.
In 16 years it’s safe to say I’ve had, learned and changed a few ideas about training and nutrition. I am astounded how much you can continue to learn and how the pieces of a much bigger puzzle slowly fit into place with time. With many holes and gaps in ideas and concepts still remaining I am excited to express and implement a few more. Let me explain myself.
In 1994 when I really started to take weight training seriously, I entered my first contest that year, I somehow was enlightened about the Glycemic Index. The GI basically is a chart of foods and explains what time period it takes for them to begin to breakdown in the stomach and illicit an effect on blood sugar. As you know a rise in blood sugar causes insulin secretion controlling many major hormonal processes in our bodies. Continual consumption of processed foods which tend to be high glycemic are one of the leading causes of Type II Diabetes in North America today. So back then in my mind the intelligent thing to do was try to consume lower glycemic foods, well lower glycemic foods do not tend to be the most exciting foods on a menu. Broccoli, seeds, asparagus etc.
Some time later I continued to learn that combining protein, fats, and carbohydrates altogether greatly changes the glycemic index of all the foods and allowed for a much greater variety of foods. So my ideals shifted to educating people that it is always wise to consume these three elements together. It was about this time that I found a book by Dr. Barry Sears called Enter The Zone. The Zone was one of the many lower carbohydrate and moderate fat diets of this era. I was fond of the zone as it wrapped much of my nutritional knowledge together to where it made sense. Balance and proper food ratios with meals always comprised of some protein, carbs and fats is still likely to get many of you heading towards your goals. But then there is that other group, the group of people that seems to struggle no matter what. Many of you are probably these people, the ones constantly on the hunt for new answers.
Over the past several years we have continued to experiment, everything from high protein ketogenic diets (Atkins is an example) to low fat diets of yester year. All of them work, sometimes. Recent research is leading me in new directions. It’s very apparent that we are all individuals with very individual body chemistry and yet science and medicine is still very much a bunch of statistics. Example, when someone is deficient of say calcium we are told to supplement calcium. Well the truth is you can have two people deficient in calcium for instance and one will require supplementation of calcium while the other will need a completely different mineral to improve the absorption and usage of the calcium. The individual requiring the other mineral taking more calcium could even worsen the situation. You can imagine while I am learning more about this basis of nutritional individuality how curious I am, and how confused I am.
The last two years have been remarkable in terms of developing new knowledge about understanding the relationship of specific foods and their effects on our body. This science is called Nutrigenomics, the study of our gene response to food. Even Dr. Sears so many years ago recognized this in a quote I seen from his book, “some people can eat piles of carbs and never gain an ounce, its in their genes.” One of the best books I have found on this topic, I was so intrigued I am currently finishing their level 1 certification, is call the Metabolic Typing Diet by William Wolcott. Metabolic Typing provides testing, ideas and answers for choosing what foods and combinations you should eat to look and feel better. Together the science of metabolic typing and nutrigenomics provide strong evidence that many serious conditions such as Type II Diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome and cardiovascular disease have a strong connection to the foods we eat and can be controlled, stopped and possibly reversed if we begin to decipher our own individual body chemistry.
Today is one of those reminder days. I am going to remind you of something we have discussed before but is absolutely critical to your continual success when it comes to achieving permanent weight loss. Quite simply permanent weight loss is about two things: math and consistency.
There is no shortage of weight loss programs, strategies, gimmicks and tools all with outrageous claims and promises, and unfortunately most produce very little by way of lasting results. Let’s examine a little further, I generally divide many of the gimmicks and fads I see into two categories: crash dieting and goofy gimmicks. Now many of the mainstream fad diets and weight loss programs all rely on very restrictive caloric intakes or odd caloric manipulations to produce results. It may not seem like it to the average person as our typical North American daily food intake is already so messed up from our overworking, high stress, on the run, convenience life style. As I have said many times before most people are eating too little high quality nutrients and are way out of balance when it comes to the primary macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats.
Now the many weight loss programs that utilize any method of crash dieting are like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The produce great initial results but then like a pendulum swinging the other way have you gaining all and generally more weight back in the end. Quite simply when we continue to under nourish our body’s with either too few calories or volume or incorrect balance we compromise our vital systems such as our immune system and metabolic engines.
Goofy gimmicks are any type of weight loss equipment or generally exercise system. Now I am not saying that many don’t provide some fitness benefits but when it comes to the radical physical transformations they claim I want you to remember what I am going to share with you. I have two friends in California who are in the infomercial business, you would not know them but I bet you have seen their clients. Infomercials are an incredibly costly marketing campaign and as such each individual is carefully selected and trained accordingly. Now each individual will use the product or goofy gimmick as part of their program but they also receive top notch training from personal trainers and specifically individualized nutritional coaching. Those with the best results are selected for the infomercial.
At the end of the day those of us in the weight loss industry understand the simple truth. Unfortunately when it comes to lasting weight loss there are no short cuts and the margin of error for producing results versus not working is very narrow. Unfortunately those few bites of afternoon sweets or simply the family dinner you didn’t measure are enough to ensure the scale never moves and you don’t make it to those skinny jeans. But the good news is that your body adapts quicker than your willpower. The key is to understand that to achieve permanent weight loss is to maintain perfect balanced consistency with your nutrition for the longest period you can, and this is what varies greatly from person to person. Be perfect with your nutrition for as long as you can than take a break. Initially that might only be one day or an afternoon, if you really struggle, but just make sure the next period is longer. As you can begin to string 7-10 days together where you maintain absolute balance and consistency you will begin to see immediate changes in weight loss and inches. The body adapts so quickly and once it really starts to work you will notice that even when you do take a few days off it just continues to do the things it’s supposed to do.
You may not want to believe what I have just told you but over the coming weeks that the scale doesn’t budge or you gain all the weight you lost at the weight loss clinic back I urge you to keep a detailed nutrition journal and see for yourself. After more than a decade and thousands of clients I’ll continue to tell you with certainty that permanent weight loss continues to be about math and consistency.
Note: Doing a quick google search for basal metabolic rate will allow you to perform a general calculation for your BMR. Calories for daily activity must still be added to this result, an average of 50-100 calories per waking hour will give you a ballpark estimate of an effective total daily caloric intake. We have had great success as a starting point by dividing total calories into: about 30% of protein dense foods (beef, pork, poultry, fish, cottage cheese), 50% carbohydrates (with a special emphasis on vegetables and less starches such as rice and potatoes.) and 20% fats. (Only specifically added when not using higher fat protein sources such as beef or pork.)
Have you noticed our new products showing up in the gym? If not, you definitely should! We are pleased to have Young Living Essential oil products and supplements in the facility, and have already been getting rave review from clients about them.
Jill says, “I used to get unbelievable migraines and tension headaches. I was taking a lot of pain medication etc. Advil, Alieve, Excedrin. The first time I used the Deep Relief roll on I was blown away. I put some on my neck and my forehead and within about 5 minutes my headache pain was minimizing to the point that it disappeared.”
If you would like more information on the products and what they can do to enhance your health and program, book a FREE consult today at One-to-1 Fitness!
To learn more about these awesome new products you can attend an upcoming regional meeting here in Red Deer! Join Jon Raynes, the Canadian Regional Director as he tells of some amazing research and findings showing where therapeutic grade essential oils can be used to promote your health, vitality and longevity goals. Grab a friend and bring them out to this FREE fun and informational meeting!
This is not an MLM or business opportunity meeting of any kind, just pure education on the dramatic impact of a couple of simple little things.
When: Thursday July 29, 2010
7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (doors open 6 p.m.)
Where: Red Deer, Alberta, Holiday Inn, 6500 – 67 Street
Cost: Free! First 50 people receive FREE gift! Prizes throughout event!
1½ cups oatmeal, uncooked
8 egg whites
2 bananas, mashed
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp sugar substitute
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a blender, blend oatmeal, egg whites, baking powder and baking soda and until oatmeal is smooth. Combine oatmeal mixture with the remaining ingredients and mix all together. Place in a loaf pan (use cooking spray in pan) and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until cooked.
Yields 6 servings.
Per Serving: 108cals, Protein: 6.5g, Carbohydrates: 20g, Fats: 1g
4 scoops Peanut Butter/chocolate Protein Powder
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup honey
1. Put all ingredients in blender and blend well.
2. Roll into balls.
3. Wrap in wax paper and place in freezer.
4. Makes about 16 balls.
Nutrition facts per serving (serving size 4 balls):
Protein: 31 g
Fat: 8.5 g
Carbs: 46 g
8 egg whites
¼ cup skim milk
1 cup diced potatoes
1 cup chopped spinach
¼ cup chopped green onion
¼ cup chopped green pepper
Mix egg whites and milk. Heat an 8 inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Sauté potatoes until almost tender. Add onion, pepper and spinach to egg mixture and mix. Pour egg mixture over potatoes. As mixture cooks, gently lift cooked egg to allow uncooked egg to cook.
Yields 1 serving.
Total Calories: 313cals, Protein: 34g, Carbohydrates: 42g, Fats: 1g
Over more than a decade of personal training in Red Deer I have seen so many fads come and go it’s ridiculous, however one argument rages on, are carbohydrates the bad guys?
If there is any macronutrient to suffer low self-esteem issues, carbohydrates are surely it. I’m not sure how they got such a bad wrap but it’s safe to say that should not be avoided like the plague like many people seem to think. If you want to know why you will want to check out an article I wrote a long time ago but have recently re-posted on a revised edition of my first website from when I started personal training in Red Deer.
Click to read: http://fitnessfx.com/2010/05/12/are-carbohydrates-evil/
I always preach to our clients that I think our food quality is terrible and getting worse. The more books, columns and journals I read the more shocked and disgusted I am at the state of even the unprocessed items in the grocery store. It’s not really surprising that one of the biggest health and weight loss trends of the last couple years is cleansing and detoxification because with all the unwanted elements we are unknowingly consuming our bodies are undoubtedly overloaded.
Today’s post will make a strong case for taking the time, effort and attributing dollars from your budget to consider switching to as many organic products as possible for the health and safety of your family. What follows is discussion of three common practices currently in place in North America used in the growth and production of fruits, vegetables and our commercial meats.
Genetic Modification – Likely not shocking or a surprise that genetic modification is being used to produce “better” or perhaps just more food for a growing world population. However this science is so new scientists still don’t fully understand the implications of genetic modification. Scientists are splicing genes from bacteria and even insects into different plants to produce crops that are more resistant to certain pesticides or common pests plaguing optimal harvest. As of now genetically modified organisms (GMOs) do not have to be identified on food labels. There is no specific amount of research that has been completed to identify the safety of these new food items. In some cases violent allergic reactions have been reported. An example from “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy” is a soy bean that was modified from genes from a brazil nut to make it tastier. This may cause an adverse reaction in someone with nut allergies but would not be identified on the label. A study by Arpad Pusztai on potatoes showed that GM potatoes contained less protein, starch and were associated with abnormal organ development in the rats used in the study.
Food Irradiation – This item was fairly new to me, I think I had heard it mentioned at a prior time but never paid much mind. I must say now I am astonished that this even happens and with a quick google search you will find the specifics and endorsement of this practice on the Canadian government website. Food irradiation was developed or first promoted decades ago as a necessary means of destroying bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, and E coli. As referenced from “The Ecologist’s Report” June 2001, food irradiation has been heavily promoted by the US Department of Energy(DOE). The DOE feels food irradiation to be a good means of producing a commercial market for spent military and civilian nuclear waste, thereby reducing disposal costs. The radiation dose approved by the US FDA for meat products is nearly 150 million times more than a standard chest x-ray, 150million! If this doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable maybe the icing on the cake will be a study performed by India’s Institute of Nutrition in the 1970s. The results of this study indicated that feeding rodents freshly irradiated wheat produced chromosomal abnormalities and mutational damage. To top it all off I can’t even tell you how to accurately determine which foods have been irradiated other than that the broad list includes: most meats, most fruits and vegetables, wheat and flours, eggs, herbs, and spices. It makes a strong case for incorporating more organic products into your lifestyle.
Consume Organic Items Where Possible – If the above wasn’t enough to convince you a study conducted on children in Washington state showed that out of the test group only one child did not have significant amounts of pesticide present in his or her urine. That child happened to be on an all organic diet. So between genetic modification, irradiation and harsh chemicals it’s not hard to see why toxicity is becoming the norm and sickness and disease is on the rise. Unfortunately just making the decision to switch to an organic lifestyle isn’t clear cut and easy without a little extra education. An organic product is produced without many of the means of modern farming: pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals, hormones etc. But there is a grey area in identifying organic products. For something to be truly labelled as organic it must be grown under conditions that have not been subject to any of the above mentioned practices for a period of four or more years. However the new organic farmer within this four year period can label their product as organically grown even though it may still suffer some of the residual effects of the prior methods. So even shopping for organic products can be tricky, a little education and a keen eye can go a long way. What is great to see is there are more businesses catering to these growing concerns making an organic lifestyle more practical and accessible to the typical consumer, and though these products may cost a bit more, so does health care. You really can’t put a price on a long healthy life.