Let’s be completely upfront with an aspect of “nutrition” that not many Nutritionists would be willing to openly admit. That sometimes there’s nothing better at the end of a long day than a somewhat generous glass of wine (or a cold beer, or a Mojito, or a…), especially on a balmy summer’s eve. Heck, I’m so honest, I even wrote a post about my love affair with red wine!
However, most of us are aware that sipping any more than just a nightly glass of wine can spell trouble for our physique – one that we’ve likely worked very hard over the winter to try and maintain or even improve. It’s not just that we’re adding hundreds of calories to our diet (maybe thousands in some people’s case), alcohol temporarily keeps our bodies from burning fat!
Dr. Pamela Peeke, Integrative Medicine Specialist & Author of The Hunger Fix explains:
The reason is that your body can’t store calories from alcohol for later, the way it does with food calories. So when you consume alcohol, your metabolic system must stop what it’s doing – like say, burning off calories from your last meal, to get rid of the booze.
So you see, not all calories are equal!
She goes on to say:
Drinking presses ‘pause’ on your metabolism, shoves away the other calories, and says, ‘Break me down first!’ The result is that whatever you recently ate gets stored as fat! What’s worse, research has uncovered that alcohol especially decreases fat burn in the belly area, and that’s why you never hear about ‘beer hips’ — you hear about a ‘beer belly’.
So the question is –
Absolutely…if you imbibe the right way!
Here are some tippling (and nibbling) guidelines to having your refreshments this Summer and still being able to zip up your short-shorts. In other words, you can enjoy patio season without the extra pounds!
Last week we covered how much water you really need, but this week we’ve been asked about coconut water. Dubbed “nature’s sports drink” and appearing everywhere these days, coconut water is also fairly expensive. We love it, but the real question is are the benefits of coconut water worth the cost?
First, let’s clarify what you’re really drinking. Coconut water is actually the watery liquid from inside a young, green coconut and not the mature coconuts we all imagine (like the one shown in the picture above). As a coconut matures, the outermost husk dries out, turns brown, and the inside becomes proportionately more meat than water. Mature coconuts are used to make coconut milk—a very different liquid substance than coconut water.
Coconuts are actually large seeds—or drupes—not nuts. The coconut tree (Coco Nucifera) is a member of the palm tree family (Arecaceae). It is the only accepted species of in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the whole fruit.
Coconut products have become big business. Products ranging from oil, milk, butter or manna, desiccated meat (shredded coconut), palm sugar, and nectar (flower syrup) are hugely popular with coconut water appearing alongside water and energy drinks everywhere. The mass-marketing of which, leaves me a little weary if the health claims are worth the price.
What makes up 60%-65% of your body weight, 95% of your brain, and is crucial to your health? The answer is WATER! It’s the most important, yet most often neglected “nutrient”. Don’t believe it? Did you know we can live around a month without food? But without water, we’d be dead in around a week! And not drinking enough water will decrease your athletic performance more than any other nutritional deficiency.
While water itself is not actually a nutrient, it forms the basic medium in which all life processes take place and acts as a carrier to transport other nutrients around our bodies.
Expert recommendations range from 8 to 12 glasses of water per day, depending on your size, level of exercise, and the climate. Some people like to go by a more specific calculation of 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces, so if you’re 150 lbs, you should be taking in 75 ounces of water daily.
We need more when we’re working out or when the weather is hot, because we sweat. Sweat is our body’s “air conditioner” and the water we lose needs to be replaced. Adequate fluid intake before, during, and after exercise is critical in preventing dehydration, which can cause fatigue, cramping, heat exhaustion, and reduce your performance—both physically and mentally.
You know the kind – would rather go for a run than pretty much anything else on the planet, including his turn to vacuum. Yep, that’s him. He’s only been at this gig for a few seasons now, but man, is he kicking a$$ in his events! Not to mention he’s had a dramatic increase in his overall fitness, easily keeps his weight in check and now has a great stress management tool.
Tough day at work…go for a run.
Ate fast food…go for a run.
Kids driving you nuts…go for a run.
Spouse driving you nuts…go for a run.
Personally, running as a form of exercise (or stress relief) is not MY first choice, so we don’t have this particular activity in common. However, my way of being involved with it and supportive of him is that he’s had to contend with…
From the all-knowing Wikipedia: Sports Nutrition (also referred to as Exercise Nutrition) is the study and practice of nutrition & diet as it relates to athletic performance. It is most concerned with the type and quantity of foods & fluids taken in by an athlete, and deals with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, targeted supplementation and of course the organic substances or macronutrients (i.e. Protein, Fats & Carbohydrates).
It all starts with the 3 macronutrients: classes of nutrients that are required in larger amounts in order for our bodies to function properly, as compared to our vitamins and minerals, which are considered micronutrients – but equally as important in the right amounts.
Protein is the building block of all life and is essential for the growth of cells and tissue repair. All proteins are made up of different combinations of 20 compounds called amino acids. Depending on which amino acids link together, proteins form enzymes, hormones, muscles, organs and many other tissues in the body.
There are two types of amino acids: 11 non-essential amino acids which can be made by the body and 9 essential amino acids which cannot and must be taken in from food.
Animal protein contains all of the essential amino acids and is found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. Plant protein contains many of the amino acids but no single source is absolutely “complete”, although hemp seeds and spirulina come very close. It is especially important for vegetarians to eat different combinations of plant proteins to cover all of their bases. Veggie sources are nuts, seeds, grains, beans, legumes and soy products.
It’s true that I’m not a big fan of soy, but I will say this…
How much more could you accomplish if your energy levels were as high at the end of the day as at the start? How much would your productivity at work improve if you had better mental focus, with more fluid “thought-flow”, more effective use of time, and higher energy levels on a consistent basis throughout the day?
Exercise promotes greater and more sustained energy than a cup of coffee or by taking a nap, thus allowing for overall higher performance – both mentally & physically. It is thought that exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning, and there was a study done that showed even 10 minutes of physical activity enhances your brain function .
People who exercised during their workday were 23 percent more productive on those days than they were when they didn’t exercise, says a recent study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.
It has also been found that the endorphins (or your body’s “feel good” hormones) released after exercise can actually give people a buzz and regular activity (e.g. 3-5 times a week) can also help keep the brain “plugged in” and on-task. Exercise and productivity truly go hand in hand!
In my view, this term refers to conditioning one’s body (& mind) for the purposes of not only being able to perform well in our weekend warrior-type activities with adequate physical strength & stamina, but to also be able to perform well physically, and especially mentally in our everyday lives – namely in our jobs because that’s where we spend most of our time!
Because we more often associate any monthly/cyclical pain in our lower abdomen with “pms” right before the onset of our periods, I on the other hand, have always wondered why I more often experienced this type of ovulation pain, sometimes debilitating – right around ovulation, usually Day 14 of my cycle?
Well, I came across a great article that explained it for me! I do not have Endometriosis (as is mentioned in the article), but many of the other points rang true for me, such as having adhesions (in my pelvic cavity due to a c-section and multiple surgeries between pregnancies). Ugh! No wonder I’m all gummed up in there, and it hurts when things start to stretch out during ovulation!
Anyway, I was so thrilled to be given permission to republish this article for you. So here’s not only WHY some of us get mid-cycle/ovulation/Mittelschmerz pain…but what you can DO about it!
*This is a guest post from Melissa Turner, Endometriosis Wellness Expert from EndoEmpowered.com
I received a few recent requests about how we might relieve ovulation pain in the last week and will do my best to try and find some solutions for us to try. The internet was not really forthcoming at resolving this one for us and simply states that we should try to prevent ovulation by going on the contraceptive pill or that we should just accept it as part of being a woman! Well, we all know I don’t agree with either one of these!
The good news is that if you are ovulating, things are working well and at least your hormones are in balance… I know it is a consolation on some level but the pain has to go too!
Let’s see what we can do…
Do you feel way too young to have so much gray hair? Tired of having “gray plucking” sessions in the mirror? Just plain annoyed by it no matter what (wonderful) age you are?
I’m in my early forties, and up until now, felt so lucky to be virtually free of grays. But then seemingly overnight – BAM!!! There they were, all wiry and shiny in my temples, peeping up like little silver snakes around the crown of my head and populating my already-weird hairline at the nape of my neck. Gray hair…on top of everything else that “40-something” has seemingly ushered in. UGH!
Being a Holistic Nutritionist, you tend to seek out and come across some pretty interesting information on the ‘ol Google, and you also tend to use yourself as a nutritional guinea pig. So I’ve decided to test the theory that there are actually some natural ways to deal with my wiry little gray 40th birthday party-crashers. But I have to see it in practice, and not just dish it out anecdotally, right?
Eating certain green “superfoods” can actually help to reverse gray hair naturally!! Let me give you the goods on the greens…