Open a health or celebrity magazine or look online for healthy tips and you’ll be sure to find countless articles expounding about the benefits of drinking celery juice. Read enough of these claims and you’ll believe we found the Holy Grail. Touted benefits include: prevents cancer, lowers cholesterol, heals leaky gut, prevents kidney and gall stones, treats insomnia, aids weight loss and keeps skin and hair youthful. I skipped a few, but you get the idea.
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If you are like me and well frankly like most people I know you probably have an occasional and maybe, not so occasional craving for carbs. Who doesn’t enjoy the texture, the flavor and the sheer joy of eating a plate of pasta, or bread or potatoes, I definitely do. It’s unfortunate that those same delicious comfort foods are also leading us to higher levels of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity. If you are on a low carbohydrate diet, for better or worse, you probably already swore these off. Well, what if I was to tell you that you can still enjoy these foods and not only would they improve immune function and digestive health, but also help you lose weight. Yes, carbs helping you lose weight. There is a catch though, all be it a doable one, you have to change the way you eat them.
As the USDA rushes to make changes to their food pyramid, many of us already have. Many Americans have taken up low carb or very low carb diets such as The Paleo Diet, South Beach Diet or even Atkins. Still others though not restricting carbohydrates eat a large amount of protein as well. With more and more evidence exhibiting that obesity, diabetes and heart disease have all increased with elevated carbohydrate intake it’s no surprise that consumers would alter their diet and animal protein consumption would fill the gap.
I was watching Hawaii Five–O the other day when in a scene one of the stars (character name Steve McGarrett) cut a large piece of butter and plopped it into his coffee. When asked by the squeamish character Danny what the heck he’s doing he explains it as a Navy SEAL trick to boost cognitive function, alertness and energy. This practice with historical origins in Ethiopia and Tibet using tea with yak butter is now being brought to you by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Dave Asprey.
Undoubtedly you are familiar with one or more of the USDA’s food pyramids guiding us to a supposed healthier lifestyle. Well, the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services have posted their new dietary guidelines for 2015 on their website health.gov. These, the very same fat phobic institutions that as far back as 1980 gave us carbohydrates as the base (largest portion) of their vaunted pyramid are now back with a new improved guideline.
If you watch Dr. Oz, The View, or any of a zillion different websites you have likely heard of Caralluma Fimbriata along with all the claims about its amazing weight loss properties. Caralluma Fimbriata is a succulent plant (type of cactus) that grows in India and Sri Lanka and into North Africa. It has been eaten for centuries in these countries. The buzz around this plant stems from the historical use of it by hunters and tribesmen to control hunger and thirst while on the hunt. The effects are claimed to last an entire day and all with increased endurance.
Do you have the will power to walk into a bakery and not buy anything? If this is a battle you have fought and lost, and perhaps more than once, you must take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Still this fact probably doesn’t make you feel any better, you may be angry with yourself, possibly even depressed. Those few blissful moments, the ones you so skillfully rationalized into being (I worked out today, I’ll eat a light dinner) have now passed. Soon it will just be you, your mirror and your conscience. Oh, if I can just walk past the bathroom mirror and not look.
It the answer that you seek lays before you, would you recognize it?
When is the last time you went to a bookstore or looked online for a diet book? Do so and you quickly find hundreds even thousands all claiming to have the answer you seek. Diet obsession has become a quest for the unattainable; a metaphorical Holy Grail.
Recently, I was at a house party at a client’s home. The house was filled with smart and interesting people that I quickly discovered were largely physicians from various fields of medicine. As I made my way around the room and was introduced as the home owner’s personal trainer and weight loss guy I began to have several party goers engage me in conversation. First came their opinions that two of their colleagues’, (both my clients) were probably too thin now and might need to eat a little more. A few jokes in that regard followed. Of course opinions are only your opinion if you really believe them.
We all know we should eat more fruit and vegetables they’re high in fiber, vitamins, enzymes, and naturally low in calories. Well, there is another great reason to indulge: antioxidants. Think of antioxidants as nature’s army going after and stopping cell disrupting terrorists know as free radicals. Antioxidants bind with free radicals until they can be safely eliminated from the body. Free radicals are those little scavengers that cause aging, inflammation and disease. Want to live longer, healthier, well then eat up kiddies.
Recent statistical information brings to light that Vitamin D deficiency is alarmingly on the rise. Likely reasons for this trend are a decrease in dairy consumption due to increases in vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, lactose intolerance and increase use of sunscreens. 75% of Americans do not get sufficient vitamin D. The average American diet provides only 100 IU per day. Dark skinned people in less sunny areas are particularly susceptible to deficiency.
Maybe you just started a new health kick or your consistent training routine is not yielding the results you were used to anymore. Are you trying to get stronger, leaner or maybe gain muscle? Possibly you are an athlete or weekend warrior, you’re putting in the work, but you’re not getting stronger, your energy is down or your lean/fat ratio isn’t improving. Well, it could just be that your post workout recovery meal isn’t what it should be.
You’ve gone to the effort to find the right gym, maybe the right trainer. You work hard vary your routine regularly and eat the right balance of carbs, proteins and fats all while watching your calories, so what gives?
According to government sources the average American consumes 37% of their calories in the form of fat, considering the American Heart Association recommends no more than 30% we have some way to go. Take into consideration however, the different types of dietary fat, there is saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and trans fat. Not all these fats should be viewed with the same disdain.
With all the ads, articles and sponsored editorials in print and on the web it’s hard to separate the fact from the fiction when it comes to benefit claims for supplements. Since the list of available supplements claiming some miraculous benefit is huge (getting bigger almost daily), here are five to consider for better health for almost anybody.
1) Multivitamin – With our hurried life styles it’s not easy to always eat a well balanced diet. To insure your well being I recommend a multivitamin that is taken in 2 doses to achieve full potency. Take one with breakfast and one with lunch. Make sure you have some healthy fat in the meal to assure absorption or fat soluble vitamins like B complex. Also, make sure your multi has 800 mcg of Foliate (folic acid) and 400 mg of vitamin D3. Both are hard to get in sufficient quantity by diet alone particularly in vegetarian diets.
Okay, so we have all heard not all carbs are created equal. So, are there carbs we should stay away from, eat occasionally or is the hype just that, hype?
Carbohydrates make up most of the organic matter on earth. However, pertaining to diet we refer to simple carbohydrates (monosaccharides, and disaccharides) such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose, and complex carbohydrates (oligosaccharides and polysaccharides) such as vegetables and grains.
For anyone who exercises or diets and especially athletes the conversation eventually gets around to protein. How much, when to take, what type and what does it do for me?
Generally most dieticians recommend about 70 grams of protein a day from all food sources to sustain good health. For the average person this may be adequate, but lets say you are an athlete who trains intensely and therefore your body is constantly at a higher demand to recover and rebuild, or maybe you are trying to build more lean body mass. Even someone who is dieting to lose weight (body fat) will benefit from additional protein intake. A good rule of thumb and one I recommend is 1 gram of protein for every pound of weight.