Monthly Archives: January 2017

Effects of Food Quality in Performance

Each time we sit down to eat, we make decisions that either support the digestive and immune system or don’t. We can either contribute to inflammation or have the opposite effect.

While these all sound like nutrition mumbo jumbo, these elements have a huge impact on your performance outside. Imagine trying to go on an intense day-long hike with gas pains and cramping. Or have a cold/cough on a ride at 10,000 ft.

Your performance is determined by the little choices you make every day, long before you hop in the car to head out on your adventure.

The Goals of Food Quality in Performance:

  1. Consistency – to perform consistently strong without cold or flu symptoms getting in the way.
  2. Feel Good – have a clear head, no digestive upsets, and strong muscles.
  3. Recovery Quickly – be able to get outside doing more of what you love more often.

What to Focus on:

  1. Supporting your digestive system (feel good and perform strong)
  2. Supporting your immune system (70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract!)
  3. Reducing inflammation (this will help you recover more quickly)

Quality Guidelines:

  1. Remove all foods you may be allergic or sensitive to – these can irritate your digestive system in the short term and weaken your immune system and cause inflammation in the long term.
  2. Get into homemade bone broth – broth made from bones contain gelatin and collagen, which helps build a strong gut lining and reduces digestive inflammation, as well as helps to repair muscle tissue.
  3. Eat fermented foods – fermented foods contain probiotics, which are good bacteria that help you digest your food better and out-compete any bad bacteria that may be trying to sneak in there.
  4. Avoid sugar – sugar can suppress your immune system cells that attack bacteria and viruses. Lay off the desserts, soda, etc.
  5. Focus on whole grains and legumes – refined carbohydrates break down quickly and act like sugar in your body.
  6. Limit dairy and alcohol – For the same reason as the point above. I know saying to give these up entirely may not be realistic, but I definitely want to encourage you to limit them. As talked about with refined carbs, foods that behave like sugar in your body are not always sweet.
  7. Eat high quality – you may have heard words like “toxic load” before with no explanation. Basically, eating a lot of pesticides can increase the toxic load in your body and contribute to inflammation (which means slow recovery post exercise) and a weakened immune system. So try to buy as many pesticide-free produce as you can. Also, the omega-3 content in grass-fed or pasture raised animal proteins are much higher than conventional. This also may be a buzz word you’ve heard before. Omega-3’s are anti-inflammatory so important for the same reasons as above.
  8. Stay consistent – following these guidelines for a day or two leading up to a big trip is not going to produce the results you desire so integrate these steps into your lifestyle. Your habits at home will speak volumes to your results outside.
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What is a Holistic Health Practitioner? (HHP)

“Holistic” is derived from the Greek word holos which means “whole”. And so the aim of a holistic health practitioner is to focus not on disease, but rather mind, body, emotional and spiritual wellness. The difference between what an Allopathic, conventional professional does and what a holistic practitioner does is simple to explain. Orthodox, allopathic medicine has its focus on treating the symptoms of disease whereas holistic therapies focus on preventing or getting to the cause of illness. The one treats sections or parts of the body whereas the latter treats the person as a whole; proper nutrition, healthy mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of self.

A holistic practitioner uses non-invasive, drugless healing methods to help facilitate in bringing a state of homeostasis to the client. The great benefit about being a holistic health practitioner is that you can never get bored of your practice because there are numerous methods in holistic medicine that aim at focusing on the whole person. It is an enjoyable process to keep adding to your knowledge base. Some of the methods used depending upon credentials; acupuncture, homeopathy, nutrition, self care, energy medicine, spiritual counseling, Reiki, meditation, sauna therapy, catalytic herbs, Chinese herbal medicine, hair analysis, using ancient wisdom principles, power of intention, quantum physics, brain reprogramming to name a few.

A holistic practitioner understands that the body has an innate capacity and intelligence to heal when given the proper tools – exercise, inner reflection, nutrition, rest and social interaction. When holistic medicine is used in conjunction with conventional, allopathic medicine, we normally call that Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).

The key is to be able to balance the body – mind – spirit connection by integrating practices from all of these standpoints. Holistic health emphasizes prevention, health maintenance, longevity and wellness. A practitioner in a sense, also becomes an intuitive life coach, addressing the clients entire world including family, job, health and spiritual needs. A holistic practitioner knows that the client is fully responsible for their own healing and views them as an active participant in the healing process.

Allopathic medicine is reactive whereas holistic is proactive. Holistic medicine works best for prevention of disease as well as relieving and getting to the cause of chronic disease. A practitioner can check for toxicity levels and set a plan in place to help the body help itself by gently removing the toxins and then employing an entire program to help build the immune system.

What do holistic health practitioners find themselves doing once they complete a holistic health practitioner program? The ideas and opportunities are endless; from manufacturing or formulating nutritional supplements to holding health seminars, tele-classes, writing articles, books or workbooks, or educating others, owning their own business or consulting practice – you can see the list is endless depending upon how creative you want to get. The great thing about HHP’s is that they can successfully work from home and create their own hours, as well as cost per client session.

If you are interested in enrolling in a home study, correspondence HHP program and would like to apply for board certification as an HHP through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, consider taking a look at our HHP preset programs or choose five courses to create and build your own HHP program. Visit here to browse our Natural Health, Energy Healing and Spiritual Counseling programs http://www.holistichealersacademy.com.

The Pros and Cons of the Sonoma Diet!

Can you imagine yourself basking in the sun while enjoying a plate full of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats? In between each portion of food or meal you are sipping a glass of fine wine, aware of your location surrounded by hikers, bikers, and small slopes scattered with olive trees?

Well, whether you can or not this is the scenario offered by one of the latest diet programs available. The Sonoma Diet by Dr. Connie Gutterson is a Weight Loss Plan that promotes the healthy flavourful eating style of the Mediterranean and Sonoma Valley, California. However is all this self-promotion, self-marketing illusions to attract customers, or will does it actually work?

This article answers this question by detailing the Pro’s & Con’s within the Sonoma Diet to help prospective dieters determine whether the program will suit them.



The Sonoma Diet:

Pros

– SIMPLE:

The Sonoma Diet is extremely simple for dieters to use. There are no formulas to calculate as with the Weight Watchers Program, and no counting grams or calories daily. Rather plate and bowl sizes are used for portion control.

– EMPHASISE THE POSITIVE:

The emphasis of the Sonoma Diet Program is on what you do eat rather than what you cannot eat. Although the program does still have a list of forbidden foods that dieters are supposed to avoid.

– SAVOR THE FOOD:

There is focus within the Sonoma Diet on eating slower and savouring food. This is punctuated by healthy use of fine wines with meals after the initial 10-day period. By using tasteful recipes meals are enjoyed, and by slowing down dieters prevent over-eating.

– NUTRITION:

The Sonoma Diet has a strong nutritional component, promoting dieters eating a number of phytonutrients and antioxidants. This is key for the diet as it is based on nutrition not starvation. The dieter remains healthy and keeps their metabolism rate at an effective level.

– WHOLE FOOD EMPHASIS:

Emphasising wholefoods in the diet and very few processed foods helps dieters with health gains as well as weight loss.

– STRUCTURED DIET

There are definitely several weight loss programs and diets out there that lack a prescribed structure for their participants to follow. One of the Sonoma Diet’s strong points is their step-by-step guidance, however this is obviously a personal choice of each individual.



The Sonoma Diet:

Cons

– LACKS FLEXIBILITY

An analysis of the diet proves that majority of Wave 1 menus only offer around 950-1100 calories for women, and 1050-1300 for the men. Once you get to Wave 2 diets are only given an extra 200-300 calories. Now while this is going to be effective in weight loss, it is difficult for people to live by. People will be starving within the first week and over a long term this isn’t sustainable for most dieters.

– LACK OF GUIDANCE WHEN HUNGRY

Given the hunger levels that some may experience during the Sonoma Diet there is a lack of instruction on what to do and what to eat when hungry.

– LIMITED SIZES, PARTICULARLY VEGETABLES

Compared to most other diets, the Sonoma Diet has a extremely controlled volume of food, particularly when it comes to vegetables. The lack of vegetables available may be unintended but people will generally experience a shock when it comes to the amount of food they can consume when sticking with the portion sizes of the Sonoma Diet.

– FORBIDDEN FOODS

By emphasising wholefoods the Sonoma Diet is doing a great job at providing dieters with nutrients. However the number of forbidden foods doesn’t leave dieters with that many alternatives or substitutes in terms of sugars, fats, etc. This may be difficult for dieters to handle.

– LACK OF CARBS IN WAVE 1

In many diets the risk of carb crash exists. However the Sonoma Diet is designed as a low carb diet and has no means for managing this risk, which may occur in the diets first phase, Wave 1.

In concluding it is clear that the Sonoma Diet offers both positives and negatives for potential dieters. It is important for each individual dieter to way up these issues in terms of their own personality and make a decision that suits them personally. If you like a structured diet with a focus on flavours, health and well being then the Sonoma Diet is for you. However if you need a greater level of flexibility and food consumption an alternative might be recommended.

The Diet Of Costa Ricans And How It Keeps Them Healthy

Located between Panama and Nicaragua in Central America, Costa Rica boasts a proud culinary heritage. Many scorn Costa Rica food selections for being high in saturated fats, but in actuality Costa Ricans are far more active than other cultures.

Costa Rican’s, locally called Ticos, never eat excessively. Limiting their portions is one way they stay so healthy. Also, lunch is the most important meal of their day. In fact, like many Latin nations, businesses and schools close down for a couple of hours at lunch so that employees and students can go home and have a leisurely meal with their family. This allows both a strong focus on family life, but also on slowing down a meal. In America, a typical school lunch lasts a mere twenty minutes at most and work breaks are usually an hour tops, so many must eat at their desk or machine. A Costa Rican’s lifestyle is completely different.

Costa Rica food often revolves around rice and beans, such as Gallo Pinto, a dish that translates to “Spotted Rooster”. Gallo Pinto is a dish that includes black beans at a three to two ratio to rice. Also added are onions, garlic, and salt. Meats are eaten sparingly, while beans provide a high content of fiber. Fiber can help counteract the saturated fats. Costa Rica food choices rarely include dairy or cheese.

As Costa Rica has water on both sides with the Pacific to the west and the Caribbean to the east, fresh seafood is always available. Unfortunately, the seafood is also extremely expensive as the country exports the bulk of its seafood. Chicken, pork, and beef are the more popular meats. Costa Rica food supplies use organ meat as well; so expect to find dishes involving stomach, brains, and other organs on the menu. Other staples of Costa Rica food choices include fresh vegetables such as tomatoes and a variety of beans, fruits, including plantains, and rice.

Costa Rica’s capital city, San Jose, is packed with outstanding restaurants and cafes. In San Jose, one can experience bold foods and beverages. Staple beverages such as sugarcane soaked in hot water are second only to the nation’s delicious Costa Rican coffee. Drinks mixing corn meal and milk are also common. Plantains are similar to bananas in appearance, but they cannot be eaten raw. Plantains are pounded flat, battered, and fried tender.

As one travels to other regions, the choices for Costa Rica food also decrease and become more traditional with the beans and rice dishes. Beans and rice dishes are usually served alongside a carrot and cabbage or lettuce and tomato salad. Sometimes Arroz, (fried shrimp or chicken), are found on the table instead of beans and rice. The salads are typically larger than the portion of beans and rice and that helps the Ticos to stay fit.

It is possibly to choose healthy selections of Costa Rica food. Stick to plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and enjoy the delightful blend of culinary flavors.

The Importance Of Diabetic Nutrition

Maintaining good health involves eating and absorbing the right kind of foods. If you have been diagnosed as suffering from diabetes, it is essential that you develop an understanding as to what would be the correct diet. Diabetic nutrition is centered around controlling the amount of glucose or sugar in the blood. What we eat directly impacts blood-sugar levels, therefore the right choice of foods is fundamental to prevent a deterioration in health and quality of life.

There is not one exact diet that medical experts suggest a diabetes patient should follow, it depends on factors such as the extent of the condition, as well as the weight and age of the individual. Those people suffering from diabetes should be referred to a registered dietician who would be able to put together a specific guide for meals.

Diabetic nutrition also needs to take into consideration the individual’s eating habits and personal schedule. Guidelines for suitable control of diabetes will focus on eating at the same time each day of the week, this will help in keeping blood sugar levels stable and ensure that insulin does work in the right way.

It is important to frequently check blood sugar levels, especially when starting a new diet, only by doing so would a diabetic understand which foods and drinks do have a positive or negative impact on their blood sugar levels. The best diet would usually be one that is high in fiber and low in fat, sugar, and salt. Fiber can be sourced from certain vegetables and fruit, as well as wholemeal products such as brown rice and brown bread.

A balanced approach is the best option, it can be dangerous to cut out certain food groups altogether as this can then lead to other health problems. For this reason, it is advisable to consume a limited amount of fat, especially through the eating of chicken and nuts and seeds. Red meat should be reduced to a negligible amount. For most diabetics, alcohol should not be consumed as it can be high in sugar. Also, soda drinks, fruit juices, and sugary teas need to be kept to an absolute minimum.

A dietician may suggest following an exchange diet, this is a plan which involves swapping various foods around so as to give the individual some choice and variety. It can be difficult at first giving up various foods, but it should be made clear that diabetic nutrition diets do not have to be bland or unappealing, there are plenty of mouthwatering dishes that can still be taken.

9 Switches for Better Nutrition

1. Dairy Milk for Nut Milk

There are so many alternatives to dairy milk today, that these alternatives are as available and accessible as the dairy options. If you switch from whole milk to, for example, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, you will get double the calcium and, depending on the brand, less than one quarter of the calories. Also, if you have an undiagnosed or undiscovered intolerance to dairy, this will offer you relief from that and make you feel fantastic.

2. Milk Chocolate for Dark

Swapping milk chocolate for dark, may be harder for some than others, but it will make a big difference if you are a regular chocolate eater like myself. Not only does dark chocolate have less sugar, more antioxidants and is less processed, but it is also richer in flavor and can satisfy your chocolate cravings faster.

3. Sugar for Xylitol

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener. It is not artificial and can be processed by your body. Many low or no calorie sweeteners are chemically formulated and cannot be processed by your body. These sweeteners can actually be worse for you than sugar itself. However, Xylitol is a natural and delicious sweetener that can be used as a direct substitute for sugar, it has less calories and is sweeter so you use less.

4. Sugary Soda for Herbal Tea or Infused Water

This is probably one of the most obvious and most talked about switch. However, it is one of the most difficult for people because they are conditioned to the convenience of pre-prepared sugary drinks. Yes, making herbal tea or infused water does take extra time and effort, however, you can make it ahead in large batches and keep it in your fridge so it is readily available. There are also several, delicious combinations that you can make and experiment with to keep things interesting.

5. White Rice for Black Rice

White rice is a simple carb that lacks nutrients. However, black rice is full of antioxidants and goodness to nourish your body. The color of black rice is also amazing and it has an awesome, natural nutty flavor.

6. Pasta for Vegetable Pasta

Weather it spaghetti, spirals or couscous, there is a vegetable substitute for it. The best substitute for spaghetti is zucchini or shitake noodles. For couscous, try finely chopping cauliflower. Other alternatives to pasta products can include black bean spaghetti, chick peas, quinoa, carrot and beetroot. These alternatives have more nutrients, less carbs and are less processed than the pasta you get out of a packet.

7. Flavored Yoghurt for Plain

Flavored yoghurt contains a lot of sugar and is highly processed. There are several plain yoghurts that have no added sweeteners and that are minimally processed. An easy way to get flavored yoghurt without all the nasties is to get the plain stuff and add a natural sweetener and/or whatever fruit you like to it. Not only will this make the flavors more delicious, it will also add freshness and texture.

8. Energy Drinks for Tea or Coffee

Energy drinks are loaded with caffeine and sugar. Many also contain other artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners. Energy drinks are one of the worst drinks available on the market and have several, proven, health consequences. If you need a pick-me-up, it is just as effective to have a cup of coffee or tea that has caffeine in it to keep you going. You could also opt for some fresh fruit or iced water to help you re-focus.

9. Packaged Condiments for Home-Made Versions

Packaged condiments often have many added, unnecessary ingredients and are highly refined. With thousands of recipes readily available online, it is now easier than ever to create your own condiments with less additives and more goodness. By making your own condiments, you should be able to get more flavor, more variety, less additives, less calories and know exactly what is in your food.

Fitness And Nutrition For Health

In the age which we live there is an unprecedented focus on getting and staying healthy. As more and more research points to the effect of fitness and nutrition on our overall health, the findings become more difficult to ignore. There is no doubt that the food that we eat and the physical activity that we perform significantly impact our weight and our body’s overall health and longevity.

When you look at fitness and nutrition and the consequences of ignoring their importance, it is not difficult to see how large a role they play in our health. First and foremost, it is important to understand how powerfully diet can affect us. Natural, whole foods – such as fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins – give our bodies the vitamins that it needs to function effectively. We have energy when we eat right. And when we have energy we burn fat. Eating properly allows us to maintain a healthy weight and keep undue stress off of our hearts; it also allows us to keep our blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the healthy range. Most importantly, good nutrition keeps our bodies stocked with antioxidants that fight off a range of illnesses including cancer.

But nutrition does go it alone; fitness and nutrition go hand in hand for achieving good health. When we keep our bodies active through a consistent exercise program, we are adding to our body’s ability to metabolize food and keep weight down. Further, good fitness means strong and limber muscles and a strong cardiovascular system. Exercise also lowers blood pressure and reduces stress levels.

Learning how to pair fitness and nutrition for optimum health means a commitment to a particular lifestyle. It is essential that you revamp your diet to eliminate fatty, high-sodium, and processed food and replace it with fresh, natural – and even organic – choices. But remember, fitness and nutrition work best as a team. Implement a consistent regime of physical activity into your daily schedule including cardiovascular work, stretching, weight training, and even yoga or Pilates.

When you truly understand the importance of fitness and nutrition in your life, you will understand how crucial these lifestyle changes are in order to live a long and healthy life.