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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Intermittent Fasting Helps Weight Loss and General Health.

To Fast or Not To Fast?

Many of us eat five times a day or more, including meals and snacks. This type of eating pattern provides your body with a steady flow of nutrients, but even when you make healthful choices about your meals and snacks, your body can still benefit from an occasional break from all-day eating.
Giving Your Cells a Break
Every time you eat, your body digests the foods you consume, then absorbs and transports nutrients to all of your body’s cells through the blood stream. Your cells can either use these nutrients right away or store them for later. When you consume more food than your body needs at any one time, it can lead to a back-up of excess nutrients for your metabolism to manage.
When additional nutrients arrive in the blood stream from your next meal or snack, they take priority over nutrients that have already been stored for later. If you never give your body a break from all-day eating, it can lead to problems for your metabolism and result in weight gain, over time (1, 2). Your body might have a hard time clearing up any excess nutrients that have been placed in storage, especially when you consume more than your body can use.
Autophagy: Your Cells’ Own Internal Cleansing Process
Some processes within your cells are put on hold while your body is managing a continual flow of nutrients from frequent meals and snacks. One of these processes, called “autophagy,” can be thought of as your cells’ own internal cleansing process.
When the flow of incoming nutrients begins to slow, the process of autophagy becomes activated. Old, worn-out, or obsolete components within your cells are tagged for disposal and broken down to their component parts.
This process cleans up the parts that your cells can’t use anymore and converts them into basic building blocks like amino acids to support cell maintenance and growth. Taking a periodic break from eating allows the process of autophagy to be activated naturally.
New discoveries related to the central role of autophagy within cells led to the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which was awarded to Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy” (3).
Continuing research in this area has shown that as a part of normal metabolism, autophagy helps to support the health of the heart and the brain (4, 5). As a process of cellular cleansing and renewal, autophagy is essential to the long-term maintenance of good health (6).
Cleansing for Health
By taking a short break from eating regular meals on Cleanse Days, you put the constant flow of nutrients on pause and allow your body to use up excess stored nutrients. This aspect of Cleanse Days can contribute to helping you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Fasting on Cleanse Days is also a way to support your body’s own cleansing and renewal systems since the process of autophagy is naturally stimulated by fasting.
New research continues to explore the influence that occasionally giving yourself a break from eating, also known as intermittent fasting, can have on health. The potential metabolic changes that occur on Cleanse Days suggest that this approach can offer benefits for anyone, whether your goal is to reach a healthy weight or simply promote long-term well-being.
  1. Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N, Stallknecht B, Ploug T, Schjerling P, Dela F. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Dec;99(6):2128-36.
  2. Varady KA, Hellerstein MK. Alternate-day fasting and chronic disease prevention: a review of human and animal trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jul;86(1):7-13.
  3. “The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 30 Dec 2016. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2016/
  4. Alirezaei M, Kemball CC, Flynn CT, Wood MR, Whitton JL, Kiosses WB. Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy. Autophagy. 2010 Aug;6(6):702-10.
  5. Gatica D, Chiong M, Lavandero S, Klionsky DJ. Molecular mechanisms of autophagy in the cardiovascular system. Circ Res. 2015 Jan 30;116(3):456-67.
  6. Lapierre LR, Kumsta C, Sandri M, Ballabio A, Hansen M. Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of autophagy in aging. Autophagy. 2015;11(6):867-80.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

De-Stress & Digest – Why de-stressing supports your digestive system

Too much stress can cause a lack of sleep, skin breakouts, mood and so much more. But did you know it can also lead to poor digestion? In order to understand why de-stressing supports digestive health, it is imperative to understand what happens to digestion under stress.

Stress can have the following impact on your digestion:

    • Decreased secretions needed for digestion
    • Slower small intestinal transit time
    • Encourages over-growth of gut bacteria
    • Weakens the intestinal barriers, leading to leaky gut syndrome
    • Stress can increase acid in your stomach, causing indigestion
    • The mill in your stomach can shut down and lead to feeling nauseous
    • Stress can impact the colon leading to diarrhea or constipation
    • It may contribute to stomach ulcers, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease etc.

Occasional stress is normal, but chronic stress is very damaging to health. Gut microbiota respond directly to stress-related signals. When an individual is stressed, the “fight or flight” response can be activated in the central nervous system, and blood flow to the digestive tract can be slowed which impacts the contraction of the digestive muscles, and decreases the secretion needed for digestion. This can cause inflammation and makes individuals more susceptible to infection.

Ways to Combat Stressors

Learning how to de-stress can support digestive health, and lead to greater health all around. The following tips are some simple ways to combat both normal stressors and causes of chronic stress.
    • Exercise. Physical activity helps to relieve tension and stimulate the release of endorphins. Endorphins relieve stress and improve mood.
    • Relaxation. Finding ways to relax can help eliminate normal stresses. For those with chronic stress, relaxation therapies like yoga, meditation, and hypnosis, or mental imaging, biofeedback, and muscle relaxation can be extremely beneficial, especially when practiced regularly.
    • Talk it out. Talking to a friend can help to lower stress. Often simply “Getting it off your chest” is what is needed. However, in cases of chronic stress, simply talking to a friend may not be enough. Talking to a trained therapist can be useful in helping to de-stress, as they can help to pinpoint triggers, and offer methods for coping with and avoiding stress. One study of individuals with IBS showed 70 percent saw improvement in their symptoms after 1 ‘2 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy.
    • Eat foods that are easy to digest. It is normal to eat junk, binge, etc. when stressed. However, overeating or binging on junk food to deal with stress usually ends up leading to more stress and poor digestion. Instead of fatty, sugary foods, consider a healthy, well-balanced diet. Consider dining, rather than eating, meaning slow things down. And focus on foods that help you feel well.
    • Limit stressors. Some stress is unavoidable, but look at the things that most commonly cause stress in your life, and look for ways to reduce or eliminate them to make your life more stress free. This might be learning to say “no” or it might mean changing career paths.
    • Get enough sleep. Too little sleep can cause stress. Make getting sufficient sleep a real priority. Not only does insufficient sleep lead to loss of brain function, but it can also make it harder for your body to process “normal” stress.
    • Do something fun. Stress is often easily relieved simply by doing something enjoyable. Choose a hobby you have not made time for recently, see a movie, read a book, play a game, or do anything you normally find enjoyable.
    • Look at including some natural supplements. Stress can often deplete the body of vital nutrients. Supplementing your diet with extra vitamins and herbs may provide the extra support your body needs to have you feeling your best.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Twenty One Reasons to do a Cleanse

You've heard of nutritional cleansing and detox cleansing, but why should you cleanse? In this article we provide 21 awesome reasons that nutritional cleansing will benefit your health, well-being and ultimately your life.
  1. Strengthen The Immune System. Cleansing impurities and flooding the body with high grade essential nutrients supports the immune system. Some studies show a boost of as much as 500%!
  2. Love your liver. A clean, healthy liver supports metabolism and burns fat. A healthy Liver promotes normal thyroid function and when the thyroid is healthy, your metabolism and energy levels escalate.
  3. Support Healthy Brain Chemistry. When your body can effectively absorb and digest fats and protein, it converts these nutrients into healthy brain chemicals. When your brain chemistry is aligned, you will make healthier food selections.
  4. Restore Antioxidants. Toxic compounds create “free radicals” that have the potential to damage cellular DNA. Antioxidants are substances that block free radical formation and destroy already formed free radicals.
  5. Free yourself from stress. In herbal medicine, adaptogens are used to help the body “Adapt” to imbalances that stress the body externally or internally. Replenishing the body’s needed adaptogens assists in the body’s own self-regulatory systems, thus reducing stress.
  6. Maximize Absorption of Essential Nutrients helps to fuel your body to support all major organ systems including the circulatory, musculoskeletal and neurological systems.
  7. Aid Digestion. Herbs used in Isagenix products such as sumac, peppermint, fennel seed and liquorice have been used in many cultures to support and aid in digestion.
  8. Rejuvenate Your Cells With Minerals. Minerals are the key to enzyme activation in our digestive tract helping absorption of vitamins and essential nutrients. Modern lifestyle has taken its toll on our digestive organs.
  9. Support Your Vital Organs. If your body is overwhelmed with impurities, gentle cleansing herbs and essential nutrients can allow it to eliminate impurities through the liver, colon, urinary tract, sweat glands, skin pores and the lymphatic system much more effectively.
  10. Lose Weight And Feel Great. Studies have shown that fat cells can provide the perfect environment for holding onto impurities. Cleansing aids in the body’s ability to flush fat and increase metabolism.
  11. Eliminate Unhealthy Cravings. The healthy body will crave healthy things. The unhealthy body will crave unhealthy things. Cleansing and replenishing allows the body to create an environment that craves good, nutritious food.
  12. Enhance Cellular Communication. Our cells want two things: good nutrients and a clean environment in which to communicate. Cleansing provides our cells with both.
  13. Build Muscle. Cleansing and then replenishing with natural organic whey protein provides the body with essential amino acids that are the building blocks for the development of lean, dense muscle.
  14. Restore Normal Sugar Levels. Increased sugar levels have been linked to serious health challenges and are often the result of weight gain. Effective weight loss and fuelling of the body can aid in the body’s ability to restore normal sugar levels.
  15. Beautify the Skin. Our skin is the largest organ of our body. Cleansing and replenishing rejuvenates our skin, making us appear younger and suppler.
  16. Create Abundant Energy. Better sleep cycles may be achieved through cleansing to provide the body with stamina, energy and mental clarity throughout the waking hours.
  17. Balance Your Hormonal System. Cleansing and replenishing can balance hormone levels and lead to a feeling of constant well-being, increased stamina and increased sexual desire.
  18. Slow the Effects of Aging. Toxins and nutritional deficiency can lead to premature aging on an internal and external level. Cleansing and replenishing allows our cells the ability to attack the effects of aging head on. A younger appearance along with incredible energy is often the result!
  19. Renewed Desire To Exercise. Often times when you cleanse and replenish the body with high grade essential nutrients you have a renewed sense to start an exercise program The health benefits of exercise are endless.
  20. Enhance Elimination. Refined, processed, low fibre foods, animal fats, lack of exercise, dehydration and an ever-increasing level of stress all contribute to an irritable bowel and to sluggish elimination from the intestinal tract. Cellular cleansing and replenishing with fibre rich nutrients allows for better colonic elimination of impurities and is essential in the prevention of intestinal disorders.
  21. Quality of Life. Cleansing and refueling the body is a revolutionary approach to optimal health and weight management. “Traditional Diets” are often imbalanced and neither strengthen the immune system nor rid the body of toxins. Imbalanced diets rob the body of essential nutrients and only offer temporary results, Why not embrace a program that gives your body the right nutrients, the right balance and the ability to once and for all chronically defend itself against the battle of the bulge?

Monday, 17 August 2015

Is The BMI what is used to be?

We’ve come to think of body mass index (BMI) as the gold standard in measuring our fat, but there is a growing consensus among scientists that it may not be the best tool to do so. According to a 2013 editorial in the journal Science, BMI does not accurately measure the amount and location of body fat (belly fat is more hazardous than evenly distributed fat because it surrounds the internal organs) or the proportion of muscle to fat (muscular types may score in the overweight or obese range).
The researchers point to estimates that 24 per cent of adults with a “normal” BMI actually have symptoms of insulin resistance and a higher risk of heart disease, which may be due to having more body fat and less muscle mass. On the flip side, about one in 10 adults with an “obese” BMI are healthy, possibly because they have a lot of muscle.
Should we say goodbye to BMI?
That depends. BMI is a good tool for policy-makers such as Health Canada when they are assessing whether a large group, like Canadians, is getting fatter, according to Dr. Arya Sharma, professor of medicine and chair of obesity research and management at the University of Alberta. “If you have enough people in a study, BMI does correlate with body-fat composition,” he says. “If you calculate BMI in 1,000 people, the group with the highest results on average is going to have more body fat. But for individuals, the index is almost meaningless. You can find two people with exactly the same BMI, but one has 40 per cent body fat and all of the problems associated with being obese, while the other has 20 per cent body fat and no health problems.”
BMI’s true value is in research, agrees exercise physiology expert Len Kravitz, advisory panel member of CanFitPro, a certification organization for fitness professionals. “With some people, it’s a weak predictor of weight-related health problems.”
Health Canada also recognizes the limitations of BMI for indi­viduals. Its official stand is that assessing an individual’s healthy weight cannot be determined by BMI alone.
Additional factors—such as the degree of lean body mass, ethnic background, lifestyle habits, fitness level and other health risks—also need to be considered, according to Health Canada.
New tools at our disposal
Measures that include waist size appear more effective. In fact, A Body Shape Index (ABSI), which measures height, weight and waist circumference, more accurately predicted death in 14,000 people than BMI in a 2012 study at the City College of New York.
And in a 2012 review of 31 studies, obesity researchers at Oxford Brooks University in England found that waist-to-height ratio (your waist in inches, measured one inch above your belly button, divided by your height in inches) was a better predictor of disease, including cancer, stroke and heart disease, than BMI or waist circumference alone. Both methods are currently used in Canada but not widely.
However, says Sharma, these tools still do not tell you whether your stomach fat is the unhealthy kind. Even a measure of your body-fat percentage—determined by a body-fat scale or with calipers at your gym—won’t do that. “Like BMI, your percentage of body fat isn’t a good measure of health,” he says.
To find out if you are truly at a healthy weight, get assessed at your doctor’s office via checks on blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels and a physical exam to check for health risks related to obesity, such as back pain, acid reflux disease, osteoarthritis and sleep apnea. Says Sharma, “No other tool, whether it’s a scale, measuring tape or BMI calculator, is as effective as that.”
BMI 101
Invented by a Belgian mathem­atician in the 1800s, body mass index (BMI)—weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in metres—has long been used around the world to assess if a person’s weight falls in the healthy range for their height and as a reliable indicator of body fat. If your BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9, your weight is considered to be in the normal range. A result over 25 means you are overweight (25 to 29.9) or obese (30+).

Want to know your ABSI? Check out this calculator: absi-calc.appspot.com

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Keep snacking to support weight loss

When trying to cut back on kilojoules and lose weight, a common tactic is to avoid snacking. But healthy snacking is an important part of any diet and can actually assist with weight loss.
When hunger hits between meals, choosing the right, nutrient-dense snack can be the difference between meeting weight loss goals and failing miserably because ravenous hunger usually leads to overeating.
By eating small portions of nutrient-dense foods throughout the day, you’ll easily meet weight loss goals and provide your body with the nutrition it needs.
Snack to boost metabolism. It’s often thought that when losing weight, metabolism slows. While there’s some truth to this (because there’s less of you to burn energy), you can prevent the metabolic meltdown by eating small frequent meals throughout the day (1). By including healthy snacks between balanced meals, you’re keeping your body in constant burning and building mode.
Snack to curb hunger. When eating small nutrient-dense snacks throughout the day, the body is getting just enough nourishment to curb hunger and keep you satisfied. But you need the right nutrients – studies have shown snacks high in protein and fibre have the strongest effect on satiety (3,4).
Snack to nourish the body. Do you get the recommended 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day? If not, you’re not alone. Only one in four US adults meet the mark (5). Healthy snacking can help promote consumption of nutrient-rich foods including fruits and vegetables. In fact, people who snack are more likely to follow a higher-quality diet with reduced intake of solid fats and added sugars (2).
Snack to manage blood sugar. Snacking has also been shown to support the body’s ability to regulate glucose and insulin (1). With increased control over the body’s glucose and insulin function and a more continuous supply of nutrients to the body, blood glucose levels will stay steady throughout the day. Avoiding blood glucose spikes and crashes is important to prevent fatigue and temptations to eat for an energy boost.

Choosing healthy snacks

Snacking has increased dramatically with almost 40 percent of people reporting they have three or more snacks per day as compared to 12 percent 30 years ago (6). The problem is that many of these snacks are high in kilojoules, fat, salt and sugar resulting in increased waistlines. Even more important is what’s not in these snacks: protein and fibre – nutrients that can help you feel fuller longer. They also commonly lack essential vitamins and minerals, making it difficult to meet daily micronutrient needs.
Good sources of healthy snacks :
Isagenix snack options - super easy, taste great and fully of protein
High protein snack options - readily available high protein options