Top Six Reasons To Eat High Fiber Foods

At the core of healthy weight loss programs are principles which often evade most people interested in Wellness, Fitness and Diet. Here are the top reasons why you should seriously consider a diet rich in fiber when you are interested in beginning a healthy weight loss program. Losing unwanted pounds does not have to be stressful. If you apply these basic principles you will be well on your way to developing healthy weight loss habits.

1.Fiber helps control weight According to Janis Jibrin, RD, In studies of weight loss, people who eat more fiber lose more weight even though they consume the same number of calories as other dieters.” Research at the University of California at Davis shows that eating fiber releases hormones that make you feel satiated. (Amer Jrnl Clinical Nut Sep 2002; 76: 659 )

2.Fiber reduces your risk of heart disease A ten-year study of 68,000 women reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association in June of 1999 demonstrated that fiber, particularly the fiber found in cereal grains, lowered heart disease risk.

3.Eating more fiber can lower your chances of metabolic syndrome (Diabetes Care 2004; 27:538-46) Also known as syndrome X, this syndrome is a combination of factors that raise your chances of both heart disease and diabetes. Symptoms include high blood insulin levels, high blood pressure, high blood fats (triglycerides), low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and obesity.

4.Fiber may lower the risk of breast and other cancers (Amer Chem Soc Meeting, 8/9/01). Substances in fibers like flax fiber may beneficially interfere with estrogen’s role in cancer.

5.Fiber cuts your risk of type 2 diabetes in half (Am J Clin Nutr 2002; 76:535). Consuming fiber and low glycemic foods like whole grain cereals, fruits, bran, oats and legumes) can help people with diabetes stabilize their blood sugar levels.

6.Fiber lowers your incidence of constipation (J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1999;29:132) By providing bulk, assisting stool formation and promoting peristalsis, (muscular contraction in the bowel,) fiber increases frequency of elimination and promotes regularity.

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Yoga And Pilates: A Sensible Combination

Pilates highlights just a tiny aspect of the vast discipline of Yoga. Yoga includes all that Pilates comprises and a lot more. While Yoga stresses the unity of mind, body and spirit and involves a combination of physical exercises, breathing exercises and meditation, Pilates is more physically inclined; it is, primarily, aimed at promoting flexibility, increase stamina and strength, reduce stress and cure ailments. Yoga is considered not just physically therapeutic but also mentally and spiritually. People take up Yoga not just to be physically fit and energetic, but also to reduce stress and anxiety and achieve inner peace and happiness.

While Yoga is the considered most holistic approach to physical and mental well-being, Pilates refers to a physical fitness exercise system. Together with lengthening and stabilizing of the spine it is designed to achieve and maintaining perfect body alignment and posture. It primarily focuses on cultivating core postural muscles. Yoga benefits, on the other hand, are more than just a physical; they are all-inclusive. For physical and mental health, covering all aspects of breathing, relaxation, internal hygiene, diet, breathing techniques, meditation and ultimately self-realization, there is nothing like Yoga.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga exercises and poses are not just intended to make the practitioner physically fit and strong, by bathing internal organs with rich oxygenated blood and life force energy they also set their functioning right. Further, Yoga normalizes the endocrine system, strengthens the respiratory system and enhances digestive functioning and elimination besides perking up the reproductive system.

Benefits of Pilates

On the other hand, even though Pilates is not as complete and holistic a health system as Yoga, it helps you reach more or less the same physical fitness goals as Yoga. This is achieved through a series of controlled movements and breathing regulation. Pilates is very effective, especially for aesthetic body sculpting and makes the practitioner feel and look tall, lean and svelte.

So, what is better for overall health and fitness, Pilates or Yoga? The answer is a levelheaded blend of the physical and meditative aspects of both systems. On some level, both Yoga and Pilates share the common goal of strengthening the body with the help of ones own body weight for resistance. As a matter of fact, a lot of their movements and postures are very similar. And, just like Yoga, Pilates can also be done as floor exercises if you don not wish to blow money on buying Yoga equipment or Pilates equipment. Pilates is also a lot simpler to learn and easier to understand. It also tends to give quicker results. But, finally, the choice is yours; it depends on your patience level and the goals wish to achieve. Just physical fitness and a fantastic figure or all that together with long-lasting inner peace and happiness.

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The Role Of Supplements In Health And Wellness

Even the most advanced wellness consumers, who one might expect to shun any and all elements of the modern medical establishment, are still buying the one thing that symbolizes allopathic medicine to most of us: pills.

Past Hartman Group research has shown that consumers’ movement from periphery to core along the wellness continuum increases their likelihood of using dietary supplements. Some of the triggers that get people started may include nutritional needs, health conditions (such as high cholesterol or arthritis) and aging. The lack of knowledge people have about supplements initially inhibit some consumers from buying supplements. Additional inhibitors include price and the perceived lack of scientific proof of the efficacy of these products.

Consumers continue to purchase and use nutritional supplements, but with less intensity and exploratory nature than what we saw in 2000. Today, mid-level and core consumers appear to have identified key supplements that they use with some regulatory (ranging from three times per week to daily) and have decreased their exploratory shopping for new supplements. We also find new interest in key supplements such as green tea, probiotics and Omegas.

Consumers have dramatically increased the number of phrases and behaviors that define “wellness” to them from 2000 to 2005. Particularly notable is “taking supplements,” which is now seen as the path of wellness by 43% of consumers, nearly double the number in 2000 (23%).

The following language map illustrates the most predominate ways in which consumers think and talk about health and wellness. The map progresses from bottom to top, with the bottom representing consumers who are less involved in health and wellness (periphery wellness consumers) and the top representing those who are most involved in health and wellness (core wellness consumers). This map depicts several interesting shifts and changes from 2000. We find that wellness consumers still begin the journey with the desire to eat well, but with more intention towards living a healthier lifestyle.

The predominant themes of the language being used from periphery to core are represented by the black areas. The grayed “bubbles” represent secondary themes that run throughout the language analysis and support the primary themes. Supporting quotes, thoughts, tactics, activities, examples, etc. to what the primary themes mean to consumers are the white areas.

At the bottom, periphery wellness consumers have little or no brand recognition of supplements and knowledge is very limited. Moving up the ladder, brand awareness and knowledge increases among mid-level wellness consumers, but only moderately. At the top, brand awareness and supplement knowledge is at its zenith among core wellness consumers.

In general, except for the use of vitamins and minerals on an occasional basis, periphery wellness consumers have a much lower involvement with products outside of the traditional food groups.

As one moves towards the core, or top on the language map, the importance of specialty supplements to consumers increases more, relative to the other supplement categories, than the frequency in which consumers use the products. In practical terms this means that consumers use of specialty supplements lags behind vitamins and minerals, and herbal and specialty supplements.

Cultural Preferences to Health Products

Most American consumers address general health concerns (e.g., staying in shape, eating well, eating balanced meals, etc.) with daily, lifestyle routines and practices rather than targeted, acute responses (e.g., taking medication). At this level, most Americans use a vague “watching behavior (e.g., “I watch my sugar intake”) or, if they are more evolved wellness consumers, they incorporate lots of fresh foods into their diet to address current and long-term general health. What they tend not to use is a specific plan of action requiring health products that target a specific health condition.

When consumers are experiencing chronic or acute health problems (allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, etc.), we find that they definitely shift from more general watching behaviors and high level dietary overhauls (with the requisite focus on avoiding “bad things”) to more proactive and targeted health behaviors. In the case of this proactive set, those with diagnosed chronic conditions generally take medications and, if pushed, also alter their overall diet to avoid ingredients that might exacerbate their condition.

However, most consumers with chronic health conditions, we find, will end up turning to alternative medicine – to different pills. The chart below illustrates consumers’ preferred delivery of functional ingredients when asked which format they preferred vitamins, minerals and nutrients delivered in. Overwhelmingly, respondents chose pills (72%) compared to the next most popular format beverages (26%).

Consumers view dietary supplements as a key symbolic component that they use in their lives to challenge the hold that they view pharmaceutical companies have over them. The most successful dietary supplement products are those that focus on offering up modes of control, including prevention, for which modern medicine offers either poor solutions, last-minute solutions, or no solutions at all. This fits well with what consumers report as the most commonly used supplements including vitamin C, calcium, fiber and vitamins B, E and D. These supplements use levels reflects consumer concerns about and increasing roles for products that offer antioxidants, bone and digestive health, as well as an overall perceived “increase in wellness.”

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Alternative Medicine New Way To Lose Weight

Weight loss is one of the big topics-no pun intended-on the late night television circuit. While flipping through the channels after 11p.m., you are likely to come across several advertisements for weight loss pills and diet supplements, each promising to assist you drop those unwanted pounds and remove stubborn belly fat once and for all.

Let’s face it, if these pills really worked, America wouldn’t be the top overweight country in the world.

There are types of alternative medicine, which can help with weight loss, however, and with great results. While no alternative medicine is a magic solution, practicing these principles can help you become more limber, feel more energetic, and the end result-or side effect if you will, is weight loss.

Take yoga for example. The low impact stretching involved with yoga will help you feel less stressed, and as a result less likely to over eat as a result of depression or anger. Acupuncture has exact pressure points in the ear which help reduce cravings, and detoxifying teas and herbs can help you feel healthier, and the side effect would be thinking twice before deciding that you want to “pollute” yourself again with oily and fatty foods. In this regard, alternative medicine is wonderful for loosing weight.

The majority alternative medicines for weight loss come in the form of detoxifying teas, energy supplements, and vitamins. The exercise and diet plans are the basis, as they should be, for safe and effective long-term weight loss. There is no magic potion to lose weight. In fact dropping pounds and keeping them off requires regular daily exercise and a change in eating habits, period.

However, to get you ready for weight loss, here are some alternative medicine detoxifying teas and interesting supplements.

Take turmeric, ginger, and lemon-about a half teaspoon each and the juice of half a lemon, and boil it all in 2 cups of water. Drink every morning as a detoxifier before you start your diet.

All diets should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, and buying a juicer is a great way to make a habit out of eating healthy. Please see your doctor before starting any kind of diet plan.

Visit your local food co op or herbalist, they can get you set up with all sorts of alternative teas and nutrition advice, and can refer you to a good homeopathic doctor who will evaluate you as to what your individual nutrition needs are.

Bovine and shark cartilage are two dietary supplements to hit the alternative market. Both have been used for years outside of the United States and Britain, but now are big business in the health food stores.

The most popular form of alternative medicine for weight loss isn’t really medicine at all, rather behavior modification through hypnosis. Hypnosis doesn’t make you rely on will power, that’s one of the reasons it’s so popular.

How hypnosis works is that it examines what is subconsciously holding you to the thinking and eating habits that keep you overweight. Hypnotists believe that if the root cause of the obesity can be alleviated, the patient will naturally begin to lose weight. It is actually a very efficient form of alternative medicine, and overall can cost much less than trips to day spas and expensive over the counter weight loss pills. Through hypnosis you can let go of fears that keep you from eating healthy, and begin to allow a positive energy flow through you, causing you to want to stick to the new way of eating and exercising.

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The Importance Of Dietary Alkalinity For Runners

Ok, you might be wondering… “What on earth is alkalinity and what does it have to do with my running performance?”

Well, very simply it refers to a pH reading that is opposite of acidic. The pH scale operates from 0 to 14 with 0 being the most acidic reading and 14 the most alkaline. 7 represents a neutral level. When you consume and digest foods they are broken down and become acid-forming or alkaline-forming in your body. The difference between the two is crucial to understand.

Naturally, your body wants to be slightly alkaline. However, there are specific areas in your body which need to be slightly more acidic, such as the stomach and urinary tract, in order to properly perform their functions. Our most important tissue – the blood – needs to be slightly alkaline. Specifically, it needs to be between 7.35-7.45.

I’d like you to consider all the arteries (blood vessels) in your body. The blood vessels are your body’s highways for transporting your blood, or your “river of life”. Your blood is what transports oxygen and nutrients to all of your body’s cells while helping remove waste products produced in the cells. The blood is probably the most important tissue in your entire body – without it functioning properly, you die!

Within this “river of life” reside your red blood cells (RBC) which are responsible for carrying oxygen to the cells. Each RBC holds 4 molecules of oxygen; each one bound to hemoglobin (an iron-based protein carrier). It is these oxygen molecules that eventually go to the cells of the body to provide the necessary input for metabolism.

From an electromagnetic perspective each RBC has a negative charge on its outer surface while being positively charged on the inside. This ensures that no two (or more) RBC stick together – since two negative charges repel each other. This is absolutely critical to understand. Think about it for a moment – what would happen if all the RBC starting clumping together? Your blood would become viscous, sluggish, and not move as freely (almost like thick sewage). Oxygen transport would be impaired and thus your energy would dramatically be reduced.

Well, what if I told you that that exact scenario is most likely taking place inside of you right this moment, and you don’t even know it!? That’s exactly what’s happening inside more than 80% of the population! Pretty crazy, I know! This is what takes place inside an acidic body.

Too much acid in the blood strips away the negative charge around the RBC and as a result these oxygen carrying cells lose their ability to repel one another. So, they coagulate (or stick together) and your blood becomes thick, lethargic, and slow moving. Your body then becomes a reflection of this situation. You feel tired, lethargic, and sluggish. If oxygen and nutrients are not being properly delivered to your cells how can you be expected to run or operate at your best?

As these compromised RBC continue circulating in this acidic blood stream, they begin to lose their membrane integrity and leak their contents into the bloodstream – spilling toxins, bacteria, and debris. So, this “spillage” caused by the hemolysis (RBC destruction) further adds toxins and acidity to the blood; which in turn exacerbates the whole problem.

For further detail on this subject please get a copy of Eating for Energy

As a runner, it is imperative to be able to deliver oxygen to your muscles for optimal performance. However, if your body is acidic and blood viscous and sluggish, it will be very difficult to run as fast or as far as you’d like.

When the muscles can no longer derive their energy from oxygen, they will turn to a different energy pathway known as glycolysis. Glycolysis yields much energy (ATP) in a short amount of time but it also produces the “muscle-burning” waste product known as lactic acid. As lactic acid builds up, the onset of fatigue occurs much more rapidly.

Therefore, to better your running performance you need to take steps to alkalizing your body. So, how do you reduce the acidity in your body and alkalize it for maximal energy and performance?

It’s quite simple – eat and drink anything that is natural and green. Greens are the best source of alkalinity. Foods such as swiss chard, kale, collards, and spinach are just a few examples. Have a green juice after your run and watch your energy soar and recovery time plummet.

All fruits and vegetables are alkaline-forming in the body. So, on a day-to-day basis, the most important thing is to consume more fruits and vegetables while reducing your consumption of acid-forming foods such as meat, dairy, refined sugars, and processed/packaged foods. Not only will this greatly enhance your running performance but it will also tremendously improve your health!

Yuri Elkaim is the owner and founder of Total Wellness Consulting, a leading health, fitness, and wellness company offering health-conscious individuals the most innovative information, programs, and technologies to help reach their goals of physical and mental well being. He is a Certified Kinesiologist, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, former Professional Soccer Player, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the University of Toronto men’s soccer program, and regarded by many as Canada’s leading fitness expert.

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