Find Endless Energy

Find Endless Energy

Working out regularly can provide endless energy. It’s true! It might not seem like it if you’ve never worked out regularly, simply because it looks like a lot of work. However, once you start working out, within a few weeks, you’ll notice that you’re getting tasks completed more quickly and have energy at the end of the work day. Sometimes, when you’re feeling exhausted, forcing yourself to go to your workout can give you that second wind, boost of energy to keep you going at top speed. How can this be? It seems like the more you work, the more exhausted you should be. While that may be true initially, once your body gets stronger, you’ll see a huge difference in your energy level.

You can get benefits from exercising even if you don’t workout regularly.

Of course, I’m a proponent of regular exercise and I do practice what I preach. So, why would I say you don’t have to workout regularly to get energy boosting benefits from an exercise session? Because it’s true. You’ll get more energy throughout the day if you exercise regularly, but for those who don’t and get that sleepy feeling mid afternoon, taking a walk or participating in something active can get your blood circulating and provide benefits better than a nap. People who exercise regularly often instinctively know this and get up and move around.

Regular exercise helps people boost their energy across the board.

Studies show that regular exercise can help increase energy levels and reduce fatigue levels. After compiling the results of over 70 studies that involved 6,800 people the results were clear. In over 90% of the studies, the results were the same, people who didn’t exercise regularly and started a program of regular exercise reduced their fatigue level, compared to the control group that made no changes. The results were similar for all types of people, those who were healthy, those with conditions like heart disease and diabetes and even cancer patients.

Exercise helps burn off the hormones from stress.

If you’ve ever had a stressful day, you know how it leaves you feeling exhausted, yet on edge at the same time. It’s the fight or flight response that’s occurring. Your body is poised, ready for action with other changes, like less blood to the digestive system and a faster heartbeat occurring to help you in a struggle or escape. That can leave you feeling edgy, but is also extremely wearing. Exercise not only increases circulation, it burns off the hormones of stress that wears you out and replaces them with ones that make you feel good.

  • Exercise helps you sleep better at night and improves the quality of sleep. The increased sleep and improved quality adds to your energy level.
  • While exercise is important, so is healthy eating. Sugar can be a real downer, once the initial burst of energy wears off. If you feel like eating will help, make it cold crisp fruit or vegetables.
  • Drinking a glass of water also boosts energy more than a cup of coffee in most cases. When you’re sleepy, if moving around doesn’t help, perhaps it’s mild dehydration. Drink some water for a boost.
  • If you aren’t convinced that moving more boosts your energy, consider how tired you feel after a super slow day at work, compared to one when you were busy throughout the day.

Exercise Is Good For Your Sex Life

Exercise Is Good For Your Sex Life

If you’re in a relationship and decided to start a program of regular exercise, why not bring your life partner with you. Exercise is good for your sex life, so you probably want to include them, too! It all starts with helping your overall health and making you feel good. It can help lower blood pressure, boost your energy level and give you an overall good feeling, which plays a role in how active you are when it comes to sex.

Exercise acts like a natural Viagra for men.

Studies show that men who exercise regularly have a lower risk for erectile dysfunction. Other studies have highlighted how increasing exercise could also boost not only improved function, but also frequency and overall satisfaction. The study lasted nine months and included normally sedentary middle-aged men. After nine months of vigorous exercise, the results showed that the more improvement in their fitness, the more stunning the results in the bedroom.

Women also receive benefits in the bedroom.

A number of studies showed that increased physical activity also increased sexual arousal, satisfaction and desire in normally sedentary women. A University of Texas at Austin study showed that exercising not only increased the sex drive in pre-menopausal women, it actually helped those who were taking antidepressants that can lower sex drives. Just as with men, the increased circulation that comes with exercising, is part of the reason for this to occur.

You’ll look better and feel better about yourself, which also increases your desire in the bedroom.

Looking good plays a huge role in your desirability, but it also plays a role in your desire. Exercising makes changes to your body that make you feel sexier. When you feel good about yourself and how you look, it’s only natural for that good feeling to transfer to the bedroom. A study shows that just starting a program of regular exercise can boost your self-image, so image how much better you’ll feel about yourself as you see the results.

  • Exercising can boost testosterone levels in both men and women. That also boosts the sex drive of both men and women.
  • You’ll perform better in bed when you workout. Whether you’re a man or woman, regular exercise not only boosts your arousal level, it can keep you from tiring quicker and that helps maintain focus on the activity.
  • Exercise helps burn off the hormones from stress. There’s nothing that’s more of a mood killer than the stresses of the day. When you workout regularly, you’ll burn off those stress hormones and are able to relax and enjoy the moment.
  • A real mood killer is stiff joints and painful movements. Exercise helps build flexibility to avoid that stiffness and pain.

How Do Hormones Affect Your Weight

How Do Hormones Affect Your Weight

Hormones aren’t just for controlling sexual desire and characteristics, hormones affect your weight, too. Your body has a wide variety of other hormones that keep it functioning at its best. In fact, there’s a huge link between the right balance of hormones and your health. Hormones influence all bodily functions from how much energy you have to how much fat you store. Even your brain health depends on the right balance of hormones. You probably already realize that a low production of thyroid hormone will make you gain weight or too much estrogen can pack on the pounds. There are other hormones that affect weight gain.

Insulin is an important hormone for many functions that affect weight.

Insulin plays a role in metabolism. It helps the body create complex molecules. It signals the cells to take in glucose—blood sugar—for energy. That keeps your cells healthy and nourished while keeping your blood sugar levels normal. When you eat too much sugar, a high amounts of insulin is released. If this continues, over time, the cells become insulin resistant, which means they don’t open, leaving sugar in the blood. It can cause weight gain and problems digesting carbs. Since there’s a high amount of sugar in the blood, the body releases even more insulin and eventually the vicious cycle causes Type II diabetes.

Stress triggers the production of cortisol, which can cause the accumulation of abdominal fat.

Visceral fat—belly fat—is not only the hardest to lose, it’s the unhealthiest type to have since it presses on internal organs. Unresolved stress, stress that isn’t followed by fighting or running, which burns off the hormones created by stress, is associated with not only the accumulation of visceral fat, but also heart disease. Two ways to help combat stress are exercise and meditation. Stress burns off the hormones and resets you to normal. Meditation also helps reduce stress, but can be beneficial in preventing you from feeling stressed.

HGH—human growth hormone—helps build muscle tissue.

HGH is often considered the antiaging hormone. As you age, it’s production can slow. It’s responsible for body fluids, bone growth, fat metabolism, regulating body composition, sugar metabolism and even heart function. It’s made in the pituitary gland. Since it helps control the metabolism of fat to use as energy and the development of muscle tissue, it’s important to weight control, too. One way to increase HGH naturally is with exercise. Intense exercise, such as HIIT—high intensity interval training—and a healthy diet can boost your body’s HGH and act like a fountain of youth.

  • Serotonin can affect weight gain. It is a hormone that helps with mood regulation, sleep cycles, memory, appetite and specific muscular functions. If you have low levels you might experience depression, insomnia and weight gain.
  • Another sleep-promoting hormone is Melatonin. It only works in total darkness. It not only counteracts stress, it also is an antioxidant. Lower levels are linked to cancer, obesity and diabetes. Restrictive nightwear and lack of complete darkness can reduce melatonin levels by as much as 60%.
  • While testosterone is a male sex hormone, it has other functions and women even have it. It aids in building muscle tissue, which also boosts your metabolism.
  • High amounts of estrogen or an imbalance of progesterone and estrogen can cause weight gain.

Can Sugar Give You Metabolic Disease

Can Sugar Give You Metabolic Disease

The consumption of too much sugar can be one of the many culprits in metabolic disease, referred to medically as metabolic syndrome. It’s actually a cluster of different conditions that include increased blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, visceral fat—fat around the waist and higher bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Those cause an increased risk for more serious conditions like, stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

Your metabolism is the chemical reactions in the body that make food available to the cells.

There are three types of food, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The body breaks them down with enzymes in the digestive system and then they’re available for use in the cells as fuel. If there’s an abundance of fuel available, it’s stored in the liver, muscle tissue or as body fat. A failure in the system can cause ill health. Large amounts of sugar in the diet can cause stress to the pancreas and liver. In the case of the pancreas, which produces insulin, it becomes overworked and fails to maintain blood sugar regulation properly. The liver can be overwhelmed by high levels of fructose, since it metabolizes fructose. That leads the liver converting the fructose to fat, fatty liver syndrome and a release of fat in the blood stream.

Excess sugar can cause insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is the precursor of type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome, obesity and cardiovascular disease too. When there’s glucose in the bloodstream, the body produces insulin to unlock the cells so the glucose can get in and feed them. Sometimes, the cells don’t respond to the insulin, leaving the glucose free in the bloodstream, so the pancreas continues to produce more. It becomes a vicious circle with the pancreas working overtime.

Besides increasing the risk for diabetes, sugar increases the risk for heart disease.

Those markers that help identify metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, an imbalance in cholesterol levels, weight around the middle and high blood sugar levels, increase your risk for heart disease and other diseases. Diabetes also takes its toll on people. It causes kidney failure an increased potential or lower-limb amputation, blindness, as well as twice the risk for pancreatic cancer and colon cancer. It’s obvious that sugar is part of the cause, since controlling diet can help reduce blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure.

  • Besides causing metabolic disease, sugar can lead to a myriad of conditions that are as varied as weaker eyesight, arthritis, gall stones and varicose veins.
  • Sugar also causes premature aging by combining with proteins in a process called glycation. They form a new molecule called advanced glycation end products—AGEs. These attack other cells like collagen and elastin that keep the skin firm, making you look older before you should.
  • Not only is a healthy diet good for metabolic diseases, so is adequate exercise, which can help reduce or eliminate insulin resistance.
  • Consuming too much sugar is bad for the memory. According to studies, sugar slows the brain and hinders memory and learning.

Nutrition For Life

Nutrition For Life

No truer words are spoken than “you are what you eat.” Learning the basics can provide information to have good nutrition for life. You can make it more complex, but the simplest way is to break it down to colors on your plate and eating whole foods. Whole foods are those that are minimally processed. They include fresh fruits and vegetables, plus lean meat and whole grains. They don’t have additives or chemicals in them and are closest to their natural form as possible.

Fill your plate with colors.

Way back in junior high I had to take a home economics class, like every student in the school. One thing I remembered was the rainbow plate. The teacher kept promoting foods of all colors to fill the plate. While my first thought was M&Ms or Skittles, I knew what she meant. She showed sliced red tomatoes with a big green salad, white baked potato and tan chicken breast. There were orange cooked carrots and for dessert, blueberries. Different colored foods contain different nutrients and phytonutrient. The anthocyanins that make blueberries blue, for instance, are potent antioxidants.

Learn to cook healthier.

No matter what you’re serving for dinner, you can make the health benefits outstanding or eliminate most of them by the way you cook the food. I always use fair food as an example of destroying healthy food. Everything seems to be deep fat fried there, from pickles to butter. Frying food not only adds calories, it changes something healthy to food that’s unhealthy, particularly if it’s breaded and deep fried. Baking, steaming, grilling and broiling foods is healthier.

Don’t fall for fad diets.

No matter what the lead paragraph on a website says, there are no miracle diets that magically take off pounds. While many of the fad diets, like the cabbage soup diet or molasses lemonade diet will help you shed weight fast, it’s all about cutting the caloric intake. As soon as you go back to eating regularly, the pounds pile back on quickly, sometimes bringing friends. These diets also strip your body of important nutrients you need for good health…and a strong metabolism.

  • Boost your water intake. Sometimes, you’re not hungry, but thirsty. Drinking 64 ounces of water a day is also good for your overall health.
  • Learn to make healthy substitutions. Choosing wild or brown rice over processed rice saves a few calories, but also adds extra nutrition.
  • Season with herbs and spices. Adding herbs to your meal boost the nutritional intake, improves flavor but doesn’t add calories.
  • Have healthy snacks ready for those midmorning and mid afternoon cravings. Take them to work and avoid the desire to clean out the candy counter at the gas station or the candy machine at work.

Is Clean Eating Too Hard?

Is Clean Eating Too Hard?

If you’ve tried clean eating and found it way too hard to maintain, the problem probably isn’t with clean eating, even though there are situations where it’s tougher than when you’re eating at home. Eating clean doesn’t have to be expensive or tough to do. There are ways to actually make it easy and inexpensive.If you’re in a rush and simply don’t have time to cook at home for a week or two, it’s not a problem. There are inexpensive, quick healthy meals you can find already made at the grocery, in the frozen food department or from your favorite healthy restaurant.

Make healthy eating easier at home.

To make it easier to eat healthy at home, it takes some planning. Create a meal plan for the week and then do your shopping and some of the preparation on the weekend. By doing this, you can save money, too. A great menu will use the ingredients you purchased for one meal in another one. You can also purchase dried foods in bulk, so you always have them on hand. When you make soup or other “freezable” meals, make extra. It can serve as a meal on those nights you’re frazzled and too tired to think.

Keep a list of favorite meals.

Whether you’re just cooking for yourself or cooking for the whole family, there will be dishes and complete meals that are simply zeros and ones that everyone loves. Keep a file, whether on the computer or in one of those recipe boxes your mother used to use, to have that meal at the tip of your fingers when you need a healthy option. For most people, not only is taste a top priority, but so is quick, cheap and healthy.

Have healthy snacks available.

Everyone, whether adult or children, likes to nosh occasionally. Whether you’re trying to stick to healthy eating or not, having healthy snacks available is important. The bowl could be in the refrigerator, but finding foods that can sit on the counter are eaten more frequently. Nuts, trail mix, a plate of fresh fruit that’s chopped and maybe even topped with some peanut butter, are good options and can be there when you’re considering where you hid that last Hershey’s bar.

  • There are times when eating healthy is almost impossible. If you’re at a company dinner, business luncheon, night out with the gang or on vacation, it’s just too tempting to order a burger or other less than healthy option. If you fail to stick with healthy eating, don’t worry. Start again the next day.
  • When you do your shopping for the week, after you unpack your groceries, immediately chop all the vegetables at once and put them in plastic bags. It cut time for the rest of the week.
  • Save money on fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t let them go bad. You know the look right before they’re ready to go. At that point, freeze them for smoothies. You’ll save money and have quick to use ingredients.
  • Don’t sweat it if you don’t have all the spices and herbs. Wing it to save money. I have a client that grows herbs and swears she’s not a cook. However, she throws those herbs into many meals, experimenting as she does. Swapping herbs, using less or simply omitting expensive ones often doesn’t change the taste that much.

How To Crush Nighttime Cravings

How To Crush Nighttime Cravings

If you’re focused more on what’s in the refrigerator than the television program you’re watching, learning how to crush nighttime cravings can help you lose weight or eat healthier. Nighttime cravings occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes the reasons are simple, such as you didn’t eat enough during the day or it’s a habit you formed years ago. It can come from psychological problems, such as depression or eating disorders. You can crush those cravings by using a few of these tricks to tame your desire.

Start by making wiser choices.

While it’s not exactly cutting out nighttime eating, it can make a difference in your health and weight. Rather than choosing a chewy chocolate bar stuffed with nuts and caramel, you might consider a lower calorie yogurt that has a chocolate twist, like the Boston cream pie one. If that bag of chips is calling your name, nuke a potato instead…Don’t forget to get rid of the chips, you don’t need them hanging around anyway.

Avoid stress or boredom eating by keeping your hands busy.

You may just want something to do while you’re winding down watching your favorite television program. Take up a hobby that does just that, whether it’s knitting, playing cards, doing a puzzle or crossword. Taking up a new hobby and avoiding the television altogether is also an option. If you’re in the garage doing woodworking or take up drawing or painting. Before you know it, you’ll be involved enough that craving will disappear.

Identify the cause and the craving.

Are you just following through with a habit you’ve had forever? Are you REALLY hungry? Is it the sweet treat, salty pretzel or just crunchy sound you want to hear? Sometimes, those are emotional reactions to the day. Crunchy is often a way to let off steam. A craving for sugary foods may be a sign you’re depressed. It could also be a sign you’re tired. There’s a lot of reasons for eating certain foods and snacks. Only you can identify whether you’re really needing a boost to your energy or are feeling depressed. If it’s at night, the chances of needing energy is pretty big! Go to bed. That will help solve the problem.

  • One way to quit eating after you eat is to brush your teeth. It may be earlier in the evening when you crave food, but there’s something about having that minty freshness in your mouth that says stop eating.
  • Clean the kitchen immediately after dinner. Do the whole nine yards, wiping down cupboards, loading the dishwasher or hand washing dishes and cleaning the sink. You’ll be less likely to mess it up again.
  • Eat healthier during the day to make sure the craving isn’t your body craving a nutrient.
  • Establish a schedule and stick with it. If you go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time, you’ll be less likely to crave those sugary products in the wee hours of the morning…because you’re asleep. The same is true of your eating pattern.

Good Snacks For Weight Loss

Good Snacks For Weight Loss

You might be surprised to find that there are good snacks for weight loss. Your mother was right. Snacking does spoil your appetite and eating healthy snacks that are low in calories may be just what the diet doctor ordered. Snacking is a perfect tool for weight loss, when you eat healthy snacks, because it fills you up without adding extra calories, so you’ll eat less at the next meal. The ideal snack is lower in calories and higher in nutrients. Here are some of my favorites that you’ll easily find in Oceanside.

Are you hungry for a little sweetness.

That low in the mid afternoon can wipe you out. It’s when you’re desperate for a little sugar and tempted to empty the snack machine, with that Payday or Snickers bar at the top of your list. Be prepared for those times, because you know it’s going to happen. Have a healthy snack ready chilling in the office refrigerator of fresh sweet grapes. On hot summer days, toss a handful in the freezer in the morning for a delicious treat that’s sure to end those sugar cravings, wake up your mouth and give you the energy to zip through the rest of the day.

Grab a handful of almonds.

Almonds have a lot of nutrition and best of all, they’re filling. One small handful contains approximately 161 calories and have 3.5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, one third of your RDA for vitamin E and manganese, 20 percent of your RDA for magnesium, plus copper, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. The magnesium helps control blood sugar so you don’t have those highs and ravenous lows.

Enjoy some fresh veggies and hummus.

Fresh cut up veggies contain almost no calories and you probably already know the benefits of fiber and nutrients they contain. Pair them with the high protein hummus that only contains 166 calories for a 3.5 ounce container and you have a dynamite snack that will keep you satisfied for hours. Hummus contains manganese, copper, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, thiamine, potassium and B6. It has substantial fiber and 7.9 grams of protein. It helps fight inflammation, is a good prebiotic and helps control blood sugar. It also is known to help promote weight loss.

  • Are you constantly on the go, not at a desk? Keep a small baggy of dried fruit and mixed nuts to snack as you go. It boosts energy, plus provides nutrients.
  • Everyone thinks of grapefruit as a diet food, for good reason. Studies show it actually helps weight loss when eaten with every meal. You can keep whole grapefruit ready to slice and eat or section them for a quick treat that’s not as messy.
  • Roasted chickpeas make a great snack. They’re the main ingredient for hummus, so you know they’re packed with fiber, protein and loads of nutrients.
  • Grab some plain yogurt with live active cultures and add some berries for a filling snack that won’t fill you out.

What Are Probiotics Good For?

What Are Probiotics Good For?

It may seem hard to wrap your mind around these numbers, I know it was for me, but there are far more bacterial cells in the human body than human cells. Initially, the ratio was thought to be 10 to 1, but now is estimated more like 1.3 to 1. When you consider that blood makes up 84% of the human cells and that it doesn’t take into account fungi, viruses and archaea, which boosts that ratio back up to 10 to 1, it becomes rather a staggering statistic. While the average person has approximately 39 trillion bacteria, that number isn’t static, neither is the number of human cells. Bacteria plays an important role in the health of each individual. Probiotics aid in ensuring there’s a healthy balance of good bacteria.

Bacteria helps us live healthier.

Everywhere in your body, you have bacteria. It’s not only on your skin, but in your lungs, nose and digestive tract. Unlike bad bacteria that can make you sick, good bacteria acts as the front line soldiers to fight off pathogens that can cause infection. They not only help our immune system, they also aid with digestion. They help the body to absorb fatty acids and break down carbs and toxins. They protect the intestines and ensure that damage is repaired. People have their own personalized mix of bacteria the day they’re born, but many things can change that.

Things that can affect your bacterial level and mix.

Unfortunately, when you take antibiotics, it not only kills off the harmful bacteria, it also kills the good ones. Those may be ones used in digestion or to fight off harmful bacteria or fungi. Both prescription and over-the-counter drugs can damage the balance of the gut flora, killing off your good bacteria. These include everything from heartburn pills, both prescribed and over-the-counter, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which includes ibuprophen and aspirin also beat on the good bacteria.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host,” according to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics. Probiotics can come from either supplements or food. Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, yogurt and kefir are probiotics. The most common bacteria with probiotic benefits are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. While probiotics may be good, it doesn’t mean everyone should have the same balance of bacteria. Different types of bacteria help with different conditions.

  • Not all probiotics are bacteria. There is a type of yeast that acts as a probiotic.
  • Fluoridated water, as well as chlorinated water have an effect on healthy bacterial levels.
  • Processed foods, sugar, fructose and refined foods—which includes pasteurized milk, GMO foods, pesticides, and even stress can affect bacterial levels and mix. Sugar also boosts the growth of yeast (fungus) that can overtake healthy bacteria.
  • Some studies show that probiotics can actually help make weight loss easier.

Don't Sweat The Scale

Don’t Sweat The Scale

I hear people in anguish over not losing weight and one thing I tell them is, don’t sweat the scale. You aren’t going to shed weight sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress. Your weight is just ONE of the indicators that you’re doing everything right. The numbers on the scales have become a trophy when they’re lower and a taunting reminder of our failure when they’re not. It should be that way. In fact, some people may be far fitter than they were, wear smaller clothing sizes and still see the same number when they step on the scales.

More muscle means more weight.

More muscle tone makes you slimmer, but it also may mean you aren’t seeing the numbers on the scale you hoped to achieve. That’s because a cubic inch of muscle weighs more than a cubic inch of fat. To put it easier, just like comparing a container that holds exactly a pound of steel—muscle— to one that holds exactly a pound of feathers—fat, the container holding feathers will be far bigger. The best news is that the more muscle you have the more calories you burn, because muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance.

Check your waistline.

An important indicator of good health is the waist circumference. Visceral fat, the toughest type to get rid of, accumulates there. It’s deadly fat and the less you have of it, the better you are. If you’re a woman, your waist should be no larger than 35 inches, for a man the number of inches is 40. People with larger waist sizes face an increased risk for stroke, some types of cancer, cardiovascular, disease and high blood pressure.

Sticking with your workout and seeing improvement is another thing to watch.

When the scale isn’t cooperating, even if you see a slight weight gain, as long as you know you’ve faithfully stuck with your exercise program and followed a healthy eating pattern, you can be pretty sure that it’s not really fat accumulation, but water weight or normal fluctuation. Track your workout progress and watch for improvements. If you could only do 10 repetitions of an exercise per set and now can do 20, you’ve made a huge improvement.

  • Gauge your improvement by your energy level. If you’re chronically tired, it’s time to see a doctor. However, if you feel more invigorated, you’re doing it right.
  • Getting fit isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. The scales only reveal short term numbers and don’t reflect what you achieve in overall health.
  • When you do weigh yourself, do it once a week at the same time each day. Use the same scales placed on the same surface. Sometimes, just placing the scales on a carpet can change how much weight it registers.
  • Enjoy and stay active. I like a pedometer more than a scales to measure fitness. While it won’t measure what you eat or how hard you worked out at the gym, it does give you a clear picture of how active you are when not working out.