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Fitness Health Nutrition

How to Lose Weight in 2021

Losing weight Effortlessly

New Years resolutions don’t really work and the reason they don’t work is simple. People make really lofty goals that are so far removed from their current way of life that it’s a recipe for failure. Another reason is that humans in general are motivated by fear.

Humans have an autonomic nervous system that controls the entire nervous system network in the body via the connection between the central nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for fight or flight. That feeling that drives you when you are scared or afraid of what is to come.

The parasympathetic nervous system drives you based on rest and digest. Your digestive system runs most efficiently when you are not moving and it can focus all of your blood and energy on digesting your food.

So let’s say that you want to lose weight in 2021 – your best strategy is to use this nervous system to your advantage. Here’s how:

Write Down Why You Need To Be Healthy

The number one killers in America are not from strange viruses and bacterium. It is from:

Heart Disease

Stroke

Cancer

Diabetes

If you want to live a long and healthy life and lose weight in 2021, then you know obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are not the way to go about it.

In order to life long with good quality you must work to eat right, exercise and maintain a positive mental attitude.

Take a few minutes and write down which chronic diseases really scare you and what would happen to you if you were diagnosed. Read some horror stories and generate some healthy fear.

Slow Down At Meal Time

Know we know that the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the digestion in the body and it prefers to work at rest.

This is why you feel sluggish after eating and you want to take a nap.

When we properly digest our food, we are allowing our body to access nutrients, create new cells and tissues, create hormones and important signaling molecules. Also we help to move the waste products through the body more efficiently.

Easy ways to help your digestion

Eat sitting down at a table

Chew slowly and methodically

Give yourself plenty of time to eat and digest

Do not eat in the car

Do not eat in a rush

Think about what you’re eating and why

So that’s it. If you follow these two simple steps to lose weight in 2021 then you will find yourself much happier and healthier in 2022.

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Nutrition

WFPBLF

Whole Food Plant Based Low Fat

I know I just posted a blog post on bone broth.

Ok, so what happened?

I went down the rabbit hole after reading/listening to some great information from Pam Popper. Pam is a naturopath who works/lives in Columbus, Ohio. She is an advocate for a whole foods plant-based low oil diet.

A whole food plant-based low oil diet is strongly advised by most cardiologists and cardio-thoracic surgeons.

For many years I have lived a whole food plant based diet, it wasn’t until recently that I tried meat and animal products again.

I did that for a few years from 2017 to mid 2020 and then I had a crisis of ethics. I could not continue eating in a way that I was sure was contributing to the degradation of my health.

It is in September that I recommitted to the WFPBLF lifestyle and I have felt amazing ever since.

I started using Engine 2’s meal planner which allows you to copy all ingredients into a single spread sheet that you can send to your local grocer.

This helped me to jump start to my way back to health.

Living this lifestyle for the past three months has already had a profound effect on my health. My cycle has become more regular and the inflammation I experienced after having major surgery was much less than the normal patient.

It’s delicious and satisfying to eat this way.

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Health Nutrition

Soft Cleanse by OHS

I first heard about OHS a few years ago from a colleague. Optimal Health Systems is supported by Dr. Brimhall and Dr. Harris. Dr Harris is considered the expert in methylation and he uses the methylation and genetics testing kit to get to the root cause of many chronic issues.

I have not attended these seminars but decided that I should take some time to detox my body before my upcoming jaw surgery in the fall.

For the past month I took:

Female +B

Opti-Para

Opti-Mito-Force

Soft Cleanse

This review is on the soft cleanse. It comes in a neat and clean box that allows you to punch out a hole in the bottom and the supplements are on a roll that you tear off each morning and evening. They are labeled morning/evening so you know whether you’ve taken one or two for the day.

Each packet contains 5 pills:

2 FloraPlus

1 Liver Kidney

2 Opti Cleanse and Repair

From OHS website: “The Optimal Soft Cleanse Pak combines two formulas and utilizes a proprietary chlorella herb and patented glutamine blend to aid in cleansing. In addition, it utilizes special pectin fibers, along with nitrogen from glutamine, to aid in the safe removal of debris.”

Key Ingredients & Their Roles
Licorice Root – Support gut, liver and immune health
Psyllium – Bind to and remove heavy metals
Oat Bran – Promote a healthy colon
Celery – Inflammation reduction
Sweet Potato – Natural anti-inflammatory that promotes liver health
Pectin – Bind to and remove heavy metals
Chlorella – Bind to and remove heavy metals
Jerusalem Artichoke – Help detoxify liver
Barberry Root – Natural detoxifier
Dandelion Root – Encourages removal of toxins through sweat, bile and urine
Milk Thistle – Promote a healthy liver”

www.optimalhealthsystems.com

I’ve had a great experience with this soft cleanse and noticed that several key signs of detox were present.

  1. The smell of my sweat changed and became less pungent.
  2. My face has broken out several times and toxins leave through my skin.
  3. I checked my Zyto score and all of my body systems balanced out.

It’s important to detox every 6 months especially in 2020. We have toxins in water, in the air, in our food, basically every thing we do contributes to our toxic load.

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Health Nutrition

DIY: Essential Oil Mouthwash

The Story Behind Essential Oils

Essential oils are quite simply the oil that comes from a plant when you press it extremely hard.  You can extract this oil from herbs, flowers, and roots.  There may be others but these are the most common.  Using plant essential oils has been around as long as there have been plant and human interaction. 

Before the most recent craze of using essential oils for everything from toe fungus to hair serums, we were using essential oils and not even realizing it.  Chewing gum for instance was originally flavored with peppermint or spearmint essential oil. 

Many shamans, natural medicine healers, and early doctors used essential oils quite often to help heal their patients. You might think that we have come a long way since then and why should we go back?

Using Plants in Modern Medicine

Today many great discoveries in medicine are still found using natural plants. There are many botanists, pharmaceutical botanists, medical doctors, and researchers who are looking all over the world for natural cures to diseases and infections.  If nature made it, then surely nature can kill it?

Once a plant, flower or herb is discovered then they bring it back for testing and to learn about its chemical composition.  Let’s say for instance that a plant or herb is very good at curing disease Z, but this plant only grows for 1 month each year on a high up rock in one deserted part of a far away country.  Well then, it only seems natural that we would figure out what makes it so helpful and try to recreate it in a lab.  This would save the natural environment from unnecessary exposure to trucking, development and other unpleasantries.

Since the advent of “modern medicine” this has been the standard practice.  Find something useful and recreate it in a lab for mass production to help as many people as possible.

The Problem with This Solution

There’s always a problem, isn’t there? When we mimic plants and herbs that we find naturally occurring we end up making mirror images of their chemical composition and this doesn’t always mesh the same with our systems.

As the saying goes “nothing like the real thing”. So while, for some very expensive, hard to grow plants and herbs it makes sense to do our best with the chemical copy, when we have the opportunity to grow the ‘real thing’ then we should of course take advantage of this.

The reason this wasn’t always so popular was due to the fact, that making the artificial version has always been more ‘cost effective’ shall we say?

Due to this fact, the corporations making these products decided to go with the artificial version instead and they have been putting some other less desirable additives into these products that we’re consuming as well.

There are so many great website that track this information.  My personal favorite is www.ewg.org .  The environmental working group is committed to providing the general public with the information what is in the products that we are consuming. I think this a great resource for anyone who is concerned. 

Natural DIY Mouthwash with Essential Oils

½ cup distilled water

½ cup 3 % hydrogen peroxide

¼ cup aloe vera juice

10 drops peppermint oil

10 drops spearmint oil

Mix together, store in a glass jar

*do not swallow

Swish in mouth and spit into sink

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Health Nutrition

Can You Feel the Sunshine?

Cue age of Aquarius “let the sunshine in”, what a great song.  It’s one of those songs that I can play loud with the windows down, the sun shining and the wind blowing through my hair.  Hearing the melody creates feelings of joy and wonder, causing a cascade of happy hormones in my body. 

Hormones are how we feel our surroundings or interpret our external events internally.  It starts with a trigger, it can excite the pathways that create more hormones and this creates a positive feedback loop that will make you crave more. 

Now, this can also create a negative feedback loop that will tell you ‘this wasn’t such a good idea’ and the next time when you feel that same stimulus you will take different action.  Your brain is a computer that is also living and learning and smart.  It will take the input into it and create memories of the stimulus and then determine whether the experience was good or bad for us and tell us what to do the next time the situation arises.

Sunshine

Sun shine is comprised of UVA, UVB and other types of rays that come from the sun.  These can be good for us, as in, vitamin D synthesis and stimulating the positive hormone cascade and they can also be harmful, as in, skin cancer and sun burns.

Sunshine is recommended by most doctors for about 10-15 minutes a day and when it hits your skin, you get an immediate sense of well-being and health.  This is because your body is creating new, good hormones in the case of vitamin D.  We know that vitamin D is good for our health: cardiovascular, bone health, and other systems.

We also know that if we stay in the sun too long we can get sun burns.

Sun burns

Sun burns happen when we have prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet radiation from the sun.  These rays of ultraviolet light are called UVA and UVB rays.  In small doses these may be harmless but in large doses they can burn our skin. 

We have receptors in our skin that tell us what is going on around us so that we can perceive our environment and then make changes based on that perceived information.  So, let’s say for instance, that we are standing on the ground in Los Angeles and we start to feel the ground move, what you are actually feeling is the proprioception receptors in your skin and joints that sense vibration.  These sensors tell you that the ground is shaking, more than just a large truck is passing by.  Your brain then taps into these memories and says this feels like an earthquake and we better take cover.  Or maybe it can compare it to all past experiences and say this isn’t like anything we’ve experienced before and this must be an earthquake. 

Sun burns work that same way, at some point, your skin’s temperature receptors will say this is warm and nice.  Then it will get hot and then it will signal to the brain, “hey, I’m burning here”.  Because sun burns are actually burns of the skin. So when you get a sun burn you are burning your skin.  This is not healthy for the body and the body will tell you to protect yourself.  Either move indoors away from the sun or cover up your burning flesh.

How to tell the difference

Safety is number one! Unless you have suffered a sun burn before you will not have a memory of when the sun on your skin much for your body is too to handle.  In this case, it is better to use some sunscreen to protect your skin from a sun burn.

I know some people are against sun screen and in that case it is best to wear light linen or cotton clothing to protect your skin from excessive sun exposure.  Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. 

Always have extra layers of clothing if you are going to be out in the sun for long periods of time.  It is very hard to tell the difference between good sun and too much sun.  Once you feel your skin burning, it is too late and you will have already started to burn the epidermis.

So do not wait until you feel the burn.

Types of sun block to wear

The best type of sun block is the one with the least amount of additives.  The environmental working group at ewg.org has been resources for finding the least toxic sunscreens.  They have brands that are EWG certified and will help you to find the one that’s right for you.

As far as the numbers go, SPF 15, 30, 45, 50, 75.  That only signifies how many minutes of sun protection you will have.  For instance, SPF 15 is 15 minutes of sun protection, whereas 75 is 75 minutes. Some people think that if they put on SPF 50 that they will have less of a chance of getting burned and this is simply NOT TRUE. 

Personally, I use SPF 15 and above on most days and most dermatologists recommend SPF 30 and above.

Clothing

If you are very sensitive to the sun and can feel the sun even on a cloudy day then I recommend wearing UPF clothes during summer.  UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor and this is built into the cloth.

This is meant to prevent the ultraviolet rays from penetrating the linen or cotton fibers and reaching your skin. 

This is highly advisable if you have a sun allergy, sun sensitivity, or are prone to skin cancers.

Conclusion

Most people can feel the sunshine just like the song says.  Most of the time it is a good thing to feel the sun on our skin and know our body is hard at work making our vitamin D to protect us from very bad diseases.  If however, you are out for too long in the sun then remember to cover up and protect your skin from sun burns.

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Health Nutrition

Everything You Must Know About: Vitamin C

Best ways to get vitamin C

IV

Intravenous vitamin C dosage is gaining widespread popularity both domestically (here in the US) and throughout the world.  What started as ‘holistic’ care is becoming more mainstream through the use of cancer centers and the like.  Naturopathic doctors and functional medicine doctors were the first to use intravenous vitamin C after it was discovered by Linus Pauling in the 1970s. 

Pauling the noted Nobel Prize winner used IVC with cancer patients to increase survival times in those with advanced cancer.  Later in 2006 the Canadian medical association journal showed three reports of cases where the cancer went into remission through the use of IVC therapy.

The most recent studies look at tumor growth, quality of life and containing the effects of chemotherapy.

Oral Vs IVC

Intravenous vitamin C goes straight to the bloodstream whereas oral vitamin C must work its way through the gastrointestinal system.  The intestinal system has the capacity to absorb 250 micromoles by contrast the IVC can bring levels to as high as 30 millimoles.

If dosing using the oral method the maximum suggested is 3 grams, 4 times per day. 

How does Vitamin C kill cancer cells?

This is meant to induce cytotoxic reactive oxygen species, hydrogen peroxide which will kill the tumor/cancer cells.  In a normal functioning cell hydrogen peroxide is metabolized into water and oxygen.  Tumor cells on the other hand lack catalase leaving them vulnerable to the cytotoxic effects of HP.

What does that all mean?  Vitamin C kills bad cells and gives healthy cells more oxygen.   

Another bonus: tumor cells take in more vitamin C compared to normal cells via facilitated transport, specifically glucose transports. 

Cancer cells have more glucose transports because they need more glucose to function. 

Cancer lives off glucose AKA sugar!

Is it Safe?

Yes. It has a high safety profile.

Why isn’t this more widely talked about?

Its not patentable.  You can buy vitamin C at any store and its cheap.

This means big companies can’t make a lot of money off vitamin C therapy so they don’t research it or even talk about the very effective research that has been done.

Considerations

Vitamin C therapy is gaining traction throughout the world and needs more research for further applications.  As always, we should be careful about the ways in which we get our vitamins and minerals.  Making sure that we vet each source and strive the highest quality available.

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Health Nutrition

The Ultimate Guide: Vitamin D

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that comes from cholesterol.  Since, I was a young child I have heard that you must go outside to get your daily dose of vitamin D.  So does it come from the sun or does it come from cholesterol?

The answer is both-

Vitamin D is not naturally occurring in many foods, so our bodies came up with an ingenious plan to harness the sun for our own benefit.

Once our skin is exposed to ultraviolet B light we begin to synthesize the vitamin D that we can use.  If you are a sun worshipper and feel recharged by the sun, this may be why.

Key point- the biologically inactive version that starts the process only has a half life of 12-16 hours.  That means that our liver must make great use of what we provide before it’s gone. 

So as you guessed, the next stop in the pathway is the liver where it is converted to 25-hydroxy vitamin D, 25(OH)D.  This is the form that’s most often measured in blood work.  This form of vitamin D can survive much longer and has a half life of three weeks.

Next stop is the kidney where it is converted into it’s biologically active form of 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D also known as calcitriol. 

Calcitriol is the form of vitamin D that can enter target cells and bind to vitamin D receptors.

Main Function of Vitamin D

The main function of vitamin D is to maintain the balance between calcium and phosphate levels in the blood.  These levels are responsible for bone health and connected to over 900 genes involved in many processes throughout the body.

Vitamin D is considered an essential vitamin and deficiencies can be associated with mood, memory, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders, cancer, hypertension, infectious diseases, and autoimmune disorders.

When working together with calcium, vitamin D can also help to protect against osteoporosis.

Levels of Vitamin D

Deficient = <20ng/ml

Insufficient = 20-30 ng/ml

Excess = >100 ng/ml

Intoxication = >150 ng/ml

Where is Vitamin D?

Like I said previously, vitamin D can be synthesized by exposing the skin to ultraviolet B rays from the sun. Can you overdose on vitamin D from the sun? The answer is NO! Your body has many protective mechanisms and this is one.  Your skin will not allow you to absorb or convert more previtamin D3 than you need.

It’s also found in fish skin such as tuna and salmon and fish liver oils, cod liver oil anyone?  You may also find it in some animal sources such as beef liver, eggs, and cheese.

Back in the 1930’s the united states government went to work to combat vitamin deficiencies and the fortification program was born.  This helped to combat many childhood diseases that used to plague children in socio-economic disadvantaged areas. Rickets is one such disease that is clearly linked to vitamin D deficiency.

Immune Response

Vitamin D has a very profound effect on the immune response.  Scientists are currently researching it’s link to lupus, autoimmune thyroid disease, diabetic nephropathy, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Monocytes and macrophages are the first line of defense against outside invaders in the body.  They increase anti-microbial activity.   A deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to an impaired ability of macrophages to mature, decreases production of macrophage specific surface antigens, decreased lysosomal enzyme acid phosphatase and decreased secretion of hydrogen peroxide.

It helps to decrease inflammation, which is a good thing. 

Overall, vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system and science is beginning to understand just how important that role is to our health.

Considerations

You should talk to your doctor about vitamin D supplementation before beginning any program.  Also, if you are taking corticosteroids as these can reduce calcium absorption and inhibit the metabolism of vitamin D.   Many people taking these steroids are warned about the risk of possible osteoporosis.  Persons taking weight loss drugs, and some cholesterol lowering drugs should also talk their doctor.