Did you know...We have about 3 billion cells in our body, working hard everyday to help us meet the demands of daily living. We might relax and rest, but our cells never do. When they "retire," or reach their individual life expectancy, they are replaced with new cells. If we are taking in optimal nutrition, keeping stress levels under control, resting like we should, and exercising regularly, our cells likely won't retire before their time. Unfortunately, most of us don't do all we can to stay healthy, and cells die too early. To boot, they are replaced with less-than-optimal new cells. This ......
The topic of cereal came up in a recent discussion during a wellness workshop. What kinds to pick, good vs. bad, where to find them, and so on. Below is a link to a great list of the 20 best cereals. Most, if not all, can be found at large grocery stores and health food markets, like Whole Foods. Look for cereals with the fewest ingredients, and lowest amount of sugar. You want to start off the day with energy that lasts, not a sugar roller coaster. Also, note that these brands are low in other additives, like food coloring and artificial flavors. These additives are too abundant in our foods ......
Sometimes hunger pains between meals mean a trip to the vending machine where, let's face it, the choices aren't nutrient rich. Getting in the habit of having a few healthy items on hand, stashed in your desk, or wherever, takes the thinking out of it, and can be so much healthier for you. Here are a few options that I like: HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS Hummus with Sliced Veggies This Middle Eastern chickpea spread is packed with protein, fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Veggies like carrots, bell peppers and broccoli make great dippers and add good nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin ......
I want to eat healthier, but my husband isn't on board with "health food." I want to start exercising more, but my family commitments don't leave any time for myself. I try to eat healthier at work, but my co-workers like to joke about how the lunches I pack are "too healthy." I hear comments like these all the time. It is hard enough to initiate change on your own, let alone have little support for your efforts at home, work, and elsewhere. Here's the important thing to remember, however. YOU are in charge of YOU. YOU are deciding to make healthier changes for YOUR benefit. Whether your husba......


Oatmeal with nutsI love it when I’m asked great questions, so it made my day when I got this one:

“Why on leg day do I feel like eating the entire pantry?”

My knee-jerk answer:

“The body is telling you to refuel in order to repair muscle damage.”

Thinking about it some more though, I knew I needed to dig a little deeper into the science of properly fueling our bodies for workouts. I want my answer to be the right one!

Upon further questioning, I found out that this person wasn’t just craving food (i.e, kinda hungry, so looking for a snack).  No, the food craving was more like wanting “a huge fried combo” with mozzarella sticks, poppers, and chicken wings.

Being hungry after a hard workout is normal. You are burning a lot of calories, after all.  This was a unique situation however, more inline with endurance training (marathon/triathlon training) and body building (HIIT, Tabata intervals, etc.).  In these cases, proper fuel is essential both before, AND after, the workout. Here’s why…

A single bout of exercise will stimulate protein synthesis within 2-4 hours post-workout. That rate could stay elevated up to 24 hours. Now let’s say you don’t refuel well after the workout, then workout again on an empty stomach the next morning. At the beginning of the next workout, the  body’s glycogen stores are low and cortisol levels will be higher (cortisol is normally higher in the morning). To find the fuel for another hard workout, the body will turn to muscle for fuel, and begin breaking down muscle tissue. What you might get afterward is extreme muscle soreness, fatigue, and the  urge to replenish protein and carbohydrate stores.


sugar causes blood sugar levels to spike and an endless cycle of high/low spikes

Some people just aren’t hungry in the morning, therefore the urge to eat before a workout might not be there. But, it is a must. You will have a lot more energy for the workout if you eat about an hour beforehand, and as long as the meal is low-glycemic, blood sugar levels should stay level through the workout. Then, refueling after the workout with a small meal that has a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 carbohydrate to protein, you facilitate muscle repair, and keep cortisol levels and blood sugar levels normal. This will combat cravings throughout the day. Remember, we burn calories all day long, even at rest, therefore we need to keep our fat-burning machine fired up all day long.

Here are two great articles related to cortisol and blood sugar levels. Check  out: Intermittent Fasting, Cortisol and Blood Sugar and Optimal Nutrition Enhances Sports Performance

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