Are You A Good Fat Burner? It May Be Your Digestion!

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Seems as you get older it just get harder and harder to lose weight.

And to drive a girl even more nuts, gaining weight seems to get easier and easier. What?

I’ve worked with a lot of women in the 40’s and beyond that want to lose weight.

It ain’t easy, at times it seems downright impossible.

The key to being a good fat burner is having a good digestion.

A body bogged down with toxins, sugar and processed food is not going to burn fat.

No amount of exercise is going to do the trick!

I have heard more personal trainers say their clients just don’t get it….you can’t expect to lose weight just because you spend time working out if you don’t eat healthy food and have great digestion.

I don’t promote a sedentary life either but you just have to have good digestion if you are going to lose that weight and keep it off.

So want to know how to start being a good fat burner?

Start with these four areas.

1.Get hydrated – drink more water – not tea, not coffee but water – preferably room temp, add some lemon,1/2 your body weight in ounces. You are made up of mostly water.  Without proper hydration you will stop burning fat.

2. Detox your body – your liver is a key organ for creating good digestion. Eat foods that take toxins out of your body. Some great foods for this are: Chia seeds, organic berries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, leafy greens, beets, just to name a few. Eat organic – it does matter!

3. Boost your immune system – the vast amount of your immune system is located around your gut…unhealthy gut, unhealthy you.  And when we don’t feel well we gain weight.  Boost your immune system with fruits and vegetables, getting proper rest, reduce stress and spend time doing things you enjoy!

4. Give your body time to burn fat.  The more frequently you eat the less body fat you will burn.  You will burn the fat you have eaten but not body fat.  Also if you are eating the wrong combination of foods you will actually be storing some of those calories as fat in your body. Intermittent fasting is a great option.

We all know the health benefits of being a healthy weight.  We are not talking model thin but a healthy weight.  You have a lower risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. We all want to live as long as we can and be able to do the things we love until the end. Getting yourself to a healthy weight through creating great digestion is the key!

You Deserve to be Healthy!

Want to create a customized plan that will get you burning fat like a pro, shoot me an email at MindyKannon@yahoo.com – Make the subject – Burn Fat Like a Pro!

 

 

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome, So Now What Do I Do, Part Two!

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Okay so here is what we know so far…….click here to read part one in case you missed it!

There is a connection between food intolerances and IBS.

Keeping a food journal can help you to make the connections between what you are eating and your IBS flare-ups.

Soluble and insoluble fiber can make a huge difference in your symptoms.

Sugar is a huge factor in perpetuating your IBS symptoms.

The importance of probiotics.

How important it is too eat smaller meals slowly so as not to overwhelm your digestive tract.

So, now let’s talk about other changes that you can make to get control of your IBS.

Limit the amount of fatty foods that you eat.
Red meat is a very common trigger that can cause a reaction instantly.
Some find that they feel better if they eliminate red meat all together.

Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
Water regulates the digestion as well as powers the muscles.
If you are dehydrated your digestive problems will be amplified.

Along with eating slower, eat foods that make digestion easier.
When you are experiencing a flare-up, eat food that has been processed in a way that makes it easier for your body to obtain the nutrients that it needs without working overtime.
Soups and smoothies are perfect for these times.

Along with the food irritants we discussed earlier, avoid alcohol, tobacco and gum.
Alcohol and tobacco are very acidic and will irritate your system.
Most gums contain artificial sweeteners and chemicals that just don’t sit well with a twitchy digestion.

Take a multi vitamin.
For many, IBS makes it hard for the body to absorb the proper nutrients.
While there is no substitution for real whole foods, help your body along during these tough times but adding a good multi.

Use herbs as medicine.
You don’t have to be a trained herbalist or go foraging in the rain forest to gain relief from herbs.
Here are a few that I recommend.

Peppermint is one of the oldest herbal remedies known to woman.
You can take it for indigestion, gas and nausea.
It has an anti-spasmodic action with a calming effect on the muscles of the stomach, intestinal tract and uterus.
It is an anti-bacterial.
It stimulates the gallbladder to secrete its store of bile which the body uses to digest fats.
It improves the muscles that line the stomach and intestines and relieves diarrhea and has a calming numbing effect on the whole GI tract.
It can be such a strong muscle relaxant that it can cause problems for people with GERD or heartburn.

Chamomile is considered an official drug in 26 countries.
It is an antispasmodic., anti-fungal, anti inflammatory, anti-peptic and has incredible sedative properties.
It has a dramatic calming affect on smooth muscle tissue, which makes it the perfect remedy for gastrointestinal spasm, and menstrual cramps.

Ginger is instrumental in helping to relieve many different gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from simple gas to severe nausea and cramps.
It provides relief for morning sickness, post chemotherapy nausea and has been shown to be more effective for preventing motion sickness than Dramamine.
If you have overeaten a meal, it has proven to be very helpful as it contains a very powerful digestive enzymes.
Ginger also tones digestive muscles.

Other herbs that play a role in digestive disorder relief are: fennel, caraway, anise, oregano and catnip.

As you can see there are foods that can cause your IBS flare-ups, foods that will help ease your issues, ways of eating as well as herbs that will go a long way to reduce the number of occurrences as well as the severity of the problems you are having with IBS.

If you want to learn more about your IBS symptoms and want to make the steps to be free of this limiting issue, forever, shoot me an email and let’s talk!

You Deserve to be Healthy!
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Nature’s Squeegee, Fiber!

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It has been estimated that most of us consume less than 11 grams of fiber a day.  Put that up against the recommended 20-40 grams we need depending on your age and gender. We now eat more low-fiber processed foods than ever before and it is killing us.  

Fiber is major disease fighter:  It clobbers constipation, eases heartburn, protects you from ulcers, halts diarrhea, prevents gallstones, lowers colon cancer risk, calms IBS, lowers high blood pressure, helps fight diabetes, reduces breast and prostate cancer and reduces weight gain.  While that list is long it is not by any means the complete list of what fiber can do.

There are two types of fiber:  soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a soft, gooey liquid or gel that can be fermented by the bacteria in the gut and absorbed into the body. 

Insoluble fiber cannot be digested by the body and passes through unchanged. Both types are important to maintain a healthy digestive system. 

Low intakes of fiber are associated with increased risk of bowel diseases and disorders like constipation.   

It is also thought to prevent some diseases such as cancer, heart disease and has implications for reducing diabetes.

Changing to a high fiber diet is not difficult and should be done gradually as it may upset your digestive system. 

Drinking water while eating a high fiber diet is very important.  Undigested fiber holds fluid in the gut to form soft and bulky stools that move quickly and efficiently along the bowel.  If you do not drink enough water but increase your fiber you may become constipated. 

There are many ways to introduce more fiber into your diet:

 The old way used to be to add bran to everything you ate.  Bran can be a huge irritant and contains phytates, which can interfere with the absorption of essential mineral such as iron, calcium and zinc. 

It is important to get both types of fiber from natural sources. 

Not only will you benefit from the fiber but also all other the natural vitamins and minerals. 

One of the easiest ways is to switch from white bread, white pasta and white rice to the whole wheat alternatives in each of these foods. Be careful if you have a gluten issue!

Most foods that are high in fiber also tend to be filling and have a lower calorie count than their more refined alternatives, which makes these foods great choices for weight-loss. 

A couple of other easy ways to add fiber are:

Wash fruits and vegetables but do not peel.  You may want to go organic for these foods, such as apples, pears, peaches, carrots, and potatoes.

When you add vegetables to soups and stews, do so in chunks and if you do puree or blend do not strain the vegetables as you lose a huge amount of fiber this way.

Add grated vegetables to casseroles, lasagna, shepherd’s pie and stews.

It is amazing what adding high fiber foods to your staples can do.  An average portion of fresh tomato soup has 3.09 grams of fiber but add onions and lentils and it jumps to 4.27 grams.  Ordinary coleslaw has about 2.92 grams of fiber but add celery, raisins and dried apricots and it rises to 4.25 grams.

Adding fiber to your diet is an easy way to combat not only digestive issues but also may other common diseases. It is one of those really important things that I work on with my clients, along with adding more water and exercise to their everyday life.

You Deserve to be Healthy So Eat More Fiber!

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OMG I’m Stressed! Stress and Your Digestion!

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Your body reacts to everyday stress in the same way it reacts to the stress of being chased by a bear.

What is even more important is if you are plagued by constant stress your body will start to show the wear and tear of being on alert too much of the time.

Here are some signs that your digestion is being affected by stress:

·         Bloating:  When you are under stress you are more likely to swallow air, which can cause bloating.
·         Flare-ups with Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Studies suggest that stress will make flare-ups more frequent.
·         Diarrhea:  Stress can trigger diarrhea.
·         Ulcers:  Stress may not cause ulcers but they sure do aggravate them and can even increase the chance you will develop one.
·         Constipation:  If you suffer from this condition you know that if you add a little stress to the mix your balanced system goes way out of whack.
·         Acid reflux and indigestion:  These conditions are aggravated by stress and can lead to more damage in the esophagus.

So, in anticipation of future stress here’s what you can do to protect your digestion:

·         Walk it off: This is an aerobic exercise that not only lets you burn off the stress but  produces brain chemicals that perk up your mood.
·         Let it out: Okay so at the Thanksgiving dinner table you may not want to break down into an sobbing heap but if you feel emotional, the best thing to do is privately let it out.  Holding in emotions makes them more intense and creates a situation that affects your body.
·        Laugh it off: Hunt for the humor.  I like this one the best.  I am really good at looking at even the most stressful situation and finding something funny in it.  If you struggle with this, watch a comedy, read a funny book or watch your favorite comedian. 
·         Revamp your to-do list: Having too much to do really creates a lot of stress.  Rate the importance of each task and start shuffling the less important to another time.
·         Write in a journal or diary:  This ties into expressing your emotions.  Write it down and get it out.  Make sure that you don’t keep re-reading if it makes you anxious.
·         Listen to relaxing music: For some of us music can make all the difference in our mood and outlook!  Find music that lifts and inspires you and play it loud.
·         Breathe: I know when I am under stress, I hold my breath.  Not good!  Breathe in through your nose for a count of four; hold it for four, breath out through your mouth for a count of four.  Do this four times each day or when you feel stress.  It really works for me.
·         Catch those ZZZ’s:  We are better able to handle stress when we are well rested.
·         Put down the bottle: Alcohol can really bring out the emotions and not always in a good way.  Alcohol also dehydrates us and makes us tired and irritable.  Definitely not a de-stressor.
·         Eat foods that support you! Avoid sugar and process foods that will cause mood swings, cravings and a lack of energy.  Vegetables (mainly leafy greens) and small quantities of fruit with lean, clean protein will keep you operating at your peak, maintaining mental clarity and boosting your immune system. 
 
 So go out and enjoy life with friends and family.  Pay attention to how you are feeling and follow these 10 suggestions for beating stress and you should feel better soon!

You Deserve to be Healthy and Stress-Free!

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Bear Image courtesy of Hal Brindley / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Water, The Game Changer!

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60-70 % of our body is made up of water.

80% of our weight is water.

We could live weeks without food but only days without water.

Our brain and heart are made up of 73% water, lungs 83%, skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.

So what does water do?

Control body temperature

Cushions your joints

Carries nutrients throughout your body

Thins the blood and makes it less likely to clot

Reduces the symptoms of arthritis

Helps with weight-loss by filling you up without adding calories or raising your blood sugar

But what is does for your digestion is huge:

Flushes waste from our body in the form of urine

Assists digestion in the processing of nutrients

Prevents constipation by softening your stool and keeps food moving through your digestive tract.

Reduces heartburn by washing out the acid in your esophagus

Lowers your risk of colon cancer

Lowers the chance of gallstones occurring

The effectiveness of adding fiber, magnesium and exercise in fighting a slow digestive process depends on your drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.

I have often said that if you are going to do just one thing to improve your health, it would be to drink 8 glasses of clean water a day.

Remember, anything with caffeine acts to dehydrate your body so you need to drink even more!

It is also important to know that the water you are drinking is clean water.

If you have a well, have it tested for bacteria and pollutants.

If you have city water, contact your water department and find out the quality of the water.

Bottled water is not necessarily the answer as the source and quality of bottled water is not regulated.

Having problems remembering to drink your water?

Put a 32 oz pitcher on your desk when you first arrive at work and make the commitment to drink it all by lunch.

Then do it!

Do the same in the afternoon.

Think plain water is too boring?

Add lemons, limes, strawberries, cucumbers or even apple slices and let them sit over night.

You will have a soft infused flavor.

So how many glasses of water do you drink a day?

What strategy could you use to drink the 8 glasses needed to create good digestive health?

You Deserve to be Healthy and Hydrated!

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Sources:

The Complete Guide to Digestive Health by FC&A Publishing

Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski

Water Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

 

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Creating Digestive Health with Probiotics

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Intestinal flora plays an important role in our ability to fight infectious disease, providing a front line in our immune defense.

According to the US Surgeon General “Normal microbial flora provides a passive mechanism to prevent infection.” 
It also manufactures many vitamins including: the B-complex vitamins, folic acid and vitamin K.
 
Experts have debated on how to define probiotics. One widely used definition, developed by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, is that probiotics are “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” (Microorganisms are tiny living organisms — such as bacteria, viruses, and yeasts — that can be seen only under a microscope.)
 
Some probiotic foods date back to ancient times, such as fermented foods and cultured milk products. Interest in probiotics in general has been growing; Americans’ spending on probiotic supplements, for example, nearly tripled from 1994 to 2003.
 
Most probiotics are bacteria similar to those naturally found in people’s guts, especially in those of breastfed infants (who have natural protection against many diseases). Most often, the bacteria come from two groups, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. Within each group, there are different species (for example, Lactobacillus acidophilus andBifidobacterium bifidus), and within each species, different strains (or varieties). A few common probiotics, such as Saccharomyces boulardii, are yeasts, which are different from bacteria.
 
Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium increase the absorption of minerals that require acid for absorption such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and manganese.

It also increases our resistance to food poisoning.  Some food-borne infections lead to chronic illness, causing heart and valve problems, immune system disorders, joint disease, and possibly even cancer.  These floras make the intestinal tract inhospitable to the invading microbes.  It is a misconception that they kill invading microbes.  They actually change the environment by secreting large amounts of acids that make the area unsuitable for pathogens.
 
These floras can play a part in keeping your heart healthy.  They normalize serum cholesterol and triglycerides.
 
Probiotics also help us to metabolize foreign substances, like mercury and pesticides and protects us from damaging radiation and harmful pollutants.
 
Probiotics can be helpful in other conditions also: hypertension, cancer, immune system stimulation, kidney stones, food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and alcohol-induced liver disease.
 
Probiotics are available in foods and dietary supplements (for example, capsules, tablets, and powders) and in some other forms as well. Examples of foods containing probiotics are yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, and some juices and beverages made with soy. In probiotic foods and supplements, the bacteria may have been present originally or added during preparation.

While I rarely recommend supplements, some are beneficial.  Since I am not a big advocate of dairy or soy products, I would encourage you to look into probiotics in supplement form.

If you feel that you could benefit from taking probiotics do the research and pick the one that is best for you. 

Probiotics are an important part of achieving and maintaining good health.

You Deserve to be Healthy

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Dealing with Chronic Constipation

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Constipation affects 4 million Americans each year.  Physicians write more than a million prescriptions for constipation annually, and we spend $725 million a year on laxatives.

Constipation is a disorder that inhibits a person from moving their bowels.  Not everyone needs to go every day but if you have chronic difficulty, constipation can be uncomfortable and painful.  It often produces a bloated feeling because the bowel distends with gas and a large amount of stool.  Some people feel fatigued; have aches and mental sluggishness and still others get headaches.    This condition can also lead to other issues such as diverticulitis, colon cancer and hemorrhoids.

The most common cause of constipation is insufficient fiber in the diet but there are many other contributors to this very frustrating problem.  People with IBS sometimes have constipation because their colon may not contract properly.  Some medications may also cause constipation: iron supplements, antidepressant medication, painkillers and some hypertension medications.  People suffering from low thyroid or an excess of calcium in the blood can suffer too.  Other disease can also affect our ability to move our bowels: lupus, strokes, diabetes and kidney disease are just a few. Hormones also play a role in digestive regularity. As women go through the various stages of their menstrual cycles their bowel habits change.

Change of lifestyle habits can have a huge affect on your body’s ability to move waste.  Change in eating, sleeping or fluid intake amounts can alter the rhythm of the body.  Some people have a lazy bowel where the muscles do not effectively contract; this is sometimes caused by an overuse of laxatives. 

Many issues are caused by our ignoring our body’s urge to go to the bathroom.  Whether we are shy in a public bathroom or don’t have time – the longer the waste remains in the body the more water that is reabsorbed back into the body making the stool, smaller, harder and more difficult to move.  So we need to pay attention to our body, when you have to go, stop what you are doing and go to the bathroom.

Bowel transit time is the preferred measure of digestive health.  Optimal time is 12 to 24 hours.  Slow transit time raises the risk of colon cancer and contributes to other health problems as well as raises toxins in the body.

The way to remedy constipation is determined by the cause.  If medication is at fault then dosage and drug type can be altered.  

1.  Addition of water, fiber, vegetables and fruits are an incredibly simple remedy for this chronic condition. 

2.  Exercise is also a wonderful addition to a healthy diet along with stress reduction and relaxation therapies.    It may take time to retrain your bowels, mostly if you have been putting off the urge to go for a long period of time. 

3.  The addition of Psyllium fiber is another way to help move things along.  Taken in the morning and in the evening with an 8 oz glass of a juice and water mixed will surely speed up the process without the urgency and drama that can be caused by some of the harsh teas and laxatives. 

4.  Adding probiotics can remedy an imbalance of intestinal flora which also brings relief for constipation or diarrhea. 

5.  Try magnesium taking this supplement can restore the rhythmic muscle relaxation and contraction.  We have a widespread deficiency of magnesium that strongly contributes to the prevalence of constipation. 

6.  Address lactose intolerance.  You may have an issue with dairy.  Try to eliminate it from your diet for three weeks and see how you feel.  There are many different ways to remedy constipation.

7.  Exercise, you move your bowels move.

8.  Slow down.  You digestion will run much more smoothly if you eat slow and when you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, relax and take your time!

Constipation can be embarrassing, painful and debilitating.  In almost every case I have had in my practiced all that is called for is simple changes in lifestyle of food consumption to have a last impact in eliminating constipation. 

Please leave a comment below letting me know if your suffer from constipation and what remedies have worked for you in the past.

You Deserve to be Healthy!

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