After Holiday Weight Gain Blues

22 01 2019

Travel and Food Go Together – Pacing oneself is the challenge.

Last updated 22 Jan 19, by Marc Woodard

Another year has gone by with all the Holiday decor and cheer with it. I understand some of you had a tough time with the food choices and amount that you consumed; and last year’s weight loss resolution didn’t work out so well.

With that being said, should I dare say some of you are not only bummed out after you stepped on the scale, you have the weight gain blues.

There are many reasons weight gain occurs. I would never tell you I know exactly what you are going through. However I do know, out-of-control weight gain is often attached to an emotional lifestyle change. And those changes often trigger over consumption of food and drink – especially during and after the Holiday season, or vacations. And this can lead to acute-to-chronic depression for many.

There is also an illness-disease relationship associated with unhealthy body weight – especially once we become obese. At this point the mind-body becomes susceptible to greater health risk. For example, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), congenital heart disease, fibromyalgia-phantom pain, etc. A daily habit of over eating may also increase other bad habits, i.e., smoking, drinking, illicit drug or unnecessary pharmaceutical use.

In general, stressful life events cannot be avoided. But can be stress-minimized through understanding the environmental triggers causing them. Regardless of season, or any day for that matter… you must learn how to target and identify the physical, mental and/or social triggers causing the emotional stress keeping you overweight and unfit and do something about it.

Unfortunately for some – the over weight condition may be the result of a genetic or metabolic factor, Which may have less to do with lifestyle habits and behavior – but more to do with an inefficient calorie burning furnace. Any long-term weight gain that threatens health should seek medical attention immediately from a physician.

Recreational Activity Does a Body Good.

Below I’ve listed a few behavioral habit forming relationships that can be changed before and after any holiday season or vacation to help reduce body fat weight gain and achieve the weight loss goal.

8 Lifestyle Changes You can Make to Achieve Your New Years Resolution Weight Loss Goal.

  1. Holiday Cheer Weight Gain – What can I say about Holiday Cheer that I haven’t mentioned in my previous writings.  Have a Holiday battle meal plan before you set down at the table.  Read the following article, “10 Step Basic Weight Loss Tips.”
  2.  Last Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Failed – You know why you failed your weight loss program from previous years. You did not resolve, or change your eating, drinking, or exercise habits. To do so is still too painful for whatever the reason. Until you resolve and/or get serious about your weight loss goal, or seek professional help, regardless of who provides you weight loss tips, services or program… you’ll likely continue to struggle with body weight.
  3.  Pain factor – All pain is directly related to illness, disease and/or injury. And with pain comes more sedentary habits. It is for this reason, it is more important than ever you work with your primary physician and pain management specialists to find treatment and activity that’s right for you. If you have mental and physical pain that’s not been diagnosed – seek advisement and referrals from your primary care physician.
  4.  Stressful life events cause excess calorie consumption– For many the habit of eating more calories than needed may come from everyday stresses caused by work or home environment, or bad relationship with spouse, friend or family member. Or the stress could be caused by some other non-diagnosed physical and mental pain from childhood. Stress events can culminate and increase a depression mood that causes one to eat more in an attempt to feel better. Once you target the cause of your stress induced bad habit and/or behavior and remove it… it’s more likely you’ll succeed in a safe weight program over a set period of time.
  5.  Carry the party into New Year – Some carry the end of year festivities into the new year. This behavior can last for months, or the entire year. This continued habit will not help you lose weight or remove the depression umbrella. “First and foremost, you must understand this is occurring and must break this unhealthy habit.” As one ages and the habit continues – health risk increases.
  6.  Fast foods after the Holiday’s. Too many Americans consume fast foods especially during the Holidays. Here lies a crux for much of the American obesity problem. During this time of year there is a huge spike in fast foods and alcohol sales. Yes, business booms almost in every sector of the economy. Fast foods are convenient, chemically addictive and bad for health in the long run. I know you’re thinking, what if I just give up the fast food places and eat out at restaurants? While this is a better concept, you don’t know how much of those meals are processed with unhealthy garbage causing your weight gain. Also when you eat out – most tend to eat more. Instead develop a healthy whole foods shopping habit and limit yourself to 1 fast food meal a week. I highly recommend you read, “Restaurant and Grocery Foods Healthy?
  7.  Love of Baking – I know, some of you carry your new found baking habits into the new year. Although there is nothing wrong with cooking your own food, the pitfall is when you love everything you bake just a little too much. I know the kids love your home made cookies, cakes and pies. Remember moderation with deserts. Too much sugar, fat and salt is not good for anyone, even children with fast metabolisms. If you’re having a tough time changing up your baking habit – try becoming a little more creative by offering different types of deserts… fresh fruits, jello, pudding, etc. Mix it up and break away from the continuous high fat baking habit.
  8.  Empty Nester’s Bake for an Army – Regardless of season, there are many who continue to cook for an entire family after the children have left home. There are many things tied into this habit. This is a tough habit to change – especially if the spouse demands traditional family recipes. If you continue to cook this way, you’ll not reduce food portions – it will be more challenging to meet your weight loss goal.

Once you target the cause of your weight gain nemesis and make healthier lifestyle choices that include daily exercise activities – your fitness levels and health will improve dramatically, while achieving your weight loss resolution once and for all.

Good health to you and your family!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET2019 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Weight Loss through Body Chemical Activation

15 11 2018
IMG_0277

Any aerobic activity will release addictive body chemicals to burn more body fat and benefit health and fitness levels.

Updated 15 November 2018, Marc Woodard

Any type of physical activity will stimulate the body’s natural release of feel good chemicals to help you lose weight and experience daily wellbeing.

It is the activation of muscle metabolism during low impact aerobics exercise that will activate these feel good chemicals – while simultaneously melting away body fat.

Once you relate to and apply the information that follows – it only takes a little will power to begin chipping away at your weight loss goals and experience wellbeing daily.

The advantage of  low intensity aerobics exercise is it stimulates both the fat burning metabolic engine and activates addictive feel good body chemicals. Unlike high intensity strength and muscle bulking development; and high intensity aerobic exercise – these activities more or less suppress the fat burning engine to varying degree.

Walk to a destination place and fish for dinner.  “Thumbs down no fish.”

What many consumers don’t know is during low-intensity aerobic exercise the muscles metabolism prefers to burn fat fuel.  That’s right the metabolic energy needed to walk over a period of time prefers stored body fat to convert to glucose to fuel the large muscles in the legs and buttocks area.

The same muscles during high-intensity aerobics exercise like running and high impact aerobic dance for instance prefer mostly stored liver and muscle glycogen fuel to convert it to blood glucose [sugar].

The harder you train muscles in the body the less body fat you burn.  That’s a major reason high intensity exercise makes you crave carbohydrates after you’ve finished the workout. And for that reason – IS the reason those folks have a hard time losing excess body weight.

The point is, you don’t have to train hard to lose body fat and excess body weight.

The second point I want to make, regardless of training intensity the body will produce chemicals to addict you to exercise whether your building muscle, increasing muscular endurance, or toning the body.  But if you’re consuming a stimulant, diuretic or anabolic steroid or heavy herb concentrate supplement to “fast pace” any fitness goal, the natural chemicals released by the body will be suppressed and you’ll become addicted to an unnatural chemical supplement that may increase health risk.  You’ll may look and feel good [loss weight, or build muscle, etc.] for a while; but then bad at some point in time…

Unnatural fitness results through the use of fads, gimmicks, supplements and herbal diets are often short lived because their not sustainable habits. In the long run when applying these tactics to achieve a fitness goal – “too often,” may eventually break the fat burning (known as yo-yo dieting), or hormonal metabolism and increase health risk; then cause excessive weight gain.

Eat more healthy whole foods. Cut back on processed foods.

Once you connect how exercise and healthy whole foods dieting increases body chemical activation versus an unnatural fad-dietary course, you’ll better understand there is no good reason to “fast pace” a fitness result (e.g., weight loss).  Thereafter you can avoid the pit falls of unstainable lifestyle habits and ill-health consequences.

The 3 major chemicals the brain/body releases naturally during exercise and supports sustainable healthy weight loss…

1) Adrenaline a neurotransmitter and hormone produced by the adrenalin gland just above the kidneys, also known as norepinephrine and epinephrine (provides attention focus in brain).  Together these chemicals activate your fight or flight stimulation designed to get the body out of a stressful situation, or survive an injury scenario.  It acts as a natural pain killer, boosts oxygen and glucose fuel to brain, muscles and suppresses depression.

Walk your dog to a neat destination place you enjoy. Both receive the natural feel good brain-body benefits.

2)   Dopamine is produced and synthesized in the brain which boosts positive behavior, cognition, motor activity, motivation, sleep, mood, learning and attention.

3)  Serotonin is synthesized within the CNS (Central Nervous System).  This chemical is also found in many mushrooms, plants, fruits and vegetables.

Research shows Serotonin plays an important role in liver regeneration and induces cell division throughout the body (important for repair and healing of the body).  Serotonins role as a neurotransmitter of the brain is to modulate anger, mood, aggression, sleep, sexuality, appetite and metabolism.

Walk the beach and discover cool things.

People are motivated to move or walk for different reasons.  Once you find something that motivates you to move more… you’ll enjoy the natural brain-body feel good chemicals; and want to repeat the low impact aerobics exercise experience daily.

Continuous low impact aerobic exercise like walking, hiking, dancing or riding a bike will release those feel good chemicals and cause “for most” an addictive habit to form – whereas you’ll want to continue the course.  It will take approximately 1-2 weeks to become addicted to daily low-impact walk habit for example.

A little alcohol is okay. Over indulging is a bad habit.

Everyone differs slightly in metabolism, exercise and activity interest, intensity, frequency and duration of exercise activity daily.  For many daily low impact aerobics exercise will cause an instant craving to continue the course.

To maximize the odds of achieving a fitness, health or wellness goal four behavioral habits must be addressed if applicable.  1)  Stop substance abuse.  2)  Eat a balanced and nutritious diet.  3) Allow your brain-body the time to become addicted to the body’s natural feel good chemicals released through low-impact aerobics exercise activity.  4)  Remove yourself from unhealthy and stressful environments.

Bike, explore and get fit.

The increased exercise activities experienced by former clients did not require a lot of will power to perform low-impact aerobics exercise to achieve significant fitness results.

But it did require some lifestyle changes.

For example, when beginning a daily walk program it doesn’t’ requires much will power to get started.  But it does require a commitment.  In other words, the excuse I often hear people use to avoid any form of exercise, “I don’t have the time.”  But if you can make the time you’ll lose weight and feel better almost immediately once you start.  Then become addicted to it within 2-5 days.

The best New Year’s fitness resolution advice I could give anyone, as I’ve done with so many past clients… start a daily walk habit.  Walking is the best low impact fat burning activity whose large muscles prefer fat stored energy and it’s easy on weight bearing joints.

Walk and capture nature in a picture.

I assure you, if you walk a little each day, you’ll begin to release more of those feel good chemicals.  Then body fat will decrease and you’ll have more energy and feel lighter on your feet.  You’ll begin to look and feel better in no time.

If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, walking at first may seem uncomfortable and maybe feel unnatural.  But if you can work up to 15 or 30 minutes or more each day you’ll have significant fitness results success.

Keep this in mind.  Before the automobile how did we survive?

As hunters and gatherers our bodies are designed to get work done by walking.  Walking is a very natural and a primal thing we’re designed to do for a lifetime. I guarantee – if you maintain your walking muscle metabolism you’ll become addicted to sustaining it, and in return for your efforts your body will allow you to live life to the fullest.

Walk to the grocery store to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables.

I’ve had plenty of overweight clients walk or ride a stationary bike for a year before they achieved their weight loss fitness goal.  Thereafter participated in a competitive long distance walk, hike, jog or ran or biked a marathon event.  They never imagined themselves capable of doing anything like it.  They simply believed it possible because they could relate to the muscle metabolism and feel the chemical activation truth working within their brain-body.

Walk a county fair.

Be excited about all the possibilities that lie in front of you and enjoy life to the fullest by maintaining a daily low impact aerobics exercise habit!   Now go get addicted to the natural feel good drugs produced by your own body and reap the ideal body weight, longevity, wellness and health benefits!

 

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2018 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Get Free Newsletter.





The Thyroid a Powerful Weight Regulating Gland

22 09 2018

Updated 22 September 2018

The thyroid is a small gland in the neck no bigger than a buckeye butterfly.  But this glands hormone also influences other hormone producing glands which have much to do with our weight and other important metabolic interactions and bodily functions.  Just because these glands are small, does not mean they are insignificant.

Walk More to Burn Additional Calories

It is seen through patient and animal research that hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) can cause many types of problems:  weight gain, depression, sluggishness, fatigue, bad mood, unhealthy appearance, impotence, water retention that adds to excess weight and cellulite, pear-shaped figure, infertility, PMS, hardening of the arteries, cystic breasts/ovaries (including breast/ovary cancer), irritability, bad complexion, puffiness under the chin, forgetfulness, irritability, apathy, dry skin, intolerance to cold, enlargement of the thyroid and unhealthy hair, nails and teeth.

If you have hypothyroidism to the degree where one quarter of the thyroid hormone thyroxin is produced, you may also suffer from chronic fatigue.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, hyperthyroidism causes an overactive thyroid gland condition that has the opposite effect on the body’s metabolism.  The “hyper” condition speeds up the metabolic process, causing underweight and hyperactive tendencies.

A more serious disorder from an underactive thyroid is a goiter (swelling in the neck area).  This occurs because the thyroids enlarge to compensate for lack of iodine in the diet.  However, a goiter can occur, even if you’re not iodine deficient.  This swelling or enlargement of the thyroid glands is also known as Graves Disease.  Regardless of whether you have a hypo/hyper thyroid condition, both conditions untreated can become a life threatening situation.

Before I get more into the meat of the matter let’s first understand what trace mineral stimulates the thyroids hormone “thyroxin” secretion.   A very important mineral is iodine.  There is also another one needed that works with iodine to manufacture the thyroxin hormone.  And that mineral is Tyrosine, an amino acid.  Luckily Tyrosine can be consumed through many types of high-protein foods such as chicken, milk, cheese, beans, bananas, soy products, peanuts, almonds, fish, turkey, etc.  Iodine, along with tyrosine is required to produce a normalized balance of the thyroxin hormone to stabilize our caloric burning furnace.

Spoil your children in moderation. Walk and share fun exercise activities with them.

There is a TSH (Thyroid-Stimulation Hormone) test that tells a treating physician if your thyroid is producing proper amounts of thyroxin hormone to keep your metabolic system balanced.  The test determines if your thyroid is working correctly through reading TSH levels in the blood.   This stimulator hormone is produced by the pituitary gland.  So as the pituitary gland slows down within the metabolic system it releases more TSH to signal “speeding” up the thyroids production of thyroxin.  This test can determine proper levels of TSH hormone in the blood.  The TSH hormone release is directly related to many interconnecting metabolic processes.  If all other metabolic processes are working correctly, the thyroid hormone release stimulated by TSH should normalize all metabolic functions which impact weight loss/gain and mitigate other disorders.  But if too little, or too much TSH is produced than the test will show ranges from under/over active and normal thyroid gland.

Normal TSH test scores will be between 0.4 and 2.5.  A low score of 0-0.4 is hyperthyroidism.  And if the score is between 2.5 and 4, this means there is risk for hypothyroidism.  Anything higher can lead to a major health concern.  Many doctors will resist treating patients until they hit a 10.  This is basically due to the delicate balance and interactions these hormones and chemical exchange relationships have on the entire metabolic system.  Nevertheless, if your measurement is at 4 or above, or below 2.5, you should discuss a treatment course with your medical specialist.

Although your thyroid only requires a hundred thousandth of a percentage of your body weight in iodine (150 micrograms daily – the best sources of iodine comes from seaweed, onions, seafood and salt); without it the thyroid cannot function.  If you don’t have enough of this mineral, you gain weight.  But if you get enough of it in your diet, adding more through supplementation will do absolutely no good because the glands function is balanced, or better known as “normalized effect”   That is, if your thyroid is functioning normal, iodine will not help because the thyroid is already normalized and functioning correctly.

If you must take an iodine supplement for an underactive thyroid, kelp is the best organic source.  It appears to have “the best “normalizing effect on the thyroid gland.  However, if your iodine dose is incorrect, it is possible to supplement with too much, or too little.  Some of the symptoms of iodine over supplementation include:  Severe acme, become underweight, emotional imbalances, hyper-activity, mental and emotional instability, negative effects on thyroid glands, skin irregularities (welts on arms/face, rough skin) and problems with focus, or spaced out feelings.

Getting enough iodine in the diet should not be a problem since we get it in our everyday table salt, processed and fast foods and through its presence in crop fertilizers.  However, the key issue with our iodine in our everyday diet is, most of us do not get organic iodine (e.g., seaweed, “kelp”).  Homeopathic doctors have prescribed kelp, vinegar, B6 and a lecithin diet for treatment of obesity and other types of preventative disorders for years.  The diet is also beneficial to brain tissue, sensory nerves and spinal cord.

However the normalizing effect of iodine benefits for an overweight problem gets lost in translation within the market place for those desperate to lose weight.  That is, consumers are lead to believe if iodine is good for the thyroid, than more is better whether you need it or not.  But there could be nothing further from the truth.   There is another way to look at this statistically.  Eighty percent of all thyroid cases are diagnosed as the hypo-type.  But this percentage does not equate to eighty percent of those that are obese have a thyroid problem.

Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance

Let’s also not forget those who choose “not to exercise, or eat healthy diets,” but have healthy thyroids with plenty of iodine in the diet.  They will not lose more weight by increasing iodine intake.  Also, 8 times out of 10 thyroid disorder diagnosis are more prominent in women than men.  And as a natural progression of aging, increased risk of thyroid disease occurs naturally.  And if you have an autoimmune disorder, type 1 diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis your at higher risk for thyroid disease.  These diseases and other factors are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to diagnosing whether or not your thyroid needs stimulation to help you manage your weight.

If you do supplement your diet with iodine, it is important to understand it is also important to get enough vitamin A as well.  Vitamin A allows the thyroid gland to absorb the iodine.  If absorption of iodine through the gland does not occur optimally, then the production of thyroxin will occur relative to the glands absorption rate.  Recall, with reduced thyroxin hormone production, you have a lower BMR that does not help your weight loss and overall health goals.

One last point I’d like to touch on regarding a hyper-thyroid condition.  There are many cases documented where speeding up the thyroids function will cause weight loss.  But there are also cases where speeding up the thyroid function causes weight gain.  You ask how this is possible.  Because, by increasing the metabolic function, you also increase appetite.  Here is another truth, for those that lost weight during hormone treatment, once the hyper-active treatment stopped the weight came back.

Dogs need exercise as well to keep their body weight healthy.

Therefore, it appears that thyroid treatment to treat obesity does not appear to be real useful in many obesity cases.  This is why you should seek a treating physicians advisement to get help identifying the cause of your weight gain problem.  If you are diagnosed with thyroid disease, then you’ll likely be prescribed a synthetic thyroxin to replace the hormone your thyroid can no longer produce.

By working with your doctor to adjust to the necessary doses, you’ll begin to look and feel better.  In other cases some of you may need a combination of treatments to regulate, or lose body weight that include thyroxin prescription, diet and exercise.  And in other weight loss/gain situations – relative to disease and disorder(s) diagnosis…

Varying medical treatment strategies may be necessary as opposed to thyroid treatment. The point being, your thyroid may not be the problem. It may be one of several other connecting hormone functions dependent on the thyroid hormone that has malfunctioned and needs treatment.

References,

American Thyroid Association.  Thyroid and Weight.  2005. http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/Thyroid_and_Weight.pdf

Hastings, John.  The Truth about the Thyroid.  The Oprah Magazine. Jan 2009. http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Truth-About-the-Thyroid-and-Weight-Gain

Veracity Dani.  How Iodine Accelerates Weight Loss by Supporting the Thyroid Gland.  Natural News.com, June 25, 2005.  http://www.naturalnews.com/008902.html

Woodard, Marc T.  GH-Hormone Stimulator the Fountain of Youth Elixir?  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets!  23 February 2012.  http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2012/02/23/exercise-is-the-anti-aging-hormonal-fix/

Woodard, Marc.  Low Testosterone, another Man-Made Risky Fix?  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets. January 22, 2012.  http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2012/01/22/low-testosterone-another-man-made-risky-fix/

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2012-18 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Learn How to X-Factor Garden Space

22 05 2018

Build garden above and around outdoor social space

Although many people begin planting gardens as early as March in the great North West, it is not too late to begin within the month of May. It is well known gardening activity is good for wellbeing, increased fitness levels and overall health, not to mention the nutritional value of consuming farmed fresh foods. There is also an X-factor created when gardening space wraps around outdoor patios and decks.

As one of many Tigard residents who grew up planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables on large acreage home farms, it’s fascinating to see how today’s generation makes use of small space to produce high-yields of farmed fresh foods.

There’s no need to go full plow and bulk seed bananas if looking to grow an affordable and manageable garden on a deck or patio; and like the ideal of embellishing it with a multi-dimensional vine catching structure that engulfs an outdoor social gathering and dining space.

You can easily build a garden trellis structure made out of rope wire anchored to walls or poles that continue overhead within a 6’x4’ (24sf) to 8’x5’ (40sqft) space, or larger. And able to handle the weight of favorite veggies and fruit hanging from the vine. Similar to the bean tunnel made out of old pipe parts as seen in the picture. Inexpensive no-frills PVC pipe can also be easily attached in garden beds that look like a Quonset hut. However the wire rope trellis system has become a hipster gardening favorite. It looks great and can be installed affordably in a small space by anyone.

Bean Tunnel made out of repurposed pipe.

To Build a Wire Rope Lattice-Trellis Structure – All you need are 2-3” long eye, or line-hooks, etc., to secure ½ to ¾” into walls or pole [siding]; wire rope, turnbuckle [used to apply tension to rope], S-hooks, and wire rope clamp-eyelet hardware. Installation: Measure the distance of desired siding and overhead rope runs to determine line length for project. Purchase enough line-hooks to install at 24 inch intervals up vertical siding. Add 6 inches extra rope length for each line set to install rope clamp-eyelet for connecting turn buckle and S-hook hardware at wall base hooks. Connect one turn buckle between S-hook [S-Hook is connected to wall base eyelet hook] and other end of turn buckle attaches to the clamped wire rope eyelet. Then on the other end install the rope wire anchor hardware without a turn buckle. Horizontal ski line anchors may or may not be needed depending on produce weight. If you choose not to run open sky overhead lines you likely don’t need a turn buckle.

As vines grow from soil – direct and lean them against both ends of lattice lines. Once vines are long enough, they’ll wrap themselves up the rope and continue overhead. Horizontal and vertical runs of snap peas, squash, beans, eggplant, zucchini, melons and grapes etc., can easily be grown and attached at any section of the structure from potted wall troughs, beds and shelved pots. [Local Home and Garden specialist, or Internet instruction can help with hardware installation and lattice-trellis wire rope design and hardware options]. Tools needed – drill, tape measure, wire cutter, crescent wrench, or socket set and screwdriver.

To make full use of a garden trellis floor or ground space below: place staggered shelves, pots and trough beds at the parameter. If there is wall space available that sees sun – secure shelving at various heights. Or consider staggered ground shelving unit(s) that can be built at little cost using repurposed planks, book shelves, etc., elevated on cinder blocks. Or create a stair like structure to reap the benefits of additional growing space that sees plenty of sunshine. Place lower profile garden produce like cherry tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and Kale at ground or mid-shelve level. Top shelves can be used for herbs like Basel, rosemary, parsley, oregano, cilantro, etc. And/or use top shelves to set and direct potted plant vines to make further use of mid garden overhead trellis space.

Green tomatoes hanging by the vine

Lastly, to create a stupendous X-Factor garden – If you have large enough space to integrate patio furniture and barbeque you can create a very unique social-dining experience. Where farmed fresh foods can be harvested, prepared and cooked in front of guests while sharing green thumb stories over a favorite glass of wine.

Jack Park Community Garden Plots – Access via the parking lot at the Walnut Street fire station at 12617 SW Walnut Street

 

 

If a deck, porch, patio or ground space is not an option but you’d like to grow a small garden, many cities like Tigard offer 4’x8’ garden boxes to plant seasonally at an affordable price. To learn more about community gardens: http://www.tigard-or.gov/communitygardens or 503-718-2591.

 

Good health to you and your family.

Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a member of the Tigard City Council. He is a strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2018 Copy right. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., “To learn more about MirrorAthlete Fit Healthy Lifestyle, City Recreation and free monthly newsletter, visit: http://www.mirrorathlete.com.”





Candida Free – No Longer a Mystery

21 02 2018

When the body feels good wellbeing is experienced.

Last Updated:  2/21/2018

Candida is no longer the diagnostic mystery and treatment challenge it once was in the past. But if you suspect you have it – in order to relate and apply appropriate treatment; the genus of the ailment must be defined.

Wikipedia and other on-line dictionaries alike define candida as “a genus of yeasts and is the most common cause of fungal infections worldwide.”

Gut bacterial imbalance occur and infectious fungi culminate with potential to cause any number of illness and disease within the body. Thankfully many yeast and bacteria species are harmless ‘commensals’ [i.e., different organisms that co-exist without harm or benefit to the other].

Whereas these microorganism colonies are often referred to as ‘endosymbionts’ [i.e., microorganisms or bacteria that live in cells or body]; or gut flora [gut microbiota or gastrointestinal microbiota].

When mucosal barriers are disrupted and produce mucous: e.g., inflammation of digestive, genital…vaginal tissue, urinary tracts and mouth; our immune system becomes compromised and health risk increases.

Mucosal “Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida. ‘There are over 20 species of Candida yeasts that can cause infection in humans, the most common of which is Candida albicans. Candida yeasts normally live on the skin and mucous membranes without causing infection; however, overgrowth of these organisms can cause symptoms to develop. Symptoms of candidiasis vary depending on the area of the body that is infected (CDC 2015).”

When Candida yeast microorganisms overwhelm our immune system it is likely the result of an alkaline environment caused by an unhealthy balance of bacteria in the gut. This often leads to overgrowth of a fungal colony species that can inflame and infect tissue at its origin, or spread somewhere else in the body, or infect others.

For example, when the fungal infection of thrush overgrows on the mouth, tongue or throat the slightly raised patches on the mucous membrane and beneath it are usually raw and bleeding.

Eat less processed foods and more whole foods.

Eat less processed foods and more whole foods.

Thrush is defined as “Oral thrush — also called oral candidiasis (kan-dih-DIE-uh-sis) — is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of your mouth. ‘Oral thrush causes creamy white lesions, usually on your tongue or inner cheeks. Sometimes oral thrush may spread to the roof of your mouth, your gums or tonsils, or the back of your throat (Mayo Clinic 2016).”

Even a newborn can get the disease if the mother had a vaginal yeast infection during delivery. Since newborns have an imperfect and immature balance of bacteria; and elderly with suppressed immune systems – medical conditions are more susceptible to infection of tissue.

Although not typically contagious between toddlers, if a child with thrush has put a toy in mouth and another shares that toy in the same way, then the risk is higher of contracting the disease. Or if an adult handles dentures for example. Whereas that object is handled by someone else and put into their mouth.  (WebMD 2014).  Or you share a toothbrush or drink out of the same cup, etc.

If the Candida albican yeast overtakes the bacteria balance of the stomach and small intestines and then becomes present in the large intestines, this is a sign your system is fighting a battle it can’t win unless something changes. If lifestyle change and treatment course are not applied at some point; systemic bodily infection may occur. And when the immune system is suppressed or in a weakened state any number of ill-health condition(s) may manifest.

Below are 18 illness and disease risks with connection to increased Candida yeast through unhealthy bacterial gut balance and increased fungi growth preceded by inflammation and infection.

“1) Acne or psoriasis 2) Allergies 3) Diabetes 4) Digestive disorders that cause gas, bloating, colitis or IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) 5) Ear infections 6) Emotional upsets and depression 7) Energy imbalances or insomnia 8) Hormonal problems 9) Hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) 10) Hypoglycemia 11) Hypothyroidism 12) Lung problems 13) Obesity 14) Pollen allergies 15) Reproductive Organ Disorders 16) Sensitivities to foods, chemicals, and/or molds 17) Susceptibility to viruses, bacteria, and other infections. 18) Thyroid. ‘Some practitioners believe that Candida overgrowth can lead to onset of chronic illnesses: Chronic fatigue symptom (CFS), fibromyalgia, Epstein-Barr virus, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, cancer, and autism (Jordan 2016).”

Kayak Pose

When free of Illness and disease life is amazing.

Simply by examining one of these diseases in a study, it is possible to see how a fungi infection starting in the gut could cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or any other number of ill-health conditions.

This is explained by Professor Maureen Hanson, of molecular biology and genetics at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y.

She states, “Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have a different profile of bacterial species in their gut microbiome than healthy individuals,” “In the small study, she and her colleagues found that people with chronic fatigue syndrome had less diversity or different types of bacteria, compared to healthy people without chronic fatigue syndrome. People with chronic fatigue syndrome also had more species of bacteria that promote inflammation and fewer bacteria that dampen inflammation, the researchers found (Doheny 2015).”

Professor Hanson describes balance of certain bacterial species is essential at keeping inflammatory and anti-inflammatory bacterial colonies and infectious fungi concentration under control. And one way to do this is by adding probiotics to the daily diet. Normalizing and sustaining an acidic gut environment helps to keep candida yeast at bay.

IMG_20130405_174935

Eat fresh foods daily – Stay healthy.

“So returning your stomach to its normal acidity helps to restrain the Candida overgrowth.” A gut acidity environment is essential for healthy balance of gut flora.

Healthy diet and “Probiotics are a great supplement to take whether you have a Candida overgrowth or not. They help with digestion and maintain a healthy balance of gut flora in your digestive tract, so you should consider making probiotics a part of your routine (Perfect Health 2016).

“Compelling new studies are showing how probiotics can help keep healthy people healthy. One study showed a decreased incidence of common infectious diseases among kids in day care.”
— Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders,
Probiotics Specialist

“Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes disease. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy (DiLonardo 2014).

Evidence from clinical research demonstrates that adding ‘good’ bacteria to the diet promotes a healthy digestive and immune system.”
— Dr. Allan Walker,
Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Dietary Recommendation

Avoid the following foods that create an alkaline gut environment – where Candia yeast thrives. And consider taking a daily probiotic supplement recommended by your doctor.  By returning the gut environment to become more acidic – the candida flare-ups become less acute or chronic and severity of unwanted symptoms will likely decrease or disappear.

IMG_20130405_175411

Remove as much sugar from the diet as possible

Candida depends on sugar to survive. Cut off the food source and you’ll starve-kill the fungus. All sugars, baked goods, breads, refined flour, alcohol, vinegars, pickled vegetable, dried fruits, cheeses, mushrooms should be considered suspect or cause of candida symptoms.

Remove  one unhealthy food habit at a time from the diet. Wait a week and see if unwanted condition begins to dissipate or improve.

Also check food labels for fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, mannitol, sorbitol and sucrose. Avoid honey, maple syrup and molasses. Remove processed and packaged foods from your diet (high in sugars).

Substitute processed for whole foods.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds, eggs, yogurt, meats, fish, poultry, oils such as olive, sesame, flaxseed and sunflower, butter and lemon.

Supplemental Protection

Consider taking probiotic supplements as previously stated beneficial to good health by the experts.

“Taking probiotics is a habit that can really benefit the digestive system, which is intricately connected to our overall health.”
— Dr. Michael F. Roizen,
New York Times best-selling author, Chief Wellness Officer, Cleveland Clinic

Healthy Immune System through Exercise

“Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing waste products from your cells. When it is functioning poorly, viruses, bacteria and fungi can accumulate in the system, creating a great breeding area for Candida. Moving your body increases circulation of the lymph fluid, eliminating these pests quickly before they become a problem (Perfect Health 2016).

Exploration motivates us to move more & stay fit.

Treatment for itching, irritation and inflammation

Although there are many remedies and treatments listed on the Internet and books, I highly recommend you seek treatment for symptoms by a Digestive Health Specialist (Gastroenterology), or board certified Internal Medicine physician with a specialty in Candida diagnosis, treatment and other medical and dietary referral experience. Especially when experiencing excessive itching, irritation and inflammation of genitals and mouth. If you don’t apply timely treatment to alleviate symptoms, you may unwittingly set the stage for systemic disease.

Once diagnosed and receiving proper treating for a particular Candida strain… it can take months to years to remove it. And it may take a combination of specific medical treatment, diet, exercise, and pre-probiotic supplementation, etc.

Candida can be treated and reversed. However what may work for others may not work for you. This is why it’s so important to receive accurate diagnosis and timely treatment from a licensed and board certified medical doctor.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Corp., Officer, CPT, RET. 2018 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing, http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

References

CDC. “Candidiasis.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 12 June 2015. Web. 21 July 2016.

DiLonardo, Mary Jo. “What Are Probiotics?” WebMD. WebMD LLC, 2014. Web. 21 July 2016.

Doheny, Kathleen. “Gut Bacteria May Hold Clues to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Stltoday.com. STLtoday.com, 15 July 2015. Web. 21 July 2016.

Jordan, Jo. “Signs and Symptoms of Candida Albicans Intestinal Yeast Overgrowth.” Puristat. Puristat, Inc., 2016. Web. 21 July 2016.

Mayo Clinic. “Oral Thrush.” – Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2016. Web. 21 July 2016.

Perfect Health. “Exercise And Candida » The Candida Diet.” The Candida Diet. Perfect Health. All Rights Reserved. Design by Five J’s Design., n.d. Web. 21 July 2016.

Perfect Health. “Why Use Probiotics For Candida? » The Candida Diet.” The Candida Diet. Perfect Health. All Rights Reserved. Design by Five J’s Design., n.d. Web. 20 July 2016.

WebMD. “Thrush-Cause.” WebMD. Healthwise, Incorporated, 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 21 July 2016.

 






MirrorAthlete Fit Healthy Lifestyle – Book Release Update

3 02 2018

Face Rock, Bandon OR inspires the imagination.

 Updated: 3 Feb 2018

The long awaited 10 year book project and publication is now in the second phase of quality review process by the publisher.  With a planned book release date scheduled in 2018.

Insight into the books content,

Our book reads like no other fitness and healthy lifestyle book in the marketplace.

It is loaded with unique personal, 1:1 fitness consulting and client perspectives; including relative people stories, self-help tools, forms and tables, etc.  Including – I know everyone will enjoy the humor of the cartoons and caricatures so artfully created by cartoonist John Fiedler within each chapter.  If you’d like to see samples of John’s creative works, or contact him click on the olefuzzcartoon link:  http://olefuzzcartoons.com/Welcome.html

The illustrations, stories, lessons learned and teaching points provide the reader with an enjoyable and entertaining introspective and interactive experience while learning how to live life to the fullest through natural and truthful anti-aging principles.

In many ways the content of the book was developed and designed to be a timeless fitness and healthy lifestyle roadmap book.  And best of all – “applicable to all demographics within any environmental culture.”

MirrorAthlete evolved through an exercise science discipline and application within a fitness consulting practice.  We’ve integrated multiple healthy habits and fitness programming concepts integrating and connecting real people stories backed by scientific studies and citations.  Then defined, related and applied these things within a very unique principled fitness and healthy lifestyle perspective.  Our principled fitness and healthy lifestyle doctrine is based on “MirrorAthlete® Principled Fitness and healthy lifestyle Philosophy.”

The knowledge within this book will allow anyone to succeed in creating a customized fitness and healthy habits lifestyle program without the cost of a professional trainer or specialized fitness and health consultant services or products.

The information you need to know NOW is broken down within an easy to understand format that includes: Best-In-Class fitness and health principles and includes:  how to program a customized fitness and healthy habits plan relative to your lifestyle needs. To include: how to identify consumer fitness and performance enhancement fads and scams in the marketplace that increase health risk.

If you lack motivation to break an addictive habit or behavior; or want to advance your fitness and healthy lifestyle goal to the next level, we shown how to do it naturally while increasing will power to stay the course.

As you work towards achieving the fit healthy anti-aging goal, you’ll do so without worry of applying a restrictive diet plan, or purchasing expensive services, products or gimmick to reduce body fat, build muscle, increase physical performance and get more mobile etc..  We don’t sell hype – only information on how to achieve natural fitness and healthy lifestyle goals to live life to the fullest.

The marketplace is littered with manmade products and services that promise fast fitness and performance enhancement results… “some appear to work short term, while others don’t work at all… And in both cases ‘likely’ increase health risk.”  Consumers will soon learn they don’t have to go the unsafe route to achieve fit healthy anti-aging results at the expense of health – compromised by illness and disease.

We know the marketplace won’t provide consumers the entire health risk truth relative to their unnatural fitness and enhancement performance products for good reason.  “There’s no money in it for them.”

The consumer truths soon to be shared… “man manipulates and injects addictive chemical and genetically engineered ingredients into foods and supplemental diet products known to increase and cause health problems.”  We know the fitness, diet, performance enhancement and anti-aging industries won’t share these truths with the consumer – but we do – we know better.  It is for good reason the consumer industries hope the majority of you never discover what’s revealed in this book.

If you’re tired of paying hundreds and thousands of dollars for fitness and diet product  and services gimmicks that don’t work long term, or not at all… and tired of being overweight and unfit – look no further.

Also our unique principled philosophy is especially relative to K-12 schools.  And if applied within our children’s school curriculum on a national level – It would fundamentally change the fitness, health and medical marketplace supply and demand model for future generations.  This book is a must read for educators, city recreation personnel, coaches, school officials and board members.

The book is an informative, interesting, energetic, optimistic and exciting read in itself. 

But more so by way of each ending chapter – there’s an ongoing personal fitness challenge and personalized message by ‘yours truly’ relative to chapter content.  By connecting each chapter principle with real world happenings it is also possible to heal and improve any physical adversity scenario, e.g., illness, disease, limited mobility.

Also those who experience physical and mental adversity challenges can relate and use the same tools provided within the book to help advance any desired fitness or health goal to live life to the fullest.  The author provides a “secondary and continuing personal adversity challenge back-story at the end of each chapter” relative to the books content. Which also covers limited mobility and health challenge improvements through expedient primary care referrals and fit healthy principles knowledge covered within the book.

We ask that you and your friends consider supporting our mission  “Saving a Nation in Pain,” by taking the following actions.  Visit our web site and support us by purchasing a book once released and sharing this information with your friends, family and community.

We’d truly appreciate the outreach support to expand our educational message to put an end to childhood obesity plaguing our youth and saving a nation in pain.

Other ways to support our outreach effort – If you believe in MirrorAthlete® Principled Fitness and Healthy Lifestyle Philosophy and Saving a Nation in Pain please click on the BLUE FaceBook “LIKE” button at the bottom of our home page.  We appreciate the support.

Good health to you and your family!

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2018 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 

 





Control Diabetes & Lose Weight Naturally

20 01 2018

Visit COOL-places that motivate you to walk more.

Last Updated:  20 January 2018

A good way to manage diabetes and lose weight safely is to understand the connection between the different types of carbohydrate foods consumed…  And the effects unhealthy food choice has on blood sugar levels can lead to illness and disease.

Learn how to select healthier food choices listed in a Glycemic Index (GI).  When applying this knowledge consistently – helps to maintain safe blood sugar levels and supports safe and natural weight loss.

The Glycemic Index (GI) ranks carbohydrate foods on a scale of 0-100.

Zero represents foods low in absorbable blood sugars – whereas 100 is at the top of the high absorbable sugar content of foods.  When blood sugar levels increase above safe levels, or blood sugar count is above 105-110 for sustained periods of time, the body produces more insulin.  This hormone regulates blood sugar levels for metabolic use and stores the unused energy-fuel into fat cells for later use to get work done.

How are Low-GI foods a healthier choice?  Because they are low absorbable sugar foods [carbohydrates] they are slower to digest and absorb more efficiently into the blood stream.  Low-GI foods have a better metabolic efficiency exchange to regulate blood sugar levels, body weight and reduces other related illness and disease health risk associated with obesity.

In short, diabetes is defined and diagnosed as type 1 or 2. Whereas insulin function is designed to sustain “healthy blood sugar levels and metabolic receptors.” However when insulin and receptor function become less efficient, or break and not medically treated – blood sugar levels remain high and weight continues to increase as well as health risk.

To learn more about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and the differences between the two – Click on the link to learn more on topic,Diabetes a Serious Disease.”

Both simple and complex carbohydrates are necessary in the diet to maintain good health.  However it is a balance of quantity and quality of total carbohydrate calories consumed that can predict an obesity or pre-diabetic course.  Eating too much of any one food, or the same types of macro and micronutrients daily without variety [Tip: Balance macro nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats] – can lead to any number of health risk problems – the focus here is overload of high sugar concentrate foods.

It is the complex carbohydrates [low sugar concentrate foods] that also delay hunger pains, making weight loss an easier proposition; while alleviating, or preventing the symptoms of diabetes.

Also don’t be fooled in believing “ONLY” low glycemic foods listed within an index can fully remove or resolve all ill-health symptoms; and/or health risk when sedentary and other bad habits and behavior don’t change.

Walk Daily – Get Fit Healthy

The other 50% of the healthy metabolic exchange equation requires daily aerobic exercise.

I’ve worked with many clients throughout the years providing them Customized Fitness and Healthy Habit Programs relative to lifestyle.  Once they learned how easy it was to apply a balanced whole foods diet and exercise daily – weight loss goals were achieved.  Learn More at:  Weight Loss and Fitness Secrets Revealed – New Year New You!

The food groups listed below are determined by medical and dietary professionals as healthier food choices for anyone. Especially those diagnosed as obese and/or with diabetes.

The American Diabetes and American Dietetic Associations have not yet adapted the GI concept.  It appears this has more to do with lack of empirical data required of each food group within the macronutrient-carbohydrate category.  Regardless of empirical data – the GI provides healthier food choice selection for anyone… whereas a majority of the medical community would acknowledge the index as a safe and nutritious guideline for those needing to lose weight safely and control blood sugar levels.

If you have not been successful at weight loss, I highly recommend you request a referral from a primary care physician to see a diabetic, metabolic, or endocrine specialist.  Also ask the medical specialist about healthy food choice using a preferred Glycemic Food Index (GI).  Find out more about GI food choices through an Internet search engine, or visit your local book store.

Listed below are a few food examples listed in the GI.

Eat more healthy farmed fresh whole foods

Lower Glycemic Food Index (GI).   Sugar alcohols (Sorbitol, Maltitol) Soy drinks, milk, yoghurt, Sweet potatoes, yams, vegetables, Fruits – plums, pears, peaches, grapes, grapefruit, cherries, bananas, apples, avocados, fresh juices.  Dried beans, peas, lentils.  Spaghetti, pasta, Basmati rice, Whole grain breads and pita Nuts and seeds.

Higher Glycemic Food Index (GI) Ice cream (low-fat), frozen yogurt.  White bread, doughnuts, croissants, rice cakes, bagels.  White potatoes, corn, white rice.  Low fiber cereals – Cornflakes, RiceKrispies, Fruit loops, etc.  Pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, ripe bananas.  Soda, sugar sweetened sports and energy drinks.  Candy, sugar.

High Glycemic Deserts

If you get into the habit of choosing and consuming healthier foods – It will take about 2 weeks to naturally begin craving them.

Giving up an addictive hyper-palatable food habit is the toughest challenge for those struggling with unhealthy body weight and diabetes.  However, if you can stick to healthier low sugar content food group; you’ll feel better, have more energy, lose weight and experience less hunger pain while increasing fitness levels.  And just maybe you’ll be less dependent on certain medications.

Sedentary habits and behavioral disorders aren’t the only cause of unhealthy weight gain. Limited mobility, genetic disorders and other medical conditions must be considered and treated by a medical specialist, especially when complicated by obesity and diabetes.

As a side note…  never forego taking prescribed medications even if you improve diet and have significant weight loss and experience relief of diabetic, or other ill-health symptoms.  Follow all doctor prescription and treatment recommendations.

Good health to you and your family.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2018 Copyright, All rights reserved.  MirrorAthlete Inc.,  Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly eNewsletter.