More and more
we are hearing about food allergies and food sensitivities. Because they are such common conditions, it
is important to understand the difference between the two and what the health
issues are which surround them.
The difference between food sensitivities and food allergies
Though on the surface food sensitivities and food allergies may seem like the same thing (they can even cause some of the same symptoms), they are, in fact, two different conditions.
The least common of the two is a food allergy . A food allergy will bring about a response from the immune system that can impact several different parts of your body. Food allergies can be life-threatening. Food sensitivity or food intolerance symptoms are less serious but are more common, being typically confined to the digestive tract.
The Gut Connection
When you have a food allergy, your body essentially treats the food as something that is threatening to your body and therefore mounts an attack against it. The reason for the attack is that particles of that food and other molecules have traveled from the intestines into the bloodstream; but they are not supposed to be there.
How did they get there? Through what is known as a leaky gut. A normal, healthy intestine has walls that are tight, allowing only small molecules such as vitamins, simple sugars and amino acids to pass through it. But when the gut becomes overly permeable, larger molecules, toxins, bacteria and bits of undigested waste pass through into the blood stream. These molecules are not supposed to be in the bloodstream at all.
The result is that this triggers a response in the body, and the large molecules are treated as foreigners, triggering an immune reaction leading to digestion problems, autoimmune diseases and additional food allergies. If your body begins producing antibodies to certain foods and food groups, then those foods will be treated as pathogenic by your body.
What are the causes and symptoms of leaky gut?
There are many causes of leaky gut. These include:
· Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin
· Alcohol and caffeine
· Antacid medications
· Food additives
· Allergies to food
· Infections within the bowel itself
· Diets high in refined flours, sugars and other processed foods
If you have leaky gut, you may experience a range of symptoms such as fatigue, joint and muscle pain, pain and bloating in the abdomen, skin rashes, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and depressio n.
The good news is that if you think you have leaky gut, there are several action steps you can take to begin healing. The key is to remove anything that may be contributing to your condition, while at the same time feed your body what it needs to begin repairing the damage.
Try the following suggestions to start on the road to healing and health:
1. Eliminate alcohol and caffeine from your diet.
2. Stop using all anti-inflammatory drugs.
3. Chew your food thoroughly and take a digestive enzyme to aid digestion.
4. Take probiotics to increase the number of friendly microbes in your intestines.
5. Eat at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
6. Stop eating refined, white flour, sugar and processed foods.
7. Drink plenty of filtered water .
No matter how committed we
are to getting in the recommended five to nine servings of vegetables and
fruits every day, sometimes we come up short.
It may be that we are busy and barely have time to eat at all, or
perhaps we find ourselves in eating situations that don’t include many fresh
vegetable choices. Or maybe we just
don’t like them.
On days that you find it hard to eat enough vegetables and fruits, a green drink is the perfect answer. It is a great way to boost your health and even detox your system.
Green drinks are just that—green, because they contain the juice of fresh green vegetables and other vegetables and fruits. There are many reasons to consider adding green drinks to your diet.
Why drink green juice?
Vegetables and fruit are full of essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes that your body thrives on. And because you are consuming it in liquid form, your body can digest it quickly. This is especially helpful if you have digestion issues, because the process of juicing ‘pre digests’ the food for you by breaking down the cell walls. This means that the nutrition can easily go right into your system.
Drinking your veggies and fruits also allows you to take in more nutrients. You may find it difficult to eat an entire bunch of kale in a day, but drinking the juice from that same amount is no problem at all!
You will also detox your body by drinking fresh juices. The enzymes contained in the juice help to release built-up toxins, leaving your body much healthier.
Many people have found that juicing helps them to lose weight, increase their energy and even improve some medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
An alternative to juicing your veggies and fruit (my preferred method) is to turn them into smoothies. While a juicer extracts the juice and leaves behind the pulp, a high-powered blender can be used to blend the juice and pulp together into a thicker drink. Either method is fine--it just depends on your preference. The fiber in the smoothies will cause you to feel full longer, which may help you to have fewer cravings.
Watch Your Calories and Sugar Intake!
WARNING : Juicing can really jack up your calorie and sugar intake when you use a lot of fruit. Be mindful of what you’re putting in you green drink…
Get started with these recipes
Here are some recipes1 to help you jumpstart your health and energy.
Baby’s First Green (a great starter juice)
1 large pear
1 cup pineapple, cubed
4 large stalks kale
Gena’s Classic Green Juice
1 green apple
1 inch knob ginger
5 large stalks celery
1 large handful parsley
5 stalks kale
Veggie Ginger Juice
3 large carrots
1 green apple
4 large stalks celery
1 large handful of spinach, parsley, or other dark green
1 small cucumber
1 inch knob ginger
DO YOU JUICE? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE RECIPES???
PLEASE SPREAD THE WEALTH AND LET US KNOW YOUR TIPS!!
Whether you are a student or
the parent of a student, you likely have one thing on your mind as the new
school year begins: academic
performance. From kindergarteners to
graduate level college students, concentration and learning are critical and
directly related to how successful the year is and how bright the future looks
You may be wondering what Academic Performance has to do with a Fitness Blog .
The Answer ? EVERYTHING! The research is conclusive : physical exercise directly impacts how well a student does academically.
Consistent, daily exercise results in significantly improved concentration, learning and test scores.
In his book, Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain , Harvard Psychiatrist Dr. John Ratey cites studies that document dramatic increases in the academic performance of students when they begin adding exercise to their daily schedule.
City Park Collegiate school in Saskatoon Saskatchewan is an inner city school in which many students have both behavioral and academic challenges. But after bringing treadmills into the class room and letting the students use them, behavioral and academic problems improved.
Students were able to sit still longer, concentrate better and scores began sky rocketing . In just four months, the students in Allison Cameron’s class began improving academically. Grade level increases were in the 27%-36% range, and math increases were similar.1
And all it took was 20 minutes of exercise each morning.
What is it about exercise that causes such significant changes? Scientists are still trying to understand it, but it appears as though exercise helps to lay down new pathways in the brain, which aids learning. Neurogenesis also seems to be stimulated by exercise. Neurogenesis is the process by which the brain grows new brain cells. These new brain cells help build the new pathways along which learning can take place.2
City Park isn’t the only school that has seen improvements in student’s academic and behavioral performance. At Naperville Central High School west of Chicago, similar results are seen, with students dramatically improving in reading, math3 and science.
The take-away message? If you are a student, a parent of a student or even a teacher, exercise should be a top priority. To neglect it is to sabotage potential and open the door for behavioral problems.
There are many ways to get a good workout in.
Resist the urge to neglect exercise in order to spend more time with the books. Your study time will be much more productive if you feed your brain with exercise!
Minimum Effective Dosage: Train Smarter Not Harder
There are few things as exciting as new boot campers eager to make serious lifestyle changes and make up for lost time in their quest to get fit and healthy. Their motivation and passion are contagious, and watching transformations is one of the most fulfilling aspects of being a trainer.
But in their excitement, many boot campers make a common mistake – overtraining. The thinking goes like this: “If 20 push-ups are good, then 30 must be better,” or “If 35 pounds challenges my muscles, then I’ll really get ripped if I do 50!” In other words, more is better and leads to faster results.
Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case, and taken to the extreme can lead to getting hurt and MISSING workouts. As with most things in life, moderation and consistency in fitness are the keys to success . Too much of anything can be a bad thing, and there is no need to do more than the minimum needed for maximum results.
For example, consider medication. If 200 milligrams of Advil takes away your headache, you do not need to take 1000 milligrams. It will not make your headache go away any more effectively, because 200 milligrams will make it disappear completely! Taking 1000 milligrams is not only wasted effort, but it could have dangerous effect on your health.
It is important to realize that over training in fitness not only doesn’t deliver faster and better results, but it can lead to injury and burnout . Pushing your body beyond what it can effectively handle will usually result in a strain or muscle tear.
Likewise, for those just starting, if you blast out of the gate at top speed with an intensity that you can’t possibly sustain, you will burn out and likely give up. The wisest choice is to practice moderation and consistency.
Remember, what you do every day is more important than what you do every once in a while. Those everyday activities may not be terribly exciting while you are doing them. And you may not feel like you are making progress. But give the compound effect time to work. Your effort will pay off. You will become stronger, more fit, and others will begin to notice.
Take care of your body and your mind by practicing the “Minimum Effective Dosage” strategy. Do what is necessary to get you to your goal, one step at a time. Better yet, work with a Certified Fitness Professional or Specialist to determine your programming needs and you can bet your ass that you will get there in half the time it would normally take you doing it by yourself!
'What you do every day is more important than what you do every once in a while.'
reason why celebrities and other highly successful people use coaches and
And that is why so many people are turning to Private Coaches & Personal Trainers to help them move from mediocre to excellence in their pursuit of health, fitness and weight loss.
Sport Scientists have shown how Group Fitness classes leave you with more muscle or better tone.
More than 91% of people who start an exercise program quit early —even before their new routine becomes a habit, and 61% will give up within the very first week!1
Why? Because changing your lifestyle is hard. In spite of all the infomercials and ads claiming that you can lose weight and transform your body in thirty days (or six weeks at the longest), the truth is, getting fit requires a lifestyle makeover that takes
If any of these components is missing, the odds of success plummet.
The good news is that one component virtually guarantees the continued presence of the other two, and that is support- -and support is the heart of what a good Coach provides.
A Coach helps with the time factor in two ways:
1. Finding time in your schedule to actually work out
2. Sticking with your program long enough to reach your goals.
A Coach supports you looking at your schedule and find ways to make fitness fit. A seasoned Coach or personal trainer has much wisdom in the area of time management and is a master at figuring out how to work exercise into even the busiest schedules. He can also design workouts that are both efficient and effective. Finally, a Private Coach can also provide the motivation that you need to keep going, long after you would have stopped were you doing working out by yourself.
Determination is also an area that a Coach/Personal trainer supports you in. At the beginning of your new fitness program, you have excitement, novelty and the joy of discovery to keep you going. But eventually, what used to be new and fun becomes old and boring. If determination fades, you will find yourself wandering off track in search of the next exciting pursuit.
Your Coach(es) will help you keep your determination. He will remind you why you are doing what you are doing. He will get into your life and help you move past obstacles that arise, and he will talk you out of excuse-making. He will constantly hold before you the consequences of your choices. He will keep you moving forward.
And finally, a Coach supports you as your source for practical, step-by-step instructions for building health. At HIT Fitness Warehouse, Your Coach is an expert in the field of Exercise Science. While under the tutelage of any Coach at HIT Fitness Warehouse, you do not have to design your own program of fitness, constantly wondering whether you are doing the right exercises in the right way. A Private Coach or Personal Trainer will create a customized blueprint that will help you achieve your goals.
A Coach or personal trainer is your insurance policy against being another number in the appalling fitness drop-out statistics. Don’t try to go it alone; we all need help.
Position yourself for success by working with a Personalized Group Fitness or a Private Coach/Personal Trainer and watch fitness and robust health become part of your life.
Prepare for Success: Back to School Tips
Have you noticed? The days are getting a little shorter, store aisles are full of school supplies and you may have seen a school bus or two making practice runs in your neighborhood. All this can only mean one thing: it’s back to school time!
If you are like most people, you are not quite ready to say goodbye to the relaxing days of summer. Late nights and lightly-scheduled days are a welcome break after a year of early mornings and homework deadlines. Those slow days of summer are such a welcome break!
But with the approach of the new school year comes the necessity to ease back into a routine that helps your children succeed. Changing routines can be tough under any circumstances. But when our routines change from ‘fun and relaxing’ to ‘less fun and somewhat stressful,’ it can be even tougher to pull off!
The best way to lessen the shock of a new school year is to ease your children into their school routine before school starts. Getting a jump start on new schedules and new responsibilities will allow them to adjust before school actually starts and the pace really picks up.
Here are some areas to focus on for back to school prep:
1. Sleep schedule. Almost without realizing it, we tend to slip into a different sleep pattern during summer—later nights make for later wake times. This is probably due to several factors, including the fact that the days are longer and the school bus isn’t coming! When school starts, however, your children need to be on a different sleep schedule, otherwise they will have a very hard time getting up. Try this: a few days before school starts, ease their bed times and wake times back 15 minutes each day. This will help them to painlessly get used to a more school-friendly sleep schedule.
2. Daily schedule. Your children have probably grown accustomed to low pressure schedules this summer. However, when school starts, having a schedule is critical. There are only so many hours each day to fit in school, homework, extra-curricular commitments, church and chores. Make it all work by creating a schedule that your children can follow.
3. Chores. The only way to make a busy household run smoothly is for everyone to pull their share of the load. Assign each of your children age-appropriate chores to do. Offer rewards for a job well done and give additional chores for non-compliance. Even preschoolers can help around the house by emptying small trash cans and picking up toys and books.
4. Planners. Buy each of your children a planner and help them to get used to using it before school starts. The more familiar they are with their planner, the easier it will be for them to use it when classes and other activities get underway. Encourage them to write in their class schedule, their homework schedule, their sports and club schedules and even their chore routines.
5. Fitness. It goes without saying that your children need to move. Literally. Sitting for long hours in the classroom and on the bus hinders their ability to concentrate and also lowers their energy levels. If your school does not offer a physical education program, get your child involved in some kind of exercise routine . If your school does offer a physical education program, get your child involved in some kind of exercise routine to familiarize them with slightly more advanced movements and the importance of exercise. Not only will their grades likely improve, but they will be less stressed in general and will be more able to handle the pressures that school brings.
Back to school prep does not have to be difficult; it just takes a little planning. Using these tips will help to instill good habits in your children that will set them up for success in the classroom and in real world.
*To get your child involved in a youth fitness program reach out to us and ask about our HIT FIT KIDS and Athletes in Training (AIT) programs .
If you have been working out over the past winter and spring
months, you may be surprised at the new challenges that summertime fitness
throws at you. So now on top of the Tactical Tuesday Challenges, Great 8 Challenges, and 24 Day Challenges, you have been slammed with Mother Nature's challenge! You are probably discovering that your body reacts to the heat and
humidity differently than it does to cooler, drier conditions. And if you have not discovered this already then start paying attention to your body and the little adjustments that must be made. The thirst, the excess sweating, the fatigue setting in a little sooner.
But don’t let the heat cause you to lose your momentum. You can keep working hard in the summer, you just have to adjust your approach a little. Keep the following summertime fitness HIT FIT Tips in mind as you continue getting stronger and healthier.
1. Cool down first! You can improve your performance in the heat by lowering your body temperature before heading outside. Taking a cold shower or simply putting ice cold cloths on the back of your neck can help you to better tolerate the heat.
2. Find some shade. You may need to move your workout to a different area in order to be in the shade. If you are a runner or biker, change your route to a wooded area.
3. Avoid caffeine. Because caffeine acts as a diuretic, it forces water out of your system. This is the last thing you want when exercising in the summer heat. Save your caffeine intake for several hours before or after your workout, rather than near the time you will be exercising.
4. Stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water before, during and after your workout will reduce the heat stress on your body.
5. Choose your clothing carefully. Now more than ever it is important to wear clothing that will move sweat away from your body and help it evaporate it quickly. A cotton t-shirt may be fine in the winter, but you will be much cooler in a fabric designed for exercise.
6. Change your workout time. If you are used to exercising during lunch or in the afternoon, you may need to adjust your schedule for the summer months. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times for outdoor exercise. On blistering, hot days, even the shade will not bring much relief.
7. Wear white or light colored clothing. Lighter colors reflect the heat better than darker, more intense colors.
8. Take breaks. Your body can only handle so much extreme heat. When the thermometer climbs, you may find that you need more frequent breaks to keep performing at your best. Be sure to take them. Listening to your body and caring for it is not a sign of weakness: it’s smart.
9. Monitor your heart . The heat places greater stress on your heart. Keep tabs on your heart rate as you work out in the heat. If it spikes quickly or stays too high, give it a rest.
10. Hit the gym. You may find that it is best to simply move your workout indoors for the summer. If you would prefer not to put your body under summer stress, work out in a gym, and if I may suggest a GREAT gym, HIT Fitness Warehouse is South Florida's #1 Performance and Fitness Training Facility! Sorry, couldn't help but throw that out there. You will have the added benefit of personal attention , group accountability and best of all ....Great Coaches that care and have made Coaching & Training their lifetime career! It’s a great time to work on form, increase intensity, and plan out a new and exciting workout routine. Beat the heat by mixing things up this summer-try a gym workout.
Fueling your Body for Optimal Performance
From weekend warriors to Ironman finishers, performance is directly tied to diet. If you want to train at the peak of your ability and recover quickly, you must be intentional about what you eat, taking care to feed your body what it needs. Trying to work out with a body that is starving for essential nutrients will end only in frustration; and frustration eats your momentum and resolve with a voracious appetite.
Make the most of every minute you work out by fueling your body sensibly. Let’s look at the basics.
Nutrition 101: The Foundation
The big three nutrients that you need to be concerned with are carbohydrates, protein and fat. An eating strategy that balances these three macro-nutrients will skyrocket your fitness results.
· Carbohydrates: Some have argued that carbohydrates are the most important nutrient that an athlete consumes, because carbs fuel muscle. Every time you move one of your muscles, you are using carbohydrates. Your body breaks down carbs into sugars and then stores them in your muscles and livers. If you eat more than can be stored in either of these two places, the excess is stored as fat in your body.
Good sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans.
· Protein: In order to build muscle, you must have protein. Muscle is the foundation of every athlete: without a solid muscle base, you will be ineffective any fitness pursuit. Muscle also plays an important role in protecting you from diabetes. The more muscle you have, the more efficiently your body can uptake glucose from your bloodstream.
It is important to eat protein daily, because your body cannot store protein very easily. Protein from animal sources is the easiest way to get complete protein, but plant-based proteins can be combined to provide complete protein as well.
· Fat: It is unfortunate that fat came under such fire during the last decade or so. Fat is essential and you need a lot of it. The key is to know what kind of fat to eat. Avoid anything that is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. These fats are also called trans-fats and are very unhealthy. Instead try to get the majority of your fat from olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, wild-caught fish and free-range animal products such as butter, cheese, yogurt, beef and poultry.
Finding the balance
If you are like many people, you are often confused about how to balance out the different kinds of foods you eat. It seems as though there is a new diet promotion every day, promising all sorts of miracles.
The key, however, to fueling your body for peak performance is balance and moderation. In The New Rules of Lifting for Women , Cassandra Forsythe insists that eating a ratio of 40/30/30 (carbohydrate/protein/fat) will bring the best results. Start here and then adjust the ratios to see what best suits your body.
Remember: you must give your body what it needs to perform. If you don’t, you will end up tired, weak, and prone to frustration because you won’t have the energy or strength to work out. The better you fuel your body, the better it will serve you in your pursuit of fitness and health.
*Contact us for your customized nutritional program
Kevin Kohan, Sports Nutrition Specialist