Eat your way to a bikini body

Ariticle for Live Life magazine by Anna Wood

It’s the part where we all struggle with. We want to lose weight but knowing what to eat, when to eat or how much to eat, becomes a daunting task, and for most a stumbling block that curbs any effort towards our weight loss goal? Let’s see if we can find a simpler approach towards effective maintainable weight loss nutrition and achieving that “bikini body”goal.

I think that the biggest misconception people have is that they think they can out train a bad diet; meaning “I can eat this bad food and work it off later” Nothing beats a bad diet. To achieve our weight loss goal we have to understand that nutrition is 70% of the process and training takes up the other 30%. Our bodies function very similar to a power station. If we want the lights to go on we kind of need to feed it some kind of fuel to kick-start the whole process. This is where food comes in, if we fuel our bodies with the right kind of food at the right intervals, with the right amount, the lights shine brightly, but change that to plates overloaded with sugars and fatty food we find ourselves operation on dims. Grasping this fact will help you make better choices when it comes to food.

Read more – Download pdf – BikiniBody

Fix your Digestion

Article by Gareth Powell

You are what you eat…..WRONG! You are only what you absorb!

In our modern, fast-paced western world, the number of people who are experiencing symptoms that are directly linked to the digestive capacity and tolerances are constantly increasing. The shocking increases of digestive distress being reported over the last few years can be put down to how we have changed and modified our food intake to suit our environment, rather than staying loyal to what our bodies have become accustomed to over the last few thousand years. Currently 1 in 6 people that are admitted to hospital are there to be diagnosed with a digestive disorders or digestive disease.

 

The health of the digestive system is often overlooked, but it remains a very important factor for good health. This is not to say that your digestion is more important that say adrenal function or blood sugar regulation, but individuals should aim for good gut health, and then build their food options and meal plans around the optimisation of digestive health first.

 

Problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, bloating, indigestion and other issues like constant fatigue and depressive spells can be linked back to intestinal dysfunction. Improved nutrition and lifestyle habits will often lead to amazing results and the disappearance of these symptoms.
In healthy individuals, there is generally an abundance of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, but our exposure to environmental, mechanical and electrical stress, pollution, poor dietary choices and antibiotic therapy all cause intestinal dysbiosis. This bacterial imbalance can result in the overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria and yeast, which results in IBS, candida and joint pain.

 

The digestive system is not a simple arrangement, and it comprises of the brain, mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, liver, pancreas and large intestine. If all the above are functioning correctly, we can expect to fully and optimally break down the food we consume, enhancing and improve nutrition partitioning and more importantly wholly absorb the dietary nutrients to better fuel our body on a cellular level.

 

However, when digestion & absorption becomes compromised we start to become malnourished, and this can cause chaos on a cellular level. Associated symptoms with poor digestive health can include IBS, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, reflux, inflammatory bowel disease, brain fog, fatigue, depression, weak nails and various skin conditions to name but a few.

 

When digestion goes wrong it can seriously affect the rest of the body and its normal functioning. Some of the most common issues include low stomach acid levels, dysfunction in the pancreatic output of enzymes (secretion of enzymes to break down protein, fats and carbs), liver and gallbladder (secretion of bile to emulsify fats), damage to the small intestine wall, villi and lymphatic system (leading to inability to absorb nutrients), imbalance of bacteria in large intestine and most probably too fast or too slow transit time which can mean low absorption rates and diarrhea, or irregular bowel movements, irritation of the haemorrhoid pad, constipation and reuptake of toxins.

 

If any of the above symptoms ring true to you then it may be worth seeking advice of a skilled nutritional practitioner who can help you get to the underlying causes, assist you in solving the problem and at the same time improve your health and performance levels.
Now that you know what could potentially go wrong and what the effect of that might have on the host, let’s look at the top 5 tips for fixing your gut.

1. Remove any potential allergens from the diet and/or infections from the digestive system.
We are not what we eat, rather, we are what we eat, digest, absorb and don’t excrete. If we continuously put food into our body that is highly processed, high sugar, low nutrient and contains ingredients the body can’t make use of, in time your digestion and in fact the whole body becomes overburdened and dysfunctional.
It is important to understand how your body reacts to ingesting certain foods. After all, why would you continue to consume a food or food group that creates a digestive disorder? Some of the most common allergens in today’s western diet include soy, wheat, gluten & dairy. This is certainly not to say that any of these are necessarily ‘bad’ food options, but due to the over consumption of these products in the modern diet and the processing methods that are undertaken to deliver them to your plate, these foods are often the cause of many individuals ability to digest and make use of these foods optimally.
Also consider the way you are eating. If you’ve recently moved over to a raw-food diet and you have a few digestive issues, perhaps consider steaming or blanching your vegetables to help remove oxalates, increase nutrient availability and also help prevent distress to your digestive microbiomes.

 

2. Replace any deficiencies that you may have.
This is commonly related to dealing with low stomach acid levels, or putting an array of digestive enzymes into your routine to help you improve the digestive efficiency of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, while taking some of the pressure off your pancreas. A good indication of the need for digestive enzymes will be if you have undigested food in your stool, oily stools, weak nails or reoccurring skin issues.
Also, if you’re struggling with protein digestion and feel overly full or uncomfortable for a long period of time after a protein dense meal, the chances are that your stomach acid levels are not optimal, but it’s also worth remembering that stomach acid levels do drop as we age, so portion control, proper chewing and meal times become very important.

 

3. Repair your digestive system.
The good news is that the cells of the digestive system repair fairly quickly, say within a few days, or for severe damage a couple of weeks. During the process of gut repair, there are certain supplements that have been proven over and over again to be very effective, and the most prominent of these include L-Glutamine. This amino acid and is the primary fuel source of the single-layer intestinal cells making up the gut wall. So, it often helps to just improve cellular functioning, strengthening the immunity and supporting proper nutrient uptake. 2-5g twice daily will provide sufficient volumes to get your gut repaired and working optimally, but this volume would have to be managed according to your own individual situation.
Consume pre-biotics (non-digestible foods) are found in certain foodstuffs such as artichokes and onions. They contain fructooligosaccharides which escape digestion in the small intestine, and are fermented by the colonic microflora in the lower gut to products short chain fatty acids such as butyrate, which serve to provide the fuel to the cells of the large intestine.
This will also help heal and gut permeability which may be caused through continual food allergen intake, resulting in topical inflammation and damage to the villi lining the gut wall.

 

4. Re-inoculate.
This simply means wraps up the process of adding good bacteria back into the large intestine. This should always be the last stage of the gut health promoting process as you overcome the opportunistic infections, bacteria and parasites before repopulating the gut. No symptoms are masked, the cause is simply removed.
If the individual suffers with a low stomach acid production issue, then improper food steralisation would occur, further resulting in bacterial infection. Once you removed any allergens or infection then looking at repopulating the large intestine is ideal. As a rule of thumb you will need a live strain probiotic to be kept in the fridge. This is the right time to add in additional food-based pro-biotics, which include various pickled and fermented foods like sauerkraut and gherkins, as well as plain, Greek yoghurt.

 

5. Lifestyle – last but not least in priority.
In fact, lifestyle changes are often crucial in order to achieve digestive recovery and consistency in the repair process. We empower our clients through education to address their lifestyle to reduce potential upsets to the digestive system.
Our lifestyles don’t allow for optimal human functioning because we are exposed to chronic stress, poor food choices, a stressful job, heavy training sessions and various changing environments. You will, almost certainly have a hard time finding optimal health let alone optimum digestion.
Stress, conscious or not, reacts on the body in the same way, causing the sympathetic nervous system to divert blood flow to your muscles, elevating your heart rate, increasing your blood pressure and resulting in digestion coming second.
Manage your stress so that it does not become a chronic issue. The best way to do that is to stay active as often as possible, take time out to relax and de-stress, and more than anything, find time to sleep well (or more if you only achieve 4 hours daily). Your body needs quality unbroken sleep to repair and recover.
In order for you to care better for your body, take note of the tips above and action them. Educate yourself, implement the simple and necessary steps, eat real foods, reduce stress, sleep well and recover to better nourish your body, allowing it to function at its best – the way it was designed to.

Nutrition and Food

Download the pdf and learn more about making healthy food choices

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