You Are NOT What You Eat

 

Ok, so the story, as we have been told, is that You Are What You Eat

I truly love this statement as it says so much. If you stop and think consciously about this statement, you just might think hard and long about your food choices.

At the same time that this statement says so much... it does not say enough. Hence my title:

You Are NOT What You Eat.

Let me explain myself.

1. You ARE what your body digests.

  • real food is required
  • chew well: food must be masticated very well so your body can easily break it down (digest it) otherwise you will just be pooping out undigested chucks of food. Pity, seems like such a waste of good food! 
  • strong stomach acid is required to break down food so you are able to use all of the nutrients in that real food you spend good money on. You want to encourage stomach acid not repress it with acid suppressing drugs.
  • good microbial colonization of your intestinal tract is needed for certain biological activities; microorganisms perform a host of useful functions such as fermenting unused energy substrates, training the immune system, preventing growth of harmful, pathogenic bacteria, regulating the development of the gut, producing vitamins for the host, such as biotin and vitamin K, and producing hormones to direct your body to store fats (and so many more good gut bug jobs). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gut_flora

Let's move on with this You Are NOT What You Eat concept...

2. You ARE what your body can absorb.

  • in order for nutrients to be absorbed, they have to be able to be digested. I will refer you back to #1 above.
  • your small intestine must be healthy in order to absorb the nutrients from the digested food. Processed, packaged, factory made foods (and all the synthetic ingredients in them) damage the villi and micro villi that line your small intestine. Damaged villi do not absorb nutrients well. Ask your body's cells how they feel about this lack of nutrients coming at them? What destroys these precious little villi and micro villi you ask?
  1. packaged food's synthetic ingredients
  2. sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup
  3. hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils
  4. GMO food crops
  5. gluten in people with celiac disease or gluten intolernaces
  6. poor chewing... see above.

3. You ARE What Your Heart Can Circulate Around Your Body and Deliver To Your Body Cells.

  • moving your body daily creates a strong heart, strong blood vessels, and strong muscles that all help to pump blood around your body. I could go on and on and write a whole book on the benefits of daily movement to your body's tissue strength and how this movement supports the movement of fluids, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your body. I will spare you the long story. Trust me, just get up and move. Dance and your body cells dance with you!

4. You ARE What Can Pass Across Your Body Cell Membranes. 

The nutrients in your real food that you have chewed well, were digested well, and absorbed into your villi and micro villi are only useful IF they can pass across the cell membrane and actually nourish your body cells. Complicated, eh?

  • your cell membranes need healthy fat from real food to keep it strong and intact allowing nutrients into the cell and cellular waste products out of the cell.
  • also, a daily dose of healthy protein keeps the cell membranes happy.
  • avoid processed, packaged, factory made foods as they contain unhealthy fats (hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated oils, cheap vegetable oils high in omega 6 fatty acids), denatured proteins, and synthetic ingredients that confuse your body and interfere with this whole digestion - absorption - circulation - and transport across the cell membrane process (for more information head back up to #1).

You are SO much more than just what you eat. You ARE what you:

  • digest
  • absorb
  • circulate
  • pass into your each and every tiny cell

Deeper Dive Homework: look at your food and your bodily processes in a different light.  Feed your body whole foods.  Support all your bodily processes so you, in turn, feed your body cells well.

PS  Dandelions are a great digestive aid!    Comments and questions are always welcome! 

PS  Dandelions are a great digestive aid!

Comments and questions are always welcome! 

Building Muscle, Building Vitality

zip pic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMqSvoW_qhU

A still photo clip from the above YouTube video link:  I use this zip line far more than my kids (and their tire swing, as well). So glad I did not grow up in this era of video games being more important than outdoor play! Playing outside is the zest of life and builds muscles!  Use it or lose it!

Ok gang, the season is upon us (this was taken just before the snow was all melted, Spring 2014) to get outside and move our beautiful bodies, build muscle, increase lean body mass, and just plain feel better and stronger inside ourselves.

"Why?" you ask, "Why Paula would I want to do that?"

1.  Muscle tissue is healthier than fat tissue.  Muscle cells, each individual cell, is more active than fat cells.  This means each muscle cell has a higher metabolic activity level. That means your whole body, with more muscle, will have a higher metabolic rate.

2.  Muscle is active tissue.  Muscle tissue actively moves fluids around your body, massaging blood vessels and body tissues as you move your muscles, helping blood flow and other fluids to flow smoothly and easily.

3.  Conversely, fat tissue squeezes blood vessels, having more of a collapsing effect on blood vessels.  If the blood vessels running through your excess adipose tissue are being squeezed, this makes it more work for your heart to pump blood through these vessels.  Up goes the blood pressure...

4.  A moving body, with healthy amounts of muscle tissue, keeps your body young. And seriously, who does not want this?

Looking for more reasons why exercise is good for you?  See below for my "Benefits of Exercise" handout I use with clients.

Easy ways to build muscle: (with no equipment or minimal equipment required)

  • walk
  • push ups
  • reverse push ups (back bend push ups, you bet I do them!)
  • power push ups
  • pull ups
  • chin ups
  • yoga squat poses
  • yoga arm poses
adho-mukha-svanasana-guide
dolphin-plank-pose-guide
goddess-guide
malasana-guide
navasana-guide
plank-guide
purvottanasana-guide
reverse-virabhadrasana-2-guide
setu-bandhasana-guide
sphinx-guide
salabhasana-guide
utkatasana-guide
utthita-tadasana-guide
vasisthasana-guide
virabhadrasana-1-guide
virabhadrasana-2-guide
vrksasana-guide

How's that for some fun muscle building poses to try out.  One just needs their body and some comfortable clothes that will move with you! Have fun building muscle and zesty health!

Love, Paula

PS  The Benefits of Exercise:

23 Great Reasons to ExerciseBelieve me, I have more if you would like to chat!

Exercise, coupled with whole food eating & whole health lifestyles, may be the closest thing to the fountain of youth. Not only does regular activity strengthen your muscles and improve heart and lung function, but it can also reduce your risk of major diseases, stimulate the growth of new brain cells and even add years to your life. Studies show just 30 minutes of physical activity on most days is all that's required to reap big benefits.  A simple walk that we start and finish with a round or two of push-ups and we are on our way to creating healthy fitness.

The range of health bonuses now attributed to exercise has surprised even doctors.  I am completely amazed this is not common sense!  We need research to prove moving our body, the way nature intended, is good for us???  What has happened to human beings' collective common sense???

Ok.... let's look at the benefits of daily exercise:

Keeps you younger than your actual chronological age.  Exercise boosts the amount of oxygen you consume during and after exercising.  This benefit of increasing oxygen consumption is how we increase our aerobic capacity and live longer.  More oxygen to the cells means healthier cells and longer cell life spans.  The longer your cells live, the longer you could live!  Every minute of good exercise and it does not need to be hard, pounding exercise, adds two to three minutes to your life!  Can you get payoffs like that with any other investment?  Aerobic exercise has also been shown to perhaps stimulate the growth of new brain cells in older adults.  Makes sense to me that it stimulates the growth of new brain cells in anyone who exercises!

Healthier, glowing skin.  When we exercise we increase our oxygen intake capabilities (see above) and increase our circulatory function.  This means blood, lymph and intracellular fluids all move about your body more efficiently.  The micro capillary beds of your face (really, your whole body’s skin) work at top-notch keeping you young and vibrant looking.  More oxygen and food nutrients will arrive at your cells and cellular waste products will more efficiently removed from your cells.  This means better waste removal both through efficient respiratory expiration and your fluid circulation.  End result:  healthier cells, including skin cells.  Your skin and whole body will glow with health!

Fewer asthma problems.  Yoga breathing exercises have .long been used to increase respiratory capacity and ease the symptoms of asthma.  When people with mild asthma exercise regularly and increase their  aerobic capacity and their lung strength, they can reduce the need to use their inhalers.

Boost the immune system and reduces infections.  Your immune cells work faster and more efficiently when you are a regular exerciser.  Those white cells rev up their aggressiveness against antigens entering your body.  A better functioning immune system cuts down on the viral and bacterial ills we pick up; cold, flu, etc.

Better blood sugar control.  When you exercise (and eat a whole food diet) your body will shed the extra pounds.  This creates a stable blood sugar regulation mechanism; lower insulin levels, lower and stable levels of blood sugar.  What a great way to prevent diabetes.  If you are an adult onset diabetic, what a great way to heal your body from this lifestyle induced disease.

Lessen your risk for cancer.  Exercise prevents constipation.  A properly functioning colon is less likely to develop cancer.  People with balanced blood sugars, see above, have less chance of developing colon cancer.  When our bodies are functioning well from whole foods, exercise and lifestyle choices, our hormones balance out creating a lesser chance of developing hormone related cancers: breast and prostate.

Fewer heart attacks, prevention of heart attacks.  Exercise raises your HDL cholesterol.  This is the cholesterol that is considered “good,” the cholesterol reading we want to be high.  Exercise is great for reducing inflammation in the body; less inflammation, less heart attacks, strokes and the resultant vascular health problems.

Lowers stress levels. Regular exercise reduces stress levels in the body, mind and soul creating calmer and more centered human beings.  We were meant to move.  Moving helps to burn up those “fight or flight” hormones in a healthy manner.  Exercise is a great remedy for relieving mild anxiety, frustration and depression.  Think of it as movement meditation, movement “medication!”

Better sleep.  A body that moves daily will sleep better for all reasons: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Make it outdoor exercise and the fresh air and natural light exposure increases this benefit many times over!

Prevents and restores bone loss.  Moving your body keeps the bones healthy and young.  The bone cells lay down more new bone, preventing and reversing osteoporosis.

Stronger muscles, better flexibility and balance.  Exercise keeps your muscles strong. Moving through full range of motion everyday keeps your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints flexible and strong.  Exercise creates balance in body, mind and spirit.  Yoga is one great way to increase your muscle strength while creating better flexibility and balance for ease of movement!

Better organ function and health.  Anything that makes your body stronger is going to make all organs, right down to your very cells, function better.  Better circulation means better oxygen and nutrition being transported to the cells and better waste removal from the cells.  This makes for healthier cells, organs and ultimately a healthier You!

Protect female and male health.  Full body exercise keeps your sex hormones balanced:  this means goodbye PMS and menopausal symptoms, hello healthy life!  Exercise to reduce and possibly remove the symptoms of: PMS and menopause.  Men benefit with lower incidence of erectile problems and increased overall “male” healthiness.   Pelvic exercises, called kegel exercises, help prevent reproductive and urinary organ prolapse, clitoral erectile dysfunction and urinary leaking in females; impotence/erectile dysfunction and possibly enlarged prostate which is a common cause of urinary symptoms in males. Women benefit as they have the same erectile tissues in their external genitalia.  Men, despite not having a monthly menstrual flow, do have a monthly hormonal cycle.  Regular exercise keeps this sex hormone cycle at top-notch function.  Because all body hormones and chemicals work in synergy, healthy sex hormones keep the rest of your body chemistry humming along in great health.  Got those walking shoes on your feet?  Heading out the door?

Weight loss and loss of belly fat.  We are back to the common sense thing again, moving your body, as opposed to sitting on the couch, will keep you naturally thinner.  The body was meant for movement, so it stands to reason it will be thinner with less belly fat than an inert body mass!  Forty-five minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the morning may actually reduce your food cravings so you eat less all day.  That is a healthy body bonus!

Reduces Inflammation.  Inflammation in the body is the precursor to chronic lifestyle diseases.  Reduce your bodily inflammation and you reduce disease.  See heart attack information above.

Regulates your appetite, reduces cravings, promote healthy digestion.  When you feel good from moving, you are more apt to want to accentuate these good feelings with good food, avoiding the junk. When you eat good food and feel great, you are more apt to feel like moving.  What a wonderful catch 22!

Lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, raises HDL cholesterol.  Trust me, you want this to happen!  Again, see heart attack information above.

Improve mood, concentration, nervous system function and memory.  Healthier bodies with healthier circulation means healthier brains for both intellectual and mood functioning!  See section, above, on lowering stress levels.

  1. Your body will express its positive, healthy genes (epigenetics) when you exercise and eat 100% whole foods.  Whole Health lifestyles turn off the negative genes that cause disease.  Start flicking those healthy genes switches on today;  Get Moving!

Attraction.  Exercising makes us more attractive to others in mind, body and soul.  We will attract to us people who have similar healthy lifestyles.

Prolong life.  I think we are back to number one:  exercise keeps you young! Studies lasting many years have consistently shown that being active cuts the risk of premature death by about 50 percent for men and women.  You have mitochondria in your body cells; these are the powerhouses of the cells. When you exercise, you produce more and healthier mitochondria.  This means your body functions better energetically, your metabolism is higher and you live longer because of your powerful powerhouses!

FUN!  Exercise increases the fun factor in your life.  Do things that make you happy.  If running is not your thing, do not do it just because it is supposedly “healthy.”  Do whatever makes your heart sing.  Find several options that make you happy to move and mix them up.  Every day do something that makes you feel good inside and out!  This is your dose of daily fun that keeps you happy all day and night.  Remember the sleep and lower stress benefits of exercise?

Exercise with a friend or a group of friends and create community.  Healthy friendships up the fun factor of exercise and give you a positive support group from which to draw strength.

(Can you see how all of these benefits interrelate with each other?  Every benefit of exercise is part of the “web” of creating better health of mind, body and soul.)

*Adapted, revised and added to from Consumer Reports, September, 2007  and Institute for Integrative Nutrition Top 10 Reasons to Exercise handout

Need I say more????  Are you convinced?  Please, keep in mind that over doing exercise, seriously pounding the body from high intensity training is not the same as regular daily exercise.  Intense training,  the type of training that serious athletes do to compete in marathons, triathlon, etc., may actually age the body faster.

Get outside and move.  You get the added benefit of fresh air and natural light.  Your body will thank you in ways you can only imagine so let your imagination run wild (or walk wild!)!

Just a word from Garfield…… “I think that tossing and turning all night should be counted as exercise!” 

Get Moving!

Jessica Jones photo, SUNY Potsdam Student

Get your body moving

A whole food, seasonal eating plan can do much to re-balance your body weight, heal your body cells, and put you on the path to radiant whole health.  Simple body movement, every day, can take your wellness plan to a whole other level. 

Think about this:  if you have a sedentary lifestyle, weight gain and an unhealthy body (unhealthy body cells)  is pretty much a sure thing. Instead of reaching for the remote, pick up some hand weights. Instead of the elevator, take the stairs. Get your body moving every day. Work up to 30 minutes every day, you will feel the benefits!  Ask for my hand out on the mind, body, and soul benefits of exercise.

Regular exercise increases your metabolism and your ability to burn fat, improves your mood through the release of endorphins (endorphins are a human's best friend, natural anti-depressants!  Who doesn’t like that movement benefit?), and helps to keep your heart in top notch condition. And as a stress reliever, it can't be beat. A simple 20-30 minute workout has the ability to quiet our mind, make us more present in our body and in the moment, and helps us to relax - important components for a whole health lifestyle.

Think that exercise has to be boring or drudgery? Think again! Most of us can find some type of exercise that motivates us to get into action, make friends, and have fun. What did you like to do as a kid to run and play?  What made you laugh and lose touch with time? Re-introduce yourself to these movement activities. Prefer the solitude of going it alone?  Perfect, get your shoes on and hit the trails.  Wood walks are a perfect place to exercise and find peace.  Exercise doesn't have to require expensive trainers, gym memberships, or a $2000 home gym.  It only requires movement and the commitment to you and your long-term health & vitality.

Here are a few suggestions: -- Do what you love. Be it hiking, rowing, running or belly dancing.  It's important to find exercise that's motivating to you. What will get you up off the couch and/or away from those sedentary screen lifestyles?

-- Get walking. Unlike running, walking is easier on your joints and is one of the simplest forms of exercise. It is free and easy!

-- Find a partner. For many people, exercise can be even more fun if you have someone to help motivate you. Who could you partner with on the road to better health?

-- Buy an inexpensive exercise DVD. Without having to belong to a gym, you can get the benefit of instruction and motivation in the comfort of your own home. You will lose weight, tone your entire body, and increase your balance/flexibility/strength  - all within manageable time frames.

--Stand or use a stepper when you work at your computer.  Your body will feel better when not sitting for hours as the human body was designed for movement, not sitting in chairs.  I still encourage you to get outside and move every day.  The added benefits of natural light and fresh air ramp up the endorphin benefits.

What are your life movement plans?

23 Benefits of Exercise, Movement Magic