Monday, February 29, 2016

Should You Change Your Diet?

From an article titled "21 Signs You Should Change Your Diet" posted on Yahoo! Health. If you fall into any of the categories below, then a red flag should go up that you might not be able to keep your weight down in the long run.

Dieting is a lot like looking for love: Many of us turn a blind eye to reality, choosing only to see what we want to see. Why? Because, at the end of the day, people don’t mind dealing with the negative side effects of their diet, so long as they’re reaching their better body goals. But if long-term success is what you’re after (and it should be), then it’s time to snap out of it and take a discerning look at your approach to weight loss. Not sure if your diet is a winner? Vet yours against our list below to find out if yours may ultimately leave you with love handles and muffin tops.

1. It Makes You Pull a 180

If meat and eggs are cornerstones of your diet, turning to a vegetarian or vegan diet to lose weight will likely fail you in the long run. Typically eat on the run? Then a diet that requires extensive home cooking probably isn’t the best fit. If your plan isn’t compatible with your lifestyle, the odds are good you’ll fall off the bandwagon and regain the weight.

2. You’re Dreaming of the Drive-Thru

If you constantly find yourself dreaming of the drive thru and fantasizing about French fries it may be a sign that you’re not giving your body the nutrients it needs, says registered dietitian Cassie Bjork of Healthy Simple Life. “Many diets cut fat since it’s higher in calories than protein and carbs, but this tactic can backfire by increasing cravings. A simple way to keep cravings at bay is to add a couple of tablespoons of healthy fat like avocado, olive oil, nuts or seeds to all of your meal and snacks. These healthy fats will keep your blood sugar levels stable and ward off sugar cravings, which will ultimately aid weight loss!”

3. You Eat Everything In Moderation

Diets that allow you to eat everything in moderation may seem smart, but some experts say that they may backfire. “Though it can be scary to imagine completely cutting out the foods that you love, eating everything in moderation is actually near impossible—especially when it comes to foods with addictive properties, like sugar. More often than not you’ll find yourself going back for more and more which can slow your weight loss results,” explains Bjork. “That’s why it’s more beneficial to completely cut out the foods that increase your cravings and keep you wanting more.” For example, if you know that chocolate is your #1 trigger food it’s best to cut it out altogether rather than trying to stick to one small square.

4. You Cut Out Major Food Groups

On the other side of the equation, diets that forbid entire food groups like carbs or dairy aren’t sustainable either. Unless there’s a medical reason to scratch something from your diet—like lactose intolerance, for example—we advise against it. The reason: If cutting out a certain food helps you shed weight, you can sure it will cause the weight to pile back on as soon you start eating it again.

5. You’re Constantly Binge Eating

Constantly find yourself downing entire cartons of ice cream or sleeves of cookies? Despite what you may think, it’s not because you have a lack of willpower. In fact, it’s likely a sign you need to change up your diet. “Binging is your body’s way of responding to not getting the nutrients that you need—it’s a biochemical response and signal from your brain that you’re not giving it what it needs,” explains Bjork.

6. It’s Really Convenient

There’s no denying that prepackaged meals, shakes and bars make dieting and portion control a no-brainer, but let’s face it, you’re not going to stay on the program forever so gaining the weight back is practically inevitable. “After a while, people tire of the same menus, the same pre-packaged foods, bars, and shakes and want to eat what they enjoy. They want to go out to eat with their friends and invite their family over for meals. For most people, it is simply unrealistic to stay on these programs indefinitely.”

7. You’re Irritable and Hangry

No one knows the meaning of “hangry” quite like someone on a diet. When people first cut back on calories and carbs it can make them crabby—mostly because their blood sugar levels are low, explains registered dietitian Isabel Smith. To counteract your irritability, try adding more carbs to your plate. The nutrient is essential to the body’s production of serotonin, a feel-good chemical that’s produced in the brain.

8. You Plan Your Life Around Your Diet

There’s a fine line between being committing to a weight loss plan and being obsessed with it. If you plan your entire life around your diet, it may be hard to stick to in the long run. Parties, dinner with friends and eating at restaurants are a big part of life—and things you’ll want to partake in without fear of weight gain. A smart, sustainable diet is one that will allow you live a fun, fulfilling life—all while losing weight and getting healthier.

9. You Have Major Skin Issues

If you’ve recently started to break out or develop wrinkles, it may be a sign that your diet isn’t healthy. “Skin issues are frequently a result of inflammation, which can occur if someone is following a diet that’s low in fat and high in carbohydrates,” says Bjork. “Once in the body, all carbohydrates turn to sugar, a nutrient that causes inflammation.” Vitamin and mineral deficiencies and consuming too few fatty acids can also wreak havoc on your skin.

10. Everyday is a Bad Hair Day

“While the biggest predictor of lush, beautiful hair is heredity and age, diet plays a role, too,” says Palumbo. “A poorly planned diet that’s low in calories, protein, iron or fat can result in thinning, brittle or dull looking hair.” The goods news is that it’s totally possible to undo the damage. To boost your hair’s luster, Palumbo suggests enjoying plant oils and oily fish like tuna and wild salmon.

11. You Can’t Stop Shivering

Despite the fact that your thermostat reads 70°F, your teeth are chattering. Unless you have a fever, it’s likely a sign that something with your diet is off. “Low-carb dieters are at risk of developing a low thyroid function, which can make it difficult to regular internal body temperature,” says Bjork. Don’t just ignore your cold fingers and throw on a sweater—head to the kitchen and make yourself a delicious bowl of oatmeal. After you’ve added more carbs back into your diet, the constant chill and chattering teeth should subside.

12. You’re Down In the Dumps

When it comes to the connection between omega-3s and depression, study results have been mixed. Though some research shows no mental health effects of consuming—or not consuming—the nutrient, other reports say that eating too few omega-3 fatty acids (which are found in foods like olive oil, wild salmon and walnuts) can make people more susceptible to the blues. If your change of mood came around the same time as your change of diet, a lack of fatty acids might be to blame. Thankfully, if you up your intake of the nutrient you should feel like your old self in no time!

13. Your Memory Is Zapped

Lost your keys—yet again?! Your crappy diet may be to blame. According to recent reports, what’s bad for your heart is also bad for your brain and memory. In one Annals of Neurology study, women who ate the most saturated fats from things like butter and burgers performed worse on thinking and memory tests than women who ate the lowest amounts of these fats. To keep your memory sharp, cut back on those huge burgers from the McDonald’s Menu and add more fruit, vegetables, whole grains beans, nuts, seeds and lean proteins and low-fat dairy to your diet. “These foods provide the vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and antioxidants that keep our brain cells at peak performance,” says Palumbo.

14. You’re Tired All the Time

If carrying your little one down a flight of stairs feels like a challenge, your diet may be to blame. “Being tired or constantly fatigued is your body’s way of conserving energy when it’s not getting enough of what it needs. It’s a result of your metabolism slowing down—the opposite of what you want to happen for weight loss, ” says Bjork. Smith concurs. “When you don’t eat enough protein, for example, the body will start to break down stored proteins in the form of muscle and other tissues. This can shrink your muscle mass, making workouts and everyday physical activities more challenging.” Other possible culprits: Processed and sugary fare. When eaten in excess, these foods can mess with your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling drained.

15. You Have Digestive Issues

Digestive discomfort, constipation, and diarrhea can all be signs that your fiber intake is out of whack. If you’ve been eating a lot of processed foods or recently cut back on carbs (but didn’t up your intake of fibrous produce), you’re likely not eating the recommended 28 grams of daily fiber. On the other hand, if you’ve recently started eating whole grains, beans and produce, you may have increased your intake too quickly, which can also cause discomfort. To counteract your belly issues, wean yourself onto higher fiber foods, starting with small portions. Another trick: Sip a large glass of water with every high-fiber meal. Fluids help to move fiber through the digestive tract, preventing bloat and discomfort.

16. Your Cuts Don’t Heal

“Whether you’ve cut yourself while shaving or nicked your finger while chopping veggies, eating a healthful diet can optimize the amount of time needed to heal your wound,” says Palumbo. Protein and vitamin C both play vital roles in wound healing, so it’s important to consume sources of each nutrient daily. “Good sources of vitamin C include red bell pepper, papaya, green bell pepper, broccoli, strawberries, tomato juice, cantaloupe mango, cabbage and even potatoes,” says Palumbo.

17. You’re Workouts Are Dragging

“Carbs are the first line of use for energy for the body, so when muscle stores of carbohydrates are low, it can make some people feel lethargic and less able to sustain a high-intensity workout,” says Smith. Dial up your carb count before your workout to ensure you have enough energy to blast away belly fat. And afterward, do the same. This will ensure you’re replenishing lost energy stores so you can hit the gym again tomorrow.

18. You’re Always Sick

Sure, protein helps your abs and glutes look lean and ripped, but more importantly, the nutrient helps us remain healthy. “Protein is needed to keep our immune system running,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Elisa Zied. “If you don’t get enough protein from your diet, the proteins in your body that fight off invaders like bacteria and viruses will be broken down and used for fuel. This makes it more difficult for the body to fight infections so you might find that you experience more frequent colds and illnesses.”

19. You’re Secretive About your Diet

When you’re trying to clean up your diet or lose weight, there’s no need to post about it 24/7 on Instagram, but if you feel like you need to avoid the subject altogether because you’re afraid you’ll be judged for your super-strict regimen, you may be suffering from disordered eating. If you know deep down that your regimen isn’t good for you, and you can’t—or don’t want to—change things up, you should seek help. The National Eating Disorders Association’s website is a great initial resource.

20. Your Progress Has Stalled

At first you were losing weight faster than a contestant on “My Diet Is Better Than Yours” but lately, your progress has been stalled—and it might be because you’re not getting enough carbs. “A low-carb diet can stall weight loss because if you suddenly eat fewer carbs, the liver tries to make up for it by producing sugar,” says Bjork. “When blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes insulin, your fat-storing hormone, so you store fat instead of shedding it.” The good news is that carbohydrate cycling can counteract this. “One day each week, add in more carbohydrates than you normally would,” says Bjork. Don’t down an entire loaf of bread, though. An extra sweet potato or piece of fruit should do the trick!

21. You Get Bad Headaches

While getting headaches from time to time is normal, having them every day after changing up your diet plan may be a sign you’ve taken things too far. “When you don’t eat enough carbs or food in general, blood sugar levels can dip and cause headaches,” says Smith. To keep the pounds coming off and head-pounding pain at bay, incorporate some carb-rich, produce like apples (one of the Best Fruits for Weight Loss), pears, and carrots into your daily diet.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

7 fitness tips from the Marines' top athlete, Olympic hopeful

Meet Capt. Bryce Saddoris, the Marine Corps’ Male Athlete of the Year. The 27-year-old is a four-time Nevada state wrestling champion, two-time college All-American, and is the most successful wrestler in Naval Academy history with 147 wins.

The 2015 U.S. Open Greco-Roman champion is ranked No. 1 in the 146-pound weight class. He is a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic team (trials will be held in April), and is expected to medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August.

Saddoris is officer-in-charge of the Marine Corps' wrestling team, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The 5-foot, 7-inch wrestler knows a thing or two about fitness. While he typically carries 4- to 6-percent body fat, that will drop to near-zero for competitions.

This is due to a daily training regimen that includes two intense workouts totaling six hours that are fueled by a careful and calculated diet. Between wind sprints, he may toss around 100-pound dummies and belt out 120 pull-ups in 10 minutes. This is in preparation for twice-daily, full-on sparring with Marines of similar strength and stature (there is no shadowboxing in wrestling).

It is little wonder that on his team, a 300-point physical fitness test is not a badge of honor — it is a baseline. While the grappler understands that most Marines can't commit to such in-depth workouts, there are ways to improve. Here are Saddoris' top fitness tips:

Discipline yourself

Saddoris’ top advice is that you make a training regimen part of your daily routine. Don't wait until you have time to do it, make it a daily priority. Just as you make time to prepare a uniform or take the kids to daycare, make this a regular part of your day and don't let anything rob you of this time. Repetition will build good habits.

Stretch out

Flexibility provides a lot of athletic "prehab," which will prevent later rehab. This is increasingly important as Marines age and endure injuries. Such preparation is not limited to the stretching of muscles, either. Saddoris warms up his heart and lungs on the treadmill prior to each workout. Get the blood pumping, then the feet thumping. Hydrate right

Water is always your best bet, and you need plenty of it. There is no substitute. Be wary of juices, as many are chock-full of sugars. Sports drinks such as Gatorade are not meant to hydrate, but replenish electrolytes. Avoid sodas, and don't even touch energy drinks.

Cardio, cardio, cardio

You have to get your heart rate up, said Saddoris, who runs 4 to 5 miles daily. “It does no good for a Marine to go in, hit the weights, and walk out.” Use cardio machines to your advantage. He recommends 30-minute interval training that tops out at 80 percent of your recommended max heart rate (determined by age and weight). Follow that with 15 minutes of endurance circuit training with free weights.

Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, Saddoris recommends a 20-minute run at the fastest pace possible. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he suggests a 30-minute run at a slightly slower pace — but still fast enough to raise your heart rate. "Days that you run hard, do a lighter lift afterwards and opposite for the other two [days]," he said. "Other than that most of my workouts are done on the mat or with equipment specific to our sport."

You are what you eat

Crash and fad diets are no good. You need calories to burn calories, but make sure you have the right calories. “You put crap in, you're going to crap out,” he said.

Start the day off by eating breakfast within 15 minutes of waking up. It doesn't have to be much, he said, just something to get your metabolism going. Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day, and Marines should drink as much water as they can handle throughout the day. For dinner, Saddoris said he has a protein like a lightly seasoned chicken breast, a palm-sized serving of quinoa or brown rice, fresh steamed vegetables, and water or a glass of milk. "Try to stay away from foods that are high in carbs at night," he said. "Eat before [8 p.m.] — no snacking afterwards." As for fast food — "yeah, right," he said.

Make sure to recuperate

Get plenty of rest, and give your body time to heal when needed. Saddoris does not take supplements because he is not looking to get bigger. He does take multiple vitamins, fish oil, and strongly recommends glucosamine for joint health.

Don't forget to live life

Don't let your regimen become a burden, otherwise it will be easier to quit. It is okay to have the occasional hamburger. Just keep food in its proper place: it is meant for fuel, not comfort.

article from Military Times

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Death By Prescription

This article is by Herbalist Wendy Wilson, who write for the International Forecaster. This article was written for the 30 January 2016 newsletter and originally titled "CAUSE OF DEATH BY Rx IS 52%"

It is astonishing that out of the reported deaths caused by prescription medicines we find that the death rate is 52%. This statistic reflects only the reported cases by hospital doctors and or coroners performing autopsies. Are patients overdosing on purpose or are these deaths accidental? For the most part, the prescription drug-related deaths are from patients taking their medications as prescribed. Drugs accumulate in the body and cause a toxic condition. After a while the organs fail to clear the toxins under the strain and death can occur. There are also metabolic changes created by prescription drugs. If patients are on more than one medication, doctors and pharmacists do not know what those changes will be. The risk is high using life-long prescriptions in an attempt to stabilize function. In the long run, the drugs create worse conditions.


An autopsy is a medical examination of a deceased person. It is done to confirm the cause of death or to provide evidence that can point to a cause of death. There are two kinds of autopsies in the US:

(a) Hospital or a clinical autopsy requested by family or physicians
(b) medico-legal autopsy ordered by legal officials.

Coroners across the country have what is called their Cause of Death Quick Fact Sheet. This tool is supposed to help medical examiners arrive at the proper cause of death. In many cases the medications predispose patients to a perfect storm of demise. According to the National Vital Statistic System, the statistic of 52% mortality due to prescribed drugs is their best guess over a thirty-five year period. It is most likely a low estimate because according to the CDC, over 20% of Americans are taking more than one prescribed medicine. The number of autopsies are down as well, dropping over 50% since 1972, which means only a fraction of drug deaths are being investigated.

“Research from 1976 to 2006 showed that 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter-million deaths, were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors. ” Journal of General Internal Medicine, June 2010.


According to existing data, the elderly are more vulnerable to die due to prescribed medications because doctors put them on multiple drugs. Add to that the complication of a poor memory or onset of dementia and the elderly can mismanage their medications further increasing their risk of death. According the nursing home staff, the elderly have many chronic illnesses which require strong drugs. Although staff won’t admit it, they understand that the elderly in their care are “medicated to death.”


According to the World Health Organization, the top ten causes of death globally are:

1. Heart Disease
2. Stroke
3. COPD (emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma)
4. Pneumonia
5. Bronchitis
7. Diarrhea
8. Diabetes
9. Road Injury/trauma
10. High Blood Pressure


According to the CDC, the US has a prescription drug epidemic. A few reasons why this problem will get worse before it gets better are:

Free healthcare ensures more people will be taking drugs and more of them, and....

Doctors and other health professionals often self-medicate and become drug addicts causing them harm.


According to the CDC and reported in the Los Angeles Times, prescription drug deaths out number illegal drug deaths. Other alarming statistics in the CDC report were:

Drugs kill more people than car accidents.
The number of teenagers killed by drugs doubled.
The number of deaths for patients over 50 tripled.
Pain medications killed more people than traffic fatalities.

Dr. Joseph Mercola calls the excessive and unnecessary drug use in America “Pharmageddon.” People seem to have lost their desire to heal themselves and rather take the easy route and hope drugs are their answer. I spoke with a lady the other day who said her doctor prescribed a medication to lessen her symptoms but admitted there was no cure modern medicine could offer her for chronic nerve pain. The lady refused the drugs and went to the Internet to research her condition. She found numerous natural therapies and she tried them one-be-one until she found the one that helped. She states it was her diet making her sick and since making dietary changes she was able to return to work. The adverse drug reactions are a big problem especially when several medications are being taken in varying doses. In addition, some drugs should not be taken with certain foods, supplements or herbs and the combo complexity magnifies.


The pharmaceutical companies are well aware of the influence they are having on mankind. They employ two lobbyists for every member of Congress. We often look at the voting record of politicians, but do we look at the pharmaceutical company track record?

Merk - $5.5 billion in legal judgments.
Baxter - $1.3 billion in criminal fines and civil penalties
Pfizer - $2.3 billion payout to make criminal and civil cases settle out of court and $430 million false claims
GlaxoSmithKline - $3 billion criminal, $2 billion civil and $750 million poor manufacturing practices
Johnson & Johnson - $2.2 billion in false claims
AstraZeneca - $355 million in fraud

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The unfortunate corruption influencing the medical system is proving that crime pays drug companies in the billions of dollars. If a drug company conducts themselves in a deceptive and criminal capacity, why would you trust their products?

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