Monday, 23 November 2015

Multivitamins: Should You Take One?

Image result for pictures of multivitamin tabletsFood is the best source of most nutrients, but a multivitamin can help provide what your diet doesn't. Find out what to look for in a daily multivitamin.

Our bodies need many different vitamins and minerals to function properly. Vitamins and minerals also offer us protection against a host of ailments, including heart disease and some cancers, such as colon and cervical cancer.
The good news is that we can get most of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need daily by choosing the right foods and eating a wide variety of them. Still, many people take a multivitamin daily as an insurance policy — just to be sure they are getting all the vitamins and minerals that their bodies require.
“A multivitamin is a good idea for the trace elements,” says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. “You want a multivitamin for all those little things at the bottom of the ingredients list. The ones at the top of the list are familiar and the ones we can’t avoid if we're eating enriched foods. It’s the trace elements at the bottom that are the ones often missing.” Trace elements include chromium, folic acid, potassium, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc.
Daily Vitamin: Our Needs Change With Age
Vitamin supplements can be particularly important during certain stages of our lives, Dr. Novey says. For example, women in their childbearing years can benefit from folic acid, which decreases the risk of some birth defects. A pregnant woman needs a multivitamin, starting in the first trimester, to ensure that the baby receives proper nutrition. Active and older women can benefit from increased calcium, which can help prevent bone loss and fractures. Vegetarians also can benefit from taking extra calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B12 and D.
Does it matter what time of day you take a multivitamin? Not really, says Stephen Bickston, MD, AGAF, professor of internal medicine and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center in Richmond. However, he says, some people find it helpful to take vitamins at the same time every day. If it becomes part of their routine, they are less likely to forget. Also, he says, some people feel that if they take their vitamin with food, it is less likely to cause stomach upset. “I often recommend that people take a chewable vitamin,” Dr. Bickston says, “because they seem to be well tolerated, even in people who have serious digestive conditions, which is what I deal with in my practice.”
Daily Vitamin: Tips for Shopping for the Right Multivitamin
Do you need to buy brand name vitamins? Novey says vitamins are like any other consumer product: “You get what you pay for.” He suggests shopping for vitamins in health food or natural food stores. Read the label and make sure its expiration date is at least a few months away. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advice on how much to take — or the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) — is often written as “% DV” for percentage of daily value on the label. However, be careful because the DVs on the label may not take into consideration the different requirements for age and gender as RDAs do.
Multivitamins can be beneficial, but doctors warn not to be suckered by “mega” vitamins. The amount of vitamins in a standard multi is generally what you need for health benefits. Rarely do people need more than the RDA of any vitamin. When it comes to vitamins, the too-much-of-a-good-thing rule can apply, Bickston says.
Daily Vitamin: Ensuring Good Health
Clearly, eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meats and poultry, and low-fat dairy products is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamins and nutrients to keep your body functioning properly and to ward off illnesses. But taking a multivitamin daily is a good backup plan, and an easy way to fill in any gaps in your diet.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

The BEST foods for late-night snacking (burn fat with these late night belly-blasters)

You may have heard that eating before bed is a big-time "no no" for those looking to lose weight. In fact, you've probably even heard that eating late at night will undoubtedly cause you to GAIN weight...even worse!

Well, there's good news, and that good news is that not every food that you eat past 7PM will be automatically deposited to your butt, thighs, and love handles.

In fact, there are certain foods that you can eat as a late-night snack that can actually INCREASE your fatloss results! The key is knowing which foods to eat, and which to avoid, as the evening progresses.

Here's a good rule of thumb: Avoid carbs before bed in favour of slow-digesting high-quality protein.

Carbohydrate consumption causes significant rise in the storage hormone insulin, which also puts the breaks on fat-burning. That's a recipe for disaster in the late evening hours as your metabolism is winding down, but fortunately, slow-digesting protein isn't.

Instead, slow digesting proteins provide your body with a steady flow of amino acids throughout the night to help you recover from exercise and maintain your calorie-burning lean muscle as you lose fat.

Here are some of my top pre-bedtime choices:

1. White Meat Animal Protein (not red meat or fish) - White meat protein sources such as chicken and turkey are great pre-bed meal choices because they digest slowly and have a very low insulin release. These sources also promote the release of another hormone, glucagon, that assists the body with breaking down stored carbs and fat within your body to be burned for energy...a double win! Red meat and fish have a significantly higher insulin response so they're best to avoid in the evening. 

2. Cottage Cheese - Cottage cheese is very slow digesting and coats the stomach to be assimilated by the body over many hours. As a protein, it also stimulates glucagon release; a solid pre-bedtime choice. Just make sure you're using plain cottage cheese, not the flavoured varieties with added sugars.

3. Green Vegetables - While these aren't considered a protein, they contain virtually no calories, are high in fiber, and they're very filling. Often times when I get a late night craving I eat a big bowl of green veggies and it completely kills my craving...a diet saviour!

4. A Slow-digesting, Low-carb Protein Shake - I use a slow-digesting protein shake before bed literally every day. It's become somewhat of a ritual and great, tasty way to end my day. The vast majority of my clients have grown to love the habit as well...who doesn't love dessert before bed? :) I normally blend the shake with almond butter to get some healthy fats in there, and man, it sure does taste good with BioTrust protein!

Now, going back to the 4 types of fish I mentioned earlier, while we have been led to believe that fish is one of the healthiest food choices around, there are actually 4 specific types of fish that you should literally NEVER eat due to incredibly high levels of contamination that can and WILL hammer the delicate cells of your body with toxic inflammation...

In the end, this toxic inflammation build up contributes to achy joints, premature aging of the skin (and less visible organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver), difficulty shedding excess weight, cognitive decline, forgetfulness, feeling blue and moody, and so much more...


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Live Long and Be Positive

A positive outlook goes a long way toward improving survival after a heart attack.

Patients with coronary heart disease who have positive expectations about recovery, expressing beliefs such as "I can still live a long and healthy life," had greater long-term survival, researchers reported.
Among a cohort of almost 3,000 patients undergoing coronary angiography, those with the highest expectations for outcomes actually had the best outcomes, Dr. John C. Barefoot, and colleagues from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.
"Patients differ widely in terms of their psychological reactions to major illnesses such as coronary heart disease," Barefoot's group explained online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The TRUTH about eating organic...

Hey, as I write this blog, I'm doing a little late night snacking on a batch of organic cucumbers (marinated in vinegar, yummmmm) from my local farmer's market.

Now, you've probably heard that there are benefits to eating organic, but if you're like most people, you may still be a tad confused about the whole "organic" thing (as is proved by all the organic-related emails that regularly come through my inbox).

Perhaps you've wondered, what exactly makes something "organic" and why is it better than the regular stuff? Or maybe, what makes organic produce so darned expensive, and is there any way to enjoy it without burning a hole in my wallet?

We'll start with some boring (yet helpful) definitions.

For a food to be certified organic, it must meet certain USDA's criteria. For produce, this means that the produce must be grown without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.

There are obviously other criteria when talking about meat, but for today we'll stick with produce.

The benefits of eating organic, particularly produce, are that produce grown under organic standards have been shown to be more nutritive, possessing greater phytochemical, vitamin, and mineral content.

In other words, you get a lot more of the good stuff and a lot less of the potentially harmful stuff—pretty much a great trade-off any way you look at it.

As far as cost is concerned, if you're buying organic produce at your average supermarket, then yes, you will certainly pay considerably more than the adjacent non-organic fruits and veggies.

That said, a simple solution is to shop elsewhere for your organic needs. A great solution that I use myself is to buy a "share" of the season's harvest at a local farm, known as CSA (community supported agriculture). Basically, I've got all the organic produce I could dream of from June - Thanksgiving, for a very reasonable price.

You can get a list of local CSA farms near you by visiting

Another alternative to joining a local CSA is simply stopping by your local farmer's market. Health food stores are third option, but I'd recommend checking out circulars and going for what's on sale when shopping at these outlets.

Organic produce that is fresh and in season can be just as affordable, if not more so, than the regular stuff at the grocery store.

Buying in bulk can further decrease cost. As we all know, that 5-gallon tub of mayonnaise is always a steal compared to the cost of the equivalent 20 individual jars.

Remember, produce will always be cheaper in season, so stock up at the right time and then freeze the rest (frozen produce can easily last months once purchased and will still taste great; simply thaw and enjoy). This gives you the double-whammy savings of buying in season and in large amounts.  The end result -- fat-burning, healthful food at a massive discount!

Source; Coach Josh

Friday, 24 October 2014

12 Counterintuitive Health Tips That Really Work

Post 4 - Tips 10 to 12

TIP 10 - Handwrite notes to boost your brainpower.

Typing notes enables you to jot down more material, but you're more likely to remember those notes if you handwrite them, according to research from Indiana University. "To learn something means you have processed it," says Towfigh. "And when you take handwritten notes you 'process' or learn more information. You begin the learning process as you listen to the lecture." Plus, since you look at the page on which you are writing, you naturally review the material and reinforce the information you've already processed, Towfigh says.

TIP 11 - To improve your relationship, spend less time together.

Jumping from one social event to another without any time to come up for air could sacrifice the quality of your relationships. Spending time alone allows you to process your thoughts rather than act impulsively and, as a result, you get to know yourself better, says Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love. "Alone time enables you to be more in touch with yourself and can better give and receive," Lombardo says. "In addition, it reduces stress and anxiety, which could also contribute to relationship strains." Meditate, go for a walk, sit in a cafĂ© and people watch, or even clean out your closet, she suggests.

TIP 12 - Ditch antibacterial soap to prevent illness.

Reaching for the soap bottle labeled"antibacterial" won't necessarily reduce your risk of getting sick or passing illness to others -- in fact, there is no evidence that antibacterial soaps are more effective than regular ones. What's more, long-term exposure to some ingredients in these products, such as triclosan, may pose health risks like bacterial resistance or hormonal effects, according to a 2013 FDA statement. More research on the effects of triclosan is needed, and in the meantime, the FDA is working toward requiring manufacturers to prove their products are safe for long-term use -- and the state of Minnesota has banned triclosan-containing products altogether, which goes into full effect in 2017.