Monthly Archives: May 2011

Alkaline UnDiet Eating Plans

What Makes Up an Alkaline Diet Plan?

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Some of our readers have expressed an interest in an alkaline diet which is recommended for cancer patients and those experiencing other health challenges. Hopefully this guest post will help to steer you in the right direction.

Looking after our bodies is important if we are to live a long and healthy life. We may feel at times that certain diets are attractive and fall into the trap of the promises of an extreme diet. Be careful though, crash dieting is not always the right thing to do. This is not what we are going to focus on today. Instead, what I think is more important is consuming a well balanced diet. What we are going to discuss is how to alkalize your body.

The alkaline diet is pretty straight forward. The general idea is to increase the percentage of alkaline food that we consume. So what are alkaline foods? Overall, the distinction between acid and alkaline foods is pretty simple. Fruits and vegetables are “alkaline” everything else is “acidic”. The definition has nothing to do with the pH of the foods themselves.

For example, lemons are acidic. However these fruits actually alkalize the human body. This can seem a bit confusing. The reason for the alkaline/acid effects of foods is as follows. It is actually the nutritional content of foods that determines whether they alkalize or acidify. Proteins cause foods to acidify our body. On the other hand, high potassium foods alkalize. So if you’d like to start feeling more energetic throughout the day, you could try eating more fruits and vegetables.

An alkaline diet plan is actually quite easy to follow. If you have your own juicing appliance, it’s even easier. When you first get up in the morning, get yourself a glass of water. Then for breakfast include an extra piece of fruit, an orange or grapefruit is a good choice. If you’re able to make yourself some homemade orange juice, that would be perfect. At every meal, try to eat one more serving of vegetables than you do at present.

And that’s it in a nutshell. Thank you to our guest poster for simplifying the alkaline diet for us.


The Healthiest Fat Loss with the Help of a Journal

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A lot of people decide that they’re going to trim fat from their body and then do their best to achieve their goals without much of a plan at all. Many people decide to lose fat on a whim or when they simply get fed up with what they see in the mirror. But if you want to truly get long-term results then you’re going to have to be as organized as possible. Otherwise, you’ll just be really motivated for two weeks and probably quit when you face inevitable challenges that come your way. This is a familiar pattern that has plagued people for a long time, but there’s no reason you can’t change things. In order to be organized and know exactly how to approach things, you might benefit from the help of a Fat Loss Journal. The great thing about a Fat Loss Journal is that there are no exact rules as to what it should contain. It is basically a resource that you can tailor to your personality that will also help you to stay on track.

It’s important to remember there is an emotional part to losing weight just as there is with gaining weight. If you don’t deal with the emotional aspect in a healthy way, chances are you won’t be able to adapt a new healthier diet conducive to weight loss. You’re going to face challenges along the way, and one of the best ways to deal with them is with the help of a journal. It can be a resource in which you record your various thoughts and feelings, and it can be a place to vent as well. In addition to building up your support system of friends and family, having a journal at your side can help to bolster your mental well-being in pursuit of a healthier body. You can also use it to write any interesting information that you find on the Internet, or helpful advice that your friends give you. It can be a place where you record different types of recipes that you can try along with pictures of yourself so that you know exactly how far you’ve progressed. The point is to make your Fat Loss Journal what you want it to be.

Since exercise is such a key component to fat loss, you’re going to want to keep yourself on track using any means possible. A journal can be the perfect place to record your experience with different types of exercises and what you can do to improve your performance. Ideally, you want to be able to work your way up from walking around the neighborhood each day to picking up the pace with the best exercise equipment. Recording workout information is a vital step in helping you to build your endurance and fine tune your approach to daily physical activity. Ultimately, your fat loss journal will be a valuable resource you can have at your side that is custom tailored to provide you with the information necessary to adapt your plan as you go.


Can You Really Find Healthy Protein Powder?

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As someone who works in the fitness industry and is always working with people on their fitness goals the subjects of diet and food comes up constantly.  A hot topic that I always end up discussing with clients is healthy protein powders.  Many people trying to change their bodies and bring them to a state of fitness are including more protein to build muscle, lose fat and increase their metabolism. This is great logic in theory.

Protein is a key component to all your fitness goals and I may likely be the first to tell you to bump it up.  But just as much as increasing your protein matters so does where it comes from too. The quality of protein in the majority of protein powders is hardly fit for consumption despite what is presented on the label and advertised in the media. The vast majority of protein powders are loaded with additives. They contain chemical flavors, colors and scents. They are loaded with preservatives (which is why they will keep for several years on your shelf) and many fillers like inexpensive soy to make up bulk and hike the protein stats on the label.

What is not discussed is how these protein powders and your body interact together. Protein powders made from a low quality protein source which is often overly-processed soy and whey are usually very difficult for your body to digest.  Despite what the numbers say on the label if your body can’t use it then it’s useless to you. Additionally, there are all the additives included in the protein powder that your body has to now deal with. Where does it go? More often then not these additives line your intestines making it even harder for your body to absorb the nutrients that you need and adding excess body weight through expanded intestines. Have you noticed how your tummy grow over the years even when your body fat is in check? This is a sign of toxic build up at work in your body and showing up in a spare tire around your stomach.

Finding the best protein powder means choosing a protein powder that your body can digest. Look for natural proteins from hemp or other vegetable sources.  Look for very few ingredients, only one if possible. No flavoring is always best, then you can add in what you like to have such as berries or bananas. Following these guidelines when choosing your protein powder will speed you along towards reaching your fitness and weight goals much more so than blindly following the magic promises in the next magazine ad you read.

Healthy Products

Should You Be Taking Probiotics?

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If you have a well-balanced diet and are not consuming high quantities of highly processed foods, then you don’t necessarily need to take probiotics. Probiotics are essentially foods or supplements that contain high quantities of “beneficial” bacteria that are thought to improve health and will definately improve digestion. Unfortunately most modern diets do not contain sufficient quantities of these bacteria with the result being that we do not maintain viable populations of probiotic bacteria in our gastro-intestinal tract.

Recent studies indicate that probiotic bacteria can help to:

  • manage diarrhea, especially diarrhea that is linked to prolonged use of certain antibiotics
  • treat irritable bowel syndrome
  • improve digestion and nutrient uptake
  • reduce the likelihood of food allergies
  • control cholesterol levels
  • get rid of yeast infections caused by Candida
  • reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer
  • assist in the treatment of intestinal infections

Labeling requirements around probiotics are still weak so take care when looking for a good probiotic supplement. If you see a product labeled “probiotic”, it may not contain sufficient quantities of viable bacteria to provide a significant health benefit. In addition, some manufacturers make generalized claims about health benefits, without linking these back to the specific genus, species and strain that is provided in the probiotic food or supplement.

The best probiotics are sold in good quality packaging (often inert glass), with clear expiration dates and with all health claims backed up by independently conducted scientific studies. In particular make sure that the probiotics are identified down to the strain level and information is provided on the specific quantities that are provided. You will normally see this measured in terms of Colony Forming Units or (CFU’s). If in doubt stick with probiotic supplements that include acidophilus and bifidobacterium strains as these are the most studied and mimic the natural bacteria found in our intestines.  For more guidance when choosing which probiotics to purchase the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) is a good resource.


Avoid Bad Advice About How to Lose Belly Fat

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There are more than 100 million Americans who are either overweight or obese, with the highest percentage among kids. The excess fat trend is growing at an alarming rate, with many children approaching morbid obesity even before their teen years begin.  This unfortunate condition fortunately has a simple explanation, and an equally simple solution.

It’s all about the foods we put in our mouths, not how much food we eat.  For years, we’ve been told that gaining weight is because we are eating too much food. Most of us have come to believe the popular myth that the body responds to a natural “energy balance” that results in piling on fat if we consume more energy than we happen to “burn” through our daily activities. It turns out this isn’t the case, which will come as a great relief if you’ve ever tried to starve yourself by cutting calories, thinking that consuming fewer calories would be the quickest way to lose weight. Fortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

If you’re wondering how to lose belly fat, you’ll be relieved to learn it’s extremely simple. You lose belly fat the same way you lose fat in other areas of your body:  by lowering the chronic insulin levels in your bloodstream. Fat only accumulates in the presence of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to an increase in your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar rises most quickly when you consume sugar, starch, and other easily-processed carbohydrates.

In order to keep your blood sugar at healthy levels, you need to significantly reduce your sugar and high fructose corn syrup intake, as well as drastically curtail your consumption of potatoes, breads, pastas, rice, brownies, cake, cereals, and the like. While this will undoubtedly be hard to do at first, particularly if you’re used to a life full of sugar and starches, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the weight comes off!