To articulate the reason behind many of our beliefs is more of a task than we may be equipped for. I know that I postulate, parrot, and practice many things that society feeds me, and I believe that we all are, to some extent, a retainer for popular opinion. The areas in which our beliefs are shaped are vast, influenced by commercials, literature, news, hearsay, and celebrities. Whether you believe that buying is better than leasing or that organic is better or that bpa-free water bottles are the only way to drink, I would challenge you to explain. This is why 5-year-olds get on people’s last nerves when they ceaselessly asky “why, why, why?’ It’s because they’re exposing the fact that many of us DON’T KNOW WHY! Well, to end this rambling, I’m going to attempt to retain this information that I’m reading currently about why we are to avoid certain additives in our foods: msg, aspartame, trans fat, etc. I once read that the best way to retain information is to pass it on, and so, thank you for helping me retain this! ASPARTAME: This is an artificial sweetener. It’s your “Equal,” “Nutrasweet,” etc, and is believed to be carcinogenic and bad for your brain, physically and emotionally. It resides in diet drinks, diet gums, and things labeled “sugar-free” HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP: This is a highly-refined sugar, taken from corn, not the sugar cane at all. It’s cheap to produce and packs more sweetness than real sugar, so this is a business “do” for manufacturers of everything from cereal to bread to candy. However, the health costs include diabetes, weight gain, and bad cholesterol (LDL). MONOSODIUM GLUAMATE (MSG): This is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer. It’s an excitotoxin, meaning it excites the cells to the point of damage or death. It turns off the “I’m full” function, explaining the usual accompanying weight gain. Known as a major player in Chinese food. TRANS FAT: This is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products. Through hydrogenation, the molecular makeup of fat is altered, turning unsaturated fat into saturated fat and effectively, That our body has a difficult time digesting these unnatural fats is slightly better than the fact that trans fatty acids lower the good cholesterol and raise the bad cholesterol as well. This is found in shortenings, margarine, any fat that is solid at room temperature and effectively, deep-fried foods, as they are usually fried in these. COMMON FOOD DYES: Artificial colorings are used in fruit juices, soda, salad, dressings, etc, and are a frivolous hazard to our bodies. Blue dyes abound in sports drinks, red dyes in maraschino cherries, yellow dyes in mac and cheese, just to scratch the surface. These dyes are actually banned in certain countries: Norway, Finland, etc. These are just 5 of 10 of the top additives to avoid listed in my latest Hungry For Change Newsletter. I cannot go any further…not because it’s emotional for me…haha! But I’m just out of time. Continue reading on your own and I know that I’ll be reading them labels with a much wiser eye now and I hope you will too!
…according to Jackie Warner. The host of “Thintervention” breaks it down in her book. Here’s why I love what she has to say. We all know what to do, but we don’t all know why we should do it. For example, I know that more sleep, less protein, less carbs at night, dynamic training, etc have contributed to my fitness high points, but ask me why and I’d be strapped for anything more than a general, generic answer. Warner devotes an entire chapter in her book to education on hormones because at the core of weight issues is an imbalance in hormones. Ultimately, out-of-whack hormones are at the helm of obesity. The hormones that keep you thin are Human Growth Hormone, Testosterone, & Progesterone. And so, as a general rule of thumb, all efforts should be circulating around maximizing the production of these hormones. The harsh truth is, the aging process carries with it a decline in these good hormones. But this doesn’t mean that we are helpless. You can naturally raise your hormone levels. Human Growth Hormone: The Fountain of Youth HGH directs your body to burn fat before burning sugar, essentially creating a fat-burning machine out of you. It also gives you more energy, a higher sex drive, and youthful skin and hair. It’s a superhero of a hormone. Now, the question is, how do we manipulate it?! Cutting back on carbs at night lowers blood sugar, which promotes HGH, so that it will then be at work while you sleep. In addition, HGH requires deep sleep for production. Hence, why we should get our beauty sleep. As for eating, HGH-building foods are the ones which are constantly preached to us: lean proteins, veggies, whole grains, etc. And why go organic? We hear that it’s because pesticides are bad for us. But why exactly are they bad for us? Well, in the context of weight management, pesticides and chemicals lower HGH. And the final way to preserve HGH is by training hard. Weightlifting and sprinting trigger HGH release, improving metabolism. Testosterone: The Muscle Builder Mistakenly associated solely with men, testosterone is critical for women, in building muscle, burning fat, boosting energy, increasing sex drive, strengthening bone, lifting depression, increasing optimism, and if present in large doses, producing assertiveness. The ways in which to promote testosterone growth include eating certain veggies, fruits, nuts, & legumes, and limiting fat, caffeine, and alcohol intake. Progesterone: the Slim and Trim Hormone This hormone burns calories-as much as 100-300/day. Progesterone also decreases bloating, prevents cancer, improves libido, and boosts mental clarity. When progesterone drops, it brings its friends metabolism and energy along for the ride too. So, for optimal progesterone production, your body needs vitamin B and magnesium, which are found in beans, meat, poultry, fish, dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, eggs, seeds, etc. On the flip side, there are also hormones that make you fat: Insulin, Estrogen, Cortisol, and Leptin. And so many of the habits that we are encouraged to adapt are conducive to balancing these hormones. Jackie Warner’s diet recognizes that cheat foods are enjoyable foods and so she allows for two cheat meals (up to 1,500 calories each!) after a week of 5 clean-eating days. I don’t know about you, but the idea of indulging in a day’s worth of calories in one meal gets me wondrously excited. She has some hard-core circuit training programs that I’m excited to tackle as well. It all starts off with a 2-week jumpstart, which I’m in right now. So, incorporating certain nutrients into my diet and performing her cardio routines is the simple name of the game. I hope to have amazing results to report soon!