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Month: October 2015

World Health Organization Declares Processed Meats Cause Cancer

World Health Organization Declares Processed Meats Cause Cancer

Bacon

We all know that things like bacon and hot dogs aren’t good for us, but a direct correlation to these types of processed meats causing cancer has put these thoughts on a new level. The World Health Organization is the most prominent group to make one of the most aggressive statements against processed meats. They followed that up by stating that red meat probably does too. The findings were determined by 22 international experts who reviewed decades of research regarding the connection between red meats, processed meats, and cancer. Many organizations have gone as far as to say there is a link between these types of meats and cancer, but no major association has gone as far as to make the connection and say that it causes it. This came across as mind-blowing to me.

I have a few red flags raised with this finding. First and foremost, they even go out of their way to say in this article that there were no direct studies performed with this report. What that means is they reviewed records of people who ate red meat, processed meats, and thousands of other foods in their lifetimes, and used their health data to come to a result. That makes it extremely difficult to determine that the rest of those individuals’ diets had no effect on their long-term health.

Next, you have to take into consideration the types of meats they were eating in their diets. You can imagine how significant the percentage probably is of people eating red meat via fast foods. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, etc… Considering the epidemic that our country is just now starting to get in front of, many people’s diets are thoroughly saturated with fast foods and other extremely unhealthy habits. Are these people setting themselves up for long-term health disasters? Yeah, they are…

Another major concern I have with this is lumping all red meats together. Before I dive in here, let me backtrack for a second and say that I don’t necessarily disagree with this statement regarding processed meat. My argument here is more directed toward red meat being tossed into this mess as well. Anytime you manufacture and process anything, in my mind, it is no longer “natural”. A hunter who takes a deer from his back yard straight to his table is eating natural meat. I will even expand this to say that large, food-manufacturing companies who make sure their animals are not pumped full of hormones and have passed all check-points to deem it organic are also in this “natural” category. But from there on out, all bets are off. So my point regarding specifically lumping all red meats together is that I would like to differentiate red meats. Not by type, but by how organic it truly is. We have been saying for a long time that the way our foods are genetically modified will have massively significant effects on our health. This was not the way our bodies were meant to ingest these foods. Of course it was going to catch up to us and cause all kinds of nasty diseases. It’s just not natural, and this is the price our bodies pay for consuming these chemicals on a daily basis. It’s almost unavoidable unless you are an extremely conscious health advocate who is actively researching health foods and what to specifically avoid. This isn’t just with meat, but 90% of the foods at your local supermarket.

With this all said, I think it is an extremely important finding. There may be a significant portion that I disagree with, but I think it brings a lot of light to a very important topic. If we can get this to reach the right areas of attention, maybe it will help us make more of a conscious effort to change how we look at and shop for food. For most of you reading this, you are probably already health-conscious and don’t take in a lot of those fast foods. But how many of you actually only buy organic? Honestly, I rarely do. But now it should be pretty eye-opening. Is avoiding cancer worth an extra few bucks a week to make sure we aren’t eating food full of hormones? Can we find a way to avoid the fast food and just make it ourselves using healthy ingredients? Yes and yes. This isn’t just for the long-term benefits either. If you have yet to make any changes, you will be amazed at how much better you feel in the short-term. Our processed foods diminish the nutritional benefits of real food. Do you have a friend who grows their own veggies? Go buy a tomato at the store and then snag one out of your buddy’s garden. It’s like your eating two different things. The taste and nutritional benefits are night and day.

Your health will be too.

 

Until next time,

Josh

I’m not strong for a girl.

I’m not strong for a girl.

strong

I’m just strong.

Strong, powerful and determined females are starting to grow in the fitness industry, however there is still that stigma going around that females should either not be strong, or they are associated with the saying “like a girl” or “for a girl”. When people say to me how strong I am, I get excited…and then they add on the “for a girl” or even worse “for a small girl”. Why does that last part need to be added on? Why can’t I just be strong? We have come to identify females as the inferior strength-wise when compared to men which I think is why it is sometimes hard to convince my female clients that they should be lifting heavy. When asking most of my female clients their goals, usually the first thing they say is to either lose weight, or lose body fat. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, however I then have them choose a non-aesthetic goal. This can be anything from increasing strength on a specific exercise to performing a pull-up for the first time to beating their mile-run time. It is so important to have different types of goals when it comes to your fitness. In every client that I have asked to set a non-aesthetic goal, 100% have not only achieved that goal but became MORE excited about that goal than their initial goal of weightloss.

Strength is never something I used to set as a goal for myself either. I remember when Pinterest first became popular when I was in my junior year of college. I was stumbling along the Fitness & Health category and looking at these images of squat challenges, booty blasters and then of course all of the fitness models posted on there. I saw these images and in that moment, as an avid runner, I never thought that kind of physique was achievable for me and also didn’t realize it COULD be through heavy lifting. I was always very petite, but I was skinny fat. I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition, in fact today I laugh at what I used to eat. I made green juices and these crazy concoctions in my Ninja that I had asked for for Christmas because that’s what I thought you had to do to be “healthy”. (Side note: if you’re forcing yourself to drink kale, celery smoothies daily and plugging your nose while doing so….it’s time to reassess) My point here is that it took me YEARS and many weights later to get where I am today, however this past year has been my most successful year in my fitness journey thus far, and for that I can thank becoming a powerlifter.

Powerlifting has changed my life and mental outlook in many ways. I now strive to be as strong as a 125lb girl possibly can. That is my main goal. One year ago if you asked me what my main goal was it would have had to do with my physique. I probably would have said, “to be leaner”, with no other strings attached. Up until beginning powerlifting, I wanted to be smaller, to take up less space on this planet, which I think is something that most females want. They want to lose weight or my favorite, “tone up”. I realized when I started seriously powerlifting last December that in order to lift heavier weights, I needed to eat more. I was restricting myself to about 1300 calories per day and on weekends eating about triple of that thanks to my weekly “cheat” meals. I researched and studied the process of reverse dieting or increasing your caloric intake at a very slow pace to maintain bodyweight while increasing your metabolic rate. I ended up reverse dieting for about 5 months, maintained my weight at that time at 135 pounds. During that 5 months I had the realization that I no longer wanted to take up less space. I no longer wanted to shrink myself down to nothing. In fact, I wanted to take up MORE space. I wanted to increase my muscle mass, increase my strength and become a powerful, motivating female in the fitness industry. I was sick and tired of trying to be like every other “fitspo” account I saw on social media. I wanted to be something that young girls could relate to as well as look up to and I found that passion of mine within powerlifting. My goal of wanting a shredded six pack turned into wanting to squat 2X my bodyweight. I no longer restrict and then binge on food because I know exactly what my body needs for fuel thanks to flexible dieting. Most importantly, I walk in and out of the gym with this drive that I have never had before. I constantly want to improve, study, and better myself with each session. I thrive on my good days, and use the bad days as a lesson. When you feel lost in your journey, remember that passion never fails. Go out and find something that fuels your passion, fills your heart and betters your life.

Recognizing a binge & tips on dining out while Flexible Dieting

Recognizing a binge & tips on dining out while Flexible Dieting

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As an Exercise Physiologist and Personal Trainer, I deal with a lot of clients who struggle with bingeing on food. Whether they are dieting to lose weight or not, it is a common struggle of many of my clients to control this issue and usually results in them emailing me feeling incredibly guily, down on themselves and in a worse place than they were in before. Thankfully, Flexible Dieting has fixed a lot of those issues on it’s own, however it is important to also realize the WHY behind your bingeing- and it usually has nothing to do with actually being hungry.

In 2014 as many of you know I prepped myself to compete in a bikini competition. I stuck to an incredibly strict meal plan and I was eating the same foods daily for about 6 months or so. I restricted myself from SO many foods that I used to love simply because it was not on my plan. There were numerous occasions where I would have a weekend “cheat meal” and end up going crazy. I over-ate dramatically, ended up with a swollen belly for days after and felt incredibly guilty and ashamed of myself. In this blog I want to address ways that you can begin to control your bingeing and start to live a more balanced lifestyle.

I recently listened to an episode of Layne Norton’s Podcast (Physique Science Radio) that touched upon this issue with guests Sohee Lee and Kory Propst. Kory is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health and Professional Counselor and she also has an extensive education in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition. While listening to this episode (which you can tune into HERE) I not only could relate to the issues being discussed personally, but I thought about my clients. SO many have struggled with bingeing and my main focus always was to do my best to make them feel better about it and get back on track. In reality, the issue goes so much deeper. It all comes back down to educating yourself on WHY we make these decisions. WHY do we feel the need to binge? Are we really that hungry or is stress and anxiety taking over? If you feel a binge coming on, walk into another room and talk to yourself. Figure out why you’re feeling that way. If you are truly hungry, maybe it is time to adjust your macros, however most of the time it is other emotions that are trying to take over.

I have reviewed Flexible Dieting plenty of times prior to this so if you are still confused on what exactly it entails or want a refresher course, read our previous blog HERE. Flexible Dieting has changed my life. It has allowed me to find my balance of nutrition and really support my training with the food choices I make. Being a restrictive eater/binger myself, finding that freedom has made me not only more educated about my nutritional intake, but has allowed me to adapt a lifestyle that I truly love and enjoy. As a coach, I often get the question from newer clients, “What happens when I go out to eat? How do I track that?”. I even have had some clients simply refuse to go out to dinner while obtaining the flexible dieting lifestyle. Now if you think about it, does that really sound flexible? One of my goals here is to help you realize that it is OK to go out and enjoy yourself and there are a few steps you can take to make sure that it doesn’t interrupt your goals.

Step 1: Make a plan. If I know I’m going to dinner, I always try to look up the restaurant beforehand to check out the Menu. Most restaurants have their menus posted online. I then decide what I’m going to have and guesstimate the portion sizes when I get there if I decide I want to track it. If I want to simply go out and have a relaxed or “untracked” meal, I still decide something I’m going to have beforehand, and stick to my plan.

Step 2: Eat until you are full-nothing more. Be done once your stomach is full. It can be easy to overeat and want to finish everything on your plate, but with restaurants having HUGE servings sizes these days, chances are your stomach is going to be full way before your plate is licked clean.

Step 3: Have mindfulness. Recognize how you are feeling at that exact moment. If you arrive at the restaurant, and change your mind all of a sudden and want something that doesn’t fit your macros- no big deal IF you are mindful and realize the consequences. If you are ok with going over your macros, realizing that you may see the scale go up the next day, then go ahead and get whatever it is that you are thinking about. OR on another note, if you have an untracked meal on the horizon, and you really aren’t feeling like eating or indulging anymore, don’t force it! I can’t tell you how many times I have been wanting ice cream all day and plan to have it later at night, then I go workout or go do something else and by the time that moment comes, I am either not hungry for it or don’t REALLY want it. As much as I like to stick to plan, it is ok to listen to your mind in the moment.

Step 4: The last thing I tell clients is to enjoy themselves. Consistency is key in all areas of our lives and that includes flexible dieting. Go out, enjoy your time with your loved ones or friends, but know your limits. Balance out your dilemma in your head- when you are truly at peace with whatever decision you make, you know that you have fully adapted a lifestyle that you can sustain.