MMB – More on Intermittent Fasting

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make Boot Camp on Saturday!  Saturday’s Boot Camp was all about partner drills, so I hope you guys enjoyed that format and had some fitness fun with a friend! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core Schedule Update:  Please note there will be (5) Cardio Core classes that will move from Tuesday to Monday night.  My son, Andrew, has several baseball games on Tuesday nights for the next several weeks, so I am moving a handful of classes so I can see him play.  I’m also assistant coach 🙂
      1. The Tuesday dates that will be moved to Monday nights are:  3/10, 3/31, 4/28, 5/12 & 5/26.  New dates are:  3/9, 3/30, 4/27, 5/11 & 5/25 (on Monday nights)
      2. If you are signed up for any of these dates already, you will have top priority to keep your spot in class.
      3. I will have new sign up sheets for the new class dates. 
      4. Tomorrow night, 3/3, is all the same.
  1. Park Fitness is Thursday morning at 8:30am!  Come out and join us for this 45 minute field trip style class!  All levels welcomed.  Drop in cost is $15.
  2. Cardio Fusion is at VBC Thursday!  Please let me know if you’ll be making it out to class on Thursday and which class time you prefer, either 5:45pm or 6:40pm.  Remember, I need three people to have a class run.
  3. Boot Camp is Saturday at 7:30am at VBC!
  4. St. Patrick’s Day Boot Camp is Saturday, March 14th at 7:30am!  Come dressed up in your Irish best green and enter a costume contest!  There may be some treats from Mama Jen’s kitchen to enjoy afterwards! 

 

Thought for the week:  More on Intermittent Fasting

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been encouraging many of you to try intermittent fasting, and many of you have tried it!  For that alone, I am proud of you.  It’s not easy to change, especially incorporating an eating plan that is all about withholding back on eating!  What?!  Are we nuts?! 

For those of you who have been trying this intermittent fasting, or IF, I wanted to check in and see how it’s going for you?  What have you noticed?  Is it getting easier?  Are you less hungry?  Do you have better energy?

I’ve been doing IF for 6 weeks and can say that I notice an increased energy and clarity during my fasting.  When your body isn’t busy digesting all of the time, it’s amazing how much more clear minded we can become!  Also, because the weekends are my family time, I take about a 48 hour break from my usual fasting routine during the week and this has been working out well for everyone.  I have also lost a couple of pounds and have reduced body fat as well, so that’s been nice 🙂 

What’s nice about IF is that there is room to tweak and experiment.  If the 16-8 plan seems too difficult to start with, then try a 14-10 plan and see how you do.  IF is not about seeking perfection.  If you are at hour 15 and you are extra starving and know you need to eat, then eat!  Try again the next day to see if you can stretch it to 16 hours.  It helps to drink a big glass of water by the way. 

If you want to read an awesome book about fasting from a Christian perspective, here is a book by Jay Richards called, “Eat, Fast, Feats.”  I’ve been enjoying reading it very much and wanted to pass this along to you as well.  You don’t need to be a Christian to read this book either. 🙂

 

If you scroll to the bottom of the article, there is a link to Dr. Josh Axe’s video where he explains more about IF.  I found this very helpful and encourage you to take a few minutes to watch this video to better understand IF.

Here are the key points listed by Dr. Josh Axe about IF:

6 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

1. Promotes Weight Loss

One of the major intermittent fasting benefits is its ability to rev up fat burning and help the pounds slide off. In fact, many people prefer intermittent fasting to traditional diets because it doesn’t require you to meticulously measure your foods and track the calories and grams consumed.

IMF results in increased fat burning and fast weight loss by forcing your body to use up fat stores as fuel. When you eat, your body uses glucose (sugar) as its primary source of energy and stores whatever is left over as glycogen in your muscles and liver.

When you don’t give your body a steady stream of glucose, it begins breaking down the glycogen to use as fuel. After the glycogen has been depleted, your body seeks out alternative sources of energy, such as fat cells, which it then breaks down to help power your body.

This is similar to the ketosis diet (or “keto diet”), in which you deprive your body of carbohydrates and force it to use up stored fat for energy.

A 2015 review looked at the effects of alternate-day fasting on body composition and found that, on average, it slashed body weight by up to 7 percent and cut body fat by up to 12 pounds. Whole-day fasting led to similar results, but with up to a 9 percent reduction in body weight. (4) It’s less clear what whole-day fasting does to your valuable muscle stores.

Another study focused on the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting showed that it significantly reduced fat mass while retaining both muscle mass and strength. (5) This fact is why I recommend this style of intermittent fasting the most.

2. Improves Blood Sugar

When you eat, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream. A hormone called insulin is responsible for transporting the glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells where it can be used up as energy.

Insulin doesn’t always work effectively when you have diabetes, which can result in high blood sugar levels coupled with symptoms like fatigue, thirst and frequent urination.

Some studies have found that intermittent fasting benefits your blood sugar levels by keeping them well-regulated and preventing spikes and crashes.

In one study, participants with diabetes fasted an average of 16 hours daily for two weeks. Not only did intermittent fasting cause weight loss and a decrease in caloric intake, but it also helped significantly reduce blood sugar levels. (6)

Another study showed that fasting decreased blood sugar by 12 percent and also lowered insulin levels by nearly 53 percent. Preventing a build-up of insulin allows it to work more efficiently and keeps your body sensitive to its effects. (7)

3. Keeps Your Heart Healthy

One of the most impressive intermittent fasting benefits is its favorable effect on heart health. Studies show that intermittent fasting improves your heart health by lowering certain heart disease risk factors.

In one study, fasting was shown to influence several components of heart health. It increased good HDL cholesterol and decreased both bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (8)

One animal study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that intermittent fasting caused an increase in levels of adiponectin. (9) Adiponectin is a protein involved in the metabolism of fat and sugar that may be protective against heart disease and heart attacks. (10)

In fact, in one study, rats who fasted every other day were nearly 66 percent more likely to survive a heart attack than those on a normal diet. (11)

4. Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is a normal immune response to injury. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can lead to chronic disease. Some research has even linked inflammation to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. (12)

A study published in Nutrition Research followed 50 individuals observing Ramadan and showed that they had decreased levels of some inflammatory markers during Ramadan fasting. (13) Another study in 2015 found that a longer duration of nighttime fasting was associated with a decrease in markers of inflammation. (14) In the journal Rejuvenation Research, alternate-day fasting helped reduce markers of oxidative stress. (15)

While more research is needed, these studies provide promising evidence showing that IMF may help reduce inflammation and fight off chronic disease.

5. Protects Your Brain

In addition to keeping your heart healthy and warding off disease, some studies have indicated that intermittent fasting protects the health of your brain.

One animal study showed that intermittent fasting helps enhance cognitive function and protect against changes in memory and learning function compared to a control group. (16) Another animal study found that intermittent fasting protects the brains of mice by influencing certain proteins involved in brain aging. (17)

Additionally, the anti-inflammatory effects of intermittent fasting may also help slow the progression of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. (18)

Some also say that fasting promotes autophagy, or “self-eating,” which is our normal bodily process of cellular renewal — a process that is supposedly aided by fasting, though more scientific evidence is needed until this is certain.

6. Decreases Hunger

Leptin, also known as the satiety hormone, is a hormone produced by the fat cells that helps signal when it’s time to stop eating. Your leptin levels drop when you’re hungry and increase when you’re feeling full.

Because leptin is produced in the fat cells, those who are overweight or obese tend to have higher amounts of leptin circulating in the body. However, too much leptin floating around can cause leptin resistance, which makes it harder for it to effectively turn off hunger cues.

One study with 80 participants measured leptin levels during intermittent fasting and found that levels were lower at night during the fasting period. (19)

Lower levels of leptin could translate to less leptin resistance, less hunger and potentially even more weight loss.

Dr. Josh Axe’s video:

https://youtu.be/8xv2cWhnkPU

See you in class soon!

Jen

 

 

 

MMB – Be the Person You Were Born to Be!

Good morning everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and enjoyed the beautiful weather we are experiencing!  This past Saturday was the 6th and final Winter Fitness Challenge for 2020!  A huge shout out to Bernie Calvo and MingMay Pang who both attended ALL 6 Challenge Saturdays! 

For this Challenge, I put together a combination of Challenge circuits to celebrate the end of the Challenge!  Those of you who attended did the following: Med Ball Mania, HIIT & RUN, Lower Body Blast, Horizontal & Hungry, and…..a MB exercise game at the end to see how many different exercises we could come up with!

For those of you who weighed in and measured for the Challenge, the person who won the weight lost challenge is Candace Guintoli with 10 lbs of weight loss!  Candace has been doing personal training with me for quite some time and in the last several weeks has committed to doing intermittent fasting.  She’s increased her exercising to 4-5 times a week and is very disciplined in her nutrition and fasting.  On average, Candace has been losing about three pounds every week.  A huge congrats to Candace for her hard work and commitment to change!  Candace won a $50 class card!  Keep it up girl!

 

Here are some pictures from Saturday’s Challenge:

Pete Calvo, Candace Guintoli, Erin Campbell, Bernie Calvo, Debbie Roe, Mingmay Pang, Christy Stevens, Mansi Parekh

Challenge winners:  Erin Campbell, Debbie Roe, Pete Calvo

 

Announcements and Reminders:

1)  Cardio Core is Tuesday at Jen’s Studio!  Due to the warmer weather this week and ability to be outside, I will be expanding the class list to include eight people.  Due to the wait lists, I will send out a class list today to get a jump start on scheduling.  Look for that e-mail a little later. 

2)  Park Fitness is Thursday at 8:30am!  If you are around in the morning, come out and join us for this fun filled field trip style class!  Class is 45 minutes.  We meet at Jen’s studio.  All levels welcomed!  Drop in cost is $15 or prepaid card.

3)  Cardio Fusion is Thursday night at VBC at 5:45pm & 6:40pm!

4) Regular Boot Camp format continues this Saturday at 7:30am! 

5)  St. Patrick’s Day Boot Camp and Breakfast is Saturday, March 14th!  Wear your Irish green and win a costume contest! 

 

Thought for the week:  Be the Person You Were Born to Be!

In order to live well, we need to move well.  Mobility is life and without it, we aren’t really living to our fullest potential.  The more fit we become, the more we are able to accomplish and achieve.  I really believe that most people aren’t even aware of all that they could be experiencing in their lives because they are stuck in this place of physical mediocrity with sluggishness, fatigue, and a mundane routine.  Do you know people like this?  What’s their attitude like?  Do they complain?  Are they in your family or circle of friends?  I imagine that when you are around them you feel a little more bummed out too. 

For those of us who are moving on a regular basis and doing our best to focus on nutrition, we experience the benefits daily.  We have increased: energy, stamina, positive mood, ability to accomplish more, and are often less sick.  It’s a sacrifice though.  In order to have these benefits, we need to carve out time for our work outs and more time with meal planning, prep, and cooking.  I’ve often said that being healthy is like a part-time job, yet you gain full-time benefits!

Those of you who are reading this and are more fit and healthy, my question for you is, “Are you the person you were born to be?”  Have you tapped into your fullest potential in life?  Are you doing the things you love to do and serving with the gifts that God has given you?  Do you have the energy to fully love on the people you have in your inner circle?  Are you able to give back and bless other people through your talents because you have the extra energy to do so? 

I want to challenge you this morning to examine your life right now and ask yourself if you are in a healthy place of growth; mentally, spiritually, and physically?  There is a deep connection between all three of these components within ourselves because when one is out of balance, they are all out of balance. 

We all have fork in the road moments every single day, from the moment we wake up until the time we go to bed.  What choices can you make today that will bring balance to your mind, spirit, and body?  When all three of these elements are in sync, we feel amazing like we can take on the world!  I’m not saying that life will suddenly be easier, but we’ll be able to handle the tough stuff better because we’ll have the strength, stamina, and positive mind to weather the storms that come crashing down on us when we least expect them.

Only you know if you are functioning at your very best level.  If you aren’t, that’s o.k.  Have a re-set and change the areas of your life that need some self care and attention.  As long as you have breath in your lungs, there is always room for change and improvement.  After all, you only have one life to live and you are worth the effort. 

See you in class soon!

Jen

MMB – Mondays are Re-Set Days

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend and made some memories with your family and friends!  It was a holiday weekend, so maybe some of you traveled up to Tahoe or the visited the coast?  Are you fortunate enough to have today off too?  Whatever you did, I hope you felt capable with great mobility and ability! 

This past Saturday was the 5th Winter Fitness Challenge and it was a tough one!  This work out was called, “The Wheel” and it was all about the hub and the spokes on the wheel!  The hub was a burst of 50 jacks, 40 jump ropes, 30 jumps squats, 20 push-ups and 10 mountain climbers.  The spokes were eight different resistance and core stations and once completed, the boot camper made their way over to the hub for the burst!  Wowza!  Hard stuff, but you guys fought hard! 

Debbie Roe was the winner of this Challenge!  Awesome job Debbie Roe!

Pete Calvo showing how to get a long lever crunch done right!

MingMay Pang doing Dynamax C-Crunches!  Way to get em’ done girl!

Stability Ball Wall Squats & Bicep Curl!  Way to kill it Candace Guintoli and Melissa Judge!

Boot Campers in the hub of the wheel and doing the burst sequence!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is Tuesday at Jen’s Studio!  5:45pm & 6:40pm classes are currently full.  7:35pm class has one spot open!  If you’d like to grab it, please text or e-mail me.  If you are finding it difficult to attend classes on Tuesday nights due to them being booked up, please consider doing some personal training with me so I can help you stay on track and work towards your fitness and health goals!  If you are interested,  please contact me to set up a 30 minute consultation.

 

  1. Park Fitness is growing!  If you have time in the mornings and would like to try a different class format, please join us for Park Fitness on Thursday mornings at 8:30am!  This is a super fun class and a great way to get outside and take care of fitness business!  Class is 45 minutes long.  All levels welcomed.  Drop in cost is $15 or use a prepaid card.

 

  1. Cardi0 Fusion is Thursday at VBC!  Class times are 5:45pm and 6:40pm!  It was great seeing so many new faces last Thursday night!  The new group did an excellent job and I saw quite a few smiles along with some sweat!  Let’s keep momentum going and keep inviting new friends! 

 

  1. 6th and Last Winter Fitness Challenge is this Saturday!  If you weighed in at the beginning of the Challenge then it’s time to do it again!  Please plan on coming a few minutes early or plan on staying a few minutes after boot camp.  If you are not able to attend this Saturday’s class, please see me during the week so I can weigh and measure you.  Let’s make the last Challenge the best one!

 

Thought for the week:  Mondays are Re-Set Days

Throughout my years of training and working with clients, I strongly believe that Monday is the most important day of the week.  Why?  Generally speaking, most of us live very differently on the weekends than we do the rest of the week.  Our waking and eating schedules are different, the types of foods we eat are typically more calorie laden, and our portion sizes usually increase too. 

This is why Monday is SO important because we need to press the re-set button and slide back into routine with clean eating and drinking.  After all, every day can’t be a party!  I am also of the firm belief that deprivation=failure and if we live too strictly with a lifestyle of, “Don’t eat this and don’t eat that,” then we are setting ourselves up for failure. 

Moderation is the key, but this is easier said than done.  This is why we need goals.  Goals help to keep us on track and make us remember why we are putting the hard work into our work outs and eating things like salads and smoothies.  It doesn’t mean that you won’t ever be able to enjoy a pizza or burger, but those delectables should be far and few in-between the other foods you are eating that are nutrient dense and plant based. 

How do you make Monday a successful re-set day?  Well, it doesn’t happen all by itself.  You must plan for success by shopping over the weekend to make sure you have healthy choices in the fridge for the week.  Make sure you have fresh veggies and fruits that are grab ‘n’ go along with nuts, seeds, low carb/smart carb options for wraps or snacks.  Salads are great, but they require some planning so make sure you have veggies chopped up and ready to go and ingredients such as avocados and homemade salad dressings.  Beans and lentils are awesome to have on hand to throw on top of your salads to add in plant based proteins and complex carbs, along with essential vitamins and minerals. 

Hydration is key!  Help your body detox by drinking a ton of water and adding in lemons and apple cider vinegar.  You can take apple cider vinegar shots too!  Herbal teas are awesome too!

Portion size is another must!  Look at your portion size and be honest with yourself.  Do you really need to eat an entire foot long sandwich from Subway or an entire chicken breast?  Look at the palm of your hand.  This is the size for protein and most of everything else should be veggies or fruits.  In general, we should be eating 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fats. 

Monday is also the most important work out day in my opinion.  Wherever you can squeeze it in, make sure to get your work out in!  It absolutely sets the tone for the rest of the week and will improve your confidence and focus for your goals.

Hope this blog gives you some good re-set ideas to kick off your Monday!  If you start off your week with a successful Monday, you are much more likely to make the rest of your week successful too!

You can do this!

See you in class soon!

Jen

MMB – It’s Fitness Love Time!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all  had a fabulous weekend out there!  Can you believe those crazy winds?!  Did anyone lose a fence or sustain damage?  Gosh, we did.  Our poor fence stooped down to about a 45 degree angle, so my husband had to prop it up with helper beams until we can hire a fence company to repair it.  Anyone else out there feel that pain?! LOL!  Did anyone lose power?  On Saturday morning, I opened the door to let my dog out into the backyard and as she stepped outside, a huge gust of wind hit her smack dab in the face and she ran back in the house like a bullet  and hid in her crate!  Are any of you meteorology buffs out there?  I’d love to hear an explanation of yesterday’s wild and wacky winds!  LOL!

This past Saturday was the 4th Winter Fitness Challenge and it was all about the obstacle course!  This Challenge featured a military style obstacle course that involved: crawling, jumping, leaping, agility ladders, and full body resistance stations!  This was a tough one and you guys brought your A game! 

Saturday’s Boot Camp Challenge Crew:  MingMay, Swaroopa, Mansi, Lisa, Debbie, Erin, Bernie, Melissa, Christy and Pete!

Congratulations to the following winners!

4th Winter Fitness Challenge Winners:  1st place Lisa Thach with 5 Rounds!  2nd place MingMay Pang!  3rd place Debbie Roe!

 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday!  Currently, 5:45pm & 6:40pm classes are full.  There are 2 spots open at 7:35pm!  If you are signed up and aren’t able to make it, please let me know right away because there may be a waiting list for other people.  If you’d like to join us at 7:35pm, please text me!
  2. Park Fitness is Thursday at 8:30am!  If you have flexibility in your schedule and can make an 8:30am class, come out and join us as we take a field trip to the park!  I promise that you will have fun and get a little sweaty too!  Class meets at my home studio.  45 minutes.
  3. Cardio Fusion is Thursday at VBC!  Class times are 5:45pm to 6:30pm & 6:40pm to 7:35pm.  I need three people to run a class, so please let me know if you’ll be joining us Thursday evening!
  4. 5th Winter Fitness Challenge is this Saturday at 7:30am at VBC!
  5. Personal Training Availability.  If you’d like some one on one accountability and help in achieving specific fitness goals, please see me about adding in some personal training.  I have spots open in the mornings and would love to help you! 

Thought for the week:  It’s Fitness Love Time!

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Valentine’s Day is coming with the red and pink heart displays scattered throughout the stores and the promise of ever lasting love with every bite of chocolate and sugary cookie you consume.  Ah yes, it’s all well and good until you wake up the next morning and those love bites of sweetened fat bombs have now found a home on your thighs!  LOL! 

I’d like for you to consider a different perspective of love for yourself and for the people you care about- fitness love.  You see, when you carve out time for exercise, you are giving your heart love, which is the ultimate symbol of Valentine’s Day!  You are also taking care of your muscle groups, core, bones, and joints too! 

By carving out time to exercise, you are making an investment.  It’s kind of like one of those compound interest long term investments where the beginning is not very exciting, but when you cash the investment in down the road, it’s VERY exciting because your patience has paid off.  It’s like this with our bodies too.  The pay off will be in your mobility in later years as you will be able to keep up with younger people and move like they do.  You’ll be able to take a hike with your family or host an event at your home because you’ll have the stamina and energy to do it.  Who will this bless?  The people you love most!  Your presence as an active and vibrant person with full capability will invest into those relationships and make lasting memories for generations to come.  Think about this.

As we travel along our fitness road, it’s a helpful reminder to look back and see where we’ve started from and how far we’ve come.  Most of us are hard on ourselves and sadly, we have a glass is half empty approach to our fitness level as we criticize all that we aren’t doing or achieving. 

So, it’s my job to remind you of how well you are doing!  For those of you who are reading this and are an active part of my fitness community, I can tell you with full confidence that you guys are putting the hard work in!  It’s a privilege for me to show up to every class, ready to train you, and I witness excellent effort and positive attitudes.  I see smiles on your faces too! 

As you walk into Valentine’s week, remember to keep putting the hard work in for self care in exercising and clean eating.  This is one of the greatest ways that you can demonstrate love to yourself and the people you love most.  Mobility is life and in living is where we love.

See you in class soon!

Jen

MMB – Wanna Stay Healthy? Avoid Sugar!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you and the kick-off of February!  I always love February because it reminds me that spring is already around the corner.  My spirit rejoices when I see the hint of blooms on tree branches and the bursting colors of pinks and reds displayed in Cyclamen and Prim roses! Are there any other Hobbits out there like me who who love all things that grow? 

Truthfully, there’s something very therapeutic about spending time in the garden and tooling around and plucking away at mischievous weeds or pruning away tired old branches that need a little TLC.  For those of you who profess to NOT have a green thumb, that’s o.k, but I will tell you that working in the yard is fabulous exercise!  Sweeping, raking, squatting down and pulling weeds, and trimming are all highly functional exercises that can be just as effective as any sweaty orchestrated work out class.  So my friends, if you have a yard, then start preparing for spring and rejoice that we are fortunate enough to live in California and not be knee deep in snow right now!  Because of this, we have the privilege and opportunity to work in our gardens and yards during wintertime!  Try mixing up your work out routine and gather the entire family together to work in the yard.  I think unplugging from our devices for a few hours wouldn’t be a bad idea either.  Agree?

This past Saturday was the 3rd Winter Fitness Challenge and was called “The Progressive!”  Why was it called “The Progressive?”  Well, because every time you went through four circuits, you would start over at the beginning and keep adding on another difficult exercise!  By the 4th round, it was the most labor intensive and challenging and you guys did it!  Yahoo!

Boot Camp Crew from Saturday!  Swaroopa, Mansi, MingMay, Lisa, Pete, Lynnda, Debbie, Jen, Erin, Christy and Bernie!

 

Winners from Saturday’s Progressive Challenge!  Lisa Thach 1st place 19:04, Debbie Roe 2nd place 20:00 & Erin Campbell 3rd place 20:40!

Way to go ladies!  Keep rockin’ it!

 

 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday!  Currently, I have one opening at 5:45pm, 6:40pm is full, and there are 4 openings at 7:35pm!  Please contact me if you’d like to join us!
  2. Park Fitness is Thursday at 8:30am!  Come out and join us for this field trip to the park style class!  Class is 45 minutes.  All levels welcomed. 
  3. Cardio Fusion is Thursday at VBC!  Class times are 5:45pm and 6:40pm.  I need 3 people to run a class, so please let me know if you’ll be join us!
  4. 4th Winter Fitness Challenge is this Saturday!  Let’s keep the momentum going with another round of Challenge fitness fun! 
  5. Personal Training Openings.  If you are interested in adding in some personal training, I have openings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings!  Personal training is 30 minutes and $40 per session.  If you feel like you need to tweak things in your routine and need a little more accountability, please let me know and we can come up with a plan to work together for either short term or long term goals.

 

Thought for the week:  Wanna Stay Healthy?  Avoid Sugar!

Sugar is invasive and is wreaking havoc on our health at an alarming rate.  Most of us aren’t even aware of how much sugar we consume everyday because food manufacturers are sneaky and they have found ways to hide sugar in everything.  As we go about our daily lives, it’s up to us to educate ourselves and be informed consumers.  When is the last time you’ve picked up a product and read the label?  Do you know what you are looking for when you do pick something up?  Are you aware of the different types and names of sugar?  It’s tricky business.

When you have a few minutes, please read this article from Dr. Josh Axe as this article is very informational about the dangers of sugar and the health problems attached to sugar.  Do yourself a favor and start reducing the amount of sugar you consume.  A diet high in sugar is a path to disease. Period.  Please educate yourself and for the sake of your own heath and for that of your family.  Say NO to excess sugar and YES to prebiotic and probiotic foods to feed your gut health where your super bugs live to protect you from disease!

Jen

How Many Grams of Sugar Per Day Should You Consume?

By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS

September 24, 2018

How many grams of sugar per day? - Dr. Axe

Sugar has gotten a bad rap and for good reason. It’s in almost every packaged food you pick up at the grocery store, and there seems to be quite a sugar addiction epidemic in the United States. If you don’t see the word “sugar” in the ingredients list, there is likely another form of it that you simply do not recognize. Given what we know about sugar intake and the health problems the wrong amount can cause, how many grams of sugar per day should we consume?  

It seems our taste buds have adapted to the desire to crave sugar, and if our food has not been sweetened with it, it doesn’t taste nearly as good to many people. There is an upside here: Taste buds can adapt so you don’t crave all that sugar, but how? Read on to learn all about how to reduce sugar, along with with how many grams of sugar per day you should actual consume for optimal health.


How Many Grams of Sugar Per Day Should You Consume?

The American Heart Association recommends most American women eat to no more than 100 calories per day of sugar (six teaspoons or 20 grams) and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about nine teaspoons or 36 grams). (1)

To put that into perspective, one teaspoon is equal to four grams of sugar. An eight-ounce glass of orange juice has 5.5 teaspoons of sugar. That’s equal to over 20 grams. That’s why you want to eat your fruit; don’t drink it. Another option is to cut the juice by using half water and half juice, while drinking a total of four to six ounces — not eight to 12. And keep in mind that most bottled juices and beverages contain two servings per individual bottle. Don’t ignore the label.

Let’s not forget about the kids. How many grams of sugar per day should they consume? Children do not need so much sugar, yet it’s in everything. Sugar consumption for children should not go beyond three teaspoons of sugar per day, which equates to 12 grams. Did you know that one cup of Fruit Loops contains 3.75 teaspoons of sugar? That’s over the recommended amount for kids. Now you know why most cereals are not the best choice for anyone.

You now have a sense of just how much sugar per day you should consume, but how do you track your sugar intake? The best way is to keep a journal. There are lots of online trackers you can use, and they’re especially helpful in cases when there is no nutritional information on the label or in the case of whole foods, such as fresh fruit.


How Many Grams of Sugar per Day? Sugar Consumption in the U.S.

Let’s delve into what sugar is all about and just how much sugar is too much. According to the American Heart Association, there are two types of sugars found in our diets. There are those that are truly natural that come from foods like fruit and vegetables, and there are added sugars and artificial sweeteners, such as those little blue, yellow and pink packets (a BIG no-no) found at the coffee stand; white sugar; brown sugar; and even chemically manufactured sugars like high fructose corn syrup. These added sugars are ingredients that are in foods like soft drinks, fruit drinks, candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream, sweetened yogurt, and grains like waffles, many breads and cereals. (2)

Some common names for added sugars or foods with added sugars are:

  • Agave
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt sugar
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
  • Syrup

Now that you have a good idea about added sugars, what about those naturally occurring ones from fruit? Do they count? Well, sort of. Yes, those are better choices, but some foods are high in sugar so you still want to keep that in check if you’re diabetic or suffer from some sugar sensitive diseases.

It’s better to have the whole fruit, but choosing the right fruit is important. A medium-sized orange contains about 12 grams of natural sugar. A cup of strawberries contains about half that. Dried fruit and whole fruit contain about the same, calorie and sugar wise, but you lose a lot of hydration benefits due to the loss of water during the dehydration process. (4)

Some foods are simply lower in sugar content so if watching your waistline is a key factor, where your sugar comes from may make a difference. However, both the orange and strawberries are low in calories and nutrient-dense, containing three grams of fiber, 100 percent of the recommended daily consumption for vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and more. If you opt for that 20-ounce can of soda, here’s what you get instead: 225 calories, zero nutrients and 60 grams of added sugar, probably as high fructose corn syrup. Which one sounds more appealing? The soda or the strawberries?

Regardless, having sugar from real food is the way to go since it contains fructose, which is great for energy. When sugar has been extracted from foods, you’re left with zero fiber and the nutrient density is greatly depleted. Go for the real thing — and no that’s not Coca-Cola.  (5, 6)

The Obesity Society reports that sugar consumption has increased by more than 30 percent over the past three decades. In 1977 sugar consumption averaged about 228 calories per day but jumped to 300 calories in 2009–2010, and it may be higher now with children consuming even more. These added sugars, which are placed in sauces, breads and pastas, in addition to excessive amounts in sweets, beverages and cereals, put unnecessary calories into the diet and cause inflammation, disease and more. While it may increase energy briefly, it greatly reduces much-needed nutrients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some more stats on how much sugar Americans consume: (8)

  • From 2011-14, U.S. youth consumed 143 calories and adults consumed 145 calories from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).
  • SSB intake higher among boys, adolescents, non-Hispanic blacks or youth living in low-income families among youths.
  • Among adults, SSB intake is higher among males, young adults, non-Hispanic blacks or Mexican American, or low-income adults.
Sugar by the numbers - Dr. Axe

How Many Grams of Sugar per Day: Can You Have Too Little Sugar? Dangers of Low Sugar

Low sugar can result in a good bit of discomfort, especially if you suffer from diabetes. Low blood glucose, also known as hypoglycemia, is one of the most common problems associated with low blood sugar and is defined as a blood glucose level below 70 mg/dl. Often, it’s associated with medicine, not enough food or not eating for long periods of time, too much activity, and sometimes alcohol. (9, 10)

Symptoms may include feeling shaky, sweaty and having a racing heart. It’s usually mild, but severe hypoglycemia may develop into mental confusion, antagonistic behaviors, unconsciousness or seizures.

Low blood sugar can affect anyone, and checking it regularly may be a way to monitor it. The frequency of testing varies, but most people who have diabetes test their blood sugar levels before breakfast, lunch, dinner and again before bed. Seeing a doctor is important if you suspect you have problems with low blood sugar. Your physician can help your body get to and maintain normal blood sugar levels. (11)


Dangers of High Sugar

While not having enough sugar can cause hypoglycemia, on the flip side, you can have too much sugar. That’s called hyperglycemia and may cause serious complications, such as: (12)

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Nerve damage known as neuropathy
  • Kidney damage
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Damage to the blood vessels of the retina, diabetic retinopathy, which could cause blindness
  • Cataracts or clouding in the eyes
  • Problems with the feet caused by damaged nerves or poor blood flow
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Skin problems, including bacterial infections, fungal infections and non-healing wounds
  • Infections in the teeth and gums
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome

There are more dangers of high sugar as well, which is why it’s vital to know how many grams of sugar per day you should consume.

1. Too Much Sugar May Cause Heart Problems

The JAMA reports that, in some cases, nearly one third of calories consumed per day come from sugar. Boy, is that a lot of sugar! The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey gathered information that helped identify issues with too much sugar. The results indicate that most U.S. adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet, resulting in a higher risk cardiovascular disease mortality. (13)

2. Sugar Can Cause Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Diabetes is probably one of the most common problems with excessive sugar and is happening at staggering rates across the United States and beyond due to dietary changes, such as more processed foods, refined sugars and less daily activity. When we consume too much sugar, the liver does all it can to convert the sugar into energy, but it can only do so much. Since it cannot metabolize all sugar that it receives if in excess, it then develops an insulin resistance, which can result in metabolic syndrome. (14

3. Too Much Sugar Can Affect Your Teeth

Yes, it’s true that too much sugar can cause you to make a lot of trips to the dentist office. According to the American Dietetic Association and the Surgeon General’s report Oral Health in America, what you eat greatly affects your mouth — teeth and gums included. Too much sugar can cause bacterial growth, resulting in decay and infections of surrounding tissues and bone. (15

4. Sugar May Hurt Your Liver

A diet high in sugar may cause problems with your liver, according to the American Diabetes Association. (16) How it works is that when you eat a moderate amount of sugar, in any form, it’s stored in the liver as glucose until the body needs it for various organs to function properly, such as the brain. But if you have too much, the liver simply cannot store it all. What happens? The liver is overloaded so it turns the sugar into fat.

While sugar from natural sources, such as fruit, is far better than the fake, processed version, the liver doesn’t quite know the difference. Additionally, a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease may be caused by excessive consumption of soft drinks, which develops insulin resistance and increased oxidative stress to the liver. On the other hand, if the body does not get enough sugar, it will use fat to supply energy. This is known as ketosis. (17, 18)

5. Sugar May Cause Cancer

Yes, it’s true that sugar can cause cancer. Studies show that obesity may be linked to death from most cancers due to what’s known as the insulin/insulin-like growth factor system and may enhance tumor cell growth. As well, metabolic syndrome, in association with chronic inflammation, may cause tumor growth and progression.

According to a study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies, there is a link between insulin and its effects on colon, prostate, pancreatic and breast cancer. It seems that sugar can even get in the way of cancer therapy, causing it to be less effective. By consuming more nutrients and less sugar, regularly exercising, and reducing stress, it’s possible to lower the risk of cancer and developing tumors. (19)

On the plus side, the right sugar and right amount of it may help athletes. While we know that carbs, such as bananas, can help aid in both performance and recovery of athletes, it seems that there is a smarter way to ensure performance and recovery.

Research indicates that some forms of sugar are better than others. Subjects were evaluated after a 90-minute swim or a 24-hour period of fasting. The results showed that fructose is not the best choice for replenishing, but by using both glucose and fructose, glycogen is more rapidly restored in the liver, which can help repair overworked muscles and lead an athlete to being more prepared for the next workout. (20)


How Many Grams of Sugar per Day: High Sugar and Hidden Sugar Foods

Some foods are obvious sugar loads, but many foods may not be so obvious. If you want to know which foods have hidden sugar, read the labels. And, as always, eating real food in its original form, such as a piece of fruit instead of fruit juice, is better.

High Sugar Foods:

  • Sports drinks, sodas
  • Chocolate milk
  • Cakes, pies and doughnuts, pastries
  • Candy
  • Flavored coffees
  • Iced tea
  • Cereals
  • Granola bars
  • Protein bars/energy bars
  • Ketchup, BBQ sauce and other sauces
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Yogurt
  • Frozen dinners
  • Dried fruits
  • Fruit juices and other beverages, such as Vitamin Water
  • Wine
  • Canned fruits
  • Canned baked beans
  • Breads
  • Cereals
  • Smoothies
  • Energy drinks

How Many Grams of Sugar per Day: How to Reduce Sugar Intake

Reducing sugar intake is not as hard as you think, but if you’re addicted, it can take some practice and commitment just like any change. The American Heart Association shares some great tips on how to reduce sugar. Put these ideas into practice on a regular basis, and in no time, you will reduce sugar and reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and obesity. (21)

  • Remove sugar, syrup, honey and molasses from your cupboard and table.
  • If you use sugar in your coffee, tea, cereal, pancakes, etc., cut back. Use half the amount you usually use to start and even less over time. And no artificial sweeteners!
  • Drink water instead of flavored beverages and juices.
  • Buy fresh fruits instead of fruits that are canned, especially those in syrups.
  • Instead of adding sugar to your morning cereal, use fresh bananas or berries.
  • When baking, cut the sugar by one third. Just try it! You probably won’t even notice.
  • Try using spices, such as ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg, instead of sugar.
  • Try unsweetened applesauce instead of sugar in recipes.
  • Consider pure stevia, but use in moderation. It’s very sweet, so you don’t need much.
How to reduce sugar intake - Dr. Axe

Precautions/Side Effects

As noted above, if you’re diabetic or have any symptoms that suggest you are diabetic, have a heart problem, cancer or any disease, make an appointment with your doctor right away. Sugar, among other things, can make matters worse. Getting the proper diagnosis and then consuming a diet rich in nutrients and less sugar can offer amazing benefits to your health.

Additionally, sugar can cause liver problems and obesity. Your doctor and a nutrition expert can help you make positive changes in your diet by limiting sugar and adding nutrient-rich foods.


Final Thoughts

Sugar is in everything so buyer beware, but how many grams of sugar per day should you eat? It can be avoided simply by making the right choices. Most foods do not need sugar to taste good. Take the time to learn how to cook without it.

Cooking at home can help reduce sugar consumption. Find recipes, such as those on my website, that contain little or no sugar. While it may seem awkward at first, if you stick to it, it becomes easy and you will be come a sugar-identifying expert.

As far as how many grams of sugar per day you should consume, the American Heart Association recommends most American women eat to no more than 100 calories per day of sugar (six teaspoons or 20 grams) and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about nine teaspoons or 36 grams). And overall, added sugar should be less than 10 percent of your diet.

How many grams of sugar per day do you consume?

Read Next: Is Sugar Bad for You? Here’s How It Destroys Your Body

 

MMB – The Power of a Decision

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and made time to spend with family and friends.  In light of the news of Kobe Bryant’s passing yesterday, I think we are all hugging our loved ones a little closer.  Every day is a blessing guys and we aren’t promised a tomorrow.  I know for certain that Kobe Bryant didn’t embark on his helicopter yesterday morning with his daughter thinking that it would be the day he would die.  No one person knows the date or hour of the moment of our passing except the Lord.  Let’s say some prayers today for all of those affected by this horrible crash and passing of an iconic American sports legend. 

This past Saturday was the 2nd Winter Fitness Challenge and you guys worked it hard!  I love seeing all of you rise up and bring your best to these work outs!  They are tough but you can do it! 

The theme of this past Challenge was The 500, which is composed of five circuits with 100 exercises per block.  There was running, jumping, push-ups, lunges, burpees, and compound resistance and core work too!

You are all winners in my book, but here are the boot campers who placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd for each circuit:

Circuit #1:

1st – Melissa Judge – 3:17

2nd – Lynnda Philbrook – 3:21

3rd – Lisa Thach – 3:27

Circuit #2:

1st – Lisa Thach – 4:29

2nd – Melissa Judge – 4:40

3rd – Pete Calvo – 4:52

Circuit #3:

1st Lisa Thach – 6:03

2nd tie – Melissa Judge & Pete Calvo 6:09

3rd – Bernie Calvo – 6:33

Circuit #4:

1st Melissa Judge – 3:25

2nd Lisa Thach – 3:31

3rd Pete Calvo – 3:38

Circuit #5:

1st – Lisa Thach – 3:54

2nd – Pete Calvo – 4:22

3rd – Bernie Calvo – 4:24

The Challenge Crew from Saturday!  Melissa Judge, Mansi Parekh, Lisa Thach, MingMay Pang, Christi Stevenson, Erin Campbell, Bernie Calvo, Lynnda Philbrook, & Pete Calvo

Look at those happy boot campers!  Lisa Thach, Bernie Calvo, & Pete Calvo

MB Push-Up Passes

Deadlifts!

 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night!  5:45pm & 6:40pm are currently full.  If you are interested in these class times, I can add you to a wait list because there may be cancellations the day of class.  I have two openings for 7:35pm! 

 

  1. Park Fitness is Thursday at 8:30am!  Come out and join us as we head to the park and get some fresh air, while utilizing the sidewalks, curbs, playgrounds and sport courts!  I promise that you won’t be bored!  Class is 45 minutes. Drop in cost is $15 or use prepaid card.

 

  1. Cardio Fusion is at VBC on Thursday!  Class times are 5:45pm & 6:40pm.  I need three people to run a class, so please let me know if you will be coming!

 

  1. 3rd Winter Fitness Challenge is Saturday at 7:30am!  It’s not too late to join and bring a friend with you too!

 

Thought for the Week:  The Power of a Decision

Do you know that feeling when you are really frustrated and you are sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Sometimes we act on those feelings and actually do something about it and other times we aren’t quite “sick” enough to make changes.  Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to change our habits?  There are umpteen books written on this subject, but I think it all boils down to the fact that we don’t want to become uncomfortable.  Change, in its very nature, makes us uncomfortable?  I mean really, who wants to give up burgers and fries?  Go ahead, picture your vice in your head.  Do you have it?  O.k. now think about giving that thing up.   Ouch.  Not fun huh.  Well, here’s the thing.  Yes, you do need to get to the point where you are ready to make sacrifices and change your behaviors in regard to food and movement if you want to improve your health.  However, it’s much easier said than done.  So where do you start?  Start thinking about the way you eat and move and be honest with yourself about what needs to change.

I think as Americans, we have a much harder time doing without.  I know there are quite a few of you out there who are trying IF, or intermittent fasting, which is all about doing without food whenever you want.  I have also been experimenting with IF and am also reading a book called, “Eat, Fast, Feast” written by Jay Richards.  The secondary title tells more, “Heal Your Body While Feeding Your Soul-A Christian Guide to Fasting.”  I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this book.  Maybe we can form a book club and discuss the principles regarding fasting?  I would love that!  Let me know if you are interested.

Anyway, the point is that as Americans, we are used to eating whenever we feel like it and whatever we want.  It’s kind of like the grazing principle.  We’ve been taught and told that we need to eat six small meals every day in order to regulate our blood sugar and keep our metabolism buzzing along.  Have you ever thought that by eating in this manner that you will never tap into your stored fat?  If you have a constant supply of glucose in your blood stream from eating frequently, then your body is going to draw from that energy and not ever get to the stored stuff.  Make sense?  With IF, it makes your body more insulin sensitive and gives your digestion a break to repair and recover from working hard digesting food all the time.  Initially, the change is hard, but then something magical happens!  Those hunger pains go away and your body uses stored fat for fuel.  Cool huh? 

IF may not be for everyone, but if you are a person who is working hard exercising on a consistent basis and you aren’t seeing the number on the scale move, then maybe you should try something new with IF.  The good news is that it’s not expensive and you don’t need to buy special food or sign up for a program like Jenny Craig.  Think of the 16-8 plan.  You fast for 16 hours and eat healthy and nutritious meals during the eight.  That’s it.   However, you need to choose the eight hour window that bests fits your lifestyle.  Admittedly, when you are raising a family, this is not always easy and you may find that there are times you need to adjust further and do a 10 hour window of eating and 14 hours of fasting. 

Nothing is set in stone with this.  Experiment and see how you do.  Obviously, if you are a diabetic or have a special medical condition and are reading this, please seek guidance from your medical doctor before launching into IF. 

The other element to changing your health for the better is to move more.  This is a tough one.  Again, most of us don’t like to become uncomfortable and exercise is ALL about getting uncomfortable, right!?   We also have emotional baggage when it comes to exercise and we are often our own worst critics.  We have defeated ourselves before we’ve ever walked out the door with our work out clothes on due to our negative self talk. 

I can tell you that trying to exercise by yourself is the super hard route.  Man, it’s tough to go it alone.  It’s not impossible, but you will have much better success if you plug into a community of like-minded people,who are all striving towards the same health goals.  Encouragement is so powerful and I’d like to believe that the community of people who come to my classes are very positive and bright spirited people.  If you are reading this and you are feeling stuck, but know you are ready for change, then please do yourself a favor and come check out one of my classes.  If you start attending classes on a regular bases and make changes to your nutrition and eating patterns, then you will see results!  It will happen!  But, you can’t think your way to change.  You have to act upon it and actually do it.  This is where the power of a decision comes into play. 

So, are you ready to get started because you are longing to see results?  O.k. awesome!  Reach out to me and let’s start hanging out together.  Let’s have conversations about IF or work out plans, or timing of both.  I’d love to share my knowledge and help you get on a path that will lead you to optimum health, fitness, and a renewed sense of energy and abilities.

Hope to see you soon!

Jen

MMB – The Winter Fitness Challenge has Begun!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had an awesome weekend!  This past Saturday was the first day of the 6-WeekWinter Fitness Challenge and you guys rocked it!  This was a tough one with 6 Countdown Challenge circuits starting with 50 reps down to 10 reps.  Each Countdown Challenge was unique and targeted the following areas:  bursts, lower body, upper body, and core!  By the end of the six circuits, you guys were dripping with sweat and were thankful it was over! 

While I recorded the first three finishers of every round, please know that EVERYONE who completed these circuits is a WINNER in my book! 

Congratulations to the following boot campers who placed in each round!

Here are the winners of each round:

Burst #1:

1st place – Debbie Roe 5:08

2nd place – Lisa Thach 5:14

3rd place – MingMay Pang 5:48

 

Lower Body #2:

1st place – Debbie Roe 5:18

2nd place – Lisa Thach 3:25

3rd place – Christi Stevens 3:34

 

Core #3

1st place – Lisa Thach 2:26

2nd place – Bernie Calvo 2:34

3rd place – Debbie Roe 2:56

 

Burst #4:

1st place – Debbie Roe 4:09

2nd place – Bernie Calvo 4:22

3rd place – Pete Calvo 4;29

 

Upper Body #5:

1st place – Lisa Thach 3:21

2nd place – Debbie Roe 3:24

3rd place – Bernie Calvo 3:40

 

Core #6

1st place – Lisa Thach – 3:32

2nd place – Bernie Calvo 3:42

3rd place – Pete Calvo 3:55

Pete Calvo, MingMay Pang, Lisa Thach, Bernie Calvo, Christy Stevens, Debbie Roe, Erin Campbell

Boot Camp Countdown Challenge winners:  Lisa Thach, Debbie Roe, & Pete Calvo

 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Cardio Core is Tuesday at Jen’s Studio!  5:45pm class is full & 6:40pm class is full.  There are a few spots open at 7:35pm if you’d like to join in!  Please text or e-mail me if you are signed up and cannot make it or you’d like to sign up for 7:35pm.

 

  1. Cardio Fusion is Thursday at VBC!  5:45pm & 6:40pm!

 

  1. Park Fitness is this Thursday at 8:30am!  Come out and join us for this morning work out that will work your entire body!  Class meets at Jen’s Studio.

 

  1. 6-Week Winter Fitness Challenge – Every Saturday through February 22nd from 7:30am to 8:15am. It’s not too late to join!  Come check out this inspirational and motivational boot camp that will take your fitness to the next level! 

 

Thought for the week:  January is Hard and Fitness Helps!

I don’t know about you, but January always feels really hard.  The sky is greyer, the sunlight is shorter and more dim, and yes it’s cold for us Northern California types!  I know, I know, there’s isn’t snow on the ground, but come on – it’s in the lower to mid-30’s in the morning.  That’s cold enough thank you very much.

In speaking with many of my clients so far this month, the difficult themes that have cropped up are financial, being sick, and death related.  Money is tough, people have bad colds, and people have been dying.  Woah, those are huge topics and both emotionally taxing and draining!  It’s no wonder that we can get a little blue in January.

As I often say in class, life is hard out there and we need to get battle ready for whatever might be coming out way.  There are a plethora of benefits from exercising and for the reasons I’ve just mentioned, exercise helps us to manage our stressors and heartaches by allowing those emotions to be addressed.  Also, there is a huge release of endorphins, which interact with the receptors in your brain, and reduce pain and help your body and brain to feel better. 

So, if you are feeling blue, the very best medicine you can give to yourself is to get up and start moving.  During the first few minutes you may have regret that you are putting yourself through the difficulty and pain of exercising, but I promise that by the end of the session, you’ll feel so happy and satisfied that you made it through! 

Also, fitness doesn’t always need to be super intense to be effective.  Taking a long hike up in the hills can rejuvenate your spirits and still give you a great calorie burn and lower body work out.  Sometimes just getting away from your inbox and “to-do” list will help you refresh and reset. 

Here are some other ideas that can help uplift your mood when you are feeling a little blue:

  1. Crank up your favorite tunes when you are at home or in the car.  Music can shift our emotions very quickly and give us a boost when we need it.
  2. Eat spicy foods with lime and cilantro.  There’s something about these combinations that brighten our moods and allows us to shift gears.
  3. For the ladies – buy some fresh flowers and place them around your house.  I love sunflowers and whenever I have them around, I feel better!
  4. Ponder on the things you are grateful for.  Make a quick list and write down as many things you can think of that you are thankful for.
  5. Force yourself to smile more.  I know this sounds silly, but there are receptors in our brain that translate that smile into a happier state of mind.  Also, you pass it on by helping someone else to be uplifted and encouraged.  It’s contagious. 
  6. Laughter is great medicine.  Find something to laugh at.  Think of a movie you love to watch that makes you laugh and have it on in the background when you are home.
  7. Do you have some clutter that needs attention?  Having things streamlined around you will help your mind be more peaceful and calm.
  8. Allow yourself to get proper rest so you won’t be dragging the next morning.  Rest is king, especially this time of year when cold and flu viruses are all around us.  Your mood will be better if you are properly rested.

See you in class soon!  Now go out and put a smile on your face and take on the day!

Jen

MMB – Homemade Detox Drinks

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!   I hope your January is off to an awesome start!  How’s it going with detox?  Are you noticing a difference?  How’s your energy?  Hopefully you are to the point where you aren’t craving sugar like you were over the holidays.  Once you take all of the refined carbs and sugars out of your diet and replace them with raw veggies, increased hydration, berries, nuts, and seeds, you should start feeling better with a renewed sense of energy and alertness.  If you aren’t there yet, don’t worry!  Just keep trying and do your best to be mindful of what you are putting into your body at every fork in the road moment. 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night:  5:45pm to 6:30pm is full, 6:40pm class has 1 open spot, 7:35pm class 6 spots open.  Please e-mail or text to join in!

 

  1. Park Fitness is Thursday morning at 8:30am!  Come out and join us for this 45 minute class!  All levels are welcomed.  If it’s raining, class will be in Jen’s Studio.

 

  1. Cardio Fusion is Thursday night at VBC!  Class times are 5:45pm to 6:30pm & 6:40pm to 7:25pm.  Three people are required to run a class.

 

  1. 6-Week Winter Fitness Challenge begins this Saturday, January 18th at 7:30am!  Come out for this special challenge to get inspired, motivated, and take your fitness to the next level!  You’ll weigh in at the beginning and again on the 6th week.  Let’s find out who the biggest reducers will be!  This is a great opportunity to bring a friend!  Please plan to come a few minutes early to weigh in or plan to stay a few minutes extra after class.  Let’s get it started!

 

Thought for the week:  Homemade Detox Drinks

Detoxing doesn’t have to be complicated.  Did you know that you probably have some herbs around your house right now that can aid in detox?  Do you have some apple cider vinegar in the pantry?  Maybe a lemon on your counter?  You do?  Awesome!  Then you are ready to start making your own homemade detox drinks!  Every day we consume toxins without even realizing it.  Sitting in traffic and breathing exhaust fumes, eating anything that’s processed, or drinking a diet soda can wreak havoc on your body by invading you with toxicity!  The good news is that you can do something about this!

Our bodies are pretty amazing, but they need our help.  Attached is another excellent article and resource from Dr. Josh Axe.  His team does an amazing job of streamlining information so that’s it clear and easy to understand and execute. 

You can click on the link here https://draxe.com/nutrition/detox-drinks/and it will take you to his site, or you can scroll down and read it here too.  I highly encourage you to try some of these drinks and allow your liver and digestive organs to take a break and cleanse so that you will feel refreshed, energized again, and amazing! 

Let’s feel amazing during winter together!

See you in class soon!

Jen

 

Homemade Detox Drinks: 5 Major Health Benefits, Including Weight Loss

By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC

January 24, 2018

Detox drinks - Dr. Axe

So many of us work hard every day and feel like we can barely get through it without needing some sort of energy boost. We tend to turn to sugar for a quick pick-me-up, but that’s really doing more harm than good. Many people don’t realize that the sluggish and even bloated feeling we get during the day can be the result of excess toxins in the body. Detox drinks help to naturally reduce inflammation, boost energy, support digestion, cleanse the liver and promote healthy skin.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine assessed the use of clinical detoxification therapies by licensed naturopathic doctors in the United States. One hundred ninety-six naturopathic doctors completed a survey about the use of clinical detoxification therapies; 92 percent of respondents reported using detox therapies and over 75 percent utilized detoxification to treat patients for environmental exposures, general cleaning and preventive medicine, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases. (1)

But you don’t need a doctor to detoxify your body. Detox drinks are simple to make — there are a number of fruits, vegetables and herbs that stimulate detoxification while providing vitamins and minerals that keep the body functioning properly. Experiment with detox drinks today and notice how light, fresh and clear-headed you feel afterwards.

I predict that you’re going to want to make detoxing a part of your health routine, and you can use any combination of detox water recipes to choose from to get all the detox water benefits.


Why Choose Detox Drinks?

When you hear the word “detox,” do you immediately think that it requires fasting or some special formula? It’s really much simpler than that. Detox drinks can be made with ingredients you already have at home, like lemon, apple cider vinegar, cucumbers and watermelon. There’s nothing fancy to it.

Every day we are exposed to environmental pollutants, preservatives, heavy metals, pesticides and cancer-causing chemicals. We inhale, ingest or come into contact with these toxins and they get stored in the tissues and cells throughout our bodies. Many of these toxins have demonstrated harmful cancerous, reproductive, metabolic and mental health effects. Detox drinks help us to avoid toxic overload before it becomes a major health problem. (2)

Some signs of a toxic overload include:

  • constipation
  • bloating
  • gas
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • aches and pains
  • nausea
  • belly fat
  • skin problems
  • food cravings
  • low energy
  • bad breath
  • mood swings

 

Detox drinks guide - Dr. Axe

5 Major Benefits of Detox Drinks 

1. Remove Toxins from the Body (and Cleanse the Liver)

Environmental pollutants, pesticides, heavy metals and chemicals are stored in our tissues and cells. This affects immune system function, our mood, metabolism and our ability to fight disease; in fact, symptoms of poor health in people free from diagnosed disease may also be related to toxin buildup.

A 2000 study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine investigated whether a seven-day program of detoxication, such as a heavy metal detox, can improve well-being and enhance the activity of liver detoxification pathways. As a result of the detox, there was a 23 percent increase in liver detoxification capacity and an increase in the urinary sulfate-to-cretinine ratio after treatment, indicating a trend toward improved liver function. (3)

2. Reduce Inflammation

When you cleanse the liver with a cleansing drink and give your digestion system a chance to rest by having detox drinks and smoothies instead of heavy meals, you are reducing disease-causing inflammation and swelling within the body. Some detox drink ingredients, like watermelon, cucumber, strawberries and ginger help to reduce inflammation while easing your digestive system. (4)

3. Aid Weight Loss

Detox drinks can boost your metabolism and energy levels, leaving you feeling fresh and light throughout the day. Some fruits, like benefit-rich grapefruit, even contain special enzymes that help the body to utilize sugar, thereby boosting the metabolism and aiding weight loss.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine evaluated the effects of a 21-day detox program. Seven participants stuck to a diet that involved unlimited fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and at least 64 ounces of water a day. They were also allowed to consume complex carbs and protein shakes throughout the program.

As a result of the detox, the seven participants demonstrated short-term weight loss (an average of 11.7 pounds) and improvements in their lipid profiles. Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels decreased. (5)

4. Promote Skin Health

By eliminating toxins from the body and reducing inflammation, detox drinks boost skin health and minimize the signs of aging. When the skin becomes clogged with pollutants and chemicals, it leads to wrinkles, dryness and other signs of aging.

Strengthening the skin’s metabolic mechanisms with fruits and vegetables enhances the luster of the skin. Many detox drink ingredients are often vitamin C foods, which can also help to naturally slow aging and heal wounds by forming new scar tissue. (6)

5. Boost Energy and Mental Alertness

The ingredients of any detox drink will work together to reduce inflammation, cleanse the liver and boost energy levels naturally. Without the toxin overload weighting you down, you will feel lighter and refreshed as opposed to living with fatigue, mood swings and brain fog.

Ingredients like lemon, rosemary and mint will rejuvenate the body and can even improve mental alertness. These powerful foods also help you to restore hydration, especially after exercise or a busy day. (7)


The Best Ingredients for Detox Drinks

There are a number of fruits, vegetables and herbs that can be added to water to support detoxification. Each one has specific components that aid detoxification while helping to boost the immune system and prevent chronic disease. To make your own detox drink, you can read through the benefits and combine the ingredients that are tailored for your needs specifically.

Watermelon — Watermelon is low in calories and helps hydrate the body. It fights inflammation and free radical damage while providing vitamin A and vitamin B, both known for having anti-aging properties.

Watermelon contains a high amount of lycopene, a certain type of carotenoid that is responsible for giving watermelon its deep red or pink color and serves as a powerful antioxidant. Studies have shown that lycopene plays a role in the prevention of chronic diseases and may prevent osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Watermelon also provides potassium and magnesium, which are important for detoxification and managing blood flow and hydration levels in the body. (8)

Cucumber Cucumber nutrition includes some impressive benefits when it comes to fighting free radical damage and inflammation. They also contain some powerful polyphenol compounds that can help to naturally slow aging that is caused by oxidative stress. Cucumbers are diuretics, so they stimulate urination which helps to cleanse the liver, flush out bodily toxins and avoid water retention. (9)

Lemon — Lemon contains ascorbic acid, which helps to detoxify the body; it also aids digestion, keeps your skin glowing and provides vitamin C, which stimulates white blood cell production and boost immune system function.

The benefits of lemon water include its ability to rejuvenate the skin, heal the body and boost energy. A lemon water detox may also help you to lose weight because lemon contains pectin, a type of fiber that helps you to feel full longer. (10)

Lime — Adding lime juice to detox drinks provides vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C is known to improve physical performance, boost the immune system and fight free radical damage. Limes aid detoxification by promoting the activity of an enzyme in the liver called glutathione-S-transferase (GST). They also contain flavonoids that stimulate the digestive system and increase the secretion of bile and acids. (11)

Grapefruit — Did you know that just smelling the aroma of grapefruit affects the autonomic nerves, fat metabolism and appetite? Research conducted at Karolinska Institute in Sweden has shown that grapefruit benefits weight loss.

The enzyme found in grapefruit called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) helps your body utilize sugar, which boosts your metabolism and aids weight loss. AMPK is generally activated during exercise to help muscles use stored sugar and fat for energy. Grapefruit also boosts the immune system because it is rich in vitamin C, hydrates the body and even promotes skin and brain health. (12)

Raspberries — Raspberries contain ketones, natural chemicals that are thought to help you lose weight fast. Animal studies have shown that raspberry ketones help to prevent the high-fat-diet–induced elevations in body weight as well as the weight of the liver and visceral adipose tissues. Whether or not ketones aid human weight loss is still up for debate, but raspberries are also high in vitamin C and B vitamins. They promote skin healthy and naturally slow aging. (13)

Strawberries — Most of the health benefits associated with strawberry nutrition are due to the presence of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Strawberries contain anti-aging flavonoids that may lower the risk for chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Adding strawberries to detox drinks will also slow down the aging process, protect the skin, provide vitamins A and C, and aid detoxification. A and C vitamins are especially needed during the body’s detox process in order to neutralize and eliminate toxins — leading to reduced inflammation, a regular digestive system and pH balance. (14)

Mint — Did you know that mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food? It’s the perfect ingredient for detox drinks because it invigorates the senses while soothing an upset stomach or indigestion. Mint improves the flow of bile through the stomach and speeds up the digestion process, helping to detoxify the body. It also has antimicrobial properties and can be used to support oral health. (15)

Ginger — The medicinal benefits of ginger comes from gingerols, the oily resin from the root that acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Ginger serves as an effective digestive aid and natural remedy for nausea. It can be added to any detox drink to help relieve bloating, constipation and gastrointestinal issues. Ginger is also known to warm the body the break down the accumulation of toxins in the organs. (16)

Rosemary — Rosemary is part of the mint family and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a fantastic detoxifier; it works by enhancing the body’s bile flow, which is essential for fat metabolism and detoxification. By helping to enhance the performance of the bile-producing gallbladder and balance out the microflora in the gut, rosemary boosts nutrient absorption and helps to reverse or prevent toxic overload. (17)

Dandelion — Dandelion greens increase urine production and serve as a natural laxative. Dandelions aid digestion by maintaining the proper flow of bile and cleansing the liver. They are a rich source of vitamin C, which helps with mineral absorption and reduces inflammation. Dandelions can also be used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas and gallstones. (18)

Apple Cider Vinegar — Drinking apple cider vinegar increases metabolism and speeds up weight loss. It contains an organic acid called acetic acid, which has shown to improve your metabolism. It also supports digestive function with its enzymes and probiotics and fights acid reflux naturally. Add apple cider vinegar to detox drinks in order to cleanse your live and lymphatic system. It helps balance your body’s pH and promotes cardiovascular stimulation. (19)

Aloe Vera Gel — Aloe vera gel has laxative and anti-inflammatory properties that help digestion, normalize pH balance, lessen yeast formation and encourage digestive bacteria. The enzymes present in aloe vera help to break down the proteins that we eat into amino acids and turn the enzymes into fuel for every cell in the body. This allows the cells to function properly, and it boosts the immune system. Add aloe vera to detox drinks to reduce inflammation, aid digestion and promote skin health. (20)

 

Detox drinks recipes - Dr. Axe

Natural Detox Recipes

While there are popular detox drinks like the Rescue Cleanse, I recommend making your own. You can get similar benefits as Rescue Cleanse other commercial detox drinks like the Rescue Cleanse in homemade detox drinks.

Detox Water Recipes: 

After adding the ingredients to a glass jar or pitcher, let it sit for 3–5 hours or overnight. Add ice to your detox drink before enjoying. All of these detox water recipe ideas call for 12 ounces of water, but you can always play with these portions and tweak the combinations. Any combination of these awesome detox drink ingredients will help to remove toxins from the body, boost energy, reduce inflammation and promote weight loss.

  • A handful of mint leaves, 2 cups of cubed watermelon and wedges from 1 lime
  • Wedges from 1 lemon and 1 cucumber sliced
  • Lemon juice from 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of sliced strawberries, 2 cups of cubed watermelon and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon, a teaspoon of cinnamon and slices from 1/2 an apple
  • Lemon juice from 1 lemon and 3 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
  • Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger root, grated

You can also try my Secret Detox Drink recipe, which also features apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. If you’re looking for a ginger detox, try my ginger detox Switchel recipe. There are also plenty of detox smoothie recipes to choose from. Try some of my Healthy Detox Smoothie Recipes.

Detox Tea Recipes: 

Dandelion Tea — Steep dandelion roots or flowers in boiling water for 30 minutes. You can strain the roots and flowers or drink them with your tea. Dandelion tea helps to cleanse the liver; it serves as a diuretic and a good source of vitamin A.

Green Tea — Green tea contains powerful antioxidants, and it can reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, minimize signs of aging and improve memory. You can find green tea at most grocery stores or buy green tea leaves and steep them in boiling water for 3–5 minutes, then drain.

Ginger Tea — Ginger tea soothes digestion, reduces inflammation and relieves nausea or upset stomach. You can find ginger tea at most grocery stores or make it yourself by steeping fresh ginger root in boiling water for 10 minutes. Add raw honey or lemon for flavor and extra detoxifying benefits.


Final Thoughts

  • Detox drinks are great for cleansing the body of toxins that have you experiencing digestive issues, weakness, bloating, nausea, mood swings and skin issues.
  • Detox drinks help to boost energy, cleanse the liver, aid weight loss, reduce inflammation and promote skin health.
  • There are so many powerful ingredients that can added to your detox drinks. Read the benefits and decide what combination works for you.
  • Detox teas can also be beneficial; use ginger, lemon, mint or dandelion teas to make your own detox tea.
  • If you are looking to lose weight, detox drinks will help you to boost your metabolism and reduce inflammation that may have you feeling swollen and bloated. But detox drinks aren’t the only answer for weight loss; to get long-lasting results, pair these beneficial drinks with healthy meals and exercise.

MMB – It’s Detox Time!

Hi Everyone,

Happy January to you!  I hope you had an amazing holiday season with your friends and family!  Overall, how do you think you did with your nutrition?  In speaking with many of you, it sounds like there was a mixed bag of results.  Some of you stayed consistent and focused and were able to avoid most temptations, while others started off strong but ultimately caved into temptations!  LOL!  You know what…whatever you did is now in the past.  So, please stop beating yourself up with your imaginary flogging stick.  Please, life is hard enough! 

The good news is that it’s January.  It’s a time of reflections and new beginnings.  Everyone gets to start over on New Year’s!  Isn’t that great!?  So, if you are feeling crappy  with some bloat and fatigue, never fear because detox is here!  So, let’s get laser focused and mindful about what we eat and drink every day and how we move.  If we fail to plan, then we plan to fail.  So, let’s come up with a plan and make it happen!  Read more in my thought for the week 🙂

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night:  5:45pm to 6:30pm 5 spots open, 6:40pm class is full, 7:35pm class 6 spots open.  Please e-mail or text to join in!
  2. Park Fitness is Thursday morning at 8:30am!  Come out and join us for this 45 minute class!  All levels are welcomed.
  3. Cardio Fusion is Thursday night at VBC!  Class times are 5:45pm to 6:30pm & 6:40pm to 7:25pm.  Three people are required to run a class.
  4. Boot Camp is Saturday is 7:30am to 8:15am!
  5. 6-Week Winter Fitness Challenge begins Saturday, January 18th at 7:30am!  Come out for this special challenge to get inspired, motivated, and take your fitness to the next level!  You’ll weigh in at the beginning and again on the 6th week.  Let’s find out who the biggest reducers will be!  This is a great opportunity to bring a friend!

 

Thought for the week:  It’s Detox Time!

Did you know that your liver is the hardest working organ in your body?  It’s true!  Do you know what is sad?  We abuse our liver all the time by the foods and drinks we consume, the medications we ingest and toxins we breathe in and absorb every day.   Considering how we eat and drink over the holidays, a liver detox would be a very smart way to kick off the New Year and do something good for your body.  There are many ways to detox, but starting with a liver cleanse would make the most sense because everything we eat and drink goes through your liver first. 

One of my go-to-gurus is Dr. Josh Axe because he always offers very research driven articles that are streamlined and easy to follow.  He lists the facts, the why’s and how’s, and always offers a handy chart to refer to and print out. 

As you read through this article, you’ll find that there are many of these suggestions that are fairly easy to do, it just takes doing them!  Others might be a little more challenging to take on, such as the coffee enema.  I totally get if you are not up for that!  However, even if you try just a few of these recommendations, you’ll be doing your liver a favor and helping your body to function more optimally so you can feel better and ready to take on the New Year! 

Happy liver detoxing!

See you in class soon!

Jen

Detox Your Liver: Try My 6-Step Liver Cleanse

Link:  https://draxe.com/nutrition/liver-cleanse/

By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS

Liver cleanse - Dr. Axe

Every person’s health and well-being depends on how well their body removes and purges toxins. With exposure to environmental toxins, toxic body care products and processed foods, most people are in desperate need of a serious detox! A liver cleanse is a great way to do this.

One of the main ways that the body rids itself of toxins is through the liver. In fact, the liver is one of the hardest working organs in the body. It works tirelessly to detoxify our blood; produce the bile needed to digest fat; break down hormones; and store essential vitamins, minerals and iron. When liver function is not optimal, we cannot digest our food properly, especially fats.

Some of the essential functions of the liver include: (1)

  • Processing nutrients absorbed by the intestines so they are more efficiently absorbed
  • Regulating blood composition to balance protein, fat and sugar
  • Destroying old red blood cells
  • Producing essential chemicals to help blood clot properly
  • Breaking down and metabolizing alcohol and medications
  • Producing essential proteins and cholesterol
  • Removing toxins from the bloodstream, including bilirubin, ammonia and others
  • Storing of minerals, iron and vitamin A

For the liver to take care of the body, it must be able to perform optimally. When many people think of liver disease, they often think of alcohol-induced cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a serious health condition, but contrary to popular thought, alcoholism is not the only cause.

In fact, there are a number of nonalcoholic factors that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver damage, including: (2)

  • Eating uncooked shellfish
  • Some medications (including acetaminophen)
  • Chronic malnutrition
  • Eating poisonous wild mushrooms and exposure to chemicals
  • Chronic hepatitis B

Cirrhosis occurs when scar tissue replaces the healthy cells in the liver. As the scar tissue continues to grow, the liver’s ability to function is diminished. Liver failure is the next biological step and occurs when the scar tissue has created so much damage that it no longer functions.


Liver Cleanse Effectively Removes Toxins

Today, we are faced with so many environmental toxins occurring in our homes, places of work and in our food supply. It is essential for our general health and well-being to maintain good liver health. Below are some of the risk factors associated with impaired liver function. (3)

  • Low potassium levels (4)
  • Heavy alcohol abuse
  • Intravenous drug use
  • Blood transfusions prior to 1992
  • Exposure to certain industrial chemicals and environmental toxins
  • Unprotected sex
  • Obesity and a diet high in saturated fats, and processed foods
  • Tattoos or body piercings
  • High levels of triglycerides in the blood
  • Prescription medications including acetaminophen
  • Viral infections
  • Autoimmune diseases

Signs and Symptoms Your Liver Isn’t Functioning Optimally

If you have recently noticed any of the symptoms listed below, you could be suffering from impaired liver function. It is particularly important to consider these symptoms if you identify with one or more of the risk factors mentioned above.

  • Bloating and gas
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Skin and/or eyes that are yellowish (a symptom of jaundice)
  • Inability to lose weight
  • High blood pressure
  • Moodiness, anxiety or depression
  • Dark urine
  • Rosacea
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Excessive sweating
  • Bruise easily
  • Poor appetite

Fortunately, you can help improve your liver’s functioning. Through a thorough liver cleanse, you can start to feel better in a matter of a couple of weeks.

Liver cleanse - Dr. Axe

6-Step Liver Cleanse

Follow these six steps to help boost your health and vitality:

1. Remove Toxic Foods from Your Diet

If you are eating a diet high in processed foods, you are putting the health of your liver at risk as these foods basically work against liver health. Hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, convenience foods and lunch meats are notoriously toxic to your system.

Hydrogenated oils, also known as “trans fats,” have higher levels of saturated fat. The chemical structure of the oil itself has been altered to increase shelf life. Consumption of trans fats dramatically increases the risk for heart disease by 25 percent or more. In addition, it is believed that trans fats cause problems with our immune system and can lead to inflammation throughout the body.

Added nitrates and nitrites, commonly found in convenience foods, fast foods and lunch meats, have been linked to serious health conditions. These chemicals are used to preserve foods to make them last longer, inhibit bacteria growth and preserve color. Replace these foods immediately with liver friendly healthy choices. Healthy foods taste great, and, with a bit of creativity, you can create healthful meals for your family that will support liver health.

Roast your own organic chicken breast and turkey breast to replace deli meats for quick lunches and after school snacks. Replace chips and other processed snacks with fresh fruit, carrot sticks, nuts and homemade granola bars.

In addition to eating a healthy diet, it’s important to be sure your digestive enzymes are functioning properly. Problems with liver enzymes can also contribute to liver disease and may be related to other digestive illnesses such as Crohn’s disease.

2. Drink Raw Vegetable Juice

It can be nearly impossible to eat all of the raw vegetables you need to make your liver cleanse effective. However, by juicing a variety of raw vegetables, you can easily get the 4–5 servings of fresh, organic vegetables you need. Even vegetables that aren’t your favorites can be disguised and enjoyed in a fresh vegetable juice!

With impaired liver function, juicing vegetables has the added benefit of making the vegetables easier to digest and more readily available for absorption.

Vegetables ideal for liver cleanses include cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. While that combination may not sound very enjoyable, you can add other vegetables that you enjoy to the mix including carrots, cucumber, beets and greens.

All of these vegetables help to reduce acid levels in the body, helping to create a more friendly pH balance. Experiment with your favorite flavor combinations; you can add fresh herbs including parsley, mint and others to make the juices more enjoyable.

Try my kid-friendly Orange Carrot Ginger Juice. Fresh, organic carrots are essential to any liver cleanse (5). In the liver, the beta carotene is converted into vitamin A to help flush out the toxins in the body while reducing fat in the liver.

The high fiber content helps support a healthy digestive tract, hastening the elimination of toxins in your body. The ginger root helps to soothe the digestive tract, reduce intestinal gas, and has strong anti-inflammatory compounds. The fresh oranges in this recipe not only add tangy sweetness, but also add significant vitamin C, additional vitamin A and vitamin B6.

3. Load Up on Potassium-Rich Foods

Are you getting the recommended 4,700 milligrams per day of potassium? Chances are, you aren’t. Potassium-rich foods help to lower systolic blood pressure, lower cholesterol and support a healthy cardiovascular system, in addition to helping cleanse your liver. If you have been tempted to take potassium supplements, instead add these healthful foods to your diet.

Sweet Potatoes

Surprisingly, it is not the banana that is the richest in potassium. It is the sweet potato. A single medium sweet potato contains nearly 700 milligrams of potassium, not to mention the high fiber and beta carotene content.

A sweet potato only has 131 calories, yet is rich with vitamins B6, C, D, magnesium and iron. While naturally sweet, the sugars actually are slowly released into the bloodstream through the liver, without causing a spike in blood sugar.

Tomato Sauces

Potassium, and the other beneficial nutrients in tomatoes, is significantly concentrated as a sauce, puree or as a paste. As an example, 1 cup of tomato puree contains 1,065 milligrams of potassium, but 1 cup of fresh tomatoes contains only 400 milligrams. When selecting tomato sauce, paste or puree, be sure to choose those made only from organic tomatoes.

To make your own concentrated tomato sauce, slice organic tomatoes in half and roast face down in the oven for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F, until the skin has shriveled. Remove from the oven, and let cool. Slide the skins off and gently crush in your food processor or blender. Strain to remove seeds, if you desire. Pour into a Dutch oven, and let simmer until thick, 1 to 2 hours.

Beet Greens and Spinach

Rich in antioxidants, beet greens contain over 1,300 milligrams of potassium per cup. Add beets and beet greens to your fresh vegetable juice recipe; finely chop and add raw to salads; or sauté lightly, like other greens. Beets also naturally cleanse the gallbladder and improve bile flow.

Fresh organic spinach is easily added to your diet, and it’s a good source of potassium, containing 840 milligrams per serving.

Beans

White beans, kidney beans and lima beans are all rich in potassium, protein and fiber. Swap out garbanzo beans for one of these potassium-rich beans in your favorite hummus recipe. Enjoy it with carrot sticks and celery sticks.

Blackstrap Molasses

Just 2 teaspoons of this rich all-natural syrup contains 10 percent of the daily-recommended amount of potassium. In addition to potassium, blackstrap molasses is rich with iron, calcium, manganese and copper.

Incorporate blackstrap molasses into your diet by replacing other natural sweeteners with it. You can use it to create barbecue sauces and to top oatmeal or quinoa porridge in the mornings. Two teaspoons added to coffee intensifies the richness of the coffee, while lowering the acidic taste.

Bananas

And finally, add a banana to your favorite smoothie. While in comparison to the other high potassium foods on this list, the banana’s 470 milligrams of potassium are only part of the story. Bananas assist in digestion, and help to release toxins and heavy metals from the body — all of which are essential during a liver cleanse.

Please note: If you have high levels of potassium in your kidneys, foods rich in potassium should be consumed moderately.

4. Coffee Enemas

Coffee enemas help with constipation, reduce fatigue, and aid in liver detoxification.

An enema targets the lower portion of your large intestine and can be done at home, unlike colonics, which include the entire bowel and are performed outside the home by a professional.

During the enema, organic coffee is retained in your bowel, allowing the fluid to enter the liver through the intestinal wall.

This has a stimulating effect that increases bile flow, helping to jump-start both your gallbladder and your liver. This sparks the production of the chemical glutathione, a strong cleansing compound that helps to release the buildup of toxins in your system.

Flushing the toxins out during liver cleanses is critical so they don’t build up and are moved quickly out of your system.

Combine 2 tablespoons of organic ground coffee with 3 cups of filtered or distilled water in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 15 minutes and allow to cool. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and use in your enema kit. Try to retain the mixture for 10–15 minutes and then release.

If you’ve experienced complications from using enemas in the past, it’s best to talk to a doctor before trying to perform a coffee enema on your own. The first time you try a coffee enema, it’s a good idea to do so under supervision or with guidance of a medical professional, although some people feel comfortable jumping right into the process. Coffee enemas aren’t usually recommended for pregnant women or children since they can be sensitive to the effects of caffeine.

5. Take Milk Thistle, Dandelion and Turmeric Supplements

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is considered the “king” of detoxifying herbs, making it ideal for a liver cleanse. Milk thistle helps to eliminate the buildup of heavy metals, prescription medications, environmental pollutants and alcohol in the liver.

In addition, it helps to reduce the negative effects on the liver after chemotherapy and radiation. The active ingredient silymarin helps to strengthen the cell walls in the liver, while supporting healthy regeneration. (6)

Milk thistle can be taken as a supplement or as a liver cleansing detox tea.

Turmeric

Turmeric reduces joint pain; is an effective antidepressant; aids in digestion; helps to restore a healthy blood sugar balance; and supports healthy liver tissue and liver metabolism (7).

Currently, researchers are studying turmeric for a variety of health benefits for diseases and conditions, including: Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, depression, osteoarthritis, breast health, prostate health and chronic pain.

Dandelion Root

Most homeowners hate the dandelion, as it populates yards every spring. But, this flower, and its root, is actually packed with vitamins and minerals.

Dandelion root has a natural diuretic effect, allowing your liver to more quickly eliminate toxins. It also helps to strengthen the immune system, balance blood sugar levels, relieve heartburn, and soothe digestive upset.

Burdock root is another option in the same plant family as dandelions that can help detox your system by cleansing the blood, therefore helping to support liver function. Like milk thistle, both dandelion root and burdock root can be taken in both supplement form or as a detox tea.

6. Eat Real Liver or Take Liver Tablets

Liver from young, healthy, grass-fed cattle or chicken liver is rich with vitamins A and B, folic acid, choline, iron, copper, zinc, chromium and CoQ10. Liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat.

Related: Are Organ Meats and Offal Healthy to Eat?

If you can’t stomach eating liver, you can take beef liver pills. Seek a supplement that guarantees no hormones, pesticides or antibiotics are used in the feeding and care of the cattle.

Liver cleanse - Dr. Axe

A Quick-Start 24-Hour Liver Cleanse

In addition to the healthy foods and supplements mentioned above, you can give your liver a boost by starting with a quick, 24-hour liver cleanse. In the seven days prior to this short cleanse, eat kale, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, asparagus, beets and celery. Avoid any processed foods, and eat free-range organic meats, refined carbohydrates and gluten sparingly. This preparation will help facilitate the cleanse.

During the week you are preparing your body, try my Secret Detox Drink. It boosts your energy and helps you to detox and cleanse the liver. This recipe calls for apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and water.

Then, during the week of your cleanse try this liver detox drink. This recipe will help support your body while cleansing:

Liver Detox Drink

  1. Dilute cranberry juice with a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part cranberry juice.
  2. Add 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg and ginger and a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon into a tea infuser and let steep in simmering water for 20 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Add the juice of 3 oranges and 3 lemons and stir. If the mixture is too tart, sweeten with your favorite all-natural sweetener.
  5. Sip throughout the day.

You should consume a minimum of 72 ounces of this mixture and 72 ounces of water. After one day of the cranberry juice blend, reintroduce the foods you ate in preparation for the liver cleanse.


Final Thoughts

  • Cleansing and detoxing the liver and colon helps to clear pesticides, medications, heavy metals and the remnants of cancer therapy out of your system, resulting in a healthy liver.
  • To keep your liver healthy through the years, periodically do a 24-hour liver cleanse.
  • Maintain a healthy diet void of processed foods and high in vegetables, legumes and whole grains on a liver cleanse or not.

The 6-Step Liver Cleanse

  1. Remove toxic foods from your diet.
  2. Drink raw vegetable juice.
  3. Load up on potassium-rich foods.
  4. Do a coffee enema.
  5. Take milk thistle, dandelion and turmeric supplements.
  6. Eat liver or take beef liver tablets.

MMB – What to Do With This “In-between week?”

Hi Everyone,

I hope you have been thoroughly enjoying your holidays and have made amazing memories with family and friends!  How did you handle all of the temptations?  Did you indulge a little or a lot?  Did you keep your work outs going or did they fizzle out?  I have a funny poem I want to share with you that my mother-in-law forwarded to me.  I think we can all relate to this!

 

“Twas the month after Christmas and all through the house nothing would fit me, not even a blouse
 
The cookies I’d nibbled (thanks MD!), the eggnog I’d taste.
All the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
 
When I got on the scales, there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber)
 
I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,
 
The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese 
And the way I’d never said, “No thank you, please.”
 
As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt—
 
I said to myself, as only I can
“You can’t spend a winter disguised as a man!”
 
So—away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip.
 
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
Til all the additional ounces have vanished.
 
I won’t have a cookie—not even a lick.
I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
 
I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
 
I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore—
But isn’t that what January is for?
 
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!
 
Author Unknown
 
Announcements and Reminders:
 
1)  Cardio Core is Tonight at Jen’s Studio!  Classes are 5:45pm to 6:30pm & 6:40pm to 7:25pm.  Please text or e-mail me to sign up!
2)  Park Fitness is Thursday at 8:30am!  Come out and join us for this fun and effective morning class!  Please text or e-mail me to sign up!
3)  Cardio Fusion is Thursday at VBC!  Class times are 5:45pm to 6:30 pm & 6:40pm to 7:25pm.  Classes run based on numbers in attendance.  Need 3 to run a class!
4)  Boot Camp is Saturday at 7:30am at VBC!
5)  6-Week Winter Fitness Challenge is starting Saturday, January 18th at 7:30am!  Mark your calendars and get ready for a shake-up! 
 
Thought for the week:  What to do with this “In-between week?”
 
It’s that time of year again – the in-between week of Christmas and New Year’s.  It’s the realization that Christmas is now over and our focus shifts to preparing for the New Year.  We are still on break, but we all know routine and our usual work schedule is right around the corner.  So, it’s time to pack away Christmas and dust and clean.  Organize those new gifts and then purge and give away those items that have seen better days.  I hope you find time to pause and reflect on 2019.  What was great about it and where did you thrive and excel?  Where did you get hung up and feel stagnant and stuck?  What are the important take-aways we can hold onto and learn from the past?  Reflection is so important, because without it, we are destined to repeat the same patterns and behaviors that tripped us up in the first place! 
 
So, how can you make this week productive and prepare yourself mentally and physically for 2020?  Here are some “Jen” thoughts I’d like to share:
 
1)  Clean the fridge.  If you have holiday leftovers in the fridge, get them out.  Take the temptation away so that every time you open the fridge, your eyes aren’t met with mashed potatoes and gravy or Brie and fancy cold cuts.  They served their purpose but now the purpose is gone!
 
2)  Clean the pantry.  You know all of those yummy, crunchy, carb and fat laden treats you serve during the holidays?  Out they go!  DO NOT leave them in the pantry.  Take them to the office or better yet, throw them away.  When you are going through January detox, you don’t want to be tempted every time you open the pantry door.  It’s not worth it.
 
3)  Oh, but those sweet treats!  Christmas cookies….sigh…these are tough to part with, but we must!  So, if you haven’t by now, please do yourself a favor and either give the rest of them away, throw them out, or freeze them for a treat later in March.  Caution:  Only freeze them if you have the willpower to leave them there for a while.  If it’s too much of a temptation, then don’t!
 
4)  Replacements!  Now that you’ve taken out the “holiday” foods, you need to add in the nutrient dense foods to start retraining your taste buds!  Go to the store and load up on veggies, greens, smart carbs, fresh berries, Kombucha, cold pressed green juice, lentils, beans, sprouted seeds from GO Raw company, and fermented foods.  Grab those boxes of green tea and herbal detox teas from Traditional Medicinals. 
Note:  I’ll be talking much more about detoxing going forward, but for now, start buying up these types of foods!
 
 
That should make for a good start this week!  Let me know how you do!  You can do this!
 
See you soon!
 
Jen