In order to keep things simple, I have secured the website www.pjfit.com for my main blogging site. Please check there for new blogs and updates from now on. I may update this one occasionally as well, but pjfit.com will be my most current site.
You can also follow me on Twitter through "xgym" or "xgymbl". I will be Tweating often with tips and tricks for fast fitness and fat loss so check it out!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
As you may already know, I spend at least 10 hours a week exploring the latest research in nutrition and fitness, and as a result, I stumble across many interesting studies. Here are some I found lately.
DRINKING SODA MAY RESULT IN KIDNEY DAMAGE
Scientists suspect that the high fructose corn syrup found in soda may be the culprit in a recent study finding that women who consumed the most soda -- a marker for intake of high fructose corn syrup -- had an 86% increased risk of albuminuria, a sensitive marker for early kidney disease. [Shoham D, et al "Sugary soda consumption and albuminuria: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004" PLoS ONE 2008; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003431.]
New evidence has also exposed the fact that HFCS now contains high levels of mercury. Yet another reason to go organic! If this isn't bad enough, soda also has been scientifically linked to weight gain, liver damage, tooth decay, kidney stones, kidney disease, diabetes, heart burn, acid reflux, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, and digestive issue to name just a few.
YOU MAY BE EATING CLONED MEAT AND DON'T EVEN KNOW IT
Dr. Sears' recent newsletter pointed out that the FDA doesn't require labeling of cloned meat, and cloning is becoming more common every day! Cloned cows and other animals often die young, suffer birth defects, and commonly need antibiotics.
The Center for Food Safety says that as many as 50% of cow clones have what’s called “Large Offspring Syndrome.” Symptoms include unusually high birth weight that endangers the mother, and a long list of organ and systemic abnormalities, including heart problems and immature lung development.
What’s even more worrisome is that the nation’s major cattle cloning companies admit that they have already lost track of how many offspring of clones have entered the food supply!
The whole idea of cloned meat is frightening if you ask me. That’s another reason why I choose grass-fed beef. It's healthy and nutritious with no hidden food safety issues. It’s also hormone-free, antibiotic-free, has no preservatives, and has a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats. I get mine from through www.spud.com.
1. Wells DN. 2005. Animal cloning: problems and prospects. Rev Sci Tech 24: 251-264
2. Center for Food Safety. Not Ready For Prime Time – FDA’s Flawed Approach To Assessing The Safety of Food From Animal Clones, 3/07
3. Geir Tveit & Peter Sandøe, “The Science and Technology of Farm Animal Cloning: A review of the state of the art of the science, the technology, the problems and the possibilities.” Danish Centre for Bioethics and Risk Assessment, p. 24, 2005.
4. National Academy of Sciences. Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods: Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects. p. 222-228, 2004
5. Walsh MK, Lucey JA, Govindasamy-Lucey S, Pace MM, and MD Bishop. 2003. Comparison of milk produced by cows cloned by nuclear transfer with milk from non-cloned cows. Cloning Stem Cells 5: 213-219
SPLENDA'S LITTLE YELLOW PACKET SHOULD CARRY A BIG RED WARNING LABEL
Many of you who know me have heard me talk about the evils of Splenda (Sucralose), but recent research has found that in addition to all the side effects I have previously discussed, Splenda also reduces the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50 percent, increases the pH level in the intestines, and contributes to increases in body weight. [Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 2008;71(21):1415-29]
Stick with Stevia for your sweetener needs! Truvia is another sweetener that came to the market recently and is also all-natural, so now you have two choices!
EGGS OR GREEK YOGURT CAN WAKE YOU UP IN THE MORNING
Eggs and Greek yogurt both contain high amounts of Tyrosine which helps make the wake-up brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. This can be your new breakfast of champions and may even help you quit coffee if you are trying. Because both of these foods are also killer fat burners, this breakfast will make you leaner too!
Be sure to use organic eggs, and get your Greek yogurt from Trader Joe's - or another brand with a comparable macro nutrient ratio, because brands vary widely and it is important to get the kind that lists protein as the largest number on the nutrition facts.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
If I told you about a spice that could aid your digestion in a way that would help you burn more fat, would you start to incorporate it in your recipes? How about if I told you that it also does the following things:
* Reduces gas and bloating
* Assists in the digestion of protein
* Improves your body's ability to digest fats instead of store them
* Promotes proper metabolism
* Maintains and improves intestinal flora
* Improves elimination of wastes and toxins
* Rejuvenates your liver cells and recharges their capability to break down toxins
* Helps to prevent alcohol and other toxins from being converted into compounds that may be harmful to your liver
* Supports formation of healthy tissue
* Stimulates formation of new blood tissue
* Is a powerful anti-inflammatory
* Contains powerful antioxidant properties
* Counteracts the damaging effects of free radicals in your body
* Relieves arthritis pain and stiffness
* Is an anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) and can even inhibit tumor initiation, promotion, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis.
* Supports treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
* Inhibits the toxicity of cancer-causing chemicals in the environment
* Inhibits radiation-induced chromosome damage
* Prevents the formation of harmful heterocyclic amines and nitroso compounds, which may result in the body when eating certain processed foods, such as processed meat products
* Irreversibly inhibits the multiplication of leukemia cells in a cell culture
* Is helpful in treating cystic fibrosis, type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, cataracts, gallstones, and irritable bowel syndrome
How about now? Would you eat it? I would, and in fact, I do include it in almost every recipe I cook. It's called turmeric, and is very easy to come by. Some don't like the taste however, and others get annoyed that it stains everything it comes in contact with, but these minor drawbacks can be circumvented by taking turmeric as a supplement. Find a good pure organic source at your supplement store and start today! It has all of the benefits without any side effects, so why not?
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources, “Curcumin at M.D. Anderson” (accessed January 22, 2009)
Biochemical Pharmacology, Volume 70, Issue 5, 1 September 2005, Pages 700-713
Monday, February 2, 2009
So many people have asked me what to eat to flush fat fast, I decided to make it a blog post. I put together a sample 5 day menu below. Keep in mind that you must visit the X Gym recipe page for most of these recommendations at http://www.xgym.com/hardbodcafe.htm.
The recipes (in quotes) on this page are quite miraculous because they are "negative fat recipes" meaning the more you eat, the more fat you burn off your body!
Suggestions and notes:
1.)Meats should be organic, free range, grass fed, and/or wild whenever possible.
2.)Drink 3-4 quarts of water (and spread it evenly throughout the day).
3.)To reduce cooking requirements, you can repeat certain days or meals instead of something different every day as listed. Mixing and matching recipes with other days is OK too!
4.)These recommendations should of course be cleared with your doctor to insure there are no conflicts with allergies, medications, intolerances, health concerns specific to you, etc.
Breakfast: "PJoe’s Special"
Morning Snack: Organic beef jerky (PCC)
Lunch: "Chuck’s Texas Meat Balls" with Yummy Tummy Ketchup
Afternoon Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs
Dinner: "Jenn Hendershott’s Turkey Meatloaf"
Evening Snack: "Cottage Dessert"
Breakfast: "Fat Furnace Frittata"
Morning Snack: Pre-chopped veggies dipped in “Follow Your Heart”
lowfat ranch dressing (PCC)
Lunch: "Harley’s Shredded Veggie Bonanza"
Afternoon Snack: Organic string cheese
Dinner: "Fiberilla Burritos"
Evening Snack: Safeway “Organics” sliced turkey breast and “Organics” sliced cheese (rolled together)
Breakfast: "PJ’s Easy protein shake"
Morning Snack: "Wilster’s Mock Smashed Potatoes"
Lunch: "Sony Mac’s Turkey Stew"
Afternoon Snack: Organic green salad with meat, cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette
Dinner: "Blackjack’s Chicken Frittatas"
Evening Snack: "Trilster’s Blender Bisque"
Breakfast: "Blueberry Smoothie"
Morning Snack: Valencia Peanuts (up to ½ cup)
Lunch: "Guilt Free Sandwich"
Afternoon Snack: Celery Sticks with PB2 peanut butter
Dinner: "Julio’s Taco Salad"
Evening Snack: "Broiled Broccoli"
Breakfast: "Yummy Tummy Yogurt"
Morning Snack: Organic beef jerky (PCC)
Lunch: "Crock Pot Delight"
Afternoon Snack: Pure Fit Bar (Belltown X Gym, PCC or www.purefit.com)
Dinner: "Spicy Peanut Bake"
Evening Snack: "Cottage Dessert"
Sunday, February 1, 2009
MORE VALIDATION FOR SHORT AND INTENSE EXERCISE:
British researchers have shown that rigorous workouts lasting as little as three minutes may help prevent diabetes by helping control blood sugar.
"You can make just as big as an effect doing this as you can by doing hours and hours of endurance training each week" said James Timmons, an exercise biologist at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, who led the study.
Timmons and his team showed that just seven minutes of exercise each week helped a group of 16 men in their early twenties control their insulin.
The volunteers, who were relatively out of shape but otherwise healthy, rode an exercise bike four times daily in 30 second spurts two days a week.
After two weeks, the young men had a 23 percent improvement in how effectively their body used insulin to clear glucose, or blood sugar, from the blood stream, Timmons said.
"The simple idea is if you are doing tense muscle contractions during sprints or exercise on a bike you really enhance insulin's ability to clear glucose out of the bloodstream," Timmons said.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL PROVES THE EVILS OF SUGAR
For the past ten years, Principal Yvonne Sanders-Butler, has required students at Browns Mill Elementary in Lithonia to participate in daily physical exercise and eat healthy foods. Her school enforces a strict ban on sugar.
According to Butler, standardized test scores increased 15 percent at the school within the first year of the program. She said discipline problems decreased by 23 percent. Student health has improved and obesity at the school has been virtually eliminated.
BPA STAYS IN THE BODY LONGER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
Dr. Richard Stahlhut of the University of Rochester and colleagues looked at levels of BPA (the chemical found in many plastic products) in over 1,000 U.S. adults who took part in a government health survey.
While the belief had been BPA was quickly and completely eliminated from the body through urine, this study found people who had fasted for even a whole day still retained significant levels of the chemical.
Stahlhut said this suggested BPA may hang around in the body longer than previously known or that it may get into the body through sources other than just food, perhaps including tap water or house dust. Stahlhut added that BPA may get into fat tissue, from where it might be released more slowly.
FAST FOOD NEGATES SOME IMPORTANT BENEFITS OF BREAST FEEDING
While breastfeeding seems to reduce the risk of a child developing asthma, eating fast food once or twice a week reverses the gains, according to a study of 700 Canadian children by the University of Alberta, published in Clinical and Experimental Allergy.
GINGER SHOW TO REDUCE KNEE PAIN FROM ARTHRITIS
Along with its inflammation-cooling properties to reduce arthritis pain, ginger may have anticancer powers, too. And the ginger ale your grandma served you when your stomach was upset? There’s science behind that as well. Ginger is a well-known nausea reliever. [Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Altman, R. D., Marcussen K. C., Arthritis and Rheumatism 2001 Nov;44(11):2531-2538]
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Lots of interesting studies have come out recently, and some are particularly applicable to the stuff I'm always talking about! Broccoli for instance, as many of you know, is my favorite superfood. It is the most intense "negative fat food" (meaning the more you eat, the leaner you get), it is the most nutrient dense and micro nutrient balanced food on the planet, and it is relatively cheap.
I also talk about its effects on fighting illness, disease, and even cancer! I have been affirmed once again in this claim by scientists in this month's Journal of Carcinogenesis. Dr. Wilson and Dr. Jordan found a compound called "isothiocyanates" that contain a compound called "sulforaphane" which targets and attacks cancer cells with more aggression than any drug available. Broccoli has the highest amount of these compounds. Hail broccoli!
Researchers found that people who eat rapidly are three times more likely to be overweight than those who take their time at meals (like the Europeans do). This is one of the reasons Americans are so overweight when compared to other countries. [Maruyama, K. et al., BMJ 2008 Oct 21;337:a2002.]
Rapid eating is often an established pattern that can be difficult to break. The best way to break this pattern is to change your surroundings. If you normally eat while watching TV, make sure it is off and sit at the table with no distractions. You can also change your posture to cut your consumption. Make sure you are sitting up straight and you will be surprised at how the increased attentiveness will make you feel fuller sooner and slow you down as well!
The March issue of Alternative Medicine Review confirmed that taking a vitamin D3 supplement significantly reduces mortality from all causes. This strong statement puts an exclamation point to the necessity of keeping your levels high - especially during the winter months for those in northern latitudes who can't get enough sunshine for their skin to produce adequate amounts.
Vitamin C has been found to protect against age-related wrinkles and even reverse them! Guess what food has even more vitamin C than any fruit? Yep, good old broccoli! Chock another one up for my fav! [Cosgrove, M. C., Franco, O. H., Granger, S. P., Murray, P. G., Mayes, A. E., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007 Oct;86(4):1225-1231.]
A recent article by Dr. Al Sears pointed out that Vitamin K has been overlooked by medicine for a hundred years. This neglected vitamin may have the power to prevent heart disease and eliminate the pain from stiff, swollen joints. All these years doctors thought it was only good as a blood thickener, but a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that it fights inflammation.1
Inflammation wreaks havoc throughout your body. It’s a direct cause of heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, even Alzheimer’s. Vitamin K can help prevent—and sometimes even reverse—many of these conditions.
A study from the Journal of Nutrition linked dietary intake of vitamin K to reduced risk of coronary heart disease.2 The study also found vitamin K reduces the calcification of your arteries. That’s the damage that occurs when calcium deposits harden and build up.
Specifically, vitamin K lowers inflammation by reducing levels of Interleukin-6 (IL-6). When you age, your IL-6 levels increase naturally. This increased level creates significant amounts of inflammation in your body.
IL-6 is one of the main culprits behind Alzheimer’s and arthritis. One study found those with high levels of IL-6 had a 200% greater risk of developing a disability such as arthritis.3
Vitamin K also prevents brittle bones and teeth. It helps a Gla protein known as osteocalcin regulate calcium. Without vitamin K, osteocalcins become “undercarboxylated,” meaning they can’t hold on to the calcium. As a result, the calcium in your body leaves your bones and teeth, making them weak and porous.4 It’s so effective; doctors in Japan use vitamin K to treat osteoporosis.5
What’s more, vitamin K is an amazing anti-oxidant. It destroys free radicals floating in your body at a level on par with CoQ10 and Vitamin E.6
Guess what food has ultra - high levels of vitamin K? Yep, chock up yet another one for broccoli!
1.Shea, K, Et al., “Vitamin K and Vitamin D Status: Associations with Inflammatory Markers in the Framingham Offspring Study” American Journal of Epidemiology 2008 167(3):313-320
2. Geleijnse JM, Vermeer C, Grobbee DE, et al. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J Nutr. Nov 2004;134(11):3100-3105.
3. Ferrucci L, et al. 1999. Serum IL-6 level and the development of disability in older persons. J Am Geriatr Soc 47:639-46.
4. Knapen MHK, et al. 1989. The effect of vitamin K supplementation on circulating osteocalcin (bone Gla protein) and urinary calcium excretion. Ann Internal Med 111:1001-5.
5. Sugiyama, T, “Possible Involvements of Vitamin K in Bone Quality,” Editor’s Correspondence, Archives of Internal Medicine Vol 167 Number 1 January 2008
6. Vitamin K Report, Life Extension Magazine, February 2000, www.lef.org..
For a great broccoli recipe click this link and scroll halfway down the page to "Broiled Broccoli": http://www.xgym.com/hardbodcafe.htm
Friday, January 16, 2009
The fundamental reason people struggle with weight loss and fitness is that they are fighting against their own identity. The strongest force in the human psyche is our need for our own identity to match up with our actions. If our identity is one of a fat person, we will stay that way or rebound back to it when we do lose weight.
Breaking out of your struggle pattern requires re-writing your identity. This means re-programming your subconscious. Because your identity is located in your subconscious, many people don't even know what their identity is.
Some people even have conflicting identities between their conscious and subconscious minds. This can be observed when someone is surprised by how fat they look in the mirror or in pictures. They say to themselves, "Wow, I'm not that fat" or, "Cameras sure do add extra weight."
It really doesn't matter what your conscious mind thinks you are like. Your subconscious mind always wins. Whatever picture you have stored in your subconscious will be the one that is controlling both your conscious and unconscious actions to make sure you are that way on the outside.
The key to permanent change is to reprogram your subconscious picture of yourself or your "mind's eye". There are a handful of techniques I use when counseling clients on this, but one of the most effective and easiest to implement is through the use of verbal proclamations.
I write customized proclamations for my clients based on their three highest human needs which I score according to a list of questions I ask them, but some general proclamations are listed below. You will find some that work better than others based on your personality, so stick with the ones that elicit the most emotion for you.
When you are saying your proclamations, make sure you are feeling them with the highest emotional intensity possible. Be emphatic and repeat them over emphasizing a different word each time. They will cause the proclamation to have a different meaning every time you say it.
Stand/sit up straight with perfect posture, keep your chin high, and speak forcefully. Pick a convenient time and place. I do mine in the shower or in the car at least twice a day.
My main proclamation is "Every day and in every way I am getting stronger and wiser." I say this a minimum of 12 times because I emphasize a different word each time.
Making yourself do this exercise every day regardless of whether you feel like it or not is the true key to making it work. Remember that commitment is the difference between "can do" and "will do." Anyone can talk about what they can do, but what you will do is the only thing that counts toward reprogramming your subconscious.
Here are some proclamation examples:
"I choose to be fit because I deserve it."
"I know I have that within me to achieve success."
"I command my subconscious to produce only thoughts that empower my goals."
"All the tools I need are already within me."
"I choose healthy foods because I choose a healthy life."
Let these move you emotionally, and they will speak to your subconscious. As your subconscious hears these repeat messages, it will believe them and implement them. Then making the right choices comes naturally and effortlessly because there is no more struggle!