P.O.W # 14 Weight training, Gluten, Bulletproof coffee

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health

PHYSICAL: Weight Training 

Certainly, we’ve all experienced going into a packed gym, listening to a bunch of “meat heads” howling out and dropping barbells all over the place. Does this make you a tad apprehensive to start weight training? Or perhaps you’re also intimidated with all of the different kinds of machines and setup required? These are all totally understandable reasons for anxiety around weight training but don’t let that stop you from trying! The science shows that weight training not only helps get you into better shape it’s the only type of exercise known to slow or reverse all 10 biomarkers of aging! We suggest to ask a friend to be a “gym buddy”, consult a with a gym/personal trainer or do some of your own research on some easily integratabtle exercises for your next gym visit. Get off the treadmill and try it out, you will not be disappointed!

10 Anti-Aging Biomarkers

– blood lipids (mainly fatty acids and cholesterol)
– strength mass
– muscle mass
– bone density
– blood glucose control
– body composition
– cardiorespiratory fitness
– aerobic capacity
– blood pressure
– gene expression

Who wouldn’t want to jump on this anti-aging phenomena? Science has proven that the average person can add seven healthy years to their life through weight training! You can even change the hormonal and chemical levels in your body, slow down/prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain.
Strength training is also one of the most effective ways to regain insulin and leptin sensitivity while reversing insulin and leptin resistance.

Leptin: is a hormone produced in your fat cells. Its primary role is to regulate your appetite and body weight. It tells your brain when to eat, how much to eat and most importantly when to stop eating. The Leptin hormone is also responsible for speeding up or slowing down your metabolism.

Insulin: Sugars and grains raise your blood sugar. When this happens insulin is released to direct the extra energy into storage. Only a small amount is stored as a polysaccharide called glycogen, but the majority is stored as your main energy storage supply—fat. Insulin’s major role is not to lower your blood sugar but rather to store the extra energy for future times of need. Insulin’s effect of lowering your blood sugar is merely a “side effect” of this energy storage process.

Insulin resistance: Insulin resistance occurs when your body becomes resistant to the hormone insulin. Any time a cell is exposed to insulin it’s going to become more insulin resistant. If you eat too many sugars or grains it provokes insulin surges. When your body is exposed to excess insulin,  it no longer responds to it properly and becomes insulin resistant.

An article in Forbes magazine highlighted the benefits of strength training for the aging population.

“The average 30-35 year old person will experience roughly a 25 percent decline in his or her muscle strength and tone by the age of 70-75, and up to a 50 percent decline approaching the age of 90.”

We don’t need to take pharmaceutical drugs to improve our bone density or find that magic pill/cream to decrease the rate at which we age. We just need to move daily and nourish our bodies with healthy, whole foods. Pharmaceutical drugs mask our issues causing long term effects, while weight training is one of the solutions to lasting longevity and vitality!

Happy lifting!!!

 

POISON: Gluten 

Sometimes we talk about the best supplements out there for you, but the best supplements in the world can’t reverse all of the negative effects from your daily diet. If you have food sensitivities and ignore the signs, you may be feeling fatigued, inflamed, or struggle losing weight even if the supposed food is coming from organic/clean sources. We may not always show an anaphylactic response to foods we’re allergic or slightly to. One of the most common sensitivities today is of course; Gluten.

What is Gluten? 

A storage protein found in wheat, barley, rye and most oats

Problematic for people with:

-celiac disease
-gluten sensitivity

Celiac disease is the most extreme reactions to gluten and effects about 1 % of the population. It is an auto-immune disease (when the body attacks it’s own immune system/cells). The tiniest crumb of gluten can have a damaging effect on your system when you have Celiac disease. Inside the small intestine there are little hairs called “Villi” and when we have gluten (and are sensitive to it) the Villi slowly will get eroded away causing nutrients and undigested food to pass through the intestinal walls, potentially leading to leaky gut syndrome.  You can be eating a healthy diet,  but if your small intestine isn’t performing optimally you won’t absorb the nutrients you intake.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

– stomach pain
– diarrhea
– gas
– bloating

Long term Health risks:

– anemia
– infertility
– cancer
– other auto immune diseases


Testing for Celiac Disease


– blood test is about 95% accurate
– biosy to confirm
– must be eating gluten

What is gluten Sensitivity?

Gluten sensitive people are those who don’t have celiac but still show some symptoms of irritation and inflammation after consuming Gluten. These types of people also show an improvement when they take gluten out of their diet.


Gluten sensitivity often effects people with:

– irritable bowel syndrome
– neuropathy (nerve pains or numbness)
– autoimmune disease ( MS, Chrohns, Type 1 diabetes, etc)
– Inflammation

There have been studies on those with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome),  Type 1 Diabetes, Chrohns and Arthritis, that have shown improvement when gluten is taken out of their diet.


Gluten sensitivity test 

– gluten free trial for 2-3 months
–  important to test for celiac first

However, going gluten free for some is a lifelong decision, getting a concrete diagnosis can be very powerful and then it’s harder to justify cheating when there are significant long term risks involved.

The biggest question is; is a gluten-free diet healthy? Well, that all depends on what you are putting into your body. It can be extremely healthy but it could also be extremely unhealthy. 
Gluten-free foods are usually not enriched (meaning they are lacking in nutrients) and they are often higher in sugar.  So, those Gluten-free brownies aren’t a nutritious option for breakfast, sorry!

Eating gluten-free doesn’t have to be hard, you just need to eat whole, real foods! ( Unpackaged, unrefined and unprocessed) If you are eating a balanced diet then it is definitely okay to treat yourself to gluten-free treats from time to time. I mean, come on we’re all human! Just be aware of what you are putting into your body on a daily basis and read your labels.

Label reading (all of these have gluten in them)

– Wheat is labeled
– Barley (containing gluten) is found on the label under:
– malt
– malt flavouring
– malt vinegar
– beer
– brewers yeast

Cutting back on gluten basically means eating less PROCESSED foods and this is good for everybody! Whether you have celiac disease, a gluten sensitivity or nothing at all! The more whole foods, the better!

Whole food that are naturally gluten-free

– fruits
– vegetables
– nuts and seeds
– beans
– most dairy
– eggs
– fish, poultry, meat
– herbs
– rice, wild rice
– sweet potato

When I’m trying to cut back on something that isn’t benefitting me one of my favourite Philosophies to live by is to “CROWD OUT!”

You don’t need to quit everything all at once, as this may back fire on you. Instead, start by eating more whole foods, drinking more water and slowly they will start to “Crowd out” the Not-So-Good-Stuff. Take it one day at a time!

Do your own research as well and if you feel that you have some of these symptoms that I have spoken about, then go see your health care practitioner.

In the end, it’s all about feeling good!

POTION: Coffee (Bulletproof)

I don’t know about you guys but we absolutely LOVE our morning coffee! Sipping that warm cupp’a joe in the morning. Mmm absolute bliss!

Health Benefits

  • Alertness
  • Caffeine has been shown to to improve mental performance, even in low doses.
  • Mood
  • Some people say they feel happier, more energetic and sociable 
  • Boost metabolism
  • Performance

Bulletproof Coffee is coffee with two tablespoons of grass-fed butter or Ghee and a tablespoon of MCT oil ( Medium chain triglyceride oil).

The healthy fats from the grass-fed butter and Brain Octane Oil give you a stable current of energy that sustains you throughout the day.

The Brain Octane Oil (which is derived from coconut oil)  also serves to increase ketone production (Ketones are the result of the body burning fat for energy or fuel instead of carbohydrates – we will speak more about this more on another P.O.W) and boosts your metabolic rate by up to 12 %

Drink as much Bulletproof Coffee as you like in the morning.  However, we just suggest no coffee after 2:00 PM or you might not sleep!

As a Vegan option, we use Cocoa butter  or Coconut Butter instead of the grass-fed butter. You will still get a lot of healthy fats plus the brain octane keeps you going for hours.

If you are not a coffee lover or looking to go caffeine-free like the two of us then here are some recipes to help give you a morning or mid afternoon kick!

Vanilla Rooibos Tea

Ingredients

  • Rooibos tea – 2 table spoons of loose tea or 2 bags
  • Half a teaspoon Vanilla extract ( or use vanilla flavoured rooibos)
  • 1/4 cup Full fat ( min 60%) Coconut milk or 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter or Almond Milk
  • 1 teasp -1 tblsp of MCT or Coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia or Vanilla Flavoured Stevia Drops ( 5 drops )
  • 1 tablespoon Grass-fed Collegen powder ( optional )

Instructions

  1. Brew and steep your tea for about 5 min
  2. In a blender combine all ingredients and pulse until mixed!

You can use any tea you like for this (Chai, Matcha Green tea)

Turmeric Latte

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh turmeric root, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root (or 1 teaspoon ground)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil Raw honey or sweetener of choice to taste
  • Pinch of black pepper (optional)Instructions

Instructions

  • Gently warm a cup of almond or coconut milk in a small saucepan.
  • Do not boil.
  • Add turmeric, ginger and cinnamon
  • Combine the coconut oil with the mixture
  • Gently heat together until melted.

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

 

P.O.W week # 4 Sunshine, Walking and Attraction”

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”

 

POTION: Light 

“The idea that light is a potent healer has been hidden in plain sight for thousands of years”

All life forms ultimately derive their energy from the sun. Sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis (the process of which plants convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose for energy.) Even organisms that do not conduct photosynthesis get their energy from eating plants or from eating other animals that do so. Ultimately, all growth in the planet depends on the sun.

Vitamin D is vital for so many things like a strong immune system, glowing skin, weight loss and increased energy. It also aids in the prevention of osteoporosis, many types of cancers, depression and diabetes. It has been linked to the very reason we get sick easier in the winter because we’re lacking in this essential vitamin. Many experts and specialists recommend supplementing up to 1000IU per 25lbs (11.3Kg) of body weight everyday!

Here are some articles to help guide you in finding out if you are vitamin D deficient

BulletProof Vitamin D

Vitamin D: So Much More than the Sunshine Vitamin

PHYSICAL: Walking

I’ve been doing a lot of walking lately, it all started when I got my boyfriend a Fitbit and we began challenging one another on who could get more steps. So, every chance I got I would hop on the treadmill ( I know, it sounds a little crazy!)

I forgot how amazing walking made me feel. The first 10 minutes are the toughest part but once you get going the time seems to fly by. Initially I would do 20 minutes and then I started to increase my time.

Here are some of the amazing benefits of walking

Strengthens your heart

Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. It’s great cardio exercise, lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. The Stroke Association says that a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes, reducing the risk by up to 27 percent. Numerous studies show that a sedentary lifestyle is a significant risk factor not only for heart disease but also for cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative illness. 10,000 steps per day here we come!

Trims you down

Make walking part of your daily routine and you will shed the weight in no time. Watch your speed so you know that you are not slowing down. Increase the incline (or hike a steep hill)  your booty and legs will thank you for it!

Walking makes you happy! 

Exercise releases endorphins therefore, boosting your mood. Studies show that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants (in mild to moderate cases of depression) Next time you’re angry or feeling down, walk it off!

PONDERING: Can beliefs shape outcomes? ” The Law Of Attraction” 

“The mind is everything, what you think, you become”-Buddha

Well, this all depends, do you have a “fixed mindset” or a “growth mindset”

If you have a fixed mindset you will always stay content with exactly where you are but if you have a growth mindset you know that simply believing change is possible, makes change possible.

If we apply this in our minds we will find both success and happiness

Start imagining your life the way you want it. Create a picture in your mind and think about that picture all day long. BELIEVE in it.

Yes, you will encounter obstacles but don’t them discourage you. If you hold your picture of the life you want consistently in your mind, you WILL create that life.

Keep at it! You’ve got this.

 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

 

P. O.W week #3 Metabolism, Push-ups and Coffee

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”

 

POTIONS: Iodine

Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function and metabolism. Your thyroid is a major factor in regulating your metabolism, and if your Iodine levels are low, you run the risk of having an underactive thyroid, and therefore a sluggish metabolism. Get your Iodine levels to a good place and you could see an increase in your metabolic rate. It also enhances immune function and prevents brain damage.  Iodine deficiency is widespread, so supplementation is wise**. Physically active people are at especially high risk for deficiency because you lose iodine through sweat. You can get some iodine from seafood, but unless you’re eating it with every meal, you probably won’t get enough.

Dose: 150 mcg to 1000 mcg (1 mg) / day

We use this brand by Trophic

**It’s always best to get your levels checked before assuming supplementation is needed

 

PHYSICAL: Push Ups

A classic, fundamental exercise movement that targets the whole body! You can do them absolutely anywhere, anytime and at any fitness level. The variations are endless and so are the benefits. Wide arms target more chest and shoulders while a closer stance targets your triceps. Check out this tricep/plank variation in our how to video below! This will have you doing full push ups in no time!

Push up

PODCAST: Dr. Bubbs Performance Podcast

Dr.Bubbs is a Canadian Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in enhancing athletic performance. He is the Sport Nutrition Lead for the Canadian Men’s National Basketball Team and Strength Coach. He was introduced to us by fellow fitness enthusiast and health/fitness blogger @Ulitmategrityyz 

This week we’re loving this episode of Dr. Bubbs Podcast as he and Nanci Guest discuss the effects of caffeine consumption, how it differs depending on your genetic make up and how it could benefit ( or inhibit ) your athletic performance. We’re also loving the “lay up” note he includes in the Podcast show notes. This episode features;

“Lay-Ups” in This Episode (quick, simple, actionable items)

1) Drink no more than 2 cups of coffee per day, before noon, to reduce your risk of CVD.

2) 50% of people are slow “caffeine metabolizers”, meaning caffeine levels in the body take 8-10 hours to drop by half. Slow metabolizers may not feel “stimulated” but the caffeine is still blocking the “calming” effect in their body.

3) For the general public, coffee before training is all you need (save your money on “pre-workout” caffeine supplements).

Caffeine “Performance Hacks” from This Episode

1) The most effective dose of caffeine is 3-4mg/kg bodyweight (there’s no additional benefit once dose is greater than 5mg/kg).

2) 10% of population are “ultra-slow” metabolizers and will have WORSE performance when they consume caffeine before training.

3) The more elite the athlete, anhydrous (i.e. supplemental) caffeine is ideal because the caffeine concentration in coffee is highly variable.

 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

 

Check back weekly for more!

 

xx

Amanda and Brit