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 # 13 Acro Yoga, Activated Charcoal, Cacao Ceremonies

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health

PHYSICAL: Acro Yoga 

This Past week Brit and I taught our beloved PULSE PUMP PRANA workout in Negril, Jamaica at the TMRW TDAY Culture fest. It was an amazing week filled with yoga, fitness, meditation, health talks, music, dancing, food and beautiful Jamaican sunshine. One of our highlights was learning Acro Yoga from The Acro Buddahs (Miranda and Ryan from Toronto). Not surprisingly, Arco Yoga combines acrobatics and yoga. Brit and I both had our significant others accompany us on the trip which was something we all looked forward to. After our first session with the Acro Buddhas, we were hooked and continued our practice on the beach each day. We learned a lot from helping each other as couples while spotting and were pushed to take our trust as partners to a new level. The “Base” (the person on the bottom) has to keep the “Flyer” in alignment and feeling safe. Sometimes we get turned around, up side down and maneuvered all over so it’s immensely important to keep communication up all the times. If not.. you may fall but we sometimes need to fall to find our boundaries and limitations. The frustration that comes along with many failed attempts can have you and your partner feeling impatient and annoyed (so hilarious looking at the bickering in some of our video footage!) However, when you achieve a flow with your partner it feels so incredible and harmonious, as if you’re talking through your bodies on another plane. The sense of accomplishment as a couple is extremely rewarding.  You feel you can achieve anything together.  You learn how to communicate better, without playing the blame game since this practice is never solely one persons issue/fault alone.

Miranda and Ryan were fantastic teachers and their passion for teaching this practice together and spreading the knowledge they have to others was clear. Even on their “off time” they were helping us out and teaching us more! One thing we will for sure take from this practice as a couple (among many, many other take-aways ) is a question Miranda and Ryan advised us to ask our partner during our practice which was “What Can I Give You?” What a powerful question. It diverts your potential frustration and veers one away from saying “you’re not doing this, you’re not doing that” or  “I need this, I feel that”  to “How Can I make this better/easier for you?” If both partners ask and respond to this question you make so much progress. Understanding that we both need different things to be successful but also need each others support 100% . These are not just Acro Yoga lessons, these are relationship and life lessons! The bonding, trust, communication and exhilaration all wrapped up into one beautiful and present yoga practice. Together as one. They say Yoga comes from the word “Unity” and I think this yoga practice unifies a couple together more than anything I’ve seen.

Thank you Acro Buddha’s!

 They will be having a Acro Yoga Work shops on the following dates at:

LULULEMON – THE ATTIC
318 Queen Street West, Toronto

May 25th 5:30pm – 7:00pm
June 24th 12:30pm – 2:30pm
June25th 11:00am – 2:00pm

and join them at the EMERGE FESTIVAL in Laurentian Valley, Ontario from

Friendship and trust bonding exercise
 Miranda and Ryan teaching
Miranda and Ryan shooting with the sunset
Our daily practice!

POTIONS: Activated Charcoal

Also, while in Jamaica we had the pleasure of listening to a few talks held by David Wolfe. David is nutritionist from a family of medical doctors who focuses on super foods, raw foods and the worlds most powerful supplements coming from nature. He gives many talks at events, retreats, expos and schools around the world. He was also a guest lecturer during our studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) , where brit and I studied in 2014.  One key take-away from David was that Activated Charcoal is likely the most important supplement there is and should be taken daily!

 

Dr.Axe writes “Activated charcoal is a potent natural treatment used to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them. It’s made from a variety of sources, but when used for natural healing, it’s important to select activated charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural sources.

One of the most popular activated charcoal uses is for the safe and effective treatment of poisoning and drug overdoses. It’s used in emergency trauma centres across the world. In addition, it’s used to reduce bloating and gas, lower cholesterol, treat bile flow problems safely during pregnancy, and even prevent hangovers.” Read more 

We like to make a charcoal lemonade after or in-between alcoholic drinks, when we have stomach/digestive issues (cheat weekend anyone?) or when we feel we need more detoxification due to walking or biking around in a big, air-polluted city ( still love you Toronto!). We also like making a mask or peel with charcoal.  Mix with bentonite clay for a mask or gelatin for a peel to pull out toxins and impurities from the skin!

Charcoal lemonade recipe:

Serves 2

  1. 2 lemons squeezed
  2. 2 cups of filtered water or chilled black/green or rooibos tea
  3. 2 tea spoons of activated coconut charcoal
  4. 2 table spoons of sweetener = honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar. If using stevia just 1 teaspoon since it’s hyper sweet! 🙂
  5. Pinch of himalayan salt
  6. Blend and enjoy!

 

POSTIVE THOUGHT: Setting Intentions 

Another event we attended at TMRW TDAY was a Cacao Ceremony. If you’ve never heard of one of these, listen up! It includes loads of hot chocolate, great music and friendly vibes.. Need we say more? Not to mention setting an intention with each sip or bite of the wondrous cultivated bean.

An article by the-numinous.com writes :

WHAT IS A CACAO CEREMONY, AND WHEN DO PEOPLE SEEK THIS MEDICINE OUT? 
“A cacao ceremony is an opportunity to connect to yourself and open your heart. Because of cacao’s ability to increase your connection to your inner self and your heart chakra, it aids in any transformational shift you are working towards, whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of who you are, release old patterns and traumas, or move into a more self-confident space. Whatever your path, the intention is yours to set, and the cacao allows you to the insight and awareness to move towards that goal.”

CACAO IS ASSOCIATED WITH UNIVERSAL LOVE – WHY IS THIS? IS THIS WHY WE GIFT CHOCOLATE TO OUR LOVERS?
Due to certain active ingredients that help release ‘feel good’ emotions, cacao is considered a heart opener. Creating feelings of emotional intimacy and pleasure, it has long been considered a luxurious delicacy, especially with the addition of sugar and spices to suit modern palates. Without realizing, we still get to enjoy a small fraction of it’s potential when we eat cacao in a regular chocolate bar. And yes, this is why it has become associated with romantic gestures and pleasurable indulgence! ” Read more here!

 As we sat and learned a bit about the history of the cacao plant, cacao fruits and the bean, we drank a delicious mix of raw cacao, coconut milk. lucuma ( a natural sweetener) and sea salt. We then set our intentions for the night, for the week or even the year. Eating or drinking cacao has some energizing effects so these ceremonies are done without any alcohol or stimulants involved, but you’d be surprised how much fun you can still have without them which is in it’s self, another powerful lesson. After, we danced to live music, watched a beautiful performance by the Acro Buddahs and laughed with old and new friends.  
We don’t know about you but we freaking love chocolate.. and the darker, the better.  The darker you eat, the more minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, healthy fats and less sugar it will contain. We started at 50 0r 60% then worked our way up and now that seems too sweet! Brit and I are big fans of 90% Swiss chocolate and sometimes we dip them in nut butters for the most delectable snack. Now we’ll surely set an intention each time we have our beloved chocolate, which by the way is already a daily ritual! 
Ways to add more cacao love into your life:
  • Add 100% Cacao powder to your morning coffees for a homemade mocha
  • Sprinkle Cacao Nibs ( crushed cocoa beans) on to your yogurt/ smoothie bowls
  • Make energy balls or or trail mix with nuts and cut up dark chocolate/nibs
or make this 1 min mug cake!
Serves 1
  1. Using one standard coffee mug:
  2. Melt 2 pieces of dark chocolate (20 grams) or 1 table spoon of cacao 
  3. add 1 table spoon of butter or coconut oil
  4. 1 table spoon of maple syrup
  5. 1 table spoon of nut butter 
  6. mix that well 
  7. add 1 egg
  8. stir well 
  9. then Microwave for 1 min 20 seconds
  10. Set your intentions and enjoy! 

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 #6 Yin yoga, Algae and Wayne Dyer

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”


PHYSICAL: Yin Yoga 

Yin Yoga is great for all levels. A perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga (hatha, vinyasa)  that emphasize internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles. Yin Yoga generally targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.

When practicing yin yoga we have the opportunity to tap into our parasympathetic nervous system (our rest and digest system) through pranayama (breathing) A slow, deep, even breath will create a relaxed nervous system, allowing for a calm mind

Initially this style of yoga may seem boring, passive, or soft but yin practice can actually be quite challenging due to the long duration of the poses. We can remain in the postures anywhere from one to twenty minutes! However 3-4 minutes is the go to hold times in most classes, unless you are extremely advanced.

You need to experience yin yoga for yourself to truly see what it is all about.

Namaste 

POTIONS Algae

Benefits of Chlorella

Chlorella is one of the most ancient food plants known on earth. Chlorella floats on the water’s surface soaking up sunshine and converting it into green energy power cells all day long.

Chlorella contains the highest concentration of chlorophyll (a potent green pigment) of any plant on earth.

Chlorella intake has a positive effect on blood cholesterol, blood sugar, appetite control and also has the power to remove toxins from the body.

Benefits of Spirulina

Spirulina is another ancient superfood plant containing an impressive 70% protein content!

Spirulina is also a natural source of minerals, including iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Spirulina contains high levels of B12 and plant-based protein, making it especially perfect for vegetarian and vegan diets.

Spirulina intake reduces blood cholesterol and inflammation.

Spirulina also removes accumulated toxins in the body.

PERSON: Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer has been someone Ive looked up to for years now. Reading his books on self improvement have motivated and inspired and I hope they can do the same for you!

“My purpose is to help people look at themselves and begin to shift their concepts,” he said. “Remember, we are not our country, our race, or religion. We are eternal spirits. Seeing ourselves as spiritual beings without label is a way to transform the world and reach a sacred place for all of humanity.”

Dyer was affectionately called the “father of motivation” by his fans.

His main message was “that every person has the potential to live an extraordinary life. What’s more, it’s possible for every person to manifest their deepest desires—if they honour their inner divinity and consciously choose to live from their “Highest Self.”

How are your going to live your most extraordinary life?

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

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit