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 # 9 (Power, Passion, Purpose)

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health!

Greetings Leaders and Healers from around this beautiful planet,
My name is Anthony Cheam and I am so honoured to write a blog post for a dear friend and colleague of mine, Brit Mcquarrie.
To go along with the theme of Brit and Amandas “3 P’s” I am going to share something from my upcoming book, soon to be released in the summer, YOU 2.0. The basis of YOU 2.0 teaches a multi-dimensional approach to upgrading human software and hardware – mind, body and spirit. The YOU 2.0 system upgrade is powered by what I call the P³ Performance System – Claim Your POWER, Clarify Your PURPOSE, Cultivate Your PASSION!
POWER – Claim Your POWER!
The easiest, most effective and fastest way to claim your power is to utilize the power of your physiology. Your body consists of one hundred trillion cells all working in total harmony with one another and you don’t have to consciously get involved in any of it. Imagine if you could utilize the gift of all that power. Well…you can!
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is what I call power breathing. Power breathing is simply deep diaphragmatic breathing where you engage and turn on your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for disposing of any garbage that is lurking around in your body. The problem is that the lymphatic system needs to be activated by deep diaphragmatic breathing. How often are you deeply breathing throughout your day? Unless you exercise at high intensities you are not activating your lymphatic system regularly, therefore, toxins may be slowly taking over your body. The more toxins and pollutants the less energy and power you will have. The more you cleanse your body through high intense exercise or power breathing the greater your lymphatic system will dispose of unwanted material.
How do you do this? Easy. Close your eyes. Stand up. Spread your legs and stand tall with your shoulders back.Take a deep breath in through your nose. Make sure you can hear the air going in. When you can no longer take in any more air immediately breathe out through your mouth. Again, make sure you can hear the out-breath. Do this at least 5x. Once you have a rhythm, increase the speed of your in-breath and out-breath until you are almost hyper-ventilating. Keep your eyes closed while you do this so you don’t feel too light-headed. This should only take 30-60 seconds. You won’t believe how great you will feel.
Do this at least twice a day or anytime you need a charge. It’s a great substitute for coffee or caffeine stimulants.
Claim your power!
PASSION – Clarify Your PURPOSE!
One of the best ways to clarify your purpose or reason or “why” for living or being on this planet is to start by “not-making-it-about-you,” but rather, making it about something bigger than you. And, that means helping others, serving the greater good, contributing your gifts, talents and capacities to make a difference in the world. Wherever you are and whomever you are, you have been blessed with life. I heard once, “God’s gift to you was ‘life.’ What you do with your life is your gift to God.” 
Make sure your reasons or purpose for life is about service. I know life can get tough, tragic and hard. But, it’s not the wounds of life that define you, but what you do with yours wounds. Some of the most beautiful things have been created and discovered out of major failures, disappointments and seemingly impossible odds. Is it not through pressure and extreme heat that a diamond is formed? Is it not through torrential storms and wind that a tree gets firmer and its roots go deeper? Is it not through struggle and pain that a human is strengthened and his or her character revealed and sculpted?
There is a Chinese proverb that states, “A diamond cannot be polished without friction nor man perfected without trials.”
Make your purpose greater than any circumstance or suffering in your life.
Clarify your purpose!
PURPOSE – Cultivate Your PASSION!
Cultivate your passion simply means doing what you love. I remember hearing a study that concluded that a whopping 80% of people hate their job.
Here’s something to ponder: Do more of what you love, less of what you tolerate, and none of what you hate.
What do you truly love to do? Are you doing what you are passionate about in life? Is there something that you have always wanted to do but have kicked it to the curb because of distractions or life circumstance?
One of my original mentors told me this: “Doing what you love not only brings more years to your life, but more life to your years.”
Life is too short to be doing the things you hate. There is one thing to be working three jobs to support your four children even though you may hate your job. Yes, those circumstances do certainly exist, and I honour and applaud your courage if you are doing this. However, even these unique and powerful individuals know that at some level they are doing this because the purpose of doing it is to put food on the table and provide a roof over their loved ones heads, and that in itself gives them meaning and a sense of love and gratitude for their job.
If you are doing something because you believe you are forced to, then, at the very least, bring more love to what you do. Don’t wait for things to bring you more joy and love, be the source of more joy and love that you bring to the things in your life. That’s the fundamental shift that makes the difference.
If that doesn’t help, then be bold, make the decision to leave and live life on your terms, according to the music that your heart hears. Go ahead, march to your own drum beat.
If it’s a book that your heart is telling you to write, then write it; if it means adopting a child from Africa, then pursue it. Whatever it is, listen to your intuition and the whispers of your heart. Trust it.
Cultivate your passion.
 
To your continued upgrade and evolution!
 
Anthony

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 # 8 (Box jumps, Borage oil and Anthony Cheam)

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”

PHYSICAL: Box Jumps 

We absolutely love box jumps! We all need speed to bring our strength to new levels and box jumps are the quickest way to get explosive, express power and practice landing softly (sound landing mechanics take a lot of core strength, which is great because its easy to forget about keeping our core activated throughout workouts)

Things to be aware of while completing a box jump

  • Feet are flat while landing.
  • Knees stay neutral (they are not pointing out too much or buckling in)
  • Core is engaged.
  • Shoulders back and chest up.
  • When landing on the box, extend the knees and thrust the hips forward.
  • Eyes are always looking forward or up. You never want to be looking down because thats the direction you will go in.
  • Step back down off the box one foot at a time.

We know box jumps can be intimidating, so try practicing first by placing an object on the floor in front of you and jumping over it, tucking your knees in close to your chest. Once you’ve mastered this you should have no problem taking on the box jump!

              

POTION : Borage Oil (GLA oil) 

Borage oil is a natural substance that provides high levels of the fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a strong anti-inflammatory found in certain plant oils.

While gamma-linolenic acid is derived from extracts drawn from the seeds of plants like borage (Borago officinalis) and evening primrose, it’s not found in high amounts in the human diet. Therefore, taking a supplement is the way to go.

Borage oil is one of the most popular natural anti-inflammatory supplements because it has one of the highest amounts of GLA of all seed oils, a total of 23%! Whereas, Primrose only has 9% .

Benefits of using GLA Oil

  • PMS symptoms (I did notice less breast tenderness and skin breakouts but still felt cramping.)

       Bone loss and osteoporosis

  • ADHD Symptoms
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Ongoing Fatigue (I have felt less fatigued)
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Dealing with Stress
  • Managing Diabetes

I have been using Borage Oil (GLA Oil) now for three weeks and I absolutely love it. Some call it a facial in a bottle and I believe it! Stay tuned for future updates.

PERSON : Anthony Cheam (Life Coach, Personal Trainer and Motivational Speaker)

I have known Anthony since I was 14 years old, thats 14 years! When I was 18 he started to train me. However, through working with Anthony I gained so much more than just a fit body. I was inspired, motivated and driven to be a better version of myself every single day. I couldn’t wait for our sessions together because I would always leave with more knowledge than what I came with. He shaped part of the individual that I am today. He is one of the reasons why I became a personal trainer and why I wanted to work with others to help them to be better versions of themselves.

Since I’ve known Anthony he has gone on to write two books, give a TED talk, hosts numerous teaching events about how to be the best version of YOU and SO much more.

Stay tuned for a guest POW from Anthony soon!

You can find all that Anthony does at:

http://anthonycheam.com/

  (Anthonys Book)

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 ( P’s of the week ) 1 leg Squats, Spices and Yoga Props

Hey Y’all!

Each week we will be providing you with tips, tricks, hacks and useful knowledge all pertaining to health, fitness and wellness. This weekly list will be unique and current to what we’re testing out at the moment or to share a result of a consistent trial that has produced a profound effect on us. We hope this list will help you on your journey to better health as we sieve out the best of the best to ensure you achieve your goals in no time!

Here’s your POW!

PHYSICAL : Pistol squat

This week we’re loving the pistol squat! The Pistol squat is a one legged full range squat where you keep one leg elevated as you slowly bring your bum to your heel. It’s a great workout targeting glutes, quads, hamstrings with core and ankle stability. There’s many variations and modifications. Learn more by watching below!

 

POTIONS:  Cayenne powder.

Just a pinch added to coffee, tea, water or foods can aid in digestion, improve circulation and rev up your metabolism. Our favourite way to consume it is in our coffee with cocoa powder for a spicy mocha, in guacamole, or on chicken or tofu with coconut oil and sea salt.

Cayenne Pepper Benefits Your Gut, Heart & Beyond

 

PROPS : Yoga wheel

Similar to a foam roller this wheel can be used to roll muscles and assist in stretches. However, the biggest difference is the unique circular shape ( see below ). The wheel helps open the chest by elongating the fascia and muscles which in our modern society have become tight, short and stuck. It also allows for wider range in shoulder mobility by lengthening the serratus anterior and triceps and it safely supports the spine so the back muscles don’t over-work on your way into full extension. I find this very useful if you’re looking for better form in your wheel ( straighter arms and more flexible thoracic spine) or would just like to stretch and open up before practice. Using this daily can slowly and safely prepare your body for deeper back bends rather then pushing into such an intense posture when your body may not be ready.

We use Yoga Dev

Here’s Amanda using it before teaching a class at Whole Life Balance

Hope you enjoyed the P’s of the week!

Check in next Monday for more!

FOLLOW US @pulse.pump.prana

#POW

Amanda and Brit xx