Your resource for health, happiness and Physical Activity
Integrative Nutrition
1:37 PM

5 Superfood Swaps That Will Save You Serious Cash

Healthy foods, especially superfoods, have a notorious reputation for being expensive, and a lot of people use that as an excuse to grab fast food and sacrifice their health. Fortunately, there are plenty of nutrient-packed foods proven to protect against cancer, prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, and more – that won’t break the bank. Read More

Integrative Nutrition
2:55 PM

3 Ways to Create a Wellness Tribe Wherever You Are

Isn’t it nice when you can let your hair down and just be yourself? When you can share your personal passion, struggles, or vision for the future, and have someone to turn to with questions, someone who actually “gets” you on a deeper level? That’s what a wellness tribe is all about! Read More

Integrative Nutrition
9:38 AM

5 Simple Systems to Help Reach Your Goals

We all have big dreams and long to-do lists but why is it that some people are so good at actually accomplishing things, while others constantly feel like they’re struggling to catch up? Read More

Integrative Nutrition
11:52 AM

Is Hummus Healthy For You?

Have you ever wondered if those little tubs of hummus you find at the grocery store are actually healthy for you? Hummus is marketed as a healthy snack option, but is it really? Read More

Integrative Nutrition
11:27 AM

How to Detox Your Body, Mind, and Home Without Dieting

Whether you want to lose weight or get a promotion at work, you need to master productivity. You’ll never be able to fit in workouts, healthy meals, and meditation if you’re constantly procrastinating and not making the best use of your time. Read More

Integrative Nutrition
1:25 PM

The Only Productivity Tool You Need

Whether you want to lose weight or get a promotion at work, you need to master productivity. You’ll never be able to fit in workouts, healthy meals, and meditation if you’re constantly procrastinating and not making the best use of your time. Read More

Integrative Nutrition
4:11 PM

7 Simple Ways to Get In More Exercise

You probably already know that physical activity is key to good health, but are you actually integrating movement into your daily routine? Read More

Jacob Tanz
6:32 PM

6 easier changes you can make to start seeing impprovments

Here's my way of skipping the main course and just heading straight to the dessert. This newsletter is all about No frills, no wasted words, and just straight actionable advice. Here are 6 of the easier changes you can make to start seeing improvements to your body.

Rule 1) Sleep more at night

Researchers from Harvard University studied more than 68,000 people and found that those who sleep less than 6 hours a night weighed 5.4 pounds more and were 15 percent more likely to be overweight than those who slept more than 7 hours a night. The weight gain is no coincidence: When you sleep less, you experience a drop in the hormone leptin, which controls your appetite, and an increase in the hormone ghrelin—which forces you to reach for more food. The result: Those who sleep less eat an average of 220 more calories per day say researchers from the University of Chicago. What’s more, researchers from the Netherlands found that people who were sleep-deprived were rated as less attractive and less healthy looking by random observers.

Fix #1: Do you want to eat less and look better? Aim for 8 hours a night and don’t allow yourself to sleep for less than 7.

Rule 2) Eat the way YOU want

We all have heard that 5 or 6 meals per day for fat loss. The rationale was simple: When you eat, your body requires energy to burn away the calories from your favorite meals. So the reasoning went that more meals would equal more calories burned. Only one problem—it’s not how frequently you eat, but rather what you eat that impacts how many calories you’ll burn during mealtime. So if you consume 2,000 calories in a day, it doesn’t matter if it’s in three, six, or 20 meals. You’ll burn the same amount of calories, assuming that the foods you eat are the same.

Fix #2: No need to feel forced to eat more or less frequently. In an attempt to burn more calories, you might have been accidently overeating and sabotaging your weight loss goals. It’s up to you to decide the times and frequency that work best.

Rule 3) Snack smarter

While the number of meals you consume doesn’t matter, the size of your snacks do. According to Purdue University researchers, the biggest problem with our snacking behavior is that snacks have become meals, and meals have become feasts. In the last 30 years, bite sizes have increased from 360 to 580 calories. That’s a whopping 220 extra calories per snack. And when you consider that the average woman snacks twice a day during the workday, you’re looking at almost 500 extra calories per day. In just two weeks, your oversize healthy meals can contribute to an additional pound of fat.

Fix #3: Enjoy your food, but do it wisely. The lean, nutritious snacks in the meal plan will help you crush your cravings and shrink your waist.

Rule 4) Drink Water

Want to instantly drop a dress size? Conduct a quick inventory of what you eat and drink every day, and then remove all of the beverages not named water. Now add up the calories. If you’re like most, you’ll find that you can cut your nonmeal calories by more than 50 percent, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In fact, 65 percent of Americans indulge daily in calorie-rich beverages, and those drinks are often the real culprit behind your weight loss struggles—not your metabolism.

Fix #4: Stick to water. Aim for 80 oz of Water per day. Remember that any sugar drink—whether it’s soda or a fruit juice— besides being bad for your body, should be considered the equivalent of a dessert.

Rule 5) Lift weights more often

Elliptical or treadmill workout might make running seem like a calorie loss marker. That’s because the more miles you log, the more efficient your body becomes at running and the fewer calories are burnt. Running may initially help you drop some pounds, but progress will flatline as soon as your body adjusts to your exercise regimen. Also, running long distances on a regular basis takes a physical toll (in the form of injuries, like runner’s knee), which can severely dampen your enthusiasm. Ultimately, all that pain and boredom can cause many people to burn out and give up.

Enter weight training. Pumping iron isn’t just for the boys. Just three days a week of resistance training will keep you burning calories and will offer the metabolic boost you need to slash fat and look hot in whatever outfit you choose.

Fix #5: Head to the gym three times a week—but if possible, don’t make the cardio room your priority.

Rule 6) Get more Omega-3 Fatty Acids

There’s nothing fishy about fish oil, especially when it comes to your lean body goals. Pennsylvania researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids might be the secret ingredient to burning fat and gaining muscle at the same time. The scientists believe that omega-3s help fights against cortisol—the stress your body produces that makes it easier for you to store fat. By shutting down your cortisol production, you keep the extra weight off your hips, thighs, and stomach, and have an easier time adding lean, calorie-shredding muscle.

Fix #6: Take fish oil daily, whether it’s by a supplement or a whole food source like salmon or sardines. A good starting point is about 2 to 3 grams of fish oil per day.

Integrative Nutrition
2:19 PM

The Secret Key to Actually Enjoying Life

The daily grind of modern life can be exhausting: working full-time, going to appointments, running errands, squeezing in grocery shopping, preparing nourishing meals, finding time to exercise…the demands might seem endless. Read More

Jacob Tanz
5:43 PM

Paying attention to inflammation, nutrition and the aerobic system is key to warding off this deadly and most-feared disease

Paying attention to inflammation, nutrition and the aerobic system is key to warding off this deadly and most-feared disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, but cancer may be the most-feared chronic illness in developed countries because of its relatively slow and painful debilitating process.

My stance on cancer has always been that the best approach is prevention by maintaining a healthy and fit body. This advice also holds true for those who have been diagnosed and need cancer treatment.

Through the years, I’ve seen hundreds of cancer therapies come and go, both in mainstream medicine (usually radical ones that don’t address the cause) and alternative medicine (often bizarre and many not truly effective). But most are not complementary — where all approaches are considered in a process that individualizes one’s care. In other words, finding the remedies that match the patient’s particular needs is optimal. But certain basic, fundamental aspects of health and fitness must exist first, whether for prevention or part of a logical therapeutic approach to the problem of cancer.

An unhealthy body triggers various secondary imbalances that can ultimately lead to abnormal cell growth, resulting in a tumor, which can become malignant in any number of body areas (brain, breast, prostate, stomach, etc.). It often spreads by metastasis. The tumor itself and/or the metastatic consequences lead to a deterioration in quality of life, often treated by intense radical therapies with side-effects, and resulting either in what is called “remission” (not a cure) or a relatively slow death.

While a massive amount of money is regularly spent searching for a so-called “cancer cure,” which seems to be more about business and politics than health, we already have a consensus about the best remedy: prevention. A healthy body does not have a diagnosis of cancer.

Cancer Causes

Within us are genes for many types of cancer. Whether these genes are turned on (“expressed”) to cause disease — or not — is affected, in most cases, by our influence on them through lifestyle, especially diet, physical activity and stress. One important aspect of health that helps prevent and control cancer is a well-functioning biochemical body. Particularly important is the metabolism, especially good fat-burning that prevents excess body fat and weight, poor blood sugar control, hormone balance and an effective regulation of other physical, chemical and mental stress.

Various biochemical abnormalities are associated with poor health that could lead to the development of cancer — in particular, these are chronic inflammation, carbohydrate intolerance and aerobic deficiency. Herein lies a key component of true prevention, not just screening for disease after the fact. We control these factors by being both healthy and fit.

I’ve discussed both chronic inflammation and carbohydrate intolerance extensively in relation to cancer — that both conditions are very early manifestations of most chronic diseases. Aerobic deficiency, often discussed in relation to poor fitness, can also be a cancer-causing culprit because of its metabolic influences.

Fitness is not something most people think of when faced with preventing or treating cancer. But many traditional cancer prevention recommendations include the notion that exercise has a positive effect. However, rarely is exercise defined so that the average person knows how much duration and at what intensity is adequate but not too high.

The fact is, negative consequences of exercise can just as easily contribute to cancer. In particular, too much hard, high-intensity or anaerobic exercise can adversely affect the metabolism to encourage — or even become a potential trigger for — cancer.

Fortunately, our bodies come equipped with another component of fitness, which can also significantly improve health, helping protect us from cancer — the aerobic system.

A primary feature of the aerobic system is its fat-burning capability, which reduces reliance on sugar-burning. Sugar is the very fuel used by tumor cells. The process of converting fat to energy is essential for a healthy metabolism, and takes place in the slow-twitch muscle fibers, the aerobic muscle cell’s mitochondria.

Poor mitochondrial function and reduced fat-burning are associated with impaired health, with cancer patients generally having very poor aerobic systems (although aerobic deficiency is very common in the general population, even in those without cancer).

A tumor, or cancerous growth, is primarily made up of sugar-burning cells that also produce lactate. As part of complex metabolic mechanisms, increased lactate can reduce aerobic function and fat-burning, and increases oxidative stress, and is associated with:

Increased anaerobic activity.
Increased sugar-burning.
Antioxidant reductions.
Reduced immune function.
In addition to this recipe for cancer, physical, chemical and mental stress can increase the hormone cortisol and sympathetic nervous system activity further impairing aerobic function. This maintains reduced fat-burning, increased sugar-burning, and poor mitochondrial and metabolic function — maintaining a viscous cycle even for patients in remission.

A healthy aerobic system — promoted with the combination of proper physical activity and healthy food, helps break this cycle.

Food and Cancer

Calorie restriction and fasting are two commonly employed cancer nutrition therapies that, over decades, have varying degrees of success. They have also been effective for:

Treatment of other chronic diseases.
Improving general health.
Positively influencing aging in part because of reduced oxidative stress.
The one biochemical feature common to calorie restriction and fasting is ketosis — the high use of ketone bodies and fats for bodywide energy instead of sugar-burning.

But calorie restriction or fasting excessively while trying to live healthy and productive lives is not practical or necessary because it can lead to nutrient deficiencies and starvation. We can, however, prompt our bodies to burn more fat, to make more ketones, reduce reliance on sugar-burning, and lower our caloric requirement as metabolism becomes more efficient.

Most sugar-dependent cancer cells are unable to use ketones for energy like healthy cells can. Ketone bodies may even be toxic to cancer cells. A number of studies show that the change from sugar- to fat/ketone-burning results in three key anti-cancer actions:

Anti-angiogenic (anti-tumor forming).
Pro-apoptotic (cancer cell destruction).
From a dietary standpoint, increasing fat burning is accomplished by reducing carbohydrate intake, and increasing healthy fat consumption, while maintaining adequate high-quality protein intake. The exercise aspect of this means building the aerobic system. We need not necessarily have to go into nutritional ketosis, although some people are healthier doing so, and as an effective cancer therapy it is becoming more popular.

Of the other potentially useful cancer treatments, both medical and alternative, they tend to work best in a body with a better, healthier biochemistry, rather than be a replacement for it. Most of these remedies won’t create a healthier metabolism because some unhealthy lifestyle component overrides the therapeutic effect. For example, alkalizing the body with very expensive dietary supplements won’t work well if a person is eating a lot of carbohydrates (which strongly acidifies the body). Focusing on primary health benefits, which don’t cost any more than real food, as discussed here and elsewhere on, should be a primary focus.As such, the approach to both preventing and treating cancer can be very similar. And, considering that the process of cancer development may be common in all of us, it pays to be healthy and fit first.

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