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Your Weight and the Pandemic

During a recent interview on a talk radio show, a caller told me she had gained seven pounds since living in lockdown; her friends also had gained weight, she said. A few days later, a colleague who has been conducting what she calls “telephone clinics” with her obese patients wrote: “All were telling me how lockdown is causing further weight gain and how they feel unable to do anything about it.” She continued: “I think that the lockdown affects disproportionately people who were already struggling with obesity and unhealthy eating habits.”

As most of you know, it is not just select “obese patients” who are struggling with overeating and ensuing weight gain. This is because overweight and obese people are not a small subset of the population. Rather, almost 70% of Americans are overweight or obese; indeed, by 2030 the percentage is expected to be closer to 100%. This means that the lockdown may be speeding up our obesity stats, but it is not the cause of our overweight pandemic: The fat-track train left the station decades ago.

The Obesity Link to Covid-19

Today, with the threat of coronavirus infection, there is yet another reason to be concerned about being overweight: As Americans reel from the shocking and devastating health, mental, emotional, economic, and social impact the coronavirus pandemic has wrought, the virus continues to disproportionately harm those who are already struggling with obesity and other diet-related conditions — from heart disease and diabetes to high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. This is an alarming situation given that (1) almost 45% of adults in the United States are obese — we rank #1 in obesity among international OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations, (2) and one in two Americans — over 133 million people — suffer from chronic health conditions, many of which are linked to poor food choices.

In my opinion, the coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call; a stunning event that is sounding the alarm we need to take action NOW to remedy the struggle that millions of overweight and obese people live with day-to-day. Clearly, we are being alerted to change — really, really change — what we eat and how we eat. Each day and every day. Starting now. For the rest of our lives. My vision is that we accomplish this by halting and turning around the obesity pandemic without dieting; rather, by losing weight and keeping it off with what I call a dietary lifestyle, meaning, a way of eating that leads naturally to weight loss, health, and healing…for life.

The Whole Person Integrative Eating (WPIE) Weight Loss Rx

What if…

…it were possible to overcome overeating and to lose weight and keep it off without traditional dieting? (Note: Almost 50% of Americans are “on a diet” at any one time; and typical dieters will try between 55-130 diets in their lifetime!)

…you could nourish yourself physically each time you eat? But also emotionally, spiritually, and socially?

…your relationship to food, eating, and weight was based on a way of eating that leads to a pleasurable relationship to food and eating—with weight loss as a natural “side effect?”

What I am describing is the Whole Person Integrative Eating (WPIE)® dietary lifestyle, an evidence-based, scientifically sound model and program that treats the root causes of overeating, overweight, and obesity. It is also a way of eating that may prepare your immune system to fight viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.1-3 And the WPIE dietary lifestyle can also help you prevent and reverse a plethora of other diet-related chronic conditions.

After 25 years of research by behavioral scientist Larry Scherwitz, PhD (transparent disclosure: Larry’s my

husband) and me, the well-documented message in Whole Person Integrative Eating is that it is possible to overcome overeating, overweight, and obesity by replacing the newly identified, new-normal overeating styles Larry and I have discovered with their antidotes: the ancient/new, science-backed elements of our Whole Person Integrative Eating® model and program.4-6 FYI…WPIE is a “whole person” program that address both what you eat (your food choices) and how you eat (your eating behaviors); and in turn, how your food choices and eating behaviors nourish you physically, but also emotionally, spiritually, and socially. As a first step, this article offers the WPIE what-to-eat guidelines for weight loss.

What-to-Eat Rx: Fresh, Whole, Inverse

What Larry and I, and hundreds, perhaps thousands of other researchers have discovered, is that there’s a simple way to eat that provides the antidote to the Fast Foodism overeating style our WPIE research identified that leads to overeating and obesity. It is a time- and science-tested what-to-eat guideline that has nourished humankind for millennia—and it is how people who are naturally thin and healthier eat today: Eat fresh, whole food in its natural state as often as possible.Please keep in mind the phrase “as often as possible.” This means making fresh, whole foods your most-of-the-time way of eating; it is not a rigid, regimented way of eating you start, then stop.

To get you, and your waistline and immune system, started on the road to health and healing, here are the three words that describe the WPIE what-to-eat guidelines that lower odds of illness: Fresh. Whole. Inverse.7 This is what I mean.

Fresh. Whole. The optimal way to eat for weight loss, health, and healing is to consume mostly unrefined, unprocessed, real food that has all its constituents (such as the fiber and germ in grains) intact. This means choosing lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts and seeds, with lesser—or no—amounts of free-range, grass-fed, and/or wild dairy, poultry, meat, and fish that is free of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, and additives and chemicals (you often can’t pronounce).

Inverse eating. Along with “fresh” and “whole,” the third WPIE “ingredient” for optimal eating is to eat inversely. What do I mean by “inverse eating?” Whether you’re looking at the traditional diets of Mediterranean, Asian, South American, African, Indian, or Native American cultures, they all have one way of eating in common: meals are mostly plant-based foods (fruits, veggies, grains, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds), with lesser amounts of animal-based foods (dairy, fish, poultry, and meat). In other words, the diets of most cultures worldwide are—and have been for thousands of years—mostly plant-based foods as the centerpiece of the meal, and animal-based foods as a condiment or side dish.

Clearly, this is the inverse of the almost 40 percent—approximately 84.8 million Americans—who eat fast food every day and the 91 percent—at least 290 million Americans—who completely miss the mark of meeting the U.S. dietary guidelines of a half to two cups of vegetables per day. Same with fruit: only 12 percent of Americans consume one-and-a-half to two servings per day. In other words, most Americans eat the standard American diet (SAD) of mostly processed animal-based foods with few, or no plant-based foods.

With SAD as a starting point, I use the term inverse eating to describe the antithesis, or inverse, of the standard American diet: the opposite way of eating that evolved naturally over thousands of years and includes mostly fresh, whole, plant-based foods supplemented with small, occasional servings of fresh, whole, chemical-free animal-based foods.

The WPIE Dietary Lifestyle: If Not Now, When?

I know. Change isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to food and eating. I understand; truly. Since the social-isolation policy that has gone into effect for most of us, I’ve talked with people who are turning to high-carb, high-sugar, high-fat “comfort foods” to cope. And they are gaining weight. And weakening their immune system. And making themselves vulnerable to a plethora of diet-related conditions.

The antidote? Commit to, and adopt a dietary lifestyle that empowers you to eat to prevent, even reverse, a multitude of food-related ailments and increase odds of boosting immunity, which in turn may decrease your risk of becoming ill from the coronavirus. And it lowers odds of being overweight and obese. Or developing diabetes. And heart disease. And some cancers. And depression and anxiety. And other mind-body, diet-related chronic conditions.

In other words, we know that the WPIE fresh, wholeinverse way of eating ups the odds of helping you lose weight and keep it off, lessens the risk of Covid-19 symptoms, and can prevent and reverse food-related chronic conditions; that the Whole Person Integrative Eating® dietary lifestyle holds the key to transforming your relationship with food and eating so you can reclaim your health…for life. If not now, when?

 

Article originally printed on integrativeeating.com. Reprinted with permission from Deborah Kesten. 


Deborah Kesten, M.P.H., is an award-winning author, specializing in preventing and reversing obesity and heart disease. Her expertise includes the influence of epigenetics and diet on health, Lifestyle Medicine, and research on the Whole Person Integrative Eating dietary lifestyle to treat overeating, overweight, and obesity. She and her husband, behavioral scientist Larry Scherwitz, Ph.D., collaborate on research and writing projects. Her latest book, “Whole Person Integrative Eating” was named the “Winner” in the Health category by the 2020 Book Excellence Awards.

running-determination

The Moment of Truth

According to the Advanced English Dictionary, © HarperCollins Publishers, “if you refer to a time or event as the moment of truth, you mean that it is an important time when you must make a decision quickly, and whatever you decide will have important consequences in the future. Both men knew the moment of truth had arrived. (As a sentence example)

We all come to crossroads in life when we are faced with a decision that will change our life’s direction one way or the other. You have to make that decision quickly, without procrastination, and decide where you are headed. Sometimes, if you get old enough like me, these times come more than once. They are said to be our “moment of truth”.

In September of 2017, I started a closed Facebook Group called MS Fitness Challenge GYM for those of us with MS who are doing their best to beat MS through fitness. It is a platform for MSers to be educated on exercise, nutrition and mindset in the battle against this disease. It’s also a place where we can interact, share our goals, talk about our trials and victories and be able to connect with like-minded MSers who want to encourage and uplift each other in a positive atmosphere of health. We currently have, at the time of this writing, over 7,000 members.

Every day, I read a post about how hard it is to exercise and follow a strict nutrition plan from the members enrolled. The member’s post about the limitations, pain and issues of their symptoms that make it difficult to follow through with exercise. And, they talk about the mental blocks to sticking with an exercise or diet program.

I know. It’s not easy having MS or any challenge in life and dealing with our ups and downs let alone trying to push ourselves to get to a gym or work-out at home and follow a diet that is ONLY full of great foods and supplements for MS. I get it!

But what I’d like you to look at is the consequence of NOT getting into a regular fitness routine, NOT watching what you put into your body, and NOT setting your mindset to the positive dial. MS will not go away; it’s incurable (right now). And the disease symptoms will not improve unless you take a proactive stance against it. Exercise, nutrition and the thoughts in your mind has been proven, through programs such as my MS Fitness Challenge and many others, to help MSers in one way or another in this battle. You can read over and over again, in a multitude of platforms, the testimonials from MSers who have switched to an MS-based diet and implemented an exercise routine seeing great improvement in their quality of life. We are not talking cure here. We are talking a better day-to-day existence despite MS. And, really, this translates to any obstacle you have in your mental or physical health. The choice is yours. Do you want to choose the road that takes the work necessary to a more fulfilled lifetime, or let whatever your challenge is tell you how to live? This is the moment of truth.

The first step is getting your thoughts, motivation and determination in order. Your body will not go where your mind doesn’t take it. So fitness starts in the most influential muscle in your body… your brain. Getting revved up and ready to take on your barrier through fitness is a choice that has to be made. It is not something that most have waiting to come out. It is a desire found deep in your thoughts and feelings. You have to dig down and pull it out because there is a serious amount of action that needs to be put into play with the reaction of… “I want to beat MS” or “I’m tired of being obese” or whatever your challenge is.  And once you make this choice in your moment of truth, you do not want to look back.

When your choice to overcome your challenge is made, now it’s time to settle in on the exercise and nutrition programs that will kick start this new truth in your life. I understand the confusion of where to begin; what are the best programs for you; who helps you? This is where research and support comes in and why I founded my MS Fitness Challenge charity. We are the MS cause dedicated to educating, training and inspiring people with MS to live a lifestyle of fitness through knowledge.

So, who’s ready to stand at that fork in your road, look at it hard and tell it you are going down the road to fitness?  I’ve been traveling that road my whole life, without MS and with MS and there is no better path to follow. Your moment of truth has arrived…


David Lyons, BS, CPT, is the founder of the MS Bodybuilding Challenge and co-founder of the MS Fitness Challenge with wife Kendra. He has dedicated his life to helping people with MS understand and be educated on the importance of fitness in their lives. He is an author and sought after motivational speaker, dedicated to helping others by sharing the lessons gained from his life experience.  His most recent book, Everyday Health & Fitness with Multiple Sclerosis was a #1 New Release on Amazon at its release. He is the 2013 recipient of the Health Advocate of the Year Award; in 2015, he received the first ever Health Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Lifetime Fitness Inspiration Award in Feb 2016. In 2017, David received the Special Recognition Award from the National Fitness Hall of Fame.

Strawberry semifreddo

The Naturopathic Chef: (Easier) Strawberry Semifreddo

It’s hard to believe anything could be better than ice cream. Well, we may have a winner with this perfect Summer dessert.

Take a trip to Italy, when you serve this classic semi-frozen, as the name tells us, creamy dream. The original recipe takes some experience and patience. I’ve found a way to cut a few of the more temperamental steps out. This semifreddo is filled with Summer Strawberries, and all the wonderful ingredients every summer dessert should have. L’estate e qui! Summer’s here!

First, line a loaf pan, bowl, or pretty mold with plastic wrap. Set aside.

*Prepare your whipped cream for the semifreddo first and chill.

Strawberry Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups Strawberries, cleaned and hulled
  • ¼ cup Agave, Honey, or sweetener of your choice
  • 1 Tbls Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbls Water
  • pinch of Salt

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and cook 12-15, minutes or until Strawberries are soft and juice is thick. Set aside to cool. Once cool, pour into blender and blend until smooth.

Semifreddo

  • 3 cups Vanilla Ice Cream of your choice, softened (I used Coconut Bliss Vegan Ice Cream)
  • *2 cups Cream, whipped with Sugar and Vanilla (I used Coconut Cream).

Fold whipped cream into softened ice cream and scrape into your prepared pan. Carefully pour the Strawberry Sauce into the cream/ice cream mixture in a pattern or in dots. Run a knife through the sauce and cream to create a beautiful design on and in the semifreddo. Cover carefully with plastic wrap and freeze at least 4 hours.

When you’re ready to serve, temper either in the refrigerator or at room temperature 10-20 minutes. Remove from pan or mold and slice. Use remaining sauce under your slice of semifreddo, for that 5-star effect. Decorate with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

Tasty Tip: Add leftover Strawberry Sauce to club soda for a healthier spin on canned beverages.

Phyte Bites

Strawberries are a great way to preserve your eyesight. High in Vitamin C, they keep the fluid in the eye healthy and decrease our risk of cataracts.

Strawberries offer protection from UV radiation, as well.

Most of us believe that whipped cream couldn’t possibly belong in the “good-for-us” category, but here’s some good news: cream is high in Alpha Lipoic Acid, a powerful antioxidant that increases the bodies ability to control blood sugar, mood, skin aging, and also improve nerve function, thus decreasing the possibility of Parkinson’s, ALS, and other motor-neuron diseases. If you choose Coconut cream, you’re improving brain health, decreasing your chances of Alzheimer’s, and slowing the aging clock, too.


Get more great recipes from Tina Martini — her book, Delicious Medicine: The Healing Power of Food is available to purchase on Amazon. More than a cookbook, combining 20+ years of experience, along with her love of coaching, cooking and teaching, Tina offers unexpected insights into the history and healing power of clean eating, along with recipes to help reduce your risk of disease and improve overall wellness so you can enjoy life!

Affectionately referred to as The Walking Encyclopedia of Human Wellness, Fitness Coach, Strength Competitor and Powerlifting pioneer, Tina “The Medicine Chef” Martini is an internationally recognized Naturopathic Chef and star of the cooking show, Tina’s Ageless Kitchen. Tina’s cooking and lifestyle show has reached millions of food and fitness lovers all over the globe. Over the last 30 years, Tina has assisted celebrities, gold-medal athletes and over-scheduled executives naturally achieve radiant health using The Pyramid of Power: balancing Healthy Nutrition and the healing power of food, with Active Fitness and Body Alignment techniques. Working with those who have late-stage cancer, advanced diabetes, cardiovascular and other illnesses, Tina’s clients are astounded at the ease and speed with which they are able to restore their radiant health. Tina believes that maintaining balance in our diet, physical activity, and in our work and spiritual life is the key to our good health, happiness and overall well being. Visit her website, themedicinechef.com

calcium-food-sources

Osteoporosis Prevention Diet

Osteoporosis Prevention Diet? EEK! One more thing to worry about? Sounds like more bad news but it’s not. True, our bodies can lose up to 40% of their bone mass in the 10 years following menopause. And true, if we don’t do something we could easily end up with osteoporosis. But also true, the fix for this is both easy and delicious.

broccoli

Building a Better Vegan/Vegetarian Sports Diet

Among athletes, “turning vegan” (or vegetarian) is not a passing fad. Given the most popular ages for embarking upon a vegan lifestyle are 19, 20 and 21, many college athletes are asking me how to eat a meatless sports diet.

First, I want to understand why they are choosing to cut out animal-based foods. The standard reasons are:

1. Vegan and vegetarian diets tend to be healthier than a diet based on burgers and bacon. Indeed, plant-based meals with beans, veggies, and whole grains are nutrient dense, fiber-rich, and abundant in healthful phytochemicals and healthy fats. (Yet, vegan diets are not always healthier. Coke, Oreos, Skittles, Doritos are vegan-friendly…)

2. Vegans/vegetarians are leaner than omnivores, so some athletes embark upon a vegan lifestyle in hopes of losing weight. That might happen if your vegan/vegetarian diet coincides with limiting your intake of calories. Knocking off 300 calories of ice cream and replacing it with 100 calories of berries creates a significant calorie reduction.

3. Plant-based diets address concerns about animal rights and the environment. Hence, vegan/vegetarian diets appeal to animal lovers and folks who want to help save the planet. Reducing animal agriculture is one small way to curb global warming (and every little bit helps). But according to Frank Mitloehner PhD professor and air quality specialist at UC-Davis, industry and transportation are far bigger polluters— as is wasted food. (Forty percent of food we produce never gets to the table.) This podcast with Dr. Mitloehner offers science-based climate-change facts.

4. Though not verbalized as a reason to go vegan, meatless diets, unfortunately, are a popular way for athletes with anorexia to cut out chicken, beef, fish, eggs, dairy to the point they are living on little more than fruits and veggies. Eating disorders can change healthy vegan meals into diets deficient in not only protein, but many nutrients, including iron, calcium, zinc, B-12, vitamin D, iodine, and omega-3 fats. Within a few months, good health can dwindle into injuries, hair falling out in clumps, low energy, and poor athletic performance.

Considerations when building a vegan sports diet

The busy lifestyle of vegan athletes can create nutrition challenges. For example, when eating on the run, vegans may find Oreos are more readily available than, let’s say, roasted chickpeas. Grab-and-go snacks of just a bagel or a banana should get balanced with some protein — but is hummus or soymilk readily available? All this means vegan athletes have to be responsible and plan ahead.

When listening to my vegan/vegetarian clients, I often hear “red flag” statements that signal misinformation. Let’s take a look at some common misconceptions and correct some myths related to vegan/vegetarian sports diets.

“Carbs” are fattening, a waste of calories? False! 

Plants are carbs! While you want to limit nutrient-poor carbs (like Frosted Flakes, Pop-Tarts, ramen), wholesome carbs (preferably called grain-foods) should be the foundation of every meal to fully fuel muscles. Athletes who train one to three hours a day can easily end up with needless fatigue if they try to thrive on fruit and salads. Grains (and all “carbs”) are NOT inherently fattening. Excess calories of any food can be fattening.

As a vegan/vegetarian athlete, you would be wise to eat grains (such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice) as the foundation of each meal/snack. Combine them with a colorful assortment of fruits and/or vegetables for more muscle-fuel, and of course, a dose of protein.

Lunchtime salads are a healthy vegan meal? Sometimes.

While salads can be nutrient-rich, they can also be protein and carb-poor—but high in calories given a “little bit” of olive oil on a big salad ends up being a lot of dressing. Filling up on calories from fat will not refuel depleted muscle glycogen. Vegan athletes could better refuel their muscles with a grain-protein combination such as a hummus wrap or beans and rice.

Quinoa can be the “protein” in a vegan meal? No!

Quinoa is reputed to be a protein-rich grain, containing all the essential amino acids needed to build muscle. It is not a stand-along protein-rich food. If you compare quinoa to other grains, you’ll see it offers only 6 grams of protein per 200 calories, similar to rice (4 g), and less than pasta (7 g). Most athletes should target 15 to 25 grams of protein at each meal. That means, you want to add more than just quinoa to your salad. How about tofu? beans? lentils?

Almond milk is a replacement for dairy milk? No way!

Almond juice (it is not milk) has far fewer nutrients than dairy milk. Milk’s 8 grams of high-quality protein is life-sustaining. The 1 gram of low-quality protein in almond beverages is not. Soy or pea milk are acceptable dairy-free alternatives to cows’ milk.

Soy causes cancer and man-boobs? Wrong.

The latest research indicates soy is cancer preventive and is safe— even for women with breast cancer. As for man-boobs, the one case study about unusual male breast development refers to a person who routinely drank three quarts of soymilk a day. That is a LOT of soymilk. For the latest soy updates, enjoy this podcast.

Protein bars and powders can replace real foods? Not really.

Protein-rich foods are preferable to highly processed bars and shakes. Nutrients in natural foods interact synergistically Instead of yet-another bar or shake for a meal or snack, how about cereal + (soy) milk, crackers + hummus, or banana + nut butter? Aren’t these real foods more in keeping with the spirit of veganism?


Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes in the Boston-area. Her updated (2019) Sports Nutrition Guidebook can help you optimize your eating. Visit NancyClarkRD.com for information about appointments, books, and teaching materials.

preparing-vegetable

Whole Person Integrative Eating: A Dietary Lifestyle for Attaining and Maintaining Weight Loss

At the beginning of our Whole Person Integrative Eating (WPIE) coaching sessions, Alison was a 64-year-old woman who weighed 235 pounds and wore a size 3x. A former businesswoman turned professional meditation practitioner, Alison’s obesity began as a teenager. She had tried many “diets-du-jour” over the decades. Each time she would lose some weight—sometimes a lot; then she would return to her preferred “go-to” foods and gain back the weight…

diabetes-exercise-feature

How Exercise May Be the Only Way to Curb the Diabetes Epidemic

The incidence rate of type 2 diabetes has been increasing in the United States for the past 40 years.  In fact, the American Diabetes Association estimates that at least half of all US adults (over 65 million people) have pre-diabetes or full-blown diabetes.  It is often underreported on death certificates, and is probably the third leading cause of premature death in the US.

So why is there such an increase in diabetes in this country?  The biggest reason is diet.

From a young age, children are eating processed food. When they enter school – lunchrooms in many school districts are sponsored with food from McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Coca Cola.  In college – most dorm food is also like fast food, and they can eat as much as they want. That and their foray into alcohol, and we have the beginnings of obesity, insulin resistance, and pancreatic damage. The very concept of type 2 diabetes used to be called “adult diabetes”.  Since many teenagers are now diagnosed, it’s now time to change the name.

One would say that if diabetes is a disease of the foods that you eat, then simply change the foods you eat. Not that simple. Once you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you become a ward of the medical system. Doctors will perform a lot of tests, take blood, and prescribe both insulin and drugs to mimic the glucose-lowering effects of the body, and many spend a minimal amount of time counseling on the right type of diet for your needs.

There are, in fact, many good diets to lower blood sugar, like the well-known Keto diet, which emphasizes higher fats and low carbohydrates. This is something that doctors have been prescribing in one form or another since the Atkins diet in the 1960s. What about vegetarian and vegan diets?  If you ask Dr. John McDougall, one of the nation’s leading plant-based doctors, he would advocate that a diet higher in plant-based carbohydrates is better for the body than high amounts of meat and cooking oils.

Both may have a point, but if you look at the food choices that most Americans have, they walk into a grocery store, and if they’re not savvy enough to shop on the outside isles (fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses), they are trapped in an endless cycle of boxed cereals, candy bars, frozen foods, soft drinks and alcohol. It is almost impossible to go to a store and not pick up about 50-75% of food from a box, bucket or bottle.  Many still haven’t put two and two together — that the foods they eat now will have an effect on their physiology and medical status in 5-20 years.

So what’s missing? I have been in an interesting position of working in diabetes research in the 1980s, and watching from the sidelines the work, research, and policy in this area of medical care for the past 30 years. Here are my thoughts.  

First, although exercise is touted as part of the trilogy of treatment for diabetes (along with diet and insulin), it is the first to be discarded for another type of treatment that is expedient and profitable.  

Second, there are little, if any, referrals to the health club sector in order to work on basic exercise programs for persons with diabetes. Even moderate types of programming will results in dramatic drops in body weight (and fat), daily blood sugars, and A1c levels. It simply is not being done. Many in allied health scream that personal trainers and fitness instructors are not qualified to teach exercise programs for diabetes. With the advent of medical fitness over the past 20 years, this simply isn’t the case today. I would think that having a mechanism to get patients into health clubs through their health plan, or Medicare, or a revolving door policy with their physician group, would be an outstanding way to get more patients into the exercise routine.  

Third, people who work in the fitness industry should be looking very carefully in getting diabetic persons into their facilities in their communities. This takes an effort with health club trainers, club managers and company owners to reach out to the medical community through health programs, lectures, fairs and membership discounts in order to get patients in the door.  It may even entail home exercise visits, or online coaching where patients are taught programs, and keep their exercise routines times and exercise notes. 

Lastly, the fitness industry needs to move into the technology realm and look at the effects of exercise on patients both over 3-4 weeks, but also 3-4 years. This will be done through outcomes-based software programs that can be detailed to physicians, health plans, and sports medicine journals. Once the majority of medical fitness centers and health clubs are on board, we will see a changing of the guard in terms of what Americans think is the best type of treatment program to reduce diabetes symptoms, and look at the data of how people exercise, and how many of their health risks are being reduced by a challenging and consistent exercise program. This can be done at any age, and at almost every state of diabetes — whether they are newly diagnosed, or have basic complications that they are dealing with regarding long-standing diabetes. 

It is time to embrace exercise as part of a diabetes prevention and reduction strategy.  If not, in 20 years we will probably see the epidemic at such a high level, that a good portion of Americans will not be able to work due to their complications.  The costs to society will be even higher than they are now. It’s a risk we don’t need to take, because of the untapped market of over 31,000 health clubs in the US, there is virtually no reason not to engage in exercise. It would seem that our nation’s health depends on our next steps – literally. 


Eric Durak is President of MedHealthFit – a health care education and consulting company in Santa Barbara, CA. A 25 year veteran of the health and fitness industry, he has worked in health clubs, medical research, continuing education, and business development. Among his programs include The Cancer Fit-CARE Program, Exercise Medicine, The Insurance Reimbursement Guide, and Wellness @ Home Series for home care wellness.

organic food

Everything You Need to Know About the Benefits of Organic Food

With the recent rising health concerns and increasing awareness for the benefits of organic produce, organic products have become more popular in recent years, especially considering the ongoing battle with obesity and diabetes faced by a large population of the United States. There are so many benefits to choosing organic products.

What does organic actually mean?

Organic products are grown under a natural agricultural system without the influence of synthetic fertilizers or chemicals (1). The regulations vary from country to country, but generally speaking, organic farming means growing crops without the use of any synthetic pesticides, GMOs, and certain toxic fertilizers; for raising livestock for meat, eggs, or dairy, the livestock must be fed organic products, have regular access to natural outdoor areas, and they cannot be given any growth hormones or antibiotics.

Monocropping

Monocropping is the term for planting a single crop type in a large area of farmland, which is a widely used technique in non-organic agriculture. This leaves this crop very vulnerable to being quickly wiped out by a bug or a disease. Consequently, farmers must spray chemicals to kill these diseases/bugs, filling the crop with these toxins which are not designed for human consumption.

Organic farmers practice planting a variety of different crops in one area to attract a range of bugs and other wildlife, which will naturally keep the plants healthy.

Norma Brault, a food blogger at Big Assignments and Research Papers(2), states “Herbicides and pesticides aren’t able to differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ insects, so simply wipe out everything but the crop. Organic farming practices do not use these toxins, so they don’t negatively affect biodiversity and promote healthy growing techniques to maintain the living organisms the crops need to grow and keep the soil healthy and rich in nutrients.”

Pesticides, Insecticides, Fungicides, Herbicides…

Such toxic chemicals are commonly used in more conventional, non-organic agriculture and can end up being ingested when we eat these foods. The residues of these chemicals end up in the food we eat.

Environmental Impact

Organic farming is unquestionably better for the environment, by reducing pollution, energy usage, water usage, and soil erosion, and increasing soil health and fertility.

Local food production and markets are also better for the environment by reducing emissions and unnecessary plastic packaging.

Organic agricultural techniques don’t harm the community surrounding the farmland, it keeps harmful toxins out of the air, the soil, and even the drinking water – protecting the farmers, local people, and wildlife.

These chemicals will even end up in the ocean (3) – as everything eventually does – whether by leaking through the soil into aquifers, blowing into nearby bodies of water, or running off into the sea in the rain, and can be damaging to ocean life.

Keeping Livestock Healthy and Happy

Livestock raised organically are never given animal byproducts, growth hormones, or antibiotics, which keeps them much healthier and happier and at lower risk of diseases and infections. They are also given plenty of space to roam outdoors.

David Green, a health writer at  Boomessays and Studydemic (4), says “It’s well-known that the meat of stressed animals tastes worse – organic practices ensure the meat tastes as best it can, since the livestock is well taken care of.” The same also applies to crops! Healthy, happy crops will taste better than monocropped, herbicide-filled crops.

Better Tasting Food!

Organic farming produces food that is richer in nutrients, so it is much better for your health and wellbeing. The soil is nutrient-rich as a result of sustainable farming practices, while farmers are forced to spray chemicals on crops in non-organic agriculture, since the soil is not naturally being replenished.

There are countless benefits to organic produce, helping improve the health of the earth, the sea, drinking water, local wildlife, the environment, farmers, local communities, and you and your family. By choosing to eat organically produced and certified organic food products, you are actively choosing to help keep the world healthy.


Beatrice Potter is a web writer at Best essay writing service UK and OXEssays review. She writes about organic food and health. She also is a tutor for Best Essay Services.

 

References

(1) https://ota.com/organic-101/how-organic-food-grown

(2) Norma Brault, food blogger at Big Assignments and Research Papers

(3) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080216095740.htm

(4) David Green, a health writer at Boomessays and Studydemic

 

Photo credits: Fuzzy Rescue; Elle Hughes

Sliced-steak

The Naturopathic Chef: Grilled Steak Salad

The main reason to eat meat of any kind is the top quality Heme-Iron that isn’t present in plants (Non-Heme Iron).

Beef also contains a big dose of stress-reducing B vitamins as well as Zinc. Anytime we eat foods high in Zinc, our bodies produce Super Oxide Dimutase, or SOD. This is a supercharged anti-aging antioxidant! And, your body does all the work for you.