My Go To items to Keep You on Track in 2019!

With the holiday season upon us and the New Year right around the corner it is a great time to consider some tools and gadgets to make getting healthy easier in 2019! Preparation is key to long term success and when you have the right tools on hand, this preparation is even easier! Consider adding these to your holiday list this year!

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1) OXO Good Grips Ground Meat Chopper

This is a must in my kitchen! I love cooking ground meats for tacos, pasta sauce and soups! This inexpensive tool help breaks up ground meat in pans for even cooking. Use it for soups and stews, or any ingredient that needs separating.

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2) Etekcity Digital Kitchen Multifunction Food Scale

Having the ability to weigh and measure your food is the BEST way to track your food intake! I love this scale and use it often to keep my portions in check! It is equipped with 4 high precision sensors to give you accurate measurements all the time. Super easy-to-read LCD display remains backlit for 30 seconds. Screen turns off automatically (auto-off function) after 2 minutes. Designed for easy storage and lightweight portability. Easily measure food or ingredients at any time, anywhere. Tare function helps facilitate your food measurements. Get quick unit conversions between various options (milk volume, water volume, g, oz, and lb:oz).

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3) Zoodle maker! Premium V Slicer

Zoodles are a quick and easy low carb option and making them is so much easier with the handy kitchen tool! This Spiralizer comes with a premium storage bag, cleaning brush and a physical recipe book, which is chock-full of creative yet easy recipes that will brighten any family dinner table. Vegetable spiral slicing goes hand-in-hand with low carb and Gluten Free diets promoting WEIGHT LOSS - more vegetables and fewer carbohydrates will lead to a HAPPIER, HEALTHIER lifestyle for you and your family. It's fun, quick and easily to makes stir-fries, salads, and even vegetable pasta. You will be able to create NOODLES and JULIENNE SPIRALS from a great variety of vegetables including Carrots, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Squash, Radish, Sweet Potatoes, Regular Potatoes and much MORE.

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4) Stainless Steel Handheld Electric Milk Frothe

You know that I love a warm cup of bulletproof coffee most morning and this handheld mixer is great to use while at home or on the road to get that creamy cup of BP coffee! Hand-held frother powered by a couple of AAA batteries.

5) Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Divided Container

Meal prep is so important to making healthy eating easy and these containers make getting those meals together so much easier! I love them and use them every week!

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6) Premium Large Exercise Sliders and Resistance Bands

These resistant bands and sliders are such a great, inexpensive addition to your workout equipment. The bands are heavy duty resistance loop bands made of 100% natural latex and come in 5 varying resistance levels. This makes them perfect whether you are just starting to workout or a seasoned workout warrior. Our extra light and light bands are great for beginners, while our medium, heavy and extra heavy exercise bands are targeted for more intermediate and advanced strength training.

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7) Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, Aqua

I get asked often what ear buds I use and these are the ones! They are bluetooth and they fit so well in my ears! I love them! I little pricey but worth the investment! A high-quality audio experience, consistently balanced at any volume, thanks to Bose active EQ. Wireless convenience, with easy Bluetooth and NFC pairing aided by voice prompts. Quick Charging Times 15 Minutes for 1 Hour. Recharge Time 2 Hours

 

8) Lily’s chocolates

Delicious, creamy and indulgent, this is the Original Lily’s chocolate bar. Made with botanically-sweetened dark chocolate that provides all the delicious chocolatey flavor but with no added sugar. Lily’s chocolate is sweetened with stevia, a zero calorie, natural sweetener and have about 4-6g of net carbs per bar which makes this a great low carb treat! Made with fair trade, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter and vanilla. LILY'S Chocolate - Super Variety (6 Pack) - 1 Of Each Flavor Creamy Milk, Almond, Coconut, Salted Almond Milk, Original, Crispy Rice - 3 Oz.

 

9) Electrolyte drops

Elewctrolye enhanced water is something that I highly recommend my clients drink. Making sure you have plenty of Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium is so important! If you are looking for a less expensive way to drink electrolyte enhanced water then give these drops a try! HYPER-LYTE is a liquid supplement designed to replenish lost electrolytes due to physical exertion, exercise, alcohol consumption, hangover, or illness. Experience all natural rehydration by simply adding to water or your favorite drink; add lemon to ease the mineral taste. Guilt free electrolyte rehydration with zero calories, artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.

10) Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (20 oz) - Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed, Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein.

As we age we lose collagen all over our body! I love this product as an easy way to increase collagen! I have seen great improvements in my joint health since using this daily and the benefits for my skin are just an adding plus! This product is pasture-raised, grass-fed, non-GMO, and kosher. This collagen powder is soluble in cold and hot liquids. I will mix this with my daily protein shake mid afternoon. Collagen peptides promote youthful skin, healthier hair, and stronger nails. Helps keeps bones healthy and strong, supports joint health. Whole 30 Approved, gluten Free, and dairy Free!

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Introducing LEAN Accountability Coach Cassie Zumwalt

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As our #LEANteam introductions continue, I am so excited to formally introduce you all to Cassie Zumwalt, my BFF, partner in crime and #LEANteam rockstar! As you will read below, I have known Cassie since our days in college. We have been pretty inseparable for the past 20 years and during our time together I know that I have been a major influence in her overall goal to live a healthy life.

10-12 years ago when I became the rogue dietitian, telling my patients to stop worrying about fats and start worrying about carbs and sugar, she might have been the only person that did not think I was crazy! Together we have evolved and aimed to nourish our bodies with the highest quality foods and hold each other accountable for this new healthy lifestyle. I will even admit that over the last few years Cassie may be more dialed in with regards to food quality and food sourcing than even myself. She is a wealth of knowledge due to her educational background and her personal experience. Cassie has been a promonate figure in my monthly ELITE program for the past year and I look forward to expanding her roll in the months to come! Read more about Cassie below.

 
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Hello. Let me introduce myself, my name is Cassie Zumwalt and I am delighted to be working with Amanda’s LEAN program as an advisor for the monthly ELITE program.  I am a Registered Nurse with Degrees from the University of Kentucky in Health Care Administration and a BSN from Eastern Kentucky University. Most importantly, I am a wife to Nicholas and Mom to a pretty phenomenal little guy, Aiden. My nursing career has centered in both Cardiology and Oncology and has fueled my passion for living a life of health and wellness. I truly understand how significant it is that we nourish our bodies with whole foods and incorporate intentional exercise in order to live our lives in the happiest and healthiest capacity.

 

 

Amanda and I have been close friends since our sorority days back in college. We have shared many awesome memories together including being part of each other’s weddings, beginning of our careers in the medical field, we even got to experience pregnancies together.  Like so many women, I really struggled with losing my pregnancy weight; however, my battle was even more complicated by a considerable amount of stress due to my son's long term and frequent hospitalizations related to his complex congenital heart disease. I really lost sight of how important it was to put my health first! Which is imperative, as Aiden’s special needs will require both me and my husband to be at our best for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, I had been a lifelong “yo-yoer” with my weight despite my awareness of the importance of whole food nutrition and eating from clean, high quality food sources; I was a steady state cardio junkie, and I had not seen any substantial results for many years after the birth of my son.

 

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 The whole family got healthy!

The whole family got healthy!

 
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When I began intermittent fasting and incorporating strength training into my exercise routines, I was able to lose 70 pounds in six months. The best part is I have been able to maintain the loss for over a year and a half by simply living the LEAN lifestyle. Even more importantly than the physical change to my body is the fact that I now have more energy and stamina than I remember having long before parenthood. I love the emotional stability and mental clarity that these principals have brought to my life. I truly am grateful that this program has left such a positive impact on so many of my friends, family, neighbors and co-workers and I know it will work for you too!  I look forward to the opportunity to help and support many clients in the years to come and teach them what I have learned to finally see long term, sustainable results!

TOP HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR HEALTH, FITNESS AND WEIGHT LOSS

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have the worst time figuring out what to buy my friends and family for Christmas. There can be a lot of anxiety about gift giving – is this something they would like? Is this something they would use? Will they be returning it in January? 

 

The first thing you need to do is think about what your loved one is interested in. If it’s health, fitness, and nutrition, then you’ve come to the right place. There are tons of great gifts to give to those in your circle that love to sweat and fuel their bodies well. The next time you struggle with deciding what gifts to get everyone for Christmas, check out this list of my Top 5 Gifts for the Holidays for those wellness-oriented folks in your life! 

 
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  1. Fitness tracker. Devices like Fitbits are a great gift idea for the health nut in your life. A Fitbit can be perfect for those just starting their health journey – not only do they track your steps, but the newest editions also track your sleep and monitor your heart rate. Aside from newbies to the health world, Fitbits can also be a great tool to help the workout veteran really take control of their exercises. The heart rate monitor that Fitbit provides great information about calorie burn during workouts! I love this FitBit Charge 2 linked here!

2. You can’t go wrong with workout clothes, equipment, and gift cards. Most of us have plenty of workout tank tops, shorts, and t-shirts to wear during the warmer times of the year. But if there’s a runner in your life, pick them up a new pullover or fleece leggings that will protect them from the December temperatures! Winter workout clothes are a great way to show your family that you’re not only thinking about them, but also helps them stay accountable and not skip workouts due to the weather!

 
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3. A meal delivery service! Most of us eat out more than we really should, and a big part of that is due to hectic schedules where we just can’t fit in prepping, cooking, and cleaning up after a meal. A great gift idea for the busy people in your life is pre-purchasing dinners through a meal delivery service. Depending on where you purchase from, your loved one will come home to a box of prepped, portioned, and fresh ingredients that can be transformed into a meal in 30 minutes or less. Get $60 off your first order by clicking here!

 
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4. Gym Membership! Another great “pay ahead” gift is to cover the next few month’s of their gym membership. Most gyms run on an auto-pay method, so just take a trip to the gym’s office and pre-pay their account for a while. The best part about this gift is it takes the guesswork out – they were already buying the service monthly, so you know this is something that they’ll both like and appreciate. If you really want to wow them, try purchasing a few personal trainer sessions for them with a trainer at their gym. Working with a trainer gives clients a great foundation to build on in the gym.

 
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5. Work with a Dietitian! Another awesome way to help support your friends in their healthy lifestyles is covering the cost of a Dietitian. Working with a professional can really help kickstart their goals or propel them forward in their healthy lifestyle. Registered Dietitians are the most qualified people to support your health and wellness goals! What I love about being able to work with my clients online and in a group setting is that I can significantly reduce your cost of working with an RD. A typical one hour consult with a dietitian will run you about 75-100 dollars. My clients are able to get access to me on daily basis for 7 WEEKS and it only cost $199! This is an incredible opportunity to learn and get support from a dietitian without the crazy cost! Consider a gift certificate to my seven week online program LEAN for the ones you love! More info by clicking here!

 

If you or someone you love is considering making a lifestyle change in 2019, contact me about joining one of my programs! I am a registered dietitian specializing in Bariatric and weight loss nutrition, and I can help you reach your nutrition goals in 2019!


What is Carbohydrate Cycling and How Can it Work for You?

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I’ve had a few clients ask, “What’s the point of carbohydrate cycling?” So, I’m going to answer that, explain what it looks like on a day-to-day basis, and explore the benefits of utilizing this dietary approach.

What is Carb Cycling?

Essentially, it’s a dietary method in which carb intake is alternated on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Carb cycling allows our bodies to burn fat as fuel, maximizing the benefits of the carbohydrates we eat. The point of the cycling is to lose fat, manipulate metabolism, and improve (or at least maintain) physical performance. Carbs can be adjusted from day-to-day, so one day you can have a higher carb intake and the next can be lower.

Carbohydrate Manipulation

Implementing low carb days (days when you eat fewer carbohydrates) manipulates insulin levels.  Doing so improves insulin sensitivity, metabolic flexibility, and ultimately, the body's ability to burn fat. The goal of carb cycling is to match the body’s need for glucose or calories. Higher carb days are for refueling your muscle glycogen stores. This can result in reduced muscle breakdown, better performance, and improved function of the hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Low carb days enable the body to switch its way of metabolizing, using fat as the main energy source.

Benefits of Carbohydrate Cycling

Individuals often utilize carbohydrate cycling for weight loss. This is achieved by consuming less food than your body burns over a period of time, creating a calorie deficit. Carb cycling is beneficial for physical performance and muscle gain. It’s also useful in improving cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity, as well as increasing fat burning.

What Carbohydrates Should I Eat and How Much?

Healthy, whole, or "clean" carbohydrates should be utilized during carb cycling. This excludes refined sugars, refined flours, processed foods, and soft drinks. On the other hand, healthy carb sources are delicious and full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They digest efficiently; fight inflammation, diseases, bacteria; and slow aging.  Good sources of carbs include vegetables, fruits, legumes, and tubers.

Healthy Carb Examples:

✓ Sweet Potato

✓ Oatmeal

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✓ Rice/Quinoa

✓ Beans

✓ Squash

✓ Corn

✓ Peas

✓ Apples

✓ Bananas

✓ Berries

✓ Broccoli




How to Implement Carb Cycling

There’s really no right or wrong way to carb cycle. You can alter your cycling plan daily or you can perform longer periods of time with high or low carbs. Since this dietary approach is different than a regular diet, it takes trial and error. So be patient with yourself and your body and know that some experimenting will be required in order to reach optimal results. To better understand what a week of carbohydrate cycling looks like, I’ve included a sample below.

Day                   Carb Intake        Grams of carbs

Sunday                   Low carb 50g

Monday                  High carb                        200g

Tuesday                  High carb                       200g

Wednesday             Low carb                         50g

Thursday                Low carb                        50g

Friday                     Moderate                  100g

Saturday                 Moderate                       100g


Carb Cycling Menu Examples:

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Low Carb Meal Day

✓ Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 egg whites, w/ bacon or turkey sausage & spinach salad (12g carbs)

✓ Lunch: 6 oz grilled chicken salad with 1 tsp olive oil (12g carbs)

✓ Dinner: 6 oz grilled salmon with mixed vegetables (12g carbs)

✓ Snack: 1 oz almonds and deli chicken slices (10g carbs)

Moderate Carb Meal Day

✓ Breakfast: 2 eggs with 1 cup blueberries & sunflower seeds (25g carbs)

✓ Lunch: 1 chicken salad sandwich w/ carrots (25g carbs)

✓ Dinner: 4 oz baked sweet potato, 6 oz chicken breast, 1 serving kidney beans & mixed veggies (40g carbs)

✓ Snack: 1 banana w/mixed nuts & tbsp. peanut butter (25g carbs)

High Carb Meal Day

✓ Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 slices gluten free toast, spinach, & tomatoes w/1 cup apple slices (50g carbs)

✓ Lunch: 4 oz baked sweet potato, 6 oz pork chop, mixed veggies, and 1 serving kidney beans (40g carbs)

✓ Dinner: 1 serving quinoa, 6 oz lean chicken breast, 1 serving black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, & peppers (65g carbs)

✓ Snack: I serving oatmeal, skim milk, 1 cup strawberries (50g carbs)

Going Out to Eat

Low carb restaurant examples:

• Panera- Chicken caesar salad without croutons & dressing on the side

• Chick-Fil-A- Grilled nuggets

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• Canes- Naked chicken fingers

• Chipotle/Qdoba- Salad w/ grilled chicken, veggies, pico & dressing on the side

• BurgerFi- Lettuce wrapped burger w/tomato

• Waffle House/iHop- Bacon or sausage and eggs

• Jimmy John’s- Unwich (lettuce wrap)

Tips for Dining Out

• If you’re ordering a salad, ask for dressing on the side

• If you’re ordering a salad, eliminate the croutons or wontons.

• If you’re ordering a sandwich, wrap, or burger, drop the bun/bread or use lettuce

• Eliminate or reduce condiments (choose mustard)

• Avoid bread and chips

Reaching a Plateau

It’s likely that you'll reach a fat-burning plateau while utilizing carbohydrate cycling. If this becomes the case, then you need to switch things up a bit. Have a cheat meal one day or have three to four high carb days to jumpstart your metabolism. This will allow the fat burning process to re-set. Another option is to try zero carbs (none whatsoever) for multiple consecutive days.

Take Home Message

Carbohydrate cycling is a great tool to improve health, physical performance, and diet. A balance between a low and high carbohydrate diet may be most beneficial for an individual’s psychological and physiological state. Finally, utilizing carb cycling requires adjusting high and low carb days to best fit your lifestyle.


Not sure if you can really implement this to make it work? Not sure how to make it work? Not sure what to eat when you are carb cycling? I want to help you more! Consider my last session of LEAN for 2018! We start Nov 12th! More info in the links below!

Maybe you need more personal one on one help! Well I have that too! More info here!

 
 

Introducing my Coordinator of the Chaos, Heather Woolwine

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I am so excited to formally introduce you to one of the most important people on the #LEANTEAM, my administrative director and client liaison, Heather Woolwine.  By no means is she new around here and I am sure many of you have heard me refer to her but maybe wonder who the heck she was. Heather is truly my right hand gal and the most important person to me behind the scenes of www.AmandaNighbert.com and the LEAN program. Heather does a multitude of things to keep this ship afloat and she does it in the most timely and organized manner possible.  She processes client registrations, manages new sessions, assigns groups, ensure all the proper forms are completed and organizes affiliates and referrals just to name a few of her duties! She is super creative and most importantly always thinking one step ahead of what my needs are or might be and this makes her truly special!  Her forward thinking mindset has really helped me as we have grown over the past year and more importantly provided a greater experience and level of service to my clients. Beyond all that she is pretty much just an amazing person with the biggest heart. And to top it all off, she is family! So needless to say I love her so much and I am so grateful to be able to work with her on a daily basis. Together we make a great team! I am so excited to introduce to you to Heather!


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Hello!  My name is Heather Woolwine and I am the administrative director and client liaison for AmandaNighbert.com and the LEAN program.  After spending 14 amazing years as a stay at home mom, I decided to do something for myself and enroll in college receiving my degree in Business Management. It just so happened as I was finishing my degree Amanda was launching her new venture and needed help. She was growing faster than she could keep up with and I was excited to jump in and give her the support she needed. Being a chaos coordinator was right up my alley!  I enjoy taking care of all the behind the scenes stuff therefore making this opportunity the perfect fit!


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I am married to Amanda’s younger brother, Scott, and together we have 4 kids, Abby, Zac, Mallory, & Emma. The kids keep us very busy between school functions, sports, and busy social lives!  As a family we live in Nicholasville, KY, not too far from Lexington. We love camping and go as often as we can with our friends and pups! Our favorite place to visit is the beach and we try to make it a point to see the ocean at least once a year.


I appreciate working with Amanda and her program even more because I personally have seen how amazing it works!  I have always yo yo’d with my weight but had gotten to my highest weight ever, including during pregnancy! Having PCOS my doctor said it would be very hard to lose weight.  Both my husband and I decided we needed to take control of our health and weight. After one session with Amanda, I knew my life was changed forever! The inches just melted off of us both!  At this point I am now in a smaller size than I was in high school. I am down almost 50 pounds and 4 pants sizes and my husband is down 20 pounds and 1 pants size. I have never felt better…I had no idea how much the weight was literally weighing me down!

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I look forward to continuing to serve and support both Amanda and her clients in the months and years to come! And even more excited to be a part of the #LEANTEAM and this ever growing, exciting venture!

XOXO,

Heather






Why your Low Fat Diet is not Helping your Cholesterol Numbers!

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One of the biggest questions is get from my clients is about Cholesterol!  My cholesterol is high, will this program help? My doctor wants me to eat a low fat diet to help with my high cholesterol.  I have been tracking and I am concerned over all the fat I am eating, will is raise my cholesterol?

Oh the big cholesterol controversy!  What is the deal with cholesterol and is it really fat that is increasing your numbers?  Is having high cholesterol bad? Does fat contribute to high cholesterol or heart disease? My doctor wants me on a statin, should I take it?  These are all common questions I hear daily!

The problem is most of us have little understanding about our cholesterol levels in our blood and the whole topic is more complicated than we thought.  Just looking at total cholesterol is the biggest mistake we make! Total cholesterol does not give you the full picture of the health of your heart and simply reducing your fat intake will not necessarily improve your numbers!

One of the biggest refuse-to-die myths is that dietary and cholesterol levels are the enemy and a high-fat diet causes heart attacks.  This has been drilled into us for the past 4 decades and some doctors STILL continue to give this extremely outdated advice!  The more we look, the more we see that study after study shows no link between total fat, saturated fat, or dietary cholesterol and heart disease. And if fat was really the main cause then the fact that we eat 25% less fat today than we did in the 80’s should mean a reduction in heart disease NOT an increase like we have seen!  Bottom line is we are just looking at the wrong things!

So now we know fat and dietary cholesterol are not the problem, so what is? Its sugar and refined carbs that contribute to diabetes, heart disease, and so many other problems.  Remember above how I said we have been brainwashed to fear fat?  Well even the government admits now that they were wrong. The 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Committee reviewed all the research over last 4 decades and finally agree that we should not be worrying about dietary cholesterol. They also finally lifted any recommendations to restrict dietary fat after 35 years of a steady diet of low-fat recommendations! So why are people still telling us to eat low fat? We now know that it is not really the amount of fat you are eating, it is the type of fat that matters most! Trans-fats and refined vegetable oils promote abnormal cholesterol profiles; whereas, omega 3 oils from fish and monounsaturated fats found in nuts and olive oil can actually improve the type and quantity of your cholesterol.  So for sure load up on healthy fats in your diet and focus on whole food nutrition with less processed foods!

Begin to focus on what is really the problem!  Sugar and carbohydrates! The sugar you consume converts to abnormal blood cholesterol and belly fat. The biggest culprit of all is actually high-fructose corn syrup found in soda, juices, and in most processed foods. That’s what causes cholesterol issues in most people, not saturated or total fat. When you ingest fructose in high amounts without the fiber found in whole fruit, it turns on the cholesterol-producing factory in your liver called lipogenesis which makes super dangerous SMALL LDL particles, increases your triglycerides, and lowers the HDL (or good) cholesterol. So does sugar in any form, including flour and refined carbs.  Therefore if you are looking to make a positive impact on your cholesterol and triglyceride number you must control your sugar and carb intake!

So what should we look at to determine if our heart is healthy?  First consider your HDL levels, the good cholesterol! We want this number to be high and really the only way to increase this is with exercise!  Ideally at least over 60 mg/dl is what you want!  We know that low HDL (under 40 mg/dl) is a much bigger red flag for your risk of heart disease and a heart attack!  So get that HDL up!

We must also stop looking at total cholesterol and start looking at the size of our cholesterol!  Particle size testing is a must, request either an NMR Lipid Panel from LabCorp or the Cardio IQ Test from Quest Diagnostics.  Other cholesterol tests are outdated. A regular cholesterol test won’t reveal particle size. Particle size testing is the only way to know what’s really going on with your cholesterol.  You want to see results that show lots of safe, fluffy, BIG cholesterol particles. You do not want to see small, dense, artery-damaging cholesterol particles.  So it is very possible to have high cholesterol numbers that once you look at the particle size, are not going to negatively impact your health!  This is very important to know!

Also look at triglycerides!  Elevated triglycerides are much more harmful than elevated cholesterol!  Aim for less than 150 mg/dL! Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn't need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. Regularly eat more calories than you burn, specifically sugar and carbs, could lead to high triglycerides!

So what’s the best advice for improving your cholesterol and triglyceride numbers?

1)      Focus on whole food nutrition!  Aim to reduce the amount of carbohydrates and sugars in your diet.  You don’t have to be carb free or super low carb but reducing your intake will improve your numbers!  Aim for tons of veggies that are high in fiber and filling!  Aim for good lean protein sources and incorporate healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil.  Cut out as much processed foods as possible!  Shop the perimeter of the grocery store!

2)      Drink more water!  Aim for at least 64 oz of plain water each day in addition to the other fluids you are consuming!

3)      Exercise!  Regular exercise is the BEST way to increase healthy cholesterol HDL and we want that number to be high!  Incorporating some high intensity exercise, even just 30 mins, most days will really help!

4)      Get enough sleep!  Adequate sleep is so important for health!  Aim for 6-8 hours, reduce distraction around bed time, reduce caffeine and high sugar foods to help you fall asleep better!

If you need more help getting you health in line whether it be weight loss, diabetes management or reducing your cholesterol numbers I have a program that can help!

Constipation and a Healthy Way to Treat it!

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Most would think when switching to a whole food diet that going to the bathroom would be no issue!  Loading up on healthy foods that are full of fiber and drinking more water should prevent this right?  Wrong!  For many, switching to whole food nutrition stops them up more than anything!  One of the reason for this could be because processed foods contain so many unnatural additives that the body does not recognize or absorb and because of this our stools are loose to normal when we eat a diet high in processed foods!  When we take out all of that crap we are left with some major bowel issues for some!  Constipation is something that should not be overlooked and treated in the right way!  let's take a closer look at this topic!

 

The characteristics of your stool will tell you a lot about the health of your digestive tract – color, odor, shape, size, and even the sound it makes when it hits the water and whether it’s a “sinker” or a “floater” are all relevant information. The Bristol Stool Chart is a handy tool that may help you learn what you’re going for. Ideally, your stool should approximate Types 3, 4 and 5.  Type 4 is the Holy Grail.

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Fiber tends to bulk up your stool and acts like glue to keep the stool stuck together, instead of in pieces. In hunter and gatherer times we ate up to 150g of fiber a DAY!  Today most Americans average as little as 8-10g.  lack of adequate fiber intake is a huge issue and has a significant impact on your overall health! 

Everyone should aim for at least 25-35g of fiber a day and know that more is even better! 

If your stool is on the softer side, short of diarrhea, it could be related to lactose intolerance, artificial sweeteners (sorbitol and sucralose (splenda), or a reaction to fructose or gluten.

The average body takes between 18 and 72 hours to convert food into stool and pass it on out. When this time is significantly shortened, the result is diarrhea because your intestine doesn’t have time to absorb all of the water. Conversely, when transit time is lengthened, you may end up constipated because too much water has been absorbed, resulting in hard, dry stools.

Constipation is defined as passing hard, dry stools that you have to strain to move, and it’s typically accompanied by decreased frequency of defecation. Straining is not normal, nor is experiencing feelings of incomplete elimination, bloating, crampiness, or sluggishness after going number two.

 Chronic constipation is not ideally and should not be over looked as normal.  Healthy bowel habits are important to your overall health!  Here are some suggestions for treating and preventing constipation!

Treatment for Constipation:

1)   Drink plenty of water daily.  Aim for 1/2 your body weight in fluid ounces

2)   Eat a diet that includes whole foods, rich in vegetables and fruits that provide good nutrients and fiber; most of your fiber should come from vegetables everyday. Aim for at least 25-35g of fiber each day! Fruits and veggies high in fiber include avocados, prunes, artichokes, peas, berries, and broccoli.

3)   Avoid artificial sweeteners, excess sugar (especially fructose), chemical additives, MSG, excessive amounts of caffeine, and processed foods as they are all detrimental to your gastrointestinal (and immune) function. Click here for a look at the non caloric sweetness I like!

4)   Try increasing your fiber intake; good options include psyllium.  Psyllium is unique because it's an adaptogenic fiber, which means it will help soften your stool if you’re constipated, or reduce frequency of your bowel movements if you have loose stools. Or try freshly ground organic flax seed.  You can easily add it to salads and soups daily!

5)   Boost your intestinal flora by adding naturally fermented foods into your diet, such as sauerkraut, pickles, kimchee and kefir (if you tolerate dairy); add a probiotic supplement if you suspect you’re not getting enough beneficial bacteria from your diet alone. Look for something with Lactobacillus Acidophilus DDS-1.  Click here for a list of the probiotic I recommend to my clients!

6)   Begin taking a magnesium citrate supplement daily.  Adding magnesium to your diet is one of the healthiest and easiest ways to combat constipation.  Most people suffer from a magnesium deficiency and would benefit from added magnesium.  read more about the importance of magnesium and the proper way to supplement it here! Consider adding the magnesium powder prior to bed each night to improve sleep and constipation.  Be aware that your dose of magnesium for treating constipation may vary day to day and it might be quite high in the beginning.  Here is the magnesium supplement I personally use and recommend for constipation issues to my clients! 

7)   Get plenty of exercise daily

 

If you struggle with chronic constipation and other health issues that are holding you back from losing weight and feeling better, I would love the chance to work with you!  For the past 20 years I have help thousands of patients get on track with their own wellness journey and I would love to do the same for you!  Check out the link below for a look at all the program I offer!

Magnesium! Your Missing Mineral!

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Magnesium is a mineral that is present in relatively large amounts in the body. Researchers estimate that the average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, and about half of that is in the bones. Magnesium is important in more than 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly including muscle function, heart rhythm, blood pressure, immune system functioning and blood sugar level.

Yet it is estimated that 80% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.

Symptoms of deficiency can include constipation, fatigue, weakness, pain, spasm, tremor, cramping, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, depression, irritability, lethargy, and insomnia.

Magnesium has been linked to reduced incidence of common conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome in large peer-reviewed, long-term studies.  Studies today focus on whether active magnesium supplementation may be one of the missing links to preventing these diseases, as well as several disorders affecting the brain, muscles and skin.

The U.S. Department of Health has placed magnesium on its short list of nutrients of concern, and many experts actually recommend increases to magnesium’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).

The good news is that magnesium supplementation is a safe and effective way for most people to ensure they are getting enough magnesium to stay healthy, before deficiencies arise. 

Benefits of Magnesium!

1. Better sleep - The sleep regulating hormone melatonin is disturbed when Magnesium is deficient. Furthermore, Magnesium brings balance and controls stress hormones. Stress and tension are often reasons why people suffer from insomnia in the first place.

2. Relaxes the nervous system - Serotonin, which relaxes the nervous system and elevates mood, is dependent on Magnesium.

3. Bigger, stronger muscles - Magnesium allows the body to produce more Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1), which is a major contributor to the growth and strength of muscles. Furthermore, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the cell's energy store, and is created with help from Magnesium.

4. Better flexibility - Magnesium loosens tight muscles. Without Magnesium, muscles do not relax properly and cramps occur. Magnesium is important for flexibility, because low Magnesium results in a buildup of lactic acid, causing pain and tightness.

5. Bone integrity and strength - Magnesium helps to fix calcium properly. It may blow some people's mind that the calcium supplements they're taking are not only useless, but are actually contributing to osteoporosis! There are actually about eighteen essential nutrients that contribute to bone health; Magnesium is definitely one of the most essential, because it stimulates a particular hormone called calcitonin. And, it also suppresses a hormone called parathyroid that breaks down bone.

6. Remineralizes teeth - Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorous and calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.

7. Alkalizes the body - Magnesium helps return the body’s pH balance. Magnesium reduces lactic acid, which is partly responsible for post-exercise pain (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

8. Hydrates - Magnesium is a necessary electrolyte essential for proper hydration.

9. Helps to relieve constipation - Magnesium can be used to cleanse the bowels of toxins.

10. Enzyme function - Enzymes are protein molecules that stimulate every chemical reaction in the body. Magnesium is required to make hundreds of these enzymes work and assists with thousands of others.

11. Diabetes - Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, which facilitates sugar metabolism. Without Magnesium, glucose is not able to transfer into cells. Glucose and insulin build up in the blood, causing various types of tissue damage, including the nerves in the eyes.

Magnesium and Constipation! 

Magnesium is an all natural, healthy way to treat constipation on a regular basis.  Products like laxatives, stool softeners and Miralax can be very damaging to a healthy gut if used daily.  Magnesium Citrate increases water in your intestines which help initiate peristalsis (the wavelike motion which moves fecal matter through your intestines). Peristalsis also pushes food into your stomach.

The laxative effect of magnesium appears to come through two different mechanisms:

-Magnesium relaxes the muscles in the intestines---this helps to establish a smoother rhythm that helps eliminate constipation.

-Magnesium also attracts water---this increased amount of water in the colon serves to soften the stool, helping to make stools easier to pass and thus removing constipation.

Since your intestines will be absorbing this excess water from your body it is very important to drink plenty of water after taking Magnesium. This will keep you from becoming dehydrated.

Magnesium Citrate should be taking daily as needed to treat AND prevent constipation.  Daily dose will vary depending on the bodies current needs.  One day you may need 2 teaspoons and the next you may need 4.  Adjust your dose according to your bowel movements.  If your stool is hard and you are feeling constipated increase dose, if your stool is loose and you have diarrhea decrease your dose. 

Good Forms Of Magnesium

-Magnesium citrate -- Magnesium citrate is the most popular magnesium supplement, probably because it is inexpensive and easily absorbed. Since citric acid is a mild laxative, magnesium citrate functions as a constipation aid as well as a magnesium source. It is a great choice for individuals with rectal or colon problems but is unsuitable for those with loose bowel movements.


-Magnesium taurate -- Magnesium taurate is the best choice of magnesium supplement for people with cardiovascular issues, since it is known to prevent arrhythmias and guard the heart from damage caused by heart attacks. Magnesium taurate is easily absorbed (magnesium and taurine stabilize cell membranes together), and it contains no laxative properties.


-Magnesium malate -- Magnesium malate is a fantastic choice for people suffering from fatigue, since malic acid -- a natural fruit acid present in most cells in the body -- is a vital component of enzymes that play a key role in ATP synthesis and energy production. Since the ionic bonds of magnesium and malic acid are easily broken, magnesium malate is also highly soluble.


-Magnesium glycinate -- Magnesium glycinate (magnesium bound with glycine, a non-essential amino acid) is one of the most bioavailable and absorbable forms of magnesium, and also the least likely to induce diarrhea. It is the safest option for correcting a long-term deficiency.


-Magnesium chloride -- Though magnesium chloride only contains around 12 percent elemental magnesium, it has an impressive absorption rate and is the best form of magnesium to take for detoxing the cells and tissues. Moreover, chloride (not to be confused with chlorine, the toxic gas) aids kidney function and can boost a sluggish metabolism.


-Magnesium carbonate -- Magnesium carbonate is another popular, bioavailable form of magnesium that actually turns into magnesium chloride when it mixes with the hydrochloric acid in our stomachs. It is a good choice for people suffering from indigestion and acid reflux, since it contains antacid properties.

Forms of Magnesium to Avoid

-Magnesium oxide -- Magnesium oxide is the most common form of magnesium sold in pharmacies, but it is non-chelated and possesses a poor absorption rate compared to those listed above.


-Magnesium sulfate -- Magnesium sulfate, also called Epsom salt, is a fantastic constipation aid but an unsafe source of dietary magnesium, since overdosing on it is easy.


-Magnesium glutamate and aspartate -- Avoid these two forms of magnesium completely. Glutamic acid and aspartic acid are components of the dangerous artificial sweetener aspartame, and both of them become neurotoxic when unbound to other amino acids.


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