Posts Tagged ‘Detox’

To Detox or Not … that is the Question?

December 14, 2014

spring_detox-2Detoxing is a scam.
“You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth.”
This article first appeared in the Guardian, December 5th 2014.

There’s no such thing as ‘detoxing’. In medical terms, it’s a nonsense. Diet and exercise is the only way to get healthy. But which of the latest fad regimes can really make a difference?

Whether it’s cucumbers splashing into water or models sitting smugly next to a pile of vegetables, it’s tough not to be sucked in by the detox industry. The idea that you can wash away your calorific sins is the perfect antidote to our fast-food lifestyles and alcohol-lubricated social lives. But before you dust off that juicer or take the first tentative steps towards a colonic irrigation clinic, there’s something you should know: detoxing – the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go – is a scam. It’s a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell you things.

“Let’s be clear,” says Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, “there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t.” The respectable one, he says, is the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions. “The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.”

If toxins did build up in a way your body couldn’t excrete, he says, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention. “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” he says. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.”

Much of the sales patter revolves around “toxins”: poisonous substances that you ingest or inhale. But it’s not clear exactly what these toxins are. If they were named they could be measured before and after treatment to test effectiveness. Yet, much like floaters in your eye, try to focus on these toxins and they scamper from view. In 2009, a network of scientists assembled by the UK charity Sense about Science contacted the manufacturers of 15 products sold in pharmacies and supermarkets that claimed to detoxify. The products ranged from dietary supplements to smoothies and shampoos. When the scientists asked for evidence behind the claims, not one of the manufacturers could define what they meant by detoxification, let alone name the toxins.

Yet, inexplicably, the shelves of health food stores are still packed with products bearing the word “detox” – it’s the marketing equivalent of drawing go-faster stripes on your car. You can buy detoxifying tablets, tinctures, tea bags, face masks, bath salts, hair brushes, shampoos, body gels and even hair straighteners. Yoga, luxury retreats, and massages will also all erroneously promise to detoxify. You can go on a seven-day detox diet and you’ll probably lose weight, but that’s nothing to do with toxins, it’s because you would have starved yourself for a week.

Then there’s colonic irrigation. Its proponents will tell you that mischievous plaques of impacted poo can lurk in your colon for months or years and pump disease-causing toxins back into your system. Pay them a small fee, though, and they’ll insert a hose up your bottom and wash them all away. Unfortunately for them – and possibly fortunately for you – no doctor has ever seen one of these mythical plaques, and many warn against having the procedure done, saying that it can perforate your bowel.

Other tactics are more insidious. Some colon-cleansing tablets contain a polymerising agent that turns your faeces into something like a plastic, so that when a massive rubbery poo snake slithers into your toilet you can stare back at it and feel vindicated in your purchase. Detoxing foot pads turn brown overnight with what manufacturers claim is toxic sludge drawn from your body. This sludge is nothing of the sort – a substance in the pads turns brown when it mixes with water from your sweat.

“It’s a scandal,” fumes Ernst. “It’s criminal exploitation of the gullible man on the street and it sort of keys into something that we all would love to have – a simple remedy that frees us of our sins, so to speak. It’s nice to think that it could exist but unfortunately it doesn’t.”

That the concept of detoxification is so nebulous might be why it has evaded public suspicion. When most of us utter the word detox, it’s usually when we’re bleary eyed and stumbling out of the wrong end of a heavy weekend. In this case, surely, a detox from alcohol is a good thing? “It’s definitely good to have non-alcohol days as part of your lifestyle,” says Catherine Collins, an NHS dietitian at St George’s Hospital. “It’ll probably give you a chance to reassess your drinking habits if you’re drinking too much. But the idea that your liver somehow needs to be ‘cleansed’ is ridiculous.”

The liver breaks down alcohol in a two-step process. Enzymes in the liver first convert alcohol to acetaldehyde, a very toxic substance that damages liver cells. It is then almost immediately converted into carbon dioxide and water which the body gets rid of. Drinking too much can overwhelm these enzymes and the acetaldehyde buildup will lead to liver damage. Moderate and occasional drinking, though, might have a protective effect. Population studies, says Collins, have shown that teetotallers and those who drink alcohol excessively have a shorter life expectancy than people who drink moderately and in small amounts.

“We know that a little bit of alcohol seems to be helpful,” she says. “Maybe because its sedative effect relaxes you slightly or because it keeps the liver primed with these detoxifying enzymes to help deal with other toxins you’ve consumed. That’s why the government guidelines don’t say, ‘Don’t drink’; they say, ‘OK drink, but only modestly.’ It’s like a little of what doesn’t kill you cures you.”

This adage also applies in an unexpected place – to broccoli, the luvvie of the high-street “superfood” detox salad. Broccoli does help the liver out but, unlike the broad-shouldered, cape-wearing image that its superfood moniker suggests, it is no hero. Broccoli, as with all brassicas – sprouts, mustard plants, cabbages – contains cyanide. Eating it provides a tiny bit of poison that, like alcohol, primes the enzymes in your liver to deal better with any other poisons.

Collins guffaws at the notion of superfoods. “Most people think that you should restrict or pay particular attention to certain food groups, but this is totally not the case,” she says. “The ultimate lifestyle ‘detox’ is not smoking, exercising and enjoying a healthy balanced diet like the Mediterranean diet.”

Close your eyes, if you will, and imagine a Mediterranean diet. A red chequered table cloth adorned with meats, fish, olive oil, cheeses, salads, wholegrain cereals, nuts and fruits. All these foods give the protein, amino acids, unsaturated fats, fibre, starches, vitamins and minerals to keep the body – and your immune system, the biggest protector from ill-health – functioning perfectly.

So why, then, with such a feast available on doctor’s orders, do we feel the need to punish ourselves to be healthy? Are we hard-wired to want to detox, given that many of the oldest religions practise fasting and purification? Has the scientific awakening shunted bad spirits to the periphery and replaced them with environmental toxins that we think we have to purge ourselves of?

Susan Marchant-Haycox, a London psychologist, doesn’t think so. “Trying to tie detoxing in with ancient religious practices is clutching at straws,” she says. “You need to look at our social makeup over the very recent past. In the 70s, you had all these gyms popping up, and from there we’ve had the proliferation of the beauty and diet industry with people becoming more aware of certain food groups and so on.

“The detox industry is just a follow-on from that. There’s a lot of money in it and there are lots of people out there in marketing making a lot of money.”

Peter Ayton, a professor of psychology at City University London, agrees. He says that we’re susceptible to such gimmicks because we live in a world with so much information we’re happy to defer responsibility to others who might understand things better. “To understand even shampoo you need to have PhD in biochemistry,” he says, “but a lot of people don’t have that. If it seems reasonable and plausible and invokes a familiar concept, like detoxing, then we’re happy to go with it.”

Many of our consumer decisions, he adds, are made in ignorance and supposition, which is rarely challenged or informed. “People assume that the world is carefully regulated and that there are benign institutions guarding them from making any kind of errors. A lot of marketing drip-feeds that idea, surreptitiously. So if people see somebody with apparently the right credentials, they think they’re listening to a respectable medic and trust their advice.”

Ernst is less forgiving: “Ask trading standards what they’re doing about it. Anyone who says, ‘I have a detox treatment’ is profiting from a false claim and is by definition a crook. And it shouldn’t be left to scientists and charities to go after crooks.”

Articles sourced from:
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/05/detox-myth-health-diet-science-ignorance

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Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – November 2014

November 2, 2014
landscape.burst
Our MEMBERS ONLY special offer is back & is proudly sponsored by Parrys JewellersParrys Logo
for this November.
The fantastic team at Parrys Jewellers have kindly donated A PRIZE A WEEK
to reward you for encouraging your friends to become your gym buddy.Each Friday this month, we will be drawing the lucky winner!
We have 4 x Freshwater Pearl Bracelet and Earrings Sets (valued over $160 each) to give away.All you need to do to WIN is refer your friends to come in & try the club for FREE.Parrys 2014 cut
You will then get a ticket in the draw & if they decide to join, they will avoid the $149 joining fee & you will also receive 2 WEEKS FREE for each friend that you referred who joins.

There are NO LIMITS to the amount of friends you can refer & tickets you can get into the draw each week.
The more you refer, the better your chance of winning, so what are you waiting for?

Parrys Jewellers are also kindly offering 10% OFF all ticketed prices to Coffs Coast Health Club Members.
Simply show your membership tag when you are there to get your discount. Don’t forget Christmas is just around the corner!

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Annual Outdoor Balance Class! ????????????????

It’s that time of the year again when we take Coffs Coast Health Club’s Saturday morning Balance class outdoors to Sawtell’s Southern Headland.

Last years event was again a huge success with over 60 participants & a beautiful morning to remember.
Balance classes are a combination of yoga, tai chi & pilates incorporating strength, flexibility, balance & relaxation exercises.
Participating in this class while over looking the ocean & whales

frolicking in the background is a simply amazing experience.balance image

Bring as many friends as possible, a yoga mat or towel, drink bottle, a donation for beyondblue & remember to dress in blue.

Who:     All members & their invited guests

When:   Saturday 8th November at 9am
(enough time to get there after the 7.30am pump class in the club)

Where:  Sawtell Headland, off Boronia St, Sawtell

How:     Book at reception on your next visit, by calling 6658 6222 or via info@coffscoasthc.com.au

As a SPECIAL BONUS, anyone that joins the club on the day can choose their own joining fee (normally $149) & we will donate the entire amount to beyondblue

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Position Vacant – Full Time Business Management Traineeship!
trainee

One of our frontline legends Josh has just finished his Certificate III in Fitness & will be heading to Newcastle with his girlfriend in the next few weeks to chase their dreams together.
This leaves a position vacant for a New Trainee to join the team.

As we already have Maggie studying Fitness, we have decided to offer some diversity & provide a Business Management Traineeship instead. The successful applicant will get the opportunity to study a Certificate III in Business Management & will be employed full time in a reception, customer service role.

We accept applications from anyone of any age with any background, as long as they have a wonderful work ethic and a desire to service our magnificent members.

If you or anyone you know is interested in this exciting career opportunity, please forward this email to them, get them to complete the application form here & drop it in to reception before 6pm Sunday 9th November.

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Stress Resilience & Happiness Seminar!

georgie3 3Transform Your Life… and Thrive!

Over 7 modules we bring together the latest research, practical skills and proven tools for real and lasting change.
This weekend intensive brilliantly presented by Quantum Life Skills teaches you 7 powerful keys for stress proofing your brain,
building resilience and creating happiness from the inside out.

Georgie Cooke believes that you are not here just to survive. You are here to learn, love, grow and thrive!
She will show you how to do just that…

Who:         Everyone (members of CCHC receive 10% OFF)

When:       Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th November

Time:        10am – 1pm each day

Where:      19 Park Avenue, Coffs Harbour (enter via gordon st)

More Info: www.quantumlifeskills.com.au/resilience/

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Welcome to all new Fitness Passport Members!
Fitness-Passport

Coffs Coast Health Club is proud to be the first health club in the region to offer the fantastic service of Fitness Passport.
The healthy workplace initiative from NSW Health is available to their employees & their direct family members.

For the month of November all Fitness Passport members will also receive the following special rates.health

  • A  24/7 access key tag for only $29
  • 3 x 30 minute Personal Training Sessions with a trainer of your choice for only $99 (SAVE 20%)
  • 50% OFF a 60 minute massage with Angela our massage therapist
  • A FREE Weight Loss consultation with a Healthy Inspirations Weight Loss Coach

Simply contact reception on 6658 6222 or info@coffscoasthc.com.au for further information.

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Our Very First Movie Night – Cereal Killers!

“One of the top 10 independent movies of 2013 that could change the world!”cereal-killers-movie-540

The film follows Donal – a lean, fit, seemingly healthy 41 year old man – on a quest to hack his genes and drop dead healthy
by avoiding the heart disease and diabetes that has afflicted his family.

When Donal’s sports star father Kevin suffered a heart attack later in life, family and friends were shocked. How does a lean,
fit and seemingly healthy man – who has sailed through cardiac stress tests – suddenly fall victim to heart disease?

  • Does FAT make you FAT?
  • Is sugar TOXIC?
  • Should BREAD be BANNED?

When: Tuesday 11th November

Time:  6.30 – 8.00pm (movie duration 63 mins)

Where: Coffs Coast Health Club Childminding Studio

Cost: FREE if you bring a friend or just $5 otherwise

Sponsored by:  Healthy Inspirations

Book at reception on your next visit, by calling 6658 6222 or via info@coffscoasthc.com.au

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The Power of NanoPro as opposed to standard protein supplements!

We all know that protein is an essential nutrient for the human body, but how do you know which protein is best?
We’ve got you covered. Our EXCLUSIVE nanopro takes protein to a whole new level. It is not just for muscles,
it’s a full body internal tissue repair system that helps heal the entire body from the inside, out.

Product Benefits:nanopro

  • The highest bioavailability of any Protein supplement on the market
  • Increase lean muscle and bone mass
  • Speed recovery time from exercise, injury, illness, or surgery
  • Reduce injuries related to working out
  • Help maintain a trim, fat-burning, lean body mass
  • Stabilize blood sugar and blood lipid levels
  • Healthy appetite regulation
  • Supports low carb diets
  • Cellular detoxification and protection
  • Healthy heart, brain, bones, organs, tissue repair
  • Support a balanced immune system

Nanopro protein is truly a quantum leap in functional food nutrition that provides optimal health benefits. As part of our CORE4 range we are offering Nanopro for $69.99, however if you purchase a CORE 4 pack you will also receive a 10% OFF.

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Annual Members & Guests Christmas Party!

xmas 14
We wait all year for this night! Come & join us for a night of fun, frivolity, good food, great company and fantastic music…

When:  Friday 28th November

Time: 6.30pm – 10ish

Where: Sawtell Surf Life Saving Club

Entertainment:    Vanessa Henderson – beautiful acoustic solo musician.
Check her out here if you haven’t heard her before! Gold!

Dress: Party Clothes

Cost:  $30 each. BYO alcohol and other drinks. Tickets are limited, so book now at receptionxmas party 13

Lucky door prizes, Team Member of the Year, Member of the Year,
Most frequent visitor to CCHC,
Winner of the Healthy Inspirations Weight Loss Challenge & other prizes and giveaways.

Menu:               

Starters served on platters…from the fabulous Spare Chef Catering Company!

Mezze with House made Dips, Cider Poached Chorizo Sausage, Marinated

Fetta, Artichokes and Olives with Pita Wedges

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Nam Jim Sauce

Grilled Haloumi and Vegetable Skewers with Lemon and Parsley Gremolata

Thai Beef Salad with Asian Slaw and Rice Noodles, Nam Jim Dressing

Main Course served in individual Noodle Boxes…

Mediterranean Salad with Char Grilled Chicken, Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing

Sweet Potato, Chick Pea and Baby Spinach with Tandoori Yoghurt

Dessert….from Wicked Berries (of course)

Wicked Berries Famous Christmas Cake complete with loads of fabulous Wicked Berries

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CONGRATULATIONS & THANK YOU TO THE ENTIRE TEAM, CLUB MEMBERS & COFFS COAST COMMUNITY ON SUCH AN AMAZING WIN!
CUT 2

Click here for more information on membership, personal training, weight loss, massage therapy, rehabilitation,
group exercise, childminding, privileges card & fitness careers or call us on 6658 6222 for more help.

Invite your friends for a FREE TRIAL & grab yourself a new training buddy!

Sincerely,

Your CCHC Team

Spring Clean Your Life

September 14, 2014

index
Spring is here, and I enjoy using this time of year to prepare for the renewal this season provides.

One of the things you can do right now for yourself is prepare for the upcoming opportunities of the new season. Spring often inspires us to increase our fitness levels, participate in more activities outdoors and embrace a healthier way of eating — more greens perhaps as local food becomes increasingly available. Use this time to prepare yourself for those opportunities by getting organized.

Clutter, which has likely been accumulating all winter long, keeps us from moving forward, it blocks energy, it stops our creativity and it weighs us down. The more we have in your home, car, office, hand bag, computer hard drive, the more energy we need to attend to those things. Organizing, decluttering and preparing will put you in a physical, emotional and spiritual space that supports you in the new changes you have the opportunity to make this spring.

Here are a few steps to follow if you want to change you physical and spiritual landscape and prepare for spring:

1. Eliminate and purge.

You can apply this principle to all of your living spaces, or you can choose to apply it one room at a time. Evaluate what you have and what you need, keeping in mind the 80/20 principle that suggests we use about 20% of what we have and essentially do not really need the other 80%. Decide what you longer need or what no longer brings you pleasure, and donate it.

2. Make function easier.

Once you’ve gone through the elimination process, create a system to keep things neat and organized. Pick the system that you’re most likely to stay with and is most effective for your situation. Here are a few options to consider: baskets, file folders, storage containers, or dividers. When organizing your things, keep the items you use most often easiest to access. For example, organize and sort your clothing by season — take out your spring and summer clothes and find a storage solution for your winter clothes. Sort items by their function and keep like things together. For example, create “stations” in your home. In my very small kitchen I have a smoothie station where I keep my Vitamix and several Mason jars containing the ingredients I use daily to nourish my body.

3. Create a donation bag.

Keep a bag or box to which you can add items you longer want. Instead of allowing drawers and closets to fill up throughout the year with things you don’t need or want, create a place in your home where you can collect these items and then donate them in the spring as part of your regular spring cleaning. Check online for nonprofit organizations that will pick up your donated items, including small appliances, from your home for free.

4. Eliminate clutter hot spots.

Flat surfaces, drawers, the back seat of your car and sometimes handbags can become repositories for all sorts of unwanted or unused items. Mail and paperwork are classic examples of the clutter that can accumulate easily when left unattended. Devise a system that works for you in addressing your mail and paperwork as it’s generated. Take a few minutes each week to place important documents in these files and recycle any unneeded paper, or, when possible, go digital, and file your documents electronically. By implementing a system for use and function after you’ve purged, you’ll likely feel much lighter, energized, renewed and inspired after your hard work, providing you with the motivation and energy to continue moving forward with your goals and embracing the newness of spring.

5. Upgrade your home’s energy.

Rearrange your furniture. Get a new houseplant. Play upbeat music. Open your window, even just for a few moments. Diffuse tangerine and peppermint essential oils. Invite new energy and life into your home to become a happier and healthier human being this spring.

By using early spring to organize your living and work spaces, you can position yourself to achieve the health, wellness and personal goals you’ve been working toward!

This article was sourced from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12988/5-strategies-to-spring-clean-your-entire-life.html

Sweet Poison – sugar, it never fully satisfies our cravings.

August 12, 2014

addiction
In the last 24 hours, I’ve drunk several cups of coffee, each one sweetened with a sugar cube. I’ve eaten a bowl of porridge sprinkled liberally with brown sugar and I’ve enjoyed on three separate occasions, a piece of my date and apple birthday cake, to which the chef tells me he added one cup of castor sugar.

This is pretty standard fare for me (birthday celebrations notwithstanding) and although occasionally I fret that my sugar intake is perhaps a little high and that I should reign it in or else risk all manner of health problems down the track, I continue to indulge my sweet tooth. Although after listening to David Gillespie present at Happiness & Its Causes 2011, I’m seriously thinking I really do need to wean myself off the white stuff.

Gillespie, a former lawyer, is the author of Sweet Poison: why sugar makes us fat, whose thesis is that sugar, or more specifically fructose (of which folk are consuming, on average, about one kilo a week), actually does much more that pack on the kilos. It also makes us physically ill and exacts a significant toll on our mental health.

What we’ve come to identify as sugar is actually a combination of two molecules: fructose and glucose, the latter an indispensable element to the body’s healthy functioning. As Gillespie explains, “The glucose half is fine. It’s more than just fine; it’s vitally necessary for us. We are machines that run on the fuel of glucose.” Indeed, all the carbohydrates we consume – and which for most of us constitute about 60 per cent of our diet (everything else is proteins and fats) – are converted to glucose.

Fructose, on the other hand, is not metabolised by us for fuel but rather converted directly to fat. As Gillespie says, “By the time we finish a glass of apple juice, the first mouthful is already circulating in our arteries as fat.” But even worse than that, fructose messes with those hormonal signals which tell us we’re full so that we keep on eating sugary, fatty foods.

Two hormones in particular are affected, the first one being insulin “which responds immediately to the presence of all carbs except fructose,” says Gillespie. “When insulin goes up, appetite goes down. So insulin tells us, ‘all right, you’ve had a meal, stop eating’. Fructose does not provoke a response from insulin and in fact, over time, it makes us resistant to the signals we do get from everything else we eat.”

Leptin is produced by our fat cells and works as our “on board fuel gauge” in that the more fat cells we have, the more leptin we produce and the less hungry we are. The problem with fructose is it “makes us resistant to that signal,” says Gillespie.

And yes, this leads to all manner of health problems including Type 2 Diabetes and its associated symptoms including lethargy, blurred vision and skin infections, and what Gillespie says is “significant damage through something called glycation”, the destruction through the excessive production of so-called AGEs (advanced glycation end products) of our skin’s elasticity which causes hardening of our arteries and brittle skin, both unmistakable signs of ageing. Gillespie also cites some biochemistry studies that have found fructose accelerates the growth of pancreatic cancer tumours.

These are just some of the physical effects. The addictive quality of fructose means it’s also a bit of a downer and that’s because of how it interferes with the balance of two feel-good hormones in the brain, dopamine and serotonin. Gillespie explains, “It significantly ramps up our dopamine (released when we anticipate pleasure) at the expense of our serotonin (released when that pleasure is delivered).” In other words, it never fully satisfies our cravings, and as anyone who’s battled an addiction knows, unfulfilled cravings are never much fun.

Article sourced from: http://www.thinkandbehappy.com.au/eating-way-health-happiness/

Spring…the Perfect Time to Detox

October 9, 2012
Spring Detox Discover the basics of how to cleanse, boost metabolism, optimize digestion and eat to lose weight and boost energy.

I am often asked about the benefits of fasting in order to improve health, reduce inflammation and optimize digestion. For the majority of people, I am not an advocate of fasting. Most people do not have the proper blood sugar control to fast and end up feeling dizzy, hungry and may even find it difficult to participate in everyday activities. Part one of the natural spring detox series focuses on cleansing, not fasting. Why cleanse you ask? In essence, digestion is one of the major keys to health and wellness. By following a cleanse filled with high fibre and nutrient-dense foods, you give your body the opportunity to “clean out the pipes.” When thinking of doing a cleanse or a detox, I recommend a five-day period from Monday to Friday. Weekends are often a more difficult time to make nutritional changes. If following the recommendations properly, you should not feel hungry or deprived while cleansing. There will be enough selection of low glycemic index, high-fibre foods to fill you up and keep you going.

The key steps for the five-day cleanse outlined in The Natural Makeover Diet (Wiley, 2005) include:

1. Eliminate coffee. When public speaking, I often hear audible groans from the audience when I recommend eliminating coffee for five days. Coffee is acidic, a diuretic and can often make you feel shaky when cleansing. Instead of coffee, I recommend drinking herbal tea, green tea or white tea for the antioxidant effect and to help you get rid of any coffee withdrawal headaches. In addition, I always say if there is something in your diet you are so addicted to that you can’t give it up for five days — that is a clear sign to give it up!

2. Eat an abundant amount of colourful foods. Fruits and vegetables are high in fibre, filled with minerals, vitamins and plant chemicals called phytonutrients that prevent and even help treat disease. My motto has always been “eat live to feel live!” From tomatoes to broccoli and blueberries — fruits and vegetables are low glycemic index and will help to sustain energy while flushing the system.

3. Eat lean protein options such as egg whites, chicken, turkey, fish and soy at every meal or snack. Proteins secrete the hormone glucagon which helps in fat loss. Avoid red meat and dairy for 5 days.

4. Supplement your diet with a high quality multi-vitamin, fish oils supplement and probiotic such as acidophilus. Acidophilus is “friendly” bacteria that helps to maintain a healthy digestive microflora. Healthy digestion and absorption is one of the main keys to looking and feeling your best.

5. Add essential fats and oils — such as flaxseed oil, ground flaxseeds, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds — to your diet for their anti-inflammatory effect.

6. Drink eight glasses of water per day. Fresh clean water aids with elimination, helps to boost metabolism, gives you a “full” feeling longer and helps to keep energy up.

It is best to give your body a mini five-day cleanse at the beginning of each season. Although not a drastic change in diet, the 5 days will take some planning and focus in order to eat right. By doing so, you will be paving the path for a spring full of health and vitality!

To continue the theme of springtime internal cleaning, the second part of our series focuses on nourishing from the inside out with high quality, nutrient-dense foods. Although the latest diets and fads are constantly hitting the weight-loss market and causing some confusion about what and how to eat, there are four basic nutritional principles that need to be kept in mind in order to eat well, feel well and look your best.

The nourish principles are:
1. You are what you eat!
2. Your body requires all three macronutrients — carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
3. You need to eat live to feel live.
4. Water yourself down.

Principle 1: You are what you eat!
To quote nutritionist and author Adele Davis, “We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”
This statement touches upon a deep truth. Although we are of course much more than the sandwich and soup we had at lunch, the quality and quantity of our food choices can have a major influence on our mind and body. We all have a very deep-rooted emotional and chemical relationship to food. Picking higher quality nutritional choices such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products etc., can improve overall wellness and help to prevent the onset of future disease and illness.

Principle 2: Your body requires all three macronutrients
The three macronutrients that are the mainstay of the diet, and that the body requires as its primary sources of energy, are: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. While micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are equally as important, the body only requires them in smaller amounts.
Unfortunately, due to a myriad of diets and health claims such as low fat, high protein and low calorie, people often try to eliminate or greatly minimize one of the macronutrients in an attempt to lose weight. In truth, when looking closer at the weight loss research, it is evident that all macronutrients are required for optimal weight and health. The key is to select the right kind of macronutrients from each category, such as:

1. Low glycemic index carbohydrates
These include most fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grain breads or pastas (kamut, spelt). Eliminate all white sugar, refined flours, white potatoes, white bread and white pasta. Try to have a minimum of one dark green food per day (broccoli, spinach) and one orange food (carrots, squash, sweet potato).

2. Lean proteins
Low-fat dairy products, chicken, fish, soy, protein powder, eggs, turkey and lean beef are included here. Minimize full-fat red meat and cheese in the diet. Proteins are a critical factor in muscle repair, blood sugar control and weight loss.

3. The “good” fats
These include monounsaturated fats such as extra-virgin olive oil and avocados. Essential fats called omega 3 fats should be consumed because the body can’t make them. This includes options such as flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, almonds, walnuts, cold water fish (salmon and tuna) and fish oil. Omega 3 fats are anti-inflammatory and help to improve the look of skin, hair and nails. Eliminate trans fatty acids (partially hydrogenated fats) from the diet completely.

Principle 3: You need to eat live to feel live
As an adult, you need a minimum of five to nine servings of colourful fruits and vegetables per day for optimal health and wellness. Not only do fruits and vegetables contain an abundant amount of minerals and vitamins, they also provide a rich blend of phytonutrients — plant chemicals that can prevent and even reverse disease. Examples of phytonutrients are lycopene in tomatoes, sulfurophane in broccoli and flavonoids in dark chocolate, berries and grapes. What does a serving look like? One serving is equal to:
• One medium-size fruit
• 1/2 cup raw, cooked, frozen or canned fruits (in 100% juice) or vegetables
• 3/4 cup (6 oz.) 100% fruit or vegetable juice
• 1/2 cup cooked, canned or frozen legumes (beans and peas)
• 1 cup raw, leafy vegetables
• 1/4 cup dried fruit

Principle 4: Water yourself down
After a thorough food analysis, I often hear myself saying to clients, “You’re not sick, you’re thirsty!” The body relies on water for proper elimination, for optimal digestion and for basic cellular function. Without it, a myriad of symptoms can arise such as constipation, lack of energy, poor skin, and weight gain. Nutritional changes often take time and focus. That said, by simply increasing your consumption of water per day in the form of distilled water, herbal teas or watered down juice, you will jumpstart your internal spring cleaning process!
Other high quality, nutrient-dense foods that are considered “treats” but can be included in the diet on a regular basis — in moderation — are red wine and dark chocolate squares (70% cocoa).
We have all heard the old adage, “you are what you eat.” With that in mind, I would like to expand on that adage to include, “you also look how you eat!” I have been lucky enough to witness the “before” and “after” changes that take place when people take charge and clean up their diet. When this happens, there is a certain “sparkle” and radiance that only comes from health and wellness.

With that in mind, part 3 of the springtime cleansing series focuses on moisturizing hair and skin naturally. When thinking of moisturizing, most of us conjure up an image of creams for youthful looking skin and conditioners for soft hair. However, the type of moisturizing I am referring to is an internal process that involves food and supplements. What are the foods that can help you look 10 years younger?
Essential for your health
When it comes to fat, there are good fats and bad fats. The bad fats that should be eliminated from the diet are chemically-created fats called trans fatty acids (also known as partially hydrogenated fats). While food manufactures tend to like these fats because they extend product shelf life and are very stable, our body does not like them at all. In fact, these fats can raise cholesterol, create havoc on arteries and may even be linked to certain cancers. In other words — keep them out of your diet completely.
Other types of fats to minimize due to their pro-inflammatory reaction in the body are saturated fats such as those found in full-fat cheeses, ice cream and red meat. Eat these foods on occasion, not as staples of the diet.
The fats that are a must to moisturize skin, hair and nails from the inside out are called essential fatty acids. These fats cannot be made by the body and must be consumed through diet. Specifically, the essential fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid or omega 3 essential fat has been shown to have numerous health benefits including:
• reducing inflammation
• reducing risk of heart disease
• lowering cholesterol
• improving mood and attention
• improving skin
Unfortunately, most  Australians are chronically deficient in this “good” fat. While the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fat is approximately 1:1, most of us have a ratio between 20:1 and 30:1.
Omega 3 sources
Omega-3 fat is available in several food sources, such as flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, cold-water fish (tuna and salmon), omega-3 eggs, nuts (almonds, walnuts) and seeds. However, it is often difficult to consume enough food sources to receive an ideal amount of omega-3. In addition, the safety of eating fish such as salmon and tuna has come under investigation recently. Although fish is a wonderful source of protein, selenium, vitamin D and omega-3 essential fat, the level of toxicity showing in up our waters and fish is disconcerting. For example, Health Canada has recently set guidelines on the limits of white albacore tuna that should be eaten due to high mercury levels. This does not mean that tuna needs to be eliminated from the diet, but it should not be overly consumed. For more information, click here. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
In addition to eating omega 3 rich foods, a daily supplement of distilled fish oil is also advisable.
Tips to boost your omega 3 intake and improve your skin
• Sprinkle some walnuts on your salad or put almonds in your morning yogurt
• Purchase omega 3 eggs instead of regular egg. Omega 3 eggs contain approximately 300 mg of omega 3
• Supplement with a fish oil daily
• Eat fish twice per week
• Use 1 tsp of flaxseed oil in your morning shake — store oil in fridge
When it comes to these healthy fats, think “sprinkling.” Fats have more than twice the calories of proteins and carbohydrates and do not need to be eaten in the same quantity.

The fourth and final part of our detox series has little to do with what you are eating, but rather focuses on how you are eating. When practiced, certain food behaviours can have dramatic positive effects on weight loss, digestion and overall health. Simply implement the recommendations below for a mere two weeks and you will make a positive difference on your health.
The food behaviours outlined below emphasize consciousness eating. Unfortunately, in today’s rushed and busy world, we have become accustomed to eating in a hurry and dining out on fast food. This practice promotes excess eating and mindlessly munching on the wrong types of foods. In essence, a detachment from our true hunger signal occurs and our health and weight suffer.

The four steps to consciousness eating to improve health and wellness are:
Step 1. Eat breakfast!
Research has shown us time and time again that people who front load their day and eat breakfast are healthier, have more energy and lose more weight in the long run. While breakfast skippers think they are saving on calories and losing weight, they are in fact doing the opposite. I often hear people lament that they are not hungry in the morning and could not possibly eat. Keep in mind, you do not have to eat within minutes of rising out of bed. However, it is advisable to eat a small amount of healthy food options before going to work or school within 1-2 hours of rising. Examples of healthy breakfast options include:
• Protein shake
• Cottage cheese, fruit and nuts
• Yogurt, fruit and nuts
• Egg white omelet
• Poached egg with whole grain toast
• All-bran cereal with milk

Step 2. Eat until you are sufficiently sufficed, not stuffed
Most of us gobble down our meals within 5-10 minutes. In addition to not digesting and chewing our food properly, this fast pace of eating does not give the body the time to register a “full sensation.” In fact, it takes approximately 20 minutes for the stretch receptor to reach the brain and register a signal that you are satiated. Try to slow down your meal by chewing your food well, using your utensils, talking to your family. By making mealtime last a minimum of 20 minutes, you will feel fuller, and therefore consume less calories.

Step 3. Do not count calories for life
When first beginning to lose weight, most people follow a program or a plan to take the pounds off. While there are many good programs on the market, I have seen too many people fall off their program, only to gain the weight back. This is why 90 to 95 per cent of all dieters eventually gain the weight back. Don’t misunderstand — there are many wonderful weight loss books, programs, etc., on the market that can help with the initial weight that needs to be lost. However, in addition to this, it is also critical to become a student of nutrition. This is essential when you fall off your program (which you will at one point or another), because you will have the basic fundamental nutritional skills to climb back onto the heath wagon without feelings of deprivation. As one of the most powerful tools we have for health and disease prevention, learning the basics of nutrition is one of the most valuable assets you can offer yourself and your family. Keep in mind that any diet that overly restricts the intake of calories, carbohydrates or fats is not a sustainable diet.

Step 4. Do not eat past 7p.m.
When implementing behavioural changes, those related to food are often the hardest to make. That being said, it is often difficult for people to change their habit of late-night eating. Unfortunately, the pattern of skipping breakfast, eating a fast food lunch and a late night dinner of pasta, bread and other starches is a one-way ticket to weight gain and fatigue. Instead of falling into this vicious cycle, try to eat dinner no later than 7p.m. In addition, dinner is the perfect meal to maximize protein and vegetables and put less emphasis on grains. If you do eat a grain, try to select whole grain breads, pastas or brown rice. If the urge to munch does creep up later in the evening, satiate the feeling by munching on “free foods” such as cucumbers, celery or broccoli florets. In addition, drinking herbal tea or water helps to fill you up and cut down on sugar cravings.
Wishing you a healthy and happy road filled with delicious and healthy food options. Bon appetite!

Information sourced from: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1200830