Exercise Your Way Out of Health Crisis

MaXtreme: A website that can help you get the HIIT Rx you need.

“Exercise has not proven to be a useful tool for weight loss,, but it will help maintain  weight already lost”, they  say. “Poppycock,” I say. It’s all in the type (moderate to high intensity) and duration of the exercise.

A recent study in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (Nelson et. al. 2013,, entitled, ” Daily physical activity predicts degree of insulin resistance: a cross-sectional observational study using the 2003–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,”   has shown that moderate to vigorous activities (not cardiovascular exercise) that are consistently performed for 60 minutes every day can improve insulin resistance (IR) by 25%. As Exercise was increased to 2 hours IR decreased by 50%.

If you have not had an exercise session in a while, do not over do it, work with a someone who can get you off to the right start.

Why might exercise be a powerful tool?

Because exercise acts similar to the diabetes drug Metformin (improving glucose uptake in the muscle cells, therefore the body pumps out less insulin). Walking may help a little but the big effect will come from HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or strength training (  HIIT and weight lifting are the difference between exercise working and adding little benefit.

Controlling insulin resistance can help correct difficulties with weight loss, blood sugar and cholesterol and a host of other health parameters.

“In the United States, an estimated 60 to 70 million individuals are affected by insulin resistance. More than 40% of the public 50 years of age or older may be at risk for insulin resistance; however, it can affect anyone at any age. Insulin resistance has a major role in the development of the metabolic syndrome, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS),

I am attaching a few videos, so that no matter what your interest or level of fitness, you may find one or a few that interest you. They are examples of  HIIT workouts. I have watched these videos and hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

  1. Lower body for strong legs:
  1. Fat Blaster:
  1. Descending Ladder of Pain:
  1. Train like an MMA(mixed martial Arts) fighter:
  1. Cardio and plyometrics:
  1. Five minutes to slim:
  1. Metabolism booster:
  1. Sports,stamina, speed:
  2. Body firming:
  3. HIIT like a girl:
  4. Total boot camp:

 It may go against everything you thought was true about exercise but you could say the same thing for diet. A few years ago there were no research studies showing the “Long-Term Effects of a Very Low-Carbohydrate Weight Loss Diet (35% protein, 4% carbohydrate, 61% fat) on Exercise Capacity and Tolerance in Overweight and Obese Adults”, Wycherley TP, et al.,  (

Results show a very low carbohydrate diet did not “adversely” affect exercise performance and led to burning more fat than a high carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Both diets affected aerobic capacity and muscle strength similarly. Now the same trend is happening with exercise and it is showing that there is more to meet than just the eye. Exercise is a valuable tool for weight loss and improving health.

If you are not sold yet, check out the simple and detailed explanation of HIIT actually found within illustrations,

The right type of exercise (HIIT/strength training) on a daily basis for at least an hour is a MUST for anyone with an insulin related medical condition. It worked for me. Try it, let me know how it has changed your life.


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3 Ways Eating Fat Increases Longevity


Clear your mind of fat-free eating and you will live a long healthy life. There are so many reasons why the concept of eliminating fat (or lowering fat) makes us fat, ruins health and messes with moods,,,,  It is not easy to overcome the low-fat brainwashing we have endured over all these years but it is a necessity for optimal weight, wellness and longevity.

Understanding the link between insulin and aging, metabolic health risk factors and weight and its connection with carbohydrates is a much more solid philosophy than the eat less fat and calories for better health theory.  While applying a simple math equation on paper, weight loss equals fewer calories consumed and more calories burned, seems logical. It is too simplistic for it to hold much value in a complex body system.

Realizing that food is in fact a fuel that has so much more value than just providing calories. Food is essential to life; what you put in your mouth has a profound effect on muscle, appetite, digestion, hormones, mental focus and so much more throughout its metabolism and absorption.

Dr. Joseph Mercola,, writes about how eating more fat can increase longevity through:

1. Genetics: ” In a report published in the August 2013 issue of Cell Reports, scientists discovered that the “mTOR gene” is a significant regulator of the aging process that includes insulin signaling, cellular metabolism and energy balance —in mice.”

2. Clinical parameters: Clinical markers for aging, heart health, appetite regulation and weight improve.

 A 2010 study examined the effects of a high-fat diet on typical markers of aging. Study participants were given a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet with adequate protein, and the results were health improvements across the board. Serum leptin decreased by an average of eight percent, insulin by 48 percent, fasting glucose by 40 percent, triglycerides by nearly eight percent, and free T3 (thyroid hormone) by almost six percent.”

“In fact, Dr. Peter Attia (a Stanford University trained physician) used a ketogenic diet to help improve his own health despite a healthy lifestyle (what he thought was “eating healthy” and consistent physical activity). For 10 years, Attia followed an extreme ketogenic diet,  80 percent of his calories came from fat which included lots of coconut oil, grass-pastured butter, organic pastured eggs, avocado, and raw nuts; moderate amounts of protein and only 5 grams of sugar a day.  His approach, proved that a ketogenic diet can make profound improvements in health risk factors, see the chart below.”  An MRI also confirmed that he had lost both body fat and visceral fat (fat found around internal organs).”

Fasting blood sugar 100 75-95
Percentage body fat 25 10
Waist circumference in inches 40 31
Blood pressure 130/85 110/70
LDL 113 88
HDL 31 67
Triglycerides 152 22
Insulin sensitivity Increased by more than 400 percent


3. Calorie Reduction:

Research has shown that calorie restricted starvation diets can act as an anti-aging strategy by lowering oxidative stress, and insulin levels. High insulin levels contribute to health conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and accelerate aging. The problem is that there is no fuel to nourish your body and it is difficult to function when all you can think about is the food you cannot eat.

Interestingly enough, high fat ketogenic diets can result in the same benefits without having to starve. Lowering carbs to 30-50 grams (fakes the body into thinking it is starving when in fact it is being nourished with nutrient dense foods) will lower insulin and produce similar effects on health markers to help slow down the aging process and improve health.

Afraid to eat fat? I hope not after all this information. Do you want to improve your quality of life? Eat fat because it does not affect hormones in a negative way that will impact your health and make you old. Eat fat, like avocado, butter, coconut etc…because it tastes good, helps to lower insulin and will help provide greater longevity.


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10 Nutritious Delicious Reasons To Eat Chocolate

Like I even have to give you one reason to sink your teeth into a piece of chocolate, hahahaha! But, I am giving you ten reasons to indulge in organic Fair Trade (Fair Trade certification ensures that farmers receive a fair price, allows farmers to invest in techniques that bring out the flavors of the region, and strictly prohibits slave and child labor.) dark chocolate.

Cocoa is filled with good nutrition. It is the chocolate powder made from roasted and ground cacao seeds. Chocolate consumption has been linked with a reduction in the risk of diabetes and the promotion of good heart health through its association with lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), raising good cholesterol (HDL) and lowering blood pressure.

10 reasons to eat chocolate:

1. Chocolate tastes good!

2. CATECHINS in chocolate are antioxidants (prevents oxidative damage to cells). Catechins may help to protect against heart disease and cancer by preventing oxidative damage, helping to regulate blood pressure, and by stimulating the immune system,

3. PHENYLETHYLAMINE is a neurotransmitter that is considered a mood enhancer. It is also used to help aid in weight loss.

4. VITAMIN E is a fat soluble antioxidant. It, like catechins, protects the body against free radical damage and helps to maintain a healthy immune system.

5. COPPER is an essential (the body cannot make it on its own, it must be consumed through food) trace element and acts as a catalyst in the formation of red blood cells, muscle function, bone health, growth, strengthening the immune system, supporting the nervous system, healthy skin, nails and hair.

6. MAGNESIUM is a mineral involved in biochemical reactions in the body. It’s involvement in protein synthesis, bone development, normal blood sugar and blood pressure, muscle contraction, strong bones, a regular heart beat and so much more,

7. IRON, an essential mineral, carries oxygen to cells throughout the body (especially the muscles), to help provide energy and it is essential for red blood production and is involved in nourishing skin, hair, and nails.

8. ENDORPHINS are neurotransmitters, also known as “hormones of happiness” or the cause of “the runners high” that accompanies prolonged activity. They stimulate natural opiates in our bodies, resulting in positive mood and calmness, may help control appetite and are involved in the release of sex hormones.

9. TANNINSare water-soluble antioxidants found in plant foods. Tannins act as antimicrobials (protecting against tooth decay), antifungals and antivirals. They are also abundant in tea and have been linked to contributing to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

10. FLAVANOLS are antioxidants. Studies suggest that flavanols may help improve the function of the brain by boosting memory and learning capacity via by blood flow to the brain,

So indulge, eat chocolate to your hearts’ content…Not! When cocoa is processed (fermentation, alkalizing and roasting) into chocolate many of the popular brands of chocolate like Hershey’s or even Godiva use excess sugar, trans fats, corn syrup or ingredients that negate the natural health benefits of cocoa.

There is a great variation in the nutritional value of chocolates. Read a label and look for the least amount of ingredients. The ingredients listed below are for 85% Lindt chocolate:

INGREDIENTS: chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sugar, bourbon vanilla beans.

This is not so bad. Sugar is the 4th of 5 ingredients. Add a couple of cashews or almonds to cut the bitter taste of high cocoa chocolate. Two squares contain 3 grams of fiber and 7.5 grams of carbohydrates.

Choose your chocolate wisely, get the highest cocoa content you can tolerate and as you get used to it, work your way up from there to higher percentages of cocoa. Select brands with minimal sugar and without hydrogenated oils (trans fat), corn syrup, etc…. Buy organic fair trade brands if possible or find chocolate like this Lindt bar to enjoy!


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3 Anti-Aging Nutrients Missing From Low Fat Foods

Eat real foods that contain fat because they contain nutrients that low or non-fat foods DO NOT have. Expanding your eating choices to include a variety of foods that contain all types of fat can reap many anti-aging benefits like keeping waistlines slim, skin, hair and nails looking young, the immune system strong and the heart healthy.

Have you heard of Arachidonic acid (AA)? How about choline or medium chain triglycerides (MCT)? These nutrients are not commonly found on a low-fat food label but are just as important to understand as any nutrient listed on a package. Natural high fat, high cholesterol foods such as coconut, eggs, red meat contain AA, MCT and choline.

Arachidonic acid (AA) is a polyunsaturated fat but it is mostly found in saturated fats (red meat and organ meat), egg yolks and breast milk. AA is a key factor for brain development, nerve function and keeping cells flexible. It is also involved with muscle growth and repair. AA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are often talked about together because they make up a large component of the human brain,

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are also found in saturated fats: whole milk, butter, palm oil and coconut. MCT’s have a few metabolic benefits that include aiding in weight loss, promoting digestion, lowering the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease by increasing HDL cholesterol, supporting thyroid function and boosting the immune system. MCT may also help to prevent muscle breakdown and promote muscle repair after exercise. Coconut, specifically, contains lauric and caprylic acid which are known anti yeast and anti bacterial agents.

Choline is an essential (not produced by the body but required for normal body function) nutrient found in the membrane of the cell. Good sources of choline are: ground beef, whole eggs (yes, especially the yolk) and peanut butter. Choline functions to protect the liver from fat accumulation (non-alcoholic  fatty liver disease is a somewhat new medical condition associated with the consumption of fructose-a sugar ingredient used by food companies to increase shelf life add, flavor and enable a non-fat claim on food labels, , helps to prevent advanced age memory loss and may help to lower cholesterol and homocysteine levels (an amino acid associated with heart disease, strokes, and Alzheimer’s’ disease). There is also reason to believe choline may be protective against some types of cancers.

When low-fat foods replace fat or fat in the diet is minimized, the benefits of AA, MCT and choline are lost and fat soluble nutrient absorption (Vitamins, A, D, E,K) suffers leading to health issues. These are just 3 examples of the many nutrients that may not be on your radar when you are obsessed with cutting fat.

Fuel your body to ignite better sports performance, better health, weight loss and defy aging, eat fat!

Here are sources that provide more details about the benefits of nutrients from real fat foods:


Posted by on August 5, 2014 in FAT, health, Nutrition, vitamins, weight loss


Summer Sabotage Situations:10 Hurdles To Clear


Summer sabotage situations are common and are hurdles to your quest for weight loss.  Do not fall for them.

10 Hurdles that Contribute to Diet Sabotage

  1. Drinking too many sweet drinks with excess calories and not enough water
  2. Sitting on the beach to work on a tan and NOT working on your fitness. Get up and walk the boardwalk.
  3. Allowing the hot temperature to interfere with consistent exercise routines
  4. Excess dressings on food: BBQ sauce; mayonnaise laden cole slaw, macaroni, potato salad; salad dressings
  5. Desserts that cool you down like ice cream and ices and eating other summer junk like fried dough and cotton candy
  6. Snacking or drinking more just because the sun sets later and you stay awake longer   
  7. Eating the salty and sugar filled foods and beverages (mentioned above) make you crave and eat more
  8. Vacationing  upsets your usual healthy routine
  9. Traveling makes it more difficult to make good choices
  10. Being more social in the summer many times means less attention spent on healthy habits

Clear the hurdles with these helpful tips:

1. Drink beverages without calories: water with added fresh fruit and vegetable slices (cherries, pineapple, orange, mint and cucumber), flavored seltzer, fresh brewed iced tea with lemon

2. Don’t sit on the beach all day. Take a ten-twenty minute walk every 45 minutes, play volleyball or get involved in digging/making castles in the sand, you can also decide to get up a little earlier and go to the gym before you trek to the beach

3. The weather, if it’s too hot, humid or cold, can put a damper on exercise so always have a plan B. What’s yours? The gym, walking the mall, walking up and down the stairs or jump rope in your home…think about what your plan B will be

4. When foods are made with multiple ingredients, it’s hard to keep track of calories or carbohydrates. Stick with foods that do not contain too many ingredients especially condiments like mayo, cream, bread crumbs, ketchup. Of course, if you are follow a low carb diet and avoiding buns, corn, potatoes and macaroni then eating mayo and cream are ok.

5. The summer is only 8 weeks long. Account for special summer treats. Eating too many “summer specials” add up and impair your weight loss efforts.

6. No doubt the days are longer during the summer months. Walking the boardwalk, summer BBQ’s and celebrations, social gatherings make for longer days and cozy moonlit nights are always enjoyable. It’s also a perfect opportunity to eat and drink more, so don’t!

7. Many summer snacks and beverages are loaded with salt, sugar and fat. Watch out for funnel cakes, margaritas, ices just to name a few typical summer foods that will quickly demolish your diet.

Don’t let your mind play tricks on you. Key questions to ask yourself before you indulge include: Do I really need to drink this after drinking last night? Can I share this with one or more people? Is this going to quench my need to consume this food or will it make me yearn for more?  How will I feel after I eat this and how will it affect my goal(s)? Can I make changes in my daily routine to offset what I’m about to eat?

8. Taking a vacation may upset your healthy routine but only if you let it. Sitting on the beach is nice but exploring the town—biking,walking,water skiing, snorkeling, going to museums all have a place in your break and they can make it an unforgettable time in your life. As far as eating goes remember my “rule of thumb”, balance your meals and always include your greens in the food you choose even while away.

9. Traveling makes it more difficult to make good food choices, really why? McDonald’s has salads. Really you can find better choices if you want to see that they are there. The travel bug, for some reason, puts blinders on your eyes making it difficult to see all the healthy options that are available.

10. Schedule social events so that you still have time to focus on your health. If you have to show up fashionably late to incorporate exercise into your day or you work out a little longer when you know you may not work out the next day, why not take the time? Cut the extras from your diet a week before your big social event.

These are easy things you can control without giving up your goals and feeling the pain of gain!  You can balance your social life and clear the hurdles that block your path to weight loss success.


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Eat To Cheat On Vacation


 Are you flying the coop this summer? If yes,  you join three quarters of the country. Americans are taking time off and heading to the beach this summer,

Spending time at the beach or any vacation spot can set your weight goals back a few weeks easily. The downward spiral starts the minute you set out on your trip. Whether you are on a train, plane or in an automobile the ability to manage your food choices and your mentality to focus on eating as a priority goes right out the window.

Vacation is a time to relax and enjoy life. It is a break from responsibility and this is how it all starts. From the moment you leave the door and step into the car, you have left your troubles and your guard behind.  Travelling does not have to make for a dieting disaster.

Food should always be part of any holiday vacation, or any business trip, it is not your enemy. Food is your friend as long as you manage it. Enjoy eating on your vacation, indulge a little but do not overindulge every day.

Knowing that there will be temptations once you get to wherever you are going, start your trip off on the right foot. Build your confidence from the start of your journey. Panic is a typical feeling that sets in before a trip because you know what temptations lie ahead. Start your getaway off right.  Building your confidence to make better eating choices during your trip is important. Healthy convenience foods are just as easy to keep handy and eat as unhealthy choices.

Try these or think of your own creative ideas that will work for you:

  • Trail mix  or not (you must make your own, it is healthier and cost-effective) mix, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds and cashews or just eat each separately. Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower) and nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans…) are great just stick with a 1-2 oz. portion so you do not eat too much.
  • Jerky (organic is minimally processed), is convenient and there are a variety of flavors: there is beef, buffalo or turkey jerky
  • Kale chips can set you back about $5-7 for a 2 serving size bag or you can make them yourself by drizzling some oil and garlic and baking them. Kale is loaded with nutrients (vitamins: K, A, C; minerals: iron and calcium; protein and fiber).
  • Veggies are always a good idea. Keep it simple and enjoy: olives, cherry tomatoes, pickles, mushrooms, edamame, string beans, carrots and celery (best with a shmear of peanut butter).

If you can make a pit stop, most food stores, mini marts or restaurants will carry these so you do not have to pack food:

  • Mozzarella sticks or any hard cheese
  • Cottage cheese (snack size containers are available)
  • Deli items (chicken/tuna/egg salad, sliced deli meat, cucumber and onion or tomato salad) Protein  is always filling.

Having these types of options available during your trip may help minimize the results of potential indiscretions. Do not fool yourself into thinking “diet perfection” during your trip. Cheat sensibly.  Drink your Daiquiri, have an ice cream cone but think of which healthy habits you will maintain during your stay away from home.

Eat up, make choices and enjoy your vacation!


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5 Sensational Summer Thirst Quenchers



Thirsty? During the hot summer months it is important to hydrate and enjoy tall, tasty drinks. Dehydration is not always apparent. Keep in mind, in the summer heat you need to drink more. Try this calculator to figure out just how much fluid your body needs,

Enjoy your fun in the sun with a thirst quenching beverage that supplies electrolytes and nutrients for taste and well-being. My top summer drink picks:

1. Water will always top my list. Add a slice or two of lemon or lime, cucumber & mint, berries, or any fruit  of your choice to replace electrolytes lost from sweating.  Clear crisp refreshing always and no calories.

2. Make your own vegetable juice or green drink,  this one looks OH SO GOOD!,,  or buy an already made powder, greens plus Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants  and fiber play an important role in wellness.

3. Watermelon smoothie, see this simple “pinktastic” beverage recipe, fewer calories than a 100 calorie snack pack with 25 calories and a good dose of vitamin A, potassium and nutrients that promote good bone health, fluoride, calcium, magnesium and even a little choline (see why choline is so important to good health here, ).

4. Rooibos tea (pronounced roy-bos) is caffeine free so it is not dehydrating (maintains fluid and electrolytes) and it does not contain tannins (compounds that decrease iron and amino acid absorption).

5. Kefir is packed with nutrients, supports digestion and bone health. It naturally contains good bacteria and everyone should use a good probiotic. One 4 oz. serving contains 75 calories, 4 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs and 4 grams of protein.

Honorable mentions, because they are processed but much better options than Gatorade or sugar laden drinks, go to:

1. Coconut water (in a can and unsweetened, of course) only 60 calories for 11 oz. and 100% is sugar (coconut is a fruit) and about 700 mg  potassium but if you like it drink 1/2 (about 5-6 oz) along with a protein snack.

2. V-8, although this is a vegetable juice, it is processed so it has higher amounts of sodium; but it does contain vitamins A and C, and the minerals iron and calcium.

Most commercially made items contain at least one addictive substance like caffeine, salt or sugar. Eating these habit-forming substances are not just addictive but they also increase your body needs for more fluid. Please keep this in mind, you are not helping yourself if you typically gulp down sugary fruit or sports drinks and soda, even diet soda is filled with caffeine and sodium.

Use your good judgment and know that drinking is just as important as eating when it comes to good health and hydration. Know to avoid sugar, sodium and caffeine in the beverages you choose. Then find almost any recipe like the ones that are listed and drink. Drinking healthier beverages does not have to be boring. Liven up your

Take on a tall and tasty while staying hydrated and serving your body sensational fluids and wellness.  Fill your glass and make a toast to healthy hydration. Drink up!

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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in BEVERAGE, nutrients


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