Tag Archives: eat-right

The 7 golden rules of fitness

Regardless of their weight, fit people live longer, according to recent research from the American Medical Association. Yet we’re falling short of the fitness levels recommended in the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living, with only one-third of us getting enough exercise daily. So come on, Canada! Stop putting it off—and follow these fitness rules from Vancouver’s Geoff Bagshaw, a Can-Fit Pro-certified trainer who has been helping people get fit for 24 years. (Of course, check with your doctor before starting a fitness regimen.)

Fitness rule #1: Keep hydrated

WaterHydration affects energy levels and is essential to your workout performance. Why? Proper hydration regulates body temperature and heart rate. In one hour of exercise, you could lose more than a quart (1 L) of water, depending on exercise intensity and air temperature. Without enough water for the body to cool itself through perspiration, you could become dehydrated—you’ll lose energy, and your muscles may cramp.

The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking one cup (250 mL) of water 20 to 30 minutes before exercising. (Tip: If you work out first thing in the morning, keep a glass of water on your bedside table and drink it when the alarm goes off.) For every 15 minutes of exercise, drink an extra cup of fluids. The harder your workout, the more fluids you’ll need. Hydrate afterward to replenish the body, ideally having another cup of water within 30 minutes.

As for sports drinks, says Bagshaw, if you’re on a weight-loss program, the calories make your workout almost redundant. “They may help replace electrolytes if you’re exercising for a few hours, but most gym-goers don’t need them.”

Fitness rule #2: Eat before—and after

“Think of your body as a furnace,” says Bagshaw. “If you start by throwing on big logs, it might not burn as well as if you put in small amounts regularly. We want to keep our metabolism stoked all the time.”

Before your workout, have protein and slow-burning carbohydrates together, such as a piece of whole-grain toast with peanut butter. Ideally, you’ll eat one to two hours before a workout, but if you work out first thing in the morning, grab at least a glass of juice first. Don’t work out on an empty stomach.

Afterward, refuel quickly. “Research suggests there is a 30-minute window post-workout when you want to consume a certain amount of carbohydrates and protein to fuel muscle growth,” says Bagshaw. (For more on protein, see Fitness Rule #7.) Have a snack, and then within an hour or two, a larger meal.

Fitness rule #3: Do your cardio

Oh, the excuses: I hate cardio! I can’t do cardio! Bagshaw has heard them all. But you should aim to do cardio training three to five times a week for 30-60 minutes each time—and you have to get your heart rate up. “We used to talk about a ‘fat-burning zone’ but today the consensus is to work out as hard and as long as you can; you’ll burn more calories overall.”

Fitness pros like Bagshaw determine intensity with the Borg Scale, which is based on your own perceived exertion and uses a scale of 20. Research states you should be exercising at an intensity between “fairly light” (10) to “somewhat hard” (13). Some research has shown that exercising at high-intensity intervals can be beneficial as well, if you’re fit enough to handle it. Whatever you choose—an aerobics class or the treadmill—get sweating!

Fitness rule #4: Do weights

“As we age we lose muscle mass, and it is imperative to replace it,” says Bagshaw. He recommends you weight-train two or three times a week and target all major muscle groups.

One of the biggest motivations? Whether you’re using weights, resistance bands or your own body, having more muscle mass generally means you have a higher resting metabolic rate, so you’ll burn more calories even when you’re not working out. Beyond looking fitter and trimmer, you’ll shift your fat-to-muscle ratio. Resistance training can help you reduce fat mass (and abdominal mass), which is related to risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fitness rule #5: Change it up

You start going to the gym, you lose a little weight—and then, it seems, you stop making progress. This happens to hard-core gym addicts too, says Bagshaw. The solution? You need to add the “confusion principle” to your workout. “Your body adapts to what you do, so you should switch your program regularly. This can mean changing your entire regimen, or factors of it.” When weight-training, try upping repetitions or load. For cardio workouts, gradually increase duration and intensity. And if you always head for the treadmill, try the elliptical or the bike instead. A trainer can help keep your workout interesting.

Fitness rule #6: Stretch after your workout

Stretching is important for many reasons: It improves flexibility and circulation, may help prevent injury and helps relieve stress. While the start of a workout should involve light cardio to get muscles activated, you should never stretch muscles that aren’t thoroughly warmed up. So, stretch only at the end of your workout. Be attentive to problem areas—if you’re prone to back injury, for example, stretch out the hamstrings, which affect the lower back. The best thing about stretching, says Bagshaw, is that it feels good and is relaxing.

Fitness rule #7: Don’t forget protein

Protein is a major building block for muscle, and is broken down and used to fuel muscle recovery after your workout. “You actually get stronger after the workout,” says Bagshaw. While working out, you break down muscles, and rebuilding occurs in the recovery stage 24 to 36 hours later, which is why protein after a workout is essential.

If you’re working out regularly, try to get protein with every meal or snack. “It’s slow to digest, and will keep you full for longer,” says Bagshaw. But watch serving sizes: One portion of chicken, for example, should fit into your palm.

It’s important to get protein from a variety of plant and animal sources, but Bagshaw says supplementing with whey protein powder is a good idea for a quick fix. It scores high on the biological value scale (a rating used to determine how the body uses the nutrient) and is an easily digestible form of protein. “A fantastic re-builder after exercise is a whey shake with fruit.”

Nutrition 101: Good eating for good health

Turn on yournutrition TV, open a newspaper, or boot up your computer and you’re bound to get some confusing news about diet and health. Don’t let it drive you to distraction — or to the donut shop. 



Remember 4 key facts:

1. What you eat affects your appearance, your energy and comfort, and — above all — your health.

2. America is on the wrong track. Two out of every three of us are overweight or obese. Diabetes and high blood pressure are on the rise. Heart attacks, strokes, and cancer are distressingly common. Many factors contribute to these complex problems, but the basic reasons are simple: we eat too much, we choose the wrong foods, and we don’t get enough exercise.

3. Scientists know what diet is best for health (see below). The fine print has changed and is likely to change some more, but the key facts are in.

4. Good eating is not a punishment, but an opportunity. If you know why it’s important and what to do, you’ll find it enjoyable and satisfying. And if you establish an overall pattern of healthful nutrition, you’ll have plenty of wiggle room to savor the treats that matter most to you.
Making changes

5 tips to create a healthful diet that you can enjoy.

1. Learn to think about food in a new way. Years ago, meat and potatoes were the American ideal. Now we know that vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and fish are best.

2. Experiment with new recipes and meal plans. Be creative and take chances. Instead of dreading your new diet, have fun with it.

3. Change slowly. By the time you are 40, you’ll have eaten some 40,000 meals — and lots of snacks besides. Give yourself time to change, targeting one item a week.

Start with breakfast, switching from eggs, bacon, donuts, white toast, or bagels to oatmeal or bran cereal and fruit. If you just can’t spare 10 minutes for a sit-down breakfast, grab high-fiber cereal bars instead of donuts or muffins.

Next, try out salads, low-fat yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese, tuna or peanut butter sandwiches, and fruit for lunch.

Snack on unsalted nuts, trail mix, fruit, raw veggies, Rye Krisp, or graham crackers. Try eating a few handfuls of a crunchy fiber cereal such as Kashi, or nibble on a cereal bar.

For dinner, experiment with fish, skinless poultry, beans, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and, of course, salads and veggies.

Fruit and low-fat frozen desserts are examples of desirable after-dinner treats. And there’s nothing wrong with the occasional cake, pie, or chocolates as long as the portions are moderate.

4. Be relaxed about your diet. You will never find a perfect food. Not everything on your plate needs to have a higher purpose. Take your tastes and preferences into account. If roast beef is your favorite food, it is okay to eat it — but try to make it a Sunday treat instead of a daily staple. The choices are your — and the better your overall diet, the more “wiggle room” you’ll have to indulge your passions.

5. Take a long-range view. Don’t get down on yourself if you slip up or “cheat” from time to time. Don’t worry about every meal, much less every mouthful. Your nutritional peaks and valleys will balance out if your overall dietary pattern is sound.

For more tips and advice on ways to eat healthier:  www.health.harvard.edu

The Cause of Disease: pH Imbalance

Have you ever wondered if many of the diseases raging through our society have a common cause? Many doctors, herbalists and nutritionists believe that the explanation may come down to these simple words: pH Imbalance.

Acid Alkaline Imbalance

Over acidity, which can become a dangerous condition that weakens all body systems, is very common today. It gives rise to an internal environment conducive to disease, as opposed to a pH balanced environment which allows normal body function necessary for the body to resist disease. A healthy body maintains adequate alkaline reserves to meet emergency demands. When excess acids must be neutralized our alkaline reserves are depleted leaving the body in a weakened condition. A pH balanced diet, according to many experts, is a vital key to health maintenance.

The countless names of illnesses do not really matter. What does matter is that they all come from the same root cause…too much tissue acid waste in the body!

                                                                                        —Theodore A. Baroody, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.
Most people who suffer from unbalanced pH are acidic. This condition forces the body to borrow minerals—including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium—from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage due to high acidity—a condition that may go undetected for years.

Mild acidosis can cause such problems as:

  • Cardiovascular damage, including the constriction of blood vessels and the reduction of      oxygen.
  • Weight gain, obesity and diabetes.
  •  Bladder and kidney conditions, including kidney stones.
  •  Immune deficiency.
  • Acceleration of free radical damage, possibly contributing to cancerous mutations.
  • Hormone concerns.
  • Premature aging.
  • Osteoporosis; weak, brittle bones, hip fractures and bone spurs.
  • Joint pain, aching muscles and lactic acid buildup.
  • Low energy and chronic fatigue.
  • Slow digestion and elimination.
  • Yeast/fungal overgrowth.

Understanding pH

pH (potential of hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14—the lower the pH the more acidic the solution, the higher the pH the more alkaline (or base) the solution. When a solution is neither acid nor alkaline it has a pH of 7 which is neutral.
Water is the most abundant compound in the human body, comprising 70% of the body. The body has an acid-alkaline (or acid-base) ratio called the pH which is a balance between positively charges ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.) The body continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is compromised many problems can occur. It is important to understand that we are not talking about stomach acid or the pH of the stomach. We are talking about the pH of the body’s fluids and tissues which is an entirely different matter.

Food Category

Most Acid


Lowest Acid


NutraSweet, Equal, Aspartame, Sweet ‘N Low

White Sugar, Brown Sugar

Processed Honey, Molasses


Blackberries, Cranberries, Prunes

Sour Cherries, Rhubarb

Plums, Processed Fruit Juices



Potatoes (without skins), Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, Lima Beans

Cooked Spinach, Kidney Beans, String Beans


Peanuts, Walnuts

Pecans, Cashews

Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds




Corn Oil


Wheat, White Flour, Pastries, Pasta

White Rice, Corn, Buckwheat, Oats, Rye

Sprouted Wheat Bread, Spelt, Brown Rice


Beef, Pork, Shellfish

Turkey, Chicken, Lamb

Venison, Cold Water Fish


Cheese, Homogenized Milk, Ice Cream

Raw Milk

Eggs, Butter, Yogurt, Buttermilk, Cottage Cheese


Beer, Soft Drinks



Food Category

Most Alkaline


Lowest Alkaline



Maple Syrup, Rice Syrup

Raw Honey, Raw Sugar


Lemons, Watermelon, Limes, Grapefruit, Mangoes, Papayas

Dates, Figs, Melons, Grapes, Papaya, Kiwi, Blueberries, Apples, Pears, Raisins

Oranges, Bananas, Cherries, Pineapple, Peaches, Avocados


Asparagus, Onions, Vegetable Juices, Parsley, Raw Spinach, Broccoli, Garlic

Okra, Squash, Green Beans, Beets, Celery, Lettuce, Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Carob

Carrots, Tomatoes, Fresh Corn, Mushrooms, Cabbage, Peas, Potato Skins, Olives, Soybeans, Tofu






Olive Oil

Flax Seed Oil

Canola Oil




Amaranth, Millet, Wild Rice, Quinoa







Breast Milk

Soy Cheese, Soy Milk, Goat Milk, Goat Cheese, Whey


Herb Teas, Lemon Water

Green Tea

Ginger Tea


For more information on this and other topics see:http://www.naturalhealthschool.com/acid-alkaline.html