The Amazing Power of Water

18 05 2012

Just a reminder to drink your water! It’s an easy free way to take care of your body.

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*Muscle consists of 75% water
*Brain consists of 90% of water
*Bone consists of 22% of water
*Blood consists of 83% water

Water can reduce the Risk of Cancer: Related to the digestive system, some studies show that drinking a healthy amount of water may reduce the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with bladder lining.





Flatlined

30 04 2012

And so begins week 19 of my switch to a plant based diet and an increased exercise regime. This week I stayed the same weight which keeps me at 62 pounds+ lost. This is not good. It means that I’ve only lost a pound in two weeks. I have about 135 pounds left to lose so this is no time to stall out. It’s my fault though, I didn’t make the time to do as much exercise as I should have and I haven’t been taking in enough water. I’ve eaten too many cheat meals with bread and my body has been deprived of sleep because I am way over committed with different activities. All excuses but still a formula that adds up to failure. It creates a difficult environment for trying to maintain my weight let alone lose any.

The real fear though is failure. I lost a lot of weight once about 9 years ago. In about six months, I lost 65 pounds by doing a 30 day cleanse/fast followed by eating a mostly vegetarian diet. I believe that the fast further damaged my slow metabolism and eventually I went back to eating the wrong foods which resulted in my gaining all of the weight back and then some – probably an additional 45 pounds or more. And so that is the reality of these types of things, people lose weight and people fall off their program and gain it all back. I don’t want that to happen again so I must really force myself to stay determined and live the program that I have set up for myself. I want to push through the barriers.

I was fortunate to speak with current fitness and yoga guru, Diamond Dallas Page, at great length yesterday and we discussed my predicament. His advice was to eliminate wheat from my diet as it is highly processed in the foods that we eat. He said that at my age and weight, my body has difficulty breaking wheat down. He also suggest increasing his DDP Yoga workouts to 5 days a week for the next several weeks until it becomes more of a habit. If I do this, I should start seeing major results. So, I’m going to flip the script and see if I can get the weight loss working for me. If not, you will be witness to a failure of epic proportions. Fun either way, right? Stay tuned!

***huge DDP audio interview coming tomorrow!





Enjoying the Burn

1 04 2012

After a 15+ year break from lifting weights, I’m finally  back.  Adjustable dumbbells in hand and an adjustable  weight bench being shipped as I type this.  Over the years, I have really missed lifting.  But lets face it, when you’re hauling over 400 pounds around each day, the last thing you want to do is pick up anything else heavy.  Now that I’ve begun to start losing weight, I definitely feel an increase of energy and my body wants to be more active.  It’s true what they say, a body in motion tends to stay in motion.  For a long time my body wanted to rest and without changing my diet and my mindset I could never have sustained any type of serious changes when it came to increasing my physical activity.

There are definitely times I falter.   My treadmill has become “the dreadmill”.  Even with built in cable TV, I detest the thing.  So you can imagine how happy I was after weeks of waiting when the dummbells finally arrived.  I then did a very, very stupid thing.  I began lifting with them like I had never taken all of those years off.  I essentially attempted to pick up where I left off.  And for the next 4-5 days, I could not straighten either of my arms.  Before lifting, I had a romantic notion of what muscle burn felt like but it ended up being something much different afterwards.  This was a painful reminder that it takes dedication AND PATIENCE to get where you want to be.

I’ve since dialed the workouts back a little.  Maybe not even back but rather i’ve dialed them “in”.  I’ve learned that lifting can be just as intense if we focus on isolating the muscles we are working on.  Squeezing the muscle before and at the end of the rep and keeping that tension throughout the rep can be as effective as doing multiple sets of less controlled lifting.  In fact, from my experience it is more effective.

Frequency of reps is not more important than quality of reps. I still get an awesome burn.  I’m just not spending the better part of a week recovering.

I’ve also relearned something that I must have forgotten – that when reaching the point of muscle failure, simple tasks like drinking a glass of water can be challenging.  When you cannot bring a glass of water fully to your lips without it pouring out all over you = it is a sign of an intense workout.

 





What’s in a Water?

18 02 2012

I used to drink quite a bit of sugary drinks.  I loved Coke, Gatorade and often had a few energy drinks each week.  It amounted to a ton of extra sugar being added to my diet on a regular basis .  When I got sick, I tried to cut the sugar I was drinking out and although I did have a sugary drink from time to time it was much less than I had been.  in the last seven weeks though, I’ve had none.  Other than occasionally putting coconut milk in my Cheerios, It’s been nothing but water.  As a healthy treat from time to time, i’ve been drinking Clear Splash flavored sparkling water beverage.  It reminds me of soda and the nutrition facts label is perfect.  33.8 ounces, zero calories, fat, sodium, carbs and sugar.  This stuff is perfect.  Or so I thought.  Last night I sat down to enjoy a bottle of this stuff and I did something I hadn’t done in the last few months of drinking it – I read the ingredients:

Carbonated water – fantastic!

Potassium Citrate –  used to regulate acidity of foods, especially soft drinks.  Because it helps make urine alkaline, it’s also beneficial in shrinking the size of kidney stones and fighting minor urinary tract infections.  It seems generally safe although much of it is produced in China where standards for making these sorts of ingredients are far less than they are in other parts of the world.

Natural Flavors – Blackberry Apple, that sounds good.  But dig a little deeper and you find that “natural flavors” can be any combination of thousands of naturally derived chemicals put together in a lab by flavorists.  The FDA has found them to be safe but sometimes when mixed they can be volatile to our body.  Because companies are not forced to list them, we have no idea what we are actually ingesting.  In many instances artificial flavors can actually be safer because naturally occurring harmful byproducts (sometimes like arsenic) found in “natural” flavorings can be removed.  But in reality, both natural and artificial flavorings are most times a mystery to the consumer and it is best to steer away from them completely.  Thats not an easy thing to do.  You will find “natural flavors” labled on an awful lot of products, including those that are labeled as “Natural” and “Organic”.

Aspartame – a potentially carcinogenic sugar substitute.  It can kill up to 55% of the beneficial gut flora in our bodies, is bad for our teeth, can promote obesity and has been found in some studies to be addictive.

Potassium Benzoate – a chemical preservative used to block some bacteria,  molds and yeasts.  When exposed to light and heat and the presence of vitamin C (of which there are trace amounts in this water) a cancer causing by product, Benzene, is formed.

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So I guess I won’t be buying this stuff anymore.  I was looking for healthy carbonated water and it turns out there is a whole lot of other things swimming in this bottle.  Lesson learned – sugar free, calorie free, fat free does not equal “healthy”.  While nutrition facts are important, they do not tell the whole story.  It is always important to also check the ingredients.

 

 








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