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Fitness Together Burlington's August 2011 Newsletter

Fitness Together Burlington's August 2011 Newsletter

Fitness Together Burlington

Fitness Together Burlington Newsletter

In This Issue
5 Things You Didn't Know About Cravings
Attack of the 100 calorie snacks
Top 10 tips for a Healthy Liver and Lymph

Well a hectic July is now over. For all the mothers out there Happy National Back to School month! We are officially settled in the new space and would like to thank everyone who helped out in the process. We are still ironing everything out in here so any suggestions would be appreciated! Special Thanks to Robin and Pete for helping out so much last week!  Plenty of great fruits and vegetables are still in season through august and september but make sure you are incorporating them into SEVERAL meals a day!

The first article of the newsletter is about cravings.  Going through a diet lifestyle change can be difficult so I thought this article would be very good for everyone to read.  It's important to understand WHY we crave foods and how to handle them. The second article I stole from Mens Health!  Its a great reminder of how snacking can easily be bad, even if you stay low cal! The third article will make a handful of you laugh, its about keeping your liver healthy.  I hope these articles are very informative and interesting.  When I read them I enjoyed them so hopefully you will too.

Congrats to Dave N for being our August client of the month!  Dave has made GREAT accomplishments since starting in April.  It is amazing what he's been able to get done.  He has a great attitude and drive towards his goals.  Congrats Dave!

Enjoy the end of your summer everyone and let us know if there is anything that we can do for you!  Keep working and stay positive and your goals will be achieved!

5 Things You Didn't Know About Cravings 


Discover what your food hankerings may mean and how to control them

By Brynn Mannino Posted July 07, 2011 from WomansDay.com

Photo: © Thinkstock

Ever wonder why you want a piece of chocolate every day at 3 p.m.? Or why once you eat one potato chip, you can't help but eat the entire bag? While there aren't any clear-cut answers, there is some insightful research on how you can take charge of your cravings. Read on for a few tips to consider next time you feel the urge to indulge.

1. Cravings aren't always about what your body is lacking.
Theories abound as to the underlying causes of cravings. Some experts say that certain foods trigger the release of endorphins in our brains, while others attribute our hankerings to hormonal changes, eating habits and even our genetic makeup. And while there are definitely physiological reasons why we crave food, a lot of it is also mental, says Michelle May, MD, author of Eat What You Love. So how do you satisfy the urge to eat if you're not actually hungry? When you get a craving, try to think it through, suggests Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Food & Mood. Ask yourself what feeling is triggering the craving: boredom? stress? sadness? Or consider the type of food you're craving, which can often clue you in to your emotional needs, says Dr. May. For example, if you've just had lunch but still want to eat a brownie, think about how the chocolaty treat typically makes you feel (excited, relieved, comforted, etc.) and address your real needs instead. "If a craving isn't caused by hunger, food will never satisfy it," notes Dr. May. But calling up a friend or going for a brisk walk just might, she adds.

2. It's OK to give in to cravings on occasion, even if you're trying to lose weight.
"People who have struggled with overeating tend to view cravings as something they have to learn to resist in order to control their weight," says Dr. May. But doing so may have the opposite effect because you could end up eating more to make up for the fact that you aren't getting what you really want. Most experts agree that feeling satisfied with what you eat will make it much easier to eat less, so Dr. May suggests indulging your cravings-just in smarter portion sizes. For instance, if you're really craving a chocolate bar, opt for a square of dark chocolate instead, which has less fat and sugar than milk chocolate and will satisfy your craving in fewer calories.

3. Chocolate is the most common food craving in North America.
While it may not come as that big of a surprise, research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association supports the notion that chocolate is craved more than any other food in our region of the world. But the cause for our chocolate cravings is still unclear; they could be contributed to a number of things, including the endorphin-boosting chemicals, caffeine or magnesium chocolate contains. However, there is some evidence that a brisk 15-minute walk can help curb your desire to eat it, according to a study published in the journal Appetite. "It may be that exercise affects brain chemicals that help regulate mood and cravings," says study coauthor Adrian Taylor, PhD. Find out for yourself: When you're feeling the temptation to indulge, take a walk before you hit the vending machine to see if it helps combat the craving.

4. When it comes to sugar, you may only need a taste to feel satisfied.
The instant sugar hits your tongue, it triggers a rush of feel-good endorphins, says Somer in her book. In a study at Johns Hopkins University in 1990, babies who began to whimper were given either a tiny amount of sugar water or plain water. The sugar water stopped them from crying almost instantly, while the plain water did not. And though a pacifier might have the same effect on a upset infant, Neal Barnard, author of Breaking the Food Seduction, notes that "if the pacifier is removed, crying can ensue immediately; but sugar's effect lingers for several minutes." Test the theory yourself the next time you're craving a sweet treat by eating just one jelly bean and then preoccupying yourself for a few minutes. When you come back to the bag, you may find that your craving has been quelled.

5. Cut down on salt and you'll eventually crave it less.
Barnard and New York-based nutritionist Karen Ansel, RD, agree that our salt cravings are a result of what we eat. Ansel explains that since no foods found in nature are inherently salty, we acquire a taste for it because more and more processed foods contain salt. But is it possible to break this habit? James Cocores, MD, who has done research on salty foods and found that they can be as addictive as narcotics because they trigger the same feel-good chemicals in the brain, recommends weaning yourself off salt much as you would any other physically addictive substance. If you find yourself craving super-salty foods, satisfy the urge with smaller and smaller portions, to see if the hankerings eventually decrease.


Attack of the 100 Calorie Snacks

Portions are out of hand.

Restaurants.  At home.  Supersized fast food.  Soft drinks.  Everywhere.  Portions are OUT OF HAND!

I was out to eat the other night at a business meeting and the restaurant offered a 14 oz steak ... that's just shy of 1 pound of meat.  And that was only the main course, so doesn't include all the sides.

Somehow, somewhere...the message that eating smaller portions was a good thing was spread.

But THAT took things to a whole new level.  Suddenly all these companies jumped on board and offered smaller servings.

The problem?

100 calories of Chips Ahoy, Doritos, or Oreos is merely just less junk.

The wires got crossed.

Smaller portions is great.  Smaller portions of junk are not.

And here's the other problem we heard over and over again.  Many people would often eat many more than just 1 bag of the 100 calorie junk because, well, it's like continuing to cut small slivers of cake until you ultimately eat an entire piece.  It's a mind game.  The smaller portions in the 100 calorie bags just weren't enough and they're so few calorie, why not eat more!

These things spread like wild fire, particularly with women, who is the target market.  Everyone was coming out with their own version of 100 calorie snack packs.  We tried to fight it by continuing to suggest the greatest 100 snack "pack" known to man - a piece of fruit (which is actually less than 100 calories).

We were fighting an uphill battle, though.  Recommending a piece of fruit wasn't "sexy" enough.  It wasn't in fancy packaging.  Didn't have creative marketing blurbs to go along with it.

But now we can finally join forces with the 100 calorie "snack packers" and recommend something GREAT.

In fact, there are two options we've found that fit the bill if you're looking for a quick, 100 calorie snack that is quick, easy, and can help you stick to your goals.

Here's what interesting, though, one is actually marketed to kids.  It's NOT marketed as a 100 calorie snack pack at all ... it's a sneaky, under the radar secret we're sharing with you.

Without further ado, we'd like to introduce "Exhibit A" - Chobani Champions.

It's their kids line.  Each high protein Greek yogurt is just 100 calories with 8 grams of protein and 12 grams of sugar (kind of like milk).  Loads of calcium and they're quick and easy.  NOW, we'll be the first to admit our personal favorite is the Plain Greek yogurt where you mix your own fresh fruit in there; however, we also know time is tight for everyone and this is even quicker and easier to grab and go.

Exhibit B Blue Diamond 100 Calorie Nut Snack Packs

We've preached and preached how nuts are one of the greatest foods and snacks.  Ever!  They're loaded with healthy fat, pack in a little protein and fiber and are perfect for on the go moms and dads.  The problem?  They're way too easy to overeat.  So if you're sitting on the couch with a 5 lb canister of almonds thinking you're doing something great, think again.  But now, fortunately, Blue Diamond came out with a solution ... 100 calorie packs of healthy nuts.



Top 10 tips for a Healthy Liver and Lymph


Your liver has many functions; stores certain vitamins, minerals and sugars for use as fuel, cleanses/filters the toxins out of your blood and controls the production/excretion of cholesterol. Your overall health and vitality, to a great extent, depends upon the health of your liver. The thousands of enzyme systems that control virtually every body activity are created there. If your liver fails to create even one of these enzymes, overall body function is impaired, creating greater metabolic stress on your body. THE LYMPH composed of
Lymph fluid consists of; The 'tissue fluid' in which all of our cells are bathed, and the fluid within the 'lymph vessels'. These are 'blood vessel' like tubes, which connect the lymph glands of the body. The Lymphatic System is also called the Immune System.

Modern lifestyles can overstress your liver. Alcohol, tobacco, environmental pollutants, food additives, agricultural pesticides, popular cosmetic ingredients, common household products, stress, pharmaceutical and OTC (over-the-counter) drugs (including oral contraceptives and caffeine), gallstones, home repair materials, artist materials, garden chemicals and building materials can all kill liver cells.

Symptoms of liver imbalance include headaches, bruising easily, anxiety, depression, confusion, fatigue, jaundice, impaired libido (sex drive) and mental function, food allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities and PMS, as well as conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease. When your liver is damaged it cannot remove toxins, which then build up in your blood and eventually, your brain.

Try the following tips for a healthy liver and lymph:

Avoid any foods of which you suspect you may be intolerant:

They will produce toxins in the gut that can cause stress to the detoxification mechanisms. Bacteria, viruses, too much alcohol, coffee and other caffeine-containing drinks, smoking and the medicines that have powerful effects on the liver, stomach and other parts of the body can prove toxic Chew your food well to help release the enzymes that aid digestion.


Consume plenty of foods containing:

Consume plenty of foods containing folate, flavonoids, magnesium, iron, sulphate and selenium and B-vitamins 2,3,6 and 12, since toxicity in the body can be caused by deficiency of the nutrients that the liver needs for detoxification as much as by exposure to toxins. Think along the lines of salads, beans, fresh juices, stir-fries cooked in a little good-quality olive oil, nuts, seeds, yoghurt (full-fat is fine). Steaming is a quick and healthy way of cooking vegetables, and the only vegetables to avoid are potatoes. Aim for a diet build on complex carbohydrates (brown rice), lean protein (beans, lentils, eggs, chicken, fish and a little lean red meat) and organic fruits & vegetables.



Cut down on stimulants:

such as tea and coffee, and depressants such as smoking & alcohol. Aim at drinking at least 2.5 litres of water a day.


Eat foods rich in antioxidants:

Which aid the natural detox mechanisms like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts and Soybean products. Nutrients that enhance our immune system are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, the B-vitamins, Zinc and Magnesium. These nutrients are either potent anti-oxidants capable of stopping the free-radical cascade of tissue damage or are involved in the enzymes that help detoxify damaging chemicals.

Artichoke contains both liver-protective/restorative powers. It acts as a blood purifier and has been proven in clinical studies to lower cholesterol, triglyceride levels and other metabolic waste products

Take a daily does of Echinacea , milk thistle or dandelion root:

(as tablets, tincture or teas) - all herbs with a long - established reputation as blood cleansers and skin tonics. The usual recommended dose for milk thistle is 350mg three times a day for a couple of weeks.

Don't use antibiotics or antacids unless absolutely necessary:

Antibiotics can destroy the useful bacteria in the gut that eliminate toxins; antacids decrease the natural acidity that is necessary for complete digestion.


Take a dose of activated charcoal twice a week:

This is a medical form of charcoal with the capacity to absorb whatever molecules it encounters, including toxins. Don't take it with food or medicines though, or it will absorb them.

Add some gentle exercise:

too, which increases lymph activity within the body, causing you to sweat and generate more urine, encouraging liver activity and stimulating the gut to get rid of waste products, all of which can help to detoxify your body. Gentle exercise is the key, however, because although you'll find walking, swimming and cycling beneficial, you can really feel out of sorts when your body starts cleansing itself, and strenuous exercise will just make you feel worse. Wind up the exercise routine by carrying out deep breathing to use the Lungs more fully, this will get more oxygen into the blood, remove waste products from the blood - especially carbon dioxide - more quickly; and help to speed up the circulation of the blood.

Quick exercise massage for the Liver and Gall Bladder: Place the heel of the right hand on the side of the body under the rib cage, and just above the hip bone. The fingers should point straight across the body. Pressing firmly, move the hand slowly across the body to the middle of the abdomen; you should end up with the hand over the navel. Repeat this action 10-20 times.

Avoid excess of salt & sugar:

Instead of excess salt use fresh herbs, pepper, chillies and lemon juice to enhance the flavour of food. Too much sugar isn't healthy for anyone but especially those with an impaired immune system.


Ginseng is an adaptogen that helps to stabilize blood sugar through glucose metabolism, boosts your immune system and improves mental and physical stamina, allowing the body to better manage stress.

Laugh, Rest and feel good! :

One more really good way to boost your immune system and it's free. Laugh, Rest and feel good! A depressed mind can cause a depressed body. Laughter actually increases production of an antibody that is responsible for our first line of defense against bacterial infections. Laughter, lovemaking and exercise are the best medicine of all!

Over time, the health of the liver and lymph may be restored. Taking beneficial herbs regularly and following a detoxification process can help to provide protection to either the sick or healthy liver during the course of daily life. This stabilizes cell membranes and encourages the regeneration of liver cells destroyed during their normal functions.


Brendan Stapleton
Fitness Together Burlington