Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How to PREVENT Weight Gain During the Holidays:

This will be some of the most simple advice you ever get about holidays weight gain. Don't skip your workouts.How's that for rocket science! ;-)But look, this is the time of year where most people fall apart.They get busy as all get out with parties and shopping.And I want you to enjoy yourself and have fun. I really do.However, I don't want you to be one of the many that can't fit into their sweat pants - never mind skinny jeans - when January rolls around.NOW is the time to crank up your workouts so you can enjoy those parties guilt free. My partners over at Prograde Nutrition have two awesome resources for you to thelp you out.And don't worry, they're totally free.The first will be released in a couple days. They're recording a Holiday Survival Guide webinar that is going to reveal ten simple strategies to help you get through the holidays unscathed. But still allow you to feast on your favorite foos. The second thing is going to turbo charge those workouts I was just talking about. They've made available to all of my readers a killer 39 page report titled, "What to NEVER Eat After You Workout."Trust me, you don't want to waste your workouts by fueling it improperly afterwards. This report is easy to read and it'll teach you all the basics. Just the stuff you need to know. Nothing else. Be sure to grab your free copy of it today by clicking the link below: Ok, that's it for now. Enjoy the "What to NEVER Eat After You Workout" report. I'll be back in a couple days with the Holiday Survival Guide webinar!

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

PS - Not only is this eye-opening info, but it's absolutely FREE. Which is absolutely stunning because they should be charging for it.And who knows? Maybe they'll start to, but for now you don't have to pay so be sure to rush over to this link below and get your copy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

5 Quick And Easy Kitchen Rules For Good Nutrition

1. Season To Taste: Just because a recipe lists out the amount of certain spices and seasonings doesn't mean you have to abide by that. Your mouth is going to tell you what you like best. So experiment a little and season to your taste.

2. Utilize the advice of others: Have you ever talked to your butcher or produce manager at your grocery store. If you haven't you should be. They know about the best cuts of meat, the freshest meats that have just arrived or the freshest produce. Particularly the butchers can also tell you how best to prepare a certain cut of meat or fish. Utilize their expertise to enhance your dinner plate.

3. Create your own recipes: Recipes or ingredients aren't set in stone. If you have some extra mushrooms in the fridge or a red bell pepper throw it into a recipe you think it would fit into. Don't let good food go to waste. If you don't like a recipe that has chicken in it and you think it would taste good with beef then switch it out. You will be amazed at how many new recipes you can come up with by adding or swapping out various ingredients. Expand your options and start experimenting a little and you just might come up with something amazing!

4. Shop for the best: Be picky with the quality of fruit and vegetables you buy. Inspect them and don't be afraid to ask the produce manager for the freshest product. A fresh piece of fruit or quality vegetable can make all the difference in the taste of a meal or dish.

Same goes for meat or fish. Grass fed meat costs more, but you get a much healthier piece of meat richer in Omega 3 fats. If healthier food leads to a healthier body then why wouldn't you spend a few extra dollars on higher quality food.

5. Utilize your local farms: Since we are on the topic of quality generally if you buy from local farms you will get fresher produce or meat and it is likely to taste better also. Not to mention if you buy organic or buy right after it comes out of the field you get a food with more nutrients in it.

If you implement these 5 Kitchen Rules To Eating Right your food will taste better and you body will thank you.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

PS. click here for a special offer

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why Butter is Better

* Vitamins ...

Butter is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A, needed for a wide range of functions, from maintaining good vision to keeping the endocrine system in top shape.

Butter also contains all the other fat-soluble vitamins (D, E and K2), which are often lacking in the modern industrial diet.
* Minerals ...

Butter is rich in important trace minerals, including manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium (a powerful antioxidant). Butter provides more selenium per gram than wheat germ or herring. Butter is also an excellent source of iodine.
* Fatty Acids ...

Butter provides appreciable amounts of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which support immune function, boost metabolism and have anti-microbial properties; that is, they fight against pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract.

Butter also provides the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Arachidonic acid in butter is important for brain function, skin health and prostaglandin balance.
* Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) ...

When butter comes from cows eating green grass, it contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a compound that gives excellent protection against cancer and also helps your body build muscle rather than store fat.
* Glycospingolipids ...

These are a special category of fatty acids that protect against gastrointestinal infections, especially in the very young and the elderly. Children given reduced-fat milks have higher rates of diarrhea than those who drink whole milk.
* Cholesterol ...

Despite all of the misinformation you may have heard, cholesterol is needed to maintain intestinal health and for brain and nervous system development in the young.
* Wulzen Factor ...

A hormone-like substance that prevents arthritis and joint stiffness, ensuring that calcium in your body is put into your bones rather than your joints and other tissues. The Wulzen factor is present only in raw butter and cream; it is destroyed by pasteurization.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Monday, November 22, 2010


Raisins rank among the top antioxidant foods, according to USDA government tests. Early findings suggest that eating plenty of fruits high in antioxidants, such as raisins may help slow the processes associated with aging in both body and brain.

Andrew J. Dannenberg, M.D. a cancer researcher at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University reports that the antioxidant catechin, found in raisins and some other fruits and vegetables, in the diet of mice genetically predisposed to intestinal tumors reduced the number of tumors by at least 70 percent compared to the control group. This type of study adds to the body of evidence which shows that components of fruits and vegetables have the potential to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, colorectal adenomas and other gastrointestinal tumors.

Carl L. Keen, Ph.D. from the University of California Davis reports that a significant amount of raisins eaten daily for 4 weeks increased the plasma antioxidant capacity. This in turn decreased the level of circulating oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also known as the “bad cholesterol”. These data clearly show raisins are an important part of 5-a-day diet and that benefits of eating raisins are similar to benefits seen when eating other fruits and vegetables with these plant antioxidants.

Christine D. Wu, M.S., Ph.D. of the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry has found that raisins contain compounds including oleanolic acid that inhibit in vitro growth of Streptococcus.mutans, the bacteria in the mouth responsible for tooth decay. Oleanic acid and other compounds in raisins also inhibit organisms associated with periodontal disease, including Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Oleanolic acid is most effective in suppressing in vitro plaque formation by Streptococcus mutans. Prevention of plaque building up on the tooth surface is critical both for preventing tooth decay and promoting healthy gums.

Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D. of the University of Maine reports that dietary fiber and other components may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer by binding bile acids and causing their elimination from the body. Camire’s study confirms that eating fibrous foods, such as raisins, stimulates the body to replace the bile acids that have been eliminated by making them from its own cholesterol, thus potentially lowering serum cholesterol and the risk of coronary heart disease. Furthermore, bile acids that are bound by fibers such as those in raisins will not be metabolized to a more toxic form and this may potentially reduce cancer risk.

Gene A. Spiller, Ph.D. of the Sphera Foundation and Health Research Studies Center - Los Altos, CA reports feeding of raisins along with peanuts to 10-12 year old children prior to a soccer game resulted in lower increases in blood glucose and insulin than a snack of a white bagel and jam. This is important because it means a more steady fuel supply to the exercising muscle of the young players. Lower insulin levels are advantageous because high levels of circulating insulin can promote the laying down of fat and may lead to insulin resistance, a concern among US children today, where rates of obesity and type 2 Diabetes are increasing.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Friday, November 19, 2010

8 Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Pounds

It's that time of year. The leaves turn majestic hues of red and gold. The air becomes fresh and crisp. We can finally put an extra blanket on the bed and cuddle up with a cup of hot tea. Yes, it's fall. We just spent eight months killing ourselves to get into that bathing suit, but now we've replaced it with a worn pair of jeans and a much more relaxed attitude towards food. After all, it's the holiday season, and no one'll notice a few extra pounds under layers of clothes. A little extra weight just gives us a New Year's resolution to focus on, right?

Woman's Feet on Scale

Wrong. According to a recent study by researchers at Sweden's Linköping University, those four weeks of celebrating can actually lead to long-term weight gain.

Essentially, the researchers took a group of healthy young people, increased their caloric intake by 70 percent, and lowered their exercise levels. They also had a control group whose diets weren't altered. At four weeks, the participants in the test group had gained an average of 14 pounds. After six months, and no longer on an increased-calorie diet, only a third of these participants had returned to their original weight. After one year, the test group members were each still an average of 3.3 pounds heavier. After 2.5 years, the "gluttonous" group continued to gain, while the control group still maintained a stable weight.

Now, most of us don't increase our calories that drastically for 30 days straight. Sure, there's Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving leftovers, Hanukkah, the work Christmas party, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day, not to mention the extra sweets, cocktails, and (ahem) fruitcake. But according to the New England Journal of Medicine, the actual average weight gain over the holidays is only one pound. (They obviously didn't poll my family or friends.) So what's the big deal? The problem is, a year later, the vast majority of people have not removed that pound. Continue this pattern over 30 or 40 holiday seasons and the problem becomes—quite literally—huge.

So how are we supposed to get through the holidays without causing weight gain? Here are eight effective ways to get yourself ready to beat the holiday bulge.

1. Woman Shopping: Buy clothes that fit right now. This first tip might be a bit pricy, but it's a great motivational aid in staving off weight gain. A new addition to your wardrobe in a size that shows off your summer body can be all you need to prevent those extra pounds from creeping on. Imagine that beautiful holiday dress or great pair of pants, then imagine being unable to zip them up thanks to sugar cookies. Yeah, no one wants that. So before you begin the festivities, go buy yourself something perfect to wear to your parties and hang it someplace visible, so it serves as a constant reminder. Perhaps on the TV , or in front of that treadmill that might be starting to collect a little dust in the corner, or on your refrigerator door . . . that way, if it doesn't fit quite the same way the next time you try to slip into it, you know it's time to get back to work.
2. Write it down: We try to write down everything we eat, right? We spend countless hours each month staring at a food diary, adding up our calories, and seeing if we got the correct balance of macronutrients. And then the holidays happen, and our little book ends up in the bottom drawer. It's almost like we're hoping that if we didn't write it down, it didn't happen. Unfortunately, the scale doesn't fit in that bottom drawer. The truth is, if we would write down the not-so-perfect meals and treats, we could find a way to compensate for them, at least a bit. For example, you have a peppermint brownie in the break room at work, which you know is carbohydrates and fat. Eat one less portion of carbohydrate and one less portion of fat for your dinner. It's not ideal, but it'll help. Or perhaps you couldn't resist Mom's homemade scones for breakfast. You could plan on an extra 20 or 30 minutes of your workout tonight. The point is, if we write it down, and do the math, we can lessen the damage. It isn't a good long-term plan, but to help compensate for a few slip-ups, it can help.
3. Man on Treadmill Keep exercising. Most fitness trainers will tell you the slowest point of their year is between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Sure, their clients schedule workouts with the best of intentions, but then they cancel them for parties and gift shopping. It's hard to remain balanced when you have a million things to do and gifts to buy. Yet the greatest gift you can give yourself is to stay focused on your fitness goals and get your workout in. Shopping getting in the way? Do it online and save some time. Parties getting in the way? Just show up later. Who cares if everyone else is a couple of cocktails ahead of you? You'll be healthier, and you won't have to worry about the embarrassing YouTube® videos in the morning. Just stay consistent, even if it's inconvenient. You'll be much less likely to look like Santa (both belly-wise and red-nose-wise) at the end of the month.
4. Eat before parties: Most holiday parties don't focus on low-fat, low-calorie refreshments, so unless you're organizing the event, the best damage control is to show up with a full tummy. Make sure you eat your meals and snacks throughout the day, and try to eat a healthy meal before attending any party. If you're going straight from work, prepare a healthy and filling snack to eat on the way. You'll be a lot less likely to swim in mayonnaise dips and pigs in blankets if you're full.
5. Potato Chips, Pretzels, and Nuts. Get junk out of the house. The majority of people don't get into their car at midnight, drive to the store, buy the ingredients for cookies, bake them, and then stay up to eat them. But if those homemade cookies that Linda in accounting made for you are already on your kitchen counter, you better believe you'll find a way to justify it. Frankly, at 12:30 a.m., after a rotten day, for most of us there's nothing like a few cookies to drown our sorrows. The secret is to get the garbage out of the house. Send it to work with your significant other, donate it to a bake sale, re-gift it to your 100-pound friend with the perfect metabolism, or just dump it in the trash. Linda will never know. If you have holiday dinner leftovers, box them up for your guests individually and send them home with them. If your family still sends you that Pepperidge Farm® cookie assortment, invite a bunch of people over for a pre-party party and serve 'em up before the drinks. Try not to be wasteful, but get the less-than-healthy temptations out of your reach.
6. Offer to prepare healthy fare. This suggestion won't be well received by those of us who'd rather spend Thanksgiving sitting around watching football than toiling in the kitchen, but if you do the cooking, you have the control. Your family could have a tasty and satisfying meal without ingesting thousands of calories and fat grams. The way the turkey is prepared, the type of stuffing, how vegetables are made, whether the cranberries are real, and countless other things can make or break the healthiness of a meal. There are tons of cookbooks out there. Yes, it does require a bit of work, but at some point you have to learn to put yourself first.
7. Buffet: Choose wisely and proportionally. Something occurs during a holiday meal. It's like a Las Vegas buffet—we feel like we have to eat some of everything. We feel almost like those foods will never exist again, and this is our last meal on the planet. This year, why not try to eat only your favorites, as in two or three items, and keep the portions to the size of your palm? If you're still hungry, try to fill up on veggies (preferably ones that aren't drowned in butter or cream-of-mushroom soup). If you want dessert, lean toward a small slice of pumpkin pie (220 calories) as opposed to pecan (a heftier 543), leaving out the hydrogenated nondairy whipped topping if possible. If you're going to have an alcoholic beverage, go with a flute of champagne (100 calories) as opposed to that rum-laced eggnog (with more than four times more calories, at 420). Just a few wise choices will save you a ton of calories, and probably a significant amount of heartburn as well.
8. Don't beat yourself up: Quite possibly the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up over a bit of holiday indulgence. Yes, it does stink to backslide after working your tail off. But sometimes it doesn't stink as much as dealing with your mother when you turn down her brisket and potato pancakes. Sometimes, we don't have time to go to work, buy a Christmas tree, decorate it with our kids, make dinner, oversee homework, tuck kids in bed, and spend an half hour doing a workout video. We can only do our very best. Mentally beating yourself up will only make you feel worse, which never helped anyone get back to their fitness program. So if you happen to gain that one extra pound this holiday season, be part of the rare group who actually follows through with their New Year's resolution and manages to shed it again. A week of hard work and a slight calorie deficit should do the trick. Resolutions don't come easier than that!

A wise person once said, "The toughest part of a diet isn't watching what you eat. It's watching what other people eat." That really is the crux of the problem with dining out in public. When you're surrounded by people who are consuming the equivalent of their body weight in fat grams, it's really tough to stick to that chicken breast and steamed veggies. But if you have a game plan, you're more likely to walk out with both a satisfied tummy and a satisfied mind. So spend a few minutes on researching, on eating, and on exercising beforehand, and be strong when you get there. The effort will be worth it, and you might even be an inspiration to your dining partner. What greater reward is there than that? Oh, yeah—a six-pack.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Research Shows DHA May Improve Stroke Recovery

Hopefully very few of you reading this have ever had a stroke, but you probably have a family member or friend who has. This article is to shed some light on what research is looking at in regards to improving the recovery of a stroke patient and minimizing the damage caused because of a stroke.

In the Translational Stroke Research Journal published online there is a study titled Docosahexaenoic Acid Therapy of Experimental Ischemic Stroke. Now don't get overwhelmed by the title.

Essentially what they were measuring is recovery progress and damage minimized by supplementing DHA (essential fatty acid) after a stroke. What they found was that there was a neuroprotective effect if DHA was given within 5 hours following an ischemic stroke.

Ischemic strokes are caused by a blockage of blood to the brain because of some type of clot or plaque buildup in the arteries. Why this study is so important is because the area surrounding the the blockage can become irreversibly damaged within a few hours if the blood flow is still blocked.

Director of Neuroscience Center of Excellence Dr. Bazan from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center induced strokes in rat by blocking the middle cerebral artery for two hours. Some of that rats were to receive DHA intravenously at set hours after the stroke was induced. Other rats were to receive saline intravenously.

Behavioral tests were conducted during the blockage and at 1, 2, 3 and 7 days following the procedure as well as examination of the brain.

A second experiment administered DHA at the 3 hour mark after the blockage occurred and they assessed the brain using MRI at day 1, 3 and day 7. There was also a third experiment conducted where after the DHA was provided at the 3 hour mark their brains were examined for the presence of neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1), which is a substance that has DHA as a precursor and also has anti inflammatory effects.

In the first experiment they found a reduction in neurologic deficits for those that received the DHA instead of saline and this was found to be true even at the 5 hour mark after the onset of stroke symptoms.

Those treated with DHA had total reduced infarct volume by 40% when given 3 hours after a stroke, 66% when given 4 hours later and 59% when given after 5 hours. The group treated with DHA and examined via MRI had smaller infarcts, which were actually not distinguishable from normal tissues by the 7th day. The third experiment showed that there was an increase in NPD1 synthesis in the area surrounding the tissue damage in the DHA treated group like they had hoped.

These findings are significant because they help identify a possible treatment for strokes and also help narrow down the time window when treatment needs to be administered for the greatest success. Understanding the impact of omega 3 essential fatty acids on strokes are just the beginning to unraveling and getting closer to finding a solution for strokes and other neurodegenerative diseases.

According to Dr. Bazaan we are in an unprecedented time in regards to making progress with strokes. Strokes kill over 150,000 Americans each year and most of the damage occurs within the first 24 hours following a stroke. There have been randomized clinical studies showing that patients who consume high omega 3 fat inttakes experience a decreased incidence of stroke. 2,4

Omega 3 intake may also slow down the rate of atherosclerosis which can lead to higher a stroke rate.3 The American Stroke Association even recommends that individuals consider taking a supplement that contains omega 3 fatty acids since most do not consume enough through their diet.

This type of research is what is going to shape our future health and help many of us from ever suffering from these neurodegenerative diseases.

If you are want to get a head start on protecting yourself go here:

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT


1. Ludmila Belayev, Larissa Khoutorova, Kristal D. Atkins, Tiffany N. Eady, Song Hong, Yan Lu, Andre Obenaus and Nicolas G. Bazan. Docosahexaenoic Acid Therapy of Experimental Ischemic Stroke. Translational Stroke Research. Published Online Nov 4th 2010.

2. He K, Rimm EB, et al. Fish consumption and risk of stroke in men. JAMA. 2002 Dec 25;288(24):3130–6

3. Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, et al. Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular diseases. Circulation. 2002 Nov 19;106(21):2747–57.

4. Jeerakathil TJ, Wolf PA. Prevention of strokes. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2001 Jul;3(4):321–7.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Health Benefits of Corn

Corn is a wonderful whole grain food that is a good source of vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, folate, fiber, vitamin C, Phosphorous, Manganese and a nutrient called beta-cryptoxanthin.

In addition to preventing birth defects, Folate can also help to lower your risk of heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. It has been estimated that consumption of 100% of the daily value of folate would, by itself, reduce the number of heart attacks suffered by Americans each year by 10%. Folate-rich diets are also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Consuming foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoid found in high amounts in corn, may significantly lower one's risk of developing lung cancer. A study published in the September, 2003 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention reviewed dietary and lifestyle data collected from over 63,000 adults in Shanghai, China, who were followed for 8 years. Those eating the most crytpoxanthin-rich foods showed a 27% reduction in lung cancer risk. When current smokers were evaluated, those who were also in the group consuming the most cryptoxanthin-rich foods were found to have a 37% lower risk of lung cancer compared to smokers who ate the least of these health-protective foods.

Corn is also a good source of Thiamin which is a nutrient essential to good brain cell health and mental function. The brain uses Thiamin to make a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which is essential for good memory. In addition, maintaining healthy acetylcholine levels may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Research reported at the 2004 American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) International Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer, by Rui Hai Liu, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues at Cornell University shows that whole grains, such as corn, contain many powerful phytonutrients whose activity has gone unrecognized because common research methods have overlooked them. Dr. Liu’s team measured the antioxidant activity of various foods, assigning each a rating based on a formula. Broccoli measured 80, Spinach 81, Apples 98, Bananas 65, but Corn topped them all measuring a whopping 181.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scientists unlock how trans fats harm arteries

I thought this article to be quite interesting, even though I did not do the write up, there's a lot of knowledge to be shared. Enjoy!

By Nathan Gray, 03-Nov-2010

Related topics: Science & Nutrition, Fats & oils

The method by which dietary trans fats cause hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) may have been identified by a new study on mice fed a high trans fat diet.

The research paper, published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, suggests that high levels of trans fats cause atherosclerosis by reducing the responsiveness of a key protein that controls growth and differentiation in cells. The protein, known as transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta, plays an important role in immunity and the development of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The findings of the study reinforce recent moves by industry to move away from the use of trans fats after studies linked the predominantly man-made fat with a range of health problems.

“Our demonstration that suppression of TGF-beta responsiveness (in aortic endothelium and possibly in other tissues) caused by dietary trans fats is likely to have important implications in other trans fat-related diseases and disorders,” stated the researchers, led by Dr. Chun-Lin Chen from Saint Louis University School of Medicine, in the U.S.

“For example, it has been postulated that trans fats are carcinogenic and also contribute to autoimmune disease. These phenomena might be due to suppression of cellular TGF-beta responsiveness by dietary trans fats – since TGF-beta is a well-known tumour suppressor and immuno-suppressor,” they added.

Trans fat risk

Though trace amounts of trans fats are found naturally, in dairy and meats, the vast majority are formed during the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oil (PHVO) that converts the oil into semi-solids for a variety of food applications.

Trans fats are attractive for the food industry due to their extended shelf life and flavour stability, and have displaced natural solid fats and liquid oils in many areas of food processing.

But scientific reports that trans fatty acids raise serum levels of LDL-cholesterol, reduce levels of HDL-cholesterol, can promote inflammation can cause endothelial dysfunction, and influence other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), has led to a well-publicized bans in New York City restaurants, and other cities, like Chicago.

In the food industry this has been mirrored by an increase the in pressure on food manufacturers to reduce or remove trans fatty acids from their products and reformulate.

The food industry as a whole has expressed its commitment to removing trans fatty acids from its products, but such reformulation is not straightforward and presents challenges.

Despite the well accepted link between trans fats and heart health, the St Louis-based scientists claim that the mechanisms by which trans fats cause atherosclerosis and other diseases remain unclear.

Chen and colleagues stated that there is “accumulating evidence” to indicate that transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta in the circulation protects against atherosclerosis. They stated that previous studies have found that suppressed TGF-beta responsiveness in the walls (endothelium) of the aortic blood vessel plays an important role in the development of atherosclerosis in animals.

The researchers fed mice a high-trans fat (Western) diet or a control diet of standard rodent chow and tested the effects dietary trans fat intake on TGF-beta after 16 or 24 weeks.


The researchers observed that normal mice fed a high trans fat diet for 24 weeks exhibited atherosclerotic lesions and suppressed TGF-beta responsiveness in the aortic endothelium.

High trans fat mice also showed increased integration of cholesterol into tissue plasma membranes.

The authors reported a 24-week trans fat diet increased the expression of VCAM-1 – a marker of early lesions of atherosclerosis – four-fold compared to mice fed the control diet, corresponding to significant atherosclerotic lesions found in mice fed the trans fat diet.

However, the authors also reported that when mice were switched from the high trans fat diet to control diets at 16 weeks, markers of atherosclerosis, including TGF-beta responsiveness and VCAM-1 expression began to return to normal levels.

Suppressed responses

Dr. Chen and colleagues indicated that their results suggest that dietary trans fats cause atherosclerosis, at least in part, by suppressing TGF-beta responsiveness.

“This effect is presumably mediated by the increased deposition of cholesterol into cellular plasma membranes in vascular tissue, as in hypercholesterolemia,” they added.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Monday, November 15, 2010

Belly Fat and Metabolic Syndrome

Belly Fat and Metabolic Syndrome:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tomatoes Are Souper!!

Tomatoes Are Souper!
Scientists are suggesting that tomato lovers may be more likely to reduce the risk of serious disease. Lycopene, an anti oxidant which gives tomatoes their lovely rich red color, helps remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules and have been implicated in cancer and other serious diseases.

Professor Michael Avirim of the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel who is testing lycopene in clinical trials says, ' In its natural form, lycopene is an excellent anti oxidant that helps to prevent formation of oxidized LDL, the 'bad' cholesterol in blood, which contributes to the build up of plaque that narrows, stiffens and constricts arteries and can lead to heart attacks. When this natural extract was added to cancer cell cultures, the lycopene inhibited their growth. Lycopene is the most potent nutritional antioxidant found to date.

Another study compared men who had had a heart attack with the same number of healthy men and found that those with high levels of lycopene appeared to reduce their risk of heart diseases by 50%.  The study’s coordinator, Lenore Kohlmeier, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the university of North Carolina, said, 'Based on our findings, and other research, lycopene can be an excellent antioxidant, we recommend that people eat tomato based cooked foods.'

Several recent studies have shown that a diet rich in tomatoes and tomato products is strongly linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers. In a six year study of 48,000 male professionals, Dr Edward Giovannucci and colleagues at Harvard Medical School found that consuming tomatoes and tomato based products between five to seven serving a week was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer of 21% to 34%.

Another study published in the International Journal of Cancer said that lycopene appears to protect against cancer of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum. Researchers at the University of Illinois report that women with the highest lycopene levels had a five fold lower risk of developing precancerous signs of cervical cancer than women with lowest lycopene levels.

The human body does not produce lycopene alone and therefore relies on a consumption of tomatoes and tomato based products for this anti oxidant. Nutritionists and other health professionals have long advocated the cancer preventative benefits of a diet high in fruits and vegetables. .

Lycopene: Just The Facts

Research by Dr. Joseph Levy and colleagues from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel, may have identified the unique mechanism through which lycopene protects against cancer which is by activating cancer-preventive phase II enzymes.

Lycopene is an open-chain unsaturated carotenoid that imparts red color to tomatoes.

Lycopene is a proven anti-oxidant that may lower the risk of certain diseases including cancer and heart disease.

In the body, lycopene is deposited in the liver, lungs, prostate gland, colon and skin. Its concentration in body tissues tends to be higher than all other carotenoids.

Epidemiological studies have shown that high intake of lycopene-containing vegetables is inversely associated with the incidence of certain types of cancer. For example, habitual intake of tomato products has been found to decrease the risk of cancer of the digestive tract among Italians.

In one six-year study by Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, the diets of more than 47,000 men were studied. Of 46 fruits and vegetables evaluated, only the tomato products (which contain large quantities of lycopene) showed a measurable relationship to reduce prostate cancer risk. As consumption of tomato products increased, levels of lycopene in the blood increased, and the risk for prostate cancer decreased. The study also showed that the heat processing of tomatoes and tomato products increases Lycopene bioavailability.

Ongoing research suggests that lycopene can reduce the risk of macular degenerative disease, serum lipid oxidation and cancers of the lung, bladder, cervix and skin.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Breakthrough study shows personalised nutrition future for probiotics

I am a firm believer in the ingestion of probiotics and thought this was a great little article!! Enjoy.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

By Stephen Daniells, 15-Sep-2010

Related topics: Probiotics, Research, Probiotics and prebiotics, Gut health

Probiotic bacteria may affect gene activity and the cellular reactions they control in the human intestine, a study has revealed for the first time.

Consumption of a dairy drink containing three strains of probiotic bacteria was associated with changes in the activity of hundreds of genes, with the changes resembling the effects of certain medicines in the human body, including medicines that positively influence the immune system and those for lowering blood pressure.

Researchers from NIZO Food Research, Maastricht University, UMC St Radboud and Wageningen UR – within the framework of TI Food and Nutrition – report their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“Probiotics cause a local reaction in the mucosa of the small intestines,” said Prof Michiel Kleerebezem of NIZO food research. “These effects are similar to the effects of components that the pharmaceutical industry applies to medicines, but less strong.”

The researchers used dairy drinks containing the commercial probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus Lafti-L10 (DSM), L. casei CRL-431 (Chr. Hansen), and L. rhamnosus GG (Valio) and compared this with a placebo drink. Seven healthy volunteers participated in the study.

Six hours after consumption of these drinks, the researchers took biopsies from the upper part of the small intestine (duodenum) and genetically analysed. The researchers observed “hundreds of differentially expressed genes that participate in (the regulation of) basal mucosal pathways, some with clinical relevance.

“This shows that investigating the effect of specific bacterial strains in cross-over trials using human volunteers may yield clinically relevant results,” they added.

“The results from this study may also contribute to the identification of the bacterial molecules that are involved in co-regulating human mucosal function. We consider that probiotics research might eventually deliver therapeutic interventions that correct mild deviations from normal intestinal metabolism and may contribute to maintenance of intestinal health under conditions of mild stress, such as physical exercise.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Best Way To Beat Cellulite

Cottage cheese Orange Peel Rice Pudding

Even though this sounds like it, I’m not talking about food here. These are just some of the names given to an undesirable skin condition known as cellulite that plagues the backsides and tummies of women all over the world.

Sure, some men are affected by it, but for the most part, women’s biggest fear about wearing a bikini in the summer is the dimply appearance of her butt and thighs or mid-section. And, women don’t even have to be considered “chubby” or “fat” to have cellulite in the most awkward of places. Even our beloved, so-called perfectly thin actresses have cellulite that they work incredibly hard to hide.

But why is it that women are mostly stricken with mattress-like backsides and how do we prevent it or minimize its appearance?

What is cellulite?

Cellulite consists of several alterations in your skins normal structure, coupled with circulation issues (fatty areas of cellulite tend to have low blood flow and are cold to the touch), and changes with the fat cells themselves.

If you have cellulite, there isn’t much you can do to abolish it, but you can definitely reduce it’s appearance.

Even Babies Have Cellulite

My first realization about cellulite came when I noticed my 7-month old daughter had a cottage cheese-like appearance to her cute little butt cheeks when they were slightly squished.

At first I was upset – why does she have cellulite? How is this possible? But then I realized my own battles with cellulite were partially out of my control. Females, by virtue of our hormonal environment and body structure are stricken with cellulite from the very beginning.

Normal, healthy, fatty tissue development (growth of new fat cells, not fat cell size) begins in the womb and continues until a child is 18 months old. It then picks up again during puberty. In today’s society, with all the junk food and excessive calories, some children are in a constant state of fat cell growth and potentially new fat cells.

Fatty tissue near the skin consists of two layers separated by a facial layer. The more external layer is called the areolar layer, which is formed by globular and large fat cells (adipocytes) arranged vertically; here the blood vessels feeding the fat cells are numerous and fragile. The deeper layer is called the lamellar layer and the cells are fusiform, smaller and arranged horizontally; the vessels here are larger. The second layer increases in thickness when a person gains weight, mainly due to the increase in fat cell volume which presses against the outer, areolar layer, making it more pronounced.

In women, the outer areolar layer is thicker and the skin covering it is usually thinner which is the case right from birth (and explains my daughters dimply butt cheeks). As a woman ages and gains more body fat from an increase in the inner lamellar layer, it makes the fat cells in the areolar layer more visible.

Female hormones can be evil

When women start to hit puberty, the battle with thigh cellulite commences. The femoral region of a woman (the back of the upper thigh) is very responsive to her very unique hormonal profile.

Estrogen increases the response of thigh fat cells to anti-lipolytic alpha receptors (preventing fat breakdown and loss) and stimulates an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL) that stimulates fat growth. This can occur in the gluteal region and abdomen as well, but is usually localized to the back of the legs.

Prolactin (the breast-feeding hormone) is another hormone that makes cellulite more visible because it increases water retention in the fatty tissue, which makes each cell look larger and more lumpy.

So, most women are going to have some issues with cellulite, just because they are women.

Insulin make cellulite more visible

One of the greatest influences on cellulite appearance is the blood glucose-regulating hormone insulin. Whenever you eat carbohydrate, your body releases insulin to manage the influx of glucose (from carbs) into your bloodstream. In an ideal world, your muscle cells recognize this insulin and invite the glucose into muscle cells to be used for energy or stored for later use (as glycogen).

However, in the case of most sedentary people, insulin sends the carbs to fat cells to be turned into fatty acids and stored as triglycerides (called lipogenesis). This makes fat cells in the lamellar layer bigger, causing fat cells in the areolar layer to be squished out and more visible.

Unless a person is a constant exerciser or exercises incredibly hard every day, high carb diets will cause your body to produce more fat. Insulin also stops your body from using fat as fuel and can cause your body to store more water, pushing cellulite out for the world to see.

Change your lifestyle, smooth out cellulite

Of all the things under our control with respect to cellulite, there are two major things we can change to minimize its appearance. With cellulite, you either have it, or you don’t (lucky girl!), but if you have it, you can make it look less pronounced despite never really being able to get rid of it.

First and foremost – get off your butt! Consistent physical activity (no, not armchair football) decreases your body’s insulin levels naturally and makes your muscle cells more receptive to burning up carbs and fats for energy.

Daily exercise also increases muscle mass, which helps decrease body fat. It increases circulation in your lower extremities, providing more blood to thigh fat cells and enabling them to be used as a energy source. Finally, it improves rigidity of your tendons and muscles, making fatty areas seem smaller and less pronounced.

You’ve got to think: all that sitting on your behind, day in and day out, does not do much for improving blood flow to your thighs or making your butt look any smaller. So, get up and move as much as you can -- every day. Even consider investing in a stand-up desk, so your butt can get a break.

Second - eliminate simple carbs, sodium, alcohol and manufactured fats from your diet.

You now know carbs are the major promoters of insulin, but not all carbs are bad and timing is important. High-fiber carbs from non-starchy vegetables (like greens and colorful veggies) produce the lease amount of insulin and some starchy veggies (like sweet potato, squash and peas) produce a bit more insulin, but their high fiber content is important. Fiber helps keep your body regular (along with adequate water intake) which improves blood flow in your lower limbs.

Simple carbs, like those used in Prograde Workout, and even fruit carbs are used best by your body after exercise, and sometimes before. At this time, your muscles are primed to use that insulin for repair and re-growth instead of for fat storage.

High sodium, processed foods, like those microwave lunches, have to be packed with sodium to prevent spoilage. This sodium causes water retention and makes cellulite look worse than it is. On the same note, watch out for sodium in canned foods (soups, fish) and focus on fresh, non-processed items as often as possible. Sauces, like soy sauce and teriyaki are also a no-no as they can be both high in sodium and simple carbs.

Alcohol is also an issue – this chemical acts just like insulin, causing your body to store fat and create fat and preventing it from using it for energy. Light beer is not going to help you cause at all. Just limit or stay away from alcohol all the time and your fat cells will be smaller and you’ll be happier.

Manufactured fats, such as those found in most boxed and packaged foods are incredibly problematic. First, the poor quality of these fats, which can be trans fats or just excessive polyunsaturated fats, loved to be stored by the body. They also increase inflammation, which leads to water retention and decreased fat breakdown. Finally, they’re often associated with high simple carb foods (cake anyone?)

The best diet to reduce the appearance of cellulite is one that contains high quality, whole-food proteins that are not laced with preservatives, sodium, and sugar (foods like organic beef and chicken, organic eggs and purified whey proteins), plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits to provide fiber, antioxidants and potassium to balance sodium, and plentiful whole food fats, especially those high in unsaturated fats like avocados, egg yolks, fish, fish oil and krill oils, and olives and olive oil.

Don’t believe the hype- just do what Mother Nature told you to do

Everyday you’re going to be bombarded with some product, or some new fancy diet that proclaims to be the terminator of all cellulite, but don’t buy into those claims.

Fighting the dimply look of cellulite isn’t really that hard – you just need to eat real food, food that Mother Nature gave us, and exercise or move your body every day.

Or, pick the right parents and ask for thick skin. But, If it was that easy, the world wouldn’t be so interesting.

Click Below To Discover What's On Sale This Week!

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Beets Beat Hypertension

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease. It is a condition in which blood pressure in the blood vessels becomes elevated. When the heart beats, it pumps blood through the arteries. Blood pressure is the force of blood that is pushing against the walls of your arteries. If your blood pressure is too high, the heart works harder to pump blood, which could lead to organ damage and several other complications such as heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. Hypertension occurs when the pressure inside the blood vessels is too high. When your heart pumps, it sends blood out through the arteries. The force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries causes pressure. Every time your heart beats, it forces more blood into the arteries, causing the pressure to rise. Between beats, when the heart is resting, the pressure lowers. Blood pressure is measured by health professionals by inflating a cuff with air around the upper arm and then listening to the blood flow as the cuff deflates. A normal blood pressure reading is below 120 mm Hg Systolic and 80 mm Hg Diastolic, which is written as 120/80. A high blood pressure is a reading of 140/90 or higher. Recent research published online in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that drinking beet juice can lower high blood pressure. Researchers from Queen Mary University of London found that blood pressure was lower within a 24 hour period in people who took nitrate tablets, and those who drank beet juice. The nitrate content found within the beetroot juice had been found to be the main underlying cause of its blood pressure lowering ability. The study’s author Amrita Ahluwalia stated that they were able to demonstrate that the nitrate found in beetroot juice was the cause of its beneficial effects upon cardiovascular health by increasing the levels of the gas nitric oxide in the circulation. Ahluwalia said, “We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure indicating that it is the nitrate content of beetroot juice that underlies its potential to reduce blood pressure. We also found that only a small amount of juice is needed – just 250 ml - to have this effect, and that the higher the blood pressure at the start of the study the greater the decrease caused by the nitrate."

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

The Chicken Which Should Be Banned

Do you put dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent made of silicone, in your chicken dishes?

How about tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you?

These are just two of the ingredients in a McDonalds Chicken McNugget. Only 50 percent of a McNugget is actually chicken. The other 50 percent includes corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and completely synthetic ingredients.

Organic Authority helpfully transcribed the full ingredients list provided by McDonalds:

"White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary).

Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch.

Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent." According to McDonald's, their chicken nuggets are "made with white meat, wrapped up in a crisp tempura batter." But as the article above shows, these chicken nuggets are a far cry from what you might expect, based on that description.

About half of it is actual chicken. The rest is a mix of corn-derived fillers and additives (most likely genetically modified), along with a slew of synthetic chemicals, including:

* Dimethyl polysiloxane, a type of silicone with anti-foaming properties used in cosmetics and a variety of other goods like Silly Putty
* Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a petroleum-based product with antioxidant properties

The latter, TBHQ, is typically listed as an "antioxidant," but it's important to realize it is a SYNTHETIC chemical with antioxidant properties – NOT a natural antioxidant.

The chemical prevents oxidation of fats and oils, thereby extending shelf life of processed foods. It's a commonly used ingredient in processed foods of all kinds, but you can also find it in varnishes, lacquers, pesticide products, as well as cosmetics and perfumes to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability.

At its 19th and 21st meetings, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives determined that tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) was safe for human consumption at levels of 0-0.5 mg/kg of body weight. However, more recently, the Codex commission set the maximum allowable limits up to between 100 to as much as 400 mg/kg, depending on the food it's added to. (Chewing gum is permitted to contain the highest levels of TBHQ.)

That's quite a discrepancy in supposedly "safe" limits!

So, is the safe level zero, or 400 mg/kg? Who knows?!

According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives, one gram of TBHQ can cause:

* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
* Delirium
* Sense of suffocation
* Collapse

Based on animal studies, health hazards associated with TBHQ include:

* liver effects at very low doses
* positive mutation results from in vitro tests on mammalian cells
* biochemical changes at very low doses
* reproductive effects at high doses

The good news is that it is not suspected to be a persistent toxin, meaning your body is probably able to eliminate it so that it does not bioaccumulate.

REAL Food "Lives" and "Dies"

I recently commented on the curious ability of McDonald's food to remain impervious to degradation. It's as if the food has been embalmed to stay "fresh" forever! After sitting on a shelf for 14 years, the hamburger bun has yet to develop a single trace of mold. It's barely even begun to shrivel...

Folks, these buns bear absolutely no resemblance to real bread, and when you read the list of ingredients, this mysterious mummification feature becomes less of a mystery.

Here are just a few of the ingredients in a McDonald's hamburger bun:

* calcium sulfate (aka Plaster of Paris)
* calcium carbonate (Antacid medication)
* ammonium sulfate (According to MSDS,“harmful if swallowed”)
* ammonium chloride (Causes irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea)
* calcium propionate (Preservative)
* sodium propionate (Mold inhibitor)

Always remember that wholesome, health-promoting food is "live" food, and the hallmark of live food is the fact that it will decompose.

The fact that these burgers, buns, and fries do not decompose, even after a decade or two, is a clear sign that it's just not real food, and should not be part of your diet.

You Are What You Eat...

The bottom line is that if you want to stay healthy, and keep your children healthy, you have to avoid fast food and other processed foods, and invest some time in your kitchen, cooking from scratch. Reclaiming your kitchen is part and parcel of healthful living, so you know exactly what you're putting in your body.

Ideally, you'll want to consume as much whole, raw, organic and/or locally grown foods as possible. That's one of the major reasons why vegetable juicing works so well – you're consuming living raw food!

Most vegetables also have very low carbohydrate levels that minimally disturb insulin metabolism – another important trait of a healthful diet -- but there is something very special about vegetable juicing and eating live raw foods in general.

In addition, I believe optimal health is also largely dependent on eating the right foods for your nutritional type. I think this is such an important part of an optimal diet that I am now offering the entire Nutritional Typing program to you for free.

If you're "hooked" on fast food and other processed foods, please review my recent article How to Wean Yourself Off Processed Foods in 7 Steps. If you're currently sustaining yourself on fast food and processed foods, this is probably the most positive life change you could ever make.

And if you have children, remember that feeding your children home cooked meals can have far reaching benefits, extending even to your future grandchildren. Yes, that's right! It is now well known that dietary changes can prompt epigenetic DNA changes that can be passed on to future generations. For instance, pregnant rats fed a fatty diet had daughters and granddaughters with a greater risk of breast cancer.

Making wise food decisions can literally "override" genetic predispositions for disease.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Source: Dr. Mercola

Thursday, November 4, 2010

what to NEVER eat after you workout

My partners over at Prograde have just released a shocking 39 page special report.

Not only is it eye-opening info, but it's absolutely FREE. Which is absolutely stunning because they should be charging for it.

And who knows? Maybe they'll start to, but for now you don't have to pay so be sure to rush over to this link below and get your copy.

Here's just a taste of what you're going to discover:

Why your workouts might just be a complete waste of time

How your body is literally being ROBBED of the results you're working so hard to obtain

What you should NEVER eat after your workouts

And much, much more...

Here's that link one more time:

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Children, TV, & Blood Pressure

A study from the University of California, San Diego, shows that watching too much television can lead to obesity and high blood pressure in children.

This study, published in the December 2007 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that obese children who watched four or more hours of TV a day were 330% more likely to have high blood pressure than children who watched less than two hours a day.

Dr. Jeffrey Schwimmer wrote in the study that: "There is a significant association between hours of television watched and both the severity of obesity and the presence of hypertension in obese children". Many studies have found a strong link between watching TV and obesity, but this is the first study to show a link between TV and blood pressure in obese children and teens, the researchers wrote.

Obesity in children is on the rise, increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Moreover, high blood pressure in children has been rising right along with obesity rates. High blood pressure in children is often undetected and can quietly damage the internal organs, especially the kidneys.

We encourage parents everywhere to guide their children towards a more active lifestyle and to make healthier food choices available in the home. Small changes, over time, offer parents the best chances of success. A little less TV and a few more healthy snacks are two small changes that we can all live with and enjoy.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Some “chocoholics” who just couldn’t give up their favorite treat have inadvertently done their fellow chocolate lovers - and science - a big favor.A study at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was focused on blood platelets and blood clots. The study participants, some of whom were fond of eating chocolate, were given a list of foods to avoid – the list included chocolate. It seems that some of them ended up indulging their cravings for chocolate during the study.Amazingly, their indulgence led to researchers to an important discovery which is believed to be the first of its kind. Through biochemical analysis, the researchers are now able to explain why just a few squares of chocolate a day can reduce the risk of heart attack death in some men and women by almost 50%.It turns out that the chocolate decreases the tendency of platelets to clot in narrow blood vessels. “What these chocolate ‘offenders’ taught us is that the chemical in cocoa beans has a biochemical effect similar to aspirin in reducing platelet clumping, which can be fatal if a clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing a heart attack,” says Diane Becker, M.P.H., Sc.D., a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.Becker cautions that her work is not intended as a prescription to gobble up large amounts of chocolate candy, which often contains diet-busting amounts of sugar, butter and cream. But as little as 2 tablespoons a day of dark chocolate - the purest form of the candy, made from the dried extract of roasted cocoa beans - may be just what the doctor ordered.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil is an extremely versatile and wonderfully delicious tasting oil. Good quality coconut oil is one of the most stable cooking oils, plus it's highly resistant to rancidity.There are many ways to incorporate coconut oil into your diet. It could be used anywhere you currently use any of the "seed" oils (soybean, corn, canola, safflower, sesame seed, sunflower seed); used as a butter for spreads, over popcorn, or for baking; used in soups or 'smoothies'; eaten right off the spoon; eaten as a "candy" or "white chocolate" when refrigerated or frozen; put in coffee or tea; mixed with peanut butter; etc. Good quality coconut oil is also mild on the skin, and used in many areas around the world to both nourish and protect the skin and hair from, among other things, the harsh effect of the sun.Coconut oil has natural anti-oxidants and acts as an anti-oxidant itself. Also, coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which have natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Coconut oil contains Monolaurin, which is the same anti-microbial agent found in human mother's milk. Plus, Caprylic and Capric acids (medium chains), which are relatively and uniquely high in coconut oil, diminish the nutritional requirements for essential fatty acids (EFAs).Our coconut oil is made using a process called the Fresh Centrifuge Process. Fresh-Centrifuge Process is the emerging process benchmark for VCO extraction from fresh coconut meat that prevents contamination, alteration and deterioration of the oil, and retaining its freshness. The VCO produced is practically the same as it exists in fresh coconut meat - fresh smell and taste, no fermentation acid contamination, no peroxide contamination, no aflatoxin, no diminution of the heat-sensitive vitamin E, un-altered fatty acid profile, and high laurin content.It is a wholistic process that starts at coconut growing where and natural farm productivity improvement methods are implemented, and age of coconut fruits are monitored to get the optimum age for harvest (Note: underage and overage nuts contain lesser laurin oil). It employs an innovative process of extracting the oil at fresh conditions using purely physical method of centrifugation or high-speed spinning, thru a specifically-fitted high-speed low-turbulence centrifuge, without use of heating, fermentation and freezing methods of extractions. The final oil is packed in bottles and containers that undergo 100% preventive sanitation and disinfection, and sealed with slight vacuum to maintain freshness throughout shelf life.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Monday, October 4, 2010

Where's The Fruit?

Over half of the most aggressively advertised children foods that prominently feature fruit on their packaging contain no fruit at all, according to a study released by the Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments. The study - Where’s the Fruit? reveals that 51 percent of these products do not contain fruit, and another 16 percent contain only minimal amounts of fruit despite prominent fruit promotions on the packaging.“Parents drawn to products that seem healthier for their children based on references to fruit on the packaging are being deceived,” explains Leslie Mikkelsen, a registered dietician with the Strategic Alliance and lead author of the study. “Food and beverage companies are some of the most sophisticated communicators in the world and are clearly capable of accurately reflecting what is in their products if they wanted to.”The Where’s the Fruit? study identifies the most heavily advertised children food products that include words and images of fruit and/or fruit ingredients on the packaging. A total of 37 products were included in the final study, and their ingredient lists were analyzed to determine the presence of fruit ingredients. A full 51% of the products contained no fruit ingredients at all despite the images of fruits and use of words such as “fruity,” “fruit flavors” and “berry” on the packaging.“The nation is facing a staggering epidemic of chronic diseases that result from poor eating and physical inactivity,” cautions Dr. Andria Ruth, a pediatrician for the Diabetes Resource Center of Santa Barbara. “Children are particularly affected and these food companies are making parents’ jobs even harder by using misleading packaging to lead them to think that they are making a healthy choice when they are not."

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Exercise Your Brain

Just as research has demonstrated how important physical exercise is to aging well, experts now say there are things we can do to reduce our risk of mental decline, or even reverse it. It's called the mental workout, and as baby boomers search for more ways to enjoy their longevity, interest in it is beginning to explode. As we age, most of us can live with a little bit of physical decline but we want to maintain our cognitive abilities. So what can we do about it?That's a question that all of us should be asking. It's estimated that about 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, including 4.9 million people age 65 and older. The Alzheimer's Association predicts that by 2050, the number of people age 65 and over with Alzheimer's could range from 11 million to 16 million. Fortunately though, brain plasticity studies have shown that the brain can “rewire” itself into old age, and even add new cells in response to stimulation. Researchers say some people may have a better shot of maintaining their brain health by adopting a few preventive strategies, such as using computer programs, learning a new language, playing chess, doing crossword puzzles, playing scrabble or leaning a new skill or craft.Learning a new musical instrument, for example, has been found to have a protective effect against cognitive decline, even in those younger than 65, according to the 2001 report "Achieving and Maintaining Cognitive Vitality With Aging," sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Aging and the International Longevity Center-USA, among others.So get excited about exercising your brain in ways that are fun and be sure to nourish your brain by drinking plenty of water.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Saturday, August 28, 2010


People always want to know, especially if you don't eat animals, where you get your protein and calcium from. Furthermore, if you are vegetarian, consume animal foods sparingly, or are allergic to dairy products, you may have lingering fears regarding getting enough of these essential nutrients. Here are some facts to put your mind (and everyone else's) at ease.
Calcium is an essential mineral. Calcium works with phosphorous for healthy bones and teeth and with magnesium for a healthy cardiovascular system. Calcium is important for good sleep, the body's ability to use iron, keeping a regular heartbeat, and helping in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D comes from being out in the sunlight and also from a few foods such as saltwater fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, etc.) and fish liver oils. Many dairy products are irradiated to raise the levels of vitamin D. The best way to get enough is simply to spend time outdoors daily, year-round, with some of your skin exposed. Too much sun, however, will work against you, since a suntan stops the absorption of vitamin D.
Calcium is present in many natural foods, especially dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and mustard greens. Broccoli, legumes (dried beans), almonds, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cauliflower, soybeans, figs and oranges also contain notable levels of calcium. Although calcium levels in the plant kingdom can sometimes seem low compared with levels in animal foods, people who don't consume meat or other animal products have much lower calcium needs than omnivores do. Plant-source calcium will usually be sufficient if protein and phosphorous consumption is not too high.
Milk and milk products also provide calcium. Cows and goats get their calcium from the grasses (or other feed) they eat, some of which ends up in the milk they make to pass to their babies. Unfortunately, the protein in dairy foods causes calcium loss�more is lost than is taken in. That is why countries like the United States whose intake of meat and/or dairy is high also tend to have the greatest incidence of osteoporosis. It is wise not to rely on dairy foods for calcium.
Osteoporosis (loss of bone density, brittle bones) has been taught to be caused by too little calcium in the diet. This is not true. The biggest contributor is a diet too high in protein, particularly animal protein. The single most important thing a person can do to prevent osteoporosis is to limit consumption of animal protein. Animal foods create a situation in the body that leads to the significant loss of calcium from bones and teeth, regardless of how much calcium is taken in. Eating dark green vegetables, engaging in regular weight-bearing exercise, and spending time outside daily also helps bones tremendously.
Soft drinks are another problem-and many folks consume these daily! The high phosphorous content of soda pop causes calcium loss. So does caffeine found in colas, coffee drinks and chocolate.
Large quantities of fat reduces the absorption of calcium. So does phytic acid, found in some grains.
If you take a calcium supplement, best to do so at bedtime on an empty stomach. This reduces the likelihood of foods eaten previously inhibiting absorption of the calcium.
Because protein is so important to human life, God designed plant foods to easily meet our protein needs. Protein is adequately present in almost all natural foods, particularly beans, peas, nuts, seeds, grains, and vegetables. Most people's needs fall between 4-8% of total calories, and most plant foods supply more than enough to meet that need. Even if all you ever ate was broccoli, you would have plenty of protein in your diet (though you would lack other nutrients). In order to become protein deficient, you would need to consume only fruit, only highly processed junk foods, or simply not take in enough calories daily. By selecting a variety of natural foods and by eating enough food (calories) to maintain your body's current growth and energy needs, you are sure to get all of the protein (including all the various amino acids) your body needs.
People in the United States in general consume way too much protein! Teachers, educational institutions, media, and a public that has been mis-educated for a long time support this practice. Popular diets, such as the Atkins Diet and the Zone, encourage protein consumption as high as 30% of total calories, when our needs are generally between only 4-8%. These diets, while providing some followers with short-term benefits, have long-term consequences including osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer.
God designed our bodies to be fueled primarily by clean-burning carbohydrates. People displace needed carbohydrates when they consume more protein and fat than is necessary or beneficial. Carbohydrates are abundant in natural foods.
Once again, the answer to virtually any dietary dilemma is this: Eat natural foods as much as possible!

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Power of Pectin

Pectin is a high-fiber carbohydrate which occurs naturally in the cell walls of many fruits and vegetables. It has the unique ability to bind itself to toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, barium, strontium and arsenic – and carry them out of the body.Pectin rich foods also have many other health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, keeps the digestive tract tone, creates a feeling of fullness which can help in weightloss, absorbs glucose which helps control blood sugar levels, and helps in the prevention of heart disease and stroke.While the amount of pectin found in fruits and vegetables varies - apples, guavas, quince, plums, gooseberries, oranges and other citrus fruits, contain the largest amount of pectin, while soft fruits like cherries, grapes and strawberries contain relatively small amounts pectin.

To Your Health!

John Hall Studios NSCA-CPT

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let Food Be Thy Medicine!

According to a report published in Diabetes Care, a journal published by the American Diabetes Association, people who ate a low-fat vegan diet, cutting out all meat and dairy, lowered their blood sugar more and lost more weight than people on a standard American Diabetes Association diet.Participants say the vegan diet was easier to follow than most because they did not measure portions or count calories. Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, which helped conduct the study said, "I hope this study will rekindle interest in using diet changes first, rather than prescription drugs." After 22 weeks on the diet, 43 percent of those on the vegan diet and 26 percent of those on the standard diet were either able to stop taking some of their drugs such as insulin or glucose-control medications, or were able to lower the doses. In other words, food really can be your medicine.The vegan dieters lost 14 pounds on average while the diabetes association dieters lost 6.8 pounds. An important level of glucose control called A1c fell by 1.23 points in the vegan group and by 0.38 in the group on the standard diet. A1c gives a measure of how well-controlled blood sugar has been over the preceding three months.Small changes made now can make a BIG difference later, when it comes to educating your children and teaching them to steer clear of type-2 diabetes.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Active Kids Do Better In School

School students who perform more vigorous physical activity than their more sedentary piers tend to do better in school, according to a new study done by researchers from Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University . The research is published in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.For one academic year, the study tracked more than 200 sixth graders. For one semester half of the students took the general physical education class offered by the school, while the other half took part in a non-physical education course. Halfway through the school year they switched. The researchers found that students taking the physical education course did no better or worse in their academic classes.“Physical education and activity during the school day reduce boredom and help keep kids’ attention in the classroom,” said Dawn Podulka Coe, the study’s lead author who is now an assistant professor in the Department of Movement Science at Grand Valley State University . “We were expecting to find that students enrolled in PE would have better grades because of the opportunity to be active during the school day. But enrollment in PE alone did not influence grades.”However, the researchers also found that students who took part in more vigorous physical activities – such as organized sports like soccer or football, or non-organized after-school activities such as skateboarding – did approximately 10 percent better in core classes such as math, science, English and social studies.“The students who performed better academically in this study were the most active, meaning those who participated in a sport or other vigorous activity at least three times a week” added Coe.The difference between vigorous activity and moderate activity is heart rate. Moderate activities, such as walking or raking leaves, don’t get the heart rate up or make the person breathe harder. Vigorous activities, such as running or swimming for exercise, increase heart rate, causing the exerciser to breathe harder and increasing oxygen to the brain.With school about to start, we encourage all parents to take this new study to heart. We encourage you consider organized sports as a way to help your child do better in school, be healthier, maintain the proper weight, and to build a foundation of health that can last a lifetime. And don’t forget your favorite Wholefood Farmacy foods for practice and game days!

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Red Meat & Processed Meat

The first large scale study of red meat and processed meat consumption and its effect on cancer risk was recently completed by the U.S. Cancer Institute. The long term study followed 500,000 people aged 50 to 71 for several years, during which time about 53,000 cases of cancer occurred within the study group.For purposes of the study, red meat was defined as all types of beef, pork and lamb. Processed meat included bacon, red meat sausage, poultry sausage, luncheon meats, cold cuts, ham and most types of hot dogs including turkey dogs.The study findings are published in the December 2007 issue of the journal Medicine from the Public Library of Science. The researchers reported that people who eat a lot of red meat and processed meats have a higher risk of several types of cancer, including lung cancer and colorectal cancer.This study was the first to show a link between meat and lung cancer. It also shows that people who eat a lot of meat have a higher risk of liver and esophageal cancer and that men raise their risk of pancreatic cancer by eating red meat.According to Dr. Amanda Cross and her colleagues at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, "a decrease in the consumption of red and processed meat could reduce the incidence of cancer at multiple sites.”Study participants who ate the least red meat showed a 20 to 60 percent decrease in risk of esophageal, colorectal, liver, and lung cancer when compared to those who ate the most red meat. These differences held even when smoking was accounted for.

To Your Health!!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Yams are a good source of both potassium and vitamin B6, two nutrients that your body needs every day. Vitamin B6 helps your body break down a substance called homocysteine , which can cause damage to blood vessel walls. High intakes of vitamin B6 have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.Potassium is a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. In the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study, one study group ate servings of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy food in place of snacks and sweets. This approach offered more potassium, magnesium and calcium. After eight weeks, this group lowered their blood pressure by an average of 5.5 points (systolic) over 3.0 points (diastolic). Yams also contain a storage protein called D ioscorin . Preliminary research suggests that Dioscorin can help your body to achieve increased kidney blood flow thereby reducing blood pressure.In addition, Yams' complex carbohydrates and fiber deliver the goods gradually, slowing the rate at which their sugars are released and absorbed into the bloodstream. Because they're rich in fiber, yams fill you up without filling out your hips and waistline. Yams are also a good source of manganese, a trace mineral that helps with carbohydrate metabolism and is a cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sesame Seeds

Research shows that sesame ingestion has been able to improve blood lipids in humans and the antioxidative ability in animals. Sesame seeds are believed to be one of the first plants to be used for edible oil. Sesame seeds contain lignans, which in turn contains sesamin, a compound with estrogenic type effects that can be to very beneficial for postmenopausal women.Twenty-six healthy subjects attended this study in which half of them consumed 50g of sesame seed powder per day for 5 weeks. After these 5 weeks followed a 3 week washout period and then 50g of rice powder per day for 5 weeks. The other half received the same 2 supplements in reverse order.The researchers discovered, after the sesame treatment, that there was a significant decrease in cholesterol. Total choleserol had decreased by 5%, LDL cholersterol by 10%, the LDL to HDL cholersterol's ratio by 6%, oxidized LDL cholersterol by 23%, and and serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate by 18%. They also noted a significant increase in the ratio of alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol to total cholesterol by 17% and 73%.These results suggest that sesame ingestion benefits postmenopausal women by improving blood lipids, antioxidant status, and possibly sex hormone status. These results were published in the May 2006 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Quinoa, though not technically a cereal grain like wheat or oats, has been cultivated and eaten as a cereal for thousands of years by South Americans. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is the tiny seed of the Chenopodium Quinoa, a leafy plant that is a distant relative of spinach and beets.Quinoa was called the "mother grain" by the Incas (chisiya mama). Now, as people in the rest of the world learn more about Quinoa, they're discovering that its ancient nickname was well deserved - Quinoa is indeed a nutritional powerhouse.Quinoa's protein content, about 16 percent, is higher than that of any other grain. Wheat also has a high protein content, about 14 percent, but the protein in wheat and most other grains is lacking in the amino acid lysine, which Quinoa has in abundance. In fact, the amino acid composition in Quinoa is almost perfect. The World Health Organization has judged the protein in Quinoa to be as complete as that in milk. In addition, Quinoa contains more iron than most grains, and is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, folate, and many B vitamins.Eating a serving of whole grains, such as Quinoa, at least 6 times each week is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease.A 3-year prospective study of 229 postmenopausal women with cardiovascular disease, published in the July 2005 issue of the American Heart Journal, shows that those eating at least 6 servings of whole grains each week experienced:
Slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque that narrows the vessels through which blood flows.
Less progression in stenosis, the narrowing of the diameter of arterial passageways.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Secret of Slim Kids

A study of 5,500 children who agreed to wear a motion sensor device showed that those who exercised more were less likely to be obese and that short bursts of intense activity seemed to be the most helpful.Children who did 15 minutes a day of moderate exercise, equivalent to a brisk walk, were 50 percent less likely than inactive children to be obese; the research was reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine in March, 2007.Andy Ness of the University of Bristol and colleagues wrote - “Our data suggest that higher intensity physical activity may be more important than total activity,”Chris Riddoch of Britain’s Bath University, who worked on the study commented - “This study provides some of the first robust evidence on the link between physical activity and obesity in children. We know that diet is important, but what this research tells us is that we mustn’t forget about activity. It’s been really surprising to us how even small amounts of exercise appear to have dramatic results.”The less the children exercised, the more likely they were to be obese, the study found. These associations suggest even a modest increase of 15 minutes moderate and vigorous physical activity might result in an important reduction in the prevalence of overweight and obesity,” the researchers wrote.Small changes made now can make a big difference in the lives of your children – teach them healthy habits that can last a lifetime. A quick game of catch, a short bike ride or shooting a few hoops everyday is all it takes. A little more activity and some healthy Wholefood Farmacy snacks can make all the difference in the world.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How To Prevent Diabetes

If it was an infectious disease, passed from one person to another, public health officials would say we're in the midst of an epidemic. This difficult disease is striking an ever-growing number of adults. Even more alarming, it's now beginning to show up in our teenagers and children.
18 Million Americans have it.
20% of those over 65 have it.
1 in 3 people who have it don't know they have it.
90% of those cases are PREVENTABLE.
It costs $132 Billion dollars a year to "treat" it. Glucose (a.k.a blood sugar) is the fuel that provides energy to the 10 Trillion cells that make up a human being. When we eat, carbohydrates are converted into glucose, the glucose then moves through the bloodstream to feed the cells. It’s important to have the right amount of glucose in the blood, so your body has some fairly complex “machinery” to get the job done. Anytime your glucose levels spike up rapidly, your brain tells your pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin is a chemical messenger that rings the “dinner bell” for your cells. When the “dinner bell” rings, your cells come running to get their glucose.Next we have the topic of carbohydrates, and they come in two forms natural (complex) and man-made (simple). The man-made carbs are found in processed foods such as white table sugar, candy, sodas, high fructose corn syrup, and white bread. Eating man-made carbs causes sudden and sustained spikes in your glucose levels. The brain interprets this enormous rush of sugar as trauma and signals the pancreas to produce insulin. This constant over-stimulation of the pancreas, year after year after year, causes your “machinery” to wear out. In some cases, the pancreas gets tired and can’t produce enough insulin. In other cases, the “dinner bell” rings so often that the cells get tired of hearing it, and stop running to get their glucose. Either way, when this happens, the health care industry declares that you have type 2 diabetes. And yes, for only a few hundred bucks a month they can keep you alive. Natural sugars, like the sugars found in fruits and other whole foods, are known as complex carbs. Your body was designed to ingest them. They are much larger molecules and cross the blood brain barrier very slowly. They do not cause those sudden spikes in glucose levels, so your “machinery” can last a lifetime. It really is that simple.According to the Harvard School of Public Health, making a few changes can dramatically lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The same changes can also lower the chances of developing heart disease and some cancers.Control your weight. Excess weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven-fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight.Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Losing 7-10% of your current weight can cut in half your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.Get moving. Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. Every two hours you spend watching TV instead of pursuing something more active increases the changes of developing diabetes by 14%. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making machinery.Long bouts of hot, sweaty exercise aren't necessary to reap this benefit. Findings from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study suggest that walking briskly for a half hour every day reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%.This amount of exercise has a variety of other benefits as well. And even greater cardiovascular and other benefits can be attained by more, and more intense, exercise.Tune-up your diet. Two dietary changes can have a big impact on the risk of type 2 diabetes.1. Choose whole grains and whole-grain products over highly processed carbohydrates. In other words, choose whole foods instead of processed foods.2. Choose good fats instead of bad fats. The types of fats in your diet can also affect the development of diabetes. Good fats, such as the polyunsaturated fats found in tuna, salmon, liquid vegetable oils, and many nuts, can help ward off type 2 diabetes. Trans fats do just the opposite. These bad fats are found in many margarines, packaged baked goods, fried foods in most fast-food restaurants, and any product that lists "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" on the label. If you already have diabetes, eating fish can help protect you against a heart attack or dying from heart disease.If you smoke, try to quit. Add type 2 diabetes to the long list of health problems linked with smoking. Smokers are 50% to 90% more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers.Alcohol now and then may help. A growing body of evidence links moderate alcohol consumption with reduced risks of heart disease. The same may be true for type 2 diabetes. Moderate amounts of alcohol-a drink a day for men, a drink every other day for women-increases the efficiency of insulin at getting glucose inside cells. And some studies indicate that moderate alcohol consumption decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes. If you already drink alcohol, the key is to keep your consumption in the moderate range. If you don't drink alcohol, there's no need to start-you can get the same benefits by losing weight, exercising more, and changing your eating patterns.The bottom line? They key to preventing type 2 diabetes can be boiled down to five words: Stay lean and stay active.

To Your Health,

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

According to a report published in Diabetes Care, a journal published by the American Diabetes Association, people who ate a low-fat vegan diet, cutting out all meat and dairy, lowered their blood sugar more and lost more weight than people on a standard American Diabetes Association diet.Participants say the vegan diet was easier to follow than most because they did not measure portions or count calories. Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, which helped conduct the study said, "I hope this study will rekindle interest in using diet changes first, rather than prescription drugs." After 22 weeks on the diet, 43 percent of those on the vegan diet and 26 percent of those on the standard diet were either able to stop taking some of their drugs such as insulin or glucose-control medications, or were able to lower the doses. In other words, food really can be your medicine.The vegan dieters lost 14 pounds on average while the diabetes association dieters lost 6.8 pounds. An important level of glucose control called A1c fell by 1.23 points in the vegan group and by 0.38 in the group on the standard diet. A1c gives a measure of how well-controlled blood sugar has been over the preceding three months.Small changes made now can make a BIG difference later, when it comes to educating your children and teaching them to steer clear of type-2 diabetes.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Monday, May 17, 2010

Walk Away From Stroke!

Walking is a low-impact, high-benefit exercise that is simple, safe, and has many health benefits. Recent research, conducted at Harvard School of Public Health, shows that women who walk at a brisk pace (3 miles per hour or faster) could reduce their risk of stroke.

The lead author of the research, Jacob Sattelmair, said "Physical activity, including regular walking, is an important modifiable behaviour for stroke prevention." He also stated, "Physical activity is essential to promoting cardiovascular health and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, and walking is one way of achieving physical activity."

The study followed roughly 40,000 women with an average age of 54 and tracked their activities such as walking, jogging, running, biking, and aerobic exericse. Walking was categorized in three groups for this study:
  • Normal, which was between 2 and 2.9 miles per an hour
  • Brisk, which was between 3 and 3.9 miles per an hour
  • Very Brisk, Which was 4 miles per hour or greater

The researchers found that women who maintained an active lifestyle were 17 percent less likely to suffer a stroke compared to those who had an inactive lifestyle. In addition, the women who walked at a brisk pace lower their risk of hemorrhagic stroke by 68 percent and any other type of stroke by 37 percent. It was also found that the women who walked two or more hours a week lowered their risk of hemorrhagic stroke by 57 percent and 30 percent for any other type of stroke! The researchers were amazed to find that vigorous activity wasn't associated with a reduced risk of having a stroke.

Only 579 of the women were recorded of having suffered a stroke during a 12 year follow-up period. The results of the researchers were detailed in Stroke: The Journal of the American Heart Association.

Having trouble trying to find time to walk? Consider taking an early morning walk, a walk during your lunch break, or a walk as soon as you get home from work or right after dinner. Take the dog along – take the kids along.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Eat Your Oats!

Oats are a nutritious whole grain that can help to prevent heart disease and diabetes. Oats contain a special type of fiber that is called beta-glucan. Studies dating back over 40 years have consistently shown the beneficial effects of beta-glucan on cholesterol levels. In individuals with cholesterol above 220, consuming only 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day (an amount found in one bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%. Each 1% drop in cholesterol equates to a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease. Now that’s an easy way to take care of your heart.Studies also show that beta-glucan has beneficial effects in diabetes as well. Type 2 diabetics who ate foods high in this type of oat fiber such as oatmeal or oat bran experienced much lower rises in blood sugar compared to those who were ate processed foods. Starting out your day with oats may make it easier to keep blood sugar levels under control the rest of the day, especially when the rest of your day is also includes other whole foods that are rich in fiber.More recently, researchers from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, report that oats may have another heart protective quality. Their findings were reported in The Journal of Nutrition, June 2007, and indicate that oats contain unique antioxidant compounds called avenanthramides. These special antioxidant compounds help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.In another study also conducted at Tufts and published in the journal Atherosclerosis, researchers exposed human arterial wall cells to purified avenenthramides from oats for 24 hours, and found that these oat phenols significantly suppressed the production of several types of molecules which cause arteries to become clogged.Oats are a nutritious whole grain that can help to prevent heart disease and diabetes. Oats contain a special type of fiber that is called beta-glucan. Studies dating back over 40 years have consistently shown the beneficial effects of beta-glucan on cholesterol levels. In individuals with cholesterol above 220, consuming only 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day (an amount found in one bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%. Each 1% drop in cholesterol equates to a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease. Now that’s an easy way to take care of your heart.Studies also show that beta-glucan has beneficial effects in diabetes as well. Type 2 diabetics who ate foods high in this type of oat fiber such as oatmeal or oat bran experienced much lower rises in blood sugar compared to those who were ate processed foods. Starting out your day with oats may make it easier to keep blood sugar levels under control the rest of the day, especially when the rest of your day is also includes other whole foods that are rich in fiber.More recently, researchers from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, report that oats may have another heart protective quality. Their findings were reported in The Journal of Nutrition, June 2007, and indicate that oats contain unique antioxidant compounds called avenanthramides. These special antioxidant compounds help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.In another study also conducted at Tufts and published in the journal Atherosclerosis, researchers exposed human arterial wall cells to purified avenenthramides from oats for 24 hours, and found that these oat phenols significantly suppressed the production of several types of molecules which cause arteries to become clogged.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT