Category Archives: Inspiration

Minerals, Insulin Resistance and High Blood Pressure

Pay attentionavoiding salt in your diet is outdated advice!  As usual in our culture we like to make things either good or bad, but it is all about quality and balance. A few years back a good friend of mine ended up in hospital with severe heart problems, because he tried being “as healthy as possible” by completely avoiding all salt.

This guy was a top level athlete, but that didn’t matter because if the heart doesn’t get the right mineral balance, it cannot function properly.

“Low salt diets cause insulin resistance…If you go on a low salt diet, heart rate generally goes up pretty dramatically.” -Dr. James DiNicolantonio

I have previously written about the importance of salt in terms of hydration. Also, there is a very important distinction to make between healthy mineral and sea-salt, bad for you table-salt and the salt you find in processed foods. You can read about those things here.

The impacts of not having enough quality salt and the right mineral balance in our bodies is massively understated. You do however need to assess your own personal situation before making changes. Too much salt, especially the poor kind we find in processed is bad for you, and a reduction will probably do you well. But, not getting enough of a high quality sea-salt can also be very bad for you. In that case you will need to increase your intake. Remember, we are after a good balance.

“Most of the evidence shows that a low salt diet actually causes hypertension in the long run”  -Dr. James DiNicolantonio

Salt is also important in creating the right amounts of stomach acid. We need a strong stomach acid in order to break down the minerals and access them on a molecular level. If we have a weak stomach acid we will not be able to absorb these vital minerals, even if they are in the food that we eat.

The following is a great podcast that expands on the importance of getting enough quality salt in your diet, and what happens if you are deficient. Did you know that if you find yourself craving potato chips – you are most likely mineral deficient?!

Salt is neither good or bad, it’s all about quality and balance!
Enjoy your weekend!  😉

 


www.thesaltfix.com

#225   https://myersdetox.com/category/podcast-category/

Your Body’s Many Cries For Water by F. Batmanghelidj

Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You by Wright and Lenard.

Roar by Stacy T. Sims

Photo by Emmy Smith on Unsplash
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Mira Bozhko on Unsplash

 

Flaxseed, the Little Superhero That Could!

Flaxseed, also know as lineseed, is a very powerful little seed. It would be a very smart move on your part to add this to your daily intake of nutrient dense foods. Now why is that? I am so glad you asked!

Flaxseed contains a lot of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and lignans (antioxidants). These are very important factors that can help with digestion, healthy skin and hair, and protect against radiation toxicity. But, it doesn’t stop there, flaxseed has also been shown to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and is great at fighting cancer.

 

Flaxseed has been shown to lower cholesterol, improve arterial health, lower blood pressure and is great at fighting cancer.

Flaxseed isn’t very expensive and a little will go a long way. Buy it organic as a whole seed. You want to grind it up before eating it. I do not recommend buying flaxseed that has already been ground as it goes rancid a lot quicker, and you never really know how long it has been sitting in that bag. Add it to your salad or food as it is. If you want to pick it up another notch, you can soak or sprout the seeds first and then grind them.

Why not eating them just as they are? All the good stuff that we want is inside the seed. If we don’t break it open first, the seed will just pass through our digestive system without us getting what we need from it.

What about the oil?
The oil is a great addition if you are looking for extra omega-3 fatty acids. Add it to your food, or just drink it straight from a spoon. Depending on the extraction of the oil from the seed, the taste can be very different.  I have tried a lot of different ones and found one that I really like. So, if you don’t like it the first time you try it, give another brand a chance. Always store the oil in the fridge as it is very sensitive to light and heat. Never cook with this oil, just add it onto the food afterwards.

For maximum nutrition and if I was on a budget I would choose to grind up the flaxseed myself. It’s cheaper, the whole seeds can be stored longer and you get all of the benefits in one go.

Make sure to drink enough water if you consume the flaxseed dry (not soaked), as they will absorb a lot of water in the digestive tract as they go through the system. If you want to learn even more on flaxseed here is a great article.

It’s the little things we do every single day that adds up. So add up on the flaxseed and let this little superhero help you!

Are you enjoying the Olympics and all the amazing athletes? I sure am! Have a great weekend everyone! 😉

 

 



Studies on Flaxseed and:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25740909 – Reduction in Blood Pressure

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19515737 – Reduction in Cholesterol

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24013641 – Reduction in Breast Cancer

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19064574 – Reduction in Prostate Cancer

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16314082 – reduced hyperactivity in ADHD

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21677123 – Vascular health and Blood pressure

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Reine Kase

Track Your Drinking Habits With This App

If you have read some of my earlier posts you will know by now the importance that I put on drinking water and being properly hydrated. Some of the feedback that I get when I talk to friends and clients about this, is that it is hard to keep track on just how much water and other liquids that you are drinking during a whole day. This is especially true for when you are traveling as you tend to be out of your own rhythm, and not necessarily in charge of the daily schedule.

Early Signs of Dehydration:
Cravings, Cramps, Anxiety, Fatigue, Irritability, Depression, Headaches

Rather than scribbling down how much you drink on a piece of paper, only to forget the paper somewhere, I thought to myself – there is probably an App to deal with that. Indeed. There are plenty of Apps out there to help you to keep track of your drinking habits. I tried out this one simply called “Water Drink Reminder”.

It is not perfect, but I really do like it, especially when traveling. The app gives you a daily number of how much water to drink, based on your weight. It does not add more water to your total if you drink a coffee, which I think it should, but you can adjust for this manually, so that’s OK. You can also customize what types of drinks you usually have, making the tracking swift and easy.

Mature Signs of Dehydration:
Migraines, Back pain, Joint pain, Heartburn, Fibromyalgia, Colitis, Constipation

I think that this App is a great tool, especially when trying to build new habits. Seeing in pictures what you drank, when and how much, really gives you a very clear idea of what is going on. The App is free, so why not go ahead and try it? Ask yourself, -are my drinking habits really as good/bad as I think they are?

Once you see what’s going on during a whole day, it’s much easier to see where your weakness is. Then you can figure out a plan of how to improve, and work on that until you’ve created a new habit. Do you already have a favorite drinking tracking App? Let me know what it is, I would love to try it out.

I wish you all a great start to your weekend, and keep up the good work on staying properly hydrated, day by day ;)

Your Body’s Many Cries For Water by F. Batmanghelidj

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

Perfectly Cooked Quinoa Every Time

Now that we have discussed the importance of soaking legumes and grains, lets get into a great method of how to cook quinoa perfectly every time. When I first started cooking quinoa I often felt very frustrated because either it came out very uneven, or it was just very mushy.

I tried a couple of different recipes. Sometimes they worked great, and other times not so great. I was looking for consistency but couldn’t really seem to find it. And then I found Hemsley & Hemsley‘s cookbook “The Art of Eating Well”. It is a great cookbook with lots of good reasoning and smart ideas. I tried out their recipe for cooking grains, and it works like a charm every time! *Happiness*

 

"No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing" -Julia Child

 

I usually make a big batch of quinoa when I cook it, as it is such a versatile grain. It is easily kept fresh in the fridge, and it tastes great warm and cold. I like to always have some in my fridge as it is high in protein, easy to digest for most people (gluten free), and quickly gives any meal some more bulk. It is so easy to remember the quantities as well, because you use the same amount of water when cooking, as you use grams of quinoa. Easy!

How I do it:
The night before, put 300g quinoa in a large bowl. Cover it with plenty of fresh water, and add a splash of apple cider vinegar. Stir it a few times and let it sit over night, or at least for 8 hours.

The next morning:
1.Give the quinoa a good stir and pour out all the water. Pour some fresh water over it, give it a good stir and pour out all of the water again. I use a large fine-mesh strainer for this.
2.Bring 300g/ml of water, with some added good sea-salt to a boil (use a lid on the pot or you will loose too much liquid). Once the water is boiling add your (now drained) quinoa, and give it a stir.
3.Put the lid back on, and turn the heat down to low-medium. (My stove ranges from 1-9, and I put it on a 3.
4.Put a timer on for 12 minutes.
5.When the time is up, turn off the heat, but leave the pot where it is for a couple of minutes. Sometimes I open up the lid for a few seconds to get rid of some extra steam, and then I put it back on. Try for yourself and see what you like best.
6. Done!

I hope you will find this recipe as useful as I have. Have a great weekend! 🙂

 

 


Photo by Nathalie Visser
Photo by Adam Dachis on Unsplash

Who do You Blame for the stuff that doesn’t work?

This Instagram post by Coach Ben Bergeron is just too good not to share. It just sums up so much in one picture. I really don’t think that I have to add anything to it. Hopefully this will provoke some good head-work, and help you to evaluate your own situation, whether in sports, relationships or work.

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”
-Dr.Robert Anthony

 

And if by the end of it all, you still think it is the situation or the people around you that is causing the problem, then I have a quote for you.

“If you don’t like where you are…move! (You are not a tree.)”

 

Wishing you all a great start to your weekend 😉

 


Photo by Mahkeo on Unsplash

Ready to detox? Let’s prepare first.

So you feel a bit guilty about having over indulged on food and drinks in the last few weeks. You have decided to jump into a detox program to give your body a break. That can both be good and bad, depending on your current health and energy. Jumping into the deep end of a detox from a state of overindulging, can be very hard for your body. Therefore it is better to prepare the body first before starting a detox.

In essence, you want to stop putting junk into your body, and you want to help the body to get rid of the junk that is already there. The main key organ working in detoxing is the liver.

With stop putting junk into your body, I mean limit as much as possible or avoid completely processed foods, fried processed foods, hydrogenated oils, sugar, cigarettes, snus, aspirin and ibuprofen (unless prescribed by Dr.), all alcohol, and caffeine. Why is caffeine included? Because the liver has to break down caffeine before it can leave the body, and that adds another burden to the liver. We want to leave the liver as much energy as possible for detoxing. I would also exclude dairy, unless it is a fermented, probiotic product, like kefir and natural yogurt without added sugar.

You can help the body with giving it good nutrients, so that it has all the building blocks that it needs to break down all the junk and get rid of it. Did you know that you need 42 molecules of magnesium in order to help break down 1 molecule of sugar in the liver…wow!(1)

It is easy to give he body what it needs by eating an organic nutrient dense whole food diet. The liver needs plenty of protein to do its job, so do your best to eat good quality, organic protein that you can get your hands on, at this time. Make sure that you are properly hydrated as well. If not, your body will have a much harder time getting the toxins out of your body, and you will feel a lot worse during this time.

So what are some of the type of toxins that we are trying to get rid of? We get toxins accumulating in our bodies from air and water pollution, radiation, chemicals, stress, cellular/metabolic wastes, poorly digested foods, heavy metal exposure, bacterial/parasitic/fungal overgrowth. Drugs, food additives and allergens can also cause toxic elements in the body. Basically, any substance that creates irritating and/or harmful effects in the body is a toxin.

Going to the sauna, taking an epsom salt bath, and getting a deep tissue massage are also things that you can do to help your body detoxify. Adding movement into your day is also a great idea. Your lymphatic system works like a “pre-filter” for the liver, but it is a passive system. That means you have to move in order to move fluid through it. Optimal would be to jump on a rebounder every day. It does not have to be heavy exercise though, any kind of movement will help. This is also a reason why it is helpful to work at a standing desk opposed to a sitting one.

Remember, these are what some of the healing reactions may look like. I would say, the stronger you feel that these reactions are, the longer you need to stay on the preparation phase, before going into a full detox. Fatigue, headaches, bad smelling body odor, sleeping problems, bad breath, itchy skin and irritability.

Depending on your current and recent lifestyle, you might want to stay on the preparation detox schedule from anything for a week to  quite a few. Also, some people might opt for just doing the preparation phase for a while without detoxing, and that is fine too. You will do your body a lot of good by just sticking to the preparation phase. If you want to learn more there are plenty of books out there that can help you further. I like the 7-Day Detox Miracle by Bennet, Barrie and Faye.

Good preparation is key, so stay with it, and let the body adjust with time 😉

 


(1) Lecture on detox, Nutritional Therapy Association

7-Day Detox Miracle by Bennet, Barrie and Faye

Photo by  Alexandra GornBrooke Lark, Tim Mossholder, and Asdrubal Iuna on Unsplash

Dangerous Über-Motivated New Years Resolutions

Frequently I get asked if there are particular times of the year where my work is extra busy. There sure are, and one of them is just about to come up. It is the same, year after year, and it typically starts around the third week of January and runs through February. What could be the reason for this injury season?

Maybe you think it is because of all the skiing holidays? Sure, they add up as well, but no that’s not it. It is because of all the New Years Resolutions. What do I mean by that?

Typically we completely overestimate our body’s ability to adapt to new changes when it comes to fitness. Often we are not realistic about where our current fitness level is. We tend to focus on strength and speed and forget about any other component, like the importance of flexibility, and having full range of movement. You may have been the superstar athlete back in school, and that is awesome! But, if you haven’t continuously taken care of your body during the last 10 or 20 years, you cannot expect to jump right back into your old work out routines. And if you do, you should not be surprised if (when) you get injured.

Let’s  use “Sarah” as an example of what it typically looks like. Sarah is in her late 30’s, has a desk job, used to be really sporty but has completely gotten out of her routine in the last year(s). She makes a New Years Resolution to get fit again, and to get back into a routine. She is super motivated and starts with running 5 times a week between 30-60minutes, even though she hasn’t really been running in the last year. She doesn’t warm up or cool down, because she doesn’t have time for that. Besides you get warm while running, right?! The same goes for mobility work. It’s only running, right? It’s not like she she going to do gymnastics or anything, so it cannot be that important.

Towards the end of January Sarah shows up at my practice. She tells me that she has been taking ibuprofen and that helped her through last weeks training sessions, but now it’s not enough to help her with the pain. She has low back pain, her left knee is sore when she runs and she thinks she might have heel-spurs, as her feet are painful. Upon examination it is very clear that her hipflexors, quads, and calves are super tight, and she does not have proper range of motion in several joints.

I will talk to her about the importance of slowly increasing the intensity and duration of a training program. And also the importance of a warm up, cool down, mobility work, nutrition and hydration.This typically goes in one of two ways.

#1. Sarah actually listens, makes the needed adjustments, and starts with a less intense training program after 10 days of active recovery and mobility work. She took a look at her nutrition and hydration. She added some strength training, is working on her running technique and does daily mobility work. I see Sarah about once a month for preventative work, and am happy to hear that she has registered for a half marathon in 5 months time. She is using the Nike Run App to help her prepare correctly.

Scenario #2. After the treatment Sarah feels better and decides to “test her body” on a long run to make sure everything is alright. Towards the end of the run she is in pain again. She goes to the Doctor and gets anti-inflammatory drugs and is not allowed to run for at least 14 days. On the 15th day she goes out to “test her body” again, but is not able to finish her run as the pain is back. She goes back to the Doctor, who gives her another round of anti-inflammatory drugs, and says that if this continues she will need injections and potentially surgery. After a few weeks on this roller coaster Sarah gives up on sports and concludes that she is just too old, unlucky, and there is nothing she can do about it.

This is just one example, but I see it all the time. We all think that we are immune to injury until it happens to us. This year, why not be smart about your New Years Resolutions. Get yourself a good coach who can help you, or use Apps like Nike Run and Nike Training to help you out at YOUR CURRENT level. Be honest with yourself here! Make a plan for the long run and slowly increase your training. Make sure that you add all the other components to being a great athlete, like warming up, mobility, hydration etc. Be kind to your body and give it a chance to adapt.

If you are interested in some serious goal setting, then check out this video with Coach Ben Bergeron.

 

I wish you all an excellent start to the New Year 😉

 


Photo by Stas Ovsky on Unsplash

 

 

From me to all of you – Happy Holidays!

“We cannot all do great things in life, but we can do small things with great love.”
-Mother Teresa

 

Whether or not this is your favorite or most crazy time of the year, why not take a deep breath and stop for just a moment.  Hug someone you care about, and let’s be thankful for all the things we already have.
Among many things, I am very thankful for all of you who make the time in your busy lives to read my blog. It means a lot to me, so thank you!
I wish you a holiday season well spent, no matter how long or short, with people you care about.

Big Holiday Hugs all around!  😉

 

 


Photo by freestocks.org, Denys Nevozhai, Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Holding your breath to keep your mind from exploding?

Are you holding your breath again? It is that time of the year where everyone is trying to wrap up all of those loose ends and finish the year with some amazing accomplishments. At least so that it looks like it on paper, am I right? That together with very busy holiday plans tend to push a lot of people into high stress mode. Staying in this stressed mode, where the sympathetic nervous system is in charge (fight or flight) creates a lot of tension. If you don’t have a method for relieving some of that inner tension, you may feel like the pressure is about to make you explode.

In order to relieve some pressure and get out of the fight and flight mode, we need to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the rest and digest system. A really easy way to do that is to use your breath. By something as simple as taking 3 deep breaths, you can calm your over active nervous system and get it to relax. Breathe in through your nose, let your lungs fill up completely, and then slowly breathe out through your mouth.

Someone I know uses this technique every time she has to stop at a red light while driving. Instead of getting worked up about “loosing time” she uses it as an opportunity to work on her breath. It is such a simple thing to do, but it really can make a huge change to your day.

If you have a little more time, (maybe you are standing in line waiting to pay for your groceries), try to see if you can make it all the way up to 10 breaths, and then count backwards with each breath until you get back to 0. In my head it would sound something like this “one, I breathe in – one, I breathe out, two…”. You get the picture. Again, it is very simple, but oh so effective. This can be a great technique to try as well if you have problems falling asleep.

If you feel like trying a 2 minute super easy meditation, then check out this video with Andy Puddicombe.

 

I am also a big fan of meditation and this is one of my favorite apps. You can check out my previous blog about meditation right here.

In terms of nutrition you can help your nervous system by keeping your blood sugar as steady as possible. For example, when you eat sugar, quick carbs and drink caffeine, these things all stimulate your nervous system to be in the fight and flight mode. That makes it so much harder for us to relax. So, if you feel the pressure building up try to stay away from these processed sugary types of foods as much as possible, and focus on whole nutrient dense foods instead.

I know I talk a lot about hydration but it cannot be emphasized enough! Make sure that you properly hydrate, especially between all the extra holiday drinks. Your liver and body will thank you.

Doing some exercise is also a great idea. If you don’t have time for a full session, try to get some simple movement into your day, like walking. It doesn’t always have to be strenuous to be doing you some good.

Do what you can, when you can. Every little piece helps. Have a great weekend! 😉

 


Photo by Gabriel Matula, Ben White, Afonso Coutinho and Ethan Sykes on Unsplash



It’s 2am. Do you know what your liver is up to?

There is a rhythm to almost everything in life, and especially in our bodies. Knowing the rhythms of certain things can give us a lot of information. If we know what to look for that is. If we look closer at Traditional Chinese Medicine we find the Organ Clock, and it can help us getting some useful information.

Although the Organ Clock is not used in western medicine, “[Joseph] Takahashi and colleagues stated in a 2013 article that “almost every cell in the body contains a circadian clock. For example, these clocks, called peripheral oscillators, have been found in the adrenal gland, oesophagus, lungs, liver, pancreas, spleen, thymus, and skin.”[1]

So, what does the Organ Clock tell us? It shows us when different organs in the body are very active. For instance, a lot of organs are doing their “house cleaning” during the night when we are asleep. It’s the only time they are not frantically trying to accommodate our demands, and so they have some time to clean house and prepare for the next day. OK, so how can this help us?

Let’s take a look at the liver. According to the Organ Clock it is the most busy during 1-3am at night. (Assuming you go to bed around 10-11pm.) If things are running smooth in the liver, you will never notice that it is working at all. However, if the liver is a bit backed up from too much stuff it has to detox, (ex:pesticides, pollution, medication, hormones, alcohol) the cleaning process will not be smooth. You might wake up during this time at night and feel very warm, and not feel very well. The liver can raise body temperature quite a bit as it is trying to burn through our garbage. Maybe you know the feeling of having been out partying and waking up really hot and sweaty in the middle of the night. It most likely is your liver trying to get rid of all that alcohol.

So, if you find yourself waking up often at the same time at night, check out what the Organ Clock says. Which organ is the most busy at that time, and how do you think this could relate to you and your lifestyle? Start taking some notes, and see what you can learn from the information gathered. It is of course no precise medicine, but I have found it a very useful indicator on many occasions.

It’s 2 am. I know what my liver is up to. Do you know what yours is up to?
😉

P.S. Also, a BIG thanks to all of you who came and listened to my talk “Walk of Health”. It was a blast! For those of you who signed up, you will have the keynotes from the talk within the next few days.

 

 

 

 


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3710582/

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm

Photo by Michael Discenza, Adi Goldstein and Jan Kahánek on Unsplash