I just happened to “Stumble Upon” this interesting article. I never knew bananas had so many benefits. I always knew they were very good for you and helped to prevent mosquito attacks in the summer but, this is pretty interesting stuff so I thought I’d share. Can’t wait to try number 25 😉
Have a read:
Today, more than nine million Canadians are diabetic or pre-diabetic. The number of people with type 2 diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes, is rapidly increasing. Since regular physical activity improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps manage blood glucose levels, both aerobic and resistance exercise is highly recommended.
This could be just about anything that keeps your heart rate elevated for at least 20 minutes. A brisk walk, swimming, cycling and jogging are all great forms of aerobic exercise.
The benefits are the same for diabetics as with anyone else.
1. Improved sensitivity to insulin- Exercise has a powerful effect on insulin sensitivity. Any type of physical exercise has the potential to make your insulin more efficient.
2. Better management of blood glucose levels- Exercise helps to improve blood sugar control, as well as boost your overall fitness. It helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and nerve damage. Be sure to track your blood sugar before, during and after exercise. This will help you to monitor how your body responds to exercise and prevent potentially dangerous blood sugar fluctuations.
The ideal values for blood glucose levels measured in mmol/l (millimoles per liter, a unit of measure that shows the concentration of a substance in a specific amount of fluid) are:
- 4 to 7mmol/l before meals
- less than 10mmol/l 90 minutes after a meal
- around 8mmol/l at bedtime.
3. Increase in heart and lung capacity- Important to improve circulation. Diabetes disrupts the vascular system, affecting many areas of the body such as the eyes, kidneys, legs, and feet. People with diabetes should pay special attention to their feet.
4. Increase in muscular and cardiovascular endurance- Helps to burn extra glucose in the body and decreases resistance to insulin.
5. Reduce heart disease and stroke risk- Diabetics are at an increased of developing coronary heart disease, heart failure, and/or diabetic cardiomyopathy
6. Increased HDL cholesterol- Cholesterol levels are affected by blood pressure and blood glucose. If your blood glucose and blood pressure are high, your cholesterol numbers may be off. Exercise decreases blood pressure and helps manage blood glucose levels.
7. Decreased stress- When your body is stressed, it prepares itself by ensuring that enough sugar or energy is readily available. This causes insulin levels to fall, adrenaline levels to rise, releasing more glucose from the liver. At the same time, growth hormone and cortisol levels rise, which causes body tissues to be less sensitive to insulin. As a result, more glucose is available in the blood stream.
8. Increased mental health- Both depression and schizophrenia are risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes due to their impact on the body’s resistance to insulin. People with mental illnesses also experience many of the other risk factors for diabetes, such as obesity and high cholesterol levels.¹ Exercise has been shown to reduce all these risk factors.
9. Lower body weight- Losing weight and reducing body fat enables one to control their diabetes better. Losing 5-10 percent of your body weight, you will lower your risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent.
Ideally, you want to do at least three, thirty minute aerobic sessions per week. However, the more sessions per week you do, the better because one aerobic session improves insulin sensitivity for 24 to 75 hours. The length of time will depend on the duration and intensity level. If you’re hypoglycemic you need to careful if you’re running long distances. If you have a nerve dysfunction chose a stationary bike or water sport over the Stairmaster or treadmill.
Resistance exercise includes free weights, machines and resistance bands or tubing.
While the benefits aren’t as many for resistance exercise as they are for aerobic exercise, resistance exercise offers improved glycemic control. Resistance exercise increases muscle strength, lean muscle mass and bone mineral density which enhances functional fitness and glycemic control. It also helps prevent loss of skeletal muscle and osteoporosis.
Resistance exercise should be performed at least three days per week. Again, if you have nerve dysfunction, stick to seated activities (chair-based strengthening an stretching). If you have retinal damage, avoid lifting weights. A better option would be resistance band or tube training.
Don’t Exercise if…
- Your blood sugar is less than 5.5 mmol/l or more than 16.6 mmol/l. Check your blood sugar 30 minutes before exercise to make sure you’re good to go.
- You have numbness or tingling in your hands or feet. Try wiggling your fingers and toes to help regain circulation.
What to Eat
- Before your workout, try having a protein and fat-based snack such as nuts, yogurt, cheese or hummus.
- During your workout you don’t need to eat but you need to stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water or a sport drink with 6% to 7% carbohydrates. If you feel light-headed or dizzy, check your blood sugar levels again.
- After your workout have a whey protein shake with glutamine(glutamine will restore glycogen levels) or be sure to have a meal with both carbs and protein within 1 hour.
A combination of a healthy diet and both aerobic and resistance exercise will help one to take control of their health and limit their need for drugs. This combination will not only help manage type 2 diabetes it may proactively prevent it!
This is one of the most enjoyable, but also stressful, times of the year. There’s a continuous flow of food everywhere from home to office parties and family gatherings and if you’re anything like me you love to eat!! Enjoy this time with your family and friends. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track and still have fun over the holidays.
Just say NO!
Have an idea of what you will eat and what you will absolutely stay away from, and stick to it! For example, my vice is chocolate. I know that during certain times of the year where there is alot of chocolate going around (Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas) I have to make up my mind to say “NO”. Otherwise, I get one piece into me and it’s all over!! Look for healthier options that will satisfy your cravings.
Reserve your fat, calories and carbs for your favourite foods. Try not to eat foods just because they’re there. If you do end up eating some foods that aren’t so good for you remember portions sizes. Do not over indulge and don’t beat yourself up over it either. This will just create alot of stress which will cause you to eat even more. Just refocus, get yourself back on track and remember to reserve those calories.
Fill up on Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and Veggies are great options. In addition to the vitamins and minerals they provide, they’re low in fat and contain fibre which can help you feel a little more full. This may prevent you from reaching for that second or third helping, saving you from those extra calories, pounds and that nauseating stomach ache.
Graze Throughout the Day
Don’t go to a party at the end of the day on an empty stomach. Make sure you get in your four or five small meals throughout the day so that by the time you face the buffet table you’re not doing it on an empty stomach. When you’re hungry your portion sizes go out the window. Your body can only digest a certain amount of calories at once, anything extra is stored as fat.
If you’re the host/hostess send your guests home with doggie bags. I always have disposable Ziploc containers on hand. This is a great way to get rid of extra food. If it’s not in the house, I can’t eat it. I may save enough for lunch and dinner the next day, but that’s it. Another option is to drop your left overs at a shelter. I’ve done this many times and they are always so grateful.
Keep a Food Journal
This is a great way to track your progress. Most people think that they eat well. Be honest with yourself and record everything you put into your mouth. When it’s laid out on paper it’s easier to understand why you may not be getting the results you expect and you can identify the areas of your diet that need improvements. I encourage people to write in red ink the foods that they know they shouldn’t eat. This way, when they look back and see all the red ink they immediately understand why those last few pounds aren’t coming off so easy.
Move It to Lose It
Always incorporate some form of movement into your day. Get to the gym or go for a walk. If you’re shopping park as far away from the entrance doors as possible or do a couple of laps of the mall. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Do something you enjoy doing- just move!!
Avoid the Empty Calories
In addition to all the food is alcohol. Empty calories from alcohol have absolutely no nutritional value and can add up fast. Alcohol prevents your body from absorbing required nutrients and vitamins from the foods you eat. Since your body cannot store alcohol it has to metabolize it immediately which causes your other metabolic processes to slow down. This can lead to weight gain and elevated blood sugar levels. There are some alcoholic beverages that are considered healthier options, but it’s still alcohol. If you absolutely must drink, be wise, limit yourself and stick with it.
Merry Christmas everyone.
All the best in the new year 😉
A meal low in saturated fat and abundant in fruits and veggies is ideal for managing your cholesterol levels. However, there are seven specific, cholesterol friendly foods that will improve your HDL and LDL cholesterol levels.
Drinking a glass of wine with dinner has been shown to raise good-cholesterol levels and lower the risk of a heart attack. Now, don’t go crazy and get wasted. One glass a day is all you need 🙂
Almonds help prevent LDL “bad” cholesterol from being oxidized. Oxidization damages the lining of the blood vessels, increasing cardiovascular risk. Almonds are great in a salad or as an afternoon snack.
The monounsaturated fats in avocados lower the “bad” LDL and raise the “good” HDL cholesterol. The MUFA’s (monounsaturated fatty acids) also help to burn off belly fat. For breakfast, I love to slice up half an avocado and mix it into about six egg-whites and throw in about 2 tablespoons of salsa. Makes for a nutritious start to the day.
Barley lowers your LDL cholesterol levels. It can be used as a substitute to rice, is great in soups and can be combined with dried fruits, nuts and a little oil and vinegar for a hearty salad.
5. Beans & Lentils
Another LDL lowering food. Can be used in soups, salads, and dips. Also great in burritos, lasagnas and casseroles.
High in antioxidants, blueberries help lower your LDL cholesterol. They can be eaten as a snack or sprinkled on cereals. I like to throw some into my protein shakes.
Oats help to increase your HDL cholesterol. Have some oat bran cereal or oatmeal for breakfast. Oat bran muffins make for a yummy treat too.
What are your favourite superfoods?
Regardless of the intensity of exercise we all need to properly fuel our workouts. We all have different needs based on the intensity, length and type of exercise we perform. There are nutrients found in specific foods that will help push us through our workout and assist the recovery process.
Instead of grabbing a bottle of Gatorade try some coconut water, nature’s sport drink. It contains sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium and is just as effective in rehydrating the body than any commercial sports drink. Coconut water also contains calcium, iron and vitamin C, an antioxidant which helps with recovery.
Potato Protein Isolate
This is a favourable alternative if you’re unable to digest whey protein isolate or follow a vegan lifestyle. The branched chain amino acids assist in muscle growth and recovery and enable your body to fight fatigue.
Great to help you run that extra mile! Beet juice opens up your blood vessels allowing you to take in more oxygen. It reduces your systolic blood pressure, and the complex carbohydrates provide lasting energy.
Apple peels contain high levels of phenolic compounds and antioxidants. Antioxidants are crucial to fighting free radical damage done to muscle tissue when we exercise. Eating antioxidant rich foods or taking antioxidant supplements can greatly reduce muscle strain and injury.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice also contains an antioxidant which can help to relieve joint and muscles pain by reducing inflammation. Try drinking some tart cherry juice about a week before and during a long distance running event. It may help to reduce muscle pain and inflammation after the event.
Great to drink after exercise for quick recovery, orange juice is a nutritious and natural way to give your body the glucose that is needed to replenish your body’s energy stores.
Lemon Verbena Extract
Lemon verbena extract contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties which help to reduce muscle damage, decrease muscle soreness and improve recovery time.
How do you fuel your workouts?
I’ve recently added running to my workout routine and I must say, I’m rather enjoying it. That’s something I thought I’d never say because running any kind of distance is something I’ve always dreaded. This body, with the super heavy, muscular legs, was built for sprinting. So, running anything more than 200 metres has always been a challenge. I think I’m enjoying the running because I’m challenging and pushing my self and it puts me in a “zone” or some kind of meditative state, much like yoga.
Both running and yoga help to clear my mind and focus on the present moment. Yoga offers so many benefits that can be used to improve my running skills which will encourage me to stick with it!
How does yoga tie in to running?
- During a yoga class you’re encouraged to focus on your breathing. This helps to keep you in the present moment and helps you to push through the more difficult poses. Focusing on your breathing while running can help you get through a longer run by keeping you calm and centered.
- Yoga keeps you physically balanced and strong. It strengthens your core which develops balance and alignment. A strong core will also help to maintain good form when your legs become tired.
- Yoga poses will improve range of motion and increase flexibility by loosening up the hamstrings, quads and calves. Doing some yoga poses after a run will help to decrease muscle soreness.
The following five yoga poses are ideal to add to your routine after a run while your muscles are still warm:
- stretches the leg muscles, soles of the feet and ankles
- strengthens ankles to prevent rolling
Eye of the Needle
- opens the hips for more mobility
- stretches hamstrings and glutes
Reclining Spinal Twist
- stretches the iliotibial (IT) band
- stabilizes hips and knees when running
Balance the Cat
- improves balance
- strengthens core muscles
- stretches hips and thighs
As with any new program be sure that it’s safe for you to start. Both running and yoga can place a lot of strain on your knees so pay attention to any sign of pain. Give these poses a try and let me know what you think.
The concept of food combining for optimal health and well-being has been around for a long time. Learning to combine the right combination of foods can improve digestive issues and promote weight loss. It also improves your metabolism and increases your energy by ridding the body of toxins.
Here’s the concept:
Eating proteins such as poultry, fish, meat and eggs causes your body to secrete hydrochloric acid. The enzyme pepsin will break down the food in this acidic environment. Eating starches such as potatoes, breads and pastas causes your body to release the enzyme, ptyalin, which creates an alkaline environment in the body. This combination creates an imbalance in the body’s pH level. In other words, these foods will neutralize each other and create some digestive issues.
Also, food that is not properly digested will rot in the intestines and create acidity in your blood. This can lead to more than just digestive issues. It can lead to allergies, headaches, depression and cancer.
So What Does This Mean?
This basically means that you really shouldn’t eat that delicious steak and potatoes meal that we all love. Proteins are best eaten with non-starchy veggies such as broccoli, spinach, lettuce, peppers, etc. Starches are best eaten with non-starchy veggies such as broccoli, spinach, lettuce, peppers, etc. Non-starchy veggies can be eaten with anything except fruit.
Finally, fruit should be eaten alone. To help improve digestion it’s best to eat fruit alone, 30-60 minutes before a meal. Fruits have a lot of water and take less time to digest. You never want to eat your fruit after eating a meal because the fruit will sit on top of that meal and ferment. Besides creating a lot of gas, the fermentation will cause poor absorption of nutrients from other foods and create an environment for yeasts, such as candida, to grow.
Does it really work?
The research supporting effective food combining is very little. Everybody is different and you have to find what works best for you. If you have digestive issues, educating yourself in this area is well worth it. If you have digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis or bloating after meals, by removing gluten and dairy from your diet you’re practicing food combining anyway.
When it comes to weight loss food combining will work for two reasons:
1. Your body is properly digesting food which increases your metabolism
2. By food combining you’re consuming fewer calories which will, naturally, lead to weight loss
Whether you chose to practice food combining or some other method to improve digestive issues, always consult your doctor to ensure what’s best for you and your health.
Have you ever practiced food combining?