Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

We’ve all learned through the years that a well-balanced diet is healthy for our body and critical for optimal health and performance.  Our hair is no different A mixture of protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and iron are all required for healthy, strong hair.

Good hair nutrition begins with getting enough protein, which is the building block of your hair. Then you need complex carbohydrates to help assemble the proteins for hair growth. Other important vitamins and minerals include B complex, which is associated with energy production and building good hair and skin issues, folic acid, B12, and zinc.

Hair follicles can have low energy levels just like we do.  Therefore, it’s very important that you eat a high protein mean at the start of each day.  Consider the following food choices for breakfast and the other daily meals in order to give you hair the healthiest opportunity to grow and thrive.

If you don’t have high cholesterol, try eating red meat twice per week.  It has the protein your hair needs, but also is full of B vitamins, iron and zinc, which are all important for healthy hair.  Bacon is another great choice as it’s also full of B vitamins, zinc and protein, but since it’s also high calorie, it’s not the best choice if you’re also trying to lose weight. Eggs and egg whites are another great protein option, especially for vegetarians or those who cannot eat red meat or bacon due to dietary restrictions.  Salmon is another great protein choice, and works great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  You’ll find it’s also full of B vitamins, including B12, and other vitamins and minerals.

 

Just be sure to keep in mind that you should also have complex carbohydrates, which feed you energy over a longer period of time than refined carbohydrates, with your protein source at meals. Brown short-grain rice is an ideal form. It’s also a good source of B vitamins and some fiber. Whole grain choices complement your protein consumption by helping organize the proteins for the hair to utilize for optimal growth and health.

Or you can go with this option

Yours in Health
Clarence Ferguson RTSM/CMTA

 

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You must give up the entire concept of dieting on very low calories to lose weight. You’ll never lose weight permanently with low-calorie diets – it is physiologically impossible. Temporary dieting can only produce temporary results. You must use other methods. Let’s look at some strategies you can use to lose fat permanently while staying out of the starvation mode.

1. Adopt the “habit” mindset instead of the “diet” mindset

The first step towards losing fat permanently has more to do with your mindset than it does with nutrition or exercise. You have to change your entire attitude about nutrition and exercise.

Instead of adopting the mindset of short-term “diets,” you must adopt the mindset of lifelong “habits.” A habit is a behavior that you perform automatically without much conscious thought or effort.

Once a habit is firmly established – good or bad – it takes enormous strength to break it. It’s like trying to swim upstream against the current.

The entire concept of “dieting” for fat loss is flawed. When you say you’re “going on a diet”, the underlying implication is that it’s a temporary change and at some point you’re going to have to “go off” the diet.

With this type of attitude, you’re setting yourself up for failure right from the start.

2. Keep your muscle at all costs

The critical factor in turning your body into a “fat-burning machine” is to build and maintain as much lean body mass as possible. Muscle is the bodybuilder’s fat burning secret weapon!

Muscle is your metabolic furnace. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest.

With more muscle, you burn more calories even while you sleep. With a higher lean body mass, you’ll also burn more calories during exercise. If you put two people side by side jogging on a treadmill, one of them with 180 pounds of lean body mass and the other with 150 of lean body mass, the person with 180 pounds of lean body mass will burn more calories from the same workout.

The most efficient way to burn more calories and lose more body fat is to gain more muscle. That’s why weight training is an important part of the fat loss equation.

3. Use a small calorie deficit.

To lose body fat, you must be in negative calorie balance (a calorie deficit). You can create a calorie deficit by increasing activity, by decreasing calories or with a combination of both.

The most efficient approach to fat loss is to decrease your calories a little and increase your activity a lot.

The most commonly recommended guideline is to reduce your calories by 500 less than your maintenance level. For example, if you are female and your calorie maintenance level is 2100 calories per day, then a 500-calorie deficit would put you at  1600 calories per day.

If you’re a male with a calorie maintenance level of 2900 calories per day, then a 500-calorie deficit would put you at 2400 calories per day.

A 500-calorie deficit over seven days is 3500 calories in one week. There   calories in a pound of fat, so (in theory), a 500 calorie per day deficit will result in aloes of one pound of body fat per week.

It follows that a 750-calorie deficit would produce a loss of one and a half pounds per week and a 1000-calorie deficit would produce a two-pound per week reduction but approach that carefully to make sure you’re not losing too much muscle.

4. Use exercise to burn the fat rather than diets to starve the fat

To lose body fat, there must be a calorie deficit. Such are the laws of thermodynamics and energy balance.However, there’s more than one way to create calorie deficit. One way is to decrease your calorie intake from food.

The other is to increase the amount of calories you burn though exercise.

Of the two ways to create a calorie deficit, burning the calories is the superior method. This is because large calorie deficits cause muscle loss and trigger the starvation response.

Ironically, most people do the opposite: They slash their calories to starvation levels and exercise too little or not at all. This causes a decrease in lean body mass and invokes the starvation mechanism.

Paradoxical as it seems, the most effective approach to fat loss is to eat more (keep the calorie reduction small) and let the exercise burn the fat.

You don’t have to starve yourself – you just have to choose the right foods and make exercise a part of your lifestyle.

Here are the reasons why exercise – not dieting – is the superior method of losing body fat:

1. Exercise – aerobic and weight training – raises your metabolic rate.

2. Exercise creates a caloric deficit without triggering the starvation response.

3. Exercise is good for your health. Dieting is harmful to your health.

4. Exercise, especially weight training, signals your body to keep your muscle and

Not burn it for energy. Dieting without exercise can result in up to 50% of the Weight loss to come from lean body mass.

5. Exercise increases fat-burning enzymes and hormones.

6. Exercise increases the cells sensitivity to insulin so that carbohydrates are burned for energy and stored as glycogen rather than being stored as fat.

5. Determine your minimal calorie requirements and never drop below them – ever!

One way to ensure that you never go into starvation mode is to determine the minimum amount of calories you can eat without slowing your metabolism.

Then, use that as your rock bottom calorie number.

Because nutrition must be individualized, it is difficult to set an absolute single figure for everyone as a minimal calorie requirement,  so it is imperative to sit down with a professional to help you get as close as you can to your target number.

6. Eat more frequently and never skip meals The body interprets missed meals as starvation. Let us suppose you eat lunch at 12:00 noon and dinner at 7:00 pm.

If you skip breakfast the next day, that is 17 hours without food. This sends an unmistakable signal to your body that you are starving, even if your lunch and dinner are large meals.

Your goal should be to eat approximately every three hours. Establish scheduled meal times and stick to them. Regularity in your eating habits is critical.

By eating smaller portions more frequently, you’ll be able to eat more food than you’ve ever eaten before without being deprived or starving yourself.

Most people say they eat more on this program than they’ve ever eaten yet they get leaner than they’ve ever been before.

7. Don’t stay in a negative calorie balance long

The chances are good that you know at least one person who always seems to be on a diet. The odds are also good that although these habitual dieters may achieve some small weight losses, they are among the 95% that always gain it back.

Then, discouraged with the failure of their last diet, they quickly embark on the latest “diet of the month” and repeat the cycle.

When fat loss stops or begins to slow down after being in a substantial calorie deficit, most people panic and cut their calories even further. Sometimes this works and it breaks the plateau.

More often than not, it digs you into an even deeper metabolic rut. The best thing you can do is to raise your calories for a few days or sometimes even for a few weeks.

Your body’s weight regulating mechanism works both ways: It can decrease your rate of energy expenditure when there is a calorie deficit, or it can also increase its rate of energy expenditure when there is a calorie surplus.

When you eat more, your body burns more. A temporary increase in calories when you have hit a plateau will “spike” your metabolic rate.

It sends a signal to your body that you are not starving and that it is ok to keep burning calories.

This practice of raising your caloric intake up and down is known as “cycling” your calories (also known as the “zigzag” method).

In general, the lower you go with your calories, the more important it is to take periodic high calorie days.

We’ll take a closer look at “cycling” your calorie and macro nutrients intakes in later posts.

8. Make your goal to lose weight slowly at a rate of 1-2 lbs. per week. Be patient.

The best way to lose fat permanently without muscle loss is to lose weight slowly with a focus on exercise rather than severe calorie cutting.

We already made the suggestion to lose no more than two pounds per week. Let us take a closer look at the logic behind that recommendation.

This two-pound figure has become almost universally accepted as the standard guideline for safe weight loss.

Why? Because you can lose more than two pounds of weight per week, but you’re highly unlikely to lose more than two pounds of fat per week.

Even at two pounds per week, it’s difficult to lose 100% body fat with no loss of lean body mass!

Share our post and look us up if you have any questions

Clarence Ferguson RTSM/CMTA
Fysiques By Ferguson/Fit Body Club

Virgin coconut oil

Posted: May 19, 2012 in Nutrition, Uncategorized

Coconut trees can be found in almost all of the 7, 107 islands of the Philippines — a hot, humid, and tropical country located in Southeast Asia. For centuries, the inhabitants of these islands have turned to the coconut tree — the so-called “Tree of Life” — as a source of materials for shelter, food, and alternative medicine.  The coconut tree is called “Tree of Life” because almost all of its parts can be utilized.  The trunk is used as lumber;  the woven leaves are used for roofing; and even midribs from the stems are brought together to form a native broom.

Another natural product that comes from the tree is the coconut oil.  This oil is derived from fresh coconut meat to produce a food supplement known as Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO).  Using the “cold press” method, the coconut oil is extracted by grating the fresh coconut and by squeezing the coconut meat.  The  coconut milk is put into a sanitary container, covered, and allowed to stand for about 24 to 36 hours. The “virgin” coconut oil which naturally separates from the water content of the coconut milk is then transferred to another container. At that stage, the VCO is ready for consumption without cooking, heating, or any other process that might take away some of the nutritional properties of the virgin oil.

Lately, the coconut oil has been given much attention not only for its use in cooking but also for its value as a hair and skin care product.  The VCO is actually used as a hair tonic and skin moisturizer. Many Filipinos use the coconut oil to maintain a youthful, wrinkle-free skin. VCO can also be used to treat sunburned skin.

Research findings show that VCO is an effective ingredient for skin care treatment. The virgin coconut oil is high in antioxidants that penetrate into the concealed tissues of the skin.  The oil helps protect the body against the formation of free radicals which are molecules that rob electrons from the millions of cells in the human body. Free radicals damage and destroy these cells including the body’s connective tissues. These tissues are responsible for keeping the skin elastic and flexible. VCO helps to strengthen these connective tissues and aids in the prevention of skin sagging and wrinkling. VCO softens and moisturizes the skin, and removes dirt from the outer layer of the skin making it shiny and smooth.

Many skin care solutions in the market are made from vegetable oils that have gone through various refining processes, making these products prone to free radical generation. These processes have stripped these products of most of the essential antioxidants.

Virgin coconut oil is still a very good skin care treatment alternative since it has retained its antioxidant properties.  The antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties of VCO are from the presence of lauric acid in the oil. Lauric acid helps prevent disease-causing bacteria that may lead to skin infections. Medical experts now advise people to take at least two tablespoons of VOC a day as a preventive measure against  bacterial infection. VCO kills many forms of viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia, ear and throat infections, and other illnesses.  Instead of taking antibiotics and other synthetic drugs, people should now consider the use of VCO as a food supplement and over-all health aid.

Clarence Ferguson RTSM/CMTA

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It’s important that we eat plenty of different fruits and vegetables every day. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling. You’ve probably heard about the 5 A Day for Better Health program. It provides easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables into your daily eating patterns. It’s vital that we eat a wide variety of colorful orange/yellow, red, green, white, and blue/purple vegetables and fruit every day.

By eating vegetables and fruit from each color group, you will benefit from the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that each color group has to offer alone and in combination. There’s several different yet simple ways to start incorporating vegetables and fruit into your familiar and favorite meals.

You can begin your day with 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, slice bananas or strawberries on top of your oatmeal, or have a salad with lunch and an apple for an afternoon snack. Include a vegetable with dinner and you already have about 5 cups of fruits and vegetables. You may even try adding a piece of fruit for a snack or an extra vegetable at dinner. Just make sure you have a protein with each of these meals.

Don’t be afraid to try something new to increase your vegetable and fruit intake. There are so many choices when selecting fruits and vegetables. Kiwifruit, asparagus, and mango may become your new favorite. Keep things fresh and interesting by combining fruits and vegetables of different flavors and colors, like red grapes with pineapple chunks, or cucumbers and red peppers.

Get in the habit of keeping fruits and vegetables visible and easily accessible – you’ll tend to eat them more. Store cut and cleaned produce at eye-level in the refrigerator, or keep a big colorful bowl of fruit on the table. For those of you know you won’t consciously, eat fruits and vegetables here is a good alternative that you can supplement to achieve the benefits listed above..

Check it out Here

Yours in Fitness Clarence Ferguson RTSM, CMTA

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Organic food is food that is free from all genetically modified organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and derived from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Once only available in small stores or farmers’ markets, organic foods are becoming much more widely available

Organic foods have been shown to improve your immune system, help you sleep better, shed the excess weight more easily, and improve your blood work just to name a few.  Organic food can boast intense, realistic flavors, and a higher vitamin and mineral content.

And though logically it makes sense to consume a diet based on organic foods, some worry about the cost. But with careful planning and preparation, going organic is actually quite affordable. And, the peace of mind knowing you and your family are consuming foods that haven’t been treated with pesticides or genetically altered is worth the extra money spent.

The pesticides used by conventional farmers can have many negative influences on your health, including neurotoxicity, disruption of your endocrine system, carcinogenicity and immune system suppression. Pesticide exposure may also affect male reproductive function and has been linked to miscarriages in women. Additionally, conventional produce tends to have fewer nutrients than organic produce. On average, conventional produce has only 83 percent of the nutrients of organic produce. Studies have found significantly higher levels of nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and significantly less nitrates (a toxin) in organic crops.

So it’s a smart idea to buy and eat organic produce and free-range organic foods as much as possible for maximum health benefits.  In addition, the knowledge that you’re supporting the organic foods industry that is dedicated to protecting the environment by steering clear of harmful pesticides and chemicals that can result in the loss of topsoil, toxic runoff and resulting water pollution, soil contamination and poisoning and the death of insects, birds, critters and beneficial soil organisms should help you feel even better.

 

Go Organic !!!!

Yours in Fitness

Clarence Ferguson RTSM/CMTA

 

 

Antioxidants are a class of nutrients that protect the body from damage caused by different factors, most importantly oxidative damage caused by substances called free radicals. Free radicals are known as “reactive oxygen species”, or ROS. They are produced when your body uses oxygen for energy. Just as fire emits smoke as a by-product, ROS are emitted from the conversion of oxygen to energy in the human body, eventually causing oxidative damage to body systems. Free radicals are also created when the body is exposed to pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust and other harmful environmental toxins.

There are different types of antioxidants, and most work better when paired with other antioxidants. This is called synergism. Vitamins can be antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E. The tripeptide glutathione, loosely classified as an amino acid, acts as an antioxidant, along with other true amino acids such as methionine. The raw herbs and vegetables we consume contain natural antioxidants called bioflavonoids and carotenoids, which are effective antioxidants on their own, but are more effective when synergistically combined with other antioxidants. Together these nutrients protect your cells from electron robbery at the hands of larcenous free radicals, protecting the body from disease and slowing the inevitable signs of aging.

Antioxidants are important supplements for everyone, but especially for those who exercise on a regular basis. The rational is that exercise is a highly oxidative process and, as a consequence, produces free radicals from aerobic metabolism. Antioxidant compounds help alleviate this process.

Benefits
• minimizes the damage from free radicals
• protects against cell damage
• may assist with prevention of debilitating diseases
Message me if you have any questions about how to get the benefits of Anti Oxidants  or Click here to find out about a great product I recommend.

Clarence Ferguson RTSM/CMTA

 

 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a healthy diet as one that Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.  But just what minerals and nutrients are vital to our health and well-being?  Consider these nutrient-dense foods when you’re looking to improve your vitamin and mineral intake.

Vitamin A is needed for good eyesight and optimal functioning of the immune system.  Cod liver oil, dairy products, sweet potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables are all great natural food sources of vitamin A.

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is imperative to the body’s ability to process carbohydrates.  Whole grain breads, cereals and pastas have high amounts of thiamin.

Riboflavin, or B2, can be found in fortified cereals, almonds, asparagus, eggs, and meat.  It’s used in many body processes, including converting food into energy and the production of red blood cells.

Niacin, also known as B3, can be found in lean chicken, tuna, salmon, turkey, enriched flour, peanuts, and fortified cereals. It aids in digestion and also plays a key role in converting food into energy.

Vitamin B6 can be found in fortified cereals, fortified soy-based meat substitutes, baked potatoes with skin, bananas, light-meat chicken and turkey, eggs, and spinach. It’s vital for a healthy nervous system, and helps break down proteins and stored sugars.

Vitamin B12 is needed for creating red blood cells, and can be found in beef, clams, mussels, crabs, salmon, poultry, and soybeans.

Citrus fruits, red berries, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red and green bell peppers, cabbage, and spinach are all loaded with vitamin C, which is vital to promoting a healthy immune system, and making chemical messengers in the brain.

Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, cheese, and cereals; egg yolks; salmon; but can also be made by the body from sunlight exposure. It’s needed to process calcium and maintain the health of bones and teeth.

Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant and is essential to your skin’s good health. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, almonds, hazelnuts, and vegetable oils like sunflower, canola, and soybean to get this vital nutrient.

Folic acid can be found in fortified cereals and grain products; lima, lentil, and garbanzo beans; and dark leafy vegetables. It’s vital for cell development, prevents birth defects, promotes heart health, and helps red blood cells form. Pregnant women need to take special care to ensure they are getting enough of this for themselves and their developing baby.

Dairy products, broccoli, dark leafy greens like spinach and rhubarb, and fortified products, such as orange juice, soy milk, and tofu are all loaded with calcium. Like vitamin D, it’s very important in helping to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.

Organ meats, oysters, clams, crabs, cashews, sunflower seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole-grain products, and cocoa products are all high in copper, which aids in metabolism of iron and red cell formation. It also assists in the production of energy for cells.

Iron can be found in leafy green vegetables, beans, shellfish, red meat, poultry, soy foods, and some fortified foods.  It’s needed to transport oxygen to all parts of the body via the red blood cells.

Potassium can be found in foods like Broccoli, potatoes (with the skins on), prune juice, orange juice, leafy green vegetables, bananas, raisins, and tomatoes. It aids in nervous system and muscle function and also helps maintain a healthy balance of water in the blood and body tissues.

Red meat, fortified cereals, oysters, almonds, peanuts, chickpeas, soy foods, and dairy products are great dietary sources of zinc. Zinc supports the body’s immune function, reproduction capabilities, and the nervous systems.

Protein is the main component of muscles, organs, and glands. Every living cell and all body fluids, except bile and urine, contain protein. The cells of muscles, tendons, and ligaments are maintained with protein. Children and adolescents require protein for growth and development, and adults need it to maintain cell integrity. It can be found in foods like beans,  raw milk and meat.

The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. Complex carbohydrates are the best choice for a stable blood sugar level. Whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables are all good complex carbohydrate sources.

Essential fatty acids play a part in many metabolic processes, and there is evidence to suggest that low levels of essential fatty acids, or the wrong balance of types among the essential fatty acids, may be a factor in a number of illnesses. Good sources are fish and shellfish, flax seed, fish oils, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.

Though this list is far from complete, it gives a good base of knowledge on which to build a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Clarence Ferguson RTSM/CMTA

Fysiques By Ferguson/Fit-body Club

http://www.fitness4sccottsdale.com