Posts Tagged ‘Health’

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




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


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

In Washington, DC and everywhere else it seems as if the government, nutritionists, medical doctors and “established” organizations are hell-bent on making Americans FATTER by spewing utterly ridiculous and completely unsubstantiated advice about how to eat and lose weight.

Here are some of their most popular nutrition-related weight-loss myths:


Myth #1: A calorie is a calorie

First, let me ask you a commonsense weight loss question – if you had two identical twin sisters and you put them both on very different 1,500 calories diets. The first one ate all of her calories from McDonald’s and the second one gets all of her calories from lean, healthy meats, fish, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, and a small amount of fresh dairy products. Do YOU think they’d look the same at the end of a year?

We have actually known that all calories are NOT created equal for at least 50 years, and we keep getting the same results over and over and over.

Take this study for example. All participants were on hypocaloric diets (less calories than they need). All did the same amount of activity, ate the same number of calories, etc. The ONLY difference was where those calories came from. The results speak for themselves.

Group A: 1000 calories at 90% fat: lost 0.9lbs per day

Group B: 1000 calories at 90% protein: 0.6lbs per day

Group C: 1000 calories at 90% carbs – actually gained some weight (not really significant though).

We keep repeating these types of studies and we keep getting the same results

Why do our so-called authorities in Washington, DC keep selling us the same raft of lies? That is probably a book in and of itself, but here’s the gist: Official nutrition recommendations are political and financial decisions – who made campaign contributions (it is DC)? Who’s lobbying for what recommendations? What industry group does this scientist work for? Who paid for the research? Was it the same company that will make money off of its favorable results?

The list of questions goes on and on and on. Plus, there’s also just plain old stubbornness – people like tradition, they like to do what they’ve always done.

Rarely are official nutrition recommendations the result of years of practical experience about what works and what doesn’t, and a thorough and unbiased review of research. The people who make official recommendations do NOT usually work one-on-one with people helping them to get weight loss results. If your mortgage payment doesn’t depend on your ability to produce results, then I do not care what you have to say.


Myth #2: High protein, moderate carbohydrate diets are unsafe

There are at least 15 years of peer-reviewed clinical research saying that there is absolutely no risk posed to normal, healthy people from short or long-term exposure to a high-protein diet. In fact, higher protein/moderate carbohydrate diets (I didn’t say none or low carbohydrate) have consistently been shown to outperform low-fat/high-carb/low-Protein diets for weight (fat)loss, in the treatment of diabetes, and for heart health.


Myth #3: Juice is healthy

The federal government in Washington, DC and nutritionists would have you believe that drinking a glass of juice is the same as eating a piece of fruit. Well, the fact of the matter is that a glass of juice is about as nutritious as a glass of Pepsi.

A. to make a small 8 oz. glass of OJ, you must extract all of the sugar from FIVE oranges. Ounce for ounce, OJ has the same amount of sugar as Pepsi. Is it better because it’s “natural”? NO! Cocaine is a plant extract, is it now a health food? All sugar comes from plants anyway. There is NOTHING more fattening than a bunch of sugar.

B. In the process of extracting the juice virtually ALL of the vitamins are lost due to exposure to the air and from the chemicals used to increase extraction yields from the fruits.

Conclusion: all sugar, no vitamins – not a health food. Instead of OJ, eat an actual orange. It has fiber, tastes good and it will make you feel full (unlike the juice, so it is really empty calories that your body won’t register as having eaten them). Bureaucrats in Washington, DC don’t necessarily have your best interests in mind when writing policy, sometimes they are trying to help sell more oranges because you can drink far more than you can eat.


Myth #4: Moderate drinking is healthy

Doctors love to say this one. They say it for two reasons, both of which are misleading at best:

Reason #1 is there was a large study of studies (meta analysis) that showed that people who drank moderately lived longer than those who did not drink at all. There’s a HUGE problem with this study, former alcoholics and people who were so sick that they could not drink were lumped into the group of people who CHOSE not to drink. They took the average life expectancy of all those different types of people to get their “data.”

If you’re so sick that you can’t drink alcohol, you probably don’t have long to live. And being an alcoholic is VERY hard on your body and will probably shorten your lifespan.

Reason #2 is that alcohol thins your blood. Well, so does water and fish oil and those have ONLY positive side effects? Whereas alcohol IS a toxin, and it does stimulate both fat storage and muscle loss – that is a bad combination for weight (fat)loss.

Conclusion: Drinking in moderation is something that you do because you like it, not because it has any health benefits whatsoever. “But red wine is healthy” you say. The good stuff in red wine comes from the grapes that it was made of – grapes. You can just eat the grapes and rid yourself of the alcohol. Am I suggesting never drinking ? No! but don’t allow lobbyist and the food industry to allow you to believe that drinking is healthy based on a few ingredients. A simple one hour talk will have to on the right track and help you avoid the traps of the Food and Drug industry!

See you next time

Clarence Ferguson RTSM,CMTA

Hey There,

If your around this week, my good friend and Nutrition expert Ben Brown is hosting a complimentary nutrition  seminar. Good information ! I highly recommend  you attending, if you can for all my local friends this will be an excellent opportunity to learn about foods and how they affect you.

Just click the link below for more information

04.10.11 Nutrition for Fat Loss


Clarence Ferguson

Fysiques By Ferguson

If you ask 20 Trainers  in Scottsdale about carb intake, you will likely get 20 different answers. The Reality is, there is a so many opinions on how to manipulate carbs properly to either gain mass or lose fat.  Every trainer in Scottsdale or Nutritionist  or boot camp coach brings his or her own experiences into the equation. Without, being to dogmatic  here’s a short list of   10 facts, tips and suggestions to allow you to eat carbs without adding unwanted body fat.

1. Eat Complex Carbs (Fiber rich foods)

Carbohydrates should comprise a good portion of your daily caloric intake because they become glycogen – the fuel for  intense training sessions. Focus on unprocessed complex carbohydrates like yams, potatoes, whole grain breads, oatmeal and basmati rice. Why? These natural complex carbs are made of long chains of sugar  chains and are digested very slowly.  A good rule of thumb to determine daily carb intake, in grams (g) is by multiplying their body weight by three; women should multiply body weight by two.

2. Add more Fiber to your diet (Eat Whole Foods)

Benefits of fiber include making muscle tissue more responsive to growth by improving sugar and amino acid uptake, and aiding in muscle glycogen formation and growth. Beans and oatmeal, Ezekiel Bread are two excellent sources of fiber. Fiber also helps with digestion and elimination of waste (Dr

3. Spread your Carbohydrates throughout the Day

Divide your carb meals into six distinct servings throughout the day. This divide and conquer approach stimulates a steady release of insulin to create an anabolic (muscle-building) state. If you eat too many carbs in one sitting, the net effect is that fat-storing enzymes kick into high gear and you lose than lean and flat stomach look.Depending on your Metabolic Type Carbs can make up to 60% percent of your plate. And it is also goal dependent.

4.  Simple Carbs are best after  a workout session (resistance training)

A baked potato,  a banana, white rice and even fruit or a small serving of pasta – typical simple carbs – are digested quickly and easily. The resulting insulin spike is a double edged sword, however. After training, it can prevent muscle catabolism while promoting muscle-building. If you are not currently training I don’t suggest filling up on simple carbohydrates, or limiting their intake completely.

5. Carbs are essential at Breakfast

Besides the post training meal, breakfast is the other golden time to ingest carbs, because blood sugar and muscle glycogen levels are low from your overnight fast. Your body must replenish these levels before stimulating the fat storing machinery in the body.Unless your doing Intervals for fat loss , then consume your carbs after your finished with your morning intervals. Also depending on when you workout if you lift in the morning then after your workout, and if you lift in the evening then make that meal your biggest Carb meal.

6. Stop demonizing Carbs




Do a little research and learn which foods from this group can aid your goals. Sit down with a good coach and revise your meal plans.

7. Take it easy on  Fruit

Though low in calories and rich in vitamins, fruit is problematic for dieting for one reason: it contains fructose, a simple sugar, which is converted into glycogen in the liver. Or check with your ad visor to find out which fruits that convert to sugar slower, and eat them with the proper fats and proteins to slow the conversion into sugar.

8. Avoid carbs after hours or after major drinking (Enough said)

Or you will invite the fat army to occupy your body. Unless you are blessed with a superfast metabolism, you should forget about eating a lot of  carbs late at night. Late night carbs interfere with the release of growth hormone and promote fat storage while you sleep. And generally the choices just aren’t good!

9. Always have carbs and protein  and Healthy Fats in the same meal

Combining carbs and proteins minimizes the risk of carbs being stored as fat. Eating protein with carbs facilitates the transport of amino acids from protein foods into the muscles to trigger new growth. Good Fats paces this process and keep you feeling satiated till your next meal.

10. Rotate carbs for fat loss ( Fat Loss Secret)

People who rotate their carb intake tend to lose more fat than people who maintain a steady flow of carbs while dieting. For example, instead of eating 600g of carbs every day (the typical daily total for a 200 pound man), try varying the volume of intake. Eat 50% fewer carbs (300g) for two days, then the standard 600g for the next two days, then 50% more (900g) for the next two days, The total carb intake is the same, but this schedule works because it lowers muscle glycogen in the first stage (promoting fat loss), and then increases insulin levels (ensuring no loss of muscle) on the final two days. Carb rotation gives you the best of both worlds: decreased fat with no loss of muscle. There is an aggressive method of this technique which goes for 3 days of low carbohydrate intake then has one day of high , but check with your ad visor to find out if this is for you!

Bottom line is Carb’s are not whats keeping you fat ! Its a combination of poor food choices, with in-activity that’s doing you in. Carbohydrates can be a great tool to create an amazing body.

Until Next time

Clarence Ferguson

Fysiques By Ferguson

I want to talk today about planning and goal setting. Without those three your dreams of the body you desire won’t ever come true. The number one thing I hear from my clients is “I’m struggling with getting in all my meals”. When we dig a little deeper, into the subject of their day and their eating habits, the thing I find that rings true almost every time is they are not planning their days out! People plan trips, make appointments in fact they make it to all their training appointments. Why? Because these are scheduled events!. You have to treat you’re eating the same way. Today’s society in my opinion is designed to distract us, from the realities of life. Whether it’s, the gloom and doom coming from the political talking heads on the cable networks, or the nightly news,or is it the kids, running errands or work demands? What I have found in people who have successfully transformed their bodies is a single trait that seems to be consistent, across the board. Planning!


I don’t know who originally coined the term or the quote “Success is a planned event”, but I first heard it from Skip La Cour, A very successful Natural body builder. By The way Google Skip and check out his DVD under the same tittle. I don’t believe success in business, fitness or relationships happens by chance. Success, requires a few main ingredients


  • A goal that is mapped out from beginning, to end.
  • Markers( Markers are little points along the journey used to measure progress ) In this reference a body composition test, an article of clothing fitting better, weight loss, etc.
  • Constructive and Honest feed back
  • The ability to self start.
  • The ability to be an Action taker.
  • The ability to fall and get back up.


With that said all events have a starting line, with many steps to the finish line. When it comes to succeeding in your fitness goals it’s not different at all. Once your goal is set and your mind is made up. Write you goal down, somewhere you can see it every morning. I usually put mine up in the bathroom, because it’s the first place I visit in the morning. When you see your goals first thing in the morning, you are reminded to start the day off properly. If you are a person who works out in the morning grab a planned pre work out snack or meal and head into the gym. If you work out later in the day, make sure to review your written meal plan and take what’s needed to reached your scheduled meals.

I find it very helpful to cook all my meals on Sunday it doesn’t take more than 90 minutes. And in the mornings I measure out all foods for the day based on my schedule. If you follow that simple technique you’ll never miss a meal. Another thing I do on my “crack berry” is schedule reminders   a cool little feature in your calendar that will remind you, in case you are too busy to eat. I’ve been there! Buried in work, the next thing you know 4 or 5 hours have blown by and you haven’t eaten. By the way the simplest thing I can advise anyone to do is to stand up take 5 minutes and just do some deep breathing. Far too many of us are consumed with stress. Let’s call Stress what it is; A BIG Freaking Hater! Stress’s main job is to plant seeds of doubt into your head, derail you from your plans and cause you to give up.


Let’s take stress from the dictionary then define stress in fitness. Remember there is good and bad stress, how you manage it determines your outcome. According to the dictionary Stress is: the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain. In exercise that’s a good thing if managed properly. When we stress our bodies in a controlled fashion we can get some predictable returns. Now how does stress affect us on a physiological level? Stress has been studied and shown to affect, our concentration, memory, proper function, irritability, feelings of insecurity, over eating and under eating; the list goes on and on. It also affects us on a cellular level; it can cause the flight or flight response. Why am I pointing this out? Alludes to what I said in the previous paragraph. Most people food related stress goes back to not planning their days effectively. Simply preparing your foods in advance, alleviates the panic when you feel hungry or you pass by the dreaded snack bowl. Without going too deep into this subject failing to eat the proper foods for your Metabolic Type will trigger a stress response. So  how do we avoid stress nutritionally and avoid the pitfalls of poor planning.


Ingredient one set a goal: Your goal should have a beginning, middle and end to keep it simple. Or you can use time as I often do. You can set 3, 6 and 12 months goals. I find these are very effective and you can trouble shoot your plan. Secondly have a professional, review your plan honestly and makes some changes to help you succeed. Unrealistic goals are just as bad as not planning at all. “Check your corner” Good Accountability is huge


Ingredient two:  Markers allow you to see your progress, or adjust it so that its aligned with your goals. Your trainer or Nutritionist should set weekly and monthly meetings to evaluate your progress and take measurements.


Ingredient three: Constructive and Honest feedback, here’s where that corner check comes in, you have to get honest feedback. If you are surrounding yourself with people who just say things, so as to not rock the boat or ruffle feathers. You will never get a true picture of where you are or where you need to be. Make sure you have someone in your inner circle who as they say “Tells it like it is” It doesn’t have to send you into therapy but constructive criticism are always useful.


Ingredient four: The Ability to self start, I don’t care who your trainer is, what diet your following, if you don’t put the plan into effect day in day out you won’t succeed. No one can make you get out of bed but you! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel nutritionally, there are many people who have braved the path before you. You just have to start your journey. One day at a time, one meal at a time. Stop looking for the perfect time to start and just do it!


Ingredient five: Be an Action Taker: How many diets have you started and stopped? How many of you have never started? The plan is there you just have to start. Many people never achieve anything in life because they never take the first step, because they are marred by excuses or negative people who tell them they can’t do it. Most people are affected by the disease of “Waiting for the perfect opportunity” As long as your breathing the opportunity exists. Take action today and salvage the rest of your day and your progress.


Ingredient six: The ability to fall and get back up: With all new endeavors’ you are going to make mistakes, you are going to make the wrong choices you are going to miss meals. What’s most important is that you get back up and keep moving. Like I always say move on to the next meal. If we all stopped after blowing a meal or two none of us would have ever succeeded in reaching our goals.


In the case of all good recipes you have to combine each ingredient, follow the instructions precisely and take action. We’ve all heard failing to plan is planning to fail. It couldn’t be more relevant than in meal planning. If you do a few things over a period of a few months you will develop habits that don’t seem so tedious. So the moral here is following your plan! If you’re unsure of your plan get back in front of the person who crafted your plan and review the specifics. Sometimes all you need is a few tweaks here or there and you can make anything successful. As we move through the middle of the week, don’t give up if you have fallen off use this article as a reminder and get back on track so your week is a success. Remember Success is as series of small steps planned perfectly.


See you on the lean side.

Clarence Ferguson

Fysiques By Ferguson