Wednesday, October 31, 2012

5 Scary Facts About Sugar

Know the facts about sugar before you indulge!
Before you dive into your kids candy bags or munch on the leftover treats, be sure to know your facts when it comes to sugar. Though our bodies need sugars to function (especially the brain), most Americans eat amounts that far exceed recommendations leading to weight gain and greater risk of disease. Given the time of year, we’ve gathered five spooky facts about sugar that may help curb your sweet tooth.
1. According to the American Heart Association, the average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of “added” sugar per day—far exceeding the guideline of 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 for men.“Added” sugar refers to sugars and syrups that have been added to foods during processing. Top sources of added sugars include soda, desserts, and sports drinks. Sugar is usually added to foods to boost flavor, give baked goods texture, preserve foods such as jams, and fuel fermentation which allows bread to rise. Unfortunately, eating too many foods with added sugar can set the stage for haunting health risks including obesity and diabetes.
2. The average American drinks 53 gallons of soft drinks per year. Many experts believe that drinking excess amounts of soda can increase your risk of diabetes. In a study published in Diabetes Care that examined more than 310,000 patients, researchers found that those who drank 1 to 2 servings of sugar-sweetened beverages were 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who drank it once a month or not at all. The reasoning behind this connection is that loading up on sugar-sweetened beverages tends to lead to weight gain, a risk factor for diabetes. Other studies suggest that quickly absorbed sugars over time can lead to insulin resistance. Either way, the result is Frankenstein-frightening!
3. Diets high in sugar may cause acne. Dermatologists have long debated on whether greasy, junk foods can cause breakouts. A study in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that subjects who ate diets composed of high-glycemic foods—such as foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugary sodas—had a 14 percent increase in acne. Although the exact mechanism is unknown, insulin resistance may be the culprit.
4. Diets high in sugar may increase your risk of heart disease. Eating an excess amount of fat isn’t the only thing that can hurt your heart. More and more evidence is showing that sugar plays a direct role in the health of your heart. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who had more than 17 percent of their calories from added sugars were 20 to 30 percent more likely to have high levels of triglycerides, a form of fat this is found in your blood. When you consume more sugar than you need for energy, the excess sugars form triglycerides, which are stored in your fat cells.
5. Diets high in sugar make your brain age faster. What you eat affects how you think. A diet steadily high in sugar may slow the brain, hampering memory and learning. The cause of this premature aging of the brain may be linked to glycation—a process by which sugar molecules bind to protein in the brain. This haphazard process impairs the functioning of cells which may manifest into accelerated cognitive decline. Limit your sugar intake or you may start to look and act like a brainless zombie.
Solution: You can still enjoy sugar, just within a low-glycemic diet! Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Is IsaLean Pro the Right Choice for You?

Learn all you need to know about IsaLean Pro from Isagenix professional personal trainer Shane Freels
Who better to learn about the IsaLean Pro from than Shane Freels? An athlete himself and a personal trainer to hundreds of people over the years—including top professional athletes in the NFL and NBA—Shane was the perfect pick to sit down with and get to know some of the science behind IsaLean Pro, who its made for, and the successes he’s already seen with its use.
Q: How did the creation of IsaLean Pro come about?
A: Isagenix is consistently researching to ensure we create the best product—whether it’s the right ingredients, the right amounts, and the best formula for maximizing muscle growth, muscle retention, fat loss, and keeping the body sufficiently powered. IsaLean Pro is the result of that research and like everything else made by Isagenix, it delivers everything necessary for maintaining a healthy lean body.
Q: What’s the most important ingredient in IsaLean Pro?
A: Definitely the whey protein. IsaLean Pro is all about undenatured whey protein. Undenatured means that the protein is cold-processed, which prevents the important bioactives and amino acids from being broken down. Even better is the fact that all whey protein from Isagenix comes from free-grazing New Zealand “Cheerful Certified” cows that are pasture-fed and free from harmful hormones and antibiotics. What’s cool is that New Zealand’s standards far exceed the USDA organic standards, so you get the highest quality whey protein with a significantly lower level of lactose and a superior amino acid profile.
Q: What’s some of the research behind IsaLean Pro?
A: There is a ton of research on the benefits of whey protein. For starters, studies have found that whey is a protein with a particularly high concentration of branched chain amino acids (BCAA), especially the amino acid leucine. Leucine, it turns out, is superior for muscle and strength-building when combined with an exercise program. In fact, recent studies show that significant gains in muscle and strength come from consuming high-quality protein, like whey, immediately after a workout. Research also shows that whey should be your top choice because it increases lean muscle mass and boosts fat-burning more than other proteins, such as soy. Retaining your muscle mass is a very important thing. Especially if you’re aging or trying to lose weight—both of which are associated with a loss in lean muscle mass. Sarcopenia, or the natural muscle loss that comes with aging, is an unfortunate reality for many aging adults. That’s why it’s so important to get more than adequate protein. Studies are showing that aging adults actually need more protein than normal adults to get the muscle-retaining benefits.
Q: Who else is IsaLean Pro for?
A: Great question, and really, it’s for anyone. Definitely athletes and people who need an increased amount of protein, like the aging adults I mentioned before. I know for myself, when I’m training two to three times a day, I simply need more protein for muscle repair and growth. IsaLean Pro has 36 grams of protein, compared to 24 grams in the normal IsaLean Shake. Another group that IsaLean Pro can really help is people trying to lose weight who feel they’ve hit a “plateau” in their weight loss. Increasing protein can help boost satiety and increase thermogenesis, which increases metabolism and fat burning. This helps you lose that stubborn fat or fat around your middle that just won’t budge.
Q: So is IsaLean Pro just a high protein powder?
A: Oh no, not at all! IsaLean Pro is actually a combination of IsaLean Shake and IsaPro. So you get the nutrition of a complete meal replacement and the boost of a protein powerhouse. IsaLean Pro is still packed with the complete profile of vitamins and minerals; it just has more protein and slightly fewer carbs. It’s all about convenience, really. I used to combine the two, and carted my two canisters around with me everywhere. Now, I have the convenience of the mixing already being done for me in one packet, ready to go.
Q: So have you seen any results yet from taking IsaLean Pro?
A: Yes! I’m glad you asked. One of my clients came to me after doing another weight loss challenge with a different company. He had lost 10 pounds in about a 30-day period. I was then able to do hydrostatic testing on him, which is one of the most accurate ways to measure fat and lean muscle mass. The hydrostatic testing showed us that he had lost 10 pounds, but four pounds of that was lean muscle mass. Almost half the weight he lost was exactly what he really didn’t want to lose. I then had him do the Isagenix program, with IsaLean Pro, and after 30 days he had lost eight pounds. But guess what? Hydrostatic testing showed that he gained 4 pounds of muscle! Four pounds! This shows that it’s not always about weight loss; it’s about maintaining the correct body composition of fat to lean muscle mass for optimal health and continued weight maintenance. There is just no comparison to Isagenix for this, especially now, with the new IsaLean Pro.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Emotional Stress: The #1 Cause of Emotional Eating and Weight Gain

Special post by Sandy Zeldes. To learn more about Sandy’s work, please visit
The focus of my practice is working with women to heal their relationship to food and their bodies. We work to release whatever is causing the need to eat emotionally or binge primarily and release weight and poor body image.
I find that for people who struggle with sticking to a plan of action, or staying motivated with their health goals and who also struggle with addictive eating habits, addressing both the current and often hidden past accumulation of stress is absolutely critical in achieving lasting success with health goals.
I was listening to a talk recently by a renowned clinical practitioner speaking about the most common cause of fatigue, weight gain, and mood swings that he sees in his practice.
You already know what it is if you read the title of this blog post: Emotional stress.
For addictive habits like binge eating and emotional eating, I would agree that emotional stress is primary as well.

Emotional Stress

Chronic emotional stress from grief, overwhelm, sadness, fear, anxiety, panic, depression, anger and frustration are often responsible for not only the cascade of stress hormones that get activated under chronic stress which can contribute to weight gain, but also contribute to a need to eat “emotionally” for many.
Unfortunately many people aren’t aware of hidden or accumulated stress and even when they are aware of it, they find that it can be difficult to resolve or release it.
Awareness is a critical first step. Finding a way to release the stress is the next step in order to heal fully and end habits of sabotage with health goals and emotional eating.
Finding the Significant Causes of Stress
Stress is something so many are experiencing on an ever increasing scale, and stress can
take many forms. We may be stressed about money, our jobs, relationships or lack of any or all
of these things. We may even be eating and exercising in a way that actually increases our
stress as well. Then there is the added stress of toxins in our water, air, and food that none of
us can escape entirely.
Many of my clients report overwhelming fatigue and unexplained weight gain even though
many of them feel that they are eating a relatively healthy diet, exercising and doing everything “right.”
Few realize however that stress in any form, whether known or unknown can cause weight
 The most common contributors to stress that may contribute to fatigue, weight gain, mood swings and food cravings are:
  •  Unresolved emotions such as: anger, fear, worry, anxiety, depression, guilt
  • Overwork
  • Physical and mental strain
  • Excessive exercise
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Low blood sugar and poor diet
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Food reactions or sensitivities
  • Toxicity
Here are some of the most common symptoms of severe stress or adrenal exhaustion:
  • Inability to lose weight even when exercising and eating well
  • Exhaustion not relieved by sleep
  • Light headed when standing or sitting up too quickly
  • Chronic allergies/sensitivities
  • Cravings for salty foods
  • Easily startled by noises
  • Excessive anxiety or panic
Are you experiencing any of the above? If so, you may have stress induced weight gain.
Some of the most common causes of stress, like sleep deprivation are obvious to know if you are experiencing but what about unresolved emotions or food reactions, or even nutritional deficiencies?
Often too, when we are under stress we do exactly the opposite of what our body needs to recover from it. We get less sleep and eat poorly because we are in a hurry. We start to take less time for ourselves and many women will start to eat less and exercise more as they see the pounds creep up. Though it can seem logical to do this, it’s truly not a recipe for success with permanent weight loss.
Under stress we need to be doing almost the opposite of the above. We need to exercise to tolerance, not extremes. We need to eat more and better foods to support our taxed nervous system and stress hormones, not less, and we absolutely must get enough sleep to recover. Here’s why.
When we are experiencing stress from anything from the above list, our body releases an excess of stress hormones. At first, and for many years perhaps we can sometimes sustain a high stress hormone levels and feel ok. They can also make us excessively excitable and anxious and effect our sleep. Some people feel very productive at first but later, with enough time, cortisol will begin to decline if the chronic stress continues. This is when we are exhausted all of the time and begin to put on weight without even trying while we are doing everything else “right.”
When cortisol is out of balance, either too high or too low we can put on weight rather quickly and have out of control food cravings.
Resolving Emotional Stress
The first step in resolving emotional stress in my experience is knowing where to look so assessing the above can go a long way in healing. The next step however is just as critical and that is releasing the emotional stress and of course making adjustments in diet, exercise, sleep and other lifestyle changes that are needed.
Lifestyle changes in this way are a part of the process. Usually however when we begin by addressing the emotional stress in my experience, all of the other pieces seem to fall into place and become easier to implement.
In order to significantly reduce emotional stress, we need to find techniques that work for us, and that we can implement quickly and frequently. Good stress relief techniques are many and varied from  deep breathing, yoga, meditation, using affirmations and gratitude, to talk therapy.
However none of these techniques offer the deeper healing and resolution that EFT-Emotional Freedom Techniques provides in my experience. When we work effectively with EFT we can uproot rather quickly and permanently in most cases the root causes for the stress. Often we can also make cognitive shifts and reframe negative experiences in the process, giving us a more positive outlook for the future.
How does this work? I’ll give you an example from a client to illustrate this.
I was working with a woman whom I’ll call “Sarah” to get un-stuck with weight loss. On the surface, all she knew was that she just wasn’t motivated to do anything healthful from excersing to eating better. She knew what to do that worked for her, but couldn’t get herself to do it. (This is such a common problem, and always has a root in a subconscious cause I believe.) She had out of control binges and was fatigued frequently. When we began to look at this issue, we were able through tapping (EFT-Emotional Freedom Techniques) and a process I use, to not only discover but release some major contributing causes for her and afterwards she was not only motivated to start excersing but found herself eating in the way she had wanted to for a long time, but couldn’t before, all binges had stopped- even under what used to “stressful” conditions for her and she was happier and more energized than she had been in years.
So what did we do?
We found and released the major causes of stress for her that were actually hidden from her in her subconscious mind.
Many people from prominent psychologists and psychiatrists to cell biologists are beginning to talk about the power of the subconscious mind. Many now feel that everything that happens to us is registered in our subconscious. Now some of the causes are not so hidden from view for us like stress from current situations we experience. But much of what is contributing to eating habits and how we take care of ourselves under stress in my experience have much to do with our earlier experiences that we have often long forgotten or think we have already “worked on.”
Healing the causes of a need to eat emotionally or binge and the often subsequent lack of ability to stick to a healthy plan of action is truly possible if we shine the light in the right place, get support needed and allow ourselves the time to do the deeper healing we need to release both the past and the difficulties we face in the present.
Sandy Zeldes is a Professional Chef, Certified EFT Practitioner & Certified Nutrition Consultant with over 7 years experience. She works with health conscious women to heal subconscious blocks to weight loss and emotional eating. Visit her online at

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Be Careful When Judging

“You must be the change you want to see in the world”

When you are out in the world, be it at a restaurant, grocery shopping, driving in traffic, or at the doctor’s office, and you see a child screaming and a mother losing her cool and grabbing that child by the arm and being stern: BE CAREFUL BEFORE YOU JUDGE THEM. 
Be careful placing judgment upon others, for you know not what battles they are fighting. 
It has been months since my family went out to eat.
We recently went out for a bite at a local, casual restaurant. Very loud, very kid friendly. Or so we thought.
At the end of the meal, the waitress, who was very sweet, became overwhelmed with her tables. A young man came in and was singing while playing the acoustic guitar, and a very unfriendly table had just sat behind us. Our little one was really struggling, so my husband decided to take him home, and our oldest son refused to leave and stayed with me. He wanted to see the guitar player, but I had to wait for the check.
That was when All Hell Broke Loose.
He started screaming.
The table behind us was in my face, and the large table of young twenty-somethings was looking at me as if they should call DFCS on me for grabbing my son and walking away. My son was screaming at the top of his lungs, and I put my hand over his mouth. At that time, he proceeded to bite my hand, almost breaking the flesh. All the while, the entire restaurant was staring. Let me point out that this hasn’t happened to me in quite some time, and, typically, it doesn’t bother me. This time it did.
As I left the restaurant, I wanted to walk back in and confront the two tables that were staring at me like deer in headlights. I wanted to say something like this:
It isn’t polite to stare, but since you are, let me break it down for you. This is my five-year-old son. He suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome and autism. Although he may look “normal” to you, I assure you that he is fighting many battles. Before you judge my behavior regarding how I handled my son, you should know this: I only slept for three hours last night. My son is sick, and when that happens, his behavior becomes more than any of you could understand. My husband and I are in the middle of the most difficult financial time of our lives, and I am dealing with my mystery medical issues that seem to elude my doctors. I am human; I am not a robot. I have one child with PWS and autism and a second with hyper-activity and mood dysfunction disorder. I may have looked like a crazy woman to you, but you couldn’t imagine that I have been up handling this since 4:00 a.m. today.
As the parent of a special needs child, we are “supposed to stay calm and not lose our cool.”
I am not perfect, and I do lose my cool on occasion. That night was one of those occasions. I can say this with absolute certainty: Most people in the world could not walk a day in my shoes; most people could not even begin to comprehend what a typical day is for me, let alone these days when things are just not going well.

I write this essay not just for myself. I write for my thousands of extended family members. My family of parents, grandparents, and caregivers of those with special needs, I write for them. I come to you and challenge you to this:

When you see a situation like mine taking place, don’t stare. I challenge you instead to offer a hand. Offer your heart and see if that parent or caregiver could use some help. I will tell you that a smile goes a long way. A smile goes a long way in the heart of a special needs parent in the midst of a crisis with their loved one.
Help me spread the word and please share this blog with all of your friends.
Help me be the change.

Rachel Pastiloff is an author, yoga teacher, amateur chef, special needs advocate, and mother living in Atlanta, GA with her husband and two sons. In 2009, Rachel’s oldest son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi Syndrome, with a diagnosis of autism to follow. The diagnosis was traumatic and forever altered the course of her life. Rachel has made it her mission to educate the world about children who have special needs and their parents and caregivers. For more on Rachel visit her blog or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Forgive and forget through healing     As a meditation teacher and a mentor one of the most common questions I get from my students is: “How can I forgive when I feel so much hurt?”
For many people the scars of the past remain very fresh and real. Being able to forgive while that wound is still open and raw is very challenging; yet forgiveness is one of the most important keys to living a life of happiness.
Without the ability to forgive, we are retaining in our body the toxic vibration of loathing, hate, and anger. With that energy in our body it’s impossible to be healthy, radiant and vital.
So how can we truly be free of that negative energy and embrace forgiveness? It’s suggested that forgiveness is the way to heal pain and be happy and healthy.
But therein lies the problem. Forgiveness is a huge challenge when you ache with the pain of the past. There is bitterness, resentment, and anger. Being able to forgive while that pain is there is almost impossible. The wound is still open and hasn’t healed, so it’s a constant reminder of the hurt. Forgiveness just won’t flow while that wound is still open.
Many people that come to me with forgiveness issues have so much pain that they are unable to forgive. This struggle to forgive creates more tension and discomfort in them because they were constantly being told by therapists, coaches and healers: “You NEED to forgive to get over this.”
However, what if we were to heal the pain first before we tried forgiving? What if we were able to place our attention on connecting to that ocean of love within us that will naturally dissolve the anger, resentment and bitterness? Then forgiveness will become a flow on effect that spills forth from your inner feeling of love.
Here is a technique that I give to my meditation students that helps cultivate self-love and heal the pain leading forth to forgiveness. Try it and see how it helps transform your pain and allows you to let go.
  • When you’re in a relaxed state, whether it be after your daily meditation, while in rest-pose at the end yoga class, or in a quiet contemplative time of day – bring your awareness to the cavity within the rib cage.
  • Visualise this cavity as a big spacious area enclosed by your ribs. Within that space, visualise a bright golden globe of light and love in the centre. This is your heart centre.
  • From that heart centre, slowly feel the light and love spreading through the limbs of your body, down through your legs and out through your arms. Feel the light and love spreading up through your neck and head and through your entire body cavity until you’re glowing in light and love. Hold this space. Make this a daily practice and over time it will become your reality.
Through healing first, you’re able to connect with our core self love and truly embody it. Then the pain will dissolve and unconditional love will flow. Being able to forgive is an effortless flow that pours forth from a heart that is glowing in love.
When you’re consumed with pain, it can be difficult to move on and find the strength to forgive. Please share with us below how you get over that threshold and turn your pain into love and forgiveness.
Tom is the co-founder of Science of Stillness, a company that aims to transform as many lives as possible by delivering the power of Science of Stillness, the vehicle to peace of mind and body. These sounds changed his life, so Tom has developed cutting edge technology to make them accessible to the masses. Your sound, and a life of unlimited abundance and happiness is waiting for you.

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