Fitlandia

Month: April 2017

Episode 32 – Transform Your Life with Tapping with Jessica Ortner

Christa gives us a massive treat with this week’s podcast by welcoming Jessica Ortner to the show! Jessica Ortner is a Stress Reduction and Weight Loss Coach, New York Times’ best-seller and producer of the documentary, “The Tapping Solution.”

 

To celebrate Jessica’s contribution to our Fitlandia community, Christa is offering a 20% discount for the next round of the No Fools Detox. Go to the Fitlandia Store website, put the No Fools Detox in your cart, and enter the code “Jessica20” at checkout to receive your discount. The next round launches on May 15th with only 12 spots available so make sure to not miss out on this deal as you learn the techniques to help you succeed on your health and fitness journey.

Background

When Jessica was introduced to tapping by her brother, Nick Ortner, she was absolutely blown away by its effectiveness. An “over thinker” since childhood, Jessica describes how she struggled to use positive affirmations and other techniques to shift her brain’s way of thinking. Like many of us, the anxiety and worry that clouded her mind not only affected her brain but she felt it throughout her whole body. Since tapping helps to relieve the physical symptoms associated with anxiety, Jessica found that it worked to quiet her mind but also to calm her body and reduce the corresponding physical stress. She and her brother became proficient in using tapping and eventually filmed a documentary where they brought in experts and followed ten people to chronicle their success using this technique. This video documentary has been widely used by tapping followers to demonstrate how it is done and to teach and inspire others.

Jessica explains, “Tapping is a stress relieving technique to do while focusing on what’s causing you anxiety while tapping on acupuncture points”.

Our ancestors needed to have that flight or fight response to stay alive; producing physical strength and increased cortisol. Then we evolved, and although our fears are normal everyday things like our jobs and family life, our bodies continue to react in the same way as our ancestors did – with a physical reaction. Our heart begins to race, we start sweating, our stomach might start to turn and our whole body will be in a stressed state. Although our mind will usually start to rationalize with a positive outlook, it is the body’s natural reaction is to keep us safe, so the physical symptoms remain. “We are wired to have a negative bias to keep us safe”, Jessica explains. We need to train both our body and our mind that it’s safe to relax but first we must get clear on what is causing the stress and access the pressure points at the same time to help us relax.

When we tap on these acupressure points, it calms us physically. Naturally, we do things with our hands when we’re anxious anyways. For example, when we’re tense and press our fingers in between the eyes at the top of the nose or on our temples, we do this to comfort ourselves. Now we’re using these points and stimulating them by tapping and while doing so, we focus on a thought, it sends a calming signal to our brain that tells us it’s okay to relax.

From the age of 14, Jessica struggled with her weight. She was “brainwashed” by believing the only way to lose weight was by diet and exercise. She was caught in an endless cycle of Yo-Yo Dieting and what she calls a “Pattern of Panic”. The panic state would be caused by an unflattering photograph or an upcoming event that would propel her to start another fad diet or exercise program. She would follow a strict set of rules about what to eat and actions to follow but this structure was exhausting and Jessica would always find herself resorting back to her old self-sabotaging and rebellious behavior. She explains, “The panic does make us take action but it is never sustainable. You don’t have to be in a state of panic to make changes like many of us have been taught to believe. It’s when we completely accept ourselves that change becomes sustainable.”

Jessica had an epiphany when she realized that she had achieved success with her tapping education and her books, but this success did not carry over to her struggle with her weight. It was then she realized that she had been using tapping for everything except weight loss.

“When you make weight the excuse to not be happy, sometimes we don’t want to let go of that excuse. Doing new things is still scary, expansion doesn’t have to be so terrifying that you freeze but there’s a level of vulnerability when you do something new. When you hold onto an excuse your whole life there comes a moment when you begin to sabotage yourself because success becomes scarier than failure”.

Jessica concluded that her weight was not the boundary but more importantly it was her self-loathing and condemnation she had about her body image. She shares two important concepts:

  1. It’s easy to take care of something you value. The more you hate on your body the more stuck you are in that. Many times, we think of food as a reward but when you value yourself, you’ll pay a lot more attention to what your body needs. It’s okay to indulge in wine or chocolate on occasion but to do it in a loving nurturing way and not to escape an emotion.
  2. Diets have a time frame – 30 days for example, but what happens on day 31? Its makes much more sense to be on an “experiment”. The difference between a diet and an experiment is that an experiment is continual and flexible, but a diet has an end date or an “I’m exhausted date”. It takes experimentation to get your body adjusted off the inflammatory foods while working on the mind so that you can make healthy choices moving forward. Our bodies are continually aging and changing, and we need to adapt and learn what works for our bodies every single day. Every body is different; what works for one person may not work for someone else.

“If you’re waiting for someone to give you the answer for your perfect body, you’re never going to get there”. Jessica says, “You have to go within.”

Jessica points out its important to know that foods are designed to be addictive so we need not blame ourselves entirely. There’s a physical component of course but we’re sometimes looking for comfort or a familiar connection that makes us think we need to eat or have that daily glass or bottle of wine. Our brains are wired to have a positive outcome – to take care of us now; that is why we sometimes act in ways that bring a negative outcome even when that was not our intention. These acts which we think are going to be enjoyable, often create the opposite result.

Jessica offers a great quote by fellow tapping practitioner, Brad Yates, “Self-sabotage is simply misguided self-love”.

When people understand where they’re at and can be present in that stress, they can use techniques like tapping to free themselves of their negative behaviors. “It’s easy to focus on what’s not working but when we make it fun we can make it last; happiness is an adventure”, Jessica exclaims. We must intentionally reverse our brain’s natural reactions to make positive, sustainable changes.

Christa recommends an awesome book on this subject, Presence-Process-Healing-Journey-Awareness, by Michael Brown.

Steps to Transform with Tapping

Jessica leads us in a tapping demonstration (view the video for a visual instruction).

  • Tap on a craving
  • Think about what makes your mouth water (salty chips, sugary chocolate, wine?)
  • Let the craving intensify and notice where you feel the craving (mouth, chest, stomach?)
  • Rate the craving level from 1-10, with 10 being the highest most intense level
  • Set-up Statement: helps neutralize judgement. “This is how I feel and it’s okay”

 The Tapping Points

Side of the hand (doesn’t matter what side of hand)

Eyebrow (right on the bone on the inside where the hair begins)

Side of the eye (on bone)

Under eye (follow bone underneath eye)

Underneath nose

Underneath lip (at crease between lip and chin)

U-shaped bone on collar bone (tapping with whole hand on your chest also stimulates that point)

Underneath the arm (hand with underneath the armpit, at bra strap for ladies)

Top of the head

Begin with the side of the hand and make an affirmation statement like:

“Even though I’m craving this wine, I accept myself and how I feel. Even though I really want this wine because it’s been a long day, I accept myself and how I feel. Even though I’m really craving this wine, that is okay.”

Continue to give a voice to the craving.

Eyebrow – This craving for this wine.

Side of the eye – This craving in my chest.

Underneath the eye – This intense desire for wine.

Nose – I really want it right now.

Chin – I’m craving this wine.

Collar bone – My whole body wants this wine.

Underneath the arm – This intense craving is so strong.

Head – I’m fighting this craving I feel like I am losing, I really want this wine. It’s been a long day and I really want this wine.

Repeat and affirm reasoning

Side of hand – It’s been a long day.

Eyebrow – I have a lot to think about and have a lot on my plate right now.

Side of the eye – I give myself permission to relax.

Nose – With or without the wine.

Chin – I give myself permission to relax.

Collar bone- Even though it’s been a long day.

Head – I give Permission to relax now and to take a break.

Take a deep breath in and while tuning in to your solar plexus notice has this craving shifted and do you feel still the same tension? Most often, the craving is reduced or lifted completely!

When you’re in a relaxed, focused state, that’s when you can access all the wisdom you already possess. Through tapping you can access that connection you have with foods or alcohol which many of us are usually just not aware of those patterns. From where you are you can’t see it, but when you’re relaxed and not in a panic state you’ll recognize and understand what drives your cravings and learn how to not allow them to control your behavior.

What an informative and exciting interview! Be sure to check out Jessica’s website (including guided tapping meditations for morning and night) her book, Tapping-Solution-Weight-Loss-Confidence and also her Adventures in Happiness podcast on iTunes.

 

We’d love to hear how this episode has helped you on your fitness journey! Head over to iTunes or Stitcher and leave us a review with your comments. We’ll feature them in an upcoming show.

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Episode 31 – Tap Into Childhood to Understanding Adult Lifestyle Choices

Today we are excited to have Christa’s colleague and certified hypnotherapist, Anya Drapkin here to teach us how to tap into our childhood through Mind Zoning® to understand why we make certain food-related choices in adulthood. Stay tuned to the end, when Anya leads us through a ten-minute Mind Zoning® session!

 

As with any Mind Zoning® session make sure you’re taking a break from distractions, outside of your car, and have a space to “zone out” and let your mind unwind.

Childhood Patterns That Shape Our Adulthood Behaviors

During Anya’s educational training, she discovered how crucial the first seven years of life is for us when it comes to how we behave later in life. This time period serves as a template for how we relate to our environment, nature, our homes and even our food choices. This imprint period has been shown to directly shape our patterns, but is also the root which determines how our habits are formed. These engrained behaviors are unlikely to change unless we tap into them.

Our culture places a big importance on food and although we don’t want to shame the treats used in celebrations, such as birthday cake, we do need to be mindful of how these celebratory foods make us feel. From an early age, we are taught to associate food with comfort and happy times, and this relationship typically continues into adulthood. We “self-soothe” with food.

Anya points out that a child’s first interaction with their mother is being brought to the breast to be fed. The child feels loved, reassured, and the sweetness of the milk fills the brain with pleasure and there is a bond that forms over this encounter. This intimate moment is a core time that shows that love flows from mother to baby. This first nourishment soothes the brain for years and emotionally attaches the child to the food and the human it comes from.

As we grow, we don’t always get the same emotional support from humans that we can find from food. We may find ourselves using food, sugar or alcohols as a way to soothe and comfort ourselves – so this becomes a critical point where we need to analyze these patterns and behaviors we’ve brought into our adult lives.

Carbs, Sugar, and Alcohol

These substances in particular are to blame since they “fire up” the reward center in our brains. If you’ve ever tried to give up all or one of these things for a period of time, you’ve surely realized the emotional and physiological connection associated with these substances.

It makes better sense when we look back to the caveman stages of humanity (primarily what the paleo diet is based from) our brain is wired to keep us safe. When we eat sugar, it fires up our brain’s reward center and suddenly we feel happy and safe. In today’s times, it’s important for us to realize that our brain is simply trying to fix itself. We consume these foods because we are hardwired to do so. This realization may help to release the guilt we associate with consuming these substances that we know are not good for us. Although the brain is trying to recover that feeling of safety and comfort, it is actually creating havoc in our bodies. It’s important for us to create new patterns as a brain safety mechanism. Getting off the reliance of sugar, carbs and alcohol gives our bodies the freedom to create new neural pathways.

Tapping Into Childhood

Anya states that most people struggle with changing lifelong behaviors towards food and alcohol simply because of the ritual they’ve created around it. Patterns are built through repetition. We associate a lot of our eating habits with situations with emotional components and that we want to cherish and repeat. Many of these patterns ‘make us feel good’ and many times we use these habits to help us feel good in a pinch. We not only need to learn how to break the ritual but also the brain connection we have with it. Anya encourages, “We have to create a different, healthier way to get our means.”

Techniques How to Identify and Shift These Patterns

Anya focuses on:

  • Diving into the emotional state – We simply cannot address the inner soothing we need by giving ourselves quick sensations. Food doesn’t work on the cognitive level.
  • Empowering to use imagination – In our society we are trained to use our more logical left side of the brain. This is the product-driven, performance-based part that controls behaviors that make us successful. To evolve as humans, it’s important we pay more attention to the right side of the brain. This is the emotional, holistic part of us that makes up the meaning of life.

“Nothing has meaning other than the meaning you give to it.”

Anya asks her clients to envision and use imagery to tune in at this time, the conscious mind will go to what is most relevant. She says, “The power is about what the client’s subconscious needs to complete and it will soothe what the deeper being wants to receive.” Anya goes on to tell us, “The mind zoning space will bring you what’s missing and what the solution will be for you, outside of food. Sometimes it’s community or support and to engage in the people who want to support and love you.”

Now it’s your turn (guided hypnotherapy)

Find a safe space that you can relax and take a couple deep breaths

Know that you have all the talents and skills to get relaxed

Tune out visual stimulus and wiggle into a comfortable position

Feel the solid support beneath you

Begin to get in touch with your breath

Paying attention to your breath and the words

Notice any tight spots you’re holding tension

Feel the deep breaths in the bottom of your lungs

Feel the power of your muscles as you consciously inhale

On the exhale surrender into gravity

Trust the solid support beneath you

Keep deepening your breath

Tune into yourself

You’re the most interesting entity in this moment

Tune attention inward so you can fully benefit from your focus

Accept your focus

Let that be a possibility

Have unconditional acceptance and focus

You deserve it

You can take up space

Begin to move attention

Open your inner eye to a place where you can imagine things

You’re at the top of the staircase moving down

You see a big beautiful tree

So big it has a doorway

Walk around the tree

Walk up to the door

Behind the door is your childhood

A place where you were safe and felt good

Put your hands in the doorway and step through

Step into a place where you were much younger and smaller

Go into that place

How do you feel?

Notice the quality of the air

Notice who’s there

Where you are

That you’re okay

That you’re still in your imagination

Notice that this childhood mind is still in you

Notice what does this child want

Do you want to play?

Explore?

A hug?

Look at your childhood self and ask a question

“What do you want the most right now?”

“What are feeling right now?”

“What do you need?”

Anya asks us to think about, what would you tell your childhood self that would comfort them and give them an opportunity to grow and soothe their inner worries during that moment? These answers are the very things that we carry with us into adulthood.

For more information about Anya and her practices check out her website My Oasis for Healing.

If you enjoyed this Mind Zoning® session make sure you listen to Mountain Escape, on the Fitlandia website. You can sign up for a FREE, 2-week trial and unlock access to the entire collection and all the other member benefits for 2-weeks.

 

Want More? Click below and subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday!

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4 Home Workouts to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

4 Home Workouts to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Many people with the best fitness intentions and New Year’s fitness resolutions fail to stick to them by the end of January for two main reasons: they don’t have enough time to work out, or they hate the gym. If you fall into these categories but really want to commit to making permanent healthy habits this year, the solution may be closer than you think. By working out at home, you will save time commuting to the gym, and you will save yourself the anxiety of working out in front of strangers on unfamiliar equipment. Our X home workouts will help you save your New Year’s fitness resolution.

  1. Start Strength Training

Strength training is an important part of working out for everyone. With regular strength and resistance training, people reduce body fat and burn calories more efficiently for healthy weight loss. Lifting weights also helps preserve and build muscle mass and bones for people of all ages, and it increases resting metabolism by approximately 7% to help protect against muscle loss.

If you are going to workout at home, be sure to purchase dumbbells and kettlebells in the appropriate weights. If you’re a beginner, be sure to get weights that challenge you but won’t hurt you; you will increase the weight as you progress. With a quick search online, you can find various exercises that target certain body parts; for example, squatting with dumbbells works out the shoulders, arms, abs, and legs.

  1. Jump Rope

Jumping rope tones the upper and lower body all at the same time. It’s also a great way to work out because it increases your heart rate and helps you burn calories quickly. If you don’t have room in your home to swing a rope, do it in your driveway or front yard. Another option is to mimic the movement without using a real rope. Once you’re ready, bump up your jump rope workout by doing fast intervals and short recovery times. If jumping rope starts to get boring, spice it up by jumping on one leg, playing double-dutch with your kids, or jumping to your favorite songs.

  1. Follow Along with Online Workouts

There are tons of workout routines available online, and many are available free of charge. You can find beginner, intermediate, and expert workouts in addition to yoga routines, dance fitness classes, step aerobics, and more. If you’ve never tried an online workout before, search YouTube for the type of exercise you want to do. Then, see how many views the video you choose has and how many people gave it a thumbs up. Chances are, you will enjoy a workout video that’s been viewed more often and has more thumbs up than one that only a few people have seen or liked.

Another option is to subscribe to an online workout program and stream it whenever you have some free time, either at home or at the office. When you subscribe to streaming workouts, you feel like you have a personal trainer. Some people also stick to these workouts because they know they will have options and won’t have to keep searching for workouts since the subscription delivers them to you.

  1. Practice Yoga 

For people who like to wind down at the end of the day and don’t want to run to a gym or a yoga studio, practicing yoga is an ideal at-home workout option. Put on comfy clothes, roll out your yoga mat, turn on your essential oil diffuser, play relaxing music or soothing sounds, and start stretching and getting into your practice. If you’ve taken yoga classes before, you can get started right away, or  you can subscribe to a yoga channel that provides daily email, a calendar, and a routine to follow so you stay accountable and on track with your New Year’s resolution.

Working out at home is one of the easiest ways to stay on track with your New Year’s resolution and develop healthy habits. You won’t waste time commuting to a gym, and you’ll be more comfortable working out in the comfort of your own home. Working out at home also eliminates most people’s excuses for skipping their workouts, especially if you purchase the essential equipment ahead of time.


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Episode 30 – Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

We’re pleased to welcome Functional Medicine Practitioners, Doctors Mark and Michele Sherwood, to talk with us about how to live and benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet.

Background

Dr. Michele Sherwood began working in functional medicine after she began noticing that she addressed her patients more by their specific medications or diseases, instead of by their names. She had earned a naturopath degree before medical school and was now realizing she was simply prescribing maintenance medicines to her patients; a type of “band aid”. She discovered a dramatic improvement in her patients and in her practice when she began to look at the root cause and their life as a whole; including nutrition, activity level, hormonal balances, stress, and sleep patterns which can feed into sickness and disease.

Mark and Michele, besides being married, also have a wellness-based medical practice. They work with genetics, excessive fat reduction, medication reduction and improvement of muscle tissue and texture. Simply put, they’re working to eliminate self-imposed choice driven sickness and diseases from the planet.

By helping to get the focus off obsessing over weight and transitioning to eating whole foods and being healthier overall, Mark and Michele are hoping to work themselves out of jobs.

Get healthy on purpose and lose weight on accident

Mark states, “Anytime we talk about a program where weight loss is included, it’s important to remember, you cannot lose muscle tissue.” Muscle tissue is the way we move our bodies, without it, we’re dying. When we focus on maintaining muscle, we lose fat and overall body composition and our longevity improves.

When focusing on overall body composition it’s a good ratio for 10%-20% body fat for men and 18%-28% for woman. When this is normalized, physical health and emotional health improves.

In their practice, they use an analysis called Bioimpedance for examining body composition. This is different than BMI (Body Mass Index) that measures below, in the middle or above a certain range for body composition but doesn’t actually measure the actual body mass. Conversely, Bioimpedance evaluates lean body mass; how much is withheld, fat inflammatory mass, intracellular and outer cellular water and basal metabolic rate. This is a more accurate measure of cellular health.

This is used as a base line evaluation of a body’s composition and how many calories are necessary to be properly fueled. Mark and Michele use this to study and develop individual plans for their patients. They’re also working on point specific genetics dealing with metabolic health and sports components. Stay tuned for a future podcast where we’ll dive into this information on what chronic inflammation can do this to our bodies and techniques like these that can be used to target solutions.

Now, how does our food inflame us right into disease?

Inflammation, when acute, is how we heal. When it becomes chronic is when it becomes problematic and is the first signs of sickness or disease.

Roughly 80% of the inflammation in our bodies is coming in through our mouths.

When we eat foods that inflame our system, they’re disguised as macronutrients when in reality, they’re simply just macro calories. If we have an efficient, healthy body when we eat foods with good macro nutrient quality, we can get the micro nutrients out of these foods. If not, our bodies start to get inflamed and break them down one organ at a time which can result in hormone imbalances, weight gain, back pain, digestion issues, brain fog, etc.

Known inflammatory foods  

A good pneumonic for these foods is, S.A.D. which stands for the Standard American Diet.

This includes:

  • Fried Foods
  • Sugars, Artificial Sweeteners, Soda
  • Processed Foods and Preservatives – including processed sandwich meats
  • MSG – fillers found in dressings, cookies, spices etc.
  • Excessive Caffeine – 200-300 milligrams more than daily amount
  • Excessive Alcohol – 1-2 drinks a week
  • Corn, Soy, Yeast, Grains and Bread
  • Anything found in a box or package
  • Any foods with added ingredients to change the foods nature or preserve it

 Anti-inflammatory foods to enjoy

Anything that grows in the land, aside from certain food allergies, is going to be much easier for the body to identity and digest. Including more of these types of foods will start to improve your health and mood in as little time as a week!

  • Raw fruits – lower glycemic so you watch sugar levels, but also include nutrients and vitamins
  • Vegetables – no limits to greens. Vegetables help alkalize the system and help with digestion, they also provide lots of minerals and fiber.
  • Hormone free, grass-fed meat
  • Pasture raised eggs
  • Fish – fresh cod and farm-raised fish like trout

Pro Tip: 75% of your plate = vegetables and then make healthy fat choices for the remaining 25%.

What to expect when transitioning to an anti- inflammatory diet

  • Increase in energy which helps release brain fog
  • Better digestion which boosts weight loss
  • Look out for perceived fatigue because of blood sugar dropping – don’t quit – have a piece of fruit, and let your mind and body start to adjust.
  • Don’t focus on depravity but welcome the new journey of releasing toxins and overcoming the brain, gut connectivity we have to certain foods.

It’s helpful to stay connected and you’ll be three times more successful with support and accountability partners. Here at Fitlandia we have an amazing group of people who will help you every step of the way.

Mark states, “Don’t dabble in your health, it’s not a part time job but a full-time life.”

Ready to try out an anti-inflammatory diet and reclaim your health with both mental and nutritional support?

Our next No Fools’ Detox starts on 5/15/17. Only 15 spots available! A FREE, 1-yr membership to Fitlandia is included ($228 value). Our listeners get 20% off. See below for details.

REGISTER TODAY! 

(THANKS FOR LISTENING! Save 20% and enter EPISODE30 at checkout)

Want More? Subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday!

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How Your Junk Food Reward for Exercise is Killing Your Goals

Wow! That was a great workout! You feel motivated. You feel proud. You did it!

You are taking steps toward your goals and burning those calories like nobody’s business! Time for a little sweet treat to reward yourself, right?

Think again.

Reaching for that cookie to reward yourself for your workout might just be the very thing that is making your healthy lifestyle journey so difficult.

Why?

Our brains are malleable substances. They notice, learn, and adopt patterns and behaviors without us consciously realizing it. This can be great for learning basic skills as a child, but it can be detrimental to our success when trying to permanently adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Though after a great workout we may think to ourselves, “Hey, I worked really hard. I’ve totally earned a little sweet treat!” you may want to think about what is really going on.

Rewarding our good behaviors with opposing, less desirable behaviors can actually trigger our brain to derail and fall back into our old lifestyles of unhealthy eating and reward systems.

Even just one cookie as a reward can lead you off course. One cookie can easily trigger your brain to fall into an addictive behavior…until it’s not just one cookie anymore.

It’s a cookie after every workout. It’s a cookie a week. It’s a cookie a day. And down you go into old habits that fight against the healthy lifestyle you are aiming for.

Try A New Perspective.

Consider the calorie count. The average cookie, muffin, donut or other favorite sweet treat contains about the same amount of calories that you burn from a really great 1 hour workout.

So you are you really “earning” the cookie at all?

No, you are simply equaling out your hard earned calorie deficit and leaving yourself exactly where you started.

There is no need to feel ashamed! A cookie is by no means the end of the world.

It is GREAT to enjoy a cookie every once in awhile. But for no other reason than to enjoy it.

No reward. No harmful triggers to the brain. No falling back into old addictive behaviors. Just savoring a cookie and being okay with that!

Shame is Not the Answer.

The brain is a tricky thing and understanding it is the first step to being able to effectively mold it and create permanent lifestyle habits that will lead you the healthy life you desire.

Rewards work in our brain because of our ancestor’s need of basic survival. This is important when considering food because when our ancestors could eat, they could live.

Unfortunately, this system in our brain can now fight against us in a time when we can find plenty of food easily on the shelf at the store or in our very own pantry.

When we eat, our brain releases chemicals that make us feel good and tells us we are doing something right. But today, we have to make these associations with the right foods to support a healthy lifestyle.

Making these permanent changes is not about your willpower, it is about encouraging your brain to make positive choices that are associated with the healthy lifestyle you want. You can learn more about this in our article, Willpower is a Myth and a Lie. Learn How to Change Your Habits for Good!

So next time you finish that amazing workout, give it a second thought before reaching for that cookie and try creating new reward responses in your brain. Give yourself a nice big glass of cold water, find a positive quote for the day, or snack on a bit of tasty fruit. Your body AND your mind will thank you!

Ready to adopt new thought patterns and perspectives to support your healthy lifestyle? Download the Mind Zoning® app for FREE today!

References:

Grohol, John M. “MIT explains why bad habits are hard to break.” World of Psychology: Psych

Central (2005): https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2005/10/20/mit-explains-why-bad

-habits-are-hard-to-break/

Yau, Yvonne H. C., and Marc N. Potenza. “Stress and Eating Behaviors.” Minerva

endocrinologica 38.3 (2013): 255–267. Print.

Berridge, Kent C. “Food reward: Brain substrates of wanting and liking.” Neuroscience and

Behavioral Review 20.1 (1996): 1-25.

Articles for inspiration:

https://wayofgray.com/cheat-meals-good-bad/

http://sixpackforgirls.com/avoid-ruining-your-diet-over-the-weekend

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-to-overcome-food-addiction/

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=1990

https://paleoleap.com/reward-yourself-without-food/

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-food-addiction-works/


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Episode 29 – Is a “Gluten Free” Diet Just a Fad?

This week we bring back regular guest, Dr. Jerome Craig, to teach us all about living a gluten free lifestyle. As you may know, Dr. Craig is the voice, vision and wisdom behind many of our Fitlandia webinars.


Today we’re talking about being gluten free and asking if it is just another diet fad or truly beneficial for our health. If you’ve listened to previous Fitlandia podcasts you know we’re passionate about bringing credible, science-backed information to our listeners – no more fads, no more diets, no more quick fixes. So, this gluten free thing is a hot topic right now, and was initially thought to be healthy. But now there’s a backlash about the research, or lack thereof about the health benefits of eating gluten free.

So, we posed this question to Dr. Craig, “Do you believe being gluten free is a diet fad?”

He tells us that it’s become a very popular way of eating. The statistics show that 20 million Americans are eating gluten free and a third of those people are trying to avoid gluten. It’s very much front and center in today’s culture.
So, is it a fad? Yes, no and maybe. It is a necessity for everyone? Yes, no and maybe. Dr. Craig states, it’s important to look at the science.
It’s hard to say, one way or another, exactly what being gluten free or not will do for your body but a diet concentrated mostly on any grain isn’t going to be the most nutritious. The best thing about grains is how much fiber they provide. Fiber is good for us, helping to maintain blood glucose levels but also creates digestive distress for many people and that’s when the gluten argument gets a little foggy.

So, what is gluten?gluten

Typically, we know of gluten as the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is made up of two molecules that are added together; a larger, polymeric glutenin and a smaller protein, gliadin. When combined, they create a lot of stickiness. As wheat is ground and kneaded into dough, it becomes very elastic which is popular in bread making. The air molecules within the dough are trapped, making the bread strong and fluffy.

This is where the science and the argument come in – the gluten free market place is a huge industry now. Dr. Craig tells us, “The gluten free market has more than doubled in sales between 2011 and 2016 and today is a $15 billion market.”
Although thriving, these products are not necessarily better for you, just because they are gluten free. Most of these baked goods are corn or rice based and don’t provide us more nutrition.

Gluten Free Society posts a variety of glutens. Their argument is with 400 glutens occurring in nature; only 40 of those exist in the human food supply. Most seeds are made with components that are meant to be protected and not digested. These seeds are grown so animals eat and spread them to reassure regrowth of the plants. For optimal health and digestion, it is recommended to not only watch wheat glutens, but all grains because every grain has gluten in it.

That’s right; gluten is not just in wheat, rye and barley but also rice, corn and millet which are used in gluten free foods. These all have a group of plant storage proteins, called prolamins, which for most of us are not easily digestible. If we look back at traditional ways of making breads, they used to ferment it. These grains required time to absorb water and the fermentation process gave the bread the gluten-like texture we know and love.

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like they Used To

Today, however, commercial bakeries use a gluten concentrate in creating doughs. This modern way of milling flour strips the nutrients, leaving the starch and then the concentrate is added to make the bread fluffy again. This is why eating “gluten” causes intestinal distress for so many people because our immune systems and guts are reacting to it. Additives such as coloring, sweeteners, shortening and bleaching agents are added to commercial bread products and are not usually labeled because they’re not technically food ingredients. No wonder our bodies are inflamed!

One of our big issues with gluten today is with studies of Celiac; a serious genetic autoimmune disorder. Celiac provokes problems with the immune system if gluten is consumed. Most celiacs have to follow a strict gluten free diet. Even non-celiac people may have sensitivity to wheat/ gluten because many ingredients in wheat can be problematic. The best way to feel better is to avoid eating these types of foods for a period of time, and there are certain probiotics that may help people digest gluten.

Dr. Craig points out, “If you eliminate all grains from your diet, you’re going to change your body’s microbiology. This colony changes when you change what you eat, and when a certain food is eliminated and then brought back into the diet later – there is likely to be difficulties with digestion.”
Studies do show people who suffer with gut inflammation, leaky gut or IBS greatly benefit from a grain free diet. Eliminating grains not only helps us cut out wheat glutens but we naturally incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet instead of processed foods. This gives us greater health benefits by increasing our nutrients and helping to manage blood sugar levels.

It’s not about replacing the gluten with other non-gluten baked goods but transitioning into more of a “paleo style” way of eating by removing all flours and adding in more root vegetables and nutrient dense foods. We need to listen to our bodies. When we slow down and pay attention to how our body feels, we can use that as a guide for dietary choices. The easiest way to see what might be causing you inflammation is to take a break from it, see how great your body feels, and introduce it back slowly later if you choose.

Tips on Reintroducing Foods Back Into Your Diet

Grains for example:
• Look up fermentable ways to make your own bread so you know exactly what you’re adding in to it
• Start with consuming small amounts and see if you feel any gastrointestinal distress
• Probiotics which help with digestion – some in the bacillus or lactobacillus family or any lactate fermenting will help break down these foods.

With so many people suffering from gut inflammation and borderline immune dysfunction, its no wonder that being gluten free has become so popular and is seen as a trending fad.

People who experience food disorders or GI distress tend to benefit from a low FODMAP diet. A low FODMAP diet, or FODMAP elimination diet, refers to a temporary eating pattern that has a very low amount of food compounds called FODMAPs.

The acronym, as described by co-creator Sue Shepard, stands for:

• Fermentable – meaning they are broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the large bowel
• Oligosaccharides – “oligo” means “few” and “saccharide” means sugar. These molecules are made up of individual sugars joined together in a chain
• Disaccharides – “di” means two. This is a double sugar molecule
• Monosaccharides – “mono” means single. This is a single sugar molecule
• And Polyols – these are sugar alcohols (however, they don’t lead to intoxication!)

This way of eating is primarily beneficial for people with GI problems because any fructans, the fructose molecule found in wheat are removed as well as plant fibers which lead to bacterial overgrowth in the gut.

Leaky gut can also be caused by a gluten dense diet resulting in a buildup of antibodies to the hormone, Zonulin. This hormone, which acts like a border control in the gut, opens up gap junctions allowing large particles to pass through. However, gluten stimulates the release of Zonulin which can promote leaky gut.

How do glutens affect autoimmune disease?

Protein molecules that define a grain may be mistaken by our immune system to look like the digestive tract called molecular mimicry. Hyperpermeability, or the increase of permeability (leaky gut), is at the heart of immune dysfunction. Protein leaks out of the digestive tract directly into the blood stream which creates a negative response in our bodies. This can be caused by food particles or toxins that make it across the bacteria that lines the gut. Our bodies become hyper-vigilant and when the immune system dials in with an unrecognizable substance in the system, our bodies can start attacking its own cells. To help with this, we want to broaden the spectrum of probiotic foods in our diet, since we tend to miss out on nutrients if we eliminate food groups for long periods of time.

For people who are trying to reintroduce foods back to their diets, Dr. Craig suggests starting with fermented foods which are easier to digest. A small amount of toxins help to keep our immune system alert and makes it easier to adjust after detoxification.

As you start reintroducing foods look for:

• Family history (especially celiac) to try and avoid gluten and grains
• Gut inflammation (heart burn, IBS) correlations with food allergies
• Intestinal permeability (many food sensitives) you will start to react to more foods
• Skin issues (eczema, psoriasis, discoloring, bruising)
• Digestion (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn)
• Brain function (brain fog, hard time concentrating, fatigue after meals which are all associated with immune function and a difficulty regulating blood sugar and insulin levels.
• Anxiety / Depression – inflammatory process which grains tend to feed into this response

For more on how grains affect our neurological health, check out Grain Brain by David Perlmutter.
If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms we’ve talked about or are curious about eating grain or gluten free, it’s worthwhile to try it for your body. Our food controls every function of our bodies; our mood, energy and our digestion.
When you look out for your gut, your gut will look out for you!

Here are some helpful tips:

• Focus on understanding how your body feels – food journaling is beneficial
• Use framework of how you’re doing with eliminating or reintroducing foods (Christa uses a scale 1-5)
• Look at avoiding pesticides and glyphosates in commercial foods which damage the gut microbiome
• Be confident in your journey in finding what best works for your body

Do you love Dr. Craig as much as we do? You can join his online Nutritional Ketosis program that launches April 23rd. A FREE, 1-yr membership to Fitlandia is included ($228 value). Our listeners get 20% off. See below for details.

REGISTER TODAY! 

(save 20% and enter LOVEKETO at checkout – good through 4/14)

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Episode 28 – Stories of Transformation with Gina & Kris Robert

Long-time (30 years!) friend of Christa, Gina Robert and her husband Kris, join the Fitlandia Podcast to talk about their incredible lifestyle overhaul. They’ll share how they managed to make amazing healthy changes in spite of both of them having full-time jobs and 4 children, 2 of them under 10! This episode is filled with laughs as they all speak openly about what it takes to make a permanent lifestyle change.

 

The show opens with Christa cracking up as Gina says, “She looks just like she did in high school, except without the bangs.” After the ladies recall they’ve known each other for over 30 years, first meeting in high school, they settle in to talk more about their collective fitness journeys. Through the power of Facebook, they’ve been able to watch each other’s transformation over time.

Kris shares his story of growing up in sports and how he started to lose his healthy fitness habits in college to focus on his studies. He also notes the typical college lifestyle of not-so-healthy food in the cafeteria and drinking. As a teacher he found he was stress eating too. He would make attempts over the years with Weight Watchers and/or brief stints at the gym.

Kris was  diagnosed morbidly obese and found it increasingly difficult to find clothes that fit. He knew he had to make a change.

Gina then brought to his attention a challenge at Fit Body Bootcamp where they both signed up! Feeling a bit skeptical at first, Kris then became hooked through their challenges where he’s now

  • lost over 60 lbs since September 2016
  • has all normal blood work, including cholesterol for the first time in his life
  • lost 15% body fat
  • inspired now to help others on their own fitness journey
  • reversed digestive issues

Gina was personally motivated after her daughter turned 2 and after having a c-section, she wanted to get her body, especially her stomach feeling fit and doctors told her to reactivate these muscles. Well that inspired her to look at her total body the same way – that it was time to reactivate ALL of her muscles to get fit.

Previously, they would let their healthy food spoil so now they are saving money by making time to cook and using the healthy food they buy. Gina’s gotten very creative using spices and veggies to change up using base proteins like chicken – and even her kids are gobbling it up!

Kris and Gina then go on to talk about their #1 tip: PLANNING for meal prep.

Sunday is their big prep day together and they’ll take the time to get all of their veggies prep. When they do need to eat out, they just make healthy choices.

Christa, Kris and Gina commiserate on the negative attitudes they hear from others on how hard it is to give up X or they don’t have enough time for X. It’s just a matter of changing habits. Christa then talks about the power of Mind Zoning® to change the neural pathways in the brain.

Together they all discuss how unhealthy foods are a part of our culture and how to integrate the occasional treat. They are sticking with their new diet because they finally know what it feels like to feel normal and how that outweighs that brief moment of indulgence with cake. Kris wraps up with his favorite tip to have your favorites on hand. Try new things, yes, but when you’re really busy, have your go-to meal available. Final thoughts from them all – have positive thoughts! Get the Mind Zoning® app free here.

“Focus on what you’re gaining and not what you’re giving up.” – Christa

 

Show Gina & Kris some love and head over to iTunes or Stitcher (click below) to download this episode, give us a rating and tell us what you got out of hearing their story today.

 

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