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Friday, October 23, 2015

6 tips on if it's Bogus

      As a personal trainer and someone into fitness and living a healthy lifestyle I often get approached by people wanting me to try their weight loss products and other supplements. They claim their products has helped them meet their goals and others and they believe it will help me achieve my goals and of course my clients goals. Me being the person I am which is skeptical, start asking 20 questions and that is when I find out that this person often doesn't know a thing about the product itself or what is in it. Kind of scary huh, knowing that companies will have just about anyone selling their products promising great out comes with little knowledge of what is actually in it.
      I am one who doesn't like to use supplements to achieve my goals anyways.  That doesn't mean I don't use supplements. I take a daily multi vitamin and BCAA's during my work out and on occasion I have a protein powder paired with a piece of fruit for a quick meal on the go. I try my hardest to stay away from highly processed foods as much as possible and rely on what nature gave us. My reason for this has a lot to do with my Epilepsy and the medication I take. Certain combination of foods and ingredients in supplements can interfere with my medication and can cause me to have a seizure if I am not careful. I do encourage my clients to eat healthy whole foods as well and NOT to rely on supplements and "quick fixes" when it comes living a healthy lifestyle especially when it comes to losing weight.
       As many of you know there are so many products out there that promise you fast results whether it be to lose weight, build muscle or even to detox. But how does one know if these products are true to their word? In this day and age you find information is rampant on the internet and is continually being revised and created and this is no exception when it comes to diet and exercise products. Internet information comes in many forms such as facts, statistics, stories and opinions. This information is created for many purposes such as to entertain, inform, to persuade, to sell, or to influence an individual and varies in quality from good to bad. Many claims you will find are misleading and are supposedly backed by scientific sounding statements making it difficult for even informed consumers to separate fact from fiction. 
       But with all these products that promise fast and permanent results and the vase information that is on the internet how can you tell if a product is true to what they say or just another product out to get your money? The general rule of thumb is:   If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The following are "red flags" that may help you spot a "quack".
  •  The promoter claims that the medical establishment is against him or her and that the government won't accept this new "alternative" treatment.  If the government or medical community doesn't accept a treatment, it's because the treatment hasn't been proven to work. Reputable professionals don't suppress knowledge about fighting disease On the contrary, they welcome new remedies for illness, provided the treatments have been carefully tested.
  • The promoter uses testimonials and anecdotes from satisfied customers to support claims. Valid nutrition information come from careful experimental research, not from random tales. A few people's reports that the product in question "works every time" are never acceptable as sound scientific evidence.
  •   The promoter uses a computer- scored questionnaire for diagnosing "nutrient deficiencies." Those computers are programmed to suggest that just about everyone has a deficiency that can reversed with supplements the promoter just happens to be selling, regardless of the consumers symptoms or health. 
  •   The promoter claims that the product will make weight lose easy. Unfortunately, there is no simple way to lose weight. Again, if a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  •    The promoter promises the product is made with a "secret formula" available only from this one company Legitimate healthy professional share their knowledge of proven treatment so that other can benefit from it.
  •   The treatment is available only through the back pages of magazines, over the phone, or by mail-order ads in the form of news stories or 30 minute commercials commonly known as infomercials in talk show format. Results of studies on credible treatments are reported first in medical journals and then administered by a doctor or other healthy professional. If information about a treatment appears only elsewhere, it probably cannot withstand scientific scrutiny.
Notice I am not calling out  any specific products here. I am sure you may have some products that come to mind when you read these "red flags". My goal here is to educate you on how to choose the quality of supplements no matter where you may buy  them from. The first thing you need to realize is that the bases of a healthy lifestyle comes from healthy eating habits, physical activity  and proper rest and self care. Supplements are there to help fill in the gaps if you will when needed and and only should be used when needed and not depended on. 

If you need any guidance on diet or exercise you can contact me at and I will be glad to help you. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Epilepsy and Exercise

Epilepsy and Exercise

 As many of you know I have Epilepsy and throughout my journey, I have often wondered if becoming more active, fit, and healthy has affected this seizure disorder. I know as a personal trainer that proper diet, rest and exercise can help increase one's over all well being and help prevent or reduce the effects of many chronic diseases and conditions such as Epilepsy.  As an epileptic myself I wanted to find out just how much living a healthy lifestyle can effect my seizure disorder.  The following information is based on my own research and what I have learned through my Post Rehabilitation Exercise Specialist Certification on the subject.

Please Note: * I am not a doctor.   These are my thoughts and personal experiences gained through my knowledge and research. Everyone is unique and every case of Epilepsy is unique. Keep in mind, because something has worked for me does not guarantee that it will work for you. Always discuss any diet or exercise plan with a Medical Professional. 

What is Epilepsy?

By definition Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurring attacks of motor, sensory, or cognitive dysfunction, with or without convulsive seizures or loss of consciousness. But to put it visually  imagine Thor's hammer coming down with brute force on your brain disrupting  the  regular electrical impulses of the brain thus causing a seizure.  

For those who have Epilepsy it is more of a lifestyle. You tend to live on the side of caution because many times you have no idea when or where a seizure may occur. For some their seizures are so unpredictable and frequent that they have to wear a helmet for protection.  It's a life of testing and finding the right medication to help control you which often has harsh side effects. Being epileptic you may have to give up things such as driving or certain social events due to triggers and unpredictably of when a seizure may occur. Many times it means a life of solitude and isolation due to a lack on understanding what Epilepsy is. Those who have epilepsy find themselves fearing their disorder causing them to limit themselves in life. They want to live what they would deem as a normal life but their fear and the lack of knowledge or encouragement on where to begin often gets in the way of them pursuing their dreams. 

My goal with this blog is to give you some new found knowledge, hope and a place to start when if comes to achieving your life goals.

Can you exercise if you have Epilepsy?

Simply having Epilepsy does not mean that you cannot exercise. An individual with Epilepsy can take part in almost all sports an physical activities provided they do so using common sense and some restriction when indicated. A critical factor in recommending an planning exercise programs for individuals with epilepsy is seizure control.  You need to ensure that you are as safe as possible when exercising or participating in sports. Normally, families or the individual become overprotective when they or a loved one has been diagnosed with Epilepsy. They typically are not encourage exercise due to the fear of physical activity inducing a seizure which will lead to an isolated and sedentary lives, but studies have shown that people with Epilepsy can achieve the same physiological and psychological benefits from regular physical exercise that apparently healthy individuals do.
The fact is, that exercise can help those who suffer with Epilepsy and should be encouraged. Rather than triggering a seizure, physical activity may reduce your chances of a seizure by 30% to 40% for those who have epilepsy . Although the reasons are unclear, studies have shown that abnormalities on an EEG (a test that measures the electrical activity of the brain) decrease during exercise. My personal thought on why living a healthy active lifestyle helps reduce or prevent seizures from occurring is because many of the common triggers for those who have epilepsy are hormonal . Living a healthy lifestyle by getting proper rest, exercise and eating a healthy diet will help balance you metabolism in your hormones which in theory will help reduce or prevent some epileptic seizure from happening. 

If nothing else living a healthy active lifestyle will help those with epilepsy counter act some of the harsh side effects of anti-epileptic medications which are the most common source of treatment. Exercise has been  proven to benefit those with depression, anxiety, and fatigue by giving one the sense of over all well being and a boost in self esteem. Some anti-epileptic medications may lead to bone loss (osteopenia and osteoporosis) a large studies suggest a doubling of fracture risk in people with epilepsy. Weight-bearing exercise  along with a healthy balanced diet can help prevent these conditions by increase bone density making your bone stronger.

Other problems with anti-epileptic medications are blurred vision or problems with concentration, impaired coordination and slower response times, so it's best to take any new exercise program slowly so that you ease into it. You may have to modify the exercise until you become more comfortable in preforming the exercise or movement. Just because you may have trouble with coordination does not mean you will not be able to do the exercise or movement. With persistence, practice, motivation and determination you can and will be able to do anything you put your mind too.

Personal Note: I have fought with lack of coordination and do find it very frustrating when starting something new that take a lot of coordination, but have found that yes it may take me longer to get it right, but it is not out of reach and very much worth the self satisfaction of achieving that goal

I have said this in the beginning of this blog and will probably say many more times throughout this blog, before you start an exercise program consult your doctor. Another very important reason for this is because exercise can alter the levels of anti-epileptic medications in the blood. People taking anti-epileptic medications who exercise regularly should discuss with their doctor the need to have their blood levels monitored (especially in the first few months of training). Also make sure you do not take any type of supplement without consulting your doctor as well because many of the supplements may interfere with your medication.

Personal note:  Since I began exercising, I have noticed the levels of my medication have dropped. The reason this happens is because exercise and a good diet help your metabolism go in high gear meaning it processes everything faster.  From digestion to burning fat to how fast your medication goes through your body. Though my levels have been low, I have been mainly controlled and have only had seizures when my blood sugar is low or I am stress/tired. This tells me from my personal experience that it may be  possible to control at least the frequency of seizures in most cases by proper diet, exercise and rest.

Can you have a seizure while exercising?

It is very RARE that someone will have a seizure while exercising. Physical activity can lead to dehydration and low blood sugar, both of which can make a seizure more likely post workout. If one were triggered, a seizure would normally occur 15 minutes to 3 hours after your work out. Prevention is key and knowing how to listen to your body and knowing your seizure triggers (more on this later in the blog)  will help prevent a seizure from happening during or after exercise. You must stay hydrated throughout the day, during your workout and after. Be watchful for signs of low blood sugar such as: headache, nausea, dizziness confusion, agitation and hunger. To ensure your blood sugar does not fall below normal, it’s best to eat a well balanced meal before and after a workout. Also, do not push yourself to hard. Fatigue can also increase your risk of a seizure as well as lack of sleep and an elevated body temperature.

Personal Note: I have had a seizure while exercising. I did have a pre-workout meal but time got the best of me and I was unable to begin right away. This caused my next meal to be late and my blood sugar to drop.  I have also noticed on days where I don’t get enough sleep that my eyes play tricks on me (my way of knowing something is off and that I may have a possible seizure). On days like this, I take off from training and just rest, which does help. I have ended up having seizures if I try to push myself to hard. So from personal experiences, I have to say yes, these things are very important in ensuring your safety while exercising and just in general. 

It is important for people with difficult to control seizures or are new to exercising need to have someone with them who knows what to do if they have a seizure. This person must be able to carry out the necessary first aid.

 Also great care must be taken when participating in water sports. Activity in and around water should never be performed when alone. Friends and family should be aware of the possibility of the occurrence of a seizure and be CPR certified and trained for an emergency situation.


Other ways to stay safe during exercise if you are Epileptic are

  • Before starting a new exercise program, consult with a Medical Professional (I know I repeat this a lot but it is VERY important)
  • Avoid known seizure triggers ( more on this below)
  • Always take your medication as prescribed and have an adequate supply available
  • Don’t continue to exercise if you feel faint, lightheaded or nauseous
  • Don’t overexert yourself, know your limits
  • Make sure your coach/teammates are aware of your condition and know what to do if you have a seizure.
  • Wear protective gear appropriate to your sport, such as helmet or knee pads. Always wear a life jacket when involved in water sports.
  • Let family or friends know you are walking, jogging or other solo activity and know the route before you leave and how long you will be gone.
  • Consider wearing a Medical alert bracelet to let other know you have Epilepsy
  • Consider carrying a mobile phone with an ICE (in case of emergency) telephone number listed
  • If swimming or exercising in water, make sure you NEVER swim alone
  • If swimming or exercising in water, make sure who you are with is aware of your condition and is physically capable to support you and know what to do if you have a seizure.
  • If swimming or exercising in water, make sure you swim in supervised areas, such as in a public pool with an attendant or at the beach between the flags where lifeguards are on patrol

There are certain exercises you may want to avoid if you suffer from Epilepsy especially if you are uncontrolled and they are:

  • Contact sports, scuba diving, bungee-jumping and boxing
  • Solo aerial sports such as hang-gliding and skydiving
  • High altitude activities such as mountain-climbing
  • Motor sports
  • Horseback riding
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice activities such as skating or hockey
  • Skiing
  • Solo water sports such as sailing or sailboarding.

Epilepsy Triggers and Exercise-related epilepsy triggers

Epilepsy is unique for each individual that suffers from it depending on what area of the brain the seizure occurs and what functions that part of the brain controls. Those who have Epilepsy have what we call triggers and those too will differ from person to person who suffer from Epilepsy. The triggers may not always be clear but those who do suffer from Epilepsy, like myself, seem to be very in tuned with their bodies. Many still lack the knowledge on why they feel that way or why the trigger may be happening.  Symptoms such as feeling dizzy or light headed, which is commonly caused by low blood sugar or low sodium levels, are common seizure triggers. There are several common natural remedies that may aid in alleviating triggers and reduce chances of having a seizure. There are several forms of Epilepsy so there is not a common cure. These remedies may not work for all of us, but with known triggers, should be considered with the guidance of their doctor.

Common Epilespy triggers 
  • Specific time of day or night
  • Sleep deprivation – overtired, not sleeping well, not getting enough sleep
  • At times of fevers or other illnesses
  • Flashing bright lights or patterns
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Stress
  • Associated with menstrual cycle (women) or other hormonal changes
  • Not eating well, low blood sugar
  • Specific foods, excess caffeine or other products that may aggravate seizures
  • Use of certain medications
  • Sudden temperature change in the body
These are the triggers that are related to exercise:
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dehydration (and electrolyte loss, due to severe dehydration)
  • Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)

Suggestions to help you avoid these triggers include:

  • Make sure you take your medication according to your doctor’s directions.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
  • Don’t push yourself to the point of physical exhaustion.
  • If you are feeling very hot and tired, slow down or stop.
  • Make sure you have at least two rest days every week.
  • Make sure your diet is nutritionally adequate.
  • Get plenty of rest and good quality sleep.
  • Limit or abstain from alcohol
  • Make sure you do a proper warm up and cool down before and after exercise
I would like to share some practical knowledge, instead of facts gleaned from research. While reading, I immediately thought of the wealth of information I have obtained as a Personal Trainer. I realized what I already knew had a lot to do with some of the common triggers for Epilepsy which are due to hormone fluctuations such as low blood sugar, lack of sleep, stress, menstrual cycle and puberty .

Common triggers for those who are epileptic:

*Extreme fatigue lack of sleep
*Dehydration and other electrolyte loss due to severe dehydration
* Hyperthermia
*Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
* Menstrual Cycle and puberty

You may be noticing that I am repeating myself, I am. All of these triggers are hormone related. We have some control in maintaining optimal hormone levels with proper diet exercise and rest. The only hormones we may not be able to control is during puberty or for women their menstrual cycle.  In this day in age, we as a society have completely lost connection with our bodies. We have disregarded the difference between whole foods and processed and refined junk. We fill our bodies with meats full of synthetic hormones and steroids and a myriad of other products that contain GMO’s coupled with poor food choices and busy lifestyles, we do not eat at appropriate times. Finally, when we do eat, we end up overeating, causing our metabolism to go all out of whack. Not getting the proper amount of sleep, eating healthy and exercise  right just because we believe we do not have the time to do all these things can factor into throwing our metabolism off.

Don’t think this plays a big factor? Well, all these things affect our metabolism which is our hormones. Now, as I stated above, hormone fluctuation is a common seizure trigger. Starting with our sex hormones as we grow and change from children to adults, to our Insulin hormones, which affects our blood sugar.  Since Insulin is a hormone, knowing that low blood sugar is a common trigger for those who not only have Diabetes but Epilepsy as well. If you exercise and don’t eat before your workout, your blood sugar will drop. When blood sugar drops and you are an epileptic, you put yourself at risk of having a seizure.

OK, so here's what am I saying. Managing Epilepsy is simpler with physician-managed medication, proper diet, regular exercise, and adequate rest.  Exercising can actually be more beneficial to you and could reduce the amount of seizure frequency. This is what this whole blog is about. We, who suffer from Epilepsy, should not fear exercise but embrace it, as it could be the missing link in controlling most types of Epilepsy.

If you are new to working out and have no idea where to start contact me at and I will be glad to guide you in the right direction by either giving advice or making a workout plan that best fits you and your goals. You can also visit my site at


*Exercise is important and beneficial to those who suffer from epilepsy because it may help reduce the frequency of a seizure and other health issues.
*Always make sure you take all the necessary safety precautions while exercising.
*Anti-Epileptic drugs can affect sporting performance.
*Making sure you live an over all healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise and proper rest may reduce frequency of a seizure.
*Always consult a Medical Professional before embarking on a diet or exercise plan.

References from
 ACSM's Exercise Management for Persons With Chronic Diseases and Disabilities

Monday, August 10, 2015

Strong is Beautiful

Strong is Beautiful

 What does this mean to you? This is a quote I often use and many others do too but what exactly are we talking about? Well I can't speak for the others but when I say "Strong is beautiful" I do not always mean the physical aspects of the words strong and beautiful though I do often pair it with a flex picture and because of that want to clarify on what I mean when I use these two words.

 You cannot judge one person’s strength and beauty simply by a glance. Strong and beauty are both imperfect and deceiving to the eye.

 When we use these words a lot of times we tend to have ideal image in our head. "Strong and fit", "Beautiful and graceful" and like my quote above "Strong is beautiful". And the image in our heads we usually think of the physical sense of the words and we rarely think about the inner strength and beauty that we all behold.

 "Be your own kind of Strong and be your own kind of Beautiful"

 The words “Strong” and “Beautiful” go deeper than that of physical aspect of the words you also have the mental and emotional/spiritual aspects as well that cannot be shown on the outside but you have to look within a person or yourself to find it.  They tend to be the most powerful and true aspects of the words as well, at least in my opinion.
 To be truly strong and beautiful on the outside you must harness an inner strength and beauty that comes from the mental and emotional/spiritual aspects of the words. The thing with these two words is that they are consistently evolving either physically, mentally or emotionally/spiritually.  If you do not possess this inner beauty and strength, then you are nothing but a pretty strong shell, allowing no room for any real growth.
To be strong physically shows that you can lift, move and power through any physical challenge that lies before you. Many people see those who are athletically fit to be the strongest when it comes to physical aspect of the word strong but that is not always true.  The physical aspect of strong can be quite deceiving because we often look at one physical appearance to determine if one is physically strong. If they are very muscular then we assume they are strong physically but that is not always the case.
 The same goes for the word beautiful, associating it with models on the covers of magazines, though beauty many times is in the eye of the beholder. Though as a society we have conditioned to a certain standard of what is beautiful and what is not.  But the truth is society’s ideal image of both strong and beautiful are commercialized and are nothing compared to what true beauty and strength is.
In order to be truly physically strong and beautiful you need to be mentally and emotionally/spiritually strong and beautiful as well. You need to be able to see yourself accomplishing something difficult that requires physical strength but might have to look inward and you need to be able to see past any imperfections you think you may or may not have and look deep within yourself to find the true beauty that lies within you in order to accomplish your goals.
 Mental beauty is believing in yourself and knowing you are capable of anything, it's being able to look beyond the image in a magazine or mirror. You are able to see your true worth, and with that you often show inner strength. Knowing you do not have to fit into an ideal image but accepting yourself the way you and embracing your uniqueness.
  Being emotionally beautiful you show kindness to others, give when you can and lift others up no matter the situation, and having a positive outlook on life. Having a kind heart or a heart of gold is often thought to be one of most enduring terms when it comes to inner beauty and if often shown through glow that radiates off you without you even knowing it.

 The thing about strong and beautiful is we tend to get stronger and more beautiful as we get older through all aspect of the words. Our life is our journey and through that journey we are put through trials. Being beautiful and strong spiritually is understanding you cannot control it all and having faith that things will work out on their own, that you are a part of something bigger.  We often fail many times before we succeed and make many mistakes along the way making us stronger when it comes to facing everyday life.
  When it comes to strength, some of us are stronger in one area than another. Some of us may look weak on the outside but on the inside can be stronger than any one person can imagine, this is what we call mental strength.  Mental strength is having the strength get through tough times.  The ability to just gut it out when things are at their bleakest.  To overcome adversity when others around you are failing.  Mental strength is looking beyond the image in magazine or mirror and to be able to see your true worth and true beauty.
 Take a minute and think about your everyday life. Every day we face the unknown, we wake up with expectations in our head on how the day should go but in reality we understand that things might not go exactly how we plan but we find a way to make it all work. That takes inner strength and that inner strength radiates as beauty. Finding the inner beauty inside you that no one but yourself can ever take away.  The only person who can hold you back is you but knowing you are strong and beautiful will help you rise above anything that will try to hold you down.
 Strong is accepting everyone for who they are and the beauty will be when all can do this. 
 Strong is BEAUTIFUL
 Strong is YOU!
 So many "Strong's" to list and so many "Beauty's" to behold ... So what makes your STRONG and BEAUTIFUL

Monday, July 13, 2015

All About Protein Powders.

All about protein Powders

A few months ago on my  Facebook page I had given you the different types of Proteins that there are out there. I did this so you can choose what protein is best for you. I thought instead of you having to go through my many post on my Facebook why not just put them all in one big blog.

I would like to note when choosing a protein it is best to buy from a store that sells quality protein such as a GNC or any local stores like this in your area. I would also do research on the type and brand  of protein that you are considering to make sure the reviews are good and that is the right fit for you.

Though Protein powders are a great way of making sure you get the right amount of protein the best source of protein is what you get from consuming whole foods. Protein Powders should only be used in addition to a healthy diet not as a main source of protein. If you would like ideas and other info on diet you can purchase my Meal Guidance Plan.

Whey Protein

Pros on Whey Protein

  • Whey is a complete and convenient high-quality protein. It offers all nine essential amino acids required to build hormones, neurotransmitters and antibodies, as well as strong muscles and bones. Plus, it is quickly absorbed by the body making it ideal for post workout.
  • Whey has been shown to support your immune system.
  • Whey Protein is affordable
  • Comes in many flavors

Cons of Whey Protein 

  • Whey protein is a processed, packaged product. It’s a byproduct of the dairy industry, removed after cheese is processed*. Processing includes removing the fat and carbohydrates from the protein. Most whey protein has added sugars, sweeteners, flavorings and/or colorings. These are added to help with taste. There is no such thing as 100% Whey protein powder no matter if product advertises it. You can find out how much Whey protein is in your powder by taking the amount of protein grams per serving divided by the serving size grams, times that by 100 and there’s your % of Whey protein in the powder.
  • Whey’s benefits don’t apply if you’re lactose intolerant or have a milk protein allergy.
*Processed simply means taken out of its natural form where you have to be careful is if it is overly processed. The more ingredients behind it the more process it is. This is why you would use this only for one or two meals a day and not every meal. Make sure you do your research on the type of Whey protein you use to know exactly what you are getting.

Casein Protein: 

Casein Protein is very popular among bodybuilders who are looking for a concentrated source of protein without a lot of extra calories. Research on casein has shown that the body is more inclined to use this protein source directly to build muscle mass rather than as energy. Casein protein makes up 80% of the protein found in dairy products. Casein protein is best when eaten in the morning or evening because it has a longer absorption rate making you fill fuller longer. It is not recommended as a post workout due to the slow absorption. 

Pros of Casein Protein

  • Is similar to Whey but is slow absorbing and because of that it is best taken in the morning or evenings.
  • Research shows that Casein Protein is used more directly in building muscle mass rather than used as a source of energy.
  • Since it takes longer to digest it makes you feel fuller longer.

Cons of Casein Protein

  • More expensive than Whey
  • Allergen (milk)
  • Not a good post workout due to the fact it is slow absorbing
  • May clog respiratory system

Egg White Protein:

Egg white protein powder is made by separating the egg yolks and egg whites and then dehydrating the egg whites.

Pros of Egg White Protein

  • Egg protein powder, especially if it’s guaranteed made from pure egg whites, provide top quality protein. One scoop provides approximately 24 grams of protein, four times the amount found in one whole egg.
  • Egg protein powder is lactose-free as well. This then makes it an ideal alternative for individuals who cannot consume dairy products due to lactose intolerance.
  • High in Vitamins and Minerals

Cons Egg White Protein

  • Contains Common allergens (eggs)
  • One of the most expensive forms of protein

Soy Protein:

Soy is good for those who have lactose allergies and can’t handle the whey and casein blends. Soy protein is good for one’s overall health with it's potential health benefits such as heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer and diabetes. Soy also can be beneficial to women undergoing menopause by reducing the negative effects of menopause because it contains phytoestrogens. 

Pros of Soy Protein

  • Soy protein offers cholesterol-lowering effects that can boost the overall health of your heart.
  • Great source of high quality protein
  • Effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

Cons of Soy Protein

  • Soy products have some anti-nutrient contents, and consuming large amounts of soy products as your primary protein source can cause several mineral deficiencies.
  • A lot of studies reveal that eating soy products do not have effect on protecting your bones. As a matter of fact, soy products contain phytic acid, a natural plant substance responsible in blocking calcium and some other valuable minerals from being absorbed by your body. This only means that excess consumption of soy products can bring detrimental effects in your body.
  • Soy is often genetically modified so make sure you read that is organic before you purchase.

  Rice Protein: 

Rice protein powder is a relatively unknown protein supplement outside of the vegan community. Despite its lack of popularity, rice protein offers many great benefits that might make it a good addition to your daily diet. Rice protein powder is consider a lighter or  easier to digest plant based protein powder.

Pros of Rice Protein:

  •  Rice protein is a natural source of protein with natural fiber. It comes from brown rice and contains all of the essential amino acids.
  • Rice protein is hypoallergenic meaning that it causes fewer allergic reactions than other protein powders such as whey, soy or egg white protein. 
  • Rice protein powder is vegan friendly. No animal products or byproducts are included in rice protein powder.
  • Natural taste of rice protein is sweet and mild. It is easy to blend with water, juice, and other mixers making for a tasty protein drink.

Cons of Rice Protein:

  • Rice protein powder is not as effective for building muscle as whey protein and many of the other animal-based protein powders.
  • Only a few companies manufacture rice protein powder.
  • Compared to other protein powders rice protein contains less protein per serving meaning less value for your money.

Hemp Protein:

Hemp protein comes from cannabis plant seeds and is considered a superior protein source due to its above-average digestibility, which also makes it ideal for athletes and it is vegan. Hemp protein powder contains higher amounts of protein per serving than other plant base protein powders but is not always desired because it has a distinct flavor.
  • Is a super food
  • Improves metabolism, brain function, circulation and immune system
  • Includes all 21 amino acids making it a complete protein
  • Hemp protein is hypoallergenic meaning that it causes fewer allergic reactions than other protein powders such as whey, soy or egg white protein.  
  • High in fiber
  • Anti-fatigue properties
  • Kidney-protective effects
  • Hemp protein is vegan friendly. No animal products or byproducts are included in hemp protein powder.

Cons of Hemp Protein

  • One of the most expensive sources because hemp is only harvested in select countries
  • You may want to let your employer know you are taking it because it can make you pop on drug test due to it coming from Cannabis seed.

Pea Protein:

Pea Protein which is one of the top of the line plant based proteins.Pea protein is being more popular because many are wanting a plant based protein option as well as the rise of allergies and intolerance to many plant and animal protein sources. It is also very affordable, usually being just a little bit more expensive than rice protein powder. It is highly mixable as well and contains amino acids which are essential to maintaining a healthy balance. Pea protein powder may not be the most well know plant based protein powder, but it is the best value when it comes to quality and quantity of protein for your money.

Pro of Pea Protein

  • Pea protein is vegan friendly. No animal products or byproducts are included in pea protein powder.
  • Pea protein is hypoallergenic meaning that it causes fewer allergic reactions than other protein powders such as whey, soy or egg white protein.
  • Contains  essential  amino acids
  • Easily digestible
  • Affordable

Cons of Pea Protein

  • Pea protein contains purines, so people with gout should ask their healthcare provider before taking a supplement.
  • Processing peas into protein could lead to contamination by fertilizers, chemical solvents, and other ingredients. Make sure you’re buying a high-quality brand.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Be You Own Hero

Most of us grew up watching X-Men and Batman and other super hero shows, dreaming and wishing we could be like them. To possess the brute strength of Superman, or super speed like the Flash, or the agility and wit of the Batman always seemed like a great dream that was unattainable and only in the world of fantasy.

Then I realized it’s not as unattainable as one might think. You can actually become your own hero with your own superpowers. Yes, I said superpowers. You may be asking yourself “How?” right now. Well, fitness, in its many shapes and forms, can also be seen as a super power. If you think about our heroes we read about and their powers you realize that most their powers come from some sort of athleticism. For instance, take the Flash. His super power is super speed. Now how many of you have ran track, a marathon or just run in general as a way of staying in shape and active? Well BOOM! You have your super power! Of course you may not be as fast as the Flash but I know some people who are pretty darn fast.

Now what if running isn’t your thing? What if you like to lift heavy objects for a sense of power? Well then, I would say you have BAM super strength. You are now the modern day Wonder Woman or She Hulk and for the men, Superman. Both weight lifting and power lifting could be considered super strength, though I don’t think super strength alone is the only thing you could compare with these two sports. If we really think about it, moving heavy weight is also a lot like moving the earth known as the super power of earth control. If we can pick up a weight in a gym we can pick up rocks, dirt and trees. Wouldn’t you say?

Then you have the graceful gymnasts. These athletes display a lot of physical agility in their movements.   Some might say they are in the same class with Spider-Man. Yes, he swings through the air, does flips and takes out the bad guys. Gymnasts aren’t big people and neither is Spider-Man (In comparison to the Hulk). Another superhero that uses agility would be Batman, not just physical but mental as well. Batman foresees his obstacle when you think there is no way he could get around it. BANG POW!! He has prevailed with his uncanny wit and swift agile movements. Martial Arts could also be thrown into this mix because it is not only a sport but also a tool that many of the superhero’s we grew up with, use. One of my favorite lady heroines is Black Widow. She is agile, quick, and a very skilled martial artist. Not to mention she looks really good in leather.

Then there is the sport of Cross Fit. The superhero I think of when I think of Cross Fit is Captain America. He is strong, quick, and displays an endless amount of muscular and cardiovascular endurance. All of which are necessary for the sport of Cross fit. His “never say never” attitude when taking on the bad guys could be compared with continuing to push through a workout of the day (WOD) even though you feel like throwing in the towel. With Cross Fit’s strength training based workouts that are fast paced with high reps, you can see how one could easily be seen as a super hero.

Willpower, a power we use to overcome obstacles.   Willpower is used, if you think about it, in all areas of fitness. Green Lantern is a prime example of this. In the beginning, his ring had a weakness to the color yellow but over time he overcame that weakness. In life we face many struggles not just in fitness but in other aspects as well. We use our willpower to figure out how to overcome our obstacles just as the Green Lantern did.   We are going to run into things or people that may slow us down but know that in time you will prevail! Willpower is used not only in the mental aspect of fitness but also in the physical. Think of it this way, when you lift a weight, you to have to know you can move it and then use that mind/muscle connection to perform the motion. When you try to lift a heavier object, your mind may say you can’t do it so therefore your muscles will agree because the mind and muscle connection is not there. It may take a few tries to get that connection to sink in and to get them to say, “I can “then to say,” "I will” and finally to say, “Yeah I just did”. So Willpower is a superpower that we must all possess. Not only in the sense to say no to things we don’t need in our lives but also to move forward in our athletic superpower ability.
These are just a few examples how sports and fitness can be compare to superpowers. As you can see, living a fit and healthy lifestyle has already given you a superpower. You may actually have more than one. Now go out there and become your own hero!

 Become Your Own Hero Workout:

 This is a group of workouts that you can commonly do in the gym but made fun by adding some of my favorite superhero names for a twist. 

1) Captain America All American Workout - 4x10
  • Have DB's your weight choice and start in plank
  • Go into push up keeping your core engaged
  • Do Rows both sides 
  •  Jump in as if you are doing a bur-pee
  • Squat down and push up 

 2) Black Widow's Jump Lunges with punch 4x10
  •   Begin by stepping forward, bending at both knees keeping the front knee aligned over your ankle as the back knee comes close to the floor punching out with one arm.  
  • Then jump as you alternate leg and arm always keeping your core enraged throughout the movement
  • It's ok if you are a bit off balance that is expect. 
  • If uncomfortable jumping as you switch just step forward and punch out.

3) Batman Lateral Raises -4x10
  • With dumbbells in each hand standing lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow until you are parallel as if you are Batman flaring his cape
  • Then lower dumbbells back down slowly
  • Repeat

4) Wonder Woman Triceps Dips - 4x15
  •  Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a bench and extend your legs out in front of you, your arms should be extended
  • Then slowly bend your  arms and lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle
  • Press down on the bench and push back up, extending your arms
  • Repeat
*** You can bend your legs to modify this exercise

5) Hammer of Thor Bicep Curls - 4x15
  • Begin standing position with dumb bells in each hand.
  • Grip the dumb bells with the palms of your hands facing your body and elbows close to your side
  • Only moving the forearm, begin to bring the dumb bell up as you squeeze your bicep
  • Hold for one second then slowly lower it back down
  • Repeat
6) Spidermans- 4x10
  •  Start in the standard pushup position with your feet on bench
  • As you lower your body toward the floor, lift your right foot off the floor, swing your right leg out sideways, and try to touch your knee to your elbow
  • Reverse the movement, then push your body back to the starting position
  • Repeat with the other leg and continue to alternate back and forth

 7) Superman Planks- 30 sec  each side
  •  Place hands directly underneath your shoulders with palms on the mat or floor
  • Extend your legs behind you and rest on your toes
  • Your body is now in a straight line between your shoulders and toes
  • Keep your abdominal muscles tight to help hold the position correctly
  • Extend one arm out and hold for desired time 
  • Alternate arm and repeat