4 Ways To Sleep Better

I know you have heard this about sleep from me, but I thought I would give you someone else’s opinion other than mine, someone who is much smarter. : ) So here’s 4 ways to sleep better… 4 Ways To Sleep Better by Sean Hyson, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, best selling fitness author 1. Train In The Morning “The timing of your workout can make a world of difference for your sleep quality,” says Stevenson. He cites a study conducted by Appalachian State University that compared the effect of workouts done at different times of day. Subjects exercised at either 7 a.m., 1p.m., or 7 p.m. “The morning exercisers spent more time in the deepest, most anabolic [muscle-building] stages of sleep that night. For some people, it was up to 75% more time.” Why? Stevenson says it has to do with the hormones cortisol and melatonin. As you may know, cortisol is a stress hormone. It comes with your body’s “fight or flight” response and is naturally high in the morning—peaking between 6 and 8 a.m.—so that you can be alert for the day and get things done. Melatonin is a hormone produced in your pineal gland that helps to induce sleep. Your body naturally releases more of it at night. “Everything you put in your belly is influencing melatonin production, storage, and utilization.” There’s an inverse relationship between cortisol and melatonin. “If cortisol is elevated, melatonin is on the ground floor,” says Stevenson. If, however, your cortisol is elevated in the evening—due to stress or activity (such as late-night workouts)—melatonin has a hard time doing its job...

“The Fats of Life”

Now that we’ve conquered all the protein questions a couple of weeks ago, lets move on to the wonderful world of fats. So first, let’s get this out in the open… Fats DO NOT make you gain body fat (processed carbs actually do) Fats DO NOT put you on heart attack row Fats are NOT the enemy (processed carbs, added sugar, artificial sweeteners ARE) We’ve been sold a bag of lies when it comes to fats. Fats are ESSENTIAL for your body’s hormone production, skin health, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, regulating blood pressure, regulation of fat levels (lipids) and even burning body fat. YES, you need fat to burn fat! Fats are ESSENTIAL because the body cannot synthesize them from any other substance. Therefore we MUST ingest them from our food sources. Most notably these types of fats: Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) Again, fats that must be ingested because the body requires them for good health. The body cannot produce them on its own. Found in wild caught fatty fish, whole eggs, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, leafy vegetables. Increase HDL levels (good cholesterol), decrease LDL levels (bad cholesterol), increase heart health, prevention of blood clots & high blood pressure, decrease joint pain, improves mood, relief of PMS symptoms in women. 2 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) for humans: Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega 3’s) EPA DHA Linoleic Acid (Omega 6’s) Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) Found in coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flour & palm oil Made up of medium chain fatty acids Resemble carbohydrates more than fats Unlike carbohydrates, they DO NOT stimulate insulin and don’t have the problem...

Chunky Monkey Trail Mix Recipe

Need an idea as to what you are going to snack on today or tomorrow? No problem, here’s a simple & healthy recipe just for you. : ) FYI: This recipe may have to be adjusted according to how many people you are cooking for. Chunky Monkey Trail Mix Recipe Ingredients: 2 1/4 cup raw walnuts (chopped) 1 cup raw cashews halves (or other nut of choice. Almonds work too) 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (be sure to get big FLAKES not shredded) 1/3 cup coconut sugar 2-3 tbsp butter (cut in slices) or at room temp 4-5 tbsp coconut oil to make vegan 1 tsp vanilla or butter extract 2 cup unsweetened banana chips or dried banana slices 2/3 -3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or paleo fudge chunks (we used Enjoy life foods brand) parchment paper Directions: Place your nuts, coconut, sugar, vanilla, and butter (slices) or coconut oil in crock pot. Mix together and place on high for 45- 60 minutes. Stir a few times checking to make sure coconut flakes do not burn. NOTE -Reduce to low after 45 minutes if flakes are cooking faster or browning. Then turn to low for the next 20-30 minutes. Remove and place crock pot contents on parchment paper to dry out. Add in your banana chips and chocolate chips and mix together. OPTION II cooking banana chips You can add in your unsweetened banana chips to cook with the nuts/coconut, instead of adding later. But you will need to stir often and cook only 45 minutes. Store in air tight container or ziplock bag. …Enjoy! Any questions just hit...

The “Core”

Do you know where your “core” is? Can you answer that question? I personally think there’s a lot of confusion out there about what the “core” actually is. How and when to train this area is also a source of confusion for many people. There is a ton of myths and half truths swirling around regarding this very subject So I thought I would give you my take on the topic… What Is The “Core”? Misconception #1: Most people think of the core as only the superficial ab muscles…the one’s you can see in the mirror. The so-called “6-pack” muscles. Your core is actually the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex. It is made up of approximately 29 muscles that include: Deep abdominals Obliques Deep spinal musculature Hip flexor group Glutes Misconception #2: The biggest misconception, in my opinion, is that you can only strengthen this area with sit-ups, crunches or leg lifts. This couldn’t be FARTHER from the truth! Sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts, etc can actually do more HARM the good and in my opinion, a waste of time. The core is where the human body’s center of gravity is located and where all movement begins. Proper development of the core musculature will result in more efficient movement patterns and optimal performance. Efficient movement equals less chance of injuries, muscle imbalances and off the couch. When Should I Train The “Core”? It is important to remember that the core musculature “fires” at the start of any movement. Anytime you initiate a movement the musculature of the core fires to stabilize your trunk and body. Therefore, it makes sense that it is developed...

The 4 Pillars of Health…

Let’s start the New Year focusing on the 4 Pillars of Health that can bring you the most happiness and healthiest 2018! 1. Commitment To Putting Food Quality First I can’t say it enough – Food Is First. And that means putting food quality ahead of everything else when it comes to eating – aiming for the most nutrient dense (in variety) foods you can get ahold of. 1. Clean Veggies (in variety for optimal nutrient intake… and so you don’t get bored!) 2. Clean Protein Sources 3. And GOOD FATS That also means avoiding foods that will only take away from your health. Now I’ve talked a lot about those foods throughout the year, however I’ll highlight the big ones to watch out for as you start the New Year. Those are: • Highly inflammatory vegetable oils (aka BAD FATS) that are found just about everywhere (more on this in a moment) • Wheat/Gluten – Maybe the biggest Anti-Nutrient around that can wreak havoc on your gut and affect other parts of your health. Just say no to it. • Insulin Spiking sugars… even from supposing innocent fruit juices! The food you put in your body directly influences every aspect of your life: energy and vitality, mental clarity, and your happiness. 2. Commitment to Reducing Inflammation In Your Body It shocks me how wide spread chronic inflammation really is in our society, affecting more than half of the population. Chronic Inflammation from eating foods that we are not designed to eat in quantity can be the real reason for many common health issues like: • Stubborn body fat...