Neck Pain Again!

  
Here are a few ideas to help you manage the type of neck pain that comes every now and then, is more likely to be related to muscular tension. 

3 Common Upper Body Issues 

1. Upper Trapezius Dominance

  
Daily stress can cause your shoulders to ‘hike’ up which increases tension in your neck and upper back.  This can lead to muscle spasms and interrupt the way your shoulder blades move. Which can, in turn, lead to major shoulder problems. 
2. Winged Scapula (shoulder blade)

  
When your shoulder blades stick our or wing away from your back.  

There are many reasons for this – which should be addressed or the pain will remain.  Often certain muscles are in spasm – tests can identify which muscles need to be released to improve function and therefore reduce or remove any pain. 

3. Rounded Shoulders

  
This must be addressed to avoid shoulder problems and neck pain. 

I see this problem quite often in Pilates classes. As the instructor I have the chance to see where my clients have difficulty in moving arms overhead, and through many shoulder movements. 

  
Simple tests can identify which muscles are working too hard, causing limited movement through some joints. Exercises can, if practised regularly, reduce or remove this pain and improve joint mobility. 

It’s important to understand that

Chronic Pain is Common NOT Normal. 

This rule holds true in training OR in Ageing!

So, next time your neck pain occurs consider what you are doing, how you sleep, how you sit at your desk, when on your computer or tablet ……

Stay Healthy! 

Jax

Viridian Sports Electrolyte Fix Liquid

my choice from The Nutrition Centre Cheltenham

Viridian Sports Electrolyte Fix Liquid  
Viridian Sports Electrolyte Fix is an intense electrolyte liquid, sourced from the Great Salt Lake, Utah in the USA.
Viridian Sports Electrolyte Fix contains Electrolytes, which are mineral salts dissolved in the body’s blood and fluid, they carry an electric charge and therefore can affect the blood’s pH and muscle function.
Viridian Sports Electrolyte Fix’s mineral salts includes: Sodium, chloride, magnesium and potassium. These are involved in balancing the fluid throughout the body including the volume of fluid within the blood.
Viridian Sports Electrolyte Fix benefits:

  
 Water movement is controlled by the concentration of electrolytes on either side of the cell membrane. Exercise increases fluid loss through sweat. If this fluid is not replaced then dehydration will occur. Dehydration impairs performance as blood volume

decreases and body temperature increases; extra strain will be put on the heart and lungs. The loss of fluid will also lead to an electrolyte imbalance as sodium and potassium are lost through the skin. This imbalance can cause a disruption to the cell’s ability to carry electrical charges and hence reduce athletic performance.
Viridian Sports Electrolyte Fix contains all the necessary electrolytes in an ionic form as well as all other minerals naturally present in sea water. Ionic refers to the mineral being ionically charged (attached to a negatively charged mineral complex).It is important that the electrolytes are present in an ionic form as this is necessary for effective hydration.
In a study looking into the importance of electrolytes for rehydration, eight participants consumed plain water, and eight participants consumed water plus an electrolyte additive. The addition of an electrolyte mixture to plain water decreased the overall fluid levels required for optimal hydration compared to the plain water group. Supplementing water with electrolytes can therefore minimize carrying excessive weight, possibly reducing fatigue during extended exercise.
Viridian Sports Electrolyte Fix is comprised of a blend of naturally occurring brine from the Great Salt Lake containing sodium, magnesium, chloride and potassium as well as vast array of other trace and ultra trace elements.

Eat Yourself Fitter!

How to Eat Yourself Fitter 
Okay, so today’s tip is all about protecting your immune system so you can perform at your best all year round. 
The key is, quite simply, what you eat… especially AFTER you’re been doing exercise. 
Truth is, you can follow all the fancy training programmes you want, but if you’re laid up with coughs and colds each winter, you’re never going to reap the rewards of all that hard work. 
So you need to ensure your body gets enough of those nutrients that support your immune system, including: 
• Vitamin A – well supplied in liver, eggs, all orange and red fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots. 
• Vitamin C – found in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, kiwis, all the berries, also well supplied in tomatoes and peppers. 
• Vitamin D – good sources include eggs, milk, butter, cod liver oil and some other fish oils. 
• Essential fatty acids (i.e. omega-3 and omega-6 oils) – good sources include all the fatty fish (trout, sardines, herrings, salmon, mackerel, pilchards, etc.) as well as unrefined whole grains and nuts and seeds, especially, hemp, flax, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. 
• Zinc – a vital immune nutrient; good sources are high quality, lean cuts of meat and fish and shellfish; also found in whole grains and some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and pumpkin seeds. 
• Selenium – well supplied in unrefined whole grains (eg wholemeal bread), all seafood and some nuts and seeds, especially Brazil nuts. 
But as well as the above, you need to consider a post-exercise nutritional strategy. 
That info comes next! …..

Eat Well. Train Hard. Expect Results! 

Jax 

Foods To Avoid #2

#2 – Fruit Juice  
The fruit juice we buy in stores sometimes may not be entirely or completely made from fruit juice. UNFORTUNATELY… IT CAN GET A LOT WORSE when we consider just what the fruit juices we buy may contain. It may be a mix of substances that taste like fruit but not actually fruit.
  

CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? IT’S HAPPENING and many people are falling victim to this marketing phenomenon. It can seem convenient to simply walk into a grocery store and buy a container of fruit juice. However, WHAT ARE WE ACTUALLY BUYING? Are we simply buying into the potential lie that the fruit juice we buy is good for us?

  
Pure fruit juice is the healthier option and with this option, there is still the need to watch consumption levels because natural fruit juice can still contain significant levels of sugar. Such sugar content can have an impact on diseases like diabetes as research shows [2]. Research studies also reveal that sugar can also have an impact in affecting other medical conditions including cardiometabolic risk factors [3].
By focusing on the juice of the fruit alone, we also eliminate the fiber and other benefits we get from eating the whole fruit and not only extracting the juice.
I suggest while trying to reduce body fat – eliminate fruit juice from your nutrition plan. 
When re-introducing juice make sure it’s natural and complete then add the same volume of water to reduce sugar content by half. 
Enjoy
Jax 

Healthy Dips

By Cara Rosenbloom, RD
Posted: September 2013

A tasty dip is great way to make the veggies go down. Here’s how to choose dips that add nutrition – not just fat and salt.
Cara Rosenbloom, RD

A tasty dip can make the veggies go down. But it’s important to choose one that adds healthy nutrition, not just fat and salt.
The research is in: Kids really will eat more vegetables if they are paired with dip.
In one study, researchers gave plain vegetables, as well as veggies with different dips, to preschool children. The children were three times more likely to reject the vegetable alone, compared with the vegetable-dip combo. In a different study, children who were sensitive to the bitter taste of vegetables ate 80 per cent more broccoli when it was paired with a dip or dressing. I haven’t found a similar study on adult palates, but the concept is certainly worth a try!
However, some dips are high in fat and salt, and add little nutritional value to meals and snacks. There are better options!
Healthiest store-bought choices
Whether you are buying a container of dip or a bottled dressing, it’s important to read the ingredient list and the Nutrition Facts panel to look for options that are low in saturated fat, sodium and sugar, but high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.
For example, hummus is a source of fibre from chickpeas; nut-based dips such as peanut butter (yes it tastes great with celery or green pepper) contain heart-healthy magnesium; and dips made from yogurt contain calcium and protein.
On the other hand, ranch dip or dressing offers only fat and sodium, while mustard contains sodium and nothing else.
Pick a dip that lists one of these healthy options as the first ingredient:
Chick peas

White, black or pinto beans

Yogurt or Greek yogurt

Fresh produce: tomato, avocado, spinach, roasted red peppers, pumpkin, etc.

Cottage or light ricotta cheese

Edamame, tofu or soynuts

Nuts or seeds (such as almond or sunflower seed butter)

If the first ingredient is sour cream, cream cheese or mayonnaise, keep shopping. These dips will be high in fat, but lower in protein and other valuable nutrients. If your recipe calls for these ingredients, try using low-fat Greek yogurt instead. It’s thick, creamy and plain-tasting, so it marries nicely with dip-friendly flavours such as dill, garlic, chili flakes, pepper and cumin.
Some dips are high in sodium, so a little goes a long way. If you are a big dipper, choose options with less sodium. Here’s how some popular dips compare in terms of sodium content.
Dip (2 tbsp)

Sodium (mg)

Processed cheese sauce

541

Yellow mustard

330

Low-fat ranch dressing

290

Ketchup

280

Cream cheese onion dip

260

Original ranch dressing

260

Spinach dip

190

Salsa

190

Hummus

130

Nut/seed butter (salt added)

120

Guacamole

85

Yogurt tzatziki

55

Nut/seed butter (no salt added)

0

You can see that the whole food-based dips near the bottom have the least amount of sodium. They also have more protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fat! It’s win-win.
Make your own
I like to experiment with my own dip recipes, as does Heart and Stroke Foundation recipe developer Emily Richards. Try her delicious Navy bean hummus and Greek yogurt ranch dip.
My kids love dipping carrots and peppers into pureed chickpeas with cumin and lemon juice (it’s like hummus without the garlic), or almond butter blended with Greek yogurt and a touch of cinnamon. I love watching them eat their vegetables – and knowing the dip is giving them a little extra nutrition in every bite. 

This article comes from the heart and stroke foundation Canada. A great resource. 

Jax 

Growing Portions Cause Obesity!

Retailers could be forced to charge more for bigger servings to counter damage being done, say Cambridge University experts





Larger sizes are threatening people’s health by encouraging them to overeat, according to experts from Cambridge University, including the government’s chief advisor on obesity.

In a warning about the dangers of overserving, the authors calculated that ridding bigger portions from our diet would make consumers reduce their energy intake from food by 16%, and thereby help fight against obesity.

The damage caused by overserving is so great that the government may have to limit how big servings can be or force retailers to charge much more for them in an attempt to reduce consumption, the authors said. 

Ian Shemilt, who led the research, said: “At the moment it is all too easy – and often better value for money – for us to eat and drink too much. The evidence is compelling now that actions which reduce the size, availability and appeal of large servings can make a difference to the amounts people eat and drink.”

Shemilt pointed to evidence collated by the British Heart Foundation in 2013 showing that curry ready meals had expanded by 50% in the previous 20 years, as had the number of crisps in a family bag. 

An individual shepherd’s pie ready meal grew by 98%, chicken pies were 40% bigger and a meat lasagne ready meal for one had increased by 39%. 

Food campaigners said the study, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, showed the food industry had to do more to reduce the overconsumption of calories by limiting the size of its products. 

Malcom Clark, the co-ordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, said: “Bigger plates, bigger packs, bigger portions, bigger us. It’s nudge theory, encouraging us – like so many other prevalent marketing tactics used by the food industry – to consume far more sugar, fat and calories than we ought to, and making it much easier to do so. 

“Initiatives such as limiting chocolate bar single-serve portion size to 250 calories are a start. To counter the huge rise of sharing sizes and snacking bags, especially those aimed at children and family consumption, the government needs to take a hard look in its childhood obesity strategy at how less healthy items are marketed and at what price.”

Downing Street policy officials are drawing up the new strategy, which David Cameron is expected to launch in November. There has been sustained criticismthat the Responsibility Deal approach adopted in 2010, involving voluntary agreements with the food industry, is not countering rising childhood obesity

The authors arrived at their conclusions after examining the results of 61 previous studies, involving 6,711 participants, looking at the influence of the size of portion, packaging and tableware on how much food people eat. They include Prof Susan Jebb, who advises ministers on food and nutrition policy. 

If British consumers could avoid outsized portions, they would cut the amount of energy they get every day from food by 12%-16%, or up to 279 calories, the authors said. If American adults did the same, they could reduce their intake by 22%-29%, or a maximum of 527 calories each daily. 

Prof Brian Ratcliffe, an emeritus professor of nutrition at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said: “This review provides evidence to support what might seem to be a self-evident truth, that serving larger portions leads to greater levels of consumption, and the effect seems to be more pronounced in adults than children.

“Presumably related to a lack of effective self-restraint, people seem to be reluctant to leave or waste food and so consume what they are served or find larger portions more attractive.” 

More restaurants and fast-food premises should follow the lead set by the few that already offer more than one portion size, he added. 

The Food and Drink Federation, which represents manufacturers, said in a statement that “this research once again confirms the complexity of tackling obesity and that multiple solutions are required, from considering the food we eat to the size of spoons we use to serve food.”

It said firms were providing clear nutritional information on the side of their products, including about portion sizes, and offering a range of portion sizes. 

Dr Alison Tedstone, the chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “This study clearly demonstrates that reducing portion sizes is a successful way to cut calories. Given that almost two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, it’s important to keep an eye on portion sizes when cooking, shopping and eating out to avoid overeating and help maintain a healthy weight.”

Wake Up From a Dream Smoothie

  
This RecipeSkill Level: Beginner

Serves: 1

Start to Finish: less than 10 minutes

The protein from the milk in this smoothie increases energy by its metabolism-boosting effect, Kleiner says. “It’s also rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and potassium, which supports nerve conduction and muscle contraction and enables you to think more clearly and move more easily.”
Bonus: Cinnamon not only adds warm, sweet flavor, but this spice has also been shown to keep blood sugar levels in check by helping the body burn carbs for fuel.
Ingredients:

1/2 cup soy or almond milk

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 frozen banana

2 tablespoons (1 scoop) vanilla whey protein isolate powder

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 large pinch ground ginger

5 to 8 ice cubes

Directions:

Place all ingredients together into a blender and blend until frothy and smooth.

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving:

Total Calories: 285

167mg Sodium

39g Carbs

3g Fiber

3g Fat

0g Saturated Fat

28g Protein

252mg Calcium

1mg Iron

Braised Red Radishes

Red Recipe 5

Braised Red Radishes

20 plump radishes, red or multicolored
1 to 2 tbsp. butter
1 shallot, diced
1 tsp. chopped thyme or several pinches dried
Salt and freshly milled pepper

Trim the leaves from the radishes, leaving a bit of the green stems, and scrub them. If the leaves are tender and in good condition, wash them and set aside. Leave smaller radishes whole and halve or quarter larger ones.

Melt 2 to 3 tsp. butter in a small sauté pan. Add the shallot and thyme and cook for 1 minute over medium heat. Add the radishes, a little salt and pepper, and water just to cover. Simmer until the radishes are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the leaves if using and cook until they’re wilted and tender, 1 minute more. Remove the radishes to a serving dish. Boil the liquid, adding a teaspoon or two more butter if you like, and until only about ¼ cup remains. Pour it over the radishes and serve.

From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison


Eat Clean

Train Smart

Feel Great


Jax


Are You missing this Vital Nutrient?

One Crucial Vitamin You are NOT Getting Enough Of

“Eat a balanced diet and there’s little need for supplements.”

It’s a refrain we hear a lot, whether from doctors, dieticians, or even our mothers. And in many cases, it’s true. Why waste your money on pricey vitamins when you can easily get them from food?

Well, when it comes to vitamin B12, supplements not only aren’t a waste of money – they’re a crucial part of optimal health for many people.

See, not everyone can get enough B12 from diet alone. If you don’t eat animal products – the richest source of this vitamin – you could be missing out.

And if you’re over age 60, you might not even be able to absorb B12 from food.

The result: anemia or other potentially fatal deficiencies.

That’s reason enough to seek out supplements.

An added bonus?

Vitamin B12 may have big benefits for your heart, too.

A Healthy Diet Isn’t Always Enough…

There’s no doubt that vitamin B12 is essential for good health. Our bodies need the largest and most complex of the eight B vitamins to form blood cells, nerve sheaths, and certain proteins.

Researchers discovered the benefits of vitamin B12 in the 1930s, when they found that consuming large amounts of raw liver – which is high in B12 – could save the lives of patients diagnosed with pernicious anemia, a previously untreatable condition.

It was a finding so impressive that the researchers won the Nobel Prize.

But raw liver? Yuck!

Fortunately, other scientists later isolated B12 from liver, making it easier – and more palatable – to get enough of this crucial vitamin.

That’s even more important, since some groups of people just can’t get B12 from their diet.

See, no plants naturally contain B12 – it’s only found in meat and other animal-based foods, as well as fortified products like cereal.

And that’s a problem for vegetarians and vegans.

Even if you do eat meat, you still might be dangerously low in vitamin B12. That’s because an estimated 15 percent of people over age 60 lack enough intrinsic factor, a compound that helps the body absorb B12 from food.

The result?

These groups are at higher risk for developing pernicious anemia and other potentially life-threatening deficiencies.

A Natural Blood Booster…

Pernicious anemia occurs mostly in older people who lack the ability to absorb vitamin B12 properly. When B12 is low, the red blood cells don’t function as well as they should, which reduces their ability to ferry oxygen throughout the body.

Other deficiencies of B12 can lead to neurological and psychiatric problems, including muscle weakness, incontinence, dementia, and mood changes.

Research has looked at the effects of vitamin B12 supplementation on the risk of anemia and deficiency.

For example, one study of elderly people who had lower-than-normal levels of B12 found that supplementing with 50 micrograms (mcg) of the vitamin daily led to significant increases in their blood levels of B12.1

This and other evidence suggests that vitamin B12 is a necessary supplement for keeping our blood healthy.

This Vitamin’s Got Heart…

But B12 may have other benefits, too.

In fact, a newer area of research suggests that vitamin B12’s effects on the cardiovascular system may be even more impressive.

There’s good evidence that supplementing with B12 can lower blood levels of homocysteine, a compound that’s been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

One study of 300 people found that taking 2 to 10 mcg of B12 a day was associated with decreased levels of homocysteine.2

Another study followed 299 older men for two years. The researchers found that those who supplemented with 400 mcg of B12 a day had significantly lower homocysteine levels, especially if they were previously deficient in the vitamin.3

And a study of 209 people showed that B12 supplementation (0.5 mg) lowered homocysteine after just 4 months.4

Now that’s worth taking a daily supplement!

When Supplements are a Must…

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as well as in some fortified foods (like cereal). But if you don’t normally consume these foods – or if you’re over age 60 – supplementation is a must.

B12 is typically combined with other B vitamins, such as B6 and folic acid, and sold as B-complex supplements. You may also be able to find individual B12 products.

The recommended daily allowance of B12 to prevent deficiency is just 2.4 mcg daily. But higher doses may be necessary if you have already been diagnosed with pernicious anemia: Sources recommend up to 1,000 mcg a day. To lower homocysteine, take 500 mcg of B12 daily, along with folic acid and vitamin B6.

Vitamin B12 appears safe even in very high doses. That said, it may rarely cause side effects in some people, including itching, diarrhea, and even blood clots. And you should avoid taking B12 if you have an allergy to cobalt, cobalamin, or other ingredients found in these supplements.

Otherwise, vitamin B12 can’t hurt – and may very well help – your health.

When Supplements are a Must…

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as well as in some fortified foods (like cereal). But if you don’t normally consume these foods – or if you’re over age 60 – supplementation is a must.

B12 is typically combined with other B vitamins, such as B6 and folic acid, and sold as B-complex supplements. You may also be able to find individual B12 products.

The recommended daily allowance of B12 to prevent deficiency is just 2.4 mcg daily. But higher doses may be necessary if you have already been diagnosed with pernicious anemia: Sources recommend up to 1,000 mcg a day. To lower homocysteine, take 500 mcg of B12 daily, along with folic acid and vitamin B6.

References

1 Seal EC, Metz J, Flicker L, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of oral vitamin B12 supplementation in older patients with subnormal or borderline serum vitamin B12 concentrations. J Am Geriatr Soc.2002 Jan;50(1):146-51.

2Deshmukh US, Joglekar CV, Lubree HG, et al. Effect of physiological doses of oral vitamin B12 on plasma homocysteine: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in India. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;64(5):495-502.

3 Flicker L, Vasikaran SD, Thomas J, et al. Efficacy of B vitamins in lowering homocysteine in older men: maximal effects for those with B12 deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia. Stroke.2006 Feb;37(2):547-9.

4 Lewerin C, Nilsson-Ehle H, Matousek M, et al. Reduction of plasma homocysteine and serum methylmalonate concentrations in apparently healthy elderly subjects after treatment with folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6: a randomised trial. Eur J Clin Nutr.2003 Nov;57(11):1426-36.

IMG_1364

Eat Everything!

Eat Everything!

Some people have a hard time with the idea of enjoying food, I think that feeling good is part of enjoying life and being healthy. We all have to eat- right?

IMG_1828

Of course, if you struggle with this part of your “food story”, and would like to rewrite it to include joy, freedom, and deliciousness – all the while working toward a better body – I can help.

Cheating Well
Most people have come across the idea of cheating on a diet… But most find it difficult to let go, eat what they really want. Frightened that once they start they won’t stop! They choose ‘naughty’ foods that are not really what they crave and long for – the trigger foods that, in the past, have led to a binge. I want you to be completely honest and select your favourite treats.

IMG_1744

I’m not talking some low-fat, gluten-free, protein-packed, artificially sweetened, possibly-hiding-beets, “healthy” version of a treat. I’m suggesting you include your REAL favourite foods – Pizza, Pasta, Roasters or Chips, Cake, Coke, Beer, Wine, Takeaways, Sweets, Chocolate, Cheese, BREAD…. You get the idea. From a fat loss point of view I need you to relax every 4-7 days to allow your hormones to re-set.

You will plan your cheat meal to include your REAL favourite foods, you’ll take your time selecting, eating and maybe sharing the experience with family and friends. I want you to eat guilt free, no shame, no rushing – but with intent, give yourself time to enjoy with all your senses – knowing that you’ll be increasing your Fatloss results over the following days.

Deciding how often and how many cheat meals you have is my job. Together we have to look at your physical activity, work output, diet and lifestyle.
You might fear that you’ll revert back to your ‘old thinking’ about food – fearing some ‘bad’ foods ….. Which is crazy, no food is BAD in itself! Your attitude to food may be the reason you have gained weight and unhealthy eating habits?

Over time we’ll work on what you eat, when you eat and how you eat and importantly what you believe about food. Your nutrition will improve, cravings vanish and stored body fat melt away.

Eat Clean. Train Hard. Expect Results.

Jax