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New Promising HIV-Prevention Treatment

By Stephfon Guidry

Initial trials of a new HIV injectable treatment, once a month dosage, and the participants maintained a level of the drug within their system that in theory would prevent infection of the virus with little to no side effects.  A new HIV-Prevention drug in testing at London’s Chelsea and Westheimer Hospitals, the study involved 27 women and 6 men; the research was presented at the 19th Annual Conference on Opportunistic Infections.

St. Stephens AIDS Trust (SSAT) conducted the study over a thirty day period, with a single injection of a long-lasting riplivirine—a drug that was released last year by Edurant. The participants were between the ages of 18-50, women were given 300 mg, 600mg, or 1200mg; while the men received a dosage of 600mg and later throughout a 12-week period samples of the women’s vaginal tissue and men’s blood, rectal tissue were monitored to observe the levels of the drug within their system. The results of the study proved quite promising with few side effects (such as tenderness/swelling on the injection site) or no side effects at all.

AidsMap.com reported, “Over the time period, levels of drug seen were about 80% higher in vaginal fluid than in blood in women taking the 300mg dose and about 20% higher in the other two doses: conversely, drug levels in vaginal tissue were about 25% lower than in blood, and 50% lower up to day 14 in the 300mg dose group.” This study presents a shimmer of hope to HIV and AIDS prevention, with more trials and data it could prove viable. ”There is an obvious need in HIV prevention and treatment for formulations that reduce the need for the user to depend on daily administration,” Akil Jackson, a researcher said. (EdgeBoston.com) Maintaining one’s health and preventative medicine is the new look of healthcare which in the future will provide a better quality of living, hopefully this treatment snowballs into a win for the quest for a cure of HIV/AIDS.

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The Murad Man Skin Care

By Melvin Browne

Last week I informed you guys about great all natural skin care products that I personally experienced by Origins. This time I am going to give you the scoop on a skin care regime that is popular amongst men who maintain great skin. From what I hear this amazing skin care was developed by M.D. Howard Murad, a leader in skin treatment science. A holder of 18 different dermatology patents, Vogue Magazine crowned Murad as “One of the country’s best dermatologists”.

Murad has a full line of Cleansers, Treatments, Moisturizers, Supplements, Eye Care, Toners, and Masks for any and every skin type, all available on his Transforming Skincare Website Murad.com.  More importantly Murad developed a specialty line just for MEN! Murad explains the needs for men’s skin and the care that it requires in great detail:

What’s different about Men’s Skin Care?

“Skin care for men needs to address a number of concerns that skin care for women doesn’t. Men have to deal with a number of skin care issues that women don’t. For men who keep a clean-shaven look, ingrown hairs, irritation from shaving and dry, chaffed skin can build up. For those who don’t shave, excess oil and dirt can often build up near the beard line. Here are some tips on how to find the best skin care products for men.”

What should Men look for in Skin Care Products?

“Effective men’s skin care products should address the specific challenges mentioned above and provide not only exfoliating elements but also soothing elements for the harsh exposure that men’s skin can face. Of course, any good skin care regimen should also include a hydrating moisturizer and daily sun protection. In those ways, men’s skin care is similar to women’s skin care. However, men’s skin care products need to address not only their skin type and skin concern but also the realities of their day-to-day activities.”

So you can now understand why it’s so important to invest in skin care products that will not only give you great healthy skin, but maintain it. With that said, I introduce to you the Murads Man Skin Care! Murad offers the complete “Murad Man Regimen”, which is a daily skin care product line that was specifically developed for the skin care needs of men.

The collection includes Cleansing Shave (retails for $28), an effective skin cleanser that doubles as a soothing base for daily shaving. Also included is Razor Burn Rescue® (retails for $35), which is an essential skin care product for any man who shaves regularly. Razor Burn Rescue effectively reduces ingrown hairs, bumps and irritation from shaving to help skin look its best. Finally, sun protection and hydration are combined into one men’s skin care product with Face Defense® SPF 15(retails for $33), a daily moisturizer for men with sunscreen that provides lightweight, healthy hydration.

You can also purchase the 90 day supply of all 3 pieces in the “Murad Man Regimen” for $75! A $18 difference from buying all three pieces separately. Men’s skin has unique requirements, and Murad has the proven skin care products to address those needs. So visit his website ASAP and try out his “Man Regimen”!

Origins Skincare for Men

By Melvin Browne

Shaves that feel like fire? Cracked, dry hands? Men need specialized skincare too. As we go into a New Year, we must put a new focus on what’s really important. On the top of that list for the modern man is Skincare. You are the face! It’s what people notice about you first. Do you want them to witness a catastrophe or envy your glow?

I would like to introduce you guys to a facial regime guaranteed to train your skin to look flawless all year (without makeup). “Powered by Nature, Proven by Science” here is Origins for Men. Everyone wants to know why I eat like a 12 year old and still have amazing skin. My Secret is the Origins Top Sellers “Checks and Balances” frothy face wash and the “Save the Males” multi-benefit moisturizer.

The “Checks and Balances” frothy face wash will cost you anywhere between $10 and $19.50 but completely worth the $$$. It’s great for all skin types, has maximum coverage and provides a cleanser that balances the dry and oily spots. Broad Leaf Kelp Extract discourages excess oil production, while Wheat Protein balances and protects dry prone zones. Tourmaline actually makes water wetter to more easily disperse dirt and sebum down the drain. There’s also aromatic Bergamot, Spearmint and Lavender to add pleasure to the process. Skin feels comfortably refreshed after cleansing, never tight, pulled or parched. So this product is not only great to maintain clear and well balanced skin, but it’s also completely natural!

The final piece to my skincare regime is the “Save the Males” multi-benefit moisturizer. It’s a great alternative to throwing Vaseline or lotion all up in your pores. The 2.5 fl. Oz. bottle will cost you about $34 and they even offer an auto replenishment option so you never run out. This moisturizer has a silky texture and also has maximum coverage, so that only a drop of product is needed to do the job. This multi-benefit, oil-free lotion with Carrot Protein and other natural activists supports skin, so it stays healthy and hydrated. Chinese Wolfberry and Mangosteen Extract offer powerful antioxidant protection. White Birch takes a firm stance against the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. This is definitely a winner in my book; anything that hydrates, balances natural skin oil, and detracts aging and wrinkles is worth the investment.

“Checks and Balances” frothy face wash and the “Save the Males” multi-benefit moisturizer, is available Online at Origins.com or at your Local Origins Store. P.S. Origins Reps will also do a skin test and leave you with tons of samples of their products, so stop by a store today!

Molasses Bread Pudding

By Deena Hamza

Bread pudding may be your fondest Holiday memory of decadent treats with so many variations to please everyone’s taste. Here is my favorite recipe courtesy of Tosca Reno, the fittest 50+ year old in the fitness industry!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Ezekiel bread, cubed (or raisin bread)
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • ¼ cup dark sultana raisins
  • ¼ cup slivered raw almonds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • Sea salt
  • 2 cups milk (soy, cow, sheep, almond, rice, oat are alternatives)

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Place bread cubes in the bottom of pan. Sprinkle dried fruits and almonds over bread cubes. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, molasses and salt. Whisk well.

3. Transfer milk to medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk slowly into egg mixture. Pour over bread mixture in loaf pan.

4. Place loaf pan in a shallow water bath and bake for one hour or until bread mixture begins to look brown and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Yogurt and berries or even a sprinkle of powdered sugar will seal this masterpiece. Enjoy!

~Deena

Holiday Survival Guide

By Deena Hamza

Let`s be honest. All of us are going to indulge in Holiday treats because occasions are intertwined with good food and even better company. Instead of morphing into a royal Grinch and spoiling the festivities by turning down red velvet cake or pecan pie, here are some ways to battle the bulge once the Holidays are over.

Chestnuts roasted on an open fire (2 of them) – 140 calories

  • Sing holiday songs for 60 minutes
  • Light stationary rowing for 40 minutes

Gingerbread man (1 large) – 180 calories

  • Run through the park for 20 minutes
  • Run on the treadmill for 20 minutes

Peanut brittle (1 ½ oz.) – 200 calories

  • Chat with the boss at the office party for 2 hours
  • Stair climber for 30 minutes

Fruitcake – 300 calories

  • Drive for 2 hours to visit relatives
  • Circuit training for 45 minutes

Cranberry Tart (1 slice) – 425 calories

  • Go sledding for 60 minutes
  • Enjoy a moderate spin class – 45 minutes

Pecan Pie (1 slice) – 450 calories

  • Cook a holiday feast for 3 hours
  • One vigorous aerobics class for 45 to 60 minutes

Rum eggnog (8 oz.) – 500 calories

  • Dance for 2 hours
  • Vigorous lap swimming for 60 minutes

Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Enjoy yourselves this Holiday Season but every decadence you indulge in there’s an equal fitness penance waiting!

Body Composition

By Deena Hamza

Hello Everyone! I hope all of my G.O.Ps had a wonderful Thanksgiving and each and every one of you took the time to reflect on the things and people you are thankful for.

Body composition is a measurement that can provide a ratio of body fat to lean muscle mass and can give an indication of how healthy a person is. Here’s a list of the top ways to measure body composition:

CALIPER OR SKINFOLD TEST:

  • Accurately measures the subcutaneous fat (surface level) on the body
  • Calipers are used to grab adipose fat in up to nine sites in the body
  • Sum of skin-folds is calculated and applied to equations to determine fat percentage
  • This measurement does not measure visceral adipose tissue

WAIST – TO HIP RATION:

  • Accurate and simple test
  • Waist and girth are determined with a measuring tape
  • Waist girth is divided by hip girth to provide a ratio
  • Values below 0.85 for men and 0.80 for women are acceptable
  • Strong relationship found between waist and hip relativity and heart disease

HYDRODENSITOMETRY OR UNDERWATER WEIGHING:

  • Very accurate test measuring the density of the body under water
  • This measurement follows the premise that muscle weighs more than fat and will provide a denser measure in healthy individuals

BIOELECTRICAL IMPEDENCE (BIA):

  • Very popular
  • Top of the line Tanita scales cost $80 – $300
  • Accurate test measuring the conductance of an electrical current through the body
  • Fat free conductivity and fat mass conductivity provide percentages

DUAL X-RAY ABSORPTIOMETRY (DEXA):

  • Most accurate test
  • Two x-rays measure body’s mineral mass, fat mass, and fat free mass
  • Amount of s-ray photon absorbed by the type of mass indicates the amount of tissue (i.e. fat, muscle, mineral)

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI):

  • Very accurate but expensive measuring technique
  • Magnetic field is used to excite water and fat molecules
  • Reading provides how fat is distributed throughout the body

AIR DISPLACEMENT PLETHYSMOGRAPHY (BOD POD):

  • Accurate but expensive test
  • Very similar to underwater weighing
  • Air displacement is used as the technique to determine the density of the body

BODY MASS INDEX (BMI):

  • Common but inaccurate measurement
  • Height and weight is used to determine body mass
  • Does not account for muscle mass weighing more than fat mass
  • A lean bodybuilder could have a greater (unhealthier) BMI than an obese individual

COMPUTED TOPOGRAPHY:

  • Accurate but expensive test
  • Cross-sectional scans of the body are used
  • Best used to provide images of intra-abdominal fat versus subcutaneous distributions

I have a Tanita bioelectrical impedance scale and have used mine for over 5 years for personal and commercial use and it’s very enlightening and useful. Which one would you use?

In health, Deena

Dr. Gillian’s Detox Day

By Deena Hamza

As promised, here is Dr. Gillian’s one-day detox diet!

Taken from Dr. Gillian McKeith’s YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: The Plan That Will Change Your Life. For the detoxification process to work properly, you should not starve yourself. You will simply give your organs a holiday from what you normally eat. You will cut out the naughty foods, add lots of good foods that cleanse your organs and facilitate the expulsion of toxins from your body. And as a result you will brim with vitality and energy.

7:00 am WARM LEMON WATER

Squeeze some fresh lemon into warm water as desired. Warm water with lemon allows a gentle start to the day, as it goes straight through to the bowels, helping to expel fecal matter from the day before, (Cold water, first thing in the morning, shocks and stops at the tummy, thus creating gas or bloating.)

7:30 am LINSEED

Choose from:

  • Place 2 heaped teaspoons of organic linseeds in a large glass of filtered water.
  • Soak 1 tablespoon of linseeds in a cup of boiling water the night before. Drink only the liquid in the morning.

8:00 am BREAKFAST

Choose from:

  • Fruit. Your breakfast fruit should be served at room temperature. Eat enough so that you are not hungry and chew it really well. Avoid oranges or orange juice as they are too acidic. If you opt for grapes, don’t mix them with anything else, chooses from: apples, pears, papayas, pineapples, cherries, peaches, plums, watermelons, apricots, berries.
  • Miso soup
  • Vegetable juice, made up of 1 cucumber, ¼ piece of root ginger (peeled), 4 celery stalks, ½ cup alfalfa sprouts, 3 sprigs of parsley, and carrot (peeled)

9:30 am TEA BREAK: DRINK A CUP OR TWO OF HERBAL TEA

During this Detox Day, we will take several tea breaks. After all, what would we do without our tea breaks? So this day is no different. I have built in a number of them for your sipping pleasure. Nutritionally speaking, though, my tea breaks will be nourishing, healing and will enhance the detox. You will need to choose from the list of teas that I tell you, You cannot drink your caffeine-laden black tea, but you can drink: nettle, dandelion, camomile, sage, or Echinacea teas.

10:00 am FRUIT JUICE BREAK

Choose seasonal fruit, freshly squeezed or pressed with your juicer, if it’s winter and/or you feel chilly, and then add some boiling hot water to the juice. If you are getting rather hungry mid-morning, then please make more juices for yourself.

12:30 pm LUNCH

You’ve made it so far. And i bet you’re doing just fine.

  • Now here’s lunch.
  • Choose from the following:
  • Raw salad with sprouts
  • Raw Mint Cucumber soup (juice of 3 cucumbers and 2 celery sticks, ¼ cup chopped mint leaves, ¼ fresh chopped parsley, ¼ leek finely chopped)
  • Raw sauerkraut

Grain such as millet, quinoa, rice, amaranth – After cooking the grain add one or more of the following raw herbs to mix with it: dill, chives, chervil, or dandelion leaves. Serve with a side dish or broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, dark green lettuce leaves, celery or Brussels sprouts.

2:00 pm HERBAL TEA BREAK

2:30 pm DR.MCKEITH’S VEGGIE DETOX JUICE

COOL CARROTMANIA

This is delightful and very nourishing to the liver.

6 carrots, 2 celery stalks and 1 apple.

(Try a version without apple too.)

BEETROOT BLAST

½ beetroot, 2 carrots, 1 celery stalk, ½ small cucumber

COOL CUCUMBER

2 whole cucumbers, ¼ – ½ beetroot, a dill sprig

CUCUMBER MEDLEY

2 cucumbers, 4 celery stalks, ¼ piece of root ginger (optional), sprig of basil or coriander

This is my favourite

GREENS TO GO

A handful of parsley, 1 kale leaf, 5 carrots and a tiny piece of root ginger

CELERY ENERGY

2 celery stalks, a handful of parsley, 1 garlic clove, 5 carrots, ½ cup alfalfa sprouts (optional but great if you do)

3:00 pm HERBAL TEA BREAK

3:30 PM IT’S SNACK TIME!

  • Snack on sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and/or raw sauerkraut.
  • 4:00 pm DR.GILLIAN’S DELECTABLE VEGGIE SMOOTHIE
  • 6 carrots (with tops if possible)
  • 1 soft avocado
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1 apple
  • 1 lemon slice

Juice the carrots and apple through a juicer. Add to other ingredients and blend in a blender or food processor. Squeeze a dash of lemon into the drink.

5:30 pm DINNER

You are almost finished for the day. You can now eat a hearty raw salad with a handful of raw sprouts. Plus, add a small amount of grain if feeling really hungry,

6:30 pm POTASSIUM BROTH BREAK

You are doing very well, keep it up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup red beets (optional)
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup turnips
  • A pinch of cayenne, to taste

Fill saucepan with approximately 1.8 L of water. Slice vegetables directly into water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and cook on a low temperature (a very light simmer) for 2 hours or so. Strain the vegetables and drink only the broth.

7:30 pm WARM WATER WITH LEMON BREAK

Just squeeze fresh lemon into a teacup with warm or hot water and drink.

8:15 pm DRY SKIN BRUSH

Using a dry skin brush [like a loofah, see earlier article on hygiene] smoothly brush the soles of feet, working your way up the legs, then up the arms and down the back. Brush in long sweeping movements towards your heart, as it increases circulation and improves skin tone and texture. Always brush lightly and gently, and avoid broken skin, thread veins and varicose veins

8:30 pm YOUR REWARD: MINERAL BATH

You made it this far; you deserve an accolade. An amazing bath is your reward. Once the bath is filled with water, add the following (all available from health food stores):

  • 2 teaspoons flax oil
  • Some liquid minerals
  • 1 teaspoon liquid silica
  • 2 teaspoons aloe vera
  • 3 or 4 drops each of essential oils of frankincense and myrrh

9:00 pm THOSE LATE-NIGHT MUNCHIES

Munch on lettuce and celery stalks before bedtime. (Celery is loaded with the mineral magnesium, one of the most calming nutrients.) Go to bed early (between 9:30 pm and 10:30 pm) if you can.

Give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose.

I Have No Time to Work Out

By Deena Hamza

Oh! How many times have I heard that time is the ONLY thing standing in one’s way from working out. Never fear my G.O.Ps! I have just the thing for you…

In the fitness world, we call splits divisions of body parts that we group together. Some people like to group push movements together in one workout (i.e. shoulders, chest) and pull movements in another workout (i.e. biceps, back). Other people like to mix push and pull movements in one workout. Splits can reduce the number of workouts required per week to fully exhaust the entire body. Below are three different variations that may suit some of your schedules.

OPTION 1:

  • Sunday: off
  • Monday: Chest/Back/Arms
  • Tuesday: Shoulders/Legs/Abs
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: Chest/Back/Arms
  • Friday: Shoulders/Legs/Abs
  • Saturday: off

OPTION 2:

  • Sunday: Chest/Back/Arms/Abs/Shoulders
  • Monday: off
  • Tuesday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves/Glutes
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: Chest/Back/Arms/Abs/Shoulders
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves/Glutes

OPTION 3:

  • Sunday: Chest/Back/Arms
  • Monday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves
  • Tuesday: Glutes/Shoulders/Abs
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: Chest/Back/Arms
  • Friday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves
  • Saturday: Glutes/Shoulders/Abs

If you’re too busy to work out every day during the week, give one of these training splits a try. There’s never an excuse for not maintaining your health.

In fitness, Deena

Knowledge is Power: Knowing Your Status is not a Stigma!

By Stephfon Gudiry

World AIDS day is Today, December 1st each year is set aside to give homage and hope to the progress and the history of this epidemic. A documented 1.2 million cases of people living with HIV in the U.S. only 40 percent are taking their medications regularly (based on CDC report released Tuesday).  Atlanta health officials documented that only about 1 in 4 of those infected with the disease is properly taking their medications, primarily due to their lack of being tested for the virus. Living with HIV and AIDS in 2011 might seem a stark reality, a stigmatized existence, or a medical diagnosis that can be overcome.

In Jacksonville, Florida considered to be part of the “bible belt”, some of its 821,000 residents experience the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.  Fear of exposure and fear of stigma with this virus are only aiding in its epidemic. Jacksonville’s own Duval County documented a 33% increase in HIV infections in early 2011. Donna Fuchs, executive director of Northeast Florida AIDS Network, found it hard to set up her organization back in 2000. “HIV carries a huge stigma in our city,” stated Fuchs. (CNN.com) One property owner blatantly told Fuchs that he didn’t want people with AIDS coming into his office building.  Fuchs is not the only AIDS organization on her block but goes on to describe the need to disguise the building, one example of this was taking away the red ribbon on their sign, to appease their clients. Todd Reese, associate director of Health Care Center operations at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, “No one walks into any building or floor that has any association with HIV.”(CNN.com)

In light of the negativity hat is brought in the narrow-minded scope in places like Jacksonville, there are still some who find a way to light the path for others to live. Veronica Hicks, 50 Jacksonville native, HIV positive and she is creating a positive change in her church by starting a support group and testing awareness ministry. Hicks felt that as long as she embraced her status and was open she could create change.

The Center for Disease Control also reported that about 28 percent of individuals infected are properly medicating themselves in order to keep the virus at low levels. Through early detection comes the ability to fight the virus and live a longer fuller life. Magic Johnson, former NBA star turn HIV/AIDS advocate after being infect for 20 years, told CNN: “Early detection saved my life! I’ve done everything I was supposed to do to be here 20 years later. Back 20 years ago there was only one drug now there’s over 30 drugs to take care of you and prolong your life.”  Johnson spoke about having the proper frame of mind and saying that mental acceptance was essential in defeating the disease and prolonging his life!

If you are interested in learning more about HIV and AIDS check out One.org or WorldAIDSday.org as well. GET TESTED and KNOW YOUR STATUS!

Take the DETOX Challenge

By Deena Hamza

I love to read and yes my favorite thing to read about is how to improve one’s health. One of my favorite books is YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: The Plan That Will Change Your Life by naturopathic Dr. Gillian McKeith. You may have seen this tough Scottish femme fatal on The Learning Channel (TLC) on her show You Are What You Eat where she heads to the mall with pig skin, pig eye lids with lashes attached and pig snouts and stops shoppers and informs them that those “goodies” are what’s packed in their beloved deli meats and hot dogs. She has a bed and breakfast clinic within her home where she gives linseed enemas to obese clients, examines their bowel production through smell, texture, and whole food particles to determine how healthy their body is and if they chew their food properly.

Her most famous statement: “Your stomach doesn’t have teeth you know!”

Here’s a detox challenge straight from her book: Answer yes or no to each of the following questions.

  • Do you live in a city?
  • Do you work in an office?
  • Do you use underground transport regularly?
  • Do you frequently jog, run or walk alongside busy roads with traffic?
  • Do you regularly use a cell phone?
  • Do you regularly use a computer?
  • Do you live near high-volume power lines, a nuclear or electric power plant or cell phone tower(s)?
  • Do you regularly smoke cigarettes or other substances?
  • Do you frequently use recreational or prescription drugs and medications?
  • Do you drink alcohol on a daily basis, or binge drink on weekends or at other times?
  • Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle whereby you never exercise?
  • Do you catch more than three colds, flus and/or viruses in an average year?
  • Do you have any mercury fillings in your teeth?
  • Do you drink on a daily basis any of the following: coffee, fizzy drinks, tab water, cows’ milk and/or carbonated sodas?
  • Do you eat on a daily basis any of the following: sugar, sweets, chocolates, white bread, canned food, frozen food, microwaved food, fried food, meats, cured lunch meats, cookies, cakes?
  • Do you normally add what sugar or sugar substitutes in your tea or coffee?
  • Do you regularly add salt to your food when cooking, or add salt when your dish arrives?
  • Is reading food labels for chemicals or preservatives before making selections irrelevant to you?

I don’t know about my G.O.Ps, but I had 7 questions where I answered yes. Let’s check out what the scoring means.

SCORING

If you answered yes to more than 5 questions, then you may be a toxic junkie. I suggest you embark upon my Detox Day Plan at your earliest convenience. This weekend perhaps? Ouch Dr. Gillian McKeith! That cuts like a knife. And here I was thinking I would score totally awesome and knock ‘em dead. Yikes! I’m a toxic junkie….

If you answered yes to more than 10 questions, then you are a toxic dump monster. You are most likely loaded with toxins throughout your organs, cells, blood, and body. You might even have bad breath, flatulence, and body odor. If not, you’ll have it soon enough along with a host of serious ills if you fail to act immediately. Therefore, you must embark upon my Detox Day Plan immediately. And I mean today. I am not giving you a choice here!

The good news is that a detox of any sort need not be unpleasant, undignified or inconvenient. A detox can be gentle, easy, simple and minimal. It certainly shouldn’t be so austere that it makes you want to kill for a doughnut because you are in such desperation.

My next article will detail Dr.Gillian McKeith’s Detox Day. May the detox gods be with us! ~Deena

Dehydration

By Deena Hamza

How do you know if you’re dehydrated?

The best way to determine if you are consuming enough water per day is by the color of your urine. If your urine is a distinct yellow and murky you may be dehydrated. A hydrated body will produce urine that is pale yellow to near clear in color.

Dehydration is the first culprit of the following conditions:

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Lack of mental clarity
  • Constipation
  • Cystitis
  • Back pain
  • Excess weight
  • High cholesterol
  • Cellulite
  • Water retention

Ordering Out

By Deena Hamza

So it snowed over the weekend and it seemed like just yesterday I packed away my winter clothes and boots only to take them out again after a brief break from the Canadian chills. The winter always reminds me of eating out or ordering take-away because the weather makes for a tumultuous commute to and from the local grocery store – that is if you can make it out of your driveway without getting stuck in the snow.

Ordering out can be difficult when you’re following a healthy eating plan or at least trying to. To help my G.O.Ps out I have a list of tips and terms to help you make the right choice off the menu.

  • Take the breadbasket away. This will help limit the number of excess carbs you consume on top of your entree.
  • After 5 pm, substitute vegetables and salad greens in place of fries, white rice, potatoes, and bread.
  • Have your protein baked, grilled, steamed, or poached.
  • Ask for a doggie bag right away if the portion size is too large
  • Ask for dressings and sauces to be served on the side.

Things to Avoid:

  • Au gratin = with cheeseBasted = moistened with fat drippings
  • Béarnaise = cream sauce of egg yolks, vinegar, and butter
  • Béchamel = cream sauce of milk, butter, and flour
  • Croute = encased in pastry and fried in butter
  • Croquette = mixture of meat or grains bound with heavy sauce and deep fried

Pay careful attention to what you order on a regular basis, my G.O.Ps. An added 10 calories per day (i.e. a bite of an apple) will lead to a 1 lb. gain by the end of the year.
~DEENA

Sodium Nitrates and Nitrites

By Deena Hamza

What are sodium nitrates and nitrites? Well, simply put, they are preservatives (aka chemicals) that are added to processed meats to prevent the meat from turning grey. Since all meats are “cooked” through some process, it’s strange to see the bright red hue they exhibit. Nitrates and nitrites convert into nitrosamines in the stomach, and nitrosamines have been shown to cause cancer in animals when consumed in large quantities. Does this mean that nitrosamines will cause cancer in humans? Not necessarily. Animal studies demonstrate a correlation or association between factors (nitrosamines and cancer risk) that may ultimately prove valid in human studies. I’ll keep you updated on the latest research.

Convenience foods are flooded with these kinds of preservatives and as a general rule, everyone needs to eat foods as close to nature as possible in their most unadulterated form. Would I recommend eating deli meats to one of my clients? No. But, there are pre-packaged deli meats that do not contain nitrites but again, contain other preservatives.

Ever wonder why a pack of deli meat lasts for weeks in the fridge, while a piece of home cooked steak doesn’t? Digestive processes in your body have a harder time digesting preserved foods, and the transit time from stomach-intestines-colon is increased. The longer foods wait in the digestive system to be broken down, the more bacteria are formed and have a longer time to ferment. This is the essence of the dietary intake to disease incidence cycle.

So, my Precious Gents: Who’s up for a smoked beef sandwich or homemade egg salad? I know you will all make the right decision. Until next time my (health-conscious) Gents of Preciousness! ~DEENA