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Three Ways To Biohack Your Muscles

1. Restriction Training

This technique is also called occlusion training. The concept is really simple: you take an elastic band or piece of plastic tubing, wrap it around the muscle you want to work like a tourniquet, and then do your workout. For example, if it’s arm day and you’re doing …

Read more

Clean Cells Are Healthy Cells

Clean cells are happy cells. And happy cells are healthy cells. By starting with NRF2, Vitality Stack comes with a major component that’s proven to reduce oxidative stress or free radical damage. In other words, it helps clean cellular garbage by turning on our cells’ “vacuum cleaners.”

But…

Read more

3 Things To Do To Live a Healthier, Longer Life

Read more

Mitochondria

You’ve got billions of mitochondria running through your cells. They might be small. But they’re mighty – the microscopic little engines that could. Sure, mitochondria power your cells, but that’s an oversimplified way of thinking about them because in terms of what they do, pure energy just scratch…

Read more

Intermittent Fasting

Are you a 16/8, a 5/2, or an alternate daily? If you’ve heard people talk like this and have wondered what it’s all about, here’s the scoop. It’s the new, yet old, rage—intermittent fasting. What is it? Why is it so popular? And how do you do it? It can’t be good for you, right?

Our bod…

Read more

Healthy Living On a Frugal budget

 

Sometimes it’s not willpower that keeps people from eating healthy, it’s the wallet. Just head to any food blog or turn on the Food Network and you’ll probably realize that all those fantastic meals aren’t cheap.

 

While on the surface that may be true, with a little planning, organiz…

Read more

The Aging process - Part Three

 

Maintaining cellular health involves preserving the functionality of cell structures (specifically, mitochondria). With all structures working at their best, the cell is able to perform its numerous jobs efficiently and effectively. Mitochondria are key structures within your cells that, when da…

Read more

THE AGING PROCESS - PART TWO

 

For many of us, the word ‘aging’ evokes feelings of fear, negativity and resignation. And it’s no wonder we have such an aversion to aging as it often comes with a number of unwanted changes, both in the way we look and feel. But as you learned in The Aging Story Part 1: Biological vs. Chronolog…

Read more

The Aging Brain

 

You probably think of your brain as one organ, that graphic you see of squiggly grey matter. But it’s really made up of many different structures and networks which all function both independently from and interdependently with each other. A recent study showed that these structures even age di…

Read more

THE AGING PROCESS - PART ONE

 

It’s no secret that your body changes with age. These changes can be seen in your appearance (such as wrinkles and gray hair) as well as in your physical and mental performance (think slowed reaction time and memory loss). And, as unfortunate as it may seem, things like wrinkles, balding and hea…

Read more

View older posts »

Blog Posts

Three Ways To Biohack Your Muscles

1. Restriction Training

This technique is also called occlusion training. The concept is really simple: you take an elastic band or piece of plastic tubing, wrap it around the muscle you want to work like a tourniquet, and then do your workout. For example, if it’s arm day and you’re doing …

Read more

Clean Cells Are Healthy Cells

Clean cells are happy cells. And happy cells are healthy cells. By starting with NRF2, Vitality Stack comes with a major component that’s proven to reduce oxidative stress or free radical damage. In other words, it helps clean cellular garbage by turning on our cells’ “vacuum cleaners.”

But…

Read more

3 Things To Do To Live a Healthier, Longer Life

Read more

Mitochondria

You’ve got billions of mitochondria running through your cells. They might be small. But they’re mighty – the microscopic little engines that could. Sure, mitochondria power your cells, but that’s an oversimplified way of thinking about them because in terms of what they do, pure energy just scratch…

Read more

Intermittent Fasting

Are you a 16/8, a 5/2, or an alternate daily? If you’ve heard people talk like this and have wondered what it’s all about, here’s the scoop. It’s the new, yet old, rage—intermittent fasting. What is it? Why is it so popular? And how do you do it? It can’t be good for you, right?

Our bod…

Read more

Healthy Living On a Frugal budget

 

Sometimes it’s not willpower that keeps people from eating healthy, it’s the wallet. Just head to any food blog or turn on the Food Network and you’ll probably realize that all those fantastic meals aren’t cheap.

 

While on the surface that may be true, with a little planning, organiz…

Read more

The Aging process - Part Three

 

Maintaining cellular health involves preserving the functionality of cell structures (specifically, mitochondria). With all structures working at their best, the cell is able to perform its numerous jobs efficiently and effectively. Mitochondria are key structures within your cells that, when da…

Read more

THE AGING PROCESS - PART TWO

 

For many of us, the word ‘aging’ evokes feelings of fear, negativity and resignation. And it’s no wonder we have such an aversion to aging as it often comes with a number of unwanted changes, both in the way we look and feel. But as you learned in The Aging Story Part 1: Biological vs. Chronolog…

Read more

The Aging Brain

 

You probably think of your brain as one organ, that graphic you see of squiggly grey matter. But it’s really made up of many different structures and networks which all function both independently from and interdependently with each other. A recent study showed that these structures even age di…

Read more

THE AGING PROCESS - PART ONE

 

It’s no secret that your body changes with age. These changes can be seen in your appearance (such as wrinkles and gray hair) as well as in your physical and mental performance (think slowed reaction time and memory loss). And, as unfortunate as it may seem, things like wrinkles, balding and hea…

Read more

View older posts »

Blog Posts

Three Ways To Biohack Your Muscles

1. Restriction Training

This technique is also called occlusion training. The concept is really simple: you take an elastic band or piece of plastic tubing, wrap it around the muscle you want to work like a tourniquet, and then do your workout. For example, if it’s arm day and you’re doing …

Read more

Clean Cells Are Healthy Cells

Clean cells are happy cells. And happy cells are healthy cells. By starting with NRF2, Vitality Stack comes with a major component that’s proven to reduce oxidative stress or free radical damage. In other words, it helps clean cellular garbage by turning on our cells’ “vacuum cleaners.”

But…

Read more

3 Things To Do To Live a Healthier, Longer Life

Read more

Mitochondria

You’ve got billions of mitochondria running through your cells. They might be small. But they’re mighty – the microscopic little engines that could. Sure, mitochondria power your cells, but that’s an oversimplified way of thinking about them because in terms of what they do, pure energy just scratch…

Read more

Intermittent Fasting

Are you a 16/8, a 5/2, or an alternate daily? If you’ve heard people talk like this and have wondered what it’s all about, here’s the scoop. It’s the new, yet old, rage—intermittent fasting. What is it? Why is it so popular? And how do you do it? It can’t be good for you, right?

Our bod…

Read more

Healthy Living On a Frugal budget

 

Sometimes it’s not willpower that keeps people from eating healthy, it’s the wallet. Just head to any food blog or turn on the Food Network and you’ll probably realize that all those fantastic meals aren’t cheap.

 

While on the surface that may be true, with a little planning, organiz…

Read more

The Aging process - Part Three

 

Maintaining cellular health involves preserving the functionality of cell structures (specifically, mitochondria). With all structures working at their best, the cell is able to perform its numerous jobs efficiently and effectively. Mitochondria are key structures within your cells that, when da…

Read more

THE AGING PROCESS - PART TWO

 

For many of us, the word ‘aging’ evokes feelings of fear, negativity and resignation. And it’s no wonder we have such an aversion to aging as it often comes with a number of unwanted changes, both in the way we look and feel. But as you learned in The Aging Story Part 1: Biological vs. Chronolog…

Read more

The Aging Brain

 

You probably think of your brain as one organ, that graphic you see of squiggly grey matter. But it’s really made up of many different structures and networks which all function both independently from and interdependently with each other. A recent study showed that these structures even age di…

Read more

THE AGING PROCESS - PART ONE

 

It’s no secret that your body changes with age. These changes can be seen in your appearance (such as wrinkles and gray hair) as well as in your physical and mental performance (think slowed reaction time and memory loss). And, as unfortunate as it may seem, things like wrinkles, balding and hea…

Read more

View older posts »

Blog Posts

Three Ways To Biohack Your Muscles

1. Restriction Training

This technique is also called occlusion training. The concept is really simple: you take an elastic band or piece of plastic tubing, wrap it around the muscle you want to work like a tourniquet, and then do your workout. For example, if it’s arm day and you’re doing …

Read more

Clean Cells Are Healthy Cells

Clean cells are happy cells. And happy cells are healthy cells. By starting with NRF2, Vitality Stack comes with a major component that’s proven to reduce oxidative stress or free radical damage. In other words, it helps clean cellular garbage by turning on our cells’ “vacuum cleaners.”

But…

Read more

3 Things To Do To Live a Healthier, Longer Life

Read more

Mitochondria

You’ve got billions of mitochondria running through your cells. They might be small. But they’re mighty – the microscopic little engines that could. Sure, mitochondria power your cells, but that’s an oversimplified way of thinking about them because in terms of what they do, pure energy just scratch…

Read more

Intermittent Fasting

Are you a 16/8, a 5/2, or an alternate daily? If you’ve heard people talk like this and have wondered what it’s all about, here’s the scoop. It’s the new, yet old, rage—intermittent fasting. What is it? Why is it so popular? And how do you do it? It can’t be good for you, right?

Our bod…

Read more

Healthy Living On a Frugal budget

 

Sometimes it’s not willpower that keeps people from eating healthy, it’s the wallet. Just head to any food blog or turn on the Food Network and you’ll probably realize that all those fantastic meals aren’t cheap.

 

While on the surface that may be true, with a little planning, organiz…

Read more

The Aging process - Part Three

 

Maintaining cellular health involves preserving the functionality of cell structures (specifically, mitochondria). With all structures working at their best, the cell is able to perform its numerous jobs efficiently and effectively. Mitochondria are key structures within your cells that, when da…

Read more

THE AGING PROCESS - PART TWO

 

For many of us, the word ‘aging’ evokes feelings of fear, negativity and resignation. And it’s no wonder we have such an aversion to aging as it often comes with a number of unwanted changes, both in the way we look and feel. But as you learned in The Aging Story Part 1: Biological vs. Chronolog…

Read more

The Aging Brain

 

You probably think of your brain as one organ, that graphic you see of squiggly grey matter. But it’s really made up of many different structures and networks which all function both independently from and interdependently with each other. A recent study showed that these structures even age di…

Read more

THE AGING PROCESS - PART ONE

 

It’s no secret that your body changes with age. These changes can be seen in your appearance (such as wrinkles and gray hair) as well as in your physical and mental performance (think slowed reaction time and memory loss). And, as unfortunate as it may seem, things like wrinkles, balding and hea…

Read more

View older posts »

Three Ways To Biohack Your Muscles

1. Restriction Training

This technique is also called occlusion training. The concept is really simple: you take an elastic band or piece of plastic tubing, wrap it around the muscle you want to work like a tourniquet, and then do your workout. For example, if it’s arm day and you’re doing a bicep curl, you would wrap the band or tubing around your arm first, then do the movement.

A study concluded that low-intensity occlusion training has unique benefits in growth hormone release, muscle hypertrophy, and strength training for those with joint pain, or anyone who is unable to sustain high weight loads, like athletes who are unloading and postoperative patients.

2. Restricted Breathing For Better Oxygen Utilization

You may have seen one of these devices before, maybe even on Facebook, actors training for a role in some action pack movie: an oxygen-restriction mask. Sometimes called an altitude training mask. The purpose of oxygen-restricted training is to make it harder to draw air into your lungs, thus restricting the amount of oxygen you can take in on a given breath.

The benefits of restricted breathing are undeniable. Deprived of oxygen, your body makes more hemoglobin to shuttle oxygen to your muscles and produces more hormone and immune system adaptations.

3. Sauna For Cardiovascular Improvements

According to a study, participants who had two or three sauna sessions a week had a 22% reduced chance of suffering sudden cardiac death. Men who had four to seven sauna sessions of at least 20 minutes each, had the greatest benefits. Compared with those who had just one sauna session a week, they had a 63% lower risk of sudden cardiac death.

It has been reported that the benefit to cardiovascular health was likely due to the decrease in blood pressure and an increase in blood vessel diameter that both infrared exposure and heat exposure can provide.

These are three great ways to start biohacking your body. Many of these tools will help you see faster results than you’d see while training with no extra help. And there are plenty other techniques out there that will help you reach all kinds of goals.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BIOHACKING YOUR OWN BODY, CLICK THIS TEXT

 

Clean Cells Are Healthy Cells

Clean cells are happy cells. And happy cells are healthy cells. By starting with NRF2, Vitality Stack comes with a major component that’s proven to reduce oxidative stress or free radical damage. In other words, it helps clean cellular garbage by turning on our cells’ “vacuum cleaners.”

But the cellular benefits don’t stop there. NRF1 activates our mitochondrial genesis to help support mitochondrial production in our cells. Why is this so crucial? Great question. Mitochondria serve a critical role in overall cellular health by acting as both the powerhouses and policemen of the cell — controlling our DNA, providing us with ATP — AKA cellular energy juice — and promoting the development of healthy cells. The result: our cells have more energy, control, and vitality. 

The cellular membrane — the envelope that keeps each cell together — is so important for overall cellular health, and it hinges on essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA. DHA doesn’t just support structural membrane. It’s also a vital contributor to crucial neurochemical processes, gene expression, synaptic plasticity, and memory generation. The beauty of fatty acids like DHA and EPA in Vitality Stack is that they’re sourced purely from cold Norwegian waters and enforced with Omega 7 and Vitamin D. By giving our bodies high-quality fatty acids, we’re enabling proper cellular fluidity, flexibility, and communications as neurons send messages to each other. 

Probiotics are the last component in Vitality Stack, but certainly not the least important. Why? “Interactions between the microbiome and the intestinal barrier, particularly the contribution of the microbiome in maintaining barrier homeostasis, could be central in accounting for its maintaining a normal and healthy immune response.”*

Probio supports the growth of healthy gut bacteria. It also boosts and re-activates our microgut probiotics. And because it contains Bio-Track technology, it comes with a 60% efficiency penetrating through our stomach acid into the colon. And in case that wasn’t enough, WELLMUNE also promotes a healthy immune system. Far too often we overlook the gut when it comes to cellular health, but we shouldn’t. It’s extremely important. 

When we combine Vitality Stack with a healthy diet and exercise, it’s a powerful supplement that delivers multiple benefits on a cellular level. It cleans our cells. It increases critical mitochondrial production. It maintains cellular integrity and cellular communication. And it provides the microgut health that our digestive systems need to flourish. They call cells the building blocks of life for a reason, and by helping them stay happier and healthier, Vitality Stack helps me build a foundation for a healthier life. does it all by working together to help build the foundation for a healthy life — and that all starts with our cells.

The contents in this article were developed by surgical pathologist, Dr. Svetlana Silverman, MD FRCPC, Canada.

3 Things To Do To Live a Healthier, Longer Life

Living longer never seems to be a major subject for discussion until we actually get closer to dying. Funny how this is a back-to-front discussion because most of the things we do to our health during our lives actually determines how long we might live. Then it might be too late!

 

An easy way out would be to believe it all comes down to our genes. The course of our life is somehow predetermined by the genetic makeup we inherited from our family and their families. This notion has been debunked long ago by many researchers.

 

The new science called Nutrigenomics has shown our genetic preferences can be influenced and indeed changed by the things we do and things we don’t do. Smoking or not smoking is a good example of this. Our genetic pathways are mostly influenced by the things we eat and the things we don’t eat.

 

So one question which arises is when should I be paying attention to all this? When I am 20, 40, 60 or 80 years of age? Of course, the answer will be: The sooner the better! But it is never too late. The focus here is not just on planning to live longer but staying healthy in the process. The very thought of being stricken down with dementia or Alzheimer’s and “hanging on” for several years should be motivation enough to take all of these ideas into consideration.

 

Before I get into the detail of my three suggestions, I should point out that there are a couple of things one should always avoid - smoking and excessive alcohol. There is a reason why in most countries every cigarette package carries the warning “smoking kills”. The reason why this message is so prominent is because smoking can kill you. If you want to live a shorter, unhealthier live, then just carry on smoking. The same applies to excessive alcohol.

 

So now to my three suggestions to live healthier and longer. They are three activities which are easy to implement and can be incorporated into your daily life without having to change too much. In fact, when you have incorporated them you will no longer have to give them much thought as they will become routine, just like going to work every day or dropping the kids off to school. BTW, when you start, your family will probably follow your example, especially when they see your results!

 

1. Intermittent Fasting

 

This you may have heard about and it is often grossly misunderstood. The reason is it’s so easy to implement and it costs you nothing and in fact you will be spending less. This is hard competition for all those gurus out there selling all sorts of diets and fad programs to lose weight, most of which never work. Therefore, many who see Intermittent Fasting as competition start to spread rumours and fears about this century-old method of keeping trim.

 

What is Intermittent Fasting? It is simply a plan where you focus not on what you are eating, although that can also be important, but more on when you eat. In other words, as long as you keep to the time plan of your choosing, you will lose weight. For example, if you choose the so-called 16/8 plan, you will be eating everything in an 8-hour period and fasting for 16 hours (8 hours of which you are sleeping).

 

Let’s say you eat breakfast at 8.00 a.m., lunch at 1.00 p.m. and dinner/snack at 4.00 p.m. then you would eat nothing more until breakfast the next day (16 hours later). Most people on this program tend to skip either breakfast or dinner as it makes the planning easier and the weight loss much more effective. Breakfast is just coffee, Lunch at 12.00 p.m. and dinner at 7.00 p.m. (17 hours fasting).

 

If one eats just normal, nutritive meals, then you will lose 8-10% of your overall weight on a 90-day plan, almost all of which will be the dangerous fats you carry around with you. Of course, if you implement suggestions 2 and 3 and reduce the sugar content of your meals, then it could be even more. Experience shows that once you see and feel the success, you will want to continue although you could take a break and use such a program just twice each year. Better still, as you get used to watching when you eat, it will become more of a routine. It won’t matter if you occasionally go on a binge on birthdays, Thanksgiving or other festive days as long as you stay with the plan for the rest of the time.

 

2. Detox

 

In our modern society, our bodies are constantly being exposed to all sorts of toxins. The processed foods we eat, the air we breath and even the things we spray and spread on our skin are ways dangerous toxins enter our bodies.

 

What happens when we have an excess of toxins which our bodies cannot process and eliminate? They get stored in our fat cells much the same way excess sugar (glucose) is converted into fat and then stored, mainly around the stomach! Many experts claim these stored toxins prohibit an effective attack on those fat cells and prevent an efficient fat loss program. This is sometimes disputed but does make some sense. In any case, these stored toxins are not good for us and should be eliminated at all cost.

 

So how do I detoxify? There is no single pill you can take to attack your toxin problem. It will require a number of changes to your diet and things you do every day. Firstly, you should avoid as much as possible adding any more toxins to your body. Together with your Intermittent Fasting program make sure you avoid as many processed foods as possible. They contain lots of substances and chemicals your body doesn't need. Pay attention to any household products you are using. They most certainly contain chemicals you breath in. Even cosmetics include chemicals you don't really need. For example, does your deodorant include aluminium? Switch to one that doesn’t.

 

Then comes the actual detox program. There are basically two types of toxins, those that are soluble and those which are insoluble. For soluble toxins, which are processed through the kidneys, it is necessary to drink as much as possible, preferably water. How much? Think in terms of at least 2-3 litre bottles every day. This will also help you contain the initial hunger feelings you will experience at the beginning of your fasting.

 

Then we must get rid of the insoluble toxins. The Intermittent Fasting program is a good start and can be supported by eliminating processed foods and eating lots more green vegetables and all sorts of fresh fruits. This can then be supplemented by drinking teas, with both green and red teas being the favourites. Personally, I drink two glasses of well-diluted apple cider vinegar each day which not only helps the cleansing process, it also has a number of benefits related to fat burning.

 

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar for several health benefits more than two thousand year ago.

 

Then there are a number of other activities which can help along the detox process. Taking a sauna occasionally will help eliminate some of the toxins (in the fat cells) through the pores of the skin. Using a hand skin scrubber (glove) every day will get rid of the dead cells you have on the surface of your skin. Practising deep breathing exercises will assist in eliminating certain toxins through your breath and then participating in any form of mild-strenuous activity (brisk walking, biking) will achieve the same results.

 

There are many references on the web as well as many books on the subject of detoxing the body and these here are just a few tips. Take the time to research the subject and get a detox program into your routine. It is not difficult and you will feel the difference.

 

 

3. Exercise

 

I know what you are now thinking - a sports club membership. Well, you are wrong. Here we are talking about exercise that will cost you nothing more than just your time.

 

For example, when you go shopping, how often do you park the car as close as you can to an entry/exit? How about looking for the parking spot farthest away from the entry? I know that sounds inconvenient but do you want to live longer or not? For many people this could add at least one extra mile of walking to their schedule every week. How about taking the elevator? Do you ever consider taking the stairs? Again, not so convenient but a great way to get in a little workout and burn some calories. Doesn't even take out time from your busy schedule.

 

Do you ever go for a walk around the neighbourhood or local park? This is something which was much more common in past generations and we seem to have gotten away from using our feet, except on the gas pedal. Plenty of excuses - too hot, too cold, too wet. Then go to the local shopping mall and do some extensive window shopping. It is sure a lot healthier than sitting in front of the TV or computer.

 

The best plan is to decide on a fixed workout such as walking briskly for an hour, three times a week and sticking with it. Take the car for the first run and map out a route of 3-4 miles. This is about one hour of brisk walking. To make it even more pleasurable take a family member or friend with you. That hour will go by quickly and could be even more pleasurable. For the more adventurous, start to jog instead of walking.

 

It is important to incorporate the exercise program as part of your routine. Once I got some advice from a friend of mine to start running half-marathons - at the age of 65! I thought he was crazy but I took his advice and discovered if you decide on something like that it means you have to plan for it in advance. This meant I had to develop a training program in order to get fit for the event. There was no looking back and I trained three times a week for three months. After my first event I was probably the fittest I had ever been my whole life.

 

Do you own a bike? If so, how often do you use it? If you don’t own one, how about investing $100 in a used one? Biking is becoming more and more popular and they are building more and more bike lanes across the country. Not only is biking healthy, it is contributing to improving the environment. The advantage of biking is you can see a lot more than if you are just walking. How about doing your shopping by bike instead of the car? A couple of saddle bags on back of the bike or maybe a rucksack and you are ready. Healthier and cheaper.

 

There are many other sports activities you could get into if you are so inclined. Playing tennis, golf, or going for a swim. Then there is the sports club, of course. Personally, I prefer a set of dumbbells at home. It is a lot cheaper and they are there in front of you, no more excuses. Building a little muscle didn’t hurt anyone and muscle burns more calories that fat!

 

Decision Time

 

All of these three action items are easy to do and they cost you nothing. The only reason you might not incorporate them into your daily life is because you have decided not to. But in the meantime perhaps something is happening inside of you which might not emerge as an illness until many years from now, when it might be too late.

 

Your health and the length of your life is not preprogrammed into your genes but is something you can control all by yourself. Even if you are not interested, think about the people who you love and who depend upon you. Maybe they are hoping you will be around for a very long time. For more motivation click on the link below and download the free chapter from my latest book on Intermittent Fasting. The content might surprise you.

Mitochondria

You’ve got billions of mitochondria running through your cells. They might be small. But they’re mighty – the microscopic little engines that could. Sure, mitochondria power your cells, but that’s an oversimplified way of thinking about them because in terms of what they do, pure energy just scratches the surface.

Mitochondria largely determine how you feel right now, how you’ll perform at work, your focus, and how intense your morning workout was. Their impact on your day is almost imperceptible unless you really think about it – then it becomes critical.

But as you age, your mitochondria begin to break down. In fact, this process is one of the main causes for the tell-tale signs of aging. Therefore, finding new ways to get your cells making more mitochondria isn’t just good for you now, it can help you live a healthy life. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep your cells producing healthy mitochondria.

WHAT ARE MITOCHONDRIA, ANYWAY?

Great question. Mitochondria are different from the other cellular components in your body. That’s because scientists believe that mitochondria, at one point, were their own independent organisms. They were once bacteria that, somewhere along the way, decided to work together. Because mitochondria evolved doing their own thing, they have their own DNA, and that means they can produce their own proteins and enzymes. Amazing, right?

When your mitochondria are functioning in tip-top shape, they form the foundation for a healthy life, affecting your mood, energy and focus levels, and much, much more. The important takeaway here is that healthy mitochondria provide your body with the steady flow of energy it needs to perform its best in a variety of functions. It’s not just the quantity of mitochondria that makes the biggest difference either, it’s the quality as well.

Because different parts of your body burn massive amounts of energy, when mitochondria production starts to slow, or the quality of your mitochondria starts to weaken, the body enters what we call mitochondrial dysfunction. This could be caused by poor diet, exposure to environmental toxins, bad sleep habits, and more. When free radicals start to attack your cells (and mitochondria by extension), we begin to experience the common symptoms of aging and oxidative stress, which can take a toll on your body.

Like we mentioned earlier, mitochondrial dysfunction is a normal cellular process, but it isn’t something you have to simply accept. Here are a few things you can do to help keep your mitochondria running at full power.

Sleep Better

Better sleep leads to better mitochondrial function. Why? Well, consider the time you spend sleeping as your brain and body’s daily upkeep. It’s a lot like a cleaning process. During the day, your cells produce a lot of waste. At night, mitochondria kick in and provide your cells with the energy they need to remove that waste. Looking at sleep this way makes the hours you spend in bed simply a good hygiene decision. So if you want to practice good sleep hygiene, consider winding down about an hour before bedtime. That means no phones (gasp!) and no Netflix (double gasp!).

Treat your body right

One of the keys to keeping your mitochondria in tip-top shape is reducing your toxic load. The reason is simple. Toxic load causes a normal inflammatory response in the cells, which in turn leads to the normal breakdown of mitochondria. To reduce your toxic load and support healthy mitochondria function, eat more omega 3 than omega 6 fatty acids. Swap the processed, packaged food you eat for whole alternatives. The eating cleaner can make a world of difference.

Exercise regularly

Mitochondria are energy junkies. The more energy your body demands, the more these little powerhouses kick into gear. Exercising, especially high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that alternates high-intensity bursts of activity, is particularly beneficial. Walking and running is fine, but if you really want to boost your mitochondrial function, look for exercising that dials up the intensity.

Improve your diet

Along with eliminating processed foods from your diet, switching from high-carbs to high fat gives your mitochondria the type of fuel they thrive on. This fuel is called ketones — the basis for the Keto Diet. Additionally, intermittent fasting has also been shown to improve mitochondria function.

DON’T TAKE YOUR MITOCHONDRIA FOR GRANTED

You might not be able to see them, but your mitochondria are playing a powerful, pivotal role behind the scenes with many of the daily functions you might be taking for granted. Taking care of your mitochondria won’t just improve your day-to-day life — it will pay big dividends tomorrow.

Intermittent Fasting

Are you a 16/8, a 5/2, or an alternate daily? If you’ve heard people talk like this and have wondered what it’s all about, here’s the scoop. It’s the new, yet old, rage—intermittent fasting. What is it? Why is it so popular? And how do you do it? It can’t be good for you, right?

Our bodies are geared toward intermittent fasting. Our ancestors often fasted out of necessity—food just wasn’t available. Fasting now and then is probably a more natural body rhythm than the forced “3 meals a day” we often eat. Intermittent fasting has been part of the world’s major religions, including Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity, to emphasize our spiritual nature over our physical nature. Now, people are doing it to improve health and simplify life.

 

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?

Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet—it’s an eating pattern. You don’t count calories, or even try to reduce them. There are no “diet” foods or restrictions. You don’t change what you eat, you change when you eat. (Remember that what you eat needs to be healthy no matter when you eat it.) People believe that this kind of meal timing helps to keep muscle mass while losing fat. Is this really possible?

When you eat, your body immediately gets busy digesting and absorbing food, which lasts for about 3 to 5 hours after a meal. It’s hard for your body to burn any fat during this time because eating causes your blood sugar levels to rise, and your body will use that first to produce energy. About 8 to 12 hours after you eat, your blood sugar levels are lower, and your body will look for an energy source. It can find it in stored fat.

 

HOW DO YOU DO IT?

There are lots of different ways to fast intermittently. You can schedule by the day, by the week, or even longer. You’ll find advantages and disadvantages no matter what you try, but there is likely an option that will work best for you. Keep in mind that whenever you choose to eat, you need to make sure you are eating healthful foods and getting the nutrients your body needs. Here are a few popular fasting methods:

  • 16/8 Days: This involves fasting for a 16-hour period and eating during an 8-hour period. For most people, breakfast is the easiest meal to skip, because eating isn’t just about the food, it’s often about socializing. So if you normally eat breakfast alone, you can still eat lunch with friends and dinner with family on this type of an intermittent fast. But if that doesn’t work for you, pick another 8-hour period during the day when you want to eat and fast for the other 16 hours.

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  • 5/2 Week: This weekly method involves eating normally for five days out of the week, then eating 500 calories or less for the other two days. For example, you can eat normally with friends and family over the weekend, then cut down to 500 calories on Monday, eat normally Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then eat 500 calories on Friday. Or pick two non-consecutive days that work the best for you.

 

  • Eat-Stop-Eat: Fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. For example, eat dinner one night then the next day, possibly when you have an extremely busy schedule, fast until dinner time. Just make sure you spread out the days when you’re fasting.

 

  • Spontaneous Meal Skipping: Listen to your body. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. Or if you have a really busy day, one where you normally eat junk food because you feel like you should eat SOMETHING, just don’t. Let your body have a rest instead.

 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES?

  •  You’ll probably lose weight. Most likely, you won’t eat as many calories as you previously were. Remember, though, that what you eat is now even more important—make sure the calories you are eating provide your body with the nutrients it needs.

  •  It’s easier than dieting. It’s hard to switch to “diet” foods, and after a while, many people revert back to what they were eating and enjoying before they started their diet. If you’re fasting intermittently, there’s no need to change what you eat or buy any special foods. You don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods; you just plan when to eat them.

  • It makes your life easier. If you skip one meal each day or even fast for 24 hours, you have a lot less meal planning, shopping, and cooking to do.

  • It can help you live longer. Restricting calories is believed to lengthen life span. But who wants to starve? Intermittent fasting activates some of the same body processes that happen with calorie restriction, so you get many of the same benefits without the misery.

Here are some of the processes that your body can focus on while it’s not digesting food:

  •  Hormone functions: For example, the levels of human growth hormone (HGH) in the body skyrocket when fasting. This can help with fat loss and muscle gain and many other bodily functions.

  •  Insulin levels: Insulin sensitivity improves while you’re fasting and your insulin levels drop. This may make stored body fat more accessible.

  • Cell repair: Your body has time to focus on cell repair processes, such as digesting and removing old, non-functioning protein build up.

  • Gene expression: Changes happen in your genes, especially the ones that are related to longevity and immune system function.

WHO SHOULDN’T TRY IT?

Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. Some reasons to NOT try it are as follows:

  • Blood sugar medications. If you take anything that regulates your blood sugar levels, like insulin or metformin, you need to eat regularly so your blood sugar doesn’t fall too low—a dangerous and life-threatening situation.

  • Eating disorders. Anyone who has any kind of history of or tendency toward anorexia or bulimia should avoid this type of eating as it could trigger a flare up.

  • Pregnant or planning to be pregnant. Women in this stage of life should focus on getting good nutrition all day every day.

  • Medications that need to be taken with food. It’s possible that you can use some butter or coconut oil to help avoid the discomfort and stomach upset that come when you take some medications on an empty stomach. It’s best to check with your doctor, though, before trying intermittent fasting with these types of medications.

TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU!

  • Keep it healthful. Your body still needs a balanced intake of protein, carbs, and fats to keep you well and functioning correctly. You might need to work even harder at getting those nutrients into your body in a shorter period of scheduled eating time.

  • Don’t stop drinking. While you’re fasting, keep drinking water and other non-calorie fluids, like coffee or tea.

  • Work up to it. You may want to start by working on eating a healthful, balanced diet. When that is working for you, consider some intermittent fasting. Start with one day a week or even one day each month, and work your way into it. Or start by fasting 12 hours, then 13, then work your way up to 18.

  • Try it once. Once you get over the mental barrier and realize that you really aren’t going to die if you don’t eat on the schedule you’re used to, it’s all downhill from there.

  • Give it a little time. You probably eat about the same time every day—it’s a habit. Not eating can be a habit, too. Give yourself some time to adjust to changing your behavior.

  • Remember, it’s just a sensation. Hunger comes and goes. Sometimes you feel hungry because you’re used to eating at a certain time. Sometimes you feel hungry when really you’re just thirsty. And sometimes you’re hungry because you always eat during a certain activity. Acknowledge the feeling and move through it. After about three weeks, people generally aren’t hungry on fasting days.

  • Despite what cereal manufacturers have been telling you, you can get by without eating breakfast! As long as you make sure you are eating a balanced diet when you do eat, intermittent fasting can be good for you. If you think it might be for you, ease into it and enjoy the benefits of calorie limitation without feeling deprived.

Healthy Living On a Frugal budget

 

Sometimes it’s not willpower that keeps people from eating healthy, it’s the wallet. Just head to any food blog or turn on the Food Network and you’ll probably realize that all those fantastic meals aren’t cheap.

 

While on the surface that may be true, with a little planning, organization, and willpower, you can build a healthier diet without paying an arm and a leg. We’ve created several tips to help you revamp your diet.

 

BUY IN SEASON

 

Just because you love corn, doesn’t mean you absolutely have to eat it in the winter. One key to eating right on a budget is to buy in season, every season. Why? Because you pay a lot less for produce that’s currently being harvested, and much more for your favorites that have to be carted in from half a world away.

 

Here’s how to start. Make a list of what grows in every season, and then create several recipes around those foods. Who knows: you might even find some new favorites. And if you want to take your eating frugality even further, buy seasonal produce in bulk and then freeze it. That way you can enjoy some of your favorite foods months down the road. And all of your friends will be in awe of how amazingly frugal you’ve become. Works every time.

 

HUNT DOWN SALES

 

You know what’s totally fun but nobody does anymore? Coupon clipping? Seriously, if you haven’t experienced the complete rush of going through your grocer’s weekly circulars, and finding those hidden gems, you haven’t lived yet.

 

Coupon clipping might seem petty, but the savings really add up. And beyond coupon clipping, game planning your grocery shopping around weekly specials can end up saving you a bunch of money on food. And here’s a pro tip. If you’re into eating healthy, check out the sales on frozen vegetables. They happen regularly, and they are pretty great.

 

MEAL PREP TIME

 

You’ve probably seen a few meal prep articles or videos online. Undoubtedly you have at least one meal prep evangelist friend in your life that you’re probably sick of hearing from. But we’re here to tell you that meal prep isn’t just a fad—it can be a time and budget-saving tool that will also help you eat healthier.

 

Because let’s face it: we’ve all woken up at least three times a week either too tired or lazy to actually prepare a healthy meal. So instead of treating our bodies right during the day, we end up going out. And if we’re anywhere near a budget, that dining location probably won’t be optimal.

 

Don’t leave lunch up to fate. Spend one afternoon during your weekend and prepare your meals in advance. You’ll need some good portable containers and some healthy go-to dishes that you can prepare in bulk. Then all you have to do is eat.

 

ORGANIZE YOUR PANTRY

 

Stop us if this sounds familiar: you walk up to your pantry to a fairly disheveled array of food, see nothing interesting to eat, shrug your shoulders and say something like, “guess I’m eating out tonight.” When it comes to eating healthy—especially on a budget—there may be no bigger enemy of the state than an unorganized pantry. Food slips through the cracks, and options aren’t immediately available. Same goes for your fridge. Invest in a few food storage containers and Tupperware sets, and then clearly label your food with tape and a marker. Knowing what’s readily available to eat can help you stay healthier and save a lot of money.

 

VISIT THE FARMERS MARKET AT THE END OF THE DAY

 

Farmers markets are wonderful, and they’re usually available at least on weekends no matter where you live. Unless you live on a farm, in which case feel free to skip this entire section.

 

Farmers markets offer an amazing display of incredible non-processed produce. But if you choose to go at the end of the day, you might be able to score a few more deals than you would have during the earlier hours. You’ll also skip the large crowds and heat.

 

GAME PLAN YOUR GROCERY SHOPPING

 

If you head into the grocery store without a game plan, you’re going to regret it. You will, undoubtedly spend more money, and most likely fill your shopping cart with foods that aren’t incredibly healthy.

 

Grocery shopping starts with a solid list as well as the commitment to stick to that list NO. MATTER. WHAT. Yes, those Pringles might be calling your name, but are they on your list? If they aren’t, bid them a sad farewell and leave them on the shelf. Healthier, more affordable grocery shopping is also helped by shopping from the outside in. When you begin on the outer perimeter of the store, you will be more likely to fill your cart with healthier produce first.

 

Also, don’t shop when you’re hungry. That’s mistake numero uno that people make. Go after you’ve had a nice healthy meal. It will put you in the right mindset, and you’ll be less likely to reach for the pastries.

 

COOK EXTRA

 

Cooking large meals, even if you don’t have a large family, can save you a lot of time and money. Even if you’re a professional chef, nobody likes to cook an elaborate meal every night. When you cook larger portions, you get to save all those delicious leftovers for a rainy day—like tomorrow.

The Aging process - Part Three

 

Maintaining cellular health involves preserving the functionality of cell structures (specifically, mitochondria). With all structures working at their best, the cell is able to perform its numerous jobs efficiently and effectively. Mitochondria are key structures within your cells that, when damaged, can compromise overall cell function. Here’s how they play their part…

 

THE MIGHTY MITOCHONDRIA

 

The other aspect of maintaining cellular health involves preserving the functionality of cell structures (specifically, mitochondria). With all structures working at their best, the cell is able to perform its numerous jobs efficiently and effectively. The mitochondria are key structures within your cells that, when damaged, can compromise overall cell function. But before we delve into the mechanisms by which damaged mitochondria impede the day-to-day operations of your cells, let’s first discuss their main function.

 

Mitochondria are present in nearly every cell of the body. Their main role is to convert energy from food into a form of energy that the cell can use. This form of energy is called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and is used to drive numerous cellular processes.

 

Without enough ATP around, our cells eventually stop working which means our heart stops pumping, our muscles stop contracting and our brain stops thinking. Thus, without mitochondria, ATP production stops and life ceases to exist.

 

The number of mitochondria in a cell can range from one to several thousand depending on the cell’s function as well as its metabolic activity. Cells that are metabolically active such as liver, kidney, brain, and muscle cells all have higher energy requirements and therefore have more mitochondria to generate sufficient ATP.

 

Unfortunately, the ATP production process comes with a hitch – the creation of free radicals (oxidative stress). During the conversion of nutrients (for example, glucose) to ATP, free radicals are generated. Under normal conditions, only small amounts of free radicals are generated and can be dealt with before damage is done.

 

The problem occurs when the free radical load is increased, either because of too few mitochondria doing the work or because the mitochondria around are not working properly. This leads to damage of both the mitochondria as well as other parts of the cell.

 

The ensuing damage to both the cell’s energy producing machinery (the mitochondria) and its outer layer (the cell membrane) leads to a decrease in energy production and further increases in the free radical load. As damage mounts, cell function declines or cell death occurs leading to disruption of overall health.

 

So to keep your cells in good working order, you must preserve the health of your mitochondria.

 

MITOCHONDRIAL HEALTH & CELL FUNCTION

 

Promoting peak mitochondrial function requires a continuous recycling and regeneration process of these structures throughout the lifespan. The purpose of this process is two-fold:

 

    •    To enable the reorganization and elimination of mitochondrial components (in other words, to get rid of any non-working parts and replace with new functioning parts) and,

 

    •    To respond to changes in energy supply and demand by altering the number of mitochondria available to the cell (more mitochondria means more energy can be produced).

 

This process requires the interplay between mitochondrial biogenesis (making new, healthy mitochondria), mitophagy (selective removal of damaged mitochondria) and fusion/fission (joining and dividing of mitochondria) – forces that govern the rate of mitochondrial turnover.

 

Failure to maintain a dynamic balance between these processes can contribute to a decline in cellular health, eventually leading to the noticeable changes in body function that we generally associate with aging.

 

The reason – impaired quality control of these processes results in accumulation of damaged mitochondria that may generate more free radicals and produce ATP less efficiently.

 

THE EFFECTS OF AGING ON MITOCHONDRIA

 

If you remember back to Part 2: Aging & Oxidative Stress, it was mentioned that a natural deterioration process takes place as you age and contributes to the decline in cell function. Unfortunately, as a part of this process, the recycling (mitophagy) and regeneration (biogenesis) of mitochondria becomes less efficient.

 

This impairment of the quality control process has the potential to slow mitochondrial turnover and can lead to an accumulation of modified lipids, proteins and DNA – all of which can negatively impact the performance of existing mitochondria.

 

RESTORING YOUTH

 

Defective mitochondrial biogenesis, as a result of the normal aging process, is intimately associated with a decline in mitochondrial number and functionality. And fewer, less efficient mitochondria can mean bad things for your cells.

 

Since the functional purpose of biogenesis is to help maintain mitochondrial quality and to secure sufficient ATP production, finding ways to activate this system could help with:

 

    •    The maintenance of energy production (meeting the cells energy demands)

 

    •    The prevention of endogenous oxidative stress (excessive free radical production by the mitochondria)

 

    •    The promotion of healthy aging (by maintaining cellular health)

 

So in order to promote health as you age, and thus preserve your youthful vitality, high numbers of high-functioning mitochondria (specifically in cells that have high energy requirements) are needed.

 

How do you make more mitochondria? How can you promote mitochondrial efficiency?

 

The answer – making more mitochondria requires the activation of mitochondrial biogenesis and promoting mitochondrial efficiency requires ample protection from oxidative stress.

 

PROMOTING CELLULAR HEALTH AS YOU AGE

 

So now that you know WHAT can disrupt cellular health as you age (oxidative stress and the disruption of mitochondrial function) and HOW both factors impede peak performance of your cells, it’s time to talk solutions. Specifically, the innovative solutions offered by LifeVantage.

 

These solutions are the topic of discussion in the last two articles in this five part series. Learn all about how LifeVantage’s groundbreaking Protandim Nrf1 and Nrf2 Synergizers protects your cells from oxidative stress:  Product Information.

THE AGING PROCESS - PART TWO

 

For many of us, the word ‘aging’ evokes feelings of fear, negativity and resignation. And it’s no wonder we have such an aversion to aging as it often comes with a number of unwanted changes, both in the way we look and feel. But as you learned in The Aging Story Part 1: Biological vs. Chronological Age, maintaining a youthful look and feel as you grow older may be more realistic than was once thought.

 

The way in which you do so… by keeping your cells healthy.

 

CELLULAR HEALTH AND AGING

 

The problem is, despite your best efforts to keep you (and thus, your cells) healthy, destructive forces and a natural deterioration process happening inside the body are working against you. So even though you are promoting the health of your cells by eating a good diet, taking a multi-vitamin every now and again and engaging in regular exercise… it’s not enough.

 

Think of it this way. Your body is a machine and though it’s pretty amazing, it eventually wears out from repeated use. In addition to naturally becoming weathered, exposure to certain environmental and lifestyle factors can wear your cells out even faster.

 

What’s more, there are internal disrupters that threaten the health of your cells. That’s right, your own body is working against you. The very process of making the energy you need to survive creates harmful molecules that can damage your cells.

 

So… is there really anything you can do in addition to living a healthy lifestyle to protect your cells as you age?

 

With the number of destructive forces you are up against, along with the natural deterioration process, it would seem as though it’s a losing battle. But in fact, it’s not. There are things you can do to keep those billions of cells (that collectively make up your body) working hard well into your older years.

 

The first method is to minimize oxidative stress, a major culprit of cellular damage.

 

The second method has to do with maintaining mitochondrial health. We will save this piece for the next article in the series.

 

For now, let’s take a look at the oxidative stress piece.

 

BATTLING AGAINST OXIDATIVE STRESS

 

New research has provided insight as to how things like pollution, sunlight, emotional stress and metabolism deteriorate your cells.

Here’s a rundown of the main points:

 

Destructive influences, like those mentioned above, place stress on the body by increasing the cells exposure to free radicals. And while the body needs free radicals in small amounts, having too many around can be disruptive.

 

Essentially, once the production of free radicals exceeds the body’s ability to counteract their potentially damaging effects, a state of imbalance is reached. This is called oxidative stress and it’s believed to be one of the major culprits behind the deterioration of cellular health.

 

Therefore, keeping your exposure to sources of free radicals to a minimum and boosting your internal defense system can help to maintain the health of your cells as you age. And the healthier your cells, the more likely you are to preserve your youthful look and feel.

 

Here’s the bullet point version:

 

    •   You are exposed to a number of things that can increase the level of free radicals in your body.

 

    •   When the level of these molecules becomes so high that your internal defense system can no longer provide adequate protection against them (referred to as oxidative stress), the cells are damaged

.

    • Damaged cells are unable to function at their best.

 

    • Increased exposure to excessive free radicals over your lifetime (leading to damaged cells) can accelerate the aging process.

 

    • Minimizing your exposure to sources of free radicals and building up your internal defense system can promote the health of your cells as you age – helping you to look and feel young as you get older.

 

The next article in this series covers another factor that can interrupt cellular health – the disruption of mitochondrial function. Specifically, you’ll learn about how the mitochondria (important structures within your cells) work to keep your cells healthy and what happens when they are unable to carry out their day-to-day tasks.

The Aging Brain

 

You probably think of your brain as one organ, that graphic you see of squiggly grey matter. But it’s really made up of many different structures and networks which all function both independently from and interdependently with each other. A recent study showed that these structures even age differently, which is part of the reason why some cognitive functions decline sooner than others. One way to protect those structures susceptible to early deterioration—eat more omega-3s. At least that’s what the research suggests.

 

THE AGING BRAIN

 

Scientists recently studied two areas of the brain responsible for cognitive functions that often decline early in the aging process. One is called the frontoparietal network. This network declines early on, even in those who are aging as well as possible. It’s the part of your brain that directs “fluid intelligence,” which helps you solve problems that you’ve never encountered before.

 

The other structure they studied is called the fornix, which is a group of nerve fibers that’s important for memory. They studied the blood of adults between the ages of 65 and 75 to see if nutrient patterns in the blood corresponded to performance on cognitive tests. They also looked for relationships between omega-3 fatty acids and the size of structures in the brain, an indicator of whether the structure is healthy or shrinking and shriveling with age.

 

OMEGA-3S & BRAIN FUNCTION

 

The studies found that blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had a direct relationship to fluid intelligence—the higher the levels of omega-3s, the larger the frontoparietal cortex. The people with higher levels and larger brain structures did better on the cognitive tests.

 

The study on the fornix found that the size of the fornix, and thus, the more memory preservation, was dependent on a healthy balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet is skewed heavily toward omega-6 fatty acids, and most Americans do not get enough omega-3s in their diet.

 

In another study, scientists found a relationship between low levels of omega-3s and smaller brain volumes with worse cognitive performance. Subjects with low levels of omega-3s lost some ability to think abstractly and remember. These subjects had significantly lower total brain and white matter volumes, which scientists said “were equivalent to about two years of structural brain aging.”

 

EAT MORE OMEGA-3S

 

These studies show that the brain functions vulnerable to early deterioration can be strengthened with a healthy balance of fatty acids and ensuring that the body (and the brain) is getting enough omega-3s. There are three kinds of these fats—ALA, DHA and EPA. ALA is found in certain vegetable oils, walnuts, flaxseeds and soy products. DHA and EPA are found in fish, seafood and fish oils. The current American diet is lacking in omega-3s; as such, supplementing with omega-3 might be a good option to maintain brain health and keep your memory sharp.

THE AGING PROCESS - PART ONE

 

It’s no secret that your body changes with age. These changes can be seen in your appearance (such as wrinkles and gray hair) as well as in your physical and mental performance (think slowed reaction time and memory loss). And, as unfortunate as it may seem, things like wrinkles, balding and hearing loss are largely unavoidable. The question is why?

 

Because a normal part of the aging process is a gradual deterioration of the body – with the effects becoming more noticeable during the second half of life. From changes to your physical appearance, to a decline in your body’s ability to bounce back from injury or illness (resilience) and the onset of age-related health conditions – the effects of aging do not go unnoticed and make getting older seem rather grim. By age thirty your excitement for birthdays may begin to fade, with each passing birthday becoming a source of angst and a subtle reminder that your best years may be behind you.

 

But why do we long to return to our more youthful years?

 

For most of us, it has nothing to do with reverting back to our twenties. Rather, it stems from a strong desire to preserve our youthful vitality. In other words, we just want to maintain the energy and physical resilience we experience during those prime years.

 

This begs the question – is it possible to enjoy the perks of youth long after our thirties?

 

The answer is yes, it just might be possible to keep the unwanted side effects of aging at bay, at least for a period of time. The reason – because youthfulness is not as much about how old you really are, but rather how old you feel and how well your body works. The story goes like this…

 

The human body has two different ages – a chronological age and a biological age.

 

    •    Chronological age refers to the actual time you have been alive, meaning how old you are in years.

 

    •    Biological age refers to how old you appear to be and has to do with what’s happening inside of your body. Think of it as the age of your body organs (heart, brain, muscles) and instead of being measured in years, biological age is measured by looking at the amount of wear and tear inside the body. This wear and tear is indicated by the health of your cells (which make up your body organs). And the health of your cells is represented by the functionality of certain cell structures as well as the presence of cellular damage.

 

So the symptoms we associate with aging (gray hair, memory loss, aches and pains, etc.) can be thought of as outward indicators that cell function is declining and cellular damage is racking up. Thus, to slow the aging process would require steps to be taken to: 

  • Promote cell function
  • Protect the body from cellular damage

This would promote cellular health and, in turn, help keep the body organs functioning at their best – something that could keep you looking and feeling young well into your older years.

 

The only question that emerges is how can we do this? Here we are talking about making changes to how our bodies function from the inside, manipulating our cells to stay young so that in turn we don’t suffer from the effects of aging. The ultimate goal is also to live longer and at the same time stay healthier. Nutrigenomics is taking us on a new path to achieve this and this blog will be keeping you in the loop and show you ways to take advantage of this new segment of the wellness industry. Come back soon to read Part Two of this story.

 

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Three Ways To Biohack Your Muscles

1. Restriction Training

This technique is also called occlusion training. The concept is really simple: you take an elastic band or piece of plastic tubing, wrap it around the muscle you want to work like a tourniquet, and then do your workout. For example, if it’s arm day and you’re doing a bicep curl, you would wrap the band or tubing around your arm first, then do the movement.

A study concluded that low-intensity occlusion training has unique benefits in growth hormone release, muscle hypertrophy, and strength training for those with joint pain, or anyone who is unable to sustain high weight loads, like athletes who are unloading and postoperative patients.

2. Restricted Breathing For Better Oxygen Utilization

You may have seen one of these devices before, maybe even on Facebook, actors training for a role in some action pack movie: an oxygen-restriction mask. Sometimes called an altitude training mask. The purpose of oxygen-restricted training is to make it harder to draw air into your lungs, thus restricting the amount of oxygen you can take in on a given breath.

The benefits of restricted breathing are undeniable. Deprived of oxygen, your body makes more hemoglobin to shuttle oxygen to your muscles and produces more hormone and immune system adaptations.

3. Sauna For Cardiovascular Improvements

According to a study, participants who had two or three sauna sessions a week had a 22% reduced chance of suffering sudden cardiac death. Men who had four to seven sauna sessions of at least 20 minutes each, had the greatest benefits. Compared with those who had just one sauna session a week, they had a 63% lower risk of sudden cardiac death.

It has been reported that the benefit to cardiovascular health was likely due to the decrease in blood pressure and an increase in blood vessel diameter that both infrared exposure and heat exposure can provide.

These are three great ways to start biohacking your body. Many of these tools will help you see faster results than you’d see while training with no extra help. And there are plenty other techniques out there that will help you reach all kinds of goals.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BIOHACKING YOUR OWN BODY, CLICK THIS TEXT

 

Clean Cells Are Healthy Cells

Clean cells are happy cells. And happy cells are healthy cells. By starting with NRF2, Vitality Stack comes with a major component that’s proven to reduce oxidative stress or free radical damage. In other words, it helps clean cellular garbage by turning on our cells’ “vacuum cleaners.”

But the cellular benefits don’t stop there. NRF1 activates our mitochondrial genesis to help support mitochondrial production in our cells. Why is this so crucial? Great question. Mitochondria serve a critical role in overall cellular health by acting as both the powerhouses and policemen of the cell — controlling our DNA, providing us with ATP — AKA cellular energy juice — and promoting the development of healthy cells. The result: our cells have more energy, control, and vitality. 

The cellular membrane — the envelope that keeps each cell together — is so important for overall cellular health, and it hinges on essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA. DHA doesn’t just support structural membrane. It’s also a vital contributor to crucial neurochemical processes, gene expression, synaptic plasticity, and memory generation. The beauty of fatty acids like DHA and EPA in Vitality Stack is that they’re sourced purely from cold Norwegian waters and enforced with Omega 7 and Vitamin D. By giving our bodies high-quality fatty acids, we’re enabling proper cellular fluidity, flexibility, and communications as neurons send messages to each other. 

Probiotics are the last component in Vitality Stack, but certainly not the least important. Why? “Interactions between the microbiome and the intestinal barrier, particularly the contribution of the microbiome in maintaining barrier homeostasis, could be central in accounting for its maintaining a normal and healthy immune response.”*

Probio supports the growth of healthy gut bacteria. It also boosts and re-activates our microgut probiotics. And because it contains Bio-Track technology, it comes with a 60% efficiency penetrating through our stomach acid into the colon. And in case that wasn’t enough, WELLMUNE also promotes a healthy immune system. Far too often we overlook the gut when it comes to cellular health, but we shouldn’t. It’s extremely important. 

When we combine Vitality Stack with a healthy diet and exercise, it’s a powerful supplement that delivers multiple benefits on a cellular level. It cleans our cells. It increases critical mitochondrial production. It maintains cellular integrity and cellular communication. And it provides the microgut health that our digestive systems need to flourish. They call cells the building blocks of life for a reason, and by helping them stay happier and healthier, Vitality Stack helps me build a foundation for a healthier life. does it all by working together to help build the foundation for a healthy life — and that all starts with our cells.

The contents in this article were developed by surgical pathologist, Dr. Svetlana Silverman, MD FRCPC, Canada.

3 Things To Do To Live a Healthier, Longer Life

Living longer never seems to be a major subject for discussion until we actually get closer to dying. Funny how this is a back-to-front discussion because most of the things we do to our health during our lives actually determines how long we might live. Then it might be too late!

 

An easy way out would be to believe it all comes down to our genes. The course of our life is somehow predetermined by the genetic makeup we inherited from our family and their families. This notion has been debunked long ago by many researchers.

 

The new science called Nutrigenomics has shown our genetic preferences can be influenced and indeed changed by the things we do and things we don’t do. Smoking or not smoking is a good example of this. Our genetic pathways are mostly influenced by the things we eat and the things we don’t eat.

 

So one question which arises is when should I be paying attention to all this? When I am 20, 40, 60 or 80 years of age? Of course, the answer will be: The sooner the better! But it is never too late. The focus here is not just on planning to live longer but staying healthy in the process. The very thought of being stricken down with dementia or Alzheimer’s and “hanging on” for several years should be motivation enough to take all of these ideas into consideration.

 

Before I get into the detail of my three suggestions, I should point out that there are a couple of things one should always avoid - smoking and excessive alcohol. There is a reason why in most countries every cigarette package carries the warning “smoking kills”. The reason why this message is so prominent is because smoking can kill you. If you want to live a shorter, unhealthier live, then just carry on smoking. The same applies to excessive alcohol.

 

So now to my three suggestions to live healthier and longer. They are three activities which are easy to implement and can be incorporated into your daily life without having to change too much. In fact, when you have incorporated them you will no longer have to give them much thought as they will become routine, just like going to work every day or dropping the kids off to school. BTW, when you start, your family will probably follow your example, especially when they see your results!

 

1. Intermittent Fasting

 

This you may have heard about and it is often grossly misunderstood. The reason is it’s so easy to implement and it costs you nothing and in fact you will be spending less. This is hard competition for all those gurus out there selling all sorts of diets and fad programs to lose weight, most of which never work. Therefore, many who see Intermittent Fasting as competition start to spread rumours and fears about this century-old method of keeping trim.

 

What is Intermittent Fasting? It is simply a plan where you focus not on what you are eating, although that can also be important, but more on when you eat. In other words, as long as you keep to the time plan of your choosing, you will lose weight. For example, if you choose the so-called 16/8 plan, you will be eating everything in an 8-hour period and fasting for 16 hours (8 hours of which you are sleeping).

 

Let’s say you eat breakfast at 8.00 a.m., lunch at 1.00 p.m. and dinner/snack at 4.00 p.m. then you would eat nothing more until breakfast the next day (16 hours later). Most people on this program tend to skip either breakfast or dinner as it makes the planning easier and the weight loss much more effective. Breakfast is just coffee, Lunch at 12.00 p.m. and dinner at 7.00 p.m. (17 hours fasting).

 

If one eats just normal, nutritive meals, then you will lose 8-10% of your overall weight on a 90-day plan, almost all of which will be the dangerous fats you carry around with you. Of course, if you implement suggestions 2 and 3 and reduce the sugar content of your meals, then it could be even more. Experience shows that once you see and feel the success, you will want to continue although you could take a break and use such a program just twice each year. Better still, as you get used to watching when you eat, it will become more of a routine. It won’t matter if you occasionally go on a binge on birthdays, Thanksgiving or other festive days as long as you stay with the plan for the rest of the time.

 

2. Detox

 

In our modern society, our bodies are constantly being exposed to all sorts of toxins. The processed foods we eat, the air we breath and even the things we spray and spread on our skin are ways dangerous toxins enter our bodies.

 

What happens when we have an excess of toxins which our bodies cannot process and eliminate? They get stored in our fat cells much the same way excess sugar (glucose) is converted into fat and then stored, mainly around the stomach! Many experts claim these stored toxins prohibit an effective attack on those fat cells and prevent an efficient fat loss program. This is sometimes disputed but does make some sense. In any case, these stored toxins are not good for us and should be eliminated at all cost.

 

So how do I detoxify? There is no single pill you can take to attack your toxin problem. It will require a number of changes to your diet and things you do every day. Firstly, you should avoid as much as possible adding any more toxins to your body. Together with your Intermittent Fasting program make sure you avoid as many processed foods as possible. They contain lots of substances and chemicals your body doesn't need. Pay attention to any household products you are using. They most certainly contain chemicals you breath in. Even cosmetics include chemicals you don't really need. For example, does your deodorant include aluminium? Switch to one that doesn’t.

 

Then comes the actual detox program. There are basically two types of toxins, those that are soluble and those which are insoluble. For soluble toxins, which are processed through the kidneys, it is necessary to drink as much as possible, preferably water. How much? Think in terms of at least 2-3 litre bottles every day. This will also help you contain the initial hunger feelings you will experience at the beginning of your fasting.

 

Then we must get rid of the insoluble toxins. The Intermittent Fasting program is a good start and can be supported by eliminating processed foods and eating lots more green vegetables and all sorts of fresh fruits. This can then be supplemented by drinking teas, with both green and red teas being the favourites. Personally, I drink two glasses of well-diluted apple cider vinegar each day which not only helps the cleansing process, it also has a number of benefits related to fat burning.

 

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar for several health benefits more than two thousand year ago.

 

Then there are a number of other activities which can help along the detox process. Taking a sauna occasionally will help eliminate some of the toxins (in the fat cells) through the pores of the skin. Using a hand skin scrubber (glove) every day will get rid of the dead cells you have on the surface of your skin. Practising deep breathing exercises will assist in eliminating certain toxins through your breath and then participating in any form of mild-strenuous activity (brisk walking, biking) will achieve the same results.

 

There are many references on the web as well as many books on the subject of detoxing the body and these here are just a few tips. Take the time to research the subject and get a detox program into your routine. It is not difficult and you will feel the difference.

 

 

3. Exercise

 

I know what you are now thinking - a sports club membership. Well, you are wrong. Here we are talking about exercise that will cost you nothing more than just your time.

 

For example, when you go shopping, how often do you park the car as close as you can to an entry/exit? How about looking for the parking spot farthest away from the entry? I know that sounds inconvenient but do you want to live longer or not? For many people this could add at least one extra mile of walking to their schedule every week. How about taking the elevator? Do you ever consider taking the stairs? Again, not so convenient but a great way to get in a little workout and burn some calories. Doesn't even take out time from your busy schedule.

 

Do you ever go for a walk around the neighbourhood or local park? This is something which was much more common in past generations and we seem to have gotten away from using our feet, except on the gas pedal. Plenty of excuses - too hot, too cold, too wet. Then go to the local shopping mall and do some extensive window shopping. It is sure a lot healthier than sitting in front of the TV or computer.

 

The best plan is to decide on a fixed workout such as walking briskly for an hour, three times a week and sticking with it. Take the car for the first run and map out a route of 3-4 miles. This is about one hour of brisk walking. To make it even more pleasurable take a family member or friend with you. That hour will go by quickly and could be even more pleasurable. For the more adventurous, start to jog instead of walking.

 

It is important to incorporate the exercise program as part of your routine. Once I got some advice from a friend of mine to start running half-marathons - at the age of 65! I thought he was crazy but I took his advice and discovered if you decide on something like that it means you have to plan for it in advance. This meant I had to develop a training program in order to get fit for the event. There was no looking back and I trained three times a week for three months. After my first event I was probably the fittest I had ever been my whole life.

 

Do you own a bike? If so, how often do you use it? If you don’t own one, how about investing $100 in a used one? Biking is becoming more and more popular and they are building more and more bike lanes across the country. Not only is biking healthy, it is contributing to improving the environment. The advantage of biking is you can see a lot more than if you are just walking. How about doing your shopping by bike instead of the car? A couple of saddle bags on back of the bike or maybe a rucksack and you are ready. Healthier and cheaper.

 

There are many other sports activities you could get into if you are so inclined. Playing tennis, golf, or going for a swim. Then there is the sports club, of course. Personally, I prefer a set of dumbbells at home. It is a lot cheaper and they are there in front of you, no more excuses. Building a little muscle didn’t hurt anyone and muscle burns more calories that fat!

 

Decision Time

 

All of these three action items are easy to do and they cost you nothing. The only reason you might not incorporate them into your daily life is because you have decided not to. But in the meantime perhaps something is happening inside of you which might not emerge as an illness until many years from now, when it might be too late.

 

Your health and the length of your life is not preprogrammed into your genes but is something you can control all by yourself. Even if you are not interested, think about the people who you love and who depend upon you. Maybe they are hoping you will be around for a very long time. For more motivation click on the link below and download the free chapter from my latest book on Intermittent Fasting. The content might surprise you.

Mitochondria

You’ve got billions of mitochondria running through your cells. They might be small. But they’re mighty – the microscopic little engines that could. Sure, mitochondria power your cells, but that’s an oversimplified way of thinking about them because in terms of what they do, pure energy just scratches the surface.

Mitochondria largely determine how you feel right now, how you’ll perform at work, your focus, and how intense your morning workout was. Their impact on your day is almost imperceptible unless you really think about it – then it becomes critical.

But as you age, your mitochondria begin to break down. In fact, this process is one of the main causes for the tell-tale signs of aging. Therefore, finding new ways to get your cells making more mitochondria isn’t just good for you now, it can help you live a healthy life. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep your cells producing healthy mitochondria.

WHAT ARE MITOCHONDRIA, ANYWAY?

Great question. Mitochondria are different from the other cellular components in your body. That’s because scientists believe that mitochondria, at one point, were their own independent organisms. They were once bacteria that, somewhere along the way, decided to work together. Because mitochondria evolved doing their own thing, they have their own DNA, and that means they can produce their own proteins and enzymes. Amazing, right?

When your mitochondria are functioning in tip-top shape, they form the foundation for a healthy life, affecting your mood, energy and focus levels, and much, much more. The important takeaway here is that healthy mitochondria provide your body with the steady flow of energy it needs to perform its best in a variety of functions. It’s not just the quantity of mitochondria that makes the biggest difference either, it’s the quality as well.

Because different parts of your body burn massive amounts of energy, when mitochondria production starts to slow, or the quality of your mitochondria starts to weaken, the body enters what we call mitochondrial dysfunction. This could be caused by poor diet, exposure to environmental toxins, bad sleep habits, and more. When free radicals start to attack your cells (and mitochondria by extension), we begin to experience the common symptoms of aging and oxidative stress, which can take a toll on your body.

Like we mentioned earlier, mitochondrial dysfunction is a normal cellular process, but it isn’t something you have to simply accept. Here are a few things you can do to help keep your mitochondria running at full power.

Sleep Better

Better sleep leads to better mitochondrial function. Why? Well, consider the time you spend sleeping as your brain and body’s daily upkeep. It’s a lot like a cleaning process. During the day, your cells produce a lot of waste. At night, mitochondria kick in and provide your cells with the energy they need to remove that waste. Looking at sleep this way makes the hours you spend in bed simply a good hygiene decision. So if you want to practice good sleep hygiene, consider winding down about an hour before bedtime. That means no phones (gasp!) and no Netflix (double gasp!).

Treat your body right

One of the keys to keeping your mitochondria in tip-top shape is reducing your toxic load. The reason is simple. Toxic load causes a normal inflammatory response in the cells, which in turn leads to the normal breakdown of mitochondria. To reduce your toxic load and support healthy mitochondria function, eat more omega 3 than omega 6 fatty acids. Swap the processed, packaged food you eat for whole alternatives. The eating cleaner can make a world of difference.

Exercise regularly

Mitochondria are energy junkies. The more energy your body demands, the more these little powerhouses kick into gear. Exercising, especially high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that alternates high-intensity bursts of activity, is particularly beneficial. Walking and running is fine, but if you really want to boost your mitochondrial function, look for exercising that dials up the intensity.

Improve your diet

Along with eliminating processed foods from your diet, switching from high-carbs to high fat gives your mitochondria the type of fuel they thrive on. This fuel is called ketones — the basis for the Keto Diet. Additionally, intermittent fasting has also been shown to improve mitochondria function.

DON’T TAKE YOUR MITOCHONDRIA FOR GRANTED

You might not be able to see them, but your mitochondria are playing a powerful, pivotal role behind the scenes with many of the daily functions you might be taking for granted. Taking care of your mitochondria won’t just improve your day-to-day life — it will pay big dividends tomorrow.

Intermittent Fasting

Are you a 16/8, a 5/2, or an alternate daily? If you’ve heard people talk like this and have wondered what it’s all about, here’s the scoop. It’s the new, yet old, rage—intermittent fasting. What is it? Why is it so popular? And how do you do it? It can’t be good for you, right?

Our bodies are geared toward intermittent fasting. Our ancestors often fasted out of necessity—food just wasn’t available. Fasting now and then is probably a more natural body rhythm than the forced “3 meals a day” we often eat. Intermittent fasting has been part of the world’s major religions, including Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity, to emphasize our spiritual nature over our physical nature. Now, people are doing it to improve health and simplify life.

 

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?

Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet—it’s an eating pattern. You don’t count calories, or even try to reduce them. There are no “diet” foods or restrictions. You don’t change what you eat, you change when you eat. (Remember that what you eat needs to be healthy no matter when you eat it.) People believe that this kind of meal timing helps to keep muscle mass while losing fat. Is this really possible?

When you eat, your body immediately gets busy digesting and absorbing food, which lasts for about 3 to 5 hours after a meal. It’s hard for your body to burn any fat during this time because eating causes your blood sugar levels to rise, and your body will use that first to produce energy. About 8 to 12 hours after you eat, your blood sugar levels are lower, and your body will look for an energy source. It can find it in stored fat.

 

HOW DO YOU DO IT?

There are lots of different ways to fast intermittently. You can schedule by the day, by the week, or even longer. You’ll find advantages and disadvantages no matter what you try, but there is likely an option that will work best for you. Keep in mind that whenever you choose to eat, you need to make sure you are eating healthful foods and getting the nutrients your body needs. Here are a few popular fasting methods:

  • 16/8 Days: This involves fasting for a 16-hour period and eating during an 8-hour period. For most people, breakfast is the easiest meal to skip, because eating isn’t just about the food, it’s often about socializing. So if you normally eat breakfast alone, you can still eat lunch with friends and dinner with family on this type of an intermittent fast. But if that doesn’t work for you, pick another 8-hour period during the day when you want to eat and fast for the other 16 hours.

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  • 5/2 Week: This weekly method involves eating normally for five days out of the week, then eating 500 calories or less for the other two days. For example, you can eat normally with friends and family over the weekend, then cut down to 500 calories on Monday, eat normally Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then eat 500 calories on Friday. Or pick two non-consecutive days that work the best for you.

 

  • Eat-Stop-Eat: Fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. For example, eat dinner one night then the next day, possibly when you have an extremely busy schedule, fast until dinner time. Just make sure you spread out the days when you’re fasting.

 

  • Spontaneous Meal Skipping: Listen to your body. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. Or if you have a really busy day, one where you normally eat junk food because you feel like you should eat SOMETHING, just don’t. Let your body have a rest instead.

 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES?

  •  You’ll probably lose weight. Most likely, you won’t eat as many calories as you previously were. Remember, though, that what you eat is now even more important—make sure the calories you are eating provide your body with the nutrients it needs.

  •  It’s easier than dieting. It’s hard to switch to “diet” foods, and after a while, many people revert back to what they were eating and enjoying before they started their diet. If you’re fasting intermittently, there’s no need to change what you eat or buy any special foods. You don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods; you just plan when to eat them.

  • It makes your life easier. If you skip one meal each day or even fast for 24 hours, you have a lot less meal planning, shopping, and cooking to do.

  • It can help you live longer. Restricting calories is believed to lengthen life span. But who wants to starve? Intermittent fasting activates some of the same body processes that happen with calorie restriction, so you get many of the same benefits without the misery.

Here are some of the processes that your body can focus on while it’s not digesting food:

  •  Hormone functions: For example, the levels of human growth hormone (HGH) in the body skyrocket when fasting. This can help with fat loss and muscle gain and many other bodily functions.

  •  Insulin levels: Insulin sensitivity improves while you’re fasting and your insulin levels drop. This may make stored body fat more accessible.

  • Cell repair: Your body has time to focus on cell repair processes, such as digesting and removing old, non-functioning protein build up.

  • Gene expression: Changes happen in your genes, especially the ones that are related to longevity and immune system function.

WHO SHOULDN’T TRY IT?

Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. Some reasons to NOT try it are as follows:

  • Blood sugar medications. If you take anything that regulates your blood sugar levels, like insulin or metformin, you need to eat regularly so your blood sugar doesn’t fall too low—a dangerous and life-threatening situation.

  • Eating disorders. Anyone who has any kind of history of or tendency toward anorexia or bulimia should avoid this type of eating as it could trigger a flare up.

  • Pregnant or planning to be pregnant. Women in this stage of life should focus on getting good nutrition all day every day.

  • Medications that need to be taken with food. It’s possible that you can use some butter or coconut oil to help avoid the discomfort and stomach upset that come when you take some medications on an empty stomach. It’s best to check with your doctor, though, before trying intermittent fasting with these types of medications.

TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU!

  • Keep it healthful. Your body still needs a balanced intake of protein, carbs, and fats to keep you well and functioning correctly. You might need to work even harder at getting those nutrients into your body in a shorter period of scheduled eating time.

  • Don’t stop drinking. While you’re fasting, keep drinking water and other non-calorie fluids, like coffee or tea.

  • Work up to it. You may want to start by working on eating a healthful, balanced diet. When that is working for you, consider some intermittent fasting. Start with one day a week or even one day each month, and work your way into it. Or start by fasting 12 hours, then 13, then work your way up to 18.

  • Try it once. Once you get over the mental barrier and realize that you really aren’t going to die if you don’t eat on the schedule you’re used to, it’s all downhill from there.

  • Give it a little time. You probably eat about the same time every day—it’s a habit. Not eating can be a habit, too. Give yourself some time to adjust to changing your behavior.

  • Remember, it’s just a sensation. Hunger comes and goes. Sometimes you feel hungry because you’re used to eating at a certain time. Sometimes you feel hungry when really you’re just thirsty. And sometimes you’re hungry because you always eat during a certain activity. Acknowledge the feeling and move through it. After about three weeks, people generally aren’t hungry on fasting days.

  • Despite what cereal manufacturers have been telling you, you can get by without eating breakfast! As long as you make sure you are eating a balanced diet when you do eat, intermittent fasting can be good for you. If you think it might be for you, ease into it and enjoy the benefits of calorie limitation without feeling deprived.

Healthy Living On a Frugal budget

 

Sometimes it’s not willpower that keeps people from eating healthy, it’s the wallet. Just head to any food blog or turn on the Food Network and you’ll probably realize that all those fantastic meals aren’t cheap.

 

While on the surface that may be true, with a little planning, organization, and willpower, you can build a healthier diet without paying an arm and a leg. We’ve created several tips to help you revamp your diet.

 

BUY IN SEASON

 

Just because you love corn, doesn’t mean you absolutely have to eat it in the winter. One key to eating right on a budget is to buy in season, every season. Why? Because you pay a lot less for produce that’s currently being harvested, and much more for your favorites that have to be carted in from half a world away.

 

Here’s how to start. Make a list of what grows in every season, and then create several recipes around those foods. Who knows: you might even find some new favorites. And if you want to take your eating frugality even further, buy seasonal produce in bulk and then freeze it. That way you can enjoy some of your favorite foods months down the road. And all of your friends will be in awe of how amazingly frugal you’ve become. Works every time.

 

HUNT DOWN SALES

 

You know what’s totally fun but nobody does anymore? Coupon clipping? Seriously, if you haven’t experienced the complete rush of going through your grocer’s weekly circulars, and finding those hidden gems, you haven’t lived yet.

 

Coupon clipping might seem petty, but the savings really add up. And beyond coupon clipping, game planning your grocery shopping around weekly specials can end up saving you a bunch of money on food. And here’s a pro tip. If you’re into eating healthy, check out the sales on frozen vegetables. They happen regularly, and they are pretty great.

 

MEAL PREP TIME

 

You’ve probably seen a few meal prep articles or videos online. Undoubtedly you have at least one meal prep evangelist friend in your life that you’re probably sick of hearing from. But we’re here to tell you that meal prep isn’t just a fad—it can be a time and budget-saving tool that will also help you eat healthier.

 

Because let’s face it: we’ve all woken up at least three times a week either too tired or lazy to actually prepare a healthy meal. So instead of treating our bodies right during the day, we end up going out. And if we’re anywhere near a budget, that dining location probably won’t be optimal.

 

Don’t leave lunch up to fate. Spend one afternoon during your weekend and prepare your meals in advance. You’ll need some good portable containers and some healthy go-to dishes that you can prepare in bulk. Then all you have to do is eat.

 

ORGANIZE YOUR PANTRY

 

Stop us if this sounds familiar: you walk up to your pantry to a fairly disheveled array of food, see nothing interesting to eat, shrug your shoulders and say something like, “guess I’m eating out tonight.” When it comes to eating healthy—especially on a budget—there may be no bigger enemy of the state than an unorganized pantry. Food slips through the cracks, and options aren’t immediately available. Same goes for your fridge. Invest in a few food storage containers and Tupperware sets, and then clearly label your food with tape and a marker. Knowing what’s readily available to eat can help you stay healthier and save a lot of money.

 

VISIT THE FARMERS MARKET AT THE END OF THE DAY

 

Farmers markets are wonderful, and they’re usually available at least on weekends no matter where you live. Unless you live on a farm, in which case feel free to skip this entire section.

 

Farmers markets offer an amazing display of incredible non-processed produce. But if you choose to go at the end of the day, you might be able to score a few more deals than you would have during the earlier hours. You’ll also skip the large crowds and heat.

 

GAME PLAN YOUR GROCERY SHOPPING

 

If you head into the grocery store without a game plan, you’re going to regret it. You will, undoubtedly spend more money, and most likely fill your shopping cart with foods that aren’t incredibly healthy.

 

Grocery shopping starts with a solid list as well as the commitment to stick to that list NO. MATTER. WHAT. Yes, those Pringles might be calling your name, but are they on your list? If they aren’t, bid them a sad farewell and leave them on the shelf. Healthier, more affordable grocery shopping is also helped by shopping from the outside in. When you begin on the outer perimeter of the store, you will be more likely to fill your cart with healthier produce first.

 

Also, don’t shop when you’re hungry. That’s mistake numero uno that people make. Go after you’ve had a nice healthy meal. It will put you in the right mindset, and you’ll be less likely to reach for the pastries.

 

COOK EXTRA

 

Cooking large meals, even if you don’t have a large family, can save you a lot of time and money. Even if you’re a professional chef, nobody likes to cook an elaborate meal every night. When you cook larger portions, you get to save all those delicious leftovers for a rainy day—like tomorrow.

The Aging process - Part Three

 

Maintaining cellular health involves preserving the functionality of cell structures (specifically, mitochondria). With all structures working at their best, the cell is able to perform its numerous jobs efficiently and effectively. Mitochondria are key structures within your cells that, when damaged, can compromise overall cell function. Here’s how they play their part…

 

THE MIGHTY MITOCHONDRIA

 

The other aspect of maintaining cellular health involves preserving the functionality of cell structures (specifically, mitochondria). With all structures working at their best, the cell is able to perform its numerous jobs efficiently and effectively. The mitochondria are key structures within your cells that, when damaged, can compromise overall cell function. But before we delve into the mechanisms by which damaged mitochondria impede the day-to-day operations of your cells, let’s first discuss their main function.

 

Mitochondria are present in nearly every cell of the body. Their main role is to convert energy from food into a form of energy that the cell can use. This form of energy is called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and is used to drive numerous cellular processes.

 

Without enough ATP around, our cells eventually stop working which means our heart stops pumping, our muscles stop contracting and our brain stops thinking. Thus, without mitochondria, ATP production stops and life ceases to exist.

 

The number of mitochondria in a cell can range from one to several thousand depending on the cell’s function as well as its metabolic activity. Cells that are metabolically active such as liver, kidney, brain, and muscle cells all have higher energy requirements and therefore have more mitochondria to generate sufficient ATP.

 

Unfortunately, the ATP production process comes with a hitch – the creation of free radicals (oxidative stress). During the conversion of nutrients (for example, glucose) to ATP, free radicals are generated. Under normal conditions, only small amounts of free radicals are generated and can be dealt with before damage is done.

 

The problem occurs when the free radical load is increased, either because of too few mitochondria doing the work or because the mitochondria around are not working properly. This leads to damage of both the mitochondria as well as other parts of the cell.

 

The ensuing damage to both the cell’s energy producing machinery (the mitochondria) and its outer layer (the cell membrane) leads to a decrease in energy production and further increases in the free radical load. As damage mounts, cell function declines or cell death occurs leading to disruption of overall health.

 

So to keep your cells in good working order, you must preserve the health of your mitochondria.

 

MITOCHONDRIAL HEALTH & CELL FUNCTION

 

Promoting peak mitochondrial function requires a continuous recycling and regeneration process of these structures throughout the lifespan. The purpose of this process is two-fold:

 

    •    To enable the reorganization and elimination of mitochondrial components (in other words, to get rid of any non-working parts and replace with new functioning parts) and,

 

    •    To respond to changes in energy supply and demand by altering the number of mitochondria available to the cell (more mitochondria means more energy can be produced).

 

This process requires the interplay between mitochondrial biogenesis (making new, healthy mitochondria), mitophagy (selective removal of damaged mitochondria) and fusion/fission (joining and dividing of mitochondria) – forces that govern the rate of mitochondrial turnover.

 

Failure to maintain a dynamic balance between these processes can contribute to a decline in cellular health, eventually leading to the noticeable changes in body function that we generally associate with aging.

 

The reason – impaired quality control of these processes results in accumulation of damaged mitochondria that may generate more free radicals and produce ATP less efficiently.

 

THE EFFECTS OF AGING ON MITOCHONDRIA

 

If you remember back to Part 2: Aging & Oxidative Stress, it was mentioned that a natural deterioration process takes place as you age and contributes to the decline in cell function. Unfortunately, as a part of this process, the recycling (mitophagy) and regeneration (biogenesis) of mitochondria becomes less efficient.

 

This impairment of the quality control process has the potential to slow mitochondrial turnover and can lead to an accumulation of modified lipids, proteins and DNA – all of which can negatively impact the performance of existing mitochondria.

 

RESTORING YOUTH

 

Defective mitochondrial biogenesis, as a result of the normal aging process, is intimately associated with a decline in mitochondrial number and functionality. And fewer, less efficient mitochondria can mean bad things for your cells.

 

Since the functional purpose of biogenesis is to help maintain mitochondrial quality and to secure sufficient ATP production, finding ways to activate this system could help with:

 

    •    The maintenance of energy production (meeting the cells energy demands)

 

    •    The prevention of endogenous oxidative stress (excessive free radical production by the mitochondria)

 

    •    The promotion of healthy aging (by maintaining cellular health)

 

So in order to promote health as you age, and thus preserve your youthful vitality, high numbers of high-functioning mitochondria (specifically in cells that have high energy requirements) are needed.

 

How do you make more mitochondria? How can you promote mitochondrial efficiency?

 

The answer – making more mitochondria requires the activation of mitochondrial biogenesis and promoting mitochondrial efficiency requires ample protection from oxidative stress.

 

PROMOTING CELLULAR HEALTH AS YOU AGE

 

So now that you know WHAT can disrupt cellular health as you age (oxidative stress and the disruption of mitochondrial function) and HOW both factors impede peak performance of your cells, it’s time to talk solutions. Specifically, the innovative solutions offered by LifeVantage.

 

These solutions are the topic of discussion in the last two articles in this five part series. Learn all about how LifeVantage’s groundbreaking Protandim Nrf1 and Nrf2 Synergizers protects your cells from oxidative stress:  Product Information.

THE AGING PROCESS - PART TWO

 

For many of us, the word ‘aging’ evokes feelings of fear, negativity and resignation. And it’s no wonder we have such an aversion to aging as it often comes with a number of unwanted changes, both in the way we look and feel. But as you learned in The Aging Story Part 1: Biological vs. Chronological Age, maintaining a youthful look and feel as you grow older may be more realistic than was once thought.

 

The way in which you do so… by keeping your cells healthy.

 

CELLULAR HEALTH AND AGING

 

The problem is, despite your best efforts to keep you (and thus, your cells) healthy, destructive forces and a natural deterioration process happening inside the body are working against you. So even though you are promoting the health of your cells by eating a good diet, taking a multi-vitamin every now and again and engaging in regular exercise… it’s not enough.

 

Think of it this way. Your body is a machine and though it’s pretty amazing, it eventually wears out from repeated use. In addition to naturally becoming weathered, exposure to certain environmental and lifestyle factors can wear your cells out even faster.

 

What’s more, there are internal disrupters that threaten the health of your cells. That’s right, your own body is working against you. The very process of making the energy you need to survive creates harmful molecules that can damage your cells.

 

So… is there really anything you can do in addition to living a healthy lifestyle to protect your cells as you age?

 

With the number of destructive forces you are up against, along with the natural deterioration process, it would seem as though it’s a losing battle. But in fact, it’s not. There are things you can do to keep those billions of cells (that collectively make up your body) working hard well into your older years.

 

The first method is to minimize oxidative stress, a major culprit of cellular damage.

 

The second method has to do with maintaining mitochondrial health. We will save this piece for the next article in the series.

 

For now, let’s take a look at the oxidative stress piece.

 

BATTLING AGAINST OXIDATIVE STRESS

 

New research has provided insight as to how things like pollution, sunlight, emotional stress and metabolism deteriorate your cells.

Here’s a rundown of the main points:

 

Destructive influences, like those mentioned above, place stress on the body by increasing the cells exposure to free radicals. And while the body needs free radicals in small amounts, having too many around can be disruptive.

 

Essentially, once the production of free radicals exceeds the body’s ability to counteract their potentially damaging effects, a state of imbalance is reached. This is called oxidative stress and it’s believed to be one of the major culprits behind the deterioration of cellular health.

 

Therefore, keeping your exposure to sources of free radicals to a minimum and boosting your internal defense system can help to maintain the health of your cells as you age. And the healthier your cells, the more likely you are to preserve your youthful look and feel.

 

Here’s the bullet point version:

 

    •   You are exposed to a number of things that can increase the level of free radicals in your body.

 

    •   When the level of these molecules becomes so high that your internal defense system can no longer provide adequate protection against them (referred to as oxidative stress), the cells are damaged

.

    • Damaged cells are unable to function at their best.

 

    • Increased exposure to excessive free radicals over your lifetime (leading to damaged cells) can accelerate the aging process.

 

    • Minimizing your exposure to sources of free radicals and building up your internal defense system can promote the health of your cells as you age – helping you to look and feel young as you get older.

 

The next article in this series covers another factor that can interrupt cellular health – the disruption of mitochondrial function. Specifically, you’ll learn about how the mitochondria (important structures within your cells) work to keep your cells healthy and what happens when they are unable to carry out their day-to-day tasks.

The Aging Brain

 

You probably think of your brain as one organ, that graphic you see of squiggly grey matter. But it’s really made up of many different structures and networks which all function both independently from and interdependently with each other. A recent study showed that these structures even age differently, which is part of the reason why some cognitive functions decline sooner than others. One way to protect those structures susceptible to early deterioration—eat more omega-3s. At least that’s what the research suggests.

 

THE AGING BRAIN

 

Scientists recently studied two areas of the brain responsible for cognitive functions that often decline early in the aging process. One is called the frontoparietal network. This network declines early on, even in those who are aging as well as possible. It’s the part of your brain that directs “fluid intelligence,” which helps you solve problems that you’ve never encountered before.

 

The other structure they studied is called the fornix, which is a group of nerve fibers that’s important for memory. They studied the blood of adults between the ages of 65 and 75 to see if nutrient patterns in the blood corresponded to performance on cognitive tests. They also looked for relationships between omega-3 fatty acids and the size of structures in the brain, an indicator of whether the structure is healthy or shrinking and shriveling with age.

 

OMEGA-3S & BRAIN FUNCTION

 

The studies found that blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had a direct relationship to fluid intelligence—the higher the levels of omega-3s, the larger the frontoparietal cortex. The people with higher levels and larger brain structures did better on the cognitive tests.

 

The study on the fornix found that the size of the fornix, and thus, the more memory preservation, was dependent on a healthy balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet is skewed heavily toward omega-6 fatty acids, and most Americans do not get enough omega-3s in their diet.

 

In another study, scientists found a relationship between low levels of omega-3s and smaller brain volumes with worse cognitive performance. Subjects with low levels of omega-3s lost some ability to think abstractly and remember. These subjects had significantly lower total brain and white matter volumes, which scientists said “were equivalent to about two years of structural brain aging.”

 

EAT MORE OMEGA-3S

 

These studies show that the brain functions vulnerable to early deterioration can be strengthened with a healthy balance of fatty acids and ensuring that the body (and the brain) is getting enough omega-3s. There are three kinds of these fats—ALA, DHA and EPA. ALA is found in certain vegetable oils, walnuts, flaxseeds and soy products. DHA and EPA are found in fish, seafood and fish oils. The current American diet is lacking in omega-3s; as such, supplementing with omega-3 might be a good option to maintain brain health and keep your memory sharp.

THE AGING PROCESS - PART ONE

 

It’s no secret that your body changes with age. These changes can be seen in your appearance (such as wrinkles and gray hair) as well as in your physical and mental performance (think slowed reaction time and memory loss). And, as unfortunate as it may seem, things like wrinkles, balding and hearing loss are largely unavoidable. The question is why?

 

Because a normal part of the aging process is a gradual deterioration of the body – with the effects becoming more noticeable during the second half of life. From changes to your physical appearance, to a decline in your body’s ability to bounce back from injury or illness (resilience) and the onset of age-related health conditions – the effects of aging do not go unnoticed and make getting older seem rather grim. By age thirty your excitement for birthdays may begin to fade, with each passing birthday becoming a source of angst and a subtle reminder that your best years may be behind you.

 

But why do we long to return to our more youthful years?

 

For most of us, it has nothing to do with reverting back to our twenties. Rather, it stems from a strong desire to preserve our youthful vitality. In other words, we just want to maintain the energy and physical resilience we experience during those prime years.

 

This begs the question – is it possible to enjoy the perks of youth long after our thirties?

 

The answer is yes, it just might be possible to keep the unwanted side effects of aging at bay, at least for a period of time. The reason – because youthfulness is not as much about how old you really are, but rather how old you feel and how well your body works. The story goes like this…

 

The human body has two different ages – a chronological age and a biological age.

 

    •    Chronological age refers to the actual time you have been alive, meaning how old you are in years.

 

    •    Biological age refers to how old you appear to be and has to do with what’s happening inside of your body. Think of it as the age of your body organs (heart, brain, muscles) and instead of being measured in years, biological age is measured by looking at the amount of wear and tear inside the body. This wear and tear is indicated by the health of your cells (which make up your body organs). And the health of your cells is represented by the functionality of certain cell structures as well as the presence of cellular damage.

 

So the symptoms we associate with aging (gray hair, memory loss, aches and pains, etc.) can be thought of as outward indicators that cell function is declining and cellular damage is racking up. Thus, to slow the aging process would require steps to be taken to: 

  • Promote cell function
  • Protect the body from cellular damage

This would promote cellular health and, in turn, help keep the body organs functioning at their best – something that could keep you looking and feeling young well into your older years.

 

The only question that emerges is how can we do this? Here we are talking about making changes to how our bodies function from the inside, manipulating our cells to stay young so that in turn we don’t suffer from the effects of aging. The ultimate goal is also to live longer and at the same time stay healthier. Nutrigenomics is taking us on a new path to achieve this and this blog will be keeping you in the loop and show you ways to take advantage of this new segment of the wellness industry. Come back soon to read Part Two of this story.

 

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