Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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One More To Go…

My friends!

Happy Thursday, today is quite the busy day for me but wanted to stop in to chat real quick as I have just finished up my first week in my new placement over at Lang’s Medical Centre in Cambridge.

This will be my last official placement for my degree, but I added a final placement at Dietetic Directions because I will be joining Andrea’s wonderful team at her practice once I am finally done (job spoiler alert! Squeeeaaal). The placement with her will not only act as a training and overall welcoming to her biz but it also helps to me to cover some of the hours that I lost due to my many medical appointments following my GI issues and jaw accident.

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Go say hi to Andrea over on her website http://dieteticdirections.com 

I’m so excited and thankful to join Andrea and her partner, as they are doing just what I have envisioned myself doing. So, really this job is a dream come true. I’m still on the look out for a second PT job, but I’m over the moon happy about this one and ansy to begin.

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…..

As I begin this new placement I was sad to leave Amy and my previous placement because I really felt like she gave me the most opportunity (plus more) than I could have ever imagined. She really believed in my abilities as a counsellor and threw me into just about anything and everything from day one.

~I counselled my first client on day 2 and continued to counsel most clients that she saw afterwards

~I did my own Lunch-And-Learn on sports nutrition data for 8 FHT staff (dieticians, kinesiology and nurses)…which they said I did awesome so that was nice to hear

~I taught a cooking class

~I helped teach various groups for educating on diabetes and healthy eating

~I did a home visit with a family with a child with special needs (physically and mentally)

~I helped Amy pull together evidence to form a case against a fellow medical professional who was selling harmful advise and procedures to the public

Overall, Amy just made me feel as if I was competent. More than anyone has so far. We had a great working relationship and flow and I can’t thank her enough for everything she offered to me. It truly means a lot that she let me take charge with her patients, as it shows she trusted me and didn’t think I would royally screw things up!

I can say that even just being at Langs for a few days, I have come to understand my style of counselling even more. The charting system at Langs is much more structured and rigid, leading to a much more robotic counselling style. This may appeal to some, but for me, I feel as if it is less ‘client-based’ than just going with the flow of the client’s conversation and concerns and then free-style charting afterwards based on what you ended up discussing. I don’t like the ‘check off the boxes’ style sessions, it doesn’t seem as natural.

I also have not been able to counsel yet, which is hard because I was doing it every day and gaining more confidence than I already had before by doing it so often. I suppose they have to be comfortable too OR I just haven’t spoken up enough, but I want to be respectful and not overly pushy about taking over their patients while I’m there. After all, these placements are only 5 weeks due to my final placement being cut in half.

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Regardless, I do think I will have a good time at Langs, as we still see a large variety of clients and I still get to take part in a class or two each week. One thing I have noticed is that I’m entering a new population demographic in the sense that many of the individuals seen here are low income, elderly and Indian. Many of these groups can be challenging because they have their own tastes and unique foods to understand (I have come to learn roti is eaten at practically every meal, paneer is a dairy product and eggs are not to be eaten in the summer…), elderly have appetite and many more other chronic illnesses (on top of their diabetes) and lower income often means much worse eating habits and more barriers to affect their stage of change.

With that said though, I’m always up for the challenge and going to take everything from this placement that I can just as I have always done.

….

Its supposed to be a beautiful weekend friends, so I hope you get outside to enjoy every ray of that sunshine!

…and to end your week on a funnier note, I saw this on IG the other day and, well, we students can relate.

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Much love friends! 

-Chelsea

Also jumping into Thursday Thinking Out Loud with Amanda and the crew! Thanks for the link up!

think

 

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One Week Down And I’m Hooked

My friends,

I have officially finished my first week in placement and I knew I would look forward to my clinical placement for a reason…

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But before I get into all that…

Before my placement began this past Tuesday, I dragged my bf to the KW Pet Expo in Kitchener and got to pet all the doggies and even see a kangaroo!

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Hi Buddy!

Now I’m always stuck between not liking the fact that this guy is in a cage and enjoying the ability to see them up close and personal but I kind of always feel selfish for not being 100% opposed to the whole thing. I have this same moral dilemma with the zoo. They don’t deserve to be in that little cage, but I have to be honest when I say I was super happy to see this guy.

#MyGuiltyConscienceIsBuilding

What I can say is that I do not agree with this..

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No. I don’t care if the dye is not harmful to the dog, you don’t do that. They are not a play toy. They are a living creature and I’m sure that is not something a dog would really want.

Do you believe in changing the colour of a dogs hair? 

Anyways, so onto placement..

What a busy week BUT I literally enjoyed every second of it, well maybe except for the need to fill up Dori more than I would have liked because the gas companies are trying to kill us all.

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Like actually though…My thumb will be sticking out the next time I have to fill up.

#PrayersForCanadianDrivers

Let break down my days into nice easy bullets of fun

Tuesday

  • Did my first chart note. Apparently I’m a fast charter, which is good because all you hear is dietitians talking about how they are always getting behind on their charting
  • Got to sit in with my first client and my supervisor called me the “expert.” She was an IBS client and I swear she turned to me half of the times. Makes me feel all good about myself.
  • Amy (my supervisor) challenged me on a number of questions related to Diabetes so I got to do lots of research and learn a few things
    • Did you know that smoking with diabetes increases your risk of having to have a limb amputated? Due to already having vascular and circulatory issues, the ‘diabetic foot’ is already prominent. Add smoking to that equation and you create a hypoxic (little to no oxygen) environment that doesn’t allow for healing.
  • Got my calendar for all of the things we will be doing. So many things to attend and learn from
  • Was able to listen to a client phone call
  • Got my research project
    • The various recent diets and how they impact type 1 diabetes

Wednesday

  • Keto presentation at another FHT!! Blog post to come but OMG this was such a good lecture. Was mostly about it’s applicability in the paediatric epilepsy population but she (the presenter, expert on the topic) discussed all of the risks and cautioned about it’s use in various other clinical applications and advised against the use of a traditional keto diet for weight loss purposes. Gets my mind going.

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  • More charting…
  • Helped run the Craving Change class that ran from 5:30-7:30. This is a class for people who struggle with their eating and trying to use a form of CBT-like therapy to understand their thought and emotion patterns and how that relates to their eating. This week we discussed WHY we eat, whether these are stomach, mouth or mind reasons and discovered that most of the time, we are eating for something emotional.
    • I also had to be prepared to brief a client on the previous class (which I didn’t attend either as I wasn’t there yet) because she missed it before that class began.

Thursday (Busiest day!)

  • 9am Diabetes Network committee meeting at a hospital. I was a bit lost as I have no idea what the committee was talking about and what they were currently working on, but hey, I got to listen to their challenges and brainstorming
  • 11:30 Lunch-and-learn about new insulin pump technology. This was basically half me stuffing a pin cushion with various pumps…

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…and half telling them the event of my jaw injury because I wasn’t eating their lunch… #StillOnBabyFood

  • 3-5 was the Intro To Diabetes group, which was educating individuals who were newly diagnosed (although some didn’t know of their diagnosis…yikes!) on the basics of diabetes and nutrition related to the condition.
    • I learned that many people don’t know that eggs DONT belong in the dairy family
  • 6:30-7:30 I helped run the Healthy You class, which focused on teaching about healthier eating patterns, whether that relates to understanding portion sizes, making substations and helping with healthy and sustainable weight loss if that was a goal.
    • I’m supposed to teach the class by myself next week…0_0
  • Before that I got pulled into another client education session with the FHT Diabetes Educator. This was cool because I got to hear another professional’s counselling style and how she dealt with a client who was originally against making changes.
  • Finally I was asked to run MY OWN lunch-and-learn on sports nutrition for a table full of dietitians from surrounding FHT’s so they can be educated on what to do with their clients. I was so honoured (hello it’s my third day) but slightly terrified at the same time. I know I can do it but my mind is swirling with how to present this thing…and it’s my third day!

Friday

  • This is my research day. I can work from home but it’s doing my research project.

Overall, it was a great start to this placement. I enjoyed every moment of it and my supervisor, Amy, is amazing. I feel like she really believes and has a lot of confidence in me and my abilities and that’s really amazing to feel, especially so early on.

I have found my happy place guys. I’m a born counsellor and this is where I need to be.

Was there a time that something you were doing just ‘clicked,’ like you knew that this is really what you wanted to do? Yup, that was me this week.

Have a great Mothers Day weekend my friends, I took my Mom to the Butterfly conservatory today and it was tons of fun. Hope you have something fun planned with your loved ones!


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Where the Sun Don’t Shine…

Hello again my friends. As promised I said I would come back and share my updated GI health story with you all…

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 1.54.04 PMIf you followed way back, you know for the longest time I had been dealing with GI issues. It wasn’t until a random conversation at the gym, that the idea of a parasite was brought up and I asked to be tested.

I came back positive…very positive

Blasto was his..their..name. And making my tummy miserable was their game.

I was treated. Twice.

Medical interventions for them buggers, well they suck.

As I had told you all afterwards, basically the treatment for parasites is a full on ‘death by meds’ to your gut flora. It doesn’t matter if they are useful or not, they will all be killed off. That was not pleasant, as they are integral for digestion and so I was left being unable to tolerate a lot of foods because I just couldn’t break them down like a normal person.

No veggies. No high fibre foods. No red meat. Careful with too much fat in one sitting…it goes on. And the award for the most “unhealthy” dietitian goes to…

The biggest sadness that came from that was the loss of some of my favourite foods…

My beloved oats were kicked to the curb after my stomach spazzed so hard that I almost passed out.

I still needed carbs. I’m an athlete and I’m also a notorious carb-burner. Everything became rice.

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Cream of rice replaced my precious oats.

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yesss to peanut butter not leaving my life…and yes I save that blob for last. Judge me.

I went through 5-6 bags of Lunderberg brown rice cakes a week because I used them as “easy on the tummy” carbs.

I learned to accept it and was content.

…Minus the lack of being able to go out. But hey, life sucks sometimes so I had to move on. 

I was under the impression that now my gut just had to heal, but I was very wrong.

Fast forward two years, I’m entering my Master’s program and probably the most school pressure and stress I will ever face, and here I was the sickest I have been since my eating disorder.

I knew there was something wrong. I have known the entire time but it was frustrating because the medical system would just yell at me for being underweight and say either…

~”gaining weight is hard, it may be uncomfortable.”

~You know we don’t normally treat parasites…” <- Really something is stealing my nutrients from my body and you don’t think thats an issue?

~”Maybe this is just “Chelsea”..Maybe this is just the way you are”

~Oh and just for shits and giggles…. “you’re so small. You have no blood” <- Bravo GI doc… 

Here I was trying my best to just eat my maintenance and I felt like every medical professional was against me. I told them I was bloated 24/7, felt full randomly all the time and just didn’t feel normal anymore and they didn’t listen.

“It’s just the past ED…”

It wasn’t until a few months ago where things got really bad.

Dumping syndrome (I will spare you the lovely details, go look it up if you would like to know..) began happening multiple times a week..

My iron levels and overall blood levels were falling through the floor

My electrolytes all fell

My last blood pressure check was 90/55 (today)

My kidney and liver function were compromised

And I just looked grey all the time. I still do because it hasn’t stopped yet. 

I had pretty much given up at this point but the doctors finally looked concerned and I began seeing them more than my friends, or it felt like it, but they did nothing except tell me I was a concern. As a last resort I sent out a message to my friend, Andrew, an NP and he ordered me the GI map test (basic sense, its a map of your entire gut biome, good and bad, plus other markers of gut health and stress).

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If you’re interested in the GI map, its $$$ but I wish everyone could get it, heres the link.

On top of some other critters, Blasto made his appearance once again along with a lovely sheet full of red markers stating I had SIBO (bacterial overgrowth), leaky gut (high zonulin levels), parastic pathogens AND the calprotectin signals that I should be checked for Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) and/or infection.

So I have the problem diagnosed right?!? They will believe me know right?!?

Wrong. Well at least from the MD side. My family doc didn’t even know how to read the fricken report.

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ND had a much more active approach. Andrew listened and gave me his parasite purging/ gut healing protocol.

I take a lot of supplements (especially right now, low absorption..) but I have never taken so many pills in my life.

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this x like 5 …

It is a liver support + parasite purge + gut healing protocol and I would be at it for about 6-8 months. So that was where I sat. MD continued to be useless until they scheduled me into a new Gastro doctor in Burlington.

So to a new GI I went, that was this past Saturday. Much nicer doctor and more open. He doesn’t think the parasite is my biggest concern but has put me in for a gastric emptying test and a colonoscopy for two weeks.

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*** Any friends reading this who sees me in two weeks..please do not be alarmed. Colonoscopies make me look like death after… ***

So, after a pretty emotionally draining weekend (thank god for my bf..honestly), I now get to wait. Wait for that horrible test and continue to feel the same way for two weeks.

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I’m frustrated that my emotions have been up and down, so I tell myself this on the daily

I’m not trying to sound whiny and complain but I have to admit that I’m a bit scared to say the least. I know I have to know but the test itself and the results scare me. Most say that they don’t think I have Crohns but the possibility is there.

Pun intended, that scares the shit out of me.

But we wait and until then, I will continue to keep doing me and staying busy because you know what? I need to do what I need to do. It will be good so I need to just move past it.

This is my journey of gut healing and I want to share this not for sympathy..

PLEASE PLEASE don’t think I’m sharing this to get an “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” Other people have things way worse to go through. I’m doing this, being vulnerable, because more people than ever have been having stomach issues and I hope this can reach them and if they have questions they can ask me or it can give them some idea on what things to ask their medical team. 

My goal is always to educate and relate. If I can help one person stand up for themselves and seek help and GET some relief, this post has served its purpose.

I will keep you updated my friends. Thank you for always having my back.

best


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Too Much Of A Good Thing…Fitness Friday 41

Greetings my fitness friends, so I am just finished my exams this week and officially I can say that I have graduated with my second Bachelor of Science. Yay for being 25 with 2 degrees eh?

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As I head into my Masters/Internship this fall…very expensive Masters/Internship… -_- … My parents my be thinking this instead…

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Not art school but you get the idea

So now as I have this week and next to do a bit of relaxing and moving (gross) I want to get into a few topics with you including today’s topic…

When Something Good Becomes Something Bad

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We all know why the idea of ‘moderation’ is out there. Everything has it’s limits. Even the healthiest of things are bad when taken in excess. I wanted to re-iterate this for a few things that the bodybuilding/fitness community tends to go overboard with .

Lets do a quick short list of a bodybuilder staples that maybe they should reconsider their portion sizes in.

Cinnamon.

You a bit shocked? I have mentioned the benefits of cinnamon before, but it was pointed out to me more recently that my mindless pouring sprinkling, which was probably upwards of a tablespoon (ooppps), in my cream of rice every morning is something I need to stop doing.

We health freaks, bodybuilders and just oatmeal lovers adore us some cinnamon and while it is great for you, it actually contains a compound in it that has blood thinning property (anticoagulant). Specifically, coumarin. This pesky lil guy also can damage your liver when eaten in large quantities as well…

Unfortunately for us all, the ‘cinnamon’ that you buy in the store is not really true cinnamon. I wrote this in another blog, but the actual cinnamon, ceylon, which is found mostly in health food stores, is what you actually want to go for and provides you with those amazing benefits the most and less of this nasty compound. What most of us eat is cassia, which contains high amounts of coumarin and can then put you at risk if you’re like me and use half a bottle at a time.

So for all you cinnamon lovers out there, find you’re the real good stuff and watch how heavy-handed you are on the cinnamon shaker as a sprinkle here and another 4 sprinkles there can really add up.

Spinach

So low in calories. So great for volume. Eat all the spinach all the time!

But spinach has calcium they say. It has fiber. It has vitamin K. It has glorious vitamins!

So put it in everything right? Especially when those calories are getting a bit low for your liking and the hanger is too high for others to handle…

Check yourself.

Spinach along with other dark green vegetables have oxalic acid in them, which is a strong inhibitor of calcium. So while you think you’re getting a great dose of plant based calcium, you’re actually not really absorbing all of it. In fact, a study by Weaver and colleagues (1993) found that the foods that contains the most oxalic acid (including spinach and rhubarb) in them had a the lowest absorption of calcium. These plant chemicals can also cause kidney stones which also ain’t something you want to deal with (Durham, 2017).

Tuna

Canned tuna is easy and on-the-go friendly. Not to mention it is a great source of protein with virtually no fat (skipjack, not albacore) and no carbs. Perfect food for prep and many fitness lovers.

How do you all feel about mercury?

Well tuna (among other big fish) are notorious for becoming overly contaminated with this metal due to being one of the bigger predators, especially albacore. Mercury is often found in many species small and large, but as the larger ones eat more of the smaller ones, the overall levels in the bigger fish accumulate and therefore when you eat them, you’re getting a much larger dose.

Switch up your protein sources and the recommendation is have no more than 3 servings of those larger fish like tuna per week of this meaty fish. Also, try to stick to the white tuna varieties, as they are smaller which means they have less bioaccumulation.

For those on prep, try shellfish or, if those are too pricey for your liking, go for other white fish like haddock and hake (if you can get your hands on it) as I find them more tasty than things like cod. Also, don’t be afraid to get your fats from your proteins venture out to the other fishes too.

See Burger and Gochfeld (2004) for more information about canned tuna and their mercury content

Caffeine

Yell at me all you want about how much you need your Starbucks to survive, but there is a limit of caffeine that the body can actually handle. Apparently there is a fairly high level that is actually toxic, but when in prep you got the coffees going plus the pre-workouts and perhaps even a fat burner (ps those don’t work…) and well you have accumulated quite a bit of caffeine there…

Although mortality is rarely seen with caffeine intake, and toxicity generally only arises from doses in the gram amounts, a study by Musgrave et al (2016) pointed out the fact that some people may be at greater risk even with small doses. Those with liver (this metabolizes drugs) and cardiac issues should be especially mindful of their intake, as symptoms of excess may present themselves at lower doses than your average person.

Unpleasant symptoms that have been cited include:

~Tachycardia (super fast heart rate)

~Nausea

~Vomiting

~Shaking and agitation

Can’t say those sound too fun to me and obviously are a sign that you need to cool your jets on the ol’ coffee maker. The other issue is that research no this topic is still quite inconsistent and some people have seen these negative symptoms at a few hundred milligrams too.

So, although considered and widely accepted as safe in most regards, keep an eye on all your sources of caffeine, including potential hidden sources in all those random herbal supplements out there.

Fiber

Now this isn’t about to kill you but the digestive distress that you could be forced to endure may make you want to go into hiding. For a lot of people, when their macros get low start they tend to go really high with the vegetables to feel more satisfied. The problem with that is that too much fiber really is not a nice thing. Bloating, gas, flatulence (I’m being professional here..) and just general discomfort and, well, not feeling lean, all can result from excessive amounts of fiber.

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Did you know that too much fiber can also lead to mineral losses too?

So, yes you’re hungry, but do yourself a favour and don’t ring in more fiber than your body can handle.

Please keep in mind that this was geared towards people in competition prep who will undoubtably feel hunger at some point. The average person should not have this feeling as they shouldn’t have their calories lowered to the same degree even in a weight loss phase. 

This can also be targeted at vegetarians and vegans as they increase their vegetable and plant based protein consumption. Be mindful of how you feel and adjust as you need to. Try to get some of your vegetarian protein sources from things other than beans and legumes 24/7.

Artificial Sweeteners

I know I know this one also comes with a stamp of uncertainty, but from experience alone, I know that these can cause real digestive upsets. Different types lead to varying degrees of gastrointestinal upset (lets not get started on the lack of sound research for LT brain effects..) but in most cases taking in way too many of these things to lower your fat or carbohydrate intake can also lead to you looking like you’re 4 months pregnant OR will force you to live on the toilet for a bit.

It appears that some are better tolerated in adults than others (erythritol may show less adverse digestive affects)(Source) but from a subjective perspective, I know a lot of people (including myself who’s IBS HATES them) who feel bloated ingesting them and feel much better keeping them to a minimum.

So, although I focused on foods that are commonly overeaten by those in prep for bodybuilding competition or heavily into fitness, some of these are eaten quite often in the general public due to being regarded as healthy staples. These foods do provide many benefits to you, however, like almost everything, things have their limits, so I wanted to make you aware of some of the ones you may not think about.

Are you a cinnamon inhaler like me?

-Chelsea


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Carb Blocker Rantage…Fitness Friday 40

Let me just start with a video Layne Norton posted…

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Link

First of all, LOL

Secondly, our topic at hand can be found at roughly 1:38.

So what are we talking about here?

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Carb blockers.

People take them to basically “undo’ eating carbs…

Lets chat about why these are complete and utter BS!

#SaveYoMoney

We will lead our discussion with some points from Layne’s ranting.

If something is essentially blocked in your body, this means not digested and if you flushed it that would mean diarrhea…

When someone takes these, do you see them runny rapidly to the bathroom after their meal?

No.

“Thank goodness because that would be uncomfortable and, quite frankly, embarrassing.”   -Layne

Why would you have diarrhea?

Diarrhea occurs when the body pulls water into the gut and that causes a ‘dumping’ or flushing of some of the intestinal contents as overly liquid stools. For example, if your body is trying to get rid of something it doesn’t want (perhaps a bacterial infection) or is trying to rebalance a major shift (you eat something with a really high osmolality), water will come in and that will evacuate it in a more quick manner.

And you run to the bathroom.

So no diarrhea is seen from popping these pills before you eat the entire bread basket, so what happens?

Well if those carbs are not digested in the intestines, they make their way UNdigested to the colon. Due to the colon not having enzymes to break down food, your bacteria goes to town on this undigested starch and ferments it. This produces a lot of byproducts (gases, acids) including short chain fatty acids, which can be used as a source of energy by the bacteria. Thing to note is that you essentially still took in all of the calories…

So, fact number one, carb blockers =/= calories being ejected out of the body.

“There can be a “virtual blocker” per say if you block one of the main carbohydrate enzymes..”

So if it doesn’t “flush it out,’ what other way could these things work? Inhibition of the carbohydrate enzymes!

Yes, if you loose/inhibit enzymes to digest starch, than yes some or maybe even quite a bit of it may go undigested. As he explained, you really cannot cause 100% enzyme inhibition…

Either way, you end up with the same undigested starch making it’s way to the fermentation factory that is your colon and get the exact same outcome as before..

Fermentation byproducts (SCFA) –> energy to large intestine –> you still take in the calories.

So again, not what you wanted.

He mentioned, which should be noted, is that this lack of digestion may in fact blunt some of the glucose response, which could be helpful for those with poor insulin control. But we are talking the normal population in this case. 

Everyone, once again, pills are not magic. They cannot make you flush away calories in the food you are eating. They cannot make them go away.

If we didn’t have such an extreme way of doing things (i.e. restrict all carbs then eat the whole kitchen worth of carbs) maybe we wouldn’t have even a thought to come up with some crap like this.

This all leads back to a common theme from me…

Restriction leads to nothing good

Pills lead to nothing good.

I’m talking weight loss pills here..

AOJqpA

Avoid both (oh and Dr. Oz…) and perhaps you will be a lot happier and healthier.

So, although I could just end off with that and say you should trust the words of Dr. Norton (which you should really take him seriously, he knows what he’s talking about), here are some articles for your science-nerds to read up on if you want

Huntington and Shewmake (2010) No clear evidence of benefits AND OR safety hazards of many weight loss aids such as carb/nutrient blockers

Preuss (2007) this was a rat study but I used it to point out a something. So it showed that the carb blocker (CB) they used reduced the insulin response after carbohydrate intake BUT notice there was not weight change in the controls vs. the CB. The thing that Layne discussed is that although the response to the carb intake may be blunted, the absorbtion of the calories won’t really change and this can be seen with the lack of weight loss occurring in the rats.

Keep in mind, animals are not humans…

Other studies like this one suggest that once again, these carb enzyme blockers/inhibitors may act to slow the absorption down (i.e. blunt the glycemic response as stated already) like a fiber would naturally. Again, slowing down absorption DOES NOT MEAN LACK OF CALORIE ABSORPTION

So I will leave you with that.

Leave the carb blockers on the shelf.

Eat some fiber.

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Fiber can help slow the digestion of carbohydrates leading to longer satiety and perhaps control feeding. 

-Chelsea


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All Hail The Skinny Teas…Fitness Friday 39

Do we all know by now that those people on IG who sell Skinny Teas are sell outs?

I really hope that most people don’t still believe that these teas actually cause real weight loss all on their own because..

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..They don’t. #SorryNotSorry

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Apparently everyone loves them. They are super easy to do and voila great results.

~Midsections were made smaller

~Pants sizes were shrunken

~Overall well being was greatly enhanced

~Weight loss goals were met

So what is it?

Basically, many of these teas (some may differ, but I went OG with the Skinny Mint) provide you with a tea or more to drink during the day at specific times. They are said to have these weight loss benefits and you will start to shed the weight and ultimately feel great.

Kylie

For example, in this particular TeaTox starter kit (shown above) you get an AM tea that contains:

Green Tea

Nettle Leaves

Yerba Mate

Dandelion

Guarana Fruit

Apparently all of these together are supposed to give you a great boost in the morning.

Then there is a night time tea that contains:

Ginger Root

Lemon Grass

Peppermint

Hawthorn Berries

Orange Leaves

Senna Leaves

Licorice Root

Psyllium Husk

These are supposed to come together to have you feeling restored, less bloated and cleansed.

I will say that the ingredients themselves do have some research to back up their benefits that may include what was mentioned. I will list some below. Overall, these are great natural ingredients but their effects are way blown out of proportion if you ask me. See here for more information on the rest of ingredients.

Nettle Leaves –> Apparently some diuretic properties (mostly animals), antioxidant

Dandelion –> diuretic properties, potential laxative effects, limited research on it’s benefit as a bile stimulant (ie. liver tonic)

Hawthorn –> much of the research done supports benefits for heart disease. Other things include antioxidant properties, diuretic properties, anti-inflammatory.

Ginger–> some support for it as increasing gastric motility, having antioxidant properties and reduction of bloating

Licorice –> anti-inflammatory, protects the cells of the liver (in vivo/animal studies), adrenal support, antioxidant

Realistically, none of these ingredients on their own or used in combination have a strong scientific backing on inducing weight loss on their own. Seems like its a lot of peeing if you ask me…Perhaps if you drink these along with following a fitness and dietary lifestyle that is appropriate for weight loss than you would see those results. At that point though, did the tea really do anything for you?

skinny3

Sure, if the above properties are actually valid, perhaps it gave you some natural forms of energy. Perhaps it helped keep things moving so that you felt ‘purified’ or perhaps it helped you feel less bloated due to the diuretic properties in some of the herbs BUT that doesn’t = real weight loss.

I’m emphasizing this because all of the celebrities and ads suggesting that this is some magic gem that will cause weight loss are really being misleading. Oh just drink the tea and you will be skinny they say..

skinn2

There is no proof of this and even their products say this!

*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results may vary from person to person and are not guaranteed.

…Benefits of reading the fine print…

You know what they also say…

This tea should be consumed as part of a balanced diet. Seek professional advice before using if you are under medical supervision. Do not consume this tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or prolonged diarrhea occur desist use and consult your doctor.<- thanks senna leaf…

So, the hopes of many is that they can continue to eat whatever the hell they want and loose weight, but that simply isn’t the case and these products should not be marketed as weight loss tools. Really, even if any weight loss was seen, it would be so minimal or hard to pick out of other lifestyle efforts that they wouldn’t really be able to be acknowledged.

So do yourself a favour and simply watch Kylie Jenner love her some tea and waist trainers and save yourself the $40.

And I’m out.

Happy Friday Friends! 

-Chelsea


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Citrulline Malate…Fitness Friday 38

My friends! It’s March can you believe it? Seems like it was just New Years and now we are three months in already and Spring is in close reaching distance. Guess that is what the internship/Masters application process does to you…makes time fly.

Sidenote: I saw robins yesterday! I was partially excited (cuz spring sign!) but more so concerned because this was after a full on 20-25 degree reduction in temperature in one day. Please don’t be baby-makin yet birdies!

fat-robin

I’d be making that face too if it was 16 one day then I woke up to -10.In fact, I probably did look like that yesterday…

So coming back to another active ingredient in pre-workouts and also BCAA’s, I have always really wondered what this guy was good for. I mean, my coach said it was a good thing and it provided benefits, but apparently I was too busy to think about educating myself on why. I don’t like that….

I always stand for the whole ‘know what and why you are putting something into your body” philosophy and I obviously didn’t follow through with that on this one.

Time to take a scientific looky at it to settle my conscience.

Citrulline Malate

What is it?

Citrulline malate is the quite simply the combination of citrulline and malate. Pretty obvious eh? Citrulline is an important component of the urea cycle, which is where urea is formed from ammonia in the liver. This conversion is important because ammonia is actually toxic in the body if it builds up, while urea is a bit less harmful. Malate, on the other hand, is an intermediate in the  Kreb’s cycle, which is the cycle that releases energy from our macronutrients through oxidizing acetyl CoA.

citric-acid-cycle-4-638

What does it do?

It has been used in the past as an aid to decrease muscle fatigue and increase functionality. Many studies have shown these effects, whether human or animal (I will present some of the human ones below), in addition to speculating other benefits such as higher clearance of ammonia from the blood post exercise, a possible role in lactate metabolism and some effect on acid-base balance. The mechanism behind all of this remains unknown at this point however.

So, although it has shown benefits for athletic performance, particularly with respect to a more efficiently functioning muscle , we don’t have a strong conclusions as to how it is doing it.

So, below I will highlight a few studies and provide their findings, conclusions and hypotheses regarding a potential mode of action.

Bendahan et al (2002). “CM ingestion resulted in a significant reduction in the sensation of fatigue, a 34% increase in the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise, and a 20% increase in the rate of phosphocreatine recovery after exercise, indicating a larger contribution of oxidative ATP synthesis to energy production.” Their conclusion? The mechanism of CM’s action that reduces weakness and fatigue could be that it increases aerobic ATP production through providing more of the intermediates to replenish those that were lost more quickly than if you weren’t supplementing. [6g CM used]

Perez-Guisado et al (2010). Their study found that males athletes supplemented with CM saw more than 50% increases in the number of repetitions for barbell bench and a significant decrease in muscle fatigue 24 and 48 hours following the study’s training regime in a double blind, within subject study. In their research, they stated that studies have begin to speculate a role of ammonia in in “blocking cellular energy processes” and causing earlier fatigue. It has also been seen that it plays a role in NO reactions, which has been associated with recovery. Overall they concluded that the results from their study showed that one dose of CM helped with recovery and performance in high-intensity anaerobic activities with short rest times. [8g CM used]

Sureda et al (2010). They took subjects and had them cycle for ~137km with one difficult hill. All were given the same amount of food and fluid. They measured all variables (amino acids and all important exercise related metabolites) 3 hours prior to the race, 15 minutes following and 3 hours following. Overall, they found that the CM group showed a significant decease in the amount of the branched chain amino acids post race, which they said was due to the BCAAs being more effectively used for energy, than the control and higher arginine concentrations, which would contribute to many arginine derived metabolites such as nitrite, urea, creatinine and hormones like growth hormone that are beneficial for muscle growth and function. Finally, they also saw greater nitrogen availability in the CM group, which they stated could increase protein synthesis and protein concentrations in the muscle during exercise leading to better use of the amino acids (particularly the BCAAs). [6g CM used]

Overall, although I only highlighted a few interesting studies I found, I will say that the vast majority of studies I saw (which, I couldn’t have seen them all obviously…) showed significant improvements with its usage, so I have some confidence that it could provide a benefit to those who are looking (and can afford) to get a supplement that may actually do something useful and perhaps give a slight edge with recovery. Is it required to be a better athlete? Well no. Like all supplements, its not a magic powder that will give you huge energy bursts or make your recovery happen in 5 seconds. It is simply supplementing your routine and could provide some little bits of assistance and/or performance enhancements.

Happy Friday Friends!

-Chelsea