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Friday, May 29, 2015

Oil Pulling: Whiten Your Teeth, Detoxify Your Body and Prevent Cavities?

I don't often feature guest posts but this one is an excellent exception to my rule. In this post, my friend Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD, discusses the benefits of coconut oil "pulling," (something I do every day.) Intrigued? Never heard of it? Prepare to be educated. This is good stuff!

Coconut oil pulling - learn the benefits!

It’s been said that total body health begins in the mouth. But why? 

Well, for one thing, it’s the gateway through which you either nourish yourself with life-supporting food and drink or burden your body with toxins from alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or processed foods.

Furthermore, a clean mouth may also be the key to preventing disease, and studies are beginning to highlight the relationship between poor oral health and conditions like inflammation, diabetes and even heart disease.

If you’re a twice-a-day brusher and religious flosser, bravo – you probably have nothing to worry about.

But what if your daily oral hygiene

Friday, May 22, 2015

7 Traits of a Top-Notch Trainer

Have you hired the best trainer?
“Just like everything else, coaches are a dime a dozen in LA,” my trainer friend lamented over guacamole, crudités, and tequila shots one recent Friday night.

I understood her frustration. Working in gyms for decades, I’ve watched vigilant, just-graduated personal trainers get burned out, overworked, get nudged out of their profession, and eventually abandon their would-be career. Disappointedly, I’ve also seen shoddy, barely-there coaches flourish.

That’s too bad, because as more people become determined to get in great health prioritize fitness (read: create the time and budget to do it regularly), we need smart, eager, enthusiastic personal trainers.

What helps some trainers stay the course while others eventually choose another profession, crash and burn, or otherwise jump ship when the going gets hard? I’ve pinpointed seven characteristics I almost always see in top-notch trainers.

If you’re studying to become a personal trainer or already work as one, you’ll want to

Friday, May 15, 2015

This Multitasking Nutrient Belongs in Every Athlete’s Supplement Cabinet  versatile 
“Mostly useless amounts of potentially beneficial nutrients loaded with aspartame and some other junk,” I said, setting the container onto my desk as my client looked disappointed. Over my years as a personal trainer, I’ve evaluated numerous supplements high on hype but low on actual benefits.

That’s too bad, because a few supplements actually can provide benefits whether you’re a heavy lifter or a gym dabbler. After all, you’re always looking for better ways to build and maintain muscle mass. You want to get the most out of your workouts, and you know how undervalued recovery can become.

Besides a quality whey powder or branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), the one supplement I always recommend is L-glutamine (also called glutamine), a true nutrient rock star.

Glutamine is the most prevalent amino acid in your bloodstream, and numerous organs house it. Skeletal muscle contains the highest amount, and your muscles become the primary storage place and exporter of glutamine into other tissues.

Glutamine boosts a wide range of impressive

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fast Food Your Ideal Post-Workout Fuel? Not So Fast…

What should your post-workout meal really be?
Years ago, I had a late-20s client who fortified his grueling workout with a double cheeseburger and fries at In ‘N Out. At that age, you can get away with such dietary debacles, but once I got wind of his habit I explained how eating crap jeopardized his hard work in the gym.

“But it’s not like I’m getting fat or anything,” he replied. From his misguided comment came my blog "7 Dietary Mistakes Fitness-Minded People Frequently Mess Up."

Michael Cramer, a graduate student at the University of Montana, evidently didn't read this blog. His recent study (I use that word loosely), published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, reminded me of my former client’s comment that radically missed the bigger picture when it comes to fitness and optimal health. 

In this study, Cramer compared post-workout supplements like PowerBar and Cytomax energy powder with a few McDonald’s foods (hotcakes, hash browns, hamburgers, and fries).

Cramer used 11 male athletes, who fasted for 12 hours and then completed a 90-minute endurance workout. Then they either ate

Friday, May 1, 2015

5 Ways to Effortlessly Upgrade Your Diet

Garbage in, garbage out
Rarely do I get worked up about a study. Okay, that’s not true: I actually often become excited about emerging research. Almost never, however, do I ask readers to actually read a full study. That’s my job to dissect and provide you the highlights.

Well, this recent editorial published in the British Medical Journal became a game-changer. I started highlighting stuff and… Well, I pretty much underlined the entire thing.

As a personal trainer, I see this all the time. “I train hard so I can devour a deep dish pepperoni and a few Heinekens while watching Game of Thrones” practically becomes the mantra for some guys at my gym.

Females show a little more self-restraint, but I’ve busted quite a few athletes self-permissively pigging out, I mean, dabbling at Friday girls' night out with gargantuan burritos and even bigger margaritas a few hours after doing deadlifts or squats.

I’m not talking once in a blue moon. No, these people think a few hardcore workouts license them to thrice-weekly, massive-caloric (and sugar!) food orgies.

As I often remind these well-intended folks, garbage