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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Why I Don’t Want You to Eliminate Sugar

“Sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine,” she declared as I deviously eyed the dessert menu. “After everything I’ve read, I’m heading for sugar sobriety.” 

Stop being an effing killjoy and let me enjoy my chocolate mousse, I wanted to say. Instead, I probably appeared doubtful and even dismissive, even if I loved her phrase “sugar sobriety.”

Needless to say, my friend could be a tad dramatic, believing nearly every dramatic health proclamation she read. Just a few weeks ago, she was telling me about green coffee bean extract’s many benefits based on some blog she had just read. Eye. Roll.

I resolved to write a blog entitled “In Defense of Sugar,” dismissing this sugar backlash as a grand attempt from so-called experts to push hyperbole and sell books. I felt a little cynical that sugar could really be that bad. Besides, God help anyone who tries to take away my chocolate.

Then I did some research.

Turns out, any jury in this great land would convict sugar. One thing’s for sure:

Friday, June 19, 2015

If I Criticize this Workout, Will I Get Sued?

Is Crossfit  fit  for the masses?

“A barbaric, potentially dangerous workout that refuses to die,” I said to a friend recently over lunch, referring to a recent 60 Minutes expose about Crossfit and its hubristic founder, Greg Glassman. “Trouble is, if I write anything un-squeaky clean about it, I could get sued.”

Why all the fuss about, as 60 Minutes described it, a “workout program that mixes elements of weightlifting, calisthenics, and gymnastics” that takes place in a notoriously Spartan environment?

Because business is booming, with about 12,000 CrossFit “boxes” (as they’re affectionately called) currently existing around the world, where soccer moms and dad-body guys eagerly congregate, lured by hyperbolic promises of a super-hot physique and wholeheartedly swallowing the no-pain-no-gain fitness philosophy.

That might sound a tad snarky, and indeed I got some flak about my not-so-flattering 2013 CrossFit blog. (Though no lawsuit threat, knock on wood…)

No, I have not conducted a formal study that evaluates every CrossFit trainer or participant. But I maintain that most are out of shape and in absolutely no condition to do a grueling workout as clueless CrossFit trainers push them with herculean brutality.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Naturally Reduce Anxiety with these Strategies

Help for anxiety
“I’ve tried everything, from hypnosis to Xanax to psychotherapy,” my client confessed. “They all helped a little bit, but your work became the big needle mover.”

I felt humbled. My client had struggled with chronic anxiety for years, triggered by overbearing parents, a type-A personality, and then a psychologically abusive relationship that recently ended. 

Without oversimplifying the issue, 45 minutes three times a week of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) became her ticket to – well, not eliminate anxiety, but at lest reduce its detrimental impact.

"Exercise has favorable effects on anxiety," says Dr. Jade Teta. He points to studies that show "exercise as both a preventative and alternative treatment strategy for anxiety. The acute effects of exercise might even be able to allay panic attacks."

Let's be clear: No responsible expert would position exercise as a cure-all for anxiety, which often becomes a multi-factorial issue that requires

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Groundbreaking 1 – 2 Punch for Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Producing  more BHB to fight  inflammation
“Really, another study extolling exercise’s benefits?” I said to my coworker, motioning to a recent study sitting on my desk"Do we really need researchers telling us exercise increases energy, protects against illness, or puts us in a more optimistic mood? I mean, duh."

Well, yes and no.

Any athlete, personal trainer, or gym buff can rattle off a killer workout’s countless benefits. Studies simply validate our predilections. And every so often, a study catches even our attention.

This one on my desk certainly did.

Researchers here found a novel mechanism whereby exercise could decrease susceptibility to inflammatory diseases. That mechanism involves a ketone metabolite called β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which helps block inflammatory processes.

You want plenty of this anti-inflammatory metabolite around, because