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Quick Tips for Reading Grocery Labels

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Nutrition Fact vs. Fiction

What’s Important

  • Focus on the ingredients portion of the label.
  • Look for a minimal number of ingredients — the less the better. You can dress it up once you buy it.
  • Look for natural ingredients, such as the items included on the Core Plan. (Avoid ingredients you can’t read or pronounce because they were probably made in a laboratory).
  • Buy more foods that aren’t required to have labels because what you see is what you get (i.e. fruits and vegetables).
  • Make a habit of checking the label on each item you buy. It won’t be long before you will know exactly what to consider. It will quickly become a habit and won’t add any extra time to your trip to the store.

Common Mistakes

  • Spend less time looking at grams of fat, carbohydrates, proteins, calories, and serving size.
  • Remember that the recommended daily values on this part of the label do not take into consideration age, gender, athletic activity, or specific dietary needs.
  • Beware of boisterous advertising claims. Cereals have recently been under the microscope by the FDA for claiming outrageous health benefits, such as “low in fat” or “trans-fat free,” while clearly listing unhealthy, dangerous ingredients on the label. The advertisers want you to SEE “Low in Cholesterol,” (which doesn’t matter), and miss high-fructose corn syrup on the ingredients list.
  • Being low in fat, low in carbohydrates or sugar-free does not make something healthy.
  • Being organic or located in the health food section of the store, (i.e. organic sugar or organic potato chips), does not make something good for you.

Watch Out for the Following Common Hidden Ingredients:

  • Various forms of sugar (foods ending in “-ose”)
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), a powerful stimulator of free radical production in the body
  • Hydrolyzed or autolyzed ingredients (highly heated, addictive excitotoxins)
  • Artificial sweeteners (sucralose/Splenda®, aspartame/Nutrasweet®, Equal® among others)
  • Hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils. These trans fats may still appear on the ingredients list, but if the quantity per serving is less than 500 mg, the food can boast “trans-fat free” on the label. You may notice the serving size has conveniently “shrunk” over the years.
  • Refined flour touted as organic. If it isn’t “sprouted, whole grain, or stone-ground” it is refined.
  • Additives, colorings, chemicals and preservatives
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10 Things You Need To Know About Soy

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10 Things You Need To Know About Soy

Tackling the topic of soy is a little like trying to untangle my four year-old daughter’s hair. First, I feel overwhelmed just looking at the mess. And then, when I tackle it, more and more tangles keep appearing!

That’s why, for years, I avoided looking at all the data on soy.

Finally, folks, I did it for you. As a health professional, I get asked about soy a lot, as it’s one of the most common food allergens in the westernized world.

And it’s only gotten more confusing recently. A few years ago, soy manufacturers funded a PR push after some studies showed it helped ease some menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. But then the pendulum swung the other way and soy became the scapegoat for almost everything under the sun, including cancer.

If you’re adopting a plant-based lifestyle, this is an even trickier topic, since you’re faced with soy in practically every product in the vegetarian section of your grocery store. It’s difficult to completely remove soy from your diet as it’s practically everywhere; you’d have to drastically move away from all mainstream food choices to avoid it completely.

But what is the real risk of moderate consumption? And why is there so much polarized information?

I’ve tried to boil it all down to the top 10 facts you need to know about soy:

1. Soy feed is the major ingredient in modern animal feed.

Along with corn, fat-free (defatted) soybean meal is a significant and inexpensive source of protein for animal feeds. Without soy, it would be impossible to raise farm animals (such as chicken, hog, turkey) on a large industrial scale. Did you know that the US produced over 90 million tons of soy in 2011, making it the largest soy producer in the world?

2. It’s estrogen-like.

Soy’s role as a natural hormone replacement was touted for many years because soy contains isoflavones, which are similar to estrogen. While isoflavones may act like estrogen, they can block the more potent natural estrogens from binding to the estrogen receptor. So, it’s much more complex than is usually presented in the media.

How does this affect kids? I am concerned about my son, who tends to like soy meat replacement products. How much is OK? A few experts on the subjects weighed in on this question and concluded that about two servings a day should be the upper limit of soy intake for boys and girls.

3. It may contribute to breast cancer.

This, to me, was the thorniest issue. Some articles supported the idea that soy contributes to breast cancer, but most of them studied soy consumption at extremely high levels. Also, many of them were animal studies. And most of them had the participants eat processed soy.

However, the Weston A. Price foundation made a nice summary page of all literature that supports soy and breast cancer. Quite a few sources say that soy does not correlate with an increase of risk of breast cancer and I found a good summary of it here.

4. Soy may affect your thyroid especially if you are already hypothyroid.

It’s now accepted, even by soy advocates, that people with hypothyroidism should avoid consuming more than 1 serving a day of soy.

Because soy is a goitrogen (meaning that it promotes the growth of a goiter), it can slow thyroid function, and sometimes, trigger thyroid disease if taken in large quantities. Also, children who drink soy formula tend to develop problems with their thyroid at a higher rate than other children.

5. Most soy is GMO.

In fact, 93% of all soy in the US is genetically modified. Also, in the US, there are no rules to separate GMO soy from non GMO fields of soy.

6. It is often highly processed.

Like wheat, part of the problem with soy is that it often presents itself in the processed form of snacks, cakes, and meat alternatives. In my practice, I find that cutting out soy and wheat from the diet is partially beneficial because it also means you cut out processed foods such as cakes, cookies and other junk food.

7. Soy is a complete protein.

Soybeans are a source of complete protein. They are considered as being almost equivalent in protein quality to animal proteins.

8. Soybean oil is processed with Hexane.

Most of the soy crop in the U.S. is used to produce soybean oil, and uses hexane (a chemical solvent) in its intial stages of extraction. If you choose organic soy products or unprocessed soy (like edamame)—you don’t have to worry about hexane use.

9. Soybean provide a large amount of protein with moderate amounts of fat.

This is a fact. 100g of soy contains 173 calories, with 9 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbs (6 of which are fiber) and 17 grams of protein.

10. Soy has been eaten in Asian countries for thousands of years.

Soy farming in China and East asia started in 1100 BC. The Japanese and Chinese eat 10 grams of soy protein per day (although some groups in these countries eat as much as 50 grams). Also much of the soy that is consumed is fermented, which makes it a healthier choice. But in America, many soy supplements and powders can have as much as 50 grams of soy protein in one serving.

Ok, so what’s the final verdict?

I’ll let you decide … but if I were you, I’d avoid consuming processed soy.

That said, having edamame at restaurant, or a couple of whole organic, non-GMO or fermented soy meals per week is fine for most people.

I know that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but I wanted to present the facts as I see them so you can make an informed decision. What’s your stance on soy?

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Fever not a bad thing?

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“Why are fevers so IMPORTANT especially when a person has Cancer?”
Your body temperature will only rise when there is an infection, its the body doing the right thing at the right time! Hippocrates said, “Give me a fever and I’ll heal any disease.” Fevers are caused by chemicals called pyrogens flowing in the bloodstream. One common pyrogen is called Interleukin-1 (IL-1). IL-1 is produced by white blood cells called macrophages when they come into contact with certain bacteria, viruses, or cancer. The fever is to raise the body’s temperature enough to kill off certain bacteria and viruses because they are sensitive to temperature changes. Bacteria and viruses cant live in higher temperatures where normal healthy cells can.

A fever also naturally stimulates the body’s own production of nitric oxide, it opens up the capillaries, it improves circulation, it vibrates the water molecules that are sometimes bound with tumors, and other heavy metals, mold, fungus, that are encapsulating the tumors. “We are using a temperature that you would get if you had a bad case of the flu,” Joan Bull, M.D., an oncologist at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, told Ivanhoe. They raise the patients temperature from 98.6 to 104 degrees.

What about seizures or brain damage from a fever? Only 5% to 10% of children under six get febrile convulsions, which usually last for a few minutes. The commonly misdirected concern is that a high fever in a young child can create brain damage!
Someone who is very ill without fever (under 101 F) should cause more concern than someone running a high fever but resting well while taking in fluids and eating little.

It would be far more helpful to think of a fever as a healing response rather than a symptom of disease. And, raising your body’s temperature to between 102 to 103 degrees F is actually the ideal range of a fever because this is the temperature range in which viruses, bacteria, even cancer can be killed.

This is straight from All Children’s Hospital website:
MYTH: All fevers are bad for children.
FACT: Fevers turn on the body’s immune system and help the body fight infection. Fevers are one of the body’s protective mechanisms. Normal fevers between 100° and 104° F (37.8° – 40° C) are actually good for sick children.
MYTH: Fevers above 104° F (40° C) are dangerous and can cause brain damage.
FACT: Fevers with infections don’t cause brain damage. Only body temperatures above 108° F (42° C) can cause brain damage. The body temperature climbs this high only with extreme environmental temperatures (for example, if a child is confined to a closed car in hot weather).

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Burn More Fat at Any Age with Surge Training

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How to Trade in Your Flab for Lean Muscle

February 17, 2014

 

 

Burn More Fat at Any Age with Surge Training

 

If you go to the gym, you may have noticed that many of the regulars on the cardio equipment or in the classes have the exact same body type year after year. The reason behind that is cortisol.

 

Cortisol is a hormone produced by stress on your system. This stress hormone actually increases fat storing and breaks down muscle — the exact opposite of what you want!

 

While 30 to 40 minutes of jogging does improve cardiovascular function and burns a little fat during the session, research shows that cortisol production is increased after this type of long, slow workout.

 

Recent studies have revealed that it’s not simply what happens to you during the workout that matters; it’s what happens afterward that ultimately makes the difference.

 

Research done on both elite and novice athletes shows that the benefits of low-intensity, long-duration activity are far outweighed by the benefits of high-intensity, short-duration exercise.

 

The overall program is called surge training.

 

This type of exercise actually raises your human growth hormone (HGH), testosterone and beta-endorphins, thus turning your body into a fat-burning machine.

 

Natural HGH — not be confused with any substance related to baseball scandals — is great for your body composition and overall a function. Some of the benefits of HGH include:

 

  • Increased energy and endurance
  • Reduced fat accumulation and increased lean muscle mass
  • Increased bone density
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved sleep patterns and moods

 

Those beta-endorphins also give you a peace-inducing, pain-reducing high. Perhaps the best part is that the “surge” portion only takes 12 minutes a week.

 

Surge training consists of short, intermittent bursts of energy. It’s similar to the concept of interval training, only done within a more limited time frame and with a strong focus on the importance of the recovery time.

 

The idea of the surge is to safely shock your body into responding physiologically so that you’re left in a more ideal metabolic state for getting toned and in better condition. What’s more, this response can last for up to 48 hours after your surge workout has been completed.

 

After a maximum energy output — the “surge” — your body responds by altering its hormones and physiology to help burn fat and build muscle.

 

Join Us for Surge Session

 

Nearly all Maximized Living clinics host group surge training sessions. Whether you are just getting started or you feel like you just need a little motivation, these group workouts are a blast and they will certainly help increase your fitness level. Come Join us Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 11:30am!

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Grainless Granola

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Grainless Granola

 

 

Image courtesy of Smart Meals

 

Advanced & Core Plan

 

Ingredients

 

  • 6-10 servings (depending on size of the serving)
  • 2 cups nuts (any combination of walnuts, pecans, and almonds – slivered work best)
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup large coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup erythritol (like Swerve) or spoonable stevia to taste (about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 organic egg white, whisked until frothy
  • Core Plan Option:  1 cup dried fruit (unsweetened cranberries, raisins, dates)

 

Directions

 

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Take off heat and stir in ginger, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Combine nuts in a food processor and pulse several times to chop the nuts roughly. Transfer nuts to a large bowl. Pull out any large chunks and re-process. Add pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes and dried fruit (if using) to the nuts. Toss to combine then pour the oil mixture into the nut mixture and mix well.  Whisk egg white and pour over mixture and combine with a spoon or your hands, making sure everything is coated well.
  4. Transfer granola onto baking sheet, spreading it out into one even layer.
  5. Bake granola for 20-25 minutes until dry and golden (watch it closely so it doesn’t burn). Don’t stir, but you may need to rotate the pan if it is growing unevenly.
  6. Remove the parchment from the hot pan and let the granola cool completely (it will get even crispier as it cools).
  7. When the granola is  cool, break it up into chunks. This can be stored for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

 

Serving suggestions:

 

  • As a snack on its own.
  • As a cereal served with almond milk, coconut milk or raw milk.
  • Parfait-style with organic yogurt and berries.

 

Snack Smart to Control Your Weight

 

Why should you work to replace empty grains with raw nuts? Well, for one, raw nuts can boost energy levels and keep you feeling full—but that’s not all. Learn why snacking on raw almonds, walnuts and more can actually help you stay in shape.

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Protein-Packed Brownies

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Protein-Packed Brownies

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced and Core Plan, makes 18-24 brownies

 

This recipe is nothing short of amazing. They taste and look just like traditional brownies but these are actually nutritious and loaded with protein due to the almond butter and whey protein. Make these to share at your next potluck or party.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 (16) ounce jar raw almond butter, smooth unroasted
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 cup erythritol or stevia to taste (liquid – start with 2 teaspoons and add from there, spoonable – start with 1/4 cup and add from there, pure stevia – start with 1/2 teaspoon and add from there)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate or vanilla Perfect Protein
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 stevia sweetened chocolate bar (like Lydia’s or Coco Polo), chopped

 

Directions

 

  1. In a large bowl, blend almond butter until smooth with an electric mixer.
  2. Blend in eggs, then sweetener and vanilla.
  3. Add in cocoa, protein powder, salt and baking soda, and coconut milk, then fold in chopped chocolate bar.
  4. Line a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish with parchment paper and pour batter into dish. It will be thick so you may need to press it into shape.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

Trading Sugars for Clean Fats and Proteins

 

Eliminating sugars from your diet is the cornerstone of the Maximized Living Advanced Plan. Dietary sugar increases risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

 

Tasty recipes like this one replace the harmful effects of sugar with the benefits of healthy fats and clean proteins.

 

Don’t sacrifice your favorite treats; just make them better!

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The 5 Biggest Health Myths Everyone Needs to Know

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The 5 Biggest Health Myths Everyone Needs to Know

 

The 5 Biggest Health Myths Everyone Needs to Know

There are many pervasive myths that have been misleading people in the natural health field for many years.  Some of these myths continue to be the mainstream thought even though science has clearly demonstrated that they are untrue.  Understanding these health myths and the real truth sets you free from a lifestyle of sickness and disease.

Myth:  Eating Fat Makes You Fat:

The truth is that diets high in omega 3 fatty acids and saturated fats are linked to lower rates of obesity and better overall health.  Man-made fats (trans-fats) and refined vegetable oils are inflammatory and disrupt metabolism.  Good fats help to build healthy cell membranes.  These membranes are able to utilize good hormonal communication signals to appropriately manage metabolism.

Diets rich in sugars, grains, hydrogenated oils and omega 6 fats inflame the body and damage the cell membranes.  This alters insulin and leptin signaling leading to insulin & leptin resistance, weight gain, diabetes, & chronic inflammation.  Diets rich in good fats (saturated and omega 3) anti-oxidants, electrolytes, & trace minerals de-inflame the body and allow for proper insulin/leptin signaling resulting in weight loss, stable energy & disease prevention.

Myth:  Saturated Fat & Cholesterol in the Diet are Bad For Your Heart:

The truth is that saturated fat & cholesterol are powerful nutrients that the body uses for hormone function, calcium metabolism and cellular structure.  They act as stabilizing units that protect the body from inflammatory damage.  The Massai & Rendille Tribes in Africa have some of the lowest rates of heart disease yet they consume a diet consisting of 65% saturated fat and loads of cholesterol through red meat & fermented grass-fed dairy products.    The Eskimos/Inuit consume a 75% saturated fat diet (whale blubber) yet have extremely low rates of heart disease.

Myth:  Lots of Exercise = Better: 

Most people believe that running long distances and lifting light weights for many repetitions is good.  Running 10K’s and marathons are healthy.  The truth is that long distance cardiovascular exercise increases cortisol secretions which inflame the body and damage joints & ligaments leading to injury/overtraining and possible weight gain.   High Intensity, short time period training (HIT) boosts growth hormone that allows the body to build muscle, burn fat and build a greater anti-oxidant reserve.  Train 4-5 days a week for 10-20 minutes each session at a very high intensity.

Myth:  I Feel Good so I must be Healthy

The truth is that every cell is hit by over 10,000 free radical interactions every second.  We never feel this.  The heart rebuilds all 60 billion cells every 7 months.  We never feel this.  Between 10,000 and 100,000 cancer cells are building in our body every day.  We never feel this.   60% of heart attack patients never thought they had a heart problem until they ended up in the emergency room.  Early Detection testing for cancer cannot find abnormal growths until they are nearly 4-10 billion cancer cells large…this is 7-15 of development.

Myth:  Health is my natural condition until I get sick, injured or have an emergency.

The truth is that health is a dynamic condition that you are either building or losing every moment.  You are either moving toward or away from 100% God-given maximal function with every decision and lifestyle choice you make.  The key to health is to continually think well, eat well, move well and take care of your spine and teeth with the help of a highly qualified chiropractor and holistic dentist.  Loving relationships, spiritual pursuits and a life of service keep you invigorated and on purpose to live your best life now.

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Grainless Rolls

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Advanced & Core Plan Approved

 

These can be used for sandwiches, grass-fed burgers, or on their own!

 

*Recipe modified from Maria Emmerich

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 5 tablespoons psyllium husk powder
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 organic eggs or 3 organic egg whites
  • 1 cup boiling water

 

Directions

 

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together.
  2. Add the eggs and apple cider vinegar and mix well.
  3. Add the boiling water and continue to mix until well combined.  It will turn into a very sticky dough.
  4. Split the mixture into 5 rolls.  You will want to form them into nicely shaped rolls and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
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February 13: Max Life Call: The #1 Question: WHY?

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February 13: Max Life Call: The #1 Question: WHY?

Resolutions and fads don’t work because they start with a superficial motivation that can never stick with you long term. On Maximized Living’s upcoming Max Life Call, you will learn how to find lasting motivation from something deeper—and get the results you’ve been looking for.

Join Dr. Ben Lerner and Dr. Eric Shuemake as they share valuable insight into the root of all change – the answer to your big WHY.

  • Discover the difference between inspiration and motivation
  • Learn the key to overcoming yo-yo dieting
  • Learn how to avoid self-sabotage
  • Discover how to uncover your purpose and passion for life

When:

  • Thursday, February 13th
  • 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time

How to Join:

  • Phone Number: 1-866-906-2673
  • Access Code: 8400928#
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Oven Baked Pesto Chicken

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Recipe provided by Kimberly Roberto, co-author of Maximized Living Nutrition Plans.

 

 

A quick and easy dinner recipe with tremendous flavor! Great for both family dinner or dinner parties.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 pound organic chicken breasts
  • 1-2 tablespoons of pesto sauce per breast (homemade or storebought. Make sure that they use olive oil and not any damaged oils that are outlined in the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans book)
  • 4 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • shaved parmesan cheese, optional
  • sliced black olives, optional

 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Trim any excess fat from the chicken and place between pieces of parchment paper. Pound chicken to even thickness (approximately 1/2 inch) with a meat mallet. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and transfer to a baking dish. (General cooking hint: you want the chicken to fit snugly for best cooking – you do not want a lot of extra space in the pan)

Spread pesto sauce over the top of the chicken breasts and cook for about 20 minutes than add the sliced tomatoes and parmesan cheese if desired.  Continue cooking until chicken is cooked through (about 15-20 additional minutes). Add slices olives as garnish if desired, and serve.

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