How Food Intolerance becomes the REAL Cause of Weight Gain

How Food Intolerance becomes the REAL Cause of Weight Gain

Here’s a question for you: If you wanted to be your leanest, fittest self and follow the healthiest diet in the world, what would you eat?

You’re probably thinking egg-white veggie omelets, maybe some Greek-style nonfat yogurt, low-calorie whey protein shakes, and perhaps a soy-based veggie burger on a whole-grain bun.

Here’s the real bummer: These so-called healthy foods could be holding your health and your weight hostage.

Sadly, you might be eating these and other foods regularly. You probably don’t even like some of them and only choose them because you are “supposed to.”

How disappointing to discover you’re doing everything “right” yet nothing is working!  The scale won’t budge, your pants won’t zip, and you frequently feel tired, moody, and achy.
The Virgin Diet
According to my good friend, Celebrity Nutrition and Fitness Expert JJ Virgin, foods you think are healthy could be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. She says food intolerances become the hidden source of weight loss resistance for many people.

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Caffeine and Estrogen Imbalance

Caffeine and Estrogen Imbalance

Do you kick-start your day with a hot cup of coffee? Perhaps you indulge in tea, soda, or energy drinks instead.

Unfortunately, that caffeine kick you crave to get through the day may be wreaking havoc on your estrogen levels.

Here’s how.

The Caffeine/Estrogen Connection

Estrogen plays a number of roles in women’s bodies, particularly sexual and reproductive health. Estrogen also promotes breast cancer tumor growth, which is why lowering estrogen levels or blocking estrogen production is often used to prevent or slow cancer reappearance post-surgery.

Additionally, estrogen prevents bone loss. When combined with calcium, vitamin D, and other hormones and minerals, estrogen builds strong bones.

There’s more:

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5 Flu Shot Myths

5 Flu Shot Myths

It’s flu season again, and if you haven’t been immunized you’ll want to do so soon. Unfortunately, thousands of people will get the flu this year because they’re hesitant to get the flu shot.

Listen, it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction about the flu vaccine, especially if the same myths are perpetuated year after year.

However, we’re here to clear the confusion. Here are five common flu shot myths and the truth behind them.

MYTH #1: The flu shot causes the flu. This is the biggest misconception that won’t go away.

Because flu shots are comprised of an inactivated virus, it is scientifically impossible to get the flu. Keep in mind, however, that it takes approximately two weeks for your body to develop immunity to influenza after receiving the vaccine, so you can still get sick during that time if exposed to someone who is infected.

MYTH #2: Flu shots are ineffective. Not true.

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Is Cortisol to Blame for Your Weight Gain?

Is Cortisol to Blame for Your Weight Gain?

One of the most common health obstacles we face is keeping our weight in check. You already know that you should eat a healthy diet and exercise, but it’s possible there’s more to your weight gain than calories consumed. Cortisol may be to blame.

Cortisol is the hormone that regulates blood sugar and provides energy so we can get moving. It’s important to understand that cortisol levels fluctuate; therefore, having too much or too little can wreak havoc with our health.

Did you know that high levels of stress can lead to weight gain? Many of us eat “comfort food” to assuage stress, but stress also contributes to higher levels of cortisol. In turn, higher levels of cortisol play a key role in unhealthy food cravings and increased hunger. See the connection?

There’s more.

More cortisol means less testosterone in both men and women. When testosterone is reduced, you lose muscle. When you lose muscle, your body becomes less efficient at burning calories.

Also, cortisol can affect you at the cellular level. Fat cells contain an enzyme called HSD. HSD triggers cortisol, which causes fat cells to grow and store fat.

Signs of High Cortisol

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Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

Stress. It can wreak havoc with our bodies. However, did you know that stress can also lead to adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal gland does not function properly. Physical and emotional stress can precipitate this condition. Here’s how.

Stress disrupts the body’s systems and often interferes with healthy levels of cortisol and adrenaline. When these two hormones are out of balance, it throws your entire system off track.

The adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones, one of which is cortisol – the hormone responsible for handling stress. When your adrenal gland does not produce enough cortisol, adrenal fatigue may result.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

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5 Hormones That Are Critical to Good Health

5 Hormones That Are Critical to Good Health

There are approximately 150 hormones in the human body. However, most of us can name only a few of them.

Many people jokingly refer to an adolescent’s emerging sexuality as “hormones” or a menopausal woman’s hot flashes as “hormones.” However, hormones are responsible for a lot more: a child’s growth, a woman’s reproduction, and – as they cease to function properly – hormones are related to the ageing process.

In essence, hormones perform critical life functions throughout our lives.

When hormones are not functioning at optimal levels, your body will not function at optimal levels. These naturally occurring chemicals in the body have a major effect on a variety of life processes. They are critical to good health.

Here are five essential hormones that you’ll want to keep in check.

Cortisol

If you’ve heard of the “fight or flight” response, you’re well aware of the function that cortisol plays in our lives. Cortisol is released when we experience stress. If you have low glucose levels, your body will release cortisol to increase blood sugar.

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Holidays Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Holidays Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

The holiday season – beginning Thanksgiving and ending New Year’s Day – is a time for family, fun, and fellowship. Unfortunately, it is also the deadliest season of the year for fatal heart attacks, strokes, and other chronic health events.

During the holidays, many of us tend to stray from our healthy eating habits. We’re tempted by goodies filled with sugar and loaded with salt. And, let’s not forget about party glasses filled with holiday cheer. It can be tough to stop at just one glass when everyone around you is enjoying several.

Unfortunately, these binges can lead to disaster.

Here’s why.

We tend to push healthy choices to the side during the holidays. You know it’s true. It’s hard to resist cookies, candies, and salty treats, so it’s easy to justify why we’ll have “just a bite”…but it rarely ends there.

Chronic conditions, such as pre-diabetes or diabetes, can be exacerbated during holiday binging. It’s easy to lose track of the number of nibbles you take each day.

Do you have high blood pressure? If so, too much salt is the enemy. You only need a tablespoon of sodium each day. Any more may cause your blood pressure to spike and lead to a heart attack or stroke.

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Sea Salt vs. Table Salt

Should You Ban Salt From Your Diet?

Salt. It’s the four-letter word that many people think we should ban from our diets.

We know that high salt intake increases your blood pressure and can lead to other chronic conditions, such as intestinal disorders, stomach cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, and cataracts, just to name a few.

However, before you toss away your salt shaker, you’ll want to be aware of the reasons why you don’t want to ban salt completely from your diet.

Too Little Salt is Hazardous to Your Health

To function properly, the body must maintain healthy amounts of blood (plasma) sodium levels.

When you consume too little sodium, you set yourself up for chronic health issues.

  • For instance, hyponatremia – a condition caused when sodium levels are too low – is distinguished by the following signs and symptoms:

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5 Benefits of Juicing

5 Benefits of Juicing

If you’ve never enjoyed the delicious goodness of freshly juiced fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you’re really missing out. In fact, juicing is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body.

Your garden and your grocer’s produce department should be at the top of the list for healing yourself from the inside out. The good news is that with today’s juicers, most of the hard work is done for you. You can make several containers of juice and refrigerate them for use that day or freeze them for the week ahead.

Juicing has become so popular, in fact, that juicing groups are thriving on social network sites. Regardless of whether you want to dive headfirst into a juicing fast or want to collect some yummy recipes for occasional use, adding fresh juice to your diet is a win-win.

Here are five benefits of juicing to consider:

Juicing Provides Healing Properties

Hippocrates said it best. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” If you want to make a change in your diet, swap out sugary drinks and caffeinated beverages for fresh juice. The high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients are quickly absorbed, especially when you drink it on an empty stomach.

For instance, did you know that cabbage juice aids in the healing process of stomach ulcers? It’s true. If you conduct a little online research, you’ll find a variety of health ailments that are lessened or cured with daily juicing.

Your Immune System Will Improve

Die-hard juicers swear by the results. When you add one or two glasses of juice to your daily diet, you get a blast of nutrients that will make you feel good and strengthen your immune system. With cold and flu season in swing, incorporating fresh juices into your daily diet will help keep pesky viruses at bay.

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3 Tips for Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder

3 Tips for Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder

If the change of seasons brings about a change in mood, you may be living with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Individuals with Seasonal Affective Disorder experience depression during fall and winter months but no depressive episodes during spring and summer.

What Causes SAD?

The specific cause is unknown; however, according to the Mayo Clinic, certain factors may be responsible for SAD.

  • Change in Circadian Rhythm – Also known as your body clock, your circadian rhythm may be disrupted due to decreased exposure to sunlight during winter months. This can lead to depression since our circadian rhythm tells our bodies when to sleep and when to eat.
  • Drop in Serotonin Levels - Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in your brain that directly affects mood. Decreased levels of sunlight can lead to decreased levels of serotonin. Lower levels of serotonin lead to depression.
  • Disruption in Melatonin Levels – Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep/wake cycles in your body. When seasons change, your sleep cycles may be affected.

If you feel depressed most of the time, experience difficulty sleeping, and have low levels of energy during fall and winter months, you may have SAD. Contact your medical health practitioner to rule out underlying causes for your depression.

3 Tips for Living with SAD

Soak in the Sun. Open the drapes, go for a walk, or sit by a window during your work day. Maximizing your exposure to sunlight will go a long way toward elevating your mood.

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