Polyphenols – Anti-Aging Powerhouse

 

You’ve probably heard a phrase “Eat the rainbow” many times. Do you ever wonder why? It’s because brightly colored fruits and vegetables are high in these amazing compounds that have been shown to play a huge role in chronic disease prevention and aging – Polyphenols.

WHAT POLYPHENOLS ARE

Polyphenols is a large group of antioxidant compounds that have been shown to be effective against UV-radiation induced inflammation, oxidative stress, DNA damage and suppression of immune response.  Continue reading

The Ultimate Anti-Aging Smoothie

What you put in your smoothie matters a lot! A single ingredient can take it from healthy and anti-aging to promoting inflammation and causing more wrinkles.

Let’s look at what makes this one so great for your skin! Apart from being full of skin-healthy ingredients, this smoothie is also low on sugar – your skin’s biggest enemy.

BEETS

High in ceramides – sphyngolipids that keep your skin moist and plump. They also contain betacyanins – a group of phytonutrients, some of which have anti-oxidant properties. The most studied ones in beets are betanin and vulgaxanthin. Continue reading

Ceramides – The New Anti-Aging Secret?

 

HOW YOUR SKIN AGES

The most visible manifestations of skin aging occur mostly in the outermost layers. The cells of these layers of skin are replaced approximately every 39 days. 

Diagram of the Human Skin

 

Cells in the stratum corneum – the outermost layer of epidermis – are constantly replaced from living cells in the deeper skin layers. Proper nutrient levels in your diet and skin care products, inflammation levels as well as proper circulation are key factors influencing the rate at which skin cells are renewed and the quality of new cells that are formed as well as surrounding structures that support them. The slower the renewal rate and the poorer the quality of new skin cells formed, the faster the aging process. Continue reading

Is Your Breakfast Making You Age Faster?

 

We were lead to believe by years of watching commercials that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And what do those commercial suggest you eat for breakfast? Waffles, pancakes, cereal, toast, oatmeal…and don’t forget to top that off with some orange juice and fruit! Yikes! The people who tell you that are either incredibly uneducated (politically correct way of saying it) or want your imminent death! 

YOUR HORMONES

When you wake up in the morning, your cortisol – main stress hormone – surges for about 2 hours to wake you up and get you ready to tackle on the day. Cortisol releases nutrients like amino acids, fatty acids and glucose from your cells into the blood stream so they are available for use by active tissues. You woke up from rest to get some important work done after all! Let’s call cortisol a “release hormone”.

Insulin is a storage hormone that sends glucose and amino acids into cells. And because you can’t really store and release at the same time…what’s the point of that?..the cells are not able to respond to both simultaneously. That would be just too confusing. So when your cortisol is elevated, you are also insulin resistant which means your cells are not responding to insulin and thus are not able to take in all the carbs you ate for breakfast! 

This has a detrimental effect on long term health leading to metabolic syndrome and Type II diabetes, but I’m going to focus on skin health here. 

ELEVATED BLOOD GLUCOSE

So what happens to all this sugar? It just keeps floating in the blood wrecking havoc on your system and making you age faster. Here are the main things that happen to your skin as a result of elevated blood sugar:

  • Increased systemic inflammation that leads to acne, hyper pigmentation, dry skin and clogged pores
  • Damage to blood vessels in the skin that lead to impaired circulation so less nutrients are delivered to skin cells and byproducts of skin cell metabolism as well as toxins are not being removed efficiently. All lead to more wrinkles and fine lines, dull complexion, age spots, dry skin and loss of firmness and elasticity.
  • Formation of AGEs – advanced glycation end products – which are basically sugars attached to proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, including DNA (yes, these can modify your DNA!). These guys are the worst because they alter both structure and function of molecules they are attached to. And one of the main proteins in skin to be concerned about is collagen! Collagen glycation makes it less flexible and stiff, increasing its susceptibility to be damaged by mechanical stimuli like facial expressions. What’s even scarier is that modified collagen resists degradation. So once it’s fully glycated, it’s going to stay like that throughout it’s life, which is 10 years for Type I collagen – the most abundant type in skin. 

SOLUTION

So what can you do about it? Choose a better breakfast or skip it all together and leave your healthy carbs for later in the day. Te goal is to keep insulin at bay for as long as possible.

  • If you are not hungry, don’t force yourself to eat! Wait until hunger appears naturally. A bulletproof coffee or Matcha with butter, cream or MCT oil might be a good option instead.
  • If you have to eat then consume moderate  to low protein. Although not nearly as much as glucose, amino acids do trigger insulin release. 
  • Enjoy lots of fat! Fat is metabolically inert so it does not affect any hormones, including insulin. Enjoy whole eggs, avocado, bacon, some dark leafy greens with lots of olive oil, small amounts of nuts and seeds are ok as they do tend to be high in carbohydrates as well.

COMING UP

Next on the agenda – a deeper look at AGE’s and their role in skin aging as well as how to minimize their formation and effects on our skin. Make sure you are subscribed to my list to get updates!

Is It Time to Rebrand Your Motivation?


 

 

Has this ever happened to you?

You are on point with your diet for months, you exercise five days a week, looking forward to each workout, feeling so exhilarated and proud of yourself every time you come out of the gym. The energy and the sense of accomplishment is uplifting and energizing. Taking care of your body is a habit, it’s a lifestyle. You are motivated and disciplined most of the time: you make great food choices, your sleep is on point and the workouts get done. You actually look forward to go to the gym every day.

And then one day you just lose it. Maybe you hit a stressful patch at work, had some relationship problems, moved to a new city, got too busy… Or maybe the opposite happened – you had some positive changes in your life: met that perfect guy, had a wedding, a baby. Or maybe you finally lost those last 10 pounds you really wanted to lose for a while, you got rid of those nasty sugar cravings or fit into those pre-baby jeans. Bottom line, something triggered the loss of your motivation.

Where did it go?

Let me tell you something: it didn’t go anywhere, at least not the original motivation you relied on to achieve your previous results. It just doesn’t work any more.

Your motivation needs rebranding!

I’ll tell you a personal story. About 6 months ago I had a major change in my life. I completed a 11.5 year relationship, moved across the country to a new city, started a new job, changed my living situation drastically and had some other things happen which left me with, let’s put it mildly, increased stress levels.
As a result, I did not go to the gym for almost 4 months! Who, me? Me, who had been training, not just exercising, for over 8 years, who had never taken a break longer than 2 weeks, ever. Me, who truly loved this lifestyle and was addicted to the “pump”. Yes, it has happened to me – I fell off the wagon.

And here is what happened.

After my move, I did not join a commercial gym because I was still not sure I wanted to stay in this neighborhood long term, but there was a gym in my apartment complex which I found myself avoiding like the plague. At first I tried to blame it on stress, long commute and lack of time. I felt bad that my dogs already were home alone for 10 hours every day, so I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could…which , most of the time, was watching them snore with a smile of delight :). Basically, I came up with every excuse of why I couldn’t get back to my routine.
Don’t get me wrong, I was trying to stay active. I took my dogs on long walks, I hiked, taking in the nature I was finally surrounded by, thinking to myself that it was probably enough, while slowly watching my hard earned muscles shrink and get replaced by some fluff. Was this going to be my new normal?
And then one day, while I was sorting through a pile of mess formed by almost 2 years of personal development that now resides in my head, I realized the reason for my lost drive. My old motivation no longer fit.

You see, most of us will probably never admit it to the public, but we don’t exercise and watch what we eat to be healthy. Not really. Let’s be honest here: health is just not that exciting to most people. A lot of times we cover something different, sometimes even more superficial, by “I want to be healthy” spiel. And for the first time in over 8 years of living the lifestyle I realized what my real motivation was behind it all. Once I thought about it, it hit me: the reason I lost my motivation is that I also lost that one thing that kept me going for all these years.

So what was it for me? One word: sanctuary. The gym was my sanctuary. The huge, spacious, exceptionally equipped gym in my old city that had all the tools I could want or need to use, with mirrors on every wall, tall ceilings and good lighting. Yes, I loved feeling strong and seeing the results, both functional and aesthetic, that came from my hard work. But most of all I used my gym as a sanctuary for my “me” and “feel good about myself” time that I didn’t get outside of it. I could hide and do my thing if I wanted – the size of this gym allowed it. But I’ll be honest, the attention I always got from the squad of ripped guys who were my regular workout neighbors, although irritating at times, was also flattering.
When I moved across the country, I lost my sanctuary and my motivation with it. What I have instead now is a tiny 20’x20’ room with a few pieces of equipment jammed into it. Not very sanctuary-like. But what is my other option? Quit all together? Absolutely not! Yes, it’s not ideal, its not what I wanted, but I realize that not training at all will not get me closer to my “feel good ” place either.

So until I find a new sanctuary for myself, I decided to rebrand my motivation. My new reason to train is to keep my brain healthy, focused and more productive which will support me in my enterpreneurial journey as I build the life I was always meant to live.

What about you?

Did you work out because you wanted to be more attractive to potential suitors and now you finally found your match? Did you work hard to lose those last 10 pounds and 2 months ago you finally did it? Did you train because you thought you wanted to compete and after you’ve actually done it, you realized it wasn’t your thing?

I challenge you to be honest with yourself and dig deep to find the answer to this question.
What is your old motivation that no longer fits into your life and how are your going to rebrand it?

I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

TOP 3 ITEMS YOU SHOULD THROW OUT OF YOUR PANTRY TODAY

There are many products and food items that may be harmful to your health and figure, but here is a list of top 3 offenders that you absolutely have to get rid of as soon as possible.

1.Gluten

bread

If you have celiac disease, you probably already avoid gluten because consuming it brings about a violent reaction in your intestines. Growing research has identified an increase in prevalence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity that often has no gut-related symptoms at all and is very hard to diagnose because it can present itself all over the body. If you experience any of the following, it could be a sign you are sensitive to gluten: Continue reading

DO YOU REALLY NEED CARBS TO BUILD MUSCLE?

female-back
Now this is a primal blog, so technically we should only weight train for 30 minutes twice a week, otherwise we’ll stress ourselves too much and be in a constant state of overtraining. While this is a great approach for some, others like to be a little more hard core. Cross Fit anyone? We all know about numerous benefits of weight training, from improved bone density to increases in overall health and longevity. But let’s be honest here, some of us just want to achieve an aesthetically pleasing athletic body with toned legs, perky butts, rounded shoulders and V-tapered backs. Whatever the reason for building muscle, many probably wonder if it’s possible to achieve while on a lower carb primal diet.  Continue reading

Healthy Habits: 10 Ways to Ease into Primal Lifestyle

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If I were to tell you that changing just one small thing can bring some amazing, life-altering results – would you believe me? Not likely. Many believe everything has to be changed with huge 180-degree turns, or else it doesn’t matter. Even a couple of new healthy habits can change your direction dramatically.

Most of us are trying to do too much at once. We have busy lives: working full time, raising kids, studying, taking care of our families and parents, learning, growing, traveling, binging Netflix… Some of us do it all, and some are having a hard time to pull through life’s difficulties. While we are taking care of others, we often forget about ourselves. We forget about our health, we eat too much fast food, and we don’t move often enough. Over time, these poor choices turn into habits, and after 2-3 weeks of poor habits, we find ourselves locked in a completely new paradigm. New habits creep into normal routines, and the more time passes, the harder it gets to break free. Our environment and surrounding people are also influential (“I will have what she’s having”), and it is often kryptonite for our willpower.
They say it takes three positive thoughts to undo one negative one. I think same applies to habits as well. If you are a smoker, you will not only need to break up with your smoking habit, but you will also need to implement a healthy diet and exercise to improve your health dramatically. Let’s look at a few simple things that could help you build new healthy habits and stick to them more successfully.

How to build new healthy habits:
• Have a strong desire to change. Also, you will need to specify why you want to implement a particular habit, and when you want to do it. Continue reading

Is fruit making you sick and fat?

market stand with fruitFruit picking season is here, giving off smells of fallen leaves, hay and delicious apples… and with it comes some panic about fructose consumption.

There are many sources all over the internet stating that you should avoid fructose at any cost because it’s metabolized straight into fat. Both bodybuilding and paleo/primal communities seem to sort of agree on this issue. And because we are all so scared of gaining extra fluff (like we don’t have enough of it already, right?), we tend to go into panic mode and avoid eating fruit while opting for other carbohydrate sources.

Let’s look at the evidence of whether it’s true and under what circumstances. Continue reading

Homemade Kefir

 

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According to latest research about 70% of your immune system resides in your gut. What is more, the little buggers in your intestines play an even bigger role than ever thought before – they control not only your overall health, resistance to disease and the ability to absorb nutrients and synthesize vitamins, but also your likelihood of developing cancer and even ability to lose weight. The balance between the good and the bad bacteria is extremely important for optimal health and well being. The easiest way to introduce the good bugs into your system is to regularly consume probiotics. So let’s talk about one delicious option – kefir – and how to make it at home.

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a dairy product that results from fermentation of lactose – a sugar in milk – by bacteria. The bacteria consumes lactose as an energy source and  produces lactic acid as a byproduct, hence the sour taste. Because most of lactose is fermented, kefir is generally well tolerated by people with lactose intolerance. Continue reading