Do you really need phytonutrients in your diet?

Ok, well I titled this post with a rhetorical question – OF COURSE you need phytonutrients in your diet! While nutrition research is unreliable because usually it is based on someone’s recall of what Welcome Basketthey ate over a period of time, I think the research is pretty clear that a plant-based diet has NUMEROUS health benefits. So what are phytonutrients and where can you get them, you may ask!

Here’s what Kim Kash, Team Beachbody Blogger had to say about phytonutrients:

Phytonutrients are chemicals found in plants that are necessary for the health and defense of the plant. Some of them can also be useful to the human body. They’re found in all fruits and vegetables and many phytonutrient-rich foods have deep or bright colors—such as blueberries, red cabbage, tomatoes, and kale. However, not all of these foods are jewel-toned! Whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices are also sources of these chemical compounds.

Generally speaking, phytonutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and they may reduce cancer risks and promote liver health. There are upwards of 25,000 of these chemicals, but some in particular have been studied extensively and are known for their health benefits. Here are a few:

Carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, are responsible for the yellow, orange and red colors in fruits and vegetables. They have antioxidant benefits in the body and promote healthy eyes and vision.

Ellagic acid, found in fruits including strawberries and raspberries, is thought to help protect the body against cancer.

Flavonoids, which are divided into several categories including catechins, hesperidin, and flavonols, may lower the risk of asthma and certain types of cancer, and act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

Resveratrol, found in grapes and red wine, acts as an anti-inflammatory, possibly reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Sulfides, found in onions and garlic, are antioxidants, and support immunity and cardiovascular health. They also stimulate the body to get rid of harmful chemicals.

One great way to get the benefits of many different phytonutrients is by eating foods that cover the full spectrum of the rainbow! Here’s a list of just some of the ones that you can try.

So check out the list of fruits and vegetables and see how many you can get in each day to reduce your inflammation and lead a healthier life!

 

Do you need more energy?

Do you want more energy?

No, NOT this kind!!!

lightbulbenergyOften when people start a new fitness regime, they complain of fatigue. This causes them to stop their new fitness program before they reach the point of GAINING energy from being more fit. There are several things to keep in mind when starting a new fitness routine. You need to fuel your body for the increased demands you are asking of it. You may also need extra sleep in order to repair and recover from the demands
you are putting on your body. Also, if you’re under a lot of stress and add the physical stress (yes your body can sense your new routine as stress), this may make you feel tired and fatigued as well. I love the following article that Tony Horton, creator of P90X, wrote a few years ago. This applies not only to P90X but to any fitness routine. ENJOY!

THIS KIND!!!

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Have More Energy by Tony Horton

So you bought P90X off the tube and you’re all pumped up to kick some butt. Do you remember that shift in ENERGY the day you picked up the phone and started dialing? Any number of thoughts could’ve been racing through your mind at the time—fear, doubt, excitement, hope, anticipation—you name it.

Then the DVDs arrived. Some of you ripped the package open, read all the material, and got started that day. Some of you looked at the box as if it were filled with anthrax—keeping it sealed and placed on a shelf for some future investigation. You’re all at different stages of the program: newbies, start-agains, and even round 5-ers. I’d like to reveal four key components for success with P90X, and quite possibly other aspects of your life.

Have you ever noticed that some days just flow? Even on days when you have tons of things to do, you seem to have all the ENERGY in the world to handle anything. Yet other days feel like you live on Saturn. The weight of the world feels 10 times heavier than normal. It comes down to the amount of ENERGY you have on any given day. Your ENERGY always dictates your REALITY. When you’re filled with ENERGY, you’re sharp, ready, enthusiastic, and willing. When you’re pooped . . . forget about it! Organizing a sock drawer feels like climbing Mt. Everest.

So what causes these shifts? The big four are:
1. Food and supplementation
I know, I know. Here I go again. Hold on to your hats! There’s no way on God’s earth you can maintain a consistent level of ENERGY and enthusiasm for any 90-day program by eating the same old crap. You must . . . you have to . . . you need to make “The Change.” Proper ENERGY levels only come from eating the right food the right way at the right time of day. If you don’t know what that means, then you haven’t read the material and you’re doing this program the wrong way.

You are what you eat! If you eat the same old tired food that put you in this mess in the first place, that’s just what you’ll get. Tired and old before your time. You know what to do, so do it! It’s not Atkins® or Slim-Fast® or fast food or soft drinks or fried food or candy bars or doughnuts or liquid diets or any panoply of misleading ways of consuming food. Get your mind right about what goes in your mouth or continue to live in the land of the wannabes!

2. Sleep
This probably seems like the most obvious and simple component of the four. But it’s often the most abused. Recent statistics have shown that the leading cause of traffic accidents in this country is NOT alcohol, but sleep deprivation. If we don’t have enough ENERGY to stay awake while driving a car, how will we have enough ENERGY for a 6-day-a-week workout program?

We’re not sleeping enough hours at night, and even when we do, they’re often filled with so much mind chatter that we don’t get the proper rest we need. My new Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines “sleep” as follows: “the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored.” In Taoist philosophy, there’s the yin (not ying) and the yang. These are opposing ENERGIES that create balance. P90X is yang ENERGY. Sleep and rest are yin ENERGY. There must be proper balance between vim and vigor (yang) and inward calm (yin). If you don’t get enough sleep and rest, your body will not receive the proper restoration it needs to complete or succeed with this program, or anything else in life, for that matter.

3. Stress management
Do you realize that if you took the fear, worry, and anxiety out of every “stressful” situation in your life, the end result of that situation would still occur? You can panic and freak out all you want, but time will still pass and the end of that moment will still happen, whether you freak out or not. So why not choose something different? When do fear, worry, and anxiety ever really help a situation?

So what is stress? It’s the inability to move through a situation logically, peacefully, positively, productively, and gracefully. To be stressed out takes lots of ENERGY. Being stressed out can severely affect how well you’ll sleep at night. Stress is when you assess blame and don’t take responsibility. (“I’m stressed out because of______, and that’s why I can’t______.”) Don’t let stress be your scapegoat. There’s a story about 10 people in line at a bank when three armed robbers come flying in, screaming and yelling and pointing guns. They terrorize everyone and steal all their money. The moral of the story is that these 10 people will be affected by this experience in 10 different ways. The two extremes range from one having a wild story to tell at work the next day to another being severely traumatized for the rest of his or her life. Where would you fall in that spectrum?

There’s a saying that there are three kinds of business: “God’s business”—things that happen in this world that are out of my control; “their business”—the choices other people make based on their life experiences so far; and “my business”—the choices I make that shape my life. If I focus on what I have to do to make my life the best it can be, and NOT on God’s and everyone else’s business, I will have less stress, which in turn will give me the ENERGY to live the life I’ve always wanted.

Don’t waste your time on gossip, ridicule, envy, self-pity, anger, guilt, arrogance, need, impatience, regret, manipulation, jealousy, fear, worry, and anxiety, because they’ll zap your ENERGY and cause you stress!

Choose understanding, truth, clarity, patience, devotion, gratitude, vulnerability, acceptance, wisdom, hope, forgiveness, empathy, discipline, perseverance, community, and peace. Because if you do, you will gladly kiss stress goodbye and say hello to all the ENERGY you’ll need.

4. Purpose
Purpose is the driving force to get you from here to there. If you don’t have purpose, all the best food, supplementation, sleep, and stress-free days won’t help you one bit. You have to have a powerful burning desire to want it. My dictionary tells me that “purpose” is “seeking resolution.” Searching for answers to solve a problem. An intention. This all goes to the core of . . . why? Why do I want to spend the next 90 days turning my life upside down, maybe even for the second or third time, or more?

You’re looking for resolution. You’re searching for answers to help solve this problem. And most importantly, you must be clear about your intention. No one ever does anything just for the heck of it. There’s always some intention behind everything we do. Different kinds of behavior have different levels of intention and purpose. Eating fast food and leaving the DVDs on the shelf is one level. Following the program the way it was designed is another. I know I’ve said this before, but if your intention and purpose are based exclusively on esthetics and bragging rights, you miss the whole point of P90X. If your intention and purpose are based on good health, quality of life, athleticism, flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular endurance, you’re doing P90X for all the right reasons. If your intention and purpose are based on lifestyle, you will have plenty of ENERGY to succeed with and complete P90X. You will also have the ENERGY to be everything you always knew you could be.

May the Energy Revolution begin!

Do you love pineapple but hate cutting it?

My son loves fresh pineapple. I can take it or leave it (usually leave it) but being a mom, you sacrifice yourself for your kids. Well, sacrifice no more! I bought this pineapple slicer on a whim. My son was able to use it effortlessly. I was so impressed, I had to try it myself!

Pineapple Slicer

And here is the finished product! No more cutting off the tough outer skin from a pineapple! It was easy to get the pineapple off the tube and then cut the rings apart!

Pineapple Slicer

 

With the easy of cutting a fresh pineapple and reading about its health benefits at Medical News Today, I will be sure to add fresh pineapple to my diet.

One cup of fresh pineapple chunks provides 131% of your vitamin C needs for the day, 2% of vitamin A needs, 2% of calcium and 2% of iron.

Pineapple is also a source of important vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, manganese and potassium and antioxidants and polyphenols, such asbeta-carotene.

Fresh pineapple is the only known source of an enzyme called bromelain, which has been used in studies to determine it’s effectiveness in alleviating joint pain, arthritis, reduce inflammation, inhibit tumor growth and shorten recovery time following plastic surgery.

If you have a kitchen gadget that you just love and makes your life easier, leave me a comment and a link to it! Maybe there is something else out there I really, really need and I just don’t know about it yet!

Autoimmune Protocol and Dining Out = Trouble

When you are following the autoimmune protocol (AIP), it is quite challenging to eat out. Even a simple salad can have hidden triggers in the salad dressings such as artificial sweeteners, seed spices, and preservatives. So I was quite delighted when I saw that Panera Bread (the name says it all as to why I don’t go there – GLRaspberry VinaigretteUTEN heaven!) is cleaning up it’s act! They had to change over 100 ingredients to fit it’s new cleaner food promise! Who knew that salad dressings would be the most challenging to clean up! If you’re just starting on your autoimmune protocol adventure, it’s best to not eat out until you’re safely past the reintroduction phase. Once you know your trigger foods, you can begin to navigate the restaurant menu with care.

You can read the entire article on Panera Bread in the May 6, 2015 edition of Fortune Magazine. So when you’re eating out, be mindful of the eateries  that are trying to clean up their act and support them! It can be challenging to visit such places as Panera Bread with the family when on a restricted diet. I hope it continues to get easier to find healthy, clean food when you are out and about enjoying a meal with family and friends.

Panera is particularly excited about its efforts to “clean” up salad dressings. Beginning Tuesday, the restaurant’s salads will be made without artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives. Many of the company’s sales, like the new Kale Caesar salad, are made completely without those artificial additives.

“Salad dressings were the most challenging category by far for us [to change],” said Burnett. All commercially made dressing are packed with those ingredients, so Panera had to get creative.

The company also had to be patient. It took two months just to determine what the ingredients were in the Greek salad dressing, for example, and another four months to reformulate the dressing so all the ingredients and the process to obtain them fit in Panera’s new standard. Panera then spent months testing the new formulation in its restaurants.

 

My kids love to whip up their own salad dressings. One of their favorites is Balsamic vinaigrette from the 21 Day Fix nutrition guide.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 c fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. raw honey (or pure maple syrup)

2 tsp. Dijon mustard (not-AIP)

6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in a medium bowl; whisk to blend.

2. Stir in mustard; mix well.

3. Slowly add oil while whisking; mix well.

You can store left over dressing in the fridge in a sealed container. Hold at room temperature for 30min or sit in warm water and  give it a good stir before serving.

 

If you’re on autoimmune protocol, do check out Dr. Amy Myer’s new book, The Autoimmune SolutionShe includes several salad dressing recipes including a handy “Create Your Own Salad Dressing” chart. You choose your oil, your vinegar, your juice and your seasoning from the list of choices and there you have your own AIP-compliant salad dressing!

 

I hate indecision….

I hate being between workout programs. If you give me a schedule, I will follow it. Without a schedule, I’m left with that big question each morning, “What workout shall I do today?”

One fantastic tip I’ve read recently is that each decision takes energy. Today we make more myworkoutprogramsdecisions than ever! We need to automate everything we can, so that we can give the energy to decisions that require it. Without that workout schedule, I tend to go easy and avoid those challenging workouts! It’s that daily struggle of does my body really need to take it easy or does my mind just want to take it easy? I think when you suffer from any illness or injury, it can be easy to fall into not pushing yourself. I still do not know what workout I will choose today. Maybe I should write the names on the back of a deck of cards, shuffle the deck, and choose one! I will definitely be looking through the workout schedules at Team Beachbody to find a nice hybrid. Maybe that is what I need! Some variety each day but a set schedule!

What do you do to motivate yourself when you’re not quite feeling that challenging workout?

Exercise and the Brain

Brain_power

I just started reading the book Spark – the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain by John J. Ratey, MD. I will be posting tidbits from the book over the coming weeks. I was happy to see the following study, One Twin Exercises, the Other Doesn’t, reported in the NYTimes that corroborates what I’m reading in SPARK. In this study, 10 sets of identical twins were studied in which their fitness activities had diverged in the prior 3 years. You had one active twin and one inactive twin. I was shocked by the statement the twins diets were quite similar. I would have thought diet played a larger role.

“It turned out that these genetically identical twins looked surprisingly different beneath the skin and skull. The sedentary twins had lower endurance capacities, higher body fat percentages, and signs of insulin resistance, signaling the onset of metabolic problems. (Interestingly, the twins tended to have very similar diets, whatever their workout routines, so food choices were unlikely to have contributed to health differences.)

The twins’ brains also were unalike. The active twins had significantly more grey matter than the sedentary twins, especially in areas of the brain involved in motor control and coordination.

Presumably, all of these differences in the young men’s bodies and brains had developed during their few, brief years of divergent workouts, underscoring how rapidly and robustly exercising — or not — can affect health, said Dr. Urho Kujala, a professor of sports and exercise medicine at the University of Jyvaskyla who oversaw the study.”

While this is a very small study, it does show that it is never too late to have a huge impact on how your body functions, even your brain.

Welcome to my Corner!

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Do you feel like a caterpillar, moving slowly through  life? Are you struggling emotionally and physically with an autoimmune diagnosis? Are you mourning the active lifestyle you used to lead or are you wishing to be healthier and fit? For those that struggle to maintain or achieve greater fitness levels due to autoimmune disease,

Sybil Cooper Fitness promises to help you regain energy, stamina and strength,

By offering accountability and support in adopting better nutrition to calm an overactive immune system and exercise to help heal the body, the keys to a life of healthy longevity, rather than a life of extended morbidity,

Backed by the most sought after home-fitness workouts and nutrition guidance which helped me break free of my fatigue and insomnia,

To address the need for an increase in energy levels and vitality so that you can enjoy time with family and friends for decades to come,

I understand how easy it is to let autoimmunity control you rather than you controlling your life.

Let’s break free of fatigue and pain of Autoimmune disease into the next phase of our lives, stronger and healthier! Please subscribe to my blog for my fitness and nutrition tips and contact me with your questions. In addition, I’ll occasionally blog about my other interests (nature, education, scrapbooking). You can also follow me on Google+.

 

 

 

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12 Common Triggers for Autoimmune Disease

This article, 12 Common Triggers for Autoimmune Disease, very succinctly discusses the impact that nutrition has on autoimmunity. I think the phrase “being on the autoimmune spectrum” describes autoimmunity very well. I think many more people are on the autoimmune spectrum than have full-blown autoimmune disease. I feel my best and look my best (no bloat) when I stay true to autoimmune protocol. When I finally cut out most nightshades, my GI tract was much happier. I’ve not been able to have dairy in decades. I refused to give up beans until I realized how much they inflame my GI tract. When I eat clean, I have less inflammation in my hands and feet. In fact, my last blood work showed no inflammation as based on the common markers!!!

I am currently reading Dr. Amy Myer’s new book, The Autoimmune Solution. I will post my thoughts on her book in another post! Stay tuned….

PiYo Review

Get an ultra lean and intensely defined physique without bulking up or straining your joints. Introducing PiYo, a high-intensity, low-impact workout for a new kind of STRONG.

 

 

Chalene Johnson took the best Pilates and Yoga-inspired moves and cranked up the speed to give you full throttle cardio, strength, and flexibility training—all at once. PiYo packs it ALL into each workout so you can build lean muscle mass—as you’re burning crazy calories.

I admit I was initially skeptical about this workout but my body was tired, hurting, and in need of some serious stretching. I also like to try a new Beachbody workout so that I can better guide my clients to the workout that will help them achieve their goals. I was immediately surprised that these workouts were not easy! They were in fact quite challenging. But I felt like my body was getting a tune-up, a much needed gentle stretch and release of tired, aching muscles. My flexibility slowly started to return. I was soon able to execute moves in PiYo that I had been unable to do in other programs due to my inflexibility. Furthermore, I was not only maintaining my strength but increasing my upper body strength!

If you want to know more about this awesome program, click the green button below to fill out my Contact Form!

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Dr. Terry Wahls – Healing MS with nutrition, exercise, meditation

This is a wonderful video by Dr. Terry Wahls. She is a traditionally trained physician who lived life on the other side of the desk – as a Multiple Sclerosis patient. She was quickly confined to a zero-gravity chair for most of the time until she started researching animal models for healing the brain. She has a book titled,

The Wahls Protocol – How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine.

I am dealing with the possibility of a second autoimmune diagnosis, Myasthenia Gravis. It’s time for me to further refine my nutrition so that I’m able to keep the level of fitness that I so enjoy.

To watch the video, just click here.

Shaun T’s 5min Abs week!

Shaun T was kind (and cruel) to provide an extra 5minutes of abdominal exercises for us this week. I’ve embedded each video so you can come back and do these whenever the mood strikes! ENJOY!

This first video is Shaun’s tips for getting a strong core!

There wasn’t a video for Monday’s 5min abs so here’s the low down.

EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA!!!!

This week is extra ABS week! Each night I’ll give you 5 ab exercises that will be sure to burn! I had a long day yesterday so I will make the first video this evening for tomorrow-BUT FOR TODAY here are your 5/1 minute ab moves. Are you ready?

1. Hold Plank
2. 6 inch holds
3. Low plank hip pulses
4. C-sit hold
5. Walking pike ups 4/4 counts

Good luck!

 

 

 

Autoimmunity and fitness with Focus T25

While looking for a specific youtube video I made recently, I came across this one from October 30, 2013 filmed during Focus T25 Speed 3.0. In this video, I was struggling because I had not had anything to eat prior to working out. While I have worked out first thing in the morning for years, since developing Sjogren’s Syndrome, this has become problematic. I feel weak and nauseous during my workouts. I just realized that at some point, I started working out again on an empty stomach and was fine. I felt great, in fact. I had awesome P90X3 and 21 Day Fix workouts! I am now back to struggling and didn’t make the connection to not eating before a workout! I think this happened because I started waking up later and therefore, didn’t have time for my morning Shakeology to digest and workout before having to start school with the boys. I think when I am in an autoimmune flare, I need to have some fuel before my workout. I’m looking forward to my workouts next week to see if it makes a big difference with my current struggles.

Focus T25 Before/After Pics!

If you have any doubt about Shaun T’s latest program, Focus T25, you absolutely must read Tania Baron’s blog post at Shaun T’s blog. After being nicknamed “The Machine”taniaF25
from being in the Insanity videos, Tania doubted she’d ever have that Machine body after a pregnancy and c-section. Focus T25 changed that for her in just 10weeks! YES! Just one round!

If you’re wonder what I’m talking about, read my previous blog posts about Focus T25!

One of our Beachbody slogans is Fitness – Nutrition – Support. The fitness is provided on DVDs from some of the very best celebrity trainers such as Shaun T with his latest workout, Focus T25. Support is provided by me!  I am here to help motivate and guide people with the programs. Nutrition is provided by the well thought out nutrition guides. When people join others traveling the same journey, they are more successful. If you want to join others as we travel the road to better fitness and nutrition, fill out the form below so you can get started today!

If you’re just starting your fitness/weight loss journey, Tania is the modifier in T25! She makes this workout no impact. I have had several people start out following Tania and by their second round of Focus T25, are now joining the rest of the crew more and more! This program grows with you! Even after doing Insanity, P90X, Asylum, I found T25 challenging. And I was shocked that after working out 25min/day, I could still go back to an Asylum workout or Insanity workout and perform very well! What were my changes that I loved the most? It has to be my LEGS! I finally got the definition in my thighs – slimmer, less bulky – that I had wanted! And of course, anything Shaun T does works your core! The core needs constant attention and it gets it in Focus  T25!

If you’re ready to change your life – you’re in luck – Focus T25 Challenge Pack (Focus T25 plus one month of Shakeology, the healthiest meal of the day) is on sale for one more week!

Here are two clips from peeps who have done Focus T25!

LisaT25

Saphronia
FocusT25No time for good nutrition? Here’s your Shakeology! No time for exercise? Here’s T25! Need motivation and accountability? Here I am!!!!
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