Coach Alicia Fong

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Health tip for week Mar 7th

Bathroom hygiene.

I came across this video about toilet hygiene and I like to take this week’s health tip to share it with you.

I have traveled around the world.   And I was surprised that asian countries use water to clean themselves after a bowel movement.  I always thought it was weird and gross, but I tried it when I was living in Singapore.  It was surprisingly very good.  I have to say that using simply water is not the cleanest.  However, neither is only toilet paper.  I believe on the combination of both.  And unfortunately, all toilets in America don’t have this device in the toilets where you can use water to clean yourself after a bowel movement.  And if I could install one, I would.  Now that I discover this video, I will like to buy one and install it in my toilet.  Check it out.

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March 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Mar 1st

Variation Chin Up Exercises

The following exercises are for people who are already strong at doing chin ups and pull ups.  These are not beginning exercises.

Alternating chin up

This is perfect for those who feels  that one side is weaker than the other.  By having your head touch one hand at a time, brings the weakness out and therefore you can strengthen the weaker side.  Enjoy.

Alternating slide chin up

This is a very hard chin up exercises.  This is perfect for those who wants to challenge themselves and increase their difficulty level.  Start with bringing you head to touch one hand and then slide across to touch the other hand and back down.  Repeat starting the opposite hand.  Enjoy.

March 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Feb 21st

Open and Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises

This week’s health tip is about learning to choose exercises.

The selection of exercise should be based on movement patterns rather than individual muscles or muscle groups.  Movement patterns or exercises can be classified as occurring in an open or closed chain kinetic chain.

What is open and closed chain exercises?

Open Chain Exercises:

  1. Distal segment moves in space.
  2. Independent joint movement; no predictable joint motion in adjacent joints.
  3. Movement of body segments only distal to the moving joint.
  4. Muscle activation occurs predominantly in the prime mover and is isolated to muscles of the moving joint.
  5. Typically performed in non weight-bearing positions.
  6. Resistance is applied to the moving distal segment.
  7. Use to external rotary loading.
  8. External stabilization (manually or with equipment) usually required.

Closed Chain Exercises:

  1. Distal segment remains stationary (fixed in place)
  2. Interdependent joint movement; relatively predictable movement patterns in adjacent joints
  3. Movement of body segments may occur distal and/or proximal to the moving point
  4. Muscle activation occurs in multiple muscle groups, both distal and proximal to the moving joint
  5. Muscle activation occurs in weight-bearing positions
  6. Resistance is applied simultaneously to multiple moving segments
  7. Use of axel loading
  8. Internal stabilization by means of muscle action, joint compression, and congruency and postural control

For example, looking at the photo below.  The movement is the same but the left picture (a squat) is closed chain and the right picture (leg press) is open chain.

All movements can be open or closed chain.  The key is to train what is functional to you.

Let’s bring back the example above.  The squat is more functional because most individuals will be doing this movement everyday.  You sit down.  You pick something up from the floor.  Every time you go to the bathroom, you squat first to sit on the toilet.

And now let’s examine the leg press. How does the leg press exercise carry to real life situation and how often?  Perhaps, sitting down and pushing an object away.  This will probably happen once a week.

In this example, you will want to pick the squat as part of your exercise routine.

Most upper body movement will be open chain exercises and lower body will be closed chain exercises due to functionality.   Therefore, pick exercises based on movement patterns and make sure they are functional.

If you are still confused about open and closed chain exercises, come to our “Strength Training Integration” seminar this coming weekend Feb 26th and 27th at AF Performance Center.  We will be discussing in detail the kinetic chain, practicing all of the exercises you can think of, and going over exercise programming.

To sign up, go to http://www.evo-performance.com/seminars.htm or call at (310) 895-5385.

 

February 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Feb 7th

Stay away from TOXINS because they are killing our health

I attended a seminar this weekend on toxicity.  And I was blown away by the information.  We are all toxic to some degree because we live in a toxic environment.  Chemicals are everywhere – in our homes, in our offices, in our gardens, and in our bodies.  This toxicity is making us fat and unhealthy.

We are bombarded with external toxins: paint fumes, industrial solvents, car exhaust, plasticizers, household cleaning products, pesticides, and food additives.

It is believed that new born babies today are exposed to as many as 287 of the 413 toxic chemicals being studied by the researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG).  The 287 toxins included 180 chemical compounds that have been shown to cause cancer in either animals or humans.

So how do the toxins make us unhealthy?  No matter how the toxins get into your body, through the lungs, stomach or skin, they all meet at the liver at some point.  From there, it get sent to the kidneys and colon for elimination, become trapped in bones, muscles, tissues or other organs or they get locked in the liver itself or they get stored away in fat cells. Fat cells don’t get broken down easily so the toxins literally weigh the body down.  As toxins accumulate, you begin to experience health problems like allergies, colds, migraines, and infertility, or major disease like cancer and diabetes.

Detoxification is a must to clean our bodies.  There are several types of detoxification treatments.  However, because we live in such toxic world, we are exposed to toxins daily and regularly consume poor-quality food contaminated by pesticides and animal proteins that have been injected with chemicals such as antibiotics and growth hormones.  Detoxification must be a constant bodily process, in order to stay healthy.

There is a lot we can do to reduce exposure to toxins.

  • Stay away from personal care products that have chemicals like shampoos and make-up products. The following cool website shows all of the toxins that reside in your home: www.everydayexposures.com.  It is so helpful, fun and informative.  Please, check it out and play with it.
  • Eat organic food or buy food with the lowest in pesticides.  For a list of the cleanest and dirtiest food, click here.
  • Stop eating sugar, especially anything with high-fructose corn syrup.  Beware that the food industry is trying to change the name to “corn sugar”.  It is the same bad thing.
  • Use green or environmental friendly detergent for laundry.  Same goes to dry-cleaning. Go to eco-friendly cleaners.
  • Avoid eating fish.  Most fish are contaminated especially farmed fish.  Click here for a list of fish  and how much mercury each fish has.
  • Don’t drink tap water.  It has fluoride.  Fluoride is one of the most poisonous substances on earth.  It tends to accumulate in the body, particularly in the bones, thyroid gland, and brain.  It lowers IQ.  And therefore, use a shower filter.  Your skin is the largest organ and so your skin will absorb the fluoride and chlorine when taking a bath or shower.
  • Don’t use Round-Up.   Worst chemicals.  It will stay in the air and you will be breathing it.
  • Don’t use Teflon-coated pots and pans.  To find out why, click here.

There is no point of going through any detoxification treatment if we continue to get expose to toxins on a daily basis.  The key is to eliminate or at least reduce the toxins as much as we can and then detoxify, so we can really stay healthy for a long time.

February 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Jan 31st

Drinking CHAMOMILE TEA has many health benefits.

Chamomile is an herb that comes from a flowering plant from the daisy family.  It is one of the oldest favorites amongst garden herbs and its reputation as a medicinal plant shows little signs of abatement. It has been used for centuries to cure a number of health problems.  Drinking it daily or often has many health benefits.

Insomnia and other sleep disorders

Chamomile tea’s most well-known benefit is as a sleep aid. It is known for its relaxing and soothing properties and is often taken before bedtime to aid in a good night’s sleep.

Cold Fighter
Chamomile has immune boosting properties and helps in the fight against colds due to its antibacterial properties.

Anxiety and panic attacks

Chamomile tea relaxes the nerves.

Wounds, burns, and scrapes

The Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks used chamomile flowers in a poultice and applied them to wounds to speed healing. They must have been on to something.  In one study, rats given chamomile extract in their water experienced faster wound healing times.

Skin conditions

Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox and diaper rash.  Chamomile contains phenolic derivatives, which have an antiseptic, anti-inflammation and healing quality, which is most helpful in relieving skin irritation.

Stomach Soother

Chamomile is helpful for a variety of stomach problems like stomach flu and ulcers. It has been found to contain strong antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory constituents.  It soothes stomach aches, eases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, promotes elimination, and assists in overall digestion. It is often found in teas for digestion in combination with peppermint.

Menstrual Cramps and muscle spasms
The ancient Egyptians used it to soothe menstrual cramps and now science is catching up. One study found that drinking chamomile tea raised urine levels of glycine (amino acid), a compound that calms muscle spasms. Researchers believe this is why chamomile tea helps menstrual cramps.

Hemorrhoid Help
One study found that chamomile ointment was helpful in the treatment of hemorrhoids.

Diabetes Management
Chamomile tea is being studied for its beneficial effects in the management of diabetes. New research studies show that the tiny daisy like flowers may have a chemical that will decrease the complications of Type 2 diabetes. This chemical has an affect that increases the ability of the cells to allow sorbitol to pass through the cell wall. In Type 2 diabetes, the sorbitol builds up outside the nerve cells and eyes causing pain and blindness.

Reduce Dark Circles Around Eyes and under-eye puffiness:
Eye fatigue and dark circles are relieved by Chamomile tea. Dip 2 chamomile tea bags in warm water. Remove the tea bags from the water after 5 minutes and let them cool to room temperature. Then place them on the eyes at night as a compress.

February 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Health tip for week Jan 17th

  • Avoid Soy at all cost

Soy has been linked to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid function, infertility, cancer (especially breast cancer), heart disease, and brain damage.  A good book to read about the myth and the truth about soy is “The Whole Soy Story” by Dr. Kaayla Daniel.

 

Here are some of the reasons of why soy is so bad for you:

1.      91 percent of soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GM). The genetic modification is done to impart resistance to the toxic herbicide Roundup. While this is meant to increase farming efficiency and provide you with less expensive soy, the downside is that your soy is loaded with this toxic pesticide. The plants also contain genes from bacteria that produce a protein that has never been part of the human food supply.

Per Dr. Mercola, GM soy has been linked to an increase in allergies. Disturbingly, the only published human feeding study on GM foods ever conducted verified that the gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of our gut bacteria and continues to function. This means that years after you stop eating GM soy, you may still have a potentially allergenic protein continuously being produced in your intestines.

Even more frightening is the potential for GM soy to cause infertility in future generations, which has been evidenced by recent Russian research.

2.      Soy contains natural toxins known as “anti-nutrients.”

Soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens and estrogens. Some of these factors interfere with the enzymes you need to digest protein. While a small amount of anti-nutrients would not likely cause a problem, the amount of soy that many Americans are now eating is extremely high.

3.      Soy contains hemagglutinin.

Hemagglutinin is a clot-promoting substance that causes your red blood cells to clump together. These clumped cells are unable to properly absorb and distribute oxygen to your tissues.

4.      Soy contains goitrogens

Goitrogens are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function.

5.      Soy contains phytates.

Phytates (phytic acid) bind to metal ions, preventing the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc — all of which are co-factors for optimal biochemistry in your body. This is particularly problematic for vegetarians, because eating meat reduces the mineral-blocking effects of these phytates (so it is helpful—if you do eat soy—to also eat meat).

6.      Soy is loaded with the isoflavones genistein and daidzein

Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound resembling human estrogen. These compounds mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen, and have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues. Soy phytoestrogens are known to disrupt endocrine function, may cause infertility, and may promote breast cancer in women.

Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle. Although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy.

7.      Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese

Soybeans are processed (by acid washing) in aluminum tanks, which can leach high levels of aluminum into the final soy product. Soy formula has up to 80 times higher manganese than is found in human breast milk.

8.      Soy infant formula puts your baby’s health at risk.

Nearly 20 percent of U.S. infants are now fed soy formula, but the estrogens in soy can irreversibly harm your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health. Infants fed soy formula take in an estimated five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day.

Infants fed soy formula have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen in circulation as those fed other formulas!

There is also the issue of pesticides and genetic modification.

Soy foods are both heavily sprayed with pesticides and genetically modified (GM). More than 80 percent of the soy grown in the United States is GM. And more than 90 percent of American soy crops are GM.

Since the introduction of GM foods in 1996, we’ve had an upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems in the U.S. population, and animal studies thus far have shown devastating effects from consuming GM soy.

You may want to steer clear of soy products for no other reason than a commitment to avoiding GM foods… unless you wish to be a lab animal for this massive uncontrolled experiment by the biotech industry.

January 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Health tip for week Jan 10th

Knee Pain:  what can you do?

Knee pain is usually a symptom.  The cause can be many, from lack of glute function, tight muscles surrounding the knee like the quads, calves or iliotibial band, patella is locked, and many other reasons.

Here are few things you can do to release some knee pain:

  • Foam roll your tight muscles, start with your calves and follow by iliotibial bands (ITB) and lastly quads.  Make sure you find spots that hurts and hold the painful spots for at least 30 seconds.  This is important because finding the spots is finding the trigger points in the muscles which is usually causing the muscles to shorten and therefore feels tight. Tight muscles will cause pain in the knee area.  Here is 2 videos of how to do self myo-fascial release including foam rolling.
  • Mobilize the patella.  Watch the video for this.  It’s easier to learn this by watching.
  • Do lots of glutes exercises. Glutes stabilize the knee.  When the glutes are not functioning, the knee has to do more work, creating more stress on the knee.
  • Rest and stop high impact exercises like running and jumping.  If you need to do something cardio, go biking or lift weights.  Lifting weights can be as much cardiovascular as running.  Just keep the weights low and do your set with less rest periods.  It will keep your heart rate elevated.
  • This is for the ladies:  Stop wearing high heels.  The heels put tremendous pressure on the knees.  Foam roll your calves.  Your calves will be tight from wearing the heels.
  • And of course, if none of the above steps help, then seek help professionally.  Go to a therapist.

I hope any of the above tips help.  Thanks for reading.

January 12, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for Jan 1, 2011

5 Health tips to get you started in the new year

Don’t forget strength training, involving both the upper and lower body. Too many people neglect resistance exercise, especially women for whom it’s crucial for preventing muscle and bone loss with age. Lift weights for at least 20 minutes, two- to three-times per week and make sure you warm up properly prior to lifting weights to prevent any injuries.

Sleep 8 hours a night. A number of recent studies have confirmed that you really do need at least 8 hours a night. Among the many benefits: Adequate sleep makes you feel better, decreases risk for cardiovascular disease, boosts memory and balances your hormones including adrenal and thyroid.

Keep sugar and caffeine to a minimum. It’s hard to believe, but decreasing sugar actually increases people’s energy, by minimizing the highs and lows that sweet foods triggers. Different people react differently to caffeine, but most of us are probably overstimulated already — adding a stimulant just adds to things like road rage and suppresses your adrenals.

If you smoke, quit. There is nothing good about it. If you’re having trouble quitting, start smoking less today — smoke only half a cigarette, and skip as many of your usual smokes as you can — and get help right away. Get some guidance about why it is you smoke to figure out how best to stop doing it. Smoking cessation groups can be extremely helpful and supportive, and medications like a nicotine patch can help decrease the cravings. Acupuncture may also be useful. And there are also herbs you can take to reduce the cravings which are healthier than nicotine patch.

Don’t focus on dieting. Focus on eating. If you’re hungry, just eat.  The trick is what you eat, not how much you eat.  Starving is not healthy and will most likely result in overeating and eating anything including junk food.  Having a proper meal (eating healthy food) will help you control your hunger and your energy will be up.  When your body is satisfied from the nutrients absorb from the food, you will not stuff yourself later and the best part is you will lose body fat.

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for last week of year 2010

Hope everybody is enjoying their holidays.  This week’s health tip is to answer the following question:

  • Are all vegetables the same?

There’s little doubt that one of the best ways to improve your health is to make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh, minimally processed high quality vegetables, ideally locally-grown and organic, with a majority of them consumed raw.

Many of my clients asked me whether all vegetables are the same.  They are not the same. If you were to get all of your vegetables from conventionally farmed sources, this would be better for your health than eating no fresh vegetables at all. However, conventionally farmed vegetables are not your best choice. Organic vegetables are a much better option because of quality, nutrients and standards of growing them.

USDA Organic farmers (and many small, local organic farms working without certification), must use different standards when growing vegetables. These standards include never using:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic, and most are damaging to your nervous system as well. In fact, these powerful and dangerous chemicals have been linked to numerous health problems such as:

  • Neurotoxicity
  • Disruption of your endocrine system
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Immune system suppression
  • Male infertility and reduced reproductive function
  • Miscarriages
  • Parkinson’s disease

Buying your vegetables from a local organic source is the ideal way to ensure that your vegetables are both fresh and high-quality. Organic vegetables and fruits are far more nutritious than conventionally farmed vegetables.  I also advise you to avoid wilted vegetables of any kind, because when vegetables wilt they loose much of their nutritional value. In fact, wilted organic vegetables may actually be less healthy than fresh conventionally farmed vegetables!

If you need to work within a certain budget, use the following information to help guide you to the best choices when it comes to lowering your overall pesticide exposure.

Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories tested by the Environmental Working Group and included in their Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce, these 12 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes

In contrast, these foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load, making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn (frozen)
  • Avocado
  • Onion

 

December 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Health tip for week Dec 20th

Today, I learned that sugar feeds cancer cells.  Perhaps, many people already know this but it’s a new revelation for me and I like to share this information with you all.

I search the Internet for sugar and cancer and I found lots of articles and cautions about sugar feeding cancer.  What I found most surprising is that since doctors are not nutritionists, they do not know the dangers of eating sugar, and are not providing you with the tools to prevent or fight the disease. This is scary.

Sugar and hormones

It is true that sugar feeds cancer.  “It’s been known since 1923 that tumor cells use a lot more glucose than normal cells. Our research helps show how this process takes place, and how it might be stopped to control tumor growth,” says Don Ayer, Ph.D., a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator and professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah.

During both normal and cancerous cell growth, a cellular process takes place that involves both glucose (sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid). Glucose and glutamine are both essential for cell growth, and it was long assumed they operated independently, but Ayer’s research shows they are inter-dependent. He discovered that by restricting glutamine availability, glucose utilization is also stopped. “Essentially, if you don’t have glutamine, the cell is short circuited due to a lack of glucose, which halts the growth of the tumor cell” Ayer says.

But it is not as simple as curing cancer by cutting out all sugar. Sugar feeds every cell in the body, including cancer cells. However, it is more complex, involving hormones such as insulin and insulin-like growth factor. The body releases these and other hormones that promote cell growth in response to a rise in blood sugar. These growth-promoting hormones are the real problem for people living with cancer.

Good sugars and bad sugars

Why does sugar take the rap when hormones are really the problem? Sugar does cause the body to release growth-promoting hormones, but that is not the whole story. Sugar is very important to life. However, just as there are good fats and bad fats, there are good sugars and bad sugars.

Bad sugars, often referred to as simple sugars, are those in foods that do not offer any other nutritional benefit. Examples of simple sugars include foods like soda, sweets, sugar cereals, juice drinks, and grains.

Good sugars, or complex carbohydrates, are present in foods that provide nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Examples of complex carbohydrates include foods like fruit, vegetables and beans.

So what can we do to reduce our chance of getting cancer or if you already have cancer?

1) Reduce simple sugar intake

Simple sugars enter the bloodstream quickly and cause a rise in insulin and other growth-promoting hormones. Research shows that high levels of these hormones may increase the growth of cancer cells. The key to reducing these hormones is reducing your intake of simple sugars. Complex carbohydrates do not affect insulin the same as simple sugars, and thousands of research studies have shown that they actually reduce the risk of cancer.

2) Increase consumption of complex carbohydrates

By substituting complex carbohydrates for simple sugars in your diet, you can reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

December 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment