Coach Alicia Fong

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Health tip for week May 29th

Grain-Free Diets Can Clear Up Your Acne FOR GOOD!

We all have acne problems sometime in our lives, but for some people, it is chronic and has become a painful part of their lives.

WHAT CAUSE ACNE?

More proof is continuing to emerge that the root cause of acne is not bacteria or genetics, but environmental factors—particularly your DIET. Solid evidence exists proving that diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates are the primary CAUSE of acne.

Second cause and another major factor is STRESS.

We now know that a low-grain or no-grain diet will very likely clear up your skin, permanently! Antibiotics are unnecessary because correcting your diet creates an internal environment that does not ALLOW bacterial overgrowth to occur.

ARE ALL CARBOHYDRATES BAD?

Not all carbohydrates are created equal. Carbohydrates can be categorized into the following types:

  • Simple carbohydrates are sugars, such as those found in candy, soda, and baked goods. Your best bet is to strictly limit those in your diet—working toward eliminating them completely. Be especially careful to avoid all high fructose corn syrup, which is a major component of sodas and processed foods.
  • Complex carbohydrates are found in natural whole foods such as beans, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables. Although beans, nuts and grains contain more nutritive value than simple carbohydrates, you will need to limit them if acne is a problem for you.

Your body “prefers” the complex carbs found in vegetables to the complex carbs found in grains, because your body handles their digestion differently. Vegetable-carbs are slow to break down into simple sugars, with minimal insulin impact, whereas digestion of grain-carbs raises your insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).

Higher IGF-1 levels can lead to increased male hormones, which cause your pores to secrete more sebum, a greasy substance that traps acne-promoting bacteria. IGF-1 also causes skin cells (known as keratinocytes) to multiply, a process associated with acne.

This is why most grains should be avoided if you have acne issues.

In a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, young men (ages 15 to 25) with acne problems were placed on low-glycemic diets for 12 weeks, showing significant improvements in acne and insulin sensitivity.

Simply eliminating grains, sugars (particularly fructose), cereals, potatoes, corn, rice, pasta, processed foods, etc., radically improves acne for most people. Fruit contains a fair amount of fructose, so it should be consumed in very limited quantities if you are predisposed to acne. And fruit juices should be strictly avoided since the sugar is very concentrated in them. (Vegetable juices are great, though, especially green juices.)

HOW ABOUT GLUTEN?

Remember, gluten is usually found in wheat and other grains which may be contributing to your acne symptoms if you have a gluten intolerance, which many people do. This is a separate issue from the insulin effects already discussed. Gluten is a prime suspect if you have rosacea, a growing problem, especially for Baby Boomers.

According to The Gluten Free Diet: “A person who is gluten intolerant cannot digest gluten, so the body will not recognize it when it is eaten and therefore treats it as a foreign body when trying to digest it. Because the body of a gluten intolerant person cannot process gluten properly, the small intestines become damaged slowly over time causing digestive issues. The gluten intolerance can produce other symptoms and push the toxins through the skin such as acne.”

Since gluten sensitivity is so pervasive anyway it would make loads of sense to try a gluten-free diet for one month and see if your acne or any other health symptoms improve. This shouldn’t be too difficult if you are already implementing a low-grain or no-grain diet, which minimizes sources of gluten.

WHAT ABOUT COSMETICS?

What you put on your skin is as important as what you eat. In fact, what you apply topically is readily absorbed through your skin, which is really a semi-permeable membrane through which substances pass directly into your body.

Many of today’s skin care products and cosmetics are nothing more than a toxic mélange of harsh chemicals, which cause more skin problems than they solve. And when it comes to acne, these chemicals can seriously inflame an outbreak, or prevent one from healing.

The reason for containing hazardous ingredients is due to cost (they are cheap), readily availability, and easy to dilute.

When it comes to the skin care industry, anything goes. The Environmental Working Group estimates 99 percent of personal care products contain more than one ingredient that has never been evaluated for safety. It’s a self-regulated industry—an industry that operates on “the honor system” but has a multitude of dishonorable players.

So you have to be a meticulous, well-educated label reader to know what you’re getting.

You should spend five minutes every day cleansing your face, which removes the impurities that collect on your skin during a typical day and clog up your pores. And ladies, please never sleep in your makeup. It’s also advisable to exfoliate your skin once or twice per week. But do so gently, especially if you are experiencing an outbreak, and never pull or rub your skin aggressively.

You should use pure, safe, natural skin care products—preferably organic ones. Apply your skin care products to warm skin, which maximizes absorption.

TIPS TO A NICE AND HEALTHY COMPLEXION:

  • Avoid eating Sugars and Grains, as discussed above.
  • Drink water.  Drink plenty of fresh, pure water every day. Hydrating your body facilitates cell growth and regeneration, elimination of wastes, and sloughing away dead skin cells. Hydration will also improve your skin tone.
  • Exercise: Getting plenty of high-intensity exercise helps your body flush out toxins, including those in your skin’s pores. If you happen to have access to an infrared sauna, this can be helpful, because the more you sweat, the more you flush unwanted debris and contaminants out of your pores.
  • Sleep: Did you know that a good night’s sleep can decrease your stress and lead to clearer skin? Your body’s time for healing and rebuilding is at night while you sleep, and this applies to your skin. Sleep is also required for good energy and mood.
  • Proper balance of bacteria: This is especially important if you have been on antibiotics, because those drugs indiscriminately kill off the beneficial bacteria in your gut, without which you cannot have a strong immune system. You can reestablish your bacterial balance by taking a high quality probiotic supplement, and by incorporating naturally fermented/cultured foods into your diet.
  • Vitamin D: This important nutrient is crucial for maintaining a healthy immune response, and most people are deficient in it. Without adequate vitamin D, your body cannot control infection, in your skin or elsewhere. Exposing large areas of your skin to appropriate amounts of sunshine is the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels, or use a safe tanning bed. You should expose your skin until you just barely begin turning pink, which indicates you’ve generated the optimal amount of vitamin D for the day.

 

May 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 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 week July 26th

  • Foods you should never, never eat after exercise:  Any food that contains fructose, in other words, high sugar content foods.

Differences in what you eat after exercise produce different effects on the body’s metabolism.  Consuming sugar within the post-exercise window, will negatively affect both your insulin sensitivity and your human growth hormone (hGH) production.

A recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that exercise enhanced insulin sensitivity, particularly eating a low-carbohydrate meal.  nhanced insulin sensitivity means that it is easier for the body to take up sugar from the blood stream into tissues like muscles, where it can be stored or used as fuel. Impaired insulin sensitivity (i.e., “insulin resistance”) is a hallmark of Type II diabetes, as well as being a major risk factor for other chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

Interestingly, when the research subjects in this study ate relatively low-calorie meals after exercise, this did not improve insulin sensitivity any more than when they ate enough calories to match what they expended during exercise. This suggests that you don’t have to starve yourself after exercise to still reap some of the important health benefits.

In addition, as HGH Magazine explains, consuming fructose, including that from fruit juices, within this two-hour window will stimulate insulin secretion  which, in turn, contributes to a reduction in your human growth hormone (hGH) production.

So what to eat after exercise?  Protein immediately afterward, in the form of either a protein shake, protein bar, lean meat or eggs are the best option.  However, for those who opts for protein shakes, make sure the powder contains 100% whey and doesn’t have sugar.  Read the ingredient label.  Most protein powders sold in the market are high in sugar and probably 30% (in average) of whey.  You pay more for sugar than whey.

Be aware of the protein bars too, a lot of them in the market contain lots of sugar as well.  Read the ingredient label.

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