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Hey guys! I was scouring the internet for interesting weight loss info and came across this article about sleep and weight loss. Hope you like it! -Sara

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A Bit of Inspiration

For all of you trying to change your lives or your weight, we thought we’d give you a little inspiration today!

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”

“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.”

“Act how you want to feel.”

I wake up every day realizing this is it, that there’s only one shot at this life and I can either enjoy the ride and live it to the fullest and to my highest potential or I can stay the way I am.

Make the decision then do something- no matter how small- towards accomplishing what you want.

Your past does not equal, nor does it dictate, your future.

Never give up on a dream because of the length of time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.

A year from now, you may wish you had started today.

“There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.” Peter A Cohen

“Failure is not fatal; failing to change will be.” John Wooden

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do it is increased.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leave us your inspiration!

It’s Hot! Preventing Heat Related Illness

Well it’s not quite June 21st but with record highs across the country, summer is here. With that summer heat comes a whole slew of potential heat-related illnesses: hyponatremia, heat stroke and heat exhaustion,  all of which are serious and can be life threating. As an EMT, I have treated all of these, and as a Marine I suffered most of these and have seen them all many, many times. I’m going to throw at you some signs and symptoms as well as some quick tips to avoid them.

Hyponatremia: everyone really knows about dehydration, but few people have ever really heard of hyponatremia. What is it exactly? Hyponatremia is a metabolic condition in which there is not enough sodium (salt) in the body fluids outside the cells. In simple terms, you drank so much water you have flushed your system of needed nutrients. This can happen when you consume large quantities of water without eating regularly and with no other food inbetween meals. Although it is more common in endurance athletes, everybody is at risk. A person suffering from this will appear intoxicated, woozy and stumbling and possibly even slurred speech and disorientation. If you believe that you or someone around you is suffering from this call 911. This is really dangerous, so sit them down in the shade and give nothing to drink. You can avoid this by eating regularly, salt food to taste, and I always had sunflower seeds as a snack. They’re high in sodium and will help prevent this from happening. Also try drinking a little Gatorade with your water.

Heat exhaustion: this happens when your body isn’t able to regulate temperature. We all have experienced this before. This is not good, but that serious however it can lead to more serious things. How it happens is your outside without taking brakes and without continually hydrating. Signs and symptoms include light headedness, cramps, cool clammy skin and just overall exhaustion. Treatment is get out of the sun, get inside, and hydrate. To avoid this,  for every 30-45 minutes of work you do outside take a 10 minute break where you resupply what you have lost with water and a snack.

Heat Stroke: this is the most serious of heat injuries. Eventually you are baking yourself! In particularly your brain! Defined as a body temperature of greater than 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) due to environmental heat exposure with lack of thermoregulation.  Your body sits naturally around 98.6, but when you’re dehydrated and have been working out in the sun your internal temp will raise sharply. Your body combats this by sweating which cools off your body. However if you have pushed yourself for a long duration of exercise, your body will not have sufficient fluids to sweat and your internal temp starts to rise. Signs and symptoms are hot, red and dry skin. It is also common for the person to become unconscious. The treatment for this is call 911, move to shade, remove all tight fitting clothing and douse with water. If you have ice available put in their arm pits, under their neck and in the groin region. You want to place it here because these are 4 places where the body can lose the most amount of heat as quickly as possible. I cannot stress the urgency of calling 911 with this one; brain damage can set in very quickly and is permanent.  The elderly and young are particularly susceptible to this. Avoid sugary sodas and drink plenty of water before during and after exercise.

With summer comes many outdoor activities and a desire to get out and exercise. Take into consideration the dangers of heat and make sure to prevent them!

Kevin

Guest Blog: Cancer and Nutrition

Please welcome guest blogger Jillian McKee, a Complimentary Medicine Advocate, to discuss proper nutrition when undergoing cancer and cancer treatment.

Cancer is a difficult situation for individuals, their family members and friends. However, eating nutritious food can help improve the quality of life during treatment, alleviate some symptoms, and offer strength and energy.

Nutrition Priorities

Eating healthy under normal circumstances is a good idea. Eating well when you have cancer is a priority, regardless of the type of cancer you may have, such as mesothelioma or any other type of cancer. Frame your eating plan around the following priorities:
            – Maintain a healthy weight
            – Promote muscle mass, strength, and energy
            – Find appealing foods that fit changing tastes and appetite levels

Nutrition Tips

Cancer patients may want to consult a registered dietitian to help find foods that are healthy and also easy to chew and digest.

Consider adding beverages, such as protein shakes, if eating meals becomes difficult. However drinking liquids during meals may increase nausea. A Stanford article suggests that cancer patients take medications with high calorie liquids or shakes. If your appetite is low, light exercise can help stimulate your appetite.

Choose foods high in protein in order to increase energy and maintain weight. Recommended levels of protein for cancer patients are approximately 45 to 60 grams daily. Foods high in protein include cheese, meat, peanut butter, eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk and dried beans.

Avoid spicy foods, overly hot or cold foods, and foods with strong odors. These can make food appear less appetizing and become more difficult to eat.

Nutrition Recommendations

Before beginning cancer treatment make sure that you have plenty of easy-to-eat foods available to you. When preparing food, make and store extras to be easily accessed later. The extras should also be easy to finish making, such as a few minutes in the microwave. If you are too tired to create food, ask friends or family to help cook and deliver meals to you while you are in treatment.

As always, remember to speak with your doctor to receive information on how to handle nutrition during and after cancer treatment.

 

7 Quick Takes from ACSM

Last post about the conference, I promise! 🙂

Since I spent last week at the National American College of Sports Medicine Conference, I thought you all might like to learn a little bit about some of the latest research that’s being discussed! Rather than elaborate on for several blogs, I thought I’d give you the top 7 things I learned at the conference. Let me know if you want any more information!

1. Sanjay Gupta is quite good-looking up close. 🙂 Just had to throw that in there! (Sorry honey) Dr. Gupta came to the conference to speak about health and social media, and though he seemed to be a bit confused about who his audience was ( he thought most of us were medical doctors instead of researchers), he really was entertaining to listen to. He spoke about changing behaviors and how as a society it’s important that we reward healthy choices. The photo below is Dr. Sanja Gupta, Dr. Lustig and Diana Nyad.

2. Diana Nyad is phenomenal! If you don’t recognize the name, she is the 60+yr old woman who made a serious attempt last year at swimming from Cuba to Florida. She spoke about living life to the fullest, having big dreams and focusing on what really matters. While she didn’t present any research or novel ideas, her energy and passion were incredibly contagious. After listening to her speak, Kevin and I went on an 8 mile run. If you ever have a change to hear her speak, don’t pass it up!

3. Learned a new catch-phrase: 5,2,1,almost none. Have you guys heard about this? It’s a quick way to help parents keep their kids healthy without making things too complicated. Every day kids should have 5 servings of veggies/fruits, less than 2 hours of total screen time, at least 1 hour of activity (for kids, playing counts as exercise!), and almost no sugar. While this catch-phrase is technically aimed at kids, if we all lived by these simple rules, we would be much healthier!

4. The old manta “a calorie is a calorie” is most definitely on its way out. I had the interesting pleasure of hearing Dr. Robert Lustig speak about obesity and sugar. If you haven’t seen his youtube video, you should check it out. He gave a 90 minute lecture on the evils of sugar and crazily enough, the video has gone viral. Dr. Lustig has gotten so much attention in part because of the tenacity and bluntness with which he speaks. He has no problem calling sugar “evil” or calling people “fat” right to their faces. While his views are definitely controversial, he does make a very interesting case for the negative effects of sugar and warns that regardless of calorie content, sugar is harmful and can lead to weight gain. This link is from 60 minutes is has both Dr. Lustig and Dr. Sanjay Gupta this is the same information they shared with us at the conferance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXhKQEdIDa0

5. I learned a little more about high fructose corn syrup; one group of researchers put mice on a high fructose diet and monitored their insulin sensitivity (if you have low sensitivity, you are at risk for diabetes). The high fructose diet significantly lowered insulin sensitivity (bad), but when the mice were put on a regular exercise routine, their insulin sensitivity went back to normal.

6. For those with diabetes, another group of researchers tracked insulin sensitivity 48 hours after a single exercise session and found that just one bout of exercise improves sensitivity for at least 24 hours. The effect doesn’t last much longer than that, which is why diabetes are recommended to exercise 5-7 days a week if they can.

7. Lastly, the research I presented! I found that the flavonoid quercetin, found in fruits and veggies with dark red colors, may help alleviate fatigue induced by chemotherapy. Almost everyone who has cancer and undergoes cancer treatment reports a significant, debilitating fatigue, and I hypothesized that inflammation might play a role. Quercetin is a natural anti-inflammatory, and when fed to mice at regular intervals, the mice experience less fatigue following chemotherapy treatment.

Hope you learned something!

-Sara

walk a mile in my shoes

SO, as you saw, my wife and I spent the last week in San Francisco at a conference and I realized that being married to an exercise scientist means that my vacations are pretty different than most. My wife Sara and I met and dated when we were 16…. I am about to turn 28, so we have known each other a long time. Over this past decade I have had some time to sit back, relax and reflect on where my life was and now is. People often ask me what it’s like being married to an exercise scientist; well, please allow me to enlighten you.

 When you go on vacation it’s probably to get away and relax, lie around, and sun tan. But, if you are married to an exercise scientist you go on vacation to take a four hour drive to hike 7 miles up a mountain. The next morning I was treated with an 8.5 mile run. Lunch was truly interesting; we went to a juice bar, where I drank something that resembled the slime that mutated the ninja turtles.

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Normal people go out for hamburgers and they are looking at downing a double with extra cheese and bacon. I have fantasies about those from time to time but every once in a while I get a hook up. ok i cant find my photo but the pickle chip that comes on top is as big as the burger its self. Not to take away from the burger it was delicious….Grass fed beef of course. That thing wouldn’t have satisfied a smurf!

Most people use the weekend to catch up on sleep and relax me, no not so much I wake up early and go on long runs and head to the gym, and for a real treat I get to head to whole foods to get cold pressed wheat germ for our morning shakes.

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Most people fill their dog’s bowl with food and water; being married to an exercise scientist even my dog is on a strict diet and exercise regimen. My dog looks up at us every time he sees the amount of food in his bowl like he is in the animal abuse commercial with Sarah McLaughlin.

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Being married to and exercise scientist, certainly has its ups and downs. In the end it’s all for my own health and benefit and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Adventures in Yosemite!

So, I know it’s been a little while since we’ve posted, but that’s because we’re in California! Kevin and I are spending the week in San Francisco for the American College of Sports Medicine conference. I presented some research yesterday, and now we’re exploring the city and of course, learning new stuff at the conference. I’ll put up some of the newest and most exciting research tomorrow! We wanted to show you guys our epic trip to Yosemite. I’ve never been there before and growing up in Illinois, I’m always so amazed by the splendor of mountains.

This was on the drive up. Gorgeous rolling hills!

Down in Yosemite Valley, just a short walk to the trailhead

 

Yosemite Falls. We climbed all the way to the top! It was gorgeous but arduous.

Endless stairs to the top of the falls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower Yosemite Falls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halfway up. Can you believe this view?

Only a few feet from the top!

 

 

Top of Yosemite Falls

At the top with the North Dome in the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was such an incredible climb and definitely made me want to move to Cali! We’ll blog again soon, but in the meantime, enjoy the pictures!

-Sara and Kevin

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