CVPT- Liz Fergusson trains for Brighton Half Marathon

Posted in Personal Training | / Leave a comment

New Year- New You Bootcamp- the conclusion video!

28 days later and look at them now!

Awesome group, all getting awesome results!

Posted in Bootcamps | / Leave a comment

Elimination Diet review….

Thanks to Craig Lowe (http://craigseliminationdiet.blogspot.com/?spref=fb) for sharing his experience on the Elimination Diet…as used in our recent New Year- New You bootcamp…..

Elimination Diet:Results and ‘after’photos

Seriously I am quiet impressed with myself for doing the 30 days without (as far as I’m aware) having anything off the banned list. When I first started this I thought I might slip up somewhere and either admit it, or say nothing and carry on, thankfully I didn’t have to do either.

Read More »

Posted in Bootcamps, Diet | / Leave a comment

New Year – New You Bootcamp- final week!

Now in its fourth week, many New Year-New You bootcamp members will be facing their toughest week so far! Temptation is more present than ever- but they must keep strong and resist the toxins we’ve all eliminated in the last three weeks.
One of the foods we’ve been avoiding is dairy. Want know why? Read on…..

We often hear in the news that research studies have shown that cow’s milk is good for us, providing all our nutritional requirements for the important mineral calcium, and that we should increase our consumption for the benefit of our health.

After all, there’s a good chance you were encouraged to drink the ‘white stuff’ by your parents when you were younger, so that you’d build good strong bones as you were growing up, right?!

But… did you know that there’s a dark side to milk that many people are not aware of…or that there are many health issues that are also increasingly being attributed to the regular consumption of dairy products?

Another little known fact is that our bones are not just made of calcium, but many other minerals as well, such as zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorous to name a few.

For many of us milk is cheap, readily available, and tastes good. But have you ever thought about how milk is treated before it is put into plastic bottles, or the welfare of the dairy herd? I’m guessing not!

When we are weaned off milk as infants, around 70% of us stop producing an enzyme called ‘lactase’ which helps us to digest the milk sugar lactose. The effects of continued consumption of milk and dairy products on the human body can in some people be so severe that they become severely ill…
These negative effects can cause poor absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract, irritable bowel and leaky gut syndrome, allergies and intolerances such as itching, hives, rhinitis, itchy eyes and ears, nausea, bloating, wind, cramps, diarrhoea, aggravation of lung conditions such as asthma, and can also lead to diabetes, and osteoporosis.

So how does all this happen?

During the manufacturing process milk from the cow is treated by two processes: pasteurisation andhomogenisation. The pasteurisation process is supposed to kill off harmful bacteria, but during this process, important enzymes and vitamins are also destroyed, including naturally occurring lactic acid that protects milk from infectious agents.

The homogenisation process means that the fats in milk are passed through a fine filter to make them smaller. This process enables these fats to bypass our digestive system and enter into our blood streams, sensitising our immune system and causing the allergic reactions and intolerances.

And you thought that milk was supposed to be good for you?!

One of the major reasons why we see government health campaigns and the like urging us to drink milk is because it contains the important mineral calcium. At first, that might sound beneficial…right?!

BUT… when you look behind the modern marketing messages and media campaigns, the science shows us that the mineral calcium is actually very concentrated in cow’s milk, with the ratio of calcium being up to 10 times more than magnesium (10:1 ratio). In human breast milk the calcium to magnesium ratio is 2:1! This can lead to major imbalances between these two co-dependent minerals in the body. Too much calcium causes the body to try and gain more magnesium in order to stay in balance. But too little magnesium in proportion to calcium can lead to muscle tension – ever suffered with restless leg syndrome at night?! This is because your body needs magnesium to relax the muscles, but too much calcium stops this from happening.

Magnesium is also important because it helps with the transport of calcium through the body. This is why excessive intakes of calcium can prove counter productive, because without the assistance of magnesium, calcium transport can slow down, allowing it to find its way into our tissues and form plaques. This can cause a build up of cholesterol, and lead on to atherosclerosis.

Cow’s milk is also bound with a sticky protein called ‘casein’, which is present in quantities four times that of human milk. It is also four times bigger than our own cells and forms large gluey clumps which are hard for the human digestive system to break down, and requires a lot of energy to do so.

The casein also coagulates in the acids in your stomach, leading to poor internal function. Casein is an allergen and forms a toxic mucus in the body. Eventually, the prolonged consumption of dairy products can mean that this mucus builds up and coats our intestine walls, leading to problems with nutrient absorption as the mucus becomes hardened and covered with food residues. The consequences of poor absorption can lead to a weakened immune system and resulting illness.

(Here’s a bit of trivia: Did I also mention that casein is actually a key ingredient in the wood glue you can buy from your local hardware store?!)

Next, the fat in cow’s milk contains a protein- splitting enzyme called Xanthine Oxidase. This enables the milk to be broken down by the digestive system. However, when milk is processed through homogenisation, this enzyme is damaged and can instead be passed into our circulation from the intestines. From here it can reach our artery walls and attack the tissues, causing lesions which are then repaired by the body with calcified plaques. Cholesterol can then build up on top of the calcification, and an accumulation can arise leading to blocked vessels. The result could be high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, all of which could contribute to a heart attack.

Recent scientific studies have even suggested a link with the consumption of dairy products to some cancers, such as Ovarian and Prostate cancer. According to researchers, it is the lactose contained in milk that causes the problem.

Once it has been broken down into the sugar ‘galactose’, it may over stimulate hormone production, thus leading to an increase in cell growth and then into ovarian tumour growth. In prostate cancer, researchers suggest the link is to calcium and the way it affects the role of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D suppresses the growth of cancer cells, thus preventing tumour growth. However, a high intake of calcium prevents vitamin D from doing this, therefore leaving room for cancerous growths to develop.

Another health problem that can be associated with dairy products is Diabetes. According to Canadian researchers who conducted a study on children in Finland, the milk proteins contained in cow’s milk may encourage the immune system to attack the milk. However, because there are similar looking cells residing in our pancreas to produce insulin, these cells also get attacked, and hence insulin production is disturbed, eventually resulting in diabetes.

Because cow’s milk is in so many of the products found on our supermarket shelves, we can extend these disadvantages to products such as cheeses, yoghurt, cream, as well as cow’s milk itself. The exceptions would be natural yoghurt, and dairy products made with other forms of milk, such as goat’s milk, or non GM Soya, nut or seed milks and cheeses.
If you think about it logically, cow’s milk is meant for calves to assist in their development, and provides very specific amounts of calcium and nutrients to aid their development. Human milk, on the other hand has a different chemical composition, specifically for a baby’s development. As it is natural for us to be weaned, continuing to consume milk, especially that of a different species, clearly can and does have negative effects on the human body.

If you think about it, isn’t it odd that we drink the milk of another species in the first place?!

But let’s not forget the cows themselves who are subjected to excessive milking and cramped conditions. Dairy practices now mean that cows can be continually milked even when pregnant. This over milking can lead to an infection called mastitis, which is swelling and infected udders – the pus of which ends up in the milk we drink.

Gross, huh?!

The increased risk of mastitis means that farmers have a greater need for antibiotic use. Cows are also often fed poor quality foods, that can contain high levels of herbicides or pesticides, and cows may also be subjected to up to 2700 drugs in the course of its lifetime – the result – all of these carcinogens are passed onto us through the milk we consume.
It seems apparent that, while government health campaigns lead us to believe milk is a wonder food and encourage us to ‘drink more milk’; the excessive consumption of dairy products in today’s modern diet is actually to the detriment of our own health. Makes you think, doesn’t it?!

Laura Russell
………………………………………….
About the Author
Laura Russell has recently completed and will soon be one of only a small handful of people in the UK to be have been taught by Dax himself in his Elimination Diet principles, and will be qualified as an E.D 3.0 Coach.

She has also studied various health courses with the Open University, achieving a Diploma in Health and Social Care and a Certificate in Mental Health studies. While finishing off her degree, she is also currently qualifying to be a Nutritional Therapist with the Nutritional Healing Foundation.

To find out more go to: http://nutritionaltherapistchester.com
Posted in Bootcamps, Diet | / Leave a comment

Grains- the evil we’re all consuming!

Now in week 3, everyone on the New Year-New You bootcamp is looking amazing! Workouts are being taken to another level as their fitness improves, and we’re impressed with how much energy everyone has!
People’s faces are transforming too- looking healthier and well rested as their toxins have now left their body, and sleep quality has improved.

One of the toxins we have cut from our diet are refined Grains. Laura Russell, Nutritional Therapist explains all in her post…..

Many of us eat refined grains everyday, at virtually every meal without even realising it. How often do you have toast or cereal for breakfast, sandwiches or a pasta salad at lunch time, and perhaps a pizza or a takeaway at dinner time? And how often do you have those heavily processed ‘in between meals’ snacks that are also sugary or high in fat? Probably more often than you’d like to think! And did you ever consider you could even be addicted to them?!
In fact, refined grains in one form or another are in so many of the foods we consume it’s difficult to imagine what we would eat if we were to take these things out of our diets completely. Before you make your mind up that there is absolutely no possibility of that ever happening, let’s consider the damage that refined grains can cause, without us even realising it.
Here’s a quick bit of evolutionary history…
We began planting, sowing and eating grains approximately ten thousand years ago. This was at the time when the hunter gatherers were forced to seek a new food source due to the decline of large mammals through over hunting, because of the increasing numbers of people at that time. This change in eating habits resulted in the introduction of the early farmers and agriculture, and also led to the development of settlements. However, along with this new way of life came health problems and a change in the structure of the human body.
As a result of grain consumption, the average height of the hunter gatherers decreased, as did bone strength, and new bone diseases became apparent. The early farmers also experienced tooth decay and infectious diseases, and along with them, a shorter life span. Fast forward to the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800’s, and to
another major change – the processing and refining of grains. During this period, health declined still further, with the development of degenerative diseases such as cancer, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, in the wider population.
One of the major reasons why refined grains have such a damaging impact on our health is because they contain a protein known as ‘gluten’.

Many of us are intolerant or even allergic to gluten without even knowing, but quite often addicted to it at the same time. Many people have years and years of ill health without ever being able to find out why. Test after test has proved inconclusive and the best advice people get is to ‘slow down a bit’ and ‘take it easy’, inferring it’s a state of mind than a physiological problem. But how many times has your doctor ever asked you what you eat on a regular basis???
The reason why gluten is so problematic for many of us is the proteins it is made up of – ‘gliadin’ and ‘glutenin’. These proteins bind together in the intestine, and create a gluey substance. In particular, gliadin is inflammatory, and it flattens the tiny hairs called villi that coat and protect the intestinal tract. Over time, the result is the reduced absorption of nutrients which can make us run down and tired and eventually lead to serious illness
Gluten is also very difficult for the human body to digest. Partly or undigested particles can permeate the gut wall and find their way into the blood stream, producing symptoms of intolerance which can include gas, bloating, abdominal cramps, chronic fatigue, rhinitis, aching muscles and joints and severe headaches.
One of the biggest problems with refined grains and gluten is the autoimmune disorder known as coeliac disease. The symptoms of this disease are fatigue, diarrhoea, fatty stools, abdominal pain, gas, fever, depression, anaemia and malnutrition.
However, coeliac disease is often misdiagnosed as another health issue, depression being one of them. On the other hand, the danger of coeliac disease is that sometimes it presents no symptoms at all, or people don’t present themselves with ‘classic’ symptoms. It can take years for a diagnosis, and during that time permanent damage can be done, not just to the intestines, but to the liver, the immune system, the skin, the brain and our neurological system. Gluten sensitivity can cause a whole host of other problems, such as dermatitis or psoriasis and can aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Depression is also another common symptom in someone who is allergic or intolerant to gluten. This is because our ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter, serotonin, is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract, and gluten impacts on neurotransmitter production by damaging the intestinal tract, lowering serotonin levels in the body.

Before we started to refine grains, we used to eat the whole grain, including the germ, which is the heart of the grain and the bran, which is the hard outer layer. While whole grains are better than refined grains they are less than ideal, because they contain high levels of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, especially those which are refined cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. To counteract this, the pancreas produces the important hormone insulin to bring the blood sugar down to normal levels. However, the continuous rise and fall of blood sugar in rapid succession exhausts the body by putting stress on the adrenal system.
The milling process largely removes the nutrient value of grains. In fact, some vitamins and minerals have to be added by law, to compensate for what is lost during production. However, the quantity and quality of these vitamins and minerals is often questionable, because what is replaced is actually less than we would get before processing, and in terms of quality, these ‘extra’ nutrients are often the cheapest available the manufacturer can obtain, which usually equates to a format that is less available to, and therefore usable by the body!
White flour also has the addition of additives such as bromine and carbon dioxide that are used to oxidise the flour. These can react with other substances from processed foods and make them toxic, which increases our body’s already toxic load.
Interestingly, another effect of gluten in the body arises from the undigested proteins, which are contained in the gluten grains that have properties similar to morphine. Once these are in our blood stream they can become potent. The people who are at greatest risk from these effects are those that are likely to have become addicted to glutinous foods, and it is suggested that this is where the term ‘comfort foods’ originates from!
Gluten can also affect our behaviour by causing us to use our ‘left brain’ function, or the ‘fight or flight’ mode; a state of stress and anxiety where we have far less rationale than if we were to use our ‘right brain’.  Using our ‘right brain’ function encourages us to be more creative, calmer and less susceptible to stress, and to develop our greater intellectual capacity.

It’s no surprise then that diseases such as cancer can manifest from excessive grain consumption, or that our life expectancy is in danger of being dramatically reduced when the staple in our diet is refined grains. The production of refined grains means that vital nutrients are lost during the process, and our ‘unconscious’ consumption is starting to cost us our health.
If many of us were to take stock of what we eat on a daily basis, we would not have a clue where to start in terms of changing our diets to a gluten free existence; such is the quantity of some form of grains in our meals.
But, there is a better way to get the nutritious content of grains with out all the bad bits, and that is to sprout them, and eat the young shoots. The sprouts contain all the nutrients required for the growth of a new plant and so are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, enzymes and fibre. By eating the sprouts, we get all the goodness that grains have to offer, but without the gluten and all the problems that this brings for our digestion, and our bodies and wellbeing as a whole.
So there you have it; the good, the bad (and the ugly!) on the grains found in our modern diet…definitely some food for thought right?!
Laura Russell
www.nutritionaltherapistchester.com
Posted in Diet | / Leave a comment