"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

Inspirational Story of Someone Living Strong

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Soft Drink a day Keeps Good Behaviour Away

Lisa Cutforth - Saturday, August 24, 2013

I was reading the paper this morning and was astonished to read that HALF of all Australian children drink one can of soft drink a day and 13 per cent drink three cans or more (as published in the Journal of Pediatrics).  I was devastated to learn that parents are giving babies soft drinks in their sippy cups and bottles (as reported in the Medical Association). 

The mistake I often make as a practitioner is the assumption that common sense is common and that people have been exposed to the education and facts that I have that prevent me making those decisions and mistakes.

I did my dissertation at university on ADD/ADHD and treatment about 10 years ago, so know too well the relationship between poor diet and behaviour problems, not just in children, but adults too.

The headline of the article I was reading was "Soft drinks make kids crazy" (The Courier Mail Saturday 24 August).  In fact I wouldn't even have read it except that I was so surprised that this was "news".  I thought this was OLD NEWS and by now EVERY ONE KNEW that soft drinks make kids crazy.  Apparently many still don't realise the disastrous effects soft drinks are having on children. 

For those that don't yet know, and that is what this article was highlighting was a study by the University of Columbia on 3000 five year olds, that children who had a can of soft drink a day had more behavioural problems than those who drank none. 

"All five year olds have "behavioural problems", it has nothing to do with soft drink, my kid is just hyperactive." I have heard parents explain. But the reality is a sugar hit accompanied with a caffeine hit to a young developing brain can have the similar effect to a drug.  It can make kids excitable, jittery, distracted, giddy, dizzy and agitated.. and at an age they are not able to explain what has hit them, they just act it out.  A parent looking on says, "What's got into you, stop being so naughty, calm down."  But they have been over stimulated chemically and physiological and like someone under the influence of alcohol or a drug, you can't just "switch that effect off" and "behave properly". 

The other down side of soft drink is the sugar hit (and caffeine hit) triggers the stress response commonly referred to as "fight or flight response" (which activates hormones that give the body a kick of adrenalin) which typically will "get us going" or "makes us withdrawn".  This fight or flight response in children could be played out as aggression or depression.  Certainly a daily hit of this is not good for a body especially not a little one on a regular basis. Unfortunately "sugar" is not just "sugar" when it's consumed in those quantities in that fizzy, caffeinated delivery system.  Caffeine will accelerate a sugar hit to the brain.

The article notes the Australian Dental Associations Dr Peter Aldritt's coment: "I think people would be shocked if they realised that the average soft drink has 16 packets of sugar in it."

Just in case you didn't know: Soft drinks are also often full of artificial ingredients which effectively are toxins the liver has to then deal with, and the sugar and acidity of sugary fizzy drinks erode tooth enamel and contribute to tooth decay.  Those are some of the LONG KNOWN effects. 

Certainly something we don't want our children to get a "taste" for or develop addictions to this early in their little lives.  Let them seek out soft drinks if they must when they are adults and are practicing free will, but certainly don't allow or ignorantly facilitate daily consumption of soft drinks. 

Better alternatives for children (0-10)?

Breast milk or formula, water, Freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices (diluted with water and not before 6 months), sparkling mineral water, caffeine free herbal teas like fruit teas or Jasmine tea or Rooibos tea (for over 2s and never from a bottle and away from meals).

 

Best Medicine for ... just about everything

Lisa Cutforth - Friday, August 16, 2013

If there was a complementary medicine you could take everyday... and it lowered your disease risk, and improved your health, and there were no known side effects, would that sound too good to be true?  What if it was free?

I'm off to take my walk... enjoy the video!  It's about the single best thing we can do for our health!

Low Calorie Diet Meal Plan

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I am known for not being a fan of meal plans, or low calorie diets.  So why then have I spent the last six weeks painstakingly trying to create the perfect low calorie meal plan?

I'll start with the reason I am not a fan of meal-plans and low calorie diets. 

Low calorie diets focus primarily on "calories".  All calories are not created equally, and low calorie does not mean healthy or balanced necessarily.  I have rarely seen "low calorie diets" done well or nutritiously, partly because people end up eating "fake food" and counting calories rather than nutrients.  It is possible to get low calorie nutritious meal-plans all over the web, great software that you can punch in your stats and it pulls up a nutritious low calorie meal plan for you to follow, but they can be complicated (fancy recipes, specific foods not always to your tastes or your budget, individual so difficult to adjust for a family), and so despite them being a great resource they seem to have poor compliance.  And no matter how good a meal plan is, if you don't stick to it, you won't get results.  Personalised meal plans I have devised for my clients in the past have also had low compliance, people get bored or lose interest, and a meal plan doesn't address triggers, or teach you how to make choices in the real world.

So then why am I creating a low calorie meal plan?

Meal plans can be a great starting point, a guide or blue print for how to combine foods or structure meals, or gauge portions. Low calorie and low glycaemic load diets have been found to be an effective approach to weight management and longevity if they are done well.

So I figured if I created a meal plan that addresses some of the weak points in meal plans and low calorie diets, we might be onto a blueprint for "the perfect modern day diet".  If it is easy to use and practical for the whole family, if it meets nutritional needs, if it is low calorie and low glycaemic load, and doesn't leave you hungry, if it is easy to follow and gets you results and is the blue print for a system of eating... then I am REALLY HAPPY to promote it and encourage you to use it...  

I will let you know when it is available... and I will definitely be asking for some people to help me test and review it!!!

If you have comments to help me in this process... please get in touch and tell me what you would like this plan to include or need it to be to meet your needs!

Think carefully about what you want, when you say "weightloss"

Lisa Cutforth - Monday, June 17, 2013

People have become "obsessed" with a number on a scale and it is such an inaccurate reflection of "physique", health, and the amount of excess fat you are carrying.

When I say to my clients, be careful with what you are doing because you could be "losing muscle" instead of fat, they don't always get just how important this is for their weight loss long term.

Muscle is the thing that sets your metabolism, so the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism.  Also although you may not weigh that much if you have burnt fat but increased your muscle mass, you will certainly have affected your frame and your tone.  You will be physically smaller, and that's because muscle is denser than fat so takes up less fat.  It also uses up more energy so helps you get the fat off.  Whereas if you just lose weight (some muscle, some fat), as you lose fat you send your body into a stress or "scared" state which will cause it to slow down or readjust your metabolism and as you have less muscle you will burn less anyway.  Then if you start eating more again... you can actually quickly regain lost fat, and more.

I really enjoyed this comparison of two friends approach to weight loss.

"If you gained 10kg of muscle at the same time you lost 10kg of fat, you would be smaller, about 1.4 liters smaller. On the scale you would weigh the same but your pants would be looser and your metabolism would have increased so now you're burning more calories even when resting, allowing you to tolerate eating more food to stay at that same weight.

Let's say you and your friend decide to start two different weight loss programs at the same time. After 6 months, you've lost 10 kg by working out, eliminating a lot of processed foods & replacing with good healthy foods, while your friend has lost 11 kg by lying in bed drinking coffee and smoking.

Your 10kg scale weight loss might equal a 10 kg muscle gain with a 20 kg fat loss. If so, you'd be 12.3 liters smaller.

On the scale, it would look like your friend who lost 11 kg (9 kg of muscle and 2 kg of fat) was doing better, but in fact, she'd only be 10.7 liters smaller, making her 1.6 liters bigger than you and not looking nearly as good for a similar weight on the scales. Ha!

Meanwhile, going forward, who will maintain her new weight more effectively? It sure won't be your friend."

This story does oversimplify things a little but it makes an important point.  You benefit most when you exercise and eat well.  If you just restrict calories you will lose weight (and maybe faster and comparitively more than others in the short term.  But if you don't exercise your weight loss won't be sustained and you may actually regain it all. It's not just about "losing weight", if you want to keep it off, you may need to be clearer and wiser with your goal setting. 

That's why the magic formula for lasting "weight loss" is:

1. A high nutrient, low GL, low calorie diet

2. Half an hour of exercise every day

3. Doing 1 and 2 until they become habit!

Strong is the new skinny!  Remember when you set your goals, perhaps also think about numbers like:  waist circumference, dress size, jean size and not just "the number on the scale"!

Source: Ben Longley: http://www.thefoodcoach.com.au/articles/?ArticleID=1362

Low GL diet

Lisa Cutforth - Monday, June 17, 2013

All calories are not created equal

Lisa Cutforth - Monday, June 17, 2013

Many of my clients have heard me arc up at "low calorie diets".  Here's why.

All calories are not created equal and a calorie does not give reference to the nutritional value of a food other than how much energy it "yields" in a laboratory, nor does it tell us how the body will use it. 

Just because two meals have the same amount of calories does not mean:

- They will fill you up equally

- They will satisfy you in the same way

- They will meet the same needs (nutrition, satiety or other)

- They are equally healthy

- They will be as effective at helping you lose or control your weight

- Or that they will be broken down, used or stored in the same way by the body.

The body deals with different foods differently, and an emphasis on nutrient dense (or high nutrient) (and probably "whole food") is more important than an emphasis on "low calorie", for health AND FOR WEIGHT LOSS.

A study done on two groups of people found that the people who ate more junk food, had lower nutrient levels in their blood despite eating more actual food and more calories than the other group.  So they had bigger appetites, ate more food and were less nourished than the group who ate healthier food (and were satisfied eating less).

Another study by Harvard confirmed that weight loss is not just about the amount of calories we consume but also about the type of food the calories come from:

"In a 2012 Harvard study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 21 over- weight and obese young adults tried three different test diets—a low-fat diet, a very low-carb/high-protein diet, and a low-glycemic index diet—for four weeks at a time.

Each diet consisted of the same number of calories but differed in their protein, fat, and carbohy- drate content. In the low-glycemic index diet, participants ate carbohydrates that are digested and broken down slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels (e.g. low-processed foods such as fiber-rich whole grains, nuts, or beans).

The result? Researchers found that the low-glycemic index diet actually speeds up metabolism and helps burn calories, making you lose weight faster, suggesting that all calories are not equal.

According to to an author of the study, David Ludwig, M.D., a professor in nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, “from a metabolic perspective, all calories are not alike, [and] the quality of the calories going in affects the number of calories going out.”

In other words,"Low Calorie" on it's own is not where the "magic" is. "Low calorie diet" can be ambiguous and misleading.  Calorie restriction is an effective weight control method (and in fact can also increase longevity), when done in the context of good nutrition principles. Calorie restriction should not be done ignorantly or at the expense of good nutrition, or it can actually compromise health and sabotage weight loss.

Source: Healthy Solutions to Lose Weight and Keep It Off, http://www.health.harvard.edu/

 

What is glutamine and why is it beneficial

Lisa Cutforth - Friday, May 10, 2013

L-Glutamine is an amino acid and actually a pretty abundant one, it is used extensively by the body and readily available in the diet.  But time and time again I read about it's health merits and so I thought it was high time I did a blog post on the benefits of glutamine (L-glutamine)! 

Glutamine is most commonly known for or associated with "body building" and supplementation.  However, glutamine is much more relevant than that.  It is a key player in many important body roles and functions.

Despite being so abundant and accessible, in certain cases glutamine can become depleted from muscle stores and can become conditionally essential (which means we can no longer make it, we need to get it from our diet). It is relatively easy to get glutamine from your diet but in special cases I have often recommended the supplement in clinical practice for my clients.  For example clients with leaky gut or candida overgrowth, because of glutamine's role in gut repair.  I have also used it with my elite sports clients for it's role in increasing stamina and performance.  Glutamine is used by the muscles during exercise so replenishing it afterwards can help with muscle fatigue and muscle repair (and therefore muscle growth).

I was interested to read in a recent article in the Yonsei Medical Journal published on the National Centre for Biotechnology Information website that....

"Dietary supplementation with nutrients enhancing immune function is beneficial in patients with surgical and critical illness. Malnutrition and immune dysfunction are common features in hospitalized patients. Specific nutrients with immunological and pharmacological effects, when consumed in amounts above the daily requirement, are referred to as immune-enhancing nutrients or immunonutrients. Supplementation of immunonutrients is important especially for patients with immunodeficiency, virus or overwhelming infections accompanied by a state of malnutrition. Representative immunonutrients are arginine, omega-3 fatty acids, glutamine, nucleotides, beta-carotene, and/or branched-chain amino acids.  Even though immunonutrition has not been widely assimilated by clinicians other than nutritionists, immunonutrients including glutamine may exert beneficial influence on diverse patient populations.  In general, glutamine supplementation reduces the rate of infection, inflammation, length of hospital stay, and mortality, and improves gut barrier function and immune function, especially cell-mediated immunity in critically ill patients."

The research does caution that inappropriate use of immunonutrients may be potentially harmful, but certainly immunonutrition if used in close communication and information between clinicians and nutrition specialists could potentially be very effective, even life saving.  (In terms of safe supplementation, always do so under guidance by a nutrition specialist, but typically up to as much as 10mg orally has been found to be safe, however intravenous delivery has sometimes been reported to have negative effects on the liver.)

You can of course get L-Glutamine from your diet. Foods that are naturally rich in glutamine include: meat (like chicken and eggs), dairy (like yoghurt and ricotta cheese), vegetables (like spinach, cabbage and parsley, preferably raw forms). (Extra tip: If you are after optimal health always choose organic animal products.)

Source: Glutamine as an immunonutrient, HyeYoung Kim.Yonsei Med J. 2011 November 1; 52(6): 892–897. Published online 2011, October 20, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3220259/

 

Chocolate, Cheese, Meat and Sugar are Addictive!

Lisa Cutforth - Wednesday, April 24, 2013





You are more beautiful that you think you are

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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