Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Benefits of Exercise While in Remission From Cancer

I was recently approached by David Haas with an article regarding the benefits of exercise while in Remission from Cancer and I thought it would be a great article to share with you all.  We all know that being physically active is extremely important to healthy living and this cannot be stressed enough when you are recovering from an illness or fighting dis-ease. 

As a Holistic Nutritionist and Personal Trainer I believe that connecting the Spirit, Mind and Body is the key to true health and happiness. 

Thanks David for sharing.

All the best in Health:)


The Benefits of Fitness While in Remission From Cancer ~ by David Haas
You endured your diagnosis and then have worked your way through treatment. When the day arrives and your doctor informs you that your cancer is in remission, you can experience a wide variety of emotions. Relief and joy are two of the biggest emotions you may feel. As the dust begins to settle and you get ready for the next phase in your life, it's a good idea to make sure ongoing fitness will be part of it. Whether you're in remission from cancer or still going through treatment, a regular exercise program can help you regain energy, strength, self-confidence and vitality. These types of exercise can help you ease into a recovery stage exercise routine; this applies for people going through many different types of cancer all the way from breast cancer to mesothelioma.

Power Walking
Power walking delivers the same benefits as jogging but without the harsh impact that can lead to painful joints. Power walkers tend to move at around 4.5 miles per hour and walk with a more athletic gait than those who are simply “window shopping”. The fast movement of your body strengthens the muscles while pumping your heart more efficiently, giving yourself more of a beneficial workout.

Stationary Bicycle
On days when exercising outdoors isn't possible, a stationary bicycle can be an effective way to achieve physical conditioning. Place your bike in front of the television or a large picture window so you have something visual to focus on. This helps you prevent exercise-related boredom as your body enjoys the benefits of moving and staying active.

Water Exercise
Water exercise is a great way not to break out into a sweat while at the same time gives yourself a great cardiovascular workout and stays gentle on your joints. Swimming for 30 minutes at a time gets your heart pumping while strengthening and toning your muscles. Water can also be a very peaceful place to exercise that can help you reduce stress and take your mind off the disease.

Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates are more calm and passive forms of exercise: however, that doesn't mean they're not equally effective. As you hold yoga poses or work through a variety of Pilates movements you strengthen the core muscles of your body, which improves balance and stability. You may begin to notice that you are starting to stand taller, feel less stress and enjoy more self-confidence. Yoga and Pilates are both excellent forms of allover exercise that help you regain your energy and physical conditioning while in remission.

A physical fitness program appropriate to your level of conditioning can prove to be beneficial both physically and mentally. Aside from moving your body in a way that strengthens it, fitness is a natural mood-lifter and it builds the self-esteem, too. When someone with cancer goes into remission, the resulting relief is often followed by fatigue. While this is natural after a battle, you can regain your strength and energy by immediately beginning to incorporate fitness as a staple of your lifestyle.

~ David Haas

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

NCCH "Nutrition" Workshop

Last evening I had the priviledge of presenting to 40 of Hamiltons finest Cyclests from the Team CHCH ot the National Cycling Centre.  We discussed the proper amount of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats that are necessary pre, during and post workouts as well as keys to proper hydration.
Following these main topics, we delved into the wonderful topic of superfoods where the athletes were able to try such foods as "Spirulina, gogi berries, dulse, kombu, chia seeds, raw cacao nibs, raw honey, and coconut oil".  Probably the best tasting treat of the night were the "Chocolate Energy Balls" that I brought along.  This recipe was adapted from a book written by Eva Cabaca, one of the lovely teachers at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition where I studied to become a Certified Nutritional Practitioner.

The athletes had great questions regarding Paleo or Primal Diets, Supplements, Chocolate Milk, Protein Bars and powders.  It was amazing to see a group of such enthusiastic and knowledgeable individuals. 

Thank you Rick and Team CHCH for the opportunity to speak.  I am sure your athletes are on their way to a wonderful 2012 season.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Reduce Constipation! The Secret Weapons – Calcium and Magnesium

In an earlier post, I stated that in an ideal world, we would visit the toilet 1-3X daily to have a bowel movement (1 meal in = 1 meal out), otherwise we are constipated.  I received many emails asking me what to do to help promote better bowel health so I decided I would post a couple of tips to help.

First of all there are the 2 basics.  Drink enough water, 8-10 glasses daily, and consume enough fibre about 40grams.  Fibre is the bulking agent and water helps keep everything flowing.  Keep in mind that if you drink caffeinated beverages, your water intake needs to increase as caffeine is a diuretic.

If you are consuming enough water and fibre, you may be lacking in calcium and/or magnesium.  Though there are many other things that could be the cause, it would be best to consult a Holistic Practitioner to do a full assessment, and so, for the purposes of this quick post, I will keep it very simple.

Magnesium helps reduce constipation
Magnesium is a gentle laxative that helps relax your colon walls when you are under stress or anxious.  Unfortunately that is almost a constant concern in today’s society. Magnesium also attracts water so supplementing on magnesium or eating foods high in magnesium will help to get water into the colon, which is necessary to keep your stools softer.   

Calcium helps reduce constipation
Calcium combines with excess bile and decaying fat (in your colon) to form a harmless insoluble soap, which is excreted with your stool. That’s right Calcium acts like a bath for your intestines! 

Best Supplemental Forms and Dosages

Using calcium and magnesium in the right quantities can prevent or relieve constipation.
The dose for supplementation varies from person to person, so start with a lower dose, and increase as needed.  You will know when you reach your upper tolerance of Magnesium because your bowels will become very loose.  At that time, reduce the dose.  Unlike irritating laxatives, magnesium does not create laxative dependency.  There are many forms of magnesium supplements, but I recommend purchasing magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate.

The same is true for Calcium.  Look for calcium gluconate or aspartate, preferably gluconate as it closely resembles the calcium you get from milk and vegetables.  This form is easily absorbed by individuals with weak digestion.  Natural Vitality has a product called “Natural Calm with Calcium” that I enjoy before bed as it mixes with water and is a soothing and calming warm beverage.

The key to remember is that without magnesium, calcium can actually cause constipation.  As a result I would recommend taking 400-500mg of calcium 3X daily at the same time as 200-300mg of magnesium.  (Maximum daily intake should be 1500mg of calcium and 1000mg of magnesium)

Side Effects of Calcium and Magnesium

Every beneficial supplement may still pose a risk for certain populations.  If you are taking a thyroid hormone, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, or antibiotics, calcium supplements can interfere with adsorption of these drugs. It is best to take calcium around 2 hours before or after taking these and other drugs.
If taking magnesium, do not take it within 2 hours of taking any kind of drug.
If you have severe kidney or heart disease, you need to avoid magnesium and consult with your Health Care Practitioner.
It is important to note that Calcium and Magensium are safe for pregnant women.

Increase Magnesium and Calcium with Whole Foods!!

Before considering supplements, remember that whole foods are best and quite often will do the trick.    

Calcium Rich Foods:
Goat milk, egg yolk, fish, lemons, rhubarb, cheese, skimmed milk, bone broth, seeds, dulse, kelp, greens, nuts, cauliflower, celery, cottage cheese

Magnesium Rich Foods:
Greens, berries, wheat germ, grains, nuts, cornmeal, apples, apricots, oats, pears, pecans, spinach, tofu, lentils, honey, fish, cabbage, avocados, cashews, peas, prunes, soy milk, chard

Summing it All Up!

Regardless of the method you choose, consuming a balanced diet with a few servings of Magnesium and Calcium rich foods daily along with lots of water and fiber and your bowels should be moving in no time.  Along with this will come many health benefits including a stronger immune system, less parasitic and candida infection risk, and better absorption of nutrients.  It’s a win-win situation!

All the Best in Health,

Coach DeanneJ

P.S:  If you are chronically constipated (less than 1 bowel movement daily) consider having a full assessment done by a qualified Holistic Nutritionist.  Call or email me for a free 15 minute consult @ 905-538-8611 or