Achy, stiff, throbbing pain, creaking and popping. Yes, that is the joints in your knee as you slide out of bed groggy and in a daze from your rem cycle. You think it's just the pain of getting older and aging, while you're not wrong, you are at the same time. While aging is not something we can help, getting older is. Your body gets old when you stop taking care of it, this includes the break down and deterioration of joints.
WHAT ARE JOINTS?
Joints are the connection made between the bones in your body which link the skeletal system together as a whole functional structure. They connect nearly every bone in your body and are made up of many components and parts that make them function.
WHAT ARE JOINTS MADE OF?
There are a several categories that joints fall into, they all have specific functions for aiding in movement of the skeletal system.
Okay so now we know the important parts of this post, understanding what joints are, how they are made up and how they function is important in keeping them healthy. There are MANY ways to strengthen joints before they start to breakdown and there are even ways to help reform joints and alleviate pain throughout the day whether your 30, 40, or even in your 70's.
*As a side note, I am not a doctor. Anything written here is merely of my own research and experience, these are purely options and holistic treatments for an ailment that simply needs healing.*
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY JOINT HEALTH?
It's that time of year, kids are back in school and the weather is getting colder which means immune systems fighting off colds, flus, viruses and more allergies! YUCK! Before I tell you a few ways to boost your immune system, do you know how it works? A massive but very delicate system that fights and aides in keeping the peace in your body. Keeping you alive and well is its only job, but are you aware of everything else that can occur in the body due to the immune system being attacked? Inflammation. Skin irritations. Intestinal and bowel issues. This amazing defense mechanism inside of us does so much daily to keep us going. This amazing little system often times goes unnoticed though it works around the clock, I guess you could say it's as "busy as a bee". However when we wake up feeling sluggish and under the weather we drastically take notice and immediately blame our immune system. But should we? Or should we blame ourselves for not giving proper aide to the immune system to remain strong?
What is the immune system?
Let's start at the beginning, the immune system is a network inside the body made up of cells, tissues and organs that all work together to keep your body safe from ailments, disease, and toxins. White blood cells are the big players in this system, also known as leukocytes. There are two types of leukocytes, they come together to find and destroy substances and disease-causing organisms inside the body. The immune system is made up and comprised of so many things in the body, right down to your skin. Your skin is much like plastic wrap protecting food from bacteria and germs, it acts as a barrier to protect your organs and blood from viruses, bacteria, and toxins in our daily lives.
**Did you know that your skin secretes an antibacterial substance that kills germs as they land on your skin? This keeps you from growths or an "extra layer" when you wake in the morning after a nights rest.
Going inside the body is a bigger, more complicated story. The immune system is huge, it contains the thymus, spleen, lymph system, bone marrow, white blood cells, antibodies, and even hormones. That is a lot working together to keep you healthy and alive!
HOW CAN I AIDE IN KEEPING MY IMMUNE SYSTEM STRONG?
I get asked this question often given the industry I work in. There are so many ways that you can strengthen your immune system, the real question is; Are you willing to put in the work? You can't just eat an orange and expect to be a superhero and immune to sickness suddenly. No, I am sorry, it takes real work to keep from getting sick. But don't worry, eventually it will just be a part of your daily life and you will notice allergies lessen, days of work missed are also lowered, and your mood has increased to be more positive.
While there are many other ways to boost the immune system these are a great starting point for those looking to better their health and immune system in the beginning. But all in all, the best thing you can do is to just plain and simple take care of yourself, eat accordingly to your body and lifestyle and drink plenty of water.
Imagine a day where you don't get that 3 o' clock lull and slow down. Where your body is continually fueled throughout the day by burning the fat already stored in your body. A body that doesn't run off carbohydrates but good fat, maintaining muscle mass and supports a positive mood and better cognitive function. This is a body that runs on a time-restricted feeding ketogenic diet. Whoa, mouthful! We have previously spoken about how nutrition and fitness are a power couple and they work best when combined. In this post we are going to explore why a keto diet is more beneficial when coupled with tRF, time-restricted feeding.
In order to understand how keto works we have to look at how carbs work in the body from being broken down to the utilization as fuel. As well as the effects carbs in abundance have on the body. There are three types of carbohydrates; sugars, starches, and cellulose (fiber). Sugars are simple carbs, something you would find in a doughnut. Starches come more from pastas, breads, and potatoes. Fibers are found in the tough parts of plants, they do not breakdown inside the GI tract. They instead pass through, pulling toxins and gunk with them to be excreted from the body. As many of us know, digestion starts in the mouth. Our saliva contains enzymes that initially breakdown carbohydrates, mainly the simple ones like your doughnut. Once food travels down the esophagus, mixing and becoming chyme(1), which then moves through the stomach. After passing the stomach and into the small intestine, it then begins to break down any complex carbohydrates left behind with digestive enzymes such as amalyse to lactase. Now, furthering the steps of this process eventually you get glucose out of your carbohydrates(2). Glucose is either burned as fuel or stored as fat and sugar entering the blood stream.
KETOGENIC & KETOSIS
Okay, so now we have a basic understanding of how carbohydrates work and are broken down in the system. When you go into ketosis it's a completely different ballgame. Ketones are the byproducts of fatty acids that have been broken down. They occur in the body in the absence of glucose. This is often the accidental result for those on low-carb diets such as Atkins.
Getting into ketosis: first and foremost, in order to get into ketosis you must make sure that the amount of insulin in your bloodstream is as low as possible. Lower insulin levels mean higher ketone bodies produced. Now there is a trick to being in true, optimal ketosis and it's not just about the carbs. Watching your protein intake is also important, too much will breakdown and turn into glucose. The high the insulin in the bloodstream, the lower the amount of ketone bodies produced. When I tell people the real trick is eating fat, they look at me as if I am insane, but it's the truth. Going from a 42" waist nearly 5 years ago to a 27" waist, the proof is in the pudding. Fat is fuel, just as carbohydrates are fuel. The difference is that fat contains more calories and provides a cleaner energy source for the body to utilize.
Personal experience: I get questioned about my diet and lifestyle often, reason being is that I am a vegetarian who can oddly enough, only consume most forms of pork. I have tried to take digestive enzymes, high carb diets, low everything diets; the only thing that has ever seemed to help and work for my own body is being on a raw food, high in good fats diet. This recently included the cutting out of most dairy, well except the occasional pint of Halo Top or Enlightened ice cream. For the most part, I wake up already feeling energized most days because I found a way to work with my body and do a diet I have used with clients and myself that has worked for all of us so far.
Now I am not going to sit here and tell you that Keto is the only type of diet that I do, it's not. I couple it with tRF, time restricted-feeding. I literally don't eat for 12-14 hours at a time. I used to play with my caloric intake, I don't generally mess with it anymore. My body has done well at telling me how much I need. The funny part, I still consume roughly 3K per day and all before bed. Granted I don't eat again until noon most days, only consuming water and green tea in the morning. Before I get into the benefits I discovered for myself I want to cover a bit more about tRF.
Recently I was listening to a podcast from one of my favorite ladies, Dr. Rhonda Patrick(3). She was talking about tRF with a guest on the show, it's a great listen and easy to follow insight into tRF. Using time restricted-feeding has many advantages, boosting the metabolism and producing ketone bodies are just a couple to be named. Restricting the time frame in which mice ate rather than restricting their caloric intake showed greater results for fat loss. To break it down simply without getting too science technical about it, skipping meals is not okay however limiting the time in which you consume the same amount of calories every day is okay. So as long as you are eating, I don't know say 2500 calories per day but only consuming those calories between 1pm and 8pm your body has another 17 hours to fast. Or just use the fat on your body to provide a cleaner, more efficient energy source throughout the day.
Limiting the time frame in which you consume calories can also help control the amount of ghrelin(4) and leptin your stomach releases. Ghrelin increases hunger while Leptin decreases your hunger and both hormones respond to how well-fed you are. Studies have shown that restricting the time frame helped to control the levels of each hunger hormone due to the increase in your basal metabolism. The adipose tissue, or fat, decreased with fasting periods due to the body consuming existing fat cells to convert into ATP or energy. tRF is simple, willpower to stick to it may be your biggest challenge. (5)
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
So now that we have gone over the basics of keto and tRF I hope you can see how it would benefit so much more to combine the two and do both at the same time. Not only will keto turn you into a fat burning machine to begin with, tRF is going to speed that process along. It doesn't take much to fall into ketosis, go ahead and restrict that time frame of consuming those tasty calories and make your body really work for it. But remember, diets are just fads, like when JNCO made pipe-legged jeans. The point is this, just find what works for you and stick to it.
Note from the Team.
The blog about everything from mindful eating to healthy fat loss, drugs, natural supplementation and more!