Tag: exercise

Benefits Of The Glycemic Index

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What Is The Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Foods with a low GI (GI ≤ 55) release glucose into the bloodstream at a slow sustainable rate.  The scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of a healthy low GI diet is overwhelming.

Lowering the GI of your diet will help prevent and manage overweight and obesity, which are the major underlying causes of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. For people who have diabetes, low GI diets have been proven to improve blood glucose management and to reduce the risk of complications.

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What Are Carbohydrates and Why Are They Important?

Carbohydrates are one of the most important sources of energy for our bodies and are mainly found in plants (fruits, vegetables, grains & legumes) or in foods made from plant sources.

Carbohydrates take two forms namely starches (such as potatoes, cereals, bread, and pasta) and sugars such as table sugar (sucrose), milk sugar (lactose), and fruit sugar (fructose).  All carbohydrates are eventually broken down by the body into glucose, which is:

– A universal fuel for most organs and tissues in our bodies
– The only fuel source for our brain, red blood cells and a growing fetus, and
– The main source of energy for our muscles during strenuous exercise

Why Do You Need To Worry About Your Blood Glucose/Sugar Levels?

When digested, the starches and sugars in carbohydrates are broken down into millions of glucose molecules which are released into the bloodstream. bloodsugarWhen blood glucose levels rise, your body releases a hormone called insulin, which allows glucose to enter cells where it can be used to provide fuel for our brains, muscles and other vital organs.

Insulin also plays a key role in fat storage: when insulin levels rise, our cells are forced to burn glucose rather than fat.  Unfortunately most of the carbohydrates we eat tend to be highly processed and high GI.

They break down quickly during digestion and cause blood glucose to rise fast and high for a short time. It’s like a roller-coaster ride on your insides – you spike then crash.

Low GI carbohydrates – those that are slowly digested and absorbed – cause a much lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore, insulin levels.

This will help sustain energy levels longer, improving mental and physical performance and helping weight loss and the risk of developing lifestyle related diseases.


What Are The Benefits Of Focusing On A Low Glycemic Index Diet?

A healthy low GI diet will help you to lose body fat by:

gi2Overcoming hunger: Because low GI foods take longer to digest, they make you feel satisfied for longer and trigger natural appetite suppressors.

Fat burning: Reducing insulin levels over the course of the day which makes fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored.

Maintaining your metabolic rate: a low GI diet does not result in the same steep fall in metabolic rate which is the body’s natural response to the large drop in food intake required by most quick-fix diets. You need to keep your engine revs high to lose weight and keep it off.

Below is a chart I have created listing low, middle, and high GI foods.  I adjusted some of the GI values based on data I found across multiple sites. My chart reflects only my recommendations based on my extensive internet research.

Click On The Chart To Enlarge!

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There are other factors you can explore such as the Insulin Index, as well as the Glycemic Load of each food.  However, it can get pretty dizzying studying all the different data.  You cannot go wrong using the Glycemic Index.  It is not a fad, it is scientific nutritional fact.  I can assure you that within a week you will find your energy stabilized, your mood improved, and your appetite under control if you eat according to the chart below.

One thing is for sure, if you follow the basic premises of the chart, you are well on your well to a healthier you!  Either way, you can once again rely upon my OCD put into use in building the chart on your behalf haha!  Used in conjunction with a sensible workout plan, and good sleep habits, I am confident that within two months your body will thank you for focusing on the Glycemic Index!

Yoga A Union

The word yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit.  What is commonly referred to as “yoga” can be more accurately described by the Sanskrit word asana, which refers to the practice of physical postures or poses.

Asana is only one of the eight “limbs” of yoga, the majority of which are more concerned with mental and spiritual well-being than physical activity. In the West, however, the words asana and yoga are often used interchangeably.

Yoga Poses

Many people think that yoga is just stretching. But while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement (vinyasa-style yoga) or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect the alignment of the pose. The poses are a constant, but the approach to them varies depending on the tradition in which the teacher has trained.

Yoga Practice

Yoga teachers will often refer to “your practice,” which means your individual experience with yoga as it develops over time. The amazing thing about yoga is that your practice is always evolving and changing, so it never gets boring. Although the poses themselves do not change, your relationship to them will. Anyone can start a yoga practice, even if you don’t feel like you are very flexible or very strong. These things will improve the longer you practice. Another great thing about thinking about “your practice” is that it encourages the uncompetitive spirit of yoga. One of the most difficult, but ultimately most liberating things about yoga is letting go of the ego and accepting that no one is better than anyone else. Everyone is just doing their best on any given day.

Yoga Classes

In addition to practicing the poses, yoga classes may also include instruction on breathing, call and response chanting, meditation, or an inspirational reading by the teacher. The variety and amount of this will depend on the individual teacher and the yoga style in which he or she is trained. Typically, a yoga class at a gym will be more focused on the purely physical benefits of yoga, while one at a yoga center may delve more into the spiritual side. Some people find that the physical practice of yoga becomes a gateway into a spiritual exploration, while others just enjoy a wonderful low-impact workout that makes them feel great. Whatever your tendency, you will be able to find a yoga class that suits your style.

Activity Pyramid

Exercise Daily on justruminating men's blog
Click on me to print!

The Doctors Will See You Now

Holistic Wellness on justruminating men's blog

Time for your “physical” using the Holistic Health Approach!

Wellness Guide on justruminating men's blog

So, for each part of your physical, you’ve got links to articles and videos you can educate yourself with and ensure your holistic wellness is tip-top!

Relax, Dr. Long Fingers will be along shortly…this won’t hurt a bit…

Holistic Health on on justruminating men's blog

Having a holistic health check up is somewhat different from having a physical by a healthcare provider when your pulse is taken and a tongue depressor is stuck inside your mouth.  Holistic care involves evaluating and nurturing all aspects of our bodies, not the physical body alone.

Here are important questions for you to ask yourself and also to use as a guide enabling you to evaluate how in-balance your mind-body-spirit is. Included are some wellness resource links that offer avenues you can take and tools you can use to help to align yourself with optimal wellness.

1) Are Your Chakras in Alignment?

Chakra Balancing on on justruminating men's blog

Our chakras are our energy centers (vortexes) that are the openings for life energy to flow through. When they are blocked or closed we are functioning at a lower level than is desirable.

2) Are You Breathing Properly? Say Ahhhh!

Breathing Meditation on justruminating men's blog Probably one of the most common mistake people make is withholding breath. There are far too many shallow breathers on the planet. Training yourself how to breathe properly is very important!

3) Are Your Aura Colors Glowing Brightly or Murkish Gray?

Auras Need Love on on justruminating men's blog
Our auras are like magnets picking up vibrational energies that are floating around everywhere we go. It is important to cleanse our auras frequently to free them of foreign vibrations and negative energies.

4) How Deeply Rooted Are You?

We Are The Earth on on justruminating men's blog
When our spirits choose to incarnate into a human body it is understood that we are to respect and honor this outer garment we wear. There is much information and learning that can be accessed from our Earth energies when we grow our roots. Dig in and reach downward!

5) Are You Staying Within Your Own Energetic Boundaries? 

Harness Your Spiritual Energy On on justruminating men's blog
You will experience conflict within your “self” if you become confused by merging your own energies with energies of others. Make sure the emotions you are feeling belong to you.

6) Are You Tending To Your Physical Needs?

Physical Needs On on justruminating men's blog
I should stop bringing ups new topics and build this section of our blog as it is completely near and dear to mine and Karin’s hearts.  We avidly workout and eat well, and it has impacted our lives in so many ways.

Fitness and nutrition have been a huge part of my life-off an on since I went to college and got my hands on the Gold's Gym Training Encyclopedia on justruminating men's blogGold’s Gym Training Encyclopedia.  The fundamentals I learned from that book are largely still applicable today.  And I still do those basic exercises every time I workout!

Sadly, as I was going through our blog to link to some fitness and nutrition articles I found I hadn’t written any!  So, I will be building a thorough library on this area.  There is so much mis-information, complicated this and that’s.

I guarantee we will help you sift this plethora of garbage information and get to the meat and potatoes of eating right and exercising, no matter your fitness level, age, or condition!  First lesson:  “Diet” is a word that no longer exists…

7) Do You Allow Yourself Time/Space To Recoup Spent Energies?

Private Idaho on justruminating men's blog
It is far too easy to get wrapped up in day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, forgetting to take care of yourself. Choose from a variety of practices that can easily be incorporated a few minutes each day to bring about inner peace and contentment. Here are a few suggestions.

Obviously this physical would never supersede any medical treatments you are currently undergoing.  But I guarantee you one thing, apply these principles with 100% commitment, you might be surprised the next time you go for an actual physical.

The changes will startle you!  (just one example for myself:  my bp when I started this new journey in December of 2012 was 158/110!  I just had it checked on Monday:  11/80!

Using the list 1-7 above, make a questionnaire for yourself, then put a check mark next to each topic as to whether you take an active role in that wellness function or not.  Avoid the last box!  The graphic is there for you to ponder, not to extend any negative energy field to you whatsoever.  We learn TWICE AS MUCH when we SEE as we do when we HEAR!

Holistic Checklist on justruminating men's blog

The path to Holistic Wellness starts and ends right at the edge of your big toe.  Take the first step and work through your physical and strive to incorporate as many of these principles as you can each and everyday.  And if you are actively involved in your own holistic health, way to go!  Now go find someone to share your wellness with.  Your body will thank you, your mind will thank you, your soul will thank you, and if you reach out to someone else, THEY will thank you!